31 Malaga Repositioning Cruise Reviews

Having sailed once before in the Caribbean with Star Flyer we decided on taking it across the Atlantic. The 23 day crossing was a combination of Malaga, Spain to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (9 days) and Las Palmas to Barbados (14 days). ... Read More
Having sailed once before in the Caribbean with Star Flyer we decided on taking it across the Atlantic. The 23 day crossing was a combination of Malaga, Spain to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (9 days) and Las Palmas to Barbados (14 days). Due to popularity it was over a year from booking to sailing. Cabin 121. 80% of passengers are repeat. We arrived in Malaga 4 days before the cruise, allowing time to adjust from the west coast of the US. Our hotel was a few blocks from the harbor and we were able to walk to the boat rolling our bags. check in was at 4 but you could store your bags at the pier starting at 12 noon. The first 9 days we took 2 tours, bus to Marrakesh from Safi and tour of Lanzarote. Tour to Marrakesh was disappointing, tour guide wanted to make sure we shopped "his store" (for a kick back?) so all else was rushed to get to his shops. Lanzarote tour to volcano park was much better. Seas were rough two days especially the Safi to Lanzarote day at sea; this is normal. Also quite chilly needed a sweatshirt and a wind breaker. Meals were good; breakfast and lunch are a buffet, dinner is a menu, all meals are open seating. No formal wear required. The 14 day trip started in Las Palmas, the Canary Islands. Some passengers left here others boarded. No shore excursion is offered, but town is an easy walk from the pier; there is also a multi story shopping mall next to the dock area. 139 passengers made the crossing. Every day it got warmer, seas were rough (15-20 ft swells) at La Gomera and the port was dropped as the pilot could not board. 95% of the cruise was under sail, a record for the captain. To sit and watch the sails in the wind a fantastic experience. We saw whales, dolphins and lots of rainbows. Had an oil rig towed passed us in the middle of the Atlantic. On board entertainment consists of the piano player/singer; passengers playing darts, board games and cards. There is a talent show, toga party, pirate night and Neptune party. When you have the night sky full of stars, the ocean waves ever changing during the day the entertainment takes a back seat to mother nature. Would we do it again? YES, YES, YES. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
All went wrong from the flight we took 7 hours 30 mins to get to Malaga we sat on granada runway for over two hours. We have not long come back from this ship Marella Celebration well where do I start the ship has paper thin walls I ... Read More
All went wrong from the flight we took 7 hours 30 mins to get to Malaga we sat on granada runway for over two hours. We have not long come back from this ship Marella Celebration well where do I start the ship has paper thin walls I could here the people in the next cabin snoring it was so bad and you can imagine what it was like when people came back from the casino or late night drinking. Also you sat in theatre/ show and you can watch everything vibrate It’s so bad people say you get use to it you don’t the ship is so old her sister ship has been scraped off I wonder why do not take children on this ship for me I would worry about them all the outside steps are so steep. You could not get a sun bed unless you get up at 6am just not enough they say they remove towels but they don’t Food very basic in self serving restaurant. Safe in room £35 for holiday I have never paid for safe on any cruise I’ve been on before WiFi nearly £50 which most of the time it did not work Another thing i was not feeling well at the end of cruise found my blood sugar very high (34) can’t be certain but I don’t think I was getting Diet Coke Good bit is the staff sorry not for me would try the newer ships but not this boat you will be sorry if you book look at newer ships this one is over 35 years old and her sister ship was scrapped I wonder why Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this 2 week cruise to say farewell to the ship. Very sadly we were not able to sail on the very last week which sounds as if it is going some farewell party. This was our seventh cruise on the spirit. The crew are the best like a ... Read More
We chose this 2 week cruise to say farewell to the ship. Very sadly we were not able to sail on the very last week which sounds as if it is going some farewell party. This was our seventh cruise on the spirit. The crew are the best like a big happy family who always make you fell welcome. Special mention to our cabin steward Regie and Salem for looking after us do well and the lovely towel animals. Thank you to Harly and Kevin in the compass rose every night they brought smiles to our faces. Thank you to Adrian the maitre d' and Mario and Kent our wine waiters. Yes the ship is a bit tired looking but I would choose her any day over one of the huge ships that are on offer today. I hope Marella don't go too big because there is a market for the smaller ships.we had a great holiday good food, great atmosphere and very friendly staff what more could you ask. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Facilities were poor. Smoking areas were a joke and people were treated like "the great unwashed". Eventually after a Petition was set up the Captain provided a covered smoking area (weather was not very good). They ... Read More
Facilities were poor. Smoking areas were a joke and people were treated like "the great unwashed". Eventually after a Petition was set up the Captain provided a covered smoking area (weather was not very good). They announced it in the daily paper as an additional area, then proceeded to close the smoking area on the sunny deck Day time entertainment was very poor considering the weather, evening entertainment was not average but could have been so much better if nearly all the entertainment staff were not all their first cruise. They just did not seem to gel at all, they should have mixed it up a bit more. Poor standard of food, never ever warm never mind hot! Daily information about the ports was nearly non-existent, to the stage that a half-hour bus ride to a destination that was closed (bank holiday) was a total waste of time. A bit of a wash-out is the best way to describe it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Like another reviewer on Discovery 2. We have been cruising with Thomson/Tui for many years and agree with everything they have said. Celebration was our favourite ship until Discovery came and then we saw how tired Celebration looked. Our ... Read More
Like another reviewer on Discovery 2. We have been cruising with Thomson/Tui for many years and agree with everything they have said. Celebration was our favourite ship until Discovery came and then we saw how tired Celebration looked. Our first cruise on Discovery was really good ;we were really impressed so we booked another. There were 2 years between the cruises. We were shocked how tired it looked in such a short time. In the buffet dining area tables were taking a long time to be cleared. The choice of food was not as good as the previous cruise. Entertainment was nowhere near as good as the Celebration. Since all inclusive has come onboard as non drinkers we believe we are subsidising the drinkers who seem to order for the sake of it. The dress code has well and truly gone down. Seems you can wear what you like despite the rules. Due to how things have changed we are now looking at other cruise lines which is a real shame. The crew on the Celebration is what made us return year after year. Our first Captain on the Discovery was from the Celebration. He told us Tui knows the love Celebration has and they want to replacate that on all their ships. Sadly they are going badly wrong and will loose alot of their valued customers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Booked this as a quick break before Christmas,as we live 15 minutes from the port it is ideal, Boarding quick and easy on board with in 10 minutes,boarded early afternoon for a eight o'clock sailing First impressions,ship ... Read More
Booked this as a quick break before Christmas,as we live 15 minutes from the port it is ideal, Boarding quick and easy on board with in 10 minutes,boarded early afternoon for a eight o'clock sailing First impressions,ship smaller than we are used to , pools didn't have any water to begin with so took advantage of jacuzzi, afterwards were too busy with young children and babies Cabin very good size more room than usual plenty of storage space etc Really think they should upgrade bedding as looking warn and not as white as should be Restaurant irían good for breakfast and dinner Special Indian Thai restaurant good food and value Plenty of different bars with music, quite corners if you wanted, Always managed to get a seat. Drinks included in the price were good and you could upgrade if you wanted We didn't get involved in actives but there seemed to be enough to do As only four days first stop was Cadiz with is a nice and easy city to walk around Shame it was a cold and windy day. Next was Lanzarote a quick car hire and trip to the fire mountain, Always works out as cheap to hire a car and do it under your own steam Disembarking in Tenerife was again easy and no rush Summary all in all a good trip and great value for money Will see what Marcella have from Malaga next year Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We have done over 20 Thomson cruises and although most of the ship particularly the cabins are tired we have always enjoyed the entertainment and cruise. This one was shocking....the entertainment team spent more time on deck 6 smoking ... Read More
We have done over 20 Thomson cruises and although most of the ship particularly the cabins are tired we have always enjoyed the entertainment and cruise. This one was shocking....the entertainment team spent more time on deck 6 smoking than they did entertaining, they put on a deck party that lasted 35minutes where they just all danced together and did not involve any of the passengers and when were in dock there was no entertainment at all on the decks. All the shows were poor and pretty much everyone felt the same way one of the comedians thought it was funny to tell homephobic jokes and although we are not gay it was very uncomfortable. We were at sea for 6 days and they did nothing extra on the decks, most people had to make their own entertainment. I could go on and on about how disappointed we were and in fact couldn't wait to get off the ship and come home. There was no sail away party and even when the outside decks were full with passengers no extra entertainment was put on. If this is the future of the old Thomson cruises now called Marcella we certainly won't be doing another one Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Friends had a son who had worked as Cruise Director on this and other TUI Cruise Ships, they thought we would enjoy it. How wrong they were. All comparisons are made with previous cruises, long and short haul, made with NCL, P & O, ... Read More
Friends had a son who had worked as Cruise Director on this and other TUI Cruise Ships, they thought we would enjoy it. How wrong they were. All comparisons are made with previous cruises, long and short haul, made with NCL, P & O, Holland America and Princess Lines, all small ships. Flew out on 5th.November, flight delayed on runway over an hour, toilet function problem. Poor meet & greet at Airport, wrong directions to transfer coaches! Late arrival on board, meant less than 15 mins to the second lifeboat drill. Meet & greet staff on board did not know cabin location ! Made the drill meeting in the Show Lounge, usually it's at your appointed lifeboat station. No indication given to cabin number lifeboat, assumed that display info on Prom Deck was correct, even cabin numbers to port, odd numbers to starboard. One morning while having breakfast on the Lido outside rear deck area, noticed a pungent smell, assumed it was from the docks, but became worse, then smoke came out of the rear swimming pool vents, it had been closed off and empty, no explanation given. Smoke became dense and black, so quickly departed to upper deck, P/A issued a coded message, which was obviously for the fire crew. Staff cleared everybody off the rear deck, and the fire was extinguished. Later announcement advised the fire had been caused by welding repair to get the rear pool up and running. Several days later pool was filled and operational. Next issue followed about a week later in the Caribbean, again breakfast time, all the lights/air conditioning etc went off. About 20 mins power was restored, the fire/flood doors could be opened. They closed automatically when the power went off, explanation was a failed generator. That evening however, as we left a port, out in the navigation channel, all lighting etc went off, also no engine power ! Restarted again in about 15 mins. Blame was put on demand to aircon due to high temperatures experienced ! We are in the Caribbean remember. Action taken was to restrict aircon output, so cabin temperature rose, especially at night, and certain zones throughout the ship had intermittent aircon. The ship is now operating its Winter schedule in the Caribbean with ineffective aircon Trip was Adults only, all inclusive, however the bar price list showed only certain basic drinks and cocktails were included. Named drinks/named wines/certain cocktails etc had an extra charge up to £3, min £2.50. Named wines were expensive, Anjou Rose @ £17, half decent red up to £35, Tesco prices about a third. House wine was not good, red was undrinkable, never tried the white, Rose was weak but drinkable. The taste/flavour of all drinks and cocktails varied dependant on bar used. Outside deck sources were especially poor. Other passengers agreed with our thoughts, and we all agreed the drinks were "watered down". I even started to order a separate gin measure or light rum measure to top up a G&T or Cuba Libre, but they neither had the smell nor expected taste. The bar staff opened new bottles, but they did not have the plastic insert within the bottle necks, to prevent a bottle being refilled, so make your own decisions on the subject. Cabin was a de luxe on deck 7, paid extra, but more space quoted. Ship was refurbished not long ago, interior is light maple veneer, very good storage via drawers, and two separate built in wardrobes. Reading lights above beds, lighting controls on bedheads for the cabin. Fridge with pay as drink basics, tea and coffee making, bottled water is extra please note, we didn't realise till the bill came. Dressing table area has two power sockets, one US plug and other is 2 pin European. Bedhead has double socket UK 3 pin plug, and two USB ports built in. En suite is small, very narrow bath with shower curtain, mixer tap with button shower engagement. A grab rail to cabin side wall is badly located, too near the riser rail, so you knock your right arm on it when washing your hair or applying the shower gel. Refit specification should have stipulated a walk in shower with Glass Panel, who bathes these days, and the shower curtain wraps around your body, so so naff. PLEASE NOTE SHOWER GEL IS PROVIDED BUT NO SHAMPOO NOR CONDITIONER. We had to buy shampoo at first port of call. Couldn't believe it. Dining was either at The Meridian Restaurant with waiter service, or The Lido which was buffet self service. In both, menu was poor, some nights pretty impossible. They both offer at extra cost, £9.95, a steak or chops alternative. Never tried either, nor the extra cost Eating Venues, at £19.95 per head, as it all comes from the same source really. Quality of food was poor, portion control excessive in the Meridian, only is 3 courses now, our friends said it was 5 courses. Never had breakfast in the Meridian, the Lido gets overloaded, long queues, no glasses/plates/trays virtually every day. Choice never changed in 18 days, served up food pre cooked in hot water trays, toast pre done as well. Tinned tomatoes yuck, very thin cut bacon which was cooked about 3.00am along with the toast, black pudding whatever that tasted like heaven knows, choice of eggs, under done sausage. Separate cereal station but loose cereals, very little choice, four options, fruit never changed, sliced melon, unripe pine apple, sliced tough oranges, tinned prunes or peaches. Yoghurt was Danone tubs, like Spanish holidays in the '60s. No bread other than white rolls which were tasteless, or brown. No other offerings. Evening time they did offer brown and white sliced bread plus the tasteless rolls, although some nights the bread was stale. Fruit juice came out of machine dispensers, concentrate diluted with water, fresh orange juice was extra from the bar, but was still out of a packet !! No separate station for the soup options, this was in the middle of the horse shoe conveyor belt layout, so you had to queue up twice to get your soup, then the main meal. In the middle was the joint of the day, carved for you, deep frown received if you asked for more, felt like Oliver in the film. Pork was good, beef was really tough, lamb was good. Never tried the rolled Veal as didn't like the inner core it was stuffed with. Entertainment was poor as was the very limited Activities. The speakers offered were not good, nor was the chosen subjects, funny things that took place in his police career, and film reviews by the other guy. Did one and gave up. The first dance group were quite good, voices not bad and show themes were of interest. Second lot after changeover day and ships, were over weight, couldn't sing and not interesting themes. Had one imported Soul Night singer, ex Drifters, really good. Very boring comedian another night. Various quizzes, but the Cruise Director and seemingly most of the Entertainment Team required a translator, to know what they were saying. Mancunian and Geordie were not taught in my school days, the Queens English was however. The daily Activities must have come from a Nursery School option list, Bean Bag Targets, Skittles, Carpet Bowls, to name the highlights ! There was an option to learn Welsh, you couldn't make it up but it was true. One quiz host called me " mate" while handing over a paper, and I'd never met him before! Some passengers created their own Activities, brawling in Liberties Lounge one night, because a couple had sat in front of another couple, blocking their view of the entertainment, Security restored sanity. Another night in Hemingways Bar, another Activity and brawl was glass throwing. Service overall was quite good, plenty of staff who worked tirelessly. Cabin stewards likewise. Did not take any shore excursions, had been to all bar one port several times before, the hurricane meant an amended schedule for ports of call, original format would have seen three new Islands. Thought the excursions were expensive. Thomson clients seem to be a certain type, mostly from Up North, Tyne Tees, Wales etc, minority from the South. Many had done the trip before, even the return leg as well in April. The stereo type is grossly over weight, tattoos, and thinks acceptable behaviour includes resting ones legs by either putting ones bare feet up on another chair, or laying full length, bare foot on a lounge bar settee, despite shortage of seating. Picking assorted food from the buffet and either eating it in the queue and or on route to the table. The two main activities are drinking from 10am till the bar closes, and smoking as much as possible in the designated areas, in between the drinking. Sunbeds are a premium, requiring early towel visits to secure, anything later than 7.30 and you've missed out on the prime spots. Rumour has it, one guy was up around 5.00am to secure their padded bed on deck 8. Majority of sunbeds are unpadded, somewhat past their sell by date, dirty and tired. Conditions are very cramped unless you have picked your spot, and angled " your two" to create more space. Slyly moving adjacent ones further apart. Tip of the week there. To sum up, we all look for something different, having tried Thomson/Marella, we would not use them again, it is not the standard we require, if you think I am being a snob, that is for you alone to decide. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
There is a lot to recommend this ship. 1. It is excellent value for money. 2. The food overall is very good. Whether you eat in the main dining room or the buffet there is always lots of choice and the quality is good. Best pluses ... Read More
There is a lot to recommend this ship. 1. It is excellent value for money. 2. The food overall is very good. Whether you eat in the main dining room or the buffet there is always lots of choice and the quality is good. Best pluses are the pasta station and the salad bar. Only minor criticism is, for me they over cook the beef. We also never had problems in getting seats at the time of our choosing in the main restaurant. The buffet could get busy on sea days but was far less chaotic than most cruise lines we have been on. 3. Overall the basic drinks package is very good. Reasonable quality spirits and good mixers. We don't drink white wine but we liked the Rose and the red was just about acceptable. Beware the red outside the dining room because it sometimes comes at mulled wine temperatures. The only beers offered in the basic package are Fosters and John Smiths. I like these beers some may not. Some people complained that because of the restrictions it was not all inclusive. I have been on lots of cruise lines and this is pretty good. Yes, some lines do offer top shelf spirits and wines but you would have to pay far more for the cruise in the first place. There were a couple of silly anomolies, you can order a gin and a vermouth separately, but if you order a Martini, you get charged. 4. Staff throughout the ship were excellent. Sometimes, in the theatre in particular, you had to wait to be served, but that was sheer weight of numbers. The boys and girls always kept smiling and worked their butts off. Our star performer was Maria in Horizons. 5. The entertainment team and the guest acts were excellent. Less keen on the comedians, but that just may be us. We have been on many cruise lines but this was our first on Thomsons. The majority of our experiences were positive. Now for the couple of downsides: 1. We are early risers and we like to sunbathe between eight and eleven ish. The first day we went down at just after seven and all prime locations were reserved but not in use. The following day we checked before seven. Same again and every sea day. We have encountered this problem before on Italian ships, but never before have we come across the Benidorm mob on a British cruise ship. 2. When I tried to raise the issue with guest services they ignored me for four days. The Manager apparently never received my four messages. I will put that down to inefficiency, rather than rudeness. On thing this cruise has taught me is to think very carefully about repositioning cruises. Four years ago I had exactly the same problems with MSC. I have not used used them since. I will not be using Thomson again for Ocean crossings.. I will use Thomson again for cruises with frequent stops. Good value, food drink and service make it acceptable. The sun beds issue becomes unimportant because either I or the majority of the mob will be . Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose this cruise because we were on the Celebration relocation cruise last year and really enjoyed it. The ship is very clean and the crew are all very friendly. Our cabin was comfortable and kept very clean by Budi who always had a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were on the Celebration relocation cruise last year and really enjoyed it. The ship is very clean and the crew are all very friendly. Our cabin was comfortable and kept very clean by Budi who always had a smile and short chat anytime we met him. We ate in the Meridian Restaurant most nights and found this a very pleasant experience. The staff were very efficient and friendly and we met other guests whilst sharing a table with them. We mostly had breakfast and lunch in the Lido Restaurant where there was a wide and varied selection of food available. The only downside was, that if you didn't take a drink in with you, it was not easy to get a waiter. Maybe, more waiting staff would overcome this problem. We especially enjoyed the interview with Captain John one afternoon. It was very informative and interesting and he really has such a good sense of humour, which also came across on his daily bulletins when we were at sea. We enjoyed doing the daily trivia quiz but sometimes found it hard to hear the questions on deck 6. Overall, the service we received on board was excellent. The staff who especially stood out for us were Melisa and Sydney and the unforgettable Nosi, she was so wonderful, I would have been proud to have her for a daughter :-). Such hard workers and always with a smile on their face and an eagerness to help. Unfortunately, due to the hurricane, the ports we were supposed to visit were changed a bit, but that didn't matter to us. We saw some beautiful Islands in the Caribbean and met some wonderful people. Maybe next time we could visit the others. We had a wonderful time on our cruise and can't wait to do another one. Thank you to all staff and crew we came in contact with, you helped make our holiday one to remember. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This has been our third Transatlantic crossing (Malaga to Barbados) all on Seadream1 and it’s been the best. We are still on board and I must say that our experience has been a lot better than one comment already posted. The sea ... Read More
This has been our third Transatlantic crossing (Malaga to Barbados) all on Seadream1 and it’s been the best. We are still on board and I must say that our experience has been a lot better than one comment already posted. The sea from Malaga to Madeira was a bit choppy, but they were still able to serve dinner on the rear outside upstairs decks, so there was no rocking and rolling. We are now 10 days into the 13 day crossing and the seas are calm, it’s 29 degrees and passengers are enjoying the pool and sun decks. The yacht is looking good, a lot of care is obviously taken to keep it on top form. The food is the best yet, some superb meals. Service is excellent and the officers including the captain are always on hand with information. There are only 67 passengers on board ( it can take 112) so plenty of space for everyone. We have absolutely no complaints to make and have rebooked for next year! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Thought we would try Discovery 2 as it is an ex Royal Caribbean ship. They had great crew, seemed really happy, which is always a bonus. Plenty of time in the ports of call. The only thing we didn't like was the casino as this ... Read More
Thought we would try Discovery 2 as it is an ex Royal Caribbean ship. They had great crew, seemed really happy, which is always a bonus. Plenty of time in the ports of call. The only thing we didn't like was the casino as this is always a fun part of a cruise. In this case it was far too small with only one crowded roulette table and dull electronic slot machines. Other than that we had a great time. This cruise was on an all inclusive drinks package. We chose to upgrade to premium but not really necessary as lots of branded drinks included. Passengers dressed smartly for dinner. Great saxophonist and a good comedian. Excellent club on Floor 11. Decent evening meals. A much more chilled experience to have breakfast in the main dining rooms rather than search for a table in the buffet restaurant. Get a cab to town if you travel to Madeira its only 10 euros and saves a huge walk. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We were originally booked to travel to Florida but as a result of damage etc and the hurricanes prevailing at that time we decided to cancel and were offered the chance to rebook so decided on a cruise and stay as always fancied this type ... Read More
We were originally booked to travel to Florida but as a result of damage etc and the hurricanes prevailing at that time we decided to cancel and were offered the chance to rebook so decided on a cruise and stay as always fancied this type of holiday. We had cruised many times before, only once though with Thomson on the Majesty which we hadn't particularly enjoyed at the time but had heard of good reports of the Discovery 1 and 2 ships. We were immediately very impressed, only had an inside cabin as that was all that was available approximately 6 days before we sailed but it was fine, plenty of storage, clean, quite modern, well kept by the steward whose name I sadly have forgotten, easy access to the parts of the ship we visited and also close to a water cooler so we always had fresh water to take ashore or during the night, great idea this instead of the constant sales push by other companies to purchase bottles of water from them at extortionate prices. The only negative is the horrid shower curtains that keep attaching themselves to you, why can't they get rid of them! Shower doors would be much better. We used the main dining room for breakfast as we had had a break from cruising as we had both got utterly sick of buffets, the queueing for tables and hustle bustle and noise of it all in the past. This was a much better choice, waiter service, good selection of breakfasts and much more relaxing dining option and we never had to wait for a table. We also used this option for dinner, generally we had to have a pager but often we ordered a drink, sat down and then our pager went off. Food was excellent too at dinner, cannot fault it and my husband is fussy! Would thoroughly recommend the main dining room and the all inclusive drinks option was wonderful. The Prosecco, cocktails and wines which I tried were excellent and bar service was good. We used to have a drink in the bar on the upper deck which became the disco later in the evening and would then go down to book a table for dinner, going into the atrium bar while we waited. Coffees were also available on the all inclusive package. We did not book any trips etc but did our own thing. During the day we used the glass house for swimming as I do not sunbathe, the pool was a little chilly but the atmosphere was lovely and the food options for lunch good and the takeaway section just outside did a variety of foods and fresh fruit selection. We only used the buffet once, quite late in the afternoon so it was not too busy to at that point. We went to a couple of shows which were very good but generally did our own thing in the evening. Embarkation was very speedy when we boarded and our suitcases arrived very quickly indeed which is always a relief !and as we were going to a hotel for four days we left the ship fairly early in the morning but sadly we ended up sitting on a coach for ages as the coach was overbooked initially, the passengers were transferred to another coach, all a bit of a pain really and then we had a long wait to check in at our hotel but that is another story! The cruise was excellent thoughout, would definitely go again and would recommend, the all inclusive drinks package and tips included is a bonus. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Spanish Sunsets Cruise : Date of Cruising: 28 May to 4 June 2017 Having cruised previously with Princess, Royal Caribbean and P&O on their larger ships holding 3,500 passengers, we were a little nervous about booking a western ... Read More
Spanish Sunsets Cruise : Date of Cruising: 28 May to 4 June 2017 Having cruised previously with Princess, Royal Caribbean and P&O on their larger ships holding 3,500 passengers, we were a little nervous about booking a western Mediterranean cruise with Thompson (now rebranded TUI), on their newly refurbished flagship ‘Discovery 2’. The TUI ship is a lot smaller carrying just 1900 passengers. Obviously, on ‘Discovery 2’ you don’t get the feeling of space as on the bigger ships and there is no ice rink, sports court, flowrider, water slides, large promenades, zip wires, etc … that you get on the larger cruise ships, everything is obviously scaled down, but so is the price. This ‘Discovery 2’ is a ship that was previously owned by Royal Caribbean but sold to TUI who then have rebranded it along with a major refurbishment in May 2017. I was presently surprised by what I saw and experienced and in most areas my expectations were exceeded. The cabin was first class and on a par with the other cruise liners we have sailed with. It was spacious and well equipped and had we had no complaints what so ever. The restaurant where we dined for our evening meals (Gallery 47), was also excellent with a varied menu and delicious food. The service from the restaurant staff was also first class. No complaints from me and I’m a fussy eater. Breakfast and lunch was in the Islands buffet restaurant and again the food was very good. It did get busy at peak times but going slightly earlier or later meant you could always get a table. (Peak time for breakfast was around 9am). Generally the look of the various areas of the ship was good and taking into account that it was a ‘refurbishment’ and not a ‘refit’ a good job had been done. Most importantly there was new carpeting throughout which is important as nothing makes a ship look more ‘tired’ than worn faded carpeting. There was a variety of entertainment around the ship and most was of a reasonable standard and some excellent. The main disappointment were the shows in the main theatre. Although the singers and dancers were very talented, their choice of material was disappointing and song choices could have been a lot stronger. The production and scenery was good and the seating was very, very comfortable, it was just a shame the the material chosen for them to perform was not the best. Also TUI could have done better by having more variety with professional artists being brought onboard to perform that were of a higher calibre than the TUI resident dancers and singers, as good as they were. There was one variation during the week when we had a comedy magician who was OK but not the best. Most of the crew were very courteous and helpful and the room stewards good although they were not as visible and as ‘chatty’ as some on other cruises we’ve been on. There were two pools (both with jacuzzis), one indoor and one outdoor. Both were of good quality and the indoor one was not overcrowded, as was the outdoor one, but that probably wasn’t helped with the week of our cruise being Spring Bank holiday week, and so there was a large number of children onboard. There were plenty of sun beds around the ship and if you looked around you could find a variety of shaded areas. In summary: There is an old saying that ‘you get what you pay for’, and that is certainly true here. You just get the feel that things are just not quite as big, as plush, as roomy and of the same quality as the cruise companies I’ve made mentioned previously, but for what you pay it is good value for money. As you can probably tell, I’d prefer to cruise with Princess, Royal Caribbean, P&O etc, but for a cheap one week cruise in the Mediterranean then it’s worth considering if ‘money is not is a little tight’. Having spoken to others that have previously sailed with TUI/Thompson, I think this is a step up for the company and the effort they are putting into raising their image and brand in the cruise market is to be commended. If you’ve booked a cruise on ‘Discovery 2’ then I suspect you’ll enjoy it as long as you don’t expect the same experience as on the larger cruise liners who specialise in this type of holiday. I hope this review has proved useful and if you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me at glyn.day@ntlworld.com. Cheers, Glyn Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We approached this cruise with some trepidation. We had done the Bay of Biscay a couple of times in rough weather on the big car ferries so no problem there. But we had not used Thomson flights or holidays for some ten years following a ... Read More
We approached this cruise with some trepidation. We had done the Bay of Biscay a couple of times in rough weather on the big car ferries so no problem there. But we had not used Thomson flights or holidays for some ten years following a dispute over flight seats. (On a holiday to Egypt we did not get the allocated seats we had paid for in advance) The flight turned out to be alright but the registration in the terminal at Malaga was a shambles. A two hour queue before we got on the ship. We had an outside plus cabin midships on deck seven which we thought was very good until we woke up on day two to find no heating in the cabin. That day in Cartergena was cold and wet. It was finally solved on day three after breakfast,it was at this point we started to relax and enjoy ourselves. We dined in the Orion Waiter Service Restaurant for breakfast and dinner,we found it very pleasant away from the queues and jostling in the buffet restaurants and helpful to be able to resist the urge to top up your plates. We preferred a table for four as we found we met with nice and interesting people. Any table with more seats ran the risk of meeting the cruise bores, (we've been on thirty or more cruises)- to be avoided at all cost. We did eat in the Lido and Sirens buffet restaurants during the day which were well stocked with a large variety of hot and cold food.We found the service very good everywhere and the food especially in the Mistral a la Carte Restaurant for a birthday celebration was excellent. A highlight of the cruise was a tour of the bridge which we found very interesting. The entertainment was mostly just OK, we preferred the piano bar after dinner, very relaxing with a good singer. The cruise lived up to our expectations which we thoroughly enjoyed. Nice weather in Valleta, Kotakolon, Kefallonia and Corfu certainly helped. Thomson Cruises have certainly got their act together and we will be cruising with them again soon Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
18 days all inclusive from Malaga to the Caribbean sounded like a good idea at the time. When we arrived on the ship we had to go along a soaked carpet leading to our cabin, the cabin itself was not to bad until one of us decided we ... Read More
18 days all inclusive from Malaga to the Caribbean sounded like a good idea at the time. When we arrived on the ship we had to go along a soaked carpet leading to our cabin, the cabin itself was not to bad until one of us decided we needed to use the toilet, not working, it was on and off like this for the whole cruise. The public toilets was also in the same situation it became a game of finding one that worked. At night we were kept awake for all but 3 nights by the horrendous sound of the engines, in the day when the ship picked up speed the noise quietened down so some sleep could be had. The dining room was well organised which is more than can be said for the food, breakfast were cold so was the tea and coffee, evening meal was just as bad poor selection, small quantities and cold. So many other people were complaining you had a long wait for your turn, people were so fed up with situation they took their bedding to reception and slept on the floor, the reception staff were very unhelpful and the captain was nowhere to be founds so all complaints fell on deaf ears. Basically the ship should never have started this cruise and I would suggest anybody thinking of going with Pullmantur think again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
There were 8 of us on this cruise, most of us being first time cruisers and I can tell you, it wasn't a great experience. As I had never been on a cruise before I had nothing to compare against but I do know that this ship was in ... Read More
There were 8 of us on this cruise, most of us being first time cruisers and I can tell you, it wasn't a great experience. As I had never been on a cruise before I had nothing to compare against but I do know that this ship was in no fit state to leave port. My first impressions on arriving on the ship was not great. We were given our cabin numbers to our rooms which seemed a good size and clean. The bathroom shower was very good although tiles etc was very tired looking but that was to be expected being an old ship I guess. Plenty of hanging and drawer space and good size bed. Wasn't pleased about having to put all toilet paper in the bin and not down toilet though. Later to find out why as the toilets would not flush on a regular basis. We were greeted with large air drying machines in the corridors to dry the soaking wet carpets From water leaks. Also leaks from ceilings with buckets under. The first night in our cabin was horrendous. We had been to the entertainment that evening and when we arrived late to our cabin we was faced with terrible noises and vibrations coming from beneath us, then realising we were right above the engines and propellers. Needless to say we had no sleep that night or the night after. We reported it to reception but they didn't seem interested and said that it was normal. My husband could not put up with the noise and went down to reception and slept on the floor as it was quieter and needed to sleep. I soon joined him and as I did reception found us a room for that night as they didn't want us to sleep in reception. This went on each night with us going to reception requesting another cabin to sleep in as they refused to move us permanently to a quieter room. Our poor friends were not so fortunate. The tap water was yellow in the bathroom but as we had no other water we had no choice but to brush our teeth in it. There was no free bottled water on the ship. There were maintenance men working in some of the cabins doing refurbs so there was very strong adhesive smells in the corridors as well as burning smells and noise from there disk cutters. The men were often in white over suits with masks on. This is what we were breathing in as well as the fumes from the diesel when the ship was refuelling. The food however was good. The menu choice in the second week changed in the formal dining which was not so good but by this time we had an option to eat in the other restaurant which was not open the first week due to flooding. The buffet was very good as you could pick what you wanted and a good variety. Waiter service could be slow but they were always friendly and polite. The air con in the restaurant was sometimes uncomfortably cold. Cabins were cleaned daily and bed made. Disorganisation and lack of information on the excursions and deporting procedures. Entertainment was not very professional but some nights was good. One of the entertainment halls were out of use second week as it was closed for private function so space was limited and you couldn't get a seat for a coffee or drink in the mocha bar after dinner and everywhere else was packed. Overall the cost of the cruise was very good but knowing what I now know, I would have paid more to have had a decent ship or not gone at all. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Enjoyed the cruise very much can't say the same for my fellow British passengers!We avoided them as much as possible.If moaning was in the Olympics we were cruising with a lot of gold medalists!OK the ship was tired looking and had a ... Read More
Enjoyed the cruise very much can't say the same for my fellow British passengers!We avoided them as much as possible.If moaning was in the Olympics we were cruising with a lot of gold medalists!OK the ship was tired looking and had a few problems with the public toilets but just get on and make the best of your holiday.After all they were only making themselves miserable by moaning.Thank god for the other nationalities on board. Yes it could be noisy but we found leaving the wardrobe doors open at night eased it and you soon got used to the background noise.We had one problem with the toilet in our cabin.It was reported on our way to dinner and it was repaired by the time we returned.Also if the public toilets were in high demand it only took a couple of minutes to return to our cabin.All of the ship was kept very clean.( even with fellow passengers leaving beer cans,plastic glasses and stubbing out cigarettes on the sun deck).The staff were immaculately dressed.On the whole our fellow passengers weren't!Thankfully we prefer to eat late so changed our dinner seating to second sitting.Most of the passengers on this sitting were Spanish and were dressed well and made an effort with their appearance. I walked every day around the decks and I was amazed to see so many people drinking alcohol at 11am.Later on in the day some were very rude to the staff.We spoke Spanish as much as possible! The food was superb.Only once did our food arrive warm not hot and that was before the two sittings were introduced.Lunch was very varied with a good choice. On the whole we enjoyed our holiday.Amazing value. The only thing we can complain about was the flight to Madrid.WAMOS AIR won't be getting our business again.Dreadful airline.Not once did they come round and offer water.I ended up disturbing a fellow passenger to get some. We would like to mention a special Thank You to our two waiters at dinner.JOSE FLORES and IMADE SUKADANA.Always cheerful nothing was to much trouble.Also Piedra? our maid who kept our cabin immaculate. Enjoyed visiting all of the ports. The entertainment was OK.Music in the lounge was very good.All of the service on board the Zenith was excellent and the staff superb,always polite,always smiling. Looking forward to going on our fourth cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Embarkation was an extremely long drawn out operation, as when we arrived at the port, there was a huge queue while we waited to be signed in. On the Dream, we simply walked on board and were signed in within minutes. The size of the ... Read More
Embarkation was an extremely long drawn out operation, as when we arrived at the port, there was a huge queue while we waited to be signed in. On the Dream, we simply walked on board and were signed in within minutes. The size of the ship meant that there wasn't really sufficient seating for everyone on board inside. We were happy with the size of the cabin which was extremely similar to what we are used to on the Dream. Unfortunately we had separate beds this time as opposed to a double. Every evening except one, we dined in the Meridian Restaurant, but we felt that although the service of food was very efficient, the serving of wine wasn't. On many occasions we had to keep asking. Entertainment was very good and varied. Drinks service we felt was very hit and miss. The two shore excursions we did, Santorini and Petra, were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
The ship was super clean, the crew were very friendly and the food was great. My husband wanted to go on a Transatlantic since he previously worked on a cruise ship. We went with 2 other couples. Weather was warm and calm. Overall ... Read More
The ship was super clean, the crew were very friendly and the food was great. My husband wanted to go on a Transatlantic since he previously worked on a cruise ship. We went with 2 other couples. Weather was warm and calm. Overall a great first cruise! The camel ride and tour of the Volcanic National Park on Lanzarote was a definite highlight of the shore excursions. We stopped at 3 Canary Islands and Nassau. I thought the days at sea may be boring, but they were not. We enjoyed the art auctions, trivia contests and exercise activities. This was a great value trip. We bought the deluxe drink package and enjoyed all of the specialty coffees and drinks. The crew made a special point to make sure we were happy with all food choices and were quick to make things right. Overall a great experience--liked it so much we are doing it next year from Rome! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We knew this was an older ship, but the price was right and the ports of call were interesting. Also, we've been on the mega ships and are a bit tired of the floating malls. We were looking forward to enjoy the real cruise feeling of ... Read More
We knew this was an older ship, but the price was right and the ports of call were interesting. Also, we've been on the mega ships and are a bit tired of the floating malls. We were looking forward to enjoy the real cruise feeling of the smaller ships again. We were not disappointed. The ship was in great shape. A little wear and tear in places, but everything works. The cabin we had was very quiet, had lots of storage and the shower was great. Good water pressure, nice hot and no temperature fluctuations like we often find in newer ships. With the exception of one guy at the future cruise sales desk, the crew was very friendly and eager to please. Outstanding was the diningroom service (Tatiana, Jan and Maria - we love you). Entertainment was average, and the cruise director was excellent. If there is any improvements that could be made, its in the entertainment venue. It does look ancient. During the first two days, the food was marginal (strange spices, luke warm soups). But then, for some reason, it got much better. To the point where I would say the food was outstanding. Meats were great, especially the roast beef. Soups were nice and hot, and desserts were top of the line! I understand the Chef is an Austrian pastery chef, and it definitely shows. Would I go again? Absolutely. In fact, we're considering a little Caribbean hop on this ship in the spring. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was our 6th cruise on the Dream and the 3rd Transatlantic so we knew exactly what to expect. The ship is showing signs of her age (30) and the lifts are worse than I remember. However, none of this detracted from what was ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise on the Dream and the 3rd Transatlantic so we knew exactly what to expect. The ship is showing signs of her age (30) and the lifts are worse than I remember. However, none of this detracted from what was essentially a wonderful cruise. Food in Orion restaurant was terrific and not once were we pressurised to pay for speciality restaurants. (Have used them in the past and they are good). We ate in Lido only twice on returning from shore excursions and were perfectly happy with the food on offer. Cabin 6113 (inside) is our favourite - have had that one before. It's situated mid ship so no movement felt but as it turned out the sea was flat calm all the time. Perfect. Entertainment - as expected. Plenty of excellent shows by the in-house team and guest acts were better than some we've endured in the past. Resident musicians - Locomotion were billed as "resident party band". Well I'd hate to be at that party - they are fine musicians if you like bland music, a lot of whistling and no interaction. After a few days they were relegated from Medusa to various other venues and replaced by 2 Intense - a great duo who interact with the crowd. Cruise director Gavin Carroll is just fantastic in the role. Captain - Peter Harris is a real people person and often stopped by to chat with the passengers. All in all it's a happy ship but she' s old and needs money spending on her. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We picked this cruise for the itinerary, the duration and the dates. The ship was very tired, the lifts were shockingly bad, the food was hit and miss and the queuing in the buffet was rather like being at a school canteen. There ... Read More
We picked this cruise for the itinerary, the duration and the dates. The ship was very tired, the lifts were shockingly bad, the food was hit and miss and the queuing in the buffet was rather like being at a school canteen. There was difficulty in getting a sunbed and deck space for days at sea, more cramped than we have encountered before, and having to get up at 6:30 AM in order to secure a sunbed for the day. The entertainment was poor all round, except for 2 Intense, a singing duo. The main lounge was home to never ending mind numbing quizzes and bingo, the shows were very poor, and the bar service was slow which was down to a lack of staff I would say rather than individual staff members - who worked very hard. The furnishings and some areas on the ship are in need of replacement, cleaning and maintenance. The excursions were OK, although I think the choice was quite limited. Overall I think the standards are low and there needs to be investment in the ship if it is to continue and attract new customers. But there were plenty of people who have never cruised with any other company, only Thomson, who will book over and over again - notwithstanding all the shortcomings. For the money that we spent we have been on better ships (cleaner/ better food / more varied entertainment) with other cruise lines. I was not sorry to leave this ship - although I enjoy the ports of call and the weather! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Great cruise holiday overall, First cruise on the Thomson Dream and was pleasantly impressed.First time in inside cabin and would recommend an outside one from previous experiences but if your budget doesn't allow for this the inside ... Read More
Great cruise holiday overall, First cruise on the Thomson Dream and was pleasantly impressed.First time in inside cabin and would recommend an outside one from previous experiences but if your budget doesn't allow for this the inside cabins are of a good size, well equipped only difference is no window. All staff were first class in every area of the ship and any request was acted on immediately with as little fuss as possible. The Captain toured the ship daily and mixed freely with passengers as did all the senior officers and crew. The 6 days at sea were well managed with plenty of on-board activities and entertainment to cater for all tastes. The Entertainment team were superb. Very friendly and all their shows were most enjoyable. The other entertainment acts were excellent too. The dining on board was also excellent. A great selection of menu choices which catered for all of our needs. All of the dining options were managed well with constant officer observation in them all ensuring everything was kept to standards required. The ships bar areas were all laid out well with various ambience options available to allow any taste in to be catered for. There were very few occasions when queues formed as staff would be reassigned to the nip points when volumes dictated. The drinks menu was extensive on our All Inclusive drinks package with a wide selection of branded drinks and some cocktails included too. The ports of call were excellent apart from one. The "Dominican Republic Port of Romana" should not be the main port for Thomson ships. Our itinerary was changed at the last minute from Port au Prince. I asked at reception if it was safe to walk ashore to the port town. I was informed yes. On leaving the port area I noticed a high volume of local police at ever street corner. They were informing everyone to take of jewellery and to take a secure grip of any bags etc. I was one of the younger (50) passengers venturing onshore and probably went further into town than most. We were ashore for no more than 40 minutes. Basically hit the town outskirts and back post haste. The most uneasy I have ever felt anywhere on holiday. We were informed on board 4 passengers had been robbed and one couple had been held up at gun-point for their valuables. No amount of vigilance or diligence by anyone will stop that happening. Thomson now know this port is unsafe and are using it as their main port of call for the Caribbean season in the Dominican Republic. One reason may be the higher port fees applicable for Port Au Prince. Thomson in my opinion have a "DUTY OF CARE" to all its cruise passengers visiting any port. Port Information must be correct and honest to allow passengers to assess the risks or dangers associated with local areas or customs. The only other criticism I have for this cruise is the amount of passengers who kmoan about trivia.If its something minor don't become drama queens. Enough moaning the cruise was first class apart from Romana. Thank you Thomson's Dream. Kevin Duncan Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
short flight out was best part all downhill after that ship had leaking pipes everywhere,now 30 years old and showing it,swimming pools were oblong tubs,the wife best describes it as pontins on water not a cruise i want to repeat one port ... Read More
short flight out was best part all downhill after that ship had leaking pipes everywhere,now 30 years old and showing it,swimming pools were oblong tubs,the wife best describes it as pontins on water not a cruise i want to repeat one port of call in the dominican rep la romana was just dangerous, dock was a commercial one for container ships and if you attempted a walk ashore you put your life in danger even the police had machine guns , decent food in the canteens(yes i do mean canteens as in the old factory ones)sunbeds were in short supply people were up at 5am to get one,the german side of the company keep the best ships and send the uk the scrap end shipswe regularly saw maintenance carrying very large pipe sections around the ship,only good thing was the crew but they deserved a better ship to crew,as it is we will be avoiding thomson `cruises` Read Less
Sail Date November 2016

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