6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise for a relaxing break based on previous experience on Thomson cruises to various destinations, we have previously done this cruise, alas based on our experience this time, never again. I am disabled and use an ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a relaxing break based on previous experience on Thomson cruises to various destinations, we have previously done this cruise, alas based on our experience this time, never again. I am disabled and use an electric buggy, when boarding the ship there was a few steps on the gangway and I had to walk up the gangway, at disembarkation at the end of the cruise the gangway was all steps, not at all "Fit for purpose" for disabled people like myself or in wheelchairs. In my opinion the ship was a little "tired", our balcony cabin was quite cramped and I had to leave my buggy in the corridor and there was very little room to walk past the bed to reach the balcony. The main dining room was at best O.K., the buffet restaurant a lot less so. After our evening meal in the main dining room at the start of the week, we were about to leave and my wife was going to take her newly topped up wine glass to finish of in the lounge when she was told "Not to take the glass from the dining room as they were short of glasses. The entertainment on board was of the usual high standard. On the day we boarded the ship had been cleared of passengers to have a "Deep clean", the pool was closed and did not reopen until five days later. On the day we disembarked to return home the ship was having another extended clean. This begs me ask the question, was the ship not cleaned properly the day we came aboard or were the potential health issues grossly under stated. The crew were in the main very hard working and friendly, theirs is not a job I would have chosen. Robert B Mathew Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
If you are in wheelchair DO NOT book a cruise on this ship! When we booked direct with Thomson we were told that there were no wheelchair cabins left but that the Deluxe Outside cabins had plenty of room for a wheelchair so we made our ... Read More
If you are in wheelchair DO NOT book a cruise on this ship! When we booked direct with Thomson we were told that there were no wheelchair cabins left but that the Deluxe Outside cabins had plenty of room for a wheelchair so we made our booking in one of these cabins. They arranged wheelchair assist through the airports and taxi with wheelchair ramp to the port. When we had completed all the paperwork we made our way to the gangway to find that there was no ramp onto the ship and that the only access was up a steep flight of steps which my wife had great difficulties climbing - it then took 4 crew members to 'man-handle' her electric wheelchair on board. We made our way to our cabin 9013 to find that the cabin door was too narrow to get the wheelchair through ! We immediately went to reception where we were told that all the cabin doors were the same width apart from the 4 disabled cabins which were all full! An interesting point was that we only saw another 2 wheelchairs throughout the cruise so 2 of the disabled cabins must have been occupied by non-wheelchair users!! Because of the gangplank being steps rather than a ramp we only managed to get off the ship once in Funchal which was because they used the local port's facilities which was a ramp. Disembarcation from the ship was agin via the steps and again the crew had to 'man-handle' the wheelchair off the ship. We had discussions with another wheelchair passanger who was paralyzed from the waist down and she had had to be physically lifted on and off the ship whilst sat in her chair! Furthermore at the one port where she had been 'lifted off', the shuttle transport was a conventional coach with no wheelchair access so they had to use a taxi. The only good points of the cruise were the very helpful staff and the entertainment team who were very good. The food was good but it was odd that if you wanted a steak it was only available with a £ 9.95 supplement. Also having upgraded to the premium drinks package there were only a choice of 2 rose wines - to get a bottle of Mateus Rose was at an additional cost of £15 Overall the ship felt very old and tired! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Ports of call were lovely. Fireworks in Madiera wonderful. Ship horrendous. A very disappointing trip. Today is Saturday 13th Jan. My husband and I are just about getting over our illness with bad stomachs. The food was dreadful. Poached ... Read More
Ports of call were lovely. Fireworks in Madiera wonderful. Ship horrendous. A very disappointing trip. Today is Saturday 13th Jan. My husband and I are just about getting over our illness with bad stomachs. The food was dreadful. Poached egg for breakfast delivered on cold plates, egg slid off the plate onto the table leaving a slice of cold wet bread.. Beef you couldn’t cut. Very poor selection of meals. Lots of people not well. Our holiday was Saturday to Saturday. On Friday 5th Jan. we were all told we had a complimentary trip on the Island. 4 coaches left while the ship was fumigated and the water pipes flushed. Everything was hush, hush. A report was then given by the Captain to say there was no Nora virus. So what was this illness?? People on drips. One person was air lifted to hospital. Although I am not sure what the problem was in that case. Our Cabin was grubby, 4 days to fill up the body wash in the shower. 2 days for a box of tissues. Waited all week for the air conditioning to cool the cabin down as there was no air being let in. Mound around the shower and wash basin. We are regular cruisers with other companies, but have never been with Thompson, tui. Marella Before and never again. Please be warned. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Choose this cruise on recommendations and to see the Madeira fireworks, which didn't disappoint. Shame the rest of the cruise didn't live up to expectations. Despite no information from the staff it became clear very quickly that the ship ... Read More
Choose this cruise on recommendations and to see the Madeira fireworks, which didn't disappoint. Shame the rest of the cruise didn't live up to expectations. Despite no information from the staff it became clear very quickly that the ship was carrying a serious bug and had been for several weeks before we boarded. Passengers were very ill, some hospitalised at various ports, many on drips in their cabins. Services were very restricted, no pools allowed, no fruit in drinks,no handling of anything, staff wearing gloves and sometime masks around the ships for everything, you were not even allowed to put your own milk in your tea. Antibacterial washes by staff everywhere on the ship, to the point where we got blisters on our hands from over use. The ship itself is very tired and run down passengers who had been on this ship before were shocked how it had deteriorated and that the service and standards had been reduced significantly including the food. Is was supposed to be all inclusive but the drinks package is very restricted therefore leaves you with no choice but to pay for the upgrade. We departed the ship on Friday 5th Jan whereby the ship was getting a full sanatisation in Tenerife but they were still allowing passages to travel on it, which in my opinion was wrong given the level of the illness and serious nature of the bug. There were some high points to the holiday but also a lot of issues too numerous to list, would I travel again with tui and Marbella cruises again not sure that I would. Come in Tui get your act together not sure the rebranding has paid off. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise in order to celebrate the new year in style (sic) and particularly to witness the fantastic firework show which is put on in Funchal, Madeira every year. That was very much worth experiencing but unfortunately the same ... Read More
We chose this cruise in order to celebrate the new year in style (sic) and particularly to witness the fantastic firework show which is put on in Funchal, Madeira every year. That was very much worth experiencing but unfortunately the same cannot be said of much of Marella’s own contributions to the trip. Other reviewers have already highlighted the poor quality of the food onboard, the amateurish nature of the entertainment and the generally shabby condition of the ship. But what we found most unacceptable was the lie which was repeatedly peddled in the announcements from the Captain and Cruise Director that the enhanced sanitation regime which was in force - extending to draining the pools and withdrawing the supply of lemons and olives in our gin and tonics and martinis - was just a precaution recommended by head office to reduce the spread of coughs and colds brought over by passengers from the UK when it was patently obvious that a gastrointestinal virus was already rife in the ship from which many onboard were succumbing and which ultimately afflicted my wife. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING USING THE MARELLA DREAM - PLEASE PLEASE THINK AGAIN. How could this ship be allowed to leave port when it was in the grip of a sickness virus. Many customers were confined to cabins. Marella demonstrated absolute ... Read More
IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING USING THE MARELLA DREAM - PLEASE PLEASE THINK AGAIN. How could this ship be allowed to leave port when it was in the grip of a sickness virus. Many customers were confined to cabins. Marella demonstrated absolute disregard to passengers health and safety. NO deep cleaning was performed. The service on this ship was absolutely appalling. Staff failed to serve customers in a timely manner. They were highly unprofessional and downright unfriendly at times. The drinks were simply the lowest quality available. Any drinks with tonic were just flat sweet water. When dining in the restaurant, the table was only prepared once in 7 nights, dining was simply chaotic. Our cabin 4032 was flooded from the toilet in the bathroom. Marella simply refused to give us an alternative cabin. Our access to the cabin was severely restricted because of blowers being installed for 2 days. Carpet was stinking and still not dry when we left on the Friday. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise for the Madeira fireworks as we have been previously how I wish we hadn't, The ship is old but we have cruised on her 5 times and had no problems. Cabin- this was clean and suitable for us for the duration of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Madeira fireworks as we have been previously how I wish we hadn't, The ship is old but we have cruised on her 5 times and had no problems. Cabin- this was clean and suitable for us for the duration of the cruise, we didn't see the cabin steward very much. Food - The worst food I have ever had on a cruise and we have done a few including the Discovery we ate at the buffet which resembled school dinners, no presentation at the buffet all food just lying there no carved fruit or anything. This was all served to you by gloved staff which I do not mind if it prevents the bugs being spread, but the food could have been placed on your plates in a better manner not slopped on. Entertainment - this was the worst I have ever seen, the entertainment team in the Medusa were terrible apart from the one female member they preferred insulting each other thinking it was funny (NOT) than entertaining the passengers. Also when the band finished their allotted time it took ages for the next item to start not streamlined at all. The entertainment staff were standing about as if they were waiting on a sign to start any further entertainment. Bar- Tides staff were very professional and no problems getting drinks served this cannot be said about the Medusa (you would have thought that they were on two different ships) I asked for a Virgin Emotion and the server brought first of all a Gin and Water, then a Vodka and Tequila then disappeared it took an hour to get the drink I had ordered and that was when I went to the bar myself to complain, the response I received was that my accent wasn't understood by the bar waiter. Bug on Board - all passengers that we spoke to were not happy many had been floored by the so called bug (in my opinion NoroVirus) no joy complaining to reception as all staff were in denial regarding this and said that all enhanced sanitation was a precaution due to word from head office that many bugs were rife in the UK. I don't think so. I have sent a letter of complaint to Thomson, Tui Marella or what ever they want to be called and feel that all passenger's on this cruise deserve some sort of a goodwill payment due to a substandard cruise. PLEASE READ ALL OTHER REVIEWS BUT IN MY OPINION DONT GO ON THIS SHIP IF THIS IS THE MARELLA STANDARD OF CUSTOMER CARE. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
food was awful cold the choice was like being back at school in the late50 early 60 if you ate in the orion restraunt and ordered steak or lamb you had to pay 10pound if you had been on land you would have got up and walk out there was a ... Read More
food was awful cold the choice was like being back at school in the late50 early 60 if you ate in the orion restraunt and ordered steak or lamb you had to pay 10pound if you had been on land you would have got up and walk out there was a sickness bug on board and alot of people were ill all swimming pools were closed but were told by staff to drink tap water the bug was on board two weeks before the ship should not have sailed it had everybodys health at risk i have allways booked holidays with thompson for years but now it is tui i dont think i will be booking any holidays with them again all they want is your money do not care for the customer making the people pay for bottle water even with bug on board i wish for a report back Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Fights: the seats were small and uncomfortable. Fights attendants seemed only interested in desperately trying to sell as much hot food, as many goods to passengers as possible. They seemed unprofessional. One of them needed to get ... Read More
Fights: the seats were small and uncomfortable. Fights attendants seemed only interested in desperately trying to sell as much hot food, as many goods to passengers as possible. They seemed unprofessional. One of them needed to get something from the cupboard above whilst the plane had just taken off and she left it open for a minute or two before she closed it – very hazardous in my opinion. Food: the decoration is very tired and unexcited. The food tasted dry and terrible. Once learnt that all food provided is frozen I realised the reason why. The restaurant on deck 4 served exactly the same food as the two buffet-restaurants, lido and sirens on deck 9 and 11, which is an absolute joke. It was very disappointing and boring to have the same food served in all three inclusive restaurants. Swimming Pools & Whirlpools: despite the weather being fantastic, during a week’s stay, we did not get ANY opportunities to enjoy the swimming pools nor the whirlpools. Every time when I tried to call the reception to ask why and when they would be open, the receptionists always gave me very rude and patronising answers. They always informed me they were waiting for the captain’s direction on when they would be open which never happened. Reception: what a sorry excuse of a reception it was. The staff were very rude. I asked for ice for two times on two different days – on neither occasion it was delivered even though I made it crystal clear that I would like them now please. They hang up on me on the second day when I asked for ice. When I called asking when the swimming pools would be open they hang me up once again – RUDE! On the last day upon requesting our bill, I discovered a sum of 7.80 pounds was falsely charged on my bill and it took them a while to sort it out for me. Ports: we did not get the opportunity to go ashore on Porto Santo as planned. We wasted a full day’s time and our money on board. All because the captain decided it was not safe to carry out the tender boat operations. Whilst we could see clear sky, beautiful sunshine and no wind at all on the top deck. At Arrecife, we had to walk 30 minutes fairly speedy without any stop just to leave the port – an absolutely waste of time when you have not got very long for your stop. Cabin: The cabin is always very dirty. As the rest of the cruise ship it got a dusty smell – that kind of smell you’ll discover if the carpet has been left without deep clean for a very long time. It was small. The toilet was not smartly positioned. You cannot position your legs in front of you when you sit on it. Rather, you have to bend them at a very uncomfortable angle. The air-conditioning was extremely irritating – either you got boiled alive or it made monstrous sounds that one could not possibly fall asleep. I called the reception several times on the matter and they falsely sent an engineer twice so we were forced to wake up at about half eleven – very unprofessional. On another night, the door was mysteriously opened by itself – lack of security! The bed sheet and cover weren’t changed often and they were still very dirty even if they were changed. My girlfriend’s skin is sensible so she would get rash and itchy feeling if she sleeps on dirty bed sheet. She spent nights scratching and could not sleep. Library: the collection of books is appalling. Any charity shops would have more and higher-quality books than this. The air condition in the library (Browser’s Corner as it is called on the ship) is always freezing. Staff: some of the staff are extremely rude and unprofessional. Besides the aforementioned receptionists, one of the staff walked in Lido as I was walking out with one hand holding a plate full of food and another holding a glass of water. Not only did he not opening the door for me but he slammed the door in my face causing the water split on me. There was another member of staff who was at the exit of the cruise ship, he was shouting at us to get back as he did not get captain’s announcement that it was ready for passengers to get ashore. We were just standing there quietly waiting. Apparently, it was not acceptable in his opinion. Card Room: As we did not get on Porto Santo we decided to play chess in the card room but we were interrupted by some commercial saleswomen who demanded us leaving because she booked the room for some sort of presentation for another cruise line – totally unbelievable. Activities and Entertainment: lack of them. A few bands who played were disappointing. Some others involved staff shouting in desperate attempt of cheering the crowd up and using phrases such as “chaps” as if this was a school playground. Lack of manner and respect. Lack of facilities on board as well. Excursions: Very few options and over charged. We went on a “Cable and highlights of Funchal” excursion. Such a disappointment – we visited a tiny church, a botanic garden which was a little bigger than your average back garden in Britain and we were drove endlessly back and force an avenue with the tour guide constantly gave us useless information such as there used to be something here etc. We stopped at a shop at last and we were offered to taste some wine. Well the tiny bit we were offered could not even possibly to feed a thirsty ant and we felt as if we were forced to spend our valuable time at a stereotype, lack-of-character souvenir shop. It was such a shame as we explored Funchal on our feet before the tour and we really enjoyed it. Should have gone on our own for the whole stay. Lifts: lack of them. You had to wait centuries before one arrives and only if you are lucky you would get one which has space. Read Less
Marella Dream Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.4
Family 4.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.6
Enrichment 3.0 3.4
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.9

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