13 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Was on the New Year Cruise and agree with almost all of the previous two reviews. We started cruising many years ago with Thomson and Airtours!! and are now elite on Princess and Celebrity but we knew the ship was old and our expectations ... Read More
Was on the New Year Cruise and agree with almost all of the previous two reviews. We started cruising many years ago with Thomson and Airtours!! and are now elite on Princess and Celebrity but we knew the ship was old and our expectations were not high but we wanted to see the fireworks. In actual fact the cabin was fine and the food was what we expected but we have always told people that the entertainment on Thomson was very good but we were disappointed apart from the two ladies who were in the middle lounge who we thought were very good. The port talks were nothing but a sales talk for the trips with no information to help those exploring in their own and they managed to miss-spell Madeira on one of the films. As for the virus, we used the gymn where there were no towels or paper towels so sweaty people were moving on from each piece of equipment without sanitizing. The flight home was at 8pm and at the airport there were four flights to the UK within half an hour with three TUI desks open. There were ten Disney style rows snaking towards the check in with not a TUI rep there at all. In the end they had to reserve a desk purely for our Newcastle flight otherwise we would have been even later getting away. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Package cruise. Very poor standards. Cabins lacked facilities and not checked. Fridge found to have yoghurt in it since dec. No flannels and rooms to be very hot. Kettle not working. Shower was a nightmare to use. Lifts were slow and not ... Read More
Package cruise. Very poor standards. Cabins lacked facilities and not checked. Fridge found to have yoghurt in it since dec. No flannels and rooms to be very hot. Kettle not working. Shower was a nightmare to use. Lifts were slow and not many of them. Risk of infection very high with virus, trying to play it down. Deep cleaning done as we left ship. Swimming pools closed due to sanitation, should have been told. Food very poor, dried out, and no choice. Food was not always hot. Drinks included package was not what you think either. Extras to pay and no menus of drinks around. Not a lot of trips organised. Ports not bad. Paying for a safe? Never done before on cruise ship.Also had to have been the most temperamental safe to use. Very tired looking ship even though has been overhauled. Would not recommend cruise line. We were glad to leave. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Like so many others picked this cruise as a 7 night cruise around the Canaries taking in New Years Eve at Madeira and the fireworks. Unfortunately that was the best bit. This ship, the Marella Dream is coming to an end of its long term ... Read More
Like so many others picked this cruise as a 7 night cruise around the Canaries taking in New Years Eve at Madeira and the fireworks. Unfortunately that was the best bit. This ship, the Marella Dream is coming to an end of its long term charter from owners Costa in 2020, that is if it lasts that long. The ship is old and tired and shows it on every level. Kindest thing is to accept its past it and stop pretending to unsuspecting customers it is something it's not. We' were looking forward to visiting Porto Santo, but unfortunately the captain deemed it to risky to tender ashore which I accept on safety grounds however we simply sailed so slowly to the next port for the following day in Lanzarote and seemed such a waste. First morning on the ship the power went down and electric supplies restricted. I felt concerned for those guests stuck in the lift. The power cut meant what was supposed to be hot food at breakfast was stone cold. Never really improved much the rest of the week. Poached eggs more like hard boiled eggs on fried bread. We didn't have high expectations on this ship but were still disappointed and felt as if TUI had gladly taken our money for a New Years Eve Dream Cruise and then robbed with a sub standard cruise. Poor quality food, barely warm, food dumped on the plate in the buffet, drinks served void of any accompaniments, pressurised into taking the premium drinks package when already on all inclusive drinks. The cabin on deck 10 whilst of a decent size looked tired and worn and had an AC unit that was so noisy and was either cold or red hot, not able to control. The ductwork in the corridor outside our cabin was also very noisy, especially at night and told by reception there was nothing that could be done. First time I've paid for a safety deposit box on site, but it was so temperamental we spent ages trying to open and close it due to faulty numbered buttons Most of the services on board were shut during the cruise, no pools, no jacuzzi's, bar closed on sun lounge, no quality buffet, restricted variety and quality of food due to the alleged virus risk on board. Entertainment in theatre tried hard but it was dancing by numbers, no variety and one guest "comedian" all week. Other activities mainly consisted of pointless quizzes, and cheap activities. Music groups in bars were not good enough and generally all sounded the same, reading from i pads. Maybe the lads in the Waters edge were the pick of the bunch. If you are thinking of booking this cruise ship, take my advice, DONT you will be disappointed. Feel like we were robbed. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
On arrival at the port to board the ship we were met with quite another set of Tui reps. The first one was serving orange drink, no eye contact and no offer of a drink, when I mean serving what I mean was stood behind a table loaded with ... Read More
On arrival at the port to board the ship we were met with quite another set of Tui reps. The first one was serving orange drink, no eye contact and no offer of a drink, when I mean serving what I mean was stood behind a table loaded with drinks. We asked for one as it was hot and was given a drink. This guy didn't want to be serving as he was really flat and not attentive at all. We went to the second desk and the girl their had envelopes and she was quite rude to the people before us and I over heard her saying "how can I be expected to know what flight you're from" not sure of the full detail but nevertheless it could not be described as warm or welcoming! She was indeed abrupt, maybe a bad day and we thought that it was hot and we didn't think anything of it? We then preceded to the ship "The Marella Dream" we were quite excited as we had cruised before a couple of years ago on the Thompson Majesty and had high expectations of our upcoming week. We got to our cabin and although small and quite old and tired we were of course aware that we had booked an inside cabin and had lowered our expectations slightly and thought we would make the most of it. We freshened up and went for a walk round - that's when we noticed that all wasn't as it should be. We noticed that the pools were covered up with orange nets? We thought how odd? The pools were never opened on our holiday, and we learned that they were closed the weeks before and they are still closed now … The buffets (both of them) served exactly the same foods? We thought how odd this was? We thought that we would try the food and found it very bland and similar to a works canteen. The food was served to us by staff in the buffet once we offered our plate. When you did this you returned to your table to find a pile of food on top of each other in the centre of the plate, not very appetising at all. We left our food as it wasn't nice, bland and not palatable. We then began asking others about their experience and was very shocked to be told that the ship was currently in the middle of a Norovirus outbreak and "Special measures" were in place. On asking what these were we were told that buffets would be served, pools closed and heightened hand sanitising was being implemented across the ship. We knew nothing about Norovirus and also was not informed of this before we boarded, as clearly this was an ongoing problem that the ship had! Further checking on the Facebook Pages I was getting very concerned as to the horror stories that were unfolding about people who had just got off the ship and those that were on it dealing with sickness and diarrhea . Lots of older people looking dreadful and ill. Not very conducive to a relaxing holiday. We persevered through the ordeal and began to see for ourselves the dreadful conditions of this tired old ship. Dirty toilets, washrooms, poor canteen style food being served in the buffets. The drinks seemed watered down to us and on asking for a gin and tonic were served a soda water and tonic? On taking it back to the bar the barman said "oh I thought it had ran out"? Very poor indeed. As were had a week we were determined to make the most of it but then the stomach pain started in my partner? We went to the doctors below deck and were seen and advised to have an enema?? My partner suffered with stomach pain for 4 days of our stay on this and could not go to the toilet? As I started this communication saying our cabin was a little tired…. I began to notice that it was not only tired but filthy and below standard to. Ros (my partner) went to reception to report the poor conditions and to report the shower that had a broken hose. The broken hose was fixed that day but nothing else. I went to reception to complain about the conditions but no action. I then decided to post some pictures on the Marella Dream Facebook page. This certainly promoted some action (albeit far too late on our last night). I include the pictures as they really speak for themselves and do not represent TUI well at all and are a clear illustration that we were given a cabin that was substandard and filthy, including the pubic hairs that were on the corners of the floor and walls as illustrated in the photo's. A Serious a health hazard. As I had said my partner raised the alarm at reception (as I did) and on one occasion this was around the lack of hairdryer in our cabin. Not only did the person not believe her as he had to come look for himself? He must have thought that it was ok to have live wires behind masking tape (where a tile was missing) then the tape painted the same blue as the tile? Completely shocking and dangerous. On the Thursday afternoon I went back to the cabin for a nap. I noticed that the "trap" below the sink had been replaced? I noticed that the hole in the wall covered up with tape hiding live wires, had been repaired with a new tile fitted instead of tape? I thought finally someone has listened and done something? The power of my Face Book Posts. I returned above deck to see my partner and let her know that cabin had been attended too. When we both returned to the cabin we noticed a letter from Hotel Manager inviting us to see them at 7.00pm to discuss our cabin. As we had dinner booked in Mistrall at 7.00 I thought I would ask the waiter at Mistralls to kindly let hotel manager that 8.00 would be more convenient for us? We dined in the Mistralls as I have previously said the buffet food we thought was awful. Orion was marginally better but being given stale bread more than one occasion, we found the only descent food on the ship was in the pay restaurants (or indeed off the ship). At 8.00pm we went to reception and awaited to see the person who invited us? We were then greeted by two women who invited us to an office to see Hotel Manager. We followed them…. We were shown into an office and were greeted by a uniformed man who told us that he was hotel manager. I shook his hand and he replied "we shouldn't do that?" he then preceded to walk to a bucket of chlorine and dip his hands in? Without explanation apart from keeping clean? He then sat behind his desk and I was expecting an apology? How wrong I was? He opened the meeting (as he was clearly annoyed) with asking why I had posted such pictures on facebook? I explained that it was not a secret. His manner was aggressive and not apologetic in the slightest. He was clearly very annoyed with me and he showed it. He demanded why I had posted the pictures….. I then told him that how unhappy I was that he had not even started with an apology? He then said well I apologise? DO YOU ACCEPT IT! This was bullying and intimidating to say the slightest. I then very firmly told him what I thought about his treatment of me and my partner and that he had let the ship down , his staff down and above all his passengers. His systems, processes and procedures, that he was in charge of has resulted in my holiday being ruined and our enjoyment of such lost. His attitude was rude, aggressive and I was not going to tolerate that. When I told him what I thought of him, the ship and the conditions (that he was responsible for, as Hotel Manager) I asked was there anything else I could help. Him with? He said "no" so we got up and left. I will not be bullied or intimidated by your employee (Hotel Manager). This was shocking and I have never witnessed anything like this before. If he had opened the meeting with an apology, this would have indeed calmed the situation. Instead an accusatory tone and words, almost demanding an apology from me for posting on an open facebook page of filthy disgusting pictures of my cabin. The whole holiday was ruined and is unacceptable. We have cruised before with Thomson and it is certainly apparent that standards have slipped and are now unacceptable. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
My wife and I usually go away for Christmas and New Year, but this time decided to take my recently widowed mother-in-law with us so as not to leave her alone over Christmas and cut our normal 2 week break down to 1 week. Previously we ... Read More
My wife and I usually go away for Christmas and New Year, but this time decided to take my recently widowed mother-in-law with us so as not to leave her alone over Christmas and cut our normal 2 week break down to 1 week. Previously we have sailed with P &O, NCL, Cunard, MSC, Fred Olsen and Costa so it was with that background this review is being made. The flight out from Gatwick was good and the embarkation process extremely smooth as we were the last flight in. Luggage to cabin in good time and the cabin was of a decent size. We were on the 5th floor, although mother was on the floor below, in the very front single cabin. Don't book the front cabins on lower decks. The noise in cabin 4003 when docking or departing is horrendous and she had to use ear plugs to try (unsuccessfully) to blockout the sound. Wishing to avoid the buffet scrum, we decided to eat in the Orion for breakfast. I ordered a cooked breakfast and when it arrived and I saw the bacon, I wasn't sure if I was on a Thomson cruise or a Timpson cruise. Cold, hard and almost inedible. We them made a decision to eat breakfast upstairs from then on. Luckily some fellow passengers tipped us off that the small self-service on the 11th floor was a better venue than the 9th floor free-for-all, so we ate our breakfasts there from then on. Dinner in the Orion was very hit and miss. The Christmas dinner had processed turkey and mother got thick slices of dark brown meat that resembled pork - no breast meat at all. We fared better than those opting for beef who complained about it being this and stringy. The irony was that in the 9th floor buffet, the turkey on offer from the carvery was excellent. The next night, she ordered the roast ham which was thick chunks of processed meat that would disgrace Wackford Squeers' establishment, whereas I had the most delicious fish in pastry. Her ham was quickly returned and sh had the fish too. The Dream is the first ship I have been on where the dining room food is the same as in the buffet, so we decided to eat in the buffet from then on where we could see what we were going to eat in advance. In fairness, we had some reasonable meals up there from then on and had an excellent meal in the Asian restaurant one evening. On Friday 29 th December, (day 6 of our cruise) the main change over day in Tenerife. We had spent the morning out. We returned at 1pm and mum took to her room as she was feeling tired and wanted to have a rest. My wifeand I went up to the buffet to have a coffee and noticed that suddenly there was a heightened level of sanitation with staff making sure that hands were sanitised and they had taken control of serving. Plastic gloves on, salt and pepper removed, guests not allowed to touch anything. Washee washee staff now present with sanitisers for the first time ensuring guests sprayed before entering the food areas. Seasoned cruisers will know the signs. This is a sure sign that there is a raised level of concern by the cruise company regarding sickness. When questioned why the level had been raised, the staff were stating that is was a precautionary measure due to customer change over. We had heard during the week that there had been cases of sickness on board which did not surprise us, as already stated we did not believe the level of preventative sanitation was very good. Unsurprisingly, an hour later, mother had gone down with sickness and diarrhoea. The written on board guidance issued advised that passengers with these symptoms should stay in their rooms so my wife and I went to the surgery, The nurse said to bring her down as the doctor had so many cases that he couldn't leave the medical centre. I won't go into all of the what happened next, but despite being advised that she should stay in her room for 24 hours and the medical centre and reception would be in contact with her during the quarantine period, the first call she got from anyone was the next morning from the cabin boy asking her to clear the cabin as we were due to disembark later that day. We went to see the doctor and the nurse said they had had so many cases that he hadn't slept properly for 3 days Reception then did a superb impression of Comical Ali, Sadam Hussein's spokesman during the Iraqui war deniying that there was a norovirus on board- just gastroenteritis. ( I invite any reader of this to look up the NHS web site under gastroenteritis and the two most common causes in adults is norovirus or food poisoning. So - take your pick, Thomson.) Just to cap this bit off, the return flight was an hour and a half late not getting into Gatwick till after 2.30 a.m. and during the wait at Las Palmas airport, I keeled over with a bout of food poisoning which thankfully cleared up sufficiently to let me fly home. Moving away from the medical issues, there were some positives. The bar staff and waiters were the best I have come across on any cruise line and the trips seemed very reasonable in comparison to other lines. The cabin steward we had on deck 10 (Iwan) was excellent. The all inclusive drinks, however, as has been said before in other reviews, does not include many premium brands. Don't for instance, order a Gin and Tonic. Order a Gordons Gin or you will get some inferior brand. The shows were all good but the volume of the singers in the shows, the Asian resident band in Medusa and sometimes the guys playing at the rear were all excessive. The two places where music was acceptable - the Explorer lounge and Tides meant that seats there were at a premium. The other "entertainment" consisted almost entirely of trivia quizzes, daily bingo and other It's a Knockout style competitions run by the animation team. Talking to other cruisers, many of them were regular Thomson cruisers. Universally they said standards had slipped over the years - 5 course dinners were now 3 course etc. General grumbles about entertainment and food, yet without exception, all regular Thomson cruisers we talked to who agreed the standards were slipping said they would sail with Thomson again and not consider another cruise line !! I can't grasp that thought process at all. To summarise, therefore, it wasn't the best of cruises to say the least and we won't be cruising Thomson or Marella again. There were some good things but, regrettably, the bad things we encountered overwhelmed these. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
As many reviews have mentioned this was an awful experience. Food tasteless, repetitive, luke warm and overall disappointing. The only meal we really enjoyed was in Stones Restaurant. Waiting staff couldn’t have been more ... Read More
As many reviews have mentioned this was an awful experience. Food tasteless, repetitive, luke warm and overall disappointing. The only meal we really enjoyed was in Stones Restaurant. Waiting staff couldn’t have been more attentive and food was delicious, pay extra for this but was worth it. Stomach bug was rife, crew spraying corridors at night wearing protective outfits. Can’t believe we managed to escape this old rust bucket without catching something. Made sure we all used hand sanitizer every time we passed one and knuckles to press lift buttons etc. Surely warnings should have been given so people could take more precautions, lack of information only added to spread and ruined people’s holidays. Swimming pools were all freezing cold so no one was using them. When they were closed down due to sickness/ diarrhoea it was no inconvenience. Not much for children to do, luckily we had younger children with us so were not independent. Had they been older boredom would have been awful for them on ship. Overall this was not a positive experience. Port visits were highlight of trip, particularly Madeira. We got a local taxi to take us round parts of island, very informative and friendly. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our first cruise with TUI / Marella and TBF i can only review what we experienced over the Christmas on board and can not compare with other cruises. Travel to ship was painless and check in easy debit card details left safe ... Read More
This was our first cruise with TUI / Marella and TBF i can only review what we experienced over the Christmas on board and can not compare with other cruises. Travel to ship was painless and check in easy debit card details left safe code collected we had already got out cabin number at our departure airport so far so good. Took awhile to get luggage but there were a lot of people arriving so there was some leeway from us on that. Cabin was exceptional and i would recommend upgrading to a suit to anyone i will review this in the cabin review. Food was ok , ate in the Orion (deck 11) for breakfast and lunch , and the waiter service on deck 4 three times including the Christmas day gala dinner, and using the 3 speciality restaurants on the other nights where the food was very good fine dining at its best. The hot stone was fun ,cooking your own meat to your liking very nice indeed. It was fun watching the guests coming into the dining room looking around for the tables of two and being disappointed they had been taken lol standing on tip toes looking as far into the restaurant they can... Entertainment was not what i had expected on a cruise i would have liked to see well known entertainers strutting their stuff not young enthusiastic kids screaming into the microphone. Sorry guys you tried your best with the resources you had to hand but you were just too loud for me and others who left during the performances. Bar, well like most but probably everyone were gently pushed into buying the premium drink package so you got premium drinks , better coffee etc. Considering i had paid top whack for my holiday with a £1470 upgrade for our cabin i would have expected this to be included errrr no... tried to buy someone a premium drink on my premium account was told no unless they had a premium account also oh dear not looking good really. But overall service good , fast and pleasant. Internet, again paying for cabin upgrade i would have liked free internet but had to pay £8 for 1 hour or until my MB allowance had been used so what was it an hour or a MB allowance i think the latter. Ship was ok, a little tired though out with ongoing repairs and paining while in port. Friendly crew and staff always wanting to help. Noticeable lack of staff but were told by others who had been on this ship in recent past that this was correct since TUI / Marella had taken over Thompson. Photographers clicking away like they had just been given a camera, leaving the ship, boarding the ship, walking around the ship always there clicking away, we nicknamed them the paparazzi, but we bought the ones we were going to buy anyway gala dinner and first time we boarded ship for the memory boxes. Conclusion wrong cruise for me for first time but enjoyed it to a point as we can just relax anywhere, looking at Asia cruise next year for a more cultural style of holiday as we both like that part of the world. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Only 4 hours flight. We like the Canaries and have been on destination intensive cruises there before twice with Thomson Celebration, which we prefer for entertainment and food. We booked our 'Canarian Christmas' - cruise & stay ... Read More
Only 4 hours flight. We like the Canaries and have been on destination intensive cruises there before twice with Thomson Celebration, which we prefer for entertainment and food. We booked our 'Canarian Christmas' - cruise & stay holiday in June 2017 for December & opted for an outside + cabin, which we knew we liked. We were last on the 'Dream' in November 2011 in the Caribbean, when the paid for safe caused us endless hassle but safe problems seem to have been sorted. Since it was built in 1986, there have been some cosmetic improvements but we felt that she was showing her age & a few customer service corners have been cut since 2011. The cabin was a good size, though the window was small & very rusty round the edges - so obviously in the original ship, not the mid section newer extension. Plenty of storage space for clothes etc. Good to see the kettle and PG tips and fridge. All the staff we came across were friendly and helpful, despite all gratuities being included. It’s the 1st time we’ve had an "all- inclusive" drinks package in the price. We did find it complicated to work out what was & wasn’t included so frequently referred to the scarce Drinks Menu booklet. For some reason some premium drinks like Drambuie and Cointreau were included but NOT bottles of water! We usually had a self service buffet breakfast, in the Lido or Sirens, to save time then ate in the more relaxed waiter service Orion in the evening. Food was generally OK but very disappointing for the Gala Dinner on Christmas Day. Those on our table who had turkey were happy but our "steak" wasn’t cooked to order, was overdone & too gristly. It would have been good to have more choice and a better wine included rather than the House Wine for the Gala Dinner. We could not drink the House White but Prosseco and House red were OK for our palates. Our Christmas cruise on the ‘Celebration’ in 2015 was better, e.g. Better food and we had complimentary mulled wine & mince-pies – not this time! When we eventually found a mince pie on Dream it was poor, hard pastry and very little filling. Excursions were a bit expensive, as usual, but the 3 we booked beforehand were enjoyable. On the other two islands we did long walks from our own guide books. For us there were too many quizzes & Bingo sessions on board but other people liked them. The few Talks seemed geared to selling you Excursions, Beauty Treatments, Massages etc. Wifi on-board was expensive at £49 a week & others told it was limited so we waited till we went ashore and used free wifi. Our invitation to the Thomson ‘Cruise Returners’ reception with Prosecco & canapes was a nice touch & a good opportunity to talk with the friendly Captain, without the half hour queue some went through at the Captain's Cocktail Party, with compulsory photograph. Good that there were three different musical entertainments to choose from each evening but we found most far too noisy for us. The comedian was not to our taste either. But we enjoyed the fun Murder Mystery and the Carol Service. Despite all our criticisms of on board life, we enjoyed seeing the Canaries again. After the week’s cruise we were transported to the four star Riu Arecas, at the quieter end of the Costa Adeje, Tenerife. The hotel was lovely & food excellent, including an especially vast choice of seafood and joints etc at New Year, generally putting the Dream catering to shame on a daily basis. BUT we, and the other 2 ladies who also came to our hotel, had brought some dreadful bug (? Noro Virus) with us from the ship. We were so ill for the Friday overnight and the whole of Sat Dec 30th, barely left our room, had lots of Imodium tablets & just drank bottled water. Certainly could not face any lunch or dinner. By evening of Sun 31st, we were recovering but couldn’t fully appreciate the wonderful Gala dinner in the hotel with free wine! Wife did make it briefly to the Tui Welcome Meeting & reported our poorly condition. The rep promised to relay the problem to the ship and we later found that the Noro Virus was on board the second week, pools were emptied, food was served directly to clients at the buffets etc. It was such a shame that the 4 of us, from the Dream, who stayed at the Riu Arecas, all lost a full day or so & couldn’t fully take advantage of the New Year’s Eve celebrations. We did manage to nibble some lobster and prawns but little else. We are not going back on the Dream. Have booked a more upmarket cruise on the much newer Viking Sea. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Chose this for a larger ship experience, did the Celebration last time, but was left deflated and disappointed. Although the sheets were clearly cleaned and washed they did have marks on them that were clearly not going to come out ... Read More
Chose this for a larger ship experience, did the Celebration last time, but was left deflated and disappointed. Although the sheets were clearly cleaned and washed they did have marks on them that were clearly not going to come out however many times you washed them and were a bit threadbare so new bed linen should be in order. Pillows were lumpy, old and just disgusting and need desperately replacing for hygiene purposes if nothing else. Similarly the anti-slip mat for the bath was yellowed and horrible. The staff were brilliant and helpful and the Broadway lounge shows were excellent. The entertainment in other areas of the ship was unfortunately more akin to Butlins or Pontins and therefore not what we expected (i.e. a Mr & Mrs game show and numerous music quizzes). Had done a couple of the restaurants other than the self service and food was good and staff were very attentive and welcoming. On the last day the pools were closed off and hand sanitation was stepped up and the self service restaurants were no longer self service and all staff wearing hand protection. We were told by another traveller that she had visited the doctor on the morning of leaving and had not managed to see him as there were 40 others waiting with sickness and diahorrea. 1 lady at the airport was sick in the airport lounge and taken to the hospital; 4 people including partner taken ill on plane and seen by paramedics on landing. Had heard they were checking for norovirus but not heard if it was confirmed or not. A very disappointing experience bearing in mind the money spent - wont be going with Thomson again! Read Less
Marella Dream Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
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 3.3
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.9

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