Marella Dream Cruise Review by Rhian Parker
- Sail Date: April 2012
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
The journey from the plane to the ship was amazing. Straight off the plane and onto a minibus to the ship. We then had to queue for about 5 minutes to go through the normal things before getting on a ship and then we were on.
The ship itself seemed a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be, but it was still small enough to keep bumping into the same people to have a chat to, which is one of the things I enjoy on a cruise and you don't get on the bigger ships. We had an outside cabin on Deck 6 which was a lovely size and even had a bath! Our daughters had an inside cabin opposite us which was the same size but somehow had more storage.
I was quite disappointed with the choice of food in the Orion restaurant, although it tasted nice and was beautifully presented. We ate breakfast and lunch in either the Lido cafe or the Sirens cafe. I thought the Sirens cafe was nicer and this was where afternoon tea was as well.
The entertainment was a big let down. The big shows consisted of more or less the same group of people singing and dancing every night, apart from one night when we had a comedian. Although each night they sang songs along a different theme, it was still the same thing night after night. One night they really pushed the boat out and tried to do some acting (along with singing) in a play based around Queen's songs. I have never seen anything so awful in my life. The cruise director even thanked people at the end of the show for laughing at the jokes. He obviously realised how bad it was.
On the other hand the shows in the Medusa lounge were hilarious and the team tried to get everyone involved. The deck party was a brilliant night and also the entertainment on the Sirens deck around the pool on the day at sea was fantastic. I never realised a cocktail demonstration could be such good fun!
The main plus that the ship has is its crew. They go out of their way to be helpful and are always smiling and always say hello when they pass you. The waiters are always cracking jokes and the kitchen staff seem to be having a great time whenever they come into the restaurant. Make sure you see the Crew Talent Show - again the kitchen staff stole the show.
Ports of Call:
St Lucia - We had already been here and done an island tour so we fancied something different. We ended up going with Arthur of Lushan Country Life Tours, and we have never laughed so much on a tour in our lives. Arthur is absolutely hilarious. He took us to parts of the island most tours don't go and then took us to his home which his family have turned into a sort of nature reserve. Here we were able to sample some caribbean cooking and local fruits (the tastiest mango and banana ever). Our guide here was a really nice young man who pointed out lots of insects and birds as well as showing us the trees etc. After this Arthur dropped us at a beach for a couple of hours and then picked us up and took us back to the ship. I would definitely recommend this tour.
Grenada - We got off the ship and booked onto an island tour. We then got dropped off at Grand Anse beach and caught the water ferry back to the ship.
Isla Margarita - At the entrance to the port there is a taxi rank with a man who can speak English (as no-one else can) and he organised a taxi to take us to the Mangrove Swamps and there we had a boat ride around the swamps. Absolutely fascinating. Our boat driver picked a bright red starfish off the roots and let us hold it and pointed out loads of other wildlife. We then went to the beach by the ship which was absolutely packed. You can sit here and watch the pelicans diving into the sea about 50 yds out. It's amazing.
Aruba - We had been here before so just caught the bus to the most beautiful beach we have ever been on. Not sure what it was called. Only trouble was the buses were all full coming back so we had to get a taxi back to the ship.
Curacao - We caught a taxi to the SeaAquarium. There's not really much there, but there was a really good sea lion show. We then walked just down the road from there to a beach that you have to pay to go on. It was worth it though with good snorkelling.
We then left the ship in Barbados as we were staying there for a week.
On the whole we had a fantastic holiday. The cruise wasn't as good as others I've been on and although people say you get what you pay for, I don't think we paid much less than for the other cruises. The staff more than made up for it though and I would recommend this ship to anyone who fancies a more lower end of the market cruise.