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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.

First cruise

Marella Dream Cruise Review by Retired gent

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
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.
Retired gent’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 1101
Wow very nice , bedroom big with lots of storage space and a very comfortable bed.
Jacuzzi bathroom powerful shower in a spacious bathroom.
walkin wardrobe with more cupboards, draws and 4 lots of hanger space.
living area as big as the average lounge with minibar and the usual tea/coffee making facilities.
Everyday we had 3 its of water and either sweet or savoury plates left in the cabin. Christmas day we had bottle of fizz and a high quality box of chocolate biscuits 2 k in weight we have put on weight btw.
Our cabin steward was wonderful really nice guy Idewy was his name, always there to help as soon as your cabin door shut he was there to wish you good morning as you left for breakfast and when you got back the room was serviced to a very hight standard. Same when we left for dinner bed turned down and the obligatory chocolates left on pillows.

Nice private balcony with table and chairs good wind break and sun trap.

Down side was the aircon unable to turn it off and was blowing cold even after the temp was adjusted in the room , so we asked for it ti be turned off which was done.

Recommend anyone to upgrade the cabin made the stay so much better.
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