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We chose this as our first cruise as we have holidayed many times with Thomsons/TUI and have always been happy with the service and standards in their hotels.They obviously haven't replicated that level on the Marella Dream as its a tired old ship that should have been scrapped years ago. A few tips from Thomsons who knew it was our first cruise would have helped ,such as you cant use cash on board as everything has to be done though a cabin account which we had to open. We were berthed on deck seven and whilst the cabin was old with mould between the tiles in the bathroom it was well serviced by a really good attendant (who we tipped as he deserved it) The air con in the room was efficient but overly loud all the time making it hard to sleep for the first few nights till we got used to it .Do not be fooled by the term swimming pool because it isn't more than a glorified paddling pool which the kids loved especially as it was only a meter deep and a quarter the size of your local swimming baths -The 2 Jacuzzis had young children in them every day they were open even though the sign says no under 13s.There was no t.v. or sports bar and the only tv was in your cabin covering world and sports news headlines.There were lots of things that came at an extra cost-such as wifi at £8 per day and even though we were all inclusive the waiters pushed us to get the premium drinks package for another £199 for two weeks which we declined-There was even a charge for bottled water in your cabin- A cup of tea and a tour of the bridge was another £10.If my wife wanted to do Pilates it was another £7 per session.The entertainment was repetitive and although the dancers tried hard the shows were pretty amateurish. The best night was the visiting uk comedian who filled the theatre for both shows he did.There are 3 resident musical acts in the different bars and to be honest they tried but were average at best. As for meals,we had breakfast/lunch and afternoon tea in Sirens which was good although the furniture was very old-The main downfall was the evening meals--If you ate in the Lido buffet restaurant it was poorly set out with soup next to desserts and by the time you had zig zagged back to your seat most of your food was almost cold and if you picked a bad time to go the queue was out the door- an awful experience.If you ate in the waiter service Orion restaurant the service was slow and you were guaranteed to get at least one course that was either almost cold or looked inedible--You could actually pay an extra £16-£20 for a better dining experience in different areas if you wished but we declined.The restaurant and bar staff worked very hard and although lacking in numbers were on the whole very helpful.We did meet some very nice people on the cruise and the benefit of dining in the waiter service restaurant was you could share your holiday experience with others most of whom were equally disappointed with the Dream--I know lots of people enjoyed the Dream based on their reviews but I can only state how we felt about the experience. I hope this isn't our last cruise because I know there are better operators out there offering quality cruises but it will take some time before we get over spending so much and getting so little in return--

Disappointing Experience

Marella Dream Cruise Review by ChippySmith

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose this as our first cruise as we have holidayed many times with Thomsons/TUI and have always been happy with the service and standards in their hotels.They obviously haven't replicated that level on the Marella Dream as its a tired old ship that should have been scrapped years ago. A few tips from Thomsons who knew it was our first cruise would have helped ,such as you cant use cash on board as everything has to be done though a cabin account which we had to open. We were berthed on deck seven and whilst the cabin was old with mould between the tiles in the bathroom it was well serviced by a really good attendant (who we tipped as he deserved it) The air con in the room was efficient but overly loud all the time making it hard to sleep for the first few nights till we got used to it .Do not be fooled by the term swimming pool because it isn't more than a glorified paddling pool which the kids loved especially as it was only a meter deep and a quarter the size of your local swimming baths -The 2 Jacuzzis had young children in them every day they were open even though the sign says no under 13s.There was no t.v. or sports bar and the only tv was in your cabin covering world and sports news headlines.There were lots of things that came at an extra cost-such as wifi at £8 per day and even though we were all inclusive the waiters pushed us to get the premium drinks package for another £199 for two weeks which we declined-There was even a charge for bottled water in your cabin- A cup of tea and a tour of the bridge was another £10.If my wife wanted to do Pilates it was another £7 per session.The entertainment was repetitive and although the dancers tried hard the shows were pretty amateurish. The best night was the visiting uk comedian who filled the theatre for both shows he did.There are 3 resident musical acts in the different bars and to be honest they tried but were average at best. As for meals,we had breakfast/lunch and afternoon tea in Sirens which was good although the furniture was very old-The main downfall was the evening meals--If you ate in the Lido buffet restaurant it was poorly set out with soup next to desserts and by the time you had zig zagged back to your seat most of your food was almost cold and if you picked a bad time to go the queue was out the door- an awful experience.If you ate in the waiter service Orion restaurant the service was slow and you were guaranteed to get at least one course that was either almost cold or looked inedible--You could actually pay an extra £16-£20 for a better dining experience in different areas if you wished but we declined.The restaurant and bar staff worked very hard and although lacking in numbers were on the whole very helpful.We did meet some very nice people on the cruise and the benefit of dining in the waiter service restaurant was you could share your holiday experience with others most of whom were equally disappointed with the Dream--I know lots of people enjoyed the Dream based on their reviews but I can only state how we felt about the experience. I hope this isn't our last cruise because I know there are better operators out there offering quality cruises but it will take some time before we get over spending so much and getting so little in return--
ChippySmith’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 7031
Quite cramped with nowhere to store our cases-Kept very clean though--Like the rest of the ship it was old and shabby
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews