The Dream did good !!!!!!!: Thomson Dream Cruise Review by dizzydizzy

Thomson Dream 5
Member Since 2010
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Overall Member Rating

The Dream did good !!!!!!!

Sail Date: June 2010
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Other
We sailed on the Dream 1 to 8th June and had a lovely cruise.

Palma airport was absolutely chaotic on arrival. About 6 Thomson flights all seemed to land within a short time frame. The information screens on the carousels was incorrect for two flights. Once we had our luggage we made our way to the arrivals area to find a Thomson cruise rep. We did. She shouted at us to go in single file to the coaches. Unfortunately she omitted to tell us where the cruise coaches were - there was only about 50 to choose from! Quick transfer to the port and very smooth embarkation procedure. Had to find our cases in a shed to stick the cabin numbers on. Again this was a bit chaotic. We boarded the ship and were shown to our cabin. First item of luggage arrived 2 hours later and 2nd item 2 hours after that!

Our cabin was on Deck 5 (5036) - an standard outside. This was very spacious, very clean with a nice modern shower room. It looked to have been refurbished quite recently. There More was a wardrobe and a curtained off area that provided extra hanging space and room for shoes, bags etc. There were 5 drawers, a desk top area with TV and 2 small bedside cabinets. Air conditioning was not brilliant. We did report this 3 times but it never got much better - only downside of the cabin. Our steward was a lovely young lad who was terribly homesick. He did a brilliant job.

Dining - choice of two buffet restaurants both with lido areas and waiter service restaurant on deck 4. Good choice of good in all. Andromeda (deck 9) tended to get a bit busy and the lay-out is not great. We went to Sirens on Deck 11 - much better lay-out and not as busy.

Bars - there are many!

Entertainment - Atlante Theatre showing the usual good Thomson type shows and a very good guest comedian - Dave Kristian. Medusa Lounge - band and game shows, competitions etc. - not bad at all. Another 2 bars - one had a good trio on and the other a pianist A further lounge with classical duo Disco Card room library Kidzones (these were closed as in June no under 16's allowed)

Shopping - a little shop selling essentials, books etc, duty free shop and clothes shop.

Positives - the crew are exceptional. Everywhere you go is the same. No shortage of sun loungers.

Negatives - There was no doubt this ship has problems. We had two power cuts and there was a very unpleasant sewage smell particularly on decks 7 and 9. This did lessen as the week went on. There are leaks springing from the ceilings in random places. A couple in the Atlante Theatre which the guest comedian made great play on. In some areas there is a distinct musty smell. The air conditioning in our cabin as I have mentioned was not efficient at all and on the last night failed completely. We were sitting on loungers on Deck 11 before 5 a.m. as we couldn't bear the heat in our cabin any longer.

Both the pool areas are very cramped as there are so many sun loungers set out. However there are quieter areas with loungers. The deck stewards are also happy to move some round to the promenade deck if you ask them. We did this and it was a lot more peaceful.

Disembarkation again was very busy. A lot of flights leave within a very short time of each other so we had to queue on the quayside for a while waiting for a coach. At Palma airport again it was absolute chaos. About 8 Thomson check in desks all in a row. Nothing moved for about half an hour then we discovered that the conveyor had broken. Not a Thomson rep to be seen. Eventually got to the gate.

All in all we had a thoroughly enjoyable time and would sail on the Dream again. Less

Published 07/03/10

Cabin review: OU5036

5036 - spacious, very clean and looked to have been recently refurbished. Standard outside with porthole. We had a mini fridge, plenty of wardrobe and hanging space. Drawer space. Desk top with TV. Two small bedside cabinets. Showeroom with very powerful shower, nice wash hand basin unit and efficient loo. Air conditioning was very poor and despite 3 calls to reception didn't improve throughout our week.

Port and Shore Excursions

Ship berths on the harbour - only a couple of minutes walk into the town. As it was a Sunday most of the shops were closed. All the bars and cafes along the front were open along with a couple of tourist shops. We didn't do any excursion as the one we had planned to do was not available. There is an open top bus and le petit train doing tours of the town. Not as pretty as I thought it would be but nevertheless worth a visit. There was a little open market very close to the ship which was quite interesting. There is a fort which is still in use by the French military. If you follow the road past it you come to a nice promenade.

Although I have put Florence in the box the port is actually Livorno. The main excursions and places of interest from here are Florence and Pisa. We had a stroll round Livorno in the morning. You have to use the port bus to get out of the port gates. Typical port with a canal system. Neat and clean. Some nice shops in centre.

In the afternoon we went on a Thomson trip to Lake Puccini and Pisa. This involved a short coach trip through some very nice Tuscan countryside to a small lakeside village where Puccini lived. The lake is called Puccini locally probably for tourist publicity. The trip advertised a leisurely cruise on the lake with commentary and Puccini's music to include wine and biscuits. The kindest way to describe the boat is "a bucket". The captain was a tad scruffy and pongy. The boat had some inside and outside seating. We sat on the outside on a white PVC garden bench which had seen far better days! We had a little bit of commentary and then listened to a soprano singing Puccini arias for 45 minutes whilst the boat chugged round the lake and as we were at the back we were treated to heavy diesel fumes - delightful. The "glass" of wine was in fact served in thimble sized polystyrene cups and tasted like cheap sherry. The "biscuits" were almond flavoured broken bits offered to us from a cardboard box. We then had a quick tour of Puccini's house (very small) and were ushered into the gift shop. Then on to Pisa. On arrival at the coach park surrounded by African hawkers. Quite intimidating. 15 to 20 minute walk into Pisa. Had an hour to take some pictures and a quick look around. I think this trip was about £34 each for 3.5 hours. A bit pricey for what we actually got. Not much mileage involved.

Again this is a large industrial port serving the Rome region. It is an easy walk into the town centre or there is a free bus. We didn't do a Rome excursion as they were either too long or just whistle stop coach tours that didn't stop just slowed down to look at the attraction. Instead we chose a half day tour to Lake Brancano. About an hour through some lovely countryside. Had a really good guide. Price included a tour of the 16th century castle - I heard someone say that it is where Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes got married but the guide didn't mention this. It is a steep walk up to the castle and there are quite a few stairs inside. Views over the lake are beautiful. The little town is very pleasant and looked to us like it was an escape haven for the city people of Rome. We then went onto a lakeside fishing village which was very pretty. Couple of bars and restaurants and an ice cream shop. Just had to have one - would have been rude not too! This for us was a lot better value for money. I think it was £26 each.

Boarded tender immediately at the disembarkation point on Deck 3. Very calm seas. Crew as usually exceptionally helpful. Tender looked very old and tatty but it got us to the port safely. Villefranche a delightful typical Cote D'Azur resort but is quite hilly. Went straight to the train station 10-15 minute walk (last bit steps and a steep rise. Got double-decker train to Monaco (approx 15 minutes). Very clean and comfortable with air con. Walked down from the station to the Hotel de Paris and Casino - very busy. Then walked down to the harbour for a stroll round. We had cappuccinos and were only charged 2.5 euros each. We were absolutely amazed at how cheap this was. As we were at the harbour and a long way down from the rail station we decided to get the bus back to Villefranche but whilst we were waiting at the main bus stop on the harbour we noticed an SNCF (trains) access just behind the bus stop. This was an air-conditioned corridor that led to a series of escalators or lifts which brought us up to the platform level. Very clean and safe. Absolutely brilliant. Word of warning - when you buy your rail tickets make sure you validate them at the little yellow machines - if you don't you can be fined 50 euros on the train. Fare 5 euros return. When we got back to VF we had a lovely cold drink on the harbour and a stroll round this lovely little town. We could have got the train in the opposite direction to Nice.

On previous visits we have stopped at Eze - a gorgeous resort on the way to Monte Carlo. Served by both train and bus. A lot less hectic than Monte Carlo with a very nice beach.

All in all a lovely day.

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