Marella Dream Cruise Review by Gwen D'souza
- Sail Date: October 2011
- Destination: Western Mediterranean
29th Oct- 11th Nov
We have recently (11th Nov) returned from an amazing 2 weeks on board the Thomson Dream on their Mediterranean Highlights cruise. Having initially sailed on their disastrous inaugural sailing in April 2010, we were a bit apprehensive about booking on this ship again, but having given it a lot of thought, we realised that Thomson would not let all these problems go by without doing everything in their power to make this ship, their best ever. WE WERE NOT DISSAPOINTED !!
Flights from Luton to Palma went without a hitch. We paid for extra legroom, and that is what we got. At Palma a swift transfer to the ship, check-in and we were on board in time for lunch. At the port we were so pleased to see Paul Evans who was on the Destiny last Christmas when we sailed on the Transatlantic crossing. He recognised us and came over straight away with a lovely warm smile and a hug. Straight away we knew this was going to be a fun cruise.
Once on board, we were sooo pleased with the huge size of our cabin and bathroom. We had an over- bath shower in it so the bathroom was larger than most. This we were very pleased with. Only quibble is, we had NO storage drawers at all in our cabin, just the double wardrobe. This did upset up at first, but we soon managed to find room for all our small items and this was not a problem anymore.
Our Cabin Steward Trisna, came and introduced himself and we them went to explore the ship to see if there were any changes. And there were!! The carpets in the Medusa were either new or thoroughly cleaned. In fact all the bars were the same. Everywhere smelt fresh and clean.
On speaking to Reception, we were very pleased to see that Bricks, was also working on this ship. Last time we saw him was on the Celebration, and he too recognised us and gave us a warm welcome everytime we saw him. He has an amazing singing voice and performed on the crew show again this time!!
On the first day, the Orion was not opened at lunchtime, so we ate in the Lido Grill buffet restaurant, which was OK. Usual buffet food, but nothing to write home about. Evenings we always ate in The Orion and the food and service there was excellent, especially our waiters Manual & Yana (bless him!!) and our wonderful wine waiter Jesse (Jesus). I was on a low calorie diet and the staff and chef did everything in their power to help me keep to the diet. I did take my own Weightwatchers bread, low calorie butter & salad cream and they kept it in their fridge, bringing it to my table every mealtime, which was great and I managed NOT to put on any weight at all on this cruise. Thank you very much for all your help. Air con very cold in the restaurant, which made it a bit uncomfortable, as you just couldn't wait to finish your meal and leave the restaurant.
The entertainment on board was excellent. During the day there were lots of different things to do, including quizzes, talks, theatre show, and my favourite...deck parties which I loved. The atmosphere was great and everyone joined in. The Cruise Director Paul Fisher (snr) and his assistant Paul Evans (jnr) looked after us very well, and the team of dancers and singers were the best on any Thomson ship, especially Kate & John. Evening shows are NOT to be missed. The titles may seem the same as on other ships, but they are all performed with a different twist which makes them so unusual. Excellent shows!! The Broadway theatre does get very cold, so wear something warm over your clothes.
Afternoon tea was served every day on deck 9 in the Lido and consisted of homemade cakes, scones, biscuits, sandwiches, canapÃ©s etc. Lovely feast.
The resident band, Strum Jam, were excellent and kept everyone moving in the Medusa lounge, which also hosts the quizzes and game shows. Don't miss the showcase shows at the end of the night. They are excellent and usually performed by individual members of the dance team.
Drinks are a bit pricey (Â£3.70 short excl mixer) but we had All Inclusive so it didn't matter this time. Lifts were always breaking down, but fixed instantly, and we could do with more lifts on each floor, for the number of passengers this ship holds. You were constantly waiting for lifts, especially at busy times.
All in all, this was an amazing cruise and for the first time ever, we met passengers we had encountered on previous Thomson cruises (we have done 7 so far in the past 3 yrs), which was great. It was like one big family re-union. We also met some lovely new friends and thoroughly enjoyed their company too.
This ship has turned itself round 120% in such a short time. Well done Thomson and we can't wait to get back on board again very soon. BEST CRUISE EVER.