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11 Spain Romantic Cruise Reviews

First time back on Aurora since the refit. Although we like the modern, larger ships, Aurora seems to draw us in. We had a fantastic time. We were allocated early dining on a table for eight. The first night we were alone so ... Read More
First time back on Aurora since the refit. Although we like the modern, larger ships, Aurora seems to draw us in. We had a fantastic time. We were allocated early dining on a table for eight. The first night we were alone so bagged the best seats near the window. The following night, 4 others joined us and we couldn't have wished for better table companions. We had some great laughs and good evenings together. Food was great in the mdr, good selection and always well cooked. The buffet had good choices but we only had the odd breakfast and lunch there, but was sneaking up for cheese and biscuits and hot chocolate to take back to the cabin. Service was very good in all areas, although I think their efficiency can sometimes be mistaken for trying to rush you. As soon as you finished, the dirty plate was gone and next course was on its way. Entertainment was great in general, although the house band were very poor and one of the entertainment team just didn't seem interested, reading her kindle in the DJ booth and sighing when anyone requested a song. The headliners were fantastic although not usually my thing but did enjoy their shows. Soul kinda wonderful, the Base Tones and Phil Melbourne had us dancing or laughing every night. In summary, despite her creaking and swaying, we still managed to have a fantastic holiday and can't wait to return. Andy Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
So …….. For my Wife's Birthday I surprised her with the Spanish Delights TUI Cruise aboard the Marella Dream. Have Cruised with TUI previously so knew what to expect ( more or less ) - The Dream is an 'older' lady ... Read More
So …….. For my Wife's Birthday I surprised her with the Spanish Delights TUI Cruise aboard the Marella Dream. Have Cruised with TUI previously so knew what to expect ( more or less ) - The Dream is an 'older' lady however, the crew do an amazing job of cleaning / maintenance albeit often at inappropriate times ! Cabin: on deck seven ( 7139 ) highly recommended, our cabin steward was amazing! - aim for mid ships if you can, its nearer the restaurants / bars / show lounges. The air conditioning however is a nuisance, gave me endless sore throats. Food: ……. ah' the all important food was ………. appalling at times, forever cold / tasteless / 'odd' ! How bout' Beef Stroganoff cooked with whole lemons that were cut in half and then 'stewed'-in with the gravy !!! totally disgusting - off putting to say the least. I experienced raw bacon / stale bread / toast you could break your teeth on ! / The orange Duck was orange-less and tasted of ……. Nothing! The coldest 'cooked' glazed carrots ever, salad past it's sell by date / stay away from the Fish, Grey in colour and again tasteless & on & on. Lets talk milk, the milk onboard is the long life stuff found in cardboard boxes, it is NOT chilled prior to being 'served' to passengers - imagine my horror when first trying cornflakes for breakfast and the milk is unnaturally 'warm' - TUI, the majority of Brits. prefer cold milk on cereals !!! The dessert station was a disaster, very poor selection compared to say the TUI Celebration and again tasteless, the rice pudding for example so thick and stodgy you cement bricks with it ! and what was that watery custard all about! The food was overall dire - We spoke to senior ships crew member who disagreed with us! claiming it was a popular menu served on all TUI ships! My wife survived on a diet of watermelon for breakfast / Lunch / Dinner !!! Entertainment: was fab. don't believe other reviews that say the singers cannot sing! my own 40yrs on the 'road' tell me otherwise. Ports of call: All good with the exception of Portugal / Valencia. Both of these require a £7 pp Shuttle to get you to town. Totally disappointed with where we docked in Valencia - an industrial dockyard with nothing for miles should you want to stretch your legs and get off the ship for 10minutes. Our view, no matter where we stood on the ship - Steel yards / Cranes / Container ships / Industrial noise. this for 8 hrs plus the horrendous smell of refuelling the Dream. Whilst docked and if you preferred to stay onboard - you endured maintenance inc. angle grinding noise and the worst lead paint smell ever ! as the crew set about set about their task of 'keeping the Dream afloat' ! All whilst you tried to relax on the 'tired' / mostly unclean sunbeds! Staff: For us - the restaurant staff saved the day ( saved the holiday / My wife's birthday surprise from being a disaster ) Big shout out to Daisybel and Marley who were more like friends than ships crew, made our day/s as we would often seek them out to cheer us up! and cheer us up they did with their infectious smiles / quick wit / singing! Would we go TUI Cruising in the future? Unlikely, Absolutely poor value for money in this modern day age of cut backs - clearly TUI have had their annual board meeting and decided the cutbacks need to come from the all important food ! I'll wager TUI's CEO's wouldn't eat some of that slop served to us! And don't tell me I'm the only passenger to air concerns - We chatted to another hundred + passengers who felt exactly the same - inc. a family of 5 who chose to eat off the ship each time We docked! I suggest if you do not have children - pick an adult only cruise, a small number of the 'kids' on our cruise were disrespectful, roaming the corridors / bars mocking passengers who were dancing for example, quite intimidating at times and why did the angry young man need to repeatedly kick the lift doors. On-board, TUI suddenly turn into 'double-glazing' salesmen and women, every opportunity they get - they are trying to 'sell' you a package this / package that! ** Be careful with the Cocktails from the bar/s …….. whilst they look enticing - they are actually nothing but 'coloured' mountains of ice - We ordered 2 large cocktails first night only to find after a couple of sips the actual liquid content had been consumed leaving behind a mountain of ice !!! When ordering cocktails - stand firm and demand less ice ! ** TUI - I want a refund for the food at least !!! Please be aware that a formal complaint is headed your way.​ Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
we chose this cruise as we had never been to Portugal before. The ship is getting a bit tired but its still fantastic ,FOOD is fabulous loads of choice ,breakfast and lunch is the best in our opinion :) almost like a English full breakfast ... Read More
we chose this cruise as we had never been to Portugal before. The ship is getting a bit tired but its still fantastic ,FOOD is fabulous loads of choice ,breakfast and lunch is the best in our opinion :) almost like a English full breakfast mmmm. Drinks ...cocktails are lovely my fav is Long island iced tea ,wine and beers are lovely also. Entertainment was ok could have been better if the sound was turned down a bit. Ship staff are all fabulous :) :) :) so helpful, polite every day ,they never stop working always cleaning and asking how you are doing. Collis are room steward ,made me a towel animal every day they were fantastic , room was kept clean and very tidy.always asking did we need anythink ,and have a nice day .we had a balcony room 8014 fantastic room. ONLY issue with this hoiliday was the Ship had docked up in Palma so far away, it would have been a verylong walk just to get off the docks and then to the town center.we are both walkers but this was too long . we found this happened a few times but they but shuttle busses on for £7pp on theses other days . OVER ALL FABULOUS ....we will be back xx Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Firstly this is our 14th Thomson Cruise, but our first on the new type of Thomson ship (Discovery 1 or 2) and we were excited to see how the new generation of ship had changed. First impressions were excellent, the ships interior was very ... Read More
Firstly this is our 14th Thomson Cruise, but our first on the new type of Thomson ship (Discovery 1 or 2) and we were excited to see how the new generation of ship had changed. First impressions were excellent, the ships interior was very impressive and our deck six balcony cabin was clean, contemporary and had more than enough space. The balcony had a small table and two chairs, more than enough space for two people. One small gripe with the induction on the ship was that normally we would be met by a member of staff who takes you to your cabin, however we were left to try and find it ourselves, and as a result didn't even see our cabin steward until the second to last day! Food :- The food was fantastic :) The best food we have ever had on a Thomson ship, We ate at the buffet at breakfast and lunch, and then in the restaurant in the evening. There was lots of choice for breakfast, you could have omelettes with anything you want on, different types of pancake, obviously all of your usual full English breakfast items, and continental. Dinner we had everything from Suckling pig, home made pies, and unusual ways to eat vegetables such as courgette pancakes which were lovely. There was also your usual chips burgers and pizzas in the main islands buffet. We met people who also highly rated the snack shack where they had fish and chips, hotdogs etc. but we never got round to going there. There was also proper whippy ice-cream served between 2 and 4 everyday which is highlight recommended! The evening meal was always fantastic. Lots of choice, and always high quality food. Our waiting staff Marco and Robert were excellent, and always put a smile on our faces every evening. They were so good, one evening I had a steak and as I cut into it he could see that it wasn't cooked to how I had asked (I would have just eaten it!) but before I knew it he had replaced I with another which was cooked perfectly. Entertainment - Generally the entertainment was good, however this is where I start with a few gripes about the ship. We aren't one for the musicals so we tended to spend our time in the venue or live room. The entertainment compared to other ships was very hit and miss. Some nights we would have fantastic entertainment, fantastic game shows and the bands particularly sound wave was excellent. However one night the entertainment consisted of us being give voting pads so that we could choose a music video to be played - if I wanted to do this I would choose one I liked off my iPad and go back to the room! This was the main entertainment. Also there wasn't a quiz on in the venue every night as there had been on previous boats. This is strange as they seemed to have more entertainment staff than ever. Saying this we never went to the main Broadway lounge so that could have been excellent. Itinerary - We did the Spanish sunsets itinerary, which consisted of Malaga, Palma, Almeria, Ibiza, Barcelona, Ceuta. To be honest you needed to do trips at everywhere bar Ceuta as we were always docked miles away. This is where my second gripe comes in. We docked miles away from the main ports (not our problem!) yet we are expected to pay 6 Euros each for a courtesy bus to make up for this, surely they should be provided for free. This was the case in Palma, Ibiza and Barcelona. if I would have known this in advance I may have chosen a different itinerary. Ceuta was beautiful however and well worth a visit. Almeria we did a lovely trip which took us to a lovely village called Aquadulce after travelling over the Sierra Nevada mountains - well worth the money. Service - The staff were excellent, however there was simply not enough of them. They now have a digital system to take drinks orders, and for some reason Thomson now feel that they now need less staff. this resulted in the majority of people going to the bar to get there own drinks, which meant that they weren't able to make the drinks for the people who had ordered via the floor staff. In the end we ended up drinking on the deck which was much quieter and we never failed to get a drink. Again this wasn't the staffs fault, they were worked off their feet, I think it is more a result of Thomson's penny pinching. Overall we had a lovely holiday, Captain Chris is a legend, and kept us entertained everyday with his witty comments. There were lots of kids on board, but to be honest we didn't find these a problem (when you go in the summer holidays you have to except this!) I do feel there are a few niggles that need ironing out, but the ship is beautiful, the staff are fantastic, and the cabins were excellent. Thomson really need to give the ships extra staff, pay for better docking positions or at least free courtesy buses, and iron out the entertainment niggles and this ship will be perfect :) Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
First time on a cruise and we both loved it from start to finish. Ok inside Cabin little small but very Functional,Lovely bathroom. Food , Good and plenty of it . We personally preferred the self service Restaurant on Deck 10 ... Read More
First time on a cruise and we both loved it from start to finish. Ok inside Cabin little small but very Functional,Lovely bathroom. Food , Good and plenty of it . We personally preferred the self service Restaurant on Deck 10 Drinks all nice , Free tea , coffee , Water . Shows at night ok . Disco 52 open until 2am Very good Day time consists of game shows competitions, quizzes etc ,if you decide to stay on board . All Staff very Freindly . All areas of Ship very clean . If you have booked this Ship don't worry it's fabulous. Wish we where still on board. Top tips If you have a little spare cash go for a upgrade on your cabin . Look at the Drink Deals carefully. Take plenty of sun tan lotion. Drink plenty of water day & night . Enjoy you wil love it . Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We choose this cruise because of the ports and we had never been on Windstar. We assumed it was a sailing ship because of the masts we saw in ports. Shortly after boarding we were told that one of our excursion was canceled due to ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the ports and we had never been on Windstar. We assumed it was a sailing ship because of the masts we saw in ports. Shortly after boarding we were told that one of our excursion was canceled due to Ramadan in Tangier. Did the cruise line not know, because it was advertised on their website for months, and one of the reasons we booked the cruise. The city of Tangier was like a ghost town. So moving on, my husband and I were enjoying the jacuzzi on a beautiful full moon night when we were told that we had to get out, because it was closed. It wasn't even 9 pm. On another night we were sleeping and at 2 in the morning an upholstered tile from the headboard fell on my husbands head. No damage, but surprising . We assumed the the room steward would have it fixed. But no, we called and someone came and fixed it. The next day our room steward said "I thought it was yours", really I brought a headboard tile with me. The food was good, but not regional. There was a BBQ one night with all the food from the region, but I expected to have at least one option a night from the region on the ships menu. Don't get me started about the news letter. Wrong dates, wrong times, wrong cities. Two hour wrong wakeup times, on and on. We've been cruising since 2002 on many different lines and travel many times every year on land and sea. We have never been more disappointed in a cruise line. The staff was wonderful the ports beautiful, but the attention to detail was miserable. The photo we bought is not printable on our email. So disappointed. We also think it really isn't a sailing ship, just a gimmick, because we never sailed and the sports deck was never available. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
From the moment we arrived and were warmly greeted by Susana to when we departed we enoyed this cruise on the Guadalquivir river. Cabins on La Belle de Cadix, although small with minimal storage space, are clean and comfortable, especially ... Read More
From the moment we arrived and were warmly greeted by Susana to when we departed we enoyed this cruise on the Guadalquivir river. Cabins on La Belle de Cadix, although small with minimal storage space, are clean and comfortable, especially the beds, and with large picture windows on the upper deck which we selected. The public areas are also comfortable. The dining room is on the lower deck, very nice but porthole windows so no views. However, the quality of food was outstanding, on Christmas eve they served a 7 course dinner and every course was delicious, reached the table hot, on warm plates and the portions were perfect. The wine list is limited with just 3 red/white/rose, all reasonably priced. To complement the great food would have liked a more extensive wine list. The tours of Cadiz and Jerez were good. The hospitality and level of service throughout the boat were very good all staff members worked together to make this cruise a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
On board the Black Watch is like stepping back in time. The decor and fittings are very 1970s although clean, there is no WOW factor anywhere on the ship. This was our first cruise and based our poor experience it could be our last. ... Read More
On board the Black Watch is like stepping back in time. The decor and fittings are very 1970s although clean, there is no WOW factor anywhere on the ship. This was our first cruise and based our poor experience it could be our last. The boarding process at the port was one of the worst travel experiences I have had. Hundreds of passengers crammed into a hangar waiting their numbers to be called and we waited for 1hr 50 minutes and were the last to board even though we arrived exactly at the time we were instructed to on our boarding instructions. There was no explanation given just occasional apologies. So we arrived at our cabin fighting disappointment at our introductory experience with Fred Olsen. The next blow was that we learned that we would not be stopping at our first port of call, la Coruna, due to some mechanical problem. This port and the onshore trip to Santiago was the reason I booked the trip. The food was good. The alcohol reasonably priced and the service of a high standard with one or two surly exceptions. The shows were unoriginal. There was a very good comedian. The onboard activities were ok. The highlight of the trip was the Observatory Lounge where we enjoyed lovely cocktails while listening to an excellent trio. We met people who we will keep in touch with. Overall we both feel we spent a lot of money on a poor holiday and that same sum could have got us a luxury hotel for longer. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our third cruise. Our first two cruises were on Royal Caribbean out of Boston and Miami. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and here are our positive comments: Food – Overall, the food in the main dining room was ... Read More
This was our third cruise. Our first two cruises were on Royal Caribbean out of Boston and Miami. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and here are our positive comments: Food – Overall, the food in the main dining room was excellent. We enjoyed most every meal very much. Unlike other cruises we have taken, we also enjoyed the fact that we could eat in the main dining room for breakfast and lunch each day as well. Staff – Every staff member we talked with was very friendly, accommodating and eager to assist us in any way they could. Impressive! Whoever is hiring and training the staff is to be complimented for a job consistently well done! Itinerary, Ports & Shore Excursions - The itinerary only had 3 at sea days out of 14 days and the at sea days were nicely spaced out over the entire time span, which was perfect for us. All of the ports had great options for things to do or shore excursions to take. Security – Security is very high on this ship and greatly appreciated. In most every port, we went through three security checkpoints prior to getting back on the ship. Getting off the ship was usually very quick and easy with no waiting. Library & Card Room – What great spaces for at sea days. These two rooms were very popular with guests who wanted a quiet place to read, or a fairly quiet place to play games with friends or family. Embarkation & Disembarkation – Both very smooth and well organized. Providing an early luggage storage option for passengers arriving too early for embarkation was a very nice offer. We were also very impressed with the high number of taxis who came out to the ship during disembarkation. So, while there was a very long line of passengers awaiting taxis, the line moved very quickly and no one was concerned about catching their flights on time. And, here are our suggestions for improvement (take these with a grain of salt because every cruise ship has areas that can be improved): General Appearance & Cleanliness – Overall, this ship is very attractive and immaculately clean. Group Fitness Classes – Most classes are only offered a couple days per week and always at the same time. For instance, the Pilates classes were only offered two days per week and only at 8:00 am. Since most every shore excursion left at 8:30 am, it was impossible to ever attend these classes if you took shore excursions. Spa – We wanted to make reservations for 50 minute massages for each of the three at sea days. Since the massages cost a whopping $140 for each of us, we only made two reservations. After the first massage turned into a giant product sales pitch and the therapist completely ignored the areas we requested to have worked on, we filed a complaint with Guest Relations and quickly cancelled our second reservation. Onboarding – There were a couple of times when getting back onto the ship took in excess of 1.5 hours. After a long, all-day shore excursion this seemed unreasonable. Shore Excursions – While we enjoyed all of the excursions we took, the restaurant lunch provided during the “Barcelona & Montserrat” all day excursion was way below standard. Drink Package Upgrade - We booked our room with the Classic Drink Package, then tried to educate ourselves about the Premium Drink Package to decide if we wanted to upgrade. Well, we found after much research by us and our travel agent, there is little to no information out there about the Premium Drink Package. It felt like getting this information from Celebrity was kind of “a difficult game”. So, we upgraded “in the blind”. For hard liquor with the Premium Package, it was fine. However, for wine, the Premium Package was not so fine. Very marginal wines (like Celebrity’s own label Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon) were the “top level” wines offered. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Thomson Dreamliner is a fantastic plane. Lots of leg room and free food and drink during the flight. But, what started well, ended badly. The Jamaican airport was hot, humid, crowded and queued. No where to sit, no air conditioning, no ... Read More
Thomson Dreamliner is a fantastic plane. Lots of leg room and free food and drink during the flight. But, what started well, ended badly. The Jamaican airport was hot, humid, crowded and queued. No where to sit, no air conditioning, no water and no where to rest in a confined corridor containing hundreds of people. Tempers flared after hours waiting to get to embarkation and some felt faint. A musical group from the island greeted us at the ship but the singer was out of tune and the musicians seemed fed up of playing it took that long for everyone to board. The buffets were always full of food and refreshments and the restaurant was great for an evening meal. However, the food was mostly overcooked, warm at best when eating and not very tasty in all the eateries. I did not like the fact you helped yourself to buffet with tongs. It would have been more hygienic to have been given the food by buffet staff. Despite the fact the ship had antibacterial dispensers throughout, many passengers ignored them. I had a bad tummy in the middle of the first week and was told by a passenger that the ship had had Noro virus aboard the week before resulting in the closure of the Jacuzzis. I was also by other passengers that many people were being treated for a bad cough, an outbreak which had been on board since December with antibiotic drips having to be issued for pneumonia and also that 5 people had died on board during this time. Myself and my husband both went home with a bad cough at the end of the cruise. One woman was badly burnt by a soot gob that had been blown from the ship's funnel. Many passengers had broken their arms whilst on board. Health and safety was an issue as I saw a crew member carrying two stacks of cups on his tray down a spiral staircase. Smoking was allowed on the decks which was very quickly extended to inside the ship and door areas by smokers who ignored the rules. It was hard to get away from cigarette smoke on the deck areas. We found it very difficult to get a sun lounger before 10am and these were hogged by selfish passengers all day despite the fact that they were not using them for hours. The ship had an overcrowded feel during the sea days and the days were quite strained. The behavior of some of the passengers was terrible despite their mature years. Tempers flared and a fight broke out over the use of a lift which carried on in the sun deck. There was a lot of foul language used by some of the down to earth types which did offend other passengers with their rudeness at times. Some of the deck flooring was bubbled and torn. The first port was La Romana. I wish I had stayed aboard the ship. We were transported by shuttle to the nearby town and was immediately bombarded by very persistent venders that were very intimidating. We all immediately got right back on the bus and returned to the ship. This port did not match the description at all. My favourite ports were St Maartin and Antigua. Shops were wonderful and there were many nice places to go. The Virgin Islands were a little boring as we had not been able to book a tour but on returning to the ship many passengers were disappointed with their trips here. One had gone to see whales and was told by locals that whales are a rare sight in April as they don’t arrive until June when the season for them starts. We did see some flying fish and dolphins on the sea days. Gibraltar is a nice place but there was very little time to visit more than one venue as the ship departs at 2pm and we had to be back on board by 1:30. We were talked out of using the cable car by the port taxi drivers who said that we would not have time to use it. The port inspector confirmed this when asked to back up the statements but on speaking to the tourist visitor centre they said we would have had plenty of time to use it. So I think we were conned into using them at a cost. To sum up, I personally quite enjoyed my time on this cruise but I know that quite a few other passengers were very disappointed and if rumors were correct some did not return at all. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My wife and I booked this cruise primarily due to the price being so good, as well as a good itinerary. Boarding was fine no problems, The cabin, due to it being an older ship was smaller than we have been used to, but once we were used ... Read More
My wife and I booked this cruise primarily due to the price being so good, as well as a good itinerary. Boarding was fine no problems, The cabin, due to it being an older ship was smaller than we have been used to, but once we were used to it it wasn't a problem. Due to bad weather the ship was unable to depart on time and we spent the first night in Southampton, which had a number of knock on effects on the planned itinerary, we sailed directly to Gibraltar rather than stopping at Lisbon which we stopped at on the way back, and the port of La Coruna was removed from the itinerary. The entertainment was first class and of particular note were the classical recitals by Mikhail Shilyaev and Byron Johnston. The food in the main restaurant and the speciality restaurants was excellent and the cover charges were very reasonable. The buffet could be very crowded but the food was generally good. The staff on the ship were all friendly and very helpful, as an example our room steward removed the table from our room to give us more space, provided extra hangers and bedding and was generally very attentive to our needs. All the ports we interesting with lots to do without needing to book excursions. Overall the ship was starting to show its age, but this gave it a certain amount of character and did not impact our enjoyment of the cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015

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