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17 Marella Cruises Barcelona Cruise Reviews

Firstly do not be sold this cruise as a new ship this ship is over 20 yrs old, but new to the the TUI fleet, I did know this before traveling but didn't expect to be woken up every day with severe vibrations,including at 3.30am be ... Read More
Firstly do not be sold this cruise as a new ship this ship is over 20 yrs old, but new to the the TUI fleet, I did know this before traveling but didn't expect to be woken up every day with severe vibrations,including at 3.30am be scolded in the shower and have a toilet that didn't flush, having the plumber to the cabin twice to check the shower, only to be told there was nothing they could do as we were the last cabin on the run and when other people run cold water we lost ours. This is also sold as an all inclusive holiday but if you want certain drinks you have to upgrade your package we did do this, then when we went to dinner and asked for pink prosecco, we were told they didn't do this drink in this bar what the point of upgrading if you cant get the drink you want surely should be available in any bar. The food was ok nothing special but ok . Service could be a bit slow dinner sometimes being 2.5hrs . The cabin was clean but very noisy with the ship vibrations, and the air condition .The bathroom was poor with the shower being so grubby i wanted to wear flip flops . Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
God Save the Queen! Firstly to all in the U.K. and of course to her royal highness, congratulations on your Jubilee celebration and milestone. Sixty years is quite an achievement and in today's world almost an eternity. I have ... Read More
God Save the Queen! Firstly to all in the U.K. and of course to her royal highness, congratulations on your Jubilee celebration and milestone. Sixty years is quite an achievement and in today's world almost an eternity. I have posted many times before on CC and try to keep my reviews concise, direct and to the point. My wife and I just returned two days ago from a week on the Thomson Dream departing from Palma Majorca with port stops in Corsica, Florence/Pisa, Cannes, Toulon (near Marseille) and Barcelona. A "dream" (excuse the pun) itinerary plus wonderful weather. Nothing at all to dislike here. We are from the U.S.A. and booked this particular cruise based on three criteria: 1) The appeal of the itinerary itself (which did not disappoint in any way) 2) Dream's rating as Cruise Critic's "Best Mid Size Ship" and 3) The generally positive reviews by recent past cruisers of the Dream I must say immediately that I do not think that Dream is deserving of the website's designation as best mid size ship. This is of course my opinion and is based on the following: -the product delivered by the Dream does not compare favorably with the high quality and diversity I've directly experienced from other cruise lines like Celebrity, Holland America and Royal Caribbean. - the Dream is targeted and focused on the U.K. market so what it provides is crafted and tailored to that constituency. Providing what your niche customers want is good marketing and I can't argue with Thomson's motivation. However, to others outside of that sphere, what's provided is not diverse, just OK but not great quality and I believe not what cruisers outside of Thomson's limited market are typically looking for. Designation as best mid size ship among all boats world-wide suggests that an exceptional experience will be provided that differentiates Dream from all the others ranked below it. This was not the case. It was a good experience but not great and certainly not one that would make it stand above others. As a result, if you're considering a cruise on the Dream and are not from Thomson's narrow market, I would suggest that you pause and do your 'due diligence" beforehand. If your expectations are in line with what you've experienced from global premium even mass market cruise lines, there's a very good chance you'll be grossly disappointed. I also suspect that the glowing reviews of past travelers are of course due to the source of these opinions. If a boat's clientele is 99%+ from a discrete population, then these critiques will of course reflect only the views of this small user group. I am bold enough to say that if a broader and more diverse group of experienced cruisers were to take a cruise on Dream and then post their reviews, it would be very different from what's currently out there. So enough of my pontificating a few specific reactions of my voyage (if still of interest): -the service provided by the entire staff was very good. From our room attendant Don Don, to our waiter in the dining room Roberto, to our wine steward William, they aimed to please and delivered. I cannot say enough of their professionalism, hard work and willingness to do that little something extra that makes all the difference. Kudos to them all. -We saw all of the on-board musical shows and were impressed with what was provided. There were eight singer/dancers who performed all of the musical performances during the week and they were all good. In this instance Thomson has made a smart trade-off by zeroing in on have capable performers and foregoing the live band for canned music. The formula works. - The food on the buffet was just awful unless you were British and used to those selections. From the "scrambled eggs" (if that's what they were supposed to be) to the baked beans/blood pudding/kippers for breakfast, almost inedible. If a savvy traveler were presented with "Salisbury Steak" as a primary choice for lunch, no doubt they might feed it to their dog . On top of that the buffet menu never changed, what was presented that first Saturday on arrival till you departed a week later was always what was presented. No variety and no change from day to day. -The food in the main dining room was comparable to what you might find in a Morrison's cafeteria in the states. Edible but certainly not of the caliber you'd expect. The choices each night for dinner were typically limited to 3 or 4 entrees and no standard entrees (read always available as an option on other boats) like a Caesar salad or salmon as a selection. -We could almost forgive the food if at least the coffee was drinkable in the morning. By day two on awakening my wife exclaimed "let's go get some dishwater", and that says it all. I guess we were supposed to drink tea. -Aside from the entertainment in the theater, the lounge music was of fair quality. Certainly not dancing music, marginally listenable. My take was that the musicians knew maybe 20 songs and repetitiveness was their trademark. -The lounges then alternated the mediocre music with trivia quiz shows and contests. Cheap to provide and not very entertaining. More importantly for a boat with 1300 passengers there were only two small lounges and so they were almost always cramped for space and overcrowded. - Information was apparently a valued commodity by Thomson and so was rarely dispensed to the passengers. We simply wanted to know things like what the weather might be at the next port stop or what the process and timing was for securing a tender ticket ( for Cannes). Not generally communicated and if requested at the Reception desk, not provided in a direct manner. -My hypothesis is that the staff ( 100% Philipino) were actually in charge of the ship. Maybe in this case not such a bad thing. If you've ever been in the Navy, there's a saying that the non-commissioned officers (petty officers in the U.S. Navy) run the boat. That was my impression here and then some. The Captain (the self designated "voice from above"--give me a break) and his staff all looked smart, in the few instances that you saw them acted like they were in command of the ship but I never had the impression that this was actually the case. On other boats I've been on I've seen, then met and interacted with the department heads, they were visible and had a recognizable presence on board and commanded the respect of the staff. In the case of Dream they were functionally invisible. -A plus for the Dream- the passengers were very pleasant and enjoyable company for 2 Yankees . In closing again the Dream experience is good but not superior and when measured against what you've experienced from others, is likely to fall short. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We arrived at birmingham airport to be told there was a problem with the plane and we would be delayed by 24 hours. We were left at the airport for most of the day with no updates until eventually being transferred to the airport hotel ... Read More
We arrived at birmingham airport to be told there was a problem with the plane and we would be delayed by 24 hours. We were left at the airport for most of the day with no updates until eventually being transferred to the airport hotel for the night, where we were given a revised itinerary. The following morning we were taken back to the airport to face a further delay because they hadn't put enough fuel in the plane to get us to our destination. We were taken to Curacao where we were again put into a hotel to await the arrival of the ship which had sailed from Barbados the previous day. 53 hours late we finally joined the cruise. The ship was a huge disappointment. The smell of wet carpets and sewage was very strong in most of the public areas. Our cabin was a little on the compact side,but comfortable and clean enough. We only tried the restaurant once - never again. The food was cold,almost inedible and took so long to arrive we gave up. The rest of the shortened trip we ate in the Lido - the food was OK but I had gone on a cruise - I expected to be served my meals not to have to serve myself. The days spent at sea were a nightmare. The ships maintenance crew found it necessary to carry out painting jobs during this time so all we could smell was paint fumes - still it did mask the wet carpet & sewage smells inside the ship. The old practice of sunbed hogging was in evidence, despite claims from the staff that it was not tolerated - oh yes it was big style! The entertainment was mediocre and tired. I and other passengers voiced our concerns to the staff who were plainly not interested. We were all presented with a cruise review questionnaire to complete but the manner of the staff gave the impression that any negative comments received would be discarded before reaching port. Considering the cost of this cruise and the special time of year it was held I was sadly disappointed. We didn't want to be in hotels,we expected to be having the cruise of our dreams but we didn't. None of the staff onboard ship could care less and I have received the same level of customer service from the after cruise team at Thomson.I will take a cruise again but NEVER with Thomson. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Thomson Dream July 2011 As First Time Cruisers, my husband and I were unsure what to expect of a cruise but we had a wonderful time and saw many interesting places. Embarkation was easy and well organised taking about 20 minutes ... Read More
Thomson Dream July 2011 As First Time Cruisers, my husband and I were unsure what to expect of a cruise but we had a wonderful time and saw many interesting places. Embarkation was easy and well organised taking about 20 minutes and then we were aboard and being shown our cabin - outside plus on Deck 6. This had been a free upgrade but we were very pleased with it and would pay to have this if required. Our rooms are important to us on holiday so tend to pay extra. Cabin This was large with a big picture window, large double bed, flat screen TV, fridge (big enough for our water and tonic, safe (we had to pay for this though ticket book said it was free - not worth arguing about though) and plenty of cupboards and drawers. There was also a settee, chair and coffee table. The bed was very comfortable and the cabin kept spotless by Arafin. The bathroom was bigger than expected and the shower better than our home shower! After leaving our hand luggage we were off to the Lido on Deck 9 for a celebratory glass of wine and lunch. We had been upgraded to AI that was brilliant and well used - tried out all the cocktails and more! I don't think I would have paid for it, as I doubt that our bill would have cost £398 for 2 people at the end. A tour of the ship followed to get our bearings although mine took a long time to remember! Finding the restaurants, bars and show lounge was fine - just kept losing the cabin - this became a huge joke with the OH! In Palma, the ship berths near the shopping centre Porto Pi so as suggested on the forum we stocked up on gin, tonic, water etc. at the large Carrefour. You can buy boxes of cigarettes at the nearby Tabac as the ship only sells packets. The on-board shop has competitive prices for alcohol etc. but is only open when at sea. Meals We breakfasted at either the Lido or Sirens - usually outside - and they have the usual breakfast food with a large choice. There is an omelette station on both where you can get freshly cooked omelettes and fried eggs. We found the tea was too cold (prefer it boiling) but we both liked the coffee from the machines. Lunch was sometimes ashore but normally again at the Lido or Sirens. I was not too keen on the selection although there was always enough. My OH felt the selection was very good. Chips and burgers are available outside at a special station. We always went to Orion at night for the waiter service 5 course meals (not too large) and they were delicious. Our waiter was Peter, assisted by Anthony, wine waiters Richard and Allan and they were all fantastic. Could not do enough for you - well done guys! We usually had a table for 2 but sometimes sat with others meeting some very interesting couples. Ship We were very impressed with the ship. It looked classy and was kept very clean - people were always cleaning and polishing. Not too difficult to find your way around (apart from me and the cabins). Deck 6 and Deck 4 were mostly used for gangways and hand gel was available whenever boarding and at all eating places. There were plenty bars, lounges and leisure facilities to keep passengers occupied and service always with a smile! Passengers We were surprised at the extensive age range having assumed most would be over 50. There were babies, children, teenagers, honeymooners, young adults in fact all ages were represented. Probably more over 50s than other age groups but it was like taking a hotel and launching it on the sea. We only saw 1 drunk man in 2 weeks - as mentioned in a previous review - but kept well away. I think he was Scottish but as he only made Neanderthal grunts it was difficult to tell! More an embarrassment to his companions than anyone else. Also mentioned before - an elderly lady fell going from the tender to the gangplank however accidents do happen everywhere and it is not always anyone's fault. The medical team were quickly summonsed. It was lovely to see and speak to Kruzseeka who came to our cabin to introduce herself. Thank you so much. It was very kind and now I can put a face to the posts! Crew The crew were all exceptionally polite and helpful and treated you as valued customers. Even the engineers greeted you if you encountered them in the corridors. The only person who was rude to me was the spa manager who is fortunate that I have not made a formal complaint about her. Arafin kept our cabin in tip top shape with a turn down service in the evening and chocolates on the pillow each night Brilliant! Loved the towel artwork too! The waiters in Orion were excellent and remarkable how they remember so many passengers' foibles! Entertainment There was always something happening and the daily newssheet delivered every evening kept you up to date. We never felt pressured to join in anything - pretty much up to the individuals. Lots of quiet places as well. The entertainers were very good and showed a lot of talent from the piano player in Delo Bar, duet in Argo Lounge to the resident band and the Thomson Show Team. We went to most of the shows and thoroughly enjoyed them. The OH also enjoyed the shows and he rarely watches anything like that so it is a huge compliment if he is impressed! Ports We decided to go on several Thomson tours to make the most of the places we visited. The tours were all very interesting and the guides knowledgeable. Some trips were very long - Rome 10 hours, Florence 10 hours, Pompeii and Vesuvius 7 1/5 hours, so it was tiring but we are really glad we did it this way as we now have the confidence to go it alone if we are there again. I loved Florence and the smaller ports Calvi and Rapallo stood out for their beauty. We had 2 port changes - Rapallo for Genoa, which was a bonus - no reason given, and Barcelona instead of Palamos because of the Mistral - a definite gain. We visited Barcelona twice in 2 weeks and went off on our own having been there before. This enabled us to see and do more than planned at our own pace! The other ports were Trapani, Ajaccio, Sete, Livorno, Naples, Calvi and Civitavecchia. Overall The cruise exceeded our expectations. We visited several interesting places. The ship was big enough, clean and comfortable and the crew were outstanding. The entertainment was enjoyable but not overpowering and the food plentiful and delicious. Thank you Thomson Dream for a great holiday! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Have just returned from a 2 week cruise in the Med and it was wonderful. From embarkation at Palma to disembarkation everything was so smooth. No waiting in long queues as we had on other cruises.Everyone was so helpful and nothing too ... Read More
Have just returned from a 2 week cruise in the Med and it was wonderful. From embarkation at Palma to disembarkation everything was so smooth. No waiting in long queues as we had on other cruises.Everyone was so helpful and nothing too much trouble.Once on the ship it remained the same. The service we received in the lounges, dining areas, in fact everywhere on the ship, was second to none. We were accompanied by our daughters, their husbands and 2 grandchildren. There was so much to keep everyone entertained all the time. They were first time cruisers and they now are already looking forward to the next cruise. It has spoilt their thoughts of staying in hotels etc. We think some people must have made deliberate studies to find all the faults even after being in dry dock. In fact we witnessed a woman making her entries on paper and she hadn't even boarded then.The ports of call were amazing also, just a pity not a couple of toilet stops on the coach trips to destination.Passengers from the first week (9th April) were lovely and very sociable. The second week all change. I don't believe it costs anything to say good morning to someone but only 2 couples did reply. We just kept being asked what we thought of the ship. We have been on quite a few cruises and told them we were happy with the Dream. They thought it very 3rd rate compared to others and I ask myself why they hadn't stayed with them if so good. At least you could get food after any show which I know on a very well known opulent and expensive company if you saw the show the restaurants were all closed at 9 so food was sent to your cabin. Who enjoys that I wonder. The moaners should stay with the cruise lines they go on so much about and not spoil other peoples holidays. The entertainment on board was excellent and lovely the way the performers interacted with the children especially when on board during the day. I think Thomson's entertainment must be amongst the best so carry on Thomson and keep delivering great holidays. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Embarked at Palma on 16.4.11 for a 2 week cruise on the Dream. We couldn't believe how hassle free the check in process was and before we knew it we were on board the ship. We had upgraded to the All Inclusive drinks package and ... Read More
Embarked at Palma on 16.4.11 for a 2 week cruise on the Dream. We couldn't believe how hassle free the check in process was and before we knew it we were on board the ship. We had upgraded to the All Inclusive drinks package and how pleased we were with the exceptional quantity and quality of drinks available. The staff were superb and we felt thoroughly welcome and relaxed throughout our stay. We used the Lido buffet restaurant for breakfast and lunch which was great - good choice of food and always a free table. We ate in the Orion restaurant for our evening meals which we felt was exceptional. On Captains Cocktail night both duck and lobster were menu choices and other nights there were always several quality options over 5 courses. We had an inside cabin on deck 5 and we were pleasantly suprised with how spacious and comfortable it was although it did get a little too hot at times - not sure the air con was working as it should. Housekeeping looked after us really well - calling in at least twice a day to remake the beds etc. The staff are excellent onboard - they try really hard to engage and make your stay enjoyable. The ship itself was immaculately clean and having read reports of it being shabby and smelling I can honestly say we seen no evidence of this and we were paying attention to detail. The entertainment team were excellent - different shows every night. We took 3 Thomson excursions and found them to be good value for money. Some people prefer to find their own way around as its cheaper but we enjoyed the convenience of being looked after. We visited Pisa, Port Grimuad / St Tropez and Pompeii - all were excellent. I fail to see how anyone could complain about a cruise on this ship - it was utterly fantastic and I am usually a harsh critic. One last thing - the captain is completely mad - his daily stories were just weird and his weather forecasts were dire - we grew to quite like him though. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Just returned from an excellent repositoning cruise on The Thomson Celebration. We cruised from Barcelona where the ship came back into service following a three week dry dock in Gibraltar where work was done on the engineering side rather ... Read More
Just returned from an excellent repositoning cruise on The Thomson Celebration. We cruised from Barcelona where the ship came back into service following a three week dry dock in Gibraltar where work was done on the engineering side rather than the fabric.Our itinerary was Barcelona, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina, Valletta, Agios Nickolaos, Alexandria, Port Said, Ashdod, Limassol.Everything was just as we would have wanted-Good Food, Good Weather, Good Friendships. A happy ship where nothing was too much trouble and everyone worked tremendously hard to give us a good holiday.Transfers were good, Trips were varied although whilst in Naples we would have liked an organised trip to Capri but nothing daunted we did it ourselves.Itinerary at times looked as if it might have to be changed due to current Middle -east/Arab country troubles but everything went ahead as planned. Jerusalem and Bethlehem trip was subject to Israel's extreme security but that was an experience in itself.This was our seventh Thomson Cruise and we certainly will be back. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
I have just returned from a one week Western Med cruise on the Thomson Dream. In the weeks leading up to our holiday I was on this site every other day looking for new and positive reviews and was pleased to see they were getting better ... Read More
I have just returned from a one week Western Med cruise on the Thomson Dream. In the weeks leading up to our holiday I was on this site every other day looking for new and positive reviews and was pleased to see they were getting better and better before we left as I had many sleepless nights worrying about taking my elderly mother on her first ever cruise. All my worry was needless! Embarkation was smooth and I was like a bloodhound the minute I stepped aboard.....not a whiff of anything unpleasant. We were shown to our cabin by a member of staff then greeted by our cabin steward for the week, Ceno, who looked after us very well and nothing was too much trouble. Our cabin was spacious, clean and very comfortable though I would have preferred a walk in shower, rather than the shower over the bath, which I understand some other cabins have. The ship communication is excellent with the 'Cruise News' on your pillow each night at turndown and excursion description and booking all very smooth. There is so much to do on a cruise that it is quite tiring so I feel that some half day afternoon excursions would be welcome and more relaxing rather then the morning ones and an early rise. The tour companies and guides used by Thomsons are excellent. Dining is good, not fantastic but flavoursome,plenty of it and the quality of meat was excellent. I agree that the wine waiters aren't too sparky. The Orion restaurant is a lovely area to eat, very pleasant. I cruised on another T ship and I recall that the food was excellent and the waiters very lively and cheery. The dining staff on the Dream were pleasant but I can't add the extra for them but I think they may have had a lot of moaners on board since Thomsons took over the Dream and quite a rough time so I allowed a little for this. We saw the show in the Atlante theatre every night, never missed it and every show was superb. The team work very hard and their show was of a consistently high standard (and the timing of their dance routines was amazingly perfect!!) There is always some activity on baord. We actually met people who never got off the ship all week, too much to do on board. We liked the excursions and loved coming back for a rest to our cabin. I never once saw a chipped glass and the melamine plates used on the deck restaurants are glemaing white and clean. For safety the plates etc have to be melamine on decks where there are pools, wet floor etc. The Dream does have stabilisers and were used on our sail to Naples in a thunderstorm. Slight movement but nothing to write home about and it rocked us to sleep! Disembarkation was smooth and all cruise ships ask that your luggage is out the night before (previous reviewer objected to this). We had a lovely time and the Dream will only get better and better under the helm of Thomson. Just now I would say it is 4 star. Simple things like quality of towels and bathrobes with holes in them bring down the standard. This was slightly disappointing for me as (in my opinion) these things can be fixed easily. I only smelled sewage once in port and on our last day as we docked in Palma I could smell diesel in our cabin but both very briefly and we were on a ship after all...... Photography options were excellent, lots taken and no offence at all if you didn't buy. I could write all night but would say if you fancy a trip on the white lady, go for it. The main thing with cruising is that you get to see and explore lots of different locations and for a very reasonable rate. Any questions get in touch! Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Me my husband and two teenagers aged 17/16yrs boarded the thomson dream in palma on 3rd august 2010,the nightmare begins.We arrived at the ship to be told we would not be sailing that night as the cold water tank needed replaced so ... Read More
Me my husband and two teenagers aged 17/16yrs boarded the thomson dream in palma on 3rd august 2010,the nightmare begins.We arrived at the ship to be told we would not be sailing that night as the cold water tank needed replaced so therefore we would be spending the next day in palma until the next night when we would sail at 9pm. We were told as a good will gesture we would be given £50 each onboard credit, an insult as im sure no one got this cruise for £50 per day plus we were missing out on our day in tunisia. We were about the last passengers to board and the ship was a nightmare. We paid extra for deck 7 and adjoining rooms, we got deck 7 but three rooms apart. We had to go straight for dinner and as our bags were not onboard yet this was abit uncomfortable in the clothes we travelled in all day so we could only use the self service restaurant which was abit like school dinners, everyone queuing. up with their plastic plates. The next day was no better, after breakfast we went to customer services to put credit on our ship cards and had to queue behind alot of people complaining about smell, damp cabins etc. Looked around ship to get our bearings map of ship laughable everyone completely confused had to trail around deck 9 cabins to find way to restaurant complete maze. Buckets everywere collecting water, smell horrendous. Not enough lifts for amount of people. Constantly saw workmens legs dangling from wholes in the ceilings doing repairs. All public areas in bad need of upgrading, shabby walls, carpet,furniture. Our cabins not to bad compared to what other people were saying. We had no hot water and had to take cold showers then the water was off completely we could only use the loo. POOL: areas were atrocious 2 pools were extremely small as for jacuzzis these were the size of baths and freezing situated right outside restaurant not pleasant when u having ur lunch to watch people scream trying to get in. Kids used these as kiddy pools and the noise and splashing made it an obsticle course to even get into the restaurant watched people slipping and falling all the time.The onboard activities during the day were atrocious. Our 17yr old couldnt even get the staff to organise football they couldnt be bothered organising the youth, the activities at the pool was rotten with bar staff trying to mix cocktails etc just making fools of themselves by dropping bottles,glasses etc.was glad to put in earphones to block this out. RESTAURANTS: waiter service on deck 4 nice but be prepared to queue, ala carte deck 11 joke £20 each extra for same service as deck 4. self service on deck 9 like school dinners lond queues and walkthrough for outside deck. menu hit and miss had spanish theme night with roast beef and yorkshire pudding?? DRINK: biggest joke yet, thank goodness we didnt pay for drink package. Prices like at home, when ordered mineral at least you got can, shorts not branded and most undrinkable, beer only good on first day or days when new passengers arrived then you were served flat and tasteless sloush passed as beer, my husband and other people were comstantly sending the pints of beer back even when my husband ordered bottled beer it tasted exactly the same as the flat rotten stuff, when he asked for the bottles not to be opened until in front of him the staff refused.I drank rose wine but from the 2nd day they served a clarit mixture and told me it was rose, undrinkable, when new passengers joined our ship at barcelona the good rose was served for a day haha. ENTERTAINMENT: brilliant at night in the theatre and bar. Staff worked there socks of. My 16yr old daughter found it very upsetting the night the staff performed very sad. PORTS: extremely poor, have been on numerous cruises and always loved the port stops but not with this ship, we were like the poor relatives every port seemed to be the cheapest they could get us into, even to say the france port was more like a naval port end barcelona a laugh, we were so far our it cost 20euro to even get out of the port area. Finally this whole setup is deplorable, we feel that thompson have taken over this ship fom costa when theyve finished with it and boy does it show. Passing this of as new addition to the thompson fleet before fully refurbishing it. Taking passengers on board charging good prices when obviously its not ready, using the cheapest ports well someone has to pay for the repairs and imminent overhaul asnd as you can see its the gullible passengers. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
The Thomson Dream - Well what can i say? To sum it up it was possibly one of the most horrific and sole destroying weeks of my life to date - and believe me this is no exaggeration. My cruise started on the 3rd of August 2010 with me, my ... Read More
The Thomson Dream - Well what can i say? To sum it up it was possibly one of the most horrific and sole destroying weeks of my life to date - and believe me this is no exaggeration. My cruise started on the 3rd of August 2010 with me, my mum and my 2 other siblings. Being first time cruisers who had been thinking of taking one for a while we were all very excited and really looking forward to our holiday aboard our promised 'five star luxury cruise liner'. We flew from London Gatwick to Palma (it says barcelona above as i couldnt find palma on the list) on the 3rd of August where we were expecting to disembark for Tunisia that evening. After a long and exhausting journey we got on the coach transfer from the airport to the ship and before we had even set eyes on the real thing we were told that already our plans had changed already. We were told that the ship had a 'cold water tank problem' and this meant that we were unable to leave palma for another 24 hours and that to make up for lost time we were going to have to miss out Tunisia. I was livid, as were all the other passengers and we were each given £50 complimentary ship credit to use as we wished to make up for it - in my opinion £50 compensation was nothing for missing a wholes day sailing when we had paid nearly £5500 for the 4 of us for the week! When i got off the bus i approached one of the thomson reps to who i admitted to that i had been on cruise critic and had read some awful reviews about sewage problems on the ship. The rep look straight in my eyes and told me that and i quote 'this ship has never had problems with sewage as far as i am aware' - Confused and bewildered i made my way to the gangway. We then were escorted onto the ship to our room - and this is when the fun really began to start. All i wanted to do after our journey was to collapse onto my bed and sleep - however this was made difficult by the fact that i opened my cabin door to a room swimming a foot deep in sewage water. To say i was gobsmacked doesnt even cut it - i was literally speachless. My mum rang the customer services and demanded that we were moved rooms to which our reply was 'the ship is full and we have no other rooms left'. The attentive staff brought in heaters which eventually after around 5 hours cleared the water (which to my shock i was told was fresh water - my nose told me otherwise!) and they believed that they had rectified the problem. The room still smelt- but it was bareable to i put down my guard for the evening and went to sleep. I woke up in the morning with a terrible headache and a stench that my nose just couldnt handle - i rang customer services and told them that they had to do something or i would walk and leave the ship for good. They arranged a whole new carpet to be layed in our room which i thought was pretty good of them and was not happy but satisfied with the outcome. After looking around the ship however in the 5 hours i was banished from my room whilst it was drained i was horrified. There was leakes coming from the ceilings left, right and center. The supposid 'brand new ship' decor was dated beyond believe ( i then found out after asking one of the honest members of staff that the ship is infact 30 years old and dated back to the 1980's and is only new to the thomson fleet). There was mould growing all over the carpets, every set of public toilets had atleast 1 out of order, when you then went to sit on the toilets they moved from under you! and you could see a botch job of shoving tissue to secure the toilet that was coming away from the floor! The pools were tiny, hardly any sunbeds, EVERY lounge had some sort of musician or band playing in - there was nowhere to escape to get some peace and quiet! The ship was dreadfully signposted - and the map was even worse (it took me almost half an hour to find my way from one side to the other - bearing in mind this ship is quite small) and to top it all off our 'unlimited drinks package' didnt include big brand spirits such as Smirnoff vodka that you had to pay extra for, even plain, no frills attached bottled water!!! We finally sailed to Naples where we were then told over the tannoy that there was a problem with the 'steam jet' thingy and that no hot water was availble. In all fairness this was rectified by the morning but the the following day it happened again and ALL of the water was turned off (literally no water running through the taps) and we were told we could ring customer services or help ourselves to free complimentary water during this period - however this was not the case as the 3 bottles my family used that night somehow crept onto our bill. Internet was also a joke - i had to send an email to my tutor at college and cost me bloody £4 for a measly 15 minutes of internet time which constantly cut out so i ended up paying £4 for about 7 mins total. The food was horrific - think school dinners crossed with upmarket dishes gone horribly wrong. I personally had a dodgy stomach all week and was constantly feeling sick with pains. The food was bland and tasteless and just horrific to the point that me and my fam ended up literally running off the ship at every port to go and eat as much as we could in the local places. The only good thing to come out of the experience were the staff. I cannot sing there praises enough! Absoloutley wonderful, full of life, inspiring people! Mostly who have travelled over from indonesia to work ( and no doubt bloody exploited by thomson) for little wages and huge amount of resposibility. One night the ship had a night in the theatre called 'The dreams got talent' which to my suprise contained staff from the bars and other areas of the ship as they sang and played there hearts out from guitar solos to dance routines! Absolutely amazing - almost brought a tear to my eye to think of these people being exploited for such little money to do undesirable jobs when underneath it all they all have so much talent that is hardly put to use! Anyways, when our ship finally sailed back to palma for us to get off i was pretty much running off the gangway. Never again will i EVER trust Thomson with a cruise, or any holiday for that matter - they have most definitely lost 4 customers for life now. Since returning home my stomach problems have worsened and my mum is even thinking of sueing them - i think the mixture of being made to sleep in a room with remains of sewage mixed with the discusting food has made me ill. From what other, and also very disappointed customers were saying who we spoke to on the ship, Royal Carribean and Celebrity Cruises seem the way forward if you are an avid cruiser! At the end of the day you cant put a price on luxery, and in my opinion it would be worth saving up a little bit extra and treating yourself to a better holiday! I honestly speak on behalf of my whole family when i say that we feel we have been exploited, scammed and taken for mugs by thomson. The dream is most defo to be avoided! You have been warned... Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
This was a first time cruise for us. Travel to and from Palma, where we picked the ship up, was very good, as was the embarkation. We were happy to eat and go straight ashore so we went to the Andromeda Restaurant. This is where very poor ... Read More
This was a first time cruise for us. Travel to and from Palma, where we picked the ship up, was very good, as was the embarkation. We were happy to eat and go straight ashore so we went to the Andromeda Restaurant. This is where very poor school dinner type food, bland, unadventurous and, at times disgusting meals are collected from a buffet on plastic plates which saw their best days years ago. The glasses are chipped and scuffed and the place had the air of a run down holiday camp dinning hall. In the evening we ate in the Orion Restaurant which was much better but still lacked a lot. The courses you ordered were placed in front of you imediately the course prior to it was finished. The place was busy and the queues got worse during the week so they processed you as quickly as possible. Sometimes you would be on the main course before you were able to order wine. Three times I had different consumme soups which were all very nice, which was unsurprising as they all tasted the same! I also had some sea bass which would have passed for sushi it was so under cooked. We once ate in the Sirens Restaurant which cost an extra £40 for better food, but not £40 worth better. It would only rate as a very mediocre restaurant ashore. The ship stank of sewage through out the voyage. On the first day our toilet wouldn't flush and an engineer was requested but never arrived. When I asked again they told me it was a problem in that part of the ship and was being addressed. It would have been nice to be told rather than wait for an engineer pointlessly. One night there was no water because of an ongoing problem and one day we couldn't shower or wash properly because the water in both the hot and cold taps was scalding. Also the air conditioning didn't work at all. The toilets in public areas were frequently not fixed to the deck. We also missed out on Tunisia because the port didn't have the facility to provide water and part of the ships water storage capability was not working. The day at sea was a nightmare. Loud music so I put my i-pod on only for the music on deck to get even louder, napkin folding demonstrations, cocktail demonstrations where the 'juggling' cocktail makers dropped more bottles than they caught and the flambe demonstration that didn't flambe, all described in minute detail by inarticulate, loud and 'enthusiatic' entertainment staff. No where inside or out was there a place where the noise levels dropped to a peaceful level except the cabin. Just to top it off, when you did return from a shore visit there were rarely any places to sit or lay out in the sun. One of my minibar sheets had been added to. I purchased a bottle of water marked the sheet and signed it to be collected by the steward. When it came to settle up a scotch, coke and Pringles had been added. This took two visits to customer services to sort out. I thought the first visit had done it and it was only because I checked the second, final bill properly I found the charge was still there. Once the cruise arrived in Palma it was as if the passengers no longer existed. Baggage was taken the night before so you were left with night clothes and washing stuff to pack in the shoreside store in the morning. Cabin had to be vacated by 08:00 and many of the public area toilets became 'out of order'. Five Star, three at very best. Best thing about the cruise - getting off, but even that wasn't very efficent as the ship was late into three ports and big queues built up to get off. One very good thing on board was the theatre. Good professional shows. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
We flew into Palma with trepidation after all the reports we had read about the Dream, but on seeing her from the coach our first impressions were how well she looked. We sailed through the checking in procedures (No pun intended) and were ... Read More
We flew into Palma with trepidation after all the reports we had read about the Dream, but on seeing her from the coach our first impressions were how well she looked. We sailed through the checking in procedures (No pun intended) and were shown our cabin. Like most other people entering the Dream for the first time we were sniffing up for any strange sewage smells and looking around for buckets catching drips of water, we never had needed to worry the air was normal not a bucket in sight and the carpets were slightly stained but dry. Our cabin was comfortable with plenty of space for our clothes, although it was a good job we took extra hangers for our clothes. If anything was a disappointment it was the bathroom, the furniture is quite old and in need of being updated, I wouldn't be surprised if this was the original fitted bathroom when the ship was built or extended. Firstly the negatives: - 1. We had a problem with the shower and of all nights it had to be Captains night, after a day at sea we were both hot sweaty and covered with suntan lotion, my wife tuned on the shower and tried to set the temperature but the water was scolding hot, both the hot and cold water taps were scolding hot. There was no way to have a shower with water at that temperature, we complained to customer services who said they would have the problem fixed as soon as possible. 2. On our last night the toilet would not flush. Again another talk with customer services, promised to have the problem fixed as soon as possible, about 15 min's later there as a lot of noise from the corridor and the ships engineers were working to fix the problem. Now for the cruise details: - Due to problems with a water production unit the itinerary was changed for our cruise instead of the first port of call being Villefranche it was Civitaveccia, to allow clean water to be taken onboard. We were due to visit Palamos Costa Brava Spain, but due to bad weather the Captain decided it would be too dangerous to dock there and changed the itinerary so that we would now dock in Barcelona, in my opinion a far superior city to visit. We always looked forward for the Captains little sailors tales, from his experiences since he first went to sea. Breakfasts we would go up to Sirens, the self service restaurant on deck 11, all the waiter staff were very attentive, removing finished plates and bring tea or coffee to your table and then topping up the drinks. We always took evening dinner in the Orion Restaurant deck 4, which was a wonderful experience with the waiter service and meeting new people every evening, plenty of time to discuss what we had seen and the different experiences we had all had throughout the day. On the whole the service was quite timely we only experienced large delays between courses on one evening. Being on AI whenever your wine glass was close to being empty the observant wine waiters would come and top your glass up again, this was great but you had to be attentive to how much wine you were actually drinking (Hic). The entire bar staff were fabulous welcoming you with smiles on their faces and prepared to have a chat on what type of day you have had. During the day the staffs could always be seen polishing the hand rails and generally cleaning the ship, while in port the outside of the ship was cleaned and painted. All the trips were organised to the usual Thomson standard, with excellent guides for the different cities. All in all we had a wonderful time and would not hesitate to have another cruise on the Dream. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
It was with some apprehension that we boarded the Thomson Dream on 10th August as, if some reviews were to be believed, we were about to spend a week on a floating cesspit, stinking of raw sewage and ready to sink as soon as it took to ... Read More
It was with some apprehension that we boarded the Thomson Dream on 10th August as, if some reviews were to be believed, we were about to spend a week on a floating cesspit, stinking of raw sewage and ready to sink as soon as it took to sea. However, we soon found that none of this was true and our week on the Dream was every bit as enjoyable as our other cruises with Thomson's. There are some negatives, however. For a start this is not a five star luxury liner and anybody thinking it might be may be in for a surprise; it is a typical Thomson's cruise ship built in the 1980s with a dEcor to match. There is a slight odour of drains (or boiled cabbage according to my wife) in some of the corridors and I did notice a couple of signs advising of wet carpets here and there. There is a slight list to the starboard side as well, but this is a ship and one has to expect some movement on board. These are all minor issues, however, and you'd have to be either very fussy or very petty to allow these to spoil you holiday. The food on board is generally excellent. The Orion restaurant is superb with waiter service and a good choice of meals that were always well presented. The waiters bend over backwards to ensure your mealtimes are enjoyable. There are two buffets on the ship: Andromeda and Sirens. The former is a bit of a bun fight and although the food is OK, the queues can be horrendous with people shovelling as much as they can on their plates before pushing through the crowds to find a seat. Sirens was smaller and better and converts to The Grill restaurant at night that carries a £20 surcharge. This seemed well used but as the food in the Orion is so good, I'm not sure what else you would be getting for your money. Drinks are reasonably priced and akin to those found in UK pubs. Cocktails at £3.70 were reasonable compared to many restaurants back home. Again, the waiter service is excellent The entertainment is a bit like Marmite - you either love it or you hate it. There is a theatre that puts on musical shows twice a night. Personally I would sooner jump overboard than watch these but my wife and daughter love them. There was also a guest comedian called Fogwell Flax who was totally unfunny in my opinion but the majority of the crowd laughed throughout the show. Other entertainment included quizzes, games, cabarets and demonstrations such as cocktail making and napkin folding. The latter were very good but could have done without the annoying commentary from the Thomson's rep. There was a good selection of ports of call. We stopped at Civitavecchia, Livorno, Genoa, Marseilles and Barcelona. Genoa was a replacement for Santa Margherita which, as a tender port, the Captain deemed unsafe to stop at due to the weather. I think few would disagree as we had torrential rain that day and I would not have liked climbing onto a tender boat in those seas! There were plenty of excursions to go on and whilst these are not cheap, there is no hard sell and plenty of advice for those wanting to explore by themselves. One thing that is novel is the guided cycle excursions that are available. We had a great, if tiring, day cycling around Marseilles. If you go to Barcelona, avoid Parc Guell; one of the most crowded and boring places I've ever visited. Apart from the couple of issues I've already mentioned the ship is kept spotless by the hard working and ever smiling housekeeping crew. Our cabin (on deck 5) was spacious and comfortable. The air conditioning wasn't working properly on day 1 but after a visit to Customer Services it was fixed within the hour. All in all, this was a good cruise and whilst I have no reason to doubt the reports of those who had a bad time on the Dream, it should be remembered that there are 1,500 passengers on board and it will be inevitable that some will encounter issues and these tend to be the ones who make most noise on internet forums and review sites. My advice is to make up your own minds. We did and certainly did not regret it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
After reading reviews about the Dream and at one stage trying to change to another cruise ( we were told by Thomson's that the issues had been sorted out) we were still wondering what to expect. We had a 6am flight on 17 Aug 2010 from ... Read More
After reading reviews about the Dream and at one stage trying to change to another cruise ( we were told by Thomson's that the issues had been sorted out) we were still wondering what to expect. We had a 6am flight on 17 Aug 2010 from Manchester arriving at Palma at 09-15 Our transfer was done quickly and on arriving at the port we were given a envelope and we identified our cases then boarded the ship .Our photo was taken and our card was scanned ( Which was our pass for everything on and off the ship and any thing that we purchased on the ship ), We were shown to our cabin by a nice young man. We had an inside cabin on deck 5 and I will say we found it small ( never had an inside one before ) but it was clean We do think that it needed a new mattress. Throughout the ship there was sometimes a smell which I think that Thomson's need to get sorted out but not enough to spoil our cruise Food We ate every night in the Orion for the the waiter Service .The food was well presented We had Gus and Vidi to look after us most of the time and they did a very good job of it. Sheba looked after us with drinks and also did an excellent job. The two formal nights ( 1 each week) were very good and it was nice to see everyone dressed up For breakfast we tried all three restaurants and found a very good choice in all of them. All in all food very good and you could eat 24hrs if you wanted to. We were going to try the grill but decided why pay £20 each when the food was so good in the Orion Entertainment There was always something going on and the entertainment staff really worked hard for us. There were theatre shows each night and on Saturday at 23.30 It was the turn of waiting on staff to put their show on - which was very good, The Medessa bar was large and this is where you find all "your join in" entertainment , Ocean Bar is smaller but some nice music. Delo was piano music .there is also a casino and disco. On the first night sailing we also had a party night on deck 11 On Shore Lots of trips at each port of call. We did Pompeii and Pisa and found the guides to be very good . The rest of the time we did our own thing. Staff The staff were first class they worked so hard and always had a smile and an hello . Northing seemed to much trouble . Thomson can be proud of them The Captain also tried to entertain us with little stories All Inclusive Drinks on board were around the same as UK prices. We took the all inclusive package and found value for money, We had an excellent choice of drinks including most premium brands. One or two drinks were not included like Baileys but they did give you a discount. e.g. normal price £3.30 all inclusive nominal charge £1.15. Nearly all cocktails were included and all draught beers but not bottled. Water you have to pay for. Also all coffees including Lattes, cappuccinos etc but not liqueur coffees. Air Conditioning This can be a bit fierce in a couple of bars so Ladies may want to take a wrap or a cardigan. To close with we really enjoyed our time on The Dream Yes they are still having some problems but not enough for it to have spoiled our cruise. To all those about to sail on the Dream - don't worry - some people must have had an awful time a few months ago but really that's no longer the case. A few small issues aside (which happen on any holiday anywhere) we had a brilliant time and we wish we were back there now. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
Myself and my wife booked a late deal on the Thomson Dream. We checked the cruise reviews online. Not always the best idea I know. In brief the reviews were awful, and perhaps slightly overboard, excuse the pun. We have cruised before ... Read More
Myself and my wife booked a late deal on the Thomson Dream. We checked the cruise reviews online. Not always the best idea I know. In brief the reviews were awful, and perhaps slightly overboard, excuse the pun. We have cruised before with Princes and NCL, both top quality cruise lines. We found the Dream an ok boat, yes, it is smaller than the previous ships we have been on, but as my wife keeps reminding me "size doesn't matter." Our cabin was again, ok. Although I personally found the shower quite small, lets just say if I had a cat small enough I would have swung it. We heard other guests saying their air con did not work, ours worked, however it wasn't great. We read the reports about the nasty pong that was circulating around the corridors, we did catch a bit of a whiff, it seemed to be more mid ship, so I would advise trying to get a cabin aft or stern (front or back in English) We found the staff friendly enough and the food in the main restaurant was 7 out of ten. Unfortunately the buffet restaurant was at best 5 out of ten. At the end of the day you get what you pay for, and a holiday is sometimes what you make of it. Was the Thomson Dream an absolute nightmare? No Was the Thomson Dream an absolute Dream? No Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Bearing in mind the severe criticism this ship had received from passengers on its first few cruises, we were extremely apprehensive about what was in store for us. Indeed we discussed our concerns with our local Thomson's travel ... Read More
Bearing in mind the severe criticism this ship had received from passengers on its first few cruises, we were extremely apprehensive about what was in store for us. Indeed we discussed our concerns with our local Thomson's travel agent and considered the possibility of changing cruises. It is with great pleasure that I can report that we have just returned from a super cruise on a very good ship. There are still some issues outstanding on the ship, but none of these materially interfered with our trip. While not doubting some of the criticisms made on early cruises, I suspect that some of them may well have been influenced by adverse weather, by inflexibility in allowing the ship a settling-in period and general "half-empty" attitudes. The key criticisms related to the plumbing and air conditioning. We were aware of some problems in other cabins, and our water was turned off for a couple of hours one late evening (we were advised that this would happen earlier in the day). Our cabin was kept at a perfectly cool temperature level, the water was hot and plentiful, we had a bath and the best power-shower I've have known on a ship or hotel. Our (outside) cabin was bigger than we have experienced on any previous cruise ships and the bed was extremely comfortable. There was criticism of the restaurants. The ship is unusual in that it has two buffet facilities for breakfast and lunch together with two grill/barbecue facilities on open deck. As a consequence there was minimal queuing and ample seating. The evening waiter service restaurant was comparable with all other ships we have experienced. The food everywhere was the usual high standard expected of cruise ships. All criticism of the standard of service and the friendliness of the cruise staff should be totally disregarded. I have not known a friendlier cruise. The entertainment, particularly at night was of the usual high Thomson quality. One of the reasons we choose Thomson cruises over lines is because of their entertainment staff. It was good to see that there is a whole new series of nightly shows and the theatre itself is infinitely better than other Thomson ships. What were our negatives? The ship needs a major refit to convert it from its old ownership (Costa I believe) to its new. At the moment it has ended up somewhere in the middle. Once this has been done, I feel sure that the Dream will be Thomson's most luxurious ship. The lifts are slow and can take no more that 5/6 people at a time (any more than this and they stop). There is a limited daytime activity programme. Events were organised (like football???) but were not taken seriously. Some of the trips were a bit chaotic and always very expensive. Paying £20+ per person to be taken shopping or to a beach is ridiculous. The Capri trip at £49 per person involves a lot of queuing and waiting as the island is too crowded. In summary, quite clearly the ship had problems in its early days with Thomsons, but every effort appears to be being made to overcome these problems and ensure that everyone has a most enjoyable holiday, as we have just had. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
We booked our cruise in advance looking forward to the new ship that Thomson has marketed as the flag ship the dream, this is where the dream stops ! the long wait at the port terminal as we sat on the coach as a party of 8 we where ... Read More
We booked our cruise in advance looking forward to the new ship that Thomson has marketed as the flag ship the dream, this is where the dream stops ! the long wait at the port terminal as we sat on the coach as a party of 8 we where informed that due to instruction by the police only one coach was allowed to embark at any one time we where in Que of 12 coaches, what a load of bull ! However when we eventually got on to the ship we where allocated our cabin we found this to a good size, however the air conditioning did not work along with tv, one socket did work and the shower was intermittent, the cabin staff where very good along with the other crew, we had booked the all inclusive drinks package paid for in October 2009, on the desk in our cabin was letter stating that due to the fact that thomson paid for their supplies in euro that the drinks would no be restricted and any others that was on the list would attract a supplement, we complained in writing to the customer service desk got no answer so complained again to be given a letter to say we would have to contact the head office, how easy could it be for them to recompense by giving some credit, However we will continue to pursue this situation, the food on this is not as good as we have had in the past on other ships, The plastic tray plate is like being in a 1970s transport cafe and not a cruise ship, the service staff are very good but the management could do better in getting information and instructions to the right people,The entertainment with the residents band on the week of the 27/04/10 was very poor and did not do any thing for the ship, and would drive you to Drink ! the week we where on I would rate the ship on Parr with a 3* resort hotel and certainly not a flag ship, To sum this up the ship was not fit to sail and they are trying to carry out improvements in the move when this should have been done before any thing else bad drainage smells and items requiring repaired,fitting new carpets etc etc Some areas of the ship look tired and need attention, Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
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