1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises)
  4. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises) Cruise Reviews
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
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
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: July 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: June 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 agent and ... 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: April 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 ... 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
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise