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5 Marella Cruises Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because of its interesting itinerary which proved to be so - the colour, congestion of Indian cities and the opulence of the Gulf States. The cabin (outside) was spacious, with a large window; well appointed with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its interesting itinerary which proved to be so - the colour, congestion of Indian cities and the opulence of the Gulf States. The cabin (outside) was spacious, with a large window; well appointed with plenty of storage; only issue was a shower curtain rather than a door. Service in cabin, bars and restaurant (we only used the 'Islands' ) was excellent, though the Deck bar service was often slow, mainly because under-staffed. Poor staff management. Food was variable - we only used the 'Islands' and Snack-Shack. The latter very limited and ran out of wine on two occasions. The 'Islands' had a good selection, though the carvery was disappointing, and on one occasion the chicken was raw (ie bloody) and the staff rude, requiring attention from senior staff. Our main complaint though is with the poor information provided both by TUI before the cruise and on board. This provided by Reception and Destinations desk was poor and often inaccurate regarding documents required ashore, particularly in India. The excursion arrangements were akso often poor requesting people to assemble in the Broadway lounge resulting in several hundred to go to the gangway, when in fact making announcements for people to go from cabins/ public lounges would have resulted in smaller queues. Basically the staff didn't know what they were doing. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Trusted Thomson..... Having been on approx 12 cruises under the Thomson flag, starting many years ago with the good old Topaz. Have sailed on other ships, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Cunard, but Thomsons have always come out on top for ... Read More
Trusted Thomson..... Having been on approx 12 cruises under the Thomson flag, starting many years ago with the good old Topaz. Have sailed on other ships, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Cunard, but Thomsons have always come out on top for value for money, food, entertainment, but most of all the friendliness of both staff and fellow passengers. Can't help but feel that Tui, Marella or whatever they are now branding themselves, have lost sight of their reputation and disappointed to have to say that although the ship was nice enough, the service and friendliness was nowhere near as good as other Thomson cruises. Staff seem tired and rushed, drinks and dinner service nowhere near as polished or as swift. The self service buffet, is a somewhat chaotic layout and really hard to find a table, disorganised, always running out of cups, plates and missed the presence of someone overseeing this busy operation. Wait time at the bars too long, with people queuing 4 deep, and real lack of table service in these areas that would have avoided the congestion at the bar. Some of the shows were very good, others toe curling. The outside main pool area, was heavily congested, smoking area inadequate for the number of smokers on board (read your passengers better!) hard to get a sunbed, the worst of this area, is the completely unnecessary volume of the large screen, was really uncomfortable, not helped by a few of the daily entertainment team being very loud and amateurish. We paid for and enjoyed a couple of the canape and bubbly sail always, unfortunately, this in the past was something that Thomsons made all passengers feel a part of in the past without trying to get that extra 'dollar' out of you, Officers were pleasant, but we really missed the old style of seeing the presence of officers mingling with passengers, that didn't cost you anything for the 'privilege' Shame, that the uniqueness of what made Thomsons so appealing and the sparkle and friendliness seems to have been forgotten. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This is our second time on the celebration and will probably be our last. Some of the areas on the ship are looking very tired whilst other areas have been refurbished. I think moving the theatre to its current position was a bad move. The ... Read More
This is our second time on the celebration and will probably be our last. Some of the areas on the ship are looking very tired whilst other areas have been refurbished. I think moving the theatre to its current position was a bad move. The poor entertainers have to practise whilst guests are walking through. The all inclusive package is not all its meant to be . I like a glass of red wine yet I seemed to always get mine in a glass which is no bigger than a sherry glass. To upgrade to the premium package; we were told that both myself and my wife would both have to upgrade because both occupants of the cabin have to upgrade at the same time. Absolutely ludicrous because my wife was happy on her package. So that meant I had to persevere on my sherry glass of the house red which was very mediocre or pay the surcharge to upgrade so I could have a better quality and bigger glass of wine. I have to say that the majority of staff on the ship are excellent. Especially Julie and Rory in the Lido bar and all the staff in Hemmingways. I must also mention our cabin steward Adi who did a really good job of looking after us. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We had a lovely week in Montego Bay in the Riu palace, would defiantly give that a 5 star rating. We were advised by Thomson rep to stay at hotel first as we would be disappointed with hotel after the cruise, this I might add was ... Read More
We had a lovely week in Montego Bay in the Riu palace, would defiantly give that a 5 star rating. We were advised by Thomson rep to stay at hotel first as we would be disappointed with hotel after the cruise, this I might add was completely the opposite. We arrived at the Thomson Dream, first appearances, OK a bit tired, cabin was quite nice, no complaints there. The food during the day, somewhat poor 3 star cafeteria, the staff Wore dreary washed out Hawaiian shirts with personalities to match. We bought all inclusive drinks package, which a total rip off as the spirits they used were awful so we ended adding another 1.20 on to the bill for a decent drink, in the long run more expense The main dining room the service was pore but the food not so bad, nearly always cold though. The entertainment was really first class there was something for everyone to enjoy. Most people on the cruise were friendly. The theatre was quite nice. Carpets in corridors a bit grubby. Best was when we were told to leave our cases outside our cabin Monday night and we would pick them up in Manchester Wednesday morning, being women on our own we always worry about hauling heavy suitcases around. We got home ok. Opened our cases to find that someone had already been in them and stolen the duty free cigarettes we had bought for the family, informed Thomson, told to contact insurance company. Advise by suitcase with combination lock for cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
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
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