1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises)
  4. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises) Cruise Reviews
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
decided to spend Christmas away last year, 1st time ever, chose Marella cruise as was convenient to fly from Birmingham, all inclusive including tips and very english. Haoliday was great ship was full and very busy. Couldnt fault the ship ... Read More
decided to spend Christmas away last year, 1st time ever, chose Marella cruise as was convenient to fly from Birmingham, all inclusive including tips and very english. Haoliday was great ship was full and very busy. Couldnt fault the ship and entertainment great. Now the moans- the cruise director Adam was never to be seen in the day only evenings and on prevoius Marella cruises the director was about all the time. The music around the pools was very very loud and always on, no peace st all.The indoor pool lovely and was adults only at certain times but no one to check and children in there a lot. You couldnt get a swim in the outdoor pool as the children took over. There was no shampoo body lotion etc in the cabins and we had a balcony cabin. Far too many foreign staff that didnt understand english, but all very obliging. The man that gave the talks from the spa waffled on and on and after one and half hrs there was still no solutions to any of the talks. He talked on diet, liver problems swollen ankles and many more but was no wiser when he had finnished. Evening meal in the resturants people were going in in tee shirts and shorts not dressed smartly and no one corrected them. Overall we had a lovely time but would not travel over holiday time. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Retirement present for self and Husband. Never been on a cruise before, went with another couple who were seasoned at cruising. Staff on ship friendly, but lack of contact communication from Thompson reps, seemed to walk past the ... Read More
Retirement present for self and Husband. Never been on a cruise before, went with another couple who were seasoned at cruising. Staff on ship friendly, but lack of contact communication from Thompson reps, seemed to walk past the passengers without any communication. Cabin staff worked very hard, and keen to please, our. Cabin was on the outside, but spoiled by air conditioner and engine noise, and vibration at all times Fantastic food, available at any time Great not to have to worry about cash as all inclusive, but this lead to abuse of alcohol especially with youngsters. Great New Year Party organised. Despite an adults only pool, children were often the occupier of this facility. The ship did look dated and tired, but not too big which made getting about easy. Trips, especially the 4 x 4 into the mountains was a complete waste of money, -driver couldn't speak any English, and the entire journey was in silence, photo stop on way back for electric pylon!!- what is that about??- should have complained but just glad to get back to ship.Sight seeing trip in Dubai was also a disaster due to fog- in realty saw absolutely nothing- pity there was no provision when the trip organisers knew the weather was against what the aim was. Unsure if I would cruise again-didn't float my boat! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Party of four left on 19 December for 7 day cruise aroiund Arabian Cost, visiting Dubai, Qatar, Abu Dhadi, Oman. This sis a noisy boneshaker of a ship. We had to change cabins as the engine noise kept us awake all night, the heavy ... Read More
Party of four left on 19 December for 7 day cruise aroiund Arabian Cost, visiting Dubai, Qatar, Abu Dhadi, Oman. This sis a noisy boneshaker of a ship. We had to change cabins as the engine noise kept us awake all night, the heavy vibrations didnt help either. bWe finished up in a small cabin down in the bilges, but at least it was quiet. Meals in the Meridian Restaurant were small portions, and not very good. One meal my Beef Wellington was red raw and my wife's was overcooked. Most evenings we had our meal then went to the buffet restaurant for a top up. Itinery for Xmas Day was changed and we visited a Village with no shops, no beach, no places to visit. We all immediately returned on the bus to the ship. Xmas day entertrainment was a silly sketch related stint lasting about 30 minutes. Xmas dinner was no different to any other night. The day befor our return we started to get sore throats and chests. All four of us have had to have medical treatment and have been really poorly for over a week. A lot of passengers were feeling the same. This ship needs retiring, it is years past its best. Will never use Thomson againb. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We wanted to escape the Xmas madness in the UK and treated ourselves to a Xmas and new year cruise to get some sun. We have had two previous summer cruises so were looking forward to trying a winter one. We had a fantastic time. Staff as ... Read More
We wanted to escape the Xmas madness in the UK and treated ourselves to a Xmas and new year cruise to get some sun. We have had two previous summer cruises so were looking forward to trying a winter one. We had a fantastic time. Staff as always were exceptional, though we agree that service was a little slow at times. Entertainment was extremely high quality and we always found a seat (on popular nights like the formal nights you just have to get there in good time). Food was varied, tasty and always hot. We had an inside cabin which we thought was bigger than others we have had. The Horizon bar was lovely to get away from the busier areas of the ship and enjoy lovely views. There were a lot of people complaining and moaning constantly throughout the cruise and most of the time we could see no genuine reason for it - I guess some people like to moan! My teenagers were shocked by it - and that's saying something! Sunshine on most days and a comfortable 'home' to come back to - what more could we want? Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
This was our third cruise on the Celebration this year and since April we have seen a decline . We did voice our concerns in August but was informed by Thomson Customer Service that they were sorry they did not meet our expectations but ... Read More
This was our third cruise on the Celebration this year and since April we have seen a decline . We did voice our concerns in August but was informed by Thomson Customer Service that they were sorry they did not meet our expectations but had for the majority ! So we went for our first Christmas & New Year cruise with the hopes and expectations that all would be perfect, not so, how wrong were we. Drinks service on board is really poor a wait of at least 45 mins to get an order in and maybe an other 15 mins to get the drinks. Not by any means the staff's fault , they are just not enough. All our previous cruises with Thompson up to 2013, staff had sections, they had time to talk to you, your drinks were topped up , you didn't spend time you have to be relaxing looking for bar staff !! We bought the drinks package and we have lost out badly, we just could not get served even when going to bar yourself you had to wait ages. The drinks package just keeps adding concessions , and now you have the lovely new coffee shop which replaces Explorers and that is not included in the drinks package, although they did reduce hot drinks for you. This still makes Hemmingways crowded from those who may have sat in explorers now go in here , so there is lack of seats and of course bar service a major struggle as they look after the casino too. If it wasn't for the fantastic casino staff you would never get a drink while playing ! One of the biggest disappointments was we were expecting a WOW factor on arrival, big company , big brand , was expecting big decorations. So not the case, was truly lacking and Horrizons had none at all !No Christmas shows just repeats from what they have done throughout the year, same quizes, same jokes! same play. No build up to Christmas or New Year from Cruise Director Gavin, if a announcement was made by him it was geared around selling something! You were constantly hassled to buy wine packages, wine taster evening's , pictures (of which 1 night they had 5 areas on board they set up to grab you ), We sailed Christmas Eve but docked Christmas Day when all shops were closed ? No fireworks New Years Eve as we were sailing ! They even hassled you to buy champagne for New Year , no offense the price we paid I was expecting it to be free ! No little touches for Christmas, mince pies in cabins? mulled wine ? just a repeated CD playing same Christmas tunes. Even the Cruise News was the same , could it not have come with Christmas Colours ? They did do Santa for little ones. Food was cold, repeated and you could see the servings of certain foods in the Lido was reused on another seating. Food was the same as what was served in August, except Christmas and New Years Day.The Lido is now no longer 24hr dining and closes at 1am, which although I can see opening all the time is silly I do feel it should close when all the entertainment is closed. On New Year Eve it still closed at 1am although people were still on the Lido deck drinking and dancing! We had a feeling there was norovirus on board as they switched to serving us, drinks menu's were taken in. When I asked why drinks menu's were taken in I was informed it was due to passing on any germs, I sort of understood that , but the menu's for drinks and snacks you had to buy in full were still out ? If you got a large straw with a drink the tip of the paper cover was on but if you had a smaller straw it didn't ? This was to stop spread but did not make sense why one and not the other. Everything now on board seams geared around extracting as much money as possible from you. You no longer feel important to Thomson, we made a written complaint and left it with reception, we were not contacted by anyone to say they would look into it or that they had received it! Nothing from the cruise director!. Constant vibration throughout the ship even in dock! Basically we paid for a Christmas cruise and we actually got a very poor normal cruise. Certainly not standards you would expect from Thomson. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We went on the Celebration for Christmas and the New Year and after a fantastic time on the Majesty last year we had high expectations for a great time this year. After promoting the ship as a 'Platinum' ship we were expecting ... Read More
We went on the Celebration for Christmas and the New Year and after a fantastic time on the Majesty last year we had high expectations for a great time this year. After promoting the ship as a 'Platinum' ship we were expecting the standards to be high but they were appauling. The food was cold and repetative and in most cased tasteless. We were constantly bombarded by photographers and there were 4 formal evenings instead of two but we were not informed before the cruise. Several people had not packed for the additional evenings. The set dining was a shambles. There was absolutely no reason for everyone to be at the dining room for 8.15pm on Christmas Day or New Year's Eve. Many people were still waiting for a table after 9.30pm. It also put pressure on the waiting and galley staff. What should have been a special New Year's Eve was a bit of a flop. The entertainment staff at the back of the ship with some poppers was not exactly high end entertainment for New Year's Eve. Many people could not understand why Madeira was not on the itinerary with it's world renown firework display. Probably more cut backs by Thomson. The staff tried their best but service was poor in some areas and on one occasion we walked out of the Horizon bar after waiting 30 minutes for a drink. The coffee shop has a charge even if you are on 'all inclusive' and there are cabins instead of the cinema which make the ship busier.There was a serious lack of space when everyone was on board. The food finished at 1pm although you could order room service at an additonal charge yet again. On the second week my husband contracted Noro Virus and we were confined to our cabin for 48 hours. Many passengers and staff contracted the infection causing more problems with staff shortages. Although staff were seen to be wiping tables and mopping floors we never saw them actually rinse the cloths in hot soapy water and the mops were filthy. The ladies' toilets outside the coffee shop and Horizons bar were a disgrace in the evening. When I reported this to the reception I was told house keeping had been informed but 3 hours later nothing had been done to clean them or unblock the toilets. The waitresses in Hemmingways did try their best and the standard of service delivered by Manny and Jasper in the Meridian restaurant saved out holiday. Apollo our cabin steward worked hard and kept our cabin spotless. We have always had fantastic holidays with Thomson Cruises but if this is the future of their 'Platinum' fleet we will not be chosing them in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
I know some people thought this cruise was fine and have even re-booked for next year but for the life of me I cannot understand why. I don't go on holiday to pick fault but I have nothing good to say about the Celebration. Our ... Read More
I know some people thought this cruise was fine and have even re-booked for next year but for the life of me I cannot understand why. I don't go on holiday to pick fault but I have nothing good to say about the Celebration. Our problems started way before we even embarked - with the awful customer service we received from the call centres (having booked on line). It took well over half an hour just to make a payment, they then gave us the wrong telephone number to book excurisions and in the end we had to call into one of the Thompson shops where they confirmed that the call centre service was a matter of some concern to customers. However that said we were looking forward to our week's cruise to the Canary Islands and Madiera. The ship is old and no amount of refit is going to change the lack of space and facilities. The food was pretty awful. cold, repeditive and recycled. There was an outbreak of novo virus (we spoke to two ladies who were confined to their cabin for 2 days). The staff for the most part, were friendly although terribly overworked. Service in the bars was slow and on no account would you get value for money if you had paid for the drinks package (we got our included as we had booked early). We had to ask for milk for the complimentary tea/coffee and had to request pool towels which should have been in our cabin and we never got replacement toiletries. Entertainment was abismal ranging from a song and dance group who could neither sing or dance to Butlins style games. We spent one day at sea and the next day was Christmas Day when we docked and everything was closed on shore. It would have been much better if we could have had 2 days in Madiera but I feel everything was cost cutting so it was cheaper to have the ship at sea. They have formal nights (we had 2 although nothing in the booking advised that there was one extra one as it is usually one per week I think) but the great majority of people did not conform to 'black tie' and there were many men very casually dressed so if Thompson aren't going to enforce formal dressing on these occasions I would suggest they drop this as this cruise is pitched , in my opinion, at the low end of the market and I would be hard pressed to give it a 3 star rating. I was going to book the Dream for next Christmas but I am going back to P & O. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We flew from Manchester and arrived in Barbados at around 3pm BB time. The journey to the ship took about 30-40 min and there we had to wait for over an hour to check in Now for Thomson's Holiday Money Extraction.. On checking in a ... Read More
We flew from Manchester and arrived in Barbados at around 3pm BB time. The journey to the ship took about 30-40 min and there we had to wait for over an hour to check in Now for Thomson's Holiday Money Extraction.. On checking in a fee of £25 for the safe? There is a charge if you want steak at Dinner £9.95 or £13.95 for steak under the stars £19.95 for the Grill. You could then pay £9.50 a night to reserve the best seats in the house, for the show? Also now the all night buffet is no more, it shuts from 1am - 6am. The AI is now a rip off as so many drinks have smallish charges against them. The John Smiths was undrinkable and bottled beers were £2 extra which they ran out of after a few days. They also ran out of Guinness another good money spinner for Thomson's if you are a beer drinker. Not to worry though as Bar waiters were few and far between with 30min wait the norm for a drink. The food as also gone down bank ( This is our 12th Thomson Cruise ). The variety and service was very poor in the Orion and the house wine undrinkable... £1.40 for a glass of good wine on top of AI. I will say that Thomson still know how to do a Full English! Christmas Day was a big let down If they were Carlsberg they would know how to do the worst Christmas.... No festivities on deck all day and the evening diner.. We queued up for 45mins to get into the dining room and we finished dinner at 10.45pm. Christmas dinner was 2 slices of turkey.2 tiny potatoes 2 brussel sprouts and the pig in blanket was a 1 inch piece of tined hot sausage with a slither of wafer ham??? We have been on the Dream 3 times before and had pre booked our cabin ,so knew what to expect and all was fine. Did the drill and then went down for dinner in the Orion where it was packed? Did not do the sail away party as we were to knackered! Went for Breakfast the next morning and up to Sirens Deck for a day at sea, with plenty of sun beds up to 9.30 and never seemed a problem throughout the 2 week cruise. It is the staff that are Thomson's asset on there Cruises and always smiling. They are now working twice as hard and it's not there fault for the poor service as there are a lot less of them trying to do twice as much. The shows are nothing like they use to be with Thomson's.. Very young team which at times showed and 2 days a week only one show a night and a 15min session on the open deck party and one a comedian a week. The must see is the crew talent show ( 45mins ), it knocks spots off the show team. The first week was Bonaire, Aruba ,Curacao and Grenada ,an excellent first weeks as all the ports were in the town. We only did one tour and that was in Grenada $15 for a tour up into the rain forest (6 of us so comfy 3hrs). I would recommend this as there in nothing in the town. The second week the 1st stop was a bit of a disaster Mayru a tender stop. The tenders were ready at around 9.30,we waited until 10.30 and was greeted by 400 more trying to get off. We were told that the wait was in excess of 1 hour and to wait in the lounges. We waited on deck and 30 mins later they postponed them due to high seas. They then opened up the tenders to able bodied people only, we returned to the tender disembarkation at around 12.30... 300+ in the queue and very hostile. The next day was a sea day Christmas?? St Vincent was a lovely stop and was glad to get off as we had 2 days on board ( see above ). We did a nice tour for $20 in St Kitts ( berthed 3 mile out of town ). Then on to St Lucia where we berthed in the old dock so did the beach for the day. The flight out and return were fairly comfortable, on time and we were well looked after. Conclusion There Are Far Far Better Cruises with better value for money than Thomson's now..... We use to really love them but now they are scrapping the barrel! Thomson please look at your product and why ho why call it Platinum? Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We have been on many Thomson cruises, but think this will be our last. Firstly, the food has deteriotated badly, the only meal we really enjoyed was the breakfast in the Orion restaurant. The evening meal was poor, very poor quality meat ... Read More
We have been on many Thomson cruises, but think this will be our last. Firstly, the food has deteriotated badly, the only meal we really enjoyed was the breakfast in the Orion restaurant. The evening meal was poor, very poor quality meat (mostly pork), and slow service. We tried the Lido on a few occasions, but the same boring buffet everynight, with pork (again) Xmas Eve was quite pleasant, and we enjoyed the carol service, but Xmas Day was a big letdown, nothing at all festive and The Gala Dinner was far from anything special. The entertainment is very childish, as others have said, the same things on deck every day. Silly game shows on a night (Mr &Mrs, etc). The entertainers in the Broadway Show Lounge are enthusiastic, but that's about all you can say, a very young team who prance around thinking they can sing (most of them look like they should still be in school). We were on The Dream in June2013, a more mature team, but the exact same shows. Some of the chairs in the various lounges were on the verge of collapse, a lot of penny pinching going on. The highlight of the cruise was the many friendly people we met and the wonderful ports of call, we did all the tours and beaches ourselves sharing taxis with others. To sum it up, Thomson need to up their game, a lot of cutbacks and it shows. We love cruising but won't be back on Thomsons. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We flew from Manchester on the Dreamliner, nice plane. We arrived at Barbados and transferred directly to the ship, easy check in in the “shed” We had booked an inside cabin on deck 5, same cabin that we were in in September so no ... Read More
We flew from Manchester on the Dreamliner, nice plane. We arrived at Barbados and transferred directly to the ship, easy check in in the “shed” We had booked an inside cabin on deck 5, same cabin that we were in in September so no surprises there. The Good. The itinerary, 12 ports in 14 days. Long days in port. Most days arrived before breakfast and left as it was going dark. The bar staff, we were on the drinks package and got to know the bar staff well. They are very friendly and good at their jobs. The Grill, we ate here twice as it was so good the first time we went back on the second week, 8 course meal! The Bad. The food in the Orion was average on most nights. On New Years Eve on the gala dinner I had Steak Rossini and it was so well done it could have been used as shoe leather. Service was slow on most nights and there weren’t enough wine waiters for the amount of people. On the last night one of the options on the menu was Cornish Pasty! The Entertainment We had seen most of the shows before as this was our 3rd cruise in the year. These were the worst performed of the 3. The dancing was good and the close harmonies were ok but there wasn’t any good lead singers. Most nights the show lounge was half empty and people were walking out. The only time the show lounge was full was for the comedian and for the crew show which was superb. I would be very reluctant to book another Christmas Cruise with Thomson as they are happy to charge premium for Christmas but there is no value for money.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We sailed on 14th December from Barbados. The ports were great. We especially liked the Dutch ports. They seemed a lot cleaner and the beaches etc. were well laid out. Having Dutch relatives and being able to eat Dutch food while we were ... Read More
We sailed on 14th December from Barbados. The ports were great. We especially liked the Dutch ports. They seemed a lot cleaner and the beaches etc. were well laid out. Having Dutch relatives and being able to eat Dutch food while we were ashore was great. We did tours ourselves which we booked before we went. In Bonaire we used Bonaire Vista which was good. In Curacao we used Irie Tours which was also good. Bernards was the tour we used in St Maarten. Cosol Tours in St Lucia. They were all great and good value for money. No problems with booking by email. Everything went like clockwork. We had a cabin on deck 7 midships which was very quite and not far to go as all the entertainment was on deck 8. We would have liked to have been on board Christmas Day but we were at sea. The itinerary was different from the brochure. We especially liked Mayreu Island which was Christmas Eve. The island has no shops or hotels. There are only 200 people on there. The crew went ashore at 5.30 in the morning to get the bar and barbeque ready and then majority went ashore by tender. It was all well arranged. Steel band and sunbeds and decorations on the palm trees made it special. Even when we left the island there were crew members with white flannels to freshen up. An excellent touch I thought. We were All Inclusive and we usually do go AI but we are beginning to think it is not good value for money. The house wine was disgusting and I was reluctant to pay a supplement when we had already paid £199 per week. If we ordered a bottle of wine (not house wine) they knocked us a measly £2 off. The wine waiters in the restaurant were very thin on the ground. I asked a waiter if they were short staffed and he said they weren't. One night we were 2 and a half hours getting our meal and the wine waiter only came to the table once. Very disappointing. Service in the Ocean Bar was slow, especially when the deck fest was on. Entertainment was good, but disappointed when Killer Queen was repeated in the second week. Man in the Mirror was fantastic but they only did one sitting so you had to be in there early to get a seat. Having been on the Dream before we were very disappointed with the Ocean Bar. In April the band was Elegant Touch and they played allsorts to suit all tastes. Passengers were up dancing every night and great atmosphere but this time the first week was dead. The Duo playing in there were very good but the first week they tended to sing songs that weren't very familiar. We like a bit of ballroom dancing and in the cruise news it was stated that there was ballroom dancing in the Waters Edge between 6 and 7. The first night we went and there was only one couple there. The music was piped and not one member of staff on even to get a drink. How do they expect to create an atmosphere like that. The couple who were in were very disappointed as like us they had been taking lessons and were keen to try their dancing out. We said we would go down the next night and when we turned up another family were there and nobody had even bothered to put the piped music on. The second week in the Ocean Bar livened up a bit. The Duo seemed to change they style of music. I did have a word with the Cruise Director about my point of view and he said that we were comparing this cruise against the transatlantic cruise we did in April. He said you get different clientele on a 14 day cruise. Can't see the difference myself. The food was excellent. The staff were all great, but I felt that they had just had a crew change and they had not settled in properly. They all work really hard and always have a smile on their face even early in a morning when they have probably been working till late the night before. We really enjoyed the cruise and met some very nice passengers. We have done Thomson Cruises on numerous occasions but we only got a 20% discount card for the al a carte restaurant. Some passengers got a bottle of wine in their cabin. Maybe we don't qualify! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
I have cruised many times before and previously with thomsons, we booked this Xmas cruise basically because it was affordable with it being Xmas , quite frankly it would have been cheaper and better if we had gone with one of the leading ... Read More
I have cruised many times before and previously with thomsons, we booked this Xmas cruise basically because it was affordable with it being Xmas , quite frankly it would have been cheaper and better if we had gone with one of the leading cruise lines. We were charged for a safe. Never have I known this on a cruise ship. The buffet dining was rediculous, I know Brits are very good at queuing but long lines of queues because the buffet is so disorganised, same queue for the hot and cold food instead of separating them, so that people who just want salad etc are not having to wait in long lines. The entertainment was less than mediocre, same band on all the time , so if you hadn't had enough of them all day, they were on again every night as well. We paid £800 for the drinks package which was a rip off, having to pay extra if you wanted a decent rum, in the Caribbean for gods sake. The ship sold bottles of spirits on board which they stated you couldn't drink on board but everyone was taking them into the lounges to drink, how annoying when you have paid all that money and quite frankly were treated like 2 nd class because you couldn't have a can of soft drink, and I was told that I couldn't have two ports in one glass???? Cheaper to buy the bottles on ship £6.90 and buy cans of mixers, could have had a cheap holiday for the price of the drinks package They now also charge for you to have a decent seat in the theatre £ 9.99 ridiculous !!!! Xmas day was a farce, no entertainment, no celebrations, didn't get .xmas dinner till 9.30 at night and waited 2 hours till desert which we gave up on. Definitely go with princess or p& o next time. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
I recently have returned from a 14 day. Xmas cruise on the Thompson Dream How disappointed we were. After reading some of the reviews I can only highlight what has already been written.. We were hoping for a Dream Holiday we have been on ... Read More
I recently have returned from a 14 day. Xmas cruise on the Thompson Dream How disappointed we were. After reading some of the reviews I can only highlight what has already been written.. We were hoping for a Dream Holiday we have been on many cruises but never had the experiences we had on this ship. The room we were allocated was a single room with 2 children's beds in we are 60 years young they told us they were unable to move us until the second week.. we were offered another room on day 8 that was smaller so we stayed put the food was unacceptable both in the Restaurant and in the Lido buffet we complained on many occasions but was told it would get better !!!!! It never did Christmas Night we queued for over an hour and left the table at 10.45 still wating for our dessert. The Christmas dinner consisted of 2 slices of Turkey 2 carrots 2small potatoes 2green beans, they were more interested in selling their Wine than serving at the tables There was no christmas Celebrations going on whatsoever during the day The Evenning Entertainment Was good but No way as good as I've seen on other Thompson Cruises apart from the shows there was very limited Entertainment we were in bed by 10.30 the ship looked very tired and in need of a complete refurbishment . I would like to know how this ship has been graded with a Thompson Platium Award !!!!!!! I would not recommend this cruise it cost us a lot of money and we both feel very cheated. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
Itinerary: - Treasures of the Mediterranean/Highlights of the Mediterranean. (Back to Back). Embarkation:- Well organised. Long walk at Palma airport to baggage claim. Then long walk to coaches. Plenty of Reps to show the way. Check in ... Read More
Itinerary: - Treasures of the Mediterranean/Highlights of the Mediterranean. (Back to Back). Embarkation:- Well organised. Long walk at Palma airport to baggage claim. Then long walk to coaches. Plenty of Reps to show the way. Check in and registration procedure well organised. You're asked if you want a safe then. Saves you going to Reception on the ship when you board. Sail away party: - Strum Jam and the entertainment team gave us a great send off Ship:- We thought the bars and entertainment all being on the one deck, 8, wasn't good. If you sat near the doors in say the Argo Lounge wanting a bit of peace and quiet you are bombarded with the entertainment from the adjacent lounge. Listening to Luke in the Delo competing with the sound blasting out of the disco next door isn't conducive to a relaxing evening. Sorry Thomson but Deck 8 is like "Sauchiehall Street on a Saturday night." It just doesn't work. Listening to Baros in the Argo Lounge with the entertainment from the Medussa one side and the sound of the towel driers in the nearby toilets is, again, not what we would call a relaxing time. Never went near the pools or Jacuzzis. Not our idea of healthy fun. Cabin:- Decent size. Not enough drawer space for 2 weeks. Bedside drawers hard to open. In fact all the drawers were showing their age. Wasn't enough hangers in the wardrobe. A simple request to one of the Stewards for 10 more was all it took. They appeared within 10 minutes. Our Steward, Sri, introduced herself. Cases hadn't arrived so we went for lunch. When we returned they were in the cabin. Later the first evening 10 more hangers appeared. Clean and in very good condition. Bigger than our cabin on the Spirit. Bit of vibration, just like being back on the Spirit. For all first time cruisers, remember that the walls between the cabins are thin. So if you have a loud voice or a "big gob" next door will hear every word and that includes "rumpy pumpy". Outside Plus cabins could benefit from the removal of the single seat and putting more drawers in its place. We spoke to a family who had booked a Suite on deck 7, and obviously paid a lot of money for the experience. They were extremely disappointed. The noise from the adjacent air conditioning plant was apparently horrendous. They confirmed other occupants of adjacent suites all experienced the same noise. Not good. Be warned. Towel Sculptures: - Not every night. Some couples we spoke to didn't get any. Would appear to be inconsistent service which seems strange when they are trying to sell you books on towel sculptures. If you don't get one the book means nothing. We mentioned it to Craig, the Thomson Manager on board and the next day we had 2. Staff: - being on for 2 weeks the staff get to know you personally. Special mentions go to Bar waitresses Evangeline, Monika and Tin Tin for making us feel like friends. Also Rachel from the Casino who persuaded us to try the Casino Lottery quite a few times. Bathroom:- Clean and tidy. Not "well worn" as reported in a lot of other reviews. Apart from a small section of sealant in the corner of the bath it was all in good condition. One issue was the position of the toilet in relation to the bath. If you have long legs you have to sit "side saddle". Gala Night - Captain's table courtesy of our "Blessing at Sea". Great night, Blessing at Sea: - Won't spoil it for anyone thinking of booking one except to say that it was a brilliant day that we had when we were in Palamos. Joanne, the Social Hostess, was brilliant making sure everything was "just right" Captain Roy carried out his duties like the consummate professional he is. Lots of photographs and a video was shot, all optional. Day at Sea: - Towels on sunbeds still prevalent. Complained to Cruise Director. He had announced it over the tannoy earlier but still the "inconsiderate many" thought they still had the right to ignore the rules. "Numpties". Brahms said he would inform the bar managers to police it. My Wife was ready to throw towels over the side. You've got to police it better Thomson or come up with a fairer system for those who just want an hour in the sun instead of pandering to the "beached wales" who think they have the God given right to monopolize the beds. Staff:- Once again Thomson cruise staff excelled although not as friendly as the Spirit. Food: - Basic but good. Gala Night was better. Restaurants: - Orion:- Good for breakfast, lunch and dinner if you don't want the queuing you do in the Lido and Sirens. Lido: - Apart from the first afternoon and the few midnight snacks we never used it. The layout is all wrong. Sirens: - Good layout. Would recommend for your buffet style lunches. Argo Lounge: - Afternoon tea with canapEs between 3.30 and 5.00pm is nice. You can get scones and canapEs in Sirens as well but Argo was quieter and more..British. Never tried "Steak under the Stars". Tried "The Grill" one evening. They section off a corner of Sirens and turn it into a nice place to eat. We tried the "Asian Fusion" menu..really good. Noro- Virus - Never heard a mention of it during our 2 weeks on board. I don't think I witnessed anyone not using the "Sanitisers". People were even using them as they left the restaurants. Good old Hot Water and Soap is the best prevention for Noro Virus. Toilets - All public toilets were spotless the time we were on board. They have hourly inspections. Lots of "Closed for Cleaning" signs throughout the day. Photographs - No Thomson presentation folders, like when we were on the Spirit, when you purchase your "treasured memories". Disappointing. Blessing At Sea - Not really "at sea", more "in the port on the water." Absolutely brilliant day. Captain's table for the Gala Night. Brilliant evening. Captain Roy was a great host. VIP seats for the show afterwards. Shows: - Apart from the little blond guy the girls were stronger singers than the boys. Once again the Can Can which finished the "Dance, Dance, Dance Show" left you breathless just watching. Catch the Crew Show on Thursday night. Really good entertainment. Once again Thomson entertainment was up to its usual high standard. The guys and girls don't half work their socks off. Brams, the Cruise Director and.............. his Assistant, were excellent as well. We saw Strum Jam in the Horizons Bar on the Spirit a couple of years ago and they were excellent in that intimate setting. In our opinion they don't do themselves any favours in the venues on the Dream. The Sirens Pool and the Medussa Lounge resembled Butlins, at times. . Shame really. Luke, the piano player in the Delo Bar was very good. The couple in the Ocean Bar were good. The classical brothers in the Argo Lounge were pretty good. Orion Restaurant: - On the first night of the 2nd week we complained to the Maitre De regarding shorts and t shirts being allowed into the restaurant. He said it was to do with some passenger's luggage being late. He assured us that it would improve. Night after the Gala Night T shirts, jeans and cropped shorts were still being allowed in. Look if you can't make an effort then don't bother turning up.. Following nights were graced by guys wearing "cropped shorts" and tee shirts. It should be enforced One night on our 2nd week I found something in the Madras Lamb Curry that shouldn't have been there. Called the Maitre De over and within 10 minutes the main Sous Chef was at our table extremely apologetic. Next day on our return to our cabin we had a complimentary plate of Petit Fours with a note from the Chef....... nice touch, totally unexpected. Ports:- Trapani - you can do the Cable Car up to Erice on your own. You can get a local bus, the cable car and a free pastry from a little shop which is quite hard to find but delicious if you do, all for 18 Euros each. Tickets available when you walk through the small terminal building. Sorrento: - we did Herculaneum, which if you have seen Pompeii, is worth a visit just for the contrasting fates that befell those poor people. Cittavechia: - we did the Coleseum trip which got us fast tracked into both the Coleseum and the Forum. Lot of walking involved but recommended. Calvi: - We weren't there that long. Nice walk up to the Citadel. Here we saw our first rain of the Cruise. After we left port the weather worsened to the point where we went through a Force 11 "violent storm" overnight. Never heard a ship creak and groan so much. Next day Captain Roy explained that the Bay of Lyon was renowned for its weather. Palamos: - the beach is within walking distance and a swim in the sea was a relaxing change. Had to be back on board early for our Blessing. Palma:- Waved goodbye to everyone leaving as we prepared ourselves for our 2nd week. Walked off the ship and jumped on the number 1 bus, destined for the Airport, which took us along to the Cathedral. 1.50 each way. Easy, cheap day. Ajaccio: - pleasant town to do your own thing but remember to set your watches forward on the day at sea as one passenger was late and the ship sailed without him. We watched his poor wife /partner getting off with an overnight bag to wait for him as we sailed away. Found out later that he assumed the wrong departure time. He had to fly to Milan then Cittavechia to rejoin the ship at lunchtime the next day. Cittavechia: - Didn't go to Rome this week. Went into Cittavechia. Nice shops and beach area within a short walk from the Shuttle Bus drop off point. Livorno: - did the all-day Florence and Pisa trip. Tiring but saw a lot. Toulon: - a recommended "on your own" trip is the local bus up to the cable car up the mountain. Get your tickets from the Tourist Office near the port.. 6 Euros each return. Great value and great views. Barcelona: - Got on the Metro outside the port and went to Park Guell. 9.8 Euros for 10 journeys. Get one ticket and use it for 5 journeys for the 2 of you. Got Metro back to Cataluyna, walked back down Las Rambles with a bit of Tapas on the way. Easy to do on your own. Departure: - Typical Thomson well organized departure. Can't fault it. Had a really good time. The A.I. worked out extremely well in our favour. (Would have been between £1600 and £1700 without it). First time cruisers will not be disappointed. Thomsons know how to give you a great time. Would we come on the Dream again....... we don't think so. The layout of the ship doesn't do it for us, sorry Thomson. Previous cruisers we spoke to all agreed with us. Our next cruise will be with our old friend, the Spirit (subject to itinerary) or we're thinking of trying one of the other lines, possibly P&O. Sorry Dream, maybe our expectations were too high, but we were expecting something better from the "flagship" of the company.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
My wife & our boys aged 12 years & 9 years were on the Thomson Celebration Cruise during this Christmas in 2 nos. outside cabins on B deck. The cabins were comfortable with adequate space to store cloths etc. The food was ... Read More
My wife & our boys aged 12 years & 9 years were on the Thomson Celebration Cruise during this Christmas in 2 nos. outside cabins on B deck. The cabins were comfortable with adequate space to store cloths etc. The food was acceptable in the buffet restaurant but could have been hotter. A microwave would sort this problem out. The crew were both friendly & helpful. The first port of call was Aqaba in Jordan. Thomson supplied a free shuttle bus to the centre of the town which was worth a walk around. Thomson were running a tour to Petra which they would charge my family £404.00. We arranged our own taxi & including the cost of entry tickets. Total cost £140.00, a saving of 65%. The next port was Sokhna in Egypt. This port is a commercial one in the middle of nowhere surrounded only by factories. There is no town. Initially, we walked to find a taxi to take us to the Pyramids but were thwarted by the Port Authorities as they were not happy with Thomson passengers walking in their port. The Thomson representative tried to get us to return to the ship but when we refused found us a taxi. We assume that the Port Authorities complained to Thomsons which forced them to find us a taxi. We would have booked the Thomson Tour to the Pyramids if it had been reasonably priced, our cost including tickets was £150.00. Thomson were charging £320.00, a saving of 53%. If the passengers did not want to take the Thomson Tour they were kept captive on the ship, just like another day at sea. The final port before returning to Sharm El Sheikh was Safaga, another commercial port with a cement factory at the quay side. When we arrived it was windy with cement dust blowing towards the ship which is a health hazard. The town is quite run down & not really worth a visit. We easily found a taxi to take us to the Valley Of The Kings which cost £160.00 including entry tickets. The Thomson cost for my family was £344.00 our saving 53%. Thomson tours are grossly overpriced. I think that they are exploiting a captive market. A week before the cruise set sail date Thomson informed us that the Sports Deck was closed due to upgrading the ship. Having 2 nos. boys that are keen on football & basketball this was not good news as it was difficult to keep the children occupied during the day at sea. As we only booked this cruise a month before the cruise would start, we consider it was deceitful of Thomsons to not tell us about the deck closure at the time of booking. we complained to Thomsons who so far have ignored us. Finally, Thomson want to organise their airport departure procedures better. All their buses from the cruise & hotels arrive at the airport at the same time. This leads to massive unnecessary queues. All their planes were taking-off at short intervals which meant there were not enough buses at Sharm El Sheikh Airport to ferry passengers to the planes & when the planes were ready to take-off they were having to queue to leave. Our plane was 50 minutes late taking-off. This problem could easily be overcome by staggering the times that the buses arrive at the airport & leaving longer periods between flight take-offs. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
Joined Thomson Celebration on 20th December 2012 for Red Sea Magic Christmas Cruise. Transfers from Sharm El Sheikh airport to port went smoothly and boarding process was straight forward. We had sailed on the ship before , normally on ... Read More
Joined Thomson Celebration on 20th December 2012 for Red Sea Magic Christmas Cruise. Transfers from Sharm El Sheikh airport to port went smoothly and boarding process was straight forward. We had sailed on the ship before , normally on deck 3 or 4, however, on this occasion we had upgraded to Deck 7. Stateroom slightly larger with bath and shower but otherwise no different from Deck 3 / 4 and would probably not upgrade again. Stateroom was clean and functional, stateroom attendant service was minimal. Food was to the usual high standard but sometimes warm with no evidence of food temperatures being checked at banmari in LIDO restaurant. Drinking water barrels were not on site and had been replaced with bottled water on request by the glass. We missed the water barrel and being able to top up our water bottle. Water from hot water urn for tea had strange taste and we never had a good cup of tea all week. Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks were ordered via waiter in any part of the ship. Waiting time to order and to receive drinks ordered certainly felt longer than any other time we have been on board, and sometimes it was difficult to catch a waiter to place your order. Ships staff generally helpful and friendly. Itinerary was limited to industrial ports where you could not disembark and just walk around. You always required to disembark as part of a rather expensive organised trip. Travel times to trip destinations, i.e. Caira, Petra, etc. were 2-3 hours making a day trip 10-12 hours. We spent six days on the ship looking at cranes, trains and industrial containers often with clouds of sand/cement billowing around. This did not stop us from taking full advantage of the ships facilities and we did eat, drink and were merry and relaxed, until we tried to find a sunbed. We would travel on The Celebration again but would not follow this itinerary again. Given that Thomson knew the limitations the itinerary ports offered, the number of passengers on board, and the number of passengers who would be off ship on trips, as well as the fact the weather in the region lent itself to sunbathing, we have to ask why were there so few sunbeds? Despite written and verbal communication from Thomson on being a courteous passenger and not reserving sunbeds, etc. inevitably selfish people did, causing ill feeling, frayed tempers and embarrassment as passengers could not even find a plastic chair to sit on never mind a sunbed. The one trip we went on was, as always with Thomson, well organised and enjoyable. Entertainment was very good, varied and well timed spread out over the two main entertainment areas. Thomson's might think on enforcing their "requests" such as no-one over 18 in the casino and no reserving on sunbeds rather than just lending lip service to this. Would have been good to have a child free area on the ship. Although the casino had signs to say that no-one under 18 should be in the bar, there were always children in that area. Similarly the Horizons Bar would have been a suitable spot for adults only drinks. Unfortunately another example of Thomson requesting parents take responsibility for their children and not enforcing their request as "groups" of youths and children roamed and ran unchecked and without any parental supervision. All in all an enjoyable Christmas on board The Celebration. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
My husband and I decided to splash the cash and have a Christmas to remember but this was one I would happily forget. Having previously sailed on the Thomson Destiny we were expecting the same high standards, however our experience on ... Read More
My husband and I decided to splash the cash and have a Christmas to remember but this was one I would happily forget. Having previously sailed on the Thomson Destiny we were expecting the same high standards, however our experience on the Thomson Dream was so upsetting we are considering never cruising with Thomson again. The food in general was the standard of school dinners. The self service restaurant was staff served for the first half of the holiday until people complained about the small portions (on one occasion I asked for more and felt like "Oliver"). There were 1700 guests on board split into 2 sittings for Christmas Day. We opted for 2nd sitting following the Captain's cocktail party. The Captain's cocktail party was a joke. We were taken to the main show lounge and given 1 glass of wine (no canapes ). After listening for what seemed an eternity to a violinist on stage we (850 guests) were shepherded to the dining room for dinner but it wasn't open. We queued on the stairs to get in for 40 minutes and the queue was escorted round and round the restaurant trying to find available seats. People were squashed in wherever there was a gap and after were eventually seated then came the big wait for food. Getting a drink was difficult, getting food impossible. I was expecting a nice sparkling wine with my Christmas meal but it was the usual white, pink or red table wine but to be honest any drink would do. I ordered Waldorf salad and got 3 pieces of apple and half a walnut on lettuce. We saw our main course delivered to the service station but no-one brought it over. My (cold) turkey dinner consisted of turkey and stuffing -- ok, 1 rosette of mashed sweet potato, 3 frozen sprouts, 1 piece of carrot and 1 piece swede. Other people had Christmas crackers but we had none. We asked many times for crackers but were just given excuses. I eventually went to get my own. We paid £200 each for 1 week's drink package and were so angry when we found out that we had to buy a bottle of drinking water for our room. I don't like rola cola but real cola had a supplement of .95p per can as did Sprite and Fanta. We were also miffed to find that once on board there were drink offers such as buy one get one free on cocktails and we could have saved a fortune by buying our drinks onboard. All in all we felt ripped off. The entertainment team was adequate but certainly not the standard we had seen previously on the Destiny. A comedian was brought onboard for one of the evenings but his 30 year old jokes were offensive and not pc in today's society. I also felt deeply embarrassed by his attempts at crooning. The holiday was a disaster even before we left Manchester. Our booking documentation stated that we had to go to the Thomson cruise desk to have our bags sealed before checking in but when we arrived there was no cruise desk. We were told to go to the normal check in desk and a Thomson rep was frantically running up and down the queue sealing baggage and distributing labels. The Thomson rep was holding up the checkin staff who were waiting with empty desks whilst she was messing around with bags. It took us 70 minutes to get through checkin and because of this delay we were unable to take full advantage of the Servisair Lounge we had paid extra for. All in all a very disappointing holiday. Thank you Thomson for spoiling our Christmas. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
This was our 13th cruise and was booked within the last 3 months. We normally travel with Princess and had never even considered Thomson, I suppose if honest, had made the assumption that it would be comparable to Butlins-on-Sea. How ... Read More
This was our 13th cruise and was booked within the last 3 months. We normally travel with Princess and had never even considered Thomson, I suppose if honest, had made the assumption that it would be comparable to Butlins-on-Sea. How wrong we were! We had returned from a Princess Med cruise in September and subsequently booked this to fit in with the New Year break. Having already cruised this area before we thought we would just remain on the ship, read, take in the sunshine and chill out. Since we normally choose a balcony and there being non on the Celebration, we managed to secure the last remaining suite. Check in at the airport was smooth and very efficient, the Thomson staff being so helpful this started the trip off well. Great flight only marred by the awful food which you were able to purchase, drinks seemed to be dearer than usual on flights as well. Good transfer to the ship and something we have never come across before, on boarding the ship you are personally escorted to your cabin. This is so appreciated because it takes a bit of time to work out where your cabin is in relation to where you board even if you've been on the ship previously. The suite was much larger than we imagined, very clean and tidy. Supposedly if you are in Premier Class (confirmed on your luggage labels) your luggage gets delivered first. Don't think I agree with this, it was about 2 hours which is quicker than Princess but hey its a relatively small ship in contrast. Our room steward made an appearance after about an hour and a half, pointed out the obvious things, where the air-con was, safe, tv etc. then left. Didn't really see much of him after that for the whole cruise, apart from him entering the room without so much as a knock when hubbie was on the loo, and no "Please make up the room" sign on the door. Very disappointed to find a towel sculpture secreted in the cupboard all ready for display, unfortunately this poor dog must have been created many months ago because it was filthy. We also found an abandoned sock down the settee, and a consistently empty ice bucket, but that is all we could find to fault as regards the room. As room stewards go we'd give ours 6 out of 10, normally we leave a thank you card containing £50, we didn't feel ours warranted this gift, first time ever we've done so. Food experience, well you won't go hungry but it is not the 5* dining experience that we have come to expect, however the friendliness of all staff and fellow passengers by far makes up for it. The shows laid on by the entertainment singers and dancers have to be the best we have ever seen, we normally give them a miss, especially on Princess as the shows leave a lot to be desired. Young team, great voices, enthusiasm and well choreographed. We paid for the drinks package but to be honest I don't think we even managed to drink our money's worth and we can certainly put a few away. Drinks are well priced with spirits 60% larger measure than normal, Gin and tonic £3.70, only Heineken and John Smiths but £3.50 so not bad for a cruise. The ports of Safaga and Port Sokhna are just that, ports and industrial at that. No shuttles to anywhere so if you want to get off, you need to do an organised tour, not a problem for us but be warned. Shuttle (free) available at Aqaba but it doesn't drop you off in the best place, quite a walk back to shopping area. Weather was a bit hit and miss, 3 and half days of sunshine, strong breeze, 3 and half days of overcast cold weather. Very poor tv reception throughout the trip, shops only open on about 2 occasions, take some books or entertainment for the daytime if not touring. Now for the absolutely best bit, departing. Yes you do have to leave your room at 9am but you can extend till 3ish for £30, we didn't bother. However your cruise card still works up until an hour before you get off the ship,the entertainment, food and drink still carries on, Thomson do remember you are still on holiday - take note Princess! Princess chuck you out of your room at 8, you gather in the dining room complete with chipboard tables after all cloths have been removed, and there you sit in silence and wait. As far as they are concerned you now don't exist and you've nothing to do, or eat/drink, until your coach comes to dump you at the airport with up to 8 hours (yes) before your flight, you can't even check in. Would we go with Thomson again, yes, we booked the Baltic Capitals whilst on board, saved £500. No tipping or 15% added to drinks prices either. Would we go back on Princess, probably not, even though we are Platinum members and have a future cruise deposit lodged with them. We were really pleasantly surprised and met some lovely people, great camaraderie all round and a wonderful start to the New Year. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
We paid for the premium seating on the plane and were rather disappointed by the size of the seats. The leg room was fine, but the seat width was supposed to be larger than the other compartment, if it was I pity the other passengers. The ... Read More
We paid for the premium seating on the plane and were rather disappointed by the size of the seats. The leg room was fine, but the seat width was supposed to be larger than the other compartment, if it was I pity the other passengers. The service, however, was excellent. As DH was travelling in a wheelchair and I'm disabled too I was dreading the arrival in Barbados and trying to clamber into a coach. We were asked to remain behind and then lifted off and escorted to a waiting taxi. On arrival at the ship we zoomed through all the check-in procedures because of the wheelchair and were soon in summer clothes sipping a cocktail in the sunshine. Our cabin, deck 7 inside was close to the lifts and very convenient for most places we visited regularly, there was never any noise day or night and although the cabin was small (we had to store a wheelchair and a walker in there too), it was clean and adequate for sleeping, showering and changing. I wouldn't hesitate to pick these cabins again, 7134 and 7136. The bed was large and comfortable and the shower was superb, never a shortage of boiling hot water or pressure, it was much better than our shower at home. The provided shower gel was rather thin, but ok and the shampoo was fine. The tap water was drinkable, but not good after standing for a few minutes. We were told our suitcases could take up to 3 hours to arrive at the cabins and mine did! First evening we dressed for dinner had a cocktail in Oceans bar and went to eat in the Orion restaurant. Thankfully I'd been warned on Cruise Critic that portions were small, that was an understatement and my kids were not impressed! We continued to dine here every evening, so DH and I were satisfied, but the kids left us after a couple of days, only to return to eat with us on formal evenings. The call of all you can eat, when you want it was too strong in comparison to what my son called wait thirty minutes for one Dorito! We were cared for by Lito, Iqbal and Lito the wine waiter each night, they were delightful and I hope to meet them again one day. Breakfast and most lunches we ate in the Lido, again the staff were really helpful, especially when they saw us struggling with our trays. I'm afraid the food didn't always appeal to me, the bacon was stewed/broiled and I only ate it once, but DH tucked in every day. The cooking method seemed to apply to most meat and at times I found it nauseating, but I didn't complain to them so I shouldn't complain to you! I was surprised as well that there wasn't more fish on the menu. DH (who will eat most things) thought the food overall was excellent, I thought it was rather "institutional" and gorged myself on the plethora of fresh fruit that was always available. After dinner on the first night we retired to the Oceans bar where we were entertained by barmen Lorenzo and Florens, as creatures of habit we returned here each evening. It wasn't long before my mojito and DH's pint were waiting for us when we sat down. We had the AI which we paid full price for and still I wouldn't hesitate to pay for it again. The bar staff everywhere were excellent, nothing was too much trouble. Any drink we wanted, even cider that wasn't available in every bar was soon at your table, a waiter or waitress having been dispatched to another bar to get the drink we required. We only visited the theatre on two occasions, Motown and the Crew show, both times the entertainment was excellent. My son went several times and overall he said it was good, but both he and my daughter were very disappointed with the comedians, this seemed to echo what we heard from others. The female singer in the Medusa bar, we were told was a must to avoid and having heard her when we were going up to deck 8 from the restaurant I understood why! DH sang on the Karaoke in the Medusa bar and some people we'd never seen before said he'd been by far the best singer they had heard in there, including all the professionals! The trio in the Oceans Bar were excellent and the bar was packed each night. The violinist in the Argo lounge sounded good and well received by the audience. Stephen Guy was always around and listened to any complaints or comments, but we and a lot of people we spoke to didn't care for his understudy (so memorable I forget his name!) He told a tasteless joke about a waiter in the Crew show and most people we spoke to afterwards were unimpressed. We went on some of Thomson's excursions, some from Cruising Excursions and did some things alone. We found all the excursions good value for money, but the kids were rather disappointed when their zip slide trip in Costa Rica was cancelled because of lack of numbers. My daughter, Rachel, fell as our catamaran pulled in at the end of our trip in Jamaica, the Thomson rep on board organised a wheelchair back to the ship and an emergency visit to the doctor. The doctor was excellent and quickly reassured her. We had to visit him several more times and he came to her cabin on a few occasions to check on her progress, he was helpful and kind despite his rather austere Eastern European accent. The day after her fall we were at sea so the following day he sent us to the local hospital in La Romana (Dominican Republic). We were accompanied by a Thomson rep, which was good I thought, however, she didn't speak a word of Spanish, so it's a good job I do! Rachel was given a plaster cast up to her knee and told to take it easy for a few weeks, because of this we didn't go on any more excursions. The usual problem with reserved sunbeds reared its ugly head and Stephen Guy issued a warning once over the PA, but nothing was done about it except by individuals. I'd heard that the captain was quite a wit and enthralled the passengers each day with his humorous stories, but I heard nothing at all other than the expected weather and travel details for the day. The public rooms were always clean and tidy and the Ladies' toilets were always being cleaned and never lacked paper, soap or towels. Almost anything we could have forgotten to bring was available on board, but the prices were very expensive. The duty free was well stocked, but unfortunately DH didn't get my subtle hints until a necklace I fancied had gone! The staff were all excellent in every area and rarely would any of them pass without a cheerful greeting. Disembarking was not as well organised as embarkation. As we came off the ship a mini-bus that was waiting for disabled passengers had been commandeered by anyone who didn't fancy the walk to the buses, however when we arrived at the airport everything was much better organised. Overall we had a fantastic time, the kids and DH had never been on a cruise before, but they have now got the bug and are already planning our next trip. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Dream to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
Just got back from our Xmas Getaway on the Thomson Dream. Having previously sailed on the Dream last year we thought, yeah lets give it another go. Following a comfortable trouble free First Choice flight from Gatwick to Bridgetown ... Read More
Just got back from our Xmas Getaway on the Thomson Dream. Having previously sailed on the Dream last year we thought, yeah lets give it another go. Following a comfortable trouble free First Choice flight from Gatwick to Bridgetown Barbados we arrived at the port. Went through a trouble free checking in process and was escorted to our pre booked inside cabin on deck 7 fwd. The cabin was as expected and was spotlessly clean. On our previous cruise on the Dream we had an outside cabin and these are much more spacious then the inside cabins. The cabin was very warm and it was clear the air conditioning wasn't working correctly. We had exactly the same problem on our previous cruise so i called reception and a logged a request to have it checked out. Heard nothing for 24hrs and it was unbearable at night. Called reception again and requested a fan for the room which we received within the hour. We kept the fan running 24/7 throughout the 14days as the air conditioning problem was not resolved. The air conditioning problem was inherent throughout the ship especially in the restaurant and in the theatre. The restaurant has open dining on non formal nights and we felt all they wanted was to get you in and out as quickly as possible making no effort to pair you up with other couples. To our dismay we dined alone the majority of the time even though made repeated request to share a table.The food was plentiful but basic with little variety. Chicken and beef was the main ingredient to most of the dishes. We didn't see a prawn for the whole two weeks and the deserts were very bland. There is know doubt they have cut back on quality. We cruised on the Thompson Spirit in October and had far better choice of menu. Since October the cost of drinks on board has increased by more then 20% with a pint of larger now costing £3.50, a spirit £3.70 and a can of coke £1.70. The shows in the main theatre were excellent with a different show for the the 14 nights. The cast where incredibly talented and had so much energy and enthusiasm. Sadly the ship hasn't undergone a refit and lounges were tatty and well worn. The public toilets were clean throughout and worked !. There were a few smells on certain decks but nothing like there was on our previous cruise on the Dream. To sum it up, would i go back on the Dream ? NO !. Thompson portray the Dream to be the best in their fleet and rate it 4*. Well all i can say is stick the the 3* Spirit, Celebration and Destiny Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
We went on the Christmas Getaway sailing from Barbados. This was not a cheap option, but we chose it due to the excellent itinerary. The Thomson Dream is not as bad as I expected, but the holiday was let down by a number of factors, this ... Read More
We went on the Christmas Getaway sailing from Barbados. This was not a cheap option, but we chose it due to the excellent itinerary. The Thomson Dream is not as bad as I expected, but the holiday was let down by a number of factors, this was mainly the quality of the food, service and entertainment. The good points first, the ports of call were fantastic and we arrived on tome every day and were not diverted or abandoned any ports. The check in process was fairly smooth and efficient, although we were delayed so I think this may well be why we did not experience any delays in checking in. The cabin was of a good size and clean and comfortable. The bathroom was pleasant and toiletries provided. The breakfast in Sirens was always well presented and hot as was lunch and afternoon tea. The bad points, the entertainment was appalling, the main lounge had a group called French Melt, they were out of tune and the lead singer spoke broken English and sounded worse that a cat in agony. The Caribbean duo in the main lounge were good but sang exactly the same songs in the same order for 14 nights. In the Oceans Bar, the group were better but it was impossible to get a seat unless you missed meals and sat all night. The main show lounge did not live up to the normal Thomson standard, the shows were very boring and the performers appeared to be simply going through the motions. The guest acts were a joke, on a 2 week cruise they had 2 comedians, both as bad as each other. This was a disgrace on a special cruise. The food in the buffet restaurants was generally good, however, the selection available late at night was poor and the first week they served you everything and you felt a bit like Oliver Twist asking for some more. The main Orion restaurant was very poor in terms of quality of food and service. On New Years eve it took 30 minutes to get a drink, the staff were rude and unwilling to help. The food was very poorly described on the menus and often did not resemble the food you ordered. Steak was offered once in two weeks and it was more often pork or chicken, with a the over use of spinach. The size of the portions were what you would expect in an OAP home, not on a cruise ship, it was not like it was high quality food they were giving you! I find it very difficult to believe that Thomson's do not enforce rules on their cruise ships, for example, on other cruise lines, under 18's have to be out of the public areas by a certain time, on this ship children as young as 4 or 5 were casing chaos in public areas after midnight. On the days at sea it was a very boring experience, the day time activities were rubbish and every sun bed was reserved from the crack of dawn even if not used, no policy was apparent for resolving the reserving of sun beds, this must be looked at on a small ship with limited outside space. The cabin had very poor air conditioning, I reported this to reception on 3 occasions and nothing was done about it, eventually they admitted a problem and gave us a complimentary bottle of cheap wine! Watch your bill at the end of the cruise, they appeared to be giving people on board credit then taking it off in the second column of the bill, check it carefully before you leave the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
In early December we had our first transatlantic cruise on the Thomson Dream (02-12-11 to 18-12-11) to the Caribbean. We had a fantastic time, although we are aware that there were others on the ship who would not agree with us. There did ... Read More
In early December we had our first transatlantic cruise on the Thomson Dream (02-12-11 to 18-12-11) to the Caribbean. We had a fantastic time, although we are aware that there were others on the ship who would not agree with us. There did seem to be some serial moaners on the ship who were looking for issues to rival the problems the ship had on the 2010 transatlantic crossing. We had an outside plus cabin on deck 9 which was very good, plenty of room and a nice sized bathroom and clean. It also gave us good access to the ships amenities on all decks. As we are not ones for sunbathing much so we decided to have a pretty full itinerary of excursions when we reaches the Caribbean. These included swimming with dolphins, swimming with turtles, horse riding and snuba diving. The Excursions Team on board the Dream were excellent particularly Ruth and Adrian. We also found that getting a local taxi (not those at the port) was a great way to see the islands. These tend to be at a fraction of the price of the tours and you get out what you put in. Transatlantic sunsets and Caribbean sun rises are quite magnificent; this coupled with flying fish almost all crossing certainly and making new friends made it a most memorable holiday. The islands visited were all gems in themselves and each had unique character. The locals are exceptionally friendly (again some people will differ with this view) and will accept a polite no thank you if you don't want bothered. Just remember they rely on tourism. Our highlights are as follows (could go on and on for hours):- St. John's, Antigua (great if you want diamonds or sample the local brews. Horse riding through the surf!) Philipsburg, St. Maarten (two flags Dutch and French island tour very good) Road Town, Tortola, British virgin islands (Dolphin swim.........just excellent) Basseterre, St. Kitts (scenic railway was a great way to see a lot of the island, despite what the locals said) Portsmouth, Dominica (great rainforest, watch out for the snakes) Castries, St. Lucia (snuba madness and the views on Pigeon Island are just stunning) Kingstown, St. Vincent (dolphin and whale watch. A pod of 40 dolphins swimming beside us for 30mins) St. Georges, Grenada (taxi island tour with monkey encounter, cliff divers and local artist) Scarborough, Tobago (the glass bottom boat, Buccoo reef snorkelling and swimming in the Caribbean) Bridgetown, Barbados (swim with turtles, sail on a catamaran and rum, what a way to finish) The food on board was OK, I would not say spectacular and not as good as the Thomson Celebration food. We ate at the Orion Restaurant most nights as my wife has a gluten and diary free diet. The Celebration had a specific gluten free menu but the Dream does not. Once we explained this to the Restaurant staff everything was cooked specifically for her (a special thanks to Elmer, Hotif, Rey, Archie and Dion as without their help the holiday would not have been the same). The staff in general were excellent and very friendly, especially Monika and Fairy who worked extremely hard all hours of the day and night to make our experience all the better. The entertainment on board improved as the trip went along. This was the first time many of the artists had performed in front of the public as a group. The piano bar was great and there were a number of other activities from the gym to quizzes, lectures, guest speakers and demonstrations to keep one occupied. The Cruise Director Stephen Guy was excellent and had a presence on stage with a fantastic voice. The majority of the entertainment was based within the Medusa Lounge which did not have enough seating for the demand. There was a distinct feeling that the transatlantic cruise was being used to gear the ship up for the winter season in the Caribbean. Apart from the main entertainment show being disjointed there was far too much maintenance going on. Doors were being varnished, areas being painted, rust was being scrapped of deck 10 which meant that areas of deck 9, the main promenade deck were isolated and the hand rail along most of the port side of deck 9 was had a barrier preventing access for four days. The funnel spewed soot at regular intervals and this ended up on out clothes when we were at the stern; one gentleman had his breakfast spilt over him due to a large piece of soot debris hitting his tray. There was constant disinfecting of the ship due to the presence of norovirus (some people were quarantined after succumbing, however others failed to follow the ship's strict hygiene policy - deliberately). Our disappointment regarding this matter relates to the lack of information and honesty over the extent and whether the ship should have sailed or not from Tenerife. Our air conditioning and hot water failed for three days and the head of the customer services was rude and abrupt to both my wife and I regarding this. No hot water = poor hygiene on a contaminated ship. The only other gripe is that on two occasions our towels were not laundered and put back on the racks. There were not enough sun beds which resulted in the fanatics out at 05:30 each morning to claim their spot. When we did manage to get sun beds together we had to go for meals separately to avoid the circling vultures claiming the spoils. The last paragraph were the things that took the shine off the holiday a wee bit. We will go back to the Caribbean and will do a transatlantic cruise again but I think not on the Thomson Dream. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2011
REVIEW: Mediterranean Highlights 29th Oct- 11th Nov Thomson Dream We have recently (11th Nov) returned from an amazing 2 weeks on board the Thomson Dream on their Mediterranean Highlights cruise. Having initially sailed on their ... Read More
REVIEW: Mediterranean Highlights 29th Oct- 11th Nov Thomson Dream We have recently (11th Nov) returned from an amazing 2 weeks on board the Thomson Dream on their Mediterranean Highlights cruise. Having initially sailed on their disastrous inaugural sailing in April 2010, we were a bit apprehensive about booking on this ship again, but having given it a lot of thought, we realised that Thomson would not let all these problems go by without doing everything in their power to make this ship, their best ever. WE WERE NOT DISSAPOINTED !! Flights from Luton to Palma went without a hitch. We paid for extra legroom, and that is what we got. At Palma a swift transfer to the ship, check-in and we were on board in time for lunch. At the port we were so pleased to see Paul Evans who was on the Destiny last Christmas when we sailed on the Transatlantic crossing. He recognised us and came over straight away with a lovely warm smile and a hug. Straight away we knew this was going to be a fun cruise. Once on board, we were sooo pleased with the huge size of our cabin and bathroom. We had an over- bath shower in it so the bathroom was larger than most. This we were very pleased with. Only quibble is, we had NO storage drawers at all in our cabin, just the double wardrobe. This did upset up at first, but we soon managed to find room for all our small items and this was not a problem anymore. Our Cabin Steward Trisna, came and introduced himself and we them went to explore the ship to see if there were any changes. And there were!! The carpets in the Medusa were either new or thoroughly cleaned. In fact all the bars were the same. Everywhere smelt fresh and clean. On speaking to Reception, we were very pleased to see that Bricks, was also working on this ship. Last time we saw him was on the Celebration, and he too recognised us and gave us a warm welcome everytime we saw him. He has an amazing singing voice and performed on the crew show again this time!! On the first day, the Orion was not opened at lunchtime, so we ate in the Lido Grill buffet restaurant, which was OK. Usual buffet food, but nothing to write home about. Evenings we always ate in The Orion and the food and service there was excellent, especially our waiters Manual & Yana (bless him!!) and our wonderful wine waiter Jesse (Jesus). I was on a low calorie diet and the staff and chef did everything in their power to help me keep to the diet. I did take my own Weightwatchers bread, low calorie butter & salad cream and they kept it in their fridge, bringing it to my table every mealtime, which was great and I managed NOT to put on any weight at all on this cruise. Thank you very much for all your help. Air con very cold in the restaurant, which made it a bit uncomfortable, as you just couldn't wait to finish your meal and leave the restaurant. The entertainment on board was excellent. During the day there were lots of different things to do, including quizzes, talks, theatre show, and my favourite...deck parties which I loved. The atmosphere was great and everyone joined in. The Cruise Director Paul Fisher (snr) and his assistant Paul Evans (jnr) looked after us very well, and the team of dancers and singers were the best on any Thomson ship, especially Kate & John. Evening shows are NOT to be missed. The titles may seem the same as on other ships, but they are all performed with a different twist which makes them so unusual. Excellent shows!! The Broadway theatre does get very cold, so wear something warm over your clothes. Afternoon tea was served every day on deck 9 in the Lido and consisted of homemade cakes, scones, biscuits, sandwiches, canapés etc. Lovely feast. The resident band, Strum Jam, were excellent and kept everyone moving in the Medusa lounge, which also hosts the quizzes and game shows. Don't miss the showcase shows at the end of the night. They are excellent and usually performed by individual members of the dance team. Drinks are a bit pricey (£3.70 short excl mixer) but we had All Inclusive so it didn't matter this time. Lifts were always breaking down, but fixed instantly, and we could do with more lifts on each floor, for the number of passengers this ship holds. You were constantly waiting for lifts, especially at busy times. All in all, this was an amazing cruise and for the first time ever, we met passengers we had encountered on previous Thomson cruises (we have done 7 so far in the past 3 yrs), which was great. It was like one big family re-union. We also met some lovely new friends and thoroughly enjoyed their company too. This ship has turned itself round 120% in such a short time. Well done Thomson and we can't wait to get back on board again very soon. BEST CRUISE EVER. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
Travel to the ship from the airport was (it has to be said) the worst we have ever experienced, I don't blame Thompson for this as they have limited resources at each port, but the coach had no air conditioning at 36 degrees was like ... Read More
Travel to the ship from the airport was (it has to be said) the worst we have ever experienced, I don't blame Thompson for this as they have limited resources at each port, but the coach had no air conditioning at 36 degrees was like sitting in a sauna, and was incapable of going over 40 mph, and to top it all was pulled over by a police check which took a further 40 minuets as the driver produced every document and argued with the authorities! The Thompson boarding crew although friendly did not seem that interested and were more geared to get us processed as quickly as possible. This is the third Thompson cruise we have been on but the first time on the Celebration, The ship although dated by today's standards was probably the best ship we have been on from this company, The cabin (outside) was just about big enough but was ok for this type of ship, The shower was probably the worst experience due the tiny nozzle and being un-detachable made things worse, I couldn't wait to get home and experience a proper shower, (sorry Thompson bad move with that shower design, get them changed now!) The room TV is placed so that only one person can watch from their bed, and it's an old 14 inch job that's ready for the tip, glad we don't watch TV too much (but I do like to watch the news every now and then) This looks like it's a negative review but its not really, the entertainment was ok to good, fair amount of things to do after evening lunch, the restaurant food was nice (as expected on any cruise) and as normal the waiters are second to none. Daytime entertainment was ok, but being used to another great, great ship (Ocean Village) they have a bit more to go. Unfortunately we were spoilt on another ship (Ocean Village) which we judge others by, Thompson do try, and are much better than other much bigger ships we have been on, if they could just up their daytime entertainment a bit more (lets have a DJ on deck please), update their cabins with modern equipment and get their desk staff to try and show some interest, they could be the best. I have found a cruise not so much about a flashy big ship, but about how they look after you and make you comfortable and at ease, in all, Thompson is cheap, so you only get what you pay for I suppose, so they do provide good value for money. As long as you don't expect top quality and quite happy to do your own thing (no set meal times etc) you should have a good cruise experience. Would I go back on this ship? Yes, I think I would! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
Embarkation -- The embarkation process in lONDON was fairly quick but clearly not well structured. Three ladies were standing in front of a very small desk trying to check the passports and get people to fill in a health declaration form. ... Read More
Embarkation -- The embarkation process in lONDON was fairly quick but clearly not well structured. Three ladies were standing in front of a very small desk trying to check the passports and get people to fill in a health declaration form. After the formalities were completed, we then proceeded to the gate and had our souvenir picture taken. Upon arrival in the main deck, we were handed over our Costa Card, cabin key and our identification picture was taken. We then proceeded on our own to our cabin which was fairly easy to find. Our luggage was delivered to our front door within 30 minutes. Cabin -- we had an outside stateroom with a porthole. It was great to be able to see outside especially when we were nearing land. Our room was tidied every night and day and towels were changed. Our cabin steward was always very nice and discreet. Every night, our cabin steward would make a different bed decoration with the bed cover. Very nice! We read that some people had noise issues or blocked toilets. We never had any flushing issue with the toilets and apart from particularly noisy neighbours, it was just fine. The daily programme "TODAY" was delivered to our cabin every night along with a map of the next port. As far as air conditioning was concerned, we were not even using the air conditioning in our cabin as the air extractor was largely sufficient. Food -- Breakfast was served either in the Giardino buffet (buffet style) or in the Botticelli Restaurant (formal table seating). There was a wide variety of food ranging from eggs, bacon, cereals, pastries to fruits. Late breakfast was available in the buffet for late bed risers till around 11.00. Lunch as well was served either in the Giardino buffet or in the Botticelli Restaurant. We mostly went to the Giardino Buffet where we had a variety of food to choose from. There was a new theme everyday for lunch in the buffet area (Mediterranean, Chinese, Creole, Indian, etc). On some sea days, we had special lunch "Chef Surprise" by the poolside or in the corridor leading to the Piazza Italia when it rained. On the Terrazza, there was also an outside grill with French fries, on the spot hamburger and hotdogs for lunch. The Terrazza was my favourite place on the ship in the afternoon when it was not too crowded. Loved the views and the sea breeze there. The buffet area was always like a beehive, always opening up and closing up for something else -- breakfast, late breakfast, lunch, teatime, kids buffet, teens buffet and sometimes alternative dinner. One can imagine how big an organisation this must be to run the buffet everyday all day. The buffet supervisors and the snacks stewards worked really hard to keep the place always up and running and always attended to guests' requests (even the most eccentric ones) with a smile. Excursions : it's better to cotact the local tour companies , we booked 2 excursions in Morocco. Casablanca : booked with Ecolodge Adventures ,we explored the city , our guide spoke a fluent english , it was the first time eating the real and pure olive oil . well i rate them 5/5 . Agadir : booked with Sud Aventures Tours , we went to Taroudant city (the samll Marrakech ) , apital of Agadir is the capital of arga oil in Morocco , we stopped twice 1- taking pictures to goats on the argan trees 2- taking pictures to camels on the road . Taroudant city worth really a visit while you stop in Agadir city port . other wise we ate the best Moroccan food ever ( tagine + couscous ) in Tiout oasis (palm trees oasis) it was our first donkeys ride ever . we enjoyed a lot , that's why i'm gonna rate them 5/5 , thanks for our tour guide hicham and the driver (forgot his name), the price of the excursion was 550 Moroccan Dhs (70$) , new transport +climatisation + experienced driver + fluent english speaker . Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise