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Sail Date: November 2013
Went on the re-positioning cruise from the Med to Caribbean from Lisbon. I had taken the family on the ship last Christmas and was expecting some recognition of the fact, but after them asking the question on a pre-trip questionnaire, I ... Read More
Went on the re-positioning cruise from the Med to Caribbean from Lisbon. I had taken the family on the ship last Christmas and was expecting some recognition of the fact, but after them asking the question on a pre-trip questionnaire, I still got no discount for loyalty or any recognition at all. (c.f P and O who are brilliant). Good points of the trip: excellent itinerary, including overnight in Havana ,(although we didn't make the Cayman islands because of bad weather). A night in Montego Bay is a challenge, most of the ship stayed on-board. The ship cabin was excellent, crew friendly, reception efficient, public areas kept clean and fellow passengers amenable. Less happy points: food has declined especially in the formal Orion where service was very slow and menus really disappointing, entertainment was predicated by the two show times, so the solo acts, often excellent, were put on at 11.30 pm. The films for three weeks were shown on six different occasions. I like the P and O announcements when something is happening outside the ship, whether astronomy, passing ships, points of interest, zilch on Thomson, apart from mid day weather. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2013
We are frequent Thomson cruisers and have been on the Dream on four previous occasions. We like the 'Thomson product' i.e. the warm, friendly and unpretentious atmosphere, good service and excellent entertainment. This cruise was ... Read More
We are frequent Thomson cruisers and have been on the Dream on four previous occasions. We like the 'Thomson product' i.e. the warm, friendly and unpretentious atmosphere, good service and excellent entertainment. This cruise was a new departure for us as we prefer port-intensive itineraries and I was a little apprehensive about weather/sea conditions and the prospect of six days at sea crossing the Atlantic. We joined the Dream in Lisbon and set sail for Madeira after which we embarked on the Atlantic crossing. The conditions were good and there was a full programme of activities to fill the days. Payable enrichment courses included chocolate making, creative writing, painting and choir. Additionally there was a play, daily entertaining lectures about the history of comedy from Rod Taylor who was a BBC producer, films, bridge, interviews and the usual offerings of games etc from the entertainment team. There were classical musicians in the Argo Lounge, a pianist in the Delo bar, an excellent duo in Oceans Bar and a trio who popped up everywhere, before the shows in the theatre, on the Lido deck and for scheduled spots in Medusa. They were excellent too. The band wasn't so much to our liking - but there was plenty of variety to cater for all tastes and of course there were deck parties and cabarets on the pool deck. The cover had to be used on one or two occasions but this is a useful and good space for that kind of entertainment. The weather was gradually getting warmer as we approached the Caribbean but the availability of sun loungers was an issue with the perennial problem of sun-bed hoggers. There was room for more loungers which would have helped but there is a real need to address this problem especially on an itinerary with so many sea days and all passengers on board. (It will present more problems with the Dream in the Caribbean next winter with the two sea-day itineraries. In the Caribbean in the middle of winter people will want to be outside enjoying the sun not sitting inside in lounges.) There was supposed to be a policing policy but this clearly wasn't working well enough with a high percentage of sun beds with towels and belongings but no occupants! Especially on a ship without balconies (except a very small number) everyone is looking for deck space and there was quite a degree of frustration amongst passengers unable to find somewhere to sit outside. Once in the Caribbean, the weather was excellent during the day, (one or two rainy nights) the azure sea a fabulous 27 degrees and the islands of Tortola and Gr Turk were great. We did a beach transfer at Samana to the idyllic island of Cayo Levantando. After Cozumel which provided an opportunity to visit the Mayan ruins, we arrived at Havana which was a highlight - such an interesting and fascinating city with its grand buildings and faded elegance. With an overnight here we were able to go on an evening excursion to the Tropicana. It was a real experience and very much enjoyed, a fantastic atmosphere of vibrant Cuban dancing and music under the stars. A big swell prevented us from tendering to Gr Cayman so we headed straight for Jamaica. Soon we were heading for Aruba, our last port of call and then Barbados to fly home. A great itinerary with varied and very good ports of call and I wouldn't hesitate to do a Transatlantic again. As for the Dream, it had the usual warm and welcoming ambience with hardworking crew providing good service but sometimes slow in the main dining room in the evening. Housekeeping was the usual excellent standard with great attention to hygiene. The entertainment was good, augmented by an increased number of guest acts which were, with the odd exception, very good indeed. The show team were exceptionally good dancers but the singing occasionally wasn't up to the same standard although they were a new team and hadn't really had time to settle in properly. Time will tell how good a team they are as the season progresses. The shows we thought were varied and generally good although attempts to appeal to a younger market with more contemporary sets didn’t come off too well imo in some of the cabarets and one of the Concerto style shows. We were disappointed though as we thought the standard of food wasn't up to our previous experiences of Thomson or the Dream. It seems that there have been significant economies made of late and this is beginning to be a serious concern for us. The desserts have always been unimaginative but the main courses have deteriorated to a very noticeable degree in particular in the Orion for the evening meal. They lacked variety, choice and good cuts of meat. Pork was disproportionately represented in all kinds of forms (pork Wellington was a new one on me) but it seems that now steak is available at a surcharge of £10 in the main dining room or for £12/13(?) 'under the stars' on the Lido deck this doesn't appear now on the menu, beef is infrequently offered and no lamb except in curries/kebabs. We did dine in the Grill (£19.95) which was excellent and had the lamb there – it was very good. We used to be very satisfied with the quality and choice of evening meals in the main dining room but can't say we were on this trip. On the whole we found food in other venues and for breakfast and lunch good although, again, there were hints of cost-cutting with the disappearance of fruit bowls and a very poor selection of cereals on some days. We really enjoyed the Transatlantic, loved being back on the Dream enjoyed the itinerary, entertainment and company but didn't think the food was up to standard. All in all, a very enjoyable cruise for many reasons but I shall be monitoring reviews on Dream very carefully to find out whether there has been an improvement in food quality or sadly we may be coming to the end of a long, happy relationship with Thomson cruises.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
We booked this 22 day cruise from Lisbon across to the Caribbean only 10 days before departure. We were not sure what to expect and for the price that we paid we would have been prepared to put up with a few problems/niggles. But we can ... Read More
We booked this 22 day cruise from Lisbon across to the Caribbean only 10 days before departure. We were not sure what to expect and for the price that we paid we would have been prepared to put up with a few problems/niggles. But we can honestly say that it was a lovely trip. The ship is a bit old but the cabin was very spacious ( outside plus) and kept very clean by the cabin steward. We didn't like the Orion restaurant, the waiter service was slow and the food not very good but the other two buffet restaurants were excellent. We preferred to be able to help ourselves to what we fancied eating at anytime and if you were going to see the early show @ 8.30 it was a lot quicker !! The entertainment team and Bram, the cruise director, were 1st class. The shows, comedian ( Carl Schofield ), singer (Steven Michael ) and Guest speaker ( Rod Taylor) were excellent . All the staff were very hardworking but still managed a smile and a joke with you. We never encountered any staff member who was miserable or rude. Considering that they are not expecting a tip off you the service was very good. At night either before or after the shows we would have a drink or two in the Oceans bar. There was a duo playing here , Heart and Soul, who again were excellent. The music they played was lovely and you could hear all the words clearly, something that is not always the case with a lot of singers. The only downside of this trip was the usual problem with sunbeds, you really had to be up early to get one . Obviously the days at sea were a nightmare as everyone wanted a sunbed but fair play to Thomson they did have someone going round issuing timed tickets on empty beds. After 45 minutes the towels were removed. Of course people got wise to this and then made sure they only left the beds for very short periods. But it did mean that no beds were sitting round empty for hours. We enjoyed all the ports of call but unfortunately we were unable to call at Grand Cayman due to bad weather there. We did a few of Thomson excursions and found them to be good value for money but plenty of people did their own thing. In conclusion we really enjoyed this trip and would certainly look to go again on the Dream Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2012
We have cruised with Thomson before and had a great time however this cruise was different. We new that there was a problem from the first night.Our cabin was on deck 7 directly beneath the Medusa lounge.The noise from the Medusa lounge ... Read More
We have cruised with Thomson before and had a great time however this cruise was different. We new that there was a problem from the first night.Our cabin was on deck 7 directly beneath the Medusa lounge.The noise from the Medusa lounge was to say the least horrendous.All we could hear was very very loud thumping music which carried on until after midnight. We did request a move and after a few days we were offered a cabin ( guess where ) directly beneath the disco!! needless to say we declined. To make matters worse around 4a.m.most mornings we could hear what appeared to be furniture being moved about.Consequently we only managed about 3-4hours sleep each night. We have since complained to Thomson so called customer services and to the CEO however both responses were to say the least disinterested !. Thomson keep saying that for an extra fee we could have pre-booked our cabin.If this is the case then Thomson should at least advertise the fact that certain cabins are noisy. I would rate Thomson alongside Ryanair i.e. if you want to sleep on your holiday then you should pay extra for the privilege !! Thomson would do well to remember that there are plenty of other cruise lines out there. One final point to note that the quality of the food was nothing like what we have previously experienced on Thomson.It was luke warm and poor both in quality and quantity.Thomson you need to get your act together. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
What a fantastic holiday - couldn't fault it! This was our first cruise for my 60th birthday so we were unsure what to expect. From the minute we embarked on the ship we were very impressed with the whole set up. The staff were ... Read More
What a fantastic holiday - couldn't fault it! This was our first cruise for my 60th birthday so we were unsure what to expect. From the minute we embarked on the ship we were very impressed with the whole set up. The staff were amazing - couldn't do enough for us! Food was fantastic- buffets and restaurants, excellent service all round. The staff work really hard and were always friendly and helpful. We loved the shows in the Broadway Theatre- very professional. We liked the Ocean bar the best as we met some other couples and could have a chat whilst listening to the excellent duo in there. We chose the AI upgrade and we definately got our moneys worth - we thought initially it was quite expensive at £800 for us both but we were more than happy with the premium brands and often we were given fill ups before our glasses were empty! We loved the fact that this was an adults only cruise and will definitely look for adults only in future. The cabin was much bigger than we expected and the bed was really comfy. It was kept spotlessly clean by our cabin steward and we loved the turn down service each night. The only issue we found was the lack of sunbed space. There were plenty of sunbeds all squashed together but not enough space for everyone and as this was a transatlantic crossing everyone was on ship and wanted a sunbed. It states that the staff remove towels and belongings after 45minutes if not used but we didn't see this happening. Thomson need to give some thought to this as it was a real problem. On the days in port it wasn't such a problem as most people were off the ship. We enjoyed the casino but there wasn't really enough tables and only one poker table-often with long waits to get on it. The ports of call were brilliant - trips were expensive but we mainly shared with others and used local taxi's to get around. This was one of our best holidays to date and we are fairly well travelled- we can't wait to go on this ship again! Read Less
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