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1 Marella Cruises Dover Cruise Reviews

THE CRUISE LINE Expensive and nasty. We paid £1,000 a head including Thomson charter flight. We had to pay extra for: • A double bed • Room service including breakfast • Transportation at ports away from their entrances ... Read More
THE CRUISE LINE Expensive and nasty. We paid £1,000 a head including Thomson charter flight. We had to pay extra for: • A double bed • Room service including breakfast • Transportation at ports away from their entrances Mainstream cruise lines would not dream of charging for these basics. Ryanair you are being out cheapened! The itinerary had to be reversed for good reason [a public holiday in Jerusalem]. This would have been known for some time but the first time passengers were notified was on arrival on the vessel. This caused a great deal of problems for those that had made independent tour arrangements. Such inconvenience could have been avoided by a simple courtesy of advising customers sooner. Clearly good manners are beyond Thomson. THE VESSEL Substandard for a ferry let alone a cruise ship. It is very old; for instance hot water was not available for periods and the air conditioning only worked intermittently. This is not acceptable. I saw two staff lifeboat drills in a week [in addition to the mandatory passenger drill] and figure the crew have little faith in the vessel. In our cabin's bathroom the wc was stained because the enamel had been scrubbed off and the enamel was also missing from soap holders. Generally, the ambience suggested an early post war holiday camp. If you are wondering what surroundings are like in sink estate the Celebration will hive you first hand experience. There is a musty smell in some public rooms especially the theatre suggesting past water leakage. The ship also maintains a thriving fly colony that attacks diners especially at the Lido restaurant. THE CREW A very surly bunch delivering a poor standard of service. They would not say good morning, they cut in front of passengers without saying "excuse me"and at times it was far quicker to go to the bar than wait for service at a table. This is in marked contrast to other cruise lines. I suspect the reason for this is that their tips are included in the cruise price so there is absolutely no incentive for them to provide anything more than minimal service. FOOD Good in a works canteen sense! Steak and kidney pie and all day breakfast are not what I would expect to see as entrees for dinner! It reminded me of a night at my local JD Wetherspoons! ENTERTAINMENT Pathetic. Quizzes, bingo old 1970s game shows reminded guests of a Saturday night at the "Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club". The shows were a bad joke. The cast were on par with a poor local amateur dramatics society but in snazzy costumes. The funniest thing is that they think they are good! Well perhaps there is a TV show for them "Britain Hasn't Got Talent". THE CABIN Comfortable bed, plenty of storage, a tv screen that seemed to have been taken from a twenty year old personal computer. As previously mentioned, the bathroom was unacceptable. The towels were nearly as thin as tissue paper. It seems they were purchased at a cruise association jumble sale. BEVERAGES Expensive in comparison to pub prices but cheaper than other cruise lines, Thomson offers an expensive all in package but for many drinks a substantial additional charge is still payable but if you like cheap and nasty draught Heineken or John Smiths and drink twenty pints a day go for the package. Thomson also work another nasty con with beer. They say they are selling you a pint [568ml] but in fact you only get a half litre [500ml]. Beware. THE PORTS Excellent. Worth taking the cruise despite all the failings of the line. FELLOW PASSENGERS Many first time Thomson cruisers shared my views on the failings identified but most passengers seemed to be not only be repeat Thomson cruisers but also repeat Thomson holidaymakers. Having started at Blackpool, they progressed to Butlins and then to Torremolinos with Thomson and now they are loyal Thomsonites and prepared to happily accept whatever is put on their plate. OVERALL We enjoyed the cruise despite of the cruise line and its vessel. As I said before, we went to some fantastic places. Thomson have carried on from where they started packaging sub-standard accommodation in Benidorm to a clientele that don't know and don't want to know any better and this is a surprisingly large niche market. If you are slightly discerning or live south of Watford Thomson are unlikely to be for you unless the itinerary woos you like it did us. There are far better cruising experiences at better prices to be had with other lines. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
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