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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We pick this cruise to see what marella was like after not being on them since 2006 in the thomson days.It was bad start to finish.We put the cases on at the coach pick up then at the port took them off found somebody with luggage labels ... Read More
We pick this cruise to see what marella was like after not being on them since 2006 in the thomson days.It was bad start to finish.We put the cases on at the coach pick up then at the port took them off found somebody with luggage labels ,put them on then found somebody to take them off you.Then it took 1 hour to register in.The cabin was a good size but dated we paid £196.00 extra for this cabin a inside plus.The duvet was only very low tog so it was cold in the cabin in fact it was cold where ever you went on the ship.It needed new towels to all grey.The food was very poor in the restaurant so after 4days we give up like a lot of people & started eating in the buffet.The food in the buffet was only just ok,when ever you went in the buffet itwas very hard to get a seat people was just sat there taking in the view & drinking because you could serve yourself beer & wine. Each week they had a one good comedian on the theatre shows were only just watchable.There was one good quiz per day in the live bar but hard to get a seat because some never moved out of the live bar.The condition of the ship was poor plenty rust to be seen .On the second week they started stripping down at the the back of the ship ready for its third refurb in 4years thats shows the condition of the ship.The tours was poorly organised & they changed a lot of them.The tender boats at leknes was a disgrace we had to cue up for hour &half in the cold & rain to get back on we was lucky some was over two hours thank god these lot was not at dunkirk. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Marella discovery searching for the northern lights 4th October 2018 until 18th October 2018 This is our 13th year of cruising with Thomson’s but our first time after the name change last year. For this review I’m going to split ... Read More
Marella discovery searching for the northern lights 4th October 2018 until 18th October 2018 This is our 13th year of cruising with Thomson’s but our first time after the name change last year. For this review I’m going to split into separate parts Firstly we sailed from Southampton. Embarking was completely hassle free. Parked the car at 12:15 on board with a drink at 13:15 cases arrived shortly after a massive well done to everyone involved Our room located on deck 7 inside was plenty big enough with a nice big double bed and small seating area the addition of having a water jug and glasses with a fresh water tap on the level was a pleasant surprise. Our shower was missing it’s head but our steward soon had that sorted. I think in total out of the 14 days we saw our steward twice but the room was always well maintained twice a day. One big thing we noticed on this ship is how quiet the rooms are most ships we have been on have paper thin walls so you can hear everything happening. After looking around the ship and finding out the swimming pools are heated bonus.we went downstairs for predinner drinks and this is where the ship falls down in a big way. Most of the evening entertainment is done in the Broadway theatre for shows then the live lounge and atrium. There is inadequate seating in the live lounge and atrium. There is a massive lounge called the venue on deck 5 but this is only used for the game shows a complete waste of good space. Dinner in the main dining area is waiter served you are unable to book a table. If you wish to only use the 1 set of waiters then you take a chance at getting them or take a pager this is something I’ve never experienced before on any ship and have to say I’m not at all keen. Service like the food can be hit and miss. I mentioned the food out of all the ships I’ve been on this one is on par with the majesty not great they seem to of run out of seasoning in the kitchens, and everything seems to of been left on the hot plate for far to long before serving, none of the food is fresh and vibrant,burgers in the snack shack are warmed up when ordered bun and all. On one occasion I gave them back both our burgers as they were stone cold in the middle after that we didn’t eat there again. We did treat ourselves to the surf and turf restaurant on deck 11 something I would urge people to avoid as it’s not worth anywhere near the £28 per person I got my money back when I complained. Last year on the spirit we had 10 courses of heaven as our cruise treat for much less. Breakfast and lunch you either need to get up very early to eat in the buffet area or use the restaurant as people use it as seating area instead of finishing then moving away somewhere eles. I completely understand this was a cold weather cruise but come on it can’t be right people reading,taking photos while others are trying to sit down to eat. As said this was a cold weather cruise so the main pool deck wasn’t needed as much. The other bars didn’t cope with the added pressures with some of the bar staff actually making you feel bad about ordering especially in the atrium where they were more interested in whistling and cat calling a female customer on the deck above, the female waitress said they do it all the time. Not very professional I can recommend the bar on deck 11 which had excellent service the staff made you feel very welcome and you didn’t wait very long for your drink to arrive. This ship does make use of some interactive technology does that some of the staff interactiveness out of the cruise? Yes I think it does especially when booking excursions or wanting to know more about a port. Does the fact it’s an all inclusive ship make a difference yes I think it does especially when the first 2 days of the cruise staff were trying to sell the upgraded all inclusive when the all inclusive has already been added to the initial cost of the holiday. Would I do this cruise again yes I would however I wouldn’t recommend this ship unless significant improvements are made Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Just back from an amazing 2 week cruise on board Marella Discovery to Norway. What a fantastic time we had from start to finish. Embarkation was quick and easy, we were on the ship within an hour of our taxi dropping us off at ... Read More
Just back from an amazing 2 week cruise on board Marella Discovery to Norway. What a fantastic time we had from start to finish. Embarkation was quick and easy, we were on the ship within an hour of our taxi dropping us off at Southampton. Balcony cabin 7604 was clean, with plenty of storage space. It was great to have the balcony to sit out on late at night watching the northern lights! Entertainment we found to be excellent, great show team with something different every night. We were on this ship last year and we found that the entertainment shows were a lot better this time, what a very talented team. Dining: We ate mainly in restaurant 47 as we preferred this to the hustle & bustle of Islands up on deck 9. Trying to find a seat up there was a challenge. The service we received in restaurant 47 was excellent, great staff, all very welcoming and friendly. Always pleased to see you. Food was excellent, something different to choose from every night, we never had a bad meal. Just want to say thanks to Bojan and Yana for their professional, friendly service, together they make a great team. We know the dress code has been relaxed on this ship but it was good to see that on this cruise so many passengers still liked the chance to get dressed up in the evenings. We went on a lot of organised excursions, all of which were very good. In Bergan we went on the full day trip to Hardangerfjord, lovely scenery, knowledgeable guide and with a 3 course meal included in the price, it was excellent value for money, would recommend this trip. All staff we met were very friendly and always greeted you with a smile. Great crew all round. Seeing the Northern Lights was the icing on the cake, what a fantastic cruise, with lots of happy memories. This was our 3rd cruise with Tui / Marella and hopefully it wont be our last. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Norway, really wanted see the Northern lights and this cruise ticked all the boxes. So we booked this on an impulse. After booking I checked out some of the reviews and felt a little unsure ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Norway, really wanted see the Northern lights and this cruise ticked all the boxes. So we booked this on an impulse. After booking I checked out some of the reviews and felt a little unsure as to whether we'd chosen the right ship etc. due to some poor reviews, but i needn't have worried as we had a fantastic time & the icing on the cake was actually seeing the Northern lights on 3 nights during the cruise. The embarkation procedure was really smooth, we checked in our luggage, went on board & it was delivered directly to our cabin. We had booked a cabin with a balcony, (No. 6080), it was spacious with plenty of storage, and although we were not able to sit out on the balcony for long (due to the cold weather), it was lovely to stand out when in port, when 'sailing out' and for viewing the northern lights when they were visible in the early hours of the morning. The tea & coffee making facilities were kept well stocked by Joseph & the other members of the housekeeping staff. The cabin was kept immaculately clean throughout the cruise. The cruise was all inclusive, although you could upgrade if you wanted to include premium brands of alcohol. We did not feel that this was necessary for us as the drinks available on the all inclusive included sparkling wines & certain cocktails. The food was delicious & well cooked, we alternated most evenings between the two waiter service restaurants, and also ended up eating breakfast there as well as getting a seat in the self service restaurant was too much of a struggle. We did not go to any of the specialty restaurants as we did feel the extra you needed to pay for them was too much. The entertainment on board was very good with two shows in the Broadway theatre every evening, pianist & live singing in the lounges, and talks during the days. There was always something to do on board. The gym on board was well equipped, I used this during the days at sea, followed by a relaxing time in the steam room. We booked our excursions online prior to the cruise which was easy to do. The tickets for all of theses were delivered to our cabin on our first evening. The excursions were well planned, but, as we normally find with excursions around the world, some sound better on paper than they actually are. But, on these excursions we did get to see the beautiful countryside by coach that we would not have seen otherwise if we'd just stayed in the port area. The whole ship was kept immaculately clean during the whole cruise. All the staff were friendly & service excellent. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
It is not often that you decide to go away with your elderly mother so you need to choose the right method of doing so. A cruise from Southampton is the obvious choice although selecting an itinerary and a cruise line is the challenge. ... Read More
It is not often that you decide to go away with your elderly mother so you need to choose the right method of doing so. A cruise from Southampton is the obvious choice although selecting an itinerary and a cruise line is the challenge. I have cruised in the past with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, which have always been great. Last year my wife and I went with P&O which we thought was awful. That left me a little nervous of my selection of another English cruise company. Thankfully my fears were not to be compounded. I have never sailed with such fantastic staff before. Every single member of the team was happy, pleased to see you and went out of their way to say hello. The fact that they weren't reliant on gratuities seems to relax them. There is no big push trying to flog cocktails, trips or anything else and this makes for a great atmosphere. The food is not as good as you find on the US ships but is way better than that offered by P&O. Snack Shack is brill for mid afternoon arrivals after a day's touring; the two main restaurants are pretty good - the starters and desserts are better than the main courses; the buffet isn't bad at all (apartb from the soggy sausages at breakfast) and the two pay restaurants look lovely although we didn't go as my Mum didn't fancy. The standard all inclusive package offers almost every drink you could ever want. Bottled beers, as well as draught, is a big surpise. Premium is for those who are, perhaps, more discerning with their wine or for those who think that Lavazza coffee is worth an extra £7 or so per day. I, personally, didn't bother and wouldn't do so. The ship's entertainment crew are second to none. In all reality they are too good to be on a cruise ship. Six magnificent singers, who can all dance too. Add in extra talented dancers and the evening shows shouldn't be missed. The cruise director, however, minces around the ship like an anorexic Freddie Mercury and he can get annoying. Talking of which you must see one of the singers, Seb Mercury, perform his Queen tribute - his Barcelona duet with another of the singers, Freya Hawkins is the best you will ever see on a ship. The comedian, Anthony Scott, was awful and I think they knew it. Can't see him being booked again in a hurry. Because of my Mum's walking difficulties we had an Accessible Cabin. It was an incredible, huge space with a bathroom/wet room as big as some cabins. It was always spotless. Some nicer toiletries wouldn't go amiss. Our European Experience itinerary was good in places and poor in others. It felt slightly experimental on Marella's part and they didn't do well with the tours. Quite a few fellow passengers complained, particularly about Bruges. Talking of which there were no tours to Bruges suitable for wheelchair users whatsoever and that was a real shame as my Mum was really looking forward to going there. We visited Blankenberg, the local town instead, under or own steam, but it wasn't the same. Bremerhaven was surprisingly nice and Amsterdam was fab. Le Havre is about as exciting as a day out in Tilbury. Cherbourg makes up for it. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise as a bit of an experiment to see if we would like the kind of package provided. Price was good itinerary interesting and we thought why not? Good news is we are now avidly going through future cruise options with ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a bit of an experiment to see if we would like the kind of package provided. Price was good itinerary interesting and we thought why not? Good news is we are now avidly going through future cruise options with Marella who have just surpassed all the others as a favourite cruise line Reason? we liked informality, the genuine nature of the goodwill from all the staff and the relaxed feeling of fun that pervades everything. We were a little concerned that the ubiquitous all-inclusive drinks might create a Laddish or Hennish atmosphere. However this was not the case at all. Instead, the relaxed atmosphere really made the cruise one to remember. Okay maybe food didn’t quite match the heights we have experienced with other providers, but the friendliness of the staff and the like-minded passengers made dining a real pleasure supported by a more relaxed nature of the dress code. The ship felt younger even though many of the cruisers clearly weren’t. We really enjoyed the Broadway shows which were more modern and inventive than the predictable show songs often provided. even the comedian had appeared at the Edinburgh fringe. I have read in all the reviews that the stressful free for all in the islands restaurant has caused concern. Whilst I understand this and feel Marella like many other lines would do well to consider Fred’s policy of organising the seating by a maitre d approach, seems to me that cruisers need to be more prepared to politely share. When we have done this it has opened up a multitude of friendly interesting conversations. Of course this doesn’t suit everybody. Those who prefer their own company should consider other cruising options . With regard to the ports, Bremerhaven was a pleasant surprise. The Climate house was brilliant. Excursions were ok and relatively keenly priced. At the moment we are going off them if there is any feasible on your own option. One new idea was a port walk into the centre of Amsterdam ( free) which was greatly appreciated by the less confident amongst us. We like quizzes, but they can be spoiled by a level of seriousness above their station. Not so here. A right laugh. Anyone need a Marella luggage strap? Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
First of all we stayed on the discovery between 26th September to the 4th October. The biggest compliment was the kids club where they looked after our twins and did a fantastic job so a mention to DANIELLE, AMY AND CARA you are a ... Read More
First of all we stayed on the discovery between 26th September to the 4th October. The biggest compliment was the kids club where they looked after our twins and did a fantastic job so a mention to DANIELLE, AMY AND CARA you are a credit to the brand and a big thank you. The food could of been better as very mediocre and hopefully will improve in due course. The assesbility factors were very bad and getting off on the 4th floor on a wet and gale force wind day was a huge health and safety risk and after several complaints lowered it to the 2nd floor. Communication could massively be improved as there was lots of things that were not adhered to and needs to be improved ASAP Service from cleaners on the junior suites were very friendly and did a good standard of work and were all go. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Just returned from a great cruise on Marella Discovery. We have previously cruised on NCL, MSC, P&O and other Thomson ships and have to say that this is the best value for money cruise and the best Thomson, now Marella, ship we have ... Read More
Just returned from a great cruise on Marella Discovery. We have previously cruised on NCL, MSC, P&O and other Thomson ships and have to say that this is the best value for money cruise and the best Thomson, now Marella, ship we have been on. The cruise was All Inclusive, no cheap brands...Gordons, Smirnoff etc so a great package plus teas and coffees and which included gratuities. You could upgrade for an extra £58 per person for the whole cruise which gave you extra premium brands and specialist coffees. The ship is lovely, spotlessly clean and carries the most amazing, friendly and genuine staff. The food in Islands Buffet was very good, great choice, always hot (plates were sometimes too hot to handle!). Different carvery every day... its not so often that you see suckling pig on offer at lunch!! Self service beer and wine at lunch is a great idea and if you wanted any shorts the bar is just outside and you can bring in what ever you want. The food in the main dining room in the evening blew hot and cold, some nights its was good...others not so good and choice was at times limited. The service however was outstanding. As a rule we don't usually go to the shows at night...but this time we did....in fact we went to 5 of the shows...so that in itself tells a story. There's no need to go to the bar as waiters come round taking your drinks order. The entertainment staff were absolutely superb.. the best entertainment we have seen. They worked so hard and always had a smile on their faces and always had time for a chat..well done to you all!!! All in all, we had a brilliant cruise on a great ship with exceptional staff and service for very good value for money...and yes...we will definitely be taking another Marella cruise. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We have never done a sea cruise before. River cruises are our favourite but felt that we would take the plunge and find a suitable 'starter' cruise. Marella Discovery had a good itinerary which just about the right length. So ... Read More
We have never done a sea cruise before. River cruises are our favourite but felt that we would take the plunge and find a suitable 'starter' cruise. Marella Discovery had a good itinerary which just about the right length. So we went ahead and booked The European Experience cruise, albeit a little apprehensive about one or two of the reviews we have read. Embarkation at Southampton was very fast. We arived at the dock at 11.30 and were on board at 12:00 in spite of having a 10 minute walk from the car park to the ship. To be honest we were a bit overwhelmed once on board because the river cruise ships have about 120 passengers and Discovery had 1800+ so it was a bit of a shock to the system!!!! Once we settled down and found our cabin and after the luggage arrived, we went to explore the ship. She is spotlessly clean, they are always polishing or hoovering something. The weather for sail away was perfect hot, sunny and calm waters.We spoke to many people who had been on the ship before and even more who loved to sail with Tui. We had our first meal in Gallery 47 which is the upper level of 47 and is Italian. The service was very good, the table was well laid out with a spotless white cloth and it was so good that, even in a full restaurant, there was no problem in hearing what people were saying (we were on a table of 6). Food was good We then went to see the show and I was amazed at how good it was. The cast, sets, technical side were all superb and the seats were so comfortable and everyone had a clear view. The next day was a day at sea and we found that a bit boring but only because we had not got the hang of the ship yet. Once we had been on board for about three days we had worked out what was where and what we wanted to do etc. There was so much choice. All the ports we called at were great and the excursions were very good. The weather was also kind to us. Sailing into Amsteram was fantastic. We enjoyed an early morning round of putting on Deck 10 takng in the views between holes! We had one meal in the Surf and Turf and that was fantastic, a real dining experience and if we sail on Discovery agian we would certainly do that. Ate in the 47 r4estaurant for rest of voyage and all the meals were very good and just the right portions. Shows were all of a very high standard indeed and the performance of songs and dance from Chicago was West End Standard. Ship was stable in choppy Seas and it was comforting to see how quickly the crew dealt with medical emergencies one of which resulted in an air ambulance landing and taking a passenger to hospital, the other necessitated the ship turning back into port to allow a passenger to be taken off. All staff and crew friendly and helpful. No annoying announcements except for essential ones. Cabin comfortable. The duvet cover could have done with replacement but sheets and bed linen clean and new. Shower very good for its size and plenty of hot water. Only sticking point was that in the evenings it was quite hard to find a seat in the Atrium. This was undoubtedly due to the fact that it was dark and a bit chilly on most nights. had this been a summer cruise a lot of people would have been on deck. Would we travel Marella again? Yes I think we would. To sum up this is a value for money cruise and if your trip is destination led this is the perfect way to do it without being saddled with huge bills for drinks and gratuities at the end. The crew do everything they can to make you comfortable and happy and the service in the restaurants and the food does not make you feel like you are on a 'budget' experence. At ports there are lots of staff to guide you to the trips or show you how to get out the the port, so no worries whatsover. Well done Marella, you offer a good pacakge. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Was on this ship last September round Med couldn't praise it enough food/drinks/service but what a difference 12 months make. Easy check in but card readers called to reception to 're register them Cabin, paid for a delux ... Read More
Was on this ship last September round Med couldn't praise it enough food/drinks/service but what a difference 12 months make. Easy check in but card readers called to reception to 're register them Cabin, paid for a delux cabin first freezing cold sat with blankets round us which had to ask for bedding inferior sheets tied in knots at bottom duvet cover too big for duvet. Bathroom 1 tiny bar of soap body wash on shower wall and that was it. Food same quality ingredients, waiter dining room excellent but upstairs in the Zoo, sorry self service same quality food but ALWAYS overcooked, dried up and spoiled. DRINKS last year excellent quality wines, spirits, beers but this year what a change, NO chardonnay in wine choices quality of other wines like vinegar, only 2 beer choices spirits cheapest brands there is and you have to BUY bottled water, no wine waiter any more could pay £100 each for a drjnks package but stuff that. Had to pay £90 per cabin for WiFi no thank you. Money orientated trying to get as much out of you as possible Entertainment same shows as last year tweaked a little nothing outstanding. Trips destinations team not a clue wrong information on trips, one trip asked about was short walk through park to get to Church of Spilled Blood, a 3 mile yes 3 mile walking jaunt showing us completely insignificant buildings. bring bad on kegs with others the same NOT too amused. Overall a very dissspointing cruise and would aI sail with Marellw again NO NEVER. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This is a second hand ship so we had lowish expectations but it turned out to look quite good. We had an unassigned balcony cabin and it was midship on deck 6; could not have been better. Shortage of draws but adequate wardrobe space. The ... Read More
This is a second hand ship so we had lowish expectations but it turned out to look quite good. We had an unassigned balcony cabin and it was midship on deck 6; could not have been better. Shortage of draws but adequate wardrobe space. The cabin safe was difficult to use with a 10 inch tablet. Bed was comfortable and the room warm. The weather on the cruise was not brilliant so did not use the balcony much for sitting out but it was worth the extra money for the great views. All the staff we met were very friendly and professional. The theatre looked great and produced excellent shows every evening; can not praise the Broadway troupe highly enough. The cruise is all inclusive which we liked. The drinks package included was comprehensive (choice of Gins, numerous cocktails, soft drinks etc.) so there really is no need to buy in the expensive Premium drinks package. Our first disappointment came within minutes of boarding and was a persistent problem. There are simply not enough seats in the Island buffet room, every meal was a fight to secure a seat before attempting to find any food. Finish eating and go to one of the bars for a drink and you have the same problem, so the great atrium which looked so good was difficult to find seating in, this was no more apparent than when the captain gave us a welcome speech when the majority of people were left standing. The balconies overlooking the atrium were devoted to selling photos or bike rides rather than providing more seats which just shows the priorities of Tui. Mass catering is never going to be great so no surprises that the food was average, but not always as hot as it should be. Our first meal in restaurant 47 was a disaster and when we tried to give it a second try we were told there was a waiting time of one hour. We did get into 47 Gallery and the meal here was quite good. Snack Shack provided a quick bite especially coming back onto the boat after a shore trip. The Island buffet, the main eatery on board, was a perfect disaster of planning; having found a seat and leaving your partner to guard it you then went to a series of islands to prise out a plate from the heated servery and then had to visit three different islands to get a main meal! The islands had an eclectic mix of fruit, chips and beans (green beans were available for every lunch or dinner we had !), move to another island to find salads and hot vegetables, curry and mashed potatoes; bizarre. Another thing we could not understand was having roast turkey, cranberry sauce, pigs in blankets and then having chips or mash as the potatoes served with it; next morning roast potatoes were served with the eggs!! . . this happened on more than one occasion. Want a croissant? you will not find them on the 'Bakers Dozen' island. The fruit juice, available only at breakfast time, turned out to be far too sweet for most peoples taste. We were encouraged to sanitise our hands on the way into the restaurants but the tables were rarely wiped and we never saw disinfectant used on the tables at all. On a sea day the heating in the Glass House/ indoor pool failed so people either wrapped up in towels or tried to find seating elsewhere, there was also an issue with lifts not working. The joining instructions from Tui were clearly written some time ago and have been added to over the years so that they no longer make sense, they tell you the ship sails at 15.00 and also at 16.00, they also say you can board from 13.30 until 14.00 or maybe 15.00; quite confusing. A very friendly ship that with a bit of reorganisation could be good. We would have to think carefully before booking with Tui again, but would not rule it out. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Havnt cruised for 10 years and that was in the Red sea on the Thomson Spirit.Almost didn't book this cruise as we were looking to travel to Mexico but that fell through.Not quite sure what to expect on a COLD cruise with city ... Read More
Havnt cruised for 10 years and that was in the Red sea on the Thomson Spirit.Almost didn't book this cruise as we were looking to travel to Mexico but that fell through.Not quite sure what to expect on a COLD cruise with city sightseeing trips and not the hot spots we are used to but I have to say we were very happy with our choice of holiday.Embarkation went quite smoothly through check in and security and took about 1 hour.The discovery is a refurbished royal Caribbean ship and the perfect size.About 1800 passengers and around 700 crew.The demograph on board was quite elderly which you might expect but we were happy to see a few couples on board considerably younger than us,{were in our late fifties] and it was nice to see the vast majority of people smartly dressed in the evenings.Being all inclusive its difficult to critisice the drinks but the cocktails always needed a top up with a bit more alchohol.Food for us was a little disappointing,the buffet was always too busy and the food not great and we much preferred the restuarants with waiter service.There were no set eating times or tables and we liked to share tables with other couples to make for a pleasant dining conversation experience.Unfortunatly the food wasn't consistently good.I hope im not being too critical as we certainly didn't starve and we arnt foodies but we had expected slightly better.Staff in the restaurants and bars were excellent but we felt that the restaurant staff were understaffed and overworked to give of their best.Entertainment in the evenings was very good and the broadway shows were excellent and the activities during the day covered most peoples tastes,Only problem with a cold cruise is extra pressure on seating indoors especially on at sea days and the discovery does not have enough capacity.Most of the trips ashore we did ourselves apart from st Petersburg Russia where you travel on a group visa on organised trips.An amazing place to visit.To summarise we wernt expecting to enjoy out holiday as much as we did and have never taken so many pics on holiday.We would absolutely travel on the discovery again Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We started cruising in 1987 when the ships were smaller and the food and service was excellent but over the years the ships got larger and larger the food and service deteriated to such an extent that we cruised twice in 2017 on these ... Read More
We started cruising in 1987 when the ships were smaller and the food and service was excellent but over the years the ships got larger and larger the food and service deteriated to such an extent that we cruised twice in 2017 on these floating theme parks we said that's it no more cruising for us. A friend recommended marella which turned out to be brilliant just like cruising used to be we booked a suite which was massive, every member of the crew were friendly and seemed happy in their work and couldn't do enough for us.Within two days most of the crew and senior officers were calling us by our name. The ship was spotless in all departments and whether you ate in the restruants or the self service islands the choice of food and service was as good as any ship we have been on. The performers in the shows were absolutely brilliant, I'm not a fan of singing and dancing shows and always sit on the isle so I wouldn't disturb people when I left early, on this ship the show and the talent was so good I sat through every show. Despite the drinks being free the waiters were always offering you drinks and being free you would have thought they would be slow to keep the costs down but the opposite was true. My wife complained that the ship lacked the wow factor but compared with other ships I found it homely comfortable and very friendly, we could all find something to complain about but my only complaint is this ship isn't based in Southampton and doing the Mediterranean as if it was I wouldn't consider using any other shipping line . Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
First embarkation from Southampton for Discovery and we always wanted to visit St Petersburg, This is our second trip on the Discovery and weren’t disappointed with the ambience,food or entertainment. Embarkation was a piece of cake, ... Read More
First embarkation from Southampton for Discovery and we always wanted to visit St Petersburg, This is our second trip on the Discovery and weren’t disappointed with the ambience,food or entertainment. Embarkation was a piece of cake, straight through check in and luggage delivered to cabin by the time we had a coffee in the Snack Shack deck nine. There were six in our party( four plus two who had not been with Marcella before) but subsequent dining was a doddle ,it only took a couple of days to find a great waiter and team- table 29- in the 47# dining room. Entertainment by the resident troupe was very good, how they remembered all the routines, only disappointment was that there was only one guest act the whole cruise, though Sebby Mercury was a joy ( one of the troupe) Generally all the staff, front of shop and back room, were excellent and all attentive, and all team leaders were approachable and friendly. We visited Gothenburg Tallin Warnemunde Stockholm St. Petersburg ( two days) Copenhagen and Zeebrugge though not necessarily in that order A downside , though we had a larger cabin chosen from the ship’s deck plan on line, Deluxe on deck eight (8534) which was quite spacious,the floor to ceiling windows were grimy outside mainly because the window cleaner couldn’t reach and because the deck above (9) was the lounger and table area for the snack bar we had furniture movement at about 6am to 7 am and again about 9 to 10 pm The casino had only two tables, blackjack and poker, the roulette was an automatic one and very popular, and the slot machines plentiful and paid out quite well,!!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Should of known what was coming when the manager of the store at the forte Birmingham gave us incorrect information regarding parking and checking in. From parking the car at the port following a twenty minute queue it took exactly 3 ... Read More
Should of known what was coming when the manager of the store at the forte Birmingham gave us incorrect information regarding parking and checking in. From parking the car at the port following a twenty minute queue it took exactly 3 hours to board the ship. Totally unprepared for check in with 8 stations open and the card registration crashing constantly. The ship itself as a previous Royal Carribean ship was OK The staff were uninterested and personally witnessed what I believe was 5he staff helping themselves to wine from the islands cafe and transferring into implements at the waiters station. The shows in the broadway lounge were pathetic and the one act they brought in which was a magic/comedian act made ourselves and a large number of people walkout as it was worst than you would see in a working mans club. For the first three days I was bombarded with staff trying to upgrade my all inclusive package to a premium package, this was indicative of the cruise with regard to trying you to spend more and mor3 money on nothing more than crap. I have cruised many times before and this is by far the worst overall experience I have experienced. This is no mor3 than a poor performance of Haven on the seas. Don’t waste your money. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We travelled as part of a family group and the entire trip was paid for by my father-in-law. As we had a junior suite we had priority boarding at Southampton so this was very quick and easy (I later found out that non-priority passengers ... Read More
We travelled as part of a family group and the entire trip was paid for by my father-in-law. As we had a junior suite we had priority boarding at Southampton so this was very quick and easy (I later found out that non-priority passengers had uptown a three hour queue and the whole process was a bit chaotic, something that Marella is looking at how to improve). Discovery is a fairly small ship and first impressions from the quayside was very pleasing. Onboard the public areas were clean and modern, plenty of seating and excellent service. Dinning was generally excellent in the main restaurants (we tended to avoid the buffet due to lack of inside seating) and although they were table service we always asked for (and got) extra helpings. Shows were generally not my taste but the others enjoyed them; I did enjoy the magician which the others didn't. There was live music, dance classes and bingo in the lounges. Outside there is a complete circuit deck (four laps to a mile) and some partial decks. Apart from the outdoor pool and jacuzzi (both of which were little used due to the weather) there is a 9 hole mini golf and a climbing wall; also two shuffleboards. Inside is another pool (with retractable roof) and table tennis. There are arcade games in the children's area (deck 10). Cabin was comfortable but a little disappointing (see separate review). Apart from Stravanga the ports, although scenic, had little to offer. This is largely due to the lack of population in Norway (in fact it was very rare to see a Norwegian on the streets). The distances between the excursion sights meant a lot of time on coaches but at least the ship has to wait if you're late back which we were once. Overall, we all had a very good trip, the scenery was fantastic (which is the whole point) even if the weather wasn't. The crew were excellent and I have no major complaints with the ship. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Just back from our fifth cruise, this one the Fjords. Only two negatives from an otherwise excellent cruise. Firstly, out of eight lifts, two were out of order for the whole trip. Amazing the difference to when we were last on the ship ... Read More
Just back from our fifth cruise, this one the Fjords. Only two negatives from an otherwise excellent cruise. Firstly, out of eight lifts, two were out of order for the whole trip. Amazing the difference to when we were last on the ship last May. Frequent long frustrating waits. Secondly the entertainment wasn't as good as previously. The main topic of conversation throughout the voyage at every meal was the boarding experience at Southampton. It was in a nutshell, a complete shambles. We were comparatively lucky, queuing for only one hour twenty five minutes. Some people we spoke to waited up to three and a half hours plus many had to re-register on the ship as the system would not process their boarding cards. We were thinking this was the norm for cruise embarkation as we had the same problem on our first cruise with Thomson/TUI/Marella back in May 2017 at Malaga on the Dream. A two hour wait due to a computer crash. So despite all the effort of the ships wonderful crew the whole experience was marred by the incompetence on shore. We certainly think the director in charge of this part of operations should be promoted ASAP and moved to department where he or she can cause little damage to customer relations. A final thought, it might well be of interest for some organisation like yourselves to publish a list of cruise embarkation ports and feature the average embarkation times of each cruise line so that we can eliminate poor performers. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Southampton is so easy to cruise from unless u travel with Marella queue to pick up your envelope to but luggage tag on suitcase and get room key then take luggage to pick up point for porters to take to room not so easy if wife in ... Read More
Southampton is so easy to cruise from unless u travel with Marella queue to pick up your envelope to but luggage tag on suitcase and get room key then take luggage to pick up point for porters to take to room not so easy if wife in wheelchair that`s the bad bit for us then straight thru and onto ship. for u more able bodied people about 2-3 hours after that to get on the ship as most people we spoke to said. The bad bit over with, Our 1st time on a small ship we had nothing to be nervous about this is a great ship we found all staff very good never used the buffet restaurant used the MDR & Italian every time food very good yes small portions but 3 course meal with wine then port you will not go hungry the shows were normal standard for any cruise ship and we have seen quite a few over the years service at the bars/coffee shop was 97 per cent very good layout of ship easy to get around toilets every other floor the price for this type of all inclusive cruise is very good value check out celebrity prices for this cruise and you will have nothing to complain about also check out the pub in Flam right by the doc £15 for a glass of wine £10 a pint very nice pub tho will go with marella again enjoyed the trip Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our first cruise. We never considered a cruise before but the deal for 8 nights to the Norwegian Fjords was an offer we couldn’t refuse. My husband couldn’t believe going to notoriously expensive Norway could be achieved at ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We never considered a cruise before but the deal for 8 nights to the Norwegian Fjords was an offer we couldn’t refuse. My husband couldn’t believe going to notoriously expensive Norway could be achieved at such good value yet it is all inclusive ie: cabin, all food, all drinks/alcohol, entertainment, tips etc We were not impressed by the embarkation which was a shambles. Ten check in desks for over 1800 guests caused a long wait for everyone. However, once on board everything was great for the deal we had booked. The whole ship was kept spotlessly clean and tidy, the staff were fantastic providing a friendly, effecient and professional service. Our inside cabin was small but had ample storage, a hairdryer, coffee/tea facilities, a tv, the en-suite was a bit like a caravan with shower curtain rather than screen but we coped ok, our cabin was cleaned by Pande who did a great job. The food in several different eateries was great with plenty of variety. We normally had breakfast and lunch at Islands buffet restaurant and enjoyed a delicious 3 course meal each evening at 47 which in any other restaurant along with alcohol, coffee etc would have probably cost a minimum of £75. Service was exemplary. Special mention to Paul Col the main chef and Ajay his assistant, for the wonderful food, the quality astounded us considering there were so many covers. Special mention for waiters Trajche from Mexico and Manuel from Honduras who provided great service. There were two shows each evening in the beautiful Art Deco styled thie: singing, dancing, costumes and was often better than many shows we’ve seen elsewhere provided by a young, energetic and enthusiastic team. In other areas there was live music. Special mention to the band B12 and fantastic solo saxophonist Vernal. There are other areas on the ship ie the inside pool (food and drink served there too, served with a smile by Stanislavsky), Outside pool where there are different functions, nightly films shown, BBQ, live music. Table tennis tables are provided. There are quiz’s and dancing classes during the day. A climbing wall. The deck has walking circuit which many people used. It sounds busy but we always found a quiet area to read etc. There were plenty of bars available where alcolhol/drinks were served freely. The sailing was done over night, the ship docked at a different easily accessible destination each day. The destinations all had a different feel to them. We had no regrets visiting Norway, it’s a beautiful, clean country. We didn’t book any excursions as we found them expensive. We researched ahead of time (often using trip advisor) and did some DIY excursions. The Flam railway was wonderful. We got off ship early, there was a short walk to railway station, booked the next train which left 1/2 hour later, the train wasn’t as busy as those on the excursion trips. Needless to say sailing through the Fjords before docking in the morning or leaving a destination late afternoon/early evening were spectacular, stunning, unspoilt and truly beautiful. We particularly enjoyed from the front of the ship the sun setting one evening If another deal came our way particularly to an expensive destination, we would definitely consider Marella Cruises again and would not hesitate to recommend them. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Having sailed with other cruise lines such as P&O, Ocean Village, RCI, MSC and Disney I would like to think I have gained enough experience with cruising and as such I can make unbiased informed observations and comparisons with ... Read More
Having sailed with other cruise lines such as P&O, Ocean Village, RCI, MSC and Disney I would like to think I have gained enough experience with cruising and as such I can make unbiased informed observations and comparisons with others. I have always wanted to try Thomson (now Marella) as they sail from my local port (North Shields – River Tyne) which makes life easier than having to take the long drive to Southampton or the inconvenience of flying to a destination so much so I was really hoping that I would enjoy this experience. Unfortunately this was not the case. We flew to Tenerife to catch the ‘Dream’ and to sail onto Gran Canaria, La Palmas, Madeira, Agadir (Morocco) Lanzarote then back to Tenerife. Although boarding was straight forward enough I was surprised to receive both of our suitcases at completely separate times (the first arrived at our cabin at 1pm which was about an hour after boarding) but the second didn't arrive until after 7pm, a full six hours later even though they were taken off together which meant we couldn't really get ready for our first night aboard and asking the reception on seven occasions for help was pointless as they didn't really have any clue, they just looked puzzled and confused. First impressions of the ship were a bit disappointing, none of the usual wow factor you come to expect with normal cruise ships. There was no atrium / lobby or anything that looked really nice. Instead we were presented with this grubby, tatty old looking cross channel ferry that needed a damn good clean and a few coats of paint, let alone some new carpets. The pubs and bars looked like they were out of the 70’s and the Casino which was a portable affair was a grubby little area not far from the outside smoking area and as you can imagine smelled of old cigarettes and beer. It reminded me of local social clubs. The buffet was again very small and cramped and the food wasn't up to much either, it stank of fish daily. The main dining room (the Orion) looked a bit better if very old fashioned and tired. Food was quite plain and repetitive day in day out with Spinach showing up all the time. Service was okay but no more than, (it shows that Gratuities are included in the price as the waiters and for that matter bar staff and the cabin stewards seemed a bit ‘laid back’ in their duties shall we say) Drinks were priced fine as were the cocktails, that is until you tried them, they were the worst excuse for cocktails we have ever drunk as they had little to no flavour what so ever. This was a huge disappointment as although we don't drink a great deal, we do like cocktails daily whilst on board. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that Thomson offer drinks packages and as such the quality just isn't there maybe down to cost cutting measures. We had heard a fair bit about how the entertainment was very good compared to other cruise lines. This was completely the opposite we found. I realise we all have different tastes and expectations of what quality entertainment actually is but I was surprised to find out just how bad it was. The theatre shows are normally fantastic on cruise ships in that you are often treated to west end / Broadway quality shows. This certainly is the case with lines such as P&O and Disney, however what Thomson gave us was dreadful. Most of the main singers couldn't actually hold a note in fact two in particular (one guy and one of the girls) actually sounded as if they were deaf they were so bad and also they over egged it too much it was painful to watch. There was also a guest comedienne on board called Brenda Collins who was obviously plucked straight out of the 70’s (minus the humour) who thought that putting on a monkey mask or dressing up as a mermaid was funny, it wasn't! it was cringy Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2011
Getting to the Ship We flew from Nottingham East Midlands, our favourite airport, to Palma, departing exactly when we were due and landing a few minutes early. We had purchased the Boot's Meal Deal at the airport, rather than ... Read More
Getting to the Ship We flew from Nottingham East Midlands, our favourite airport, to Palma, departing exactly when we were due and landing a few minutes early. We had purchased the Boot's Meal Deal at the airport, rather than having an in-flight meal, but I would not recommend this to anyone as the sandwiches were dry and rather tasteless. Our baggage took an unexplained 40 minutes to start to appear on the carousel, but once they started to arrive, we were lucky to get ours quickly and were directed onto the coach which delivered us to the quayside where the Dream was docked. Check in was reasonably quick, considering a number of flights had arrived at about the same time, and we were greeted with a cool drink while we waited. Unbelievably, we had a case go missing between the coach and the quayside, which caused us some concern. It took us a little assertion to get one of the crew to agree to track the case down for us and we embarked and were taken directly to our cabin. Starting the cruise The cabin was more spacious than I had expected and there was plenty of storage space: a double wardrobe and another space for hanging clothes which was behind a curtain. There were 3 reasonably wide drawers below this space and four drawers in the dressing table. There was a shelf in the wardrobe and a shelf over the safe. There was a bath which had two showers over it, one for using while you were in the bath and the other a proper shower. [We did find that we bathed and showered before 5.00 pm each day, as the water tended to be only tepid once everyone started to get ready towards 5.30-6.00 pm.] We quickly sorted out our hand-luggage and decided to go for a drink while we waited for our safe to be activated (a request you can make as you check in, as long as you pay the £15 for the week. Fortunately, we were aware of this charge as it had been mentioned in the Forums which I had been reading prior to our cruise). A quick snack and a number of drinks later (we were lucky enough to have purchased the All Inclusive for £49.00), we returned to the cabin to find both our cases waiting for us. No mention of how they had found the missing one, but this was not important to us as we now had all of our luggage - top marks for a very swift response to our problem. After a short snooze (we had been up since 5.30 am), we showered and dressed for dinner, which was served as open dining. We usually prefer first sitting, but this gave us the extra flexibility to be just a bit later if we needed to be. Meals on Board We had read some fairly awful reviews of the food so we did not know what to expect. I have to say that every bowl of soup we had, no matter what flavour, was really tasty and with the exception of the two we had in Sirens, were piping hot! There was a six-course menu each day, but we usually found that the soup, main and sweet offerings were enough. It was true that there were quite small vegetable servings with the main meal, but I still found that I was quite full after the three elements I selected. Breakfasts were very good in the Orion, the omelettes especially. At lunch time, there were a number of choices available, from snacks like beefburgers, hotdogs, pizza etc, to pasta, to Chinese to English, with potatoes, rice and pasta available with meat and fish. I have to say that I loved every piece of fish I had, as it was always cooked really nicely. All this said, this was the only part of the cruise that I did not rate as excellent, more from the point of view of choice than quality or quantity, so it would be nice to hear that improvements and/or some changes were being made. [I did miss my night-time room service supper I used to have when were were on the QM2 earlier this year, but hey, I put less weight on during this cruise, and I never went hungry!] Our Itinerary We started our cruise in glorious sunshine, which carried on through the week except for our first day which was at sea and we made our way onto Deck 7 aft (recommended through the Forums), which was virtually empty. It was still warm but overcast, the sun appearing briefly in the afternoon to give us a taste of what was to come. We spent the day relaxing, reading, eating - all those things that we go on cruises for. Day 2 was spent in Trapani, Sicily and we went ashore and boarded the Trapini Toy Train, which toured the old part of the town, about 35-40 minutes, with an English-speaking guide. The town was typically Mediterranean, with rows of houses built close together to minimize the effect of the sun, as it was definitely cooler when we walked between the buildings after we got off the train. Information given in the Port guides issued by the Excursions Team included the fact that free Internet access was to be found 600 metres from where we docked, so we wandered down to the Internet Cafe for a fabulous coffee and 'catch-up' with home.  The centre of Trapini was approximately 10 minutes walk from the ship, but there is a small tourist train available just outside the Port gates. There is a timetable available and you can buy your tickets at the kiosk. It is great to do the train tour, which lasts about 35-40 minutes depending on the traffic, and then wander around the town, buy a coffee and watch the world go by. Free internet access is available about 600 metres from the ship just along the promenade along Garibaldi pier. Local buses run from outside the port area and information on these is available from the tourist desk inside the Port terminal. Day 3 saw us up early to catch our excursion from Naples to Pompeii. A short journey of about 25 minutes saw us arrive at the town and after a little delay getting our earphones sorted, we were off on our tour. We had been to the site a number of years earlier but it was clear that there has been more excavation, as there was some new sights to see. We arrived early and we were very pleased that we did, because it became very hot while we were going around the sight. It is an amazing experience to wander around the very streets on which the chariots drove, seeing the grooves made by the chariot wheels; or so see the shops that used to see hot and cold food, with the holes still existing where the pots used to sit; and to get a feel for how social the inhabitants used to be, taking their baths and having their meetings in central locations. After about two and a half hours we re-grouped and were delivered back to the ship, ready to have lunch and return to our relaxation on the deck, this time moving up to deck 11 and eating in Sirens. Day 4 we docked in Civitavecchia, Italy where most people take the opportunity to visit Rome. Much has been said in the Forums about the ways to get into Rome and we have, in the past, used ship's excursions and made our own way into the City. This time we decided to look around Civitavecchia itself, because we had been told that some work had been done to make this port more attractive in its own right. Once again, we sought out the Internet cafes, drinking coffee, watching the world go by and catching up with home - a truly relaxing way to spend the day. We returned for lunch and Deck 11 for the lunch-time quiz and reading time. Day 5 was spent in Ajaccio, Corsica, the birthplace and childhood home of Napoleon. Once again, we joined a local 'petit' Train - after a wait of about 30 minutes - and we travelled around the main parts of the town, with a stop to see the Statue of Napoleon - a trip lasting about an hour and ten minutes. We then found ourselves on the main street, which we meandered around before finding ourselves in another Internet Cafe, drinking coffee - I think there was a pattern developing somewhere here! Day 6 Palamos, Spain - this was our last call before returning to Palma. We caught the free shuttle bus to the centre of town where there was a fabulous vegetable market, obviously used by the local people. It was possible to walk into the town without using the shuttle bus, as it was an easy 15-20 minute walk, but as we are feeling our age a little we decided on the bus. After our, by now, habitual coffee and catch up, we returned for our lunchtime quiz and lunch in Sirens.  A complimentary bus shuttle opperates into town, provided by the Port authorities, but it is an easy 15-20 minute walk from the Port area. We took to the bus, which ran at about 15 minute intervals. This was a typical market town, very mediterranean in atmosphere and again free internet access was available at one cafe that we found. It was noticeable that there were fewer cafes that had it in this town than we had found in our other towns. Day 7 saw us back in Palma, having an early breakfast prior to being transferred to the airport. We went off the ship to collect our cases and, you wouldn't believe it, one of them had disappeared. Fortunately, after a few minutes and a major panic, my husband managed to find it in totally the wrong place, with all the grey labels as opposed to the pink! Entertainment I enjoy the Thomson evening shows very much because they are not just singing and dancing as in 'Broadway Blitz', but also told stories as in 'Skoolz Out' and 'Dancehall Daze', which included great acting as well. There was an evening with a comedy Magician, who I had seen before, who was very interactive with the audience and quite good. I didn't actually go to his second show, shown later in the week and as an addition to the main show, but that is a personal preference rather than a critical comment. I was surprised that he was the only visiting act, as I am sure there are usually more, but that may be a mistaken memory. We loved the shows that were held in the Medusa Lounge each evening, run by the Thomson Entertainment Staff, which included Weak Link; Musical Mastermind; Alternative Question of Sport; Generation Game and Mr and Mrs. These all included participation by passengers and were fully supported every night, seats being at a premium if you were late back from the early Show in the Theatre. There were quizzes, a classical duo, a fantastic group, a very easy-to-listen-to duo and other activities too many to mention - except for Bingo perhaps, which was slightly more expensive at £5 per book, which covered 3 games. This means that those people who usually play six books per game could be paying £30 a day, fine if you are aware of this and make that choice, but knowing about it first helps. The staff definitely explained this before they sell the tickets, but it appeared that some passengers were still not fully aware of it. The prizes, however, reflected the fact that Bingo was very popular throughout the week and not just on the last day when the big money is won! Special mention must go to Ash, Mark, Strum Jam and Thomson Dream's very own Ann Robinson??? Overall, this cruise was fantastic, our waiters, Dennis, Zar and wine waiter, Lito, looked after us, making sure we had a table with them each night, and we returned home relaxed and very happy. Well done Thomson Dream Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
This was our first cruise and so we thought we would book with a reputable holiday company and go on the Treasures on the Mediterranean. We had a great flight over to Palma where a Thomson Cruise rep greeted us and directed us to our ... Read More
This was our first cruise and so we thought we would book with a reputable holiday company and go on the Treasures on the Mediterranean. We had a great flight over to Palma where a Thomson Cruise rep greeted us and directed us to our transfer coach. After a 20-minute transfer we were at the port and boarding the Thomson Dream. We left our luggage on the dockside and it was delivered to us later in the day. Our first impression of the ship was that it was spotlessly clean and the Filipino crew were so friendly and helpful.Our cabin was very spacious and we had two wardrobes - plenty of clothes storage space.The entertainment by the Dream Team was top class and food was top quality. We ate in the Orion restaurant most nights and had 5 course meals with superb service by our very friendly waiter team Iing and Bernard. The on-shore excursions were very well planned and everything ran like clockwork.I was a bit concerned that we would feel the ship rocking, but there was no movement or engine noise whatsoever.The Dream is a cashless ship and so we were issued with plastic cards so that whenever we bought drinks from the bar, we just handed over the card and paid at the end of the holiday. All coffee and tea was free.The Thomson Dream cruise was one of our favourite holidays and we can't wait to go on our next one. Thank you Thomson Dream for a fabulous week in the Med. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
We went on this cruise with a very open mind after seeing it featured on Watchdog and reading many bad reviews. We took hope in the fact that the ship was going into dry dock for repairs and "refurbishment". How wrong we were!!! ... Read More
We went on this cruise with a very open mind after seeing it featured on Watchdog and reading many bad reviews. We took hope in the fact that the ship was going into dry dock for repairs and "refurbishment". How wrong we were!!! This was an absolute nightmare of an holiday,if ever a ship was wrongly named then this has got to take first place. The corridors stink and the carpets are filthy and threadbare. The walls are covered in big black marks were pictures have been hung and are no longer there. The lifts, (when working) stink and are of an hiddly piddly nature, you can go so far in one lift then have to get out walk to either the front or back of the ship to get another lift to continue your journey. Why don't you just walk up or down the strairs to get to where you want to go I hear you ask?? Because more often than not, the stairs are fenced off and you aren't allowed to walk down them. The aircon did not work in either the cabin or throughout the ship. Cabins of a good size but the bathroom dated and dirty, the bath comes complete with a permanent black scum mark all around it. Drawers extremely difficult to open. Work constantly being done whilst passengers are trying to eat. People allowed to smoke next to uncovered food causing smoke to taint food. Hygiene standards not maintained with regards to hand cleaning. I could go on and on but I would be here all day. This ship was not sorted whilst in dry dock, resulting in so many delays reaching our destinations. Until we actually left Madeira for the transatlantic crossing we were unsure if we would actually sail. The ship was sailing on one engine and limped to our destinations in Europe causing cancellations to excursions. There is a constant shuddering which can be felt throughout the ship, even lay in bed you can feel it through your pillow. I strongly advise anyone due to travel on this ship to think again and look to transferring to another ship. We have cruised with Thomson's previously and not experienced anything like this. I would never go on this ship again Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Hi Everyone After reading some of the 'melodramatic' reviews of the dream i thought it would be a good idea to write a fair unbiased one! i too have had good and bad experiences on the dream as i will highlight later in this ... Read More
Hi Everyone After reading some of the 'melodramatic' reviews of the dream i thought it would be a good idea to write a fair unbiased one! i too have had good and bad experiences on the dream as i will highlight later in this review, but to all those people reading these reviews and thinking that they've made a terrible mistake in booking on the dream, just remember people will only ever tell you the bad things that happen...never the good!! i was a 1st time cruiser going on the dream, i went with my partner who has been on many cruises (RCI, NCL, P&O) and his father who has been on more than him! We went on the Caribbean Dream cruise, Transatlantic from Southampton to Barbados! the itinerary was one of the main points that made us want to do this cruise as it stopped at some lovely places. Our 1st impression as we got to Southampton was that the whole embarkation process was seamless! i think we got there slightly early but nevertheless it was quick and we were on board and shown to our cabins in no time! our cabin was an inside stateroom on (notorious) deck 5, when we got in there we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of space that there was in the cabin, both my partner and his father said that the cabins were bigger than that on other newer ships! we probably could have done with a little more storage space but that was probably due to me not taking enough coat hangers and too many clothes!! i will say that it is definitely better to take suitcases that are collapsible and not those rock hard ones so you can store them under your bed. my partners father was in a single cabin and he found that to be very spacious and comfortable, he was also on deck 5. As we had arrived early it gave us plenty of time to take a wander round the ship and get some lunch in the Lido restaurant whilst others were still embarking the ship. the muster drill had to take place inside due to the cold weather in Southampton, i don't think anyone had complaints about that!! Unfortunately our problems started about half an hour after we had left Southampton when we returned to our cabin to find the bathroom had wet floor behind the toilet, we didn't think much about it and went for dinner, when we returned about an hour and a half later we found the bathroom to be totally flooded with grey water! our cabin steward 'Hari' was around at the time and after we had called reception to raise our concern we spoke to him too. he looked genuinely horrified that this was happening in our room and was very apologetic, we later found out why... it wasn't just our room! there was about 6 rooms surrounding ours that were all having similar problems, the room opposite ours had water going all the way back to their bed, the staff were frantically trying to get the water off the carpets using the wet vacuum they had, it was chaos outside our cabin for hours as the water just wouldn't subside. The plumbers that were fiddling around with pipes around our rooms just kept trying all sorts of things to get the problem sorted, this went on after midnight and we did witness them entering one room to look in their bathroom when i believe the occupants were in bed, which to be fair wasn't really on. They then said to us that the only way that they are going to sort the problem is by going through the Orion restaurant ceiling below us to get to the pipes but this couldn't be done until morning. Which was fine accept that it didn't help us with no bathroom to use overnight!! we think that the people in the cabins around us had given up and gone to bed. We however didn't want to sleep in a room with no bathroom and didn't think we should have to, so went to reception about 1 am to ask what we were supposed to do, they initially said there was nothing that they could do as the ship was full, but when we politely stood our ground and said how unacceptable this was, the lady found us one unoccupied cabin which was to be used for emergency situations for people to wash and shower in, we were allowed to use this overnight to sleep in as we were promised that our cabin would be habitable tomorrow. We asked at that time about what kind of compensation we would get for our inconvenience and also if our cabin is not habitable tomorrow , we were told nothing, all compensation was to go through Thomson when we returned home and again assured that everything would be sorted in our cabin... fair enough as long as it was true!! The next day we returned very nervous to our cabin to find it dry and cleaned :) The carpet was a little wet by the door, the carpet outside the room was wet through still and they were still trying to get it dry but we could not fault the staff for trying! Hari was around and asked us if we were OK and if everything was better, the staff really could not do enough. It appeared that everyone around us was moved from their rooms to other cabins later on in the cruise when some contractors had left the ship, we stayed on ours because after the initial problems our room was 'near enough' perfect! Our only other complaint about the room was with the Air Conditioning that just didn't appear to work no matter how many times we were told that it had been fixed, it never seemed to get cooler!! My Partners Father had problems with his toilet not flushing and filling up with sewerage, but it would usually then have a delayed flush to get rid of this and never overflowed, he just didn't like waking up to that most mornings. He was given sparkling wine and chocolates as a sorry for this which he accepted. I'm sure if you've read other reviews then you'll know about one of the engines breaking on the way to our first port which meant we were late getting there... OK so this was a little bit annoying due to not having a whole day in the port, but you'd have thought it was the end of the world if you'd listened to some peoples reactions on the ship! This went on after there was a problem with a generator in which it shorted out the whole ship so everything turned off for a matter of seconds before they kicked in again, we were sat outside on the Lido deck at the time and it was pure entertainment watching people gather and start an influx of rumours that were just not true! one man described to another 'and there was a big bang!!'...we just laughed at him, what an idiot! There just seemed to be people who went on that ship just so they could find problems with it. I had a lady one day approach me in the Lido Restaurant trying to recruit me into some sort of mass complaint whereby they will all complain to Thomson together and not on an individual basis even if they never had a complaint! that's just ridiculous! The food on board was lovely, we mainly went to the Lido Restaurant as there was something on the menu that we all liked, the other restaurants were nice and lovely food, we didn't eat in the Orion that often due to the food not being to all our our tastes at one time...OK so we're fussy eaters! It was a shame that the ice cream machine broke so early on in the cruise, it would have been lovely when we were in the Caribbean but never mind, just one of those unfortunate things i guess! You could not fault the staff on board at all, they were all absolutely brilliant and could not do enough! we felt sorry for the reception staff, even though we had to see them about our complaint we were never rude, hostile and never shouted at them which we witnessed other passengers doing. our cabin steward was so lovely, he was new to cruising as we found out by spending time chatting with him, he found it hard work but was enjoying it, he had a family at home that he'd next see in 8-10 months....i think most of the staff on board have the same story which is sad but they get better money doing this than working at home which they appear to appreciate! although they did say that they found England far too cold! we agreed!! :) It was nice to see the Captain eating with the passengers in the Lido Restaurant, no hierarchy obvious! we also thought it was nice that at his cocktail party he highlighted the fact that the running of the ship is mainly due to the people you don't see on deck as they are well below deck! this was a nice touch... the entertainment crew were very good, brilliant shows and genuinely friendly to talk to. There were a couple of guest comedy acts that came aboard for a week each, they were also good and mingled in with the passengers. Whilst we were at sea they changed the theatre into a cinema at 12 noon which was a great idea, were were pleasantly surprised by the quality of films that they showed, all new films not yet on DVD, i know this isn't to every one's taste to go on holiday and watch a film but we thought it was a good option to have. We saw dance classes going on, we didn't participate in any as we'd probably end up causing injury to ourselves! Every day there was a long list of activities going on around the ship if you wanted to join in, i don't think anyone could say that there wasn't anything to do! we didn't do much apart from relax but that was our choice not because we didn't have any other options. The ports were good, with plenty to do if you got off and went exploring, Porto was the only one where you had to go on a shuttle bus to get to town, however saying that my partners father went for a walk and ended up on a beach next to the town so it was doable! my favorite stop was Antigua...we did the jeep safari which was amazing..well worth it if anyone gets chance to do it, you see parts of the island that no taxi tour will take you too! and the guides are just so knowledgeable and friendly with no hidden agenda! they did not hint for tips or anything but we gave them one as we'd enjoyed it so much. Our very last complaint was with the compensation issue... after being told that we would not get anything on board, the day before the end of our holiday we were offered £200 compensation for the troubles at the start of the holiday which would be added to our room bill!! this was fine apart from the fact that we would have enjoyed the holiday a whole lot more knowing we had £200 to blow on what we liked...excursions, drinks etc. We'd already payed off most of our bill by cash and so only had something like £70 on our room when they offered that to us...after we discussed it with them they agreed to give us the £200 cash which was fair enough. One of the best things to point out was the brilliant way in which we left the ship and got home, we left our case out the night before and didn't see it till we got to Gatwick! no queueing at the airport to check in- just straight to security to departure lounge to plane! lovely! I'm sure i could go on forever but I'll stop boring you now, i just wanted to write a report which is honest...I'm sure some people have had a horrible time and I'm sure some people have had a fabulous time on the dream! like i said to start with you just never hear about the good stuff...it doesn't make interesting reading does it!??! Neither me or my partner (nor his dad) look back on this holiday with a negative view, the good points by far outweigh the bad and even though it was not funny at the time and caused unneeded distress, it was forgotten after the first 48hrs and we then just enjoyed the holiday. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Well here we go as promised...My first try at a short review of our cruise on the Thomson Dream transatlantic run december 2010. First impressions of the ship are that it is a dated and well used ship. It is clean and tidy and our ... Read More
Well here we go as promised...My first try at a short review of our cruise on the Thomson Dream transatlantic run december 2010. First impressions of the ship are that it is a dated and well used ship. It is clean and tidy and our cabin (7194) was in a good state apart from corrosion around the window and a crack in the sink unit in the shower room. Leaving southampton we lost one engine and continued on the remaining one arriving late at our first stop where spares and engine specialists were waiting to work on the broken engine as we continued on to our second stop. We also arrived late here and both crew and passengers were concerned that we would not be doing the transatlantic crossing because the captain had said he wold not even try it with only one engine. We had force 10 winds and waves crossing Biscay but for a small ship dream handled it well with a bit of rolling but nothing too bad. Before we reached Madeira our Third stop and the last before the Atlantic Motor 2 was on line and working well. There was plumbing issues in various places around the ship, flooding on deck 5, deck 10, water not working in some cabins. our cabin was really noisy when ship was maneuvering please try to avoid the cabins at rear of the ship if you do not like being awoken with a start if ship is docking early!! These of these problems are been worked on but will take time to find others. The bottom line is that the ship was not looked after when in service with Costa and the problems are showing up now. On the positive side the entertainment staff were great friendly and approachable as were the ships officers. The cleaning and waiting staff were great once they had all arrived ( some did not arrive until stop 3) the shows entertainment were great if a bit repetitive. The excursions were well organised and went without a hitch but please remember IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO WEAR ANY KIND OF COMBAT PATERNED CLOTHING EVEN SHORTS ON ANY OF THE CARIBBEAN ISLANDS AND YOU WILL BE STOPPED AND CLOTHING CONFISCATED. The trip home was a trek. We had to be out of cabins by 9.00am but due to the weather planes were late we did not leave the ship till after midnight and did not fly till 4.00am. The organisation on leaving was not good the queueing to get off was not good and when we got to Barbados airport all drinks were taken off us as we went through security and because the airport usually closes at 8.00pm there was nowhere to purchase any drinks in the lounge and we still had 3 hours to wait for the flight. It was only people power that got one of the shops open because there were no reps from Thomson in the airport which was well out of order. All in all a good cruise made that way more by the staff than the ship. We would go on the dream again as a bargain cruise but not if we had to pay full price then we will go with someone else. Read Less
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