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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise for a relaxing break based on previous experience on Thomson cruises to various destinations, we have previously done this cruise, alas based on our experience this time, never again. I am disabled and use an ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a relaxing break based on previous experience on Thomson cruises to various destinations, we have previously done this cruise, alas based on our experience this time, never again. I am disabled and use an electric buggy, when boarding the ship there was a few steps on the gangway and I had to walk up the gangway, at disembarkation at the end of the cruise the gangway was all steps, not at all "Fit for purpose" for disabled people like myself or in wheelchairs. In my opinion the ship was a little "tired", our balcony cabin was quite cramped and I had to leave my buggy in the corridor and there was very little room to walk past the bed to reach the balcony. The main dining room was at best O.K., the buffet restaurant a lot less so. After our evening meal in the main dining room at the start of the week, we were about to leave and my wife was going to take her newly topped up wine glass to finish of in the lounge when she was told "Not to take the glass from the dining room as they were short of glasses. The entertainment on board was of the usual high standard. On the day we boarded the ship had been cleared of passengers to have a "Deep clean", the pool was closed and did not reopen until five days later. On the day we disembarked to return home the ship was having another extended clean. This begs me ask the question, was the ship not cleaned properly the day we came aboard or were the potential health issues grossly under stated. The crew were in the main very hard working and friendly, theirs is not a job I would have chosen. Robert B Mathew Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We have always been on Thompson all been very good. I did not have one cup of coffee that was hot had to ask them to put my cup in the micro wave. Food was all warm or cold. The entertainment team at night in the show lounge was brilliant. ... Read More
We have always been on Thompson all been very good. I did not have one cup of coffee that was hot had to ask them to put my cup in the micro wave. Food was all warm or cold. The entertainment team at night in the show lounge was brilliant. The rest of the entertainment was terrible. They had a girl singer with two men I don't know how she got in. Two fast in a song or had to keep looking down at the words had no entertainment about her didn't mix with the guests. The only happy staff I came across was the chef cutting the meat for us or didi doing the room. The ship was filfy paper straws and tissues all over the deck. When we went to the pool the kids would be running wild. I know it's a family holiday but if the parents don't keep control of there children then I think it gives the staff the right to. Kids were jumping from the hot tub into the pool not caring who was close to that side. I had cups land on my head them throwing them in. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our first cruise with TUI / Marella and TBF i can only review what we experienced over the Christmas on board and can not compare with other cruises. Travel to ship was painless and check in easy debit card details left safe ... Read More
This was our first cruise with TUI / Marella and TBF i can only review what we experienced over the Christmas on board and can not compare with other cruises. Travel to ship was painless and check in easy debit card details left safe code collected we had already got out cabin number at our departure airport so far so good. Took awhile to get luggage but there were a lot of people arriving so there was some leeway from us on that. Cabin was exceptional and i would recommend upgrading to a suit to anyone i will review this in the cabin review. Food was ok , ate in the Orion (deck 11) for breakfast and lunch , and the waiter service on deck 4 three times including the Christmas day gala dinner, and using the 3 speciality restaurants on the other nights where the food was very good fine dining at its best. The hot stone was fun ,cooking your own meat to your liking very nice indeed. It was fun watching the guests coming into the dining room looking around for the tables of two and being disappointed they had been taken lol standing on tip toes looking as far into the restaurant they can... Entertainment was not what i had expected on a cruise i would have liked to see well known entertainers strutting their stuff not young enthusiastic kids screaming into the microphone. Sorry guys you tried your best with the resources you had to hand but you were just too loud for me and others who left during the performances. Bar, well like most but probably everyone were gently pushed into buying the premium drink package so you got premium drinks , better coffee etc. Considering i had paid top whack for my holiday with a £1470 upgrade for our cabin i would have expected this to be included errrr no... tried to buy someone a premium drink on my premium account was told no unless they had a premium account also oh dear not looking good really. But overall service good , fast and pleasant. Internet, again paying for cabin upgrade i would have liked free internet but had to pay £8 for 1 hour or until my MB allowance had been used so what was it an hour or a MB allowance i think the latter. Ship was ok, a little tired though out with ongoing repairs and paining while in port. Friendly crew and staff always wanting to help. Noticeable lack of staff but were told by others who had been on this ship in recent past that this was correct since TUI / Marella had taken over Thompson. Photographers clicking away like they had just been given a camera, leaving the ship, boarding the ship, walking around the ship always there clicking away, we nicknamed them the paparazzi, but we bought the ones we were going to buy anyway gala dinner and first time we boarded ship for the memory boxes. Conclusion wrong cruise for me for first time but enjoyed it to a point as we can just relax anywhere, looking at Asia cruise next year for a more cultural style of holiday as we both like that part of the world. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Only 4 hours flight. We like the Canaries and have been on destination intensive cruises there before twice with Thomson Celebration, which we prefer for entertainment and food. We booked our 'Canarian Christmas' - cruise & stay ... Read More
Only 4 hours flight. We like the Canaries and have been on destination intensive cruises there before twice with Thomson Celebration, which we prefer for entertainment and food. We booked our 'Canarian Christmas' - cruise & stay holiday in June 2017 for December & opted for an outside + cabin, which we knew we liked. We were last on the 'Dream' in November 2011 in the Caribbean, when the paid for safe caused us endless hassle but safe problems seem to have been sorted. Since it was built in 1986, there have been some cosmetic improvements but we felt that she was showing her age & a few customer service corners have been cut since 2011. The cabin was a good size, though the window was small & very rusty round the edges - so obviously in the original ship, not the mid section newer extension. Plenty of storage space for clothes etc. Good to see the kettle and PG tips and fridge. All the staff we came across were friendly and helpful, despite all gratuities being included. It’s the 1st time we’ve had an "all- inclusive" drinks package in the price. We did find it complicated to work out what was & wasn’t included so frequently referred to the scarce Drinks Menu booklet. For some reason some premium drinks like Drambuie and Cointreau were included but NOT bottles of water! We usually had a self service buffet breakfast, in the Lido or Sirens, to save time then ate in the more relaxed waiter service Orion in the evening. Food was generally OK but very disappointing for the Gala Dinner on Christmas Day. Those on our table who had turkey were happy but our "steak" wasn’t cooked to order, was overdone & too gristly. It would have been good to have more choice and a better wine included rather than the House Wine for the Gala Dinner. We could not drink the House White but Prosseco and House red were OK for our palates. Our Christmas cruise on the ‘Celebration’ in 2015 was better, e.g. Better food and we had complimentary mulled wine & mince-pies – not this time! When we eventually found a mince pie on Dream it was poor, hard pastry and very little filling. Excursions were a bit expensive, as usual, but the 3 we booked beforehand were enjoyable. On the other two islands we did long walks from our own guide books. For us there were too many quizzes & Bingo sessions on board but other people liked them. The few Talks seemed geared to selling you Excursions, Beauty Treatments, Massages etc. Wifi on-board was expensive at £49 a week & others told it was limited so we waited till we went ashore and used free wifi. Our invitation to the Thomson ‘Cruise Returners’ reception with Prosecco & canapes was a nice touch & a good opportunity to talk with the friendly Captain, without the half hour queue some went through at the Captain's Cocktail Party, with compulsory photograph. Good that there were three different musical entertainments to choose from each evening but we found most far too noisy for us. The comedian was not to our taste either. But we enjoyed the fun Murder Mystery and the Carol Service. Despite all our criticisms of on board life, we enjoyed seeing the Canaries again. After the week’s cruise we were transported to the four star Riu Arecas, at the quieter end of the Costa Adeje, Tenerife. The hotel was lovely & food excellent, including an especially vast choice of seafood and joints etc at New Year, generally putting the Dream catering to shame on a daily basis. BUT we, and the other 2 ladies who also came to our hotel, had brought some dreadful bug (? Noro Virus) with us from the ship. We were so ill for the Friday overnight and the whole of Sat Dec 30th, barely left our room, had lots of Imodium tablets & just drank bottled water. Certainly could not face any lunch or dinner. By evening of Sun 31st, we were recovering but couldn’t fully appreciate the wonderful Gala dinner in the hotel with free wine! Wife did make it briefly to the Tui Welcome Meeting & reported our poorly condition. The rep promised to relay the problem to the ship and we later found that the Noro Virus was on board the second week, pools were emptied, food was served directly to clients at the buffets etc. It was such a shame that the 4 of us, from the Dream, who stayed at the Riu Arecas, all lost a full day or so & couldn’t fully take advantage of the New Year’s Eve celebrations. We did manage to nibble some lobster and prawns but little else. We are not going back on the Dream. Have booked a more upmarket cruise on the much newer Viking Sea. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
decided to spend Christmas away last year, 1st time ever, chose Marella cruise as was convenient to fly from Birmingham, all inclusive including tips and very english. Haoliday was great ship was full and very busy. Couldnt fault the ship ... Read More
decided to spend Christmas away last year, 1st time ever, chose Marella cruise as was convenient to fly from Birmingham, all inclusive including tips and very english. Haoliday was great ship was full and very busy. Couldnt fault the ship and entertainment great. Now the moans- the cruise director Adam was never to be seen in the day only evenings and on prevoius Marella cruises the director was about all the time. The music around the pools was very very loud and always on, no peace st all.The indoor pool lovely and was adults only at certain times but no one to check and children in there a lot. You couldnt get a swim in the outdoor pool as the children took over. There was no shampoo body lotion etc in the cabins and we had a balcony cabin. Far too many foreign staff that didnt understand english, but all very obliging. The man that gave the talks from the spa waffled on and on and after one and half hrs there was still no solutions to any of the talks. He talked on diet, liver problems swollen ankles and many more but was no wiser when he had finnished. Evening meal in the resturants people were going in in tee shirts and shorts not dressed smartly and no one corrected them. Overall we had a lovely time but would not travel over holiday time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
.Entertainment exceptional .What a team and the show "Africa" was simply amazing.There were some great quizzes too.Crew so friendly and food was fine by us.Most of our dining was in the Orion which is the main restaurant and we ... Read More
.Entertainment exceptional .What a team and the show "Africa" was simply amazing.There were some great quizzes too.Crew so friendly and food was fine by us.Most of our dining was in the Orion which is the main restaurant and we did 2 nights in the speciality restaurants which were nice.We especially loved the Hot Stone at the Terrace Grill.We did this as an extra cruise as it was on at a great price .Didnt do any excursions just wandered off with map and an idea of what to see in town .Worked well for us and Arrecife in Morocco was a revelation.Gorgeous promenade and beaches and absolutely no hassle.10 euros for a taxi each way 2euros for the tourist train and 8 euros for 2 nice beers on the front.All the staff on board were lovely and we gave an extra tip to the cabin steward as he was so good. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
There is a lot to recommend this ship. 1. It is excellent value for money. 2. The food overall is very good. Whether you eat in the main dining room or the buffet there is always lots of choice and the quality is good. Best pluses ... Read More
There is a lot to recommend this ship. 1. It is excellent value for money. 2. The food overall is very good. Whether you eat in the main dining room or the buffet there is always lots of choice and the quality is good. Best pluses are the pasta station and the salad bar. Only minor criticism is, for me they over cook the beef. We also never had problems in getting seats at the time of our choosing in the main restaurant. The buffet could get busy on sea days but was far less chaotic than most cruise lines we have been on. 3. Overall the basic drinks package is very good. Reasonable quality spirits and good mixers. We don't drink white wine but we liked the Rose and the red was just about acceptable. Beware the red outside the dining room because it sometimes comes at mulled wine temperatures. The only beers offered in the basic package are Fosters and John Smiths. I like these beers some may not. Some people complained that because of the restrictions it was not all inclusive. I have been on lots of cruise lines and this is pretty good. Yes, some lines do offer top shelf spirits and wines but you would have to pay far more for the cruise in the first place. There were a couple of silly anomolies, you can order a gin and a vermouth separately, but if you order a Martini, you get charged. 4. Staff throughout the ship were excellent. Sometimes, in the theatre in particular, you had to wait to be served, but that was sheer weight of numbers. The boys and girls always kept smiling and worked their butts off. Our star performer was Maria in Horizons. 5. The entertainment team and the guest acts were excellent. Less keen on the comedians, but that just may be us. We have been on many cruise lines but this was our first on Thomsons. The majority of our experiences were positive. Now for the couple of downsides: 1. We are early risers and we like to sunbathe between eight and eleven ish. The first day we went down at just after seven and all prime locations were reserved but not in use. The following day we checked before seven. Same again and every sea day. We have encountered this problem before on Italian ships, but never before have we come across the Benidorm mob on a British cruise ship. 2. When I tried to raise the issue with guest services they ignored me for four days. The Manager apparently never received my four messages. I will put that down to inefficiency, rather than rudeness. On thing this cruise has taught me is to think very carefully about repositioning cruises. Four years ago I had exactly the same problems with MSC. I have not used used them since. I will not be using Thomson again for Ocean crossings.. I will use Thomson again for cruises with frequent stops. Good value, food drink and service make it acceptable. The sun beds issue becomes unimportant because either I or the majority of the mob will be . Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Having sailed on this ship & other ex Thomson cruise ships is was quite obvious that not only has the name changed but so has everything else but not for the better. Swimming pool on lido deck billowed out black smoke and deck had to ... Read More
Having sailed on this ship & other ex Thomson cruise ships is was quite obvious that not only has the name changed but so has everything else but not for the better. Swimming pool on lido deck billowed out black smoke and deck had to be evacuated, pool out of action for 5-6days. Having booked and paid for a deluxe outside cabin next one along from last years we were unable to sleep for the musician and his synthesiser blasting out a monotonous drum beat until 01.00am from the Hemingway bar below us even the pillow vibrated. Having made a complaint we were told couldn't be moved to another cabin as none available suggested we were given earplugs. To quote Queen Victoria we were not amused. The quality of food was appalling completely tasteless and very often cold especially at the buffet.It has always been the norm that a 2 week cruise would have 2 formal nights so packed accordingly only to find second was turned into a dress to impress night for photo's instead very disappointing .On the six days at sea passengers were out at 05,00am reserving sun beds on sunny side of ship thus waking us up with moving of beds.. AS there were so many walking wounded on top of everything else did begin to wonder if I was on a jinxed ship.Is this another German ploy the British have lower standards than them. The crew as always were brilliant except for reception who were polite but cold & did nothing to alleviate any concerns. Designated smoking areas were a joke as people considered walking around the deck was the norm even smoking leaning over the rail while ship being refuelled .Consequently anyone wishing to enjoy a coffee on deck 6 outside liberties in a smoke free zone were unable to do so,Anyone flying into or out of La Romana aiport Dominican Republic should be made aware there is no ambilift so you have to be able to walk up stair to aircraft. Gill Clay cabin 0223 Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Originally selected this cruise because we had visited most of the other Caribbean Island's on our previous two cruises, and fancied St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands and San Juan in Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, due to the recent ... Read More
Originally selected this cruise because we had visited most of the other Caribbean Island's on our previous two cruises, and fancied St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands and San Juan in Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, due to the recent hurricane's, these two ports were dropped from our Itinerary and instead visited Pointe a Pitre in Guadeloupe, and Fort de France in Martinique. Both were nice but I think personally fairly pricey. That said I did not venture too far as I was slightly off-colour in Guadeloupe. Embarkation at the start of the cruise is always a timely process due to the number of passenger's boarding, this is one of the stages I don't enjoy much but I understand the reason. But in fairness, this year it was a quicker process, the previous 2 years we were on the Thomson Dream as it was known then before rebranding. The ship Discovery is a beautiful ship and I was impressed, this was our first trip on the Discovery, we had an outside cabin and found it to be smaller than that on the Dream and it had no fridge which we had on the dream, so I was a little disappointed in that respect as I had a few items of my own for the fridge. My view on this is that I think Marella, (as they are known now), are reducing the smaller details that can help make your cruise a more enjoyable experience as a way of cutting cost, unfortunately they are not passing it on to us the passengers. I also observed varying complaints from passengers that had voyaged on the Discovery before, mainly since their rebrand. The service overall was not bad from a personal point of view, but again I observed several complaints from returning passenger's. During my 15 days we only had bad service twice, once the meals for the whole table arrived cold and had to be returned and on the second occasion items were missing off the plates (maybe chef had got a roasting from his boss, who knows). Personally I understand that things will go array from time-to-time as we are dealing with humans, but it is the attitude it which it is rectified that leaves a lasting impression. The bars are stocked with a varied selection of Cocktails, Spirits, Red, White or Rose wines, not much of a selections on beers, depending on your taste. The Entertainment for me was good, the team work hard and put on shows to a high standard, again here I heard various opinions from other cruiser's, this is an area which will always be debatable as different people have different expectations. Shore excursions for me are overpriced with the company, some were enjoyable others were forgettable. We only did two with the company, the others we did with the locals which were cheaper and better value for money at a more relaxed paced. On the day of Disembarkation we had to exit our cabins by 8am and one person from the party had to take their passports and emigration forms to deck where the emigration processed was carried out on-board ship. We did not leave the ship until 12:30 for the airport. In summary; I had an great cruise, met some lovely people, the ship was nice and the majority of the staff were brilliant. I did encounter 1 bar staff member who was rude and abrupt which I had to report to his supervisor, but this was the only extreme negative. There were some minor issues but not enough to ruin my experience, and when dealing with people of varying origins there are always going to be difference of opinions at times. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We've been on many cruises with different cruise lines before, but we chose this one because we took one of our children's families on a Thomson's Cruise last year and were very impressed, and the timing was ideal as other child care ... Read More
We've been on many cruises with different cruise lines before, but we chose this one because we took one of our children's families on a Thomson's Cruise last year and were very impressed, and the timing was ideal as other child care duties were becoming slightly less pressing. We are not yet convinced by the freedom dining concept which means you don't easily build up contacts with staff and fellow travellers, and we felt that there was some evident cost trimming which meant that staff seemed more hard-pressed. We weren't sorry to lose some of the fringe activities like the chocolate festivals and ice-carving and we felt that fewer invited performers improved our entertainment enjoyment, because the young, 'resident' cast was excellent. TUI's general co-ordination was generally up to the level we experienced last year, but communications regarding the possible impact of the recent hurricanes was not ideal.We were surprised that passengers had to pay to join a passengers' choir. However, the food, service and entertainment were excellent, and the ship and our cabin were maintained meticulously. We couldn't have had kinder, more obliging cabin stewards than Milos and Ganna. The value, given the all-inclusive tariff and the fact that general gratuities were included, was outstanding. We liked the medium size of the ship and the show lounge and walking track in particular. The first time in the Eastern Caribbean and the weather was excellent. I found the islands fascinating and attractive in an uncoordinated way, my wife found them disorganised, impoverished, and sometimes intimidating. Most of the local people were charming. The destinations staff could have devoted a little time in their talks to advising those who who were going ashore on foot. Read Less
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