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225 Marella Cruises Eastern Caribbean Cruise Reviews

We have just returned from an absolutely fantastic holiday where we spent 14 days cruising around some Caribbean Islands aboard the Thomson Dream. I will say at the outset, that when we first embarked on the holiday we went with some ... Read More
We have just returned from an absolutely fantastic holiday where we spent 14 days cruising around some Caribbean Islands aboard the Thomson Dream. I will say at the outset, that when we first embarked on the holiday we went with some worries after having read some awful reviews that had been posted on the days prior to our holiday starting. Let me say, I can only think the reviewers were actually on another ship and for those of you who have booked the Dream, go with an open mind because you too will have a memorable holiday and have nothing at all to worry about. Over many years now, we have stayed in top 4 and 5 star hotels in Europe, the Caribbean and Africa, had only a couple of cruises before (including Thomson), but expect value for money and good service, so hopefully this review is balanced and fair. I will first get the negatives out of the way, as they are few and will take no time at all: All inclusive drinks package….don’t bother. It is way too expensive. We did not stint on our drinks and had exactly what we wanted. We are normal holiday drinkers and our drinks bill was only around half the cost we would have spent on the package. Bar prices are reasonable. If you take out the package, to use your allowance would mean you would have to be pretty ill for the duration and would no doubt miss part of your holiday! Sea days and sun beds…….We have to be very early risers at home and find it hard to lay in on holidays, so we had no problems getting a sunbed, but others struggled. It is hard to see a huge space unused most of the time in the form of the sports deck and we could not understand why this is not used at least during sea days as a sunbed area. Of course, there may be a simple explanation such as they would harm the surface, but surely something could be done? So there we are, two negatives - now the rest. Cabins: We had an outside plus which was spacious, kept spotlessly clean and had a comfy bed. Would be nice to have had a British TV channel showing something other than new and sport though. Crew: This is Thomson’s selling point, a friendly crew with an excellent service record and this was evident on the Dream. The crew are wonderful and certainly enhance your holiday. Food: We never had a meal served cold. The Orion offered a good selection in their menu at night and apart from one very busy evening when service was a little slow we had no complaints at all. We ate in the Sirens for breakfast and lunch if we were on ship. Food is good quality and tasty. We had every kind of meat on offer and although some reviews mention a shortage of beef we did not experience this at all. Yes, steak is extra, but unlike our last cruise on NCL, when to get a decent meal we had to pay for it in the specialty restaurants, on the Dream it was as it should be. You paid for a meal if you wanted something a little different. We had ‘Steak under the Stars’ and this was lovely. Entertainment: Now, this is where I REALLY speak my mind! Although accepted, people have an entitlement to their opinions, I cannot believe some of the pompous remarks of some reviewers on this subject. The entertainment team are young – so what? I would like to bet these individuals have more talent in their little fingers than most of us have in our entire bodies. They are professional, talented and work their butts off. Not only did we never witness anyone walking out of a show, we saw the opposite. People took their seats at least 30 minutes before a show to get a good position, and several shows were rewarded with standing ovations. Shows were the highlight of each evening and were as good as anything we have seen on a holiday before. Steve Johnson the Cruise Director was also on the Thomson Celebration when we sailed on her last year, and he also has an amazing singing voice. Speaking to one the team, we learned just how rigorous the recruiting process is which Thomson uses for employing people in their shows and this would explain why these youngsters really are so skilled. If they were not talented they would not be on board. Itinerary: Honestly, what can you say; Antigua, St Lucia, St Kitts, St Vincents, the list goes on. Exotic, beautiful places we have visited and will remain in our memories forever. I just want to do it all again… The Dream is a ship which is getting old and most of us will have known that when we booked, so when people show surprise that it is not pristine and looking like new I can only feel a little confused. She is kept clean and sparkling and the public areas are comfortable and with obviously new carpets and furnishings and fittings. So not sure what ‘looking tired’ means. One last thing to mention is the Captain. He relates a little story over the speaker each night. At first we could not make up our mind whether he was funny, interesting or just nutty as a fruit cake! We settled on endearing, memorable and certainly unique. So, to all you lucky people who are booked on the Dream and have a holiday to look forward to……do just that. Look forward to it as you will have a truly wonderful time!   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Think it is terrible what people are saying about Thomson Cruises.  We have been on a lot of these cruises and always find they are fantastic. Agree with what some people are saying about the excursions being very expensive, but we ... Read More
Think it is terrible what people are saying about Thomson Cruises.  We have been on a lot of these cruises and always find they are fantastic. Agree with what some people are saying about the excursions being very expensive, but we always use local cabs which we find are really good, and value for money. As for the food we always eat in the Orion Restaurant and could not fault it in any way, we did eat in the other restaurants a couple of times and found there was nothing wrong with the food there but we just preferred waiter service. All of the staff are marvellous could not fault them in any way. Entertainment was excellent there was always something to do or see if you wanted it, or you could be quiet if you wanted to be. We have only been back 2 weeks and are looking at Thomson Brochure for another cruise later this year as we enjoyed it so much. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Flight on the Dreamliner was very comfortable albeit long (can't be avoided) ship looked aging but comfortable, room was a little on the small side, the first thing I noticed was how nice the crew were, as for food a bit hit and miss ... Read More
Flight on the Dreamliner was very comfortable albeit long (can't be avoided) ship looked aging but comfortable, room was a little on the small side, the first thing I noticed was how nice the crew were, as for food a bit hit and miss breakfast was by far the best meal, entertainment was really very good and the dream got talent was a brilliant show. Downside was I booked the tours prior to traveling not a good idea can save a fortune, if you just wait until the day a walk down to the quayside and you'll get the same trips for a fraction of the price IE one trip Thomson wanted £46 each, quayside £26 for both of us, but if your not back on time the ship will go without you where as on the Thomson tour they will wait be warned. Drinks package at £225pp pw that excludes coffee or soft drinks and if you wanted premium drink the was further cost, total madness Dress code was in place but many ignored it. Itinerary was changed due to the trade winds a little high for this time of the year a small disappointment but love it all the same, will book another cruise but not yet. A must do for those whom are in two minds. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Booked this ship with thomson as we have been cruising with them many times before , but never again This was a cruise and stay holiday we booked for Christmas and my birthday , we Went as 2 couples me and my other half and my parents , ... Read More
Booked this ship with thomson as we have been cruising with them many times before , but never again This was a cruise and stay holiday we booked for Christmas and my birthday , we Went as 2 couples me and my other half and my parents , spent a lot of money as it was Christmas but thought it would be worth the money how wrong we were. The food was appalling ,cold not enough and a rubbish choice but if you like sprouts you will be fine the resturant service was terrible the anytime dinning didn't work on this ship , I felt sorry for the waiters so many people were not happy. The cabin was clean and just about functional but very small , the cabin staff were great thought. We were charged 2 weeks use of the safe,which we didn't use and we were only on for a week. The sun beds were a joke a lot of them were broken and thomson tried to squeeze too many in ,people couldn't move Not impressed with thomson it has been upgraded to a platinum ship I don't know where they spent the money I won't be going with them again Our only saviour was we got off after a week some other poor sod's had another week Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
having cruised before on the dream it is difficult to notice how the refit has improved matters or what they spent the money on? Flight - awful service and food, breakfast on the way home to Manchester was inedible, there might be ... Read More
having cruised before on the dream it is difficult to notice how the refit has improved matters or what they spent the money on? Flight - awful service and food, breakfast on the way home to Manchester was inedible, there might be reasonable leg room but width was very limited, also we sat near the toilets and could hear every "movement" as well as the constant banging of the doors. Drinks very expensive (I have flown long haul on 8 occasions this year but this is the first one I have been charged for drinks). Food - the menu in the Orion was OK but the food did not live up to its billing, and in our opinion was bland, poor quality, and definitely not as good as before. Very repetitive in the buffets. Service whilst mostly with a smile was slow on most evenings (staff budget cuts?) but when we ate on a formal night 1st sitting they obviously wanted us out as I was still eating a salad when they were putting out the main course. The late night buffet closed at 1am Entertainment - this was very poor and very similar most night (quiz,bingo, band, contrived and often juvenile game show more commensurate with Butlins, then same band yet again often having seen them in the afternoon round the pool, some talented shows but not much variety which was a shame as both comedians were quite good, not so much, the majority of the crew in their show which we saw twice (top class entertainment the brochure says) the staff were affable but which side of the pool deck can sing or shout the loudest is not good enough. New year's eve was very disappointing, Karaoke, dvd's of live aid or some other band, and a few large party poppers absolute rubbish!!! Ports of call - its the Caribbean excellent apart from Dominica Trips - another Thomson rip off v expensive! Do your own preferably with a group of friends. We did whale and Dolphin watch for a £100, only to be told on board the tour boat "it is not really time of year for whales there are no guarantees" no refunds either!! Didn't see so much as a Pilchard. Value for money - Thomson never pass up the chance to charge extra with £10 for a steak, most drinks on the AI either crap or subject to a surcharge, £15 for steak under the stars £9 for "VIP" seats in the theatre, muffins in the medusa lounge, ridiculous photo prices, bingo, etc etc etc All in all enjoyed the cruise for the ports, and the company but Thomson HAVE to improve It was not acceptable to have small children running around the cabaret v late at night. Finally we were going to book again for next year for the same time but with an more exciting itinerary but need assurance the Thomson have upped their game or will go elsewhere   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We have been looking at doing a cruise for a while now and went with the Thomson Dream as it had the best itinerary and the fewest sea days of all the cruises we looked at. We have stayed in a number of Thomson Platinum hotels worldwide ... Read More
We have been looking at doing a cruise for a while now and went with the Thomson Dream as it had the best itinerary and the fewest sea days of all the cruises we looked at. We have stayed in a number of Thomson Platinum hotels worldwide and as a result thought we knew what to expect, suffice to say we were massively underwhelmed by the Dream. I think Thomson are potentially damaging their ‘Platinum’ brand by describing this as such, the ship and its facilities were basically a floating 3* hotel. The cabin we stayed in was fine as it was as I had anticipated, small but comfortable and thanks to our room steward Yudi, spotless at all times! The major problem with the cabin was the cardboard thin walls, we could literally hear everything from our neighbours; TV on, drawers opening and closing, conversations etc. etc., not so much a problem during the day as we tended to stay out the room but when your neighbours get up at 6am, put the TV on and then proceed to open every drawer in the room to get ready it means you have an unwelcome wakeup call every day! The sea days were horrific for us, there is simply not enough outside space for everyone and sun lounger stress is not my idea of a holiday, I appreciate space is limited but Thomson need to fix the beds they have to ensure they are useable, and they need to convert some of the unused space (perhaps the sports court?) into a sunlounging area. The pools were smaller than we had anticipated and we did not use them. There is also the fact that there is just not a lot to do, having spoken to relatives who have cruised with P&O, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity X, Carnival they seemed to be able to fill a day at sea quite easily with activities (or lounging as the bigger ships clearly have more space for that) but we were bored out of our minds! The quality of the limited food selection was fair however the variety was poor. The range of meats was particularly limited (I have never paid a supplement for steak at any all-inclusive hotel I have stayed in previously – it was £9.95 on the Dream) and the lunches were inappropriate for the setting (who wants a roast dinner for lunch in the Caribbean?!) The setup of the buffet restaurant was a massive problem for me, it felt very canteen ‘school lunch’ style, we have eaten in numerous buffet restaurants and have never seen one set up like this, very old fashioned (and resulting in one very long queue at all meals!) The afternoon tea was far more appropriate so we tended to miss lunch and go for that instead. Breakfast had the best variety but even then cereals would run out and not be replenished, I don’t think it’s because the staff hadn’t noticed they had run out, I think it was more a cost saving exercise. The staff at all restaurants were excellent however Fernando was a stand out for us, really looked after us and was always welcoming. We didn’t find the bar staff as friendly as the waiters however there were a few chatty ones the Medusa Lounge, I wouldn’t pay for the all-inclusive as in my opinion it’s not AI (seems like you have to pay a supplement for more than you actually get included in the package), the drinks prices were fine but check your bill often as we did get a few rogue entries added onto ours. The entertainment staff worked hard and were pleasant, again a bit dated for our taste. I think Thomson have firmly targeted themselves at the over 60s market (generally) as there seemed to be nowhere for a young couple to go and listen to a bit of background music (current) whilst having a chat – maybe the Lido bar or Sirens bar could start playing anything from the last 20 years in the background of an evening to afford people like us somewhere to go (although of a high standard not everyone likes to listen to the constant quizzes, piano player, violinist, guitar trio every evening). We did not watch any shows but we saw the comedian who was excellent. The trips (booked via Thomson before we arrived) were good but extremely overpriced, my advice would be to see if you could book anything similar independently and do that instead. We also had a problem with a couple of our tickets and didn’t find the staff particularly helpful – perhaps if I had been buying them off the staff concerned they would have been more interested? I also think Thomson should display a map of the island you are due to visit the next day onboard to allow you to get your bearings prior to arrival (this could have been done online however see next point!) DO NOT pay for the Wi-fi, it simply does not work so is money for nothing. By the time you have worked this out you will have ‘used’ all the minutes you have paid for – very frustrating looking at a blank screen refreshing whilst the clock ticks by! The wifi in most of the ports we stopped at is fine (usually in the terminal building). The duty free shop onboard was very cheap however the clothing shop was not good, expensive and again, aimed at the older market. I found the prices for the photographs ridiculous! £20 a picture, the laughable thing being they are all already printed out (which I assume is the majority of the cost), if you don’t buy them they simply get binned! Lower the prices and more people will buy them – less waste and probably higher revenues! The shining light of the holiday were the islands themselves, which ultimately is why we booked the cruise. The only problem I had with them is the fact the Thomson ship (as a small cruise liner) seems to have to dock in the small (and often working) ports – not exactly paradise! As a result you get no terminal building, the walk into town is either longer than it should be or you have to get some sort of shuttle / taxi to the town. I would also suggest you add 10 mins onto whatever the walking time Thomson describe on their fact sheets, we are young fit people and struggled to achieve the pace they seemed to suggest was normal! Ultimately in the 2 weeks we achieved our goal of visiting all the islands we wanted to but we have learned a valuable lesson in the process – cruising is not for us!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We flew from Manchester and arrived in Barbados at around 3pm BB time. The journey to the ship took about 30-40 min and there we had to wait for over an hour to check in Now for Thomson's Holiday Money Extraction.. On checking in a ... Read More
We flew from Manchester and arrived in Barbados at around 3pm BB time. The journey to the ship took about 30-40 min and there we had to wait for over an hour to check in Now for Thomson's Holiday Money Extraction.. On checking in a fee of £25 for the safe? There is a charge if you want steak at Dinner £9.95 or £13.95 for steak under the stars £19.95 for the Grill. You could then pay £9.50 a night to reserve the best seats in the house, for the show? Also now the all night buffet is no more, it shuts from 1am - 6am. The AI is now a rip off as so many drinks have smallish charges against them. The John Smiths was undrinkable and bottled beers were £2 extra which they ran out of after a few days. They also ran out of Guinness another good money spinner for Thomson's if you are a beer drinker. Not to worry though as Bar waiters were few and far between with 30min wait the norm for a drink. The food as also gone down bank ( This is our 12th Thomson Cruise ). The variety and service was very poor in the Orion and the house wine undrinkable... £1.40 for a glass of good wine on top of AI. I will say that Thomson still know how to do a Full English! Christmas Day was a big let down If they were Carlsberg they would know how to do the worst Christmas.... No festivities on deck all day and the evening diner.. We queued up for 45mins to get into the dining room and we finished dinner at 10.45pm. Christmas dinner was 2 slices of turkey.2 tiny potatoes 2 brussel sprouts and the pig in blanket was a 1 inch piece of tined hot sausage with a slither of wafer ham??? We have been on the Dream 3 times before and had pre booked our cabin ,so knew what to expect and all was fine. Did the drill and then went down for dinner in the Orion where it was packed? Did not do the sail away party as we were to knackered! Went for Breakfast the next morning and up to Sirens Deck for a day at sea, with plenty of sun beds up to 9.30 and never seemed a problem throughout the 2 week cruise. It is the staff that are Thomson's asset on there Cruises and always smiling. They are now working twice as hard and it's not there fault for the poor service as there are a lot less of them trying to do twice as much. The shows are nothing like they use to be with Thomson's.. Very young team which at times showed and 2 days a week only one show a night and a 15min session on the open deck party and one a comedian a week. The must see is the crew talent show ( 45mins ), it knocks spots off the show team. The first week was Bonaire, Aruba ,Curacao and Grenada ,an excellent first weeks as all the ports were in the town. We only did one tour and that was in Grenada $15 for a tour up into the rain forest (6 of us so comfy 3hrs). I would recommend this as there in nothing in the town. The second week the 1st stop was a bit of a disaster Mayru a tender stop. The tenders were ready at around 9.30,we waited until 10.30 and was greeted by 400 more trying to get off. We were told that the wait was in excess of 1 hour and to wait in the lounges. We waited on deck and 30 mins later they postponed them due to high seas. They then opened up the tenders to able bodied people only, we returned to the tender disembarkation at around 12.30... 300+ in the queue and very hostile. The next day was a sea day Christmas?? St Vincent was a lovely stop and was glad to get off as we had 2 days on board ( see above ). We did a nice tour for $20 in St Kitts ( berthed 3 mile out of town ). Then on to St Lucia where we berthed in the old dock so did the beach for the day. The flight out and return were fairly comfortable, on time and we were well looked after. Conclusion There Are Far Far Better Cruises with better value for money than Thomson's now..... We use to really love them but now they are scrapping the barrel! Thomson please look at your product and why ho why call it Platinum? Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Booked cruise and stay for Xmas and New Year to escape the British weather! As this was our first cruise, decided to do the cruise first then a week in Barbados, so if we didn't like the cruise, at least we would have a week on terra ... Read More
Booked cruise and stay for Xmas and New Year to escape the British weather! As this was our first cruise, decided to do the cruise first then a week in Barbados, so if we didn't like the cruise, at least we would have a week on terra firma afterwards! Cabin was more spacious than expected (outside plus, deck 6). After stuffing the rattling light fittings with socks, was able to get to sleep! Food - The Grill was definitely the best place to eat, wish we had booked for other nights despite the extra cost. Other food was mediocre. In The Orion it often took 15 minutes to get a wine list. Food was ok but nothing to shout about. The house wine (especially the white) was dreadful. The Lido was very "canteen" like. Same salads and sides every day with meat and fish dishes. "Steak under the stars" - what a disaster. Booked for 7pm to make the 8:30pm performance in the Broadway Lounge. By 8:30 we hadn't seen a steak. Set menu, only got one soup between us (which was cheese?!?- more like a fondue!) Were then told the grill had broken and steaks were being cooked downstairs. Got up to walk out after another 10 minutes to be told food was coming, so sat back down. Did turn up after another 5 minutes. My husband asked for medium, and was very well done. Mine was just medium (asked for med rare). Other diners were complaining too. 4 chips each! One diners plate was swimming in blood. We refused to pay the £13:95 each, as did others. Entertainment - the shows we saw in The Broadway show Lounge were good, considering how few performers were involved. Well choreographed etc. Other evening entertainment was poor. We were bored and often went to bed by 10pm. Glad we only had one day at sea (Xmas day). Unfortunately the weather wasn't great that day- cloudy with showers. As it was Xmas day I was expecting lots of things to do/see. But there wasn't. I went to the gym! The learner casino session we did enjoy though. Spa- our massages were very good, as was my manicure. The ship itself looked tired and shabby in places. Not sure where the money was spent for the refit, but some of the upholstery looked very warn, and a lot of the sun loungers were broken, especially the wooden steamer style loungers at the back of the ship. Decor was very stuck in the eighties. We really enjoyed getting off the ship and visiting all the different islands- the route was one of the reasons for picking this cruise. In hind sight, we wish we had done 2 weeks on Barbados and skipped the cruise, as we loved the island and it's culture. If we were to do another cruise, it won't be on the Thomson Dream   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We have been on many Thomson cruises, but think this will be our last. Firstly, the food has deteriotated badly, the only meal we really enjoyed was the breakfast in the Orion restaurant. The evening meal was poor, very poor quality meat ... Read More
We have been on many Thomson cruises, but think this will be our last. Firstly, the food has deteriotated badly, the only meal we really enjoyed was the breakfast in the Orion restaurant. The evening meal was poor, very poor quality meat (mostly pork), and slow service. We tried the Lido on a few occasions, but the same boring buffet everynight, with pork (again) Xmas Eve was quite pleasant, and we enjoyed the carol service, but Xmas Day was a big letdown, nothing at all festive and The Gala Dinner was far from anything special. The entertainment is very childish, as others have said, the same things on deck every day. Silly game shows on a night (Mr &Mrs, etc). The entertainers in the Broadway Show Lounge are enthusiastic, but that's about all you can say, a very young team who prance around thinking they can sing (most of them look like they should still be in school). We were on The Dream in June2013, a more mature team, but the exact same shows. Some of the chairs in the various lounges were on the verge of collapse, a lot of penny pinching going on. The highlight of the cruise was the many friendly people we met and the wonderful ports of call, we did all the tours and beaches ourselves sharing taxis with others. To sum it up, Thomson need to up their game, a lot of cutbacks and it shows. We love cruising but won't be back on Thomsons. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We flew from Manchester on the Dreamliner, nice plane. We arrived at Barbados and transferred directly to the ship, easy check in in the “shed” We had booked an inside cabin on deck 5, same cabin that we were in in September so no ... Read More
We flew from Manchester on the Dreamliner, nice plane. We arrived at Barbados and transferred directly to the ship, easy check in in the “shed” We had booked an inside cabin on deck 5, same cabin that we were in in September so no surprises there. The Good. The itinerary, 12 ports in 14 days. Long days in port. Most days arrived before breakfast and left as it was going dark. The bar staff, we were on the drinks package and got to know the bar staff well. They are very friendly and good at their jobs. The Grill, we ate here twice as it was so good the first time we went back on the second week, 8 course meal! The Bad. The food in the Orion was average on most nights. On New Years Eve on the gala dinner I had Steak Rossini and it was so well done it could have been used as shoe leather. Service was slow on most nights and there weren’t enough wine waiters for the amount of people. On the last night one of the options on the menu was Cornish Pasty! The Entertainment We had seen most of the shows before as this was our 3rd cruise in the year. These were the worst performed of the 3. The dancing was good and the close harmonies were ok but there wasn’t any good lead singers. Most nights the show lounge was half empty and people were walking out. The only time the show lounge was full was for the comedian and for the crew show which was superb. I would be very reluctant to book another Christmas Cruise with Thomson as they are happy to charge premium for Christmas but there is no value for money.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was our first cruise on with Thomson and over New Year. We had a very good flight on the Dreamliner and the queues in the “shed” at Barbados were not too bad. Actually I felt the whole thing was handled very efficiently. However, ... Read More
This was our first cruise on with Thomson and over New Year. We had a very good flight on the Dreamliner and the queues in the “shed” at Barbados were not too bad. Actually I felt the whole thing was handled very efficiently. However, you are immediately asked if you want a safe and the wine package. It would have been good to actually get on the ship first! Our first impressions of the ship were that it all seemed a bit tired, as others have said. Our cabin was OK and very clean, as were all areas of the ship, but the first thing we saw was the scruffy frame around the window. The toilet didn’t work, although that suddenly flushed shortly after we called reception. There were two sockets over the dressing table, one for 2 pin round and one for 2 pin flat. We later discovered that these only worked when the lights were on so not a lot of good for charging phones and cameras overnight – use the one for the kettle. The shower gave us a lot of entertainment. There is the bath, hand shower and overhead shower all on one control. By the end of the first week we had just about discovered how to use this without getting all three on at once and flooding the bathroom. Other people had the same problem so not just us being useless. As for the safe – our advice would be not to bother but lock valuables in your suitcase. Not only is £25 an extortionate amount for something hotels give free, but we had to call reception twice to sort it out as it refused to open. On the second occasion there was a delay in someone coming up as they were already attending three other cabins! We began to dread using it. We used the Orion restaurant most of the time as we like to be served and it was a good chance to meet other people as sharing tables is the norm. There is quite a varied choice of food but the portions are not huge and some of the dishes seemed very tasteless although the soup and the fish were always good. The waiters and wine waiters are all really friendly and a few very entertaining. We would recommend afternoon tea in the Argo bar if you want a bit of class. Tea and cakes served nearly every afternoon while listening to a piano and violin. We were in the Medusa Lounge to see in the New Year. Free champagne was being handed out but stopped about half way round. They had run out of glasses!! Now that is just bad management. Apart from that I suppose it was very much what you made of it. The party on the top deck was good fun – much what you would expect. We did do a few tours on boats but they weren’t really good value for money. We never do tours of the islands though as it is always cheaper to hire a taxi and you go to all the same places. We had been looking forward to going to Mustique from St. Vincent but two days before this was cancelled. We had initially been lead to believe it was due to the weather but later we were told the island was “full” (of celebrities) and this trip has been cancelled before for the same reason. The ship says there is Wifi – you have to pay of course, although that is something else usually free in hotels. Don’t bother – it didn’t seem to be available most of the time and is fairly available in bars and other areas around the ports. It is free and fast in Barbados cruise terminal. We were in the unfortunate group travelling home to Gatwick. The flight, which should have taken off at 5 in the afternoon was delayed until 10, we were initially told, the following morning. We spent the night in a hotel and then were taken to the airport at 8 the following morning where we all stood waiting to check-in until the desk opened at 9 even though there were staff around. The plane eventually took off just after 12 arriving in Gatwick just after midnight. No trains running by then so another night in a hotel. We have asked Thomson to pay for this and our breakfast. We shall see.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We sailed on 14th December from Barbados. The ports were great. We especially liked the Dutch ports. They seemed a lot cleaner and the beaches etc. were well laid out. Having Dutch relatives and being able to eat Dutch food while we were ... Read More
We sailed on 14th December from Barbados. The ports were great. We especially liked the Dutch ports. They seemed a lot cleaner and the beaches etc. were well laid out. Having Dutch relatives and being able to eat Dutch food while we were ashore was great. We did tours ourselves which we booked before we went. In Bonaire we used Bonaire Vista which was good. In Curacao we used Irie Tours which was also good. Bernards was the tour we used in St Maarten. Cosol Tours in St Lucia. They were all great and good value for money. No problems with booking by email. Everything went like clockwork. We had a cabin on deck 7 midships which was very quite and not far to go as all the entertainment was on deck 8. We would have liked to have been on board Christmas Day but we were at sea. The itinerary was different from the brochure. We especially liked Mayreu Island which was Christmas Eve. The island has no shops or hotels. There are only 200 people on there. The crew went ashore at 5.30 in the morning to get the bar and barbeque ready and then majority went ashore by tender. It was all well arranged. Steel band and sunbeds and decorations on the palm trees made it special. Even when we left the island there were crew members with white flannels to freshen up. An excellent touch I thought. We were All Inclusive and we usually do go AI but we are beginning to think it is not good value for money. The house wine was disgusting and I was reluctant to pay a supplement when we had already paid £199 per week. If we ordered a bottle of wine (not house wine) they knocked us a measly £2 off. The wine waiters in the restaurant were very thin on the ground. I asked a waiter if they were short staffed and he said they weren't. One night we were 2 and a half hours getting our meal and the wine waiter only came to the table once. Very disappointing. Service in the Ocean Bar was slow, especially when the deck fest was on. Entertainment was good, but disappointed when Killer Queen was repeated in the second week. Man in the Mirror was fantastic but they only did one sitting so you had to be in there early to get a seat. Having been on the Dream before we were very disappointed with the Ocean Bar. In April the band was Elegant Touch and they played allsorts to suit all tastes. Passengers were up dancing every night and great atmosphere but this time the first week was dead. The Duo playing in there were very good but the first week they tended to sing songs that weren't very familiar. We like a bit of ballroom dancing and in the cruise news it was stated that there was ballroom dancing in the Waters Edge between 6 and 7. The first night we went and there was only one couple there. The music was piped and not one member of staff on even to get a drink. How do they expect to create an atmosphere like that. The couple who were in were very disappointed as like us they had been taking lessons and were keen to try their dancing out. We said we would go down the next night and when we turned up another family were there and nobody had even bothered to put the piped music on. The second week in the Ocean Bar livened up a bit. The Duo seemed to change they style of music. I did have a word with the Cruise Director about my point of view and he said that we were comparing this cruise against the transatlantic cruise we did in April. He said you get different clientele on a 14 day cruise. Can't see the difference myself. The food was excellent. The staff were all great, but I felt that they had just had a crew change and they had not settled in properly. They all work really hard and always have a smile on their face even early in a morning when they have probably been working till late the night before. We really enjoyed the cruise and met some very nice passengers. We have done Thomson Cruises on numerous occasions but we only got a 20% discount card for the al a carte restaurant. Some passengers got a bottle of wine in their cabin. Maybe we don't qualify! Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
After the awful flight and arrival at the dream if we had been asked if we would like to go home we would have been first on the plane home. Muster drill was not until 8pm and by this time our stress level was through the roof. After a ... Read More
After the awful flight and arrival at the dream if we had been asked if we would like to go home we would have been first on the plane home. Muster drill was not until 8pm and by this time our stress level was through the roof. After a good nights sleep deck 4 as never cruised before and just got given this room by Thompson not knowing we could book rooms! Got up at six and the holiday started. Had no problem with the room very comfortable and didn't notice any noise.(Friday night the waves swept over the porthole brilliant) Had the most fantastic time and will be booking next year, Loved deck 10 staff great and being in the fresh air in the evening WOW. Food was good tried the Orion and although had to pay for steak it was so nice had no complaints. We never used deck 11 after the first night although must say speaking to Adam from entertainment helped us calm down. We did not use the indoor bars as we do like being outside. Our steward Sauib was great and I learnt to make towel animals. All the staff we found polite and nothing was any trouble. Booked trips on the ship and although pricey felt safer being our first time. Loved them all. The one moan at the end was having to queue at reception for 30 mins to find out what time to leave the ship to pick up the coach for the airport, maybe when they put our paperwork in the room they could have put the time in the instructions. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was our fourth Thomson cruise on our fourth Thomson ship, but our first trip to the Caribbean. All was fine until arrival at Barbados airport where it was evident that numerous Thomson and First Choice flights had arrived very ... Read More
This was our fourth Thomson cruise on our fourth Thomson ship, but our first trip to the Caribbean. All was fine until arrival at Barbados airport where it was evident that numerous Thomson and First Choice flights had arrived very closely together which meant on arrival at the port (approximately 30 minutes from the airport) hundreds of passengers where still waiting to be ‘processed’!. We queued for approximately 45 minutes before registering a credit card for on board expenses. It was only after it had been registered we were informed of a 2% surcharge! Anyhow, on board we were quickly shown to our cabin (not pre-booked) and have to say we were very pleasantly surprised with the size of a standard outside (deck 4). Each evening we ate in the waiter service Orion Restaurant and felt the service and food quality was good on each occasion. After a couple of nights we had the same table and waiters each evening which was lovely as you able to get to know them. By day we tended to eat in the quieter Lido pool area. We attended the Showcase on the first morning to find out primarily a little more about the islands, however with the exception of Barbados we did our own thing in terms of exploring. 1st stop – Bonaire. Short walk from the dock to the little town. There are numerous taxis which you can hire for $25 per person for a trip round the island, but be aware that for this price they have to fill a minibus! We wanted a taxi for just the two of us and did struggle to find a taxi driver willing to take us. Eventually, a lovely lady driver did agree but for a fee of $70. We did the north of the island which was pretty, lots of iguanas and donkeys! 2nd stop – Aruba. On recommendation from family who have visited before, we visited Baby Beach at the south part of the island. It’s a good 30 minute drive from the dock but you do get to see some the island. Again, we took a taxi for the two of us and it was a standard $38 each way. The beach is lovely (although there is a disused oil refinery next door), a lot of locals and not many ‘cruisers’! A couple of beach bars serving food. 3rd stop – Curacao. Definitely worth getting up early to watch the ship sail up the estuary and do a turn. Lovely little town with a definite Dutch feel, but not a lot there. We took a local bus to a nearby beach ($3 each) and found ourselves with a lot of passengers from the ship that had paid a lot more as part of an organised trip. 4th stop – Grenada. Most definitely our favourite island. Just inside the terminal there is an information desk in which you can choose a route at a pre-determined fee. We had a great taxi driver who for small extra fee took us to the north of the island and down the west coast including the waterfalls and lake. The last day was a HUGE disappointment! We decided to book the ‘Farewell Barbados’ trip from the ship. I can’t speak for the other trips but just found this one a total waste of time and money. The visit takes you to the Hill Fort for an approximate 20 minute stop, then 15 minutes later to a church, OK lovely views, but that’s it. Then for the finale, you are taken to Sunbury Plantation where we were then told we’d be there for TWO HOURS!! The property itself is quite interesting but it can be seen within 10 -15 minutes. It then became apparent that it really is just a cover for a huge buffet for hundreds of people!! Sorry Thomson but this was a total rip off! Thomson’s are happy to take your booking and money and give you the impression that the tours are theirs, but what they don’t freely tell you is that they contract with local independent agents for all their tours (it’s in the small print in the terms and conditions) and have no jurisdiction on the content or quality. Thomson’s boast that their tours are ‘tried & tested’ and quality is guaranteed. I feel this was definitely not the case with this tour: We wrote a letter of complaint to Thompson on our return home, but did not get a written reply. Instead, we had a phone call from a customer services advisor who politely dismissed our complaint as ‘this was the first complaint they’d had about this trip’ but when pressed about the guarantee, could not say what it meant or covered! All in all we really enjoyed the ship, the staff were marvellous and the entertainment first class and we would not hesitate to travel on The Dream, again, but we would not book another on land tour with Thomsons.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I recently have returned from a 14 day. Xmas cruise on the Thompson Dream How disappointed we were. After reading some of the reviews I can only highlight what has already been written.. We were hoping for a Dream Holiday we have been on ... Read More
I recently have returned from a 14 day. Xmas cruise on the Thompson Dream How disappointed we were. After reading some of the reviews I can only highlight what has already been written.. We were hoping for a Dream Holiday we have been on many cruises but never had the experiences we had on this ship. The room we were allocated was a single room with 2 children's beds in we are 60 years young they told us they were unable to move us until the second week.. we were offered another room on day 8 that was smaller so we stayed put the food was unacceptable both in the Restaurant and in the Lido buffet we complained on many occasions but was told it would get better !!!!! It never did Christmas Night we queued for over an hour and left the table at 10.45 still wating for our dessert. The Christmas dinner consisted of 2 slices of Turkey 2 carrots 2small potatoes 2green beans, they were more interested in selling their Wine than serving at the tables There was no christmas Celebrations going on whatsoever during the day The Evenning Entertainment Was good but No way as good as I've seen on other Thompson Cruises apart from the shows there was very limited Entertainment we were in bed by 10.30 the ship looked very tired and in need of a complete refurbishment . I would like to know how this ship has been graded with a Thompson Platium Award !!!!!!! I would not recommend this cruise it cost us a lot of money and we both feel very cheated. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was the first time that my husband and I have used the Dream. Having read previous reviews on this ship we were slightly anxious regarding some of the statements made. We flew to Bridgetown on a First Choice plane which had seen ... Read More
This was the first time that my husband and I have used the Dream. Having read previous reviews on this ship we were slightly anxious regarding some of the statements made. We flew to Bridgetown on a First Choice plane which had seen better days. Very well worn. Leaflet pocket could not be used as literature just fell straight through. The choice of meals were either chicken or beef but by the time the last 5 or 6 rows on left of plane were served we were dumped with chicken and told in no uncertain terms thats all they had left as too many people had requested the beef. It may seem petty but having paid the same proportion of money for the flight we should all have had the same choice. On board the Dream it looked quite luxurious and did appear to have had a refit. Very pleasantly surprised by cabin. We had a very pleasant young man who attended to our every cabin need. We had paid for the drinks package as we usually do on all our other Thomson cruises but there seemed to a lot of supplements to be paid which were never applicable before. Normally cans of soft drinks were included in drinks package but 95 pence supplements were charged. You could however get a glass of pop on the package. Canned and bottled beers had supplements to pay as well. I don't know if this is a new policy? I would think twice about taking drinks package deal in the future as with so many supplements on a variety of drinks you might as well pay the full amount. The drinks waiters were extremely slow in serving and seemed to be unwilling to accept any orders. We observed a lot of impatient people trying to attract waiters attention.(Most unusual for a Thomson ship) I have to admit that I am a very fussy eater so we used the Lido(self service) for our evening meals which were usually themed but for any other fussy eater when they state Indian Chinese Spanish evenings etc thats all thats available. They do a very good salad bar if salads are your choice of food. The cold meats often had some sort of salad cream etc drizzled over slices. For the first few days staff actually served the food from behind the counters in order to possibly prevent the spread of novovirus germs which could have been brought on board by the new influx of passengers. During these days their food bill must have been reduced by amount served a bit like Oliver Twist. I am convinced even the number of green beans were counted before being put on plate. All in all we would not use this ship again a big let down as we have used Thomsons ships for years and expected the usual high standard previously enjoyed. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
We sailed 7th April for 19 nights on the Caribbean Crossing. We loved the ship and everything about it. We chose the All Inclusive but was a bit disappointed with it as we felt we were treated second rate. On Formal Nights when the Wine ... Read More
We sailed 7th April for 19 nights on the Caribbean Crossing. We loved the ship and everything about it. We chose the All Inclusive but was a bit disappointed with it as we felt we were treated second rate. On Formal Nights when the Wine Waiters were busy they seemed to concentrate on people who weren't on AI and we were left waiting. This didn't happen just the once as we had 3 formal nights and it happened every time. I know the wine waiters are very busy but that was how it was. Also if you wanted a glass of lemonade or coke in any of the bars you were given a glass stacked to the brim with ice and then topped up with 1 can between 2 but if you were paying you got a whole can. Also one day when I had about an inch of shandy in my glass and my husband had finished his, I was refused another drink until I had finished and the waitress pushed my card back on the table and said 1 drink only so my husband politely gave her the glass with the inch of drink in it and insisted she took my order. We payed over 1000 for the AI package and was bitterly disappointed. My other moan is that we pre-booked a cabin and was given a completely different cabin. I did notice that the cabin number wasn't on travel itinery but left it to trust that they wouldn't change it. We immediately went to reception and were told there were no spare cabins and had to put up with it. He emailed my grievance to Thomsons who repied with it was the travel agent who booked the wrong cabin and we would have to sort it out ourselves. (Booked with Thomsons). Only got home FRiday midnight so not had time to deal with it. My husband, being an ex merchant seaman takes a great deal of time looking at placement of cabins etc, WE chose deck 7 midships but not the cabin we were given. The cabin was very close to the funnel and the floor was like underfloor heating which you certainly don't need in the Caribbean. Enough of the moans. The cruise was great. Entertainment was second to none. Great Thomson Team and 3 comedians from UK flown in which were excellent. We are not ususally the type of people but were having so much fun it was always the early hours when we got to bed. Our favourite bar was the Ocean Bar. Elegant Touch Trio were fantastic. Good fun and great for dancing to. Broadway Show lounge was enormous and very comfortable and excellent seating. Sailaway deck parties were great fun. The Thomson Team made sure everyone enjoyed themselves. Didn't book any Thomson Tours, we used local taxis. We did use Cosol Tours in St Lucia and it was a fantastic day out. We left the ship at 8.40 and got back at 4 o' clock. There were 3 mini buses followed by a 4 wheel drive acting as the bar. Anything from Rum Punch to beer, water soft drinks etc. WE stopped on the way for breakfast and were given a sample of about 30 different Caribbean foods, then we stopped off on the way back for hot bread filled with cheese. We went by water taxi to a beautiful beach. Also went to the mud baths and bathed in waterfall. Would definitely do it again if we ever went. All in all apart from the little hiccups we enjoyed every minute. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
We flew from Gatwick to Bridgetown by Thomsonfly with all the comforts of the Premium cabin but still found the nine hour flight a real drag, so were relieved that arrangements had been made to bypass airport security and go directly to ... Read More
We flew from Gatwick to Bridgetown by Thomsonfly with all the comforts of the Premium cabin but still found the nine hour flight a real drag, so were relieved that arrangements had been made to bypass airport security and go directly to the cruise terminal, which took about 20 minutes by minibus. We had not seen our luggage since check-in at Gatwick, so were not dragging suitcases about. At the quayside check-in, we discovered that our Deluxe cabin booking (along with Suites) was classed as Premier, and gave us priority check-in, so we jumped the queues and were very soon on-board and escorted to our cabin on deck 9. We had been warned that our luggage may take 2 hours to arrive, so had packed shorts & tee-shirts in our hand luggage, enabling a quick change and repair to the bar for a much-needed refresher. In the event, our luggage reached our cabin only 30 minutes later. The cabin was much larger than expected. The door from the corridor opened to a vestibule with wardrobes and en-suite off, with a secondary door to the main cabin, which we later appreciated as an effective sound barrier -- we never heard a thing from the corridor. The cabin had a Queen-sized bed, 3-seater settee, 2 armchairs, 2 occasional tables, flat-screen TV, fridge, dressing table, stool, various lamps and tea & coffee-making facilities. The bathroom was a decent size, with WC, bath/shower over and a large modern washbasin. (all much bigger than in the Deluxe cabins on Celebration) We were a bit concerned, however, to discover that this was the Promenade Deck, with people walking by our window. However, this proved a non-problem, as the windows were coated, allowing vision out, but not in. (except when dark outside and cabin lit) Our cabin steward (name too difficult to spell) was good, although possibly not quite as attentive as we had experienced previously. At 55,000 tons, the Dream is not a big ship by modern standards, but feels big enough without becoming impersonal. The Lido 24 hour self-service restaurant and pool are on this deck (9), but most of the bars and entertainment are on Deck 8, with the main Orion waiter-service restaurant on Deck 4. The main pool and Sirens self-service are on Deck 11. It takes a while to get your bearings, as not all lifts & stairs go to all decks, and coming out onto the Promenade Deck you don't know whether you're on Port or Starboard, facing bow or stern, especially after a drink or two. We preferred Sirens for breakfast and lunch, as it had a more relaxed atmosphere than the Lido, where the emphasis seemed more on eat-as-fast-as-you-can-and-get-back-outside. Breakfasts were excellent, with lots of choice from the hot or cold buffets. We found lunch a bit restrictive and repetitive, especially for salads -- we never saw Tuna or Prawns, for example. (I'm sure Celebration offered better lunchtime fayre) Both self-serves had much the same food, though not necessarily on the same days, so if you couldn't see anything you fancy in one, it was worth looking at the other. In theory, it was waiter service for drinks, but you were lucky to catch one, so we took in drinks from the bar just outside. It worked-out more economical to buy a bottle of wine -- if you didn't finish it, they'd label and keep it for you until the next day -- but that didn't happen often! We could, of course, have gone into the Orion for breakfast & lunch, but didn't want the relative formality. We had dinner in the Orion every night, opting for about 8.45pm. We never had to wait more than a minute or two and were never asked to share a table. The 7-course table d'hote always had something on it we fancied for each course and the quality was good, and always hot. Portion sizes were a bit erratic, which amused us, especially starters, which were sometimes microscopic. You don't need big portions with multiple courses, and we never said anything, but other times it was a real plateful -- I had a steak one night that overhung the plate both sides - and it was gorgeous. Perhaps it was due to dining quite late -- they were either eking it out, or using it up. Service by the mainly Filipino staff was amazingly slick, and friendly. They worked brilliantly as a team without any obvious communication, but always knew when you were ready for the next course, or drinks top-up. We had a bottle of house red every night, which we found very palatable. Again, any left could be saved for another night, if required. The Rose was too sweet for us, and the white was good for lunchtimes. There was never any pressure to move out, although we were often among the last, at about 10.20pm. There was live music in several venues at any one time. The Medusa bar had a musical quiz at about 7pm most nights, and a band. We liked Oceans bar, pre-dinner, which had a 3-piece of piano, Spanish guitar and singer who were very versatile. We like the way the waiters become gradually more familiar, in a nice way, as the week goes on. They start with "Sir", then "Mr xxxx" (surname), then "Mr Alan" (Christian name) and finally "Alan" with a friendly touch on the arm. They are always smiley and happy and seem so eager to please. We went to the Broadway show for the second house at 10.30pm most nights, and found the shows first rate. With early starts for shore excursions, we were ready for bed at 11.30, but other venues and the casino went on until at least 2am. There were published daytime activities throughout every day, but we did not take part in any. The first day, at sea, saw the usual problems of fighting for sunbeds, and many, in the prime locations, were "reserved" from very early and kept all day, irrespective of actual occupation. The threat of removal by crew, as given in the Newsletter was not implemented and selfishness prevailed. We were fortunate to get a sunbed after breakfast, but were in the shade all day. There appeared to be space and stacks of beds on deck areas not open to the public, which would have helped. Also, the little-used Sports Deck on 12 could have been a sundeck for the day. There was no problem on other days in port. We had pre-booked half-day shore excursions for every port. These turned out to be a mixed bag, three being very good and two lacking. The best were "Best of St Kitts" , "Butterfly Farm & Marigot" on St Maarten, and the "Trolley Train" on Dominica. "North Shore and Pusser's Landing" on Tortola was spoiled by a very poor guide and failure to deliver the advertised content. "Highlights of Antigua" was marred by the "specialist guides" at Nelson's Dockyard, who abandoned us when it rained briefly, ruining the highpoint of the trip, although our guide on the bus was excellent. In company with other guests, we complained to Destinations staff on-board about these and await Thomson's response. As usual, we had to leave our luggage outside the cabin at bedtime on the final night, and collect it from the quayside on disembarkation, and this was all quite slick. We transferred to an hotel on Barbados for our second week. The transfer was fine, but Thomson had taken us (12 in all) too early and we arrived at the hotel before 1.00pm for earliest check-in 3.00pm, so were hanging about for 2 hours. We could so easily have stayed on the ship for lunch to avoid this -- some guests were not leaving for flights home until 5pm. Thomson have done this to us before, and the hotel said they have complained to Thomson about it, as they get the flak. In summary, we were very pleased with all aspects of our cruise. Cabin, food, service, atmosphere all met expectations. If Celebration (in our experience) set the standard for general atmosphere and friendliness, Dream scored 9/10. The decor, closely following its Platinum makeover, was quite plush. The itinerary perfectly met our intentions, giving us an overview of six islands in one week. Only a couple of the shore excursions were a disappointment. We would certainly cruise on the Dream again, and could recommend it to friends without reservation. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
My wife and I have just returned from our second cruise. Our first was Egypt and the Holyland last year, again with Thomson, on the Celebration. Had a fantastic time from the moment we took off to arriving back to the cold and grey skies ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned from our second cruise. Our first was Egypt and the Holyland last year, again with Thomson, on the Celebration. Had a fantastic time from the moment we took off to arriving back to the cold and grey skies of Manchester. Flights were very good with inflight meals and drinks satisfactory. Suitcases were checked in and not seen again until they were delivered to our cabin in time to change for our first evening meal on board, a great idea. On our first cruise on the Celebration we had an inside cabin but hated waking up in port in a dark room so this time opted for an outside cabin with nice rectangular porthole. Well worth the extra money! It was larger than our first cabin and had a large double. What can I say about the food and service in the restaurants and lounges? It was superb. The staff were again genuinely friendly and so well trained it was such a welcome change from the c**p service we often get in UK restaurants and cafes. I booked 5 excursions online. I got great advice from CruiseCritic Members on local tour companies. Many thanks all of you who helped with ideas and comments. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
My partner and I decided to try a cruise for the first time not really knowing what to expect but were pleasantly surprised by the whole experience. We embarked on the Thomson Dream at Bridgetown, Barbados for a two week cruise of the ... Read More
My partner and I decided to try a cruise for the first time not really knowing what to expect but were pleasantly surprised by the whole experience. We embarked on the Thomson Dream at Bridgetown, Barbados for a two week cruise of the caribbean visiting eleven islands, St Kitts, St Maarten,Tortola (British Virgin Islands), Antigua, Dominica, Margarita Island (Venezuela), Tobago, Grenada, St Vincent, St Lucia and Barbados. we had an outside plus cabin with WC, wash basin, bath and shower on deck 6 near the lifts. We used the Orian Restaurant each day as this provided excellent waiter service. The food, service, friendliness of staff, facilities on board ship, cleanliness, attention to detail, the Thomson excursions were all excellent. We attended two Captains cocktail parties and gala dinners where we dressed up in our formal attire. We wore cream tuxedos for the first one on our black dress suits for the second. The cabins were cleaned to a high standard and beds were turned down each night. The check in process was easy and the cashless system on board was good in that you charged everything to your on board account. We absolutely loved it and every day between the 31st March and the 14th April 2013 was special to both of us. We have certainly got the cruise bug now and although we have no comparisons to make with other cruise lines, we would certainly travel on the Thomson Dream again. If I had one criticism it would be that there were insufficient sun beds on the decks. As I am not a sun worshipper it did not really bother me but following a day on the island we were visiting my partner did like to relax on a sun bed. This was particularly important for him when we spent two days at sea. All in all we loved the experience and would highly recommend this ship to anyone considering a cruise for the first time. The staff were wonderful, so polite, pleasant and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble for them. We also came away with lots of colour photographs which will be lasting memories of our wonderful holiday. thank you Thomson for introducing your cruises to us. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Well what can I say this was our first Cruise and what a cruise it was . From the start it was great we were taken to our Cabin 5066 and there met a young man called Hansdoto whom said he was to take care of our needs and clean the room ... Read More
Well what can I say this was our first Cruise and what a cruise it was . From the start it was great we were taken to our Cabin 5066 and there met a young man called Hansdoto whom said he was to take care of our needs and clean the room and anything else we need while on board the ship.we took a look around the ship after we had done our safety drill,it looked like the food was plentiful and very nice there were many different areas where you could eat and we ate in all of them to see the difference ,the food was very nicely laid out and served by happy smiling staff nothing was to much trouble for them . The entertainment was brilliant all over the ship something different every time ,(Thomson is known for being the best for that )everything on board was nice and clean and yes some-thing's are still being updated but everything takes time but overall it was fine .We did have a couple of hours when you could smell something nasty some stupid person put a sanitary towel down the toilet (they have bags for that)but that was sorted out within a couple of hours .most people on board were great fun to be with but you had a few that were there I thought just to complain about anything they could .We had AI for the drinks which worked out well for us but some people moaned about they couldn't get some drinks on it (speckeld hen )but that was in the agreement so they should have read it before coming on the cruise ,you could get lots of different drinks for free ,you paid maybe a couple of pounds for the other drinks extra if you wanted them . The few Excursions that we went on were great ,in Aruba we did our own thing and got on a bright yellow bus with no windows in and music playing and a tour guide called Tito ,he was brilliant taking us around the island and telling us all about the history and what they have or don't have but like a lot of these island there is a lot of poverty and as you drive around you cat help but notice it ,most of the people rely on the tourist for there money. We also went on some of the Thomson trips we went to places like St Kitts on the scenic railway train we had rum punch for free ,another day we got a boat across to Virgin Gorda island where we went into some caves to get to a beautiful little beach on the other side ,we also had a day on the beautifull small island called Crusoe (59 on this trip) the tour guides also had lunch for us made by the locals ,you could walk out for ages up to your waist and see all the fish swimming next to you it was so magical would love to have stayed for a few days on there .Another of our trips was to see the beautiful waterfalls (Trafalgar falls)and get to swim in the Emerald pool at the bottom of the rain forest.Another trip was to see Harrison Caves in Barbados and to go to one of their beautiful beaches called Carlisle were we swam with the Turtles under water .there was lots more that we had seen and done but I could be here all day telling you about them ,it's better if you see them yourselves. This was a holiday of a lifetime and a belated honeymoon for my Husband and myself and I am glad we did it and not be put off by any of the negative reviews we had read on here. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
My mother and I recently went on the Thomson Dream Caribbean Treasures cruise. This was out third cruise, the first 2 having been with Celebrity. We were prepared for a difference however not quite as big a difference as we found. The ... Read More
My mother and I recently went on the Thomson Dream Caribbean Treasures cruise. This was out third cruise, the first 2 having been with Celebrity. We were prepared for a difference however not quite as big a difference as we found. The ship was obviously smaller but we expected that. Somehow though it was also a lot harder to find your way from a to b. This was not helped by lifts which did not always go to the top or the bottom and on one occasion a lift which stopped on one floor but announced a different floor. The flight and embarkation all went very smoothly. And given the snow disruption this was something of a miracle. Upon entering the cabin we could immediately see this was a tired ship. The bathroom, whilst it has a bath, had various patches of plaster and a shower which was ineffective and confusing. In addition we were rather disgruntled by the note placed on the blue pool towel which read "Please be advised that if the towels are not returned at the end of your cruise, a charge of £10 per towel will be automatically added to your onboard account". Whilst I appreciate they may have had issues with people taking the towels this was a tad insulting. The food onboard was generally bland and certainly not the cuisine we had onboard the Celebrity eclipse. Puddings were stodgy and tasteless and on one occasion my mother had gammon steak which was dry and way too thick. I have never cruised before and actually lost weight whilst on the cruise. The waiter however was fantastic. He was friendly, took time to learn our names and always greeted us with a smile and a wave. Recption staff were very different. I made an error with my logging out on my internet package and lost 80 minutes. I had to put up quite a fight to get some minutes back and was told 3 times I had made the error and I had wasted 80 minutes. They made me feel very small and so in the wrong. Typical British customer service of the customer is wrong. The caribbean itself was lovely and the ports of call were all good. We went on 3 trips which we enjoyed and were generally good value. Drinks were provided on most of them which was nice in the heat. The pool areas were fine. The pool was always a little cold but this kept the less hardy out of it which suited me. We were a little taken aback on a sailing day though to discover most of the sunbeds had towels draped on them quite early but rarely had people sitting on them. The quizes were good fun and the nightly TV gane show was always enjoyable. The theatre shows were fine but nothing spectacular. The return home again was smooth. We were allowed to stay onboard for most of the day prior to the coach trip to barbados to pick up the flight. Luggage appeared on the carousel. Would i sail with Thompson again? I don't think so. Unfortunately we first sailed with celebrity and it is hard to then lower the standards. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We have just returned from our first ever cruise, a two week tour of the Caribbean aboard the Thomson Dream. The ship is one of the old school and looking her age in places. As we have never been in anything bigger than a cross channel ... Read More
We have just returned from our first ever cruise, a two week tour of the Caribbean aboard the Thomson Dream. The ship is one of the old school and looking her age in places. As we have never been in anything bigger than a cross channel ferry we have nothing to compare it with so can only write as we saw it. Pre-cruise. I had a call shortly before we booked the cruise from Thompson regarding an e-mail I sent asking about drinks packages and visas and it was a nice surprise to get a phone call to answer my questions. I thought that was a good start. However, that was the end of that phase of good fortune. I sent an e-mail to them asking about a double bed in cabin 6102, which I paid £39 to reserve, but they never replied. I had to call them after five days for an acknowledgment of my payment of the balance. They called me while we were on holiday in the Algarve about upgrading our cabin and I asked them to call back the Tuesday after we got back but they never did. I sent more e-mails but still no reply. I had a call from their customer service asking if I had received the e- ticket. The young man apologised for the no reply to my e-mails and told me we would have to collect our own bags from Bridgetown airport. This was contrary to what I had read on Cruise Critic and told him so. Flights We flew from Gatwick on Sunday January 13th and as per the Cruise Critic forum our bags were security sealed and were not seen by us again until we got to our cabin on the Dream. That was nice. We opted for Premium Economy with the promise of more room and a better service. I chose seats in Row 9 not realising that those seats have no windows. The seats in front of us had two windows. Good design! Had the designer ever been in a plane? We got a drink as soon as we sat down on each flight and soon after take off another drink with those dreaded Pretzels, which I hate. On asking for something else I was told the rest were chargeable. I declined. The food wasn't too bad and there was plenty of drink if you so wished. All the seats had the table built into the armrest and had not been cleaned for a long time. The cabin stewards were very good humoured and did a good job. We got off the plane at Barbados and straight on to a bus and in forty minutes we were at the ship. Getting through the system was pretty quick and we were soon on our way to cabin 6102, an inside cabin. I had chosen this as I wanted to see what it was like without any view of the outside world. As it turned out we spent very little time in there apart from sleeping very well every night. The use of hand sanitisers was very welcome all over the ship as some people still manage to use the toilets without washing their hands and it pays to be careful. Cabin Our cabin was the width of two single beds pushed together with a bedside table on each side. There was a small two seater settee and a table, a dressing table with stool, a double wardrobe with space at the side behind the door and a bathroom with a small shower, washbasin and toilet. Overall it was comfortable but in spite of the Premium refit the bathroom hadn't been touched. It had been well used. There was always lots of hot water but the shower had individual controls so had to be set each time you turned it on. There was a kettle and two cups with various sachets of tea and Nescafe coffee. We had to pay £25 for the safe for two weeks. Food On our first night we opted to dine in the Orion restaurant and were in there at 1830. There wasn't that much of a choice on the menu but we managed. The service was very slow, even though the restaurant wasn't full, and we managed three courses by 1950. We were not impressed with the food quality. Not a good start. We were due to have our evacuation drill at 2000 so off to our cabin. That went without a hitch. We eat in the Lido buffet for the remainder of the cruise with the odd meal in the Sirens. We did have one breakfast in the Orion but again the service was very slow and getting more coffee, tea and toast proved futile so we went to the Lido for drinks and toast. The waiters in the Orion seemed to be very different to those in the Lido, always without a smile. We did check the menu in the Orion on a regular basis but there never seemed to be anything that appealed to us. The Grill had the same problem.. The fish that they served seemed to be all the same just having a different name. They have a habit of putting a particular dish on the menu, such as Cajun Blackened fish, but there was not a hint of Cajun to be seen or tasted and it wasn't blackened. We were once given Squash and told it was Sweet Potato. The salads sometimes left much to be desired and Tuna only appeared twice and in very small quantities. The desserts were also very limited with practically the same one every day. In the Lido the hot dessert was always the same sponge but with a different filling. There was also a distinct lack of tropical fruit. I expected to see at least papaya on the menu and bananas appeared only twice and they were not very good quality. Contrary to what I read online the coffee was drinkable. As a coffee drinker I always bring my own but didn't use it at all. There was an abundance of free water available in both the Lido and Sirens and on occasions the staff would help you to fill bottles and other containers when needed. Drinks We were asked for £219 per week each for a drinks package but would have trouble drinking that much. There was no cider for our first week and the extras you had to pay for certain drinks on the AI seemed silly. There was a limited amount of alcohol in each of their cocktails and this was made worse by piling on the ice. I asked for a can of coke and was given a freezing cold can and a pint glass full to the top with ice. Talking about watering down drinks. Entertainment The entertainment was very good, especially in the Broadway Show Lounge. However, the same people have to do everything, including all their own costume changes as there are no backstage crew to help, so apart from a comedian once a week there is the same cast doing a wonderful job to keep the customers happy. And they work around the ship during the day as well. Well done! There was a group called Top Men who played in various areas and were very good at reproducing various styles of music. There were several other artists but they didn't appeal to us. Each evening there was a quiz show in the Medusa Lounge and they were usually entertaining. Excursions We chose to take six Thomson excursions during our fourteen day cruise and found them to be a mixed bag. They are well overpriced, using local travel firms or taxis is much cheaper, and unfortunately they often take you to places that are of little interest and spend a very short time somewhere you would rather spend more time. Public areas The lounges are very comfortable and range from busy with music to very quiet for reading. The windows in the Medusa and Argo lounges were filthy, so much so that I couldn't take a photograph through them. There was the usual problems in finding somewhere to relax on deck made more difficult by smoking being allowed on the Starboard (right) side of the ship outside. Some people still broke the rules and smoked wherever they wanted to. Conclusion Cruise Critic provided most of the answers I needed for this trip so thanks to all those people who replied to my messages. It was an expensive holiday, on par with many land based tours we have done, but the food wasn't as good as a four star hotel and sometimes the service was lacking. On speaking to other passengers who are regular cruisers they were not impressed with the food or entertainment and I have come to the conclusion that it is an individual thing as to whether you like the Dream or not. We were happy with it but would like to try another cruise line to compare it with. Overall it was a pleasant experience and one I would gladly go through again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Let me be clear from the outset - This was the second cruise my wife and I have been on, and the last one was 15 years ago on the Thomson Topaz which is best described as a rowing boat with staff. So if you're looking for a review ... Read More
Let me be clear from the outset - This was the second cruise my wife and I have been on, and the last one was 15 years ago on the Thomson Topaz which is best described as a rowing boat with staff. So if you're looking for a review that compares the Thomson Dream with the Oriana, you're likely to be disappointed. What I can do is to compare my all-inclusive 7-night experience with other all-inclusive or caribbean holidays we have been on. Firstly, when you get to the airport, they will tag your case with your cabin number...so have a plan of the ship with you and you'll see where you are (sad eh?). the next time you see your cases is when they arrive at your cabin, not long after you do. We flew into Barbados, got off the plane, straight onto a bus and to the ship...no airport customs. I won't mention the Thomson flight (cramped if you don't pay for an upgrade) and the poor selection of movies (Marley & Me....in Jan 2013 - really??), and I will ignore the fact that our bus was hit by a car in Bridgetown - Put it down to experience. The flight home was the normal overnight, nightmare return journey from a long haul coupled with landing at Manchester in a blizzard dressed only in deck shoes and budgie smugglers. The Ship - Was spotless. I believe it had not long been re-furbished so it's in very good condition. It's not the biggest ship but we saw that as an advantage. It's big enough without you ever being worried you're likely to get lost. There's plenty of space to avoid people if you want to, but similarly the size makes the whole experience a more personal one. As it was a winter tour and a bout of Norovirus was hitting many cruise ships, hygiene was a top priority on board. There were antiseptic dispensers all around, as you got on/off, at every doorway and at every restaurant. The staff were forever wiping down hand-rails, doors and pillars to ensure there was no outbreak - and there was none ! Wi-Fi was poor on board - We had to pay for wi-fi and it wasn't great. We only had 2 criticisms and this was one. Wi-fi whould be good quality and free of charge. The Cabin - We paid for a standard outside cabin and we were pleasantly surprised with how spacious it was. There was plenty of room for clothes and again the cabin was spotless - We were in 7011 and had Cristina looking after us.If you're the size of Giant Haystacks I can imagine that sitting on the toilet may be uncomfortable, but we just about got away with it. One piece of advice - There are only 2 plug sockets in the room so if you have phones, ipads, hair straighteners etc, take a 4-gang extension - We were grateful we did! The Drink/Bars - We paid £200 each for the all inclusive drinks package and we got our moneys worth, even though we were off the ship all day, most days. Clearly you need to make your own calculation, IE how much do you drink x the amount of time you will be on ship x what you will be drinking. The package will not be for everyone, but we worked on 2 drinks at £9 (beer, G&T, Pimms, Malibu & Coke) and house wine in the restaurants are £3.90 a glass. There were lots of comments on this website about mixers being charged for but we didn't find this at all. Mixers are included and the only stuff you pay extra for is clearly marked (Disaranno etc) which was £1.20. There are plenty of bars,inside and outside so you'll never go thirsty. In summary, we got our worth from the AI package and we would have more-so had we spent the odd day on board like most people did. What was really good was the fact that you didn't have to go to the bar....just hold up your hand and a nice Filipino lady or gentleman will come and take your order....just give them your on-board card and they will ask you to sign...no waiting and no having to tip (in fact you are encouraged not to tip as they are not alllowed to be in possession of cash. Restaurants - There are 2 buffet restaurants that between them serve food 24 hours a day, so whether it's breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, snacks and burgers, dinner or late night curry's and stir fry's, you'll find something to eat ! - all buffet's are served to you and the staff do not understand the phrase "just 1 please". Again, these are spotless and the heads of dept are meticulous to the extent of straightening the napkins or yoghurt pots. The variety of food is exceptional and the quality of the food we found really good - however there were a couple of people complaining that it wasn't to the standard of the QE2 which was a little unfair. There is a "Grill" restaurant for special occasions that charges £20pp. The menu looked good as did the setting but we never got to it. We chose to eat in the Orion restaurant in the evenings - You have to have trousers and some sort of collar but it's still informal. The menu changes daily and you choose from appetisers, soup, salad, main course, dessert and coffee....or have it all. We used to arrive at the restaurant at 8.15pm and it did get busy, but if you had to wait for a table you only waited a few minutes. Many couples were happy to share tables with others which was fine, but if you want to sit as a couple you may wait a couple of minutes more but they will seat you, even if it's on a larger table. My second and minor piece of feedback for the ship would be to invest in more smaller tables and get rid of some of the larger. Many people are cruising as a couple and wish to dine that way too. When the rush subsides, the staff come into their own....the staff in the Orion are professional, meticulous but also FUN. When they are busy it's all hands to the pumps, when it all slows down, they are entertainers, singers, impressionists and if it's your birthday, be prepared to be serenaded by a Filipino Tom Jones or Robbie Williams. The Staff - For me they made the holiday really special. They work so hard, but they are very well drilled and organised. They never complain, and always have a smile and a welcome. There are over 600 staff for 1500 passengers so a member of staff is never far away...I've spoken about the guys in the Orion but all the staff, from deck-hands to waiters to the bar staff to the cabin maids and entertainment are first class, and I would imagine many people go back on this ship because of them ! The Entertainment - Without exaggeration (and I have no family member within the entertainment team), the shows these people put on are West End quality. They are busy all day doing various things, but they come to life in the Theatre (show-lounge)from 8pm. They do 2 shows, at 8.30pm and 10.30pm so whenever you choose to eat, you can catch a show. The shows only last for 45 minutes but their choreography, dancing and vocals really are very, very good. Special mention to Paul Fisher, Cruise Director who seemed to be at the centre of everything from 9am through to midnight. So the ship was great - But I thought i'd write a couple of lines on each port, what we experienced and what others told us of their excursions. First night "Sail Away" party was good....although the body clock wasn't sure if we should have been in bed or having a curry....So we did both. Day 1 - At Sea - When i'd gotten over the initial disappointment of realising "Atsea" was not a caribbean island I relaxed on my deck-chair and got burnt. It's a good time to explore the ship properly, but space on both outside decks is cramped on this day (as everyone is there funnily enough) so get up early and get a seat. Day 2 - Margarita Island - We took a Thomson excursion "Rhumba on the Chivas" and it was fantastic ! - You get on an open sided bus (there are 2 of them) and the driver and guide (Cesar) take you on a sightseeing tour of some of the island as you go up to a beach for a few hours...You're on the bus for about an hour and a half with chances to stop and take photo's of the beautiful island but it's also very informative. There is an open bar but everyone seems to be sensible. Then you get to the beach and you can relax for 2 hours....they ply you with beer, rum punch and food....Then they get you back on the bus and take you home.....and it all kicks off.....The music gets turned up, the rum punch kicks in and the dancing in the aisles and around the poles starts. It was like a Club 18-30 excursion for the elderly and infirm. The average age of people on our bus and ship was around 60.....there was dancing, grinding, water throwing, heavy petting and when the 2 buses go side to side on the road, there are breasts and bottoms on show...A really fun day, and my wife is expecting to be a star of a Youtube video, (teaching the old dears Gangnam Style) ! Many people took snorkelling or boat tours and all looked with some regret as our bus arrived back in port....Many people on our bus had said they had been on the cruise before but not done this excursion....but it had been recommended by others. I would really recommend this ! Day 3 - Tobago - We had originally planned to do the www.being-with-horses.com trip but Veronika e-mailed us to say the sea had changed and therefore we couldn't work it into our revised schedule. A shame but we hope to do it again and the comms from Veronika was first class. So instead we went to Pigeon-Point beach and it was beautiful. Thomson offer an excursion for around £30 that takes you up there by bus, and brings you back. Entrance is included but you have to pay for loungers. Do not do this ! My wife and I walked into the taxi office with many others and shared a taxi (4 of us) up there and back $40 return between us, then $3 entrance and $3 for a bed....this works out at half of what Thomson charge per person and you can have as long there as you want....A beautiful place, well worth visiting but go it alone. Day 4 - Grenada - i wasn't looking forward to this, but what a beautiful island. Again, lots of Thomson excursions, all of which feedback suggested was expensive for what you got. We booked with AJ Meddy Tours in advance and for $140 had a small mini-bus (Neil was excellent) take us all around the island, waterfalls,national park, spice plants, coffee, chocolate and banana plantations and then he dropped us off at the beach at 2pm. A small mini-bus is so much more personal and informative. This can work out expensive if you go as a couple, but if (as we did) you can find someone off the ship to share the cost, it's a bargain. The beach in Grenada was lovely but the sea was quite rough, which I think was a little out of the ordinary for January. A water-taxi back to the ship was $4 per person. Day 5 - St Vincent - We decided on a beach day and took the "Pirates" water taxi to Villa Beach.....The water taxi (speedboat) was an experience in itself. People initially complained about the $15 pp return cost, but you have to remember this is a much smaller island than Grenada with fewer tourists, so the locals will make hay while the sun shines.....They're real characters and well worth a journey ! - The beach isn't great here, but the water is perfect for snorkelling. If you want a better beach, there is one 2 minutes away in the water taxi and you will pay a $5 pp premium to use it. Day 6 - St Lucia - We pre-booked a tour with "Cosol" for $65 each and this was exceptional value for money. Our driver was "Yellow-Bird" and he took 10 of us out from 8.30am until 4pm, during which time we visited waterfalls and swam in them, , a volcano, the rain-forest...we had breakfast laid on for us at a house of a local chef who had prepared lots of local food and we enjoyed hot bread and cheese on the way back....There was an open bar throughout and he had rum punch, water, coke, beer etc....we took a water taxi over to the spectacular Sugar Bay beach and spent an hour in the shadow of the Pitons....A beautiful setting and we stopped on the way back to see where Dr Doolittle was filmed... Yellow-Bird was a real character and as EVERYTHING was included this was excellent value for money and something everyone on our bus would recommend. Final Day - Barbados - We spent the morning and afternoon on Carlisle Beach where the sand was just perfect....the beer was expensive but the football was on the TV if you were interested...Many people had recommended the "Boat-Yard" next door as there was more going on with trampolines and jet-ski's but this wasn't popular with the majority of OAP's on our cruise. Your cases are taken from outside your cabin the night before you fly home, which is good but a pain in the bum at the same time, so ensure you have stuff for the beach, and stuff for the plane in your hand luggage.....and limit the deodorant and toothpaste etc as you'll need to throw these away at the airport. Again, no need to check in your bags...this is all done for you so when you get to the airport, you're whizzed through the scanner and into departures. SO in summary..... Simply - It's the best holiday we've ever been on. The ship, food, drink and staff are fantastic.....accommodation is good too. Waking up every day in a different port in the caribbean is somewhat different to your normal all-inclusive hotel. It's great coming back from an excursion and seeing your ship in port and it's hassle free, baggage free transfer from airport to ship too. Wherever you're travelling to, do your homework....Thomson excursions were widely regarded as expensive and there is no issue with the locals and planning your own day. All the locals we met on the islands were friendly and informative and couldn't do enough for you. Value for money - For a week, all inclusive and drinks package....plus excursions, we spent around £1500 each. Expensive compared to an average all inclusive, but this was just a more special experience. I would recommend this ship and the "Tropical Delights" cruise to anyone, but remember - if you've been on the QE2, it will likely be a disappointment.....but also remember how much you paid for that QE2 cruise before you start criticising ! Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We have just returned from 2 weeks cruising the Caribbean on Thomson Dream. This is the first cruise we have ever done, I was very apprehensive after reading some of the reviews about the ship. Well, I can honestly say I really ... Read More
We have just returned from 2 weeks cruising the Caribbean on Thomson Dream. This is the first cruise we have ever done, I was very apprehensive after reading some of the reviews about the ship. Well, I can honestly say I really needn't have worried!! I have to say we didn't go for the night-life so cannot comment on any of that. We chose to eat in the Lido Restaurant and the food was very good and my Diabetic husband well catered for. I booked several trips online, before we left home, and yes, they were expensive but thoroughly enjoyable, as we were novices, we did not know about using the local taxi's, but we were quite happy with what we did. Our cabin was immaculate and our Cabin Steward was amazing! All the staff were so cheerful and helpful. My only complaints would be, the weather wasn't great, but that is hardly Thomson's fault!! Also we visited Margarita Island which was awful, the Harbour is miles, and I mean miles, from anywhere, and the locals obviously just dump rubbish at the roadside, it was filthy. But again that was not Thompson's fault, however I suggest they amend the itinerary for the future!! I was worried that we were travelling at the height of the Norovirus season, but I didn't hear of any cases on board and there were antibacterial dispensers everywhere, which we were pleased to use, although I noticed a lot of folk didn't, which was rather inconsiderate. My husband loved the cruise, which I had booked as a birthday surprise for him, a once in a lifetime trip, he would happily do another cruise tomorrow!! I however, well, lets just say the movement of the ship and I didn't really get on!!! But that is just me I'm afraid, I loved the trips, the sights, the sunbathing, the doing nothing, but only when the Ship was tied up in port!! Out beyond the Harbours was different!! So I personally wouldn't do another cruise, purely because I'm a whimpy land-lubber!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
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