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98 Marella Cruises Eastern Caribbean Cruise Reviews

First off all the flight was fantastic, the Dream liner was comfortable & roomy food was ok as airline food goes. The transfer from the airport was well organised & trouble free. The embarkation processes was fast & simple we ... Read More
First off all the flight was fantastic, the Dream liner was comfortable & roomy food was ok as airline food goes. The transfer from the airport was well organised & trouble free. The embarkation processes was fast & simple we were soon on the ship. The ship its self is not modern by any means but that’s its joy ! its a lovely ship with wooden decks plenty room to walk about, there are plenty of bars to get a drink & the staff are a joy to be around. The food is good something for everyone & any problems are soon dealt with by the helpful staff. The ship has a kind of nostalgia and when you are docked next the larger ships its almost a pleasure to be on the dream its informal & friendly. The rooms are fine comfortable & clean, the cleanliness around the ship is fantastic never seen so many cleaners. The entertainment is fantastic. Bad bits ! The drinks are awful cocktails in particular disgusting and expensive, stick to Gin & tonic ect or Larger / Bitter make sure your drink is not flat if it is send it back. The drinks packages are expensive & a waste of money unless you are going to drink 15 pints a day don’t do it. The Thomson excursions are over priced do not be frightened of using te local taxis they are friendly , cheap & will not charge you till the return journey & they always pick you back up on time. Other than that a perfect holiday we shall always remember with great fondness.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
This was our 2nd time on the dream and it was just as good as the 1st time we went. The dream is quite an old ship but I think that's what makes it so special and the staff on board really look after you to make sure you have a good ... Read More
This was our 2nd time on the dream and it was just as good as the 1st time we went. The dream is quite an old ship but I think that's what makes it so special and the staff on board really look after you to make sure you have a good holiday. The entertainment is good and when your at sea theres always plenty to do. The only issue on that day is getting a sunbed if you want to sunbathe and also the queues in the restaurants at meal times you just have to time it right. We visited some lovely places on this cruise and was well worth the money. The food on board is lovely and plenty of it. The orian restaurant was our favourite. The waiters there are brilliant especially Alvis who is so funny, Gus, J.R, Ronald to name but a few they don't only wait on you they entertain you too and the baked Alaska parade they do on the last night of your cruise is brilliant and so entertaining really enjoyed that. The shops on board are nice and the broadway theatre is really nice they put on some really good shows on with a few british artists on too. They take your photos a lot and this can work out a bit expensive if you want to buy a few of them as they do charge a lot for them. Our night times where spent at the medusa bar and the ocean bar.All the bar staff are really friendly and soon learn your name and what you drink. I have to agree with someone else on here about the disembarkment day being a shambles it was the same for us they tell you to be at the port side for the coaches to pick you up. We must have waited at least half an hour for them to turn up and then get on board them.Then when we got to Barbados airport we were treated like cattle and they were so rude there it was unbelievable! Our Cabin lady was wonderful nothing was to much trouble for her. She kept our cabin emaculate. Bit disappointed with our cabin this time though. We had a plus one on our 1st cruise and thought we'd booked the same this time but we hadn't and this one was very basic and a bit noisey but this didn't spoil our enjoyment of our holiday.Much as we enjoyed the cruise I wouldn't class it as a platingum ship. We're planning our next cruise in the dream now cant wait!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
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! I cannot believe some of the pompous opinions 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 that Thomson uses for employing people in their shows and 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. We mainly did our exploring ourselves using taxis ashore. 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
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
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
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
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
By many CC standards we are still novices when it comes to cruising, having just returned from our second one, but I don't feel we have low expectations on what to expect when travelling. My wife and I returned from a 2 week ... Read More
By many CC standards we are still novices when it comes to cruising, having just returned from our second one, but I don't feel we have low expectations on what to expect when travelling. My wife and I returned from a 2 week cruise on the Thomson Dream, 27th January 2013, after what can only be described as a 'Dream Holiday', our best holiday ever. We'd read many reviews after booking the Dream and I must say many of them filled us with trepidation. After a trouble free flight out from Birmingham to Barbados we were quickly registered at the port and on board. We had an inside cabin on Deck 7 (cabin 7007) and were met by a very welcoming cabin stewardess who was always most polite and efficient. The cabin was comfortable with flat screen TV and tea making facilities. The carpets appeared new but fittings had some signs of wear. The en-suite was more than adequate with a shower more powerful than I'm used to at home. Water was slow going down in the shower, so first morning I reported this and presumably it was dealt with. We experienced no more problems. My only gripe about the cabin was the charge of £25 for the 2 weeks for the safe. I paid this rather than worry about carrying passports, credit cards and spare cash around when on shore, especially on the beach. The ship is knocking on in years and does look its age, very noticeably so when berthed alongside some of the larger modern vessels. There are signs of rusting around window frames and other areas. However there is ongoing maintenance which is nonintrusive. The ship has a friendly atmosphere which other ships in port never seem to quite match. We ate in Lido, Sirens and Orion and were happy with all. We had lunch and dinner in Orion some days and always found the food and service of high quality. The waiters in Orion were always polite and most efficient and food was hot and tasty. The food in Lido and Orion was always of a high standard, served by smiling, friendly staff. Breakfast in Lido had a large range of choices from fruit, bread, cheeses, Danish pastries to full English breakfast. I noticed one morning a woman passenger complaining that the bacon was not cooked to her liking. She preferred it overcooked. No problem for the staff, they promptly grilled it to her expectations. Similarly lunch and dinner had a good range of choices with a super salad if that was your preference. Whether it be on Sirens Deck or Lido Deck or in the buffets, the waiter service was good. The staff were always friendly, smiling and eager to please. This was no mean task considering the hours that some of them seemed to work. There is no way I could keep smiling for the length of time they did and deal politely with some of our fellow passengers who seem to go out of their way to be rude with the crew. Entertainment was of a high standard, especially the shows in the Broadway Show Lounge. The cast put their heart and soul into each performance. The entertainment in the lounges and elsewhere were of a similar high standard. My favourites though had to be Elegant Touch and Island Wonder, although Keith on the piano and Top Men did exceedingly well. We did not go AI. Prior to booking the cruise we'd done some research on the package and realised for the type of drinks and amounts we liked it was not financially viable. I like my 'real ales' and would not normally drink the type of keg beer available on the ship. My wife tended to go for the cocktail of the day and I'd go for the bottled beers. The bottled beers e.g. Timothy Taylor's Landlord and Green Kings Speckled Hen at £3.90 are pricey compared to supermarkets at home and were served too cold for my liking, so killing the taste. The Guinness, though canned, did work out cheaper than drinking it in my local. The excursions we made were all the Thomson ones. We did 6 excursions, a 7th one snorkelling was cancelled because the sea was rough. They were all good excursions, though a little more expensive than using a local taxi. The worry with booking a taxi was will the taxi driver return if he's dropped you off on a beach. The only problem I can say I had with any of the services offered by Thomson's was the photographic one. How many times do you need to have your picture taken by them? Each time you get off the Dream at a port, sit down for dinner or move around ship is a little excessive. Perhaps if they did not take so many photographs and print them off to display and waste so many with unsold copies they could drop the price and perhaps then sell more. Just a thought. I said at the beginning of this monologue of mine we were novice cruisers but perhaps when I've got more under my belt I will think differently about my Dream experience. Until then I will continue to look back at all the photographs I took on this holiday and dream of going again. Oh did I say I've booked another Thomson cruise for this summer on the Spirit in the Baltic to celebrate our ruby wedding? Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We have just returned from spending 2 weeks, including Christmas and New Year, sailing around the Caribbean on the Thomson Dream. I can honestly say it was the best holiday ever! We were very impressed with almost everything about the ... Read More
We have just returned from spending 2 weeks, including Christmas and New Year, sailing around the Caribbean on the Thomson Dream. I can honestly say it was the best holiday ever! We were very impressed with almost everything about the cruise from beginning to end. The staff were the friendliest, most helpful people we have ever encountered on any holiday, from the cabin steward to the bar staff and the restaurant staff. Everyone went out of their way to make our holiday as wonderful as possible. The ship was very clean and although some people were heard complaining about having to use disinfectant gel in the restaurants and on returning to the ship, they were obviously the sort of people that had to have something to complain about, probably the people that wrote the review entitled Nightmare! We thoroughly enjoyed all the entertainment on offer and there was something for everyone, whatever your taste in entertainment. We had paid extra for the drinks package and felt it was worth the money as we were able to have whatever we wanted (including branded drinks like Bacardi and Gordon's gin!)without having to pay any extra. The food in the Orion restaurant was of a very high quality and we never once had cold food or had to wait for a meal..the only minor complaint would be that there was no iced water on the tables but that didn't matter too much as the wine stewards were very quick at topping up our glasses with cold wine! We visited some wonderful islands and went on some very enjoyable trips...we were disappointed that we were unable to dock at Grenada but it couldn't be helped and we'll just have to make sure we do that island next time! We spoke to various other guests on board and they all said that they were as impressed as we were with their holiday, in fact many of them were repeat Dream cruisers. We had a wonderful experience from beginning to end and can't wait to cruise on the Thomson Dream again as soon as possible! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
This holiday was a special one as it was our 50th wedding anniversary and we were spending it with a couple who were friends of over 40 years. From start to finish the holiday exceeded all expectations. Once we had checked in at the ... Read More
This holiday was a special one as it was our 50th wedding anniversary and we were spending it with a couple who were friends of over 40 years. From start to finish the holiday exceeded all expectations. Once we had checked in at the airport we didn't see our luggage until we got to the ship. On the way back our luggage was transported to the airport with the minimum of fuss and effort on our part. The flights were comfortable and the staff helpful. Once on board the Dream we were well impressed with the feel of luxury in the decor and furnishings, our room was large enough for us to entertain our friends for an hour or so before dinner, there were no restrictions on bringing your own spirits on board and the cabin attendant supplied ice on request. The double bed was large and comfortable and the room and bathroom were kept in a spic and span state by our attendant. Entertainment was great with cabaret, quintet, duo and piano bar in the lounges too numerous to describe individually, suffice to say there was something for everyone. Drinks were very reasonably prices too. With 3 restaurants to chose from we were spoilt for choice and the selection of food was unbelievably varied and delicious. The waiters and kitchen staff were friendly, funny and always helpful and courteous. We didn't book any of the excursions with Thomsons preferring to get a taxi from the dockside to see the places of interest, which was much more economical as there were four of us. Roadtown, British Virgin Isles was the most disappointing port of call as there was very little to see and I think our time would have been better spent familiarising ourselves with the ship. All the other ports were great and well worth exploring, especially St Maartin where we just wandered around Philipsburg beach and shopping area and sampled the rum punches. Wow!! The history of the islands was fascinating and each island had a different story to tell. All in all a very enjoyable cruise. The Mango Bay Beach Resort in Holetown was our next stage of the holiday and once again exceeded all expectations. The room - standard - was large with an enormous double bed and was just a few steps from the pool, bar and restaurant. The food was delicious and plentiful. The staff were all friendly and helpful, must mention Dwayne in the bar and Kimberly in the restaurant. Management of the hotel was excellent and even had complimentary trips laid on - swimming with turtles and glass bottomed boat trip. The hotel was small and meant that you felt you were getting individual attention which in most cases we were. Barbados itself is a beautiful island. I would recommend that you select your taxi tour guide carefully as we got one that just drove and hardly spoke!! There is so much to see, the people are lovely and funny. I would highly recommend that you do your research online before you go to make sure you don't miss out on the interesting bits, like Bathsheba coast and a night trip into Bridgetown. The local buses are something else and are not to be missed. I cannot praise this holiday high enough and hope that you decide to take the same route as us and enjoy it half as much as we did. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Please Please Please, Take note. I have travelled around the world and have always brought my children. My wife and I have never taken any longer then a short trip away from the Children in 18 years, even our eldest was present on our ... Read More
Please Please Please, Take note. I have travelled around the world and have always brought my children. My wife and I have never taken any longer then a short trip away from the Children in 18 years, even our eldest was present on our honeymoon. I love getting out and about and seeing the sites and hearing, smelling and experiencing the life where I am has to offer. My Wife has the lay and bake approach on holiday, which is a relaxing type, so as you can see we were going to find it hard to tick both box's. Thomson Dream cruise and Thomson flight which left from Newcastle were reduced on one of the internet sites last 2 seats on the plane were left, so I booked it! I KNEW I MIGHT BE IN TROUBLE ! She came home looked at the reviews and to be far there were some howlers, and some not so bad. I just reassured her it was just us in a inside cabin on the 5th floor and we wouldn't be spending a lot of time in it anyway! One of the reviews said they could even smell sewage in the back stairway on the 5th floor at the rear of the ship, which worried me ! We are both very social people and always treat everyone the way we would like to be treated, EVERYONE! No matter where they come from or how old they are. This has always stood us in good stead touch wood. Well Ladies and Gents We both found this cruise right on the money. Itinerary was great. We docked every day but one each week and got to see most of the islands we visited every time on a taxi tour which was only $20 each which also included 2-3 hours on the beach. But the time spent on the beach was down to us! They never took any money until they came back and picked us up from where they left us. The food in all the restaurants was spot on, Freshly batch cooked all through service times on every sitting. Bread needs a special shout out eat way to much of it. Restaurant on the 4th floor had great waiting staff and were very attentive to my diabetic needs. We treated ourselves to the Grill twice and OMG for the extra £20 each I have paid £300 for us to have a meal that was as good! The shows are a must! Casino had a Texas Holdem Tournament which I entered for a laugh (never done it before) always watched it on T.V so wanted to give it a go £20 winner takes all! Photos on board are expensive £7.99 each - £12.99 but a simple no and they won't take your picture. Their always on show if you want to buy them if not they get shredded which I hate the thought of waste etc. The Captain had a story to tell every day and what a character! Spent an hour with him when we were invited to the Sale away on the Bridge which was a great experience. It wouldn't be a review without a bit of criticism, bit noisy when leaving and docking in our room, and she looks very clean but a bit tiered in places thats it! Lastly the only smell at the back stair well, was cooking! Cabbage Spinach Cauliflower etc Book this Holiday on this ship you won't be disappointed if it's your first. You'll have no expectations. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
My sister and I had a wonderful two weeks cruise on the Thomson Dream. We received excellent friendly service from everyone. The entertainment was absolutely fantastic. The food was plentiful and of great quality. We ate mostly from ... Read More
My sister and I had a wonderful two weeks cruise on the Thomson Dream. We received excellent friendly service from everyone. The entertainment was absolutely fantastic. The food was plentiful and of great quality. We ate mostly from the buffet during the day and always went to the Orion in the evening. The ship was clean with no bad smells. Cleaning was ongoing from morning and through the night. The ship was spotless considering over 1500 passengers were onboard. Our cabin was larger than expected and very comfortable with plenty of space for clothes etc. The destinations we went to were lovely. We took a few tours arranged by Thomson but ventured out on our own in taxis and with other groups on the most part. We had the most fantastic time and want to thank everyone on the Thomson Dream for making our holiday one of the best we have every had. Anyone hesitating due to reading some negative review please disregard them and go on the cruise - you'll have a wonderful time. Would I cruise on the Thomson Dream again? Yes, in a heart beat. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Being frequent sailors since becoming cruises addicts fifteen years ago, and having cruised with all the major cruise lines, RCI, P&O, Princess and Celebrity, it is fair to say that we were extremely worried upon reading the reviews of ... Read More
Being frequent sailors since becoming cruises addicts fifteen years ago, and having cruised with all the major cruise lines, RCI, P&O, Princess and Celebrity, it is fair to say that we were extremely worried upon reading the reviews of the ship. We needn't have bothered, and neither should you. True,our holiday did not begin well as our flight from Manchester suffered a long delay due to a damaged fuel seal, but the ship waited for us and we sailed only three hours late. Our cabin was excellent as was our cabin steward Don Don. The food in the Orion was good as were our waiters, Dickie and Jay. We prefered Sirens on Deck 11 to The Lido on deck 9. A particular favourite of ours was the pasta bar, where any pasta dish you chose was made whilst you waited. I have to mention here, that I am very, very awkward and particular when it comes to food. Yes, I have had a better quality of food on some ships but believe me I have also had a lot worse on others. The entertainment overall was good, although a few of the bars were quiet in the evening and would benefit from some entertainment in them. This would relieve presure on The Medusa Lounge which was always packed by 9pm as it was the only one with a show at 9.30pm The entertainment staff worked very hard throughout and The Deputy Cruise Director, Lewis will surely be a Cruise Director before long. We loved all the ports of call, ten in all, and found the trips to be very reasonably priced and well organised. Thomson should be proud of their 'Dream Team.' They have to be the happiest crew afloat. The sunbeds are an issue, but this is due the fact that there are only six balconies on the ship which means all passengers are looking for a seat outdoors. Also the problem is not helped by passengers who claim a bed and then leave it empty for hours. Would I sail on this ship again? Asolutely, and I will now consider trying the other ships in the Thomson fleet.I think it unfair to compare ships as each one we have sailed on has had pros and cons. For us, the Dream was great, a very pleasant surprise. It was a 'Caribbean Cracker.' Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
We arrived in Barbados 14.15, as we went straight on to a bus we were on board 15.15, superb. Our cabin was standard inside deck 7, we were right under the Medusa lounge but it didn't bother us as we usually didn't go to bed ... Read More
We arrived in Barbados 14.15, as we went straight on to a bus we were on board 15.15, superb. Our cabin was standard inside deck 7, we were right under the Medusa lounge but it didn't bother us as we usually didn't go to bed before they finished. Really liked our cabin, all the space we needed and plenty of storage. The life drill took place at 18.00 and most people seemed to pay attention. First day was at sea. I woke up really early so managed to get a sunbed, not easy if you came later then 8 o'clock. First night was formal and we got invited for the later presentation and dinner. Our friends got the earlier one which started at 17.00 but they managed to change it without any problems. We went to the main dining room and it's sort of divided into two halves. One side is smaller and we sat in there the whole time and it was fabulous. Food was really good every night and our waiters Ariel, Irfan and Archie we can't praise them enough. Our first stop was Aruba, we didn't have anything planned so we hopped of one of the buses promising a tour for $20. The places we went to were not particularly interesting and it was not worth the money. In the evening we went to the Caribbean deck party and we really enjoyed that. Curacao was the next port, had a look around town and the we took a taxi to a beach. You had to pay to get in ( about five dollars ) but it was really nice and we even saw some dolphins. Margarita Island was next and what a disappointment, we had booked panoramic Margarita with Thomsons and it was awful. Our guide called Mario kept talking rubbish and the places we stopped at was awful. The last stop was to have a rum punch but they ran out so we didn't even get thatWe complained and we got half of our money back straight away. In Grenada the next day we went on the Rhum runner. You go to a beach and drink a lot of rum. Had a lot of fun and the people running it were great. St Lucia was next and we had a bit of rain and no sun so we didn't do much that day, nice to the the water taxi to town and easy to walk around. Back to Barbados and we went to Carlisle beach. Taxi drivers wanted $5 each to take us but we needed to exercise so we walked. It took about 25 minutes so not to far. We found a bar that gave you 2 beds, one drink and bus back to the ship for $12. The beach was beautiful with white sand and blue sea, loved it. First week done and we were settled on board. We spent most of our evenings in the Medusa lounge. Vibe was playing and we loved them, just ask and they play anything you want. We became very friendly with them and can't praise them enough. Next stop was Tortola, beautiful island. We went on a tour just took a taxi and it was a really good. We paid $25 each but it was only six of us so well worth it. Oh sorry forgot we had St Kitts before that. We took a taxi to a beach. It was a quiet one but lots of stones and not easy to get in and out if the sea. Loved it though and the locals were so friendly. Next up was St Marteen, so lovely. Water taxi was good, pay and you can go as many times as you want. We went shopping first and then they have the beach right there and it was lovely. Antigua we had booked horse riding. We were able to go in the sea on the horse, amazing. Went to Dickenson bay in the afternoon, nice beach again and not to far from the ship .Next one was Dominica and we went river tubing, was fun but not long enough and not so fast as it was dry season. Afternoon we took a taxi to the water falls. Just to warn you if you want to go close is quite dangerous and lots of climbing over rocks so be very careful. Next day we were going home, got picked up at 14.00 for our 17.15 flight. Long wait in the airport and nothing much to do. So all in all most things were good. Head chef Salomon was great. He always talked to everyone and one night he was up on stage singing.Cruise director we never saw. All the other crew was always walking around and were so friendly but where was he? Need a rest now but I wouldn't hesitate going on the Dream again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We did the Latin Gems cruise for a week from 4 March, from Barbados. We too were worried after bad reviews but food fantastic (although wouldn't pay the extra £20 each to dine in The Grill again as food not much different to the ... Read More
We did the Latin Gems cruise for a week from 4 March, from Barbados. We too were worried after bad reviews but food fantastic (although wouldn't pay the extra £20 each to dine in The Grill again as food not much different to the Orion restaurant), but in buffet and Orion restaurants always something to choose from and always hot; staff amazing, always helpful, with a smile and genuinely friendly. The ship has a really friendly feel, everyone always saying hello. Overall, we had a really great time, and the ports of call - Aruba, Curacao, Margarita Island, Grenada and St Lucia, were really good, especially as we only went for a week. I won't repeat what everyone else has said recently but would just add the following: Cabins - we were in an inside cabin, number 6187 and didn't sleep a wink as could feel every wave and the walls vibrated so much that the bed shook at times. It was like someone shaking you to wake you up! We thought this was just because we were cruise first-timers and not used to the vibrations and movement but found out towards the end of the week that the vibration was due to being over the propeller and other cabins in different areas and other floors didn't vibrate or feel the waves as much. Although on at least one day, you could feel the waves over all areas of the ship so I'm sure you could still feel them in any cabin. Needless to say, if I ever went on the Dream again, I would have to investigate the cabin situation and pay the extra to book a specific cabin. Also,from speaking with others, it seems that larger ships don't seem to have this problem, so we may have to consider a larger ship next time instead. Last year's sewage/air con problems seem to be fixed, although there was a slight whiff when passing some areas - it was like a drain smell but not sewage, but this was only every now and then. Shore excursions - For info on the trips we did - see my port reviews. I was disappointed about the knowledge of the Thomson staff at the excursions desk though, when I asked about the beaches in Aruba, they didn't even know the names of them or where they were(I knew more than they did) and when we asked for more information about a trip on another island, they didn't know. Cases being picked up by 3am on day of departure - just to give you a heads up in case you didn't know - it is worth packing small bottles (less than 100ml) of anything you need on your day of departure (e.g. shampoo, shower gel)as all larger bottles will have to be packed in your case, which you won't have on your day of departure. They do provide shampoo/shower gel, but if you are like me, you use your own particular brands. Overall, a great experience despite not much sleep, as everything else made up for it Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We arrived back on monday from a two week cruise round the carribean, we had a fantastic time with a nearly perfect time on board the dream, there was only one real problem for us but will bore you with that latter on in the review. 1st ... Read More
We arrived back on monday from a two week cruise round the carribean, we had a fantastic time with a nearly perfect time on board the dream, there was only one real problem for us but will bore you with that latter on in the review. 1st off, Its excellant that thompson take your cases at the airport and the next time you see it is the cabin, we landed at 2.15 and we were in the cabin at 3.15. an our hour to get out of your plane seat get on a coach, drive to the port, get through checkin at the port then wait to be shown to your cabin. superb. THE CABINS In my opinion and compared to other thompson and carnival ships that ive been on, the cabins are of an excellant size, plenty of storage, dressing table, 3 seater setee,fridge,tv and a HAIRDRYER FOR YOU GIRLS and blokes if your lucky enough to have enough hair to dry. The bathrooms are always a bit small with a nice powerfull shower and curtain that sticks to your arse (oops i mean bottom) as soon as you get in. THE FOOD The food on a cruise is always a nightmare. 1st breakfast you have to decide where your going to eat, weather it be full waiter service or buffet and then you have to choose between god knows how much stuff, fruit,cerals continental eg rolls croisant,full fryups, those egg things (o god what are they called). LUNCH We only ate at the buffet for lunch where there is once again a huge choice, theres differant cooked dishes to choose from, theres burgers, pizza,bbq and a huge salad which i had everyday due to full fryup in the morning (trying to watch my weight) AFTERNOON TEA By 3.30 you will probably be hungry again!!! so sandwiches, scones&cream and cakes are available DINNER (If you have any room left) We only ate in the orion restaurant in the evening which is full waiter service, its open sitting so you can go down anytime. we are you used to set tables with the same people and times and missed this a great deal, im not complaing as we knew this b4 we went. unfortuantly the Maitrie D didnt always listen to what you asked, weather you wanted to share or not and would somtimes do the opposite of what you asked. The food was excellant with 5 courses to choose from ENTERTAIMENT SHOWS As always the entertaiment was of a great quality, theres a differant show everynight and even if that particular show isnt your cup of tea, you cant knock it for the quality. I would like to say that we found the thompson show teams better than the american carnival ships teams. If you dont like the shows there are about 3 differant bands to choose from around the differant bars. They also have a few silly quizz games with audience taking part which are always a bit of laugh. TRIPS As always thompson along with all other cruise companys over charge for there trips so i would strongly recommend get off the ship, and inside/outside the port you can book all kinds of trips at a fraction of the price. eg thompson wanted £52 For two people to go to the beach. we got off and did the same beach for £19. we did do the thompson dolphin/whale watching boat trip £90 and didnt see one flipper or willy but was a great speed boat ride. MY ONE DISAPOINTMENT I thought i would put this last as this wont bother some people. the sunbed situation on the two sea days was a nightmare, there was aprox 1550 people on board with only enough beds in the sun for aprox 400 and you are squashed in like sardinnes. there was alot of people complaining and so they started taking towels off beds that had not been used for an hour. So get down there early by 8am and you should be ok. I would like to point out that all days in port there was no problem with getting a bed no matter what time you got up. due to alot of people being on trips. OVERALL This is not a massive ship and is not like your massive royal carribean with massive attriums over the top decor ice skating rinks flo riders and rock climbing walls so if thats what your thinking all ships are like these days this is not the ship for you. But what you will find is a great ship with fantastic food (put on about 7lb) great cabin stewards, excellant waiters superb entertaiment staff and the strange captain and his once a day very weird 10 minute stories!!!! o yes just remembered those egg things, omletts hope this review is of some help to you and i think you can contact me through cruise critic if you would like anymore useless info bar price £3.50 A BEER, £3.95 glass of wine, £3.75spirit + can of coke £1.70, cocktail £4.25 Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Our flight from Manchester was good. Thomsons give good leg room on long haul.Cases checked in at manchester and the next time we saw them was at our cabin. Arrived at Barbados on time. We came off the plane onto coaches to take us to port ... Read More
Our flight from Manchester was good. Thomsons give good leg room on long haul.Cases checked in at manchester and the next time we saw them was at our cabin. Arrived at Barbados on time. We came off the plane onto coaches to take us to port for fast check in then taken to our cabin. The cabin was clean and had good storage .Bathroom good for us but the shower was a little small if you are a large person.we met our room steward Ridwan who was a very nice man and always there to say hello. Safety drill done before we sailed.We ate in the Lido that night and will admit did not like it much, a bit like getting a school dinner. The rest of the cruise we ate in the Orion which is very nice. Most nights we were on Jeffs station.We had meet him last year on the Dream.Noel was our wine waiter and he soon learned what we drank and just served the drinks We liked. The evenings in the Ocean bar were very good and The bar men Lorenzo Robert Jeffery and Rod were great. The girls who waited on were also very good. We could not knock the service from Hazel, Karen and May.When we were on the Dream before we liked the Delo bar with the piano but this time we found Keith played too loud so you couldn't have a chat with the people around the table But as I will always say everyone likes different things. Breakfast and Lunch we took in Sirens. Always a good choice to choose from plus afternoon tea. We booked some trips on the ship which were good and others we did our own thing .You could always find taxis as you got of the ship.The Captain is great and always tells a story just before the ship sails . We were very lucky to be invited on to the bridge one night to see the sail away and also shown around the bridge. We do not bother with the shows but most people say they are good .We do go to the crew show which is on once a week and it is excellent. The ports of call were good. All in all we had a great time on the Dream and would we go again Yes Thomson can be very proud of their crew, they are excellent and all work hard to see that you enjoy your cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We checked in at Birmingham Airport on 11th march. There was no queue and that was the last we saw of our suitcases until we arrived on the ship. Excellent flight, good leg room. When we arrived at Barbados we were transferred directly to ... Read More
We checked in at Birmingham Airport on 11th march. There was no queue and that was the last we saw of our suitcases until we arrived on the ship. Excellent flight, good leg room. When we arrived at Barbados we were transferred directly to the ship from the plane without entering the airport. We have sailed on this ship before so knew what to expect. Our cabin was inside, in the middle of the ship. It was quite adequate for our needs as we do not spend a lot of time in it. Our cabin steward did an excellent job of looking after us and the cabin, it was very clean and tidy. Life boat drill now takes place before leaving port, which in the light of recent events is essential, and saves us having to get up early on our first day at sea. We choose to have a buffet breakfast in the lido restaurant and have dinner in the Orion waiter service restaurant. The waiters soon get to know you and some of them had been on our previous trip and remembered us. Each week there is one formal night, the captains cocktail party, ladies dress in posh frocks and gentlemen wear suit and tie or dinner suits. This is entirely optional, although many people enjoy the opportunity to dress up. For all other evenings, ladies tend dress smartly and gentlemen wear open neck shirts and long trousers in the Orion restaurant. You can choose to sit on your own table or join fellow passengers. We sat with the same couples on a few nights and the waiter saved our table for us. Dinner is 5 courses . After dinner we went to see the show and then spent the rest of the night in one of the bars. The standard of entertainment was generally good. There are lots of different types on offer, musicals, caribbean, classical, opera, comedy, quiz and disco, and the casino, or you can find a quiet bar and chat to your fellow passengers. Drinks are reasonable and there are always bars staff ready to take your order, remember it is a cashless ship and tips are included in the price. We found all the staff very friendly,helpful,polite and they always treated you as individuals, making our holiday special. We did go on some trips, the train trip in St Kitts was enjoyable but overpriced.We enjoyed the americas cup sailing and swimming with the turtles in Barbados, well worth the money! Tom went on the rainforest hike which he described as a commando assault course! definately not for the unfit. Food is available 24/7, so try to loose a few pounds before your holiday. This ship is not as big as many of the other cruise ships but it has a very friendly and happy atmosphere. The itinerary suited us with only one day at sea and 6 different islands to see. We felt our holiday was really value for money. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
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