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98 Marella Cruises Eastern Caribbean Cruise Reviews

I have travelled in all areas of the world independently so when my husband and I said we were going on a cruise our friends were quite surprised! However for us the arrangement of hopping between the islands sounded good and we would make ... Read More
I have travelled in all areas of the world independently so when my husband and I said we were going on a cruise our friends were quite surprised! However for us the arrangement of hopping between the islands sounded good and we would make the most of the time we had on each one. We knew we liked ships (we always like the overnight Harwich to Hook of Holland) so we thought "Why Not!!". The Flight We flew from Birmingham - and unluckily had a 4 hour or so delay. Thomson staff at the airport were not in the least bit helpful but it wasn't too bad as we passed the time sunbathing by the lake at the nearby NEC! The flight itself was fine - legroom good for a charter flight. The Embarkation Because we arrived late we seemed to have had an extremely fast transfer to the ship which was a very smooth operation. Our bags arrived at the cabin a couple of hours after us I think. The Ship Well the Dream was a nice older style ship - bit tatty round the edges - but we quite liked her! At least she looks like a ship - we would refuse to go on a an enormous slab of floating lego! We liked the wraparound outside deck (Deck 9 I think) which we liked a stroll around when dark. The "Stateroom" Our cabin was an inside on deck 5 near the back. We didn't pay extra to choose a cabin but to be honest this one was fine for us - yes it was noisy when the ship was going into ports in the morning and you could get woken up by this. It didn't really bother us as it made sure we were awake in time! We did like the fact you could be outside on deck quickly by just popping out of the back door close to our cabin. The beds were hard but we found them extremely comfy. No probs with the bathroom and we thought the shower was excellent. Being inside without a window was no bother either - we watched the view coming into port on the tv some mornings! Dining We are not interested in eating more than you need but if you wanted to "pig out" you will have no problem! Food available all the time - a choice of all sorts. We had a smallish breakfast each morning - I liked the fresh pineapple and a pastry. We didn't have lunch as we were never on the ship at this time. Dinner in the evening we liked in the Orion restaurant - mainly so you don't have to try to choose from the enormous choice in the self service Lido restaurant! Quality of food was fine although nothing special. Activities As we were off the ship all day we only had the "Day at Sea" to attend any activities. We went to Zumba and Yoga/Pilates on this day as well as using the gym which we enjoyed. Entertainment The shows were very well presented and the venue (Broadway show lounge) was very nice. Shows are not really our thing but we went to a couple and were impressed. The best entertainment was the daily stories told by the captain over the tannoy! The captain is a German man with a lifetime of shipping experience - so has many really interesting tales to tell! The comedian - Peter Piper - was good too. Sunbed Situation I must say there seems to be a bit of an issue with people putting towels etc on beds to "reserve" them! How unbelievably out of order! To people who do this: Please do not - stop being so selfish! We did have a job finding a bed on the day at sea and noticed towels everywhere but no-one on the beds. We decided to remove a couple of towels and were nearly applauded by other people who said the beds had been empty (apart from the towel) since 0900 - and it was about 1400 then! The captain did request people do not do this over the tannoy but I don't know if this made any difference as we were off the ship every day from then on. Service The staff everywhere apart from the Shore excursion desk were brilliant - very friendly and very efficient. Port and Shore Excursions We were not interested in any organised tours but went to the shore excursion desk one day to ask a simple question about the local bus station - the girl had no idea at all and recommended taking a taxi. The staff here should have a bit more general knowledge about the ports - we knew more about it than she did - and we had never been there! We did one of the bike rides with Markus which was excellent though some steep hard hills - on St Maarten. Disembarkation No problem at all - we went off the ship in the morning and returned 30 mins before the coach departed to go to the airport. We had a quick shower in the public shower on Lido deck as all the complementary cabins were occupied. We had put our bags outside the cabin the night before and met it back on the conveyor belt in Birmingham! Summary We really enjoyed our trip - plenty of time at each port - 0800 to 1730 usually which gave us enough time to do whatever we wanted on each island getting around on public buses. I think Thomson Cruises is excellent as long as you are not after an upmarket/luxury experience. If you are after a more informal cruise this works - you don't really have to dress up and the atmosphere is relaxed. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
This was our 1st ever cruise so we had open minds despite doing the usual reading and checking up on the Thomson Dream. We were there to celebrate my 50Th birthday. Well all we can say is fantastic! That is to say we have never had a ... Read More
This was our 1st ever cruise so we had open minds despite doing the usual reading and checking up on the Thomson Dream. We were there to celebrate my 50Th birthday. Well all we can say is fantastic! That is to say we have never had a holiday like it and have certainly got the cruise bug now. I have read poor reviews and bad reviews both before and just after we returned and i know that a lot can come down to either just bad luck or what i would call too fussy a person. Our holiday started with a flight from Manchester, this was delayed for an hour but time was made up on the flight so we landed on-time. Straight off the plane onto a coach and to the ship, brilliant, no usual procedures there. On arrival in Bridgetown we arrived at the check in point, this is fare to say just a warehouse fitted out with check in desks etc. The process was fare but some queuing had to be done to go though. Plenty of hand sanitising which we would experience quite a lot on our cruise. A picture was taken of us and our boarding cards issued. Next a boarding picture was taken and onto the boarding process. On boarding the ship at deck 4 we were met with staff who once scanned through assisted us to our cabin. This seemed a long route but would later through numerous disembarkation's and embarkations seem normal. Our cabin 7135 was on the starboard side on deck 7, this was just below the entertainment deck 8 and 2 below the main pool and Lido deck 9. On entering our cabin our first impression was wow. we did not know what really to expect although you see the brochure pictures. We had ordered champagne, flowers and strawberries. There were some signs of ageing, some minor decoration deterioration, but lets face it this is an old ship. We did not expect gold fittings or silk sheets. Our cabin steward introduced himself (Don Don)We arrived on board approx 1 hour before the emergency drill. This was a great experience as what had happened before, so a lot of minds were put at ease. I must say we were disappointed that a number of passengers did not attend the drill! We explored the ship throughout our holiday, never having a moment of unhappiness, upset, anger or complaint. We thought the food was excellent, we ate mainly at the Lido restaurant but did try both the Orion and Sirens restaurants but these were not to our liking. We got off the ship at every port either just to look around or try the beaches. The people on every island were so friendly and helpful. We had many a great time just chilling out. Both days at sea were great apart from that you were lucky to get a sun bed unless you got up at god knows what time to reserve one! We cannot say enough about the ships crew, everyone we saw, spoke to or was helped by gave it all with a smile. The crew work so hard it seems like they never stop. Most remember your names, the waitresses on a night and during the day used to make us smile with their sense of fun and friendliness. Prices on board were very reasonable, especially the duty free drink! By the end of our cruise we did not want to come home. We met a lot of like minded other cruise couples and would say they all felt the same. A lot of couples who had cruised on other ships said this was the best they had experienced against as with larger ships and we could only agree. We never suffered any illness, although we did ensure we made full use of the sanitising gel and washed our hands. Sadly there are always guests who i9 think are above this and were quite visible in entering restaurants without using the hand gel! There were some times when you got smells of sewerage, this seemed to be on port days when docked up. We never had any problems with our cabin, bathroom or any of the facilities on the ship when used. We never had any issues with our cabin or the plumbing in the bathroom, but understood that some others had, so it goes back to what i said at the beginning and down to possible bad luck i think! Overall were we happy with what we got - Yes very much so Would we cruise on the Dream again or with Thomson - Yes To any other 1st time cruisers out there, in our opinion you would not do any wrong in trying this ship for your 1st cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
Everything about our cruise on the Thomson Dream was fantastic.The ship was really everything we had hoped for and more,The staff were always happy and smiling and nothing was a trouble for them to make sure that we were looked after. ... Read More
Everything about our cruise on the Thomson Dream was fantastic.The ship was really everything we had hoped for and more,The staff were always happy and smiling and nothing was a trouble for them to make sure that we were looked after. Our cabin was comfortable and kept in immaculate condition thanks to Don Don our cabin steward.The food was excellent with plenty of choice for everyone,especially afternoon tea in the siren restaraunt. Must pay huge compliments to reception staff and staff in duty free shops.Last but not least Steven Guy and his entertainment team put on shows every night that would not have been out of place in the west end. Thank you to everyone on the Thomson Dream for making this a fantastic Caribean dream come true. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
The ship was good if you where fit because the lifts where a nightmare no good if you have walking disabilities. We found the Orion restaurant was very slow on some night over 2 hours on a few occasions' Found the drinks very ... Read More
The ship was good if you where fit because the lifts where a nightmare no good if you have walking disabilities. We found the Orion restaurant was very slow on some night over 2 hours on a few occasions' Found the drinks very reasonable although not a wine buff just white house but I did notice a little trick the wine waiters did you would ask for a bottle of house white £10 then the next few nights house white was £11.95 had to pull them up on this one . also if you was on the AI and had wine at dinner they topped your glass up before it was empty maybe halfway down the glass but made you sign for a full glass so the couple we where with had 9 tickets to sign when in reality they only had about 6 glasses clever trick to make you think you have had your monies worth when you look back on your bill Met a lot of people who had the AI drinks package and where not happy with all the supplements. Plumbing was hit and miss and a bad smell from deck 6 They need to do something about the sun beds on sea days nightmare ,we did hear of people going on trips but had towels on beds ,and even people putting towels on 4 beds 2 in the sun and 2 in the shade and they say the Germans are bad To sum had great time Thomson must have the friendliest people on board but they do need new ships Keith Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
I travelled with my husband, and 2 teenage children (it was our first cruise) and My mum and dad, who have been on other cruises before. The travel and process of embarkation was slick and no problems encountered. Once on board the ship, ... Read More
I travelled with my husband, and 2 teenage children (it was our first cruise) and My mum and dad, who have been on other cruises before. The travel and process of embarkation was slick and no problems encountered. Once on board the ship, you could sense that it is an older ship, but was clean and the staff very friendly and helpful. Our luggage was placed in our rooms about an hour after our arrival on board. The rooms were adequate, but in my opinion needed a make over (I have now found out that the ship is having a make over for this coming winter season and will be a Platinum Ship for Thomson - hence we are just going to book it again for February next year!) The facilities on board are great, I like the feel of the ship, that it is more personal and less people on board than some of the bigger ships (I have just returned home from the Carnival Breeze) The food is of excellent standard and the service on board was of a very high standard. We always ate in the main waiter service restaurant The Orion I think, you could eat in here for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we mainly ate in there at dinner, and occasionally lunch. The entertainment on board was great, the main bar area was good, and there was plenty of room for sunbathing especially on sea days. There were plenty of waiters to take care of your needs. We upgraded and paid for all inclusive, which proved to be the best for us, as we do like a drink when we are away, this included the cocktail of the day. One day it was champagne cocktails, which was great as it was included. There were certain items on the AI where you had to pay a contribution, certain malt whiskeys etc bottled beer. The trips offered for the tours we took were great, we didn't book every island but most, instructions easy to follow and great tour guides. The catamaran trip at Antigua Lobster and Champagne was great, swim with the dolphins in the British Virgin Islands was great as they are in the sea and not a pool. The ships staff from the restaurants and bars performed one night, and there were some great singers one in particular, she sang opera and it was amazing! Would I book it again, yes I would, for the service and great value for money and the great atmosphere on board, We are in the process of booking again for next year to do do a different Caribbean island tour! Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
Cruise 15th to 29th January. Flew from Gatwick to Bridgetown to board ship. No problems. Previous cruise was on Thompson Celebration in Oct 2010, so only second time with Thompson. Previous cruises with Page and Moy's ships Ocean ... Read More
Cruise 15th to 29th January. Flew from Gatwick to Bridgetown to board ship. No problems. Previous cruise was on Thompson Celebration in Oct 2010, so only second time with Thompson. Previous cruises with Page and Moy's ships Ocean Majesty and Ocean Monarch, which were much smaller. General impressions were good, but although on same coridoor as Steve we had a different cabin steward Dicky who looked fed up all the time, and I had to ask him to replace things eg toilet rolls! The cabin was fine, only slept in it so didn't need more but I like to be able to look outside so that's why we book an Outside. Captain Roy kept us informed as to our destination and speed weather forecast etc. " the voice from above" as he liked to say each time he announced something. We went on their organised excursions as we aren't confident enough to go out on island tours with local taxi's. Their booking system needs to be sorted out as we were told that we were on a trip by one person, then we weren't on any by another! The trips we went on were mostly island highlights of 4 hours approx as we didn't want to sit on coaches for hours. Memorable ones include Dolphin Encounter in Tortola in British Virgin Islands. Expensive to do '£72 plus photos taken by their photographer, $80! decided as it was a one off experience that I wouldn't think about the cost too much. Scenic Railway in St Kitts was brilliant, drinks flowing, ladies singing and everyone we met along the journey waving at us. Dominica for the steep narrow and sometimes almost no existent roads to the waterfalls. Brilliant. Isla Marguerita for flooded roads as it was raining on the mountains and the water flowing down to the main roads! Very colourful shop selling pottery figures with fruit on their heads. Felt very safe in the ports of call when we wandered from the ship to local shops. The "at sea" days led to overcrowding around the pool areas, but I was happy sitting at the tables if no sun bed available. Went on a "behind the scenes" tour of Broadway show lounge and met Samantha the "captain". It was all very interesting as I had watched "Showboaters" on Sky and was pleased that Ashanti the winner had settled into show life so well. The nightly entertainment was really quite good, Maxwell Plumm guest comedian the first week, then Maurice Grumbleweed the second. I thought Maurice did a much better job but its all down to personal taste in the end. Food was usual standard fare, ate at Orion a few nights,but mostly in Lido or Sirens Luckily no outbreaks of Norovirus that I could see, but like previous lady said it was more luck, as I watched many people avoid hand washing or the gel. I would go on Thompson cruises again, a very friendly ship and good experience! Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
Booked this Thomson Cruise on the Dream with some serious reservations and my 15 year old daughter was even less sure. A week later and we are all converts! She loved it and wife and me had a great time too. The Dream is a fine slightly ... Read More
Booked this Thomson Cruise on the Dream with some serious reservations and my 15 year old daughter was even less sure. A week later and we are all converts! She loved it and wife and me had a great time too. The Dream is a fine slightly older but well designed & maintained ship. Lovely blonde wood decks and cabins are spacious. Whole ship is spotless and crew cannot be faulted in any regard. Hard working and constantly, unwaveringly friendly, a credit to Thomson and Captain Roy! Cruising route was perfect with only one whole day at sea. Could not believe how lucky we were with the weather...27 degrees every day and 12 hours of sunshine. Hard to think the UK and the Caribbean share the same planet. Sea temps at around 27 degrees too so lots of sea swimming is mandatory. Meals were great and the Orion restaurant was a lovely place to eat with great service from all specially star waiter Tawanto. House red at &12 per bottle and other drinks around same as UK prices. Thanks to all the lovely folks we met on board and to Thomson for making our first cruise a great one. The Crodens Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
After reading some of the reviews on here we were a little sure what we had signed ourselves up for but I have to say we had the best week ever!! Ok, the ship is nowhere near as grand as one of the large liners but at the end of the day ... Read More
After reading some of the reviews on here we were a little sure what we had signed ourselves up for but I have to say we had the best week ever!! Ok, the ship is nowhere near as grand as one of the large liners but at the end of the day its a Thomson holiday and after all you get what you paid for! There was plenty to do and the ship was large enough for you to find your own space and sit and gaze out to the beautiful sea. We would definetely recommend purchasing the all inclusive option, in fact you would be mad not to as it is certainly worth the extra money. The staff are amazing and will go out of the their way to make sure you have an amazing time. The food and drink selection are second to none and the rooms are great, with a queen size bed and air con and they are kept immaculately clean by the house keeping staff. The only negative we could find would be the entertainment. We found that it was geared to the older generations and whilst this is not necessarily a bad thing, for us it just didn't live up to our expectations. The onboard entertainment team were ok, nothing amazing but certainly not dreadful. Like I said earlier you get what you pay for. All in all we had an amazing time and we will certainly be booking again for next year, however next time we will be looking at a cruise and stay as one week just isnt enough in the Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
Just returned from a superb holiday aboard the Thomson Dream. Cabin was very spacious and so clean it sparkled! The cabin steward "Ferdy" was wonderful. The food in the Orion Restaurant was fantastic and the waiters were ... Read More
Just returned from a superb holiday aboard the Thomson Dream. Cabin was very spacious and so clean it sparkled! The cabin steward "Ferdy" was wonderful. The food in the Orion Restaurant was fantastic and the waiters were brilliant. The queue's were a bit mad in the Lido restaurant so during the day we went in Sirens on Deck 11 which was a little quieter. The shows at night were great, a brilliant show team, all the staff were extremely friendly. The itinerary was great, Aruba, St.Lucia, St. Kitts, Barbados, Grenada, Curacao,Antigua, to name just a few. Booked a lot of excursions through the ship which I know are expensive but they were worth it as they were very well organised. Weather gorgeous every day apart from a little rain in St. Martin. The only negative comment I can say is that on the days at sea people reserve sun beds only to leave them unoccupied for hours. I mentioned this to a member of the crew and he said if they remove the towels they get shouted at so they just leave them. All in all though, an absolutely amazing holiday, faultless, can't wait to do it all again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
Just returned (29/1/12) after a 2 week Eastern Caribbean trip on The Dream.We had an amazing time.The staff are lovely people.In the main restaurant was Ferdy, a fantastic very comical wine waiter.Generally organising daytime events were ... Read More
Just returned (29/1/12) after a 2 week Eastern Caribbean trip on The Dream.We had an amazing time.The staff are lovely people.In the main restaurant was Ferdy, a fantastic very comical wine waiter.Generally organising daytime events were Lewis, Adam, Miko, Elise and the entertainment team headed by the Cruise Director Stephen Guy were all brilliant hard working wonderful friendly people. The cabin was kept immaculate twice a day and the food was to die for. You can eat 24 hours a day if you so wish. A ship with only 1500 passengers and 74 chefs says it all. The incredible organisation and general precise logistics is a credit to all 600 crew. I have read some very negative reports about this ship but did not experience any of those things that have been written. If there were problems in the past I can promise all has been rectified.The Dream truly lived up to its name. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
We flew from manchester and had a great flight with seats all together the children were impressed with the meal so all in all a great start to the holiday.Having arrived in Barbados we had a slight delay from exiting the plane as the ... Read More
We flew from manchester and had a great flight with seats all together the children were impressed with the meal so all in all a great start to the holiday.Having arrived in Barbados we had a slight delay from exiting the plane as the coaches had not arrived in time to meet us although a little annoying nothing major and we were soon on our way to Port listening to Jingle Bells from the Radio (very Strange experience )We arrived at the ship feeling very excited however the 9hr flight was catching up with us and we were a little disappointed with having to wait in the Broadway theatre before being called to the Medusa lounge to check in. Once in our cabin 5138 our luggage arrived within the hour which was great as we had a quick change of clothes and the exploring began!! We ate mostly in the Lido and ate occasionally in the Orion we were not that impressed with the food there however others loved it so its all about taste. You will Not go hungry on the Dream and will always find something you like. Drinks were reasonable we were not AI but with having the children with us would definitely book AI next time Shirley Temples do mount up! I have to say that the most disappointing aspect of the Cruise was the Entertainment We are in our early 40's and found it catered for the older cruiser also the game shows in the Medusa felt a bit holiday campish however all the Entertainment staff were very friendly and were enthusiastic.Christmas Day was a bit strange we had never been away at xmas time before and expectations were High we were a bit disappointed that there wasn't more activities put in place for the day although father christmas did make an appearance! Christmas dinner was NOT GOOD we ate in the Orion and had the Turkey which was ok One sprout cut in half one baton of carrot one roast potato chestnut stuffing and a pig in blanket which looked anemic My advice would be Go and eat Christmas Dinner in the Lido !New Years Eve Was Fantastic we had a great meal in the Orion and a few bottles of wine Lots of party Hats Streamers Whistles and a great atmosphere. The Deck Party was great fun with people dancing till the early hours BRILLIANT Will miss The Dream this New Year. Will do a review of the ports soon Hope my first review is ok Rhian Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We paid for the premium seating on the plane and were rather disappointed by the size of the seats. The leg room was fine, but the seat width was supposed to be larger than the other compartment, if it was I pity the other passengers. The ... Read More
We paid for the premium seating on the plane and were rather disappointed by the size of the seats. The leg room was fine, but the seat width was supposed to be larger than the other compartment, if it was I pity the other passengers. The service, however, was excellent. As DH was travelling in a wheelchair and I'm disabled too I was dreading the arrival in Barbados and trying to clamber into a coach. We were asked to remain behind and then lifted off and escorted to a waiting taxi. On arrival at the ship we zoomed through all the check-in procedures because of the wheelchair and were soon in summer clothes sipping a cocktail in the sunshine. Our cabin, deck 7 inside was close to the lifts and very convenient for most places we visited regularly, there was never any noise day or night and although the cabin was small (we had to store a wheelchair and a walker in there too), it was clean and adequate for sleeping, showering and changing. I wouldn't hesitate to pick these cabins again, 7134 and 7136. The bed was large and comfortable and the shower was superb, never a shortage of boiling hot water or pressure, it was much better than our shower at home. The provided shower gel was rather thin, but ok and the shampoo was fine. The tap water was drinkable, but not good after standing for a few minutes. We were told our suitcases could take up to 3 hours to arrive at the cabins and mine did! First evening we dressed for dinner had a cocktail in Oceans bar and went to eat in the Orion restaurant. Thankfully I'd been warned on Cruise Critic that portions were small, that was an understatement and my kids were not impressed! We continued to dine here every evening, so DH and I were satisfied, but the kids left us after a couple of days, only to return to eat with us on formal evenings. The call of all you can eat, when you want it was too strong in comparison to what my son called wait thirty minutes for one Dorito! We were cared for by Lito, Iqbal and Lito the wine waiter each night, they were delightful and I hope to meet them again one day. Breakfast and most lunches we ate in the Lido, again the staff were really helpful, especially when they saw us struggling with our trays. I'm afraid the food didn't always appeal to me, the bacon was stewed/broiled and I only ate it once, but DH tucked in every day. The cooking method seemed to apply to most meat and at times I found it nauseating, but I didn't complain to them so I shouldn't complain to you! I was surprised as well that there wasn't more fish on the menu. DH (who will eat most things) thought the food overall was excellent, I thought it was rather "institutional" and gorged myself on the plethora of fresh fruit that was always available. After dinner on the first night we retired to the Oceans bar where we were entertained by barmen Lorenzo and Florens, as creatures of habit we returned here each evening. It wasn't long before my mojito and DH's pint were waiting for us when we sat down. We had the AI which we paid full price for and still I wouldn't hesitate to pay for it again. The bar staff everywhere were excellent, nothing was too much trouble. Any drink we wanted, even cider that wasn't available in every bar was soon at your table, a waiter or waitress having been dispatched to another bar to get the drink we required. We only visited the theatre on two occasions, Motown and the Crew show, both times the entertainment was excellent. My son went several times and overall he said it was good, but both he and my daughter were very disappointed with the comedians, this seemed to echo what we heard from others. The female singer in the Medusa bar, we were told was a must to avoid and having heard her when we were going up to deck 8 from the restaurant I understood why! DH sang on the Karaoke in the Medusa bar and some people we'd never seen before said he'd been by far the best singer they had heard in there, including all the professionals! The trio in the Oceans Bar were excellent and the bar was packed each night. The violinist in the Argo lounge sounded good and well received by the audience. Stephen Guy was always around and listened to any complaints or comments, but we and a lot of people we spoke to didn't care for his understudy (so memorable I forget his name!) He told a tasteless joke about a waiter in the Crew show and most people we spoke to afterwards were unimpressed. We went on some of Thomson's excursions, some from Cruising Excursions and did some things alone. We found all the excursions good value for money, but the kids were rather disappointed when their zip slide trip in Costa Rica was cancelled because of lack of numbers. My daughter, Rachel, fell as our catamaran pulled in at the end of our trip in Jamaica, the Thomson rep on board organised a wheelchair back to the ship and an emergency visit to the doctor. The doctor was excellent and quickly reassured her. We had to visit him several more times and he came to her cabin on a few occasions to check on her progress, he was helpful and kind despite his rather austere Eastern European accent. The day after her fall we were at sea so the following day he sent us to the local hospital in La Romana (Dominican Republic). We were accompanied by a Thomson rep, which was good I thought, however, she didn't speak a word of Spanish, so it's a good job I do! Rachel was given a plaster cast up to her knee and told to take it easy for a few weeks, because of this we didn't go on any more excursions. The usual problem with reserved sunbeds reared its ugly head and Stephen Guy issued a warning once over the PA, but nothing was done about it except by individuals. I'd heard that the captain was quite a wit and enthralled the passengers each day with his humorous stories, but I heard nothing at all other than the expected weather and travel details for the day. The public rooms were always clean and tidy and the Ladies' toilets were always being cleaned and never lacked paper, soap or towels. Almost anything we could have forgotten to bring was available on board, but the prices were very expensive. The duty free was well stocked, but unfortunately DH didn't get my subtle hints until a necklace I fancied had gone! The staff were all excellent in every area and rarely would any of them pass without a cheerful greeting. Disembarking was not as well organised as embarkation. As we came off the ship a mini-bus that was waiting for disabled passengers had been commandeered by anyone who didn't fancy the walk to the buses, however when we arrived at the airport everything was much better organised. Overall we had a fantastic time, the kids and DH had never been on a cruise before, but they have now got the bug and are already planning our next trip. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Dream to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Our first time with Thomson, so our first experience on the Dream. Check in in tenerife was rather congested with 7 flights from the uk all arriving at once. Thomson take note as these are your flights and schedules. The check in ... Read More
Our first time with Thomson, so our first experience on the Dream. Check in in tenerife was rather congested with 7 flights from the uk all arriving at once. Thomson take note as these are your flights and schedules. The check in procedure of identifying your suitcase on the dockside and attaching a label, so the case can be delivered to your cabin was a retrospective procedure and could be simplified. Our cabin was on deck 6 and was a "plus" grade. I was pleasantly surprised at the space in the cabin. Whilst the decor was "out of style" it was functional and everything worked as it should. The flat screen TV was a nice unexpected touch. All the staff were all very attentive and very professional. We ate in Sirons for breakfast each day as I like a buffet style breakfast and I was able to get a "full english" each and every day. The coffee out of the urn was pretty disgusting but "Nescafe" was available right up to the two days before the cruise ended. It was claimed by the staff they had to stop people from "nicking" the sachets of coffee. Sad really. We ate in the Restaurant on deck 4 every evening and had a great service on table 127. Our thanks to Dicky, Jefferey and Siegfried who looked after us so well. The food was always good with lots of choice. I know a lot of people were not happy with the food selection, but you got what you paid for. If you want Lobster Thermidor every night then I suggest you try Cunard, oh and their prices. The entertainment was great value and the ships company girls and boys were spot on. I'm an Elite customer on Princess Cruises but I would take another cruise on the Dream anytime. As I said before you get what you pay for. I was one of the people whose flight was delayed for 27 hours, back to Birmingham. It was a problem for some, but a blessing for us as it gave us another day in Barbados.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
4 of us went on this cruise for my friends birthday in cabins 7086 and 7088.We left Manchester after a delay which meant we arrived in Barbados late and didn't get a chance to look around....the ship itself is huge, yes its a little ... Read More
4 of us went on this cruise for my friends birthday in cabins 7086 and 7088.We left Manchester after a delay which meant we arrived in Barbados late and didn't get a chance to look around....the ship itself is huge, yes its a little worn but nothing excessive. We were upgraded to deck 7, the room itself was fine, lots of wardrobe space, big comfy bed, no problems at all.The food was really nice,ive had better on other ships but it was still very nice. We ate in the Grill one night for my friends birthday and it was wonderful.8 delicious courses, very attentive waiters and lovely wine.the ate in the Orion restaurant every night and never once experienced any sewage smells that have been mentioned.the staff were all fantastic, easy to chat to, very attentive and very funny.The only problem we encountered was when the ship was at sea, it was a bit rocky, but to be honest i expected it, took a travel calm and that was that.we visted some fantastic places, the highlight was the Duns waterfalls.I have read some of the negative reviews from people supposedly onboard at the same time as me and all i can say is they must have either been on a differnet ship or just moan for the sake of it, as i could not fault a thing.Our cabin steward was brilliant, always smiling, always attentive, made patterns with our nightwear...made us laugh everytime Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
My husband and I sailed on the wonderful Thomson Dream on 3rd March 2011. The main reason for booking this was for the three days that we would be spending in Havana, Cuba, besides the many other beautiful Caribbean Islands also included ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on the wonderful Thomson Dream on 3rd March 2011. The main reason for booking this was for the three days that we would be spending in Havana, Cuba, besides the many other beautiful Caribbean Islands also included in the two week itinerary. Having had such an amazing time on this ship, which was perfect for us, when we next cruise we will ensure that it is on Thomson Dream again. The staff are so friendly, polite and efficient; the nightly broadway theatre shows are outstanding; there are so many varied comfortable seating areas; and the tasty food is varied, plentiful and to a high standard. As for Havana if you are planning to visit this fantastic place, and you want to experience a city tour in your own classic car, look out for a bright pink Chevrolet. Roger, the driver, took us on a fascinating tour of old and new Havana. He stopped to let us take photos, and he also took many photos of us together. This one and a half hour tour was our Havana highlight, which we will always remember. Such happy memories of our Cuban Adventure on board Thomson Dream. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
First of all, if MANotAHappyBunny thinks the food and entertainment are bad on the Dream, do not under any circumstances book another cruise with any line because, if you pay 50% more you will only get very slightly better food and alot ... Read More
First of all, if MANotAHappyBunny thinks the food and entertainment are bad on the Dream, do not under any circumstances book another cruise with any line because, if you pay 50% more you will only get very slightly better food and alot worse entertainment!On any cruise somebody will have a problem of some sort, it happens on every ship - even P&O but, you have to look at the overall performance of a ship and the value for money.I don't doubt from past reports that the ship did have problems early on, but we experienced none on our Caribbean Cruise 24th Feb to 11th March. The service was excellent in every department, smiling polite staff always and the cleaning going on was continuous. Yes, the decor does not match the bigger new ships but it is not at all bad and I can asure you that my standards and expectations are high. Anybody who does not know that this is an ex Costa Cruises refurbed ship did not do their homework.Our cabin was fine (deck 7 outside) and all the public rooms were very nice and comfortable. I'd like to see the homes of those who say its rubbish, presumably they live in mansions!I am not going to go through the itinary, I just wanted to put the record straight and ease the worries of anybody booked to go on the Dream. Take no notice of the complete assasination reviews, theres obviously some issues there and they then cease to be contructive. I agree that this ship does mainly seem to attract a middle age audience and therefore caters for that. I can imagine that younger people may not feel at home in this environment.Go with an open mind and I am sure that at least 98% of you will have a Dream holiday. Theres always an unlucky one and they tend to shout the loudest. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Felt i had to write this review after just coming home from a dream cruise in the caribbean, having read so many bad reviews before leaving. We started off badly with a six hour delay from Birmingham Airport, we arrived on ship at about ... Read More
Felt i had to write this review after just coming home from a dream cruise in the caribbean, having read so many bad reviews before leaving. We started off badly with a six hour delay from Birmingham Airport, we arrived on ship at about 9.45pm and after a quick embarkation we were shown to our room which was fine. We were too tired to have a look around and our luggage hadn't arrived so we were not able to change and decided to go straight to bed. The luggage took 4 hours to arrive, even though they say 1-2hrs it seems this is the norm having spoken to other passengers. The Dream is a fabulous ship with wonderful crew and staff, who go out of their way to make your cruise wonderful. Everyone is so friendly and helpful and the entertainment is fantastic. We tended to eat up on deck 11 in Sirens for breakfast and lunch and for evening meal did the Orion restaurant which is on deck 4 and is waiter service, this was perfect, food and service was great!! Deck 11 pool area has much more going on during the day and evening and we did not find this out until our second week after speaking to some other passengers. We spent the first week in the pool area on deck 9, which is very busy at times. During full days at sea both pool areas get quite crammed and there is not always enough sunbeds. We did quite a few organised trips and they were all well arranged and worth the money, especially the day at de palm island in Aruba, this is all inclusive drinks, food and activities. We also went out and about on our own and got into Taxi's with other passengers outside the dock area, this proved to be much cheaper. The ship is fine, not huge and no balcony cabins. I would say it is more 3 or 4 star than 5 star, as told by Thomson's shop but it is definitley not the disaster zone that people have been making out. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and would not hesitate to book on The Dream in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Being first time cruisers and also quite young we were unsure if cruising was for us so boarded the ship excited yet apprehensive. The procedure to check us in was straight forward and before long we were in our lovely cabin. We ... Read More
Being first time cruisers and also quite young we were unsure if cruising was for us so boarded the ship excited yet apprehensive. The procedure to check us in was straight forward and before long we were in our lovely cabin. We weren't expecting too much from our inside cabin but we were both very pleasantly surprised. The cabin was small but with careful use of all the space available,we had no problems. Everything was functioning and we had a great powerful shower and the lighting was homely. The itinerary that we followed was great, and despite a change half way through,this did not affect our enjoyment at all. The onboard facilities were fantastic - 2 lovely saltwater pools, 5 bars and restaurants and loads of activities and displays during the day and night. It has to be said that the cruise is made by the staff. They were simply fantastic. Our cabin steward was attentive and friendly and we had our room serviced twice a day. The bar staff are a huge asset - always friendly,smiling and completely dedicated to serving the passengers. The food was always tasty, varied and plentiful. There was always a show or a game to join in , or loads of different bands in each bar so something to suit everyone. I would highly recommend to THOMSON DREAM to anyone without a shadow of a doubt. My trip was already going great and then was topped off by a proposal on the bridge, okayed by the very approachable captain. While some more seasoned cruisers felt this boat was a little old and small we had absolutely NO complaints whatsoever. Do it- you'll love it! Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
I should start by saying that we actually embarked at Montego Bay, Jamaica but that wasn't an option so I went with Barbados since that is where we finally disembarked. We have cruised with Thomson twice before. Our first was ... Read More
I should start by saying that we actually embarked at Montego Bay, Jamaica but that wasn't an option so I went with Barbados since that is where we finally disembarked. We have cruised with Thomson twice before. Our first was in Sept 2009 and second in Sept 2010; this cruise was booked prior to us travelling in September and also prior to the Dream's first journey and we were therefore concerned by the reviews and the infamous Watchdog episode. Our flight to Jamaica was delayed by about an hour and a half which we later found out was due to a fuel shortage in Dominican Republic resulting in increased air traffic in the Caribbean. A gentle introduction to the Caribbean way of life where tours that are advertised as lasting 2hrs actually take 2 and a half hours - worth knowing if you have to get back to the ship! Immigration was a breeze (we filled in the form on the plane and handed it in as we got on to the coach!) and the bus ride to the ship took about 15 minutes. Check-in was very efficient - we were in our cabin within 20minutes of arriving at the ship - but then we chose to walk up the 2 flights of stairs from embarkation point to check-in. The majority of guests decided to take the lift (2 flights!!) and then complained about the delay. We then completed our muster drill that evening which was great as in the past we have done this on our first day and it was nice to get it out of the way and be able to get on enjoying our holiday! I should add that we checked our luggage in at Birmingham airport and didn't see it again until we got to the ship so no messing about at baggage claim. A nice touch that we certainly appreciated! We had an inside cabin on deck 5 (we always choose an inside cabin on a lower deck because a) they're cheaper allowing more money for excursions, etc b) we spend almost no time in the cabin anyway and c) these cabins feel the movement of the boat the least so if you do have any rough weather it is less likely to be felt! Our cabin was lovely - clean and bright (despite no window) and perfectly spacious for the 2 of us. We would have liked more storage (the Celebration has more drawers - hangers are not much use for underwear and beach wear!) and I would have preferred the hairdryer to be in the bedroom instead of the bathroom (so I can dry my hair whilst my fiance showers) but this is hardly a problem! We have booked the same cabin for our next cruise - Gavin (future cruise adviser onboard) offered us 2 seperate upgrades but we turned them both down as we are perfectly happy with the one we have! The entertainment team put on a deck party/cabaret that evening but after 24hrs of travelling we were exhausted and in bed by this time. We were, as mentioned in other reviews, then woken up by the "Code Bravo" announcements that night (about 11pm). I'm not going to lie - I was terrified! And as such it felt like it went on for hours when in reality it was closer to 5 minutes. The captain informed us as soon as he was able about what had happened and what the crew were doing and also let us know when the issue was resolved. A small internal engine fire resulting in a slower than planned journey to Grand Cayman but nothing to worry about! The rest of the holiday continued with no drama! We ate in the lido/sirens restaurants for every meal as we have done on all 3 of our cruises and found the food to be as fantastic as remembered - we particularly enjoyed Caribbean and Cuban themed nights as one of the limitations of cruising is not getting to eat the local food so this allowed us a small taste of the areas we visited! I continue to have a small issue with the lack of detailed labelling - I am coeliac and therefore have to be very careful about what I eat - but I choose to eat in these restaurants instead of The Orion (where I know they cater for all dietary requirements incredibly well!) so I can't complain. I still hope Thomson (and indeed all buffet restaurants around the world!) will listen and label foods with the ingredients...one day! We also ate at the sirens grill on a couple of days (after swimming when to wet to go into the restaurant) and again the food was fantastic. We spent our evenings in the Medusa Lounge and enjoyed the music by "Strum Jam" and the quizzes and game shows put on by the entertainment teams. A small negative here - on previous cruises with Thomson there have been 2 quizzes and a game show each evening providing entertainment for the entire evening. The team on the Dream have decided to only have 1 quiz and 1 game show and have planned these around the shows in the theatre - this is ideal for those who want to do both but for those who don't want to go to the theatre, like us, it means there is very little evening entertainment. Not a big problem - we were forced to talk to each other! - but a shame nonetheless. We went on 2 organised excursions - swimming with dolphins in Roatan,Honduras and Tropicana Cabaret in Havana, Cuba. Both were excellent in every way and genuine once-in-a-lifetime experiences! In the other ports we either just explored on our own or joined a tour in the port which proved to be excellent value and a real insight into the local area. I would recommend walking past a few tour guides to get a feel for them and to check out their prices and vehicles before choosing which one to go on - we personally preferred the open trucks to the cars as it meant we had a clear view (no tinted windows!) and were not shut inside and also wanted limited/no time on the beach as this allowed us to then go back in our own time without being restricted by others as to how much/little time we spent there. We also found that the tours (unsurprisingly!) got cheaper as we got further away from the ship - half price in Havana! - with no impact on quality. The Destination Services team did a great job of providing port information through maps and info sheets as well as in person and gave good advice about the excursions without it ever feeling like we were being sold something. The crew were fabulous, as always, and it was nice to be recognised by those members who had worked on the Celebration and remembered us. Special mention must go to Carol in the bar team who not only remembered us from the Celebration but also remembered what we like to drink (not an easy task as neither of us choose things that are on the menu!) and Harry in the housekeepting team who kept our cabin spotless and seemed to be invisible - on one occasion we left the cabin only to realise we had forgotten something and when we went back he had already been in! Our only negative was all the complaints from other passengers who seemed intent on ruining everyones holiday. On several occasions we were actually approached by other passengers who wanted to tell us what a rubbish holiday they were having! At times it almost felt competitive! It became a bit of a joke to us especially on changeover day when we were sat next to a table of guests who were clearly trying not to laugh at the entertainment or sing along to the songs in case anyone spotted they were enjoying themselves. The negative attitudes then spilled over into behaviour. On one of the days we were tendered to port and had to collect tickets in the lounge at 10am. We arrived at about 9.50am to find a lot of people loitering - we chose to sit down and wait and lucky we did. The second the 3 crew members arrived with the tickets the crowd descended on them and when 1 of the crew explained that passengers needed to form 2 queues one man(supported by others) started screaming at the crew members and saying it was "a shambles" which it was thanks to the behaviour of the passengers! I was horrified by this behaviour and suitably embarassed. No wonder us Brits have such a bad reputation abroad if this is how we behave! This gives you some idea as to the negativity we experienced from other passengers. We had a perfect holiday and have already booked to go back on the Dream next Winter. I think it goes without saying that we would recommend it whole heartedly and, if you do come across negative passengers, I found that politely telling them what a fantastic time we were having shut them up pretty quickly! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
I have not long returned from a cruise on the Thomson Dream. Its my first cruise and I thouroughly enjoyed. I booked through my local travel agent and the Thomson staff were very helpfull and really helped me make my mind up if cruising ... Read More
I have not long returned from a cruise on the Thomson Dream. Its my first cruise and I thouroughly enjoyed. I booked through my local travel agent and the Thomson staff were very helpfull and really helped me make my mind up if cruising was for me. I was very apprehensive when my partner suggested going but they answered all my quiestions and their personal knowledge was fab. Cabin - Our cabin was nice and clean and had plenty of space for the two of us, was definitely kept cleaner than our last holiday at a 4* hotel. Food - I'm a vegitarian and my partner will eat anything, but we both enjoyed the food and liked the variety there was on offer and being able to eat in different places was fab. Entertainment - really enjoyed everything that was on offer, from the casino and the lounge to the theatre. I must say the shows on offer were brilliant though the best night was definitely the crew night - get there early to get your seat!!! The staff on board are very talented. I made the most of the excursions on offer and really enjoyed them all, just wish I had more time to do more!! I liked that Thomson look after you right from the airport to the cruise and back again. Such a fantastic time I've definitely been converted to cruises and have booked to go on the Thomson Celebration in November!! At 23 I have no complaints and am so glad I went! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Having read previous reveiws, both good and bad, we weren't quite sure what to expect but hey, for the price we paid, it was going to be a nice break. We have to say, there were an awful lot of people on board who seemed hell bent on ... Read More
Having read previous reveiws, both good and bad, we weren't quite sure what to expect but hey, for the price we paid, it was going to be a nice break. We have to say, there were an awful lot of people on board who seemed hell bent on looking for problems and making trouble, stupid ones even filming engine smoke! - we felt really sorry for the reception staff who had a lot of abuse thrown at them and still managed to smile and do a great job. Silly moans about sea days - you book an Atlantic crossing, you get sea days for heaven's sake - I do wonder why they even bother, maybe the wrong kind of people are cruising these days? We had a great time, OK the cabin was a bit noisy during docking but being near the back we knew this was likely. We had a problem with the bathroom light, it was fixed within half an hour. Yes, there were delays coming back due to the weather in UK but that's not anybody's fault and Thomson kept everyone on the ship as long as possible, other companies would've dumped passengers at the airport first thing in the morning and let them get on with it. All the staff and crew were brilliant, very friendly (not like P and O) we saw the Captain and his family everyday in the Lido at breakfast, the entertainment was as good as ever and Gavin, as always, brilliant. The Casino staff in particular were great company! The lay-out on the Dream is really good, give Thomson time and this really will be a fanatastic ship - we'll be back! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Before I start this review I feel that I have to comment on a previous review that stated that just because some people have not had negative experiences whilst on the Dream does not mean that they did not happen. Whilst I agree with this ... Read More
Before I start this review I feel that I have to comment on a previous review that stated that just because some people have not had negative experiences whilst on the Dream does not mean that they did not happen. Whilst I agree with this but am of the understanding that these reviews are based on our OWN factual individual experiences not on the hearsay of OTHERS! I booked the holiday approx. 8 weeks before departure having seen it advertised in a local travel agent at what I felt was very good value for money. On arrival to Bournemouth airport we left the car and took the free coach to Southampton which was easy and straightforward and we even had time to have complimentary hot drinks and biscuits whilst waiting for the coach (much apppreciated following a 4 hour drive and a 5 minute walk from the carpark to the airport in the cold!). Having travelled to many worldwide destinations on fly/hotel holidays this was by far the least stressful and most seamless transition to start our holiday as we only needed to take our suitcases a short distance from the coach at Southampton to the terminal before a very quick transfer through security and onto the boat. This was much appreciated especially as our daughter who is 16 years appears to always take enough clothes to last her a month! Our cabin, 7046, was clean and more spacious than we expected. The cabin steward kept the cabin clean and tidy and it was cleaned twice and day, every day. The toilet did get blocked on one occasion but this was fixed within 20 minutes and being a boat owner myself I realise that these things can happen. We liked the little touches from the cabin steward, for example, leaving towels shaped like an elephant, swan, etc, folding back the beds sheets and placing a chocolate on the pillows every evening. Unfortunately we did have one day when the weather was not very kind although this is well known around the Bay of Biscay. The two pools on the ship were not filled at this time due to health and safety reasons but I feel that you have to expect that this may happen on a cruise. The food was excellent with each restaurant offering different dining selections ranging from buffet to sit down waiter service. The activities onboard were well organised, professional and varied each day. We found that there was always something for myself, husband and teenage daughter to do, even on the days at sea. The crew and staff were exceptional and for us really made the holiday. The entertainment was excellent with a different themed show every night, the staff such as Manly, LLng, Bernard, Rusty, Oliver, Jodel, Emile, Andrew and Lito to name only a few who provided exceptional service. Tables were cleaned within minutes and queues were minimal at the restaurants although if people thought that a five minute wait was too long I would like to know where they go on holiday as I will book there immediately. My negatives were manly the small minority of guests that constantly complained, and boy did they complain! This was not necessarily based on their own difficulties that they were experiencing but on those of other guests that they had met. Guests were complaining that other guests were in the older age group ranges but we felt that unless you go on a 18-30 holiday you cannot really expect to be on holiday with a particular age group. We have to say that we met some lovely people of ALL ages. Other complaints were that only one engine was working which delayed our arrival slightly at Porto although we arrived in the Caribbean early! Guests complained that we had too many days at sea but would this information not of been provided upon their booking. We also heard complaints from guests regarding the weather!! What are Thomson expected to do about this I don't know. I was also a little annoyed that complaints were made regarding flights back home on Christmas Eve, due to the snow in the UK. Umm tough one, stay on a cruise ship with warmth, cabin, shows, food, drink etc or wait in a airport for hours and hours!!Our family also witnessed fighting over seats in the Theatre and shouting and abusive language directed at cruise staff. I have to say that we were disgusted by the behaviour of some of the other guests. I even had a complaint on the flight home on putting my seat into the recline position to sleep on a night flight! We cannot wait to return and are already planning another cruise on the Dream this year. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
I'll start with the only negative - We didn't get off to a good start as we were delayed for 9 hours going out, the only consolation was that we didn't have to hang about the airport all day as Cruise Deals telephoned us the ... Read More
I'll start with the only negative - We didn't get off to a good start as we were delayed for 9 hours going out, the only consolation was that we didn't have to hang about the airport all day as Cruise Deals telephoned us the night before to inform us of the delay. As we embarked at Havana -the delay resulted in not being able to see Havana by night but we did at least manage to see it the following day. We feel privileged to have seen Havana as it is a city like no other,it's like stepping back in time, full of character and surprisingly elegant. All the other ports of call were good apart from the Dominican - this was because the port were we docked was a poor port and as we only had a few hours in port we didn't have time to explore very far. The ship Our cabin was an inside standard cabin on deck 6. We had no plumbing or air con problems and the cabin was spotlessly clean. The food around the ship was very good to excellent with a large varied choice daily. We dined in the buffet restaurants for breakfast and lunch, usually Sirens as we preferred that deck for the pool and dined most evenings in the Orion which was excellent. We also dined on one occasion in Sirens in the evening at a supplement of 20.00 pounds and the food was excellent and it provided a change for us but we didn't feel it necessary to do it again as the food is so good everywhere else. The entertainment team are very professional and talented, headed by Stephen Guy and Gavin who are excellent. Some reviews have criticised the appearance of the ship. Like other Thomson ships this is not a new ship but is kept spotlessly clean. If I want to be critical I would say that it could benefit from some new carpets in the main Lido restaurant and along some of the corridors but other than that this is a lovely ship. All the bars are lovely and in my opinion do not need any refurbishing, the pool areas are comfortable with plenty of sun beds. The Thomson Dream has all the ingredients for a fantastic holiday - excellent food - excellent entertainment - and last and certainly not least THE STAFF who I can't praise enough. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
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