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29 Marella Cruises Eastern Caribbean Cruise Reviews

We booked this cruise based on our experience on Marella Discovery which we really liked, and although we were aware that this was an older and smaller ship, thought that services and food would be of similar standards, how wrong we ... Read More
We booked this cruise based on our experience on Marella Discovery which we really liked, and although we were aware that this was an older and smaller ship, thought that services and food would be of similar standards, how wrong we were.There was evidence of penny pinching(or nickel and diming)as our American friends would say, as soon as we entered our cabin, which I must say was quite spacious (outside and upgraded) there was no hand soap only a soap dispenser, no face tissues and the usually free safe was chargeable, in my opinion the company did not operate a "duty of care" in respect of security as the door key was clearly labelled with the cabin number to which it related. We had purchased a cruise with an "all inclusive" basis-drinks and gratuities but found the choice very limited, the wine available was a house red, white or Rose with the former being particularly dry and vinegary, if you preferred a bourbon whisky the only option was Canadian Club, Jim Beam or Jack Daniels was not included. We did not enjoy much of the food on board, breakfast was the usual fayre, there was good variety but the quality was poor, lunch and dinner again offered a wide choice of vegetables but some strange combinations of dishes and it is not everyone's preference to have the vegetables al dente, we were surprised no salad cream on an English ship!. Service from the waiters, assistant waiters, and head waiters was excellent- polite courteous and helpful. I would like to single out Gamal one of the head waiters who was most diligent in accommodating requests and always delivered what you requested. Entertainment options were quite limited with a main show lounge, a cabaret type lounge and a piano bar, the production shows were average, the band who played a blues/rock type of music in the cabaret lounge were very loud and on one occasion so loud I found it painful, they also played on deck reggae type music which I found quite pleasant. We have visited most of the ports before and have our favourites this was our first visit to St Barths and found it very pleasant but relatively expensive. We took only two excursions one in Antigua - Sun and rum which was not as good as the previous one with Marella at this resort-very poor facilities! and the Rhum Runner which is our favourite party trip, happy-great atmosphere and good music and dancing. I am aware that this review may be seen as a litany of complaints, however it reflects our perception of this cruise, the point that I am attempting to make is that given the cost of this cruise which was very similar to others with similar itineries and inclusive arrangements but offers significantly less in terms of food quality,entertainment and facilities. We did speak to a few other passengers who did like what was on offer which illustrates the point that you can't please all the people all the time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I think the Marella Celebration should be renamed the Marella VIBRATION!!! Its 37 years old and should be decommissioned . Stayed one week on the Cruise ship on deck 1 at the back of the Ship and am convinced the Engine room was all ... Read More
I think the Marella Celebration should be renamed the Marella VIBRATION!!! Its 37 years old and should be decommissioned . Stayed one week on the Cruise ship on deck 1 at the back of the Ship and am convinced the Engine room was all around us and on average got 3 hours sleep per night , we did complain and tried changing rooms but was told the ship was at full capacity so had no spare rooms , even in the lido restaurant you could see a few of the Tables vibrate. Besides the vibration everything else was good, the food and especially the staff whether they were the Cleaners or bar staff were brilliant. The entertainment eventhough not professional singers was good and certainly hard working. Only booked one excursion through TUi before we left but sadly that got cancelled so quite a frustrating week. The Captain of the Marella needs a special mention as he was a real nice person and very jovial. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose Marella Explorer as it was a medium-size ship, and our very first cruise 20 years was with Thomson and we were very pleased with that. Sadly our experience of Marella Explorer was very disappointing. The service in the ... Read More
We chose Marella Explorer as it was a medium-size ship, and our very first cruise 20 years was with Thomson and we were very pleased with that. Sadly our experience of Marella Explorer was very disappointing. The service in the restaurants was generally poor though better in the Vista restaurant. Rarely asked if we wanted coffee after a meal. The quality of the food was OK, with Vista being much better than Latitude 53. The buffet food was fine, but the background music was often intrusive. The surcharge for the speciality restaurants seemed exorbitant so not used. The entertainment in the Broadway theatre was not very good; the performers worked hard but with poor material, and it seemed that playing everything loud was the solution. Quite a number of people left because of the loud music. Alternative entertainmant on the sea day was sadly lacking. The captain was obviously keen to be "one of the boys" but daily apologies became an irritation. On the positive side, our junior suite was excellent as was the service from our steward, and all the crew were always helpful and polite. The carafe system of fresh water in the cabin was excellent and should be copied by all the cruise line to save plastic. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I chose this cruise only for the ports of call, which was then amended as the ship wasn't allowed in Puert Rico and US Virgin Islands. So we ended instead going to Tobago and Antigua yet again. I normally say you get what you pay ... Read More
I chose this cruise only for the ports of call, which was then amended as the ship wasn't allowed in Puert Rico and US Virgin Islands. So we ended instead going to Tobago and Antigua yet again. I normally say you get what you pay for and I certainly did not. I paid as a solo traveller and it was my 70th Birthday I would treat myself £4600 but I did have a small balcon but what I got for the price was disgusting. I ate in Restaurant 47 in total I just had 6 breakfasts I thought they were tasteless, lack of quality and not very warm. It was a good job I had taken some biscuits with me. Lunchtime in the islands the food there lacked very little choice unless you liked ChilI, chicken Korma rice and chips. The salad was non discript with plastic cheese and meats. The warmest and tastiest food was the fish and chips from the snack shack. Then we have dinner in total out of 14 dinners I only ate 3, I just could not taste anything. The quality, quantity and the presentation was disgusting I have never eaten such food in my life. I knew what I was supposed to be eating but that was it. I just had to leave it. On some occasions I had to leave the table as I felt physically sick.I did raise my concerns to the restaurant manager and to reception The we have the cabins I was on deck 6 hear the coffee port. A total of 3 nights I did not have a bath towel, on 3 separate occasions I had soaking wet hand towels and twice soaking wet bath/shower mats. The cabin steward was more interested in making animals out of the towels. The blue towels were thread bare, and I never had a white towel in 14 days they were all yellow and grey I do think these need all replacing. The last night of the cruise no bath towel I used a hand towel. When I went out to try and eat the cabin steward was outside I explained I did not have a bath towel so he came into the cabin to check and he blamed his assistant. When I came back later as soon as I opened the door such a horrible smell greeted me. I opened the bathroom door to find 2 soaking wet hand towels and the stench made wretch. I didnt know that I could have rang house keeping. During the night the smell was being blown round the cabin with the air conditioning, by this time I started with a bad cough, I could sleep and then I got a sore throat I felt so drained. I did report this again to reception. To end things on the plane back I could breathe properly, very short of breathe I had to have Oxygen for 6 hrs during the flight and of course I could eat. What was supposed to be a fantastic birthday present and a lovely cruise was just a nightmare. In future I will stick to P & O and you certainly get what you pay for. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Having done several cruises with various companies including TUI Celebration (a great little ship full of fun and with great service), last April we booked with friends to spend Christmas on the Discovery. Back in October we did a late ... Read More
Having done several cruises with various companies including TUI Celebration (a great little ship full of fun and with great service), last April we booked with friends to spend Christmas on the Discovery. Back in October we did a late booking on the same ship, the last Med cruise before it headed off to the Caribbean. Expectations for the Christmas cruise were high and we just hoped that there wouldn't be as many negatives as there had been on the October cruise. How wrong we were. This time we had a deluxe balcony cabin. I have had standard cabins in the past that have been more deluxe than this one. The towels and bed linen were thin and had seen better days. On the surface the cabin was kept quite clean but I did find an old pair of men's pants with a hole in the crotch stuffed in the corner of the wardrobe. Yuk!!! Food on board was pretty good with plenty of choice. Didn't try Kora La or Surf & Turf after friends who had been said it wasn't worth the extra. The Island Grill (or canteen as I called it) was a free for all dining experience with people in a feeding frenzy trying to find somewhere to sit and eat. In October there was a wine waiter service which has now been replaced by a help yourself bar. The Asian waiters were as ever a smiling, charming bunch. Not so the sour faced Eastern European restaurant and bar staff who generally appeared to have a lack of training and courtesy. Unlike other cruise companies TUI did not change the itinerary post hurricane Irma. The Discovery was the only one to call into St Martin and Tortola even though both islands had been destroyed and there was nothing to see but devastation. When the excursions desk explained that we were calling there because the islands needed tourism and our money I told him that I felt we had paid quite a lot of money for a scenic cruise not a charitable one. The variety of excursions on offer were excellent and not that pricey compared to other cruise companies. The ones we did were brilliant and were probably the highlight of the holiday or maybe it was just a case of getting away from the damned ship. The entertainment was poor. The show team was worked to death doing 6 shows twice nightly per week most of which we had seen on the previous cruise. Apart from a comedian there were no other guest artists during our 2 weeks apart from a magician/juggler who was more like a kids entertainer. The musicians on board were awful and totally inappropriate for the type of cruise we were on. The 'Party Band' Eclipse were excellent but songs by Adele, Amy Winehouse etc.are not the sort of stuff to make you want to get up and dance. Where was the West Indian/Caribbean band that is standard on Caribbean cruises and why weren't the staff dressed in Caribbean shirts? Why were there no evenings of entertainment on deck on those warm balmy nights? The only entertainment on deck in the evenings were the kids films at 9 pm. This ship was totally lacking in atmosphere, we could have been in the North Pole for all the Caribbean atmosphere that there was on board. There was never enough seating in the bars (Live Lounge, Atrium and Bar 11) and yet the Venue with a bar, stage, large dance floor and plenty of seating was hardly ever utilised. As was the case in October, many passengers totally disregarded the rules and smoked/vaped all around the ship and as usual security and uniformed staff were noticeable by their absence. I have come to the conclusion that the all inclusive drinks package is there to the detriment of other services. Cheap cabins, cheap untrained staff, poor entertainment, need I go on. The icing on the cake was our last evening in Bar 11. It was like a scene out of Rab C Nessbitt with an older woman and her husband so drunk they could hardly sit up let alone stand. We had booked another cruise on the Discovery 2 and were due to depart in March but as it is on an identical ship with the same shows/entertainment and service needless to say we have cancelled. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this ship after discovering that TUI did cruise and stay. The flight from Glasgow was fine. Transportation from Airport to the Ship was quick and we checked in quickly at the Terminal. Our Balcony Cabin was on Deck 6. It was ... Read More
We chose this ship after discovering that TUI did cruise and stay. The flight from Glasgow was fine. Transportation from Airport to the Ship was quick and we checked in quickly at the Terminal. Our Balcony Cabin was on Deck 6. It was small and dated. The balcony was also very small. We have been on several other cruises and this was the smallest cabin that we have ever stayed in. During the course of the cruise my back was becoming more painful and it was because of the very uncomfortable bed. The Cabin was not entirely clean on arrival. The carpet had not been cleaned. The Cabin Steward was very nice and polite. During the week she forgot to replace the Towels and also the Pool Towels. The small dressing table surface had liquid stains and had not been wiped. The Dining was average. We used the Restaurant for Breakfast and Dinner. One evening we used the Sushi Restaurant and this was fantastic. My wife had dietary requirements and the restaurant were very attentive for this; to there credit. We never had a bad meal but neither did we have an outstanding meal. On two occasions for breakfast we waited a long time to be served. Special mention to Mimi a Supervisor who saw what had happened and rectified immediately. We did not think there was enough staff working in the Bars or serving around the Sun Decks during the daytime. You did have to wait a long time to be served. Some of the Staff would not give you eye contact to be served. The day at sea was a disaster as per usual some guest had the towels on the sunbeds and were nowhere to be seen. We did observe crew place cards on the towels but they waited 1 hour before removing the towels. We spoke to some of the crew regarding this and they were indifferent to there response. We did a Cycle tour of Antigua and Michelle and Cameron were the Guides. They were both excellent and very professional. There was a wide range of abilities of the cyclists so perhaps something to consider for the future. It ended with a beach visit which was within view of the ship. Despite being told some of the group did not bring towels and swimwear so the stay was cut short by their insistence on returning to the ship. Shame as it was a lovely beach and place to relax. The other places were all good in there own way. We did not experience the nightly entertainment as we dined late each evening. Some of the service provided by the crew was fantastic and some was downright rude. Two areas of particular note was the destination service desk. My wife spoke to an English female behind the destination desk and asked her a question. She was actually looking away from my wife whilst providing a very bland answer and was totally disinterested. We were not provided with full information regarding last day departure and transportation to our hotel. When I queried the matter with the Customer services desk I was asked "What do you want me to do about it" The crew member was again very indifferent to my query and situation. Basically we had to vacate the cabin at 8am and because we had no information we were not able to reserve a late check out cabin. Departure day from the ship was a wasted day as you were hanging around the ship waiting to be transported to your hotel late in the afternoon. There is very little open in Bridgetown on a Sunday. Our biggest issue was the large number of Guests who smoked. The Discovery allowed Guests to smoke on the starboard side of deck 4 and an area on deck 9 near to one of the bars. Smoking was not allowed in the cabins but the occupants of a cabin on one side of ours continually smoked. We will not Cruise with Marella/TUI or Thomson whatever name they go under in the future. I have no doubt that some Guests will have loved this cruise however having done several cruises with other companies this was without doubt the worst. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Having sailed on this ship & other ex Thomson cruise ships is was quite obvious that not only has the name changed but so has everything else but not for the better. Swimming pool on lido deck billowed out black smoke and deck had to ... Read More
Having sailed on this ship & other ex Thomson cruise ships is was quite obvious that not only has the name changed but so has everything else but not for the better. Swimming pool on lido deck billowed out black smoke and deck had to be evacuated, pool out of action for 5-6days. Having booked and paid for a deluxe outside cabin next one along from last years we were unable to sleep for the musician and his synthesiser blasting out a monotonous drum beat until 01.00am from the Hemingway bar below us even the pillow vibrated. Having made a complaint we were told couldn't be moved to another cabin as none available suggested we were given earplugs. To quote Queen Victoria we were not amused. The quality of food was appalling completely tasteless and very often cold especially at the buffet.It has always been the norm that a 2 week cruise would have 2 formal nights so packed accordingly only to find second was turned into a dress to impress night for photo's instead very disappointing .On the six days at sea passengers were out at 05,00am reserving sun beds on sunny side of ship thus waking us up with moving of beds.. AS there were so many walking wounded on top of everything else did begin to wonder if I was on a jinxed ship.Is this another German ploy the British have lower standards than them. The crew as always were brilliant except for reception who were polite but cold & did nothing to alleviate any concerns. Designated smoking areas were a joke as people considered walking around the deck was the norm even smoking leaning over the rail while ship being refuelled .Consequently anyone wishing to enjoy a coffee on deck 6 outside liberties in a smoke free zone were unable to do so,Anyone flying into or out of La Romana aiport Dominican Republic should be made aware there is no ambilift so you have to be able to walk up stair to aircraft. Gill Clay cabin 0223 Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This was our first cruise. We picked it because so many people told us what a fantastic experience it would be . Everyone raves about the quality of food, the level of service etc that you receive and we thought it would be a great way to ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We picked it because so many people told us what a fantastic experience it would be . Everyone raves about the quality of food, the level of service etc that you receive and we thought it would be a great way to visit a lot of new destinations in one trip. We love the Caribbean and have spent many holidays on various islands and were looking forward to both re-visiting some of these as well as setting foot on some new ones. We certainly didn't get what we both paid for and expected. Yes, there were good points. Our cabin with balcony was fine and serviced very well. The drinks included in our AI package were of a good quality. The evening entertainment was superb. However, everything else was extremely poor. The food was for the most part pretty diabolical - the standard of poor school dinners. The only good meals that we ate were in the restaurants which carried a surcharge, one of which cost an additional £60 for the two of us!!! Service in the main dining room was by and large abysmal, often waiting 3/4 to 1hr to be served our main meals. It would appear that a lot of the staff were new and were being given on the job training, which maybe accounted for some of the bad service. However, we did not sign up to be part of a training programme ! Yes, there were a lot of apologies and offers of more drink, but really it got to the point when all you wanted was your dinner!! The buffet restaurant was a total let down. We only tried it for a main meal on our first night. It was completely chaotic. Food looked awful. All dishes looked completely unappetising - very poorly displayed. There were no wine glasses - indeed no white wine,and the list goes on ! We did try it one more time for breakfast during the cruise but it was just like a bunfight to try and get food and tables were left uncleared and dirty. We didn't go back there again! Most excursions that we went on were also disappointing- incredibly poor value for money! At the end of our holiday we were unlucky that our flight was delayed and we had to spend a night in a hotel on Barbados. Obviously, rooms had to be found for a whole planeload of people, but we were assured that they would all be of the same quality. Unfortunately, we were part of a group that were put in a hotel, probably not fit for purpose. Amongst, many awful things, there was not even enough drinking water for us all. We have obviously raised all these points and more with Tui, who have not even had the decency to reply. So, we are now taking our case to ABTA who we hope will be able to help us. Would we cruise again ??? Certainly not for a long time, and definitely not with Tui. In the past we have booked many holidays through Thompson holidays, and yes we did sometimes have problems . The difference is that they were always sorted out in a speedy and professional way. Shame on Tui for not doing the same ! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We are seasoned cruisers both with Thomson's and other cruise lines. Until now we have always enjoyed cursing with Thomson and have always had a good cruise experience with them. However our latest cruise with their latest ship ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers both with Thomson's and other cruise lines. Until now we have always enjoyed cursing with Thomson and have always had a good cruise experience with them. However our latest cruise with their latest ship Discovery and the newly named company TUI was a different matter. Gone are the experienced friendly Pilipino crew to be replaced by very in experienced crew, mainly from the Balkans and Eastern Europe who are very different in nature. The service was very patchy in the bars, it was very poor in certain parts of the ship. There was constant loud inappropriate music all over the ship both for the age group and where it was playing. I really did not want to listen to disco music while having dinner and breakfast in the main restaurant 47 degrees. The waiter service in 47 degrees and 47 degrees gallery was poor. The waiters have not been trained correctly in how to serve at table. They constantly served me before my wife, leant across me rather than serving between us. Removed my plate before my wife had finished her meal. They did not make eye contact with us while telling us who they and their assistant were. They were reading from a prepared script in their head with no real interest in us. It was like talking to someone in a call centre. There appears to be no dress code anymore. We saw people wearing shorts and tee shirts in the main and speciality restaurants. Even on formal night the dress code was advertised as Dress to Impress, what does that mean!! somebody thought it meant dirty jogging bottoms and a union jack tee shirt which had his breakfast down the front of it. No one was challenge about their dress. I think I could have gone to dinner in a vest and that would have been OK. The entertainment was terrible both in the bars and the theatre. The standard was very poor. There were technical issues in the Broadway Show Lounge involving the comedian one night because the curtain would not work, with the show starting 15 minutes late. There were apologies from the cruise director, who then disappeared to another bar for a drink with one of the ships officers. If he stayed in the theatre as he should have, he would have been on hand for a further failure of the sound system 5 minutes after the first one. All four of us along with many others got up and walked out. The cruise was advertised as a comedy theme cruise, they lied, we had two comedians and they were as funny as a boil on your bum. The jokes were on us. We were also told they would be a member of the 70 group The Drifters appearing, he must have drifted off somewhere else because he wasn't on our ship. There was not enough staff on hand for the number of passenger on board. You could not get a seat anywhere after the show had finished. There was only one quiet bar on the ship, which was bar 11, unfortunately the bar is two small as the majority of the area that was once a large bar has been converted into two speciality restaurants leaving bar 11 sat in the middle and unable to accommodate the many people looking to find a relaxed and quiet bar. Even bar 11 turns into a disco at 11.30. In conclusion: Thomson's/TUI have taken the whole cruise experience down market. Its as if they have taken a hotel complex package holiday and put it on a ship. Ocean Village has been brought back from the dead. For anyone who has never been cruising before you will probably think the ship it's great. For those who have experienced the true joy of quality cursing in the past with Thomson's and other cruise lines such as P&O, Princess, Celebrity etc, our future will not be with the new TUI Discovery All Inclusive. If we were in any doubt as to whether this was a one off, we had our thoughts cemented as we departed the ship, coming on board were a large group of Sun newspaper staff who were there in an official capacity wearing Sun Bingo Tee-shirts. Say goodbye to Thomson's say Hello to TUI. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our fifth cruise with Thomson and by far the worst. Firstly the good point:- We stepped off the airplane steps and onto a bus that took us directly to the ship. It went down hill from there. The bad points:- Food, ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise with Thomson and by far the worst. Firstly the good point:- We stepped off the airplane steps and onto a bus that took us directly to the ship. It went down hill from there. The bad points:- Food, in the buffet hall the food was cold. In the 47 degree restaurants which were waiter service if you didn't order a bottle of wine you got shoddy service. Cabins. Despite booking a deluxe balcony cabin the room was small only just wider than the length of the bed. Limited cupboard space. Entertainment. All the usual trivia quizzes. The shows were below average. Desk space, not a lot of normal seating, OK if you wanted a sun bed otherwise tough. Destinations team, a formal complaint is going in about them. Trips were cancelled without notice, we asked if there was any alternatives and were told "No tough". Later we asked why thy didn't tell use about the port tours and organise us into groups, they said they were unaware of them, So I asked James if he knew about them he said "no" when asking further how long he's been on the cruise and has he never been ashore he suddenly remembered On one the trips one of the reps had a birthday and they wasted so much time on her they had to miss two stops. When we complained Agail was rude and didn't care. We spoke to James and he was worse, when I asked to speak to the manager he said he was the assistant manager and he would have to do, we spoke to reception and said we wanted to raise a formal complaint but they did nothing. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I chose this cruise as I have cruised with Thomson twice previously in the Med and quite enjoyed it. This time I fancied seeing some of the Caribbean. I must admit I didn't research the ports of call much as this cruise was the ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I have cruised with Thomson twice previously in the Med and quite enjoyed it. This time I fancied seeing some of the Caribbean. I must admit I didn't research the ports of call much as this cruise was the only one that matched my availability, that was probably a mistake. some of them were very dumpy and they were all geared up to milk you for as much money as possible. The ship was quite nice, seemed pretty spacious and very nicely refurbished in the public areas but as others have said the cabins are still a bit dated although they are very clean and fully functional. I found all the food to be of a good quality, especially in the 47 deg. restaurant which also had fantastic service. My main gripe was boredom in the evenings as the entertainment was not what I have experienced before with Thomson. There was the usual show in the main theatre style show bar , which was pretty good but this was only 45 mins per night. The rest of the time entertainment was provided by a succession of solo artists playing to backing tracks. There was a Saxophonist, Pianist and a Steel Drum player who were all pretty good at doing their thing, but they were rotated through all the bars every 30 minutes playing the same thing each time every night. This got very tedious by night 2. There was no where to go and avoid it either, they seemed to pop up everywhere. The only place without entertainment was the one place I would expect it - outside on the pool deck - but there was only entertainment here on New Years Eve night and even then the band left at 10 past midnight ! There is a big TV on the pool deck that showed a different film each night but the volume was so low and almost inaudible. We flew Premium Club which I thought was worth it and had a suite at the back of the boat on deck 8 which probably wasn't a good idea as it rocked - a lot - when at sea and there was noise above during the night as staff moved the sun loungers about Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We boarded on Christmas Day, 2 adults and a five year old child. Food was really bland, son was ill after a few days and so many people had the vomiting bug in the second week including my wife. After upgrades of room etc this cruise cost ... Read More
We boarded on Christmas Day, 2 adults and a five year old child. Food was really bland, son was ill after a few days and so many people had the vomiting bug in the second week including my wife. After upgrades of room etc this cruise cost over 6000£ and we just wanted to go home. We felt conned by the company when we sent some clothes to the laundry service. They charged us per item, however on chatting with another couple found they were doing a set cost of £15 per bag with two bags it should have been £30.They charged us £70 for two bags. Went to customer services and effectively were told tough and that's the bill. On the end of the first week we got back into Barbados. We had a balcony cabin on deck 7 so stood there enjoying the view and reading a book. A few minutes later I was covered by water as they were washing the balconies on deck 8. I looked up and asked the chaps to be careful as I was in the balcony they just grunted at me in disgust. As my wife was in the shower I decided to go into the cabin and just read the cruise news. Less than a minute later the blind was flung open and the same chap burst into our cabin enraged. My wife having just come out of the shower was naked and he barged in without knocking and I felt he was coming to attack. I called the reception immediately demanding a manager came up and I made a formal complaint. I was told it will be investigated as there were cameras at the back, The manager never came back to me nor reported her findings. I saw her on our last day and tried to ask she turned round in the corridor and disappeared through a door.Food poor and lukewarm. No water free of charge so you need to get water in the cabin or in port.At least some of the staff smiled in this paid for blue hell. I have been on the Thomson celebration in 2015 and never had these problems, Thomson has a lot of work to do and I believe this is a management issue on board or the lack of it.One real positive was the New Years celebrations which were superb. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We are seasoned cruisers having enjoyed some twenty cruises with most of the big cruise lines. This was our first and last Thomson / TUI cruise. As soon as we checked in on line, we quickly discovered the first of many reasons why Thomson ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers having enjoyed some twenty cruises with most of the big cruise lines. This was our first and last Thomson / TUI cruise. As soon as we checked in on line, we quickly discovered the first of many reasons why Thomson /TUI is a cruise company to be very aware of. On the outward flight, we were allocated acceptable adjacent aisle seats, one in front of the other. The Dreamliner aircraft has 9 seats across which does not divide evenly into travelling couples, this. therefore leaves odd seats which we had and accepted. However, for the return flight, we were allocated unacceptable separated seats on opposite sides of the aircraft. Although on the seating plan our same outward seats were available. When we made a manual request to change our seats to the acceptable outward seats, up popped a £30 charge which we found infuriating and unacceptable. We rang Thomson / TUI to complain and was told that the administration cannot override the computer system. If we wanted to change the seats we would have to pay. We refused to pay this charge and wrote to Thomson /TUI to complain. Thomson / TUI did not have the decency to reply. However on the return journey our separated seats, as indicated on our boarding-passes, were surprisingly taken. As the same two acceptable seats were still vacant, we were allowed to sit in them anyway. The steward checked our status and told us we had the acceptable seats all the time. On the face of it, Thomson /TUI tried to sell us our own seats back for an extra charge of £30!! At the outward check in at Gatwick, I was misinformed by two check-in staff that I could not check in my wife's baggage without her presence. I arrived at the check-in early to beat the rush and my wife was still sleeping in the airport hotel. I was furious at the thought of having to return with my wife and join a long queue. Luckily, another check-in staff with common sense made an enquiry and confirmed that baggage can be checked in by a fellow passenger. The lack of training was obvious and infuriating. On to the ship we were offered, and turned down an all inclusive drinks package for a whopping £199 per person per week. The package must be taken as a travelling couple. You would need to be an alcoholic or at least a heavy binge drinker to get anywhere near a value return. It should be called an exclusive drinks package as beers quoted at the same price, if bought separately, were charged £1.80 extra on the inclusive deal. There was a daily inclusive special for one of these exclusive beers. These beers were also offered at a 40p discount of £3,50 instead of £3.90. John Smiths and Carling lager, both at £3.90, were the only beers available on the inclusive deal. In my opinion, Thomson / TUI encourage irresponsible drinking if you try to get money value for their drinks package. On the positive side, the drinks prices were reasonable, but surprisingly, most passengers were on the inclusive deal which must have heavily subsided the individual prices. We were offered and turned down a wine package of 7 bottles for £99. This equates to £14,14 per bottle of wine. Again, similarly priced wines were excluded from the package. However, I discovered that a bottle of good wine can be purchased at the table for £13.99. Interestingly, I noticed that the £13.99 wine was not included in the wine package and would be extra. Also there was a different wine offered at £13.99 daily. The wine package therefore offered a more expensive deal than buying individual bottles at the table, but you would not know this when you sign up. We purchased a late booking discounted junior suite, which is one and a half size of a standard balcony cabin, for the same price of a standard cabin. The cabin was spacious, had plenty of storage, a fridge and a bath tub. The downside was that clatter noise could be heard from the above main top deck during the early hours cleaning. We witnessed many complaints from other passengers about the standard balcony cabin having insufficient storage space and no fridge. We were told that clothes needed storing on a chair. We had one day at sea and thought that it would be a good time to have a 24 hour internet package for £15. Full credit for a reception member who advised me that it was a poor deal because it is limited by data use that quickly gets gobbled up. Another Thomson / TUI poor deal I could have got sucked into. Regarding the food. Breakfast choices were acceptable . The buffet lunch had adequate choices but no shellfish on offer that is usually normal on other cruise lines. There were plenty of unhealthy fast food choices. Regarding the evening waiter dining. The food was basic and given fancy names on the menu but was well presented. The menus were below the usual standard of other cruise lines. Steak was offered on one evening only in the two weeks. It was labelled as aged Angus steak. My wife and I chose this but it was poor quality and tough. For a quality steak, which is normally included with other cruise lines, you had to pay £25 per person supplement at the la carte restaurants. The singing and dancing shows were of a very good standard, On one night each week, there was a comedian. One told jokes we already knew, the other mumbled so much he was difficult to understand. We think he may have been drunk. All the shows were performed by the ship's singers and dancers. I did notice two obvious mistakes on my ships charge bill. Two drinks were overcharged. The first mistake was rectified no problem, the second took two visits to the reception to rectify. At the first visit I was told it would be sorted, but it was ignored. After the second visit a correction was made. With Thomson / TUI I would recommend that all receipts are kept in order to fully check your bill. I have never found a bill problem on previous cruise lines. Where the ship was berthed had a pattern such that we were always the poor relation. Our ship was either berthed outside of town in a container depot requiring a shuttle, or in a less central position requiring a lengthy walk, or anchored offshore requiring tenders. In all cases the other cruise ships berthed at the same time were in a central convenient position, whereas our ship was always in an unfavourable position. (obviously cheaper berths) I understand that from next year TUI Discovery will be all inclusive only. Whatever that means in reality given the excluded drinks. The TUI Discovery is an outdated Royal Caribbean cruise ship that has accommodation shortcomings. Probably why it was sold on to Thomson / TUI. Another old Royal Caribbean, identical sister ship, has also been purchased by TUI and will be named the Discovery 2. From speaking to a sample of fellow passengers, it strongly indicates that they are Thomson stereotypes who have stuck with the well known and popular holiday brand, but admit they have no other cruise experience to compare with. I would not cruise with Thomson /TUI again because of: - the poor deal profiteering methods one can easily get sucked into. - the second class treatment and facilities. - no response when you write to complain. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We decided to try a cruise for the first time as we wanted to see more of the Caribbean, having loved Jamaica and Barbados when we had stayed there. I admit we were apprehensive, not about being at sea (I love the sea) but about being ... Read More
We decided to try a cruise for the first time as we wanted to see more of the Caribbean, having loved Jamaica and Barbados when we had stayed there. I admit we were apprehensive, not about being at sea (I love the sea) but about being restricted and regulated. This review can be split into two really: my opinions of going on a cruise and my opinions of the Thomsons Celebration ship and cruise. So first of all, this was my first cruise and will most likely be my last! All my misgivings proved to be true. Old people! I’m 60, and felt young! No disrespect to older people, as I am one of that group, but they were in the majority by far and that has an overall effect on general atmosphere. Lack of personal space! Just too many people, and particularly when getting on and off the ship. As far as the Thomsons Celebration Cruise is concerned, its saving grace was the staff, who were all really helpful and friendly. The islands we visited were brilliant and we loved each one of them, and our room was pretty good and kept spotlessly clean, but that’s about it. The food was very poor with the self-service feeling like a motorway service station and the main waiter service restaurant food was only marginally better but dressed up a bit. The bacon for breakfast in both restaurants was the fattiest I have ever had anywhere! Sunbeds and loungers were uncomfortable and on the sundecks they were reserved early, although we weren’t particularly bothered. Pools were very small and uninviting. Bar service was patchy, sometimes great and sometimes wait for 10 minutes to be served. Air conditioning was patchy too varying from non-existent to arctic chill. We had the all inclusive drinks package (not premium) and the drinks included were very limited, although house wines were reasonable. Wi-fi was extortionate! There seemed to be endless possibilities for Thomsons to make money out of its captive holiday makers i.e a trip behind the scenes of the boat (can’t remember exact price, but around £40 pp), towel art – we got back to the room one afternoon to find a towel monkey hanging from the ceiling and thought very nice and funny, then find a towel art book in the room which we could buy for £4.99!! We didn’t try the a-la- carte restaurants as we didn’t expect them to be much different from anywhere else on the ship but maybe even more pretentious, and of course cost extra. Entertainment was ok if you liked musicals etc, but we did enjoy the staff talent night. Gala night was ok if you want to dress up for no reason other than to have your picture taken with the captain! I don’t want to sound as though I am a grouch, I love to have fun at anytime and particularly on holiday but this just didn’t do it for me, and I am so glad we were going to spend a week in Barbados after our week on the ship. The excursions we booked through Thomsons were good, and suited us well and the transfer of luggage was efficient, although we were transferred to our hotel in Barbados for an arrival about an hour and a half earlier than check-in! I know lots of people love cruises, and perhaps it just wasn’t for us, but it could have been made a lot better! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
What a dissapointment. My husband and I have been on many cruises, with lots of different cruise lines. Expected this cruise to be high up on the list. Mr Thompson you set mediocre standards and fail to attain them. A glorified rust ... Read More
What a dissapointment. My husband and I have been on many cruises, with lots of different cruise lines. Expected this cruise to be high up on the list. Mr Thompson you set mediocre standards and fail to attain them. A glorified rust bucket, you even had to pay for the water on fully inclusive package ! The food served in the Orion Restaurant was bland and sometimes cold, the showers were dangerously hot and the toilets which were not plentiful were often blocked. The lifts were extremely slow, the air con in our room didn't work, and embarkation was at a snails pace, a lot of passengers were getting irate as they were hot and thirsty, but no welcoming glass of water available. There was only a handful of positive views on this cruise, the first being the fantastic crew, without these lovely people the ship would sink ! This ship apparently had a refurb last November, but honestly, I think it had a slight lick of paint and lots of silicone. The whole ship is in a bad state of repair, loose decking, loose toilets, shabby carpets and curtains. On the drinks package I could have got a pint glass of spirits at no cost, but yet, had to pay for a bottle of water. Not logical! As soon as you get on the boat they want your money. The one day it rained, the tried to sell flimsy bin liner type ponchos for £3.50! Cheek. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
old, outdated (apparently re-furbed in 2013) and riddled with faults. however cannot fault the staff especially the bar staff and housekeepers. the excursions were a bit over priced. the faults were continuos starting with the socket in ... Read More
old, outdated (apparently re-furbed in 2013) and riddled with faults. however cannot fault the staff especially the bar staff and housekeepers. the excursions were a bit over priced. the faults were continuos starting with the socket in the room didnt like any adapter put in it. next the engine wasnt working properly and we had to stay overnight in st. kitts and miss antigua. the toilets kept blocking up, causing less abled people to travel half way round the ship to find a toilet. by the next week of our stay the engine still wasnt fixed and we had to miss another port (grenada). the caberet team we awful and planned our nights to avoid them, we usually went to liberties and listened to the peakles which we pretty good. the lights in our room kept breaking and had the same light fixed 3 times. the drink packages seemed a waste of time concidering you had to pay a surcharge on about 70% of them and pay £400 for the package.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
My fourth cruise with Thomson. two on celebration one on Island escape. Also cruised with Ocean Village, P&O and Azamara. My favourite Thomson in the Celebration (last cruise on the Celeb was about 5 years ago). Best cruise to date is ... Read More
My fourth cruise with Thomson. two on celebration one on Island escape. Also cruised with Ocean Village, P&O and Azamara. My favourite Thomson in the Celebration (last cruise on the Celeb was about 5 years ago). Best cruise to date is on the Azamara (tweo sailings to date) but dont rule out P&O was most impressed and would not hesitate to use them again. Dreamliner from Gatwick fine and baggage arrived at the cabin shortly after our embarkation. Which was smooth, but was their really any need to try to sell wine packages to those in the Queue. First impressions were take me home. This is not a "Platinum Grade" indeed if you look at the paperwork a hotel is required to be four star or above and this ship is at best a two star. Customers rely on Thomson which is a trusted brand. However, things will go pear shaped if they continue to regard this ship in the Platinum Class. I would rate this in the Island Escape class. Cabin deck 7 was small, you could not walk around the bed, I would guess this is a good single cabin. Not suited to the double bed configuration. Limited wardrobe space. Bathroom requires a lot of TLC. Grouting very discoloured. TV has a good selection, but one day movie channel one was showing a childrens film, while movie channel two was showing a film in french with subtitles.Safe charge £25.00 for the two weeks. Suggest at check in say no to the safe. Its electronic and the instructions are in your room. So get it for free! Usual min bar with high prices. Restaurants just Ok best buffet on deck 11, Orion Restaurant again just Ok and whats with the £9.85 surcharge for a steak. Look around Thomson with other companies its included. Food generally warm but not hot. Best meal ashore in St Marteen. Did not book the drink package and would have been extremly disappointed if I had. Draught beers and house wines are included with some cocktails and house spirits. But fancy something a bit different, wether it be bottled beer, sparkling wine or a branded spirit then yes a surcharge is payable. Example a £2.00 surcharge is payable on bottled beer. Bar prices are higher than my local, when they sell a litre of vodka for £7.65 (for one day only Ha Ha more like three times a week) and charge you well over three pounds for a shot. Some mark up! Suggest you bring your drinks on board and enjoy them in your cabin. Perhaps this will encourage thomson to review their pricing. By the way a pint is £3.70 Entertainment, well Paul Eastwood a english comic was brilliant on week one. I am sorry to report that the on board entertainment team had a couple on injuries so will give them the benefit of the doubt. Plenty going on around the ship but mostly old themes Mr & Mrs, Bingo etc. Boring The captains cocktail party was a disappointment. A lot of people went to a lot of trouble to dress for the night. Its a shame that the meal did not live up to expectations. What happened to the Lobster Tail and Steak. Yes, I forgot Thomson charge extra for that. My point being if the customers go to all that trouble then the ship should also go the extra mile. The ship is old and very tired, needs plenty of TLC as stated in another review the decking on level 9 is shot. The caulking is missing and seemingly not included in the maintenance programme. Plenty of rust. Excursions over priced here are a few examples. But before that if you are going to Bonaire take your driving licence and credit card ane hire a scooter. At around £23.00 for the day including petrol and insurance, an absolute bargain. Bonaire Scooters is a short walk from the port. Turn left outside the gates and keep walking for about half a mile. Ok back to the examples Barbados, Thomsons Harrison Cave Trip £42.00 per person. Independantly walk out the port gates get a bus $1 each way. Driver will tell you when to get off. About a six hundred yard walk to the caves. Entrance including sit on tour $30 so about £20.00 per person. Pigeon Point, Thomson charge £27.00pp Get a cab and find two other to share with, $20 per cab each way. Entrance to the park $3.50 so thats about £8.50. Suggest you do your home work before travelling. Hope this helps Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
Having recently been on the Dream and sent a letter of complaint to Thomson Costumer Services they do not want to address some problems which needed addressing?? Having travelled with Thomson Cruises for years standards are slipping, to ... Read More
Having recently been on the Dream and sent a letter of complaint to Thomson Costumer Services they do not want to address some problems which needed addressing?? Having travelled with Thomson Cruises for years standards are slipping, to much for our liking. You now pay your money for the Cruise and at the rate of Extras Thomson's want to charge you half again when you are on board. Wine packages and safe charges even before you have your boarding card?? Once on the ship you have Steak under the stars £14.95, reserve a seat in Show lounge £9.95. Do you like a steak? As this will cost you £9.95 to have it with your meal in the MDR Extra. You can go for al a carte at £20pp if you want a bit better meal, Extra.. The AI which they advertise is no such. A little Extra here and a little Extra there. They are having a laugh! After a few nights of complaining on board the ship I was told that my comments would be noted and things would be implemented and changed?? Never. The food in the main dinning room was not up to the standards we were use to and the same was with the service also. As in other areas, often only just warm and of small portions ( Best to help you self ). But this is not what a Cruises is about ( Self Service ) Waiter service should be up to standard?? Usually around the deck you have waiters to order you a drink, not now just join the queue? Platinum Star rated ship should be top notch and not Motorway food and service. I would also like to warn you of the sun bed situation. Be up early and reserve yours, but watch out for the S B Police. Some of the beds are past there sell by date and are in dire need of replacing. Why not open you eyes and stop dismissing passengers complaints with The Costumer Questionnaire A Platinum Rated Cruise. I DON'T THINK! ( 2* ) The saviour of this Cruise were the Islands that we visited as we enjoyed atmosphere of the Caribbean. Another tip is to use the dock side Taxi/Bus for your Island tours as these work out at £15-£20 or $20-$25 each and not £40-£60 with Thomson. We had wonderful weather and it was a great same that the Ship let us down. I don't think we will be doing any more Cruises with Thomson's and will take our custom else where!   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
This was our 10th cruise and our second for the caribbean. We flew from Glasgow and on arrival were taken directly on to a bus so no waiting for us so we thought! On arrival at port we were guided into a large what looked like a metal ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise and our second for the caribbean. We flew from Glasgow and on arrival were taken directly on to a bus so no waiting for us so we thought! On arrival at port we were guided into a large what looked like a metal cattle barn, had to wait for over 50 mins in stifiling heat to get embarkation and room cards etc.In the mean time while still standing in the queue we had waiters trying to flog wine packages to us before we could even sit down. Then finally onto ship, on first glance it looked ok but just ok. Room was at the front so got woken up most mornings when going into port at around 6.30, who needs an alarm. I was glad of the engine noise on sea days due to the lack of sunbeds, at least I was up early enough to grab some as there was not enough. The food in the Orion and Sirens was never warm, it was tepid to cold. Very disappointing. You could purchase an Aberdeen angus steak for £9.95, we used to get steak included but not anymore. We had fatty minute steak with the mixed grill which believe me was definately not as good as it sounds. The desserts were tasteless and nothing like they used to be. All in all food was a big let down. The entertainment team were very young and to be perfectly honest not very good, although the boys probably thought they were better than they were. I came across a great many passengers who also thought this and many walked out of the few shows performed. The quizzes put on called Think Tank were really awful, some not even making any sense and a very cheap way of trying to entertain guests. The Deck Fest was another sign of cutbacks, I felt I was attending and being treated like a 10year old at a 10year olds birthday party, embarrassing seriously. The cruise director was a good singer and we went to watch him perform and enjoyed it, however the entertainment is up to him and I felt his lack of involvement in other parts really showed. To sum up I would say it was very amateurish. The waiters had a trolley going around trying to sell anything from cocktails to champagne on the decks in the bars, anywhere they could take them. The ports of call were nice especially the Dutch Islands and Barabados itself. To call this a platinum cruise is laughable except I spent my hard earned cash on this cruise and Thomson have cut back so much they are misselling this brand. I enjoyed my holiday because of the people I was with, and the people I met. After spending a lot of cash on this cruise I was determined not to let the dissapointment get to me but I am afraid myself and friends have sailed on our last Thomson cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
This is my experience travelling on Thomson cruise for the first time with my husband and my friend and her husband. First I must say its a good thing that we are not first time cruiser. We will share the bad points and the good points. ... Read More
This is my experience travelling on Thomson cruise for the first time with my husband and my friend and her husband. First I must say its a good thing that we are not first time cruiser. We will share the bad points and the good points. Bad points as follows- 1) Foods were poor. 2) ¼ of the staff seems to have down care ways about them. 3) Entertainment was poor. 4) No Caribbean flavour. 5) Cabin very dull, shower cubical very small. 6) Overall we were looking to have an authentic cruise, as it should have been a Caribbean cruise. Good points- Itineraries were good for example the different Island. On the 03/04/14 my friend and I made a complaint to the receptionist on duty regarding the poor quality of the food, lack of entertainment.  She receptionist acted promptly by directed our complain to the head of management, which  They agreed to see us.  We met with the entertainment officer, he was sorry we felt the entertainment was naïf regretted a steal band was not on board.  We met with the overall food manager and head chef, they listen to our concerns and acted upon it, outcome was good and for that we thank them very much. Staff- Larry at the back we cannot put in words how extremely good and attentive he was, also Rudi, Jodel, Rommel, waiters at the back and Astika cabin attendant made our cruise worthwhile. Recommendation- We had an excellent meal at the Grill and that was gladly appreciated but that standard should be through out the ship restaurant considering the amount of money we had to pay for this cruise. Experience- Caribbean cruise should have the flavour Caribbean food should be introduce to the passengers All Caribbean cruises should have a Caribbean night with variety of Caribbean food. Joy, Winston,   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
We booked the 14 day cruise and this was the third time we have done this (and been cruising every year since 2007) but alas may well be the last. Paid the extra for premium seats only to have no tv on the outward flight 8/9 hours looking ... Read More
We booked the 14 day cruise and this was the third time we have done this (and been cruising every year since 2007) but alas may well be the last. Paid the extra for premium seats only to have no tv on the outward flight 8/9 hours looking through that magazine was torture even with free drinks. Transfer etc all fine and of course not the most modern ship but I still like it, room as before all clean and tidy. The food quality and service in the Orion restaurant is falling below what you expect from Thomson, not enough staff means slow service and numerous nights I paid extra for a steak because the options were poor. I don't really do shows much so cannot comment to much on that side. Shore excursions are getting very expensive and not good value for money whilst in Whilst in St Lucia 28/02/14 we decided (group of 4) to go on the "Time at the Beach @ £26.00 per person, the trip included a sunbed and complimentary drink in the local bar. On our arrival at the beach it was not as described, it was very very crowded and we were directed to a small area between to other sets of sunbeds. Our sunbeds however were in very poor condition, old, torn and mine in particular was torn on the back rest making it very difficult to use. We were then asked for another $10 for an umbrella to which we declined these were also in very poor condition, the young man that offered us the umbrella stood there with it blowing in the wind and it looked like it had been caught in crossfire during a snipers exchange of gunfire it was actually quite comical at the time it was only fit for one thing in a skip! The group to the right of us included people from our ship (blue towels gave it away, and we spoke to the group) who had made their own way to this beach as they have prior knowledge of the beach, they had nice sunbeds with umbrellas and had paid approx a third of what we had paid Thomson including taxi, sunbed and umbrella alas but not the complimentary drink! some expensive drink that turned out to be for us. And now to the "Thomson All Inclusive Drinks Rip Off" prior to our holiday we did consider the option of the "Drinks Package" but thought £796 a little excessive on the ship it was £225 per person per week (£900 in total) , having monitored our spending I was very surprised to see the "drinks supplement charge" applies to so many drinks even though people are "all inclusive". To charge a supplement of £0.95 for a coke "yes £0.95 extra for a coke" and a host of other soft drinks is nothing more than greedy the ,the supplement charge is enough to be making profit in itself so that's profit and then more profit. Had we have spent the £798 for the drinks package we would still have had to have paid an additional supplement of approx £230 (i.e. £2.00 per Peroni, £2.00 per London Pride, £0.95 per soft drink, £1.50 per water, and £1.20 per specialty coffee) totalling over a £1000 for drinks which actually cost us less than £680 which also included 2 x wine packages at nearly £60 each because my wife did not like the house white wine and there was only one option. Also on the drinks issue my wife likes 3/4 cocktails in particular and the quality of these in respect of alcohol content seems to fallen from past experience, on deck 11 one day my wife had a Banana Banshee I would happily have given it my granddaughter, only once during our two weeks did my wife say "now that's more how they used to be" during a visit to the Grill one night. Even the cream element to the cocktails was sub standard to usual, I noticed it was cartons not containers as used previously. If you wish to get bladdered on 25 pints of cheap lager, house wine and boring cocktails 16 hours a day then I guess £796 might be a good move but Mr Average gets ripped off. We spoke to and heard various people discussing the so called "drinks package issue"! so its not just moaning old me. Do Thomson take any notice of sites like this I guess not, but they should because they need to learn that people will only take so much. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We have been looking at doing a cruise for a while now and went with the Thomson Dream as it had the best itinerary and the fewest sea days of all the cruises we looked at. We have stayed in a number of Thomson Platinum hotels worldwide ... Read More
We have been looking at doing a cruise for a while now and went with the Thomson Dream as it had the best itinerary and the fewest sea days of all the cruises we looked at. We have stayed in a number of Thomson Platinum hotels worldwide and as a result thought we knew what to expect, suffice to say we were massively underwhelmed by the Dream. I think Thomson are potentially damaging their ‘Platinum’ brand by describing this as such, the ship and its facilities were basically a floating 3* hotel. The cabin we stayed in was fine as it was as I had anticipated, small but comfortable and thanks to our room steward Yudi, spotless at all times! The major problem with the cabin was the cardboard thin walls, we could literally hear everything from our neighbours; TV on, drawers opening and closing, conversations etc. etc., not so much a problem during the day as we tended to stay out the room but when your neighbours get up at 6am, put the TV on and then proceed to open every drawer in the room to get ready it means you have an unwelcome wakeup call every day! The sea days were horrific for us, there is simply not enough outside space for everyone and sun lounger stress is not my idea of a holiday, I appreciate space is limited but Thomson need to fix the beds they have to ensure they are useable, and they need to convert some of the unused space (perhaps the sports court?) into a sunlounging area. The pools were smaller than we had anticipated and we did not use them. There is also the fact that there is just not a lot to do, having spoken to relatives who have cruised with P&O, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity X, Carnival they seemed to be able to fill a day at sea quite easily with activities (or lounging as the bigger ships clearly have more space for that) but we were bored out of our minds! The quality of the limited food selection was fair however the variety was poor. The range of meats was particularly limited (I have never paid a supplement for steak at any all-inclusive hotel I have stayed in previously – it was £9.95 on the Dream) and the lunches were inappropriate for the setting (who wants a roast dinner for lunch in the Caribbean?!) The setup of the buffet restaurant was a massive problem for me, it felt very canteen ‘school lunch’ style, we have eaten in numerous buffet restaurants and have never seen one set up like this, very old fashioned (and resulting in one very long queue at all meals!) The afternoon tea was far more appropriate so we tended to miss lunch and go for that instead. Breakfast had the best variety but even then cereals would run out and not be replenished, I don’t think it’s because the staff hadn’t noticed they had run out, I think it was more a cost saving exercise. The staff at all restaurants were excellent however Fernando was a stand out for us, really looked after us and was always welcoming. We didn’t find the bar staff as friendly as the waiters however there were a few chatty ones the Medusa Lounge, I wouldn’t pay for the all-inclusive as in my opinion it’s not AI (seems like you have to pay a supplement for more than you actually get included in the package), the drinks prices were fine but check your bill often as we did get a few rogue entries added onto ours. The entertainment staff worked hard and were pleasant, again a bit dated for our taste. I think Thomson have firmly targeted themselves at the over 60s market (generally) as there seemed to be nowhere for a young couple to go and listen to a bit of background music (current) whilst having a chat – maybe the Lido bar or Sirens bar could start playing anything from the last 20 years in the background of an evening to afford people like us somewhere to go (although of a high standard not everyone likes to listen to the constant quizzes, piano player, violinist, guitar trio every evening). We did not watch any shows but we saw the comedian who was excellent. The trips (booked via Thomson before we arrived) were good but extremely overpriced, my advice would be to see if you could book anything similar independently and do that instead. We also had a problem with a couple of our tickets and didn’t find the staff particularly helpful – perhaps if I had been buying them off the staff concerned they would have been more interested? I also think Thomson should display a map of the island you are due to visit the next day onboard to allow you to get your bearings prior to arrival (this could have been done online however see next point!) DO NOT pay for the Wi-fi, it simply does not work so is money for nothing. By the time you have worked this out you will have ‘used’ all the minutes you have paid for – very frustrating looking at a blank screen refreshing whilst the clock ticks by! The wifi in most of the ports we stopped at is fine (usually in the terminal building). The duty free shop onboard was very cheap however the clothing shop was not good, expensive and again, aimed at the older market. I found the prices for the photographs ridiculous! £20 a picture, the laughable thing being they are all already printed out (which I assume is the majority of the cost), if you don’t buy them they simply get binned! Lower the prices and more people will buy them – less waste and probably higher revenues! The shining light of the holiday were the islands themselves, which ultimately is why we booked the cruise. The only problem I had with them is the fact the Thomson ship (as a small cruise liner) seems to have to dock in the small (and often working) ports – not exactly paradise! As a result you get no terminal building, the walk into town is either longer than it should be or you have to get some sort of shuttle / taxi to the town. I would also suggest you add 10 mins onto whatever the walking time Thomson describe on their fact sheets, we are young fit people and struggled to achieve the pace they seemed to suggest was normal! Ultimately in the 2 weeks we achieved our goal of visiting all the islands we wanted to but we have learned a valuable lesson in the process – cruising is not for us!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We flew from Manchester and arrived in Barbados at around 3pm BB time. The journey to the ship took about 30-40 min and there we had to wait for over an hour to check in Now for Thomson's Holiday Money Extraction.. On checking in a ... Read More
We flew from Manchester and arrived in Barbados at around 3pm BB time. The journey to the ship took about 30-40 min and there we had to wait for over an hour to check in Now for Thomson's Holiday Money Extraction.. On checking in a fee of £25 for the safe? There is a charge if you want steak at Dinner £9.95 or £13.95 for steak under the stars £19.95 for the Grill. You could then pay £9.50 a night to reserve the best seats in the house, for the show? Also now the all night buffet is no more, it shuts from 1am - 6am. The AI is now a rip off as so many drinks have smallish charges against them. The John Smiths was undrinkable and bottled beers were £2 extra which they ran out of after a few days. They also ran out of Guinness another good money spinner for Thomson's if you are a beer drinker. Not to worry though as Bar waiters were few and far between with 30min wait the norm for a drink. The food as also gone down bank ( This is our 12th Thomson Cruise ). The variety and service was very poor in the Orion and the house wine undrinkable... £1.40 for a glass of good wine on top of AI. I will say that Thomson still know how to do a Full English! Christmas Day was a big let down If they were Carlsberg they would know how to do the worst Christmas.... No festivities on deck all day and the evening diner.. We queued up for 45mins to get into the dining room and we finished dinner at 10.45pm. Christmas dinner was 2 slices of turkey.2 tiny potatoes 2 brussel sprouts and the pig in blanket was a 1 inch piece of tined hot sausage with a slither of wafer ham??? We have been on the Dream 3 times before and had pre booked our cabin ,so knew what to expect and all was fine. Did the drill and then went down for dinner in the Orion where it was packed? Did not do the sail away party as we were to knackered! Went for Breakfast the next morning and up to Sirens Deck for a day at sea, with plenty of sun beds up to 9.30 and never seemed a problem throughout the 2 week cruise. It is the staff that are Thomson's asset on there Cruises and always smiling. They are now working twice as hard and it's not there fault for the poor service as there are a lot less of them trying to do twice as much. The shows are nothing like they use to be with Thomson's.. Very young team which at times showed and 2 days a week only one show a night and a 15min session on the open deck party and one a comedian a week. The must see is the crew talent show ( 45mins ), it knocks spots off the show team. The first week was Bonaire, Aruba ,Curacao and Grenada ,an excellent first weeks as all the ports were in the town. We only did one tour and that was in Grenada $15 for a tour up into the rain forest (6 of us so comfy 3hrs). I would recommend this as there in nothing in the town. The second week the 1st stop was a bit of a disaster Mayru a tender stop. The tenders were ready at around 9.30,we waited until 10.30 and was greeted by 400 more trying to get off. We were told that the wait was in excess of 1 hour and to wait in the lounges. We waited on deck and 30 mins later they postponed them due to high seas. They then opened up the tenders to able bodied people only, we returned to the tender disembarkation at around 12.30... 300+ in the queue and very hostile. The next day was a sea day Christmas?? St Vincent was a lovely stop and was glad to get off as we had 2 days on board ( see above ). We did a nice tour for $20 in St Kitts ( berthed 3 mile out of town ). Then on to St Lucia where we berthed in the old dock so did the beach for the day. The flight out and return were fairly comfortable, on time and we were well looked after. Conclusion There Are Far Far Better Cruises with better value for money than Thomson's now..... We use to really love them but now they are scrapping the barrel! Thomson please look at your product and why ho why call it Platinum? Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Booked cruise and stay for Xmas and New Year to escape the British weather! As this was our first cruise, decided to do the cruise first then a week in Barbados, so if we didn't like the cruise, at least we would have a week on terra ... Read More
Booked cruise and stay for Xmas and New Year to escape the British weather! As this was our first cruise, decided to do the cruise first then a week in Barbados, so if we didn't like the cruise, at least we would have a week on terra firma afterwards! Cabin was more spacious than expected (outside plus, deck 6). After stuffing the rattling light fittings with socks, was able to get to sleep! Food - The Grill was definitely the best place to eat, wish we had booked for other nights despite the extra cost. Other food was mediocre. In The Orion it often took 15 minutes to get a wine list. Food was ok but nothing to shout about. The house wine (especially the white) was dreadful. The Lido was very "canteen" like. Same salads and sides every day with meat and fish dishes. "Steak under the stars" - what a disaster. Booked for 7pm to make the 8:30pm performance in the Broadway Lounge. By 8:30 we hadn't seen a steak. Set menu, only got one soup between us (which was cheese?!?- more like a fondue!) Were then told the grill had broken and steaks were being cooked downstairs. Got up to walk out after another 10 minutes to be told food was coming, so sat back down. Did turn up after another 5 minutes. My husband asked for medium, and was very well done. Mine was just medium (asked for med rare). Other diners were complaining too. 4 chips each! One diners plate was swimming in blood. We refused to pay the £13:95 each, as did others. Entertainment - the shows we saw in The Broadway show Lounge were good, considering how few performers were involved. Well choreographed etc. Other evening entertainment was poor. We were bored and often went to bed by 10pm. Glad we only had one day at sea (Xmas day). Unfortunately the weather wasn't great that day- cloudy with showers. As it was Xmas day I was expecting lots of things to do/see. But there wasn't. I went to the gym! The learner casino session we did enjoy though. Spa- our massages were very good, as was my manicure. The ship itself looked tired and shabby in places. Not sure where the money was spent for the refit, but some of the upholstery looked very warn, and a lot of the sun loungers were broken, especially the wooden steamer style loungers at the back of the ship. Decor was very stuck in the eighties. We really enjoyed getting off the ship and visiting all the different islands- the route was one of the reasons for picking this cruise. In hind sight, we wish we had done 2 weeks on Barbados and skipped the cruise, as we loved the island and it's culture. If we were to do another cruise, it won't be on the Thomson Dream   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We have been on many Thomson cruises, but think this will be our last. Firstly, the food has deteriotated badly, the only meal we really enjoyed was the breakfast in the Orion restaurant. The evening meal was poor, very poor quality meat ... Read More
We have been on many Thomson cruises, but think this will be our last. Firstly, the food has deteriotated badly, the only meal we really enjoyed was the breakfast in the Orion restaurant. The evening meal was poor, very poor quality meat (mostly pork), and slow service. We tried the Lido on a few occasions, but the same boring buffet everynight, with pork (again) Xmas Eve was quite pleasant, and we enjoyed the carol service, but Xmas Day was a big letdown, nothing at all festive and The Gala Dinner was far from anything special. The entertainment is very childish, as others have said, the same things on deck every day. Silly game shows on a night (Mr &Mrs, etc). The entertainers in the Broadway Show Lounge are enthusiastic, but that's about all you can say, a very young team who prance around thinking they can sing (most of them look like they should still be in school). We were on The Dream in June2013, a more mature team, but the exact same shows. Some of the chairs in the various lounges were on the verge of collapse, a lot of penny pinching going on. The highlight of the cruise was the many friendly people we met and the wonderful ports of call, we did all the tours and beaches ourselves sharing taxis with others. To sum it up, Thomson need to up their game, a lot of cutbacks and it shows. We love cruising but won't be back on Thomsons. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
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