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23 Marella Cruises Spain Cruise Reviews

This was our 4th cruise. Our previous 3 cruises were with Royal Caribbean, and although we were reasonably happy with RC, we decided to give Marella cruises a try, because the price was good, and because they were going to ports we wanted ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise. Our previous 3 cruises were with Royal Caribbean, and although we were reasonably happy with RC, we decided to give Marella cruises a try, because the price was good, and because they were going to ports we wanted to visit. We were a group of 6 people from 3 generations, all with inside cabins. We had the full board package rather than all inclusive, because we don’t drink very much and, at over £28pp per day, you would have to go some to get your money’s worth! Also, every person on the booking must buy the package, which is hardly fair when there are under 18s in the group. We flew from Edinburgh to Palma on Tuesday 9th Oct. Check in, flight, and transfers were seamless. No problems at all. Very well organised, with Marella staff on hand at every point to direct customers. Check in at the cruise terminal was relatively quick and again, very easy. We arrived at the ship around lunch-time and our cabins were ready. We went to have a look at the cabins then went for lunch. All staff on the ship were friendly and happy. They seem much more relaxed that RC staff, who seem to have supervisors on their back the whole time. We were very happy with the ship itself. There was of a good standard of cleanliness. I’ve read some reviews saying that the ship is old and tired and needs to be retired, but I wouldn’t agree. There were a few issues – especially leaks here and there when it rained, but generally it was pretty good. There seemed to be fewer blocked toilets than our other cruises with RC. We didn’t really use the lifts, but they did seem quite slow. One thing I thought was strange was that at night, there were no lights at the front of the promenade deck, which meant it was pitch dark at night, preventing everyone except the bravest from walking round the ship after dark. I’m not sure of the reason, but I’m assuming it’s because the bridge might find it more difficult to see if there are lights directly below them, but you’d think there could be some muted, low level lighting to allow people to have a stroll round the deck at night. There are lots of lounges and places to sit, so you never struggle to find somewhere to relax. There are the usual issues with sunbeds of people putting towels or belongings on them then disappearing for hours on end. This needs to be better managed The ship is apparently going into dry dock on 30th Oct for a week for repairs and deep cleaning. Dining: We ate mostly at Sirens for breakfast and afternoon tea, and the Lido or dining room for dinner. Dining positives:- In the main dining room, there are no set times for dinner. You can decide whether to share with others or have a table to yourself. You are seated immediately you arrive at the dining room -we did not ever have to wait in a queue to be seated. Afternoon tea in Sirens is fantastic, and was always very busy. Food was of good quality mainly and there was always plenty. Desserts in particular are much better than RC, who’s desserts are all very similar in consistency. Tables were kept clean and tidy by staff. Plates were cleared quickly and efficiently. Dining negatives:- Queues!!! British people become quite fierce if anyone tries to nip into a gap in the queue. The layout of the self service areas mean that if you only want something at the far end, you pretty much have to queue from the start. This was probably one of the only things that RC trumps Marella, as they have different stations for different food types. That said, the queues move quite quickly, so it’s not a major issue We didn’t try any of the a la carte restaurants as the food in the included restaurants was more than enough for us. Entertainment and activities:- We didn’t go to many shows in the theatre. We saw Stan John, the comedian, who was fine. Otherwise, we heard from others that the ships entertainment staff were decent for the first few nights but after that, it seemed to be too much of the same thing. There was a trio singing in the Waters Edge lounge, called Acoustic Soul, who were very good, but otherwise, we didn’t do many of the offered activities – although there was plenty to do. Service was good throughout the ship. Although I’d advise everyone to check their onboard account as we were double charged for use of the safe. Marella are much less pushy regarding selling extras than RC. Photo opportunities are there, but you are not bombarded every time you get on and off the ship etc. One major negative was that one of our cases was badly damaged being transferred from the ship to the cruise terminal at the end of the cruise, and the response to this was less than impressive. They tried to stick it back together with 2 small pieces of duct tape. We had to pay 10 euros at the airport to have it wrapped. I emailed Tui when I got home, but so far have had no response. Ports and excursions:- This is where Marella beats RC hands down, for me. The hours we were in port were much longer than RC. I suppose, in fairness, the ports we visited were relatively close together, but we were usually able to disembark around 9ish and didn’t have to be back on until 6 or 7pm. The ports we visited only twice had shuttle buses, which were £7pp (Portimao and Valencia) The shuttle bus in Valencia is unnecessary. Our teenagers wanted to go to the aquarium, so we didn’t get the shuttle bus. We left the port and got a local bus (number 95) to the aquarium. There are frequent buses numbers 95 and 4, which go to city centre from the port. They cost 1.50 each way. All in all, a great cruise. I would not hesitate to use Marella again, and would definitely choose them before Royal Caribbean next time Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Had a lovely time onboard the Explorer, the ship itself was very good and well organised. The cabin was of the usual cruise ship size but was cleaned to a very high standard. The food was very good in the many all inclusive/buffet ... Read More
Had a lovely time onboard the Explorer, the ship itself was very good and well organised. The cabin was of the usual cruise ship size but was cleaned to a very high standard. The food was very good in the many all inclusive/buffet style restaurants onboard. We went to two of the additional charge restaurants Surf & turf, and Kori la both were excellent and well worth the extra charges. The entertainment crews were very good and the Broadway shows were excellent. ALL the waiter, waitress, & bar staff were very friendly and always had a smile for us. All the crews work very hard and do deserve a tip although I think most people didn't tip, but in my experience good service deserves a tip whatever cruise company you go with. We didn't go on any Tui excursion as though they were on the expensive side although we went ashore in every port and did our own thing. I did read a few bad reviews about the Explorer prior, but to be honest this is a great ship with an excellent crews. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We really loved this Cruise Ship, having been on Majesty, Celebration, Discovery 1 and 2. All were very good , but we found there wasn't the atmosphere on the Discoveries with the crew that there was on Majesty and Celebration. On ... Read More
We really loved this Cruise Ship, having been on Majesty, Celebration, Discovery 1 and 2. All were very good , but we found there wasn't the atmosphere on the Discoveries with the crew that there was on Majesty and Celebration. On Explorer it had all come back wtih the singing and music playing from the crew in the dining room. We loved our outside cabin and the bathroom had a proper shower cubical rather than a space with a curtain that has been on all the other ships The entertainment was really good with the crew and their shows and for two nights we had the brilliant finalist from 'Britain's Got Talent' a few years ago Jon Clegg. His comedy and impressions weregreat and went down really well. A chap that was singing in the lounge was really good and was playing many of the folk songs we used to sing when we first stated dating back in the early 70s. It brought back some lovely memeories. The food was really good and great sevice from the staff. On the night when they have a party for regular guests, we were approached by Richard the general manager and asked for our feedback on the new ship. I said we had a wonderful time, but to be really picky the Gluten Free bread and rolls they provide for my diet were pretty hard, like they are on all long haul airlines. We were very impressed that the next day Richard phoned me in the cabin and said he had looked at the bread and agreeing with me spoke to thechef. He said in future they would be getting freshly baked GF bread for the ship. Hober was our cabin man and he was as helpful and friendly as all the other crew. Looking forward to thinking about Explorer two due to be launched later this year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
So …….. For my Wife's Birthday I surprised her with the Spanish Delights TUI Cruise aboard the Marella Dream. Have Cruised with TUI previously so knew what to expect ( more or less ) - The Dream is an 'older' lady ... Read More
So …….. For my Wife's Birthday I surprised her with the Spanish Delights TUI Cruise aboard the Marella Dream. Have Cruised with TUI previously so knew what to expect ( more or less ) - The Dream is an 'older' lady however, the crew do an amazing job of cleaning / maintenance albeit often at inappropriate times ! Cabin: on deck seven ( 7139 ) highly recommended, our cabin steward was amazing! - aim for mid ships if you can, its nearer the restaurants / bars / show lounges. The air conditioning however is a nuisance, gave me endless sore throats. Food: ……. ah' the all important food was ………. appalling at times, forever cold / tasteless / 'odd' ! How bout' Beef Stroganoff cooked with whole lemons that were cut in half and then 'stewed'-in with the gravy !!! totally disgusting - off putting to say the least. I experienced raw bacon / stale bread / toast you could break your teeth on ! / The orange Duck was orange-less and tasted of ……. Nothing! The coldest 'cooked' glazed carrots ever, salad past it's sell by date / stay away from the Fish, Grey in colour and again tasteless & on & on. Lets talk milk, the milk onboard is the long life stuff found in cardboard boxes, it is NOT chilled prior to being 'served' to passengers - imagine my horror when first trying cornflakes for breakfast and the milk is unnaturally 'warm' - TUI, the majority of Brits. prefer cold milk on cereals !!! The dessert station was a disaster, very poor selection compared to say the TUI Celebration and again tasteless, the rice pudding for example so thick and stodgy you cement bricks with it ! and what was that watery custard all about! The food was overall dire - We spoke to senior ships crew member who disagreed with us! claiming it was a popular menu served on all TUI ships! My wife survived on a diet of watermelon for breakfast / Lunch / Dinner !!! Entertainment: was fab. don't believe other reviews that say the singers cannot sing! my own 40yrs on the 'road' tell me otherwise. Ports of call: All good with the exception of Portugal / Valencia. Both of these require a £7 pp Shuttle to get you to town. Totally disappointed with where we docked in Valencia - an industrial dockyard with nothing for miles should you want to stretch your legs and get off the ship for 10minutes. Our view, no matter where we stood on the ship - Steel yards / Cranes / Container ships / Industrial noise. this for 8 hrs plus the horrendous smell of refuelling the Dream. Whilst docked and if you preferred to stay onboard - you endured maintenance inc. angle grinding noise and the worst lead paint smell ever ! as the crew set about set about their task of 'keeping the Dream afloat' ! All whilst you tried to relax on the 'tired' / mostly unclean sunbeds! Staff: For us - the restaurant staff saved the day ( saved the holiday / My wife's birthday surprise from being a disaster ) Big shout out to Daisybel and Marley who were more like friends than ships crew, made our day/s as we would often seek them out to cheer us up! and cheer us up they did with their infectious smiles / quick wit / singing! Would we go TUI Cruising in the future? Unlikely, Absolutely poor value for money in this modern day age of cut backs - clearly TUI have had their annual board meeting and decided the cutbacks need to come from the all important food ! I'll wager TUI's CEO's wouldn't eat some of that slop served to us! And don't tell me I'm the only passenger to air concerns - We chatted to another hundred + passengers who felt exactly the same - inc. a family of 5 who chose to eat off the ship each time We docked! I suggest if you do not have children - pick an adult only cruise, a small number of the 'kids' on our cruise were disrespectful, roaming the corridors / bars mocking passengers who were dancing for example, quite intimidating at times and why did the angry young man need to repeatedly kick the lift doors. On-board, TUI suddenly turn into 'double-glazing' salesmen and women, every opportunity they get - they are trying to 'sell' you a package this / package that! ** Be careful with the Cocktails from the bar/s …….. whilst they look enticing - they are actually nothing but 'coloured' mountains of ice - We ordered 2 large cocktails first night only to find after a couple of sips the actual liquid content had been consumed leaving behind a mountain of ice !!! When ordering cocktails - stand firm and demand less ice ! ** TUI - I want a refund for the food at least !!! Please be aware that a formal complaint is headed your way.​ Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Just returned from a week onboard the Marella Dream with my husband and here is my review the good and the bad. The Ship itself is very good - a little tired in places but was being tidied up (painted) whilst we were onboard. Cabins ... Read More
Just returned from a week onboard the Marella Dream with my husband and here is my review the good and the bad. The Ship itself is very good - a little tired in places but was being tidied up (painted) whilst we were onboard. Cabins - we had a standard inside cabin on deck 7 midship the cabin was a good size (for the 2 of us) we had a double bed (not 2 singles as we have had previously on the Thomson's Majesty) The cleanliness was brilliant cannot praise the staff who serviced our room enough and had a lovely towel animal left on the bed every evening. Dining/restaurants - There are 2 Buffet restaurants on the ship and a main dinning room along with Speciality restaurants. We mainly dined in the Lido restaurant Buffet on deck 9 for Breakfast and Lunch and the food was always warm with a good selection/choice and very clean, Sometimes it is very busy and trying to get a table can take a little while but you get on in the end. There is also a Lido Grill outside which serves Burgers fresh to order and also you can get a sandwich/panini made freshly at lunchtimes. The pudding selection is also very good with a great variety. The Orion Main dinning room - we dined here every evening, We generally ate about 6.30-7 and found that this was a good time as you could walk straight in and get a table for 2 no problem. only on one occasion did we have to que for about 5 minutes for a table and we were asked if we minded sharing with others (which we were fine with). The food was very good also and always arrived pipping hot and very well presented. All of the Staff were very friendly and polite. Bars/Coffee Port (Explorers lounge)- Tides - The staff here were lovely always happy and smiling and come over straight away to serve you. The singers in the evening here were ok as well. Medusa Lounge - we never sat in this bar as there was never a table free always busy The Waters Edge - Loved this bar was at the back of the ship and you can sit here in the evening listening to the Amazing Acoustic Soul Brothers cannot praise these 3 enough they are lovely always smiling and happy and there music is brilliant. You can also watch the sunset from here whilst listening to the band. My only issue with this bar is there is bar far not enough seats this is a very popular bar (I guess due to the band being so good/or could be that the smoking area is directly outside) this bar definitely needs more seats as if you did not get there early you would not get a seat at all. Also due to how busy this gets it can take ages for you to get a drink. One night I waited about 30/40 minutes for my drink to arrive and then when it did it was not what I had ordered. In the end my husband would walk down to the Tides bar and get our drinks and walk back with them as it was quicker. ( he also said the barman in the Tides bar made the best long Island iced tea and would only get this from him) - again the staff are happy and polite but they do have to work hard and I think they need more of them or extra staff behind the bar to keep up with the drink orders. Explorers lounge - Really not impressed with the staff members in here. On our first night on board (after arriving late we did not get on the ship until 8pm) and being tired we went into here to get a coffee as it looked like a lovely place to sit and relax with a nice coffee. We had booked the All inclusive package when we booked the cruise. We walked into this bar and the guy in here asked us what we would like as soon as we walked in a and before we had even sat down, we said that we would just like a latte coffee. He straight away said these are chargeable and you will have to pay for them unless you buy the drinks package, we explained that we had already purchased the All Inclusive package and showed him our cruise cards which show this. He said no, no your not entitled to these coffees in here you have to upgrade your package which is £50 per person, Before we could say anything he had taken our cards and started filling in paperwork to upgrade us. I was a little confused as we only wanted a latte coffee, I asked the girl who was also working in here why I was having to pay a extra £50 just to get a latte she said you can get a latte just not from this bar as we use a different type of coffee and explained that we would also get all of the top branded spirits. I told her that I was not prepared to pay £50 extra if I could go to the bar next door and get one for nothing and we are also not big drinkers and were happy just with a couple of cocktails she then told the guy that we were not going to upgrade and he just huffed and ripped up the piece of paper he had been filling in and threw back our cards at us. We never went back into this place again. Entertainment- We went to a couple of shows in the Broadway show lounge - the lounge is very nice with comfortable seats- We went to a show (I think it was called the oscars) which was were the entertainment staff sang/danced to recent music and impersonated these Singers they were ok. We also went to a show were they sang songs from Musicals - this was very good and much suited their voices. Ports/excursions - We visited the following ports - we didn't book any excursions as we like to do our own thing. Cadiz - (Spain) - a lovely stunning place to visit as soon as you step of the ship you can just walk around and see beautiful buildings and gardens. Portimao- (Portugal) - This we were told we would need to book a shuttle bus at £7pp for a return ticket as the port was quite a walk away from anything, We booked the bus and this had two drop of points - the first was supposed to be the old town but when the bus stopped it looked like the middle of nowhere and not very inviting so we gave this a miss and carried on to stop 2 which stopped just in front of the beach. The beach was beautiful and there were some shops you can also have a look around. Gibraltar - We got of the ship and walked into the town area (quite a walk) we also walked around a place called the Ocean village which is just being built but is definitely worth a walk around and lots of eating places. and worth a look at the Sunborn Yacht hotel Cartagena - (Spain) - another nice place just to get of the ship and have a little walk around not far until you are in the shops. Valencia - (Spain) - This is another stop that requires you to book the shuttle bus service and this then drops you outside the castle gates a beautiful place to walk around with beautiful stunning buildings everywhere. Swimming Pools- this is my biggest problem they are not very big and you cannot get a sunbed around them at anytime because everyone even if they are getting of the ship will put out there towels first thing in the morning. Disembarkment - Luckily we have cruised before so we know that you need to leave you luggage outside your room the night before you disembark but we had no information about the time it needed to be left outside by or what time we could get of the ship for our pick up. We went to the reception desk to ask and was told we should have received this information to our room (this never arrived) he passed me a leaflet which contained our pick up time/time to leave the ship and also what colour luggage labels we should have, ours should have been chocolate colour but unfortunately we had been given purple ones in our envelope on arrival, I went back to the reception to ask about this and was told no they should be chocolate and was given two of these for our cases. I'm glad we asked otherwise our cases may of ended up in Cork and not Southampton. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
we chose this cruise as we had never been to Portugal before. The ship is getting a bit tired but its still fantastic ,FOOD is fabulous loads of choice ,breakfast and lunch is the best in our opinion :) almost like a English full breakfast ... Read More
we chose this cruise as we had never been to Portugal before. The ship is getting a bit tired but its still fantastic ,FOOD is fabulous loads of choice ,breakfast and lunch is the best in our opinion :) almost like a English full breakfast mmmm. Drinks ...cocktails are lovely my fav is Long island iced tea ,wine and beers are lovely also. Entertainment was ok could have been better if the sound was turned down a bit. Ship staff are all fabulous :) :) :) so helpful, polite every day ,they never stop working always cleaning and asking how you are doing. Collis are room steward ,made me a towel animal every day they were fantastic , room was kept clean and very tidy.always asking did we need anythink ,and have a nice day .we had a balcony room 8014 fantastic room. ONLY issue with this hoiliday was the Ship had docked up in Palma so far away, it would have been a verylong walk just to get off the docks and then to the town center.we are both walkers but this was too long . we found this happened a few times but they but shuttle busses on for £7pp on theses other days . OVER ALL FABULOUS ....we will be back xx Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was my first cruise and had been recommended by friends to travel with TUI as it's more relaxed. The ship operates a cashless system. You are given a card which is linked to your bank account. Be warned, as soon as you get on ... Read More
This was my first cruise and had been recommended by friends to travel with TUI as it's more relaxed. The ship operates a cashless system. You are given a card which is linked to your bank account. Be warned, as soon as you get on the ship you are being harassed in to photographs, massages, the payable restaurants etc. This was very annoying and not appreciated the moment you get on the ship. Service: Excellent. All the staff are very attentive and can't do enough for you. Dining: We mostly ate at the Lido. I liked the food very much, there was always plenty and was always tasty and plenty of choice. We also tried the Meridian, the food was nice but I prefer the casualness of the LIdo. They also have things like burgers, pizza and hot dogs out on the terrace too if you get peckish before dinner. Ports: I was not impressed with the ports. We called at Mahon, Marseille, Barcelona, Valencia and Cartegena. The only good one was Barcelona. We booked a tour for this at £32. On reflection I wish I hadn't booked the tour as Barcelona is very easy to navigate and everything was very rushed. I would also warn against using the shuttle service that was laid on at Marseille and Valencia. The shuttle bus service is BADLY organised. We waited 90 minutes for a shuttle bus in to Marseille and on a hot day this was unbearable especially with a lot of older people in the queue. TUI know how many tickets hey sold and should have arranged more buses! Same with Marseille, not enough buses and massive queues. Most ports have a bus service, Marseille and Valencia do. Cheaper and easier. Entertainment: The nightly shows were good. My favourites were Africa, Moulin Rouge and the west end one. The comedian/magician was awful. He performed two tricks and filled the rest of the show with old fashioned humour aimed at the 70 plus range. The only thing that really ruined the cruise for me was not being able to sleep at night. The ship was really swaying and the vibration was really hard to ignore and stopped me sleeping. Other than that, the cruise was good but i'm not sure that a cruise holiday is really for me. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise as it was a very good price and we needed to see some blue sky. I had read mixed reviews about the ship and was aware it was quite old and smaller than I had been on before, but it was truly lovely, the staff were ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a very good price and we needed to see some blue sky. I had read mixed reviews about the ship and was aware it was quite old and smaller than I had been on before, but it was truly lovely, the staff were wonderful, entertainment was great and and so was the food...no complaints at all. Sailed from Malaga and were able to have a good explore before we left as we didn't have until 10 pm and Malaga is compact. All ports of call were easy to explore on your own, although I would recommend a tour from Casablanca, we chose Rabat. The disembarkation always ran smoothly and without queues, one of the advantages of a smaller vessel. We travelled as a couple and had a cabin on the lower deck, mid ship, the beds were very comfortable and our cabin steward, Wilbur, was fantastic. We had a porthole window which I was fascinated by, it was a whole new perspective being right by the water, especially when the waves came over the window. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Reviews were mixed but we took a chance as we’d been on 4 Thomson cruises before, although the last one was 8 years ago. What a mistake. The Lido buffet restaurant was awful, horrid seating, massive queues and mediocre food. The Sirens ... Read More
Reviews were mixed but we took a chance as we’d been on 4 Thomson cruises before, although the last one was 8 years ago. What a mistake. The Lido buffet restaurant was awful, horrid seating, massive queues and mediocre food. The Sirens was a lot better for breakfast and lunch. The food was just ok but the choice in the self serve was disappointing,the drinks prices were expensive and the quality of the beer was very hit and miss,the serving staff were excellent as we expected from tui cruises. This ship is ideal for smokers and young families, but not for us. TUI is definitely the bottom end of the market. Everything is always to pay extra for learning how to play poker to a visit to the bridge its pay pay pay more more more . The ship is very out dated. We did not feel that we had value for money and the experience was not one we would repeat Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Only write a review when something has been really excellent or really poor. We've done 9 previous cruises all with Thomson in the last 5 years - the Spirit, Majesty, Island Escape, and our very favourite the Dream (4 times) and ... Read More
Only write a review when something has been really excellent or really poor. We've done 9 previous cruises all with Thomson in the last 5 years - the Spirit, Majesty, Island Escape, and our very favourite the Dream (4 times) and always had a great time. We don't ask for much - it doesn't spoil our holiday if I miss out on towel animals or chocolates on the pillow. All we want is a seat to eat decent meals at, clean accommodation and a bit of a drink and a dance at night. On the Discovery 1 this was extremely difficult to achieve. First the positives - the ship itself is stunning and spotlessly clean. The central atrium has the wow factor. The deck 3 outside cabin was the best we've ever had - light and airy décor, the largest window ever and the best air-con and shower ever - very comfortable. Our lovely cabin steward Agnes was happy, polite and professional. In fact as usual all the crew were brilliant as well as the entire entertainment team - they are always the best asset Thomson has - working exceptionally hard to keep 1800 passengers happy. Now the negatives - we always eat in the buffet restaurant but no matter what time we went it's only possible to get a seat by first walking all the way through twice and then perching on the end of a table for 4 (not a problem) or on a bar stool at a shelf. Most days we found seats outside but the weather was a bit chilly some days. In Gibraltar a young couple were standing up next to us eating their cereal outside in the cold and dark (not what you expect after paying £2000 for a week). For some reason (I heard it was staff shortages) the waiter service restaurant closed every day at 9am? The 'Island' serving stations look pretty but just aren't practical. Passengers walk backwards and forwards looking for what they need whilst staff rush backwards and forwards from the kitchens with trays of food to replenish them. It's just VERY HARD WORK. The food is ok apart from the disgusting bacon every morning that they steam so it looks like a pile of white fat - most passengers gave it a wide berth! One evening the carvery was meatloaf served with sweet and sour gravy?? The evening menu was always the lunch menu still up there at 7pm- everyday - just to confuse! The labels over the food were muddled, again some left from lunch...still it kept us on our toes! One day I was half way round the hot 'island' with half a plate of breakfast when a manager closed it with a rope - "this now closed - not fresh food - use other island". I went to the other island with my food going cold to find "this island not yet open - must wait" ?? One evening hubby got his meal and wanted a few French fries - none left on that 'island' so went to the other one - happy days lots of fresh hot chips but no serving tongs. He politely asked for them "this not yet open, no tongs". He explained his food was going cold but they still refused. Completely fed up he borrowed fresh tongs from the gateaux island and used those along with 8 people now behind him also wanting a few chips. After 2 week of buffets I wanted to make a main meal from the afternoon tea so went along expecting it to be like the Thomson Dream - lots of sandwiches, various fresh salads, pasta salad, rice salad, bit of coleslaw, hot sausage rolls etc. Got a big shock - only one 'island' open with teeny tiny finger sandwiches with a thin sliver of cucumber and nothing else and small triangles filled with cheese and tomato, neither of which was actually visible! A manager asked if he could help. Yes I'm just looking for the salads and hot pastries? 'This is our selection Ma'm', whilst pointing to the one island. They had crab rolls but there was none left and as it was 20 minutes to closing time they advised they were none coming. So a headed for the only other open savoury island which was gluten free. Here were 5 trays of sandwiches, including the missing crab rolls, they would throw away in 20 mins time. I picked up the serving tongs. 'Sorry Ma'm are you gluten free?' 'Excuse me?' 'passengers cannot have these unless they are gluten free' I'm only 8.5 stone I didn't want 5 trays just a couple of the crab rolls but I literally wasn't allowed. They'd had complaints that there wasn't enough gluten free food so instead of making a few more sandwiches they put a waiter/security guard to guard what they did have!! One morning we had no water at all on the entire ship. We were in the cabin so didn't hear the announcement so went to the buffet as usual. Once there no one could have tea, coffee, cold water or orange/apple juice as the machines were all turned off. We could, however, pay £1.50 for a bottle of water or £1.95 for freshly squeezed orange juice. They even went round selling the captive audience ridiculously priced spa treatments whilst they were trying to eat their breakfast! Sadly the negatives continue. Again it's impossible to get a seat in the Atrium or the Live Room after 8.30pm. We usually stood at the counter or perched in the window sills. They have a huge cabaret lounge - The Venue but only use it for bingo at 6.30 and quizzes - every night at 11.20 after the second theatre show finished they were vacuuming it - so 800 people then stood around in the Live Room as there are simply not enough seats. Bazaarly they hold the Dress to Impress night and Final Farewell in the Atrium - the smallest area of all with seating for only 50 - the other 1750 have to stand without a drink - that's if they manage to get through any of the doors which we didn't manage at all the first week. Deck 4 which has the Atrium, Live Room, waiter service restaurant and Theatre has no public toilets whatsoever. You go down one deck for 5 ladies cubicles or up one deck for 2 ladies cubicles. Needless to say queues 30 strong all across the corridor. It's an all inclusive ship but they WILL NOT let you see an all inclusive menu. Their reason is that passengers take them off the ship. Strange how they don't take any of the payable drinks menus off the ship and strange how they have menus on every table on all other Thomson ships - where passengers pay for their drinks unless they have the drinks package? You can't help yourself to an ice cream cornet - they station a waiter there to serve it to you - and you can only have one between 12-2pm - they then throw it all away. Again on the Dream you just help yourself all day long. I don't eat it much but hubby wanted a bit of ice cream with a couple of cakes after his evening meal - not possible! The final straw came in Tarragona where we were literally held hostage on the ship. We docked at 10.30. They told us to go The Venue for a shuttle bus ticket at 10.45. They then told us to come back at 11.30. I asked the delightful lady from Liverpool on Destination Services if they were any taxis. She told me very abruptly there were none and I must get the shuttle bus. Their own map/description of Tarragona advised there are taxis at the quayside. I queried this and she said it was the Majesty's sheet not theirs?!! We counted 24 taxis at the side of the ship so went down to the gangway, but we couldn't get off without a shuttle bus ticket? Why not - it was 15 euros into the city by taxi? So we waited like prisoners of war for a ticket. Eventually we got off at 12pm and lined up outside for coaches for a further 20 minutes. Then we got on the coach, they told us to get off - it was the wrong coach! We eventually got to Tarragona at 1.30pm. We heard when we got back most passengers threw their tickets onto the tables and completely gave up on the idea of ever getting off the ship. By 2pm with still hundreds in the Venue this wonderful Liverpool lady (who needs serious training in customer service) announced there were several taxis available at the side of the ship if anyone wanted to go independently!! One poor man told us later he'd been cruising for 25 years with every company you can think of and had never been spoken to so rudely ever before. He reported the lady from Liverpool to reception. We're not moaners, we still had a good holiday and it won't stop us cruising with Thomson, but TUI need to look at their reviews for this ship and make some serous changes before we ever think of going back on it. From now on we'll stick to the Dream - it's cheaper and much better value for your money. First time cruisers loved it, but everyone else who had something else to compare it to all said they'd stick to the older Thomson ships, P&O or Royal Caribbean. Just hope TUI don't change the Dream!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Our first & sadly our last cruise with Thomsons. We have cruised several times with a range of companies & had received lots of positive feedback about Thomsons "newer" ships so we were looking forward to our break. ... Read More
Our first & sadly our last cruise with Thomsons. We have cruised several times with a range of companies & had received lots of positive feedback about Thomsons "newer" ships so we were looking forward to our break. Unfortunately the ship is tired & many areas e.g Buffet, Live Room cannot accommodate the number of guests. We booked a de-luxe balcony & although the bathroom had been refurbished we still ended up being flooded & the rest of the cabin was under-whelming. Food & entertainment - mediocre. We also booked a 5 hour excursion to Sintra & Cascais with Thomsons at a cost of £72 for two and found ourselves spending 3hrs 30 minutes of it on the coach! The phrase " this tour will be mainly panoramic " ( which was not in the promotional literature) is enough to chill me to the bone! There are pros & cons to all cruise lines but for me NCL do much better all inclusive deal. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise as it was the newest of the TUI Ships. We are elderly aged 68 and 78 and slightly disabled. We had assistance at the airport, but struggled to get to the coach going to the port. The ship was medium-sized not quite ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was the newest of the TUI Ships. We are elderly aged 68 and 78 and slightly disabled. We had assistance at the airport, but struggled to get to the coach going to the port. The ship was medium-sized not quite up to P & O standard.We chose a de-luxe balcony cabin on deck 7. Everything was spotless. Bathroom was new-looking but the step up into it was a bit difficult. All the linen and towels were changed regularly, no complaints here. We found the "hidden charges" a bit disappointing. £2 for a bottle of water. Also money for charities added which you can have removed if you can be brave enough to do, without having a guilt trip. You expect to have to pay for the mini bar, but water etc left on your table, we found a bit mean. We needed water to make tea and coffee. We only left the ship at one port as it was too far to walk off the ship to get on the buses. I made the mistake of booking this in school holidays and never used the pool as it was full of children (to be expected). Also children running up and down corridors after midnight. We enjoyed the cruise on the whole but a little more forthought on my part would have made it better. Probably wouldn't go again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Firstly this is our 14th Thomson Cruise, but our first on the new type of Thomson ship (Discovery 1 or 2) and we were excited to see how the new generation of ship had changed. First impressions were excellent, the ships interior was very ... Read More
Firstly this is our 14th Thomson Cruise, but our first on the new type of Thomson ship (Discovery 1 or 2) and we were excited to see how the new generation of ship had changed. First impressions were excellent, the ships interior was very impressive and our deck six balcony cabin was clean, contemporary and had more than enough space. The balcony had a small table and two chairs, more than enough space for two people. One small gripe with the induction on the ship was that normally we would be met by a member of staff who takes you to your cabin, however we were left to try and find it ourselves, and as a result didn't even see our cabin steward until the second to last day! Food :- The food was fantastic :) The best food we have ever had on a Thomson ship, We ate at the buffet at breakfast and lunch, and then in the restaurant in the evening. There was lots of choice for breakfast, you could have omelettes with anything you want on, different types of pancake, obviously all of your usual full English breakfast items, and continental. Dinner we had everything from Suckling pig, home made pies, and unusual ways to eat vegetables such as courgette pancakes which were lovely. There was also your usual chips burgers and pizzas in the main islands buffet. We met people who also highly rated the snack shack where they had fish and chips, hotdogs etc. but we never got round to going there. There was also proper whippy ice-cream served between 2 and 4 everyday which is highlight recommended! The evening meal was always fantastic. Lots of choice, and always high quality food. Our waiting staff Marco and Robert were excellent, and always put a smile on our faces every evening. They were so good, one evening I had a steak and as I cut into it he could see that it wasn't cooked to how I had asked (I would have just eaten it!) but before I knew it he had replaced I with another which was cooked perfectly. Entertainment - Generally the entertainment was good, however this is where I start with a few gripes about the ship. We aren't one for the musicals so we tended to spend our time in the venue or live room. The entertainment compared to other ships was very hit and miss. Some nights we would have fantastic entertainment, fantastic game shows and the bands particularly sound wave was excellent. However one night the entertainment consisted of us being give voting pads so that we could choose a music video to be played - if I wanted to do this I would choose one I liked off my iPad and go back to the room! This was the main entertainment. Also there wasn't a quiz on in the venue every night as there had been on previous boats. This is strange as they seemed to have more entertainment staff than ever. Saying this we never went to the main Broadway lounge so that could have been excellent. Itinerary - We did the Spanish sunsets itinerary, which consisted of Malaga, Palma, Almeria, Ibiza, Barcelona, Ceuta. To be honest you needed to do trips at everywhere bar Ceuta as we were always docked miles away. This is where my second gripe comes in. We docked miles away from the main ports (not our problem!) yet we are expected to pay 6 Euros each for a courtesy bus to make up for this, surely they should be provided for free. This was the case in Palma, Ibiza and Barcelona. if I would have known this in advance I may have chosen a different itinerary. Ceuta was beautiful however and well worth a visit. Almeria we did a lovely trip which took us to a lovely village called Aquadulce after travelling over the Sierra Nevada mountains - well worth the money. Service - The staff were excellent, however there was simply not enough of them. They now have a digital system to take drinks orders, and for some reason Thomson now feel that they now need less staff. this resulted in the majority of people going to the bar to get there own drinks, which meant that they weren't able to make the drinks for the people who had ordered via the floor staff. In the end we ended up drinking on the deck which was much quieter and we never failed to get a drink. Again this wasn't the staffs fault, they were worked off their feet, I think it is more a result of Thomson's penny pinching. Overall we had a lovely holiday, Captain Chris is a legend, and kept us entertained everyday with his witty comments. There were lots of kids on board, but to be honest we didn't find these a problem (when you go in the summer holidays you have to except this!) I do feel there are a few niggles that need ironing out, but the ship is beautiful, the staff are fantastic, and the cabins were excellent. Thomson really need to give the ships extra staff, pay for better docking positions or at least free courtesy buses, and iron out the entertainment niggles and this ship will be perfect :) Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Having cruised last October on Tui Discovery I had no hesitation in booking this cruise on its new sister ship Tui Discovery 2, and was not disappointed. I travelled with my four children (aged 19, 17, 14 and 8) and all five of us had a ... Read More
Having cruised last October on Tui Discovery I had no hesitation in booking this cruise on its new sister ship Tui Discovery 2, and was not disappointed. I travelled with my four children (aged 19, 17, 14 and 8) and all five of us had a fantastic time. Embarkation (and disembarkation) were smooth and swift, which always helps on a cruise! And, on boarding, our luggage arrived at our cabins in a very timely fashion. The ship itself was clean throughout and easy to navigate (as I say I had already sailed on the Tui Discovery and this ship's layout was identical). This is a mid-size ship (previously a RC ship), which is perfect for first time cruisers or families as it does not take too long to get your bearings. We had two different types of cabin - myself and my two youngest were in a deluxe balcony and my two eldest were in a standard inside. Both cabins were clean (and constantly kept that way by the super efficient staff) with comfy beds, adequate storage and standard size/facilities as for most cruise ships. I booked specific cabins so that we were close to each other and so that we were mid-ship and not near any noisy/busy areas of this ship so was very happy with my choices. Dining was very good with plenty of options for all. I did not bother with the speciality restaurants (as they cost extra and because there were so many other places to eat). Breakfast can either be taken at Islands buffett (good selection, good food, was a little busy on disembarkation today, but apart from that never a problem finding somewhere to sit) or in the main restaurant (this was more civilised and a more leisurely affair, as the main hot options were waiter service with a small cold buffet selection). Lunch can be taken again at the buffett or a set 4 course at the main 47 restaurant or you can just grab a snack at the snack shack (burgers, hot dogs, mac cheese, sandwiches, salads etc) or there is also food at the indoor pool. In the afternoons you can get ice-cream and from 3pm - 5pm afternoon tea at the buffet was very good (great selection of tasty sandwiches, cakes, cream teas etc). Dinner can either again be in the buffet or in the main restaurant or the Italian above (we had 5 meals in the main restaurant and 2 in the Italian, all of which were really good - although the Italian menu does tend to be the same every night). We only had to wait to be seated on one evening (you are provided with a buzzer and you do not have to wait long). All in all very good food and very good service. Bar service was in general good although there was often a long wait at the pool bars (they could do with more staff) and occassionally waiting time at the other bars in the evenings. The new all inclusive package was ample for us and do not see why you would want to pay any extra - all your standard drinks - shorts, wines, beers and cocktails (and they were good quality labelled brands) and good selection of non-alcholic drinks and mocktails too were included - you just have to present your card. Evening shows were good quality (although one was identical to a show we saw in October which was a shame, also there were no real plays, which I usually like and one night there was a comedian but it was unclear whether this was suitable for young children so we did not attend just in case) we did not go to any of the films this time as they were either not things we wanted to see or things we had seen. All the bands/musicians/singers around the ship were really good and provided good entertainment. Did not use the casino (it is tiny!!). Never had a problem finding a seat in the theatre (we went to the 8.30pm perfomances each night). Day time entertainment was OK (although a little tacky at times). Kids club was good (although I would have preferred more or longer sessions or drop in sessions). Climbing wall was good (you need to book a slot) my middle and youngest boy enjoyed this. We also enjoyed the mini golf and shuttle board and table tennis. My 17 year old used the gym every day which he said was not bad. The main pool is tiny and crowded (full of kids) is more like a glorified children's paddling pool, but that is often the way on a cruise ship. The inside pool was better and had an adults only time period, but who wants to be inside when there is sun shining outside? There was not usually a problem finding a sun bed - apart from the day at sea when we could not find one at all!! So had to all cram onto our balcony!! They are supposed to impose a 45 minute rule (whereby if a sun bed is empty for more than 45 minutes they remove the items on it) but I never saw this being implemented. Likewise you can never get anywhere to sit in the adults only section (had the same problem on Tui Discovery in October). Also finding any beds that are in shade (for my 8 year old) was impossible so had to use our towels to form a tent for him! It was a shame that only about 50 - 60% of the passengers bothered to dress up for the "dress to impress night". I always love this night on cruises and it makes it so special - however when you and your daughter are dressed in a cocktail dress and your boys are in suits and you are seated at dinner next to people in t-shirts it does rather spoil it. I think if there is a formal night or dress up night reminders should be sent to travellers before the holiday (so they can pack accordingly) and maybe if they don't want to dress up for that one night they can be seated in a more casual dining area. Ports of call were all very good: In Barcelona we got a hop on hop off bus tour and managed to see quite a bit. In Palma we did book one trip through the ship (the train in Soller) which was OK but nothing special. At all the other ports (Ibiza, Almeria and Ceuta) I had already researched in advance where we could go and what we could see so we were well prepared to do our own thing (as I always find the maps that you get from the ship are a bit basic). All staff were excellent - polite, efficient, friendly, courteous, helpful ..... perfect!! I did have two small issues - Firstly I ordered a photo (for £14.95) and before I went to collect it I gave £20 cash to reception to add to my account to cover the photo - however later that evening my card was refused at the bar and during dinner when I asked for wine and both times I was told I owed money (the drinks were all inclusive anyway so did not understand the logic behind this) - this was embarrassing (as I did not owe money) and had to use my eldest boy's card instead just to have wine with my dinner. When I went to reception they said my account was in credit and they did not understand why there had been a problem. (To their credit, the next day, as way of apology, I was sent a bottle of wine to my cabin so have to say I was more than happy that they acknowledged and acted on the issue). Secondly on leaving the ship I was told I owed E1.50 for a premium drink (that had somehow been added to my card) It was only a small amount but out of principle I said i did not want to pay for somebody else's drink. I then was kept waiting for almost 10 minutes (when I needed to disembark) for the matter to be resolved. However, these two tiny issues did not spoil what was an excellent holiday over all and I would definitely sail on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This cruise was the 4th Thompson cruise that my husband and I have been on so were looking forward to seeing this ship and what she had to offer. On first views we were pleased with a much more straight forward embarkation with little ... Read More
This cruise was the 4th Thompson cruise that my husband and I have been on so were looking forward to seeing this ship and what she had to offer. On first views we were pleased with a much more straight forward embarkation with little stress and found our cabin quite easily. Cases were a couple of hours before getting to the cabins but no major problems. We had booked a cabin on deck 7 with a balcony. The cabin was a nice size although the bathroom was tiny with a shower that was very tight and a shower curtain that kept getting in the way whenever we took showers. However the shower was easy to use and was powerful. There were always clean towels, changed twice a day. The bed was reasonably comfy and the air con worked well. Our balcony was not huge but we used it lots and there was enough room for 2 chairs and a table. There was a kettle etc and the milk, coffee etc always topped up. Food and drink....Food was good but at dinner there was only 3 courses available in the restaurant rather than the 5 we had eaten on previous ships. This cruise I needed to be able to tweak the menu slightly. On the first night I asked for a different potato. Not difficult as my preferred choice was available but with a different meat so should have been easy. No. The waiter wrote it down but in the end I got 2 lots. Later in the week I asked for a sugar free ice cream with my crepe. I ended up with the original plus 2 scoops of sugar free served in a separate dish. It was often easier not to ask and to just accept what was available. I would have liked sugar free jam/marmalade at breakfast but this was not available. However there was always a sugar free dessert available at lunch and at dinner both in "Islands" and the main restaurant. Gluten free options were also available. The ship struggled to provide fresh brown/wholemeal bread at breakfast. There was fresh brown bread at breakfast but only on 2 or 3 mornings. There was brown and white toast freely available but it was thinly sliced and cardboard like. There was always lots of fruit and cooked breakfast items available, plus pastries, cheese and meats so lots to choose from. Tea, coffee and fruit juices available from a machine. This cruise offered "all inclusive". A welcome treat however you had to pay extra for coffee from the "Coffee Stop" and although most drinks were "free" this depended on where you were and also what was available. The "Islands" restaurant even at night used plastic glasses which were scratched and not particularly nice to drink out of. Other places/bars used proper glasses. Our favourite place to have a pre dinner drink was Deck 11. Good views and a quiet place to contemplate. The best bit on Deck 11 was "Surf and Turf". This small restaurant was brilliant. There is an additional cost and you must book within hours of cruise arrival but it was well worth it. The service was outstanding and the food was presented beautifully and was cooked perfectly. Swimming pools were available but mostly used by children so not the nicest of places! Lots of noise and splashing. There is an adults only pool but this is inside and to be honest we didn't bother as it was very hot. Thompson has a reputation for its excellent entertainment but...Discovery need to improve. The first night was only a "get to know you session" with abit of dancing and singing and quite off putting. The second night was "Can Can" This was very good and showed singing and dancing to an excellent standard. The following night was "Songs from musicals" but the standard was not there somehow and we left disappointed. The rest of the week we did not go as we found other places to sit and chill. A real pity as we were really looking forward to some brilliant entertainment. I would have liked to see more audience participation so they can sing along and clap and cheer...just like I have seen before on other TUI cruise ships. Trips are very expensive and we decided not to go on any, preferring to walk into the town, have a tourist ride, coffee, lunch etc. It was obvious to us that there was not the take up of trips as there was usually only 1 or 2 buses outside the port rather than the usual 3 or more. Service overall was just about ok. There was some very good waiters in the main restaurant but the service in "Islands" was sometimes slow. Some front of house staff need to smile more and take on board what is being asked of them. Some were rather lethargic and glum! Disembarkation was fine. We did however leave on a slightly earlier bus as were where ready and could not use our cabin after 8am so felt we could leave and get to the airport. The disembarkation information had been put in our cabins on the Wednesday evening. Far too early! We were only half way through our holiday. I would go on another TUI cruise but I do think standards have dropped slightly from previous cruises. Why change something that wasn't broken? Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Family suite was the pull on this occasion , coupled with the itinerary. I have cruised with Thomson on umpteen occasions over the last decade on all its ships (8 times on Island Escape) + & never had cause to complain - this time one ... Read More
Family suite was the pull on this occasion , coupled with the itinerary. I have cruised with Thomson on umpteen occasions over the last decade on all its ships (8 times on Island Escape) + & never had cause to complain - this time one or two grumbles. The smoking restriction has congregated far too many smokers in one area with insufficient seating - Thomson is a budget line & as such captures a large market of smokers - if they wish to continue with a resticted policy they need to plan and accommodate that fact! Banning balcony smoking whilst reducing smoking deck areas doesn't fit and causes friction! Dinner in the main restaurant & Glasshouse excellent, food in 'Islands' invariably lukewarm & not acceptable! Dress to impress night a farce - neither formal nor casual nor anything at all - a mistake, particularly as the officers never 'dressed' even on the 'so called' Capts intro event! One last minor gripe - I did miss the traditional Thomson Dinning room waiting staff 'entertainment ' its a 'thomson signature' and promotional +! Policy planners take note! That aside an enjoyable cruise on a very clean and well run ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
flying out to Mallorca took under 2 hours. The coach trip from the airport took 20 minutes. The Cruise staff were quick and efficient with boarding. The ship itself is beautifully refitted. The balcony cabin was worth the extra money. You ... Read More
flying out to Mallorca took under 2 hours. The coach trip from the airport took 20 minutes. The Cruise staff were quick and efficient with boarding. The ship itself is beautifully refitted. The balcony cabin was worth the extra money. You have a cabin boy allocated for your area on the ship. The food was varied and cooked to perfection. If you have any special dietary needs they will accommodate them easily. Spoiled for choice for eateries from A la cart to burgers. The service is brill, they can't do enough for you. place is kept very clean. Entertainment was varied and excellent. Didn't book any excursions as too expensive went on tour bus to see the cities we visited. I found the planned excursions were very crowded and busy. You can dress casual for some of the eateries and dress up for the more 'posh' restaurants. Would recommend this cruise to anyone that has not been on a ship. This is a smaller cruise liner. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Cabins are great and had a good housekeeper looking after us on deck 7 ,island restaurant was very busy ,some days you had to go round and round to try and obtain a table , party of 4 and none of us was impressed with selection of food ... Read More
Cabins are great and had a good housekeeper looking after us on deck 7 ,island restaurant was very busy ,some days you had to go round and round to try and obtain a table , party of 4 and none of us was impressed with selection of food which was mostly cold . At the Venue lounge on the 5th floor if you are into quizzes this is the place for you , most nights there was at least 4 on, not a bad group was playing but lacked atmosphere . After ordering drinks you can wait up to 15 minutes to receive was very evident that there is not enough staff and most of them lacked a cherry smile . Sorry to be so negative but the dream is far better in every way , so will not be going back with Thomson's as they seem to think that they have the monopoly and can treat people any way at all. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Thomson Dreamliner is a fantastic plane. Lots of leg room and free food and drink during the flight. But, what started well, ended badly. The Jamaican airport was hot, humid, crowded and queued. No where to sit, no air conditioning, no ... Read More
Thomson Dreamliner is a fantastic plane. Lots of leg room and free food and drink during the flight. But, what started well, ended badly. The Jamaican airport was hot, humid, crowded and queued. No where to sit, no air conditioning, no water and no where to rest in a confined corridor containing hundreds of people. Tempers flared after hours waiting to get to embarkation and some felt faint. A musical group from the island greeted us at the ship but the singer was out of tune and the musicians seemed fed up of playing it took that long for everyone to board. The buffets were always full of food and refreshments and the restaurant was great for an evening meal. However, the food was mostly overcooked, warm at best when eating and not very tasty in all the eateries. I did not like the fact you helped yourself to buffet with tongs. It would have been more hygienic to have been given the food by buffet staff. Despite the fact the ship had antibacterial dispensers throughout, many passengers ignored them. I had a bad tummy in the middle of the first week and was told by a passenger that the ship had had Noro virus aboard the week before resulting in the closure of the Jacuzzis. I was also by other passengers that many people were being treated for a bad cough, an outbreak which had been on board since December with antibiotic drips having to be issued for pneumonia and also that 5 people had died on board during this time. Myself and my husband both went home with a bad cough at the end of the cruise. One woman was badly burnt by a soot gob that had been blown from the ship's funnel. Many passengers had broken their arms whilst on board. Health and safety was an issue as I saw a crew member carrying two stacks of cups on his tray down a spiral staircase. Smoking was allowed on the decks which was very quickly extended to inside the ship and door areas by smokers who ignored the rules. It was hard to get away from cigarette smoke on the deck areas. We found it very difficult to get a sun lounger before 10am and these were hogged by selfish passengers all day despite the fact that they were not using them for hours. The ship had an overcrowded feel during the sea days and the days were quite strained. The behavior of some of the passengers was terrible despite their mature years. Tempers flared and a fight broke out over the use of a lift which carried on in the sun deck. There was a lot of foul language used by some of the down to earth types which did offend other passengers with their rudeness at times. Some of the deck flooring was bubbled and torn. The first port was La Romana. I wish I had stayed aboard the ship. We were transported by shuttle to the nearby town and was immediately bombarded by very persistent venders that were very intimidating. We all immediately got right back on the bus and returned to the ship. This port did not match the description at all. My favourite ports were St Maartin and Antigua. Shops were wonderful and there were many nice places to go. The Virgin Islands were a little boring as we had not been able to book a tour but on returning to the ship many passengers were disappointed with their trips here. One had gone to see whales and was told by locals that whales are a rare sight in April as they don’t arrive until June when the season for them starts. We did see some flying fish and dolphins on the sea days. Gibraltar is a nice place but there was very little time to visit more than one venue as the ship departs at 2pm and we had to be back on board by 1:30. We were talked out of using the cable car by the port taxi drivers who said that we would not have time to use it. The port inspector confirmed this when asked to back up the statements but on speaking to the tourist visitor centre they said we would have had plenty of time to use it. So I think we were conned into using them at a cost. To sum up, I personally quite enjoyed my time on this cruise but I know that quite a few other passengers were very disappointed and if rumors were correct some did not return at all. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Our Iberian Escapade on The Dream was marred by Thomson pre- empting the ship's refurbishment. It started with noticing that the mezzanine in the theatre was closed. From there on it got worse. A small number of outside contractors ... Read More
Our Iberian Escapade on The Dream was marred by Thomson pre- empting the ship's refurbishment. It started with noticing that the mezzanine in the theatre was closed. From there on it got worse. A small number of outside contractors blossomed into a multitude before the cruise finished. The noise levels increased not only on the outside decks but also inside the ship. The noise levels were enough to give anyone a migraine. Trivia quizzes could not be heard on deck11 and open deck room on deck 12 lessened. Not that you could relax up there with the noise coming from the sports deck area. This area I believe is being turned into a sun deck. Hope the next cruisers enjoy, "the peace and quiet up there" Then to top it all there was no hot water on our last night. So we had to boil a kettle to wash our hair in the basin and have a quick wash instead. There was hot water when we returned after our evening but too late. Not good enough. There were apologies made by the Captain but Thomson must have known this was going to happen before hand. They should have warned paying guests before they booked this cruise, then we could have made an informed decision as to go or not. Generally these ship maintenance companies need notice to come on board, as materials etc have to be ordered especially for re-upholstering. I will not name the companies as it is not their problem. Apart from that the food was disappointing in the MD except for the 1st day. Desserts were same, same with no real quality. As for the wine on the DP it went from not bad in the MD to almost undrinkable in the buffets and other bars. Good points:- Our cabin was kept clean and tidy at all times by Iwan. He was like the SAS, never seen at any time but got the job done. From early morning clean up, to turning the bed down with choccy on pillow when we returned in the evening. A big thanks to this young man. All the crew from the Captain down were brilliant. Nothing was too much trouble. The energy and talent of the entertainment team was second to none. The shows were stunning. Will we return? Never on a cruise that is due to go in for even a small refurb. Lesson learnt. Thomson must sort this out. We have been in touch with them to complain. A new experience for us, as we do not sent a complaint of lightly. In fact have never done so before. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Just returned from our first Thomson cruise experience and what a delight. Our day began with a good flight from Manchester (on time) and arrived to lovely weather. The checking-in process was efficient and speedy with plenty of ... Read More
Just returned from our first Thomson cruise experience and what a delight. Our day began with a good flight from Manchester (on time) and arrived to lovely weather. The checking-in process was efficient and speedy with plenty of information to guide us through the stages. Our first impression of the Dream was it actually looked like a ship with the feel of a British stately home unlike the Norwegian Epic which was alongside and reminded us of a towering block of apartments by comparison. Yes, it probably is ready for a touch of TLC on the exterior but a few coats of paint will soon sort that out. We were welcomed aboard by the happiest of crew who were eager to please. The interior was spotless and tastefully decorated with plenty of brass and wood fittings, a pleasure to see good quality workmanship. Our cabin was larger than we expected and immaculate. There was ample storage and hanging space and a very welcoming tea & coffee making facility. The bed was very comfortable as was the sofa and chair provided. A large TV was also fitted. Our thanks to Cicep, our steward for his service to whom nothing was too much trouble. We ate in the Orion restaurant and the buffets at Lido and Sirens and found the food well prepared, varied and enjoyable. My wife & I opted for a drinks package which consisted of five bottles of wine for £64.95 which made each bottle £12.99. Well done to the entertainment team led by Cruise Director Paul, how refreshing to have a CD who was talented and who performed so admirably with the team. His assistant Shep will no doubt hold a similar post very soon. Congratulations to the team, they were the most talented vocalists and dancers we have seen on any of our previous cruises (not Thomson's) A special mention to James Humphreys and Brandie for their outstanding vocals. Going to see them each night was a real joy. We booked this cruise very much as a last minute one and we were so glad we did. What made it so pleasurable was the whole crew. Their happiness and joy for life was infectious, other so called big companies should take note. Thanks to Captain John and the officers who made sure everything was done to ensure our perfect cruise experience. This was our first Thomson cruise, it won't be our last. Well done Thomson's and the Dream team. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
A group of four of us has just returned from what should have been an enjoyable springtime cruise on the Thomson Dream. This was our seventh cruise, the fifth with Thomsons, so we were expecting the same high standards that we had ... Read More
A group of four of us has just returned from what should have been an enjoyable springtime cruise on the Thomson Dream. This was our seventh cruise, the fifth with Thomsons, so we were expecting the same high standards that we had previously experienced on other Thomson ships - how wrong we were. When we arrived at the port to board the ship in Tenerife, we had missed the onboard lifeboat drill so a member of the crew stood at the front of the coach and tried to show us how to fasten our life jackets - no-one at the back could see a thing. We were then told that we could find our lifejackets in a cupboard within our cabins. The lifejackets would have our muster station number written on them so it was up to us to find it.This is the first time I have ever been on a ship and not been shown to my muster station. On the second night one of my party contracted Norvirus. She was ill for three days and never regained her appetite until we arrived home. On the fourth nigh, my husband contracted Norovirus. He isolated himself in his cabin for 36 hours . The nurse rang twice to say she was coming to see him but never turned up. By the middle of the week the ship became very quiet during the evenings - most passengers were in their cabins suffering form Norovirus. The food was served by the crew - to prevent the spread of Norovirus. It was never hot enough and people were asking for more because the portions were so small. The temperature on board ship was very cold - I'm told it was to prevent the spread of the disease. I heard one lady sarcastically asking a waiter for a hot water bottle during the show.one evening I had to call the plumber out to my cabin three times. The sink became blocked, the bath water was dark brown and water continuously came up through the drain in the bathroom soaking the bathroom floor - this was still happening when we left the ship. Although the crew were very friendly and supportive, they always seemed to be very disorganised. Getting onto the ship took well over an hour as there weren't enough staff deployed to check us all in. We were locked out of our cabin for two hours when we reported the key was broken. Upon our return to reception to collect a new key, they had forgotten to replace it and made us wait for a further half an hour. Disemnbarking at the various ports also turned into a circus as the crew kept changing their minds about the deck and the side of the ship they would be using. The Captain apologised to everyone and promised to report the incident back to Thomsons after the tender to Portimao turned into a disaster. It took well over half an hour for each tender to reach shore. This resulted in large queues forming on the quayside waiting to board the tenders back to the ship. Passengers were waiting for over an hour in the cold, huddled together like penguins, without any seating or warm drinks avaialble. Thank goodness for the shore excursions. They were very good value and gave us a reprieve from the fast spreading germs on board the ship - when we were well enough to go on them. This will definitely go down as the worst holiday we have ever had. We could not wait to get back home. Unfortunately, due to my experience on the Thomson Dream, I have lost all faith in my favourite cruise line and will definitely be looking at an alternative next time! Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
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