2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
We usually holiday on the Thomson Celebration or the Thomson Spirit. But we saw the Itineraries Mexican Medley and Pride of Panama on the Dream, we checked out the excursions available and excitedly booked last May. We chose an outside ... Read More
We usually holiday on the Thomson Celebration or the Thomson Spirit. But we saw the Itineraries Mexican Medley and Pride of Panama on the Dream, we checked out the excursions available and excitedly booked last May. We chose an outside plus cabin on deck 6 midship. A few weeks before we departed we had an email advising us that one port of call was being dropped due to problems getting the ship in due to the currents and weather, but advised we would visit Santa Marta, Columbia instead. We flew from Gatwick on Thomson Dreamliner, which was on time and thought the service onboard was excellent. Having arrived in Jamaica, the transfer from the airport to the ship was pretty speedy, although the immigration form was a little confusing to complete with no help offered on the plane. We checked in at the port and boarded the ship. We found our cabin and our cabin steward, Suwadi introduced himself. The cabin was clean and comfortable, although a little more storage space in the bathroom would have been nice. We did the safety drill and went to dinner, all excited about setting sail at 8pm. That's when it started going downhill really. The Newcastle flight developed a fault after a few hours, and the plane had to return to Gatwick. This meant we didn't leave Montego Bay till around 4am. This made us late into Cozumel. From Cozumel we were doing the excursion to Chichen Itza, which meant first taking a half hour trip by ferry to Playa Del Carmen. From here we had a few hours by coach to reach the site, where the guide was slowly eating lunch before going down to the site. We had just over an hour and half of his talking in the blazing heat before he gave us a half hour to go explore but that was only enough time to get back to the meeting place for the coach! All very rushed. Trip originally planned as 11 hours but took under 9 hours. We were unable to see all of the site very disappointing. Next stop was Costa Maya, which was a pretty little place. Then it was on to Roatan. We were taking the semi-submarine and west island trip. Well we reached the bay but the wind had picked up and we couldn't go out. Oh well, couldn't be helped, but it turned out not to be a submarine that went 6ft under water, but a glass bottom boat. The Butterfly place was ok, small, but they also kept animals in very small cages and several people were upset by these conditions. We all complained to Destination services on board, who blamed the mix up of the description of the tour on the supplier and returned half our money. After a day at sea we were calling into Falmouth, Jamaica. But that didn't happen as the captain said it was a bit windy and the coral channel in to port was narrow so we would carry on to Montego Bay and overnight there. So, we thought make the most of it we will find out where to head in town. But Destination Services advised against leaving the terminal building area as it was too dangerous due to crime. So, the new people arrived and we set sail on time. Followed by a day at sea to reach Santa Marta. Not a lot to do there, lots of police who if you were going somewhere they didn't want you to go, pointed you back in the direction you came, the beach area with lots of stalls and street traders! Next day Cartagena, Columbia. We took the Cartagena walking tour excursion visiting the Palace of Inquisition and a church. We then returned to the ship. We then set sail for Panama. We were really looking forward to transitting part of the canal in a ferry. Which we did after a very long drive, and a very long wait! The Ferry was very relaxing and one of the guides gave commentary. Food and water/soft drinks were provided. We finished at the Pacific end and were returned to the ship by coach. All in all an enjoyable day out. We set sail at 6pm but by 8.30 pm the captain made an announcement saying we had a medical emergency and had to return to Panama. By doing this meant it had put us behind schedule and we were advised that destinations services were reorganising the planned excursions. It also stated that letters would be dropped into cabins advising of the new arrangements. this letter gave no new information than what we were had previously been given. An announcement was made at approx 08:30 to advise that expected arrival time in Costa Rica would be 11:00 and that destination services were still working on the excursions and to expect a further announcement. At 10:30 an announcement was made giving details of new times for the excursions and the fact that our tour was cancelled. Advised to go to destination services to see if we could book on another tour which we could not do as they were all full. We were gutted. I know a medical emergency couldn't be helped, but now we just wanted to go home! If I wanted to look at the sea and go shopping I would have stayed at home. Half way through the 2nd week there was an outbreak of norovirus and crew had to serve food and drinks to us in the self service restaurants. Jaccuzzis were drained. It was starting to feel like a prison ship. The food was of very poor quality and lukewarm, both in the Sirens self service restaurant and on occasions in Orion's. It was the first cruise, that we had arrived home lighter than we went!! We were also charged 2 items on our account we hadn't had and had to fight to get them taken off. When querying this at reception we were made to feel like liars. After seeing the crew show on the first week, I felt I had to buy the DVD as Jeffery was hilarious. But having reached home and watched it most of his performance was missing! so disappointed and felt a bit conned. On a positive note, the show team were incredible and the hospitality of the waiters, bar staff and cabin steward were brilliant. It was our wedding anniversary the day before disembarking, but we just didn't feel like celebrating and decided to leave it until we got home. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
Our holiday had a good start with the flight on the Dreamliner, and although we had to queue at Jamaican customs, it was not for long. The transfer to the boat and to our cabin went smoothly. Having sailed with Thomsons before we were not ... Read More
Our holiday had a good start with the flight on the Dreamliner, and although we had to queue at Jamaican customs, it was not for long. The transfer to the boat and to our cabin went smoothly. Having sailed with Thomsons before we were not expecting luxury, but the cabin was very clean and the king sized bed, extremely comfortable. As others have mentioned, the Newcastle flight was very late and our departure was delayed, but the ship did make up some of the time. We liked the first stop, Cozumel. It was a bit commercialized but perfectly safe to go off on your own, and the Dream docks at the town pier. We had booked a private snorkeling trip with Safe Tours which was very good. We did not do a trip at the next port, Costa Maya, but there is a free pool and sunbeds overlooking the ocean, as well as the usual shops. Note though, they only take cash. We thought Roatan was lovely, and again no need to take a trip as you can walk to the beach. The port of Falmouth was missed because of the weather, but our trip on the Martha Bray still went ahead and we were also taken to see an old and charming church in Falmouth, by bus. Montego Bay is, unfortunately a dump. Some people walked into town without incident but described it as awful, so we didn't bother. The second week, was very hot and, because of the local holidays, very busy. I would actually advise anyone doing The Pride of Panama to avoid that particular time. In Santa Marta we did the trip to the Tayrona National park. The scenery was fantastic but we did not get the promised swim which was annoying. Cartagena was pretty but again very busy and hot. The port there is really lovely with parrots and other animals allowed to roam free- worth seeing even if you do not go any further. We liked the Colombian people, in particular their attitude to their indigenous animals. They were not always asking for tips and we felt quite safe in Cartagena. In Colon, we did the railway trip along the lakes and canal and visited to the locks- Fantastic! Costa Rica was lovely but spoiled by the holiday traffic which made our trip to the animal sanctuary far too long, and the guide was never quiet! The sanctuary itself was good and so was the river trip- when we finally got there! We loved seeing and hearing the howler monkeys in the trees. As for the Dream, we thought the food was good, although we always had our evening meal in the Orion restaurant. The service throughout the boat was excellent, and so was the entertainment- as good as the West End! We did not much like the Lido deck, it was crowded and the deck itself needed some work. We preferred the main pool deck but often had to walk up to it as the lifts were busy. In all, the cruise met our expectations and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a shame it goes from Jamaica though, as the people at the airport are really rude and the port at Montego Bay, drab. As for the virus on board, it was in our corridor, and I saw the way the crew scrubbed and cleaned to try and stop it spreading. Fortunately we did not get it. I did hear a young man it the cabin next to us, complaining about being ill, on the morning after they had just boarded for the second week- make what you like of that! Also I must mention the AI package. We can put away our share of alcohol but even though we tried, we did not really get our money's worth. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
Just returned from Mexican Medley/ Pride of Panama cruise. When I discovered Thomson's new itinerary for this year I looked forward to exploring new places. On reading poor reviews for the earlier sailings, I felt concerned about ... Read More
Just returned from Mexican Medley/ Pride of Panama cruise. When I discovered Thomson's new itinerary for this year I looked forward to exploring new places. On reading poor reviews for the earlier sailings, I felt concerned about booking. However decided to book online. So glad we went, it was excellent all round. Flight on Dreamliner very good. Plenty of room, comfortable seating. Food and drinks fine. Choice of films to watch good. On arriving in Montego Bay, it didn't take long to arrive on ship. I prebooked a cabin on deck 6. Good choice!! Cabin really comfortable and quiet. Thanks to our cabin steward Suwadi, for keeping it clean and tidy. Choice of where to eat good. We had breakfast & lunch in the Lido or Sirens, very good variety. Sirens do a wonderful afternoon tea. We ate in the Orion restaurant in the evening. Food excellent, again variety good. Special thanks to Alviz and Sumanitu for looking after us so well. Fantastic entertainers too! The shows in Broadway were of high standard. Some very good singers/ dancers. Enjoyed the crew show too. Thanks again to Alviz for arranging with the crew to sign our CD. Wonderful souvenir. Sorry to have missed you before we left to thank you for the fantastic service. All ports we visited had regulated taxi/tour guides, for those not booked on ships excursions. We did some really good sightseeing with locals. The roaming animals & birds in Cartagena port were fascinating to watch, could have spent hours doing just that. Look out for the talking parrot. Don't be put off by remarks about Colon. The port is fine. A large supermarket, prices very reasonable, other shops too. We took a trip with a local guide, which was very interesting. The canal shouldn't be missed. Thomson let us down with a trip I had booked online. It was cancelled last minute. It was a shame they didn't give those who had booked online months/weeks before the first chance of other trips. This was a trip in Costa Rica, however we manage to do the trip with a local guide. This probably turned out to our advantage. I felt sorry for others who missed out on this, and stayed on ship. Well done to Thomson for exploring new horizons. Can't wait for you to try some Asian ports too!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
I find it hard to understand why people moan so much about Thomson cruises, no they're not five star but you know that when you book. Although our cruise Mexican Medley and Panama Canal had some problems it was all out of the captains ... Read More
I find it hard to understand why people moan so much about Thomson cruises, no they're not five star but you know that when you book. Although our cruise Mexican Medley and Panama Canal had some problems it was all out of the captains hands. He can't avoid delayed flights, bad weather or a guest needing hospital treatment. We cruise with Thomson because of the crew who are excellent . As a vegetarian I don't always like the main option on offer but head waiter Daniel arranged for the next nights menu to be delivered to my cabin every day so I could check if it was ok and if not suggest something different. Excellent service. This wa the first time I'd been to the area and ports of call were ok. I particularly liked Cartegena and it was a true experience to travel through the Panama Canal but my favourite stop was Costa Rica. The country was lush and green with wild monkeys and sloths in the trees. I find the excursions expensive on any cruise ( I've also cruised with other companies) so this year we researched private trips online and booked before we left home. Trevor Hudlin in Falmouth and Montego Bay, tours plaza.com in Cozumel, and the brilliant 6 in 1 tour from yourluckytour.com in Costa Rica. Everyone was waiting for us as promised and a fraction of the cost. Read reviews and spend some time online before you travel. Travelling on the Dreamliner was a bonus with inclusive drinks and great choise of films to watch. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth and we had no delays or problems. The entertainment team worked hard but I have to say I've seen better on other Thomson ships but the real stars of the show are the restaurant staff especially Daniel, Jess, Garry, Ferdie and Simina who looked after us so well. Thanks to them. I'd have no problem using Thomson again because their ports of call are usually so good and I'd also like to try their new boat The Thomson Discovery. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
The ship itself THOMSON DREAM was a great size, easy to find your way about. The ship could do with a little touch up here and there but everywhere was always clean and tidy. Excellent theater and bars in and around main deck also ... Read More
The ship itself THOMSON DREAM was a great size, easy to find your way about. The ship could do with a little touch up here and there but everywhere was always clean and tidy. Excellent theater and bars in and around main deck also quieter areas for relaxation. Dream bar staff and waiters very good ,fast and efficient. The main dining room was supported by three specialty dining experiences and excellent dining options on outside and inside decks.The meals served in all places were first class, especially in the main dining room. The waiters and the supporting staff are fantastic and very professional,and above all very friendly and helpful. The cabin stewards work very hard to keep your rooms in tip top order,they were always available when needed and nothing was to much to ask of them. The staff who entertain you are some of the best i have ever encountered, they could all sing and dance to a very high degree. One of the down sides is the drinks package, there are very few brand labels that are available with out paying a subsidy.We mainly drank cocktails,latte coffee and wine. We were far better off financially doing the drinks package and we are not heavy drinkers. The trips offered on board to some of the destinations of interest were a bit expensive. Overall the tours were interesting and well run. On a personnel matter the flight out of Newcastle on a 6 week old dream liner was a nightmare. Three and a half hours out the plane had a technical fault, we had to return to Gatwick Airport. That was now seven hours and we were back in the UK.Four hours in airport and not much information passed to the passengers. Another nine and a half hour flight to our destination, got to bed at five am. We had a great holiday and will certainly cruise again with Thomson. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
Our journey took place on Thomsons Dreamliner aeroplane which was very nice . we had row 12 a and b for seating it had extra legroom which we did not pay for . the service on board was very nice too plenty of free drinks and food and ... Read More
Our journey took place on Thomsons Dreamliner aeroplane which was very nice . we had row 12 a and b for seating it had extra legroom which we did not pay for . the service on board was very nice too plenty of free drinks and food and with a smile nothing was too much trouble .the aeroplane has extra wide isles with dimming lights for windows and cabin our luggage allowance was 20 kg cases with 7 kg hand luggage. best of all both flights there and back were on time , its a pity that the scales in Jamaica did not match uk ones as we were charged for 3 kg coming home which was £54 with nothing bought on holiday only jewellery which was in my hand luggage . The airport to cruise transfer was smooth with a quick check in and boarding all within an hour we were in our cabin no 6108 on deck 6 . the staff were efficient and our cabin maid greeted us on arrival our room had a large window and king size bed with a settee and chair dressing table and stool and a small table . there was plenty of wardrobe space 2 x double with long parts for evening clothes also a safe which was charged at £15 per week which i did not pay for out of principle. there were 3 large drawers and a carpet . bedding was nice and soft pillows we slept well in this room there was no noise . the bathroom had a small bath with a shower ,soap and towels and a sink with the same thanks to our perfect maid called Ni Ketut she was very friendly and we had lovely conversations about her home in the Philippines. the ship was smaller than we had been on before with very small lifts that only 4 people could travel given there were less able bodied people than ourselves we did a lot of stair climbing . the pool was very nice to swim in with a retractable roof over it for bad weather. the SUNBEDS were so close i could have heard my neighbour breathing no room to move on this deck with all demonstrations and pool waiters serving here. it was the place to be . also a sun deck on top deck with lovely loungers and no one to bother you but boy was it hot magic ! the show lounge was comfortable with the best shows i have seen in 7 cruises , these people worked so hard. the stops from this trip were not very organized i heard a lot of people complaining about their buses and how they were not good value for money. we did our own thing and used taxis etc and followed them at a quarter of the price they paid. one stop Falmouth we did not see as the ship was too small to dock in high winds so we had 2 days in Jamaica at the end of our trip. this trip in a taxi was awful at Montego bay as there were lots of people on drugs and shouting when we went to the town so we made a quick exit back to the ship. DINING for us this was very poor in the main dining room the service and food presented on more than one occasion was not up to standard . so much so that my husband asked the waiter to return a baked Alaska to the kitchen not even started for the lady sitting next to him as it was liquid on a plate. this is not acceptable on a 4 star ship . however the buffet on deck was perfect with fresh well cooked and presented food which we enjoyed . the drinks on board were hotel prices in the uk and we even had to buy the water £2 for the tea and coffee in the cabin and they state in the brochure that tea and coffee are provided. is this not a contradiction, you cannot take water from he tap in the cabin , we found a way around this as free water was given on the pool deck bar so we bought one then topped up while on deck and enjoyed. we did a hot stone experience of cooking food on lava stones which we enjoyed as there was a demonstration on board while sitting at the pool deck. this is advertised in your room with a picture of a nice table curtains in the back ground and a person standing at the table serving we were told it was al a carte and arrived on deck wooden floor with wooden table no air con and lava rocks we enjoyed our meal and service but should have stayed in swim wear instead of dressing up. no setting no lights and 10 yards away an empty al a carte not being used as no one in it. roataan stop at mahogany bay was a lovely place with a nice beach and everything laid on this was used by everyone even though we did get a shower of rain. i did not use the spa as i found it overpriced , we did visit the casino to buy £5 worth of lottery tickets = 3 which to our delight we were the only winners on board with 4 out of 6 numbers we got £75 back instead of £10000 this was very nice . we left the ship having had a lovely break to carry on to a hotel in negril for 1 week but if i was asked would i use thomson for a cruise again my answer would be no BUT i spoke with a lot of people who only come for one thing the staff and i must say i agree they were the best all helpful and smiling and had time for everyone i thank cruise critic for picking me as their 2014 winner of the competition it was a lovely thing to go on 2 weeks after you retire so once again thank you Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
Our flight outwards & homewards on the Dreamliner from Manchester was very comfortable. The cabin crew were very friendly and accommodating. Jamaican immigration were quite pedantic on arrival and many people was asked to amend the ... Read More
Our flight outwards & homewards on the Dreamliner from Manchester was very comfortable. The cabin crew were very friendly and accommodating. Jamaican immigration were quite pedantic on arrival and many people was asked to amend the immigration forms causing queues. Transfer & check in was pretty quick. This was our fourth time on the Dream and we had booked an outside cabin on deck 5, which was clean and quite spacious. For the second week of the cruise Norvo virus had hit the ship so the usual precautions were put in place. There was quite long queues in the Lido and the Grill at meal times as you could not self serve. The food was hot and fresh with lots of variety. We did notice that some people STILL did not use the hand sanitisers! Unfortuately the food & service in the Orion was below par on several occassions. Some waiters seemed tired & uninterested and on some evenings the food was cold. We went into the Orion at 6.30pm each evening in order to avoid the busy period, but one particularly bad evening we waited 1 hour & 15 minutes between the starters and our main course! I spoke to the restuarant manager and expressed our dissapointment explaining that after 16 Thomson cruises we were aware of how good it normally is. We wondered if there were less waiters or kitchen staff, but she denied this. It really is such a shame and its difficult to work out why it is so 'hit & miss' at the moment. Unfortunately, if management feel that there is no problem then it cannot be sorted out. Oh, and also check your bill as we were double charged for a bottle of wine. The show team were very talented and one of the best we have seen. The itinery was very interesting and we took several trips. We found the ladies in Destinations Services to be very helpful & informative. We particulary enjoyed the Jaguar Santuary in Costa Rica. You get so close to the rescued animals - it was amazing! We also enjoyed the zip wiring excusion in Montego Bay. The staff were very professional and quite funny. The motorboat tour of Lake Gatum was fantastic. A guide points out wildlife while you motor around the lake. We saw sloths, howler monkeys, etc. A trip to the Panama Canal is a must, but please book it online before you go as many passengers were dissapointed as the tour was sold out. We had a great holiday, but it was slightly marred by the dining room issues. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We couldn't help but be a little concerned when reading some of the reviews but were encouraged by others, so we really didn't know what to expect. Fantastic Dreamliner flight from Manchester. Processing was a bit slow at the ... Read More
We couldn't help but be a little concerned when reading some of the reviews but were encouraged by others, so we really didn't know what to expect. Fantastic Dreamliner flight from Manchester. Processing was a bit slow at the airport and on arrival at the port but pleasantly surprised on boarding to be greeted by smiling and welcoming staff and escorted to quite a spacious inside cabin, where our suitcases awaited us. Staff were exceptional throughout - very polite and very attentive. Food was great and plentiful with lots of choice - much better than we expected. We hadn't booked a drinks package and drinks from the bar were reasonably priced so for us it was a much better and cheaper option to just use the cruise card and settle up at the end. Nobody seemed to suffer any ill-effects due to hygiene issues - plenty of points around the ship to sanitise hands. Inside Cabin on Deck 7 was fairly basic but had everything we needed. Facilities on board the ship were generally good. There were always plenty of options when it came to entertainment both day and night and again we were surprised at the quality with both the show team and the various singing artistes providing a good standard. No shortage of sunbeds and plenty of options on where to sit. Sea days were inevitably a bit busier with nobody out on shore excursions but little in the way of selfish sunbed hogging and the staff were quick to issue reminders if you were away from sunbeds for more than 45 minutes. We were able to call at all scheduled ports with the exception of Falmouth, where it proved too windy to get into port. We had an extra day in Montego Bay instead. Shore excursions were fairly expensive, but in every port there was a decent opportunity to take a stroll and do a bit of shopping in or near the port terminal. Cozumel and Costa Maya were both good, but we were particularly taken by Roatan (Honduras) where there is a great beach in easy walking distance of the port (Mahogany Bay). We were blessed with fine sunny weather for all but the last day and thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
This was my 8th cruise with Thomson but the first outside of the Med. It was a typically Thomson cruise with all the good food, activities and service I have experienced before. We booked the cruise a fortnight before, based on the ... Read More
This was my 8th cruise with Thomson but the first outside of the Med. It was a typically Thomson cruise with all the good food, activities and service I have experienced before. We booked the cruise a fortnight before, based on the itinerary, and were not disappointed. The weather was very kind and the sea was calm throughout (although I believe the week before had missed a couple of ports due to high winds). We (extravagantly) booked a suite, for the first time, and were very impressed by the extra sitting area and cupboard space that came along with it. We were also treated to a plate of canapes or fruit daily which was a nice touch. The ship uses European plug sockets and we had to buy adaptors on board. We paid for the all inclusive option but be aware this does not cover bottled water or coffee other than in the restaurants which was a bit of a shame. There is also a premium to pay for certain drinks and soft drink cans but there was enough on the menu that we never paid extra. The food was generally good although maybe not quite as good as other cruises but that might be indicative of the countries? I still managed to eat myself silly and the soft ice cream machines were a nice bonus.... We didn't try the premium restaurants, for which you pay extra, so I can't comment on them. The entertainment was very good and the shows were arguably the best I have seen. There were a couple of deck parties after the shows during the week. Before I get onto the ports I have a big complaint about the excursions and I will be writing to Thomson about it. It wasn't just me that was upset, a number of other passengers were unhappy too. A great number of the excursions were already booked up by the time we actually got onto the ship, either online before travel or by passengers who had boarded the week before. This resulted in us not being to book the excursions we wanted and we ended up getting our 3rd choices. I felt that we had been penalised by our late booking but I do think Thomsons need to to review this as it could impact on whether I would cruise with them again, which would be a shame. I mentioned it to my travel agent on our return and she said I was the second person she had heard this from that week. PORTS Santa Marta - Not much there except a small busy town with a marina, we walked around, had a coffee and were back on the ship within 2 hours. Other passengers that went on tours seemed to enjoy them. There is free wifi at the terminal building. Cartagena - The terminal was amazing, we were greeted by flamingos, parrots, peacocks etc in a little wildlife centre, I have never seen anything like it before, we even stopped and had a coffee before returning to the ship as it was such a nice little area. We got together with 2 other couples and got a taxi into the old town which cost us $10 pp return. The driver stayed with us the whole time and gave us a tour, beware though he did keep trying to take us to little shops where he obviously knew the owner but we just told him we didn't want to go to them and he was fine. It was very beautiful and well worth a visit. Colon, Panama - This was one of the ports where we couldn't get on the excursion we wanted so ended up going to one of the locks followed by kayaking on a lake that fed the canal. The canal was fascinating, an absolute must see, we saw 3 enormous tankers travelling through which was great and there was an interesting commentary throughout. The kayaking was a bit of a disaster (mainly due to my fitness, or lack of....) and not easy at all. There was another trip that involved going on a boat around the same lake which would have been preferable. We did bump into a swimming sloth which was great and made it worthwhile. There is a ghetto area fairly near to the port which is to be avoided but there are a few cafes and shops (with a police presence) opposite the ship. We had a coffee in the Rotana cafe which had free wifi. Costa Rica - Again we couldn't get on the trip we wanted. We visited a banana plantation followed by an animal rescue centre. It was fine and very interesting to see so many indigenous animals up close. Other passengers we spoke to travelled independently and took a 2 hour taxi tour with 2 other couples and paid $20 pp. There is free wifi in the terminal building. All in all we had a great week and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it, just be aware of the excursion issues. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
Have just returned from a two week cruise and stay in Jamaica, Columbia and Panama. We flew to Montego Bay, Jamaica from Birmingham on the Thomson Dreamliner which was a very nice plane with a lot more room and more comfortable. We ... Read More
Have just returned from a two week cruise and stay in Jamaica, Columbia and Panama. We flew to Montego Bay, Jamaica from Birmingham on the Thomson Dreamliner which was a very nice plane with a lot more room and more comfortable. We arrived in Montego Bay and were shown to the check-in area for the ship where our passport details, photos etc were taken and we were then transported a short distance to the Thomson Dream. Upon arriving at the ship we were shown to our cabin and then told our luggage would arrive shortly. My partner's luggage arrived but it took around 45 minutes before my luggage was found. I beginning to wonder whether it had actually arrived in Jamaica. The cabin was lager than I thought it would be with a double bed, two bedside tables, dressing table, settee and small table. The bathroom was a little on the small side with a bath, shower over and toilet. If you had long legs it was difficult to use the toilet as your knees were squashed up against the side of the bath. The only thing wrong with the cabin was the digital safe which was complicated to programme with a new number and then took several attempts to lock and open, at one point my partner nearly threw it over the side of the ship. Thomson you need to replace these safes with more up to date ones. The ship is in need of new replacement windows as our cabin window together with a lot of other windows on the ship were very rusty and made the ship look very old and in need of repair. The interior had been refurbished with new carpets in all the hallways and restaurants. The main restaurant which was had waiter service was excellent and we were fortunate to have a very good waiter by the name of Andi and also a good drinks waitress from Bulgaria. The food served in this restaurant was excellent. The food served in the self service restaurants both for breakfast and lunch was also very good with plenty of variety. The price of drinks were not too bade just a little more expensive than back home in the pub. I do however object to paying for bottle water especially when the water they provide in the drinks dispensers was totally undrinkable as it tasted appalling. Back home you could buy about 10 litres for the price Thomson's were charging for 1 litre. The shows during the evening both in the main theatre and also the other bars were very good and most nights we saw the 10.30pm show which was excellent with talented performers. On the days we were at sea all day you did have to get up quite early in order to reserve a sunbed although Thomson has created a sun lounge on the top deck which use to be the sports area which has more expensive sun loungers and was a nice place to sit all day. We were unfortunate that the first day or two at sea we experienced force 10 gales so the ship did "bounce" around a bit and quite a lot of people were confined to their cabins and the gala night had to be cancelled until the weather was more calmer. Fortunately, the bad weather did not affect myself or my partner. All in all the cruise was most enjoyable with good food (no one was ill), good entertainment and very good service both from the waiters and also the cabin staff. We enjoyed our trip down the Panama Canal which was the main reason for booking this cruise and most of the other ports were interesting as well. We will definitely be looking to book another cruise with Thomason and would recommend a cruise of this ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
We have cruised before with Thomsons on both Majesty and Celebration as well as cruising with P&O ships so consider ourselves to be seasoned cruisers. My friend is wheelchair bound (standard chair not electric) and is unable to get ... Read More
We have cruised before with Thomsons on both Majesty and Celebration as well as cruising with P&O ships so consider ourselves to be seasoned cruisers. My friend is wheelchair bound (standard chair not electric) and is unable to get out of it even for a few step. This has never stopped us cruising. We have always had wonderful help from the crew embarking/disembarking, and from the Destination service teams in informing us what we could do at each port and assisting us to be independent, While we would love to go on some of the tours, unfortunately we have never found a tour bus which allowed wheelchair access. So with guidance we do our own thing and thoroughly enjoy our cruise. Sadly our cruise with Thomson Dream was actually a nightmare. Don't take me wrong, we loved the ship and the crew couldn't have helped anymore if they tried, the ports weren't the best but we knew that before going, BUT... Unlike all the other ships we have been on Thomson Dream does not have a ramp to get on/of the ship, it has stairs. On other ships crew members have always been trained in assisting wheelchair uses and they have generally always been available to help wheel the chair within a few minutes at our arriving at the gangway. On Dream due to it being stairs they needed 4 crew members to help with the chair, it was obvious right from the start that most who helped were not trained, and I constantly had to tell them which parts of the chair was safe for them to hold onto. She would often be swayed from side to side and it looked and felt extremely unsafe. At Colon we waited 40 minutes at the top of the gangway before they could find enough staff to assist and then 20 minutes at the bottom to embark, in intense heat, without shade or seating for me the carer. The crew were wonderful, always cheerful, but the organization was shambolics. While the Destination Team may have been great helping those on tours, they had no idea for us the independent traveller. At Cartagena they suggested that we didn't go into town due to cobbles and that due to difficulties with taxi's we might not get back in time for departure, they also said that there was only a small café and Duty free shop at the port entrance so it might be better to stay onboard. Fortunately having by now lost any hope of them giving us relevant information, we decided to get of the ship and just have a walk around. At The back of the duty free shop was a wonderful nature park, with birds, iguanas and even a sloth. There was also a very large gift shop. We had a great time and passed this information onto others who were also unawares of this gem. At Colon we were told we could get taxis at the port gates, but what they failed to mention was that we were not allowed to walk through the port for safety reasons. We found that out by trying to and being stopped! We understand why we weren't allowed to walk through, but surely the Destination Team should have been aware of this! We also had issues with the Reception who informed us that in order to get a wheelchair adapted taxi to get us back to the airport, all we had to do was go and ask them 30 minutes before the buses left. Knowing this was not how it was done on other ships I went back a further 3 times to be told the same. We arrived 1 hour prior to the buses leaving to be then told that the taxi should have been ordered days before. Food good, entertainment (brilliant), crew extremely helpful. Organization hopeless, staff (those in destination services and on reception need training and different attitudes). My friend came away very upset, she felt that she was a burden to the crew and had felt humiliated. While going on/of other ships was done quietly, quickly and with dignity on Dream it was an absolute nightmare. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
This was our first cruise. The ship was spotlessly clean all the time, the staff were amazing, really friendly, hardworking and keen to ensure we were enjoying ourselves. There were numerous activities to do on board, We went to a language ... Read More
This was our first cruise. The ship was spotlessly clean all the time, the staff were amazing, really friendly, hardworking and keen to ensure we were enjoying ourselves. There were numerous activities to do on board, We went to a language class, choir class, wine tasting, backstage theatre tour, cheese and wine tasting, Q&A with the captain on days we were at sea and everything was excellent. You cannot get bored there is so much to do on the ship. We would've liked to do the bridge tour but this was organised last minute and we already had something else planned. We were spoilt for choice with the wide variety of restaurants and choices in each one. I was pleased to see they catered for GLUTEN FREE and SUGAR FREE guests and this was a lovely and appreciated bonus. We didn't go to the Captains night as we decided we wanted a casual holiday and didn't want to take a tuxedo/cocktail dress just for one night, but many people did. It was a pleasant surprise then that the Captain came and chatted to us at our table the next day. In fact he quite often walked around chatting to passengers at different times of the day. All the staff were welcoming. I think our cabin must have got cleaned about 3 or 4 times a day, it was to such a high standard. The theatre on board was excellent and it was great they put on a show twice each night. We mostly ate in the buffet restaurants which was very relaxing but sometimes ate in the waiter service restaurant which was excellent and there is the choice to sit on your own or share with the other guests, we really enjoyed the latter and hearing other travellers tips and hints on cruising. Most were in agreement that this was the best ship they had been on. In the ports of Belize, Roatan, Costa May and Cozumel as well as returning to Jamaica (Montego Bay) we had excursions booked on board. They were all excellent and good value for money. They also left us with time to explore the port which was nice. They were relaxed and the local guides were excellent. Overall we had an excellent holiday and would highly recommend this cruise. We only had one problem the whole time: we had a problem with a dolphin excursion in Roatan (separate review written) which was awful and not as described and after several discussions with 'Destination services' my money was refunded and they said they would correct their itinerary but it did spoil part of our holiday. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
My wife and I did our first cruise. We wanted to see Mayan temples so the Mayan treasures itinery seemed ideal. We did not know what to expect. On the plus side; The cabin was more spacious than we expected and it was very well cleaned and ... Read More
My wife and I did our first cruise. We wanted to see Mayan temples so the Mayan treasures itinery seemed ideal. We did not know what to expect. On the plus side; The cabin was more spacious than we expected and it was very well cleaned and maintained by our cabin steward. The food on board was excellent. I have a few food intolerances so the buffet restaurant (the Lido) was very good - plenty of choice of foods and all labelled if gluten free so choosing was easy. Also had a good variety from day to day and it was well cooked and generally good. the available excursions were also very good in range, and the ones we actually did were very good too. The crew are mainly Phillipino and were friendly, polite and attentive. cant fault them at all. The ship was in good order and was spotless throughout. The drinks available on board were charged at approximately UK prices and were all familiar to us (strongbox, coke, etc....). It was also very nice to have access to PG tips in the buffet restaurant - so a good cup of tea was always available. The logistics of cases and booking in were also very efficient. if we have one criticism it was the entertainment. The day time stuff was very Butlinesque. table tennis, quizzes, bingo etc... The evening entertainment relied exclusively of a troup of singers and dancers. each night had a singing and dancing show of about an hours duration (two performances) but that was it. there was no variety at all (other than different songs). There was a UK comic who did one show - and he was OK but very much of the Northern music hall variety, but apart from that nothing else. It would have been nice to have had some variety as it wore a bit thin towards the end. The entertainment director also got on our wick - he was a bit portly to be performing and had the most irritating catchphrase ("Ciau for now") which we kept hearing - although I gather he has now left the boat. So in summary, a good trip and we would recommend it with the caveat that the entertainment was not as varied as we would have liked. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
Arrived back from Montego Bay on Wednesday morning after doing the two above cruises back to back.The flights to and from Birmingham were on the Dreamliner, lovely plane but I did not realise that there were two variations of it.The ... Read More
Arrived back from Montego Bay on Wednesday morning after doing the two above cruises back to back.The flights to and from Birmingham were on the Dreamliner, lovely plane but I did not realise that there were two variations of it.The outbound flight had the in flight entertainment screen on the back of the seat in front,no problems,and loads of legroom.On the return flight the screen was housed in the armrest,to accomodate this the centre armrest was about nine inches longer.We then realised that when the seat in front is reclined it is actually touching the armrest so to get out of your seat you have to stand on the seat then stand on the other seat to get into the aisle, terrible planning. Montego Bay airport. No problems, twenty minutes after getting off the plane we were sat on the coach.However we were the first flight in.If two or three flights arrived in a short time i would imagine that it would be a different story. The Dream. Where have all the bad reviews come from recently.We all know the ship is old and looking worn in places but everywhere you go someone is cleaning something.Even at 02.00 in the morning areas are being cleaned it is as clean as any ship on any cruise line. Food. Something for everyone and unlike a lot of the negative reviews lately not one meal I had was cold and all my meals were eaten outside on deck ten. I think i must have been on a different ship to all the people who have made negative reviews lately.If you expect five star go on Cunard.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
Time to address the balance, our 4th year as a group of 10 and always more than happy. Bedrooms, Food in the Orion, Breakfast in Sirens and plenty Bars for comfort. Not a long and lengthy detailed report but enough to say that yes there ... Read More
Time to address the balance, our 4th year as a group of 10 and always more than happy. Bedrooms, Food in the Orion, Breakfast in Sirens and plenty Bars for comfort. Not a long and lengthy detailed report but enough to say that yes there are bigger and better Cruise Ships out there and although it wasnt cheap for 10 adults, it was value for money. The Team work hard to get you engaged if you want to and there are lots of activities if you want to particpate. Good use of the old Sports Deck which is now a quiet Sun Lounge area and Bar (which proves they do listen to Guest Feedback) Jodel and Roger in Orion have always been great and even though the food for the past 3 years has been of a high standard, this years was even better. Work the rest out for yourself, great hospitality, great food and clean and tidy Cabins.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We were a bit worried because of bad reviews, but thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. Food excellent, cabins spacious and exceptionally clean. Entertainment good and varied. Good enjoyable trips, not always the best organised but they are in ... Read More
We were a bit worried because of bad reviews, but thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. Food excellent, cabins spacious and exceptionally clean. Entertainment good and varied. Good enjoyable trips, not always the best organised but they are in some countries which are only just getting into the tours business. Please note the yellow fever jab certificate was not required for any of these excursions. Weather was unusually windy, and some people were sea sick. The Dream handled the weather very well. Belize Ruins - Good guide, thanks Elvis. Although we didn't see much wildlife, the guide gave us lots of information. You are able to climb the ruins, which you can't at some sites. Food included, rice and chicken, enjoyable.. A bit of a diesel smell on the river boat which spoiled it a little. Roatan - Mahogany bay. Brilliant free beach. Fortunately we were the only cruise ship here so there was lots of chairs. Just a short stroll from port. No bites either. Costa Maya - Good guide again. Saw the howler monkeys. Climbed the ruins. Large site. packed lunch given which was quite good. Cozumel - Good port to look around yourself. Easily accessible. Montego Bay - We did Dunns river falls which was very enjoyable and fun. 40 usd for DVD of the day a bit steep but a nice momento. Santa Marta - Went to a coffee plantation, which is a new trip and we found it really different to the usual trips. We had a police escort too as traffic is really bad. We went high into the mountains, roads were very bumpy. Had snacks with the hosts which was well presented and very informative. Loved it.. Cartagena - You will need to get a taxi to the town 20usd each way. Old town picturesque. Large castle. Small nature park at the port with lots of wildlife. Panama - Do not stay in Colon, it's very run down. book a trip. We went to the Panama Canal, it was interesting but a very long day. Puerto Limon - A very good time at the Veragua Rainforest, saw monkeys and sloths. lots of information about wildlife and flora. Guide very knowledgeable one of our highlights. . It was very hot on all these trips, so take water, suntan lotion, and some insect repellent in jungle and rainforest. Although I didn't see any mosquitos.   Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
Thomson Dream a disaster from beginning to end. Two ports missed in as many weeks. Then the canteen staff began to take the mickey by singing a Caribbean song with the words changed to having missed ports again. Had noro virus on board ... Read More
Thomson Dream a disaster from beginning to end. Two ports missed in as many weeks. Then the canteen staff began to take the mickey by singing a Caribbean song with the words changed to having missed ports again. Had noro virus on board the previous week and had to be served in self service canteen. When I asked for a couple of bread rolls and beef for lunch I was offered a slice of beef about 1inch by three which left me flabbergasted? The Orion restaurant was no better, had to wait 30 minutes for 2 cold puddings and after 20 minutes waiting to be asked if we wanted tea or coffee decided to have it elsewhere. All this time the waiter was chatting to travellers who were disembarking the next day, looking for tips which he persisted with until he was offered money. However my worst complaint was the rock hard bed which had to be endured for 2 weeks I was in agony, no spare mattresses I was told, does beg the question as to what happens if someone has an accident? Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
We four friends booked Cuban Fusion and a weeks stay in Montego Bay, leaving the Uk in early February. We booked a direct flight from Newcastle to Montego Bay. A week before departure we were informed that the flight would first go from ... Read More
We four friends booked Cuban Fusion and a weeks stay in Montego Bay, leaving the Uk in early February. We booked a direct flight from Newcastle to Montego Bay. A week before departure we were informed that the flight would first go from Newcastle to Manchester for a change of cabin crew. As we live as near to Manchester as Newcastle, if we had realised that that the flight would go via Manchester we would obviously have flown from Manchester and saved two and a half hours of waiting on board a stationary plane. Surely with all their experience Thomsons can sort out their staffing rotas correctly. We eventually arrived at Montego Bay to be greeted by officious immigration staff. We were split from our friends because we stopped to help an elderly couple fill in their immigration form as they were being bullied by a woman member of staff. Eventually we reached the end of the long, humid and dark tunnel to be told by immigration that there wasn't a coach. We asked how long it would be and were given a shrug before the staff disappeared. There was no Thomson rep to offer advice or let us know what was happening. After an hour of uncertainty an old coach with problem gears arrived and we got on feeling tired, hot and generally worn out. On arrival at the ship we were greeted with " you lot are late". What a great start to our celebratory holiday. As we have been on several Thomson cruises before we knew what to expect and so were not disappointed. The ship and cabin were clean, the staff friendly and hard working and the food acceptable. Havana was amazing, Cayman Islamds expensive and unexciting and unfortunately we were not able to dock in Mexico because of the poor weather and high winds. The hotel in Montego Bay, organised by Thomson, was superb. The flight back was with the Dreamliner direct to Newcastle only reinforced how awful the outward journey had been. However, my main complaint is with Thomsons complaint procedure. My phone calls and emails were greeted with a cheerful dismissal in that they couldn't help the change of flight plan and had difficulty contacting Montego Bay to discuss the lack of rep and coach at the airport! Really! I contacted both the complaints department and the CEO but to mo avail. However, eventually to my utter surprise the lead name on the booking form was sent a voucher to put towards a future Thomson holiday. When I pointed out that the lead name had not experienced the same problem arrival at Momtego Bay Thomsons told me that it was their policy to send vouchers in the name of the lead name and hopefully the lead name would share the voucher with us on our next Thomson holiday. Our lead person was the name of the person who booked the holiday for all four of us - did they really want us to book a holiday with them individually in case of a complaint. So although in general the cruise on the Dream was okay it was spoilt by the outward journey and I am not prepared to risk this again. Reading other reviews it appears that Thomsoms often change the flight plan and tell the travellers at the last moment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
We have just returned from 2 fabulous back to back cruises on Thomson Dream (Cuban Fusion and Mexican Medley.) All the ports were interesting and very enjoyable. There was a really friendly atmosphere on the ship, the food was tasty and ... Read More
We have just returned from 2 fabulous back to back cruises on Thomson Dream (Cuban Fusion and Mexican Medley.) All the ports were interesting and very enjoyable. There was a really friendly atmosphere on the ship, the food was tasty and varied. The staff were always friendly, smiley and helpful. The shows were professional and the team were very versatile. The sea was calm and the weather was perfect. We had a wonderful time and met so many lovely people. Looking forward to our next cruise.   Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
We have just completed Cuban fusion and Mayan treasures. We were a little concerned re the recent reviews but have had a good time with minor niggles. Dreamliner fine. Choice of food limited as they ran out of chicken. Make sure you fill ... Read More
We have just completed Cuban fusion and Mayan treasures. We were a little concerned re the recent reviews but have had a good time with minor niggles. Dreamliner fine. Choice of food limited as they ran out of chicken. Make sure you fill in both sides of the immigration form (including the tear off bottom bit) at Montego Bay airport or you have to struggle to complete them on a low window sill assuming you can find the pen you used for puzzles 6 hours ago! Cabin clean, towels white, beach towels a bit clicked but acceptable. We were without water one night from 1.00am to 5.00am (we were informed by letter to the cabin well in advance.) The water ran brown in the loo and was slow running in the taps for an hour. Food seemed to be of a higher standard than it was. Chicken and fish are always available. Much better deserts, lovely mixed berry crumble and custard (yes in the Carribean and yes I know I am sad.) Reasonable speed of service. Buffet was fine too, hot plates and hot food. As frequent flyers we were given a buy one get one free at Mistrals it was nice food we had lobster and lamb with good service too. Entertainment team fine, show team good, Max in particular a very versatile singer. After the shows the Medusa Lounge quickly fills up it can be hard to find a seat. Captains Q & A with CD also good, all the engineers in the audience loved asking technical questions. The captain spoke of his career path in a humorous and informative way. Destination services were an interesting bunch. Several spelling mistakes on the Cuba presentation. Poor presentation skills all round. Punctuality not a strength either. The manageress seemed to need to prompt and to cue the younger staff all the time. Weather was windy; at times some of the deck was out of bounds. We did not find it too rough but others may be less comfortable with the motion of the ocean. There were quite a few Canadians, they offered mixed responses some were happy trying foreign food i.e. jam and cream scones - the clotted cream provided a topic of conversation. Others were comparing Dream with the American every extra known to mankind ships so were not impressed. Several Jamaicans on board, sadly a few instances of racial slights from some of the GB contingent – I felt very embarrassed by some of my fellow countrymen. Excursions: Tulum - 11 hours a long day. More like a museum trip look but don’t touch. Very busy with Americans from the all inclusive resorts. 3 hours beach trip too long but it was a nice lunch. Cuba – Cannon Shot Ceremony. Minimal commentary on bus, raced to fort across cobbles. Then waited 40 minutes stood around waiting for young men on national service dressed up as the historic figures closing the city walls for the night. They fought with the cannon and eventually won! Then raced back to bus across busy car park, set off without counting the passengers, an interesting approach to tour guiding. Explained we will walk to cocktail bar – gasps of terror from mature group – it is not so far. (A tad subjective) Race yet again across cobbles then guide disappeared. I had to find oh ho level Spanish to locate loos and negotiate the possibility of none alcoholic drinks. I did complain as did others and got a partial refund. I did it to calm her down for the next trip she needs to be more aware of the demographic she is dealing with. Next day did our own thing in Cuba, once again the oh ho level Spanish did come in useful. Grand Cayman did our own thing. Montego Bay – Rose Hall plantation house. A nice gentle tour, good guides enjoyed it. House on a hill has benefit of breeze, there are some steps but there is no rush at all. Belize – Altun Ha. Brilliant guide wished us an unBelizable day. You can climb the Mayan Pyramids, it is easier going up than down, the steps are irregular in both height and depth. (I had a little old lady dither others will be fine.) Roatan – Mahogany Bay. A purpose built by Princess shopping and beach experience with a chair lift 14 dollars for as many goes as you wished. Yes a rip off for one go but you can have as many goes as you want! Nice beach, shallow water, lockers, showers, free sunbeds, expensive water sports, good singer, cold drinks, food. Manicured and manufactured but I thought nice for a change. Costa Maya – We went to 2 temples in the jungle. An 8 hour day 5 spent travelling, a packed lunch is provided. You are Indiana Jones in the jungle, howler monkeys howling above you as you climb Mayan Pyramids. I liked the noisy monkeys as much as the pyramids. Tiring day but we both really enjoyed it. Squirt yourself with plenty of anti-bug keep re-applying. Insects love me but I managed to get away with just 1 bite. Cozumel – lots of shops selling the same things. Americans buying 6 months worth of drugs at the farmacia I just hoped they knew what they were doing. The amount of antibiotics being bought may well contribute to their reduced effectiveness. Lots of Viagra being purchased too!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
I have not long returned from the Thomson dream cruise that left from Montego Bay to Mexico, Havana and the Cayman Islands. I have never been on a cruise before and this one was in fact my wifes and my honeymoon. My wife had been on a ... Read More
I have not long returned from the Thomson dream cruise that left from Montego Bay to Mexico, Havana and the Cayman Islands. I have never been on a cruise before and this one was in fact my wifes and my honeymoon. My wife had been on a Royal Caribbean cruise previously. I have seen a number of reviews that are critical about the age of the ship however I was totally impressed from the moment I boarded. Okay the pools are small but the deck area was lovely and I particularly loved the fact that if you left your sun lounger for any length, the stewards would remove your towels. There was plenty of time to go for food but it meant that people didnt abuse the loungers. The people on the ship seemed to come from all walks of life and everybody seemed to get on and were so friendly. The bar staff on the deck area were very attentive and all seemed to be happy and smiling. The breakfasts were lovely and the lunches and dinners were really varied and top notch. There wasa a hot dog and burger bar on the decks if you didnt want the restaurant foods. We did eat in the A la Carte restaurant on two occasions and again the food was superb and the waiters great fun. We tended to use the Medusa lounge during the evening. The entertainment staff were superb and made sure that they involved everybody in the various quizzes etc. A great big thanks to Rico, Joseph, Jovet and Jeff who served in the Medusa lounge bar. Fantastic entertainment and service. As I mentioned my wife has been on the Royal Caribbean before and she said she preferred the Thomson Cruise. We took out the drinks package and never felt pressured to tip. I loved the ports (Particularly Havana) and would thoroughly recommend this cruise. I look forward to my next one. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
We left Gatwick on a cold February morning an hour later than scheduled and arrived in Jamaica to 29 degrees of warm sunshine. We were led straight off the plane to clear immigration and then a 5 minute wait for a coach to take us to the ... Read More
We left Gatwick on a cold February morning an hour later than scheduled and arrived in Jamaica to 29 degrees of warm sunshine. We were led straight off the plane to clear immigration and then a 5 minute wait for a coach to take us to the ship. There wasn't a queue at the ships check in and we were in our cabin less than an hour after landing. We had a quick drink at the bar and then went ashore to look around the port shops and market while waiting for our suitcases to arrive. We had our breakfast most days in Sirens restaurant on deck 11. The food was about the same as last year with the exception of a pancake station and the absence of an omelette station at the terrace grill. Mostly, we also had lunch here as well, but a couple of times we went to Orions for a change. For our evening meal we went to Orions. We meet up with a head waiter that we had got to know on previous visits and he found us a table of 2 with 2 very attentive waiters called Alex and Priyanto. Our wine waiter, Noel, was very good. Almost always visiting our table as soon as we had sat down. The food was a marked improvement from last year and from Novembers cruise on the Majesty. Lobster and Steak were back on the menu and they had 3 dishes that were always available, a grilled chicken breast, fish and a sweet potato and spinach curry. The food was always hot and apart from the first night, the service was excellent. We had a meal in Mistrals and were not impressed. The 6 course gourmet dining was no different from what was served in Orions and had very limited choices on it. Not a patch on the Bistro on the Majesty. My husbands steak was as tough as old boots and he was told that it shouldn't be as it was rump. So they serve fillet in the main dining room but for £19.95 extra in the A la Carte, you get rump. We also had a meal in Kora La and that was a really lovely experience. Well worth the extra money and Mimi our waitress was so helpful in explaining the various dishes. The Playa del carmen port has been replaced with Cozumel and we found a supermarket called Mega where we stocked up with soft drinks and mixers and also Kahlua. You can find it on the main road if you go to the right after you leave the port shops. We then sailed to Havana. I was really looking forward to having a Mojito here but it was very disappointing. We went to the Tropicana and it was a very enjoyable show. You are given a litre of rum between 4 people and a can of coke each and a glass of sparkling wine. The show doesn't start until 10.00pm not good if you are jetlagged. Then we wnt to Grand Caymen and visited Hell then on to Belize City which has lots to do in the port but not much outside. Our next stop was Roatan, Honduras. We were moored at Mahogany Bay and fell in love with it. There is loads to do in the port, a nature trail, a chir lift and a beautiful beach with free loungers. We stayed here all day and had lunch in the beach bar. Not the cheapest of places. A local beer was $4.95 and a hamburger and fries $13.95 but we expected that seeing as we didn't pay for the loungers. Then it was off to Costa Maya which is a purpose built small tourist area, back to Cozunel before going back to Montego Bay. The highlight of our holiday was a phone call from the Social Hostess on board at the end of our 1st week. We were taken into her office and given an envelope. Inside was our bill for that weeks expediture and it had been wiped out. Thomsons had given us £300.98 loyalty discount. Apparently, 1 couple is picked at random each week. It sure beats the normal bottle of wine or invitation to dine at the Captains table. Our luggage was taken from outside our cabins in the early hours of the morning. At 1.30 we left the ship and cleared immigration in the port, then it was off to the airport and straight through security for our 4.20 flight home. We were really worried before we went having read a load of bad reviews but apart from a few niggles which you always seem to get wherever you go, we had a fantastic time, and I am sure, so will you. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
I have been dying to get back from our cruise to be able to get on here and give a fair review. We read reviews on here just the weekend before we were due to travel and were sick with worry at some of the horror stories. Having been ... Read More
I have been dying to get back from our cruise to be able to get on here and give a fair review. We read reviews on here just the weekend before we were due to travel and were sick with worry at some of the horror stories. Having been there, seen it, done it please don't be put off by the negative stories. After having spent 2 fantastic weeks on this ship, I can say that I think that the only thing wrong with a Thomson Cruise is some of the rude, unreasonable people on them! So.... Here it is...what I think is a fair and hopefully helpful review. The ship - is an old ship and is dated in its decor and furnishings however it is far from tatty and is in great shape and clean and well maintained. If you want brand new and modern then you need to book a brand new ship. Boarding - our flight was delayed by 4.5 hours ( not Thomsons fault ) but when we arrived, we were met with a cold drink and boarding was a breeze. Ship staff whisked us off to our cabin with speed and good humour. Cabin - immaculately clean. Again the decor is a bit dated but it was bright, roomy and clean. We were on deck 6 right at the front and when booking again, we will probably select our cabin a bit nearer the middle as you did hear the mechanics of ropes and such when docking in the morning but this really didn't spoil our stay at all. The cabin was cleaned at least twice a day and turned down in the evening. The cabin steward was amazing and looked after us brilliantly. Food - the buffet restaurants had a great selection and it was good quality although not piping hot but then that's the nature of buffet arrangements I guess. It did feel like being in a canteen trundling along with a tray but if you want informality and not to have to meet and sit with other cruisers then this would probably suit you. Food in here seemed to be pretty non stop moving from breakfast, to lunch, to afternoon tea, to dinner, to late night snacks. We preferred to dress up a little and to dine in the a large carte restaurant on deck 4 and this was great. Slick service, great menus that changed daily and the chance to dine with different folks every night. Entertainment - a range of things, some cheesy, some not so cheesy but I guess they need to cater for everyone. Staff - absolutely brilliant. Nothing too much trouble, entertaining, happy, friendly- the best asset. Drinks package - probably worth it if you plan on having around 5 drinks a day whether that be a cocktail, beer, coffee, soft drink. Some swanky cocktails attract a supplement as did the swanky coffees. Trips- worth doing if you are doing one of the further afield trips to ensure that if delayed, the ship will wait for you but if you plan just to do sightseeing in the city you are in, research it in advance and just get off and go. Much more flexible, less expensive and there's plenty of taxis to take you where you want at reasonable cost. Itinerary - brilliant. We saw some reviews moaning about industrial ports - well places like Panama, Columbia and Costa Rica are industrial and not the playgrounds of rich yacht owners so expect container ships in port! We had our itinerary changed slightly due to the previous bad weather and Thomson wanting to avoid not being able to disembark. We had no problem with this as we were informed in advance and still managed to see some interesting places. You can't account for weather and changing circumstance so get over it! We met some lovely people on this trip but also witnessed some very poor behaviour and treatment of Thomson staff by some very ill mannered people whinging about trivia. Slightly embarrassed to be British at times! This is a great value cruise and we had a fab time. Cruising used to be unattainable for most people and was only a luxury holiday but companies like Thomson and others have now enabled the masses to achieve such a holiday with good value cruises like this. I would suggest if you are reading this and expect a Queen Mary type experience, then you need to save a little more money and book the Queen Mary.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
My husband myself and my brother booked this cruise as it fit my half term holiday and the itinery looked interesting. It started badly with a 5 hour delay leaving Manchester for Montego bay . Not really any apologies or have a coffee on ... Read More
My husband myself and my brother booked this cruise as it fit my half term holiday and the itinery looked interesting. It started badly with a 5 hour delay leaving Manchester for Montego bay . Not really any apologies or have a coffee on us in fact once we had boarded my brother asked for a second gin and tonic to be told you only get one free drink. On arriving at the ship we were disappointed we had booked an outside cabin the air conditioning was hardly working, my husband asked for extra pillows these were stained so had to be changed. The food was poor on walking around curtains were half hung over some doorways the boards around the pools dirty . The next day we were told we would not be visiting San blass because of strong winds so called at 2 places in Columbia we booked the carriage ride only to find the horses in poor health and the carriages old and dirty. On leaving the port it was very windy so I had to go to reception for sea sick tablets these were £1.00 each on other cruises these have been free. Our trips in other ports were more interesting the sloth refuge in Costa Rica and in colon the visit to the embra Indian village . I cannot fault the staff on the ship always pleasant and helpful. The sun beds were in short supply days at sea and people left there towels in place so they could keep them all day. This ship has seen better days we have cruised with many cruise lines and would not do thompsons again it's definatly not platinum and the ship is not a dream ! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
The Thomson Dream cruise has taken some stick recently so let's try and balance things up a bit. In order that readers can appreciate our comments, they are written on the basis that we were first-time cruisers travelling with a ... Read More
The Thomson Dream cruise has taken some stick recently so let's try and balance things up a bit. In order that readers can appreciate our comments, they are written on the basis that we were first-time cruisers travelling with a couple who had cruised on newer / larger ships before, the weather was fantastic for the whole two weeks, we did the Mexican Medley and Pride of Panama, we could not dock in Falmouth, Jamaica due to the tides etc (which was completely true as we were awake and watching) and we were given plenty of notice of an itinerary change from San Blas to Santa Marta in Columbia. The comments are based on the thoughts of the four of us, not just the novices! This review is divided into two sections - the ship / plane flight and the itinerary: The Thomson Dream and the Dreamliner flight - - the flight out on the Dreamliner was excellent with ample room, entertainment, food and drink. Our only complaint was that there should have been more guidance given about completing the immigration form. If you are new to this, ASK. The cabin crew won't tell you what to do and you arrive in immigration with a half completed form - as many of us did!!! ONE WARNING - time spent between leaving the plane and going aboard the ship requires patience when you are tired and hot but remember you have one or two weeks of enjoyment ahead of you. - the ship is on the smaller side (1500 passengers) so much more personal. Décor etc is not new but is well maintained with cleaners and decorators working tirelessly every day without disruption or annoyance to anyone. - hygiene is high profile and rightly so with sanitizer points on the gangway as you get on, near toilets, restaurants etc. No health problems known to us while we were on the ship. - food was excellent and plentiful. Four meals per day - breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner with ice cream available most of the afternoon!!. The four of us never had a bad meal the whole time we were on the ship. We chose Sirens (self service) for breakfast and the Orion restaurant for dinner. Waiter service in the Orion (Fernando was our waiter) was excellent. Ask him nicely and he'll do a number on his guitar, sometimes with help from Daniel (Senior waiter). Dinner was very relaxed with some of the waiters singing a medley on odd occasions. - entertainment in the Theatre was also excellent. A couple of the themes weren't for us but you could not fault the singers / dancers. One of our group is a very experienced dance teacher and she was very impressed by the standard. Watch the "crew show" where the amateurs strut their stuff. Great fun! We also had a couple of comedians as one night stands - they were reasonable. There were other smaller bands playing around the ship during the day with various suitable sports and fun events also going on OR you could just relax and read a book. The Cruise Director (Steve Johnson) was a very amicable chap who ended each day's "broadcast" with "ciao for now! Aaggghh!! Oh yes, bingo is expensive but the prizes are good. On the last day, a couple on their honeymoon won £1300. - we had an inside cabin on Deck 6. With the exception of having no window (we knew that) and therefore never knowing what time of day it was, particularly in the mornings, there was nothing to fault the cabin about whatsoever AND it was kept spotlessly keen by our cabin steward Darmadi (DD) who tidied up the room twice daily. He was a credit to Thomson. I will make one comment - the shower was challenging to set and keep at a constant temperature. - Reception - they've got a hard job dealing with all the problems that arise but I felt some of them needed more training and greater knowledge of the ship and there was no obvious supervisor present. - Excursions / Destination Services (DS) - room for improvement here. Excursions are expensive so consider going it alone some places BUT do not do this in Colon, Panama. It's a city on the decline with everything bad that goes with that. Go on a Panama Canal trip. Destination Services do a presentation each week of the forthcoming itinerary but it is purely aimed at the excursions with minimal time given over to the actual place / country itself so little is done to help the independent cruiser. The female staff on the desk seem to know little or nothing about the ports of call (Thomson's fault maybe) and seemed incapable of using the tanoy to communicate information to the passengers. - Drinks Package - unless you are only going on the ship to do nothing but drink, it is a waste of money. Prices are not that bad and supplements are still charged on many drinks even with the Drinks Package. We did a wine package (7 bottles for £99 - not just house wine either) which we used at dinner only and that did save some money. - Ship's Photographic Shop - hellishly expensive and they become quite irritating as everywhere you went there was a camera in your face. Watch out for the Buy 3, get one free. There are formal photos (Captain's dinner etc) and informal ones. If you buy 3 formal photos for nearly £45 (£14.99 each), make sure there is a fourth formal photo you want. Informal photos cost £9.99 for one and £14.99 for two but you can't have two informal photos as the fourth "free" photo. - WATER - drink enough to suit the climate but learn to drink wisely and cheaply. Bottles of water on the ship cost £1.99 for large and £1.49 for small. While you are on the ship during the day, there is always somewhere to get a glass of water free AS THERE SHOULD BE. When you are off the ship or in your cabin, you either have to buy the water on the ship or work out the options!!! - Crew generally - apparently the crew were made up of people from 33 different countries, many from the Philippines. With the exception of a few of the more permanent staff in the Lido bar, who were irritatingly pedantic when it suited them, about where we put our sunbeds, everyone from the Captain down were so courteous and polite. As well as having Captain's Dinners, the Captain himself also had a half hour question-time which he did with the Cruise Director. This was very interesting and covered his career, the ship itself and some of the challenges he encounters on a daily basis. Very interesting and well worth attending. - Two Swimming Pools - salt water - not my cup of tea but appreciate why this is the case. Ended up with sore eyes!!! - Other facilities on the ship eg shops, beauty clinics etc - suggest potential cruisers look at the ship's deck layouts / videos online to get the best idea of what is available. - Life on board - as first timers, we really enjoyed it. The only thing you have to do, though, is to learn to accept being with other people who may conduct themselves differently to you. For me, there were too many moaners, too many people who liked the sound of their own LOUD voices and, like hotels in Spain, too many selfish sunbed hoggers!! That apart, what a great time we had. The itinerary / Ports of Call / Excursions where we did them (few words on each one) :- Cozumel (island off Mexico) - we went it alone and hired a taxi ($100) to drive us around the island. The area near the port has been totally ruined and overtaken by tacky shops. It's dreadful. The beaches near the port were overcrowded, costly, tacky and not worth visiting. The beaches on the far side of the island were remote and empty (used by the locals on a Sunday) and if you did stop there, hailing a taxi back to the boat could be challenging. Not a great start really. Probably why Thomson promote some excursions to the mainland. Costa Maya, Mexico - we went on an excursion to Kohunlich and Dzibanche Mayan Ruins - the coach trip was long but the two sites we went to were very interesting and wonderfully peaceful. Our guide was very instructive but we're not sure if everything was historically accurate!! It was fun though and didn't really matter. The excursion, like all of them, was not cheap by any means. Roatan, Honduras - we went it alone again. There is a very nice beach (Mahogany Bay - cable car is a rip-off) next to the dock which is well worth considering but we wanted to look around the island. The taxi cost $125 for the day. The island seemed very nice indeed and is establishing some very "pleasant" holidaying locations - might be expensive!! We spent the day at West Bay where we snorkelled with many fish and lazed in the sun on a beautiful beach. The down side - we got conned by the combined efforts of our taxi driver (from near the port) and a chap who stood at the entrance to the beach. Our taxi driver told us we had to pay to go on the beach, as did this other chap. We paid $10 per head for which we got sunbeds and use of a specific changing facility. As we walked down the beach during the day, we spoke to someone who told us that the beach was free and sunbeds were optional but at a cost. We didn't mind paying for the sunbeds but we were very unhappy about being lied to. The taxi company were informed of the issue but we got no money back. BE CAREFUL. Montego Bay, Jamaica - we did not dock at Falmouth due to the tides / wind etc. We did two excursions here. First of all we went to Dunn's River Falls. Climbing the falls was great fun and was possibly the best excursion we had. Two words of warning - this is not a simple walk up some man-made steps in a waterfall. It is challenging with some slippery areas. Do it if you can but think first! The other warning is that you are left, as far as I could see, to run the gauntlet of some very pushy stallholders as you leave the falls. Unless you want to buy something, either just keep walking or go through in a group. This was not fun at all. The second excursion was by catamaran to a reef to snorkel with the fish followed by time on Dr Cave's beach (sunbeds not included). Enjoyed the snorkelling but was slightly upset when the catamaran went about 200m further on to dock at Dr Cave's beach which had part of the reef within the swim zone of the beach. It was a good day but value for money was questionable! We got a taxi back to the boat (our choice). We agreed a price but then got hustled for more money when we got out. Not Jamaica's finest hour!! Santa Marta, Columbia - we went it alone here but with a degree of wariness because it is "Columbia". As the day went on, we grew comfortable but respectful of where we were and thoroughly enjoyed the day. We took a taxi (very good value at $10 each way with no hastle for more money at drop-off) to El Rodadero beach. This is a Columbian family beach with yellow / black sand and tents / chairs to rent. If you rent them, as we did, you have to suffer the "peddlars" selling their wares. This is nearly constant until they have all passed you at least once, then it quietens down. If you bed down behind the tents, you are left alone. Our suggestion would be to look for other beaches before you go on the cruise and do a deal with the taxi company outside the port gates (we did not have this option as Santa Marta was a late port change). We went for a drink in a cafe at El Rodadero beach - despite the language barrier, we were made very welcome and had a drink. We walked around Santa Marta itself after the beach and felt safe the whole time. Columbia is like anywhere else - treat it with respect and be sensible where you go. Cartagena, Columbia - we went on the Historic Cartagena and Old City Walking tour excursion - first of all, it was hot so be prepared for walking a distance in the heat. This was an excursion of two parts - a half hour visit to a long row of tacky shops and a walk around a very interesting city which included a visit to a museum and church. Can't decide on whether this one was worth doing but Cartagena itself was a nice place. One point to note - don't take a picture of a living statue or even a scene which may include a living statue. The statue is very quick to demand money and very abusive if you don't pay up!!!! Colon, Panama - DON'T GO IT ALONE, DON'T WALK AROUND COLON AND DON'T BE FOOLED BY THE DOCK "FACADE". This is a very run-down and potentially dangerous place. Much as I hate to say it, go on an organised excursion. We went on the Panama Canal railway by Dome Car. This was an excellent excursion along one of history's most notable construction projects (there is a film shown on the boat worth watching re the canal). We saw many views of Gatun Lake (start of the canal), some views of the canal itself and of locks under construction. We visited a shopping island in the Pacific Ocean and we stopped at a lock to watch an enormous freight ship go through. You go from the Caribbean to the Pacific by train and return by coach. Advice - the dome train carriage has an outside space with just a roof but no windows. Go there as much as you can - better photos and fresh air. Only possible downside - the canal was screened off from the railway by woodland at various points so don't be disappointed if you expect to see the canal for its full length. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica - Costa Rica looked a very nice place indeed but, of course, we only saw a small part of it. Apparently, though, it can rain there a bit but on our visit, the sun shone on us. We went on the Sloth Refuge and Motor Boat Adventure excursion. This was an enjoyable day out. Unfortunately, the sloth refuge is currently being dismantled and moved so not sure if this excursion will continue. The boat trip was great fun with a guide who had eyes like a hawk. We saw a lot of birdlife but also a crocodile and a caymen, the latter had lost his tail in a scuffle presumably!!! You'll be glad to know, that's the end. Would we go again - probably not because we've been there now but we have booked another Caribbean cruise with Thomson for 2016. Read Less
Marella Dream Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.4
Family 4.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.6
Enrichment 3.0 3.4
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.9

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