2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We choose this cruise as a first cruise and the choice of Ports and Excursions. The Ship has some lovely vintage public areas ( Main bar and Dining Rooms) which had echoes of a more glamorous era. The alternative dining facility was ... Read More
We choose this cruise as a first cruise and the choice of Ports and Excursions. The Ship has some lovely vintage public areas ( Main bar and Dining Rooms) which had echoes of a more glamorous era. The alternative dining facility was reminiscent of a staff canteen/airport. Other Bars on board are more intimate. The Casino sports 8 slot machines and a home size casino table. There are 2 pools largely for cooling off. There was usually enough space on deck at some point to stare at the Sea but the usual bagging sunbeds at dawn persisted daily on our trip with no visible intervention. Perhaps its a secret sport? Who knows as the winners are rarely seen. The cruise we were on was unable to dock due high seas/no parking which resulted in 2 extra days at Sea. Thomson Dream is not really set up for this interruption as on Board entertainment included Bingo, Out of date black and white comedy videos and some form of flattened darts. This for 1500 people lacked imagination. It can't be that unusual for the Ship to be required to entertain for the day? The Cover bands at Night were excellent but the Comedy MC type turn was characterized by a lack of confidence and wit.I appreciate comedy is personal but he was the only person laughing. Food was plentiful and varied but not cuisine. Service almost always excellent. Disembarkation in Port was flawless but arrival on Montego Bay at the start of the trip would have been comical if not so irritating. We were herded on to a bus and given a form to complete whilst the bus was moving and then processed by land side staff largely by shouting and hand signals. Didn't work that well with folk just off a 10 hour flight. The Shore Excursions were great value and enjoyable. I will cruise again but possibly not with Thomson unless I am short of a Bingo fix Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We usually cruise with P & 0 or Royal Carribean. We chose this cruise because it called into Havana. The ship felt dated and needs some attention. The itinerary was changed round and port arrival times changed which meant prebooked ... Read More
We usually cruise with P & 0 or Royal Carribean. We chose this cruise because it called into Havana. The ship felt dated and needs some attention. The itinerary was changed round and port arrival times changed which meant prebooked excursions had to be changed. Freedom Dining was ok and food was ok but have to say the choice from the buffet was limited. Beware there is a charge for safety deposit in you cabin which is ridiculous another way to make money which is wrong of Thomson to do this. Cabin was directly underneath the show theatre and very very noisy, no peace or relaxation at all when in the cabin as practising for the shows all afternoon and then the actual show in the evening till 23:30. Swimming pool on deck 11 needs some attention as damaged. We took the All Inclusive option but not everything included, most cocktails were but if you had one that used Absolute in it instead of Smirnoff then you were charged. Don't know why it's brand specific. Don't think l'll choose Thomson again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We booked this all inclusive holiday as something special do on my 70th birthday. A trip to the Caribbean taking in the Panama canal and Havana amongst other places has always been something we had wanted to do. First impressions ... Read More
We booked this all inclusive holiday as something special do on my 70th birthday. A trip to the Caribbean taking in the Panama canal and Havana amongst other places has always been something we had wanted to do. First impressions The transfer from the airport to the ship was not without its problems, Thomson really do need to organise themselves. We were given a form to fill out on the place which we duly completed only to be given another form at the airport that we had to fill out on the move in a queue, very frustrating. We finally got to the transfer bus which was very old and uncomfortable. Fortunately the transfer to the ship was fairly short. On arrival at the cruise terminal things were much more customer focused and we were whisked through to the ship very quickly. The ship was small by today's standards but from the outside it looked in reasonable condition. All inclusive not On our way through the terminal we had our first experience of this holiday not being what we would call all inclusive, we were asked to pay £24.00 rent for the safe in our cabin, this was not the only extra cost. When we arrived at our cabin there was a mini bar, a small fridge packed with various drinks. I was just about to open a beer after the long journey when I noticed a small slip of paper, to my surprise you had to pay for any of the contents in the fridge once again not all inclusive. My next surprise was the high cost of an internet connection £90.00 for 14 days and the space purchased was only enough for a few emails. Finally quite a number of drinks were not included in our package though some were subsidised, this spoiled the all inclusive experience and it seemed a bit petty to us. Ship customer experience The Negatives The ship was built in 1986 and had benefitted from various refits over the years. We had booked one of the few balcony cabins, it was quite small compared to other cruise liners we have experienced with very little storage space for hanging cloths but we coped. On our first sea day we had a late breakfast and went exploring, the promenade deck was packed with sun beds so much so that they blocked the thoroughfare in some places and were potentially trip hazards, this situation was poorly managed or not managed at all by the crew. Our walk took in the areas around the swimming pools, it was then obvious why the promenade deck was over crowded by sun beds, it was our impression there were just too many for a ship of this capacity. The swimming pools were filled with cold sea water daily, they were small and by today's standards not very accessible due to the low level of the water. On sea days there were not enough activities and the ones there were restricted like playing bowls in a circulation route (lift lobby), a potential accident waiting to happen.   The positives Our cabin was immaculately cleaned and maintained daily by our Steward Ryan. We opted for waiter service for breakfast and dinner, the food was some of the best we have ever had on a cruise being really well presented and served in a timely manner. The waiting staff were very efficient and friendly and there was no shortage of drinks served with the meals. There were a number of short shows to watch on a daily basis, the entertainment team presented these very professionally and they were amusing to watch. As I previously stated the ship was in our opinion very tired and overdue for replacement but it seemed maintained to a high standard not withstanding this it was built in 1986 and there are many other ships that are newer boasting much more circulation space and amenities in the open deck areas. We flew out and returned to Birmingham UK, apart from small problems our flights and transfers were very easy, the Dreamliner is a great plane and we had plenty of room. The food was good for aeroplane food and both flights were problem free. In summary Apart from all the problems we would use Thomson again as they have been good in the past and our experience this time was not totally negative but we would not consider them if we went on another cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We didn’t have the best of starts to our Dream Cruise, a seven hour delay leaving Gatwick which resulted in us losing our first afternoon and evening on board. Transfer from Airport to Ship was the worst I have experienced in five ... Read More
We didn’t have the best of starts to our Dream Cruise, a seven hour delay leaving Gatwick which resulted in us losing our first afternoon and evening on board. Transfer from Airport to Ship was the worst I have experienced in five cruises. No immigration / customs forms provided on the flight, these needed filled in before joining a large queue in a very dated dusty corridor to the carpark. Once documents were handed in you joined another queue for a very old fashioned and dirty mini bus / small coach to the port. Kept seated on a very cramped and hot bus for over 20 minutes while second part of customs procedure took place, then had to wait longer for a safety briefing. Then joined another long queue to complete embarkation and collect cabin details. I paid for pre-booking of a cabin and selected my cabin eleven months prior to joining the ship, this didn’t guarantee my cabin as I was advised it had been double booked!!! This happened to many people on the ship, with one couple moved from deck nine to deck five for the same reason. £50 compensation was received and pre-booking fee returned. Unlike previous Cruise’s we were not shown to our cabin on first arrival but left to seek it out ourselves. First impressions of the ship were good, it’s an old ship (31 years), and is warn and tired in places but it is well maintained and kept really clean by the crew. Although not the cabin reserved, our cabin was very comfortable and spacious (deck 6), just like the rest of the ship it was warn in places and if you look hard enough you can find fault. That said we were very happy for the time we used it, the cabin attendant was not obtrusive but kept the cabin very clean and tidy. No towel animals but as many clean and fresh towels as was required. Dining: The Orion Restaurant, on deck four, provided excellent quality food for breakfast and evening meals with mostly good service, drinks service was quite slow during the evenings and non-existent on one night. They have a policy of open dining and my wife preferred for us to just eat as a couple, this appeared to frustrate the restaurant manager as the cruise progressed. The self-service restaurants (decks 9 & 11) also provided good quality breakfasts, with a great selection. The quality of the lunch and evening meals was not great but there was always plenty of choice. Bars: All bars provided good service and selection of drinks, sometimes service was a little slower than you would expect but not a real issue as we were on holiday relaxing. Our favourite bar was Tides, which was quieter than the others. Entertainment was good, show time team working hard to provide a different show each night. Live entertainment in the other bars was also good, the calypso steel drummer appeared to only know four songs and never played the drum, none the less he was entertaining. Medusa lounge had all the holiday camp type fun and games and audience participation. Deck space was hard to find when the ship was at sea, as with hotels people get up early to reserve their beds, ship information states that towels will be removed after 45 minutes but this never happened. Guest relations: I had the misfortune of speaking to Louise (Guest Relations) about our flight delay, her response was astonishing and unsatisfactory. "Planes are mechanical, they breakdown, you have to learn to live with it, there is nothing I can do" she snapped. Also, "I can’t advise on compensation, I have never been delayed. Nothing to do with me so I can't help”. She left the ship after one week, if she hasn't left the company she should do. Destinations team: This team were very frustrating, they had no knowledge of the ports of call other than the information provided on the daily sheet. Often providing inaccurate information. Handled the cancellation of a pre-booked trip very badly and basically told me if I hadn’t booked the trip on the ship they couldn’t help. The guest relation Lady (week one) and the destination team just did not care about their customers Ships Schedule: The dates and locations changed with no notice whatsoever, even though the route was re-planned four month ago. This caused a real problem for people who had arranged and paid for trip and excursions independently. Be warned! The schedule was the complete reverse of what was advertised at the time of booking. All in all we had a nice cruise, but not the Dream we expected. I don’t think we will be cruising with Thomson again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, the brochure description and travel agent recommendations to celebrate a special birthday. Dreamliner flight was fine, except for the poor entertainment offer which made the 9 hour flight ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, the brochure description and travel agent recommendations to celebrate a special birthday. Dreamliner flight was fine, except for the poor entertainment offer which made the 9 hour flight appear much longer. Food was acceptable quality. On the return flight, the food and staff were less good and the cabin was extremely hot. It was only on landing that we were told that an air conditioning motor had stopped working, poor communication. Montego Bay airport and transfer was a joke, kept waiting in an airless corridor for buses to transport to the ship, then even longer in the port hall waiting for passes etc. Also the, as we found out later, every present photographers, who throughout the 2 weeks pestered us to have photographs taken in corridors and any spare space they could find. Such an annoyance. Food in the buffet restaurants was better in Sirens than in Lido which as per other reviews, was often dirty and messy. Orion restaurant was far better and we were lucky to have excellent service from Noel, his assistant Ryan and Raymond the sommelier. We called them the dream team. Breakfast was fine except that cold toast was brought to the table the minute you sat down, not really acceptable, however this was a minor issue. Our cabin was spotless, however it was very dated, not the refurbished vessel we had been sold! In one area of the ship there was a constant smell of sewage so we were glad that was not near our cabin. Captain Richard was a lovely man and his announcements were always good. Broadway lounge entertainment was of a good standard and the costumes were excellent. Entertainment in other areas of the ship were very overpowering for those, like us, who wished to relax quietly. Very "Hi-de-hi" quizzes and bingo, great for those who like it but not for all guests, hence there should have been other areas available without the need to move to avoid. Bar staff were mixed, some were excellent, others less good. Thank goodness for the "Dream News" which displayed the opening times of bars/restaurants as these varied from day to day. We did several excursions, however weather did spoil some of these, no-one's fault, but overall of an acceptable standard, although in Cozumel, our bus, along with others was taken to the "main shopping area" where we had 45 minutes, we were dropped outside a restaurant which it was obvious later had been "recommended" by the tour company. Very few shops were open and it was rather a run down area, however on re-boarding the bus and driving further along the road, there were some lovely busy squares full of shops, cafes etc, obviously the actual main shopping district, but we did not have enough time to walk there or visit. Very disappointing. The itinerary of our trip was changed from the original one booked and there was no mention of this prior to our departure. Again this was a common thread amongst guests' conversations. Like other reviewers, we would have welcomed a deck plan as it took several days to orientate ourselves. Main negatives: Cost of Wi-Fi - extortionate, should be free in this day and age. Having to pay for water (despite being all-inclusive). Tea and coffee facilities provided in rooms but not water! Drinks in Explorers' Lounge were not included in our All Inclusive Drinks Package, which we paid extra for, as only "Premium" guests could access these for free (additional cost of £10 per day if we wished to access this!), but we could pay a surcharge if we wished, £1.20 per cup! Lack of one quiet lounge inside for inclement weather or just to sit and relax, we spent a lot of time moving from lounge to lounge to get away from the poor duos performing on the various stages, surely one lounge could be kept for entertainment leaving another clear for quiet guests. Not all lounges serving drinks throughout the day and I feel that they should all have been available at all times. Couldn't just sit in one lounge and get a drink without moving at some time. This would have been invaluable when the weather was so bad on several days. Persistent photographers in your face, trying to drum up business. Lack of implementation of dress code policy, many guests wearing shorts of an evening in the bar areas. Overall, we were very, very disappointed, as were numerous guests who expressed similar comments to ours. Thomson have a lot of work to do to bring this cruise up to an acceptable standard. Luxury holidays in other parts of the world are far better quality and value. We will never cruise again following this very disappointing experience. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
I knew when booking this was not a luxury liner but I was still very disappointed at the state of this ship On embarkation we were met by a tired looking carpets even more tired slow lifts and a bad smell I had taken my daughters on ... Read More
I knew when booking this was not a luxury liner but I was still very disappointed at the state of this ship On embarkation we were met by a tired looking carpets even more tired slow lifts and a bad smell I had taken my daughters on their first cruise and was frankly embarressed . I could not believe the pool areas both of which are untidy and shabby They have put WOODEN boards around the pools which are discoloured and look appalling I dont know why but the clientele on this cruise all seem like the extras on the comedy Benidorm and it honestly felt more like the Solanna Hotel at times Bare fat bellies and tattoos abound. They had even brought their own towel pegs to reserve their sunbeds about 6am along with their bingo dabbers!! Good points were nice cabin, bit old fashioned , we had a premium deluxe but beware the 9th deck cabins are above the main entertainment bar the music ends around midnight so dont book these if you go to bed early. Comfy bed and kept spotlessly clean by our cabin steward Staff all seemed happy and worked very hard Good range of food choice in the restaurants Destination services staff were rubbish and didnt know what they were talking about. entertainment was very average, nice theatre though! The itinerary includes Havana which was great in the day but a bit seedy at night and more expensive than I expected 18 cuban dollars for 4 weak mojitos the beach is a 30 or 20 dollar taxi ride away depending on your driver Big disappointment was Cozumel mexico there is nothing here, downtown is rubbish just full of tat shops and expensive silver jewelrey dont know why the boats dock here Expensive taxi ride to the beach 60 USD but theres nothing much else to see So if you like looking at fat bellies tattoos and hairy legs (thats just the women!) and playing bingo book a thomson cruise, I will stick to P and O !! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We have travelled on Thompson cruises many times and love the entertainment the food and service is always excellent and we find them good value. This time I needed my wheelchair for distances and rough seas. I found there were many ... Read More
We have travelled on Thompson cruises many times and love the entertainment the food and service is always excellent and we find them good value. This time I needed my wheelchair for distances and rough seas. I found there were many problems to overcome at the airport due to the help desk being a distance from the airport entrance and the Thompson desk the furthest away. Birmingham airport is inclined and sprawling not good when you have to wheel yourself until you can get rid of the cases.at the desk Thompson representatives were excellent so we're the air hostesses. Please note you have to use airport wheelchairs on arrival make sure you have a room number label and name on your chair it goes straight to the ship. On board the room was very spacious we do not need a special disability room but make sure you can climb in a bath for showers I needed to ask for a bath mat. The food and service was as usual of a high standard in the main restaurant but by the end of the holiday I was annoyed in the outside eating areas as they were so few staff tables were not cleared up to an hour after being finished with and the tables were rarely wiped clean. The staff did not point out the gel machines and many cruisers never used them The entertainment was as usual very varied and of a high standard. The show team produced some spectacular shows and worked very hard often doing further shows after the nightly spectacle On this cruise we had not realised that in 14 days there were 4 days at sea and several short visits making half day cruising. All this was made worse because there was nothing for us to do no films lectures or extra musical things to listen too. There was however 1 short play which we enjoyed Smokers are well catered for having ALL of one side of the ship which happened to be the sunny side of the ship most days causing non smokers less choice for sun beds. To make it worse smoking or vaping rules were not adhered to and vaping was allowed everywhere in the lounges dining room and swimming pools. Being in a wheelchair my husband had to help me down the steps to exit the ship we actually complained to the service manager because no one helped my husband to bring the wheelchair down and once the man at the entrance was cross and shouted at me to move when I had no chair and my walking stick was in the scanner I could not therefore move safely. After this they were better but still one staff member was miserable and unhelpful. I think maybe the staff who usually are full of fun and laughter either did not get on with each other ( there was more of a nationality mix) or were unhappy. We wondered if the ship was going to be removed from the fleet and they were worried or the number of staff employed had been drastically reduced. My final personal opinion is that I will have to seriously consider whether Thompson will be my choice for a cruise in the future if they are cutting everything down to the bone. The airport in Jamaica on the way home was difficult. The staff were rude and sharp my husband had to show all his credit cards and I was left ages in the chair waiting to be scanned. I finally was desperate for the toilet so my husband wheeled me to a handicapped toilet and I was told someone was in it. We waited 15 minutes until I was so bad my husband had to help me in to use an ordinary one where the floor was slippy and full of women. How embarrassing. In the mean time a young fit member of airport staff came out of the disabled toilet and when challenged accused us as having a problem with her because she was black!! There was no one to speak to and complain but we did leave a letter of complaint with the information desk. Surprise surprise no one has contacted us. Good luck to any people out there like me who have to suffer a disability and the humiliation that goes with it but I would like to say there were wonderful people on board the ship that were so kind and helpful to both my husband and myself and certainly the women in the airport is not a true representative of mankind Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Flew off on the dream liner end December 16 - 11 January 2017 which was a nice flight and had no issues on arrival Montego bay and the 15 minute bus journey to the ship. Once on board everything was nice, we knew it was an old ship so were ... Read More
Flew off on the dream liner end December 16 - 11 January 2017 which was a nice flight and had no issues on arrival Montego bay and the 15 minute bus journey to the ship. Once on board everything was nice, we knew it was an old ship so were well prepared for that. The cabin was great apart from the little tiny television screwed to the dressing table right at the other end of the cabin but we weren't there to watch tv so not a big issue. The food looked great and plentiful however I found on most occasions that it was only lukewarm and sometimes just plain cold. I didn't like the breakfast as it was horrible foreign bread/toast with a sweet and chewy texture and the sausages cheap and horrible pork yuk. The waiter service restaurants were just ok, Food looked amazing and was your upmarket gourmet food but I personally just didn't like it much. I found the entertainment dismal and the same throughout the entire two weeks. Some guy with turrets syndrome playing the tin drums was nice and entertaining on the first night and not so bad on the second night and half way through the cruise I was getting pretty fed up. The singers were quite good but very dreary and on occasions so dreary that I fell asleep. Be up early to get a sunbed otherwise you won't get one. There is a 45 minute rule on the ship that if you don't return to your sunbed that your towel will be removed but nobody actually there to check or remove towels so there was always plenty of arguments around the pool. Back to the entertainment, it was pretty much dull. The team in the Theater were brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed all the theater entertainment and can not find fault with it. However entertainment on the decks was tired and boring. You make the most of it but in reality you'd rather be reading a good book with some ear plugs in. The shore excursion - Oh god what a load of rubbish. I wanted to be out on UTV's, buggies, jeeps, jet skies, Fun stuff. There wasn't any of that. We did book an exciting scuba diving and speed boat excursion but on arrival the sea was so rough that the scuba diving part was cancelled and then the speedboat was cut short because a women did her back in after the boat hit a large wave. Most excursion are tours to places. We went to Dunns river falls in Jamaica which was a good day out but it took nearly three hours to get there and four to come back because of the traffic. We booked the express excursion thinking express meant straight there and back again. NO we still stopped for 45 minutes at some over priced bar and restaurant place in the middle of nothingness. Ridicules, why would they call it Dunn falls express if it's not. Ok so then the worst place on earth I have ever been to, Havana CUBA. The ship docked right on the edge of the town, it took over an hour to get through immigration, the miserable people! Then I walked straight out of the immigration building and into a pile of dog poo. My brand new trainers that I kept especially for what I thought was going to be a beautiful place. Havana stank, dogs everywhere, potholes, roadworks, buildings falling apart. exhaust fumes choking the life from your lungs. We actually had an over night in this dump and when we went to find a restaurant they didn't have half of what was on the menu. We went from restaurant to restaurant trying to find something nice to eat only to be told in every single place that only a few things on the menu were available. There is no phone signal and no WiFi service. Horrible place and I do not recommend that you go there. We even paid good money on an excursion to the square where Former Prime Minister Fidel Castro held his speeches and it was just a big car park. I expected to find at least a market or something. There is nothing in Havana, nothing but crap and toxic fumes and rip-off taxi drivers. Coming to the end of our cruise and the weather worsened and we had a 36 hour journey back over to Jamaica in the rough sea! I have never felt so sick in my life so it did not help to be told our flight back to Manchester had been cancelled. Stuck in Jamaica for another day might seem like a bonus but no! Thomson arranged for hotels. First we had to queue for an hour to get through immigration and then we had to queue for hours and wait our turn to get on a coach to our hotel. Then because of the awful Montego Bay traffic (Nothing like I have ever witnessed or witness again)took us over an hour to get to the hotel. I was just knackered but the hotel was like Butlins for the Americans, loud and noisy children running up and down and screaming. OMG! I hardly slept a wink. Had arranged a 4am wake up call as we were getting picked up for the airport at 6am but just as I stepped out from the stupidly slow shower a note come under the door informing us that our new flight had been delayed for three hours. Thomson had arranged for a Spanish Airline to take us home, this airline did not care for us as customers and I was actually seated at one end of the aircraft and my partner at the other. When we complained they said there was nothing the could do. How ridiculous. There was all sorts of commotion on the plane as people, disabled folk and old people struggled to swap seats to be with their partners. Absolutely disgraceful in my opinion. So not the best cruise we have ever been on. We were on the ship for New year. The dullest New year party EVER. Just no excitement. I think they specialize for people who are over 100 years old and need to get with the times. Even 70+ year old people know how to party these days. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was going to be our first cruise so we had an open mind to see if we enjoyed it. When we booked, we were looking forward to the holiday of a lifetime and paid £200 each for 7 day "All Inclusive" drinks package so we were ... Read More
This was going to be our first cruise so we had an open mind to see if we enjoyed it. When we booked, we were looking forward to the holiday of a lifetime and paid £200 each for 7 day "All Inclusive" drinks package so we were quite annoyed to find that when we got on board that the "All Inclusive" package wasn't as all inclusive as we thought, ...... The "All Inclusive" package allows you to have the cheap "unbranded" spirits, the house Red or White wines and a small selection of cheap cocktails. If you want to have branded spirits and access to all the bar facilities you will be offered an "Upgrade" to the "Premium All Inclusive" package at another £70 per person for the week. Given that this was supposed to be the ultimate "All Inclusive" option, and this was a very special holiday for us, we paid for the "Premium" package. But this is still not all inclusive, be warned, a bottle of wine in the restaurant is EXTRA, perhaps I misunderstood the concept of "All Inclusive", but no, wait.... it gets better, the mini bar in your cabin has a good selection of drinks, but these are owned by "House Keeping" and they aren't part of the "All Inclusive" package. The Cruise is nothing to write home about, the excursions we booked were reasonably priced, we were due to visit Honduras, Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel.... The ports are all standard tourist traps, same expensive junk with a different name on it. The quality of food is generally poor, quite a lot of options but badly cooked. There was Norovirus on the ship while we were there. If the weather is bad, your trapped inside the ship, its not very nice but your stuck with it. The two swimming pools are tiny, not enough room to swim in. The extra services such as the Spa are what you expect to pay for but a word of caution, there are too many people trying to amuse themselves during peak times so spa bookings tend to be full unless you want a spa treatment at 8 in the morning. You can't use an iron onboard, all laundry and ironing has to be done by the ships laundry, at an extra charge. The best part of our holiday was at the Riu Montego Bay. In our opinion, don't do the cruise at all, spend 2 weeks in Jamaica. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was a cruise anticipated to get our new year off to a great star but New Year's Eve on board was rather flat. There was the opportunity to celebrate two but nothing happened or was scheduled in the intinerary of events on the ... Read More
This was a cruise anticipated to get our new year off to a great star but New Year's Eve on board was rather flat. There was the opportunity to celebrate two but nothing happened or was scheduled in the intinerary of events on the night to acknowledge Big Ben striking in the UK earlier than Caribbean time ...some cruises seize the opportunity to celebrate both...Midnight arrived on board and with the Cruise director prompting us all to look at the funnel something BIG was anticipated but nothing mareialised other than a few balloons and poppers and a glass of fizzy plonk...this was an opportunity missed by the cruise director and his team to do something spectacular as other ships do. The Broadway Theatre hosts evening shows and the singers and dancers are the best on board...they are very good. Red Syndicate are not the best whilst Two Intense are much better. David Morgan the ships Steel Drummer has had better days and suggestion was that he ended up on the Dream as being the best of what was left. His songs are repetitive and he is a clock watcher... The cruise was not without its share of adverse weather, often arriving at short notice but nothing was in place to entertain passengers unable to take advantage of glorious sunshine and now housed indoors. Ample opportunity existed for a daytime dance/disco in the waters edge...maybe a beach party theme...Carribbean shirts and all that...something to get the party started so to speak...no...entertainment was lacking and the teams leader lacked imagination and creativity on these occasions. Same with sail always..they were flat too. These opinions were shared by many and not expressed in isolation. Those who had been on the Dream before felt the previous Director was better at creating the party atmosphere this cruise lacked. Accommodation was good. Housekeeping was of a high standard, towels changed on demand. Staff very friendly. Food was ok but has been better during a previous cruise on this ship. The Orion restaurant was very good and again staff attentive to detail. The Lido and Sirens restaurants are the buffet ones and selection was ok, nothing spectacular and presentation very basic. Waiter service in the public areas and entertainment venues is extremely slow. The waiters appear to take several orders at once, return to the bar with their orders and then you wait for all drinks to be prepared before they return to your table. This practice is preferred on board in favour of you visiting the bar to get your own drinks. I can appreciate the need to observe safety especially when the ship is rocking and many carrying glasses so this is something Thomsons need remain conscious of and ensure sufficient resources are available to prepare and distribute drinks in a much shorter time. Reception is another area that was often criticised. These staff have been selected for their ability to say No and to defend the many issues presented by the on board internet access and its excessive costs. Using this facility is very expensive and you need to ensure you fully understand its operation or be prepared for an inflated charge should you not log off correctly or its failure be apportioned to yourself. One cannot assume the Caribbean is where the sunshines continuously! This is not the case and it was confirmed during our cruise. Rain is essential to the beautiful scenery around you but downpours do occur so be prepared...some of lengthy durations too..Weather conditions quickly change and sailing time can encounter rough seas as was the case towards the end of our cruise. It deteriorated soon after leaving Havana and followed us back to Montrgo Bay via Cozomel where the sea was so rough excursions returning to the ship via a ferry needed to transfer back to the ship via a side access. The swell was such that the ferry was bobbing up and down excessively and transfer carried huge risks. It also delayed our departure by a couple of hours at least. The first Three stops on our cruise saw us drop into Roatan, Honduras, Belize and then Costa Maya where each port was like a shopping mall and the major stores existed at each. Unfortunately the ships Port shopping guide was given time to host presentations specific to items one could purchase on our travels and promoting the stores that carried Thomson recommendations! Something the port shopping Advisor omitted from his presentation is the fact purchases in Mexican governed countries benefit from a shopping and tourism money back initiative! An initiative that has been in place for some time that sees just short of 9% ....yes 9%... of total monetary spend on jewellery, diamonds and watches returned to your account within 60 days of purchase! ...so my advice is make your purchase in COZOMEL...not Roatan...not Belize...COZOMEL also has other outlets than those Thomsons promote that sell watch brands like Rolex and RADO too in addition to those available in Diamonds International... I am of the view we all want to save money and it's better in our pocket than theirs..my only thought as to why this initiative escapes reference during presentations is that it would compromise sales at ports where this initiative does not exist. Check it out...it's a GOVERNMENT initiative...and not something outlets subsidise. You stand to save a lot of money or lose it depending on place of purchase but ultimately it's your call. If you have any questions you think I may be able to help you with then please don't hesitate to ask. Read Less
Marella Dream Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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