5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
My first ever cruise, people telling me once I’d been on one I’d be hooked for life, I was there to be wowed and impressed. I did realise this was at the cheaper end of the cruise market, but as a long time TUI sensimar customer I ... Read More
My first ever cruise, people telling me once I’d been on one I’d be hooked for life, I was there to be wowed and impressed. I did realise this was at the cheaper end of the cruise market, but as a long time TUI sensimar customer I still had high hopes and ignored comments about it being Butlins on sea. The boarding and transfer process all went well, and we found the overwhelming members of staff excellent. Yes the ship is dated, but our outside picture window cabin was surprisingly spacious, and cleaned twice a day. Most of the common areas were fine though the pools are not at all inviting. The meals were a mixed bag, breakfasts weren’t too bad, and the Orion Restaurant was of a reasonable quality. However the buffet meals in the Lido/Sirens restaurants were not so good. Everything looked appealing but most dishes were bland and tasteless, devoid of any seasoning or even salt n pepper. I recall what was described as Beef Vindaloo, yet it tasted like a casserole and could not even be described as a mild curry. Pasta dishes and many of the soups were also bereft of flavour. The entertainment was also a mixed bag, the 10 young people who form the Broadway team are highly professional as was the stand up comedian, however it’s a different story in the Medusa lounge where the Butlins reference emerges. Third rate Kareoke, childish quizzes, and worse of all encouraging people to do the Okey Cokey, having said that there were many stereotypical heavily tattooed lager swilling people who seemed to be enjoying it. Call me a snob, but this is far to Chavy for me Andy the reason I wouldn’t book again with Marella. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We had never been to Tenerife before so decided to have a week in a hotel ion Puerta de la Cruz and then do a week cruising the Canaries and Madeira. The Hotel Ctalonia Las Vegas was really lovely. The rooms were spotless and the staff ... Read More
We had never been to Tenerife before so decided to have a week in a hotel ion Puerta de la Cruz and then do a week cruising the Canaries and Madeira. The Hotel Ctalonia Las Vegas was really lovely. The rooms were spotless and the staff were all nice especially Lydia. In the restaurant the staff were so accomodating. When they found out that I was diabetic they came up with wonderful desserts = a real treat. It made me feel really special. We enjoyed it so much that we are going back again this year!!. It was about an hour to the cruise terminal and when there everything was really quick and smoothly executed. We went down to our cabin and the luggage was already there1 That's service fr yoy. The bed was made up to a double but we asked for it to be two singles, much more room. Our steward was Gun Gun and nothing was too much trouble for him. The cabin was always spotless, couldn't fault him. The ship was just a little tired but spotlessly clean. There were plenty of lounges, bars and a show theatre. The shows were good, really professional. The main restaurant -Orion was fantastic. The food and service was impeccable. we ate there every night and the occasional lunch time too. The self service restaurant was good. There was always a good selection of hot and cold dishes which were very nice. We had an all inclusive wine package and the house wines were okay. We also bought a 5 bottle wine package which at £72 was reasonable. The choices were excellent. Organised shore excursions aren't really our thing so in all the ports we did our own thing and really enjoyed ourselves. All in all a fantastic holiday. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This was out 3rd time on the Dream and again we had a thoroughly great time. The captain and crew are extremely friendly and helpful.....nothing is to much trouble from having our cabin changed from double to twin beds,to 2 incidents with ... Read More
This was out 3rd time on the Dream and again we had a thoroughly great time. The captain and crew are extremely friendly and helpful.....nothing is to much trouble from having our cabin changed from double to twin beds,to 2 incidents with poorly passengers dealt with within minutes and bar staff remembering your special tipple.The ship maybe one of the older in the fleet but is one of one most friendliest I have been on. Food options in the Orion and both buffets restaurants offered appetizing and varied menus.Entertainment in the Broadway theatre was superb with great singers dancers and colourful costumes. Other bars had different entertainment according to your tastes. Our outside cabin on deck 7 was kept spotless and had plenty of space. Ports of call around the canaries is great at this time of year especially the island of la gomera which was a new destination for us....a gorgeous tiny island with traditional dancers in the town centre to greet us Would I do a repeat? Yes Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Went with my mum and sister; chosen by my mum as she had not been to the Canary Islands before. Places included Tenerife, Gran Canaria, La Palma, Madeira, Morocco and Lanzarote. The most positive part were the staff onboard who were ... Read More
Went with my mum and sister; chosen by my mum as she had not been to the Canary Islands before. Places included Tenerife, Gran Canaria, La Palma, Madeira, Morocco and Lanzarote. The most positive part were the staff onboard who were always keen to help. Choice of and quality of meals was excellent. The entertainment team were excellent every night too. Due to adverse weather conditions, 2 of the nights were very rocky, and many felt sea sick; obviously not the fault of TUI. Poor weather continued for most days. The odd sunny day, it would have been nice to enjoy the sun beds on the top deck, but they were all taken, and the ones which were not had been "reserved" by selfish passengers draping towels over them. TUI need to address this. Another disappointment was that 2 of our excursions were cancelled; one due to not enough people booking ( hard to beleive that out of well over 1000 passengers, this could happen). Another was cancelled as filming for a movie was taking place in the area we were going to in Tenerife. The TV in our cabin did not work all week, as other passengers have mentioned. I guess we may well have been unlucky, and perhaps a cruise is not my kind of holiday. It seemed to be most popular with older passengers who prefer to stay onboard and enjoy making the most all the inclusive food and alcohol. When asked one afternoon by an elderly, overweight male passenger why I wasn't drinking, I was more than tempted to say "Because I don't want to look like you". I enjoyed using the gym several times. I would have preferred the choice of more activities such as yoga and aerobics. There was a pilates session on some mornings, but a bit too early and only if enough people turned up. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Boarding the ship was fast & easy as we were nearly the last to arrive, having flown with tui from gatwick. the ship itself is ok, but is an old ship now & has seen better days (shall we say). The cabin was good & have no ... Read More
Boarding the ship was fast & easy as we were nearly the last to arrive, having flown with tui from gatwick. the ship itself is ok, but is an old ship now & has seen better days (shall we say). The cabin was good & have no complaints about that & as usual the cabin stewardess was very good. however one very disappointing feature about the cabin was the tv, it should have had 4 or 5 news type channels, none worked at all the whole week. this was not just our cabin the whole ship had no satellite connection at all. The food was ok but at times was not that hot although using the orion waiter service dinning room every evening. no problems in getting wine refills on the all inclusive at the table. the gala night was a little disappointing not too many in formal dress & nothing different on the menu!! The entertainment, singers & dancers were as good as we have seen & this was out 27th cruise. the ports of call were ok except do not expect too much if you walk into arricife town in formentera. all in all just ok. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Wanted a short cruise avoiding too many days at sea and to fly from a local airport. Cabin was clean and of a reasonable size, however, bathroom dated and on turning on taps black water came out. Water pressure poor for most of the ... Read More
Wanted a short cruise avoiding too many days at sea and to fly from a local airport. Cabin was clean and of a reasonable size, however, bathroom dated and on turning on taps black water came out. Water pressure poor for most of the cruise and we had a leak underneath the sink and a toilet mis function. All reported to our excellent cabin steward. On exploring the ship on our arrival there was remedial/maintenance work being carried out and this continued for a few days into the cruise. The swimming pools and whirlpools were closed for two days into the cruise. We were told that the ship had been in dry dock for ten days and it appeared as though the planned work had overrun, could be wrong but you can only report on what you see. Our first evening meal in the Orion Restaurant was mediocre and varied in quality throughout the cruise, although breakfasts were good and staff attentive. Ate one evening meal in the Buffet and that was not any better. The Speciality restaurants however were very good. The TV Satellite channels did not work for the entire cruise and apparently was the same for everybody. Just prior to leaving the ship we received our bill and two excursions had been added which we had not taken. Entertainment in the theatre was good and generally the staff service very good. On our return sent an email listing the negatives and the positives, received an automatic response that a reply would take up to 28 days. It took nearly 7 weeks! Just prior to receiving a reply I also wrote to the MD, Andrew Flintham, about the lack of response, he did not respond either. The response was unsatisfactory as no apology for the late reply and seemed to gloss over the issues and did not even mention the positive comments I had made. Their main focus was that I was not entitled to compensation even though I had not requested it. Obviously they do not care to much about customer comments and certainly did not "deliver our smile". The first and last time we cruise with TUI. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise as we wanted to go to the Canaries and could fly their direct from our local airport. The Marella Dream had just spent 10 days in dry dock and has just had a big refurbishment, including the bars and dining areas ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted to go to the Canaries and could fly their direct from our local airport. The Marella Dream had just spent 10 days in dry dock and has just had a big refurbishment, including the bars and dining areas which had new carpets and chairs. It was still obvious it was an old ship with some rust around windows in particular showing. Generally the service was efficient and friendly. The standard of meals served in Orion (the waiter service restaurant) was of a high quality and well-presented with the no fixed time to dine which gave us flexibility to eat when it suited us. The standard of entertainment with the production shows was to a very high standard in the theatre. There was some live music in the evening, a duo a trio and party band. We paid extra to upgrade our all –inclusive drinks package and the choice of wine was very limited on the standard all-inclusive package (just a somewhat inferior house wine). The standard of meals in the buffet restaurants (Sirens and Lido) was quite acceptable although not outstanding and there were long queues at busy times which is often a problem with buffet restaurants. There was a shortage of drinks menus and no maps of the ship available at all. The staff were generally very friendly and helpful. We had a reasonable amount of time in the ports (although it was the Canaries and most of the islands are not very far from each other). We went with low expectations as I had understood the ship was quite run down but I saw little evidence of this now (apart from in a few places where it was showing its age). Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our first cruise and picked a smaller ship to start with to see if we liked it Firstly the staff on board were amazing and couldn’t do enough for you , nothing was too much trouble. We had a inside cabin on deck 7 right at ... Read More
This was our first cruise and picked a smaller ship to start with to see if we liked it Firstly the staff on board were amazing and couldn’t do enough for you , nothing was too much trouble. We had a inside cabin on deck 7 right at the back of the ship it was small but adequate as we weren’t going to be spending much time in it. The housekeeping staff were brilliant and cleaned the room twice a day x Food x plenty of choice lots of different areas to eat buffet style or an amazing sit down served restaurant which was excellent we ate there every evening The shows were excellent too I loved them we went every night and then we went to the waterfront late bar which had great singers on too All in all there was something for everyone on board and the people we met were so friendly x plenty of off ship excursions too we went to see pisa which was amazing x yes the ship is an older ship but was clean an comfortable x I read some reviews before we sailed and glad I didn’t listen as some people I think want to pay less money and expect all singing and dancing x if you expect 5 star you will have to pay more x Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
The Dream is a mid sized cruise ship about (1500 passengers and 642 crew), a little dated now but still very comfortable. This is the 5th Tomson/Marella cruise we have done and was the best cabin we have had on any of them. We chose the ... Read More
The Dream is a mid sized cruise ship about (1500 passengers and 642 crew), a little dated now but still very comfortable. This is the 5th Tomson/Marella cruise we have done and was the best cabin we have had on any of them. We chose the slightly more expensive 'extra with window' grade of cabin. It was quite roomy, had a decent sized bathroom and even had a small bath. The food in the Orion restaurant was excellent. This is the sit down and be served restaurant. We went there for most breakfast and evening meals. We went to the canteen restaurants for lunch and one evening meal. We were not overly impressed, although no shortage of choice, there was 'something' that didn't make it as good as other Marella ships we had been on??? The entertainment was quite excellent. We especially liked the Blue Brother tribute that the on board troupe performed. There was also a guest comic who did several turns and he was very good as well. We also went out on one of the bike tours that is run by a concession firm who operates from the ship. We chose the easiest one which was a 18 mile ride along the coast of Corsica We had a great time. There were bike rides in every port and some people did several. Service was excellent from all members of staff. It was also nice to not be badgered at all times of the day by staff trying to sell us more drink. We chose this cruise because it stopped at several places we had yet to visit. Highlights for us were, Herculaneum, Corsica and an unscheduled stop at Barcelona. Other ports visited were Rome, Sicily and Sorento. Lots of excursions at every port, fairly priced. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
A little apprehensive having read some of the reviews about Marella Dream we went with realistic expectations as it is a well travelled ship and not new, just out of the shipyard. We were very very pleasantly surprised at what we ... Read More
A little apprehensive having read some of the reviews about Marella Dream we went with realistic expectations as it is a well travelled ship and not new, just out of the shipyard. We were very very pleasantly surprised at what we experienced. Everything was squeaky clean, the crew and staff were there to make you feel valued and they did without exception. The food in the two buffet restaurants was ok, not brilliant, but in the Orion was very good with excellent choice. We even paid the little amount extra to eat in the 3 speciality restaurants and they were absolutely fabulous and well worth it. The standard all inclusive drinks package is also excellent, we couldn’t see why anyone would upgrade at huge cost as there were branded drinks in the standard one including in excess of 20 cocktails. Did a few excursions which if a little pricey we’re well organised and hassle free. We booked them before we went and one of them was not available on the day and we didn’t go to one port where we had one booked so I am hoping that the process for getting refunds is a smooth one. Entertainment was of a high standard with great variety and we loved listening to the resident New Generations band. We had one of the ten balcony cabins and honestly the price to upgrade to this was not worth it as the outside (and inside) looked absolutely fine. We were at the back of the ship which was close to the engines so if you can get a cabin further forward would suggest this. All in all an brilliant week and when compared to our previous cruise on P&O Ventura, we much preferred the smaller friendlier more personal service aspect of Marella Dream and would do another Marella cruise next time. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our 4th cruise. Our previous 3 cruises were with Royal Caribbean, and although we were reasonably happy with RC, we decided to give Marella cruises a try, because the price was good, and because they were going to ports we wanted ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise. Our previous 3 cruises were with Royal Caribbean, and although we were reasonably happy with RC, we decided to give Marella cruises a try, because the price was good, and because they were going to ports we wanted to visit. We were a group of 6 people from 3 generations, all with inside cabins. We had the full board package rather than all inclusive, because we don’t drink very much and, at over £28pp per day, you would have to go some to get your money’s worth! Also, every person on the booking must buy the package, which is hardly fair when there are under 18s in the group. We flew from Edinburgh to Palma on Tuesday 9th Oct. Check in, flight, and transfers were seamless. No problems at all. Very well organised, with Marella staff on hand at every point to direct customers. Check in at the cruise terminal was relatively quick and again, very easy. We arrived at the ship around lunch-time and our cabins were ready. We went to have a look at the cabins then went for lunch. All staff on the ship were friendly and happy. They seem much more relaxed that RC staff, who seem to have supervisors on their back the whole time. We were very happy with the ship itself. There was of a good standard of cleanliness. I’ve read some reviews saying that the ship is old and tired and needs to be retired, but I wouldn’t agree. There were a few issues – especially leaks here and there when it rained, but generally it was pretty good. There seemed to be fewer blocked toilets than our other cruises with RC. We didn’t really use the lifts, but they did seem quite slow. One thing I thought was strange was that at night, there were no lights at the front of the promenade deck, which meant it was pitch dark at night, preventing everyone except the bravest from walking round the ship after dark. I’m not sure of the reason, but I’m assuming it’s because the bridge might find it more difficult to see if there are lights directly below them, but you’d think there could be some muted, low level lighting to allow people to have a stroll round the deck at night. There are lots of lounges and places to sit, so you never struggle to find somewhere to relax. There are the usual issues with sunbeds of people putting towels or belongings on them then disappearing for hours on end. This needs to be better managed The ship is apparently going into dry dock on 30th Oct for a week for repairs and deep cleaning. Dining: We ate mostly at Sirens for breakfast and afternoon tea, and the Lido or dining room for dinner. Dining positives:- In the main dining room, there are no set times for dinner. You can decide whether to share with others or have a table to yourself. You are seated immediately you arrive at the dining room -we did not ever have to wait in a queue to be seated. Afternoon tea in Sirens is fantastic, and was always very busy. Food was of good quality mainly and there was always plenty. Desserts in particular are much better than RC, who’s desserts are all very similar in consistency. Tables were kept clean and tidy by staff. Plates were cleared quickly and efficiently. Dining negatives:- Queues!!! British people become quite fierce if anyone tries to nip into a gap in the queue. The layout of the self service areas mean that if you only want something at the far end, you pretty much have to queue from the start. This was probably one of the only things that RC trumps Marella, as they have different stations for different food types. That said, the queues move quite quickly, so it’s not a major issue We didn’t try any of the a la carte restaurants as the food in the included restaurants was more than enough for us. Entertainment and activities:- We didn’t go to many shows in the theatre. We saw Stan John, the comedian, who was fine. Otherwise, we heard from others that the ships entertainment staff were decent for the first few nights but after that, it seemed to be too much of the same thing. There was a trio singing in the Waters Edge lounge, called Acoustic Soul, who were very good, but otherwise, we didn’t do many of the offered activities – although there was plenty to do. Service was good throughout the ship. Although I’d advise everyone to check their onboard account as we were double charged for use of the safe. Marella are much less pushy regarding selling extras than RC. Photo opportunities are there, but you are not bombarded every time you get on and off the ship etc. One major negative was that one of our cases was badly damaged being transferred from the ship to the cruise terminal at the end of the cruise, and the response to this was less than impressive. They tried to stick it back together with 2 small pieces of duct tape. We had to pay 10 euros at the airport to have it wrapped. I emailed Tui when I got home, but so far have had no response. Ports and excursions:- This is where Marella beats RC hands down, for me. The hours we were in port were much longer than RC. I suppose, in fairness, the ports we visited were relatively close together, but we were usually able to disembark around 9ish and didn’t have to be back on until 6 or 7pm. The ports we visited only twice had shuttle buses, which were £7pp (Portimao and Valencia) The shuttle bus in Valencia is unnecessary. Our teenagers wanted to go to the aquarium, so we didn’t get the shuttle bus. We left the port and got a local bus (number 95) to the aquarium. There are frequent buses numbers 95 and 4, which go to city centre from the port. They cost 1.50 each way. All in all, a great cruise. I would not hesitate to use Marella again, and would definitely choose them before Royal Caribbean next time Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
there are some great positives, but many negatives. The staff are amazing and couldnt be more polite, friendly and helpful. They were the making of our trip. The food was excellent, and plenty of choice. The shows at night in the ... Read More
there are some great positives, but many negatives. The staff are amazing and couldnt be more polite, friendly and helpful. They were the making of our trip. The food was excellent, and plenty of choice. The shows at night in the broadway lounge were amazing. Our cabin boy was fantastic and every member of staff we passed on the corridors always welcomed you. The staff are a credit to this ship. .So much hard work and effort went into these positives. Negatives..... The ship is old and should be laid to rest. We had awful weather which obviously was not the cruise ships fault, but when it rained, it rained inside and outside the ship. Some carpets in the siren restaurant were soaked through and there were buckets catching drips of water on numerous points of the ship. Lifts were very slow, small and some out of order for the whole week we were there. The entertainment team during the day, did their best to keep us occupied, during 5/7 days of bad weather, but im not sure the games played were to everyones taste, and the evening ones were very long drawn out. The bands that were on everynight, became a little tiresome when you had heard them during the day also. The places we visited were not that exciting. We should have been on the cruise a week earlier, but due to a sudden bereavement int he family, we had to change dates. Thomsons were very obliging in letting us do so, and i am very grateful for their excellent customer services for this. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My mother and I have been on several cruises (Mom far more than I) with various cruise lines; Costa, Princess, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Cunard. Last year we decided to try Thomson Cruises (now called Marella). We knew it was a more ... Read More
My mother and I have been on several cruises (Mom far more than I) with various cruise lines; Costa, Princess, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Cunard. Last year we decided to try Thomson Cruises (now called Marella). We knew it was a more 'budget' line and we sailed the Canary Isles on the Marella Spirit. It was adequate albeit dated with limited entertainment and variety of facilities than the cruise lines previously experienced. On the back of that we decided to give it another go and this year chose the Mediterranean Medley itinerary sailing from Palma de Mallorca. The booking process was straightforward although between booking and receiving the final documentation Thomson decided to marry me off as everything was either sent to Mrs or even had a mixture of Miss and Mrs within the same email! Distinct lack of attention to detail here. The supplement to fly from our local airport was very reasonable and the transfer upon arrival and initial boarding was well done. 'Budget' doesn't begin to describe the Marella Dream; dreadful ship. For anyone who has cruised before this is NOT a cruise ship. Very poor selection of food and some of the quality was dubious; limited facilities and the entertainment was... oh crikey, there are no words. I ordered a cocktail one evening and it arrived looking like orange squash in a high ball glass; nothing to suggest it had been mixed properly and certainly not presented as a cocktail. Food was inadequately labelled, and sometimes not labelled at all in the Lido restaurant. For £200-£300 more you could have a real cruise with any other line and receive much more than £200-£300 worth of value. The difference is staggering; our cruise was like taking a ferry between the stops. For those wanting a smaller cruise ship, and not the ‘floating block of flats’ there are still better value deals out there on the smaller ships of the standard cruise lines which still provide the variety, standards and quality of a cruise ship. The crew are very pleasant, courteous and hard-working but those in charge of organisation need some lessons. Check your bill as mistakes were made and we didn't receive our final statement in our cabin on the last evening as is standard practice and what their literature stated would happen. I had to chase it up and then deal with the mistake (overcharged). There was clearly no communication between the tender and the dockside as we were left drifting and bobbing on a fairly choppy sea unnecessarily whilst waiting for the last tender to leave the dockside. The literature that is delivered to the cabin in the evening (usually done while you're at dinner and ready for your return) wasn't delivered until very late in the evening, too late to know what the arrangements were for the next day ie time of docking and details of the port of call so difficult to plan for the next stop in plenty of time. The ships is incredibly tired and run-down; there was a lift which was out of order for the entire duration of our trip and those who we spoke to who had been on board the previous week said that it had been out of order then too. The other lifts were desperately slow and there was a point when every single lift was out of order. Not acceptable for anyone with mobility problems. Quite frankly for those who have never cruised before; I strongly advise you NOT to choose this ship it will not give you a real cruise experience. This ship is not fit for purpose and is definitely not worth the money. It's Easyjet on sea!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Our first time cruiseing 6 of us went for my wife’s 60th birthday her birthday was on gala night when we all met the captain but the waiters still came over with a lovely cake played the guitar an sang happy birthday to her! The staff ... Read More
Our first time cruiseing 6 of us went for my wife’s 60th birthday her birthday was on gala night when we all met the captain but the waiters still came over with a lovely cake played the guitar an sang happy birthday to her! The staff are fantastic they cannot do enough for you they won’t pass you without asking if you’re okay or a good day or good night I would like to give a special mention about pity ardika on deck 9 he waited on us st the bar and was so friendly and helpful and we’ll be coming back if only to see putu! The facilities on board are very good in fact we didn’t get to use every bar/lounge on ship so although it is not as big as a lot of ships we saw on our travels she’s just the right size for us ! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My wife is celebrating her 50th birthday and wanted to cruise. We had a wonderful time. The passengers we met really made this cruise unforgettable, especially Pat and Derek, who celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary on board. We spent ... Read More
My wife is celebrating her 50th birthday and wanted to cruise. We had a wonderful time. The passengers we met really made this cruise unforgettable, especially Pat and Derek, who celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary on board. We spent most of our time at the lido restaurant and bar by the stern pool on deck 9. There we met Charlie, one of the waiters, who was absolutely fantastic. His professionalism and personality is second to none. Look for him when you cruise. I would recommend that you sit and eat breakfast in the Orion restaurant rather than any of the buffet restaurants and the same goes for evening dinner. Lunch, snacks and lighter bites are good at all the buffet restaurants but for the main meals we preferred the Orion. We didn’t eat at any of the themed restaurants so I cannot review them but any of the other passengers who ate there were delighted with them. We went on one excursion, to Capri. It was really nice. At the other ports we stayed on board or went for a stroll about. We went to one evening show, ABBA, which was very entertaining. To finish I would highly recommend this cruise and ship for anyone looking to cruise for the first time. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This is are third time on this ship it is a smaller friendly ship with a lovely crew. The ship has three amaizing bars plus bars on decks as well. The bar staff were very attentive and always smiling a special thanks to HIlda and Nay Ye ... Read More
This is are third time on this ship it is a smaller friendly ship with a lovely crew. The ship has three amaizing bars plus bars on decks as well. The bar staff were very attentive and always smiling a special thanks to HIlda and Nay Ye from the waters edge who looked after us so well. The band were really good in this bar they were the aucustic soul brothers who had amaizing voices and were really whitty. We stayed in ainside cabin on deck seven this was kept amaculately clean by Candy who was always smiling and could not do enough for us so big thank you to him. The cabin was big enough for us it had lots of space to hang all your clothes a kettle shower very good. Dining was really good we used both the lido self service food always hot a plenty of choices the Orion was waiter service this was lovely food always piping hot the staff who looked after us were amaizing so thanks to Jorges Putu and Rafael for looking after us. Must mention the wine waiter Rajkumar who was always topping us up he was brilliant. The entertainment was exalant this year shows like ABBA Blues brother and much more amazing show team. I was shocked reading some of the previous reviews. This ship is small and friendly will defiantly be going back next year. Ports of call very good. Spain Italy and France Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Had an excellent cruise. The ship is a bit dated in places but the overall cruise was brilliant from start to end. Did not want it to end the staff are brilliant and everything is organised to perfection with no hic- ups. So much food ... Read More
Had an excellent cruise. The ship is a bit dated in places but the overall cruise was brilliant from start to end. Did not want it to end the staff are brilliant and everything is organised to perfection with no hic- ups. So much food choice and the Orion waited on like a king. A coupkeofports were 2mins away but tui put on transfer coaches so not a problem. The ship is not over big so plenty of beds and room for all. I will be booking with him again due to the organisation and the friendly staff. We went in September visited Italy, France and Spain. Weather was really nice. The beach in Palma is a must. Loved corsica , Sorrento and St Raphael were my favourites. Entertainment could have been better, was ok but the crew did most of the shows with just an hour a night, shame it's not a crew show with live entertainment after. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Week away with my daughter for a birthday celebration - cruised the Med. - cabin was ideal , staff first class and ship well run and kept. We used " Siren's " for a leisurely breakfast and prefered our evening meal in the ... Read More
Week away with my daughter for a birthday celebration - cruised the Med. - cabin was ideal , staff first class and ship well run and kept. We used " Siren's " for a leisurely breakfast and prefered our evening meal in the " Orion " restaurant , food and service first class. Great atmosphere in the " Water's Edge " bar with the " Acoustic Soul band " with Tom, Ralph & Gideon - good entertainers. A special thanks to " Swapnill & Leon " for making " The Water's Edge " so special - nothing was too much trouble for them - we appreciated them . " Candy " the guy who looked after our cabin was another great asset. Our excursions were well organised and enjoyable - " Katerina " was a tremendous guide on our trip to Rome. Thanks to everyone - hope to see you's again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
so we went on our first cruise with me and my husband and another couple , and oh my god it was amazing from start to finish , the food was top notch , the staff were incredible , the entertainment brilliant david from burnley was so funny ... Read More
so we went on our first cruise with me and my husband and another couple , and oh my god it was amazing from start to finish , the food was top notch , the staff were incredible , the entertainment brilliant david from burnley was so funny and lidia the entertainment team worked so hard , we had champagne and chocolate strawberries sent to our rooms from the amazing reception staff , julia chisip, sharad and giovani they made our hoiiday just so funny , and not forgetting the deck 10 staff putu eulin kenneth and jason, and our cabin lad syphal i cant thankyou enough we had such a good time i have booked again , getting off and on the boat was easy all handled proffesionally again cant fault anything please if anybody thinking of going book it right away it was the best thing we ever did x Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We were drawn, by the fantastic destinations that this cruise offered: Florence/Pisa, Monte Carlo, Barcelona with some nice quieter ports thrown in. I'm not a fan of the "floating Tower blocks" I feel they are just too ... Read More
We were drawn, by the fantastic destinations that this cruise offered: Florence/Pisa, Monte Carlo, Barcelona with some nice quieter ports thrown in. I'm not a fan of the "floating Tower blocks" I feel they are just too large. The Dream is a perfect size, and very British. I totally agree with the previous comments, its not perfect but you get what you pay for and everyone is super friendly ( staff and passengers) . Restaurants ,would recommend both Orion ( posh trousers at night ) and Lido ( more relaxed buffet) you can eat outside here. Entertainment , we found fine, my wife , a first time cruiser, wanted to go to every show and they work very hard. my main tip... if you are a drinker in any way ( we are) then I would recommend you buy the standard drinks package when you buy the holiday online, as you don't seem to be able to do it at a later date. We bought it when we joined the ship and could have saved £70 online. excursions, we felt the Pisa trip (£45 each) wasn't great value for money but not easy to get to independently and we wanted to see the famous leaning tower. Barcelona, pick the " best of Barcelona" , (£34 each) but great value, the guides take you to places you just would not find unless you knew where you were going. Overall , a fantastic time, although we did travel at the end of the season therefore not totally full. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Can’t comment on value for money as was paid for by family member. This my first cruise as part of a group of 12. I had read the reviews and of course was concerned about the negative ones but on the whole there was no need to worry and ... Read More
Can’t comment on value for money as was paid for by family member. This my first cruise as part of a group of 12. I had read the reviews and of course was concerned about the negative ones but on the whole there was no need to worry and we had a great time. The staff are fantastic and a credit to the industry. I can believe the main description on this site that they are loyal to this ship and they would do anything to help. Food was average at worst and many times good/excellent. Orions is the best place to eat. Only did one show who was a comedian and did a decent enough job. Yes the boat is not as new or big as some of the others and if you look closely you can see signs of it’s age but I think it had a soul and charm that ( from reading reviews ) the bigger newer ships do not have. Other cruise goers implied that fact that the majority of passengers were English made it a more agreeable experience than being with certain nationalities on the bigger, newer ships. Cabin was bigger than I expected and was spotless - our attendant seemed to want to come 2-3 times a day to clean and in the end we had to tell him to skip on some occasions. He did a great job and we tipped him at the end - I don’t tip for anything other than excellent service. Overall the process of plane to ship and excursions/information provided etc was all good with no hiccups. The only real negative I did have was the number of times on the first day I was asked to upgrade my drinks package - the standard all inclusive is perfectly adequate. If you want newer ship go elsewhere. If you want a civil atmosphere and to be looked after this one might be worth a go. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My husband and i picked this cruise as it came up as '"last minute" . We booked about 4 weeks before we went , it seemed perfect for us as we'd always wanted to try a cruise and id always wanted to go to Italy. I began ... Read More
My husband and i picked this cruise as it came up as '"last minute" . We booked about 4 weeks before we went , it seemed perfect for us as we'd always wanted to try a cruise and id always wanted to go to Italy. I began to get a bit concerned a couple days before we were due to go after reading online reviews . Well all i can say is i don't recognise the ship or the holiday from those reviews . We had an amazing time from start to finish, the staff in all areas of the ship work so hard they are always polite , cheerful and helpful . The shows were verging on the side of being cheesy but being on holiday and after a few cocktails we soon got in to the swing of them and the performers put so much effort in to it you can only applaud them . We enjoyed the other entertainment such as quizzes and bingo (although the bingo was a bit pricey ). We found the selection of food more then adequate and plenty to drink on the drinks menu without having to do any upgrades and we were only asked once if we wanted the further upgrade. In short we loved our cruise so much that we are looking to book again for next summer. We booked excursions through the ship and found them to be extremely well organised and professional. Please don't be put off by thr negative reviews , im aware that not everyone's holiday may not have been as problem free as ours but please go with an open mind and enjoy . Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Very much like Butlins. The “All Inclusive” deal isn’t actually everything which is misleading. You can update to Premier for another £50. They charge £8 an hour for WiFi while off ship it’s free in cafes. The room was very noisy ... Read More
Very much like Butlins. The “All Inclusive” deal isn’t actually everything which is misleading. You can update to Premier for another £50. They charge £8 an hour for WiFi while off ship it’s free in cafes. The room was very noisy with constant tapping. The porthole cover was loose and had to be tightened. I didn’t get any sleep. There was very bad turbulence on a couple of evening with the ship rocking; I had to remove coat hangers to stop them rattleling around. The excursions are very good but expensive from around £46 - £76 or more. They also don’t tell you that some excursions begin at 6.45. Food is ok but not special. Pools are over crowded and quite small. Lido Grill pool has loud music all day. Staff are excellent. Entertainment is ok. Clothes needed are mostly very casual. There was a Captains Evening where some people glammed up but generally it’s shorts and t-shirts so don’t expect “posh” despite the advertisement photos.Don’t think I’d go again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
So …….. For my Wife's Birthday I surprised her with the Spanish Delights TUI Cruise aboard the Marella Dream. Have Cruised with TUI previously so knew what to expect ( more or less ) - The Dream is an 'older' lady ... Read More
So …….. For my Wife's Birthday I surprised her with the Spanish Delights TUI Cruise aboard the Marella Dream. Have Cruised with TUI previously so knew what to expect ( more or less ) - The Dream is an 'older' lady however, the crew do an amazing job of cleaning / maintenance albeit often at inappropriate times ! Cabin: on deck seven ( 7139 ) highly recommended, our cabin steward was amazing! - aim for mid ships if you can, its nearer the restaurants / bars / show lounges. The air conditioning however is a nuisance, gave me endless sore throats. Food: ……. ah' the all important food was ………. appalling at times, forever cold / tasteless / 'odd' ! How bout' Beef Stroganoff cooked with whole lemons that were cut in half and then 'stewed'-in with the gravy !!! totally disgusting - off putting to say the least. I experienced raw bacon / stale bread / toast you could break your teeth on ! / The orange Duck was orange-less and tasted of ……. Nothing! The coldest 'cooked' glazed carrots ever, salad past it's sell by date / stay away from the Fish, Grey in colour and again tasteless & on & on. Lets talk milk, the milk onboard is the long life stuff found in cardboard boxes, it is NOT chilled prior to being 'served' to passengers - imagine my horror when first trying cornflakes for breakfast and the milk is unnaturally 'warm' - TUI, the majority of Brits. prefer cold milk on cereals !!! The dessert station was a disaster, very poor selection compared to say the TUI Celebration and again tasteless, the rice pudding for example so thick and stodgy you cement bricks with it ! and what was that watery custard all about! The food was overall dire - We spoke to senior ships crew member who disagreed with us! claiming it was a popular menu served on all TUI ships! My wife survived on a diet of watermelon for breakfast / Lunch / Dinner !!! Entertainment: was fab. don't believe other reviews that say the singers cannot sing! my own 40yrs on the 'road' tell me otherwise. Ports of call: All good with the exception of Portugal / Valencia. Both of these require a £7 pp Shuttle to get you to town. Totally disappointed with where we docked in Valencia - an industrial dockyard with nothing for miles should you want to stretch your legs and get off the ship for 10minutes. Our view, no matter where we stood on the ship - Steel yards / Cranes / Container ships / Industrial noise. this for 8 hrs plus the horrendous smell of refuelling the Dream. Whilst docked and if you preferred to stay onboard - you endured maintenance inc. angle grinding noise and the worst lead paint smell ever ! as the crew set about set about their task of 'keeping the Dream afloat' ! All whilst you tried to relax on the 'tired' / mostly unclean sunbeds! Staff: For us - the restaurant staff saved the day ( saved the holiday / My wife's birthday surprise from being a disaster ) Big shout out to Daisybel and Marley who were more like friends than ships crew, made our day/s as we would often seek them out to cheer us up! and cheer us up they did with their infectious smiles / quick wit / singing! Would we go TUI Cruising in the future? Unlikely, Absolutely poor value for money in this modern day age of cut backs - clearly TUI have had their annual board meeting and decided the cutbacks need to come from the all important food ! I'll wager TUI's CEO's wouldn't eat some of that slop served to us! And don't tell me I'm the only passenger to air concerns - We chatted to another hundred + passengers who felt exactly the same - inc. a family of 5 who chose to eat off the ship each time We docked! I suggest if you do not have children - pick an adult only cruise, a small number of the 'kids' on our cruise were disrespectful, roaming the corridors / bars mocking passengers who were dancing for example, quite intimidating at times and why did the angry young man need to repeatedly kick the lift doors. On-board, TUI suddenly turn into 'double-glazing' salesmen and women, every opportunity they get - they are trying to 'sell' you a package this / package that! ** Be careful with the Cocktails from the bar/s …….. whilst they look enticing - they are actually nothing but 'coloured' mountains of ice - We ordered 2 large cocktails first night only to find after a couple of sips the actual liquid content had been consumed leaving behind a mountain of ice !!! When ordering cocktails - stand firm and demand less ice ! ** TUI - I want a refund for the food at least !!! Please be aware that a formal complaint is headed your way.​ Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Went on the this ship 5 years ago for my first cruise. It gave me the taste of cruising and have since been on 6 more cruises. 5 with Royal Caribbean and 2 on the Dream. I'm not fussed who wears what at dinner time or who got the ... Read More
Went on the this ship 5 years ago for my first cruise. It gave me the taste of cruising and have since been on 6 more cruises. 5 with Royal Caribbean and 2 on the Dream. I'm not fussed who wears what at dinner time or who got the best deal etc as we all pay to enjoy a cruise and get the wow factor to take home with us. Unfortunately this time I had a comparison and boy did this ship fail badly. It's great for sun worshipers but for those that want entertainment. excitement. good food and drink, polite sociable staff and not to be cheated into paying for something you won't get then stay away from this ship. I have sent a lengthy complaint letter to TUI with photo's and now await their response. On my recent cruise with them, I and many other passengers spent most of our time at the reception desk making formal complaints. Booking Experience: The drinks package. you have 3 choices. 1)pay as you go on board 2) All Inclusive - you get cocktails, spirits, soft drinks, beer wines but all unbranded. 3)Premium - for £50per person more you will get the same drinks as the all inclusive but branded drinks. You also get speciality coffees and a few extra other drinks thrown in. On the whole, we found booking very easy and the online booking account was very helpful. I did have issues with conflicting advice when I wanted to add extras to my booking. I wanted to place a message on the cruise news so used the TUI online chat, I was given a number to telephone to place the message. Unfortunately, I was passed 3 times before I eventually spoke to Pascal and he duly took my message and payment. In total I spent approximately an hour to achieve this but to TUI’s credit, the message was included in the cruise news and on the day I requested. Also, I used the same chat facility to request to upgrade from All inclusive to Premium drinks. I was given a number and an email to arrange the extra package. I emailed TUI and eventually received a reply giving me a number to call to arrange the upgrade to premium. However, I was passed again from the number given to another number, I was then told that I could only upgrade on the ship? Once on board, I queued and upgraded to the Premium package. However, for 2 days I was constantly told when ordering a drink that there would be a supplement charge? We therefore spent unnecessary time explaining to the bar staff that we had upgraded and that’s why there is a hole punched in the sea pass card! We also paid too many visits to reception to ensure supplement charges were removed. Using the chat service again, I requested a Sharps box for our room as my wife is diabetic and uses insulin by injection. We got to our stateroom and there was no Sharp box. We found the housekeeper and he eventually sorted this out for us. The Cruise – Drinks & Service The first day on board did not get off to a good start as stated above with the drinks upgrade. The next 3 days did not get any better. Our very first drink was at the main Poolside bar. I ordered a Mudslide cocktail and the barman used unbranded spirits. i.e. instead of Baileys he used Shannons Irish cream and an unbranded Vodka. I intervened and told him to make it again. The cocktail was given to me in a frosted plastic small cup? This may be due to Health and Safety but it looked cheap, ugly and not very appetising. We sat down and eventually left the drink but ordered another from the waiter. I watched the barman mix my second cocktail with unbranded drinks again so I challenged him and he said he ’had forgot’! We moved to the Medusa Lounge and ordered a Chocolate Martini drink with the waiter, yet again the bar staff used unbranded spirits and the wrong one’s too. I went to the bar myself and told the bar person to use branded drinks otherwise I would take this further. He knew from my sea pass card that we had the premium drinks package. After this my drinks were fine. In addition to the bar staff possibly following the TUI policy to use unbranded drinks over Premium paid branded drinks, the bar service throughout the ship was abysmal. This was also the general opinion from passengers who were waiting 20 minutes plus for a drink, this is unacceptable and a fellow passenger actually reported this to the reception to pass on to the Bar services manager. We actually experienced this on several occasions, we were in the ‘Tides’ lounge as it was relatively quiet and we wanted a drink at 10pm before going into the Broadway theatre for the 10:30 pm performance. We sat down and our order was taken straight away, we waited and at 10:25pm we left as our drink (despite chasing it up) never showed. We therefore left without a drink and went to the show. This slow service was a regular occurrence no matter the time of day or the lounge you were in. Be warned that when the waiter takes your order, they will give you unbranded drinks so tell them to use branded drinks. They won't try it on then. WATER ALLOCATION. according to the drinks menu you have to pay for bottled water whatever package you are on, passengers were paying about 1 euro 50 for a small bottle. However, if you read the small print, YOU ARE ENTITLED TO 1.5LTS PER PERSON PER CABIN EACH DAY. on the second day we questioned this at reception and for each day thereafter the housekeeper gave us 3 Ltrs of water. Also. on each bar there is a jug of iced water so you can help yourself. In the Lido buffet lounge there is also a water station where you can fill up your bottles. Dining Experience Passengers love to be wowed with the menu and dishes cooked, however, the food served on board this ship was dreadful. Every meat cooked was overdone, Jacket potatoes were either lost in the water or underdone. The starters, main and sweets were awful. Again, this was the opinion of most of the passengers we met. The food that was left was disgusting and such a terrible waste. In the past, if a meal was not to our liking, the head waiter or Maitre d would intervene and ask if we would like anything else instead or at least cook the same meal properly. Not on this ship though. The service was abysmal, if we told the waiter something was wrong, they would simply take the plate away and no replacement was offered. We would then go to the Lido buffet and get a snack from there. We also struggled to get a drink at the table, the first 2 evenings we went without a drink with our meal, despite telling the food waiter that we had not been asked by anyone. The bread selection was very poor, the 4 choices were all rock hard or stale. There was little or no interaction between staff and passengers and the dining experience was very poor. The time in the main dining room should be a special time but each night was disappointing and a total let down. The buffet was average at best in the evenings and at breakfast time the selection of the same 2 pastries were disappointing. The transport café breakfast fry up was cold but edible. The Stateroom The stateroom was as expected, small but served its purpose. The bed and pillows were very comfortable. The shower was not forceful but the water remained hot. Our biggest issue with the room was the power point. We had 1 socket to charge 2 phones, hair straightener and 2 toothbrushes. If we put anything on charge while we were out, the housekeeping would unplug it. Most infuriating! We never made ourselves a drink due to a dirty kettle. We did report this but nothing got done. Entertainment Daytime entertainment was very poor, the ship’s entertainment team relies on passengers wanting general knowledge quizzes and Bingo. Passengers wanted Zumba classes, dance classes, water exercises etc with music blasting out to blow the cobwebs away and put a smile on their faces. The most exciting poolside activity was the ice sculpture. We watched a very gifted man chisel a block of ice for 25 minutes. The first 10 minutes was ok but then passengers found it boring and went back to their sun loungers. The TUI policy for lounge towels is one per passenger and you are given this on day 1 in our stateroom. The towel would only cover half of the sun lounger, we asked for a second towel and was refused? The Broadway show Dream team consisted of 5 women and 5 men. In the 5 years of cruising, they are the best entertainers I have seen. Each night they put on a professional like production, the stage set, the singing and the dancing was exceptional. Each show they were all magnificent. Disembarkation What a fiasco this was, we were given a white label to put on our suitcases, the suitcases would be collected from outside our room and we were told we would find them at quayside behind our coloured stand. We arrived at the quayside to find about 7 lines of suitcases behind their corresponding coloured stand. We had 2 suitcases both with white labels, we found 1 in the correct line but then we spent 20 minutes looking for the second. We eventually found it in the brown line. There was 1 exit to the coaches so we made our way to the queue. After a few minutes an abrupt TUI rep told us to leave the queue and stand away as she only wanted blue labels. As well as us there was a mixture of other coloured labels in this queue. We all congregated in a corner answering the same questions to passengers joining us, we were all confused as to where we should be and when we would leave for the coach. The Rep did nothing to alleviate these problems. Eventually through other passengers we were told we think it’s the white labels turn to go to the next coach. Surely, if you could put the luggage in a coloured queue you could have arranged a coloured queue for passengers to wait to be called. Misellenaneous Why, when I could have unlimited drinks, unlimited food, TUI charge for a bag of crisps? Why do you not have a cinema screen that could double up as a poolside entertainment screen? Why, is it acceptable for Marella staff to walk past without smiling and saying hello? this ship has the most miserable staff we have encountered on a cruise. Why is it acceptable for the entertainment team to use the landing on a staircase to play a children’s skittles competition? When we were at Portimao, having had a lovely day out, we returned to the tender boat only to be at the back of a very long queue. Passengers would arrive after us to join the queue. From the Marella Sun Canopy by the tender boarding area to the back of the queue was approximately 300 yards. It was a very hot day and we had no sun shelter. Once we eventually got to the sun canopy to board the tender, we could have a cup of water of no more than 15cm! Why couldn’t you have this canopy further down the line where passengers could benefit more and not give it as we were boarding the tender? Needless to say, we returned from our cruise and for the first time, we feel extremely disappointed and let down. We are an average working class family and look forward to treating ourselves once a year. Whether it’s. Tui or Marella, we believe you have failed to give us a cruise where we can relax, unwind, be entertained, be wowed and speak highly of the food and the ships friendliness to passengers. Read Less
Marella Dream Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
Dining 3.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.5 4.0
Public Rooms 4.5 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.4
Family 3.5 3.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.6
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates N/A 3.9

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise