1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This was myself and wife 15th cruise all with Marella and the 4th time on the Dream as it was !! Our favourite ship in the fleet. I’ll keep the review practical many frequent Marbella cruise travellers hopefully get the key points. ... Read More
This was myself and wife 15th cruise all with Marella and the 4th time on the Dream as it was !! Our favourite ship in the fleet. I’ll keep the review practical many frequent Marbella cruise travellers hopefully get the key points. The positives are its an older ship but has some great venues and bars which makes the personnel touches better than the bigger ships and it proved no different from our previous sailings. The services from the bars and restaurant staff were excellent. The professional entertainment was excellent although some of the best act were too late in the evening. We read on an informative letter in our cabin on arrival that they listen to the cruise feedback reviews. They had decided they would let children use the adult pools which I’m not sure was thought through. We like the lido pool on deck 9 it has a children’s pool but they all used the adult pool. Not supervised by staff and parents and just basic chaos all week. Jumping,pushing,shoving,inflatables the size of a person. Water guns the size of cannons firing all over the deck. We are not stick in the muds we have 3 children who don’t behave in this fashion. Three times we complained to reception and all we got back was they are the same throughout the ship. Ruined the holiday and experience. The sail away party the life and sole of these cruises was ruined by the life safety drill taking place at 10.00 in the evening which is unheard off. The food which was always the stalwart of the Dream has gone backwards!! Repetitive basis offering and the sweet selection was really poor. The Cruise Director spent more time trying to sell upgrades than actually information around the entertainment. The 2 hour flight delay coming and 5 hour delay going back didn’t help either. This is our 2nd Marella cruise this year which hasn’t come anywhere near expectations with delays and standards going backwards.one of the biggest frustrations is trying to get your voice heard. The Tui App on the ship is loaded with questions they want to hear rather than anything they don’t. The questionnaire they send you is just as frustrating and if you criticising too much will not let you complete. Prices going up and standards going down. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Ship was really tired. Toilets smelly. Kept getting blocked. As we are over 4ft tall using the shower was a nightmare. No control over passengers hitting their kids and arguing amongst themselves. Large families kicking off. Drunk, and ... Read More
Ship was really tired. Toilets smelly. Kept getting blocked. As we are over 4ft tall using the shower was a nightmare. No control over passengers hitting their kids and arguing amongst themselves. Large families kicking off. Drunk, and I mean plastered, men threatening to get their bits out in front of everybody. Security were a joke. Taken to see Captain Alan on more than one occasion but nothing done. Entertainment was a bit Hi Di Hi. There was one singer who was exceptional who worked in the bars. The shows were dreadful. On the plus side our cabin was clean and the person looking after it was so good. The bar staff were great. Food in the fine dining restaurant was superb. The crew could not do enough for you. Enjoyed Sorrento and Rome particularly. Easy with suitcases and getting on and off. A lot of money for a very old ship. Have tried to complain a bit but Tui don’t acknowledge anything for at least 28 days which shows how many complaints they must have. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We sailed on this ship last year at the same time and it was amazing. So good we booked this year. Sadly it was nothing like last year. Check in etc went smoothly and boarding was great. We had an outside plus cabin on Deck 10. Room was ... Read More
We sailed on this ship last year at the same time and it was amazing. So good we booked this year. Sadly it was nothing like last year. Check in etc went smoothly and boarding was great. We had an outside plus cabin on Deck 10. Room was comfortable and cleaned every day. However after 3 days the toilet stopped flushing. This was reported only to find on my return the bathroom had flooded and was under 4 inches of dirty water. This was reported again and sorted in a few hours but the toilet never worked properly after this. The bath and shower also leaked regularly. We were premium all inclusive and paid for this as an extra. This is sooo not worth it. My husband drinks cider but after the first day they ran out of Magners then after day 2 they were out of bulmers cider. He then switched to Corona which was becoming difficult to gt in certain bars and getting a diet coke is impossible. On several occasions the bars and restaurants were understaffed compared with last year sometimes waiting 20 to 30 minutes to get a drink only then to be given the wrong drink. It is also clearly apparent that some staff were being tipped (which is supposed to be included) and then focused more on those passengers. The ship apparently had 400 more people on board this year and you could definitely tell. All the pools were family friendly with up to 20 kids dive bombing into the water with no consideration for others or their own safety. Lots of children everywhere even in the bars at 1am still playing, Plenty of underage teenagers drunk in the Waters Edge every night taking the mickey out of a couple of special needs passengers, with no security to be seen anywhere. I Have nothing against children being on a cruise ship as I work with teenagers and took ours on holiday with us for years but surely there should be an element of control by parents and staff regarding some of the behaviour we witnessed. Booked the hot stone restaurant as this was truly awesome last year. Could only get a table at 18.30 but went anyway . only to discover kids still playing and splashing in the pool next to where you eat, then 2 maintenance men turned up to suck dirty water from the drains whilst people were eating. The smell was horrific. Terrible service when you are paying for this as an extra. We did not pay nor did the the other table behind us. Visited the Orion restaurant and the staff at Donalds station were amazing and worked very hard but they were run off their feet every day to the point we left without waiting for dessert. This was also attributed to a crew member arriving for dinner with his partner. At which point all surrounding diners were ignored and were left waiting for main courses and desserts as all the attention was focused toward the crew member. Appalling as the paying customer should be served first especially as we had waited 30 minutes for our mains and they had had their bread, wine starter and main served to them both whilst we were still waiting for our dinner..This is not their fault and we appreciated all they did for us. Entertainment disappointing when compared to last year, some shows were ok others just rubbish. Band in the Waters Edge but again not as good as last years band who were great and singing and entertained as well. We encountered terrible weather so completely missed one port then got stuck waiting for the tender due to sea swell and a storm. Then 70mph for about 10 hours which caused us to be ill for the day. Great getting us through it though. Excursions we did independently so cant comment. We were so excited for this cruise as last year was top notch, however this has put us off going on a Tui ship ever again. Think Jeremy Kyle at sea everyday for a week and this is what you'll get. Such a disappointment. Poor show. This ship needs to be decommissioned as it is literally falling apart. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Have been on 10 Tui cruises in the past, and this cruise is likely to be the last one. The ship is quite old and dated, we knew this as had been on board 3 years ago. The atmosphere on board is good. On arriving in Palma, at the cruise ... Read More
Have been on 10 Tui cruises in the past, and this cruise is likely to be the last one. The ship is quite old and dated, we knew this as had been on board 3 years ago. The atmosphere on board is good. On arriving in Palma, at the cruise terminal, staff were in short supply, and transfer buses were stacked up waiting to offload passengers. We were the 3rd bus in the queue. It took 1.5 hours to embark the ship. First queue of over 100 people, to obtain labels to attach to your luggage - with only 2 staff members on duty. Labels attached then next long queue to obtain boarding cards and cabin keys - Only 5 members of staff on duty, with an extra desk for passengers who have a disability. Next queue was for the hand luggage scanner. Come on Marella, more staff needed, we had been on the go since 5 am, and could do without such lengthy queues. We prebooked an inside cabin on deck 7, the cabin we had before was booked and we were told the closest cabin was 7070. Cabin small but functional, pillows need replacing. Attempted to go to bed at 11 pm only to find that that we were below the dance floor. The cabin was not sound proofed, could hear the band singing, and dancers sounded like they had boots on. Phoned reception and told that the ship was full! Same again the second evening, complained again to an officer, who wrote a report - no help at all. On the 6th night it was rock n roll night, loud music n dancing right over our heads. Phoned reception, at midnight, and asked someone to come down and listen. Finally got a helpful receptionist, Rose, to do something, and we were given a different cabin on our final night. Not certain why we had 6 nights of being unable to sleep if they had a vacant cabin. In my opinion the quality and choice of food has fallen. Soup usually good. Toast was inedible, due to thin cheap bread. Lunch at Lido - choice of pollock, meat loaf or calves liver at lunch. Have never eaten as many cheese salads. Dinner was hit and miss in Orion, sent back roast beef - which was tough and dry, also chicken breast sent back - again very dry and tasteless. Fresh veg was in short supply, green beans most nights, but did get tinned carrots once. Entertainment was disappointing, and in my opinion it was the poorest we have ever seen. The comedian was very good, but the shows were a let down. It would appear that the entertainment team was made up of dancers, with a lack of stand out singers. The two groups on board were from Indonesia - not the best we have ever heard - they did try hard but sounded quite dated. The saving grace on the ship are the crew, hard working and good humoured, but thin on the ground again. Ports of call, all commercial ports, which you cannot walk through, so have to wait for shuttle buses. Guess Tui find it cheaper to dock in commercial ports. When we arrived at Santa Margherita, we had to use a tender to get ashore. Passengers booking tours get priority, everyone else has to queue up to obtain a ticket with a specific time. This caused mayhem, and many irate passengers. The ship is now all inclusive for every one. The choice of drinks is not as good as in the past. Great Gordon's gin, but you have to pay extra for a can of tonic, or be subjected to flat tonic from an open bottle. Cocktails made from syrup, far too sweet for our taste. If you drink whisky you may strike lucky, as several named brands available, but this is not a drink we like. The house wine is not good, choose wisely - at lunch in the Lido get your wine from the outside bar, as the self service wine indoors was very poor quality. On arrival back into Palma, it was chaos on the dockside. On past cruises luggage has been set out in rows with the coloured tags determining which line your luggage was in. Oh no Tui, you let us down yet again. Luggage was just lined up in no order at all, thousands of suitcases to hunt through to find your case. Have enjoyed many cruises with Tui in the past, but feel that they are now placing profits over the customer experience and will not be using them again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I’ve been on it before, not so cheap and cheerful, this time the quality of the food and entertainment has seriously gone down, I’m a vegetarian, last time the food was good, a nice variety of dishes, this time the same vegetables in ... Read More
I’ve been on it before, not so cheap and cheerful, this time the quality of the food and entertainment has seriously gone down, I’m a vegetarian, last time the food was good, a nice variety of dishes, this time the same vegetables in just different sauces, lacklustre. Entertainment, the spots were a lot shorter with the resident bands, more breaks and 12am finishes were creeping earlier as the week went on, the whole ship gave the impression that as it was about to change itinerary nobody had to make an effort. Part of our company was my 82 year old Mother in Law, who inadvertently left the plastic cabin key in her luggage, we discovered when we got home, TUI took 280 pounds off her credit card for it! Also, watch your bill, my 12 year old son bought a day on the WIFI, they took nearly 400 pounds for internet. Never again Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The ship is old, but kept clean and maintained by a hard working crew, no one boards this ship expecting anything like the ‘bells and whistles’ you get on lots of other cruise lines, that is reflected in the price, a good example of ... Read More
The ship is old, but kept clean and maintained by a hard working crew, no one boards this ship expecting anything like the ‘bells and whistles’ you get on lots of other cruise lines, that is reflected in the price, a good example of you getting what you pay for. The food is mediocre at best, the chefs do an ok job with the budget they must work to, its mainly buffets, so usually something you can pick, but fussy eaters will struggle, the waiting staff are often under pressure but work well together and distract from the poor quality of the food in the main dining room. If you throw extra money at your cruise then the speciality restaurants are worth a visit as is the upgrade to premium drinks. On the plus side the cabins are very clean and comfortable, the room attendants are excellent. Entertainment is very old fashioned, think quizzes, 70’s game shows etc, but again delivered with enthusiasm by the team on board. The pool area is dire, the hot tubs are so chlorinated your eyes sting and your swim wear fades. 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
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
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Following a fantastic cruise last year on Thomson Majesty we booked this as Majesty is no longer available...In my opinion the Dream is a very inferior ship..We upgraded from last year to a balcony cabin. This was located at the back of ... Read More
Following a fantastic cruise last year on Thomson Majesty we booked this as Majesty is no longer available...In my opinion the Dream is a very inferior ship..We upgraded from last year to a balcony cabin. This was located at the back of the ship..The nearest lift on took you between decks 9-5... Pointless as most facilities were located on decks 10 and 4... You could not even walk down the stairs to the lower deck as they were blocked off... The restaurant facilities were adequate although there was only really the Orion restaurant that was worth visiting.. Sirens located on deck 10 was self service and there were 3 premium eating places that cost £15-20 per head extra per night.. Waiting staff were very good, but wine waiters were dreadful and very slow or just downright ignorant.. The cruise cost us in excess of £3,000 and was not worth the money. We went on 1 excursion to Pisa which was good value...but for the other ports we just made our own entertainment and arrangements... You have to get down to evening meal early 6.30 /7 pm else you will get stuck in queues.. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Just been on Marella Dream on12/6 for a week.Ship can be best described as tired shabby.Have been on over 30 cruises and this was by far the worst.Food in main and buffet dining places very poor, unimaginative and bland and cannot believe ... Read More
Just been on Marella Dream on12/6 for a week.Ship can be best described as tired shabby.Have been on over 30 cruises and this was by far the worst.Food in main and buffet dining places very poor, unimaginative and bland and cannot believe had to pay extra for a sirloin steak.!!It was like dining in a canteen with some food totally inedible.,service poor and waiters not strained in dining etiquette. Also had to pay for a safe in room,another first.!! We had to miss the first port due to bad weather and the second port was changed from Sorrento to Naples.The captain said that shuttle buses would be available at a" nominal" fee but then we found your that this would be provided at 34 pounds per person, to take us to a place we were supposed to to be going anyway.This caused most annoying to passengers as was the captain's use of the word nominal! Gross exploration by the cruise line.Matters then. got worse with the ship having mechanical problems resulting in all shore excursions to Barcelona being cancelled because La Palma and hour and half journey to Barcelona Of course the better cruise liners would actually dock in Barcelona but suspect this is down to cheaper port fees,.So we ended up not going to the two places we principally chose the cruise for. Marcella cruises are relatively cheap but you get what you pay for!!If a shabby old ship,poor food etc are for you then this is the ship for you,but it simply bears no comparison to the likes of Cunard,Princess,Celebrity and PandO.Rather like going on a ferry rather than a cruise liner!!! Never again!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Chose this cruise as part of a cruise and stay holiday.Reviews were mixed but we took a chance as we’d been on 3 Thomson cruises before, although the last one was 10 years ago. What a mistake. The Lido buffet restaurant was awful, horrid ... Read More
Chose this cruise as part of a cruise and stay holiday.Reviews were mixed but we took a chance as we’d been on 3 Thomson cruises before, although the last one was 10 years ago. What a mistake. The Lido buffet restaurant was awful, horrid seating, massive queues and mediocre food. The Sirens was a lot better for breakfast and lunch. The Orion was no bad for dinner, but I wouldn’t call the food cruise standard as I know it. Nice large cabin, lovely theatre and good entertainment. Deck 8 laid out nicely, but not many quiet places. Far too many smoking areas. This ship is ideal for smokers and young families, but not for us. TUI is definitely the bottom end of the market. It’s a shame as our previous cruises with the Thomson line were very good and we have some lovely memories of them. We will not return. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
Reviews were mixed but we took a chance as we’d been on 4 Thomson cruises before, although the last one was 8 years ago. What a mistake. The Lido buffet restaurant was awful, horrid seating, massive queues and mediocre food. The Sirens ... Read More
Reviews were mixed but we took a chance as we’d been on 4 Thomson cruises before, although the last one was 8 years ago. What a mistake. The Lido buffet restaurant was awful, horrid seating, massive queues and mediocre food. The Sirens was a lot better for breakfast and lunch. The food was just ok but the choice in the self serve was disappointing,the drinks prices were expensive and the quality of the beer was very hit and miss,the serving staff were excellent as we expected from tui cruises. This ship is ideal for smokers and young families, but not for us. TUI is definitely the bottom end of the market. Everything is always to pay extra for learning how to play poker to a visit to the bridge its pay pay pay more more more . The ship is very out dated. We did not feel that we had value for money and the experience was not one we would repeat Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
having been on several tui cruises, but first time on the dream,we expected better. the ship is looking tired and old,the cabin we had was clean but very dated i would rate the ship as 2 star, the food was just ok but the choice in the ... Read More
having been on several tui cruises, but first time on the dream,we expected better. the ship is looking tired and old,the cabin we had was clean but very dated i would rate the ship as 2 star, the food was just ok but the choice in the self serve was disappointing,the drinks prices were expensive and the quality of the beer was very hit and miss,the serving staff were excellent as we expected from tui cruises. the entertainment was pretty good. Our flight was 10 hours late departing from Birmingham and the service we received from tui was non existent, no information about why the delay,no one from tui at the airport to talk to and when we finaly boarded we were on a smaller plane than we were supposed to have meaning that we could not have the seats we had booked, further we were treated like cattle and instructed to the back of the plane no discussions. We did not feel that we had value for money and the experience was not one we would repeat Over all the cruise was disappointing and i would not go on this ship again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We had been on another Tui cruise with different ship last year so was hoping to the same experience how wrong we were Had to carry our own luggage on board as we had missed flight due to the bad weather. Tui staff at the airport ... Read More
We had been on another Tui cruise with different ship last year so was hoping to the same experience how wrong we were Had to carry our own luggage on board as we had missed flight due to the bad weather. Tui staff at the airport in Las Palmas were not interested in helping us get to the dock made us pay for our own taxi. We had paid for what we thought was an all inclusive drinks package, if we wanted to upgrade to the premium we would have had to pay not only for myself and parter but two under age children making an additional £400 to our holiday as were there for two weeks. The two bands on board for entertainment were very poor. I have to say the guys doing the evening broadway show put in a lot of effort well done for that. The ship is very out dated. Everything is always to pay extra for learning how to play poker to a visit to the bridge its pay pay pay more more more . I would not recommend an person with disabilities in a wheelchair for this cruise the amount of time I saw people struggling about the ship and the crew watching not helping made me very cross. The reception team seemed very rude at times . Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We picked this cruise because we had been on the then Thompson Spirit. What we found on the Dream was canteen quality food, poor service not enough staff to service bars and restaurants. Entertainment was the worst we have ever experienced ... Read More
We picked this cruise because we had been on the then Thompson Spirit. What we found on the Dream was canteen quality food, poor service not enough staff to service bars and restaurants. Entertainment was the worst we have ever experienced on any ship. Cabins,our cabin was number 5205, do not book this cabin. Noise and vibration from engines made it impossible to get a decent nights sleep. On complaining to staff at reception we were told there was nothing they could do and to complain when we returned home.Port and shore excursions were like the rest of the cruise poor and ill thought out with staff not seeming to care.Travel to embarkation port was one of the highlights with everthing organised leading to a smooth embarkation.When returning to the ship after a shore excursion security was very poor little or no checks were made as to what people were bringing back on board.Disembarkation at the end of the cruise was another highlight with everthing going smooth. C Hackett Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this as our first cruise as we have holidayed many times with Thomsons/TUI and have always been happy with the service and standards in their hotels.They obviously haven't replicated that level on the Marella Dream as its a ... Read More
We chose this as our first cruise as we have holidayed many times with Thomsons/TUI and have always been happy with the service and standards in their hotels.They obviously haven't replicated that level on the Marella Dream as its a tired old ship that should have been scrapped years ago. A few tips from Thomsons who knew it was our first cruise would have helped ,such as you cant use cash on board as everything has to be done though a cabin account which we had to open. We were berthed on deck seven and whilst the cabin was old with mould between the tiles in the bathroom it was well serviced by a really good attendant (who we tipped as he deserved it) The air con in the room was efficient but overly loud all the time making it hard to sleep for the first few nights till we got used to it .Do not be fooled by the term swimming pool because it isn't more than a glorified paddling pool which the kids loved especially as it was only a meter deep and a quarter the size of your local swimming baths -The 2 Jacuzzis had young children in them every day they were open even though the sign says no under 13s.There was no t.v. or sports bar and the only tv was in your cabin covering world and sports news headlines.There were lots of things that came at an extra cost-such as wifi at £8 per day and even though we were all inclusive the waiters pushed us to get the premium drinks package for another £199 for two weeks which we declined-There was even a charge for bottled water in your cabin- A cup of tea and a tour of the bridge was another £10.If my wife wanted to do Pilates it was another £7 per session.The entertainment was repetitive and although the dancers tried hard the shows were pretty amateurish. The best night was the visiting uk comedian who filled the theatre for both shows he did.There are 3 resident musical acts in the different bars and to be honest they tried but were average at best. As for meals,we had breakfast/lunch and afternoon tea in Sirens which was good although the furniture was very old-The main downfall was the evening meals--If you ate in the Lido buffet restaurant it was poorly set out with soup next to desserts and by the time you had zig zagged back to your seat most of your food was almost cold and if you picked a bad time to go the queue was out the door- an awful experience.If you ate in the waiter service Orion restaurant the service was slow and you were guaranteed to get at least one course that was either almost cold or looked inedible--You could actually pay an extra £16-£20 for a better dining experience in different areas if you wished but we declined.The restaurant and bar staff worked very hard and although lacking in numbers were on the whole very helpful.We did meet some very nice people on the cruise and the benefit of dining in the waiter service restaurant was you could share your holiday experience with others most of whom were equally disappointed with the Dream--I know lots of people enjoyed the Dream based on their reviews but I can only state how we felt about the experience. I hope this isn't our last cruise because I know there are better operators out there offering quality cruises but it will take some time before we get over spending so much and getting so little in return-- Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Having sailed with other cruise lines such as P&O, Ocean Village, RCI, MSC and Disney I would like to think I have gained enough experience with cruising and as such I can make unbiased informed observations and comparisons with ... Read More
Having sailed with other cruise lines such as P&O, Ocean Village, RCI, MSC and Disney I would like to think I have gained enough experience with cruising and as such I can make unbiased informed observations and comparisons with others. I have always wanted to try Thomson (now Marella) as they sail from my local port (North Shields – River Tyne) which makes life easier than having to take the long drive to Southampton or the inconvenience of flying to a destination so much so I was really hoping that I would enjoy this experience. Unfortunately this was not the case. We flew to Tenerife to catch the ‘Dream’ and to sail onto Gran Canaria, La Palmas, Madeira, Agadir (Morocco) Lanzarote then back to Tenerife. Although boarding was straight forward enough I was surprised to receive both of our suitcases at completely separate times (the first arrived at our cabin at 1pm which was about an hour after boarding) but the second didn't arrive until after 7pm, a full six hours later even though they were taken off together which meant we couldn't really get ready for our first night aboard and asking the reception on seven occasions for help was pointless as they didn't really have any clue, they just looked puzzled and confused. First impressions of the ship were a bit disappointing, none of the usual wow factor you come to expect with normal cruise ships. There was no atrium / lobby or anything that looked really nice. Instead we were presented with this grubby, tatty old looking cross channel ferry that needed a damn good clean and a few coats of paint, let alone some new carpets. The pubs and bars looked like they were out of the 70’s and the Casino which was a portable affair was a grubby little area not far from the outside smoking area and as you can imagine smelled of old cigarettes and beer. It reminded me of local social clubs. The buffet was again very small and cramped and the food wasn't up to much either, it stank of fish daily. The main dining room (the Orion) looked a bit better if very old fashioned and tired. Food was quite plain and repetitive day in day out with Spinach showing up all the time. Service was okay but no more than, (it shows that Gratuities are included in the price as the waiters and for that matter bar staff and the cabin stewards seemed a bit ‘laid back’ in their duties shall we say) Drinks were priced fine as were the cocktails, that is until you tried them, they were the worst excuse for cocktails we have ever drunk as they had little to no flavour what so ever. This was a huge disappointment as although we don't drink a great deal, we do like cocktails daily whilst on board. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that Thomson offer drinks packages and as such the quality just isn't there maybe down to cost cutting measures. We had heard a fair bit about how the entertainment was very good compared to other cruise lines. This was completely the opposite we found. I realise we all have different tastes and expectations of what quality entertainment actually is but I was surprised to find out just how bad it was. The theatre shows are normally fantastic on cruise ships in that you are often treated to west end / Broadway quality shows. This certainly is the case with lines such as P&O and Disney, however what Thomson gave us was dreadful. Most of the main singers couldn't actually hold a note in fact two in particular (one guy and one of the girls) actually sounded as if they were deaf they were so bad and also they over egged it too much it was painful to watch. There was also a guest comedienne on board called Brenda Collins who was obviously plucked straight out of the 70’s (minus the humour) who thought that putting on a monkey mask or dressing up as a mermaid was funny, it wasn't! it was cringy Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We had been on this ship 2 or maybe 3 yrs ago and we were really looking forward to this trip as we had such a good cruise last time. Unfortunately we were soon to notice the change on the second day. We went to the Lido for a buffet ... Read More
We had been on this ship 2 or maybe 3 yrs ago and we were really looking forward to this trip as we had such a good cruise last time. Unfortunately we were soon to notice the change on the second day. We went to the Lido for a buffet breakfast and as I have had this situation once before on another ship we were made to be served by glove wearing staff and had to try to make them give us what we wanted. I did not get across what I needed and we were not allowed to point so I had to report to Leroy Brown about the service on more than one occasion during the week. Later that day I had a bad feeling of nausea and in after a couple of hrs I was vomiting. As we had to report any sickness my husband called to let reception know. A pleasant man names Dragon came to our cabin with an injection for the sickness and 2 Imodium pills but I had not got the runs so I did not take them. He then told us that we would have to be quarantined for 24 hrs. Room service sent our food. My husband was okay as he could eat as he wanted but I had to have quarantine food which consisted of poached chicken and veg. If I am never to speak again it had to be seen to believe. It looked liked rubber and the water poured out when squeezed it was UNEDIBLE as was all the rest of my food.We were let out at 3pm on the third day.We had a lovely meal at the Mistral restaurant which we paid for. My husband had a few tummy rumbles but managed to keep smiling. We ad a bit more bother with the service in the Lido so we stuck with the Orion, whose food was to say the most. We had to put up with all of this on top of having no luggage for all but 9 hrs of our holiday. That was not as far as I know not anything that Thomson did wrong but as it is ongoing it would be unfair to go into that. All I will say that I will never go on another Marella cruise unless they can guarantee a bug free holiday. Just as an ending clip all the hot tubs Sauna and other pools were covered and out of action it was a complete disgrace the ship should have been closed for business. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
First cruise. Not the best experience !. A very dated, dull, old, bland `cruise` ship that was no more than a bit of driftwood. It felt like being on a Channel ferry. I have to say all the staff were excellent and very hard working. The ... Read More
First cruise. Not the best experience !. A very dated, dull, old, bland `cruise` ship that was no more than a bit of driftwood. It felt like being on a Channel ferry. I have to say all the staff were excellent and very hard working. The Mistral Restaurant ( waiter service ) was excellent too. Great food. The rest of the food in other restaurant's and buffet were just average food. I hated having to queue every morning just to be given a cup of tea. Why can`t I be trusted to make my own cup of tea. I am over 5 years old now. The `Broadway` shows were also excellent too. Generally good entertainment in the evenings. Day time was just treating adults as children with silly quizzes and games. I am over 5 years old now. If thinking about the Marella Dream then please go elsewhere. Read reviews. My partner wants to try another cruise as she believes there are some high quality cruises out there. I believe that too. Goodbye TUI - forever ! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We sailed on the Marella Dream in January 2017 and absolutely loved it. We loved the restaurants, the food was of a high standard everywhere we chose to eat on board. We were also all inclusive which meant we didn't have to pay for ... Read More
We sailed on the Marella Dream in January 2017 and absolutely loved it. We loved the restaurants, the food was of a high standard everywhere we chose to eat on board. We were also all inclusive which meant we didn't have to pay for any drinks and we liked the location of our cabin which was on deck 7 right at the very back of the ship. 7203. We enjoyed our cruise so much on board the Dream that we booked to sail on her again January 18. She is currently cruising around the Canaries so we were happy at not having to fly so far this time. We got married on the 30th December so this cruise was meant to be extra special as it was our Honeymoon. Unlike previous cruises we have been on, including last years, for some reason you have to collect your own luggage at the airport terminal. Usually once you have checked your baggage in at the U.K. airport you do not see it again until you are on board the ship. This is part of the service you normally expect when going on a cruise. Not a big deal but it did make us wonder why? Within hours of embarking we realised that something was wrong. We went to have something to eat in the Lido buffet restaurant which is normally self service . I picked my plate up ready and was scolded! The girl passed me a plate wearing gloves. I noticed all the serving spoons, tongs etc were facing the wrong way and quickly realised we were not allowed to serve ourselves. It soon became clear why. There was Norovirus on board the ship and had been for several weeks.The ship was demonstrating heightened hygiene practice. The captain was constantly making tannoy announcements telling us to sanitize sanitize sanitize which of course we did, not wanting to catch anything. All swimming pools saunas and jacuzzis were also out of action. There was netting covering them up. Families with children must have devastated because of this ! It was bad enough for the adults not to be able to have a swim ! This is all a big part of any holiday ! An hour later I saw a poor woman projectile vomit and then collapse in the Medusa lounge. We had not even set sail ! An army of staff were radioed to come to the scene!!. There was about 8 men in boiler suits wearing masks and gloves carrying back packs with either hoovers or some sort of sanitizer spray in them and the whole area was cordoned of by a wall of chairs. This went on for about an hour as the lady was helped by her husband and crew. Later on I ordered a vodka lime soda at the bar and asked for a slice of lime or lemon to be told no fruit was allowed in drinks because the ship was on strict sanitation. Oh well. no great shakes.But we were supposed to be on a cruise where you enjoy the best of everything. The captain made an announcement that bad weather conditions were going to make it a rough sailing that night and he had decided to omit tomorrow's port of call, La Palma and we would have an extra sea day instead! We and fellow passengers were not too happy about this but again oh well, he must have his reasons? After a long days travelling we went to bed about half 11 still feeling great to be on board the Dream and excited about our 2 week cruise. Just nodding off around midnight and it started. Loud booming music, like it was actually in our cabin. We both use ear plugs anyway, but they did not block out this music !! It turns out that we were directly below the late night bar where they party until the small hours of the morning! To add insult to injury my husband had paid £90 for an upgrade to this cabin which he had to arrange verbally over the phone!! He had asked for the same cabin as last year but was told that was already sold but would he like one 3 doors up. He said that's great it was nice and quiet and near the door to the rear of the ship again. At no point did they warn him that this cabin was underneath the late night bar ! They just took the payment! The next day I asked at reception to be moved as I could not stand that noise for a fortnight and they told me there was nowhere to move to only further along on the same deck underneath the Medusa lounge which was also having a late night party till the early hours. We said that would be pointless !! She said they would have a word with the entertainments team and tell them to keep the music down to a more acceptable level. It was bearable for a few nights, we stayed out longer and drank more to help us sleep but a few nights later it happened again and continued for the rest of the fortnight. BEWARE BOOKING A CABIN ON DECK 7 towards the rear of the ship you will get no sleep !! As if that wasn't bad enough with the noise, there was maintenance work going on every where on the ship ! We would find a quiet place to sunbathe and have a read and you could guarantee that a man in overalls would start with drilling, banging, angle grinding, sanding, varnishing.. you name it they were doing it ! It was actually unbelievable!! This holiday was turning in to the holiday from hell ! Still determined to enjoy ourselves we remained upbeat and drank even more to block our misery out !! When the ship actually docked and we could get off for a bit our disappointment just got worse. In many ports all you could see was shipping containers no nice views to enjoy, except one day in Madeira but the following week it moored in a different berth. Agina in a industrial part full of giant containers. We had to walk literally miles just to get into a tourist area. This happened time and time again. Once we had to buy tickets costing £6 to get on the TUI shuttle bus to get us out of the port and into a nice area !! It really really was getting more disappointing as the cruise went on ! The food in the Orion restaurant had gone down the pan since last year. It was just about warm enough most of the time but sometimes we just asked them to microwave it, I cant stand wasting food. They laughed and said you can have it hot Madam but frazzled !! We watched why the food was not hot. Your entire meal came at the same time. Whilst we were eating our starters the main course and dessert were left on the side. This is `100 % fact, in fact all of what I am saying is. By week two I was in tears and wanted to go home. The noise, the late night bar music, the ports of call which we knew were the same as the first week, the same old same old entertainment night after night. We thought about getting off in Lanzarote and booking in a nice hotel but worked out how much more money on top of the cruise that would have cost so decided to stick it out. I think the people on reception felt sorry for me as I was regularly in tears . In the end they refunded us our £90 upgrade fee and gave us a £50 apology. It did cheer us up a bit but in no way did we consider it compensation. We had paid nearly £3000 for this cruise and it was our Honeymoon !! When we eventually got home thank goodness, I filled in a complaints form and spoke to several TUI customer service members. They all really sympathised with me but an email came back yesterday telling us that they were sorry that our cruise did not live up to our expectations but we had been given £50 compensation on board and they hoped we would be cruising with TUI again soon! It is not that our expectations were too high, after all we had been on this ship before, it was that TUI failed to deliver the wonderful cruise that they promise you in their advertising campaigns ! That ship should never have set sail knowing there was a massive health hazard on board. So many peoples holidays were ruined by getting ill and being confined to their cabin for days. We heard many people complaining. One day they closed ALL RESTAURANTS for deep cleaning ! The only place you could get food was the Lido grill which we would never ever choose to eat from. People were just getting on and having to stand in a long line for absolutely 3rd rate food which kept on running out! This was our last day and boy were we glad that we were going home. The new passengers were going mad !! I felt sorry for them ! Trust me, my husband and I have got a fantastic sense of humour and we did manage to have a laugh in spite of feeling so miserable and disappointed on our honeymoon. I am now laughing thinking that TUI really think we are going to book another cruise with them! Even the Captain got off half way through !! Maybe he went down with the virus or just bailed with embarrassment !!! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise for a relaxing break based on previous experience on Thomson cruises to various destinations, we have previously done this cruise, alas based on our experience this time, never again. I am disabled and use an ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a relaxing break based on previous experience on Thomson cruises to various destinations, we have previously done this cruise, alas based on our experience this time, never again. I am disabled and use an electric buggy, when boarding the ship there was a few steps on the gangway and I had to walk up the gangway, at disembarkation at the end of the cruise the gangway was all steps, not at all "Fit for purpose" for disabled people like myself or in wheelchairs. In my opinion the ship was a little "tired", our balcony cabin was quite cramped and I had to leave my buggy in the corridor and there was very little room to walk past the bed to reach the balcony. The main dining room was at best O.K., the buffet restaurant a lot less so. After our evening meal in the main dining room at the start of the week, we were about to leave and my wife was going to take her newly topped up wine glass to finish of in the lounge when she was told "Not to take the glass from the dining room as they were short of glasses. The entertainment on board was of the usual high standard. On the day we boarded the ship had been cleared of passengers to have a "Deep clean", the pool was closed and did not reopen until five days later. On the day we disembarked to return home the ship was having another extended clean. This begs me ask the question, was the ship not cleaned properly the day we came aboard or were the potential health issues grossly under stated. The crew were in the main very hard working and friendly, theirs is not a job I would have chosen. Robert B Mathew Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Choose this cruise on recommendations and to see the Madeira fireworks, which didn't disappoint. Shame the rest of the cruise didn't live up to expectations. Despite no information from the staff it became clear very quickly that ... Read More
Choose this cruise on recommendations and to see the Madeira fireworks, which didn't disappoint. Shame the rest of the cruise didn't live up to expectations. Despite no information from the staff it became clear very quickly that the ship was carrying a serious bug and had been for several weeks before we boarded. Passengers were very ill, some hospitalised at various ports, many on drips in their cabins. Services were very restricted, no pools allowed, no fruit in drinks,no handling of anything, staff wearing gloves and sometime masks around the ships for everything, you were not even allowed to put your own milk in your tea. Antibacterial washes by staff everywhere on the ship, to the point where we got blisters on our hands from over use. The ship itself is very tired and run down passengers who had been on this ship before were shocked how it had deteriorated and that the service and standards had been reduced significantly including the food. Is was supposed to be all inclusive but the drinks package is very restricted therefore leaves you with no choice but to pay for the upgrade. We departed the ship on Friday 5th Jan whereby the ship was getting a full sanatisation in Tenerife but they were still allowing passages to travel on it, which in my opinion was wrong given the level of the illness and serious nature of the bug. There were some high points to the holiday but also a lot of issues too numerous to list, would I travel again with tui and Marbella cruises again not sure that I would. Come in Tui get your act together not sure the rebranding has paid off. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Was on the New Year Cruise and agree with almost all of the previous two reviews. We started cruising many years ago with Thomson and Airtours!! and are now elite on Princess and Celebrity but we knew the ship was old and our expectations ... Read More
Was on the New Year Cruise and agree with almost all of the previous two reviews. We started cruising many years ago with Thomson and Airtours!! and are now elite on Princess and Celebrity but we knew the ship was old and our expectations were not high but we wanted to see the fireworks. In actual fact the cabin was fine and the food was what we expected but we have always told people that the entertainment on Thomson was very good but we were disappointed apart from the two ladies who were in the middle lounge who we thought were very good. The port talks were nothing but a sales talk for the trips with no information to help those exploring in their own and they managed to miss-spell Madeira on one of the films. As for the virus, we used the gymn where there were no towels or paper towels so sweaty people were moving on from each piece of equipment without sanitizing. The flight home was at 8pm and at the airport there were four flights to the UK within half an hour with three TUI desks open. There were ten Disney style rows snaking towards the check in with not a TUI rep there at all. In the end they had to reserve a desk purely for our Newcastle flight otherwise we would have been even later getting away. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
I have delayed writing this review as I had complained to TUI about our experience on this ship over New Year and I was waiting to see how they would react. As the title suggests, this was a special 60th birthday celebration and our first ... Read More
I have delayed writing this review as I had complained to TUI about our experience on this ship over New Year and I was waiting to see how they would react. As the title suggests, this was a special 60th birthday celebration and our first ever cruise. We specifically chose the Dream due to the reviews, the cruise locations and hoping that this would be the first of many cruises. The cabin was fine till we were flooded from the shower/toilet and ended up with a dehumidifier which gave off the most disgusting smell. After speaking to our neighbours, it appears flooding was a common complaint on board. We were given £50 off our final bill as compensation for the inconvenience. The ports of call were fine and weather was very good. The New Year stop at Madeira was particularly memorable. However after a couple of days on board, between the poor quality, cold food and the extremely poor entertainment, I was wishing we could just stay in Lanzarote at a Hotel and not go back to the ship. However we had spend close to £3000 on this cruise and decided to stick it out. We realised right away that something was not quite right on board when all the swimming pools and jacuzzis were closed, the staff were spraying your hands every time you walked through a door, the food was being slopped on plates at the buffet by gloved staff - you couldn't even touch a teabag! The food was so bad, that we decided to purchase the 3 A La Carte meal deal at £50 per person. It was extremely difficult to purchase this and we were told by a member of staff that they were not encouraging it as they didn't have enough staff to cover the 3 restaurants due to the amount of waiting staff who had taken ill. However, we persevered and the food in all 3 restaurants was the best of the whole vacation. One extremely funny incident was the Captains Dinner where everyone was to meet him and an announcement was made that he wouldn't be shaking anyone's hands! Then we found out that lots of passengers, even on the previous week to ours, had been taken ill on board and the sick bay was crowded with passengers and staff alike. There was an occasion where someone was so ill that a helicopter was sent to airlift them off to hospital.We even spoke to a couple who had been confined to quarters for 4 days. The only positive thing I could say about this very dated, tired old ship was the staff - they were excellent. We actually felt quite sorry for them on occasion as there were so many people complaining day in day out. Now you would imagine that TUI would be even slightly apologetic about this, but what I received yesterday was a standard letter saying they were sorry to hear that we had been sick on holiday - WE HADN'T - and they were also sorry that they could not give us compensation - WE DIDN'T ASK FOR IT!!! All I wanted was for TUI to accept that there was something terribly wrong on this ship and explain why we were allowed to board when there was clearly a serious illness problem. Incidentally, we have since found out that the ship continued for the next couple of weeks allowing passengers to board and expose them to sickness. Needless to say we will never cruise again with Marella, but most of all, the treatment by TUI was unnaceptable and for a couple who holiday 3 or 4 times a year, we will never book a TUI holiday again. 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

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