4 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
6 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
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
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
2 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
5 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
Marella Dream Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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