Marella Dream Cruise Review by equius
- Sail Date: April 2015
- Destination: Spain
The buffets were always full of food and refreshments and the restaurant was great for an evening meal. However, the food was mostly overcooked, warm at best when eating and not very tasty in all the eateries. I did not like the fact you helped yourself to buffet with tongs. It would have been more hygienic to have been given the food by buffet staff. Despite the fact the ship had antibacterial dispensers throughout, many passengers ignored them. I had a bad tummy in the middle of the first week and was told by a passenger that the ship had had Noro virus aboard the week before resulting in the closure of the Jacuzzis. I was also by other passengers that many people were being treated for a bad cough, an outbreak which had been on board since December with antibiotic drips having to be issued for pneumonia and also that 5 people had died on board during this time. Myself and my husband both went home with a bad cough at the end of the cruise. One woman was badly burnt by a soot gob that had been blown from the ship's funnel. Many passengers had broken their arms whilst on board. Health and safety was an issue as I saw a crew member carrying two stacks of cups on his tray down a spiral staircase.
Smoking was allowed on the decks which was very quickly extended to inside the ship and door areas by smokers who ignored the rules. It was hard to get away from cigarette smoke on the deck areas. We found it very difficult to get a sun lounger before 10am and these were hogged by selfish passengers all day despite the fact that they were not using them for hours.
The ship had an overcrowded feel during the sea days and the days were quite strained. The behavior of some of the passengers was terrible despite their mature years. Tempers flared and a fight broke out over the use of a lift which carried on in the sun deck. There was a lot of foul language used by some of the down to earth types which did offend other passengers with their rudeness at times. Some of the deck flooring was bubbled and torn.
The first port was La Romana. I wish I had stayed aboard the ship. We were transported by shuttle to the nearby town and was immediately bombarded by very persistent venders that were very intimidating. We all immediately got right back on the bus and returned to the ship. This port did not match the description at all.
My favourite ports were St Maartin and Antigua. Shops were wonderful and there were many nice places to go. The Virgin Islands were a little boring as we had not been able to book a tour but on returning to the ship many passengers were disappointed with their trips here. One had gone to see whales and was told by locals that whales are a rare sight in April as they don’t arrive until June when the season for them starts. We did see some flying fish and dolphins on the sea days. Gibraltar is a nice place but there was very little time to visit more than one venue as the ship departs at 2pm and we had to be back on board by 1:30. We were talked out of using the cable car by the port taxi drivers who said that we would not have time to use it. The port inspector confirmed this when asked to back up the statements but on speaking to the tourist visitor centre they said we would have had plenty of time to use it. So I think we were conned into using them at a cost.
To sum up, I personally quite enjoyed my time on this cruise but I know that quite a few other passengers were very disappointed and if rumors were correct some did not return at all.
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