Marella Dream Cruise Review by Senior reviewer
- Sail Date: June 2019
- Destination: Western Mediterranean
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.
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