Marella Dream Cruise Review by Senior cruiser 1234
- Sail Date: July 2019
- Destination: Eastern Mediterranean
1. we can fly direct from Belfast International Airport to Palma on a Tui flight.
2 the transfer from the flight to the ship is absolutely painless, this is especially helpful as both myself and my wife have severe mobility problems.
3 we knew, from past experiences, the crew and facilities would be perfect for us as a retired couple, absolutley no hassle at all. complete relaxation as soon as we reached our deck 9 cabin (9040)
we have no complaints whatsoever about any aspect of the 14 night cruise. The crew were magnificent. Fiendly, down to earth and overflowing with happiness. One guy shone out above the rest. his name is Philip, a young Jamaican. He literally, ran around the ship doing his job as a bar tender. he has this constant set of rhymes. "No card, no charge.......no fear, love is here..........spread the love'. these are accompanied by his hand bell ringing and his cry of "beep. beep" to clear his path. he kept everyone near him in fits of laughter. Every time there was live music on the Sirens pool deck or in the Medusa lounge in the evenings (watch him go at the last night Bandjam)......he gave us a demonstration of an amazing dance routine. It was worth the money just to witness his performance. We say "well done our kid"!!
We dined in the evening in the Orion restaurant. We received a really professional, courteous service. The menu was varied but not outstanding. The portions are small but if you include soup/salad as well as a starter you will be fairly well filled. We used both the Lido and the Sirens buffet style restaurants for breakfast and the terrace grill for lunch. No complaints about either although some of hot food in Sirens was not always "piping hot" even the hot water for tea was not boiling hot.
The entertainment was excellent. The young show team were brilliant, both as a team but also individuals. Maria, Jake and especially Matt gave us three amazing solo cabaret performances in Tides bar. Muzzic Unlimited were the resident band in the Medusa lounge. We enjoyed their performances particularly Romeo we he sang pieces like "Nessen Dorme and O Sol Mio". However we thought they could have reduced the sound a bit as it was very loud to our ears. We spent our evenings in Tides bar listening to a tremendous duo called "Tointense" or to everyone around, Tom and Maris. We just loved their music and their interaction with each other (the banter) and with the audience. They took time between each set to walk among the guests, chatting to everyone and expressing their appreciation of our presence. They also helped make our cruise the very very best. The amazing evergreen Mr Keith Kerslake shared the time in Tides with Tom and Maris. What more can be said about Keith? He just gets better and better every year. He is such a thoroughly nice guy, an expert pianist who gives his very best performance every time he gets behind the grand piano. He invented the Marella Dream last night "Bandjam".
Just a couple of negatives and maybe a word of advice. We were quite shocked and so very disappointed on the crew night (July 19th 2019) to hear the compare (David) make remarks about male genital parts when many children were visibly in the audience. He also thought there was some humour in unhelpful and unnecessary remarks he made, in this age on inclusivity, about private and personal things that happen in a LGBT relationship. He also tried (failed miserably) to make some very antiquated joke about the "Humpty Dumpty" nursery rhyme as well as some other silly thing he picked up second hand from a bygone era. Wisdom and discretion do not seem to be know to him. He is not hard to spot. He eats alone, mostly beside the pool on Sirens deck. The rest of the team seldom are seen in his company except when they share in hosting a game. He is far too old to be involved in this kind of work. He can't sing, he can't dance and his English vocabulary equals a Year 3 primary school child. his two oft repeated expressions....."there you go" and its variant "there you have it". He seems to speak through his nose and has a personality resembling a dead fish including the vacant look on his,now moustached, face.His most outstanding feature is his "beer belly" hanging over his pants.
The many ports we visited were full of interest for those who like to explore. They have a few downsides. The ship docks quite far away from the main places of interest and it usually costs around 5 Euros return to make the trip by coach. However these journey are operated and controlled locally and it can be very hard to get a bus/coach back to the ship and can involve a lot of waiting around due to the lack of a reliable timetable. We found the tours to be far too expensive and unsuitable for us due to our limited mobility.
We would strongly advise future cruisers on the wonderful "Dream" ship to pack a warmish jacket, cardigan, light sweater for the evenings. The lounges,Tides, Medusa, Explorers and Water's Edge and quite cold with a noticeable cold air conditioning draft prevalent irrespective of where you sit.
The bathroom is not large. It has the usual toilet, washbasin and over the bath shower and hair dryer. We found it impossible to get the temperature right with the shower. It either burned or was freezing cold. We asked for it to be fixed but this never happened.
In summary. we have been cruising for over 20 years, completing over 40 cruises with Celebrity (the worst ever company...a "never again experience"), P & O. Ocean Village, NCL. Fred Olsen, Star Cruises Etc. Nowadays we don't look anywhere else. We know before we leave, we will not need to pay tips, we will not be paying for refreshments, our account will be in good old United Kingdom Sterling with no "Dollar Inspired add ons" (one of the tricks from the greedy USA owned Cruise companies that seem to have the habit of crashing into things or losing passengers overboard), we will be pampered from the moment we board the plane till we touch down on our return by the fantastice Tui/Marella team. For myself and my wife from July 16th till 30th 2019 we have had the best cruise ever. Well done the Tui/Marella team from our wonderful Karen Crothers and the rest of the staff in our local Tui shop in Newtownards to Captain Alan Macary and his entire crew///abundant thanks....we will return, God willing next year
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