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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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Food excellent, cleanliness , size of cabin 7558 excellent , staff excellent temperature of the ship air con excellent, the only thing that lets it down is the lack of entertainment day time and evening shows were poor and boring. All ... Read More
Food excellent, cleanliness , size of cabin 7558 excellent , staff excellent temperature of the ship air con excellent, the only thing that lets it down is the lack of entertainment day time and evening shows were poor and boring. All inclusive was excellent. Although I have stated excellent it would not draw me to return.on this ship. Sorry Thomsons need to up beat shows like your other Thomson ships .cruise director was good didn't see him much around the ship . captain never remarked in a morning about newsy matters like other Thomson ships not very personal. no information in news letters about the senior staff like on other ships. You will have to do better. No staff games around the pool very disappointed. Long day at sea what's trivia bingo music tapes Don't think so. I would like to see the show team when leaving every port saying on sail away. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Prior to embarking on our cruise, we read the reviews on this site and were left feeling very apprehensive, as most seemed rather negative. I am pleased to report that we had a super holiday and think we were right to cling to the 4 and 5 ... Read More
Prior to embarking on our cruise, we read the reviews on this site and were left feeling very apprehensive, as most seemed rather negative. I am pleased to report that we had a super holiday and think we were right to cling to the 4 and 5 'dot' review comments. When you think about it, the ship holds 1800 passengers and it's human nature to take time to air one's opinion when one has a gripe! I think therefore that a lot of happy customers just haven't reviewed which would balance out the ratings. Good points - the ship's public areas are in excellent condition and the atrium is a super feature. There are plenty of public areas and the entertainment is good. The cabins are adequate. The public toilets were kept clean. The service we experienced throughout the ship was amazing. Staff were friendly (but not over-familiar), swift and efficient. The food was of a much better standard than we experienced on The Dream four years ago. The pointless soup and salad courses have been abandoned and now, the restaurant serves a quality three course dinner with plenty of choice. The drinks package made life more relaxing, as we didn't have to consider how much we were spending on board and the use of an asterisk to clearly signal where additional payments would be required made choosing drinks within the AI package simple. In the restaurant, those with a drinks package would have their wine glasses continuously refilled but those without had to sign for each glass or bottle (I mention this only because I noticed an earlier review said everyone had free wine with dinner which is not accurate). We had reserved tables in the Surf & Turf and Kora La but the beef on offer in the main restaurant was so good, we cancelled out reservation in the Surf and Turf. Kora La was amazing! Not so good points - the bathrooms in the cabins are dated but they are serviceable and the shower was powerful (hate those drippy things where you have to run around to get wet!) so overall this is a minor point and not something that ruined our holiday. Some areas of the ship are busy at certain times - this should not come as a surprise! Children were often left unsupervised. Some cabin locations make those cabins noisier than others. People do leave their towels on sunbeds which is so annoying. We only ever use a sunbed for an hour or two so when they are left vacant but towelled for this amount of time it can be frustrating. We did however, always manage to find a couple of sunbeds somewhere when we wanted them. Overall, we thought the cruise was fab and will be booking another. Next year, they are all AI so there will be no need to consider a drinks package. The cleanliness and comfort of the cabin and bed was excellent but, as always with cabin life, storage is tight. We were in cabin 6556 and would recommend you take time and pay the extra to select your choice of cabin, as some are located above or below public areas that can be noisy. Ours, for example, was near the atrium so the sound of the nightly atrium performances carried into the cabin - not good for any of you who like an early night. It wasn't an issue for us most nights. We only had to have a pager for dinner twice and always received a table for two within a reasonable time. However, we are flexible and used our noodles to avoid rush times most of the time - we knew people would mainly want to dine between 7 - 8 so we mostly dined between 6.30 - 7. This also meant we were in time for the early shows and we always found seats and service when entering the theatre only 10 minutes before show start times. I don't understand the review where someone said they had to get to the theatre 2 hours before the show time and could never get served. Maybe this is what happened at the late shows? The breakfast buffet can get busy. If it happened to be busy when we went, we went elsewhere and came back later. After all, let's face it, on a cruise ship it's not as if you're actually eating because you're hungry! Waiting 15 mins for breakfast is not a chore. The most annoying thing is not so much down to Thomson as to parents. Some parents seem to be under the impression that once on board, it is acceptable to allow their children to roam the ship unaccompanied; that it is ok for them to play in the lifts, pressing all of the buttons; or to run around the pubic areas; or to be in the adult only area. Ships are dangerous places and I am appalled that parents allow this. Thomson put the odd reminder in the daily newsletter but actually, I do think they should have done more. E.g. A public announcement reminding parents that it is their responsibility to supervise their children at all times, unless they want to use the services of the Kids' club. I think they should also have advised parents that any children found wandering the ship unaccompanied would be escorted to the Kids Club for their own safety and that parents would be invoiced accordingly - that would have stopped a lot of it! If work permitted, I would take my holiday leave outside of school holidays to avoid this issue. Just remember - it's a cruise - chill out, relax and enjoy! Read Less
67 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This was our first experience of Thomson (TUI) cruises, but we have cruised with other lines for many years, especially Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and NCL. The reason for choosing this cruise was that the itinerary looked more ... Read More
This was our first experience of Thomson (TUI) cruises, but we have cruised with other lines for many years, especially Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and NCL. The reason for choosing this cruise was that the itinerary looked more interesting than the other lines at the moment, and our family has sailed on Splendour of the Seas several times, so we knew what to expect as far as the layout of the ship goes. She is small, airy and bright, and although she is an old ship, (about 20 years old I think) she is wearing well. So, we knew the ship, but not what to expect in terms of the overall experience of the Thomson product. What we found was..... Travel between home and ship/ embarkation - Really couldn't fault it. Everything went smoothly, was well organised, and we had our luggage within half an hour of arrival. Very impressed! Our cabin - We booked a junior suite on deck 8. We had stayed in one before on this ship, and on our last 2 sailings with Royal we had stayed in a grand suite. The first thing we noticed with Thomson was that they don't offer good perks with the grand suite and there was nothing there to tempt us to spend an extra £1000, so we opted for the junior instead. Nice and spacious. We didn't pay extra to choose a room because we knew there wouldn't be a bad one, and we think that charging to choose a specific room is a rip off. Our room was fine. Nice large balcony and the usual things you would expect. Claris travel size toiletries, slippers (but no bathrobes this time), fold down sofa, stools chair and table. The shower pressure was excellent and we like to have a bath too, which you only get in a suite. The cabin servicing was adequate, but fell short of what we have come to expect. We had to ask several times for the ice bucket to be kept topped up, and this is a standard thing with Royal that it is topped up twice a day. The bed linen wasn't changed as it should be, and there were dirty dishes left in our room for 2 days. Not sure why they thought we wanted to hold onto them! Dining - I understand that Thomson are trying out a new model of dining operation whereby there are no set dining times, and the only bookable tables are in the premium restaurants which cost extra. In principle, at least. We found this not to work. We tried on 4 occasions to book Kora La or Surf &Turf, and were unsuccessful. The Glass House wasn't fully operational while we were there, so we didn't get to experience that either. We ate in Islands buffet several times. At busy times it was a bit of a zoo. The food variety was poor. The quality was variable. It wouldn't have been our first choice, but given the chaos elsewhere, we just settled for it. The Snack Shack was great for quick snacks. The Asian beef box was fab, and the fish and chips were popular. It's a shame the staff were so glum. Entertainment - We went to most of the Broadway Theatre shows. The Summer themed one was a bit too Am Dram and boring for our liking, but we really enjoyed the others. The Medieval themed one was funny and clever, the Music Legends one was very good, and the Animated Musical one was very well done. The singers and dancers were superb, and they work very hard. This was the aspect of the cruise that impressed us the most. The entertainment team were great in the shows, but around the ship generally at the pool party etc, they didn't do much to get people involved. They just danced together. There was no big party atmosphere. The resident band, Protege, were very good indeed. We saw them in various venues throughout the ship and enjoyed it. The singer/pianists (I think there were 2 of them) were just OK. The waitress, Sari, in the theatre was very pleasant. There weren't enough waiting staff there however, and they were having to ignore a lot of cards being waved in the air. Customers were getting frustrated because they couldn't get a drink, and I really felt sorry for the staff. Thomson need to get the staff to customer ratio up. I've never seen such poor service on a cruise before. The cruise director (Paul?) wasn't very engaging, but it's not something that makes or breaks our holiday so it didn't influence us one way or another. Customer Services desk - We had a couple of questions and an issue that needed to be resolved. Each time we were treated efficiently and in a nice friendly manner. We were impressed with the customer services desk. Shops - A pretty poor selection. Nowhere near as good as when Royal had the ship. They didn't have any of the items we wanted. Pool area and activities - The usual selfish sun lounger hogging took place, but what surprised me was that the Thomson staff would not take any action when people had put their stuff on a bed and then left it for hours while people were trying to find a bed. They just weren't interested. I was told to take the things off my self if I wanted the bed. It's not my job. I'm not going to get into an unpleasant exchange over a sun bed. If there is a rule, and I was advised that there was, it's up to Thomson to enforce it. Another issue was that people were putting their sun beds on the running track, which again wasn't supposed to be allowed, but nobody would take responsibility for dealing with it. There wasn't the usual daytime activity that we have come to expect. On the face of it, the Cruise News looked like there were lots of activities, but three quarters of them were touting for business for the spa or excursion services, or special offers in the shop. These are NOT activities!! They really weren't organised activities at all. There was a quiz at 2pm. We were very bored on this trip. We were never bored on NCL or Royal. Staff - The crew just seem to Walk around ignoring the guests. Very few smiley faces (there are exceptions, of course), no big welcomes, nobody whistling or singing. Maybe we've just become used to the upbeat, sometimes in your face, joy de vivre of other crews. Generally, On Discovery the crew seemed functional, tired, and not really that happy to be serving you, I'm afraid (again, there were obvious exceptions). I think they must be exhausted because they are so short staffed? The best things were the itinerary and the entertainment in the theatre without a doubt. The worst things were the disinterested staff and the lack of a buzz around the place. There is no happy atmosphere. It was like the customers were a bit of an inconvenience. At almost £3,000 for the week this wasn't a budget holiday, but it felt like it was. I would say it's 3 star. We're used to between 4 and 5 star. We won't be back. We know what we like, and this didn't match up. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This is the only Thompson ship we had not sailed on and after reading some of the reviews we were a little dubious . The ship is old and is showing this, we booked a balcony cabin and after paying extra to book this we did expect a better ... Read More
This is the only Thompson ship we had not sailed on and after reading some of the reviews we were a little dubious . The ship is old and is showing this, we booked a balcony cabin and after paying extra to book this we did expect a better cabin. Cupboards and drawers we chipped and showing their age but having said this the bed was the most comfortable bed we have slept in on holiday. The staff are great and very hard working. The staff who cleaned our cabin always had a smile on their faces and looked after us well. But some of the staff on reception can be a little rude. We dined at first in the seven seas restaurant on a night till one night when an I think was an officer came to show us to our table my wife asked for a table for two, because we did not want to sit were he did not want us to go told us we would find one further down the restaurant and left us wandering around the restaurant ourselves till a young pleasant waiter helped us. The food was nice but please change your sweet selection, we have seen the same on every cruise we have been on with Thompson. We really enjoyed the cruise and I will say Thompson the staff make it very enjoyable. Read Less
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
FIRST AND LAST CRUISE I have just returned from my very first cruise and based on this my very last cruise The cruise ship was the Thomson Dream (more like nightmare ) You know it's going to be a poor experience once you land ... Read More
FIRST AND LAST CRUISE I have just returned from my very first cruise and based on this my very last cruise The cruise ship was the Thomson Dream (more like nightmare ) You know it's going to be a poor experience once you land at your destination airport to be greeted by your tour operators rep who informs you they have not organised enough coaches to transfer you to your ship?? So including transfer times we finally arrive at the ship 2 hours late and are taken direct to our cabin, no welcome pack no map of the ship just a not saying our luggage would be delivered to our cabin within 2 to 3 hours, so all we have is the clothes we travelled in and not a clue where we were or what to do next. The first night we found the entertainments lounge/deck the medusa lounge seemed the most popular it had a small bar situated in the left hand side of the room with 2 bar tenders and a group of waiters milling around one corner, there was a single file queue of 20/30 customers waiting to be served, the waiters were also trying to be served at the same time, now it must be said that these waiters must have undergone highly specialised training as never before have I seen a group of people look at a room full of customers waving hands for service and see no one Be warned the average service time for a drink weather you queue or pray for a waiter to see you is 35 minutes. THE FOOD If you like 3 star food in a 1 star canteen the buffet restaurants are the place to be but make sure you get a wine at the bar first ( don't forget the 35 minute wait ) as there is no facilities in these canteens, we made this mistake the first time and asked a waitress for a glass of wine and the look of horror on her face was a picture, needless to say we did not get any wine. If you like 4 star food in a 4 star water service restaurant then Orion's on deck 4 is the place to be but be patient as this is obviously going to be busy. THE EXCURSIONS Be warned not worth paying out good money for First port of call Sardinia we chose discover Sardinia £36 per person a 2 hour drive on a coach on a winding road and a tour guide telling you about the history of the island but with nothing to see not pointing anything out after a 2 hour drive we stop at what looks like a large semi detached house this turns out to be a SMALL and I do mean SMALL museum where the guide then repeats what he has already told you as we spend 30 minutes wandering around the museum, from there its back on the coach and a 10 minute drive up the road to what can only be described as a portacabin, this is our 15 minute drinks stop, one man serving making each coffee fresh from scratch, this portacabin is big enough to take 2 customers at the counter and five queuing out of the door seating available outside for 30, but with 3 coaches all pulling up at the same time (enough said) Second port of call Naples we chose Pompeii £42 per person again a one and a half hour journey to Pompeii the guide gave us a lecture on the local area on arrival to Pompeii we were dropped off at the entrance then the coach went off to park, we were issued with head phones so that the guide could talk to us these were as much use as a chocolate fire guard as you had to be standing right next to her for them to work, we were virtually ran around the main high street of Pompeii and given no free time to explore or take in the museum, we were given a quick toilet break before returning to the coach and although we told the guide that there were still 2 people waiting to return from the toilets she just walked off and abandoned us, fortunately some of the other passengers strung their selves out to keep us in sight as the coach was a five minute walk with several twist and turns. Third port of call Sicily We chose mount Etna £35 per person a one and a half hour drive on a coach on a winding road and a tour guide telling you about the history of the island but with nothing to see not pointing anything out after a one and a half hour drive we stop at coffee shop at what we assume is Etna where the guide just abandons us just saying meet back here in 50 minutes no guide no clue where to go took a photo of a hole in the ground and had a coffee OVER ALL EXPERIENCE If I had to rate this ship and over all experience it would have to be a 2 star+ The entertainment team and Orion's restaurant is definitely worthy of a 4 star, as was the cabin steward The buffet restaurants a 1 star+ The bar and waiting staff are a 0 star, on land I would honestly have walked out and found another place to take my custom Read Less

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