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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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this as our first cruise as we have holidayed many times with Thomsons/TUI and have always been happy with the service and standards in their hotels.They obviously haven't replicated that level on the Marella Dream as its a ... Read More
We chose this as our first cruise as we have holidayed many times with Thomsons/TUI and have always been happy with the service and standards in their hotels.They obviously haven't replicated that level on the Marella Dream as its a tired old ship that should have been scrapped years ago. A few tips from Thomsons who knew it was our first cruise would have helped ,such as you cant use cash on board as everything has to be done though a cabin account which we had to open. We were berthed on deck seven and whilst the cabin was old with mould between the tiles in the bathroom it was well serviced by a really good attendant (who we tipped as he deserved it) The air con in the room was efficient but overly loud all the time making it hard to sleep for the first few nights till we got used to it .Do not be fooled by the term swimming pool because it isn't more than a glorified paddling pool which the kids loved especially as it was only a meter deep and a quarter the size of your local swimming baths -The 2 Jacuzzis had young children in them every day they were open even though the sign says no under 13s.There was no t.v. or sports bar and the only tv was in your cabin covering world and sports news headlines.There were lots of things that came at an extra cost-such as wifi at £8 per day and even though we were all inclusive the waiters pushed us to get the premium drinks package for another £199 for two weeks which we declined-There was even a charge for bottled water in your cabin- A cup of tea and a tour of the bridge was another £10.If my wife wanted to do Pilates it was another £7 per session.The entertainment was repetitive and although the dancers tried hard the shows were pretty amateurish. The best night was the visiting uk comedian who filled the theatre for both shows he did.There are 3 resident musical acts in the different bars and to be honest they tried but were average at best. As for meals,we had breakfast/lunch and afternoon tea in Sirens which was good although the furniture was very old-The main downfall was the evening meals--If you ate in the Lido buffet restaurant it was poorly set out with soup next to desserts and by the time you had zig zagged back to your seat most of your food was almost cold and if you picked a bad time to go the queue was out the door- an awful experience.If you ate in the waiter service Orion restaurant the service was slow and you were guaranteed to get at least one course that was either almost cold or looked inedible--You could actually pay an extra £16-£20 for a better dining experience in different areas if you wished but we declined.The restaurant and bar staff worked very hard and although lacking in numbers were on the whole very helpful.We did meet some very nice people on the cruise and the benefit of dining in the waiter service restaurant was you could share your holiday experience with others most of whom were equally disappointed with the Dream--I know lots of people enjoyed the Dream based on their reviews but I can only state how we felt about the experience. I hope this isn't our last cruise because I know there are better operators out there offering quality cruises but it will take some time before we get over spending so much and getting so little in return-- Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Back to Back cruise on Thomson Discovery 13th to the 27th of May 2017 The Tui flight to Palma went ok and we were on the ship by early afternoon, although we had the hassle of reclaiming our bags at the airport and dragging them to the ... Read More
Back to Back cruise on Thomson Discovery 13th to the 27th of May 2017 The Tui flight to Palma went ok and we were on the ship by early afternoon, although we had the hassle of reclaiming our bags at the airport and dragging them to the coach which nowadays we are not used to. The outside cabin on Discovery was nice and storage space was good enough and the cabin was kept ship shape by two very efficient stewards, the shower was corner shaped with a curtain which jumped on you and the sink was a basin type being small round and deeply dished so if you turned the water full on it splashed you and wet the unit through, unbelievably I have never seen such thin and poor quality toilet paper on a ship, surely this must be false economy as three times more than normal had to be used. Discovery is a cold ship with drafts from the prom deck adding to the air conditioning as the doors to the prom deck were not the traditional heavy wood ships doors but two opposing sliding glass panels which both opened completely as would a town centre shop, letting the wind whistle through and it is plain to see that this ship was built for hotter parts of the world than the Med in May. Deck space is plentiful if grubby at the rear of the ship due to spilled drinks and soot specks on the deck that left dirty streaks on deck which I never saw mopped up, or the soot on the after deck sun loungers which were neither cleaned off, and while sun loungers are plentiful on the ship most have seen better days, unfortunately one big fault appears which is most annoying as no chairs are provided on the sun deck for those who have difficulty in getting on and off a sun bed and if you needed a chair it had to be pinched from the deck bar area which is not an ideal solution, and again there were also no chairs on the prom deck which again is a pretty bad and annoying oversight. The all inclusive drinks package cannot be bettered anywhere, and I guess that this is the reason that most passengers booked with Thomson and as drinks are a big part of the budget its a great saver. The bar waiter service on deck was great being constant throughout the day but the plastic drinking vessels are most off putting and they look filthy, possibly the denaturing of the plastic but I am sure any discerning cruise line would not serve drinks to respected customers in such vessels. Many of the plastic drinking vessels cups and plates etc were never collected at sundown, and were in evidence in some parts of the ship the morning after, so the ship is a bit sloppily run by higher management. Discovery is also a ship of music, in the main restaurant and Atrium there are tuneless automatic pianos aimlessly tinkering away by themselves, or pop music when they are not playing. There is live music on deck in the afternoon for those who like deck entertainment, but at all other times there is incessant piped pop music in every part of the ship, even in the restaurants while eating, and heavy metal music at breakfast is not my thing, there is not a quiet lounge in the ship where passengers can sit quietly with a drink and talk to each other, or to just sit quietly, so wherever you go there is non stop background pop music. Food on Discovery was very average but most of the Destiny passengers seemed to appreciate it from the person who started eating by pushing a full sausage into his mouth and then dropping his chin to within 3 inches of his plate and without using a knife shovelled in the rest with just a fork, to the people who held their knives and forks as would a four year old, fine dinning it is not, but I guess on this cruise most passengers didn’t care as long as the food did not run out. On this ship there does not seem to be a formal night or Captain’s dinner, but a “Dress to impress” night, and indeed I was not impressed, Thomson have dropped smart dress, to casual, which has morphed into scruffy as T shirts and jeans with canvas type shoes seem to be the standard, or anything which showed off the tattoos, on the first dress to impress night I wore evening dress which was a mistake, as unfortunately there really was no point, and I never wore a jacket again, I also noticed that many people wore the same clothes for days and one chap wore a somewhat grubby flat cap morning and evening throughout the cruise, although during the second week in the evening just a few jackets were in evidence although the majority were still people who wore jeans or shorts and T Shirt with pumps around the ship. The Main Restaurant had an abundance of staff but the service was the worst I have ever seen on a ship in 30 years of cruising, after being escorted to a table and being given a menu the average time before the starter came was 40 minutes, with the whole three courses taking over an hour and a half and once two hours, we always arrived at the restaurant before 7pm and never left before the first show started at 8:30pm. I was not the only passenger to see that the dining format did not work, and while again the food in the main dining room was not fine dining it was acceptable and always nicely presented it was however never hot, and on two occasions my fish was wet and underdone, then one night we were told after ordering that for some reason? the steak could only be served very well done, (why) so we all cancelled the steak. There were two other bookable restaurants which were at both ends of the dismally and dimly lit Disco Bar 11 and as both were open to the incessant pop music, or the nightly disco music played in the bar 11 any intimate restaurant ambiance was also unachievable. Due to the terribly slow dinning we saw most ships shows at the second nightly performance and the shows in our view were quite poor, the singers were not very good and they had to sing over music which was far too loud straining their voices, and some productions were sort of acting and singing like their take of West Side Story, which they murdered. The guest artists were entertaining being a Yorkshire comedian who was very good, although unfortunately the comedian for the second weeks cruise was again very average, no I'v changed my mine he was poor, there were also two lady singers who were very good but many people got up and sneaked out, not their cup of tea, or possibly a little too sophisticated for this clientele, and after the show the bubbling and gushing cruise director never failed to impress upon us how great they all were, in just case we forgot. The ship's bars were in general dimly lit, with live entertainment in one of them which was a very popular venue, and of course the incessant piped pop music in the other bar lounge areas, although the barmen and bar waiter service was always very good. So to sum up, the cruise ports were very good, as were the ships tours we had booked, although our stay in Naples was cut shorter than stated in my published itinerary and as such we could not risk doing our usual trip around the bay by train to Sorrento and back, which was a lot more than irksome. Thomson have vastly dropped standards for this ship, and for certain Thomson are now targeting the ship at newbies, the first time cruises, a younger clientele and at families, as we were informed that there were 200 children due to board the day we disembarked, in preference to seasoned cruisers who demand better standards than this ship or Thomson TUi are willing to provide. We booked this cruise on the strength of having done 4 previous Thomson cruises, the last one to the Caribbean which was very good, and now it does make me wonder if Thomson have dropped standards throughout the whole fleet in order to target another market, so would we sail on Discovery again? Well its cruising Mr Spock, but not as we know it, so that’s a NO. This review is my own view of this cruise, other reviews may differ Read Less
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