1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This was myself and wife 15th cruise all with Marella and the 4th time on the Dream as it was !! Our favourite ship in the fleet. I’ll keep the review practical many frequent Marbella cruise travellers hopefully get the key points. ... Read More
This was myself and wife 15th cruise all with Marella and the 4th time on the Dream as it was !! Our favourite ship in the fleet. I’ll keep the review practical many frequent Marbella cruise travellers hopefully get the key points. The positives are its an older ship but has some great venues and bars which makes the personnel touches better than the bigger ships and it proved no different from our previous sailings. The services from the bars and restaurant staff were excellent. The professional entertainment was excellent although some of the best act were too late in the evening. We read on an informative letter in our cabin on arrival that they listen to the cruise feedback reviews. They had decided they would let children use the adult pools which I’m not sure was thought through. We like the lido pool on deck 9 it has a children’s pool but they all used the adult pool. Not supervised by staff and parents and just basic chaos all week. Jumping,pushing,shoving,inflatables the size of a person. Water guns the size of cannons firing all over the deck. We are not stick in the muds we have 3 children who don’t behave in this fashion. Three times we complained to reception and all we got back was they are the same throughout the ship. Ruined the holiday and experience. The sail away party the life and sole of these cruises was ruined by the life safety drill taking place at 10.00 in the evening which is unheard off. The food which was always the stalwart of the Dream has gone backwards!! Repetitive basis offering and the sweet selection was really poor. The Cruise Director spent more time trying to sell upgrades than actually information around the entertainment. The 2 hour flight delay coming and 5 hour delay going back didn’t help either. This is our 2nd Marella cruise this year which hasn’t come anywhere near expectations with delays and standards going backwards.one of the biggest frustrations is trying to get your voice heard. The Tui App on the ship is loaded with questions they want to hear rather than anything they don’t. The questionnaire they send you is just as frustrating and if you criticising too much will not let you complete. Prices going up and standards going down. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
From the minute we arrived in the airport everything went smoothly up to when we arrived back a week later. Tui staff extremely organised and helpful. Would like to give a special mention to the bartender Philip "beep beep - love is ... Read More
From the minute we arrived in the airport everything went smoothly up to when we arrived back a week later. Tui staff extremely organised and helpful. Would like to give a special mention to the bartender Philip "beep beep - love is in the air" and Lewis our fantastic cabin house keeper. Nothing was too much for Lewis. Both guys were so accommodating and super friendly. They deserve recognition for all the hard work and politeness they showed us all. Food was perfect for all my family. Great variety. Broadway shows in the evening were not great, we expected so much more. The entertainment team again just our opinion screeched through many of if not all the songs they sang. Many people walked out during each show. (Hate to give a negative comment) regardless it does not warrent a rate reduction in my opinion because you can see they work very hard. We thought it was such a nice touch from Shane to bring many of the team on stage the evening before so we could say thank you to all the wonderful staff. It was emotional. In a lovely way. These guys work so hard to give us the hard earned holiday. We did a few excursions all booked via Tui all went so easy and very reasonable. We would not recommend purchasing WiFi, £40 for one day and signal kept dropping more so than having it. Went to reception twice got no satisfaction. So it really was a waste of money. My daughter had a facial and I had a wash and blow dry in the spa. Both were fantastic, very well priced also. Both lovely ladies that pampered us. We have not knocked any points off for our cruise as overall we enjoyed immensely, thank you to all marella dream. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
The transfers from start to finish, were smooth.We even were allowed to move cabin and stay on later on the last day, to save us having to wait at the airport for hours for our flight.This cost £35 per person and was well worth it. ... Read More
The transfers from start to finish, were smooth.We even were allowed to move cabin and stay on later on the last day, to save us having to wait at the airport for hours for our flight.This cost £35 per person and was well worth it. This was the best cruise I have been on.I liked that it was much smaller ship and that it was older.The staff are lovely and can't do enough for you.The food was good and plenty of choice.The cabin was spotless and the lad that did for us, Lewis, deserves a special mention, for being so good at his job and going out of his way to help us when ever he could. The ship was clean and tidy and as it's an older ship yes some of the toilets could have a bit of a whiff about them at times.However given the amount of people they serve I think that can be expected , on a whole though they to were spotless and clean. I really enjoyed it, and hope to go again next year. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I’ve been on it before, not so cheap and cheerful, this time the quality of the food and entertainment has seriously gone down, I’m a vegetarian, last time the food was good, a nice variety of dishes, this time the same vegetables in ... Read More
I’ve been on it before, not so cheap and cheerful, this time the quality of the food and entertainment has seriously gone down, I’m a vegetarian, last time the food was good, a nice variety of dishes, this time the same vegetables in just different sauces, lacklustre. Entertainment, the spots were a lot shorter with the resident bands, more breaks and 12am finishes were creeping earlier as the week went on, the whole ship gave the impression that as it was about to change itinerary nobody had to make an effort. Part of our company was my 82 year old Mother in Law, who inadvertently left the plastic cabin key in her luggage, we discovered when we got home, TUI took 280 pounds off her credit card for it! Also, watch your bill, my 12 year old son bought a day on the WIFI, they took nearly 400 pounds for internet. Never again Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We are fairly recent cruisers and wanted a winter sun break and booked this cruise in January on line. The weather was superb and we were told by the crew the best they have had for several years. We flew from East Midlands to Tenerife and ... Read More
We are fairly recent cruisers and wanted a winter sun break and booked this cruise in January on line. The weather was superb and we were told by the crew the best they have had for several years. We flew from East Midlands to Tenerife and arrangements at departure, on arrival, coaching to Santa Cruz and boarding Marella Dream went like clockwork. The ship is old but is modern in appearance with good quality furnishings and the staff very friendly and helpful, nothing was too much trouble from our room steward to the bar and restaurant staff. Corridors and lift space are a little narrow and not as spacious as more modern ships. The variety of lounges and drinking and dining options were first class as was the food and drinks. We like to be on our own for dinner and for six nights we were served by Jennifer and April who looked after us very well. The Marella Dream Show team and their shows in the Broadway Show Lounge were excellent. Some very good singers and dancers however the comedian Alan Wilkins material was older than us and we are in our 70's. The resident band were again very good with such a wide range of music on offer. Our only disappointment was the lack of space for sunbathing when we had such good weather. We were birthed in walking distance of six of the places we visited which is brilliant. There were lots of excursions and trips arranged which people we spoke to enjoyed. Leaving the cruise was also faultless, colour coded luggage and well organised. Our only disappointment was East Midlands Border Control on the return. It took about 30 minutes to process us which is not acceptable. A superb restful and enjoyable cruise. Thank you TUI. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We have only been on three previous cruises, all on small ships with quite personal service so this one at 1,500 passengers was big for us ! Our ports of call in the Canaries and Madeira were all fascinating, we thought that the excursions ... Read More
We have only been on three previous cruises, all on small ships with quite personal service so this one at 1,500 passengers was big for us ! Our ports of call in the Canaries and Madeira were all fascinating, we thought that the excursions were overpriced and after finding that the handouts from the ship were not very helpful or accurate we headed for the tourist information offices at the places we visited. There was good information about the ports on-line but we used on-shore wi-fi and roaming Vodafone after a message that we would be charged £2.88 per minute for all calls, texts, and data on "Vodafone Marine" ! Our cabin, 1004, was quite good with a settee and table as well as TV and tea and coffee facilities and a good size window, a bit obscured by lifeboat access equipment. We had a problem with the safe which two visits from crew could not sort out, Dennis, an officer from reception was the second to try, we were pleased that the safe locked itself and refused to open until he put his override code in twice. He confirmed to us that it was faulty. I made a third visit to reception to complain and they refunded my money but were unable to provide a replacement safe for us or alternative safe storage for our valuables, apparently there is no safe at reception ! Our only option was to find a hiding place in the cabin. Please note there is no forseeable solution to this problem as replacement safes are apparently not available ! On our fifth day I was up early with diarrhoea and vomiting, I called reception as required and was visited by a doctor and nurse. They confirmed from my symptoms that it was not viral and therefore probably something that I had eaten so I could either stay in the cabin on immodium for 24 hours or visit the ships hospital for treatment which would see me well again in a couple of hours, I opted for the latter and had extensive blood tests and intravenous drugs, the treatment worked and I called back in the evening to check that all my obs. were normal. Excellent service but a tad dear at £1,400 plus ! Interesting to note that the previous day had been a "sea day" so it was most probably something that I had eaten on the ship. We unfortunately missed Lanzarote on my sick day. On the positive side, the crew were polite and helpful to a man ( or person I suppose I should say). The highlight of the cruise was the entertainment team, they worked non stop and were really professional and talented. The food was all pretty good ranging from canteen type buffets in various locations, made to order pancakes, omelettes and pizzas, a proper sit down restaurant with good service and "pay extra" speciality restaurants. We were on a full board but not " all inclusive " basis so we paid for the "wine package" which at about £14 per bottle compared to UK restaurant prices. Drinks at the bar were similar to pub prices. We enjoyed a lot of the cruise but there were things that let it down, there was no hot water on one evening and for the hour before the captains reception the whole ship was without any running water, the Captain did apologise and excused the smelly guests ! I registered all my complaints on-board and filled in the questionnaire on our return but there has been no offer of apology or compensation, in fact no response at all ! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Having read previous reviews I was very concerned about our holiday. Embarkation was excellent and the ship is extremely clean and the staff are amazing. Reception staff less so - unhelpful when we complained about noise in our cabin and ... Read More
Having read previous reviews I was very concerned about our holiday. Embarkation was excellent and the ship is extremely clean and the staff are amazing. Reception staff less so - unhelpful when we complained about noise in our cabin and when moved to another cabin in the middle of night only to find extreme engine noise they were very rude to us. The Orion restaurant is good and fellow diners well behaved in this restaurant. The waiters are amazing - service some of the best we have ever had in any 5 star hotel around the world. However, the decks are cramped, sunbeds old and stained and the ship is only slightly better than Brittany ferries - in fact the pool area is worse than the Pont Aven ferry. Do not go on this cruise if you want any form of culture or sophistication. Lots of bingo and hideous entertainment in the Broadway theatre. Very crowded in the buffet areas and breakfast on deck very busy. Stick to Orion restaurant for breakfast if you don't want to watch very large people eating very large breakfasts whilst talking very loudly on mobile phones to friends at home. I am trying to be generous here but all in all if you like Butlins you will like this - it is not like the previous P&O cruises we have been on at all but it is a lot less expensive. The Ports of call were lovely as was the weather and leaving the ship was extremely efficient. The main problem is the sheer number of people all crammed together on a very small ship and the type of people attracted to this type of budget cruise. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We are quite experienced cruisers now, but never with Marella and if im honest I was a bit dubious given some of the reviews, but we were very pleasantly surprised. Yes the boat and decor is getting a bit tired in places, but we have ... Read More
We are quite experienced cruisers now, but never with Marella and if im honest I was a bit dubious given some of the reviews, but we were very pleasantly surprised. Yes the boat and decor is getting a bit tired in places, but we have really struggled to find too many negatives, the only ones really were having to pay for the use of the safe in the cabin (£15 for one week), and the shower in our cabin which was a little temperamental, going from hot to cold and back to hot and then cold again all on its own!! The main evening entertainment shows were easily some of the best we have seen, all the cast of singers and dancers were amazing with special comments for Luke, Danielle and Charlotte. The evening meals in the Orion were all of a great standard, very “British” but generally excellent in quality, as was the service given by the staff, look out for Carl and his team around table 100, they were all lovely! The crew on board were actually all by far the friendliest and happiest we have ever met, always saying hello whenever you passed them, and nothing seemed too much trouble for anyone. Our cabin was an inside this time, we would normally have an outside or balcony but for this week we were happy enough to take inside, it was compact but everything was clean and comfortable, TV was working and we got Sky sports news, an ITV channel and a few others, no problems at all really, except the safe and the shower as already mentioned. Nightly turn down service and chocolates on the pillow and several towel animals from our steward who was lovely, thank you Antoinette. We will definitely be looking into further Marella cruises from now on, maybe on a slightly newer and bigger ship though. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Read so many negative comments about the boat. Don't believe everything you read. Crew and staff 10/10 could not fault anyone Food 10/10 there was always something you could choose from. There was plenty of other ... Read More
Read so many negative comments about the boat. Don't believe everything you read. Crew and staff 10/10 could not fault anyone Food 10/10 there was always something you could choose from. There was plenty of other restaurants you could easily have eaten in but we chose to eat in the minstrel restaurant or the lido buffet. Ship and decor 9)10 Yes it's old but such a lovely boat kept spotless clean and in good order. Entertainment . Broadway Theatre So professionally put together.The shows easily compared to any London stage show. Transfer excellent with no problems. Always giving excellent advise prior to landing. My one and only quibble would be. There's no espresso coffee available unless you wanted to pay a small charge. Which was still cheaper than Costa. Overall my wife and myself really enjoyed the cruise. In no way were we disappointed with anything. I can only reiterate. Don't believe anything negative until you have cruised on the Marella Dream Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Went with my mum and sister; chosen by my mum as she had not been to the Canary Islands before. Places included Tenerife, Gran Canaria, La Palma, Madeira, Morocco and Lanzarote. The most positive part were the staff onboard who were ... Read More
Went with my mum and sister; chosen by my mum as she had not been to the Canary Islands before. Places included Tenerife, Gran Canaria, La Palma, Madeira, Morocco and Lanzarote. The most positive part were the staff onboard who were always keen to help. Choice of and quality of meals was excellent. The entertainment team were excellent every night too. Due to adverse weather conditions, 2 of the nights were very rocky, and many felt sea sick; obviously not the fault of TUI. Poor weather continued for most days. The odd sunny day, it would have been nice to enjoy the sun beds on the top deck, but they were all taken, and the ones which were not had been "reserved" by selfish passengers draping towels over them. TUI need to address this. Another disappointment was that 2 of our excursions were cancelled; one due to not enough people booking ( hard to beleive that out of well over 1000 passengers, this could happen). Another was cancelled as filming for a movie was taking place in the area we were going to in Tenerife. The TV in our cabin did not work all week, as other passengers have mentioned. I guess we may well have been unlucky, and perhaps a cruise is not my kind of holiday. It seemed to be most popular with older passengers who prefer to stay onboard and enjoy making the most all the inclusive food and alcohol. When asked one afternoon by an elderly, overweight male passenger why I wasn't drinking, I was more than tempted to say "Because I don't want to look like you". I enjoyed using the gym several times. I would have preferred the choice of more activities such as yoga and aerobics. There was a pilates session on some mornings, but a bit too early and only if enough people turned up. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our 4th cruise. Our previous 3 cruises were with Royal Caribbean, and although we were reasonably happy with RC, we decided to give Marella cruises a try, because the price was good, and because they were going to ports we wanted ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise. Our previous 3 cruises were with Royal Caribbean, and although we were reasonably happy with RC, we decided to give Marella cruises a try, because the price was good, and because they were going to ports we wanted to visit. We were a group of 6 people from 3 generations, all with inside cabins. We had the full board package rather than all inclusive, because we don’t drink very much and, at over £28pp per day, you would have to go some to get your money’s worth! Also, every person on the booking must buy the package, which is hardly fair when there are under 18s in the group. We flew from Edinburgh to Palma on Tuesday 9th Oct. Check in, flight, and transfers were seamless. No problems at all. Very well organised, with Marella staff on hand at every point to direct customers. Check in at the cruise terminal was relatively quick and again, very easy. We arrived at the ship around lunch-time and our cabins were ready. We went to have a look at the cabins then went for lunch. All staff on the ship were friendly and happy. They seem much more relaxed that RC staff, who seem to have supervisors on their back the whole time. We were very happy with the ship itself. There was of a good standard of cleanliness. I’ve read some reviews saying that the ship is old and tired and needs to be retired, but I wouldn’t agree. There were a few issues – especially leaks here and there when it rained, but generally it was pretty good. There seemed to be fewer blocked toilets than our other cruises with RC. We didn’t really use the lifts, but they did seem quite slow. One thing I thought was strange was that at night, there were no lights at the front of the promenade deck, which meant it was pitch dark at night, preventing everyone except the bravest from walking round the ship after dark. I’m not sure of the reason, but I’m assuming it’s because the bridge might find it more difficult to see if there are lights directly below them, but you’d think there could be some muted, low level lighting to allow people to have a stroll round the deck at night. There are lots of lounges and places to sit, so you never struggle to find somewhere to relax. There are the usual issues with sunbeds of people putting towels or belongings on them then disappearing for hours on end. This needs to be better managed The ship is apparently going into dry dock on 30th Oct for a week for repairs and deep cleaning. Dining: We ate mostly at Sirens for breakfast and afternoon tea, and the Lido or dining room for dinner. Dining positives:- In the main dining room, there are no set times for dinner. You can decide whether to share with others or have a table to yourself. You are seated immediately you arrive at the dining room -we did not ever have to wait in a queue to be seated. Afternoon tea in Sirens is fantastic, and was always very busy. Food was of good quality mainly and there was always plenty. Desserts in particular are much better than RC, who’s desserts are all very similar in consistency. Tables were kept clean and tidy by staff. Plates were cleared quickly and efficiently. Dining negatives:- Queues!!! British people become quite fierce if anyone tries to nip into a gap in the queue. The layout of the self service areas mean that if you only want something at the far end, you pretty much have to queue from the start. This was probably one of the only things that RC trumps Marella, as they have different stations for different food types. That said, the queues move quite quickly, so it’s not a major issue We didn’t try any of the a la carte restaurants as the food in the included restaurants was more than enough for us. Entertainment and activities:- We didn’t go to many shows in the theatre. We saw Stan John, the comedian, who was fine. Otherwise, we heard from others that the ships entertainment staff were decent for the first few nights but after that, it seemed to be too much of the same thing. There was a trio singing in the Waters Edge lounge, called Acoustic Soul, who were very good, but otherwise, we didn’t do many of the offered activities – although there was plenty to do. Service was good throughout the ship. Although I’d advise everyone to check their onboard account as we were double charged for use of the safe. Marella are much less pushy regarding selling extras than RC. Photo opportunities are there, but you are not bombarded every time you get on and off the ship etc. One major negative was that one of our cases was badly damaged being transferred from the ship to the cruise terminal at the end of the cruise, and the response to this was less than impressive. They tried to stick it back together with 2 small pieces of duct tape. We had to pay 10 euros at the airport to have it wrapped. I emailed Tui when I got home, but so far have had no response. Ports and excursions:- This is where Marella beats RC hands down, for me. The hours we were in port were much longer than RC. I suppose, in fairness, the ports we visited were relatively close together, but we were usually able to disembark around 9ish and didn’t have to be back on until 6 or 7pm. The ports we visited only twice had shuttle buses, which were £7pp (Portimao and Valencia) The shuttle bus in Valencia is unnecessary. Our teenagers wanted to go to the aquarium, so we didn’t get the shuttle bus. We left the port and got a local bus (number 95) to the aquarium. There are frequent buses numbers 95 and 4, which go to city centre from the port. They cost 1.50 each way. All in all, a great cruise. I would not hesitate to use Marella again, and would definitely choose them before Royal Caribbean next time Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Our first time cruiseing 6 of us went for my wife’s 60th birthday her birthday was on gala night when we all met the captain but the waiters still came over with a lovely cake played the guitar an sang happy birthday to her! The staff ... Read More
Our first time cruiseing 6 of us went for my wife’s 60th birthday her birthday was on gala night when we all met the captain but the waiters still came over with a lovely cake played the guitar an sang happy birthday to her! The staff are fantastic they cannot do enough for you they won’t pass you without asking if you’re okay or a good day or good night I would like to give a special mention about pity ardika on deck 9 he waited on us st the bar and was so friendly and helpful and we’ll be coming back if only to see putu! The facilities on board are very good in fact we didn’t get to use every bar/lounge on ship so although it is not as big as a lot of ships we saw on our travels she’s just the right size for us ! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Had an excellent cruise. The ship is a bit dated in places but the overall cruise was brilliant from start to end. Did not want it to end the staff are brilliant and everything is organised to perfection with no hic- ups. So much food ... Read More
Had an excellent cruise. The ship is a bit dated in places but the overall cruise was brilliant from start to end. Did not want it to end the staff are brilliant and everything is organised to perfection with no hic- ups. So much food choice and the Orion waited on like a king. A coupkeofports were 2mins away but tui put on transfer coaches so not a problem. The ship is not over big so plenty of beds and room for all. I will be booking with him again due to the organisation and the friendly staff. We went in September visited Italy, France and Spain. Weather was really nice. The beach in Palma is a must. Loved corsica , Sorrento and St Raphael were my favourites. Entertainment could have been better, was ok but the crew did most of the shows with just an hour a night, shame it's not a crew show with live entertainment after. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Week away with my daughter for a birthday celebration - cruised the Med. - cabin was ideal , staff first class and ship well run and kept. We used " Siren's " for a leisurely breakfast and prefered our evening meal in the ... Read More
Week away with my daughter for a birthday celebration - cruised the Med. - cabin was ideal , staff first class and ship well run and kept. We used " Siren's " for a leisurely breakfast and prefered our evening meal in the " Orion " restaurant , food and service first class. Great atmosphere in the " Water's Edge " bar with the " Acoustic Soul band " with Tom, Ralph & Gideon - good entertainers. A special thanks to " Swapnill & Leon " for making " The Water's Edge " so special - nothing was too much trouble for them - we appreciated them . " Candy " the guy who looked after our cabin was another great asset. Our excursions were well organised and enjoyable - " Katerina " was a tremendous guide on our trip to Rome. Thanks to everyone - hope to see you's again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Can’t comment on value for money as was paid for by family member. This my first cruise as part of a group of 12. I had read the reviews and of course was concerned about the negative ones but on the whole there was no need to worry and ... Read More
Can’t comment on value for money as was paid for by family member. This my first cruise as part of a group of 12. I had read the reviews and of course was concerned about the negative ones but on the whole there was no need to worry and we had a great time. The staff are fantastic and a credit to the industry. I can believe the main description on this site that they are loyal to this ship and they would do anything to help. Food was average at worst and many times good/excellent. Orions is the best place to eat. Only did one show who was a comedian and did a decent enough job. Yes the boat is not as new or big as some of the others and if you look closely you can see signs of it’s age but I think it had a soul and charm that ( from reading reviews ) the bigger newer ships do not have. Other cruise goers implied that fact that the majority of passengers were English made it a more agreeable experience than being with certain nationalities on the bigger, newer ships. Cabin was bigger than I expected and was spotless - our attendant seemed to want to come 2-3 times a day to clean and in the end we had to tell him to skip on some occasions. He did a great job and we tipped him at the end - I don’t tip for anything other than excellent service. Overall the process of plane to ship and excursions/information provided etc was all good with no hiccups. The only real negative I did have was the number of times on the first day I was asked to upgrade my drinks package - the standard all inclusive is perfectly adequate. If you want newer ship go elsewhere. If you want a civil atmosphere and to be looked after this one might be worth a go. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Arrived at the airport and we collected our luggage( which you must do yourself) found our coach and then our luggage was taken and not seen then til later in the day. Cabin numbers are put on your case at departure airport and they are ... Read More
Arrived at the airport and we collected our luggage( which you must do yourself) found our coach and then our luggage was taken and not seen then til later in the day. Cabin numbers are put on your case at departure airport and they are all security scanned before going onto the ship. Travelled about 20 mins to the port where you then collect an envelope with boarding cards etc enclosed. You then queue to give card details over in case you wish to spend money on board as everything is cashless,a photo is taken and then you proceed to the ship. Boarding cards are essential they are scanned every time you get off and on the ship and also when using bars, restaurants etc on the ship. You can either get off and look around Palma or get yourself orientated its entirely up to the individual.Top tip is pack swimsuit and pool wear in hand luggage as you will not get your suitcase for up to 4 hrs after arriving and then you can use the sunbeds and pool as towels are provided. ( Lots of people were sat around doing nothing waiting for luggage). We were all inclusive,however they do ask if you wish to upgrade to premium at a cost of £50 pp per week. We managed without as there are literally hundreds of drinks to choose from on the all inclusive package,however you cannot get water and drink coffee from the coffee port or get bottles of wine or prosecco but you can get these by the glass and there is a place to refill water bottles in the Lido Restaurant.The only extra drinks on premium were top brands spirits and a couple of cocktails and canned drinks but its the same stuff as in the cans. Restaurants free to eat in are the buffet Lido,Orion and one other. The ones they charge for are Mistrals,Hot Stone and Kora La.The buffet was good for breakfast and snacks but we never ate their in the evening we always went to Orion which is table service and men have to wear long trousers and the food was all plentiful and delicious. Choices of starters mains and desserts,coffee etc. We dd eat at the Hot Stone which we paid for and it was absolutely worth it. The service the meal was fantastic. This is also where the captain sometimes ate. We did attend the Captains Gala night but we waited over an hour in the show bar and then left just as the captain was arriving....its not something I would rush to do again.Some do really dress up and some do not at all and look a complete shambles. Entertainment all day and night from family and interactive games to piano bar and groups and bands etc. The casino was in the Waters Edge Bar.This bar also held the late night disco which is when the bar staff really do work hard.I cannot comment on daytime entertainment as we did an awful lot of exploring off the ship and never stayed on board. We had already booked our excursions through Tui but they were still selling them on board.We did Trapani on our own. Taxi 15 euros for 4 of us to get to the cable car. 9 Euros pp return in the cable car and 15 euros return to ship. Taxis and buses are literally just by the port where you exit.We also walked around Trapani. We went to pompeii through Tui and we did Rome on our own via Tui coach then purchased the hop non hop off ticket which was great and very informative. Other ports we did our own thing. The excursions were well run organised and on time as the ship will not wait for you if you are late and are off independently. We used the spa and were treated impeccably and the treatments were very good value. The service on this ship is outstanding. We never came across a member of crew who could not do enough for you. They are mostly from the Philippines and are polite and attentive. If you need anything just ask and you shall receive (literally). Now the negatives...there are seriously not enough sockets in the cabins..we had literally 1 socket available this is absolutely ridiculous. Water should be free I have never had to pay for bottled water anywhere. WI-FI is a truly essential part of modern society and the fact that they charge a ridiculous sum for a pathetic amount is shocking. I went without all week but my husband runs a business and it is a necessary part of life. Also I feel that there should be one place on a ship that size that children are not allowed to go. They have free run of all the pools and bars and decks and sometimes just a break is needed from them especially those of us who work in education. The staff that really went the extra mile were Somnath-Orion Restaurant. Purwadi- Lido bar upstairs. Vipin - Spa Manager. Hector- Deputy Head Bartender. Kumar and Julin who worked in the Waters Edge Bar.Stefan- Hot Stone Restaurant. Daniel-Head Bartender and the amazing Acoustic Soul Band from the Waters Edge. Please be aware everyone has different ideas what they expect from their holiday and what makes you happy may annoy someone else. This was our very first cruise and it was surprising how much we had a great time. Definitely booking another for next year. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
What can I say.... I had read the reviews and was seriously concerned before we left , however I was VERY pleasantly surprised and proved wrong! I was prepared for the “ tiredness” of the ship, I was prepared for the “ money ... Read More
What can I say.... I had read the reviews and was seriously concerned before we left , however I was VERY pleasantly surprised and proved wrong! I was prepared for the “ tiredness” of the ship, I was prepared for the “ money grabbing” at every opportunity and the “ pushiness” to upgrade your package or to spend additional funds in the restaurants that aren’t included. What I wasn’t prepared for , was to witness just how hard the staff on this ship work to enable you to have a lovely holiday.... my god - do they work hard! I went with my husband, my 15 year old daughter and my 71 year old mother . Our cabins were the cheapest inside cabins, yet we were pleasantly surprised by how much space we had..... Yes, we had to pay for a safe, but it’s £15 euros and it gave us peace of mind. The showers were amazing- actually better than I have at home and the cabin service was brilliant. We had towel animals on the bed and my mums nightie was folded into a work of art every night which caused us great amusement. The cabin staff were super friendly and permanently smiling! To be honest, the entertainment wasn’t all for me as, in my opinion, it was butlinsly , however, you could not knock how hard they worked , or the effort they put into their performances. One afternoon, my mum went to a Cha Cha lesson solo, and , as she had no partner , she had to dance with Ethan from the team...... well- it made her week!!!...... food was brilliant...... yes, sometimes you had to wait for the bar, but staff were busy working and serving other passengers, not standing around chatting. My mum lost her purse one night and it was handed in by staff to Reception with all monies and cards intact. We felt very safe aboard this boat.Excursion to Rome was very tiring but well organised. The Trapani (Sicilian)cable car trip, we did ourselves for £69 euros for 4 of us..... taxi there and back for £30 euros and £9euros each for cable car .....so MUCH cheaper than ship cost. My overall advice is to go with an open mind. Yes, you can pay extra for steak and additional restaurants, but we didn’t feel the need to do so, as all food served was adequate and we certainly weren’t pushed to spend more. No one even mentioned to us to upgrade our drinks package, and again, it just isn’t necessary- drinks and cocktails are fine, I thought the photos they sell on board were expensive and I wouldn’t have bought them, but my mum did, and they were as expensive as I would have expected. I think the majority of people have an amazing holiday on this ship and I certainly WOULD go again...... don’t be put off by the reviews .... you’ll have a wonderful time ! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
First of all everything seemed to be well organised and on time. Cabin staff were great, nothing too much trouble. Cabin exactly as described, very clean and perfectly adequate for short time spent in them. Food was amazing - so much ... Read More
First of all everything seemed to be well organised and on time. Cabin staff were great, nothing too much trouble. Cabin exactly as described, very clean and perfectly adequate for short time spent in them. Food was amazing - so much choice, chefs would do other things if you asked. Lido restaurant ( self service) bit of a free for all at times- though that is the 'guests' ( some of them behaved like Butlins in the old days). Not keen on ' come as you are' dress code for this restaurant...... kids coming in from pool soaking wet and old guys with no tops on. Orion - fantastic food, very busy, sometimes queues to get in but they turn tables around very fast so you don't wait long. Wine waiters bit slow- we had finished main course by time wine arrived once and another time were half way through. Waiting staff are all very polite and friendly though. Pizza/ burger grill by pool was great for lunch-teenagers liked that one! Sirens on deck 11 was nice for breakfast - great choice. Lots of ice cream machines for kids. Afternoon tea served on deck 11 - lovely scones, sandwiches and cakes available. Drinks package bit of a con unless you are going to get drunk every night. They wanted £200 each including for our 15 and 13 year olds. That's £800! The drinks are not expensive - £4.20 for Gin and Tonic. Excursions - some are worth doing. We went to the Nou Camp- which was manic. It was so busy we were glad we had gone on the organised trip. They drive you around the Olympic village on way back but you don't get chance to look around it. Personally I would have liked half an hour here to do so. My bug bear for this trip was that they charged the same price for my 13 and 15 yr old when the ticket price is actually cheaper for teens. The other trip we did with them was to Pisa and Puccini villa and lake. Well organised but maybe a little rushed in the beginning at the lake and villa. They do try and sell you their trips but you don't always need them. There is usually a Tourist Information as you disembark. Monaco was very easy to walk around by yourself - went to palace and walk most of F1 track and went to beach. Or you can get a little train. Savona - nice little town to walk around. A lot of the beach is private but at either end there is a public part - was absolutely fine for a few hours, with a small snack bar. Toulon - get the Little train which takes you around to the beach and old town. First stop is the lovely gardens and beaches. They are man made but lovely - 4 little coves, plenty of eating places and platform to jump/dive off. The evening shows in the Broadway lounge were fantastic- choreography was fab and some of the singers would not be out of place in a west end show ( Becky, Luke, Charlotte). Day at sea - bit manic. No sun beds to be had at all.....people put towels on them and disappeared for ages. On the following day we were told that to combat this there was a deck patrol and if people were away for over 45 mins their stuff would be removed and taken to reception but never saw it happen. Pool small and some parents let their children treat it like a big hotel pool, jumping in, throwing balls around. It is not big enough for that and there are notices around to not do that. The ship had just employed a deck patrol girl and a few times she did speak to people to not jump ....bit not enough. We only went in briefly twice the whole week as we were put off by other guests behaviour. Wifi was expensive so we didn't get it and shock horror the teenagers managed without it by playing cards, going to the shows,TALKING and they had a few movies they had downloaded before we left! This was our first cruise. Would we do another? Yes, but on a different ship. I would pay more for a bigger/better ship.... little bit more to do on board. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our first cruise. We had read the various reviews and as a family with children, we wanted to see whether we suited cruising, or it was something we enjoyed. The ship was clean and we could see the staff working hard everyday ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We had read the various reviews and as a family with children, we wanted to see whether we suited cruising, or it was something we enjoyed. The ship was clean and we could see the staff working hard everyday with maintaining the ships paint and cleanliness. The cabins are dated slightly but the beds were comfortable and the cabin steward was lovely, every day making an animal from the towels for my son. You have plenty of towels, including ones for the sun beds, which makes a nice change. The food is good. There is a selection of restaurants, some you pay extra for more elaborate dining, but the Orion and buffet food is good. The Orion staff were very much a part of the key service you can expect. My glass was never empty and they would talk to you and get to know you all. That little time spent makes all the difference to us and was very much appreciated. The captains gala is a nice feature with photos that you can have. The captain was very informative in his morning announcements and I liked the little humour he would share within his information. Also very much liked that he personally saw off every guest at the end of the cruise. The destinations are a mixed bag. We had been looking forward to Pisa, however we booked a short trip, which left us little time to explore. That was our first lesson and we learnt about what to expect. Monaco and Savona were lovely stops and we did our own thing which is easy with the information provided. I have to say that we had been dissappointed with Toulon. It felt out of place from the other destinations with little to see and do. The ship appeared busy that day, so we thought that others must have felt the same. We made a similar mistake to Pisa in Barcelona. We had picked a short excursion and so didn’t see anything of value and missed the key sites. Our fault in not selecting a more diverse tour. The entertainment is very good. There is something in every bar from acoustic to the full on broadway type productions. The costume to these are extremely good and the entertainment crew very talented. We thoroughly enjoyed the shows every night. What makes this ship is the staff. Yes the lights and decor are a little old and the toilets play up. But the staff in the most are amazingly friendly. They are attentive and helpful. The bar and drinks waiting staff are under pressure and so you do have the wait for a drink, but you can go up yourself when this is the case. We were all inclusive and sometimes felt that we were analysed for having two room numbers for five drinks ordered. I’m not sure what that was about? Basically the family have loved their first cruise. We can’t wait to book our next and know that we know want longer experiences. In that the cruise was a success for us. From reading some reviews maybe the ship sets a expectations for us first timers, rather than for a sessioned cruiser. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Following a fantastic cruise last year on Thomson Majesty we booked this as Majesty is no longer available...In my opinion the Dream is a very inferior ship..We upgraded from last year to a balcony cabin. This was located at the back of ... Read More
Following a fantastic cruise last year on Thomson Majesty we booked this as Majesty is no longer available...In my opinion the Dream is a very inferior ship..We upgraded from last year to a balcony cabin. This was located at the back of the ship..The nearest lift on took you between decks 9-5... Pointless as most facilities were located on decks 10 and 4... You could not even walk down the stairs to the lower deck as they were blocked off... The restaurant facilities were adequate although there was only really the Orion restaurant that was worth visiting.. Sirens located on deck 10 was self service and there were 3 premium eating places that cost £15-20 per head extra per night.. Waiting staff were very good, but wine waiters were dreadful and very slow or just downright ignorant.. The cruise cost us in excess of £3,000 and was not worth the money. We went on 1 excursion to Pisa which was good value...but for the other ports we just made our own entertainment and arrangements... You have to get down to evening meal early 6.30 /7 pm else you will get stuck in queues.. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
It was our 1st cruise and we thought it was a great experience the entertainment staff catering bar staff cabin staff highly recommended would do it again .would recommend it to other 1st time cruisers as well only thing we didnt like was ... Read More
It was our 1st cruise and we thought it was a great experience the entertainment staff catering bar staff cabin staff highly recommended would do it again .would recommend it to other 1st time cruisers as well only thing we didnt like was that you was unable to watch england games in the world cup tournament and to have wifi would be rather expensive the captains announcements were very clear and accurate information. My wife unfortunately broke her ankle while we were in rome and the medical staff were great and was Amanda of entertainment who came with us to th hospital while we docked in palermos spain also the very kind taxi drivers who took great care with us .I travelled with my with and mother in law and none of us had been on a cruise before we would do it again one year liked it very much. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Then entire holiday was amazing. Ship, staff, food fantastic. My most favourite entertainment was Acoustic Soul Brothers. After I listened the 1st night, I was there every night to see them. Such polite and lovely guys and fantastic ... Read More
Then entire holiday was amazing. Ship, staff, food fantastic. My most favourite entertainment was Acoustic Soul Brothers. After I listened the 1st night, I was there every night to see them. Such polite and lovely guys and fantastic singers. I will definitely be back. Thankyou so much as this was my 1st Cruise. Marella cruises have got 2 new fans and will be booking tomorrow at our travel agents. Hopefully get to see Acoustic Brothers again. Made my nights listening to their music and fantastic songs for all ages. Cannot wait until my next cruise because I will never go to a Hotel again.. Never. Staff always smiled, polite and couldn't do enough for us. Even the staff outside the boat(Shuttle bus etc) were amazing. I have also never seen such a choice of foods and they were all delicious and catered for everyone. Hope to see everybody again very very soon. Thankyou again so much xxx Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
The food was superb; always plenty of choice and always well cooked and presentes. All the crew were very friendly and helpful and the cabin roomy a clean. I’m not sure how they manage to be so happy all the time! The nightly ... Read More
The food was superb; always plenty of choice and always well cooked and presentes. All the crew were very friendly and helpful and the cabin roomy a clean. I’m not sure how they manage to be so happy all the time! The nightly entertainment in the show lounge has converted me to watching musicals. The cast were amazing! Unfortunately the weather meant the itinerary had to be changed for a couple of days and we missed the excursion to Sicily as a result but the 2 others we went on to Pompeii and Rome were well paced and very informative. If there was any downside I’d say that the excursion guide used a radio to communicate with the group through earphones. This sounded distorted or faint and there didn’t seem to be any mid point however, this was a small price to pay for an overall excellent holiday. We moved on to a hotel in Alcúdia for a further weeks stay. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I'm not sure why we chose another cruise- our Thomson Spirit experience last year was patchy to say the least. This time we chose an 'Outdoor Plus' cabin. In our opinion it was about 3 grades up from our Spirit ... Read More
I'm not sure why we chose another cruise- our Thomson Spirit experience last year was patchy to say the least. This time we chose an 'Outdoor Plus' cabin. In our opinion it was about 3 grades up from our Spirit 'Outdoor Standard'. This time we had a queen size bed, sofa, ample wardrobe space, a bath and even a fridge- all lacking with Spirit. Our midships location on deck 6 gave a very smooth cruising experience despite some stormy seas. Food: We found the basic food to be adequate yet unspectacular, apart from the Biriani I had one evening- tremendous! Mistral's restaurant was the best of the three premium eateries. A heavenly dining experience. Kora La restaurant was nice but you really just felt part of Orion which you of course were. Some curtaining behind the screens may have enhanced the ambiance. My partner made the mistake of saying that she found the sea bass was a little dry and all hell broke loose. The head waiter came through to see us after profuse apologies and offers to get more food from our waiter- what a fuss. It was just our opinion not the end of the world but all of the hoo-hah spoiled our experience a little. Otherwise the food was very good. We were also given a free bottle and a half of wine against our wishes. Finally the Hot Stone restaurant- I hated the concept it full stop. Awkward eating to say the least. My lobster smelled and tasted off but I didn't mention it for fear of another embarrassing situation/ staff scrum at our table. In the second and third mentioned restaurants the wine wasn't served cold enough for us and we felt guilty for mentioning. Also the service in these was a little overbearing unlike Mistral's which was just right. Other issues worthy of mention: being charged for safe, missing Sicily due to weather and a casualty (no-one's fault), missing a day in Sorrento and being charged for a 3 hour day trip there (rectified afterwards due to complaints). Service: overall was very good. Room service exemplary. Otherwise not as good as Spirit. Sometimes difficult to get a drink as bar areas understaffed and some staff not great. Entertainment: A bit 'Butlinsy'. Several of the music artists were below par- one duo in particular had chronic backing tapes and frequently lost the thread during songs despite being nice singers. The gym was also good. Beauty treatments very good and reasonably priced in our opinion. Shops- average. Sorry if I've picked on the negative points but overall great room, great weather, nice ship with good facilities, good food and drink, great service and average entertainment. I'd give a 7/10 rating but can only choose 6 or 8 and it wasn't an 8 :-) Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I have always enjoyed Thomsons cruises and wanted to have a Wedding Blessingfor my 15th annivesary onboard. This was an ideal opportunity to see if Marella cruises were as good as Thomsons. Pleased to say every bit as good. Yes she is an ... Read More
I have always enjoyed Thomsons cruises and wanted to have a Wedding Blessingfor my 15th annivesary onboard. This was an ideal opportunity to see if Marella cruises were as good as Thomsons. Pleased to say every bit as good. Yes she is an old ship but so much nicer than the floating resorts of other cruise lines. A lovely ship with a wrap round promenade deck, two good sized pools and great restaurants. Excellent food choices, varied menus and great service. I had booked three cabins, one outside plus, one single and one disabled. A minor problem in the cabin was resolved immediately. All cabins were spotless, mine had a bath with two powerful showers over. There was plenty of wardrobe space and tea and coffee facilities in the cabin. A stable ship, I never felt any movement even in rough weather. Captain Richard, Juliana and Lara helped to.make my Blessing very special and I was treated as a VIP all week. Staff in all areas very helpful and polite. The entertainment team work very hard, the CanCan was superb However, I wish the singers would not shout. They wear head mike so don't need to shout. I loved my holiday. Read Less
Marella Dream Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
Dining 3.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.5 4.0
Public Rooms 4.5 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.4
Family 3.5 3.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.6
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates N/A 3.9

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