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7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Start with positives: Comfortable beds, clean if dated cabins, friendly staff, food in restaurant is good. Evening shows are of good quality. A lot of emphasis was put on cleanliness with sanitisation stations every where. Shame there is ... Read More
Start with positives: Comfortable beds, clean if dated cabins, friendly staff, food in restaurant is good. Evening shows are of good quality. A lot of emphasis was put on cleanliness with sanitisation stations every where. Shame there is no atrium but that is due to personal preference. Plenty of sun beds for everyone. Negatives: If you want to sleep at night, then good luck. The cabins are not insulated from noise, you can here every conversation from your neighbours, at night every bang and clatter of the ship and if unfortunate enough to be on Deck 7 mid ship you will hear all the evening entertainment until it finishes, so don’t bank on an early night!! I came on holiday to relax but found it hard too when you are sleep deprived!! Would rather put up with my husbands snoring. I only hope the staff are aware of the noise in the cabins which are underneath the lounge area. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We travelled on Thomson cruises many years ago and thought we would give the Explorer a try. The itinerary and timings suited us. We booked an inside cabin as we rarely use balconies preferring to spend time either ashore or on deck. We ... Read More
We travelled on Thomson cruises many years ago and thought we would give the Explorer a try. The itinerary and timings suited us. We booked an inside cabin as we rarely use balconies preferring to spend time either ashore or on deck. We did upgrade to the premium class flights and a premium drinks package. The ship was extremely busy which we anticipated. However, we did not expect some of the children on board to be unsupervised by their parents/grandparents to such an extent as to make the cruise unpleasant. Despite 'No Diving' signs on the pools the children continued to do this which can be very disconcerting to older guests and also potentially dangerous. I rarely saw a lifeguard around the pool to stop this practice. As a vegetarian I found the food awful. For example, a vegetable pie with the crust extremely hard and the rest of it raw and uncooked. We did ask to see a chef and he did come down to see us but was not particularly helpful. What shocked was when he admitted he didn't taste any of the vegetarian dishes. A couple of the restaurant managers said the same thing. The vegetarian option for Christmas Day dinner was mushroom crepes. Surely something more seasonal and exciting could have been offered? Our inside cabin was perfectly acceptable and the steward worked very hard. The service in the dining room (other than the specialty restaurants) was extremely slow and the food usually arrived lukewarm at best. I do not think this the fault of the waiters simply that there are just not enough staff to properly offer a good service. We did not book any tours preferring to explore on our own so cannot comment on those. The Embarkation process was smooth and it was an added bonus to have luggage checked in at Gatwick and then be taken straight to the ship.T The Lounge bar is style over substance in my opinion. The design makes it difficult for the waiters to work in and there are far too few of the to cope with the needs of the guests. We did not see the shows so again can make no comment on them. The pool and deck areas are extremely busy and I did not once see the '45 minute rule' being implemented. Some chairs were left unattended for up to five hours and no effort was made to remove belongings or towels. We will definitely not be sailing on this ship again and probably not cruising on any other Marella vessel. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
First cruise ( apart from an educational cruise on the Uganda in 1968!) Loved every aspect of it. Ship was a little dated but not a detraction in any way. All crew fantastic and couldn't do more to make your holiday a great experience. ... Read More
First cruise ( apart from an educational cruise on the Uganda in 1968!) Loved every aspect of it. Ship was a little dated but not a detraction in any way. All crew fantastic and couldn't do more to make your holiday a great experience. Food was excellent, tasty and varied and super choice of restaurants. Minimal queuing for tables even at bisy times. Able to choose your won table or sharing. Even had lobster and steak on a couple of the menus. Though food in the waiter service Lido similar to the buffets, was beautifully presented. All-inclusive had extensive choice of drinks and cocktails, all branded. Waiter service very thorough. Cabin roomy and cleaned to a high standard. Turn down service with nightly chocoltae on the pillow. Brilliant entertainment, specially the shows. Amazing value for money ! Those who find fault with the Marella Dream probably find fault in everything. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose this cruise due to price point. Overall very happy indeed, bit of a bad start as cabin was under the disco, which could continue until 2am, took a few days before they could move us. Lovely cabin, very comfy bed and very clean. ... Read More
Chose this cruise due to price point. Overall very happy indeed, bit of a bad start as cabin was under the disco, which could continue until 2am, took a few days before they could move us. Lovely cabin, very comfy bed and very clean. Absolourly loved the Orion restaurant on deck 4, it’s great to have waiter service and white tablecloths. Waiting staff and all crew extremely friendly - this made a big difference. When first boarded the ship it did look a little dated BUT don’t let this put you off, would go back again in a heartbeat. Fabulous time on there. One criticism is too many areas on the outside deck are allowed for smokers, would be better if there was a whole deck where smoking wasn’t allowed at all. Ports of call enjoyed the most were Funchal (we had sumptuous afternoon tea at Reid’s Palace) and Santa Cruz on La Palma. We didn’t book excursions as preferred to explore ourselves. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
The ship is a lovely place to holiday on. The food was delicious and plentiful. The staff friendly and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble. How anyone could find fault with this ship they must be used to 5* plus. The entertainment crew ... Read More
The ship is a lovely place to holiday on. The food was delicious and plentiful. The staff friendly and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble. How anyone could find fault with this ship they must be used to 5* plus. The entertainment crew were professional and the singer/comedian was very entertaining. The all you can eat buffet restaurants had lots of choices and even a chief cooking Chinese fresh for you. The all inclusive drinks package included in our price even included Prosecco. The swimming pool was freezing, it has a roof which covers over in bad weather. The jacuzzi was lovely and warm. There was just a lack of sunbeds on our day at sea which was to be expected, we had quizzes in the afternoons around the pool. There didn't seem to be any children until our ship picked up the night before we came off because it was the week before Christmas. Had a wonderful time on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Been on several Marella cruises before but not been on the Dream, as others have said it is an old ship but it is kept immaculately clean. The staff work very hard and they make this ship very welcoming our cabin steward Febri kept the ... Read More
Been on several Marella cruises before but not been on the Dream, as others have said it is an old ship but it is kept immaculately clean. The staff work very hard and they make this ship very welcoming our cabin steward Febri kept the cabin very clean. The Orion restaurant service and food excellent Yudi and his team served us well for our two week stay Benjy the head waiter was very proffesional in his manner, he always tried to accommodate us for a table for two on most nights. The entertainment was on deck 8 we where in a cabin on deck 5 midship and it was very quiet. The lido restaurant was not as well laid out as on the celebration too narrow on the sides. There was a omellette station outside which had a really nice chef my husband called him the omellete king he worked really hard to keep everything clean. The entertainment in the broadway lounge was ok but we had seen many of the shows before. The was more seats in the broadway lounge than on the celebration only negative was many seats had no tables to put your drinks on. You need to check your bill on a regular basis as everytime we have sailed with Marella they have put drinks on that we had not had, after they checked they say sorry human error and say the will have it removed within 24 hours which they did.Many people had the same problem and had to point it out to get it put right.As others have commented on the news channel you could not get they said due to a satellite problem this has been going on for months if you look at the other reviews they did have two movie channels but the listing from reception did not match any of the films for the two weeks. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My partner and I have been on several cruises before, mostly Princess. We wanted to try Cunard, so decided 12 nights for a winter sun break in the Canaries would fit the bill. We chose a balcony cabin in the standard Brittania class. ... Read More
My partner and I have been on several cruises before, mostly Princess. We wanted to try Cunard, so decided 12 nights for a winter sun break in the Canaries would fit the bill. We chose a balcony cabin in the standard Brittania class. Embarkation: the fastest we’ve ever got on board! From dropping off the car to stepping on board it took 17 minutes. Lovely check in staff and a nice smooth process. First Impression: Queen Elizabeth is gorgeous to look at. The Grand Lobby area is beautiful, with plenty of seating areas and plush carpets. The artwork suits the style and there is a calm and relaxed atmosphere on board. This ship is very quiet during the day, with more guests coming out in the evening. Always lots of space to sit down and relax. Cabin: balcony cabin on deck 8 (the highest deck for accommodation), towards the back of the ship. The cabin was pretty much the same as any other, however we were greeted with some sparkling wine, which was a nice touch. Lots of space to move around and a comfy bed. There was also a sofa, desk and wardrobe. The wardrobe had lots of hanging space, but less room to put things like undies and other folded items. The bathroom was standard sized, with a shower. Other reviews say the shower is small, but it was no different to other ships. Lovely toiletries included! Dining: we selected the early sitting in the Brittania restaurant for dinner and were placed on a table of 6. The food was beyond our expectations in both the main restaurant and the buffet. Every meal at dinner was fabulous, with plenty of choice. The waiters would chat and were always friendly, something we haven’t seen on all cruises. We ate breakfast in the buffet each day as the food was so good. We found the buffet was quiet early in the morning, getting very busy between 9 and 10am. The additional restaurants of Verandah, now a steak house, and the various alternative dining choices were excellent and worth the money. Entertainment: this cruise was definitely aimed st the over 50s, with entertainment certainly more geared towards older people. Ballroom dancing was on every night, and the theatre featured acts such as opera, piano and other singers. There was a comedian on one night who was great. On the whole, the entertainment was the weakest part of this cruise. The cruise director, Chris was boring as hell. Every day, the activity schedule was virtually the same as the previous day, with most evening activities centred around listening to music and ballroom dancing. Overall, we loved this cruise but there were definitely areas for improvement. The drinks are very expensive on board, with most alcoholic drinks costing upwards of $10. We bought a soft drinks package each, which was good value for our needs. We found that the crew were much nicer on this ship, with pretty much all crew greeting passengers around the ship. The onboard shops had a weird, unfriendly vibe. We strolled round the clothes shop, and the assistant stalked behind us constantly, making us feel unwelcome. All the shop staff were overly cautious of people looking at or touching their stock. We would definitely book with Cunard again, as the positives were so massively outweighing any negatives! Will also investigate some dance lessons so we can take part more... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We were attracted to this cruise because of the stop in Morocco. But we were also interested in the Canary Islands, even though we had spent some time on one of them. We chose Norwegian because we like their FreeStyle approach. In the end, ... Read More
We were attracted to this cruise because of the stop in Morocco. But we were also interested in the Canary Islands, even though we had spent some time on one of them. We chose Norwegian because we like their FreeStyle approach. In the end, the only disappointing port was Morroco. We chose the Norwegian excursion, which took us to Imperial Rabat and then back to Casablanca to see the Great Mosque and free time. Rabat has some interesting sites and the Great Mosque in Casablanca is impressive, but to really see Morocco, I think a real tour, not a cruise, is the way go. We toured the islands and Madeira with private guides (we traveled with a couple and we "met" another couple on the Spirit message boards) and this was well worth it. Each island is unique and well worth the visit. The bottom line is that we enjoyed the cruise as a whole. The embarkation and debarkation were easy and quick. The shows were good for a "destination" cruise. Plenty of areas to relax and listen to music, dance, etc. Great music to dance to in the Galaxy in the evenings. No problems dining in the main dining rooms without reservations. We were balcony midship, which was perfect. If you choose this cruise, don't be put off by the shore excursion in Alicante to "Amazing Guadalest." If you can walk on cobblestone and you can walk up stairs, you can do it. And if you don't want to walk to the "top" (not far at all) go anyway to experience the views. I was disappointed that there were no lectures about the ports of call. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
bigger cabin (outside one) at no extra charge - heaven.(?) Almost - only some quite noticeable engine noise whenever the ship was running on two engines but with ear plugs firmly rammed in, we spent the rest of the cruise in that one.Oh ... Read More
bigger cabin (outside one) at no extra charge - heaven.(?) Almost - only some quite noticeable engine noise whenever the ship was running on two engines but with ear plugs firmly rammed in, we spent the rest of the cruise in that one.Oh and there was an unpleasant smell from the bathroom in our 3rd and final cabin but we didn't complain because we couldn't face having to move cabins yet again ! Having previously cruised only on a large P & O ship (twice) where there were no cabin noise issues at all, we were disappointed to encounter noise problems in all 3 of the cabins we tried on the Dream - but of course there must be many nice quiet cabins on this ship ? Hey no problem, drink free beer all evening and sleep like a log - if that 's your idea of cruising. We were repeatedly told by the Reception staff 'Sorry, it's an old ship' as if that excused everything. One of them even told us she'd never cruise on the Dream herself ! No complaints about the food and certainly not about the ever-smiling staff, but the ship is showing its age (I won't bother readers with details) and if you're a light sleeper it may not be your best choice.They need to convert the cabins directly under the showroom to storage cabins + reduce the absolutely deafening , tinnitus inducing volume that the bands play at in the showroom. We'd be reluctant to go on the Dream again .The excellent, permanently smiling staff deserve a new ship.. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
My first ever cruise, people telling me once I’d been on one I’d be hooked for life, I was there to be wowed and impressed. I did realise this was at the cheaper end of the cruise market, but as a long time TUI sensimar ... Read More
My first ever cruise, people telling me once I’d been on one I’d be hooked for life, I was there to be wowed and impressed. I did realise this was at the cheaper end of the cruise market, but as a long time TUI sensimar customer I still had high hopes and ignored comments about it being Butlins on sea. The boarding and transfer process all went well, and we found the overwhelming members of staff excellent. Yes the ship is dated, but our outside picture window cabin was surprisingly spacious, and cleaned twice a day. Most of the common areas were fine though the pools are not at all inviting. The meals were a mixed bag, breakfasts weren’t too bad, and the Orion Restaurant was of a reasonable quality. However the buffet meals in the Lido/Sirens restaurants were not so good. Everything looked appealing but most dishes were bland and tasteless, devoid of any seasoning or even salt n pepper. I recall what was described as Beef Vindaloo, yet it tasted like a casserole and could not even be described as a mild curry. Pasta dishes and many of the soups were also bereft of flavour. The entertainment was also a mixed bag, the 10 young people who form the Broadway team are highly professional as was the stand up comedian, however it’s a different story in the Medusa lounge where the Butlins reference emerges. Third rate Kareoke, childish quizzes, and worse of all encouraging people to do the Okey Cokey, having said that there were many stereotypical heavily tattooed lager swilling people who seemed to be enjoying it. Call me a snob, but this is far to Chavy for me Andy the reason I wouldn’t book again with Marella. Read Less

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