Marella Dream Cruise Ship Review

What is it like to cruise on the Marella Dream Cruise Ship

Our Review – Paul and Carole

Please note – in October 2017 Thomson cruises re branded as Marella Cruises part of the TUI group. The Thomson Dream cruise ship is now known as the Marella Dream Cruse Ship. All details remain the same.

Last year we had a fantastic cruise on board the Marella Celebration Cruise Ship cruising the Adriatic. This year we decided that we wanted to try another Marella Cruise and picked the Marella Dream Cruise Ship for 7 nights sailing the Aegean Shores Itinerary. We chose this itinerary as it was visiting Santorini, an island that has been on our bucket list for a long time, along with two of our favourites Rhodes and Crete. We were travelling with Paul’s Dad John and his sister Jan, the last time Paul had been on holiday with his sister was in 1973 so to be away together again was a pretty special occasion.

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Thomson Dream Cruise Ship

Embarkation on the Marella Dream Cruise Ship

Our cruise was in July 2017 and we flew with Thomson Air from Cardiff. The journey was straight forward and we landed in Corfu. The coach took us straight from the airport, to the cruise terminal then to the Thomson Dream Cruise Ship. No problems were encountered and we were soon on the ship.

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Safety first!

The first place we wanted to explore was our cabin so we headed for deck 5.

What is an Outside Plus Cabin like on the Thomson Dream Cruise Ship?

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Sharing the comfortable bed!

We were very impressed with the size of the cabin, in fact we have cruised many times and this was definitely the biggest outside cabin we had ever had. It had a decent sized square window, really comfortable double bed, large sofa and plenty of storage. Our cabin stewardess Yatiel kept us entertained with her different towel animals most days and we particularly enjoyed coming back to find a dog watching the TV. There were also tea and coffee facilities that were replenished every day. There was also a mini bar at an extra cost and a fridge.

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Yatiel’s towel elephant

The bathroom was a decent size and we were really surprised to find it had a bath with a shower over it. The bath wasn’t huge and to be honest we both agreed after a few days that we would of just preferred a walk in shower. Particularly with Paul’s Dad who has mobility problems as it did prove quite challenging.

Plug socket wise there was a European round pin and a flat pin socket too. We were so glad that we had a selection of travel plugs too. So make sure yours with you.


This video on our YouTube Channel shows you around the cabin in detail.

When we booked, an outside plus cabin was not much dearer than a standard outside, so we decided to treat ourselves and we were really interested to see the difference from our Outside Cabin on the Thomson Celebration Cruise Ship We have since cruised on the Marella Discovery in an Outside Cabin and you can find our review of that cabin here too.

What are the pools and sun decks like on the Thomson Dream Cruise Ship?

There are two pools on the Thomson Dream. The pool on the Lido Deck and the Main Adult only pool on the 11th Deck.

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Chilling by the main pool on deck 11

The main pool area was a fun place to hang out, the entertainments team particularly Lewis did keep us entertained. Lots of different activities happened around this pool from quizzes, fruit carving, cooking demonstrations and live music everyday.

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Looking down onto the main pool from deck 12

The pool area did have a retractable roof so it could be closed during bad weather however we had perfect weather during our cruise around the Greek Islands.

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Chilling on the sunbed

We are not early risers and never ones for putting our towels out early and even though it did get busy, we mostly found a sunbed when we needed. There were also two jacuzzi’s to relax in if you wanted too.

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The Jacuzzi’s on deck 11

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Perfect sunset at sea

Deck 12 get’s very quiet when all the passengers are having dinner, it is a a perfect spot for a sunset but can get pretty windy as you are heading out to sea!

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Windy sunset on deck 12

What entertainment is available on board the Thomson Dream Cruise Ship?

Every day you receive a Cruise News Programme in your cabin so you can plan your day. Deck 8 is where the majority of the entertainment occurs on the Thomson Dream Cruise Ship.

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Broadway Show Lounge

The Broadway lounge is situated towards the front of the ship on deck 8. It is not a huge theatre which we actually like, you are very close to action compared to other cruise ship theatres we have been in. In the week we enjoyed a variety of theatre style shows and two really funny shows by an excellent comedian called Andy Wilkins or as he liked to call himself the daft lad from Yorkshire. He had us all in stitches with some good old school comedy.

We were very impressed with the standard of the singers and dancers and the shows were all different. The show Africa on our last night was pretty spectacular.

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Excellent shows in the Broadway Lounge

We were pleased to see that the resident band were Top Men. We had the pleasure of cruising with them last year on the Marella Celebration. They really are a talented band who can sing any song you can think of and regularly played in the Medusa lounge which was opposite the Broadway Lounge.

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Excellent Top Men Band

Also on deck 8 are the Tides bar and The Water’s Edge. There were two singing duo’s on board, 2 Intense and Heart and Soul, both performing most days and were very good. There is a small casino in the Water’s Edge if you fancied a gamble, and this bar turns into the night club late at night.

The Explorers bar was a really chilled out area where you could enjoy a coffee and listen to the resident Piano Vocalist Keith Kerslake.

Take a look at our video which will walk you through deck 8.

The crew and officers on board the Thomson Dream Cruise Ship

The majority of the staff on the Thomson Dream were superb, however there were 2 staff members who really stood out. Firstly, Yatiel our cabin steward was delightful, she looked after us all so well, entertained us with her towel animals and really did ensure we all had the best experience. She really is a credit to the Company.

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Yatiel our excellent cabin stewardess

Secondly, we had the pleasure of meeting Octavian the Hotel Manager at the Captains Cocktail Party. He was such an interesting guy to talk to and he seemed to pop up everywhere which was great to see the officers so visible on the ship. He would always stop for a chat and was really helpful with John getting on and off the ship.

He invited us to join him for dinner at Mistrals, we had the most wonderful evening, the food was amazing and the company was excellent. Octavian was the perfect host.

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Hotel Manager Octavian

Where can we eat on the Thomson Dream Cruise Ship?

There are numerous places to eat on the Thomson Dream. The formal Orion dining room if you would like waiter service which was open for breakfast 0800-1000, lunch 12-1330 and then dinner 1830-2130.

Two buffet restaurants were also available, Sirens on deck 11 had a good selection of hot and cold food for breakfast 730-1130, then lunch 1130-1500, this was then followed by afternoon tea between 1530-1700 which did go down well. The Lido is the main buffet restaurant on deck 9 and serves food from 0700 through to 0100.

If you fancy staying in your cabin for a nibble then room service is also available, however it is at extra cost.

We found the food good in all of the areas and had no complaints, we were well fed and did come home quite a few pounds heavier!

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Chocolate buns

There are three speciality restaurants on the Thomson Dream Cruise Ship, Mistral’s, Kora La and the Terrace Grill. We have done the Hot Stones before but must admit we aren’t a fan of cooking your own food when we go out for a meal However, our favourite meal of the week was at the Speciality restaurant Mistrals.

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Mistrals Restaurant

The food and service was second to none, it’s hard to put into words how delicious the food was so we are hoping the photos will do it justice!

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Trio of Prawns to start

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Surf and Turf

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Trio of desserts at Mistrals

This was our first Mistrals experience but it will certainly not be our last!

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A fabulous evening at Mistral Restaurant

Drinks on the Thomson Dream Cruise Ship

We had the all inclusive package included in our cruise price. It is a comprehensive list and we think for most people is pretty adequate. However, Paul is a bit fussy when it comes to his beer and is partial to a bottle of Peroni, so we paid the extra £10 per day each to upgrade to Premium. It was worth it for us so I could have Sauvignon Blanc rather than house wine and the Mojitos!

There are plenty of bars in the lounges described above where you can get a drink, however our favourite spot was by the main pool. It was really cool and you had great views out of the large glass windows.

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Our favourite spot!

Thomson Dream Cruise Ship Facts

The Thomson Dream Cruise Ship was built in 1986, she has been owned by Holland America and Costa Cruises and joined Thomson Cruises in 2010. In 1990 a mid section was added extending the ship by 36.9 metres and the most noticeable feature being the square windows (which included our cabin) which are larger than those forward and aft. The Dream has had a number of refurbishments in 2012 and 2015 where 10 stylish balcony cabins were added to deck 8.

Passengers – 1506, Crew – 600, 767 cabins, Decks 12, 7 lifts, length 243.23 metres, tonnage 54,763 – facts taken from the Thomson Life On Board Magazine.

Travelling with Mobility issues on the Thomson Dream Cruise Ship

Paul’s Dad John has a mobility scooter and this was the first time we had flown with it. We had given all our scooter dimensions to Thomson when we booked but had to give the details again as they apparently had not been sent. If you are travelling with any mobility aids type all the details of the scooter up and laminate it and attach it to the scooter, the information is then readily available which we had to give again on the way home. We must say that the Thomson crew were excellent and very helpful through out the ship and getting John and his mobility scooter on and off the ship, so thank you very much for that!

Our Final Thoughts on the Thomson Dream Cruise Ship

The ship was kept spotlessly clean by it seemed a very happy crew, wherever you went there was some one cleaning something. The size of the cabin was very generous and the service we received throughout the ship was excellent. We had a fantastic week on the Thomson Dream and we would thoroughly recommend cruising on this ship. We know that we will be cruising again with Thomson in the future!

You can also read all about why on our guest post on Cruising isn’t just for old people called 10 reasons for cruising with Thomson.

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The happy cleaners!

Have you cruised on the Thomson Dream Cruise Ship? Would you like any more information? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Further reading/videos –

Visit our Marella Page for more information.

Our YOU TUBE CHANNEL has lots of Marella Information, Ship and Cabin tours too.

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Thomson Dream Cruise Ship

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