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.

We have more Marella reviews below or visit their website here.

Further reading/videos –

Marella Celebration Cruise Ship Review

Marella Discovery Cruise Ship – Seeking the Northern Lights Experience

Marella Discovery Cruise Ship – Food and Dining Options Review

Marella Explorer 2 Cruise Ship Review

You can also find more cruise reviews from other companies here too.

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

To follow our journey and get more travelling information and tips, do sign up for our Newsletter here!

This post contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running.

Don’t forget your travel plugs and extension leads, and we also recommend our EC Technology travel bank to keep your camera’s and phones charged and some packing cubes for your luggage to make your life easier. Click through to Amazon to buy for your next trip.

Do visit our Travel Accessories Page to see our other recommendations.

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Thomson Dream Cruise Ship

Thomson Dream Cruise Ship Review Paul Carole Greece

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About paulandcarole

Sharing our love of travel and cruising, hoping to inspire you along the way!
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75 Responses to Marella Dream Cruise Ship Review

  1. Emma leteace says:

    This looks absolutely amazing! I’m so glad I know you guys, I wouldn’t have considered Thomson before but you’ve 100% changed my mind!

  2. Graeme Purdie says:

    Hi, I have just found your wonderful site. My wife and I have cruised many times with Thomson and agree with you they are hard to beat. We have made many friends both Crew and Guests whom we are still in touch with.
    Keep up the great work.

    • Thanks Graham for your kind words! Thomson are great we had heard mixed things and were nervous when we sailed on the Celebration last year. We were not disappointed and am sure we will be cruising with them again!

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  7. Marcelle says:

    I want to learn to make these towel elephants! How beautiful is that and so funny!

  8. This looks like an excellent experience! I haven’t been on a cruise in a long time (to my husband’s dismay). Those towel creatures are adorable. The food looks incredible. I can imagine myself digging into that surf ‘n turf plate. And, an adult only pool? That is the way to go (thank goodness). #feetdotravel

  9. Lolo says:

    I always love the little towel animals they make, especially the swans! I never want to destroy it haha #feetdotravel
    Lolo recently posted…I’m Sorry….But I HATED Sofia, BulgariaMy Profile

  10. I’ve never considered a cruise before but am now second guessing that decision! How much time did you have each day to get off the ship and explore the Greek Islands?

    • This was our 12th cruise, it is a great way to travel and get a taste of a destination. Most port days we got about 7 hours so enough time to explore. You should try one!

  11. Yet another great review on a cruise! Every time you go on one, I get this urge to go too! I can’t wait to go on more cruises in the future! The cabin look amazing and how do you always manage to get invited for dinners with the important ship people haha? Well done! Looks and sounds amazing!

    • Lol we have been lucky to have had two dinners with the hotel managers must be our charm lol! Actually it was due to a contact we had with Thomson who kindly put our name forward. Hope you get to satisfy your urge sometime as cruising is a great way to explore new destinations. Thanks for commenting.

  12. Your posts and youtube videos have really peaked my interest in Thomson Dream. From your first impressions video and the additional space in the cabin I’ve been keen to read each of your updates. The ship has everything you could possible want in regard to entertainment, but it’s also perfect for R&R. Your destinations were also fab.
    I t wasn’t until about the 3rd day of our first cruise that I realised the towels were different animals every day. They’re so kitch, but so cute too. LOL!
    I have all your posts pinned for this cruise so I can check it out for the future. 🙂
    Shona @ recently posted…Cambodia: A Tour of Raffles Hotel Le Royal!My Profile

    • Thanks very much for you comments, we loved the Thomson Dream and would definitely sail on her again. The Thomson ships do not have the bling of the newer ships but deliver on all levels. Thanks for pinning our posts too!

  13. Barry says:

    Looks like one fun way to spend a holiday. Didn’t realise the cruise ships had all this kit inboard, it’s almost like a mini town. My girlfriend would love the food it looks great!
    Barry recently posted…Visiting the Italian City of TurinMy Profile

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  15. Urska says:

    To be honest, I was never a fan of cruising, but reading your article and watching the videos, well I might change my mind a bit 🙂 I was only once on a big ship when traveling from Helsinki to Sant Petersburg and back, and it was definitely not so luxurious. If for nothing else I would go with the Thomson Dream Cruise Ship for the food, cause it looks super delicious.
    Urska recently posted…Delicious Greek food and beverage you need to tryMy Profile

  16. Clair says:

    Looks like you had an amazing time and the food looks DEVINE!!!!

  17. Sandy N Vyjay says:

    This cruise looks amazing. Great ambiance and smiling service with some great comfort and convenience. All the makings of a great experience.

  18. James says:

    Thomson Dream Cruises looks perfect for the cruise experience. I also love Peroni, I drank Peroni throughout my Antarctica cruise. I’ll check out their itineraries as I still haven’t got to Santorini. You are right about putting on the kilos, I think it was 1 kilo per day I put on.

    • It was an excellent cruise. Easy to put the weight on not so easy to get it back off! Santorini was beautiful would love to return one day and explore more of the island. Thanks for commenting.

  19. Travel Lexx says:

    Looks like such an incredible cruise – so much delicious food and the entertainment looks fun too! You guys sure know how to cruise in style!

  20. Looks like a fun cruise! Love the jacuzzis. The food looks pretty amazing as well. Cruise for Greek Islands. That’s the dream! We hope to visit Santorini and Crete next year.
    Siddharth and Shruti recently posted…Underneath the Mango Tree – not your usual resortMy Profile

  21. mary louise says:

    We are so close to booking for Christmas so I am delighted to have found your review. Sounds fantastic. Will be our first time onboard with Thomson.

    Many thanks – off to show the Boss. Husband!

  22. Thanks again for sharing another great cruise review! It seems like you had a great time with Thomson! We never thought that we will say that but you kind of convinced us to give it a go one day! Your pictures are awesome too! Keep up the great work!

  23. Wendy Maes says:

    It looks like you had a great time! The food looks delicious. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  24. Anisa says:

    I have only done Royal Caribbean Cruises and I love them. Thomson sounds like they are excellent too – clean, good food, lots of activities, and good music. I would love to do a cruise with them and the greek islands sound like a great option. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.
    Anisa recently posted…Philadelphia Mural Mile Tour: Get Inspired!My Profile

  25. Great review of your cruise and the ship facilities – looks like you had a great time! We may be doing a cruise next month around Japan 😉

  26. Anda says:

    I’m not a big fan of the cruise ships because I like the more independent way of traveling. However, taking a cruise is sometimes the best way to explore a new area. I’m sure you enjoyed this Adriatic cruise a lot. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  27. Sofi leen says:

    Cruise aren’t for everyone but most people do really enjoy them. It’s funny, one of the biggest barriers to cruising is for people to actually take their first cruise. There’s a static in the cruise industry that is something like well over 90% of first-time cruisers say they want to return for another cruise.

  28. What a delightful time! Those chocolate buns and all the other food look very yummy. Eating is always one of my favorite parts of cruising. My family’s name is Thomson, so I always joked that we should get some sort of discount on traveling with them. At the very least, I can expect them to spell our name correctly and not put in a “p” as most people do.

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  30. Anne says:

    Was considering a cruise to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary, when we stumbled across one of your youtube posts. We have now read your reviews on your website and watched even more youtube posts. You have now convinced us – we have booked ourselves onto Thomson Dream for our Anniversary and sail in 7 weeks to the Med & Canaries. Not only that, but we’ve upgraded to a balcony cabin. It is only a 4 night cruise as we are ‘Cruise Virgins’ so starting off slowly. Thank you for swaying us with your wonderful reviews & videos.

    • Hi Anne, This is so good to hear, the purpose of starting our blog was to inspire someone to do something new so thanks for letting us know. We really hope you enjoy it, the Dream is a great ship. We are trying a MSC cruise in November a company we have not used before so that will be interesting. We now have a monthly newsletter so if you want to see how we get on you can sign up here . Have a wonderful trip and do let us know what you think!

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  32. Alan Parkes. says:

    Hi Carole and Paul. We are doing our first cruise in August this year on Marela Dream. Two weeks all inclusive, Western Mediterranean. Viewed some of your very informative reports on the Dream, brilliant, a great insight as to what we can expect. A couple of questions please. Travel Plugs, do we bring or are they provided? WiFi and Internet on board, I’ve heard to buy a package can be very expensive, what do you both recommend please? Here’s a cheekey one for you, how do we get an invite to the Captains Cocktail Party for our family of three and for two friends of ours? Firm believer, if you don’t ask, you don’t get, but always ask politely. If we did get an invite, what’s the dress code? And finally, how do I get an invite to the bridge to sound the horn on port departure? Thanks for all your reviews, brilliant, keep up the good work. Best Wishes from Alan Parkes.

    • Hi Alan, Thanks for your kind feedback. Take your own travel plugs, the WiFi is expensive and uploading pictures etc eats the data and it didn’t last us long. We normally head ashore and find the free WiFi spots which are normally around the port. EE is our phone provider and with my package I can use it in Europe as normal without any additional charges, so worth checking hat you have, can’t use it at sea but was ideal for when in ports. I think you have to have cruised before with Thomson for an invite but do check with reception and ask if you can be invited, it was really interesting talking to the officers. Dress code was smart but not formal. You will have a fab time on the cruise we loved our time on the Dream. If you have any more questions then do let us know.

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  34. Did you go to the captains cocktail party what was the main dress code.

    • Yes it was formal wear. We are not lovers of formal wear, I wore smart black trousers and a sparkly top and Paul wore a shirt tie and trousers which was acceptable. Have you a cruise booked?

  35. Carol & Alan Allaway says:

    Yes Thankyou for your answer

  36. Sharon says:

    I know taking the first cruise is the hardest, now we are ready to roll.

    Thanks for the great ideas, and tips. We are booking again

    Cheers Sharon…
    Sharon recently posted…The beach chair with a secret weapon. No more sinking in sand or mud!My Profile

  37. Anthony says:

    Ive always wanted to try this cruise line. Thanks for the info!

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  42. Jurgen says:

    There are many reasons to cruise instead of spend your vacation on normal trip. You don’t need rental cars and hotel bookings. Everything you need is available in one place. These trips are affordable and cheaper than regular trips. You find lots of peoples from different regions and may be you some new friends. Overall Cruising is such a nice experience and I recommend this must once in a life.

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  44. Abedin says:

    Very nice post, thank you for sharing!

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