Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 315 out of 500
Accommodation: 124 out of 200
Food: 232 out of 400
Service: 248 out of 400
Entertainment: 61 out of 100
Cruise: 245 out of 400
Overall Score: 1225 out of 2000
Thomson Dream Statistics
Size: Mid-size Ship
Cruise Line: Thomson Cruises
Former Names: Costa Europa, Westerdam, Homeric
IMO Number: 7927984
Builder: Meyer Werft (Germany)
Original Cost: $150 million
Entered Service: May 1986/Dec 2010
Length (ft/m): 797.9/243.2
Beam (ft/m): 95.1/29.0
Draft (ft/m): 23.6/7.2
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel (23,830kW)/2
Passenger Decks: 9
Total Crew: 650
Passengers (lower beds): 1,506
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 35.7
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.4
Cabins (total): 753
Size Range (sq ft/m): 129.1-425.1/12.0-39.5
Cabins (for one person): 18
Cabins (with private balcony): 6
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 4
Wheelchair accessibility: Fair
Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 2
Hot Tubs (on deck): 2
Self-Service Launderette: Yes
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: Yes/237
Onboard currency: UK£
This dated mid-size ship is for frugal, family-friendly cruises
Overview. Thomson Dream suits couples and singles taking their first or second cruise, and families with children of all ages.
The Ship. Thomson Dream was originally Homeric for the long-defunct Home Lines, and was given an $84 million ‘chop and stretch’ operation in 1990 when bought by Holland America Line. You don’t even have to look closely to tell where the mid-section was inserted, because the windows are larger than the fore and aft sections. The ship was moved to Costa Cruises (owned by Carnival Corporation) in 2002, and acquired by Thomson Cruises in 2009, when it was sent for an extensive refurbishment to cater to Thomson’s mainly British clientele. There are good teak outside decks and a walk-around promenade deck, plus a decent amount of space for sunbathing. There is also a swimming pool deck, although the pool itself is small. The interior decor is restful, with pastel tones and some color accents. It absorbs people well, and the passenger flow is good, although the layout is a little disjointed. However many of the public entertainment rooms are located on one entertainment deck. There are several bars and lounges, some small and intimate, others larger and noisier. There are lots of nooks and crannies to inhabit. Other facilities include a library/Internet lounge, card room, and several shops. Passenger niggles include poor maintenance of exterior areas, irritating, announcements, expensive shore excursions, and the lack of an observation lounge.
Families. Thomson Dream allots a decent amount of space to children’s facilities, suiting the increasing number of families who choose this ship. Some larger cabins have a sofa that turns into a bed - good for families with small children.
Accommodation. There are several cabin price grades, including suites, mini-suites, outside-view cabins, and interior (no-view) cabins, priced according to grade, size, and location. You can pre-book your preference for a per cabin fee of £42 (around $70). Except for suite category cabins, each with king-size beds, separate lounge area, and bathroom with full size tub, almost all other cabins are of a similar size. In general, they are fairly well equipped. Facilities include decent closet, drawer and storage space, hairdryer, and good-size bathrooms, but small towels. Soundproofing is rather poor. Most cabins have twin beds, but some have upper and lower berths (useful for families with small children). There are four cabins for the disabled, suitably located, on higher decks, close to elevators.
Dining. The Orion Restaurant is a traditional dining room with a raised central, cupola-style dome, and port and starboard side portholes are highlighted at night. Open-seating dining is the norm. The tables are close together, and, except for the center section, the ceiling is just one deck high, so the noise level can be loud. The cuisine is British-Continental but, although there’s plenty of food, its quality and presentation are disappointing. However, it’s all provided at a low price point; in other worlds, you get what you pay for.
Other dining options. The Grill is an extra-cost, à-la-carte steak and seafood (including surf ’n’ turf) restaurant. It is a specially decorated section of the Sirens casual buffet, but with white tablecloths and candlelight dining featured.Reservations are required. The Andromeda Restaurant and Sirens Restaurant provide meals in a self-serve buffet setting. The poolside Terrace Grill, open for lunch, features fast food such as barbecue items, pizzas, pasta, and salads.
Entertainment. Facilities include the Atlante Theatre, a two-deck-high showlounge, with seating on both main and balcony levels. Pillars obstruct sight lines from some seats. A resident troupe of singers and dancers presents colorful, high-energy production shows. For nights when there’s no production show, the showlounge presents cabaret acts.
A number of bands and small musical units provide live music in many lounges and bars - so there’s always plenty of music to dance to or listen to, from light classical in the Argo Lounge to jazz and pop, dance and rap.
Spa/Fitness. Oceans Spa, in an interior location, includes a gymnasium, saunas, and massage rooms, but no steam room. The facility is really small, given the number of passengers carried - although, to be fair, such facilities weren’t very popular when the ship was built.
The spa is operated by Flair, a specialist concession with clinically-trained therapists.
Being aboard will give you an opportunity to try some of the more exotic treatments, particularly Aroma Stone massage and Chakra Balancing massage. These plus facials, pedicures, and beauty salon treatments cost extra. Make appointments early - the day you board is the best time to book your treatments.