Marella Dream

Former names: ELLA, Thomson Dream, Costa Europa, MS Westerdam, MS Homeric

Specifications of Marella Dream

Year of build1986  /  Age: 36
BuilderMeyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany)
Building costUSD 150 million
Engines (power)MAN B&W (23.8 MW / 31916 hp)
Speed20 kn / 37 km/h / 23 mph
Length (LOA)243 m / 797 ft
Beam (width)29 m / 95 ft
Gross Tonnage54763 gt
Passengers1533 - 1773
Passengers-to-space ratio36
Decks with cabins8
Last Refurbishment2020, Aliaga-scrapped in 2022
Former namesELLA, Thomson Dream, Costa Europa, MS Westerdam, MS Homeric
OwnerCarnival Corporation & PLC
OperatorMarella Cruises (Thomson UK)

Marella Dream Review

Review of Marella Dream

The 1986-built Marella Dream cruise ship (fka "Thomson Dream") was a leased vessel (operated under charter), which last owner was Costa Cruises (one of Carnival Corporation's subsidiary companies). The ship was originally named "MS Homeric" (built for the now-defunct Home Lines) and in 2010-2020 was operated under a long-term charter (expired in 2021) by Marella Cruises UK (fka "Thomson Cruises").

For Marella, the vessel (IMO number 8407735) was Malta-flagged (MMSI 248481000) and registered in Valletta.

History - construction and ownership

Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises UK) is a British passenger shipping company and trademarked travel brand owned by TUI Group. The company entered the cruise market in 1973 via Thomson Holidays (now TUI UK), but due to rising fuel costs, this service was terminated in 1976. Thomson Cruises restarted passenger shipping operations in 1995. The Thomson brand was renamed to "Marella Cruises" in 2018. Marella's parent company (TUI Group) owns hotels, the sister-companies TUI Cruises, Marella Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, the travel brands International Expeditions and Zegrahm Expeditions, also aircraft and the airlines Corsair International (France), TUI Airways (UK), TUI fly Nordic (Sweden), TUI fly Belgium, TUI fly Deutschland, TUI fly the Netherlands.

On October 1, 2020, Marella Cruises announced the retirement (end of the charter) of Marella Dream. The 34-year-old vessel left the fleet after 10 years of service (2010-2020).

  • A total of 37x Marella Dream cruises (most in the Mediterranean, also the Canary Islands) scheduled between May 4 and December 30, 2021, were canceled.
  • Marella Dream's Mediterranean voyages were all transferred to Marella Discovery 1, which was rescheduled for homeporting in Palma de Mallorca Spain (instead of Port Canaveral USA). As result of the redeployment, Marella Discovery's summer 2021 Caribbean program was cancelled.
  • Among the scheduled/canceled Marella Dream itineraries was a 14-night Transatlantic repositioning cruise (from Malaga Spain to Bridgetown Barbados, December 9-23, 2021) and two 7-night Caribbean roundtrips from Barbados (departures on Dec 23 and Dec 30).

The vessel was last refurbished in 2020 February. The new shipowner and vessel's future remain unknown. The ship was initially docked in Port Zadar Croatia and since November is laid-up/at anchorage in Elefsina Gulf (Athens Metro, West Attica Greece). Reportedly, the ship was sold for scrap metal (for an undisclosed price) and soon to be dismantled at Aliaga Ship Breaking Yard (near Izmir Turkey). Rumors started after November 16, when Anchor Shipbroking Inc (Greece) released a weekly report with Marella Dream listed there for demolition. The list also included Grand Celebration.

On July 2, 2022, was announced that after ~2 years laid up in Greece, the 36-year-old Marella Dream was beached for scrapping at Aliaga Turkey. Renamed to ELLA (reflagged to Comoros/shipowner ROTA SHIPPING INC/Turkey), the vessel's AIS transmitted for the last time on November 3, 2020 (at 6:22 UTC) showing it en route to Elefsina/Eleusis (Greece).

Marella Dream cruise ship (Thomson Dream)

The 1500-passenger ship Marella Dream was launched in 1986 as "MS Homeric". Holland America Line bought the cruise company Home Line in 1988, put the vessel in drydock for a 39-m stretching in 1989 and operated it as "MS Westerdam" until 2002, when it was sold to Costa, refurbished and renamed "Costa Europa". Because the vessel was originally built for Home Line's New York-Bermuda service, it had hints of an old-fashioned Transatlantic liner, with a classic hull layout but pointy rather than boxy, with some attractive sunbathing places on the tiered aft decks overlooking the adults-only swimming pool.

Decks and Cabins

Marella Dream staterooms (753 total, in 12 grades) include 11x Suites, 501x Oceanviews, 252x Inside, 19x Single cabins. Most cabins are sized 130-160 ft2 (12-15 m2). Only 4 cabins are wheelchair-accessible. The largest accommodations are the Grand Suites (430 ft2 / 40 m2, with a step-out balcony).

The boat has 12 decks, of which 9 are passenger-accessible and 8 with cabins.

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

The restaurant on Deck 4 is very low down (for stability in big swells) and there is a pleasingly wide, wrap-around promenade deck with teak wood in fine condition. Another hint at the Marella Dream cruise ship's heritage is the art; Marella Dream has inherited the original collection from Holland America Line, so the lounges are dotted with memorabilia from the shiny days of the Dutch empire; hefty oil paintings, huge scale models of wooden galleons and a real cannon, full with cannonballs.

Marella Dream cruise ship (Thomson Dream)

There are a wealth of restaurants onboard Marella Dream - Orion restaurant, offering breakfast, lunch, 6-course dinners, with open-seating policy; The Grill - with onboard reservation required; seafood, fresh fish, steaks, are cooked to order; cover charge applied; Lido restaurant - a 24-hour dining room with themed nights held twice a week; Sirens restaurant - cozy alternative to the Main Dining Room, with British and international buffet open for breakfast, lunch, dinner; Terrace Grill - offering salads, pizzas, lunchtime BBQs, outdoor service. Formal night is the Captain's Cocktail Party with Gala Dinner - the onboard event worth dressing up for.

Follows the complete list of Marella Dream restaurants and food bars.

  • Orion Restaurant (open-seating main dining room for buffet-style/waiter-served Breakfast (8-10 am(, Lunch (12-noon - 2 pm) and multi-course waiter-served Dinner (6:15-10 pm). Once per week here are hosted the formal events Captain's Gala Reception and Gala Dinner (with fixed dining times assigned upon arrival).
  • Kora La Restaurant (Asian cuisine restaurant with a la carte menu; offers complimentary Lunch and Dinner, reservations recommended)
  • Mistrals Restaurant (specialty dinner restaurant; features a la carte menu, waiter service; cover charge applied, reservations required)
  • Sirens Restaurant (intimate restaurant, complimentary; offers buffet-style Breakfast, Lunch, and Afternoon Tea; in the evenings transforms into The Grill specialty restaurant)
  • Lido restaurant (with al-fresco dining area and self-service buffet, open 24 hours a day; twice a week international theme nights are held)
  • Terrace Grill (the place for lunchtime BBQs, salads and pizzas served on the open deck; another possibility is the 24 hours a day room service, an extra charge is applied).

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

Marella Dream gives passengers not only more room but also style - interior-designed, with classic good looks of shared spaces, large bars and cozy corners perfect for full relaxation. Onboard Marella Dream you can enjoy three lounges - Medusa Lounge with live bands, cabarets, game shows; Argo Lounge with relaxing live classical music; Atlante Theatre - a two-story show lounge where west end-style musicals are staged.

There are five bars onboard Marella Dream: Medusa Bar - a window-lined bar where you can relax and watch the world go by; Delo Bar- a classy cocktail bar where drinks are served stirred and shaken; Ocean Bar - positioned midship, ideal for pre-dinner tipples; Lido Bar - where alfresco drinks are served.

Marella Dream cruise ship (Thomson Dream)

Have fun in the two swimming pools, one of which with a retractable roof, or the two whirlpools, the nightclub Ladonte Disco, casino (with blackjack, roulette, slot machines), card room, or beauty salon - try a new hairstyle, or revitalizing massage. And why not doing some exercise at Nereidi Fitness Centre - well-equipped with free weights, machines, and aerobics space. Try also the sports deck with courts for basketball, volleyball, tennis, football.

Follows the complete list of Marella Dream lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens, and adults.

  • Broadway Show Lounge (features grand production shows with dance, acrobatics, comedy, and games)
  • Medusa Lounge (live band music, game shows, cabaret-style entertainment)
  • Medusa Bar (with large panoramic windows)
  • Browsers' Corner (24-hour combined Library and Internet Cafe)
  • Broad Street Shops (duty-free shopping arcade with boutiques selling watches, fine jewelry, Marella Cruises logo merchandise, luxury perfumes, fashion clothes, liquor, tobaccos, convenience goods); Boutique (luxury Spa cosmetics, beauty products)
  • Photo Gallery and Shop; Card Room
  • Explorers' Lounge (features live piano music and daily Afternoon Tea; home to The Coffee Port bar for specialty coffees and teas served with complimentary desserts; wi-fi hotspot)
  • Casino (served by its own Bar); Tides Bar
  • Delo Bar (specialty cocktail bar; serves the casino lounge)
  • Lido Bar (open 11:30 am - 7:30 pm; serves the pool deck area)
  • The Water's Edge (disco nightclub, with its own bar, a stage for live performances, dance floor; offers live music, film screenings, game shows, and dancing classes during the day)
  • Main Pool area (paddle pool for kids, swimming pool, sunbathing area; served by an alfresco Lido Bar); Pool Bar; 2 jacuzzis
  • Marella Kids' Club (play area, complimentary; offers supervised age-appropriate activities for kids 3-11 yo); Video Games Arcade; Graffiti's Teen Area
  • Oceans Spa and Gym (Wellness Centre: Spa treatments, hairdresser/barber services, Massage Rooms, Saunas, Beauty Salon, Relaxation Area; The Gym has a separate Aerobic Studio)
  • The Sun Lounge (sunbathing space with comfortable daybeds; served by its own Bar)
  • Sports deck (tennis tables, combined sports courts for basketball, football, tennis).


Marella Dream itinerary program was based on Mediterranean cruises from homeport Palma de Mallorca. During winter, the ship offered roundtrip Caribbean itineraries leaving out of Montego Bay Jamaica. Transatlantic repositioning crossings were planned between summer-winter seasons.

For Marella Dream itineraries (as call ports/times) see at the ship's Wiki page.

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Marella Dream Wiki

The ship's powerplant is based on MAN B&W marine diesel engines (model 10L55GB) with combined power output 23,8 MW (31915 hp).

The vessel has Meyer Werft Papenburg yard/hull number 107630, volume 54763 GT-tons, DWT-deadweight tonnage 5340 tons, max draught 7,2 m.

The vessel was originally built for Home Lines as "ms Homeric" and renamed ms Westerdam (link to the Holland America ship) in 1988. In 1989-1990, the vessel was lengthened by 40 m (131 ft) at the Meyer Werft Shipyard in Papenburg. Following the lengthening, the ship was renamed to Westerdam and returned to service in March 1990. Westerdam's itinerary program included 7-day roundtrips in Alaska (during summer) and in the Caribbean (during winter). In March 2002, after a major drydock refit, the ship was transferred to Costa Cruises as "Costa Europa". During the drydock were added balcony cabins and a nightclub. Costa Europa operated voyages in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe (Baltic and the UK), the Middle East and Indian Ocean (Mauritius roundtrips).

In April 2010, under the name "Thomson Dream" the ship joined Thomson Cruises fleet, joining the fleetmates Thomson Spirit (1983-built as Nieuw Amsterdam) and Thomson Celebration (1984-built as Noordam). In 2012, Thomson Dream was upgraded to a “Platinum Class” vessel, and all its staterooms, bars and lounges were fully refurbished. In 2017, Thomson Cruises was rebranded to Marella Cruises and the ship renamed "Marella Dream".

The vessel was originally built as "MS Homeric" and launched under that name in 1986. Its first owner was Home Lines (Italian shipping company, in operations between 1946-1988). Since then, the ship has sailed as "ms Westerdam" (1988-2002 for Holland America Line) and "Costa Europa" (2002-2010 for Costa Crociere/Costa Cruises).

The Apollo Group company was contracted for providing all Marella ships with the entire onboard hotel product and services. This includes administration, food staff (preparation and serving), housekeeping staff, also the vessel's provisioning and crewing. Other luxury cruise lines served by Apollo are Oceania (6 ships fleet) and RSSC Regent Seven Seas (4 ships fleet).

The ship's last drydock (February 2020) was conducted by the shipyard group Palumbo Shipyards at its Viktor Lenac Shipyard (in Rijeka Croatia). Marella Dream was drydocked (at a floating dock) for general maintenance works, hull cleaning and repainting, steel repairs, ballast water and engines management, installing a scrubber system (air pollution control device).

During its Thomson-Marella service, the vessel (IMO number 8407735) was Malta-flagged (MMSI number 248481000) and registered in Valletta.

The last scheduled by Marella Cruises itineraries were all cancelled after the company ended the vessel's charter in October 2020. All itineraries were 7-day in length, excepting the relocation cruise Europe-Caribbean.