Plane to Palma, directed to coach, by staff, and into terminal building to get the charge card, which was over in no time, and on board ship. We had a quick meal, checked out the nice spacious room, with bath (paid a bit more for outside plus, but worth it), then walked off to Palma, as ship didn't sail till late.
Each day, other than the first, which is a day at sea, you wake up in a different port, spend the day on-shore, and she sails away each night.
The destination ports are large, and even though we had been to some of them, we simply chose different things to do and see. For example on Corsica we did the easy bike ride, along the coast, and had a coffee on the beach, instead of exploring the town.
The ship is clean, well run, and always staff are very happy, which just goes to shop Thomson are leading the way with their staff treatment. There are no tips required, or automatically added on, no gratuities, service charges, or any of that American nonsense. Beer was 3.50 a pint, not plus service charge of 15% extra. Having said that, this was the first ship I actually wanted to tip the staff, because they are so good!
The evening shows were great, better than some of the other ships we have been on, and it was nice to see the singers/ dancers helping out on other duties round the ship. On some ships they seem to think themselves as a bit above lifeboat duty, etc!
Food was great. We dined in the buffet 3 days, and formal sit down waiter, the rest. Some say the buffet wasn't top quality, but they are only providing what people want. If a proportion of the passengers, clinically obese, want burgers and chips, with more fries, and more chips, with do-nuts after 24/7, you cant blame Thomson for providing that. The restaurant food quality and service was exceptional, better dare i say it than some meals we have had on P&O and Cunard.
One small niggle was that in evenings the seat availability was tight, for entertainment. Perhaps they could use other empty areas (nightclub early evening) for additional seating/ entertainment.
Will we go again, yes ! The only reservation is dislike to flying, so the sooner Thomson have a ship going out of Southampton the better.