Where to begin??
We booked a late-ish cruise and as time and dates allowed us only a choice of two (Thomson and Costa) we plumped for the former as Costa were not having their best time with recent events.
Having read many a review on this very website we decided to set our hopes fairly low as Thomson was not on a level we have previously experienced. Yes this cruise was cheaper compared with previous ones hence our lower expectations.
Unfortunately we did not set them low enough!!
Transfer from plane to coach, long coach journey to port and port to ship was relatively straight forward.
We 'upgraded', via the website, to the best room available on the ship which was room 552.
When we opened the door via the punch card key we were amazed what treats were in store.
Two single beds, holes in the wall and general tatty condition was to be our home for the next seven days. As a married couple this was not par for the course.
Thomson don't advertise the lack of double beds on board and there are only a fraction of these on the ship. I would imagine far less booking interest if the general public were aware.
This was not the end of it... oh no. there was a loud metronomic thud coming from the engines which by the sound of it were situated just below the pillow. How on earth can Thomson think this is acceptable?
We promptly went to reception to complain about this and the lady in charge (Gemma, who was very pleasant and professional) informed us they were sailing full and although there may be a chance of some no shows freeing up a double cabin there was no guarantee. She would know more later that night. The noise...well, according to Gemma that would change just as soon as we set off and we would reassess later. Gemma was spot on, as soon as we set off the noise did change...it got WORSE!!
It seems low decks and rear of the ship is only for those 'not in the know' and vibrations and horrendous noise is 'the way it is as the ship is tired'. After a week's stay on board I knew just how it felt!
We managed to get a room change the following morning as by luck, some drunks had flooded the floor below via the toilet and once a room was dried out it was ours...lucky old us.
The noise was marginally better but still wholly unacceptable. We got used to the smell of stale carpet by day 4.
The shower was akin to a pipe sticking out of the wall and the toilet failed every day despite us obeying the vacuumed toilet 'law'. We were of the opinion that the drunks that flooded the floor were given a bad press.
During the rest of the cruise we managed to get no more than an hour's unbroken sleep before something or someone woke us-invariably engine noise but sometimes other clangy treats...
The rest of the ship?
We cannot fault the staff-ultra friendly and helpful, but there is an almost resigned hound dog attitude about the ship which even the best trained cannot hide. It is shabby, smelly, noisy and so outdated. All modern ships have a floor with the wow factor. Thomsons Celebration's wow factor floor is the gangway to the outside world.
Food was generally acceptable, good cafeteria grub, but the variety was scarce-the flies certainly were enjoying the exposed offerings. The entertainment was only lacking the red coats to complete the look, however, Josh and Gareth were the exception to this.
Swimming pools were tiny, and the lack of sunbeds made acquiring one an Olympic sport. Shade was non-existent on the sun decks.
So in summary.....
If you have to book this ship then high deck and front of ship.
But..... If you can, then go elsewhere.