A really brilliant holiday. Any quibbles are minor, and I must again highlight the outstanding levels of service, in bars, restaurants and housekeeping that Thomson ships mangage to attain.
We went to 3 ports in Iceland and 2 in Norway, The Faroes were unfortunately crossed off our list due to some reasonably unsettling bad weather. Force 8 winds in the Atlantic are an experience though! All the ports (bar one) were outstanding, and I've fallen a little bit in love with Iceland.
Reykjavik is chic and cool, Akureyri mystical and rugged, Isafjordur remote and historic. Flam is charming and beautiful (railway magnificent) though Bergen seemed to me little more than a tourist fleecing operation - A pound to have a wee, but minimum cash withdrawal from the ATM £50. Hmm, that leaves £49 to spend on fridge magnets then.
The ship is not new, not swanky, but loveable for all that. It needs a new deck, and just a general refurb I guess, but the bars and retaurants are all absolutely fine, as are the cinema, library, sauna and so on.
The entertainment staff are affable and talented, the shows were great if you like that kind of thing, and the UK comedian was excellent and then rubbish in his 2 shows. There is always something to do, and space to do it in, though it can get a bit manic in the lido at certain times when dining. The standard of the food was generally high, but not as good as on the Celebration, which we've been on before.
The excursions were a bit pricey, I thought. I see no need to go on any in this itinerary, as pretty much all of it is 'self-doable' at a cheaper price and without the need for queing and standing around.
I would thoroughly recommend the holiday, though I'll list the quibbles just for balance:
The 'Judder'. The Spirit is apparently well known for this, but that doesn't stop it being something of a pain in the a*se.
Internet access. 25p a minute for an extraordinarily slow and intermittent connection is outrageous. This needs some work, and maybe wi-fi the whole ship.
There is just about adequate space for smokers. Non-smokers have approximately 19/20ths of the ship, which I'm not sure is fair.
Embarkation - excellent. Disembarkation - chaotic and messy.
No jacuzzi - don't tempt me with a hot tub (deck 8) and then have it covered with a net for a fortnight! Why?
Can't think of any more quibbles, and as I say, they are fairly minor in the scheme of things. On the whole I loved it, the vast majority of fellow passengers that we spoke to were lovely, and the staff are almost unbelievably good. An excellent adventure.