Thomson Celebration: Gems Of The Aegean: This was our first cruise with some very good points and the not so good. The transfer from Dalaman was very smooth and organised and took around 80 minutes to reach Marmaris. After boarding the ship and a quick walk around, our bags were ready and outside our cabin.
Cabin: Deck 3 outside cabin but with the size of the porthole I think an inside cabin would have been just as good. It was of a reasonable size with a double bed and a small bedside cabinet either side with plenty of space for all our stuff in the wardrobes and drawers. The main cabin area was dated but very clean with at least 3 visits a day from out cabin man, Andik, who kept it spotless for us. The bathroom was small but no smaller than I expected. Again clean but with the all in one moulded style sink, mirror etc it was very airline. The toilet was of a vacuum type (airline again) and I'm afraid wasn't the nicest of experience with multiple flushes required. The shower was as hot as you can take it with a very strong jet but did look like a pipe sticking out of the wall. The tiling was dated with some poor repairs made in places and a shower curtain that had a habit of sucking up to you if you got within 6 inches of it, which was annoying.
Again the public areas were clean but dated and very tired in some areas with the adult pool being an example. The ship is due a refit so should polish up fine. The adult pool area also suffered from occasional wafts of diesel fuel and diesel exhaust fumes and this for me was the worst complaint I had. There is a constant throb from what I presume is the ships engines, but no worse than cross channel ferries I've been on and it didn't bother me really.
On the positive side, the service we received from all the staff was excellent, from our cabin man to the waiting staff to the maintenance crew. Everyone was fantastic. The food was also good and this ran from the burger bar on the deck to the buffet restaurant to the main waiter service restaurant. A varied menu with plenty of choice and mainly excellent quality food. The only exception was the salads served in the main restaurant menu as part of the five course dinner. An example was the feta salad with the green leaves browning at the edges and the quantity of feta being the equivalent of 2 strokes across a cheese grater. However the salads served in the buffet restaurant were excellent. We also like the idea of having the choice of restaurants with a dress code as we do like to "dress up" when being served a meal. But the choice is yours
We found some of the entertainment very East Coast Holiday Park which we didn't care for, although many on the ship loved. There were plenty of alternatives, so we just found what we liked without any problems. The resident band and the couple that play in the Horizon's bar were both excellent. The option for All Inclusive was a bonus for us as well and would recommend this if you can get a deal / discount.
Our first cruise wasn't without its faults but we did know the age of the ship when we booked and even with these issues we had an excellent time and with the level of service from the staff and quality of food we received, we would definitely cruise again with Thomson. But we will choose a newer ship.