Although we have done a few cruises, in the past, we are not dedicated cruisers, we usually prefer to holiday in the Greek Islands, in traditional surroundings with local places of interest to visit. However we last cruised with Royal Caribbean, 2 years ago, and my husband was keen to try another cruise. I wasn't so keen, so we opted for a cruise and stay holiday in Corfu, which seemed the best of both worlds.We had never been on a Thomson cruise before although booked holidays with them many times over the years
We booked the holiday in April 2011, so qualified for the AI drinks package, which was nice, but after booking I started to read the reviews about the Destiny and was not filled with joy, so when Thomson changed ships, I was not really bothered, as it didn't seem that I would be missing much. We had pre booked a cabin on Destiny and had no trouble transferring to a similar outside Plus cabin on Deck 4.
We had booked extra leg room seats, row 15, which were great except for the occasional idiot trying to cut across, if they thought the loo was free on the other side of the plane, we stopped this by placing our bags on the floor. The 3 hour flight was smooth and punctual and we arrived in Corfu around 9pm, local time. After retrieving our baggage, we had to queue up outside, for quite a while before being allowed to board the allocated coaches. We eventually arrived at the port at about 10.30, where a member of the Thomson team came on board and went through the muster drill, useless, but at least they had ticked the box!!
The first thing I noticed was that the cabin was bigger than I expected, plain but functional with thankfully plenty of wardrobe and drawer space for three people, a fridge and TV, which never worked, but I wasn't bothered by that. The cabin was very hot, which we pointed out to our stewardess, who promised to speak with reception. Nothing happened until midnight on the following day, when after 6 requests at reception and being given a variety of reason, all with a smile, an engineer turned up, twiddled with something in the unit, and thankfully we didn't have to suffer another night in an airless coffin. Unlike a hotel room you cannot open a window, on a ship, so if the air conditioning fails to work in August, you know about it. The bathroom was small, as expected, but the systems were all very efficient and the poor quality towels were changed with regularity, by the very efficient cabin stewards. Some reviews have already mentioned the dirty windows, these appeared to be ingrained with salt deposits between the glass. I can only presume that they cannot improve these as the ship was constantly being cleaned and was spotless, except where windows were concerned.
We have a fussy teenage son, so we find that buffet dining is preferable, as he can usually find something he likes, and I prefer the option of not being stuck with strangers, having to make polite conversation, if I am not in the mood, I do this for work and I like a break from it on holiday, so most of our meals were taken from the Cafe Royal. The food was satisfactory, most days, the breakfast usually being the best, however the constant rushing and pushing did get annoying, but that is probably why most people opt for the more sedate main dining rooms.
We are not really interested in being entertained so cannot really comment on the main events. We usually spent our evening in the Royal Observatory lounge, where there was often a pianist and violinist, who were excellent, and made for a nice chilled atmosphere. One evening a female singer, I think called Valerie, performed a few songs, she was also very good. Another evening the bar seemed to fill up very quickly, people were milling around looking for chairs, when we realised that a Simon and Garfunkel tribute act were due to perform. Not an act I thought I would ever have to listen to, can't stand the originals, but they were good and obviously very popular from the hordes of people who arrived to listen to them. However once they had finished the same hordes all rushed, and I mean rushed out of the lounge to the next show, it may have been a knobbly knees contest, somewhere else, small children could have been trampled underfoot in their eagerness to get seats at the next event, priceless.
Most of the staff were very friendly and hard working, however there was one bar man, at the Bistro Bar, who was very offhand and almost rude. Near the end of the holiday, I thought I would take a note of his name, however he had disappeared and he never returned, nor did I spot him in any of the other bars, maybe I was not the only person to find fault with him
What can I say, the usual mix of people, different age groups, the usual sun lounge hogger, the football shirted males propping the bar up, nylon football shirts in 90% heat, still each to their own. I was surprised by the number of young children allowed by their parents to wander about by themselves around the ship. Not to get food or a drink, but strolling around quiet corridors by themselves, do some adults leave their brains at the airport when they go on holiday, God forbid anything ever happens to a child, but who would they blame if it did? Being August there were many children on board, the vast majority were a credit to their parents , but there were the usual families who let their brats run wild, as long as they weren't annoying them, and it is harder to avoid them on a ship.
PORT OF CALL
I shall review the ports separately but we enjoyed them all. I did feel a little bit like the poor relation when we were docked alongside other cruise ships. They all had coloured canopies for their passengers to drink their refreshing glasses of chilled water presented by their ships personnel, music playing in the background, Thomson cruise passengers were met with just the
I know many people love Thomson cruises and my opinion is just that,my opinion, and it is in no way meant to contradict anyone else's viewpoint but I think if you want a no frills basic cruise to visit some wonderful places, then the Majesty is ideal. If you enjoy holiday camp entertainment, and many people do, you won't be disappointed, one night we had the sight of bare chested men standing around the pool singing "ere we go,"ere we go "ere we go, a laugh for some, but not my choice of holiday fun.
If you prefer a more luxurious ship with a slightly more upmarket feel, and the price tag to match, then you probably won't enjoy the Majesty.
Having experienced a more expensive RCI cruise, which was undoubtedly more what I expect from a cruise ship,in terms of environment etc, but who charge you exorbitant prices for drinks etc, and now having vacated on the more basic but more affordable Thomson cruise, I have come to the conclusion that maybe cruising is not for me, well certainly not for the foreseeable future anyway.