This cruise was our first with Thomson's. We chose the cruise to coincide with my wife's birthday in late August. We were looking for a cruise itinary which included Rome , Naples, and La Spezia for Florence. In total we visited 11 destination ports with 2days at sea with Palma being start port for both weeks.
The Island Escape is a relatively old ship at 30, and is comparatively small. All the eating places and bars were easy to find. The food was OK as was the atmosphere. The cabins were comfortable if a bit basic. The TV service was very poor with only news channels and two movie channels which repeated the same film each day over a 7 day cycle, thus shown again on week two.
The key strength of the Island Escape are the live entertainment with some exceptional individuals combining to form a great team, credit to the Cruise Director. This really offset the poor in cabin entertainment. However should you be cruising with children or with individuals who do not care for live shows there's not much to do at night other than visit one of the many bars on board.
I was particularly impressed by the quality of the cabin stewards who really were friendly and efficient, as well as being well turned out and impeccably mannered.
The weaknesses were really minor compared to the strengths mentioned above and centred on the inconsistent service offered by the waiters. Some were very hard working and polite but some were plain rude. Some of the behaviour of the waiters would not be tolerated on other cruise lines. My impression was since this ship attracts a lot of first time cruisers some of the waiters take liberty's.
My overall impression is that this ship gives entry level cruising with an informal atmosphere at entry level prices. The ports of call were excellent and the sailing experience was pleasant. However I doubt if we will sail with Thomson's again.