I was a bit worried about going on the Thomson spirit after reading some reviews about how old and tired the ship was. I was preparing myself for a tatty ship. Yes its old but it was very clean, and well decorated.
We flew from MAnchester to Paphos and then had another hour on a coach to Limassol and the ship. I am in a wheelchair for distance and our travela gent had arranged wheelchair assistance at Manchester airport but there was nobody there. My poor old hubby was trying to push me and the trolley with the suitcases. It was ridiculous. Eventually we found a Thomson person who helped out. From there it was plain sailing as we were rushed through.
The plaine was ancient. It was an airbus which we were pleased to learn they're scrapping at thee end of March. The seats had no padding in them whatsoever andon a 4 and half hour flight it was agony. There was no inflight entertainment and no food provided. On a Thomas Cook flight of this length you get food and a movie.
At Pahos airport we were met by helpers.I was put into a lift as there were stairs from the plane. But again the person helping us dissapeared at the luggage carousel and my Husband had to again push me and the trolley with the suitcases to the waiting coach. We eventually managed to flag for help.
On board our cabin was in the bowels of the ship on deck 1. It was very spacious, much bigger than our cabin on Royla Carribean the year before. We could actually get the wheelchair in the cabin. There were 2 wardrobes, six large drawers and 4 smaller ones so loads of space for hanging clothes.
I was dissapointed with the cleanliness of the bathroom. The taps were full of soap scum and there was toothpaste splattered up the bathroom cabinet. There was a hair under a soap holder which remained there all through the cruise! What grossed me out most was when I first has a shower and the drainage is very slow and a big blob of hair floated out of the shower drain-YUK!!!
A few things were broken and very old in the room including the air-con and the shower dial.
The lifts were also ridiculously slow.
What I liked about the ship was that it was small and very friendly.
The staff were marvelous and couldnt do enough for you. The MAitre'd of the dinning room was hilarious. whilst I'm no Xenophobe, the travellers were all British, the currency was Britsh and everyone was very friendly.
The ship was very informal. Most people dressed smart casual for dinner and there was one formal night. I liked the fact that you didnt have set dinning times and could eat when you wanted at night.
The food wasnt fantastic. there was plenty of it and at the beginning of the week it was fine but it seemed to deteriorate in quality as the week went on. Most of it was over cooked-bacon like leather and thin steaks you could sole your shoes with!
There were plenty of daytime activites if you like that sort of thing and a cinema. we saw Argo and Skyfall on the ship. The evening entertainment wasnt our cup of tea. we're not into these singing and dancing shows put on by the ships company. HAving said that we got stuck one night in one of the shows and the cast were very talented singers with excellent voices. There were quizes in one of the bars which we preferred.
The ship has an odd layout in that if you want to get to some areas you have to thread through corridors of cabins.
The ship is a very old lady and juddered the whole time. I had kangeroo petrol in it!! when we were in dock it jumped permanently and drove my husband mad. On deck 1 it often felt like we were over a laundry.
We went to Alanya-Turkey which was nice- we just had a walk round. Then to Alexandria Egypt for 2 days. I'm not fit enough to go to Cairo and the Pyramids. its too far away so I booked a private tour of Alexandria. What a filthy place it is! Rubbish everywhere. concrete apartment blocks crumbling and in very shoddy repair. There are no road markings or traffic lights. It was a free for all!!!
Next stop was Ashdod,Israel, where we got a taxi to Jerusalem. we had a marvelous day.
it was wonderful to have some sunshine and a break and like everything you get what you pay for. For a failry cheap spring break this was very good.