We have just returned from our first cruise, Thomsons "Red Sea Magic" aboard the Celebration. While this is not the largest ship out there, it is very comfortable, with a fantastically friendly yet unintrusive crew, who provide nothing but first class service and great food.
Our outside cabin had two comfortable beds, a nicely fitted shower room, and loads of storage space with 2 full length wardrobes. We had a new flat screen tv, with movie and other channels, but didn't really make much use of it as we can watch tv at home!
The ship is being upgraded to "Platignum" standard, but the work is not a problem for current customers and is due to be done by early May. This ship is aimed at a purely British clientele, so the food and entertainment is geared towards their tastes. We didn't have the drinks package, and although we never went without a tipple, we'd have been hard pressed to get our money's worth from it, so I can't recomment paying the extra Â£219 per head (all parties in a cabin have to pay for the package, so you can't just get one and share it!. If you have the package, you still have to pay extra for premium brands and there seem to be time restrictions too, as our friends had to pay for barista coffees before 10am (free tea and coffee are always available in the restaurants).
The crew are mainly Phillipinos but all speak very good English, and have obviously been well trained to provide good service. The food is excellent, and there's always something new on the menu, with a choice of 3 restaurants and snack bars to choose from 24 hours a day.
Sadly, the ports of call in the red sea are not much to write home about, being industrial raher than tourist ports, but that need not spoil the holiday, as there's always something to do on board, if you don't want to join an excursion or go exploring on your own.
Altogether, a great experience, and we look forward to cruising again.