This was our first cruise on Thomson ship, we have cruised several times before, we booked it fairly last min. There were several differences we noticed compared to other cruise lines, they were :- we had to pay to choose a cabin, we had to pay to get a cabin of a decent size, we had to pay to use the cabin safe, all these extra to other cruise lines.
The flight was delayed due to weather at Manchester we were on plane 1hr 30mins before take off, we arrived late at ship but transfers and check in fairly easy. it wasnt long before we got our luggage, but it was late evening by that time, we changed and went for quick dinner, then muster at around 10.45pm 11pm ish, there was then a lovely sailaway party, but would have been nice to have it a day later as we left gran canaria and more final passengers had boarded then. but it was good and felt welcoming, our first night on board we discovered the ship creaked far more than any other ship we had been on. we did get used to it. The cabin was well serviced by two lovely people Vicky and Richard.
Our cabin was fine, although we thought dated, the beds we found to be small and uncomfortable. we had opted to leave as twins to have more floor space, in hindsight maybe we would have slept better had we asked to be made as a double then we would not have been up against the walls. The cabin was in a good enoough location and handy for most things.
we never had a problem getting a sun lounger, although as mentioned on other reviews space limited for the beds.
We found all the staff on the ship friendly and helpful on the whole, we thouroughly enjoyed the entertainment and thought all the team worked very hard. we especially liked the show team, who produced some excellent shows which we went to see every night, we thought the assistant cruise director by way far far better than the cruise director, he was completely entertaining in everything and anything he did, including a fashion show, we howled with laughter at his commentary. we also want to give special mention to a young member of the entertainment team just 19yrs old called Jack, what a very pleasant talented young man, he took time to speak and be friendly to everyone, he was a very good all rounder, he could sing, dance and do magic! watch this space a star in the making I am sure.
The food we found to be ok, our gripe was the practice of waiters "saving" tables for guests who appeared to have Tipped to have tables saved, it was meant to be open sitting, however tables were left empty and the same people walked in straight to "Their" table night after night, and there were queques of people outside, we were aware of this because we tended to dine early and witnessed night after night, as we wanted a table for two we could hardly be refused when the restaurante was fairly empty, on a couple of occasions we could see the waiters looking slightly anxious if we were still at our table when the "regulars" were due to arrive, but it was not only on tables for two, we saw it on all table sizes. we were offered to have a regular table by means of a dubious question, and a handshake, we declined as we believe open sitting should be just that, open to all guests not just those willing to pay/tip for the privelege.
I am aware others wont share my view.
We also found the captains cocktail night a let down, the worst one we have ever been to, the Captain appeared not to like it and wanted to get away it appeared, hardly a welcome! one waiter told us he never speaks or gives announcements, we did find this to be true, what he did announce was very very brief. The formal night we found the food to be worse on that night than any other, very strange we thought as it is usually much more special.
We had lovely weather and enjoyed the ports of call, although we have done them all before apart from Agadir.
We did a cruise and stay, we found the transfer from ship to hotel very good and stay at hotel also good.
would we travel with Thomson again, yes I think we would if the price was right, it would be more for the entertainment than anything else I think.