Thomson Celebration Cruise Review by ozscotart: Ancient wonders !
Ancient wonders !
Not having cruised with Thomson before, we were not sure what to expect. They do seem to operate the booking process in a completely different, and less helpful, fashion than other cruise lines. However, I was assured by regular Thomson cruisers that there would be no problems once aboard. This proved to be largely true.
Flights were good : on time, moderately comfortable for short haul, uneventful except for what we subsequently found was known as the 'bounce' at Dalaman, where we almost landed, and then immediately aborted the landing and went round for another landing. Apparently some flights had two aborted landings, the problem being wind shear. Transfers, checkins, etc were all efficient.
We had cabin 640 on deck 2, L shape configuration as I was travelling with a friend rather than DH. This was comfortable, we liked the kettle. The only problem I had was hearing voices very clearly from the next cabin and the corridor, easily solved by earplugs. No More vibration.
Entertainment was better than average IMO, the show team was larger, the dancing and choreography vastly better than any recent cruise we have done, the rest of the entertainment up to most other cruise lines' standards. There was no enrichment programme, but running these short cruises I guess they would not get many takers.
The ship is an old HAL ship and has many lounges and bars, a promenade deck and many traditional features that we prefer. Very nice. There has been some refurbishment, but this has not detracted from the character of the ship.
Itinerary : this was excellent, Istanbul, Izmir : we missed Mytilene due to wind so we ended up in Izmir, a less interesting place, but one we hadn't been to, Thomson very quickly organised shuttles and a city tour. Then Kusadasi, Mykonos and Athens. All good.
Food : this is where I feel that Celebration is lacking : the food was generally lacking in imagination and variety, tended to be overcooked and under seasoned. Frankly, I think the head chef should be sacked : I thought that overcooked and under seasoned rice on a cruise ship is unforgivable. It tended to the sort of British food you used to get 30 years ago, and that happily we mostly don't have to endure anymore, except in institutions. Awful ! Less
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