The whole cruise was just what we needed, a lovely break with great weather. We only really went for the sun and the itinerary was not one that particularly inspired us, so it was a chance to relax. We only did Jerusalem and Bethlehem as a tour and just walked off at the other ports (with the exception of Port Said). Alexandria is the biggest dump I have seen, a horrible, smelly place where they pester you non stop. The Jerusalem and Bethlehem trip was really good, and one we have both said we are glad to have done it whilst we have the chance. On this day there were 900 passengers going out on trips, so anyone left behind would have had the ship almost to themselves.
Having been on the ship exactly 12 months previously (half term...) we didn't notice much change in the hotel operation, food was just as good, and very similar to what is served on Dream. The shows provided by the wonderful entertainment team have changed, a great thing for the regulars but we missed the Africa show, we could watch that most nights..... On the whole the ents were great, Top Men were regulars in Liberties and 2Intense in Horizons, the classical Duo plays in Hemingways now instead of Explorers, all were fantastic. We also got to meet up with our old friend Gavin Carroll who is CD for 2 months this summer. A lot of the entertainment team have changed, they really are professional and look like they are loving the job. It's not just the performers that do a good job on Celebration, the backroom production team are excellent, they really make the most of the smaller Show-lounge than on Dream, the sound levels are just right, not too loud, and the sets are far better and more imaginative than Dream, making good use of the limited room they have.
We did notice that there seemed to be a lot fewer sunbeds up on the sundeck, I asked the question to a staff member and they assured me there was the same number. I don't agree, they were not as crammed in on the main sundeck and the forward one only had 2 piles of beds early morning, not 4 like last year. Even though there were a lot more Children on than last year the sports court hardly seems to get used, I think they should change this to sundeck space as by 10am on sea-day not a bed could be found.
Having been on both Celebration and Dream pre and post Platinum refurb I think they have done a better job on the Celebration, it smartens the ship up more than on Dream. Like on Dream it's mainly carpets and upholstery that have been improved, although the cabin bathrooms have had a makeover on Celebration with large tiles instead of the small mosaic type, the old brushed aluminium cabinet remains but there is a new sink unit. This is made of what I would call good quality MDF so I wonder how it will wear over the years?
To sum up, it was a good cruise, up to usual Thomson standard, with the great staff once again being the stars of the show.