Family of four (2 adults & 2 teenagers) first cruise ever which we chose for the itinerary which was fabulous. Embarkation speedy and stress free, First impressions of ship were good as did not know what to expect. Cabin for 4 was reasonably spacious with plenty of wardrobe and storage space. Only one power socket so grateful had taken the advice of a previous review to bring along an extension cable for phone chargers etc. Cabin was spotless and kept this way by our cabin steward Aldrin who was friendly, helpful and entertaining.
Bathroom very small a bit dated but again very clean. Shower area tiny and curtain too short so the floor was continually flooded after every shower, plenty of storage space for toiletries.
Food: we ate in Lido and Compass rose restaurants and were very disappointed with the food in both. The quality was very poor, no better than canteen food. Even in the Compass Rose the food was no better quality but presented more attractively by friendly waiters. We ended up paying £9.95 each on several occasions for T-bone and Ribeye steaks which were excellent but proved a costly extra. There was plenty of food around and the waiters and serving staff were excellent but unfortunately could not make up for the poor food quality.
Entertainment: we only went to a couple of shows so cannot really comment, but they were very busy and popular. We tended to go to Horizon's bar which had a fantastic view from the top deck and a really good atmosphere at night, which as relaxing and low key with live music trio. Colin, Binde and Vincent all provided friendly great service. Also visited casino and learned to gamble with the help of fantastic croupiers!
Ports of call. Excellent itinerary. Apart from Oslo and Tallinn the ship docked quite far from the town and we had to pay for transfers which for four people was quite costly. This was very annoying and we felt that Thomson was making extra money from passengers with this, (smacked a bit of Ryanair!) especially Copenhagen which was 1 & 3/4 bus journey at £30 a head! We did not use any excursions from the ship.
In St Petersburg we had arranged a 2 day private tour with an independent Russian Company.(Alla Tours) This was fantastic and I would recommend it strongly. It also proved much better value for money than the ship excursions.
Overall we had a great holiday, visited some fantastic places, but were disappointed with the food.
The ship was kept immaculately clean by hard working friendly staff. The service was also second to none by the same hard working attentive staff and they in my opinion made the time on ship enjoyable and relaxing.