This will be our eighth Thomson Cruise, and having been on the Dream (Feb 13) and the Celebration (May 13) both post and pre Platinum upgrade we have something to compare to.
We picked this cruise for the itinerary, many cruisers had told us in the past that Adriatic Explorer is the best one Thomson do, and we would not disagree with this. Its one of the most expensive (probably because of the port changes in Venice) but is one of the most spectacular and well worth the extra over a usual Med cruise if you have never seen these ports before. We had some trepidation when booking the Majesty as there have been some reports where people said they didnt like the ship.
We found the ship fine, yes there are the usual sundeck issues, particularly the very narrow areas between above the pools, but we find these minor issues.
We had an inside plus Deck 3 (3055) and found it was plenty big enough, the standard cabins look small (quite a bit narrower than the plus) but we would be happy with one of those for a week if a plus was not available. It is worth paying the extra 35 each per week if they are available, especially if you are doing a fortnight. The cabin was well appointed with a good fridge and our lovely cabin stewards Irene and Andreea kept the ice bucket full for us. The grouting at the bottom of the shower was a little grubby, but nothing that caused us any problems. Most days the shower had to be run for 10 minutes to get some hot water, but there was plenty of force.
The TV remote was faulty so we reported it straight away to Irene, when we returned that evening it had been replaced, the following day the old CRT TV had been replaced with a new flat screen which had a much better picture.
The most noticeable problems with the ship are the queuing for both MDRs if you arrive any later than 7:45pm, before that you will be fine. There is a lack of seating in the main buffet and occasionally at breakfast we had to go downstairs to the Royal Observatory. We found the food at breakfast better at the buffet than the MDRs, the pre-made fried eggs were undercooked wherever you ate, so having the egg station at the buffet meant you could get a fresh one cooked to your liking.
We also found the Orange juice and breakfast coffee in the MDR watered down, the buffet was much nicer. A noticeable improvement over the Celebration and Dream was that the mushrooms were fresh and not tinned. The lunchtime food in the MDR was good, we had a lovely Ciabatta sandwich with fried fish, cheese and tomato one day, (nicer than it sounds, honestly) but the service was rather slow for lunchtime, and we would be in there an hour some days.
We mostly ate in the Four Seasons in the evening, we found the atmosphere better and the waiters seemed friendlier, aiming for Leos section whenever we could, he gave excellent service. We did notice that the portions are huge compared to the Celebration and Dream, the mains were around double the size, and we always skipped the salad course because of this. We would say the food quality was comparable with the other ships, and did not have a bad meal at all.
There was no midnight buffet, just a chocolate fountain, and we noticed the baked Alaska parade was a little tame, we think it was rushed as people tend to eat later on this ship and they wanted to get back to giving service.
NOROVIRUS, no problems on this ship, we didnt hear of anyone going down with it, or see any signs such as doormats
As the ship is around 10 years younger than the other two it doesnt shake and rattle the same, our cabin was midships towards the aft and there was very little noise, much less than you would get on the Celebration or Dream in a similar position, we always have booked the cabin on these ships to get a midships, but would not hesitate in taking pot luck again on the Majesty.
The staff seem more of a mix of nationalities than Celebration or Dream, with many wait staff being from Eastern Europe, rather than the mix of Philipino, Balinese, and Indonesian that are on the other ships. Most of the Eastern Europeans are great fun (Anne-Marie for instance is lovely) but occasionally you come across a surly one. They all get along together and that comes across, Grace and Diana are absolute stars, always laughing and jolly. We sat at the bar in Rendezvous, and always had a good laugh with Eko, Ida, and Angel behind the bar; they are constantly busy yet always have time for you.
The quality of the drinks was also fine, we didnt notice any difference to the way cocktails were made whether you were on the drinks package or not, and our G&Ts got stronger as we got to know the boys better
The entertainment.. well what can we say its the best showteam we have seen on any ship!
All of them have so much talent, and as Paul Evans the CD says, they make his job easy. Half of them are new to cruising and others like Gareth the ACD and Kerry we have met before. The singers Brandi (USA), Max (Holland), Rob, Brian, Beth, and Alice have excellent voices. They sometime give Alice a song that stretches her range, but nevertheless she has a good voice.
The dancers (sorry cant remember all of their names, I know one of the girls is from New Caledonia) are good singers too, occasionally doing a song individually as well as the excellent harmonies they provide to the main singers.
The sailaway from Venice is something special, Brandi, Max and Rob sing as you sail out finishing with O Sole Mio, it is really is amazing. The team are on until next April, so catch them whilst you can.
One thing that would be great if is transferred over to the other ships is putting the house band on for half an hour before the shows start, this is a brilliant idea, as the lounge starts to fill up you have some proper entertainment rather than the musak they play waiting for the show to start.
We never saw the classical Duo, but Summerland and Musik Unlimited are great bands, with Musik Unlimited performing every bit as good as Top Men, they are truly professional musicians.
Mark Smith who played Piano every night in Rendezvous was also excellent; we spent hours in there listening to him, he has gone home now, but may return later in the season.
In all we had a great cruise and would sail both itineraries and the Majesty again without hesitation.