We chose Thomson because some of our friends have cruised with them and we were told they were good for first time cruisers and their prices are competitive.
We arrived at Harwich early just before 12.00pm and already the queues had started and it took one and three quarter hours for us to board the ship. Once on board the checks with passport and security were quick and efficient.
Spirit is an older ship but generally well kept, it is spotlessly clean and you could see the cleaners all day cleaning handrails or vacuuming. Some of the carpets were worn on the edges and will need replacing soon but other than that no complaints. Our bedroom on deck 4 was more spacious than I had expected we had two wardrobes, ample drawers and our cases fitted under the beds.
All the staff were very friendly and helpful and they appeared to genuinely enjoy their jobs. The entertainment team were first class and Richard a fantastic Entertainment Manager.
We eat mainly in the Compass Restaurant where the food was superbly presented and cooked. The Lido also offered a good range of food to suit all tastes. Tea and coffee were available all day in there free of charge. There are several drinks packages you can buy on board for either wine of beer some of the wine packages appeared to be good value. However they were charging £225 per person to upgrade to all inclusive drinks package but added to this costs were supplements for some drink which made it very expensive.
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and the Gala Night was an excuse to dress up you do not need to go 'black tie' unless you want to any smart suit will do for the men and a special dress for the ladies - no need to go overboard people were wearing a wide range of clothing long or short.
I would recommend Thomson Spirit to everybody and the delightful scenery of the Fjords just added to our delight.