On October 1st 2013 we joined the Thomson Spirit at Harwich for a 16 day cruise around the Mediterranean. We took a taxi to Luton airport and along with a host of other people took the free coach to Harwich. That took about two hours and the registration at Harwich was quick and easy. So quick we were in our cabin at 1130, 35 minutes after getting off the coach. Pretty good so far.
When I got the initial offer from Thomson the price was very good but as we wanted a double bed we had to wait 24 hours so that they could check if one was available. When they came back they offered cabin number 898, which turned out to be the last cabin available with a double bed. This was the aft cabin on the Port side, so almost in the engine room. Of course they didn’t tell us this. I had to pay an extra £105 each to upgrade to this cabin plus £42 to reserve it. On deck one you are almost at water level and as we had several rough sea days in which they closed the porthole from the inside it was of no use anyway. When in port most of the time all we could see was the sea wall. Great view! It was also a very noisy cabin with water splashing against the hull and the vibration from the engines. My wife is a light sleeper so had a few bad nights while I managed.
One other negative about the cabin was the shower. It had a non removable head and in order to get the water at the right temperature you had to turn the only knob which also was the one that controlled the flow of water so it was tricky to get it right. On complaining to reception I was told they were all the same in standard cabins.
We have only ever been on one other cruise, the Thomson Dream in the Caribbean last January, and can honestly say that on the Spirit the food, the entertainment and the crew were much better. It was also noticeable that our fellow passengers were much friendlier than on the Dream. I can’t explain that one.
The ports we visited were very good and we did take some of their excursions as we wanted to see areas away from some of the ports while in some we did our own thing, Valletta in Malta being an example as we had stayed there for two weeks a couple of years ago so knew the island fairly well. We did our own thing and even took a bus ride.
The flight home to Luton from Paphos was a bit of a disaster as like many others we had tickets which said we were getting an in-flight meal so didn’t bring anything with us. It was soon announced that Thomson stopped in flight meals several years ago but offered those that bought something a receipt that we could send to Thomson. I wonder if I shall get a response as they are not very good at communicating to their customers.
Overall it was a good cruise and we would go on the Spirit again but it would have to be a few decks up from where we were this time.