Cruise Thomson Majesty Italian Flavours 25 Oct 1 Nov 2013
The Cruise ship was almost full with ca 1500 ‘guests’ on board. Overall, the only way to describe this cruise was ''"EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTING” and can be best summarised by these bullet points:
• On arrival on board at lunchtime, having been given boarding cards cum on-board credit card, we were told that the card was not active until 5pm. The cruise ship is cashless, so one has to wait 5 hours before the card is valid!
• The information in the cabin was sparse and much of the cruise information did not arrive until the delivery of ‘Cruise News’ in the evening. Cruise News did NOT give any weather information for the following day.
• The mandatory ships muster was organised for 19:45 on the first evening in the middle of most people dining ''" hence it was chaotic.
• Dining in the two waiter service restaurants was chaotic and not pleasant. All but three tables were for 6, 8 or 10 people, so it was not possible to have any intimate dining, unless you spent a premium to dine in the 36 cover Bistro restaurant.
• Dining in the waiter service restaurants, Seven Seas and Four Seasons, was controlled by Maitre D ‘s who had clearly learnt their trade at the Basil Fawlty School of Hospitality. We were treated as cattle, directed to specific seats on large tables, with no choice allowed. The waiter staff were clearly under a lot of pressure to process diners quickly, and service was peremptory at best.
• The Self-Service buffet restaurant was not much better. There were insufficient dining tables in the allocated area, so people took their food to either the tables at the side of the swimming pool, or downstairs to the Observatory Bar. Those next to the pool, inevitably were inconvenienced by kids doing what kids will do with water.
• Sunbeds were often ‘reserved’ for long unoccupied periods; we were told that this situation would be avoided by adequate policing ''" it never happened and on two occasions my wife had to make do with sitting on a chair in a corner whilst at least 20 'towelled' beds, but unoccupied for over 2+ hours, were close by.
• The Library was only open two hours per day ''" and during time when day trips ashore were arranged. Why - for the convenience of staff or passengers?
There were some good aspects ''" Excellent cabin/ housekeeping staff, Good entertainment on board, amusing bar staff, Excellent trips ashore at ports of call. OVERALL THIS WAS A FAILURE OF MANAGEMENT ''" The white suited managerial ranks were invisible for most of the week, they finally appeared on the last day, too late to do anything. Two sittings should have been organised for dinner in the Seven Seas and Four Seasons restaurants. Clearly there were not enough dining places for one sitting or continuous service for all the guests on board. THIS WAS A MANAGEMENT FAILURE. We had been eagerly anticipating this cruise as we had very happy memories of previous cruises with Thomson, but this was a huge disappointment. My wife's view is that had this been our first cruise with Thomsons it would certainly have been our last.