This was our third cruise on the Celebration this year and since April we have seen a decline . We did voice our concerns in August but was informed by Thomson Customer Service that they were sorry they did not meet our expectations but had for the majority ! So we went for our first Christmas & New Year cruise with the hopes and expectations that all would be perfect, not so, how wrong were we.
Drinks service on board is really poor a wait of at least 45 mins to get an order in and maybe an other 15 mins to get the drinks. Not by any means the staff's fault , they are just not enough. All our previous cruises with Thompson up to 2013, staff had sections, they had time to talk to you, your drinks were topped up , you didn't spend time you have to be relaxing looking for bar staff !! We bought the drinks package and we have lost out badly, we just could not get served even when going to bar yourself you had to wait ages. The drinks package just keeps adding concessions , and now you have the lovely new coffee shop which replaces Explorers and that is not included in the drinks package, although they did reduce hot drinks for you. This still makes Hemmingways crowded from those who may have sat in explorers now go in here , so there is lack of seats and of course bar service a major struggle as they look after the casino too. If it wasn't for the fantastic casino staff you would never get a drink while playing !
One of the biggest disappointments was we were expecting a WOW factor on arrival, big company , big brand , was expecting big decorations. So not the case, was truly lacking and Horrizons had none at all !No Christmas shows just repeats from what they have done throughout the year, same quizes, same jokes! same play. No build up to Christmas or New Year from Cruise Director Gavin, if a announcement was made by him it was geared around selling something! You were constantly hassled to buy wine packages, wine taster evening's , pictures (of which 1 night they had 5 areas on board they set up to grab you ), We sailed Christmas Eve but docked Christmas Day when all shops were closed ? No fireworks New Years Eve as we were sailing ! They even hassled you to buy champagne for New Year , no offense the price we paid I was expecting it to be free ! No little touches for Christmas, mince pies in cabins? mulled wine ? just a repeated CD playing same Christmas tunes. Even the Cruise News was the same , could it not have come with Christmas Colours ? They did do Santa for little ones.
Food was cold, repeated and you could see the servings of certain foods in the Lido was reused on another seating. Food was the same as what was served in August, except Christmas and New Years Day.The Lido is now no longer 24hr dining and closes at 1am, which although I can see opening all the time is silly I do feel it should close when all the entertainment is closed. On New Year Eve it still closed at 1am although people were still on the Lido deck drinking and dancing!
We had a feeling there was norovirus on board as they switched to serving us, drinks menu's were taken in. When I asked why drinks menu's were taken in I was informed it was due to passing on any germs, I sort of understood that , but the menu's for drinks and snacks you had to buy in full were still out ? If you got a large straw with a drink the tip of the paper cover was on but if you had a smaller straw it didn't ? This was to stop spread but did not make sense why one and not the other.
Everything now on board seams geared around extracting as much money as possible from you. You no longer feel important to Thomson, we made a written complaint and left it with reception, we were not contacted by anyone to say they would look into it or that they had received it! Nothing from the cruise director!.
Constant vibration throughout the ship even in dock!
Basically we paid for a Christmas cruise and we actually got a very poor normal cruise. Certainly not standards you would expect from Thomson.