What's happened then Thompsons? Such a big difference in service and quality from our cruise from last New Year.
Two dates for embarkation 27 and 28 December We joined the ship in Gran Canaria on 28th December. Arrived late due to air traffic problems over Portugal. Transfer from airport to ship was swift and efficient. Got on board at 9.20pm and lined up to register our credit card etc, about 20 of us to check in I'd say. Apparently another flight came in even later than us. It took the one girl so long to register us all and by the time we got on deck for the lifeboat drill - it was just ending.
Cabin was good and quite big. Paid to reserve it to ensure a double bed. Bed most uncomfortable , we could feel the springs through the sheets. Cheap and nasty little shampoo, no conditioner or body lotion but we did have a sewing kit and two, yes, two, shower caps. Constantly we had to ask for sachets of coffee or sugar for our cabin. We saw no evidence of change to Platinum status except for the kettle.
There was quite a swell for the first two nights and the good ship really rolled about, a lot of folk didn't make the Captains night.
Food quality has gone down in our opinion, see other reviews. The MDR on some evenings was a bit manic and missed the late Broadway show one night, however no fault of the wonderful waiters - they are just pushed to the limit, due to what seemed to us as a cut back in staff levels. Again, having to wait ages to get a drink in the bars - no rush, we're on holiday but one shouldn't have to wait over 20 minutes. Quality of drinks mainly spirits, varied greatly.
New Year eve meal seemed liked the whole ship turned up for the 8.15 seating - again pushing the poor waiters to the limit. Not really a pleasant dining experience that night and only made better by sharing the table with lovely people and the new year baked Alaska bomb.
Entertainment team put their "all" into all of the shows - not much change in content though - ok if you like hits from the 60's and 70's all week. Compared to last NYE on the Red Sea the ships company seemed very quiet indeed. Horizons was virtually empty at 11.15pm and so we went down to the Lido deck which was packed and agree a few party poppers did little for a wow factor at the stroke of midnight. Just after that we went Hemmingways and thankfully Benjamin was belting out his songs together with his guitar, everyone was up dancing and having a good time.
We felt that not enough information was given to guests regarding leaving port over the public address system. We watched MSC Armonia exit the harbour walls in Agadir and she promptly took a list to starboard - we commented that she seemed to turn right on two wheels. Celebration exited the harbour walls and did exactly the same thing .. The lap top went skidding across the cabin floor and passengers later told us that glasses in the bar had fallen from the shelves and handbags etc had fallen to the floor in the shops. The Captain prompty used the public address to assure us that everything was ok and nothing to worry about. If a sea condition is known and is usual then the Pilot and then the Captain should be advising guests before it happens - someone could have been flung down the stairs.
Most guests left the ship in Teneriffe, leaving the ship quiet and most of the ships services seemed to be on shut down until the new guests arrived. The food was terrible on our last evening in the MDR - stale desserts, and then of course the lifeboat drill for all the new guests for which all the waiters and wine waiters were required on deck which left guests just sitting at their tables until the drill was over. Not a memorable last night on board.
In essence we had a good time, due to the lovely passengers and friends made on board but will think twice now before we book a Thompson cruise again due to evident cut backs in some areas of operating this ship.