Having sailed on the Thomson Celebration in 2005, we booked our 7 day cruise for Feb 14th - 21st without referring to recent comments. However, having read comments about cruises on the Celebration at Xmas and during January, we were really alarmed & asked our Travel agent to contact Thomson direct. Nearly all comments seemed to mention the vibration caused by the engine, the poor level of service, lack of cleanliness resulting in outbreaks of the Norovirus & food lacking flavour. All I could find out from Thomson beforehand was that the ship was clear of the Norovirus so we had to take our chance along with 1000+ others.
As the UK & most of Europe was suffering the effects of the Jet-stream, we'd stocked up on 'anti sea-sick tablets' to cope with rough conditions at sea. We had booked a deluxe cabin on level 8 & feared it could be more affected by rough seas. In fact cabin 077, on deck 8, was wonderful, spotlessly clean & very spacious - no complaints at all. We usually ate in the Meridien restaurant where we were happy to share with different people. Food & service fine. £229 seemed far too much for a drinks package so we bought wine at the table. Not a vast choice of wines, but we are a bit fussy about the wines we like to drink. Our only real complaint was the vibration/juddering of the engine, more noticeable in some parts of the ship than others but always there!
On arrival on board, at Tenerife, we were surprised that the shore excursions had already been cancelled for Gran Canaria next day. We couldn't understand this as Thomson make money from these excursions so had to refund. Saturday in Tenerife it was both windy & wet so I'm sure the captain made the right decision to stay in Gran Canaria another night rather than sail to La Palma. Other ships also remained in port. 2 excursions missed & we had to contact our local agent to get the refund, having been told it would be automatically be refunded to the card it was booked on.
We thought that all ships had to compromise on their destinations at that point so there were always sufficient berths for the ships in each port. Hence, we missed La Palma & sailed Sun evening for Madeira. It took abt 36hrs, was still rough & despite use of stabilisers quite a few people were sea-sick. Fortunately we were OK, with the help of the travel-sick tablets! Fortunately there were several activities on board during the day & the evening shows were great.
In Funchal, the sun shone & wind lessened so our cruise continued with islands in a different order. It would have been most disconcerting for people who had not cruised before so wouldn't have realised that sometimes weather conditions necessitate changes of itinerary.