We booked the 14 day cruise and this was the third time we have done this (and been cruising every year since 2007) but alas may well be the last. Paid the extra for premium seats only to have no tv on the outward flight 8/9 hours looking through that magazine was torture even with free drinks.
Transfer etc all fine and of course not the most modern ship but I still like it, room as before all clean and tidy. The food quality and service in the Orion restaurant is falling below what you expect from Thomson, not enough staff means slow service and numerous nights I paid extra for a steak because the options were poor. I don't really do shows much so cannot comment to much on that side.
Shore excursions are getting very expensive and not good value for money whilst in Whilst in St Lucia 28/02/14 we decided (group of 4) to go on the "Time at the Beach @ £26.00 per person, the trip included a sunbed and complimentary drink in the local bar. On our arrival at the beach it was not as described, it was very very crowded and we were directed to a small area between to other sets of sunbeds. Our sunbeds however were in very poor condition, old, torn and mine in particular was torn on the back rest making it very difficult to use. We were then asked for another $10 for an umbrella to which we declined these were also in very poor condition, the young man that offered us the umbrella stood there with it blowing in the wind and it looked like it had been caught in crossfire during a snipers exchange of gunfire it was actually quite comical at the time it was only fit for one thing in a skip! The group to the right of us included people from our ship (blue towels gave it away, and we spoke to the group) who had made their own way to this beach as they have prior knowledge of the beach, they had nice sunbeds with umbrellas and had paid approx a third of what we had paid Thomson including taxi, sunbed and umbrella alas but not the complimentary drink! some expensive drink that turned out to be for us.
And now to the "Thomson All Inclusive Drinks Rip Off" prior to our holiday we did consider the option of the "Drinks Package" but thought £796 a little excessive on the ship it was £225 per person per week (£900 in total) , having monitored our spending I was very surprised to see the "drinks supplement charge" applies to so many drinks even though people are "all inclusive". To charge a supplement of £0.95 for a coke "yes £0.95 extra for a coke" and a host of other soft drinks is nothing more than greedy the ,the supplement charge is enough to be making profit in itself so that's profit and then more profit. Had we have spent the £798 for the drinks package we would still have had to have paid an additional supplement of approx £230 (i.e. £2.00 per Peroni, £2.00 per London Pride, £0.95 per soft drink, £1.50 per water, and £1.20 per specialty coffee) totalling over a £1000 for drinks which actually cost us less than £680 which also included 2 x wine packages at nearly £60 each because my wife did not like the house white wine and there was only one option. Also on the drinks issue my wife likes 3/4 cocktails in particular and the quality of these in respect of alcohol content seems to fallen from past experience, on deck 11 one day my wife had a Banana Banshee I would happily have given it my granddaughter, only once during our two weeks did my wife say "now that's more how they used to be" during a visit to the Grill one night. Even the cream element to the cocktails was sub standard to usual, I noticed it was cartons not containers as used previously. If you wish to get bladdered on 25 pints of cheap lager, house wine and boring cocktails 16 hours a day then I guess £796 might be a good move but Mr Average gets ripped off. We spoke to and heard various people discussing the so called "drinks package issue"! so its not just moaning old me. Do Thomson take any notice of sites like this I guess not, but they should because they need to learn that people will only take so much.