I sent a seven page letter of complaint to Thomson along with supporting photographs regarding our cruise in February this year, a holiday of a lifetime to celebrate our wedding. Well do not go if you are expecting a as sold Platinum Holiday because it is anything but. In fact why right a review when I can put the details of our letter below but I would seriously think long and hard before booking a cruise with Thomson.
The room itself was dated, tired and not to the platinum standard which we was lead to believe it would be, we have stayed in better 3 star rooms in hotels and even B&B’s than the room provided on-board. We was informed if we wanted to move we could do so by upgrading at an additional charge, something we do not expected from such a trusted holiday company.
• The carpet was stained in several places.
• The kettle provided was full of limescale and looked disgusting. So we did not use it.
• The furniture had marks and the woodwork was chipped and scratched. If this is platinum, we are glad we did not travel on your cheaper ships.
• We were informed there was an additional charge to use the safe in the room, however we were told that they only worked sporadically by other guests and a member of staff.
• The light fixtures above the beds rattled, as they were loose, although Marie informed us on reception that the light fixture was fine and the noise from the bow thruster’s was normal and there was nothing that could be done. However, from one of our pictures you will see that stuffing a towel between the light and the ceiling easily fixed the problem. I am sure that an on-board maintenance person could have tightened the bolts and stopped this noise. Previous guests had also suffered from rattling fixtures as we found cardboard stuffed behind a light and other items.The bathroom continued the theme of the room, in that it was far bellow a platinum standard.
• We found mould growing in the tile grout.
• The sink was chipped.
• Taps were tarnished and the waste pipes leaked.
• The bathroom stall was rusty.
• The shower curtain was dirty and only held up by a few hooks.
• The toilet seat, despite asking for it to be repaired twice, moved constantly with the rocking of the ship. It was eventually tightened but the once again worked its way free again.
• Whilst taking a shower the water would go down the shower drain only to re-appear from the drain next to the toilet, flooding the bathroom but with water from where else?
• On several occasions the temperature would change dramatically and on one occasion both of us were scalded. When reported, the reception desk informed us that if the person in the adjoining cabin was showering, the temperature would fluctuate. When I showed her the mark from the scald she said it was not an emergency and to visit the medical center that afternoon if I wished. The medical center opened at 5pm some 7 hours later and we would have to pay to see the medical team.
• Upon returning to our room later that day, we found an engineer had visited the cabin and replaced the control unit of our shower, this shows there was clearly a fault with the shower control unit in the first place, and not the fault of others using their showers.
• We did have to ask for soap and shower gel to be replaced and refilled several times before it was.
• The internal panel above the door of the starboard side lift was held together with cable ties and only stopped on a selected floor when it wanted to. We found the port side A-stairs lift would not always open at deck 7. A sign said max of 10 passengers, the lifts refused to work at 6 persons, and that was full.
• Lido pool area had tiles missing from the side of the pool and a green substance was growing around the edges. We understand the reasoning behind using seawater to fill the pools however what we don’t understand is why the water was not filtered during the day. During the days at sea the pool developed a film of suntan lotion over it. Thus making it extremely difficult to exit the pool using the stainless steel ladders, as they became very slippery. The tiles around the pool area became too hot to tread on as the sun heated them, and were slippery but not cleaned during the day so there would be a build up of suntan lotion people were slipping where they had to walk quickly over them. On days at sea there were not enough sunbeds thus causing many arguments and unease amongst guests. The wooden decking was starting to rot at the ends and were loose, the stagnant water would ooze upwards at you as you walked over the boards.
• The Jacuzzi’s were overdosed with chlorine to the extent that our shorts were discoloured, as was our skin leaving a white powder over us as we dried. There was a line of slime around the edge of the Jacuzzi’s and what looked like algae was forming on the rim.
• There were areas on the outside decks where rust had created holes, these holes had been painted over, but still looked unsightly.
• The sirens pool had water jets in place, however these were never used whilst we was on-board, nor witnessed by anyone we asked.
• You can imagine our shock when we sat next to a window that was being held together with masking tape in the sirens restaurant. We have attached a picture.
• It was expected for us to use the sanitising gel dispensers, however most times they were empty. And we had to find someone to provide us with the gel for our hands.
• Although it was very nice to hear from the Captain every day, it was not a joyous experience to hear him dribble on about burials at sea and encounters with pirates. We did not appreciate the Captains joke at the gala event when he asked the difference between a container ship and a cruise ship, the response was; that containers don’t answer back.
• At every turn in the evening the photographers would be there asking us to have a photo taken, I for one did not want my picture taking with a backdrop of the main staircase from the HMS Titanic. We felt this was in extremely very poor taste.
• The Sirens and Lido restaurants looked like canteens, with dried bread displays which looked months old.
World Class Food?
• We certainly found food that we had never seen anywhere else in the world. I am not sure if anyone else would have either.
• World class food should not include the following items
o Hard boiled eggs battered and then deep fried
o Half a apple stuffed with mashed potato and beetroot
o Boiled eggs and vegetables in an aspic jelly
o Deep fried battered pizza bread
o Minced veal roll
o Broccoli salad - grey boiled cold broccoli, that was it...
o Curried cauliflower salad - boiled cauliflower with curry powder
o Bean sprout and pea salad, sounds lovely but when using frozen peas and a ratio of 97:3 pea: bean spout mix, it is not very appealing especially when the peas had been cooked to death
o Key lime tart made with mousse, green food colouring and a slice of lime on top, to be fair, I think that is how all the desserts were made.
o Hot pudding and custard every night, which reminded us of a school dinner.
o The majority of vegetables used were frozen, despite us stopping in port every day (except the two sea days).
• Little or no local cuisine on the menus at any of the food outlets.
• It appeared that the only way to get a platinum class meal was to pay to visit the grill.
• The waiting staff in the Orion restaurant were sullen and slow and the appearance of the restaurant was sadly lacking from that of the cruise memories DVD, which showed polished glass, cutlery, brass and clean table cloths that had been pressed. Not what we experienced.
• All the food was very bland and repetitive, one evening in the Orion Restaurant we was offered Pork Won Ton, the next evening in the Lido Restaurant we was offered cold Pork Won Ton with sweet chilli dip – leftovers?
• The fish was always fried and almost always in a batter. The potatoes were always fried, and sometimes blackened and not from cooking.
• The toast was always cold, and the butter was always rock hard. When asked for soft butter the serving staff said it was unavailable.
• Juices provided were of a very low quality; most of the time it was very weak.
• The mass produced coffee was vile. You had to pay extra for a nice cup of coffee.
• Fried tuna flakes for breakfast were a surprise too. Needless to say that in the evenings fried tuna flakes made an appearance in the salad selection for the evening meal.
• We found the food portions in the Orion restaurant to be extremely small on the first week, but improved slightly with the arrival of the Thomson head office staff the second week. One night we ordered chicken wings and we were presented with one wing cut in half minus the actual wing and it appeared as if from a sparrow.
• The food was not as well presented, as you would expect from an A la Carte dining experience on a platinum holiday.
• During sea days we had to be served to cut down the risk of contamination?
When Kelly sold us on this holiday it was made very clear to her that my partner finds it difficult to keep himself occupied, her response was that he would find it impossible to get bored on the ship as there was too much to do. This is why we only booked two excursions with Thomson. If your idea of entertainment is bingo, cards, scrabble, or puzzles and newspaper Sudoku and crosswords, then this is for you. During the day we could
• Have a talk on tanzanite, and where could buy it
• Play football in the heat
• Take part in quizzes aimed at the over 60’s
The team did their very best to make the evening entertainment as good as possible but unfortunately it was sadly lacking. If you gamble then the casino was available.
The show team, while very talented, were hardly west end calibre, and the shows seemed rushed and under rehearsed. I feel the “guest comedian” on the second week summed the passengers up very eloquently –
“Wow it is like the cast of Cocoon in here,” and
“Did you meet Elvis? Don’t worry wont be long now”
This was aimed at the demographic of the cruise that put the average age around 60+.
I am sure that they felt this was an adequate level of entertainment, but anyone younger would be finding it frustrating as we did. Many guests shared our view of the entertainment, one woman even ordered her husband to get her out of the lounge at the start of a quiz saying, “This is too much like Benidorm”.
We joined in with some quizzes and game shows or we would have gone mad or spent a fortune in the Casino. It was that or stay in our cabin, this was not an option.
The reception desk staff were extremely unhelpful, Marie in particular we found was rude to us. Peter even put in an official complaint regarding her disgusting attitude towards an elderly passenger.
We booked two excursions with Thomson prior to the holiday and were told we would receive our tickets on-board. The first of our excursions was the St Kitts scenic railway, because we had not received our tickets by the day before the planned trip we went to the shore team to ask. We were told that it was a good job we asked because there were only two slots available for the afternoon excursion. It turned out that our booking had not been processed.
In our second week we were informed that we needed to use the ships computers to check in. Thankfully it was complimentary as 180 minutes of Internet access was £18, the signal was so poor that by the time you logged into check emails 10/20 minutes had passed and you would be logged off without warning.
We feel totally let down and disgusted by the way we have been treated and poor standard of service received from Thomson on this cruise. This holiday was to be a celebration for us to remember but it has been anything but and has left us with a poor view of Thomson after being loyal customers for many years.