Cyprus to Isreal: Thomson Spirit Cruise Review by Ellie2green
Overall Member Rating
Cyprus to Isreal
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Had to pay £15 for the use of the safe in More room this is not refundable so quite expensive. We upgraded to all inclusive for £69 before we left and felt this is well worth it but you still have to pay for water (1.80 euros) so we bought ours in the ports for the next day which were mainly 50cents.
The entertainment is very Cheesy and although it got better towards the end of the week it was more like what you get in a holiday camp.
Trips were expensive.....mainly £40 to £50 each with Israel trips £50-60 and then £96-£98 and then £228 for an overnight stay.
ANTALYA.... we walked off the boat and did our own thing.... lovely place lots to see and do and felt safe to walk around (we were 2 ladies)
MARMARIS.... I walked off the boat and went round this place on my own felt very safe and asked people for directions and all were happy to help. Very clean and tidy and had a lovely Castle to go and visit.
CRETE..... I went on a trip to Spinalonga (leper Island) £45 for the distance we travelled and the boat trip I think was very expensive.... you could buy a guide on the island and do your self... but a great day out.
DAY AT SEA.... we used the spa,,,, although they had discounts all very expensive like we expected I had Reflexology which was nice but although booked at the spa we had to go to another room ON the top deck which was all a bit of a mess and no one knew we were going there ... Unable to get a deckchair as we had been in the spa.
ISREAL we docked at Ashdod which we had been told was a working industrial port and that to get off the boat we would have to go through their customs....this we did and was quite quick....
I think if you went out on your own that you would of needed a taxi but I can't confirm this...
NAZARETH ....Lovely coach picked us up and there was about an hours drive before we went to the River Jordan to the baptism site, Then on to the Sea of Galilee..... we had a beautiful day ... expensive but think this would be the best way to see everything.
Another nice coach as again we had about an hours drive before we got to the Mount of Olives, and the Gardens of Gethsemane.... we then went on to Jerusalem.... this was going to be a long 2.5 hour walk.... although not hurried at the Wailing Wall the rest of the day seemed to be click of the camera and move on.... (not a place to go to in Summer as it was 33 degrees that day and very crowed).you need a guide but you could get these privately and if I ever go again (which I would love to) I would do so either on my own or with a private guide so that I had more time. We were NOT allowed to shop in Jerusalem and so was very disappointed... Guide said we had to shop in Bethlehem as you paid tax in Jerusalem... but if I want to buy a gift from there I want to buy from there not anywhere else and you can claim the Tax back at the boat......
Very very busy but I think it would be any time you went. Beautiful churches but was only shown one shop to shop in and they were very expensive with nativity sets starting at £60 for a very very small one... we did however find some magnets and smaller items but these were 5 dollars which worked out at about £3.50 each.....
I would recommend this trip although expensive but you do have to keep up as they move fast be good on your feet as you have to queue which will get worse the busier the place gets and of course having to get into Palestine was a bit of a faff as our Israeli guide could not enter Palestine.so had to swap guides for this part of the trip.
OVERNIGHT SAILING TO LIMASSOL
We woke to be in Limassol where we were to stay for 4 nights.....
As we went to breakfast we were asked by the cabin lads if they could strip oour beds ,,, we were happy for them to do this ... but when we got back they had re made the beds ready for the next customers and we had not yet moved out, we were told don't put anything on the beds and don't sit on them... when asked "who slept in my bed before I did" I was told they have to do it for quickness later , I wonder who's skin had shared my bed as they cleaned the cabin after all this......
We were then charged 2% off our Debit Card which was dealt with shockingly and we ALL had to queue for approx. 2 hours to get this back...... this could of been stopped but wasn't.
We were then told we could not get our bus to the hotel (also in Limassol) until 14.30pm. so I went off to the disembarkation office to see if I can get Taxi to the hotel with another couple.... I was told you are no longer part of the cruise you will have to go to the reception... when I said there was a 2 hour wait to see anyone I was told sorry I can no longer help you. In any case the room is probably occupied and you wont get in.. I said there must be a luggage room and I was told no there wouldn't be,,,,, so we had to wait till the bus. We arrived at the hotel at 15.50 to be told we could of gone earlier that they had a luggage room we could use..... hence to say we had lost a day of our holiday waiting around and we only had 4 nights here at the beautiful hotel. Then we were told we had to go to the meeting the next morning as we had not been to Cyprus before... another half day missed..... what I can say about Limassol is that the old town is beautiful but the rest of it is quite rough with unkempt shops and many of then closed and boarded up.... if you can stay in Pathos although very British you would have a better place to stay with more things to do...
All in all... I found the boat to be more a GLORIFIED FERRY and not a cruise liner.... not a place to have a Celebration.... and if you have been with other cruise companies you will be disappointed with this ship,,,,, unless you used it as 2nd or 3ed holiday in year like a lot of the people were doing,
I would also like to point out that the Customer Services of Thomson are rubbish and see you as a Number and not a person.... we had other problems with this cruise from the start (private) but the customer services don't want to know and I am going to have to take to ABTA next. Less