Last October my wife and I did the Ancient Wonders cruise on the Thomson Celebration. We enjoyed it so much we decided to do the Aegean and the Holy Land cruise in May 2014. What a difference in eight months. As per our last trip we pre-booked the all-inclusive drinks package whereas last year our favourite gin - Bombay Sapphire - was included in the package this year there was a supplement to pay. Despite being included in the all-inclusive package many drinks required a supplement, as before, but this year had gone up by 50p per item in 8 months. Last year we had most dinners in the a la carte Meridian restaurant as the food was excellent and the waiter service very friendly and efficient. The wine waiter would keep our glasses topped up without asking this year another glass of wine was achieved by a great deal of arm waving and then there appeared to be a limit of one extra glass. However the worst was yet to come and this was the food. The portions were miniscule and appeared to have come straight from a freezer. One diner on our table had “the selection of cheeses” to finish off her meal. There were two microscopic pieces of cheese together with a few raisins which she left in disgust. The coffee served at the end of the meal was basically warm water with no hint of coffee whatsoever. For the rest of our stay on board we ate in the Lido Buffet restaurant it was self-service but the food was first-class.
The entertainment was awful, last trip we enjoyed some top class shows this year’s offerings was very poor and we never managed to survive to the end of any performance. Most of the shows were destroyed by one female singer who always managed to sing off-key.
Not much had changed to the layout of the Celebration except where the cinema had been was now a café called the “Coffee Port” and despite the all-inclusive package deal there was an additional payment for a coffee. This vast area had all the ambiance of a hospital waiting room which presumably was why it rarely had any visitors
Despite being our second trip on the Celebration there was no recognition of the fact by Thomson but I guess if you wish to experience Customer Loyalty you travel with P&O. I have to state that the organisation of the ship is to a high standard getting luggage on and off the ship worked smoothly
This leads to the conclusion of my wife and me that twice on The Celebration is enough.