Thomson relaunched the Celebration under the Platinum Cruises, the ship has had some big refurbishments and a lot of the ship is now brighter and more airy feel to it. However Thomson appear to have decided to have the concept of upgrading the ship only for passengers to the get less for their money?
24hr buffet resturaunt is no longer the late night buffet finishes at 1am, this had no effect on our holiday as we have never previously used this but customers on previous cruises should be aware of this. There appears to be less bar waiters and drinks staff in all bars as well as the buffet resturaunt. The cinema has been turned into more rooms and Thomson informed us that they would be showing more films in cabins however this meant during a 14 day holiday 7 films shown on three channels on rotation. Suddenly the best seats in the theatre are reserved for passengers paying a further cost of £8.95 per person per show. The House wines have been changed from le piat do'r (average French table wine) to a cheaper Italian wines.
Overall the cruise was excellent however Thomson let the ship & staff down by some of the changes they made and the constant extra surcharges/ optional extras they appear to have gone into overdrive looking for things they can add an extra charge to.
The cabins have all been freshly redecorated and new shower rooms installed. The cabins were spacious and as per previous cruises with Thomson the staff excellent. The staff in all areas I can't praise enough they are the ones that really do keep the Thomson ships popular.
Bands and musicians were excellent and when I compare them to previous cruises with Thomson they were by far the best vocally. Unfortunately the same could not be said about the Show Crew in particular CJ who with exception to The Musicals Show killed every by being flat and totally out of tune. The shame is you had some really talented guys and girls but every show was let down by a couple of the guys and one girl in particular.
The Resturaunts Mistrals is well worth the extra surcharge we ate there twice and on both occasions service and food was exceptional Steve deserves a promotion!!!
Meridian food was always good never excellent of anywhere near the same standard as Mistrals. However it was good as was the Buffet. The pizza and burger station as well was always good. Another small gripe the ice cream station is now only open till 3.30 pm then suddenly sellers appear on the outside decks flogging walks ice creams.
Previously I have given Thomson 5 stars however I feel that this is no longer the case and through no fault to staff or the ship but through Thomson squeezing the pennies to get more revenue.
The Celebration is a bit of muddled and this means you often find yourself walking down corridors of rooms to try and get from one bar to another bar/restaurant. The theatre sits mid ship on two decks which means during show times you struggle to be able to get from one area to another unless you walk through the theatre. Liberties Bar is in dire need of a refurbishment and hopefully this will be the next area that gets a refresh as currently it's dark dated and you feel your in an eighties club surrounded by red velour. The smell from the carpets was so foul that staff were constantly washing them to get rid of the foul smell without much success.
Horizons bar is stunning and the best bar along with the Casino. Staff in the Casino and Horizons could not do anymore for you.
The Celebration is an older ship that does rattle and creek but it's charms far outweigh having to lodge card in your cabin door every night to stop it rattling. As a good sleeper this really had no effect on me however I do feel if you are a light sleeper at certain parts of the ship you might struggle. The further up the decks the vibrations and juddering appeared a lot worse. Mid to Forward decks 2-6 appeared to be the least effected.
Thomson Cruises really are the package holiday cruise liner they do it well and you know what your getting but I do feel that every year they are cutting costs and upping prices and they are getting on par price wise with some of the bigger cruise liners and they really can't compete with the class of ships they currently have.