We have cruised with Thomsons numerous times previously on the Spirit, Celebration and also the Dream and the Majesty.
We have been returning guest due to the wonderful staff, great service, great food and great entertainment. However we did notice that on our last cruise which was on the Majesty that standards regarding the food and drink were not as good as previous Thomson cruises and hoped that it was a one off but unfortunately we did experience on this cruise a decline in standards as follows:
The standard of food in the buffet restaurants was not of the usual standard and the choice was not as extensive. The salads were as usual very good, but the hot selection was hit and miss as opposed to every dish being of excellent standard. We ate in the buffett restaurants in the day time and the Orion in the evengs. The Lido buffett did have a little more choice than Sirens and a real plus in the Lido is that any gluten free dishes were labelled clearly but for some reason this is not done in the Sirens buffett,
We ate in the Orion in the evenings, we were a party of 8 and had a fantastic time with the wonderful waiters however although they worked extremly hard, the service was hit and miss as regards the waiting time between courses and the serving of the wine This is not a reflection on the waiters as they were run of their feet but always kept pleasant. Regarding the food, this was also hit and miss - sometimes it was good and sometimes it wasn't. I am coeliac and on previous cruises I have been brought a menu the evening before and could choose anything I liked which would be modified to be gluten free, this didn't happen on this cruise and my choices were more limited. There wasn't as much serenading and fun and laughter in the main dining room as on previous cruises.
We bought the drinks package as we like to relax and pay up front for our drinks. When we first had the drinks package with Thomsons it was excellent as you were given a choice of wines where as now you are offered one house white, one house red and one house rose, all being of very poor quality. We do like a cocktail in the evening and we found these to be of a good standard as was the beer and the sprits but the poor wine was a real let down.
Durng the day time we ate In the Lido and Sirens and it proved almost impossible to obtain a drink or a glass of wine with our meal. There are very few wine waiters and on most occassions I had finished my meal before it arrived, so I stopped bothering as it wasn't nice when it did arrive.
Again on the pool decks you had to wait and wait until a waiter was free to take your drinks order, on previous cruises a waiter was always on hand to take your order.
In the evenings we didn't have a problem getting a drink, it seems that they have cut back on their staff during the day time.
The deck party did not have the same party atmosphere, again we feel due to lack of staff as there didn;t seem to be as many of the entertainers working the crowd around the deck.
The resident band in our opinion and also the duo in the ocean bar were not of the usual standard, there was also a trio who in my opinion were okay for seranading around the ship but were not of a good enough standard to be resident bar entertainers, however the shows were good, and as usual the crew show was excellent. I accept that everyone has their own personsal opinions regarding entertainment however we were a party of 8 who were all of the same opinion.
We enjoyed all the ports.
We have no complaint about the age and condition of the ship as we know Thomsons do not have the fanciest ships, the ship was kept spotless and our cabin was comfortble and spotless.
In summary - My message to Thomsons is - please, please don't spoil your excellent cruises with penny pinchng cuts - please keep the philopino staff who are amazing, please employ more drink waiters during the day time, please employ enough waiters in the Orion, please get your food back up to an excellent standard, and please don't insult your guest by giving them wine of a very poor quality - please improve the wine on the drinks package and please keep up your previously excellent choice of entertainers.
We are booked on the Dream for the caribbean - we booked it before we went on this one and I'm sorry to say that if we hadn't have already booked we would have probably reluctantly tried another cruise line.
That said we are trusting Thomsons to put these issues right and if they do we will continue to cruise with Thomsons .