As first time cruisers we booked the Island Escape and then read the reviews which began to worry us (I know we did it the wrong way around but it was booked very quickly), we couldn't have been more wrong, we had a fantastic cruise, if we had read the reviews first we may not have booked which would have been a mistake.
Yes the ship is old and the cabins are dated but the staff are great and more than make up for it, the ship is cleaned top to bottom constantly, the all inclusive drinks didn't result in loads of drunks over indulging, one review mentioned how weak the drinks were, well if anything we thought they were a bit generous with the alcohol.
The entertainment is cheesy but adds to the warm and friendly atmosphere, the food for mass catering is fine, lots of choice and decent quality and varies each evening/lunch/breakfast.
Having just returned from a 5 star week in Marrakech we were waiting to be disappointed on this cruise but whilst not 5 star it certainly made up for it with the friendliness of the staff and the overall service which was excellent. We would definitely go with Thomson Cruises again, 'Don't be put off...' its actually quite good!