Firstly I would like to commend the crew, every single one, aboard this ship for their professionalism in working in what is clearly very adverse conditions! They still managed to remain pleasant, helpful and loyal to their ship despite all the complaints and problems which were very obvious on board.
The smell of sewage from the moment we stepped aboard was enough to make you gag. As first time cruisers we thought perhaps it was a smell from the port, unfortunately not, it was right outside our cabin door throughout most of the trip. Sometimes apparent in the cabin, but it hit you the moment you opened the door.
We were going to complain, however, it was clear that many others had already beat us to it and that the crew and engineers were doing absolutely everything possible to resolve the issues and they were working round the clock. We decided not to allow it to destroy our holiday, which other than leave the ship, was all we could do.
As the week progressed, the problems became more and more aparent, cabins being flooded with sewage problems, the smell in various areas of the ship - oddly sometimes it moved briefly to other areas, but it always returned. The carpets, which I have since been told were all new, were stained badly everywhere you went and there were large blowers trying to dry areas out, it suddenly becomes very clear that their are leaks causing these stains throughout the whole ship. We overheard people complaining of air conditioning problems also and in the main theatre there was one particular seat that constantly was dripped on - this area was not cordined off until the last night despite clearly being soaking wet. Some passengers could not bear it any more and chose to disembark and stay in hotels - can't say I blame them.
I am thankful I was not there with young children or elderly parents as some were as this ship is clearly not the luxurious ship it is billed to be. The unrest grew as the week progressed and whilst you appreciate that some people are just 'serial complainers' you couldn't help feel that they were justified in their annoyance.
In my opinion, Thompson management have handled this situation very badly. Once you become aware that this has been an ongoing problem and was a problem when the ship was previously the Costa Europa you start to question WHY were we not infomred of this/give alternative bookings etc etc? This ship should have been kept in dry dock until ALL issues were properly resolved.
We were only there for one week, and I have to say it is the crew on board who I feel for the most, they are there day in day out for months on end having to listen to these complaints from every new set of passengers whilst living in these sometimes torrid conditions. They deserve a medal - Thomson have quite literally dropped them in the shit!