Background Information: This was our very 1st cruise (and not our last) booked last minute, direct with Thomson. Ship Info: We sailed on the Thomson Spirit, an aging elegant and very comfortable ship.
We embarked on the Thomson Spirit at Newcastle, via a free coach transfer from The railway station. Embarkation took 20mins and was easy with Credit Card Details collected and photos taken.
We left on time and had a smooth and calm crossing on the North Sea - You hear that it can be rough, but the cliche of sailing on a millpond came to mind. Activities: Many and Varied, We enjoyed the lectures, There were lots of demonstrations, as well as quizzes and of course Bingo (We did well with bingo, our winning covered our bar bill!)
Places Visited were Flam, Bergen, Sojennfjord, Olden. Our Favorite was Flam, with the railway, and Olden for the views. We had a sail away music event leaving from Flam, and it was glorious sailing back up the fjords to classical music, all the while being followed by the Cunard Queen Victoria!
Service: This was excellent, our cabin steward better that you could believe. Equally as good were the Dining room staff. (This was even more impressive as Thomson is a Tips included line, so there was added incentive for the staff - However we left and additional tip for our cabin guy as he worked above and beyond the call)
Port & Shore Excursions: We arranged our own as one of our party has limited mobility, however everyone we spoke to enjoyed the trips. The one I wanted to do but was unable as fully booked, was a seaplane ride over Bergen Stateroom: Standard Outside, 2nd deck. We paid extra to select a larger cabin. The cabin was dated, but spotless. Bathroom small, but clean.
Dining: We ate in the main restaurant each evening (6 courses, wide choice) The best meal was a steak with red wine sauce. And the Lido Buffet for other meals. Excellent choice, and staff always ensuring hand sanitising. The Lido had one of the largest selections of Teabags I've ever seen (If you include all the different flavours I think there were 27 choices)
Children's Clubs:Not running on this cruise as very few Kid on board.
Entertainment: Excellent, I've seen worse in the westend. The best shows were a farce which was presented in the afternoon on a sea day, and a Musicals Highlights show. Also on board was a visiting comedienne (Brenda Collins) who was excellent.
Disembarkation. Very quick, as this was our 1st cruise we did not realise how early the ship would be arriving back, so we has 6 hour extra to kill in Newcastle. We spent this time on the Newcastle Sightseeing bus, and in the pub! before joining our train.