please note we actually embarked at Marmaris port not Istanbu, but Cruise critic dont give Marmaris as an option.
We have sailed with Thomson twice before on the Destiny around the Med and enjoyed it thoroughly. This year on the Celebration was just as good.
The port of Marmaris is picturesque and after a one and half hour transfer from the airport we were pleased with the fast and easy embarkation process. After being shown to our cabin our bags were delivered to us just minutes later. We had an inside room for four on the first deck. We were pleasantley surprised with the size of the room and amount of storage space, dont get me wrong they are not massive rooms but much bigger than what we had on the Destiny for the previous two years.
The celebration is a small ship and older than a lot of other cruise ships, but you cant fault the cleanliness, service and entertainment on board. We have only cruised with Thomson but we spoke to several people who have cruised with different companies and I have to say all of them have said they prefer Thomson. The one thing I did notice on this ship is that there is a gentle vibration all the time, but it didnt stop any of us from sleeping.
The food on board is excellent, we tended to eat breakfast and lunch in the lido self service restaurant, there is a large choice here and the food was always fresh. We ate in the Meridian restaurant in the evening and again cannot fault the food or service. There were 7 of us in our party and the waiter found us a large round table which he reserved for us each evening so no queuing for us.
There is not enough space to sunbathe on the at sea day although every other day seemed to be fine. I managed to get my favourite spot most days. You need to keep an eye on your pool towels though, a couple of times my son went in the pool and when he got out his towel had disappeared. When we asked for more towels we were told that you are only allowed one towel per person and that you should look after them. We did in fact get replacements in the end.
We didn't go to as many shows as previous years but the ones we did go to were very good, the guest comedian Bobby Knutt was very funny. We spent a lot of our evenings out on deck till the early hours and enjoyed the deck parties the crew put on. I must give a special mention to Keith the entertainment manager, we especially enjoyed his commentaries as we sailed away on an evening.
All in all Thomson is a very good value cruise company