Thomson Cruises deteriorating with every passing day
Joined ship at Marmaris for Ottoman Treasures Cruise on Monday 16th August 2010. Firstly,advised of change to itinary and would be visiting Dikili and not Cannakale so no trip to Troy. 1st departure from brochure and although disappointed we all hoped the only one. However, we were only at the beginning of a trip which turned out hugely disappointing for very many reasons. A major mechanical failure meant we did not sail until Wednesday. Then all day at sea to arrive in istanbul a day late. Sailed all day Friday so now on ship for 4 days out of 5 on a 7 day cruise that was meant to have 5 ports of call in addition to Maramaris. we were advised stops at Dikili and Rhodes would need to be abandoned thus leaving Santorini on Saturday and Kusadasi on Sunday before returning to Marmaris at the end of our cruise. However, we never made it to Santorini as the weather meant we could not anchor. You may think that Thomson can do nothing about this until you learn the ship hardly ever gets into Santorini, however, Thomson keep it on their itinary as it presents a very great attraction to people thinking of which cruise to book. This announcement was made when a lot of [bored]people were in the cinema at the time [which does not receive ship's announcements] and some of whom then woke up on Saturday to discover they were in Kusadasi and not Santorini.Rhodes was then visited on Sunday having previously been cancelled.
In addition to the above obvious disappiontments the infrastucure on this ship is nearing the end of it's useful life. The toilets were out of operation for 3 hours on the Monday 16th and are a persistant problem. The lifts are regularly "Out Of Order". On Saturday while at our dinner the generator broke down. The Meridian restaurant started to become extremely hot and uncomfortable while we spent an hour trying to eat our food in the semi-darkness of the emergency lighting.This lasted for about 1 hour. my wife and I have cruised many times with Thomson and have never found fault with the waiting staff in any of the public places. However,on this trip the staff in the Broadway Show Lounge and Hemingway Lounge were always unsmiling and sometimes were simply not there.[If you are AI you will not get your money's worth]. On a positive note the food is good [strangely much much better in the buffet than the service restaurant], the shows are mostly very good,energetic and inventive. The weekly comedian is a bit of a let down--asking if there are any Welsh people in and then making a sheep noise is pathetically not funny.[I am not from Wales]. Finally, while my wife and I do not mind the more relaxed approach to any dress code we do object to the relaxed approach by ship's staff to some unacceptably yobbish behaviour by a very small minority aboard.
Example --a young boy keeping the lift doors on the reception deck open as an adhoc goalmouth while his father kicked a full size football at him--we found this amazing behavior on a ship. As I have said this behaviour was by a few and did not detract greatly from our holiday in itself but was magnified in it's effect as a consequence of the extra unexpected time spent onboard. Overall this was a very disappointing cruise due mostly to this ship's shortcomings and the unpleasant dispostion of too many of the staff. [perhaps they were also impacted upon by people being on the ship when normally they would have been ashore]. However, we shall not return and hopefully you can make a more informed decision now before you consider booking.