Thomson Celebration Cruise Review by Pixieperson: Thomson Celebration - Middle East
Overall Member Rating
Thomson Celebration - Middle East
We sailed on the Celebration's Red Sea Magic cruise in February this year and totally enjoyed the experience, apart from Petra being closed because of poor weather conditions. So when the Red Sea Voyage came up we decided to do the trip again. The itinerary was slightly different in that this time we got to sail through the Suez Canal, visit the Pyramids (again)drop into the Dead Sea and hike to Petra (open this time).
We chose the same cabin as before because it has a window (not a porthole). The cabin was a reasonable size, the bathroom could have done with a facelift, but did the job, the shower provided a good jet of hot water. The toilet was a little quirky if used in quick succession but worked satisfactorily. Our cabin steward Handoto kept the cabin neat and tidy and provided us one evening with a good laugh, leaving a well folded pool towel on the bed - it was in the shape of a crab and he had even made little eyes out of paper.
As some cruisers have More commented, the ship is a little dated but it was kept clean by an efficient army of staff who were always happy and smiling and who seemed to be proud of their ship and their jobs. Great attention was paid to hand sterilisation on boarding and entering eating areas.
The food in both the Lido and the Meridian Restaurant was good and the wine and other drinks reasonably priced and the waiter/wine waiter service in the Meridian were excellent. The wine waiters, Jay, Rey and Tony were knowledgeable and attentive. Although we had cruised on the Celebration before, we were surprised when a couple of the waiters and the photographer recognised us.
We enjoyed our trips to the Pyramids and Mosque, to Massada and the Dead Sea and to Petra. All the guides we had were extremely knowledgeable and helpful but especially so in the case of Mohammed who led the Petra trip. On our return to the ship each time we were greeted by some of the ship's crew with warm handtowels, orange juice and a musical welcome back by chefs, waiters and other staff lining the dock - a nice touch we thought.
The entertainment on board was good, with an hilarious Mr and Mrs one evening and a generally high standard of shows put on by the entertainment team. Dancing under the Egyptian sky on the evening of the Deck Party was very romantic. All in all we enjoyed every moment, although the 3 hour delay in Sharm El Sheikh airport for the flight home was excruciating with insufficient seats and complete lack of explanation for the wait. Once on board the flight, we were told by the captain that there had been "a computer error in the fuel administration system". (Since about six flights were being simultaneously held up, the general consensus of opinion was that fuel was being withheld until bills were paid - but how accurate that is we will probably never know!)
As far as the flights are concerned, the rows of seats are so close together that even with the seats in the upright position there is little space between your face and the back of the seat in front. The thoughtless and discourteous reclining of the seats makes the situation impossible for the person behind, so the introduction of fixed seats to eliminate that discomfort cannot come too soon. Less
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Cabin review: 363
We chose this cabin on our first cruise because it had a window and not a porthole, therefore we had the same cabin again. As the cabin's purpose was mainly for us to sleep and bathe it covered both functions well and the window gave us that extra feeling of space. There was only one chair so little room to sit except on the beds but as there are plenty of lovely areas around the ship this was not a problem. The bathroom was ready for refurbishment but had an adequate shower, which worked very well. The handbasin had a couple of little chips along the edge and the shower could have done with either re-tiling or at the very least re-grouting, otherwise it again served its purpose. There were two decent sized wardrobes and plenty of storage space in drawers and under the beds for cases.