Just returned from our first ever Thomson Cruise. How did it compare to previous cruise ships? Well firstly, and as expected, it wasn't as plush or as large as say P & O, or Princess Lines, but although a lot smaller than other cruise ships and being older etc., (it had been refurbed in late 2008) it was certainly clean, comfortable and the food and entertainment were good.
However that said I must say this is the most noisiest ship I have been on; and whether in the bar or the Broadway lounge or wherever, there was constant noise and vibration - definitely a case of the ship showing its age. The pools/jacuzzis were of little or no use being so small; and it was often impossible to get a sunbed on deck (especially sea days)- something again I have never experienced on board. The cost of drinks (approx £3.50 or more were exorbitant).. certainly a good deal dearer than P & O and often seemed to be 'watered down'. The staterooms were okay - although showed their age, and again were very noisy (the walls being so paper thin you could actually hear what was being said in the cabin next door!- again something never experienced before). The bathroom was definitely in need of a refurb. The hand towels were very very poor and quite frankly not fit for purpose - being small, hard, grey coloured and 'well past their sell by date'. (Indeed I have never encountered such poor quality linen when on board ship) - luckily I took my own!
The staff and service were good, BUT I personally felt this to be what can only be described as a 'BUDGET' holiday - but with top dollar prices (as witness the cost of drinks etc). The cost of trips were again exorbitant (approx £600 for myself and husband for 3 trips - again costing far more than on other lines. Would I go Thomson again - NO. Too pricey by half - for what is effectively a very budget type holiday!