Afer using cruisecritic forums and trip advisor for months ahead, there were no real surprises.
Embarkation and disembarkation quick and efficiently handled by Thomson.
The ship, Celebration, was as most people say - dated and in need of a refurb but very clean, service very good, activities suitable for most people most days. One real gripe we had was the the thin,old towels in the bathroom and the old lumpy pillows - all needed to be thrown out.
The food was good although the Lido was a bit hectic at times and a bit 'canteen' like. The Meridien restaurant was more civilised and most nights we were put on a shared table where you could chat to other passengers.
We had a good deal with the AI drinks passage but thought prices were good anyway.The bars were nice and we particularly loved the Horizons bar above the bridge.
The Ports of call were as described - industrial and definitely not pretty. Unless you were on an organised trip there was little chance of getting off the ship and in fact, due to an oil slick supposedly caused by our ship, we spent 2 whole days in one port with little or nowhere to go.
We had no trouble finding a sunbed and space even on sail days.
The service on the ship is better than the other 2 cruises we have been on. The crew are genuinely friendly and the shining light is the entertainment team. They worked all day mixing with passengers in various areas and at night put on amazing tip top shows - really excellent!
The last morning was disturbed by a real emergency drill due to a boiler overheating in the engine room which was eventually sorted.
I did come down with a stomach bug on the last day (found out later that more people did as well despite the ships good sanitization care).
Overall a good cruise and would definitely recommend it.