Island Escape Review

Editor Rating: 4.0
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Why Choose Island Escape?
  • Editor's Note: This ship no longer sails with Thomson Cruises

Island Escape Overview

Editor's note: This ship is no longer part of the Thomson fleet.

Island Escape joined the Thomson Cruises' fleet in 2009, having once sailed as Royal Caribbean's Viking Serenade. It launched in 1982, and was at the time the largest cruise ferry in the world.

Today it is aimed squarely at the budget end of the market and offers decent-quality cruising with a few modern twists like an alternative restaurant.

The 1,504-passenger ship's reputation is based on offering a more relaxed cruising experience than the "traditional" cruises offered by for example P&O Cruises and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.

The ship caters exclusively for a British market, many of whom will have been on a holiday provided by parent brand Thomson, and been tempted (or persuaded) to try a cruise. Everything, from the onboard entertainment to the food, reflects this.

The ship is all-inclusive -- including most drinks -- and all food.

There's a genuine sense of community among the staff, a lot of whom have been aboard the ship together for a long time. They are friendly and talkative and make a lot of effort to learn passengers' names.

The ship is based in Palma, Majorca, and offers Mediterranean and Canary Island fly-cruises.

However, Thomson announced in 2015 that Island Escape's days are numbered -- it will be offloaded when the line's newest ship, Discovery, joins the fleet in 2016.

Island Escape Fellow Passengers

Island Escape is exclusively British, and it has a large proportion of first timers, families and couples relative to other ships. It also has a fiercely loyal repeat customer base that returns to the ship again and again.

Island Escape Dress Code

Passengers are encouraged to take a more relaxed and informal approach to their cruise and, as such, there is no real dress code. However, many passengers do dress up in the evenings, especially when dining in the Oasis Restaurant, but this is by no means compulsory. Smart casual is enough for most situations.

Island Escape Gratuity

Gratuities are included in the cost of the cruise. Leaving an extra tip for members of staff who do a particularly good job is by no means expected, but definitely appreciated. The onboard currency is British pound sterling.

Next:  Island Escape Cabins
By Josh Thomas, Cruise Critic contributor

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Island Escape Editor Ratings

  • Category
  • Dining
  • Public Rooms
  • Cabins
  • Entertainment
  • Spa & Fitness
  • Family & Children
  • Shore Excursions
  • Enrichment
  • Service
  • Value-for-Money

Ship Facts

Ship Stats
Crew:  540
Launched:  1982 (refurbished 2010)
Decks:  11
Tonnage:  40,132
Passengers:  1,544
Registry:  Bahamas
CDC Score:  Not Yet Inspected

303 Island Escape Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

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Richard Simpson
Member Since 2015
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed October 2015
Boarded the ship in Palma on the 13th October, for what was its penultimate cruise. The ship left port at 23.00 and it was apparent it was a bit rough, leading to the first day at sea, being a nightmare, Both myself and partner had to ... Read more
Member Since 2015
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed October 2015
we set sail on the Tapas & Tagine cruise from Palma 6 October 2015. All the travel arrangements were well arranged by Thomsons. The ship itself is quite dated and does need updating but was always clean and tidy. The cabin (9500) ... Read more
Member Since 2015
2 reviews
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed September 2015
This was our second cruise on Island Escape ,we wanted to spend another week aboard before her retirement. Food again adequate ,lots of choice and themed evenings also it was nice to dine at the Oasis for a change one evening. We found the ... Read more