By Kelly Ranson, Cruise Critic contributor
Thomson Celebration Overview
Thomson Celebration joined the U.K. holiday giant's cruise division back in 2004, after sailing for Holland America Line as Noordam. In the past five years, it has become a firm favourite with the ever-growing British cruise market. While it's not big and brash, and it doesn't have the "wow" factor of many of the new mega-ships taking up residence in the U.K., what it does have in abundance is friendly staff that provide a wonderful service so British travellers can sit back and enjoy their holidays.
This aside, there are some nifty standout features, such as celebrity chef Aldo Zilli's Italian-style Zilli restaurant, which was introduced to the ship in 2007. It's a brilliant alternative dining offering and adds a modern touch to the older-style ship. Currently, it's the only ship with an Aldo Zilli restaurant.
One thing that surprised and pleased me was the amount of open space on the top decks aboard Thomson Celebration. The teak promenades add a lovely touch, and its wrap-around promenade on Deck 6 is a great place to sit or stroll.
Though Thomson Celebration is one of the older ships afloat (originally launched in 1984), the company has invested in refurbishments. Most recently, in 2008, suites were revamped, the Horizons Lounge was redone, new carpets were put in across all stairs and landing areas, and all public toilets were replaced.
Overall, Thomson Celebration is an especially great hit for first-timers, with facilities that clearly blur the gap between land-based and sea holidays. One such example is the Lido Bar and Restaurant's outdoor seating area -- sitting out on deck, sipping a cocktail or beer and watching a show on the stage across from the pool is something that reminded me of a typical resort-based hotel in the Mediterranean.
Thomson Celebration Fellow Passengers
The majority of passengers were made up of Thomson's bread-and-butter clients -- British couples, aged 55 to 75. But, there were also a number of groups and families onboard.
Thomson Celebration Dress Code
A dress code, albeit a relaxed one, does apply onboard. In the evenings, it is said to be smart casual, and women will wear dresses or smart trousers or tops, while men will wear trousers, shirts and often dinner jackets.
Thomson Celebration Gratuity
As this is a British cruise line, tips are already included in the cruise fare. The currency onboard is in pounds sterling.
Having sailed on our first cruise with the Thompson Dream some 18 months ago our expectations of the Celebration were that it would be a similar experience. Sadly that wasnt the case. The cabin was fine however the noise from the engine was ...continue
February 2014 Broadhurstbob
We have stayed in the Canaries many times, and have also cruised there before, so the idea of doing them again was to get some winter sun without having to bother with too many excursions.
Weather in and around islands can be ...continue
February 2014 happy walker
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Having sailed on the Thomson Celebration in 2005, we booked our 7 day cruise for Feb 14th - 21st without referring to recent comments. However, having read comments about cruises on the Celebration at Xmas and during January, we were really ...continue