Thomson Celebration Entertainment
The two-level, 600-seat Broadway Show Lounge on Deck 5 is the venue for the evening shows and some daily activities, such as dance classes. Cabaret and stage shows are usually performed twice a night, at 8:30 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. The lounge is decorated in rich hues of purple, blue and gold and has mainly good sightlines; there's a mezzanine area as well. The shows were energetic, well presented and not over-ambitious, given the relatively low-tech theatre. We saw a dance compilation, a 'songs from the shows' evening and an Africa-themed production. We skipped the Michael Buble tribute and watched Argo at the cinema instead.
Liberties, on Deck 6, is the second show lounge, decorated in red and blue with a sizeable dance floor. This is the location for quizzes and cabaret acts and gets busy late in the evening, particularly on karaoke nights.
The 230-seat cinema on Deck 5 screens a selection of the latest films and is very popular with passengers. There are four shows daily plus free popcorn!
Horizons, on Deck 9 aft, is a quieter setting, with piano music before dinner and light classical tunes late at night. It's a lovely place for after-dinner drinks, with its floor-to-ceiling views out to the sea, although we never found it to be very busy.
Hemingway's Bar and Casino on Deck 5 is where many passengers gather for pre-dinner drinks. There is little reference to Hemingway, other than a small corner of memorabilia, but the room has a good buzz, with the option of perching on a bar stool or occupying a table. You pay extra for bar snacks. This is also the location of the small casino, with four gaming tables for roulette and blackjack, plus a dozen or so slot machines. The casino had very little use on our cruise.
Explorers, forward on Deck 5, is a restful lounge decorated in coffee, gold and blue tones, with exploration-related artifacts on display. There's gentle piano music in here and a daily afternoon tea of cakes and sandwiches. Cupcakes are available for a small charge.
A certain amount of entertainment takes place on the Lido pool deck, including noisy trivia contests, towel animal folding and vegetable carving demonstrations. The area is always lively -- but not exactly relaxing on a sea day, when it's packed with way more people than loungers. There is no cultural enrichment programme, although daily port talks and briefings are held by the cruise director and the shore excursions team.
A good variety of shore excursions are on offer, well tailored to the audience and offering a mixture of culture, shopping, sport and beach trips. Free shuttle buses were provided for short distances with others carrying a nominal charge.
Thomson Celebration Public Rooms
Most of the public rooms are on Deck 5, aka the Broadway Deck, including the library, offering fiction and non-fiction as well as board games and a small Internet cafe with five terminals. Rates are £6 for 30 minutes or £10 for 60 minutes. The Internet was slow on our cruise, but speed will vary depending on the location of the ship. Wi-Fi is available in the library, Horizons and the card room, forward on Deck 5.
The small parade of shops on Deck 5 sells the usual cruise fare; duty free goods, bags, clothing and gifts.
The reception is on Deck 4, with a separate Destination Services office selling shore excursions on Deck 5.
Thomson Celebration Spa & Fitness
Oceans, located on Decks 7 and 8 aft, contains the gym and spa connected by a spiral staircase. The gym has Cybex equipment, including treadmills, weights and bikes. There is a daily programme of classes, featuring stretch and relax classes, abs toning, yoga and Pilates, most of which carry a charge of £7. The gym didn't have particularly heavy use on our cruise; passengers seemed more preoccupied with getting a tan on the sun decks.
The spa, operated by Steiner, has four treatment rooms. A wide range of massages, wraps and facials is on offer, as well as hairdressing services and manicures and pedicures. Watch out for daily spa promotions, offering discounts.
There are separate saunas within the spa for men and women.
The ship has two pools. On Deck 8, there's an adults-only pool behind the spa with teak surround and blue plastic loungers. The main pool is overlooked by the Lido restaurant and has an adjacent hot tub. This area is always busy and there's a lot of competition for loungers, as well as hot tub space. Deck 10 is a dedicated sunbathing area, with bright blue plastic flooring.
Deck 9 has a sports deck with netting, offering badminton, basketball, table tennis and shuffleboard. The Promenade Deck (Deck 6) is very pleasant, wide and teak-lined, and you can walk right round. We didn't see anybody jogging on our cruise, but plenty of passengers use this space to find some shade or escape the bustle of the main pool area.