The 40,876-ton, 1,462-passenger Thomson Majesty joined Thomson Cruises in May 2012 as part of a ship swap that sent Thomson Destiny to the Cyprus-based Louis Cruise Lines (now Celestyal Cruises). The ship, which debuted in 1992 and has sailed for Louis, Majesty Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Line during more than 20 years at sea, splits time between the Mediterranean and Canary Islands.
Majesty was one of the last cruise ships built without balcony cabins, but in early 2014, Thomson added 28 balconies on the ship's eighth deck, and enclosed Piazza San Marco, a dining space at the aft of the 10th deck that had formerly been open air. It's a targeted refurbishment plan that Thomson has carried out on a number of its ships, upgrading them to 'Platinum Status' – an inhouse category, akin to four-star.
The Thomson Holidays group which manages Thomson Majesty espouses a 'cheap and cheerful' vibe with a focus on low-priced, package holidays. What this means is that Majesty is not -- and should not be expected to be -- a five-star, luxury cruise ship. There are signs of wear and tear that are consistent with the ship's age, the cabins are smaller than on the newer, mass-market ships, and there's no massive pool deck or water slides or rock climbing wall.
That caveat aside, Thomson Majesty has a lot to offer its target audience, which are made up of a loyal customer base of mostly British, veteran package-tour travellers. First and foremost, the prices are good. Getting a seven-night cruise with flights included for under £50 per person per night is, frankly, astonishing value. And another important perk, particularly for British passengers, is the fact that all gratuities and port taxes are included in the price of the cruise.
The onboard experience, as well, offers value in the form of attentive, enthusiastic staff and better-than-average entertainment. Staff make a point to get to know your name, are happy to answer questions and the post-dinner sing along in the main, Seven Seas Restaurant dining room is something to behold. The entertainers who aren't on the wait staff are good, too, and the evening shows in the Jubilee Lounge offer singing, dancing and stage production that is better than we would've expected for the price.
Being part of the old guard of British package tour operators, Thomson's passenger base comes, by and large, from the UK. Majesty's passengers are attracted by its cheap rates and the client base includes retirees as well as families. As one might expect, age demographics skew lower during half term and summer holidays; and higher outside of holiday times and on the adults-only cruises Thomson offers on some itineraries.
During the day, dress onboard is casual, particularly during the warm summer months. Thomson has one formal night per sailing in which most passengers sport suits and ties. A high number on our sailing wore dinner suits and evening gowns, but that level of formality is by no means compulsory.
All gratuities are included with the price of the cruise on all Thomson ships. And, for the convenience of its mostly British passengers, the pound is the onboard currency.