23 Dubrovnik Family Cruise Reviews

Just returned from this cruise. We booked this for several reasons, a late cruise, visiting Sicily and Kefalonia, adults only, all on the fabulous Celebration, in my opinion, Thomson’s/Marella’s best ship. The ships specification is ... Read More
Just returned from this cruise. We booked this for several reasons, a late cruise, visiting Sicily and Kefalonia, adults only, all on the fabulous Celebration, in my opinion, Thomson’s/Marella’s best ship. The ships specification is well documented on the Internet so I won’t go into the details, suffice to say, the food, entertainment, information, cabin service, bar service and so on were all of a very high standard. The pre-booked excursion tickets were waiting for us in our cabin on embarkation and the embarkation and disembarkation procedures were incredibly slick, including the experience of parting with your luggage at East Midlands airport and not seeing it again until it arrived outside your cabin, without having to collect it at Dubrovnik airport. The same procedure (in reverse of course) on the return home. That’s progress. I few points about the ports of call. Messina, Sicily - a nice place but not a lot to do if you arrive on a Sunday so it may be worth booking a trip. Argostoli, Kefalonia - again, a pretty town but a bit sleepy. Worth having a walk along the front and across the causeway (which leads to the other side of the bay). Igoumenitsa, Greece - this is a port town, with ferries to Corfu and beyond. It has little historical interest. The Marella map shows a castle but all we found was a church, something that may have been lost in the translation? We actually booked a tour to Nekromanteio which is steeped in Greek mythology if you like that sort of thing, then onto the postcard-perfect village of Parga, and it really is very pretty. Not enough for us for a whole day but a couple of hours is perfect to climb up to the castle and take in the views. Kotor, Montenegro - this is a quaint but bustling town. Check beforehand how many ships are in on the day and it will give you an idea as to how busy it will be. There are loads of options for tours, including private taxi’s and hop-on, hop-off busses. As we had been before we did our own thing. I took on the challenge of climbing up to the fortress Castle of San Giovanni, approximately 1,200 metres high and approximately 1,350 steps to climb to reach the castle. €8 for the privilege and it is a seriously long climb, over uneven (and sometimes missing) stone steps, or, in parts, a steep slope. The view at the top is fantastic and worth the pull on your calf muscles and hamstrings for the next couple of days. In general, as we went in October, the on shore tour options may not all have been present as this is right at the end of the season. If you go earlier in the year, there may be more available. In summary, this is not an itinerary that jumps out at you. The is no “Venice” or Barcelona”, but the cruise does visit some quaint, pretty and interesting places, many with stunning scenery (the bay of Kotor in particular). Couple this up with the magnificent Celebration cruise ship and add in the food, drinks, entertainment, the attentive, hard working staff and being able to meet like minded people, this all equates to a complete cruise experience. I would wholeheartedly recommend this cruise to any prospective cruiser. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our first non-Disney cruise so we were not sure what to expect with regard to the differences between TUI and Disney. Overall we really enjoyed the experience both on the ship and at the ports of call. The Good... The ... Read More
This was our first non-Disney cruise so we were not sure what to expect with regard to the differences between TUI and Disney. Overall we really enjoyed the experience both on the ship and at the ports of call. The Good... The staff on board were all excellent and friendly. This ranged from service staff in the restaurants, the cabin stewards and the entertainment team... not a bad encounter during the whole trip! The ship was kept clean and tidy the entire time, including the restaurant areas and lounges. There was never a stack of empty glasses or litter left around. We chose to eat in the Lido Restaurant rather than the Meridian as we prefer a more relaxed atmosphere and the menus seemed to be the same but a buffet rather than table service. The food itself was very good with lots of variety and choice every day. Food was available from 6am through to around 2am so there was always plenty of opportunity to fit in a snack or three. There was a good choice of on-board entertainment to choose from. There were musical and comedy shows in the Broadway Lounge every night and quizzes, games and bingo in other venues throughout the day. Plenty to keep the guests engaged. We went on a shore excursion at each port of call and found the logistics of them to be very well organised. We will say more about the trips themselves a little later... The cabins we had were much better than we were expecting. They had plenty of space and lots of storage. The Bad... The Celebration itself is a small and rather old ship and it is starting to show. There was a constant vibration running throughout the ship even when docked in port that was very noticeable. Sometimes this vibration was enough to rattle glasses and make the stage lights swing, so it isn't a small problem. The deck areas were packed full of sunbeds, sometimes to the point of being a pain to get past, especially if guests were not being particularly considerate of others. In our cabins, the fridge wasn’t actually a fridge, but a box that sort of tried to keep things cold. It didn’t work very well. There could also be more power outlets in the cabins. One socket might have been sufficient 30 years ago when the Celebration was built but it’s far from adequate these days. Additional costs. This was particularly annoying as until we got onto the ship we had no idea that soft drinks were not included (even with meals). We booked as Full Board so was expecting a little more choice than Tea, Coffee or Water, but that is all we could have. There was an option to upgrade to the 'All Inclusive' drinks package at a cost of £200 per person for the week. This would have included soft drinks, but as we are not drinkers of Beer or Spirits it would have been an extremely expensive option. There was no option of a 'soft drinks' package. We also heard a lot of people who had purchased the all-inclusive drinks package complaining that not all of the drinks were included! There was another 'Premium' package that they could upgrade to for another £50 extra per person. Amazingly, this ALSO did not include every drink available on board, many had additional surcharges. It was all very confusing and annoying, as guests are not made aware of this before check in. This also meant that many drinks had various possible prices - full price, all-inclusive surcharge price and premium surcharge price. For example; a 200ml glass of Coke (but mostly ice) was £1.20, but is included in the all-inclusive package. A 330ml can of Coke was £1.90 but if you had the all-inclusive package, it was still an additional £1.00. Not very all-inclusive or straightforward!! If you wanted a steak meal in the ‘included in your full board’ restaurant, it was yet another additional charge. £9.95 this time. Wifi? £8 per hour! Want to use the safe in your cabin? £15 for the week. It was extremely annoying. General availability of information was a problem. We found that TUI were very bad at letting us know what to expect. They provide a service where once you drop your cases at the airport you don’t see them again until you get to your cabin. This is useful, but we didn't know about this until we were in the check-in line at the airport and were handed a label to put on our case by a TUI rep. Handy, but if we had anything in our cases that we wanted to use when we got to Dubrovnik before we got on the ship we would have been out of luck. We found the same with the shore excursions. For a start we had to Google how to book them as it isn't on the same web page as the cruise booking and nowhere had a link to the excursions sites. Once on board we found trips could be booked there, but many were sold out already and once again, we were not informed. The descriptions of the trip were also rather vague and in retrospect a bit misleading at times. For example on the Kefalonia Highlights trip in Argostoli, the tour we booked advertised "Next, it’s time for a visit to the island’s most photographed stretch of sand, Myrtos Beach. This mile-and-a-half-long curve of white pebbles is the setting for several scenes of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin." We carried around a bag with towels and swimming gear in all day only to find that this visit was a 2 minute stop at the top of a cliff to look down at the beach and take a picture. This particular tour was not a good pick due to the amount of time spent on the bus. In a five hour tour we had 20 minutes in a row boat (which to be fair was amazing) and 1 hour in a town called Fiskardo. It was very picturesque but we had no time to enjoy it before we had to head back to the coach. A couple of the tours we went on also had some very intense bouts of walking, either due to steep climbs or quick tour guides that had to be followed. This wasn't a problem for our group, but I would guess 75% of the guests on these tours were elderly and many had mobility issues. On one tour several people stayed on the coach as they couldn't do the walk to the Greek Ruins in Igoumenitsa. This could have been avoided by more information being given at the time of booking. In conclusion... We really enjoyed the trip but would not travel on the Celebration again, mostly due to the constant rumble and vibration being very off putting. We would also be hesitant about booking with TUI again due to the stream of additional charges and lack of provided information. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
we chose the cruise for the itinary also because we love the celebration the ship is very clean a bit tired but you wouldnt notice the staff are brilliant always smiling and helpful the cabin we had a suite was spotless and rohman our ... Read More
we chose the cruise for the itinary also because we love the celebration the ship is very clean a bit tired but you wouldnt notice the staff are brilliant always smiling and helpful the cabin we had a suite was spotless and rohman our steward was very good and always had a smile for us the food is excellent as always the dining room waiters oung and alwyn were lovely and looked after us so well we sat at their table the whole fortnight wasnt impressed with the showteam they seemed to do a lot of screeching but all the others were good the horizans team was very good also the liberties team were very good we have been on four times now and have always enjoyed it and had fun we will book again hopefully next year if the itinary is what we want the dreamliner plane was superb Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I wanted a small ship experience and I was also keen to try out a French ship - I was travelling with my children and they all learn French at school and I thought it would be a good chance for them to practice with natives! And this was a ... Read More
I wanted a small ship experience and I was also keen to try out a French ship - I was travelling with my children and they all learn French at school and I thought it would be a good chance for them to practice with natives! And this was a family sailing too, so I thought there might be some other kids on board for them to befriend. In the event there weren't many other children (though there were some) but my children still spoke French to plenty of the adults who were very friendly and chatted to them in the tender boats or in the pool on the sun deck. It was lovely. And there were some English-speakers on the boat too, so that was fun and they were sat on the table next to us in the restaurant. What did we like about the cruise? We LOVED the food - it was 10/10 gourmet superb and mealtimes were an absolute delight. At first we thought it was too much having a 3-course meal for lunch as well as dinner, but we soon got used to it. And it ended up being much healthier, because none of us snacked between meals which is very unusual for my children! We also loved that the ship stopped in more than one port on some days and that we could just hop off and explore somewhere new for a couple of hours, get back onboard for lunch, then arrive at 2pm somewhere new for the afternoon. It was great fun and really diverse, especially as we loved all the stops. Mljet with its saltwater lakes was awesome. Hvar (like a French St. Tropez) was also great. Vis had a great beach. Split is awesome. Ditto dubrovnik and Kotor where we hiked up to the fortifications which was a real challenge in all that heat. And it was always nice to come back to our ship. The staff were all very friendly and one of our onboard higlights was the first show the staff put on for us! Another highlight was me winning a game played on sun deck whilst at sea. It was a fluke, but I got presented with a bottle of bubbly at dinner that night which was lovely! There was a pool and exercise bikes on the sun deck which was a bonus and suprise considering this is such a small boat. Back to the food - there were a couple of really special touches that I've never had on another ship. One was a BBQ on the sun deck for dinner, whilst we were docked in Split and the other was breakfast on sun deck as we sailed into the stunning bay of Kotor in Montenegro. We only did one shore excursion, preferring otherwise to go it alone, because I didn't think my kids would thank me for dragging them around churches/monasteries. The one place I was so grateful we went it alone was in Mljet where there are two saltwater lakes in the national park. Had we done the excursion there is would have cost about $250 for the four of us. Instead, I just paid for us all to enter the park ($50 approx) and then we walked by oursleves to the lakes where we swam for an hour and a half in one of the most stunning places I have ever swum. Had we done the excursion we wouldn't have had time to swim and would have just seen the glorious lakes and then taken a little boat to a monastery. The shore excursion we DID do was from Sibenik to the Krka National Park. Instead of doing the classic tour (really for the less unadventurous person) we did a new 'dynamic' excursion which was slightly longer, with lots of hiking throug this park which was STUNNING as well as time to swim in one of the park's famous waterfalls. This wasn't cheap this excursion, but it was worth every penny. We had a great day! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This sailing was incredible from start to finish! The staff were all friendly, helpful, and couldn't do enough for you. The ship was an older classic style yacht, very comfortable but definitely a dated look to it. The cabins were ... Read More
This sailing was incredible from start to finish! The staff were all friendly, helpful, and couldn't do enough for you. The ship was an older classic style yacht, very comfortable but definitely a dated look to it. The cabins were small but comfortable, the beds were a little on the hard side for my taste but were still cozy enough to get a good night's sleep. The food on board was wonderful! The kitchen staff outdid themselves at every meal. I swear we barely ever stopped eating on board, as soon as breakfast was cleared, someone was out offering fresh slices of watermelon, then lunch, then a dish of sorbet on the sun deck, then an amazing dinner and cocktails, definitely overdid it but everything was impeccable. The cruise director was always knowledgeable about our ports, giving us plenty of insight on what to do while in each country (Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece). I do think the excursions could be improved upon though, they only offered a couple excursions in each port, and they were participation based, so if the one you wanted didn't have enough guests, it didn't happen. That being said, the only port I think an excursion is truly necessary is Albania. My favorite stops were Korcula, Kotor, Anti-Paxos and Paxos (Anti-Paxos had the best beach and bluest waters I've ever seen in my life!). I would gladly travel with Variety in the future, and look forward to the day I get to sail with them again! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I just got back from cruising round Croatia and Italy this was my first cruise and I found the over all experience was totally amazing staff and crew bent over backwards to help you and the food was lovely always had a good variety to ... Read More
I just got back from cruising round Croatia and Italy this was my first cruise and I found the over all experience was totally amazing staff and crew bent over backwards to help you and the food was lovely always had a good variety to choose from even had burgers and snacks on if you just wanted something small to eat can't fault any part of my experience the bar staff where brilliant after a few days of being on board they knew what we wanted they where all very polite well mannered and would always try there best to get you what you asked for even though there was a language barrier however there where four bar staff on deck 6 (the promenade deck) there names are Arben, Zakhar,Dede,and Emillian they where a great bunch of guys who made my first cruise a memorable one as they all went that extra mile to help you and always made me smile no matter how I was feeling whether it was being hungover from the night before or just feeling tired they all brightened my day just by giving me a smile and basically doing what they are paid to do and that's to make sure the guests are happy and for that I would highly recommend the marella celebration cruise ship to my friends and family I will definitely be coming back on board again sometime . The cabins where spotless always kept clean didn't do any excursions as it was more of a relaxing holiday so my overall experience of my first cruise was 100% amazing Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
First time on a cruise & it certainly won't be the last. Our cases were taken at the airport & we didn't see them again until we got to our cabin. We were treated like royalty from the moment we got there. Short bus ... Read More
First time on a cruise & it certainly won't be the last. Our cases were taken at the airport & we didn't see them again until we got to our cabin. We were treated like royalty from the moment we got there. Short bus trip from airport to the ship & checking in was very swift & friendly. We were all inclusive & the drinks were plentiful so we didn't feel the need to upgrade our drinks package. The food was out of this world. We ate mainly in the Meridian Restaurant where the service was second to none. It was like dining in a very plush restaurant every meal time. The staff were a credit to the captain, so lovely & friendly and just wanted to ensure you were having the best time. There was one dessert we had that really was probably the most delicious desert that I have ever tasted & I told the waiter...only for him to bring me another one so I could enjoy it again! We had a few snacks in the Lido Restaurant which was their buffet eating area which was open pretty much all the time for food where you could eat indoor or outdoor. The food there was very good too with lots of choice. Hygiene was very important on the ship with hand sanitising machines in all the toilets, in the entrances to all the eating areas & dotted around the ship. We had a cabin with a balcony which was nice as we could retreat there & still enjoy the sun & also it was lovely to stand out there when leaving & coming into port. The cabin staff were brilliant too. Nothing was too much trouble, we had towel animals left each day which were really cute along with a chocolate on our pillow each night. We didn't do any of the planned excursions when in port, we just did our own thing, but it was pretty easy to have a "hop on, hop off" bus trip wherever we were. There was always plenty to do on board & I have to say the entertainment in the evening was out of this world, it was like going to a West End show every evening. Even the Captain was lovely. Made time to speak to any guests he met when he was around the ship. My only niggle (& it's a very small one) is that we had 2 photographs taken of us, one when we arrived on board & another taken of our group at the Captains meal & I decided it would be nice to buy them as a memento. We spoke to one of the photographers who was wandering around where the photos were displayed & said we'd like to buy the 2 photos, he told us we have to buy 3 photos as they're in a offer they were doing. I told him we'd only had 2 photos taken so there wouldn't be a 3rd we could buy & could we not just purchase the 2 we wanted & he told us we couldn't & walked off!!! I wasn't impressed as you know the photos are just going to be destroyed once we'd left so it seemed a bit mean we couldn't buy the 2 we wanted. He seemed very disinterested in us & had a "couldn't care less" attitude. Such a shame as everyone else on the ship was so friendly & helpful. We will definitely be booking another cruise with Marella & have been recommending them already. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
It was mine & the wifes 1st cruise & we wasn't dissapointed, from the lovely suite on the 8th deck, to the 2 cabin stewards Bert & Randy who just couldn't do enough for us, to the entertainment in the Broadway suite ... Read More
It was mine & the wifes 1st cruise & we wasn't dissapointed, from the lovely suite on the 8th deck, to the 2 cabin stewards Bert & Randy who just couldn't do enough for us, to the entertainment in the Broadway suite which was top class, Tom Evans & all the team did a different show every night, & every show was a delight to sit & watch, they deserve all the praise they get, well done guys, to the resident band Strumjam, they were awesome & it was a pleasure to sing with them on a bandioke night, & to all the staff & crew they all work so very hard & some get so little sleep, to the Lido Restaurant with great food every day, to the Compass Rose Restaurant & the fantastic waiter service, to the waiters & waitresses that served our drinks, to the captain & his crew for getting us to our destinations, so thank you all for a awesome 2 weeks aboard the Thomson Spirit.. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise because of its destination, the size of the boat and the fact that it was vetted by Wilderness Travel, an excellent US travel company. Eight of us traveled for a week along the Dalmatian coast and had a wonderful time ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its destination, the size of the boat and the fact that it was vetted by Wilderness Travel, an excellent US travel company. Eight of us traveled for a week along the Dalmatian coast and had a wonderful time thanks to the great crew and the really nice ship. The embarkation was the only little problem we encountered: no one answered the phone earlier that day so we did not know where to go on the pier. Turns out you have to go through a customs office first, which was not mentioned in the instructions. But everything after that was great. All of us would recommend this heartily for people who like low-key vacations in smallish vessels. The only reason some of the ratings below (Enrichment activities, Entertainment, Fitness & recreation) do not get "excellent" is that they refer to large cruise ships and we were very very glad not to have them available. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this particular cruise for its destinations as our son lives in Malta and we hadnt visited any of the other ports before. After a perfect flight and transfer we arrived at the ship around 10am expecting the usual delays in ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise for its destinations as our son lives in Malta and we hadnt visited any of the other ports before. After a perfect flight and transfer we arrived at the ship around 10am expecting the usual delays in processing documentation and long wait for our cabins, however all was processed quickly and we were shown stright to our cabins, they were still being prepared so we took advantage of the gorgeous weather on deck while we waited for them. We had read reviews and knew that the Spirit was going out of commission in November and was a little 'tired' in places. This was most evident in the cabins which were quite shabby with old shower rooms, weak showers and loose floor tiles, however it was clean and housekeeping couldn't be faulted with their twice daily visits. We had chosen an outside cabin with a porthole, which was sufficient for us in comparison to an inside with no window. We didn't read the reviews properly when selecting cabins however and ended up at the rear of the ship on deck 2 ( despite asking the Thomson's agent to select 2 together in a decent location). The noise & vibration at this position was quite bad and we only had a good sleep with the aid of few drinks and my trusty earplugs! As it's a smaller ship than most there are fewer restaurants, the Lido is self service buffet style, good for breakfast if you're heading out early or lunch. We found plenty of options with a great variety of salads and hot food. Afternoon tea was served from 3 which we didn't get round to trying as we never felt hungry! Due to an outbreak of gastric symptoms on the previous cruise Norovirus precautions were in place all over the ship with assisted service in the buffet restaurant but this, if anything, improved the service in our opinion! We ate in The Compass Room restaurant most mornings and evenings, here we found lovely food with excellent waiter service, some queues developed around 8pm most nights but there were quickly & efficiently cleared. There was a snack bar poolside serving food all day until 1am if you wanted it. Due to the precautions the pools were closed most of the week, only opening for the last 2 days. The entertainment was where this cruise really excelled. The Broadway lounge presents a different show each night, it's only an hour long but is repeated later in the evening so everyone has a chance to see it. All of the shows were worthy of the the west end and definitely not to be missed. There was something to do all day if you wanted it, quizzes, games, demonstrations, talks, & of course the essential bingo! We booked 2 excursions, Taormina & Montenegro which were excellent, deciding to do our own thing in Taranto, Malta and Igoumenitsa. I wouldn't recommend going alone in either Taranto or Igoumenitsa, we walked quite a distance (in temperatures around 32°) in both ports before reaching the tourist areas and in hindsight should have booked excursions or stayed on ship. Shabby cabin aside we couldn't fault this cruise, a first for my husband's 83 year old mother who thoroughly enjoyed it. We were all inclusive which avoided large bills and tips were included in our price ( although we did tip our favourite waiting, bar and housekeeping staff on the last night). Having cruised several times before I can honestly say that Thomson's surpassed all our expectations and we'll definitely choose them again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I chose this cruise because I wanted to visit Dubrovnik and Montenegro, also had Previous excellent cruise on board Thomson Emerald. On arrival at the ship we were informed that due to Noro virus on board we should expect sticky handrails ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to visit Dubrovnik and Montenegro, also had Previous excellent cruise on board Thomson Emerald. On arrival at the ship we were informed that due to Noro virus on board we should expect sticky handrails due to cleaning agents. We were NOT told that all pools and the library were also closed and remained closed for the next 6 days. Previous week passengers had disembarked so little time for a deep clean. Both my daughter (who has Downs syndrome) and myself contracted the virus and spent 4 and half days out of the 7 confined to our pokey, beige cabin. The cabin stewards were actually attentive. It was hard for my daughter to understand. We missed out on all but one excursions, the entertainment and meals. Our favourite pastime swimmjng was also denied.On return to UK I have complained we were not pre warned about the virus and not given an opportunity to cancel or rebook. 13 months on TUI are still fobbing me off , the promised decision by January, then April, then June and lastly July STILL hasn' t been resolved . I am not asking for thousands of pounds, just the cost of the ruined holiday, I think this is disgraceful and quite unbelievable, the on board Doctor had all our details. So disappointed with TUI ad I have been a very loyal customer. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Price was good and all the destinations were places we had never visited before. We had a previous cruise on The Dream 5 years ago and it was brilliant. Ship lovely ,clean and so well organized. Melvin our cabin stewart did ... Read More
Price was good and all the destinations were places we had never visited before. We had a previous cruise on The Dream 5 years ago and it was brilliant. Ship lovely ,clean and so well organized. Melvin our cabin stewart did everything he could to keep our cabin perfect. Not a crease in the sheets. Night wear folded perfectly and lovely towel sculptures every day. Brill and so so friendly and always happy. The dining is brilliant. In the main restaurant the staff can not do enough to please. They work so hard and long hours. Always clean,smart and the food is like eating in a 5 star restaurant . The self service is just as top class, no complaints at all.The same can be said in the bars. All the staff are so efficient ,friendly and all seem happy in their jobs. Entertainment is also top class and although some games etc. may sound silly we had lots of laughs. Loved Debrovnik which we did ourselves but very busy with tourists. Greek main land had a lot of graffiti and rubbish and trip to canal and ruins was rushed, No time for drink to cool us down. Enjoyed bike ride in Itea which was brilliant and the rest of my party did Itea and Delphi themselves ,also good but Itea also had a lot of graffiti and rubbish when not on the front. Loved Montenegro the most beautiful place I have visited and the trip was brilliant too . Very clean and peaceful place. Corfu we also did ourselves but also a lot of graffiti and litter. Cruising is brilliant if you havn't already tried it have a go. We spoke to a lot of people who have been on other companies ships and they prefer Thompsons smaller ships as too much queuing in the bigger ships and too big to fin their way around if only on for a week. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Excellent cruise from start to finish, easy check in, we had an inside cabin on deck 3 which was fine, kept spotlessly clean. Great choice of food, tended to eat in the Meridian restaurant most evenings but tried the Kora La one evening ... Read More
Excellent cruise from start to finish, easy check in, we had an inside cabin on deck 3 which was fine, kept spotlessly clean. Great choice of food, tended to eat in the Meridian restaurant most evenings but tried the Kora La one evening which was lovely. The entertainment was excellent, a different show every night. The comedian was a bit rubbish though! The gameshows in the Libertys lounge were good fun, Holly the senior entertainment host was excellent, very funny and entertaining. The ports of call were delightful, especially Korcula and Venice. Yes the ship is a bit old and rattly but this is made up by the friendly family feel, we were at the front of the ship so had some anchor noise in the morning lasting for approx 30 minutes although it is possible to request a cabin for a small charge. All the waiters were friendly and polite. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We just returned from a 7 night cruise in the Adriatic on the Esprit embarking in Dubrovnik and ending in Venice. We loved the boat and the itinerary. Here are the details: Ship: The ship has 5 decks -- marina on 1; entry to the ship ... Read More
We just returned from a 7 night cruise in the Adriatic on the Esprit embarking in Dubrovnik and ending in Venice. We loved the boat and the itinerary. Here are the details: Ship: The ship has 5 decks -- marina on 1; entry to the ship and cabins on 2; cabins on 3; lounge/bar and two restaurants on 4; lounge/bar, restaurant and pool on outdoor deck 5. The public spaces are very well designed to accommodate everyone on-board with room to spare. We never felt crowded and were always able to sit where we wanted. Public spaces provided the ability to mingle with the crowd -- which was typically part of the routine during before-dinner and after dinner cocktails -- or find a secluded nook. The main dining room can even fit all passengers at one time for dinner. The decor is plush and elegant, and the seating inviting -- velvet padded couches and chairs on 4, and large wicker chairs and loungers on 5. Colors are a nice mix of neutrals and blues -- very relaxing and soothing. Dining room tables can be configured to seat couples, foursomes or larger groups. There are no elevators, but only 13 indoor shallow and wide stairs between each of the decks 2 and 3, and 3 and 4. Up to deck 5 requires an outside passage up a winding stair. Stairs didn't seem to cause any problems (even for those in their 80s). But the ports visited require a lot more climbing than the ship, so those with mobility issues should think twice about this cruise. For most of the cruise, the boat remained in protected waters (between islands and mainland) and we never felt movement other than the slightest rocking one night during a storm. Service: With a passenger to staff ratio of about 80 to 60, the service was fantastic. I never waited for a drink refill, to order food, or to get a question answered. The staff was over the top nice and accommodating (even getting a ride for guests to an evening event when none was scheduled). Dining: The highlight of the evening was always cocktail hour outside or inside (with a specialty drink each night) followed by dinner in the main dining room with specialty wine selections available and multiple options for each of the 4 courses (or more or fewer if you wanted) and dessert. Portions were such that you could actually eat 4 courses + dessert, although most people seemed to eat 3 + dessert. The chefs get high marks for plating, creativity and just plain tastiness. Breakfast was cold buffet with a few hot options; lunch was cold buffet/salads on deck 4 and a great grill (burgers, pizza, etc) on deck 5. We loved lunch on breezy deck 5 -- a few times we scurried back from a tour just in time for 2pm lunch and then some free time before dinner. Entertainment and activities: If there is a weak spot on this boat/itinerary, this is it. There was one singer each night for the after dinner entertainment, and while she played lots of favorites and on some nights did a heroic job of getting people up to dance and sing along, the variety was simply lacking. An improvement would be to have some alternatives provided -- for those on the 2 week itinerary, I think the same entertainment for 14 nights is a bit much. While the water sport activities should have been a highlight, since the boat is stocked with water toys, they were very limited. Only one port allowed jet skis and we were on a tour that day. Most of the Adriatic ports we visited didn't allow any water sports (even paddleboarding). People: On our cruise there were mostly couples and groups of four (families or friends). There were also two groups of six. All adults. This is not a boat for children -- the food, entertainment and tours are not child friendly. Ages ranged from 20s to 80s, with most people probably 40s to 60s. Majority of passengers were from the US, but there were also people from Europe, Mexico, Canada and Brazil. People were friendly and fun loving -- most participated in the sing alongs with the piano player at night -- but were there mostly for the boat and their own group, so it was a nice mix of mingling with others but having plenty of time to spend with your chosen companions. Ports: In each port there were 2 free tours (one adventure type like rafting and one more about seeing the sights), and there were other longer tours that had additional costs. At least 1/2 our boat took the free tours each day which typically lasted from 9-2. Tours were split into smaller groups of 10-12 people per guide. The longer costlier tours had only 4-8 people on them. We docked in each location except for Piran (where we were on anchor) which allowed us to go in an out everywhere except Venice which is somewhat difficult to access from the boat. Dubrovnik: I would recommend staying 2 nights before getting on the cruise -- lots to do there and beautiful -- walk the walls! Kotor: get up early and watch the boat sail into this incredible bay surrounded by cliffs; we took the complementary tour which hit the highlights and got us back for 2pm lunch. Split: complementary tour which was great -- had no idea Split would be so special with medieval buildings and Roman walls and foundation. Really stunning city. Zadar: We took a long tour to Plitvice Park. Gorgeous park with clear green water and waterfalls everywhere and lots of climing to see them all. Haven't seen scenery like this before. But only go if weather is promising (rainy would be bad). Opatija: Took the tour to the Hill Towns of Istria. This was really a highlight -- saw 3 little towns in a Tuscan-like setting. Drank wine and ate truffle pasta. Wandered through narrow streets with few tourists. Great tour. Piran: We took the longer tour to Lake Bled. Absolutely beautiful scenery in one direction (unfortunate tourist town on one edge of the lake) but a 2 hour drive to get there, so a hard call on whether to recommend this one. Piran itself is a cute port and the only tender port on the itinerary. If you want a free day and the weather is nice, take this day as your free day. Jet skis are available, and you can spend some time in the water and then go into Piran and wander a bit. Venice: complementary tour went on walk through Venice and Doge's Palace (did not actually go into St Mark's Basilica although that's how tour was billed). Nice tour, but skip if you've been to Venice before. All in all, lovely boat, wonderful staff, great ports, fine dining, luxury accommodations, and (at least on our trip) truly warm and friendly passengers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise purely because of the itinerary. It had some of the destinations that we had never visited before. The Croatian destinations were brilliant and well worth a return. However the Celebration failed to live up to the ... Read More
We chose this cruise purely because of the itinerary. It had some of the destinations that we had never visited before. The Croatian destinations were brilliant and well worth a return. However the Celebration failed to live up to the itinerary. The ship is very old and definitely showing signs of its age. Checking in process was poor and entailed a lengthy queue around the main dining restaurant as in there is no central atrium. In places I would describe it as "filthy", especially the sun beds and "Bali beds". There should be replaced immediately as they are absolutely manky. The dining tables on the lido deck are significantly higher than the chairs and make you feel like an infant at the table. The rattan design of these is falling apart on some of the chairs. In Hemingways it is cold and again the seating is falling apart in places. The service is patchy and with a few exceptions, the bar waiters are rude and will often overlook guests requests. Matson was a breath of fresh ar in comparison to many of the others. The all inclusive package is a lie. There are 146 supplement charges out of the 236 drinks available on the bar menu. Some of these beggar belief. If you order a 200ml soft drink it is in your drinks package, but there is a supplement charge for a 300ml drink of the same kind. Easy to get round by ordering two of the smaller drinks but nonsensical nevertheless. You get letters threatening you with charges if you lose this or if you misplace that. There is a £25 charge for the use of the "safe" in your cabin. Surely this is a standard you would not expect to have to pay for. Not exactly what you expect for the price. Food is plentiful but not a massive amount of variety. Yet again there are supplement charges if you want a steak or a lamb cutlet. The company appear to be trying to penny pinch everywhere. Tours available were reasonably priced but can be done cheaper on your own if you have the courage to "go for it". On a positive note the entertainment is really good and the talents of those that are in the show team truly deserve to be presenting their trade on a ship that reflects their talent. They go above and beyond what I have seen from an an entertainment team on any cruise line that I have travelled with. Becky has a fantastic vocal range and does a solo performance of high quality late one evening. Their rendition of Les Miserables was brilliant. If this was my first cruise experience it would have put me off for good and therefore I would recommend other other companies way before Thomson and often at a cheaper price. Very expensive for what was provided. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
As a family for my parents 25th Anniversary earlier this year, we decided to choose a cruise as our holiday. We have never cruised before but my parents always wanted to try it. We were recommended a Thomson Cruise as it is seen as more of ... Read More
As a family for my parents 25th Anniversary earlier this year, we decided to choose a cruise as our holiday. We have never cruised before but my parents always wanted to try it. We were recommended a Thomson Cruise as it is seen as more of a relaxed cruise and less formal and intense as others (in regards to the size of the ship). The words we were told by the travel agent were "its an easy way to start cruising as its basically a Thomson hotel, but floating". We were satisfied with this as we had been to many Thomson hotels before and enjoyed them. We cruised on the "Grecian Legends" itinerary, we flew from Bristol to Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik was spectacular a gorgeous place and has urged me to book a holiday there. We had the day we arrived on the ship and they day after in Dubrovnik, so plenty of time to see it. We then moved on to the port of Corinth, we were highly disappointed the whole place seemed derelict, we didn't book excursions as they are really expensive through Thomson, but then we found out that as were docking in "Corinth for Athens" that Athens was an hours drive away - this was not advertised properly! We then docked in Itea for Delphi, we found a bus that took us to the top of the mountains to Delphi which cost 2 euros up and 2 euros back - well worth the money and the views are spectacular. We then docked in Corfu Town, this was a lovely place and felt like "real" Greece, in the sense of the shops, markets, forts and tavernas around. This was a lovely place to see. The last stop was Kotor, Montenegro - WOW a gorgeous place to visit walking around the old town, would even consider a holiday here too. We were new to the whole experience, leaving our luggage in Bristol airport and not seeing it for many hours later was great in a sense that they did it for us but when you land in a hot country and want to get changed and freshen up - you can't because you have to wait for them to deliver your luggage. This was the same with the return journey as much as it is very helpful that they sort your luggage out for you and we pick it up back up in Bristol, it was pretty frustrating that we had to leave our luggage outside our cabins the night before resulting in us leaving toiletries that were needed for the morning on the ship as they were too much for hand luggage. When we arrived at our rooms we were disappointed, they were clean and well furnished but they were L shaped rooms. We were on the lowest deck as we hadn't pre-booked our rooms, it was just luck what we got along with many other travelers. The rooms were not what we were told we were getting or what we expected. We had spoken about a double room and the travel agent had said that is what we would have and we also put in a request for a porthole room, but we didn't have that either. Straight away we visited reception whilst people were still checking in, and explained our situation she had said everyone had been "allocated rooms" so i requested to be moved before everyone had checked in but this couldn't happen as they were travelling at full capacity but not everyone was checked in, the lady did not seem overly helpful. I requested to speak to a manager and she said she is busy you will have to wait until this evening. Eventually we spoke to the manager and she couldn't resolve the issue either. We were stuck with a very claustrophobic room, with 2 single beds in an L shape, it felt like a child's room. In the cabin they provide "clean white towels" when needed, however personally i'd call them grey. The housekeeping staff do an excellent job all week to keep the cabin clean, can not fault the staff. The restaurants were lovely, food on the go 24/7! This was a great feature of the ship, the food. There was the Lido restaurant which was buffet style in which there was always something different available, i personally loved the afternoon tea part of the buffet in between meals. The waiter service all inclusive restaurant was lovely but as it was fine dining the portions were small. Entertainment was constant - almost got too much by the end of the week throughout the day but cant fault it, a fab Thomson crew. The evening entertainment in the Broadway lounge was fantastic!! The whole cast, were west end worthy. Overall, the ship isn't up to scratch even though the staff seem to working around the clock to keep it "Ship shape" just little details like the tiles were falling off around the pool whilst you were in it. I would cruise again, but not sure I would Thomson cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Well this was our very 1st cruise & will definitely be our last. We didn't have any expectations of this holiday it was one that I hadn't looked up researched "trip advisor" trawled. Our cabin (0082 on the 8th deck) ... Read More
Well this was our very 1st cruise & will definitely be our last. We didn't have any expectations of this holiday it was one that I hadn't looked up researched "trip advisor" trawled. Our cabin (0082 on the 8th deck) was nice light and spacious, the room is located on the deck with the lifeboats but our window had the gap so we had a good view. The ship feels a little dated inside and outside, but it is over 30 years old so expected? We found the whole experience very restrictive and over crowded, the whole time on ship I only managed to get a sun lounger once as everyone pops out at 7am and puts their towels on their desired lounger and leaves them on for the duration of the day! not once were any of the towels removed so not everyone can enjoy a bit of sunbathing? the pools are very small and over crowded. The toilets on this cruise were constantly blocked and I'm just thanking my lucky stars there wasn't the same norovirus outbreak as there was a couple of weeks previous as the ship seemed to do little to sort them out? they were blocked on different levels tor waiting about then cruising will not be for you? we did do the venice trip which was brilliant, we also did the PARENZANA train tour at a cost of 51 euro's each, it was the worst day there i can not believe they have this as a tour! the "TRAIN" is actually a nissan cladded to look like a train which pulls 3 trailers full of people through some lovely countryside most of which you can't see! Thomson are very crafty how they have taken the photo of the train and many were disappointed on arrival as they thought it was a real train they were boarding??? our carriage may as well not have had any wheels at all the noise throughout was horrendous !!! and when we got back many said the town/port was beautiful so not enough information given on the trips. Our last day was Bar in Montenegro the town/port is extremely industrial and unattractive why Thomson don't stress this to encourage the day trips here i'll never know, we had an hour or so off ship which was a day wasted in our opinion but I appreciate we are not all the same just my personal view. I was glad to get off ship the only two good things about our holiday was the food and the staff. Cruising just wasn't for us.he whole 7 days we were on board and finding a toilet to use that wasn't blocked became the talk of the ship! The food was just brilliant and the service was 5* too we couldn't fault either of them, and the cleanliness of our room was second to none throughout the whole stay, we met many people who had done lots of cruises and the majority of them go again and again, but if like us you like to do what you want when you want with no restrictions Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Having reluctantly returned home from Celebration yesterday, my review is: Flights and transfers to/from ship = excellent. As part of his, seamless luggage transfers too after leaving them at Manchester to the ship, and vice versa. Room on ... Read More
Having reluctantly returned home from Celebration yesterday, my review is: Flights and transfers to/from ship = excellent. As part of his, seamless luggage transfers too after leaving them at Manchester to the ship, and vice versa. Room on deck 3 = excellent. Regularly turned down and room cleaned several times per day by Aldrin. Food in both meridian and lido = excellent. Service was comparable too. This applied to all 3 specialist restaurants too. The staff = excellent. All of them couldn't do enough to help. Entertainment by show team = excellent. Superb talent, dedication and passion. Excursions = very good. Only gripe here was beach transfer on island of Corfu. This is sandy yes, but in the water, slippery rocks, which then turns back to sand out in the water. The beach itself was very nice. People/fellow passengers = very good. The whole majority of people we're very nice, with the odd minority of aspirants turning their noses up just to say they'd been on a cruise. My other main gripe was hearing people having a moan about the standard of entertainment saying they're not west end style performers, and comparing to other larger cruise lines. Those performers gave their all, and deserve respect. I don't even think some west end musicians could fuse four songs together (musicals night) and make it work. If you want west end, then pay more and go with more pretentious cruise lines. And lastly, the dreaded sunded. If you're not going to use them, don't put towels on them. I was going to be taking them off, but my wife unfortunately spoke reason to me. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
For the 3rd time we chose to make a cruise with Variety Cruises. This time we sailed the Adriatic and Ionic Seas. Again we had a great experience. A very friendly and helpful cruisedirector, captain, hotelmanager, crew, comfortable ship, ... Read More
For the 3rd time we chose to make a cruise with Variety Cruises. This time we sailed the Adriatic and Ionic Seas. Again we had a great experience. A very friendly and helpful cruisedirector, captain, hotelmanager, crew, comfortable ship, well-equiped cabins and delicious diners, buffets and drinks. We visited 4 countries: Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece, where we did almost all the offered excursions, to get a closer look of each one of them. You also could go your own way if you wanted. The number of guests was 17 and during this week we had so much fun together! Being on a smaller cruiseship means: having a swimstop near a beautiful bay (they can bring you to the shore with the Zodiac if you want to), arriving before the big cruiseships so less crowded in places you're going to visit, getting to now the other guests (if you want to) is easy becouse of te small number, a very luxurious experience. As I said: this was the 3rd time, but it certainly won't be the last. Looking for a next destination... Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
the ship is good and spacious lots of little areas to enjoy, the cabins where an OK size and the food was really good the only problem i had was with the omelette station i tried ordering what i wanted in it but always get something ... Read More
the ship is good and spacious lots of little areas to enjoy, the cabins where an OK size and the food was really good the only problem i had was with the omelette station i tried ordering what i wanted in it but always get something different, so i gave up in the end and i am also a big fan of pancakes ( crepes ) but to my surprise they didn't do them, the entertainment staff where very good. The cruise it self was very interesting as in the places you visit The only draw back was the toilets, there wasn't many and a lot of the time they where out of order so you found that the ones that where working you was queuing for a long time the main dining room was very comfortable and the waiter service was good but didn't use it much as i prefer buffet styl Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Came back yesterday from visiting Croatia, Montenegro, Italy, Malta and Sicily. The holiday commenced with a good start at Birmingham airport as we went to the cruise line desk and our cases had our cabin number lables secured to our ... Read More
Came back yesterday from visiting Croatia, Montenegro, Italy, Malta and Sicily. The holiday commenced with a good start at Birmingham airport as we went to the cruise line desk and our cases had our cabin number lables secured to our cases, we next saw our cases again after we arrived in our cabins. The celebration cabins are nice and comfortable, we upgraded and had a deluxe cabin on the 6th deck, it was just like a 5 star hotel room with a queens size bed, two full length built in wardrobes, built in dressing table with mirror and drawers. We had en suite bathroom with shower over the bath. You also have a steward who looks after your cabin and each night turns down the bed and leaves a chocolate on each pillow and also does towel art. There are 5 restaurant's with three are A La Carte, One restaurant is a self service where you can help yourself and one is waiter service. The A La Carte restaurant's are good, we ate at two of them being the Mistral and the Stones restaurant's and these had to be booked in advance.The food in each of these are good. The Stones one, you cook the food yourself on hot lava stones which is good fun and is outside.The ship also has a coffee lounge where you can get coffee and cakes. We were all inclusive and had the drinks package which is excellent and saved us a lot of money as it was also included in our holiday package price. The ship has a show lounge and the shows each night are different and very good and of a professional standard. You get a news letter every night that tells you the port you go to next, the time you arrive and the time the ship sails, it gives you the entire ships program of events and entertainment. The ship also has some laundry rooms where you can wash and also iron and you can also pay and have some washing done but they do not iron it for you, it comes back dry and folded. This costs £12.95 per bag. Duty free shops are also on board ship with various offers each night and these offers shows on the news letter. We pre booked our excursions online, We went on a panoramic tour of Malta and visited a fishing village that had an outdoor market selling local products and souvenirs and saw the blue grotto that was nice, the next day we went to Sicily and did a tour of Taomina, this is a lovely town in the hills with views of mount Etna, the trip says 4.5 hours but by the time you get there and the guide has taken you to the amplitheatre and given you various information along the way to the amplitheatre you then only had 55 minuets free time that is not long enough for such a beautiful village, we were later advised by another guest that it is better to get a taxi at the port with other guests as they had 2 hours in Taomina to look around. We next went to Brindisi and took the Ostini and wine tour, this is not as advertised as the wine tasting is a visit to a olive farm with a little food and one very small cup(not glass) of wine and Ostini is pretty but compact and you only had 20mins free time, the tour was that bad that a lot of guests complained and we were all refunded 30% of the excursion price. We next went to Kotor in Montenegro, a lovely town and we did the Highlights tour, this is very good, you go through the mountains to a village with excellent views of the mountains and coast as you go to the village in the mountains, here you are given a light snack of local produce and you can have either beer, wine or can of pop. You then go onto Budva and you have about one hour free time, nice excursion. After the excursion here we had a little time to go and look at Kotor. Next stop was Hvar, again a lovely Island and you had a tender to shore for this. We did an excursion that took you to the old capital of Hvar which is very pretty and again you had a snack of local produce and wine tasting that was two glasses of wine being white and red, you also had some free time there and stops at beauty spots with a panoramic stop of the town of Hvar, After the excursion there is time for you to look around Hvar town. The day you return to the UK is relaxing as you pack your case the night before and put your case outside your cabin before you go to bed but before 3am, this is then collected from outside your cabin and you do not see it again until you reach your home airport, all you do at Dubrovnik airport is go straight through security and to the departure lounge to await your flight. The weather on our cruise was excellent, very hot even on the day when you are at sea. The captains formal evening is very good and most enjoyable. The staff on board are very friendly and helpful and make you feel welcome. All in all we have had a really good holiday and we will book another cruise with Thomson holidays again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was our second cruise and was chosen for the destinations not the ship. We have previously sailed on the Dream. The Celebration, we thought, was just as nice. Check in at Glasgow was great and we next saw our cases in our cabin ... Read More
This was our second cruise and was chosen for the destinations not the ship. We have previously sailed on the Dream. The Celebration, we thought, was just as nice. Check in at Glasgow was great and we next saw our cases in our cabin about 20 minutes after arriving onboard. Our cabin was 716 Deck 2 with a porthole. It was a very large cabin with separate beds which couldn't be moved but that wasn't an issue. The cabin was kept spotless by Mircea and we were treated to lots of towel art throughout the cruise and pillow chocolates each night. He seemed to work every day for the 2 weeks! The only problem with the cabin was noise from docking early in the mornings as it was just beside the gangway. All the staff were polite, courteous and helpful during the cruise. We had breakfast on the Lido and I loved my fresh omelettes from Leo every morning! Most days we had lunch there too and loved the paninis! We went to the Meridian for our evening meals, again could not fault the food. We liked a table for 2 but sometimes had to wait for a bit but on our second week were invited to join a table of 4 lovely friendly people from Airdrie who all made us very welcome. The excellent waiters were Ronaldo, Malcos and Benjamin (wine) all remembering everyone's preferences. We enjoyed all the shows which were very professional and also heard a funny comedian (not really my thing usually). Our preferred sun deck was 10 as it was more open than 9 so got a slight breeze. It was great having a mini bar and water cooler on sun deck 9 as it was so hot! Sometimes I went down to the shade on deck 6 though! All the stops were beautiful especially Kotor and the water so blue. Loved Croatia. We were lucky to see a pod of dolphins leaping in and out the water on one of our nightly walks round the promenade deck. We did 2 trips - Blue Grotto in Malta - was quite good but if we had known about the hop on/hop off bus we might have chosen that instead. and Mount Etna which was a long drive but interesting. We had a day in Dubrovnik in the middle and walked the walls - lovely views but very hot! Would do a city break to Dubrovnik in the future. The towns were all so clean compared to home. Last night we put our cases outside the cabin and collected them in Glasgow. Excellent! Long queues in Dubrovnik and Glasgow for security but we were expecting that. All in all, this was a lovely cruise and the Celebration is old but still a nice ship to cruise on. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Have just come back from a weeks cruise round the Greek Isles. On arrival had been given a double room rather than a twin but this was sorted by reception with a smile! Our room was wonderful spacious clean and comfy! - Cleaned everyday by ... Read More
Have just come back from a weeks cruise round the Greek Isles. On arrival had been given a double room rather than a twin but this was sorted by reception with a smile! Our room was wonderful spacious clean and comfy! - Cleaned everyday by a wonderful man whom we never got the name of! Food was lovely would highly recommend the panini station at lunch and Freddie at the ice-cream station always greets you with a smile and a laugh! The staff are a real credit to the ship I couldn't think of a bad word to say about them always helpful friendly and attentive. The show team are spectacular and clearly work very hard to entertain each evening! The stops were all OK but Kotor was really wonderful a beautiful town. We did a seascape photoshoot with Damien which I would recommend - great fun and lovely guy.. £40 for one photo though was abit steep lovely though the photos were! Can't think of anything negative to say about the ship would 100% recommend! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015

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