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25 Dubrovnik to Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

Everyone should do this small ship experience at least once. Its absolutely lovely that everyone knows your name by day 2. We were a group of 6 that had an amazing experience. The cabins, the common areas, the extraordinary staff just to ... Read More
Everyone should do this small ship experience at least once. Its absolutely lovely that everyone knows your name by day 2. We were a group of 6 that had an amazing experience. The cabins, the common areas, the extraordinary staff just to name a few. The Sunset deck was where you could always find a drink, a sunrise or sunset, and someone to talk to. Great bar and wonderful grill. The Cove was always lovely just like sitting in someone's elegant living room for cocktails all nights. I cannot say enough about the staff who did whatever they could to make the entire trip perfect. One night there wasn't a table that would accommodate 6 of us at dinner. Yes, we lollygagged over cocktails too long. Like I said earlier, everyone knows one another so big groups all went together to dinner. No problem, we had a beautiful table set up on the terrace for just us. Blankets as the evening cooled off, and a beautiful intimate dinner for just our party. What a treat! Check out the warm toilet seat with ambient lighting and a self closing/opening lid off the dining room. It was a highlight for all of us! You must love food if you go on this ship. Adam Jenkins was a wonderful chef. Every plate a work of art. Foodies will be so happy each and every evening. I did think there should be alittle more variety in the wine choices. All was very good but it would have been nicer to have more of a variety of wine for the region. We get California wine at home, broaden our palate please! We did have a storm one night and it was pretty rock and roll on such a small ship. Very doable and made for some great sleeping being rocked to sleep. The next storm headed our way the Captain stayed in port and sailed after the storm passed. Wonderful friendly hands on Captain by the way, he made an effort to meet and speak with everyone on board. I will say if you have trouble walking and couldnt handle stairs this boat would be difficult to manage. The excursions were fairly good, always small, but the problem was we were at the end of the season and I dont think we had the best guides in the ports. On the other hand most of the time we were the only ship in port (other than Santarini) and that made the ports delightful in itself. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were looking for an autumn two-week cruise that didn’t breach any of our red lines: 1) must be fairly cheap: 2) must be able to dine at variable times that we choose, not at a fixed time chosen by them. It also had to tick our main ... Read More
We were looking for an autumn two-week cruise that didn’t breach any of our red lines: 1) must be fairly cheap: 2) must be able to dine at variable times that we choose, not at a fixed time chosen by them. It also had to tick our main boxes: 1) must be a wide range of musical entertainment for us to enjoy in the evenings: 2) daily program must offer lots of options: 3) at least some of these must include, or invite, participation by guests. This simple list eliminated most of the English-style, Italian-style and American-style cruise lines. Marella, however, passed all our tests, and additionally this cruise was adults-only, so we were not likely to be impeded on the dance floor by children (just drunks, as it turned out). Having our hold bags going straight from UK airport check-in to our cabin door was an attractive extra, too. After we booked, we got a rather skimpy summary from the agency that did not even mention which terminal at Gatwick we departed from, so we had to look it up. Nothing arrived from Marella, whose website said we didn’t have a booking with them, so we had to find a ‘back door’ into our cruise personaliser to look at aircraft seating options and enter our Advanced Passenger Information. Just two weeks before departure (and twelve weeks after we had booked) we received our Marella Confirmation and e-ticket email from the agent, and then only when asked if such a thing existed. Worse still, we found that this informative document has been sent to the agent four weeks earlier, and they had deliberately delayed forwarding it to us. In the ensuing email exchange, the agent was unable to provide a satisfactory explanation for the delay, and a complaint has been filed with ABTA. The Marella confirmation itself was faulty, as it gave two different weight limits for hold and cabin baggage, so we had to query it with them direct. For this length of cruise, the TUI hold baggage limit is inadequate. We packed all we needed and it came to 23 Kg per hold bag, oddly enough the same as many carriers specify. We then had to go through the process of open, discard or substitute, re-pack and weigh, three times per bag until we got it down to the 20 Kg required, which took hours. For cruise passengers only, TUI upped their cabin baggage limit from 5 Kg to 7 Kg, still less than the typical 10 Kg, but this was scant compensation. The transit from check-in to ship worked smoothly and without any significant delays. (Our only moan was the minuscule legroom in the standard seats of the TUI 787. Flying to Dubrovnik was bearable, but we would not want to go as far as, say, Barbados, in that seat.) The queue for registration, which took place on the ship itself, took longer, and must have been difficult for the many disabled passengers on-board. Equipped with our charge cards we went straight to our cabin, which was ready for use with the door open. We dropped our hand baggage and coats and went straight to the Lido buffet, closing the door behind us. Mistake! On this old ship, the cabin doors are not unlocked by the charge card. Two separate punch cards are left in the cabin for this purpose, so we now had to visit a busy Reception desk to borrow the spare card. Separate cards for entry and payment are a minor nuisance in any case, but less so if we had been told about them in advance. As we came aboard, our first impression of the ship was not very favourable: it felt more like a cross-channel car ferry than a luxury resort. Up to a point this was correct: the ceilings were low, the lighting and wall-decorations were dated, and the carpets were a mixture of inconsistent colours. Additionally there was no impressive atrium to arrive into and no live music to welcome us aboard. But this feeling turned out to be false, as we slowly realised that it was the warm and convivial atmosphere created by the smiling, friendly crew that made customers come back, time and time again. Our standard inside cabin was large. Although about same width as on a typical modern ship, it seemed to have been ‘stretched’ in the zone between the dressing table and the fixed 5’ wide bed, creating a real sense of spaciousness. It was also very well furnished with two bedside tables, two full-sized double wardrobes and fifteen drawers in total. That’s a lot! The shower room was a good size too, and even with all our stuff unpacked, there remained plenty of unused shelving. We were pleased to find lots of hangers in the wardrobes, a tea and coffee tray that was replenished twice daily, a decent flat TV with a fair selection of UK channels, and a hairdryer. There was no refrigerator, so the usual ‘minibar’ drinks were provided on a second tray. However the safe was a disappointment, as Marella’s policy is to charge extra for its use. This makes little sense to us, as the safes are already in place, and encouraging guests to use them would surely avoid some of the issues that arise when property goes missing? The power sockets in our cabin were described on the Marella website as ‘EU 3-pin’. Our cabin had one of these, plus one UK 13 amp flat 3-pin, and (rather surprisingly) one UK 5 amp round 3-pin, a type not installed in UK homes for decades. There was also a standard 2-pin shaver point in the shower room light fitting. In general, and unusually, all the lighting was well positioned, and particularly useful were the spotlights for reading incorporated into the bedside table lamps, but with separate on/off switches. The only poor feature of the cabin was the soundproofing; we could tell from which part of the UK those in our neighbouring cabins had come! Also we were able to feel the vibration for which this ship has become well known. While in port, this was not very intrusive in our cabin near the bow on deck three, but rather more annoying when combined with the engine vibration while at sea. There were also some unexpected creaking noises from the cabin walls when under way, which created an atmosphere of being on an old sailing vessel. At no time, however, did it interfere with our sleep. Despite us keeping very unconventional hours, the cabin servicing was excellent. We were each provided with a large blue pool towel that dried quickly in the air conditioning. Shower room towels were changed whenever we left them on the floor, and we were never without tissues or toilet paper. The bed was made up so smartly that initially we thought they were changing the sheets every day! The main restaurant has open seating, though you may be invited to share a table with others. We arrived at different times every night and never had to wait to be seated, and only sharing on four out of fourteen visits. Of course we could have waited for table-for-two if we had wanted to. It was all so easy and well managed we can’t see why “traditional British” cruise lines can’t do it or why Italian lines ask you to pay extra for it. The menu was varied and tasty, and hardly ever spiced: a positive, as my wife won’t even eat dishes containing pepper. (There are also three pay-extra restaurants that we had no need to sample.) Naturally there is the usual twenty-four hour buffet where the food is good, but not exotic. On my first visit here, I renamed Celebration as the“HP Sauce Boat” as I have never seen so many bottles clustered together, except in a supermarket: oddly enough though, one had to search around for some vinegar. The Lido gives onto a stern deck with tables and chairs so you can eat outside, but under cover. This area also includes comfy sofas for relaxing and reading. The deck extends into the open, with a small pool and whirlpool, sunbeds, and a small stage. One could easily spend all the daylight hours there, assuming you don’t mind quizzes and jolly games now and again. There's a second small pool and whirlpool three decks above, and a small kids’ play area inside, but it’s not an ideal ship for children who need to be amused and occupied all day. On the plus side, there is an ample supply of sunbeds spread across many decks, some with waiter service, so you should be able to find a free one in a spot you like. For a small ship, there is a big choice of evening entertainment venues. The two-storey theatre lounge amidships has a thrust stage with seating on three sides, but as it is also the only through walkway on this deck it must be annoying for people watching movies in the afternoon or shows in the evening. These “Broadway” shows were pre-recorded, with a just a little live singing. There was plenty of rather repetitive walking and jumping about, but not much real dancing. The performers themselves were generally very good, but it was the poor choice of music and lack of structure and consistency of narrative that disappointed us. The real joy of theatre is that it is really happening, right there in front of you, and so every performance is fresh and different. This intimacy cannot be achieved with recorded music and singing. I’ve never seen so many people in an audience leave early! It’s not as if they had a bus to catch! Maybe they had been annoyed enough by the endless ‘disco’ lighting? In theatrical terms, these shows had the worst stage lighting I have ever seen, anywhere, and that includes school plays and the village hall! The most entertaining show, by far, was the Captain’s introduction of the senior officers, which was congenial, humorous and, most importantly, live! The secondary entertainment lounge featured a continuous programme of quizzes, game shows, and sets by an excellent five-piece band, plus the occasional karaoke slot. This had a dance floor big enough for a bit of ballroom and Latin dancing which we greatly enjoyed, although we were frequently the only couple doing it! Later in the evening it became the disco and by then the floor was jammed! Higher up there was cocktail lounge with a talented duo and a small round dance floor where we also managed a few routines, though trying to do slow dances on a high deck in two metre swells is more like acrobatics than dancing! Finally there was a traditional bar with a continuous programme of solo music, with guitar and piano alternating, for six hours every evening. The atmosphere here was convivial, with excellent interaction between the musicians, the bar staff, and some of the guests, even though the young musicians’ choice of songs was not always very well suited to the elderly clientele. Overall, there was more to do in the evenings on this small ship than on many of her larger competitors. Marella’s prices are fairly cheap, especially when you remember that gratuities are included, but they do charge for some things other lines don’t, like shuttle buses. At a few ports the ship was moored much further from the port exit than seemed necessary. Was that to increase shuttle bus revenues perhaps? It does seem unfair to penalise disabled passengers in this way, and there were plenty on this cruise. We had a choice of 65 tours, all too expensive. In a market like this, maximum price does not always mean maximum profit, especially when there are local alternatives. We went to Rome for the day on the train, which cost less than half the equivalent tour price. A single on-board photograph costs £40, almost twice the price of some other cruise lines, and two photos cost twice that. If you are buying more than one, and it’s the last day of the cruise, you can haggle, though. We got a personal photo shoot and nine large prints for £50! The best deal of all was in the bars, where the prices are, as advertised, the same as in (top-end) UK pubs. But Marella’s measure for a glass of spirits is 40 ml, whereas pubs use 25 ml, so you get 60% more booze for your money. Cheers! And what of the cruisers? Well, if you’ve ever been on a Thompson holiday to, say, Benidorm, you will have seen plenty of them. We didn’t meet any that were not from the UK, and most were from areas near airports where TUI operates its larger aircraft, including Birmingham, Doncaster, Glasgow, London and Manchester. Our journey home was painful, in more ways than one. Firstly, we had to collect our own hold bags in the terminal and take them to the coach. Then the driver parked nose-in outside the airport terminal, opened the baggage doors both sides, and let the passengers unload it themselves. Another coach came in, so we now had a coach on either side, and in the restricted space chaos ensued. Passengers searching for their own bags littered the road with luggage until there was nowhere to move. We finally got to our own bags and started to squeeze through the crowd towards the relative sanity of the terminal. Then somebody dragged an empty pallet truck through the people ahead of us: I saw it too late, stepped on it, lost my balance and fell heavily. I was uninjured, but not pleased with Marella’s management of that part of the holiday. Marella has a reputation for smaller, friendlier, ships and Celebration is regarded as the best in the fleet for this: it must really work, as she has many fans that come back over and over again. It’s easy to see why: every one of the crew that we met was happy to chat and some had become friends by the end. Nothing was too much trouble, and everything we requested was dealt with quickly, without having to ask twice. At the end of this cruise, Celebration was due to be retired, and most probably scrapped. But such is her popularity with customers that Marella changed their minds. She left us in Malaga and sailed away for a rest in a Cadiz dry dock. There she is being treated to a month’s re-fit during which they hope to fix the vibration. Then she’s off to the Caribbean for the winter. Would we sail again with Marella? Definitely. It’s cheap, convivial and there’s lots to do onboard. Would we sail on Celebration again? Yes. She meets our requirements and is rather like a ‘home from home’. But she may not be to everyone’s taste, so I hope some of the detail above will help others make their choices. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The La Belle de L'Adriatique is a old vessel with a capacity of 150 passengers. We cruised the Adriatic Sea from Dubrovnik to Naples. I would not recommend this vessel for those expecting a luxury cruise. I think the European ... Read More
The La Belle de L'Adriatique is a old vessel with a capacity of 150 passengers. We cruised the Adriatic Sea from Dubrovnik to Naples. I would not recommend this vessel for those expecting a luxury cruise. I think the European market is a better fit, but not for the American cruiser that expects a certain standard. The lounge on this vessel is the ugliest I have ever seen on a cruise ship. I have cruised 23 times. The colors are dark chocolate brown & milk chocolate brown. No cheer what so ever. There are many oil paintings on the walls throughout he ship which did not inspire me at all. The art in the cabin was amateurish. As this was a charter cruise I cannot comment on the beverages included. Food was good for all three meals. Service by the Philippino staff in the dining room was okay. They would at times reach over in my face to deliver & take plates. I had to be vigilant as at times they would take away my unfinished meal. The maids were cheerful. The laundry room for the ship was a few doors from our cabin with an open door. I have never been on a ship that had the ship's laundry on the same floor as guest cabins. This could be a problem with people sensitive to laundry products. If you don't mind the rough edges this is a ship for you. Looking for a more luxury experience you need to go elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
this is my second trip on the celebration and I must say she is looking very tired, we was disappointed with the state of the pool area and pool with tiles falling off. The food was often cold and lacked flavour or choices. Again paying ... Read More
this is my second trip on the celebration and I must say she is looking very tired, we was disappointed with the state of the pool area and pool with tiles falling off. The food was often cold and lacked flavour or choices. Again paying extra for a steak which they got wrong. Our cabin was 303 which was noisy with broken draws, shower and air-conditioning, had to have a fan put in the cramped room. There was a lot less staff on the boat so around the pool area stations was not manned. Tui now have a premium drinks package which is pushed during the first few days, many of the wines have now been taken off the standard all-inclusive, again disappointing okay if you drink housewine. Ship had a new entertainment team which I found was not that great there voices not really blending, we also had a mediocre comedian very old school. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We sailed 12th July 2018..for two weeks... cabin number 0230..it was central to everything..same floor to entertainment.. And nightclub.. You couldn't hear any noise from there at night.. The cabin was cleaned every day and bed was ... Read More
We sailed 12th July 2018..for two weeks... cabin number 0230..it was central to everything..same floor to entertainment.. And nightclub.. You couldn't hear any noise from there at night.. The cabin was cleaned every day and bed was turned down.. The ship was wonderful.. The food was amazing.. The staff were lovely and very helpful. Internet was OK in the right places fast enough.. Only in port tho... Some ports there was nothing to do if you weren't on a trip.. I've done lots of cruises I'd never do a hotel holiday again.. It's great seeing different places even when you're on a out at sea day its very relaxing.. Great weather boiling hot only rained once then it was still hot.. I'd definitely recommend tui cruises.. The shows every night were excellent.. Very comfortable sitting areas.. There was a disabled area that was helpful to some people.. The tender is easy to get on and off.. Read Less
Sail Date July 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
Liked the itineray of this cruise, and it turned out to be OK. Trip to Etna dissapointing as 4 hrs in Bus without being able to see anything due to weather. Option of cancellation/ altered itineray would have been helpful. Nothing ... Read More
Liked the itineray of this cruise, and it turned out to be OK. Trip to Etna dissapointing as 4 hrs in Bus without being able to see anything due to weather. Option of cancellation/ altered itineray would have been helpful. Nothing much to see at Ignomemitsa, Greek mainland, ? why does it stop there. Kotor in Montenegro is beautiful, and sail in is stunning Staff very friendly, and food excellent, but dissapointed in speciaility restaurants. Booking was obviously misalid when we arrived, and as this was a 30th wedding anniversary treat, the extra paid was really not worth it . Engine noise quite noticeable on lower levels. Shows in Theatre are very good, make sure you get an early seat, and the bands in the bars also excellent. Staff are very friendly, and cabin staff did a great job of cleaning rooms. Couldn't quite fathom why you need a safe when it requires a fob( which you pay for), rather than putting in a code , as in most rooms. WI-FI also extra. Enjoyed cycling trip . Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
was very dubious about cruising, but i must say i thourghly enjoyed my time aboard the celebration,,staff great,,food great..shows ..places..really relaxed...will defo do again.. most of the day was spent ashore and only travelling at ... Read More
was very dubious about cruising, but i must say i thourghly enjoyed my time aboard the celebration,,staff great,,food great..shows ..places..really relaxed...will defo do again.. most of the day was spent ashore and only travelling at night,,gave my wife and myself the chance to see if we liked cruising..liked the size and lay out of the celebration not to big nor to small..goldilocks ship..the shows on board were better than i expected........................ .........took out the al linclusive. didnt need anything else...everybody on board very very friendly...///////,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, might go a bit later than may next time, maybe second week in june................................... seen a few disabled /wheelchair passengers so mobility cant be much of a problem............ the restaurant and bars were more than capable in handling the amout of passengers on board very very rerely did i have to que long for anything..didnt go to the captains meeting bit to formal for me,like to relax. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We have thoroughly enjoyed other luxury cruises(Seabourn) but were interested in this yachting experience and it was beyond all expectations. Essentially, it is a mobile luxury hotel affording you the opportunity to visit fabulous ... Read More
We have thoroughly enjoyed other luxury cruises(Seabourn) but were interested in this yachting experience and it was beyond all expectations. Essentially, it is a mobile luxury hotel affording you the opportunity to visit fabulous locations hassle free. With the size of the ship and the limited number of passengers, you have the opportunity to function entirely independently. Group excursions were small and actually fostered great camaraderie. Excellent and engaging local guides Embarkation/disembarkation: seamless, both initially and at each port, like walking out of a hotel room Ship: lovely, understated decor, with all areas easily accessible Cabin: though smaller than some of our previous trips, it never felt small with well designed storage, also the bath was very large with a generous glass enclosed shower and two sinks and again lots of storage. Other reviews have been critical of the ac, but we experienced no problems Dining: exceptionally good at all meals. Dinner was really a dining experience, like a fine restaurant,certainly not a move the crowd mentality. Additionally the accessibility of the yacht in general, allowed us to explore dining options in ports and easily return prior to departure. Entertainment: Oliver was great in the piano bar, but honestly, not much partying after dinner with this crowd that had been active all day and was admittedly older. We might have enjoyed some group activities or enrichment lectures in the afternoons. Service: impeccable and very personal We would LOVE to take this trip again and would really like to go on the Esprit to a destination where we could take greater advantage of the paddle boards, kayaks, jet skis, etc Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
It was a great experience however it is not recommended for anyone that has mobility issues. No elevators on this ship and all excursions leave the ship by Zodiac, therefore, embarking and disembarking can be challenging. For us, ... Read More
It was a great experience however it is not recommended for anyone that has mobility issues. No elevators on this ship and all excursions leave the ship by Zodiac, therefore, embarking and disembarking can be challenging. For us, embarkation in Venice was quick and simple. We embarked from the San Basilio port, easily reached by public water taxi from our hotel in Santa Croce. Our check-in was relaxed. There were no crowds at all, and we could embark anytime during the afternoon. Dinners were top notch. Open seating, great service, nice selection of wonderful dishes - just like eating in a five star restaurant every night. However, I felt the quality of the dishes did waver a little compared to the first night. There was a large selection of foods given such a small number of guests, and the food quality and service was fantastic. In addition to the buffet, there is actually a breakfast menu where you can order Japanese breakfasts or poached eggs (e.g., eggs benedict). Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
For our first ever cruise my daughter and I chose Venetian Vistas on Thomson Spirit because we wanted to see Dubrovnik as we are GOT fans and also wanted to visit Venice. Our airport experience was very smooth as was embarkation at ... Read More
For our first ever cruise my daughter and I chose Venetian Vistas on Thomson Spirit because we wanted to see Dubrovnik as we are GOT fans and also wanted to visit Venice. Our airport experience was very smooth as was embarkation at Dubrovnik Thomson is a well oiled machine. Quickly we where ushered to our inside cabin midship on deck 3, spacious and very clean, comfortable beds and a good sized bathroom which had lots of hot water at shower time. Alana looked after our cabin and we can back to some amazing towel animals in the evening. We took a taxi to Pilar Gate and enjoyed the Old City before returning to the ship. Muster was at 18.30 that evening very important and a good way to meet people we all laughed at how funny we all looked in our life jackets. We had breakfast, lunch and a couple of evening meals at The Lido which was excellent lovely food, lots of it and plenty of choice. Otherwise we ate at The Compass Rose with Ludi and Ren as our waiters always friendly and nothing is too much trouble. The food was out of this world. As with all the crew on The Spirit the entertainment and activities staff are such hard workers and shows of a very high standard simply brilliant. Nothing is too much trouble when you cruise on The Spirit we spent hours in Raffles Bar reading and drinking hot chocolate where King looked after us and his fellow bar staff. We only did the Gondola half day experience which was fantastic as is Venice but the destination desk does an amazing job with lots of great excursions and plenty of help planning your outings. So pleased to hear The Spirit is staying on for a further year so fingers crossed we can go and spend some more time on the small lady with a big heart. Do not listen to the negative reviews make your mind up for yourself you will not be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Ok, so we have never been on a cruise. Before deciding to jump in and book a really expensive one for our wedding anniversary, we thought that we would try a 'cheaper' short cruise. This looked just the ticket. We knew from ... Read More
Ok, so we have never been on a cruise. Before deciding to jump in and book a really expensive one for our wedding anniversary, we thought that we would try a 'cheaper' short cruise. This looked just the ticket. We knew from reviews roughly what to expect. An older ship, a bit tired and supposedly noisy. Well, yes it is a bit tired but apart from an occasional place and time, little noise was experienced. By way of any compensation was the food and the staff. Good quality fayre with a really friendly crew. The after dinner entertainment was a bit limited and we expected a disco of some sort, but this wasn't until 11.30 and when you are up and out on a tour early the next morning, this is a bit silly. Overall, a good learning curve. This ship has one more year so if you like a friendly but older ship, give it a try. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We did search many cruise lines and I was about to book on a different cruise line when I came across "the cruise critic". Thank goodness we did. My wife and I were taking this special trip of 14 days to celebrate our 50th ... Read More
We did search many cruise lines and I was about to book on a different cruise line when I came across "the cruise critic". Thank goodness we did. My wife and I were taking this special trip of 14 days to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. We flew into Dubrovnik 3 days before starting our cruise with Crystal. Dubrovnik was great and I am glad that we allowed extra time to see this city. Now it is time to meet up with Crystal. The overall experience was as good as it gets! We took a taxi to the terminal where you embark on Crystal and Crystal staff was there to meet us at the taxi. They went into action and the next thing we knew is we were entering the ship where again more staff welcomed us with champagne and a wonderful welcome. That was the start of the Crystal adventure!! The staff was perfect, food was the best, and accommodations were outstanding. The shore excursions were all great. We had a shore excursion every day. All included so we did not have to deal with add-ons etc. No tipping etc., all was taken care of. All was as near to perfect as one could hope for. We will cruise small ships from now on and it will be with Crystal. We could not have had a better celebration. Thank you Crystal staff!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Recommended by a close friend, decided to choose Thomson mainly because of price, and flight from a local airport. The ship 'Celebration' clearly wasn't 5-star, but that didn't matter, the crew & customer service ... Read More
Recommended by a close friend, decided to choose Thomson mainly because of price, and flight from a local airport. The ship 'Celebration' clearly wasn't 5-star, but that didn't matter, the crew & customer service was excellent. As this was our first cruise we have nothing to compare with. As this is a comparitively small cruise ship, according to fellow passengers, this is definitely a plus. We spent day 1 & 2 in wonderful Dubrovnik, landing at the Greek port of Corinth wasn't very pretty, and 1 hour plus coach drive into Athens wasn't much fun either. We only had 3 hours to sightsee, which wasn't enough. The outskirts of Athens were positively depressing; it's quite obvious the country is in recession. On a positive note some friends from the ship went into a Corinth Bar for a drink, were so impressed as the locals nipped out for some fresh food, and lit a barbecue specially for them ! They appreciated this so much, they drank there all day, & staggered back to the ship around 5pm Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Returning to our favorite ship , "Panorama", with our favorite cruise company, "Variety", we were as delighted as ever , and so happy , to find many of the same wonderful staff on board. It felt as if we were ... Read More
Returning to our favorite ship , "Panorama", with our favorite cruise company, "Variety", we were as delighted as ever , and so happy , to find many of the same wonderful staff on board. It felt as if we were returning into a big family. From start to finish everything was excellent . The welcome aboard, the comfort and cleanliness were all very good....... Well done to all the smiling faces. Considering how small the galley is on this beautiful ship, the food was extremely good, we couldn't' believe the variety and standard produced. The excursions always well run and interesting. We were, as before, fortunate to have such a great group of like minded people sailing with us and there was a really happy atmosphere.... The Captain and all his crew were charming and competent. We never wanted for anything from the barman to the cleaning staff to the waiters and waitresses, the cruise coordinator , the manager ,all so very friendly and helpful. As you have probably guessed by now, we had a wonderful holiday. Thank you everyone ! We really look forward to the next time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Prefer small ships. Wanted to go to the Adriatic. Had sailed on company's previous ship. Booking arrangements good but speakers and extension possibilities not available on line even on eve of departure. Travel to /from ship ... Read More
Prefer small ships. Wanted to go to the Adriatic. Had sailed on company's previous ship. Booking arrangements good but speakers and extension possibilities not available on line even on eve of departure. Travel to /from ship efficiently handled. We had a suite so cannot review smaller cabins, ours was excellent. Ship was very clean but is showing signs of age. Public spaces very good. Food good quality, well prepared & presented both at buffet and in restaurant. Mainly traditional British menu, classic but not adventurous. Entertainment was very good. Busy schedule restricted the number of lectures which were well presented by knowledgeable speakers. When bad weather prevented access to Monomvasia the alternative of Napflion was quickly arranged & proved to be a delightful spot. Catering/entertainment/cabin staff all very efficient, polite & cheerful. Shore excursions efficiently handled. We tend to make our own way as we find 'excursions' often overpriced and formulaic compared to the less informative but far more flexible (and cheap) ones available at the entrance to most terminals, but that's just us. All in all an excellent cruise and good value for the money. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The Cruise was meant to be a 5 star cruise. What a joke. The room had light fittings that did not work, the shower flooded, the "entertainment" was totally rubbish - the only thing funny about the comedian was leaving the ... Read More
The Cruise was meant to be a 5 star cruise. What a joke. The room had light fittings that did not work, the shower flooded, the "entertainment" was totally rubbish - the only thing funny about the comedian was leaving the room. The main restaurant expected you to queue for 30 minutes before being seated and you were served drinks sporadically. That brings me on to my main gripe - paying before going on board for a drinks package. We paid before going on board and then found that the majority of both non alcoholic and alcoholic drinks were not included in the drinks package. Similarly, don't think the food is included in your all inclusive package. There are additional charges for many meals including steak. They give you a card and bill as they go, so you end the holiday with a credit card bill which they automatically debit. Now for the offshore trips. I was travelling with a disabled passenger and only booked excursions where little walking was involved. Not only did each trip involve substantial walking and steps, Thomson even had the cheek to change our excursion from Venice (While docked in Venice) to Verona in Italy even though we pre-paid the trips in the UK. I thought this was a one off mistake, until I learned on the bus to Verona that this had also happened to 10 other couples. We each received our tickets in the room, with no explanation and had not realised the deliberate Thompson mistake until we were given the ultimatum - "Go to Verona, or loose your money and stay on the ship". No apology given. To top it off, it was a walking trip, where I warned the lady that my partner could not walk, only for the condescending donkey to single her out at each opportunity and make her feel awkward and uncomfortable. Overall, if you want a terrible trip, book this. However, if you still think it's 1970 and want to burn yourself to a crisp in lard and not go on any excursions, you will be in good company with your Butlin friends, so long as you have the right colour towel (this is based on how much you paid - cruise towels only) and rush to the deck at 6am to reserve your burning bed - You won't find Germans - They have taste. I'M NEVER TRAVELLING TUI AGAIN. Even their planes are from the dark age and the service is considerably better on Ryanair and Easyjet. I've just travelled with Qantas and the cabin crew, service and aircraft are second to none unlike the rubbish Thomson offering. Don't expect food on your flight or a 1980's wet blanket. As for entertainment, that'll depend on your cabin crew arguing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was our first ever cruise and followed us watching the Panorama sail into Santorini's caldera while we were on holiday there in 2015 - we did some research after we got home and the 2016 Adriatic Odyssey itinerary from Variety ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and followed us watching the Panorama sail into Santorini's caldera while we were on holiday there in 2015 - we did some research after we got home and the 2016 Adriatic Odyssey itinerary from Variety Cruises looked very appealing - covering Croatia-Montenegro-Albania-Greece (calling at Dubrovnik, Korcula, Bar, Sarande, Paxos, Corfu, Kotor, before returning to Dubrovnik). We subsequently booked this 'cruise only' through Blue Water Holidays in Yorkshire, as this gave us a bigger discount than booking direct with Variety. We arranged pre and post cruise overnight stay and flights ourselves, as we are used to making our own bookings and wanted some leeway at the beginning or end of our cruise to avoid any problems caused by delayed flights or return into Dubrovnik. Blue Water provided some information prior to departure but we would have appreciated more. Points to note: * Although we rung the boat beforehand to check which dock it was in, neither Blue Water or the contact on the boat mentioned that we had to access the boat via the international terminal next to the bus station, (the boat was treated as an international departure so passport checks were required before we could get to the relevant part of the dock). This led to us being dropped off in the wrong part of the port by a taxi, having to ask another boat's crew how to find the Panorama and a hot walk with our luggage along the length of the dockside. * Shortly after embarkation we had a comprehensive briefing from the Captain and Variety representative, this explained most of what we'd been wondering about, specifically that no tips are to be made during the cruise, guests would instead be provided with envelopes on the last evening for a cash tip (in Euros) which would then be divided among all of the crew. * The briefing also explained that drinks would be on account for each cabin, with the accounts being settled on the last night of the cruise using either cash (in Euros) or a debit/credit card. * We were asked to book for excursions by lunchtime of the preceding day, to allow time for the necessary transport to be arranged. The cost per person increased for small groups and as there were only 17 passengers in our cruise the excursion groups were almost always in the smallest viable group size, which made them more expensive. We still booked for every excursion offered as we felt this was the best way to get the most out of our itinerary. All of the excursions were either good or excellent, with knowledgeable and personable guides, comfortable transport and some enjoyable tasting (and drinking) sessions included. * The onboard wifi cost 20 Euros for 500mb, I didn't bother as I had 3G coverage for almost all of the time onboard, even when sailing down apparently uninhabited areas of the coast. * We were very fortunate to have very benign weather during our cruise, except for one period of around 12 hours when we sailed through gale force 5/6 winds. Our response to this was to drink a little more that evening but 3 or 4 of the passengers skipped dinner and were a little unwell. It was a little unsettling at first when lying down but we slept ok without needing to take any seasickness / motion sickness medication. * Almost all of the cabins are twin single beds, and as we are used to a king size bed this layout was probably better than us sharing a small double bed. Cabins are cosy but well designed and the small ensuite shower room was perfectly adequate. * Some of our fellow passengers were unhappy with the wine selection offered onboard. We did think it was unfortunate that we were tasting excellent local wines on shore, yet the onboard winelist had some unappealing wines at rather full prices. Our response was to have the Mateus rose every time at 18 Euros a bottle, the most reliable, most palatable and cheapest wine on the menu. * We had 3 or so swim stops during the week, not as many as I had hoped for but generally at least 2 hours for a dip off the boat in warm (for us anyway) Adriatic water. * The sails were raised twice during our week onboard, they can only be used when the boat and wind follow a very specific range of direction but they are very attractive feature of the boat. * Our fellow passengers included two couples below 40 and the majority were between 55 and 65, plus one slightly older. Nationalities were British, American, Australian, New Zealand and Polish. For some reason there was a disproportionately large proportion of passengers who worked in the oil and gas industry. * Our lower deck level cabin (category B?) porthole didn't open (probably best on the windiest section of our trip) so fresh air was from a ceiling vent directly above my head, this was a bit noisy and draughty at times. * Service was excellent throughout - Captain George and Dietmar both deserve a very favourable mention - having just 17 passengers may have given us a much better service experience than if the boat had been closer to its 49 passenger capacity. * The onboard entertainment was limited to 'Greek night' while docked in Corfu, this was great fun and the Corfu Zorbas had us dancing enthusiastically. * The cruise includes breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. We were very happy with the quality of the food but it would have been nice to have eaten onshore a few times as there were so many appealing restaurants and bars - perhaps two days could be offered without lunch and dinner to allow this? Overall the Adriatic Odyssey itinerary was an excellent way to see this section of coast, I don't see how the itinerary could be replicated on land within a week and we got some fantastic views along the way. The Panorama may not be as luxurious, pampering or boutique style as some had expected (based on their previous big ship experiences) but it completely met our expectations and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience, so will be looking for similarly sized boats for cruises in future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We booked as a last minute decision because the itinerary looked interesting. Outbound all good and arrived in our cabin about 2 hours before our luggage which we dropped at airport. Ship is tired. Engine vibrates the whole ship all ... Read More
We booked as a last minute decision because the itinerary looked interesting. Outbound all good and arrived in our cabin about 2 hours before our luggage which we dropped at airport. Ship is tired. Engine vibrates the whole ship all the time. Wooden decking very worn and patchy. Carpets threadbare. In the cabin the bathroom had been refurbished and was good but cramped. The rest of the cabin was dated and frankly patched together. It was however kept very clean and the beds were comfy. Food was nothing special. If you like plain English fare then you'll be fine. If you want to try some local cuisine from the area you're in forget it. The Lido buffet was a little repetitive and very similar food was offered downstairs in the main dining room. Some items on the main dining room menu carried a surcharge. This was a first for me and this is my fifth cruise ( first with Thomson). It was also a sign of the way Thomson always seem to be trying to get you to spend more money. Specialty restaurant was good with good service. Wine list poor though. Bars on board are generally ok but there are not enough staff on duty. A pre-dinner drink in Hemmingways took 17 mins to be served and in Horizons I was refused service at the bar and told to take a seat and wait to be served. Unfortunately it was quite busy and there was only one waitress on duty. We left empty handed after 20 mins. We had an All Inclusive package but it isn't really all inclusive. It should be called the "cheapest alcohol available" deal as most of the premium brands and more unusual drinks carry a surcharge. There is a wine package available but of the limited choice available I felt there was nothing I would normally purchase. Wine by the bottle also had a very limited choice. Staff were OK but too often they would retreat to the corners/dirty dishes area for a laugh and a chat. I have no problems with that but they also need to keep an eye on their customers in case they need something. Entertainment was the same group doing a different style of show every night. No new entertainers joined except a comedian who was chucking out old jokes before he spent the rest of the night hogging the roulette table. Overall, it was a it like an average 3 star hotel on a vibrating platform with a Tui hand asking for more money. In comparison to other cruise lines it's below average but so is the price. Is it value for money? You get what you pay for so don't expect too much. Would I recommend the Celebration. No, and I won't be travelling on any other Tui cruise anytime soon. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Chose this cruise as I was interested in visiting Croatia, also Venice. This was the first cruise we have been on, and was not sure if cruising is really for us, but we decided to giv it a try. Departure from Gatwick went very well, ... Read More
Chose this cruise as I was interested in visiting Croatia, also Venice. This was the first cruise we have been on, and was not sure if cruising is really for us, but we decided to giv it a try. Departure from Gatwick went very well, bags taken and did'nt see them again until outside the cabin on the ship. However, the journey from the airport to the port was an absolute disaster. During the journey, which took place in very heavy traffic, the coach driver suddenly pulled the bus to the side of the road, turned everything off and promptly disappeared intnto some bushes with no explanation. After 15 minutes of getting very hot (no air con working as engine turned off) we all decided to get off the coach. Nobody had any idea what was going on, no sign of the driver. About another 15 mins went by, during which time numerous other coaches bound for the ship passed us on the road, the driver reappeared and indicated (he spoke no english) that the coach had broken down.We then had to wait about another 20 mins for a replacement coach to appear. There was no proper explanation as to what was going on, and no Thomson rep to take charge. After we boarded the replacement coach we had a very slow journey due to traffic to the terminal. On arrival at the terminal we found to our dismay that we were stuck at the back of a line of about 10 coaches waiting to enter the terminal. A Thomson Rep stuck their head on the coach and told us we were not allow to leave the coach. It took ages before we were allowed to get off the coach. The whole journey from getting off the plane at 09.15 to getting on board the ship at 1.15pm had taken us longer than it took us to get from UK to Dubrovnik. When we mentioned this to a Thomson Rep in the Terminal she just laughed and said they knew nothing about any coach breakdowns and count ourselves lucky as she was letting us onto the ship straightaway, some others arriving with us would have to wait much longer. As we had upgraded (at a cost of £800) to a Balcony Cabin we were supposed to get priority boarding - a joke when you think how long it had been since we arrived in Dubrovnik. We were also supposed to have priority luggage delivery, but this actually took another 1.5 hours, with the end result that there was no time to disembark the ship as planned and look around Dubrovnik as we has a safety drill at 5.30pm. We were not at all impressed so far!! Our cabin was ok, not overly luxurious, but fine. However, sounds of conversation next door were very evident and I took to turning on the TV to drown out the arguments I could hear each night. The ship is old but kept immaculately clean and the staff were very attentive, pleasant and could'nt do enough for passengers, Well done to the ship staff. The food and service in the Meridian Restaurant was great, however we found the crush and bustle of the Lido too difficult to bear, although the quality of the food was fine. We dined every night in the Meridian and shared a table with others which sometimes was great, other evenings not so dependent on who you ended up sharing with. But that in a way was interesting. We did not see much of the evening entertainment as we liked to sit and watch the stars outside, but we did watch the comedian one night and thought he was good. Day time entertainment on deck 6 reminded us of a holiday camp with silly games being played, so again, not really our thing, but each to his own. I was suprised to see so many passengers just sitting around the pool all day drinking and never leaving the ship to look at any of the ports. If this is all you want, why go on a cruise? Thy could have go to a hotel anywhere! The ports of call were varied and interesting, Trieste was pleasant, next day it was Venice. We had booked a days guided tour with Thomson (cost £98) with a gondola ride. This was a farce, we had a tour guide who was so short we could not see her, and her voice was so soft we could not hear her. We did have a gondola ride which was lovely, immediately after this the tour guide announced she would meet us at 3.15pm. We felt that we knew no more about Venice than we arrived. Not my idea of a tour. Next day was Rovinj, beautiful place and thoroughly enjoyed, then Hvar - very hot by the time we were tendered off the ship. This was followed by the best day in our opinion. Montenegro, what a stunning place, we booked the coach tour around the mountains and really enjoyed the day. Overall, there were parts of the cruise that were great, different port each day, wonderful scenery, food, service on board. But also parts, lack of organisation of behalf of Thomsons, strange mix of passengers - possibly attracted to the cruise because it was all inclusive, and the fact that it was all so crowded that we have decided we will not attempt this type of holiday again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Recommended by relatives who had previously sailed on Celebration; smaller ship and adult only appealed to us travelling in a party of six including two 81year olds. Mix up with our luggage on arrival at Dubrovnik, we had been told to ... Read More
Recommended by relatives who had previously sailed on Celebration; smaller ship and adult only appealed to us travelling in a party of six including two 81year olds. Mix up with our luggage on arrival at Dubrovnik, we had been told to collect our cases from the baggage terminal by check in staff at Bristol as they had no staff to label them before departure and to take them to the coach ourselves on arrival. Conflicting advice given by the flight crew when we were landing to go straight to the coach and our luggage would be sent to the ship, thus resulting in confusion and delays in baggage terminal with no Thomson representative on site with whom to check the position. When we found a Thomson operative outside arrivals, we were told not to worry about our luggage, this occurrence happened every week. Not a good start to our holiday, but there was more to come.... We booked our holiday in Jan 16 and paid the pre-select your cabin supplement so that our party of six were close together cabin wise. We wanted deluxe outside cabins on the starboard side, however only 2 starboard cabins were available at the time of booking, cabins 133 & 143 which we selected and were appointed together with cabin 136 on the portside. However, when we went through the embarkation process dockside, we were given cabin 138 (port side)in lieu of 143 and when we queried this we were told to speak to reception on board which we did. We were told cabin 143 had been double booked and had been given to another party who were on a two week holiday. We were refunded the supplement we paid and a bottle of Cava left in our room by way of recompense. Thomson failed to advise us of this change prior to our departure, so don't bank on getting the cabin you pre select! We went on the excursion to Taormina which was lovely but insufficient free time given to explore on your own following the tour guide's presentation before having to return to the coach (approx 45 mins). This tour would benefit being a fuller day tour. The Highlights of Malta tour got off to a bad start when the coach had a minor accident with a car on leaving the Port resulting in a 45 minute wait for a replacement coach. As a result our tour was cut short and the stop off at Berakah Gardens and Rabat were omitted. No refund given by the operatives or by Thomson. Thomson's comment was it was beyond their control as they act only as Agents for the coach company and any claims should be made to them direct - how do Thomson clients know who their tour operators are?? This was our first cruise with Thomson and apart from the initial disappointments we were happy with the food, entertainment and not least the pleasant and helpful crew particularly in the Meridian Restaurant. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was our 6th cruise on the Celebration and will probably be our last. It was definitely our worst! On the day of embarkation the weather in Dubrovnik was heavy and constant rain which resulted in most passengers baggage being fairly ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise on the Celebration and will probably be our last. It was definitely our worst! On the day of embarkation the weather in Dubrovnik was heavy and constant rain which resulted in most passengers baggage being fairly wet through and affecting clothing to the extent that many had to have suits, dresses, etc cleaned, dried and ironed. Not a pleasant start to a cruise. We learnt many years ago to pack all clothing in vacuum sealed plastic bags and had no such problems. Check-in at the port is pretty straight forward but the timing of the various Thomson flights that day resulted in long delays. The ship was not departing until the evening of the next day but as the weather was still very iffy and having explored Dubrovnik before, we stayed on the ship other than for a very brief sojourn to some souvenir stalls set up on the dock side. The ship itself is a grand old lady and I have no complaints in that regard. She has an open deck promenade deck so you can walk right around the ship uninterrupted. The new sun deck (which replaces the sports deck) has single and double sun beds but these are fixed to the deck and cannot be moved so you cannot follow the sun. A waste in my opinion. Our cabin was a deluxe on the promenade deck (deck 6). In the past we have always opted for deck 9 which have been converted to balcony cabins -the extra cost for this facility didn't justify going down that route and I don't see the need for a balcony as it can't be used in bad weather, you don't know which side of the ship will be in full sun and you don't know when docked what you will be looking at! The supposed refurbishment was barely visible throughout the ship. In the cabin it amounted to a new bathroom (already showing signs of wear) and new drapes at the windows. Food was its normal excellent variety both in the Lido and Meridian restaurants. Of the speciality restaurants we only used the Kora-la. The surroundings here were very pleasant and relaxing, however, the quality of food was disappointing when judged against the sopplemental charge. Entertainment in the show lounge was very good, particularly the night of the guest comedian. The night of the crew show was disappointing in that only 2 crew members took place. In the past this show has been the highlight of the week. Having said that the 2 lads (both singers) were extremely good. Service around the ship, bars, restaurants and cabins could not be faulted, even though the crew is now a much more eclectic mix of nationalities - it used to be predominately Fillipino with a few East Europeans, now there are Chinese, Indian, South American etc. We saw the Captain on deck only once during the cruise, normally we have had captains readily visible even taking breakfast each morning with passengers and holding a Q and A session in the show lounge where you could ask virtually anything you liked. Not this voyage. Ports of call were hit and miss, and with a Greek port being a Sunday call every thing was closed. There were no courtesy coaches laid on as has been the case with every other Thomson cruise we have on (10), the impression gained was Thomson wanted everybody to take shore excursions. We didn't because we prefer to explore the ports of call themselves and the prices are way over the top. The so called all inclusive drinks package is a con - of 242 drinks listed in the drinks menu, 139 carry a supplemental charge. That to me is not all inclusive and I would certainly not pre-purchase the AI package. In conclusion, whilst I like the Celebration as a ship, the cons are starting to outweigh the pros and that is simply due to the increasingly penny pinching by TUI. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
There were four of us in our party, my husband, my friend and her husband. This was our 12th cruise with Thomsons. Everything was superb from start to finish. When boarding we met Ronaldo who had been our waiter previously on the ... Read More
There were four of us in our party, my husband, my friend and her husband. This was our 12th cruise with Thomsons. Everything was superb from start to finish. When boarding we met Ronaldo who had been our waiter previously on the Celebration, what a welcome he gave us! I don't know how the staff remember everyone. We dined each night in the Meridian Restaurant where Malcos ,who assisted Ronaldo, and Benjamin the Wine Steward gave us excellent service. We had the all inclusive package so our glasses were well filled! We had a special treat in Mistrals, all very nice, but really not much better than the Meridian and lacking in the fun and atmosphere. The Restaurant Manager, we called him the "Whirlwind", ensured that the service in both the Lido and Meridian was of the highest standard, he was "hands on" clearing tables etc., when necessary. The Hotel Manager, Craig, was very chatty and also his main aim was that guests had no cause for complaint. The only negative comments I would make is that the Coffee Port was not really necessary, why pay for coffee when you can get is free in the Lido? Also the service in the Broadway was poor, not enough staff on duty. Tina, our Cabin Steward was always around, she kept our cabin spotless. Two of the tiles in the shower were cracked, we did not report this, but we noticed that these had been replaced when we were out. The entertainment was amazing. The team worked well together, you could see their interaction on stage. Each night they performed to a high standard which was always very enjoyable. We have met Gavin, the Cruise Director, on other ships and always feel that he seems to bring out the best in his team. His performance in "My Fair Lady" was hilarious. Altogether an amazing cruise, with beautiful scenery, the sailing into Venice and Kotor was fabulous. We spoke to many people on board and they all agreed that this cruise was wonderful. Well done Thomsons, we are already looking at next year! Thank You. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Got back from Dubrovnick Thursday. Can't understand what people expect. One couple said not for them the first night, took it all back by next evening and at breakfast last day said they loved the holiday and will go again and this ... Read More
Got back from Dubrovnick Thursday. Can't understand what people expect. One couple said not for them the first night, took it all back by next evening and at breakfast last day said they loved the holiday and will go again and this was after going on larger ships. Staff are friendly, the refurbishing excellent. Library was one of the best I have seen. Prefered the video shows in new coffee lounge. If you didn't eat the lobster of smoked salmon then hard luck. Where can you go for food like that at the price you pay on Thomson's. Plus you are not paying a 15% charge on all your drinks. The shows in the Broadway lounge are as good as the West End, the Africa show opened with the South African Anthem which had me in tears as did not expect this being a South African Read Less
Sail Date June 2015

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