1 Helpful Vote
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
7 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Chose to go on smaller ship for our first cruise, to celebrate our golden wedding, and were not disappointed. From the time of arrival at our airport until disembarkation from ship to going on to stay in Dubrovnik for a second week, we ... Read More
Chose to go on smaller ship for our first cruise, to celebrate our golden wedding, and were not disappointed. From the time of arrival at our airport until disembarkation from ship to going on to stay in Dubrovnik for a second week, we didn't have to lift a finger and were thoroughly spoiled. We had a balcony cabin on the top deck which was spacious and comfortable. The cabin stewards were wonderful. The food was good, we ate in the Compass Rose mainly and had plenty of choice and the waiters couldn't do enough for us Our last night we ate in the a la carte restaurant, what exceptional value, we couldn't eat it all! The entertainment was good and the shore excursions met up to our expectations too. We met some lovely people as we always shared a table. A holiday to remember, we couldn't have asked for more. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
I can't complain about anything. Our trip in Pan Orama through the Adriatic sea (Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece) was absolutely amazing. The crew is incredible, everyone was super nice to us and we felt really ... Read More
I can't complain about anything. Our trip in Pan Orama through the Adriatic sea (Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece) was absolutely amazing. The crew is incredible, everyone was super nice to us and we felt really well-treated by everyone. Absolutely everyone was super kind. The service is amazing, you get your room done twice a day. THE FOOD IS AMAZING!!!!!! The cabins are really well equipped, and they provide you some toiletries. It has a bar and a coffee table, where you can help yourself with coffee, infusions, tea, cookies or fruit 24/7. Its super peaceful and I am looking forward to go on board again. I was scared of being dizzy all day long, but the ship doesn't move that much and you feel in perfect conditions all the time. The shore excursions are really interesting and we went to really beautiful places ashore. The swim stops are one of the most amazing things I've ever done, it's amazing to swim in open sea.The activities on board are really entertaining and they were scheduled in the perfect moments. We relaxed and had the best vacation of our lives. I seriously hope to be back again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Although a bit dated the ship met all our needs, and added to its charm. We are glad it has been kept in service and should be updated and kept by Thomson. our cabin was of a good size and was adequately equipped. staff service was ... Read More
Although a bit dated the ship met all our needs, and added to its charm. We are glad it has been kept in service and should be updated and kept by Thomson. our cabin was of a good size and was adequately equipped. staff service was excellent, cabin was very clean and comfortable. We booked 4 excursions within the week which was bit too much, we could have explored some of the points of interests ourselves. Would recommend the Venice tour though, very informative tour guide. We would not recommend the salt fields trip, very disappointing museum and should have had someone demonstrating how things worked. The wine tasting after did make up for it though. The ship's entertainment was very good and we very much enjoyed the show that was provided by the staff. The staff make you feel like part of the ships family. We shall certainly be booking another cruise. The check-in at the airport was quick, easy and seam less. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
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
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
My wife and I celebrated our 35th anniversary with an unforgettable Adriatic cruise aboard the Thomson Spirit. We found the Spirit to be a lovely old ship with excellent facilities, restaurants & bars and our cabin was perfectly ... Read More
My wife and I celebrated our 35th anniversary with an unforgettable Adriatic cruise aboard the Thomson Spirit. We found the Spirit to be a lovely old ship with excellent facilities, restaurants & bars and our cabin was perfectly adequate and clean. Our cabin stewards Henry (we loved the animal shapes he made from our fresh towels every day !) and Vitaly were always charming and helpful, Shine & Rosemarie were amazing drinks waitresses in the Horizons Bar and all the crew members we met were obviously very proud of their ship. We enjoyed the wide variety of food available and took full advantage of the excellent drinks package. Sunbathing on the decks was very enjoyable and there was always a drinks waiter on hand from whom to order a refreshing cool drink. All our shore visits were interesting, the places picturesque and our gondola trip in Venice was just one of many highlights during our holiday. I took part in a couple of well organised guided cycling tours, a fun way to see places, while my wife treated herself to relaxing massages aboard the ship ! Our flight from Glasgow to Dubrovnik and the subsequent coach journey to the Spirit were stress-free and a big plus was the fact that Thomsons uplifted our luggage from Dubrovnik airport and delivered it straight to our cabin aboard the ship. Overall, our first cruise proved to be such a memorable experience that we've already booked another cruise for next year ! Read Less
Sail Date: July 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
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I noticed an advert for the Crystal Esprit in a publication from our Travel Agent and it fitted in perfectly with other travel plans. The yacht has been fully refurbished and it's all SOTA in every way. The cabins are beautiful and ... Read More
I noticed an advert for the Crystal Esprit in a publication from our Travel Agent and it fitted in perfectly with other travel plans. The yacht has been fully refurbished and it's all SOTA in every way. The cabins are beautiful and every luxury is catered for. The beds and pillows are divine and the bathrooms are large and well-equipped. Great shower! There is an Michelin-star chef on board - Rainer Buss - who oversaw every plate that left the kitchen. The presentation, variety, flavours, and portions were perfect. The wines were good and the table service was efficient and friendly. Every crew member was pleasant and cheerful - always a smile and a greeting. The Patio cafe for a light location for breakfast and lunch. The Yacht Club dining room was low lit and pleasant place to dine. The Cove Bar was a comfortable place to read during the day and have a drink in the evening. Our chef brought around delicious canapés each evening - perfect. We were treated to champagne and caviar on the penultimate evening of the cruise. Deck 5 - Sun deck was well equipped and there was plenty of seating for evening drinks as well as lounging during the day. The bar was always ready to serve everything from coffee to cocktails and you could even have an early snack up there. The ports visited were all interesting and without exception the guides on the tours were knowledgeable and entertaining. Our one complaint was the air conditioning on board - in the cabin particularly - it was cold and there was no temperature control. We asked for the fan to be turned down to make it bearable. We escaped to the Cove Bar where it was warm if we wanted to read as it was too cold anywhere in the cabin but in bed under the doona. The Patio cafe had an automatic door and this had a life of its own on chilly mornings - opening and closing and freezing those having breakfast. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise itinerary because of the ports of call and have been on about 10 cruises with Thomson so was really looking forward to it. The ports of call did not disappoint but I feel that Thomson did. We had noticed a change ... Read More
We chose this cruise itinerary because of the ports of call and have been on about 10 cruises with Thomson so was really looking forward to it. The ports of call did not disappoint but I feel that Thomson did. We had noticed a change straight the way, no sooner we were checked in on board and before we took a few paces away from the table we were offered to buy a drinks package, if we had wanted one then we would have bought one when we booked our holiday. They used to have a different theme every night for food, but sadly no more. The food was very plain, not much flavour and it seemed to me cheap cuts of meat. The staff do as best as they can and always seem happy, but i feel they have cut back on them as well, as many a time people were waiting to be served. Cut backs all round I think. We were lucky as we got our holiday at a good price, but talking to other passengers if I had paid what they had I wouldn't have been happy. Maybe it's time to try other companies out. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
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
6 Helpful Votes
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: 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
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
From airport to ship, everything went very smoothly,we embarked in Dubrovnik and as we had had a very early start we were delighted that our cabin was ready for us right away.Our steward Aldrin was lovely and so friendly as were all the ... Read More
From airport to ship, everything went very smoothly,we embarked in Dubrovnik and as we had had a very early start we were delighted that our cabin was ready for us right away.Our steward Aldrin was lovely and so friendly as were all the staff on-board, in fact that will be our lasting memory of this cruise, we felt like we were part of a happy family. Our cabin (outside no 540) was superb, the standard of food in the self service and waiter service restaurants was excellent.We ate in the a la carte "mistral" on the evening of our 30th wedding anniversary ( fabulous), and were serenaded by a staff member which was really lovely. The entertainment on this ship was amazing, why some of these singers aren't on the west end is beyond me, absolutely superb! The comedian was very very good also. We didn't do many organised excursions as we like to explore ourselves but the ones we did were very good. We enjoyed the fact that this was an adult only cruise-we love kids but we have been there, done that, for many years with our own children and wanted a relaxing break. All in all we were very sad to leave this lovely old ship, and wish we could have done another week, however we are already looking at a Thomson cruise for next year. Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We decided to push the boat out (no pun intended) this year to take a two-week cruise on the Celebration to celebrate our Ruby Wedding, my wife's 60th birthday & my having cashed in part of one of my pensions & deciding ... Read More
We decided to push the boat out (no pun intended) this year to take a two-week cruise on the Celebration to celebrate our Ruby Wedding, my wife's 60th birthday & my having cashed in part of one of my pensions & deciding against the Lamborghini. We've had cruises before on a variety of ships ranging from the quaint to one of the giant floating shoeboxes/towerblocks full of shouty Americans in little white socks & pushy Germans, so the Thomson Celebration was deliberately chosen, it being smallish, adults-only (we're not a fan of kids running around or screaming babies or sulking teenagers) & prefer the genteel intimacy of a smaller liner & its ability to dock at smaller ports. All the passengers were British too. We chose the 'Grecian Legends' followed by the 'Adriatic Affair' itineraries, & had the time of our lives. Flight on time, embarkation swift & smooth, luggage outside cabin door on embarkation: all this worked fine. We had an outside cabin on 'A' deck, level 3 (room 426) and it was superb. Clearly recently refurbished, very spacious and with much more storage space (there were 13 big drawers, I sadly counted them, but that's me), which was much more than most 4* hotels provide. Champagne, chocolate-coated strawberries & a large flower arrangement already in place on arrival ( our relatives had arranged for this to be delivered 3 days later, on our actual wedding anniversary, but no matter), as my wife was a bit hungry & very thirsty, so the Moet didn't last too long. Oh, & also breakfast in bed on one day when we had an early excursion start. We didn't care how old the ship was, as long as it wasn't older than us, & it was in much better repair than us, being constantly cleaned & polished by the enthusiastic smiling staff. It wasn't very engine-noisy either, apart from when the bow thrusters were deployed, but I think you need a bit of realtime maritime noises on a cruise & we even love a bit of rough when in bed (weather & seas that is!) but sadly the Aegean & Adriatic were both smooth as a millpond earlier this month. The passenger demographic:.......... I thought I was pretty old at 65 but We appeared quite young & sprightly in comparison to most of the passengers, & about 20 stone lighter, but this is to be expected on adults- only cruises. There was also a sprinkling of younger people. The food on offer in both the Lido & Meridian reflects this demographic, being largely classic British, with one or two 'foreign' dishes, but at least they have proper back bacon & British sausages at breakfast, so you won't be frightened by imagining your food has been polluted by garlic or chillies or similar, unless you specifically choose the more mysterious dishes. The food served in the self-service Lido & the waiter service Meridain restaurants is largely the same, the only difference being in the Meridian it's put on a plate for you in smaller portions than you'd do yourself & served by a waiter. We didn't try any of the other 'speciality' restaurants, as we object to having to pay extra on an All-INCLUSIVE trip. There's a carvery in the Lido serving up slices of meat, & Thomsons have a note there saying that all their meat is cooked 'well-done' for health reasons, so forget trying the roast lamb or beef if you like it slightly pink inside: this is cuisine designed for octogenarian British folk. It's cooked to death IMHO, but that's just my taste. The gravy's very nice though. You can get porridge at the porridge station in the Lido at breakfast, & sometimes freshly-cooked select-it-yourself pasta dishes or stir-fries for lunch, which are very nice. If you want an alcoholic drink with your meal at the Lido, & ordering it when you've sat down, forget it until you've finished your spotted dick or jam roly-poly, as the wine waiters there are totally inept and extremely slow. Get it from the bar outside beforehand. In fact, get two if you're on AI. They're that slow, & tend to hide away so you can't disturb them. UNLIKE the rest of the customer service crew there, who are very enthusiastic hard working lovely young people & an outstanding credit to Thomson & the 'Celebration'. A Special note to Ting Ting & Lynn in the Lido restaurant for being such bright charming smiling young ladies, consumately professional & fast in their service. Really brightened up our day, they were so nice. All the other ones are nice too, but they were outstanding. So was Gusti in the aft bar & Glenn as our cabin steward. To name but a few. The in-house band, the 'Top Men', who played consistently throughout the cruise, are an absolute eye-opener for a cruise/hotel band, very professional & consummately impressive musicians & singers covering a wide variety of genres from the Beatles to Eagles to more progressive tracks, each handled with superb musicianship & as an extremely critical music lover I vote them the best cover-version band I've ever seen on an expensive holiday, land or sea based: they had a very hardcore following among the passengers, including us. Full marks to them. They are excellent, believe me. Similarly, the theatre-based Thomson Broadway dance/cabaret ensemble on the ship were amazing in terms of professionalism, verve, imagination, singing & just electrifying stage magic, comparable to the best West End musical you've ever seen. And I wouldn't like this sort of show normally, being an old hippie, but these guys are simply amazing, so no complaints about the entertainment. Full marks: you won't be disappointed, despite being addicted to Pink Floyd or King Crimson like us. I've already rambled on far too much, so I'll focus on the destination ports later, if possible, but all in all, this was a cruise to remember, if you like the things that we like. We only did two of the bookable excursions on board, the passage through the Corinth canal & back (one of my wife's ticked boxes on her 'things to do before I die' list, for some reason) & 'Mysterious Delphi', as I'd always wanted to meet a hermaphrodite & get a prediction. Both were excellent, but very expensive. Which is why we only did two of them. As it was generally extremely hot ashore at most ports, we preferred simply to explore the towns by ourselves for a few hours & buy a fridge magnet & some water, which is much cheaper than buying a tiny bottle of water on board for £1.40. About 30 pence on shore. Why Thomson should charge for a drinks package & then exclude water is beyond me, but then they charge eye-watering prices for every 'extra' on board, including the photographs the itinerant cameramen take without your permission & then try to charge 15 quid per print (no file copies so you can share them online). Fortunately our relatives' celebration gift to us included one free print, which was a very good one actually, & also a chocolate cake at the Captain's Champagne Reception & a pretend-mariachi band celebrating our anniversary & her birthday at the table, so at the price this was value for money, along with the champagne etc.. I think the other destinations have adequately been covered elsewhere, so I'll just conclude by saying we had a great time, lots of laughs & almost no complaints, so this is a recommended cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Our first cruise - loved it, yes the boat is a little tired -but the food was excellent and the staff brilliant. You really don't need to do the trips if you can't afford them as all the ports are fantastic! I would ... Read More
Our first cruise - loved it, yes the boat is a little tired -but the food was excellent and the staff brilliant. You really don't need to do the trips if you can't afford them as all the ports are fantastic! I would however, recommend that you save your money and to the trip when you dock in Trieste in Italy - this is a very tired and neglected town. Apart from one square, it really isn't worth walking round - weeds growing through the cracks in the pavement - castle shut on Mondays so do the trip on this day. We paid for the drinks package and tried about every cocktail going! The food was brilliant-we particularly loved the Asian restaurant - do give it a try. Venice was fab, particulary the sail-away - the boat and crew made it so special, especially with an opera singer singing us down the grand canal- it was very moving. We would definitely book another cruise with Thomson as for what the boat lacks in the luxury liners, it is more than made up with by the entire crew who cannot do enough for you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
This was only our second cruise. We were attracted by the destinations and reputation for not being too formal.also entertainment. We were not disappointed we had an outstanding holiday from start to finish. Ship info An old ship but ... Read More
This was only our second cruise. We were attracted by the destinations and reputation for not being too formal.also entertainment. We were not disappointed we had an outstanding holiday from start to finish. Ship info An old ship but quality, it's smaller size allowed access to some simply stunning ports, Kotor, koper,korcula,Venice,sibenik to name but a few. Wonderful destinations. Activities - always something going on, darts golf, bingo, particularly enjoyed the curling and quizzes.gym and spa small but fairly functional. Service- quite exceptional all staff friendly, attentive, always willing to help. This ranged from cleaning staff, cabin stewards, bars, restaurants, entertainment team require a particular mention, always smiling,engaging and helpful. Port & shore excursions Particularly enjoyed the cycling did several,however need to be aware a basic level of fitness and cycling experience is in our view essential. Travel to embarkation port- excellent only little drawback was we took cases to Birmingham airport night before as per itinerary however carrier declined to accept them. Once cases booked in next time we saw them was in our cabin, excellent service. Don't forget to keep some essential items in your hand luggage, I.e. Medication, toiletries etc. Cabin - no 052 Neil Armstrong suite. Restricted view partial station for lifeboat, no issues though, very spacious, ample wardrobe and drawers. Loads of coat hangers.coffee tea. Mini fridge bar. Dining- Meridian was a super restaurant, varied menu each night, first class service good selection of wines. Avoid busy times about 8:30 pmif you want to avoid queuing . We also ate at hot stone and excellent service and we thought the supplement was worth it for a special occasion. Excursions - only did a few cycling very good and well organised, walking tour of koper very informative. Adult only- this suited us and we found the overall cruise experience first class. Entertainment - Quite simply outstanding we saw 10 different shows something for everyone's taste. The effort in rehearsals certainly showed in the highly professional performances living up to the Broadway billing. The cabaret and deck parties had everyone dancing , singing entertainment was a real highlight of the cruise for us. The team were also very visible throughout the day on many other activities, classes library, quizzes etc. Disembarkation - very efficient settled our account evening before departure. Cases packed left outside cabin by 0300 we then joined them at our arrival airport. Summary Outstanding, highly recommended will now try the other ships in Thomson fleet. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Shown to our cabin (101), a disabled cabin (wife requires a wheelchair) on Deck 7, just under the bridge. We liked the size of the ship, as it’s not too big, I believe you would get lost in the crowd, lose the intimacy and not get to ... Read More
Shown to our cabin (101), a disabled cabin (wife requires a wheelchair) on Deck 7, just under the bridge. We liked the size of the ship, as it’s not too big, I believe you would get lost in the crowd, lose the intimacy and not get to know various member of the crew or them to get to know you on the bigger ships. Getting around the ship with the wheelchair was fine and all the crew would help if need be. Annoyingly on Deck 6 the door into the upper part of the Broadway Show Lounge was always closed and its heavy to open. Difficult to get through whilst pushing the wheelchair as it also has a 90 degree turn on the one side. Some of the other doors were left open but not this one – perhaps to do with H&S! Plenty of choice in drinks and food and all good quality. Some drinks you had to pay a supplement (we were on all-inclusive) so it’s not really all-inclusive and it’s very easy to rack-up a sizable bill. The al la carte restaurants are also well worth a visit. We especially liked Mistrals, made even better with the extra attention from Francis and Tony. You have to pay a supplement for each but it’s worth it and very good value. The shows are also very good and the cast very professional. We paid for the VIP seats on a number of occasions. Again paying the extra is well worth it as you get front-row reserved seats along with a glass of fizz and you don’t need to grab a seat an hour before the show starts like everyone else. You can even group the al la carte restaurant and a show together and have a really great evening. Our adivse is book your restaurant meal for 7-7.30pm and the late show, 10.15pm, so you have plenty of time for your meal and are not rushed. Mistrals can be 7 courses so be prepared and hungry! Although we did buy some of the photos taken by the on-board photographer they are expensive. There’s plenty to do, what with sightseeing somewhere different each day and also loads to do on-board the ship. Going ashore we did our own thing, had a walk around each place just after breakfast then back to the ship to sunbath on the sundeck (Deck 9) later in the afternoon. The Sundeck has a bar outside and if you get too hot you can go along to Horizons, have a drink and a cool down. Overall we had a great holiday. I wouldn’t say it’s truly all-inclusive especially as its’s easy to end up with a sizeable bill by the end. Mind you it’s our own fault, what with; photos, al la carte’s, VIP seats, hairdressers, drinks but it’s holiday, so what the heck. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
We have just returned from our first cruise around Croatia it was wonderful from start to finish. The handling of luggage was hassle free, all the staff were happy and helpful, the service faultless. The buffet food in the Lido restaurant ... Read More
We have just returned from our first cruise around Croatia it was wonderful from start to finish. The handling of luggage was hassle free, all the staff were happy and helpful, the service faultless. The buffet food in the Lido restaurant was non stop and excellent quality at any given time. We used this restaurant for breakfast, afternoon tea even a midnight feast once. There was a snack bar adjacent to the pool which we used once again good quality. In the evening we visited the Meridian restaurant which was waiter service the menu changed every night the food and service was 5* this was all included in the price of the holiday. As a couple we were asked if we minded sharing a table. We shared every night and met some lovely people some we never saw again others we kept bumping into it was so friendly! In my opinion this was best although no problem if you wanted to sit alone you just may have to wait for a table. We didn't visit any of the pay restaurants didn't need to. After dinner we went into the Broadway and watched a show which was different every night as good as anything you may see in London ( and I'm addicted to London shows love them!) however if that was not your thing there was a piano bar and various others catering for different tastes. The rooms were kept wonderfully tidy and a second visit to turn down the bed. A daily Thomson newspaper was available each day and an update of all the essentials needed in the next port slid under the door each day so no worrying about what documents were needed, what time to be back on ship, best places to visit etc. If I had to criticise anything we had a basic cabin which we upgraded once and it just got us a porthole extra it was single beds that were in an l shape and not really any space. However was to busy to spend time in there anyway. I think you needed to do a considerable upgrade to get a double bed and space. There was a couple of small deep pools and lots of sunbeds although you may need to visit other decks for the sunbeds which I found difficult with the heat needing to be close to the pool if sunbathing when returning to the ship. We both loved this cruise and would recommend it highly you can't beat the friendliness and service from the crew. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
The aircon overall on the ship was poor especially in our cabin. The entertainment was ok apart from the British so called comedian why do Thomson do that we haven't seen a decent (British comedian on any Thomson cruise) We had ... Read More
The aircon overall on the ship was poor especially in our cabin. The entertainment was ok apart from the British so called comedian why do Thomson do that we haven't seen a decent (British comedian on any Thomson cruise) We had two meals in the waiter service restaurant both were rotten, we ate in the self service restaurant every meal after that it was fab. We did Mount Etna trip which took 2 hours to get there when we arrived the guide informed us that we didn't have time to go to the top that's why we did this trip to go to the top!! We had 55 minutes to see the craters then back on the bus for a 2 hour trip back to the ship at a cost of £34 each we felt that it was a complete rip off. The ship docked at a port called Brindisi another waste of time. We went on the little petite train that took us all round the dirty back streets; everyone was saying surely it's better than this unfortunately after an hour we saw nothing at a cost it 30 euros I wouldn't recommend this trip to my worst enemy. The staff on the ship are amazing so friendly and courteous nothing is to much trouble. I would recommend this cruise if Thomsons get there act together and look at the Brindisi stop. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
The Thomson Celebration is a well equipped ship. It is not the newest Ship in the world but with the right itinerary it is perfect for the cruiser on a tight budget. Overall the ship is in a good maintained condition but it is a bit ... Read More
The Thomson Celebration is a well equipped ship. It is not the newest Ship in the world but with the right itinerary it is perfect for the cruiser on a tight budget. Overall the ship is in a good maintained condition but it is a bit dated compared to some of the other cruise ships with other companies. Thats said, the staff on board were much better and more attentive than I have experienced on other ships. They quite simply could not do enough for you and were always happy to help. The food on board at the Meridian restaurant, which is the main dining area (waiter service breakfast, lunch and dinner), was of a high standard with a good variety on each daily menu. There are 3 premium pay restaurant, which we opted for, but to be honest there is no need as the main restaurant is that good. I did enjoy my steak at the hot stone experience though, Tip! We also used the self service restaurant and the terrace grill throughout the day and again there was a good selection. The terrace grill didn't look to inviting with the burgers and pizza as it look as though everything had been sitting for quite some time and when we tried the burgers on one occasion it was warm at best so never tried again. We enjoyed all the entertainment throughout the ship, and we took in as much as we could, and the quality and standard was very good. The theatre shows were of a very high standard. Service at the bars was really quite quick and we found a lot of the time the waiters would be coming around and asking if you wanted another. There was also a shopping arcade, spa and gym areas which we used sparingly but they always seemed quite busy and they look bright. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
It was our first ever cruise for hubby & myself yet we found it truly magical from start to finish! Everything went so incredibly smoothly as well as fabulously! They are just so incredibly efficient plus friendly from the time you ... Read More
It was our first ever cruise for hubby & myself yet we found it truly magical from start to finish! Everything went so incredibly smoothly as well as fabulously! They are just so incredibly efficient plus friendly from the time you emark until the time you disembark- every minute detail is taken care of with such beautiful exact precision- it is impressive! The celebration cruise ship is a mighty fine ship,pretty small in comparison to most other cruise ships you find in port- dwarfed by majority of ships,yet it is perfectly sized as well as elegant! It is not ostentatious like too many ships you see whilst on your cruise yet it is luxurious in a simply sophisticated manner. Our cabin was spacious plus had everything we could possibly need- we were on deck 6 at the very front of the ship with a superb view- hubby and I loved it! Good range of ages on board from people in their 20's then every decade up to 80's- great diversity! Met some amazing fellow cruisers- made a few friends. The entertainment was of a very high standard- been to many London West End shows yet these entertainers were just as talented if not more so! All the actors, dancers, singers as well as comedian were just totally brilliant! If you want a showy cruise that is the size of floating town then this probably is not the one for you. Yet, if you want a smaller friendlier ship yet still has plenty of choices on board plus staff that are top class (every single one of them) then go on this cruise! The excursions were awesome in every single way, too! Dining sublimely good!! My gluten free needs were expertly catered for, too! The only criticism had was that it went far too quickly- had such a wonderful time of relaxation, amazing excursions, fine dining, meeting such wonderful people as well as phenomenally good entertainment that the time zoomed by- wish you could press a pause button like on a remote control!! You have to be like those muppets the Grumpy Old Men in the theatre on The Muppet Show to be unhappy with this ship- really you do! They take such phenomenally good care of everyone on board plus bend over backwards to keep everyone happy, healthy, entertained, amused and smiling :-)! It was our best holiday ever!! We cannot wait until we go on our second cruise and it will be to a different location as we never go to same place twice yet it will be on board same ship as they were just the best!!! Romantic looking at the stars at night. We felt so special on this cruise ship- everyone is made to feel incredibly special- yet we felt like a princess and prince by the way we were treated and you could see how much each staff crew plus entertainment crew took pride in their jobs!! These memories will stay with us for always!! Massive salute to all the staff ship's crew on board Celebration that made it such a truly memorable special first cruise for us both!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
My husband and I had a phenomenal time on Thomson's 'Celebration' cruise- exceeded all expectations- we were so happy that this was our first sea cruise, too! This ship is a small cruise ship yet it is perfectly formed- ... Read More
My husband and I had a phenomenal time on Thomson's 'Celebration' cruise- exceeded all expectations- we were so happy that this was our first sea cruise, too! This ship is a small cruise ship yet it is perfectly formed- dwarfed by all those floating massive floating like towns of ostentations cruise liners- it may be mature in age yet it is very elegant all the same. We loved that it was one of the smallest ships when it was docked in port! The smaller size allows you to make some good friends, too- many seasoned cruisers we met on the ship prefered our ship for this very reason. There is plenty of luxury plus sophistication anyhow! We were amazed at how friendly plus helpful all the staff crew were- could not do enough for us! All they wanted to do was make us happy as well as smile, truly! The shore excursions were very interesting as well as beautiful plus our guides were just brilliant! Our excursions were to the Lipica horse stud farm in Slovenia- was brilliant in every single way- if you love horses and dressage you will love this as we did! The town of Sibenik in Croatia was stunning plus we also loved visiting the very impressive pretty cathedral of St James. Our last excursion was in Bari in Italy- to the Alberobella region of Truli houses- absolutely beautiful, fascinating as well as quirky! The entertainmen was of a very high standard right across the board! The shows we especially enjoyed- equal to West End Show performers, absolutely amazing in every detail!! Dining was varied, delicious, plus just excellent on so many levels. Service hich class in dining too! As am allergice to wheat and peanuts- my diet was fabulously catered for- had plenty of variety including having gluten free pasta and gluten free pizzas. Hygiene and cleanliness was taken very seriously throughout ship which was impressive. Everything ran so efficiently!! If you can find fault on this ship you must be like the grumpy old men from the Muppet Show, truly! We loved our cabin too- spacious, comfortable, luxurious, had a great view, loved the bathroom- shower with bath, and it had everything we needed. Even the wardrobe space was very generous! Met some amazing people- fellow cruisers- made some good friendships. Enjoyed talking to the staff crew who were friendly, too! The actors/dancers/singers were all top class- they all deserve much success plus hope they have long sucessful careers! The comedian had me in stitches- very funny!! The only problem was that it went much too fast- wish we could have pressed a pause button like on the tv remote control- we had so much fun plus relaxation! So many sublime memories created that will stay with us for always! It was indeed a celebration- so celebration was the perfect name! Brilliant diversity of ages on board from 20-80's which was lovely to see plus enjoyed talking to people of all ages(fellow cruisers)! We will be back with celebration ship for another cruise next year though going to different ports, for sure!! Massive thank you to all the cruise on Celebration ship- salute You! Hubby and I are so grateful to all the ship's crew who made our holiday the best one ever!!! Read Less

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