10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I choose this cruise because I had been on two Thomson ships before it became Tui. The expieriance before was amazing. This time it was awful!!! Firstly, there was no sail away party which before was fabulous and we looked so forward to it ... Read More
I choose this cruise because I had been on two Thomson ships before it became Tui. The expieriance before was amazing. This time it was awful!!! Firstly, there was no sail away party which before was fabulous and we looked so forward to it again. After our first night in our inside cabin, which we had had inside before, this time two mattresses put together and they separated during the night making it impossible to get comfortable. So we went to reception to ask if they could help our situation. We were told there would be a super king mattress put in place, I was in the cabin when the maid came to inform me they don’t have such thing on the ship. So she proceeded to strip the bed to see how she could help. To my disgust when she removed the sheet the mattress protector was filthy with stains from top to bottom. I was horrified to think this is what we had lay on. The protectors from the bed were replaced with relatively clean ones put across the beds to stop them parting in the middle. Still not happy we returned to reception next day informing them that no such mattress was available according to the maid. Then once more they said they would deal with it. Next we were approached with the head housekeeper to apologise for our inconvenience but said there is no such mattress on board! Staff on board were very much under pressure and with only a very few happy helpful faces. My husband has the constitution of an Ox, and yet after dining in Gallery 47 was extremely sick just after eating his meal. The choice of menus were very limited also. The buffet eating was nothing like our expieriance on the two previous ships. Then the entertainment, was poor same things every day/night. The standard was very poor. The promise of movies by midnight never once was on. Our holiday on this ship has put us off ever cruising again, it was a long two weeks trying to put our time in while on board. The outside pool was closed for days. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
we were intending to visit Spain this month and when this last minute fly cruise to Spain and Portugal came up we jumped at it. I was a little nervous as Fred. Olsen has a bit of a fuddy duddy image and some reviewers have been positively ... Read More
we were intending to visit Spain this month and when this last minute fly cruise to Spain and Portugal came up we jumped at it. I was a little nervous as Fred. Olsen has a bit of a fuddy duddy image and some reviewers have been positively unkind about the older cruisers it attracts. Its true the clientele are mostly middle aged to senior but they were the sprightly kind, who scrub up well and a pleasant, active bunch. There were some smart people on board. After my experience on Brittania last year the complete absence of children was welcome. There wasn't anyone who was too elderly and/or infirm to enjoy the cruise on the ship. We had dreadful weather and were unable to visit 2 of the scheduled ports which was unfortunate but not Fred. Olsens' fault. The Captain explained the situation very clearly during the first Cocktail Party and the ship handled the rough seas well. Boudicca is a smallish ship and its very easy to orientate yourself. It is not glamorous but is extremely comfortable, pleasant and well kept. Cleanliness is an absolute priority and the anti-norovirus procedures are stringent - they do everything they possibly can to prevent an outbreak. The food was outstanding, we had some delicious meals, roast duck, filet mignon, steak bernaise, dover sole and some excellent puddings, including crepe suzette and creme brulee. Drink prices are about the same as in a good pub or restaurant on shore and hairdressing, beauty treatments etc are not expensive. I enjoyed the 2 cocktail parties - the Captain was very entertaining in his dry way and we all felt he was a consummate professional. The ship was pleasantly warm inside. The swimming pool and jacuzzis on deck are kept well heated and people were using them even in the chillier weather. The gym is well equipped with great views as it is right at the top. There were talks, crafting, bridge and dancing lessons to keep you occupied. The dance hosts were very pleasant, mostly a bit older and genuinely interested in helping anyone who wanted to learn a dance or improve their skills. I thought the live music onboard was good and the shows were excellent, songs from the current musicals in London etc. and well known, lively favourites. There is a late night buffet and dance scene later on for those interested - didn't experience it but saw the ice sculptures etc. being wheeled up on the last night. We really enjoyed our holiday and are Fred. Olsen converts. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
'Essential ' maintenance was carried out. Now we'd all agree the maintenance to lifeboats is essential. However, Fred insisted on chipping off the paint on the upper decks of Boudicca during the very brief time that the sun ... Read More
'Essential ' maintenance was carried out. Now we'd all agree the maintenance to lifeboats is essential. However, Fred insisted on chipping off the paint on the upper decks of Boudicca during the very brief time that the sun came out when we were trying to relax in the sun. The noise was unbearable. Unbelievable given that the ship was about to go into dry dock for a refit the week after! The weather was against us (no fault of Fred) and so the captain decided that we should miss out 2 stops. Quite understandable from a safety of life view, but the holiday was ruined. The prospect of spending three nights and two days at sea in the forecasted storms made us jump ship, stayed in an hotel overnight in Lisbon and flew home early., at quite a price. We would welcome the views of other passengers. The other comment is that the entertainmment (with the exception of the comedien, who was hillarious), seemed to be aimed at a much younger audience, for instance, 'Get off your feet and dance' shouted over and over again, didn't seem to suit the average age of about 68.. This is the last cruise we shall be booking. Nick Lodge. Read Less
162 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Spanish Sunsets Cruise : Date of Cruising: 28 May to 4 June 2017 Having cruised previously with Princess, Royal Caribbean and P&O on their larger ships holding 3,500 passengers, we were a little nervous about booking a western ... Read More
Spanish Sunsets Cruise : Date of Cruising: 28 May to 4 June 2017 Having cruised previously with Princess, Royal Caribbean and P&O on their larger ships holding 3,500 passengers, we were a little nervous about booking a western Mediterranean cruise with Thompson (now rebranded TUI), on their newly refurbished flagship ‘Discovery 2’. The TUI ship is a lot smaller carrying just 1900 passengers. Obviously, on ‘Discovery 2’ you don’t get the feeling of space as on the bigger ships and there is no ice rink, sports court, flowrider, water slides, large promenades, zip wires, etc … that you get on the larger cruise ships, everything is obviously scaled down, but so is the price. This ‘Discovery 2’ is a ship that was previously owned by Royal Caribbean but sold to TUI who then have rebranded it along with a major refurbishment in May 2017. I was presently surprised by what I saw and experienced and in most areas my expectations were exceeded. The cabin was first class and on a par with the other cruise liners we have sailed with. It was spacious and well equipped and had we had no complaints what so ever. The restaurant where we dined for our evening meals (Gallery 47), was also excellent with a varied menu and delicious food. The service from the restaurant staff was also first class. No complaints from me and I’m a fussy eater. Breakfast and lunch was in the Islands buffet restaurant and again the food was very good. It did get busy at peak times but going slightly earlier or later meant you could always get a table. (Peak time for breakfast was around 9am). Generally the look of the various areas of the ship was good and taking into account that it was a ‘refurbishment’ and not a ‘refit’ a good job had been done. Most importantly there was new carpeting throughout which is important as nothing makes a ship look more ‘tired’ than worn faded carpeting. There was a variety of entertainment around the ship and most was of a reasonable standard and some excellent. The main disappointment were the shows in the main theatre. Although the singers and dancers were very talented, their choice of material was disappointing and song choices could have been a lot stronger. The production and scenery was good and the seating was very, very comfortable, it was just a shame the the material chosen for them to perform was not the best. Also TUI could have done better by having more variety with professional artists being brought onboard to perform that were of a higher calibre than the TUI resident dancers and singers, as good as they were. There was one variation during the week when we had a comedy magician who was OK but not the best. Most of the crew were very courteous and helpful and the room stewards good although they were not as visible and as ‘chatty’ as some on other cruises we’ve been on. There were two pools (both with jacuzzis), one indoor and one outdoor. Both were of good quality and the indoor one was not overcrowded, as was the outdoor one, but that probably wasn’t helped with the week of our cruise being Spring Bank holiday week, and so there was a large number of children onboard. There were plenty of sun beds around the ship and if you looked around you could find a variety of shaded areas. In summary: There is an old saying that ‘you get what you pay for’, and that is certainly true here. You just get the feel that things are just not quite as big, as plush, as roomy and of the same quality as the cruise companies I’ve made mentioned previously, but for what you pay it is good value for money. As you can probably tell, I’d prefer to cruise with Princess, Royal Caribbean, P&O etc, but for a cheap one week cruise in the Mediterranean then it’s worth considering if ‘money is not is a little tight’. Having spoken to others that have previously sailed with TUI/Thompson, I think this is a step up for the company and the effort they are putting into raising their image and brand in the cruise market is to be commended. If you’ve booked a cruise on ‘Discovery 2’ then I suspect you’ll enjoy it as long as you don’t expect the same experience as on the larger cruise liners who specialise in this type of holiday. I hope this review has proved useful and if you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me at glyn.day@ntlworld.com. Cheers, Glyn Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
This was our second time cruising and we were celebrating my 60th birthday and our silver wedding anniversary. We flew from Manchester to Malaga and once boarded, we decided to stay and explore the ship and rest up. The ship was very ... Read More
This was our second time cruising and we were celebrating my 60th birthday and our silver wedding anniversary. We flew from Manchester to Malaga and once boarded, we decided to stay and explore the ship and rest up. The ship was very clean, our cabins were cleaned twice daily by very friendly cabin staff who made us feel like it was home from home. The food was plentiful and delicious (I'm sure I gained weight) and we made lots of friends. As part of our celebrations, we were invited to dine at the captains table with other guests, a most enjoyable occasion. We paid extra for a photo shoot, a celebration package, which included flowers, Champaign, basket of fruit and of course a cake. A truly memorable occasion I highly recommend the spa treatment, it was fantastic. Everyone on board made you feel special, however, having requested an outside cabin with a queen size bed, we in fact got two single beds at opposite side of the cabin. We are now taking this up with the travel agency who made the booking. in spite of this, we enjoyed our cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Couldn't fault this cruise at all. The staff, food and entertainment was exceptional. Ok, the ship maybe a little old but all areas were clean and comfortable, as for the reviews about the vibration, this is minimal and not even worth ... Read More
Couldn't fault this cruise at all. The staff, food and entertainment was exceptional. Ok, the ship maybe a little old but all areas were clean and comfortable, as for the reviews about the vibration, this is minimal and not even worth mentioning. We were independent travellers, so our embarkation was very smooth, taking our own luggage directly to our cabin, we didn't take any shore excursions as we just did our own thing, so unable to comment on these. Watched a couple of shows, but we preferred to sit in Hemingway's on an evening and listen to the music in there which again was excellent. Daytime entertainment was good which we joined in with, trivia quizzes, darts etc Captain John, kept the passengers up to date regarding the weather, position and facts regarding ports of call. Some previous reviewers seem to moan for moaning sake, we had a great time. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Overall this cruise war everything I expected on a Thomson Cruise. Good food, excellent entertainment and very friendly staff. One of the drawbacks was the machinery noise as we were entering port. I was in a single inside cabin on deck 3 ... Read More
Overall this cruise war everything I expected on a Thomson Cruise. Good food, excellent entertainment and very friendly staff. One of the drawbacks was the machinery noise as we were entering port. I was in a single inside cabin on deck 3 at the rear of the ship and every morning about an hour before docking this machinery would start up. The noise would have wakened the dead. The other drawback was the apparent lack of any smoking policy on board. No matter where you went on the outer deck you encountered smokers. Other cruise lines I have been on have strictly designated areas for smokers. Princess, sadly, even have indoor areas. On this ship, if you wanted to sit outside the High Spirits bar there were no "No Smoking" tables. I would expect at least one side of the ship to be "Non Smoking". I even encountered one passenger in the show lounge puffing away at an E cigarette. Not good enough Thomson. I hope it will be better on Thomson Majesty later this year. My rating would have been a 4 if it hadn't been for this. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was a very enjoyable cruise around the Iberian peninsular. The staff and crew members were very friendly, courteous and attentive. We had a balcony cabin which was very spacious and kept spotless by our two attendants. ... Read More
This was a very enjoyable cruise around the Iberian peninsular. The staff and crew members were very friendly, courteous and attentive. We had a balcony cabin which was very spacious and kept spotless by our two attendants. Breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea in the main restaurant offered plenty of choice, although things were a bit hectic during full days at sea. We ate each evening in the Sirocco restaurant (we like a table for two) and the food was truly excellent and beautifully presented and served. The lobster thermidor was first-class - we had this on three evenings! To us, the cruise represented excellent value for money, and I think we enjoyed it more than the cruise with Royal Caribbean last year -because a smaller ship means faster embarkation and disembarkation (everything ran very smoothly in Malaga and all ports of call). We were cossetted from arrival at EMA onwards. Thoroughly recommended Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We have been on this ship 5 times, we tried one of there sister ships, although it was very nice, the celebration more than any thing was amazing. With the most helpful staff and with all the amount of customer's they have each ... Read More
We have been on this ship 5 times, we tried one of there sister ships, although it was very nice, the celebration more than any thing was amazing. With the most helpful staff and with all the amount of customer's they have each year still knew what drinks we had and made a fuss of us, which made us both fill special. The cabins are great and cleaned every day and every 2nd day all linen is changed, towels are changed daily. The restaurant are great, if you want fine dining there is 3 to be visited all food is fantastic. The buffet style restaurant is great along with the burger bar at the rear of the ship. Entertainment is second to none with it's great dancing and singing acts and as there are two sessions you will be able to see some great shows. Ports are great to explore different countries we have been ashore a few times on our own and felt really safe,but if you go on any excursions make sure you have comfy shoes on as some have a lot of walking. Above all we were all inclusive which meant we did not have a bill at the end of trip to pay I would advise any one to go all inclusive as drinks can be quite pricey. I hope anyone who goes with Thomson's enjoys the holiday as much as we did. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
First of all - the positives. The cabin was clean and comfortable, although showing signs of wear. The cabin steward was friendly and helpful, as were all the staff. Our excursion to Casablanca was great, the highlight being the Hassan ... Read More
First of all - the positives. The cabin was clean and comfortable, although showing signs of wear. The cabin steward was friendly and helpful, as were all the staff. Our excursion to Casablanca was great, the highlight being the Hassan II mosque. At Funchal and Santa Cruz we did our own thing. Lanzarote was interesting, but the visit was hurried and uninspiring. Recommended: Look out for the Wine package, which is a really good deal. Pick up a leaflet at the beginning of the cruise, either from Customer Services or a wine waiter. Gives you a generous discount on either 4, 6 or 8 bottles of your own selection. Re the dining experiences: all the food was good. Raffles buffet offered a great selection but, predictably, it was overcrowded, noisy, and all rather chaotic. Our preference for breakfast was Windows - but this was where they let themselves down. The menu is great, but the service was awful. On more than one occasion, we waited nearly an hour for the food to be served. And forget poached eggs or Eggs Benedict - hard as rocks (even when we asked for soft eggs). Also disappointing, Windows either closes or has restricted times on 'port days'. Windows Main Dining was excellent for lunch though, which was good news as (unlike the Jade) Blue Horizon and Harry's Pub venues are both situated in the corridor! Walking traffic passing through all the time, at very close quarters. For dinner, we had much better and quicker service in the Garden Main Dining Room, which doesn't make much sense as I believe they share the same kitchen. Similarly, the location and size of Champagne Charlie's is unwelcoming and awkward. On both the Jade and the Dawn this piano bar was a delight. At the risk of sounding like a cheapskate, our main niggle was the service charges (now 18%), not only on all the drinks (including the mini-bar!) but also on the already hefty supplement applied to the Speciality Restaurants. The Bistro is lovely, and I was tempted by the Trattoria. But it felt like a rip-off. I have never had a problem with the $12 per person, per day gratuity charge (now $12.95). It is a fair way to ensure that ALL the staff get their rewards. But I feel that this should include bar staff - the service charges on drinks in the bar and at the table make no sense. It makes even less sense when applied to the mini bar in the stateroom, and the supplemented restaurant charges. So, a decent holiday. But it is a shame that much of what we remember is being "nickle and dimed"! Read Less

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