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303 Island Escape Cruise Reviews

I ventured on this holiday with a great deal of trepidation as I did not read the negative reviews on the ship until after booking. I have cruised before on a more up to date ship, spent a £1000 more and the cruise was not as good as this ... Read More
I ventured on this holiday with a great deal of trepidation as I did not read the negative reviews on the ship until after booking. I have cruised before on a more up to date ship, spent a £1000 more and the cruise was not as good as this one. The cabin we had was designed for 4 people as it had fold up bunk beds, for two of us there was plenty of room. The shower room is small but has a toilet washbasin and shower what else do you need? The bedding was very clean and comfortable. Originally I was in a cabin at the very front of the ship and not being a good traveller felt sick after a couple of nights, I was moved to a cabin mid ships with no problem. The food is plentiful and good, the entertainment first rate and the staff helpful, friendly and hard working. Drinks on board are very reasonable with a cocktail costing £2.50 - £3, cheaper than down your local! The trips are good value and I was very satisfied with the one I went on, if you feel like finding your way around yourself most ports of call have open top tourist buses that you can hop on and off all day for approx €12. The ship is due for refit in November and in some areas shows a sign of age, but overall it is the best value for money anywhere, I would sail on her again with no qualms at all. On a final note the Norovirus that has been mentioned on other reviews was brought on board by passengers nothing to do with the ships standard of hygiene The week we were on board there was no self service and we were served by crew wearing thin plastic gloves. There is lots of hand sanitization points on board and it is up to you to ensure you use them, as we left I noticed that the ship was once again self service. Enjoy your cruise don't expect the Queen Mary, you have not paid for it, enjoy your holiday Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
Half term holidays and the chance of my wife and I having some time together without the children who were on a school trip. A quick bit of winter sunshine around the Canaries on a relaxing cruise sounded a good idea. We chose the Island ... Read More
Half term holidays and the chance of my wife and I having some time together without the children who were on a school trip. A quick bit of winter sunshine around the Canaries on a relaxing cruise sounded a good idea. We chose the Island Escape as we had already cruised around the Med on her back in April and although this old converted ferry has got many faults, on balance we enjoyed our last (and only previous cruise) on her. We had mixed views this time and despite the fact that we enjoyed our break, certain things seemed to have been lost in the 10 months from our last cruise. The entertainment was almost identical, with certain themed shows reappearing with the same cast and the same now-not-so-funny punch lines. The waiting staff 10 months ago seemed to go the extra mile in the restaurant, yet this time there were no little magic tricks at the table, or impromptu serenading of diners by keen guitar-playing waiters. The destinations were a bit of a mystery and caused many passengers to become irate. We found it quite comical and in no way blamed the captain or crew for the adverse weather that they were constantly up against. When bad weather strikes and ports of call become impossible to dock at, the Captain cannot suddenly magic-up a new destination, thereby forcing many extra hours at sea in "interesting" force 10/11 conditions! As for the cabin, we were fairly pleased with what we were allocated - fairly central and fairly low down. This meant that we probably had a better sleep than most during the rough periods and meant that we didn't feel the effects like some passengers did. Yes, the room was small and tired and in bad need of bringing into the 21st century, but it was functional and adequate. We deliberately opted for an inside cabin, based on the fact that we hardly spent any time in the deluxe outside cabin on the first cruise, and decided to spend the money saved this time on more trips ashore. The hotel staff, as always, did an excellent job of ensuring that the room was always clean and tidy - normally sneaking in at least twice a day to make sure that everything looked fresh. As part of the package deal that we booked, we paid £49 each for the all-inclusive drinks package. We're not big drinkers, but it was nice to be able to budget in advance and not worry about the cost of drinks on board. All house spirits, draught Boddingtons, Stella and Strongbow, house wines, soft drinks and cocktails of the day were included. It's surprising that when we totted up all the soft drinks, mineral waters and social drinks, our bill would have come to £220 for the week, making it worth the initial £98 outlay. Would we cruise on the Island Escape again? Probably we will, but we'll wait until after her £4m (?) refit at the end of 2010 and we'll wait until the entertainments team have thought up some new shows so that repeat cruisers have some new experiences to look forward to. Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
This cruise is provided with a scheduled or chartered flight but do expect cramped " knees around your earlobe seats " even on the bus to get you to and from the ship! Embarkation was to be fair very smooth and stress free but ... Read More
This cruise is provided with a scheduled or chartered flight but do expect cramped " knees around your earlobe seats " even on the bus to get you to and from the ship! Embarkation was to be fair very smooth and stress free but that unfortunately was one of the highlights! Our outside cabin on deck 7 was really small with little closet space and if you have a larger than average body size do not drop the soap in the shower or you are sure to get wedged, if the shower works! The next incumbents of our cabin should be forever grateful to us as we spent the first 3 days of this cruise treading a regular path to the pursers desk reporting problems!! Trickling hot water showers and basin,overflowing toilet bowls, no visional or audible television as well as missing or broken tube lighting! The passengers allotted this cabin the previous cruise surely must have been easily pleased! There is this theory that on average passengers weight retention on a 7 day cruise is 9lb unless you cruise on this for a week! You can double that average after with all the salty, high calorie repetitive Naafi canteen stodge dished up. Dining in the ships main Island Restaurant is like a food fight with with no waiter service and very tight seating arrangements which reminded me of locusts devouring all in their way!!! We did try the their signature Oasis waiter service restaurant on two occasions and I have to say it was worth the £14.99 cover charge, so not all bad dining and cuisine! The Ocean Theatre is a one level show lounge with several pillars obstructing sight lines which detracts from enjoying the high energy enthusiastic low budget singers/dancers. In addition visiting acts the likes of amateurish tribute acts and comedian who I have to say is a very funny guy. The ships tours were varied but as usual outrageously overpriced! We tend to make our own way around the ports of call at about the tenth of the cost asked for from the cruise companies. The island escape is suitable for all ages singles and couples with children with food that is quantity rather than quality, smiley faced Malaysian crew delivering a friendly service that lacks polish! But hey! you get what you pay for and the price was about right! Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
After reading all the bad reviews we were dreading going on our half term break. We had a great flight, really good embarkation and sailaway party on deck. 2nd day in Gran Canaria was sunny and we were lucky enough to be there for the ... Read More
After reading all the bad reviews we were dreading going on our half term break. We had a great flight, really good embarkation and sailaway party on deck. 2nd day in Gran Canaria was sunny and we were lucky enough to be there for the carnival. We watched over 35 floats and they were still coming and saw I am sure thousands of people in fancy dress all enjoying themselves and a fantastic atmosphere. From then on the weather was very windy and we turned into nomads of the sea. Couldn't go to La Palma due to the weather, had an extra day at sea then on to Madeira which was beautiful. If you are doing your own thing take the yellow open top bus as this gives you access to the local buses (to go up to Mont) and an extra tour loop. We were on our way to Morocco when the Harbour master closed it so off we went again. We had to leave Lanzarote early due to the weather and that night it was F10/11 - really scary noises at 3 a.m. in the morning but still make breakfast in the morning! Entertainment on board was excellent. The whole team were professional and it was great to see such talent. The cabin was - as others have said - tired but really clean and our steward was fantastic. We were really impressed by the hygiene on board and that staff were positioned next to the sanitisers to gently remind anyone who "forgot" to use them. Food was vary varied and I am sure that even the most fussy of eaters would find something to suit every evening. It was replenished frequently and always served hot. Omelettes in the morning took some time but were worth the wait. For those who like a full cooked breakfast bacon was not served every morning. Drinks were not too expensive considering they have a captive audience and it was lovely to be able to get draught cider on a ship for once. We were not AI so I don't know if this would be covered if we were. All in all despite the weather we had a lovely relaxing cruise and yes we would sail on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
My husband and I too were on the Island Escape's Canary Islands Cruise during half term week and have nothing but praise for he Captain who had many major and difficult decisions to make during the week's cruise due to the rough ... Read More
My husband and I too were on the Island Escape's Canary Islands Cruise during half term week and have nothing but praise for he Captain who had many major and difficult decisions to make during the week's cruise due to the rough seas and ports 'closing their docking facilities'. We feel Captain Klimont acted in the best interests of the passengers even though he had to leave some behind when a storm and freak waves suddenly rocked the ship in harbour and he had to leave quickly before more damage was done to the ship. All had started well on the cruise visiting Gran Canaria and then the ship hit rough seas and couldn't dock at La Palma so on to Madeira we sailed and spent a good day ashore leaving the port before the freak storms hit Madeira. It was a great pity we had to turn around because the port of Agadir, Morocco was closed and the sea was so rough and we sailed into Lanzarote a day early but due to the sudden storm, as mentioned earlier, the ship sailed away from port into calmer waters and we revisited a windy but sunny Gran Canaria again before we docked on time back at Tenerife. We then stayed for a super very hot week of weather in Tenerife. We did the same cruise last November and had beautiful weather from start to finish and wished we had stayed for a week on Tenerife, so we booked again. We felt very sorry for first time cruisers and those who had not done the itinerary before. We have enjoyed several cruises on the Island Escape before as we find the crew extremely friendly and always wishing you a Good Day. The waiters we have found excellent and because I have walking difficulties they help me with my chair, suddenly appear to help me back to my seat taking my plate and often making a flower or animal from a paper serviette. They are so good with children too. One waiter had a guitar and others joined him to sing happy birthday to my husband on his birthday onboard. The cabin crew and entertainment staff we find very friendly. The entertainment was repeated but we still went to the shows and the late night cabarets. We started cruising booking a balcony cabin but found we used it mainly for sleeping and getting changed so now we booked a standard outside cabin. The ship we found this time, even compared to November, is seriously ready for refurbishment and were dissapointed that some public areas of the ship were not as clean as they could be and have been in the past. Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
For those who make so many negative comments - Read the details before you book - it's a casual cruise and you get exactly what it says. I have been on the Island Escape a few times and was never let down - I've met so many ... Read More
For those who make so many negative comments - Read the details before you book - it's a casual cruise and you get exactly what it says. I have been on the Island Escape a few times and was never let down - I've met so many people on this cruise who are expecting very formal type cruises and feel let down - I can only say to them that they booked the wrong cruise. A very happy ship with really friendly staff, love it that you don't have to get dressed for dinner every night(you can if you choose)but smart casual is the order of the day or still very casual if you choose. Cabins are good, clean and serviced daily, not once have I seen or bumped into the cleaning staff, but I know they exist because of the towel sculptures left on the bed after cleaning. Good choice of food and entertainment. All I can say is Island Escape here we come, and so looking forward to my holiday once again! Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
This was my partners first cruise and as we would be celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary and my birthday while away thought it would be a nice "Taster" cruise for him. I have cruised before as i used to work for P & O ... Read More
This was my partners first cruise and as we would be celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary and my birthday while away thought it would be a nice "Taster" cruise for him. I have cruised before as i used to work for P & O years ago, and although i realised it would not be luxury cruising standard i thought that Ian my partner would feel at ease with the relaxed cruising experience. We had read some terrible reviews on here about this particular ship so to be honest we were hesitant what we were letting ourselves in for. Our flight was good and the seats realy comfortable although Ian did find the legroom tight we did manage to dose off, the transfer from airport to embarcation was easy and professional and before we knew what was happening we were boarding the Island Escape - In the dock she looked a glowing white and very welcomeing, the registration process was easy & efficient. We were on deck 4 in an outside cabin with two portholes, standard twin room whih was converted to a double for us - on entering our cabin we were greeted by the chocolate dipped strawberries, Moet & Chandon, and a huge beautiful basket of fresh flowers as we had gone for the "Celebrate in Style" package and it was well worth it. The cabin was standard and in desperate need of refurbishment, i would call it tired but it was exceptionally clean, had ample storage and the en-suite was adequate for our needs, i am by profession an Executive Housekeeping Manager for Hilton Hotels so do know the difference between tired and dirty. We then went around the ship to get our barings and popped into the Beachcomber restaurant for some well deserved lunch while awaiting the arrival of our suitcases - lunch was lovely and plentiful and we were inpressed by the choice on offer. we returned to our cabin after and our cases had been left in the corridoor outside so we unpacked and showered then went for another mooch to get our barings. The public areas are similar to the cabins needing refurbishment but were clean we found a nice seat on deck to have a drink and the weather was lovely, so nice to feel the sun after the snow in England. Hilda served us and was very friendly and professional she called us by our first names after delivering our drinks and did so throughout the rest of the cruise - we both commented on the fact that this was "Good Customer Service". Afternoon tea was served 4 till 5 and again was as delicious as lunch with cakes, biscuits, scones & jam with cream and sandwiches. Restaurant service was efficient and friendly & after afternoon tea we went back to our cabin for a snooze as it had been an early start that morning, we slept very well although i am not a lover of Foam Duvets and pillows as i tend to find they make you over perspire. The shower in our en-suite was great and very powerful so then off to dinner which like our other experiences of The Beachcomber restaurant we were not disapointed, We then attended the sailaway party and had a great time. The day after we tried the Island Restaurant for all our dining and found this as good as the Beachcomber although the fact of sitting at large tables with complete strangers is not realy our thing, the standard of food was great and plentiful. The time on board seemed to fly by with so much to do, and we did book two excursions: 1st was Funchal, Madeira which we thoroughly loved and it was money well spent and everyone that we spoke to on it agreed, the guide was knowledgable and we could have listened to her all day. 2nd excursion was Lanzarote and although informative the guide did not stop for breath and it did your head in after a time. We did get off for an hour at Agadir and made our own way into town but did not stay that long as the place is a shithole and your mithered from start to finish - thank god we got back on board to our home from home, Island Escape. All the other ports of call we did our own thing in but loved the experience. The 9th February was our Anniversary and my birthday and we had recently booked to eat in the Oasis Restaurant this night via Clair at the Celebrations Desk, The food well there is only one word for it and that is "Outstanding", Service was 2nd to none and anyone celebrating was at some time during the evening serenaded at there table by the staff (and although this sounds corny they do have good voices and can hold a tune)- Anyone going on the Island Escape has got to try the Oasis Restaurant, a huge thumbs up..... The rest of the cruise went to fast but we enjoyed enery minute or should i say highlights were: 1) Friendliness of staff, these people cannot do enough to please 2) If your a fussy eater there is something here for everyone 3) Island Chat Magazine very useful for all daily activities 4) The Pub / Sundowner bar on deck 7 has great caberet every night, we loved it in here Downsides were: 1) Resident group "Increase" were terrible and would not even be allowed on Britains got talent 2) Very Small swimming pool 3) Internet access very slugish and slow 4) Not being a lover of haveing credit cards i found it strange that there system does not allow you to use your Visa Electron Card 5) A lot of the retired passengers on board seemed to find it necesary to try and single handedly demolish and eat the entire buffet at every meal time - but failed miserably as the staff replenished it too quickly Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
I have sailed on the Island Escape 4 times,but i will not be going on it again unless it has a huge overhaul.We sailed from 8th-15thjan.on the cruise colourful coasts.We had only been on the ship 2 days when we were informed by the captain ... Read More
I have sailed on the Island Escape 4 times,but i will not be going on it again unless it has a huge overhaul.We sailed from 8th-15thjan.on the cruise colourful coasts.We had only been on the ship 2 days when we were informed by the captain of a virus,and told all people who became ill must stay in there cabins and remain there untill given the all clear by the doctor.We were not allowed too put our own food on our plates,this was done by the staff.We spoke too many people who had been confined too there cabins for 2-4 days.At night we got very little sleep due too the ship rocking and none stop banging.I have in the past recomended this ship but willdo so no more.Our cabin was very small and basic the handbasin plug was rusty and the soap holders needed a good clean,there were chipped and cracked tiles in the shower cubicle.The ship needs a complete over haul NOW. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
First of all, this is our 24th cruise, and the first one we have ever complained about. We are taking into account that we paid very little for this cruise (250 pounds each for a seven day cruise, no flights) GOOD POINTS the staff are ... Read More
First of all, this is our 24th cruise, and the first one we have ever complained about. We are taking into account that we paid very little for this cruise (250 pounds each for a seven day cruise, no flights) GOOD POINTS the staff are excellent, although they need more training and lack finesse. Entertainment staff are perfectly OK: Quite good dancers, singers and a funny comedian. TIME IN PORT. On several days the ship leaves port at 11 or even midnight. this is good, and gives plenty of time to explore, and also allows dinner to be eaten with no fear of sea sickness., OASIS RESTAURANT. There is a cover charge in this restaurant which is around 34 pounds per couple, including wine, 26 without drinks. they do charge you for water as well. the food is of typical cruise-ship standard, and the desserts are delicious (at least the creme brulee which I tried.) However, we made the mistake of not booking for several nights, and by day two there was no chance of getting a booking as it was solidly booked for the week. so if you are prepared to pay extra to eat well and be served, do it as soon as you get on the ship. VERY bad points. Cleanliness. This ship is not clean. Shabby, rusting, broken in parts . .all that is understandable in a converted ferry, but that does not excuse absolute filth on the dining room chairs, broken rubber on the outside steps to deck 11, stained and dirty carpets, and WORST OF ALL smelly, grey sweat sodden bed linen and quilts. this was the biggest problem of all and we had to buy our own pillows and quilt at the first port because it was totally unacceptable. This ship has several smelly areas. I can't quite be sure what the smell is . .maybe just the accumulation of dirt. Not brilliant points. You need not starve on this ship. there is twenty four hour dining, and there is always something edible . .salads, fruit salad, imitation chips. At dinner time there is also a roast and all the usual things available in a buffet restaurant. None of it is wonderful. You will not look forward to meals with that pleasant anticipation usual on cruises, but you will be able to eat. the desserts are quite indifferent. Coffee from the machine is horrible, and from the coffee shop costs extra if you have an all inclusive deal. there are no little touches to pamper you . . no chocolate on the pillow, no mint after dinner, no Captain's Gala night. However, you do get very nice towel arrangements by your cabin steward- In all, I would not recommend this cruise to anyone. To experienced cruisers it will be a real disappointment. First-time cruisers will probably never cruise again, judging the industry by this ship. But if the itinerary interests you, you are prepared for the bad points and get a really cheap price, OK. Oh, forgot to mention that the Norovirus was rampant, and you will be asked to sanitize your hands at least twenty times a day . . That's a good point! AGADIR which is not in the list of ports to review. If you end up here, either take a cruise ship excursion or prepare to meet thy doom. Agadir is a horrible city, and the local taxi drivers seem to be intent on taking you to a perfume factory, leather shop or anywhere where they get some commission, and you will have to be a strong customer to avoid this. It's really not worth the hassle, as the souk, or market, is really horrible . .like most of this town. We took an excursion to Taroudant. At least you see some of the countryside, the typical market etc. Better choice than the long trip to Marrakesh, which is not worth it in our view. When they finish the motorway in July (optimistic I think . . ) it will only take two and a half hours to get there instead of the more than four now . . . Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
This was our second cruise and I can honestly say that if it had been our first, we wouldn't be going again! It was advertised as carefree and informal, should have really been cheap and cheerful, You get what you pay for! The ship ... Read More
This was our second cruise and I can honestly say that if it had been our first, we wouldn't be going again! It was advertised as carefree and informal, should have really been cheap and cheerful, You get what you pay for! The ship should have been retired years a go and should certainly not be sailing in the Atlantic, and is in desperate need of refurbishment. I understand it was a ferry in a previous life, it should have stayed a ferry, some nights I really thought we were going to sink, what with the crashing and banging going on. My partner was sick two nights - not usual - and when we got back to UK I was in bed for 3 days with sickness and diarrhoea which I must have picked up on the ship. However, we did enjoy the ports of call except Agadir, why ever we went there I have no idea, never seen such a dump in my life, and having spent a day at sea it was very disappointing. The food was adequate but not very interesting and the Beachcomber bar was a free for all, much better in the Island but still the same food. The entertainment on board was excellent and the staff all very nice and helpful. We are booked on the Spirit in May so hopefully we will enjoy that one, If not goodbye to Thomson cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
Just got back from what must be the worst cruise ship (if you can call it that it is more like a ferry, many said it was once a ferry!) to be sailing in any waters! I wouldn`t even call it one star! Some decks smelt so badly it made you ... Read More
Just got back from what must be the worst cruise ship (if you can call it that it is more like a ferry, many said it was once a ferry!) to be sailing in any waters! I wouldn`t even call it one star! Some decks smelt so badly it made you feel sick (if you weren`t already being sick from the Norovirus bug on board or the sea sickness as the Captain seemed to need the stabilizers out every night! I went through 2 boxes of sea sick tablets!) The food was luke warm and more like school dinners than buffet dining. We went on Ocean Village in May and believe me they are 5 star in comparison. After paying about the same price I certainly expected a similar standard and the Island Escape is far from it. The Cabins are like being in a caravan and the shower was such a trickle it took me ten minutes to get my hair wet enough to put some shampoo on, not to mention trying to rinse it out afterwards. Talking about being in the cabin, this is where you hope to sleep but the ship is so noisy that unless you are deaf there isn`t much hope for any sleep either! On the last day we were evacuated because of the Norovirus bug to enable the ship to be "sanitised" believe me they would be better off sinking it save anyone else wasting their hard earned cash! I have done 3 Cruises now but if this had been my first I would definitely never do it again. If you are looking for an informal style Cruise (like we were as we don`t like the `formal` dining) book Ocean Village not Island Escape! Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
I have been on a few cruises before mainly with Royal Carribbean. I didn't expect their standards but certainly didn't expect that non standards received on the Island Escape. If you have ever been on a cruise before or are ... Read More
I have been on a few cruises before mainly with Royal Carribbean. I didn't expect their standards but certainly didn't expect that non standards received on the Island Escape. If you have ever been on a cruise before or are thinking about one, DO NOT lower yourself to go on this "so called cruise ship"! When we arrived, we thought fair enough, it is smaller and to be more informal. Boy, we weren't let down. On entering our cabin, we tried to unpack to find there were no drawers to even put some of your clothes away or anywhere to put your suitcase. Passing space between the cabin is for one only! Don't try to walk by each other as it ain't going to happen. The cabins are now very dated meaning they are generally old, dirty and rusty. If you are lucky, you even get a smelly cabin. We were really lucky to get a cabin next to the fan room with the sound of generators 24/7. You can't ask for an exchange as the signs saying no exchanges available are up as you enter the ship. Don't drop your soap in the shower as there is no room to bend and pick it up. On quite a few days, we had a constant smell of sewerage along the corridors on our deck and there is the permanent same smell throughtout certain areas on the ship. We took a nosey around the rest of the ship to check it all out and were not left feeling much better. The pool(if you can call it that) is an absolute disgrace. It is very small and looks like something for the 50's. The beachcomber which is the buffet restaurant is beyond repair. It is like a run down back street cafe with no way back. The food wasn't much better. It is very poor quality and is like something out of Oliver Twist. You have to point and ask the staff for what you want, asking for more if required. Don't ask for a drink(and I don't mean alcohol) before 10am as you won't get. You can only have the tea/coffee or diluted juice. Yes, no fresh orange for breakfast. You then have to go and queue for a tea/coffee. This is no more than a soup kitchen. You are given your coffee/tea in a polystyrene cup!!! I certainly didn't expect china but after paying nearly £1500 for two, I didn't expect plastic! Even in the busier times, they only have one drinks terminal open and you are left to queue. God help you if you want milk in your cereal as guess what. It is the same queue! The Island restaurant is slightly better but still with the same problems, apart from you get a real cup. That is if you are left one. You can be lucky and get the person before's food stains on the table cloth. It is organised chaos. By the time, they come back with cutlery and cups the breakfast, dinner is cold. None of the restaurants are actually self service buffet as advertised as the staff dish out of food on request. We were actually all inclusive but they don't tell you that drinks are limited. You are told what drinks mainly house spirits and one choice of beer, lager and wine. If you don't like stella, boddingtons or chardonnay, tough! You can get the odd cocktail mind you. (one good note) They also don't tell you, you have to pay for your safe, sauna. Most of ports we stopped are were ok but there were a few where you had to pay for the shuttle buses or get a taxi as they advise you not to walk though the dock area. Charming. I could go on but I think most people will get the picture. Do not book this cruise ship. The only thing you could do with this ship is sink it. The boat is beyond repair, we even heard a member of staff training new staff and pointing out he was to emphasis on the boat was due to get quite a few million pound spend in the near future. Save your money! Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We have done many cruises with Thomsons over the last few years but not like this one! Can hardly believe why Thomsons have put their name to it.The cabin we were in had a damp smell.We had to keep the light on in the bathroom which kept ... Read More
We have done many cruises with Thomsons over the last few years but not like this one! Can hardly believe why Thomsons have put their name to it.The cabin we were in had a damp smell.We had to keep the light on in the bathroom which kept the fan going to help eradicate the nasty stench from the toilet! We went to the Beachcomber Restaurant had to queue up for food and even a cup of tea or coffee. We got told the reasons for this being due to the virus going around the ship (norovirus).We went to sit on what we could only call a garden bench! not at all clean and the seat cushion was torn so we moved down further and sat at a round table with chrome and wicker basket effect chairs.It was much improved! The table just had masking tape all around the edge holding it together! If this had been any of our garden furniture at home we would have thrown it out. The Island Restaurant was good but it would have been nice if small group tables had been in place. When going with a party of four we had to sit in a large group situation, There was no choice. The Theatre and shows were good.We enjoyed the Casino but the chairs were rather uncomfortable. We have been on this trip 3 times before on other Thomson ships and always had the all inclusive package.Likewise we had it this time but it didnt include or match the other Thomsons packages.We had to pay for some of the drinks that we didn't on the other ships.The only thing worth saving on this ship is the crew they were very friendly, helpful and always had a smile.This is a TIRED OLD SHIP and we feel it has had its day! We would have booked the same trip again next year but certainly not on the Island Escape.Try the other Thomson ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
Traveled on the 8th Jan. 2010 THE GOOD.. Polite dinning staff thats it. THE BAD.. We have been on the Island Escape many years ago, which was not too bad, but said would not go again. As we have never been on a cruise in the Canaries we ... Read More
Traveled on the 8th Jan. 2010 THE GOOD.. Polite dinning staff thats it. THE BAD.. We have been on the Island Escape many years ago, which was not too bad, but said would not go again. As we have never been on a cruise in the Canaries we thought give it a try, even after reading reviews we thought it can't be that bad. WHAT A MISTAKE WE MADE. It was not the same ship we remembered, rust everywhere, maintenance does not exsist, toilets patched up, tiles hanging off, cabin needs complete refurbishment, the whole ship does, there is too much to say about the condition of this ship. Would not recommend this ship to anyone. I have read the other reviews and they are truthful. There was a lot of people sick not by the rolling of the ship, it was NORO again, they like to say it was bought on board by passengers they do no want to think its the ship, I had checked with a person who works on this ship, and this is not new. there was sickness before our cruise. They do not clean very well, there are places which have never seen a cloth, and I never saw a supervisor go round with a white cloth to check, like other ships do. No wonder this sickness is always happening, I would like to have taken over the hygiene of this ship. By the time I had finished half the crew would want to leave working under me, there is no disipline. WOULD NEVER SAIL ON THIS ONE AGAIN. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
this was the second time for me on the Island Escape , on a cruise round the canary islands, madeira and morocco. The fab memories are : good food and entertainment. hard working and always pleasant staff. Ship was kept immaculate " ... Read More
this was the second time for me on the Island Escape , on a cruise round the canary islands, madeira and morocco. The fab memories are : good food and entertainment. hard working and always pleasant staff. Ship was kept immaculate " sanatise,sanatise !". Due to the cleanliness rules, service was slowed in the dining areas but overall not a major problem. cabin service was fab and our cabin housekeeper did a first class job. the not so fab memories were the weather which was mixed and a stormy night at sea was a wee bit scary.However it is winter time in the canaries too, but last two days were nice and sunny. Morroco was an experience that I wouldnt seek to repeat but would gladly go back to Madeira and Lanzarote which I enjoyed visiting. The unpleasant memories were two categories of fellow passengers : The "cruise experts" who have "sailed the world " but wouldnt know the difference between port side and port and lemon. These characters can ruin a perfectly good dining experience by their banal and boring chatter about their comparisons with other cuises they had been on. Big Yawns. !! ( Please cruise first timers do not, repeat, do not encourage this display of self importance as it only perpetuates the problem. There are however genuine folk who will give hints and tips about cruising.) The second type of passenger is a pure embarrassment in their selfish and childish behaviors towards staff on the ship, again particularly in the dining rooms . People aged 60 plus having the temper tantrams of two year olds is cringeworthy to watch. A message to both categories of passengers 1) you are not the centre of the universe and 2) you are certainly not the centre of my universe so have some respect towards your fellow passengers and full respect to the staff who serve you and have to keep smiling in the face of uncalled for verbal abuse. The Island Escape is a budget cruise which gives very good value for money and you get what you pay for ! Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
Sailed on the ISLAND ESCAPE last week it was poss the worst holiday i have ever had,if you are booked on this ship in the coming weeks while you are eating your corn flakes or egg and bacon on deck 10 have a good look at the chairs you are ... Read More
Sailed on the ISLAND ESCAPE last week it was poss the worst holiday i have ever had,if you are booked on this ship in the coming weeks while you are eating your corn flakes or egg and bacon on deck 10 have a good look at the chairs you are sitting on,and wonder how long the in ground dirt has been on them,have a look around the bottom of the large windows and ask yourself the same question,have a look at the ceiling panels all a long the corridors, the buckets catching water from leaking pipes, the large fans paced along corridors trying to remove the stale smells, I my self became ill on the day 3 which kept me in my cabin for 2 days and 2 nights,my wife then came down with it for 2 days, my brother and his wife where next,we then found out that a lot more passengers where ill, on the SAT every one had to leave the ship so that it could be fumigated,they even laid on free coaches to make sure every one went a shore. I am not some one who would normally write a holiday review but for any one booked on this ship you need to no what you are going to get,as some who works in the cruises industry, if this ship sailed from a uk port it would be stopped by the PORT HEALTH Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
The cruise was 'held together' by some outstanding attention, by Staff, to passenger needs. That said, the ship is, to use a phrase, 'out of its depth' in attempting to successfully cater for cruise passengers, be they ... Read More
The cruise was 'held together' by some outstanding attention, by Staff, to passenger needs. That said, the ship is, to use a phrase, 'out of its depth' in attempting to successfully cater for cruise passengers, be they seasoned or first timers. My wife and I were allocated an outside 'deluxe' cabin on Deck 9. Generally, it was a good space let down by a vital ingredient - bathroom facilities!! The floor of broken and badly laid tiles on one occasion 'attacked' my bare feet!! Basin and toilet were not of a high 'material' standard.....poor grade plastic and tired metal fittings. To endorse another review, expecting a very smooth night time sailing experience. Instead, the ship was poorly stabilised - reflecting its age and adaptation from a Ferry and the plastic cabin fittings creaked noisily throughout the night. We were not told by Thompson that, although we had upgraded to a superior cabin, we would experience much noise being immediately under the sun deck surrounding the Pool. Multiple dancing feet meant no sleep before midnight and we were woken to early morning darkness interrupted by the dragging and repositioning of sun beds! In support of the Staff, the food was excellent, of a high standard and very well presented. Other informal refreshment areas were adequate but required space to be set up effectively. Not a happy first cruise. We shall not use 'Island Escape' again nor recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
I had read the reviews for Island Escape & thought they were probably just a few people having a moan for no reason, WRONG, I know its a budget cruise ship but my moan is about the food never being hot, half pint glasses not being half ... Read More
I had read the reviews for Island Escape & thought they were probably just a few people having a moan for no reason, WRONG, I know its a budget cruise ship but my moan is about the food never being hot, half pint glasses not being half a pint, excursions not correctly advertised, grossly overpriced & the company saying they don't get any commission. To explain the above, the food was always just warm and the vegetables tasteless. I found that I could fit my half pint glass inside my brothers half pint glass & when I showed the waiter he just laughed. I am sure weights & measures would be interested in this. Finally,we paid £36.00 each to go to "Paradise Valley" in Agadir, Morocco which consisted of a 30 mile ride in a minibus followed by a walk down a track through a few derelict huts which turned out to be village dwellings, through a field and back onto the road constantly followed by children begging and a "breakfast" which consisted of a glass of mint tea, a piece of what was similar to nan bread and a few saucers of different dishes ie honey, peanut butter and a couple of other things. Then we were given a small bottle of mineral water,a bag with 6 dates,& a handful of almonds in & returned to the ship. The ships talk for this trip was so misleading I feel that we have been taken for complete mugs. The crew as always were always cheerful and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
Contrary to other reviews regarding this ship; my husband and I travelled on board from the 15th -22nd January 2010. We we arrived we were advised that there had been a problem on board with regards to a virus. All steps were taken by the ... Read More
Contrary to other reviews regarding this ship; my husband and I travelled on board from the 15th -22nd January 2010. We we arrived we were advised that there had been a problem on board with regards to a virus. All steps were taken by the crew to avoid this virus spreading among the passengers. The crew were amazing and did everything they could look after the passengers. Yes! the cabin was very basic, however we only had to sleep in it and fortunately not have to spend day after day in it due to the virus. The food was very adequate and there was a good choice. It was served by the waiters which I considered to be a good thing in respect of the problem on board. The al la-carte restuarant was really nice and the food was excellent. The waiters were brilliant!!!! The entertainment was really good and the entertainments team did everything they could to make sure that everyone had a good time. The ships captain was a really nice genuine man and enjoyed the pool deck party with all the passengers. I can honestly say that although the ship is old and in need of refurbishment, that it has a lovely character and along with the good weather that we experienced for the time of the year we had a really good relaxing holiday. There will always be people out there who will continue to moan and groan but if they want a posh expensive ship then they will have to pay posh expensive money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We were on the Island Escape for two weeks, sailing on the 1st January 2010. The first week was enjoyable, OK the ship has seen better days, the cabins certainly need a refurb but the public rooms weren't so bad. There was staff ... Read More
We were on the Island Escape for two weeks, sailing on the 1st January 2010. The first week was enjoyable, OK the ship has seen better days, the cabins certainly need a refurb but the public rooms weren't so bad. There was staff around all day cleaning surfaces and polishing, painting and varnishing so maintenance was in hand. The Beachcomber functioned well, tables were cleared relatively quickly and queues were quick to clear. The food was well presented and plentiful, and of a good standard. The staff were a happy bunch, particularly Jammy and Irene in the Beachcomber, and Lawry our talented towel folding steward who looked after our cabin perfectly. There was a good choice of entertainment ranging from the Elvis tribute act to the wonderful Steve Simone, who told the story of Motown with songs. The entertainment team produced vibrant, colourful shows proving they have some talented singers and dancers. Although on some nights I thought the content wasn't really for children but that's just my personal opinion. The two classical singers from the team were excellent, they could go far. The Captain was no stranger to his passengers either, always to be seen walking about the ship chatting with everyone, though during the second week he was strangely missing, I wonder why ?!?! The ports of call were good, we like to explore independently so it was disappointing to find out that doing this was not advisable in Agidir. Consequently we found out too late but we had a second bite of the cherry, and the following week we booked a coach trip to the walled city of Taroudant. It was little pricey but it would have been a shame to miss this country, seeing I doubt very much we will ever return! Whilst in the company of our guide we were completely safe from the locals but as soon as we were told we had thirty minutes to explore on our own they all swooped on us. Beware of being separated from the group, you will probably be safe enough with the local but he will expect money for his "tour". All the locals want from you is your money, so if you are of a nervous disposition, then don't even think about visiting! Arricife in Lanzarote was the other port where to get to the resort you were advised to use their shuttle bus, tickets were £4 and purchased on board. Eventually, visitors will be able to walk into resort as they appear to be building a road/pathway but it could be a while before it's finished. Other ports of call were very pretty, especially visiting them just after Christmas, their street and church decorations were lovely to see. The night sailing from Funchal, in particular was beautiful, all the lights made such a pretty spectacle. On the middle Friday, the changeover day, we were able to go into Santa Cruz and explore before returning to the ship for a quiet relax with use of all the facilities. As the people left for their flights the ship became quieter, it was very pleasant. Eventually, the new cruisers started to arrive, we heard later that two flights were delayed so our sailing at 11pm was delayed until around about 3am. This meant that the passage to Gran Canaria had to be made more quickly than planned to ensure our morning arrival. This made the voyage a little rougher than the previous week, which was a shame for the new cruisers, as it made a lot of people poorly. Our cabin was amidships on deck 6, so we were lucky that we hardly felt the movement that others have complained about. The one thing I did notice on that Friday was a large number of new cruisers (especially men) pretending to sanitize their hands on entering the Beachcomber Restaurant. What is wrong with these people? Such procedures are in place for a reason, why do they think they can avoid them? Consequently, after a day or two Norovirus raised its ugly head, and spoilt the cruise for everyone. I might add that during the first week there was no hint of the virus, and everything remained normal until we entered into the second week. Staff and crew clamped down on everything, all tablecloths, drinks menus, material napkins disappeared. The self service facility was stopped so that even pats of butter, pots of jam and yoghurts had to be handed over by staff. Once tablecloths were removed it rather showed up the poor state of the tables, something we wouldn't have normally seen. On the last day of the cruise we were all taken off the ship, put on coaches and taken to hotels to relax until our flights were due. This was to allow the crew time to fully sanitize the ship before the next lot of holidaymakers. I must admit this whole procedure went like clockwork; it was as if perhaps they weren't strangers to this predicament! The only downside to this way we no longer had the all inclusive drinks package, so we had to shell out for any drinks at the hotel, although we did get a lovely lunch before a spot of sunbathing!! All in all we had an enjoyable cruise, though I doubt we would sail on the Island Escape again, Thomson has far better ships in its fleet. And I'm not that keen on this totally informal cruising, I think certain rules should apply. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
Delayed flight , but otherwise uneventful journey and efficient embarkation onto ship. As expected, ship is not new but is clean and kept in a good working condition. It lacked quiet comfortable places to sit. Unfortunately, some cases of ... Read More
Delayed flight , but otherwise uneventful journey and efficient embarkation onto ship. As expected, ship is not new but is clean and kept in a good working condition. It lacked quiet comfortable places to sit. Unfortunately, some cases of norovirus appeared after 2 days but we did not consider this to be a fault of the ship as all precautions were taken by the crew. (Rigorous hand cleansing not always observed by the passengers) Our cabin was rather small but functional with plenty of storage. We were not happy using a buffet service in the dining room as the seating made it difficult and we ate in the Oasis restaurant every evening. This was superb, with several special offers available during the week. The service was very good throughout the ship and especially in the Oasis. The shows and other entertainment were very good but not always to our taste. (Too loud in some areas) We only participated in one excursion to Fire mountain on Lanzarote and it was excellent. We had taken this cruise before and had visited several of the places offered. On the last day we were taken to a very nice hotel prior to our departure so that the ship could be deep cleaned. This turned out to be a superb end to a very enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
i embarked the ship on 15Th Jan, what a disaster from the moment i embarked it was obvious from passengers that were on the ship that norovirus was present, as the ship that day had been evacuated to be fumigated to eradicate the virus. ... Read More
i embarked the ship on 15Th Jan, what a disaster from the moment i embarked it was obvious from passengers that were on the ship that norovirus was present, as the ship that day had been evacuated to be fumigated to eradicate the virus. however after 2 days of being on the ship it was obvious that the virus was still on board. 2 days confined in a cabin on deck 9 the size of a public toilet cubicle ( do not pay for an upgrade as deck 4 cabins are better fitted out and bigger) with this virus is not my idea of a cruise. the hygiene of the ships crew was poor compared to other Thomson cruises, despite other reviews, these people obviously have not cruised often if they think this was a good experience. food was lukewarm in all eating places at all times of day(which would not be accepted in the UK.)toilets and public areas were not clean and a smell of sewerage was present throughout the ship. staff were OK, however, if you have previously travelled with Thomson you will notice a huge difference in the standard. on the day i left the ship passengers with norovirus were instructed to stay in their cabins while the ship was fumigated!!!!!!!!!!!! how is this eradicating the virus from the ship as this had already happened the previous week. in summary this ship is tired, dirty, and not a good experience, why Thomson cruises would put there name to this ship is anybody"s guess. island escape, informal cruising? more like carry on cruising with a bug. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We went for a weeks cruise in a party of 16 including a 1yr old baby for a winter break on the 1st January 2010. After a long journey caused by snow at the airport etc we finally arrived at the Island Escape around 9pm in the Evening. ... Read More
We went for a weeks cruise in a party of 16 including a 1yr old baby for a winter break on the 1st January 2010. After a long journey caused by snow at the airport etc we finally arrived at the Island Escape around 9pm in the Evening. From the outside the ship seemed reasonably promising,sitting in a harbour with no other ships around it stood out quite clean and impressive. This was probably to do with the constant repainting job that gets done at every port but what you don't realise is quite how small this ship is compared to other 'real' cruise ships. Once going through all the boarding card palava that happens with every cruise we finally arrived at our cabin/hamster cage...Our room was on the 6th floor and was an outside cabin with a window,rather than a wee porthole that other rooms seemed to have. The rooms were tiny by any cruise ship standard. infact my girlfriend commented that the cabin was identical to the one she had used in an overnight ferry to France. This should have come as no surprise when we find out that the boat is acctually a 28year old Ferry that had been converted into a cruise ship some years ago. The room were fairly poor aswell as being small. How anyone ever fits a family of four into the room i will never know. 2 single beds and 2 bunk beds that can be folded against the wall. no room for suitcases and only room for a handful of clothes. The Television in the room was quite easily older than my 24years and that is without exageration. The sink was a rather interesting ....rust colour,terracota if i was being kind. The furnishings were very very very basic and no two carpets in any rooms matched. People have mentioned that the food was good? I would like to know good in comparison to what exactly? The beachcomber was a soup kitchen....nothing more. The Restaurant on the 6th floor served the same food as the beachcomber restaurant but was done in a slightly more stilish way with waited service for drinks etc. The food was not tragic and there was a few gems but a lot of it was very bland with very little flavour or variation. The cold salad buffet and cold meats/cheese were identical every single day and night. There is an a la carte resturant that you would pay extra for. We went on two occassions. The food in here is...decent,nothing more than that though. It is the sort of food you would expect from your average resturant here. Steaks were on the menu aswell but no matter how you asked for it to be cooked it always seemed to come a fairly medium-well,something that bemused me. For 12.95 per person it was ok but don't believe anyone who says it was anything spectacular. The all inclusive package is fairly decent with good quality drinks and a nice choice of cocktails etc to choose from. The staff on board are all very helpful and do there best.Waiters and bartenders are of a fairly good standard and will entertain you with card tricks etc during your meal.The cabin stewards make novel animald from your towels everyday and it is always a nice touch on a boat where not everything is that great. The boat itself is the main problem. The swiming pool is a disgrace - end of, and a lot of the on deck games and equipment are broken or in need of repair. Those are minor cosmetic problems the real problem is with it's handling of the sea. During the 7 days on the ship, on 3 occasions i had to go to bed early due to sea sickness. I have been on cruises before and never had this problem. The captain (a bit cluless) was forever mentioning the 'atlantic swell' that was causing the boat to sway. The truth is that the boat is not capable of handing the open sea. Modern cruise ships would have absolutely no problem negotiating their way through the waves that this ship had to however this ship moved fairly dramatically at times - leading to people falling in stairs and in restaurants etc. The waves from the sea were nothing major when you looked overboard but this ship was not modern enough and did not have enough stabalisers to combat this motion meaning MANY of the ships passangers had to quw for seasickness tablets and go to bed early. The boat left ports very early on many occassions meaning that you only really got a few hours at each port. Hardly ideal. On the cruise news it was forever boasting about greener cruising and how passangers could do their bit to combat fuel use etc on the ship. I found this a bit pathetic coming from a ship that left the port of Lanzarote at 6pm on thursday and circled the canary islands before coming into Tenerife port at 8am the next morning to 'save port fees'. Hardly green crusing that is it.especially when the boat waves and swirls and creaks all night leaving up to 50% of the ships passangers in bed for an early night. Overall the cruise cost around £750 pp for us in a large group, for that money it just wasn't worth it and i came back my holiday feeling worse than i did when i went. As for the excursions, with the exception of the 4x4 trips i would recommend that you did the trips yourself and save a fortune. Especially the trips in Medira and Morocco - both of which were easily accessable on your own to cover the same trip and more for at least half the price. All other comments on other reviews were accurate regarding toilets breaking down etc so no need to comment any further. There are far better cruises out there and this was most deffinately a ship that needed to be retired as it is probably one of the single most uncomfertable boats in existence. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
Your holiday is what you make of it !! and lets face it "you get what you pay for "......... a £600 cruise cannot be compared to a £2500.00 one. Yes, the Island Escape is getting a bit tatty,but come on, to refurbish it totally ... Read More
Your holiday is what you make of it !! and lets face it "you get what you pay for "......... a £600 cruise cannot be compared to a £2500.00 one. Yes, the Island Escape is getting a bit tatty,but come on, to refurbish it totally (some areas obviously have been recently) would not be cost effective on such an old ship , then your cruise would cost more .I expect Thomson will take it out of service soon?. And yes the dreaded virus was on board, but by then half a million people in GB had it , so no surprise really. having been on ships that have tried to "hush up" this type of situation I thought it was dealt with satisfactorily, and the decision to take all passengers off the ship for 3 hrs whilst disinfecting it was the ideal solution.....what else could they have done ? The cabins were cleaned twice a day , the public areas were constantly being washed down and hand rails etc polished Any way, we had a fun time, making the best of the situation , I am not easily pleased and do have relatively high standards , in my opinion the food was adequate , varied and I never ate anything that wasn't hot enough.The staff were more than obliging with us , remember "behaviour breeds behaviour"... be polite and pleasant and that's what you will get back .I overheard some very rude conversations from passengers towards staff, as well as constant complaints from some passengers.....one guy went on and on all week about there being no ice cream in the restaurant !!...some people spoil their holiday for themselves and some are simply professional moaners !! we had an 16 month old baby in our party, so were constantly asking for bottles to be sterilised and different food etc,,, nothing was too much trouble for the staff. The bars, disco, party and entertainment were good, again its what you make of it , join in and have fun ...there was a nice, informal relaxing atmosphere which is what we expected. the ports of call were varied, Canaries all nice and the weather was lovely and warm , we spent 3 days on the beaches ....... however after visiting Morocco , I have convinced myself I do not want to go outside of Europe again !! but that's only my personal preference . so overall I would say if you want to go on a cruise, but have a limited budget then this ship is fine. if however you are looking for top quality , 4 star accommodation and food , then you will have to spend much , much more money ...and of course mix with "the types" who go on these cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
After one night and one port of call my husband was taken ill with gastrointestinal illness onboard with symptons consistent with Norovirus. Medical staff kept promising to come but we had to keep chasing them. We were both confined to our ... Read More
After one night and one port of call my husband was taken ill with gastrointestinal illness onboard with symptons consistent with Norovirus. Medical staff kept promising to come but we had to keep chasing them. We were both confined to our cabins for two days. Missing two ports of call. The food that was sent down for me was terrible (there was nothing wrong with me) When finially given the all clear my husband still felt unwell so spent another evening in bed missing his meal and the entertainment. After talking to other passengers there were loads of people who went down with this virus. Things were changed in the restaurants, the crew served up the food even poured the tea and coffee. The ice bucket was taken out of the cabins and plastic cups replaced glasses. On arriving at back at Tenerife everyone on board the ship at to get off from 10 am until 3 pm so they could sanitise the ship. Some people who had late flights were taken to an hotel and others who were staying on the ship had a free excursion. This was our first experience of a cruise we were really looking forward to it but needless to say we probably will never go on one again. We are looking for compensation now from Thomsons. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
Island Escape Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.2
Dining 3.0 3.8
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 3.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.4
Family 3.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.5

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