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303 Island Escape Cruise Reviews

Really enjoyed my time on board the island escape. Have cruised 3 times before but only with Thomson, on the destiny, majesty and the dream. The flight from Manchester to Palma went smoothly and we were soon sat on the coach heading ... Read More
Really enjoyed my time on board the island escape. Have cruised 3 times before but only with Thomson, on the destiny, majesty and the dream. The flight from Manchester to Palma went smoothly and we were soon sat on the coach heading to the port. Boarding took longer than I remembered. Made our way to our cabin, an outside on deck 4. It was better than I expected, not as nice as the dream but similar to the destiny and majesty. We had 2 port hole windows which were clear. The cabin had 2 wardrobes, a dressing table with 5 drawers, a chair, a bedside table and another small table. There was an old fashioned tv with crackly reception and a hairdryer beside the dressing table which had good lighting. The bathroom was small, well lit with the usual tiny shower. Small shelves were behind a glass cupboard and we had plenty of room for our bits and pieces. Towels were white and soft. The cabin was kept immaculate throughout our stay and we had a towel decoration and a chocolate one night. The ship had plenty of bars including 2 outside on deck. I enjoyed the look out bar at the top of the ship whilst my husband liked the champions sports bar and casino. The show lounges were of reasonable size and comfortable. There was a coffee bar serving delicious lattes with views out to sea. We ate in 3 of the four dining options. The island restaurant and beachcomber seemed to serve the same food but in very different surroundings. One was like a restaurant, the other was canteen style. We paid to eat in the oasis restaurant, about 30 for 2. This was well worth the money and I'm sorry I didn't book to try the second of the 2 menus that they serve. If you fancy a late night snack, whether that be burger and chips, a salad, or a cup of tea and a biscuit, then this is served until 4am. Entertainment was very good. The cruise director leads by example and was a true performer. The show team seemed very popular but just not my thing. I did enjoy the guest artists, a fantastic motown/soul singer, a Dean Martin tribute and the comedian. The resident band and singers were all very good too. Staff, crew and our fellow passengers were all so friendly. Everyone seemed to want to stop and have a little chat. Our first port was ajaccio in Corsica. Lovely and easy to get around. We got on the little train which was good value. Next port was for Rome but we stayed on ship. Went on an excursion at the next port and took in the sights of romantic Florence and busy Pisa. Nice was nice and finally, Barcelona which was walking distance right to las ramblas. Had a lovely time and would recommend this friendly ship to anyone who is after good value for money. It's all inclusive as well. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Spent 7 nights on this ship. Food and service excellent. Cabin had everything needed for time spent in it. Entertainment brilliant. First experience of cruising. Had to use medical facilities which were excellent. Treated promptly and ... Read More
Spent 7 nights on this ship. Food and service excellent. Cabin had everything needed for time spent in it. Entertainment brilliant. First experience of cruising. Had to use medical facilities which were excellent. Treated promptly and professionally. Nothing left to chance. Great selection of trips but a little expensive. Very good entry level cruise and great value for money. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was my first cruise with Thomson and will be my last As soon as we got on the ship we wanted to get off and asked if there was any nearby hotels that we could get transferred to only to be told it would cost us another £1600 to ... Read More
This was my first cruise with Thomson and will be my last As soon as we got on the ship we wanted to get off and asked if there was any nearby hotels that we could get transferred to only to be told it would cost us another £1600 to move!!!!!! The ship Island escape I hear will be scrapped next year.... Should have been scrapped Last year. Our outside cabin was awful, dirty stained carpets,prehistoric shower-(even felt dirty after the shower) beds really small and hard (asked for a double but had two singles) air con didn't work, we had a temp gauge on our alarm clock that read 24 degrees, TV signal was very poor so not worth watching. Food in the Buffet and restaurant was ok but not much choice if you are a plain eater. The shows I couldn't comment because we couldn't see them, there was no stage so all on one level and if you were at the back no chance of seeing what was going on. Security on the ship was unbelievable, in Tangier Africa there was no security getting back on the ship so anyone could have walked on with a weapon ...Shocking!! also no scanning in several ports prior to boarding the ship ,as if the ship security couldn't be bothered. The ONLY good thing I can say about this ship is the Staff and the all inclusive drinks package was a bonus and kept flowing. If you have never been on a cruise ship before then you will be ok on this, if you HAVE cruised before with other cruise lines then I think you will be very disappointed. I have been on 20+ cruises before and this is by far the worst cruise ship (ferry) I have ever been on, I was counting down the days to get off........... I know the ship is old, but dirty stains on carpets, toilet seat, tiles falling off walls is not acceptable. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was the 3rd cruise i've been on, however it was the first Thomson's Cruise. The other companies I have been with are Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises, both of which were more costly than this 'budget ... Read More
This was the 3rd cruise i've been on, however it was the first Thomson's Cruise. The other companies I have been with are Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises, both of which were more costly than this 'budget cruise'. To start off with the flights and embarkation were well organised and staff were very efficient. The ship looks big, however it is a nice size, there's plenty of space, yet you keep bumping into the same people which is nice. There are plenty of things onboard for all ages, including a couple of lounges, a 'pub', casino, swimming pool, spa, gym and of course 2 inclusive 'self-serve' restaurants. There is a wide range of food provided all day, with a different theme for each day, There is a 'posher' restaurant which serves delicious food with waiter service, for this there is an extra £15 cover charge per person, however I feel that this was worth it for the quality of food and the waiter service. The cabins are sufficient in size, I was in a twin cabin, the beds were comfy standard single beds, with a decent sized gap between. There was a desk with extra lighting and a hairdryer in the room. There were 2 wardrobes and one chest of draws, there were coat hangers inside the wardrobes. The entertainment on board was varied, hilarious, and of top quality. All the performances were well rehearsed by the talented show team. The quizzes and other entertainment for example game shows, talent shows, or simply just the staff making a fool of themselves, were thoroughly enjoyed by everyone and were very well run. Credit to all the staff on board. The Captain was very informative throughout the cruise, letting you know the current sea conditions and the ship's progress. He also gave us all advise about each port of call. I cannot comment on any of the shore excursions as I did all the sightseeing independently as I find it much cheaper. However this is a personal choice, and people that I know who did use the shore excursions reported that they were well run and very good. I think that this was a fantastic cruise, with amazing staff on a beautiful ship. It will be a shame to see the MS Island Escape leave the Thomson fleet. I will hopefully be booking again before the end of the ship! I cannot fault this cruise at all. An absolutely amazing experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was my 3rd cruise, having been on another Thomsons boat and on the Grand Princess. The boat may be old and on its way to the scrap heap soon but that didn't stop us from having an excellent cruise. The staff were so friendly and ... Read More
This was my 3rd cruise, having been on another Thomsons boat and on the Grand Princess. The boat may be old and on its way to the scrap heap soon but that didn't stop us from having an excellent cruise. The staff were so friendly and laid back but very proficient at their jobs. The cruise director Ross was so approachable...on my other cruises I got the impression they thought they were above everyone else. The entertainment was as good as you would get on any cruise liner...the singers and dancers were superb, especially Daniella who's operatic voice was amazing. The food was good...self service in both the restaurant and cafeteria but in the restaurant staff were on hand to show you to your table and were always there if you needed anything. Dress was informal but many dressed up in the evening. Now that the ship is all inclusive, my spending was at a minimal. Sorry to hear this ship is being decommissioned but I hope the crew get jobs on the new ship to take over from this one. Cabin was basic but then again didn't spend that much time in it. Brilliant holiday Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Where do i start . i would begin by tellling every one who has booked to cancel 'get there money back.DO not waste it .I have just come home . MY friend and i have had a dreadful time .ROOMS dirty scruffy smelly.Beds looked like i had ... Read More
Where do i start . i would begin by tellling every one who has booked to cancel 'get there money back.DO not waste it .I have just come home . MY friend and i have had a dreadful time .ROOMS dirty scruffy smelly.Beds looked like i had the whole of the welsh rugby team on it at once. great big dip in the middle .Sheets thinner than a tea towel .Carpet stuck to the floor with duck tape .Sinks and shower brown and rusty .DO not believe them about the entertainment ,If i had heard that singer with the pony tail sing NeiLDiamond once more i would have jumped over board .Sams shows repeated all day long every day. The commiedians were rubbisH FOOD roughly the same every night just has another name on it .The staff some very nice .SOME awful .A light fitting fell from the cabin on to my friend s head ,We were then asked where the broken piece was .AGGG It was fitted up broken .PLEASE do not say we did not pay a lot we did 1.200 for one person . The ports were lovely .You do not need to stay in you cabin ,you might say ,you do have to wash ,and sleep .one more thing please take english money with you ,YOU WILL NOT GET YOUR 15 POUNDS BACK FOR THE SAFE KEY.BACK .YOU will not have a kettle in your room you will not .have a milky coffee unless you ask at dinner .You will not have a clean cup they are yellow mugs .THERE IS ALWAYS FOOD UNDER THE TABLES.THICK RIM COLLECTED ON THE TABLES.MY friend deck with balcony .My self deck4 with window i could no see out of .PLEASE DO NOT WASRE YOUR HARD EARNED CASH ON THIS HILIDAY FROM HELL Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was our first time on Island Escape and when we first saw her we thought, what have we let ourselves in for? She is not a pretty ship and she is old! But when we boarded and saw how friendly everyone was we started to feel relaxed. ... Read More
This was our first time on Island Escape and when we first saw her we thought, what have we let ourselves in for? She is not a pretty ship and she is old! But when we boarded and saw how friendly everyone was we started to feel relaxed. When we arrived at our cabin we were surprised at the size, although not large it was plenty big enough and our cabin steward Akash was very friendly and informative, showing us where everything was and telling us to find him if we needed anything at all. We then went on to explore the ship... where-ever we went everyone welcomed us, not only staff and crew but also fellow travelers, some of whom we are still in contact with. We had a drink and some lunch on deck in the glorious sunshine, the choice of buffet was quite extensive... hot and cold choices suitable for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. We attended the sail-away party which was absolutely brilliant, Ross and Tony were fabulous and had everyone singing and dancing. The evening entertainment throughout our cruise was top notch, there was something for all tastes from a Pantomime to Opera. The Restaurants that we tried, we couldn't fault and we heard rave reviews about The Rock, which is something we will book for our next trip. In summery: The ship is old but a lovely old lady. * The Crew, Staff and everyone on board are friendly and welcoming. *The Island Escape is a fun ship for fun people. * Cabins are clean and an ample size for your needs. * Food is ample with a good choice. * Excursions are there if you don't want to 'do your own thing'. * Would we recommend to a friend? without doubt. * Would we book again? As soon as possible. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We had previously been on Island Escape in October 2011, & made a last minute booking to board the ship on 14th, October 2014. If anything, we thought the ship had improved its standard. We were happy with our outside cabin on deck 7. ... Read More
We had previously been on Island Escape in October 2011, & made a last minute booking to board the ship on 14th, October 2014. If anything, we thought the ship had improved its standard. We were happy with our outside cabin on deck 7. Yes, it may have been a bit tired, but it was very clean & of the standard size you would normally expect on a ship, & there was more room in the shower than there normally is on ships. Our cabin steward Sunil, was very efficient & went to the trouble of creating a different design in towel art every day we were on board. The public areas were always very clean & well kept, with members of the crew continually cleaning & polishing. We always ate in the Island Restaurant, where we did not have to wait long before being directed to a table. We found the food to be always hot & very tasty, with a good choice of dishes every day. The service of the waiters could not be faulted, & very often they carried our plates of food back to the table for us. Without being be too obtrusive, they chatted to us about our day & offered us advice about what to see ashore, and made sure they attended to our every need during our meals. The entertainment was excellent every night; we enjoyed the West End Shows, the guest singer, Steve Simone & the guest comedians- the Harper Brothers were extremely funny. The Cruise Director, Ross Roberts & the Assistant Cruise Director Tony Mack were also excellent. They were a great double act & absolutely hilarious. There was a lot of good talent on board, including all of the singers in the various bars. We speak from experience after having travelled on various ships & shipping lines, we think this ship is very good value for money. The crew from highest rank to lowest rank could not have done anything to make our holiday better & we can’t say anything negative about it. We did not find the sea was rough at all; we have had much rougher seas on the Tasman Sea & the North Sea. We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday. Well done Island Escape, you may not be the poshest ship, but you are certainly one of the friendliest ships we have ever sailed on.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This being our 3rd cruise on the Island Escape ship says it all. For the price nothing can beat it. Staff, food, entertainment, all excellent. This time we upgraded to an outside cabin on deck 6 (cabin no.6000 to be exact). The first night ... Read More
This being our 3rd cruise on the Island Escape ship says it all. For the price nothing can beat it. Staff, food, entertainment, all excellent. This time we upgraded to an outside cabin on deck 6 (cabin no.6000 to be exact). The first night (Tuesday) we bedded down at 11:00 pm (bearing in mind we had been awake since 3:00 am with the travel) & were promptly awoken with a continuing banging sound. This sounded like a demolision ball striking the cabin wall. In return this shook the whole cabin walls, floor & ceiling. This went on until 7:00 am the next day. Consequently we had no sleep at all. On reporting this to the staff we were assured that this was only the sea & was quite common in the month of October. We were told it might be a 1 off for our stay of 7 nights. The next evening (Wed) we did have a little noise, but we thought was just about acceptable & did manage to get some sleep. Thursday night was HELL - the wrecking ball was back with force. Did think of sleeping in reception at this point. On reporting another sleepless night to reception & requesting another cabin - were told fully booked & no other cabin available, but will make a report. For the remainder of the cruise we did manage to get some peace ( to a degree) & get some sleep. Has now put us off booking with them again. Unfortunate as we had enjoyed previous times. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Having read a number of negative reviews about the Island Escape, we felt it appropriate to let readers know of the great week that we've just had on their “Escape to the Mediterranean” cruise. We chose this particular cruise ... Read More
Having read a number of negative reviews about the Island Escape, we felt it appropriate to let readers know of the great week that we've just had on their “Escape to the Mediterranean” cruise. We chose this particular cruise because of its itinerary. My wife and I travelled with our adult son who is in his 20s and has a disability which requires him to use a stick to help him walk. We flew to Majorca from Birmingham on the 6am flight, arriving in Palma at around 9.30am. Staff from Thomsons were at the airport to direct us to coaches waiting to take us to the terminal. Processing at the terminal was much smoother and quicker than we've experienced elsewhere and we were able to board the ship and go to our cabin straight away. We had chosen an outside cabin, with my wife losing the toss to sleep on the top bunk. Although on previous cruises with other lines we have had balcony cabins, the cabin we had was roomier than expected and perfectly comfortable and adequate for a week's cruise. After a quick exploration of the ship and its facilities we disembarked and had a lovely day exploring the sights of Palma. We returned for a very thorough safety drill and then had our first dinner in the Beachcomber restaurant which seemed to us to be up there with other self service style restaurants on other cruise ships that we've been on. The choice of the food was very good, and the staff were very pleasant. However, with people up and down all the time, it wasn't a particularly relaxing atmosphere. We then joined the customary leaving party on the pool deck and thoroughly enjoyed listening and dancing to the 'Groove Kats' as we left Palma. Our second day was at sea and gave us a chance to explore the ship in more detail. The Island Escape was a much smaller ship than others we had been on (1500 passengers compared with 3000+) and this made it easier to get around. However, the facilities were very good and we didn't find anything that was missing that we had previously enjoyed on the larger ships. We tried the pool, which although small, was perfectly adequate. We particularly enjoyed the fact that this was an all inclusive ship, the first we had experienced. Not having to think about how much our drinks bill was going to be at the end of the week was a real bonus. Our first port of call was Trapani in Sicily. We hadn't arranged a tour here but decided to explore the town and then, time permitting use the cable car to go up to the medieval town of Erice close by. The first thing we noticed was how easy the disembarkation procedures were compared with the larger ships. The only criticism we had was that the Port Authorities hadn't put on sufficient buses to cater for the initial rush of passengers disembarking the ship who wanted to go into town. As a consequence, we had a wait of about 20 minutes in the hot sun and during which time all queueing procedures seemed to break down! However, this apart we had a lovely day. We used the bus to get us to and from the cable car and thoroughly enjoyed our time exploring Erice. The shuttle bus back to the ship was fine. Having tried the Beachcomber restaurant on the first day we decided to try the Island restaurant on Day 2. This was much more to our taste. Although still a self service style restaurant, waiters showed us to our table, took our drinks orders and were generally extremely kind and helpful to any guests, such as our son, who needed help in carrying their food back to their tables. We then went to the Ocean theatre to see a show. We were again very impressed with the quality of the performance and the overall experience. The quality of the show was certainly amongst the best we have seen when compared with other cruise ships we have been on. The only criticism of the theatre was the relaxed seating layout which meant for popular shows, guests had to stand at the back. Most evenings, including this one, were rounded off with drinks and dancing to the fabulous Groove Kats in the Bounty lounge. The rest of our week pretty much followed this pattern. We had booked the tour for Pompeii and Herculaneum though Island Cruises before we left as this was the focal point of the holiday for me. The tour guide was excellent and we had a most enjoyable time exploring the two sites. The only other organised trip we did was to Rome, where we did 'Rome on your own' as this was one of our favourite European cities which we had visited a few times previously. One point to mention here was that our 'guide' gave us a really full day to explore Rome, leaving just enough time to get back to the ship. We had another wonderful, long day. After Rome, our next port of call was Calvi in Corsica. This was such a beautiful spot where having climbed to the top of the old town and done a little exploring, we spent the rest of the day on the beach enjoying the beautiful sand and sea. A key benefit of being on a ship like the Island Escape is that it is small enough to get where others can't go and this was exemplified as we sailed up to the town quay in Mahon, Menorca, where we enjoyed our final day exploring the island's capital. And finally we returned to Palma where coaches were waiting to take us to the airport and our flight home. Disembarkation again was just as easy as getting on the vessel and we were back home by lunch time after a wonderful week away. In summary, this is a very relaxed ship and although its been around for a while, it's still very comfortable and well appointed. Without exception, we found the staff to be extremely helpful and friendly. Th equality of the entertainment was excellent and we can only assume that the Groove Kats will go on to even bigger and better things. All in all, we had a super week. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Really enjoyed our cruise on the Island escape to Corsica, Florence Monte carlo Toulon and Barcelona. Our Deck 8 cabin located on the promenade/ boat deck was very clean well appointed and maintained with excellent service from our cabin ... Read More
Really enjoyed our cruise on the Island escape to Corsica, Florence Monte carlo Toulon and Barcelona. Our Deck 8 cabin located on the promenade/ boat deck was very clean well appointed and maintained with excellent service from our cabin steward the beds are turned down every night. The all inclusive house drinks and cocktails are of good quality. The food is good, but do not expect at the prices you are paying for the food to be of gormet standard. The whole ship is ultra clean an constantly being maintained and cleaned. Entertainment team are of a very high standard and you will be impressed by the variety of entertainment and activitys on the ship. well done Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Having finally persuaded my wife to go on a cruise we sat down with a Thomson cruise specialist to discover which cruise would be the best for first time cruisers, after 2 hours she convinced us that Island Escape was the ideal choice. We ... Read More
Having finally persuaded my wife to go on a cruise we sat down with a Thomson cruise specialist to discover which cruise would be the best for first time cruisers, after 2 hours she convinced us that Island Escape was the ideal choice. We went all inclusive, upgraded the cabin and paid for an excursion to Rome total of just over £2000 there and then with assurances we would have the time of our lives. Flight to Palma was good on arrival at portside we were amazed to see this FERRY (we were not informed of this and is not in Thomsons brochure to my knowledge).This was to be our base for 7 days? Locating cabin was no problem, small, twin beds, (we asked for a double) bathroom not to clever but usable and carpets throughout the ship were very tired. Restaurants at best were works canteens albeit one had tablecloths and napkins. Oasis a la carte restaurant being the exception (extra payment required) Then the nightmare began, engine noise (washing machine full of rocks) complained and asked for a cabin move nothing available and informed that this was normal and nothing wrong with engines. We complained every day same answer until 01.30am Sunday a cabin higher up was vacant so we moved, found out later a stabeliser was broken and repaired. Thomson deny anything was wrong Our trip to Rome was the saving grace if not as the airport was on route back to FERRY we would have got off and flown home Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Nice boat, no formalities, cannot see why any one cannot enjoy this cruise ship. Have been on the Celebration the quality is slightly is better than on board this ship. The Island Escape, is most enjoyable, there is a difference in price ... Read More
Nice boat, no formalities, cannot see why any one cannot enjoy this cruise ship. Have been on the Celebration the quality is slightly is better than on board this ship. The Island Escape, is most enjoyable, there is a difference in price and the drinks are included on this one. Buffet meals are of good quality, but tried the Restaurant that you pay for, this was well worth the extra for the quality of the 4 course meal and wine for £35.00 for two. only did this for one night. Visited, Corsica, Florence & Pisa, Villefrance, Toulon, and Barcelona. Used the little "Noddy trains " which are waiting for you at Corsica, Villefrance and Toulon. They are between 6 and 10 euros for a tour of the town. Beware at Toulon, went on the Harbour boat tour round the French Navy Boats and Aircraft carrier. The commentary was only in French. All other little tours where in many languages. Thompson excursion to Florence & Pisa was good but appeared slightly expensive. At Barcelona we got an "open top Bus" from the Harbour which cost 29 euros each, but you could use it all day on 3 different routes. We stopped at the Cathedral and football stadium for a look round. You can get on and off at any stop you wish on route. Make sure you change from red to blue in city centre or you go back to the port and have to go round again. The only drawback we had on this boat is the "Smoking Areas" These are designated but as you know smokers cannot read,(see warnings on packets) so they encroach into the Non smoking areas, especially above the rear dining area Bar, Its Smoking on the Left non smoking on the Right. but you will find the smokers having a drag in both areas. We were twice on the front Sun Deck where two young lads and girls just lit up,without any respect for the other people. The second time someone reported them to a steward who had to stop them. Hey Ho don't let this put you off. Its a good way to Cruise especially if its your first time. Planning to go with them again. MrThompson can you get this boat to he Carribean?, it would be just the job here!!!!!!!!!! with All Inclusive with drinks. Cabins Good, entertainment Good, Bars excellent Food Good, Staff Very good. You will love it   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was our second time on the Island Escape this year (last time in June). Once again, I cannot fault anything about this ship and the staff. We had a cabin on deck 5 with Willy as our wonderful cabin steward. Towel art was awsome. ... Read More
This was our second time on the Island Escape this year (last time in June). Once again, I cannot fault anything about this ship and the staff. We had a cabin on deck 5 with Willy as our wonderful cabin steward. Towel art was awsome. Embarcation was simple and quick. Went straight to the Deck 10 for a spot to eat and a beer in the Mirage bar. We were so pleased to see Dewayne, a fabulous barman, he even remembered our names from last time. We'd also like to thank Janju (I think that was his name, used to come around with Buy one get one free offers). Also like to thank Gary (who also remembered us) and Florrie in the Sailaway Bar who were always so helpful. The shows were brilliant and, with Ross Roberts, it was full on enterntainment day and night - he is a fantastic cruise director who can turn his hand to anything (those who say he is too camp should get a life!). Food in all the restaurants was of a good quality, plenty of choice and hot. All I can say is I would happily return to this ship again, even though she is dated, the crew and staff more than make up for the lack of "sparkling" decor you find on larger liners. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Getting on the ship was speedy enough and we did queue for some unexplained reason, that happened coming off as well. Of the whole cruise it was the rooms that put us off this cruise as they are so small and extremely dated, but kept very ... Read More
Getting on the ship was speedy enough and we did queue for some unexplained reason, that happened coming off as well. Of the whole cruise it was the rooms that put us off this cruise as they are so small and extremely dated, but kept very clean. The ship was kept very clean throughout. Service at the bars was very good as even with a sizable queue you didn't need to wait long. As with the rooms there are parts of the ship that require immediate attention as it is easy to tell that the it requires upgrading or probably replaced. We had a picture window in our cabin and to be honest it was not worth the extra because you could barely see out of it as it was dirty and had rusty water marks all over it. I have produced a video for this ship and the link to this is http://youtu.be/wXz1Z72dy7I which will give a tour of the main areas. Just copy and past the link to your browser. The food in the restaurants is good, sometimes only warm at times and can be a little bit limited but I would say what we had was all very good. The food is buffet style in all restaurants unless you pay extra which we did and it was well worth it to enjoy the table service and the excellent choices on the menu. The entertainment I found to be better than expected. I have travelled a couple of times before on 5 star cruises and found the theatre entertainment on board the Island Escape better by far. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We have just returned from a seven night cruise on the Island Escape starting from Palma and visiting Ajaccio, Livorno, Villefrance, Toulon and Barcelona. This was our first time on the Island Escape and indeed was our first cruise. So ... Read More
We have just returned from a seven night cruise on the Island Escape starting from Palma and visiting Ajaccio, Livorno, Villefrance, Toulon and Barcelona. This was our first time on the Island Escape and indeed was our first cruise. So what is there to say about the ship and the experience. Well it's a tale of many parts, some good some not so good. The ship itself is an ageing refurbished car ferry. Although clean and functional it has reached the point of no return really. There are numerous areas where the accommodation is worn and damaged. So it most definitely is not plush. In a way we didn't mind that so much. But we did object to the fact that the main cafeteria called the Beachcomber was too cold. We saw quite a few older passengers huddled against the cold that was caused we were told by the fact that the air-conditioning could not be controlled to particular zones. The next part of our tale which was the very friendly staff. They were kind and helpful. The service in the dining rooms and bars was excellent. If you put a plate down or finished your drink the plate or glass was gone and staff offered to get you something else. Another part of the tale was the catering. There was a constant supply of freshly cooked food all day. I really do mean all day. The range of meals can best be described as basic English fayre. But it suited us and we had no concerns about that at all. I am very fond of custard and crumble and was pleased to see it served every day, The dining rooms were spotlessly clean. Yet another part of the tale was the entertainment. This was very popular each night with the theatre being full for a range of shows such as games, comedies, musicals and reviews. To be honest and not to be unkind the shows reminded me of well meaning and earnest sixth form presentations - they lacked any real merit or content but the staff tried hard. We only managed to ensure about 10 minutes before the experience was too unbearable. The captain tried his best to shake hands with passengers and to grin his way through painful photographs with passengers ... It must be hard to remain enthusiastic each week. I felt a bit sorry for him having to do the rounds and to profess an interest in people's life-stories .. I think that on board prices were expensive and there was a feeling of Thomson always wanting you to spend money on something or other. The wife said that the hairdressing prices were well above high street rates. To be frank they must have been high for her to notice. We thought that the excursions were unreasonably expensive. Our advice is to avoid them and make your own arrangements. So overall would we travel on the Island Escape again. Well the answer is yes ... if ... if the main package prices were competitive and if the destinations suited us .. So, we can sort of give the Island Escape our endorsement .. it's worth a try but don't expect a plush cruise ship ... which is okay for us ... Hemster Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We were having our Bathroom renovated and needed to get away for a week at short notice. We didn’t want to spen a fortune as we have already had our main holiday this year. After some searching and discussion we decided on a ... Read More
We were having our Bathroom renovated and needed to get away for a week at short notice. We didn’t want to spen a fortune as we have already had our main holiday this year. After some searching and discussion we decided on a Mediterranean Cruise. For just over £700 per person we had the choice of Island Cruises, a TUI Company or NCL. Both were going to similar destinations so we chose the Island Cruises option as although neither of us drink a lot they were “all inclusive” which would mean no extra costs at the end. It all started well. The flight from Doncaster was on time and transfers from the airport to the port in Palma smooth and efficient. It was only after we got on-board that things started to deteriorate rapidly. The corridors were narrow and low ceilinged giving a claustrophobic feel and the wall panels were streaked with water stains. The cabin was no better. Cabin 9500 facing forward. We expected small, but this made our cabin on the Norwegian Coastal Ferry (Hurtigruten) earlier in the year look like a Palace. There were two single beds, even though we had requested they be made into a double, a request we rescinded once we saw how narrow they were as trying to sleep side by side in two such narrow beds would have been impossible. This turned out to be a good idea as not only were they tiny they were also hard as a board. The cabin also had an air-conditioning vent which we were informed by the Steward could not be turned off consequently we were either too hot or too cold with a strong draught. In fairness the cabin steward was very helpful and did his best to keep the cabin clean which is quite difficult when there is blackened grout in the bathroom and a failed and misty double glazing unit. We then decided to have a drink. I usually drink Bacardi Silver, so not a Premium drink at all. However the house white Run was Kamal (Google it if you dare) it was a slight upgrade to lighter fuel. My partners Vodka was the same so we decided to upgrade to the Premium drinks package. Who knew that Bacardi Silver and Smirnoff Red are “Premium” drinks? Having paid to upgrade our drinks package we then were told, two days later, that they had run out of Skyy Vodka, day 3 on a 7 day cruise and they run out! Onto the food! Normal dining is in two restaurants, both buffet and both average at best. If you want a decent meal then you need to go to the Oasis Restaurant where the food is excellent. Oh did I mention that costs extra! This was when we discovered that Island Cruises all inclusive is all inclusive in name only! Want a decent drink?.........Certainly, only £12.95 per day per person extra. Want a decent meal?............only £14.95 per person per meal extra Want a lock for your room safe…………………..That’ll be £15 thank you How about a bottle of water…………..No problem only £1.60 A sandwich in the Coffee bar? ………………….£2 please Charity donation (whether you ask them to or not)……………………..£2 Yes we could have asked for this to be removed but it should never have been added to the bill without permission in the first palce! Don’t get me wrong. There were positives. Most of the staff were great, although the Beverages Manager was pretty unhelpful and non-caring. So to sum up. Would I go cruising again? Yes, definitely. Would I use Thomson or Island Cruises? Never! Island Escape, Island Cruises only ship is over 30 years old. A converted Car Ferry that is poorly maintained with many failed and broken double glazing units. The hull is a patchwork where rust patches are over painted with white paint. The lift panels and the corridor ceiling panels are dented, presumably due to excessive celebrating on the way back from the bars. It seems to cater for those whose only aim is to stand at the bar and get drunk, but if, like us, you want a bit of comfort for your hard earned money then this cruise is not for you.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was our very first cruise holiday and to say my husband was reluctant is an understatement. The only gripe we had on the whole of the cruise was that it took so long to get on board once we got to the port, as soon as we got on board ... Read More
This was our very first cruise holiday and to say my husband was reluctant is an understatement. The only gripe we had on the whole of the cruise was that it took so long to get on board once we got to the port, as soon as we got on board that was all forgotten. The cabin, although tiny, was well equipped and spotlessly clean and very comfortable. Only one spare plug socket however, so you may want to take a small extension lead if you need more. Plenty of drawer and hanging space and a generous amount of hangers. The safe was €15 per week. The air conditioning was on continuously and you could only turn it up or down. We thought it might annoy us at first but we soon got used to it. We were lucky to have a big picture window which was UN-obscured, we knew that our view might have been restricted by life boats as we chose not to pay extra to guarantee against his. We were on deck 5 which was a great location. Lots to do on board if that's what you wanted, or plenty of opportunity to simply chill out on your own. The pool was a little disappointing as it was so small and quite uninviting, and sun beds were hard to find, but to be honest we were on the boat for evenings only so not really a problem. There was only 1 day at sea, the shipped stopped at a different location every day which was the exciting bit. There were lots of excursions organized by Thomson but they were VERY expensive, we went under our own steam and to be fair there was lots of information available to help you do this. EVERY member of staff were amazing, right down to the guys in boiler suits on the lower decks, it was so friendly everywhere you went the ship had an amazing atmosphere that has to be experienced to be believed. There are two restaurants included in the all inclusive deal, one on deck 6 The Island and one on deck 10 The Beachcomber, both server the same buffet food, but the Island was more formal. The food as ALWAYS excellent. Masses of choice, very tasty and beautifully presented. Unfortunately, my husband had need to visit the ship's doctor for an infection in his legs, the service we got here was remarkable, he had to have 5 intravenous anti- biotics with extra tablets and cream. We couldn't have asked for better treatment. (Thank god for insurance - they even dealt with that, I didn't have to do anything). All in all our holiday was 100% and would recommend it to anyone, we will be going again.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I like some other people had read the trip advisor negative reviews about the Island Escape and yes she is a bit tired and needs a bit of refurbishment. However this is more than made up for by the fantastic staff and entertainment they ... Read More
I like some other people had read the trip advisor negative reviews about the Island Escape and yes she is a bit tired and needs a bit of refurbishment. However this is more than made up for by the fantastic staff and entertainment they have in board. The cabins are comfortable and kept spotlessly clean(ours by the lovely Ravi). The waiting staff in the Island Reataurant can't do enough for you. Josico saved us our own table every night. The Entertainments & bar staff work so hard to make your trip a fantastic one and they do that job very well. The entertainment lads and lasses were all amazing. The shows were brilliant West end class in my opinion. The bounty lounge team Ross, Gemma.Josh.Lucas, the brilliantly funny Tony Mack who had us in stitches and the Fab Scott Auchterlonie who had the most amazing singing voice .not a cruse ship voice but a singing stars voice. I loved listening to him. My only gripe was these guys are called "Guest Hosts" yet management have banned them from interacting with Guests in the bar & the lookout!! Wrong thing because they were all great at it and when they did you felt like friends not just passengers. Fantastic job guys all of you. Thomson should be proud of you and do up this ship. There were executive chefs on the ship from a company taking over food on the Thomson ships and had come to the Island Escape to see how to do it well!! What does that tell you? Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I had the read the reviews and was quite concerned as to what the cruise would be like. We had already had a months trip to Australia earlier in the year and just wanted cheap and cheerful break in the sun. Firstly it was reasonably ... Read More
I had the read the reviews and was quite concerned as to what the cruise would be like. We had already had a months trip to Australia earlier in the year and just wanted cheap and cheerful break in the sun. Firstly it was reasonably priced- the cabin ( inside) looked quite austere - with an interesting green bed cover that seem dated, however Nilesh our steward kept the room immaculate and was extremely helpful. Food seemed to get better as the week progressed, although I prefer waiter service rather than "serve your self'. Waiters were very helpful and tried to engage and there was always a number of officers around who really worked hard to ensure things ran smoothly and provide a welcome into the restaurant. The 'all inclusive' drinks package didn't work for us. I am predominant;y a wine drinker and so upgraded. In my opinion it was well worth it as the wine, fizz and cocktails were very good, in addition the upgrade entitled you to speciality coffees in a number of areas. They were excellent. Entertainment was good. The cruise director and his deputy were exceptional. They both were totally committed to ensuring you had a good time. The theatre is not particularly good unless you are sat at the front. The Pool was small and sun beds quite limited, however the ports of call were great. Island Escape is a little dated but immaculate. Cleaning is relentless and standards of hygiene extremely high. unfortunately a lady tripped in the theatre before one of the shows and hurt her self quite badly, immediately a team of staff, medical and cleaning came to offer assistance which was very impressive. Travel and all aspects of transfer were excellent with friendly helpful staff. Overall a very organised and enjoyable trip- great value for money and for those who complained what did you expect for what you paid? Would I go again- yes for a value break it cant be beaten. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was our first ever cruise holiday and it was amazing,we were'nt sure what to expect after reading some mixed review about this ship but we were pleasantly surprised.We stayed in 2 inside cabins on deck 5 which were great,not a ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise holiday and it was amazing,we were'nt sure what to expect after reading some mixed review about this ship but we were pleasantly surprised.We stayed in 2 inside cabins on deck 5 which were great,not a bad size at all,we had 2 single beds and a bed over head for my youngest,there's plenty of storage space and the bathrooms not to bad either,the one i will say is how exceptionally clean our cabins were throughout our stay,they are cleaned everyday with fresh towels and you even get a different towel animal laid out on the bed daily which we loved lol. The food on this ship was lovely always lots of variety in all restaurants,we mostly ate in the Island restaurant where we had a lovely waiter who took care us,the soups were lovely and main meals plenty of variety could maybe do with a few more deserts to choose from though,we also ate snacks/meals in the beachcomber this is open 24 hours a day,we liked it here as you can sit outside and eat your meal with a view to look out on.The staff in all the restaurants are probably the most polite, helpful staff i've come across on holidays abroad. There's plenty to do on this ship in the daytime,there's a pool which is small but not too bad for a dip(they provide towels so you don't need to take them) plenty of sun beds dotted around the ship,there's a football/tennis area,a gym,things to watch in the bounty lounge etc,we watched masterchef with the reps which was very entertaining,theres also plenty of shows /game shows,bands and singers in the evenings to watch. We really loved all the ports we docked at on this cruise,you can get off and have a wonder round by yourself or book one of trips,we only went on one trip which was to pisa and wine tasting which was really good. All in all don't be put of by negative comments made about this ship,we had a brilliant time and were impressed by everything it had to offer,the staff are amazing, every where is clean,the bars/dining were great,if your looking for a different kind of holiday experience than just sitting around a pool then this is for you. We enjoyed it that much,we've already booked the same cruise ship to different ports for next year,and i can't wait.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We have just returned from a 2 weeks cruise on the Island Escape, we only chose this ship because of the destinations, not for the ship! We had lovely waiters in the Island Restaurant we had the same table every evening and found them ... Read More
We have just returned from a 2 weeks cruise on the Island Escape, we only chose this ship because of the destinations, not for the ship! We had lovely waiters in the Island Restaurant we had the same table every evening and found them very friendly and helpful, even giving us lessons on napkin folding. Nothing was too much trouble for them and this was for all the cruise not just when they thought they would be getting a tip at the end of our holiday. Only had problem with one head waiter who should have known better, when i asked for something different to eat that was not on the buffet, he told he to go and ask a waiter! while he continued to stand and chat! Should take lessons from head waiter Julienne who I had asked the first week for something not on buffet and his reply "certainly and went to get it himself!" Entertainment was passable. Show team were very good, especially Daniella, fantastic singer, as were the male and female singers in the Sundowner Lounge. Got very fed up with the Cruise Director telling us every 5 minutes about being camp etc. while he may have a good voice these sorts of comments get on your nerves after you have heard them hundreds of times. The entertainment in the Bounty Lounge was good for the first week but the second week was almost word for word perfect from the first week! They should remember that some people were on for two weeks and do not want to sit through same entertainment for their second week. UK artists were very good especially Jason Lee and Robbie Williams act from the second week (now being promoted by Robbie himself) and a young guitar player. Food could have been warmer but was generally ok, more imagination needed on the deserts though. Excursion team very friendly and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
For years I've wanted to cruise somewhere glamorous & warm, I was persuaded by my partner to sail on the Island Escape. As he had travelled with Thompsons many times on other cruise ships I trusted his judgement so not his fault I ... Read More
For years I've wanted to cruise somewhere glamorous & warm, I was persuaded by my partner to sail on the Island Escape. As he had travelled with Thompsons many times on other cruise ships I trusted his judgement so not his fault I was disappointed. I read the reviews & was slighted put off but I just thought that maybe other cruisers just wanted something to moan about. WRONG..... All Inclusive it said.... WRONG again, its not...If you want premium drinks like Baileys. Bacardi. Heineken Lager or even coffee at some of the bars there's a charge even bottled water has to be paid for but not cash it goes on your boarding card & your billed at the end of the week but check invoice & you'll find there's a £7 charge for admin on your card plus £1 for a charity which is not mentioned at any time. Beachcomber & Island Restaurant serve the same food which is all buffet style and mostly just warm. The difference between the 2 is The Island has table clothes & cutlery, proper wine glasses/crockery. You are served alcohol/soft drinks/tea/coffee at your table but you have to sit with strangers whether you like it or not its very often they'll give you a table for 2 even though they are available. The Beachcomber is like the school/works canteen. Everyone rushing around with hot (supposedly) food scrambling for a table & waiters clearing away before you've hardly finished your food. You can eat in the Oasis Restaurant for £15 for a 3 course meal or eat in the Black Rock & cook your own food on a hot stone which was a joke really as it was just a curtained pulled round a few tables in a corridor & not really a restaurant at all, that too was an extra charge so don't be fooled by the ALL INCLUSIVE offer. Sunbeds were a night mare to get especially on sea days as the towels provided by the ship were placed on sunbeds & left their while folk went off for breakfast. Information leaflets state if sunbeds are left longer than 45 minutes towels will be removed this wasn't adhered to often enough as sunbeds were left for hours with out anyone checking which left many (including us) to find other places out of the sun to sit. The ship is at least 40yrs old & doesn't travel well on rough sea it creaks & groans plus double glazed seal was damage in our cabin on deck 7 so condensation has leaked in. We found the reception staff were sullen & staff in the Mirage Bar rude, maybe that was because we weren't your regular drinkers on a daily basis. The ship was spotless so was our cabin even though dated our housekeeper Francisbelle was just fab. She was always smiling & found time to chat plus telling us places of interest to visit on excursion's.Our beds were turned down & lights on when we arrived back in the evening. When going off ship don't be put off going it alone the ships tours are expensive & sometimes not worth it. I'm not put off cruising but next time I'll try another better ship Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Have just returned from a week on the Island Escape. On the whole had a lovely holiday. On the down side i found the bar staff unfriendly except on the friday when they thought there was tips to be had. The morning staff in the mirage bar ... Read More
Have just returned from a week on the Island Escape. On the whole had a lovely holiday. On the down side i found the bar staff unfriendly except on the friday when they thought there was tips to be had. The morning staff in the mirage bar were rude and it was a extreme inconvience for them to even get u a glass of water. Everytime myself or my husband went up to get a drink they continued to talk to each other in their own ;language. The first morning we went to the main restaurant for breakfast and before we were even seated,we were approached by a waiter offering us a glass of orange juice for a pound that vto me was a rip off. On the first and second day the staff pushing the premium package was really annoying. No mention of that when u are booking. The entertainment was quite good. The 2 young people that sang in the pub every night were great entertainers.On the monday ir rained the whole evening and there was no extra activities laid on, like on the other wet evening. Felt a bit like You were going home the next day so nobody made any effort. But like i said it was cheap and cheerful and as we got it cheap it was enjoyable, though wouldnt like to pay full price. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
l traveled once again on this ship,l have been many times as l have found them helpfull as i am disabled.l boarded in Palma where it is very easy for me as its only a short walk to the ship,The entertainment team will be on hand to smooth ... Read More
l traveled once again on this ship,l have been many times as l have found them helpfull as i am disabled.l boarded in Palma where it is very easy for me as its only a short walk to the ship,The entertainment team will be on hand to smooth any problems l arrived to the ship from a hotel at Santa ponsa.l chose a single inside cabin as its cheaper than any other and afterall you only sleep in it.There was plenty of room for me,however the bed was too low for me and when l return to the ship next l will have to think how to raise the bed a bit.l didnt ask the cabin steward who had been helpful.At home l have special height beds ect to enable me to get up.On the first day there will be lifebelt drill ,if you have registered with reception a member of crew will collect you from you cabin .As l have been before l had no problem moving around the ship,in each lift there is a list of what to find on each deck..When in the Beachcomer Restaurant help was available for me,l also used the other dining areas the Oasis being the best at additional small charge. Each morning a information sheet had been passed under the door detailing activities available Being 65 obviously l only enjoyed the adult activities mostly the Bounty lounge where demos/demonstrations and bingo,tv type game shows.Cafe Brasil was also a nice place to chill out where l was served by Flori who made me very wecome, All the staff were very helpfull ,but l must encourage alll those traveling alown to seek out Philipa who meets almost daily with the solo travelers for a social meeting. Each night ther were west end type shows and specialist UK acts.of a good standard. l chose to book my shore excursions from the ship as they. said the ship would wait if late I went on the Rome coach trip as i hade been before.l also went to Pompeii, and Amalfi coast tour Pompeii turned out to be unsuitable Amalfi was very nice,l also went on a boat trip which was worth it and had easy access.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
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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