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303 Island Escape Cruise Reviews

I had to put pen to paper after reading some of the reviews slating the Island Escape. I am not a person to except rubbish, but I realy dont know what planet some of these people are on, or it moaning for the sake of something to do. My ... Read More
I had to put pen to paper after reading some of the reviews slating the Island Escape. I am not a person to except rubbish, but I realy dont know what planet some of these people are on, or it moaning for the sake of something to do. My wife and I went on a cruise on this ship, we aer not experiened cruisers although have holidayed a great deal. Firstly the reports of cleanthiness, the ship was immaculate in all areas, i served on ships for 25 years sometimes as an inspecting officer, and this ship was to a very good standard, he upper deck condition was also good with only the specks of rust any ship has. The complaints about the food, I realy dont know what people want, it was not repetative. it was hot, nicely presented and well cooked. The salads available were superb, and they even had signs to say that they would cater for any dietary wishes, if someone could not satisfy their hunger in either of the ships resturants, where the staff were brilliant then I am sorry you need to get a life. Entertainment, again what more could you want after a lovely evening meal that see one of the excellent standard shows, they were superb, as was the ships entertainment generally, there was always something for you. Now to quantify what I have said, I met some great people and couples on this trip, a particular reasonably wealthy couple and nice people, and they along with everyone else I met and done cruising said exactly the same thing and that was they have done the P&O, the Cunard and the Holland America etc, but for them the informality of the Island Escape and the value for money and feeling comfortable was why they would far sooner cruise on this ship, although they were wealthy enough not to. Would I go again without doubt, do I think its Butlins at sea, no I dont, do I think its a great value way of seeing places every day, yes I do, champagne tastes and lemonade pockets spring to mind when I read some of these reports Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We gave this a go as we wanted to see a bit of the world without breaking the bank.The Thomson staff were very helpful and we were soon sold on the Glitz N Glamour cruise.We were taken to the ship immediatley after leaving the airport,and ... Read More
We gave this a go as we wanted to see a bit of the world without breaking the bank.The Thomson staff were very helpful and we were soon sold on the Glitz N Glamour cruise.We were taken to the ship immediatley after leaving the airport,and the flight was on time ! Obviously a bit of a wait on embarkation but all done very well.The ship is a bit dated,but don`t let this put you off.The ship is kept spotlessly clean throughout.All the staff and crew are very pleasent and helpful. Shore excursions are very well organised and well worth the money.The guides are superb and very knowledgable .Walking in the Coloseum,wandering through Florence or being driven round the grand prix circuit in Monaco being obvious highlights. On board ship there are three restaurants and six bars,all of which are excellent.Go to the Beachcomber on deck 10 and you can eat outside.Plenty of choice for all tastes,salads,roasts etc.Loads of entertainment to choose from in the evenings,from bingo to comedians and lots lots more.Disembarkation was again very well done with flight home again on time.A very laid back ship,just do your own thing !Remember,cruising isn`t just about the ship,it`s where she takes you.Finally my review wouldn`t be complete without giving a special mention to the ever smiling Nina,our stewerdess who kept our cabin spotlessly clean,and for the towel animals, and to the wonderful Philippa from social,who organised our blessing at sea with Captain Ulset.A special thank you to you both. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
The flight to Palma was excellent with a 2,4,2 plane, big... Transfer excellent, Embarking excellent with cases in our room before us. Room tiny but livable and clean with our man maid KOKO excellent. Shower area toilet good. Window ... Read More
The flight to Palma was excellent with a 2,4,2 plane, big... Transfer excellent, Embarking excellent with cases in our room before us. Room tiny but livable and clean with our man maid KOKO excellent. Shower area toilet good. Window creaked with the slightest rocking and a bit noisy. The ship in general was dated and we believe talk going around the ship it was an old ferry. But that's the English for you, talk about things they are waiting to moan about. Just get on with it, for what you paid you get what you paid. The ship was laid out funny and no steps near the pool area, so you had to walk up then down to get to a point of the bar where you was originally. Waiter service was decent around the pool and buffet bar at the back of the ship, but because of the lack of beds we had to go up top deck and the staff where no where to be seen on top, this resulted in walking miles for a drink, well 500 yards... lazy boy, sorry... We upgraded to the drinks package £10.95 per day but we got our monies worth as they had corona in bottlers and my wife drank proseco and other great drinks. The only thing wrong with this was that we came on a all inclusive ship and had to pay for decent drinks. So really instead of the 1300 we paid, it was a extra £150. Food was OK, breakfasts superb but cold and for the life of me no microwaves to warm up the cold food. The night time food buffet was again OK with food that was yuck but food that was great but again luke warm, microwaves Thompsons??? You could pay extra for a lovely meal at £14.95 each but again it was all inclusive was it not. Entertainment not the best during the day, but at night some decent shows and some naff. All the staff on board though where the friendliest i have witnessed on board a ship, they where excellent. To sum it up you get what you pay for and some may call it Blackpool, Benidorm on a boat but its not that bad. I must say the Costa fortuna in March we went on was superb in every way but i suppose there was a couple of faults on that ship as well, no body can get it just right apart from the Celebrities ships but that will cost you a for tuna....If you want a good Thompsons ship then our best ever was the Thompsons Majesty last year, far better than the island escapes. We will leave the ships alone for a couple of years and we are off to Mexico November, now that is luxury all inclusive at its best........ Bon Voyage peeps.... Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Just returned from a week on the Island Escape cruise by Thomson. To say we were disappointed is an under statement. The only good thing to report was the excursions and the excellent attention from the crew who did everything to make our ... Read More
Just returned from a week on the Island Escape cruise by Thomson. To say we were disappointed is an under statement. The only good thing to report was the excursions and the excellent attention from the crew who did everything to make our stay pleasant. We did upgrade to a deluxe cabin, and whilst we were made aware we would have limited view outside we were not told that we would be subject to live music noise every night from 23.00 until 01.00, and then there would often be noise of people running, jumping and equipment being moved all on the above floor over our cabin. Although the ship was clean it is in desperate need of a refit. The food stands out as being cheap with limited choice, the two restaurants always served the same menu unless you want to pay extra to sit behind some pinned up net curtaining in the main thoroughfare to and from the Beachcomber restaurant. Wifi doesn't work and you still get charged whether you got connection or not (refunded when brought to attention) plus £1 for charity on every transaction which wasn't refunded. Not all drinks are all inclusive, was surprised that bottled water was not in the package. All in all image spoilt of our first cruise and chose Thomson because we have trusted them in the past. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We have cruised previously with other companies and have to say that Thomson have totally misdescribed this one. There was no Glitz and no Glamour. On boarding we were met with a very dated and very tired interior. Our room had an old ... Read More
We have cruised previously with other companies and have to say that Thomson have totally misdescribed this one. There was no Glitz and no Glamour. On boarding we were met with a very dated and very tired interior. Our room had an old orange sink which was badly chipped and there were large cracks in the grubby shower cubicle screen and the toilet seat was badly scratched and marked as were most of the toilet seats in the various deck toilets. We had no doors on our wardrobes only curtains. Ladies you need to take a hair dryer as there isn't one in your room. The television in our room must have been about 15 -20 years old. You could not get a seat in any of the bars on an evening and the entertainment was abismal, particularly the shows which were by the staff in the Theatre - like the cruise - dated. One of our trips was cancelled the night before we were meant to go on it and we were not even asked if we wanted to go on an alternative. The majority of the reception staff were dour faced and not welcoming at all. Some of the tables in the Beachcomber buffet restaurant were grubby and had silicone around the inside edges. We could not fault the food nor Chandran who cleaned our cabin. Also it is worth noting this is a converted Ferry so if you are prone to seasickness, avoid this ship as it was not built for cruising in stormy seas. A colleague had the same cruise booked for October and she has cancelled in light of our experience. If this was a hotel I would give it 2 stars. Not a cruise I would ever have associated with Thomsons. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This is a difficult cruise to write about as we are Thomson regulars and don’t wish to appear negative. We have just returned from a cruise on the Island Escape, a jolly from Majorca around the Med calling at Rome, Pisa, and Cannes etc. ... Read More
This is a difficult cruise to write about as we are Thomson regulars and don’t wish to appear negative. We have just returned from a cruise on the Island Escape, a jolly from Majorca around the Med calling at Rome, Pisa, and Cannes etc. It is an all-inclusive, informal cruise with no dress code, and comes under the heading of ‘Cheap and Cheerful’. The ship is another car ferry conversion, and apart from the cabins, they did a good job. Minus Points A) The cabins are small, but to be fair, Thomson do tell you the cabin size when booking, however, the cabins are in dire need of an upgrade. We had an outside cabin on Deck 7. The bathroom sink was stained, the taps were antique vintage and the mirror was awful. Lots of chipped paint in the cabin and a TV which almost pre dates Logie Baird. Oh, and the beds are amazingly narrow. B) The food . . . in the main restaurants it’s all self-service. Fine dining, it aint, the quality is more like an office canteen. C) Although an Informal cruise, most of the ladies got ‘glammed up’ of an evening, however a number of men were still unshaved slobs and let the girls down. Plus Points A) It’s an all-inclusive cruise, and as such I half expected to see drunken bodies all over the place. But NO, I didn’t even see one drunk, everyone was very responsible. The bar service was good and nothing was too much trouble. B) Tips are included, but most people said they tipped their room steward as they did a very good job. C) It was a Thomson cruise. I think its about time that Thomson / TUI raised their game and leased some more modern ships. Thomson Cruises are great, they probably have the most loyal following of any cruise line but insist on a race to the bottom by using old car ferry conversions. Would we cruise on the Island Escape again . . . no chance, I enjoy decent food and a better cabin. Would we cruise with Thomson again . . you bet, in fact we have already booked for next summer and if The Dream is cruising around the Caribbean this winter, we will be there   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
I have just returned from my first cruise. I chose Thomson as it was all inclusive. My first impression of the ship was disappointing. Overall this ship badly needs updating with furniture, fittings and cabin decor. The bar area looked ... Read More
I have just returned from my first cruise. I chose Thomson as it was all inclusive. My first impression of the ship was disappointing. Overall this ship badly needs updating with furniture, fittings and cabin decor. The bar area looked just like a working mens club, it also smelt of stale cigarettes from the days when smoking was allowed. The pool area was badly managed. Despite notices around the poolside stating no jumping or diving the young teenagers on this trip ignored all efforts by myself to stop this and the staff did nothing to adhere to this request. It was stated in the daily info adult swim time from 4-5pm. the staff did nothing to adhere to this and allowed the teenagers etc to carry on using the pool for their antics. Needless to say the parents did nothing to control their children. There was never enough sun beds to cater for all the guests and as the ship was full I was hard pressed to find any seating during the first day at sea. On the positive side the indonesian staff were brilliant and very efficient. The food was plentiful if not a bit samey. I ate in the alacarte restaurant and for an extra £15 it was well worth it, especially to enjoy waiter service. Overall a disppointing introduction to cruising. In future I will save up and cruise on a well respected and upgraded cruise line where I can enjoy 5 star treatment in 5 star surroundings. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Just returned from a superb week on board the Island Escape and went straight back to Thompsons shop and got next years catalogue with the view of booking on another cruise. Our cabin was very comfortable (we were on deck 8 port side near ... Read More
Just returned from a superb week on board the Island Escape and went straight back to Thompsons shop and got next years catalogue with the view of booking on another cruise. Our cabin was very comfortable (we were on deck 8 port side near the front) and was attended by our steward three times a day the ship is in need of a refit as it is showing its age internally and externally now but the maintenance crews do work hard to keep it looking as good as they can. and generally the crew work very hard to keep all areas spotless and clean We did not get any noise issues and were off to sleep as soon as we were in bed! The food was good and was not restricted during the day there were three main meal slots i.e. breakfast (full English, Continental, fruit juices, Cereals) you just take your pick mix and match or even try the lot! Lunch and Dinner is normally on menu but again have what and as much as you like. and there is also an afternoon tea slot where various scones cakes etc are available. I found the inclsive drink package to be enough as the Larger was o.k. the bitter was Boddingtons and wines (including Tio Pepe Sherry and Port) were superb We even tried out the inclusive cocktails and they were also very good. The excursions are quite good however we were disappointed with the Collosium at Rome trip as the Rome guide was ill and a replacement did not arrive until after lunch and then we were rushed around at breakneck pace I had blisters at the end of it! and we seemed to have no time inside to take a good look around as we just went in and straight out without going up any levels etc. then we were marched at top speed again (loosing half of the group for a while) around ancient Rome before returning to the coach only to find it had broken down and we had to wait out in the heat standing up for at least an hour before it was fixed this made us late for the ship at port however as it was an official Thompson excursion they waited for us giving rise to the issue if it was not they may have left us there!!! But enough of that there will always be I suppose some problems and the rest of the holiday was absolutely superb and as soon as I have written this I will be checking the new catalogue out for next year.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Well I have just got back from my first ever cruise and want to go back tomorrow!!! Island Escape was fantastic!!!! Ok, the ship maybe a little dated in places, but what do you expect for the price you pay? Everything on board though was ... Read More
Well I have just got back from my first ever cruise and want to go back tomorrow!!! Island Escape was fantastic!!!! Ok, the ship maybe a little dated in places, but what do you expect for the price you pay? Everything on board though was in great working order, with nothing being in dis-repair. The staff were faultless, with our cabin steward visiting 3 or 4 times a day to bring clean towels, clean the cabin and turn down our beds etc. The bar and restaurant staff were always friendly and helpful, and the entertainment team were out of this world. Ross, Tony, Lucas, Craig and Gemma were brilliant, and really gave you that personal touch once they got to know you, as did the resident band - the Groove Katz. I have seen other reviews about 'Glitz & Glamour' being inappropriate - but surely this is the description of the ports we visit, as there are a number of different cruise names for different weeks on the ship. The food was fantastic quality, and the cleanliness on board was second to none, with sanitation stations outside all bars, restaurants & toilets. All in all I would like to thank Thomson & Island Escape for a fantastic 2 weeks and we are already looking to book again next year!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
As first time cruisers we booked the Island Escape and then read the reviews which began to worry us (I know we did it the wrong way around but it was booked very quickly), we couldn't have been more wrong, we had a fantastic cruise, ... Read More
As first time cruisers we booked the Island Escape and then read the reviews which began to worry us (I know we did it the wrong way around but it was booked very quickly), we couldn't have been more wrong, we had a fantastic cruise, if we had read the reviews first we may not have booked which would have been a mistake. Yes the ship is old and the cabins are dated but the staff are great and more than make up for it, the ship is cleaned top to bottom constantly, the all inclusive drinks didn't result in loads of drunks over indulging, one review mentioned how weak the drinks were, well if anything we thought they were a bit generous with the alcohol. The entertainment is cheesy but adds to the warm and friendly atmosphere, the food for mass catering is fine, lots of choice and decent quality and varies each evening/lunch/breakfast. Having just returned from a 5 star week in Marrakech we were waiting to be disappointed on this cruise but whilst not 5 star it certainly made up for it with the friendliness of the staff and the overall service which was excellent. We would definitely go with Thomson Cruises again, 'Don't be put off...' its actually quite good! Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
I can’t speak highly enough of the Island Escape. From reading some of the reviews you would have thought this was an old tugboat! In reality it is a floating 3 star hotel. Yes, we all know it is getting on a bit – but so are most of ... Read More
I can’t speak highly enough of the Island Escape. From reading some of the reviews you would have thought this was an old tugboat! In reality it is a floating 3 star hotel. Yes, we all know it is getting on a bit – but so are most of the people who cruise on it, me included! You have to remember what you are paying for here, the all-inclusive package is excellent and will suit 90% of the people. It has San Miguel and a bitter (don’t know which one, but tasted okay) on draft, Excellent Red and White Wine and all local spirits. It even had Slimline Tonic which suited us just fine and a selection of cocktails. If you are sitting at the pool bar all drinks (except wine) are served in plastic glasses but everywhere else is proper glasses. There is no quibble about drinks and you can order as many as you want. The ship is very clean with hand sanatisers throughout. Entertainment is first class and something for everyone. The main show runs twice so everyone gets a chance to see it, but still get there half hour early if you want a good seat. The food is exactly how you image, 2 x buffet restaurant’s one is slightly more formal where you get seated and they bring you drinks and other is a free for all but the food is identical and lots of choice. There are two restaurants you pay a cover charge for and the food is superb, well worth a go. Please be aware if you eat in the Oasis gentleman you will need a pair of trousers (I had to buy a pair) but was well worth it for an extra £15.00 per head (I had lobster, my wife Fillet steak). Because it is a small ship we only had one tender ride (Villafranche) and everywhere else is in walking distance of the towns with good bus and train links. We only took one trip to Nice and Monaco, which was a full day and excellent value. All in all I would give Island Escape 10/10 for what you pay for. The highlight for me was the Sail-away bar where you can have a drink on the upper deck and watch the ship leave port. If you want first class go with another Cruise line, if you want a very friendly holiday with lots of fun and drinking – Go Island Escape.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was my first cruise and this review is for solo passengers, this is a budget cruise, so yes the ship is looking a bit tired and in need of a refit, even through you will pay a considerable supplement for your cabin, don,t expect a ... Read More
This was my first cruise and this review is for solo passengers, this is a budget cruise, so yes the ship is looking a bit tired and in need of a refit, even through you will pay a considerable supplement for your cabin, don,t expect a standard cabin, you get a very small single inside cabin that they do not show on the web site. On average they only get approximately 15 solo passengers out of 1500 passengers per cruise, so quite difficult to get a compatible group together. Passengers mainly consist of couples, groups and families, and I found that while they were willing to have a brief chat, they were not interested in arranging to meet for evening events or going on shore excursions together etc: which is understandable from their perspective. The ship and facilities are okay for this type of cruise and are value for money if traveling as a couple or more but not so much as a solo passenger due to the supplement. This small very tired looking inside cabin is not a standard cabin as shown on the Thomson web site, it only has one small single bed along the back wall with another bunk type bed folded on the side wall, it is poorly lit, torn wallpaper, dirty marks, old type tv, only one electric plug, incomplete bathroom taps and in general poor condition, needing a complete refit. The only good thing about it was the Cabin Stewart Kirk who was excellent. The food in the Oasis Restaurant was great, but the food in the Island and Beachcomber Restaurants could be hit and miss, with the salad items always fresh but the cooked items were sometimes just about warm, tasteless and dry. The one high quality aspect of this cruise is the crew, which are excellent and do whatever they can to make your holiday a happy event. When looking at all the other comments regarding this cruise, take 50% from each and its about right. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was only our 2nd time cruising the first being around the Caribbean This was by far better. It is a very basic ship being it is converted from a ferry so could do with a bit of updating but overall kept spotlessly clean and staff bent ... Read More
This was only our 2nd time cruising the first being around the Caribbean This was by far better. It is a very basic ship being it is converted from a ferry so could do with a bit of updating but overall kept spotlessly clean and staff bent over backwards for you. The pool area was very small as the last ship we were on had plenty of sunbeds, slides and Jacuzzis even though that was not a much bigger ship (only held 2,000 passengers) but you can only put this down to the size of the ship there is only so much you can do. Apart from that could not find fault anywhere else All inclusive package a bargain. Staff throughout really good cabin cleaning( William) brilliant, restaurant staff and all round cleaning of public areas etc. The entertainment also really good cruise director Ross and assistant Tony really hands on and good entertainers I personally preferred the shows that were laid on by the entertainment staff rather than the guests and Ross even does his own show Really well done. Would I visit again? Most definitely Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I sailed with my sister & brother-in-law doing the Escape to the Med itinerary. I didn't know quite what to expect, with it being my first cruise, & I was a little nervous. I can honestly say that the whole time from the ... Read More
I sailed with my sister & brother-in-law doing the Escape to the Med itinerary. I didn't know quite what to expect, with it being my first cruise, & I was a little nervous. I can honestly say that the whole time from the moment we embarked until we left the ship was fantastic! The embarkation itself went very smoothly, & we were in our cabins in no time. The food was lovely - plenty of choice & lots of it! The staff were brilliant, nothing was too much trouble for them & they were so friendly and polite I settled in straight away. The drinks are as good as any other place that does A.I. In fact, I think there may have been more choice than some. Cabins are adequate, well you're not in them most of the time are you? Although dated they are comfortable. The entertainment was really good. Some of the shows were fantastic, & Ross does such a great job. What a character! Loved the excursions too, we had some great guides in Pompeii (Barbara made it really interesting & gave us a giggle or two) & in Rome (Norman was very knowledgeable) we saw so much in such a short time! Over all I found it to be so much fun, with so much going on, with friendly staff & happy passengers that I have already booked again for next year! Loved everything! Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I have done 3 other cruises on this ship and this time found it changed, as far as I am concerned not for the best. Don't get me wrong it is still excellent value and if you go on here wanting to have a good time you will. Go on board ... Read More
I have done 3 other cruises on this ship and this time found it changed, as far as I am concerned not for the best. Don't get me wrong it is still excellent value and if you go on here wanting to have a good time you will. Go on board want glitz and glamour and you are wasting you time. Staff excellent, they cant do enough for you but we found that there are not the same amount of staff going around the ship asking if you want any more drink. The last times we were on board every time you turned around someone was there asking you what you wanted, now and probably because it is an AI ship you don't get that. I know this is picky but that was part of what we enjoyed. Food, can't complain. Plenty of choice, even though you get the same choice in both Beachcomber and Island restaurant. You can pay for both Oasis and Black Rock, we didn't try either. Black Rock is just part of Beachcomber with net curtains running from ceiling to floor, so not very private. In fact guests on ship walk past you looking in as they go to Beachcomber. Its a good idea but please change it to a better place, maybe use the internet room as I didn't see anyone use it the week I was on board. Entertainment, lots of laughs. The cruise director and the rest of the staff work very hard to ensure you have a good time. There are never enough sun beds on ships and people do complain about this. Don't suppose there is anything that can be done about this. The Sailaway bar was a disappointment for us, we have always used this on an evening to sit and have a drink in the dark, always lovely, but now it is where the smokers go. I know they have to have somewhere, but why all of this part of the ship? Cabin clean and kept that way by fantastic staff. It was as thought they hide and wait for you to leave so they can go in and make sure that the cabin is tidy - Thanks very much. Will I use this ship again, yes, but with different expectations. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Just back from our cruise and stay holiday on island escape, we did the escape to the med cruise loved the port of calls, also we loved the ship, good fun and very friendly staff, thanks William our room steward, kept everything spotless ... Read More
Just back from our cruise and stay holiday on island escape, we did the escape to the med cruise loved the port of calls, also we loved the ship, good fun and very friendly staff, thanks William our room steward, kept everything spotless nothing too much trouble, we loved the towel arrangements, also great table staff in the island restaurant,Victor and Myn, again nothing too much trouble, good food all round plus the drinks and entertainment was really good, no complaints about anything really, ok, cabins not the plushest on the seas but were better than expected, everything ran smoothly from flying out to returning back to the uk well done Thompson holidays, we have been on a cruise before with another company and we were not that impressed so faith restored in cruising, cannot wait until our next one, we travelled with friends and we all agreed it was excellent value for money. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Wow!! we are first timers for Thomson cruises.... but well traveled with other cruise lines. This ship is a happy ship and it shows in many ways.. the staff are better trained than some other cruise lines. The hygiene standards would put ... Read More
Wow!! we are first timers for Thomson cruises.... but well traveled with other cruise lines. This ship is a happy ship and it shows in many ways.. the staff are better trained than some other cruise lines. The hygiene standards would put P&O and Cunard to shame... everyone used the sanitizers all the time, including staff. Cabin was dated and badly needed a refurbishment, but was clean and our steward " Malind " was an expert at towel art, which made retiring in the evening an anticipatory event. I have been on bigger ships with much worse service and conditions. The captains daily announcements were so laid back that you felt he was on holiday as well..it was worth listening to. Food was OK, once you got used to your fellow passengers need to get to the buffet first, not quite a free for all, but close..For the price.. brilliant week away from the daily grind. Will be back!!! Only cloud on the horizon was not the ship, but the organisation Thomsons itself, the flight back which was awful, with over three hour delays and almost two hour wait for luggage in Gatwick baggage area. Paid for extra leg room, only to find we were allocated between families with young children (seat kicking, screaming, etc) so would definitely not pay extra again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We have just returned from our first cruise experience. Looking through all the options we finally chose Thomsons Island Escape, all inclusive was a partial persuader. We arrived at the ship and embarkation was quick and easy, we were on ... Read More
We have just returned from our first cruise experience. Looking through all the options we finally chose Thomsons Island Escape, all inclusive was a partial persuader. We arrived at the ship and embarkation was quick and easy, we were on board at last. We made our way to our cabin and our luggage had beaten us to it, we had booked a suite and did not know what to expect, on opening the door our first reaction was WOW this is fantastic there were fresh flowers, fruit and two toilets a separate bedroom area and a lounge area. The first day at sea was spent exploring the ship, checking out the bars and restaurants and other facilities. The ship may be a converted ferry but it is clean and well maintained, staff were in evidence all the time cleaning and hoovering constantly and has all we needed for our holiday. The food was of good quality and plentiful the Beachcomber was perhaps the more basic restaurant with plastic plates and glasses so you were able to take them out, the Island restaurant is partial waiter service, with table cloths and glasses, the food in both was the same. We ate at the Black Rock grill, a superb experience, if you have never cooked your own food on a lava rock, I highly recommend the black rock, the staff are excellent and the food so so tasty, a must eat place. The entertainment is excellent in both the theatre and Bounty lounge, my only criticism of the theatre is that Lee filters do more colours than red and blue, perhaps investing in colour scrollers would be a benefit. We enjoyed every minute of our holiday and met some great new friends We joined the Facebook Island escape group and found it invaluable and would recommend any one booking this ship to do the same. If you want an easy going informal cruise then this is the one for you, we will be going again definately   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
This was my 22nd cruise but the first one on the Island Escape. We booked it for the choice of ports visited, the limited time at sea and the overall price. Having usually travelled with PO and Royal Carribean we were under no illusions of ... Read More
This was my 22nd cruise but the first one on the Island Escape. We booked it for the choice of ports visited, the limited time at sea and the overall price. Having usually travelled with PO and Royal Carribean we were under no illusions of what to expect from this cruise ( my first cruise was on MV Bolero years ago! ). But we loved it!!! So easy flying from. Bournemouth , no rushing around so relaxing start to our holiday . Palma airport and transfer to the ship was also easy and there was no time wasted getting us aboard the ship where we were greeted by friendly staff. Our cabin was on deck 4, lower down than we normally would choose but although a bit dated it was spotlessly clean. This continued throughout our 2 weeks onboard .....could not fault our cabin steward Elvin at all. And it was always a surprise opening our door as there would be a " friend" waiting for us ( my favourite was the monkey :) She's not a large ship so we quickly found our bearings and had lunch in the Island Restuarant , buffet style as would be for the rest of the cruise, waiters work really hard and the choice of food was more than adequate for all types of diners. Drinks orders were obtained quickly and we found that our wine glasses were always topped up without having to ask. Only thing that I didn't like was the coffee except in Cafe Brasil but then you do pay extra for it. Upstairs on deck 10 the Beachcomber was fine for a quick bite at lunchtime and again the staff work hard to keep tables clean and clear of plates etc. The swimming pool was very small and there didn't seem to be enough sun loungers throughout the top areas of the ship .... Unless you are up at 8am each day it is difficult to find one to relax on. However we spent most of our says exploring the various ports so for us it wasn't too bad. Shore excursion prices are horrendously expensive and the Shore Excursion team do not like to give out information on exploring independently . Most of these ports can be explored very easily on your own, even the ones further away. For instance in Livorno you can get a train to Florence via Pisa at a fraction of the cost. Rome also, there are shuttle buses provided that take you straight to the town / train station from the ship, return to Rome costs 12€ each compared with £40 each for the coach! If you want to visit Pompeii it's cheaper to go in a taxi than go on the coach, you get there quicker and have more time to explore. Going to Nice or Monaco is a short bus ride or train ride away from Villefranche .....bus to Nice costs 1.50€ each from the square at the top of the town. The only one we did was Sorrento on your Own with the coach as Naples is a bit of a nightmare to negotiate and that was one of the cheapest they offered at £29 each. So be adventurous and explore on your own, you see so much more anyway. Now the entertainment....the shows put on by the Entertainment Team are worth seeing, they are popular so if you want to get a seat you have to be there early as the Ocean Theatre is quite small. We only saw some of the daytime entertainment but have to say that the Cruise Director , Ross and the Assistant Cruise Director , Tony Mack, had us in stitches for the few that we saw. We also saw a great Uk guest singer, Steve Simone, on our first week but can honestly say that the rest of the guest performers were utter rubbish, especially the Abba tribute on week two. The casual approach to dressing for dinner was strange for us at first, having been so used to over dressing for dinner and set meal times on previous cruises. And yes some people can dressed more for a day by the beach in the evening but we enjoyed meeting and chatting to different people each day and plus eating when we wanted to was a bonus. We kept to the same area covered by waiter Ronny and Nat ( also known as naughty boy) and found them to be exceptional, they always found us seats and looked after us well. Overall cleanliness of the ship was exceptional , staff everywhere from the top decks to the stairwells and lift areas were always cleaning, wiping down and hoovering. The toilets were constantly cleaned also, in fact the most I've seen in all my years or cruise travel. In our opinion it was a great little ship, she may be dated but the staff were friendly and helpful, always had a smile for us and time to talk. Cost wise it was great value for money also. Would we travel on her again? Yes we definitely would. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
For a first timer this is an ok cruise. Must admit though that even though Thomson advertise this as all inclusive it isn't. Not being big drinkers we were more than happy with the selection of drinks available. However, if you want ... Read More
For a first timer this is an ok cruise. Must admit though that even though Thomson advertise this as all inclusive it isn't. Not being big drinkers we were more than happy with the selection of drinks available. However, if you want branded drinks then you will be charged extra. They also do a premium drinks package at £10.95 per person per day. Food is to a generally good standard. Again though, if at breakfast you want something a little different (eggs benedict) you will be charged extra. We did book into the Ocean restaurant which we must admit was brilliant. Good choice of food and drink. We also ate in the new 'Black Rock' which is situated on deck 10. Again the food was good even though our waiter managed to drop the lobster into my wifes lap! Only thing we didn't enjoy about this was the location. The enterance is covered with a simple net curtain and at time you feel as if you are in a goldfish bowl with people looking in. Thomson need to move this to a better area (perhaps at the back of the Oceran restaurant). Overall a pleasent experience but wouldn't do it again. We did hear one passenger calling home who described as 'Butlins at Sea'! Stars of the Cruise are Max from housekeeping and Mary from the sports.casin bar. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
After reading many good and bad reviews about the Island Escape Cruise ship i was a little worried about this ship. There was no need to have worried, the ship and the crew are excellent and nothing is too much trouble. The whole process ... Read More
After reading many good and bad reviews about the Island Escape Cruise ship i was a little worried about this ship. There was no need to have worried, the ship and the crew are excellent and nothing is too much trouble. The whole process from the airport to the ship was effortless, we boarded the ship at 11.30ish and were able to go to out cabin straight away. The cabin is small but adequate as you only sleep, shower and change in cabins. The cabin steward was very helpful and turned the beds down every evening. Also the towels were changed everyday. Our cabin on in Deck 8 which was good and near all activities. Before sailing we were given a safety drill with us having to go back to our cabins to get our life jackets and report to our relevant safety area. This made us feel safe and the crew knew what they were doing. Instructions were clear and concise and if anyone needed extra help then they only had to ask. The food was lovely with a choice of three restaurants to eat in. One restaurant did have a supplement charge we went in this restaurant to celebrate my husbands birthday. Nice food and excellent service. You could get food 24 hours a day if you felt you wanted to eat all the time (we didn't as too much food). It was lovely to sit out on the deck in the nice weather and east breakfast, dinner and tea if you wanted to. Warm scones, cream, Jam and other cakes were also put out at 4,00pm. every afternoon which was nice. The infection control measure were very good with sanitizer machines everywhere and the staff served the food to help keep things as clean and germ free as possible. I was able to order a birthday cake for my husband and this was delivered to our cabin on his birthday just before we arrived back from a trip out. The all inclusive drinks were ok and if sat around the pool or in the pub or entertainment areas there was waiter service available and the waiters would come and take your orders if you wanted.. The entertainment was very good and everyone worked really hard, there were two shows a night in the Ocean Theatre which was good because if you missed the first show you could see the same show later on in the evening. There were other areas of the ship that had singers, pianist, groups so you could go wherever you wanted for entertainment to suit you. There were game shows, race nights also. The entertainment team also worked hard in the day with children and adults, the sailing away parties were great wished they had more of them when leaving each port. Ross and his team were marvelous. The excursions were good with the use of a guide and a radio with earphones so even if the group was big and you could get near the guide you could still hear her commentary. When leaving the ship and entering the ship passengers are asked to sanitize their hands which I think is great to keep infections and germs at bay, The captain gave daily updates on where we would be docking and what time we would dock. On one of the days we had to change one of the ports we were visiting because of the weather conditions because the ship could not dock at the port and passengers would have to be ferried in on smaller boats. The captain and his team changed the port for the safety of the passengers and told us this in his address we were not disappointed as we visited another port in Corsica as we felt the captain and his team had passenger safety as a paramount. There were plenty of sun loungers which were cleaned everyday, and also towels were in the cabin provided to be used on the sun loungers. A good thing about the sun loungers people were not allowed to keep their towels on the beds so this gave everyone the opportunity to relax on a lounger. I don't usually write reviews but I wanted people who look at reviews to be reassured that it is not bad on this ship, and not put off by some of the negative reviews. All in all we had a great holiday and will book another cruise on this ship. Don't be put off by the bad reviews I am a person who wants the best from my holiday this was value for money and would not hesitate to recommend to all of my friends and family,   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Booked a last minute cruise on Island escape so got a great deal with direct flights and great price. I knew what to expect from the cruise line and ship so no big surprises when we boarded. She is not the most luxurious ship and is a ... Read More
Booked a last minute cruise on Island escape so got a great deal with direct flights and great price. I knew what to expect from the cruise line and ship so no big surprises when we boarded. She is not the most luxurious ship and is a little tired but kept spotlessly clean so no complaints there, very small bathroom though. The food was good but I think I might have been board if we were on for 2 weeks. All inclusive drinks were fine and if you wanted you could pay for premium brands at a very low price (I had a nice strawberry daiquiri every night for only £2.00) or upgrade to the premium package for only £10.00pp per day which is amazing value. Entertainment was absolutely fantastic and I have to say a huge shout out to Cruise Director Ross who made the cruise for us. The shows at night were great and they always have alternative music/game shows if you don't want to go to the main show. Hard to decide what to do there was so much choice and it was all such good fun. Some of the shows were so funny we even bought the dvd to relive them! Lots of day time activities but not quite as much as others ships have. Itinerary was spot on with plenty of time in port and we always seemed to be berthed close enough to walk off (Barcelona especially). Excursions were averagely prices and well run. Only thing that let the ship down was the serving staff, unfortunately the worst I have ever come across and I can only imagine it's because tipping is not compulsory. A couple were good but to be honest, that's all. Wouldn't stop me going back next year if the price was right. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Having enjoyed a few cruises, including Thomson who we have always found to be extremely good, we booked this last minute, all inclusive, on The Island Escape..."its' cheap so we will take it for what it is" we agreed, after ... Read More
Having enjoyed a few cruises, including Thomson who we have always found to be extremely good, we booked this last minute, all inclusive, on The Island Escape..."its' cheap so we will take it for what it is" we agreed, after all Thomson cruise have never let us down. Sadly "taking it for what it is" was so very difficult! Firstly having registered my card at reception, I have been charged for items that were not ours, albeit corrected and refunded, now they have just taken payment for a second time for on board services, which I have spent an hour on the phone to try and get rectified. 15 DAYS LATER AND i AM STILL WAITING FOR A REFUND. One lift out of service (and has been for some time apparently) made life difficult when most of the port departures were from the lowest deck (3) Our level too which, although it was very basic and old, was clean and tidy. Sadly not quiet though, no problem with engines noises, but the sound of a steam press and I assume bedding being hung, woke us late at night and very early in the morning. Food: stands out as being cheap compared to other ships, the two restaurants always served the same menu, so no point looking for a variation, unless you want to pay extra to sit behind some pinned up net curtaining in the main thoroughfare to and from the Beachcomber restaurant( saw one lady trip up over these) The usual photography on boarding and around the shop happens, but the photoshopping of the background on many of the pictures seemed to lack professional touch, many of them the background ran over the subject? Entertainment: Feel a little sorry for some of the acts having to work through an antiquated sound system. the classical lady singer in particular had people leaving whilst she was performing, the high notes were just too much for the system. Afternoon tea is a pleasure we enjoy...not here though. Same sandwiches everyday, just no imagination from the chef or perhaps his boss and the cream? what was that? it certainly wasn't real cream. If you like your fruit, only the cheap fruits here, don't expect to see a grape anywhere on board. Excursions are good although a lot of emphasis is put on you not going anywhere on your own in case you don't make it back to the ship in time. "Use our excursions we will not leave without you", how then did the coach leave behind a poor lady and her disabled son in Rome???? thank goodness they were squeezed onto another coach after having the fright of their lives...not good Thomson! All in all I suppose it is what it is, but we now do wonder if the whole Thomson fleet have cut corners. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
have just arrived back this week from our first cruise (my wife and i cellibrated 40 years of married life).we spent our first week cruising and the second week in palma nova. what a wonderfull cruise, could not believe how good it was, ... Read More
have just arrived back this week from our first cruise (my wife and i cellibrated 40 years of married life).we spent our first week cruising and the second week in palma nova. what a wonderfull cruise, could not believe how good it was, was spoilt from the first day to the last by a wonderfull ships crew. the food (mainly the island restaurant) was wonderful. the entertainment wae brilliant put together by a wonderfull team who performed all over the ship. the excursions were well organised, but did our own thing in corsica and livorna where there were taxis at half the excursion prices giving you the same trips. our cabin was very clean and spotless thanks to the efforts of chandran who looked after us, was rewarded by us for a job very well done. what was our highlight was meeting a lot of very nice people cruising like ourselves, that was absoulutely wonderfull. second week was the stay part of our cruise and stay holidy, we stayed at the santa lucia in palma nova, a wonderfull hotel, but we were so spoilt on the cruise it was a little bit of a let down on the second week. should have done the hotel stay first and the cruise second. i would recommend the island escape to anyone. we are looking to the same ship again for next year. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We had not traveled on a Thomson/TUI cruise previously although had traveled with First Choice on a Nile Cruise. . The itinerary was good so we decided we would book the Western Med cruise on 29th April as the dates suited. We paid to ... Read More
We had not traveled on a Thomson/TUI cruise previously although had traveled with First Choice on a Nile Cruise. . The itinerary was good so we decided we would book the Western Med cruise on 29th April as the dates suited. We paid to upgrade the room as having used Thomson previously and used to getting good quality accommodation felt it was worth it. When we arrived we were very surprised to find the accommodation was really grim. The first thing we noticed was the tv remote was not working which we reported and we were given new batteries. We went downstairs to find a Thomson rep and were advised there were no Thomson reps on the ship - we did not realise that the Thomson reps are actually Island Escape crew, we had traveled previously on a First Choice (Thomson group) cruise and there was a First Choice rep on the Nile Cruise. We asked if there were alternative rooms but were shown a sign indicating that there were no room changes available as the ship was full - we fully expect that this sign is a permanent fixture. We decided to make the best of it and approach Thomson when we arrived home. This accommodation was without doubt the worst accommodation we have ever had on a Thomson holiday and wrote to them to make a complaint. The mattresses were holed/bent and heavily stained - the drawers dropped, and off the runners - the tv was pixilated and the aerial wires held together with plastic tape - the shower holder was sagging to the wall and the air-conditioning although working not adjustable. There is no fridge in the room and the safe chargeable. We kept our clothing that might have gone in the drawers in the cases for the week. Thomson have dismissed our complaint - they have told us their reps are Island Escape - we did not know this - and that we might have been moved it we had complained - well we did and there were not any avaailable -what is the point of putting up a sign on deck 5 if there are alternative rooms available? - does everyone want to change rooms? The itinerary is good - the public areas are clean - 1 of the lifts was out of action and had been for the previous 3 weeks. Entertainment good. Food OK. Destinations good. Whole thing let down by the awful room, and the attitude of Thomson Holidays. Thomson 'highly qualified' complaints team have dismissed all of the complaints we made when we got home hiding behind the fact that we did not complain on board - well what was the point if there were no room changes available - don't make do - complain straight away or you will be the loser - we sent a follow up complaint to the CEO and amazingly our 2nd complaint - well over 28 days from the recognition email was acknowledged by another dismissive email - Thomson so aloof they recommend you contact ABTA or ATOL - well - we have. We paid an extra £322 on top of the brochure price as an upgrade for a this room - total waste of money - book an outside room for little or nothing extra, get a last minuite deal - or book another cruise operator. Read Less
Sail Date April 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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