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303 Island Escape Cruise Reviews

We have just got back from a FANTASTIC week on the Island escape, having sailed on this ship before it didn't take me long to get my bearings. I have read a few reviews slating the ship, food etc remember this isn't a posh ... Read More
We have just got back from a FANTASTIC week on the Island escape, having sailed on this ship before it didn't take me long to get my bearings. I have read a few reviews slating the ship, food etc remember this isn't a posh cruise if you want posh book with another cruise line, we couldn't fault anything the cabin was ok for 2 adults and 2 children, we travelled with my sister in law and her daughter they were on the deck below us their cabin was ok as well. The food in all the restaurants were to an high standard being an head chef myself i was amazed in what they produce, there is plenty of choice for everyone, if other reviews say there wasn't they are just being fussy. Last time I was on board the lager was Stella which I personally don't enjoy, this time it was San Miguel which was very nice, plenty of choice on the all inclusive drinks also you can buy as well. They do sell cigarettes on board now the trick on this that the bar staff will try only when the boat is at sea to sell to you, now when you buy, buy off your friendly bar/ server as they get a bonus of 10%. There are plenty of bars on board the outside ones give you plastic glasses whilst inside you get glass, the pub is worth a visit. Entertainment on board was pretty good the entertainment staff work very hard, personally the panto wasn't to my taste. They even had a couple of guest act comedian maybe a little offensive, he does 2 shows in one night, which they need down to the number of guest aboard and the size of the bounty lounge, the other act was an Elvis Presley tribute and he was excellent, even I managed to get on the stage also with 2 shows in a night...please be aware that these nights are jam packed so get there early or risk standing like we did. We normally like to go to the casino for a little flutter but went a couple times and the tables were busy. This is the 1st time that we have taken our children obviously we had little concerns before we travelled but we needn't have they absolute loved it, can't wait for us to book again. The ports we visited were all good we met the ship at Palma followed by a day at sea, then we went to a place called Propriano in Corsica beach was excellent, shops are quaint. Next day was Civitecchia this is for Rome we paid for an excursion this day called Rome on your own £40 per adult £21 per child it is approx 1 1/2 hours away, lovely place plenty to see just beware of pickpockets especially on the metro, we had an incident but I managed to grab hold the little rascal, luckily I didn't have anything of value on me, secret is ladies put your hard earned money down your bra, it did shake my 11 year old daughter though...everything else was very good just make sure you are aware. Next day we were at Livorno this is for the leaning tower of Pisa from the port you walk into town 15-20 min walk then catch the bus to the train station you need to validate on bus and train station, you buy your tickets from the tobacconist cost 5 pp, check the platform number once in Pisa you need to get another bus so once again buy your tickets at the station, all very straight forward really plus going and seeing the leaning tower was fantastic. The next day we went onto St Raphael we booked the excursion to Monaco & Monte Carlo same price at £40 per adult but the kids price was £28 this is also 1 1/2 hour trip this was also an excellent day, there was a tender to shore which was an experience. Next day we were in Barcelona I didn't go ashore as we were there last year, the wife and her sister did and thoroughly enjoyed. Next day back in Palma to come home suitcases need to be outside your cabin by 3 am. Overall we had a FANTASTIC holiday and we all loved it, hope this helps you to enjoy your cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
My parents and I spent 7 nights on the Island Escape in August on the Mediterranean Adventure cruise. We all loved it. After spending 7 nights in a hotel in Majorca, we were taken to the ship late morning. Thomsons picked us up from our ... Read More
My parents and I spent 7 nights on the Island Escape in August on the Mediterranean Adventure cruise. We all loved it. After spending 7 nights in a hotel in Majorca, we were taken to the ship late morning. Thomsons picked us up from our hotel and arranged everything. Embarkation was very efficient and well organised. Our luggage was taken off the minibus at the port and returned to us in our cabins. Mine was there when I got to my cabin, but my parents didn't arrive until later. My first impression of the cabin was that it was quite small, but had everything I'd need and was very clean. My steward, Mario, was very nice. As I was in a single cabin, he would knock on my door to check I had everything I needed and would always bring me ice when I asked for it. The towel animals I found in the cabin were also a very nice touch. I requested a hairdryer from Guest services, which was fine. It was free, as long as it was returned at the end of the cruise There are 3 restaurants on board, the Island, the Beachcomber and the Oasis. The Oasis is a'la carte and has a cover charge. We never ate there, so can't really comment, though I glanced at the menu, which seemed quite varied. The Island Restaurant is open at certain times and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, while the Beachcomber is open 24 hours. We ate in the Island for Breakfast and dinner, as we preferred the atmosphere there. There was a good selection of both hot and cold food for breakfast, including everything for a full English and cold meats and cheeses. Omelettes were also available on request. At dinner, there was always a carved joint, which varied each night. There were also 3 or 4 other main courses including something with fish. There were always 2 or 3 vegetarian option, a selection of side dishes and a pasta dish. For a starter or a lighter meal, there were always cold meats, 2 pasta or other specialist salads usually containing meat or fish, other fresh salad and a soup. There was always a hot pudding served with custard and about 4 other cold desserts. Cheese and biscuits were also available. Overall, we found the food fine, with a good choice, though my mother, who is a very picky eater and prefers very plain food, could struggle to find something to eat. We rarely had problems being seated. We liked to sit by the window, as we liked to look out. The tables are quite large, so we usually had to share, but everyone we met seemed very pleasant and no one forced their company on us, so if people feel uncomfortable making conversation, that wouldn't be a problem. Water was always served with the meal. We would always drink wine or beer with dinner, which was fine. We also saw people with soft drinks, but don't know what other drinks could be served. Coffee was also served after the meal. With breakfast, tea or coffee or fruit juices were available. We were usually on shore at lunchtime, but would have afternoon tea, which was available from the beachcomber when we got back. There were sandwiches and cake available, which could be taken out and eaten on deck. We would normally sit on deck 11, rather than by the pool, as we found it more relaxing. Activities were available by the pool or in other bars for those who would like to join in. We weren't bothered, but saw some of what was going on and everyone involved seemed to be enjoying themselves. The entertainment team worked very hard though. At night, there were several places to go. To me, there was plenty to do. There was always a show, which was brilliant and different every night. Some nights, there was a cabaret, while on other nights, there were a guest singer, a tribute act or a comedian. The show was usually shown twice, apart from on the first night, so we would see the later one, then have drinks in the Pub/Sundowner, where there was live music. There were other bars, but we didn't go to them, so I can't comment. The drinks on the all inclusive were fine to us. The wine was nice and there was a good selection of cocktails and soft drinks. The beer is either Boddingtons or San Miguel, though we usually went for San Miguel. The only minor issue was that my mother drinks Scotch Whiskey and found what was on the All Inclusive undrinkable, so would drink branded. I felt the same about the white rum. This meant we had to pay a small cover charge, but that is personal opinion and other people would probably find them fine. We didn't go on any excursions, preferring to do our own thing. The information provided was fine, including maps of the places where we were and the time we needed to be back. Overall, it was a very enjoyable first cruise, with just one or two minor issues and I would definitely go back.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Family of four (42,39,12,11). Did a cruise and stay where we cruised the second week which I don't think I would do again due to the manic pace of the boat. We needed a week at a hotel to recover! Definitely do Cruise the first week! ... Read More
Family of four (42,39,12,11). Did a cruise and stay where we cruised the second week which I don't think I would do again due to the manic pace of the boat. We needed a week at a hotel to recover! Definitely do Cruise the first week! This was our first cruise and I have to say it was a superb holiday and comes a very close second to my favorite holiday of all (Florida). What follows is some hints and tips for readers and general advice. Some may appear negative but I just want to reassure you all that the whole trip was superb and I would definitely do it again. Like most on here I have read the reviews and most of the negative ones seem to be centered on the incident in May. Well, because of this I went on the boat fearing the worst which was probably a good thing as I was pleasantly surpised. There were no repeat incidents although the sea did get choppy the one night resulting in travel bands and sea sick tablets but no actual listing of the boat and certainly no Norovirus. The boat operates a cashless system which is good as you don't have to carry any cash however you can get carried away and not realise how much you spending. I advise checking your bill every morning.The boat mainly deals in sterling which can be a pain if you cruise and stay and have euros abundant. Their exchange rate is crap! Each night you would have a leaflet put through your door about the next port of call and day time activities etc. Very informative and a good read. Boarding was smooth. We were met at the Palma Port by reps and crew who quickly got us onto the boat. Hand sanitisers everywhere and the process was easily explained. Gave my card details etc and everything went smooth. We were on the boat and in our room within 10 minutes. Bags were taken off us and were by our room within 20 minutes. First impressions of the boat was good although needed upgrading / modernisation. Staff were very friendly and helpful. Hand sanitisers everywhere and very well policed. We had an inside cabin on the 6th floor and it was tiny. There were 4 of us in there and not much room to manouevre however there was enough room to hang 4 cases worth of cloths and plenty of drawer space. Other nooks and crannys were present to store stuff. The room was clean and the bathroom was ok. The vacuum toilet took some getting used too but the shower was absolutely superb. Powerful and hot. One of my criticisms is there is no drying space for any wet items. Air conditioning was in the room and worked well and was a welcome relief from the hot Mediterranean sun. The beds were comfortable and changed daily. There was no window but we didn't need it as the TV showed a live view of the outside. The TV also had a variety of channels and showed modern films. There is a mixture of drinks and snacks in the room that you have to pay for if you use them. Quite expensive. Rooms could have done with a few more extra sockets for all the chargers we needed. There are safes in the room which you have to pay for. The boat provides pool towels which are changed every day as are the room towels. There was no sign whatsoever of the Industrial floor driers. Room service was good. The room was made up twice, sometimes three times a day and every evening we would come back and there would be a different animal made out of towels on display. I needed and extra pillow and this was quickly resolved by the steward. Towels replaced every day. The food was brilliant. A choice of 3 restaurants. One you pay for (15 per person) but it is 5 course Ala Carte waiter service and is absolutely amazing. One is sit down waiter service for drinks but pick your own food etc. The last is 24hrs where the food is served up to you. Plenty of choice. Always hot. Pleasant staff and they cater for all kinds of different tastes. If you need sugar free / gluten free etc they do it all and are more than happy to cater to your needs. I am diabetic and needed sugar free and there was no problems at all. Just ask! Never a problem getting a table. Casino is brilliant although I did lose a bit of money. All they do is Roulette, Blackjack and Stud Poker where you take on the dealer. I would have liked the option of setting up your own table to play your own game but there was no opportunity. Pool is desalinated salt water. Takes some getting used too. There is a shallow bit sealed off for the kids and then a deep bit which was over my head (at least 6  foot). My only gripe was that it was far too small for everyone and even when it was supposed to be adult only swim, the kids were still in it. Lots of sun beds around the deck and never any problem with availability. The Sun bed police did their job well, marking up those beds that were reserved and no one ever turned up. My kids loved the pool and the area around it. They even set up a BBQ in the are for burgers etc which is very convenient. Always lots going on around the pool including Bingo and Quiz and live music. Every time we left a port, the cruise director would have a party and get everyone up dancing. It was great! There is a bar at the Pool however when it was busy it was very difficult to get served and on a few occasions, despite qoing for ages, I kept getting overlooked by the bar staff and the kids didn't stand a chance of getting served. Gym is OK. Equipment could do with modernising but serviceable enough. There's 3 running machines and 3 cross trainers and then a load of weight machines. Gym looks directly out onto the ocean / port. The gym is in the same area as the Beauty Therapy bit but cant comment on this as we didn't use it. We did have every day a note through our door offering the beauty services which appeared quite expensive. WIFI is available but you have to pay for it and to be honest it is crap. Hardly ever worked and not worth it it all. Avoid if you can do without it. Also avoid making any texts or telephone calls on the boat. Very expensive. Wait until you get to shore. The shops are ok. Mainly jewelry and fragrances. I wouldn't bother with them as the prices are cheaper back home. The main shop has the basics you may need sun cream, adaptors, pringles etc. Plenty of watering hotels. All good. Service can be a bit slow in some places (Bar, Pool). Our favorite place was the Bounty lounge which had Bingo, quiz, family games, Karaoke and The Switch, the resident band. They did cover songs and were brilliant and so supportive of the kids. Special mention goes to Carlo who works behind the bar. He is superb. He really looked after my son and my nephew and treated them like adults. He remembers your drinks and will always make a bee line for you. We took part in all the games and shows and thoroughly enjoyed our time in there. Me and the wife only got to see the main show once but I have to say it was fantastic and better than some West End shows I've seen. Those guys work so hard. The booze is all local stuff but is strong enough to get you drunk if that's what you want. You have to pay for the named brands but to be honest, you don't need too. Cocktails were excellent and did the trick. It did tick me off when you had to pay for things like Sangria and Ice Cream. Excursions are well advertised and having walked ashore and tried to do things myself I would probably do the boat excursions in future. We stopped at Sardinia, Naples, Civitavichia (Rome), Corsica and Mahon. Sardinia was nice and on getting off the transfer bus were met with loads of touts selling their trips and were overwhelmed. Could have done this independently of the boat, no problem at all. Naples was a pit and I didn't feel safe walking around the town. Wanted to go to Pompeii and Vesuvious but was advised not to do the Boat excursion as we could get it cheaper outside the boat. Load of Tosh! I recommend if you want to see Pompeii etc do it through the boat. Rome do it through the boat. Well worth doing the guided tour if you've never done it before. Would love to go back there. Corsica is beautiful and can be done independent of the boat. Lovely beach just 10 mins walk up the road with watersports. Mahon was my favourite. Beautiful place and well wort getting up early to see the boat going in to harbour. The ship wanted 23 per adult and 15 per child to go to Son Bao beach. We did it for 25 euros with a booked taxi. Only 20 mins away and a cracking beach. As stated this was my first cruise and I loved it and would 100% do it again.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Read loads of reports on forums and agree with most of the 3 star ratings. We also have some friends who have been on this ship before. Some things people find fault with are ridiculous. Plastic plates drop the ratings. Who's ... Read More
Read loads of reports on forums and agree with most of the 3 star ratings. We also have some friends who have been on this ship before. Some things people find fault with are ridiculous. Plastic plates drop the ratings. Who's bothered if the plates are plastic??? Overall enjoyed the cruise but there are some issues mainly due to the fact this ship is a converted ferry. If we go on another cruise it will be a "proper" cruise ship. We were on deck 9 at the rear (aft)of the ship in an inside cabin. Dated decor. Like the lounge in a 70's working men's club but not a problem. Good Points Most staff were great, friendly and helpful. Cleanliness is very good. Food is good. Plenty of choice and good quality. Beds are basic, but for me at least, very comfortable. Cabin size is adequate for 2 people, just! Drinks are fine. I mostly drink larger and the San Miguel was nice. Not so good points Air conditioning system is very noisy and you can't turn it off. I'm a good sleeper but still had to put ear plugs in. The vibration from the engines is horrendous. Even on deck 9. You constantly feel it in bed and when the ship docks it nearly shakes you out of bed. Very noisy with bars above and below the rooms. Not such a problem for us as it stops at midnight but could be for some people. Waiter service is intermittent. Good in some bars, none existent in others. We were part of a company of 3 couples and as I said overall it was an OK introduction to cruising. We enjoyed the holiday mainly because of our friends, not so much the ship. Value for money?? not sure, I don't think so. We have been booked for well over a year due to planning 6 peoples work commitments so we paid top dollar and I don't think it was worth what we paid. Book any Thompson cruise early enough and you can get all inclusive. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Have been on two cruises previously, Ventura and Thomson Destiny. Went on Island Escape as part of a stay and cruse package (stayed in hotel first). Reviews weren't great so wasn't expecting it to be fab but boy was I wrong. The ... Read More
Have been on two cruises previously, Ventura and Thomson Destiny. Went on Island Escape as part of a stay and cruse package (stayed in hotel first). Reviews weren't great so wasn't expecting it to be fab but boy was I wrong. The food, entertainment and staff were brilliant. The itinerary was brilliant. One tip is to get the train to Rome, then a hop on hop off bus. So much cheaper. 12 e for return train and 20e for the hop on bus. Did the Puccini lake, villa and Pisa trip which was really nice. It was a 5 hour trip which is long enough! Travelled with a teenager. We never saw her! Teenager club was great. Corsica and St Raffael, went for a walk around and then to the beach. Las ramblas in Barcelona a stone through from the ship. Ship very laid back with no formal dress up nights which suited us. The only thing I would change is the fact that the two all inclusive restaurants are buffet. It would have been nice to have been served (although the waiters do bring your drinks). Food is definitely same standard as other Thomson ships though. Would I go again? Most definitely. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
An excellent week! The best holiday we have ever had. We travelled as a family of 4, Mum, Dad and two children aged 4 years and 23 months. The children had a fantastic time and my 4 year old son loved waking up somewhere different every ... Read More
An excellent week! The best holiday we have ever had. We travelled as a family of 4, Mum, Dad and two children aged 4 years and 23 months. The children had a fantastic time and my 4 year old son loved waking up somewhere different every day. Both of them had a ball and made lots of friend amoungst the frienly crew. Food was excellent. We dined in the buffet restaurant always because of the children and we had great food all week. No complaints and I am a vegetarian. I had plenty of choice and I didn't have a slice of pizza a week, which I usually have to resort to on holiday at some point!! Entertainment was fantastic. We all loved the shows and afterwards we would go and listen to "Jimmy" on the guitar. A real treat to have live music around the pool in the day. Cabins are dated (but we knew this!), but comfortable and nicely airconditioned! and scrupulously cleaned!!! A bit tight on space with luggage for all of us, a double pushchair and a cot, but we didn't spend much time in there anyway. It was perfectly comfortable!!! This was an excellent cruise and a really good introduction to cruising for us. Yes there were some people onboard that didn't think we should be cruising with children and didn't want to see children on holiday, but the answer is for them not to go away mid school holidays at least!!! Come the end of the cruise and time to disembark my Son ran and hid in the theatre and my Daughter laid down on the ground outside the terminal. Both didn't want to leave! Our only gripe with the holiday is the Kids Club was absolutely dire!! Every waiter, bar person knew our kids and engaged with them, even though they didn't have to. The only people not to engage with them was the kids club girls. They were more interested in keeping our daughter out of kids club. I never expected to leave her as she is too young, but she wasn't even allowed to use the facilities with us around! We walked past several "activities" and the girls were chatting amoungst themselves ignoring the children!!! This stood out as not being in keeping with the ship!!! Loved the informality about this cruise. We didn't want fine dining and posh frocks and gala nights and the Island Escape isn't like that. All in all, we can't wait to go again and we will be going again at some stage!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Okay the ship is not the most plush ship in the world but then after having some 1500 passengers go through it's doors and corridors every one/two weeks you can't expect it to be! After reading reviews on here I very nearly ... Read More
Okay the ship is not the most plush ship in the world but then after having some 1500 passengers go through it's doors and corridors every one/two weeks you can't expect it to be! After reading reviews on here I very nearly cancelled but i'm so glad i didn't! We had an amazing time. The ship is as described, very relaxed although if you chose to wear refineries no one batted an eyelid. The cruise team work so hard to make you feel as though you are the only person on that ship - so a BIG THANK YOU to ALL of them. We had children with us (7, 14). My little girl used the kids club a few times and loved it and my son surprised us by going to the teenagers club meet in the sailaway bar - from that point on we no longer had a son on holiday with us. The teenagers all got on fabulously, they sunbathed together, ate and drank together in fact the only time we saw him was when we went on the excursions. It was fab letting the children have some time of their own which also gave us time for each other too. We only ever ate in the buffet restaurant (it simply suited our needs and meal times) and found the food and service to a high std there was always something for everyone. There was even a separate children's menu (chick. nugg. and chips etc) which they cooked fresh on order. Whilst in there ask for the waiter Archie he's fab soooo friendly and does good tricks too! The excursions were really good value for money we thought. We booked ours online before departure and so glad we did as availabilty was poor once on board.Some of the days were long days but then you have to expect that when you need to travel a distance by coach. It was VERY hot when we went 40 degress at one point so PLENTY OF WATER was advisable (for four of us we took 2 x 2ltr bottle, available from the gangway on exit and 4 x 75cl bottles which we decanted water in2 from the 2ltr bottles. We drank all this and needed more (and this was not due to the fact that we'd had a heavy session the night before!) The views on deck about an hour before docking into port are a must for the cameras. The buffet restaurant is open at 6am so you can grab a coffee to sip whilst you watch him dock. We did hear complaints whilst on board and i suppose it's very much each to there own! We are a family who like luxury and will complain if we feel strongly having said that we are also an easy going family who whilst on holiday like to chill de-stress and let others take charge so if this sounds similar to you - you'll love it!! As I said at the beginning it could do with a refurb but everything was still functional and adequate for what you needed. I really want to book again! Ps this wasn't our first cruise - I didn't like the first one!!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Family of 4 (Married couple 51 & 49 and 2 children " girl 14 & boy 9) Normal holiday 4 star AI in Canary Islands or Majorca ( AI not just for the alcohol but find this works for us as a family! 1st time Cruise for all of us. ... Read More
Family of 4 (Married couple 51 & 49 and 2 children " girl 14 & boy 9) Normal holiday 4 star AI in Canary Islands or Majorca ( AI not just for the alcohol but find this works for us as a family! 1st time Cruise for all of us. Cruise 6th August Escape to the med. Deck 6 ( midship) outside 6050 Summary Well, all I can say is that we all enjoyed our week on the White Lady as her Captain calls her, yes she is tiny compared to most ships she was drafted by the Adventure of the Sea in one port, and yes she is dated with the décor being stuck in the 80’s but with the excellent staff, good selection of food and drink, the option of paying the little extra for the Oasis restaurant and Premier brands our time on board was fantastic. Ship is kept immaculate, but you can see the signs of old age approaching but I did not book the IE as a Tinsel and Tiara Holiday, I just wanted to have a relaxing, no frills time with a great itinerary which is exactly what she came up with. Cabin small so was fun when we were all trying to get ready but we was on a cruise not spending most time looking round the port of call or lazing around the ship. Food - We found the food fine (100 time better than the 4 star hotel we stayed at afterwards, may not have been as much choice but much better quality) - pay £15.pp extra in the Oassis for a treat - well worth it - honest great food and service 10/10 Staff " excellent, nothing was too much bother Drinks " excellent on the IA" House Lager & Vodka fine and soft drinks were all branded Entertainment " we saw very little " our choice, the kids were tied by 10pm and just wanted to sleep ( did watch Switch who we all thought were very good one night and the take-off of the Generation Game was really funny . (Hubby’s worse entertainment nightmares would be 1. Watch a west-end show, 2. A pub singer, 3 Saturday night game or reality show, 4 anyone wearing satin or sequins. 5) Bingo! so, the Entertainment was not for us) However, loads of people on board raved about it, but we enjoyed sitting in the Sports Bar or watching the stars on desk ( we were often the last to leave) Start of Holiday 6th August 2013 Flew to Palma from Birmingham airport 6am flight, good job we are only 30 minutes away " flight was slightly delayed with planes taking off every 5 mins or so, but we ended up landing 5 mins earlier. Had one of the longest delays waiting for our luggage 45 minutes, but eventually we got ours and fond the Thompson Reps who pointed us in the direction of the IE Coaches, and we were swiftly loaded and on our way. The rep explained the embarkation process and in about 15 minutes we got our first glimpse of the White Lady. Embarkation was swift, and we soon had our boarding cards, placed our cabin labels on our cases and walked the gangplank and found our Cabin on Deck 6 (Diamond) just a stoned throw from the Island Restaurant. By 11:30 we were enjoying a cool larger on deck looking at the wonderful Palma Harbour. A quick lunch at the beachcomber and Husband went off to explore Palma whilst myself and the kids grabbed a sun lounger for a couple of hours. Safety Drill was at about 5pm, After such an early flight none of us actually made the Sailaway but not after a really enjoyable meal in the Island Restaurant ( big thank-you to Henri and Patrick) and a few drinks up on deck. Day Two" At Sea Well time to explore ship, eat, drink and myself and daughter some serious sunbathing. What a glorious way to just relax and unwind Day Two - Cagliari Was up on desk to see her sail into port about 8am. And then we explored Cagliari, there was a bus to get you out of the port and to where all the tourist reps are if you want to book your own tours. We opted for the free bus which drops you in the town centre (the shopping bus) and walked down to the bastille and past a few churches back to the port, stopping for couple of coffees and the odd beer. Now, I know there are other things to do but the place is absolutely covered in graffiti some of which is extremely offensive and obscene Day Four " Naples An early start as on the coach for an organised tour of Pompeii. Worth every penny and a fantastic experience " 31 euro’s for 2 small beers and 2 cokes whilst waiting for the coach back Day 5 " Rome Did Rome in a day- very good tour guide and we saw a hell of a lot, not a lot of time to stop and take photos and being in August was really busy as you would expect. Again thought the trip was well worth it and we would have not seen half the stuff if we did this on our own. Had a lovely meal just a stroll away from the Trevi Fountain Meal for 4 and couple of deinks each 100 euros ( Pizza and a couple of ice cold Pinot’s Mmmm) Day 6 Ajaccio in Corsica " what a lovely place the Harbour is to die for and there was a very nice local market just a quick walk away. Being a Sunday all the main shops were closed and it would have been nice to have a look at some of these but made the most of some of the little bars and market squares. Day 7 Mahon " utterly fantastic harbour really beautiful, and a 2 minuet stroll to the nearest bar. Beautiful market town, took the tour in the little train, went back and strolled around the man square and walked back down to the harbour for more drinks and some excellent photos. Watched us follow the pilot boat out of the harbours and feeing extra sad as we were finally heading home to Palma, Conclusion Fantastic Holiday, Fantastic little ship " yes she may be old and tied and does not have a cinema or an ice rink but if you want a laid back holiday you will not fault her. We were lucky with the weather " no rocking and rolling and no sickness virus’ which I know some people were hit witth when they were on board in April, they had a horrid time so sorry for them Will we go back " YES " just can’t decide which week yet. may have to do one of the posh cruises so I can understand what some of these people have to moan about.- especially the ones which are 5 times according to one reviewer.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Just returned from a truly amazing cruise, on-board the Island Escape. We visited some fantastic destinations and made a couple on the on-shore excursions, which were both very informative and more importantly very enjoyable and good ... Read More
Just returned from a truly amazing cruise, on-board the Island Escape. We visited some fantastic destinations and made a couple on the on-shore excursions, which were both very informative and more importantly very enjoyable and good value for money. The food on-board was of a very high standard, and the Oasis Restaurant took dining to another level. With the service and attention to detail of a high class restaurant. The Matre D (Jose) was exceptional and ensured that we were more than well looked after with our dietary requests, not only in the Oasis Restaurant but in all of the other dining outlets. We dined in the Oasis on the first night at the discounted rate of 11.99, it was so good that we dined here every night of our cruise and at 14.99 it was excellent value for money (bearing in mind that our local Beefeater charges more for only a steak). We had the same waiter every evening (Valentino, as we called him) and he was an absolute joy ensuring that we were not only served but entertained at the same time. Our meal's were very relaxed and often lasted over 2.5 hours, which left no time for us to take in any of the on-board entertainment. Speaking to other guests they told us the entertainment was excellent, but our meals and service more than compensated for missing the shows. Our cabin was serviced by Ron, who surprised us each night with an array of animals made from the towels. He kept our cabin spotless and if we required anything he ensured it was with us immediately. The ship was always clean, the staff always had a smile on their faces and nothing was too much trouble. The ship could do with some modernisation as parts of it were very dated, but this did not stop us having a fantastic holiday experience. Many thanks to all of the crew for a memorable holiday, with a special thank you to Jose, Valentino and Ron. The Clarko's    Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Whilst the captain may refer to this ship as the White Lady of the sea, a more apt reference would be the White Great Grandmother of the Sea. Negatives Do not pay for a balcony cabin if you wish to be able to sleep either entering or ... Read More
Whilst the captain may refer to this ship as the White Lady of the sea, a more apt reference would be the White Great Grandmother of the Sea. Negatives Do not pay for a balcony cabin if you wish to be able to sleep either entering or exiting port. We were in 9584 and the first shock came when we were about to leave Palma on day one, approximately 20 mins before departure when the ship is preparing for departure everything in the room vibrates so loudly that you can't hold a sensible conversation, and hold onto your drink if it is on the glass table in your room as it won't be there when you want to drink it as the vibration moves everything. This cabin is one of the most expensive on the ship, and is not really suited to more than two people, if you have even one child the cabin becomes very crowded when the sofa bed is made up. In the morning and late evening when the tables and chairs are put out on the upper deck, the crew drag these across the floor, this is also loud enough to wake you up. Why pay for the circle when you get stalls seats!!! The day at sea, is a great day to get to know your surroundings however, be warned you may need your sea legs. The crossing from Palma to Corsica can be choppy and those of you that are not good sailors may find that you spend this day lying down. It may not get your holiday off to a great start. Positives Look out for Carlos M in the Beachcomber restaurant, he makes eating a fun experience. The food on this cruise is to a good standard and there is always plenty to eat ( small niggle, someone needs to learn to cook the bacon, okay if you like it burnt and very crispy) The itinerary for this cruise is second to none. The ports visited are well worth seeing and if you are able to go on any of the planned excursions then you will have a great day out. Most of the excursions are well organised and there is no queuing to get off the ship, except Barcelona where all the trips leave at the same time and the mid ship staircase becomes a car park as you wait to exit the ship! The onboard entertainment seems to cater for all tastes, no personal experience as too tired from the lack of sleep due to the external cabin noise! Drinks package is plenty to cater for the average taste, if you want to vary your drinks then you may have to pay, but bar prices are fair. The photographers on board are there at every opportunity taking photos of your cruise, a great way to remember not only the ports of call but you can also have that special family portrait taken. Prices can be a little on the high side but a great memory of the places you have visited. The crew that run the photo shop work really hard and are always friendly and approachable. The cabin stewards who keep your cabin clean and tidy, are in twice a day, and they are always on the go, look out for the towel art, it will put a smile on your face when you return from that excursion off the boat. Think the monkey was my favourite! Shopping Onboard Onboard shops are typical of most cruise ships, I can highly recommend the watch shop and the attentive, enthusiastic gentleman who looks after this shop. The prices are good with some great discounts to be had on certain promotions. Watch out for the overall manager of the shop section as he is not the most well mannered of people. He is in need of some customer service training, perhaps from the staff under him! Guest Customer Survey The general crew members are great, they all look to try and make your cruise experience a great one, nothing is too much trouble for them. Service is excellent. The night before you leave watch the senior officers come out of the woodwork, funny this, as it is right before you fill in your cruise feedback form, for the rest of the cruise you have not seen hide nor hair of them! Overall If you treat the ship as a poor three star hotel with four star food and try to ignore the ship itself and concentrate on the ports called at, then I can highly recommend this holiday, as it is a great way to see a lot of places in a short time. However, please do not waste your money on a Deluxe Balcony cabin as you will definitely not get your monies worth with this cruise line!!!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Having cruised before on the 19 deck Ventura we were skeptical about this smaller ship. The journey via Cardiff Airport-Thomsons flight-Palma-coach to port was smooth and easy. The only slightly negative point for us was that this was ... Read More
Having cruised before on the 19 deck Ventura we were skeptical about this smaller ship. The journey via Cardiff Airport-Thomsons flight-Palma-coach to port was smooth and easy. The only slightly negative point for us was that this was first we had flown in 20 yrs and the only time with kids. We just followed every else and made out most of the signs. We would have appreciated a rep to guide us from arrivals to baggage and coach. The ship is slightly worn internally in places but this is expected on an older ship. I woulds argue that it is budget as it was much more expensive than P&O; it was summer hols but P&O do free and cheap kids places.It is of course more relaxed than other ships as there is no formal dining or dress code. The weather was scorching!! The pool was small though! one section was 6/7 ft deep and then a smaller section was 2/3 ft deep. As there were a lot of kids, swimming was out most of the time. it was mostly splashing kids; my son included. It is a salt water pool. Sunbeds were awful. Although the staff and daily news letters asked people not to hog sunbeds with towels for longer then 45 mins or you'd get a "ticket" they were not checked and many selfish people left them empty for over an hour. I was not brave enough to remove any towels that had been there a long time so so had to sit on the poolside many times. It is quieter in the morning and after 4pm. The inclusive beers, vodka, cocktails are great. The Cabin was an average inside size but had more storage options than we had had before and with 4 sharing for 2 weeks this was important. The room was clean and comfortable. The only negative was that i wasn't aware that there were no free ironing facilities on board. Unfortunately and lazily i just thew my clothes in expecting to iron them when needed on board.I was gutted on arrival to find no laundry room and irons allowed in rooms. We hung our clothes up straight away and many were fine but we paid for some things to be ironed for the last few days of our holiday. it averages about a 1 a item but always ask you room steward to get the best price i.e kids clothes aren't priced and i didn't want to pay the same as an adult shirt. don't forget European plug adapters. The food was excellent, plenty of choice, although not always the healthiest,(sauces, roasted, dressings) then again i could probably asked the chef for things without butter or dressing but chose not to. There was always plenty of fruit, a simple salad and a carved meat available. You could also order a variety of children's meals from the waiters in all restaurants, nuggets, fish fingers, spag bol, pizza etc. There was breakfast, dinner, afternoon tea dinner and midnight buffet and hot food served lunch time by the pool(burgers etc).The food changed daily with plenty of choice. The staff were excellent, from room, bar, restaurant, entertainment and childcare.My 15yr old went the teen meet and we hardly saw her for 2 weeks and my 9yr old went to the 8-12 club and had lots of fun. I wish it was on for longer periods as we found some times one of us had to leave some of the shows a little too early to fetch him as the end of show and end of club collided. The cruise was run on the same standard format as P&O with talks from the beauticians, dance classes, sports etc our favorites were the animal towel folding and cake decorating. We enjoyed all of our animal towels, they are great fun, my son has learnt some and thoroughly enjoyed practicing them. Most ports were fine. We only booked trips through the boat to Pompeii and Pisa as with 4 of us these become quite expensive. Sometimes locals offer cheaper trips but most ports didn't this time. Pisa was great but Pompeii was disappointing as there are no artifacts there anymore; they are in Naples Museum or the touring display in the National History Museum London.There are only 2 body casts there so we were disappointed (my daughter is studying volcano's in GCSE Geography).Be warned Pompeii is hazardous to walk on if you have mobility problems; 2 people off our ship ended up in hospital with broken leg and arm so the boat was late sailing. If your not going to ST Tropez, Nice or Monaco ect then Vilefracnce and Toulon have nothing much there. There is nice beach and park play area in Toulon; we took the tourist train that picks up from the boat (20 euros for 4 people). Villefrance and Calvi have tenders to shore which are great if calm but lookout if it is windy!! coming back from Calvi was like a ride at Alton Towers!! All the entertainment was good, Tony Mac and Ross were stars and all the show team were amazing singers and dancers. Overall i would go back on board again and recommend it to others. Is it Butlins on the sea? Maybe, but then i like Butlins. It's not as refined as some boats with the casual attitude but it is the friendliest ship i have been on. When ever we went to the sit-down Island rest. other customers on our table always chatted away, it was lovely. Thank you Thomsonsxx   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
On taking the Thomson Island escape cruise in early July 2013, I make my report upon the following unbiased and truthful views, this having been on several cruises in ten years. The welcome in Majorca was good, photographs, check in by ... Read More
On taking the Thomson Island escape cruise in early July 2013, I make my report upon the following unbiased and truthful views, this having been on several cruises in ten years. The welcome in Majorca was good, photographs, check in by friendly faces and reasonable instructions to collect and identify luggage to be placed on board the ship. Everything was efficient, run beautifully and a good welcome on board. The cabin directions were a little bit sketchy, but not being a sea bird, and with a bad sense of direction, let alone ship aware, my husband managed to get us to our cabin without too much difficulty, and that of my parents who were travelling with us. To be honest, there were stewards available every where who were helpful and willing to help, bearing in mind, the ship had 1700 passengers aboard that day, most of them boarding for the first time, they did an excellent job. Cabins were comfortable, nice beds and comfy mattress, and cabin service was fantastic, fresh towels whenever required, beds turned down, towel creatures made on the bed daily, and cleanliness way beyond expectation. There was plenty of room for clothes, lots of drawers and hanging space, more so than a land hotel. The Mini bar however was priced ridiculously. Even the bottled water Sadly was priced at over 1.50 for a litre sized bottle and a whopping 2 plus for a small tube of Pringles crisps (plain I might add). My advise is not to touch the mini bar, it is not even in a fridge, just placed on a shelf, so no idea how long it had been there. Sky tv was available, although not many channels, but some would Argue that you don't need to spend much time in your cabin to use it aside from sleeping and getting dressed! The room temperature was good, adjustable if passengers were cold, but air conditioned mainly and very welcome. Ship cleanliness was excellent, deck seven was the main pool bar, well cleaned and attended, although nicely divided left and right into smoking areas, the ashtrays in the smoking area were not always emptied which was a shame. Staff were mainly friendly on main pool deck, and once you became friendly with them they did tend to fetch and carry drinks for you from the bar area. Some young staff however, were over zealous with moving tables back into evening position .Whilst my mother and I enjoyed an early evening drink, one member of staff found it acceptable to swipe our table away to move it two feet into the "correct" evening position, while we were posed mid drink in air - which I found extremely rude. Even when I mentioned that it was bad manners, he just shrugged and said he had to do it! Entertainment mainly good on this floor, although the microphones were set a little loud, which was unnecessary as we could hear adequately during entertainment games and announcements. I felt a little sorry for the older members of the pool deck! Trips to land destinations at first seemed vey steep, but once taken, we appreciated how organised, and well informed they actually were. Excellent value for money and faultless Service. Coaches were air conditioned and comfortable, and two or three times people got lost and were accommodated by being collected in a different area, or waited for. A note on Wifi , advice is do not use. Wifi which may appear free around the world is not free on board. A payment of 1 per minute is expected, when it works. Also the ship has its own satellite whilst at sea which costs over the top tariffs, my advice is to wait until you are in a European port. Photography on board ship is excellent, although in my opinion, a little hard sell. Wait until the last evening on board where you will pick up any photographs taken during the week at a reduced price. There is a spa on board at reasonable prices, although once again I found this a little bit too hard sell, for example, a spa representative handing out flyers when you reboard the ship every day, and flyers pushed under cabin door every evening. Excellent gym on board also if required. Entertainment shows were excellent most evenings in the main theatre, and a casino on one floor also worth a look if you have the energy at the end of the day! There was a restaurant called the Oasis,which you can pay for and the cost is 15 per head for a set menu. This is excellent, choice of fillet steak, salmon, lobster etc, top class food Served by friendly staff and lovely surroundings. Impeccable. The waiters one evening opened the curtains for us to see a magnificent sunset and dolphins jumping alongside the ship. This restaurant is select and needs to be booked in advance, but has captured the ambiance of the special occasion, and exceeds its own expectations. The buffet which purports to be open 24 hours a day is actually closed until 4am, not twenty four hours. The food here is good during the day, even if it lacks imagination and menus are repeated. However, food is sadly kept heated from around mid afternoon for the rest of the evening, so lets itself down very badly. Meat tends to be processed, garlic bread solid, lasagne dry and tasteless for example. Staff are unwilling to serve decent sized portions at all times the of the day. I was shocked to see several people asking for more than was put on their plates , which is a huge let down to a company of this status in my opinion. The food was very sub standard in the buffet restAurant, which pulled the whole experience down. sausage and bacon were cheap and nasty in the morning, beans and toast in edible, eggs were like rubber. Food was stood too long, hash browns soft and tasteless, very disappointing considering that the other restaurant served the same food and this was better...? In my opinion it was a cost saving exercise which Thomsons should be ashamed of. The third restaurant was the Island restaurant, with the same food presented and kept to a good standard, waiter service for drinks and nice surroundings. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We wanted our boys to experience a cruise and chose this one due to the family friendly nature, price and itinery. Very slick arrangements to check in and board the ship. All staff were excellent at all points in the week, from the check ... Read More
We wanted our boys to experience a cruise and chose this one due to the family friendly nature, price and itinery. Very slick arrangements to check in and board the ship. All staff were excellent at all points in the week, from the check in, cabin staff, restaurants / bars and big mention for the entertainment crew. Our cabin (6551) was ideal for us (bunk beds). It had ample storage for the 4 of us. It was kept very clean by cabin crew. We were only really there to sleep and change so didn't need a high spec of room. The shower/toilet area could do with some updating. The shower (surprisingly good) provided hot water at any time of the day we required. Towels changed as required. Daily newsletter was great to let you know about each port plus also the daily 'what's on'. We absolutley loved the evening shows (as did our boys). They were varied (musicals, pop, opera, dance...) The standard was excellent. We did the tour back stage and the staff were great showing us around. Quiz shows (Deal or no Deal type, Strictly dancing etc..) were all good fun. Towel folding was a big hit with our boys. Cabin staff shape towels into different animals. They loved coming back each day to see what animal they had! A lovely touch. Kids club deserves a mention. They were excellent. The programme really allows both children and parents to access the various activities on the ship ie we could go to the show at night (or dinner if you wished) and meet the boys later. Staff were fab. Poolside was always busy and we never managed to get sunbeds any day as we had gone ashore each day and returning by lunchtime all beds were 'booked' despite this not being allowed! Would suggest staff follow through on this ruling as it is not being followed which can be a bit frustrating. The food was excellent. We ate far too much! Absolutley no complaints on the standard, variety, quantity or quality. We tended to use the Island Restaurant for all meals. Staff there were fab and really engaged with the boys. The Beachcomer is fine, casual and very busy. The all inclusive drinks were very good and used known brands e.g Coca cola and Schweppes. A great saving not having to budget for this as all included. We realise there have been some negative reviews but feel that these were just a blip given the circumstances then. This is a fantastic option for cruises for those who are not looking for 5 star quality. Suffice to say we have already got the 2014 brochure and seriously looking at dates and the pennies to see if next year is possible! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
My wife and I went on our first ever cruise and must say this ship may be dated but is the most fantastic experience you could ever possibly get. The food is first class, the standard of catering is up there with the best!! The cabin ... Read More
My wife and I went on our first ever cruise and must say this ship may be dated but is the most fantastic experience you could ever possibly get. The food is first class, the standard of catering is up there with the best!! The cabin attendant worked tirelessly to ensure that the cabin was clean and was always extremely pleasant. The entertainment is first class, from the shows in the theater, to the resident band The Switch. However the 2 people who make the entertainment are Ross the Entertainments director and his assistant Tony Mack who is the best comedian you will ever see. I didnt like the pool area but thats me, there were a lot of people who loved it and stayed there all week. The all inclusive drinks are as good as you would get at any 4 star hotel in the med and plenty of choice. There are a lot of bad reviews on this site with regards to the Island Escape, people have complained about the Entertainment, food and cabins get a life the only complaint from me about any of them would be the size of the bathrooms but that could be because I am possibly the biggest guy who would use them. The only tip I would give you would be when the ship has Beef & Guinness Pie and also Coconut sponge on the lunch time menu get as much of them as you can they are to die for Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
First time being on a cruise, went on Island Escape (was worried after reading bad reviews) shouldn't have as our holiday experience was absolutely fantastic. Staff were brilliant, especially Jobart and the staff in the Island ... Read More
First time being on a cruise, went on Island Escape (was worried after reading bad reviews) shouldn't have as our holiday experience was absolutely fantastic. Staff were brilliant, especially Jobart and the staff in the Island Restaurant who gave us a first class dining experience Nothing was too much trouble. Food was excellent so much that we didn't even consider going to the paying oasis restaurant. Cabin 6519 was small for 4 of us but was spotless and very quiet we slept well every night. Our Cabin Stewart Lanson was always cleaning, loved the animal towels left on our beds at night. Ship was spotless staff were cleaning constantly and worked very hard 24/7. Excursions were fantastic especially our trip to Rome and Florence have plenty of photos taken from each excursion and were good value for money. We were greeted with a warm welcome at ship, loved the sailaway party, entertainment first class, Ross and the entertainment team were excellent. Overall had a really great week on the Island Escape. Would highly recommend his cruise, don't listen to bad reviews try this ship for yourself you wont be disappointed. Cant wait to book for next year Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Felt compelled to write a review after our first cruise onboard the Island Escape. After booking (just one month before leaving) I read a few reviews and was initially a little concerned. No need to be whatsoever!! We have had a brilliant ... Read More
Felt compelled to write a review after our first cruise onboard the Island Escape. After booking (just one month before leaving) I read a few reviews and was initially a little concerned. No need to be whatsoever!! We have had a brilliant week (30/07/13 - 06/08/13). On arrival at Palma there was an Island Escape rep to show us where to go to get the bus to port. Got on bus, which left almost immediately and it took about 20mins or so to get to the ship. Your luggage is taken care of and delivered to your cabin (literally about 10mins after we got in it!). The whole embarkation process was quick, easy and extremely well organised, very impressed. Onto the ship, cabin was an ok size, very, very clean indeed and plenty of storage for your clothes etc. Bathroom a little dated (as we expected after reading reviews) but again spotless and the shower was brilliant and hot water not a problem at any stage. Beds very comfy, cabin air conditioned and pitch black at night (if you want) ensuring a good nights sleep :) Food & Drink - We ate breakfast in the Beachcomber restaurant each morning (Deck 10 - the most casual of the restaurants) and dinner in the Island Restaurant (Deck 6) a more formal restaurant. Could not complain about a single thing. Loads of choice, hot, fresh, lots of different meat dishes, fish, veggie dishes, sides, salads, fruits, bread, puddings.... People who complain must be the fussiest wotsits ever!!!!! We also paid to eat in the Oasis Restaurant (Deck 5 - a la carte dining), it costs 14.99 a head for a three course meal which was absolutely stunning, plus canapes and beautiful breads, coffee...etc and all your drinks are still all inclusive in there. The service was second to none - highly recommended and worth every penny - a bargain!!! The all inclusive drinks were fine (unless you are really fussy and only want smirnoff vodka or named spirits). The draught lager was San Miguel, wine in the restaurants was fine, cocktails were good... no problems. Even the coke they use is Coca Cola. Staff - Well, that's what makes this cruise fantastic!! Our cabin steward came about three+ times a day to check everything was clean, fresh and tidy, he was just lovely (well worth the extra tip!). The waiters and bar staff work so hard, always friendly, smiling and happy and can't do enough for you. The cleaning staff/crew are on the go non stop, the ship is kept so clean, it was lovely. Entertainment staff were absolutely brill, loved Tony Mac and Ross, made the evenings in the Bounty Lounge very enjoyable. The resident band in there 'The Switch' were also brilliant. Saw lots of very good quality live singers. There is something to do somewhere all day long! Really enjoyed going to all the different ports. Calvi in Corsica was just beautiful and Barcelona was excellent. Some days we stayed on board, chilling by the pool or up on higher decks if you don't want to be around kids. We have children but were holidaying without them!! Sunbeds can be a problem but the only day we didn't get one was our 'day at sea' when you have every single person on board. Days in port people were on and off all day long so you could get a sunbed no problem. We liked using the Sailaway Bar as we left port each evening (lovely bar staff)and we also used 'The Pub' a lot after leaving The Bounty Lounge at around midnight. The waiters in The Pub are a real laugh :) The singers in The Pub were excellent. The Casino is also worth a visit if you like that sort of thing (left there very late indeed a few nights!)and if you fancy a real late night and a dance there is a nightclub on the top deck (also very good!!). All in all, we had an amazing week on the Island Escape, loads of food, drink, clean cabin, clean ship, excellent staff and entertainment, what more can you ask for..?! If you are booked to go you are gonna have a great time!!!! Definitely looking to go back onboard next year :) :) :) Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We did our first cruise on the Island Escape last year, enjoyed it so much returned for a different route this year. Since going All Inclusive it has attracted more families with kids, last year the kids weren't a problem, this year ... Read More
We did our first cruise on the Island Escape last year, enjoyed it so much returned for a different route this year. Since going All Inclusive it has attracted more families with kids, last year the kids weren't a problem, this year some parents enjoyed their holiday while their kids ran feral. While watching the group one evening in the Bounty Lounge we had to put up with two girls 7/8 yr old chasing each other around the room at 11pm. Surely there should be a time limit as to how late children are allowed in these places. We also had to tolerate a little boy 3/4 years old at one of the shows jumping about and being a general nuisance and being ignored by his grown up. Can't really blame the child how many 3/4 year old boys want to sit and watch singing and dancing. We didn't spend time at the pool but apparently there was quite a bit of trouble caused by one boy holding little girls heads under the water. One family we spoke to said they no longer let their children in the pool and had complained to staff. My other complaint was the relaxing of the dress code in the Island Restaurant. Most of the ladies wore nice dresses, the men would have been better dinning on deck 10. One young man came in wearing (I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt calling them shorts, looked more like swimming trunks)very short pink shorts and a woolly hat! Would you really want to dine sat next to him. Many of last years staff were there again this year, still happy, helpful and friendly. The food was good and varied. One more complaint, the Captain held a cocktail party for returning guests at 5.30 on the evening of the Rome Excursions, didn't anyone tell him lots of us would be unable to attend? Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We have just returned from our first cruise and have to say what a wonderful time we had! The staff are the people who made this holiday for us they just couldnt do enough, they were all friendly polite and attentive in every way, ... Read More
We have just returned from our first cruise and have to say what a wonderful time we had! The staff are the people who made this holiday for us they just couldnt do enough, they were all friendly polite and attentive in every way, especially the waiters and cabin crew, we had Nina who was so sweet, our cabin was cleaned twice a day and fresh towels each time if you need them! Each day there was a towel sculpture which was brilliant! Yes cabin was basic but totally adequate, 2 big wardrobes and comfy beds, we had a porthole which was handy! The only downside was the noisy women next door who delighted in returning back drunk and rowing in the early hours!.. Food.. despite a few stupid reviews saying the food was bland?? Dont know what they were eating but ours wasnt at all bland, there was a huge chioce and breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and midnight buffet in the beachcomber restaurant was excellent and also theme nights where food was freshly cooked! The only moan I have was a mass frenzy of people at the meal queues so my advice would be to eat early or later on..we tried the Island restaurant too, less busy but not open very long..entertainment was first class and 2 showings in the Ocean theatre was ok for everyone to see a top class show! Ross was a brilliant compere! whoever said the ship smelt of smoke was talking rubbish! I dont smoke but I was with people that do..smoking is restricted to deck 8 and the top of deck 10 and as you are at sea you can not smell any smoke anywhere, so again its just the usual moaning whingers that like to have a moan at smokers! The all inc drinks didnt cause problems, I was expecting groups of lager swilling drunks but was none of that! In fact I dont know how the ship will make profit out of that because apart from sangria and a few cocktails All drinks are included and im not talking half measures either! Brilliant! The only mistake we made was to book trips on the ship, make sure you book online before you go as they were a lot more expensive!..well worth it tho we booked to go from Cannes on the Monaco easy trip and took us to Monaco thro Cannes and the riviera ..absolutely amazing, when you get to Monaco get on the little local train which takes you thro the GP circuit! All in all we had a fab holiday and will def be returning next year..cant wait! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
This was our first cruise and first package holiday! I traveled with my mother who is in her 60s and we usually enjoy city breaks, Barcelona being one of our favourites but decided this year that a cruise would be a great way to see the ... Read More
This was our first cruise and first package holiday! I traveled with my mother who is in her 60s and we usually enjoy city breaks, Barcelona being one of our favourites but decided this year that a cruise would be a great way to see the city sights we like with a bit of relaxation thrown in! We were drawn to this ship from its description as informal and laid back on the website, we also were very happy with the ports of call and the price! We had issues trying to book as when we went into the Thomson's shop the "cruise expert" did everything she could to try and put us off the Island Escape and book a different more expensive ship, after 45 minutes of her showing us restaurant menus and pictures of other ships we left, went to a different Thomson's shop and booked the cruise we wanted! This then prompted me to read some reviews, which perhaps I should have done before I booked, but I am so glad I didn't as it could very well have made me book a different cruise! Some of the reviews I read we're horrific and really put a shadow over our holiday... I need not have worried though as this was one of the best, if not the best holidays we have been on! I was not sure what to expect with this being my first package holiday and was really impressed with the presence of the reps in the airport and how helpful they were! We were pointed in the direction of our bus where we were handed a pack with some information and what would happen next and then driven to the port. Once there, and after sanitising our hands at one of the ever present gel dispensers, we went through a very easy and informative check in and embarkation, our cases were delivered to our cabin very soon after. The cabin we stayed in was an inside cabin on deck six, it was in a perfect location as it was just off the main corridor and not to close to either the stair well or restaurant for the noise but close enough for easy access! The cabin was immaculately clean and our cabin steward came in several times a day to tidy up or turn the beds down etc. It was basic but the beds were comfortable and there was plenty of storage space. There was also mini bar items in the cabin, these were not included in the all inclusive package but seemed reasonably priced. There was a news letter delivered every evening which contained useful information about tomorrow's port of call and what was happening on board. We spent our first full day at sea where we explored the ship, it's facilities and booked our excursions for the week. Our first impressions of the ship had been really good and we were even more impressed after looking around. Descriptions of "a rust bucket", "filthy, disgusting communal areas" and "food which was like school or prison fare" played on my mind but I really don't know what these people were seeing that I wasn't! I am not easy to please, I have a touch of OCD so am really particular with cleanliness and am a picky eater but I have to say that there were no complaints from us at all. I have never seen as many people cleaning 24/7 as I did on that boat and it really felt that the crew were doing everything they could to ensure that germs and viruses etc were not spread. We mainly ate in the Island Restaurant on deck 6 as it was near our cabin. A waiter ensured everyone used the hand gel before entering and then you were shown to a table, the first couple of times we went we sat in different places but by day 3 we sat at the same table with the same people every night. The food was a buffet and the choice was fantastic, every night there was a soup to start, a carvery option, a pasta option, a vegetarian option and several main and side dishes plus a salad bar, hot and cold deserts and cheese and biscuits. There were also theme nights, Italian, Chinese and an Indian night. All of the food we had was first class and never cold as some people had written in their reviews. We did eat in the Beachcomber Restaurant a couple of times as this was open 24/7. This restaurant was a lot more relaxed, food was still buffet but served on melamine plates as these could be taken outside or to the pool area etc. We had breakfast there a couple of times when we had an early start for an excursion. They also served afternoon tea, typical stuff like sandwiches, cream scones, cake, sausage rolls etc which we enjoyed a couple of times instead of having lunch. They also served "midnight snacks" which we also had one night... I would like to tell you what was on offer but I was a bit worse for wear and it was the equivalent of getting a late night takeaway after a heavy night out! I do know that they had nachos with cheese on as this was what was half left in a bowl in my cabin the next morning! There were also some reviews saying that the all inclusive was not very good... We found there to be a very wide selection of drinks available, we drank cocktails most of the time, there was a choice of about 8 with alcohol and 3 non alcoholic ones plus a special of the day on AI. We also drank wine in the restaurant with dinner, it wasn't what we would usually drink but was fine. We ended most night with a glass of port in the Sundowner bar watching the singers, I know that the spirits etc were house spirits and if you wanted brands you paid for them but I don't know many places where this would not be the case on all inclusive! All in all we really enjoyed this holiday, found the ship far exceeded our expectations after reading the reviews, the whole process of embarkation and disembarkation very smooth, the excursions value for money, all of the staff really helpful and the food and drink fantastic. We are already considering another cruise on this ship next year. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
This was our third cruise the first two being with Ocean Village which is no longer with us. Compared with Ocean Village this cruise lacked the little extra touches even though the price was comparable. On Ocean village the luggage was ... Read More
This was our third cruise the first two being with Ocean Village which is no longer with us. Compared with Ocean Village this cruise lacked the little extra touches even though the price was comparable. On Ocean village the luggage was taken off you at the airport and next seen in your cabin, this one it was yours all the time, check in at airport,collect at airport and take to bus then from bus to ship, only then was it taken to your cabin. The same coming home, pick up outside ship, load onto bus, take off bus, check in at airport. The ship although being friendly and the staff wonderful as was the entertainment, It is not a cruise ship, it is a converted ferry and it shows. Not the space and airiness of a cruise ship, metal decks covered in plastic mesh, the pool reminded me of an emergency water tank converted to a pool, walkways narrow and do not access directly anywhere. The Island restaurant tries to be upmarket with proper linen and waiter served drinks but it is very busy and seems hectic not relaxing. The Beachcomber "restaurant" is like a canteen, melamine plates and again busy not relaxed. The Oasis restaurant for which you pay a supplement was very nice but the food served in there was the same as the other restaurants only served in better surroundings. Food, although plentiful was not what I would expect on a cruise, bland and repetitive and not a lot of choice. If its your first cruise it would be great, but not up to other budget cruise standards. You get what you pay for. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We travelled on The Island Escape on the 'Best of The Med' itinery in Juky 2013. Myself, my husband and our 3 year old son. We stayed in cabin 5048 and excellent sized cabin, much larger than expected with a big window. Fabulous ... Read More
We travelled on The Island Escape on the 'Best of The Med' itinery in Juky 2013. Myself, my husband and our 3 year old son. We stayed in cabin 5048 and excellent sized cabin, much larger than expected with a big window. Fabulous cabin boy called Elvin who couldn't do enough to help us, very clean, Dated interior but very comfortable and adequate. Ports visited Palma, Corsica, Rome, Pisa,St Raphael, Barcelona Our favourites were Corsica and St Raphael which were both stunning. The cabin staff, waiters , entertainment and kids clubs were superb. As our son was with us, age 3 he went to Palmys Kids Club which had daytime supervised activities, and two sessions in the evenings 4-6pm and 8-10pm which meant you could go to a show or a meal without the kids in the evening which was a real treat. We loved going to the Bounty Lounge where there was a great band called The Switch, and lots of entertainment. Port & Shore Excursions We didn't go on any paid excurisons, we went to Rome ourselves on the train from the port at Cittavecchia you just walk across the road from the port entrance and 5 mins walk down the main street on your left is the train station. The train tickets from Rome were 13 Euros return each,there were two trains each hour to St Pietro from there you walk down the hill to St Peters. We also did the hop on hop off Rome Bus Tour which was 20Euro each. Going to Rome by yourself is fairly easy , and far cheaper than paid excursions. Propiano in Corsica was a beautiful beach stop as was St Raphael. Summary: Transport on the coaches on arrival to the ship was easy, and very quick. Staff at the port were extremely organised and helpful. Amazing attention to detail, cleanliness (hand sanitation everywhere) and a happy crew. Cabin boy Elvin was amazing! Leaving the ship and getting back to the airport was extremely easy too. The food on the ship was far better than I had expected, and was very fresh and tasty, a good choice for all, and a kids menu which suited my son. The Island Restaurant was our favourite. Our only complaint was that there weren't many other young families on board, so it was hard to find a spot to eat and relax where you felt you could relax with young kids. When the kids club was closed it would be good if there was a kids playroom or soft play/ chill area where parents could be with the kids without disturbing the other guests peace. Overall this cruise is excellent value for money, and I would recommend it. We have definetely go the cruising bug and can't wait to go on another one! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
6am flight from Cardiff,all went smoothly,we were the 2nd bus to arrive at the port .Ross was on duty and welcomed us....much quicker booking in than on previous cruises....we were given cabin 5036 so just a shortish walk down the corridor ... Read More
6am flight from Cardiff,all went smoothly,we were the 2nd bus to arrive at the port .Ross was on duty and welcomed us....much quicker booking in than on previous cruises....we were given cabin 5036 so just a shortish walk down the corridor and we were in.Had packed a change of clothes in hand luggage so after a quick freshen up and change our bags arrived ....10 mins later we were all unpacked and on our way up to the Mirage bar.....Jason the barman served us with a very welcome Bon Voyage and a pint(in 2 glasses but nevertheless a pint) after 2 more we decided to go ashore.Made our way up to the Porto Pi shopping centre to stock up on duty free booze for taking home.....fabulous shopping centre but disappointed with the Carrefour hypermarket....they didn't have Jack Daniels,Amaretto or Malibu in 1 litre bottles so we ended up just getting 2 bottles of vodka at £5 a bottle not bad....back to ship and after stashing our purchases back up to Mirage for a couple more cocktails.Life boat drill at 5pm then back down to the cabin for a siesta and a wash and change ready for the evening......Big queue outside Island restaurant so we opted to eat in Beachcomber.....lovely meal beef carvery was lush as were the puddings....decided to give the show a miss tonight so headed straight for the Sundowner Pub.....lovely evening in there listening to the 2 resident singers Billy Deen and Chris Barton.Then up onto deck for the sailaway party...where we stayed until 12 ish then back down to the pub to finish off the evening ...Off to bed 2am later than planned but hey we were on holiday Day 2 At sea today....managed to get the last 2 sunbeds on deck 10...phew that was lucky.Him indoors likes a cooked breakfast and I'm not fussed but there was plenty of choice for the 2 of us at the Beachcomber....spent the day in and out of the pool.....my only gripe for this holiday....too many kids in the pool even during the adult swim time....a lot of nervous swimmers said they wouldn't go in for fear of being dive bombed by kids....that is my only complaint....no one poolside to enforce the swim time and stop the kids from jumping in and pushing each other in....accident waiting to happen. Ate at Island restaurant this evening and the food was superb then mixed the night up at the Bounty Lounge watching the resident band The Switch and The pub. Day 3 Calvi...shore by Tender...an experience in itself as we'd never done it before....Got there fairly early but still the walk up to the Citadel is hard going even before the sun is at it's strongest...worth the walk though because the views are lovely.... stopped in a little cafe in the town and had a beer before returning to the ship.....that pool was very welcome I can tell you then we were treated to a few tunes by the ships venue manager Abbie Alicia who has a very good voice...well done Abbie....the ice carving demonstration by Patterson was also very good to watch.Had yet another lovely meal at the Island then watched the show team perform the Magic of the Musicals which was excellent. Finished off the evening in The Pub Day 4 Livorno....Up early today for our trip to Florence and Pisa.Florence is a lovely city the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in the Plazza del Duomo is absolutely stunning...I found the trip very interesting and informative however I though 2 and a half hours free time was neither here nor there...we had something to eat and then made our way to Accademia to see Michelangelo's David but the queues were too long and we wouldn't have had time to wait so we came away disappointed and then had too much time to spare...on to Pisa next...the Piazza del Miracoli is lovely and filled with lovely little stalls selling touristy things,spices,peppers,liqueurs,gelato and various other trinkets.All in all not a bad day but very tiring....back to ship,a quick drink in The Pub and then off for a siesta......early night tonight so missed the panto in the Bounty lounge....just had a few drinky poos in the pub and off to bed Day 5 Cannes....another Tender port...early start again as we are off to Monte Carlo and Monaco today...Cannes looked stunning from the coach as we made our way to Monte Carlo some lovely views across the valley.Shops to die for...not that we could afford anything...Porches,Ferrari's Lamborgini's parked up outside the Monte Carlo Grande Casino ,oh how the other half lives,....back on the bus and off to Monaco...watch the changing of the guard at the Prince's Palace then off to the St Nicholas cathedral where Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier and where they are both buried.I loved the Monaco free time and could have done with a little more time to explore but sadly we had to return to the bus . Back on board siesta time again before getting ready for the evening.Italian night in the Island and it was really lovely...the tiramisu was to die for....watched the Cruise Factor in the Bounty....what a laugh then off to the pub to dance the night away. Day 6 Toulon...charming little port Sunday so some of the shops are shut but there is a massive outdoor market to keep us ladies happy...spent quite a while walking around there...the fruit was lovely I can vouch for the cherries had a massive bag for 2 euros.Back on board for a dip in the pool and a sunbathe and Ross treated us all to some tunes......too hot today so went in to cool down and have one or two drinks in the pub....Cinese food in the Island was outstanding tonight then off to the Rocking all over the world Show in the Ocean Theatre....a fe more drinks in the Pub then off to the Bounty lounge...the Miss Island Escape was a scream...not to be missed then it was the turn of the Guest UK comedian Buster...who was brilliant....danced the rest of the evening away in the pub Day 7 Barcelona....wasn't going to get off here today as we've been 3 times before but got off to go to the duty free as I needed to get a bottle of JD to take home as a gift....Duty free shut so decided to take the bus into town and have a stroll down Las Ramblas....caught the DF on the way back...bought my stock to take home at very reasonable prices I might add....cheaper than the airport for anyone whos interested but not so much choice....still they had my Dissarono,Malibu and JD so I was happy.Last day for us today so spent a little longer at the pool than normal.. the boat building final was a laugh despite there being only one valiant entry....and the charity Waxathon is an event not to be missed....it was a total scream....and the screams could be heard in Las Ramblas I think....I felt so sorry for Ross 10 waxing strips....poor man.... Fab curry in the Indian corner of the Island tonight then on to the Ocean theatre for the Rock This Ship performance...which was absolutely amazing....I must admit to having to rush out after the staff came onto the stage as I was a tad weepy and had to compose myself.Spent the rest of the night in the pub dancing. Day 8 Palma....Early start so a quick breakfast in the beachcomber then off to say our goodbyes to the wonderful staff and on the bus back to the airport.....Goodbye Island Escape and thank you for one of the best cruises we've had....we'll be back Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
After our first ever cruise holiday aboard the Island Escape we returned very disappointed, this cruise was part of my wife's birthday present and due to the terrible experience aboard the Island Escape it ruined the surprise.In ... Read More
After our first ever cruise holiday aboard the Island Escape we returned very disappointed, this cruise was part of my wife's birthday present and due to the terrible experience aboard the Island Escape it ruined the surprise.In general I booked an outside cabin on deck seven which was in a terrible state of repair. The cabin was very dated and showed signs of age and wear, nothing like the photo in the brochure. The air con unit sounded like a constantly boiling kettle which was very annoying.There were holes in the walls covered over with plasters, the bathroom door was bashed to bits. The bathroom was very dated with taps & shower unit showing signs of age (discoloured chrome), the bathroom mirror needed replacing as the mirror backing was missing around the edges.Avoid eating on deck 10 as the food is appalling for a cruise ship, we have had better food in a 3* hotel, with salads served on hot plates, hot food served on cold plates that's if it was hot.Nova virus was on board but we think it was more due to food poisoning as most of the food was cold, even the gravy was cold.The all inclusive deal is not as clear as you think but also you get people who think they have to drink all day & night with the minority being drunk & rowdyspoiling the atmosphere for the rest of the ship.Be warned that if you are planning a cruise we advise you choose a higher standard ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We travelled on the Island Escape earlier this month and knew what to expect as had been on the ship three years ago in the Med but different ports of call. We had a lovely time, admittedly the cabins are pretty small and bathrooms could ... Read More
We travelled on the Island Escape earlier this month and knew what to expect as had been on the ship three years ago in the Med but different ports of call. We had a lovely time, admittedly the cabins are pretty small and bathrooms could do with an update but the cabin was kept scrupulously clean and tidy by our cabin steward Uberio. He did a fantastic job, always so helpful and smiling. The food was good considering the vast quantities of people the kitchens cater for, sometimes a little difficult at busy times to get a table but generally no problems and the choice was very good, you would have to be extremely fussy to complain. I must admit I prefer having a meal served at the table which is what happens usually with other cruise companies but for the price paid and for the all inclusive drink package it was excellent value for money and I would use the ship again. We had some windy weather towards the end of the cruise and had to visit another port (Toulon instead of St. Raphael as the weather was too windy to use tenders and there was a fair amount of movement in the cabin at night - not too keen on that but you have to accept we can't control the weather sadly. Entertainment staff were great, always smilling and friendly, dance troupe were excellent, good voices especially the lead singers and wonderful costumes, entertainment staff hilarious, Ross Roberts was great, good voice and so funny, a good all round host and his deputy Tony Mack was excellent too. The other staff were great, comedian Ian Roberts was very good - not smutty or swearing just funny! - dolly parton tribute was good, excellent entertainment all round. We didn't go on any trips but organised our own, took the train to Rome and Pisa after checking this out on the internet and the train and metro fares were very reasonable indeed, people were helpful when we got a little confused on the metro. The spanish steps were just by the metro and the fountain was a little harder to find but we managed it easily enough, the trip to Pisa is only 15 minutes by train and was just 5 Euros and then we caught a bus that took probably the same amount of time for 1 Euro 50 with a time lapse of 70 minutes to return by or purchase another ticket so that was a cheap day out! The weather was extremely hot in Rome and did stop us doing any more sightseeing and would recommend leaving the ship asap when it docks - we caught 8.45am train to Rome Termini just so we would hopefully have plenty of time to return on the train as delays can occur - our train was approx 15 mins late each way leaving the station but other than that no problems. Pool was a little small admittedly but a good atmosphere and entertainment every day more than made up for this - shame the childrens pool isnt separate as they tended to use the adult pool if their parents allowed them but generally the pool was free of kids in the adult section. Plenty of other entertainment during the day, we went to towel sculpting and napkin folding which was interesting to say the least, wished we played bingo on the last night - not a big bingo player but the prizes of 50, 150 and 800 was pretty good I thought! We found all the staff to be very helpful, always smiling and friendly, remembered your name quite often and what you drank etc. and they certainly work hard and put in long hours - they were excellent! Both embarking and departing the ship were very speedy - a lot better than other cruise lines - generally a great holiday all round and basically you get what you pay for - if you would prefer something a little more sophisticated then go with another company Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Just got back from a week on this Ship. Our cabin was adequate with loads of hot water. The whole ship was very very clean. The main complaints were: The food was of a very poor quality, apparantly it was better before the whole ship went ... Read More
Just got back from a week on this Ship. Our cabin was adequate with loads of hot water. The whole ship was very very clean. The main complaints were: The food was of a very poor quality, apparantly it was better before the whole ship went all inclusive..so what does that tell you? The food was bland, lukewarm, stodgy and full of bones!! There is no waiter service at all. So in the evening everyone are milling about with plates of food, some people are dressed up, some are in shorts!! Its like a canteen or school dinners. There is no promemade deck as such, only a small piece of deck. This is the only piece of deck that we could sit in the shade. But there are no sunbeds on there, so unless you like sitting in the full sun, on top of the boat, there is no shade.Also smoking is allowed anywhere on the open deck, so the whole of outside smells of smoke. Service on the boat was good, aand the entertainment was also good. But only 350 seats in the theatre, twice a night is 700 seats, and theres 1400 people on board. So we only saw 2 shows as we couldn't find a seat. We learnt you have to queue 3/4 hr before the show begins to get a seat. The atmosphere on ship was friendly, but there were large parties of people drinking as its was all inclusive.There was a reasonable selection of drinks on the package. Summing up. A friendly boat, very clean but terrible food and spoilt by allowing smoking everywhere on the outside deck (loads of people with hacking coughs!!). Its the cruise for you if you want to eat in a canteen, drink and smoke as much as you want and enjoy a social club atmosphere. We will not be returning. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
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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