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133 Island Escape Cruise Reviews

Delayed flight , but otherwise uneventful journey and efficient embarkation onto ship. As expected, ship is not new but is clean and kept in a good working condition. It lacked quiet comfortable places to sit. Unfortunately, some cases of ... Read More
Delayed flight , but otherwise uneventful journey and efficient embarkation onto ship. As expected, ship is not new but is clean and kept in a good working condition. It lacked quiet comfortable places to sit. Unfortunately, some cases of norovirus appeared after 2 days but we did not consider this to be a fault of the ship as all precautions were taken by the crew. (Rigorous hand cleansing not always observed by the passengers) Our cabin was rather small but functional with plenty of storage. We were not happy using a buffet service in the dining room as the seating made it difficult and we ate in the Oasis restaurant every evening. This was superb, with several special offers available during the week. The service was very good throughout the ship and especially in the Oasis. The shows and other entertainment were very good but not always to our taste. (Too loud in some areas) We only participated in one excursion to Fire mountain on Lanzarote and it was excellent. We had taken this cruise before and had visited several of the places offered. On the last day we were taken to a very nice hotel prior to our departure so that the ship could be deep cleaned. This turned out to be a superb end to a very enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
I have just returned from a weeks cruise with Thomsons Island Escape. I would agree that the ship is a bit dated and due for an overhaul, however I don't agree with the comments about how you are treat and quality of food and drinks. ... Read More
I have just returned from a weeks cruise with Thomsons Island Escape. I would agree that the ship is a bit dated and due for an overhaul, however I don't agree with the comments about how you are treat and quality of food and drinks. I started my holiday by visiting the Beachcomber resturant, we spent 3 and a half hours eating. The food was of a good variety and the quality was good. the staff were very friendly and assisted in every way. The Island resturant was a more relaxed eating enviroment and you were very well looked after. The All inclusive drinks on board were fast and the proper drinks, Gordons Gin, Teachers or Grants whisky etc. Good measures as well. Champions bar the best of them all. If you wanted Beefeater gin famous grouse or bicardi, it only cost 10p a drink extra, that is nothing. The entertainment was excellent from broadway shows to theatre to comedians and great tribute acts, we had Frank sinatra tribute act and he was as good as the real thing. The comedian was extremely funny and entertaining. The Captain of the ship was very approachable, he was also very invovled in the entetainment, getting involved in some the the comedy shows adding to the impact. I was not really comfortable with going on cruises, I had a bit of persuading to get me to go. This cruise has wetted my appetite and I look forward to my next cruise. You have to remember when you go on a cruise, don't expect everything when your only willing to spend a little. This cruise was well worth the money. I have never spoken and got on with so many different people on my holidays as I did on this cruise. It is such a way to socialise on holiday. If your wondering, GO FOR IT, you'll get your moneys worth. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
What a great cruise, it ticks all may boxes, great value, excellent food, fabulous entertainment, crew helpful and attentive and the atmosphere so relaxing. Ok - the ports of call may not be inspiring, Santa Cruz, Las Palmas, Funchal, ... Read More
What a great cruise, it ticks all may boxes, great value, excellent food, fabulous entertainment, crew helpful and attentive and the atmosphere so relaxing. Ok - the ports of call may not be inspiring, Santa Cruz, Las Palmas, Funchal, Agadir and Arrecife, but travelling overnight, means you have a full day to explore. The ship is in need of updating, but the cabins are clean and comfortable. There is plenty of space to sun bathe, lots of activities during the day, a really good cross section of people creating stimulating conversations. The plus for me and my wife, both in our early fifties, was the evening meals, the formal shows and the more relaxed "butlins" style partiscipation shows. In short something for everyone. Yes you hear people moaning about this and that, but if you got a good deal on the price, then you really cannot complain or match the value for money and I have cruised on the QM2. So start the holiday with an open mind, be clear about what you want from the cruise, understand what your priorities are think about the lousey weather in Britain. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
This is our 2nd cruise on this ship, but the 1st cruise for our 2 sons in their 20's. We were lucky in going before the bad weather of the middle and end of December. So we had an uneventful flight out and only a 1 hour delay on ... Read More
This is our 2nd cruise on this ship, but the 1st cruise for our 2 sons in their 20's. We were lucky in going before the bad weather of the middle and end of December. So we had an uneventful flight out and only a 1 hour delay on flying back. We were aboard 11th to the 18th December. Island Cruises staff are at the airport to greet you and direct you to the coach for the 45 minute ride to the port and check in. We left Manchester just after 7 a.m. and were aboard by 1p.m. The weather on the whole was good, dull and warm with some rain the 1st couple of days, then mainly warm / hot and sunny. (Especially Agadir, be careful you don't burn). On arrival there were heavy dark clouds in the port which lived up to their promise and unloaded the rain in the evening so the sail away party was held indoors. And day 2 in Las Palmas was dull with heavy clouds. We had no really bad weather untill the last night when it was rough and stormy. But a warning to those, like us, who have not sailed the Atlantic before. People complained of the "rough weather" all week, while what it was was big swells of the sea caused by bad weather elsewhere in the Atlantic. So the ship did rock up and down quite a bit. We had a balcony cabin on deck9 and the boys had an outside twin on deck 4. Others have commented on her age and need for refurbishment , It mainly shows in the age of the wallpaper and the dated appearance of the bathroom. But all fittings and tiles were not chipped or broken. (I looked in the boys' cabin and it was identical inside to ours, but they said they had no 'fridge in theirs. The cabins are not huge but have plenty of room for what you need them for, including plenty of drawer and wardrobe space. And all kept spotlessly clean by the steward. The public rooms are all in good order with plenty of shiny wood and brass. On arrival it felt odd to be there with no sign of Christmas aboard, but as the week progressed the crew decorated them ready for the Christmas cruise and it felt really festive by the 2nd half of the week. Dining is in one of the 2 buffet restaurants. The Beachcomber on deck 10 is open 24 hours, while the Island is open just at mealtimes. This time it felt very busy at main meal times in the Beachcomber and sometimes difficult to find a table, especially on the couple of days the weather made it unsuitable to use the outside seating area. So this time aboard we ate more in the Island Restaurant and never had to wait more than 3 to 4 minutes for a table. There is the Oasis A la Carte, restaurant, but we did not use it. While still good we felt the food was not quite as good as last year. This surprised me having read the reviews of the other Thomson's ships. But there was a good choice and it was always hot. And as you are eating the staff are always there for drinks orders and to remove used plates quickly. Also hygene is observed with the usual hand gels outside the restaurants and also at the gangplank before boarding. Drinks. We had the All Inclusive package and it is better than last year. As well as covering beer, wines, spirits and soft drinks it now includes many of the cocktails. It does not cover the whole drinks list, but more than enough to satisfy us. The Entertainment. Ross, the Cruise Director and his team work really hard to give everyone a good time, whether in the theatre shows or in the game shows in the Bounty Lounge. We really enjoyed "Elvis" on the 1st night. And the guest comedian. And the show team had worked hard to put on a professional shows for us on other nights. But also don't miss out on the game shows hosted by Dan and Hayley Jane. Especially Millionaire, Name That Tune and Come Dancing. I know it sound a bit Butlins or Pontins, but you get well entertained. And on sea day do not miss Ready Steady Cook. The only problem we had was on the sea day the toilet system broke down for about 4 hours. There were a lot of desperate people about by the time it was fixed. The ports and excursions. Gran Canaria, we did our own thing and used the City Sightseeing HOHO bus. But unlike other of their busses we have been on it was a bit of a waste as there was not much to see. We would have been better getting a taxi into town. Much cheaper. The ship docks at the other end of the front to the main part of the town and it is quite a walk. La Palma is a beautiful Island, though small, and we did the Volcanoes and Wine excursion. It was very interesting to see the other side of the island and round the volcano by the sea. It is not for those of poor mobility due to the nature of the track round the rim. The boys stayed in town and had a relaxing time. A lovely place but not many shops open as it is Sunday. Funchal This place is beautiful, you could easily spend a week or more here. It was dull and cloudy on arrival, but the sun came out all day for us. I had researched doing here D.I.Y. but the cost was hardly any less than the ship's excursion for the same itinerary. We did the Taste of Madeira one as we wanted to go up in the cable car and down in the toboggans. That was an experience not to be missed. Most of the time we seemed to be going down sideways. The excursion got us back to the ship for just after 1p.m. and we had lunch aboard before collecting the boys and we had a taxi back into the town centre for a lovely afternoon strolling around and relaxing outside in one of the cafes. They have a Mcdonald's on the sea front and of course the boys had to have one. The seafront is lovely to walk along but it is a long walk back to the ship. And a word of warning here. They are working on the dock improvements here and at the dock itself it is quite dangerous to walk as there is no pavement and there are works vehicles and traffic going in and out of the dock area. In the evening, as darkness fell, on came all the lights around town. We were back aboard by then and even from the ship it looked beautiful. Agadir. If there is one place we did not like it was here. I am not one who advocates staying aboard when in port but if I was ever on a ship that docked in Morocco again I definitely would not get off. We had been to Alexandria in June on our cruise and visited the Pyramids and Cairo and should have been prepared, but this place was worse. The whole place looks like it is built on a rubbish dump that is still in use. We did the Taroudant excursion and it was interesting, we went round the old market, but afterwards be prepared for haggling at stalls when the guide takes you to the touristy bit. The tree climbing goats were really interesting. We were glad to get back aboard. Lanzarote. This is the one place we all did the excursion together. Fire Mountain. This is not to be missed. DW did not realise she would be getting a ride on a camel as part of it. It was a different experience and quite hair raising in places. Then up to the top for the demonstrations of the volcano's heat. The ride through the park was amazing, like being on the moon. Then it was time for the last day and the flight home. We were lucky and only delayed about 1 hour. They couldn't get the plane off the ground in Manchester due to the ice and had to defrost it. One thing about the flight, our eldest is 6 foot 4 inches and thinking back we should have booked extra legroom seats as it was cramped for him in the standard ones. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
We flew from Glasgow to Palma in Majorca (our point of embarkation), and were transferred to the Island Escape by bus from the airport (all very efficient). Embarkation was not the best introduction to our first cruise. It felt more of a ... Read More
We flew from Glasgow to Palma in Majorca (our point of embarkation), and were transferred to the Island Escape by bus from the airport (all very efficient). Embarkation was not the best introduction to our first cruise. It felt more of a cattle market, where cruise staff appeared to be single minded in their intent on getting hold of our credit card details, than welcoming us to the cruise experience. Our initial impression on embarking was that the ship was huge, and we thought we would never find our way around, but our fears were unfounded and after a short time we pretty much had our bearings. (No doubt my husband would find that hard to believe!) Our cabin was basic, but adequate for a week's cruise. However, we did have to get the staff to rearrange the beds into an "L" shaped arrangement (our request on booking), to make better use of the floor space. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the greatest sailor, but I did manage to find my sealegs quite quickly (thankfully), unlike a few of our fellow travellers, who were conspicuous by their absence at meal times. However, the staff did try and prepare for inclement weather, by strategically placing sickbags around the ship, not that my mother had much to worry about. She proved to be a true sailor and I'm sure the boat could have been doing somersaults and it wouldn't have put her up nor down (apart from perhaps taking the precaution to don some water wings and relocate to a life boat!). We certainly found enough to do on board, and tried to fit in as many activities as possible, which made the cruise feel very hectic (but as we were only on board for 7 days we wanted to try everything on offer). A longer cruise would certainly have given us some breathing space and would have allowed us to take things at a more leisurely pace. However, we did enjoy the card competitions, dancing lessons, quizzes, demonstrations, etc, etc, etc. On top of all these activities we had to find time to eat, and the food was superb, with enough choice during our 7 days on board. We tried all the restaurants on offer, but felt our second time in the a la carte was not as good as our first visit. That apart, we did enjoy all the culinary delights on offer and, as you can imagine, it was weightwatchers for us on our return home. The entertainment staff were very hard working, putting on all the daily activities, then performing in the evening at the shows, (which they performed very professionally). We found all the staff to be very helpful and accommodating and especially enjoyed returning to our cabin to see how the cleaning staff had presented our towels each day. (To our delight they were very imaginative and comedic in their endeavours.) The port and shore excursions were very well organised, easy to book and professionally executed but, to be honest, we only really got a taste of these places, and we would like to return on another holiday to spend more time in each of them. Disembarkation was pretty straightforward. Our cases were put on the quay, which we then had to identify for the onward transfer by bus to the airport. Overall, it was an enjoyable first cruise. The lessons from that holiday will certainly be put to good use on any future cruises, ie duration of holiday, locations, cabin size, fully inclusive, time of year, weather, etc. Read Less
Sail Date October 2008
We flew from Ireland to join the Island Escape at Palma. The transfer from the airport to the vessel was quick and trouble free. When on board the holiday was what most of the reviews described...relaxed & informal. Our group consisted ... Read More
We flew from Ireland to join the Island Escape at Palma. The transfer from the airport to the vessel was quick and trouble free. When on board the holiday was what most of the reviews described...relaxed & informal. Our group consisted of 2 adults and one child (6years). My profession is that of a Merchant Navy officer and hence did view the trip with a critical eye! Captain Hibbert runs a very tight ship and while this is not apparent to the un-trained eye, there was evidence that proved it. It is important to note that with the cost of the cruise, the overall service provided exceeded my expectations and full credit to all involved on board and ashore. The ship is showing its age but don't let this be a negative comment. From my experience of having over 20 years service in the maritime industry, this is always an advantage as there has been enough time for the owners to 'iron out' the shortfalls and areas of concern during this time. It is my humble opinion that an 'old ship' is always a 'happy ship'! The Catering & House-keeping staff: Could not have offered a better service. In the full duration of the trip I found only two waiters who appeared to be at a loss of what was available on the drinks menu. However in their favor, they went away and sought clarification. Cabins: We used cabin 6038. It was in the Mid-ship area of the vessel and hence silent and free of vibrations. Our little girl used the top 'fold away' bunk bed and was more than happy to climb in and out of it everyday. The size was limited but sufficient for 7 days. The en-suite was dated but fully operational. As a sea going officer, I have always had at least one port hole(window) in my cabin and hence I insisted on an outside cabin. Seeing daylight when you wake is an important aspect fro me. The Guest relations / Reception Department: They operated at an acceptable standard. However they appeared to be the weakest link while being compared to the standard set by the other departments. I would still rate their performance to an above 'average standard' of a 4-star hotel. Meals: The restaurants provided a wide selection and the mention of 'cold' food on previous reviews was NOT apparent. There was a food counter of 'cold salads'. The hand sanitizers in use was an excellent hygienic 'plus' point in their favor. Navigational & Safety standards: I did visit the bridge prior to the arrival into port and was amazed to see the Bridge so adequately staffed and all members acting as a very professional and more importantly effective team. The safety equipment and drills performed were smooth, effective and least disruptive. Passenger Morale: I based this viewpoint from frequent discussions with passengers and a large portion of them had returned for a second or even third time on this very ship. The reason was 'simple' good value and a good atmosphere. This viewpoint was echoed by a large portion of the ship's crew as well. Crew morale: This like on most ships, is very important to running a happy ship. On some occasions there were a few Hotel/ Reception / Entertainment /Catering staff who looked physically drained. However at no time were they rude or un-willing to help. They always provided a smile even though at times it appeared to be similar to the one you would get from an airline steward at the end of a 'long haul' flight! Tours / Excursions: Cannot comment as we did them privately. Disembarking: Very systematically and once again a smooth transfer to the airport. Conclusion: As a merchant navy officer, I was amazed to see the value for money, the professional approach, and the many contented passengers. You would always meet the genetically disposed 'moaners' and some with genuine reasons to complain, however I would seriously doubt that it would be caused as a result of the lack of effort or professionalism from the ship based staff of the Island Escape. Captain Hibbert deserves my full praise, appreciation and admiration for the way he discharges his duties and instills confidence to all on board. From one Master Mariner to another….Well done Captain Hibbert! Read Less
Sail Date July 2008
This was our 4th cruise but the first on the Island Escape, we have previously sailed on the Sunbird and the Carousel twice, so we have some experience of cruising. Overall the cruise was excellent and I would recommend trying it, the ship ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise but the first on the Island Escape, we have previously sailed on the Sunbird and the Carousel twice, so we have some experience of cruising. Overall the cruise was excellent and I would recommend trying it, the ship the Island escape was built in 1982 so is a bit dated inside, but also very clean and lavishly decorated. Our itinerary was sail from Palma-Ibiza-Alicante-Malaga-Cadiz-Gibraltar-Palma, Alicante and Malaga were disappointing as there is not much to see, they are big cities, noisy and dirty, but worth seeing, please go to Malaga cathedral, it is the most breathtaking cathedral I have ever visited. I find going on one of the many tourist buses helps you to find your way round, the one in Malaga is 13 euros for a 90 minute tour, 90 minutes because of the bad traffic though, but it goes up to the castle and you can get on and off all day. Ibiza ok but a little boring, lots of shops selling tourist tat and bars, but a lovely harbour. Cadiz is lovely, I like this place the more I go to it, it is full of history and little streets with nice shops selling quality goods, I recommend going into the cathedral and up the bell tower, what a view, a very nice place. Gibraltar is our favorite, a piece of England in Spain, go up the rock on the cable car to see the apes and the spectacular views, lots of good shops selling cigarettes and alcohol at unbelievable prices, 1 litre bottle of whisky 6 pounds!!! 200 ciggys 8.90 (sorry my pound key is not working) But the restaurants were pricey beware! Here are good points and not so good points about the cruise Not so good points: - •Price of the onboard shop, extortion if you ask me. •The ship was full so the entertainment venues and the deck were always full and difficult to get good seats, as usual people spoilt it, some were literally running to find seats and deck chairs, pathetic. One down side to cruising being cheap nowadays it attracts riff-raff, they know who they are, and I am not a snob, I just have standards. •Food sometimes not so hot, but was good and plentiful •You have to get your own suitcase at Palma airport, something that other cruise lines do for you. That's all really I am not a complainer at all, but the above needs mentioning. All in all the cruise was brilliant, good points worth mentioning •Entertainment in the lounges at night was brilliant, the five guys and girls put on some stunning costumes and performed flawlessly, well worth seeing although I would go early as the lounges filled up quickly. •Staff/crew all very friendly and helpful captain John Brockenhurst keeps a very tight ship, he is very friendly and approachable. •Food service in the Oasis was first class although you have to pay for most things, about 6 pound for a steak, which ain't bad, all the food and selection of wines was 5 star quality, the wine waiters are very knowledgeable about wines. You can dress as you like but smart casual is the order of the day, (don't be like the riff raff mentioned earlier and go in in denim or shorts or something similar!) •Cleanliness is fantastic all areas were constantly being cleaned and was kept very tidy. To summarize, this would be an ideal first cruise as it is easy to find you way into the cruise culture, there are higher quality ships at higher prices but this is a good all rounder good quality ship, good itineraries and good culture, cruising has a long history and culture which has kept standards high, like I said before it is being infiltrated by the chavs as they are called and is in danger of having the culture tainted by these people, cruising is for like minded people who have high standards and etiquette and can exist without forcing their personalities and traits onto others whether they like it or not, so don't go if you have no style or class and wear fake designer clothes and lots of bling, that's me off my soap box now. Have a go with Island Cruises we had a great time and would go again. If you need any info about this cruise line or itinerary please e-mail me at gcoohy@aol.com and I will be glad to advise you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
We went on this our 1st cruise to celebrate our silver wedding. What a great experience. Flew into Palma Majorca and boarded ship,(this was the only negative aspect, as we were delayed whilst the ship was thoroughly cleaned due to a health ... Read More
We went on this our 1st cruise to celebrate our silver wedding. What a great experience. Flew into Palma Majorca and boarded ship,(this was the only negative aspect, as we were delayed whilst the ship was thoroughly cleaned due to a health scare the previous week). We chose the cruise because it was going to much loved places in the Med as well as new places yet to be discovered. The food was excellent, the accommodation was excellent and the staff were brilliant. They made us feel really welcome and our individual cabin staff were great at making us feel at home, even decorating our cabin on the night of our anniversary. We tended to dine in the smaller restaurant at night, where the staff were great, and the head waiter was a brilliant singer/entertainer after he had finished his normal duties!!! As for the ports of call, old favourites such as Rome, Nice and Barcelona did not disappoint, but new friends were Florence, Pompeii, Naples,Portafino, and Corsica were a delight, with a big surprise being a place we had never heard of, which was Toulon. We loved dressing up for dinner and making new friends. The aspect of retiring for the night and waking up in a new port/destination really appealed to us. We only took advantage of 2 of the organised trips, because being a little adventurous we went our own way on most occasions, exploring on our own. However the 2 trips we did go on were very good. We went on these because of the distance between the ship and the destination, so Florence and Pompeii were the 2 organised trips we went on. The guide for Pompeii in particular was excellent. However, in future I think we would organise our own trips, because they tend to add up to rather alot of money, which I would rather spend on other things. All in all a great experience and one that we have repeated since, and will do so again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2005
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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