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35 Island Escape Cruise Reviews

We arrived at Palma on 1st Sept 2015 transfers to ship was well organised and efficient. Cabin was small but sufficient steward service was vey good. Koko even repaired a little alarm clock we thought was broken and put back in cabin for ... Read More
We arrived at Palma on 1st Sept 2015 transfers to ship was well organised and efficient. Cabin was small but sufficient steward service was vey good. Koko even repaired a little alarm clock we thought was broken and put back in cabin for us (excellent service). Entertainment crew were brilliant all shows by them were great and the rest of team were fun and friendly doing all bingo quizzes games etc. 2 of our trips were cancelled which was disappointing and the Soller Train in Palma - it would have been nice to have been given information of how to do this on our own instead of having the other trips pushed at us. We found out this was an option from other passengers later. Also we thought the trips were very expensive £38-£42 just for a coach ride to Rome/Florence not good. Unfortunately we had a flood in cabin near end of 1st week due to rough seas, again staff were helpful but no spare cabins except front of ship where it sounded like a cannon was going off with water hitting front of ship!! We remained in wet cabin for night and next day till we could be moved when back in Palma. Compensation was adequate but an upgrade for inconvenience would have been preferred. Food was excellent but didn't appreciate having to pay for ice cream, when stopped in all inclusive hotels this has always been included. Although it was described as a casual cruise an odd night for dressing up would have been nice even if only when going to paying restaurants. Big problem with lifts mid-ship as the biggest was out of order for nearly all cruise - not good with all old and many people bad on their feet. Was told this was out of action last season as well! Also lack of sunbeds caused problems on day at sea each week many people were wandering round looking for them and sitting lying where they really shouldn't have been even in front of showers by pool etc. There was a supposed rule about leaving your sunbed for longer than 45 minutes and towel would be removed, we told a member of staff one had been left for over 2 hours and was told "well you don't need it"!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
My first cruise, and not too good on water I was very apprehensive. We arrived in Palma to a thunderstorm, so knew straight away the water was going to be rather choppy! Our cabin was clean, tidy, the beds were extremely comfortable and ... Read More
My first cruise, and not too good on water I was very apprehensive. We arrived in Palma to a thunderstorm, so knew straight away the water was going to be rather choppy! Our cabin was clean, tidy, the beds were extremely comfortable and after unpacking we started a wander around the ship! Many bars and restaurants, loads of sun beds, swimming pool dominated by the children, but an hour each day designated to over 18's. Tons of activities, quiet spaces to sit and relax, and the staff so accommodating, what more could you wish for? Food was buffet or if you paid extra waiter service in other restaurants was available. We enjoyed the waiter service and went twice rather than the hustle and bustle of the free for all buffet. Our cabin was near the rear of the ship so each docking was heard for about an hour by vibration and smell of diesel so not very pleasant, but as it was just to sleep in as there was so much going on, it was ok. Our cabin cleaner was always on hand and helpful, a surprise each night with the towels kept us laughing. Excursions were good, a coach full of people though is a lot of people to show around on tours, maybe 2 tour guides per coach would be preferable. Just remember some ports are miles away from the main towns so use the coaches to get you there. Would I do it again? Never say never, but not in the foreseeable future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Just back from 7 nights on board Island Escape. I appreciate the boat is old and this is its last year, but it is really dated. The ports on our trip were dreadful except Barcelona and Villafranche. Why we switched to Marina de Carrerra ... Read More
Just back from 7 nights on board Island Escape. I appreciate the boat is old and this is its last year, but it is really dated. The ports on our trip were dreadful except Barcelona and Villafranche. Why we switched to Marina de Carrerra instead of La Spezia I'll never know. Bastia and Marina de Carrerra, there was nowt at all to do. Also if anyone can explain why we left ports so early ie anytime between 4pm and 6pm and then park up somewhere out at sea for 2 to 3 hours, I'd appreciate it. As we were first timers I wasn't sure what to expect, but on this experience I'm afraid cruising isn't for me!! Oh, and why when you book All Inc. Should you have to purchase an upgrade to get proper glasses, be sold pints and have proper beer and spirits. It wasn't all bad though, here are my honest marks out of ten.... Staff 10/10. Entertainment 6/10. Cleanliness 9/10. Food 9/10. Facilities 2/10. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This being our 3rd cruise on the Island Escape ship says it all. For the price nothing can beat it. Staff, food, entertainment, all excellent. This time we upgraded to an outside cabin on deck 6 (cabin no.6000 to be exact). The first night ... Read More
This being our 3rd cruise on the Island Escape ship says it all. For the price nothing can beat it. Staff, food, entertainment, all excellent. This time we upgraded to an outside cabin on deck 6 (cabin no.6000 to be exact). The first night (Tuesday) we bedded down at 11:00 pm (bearing in mind we had been awake since 3:00 am with the travel) & were promptly awoken with a continuing banging sound. This sounded like a demolision ball striking the cabin wall. In return this shook the whole cabin walls, floor & ceiling. This went on until 7:00 am the next day. Consequently we had no sleep at all. On reporting this to the staff we were assured that this was only the sea & was quite common in the month of October. We were told it might be a 1 off for our stay of 7 nights. The next evening (Wed) we did have a little noise, but we thought was just about acceptable & did manage to get some sleep. Thursday night was HELL - the wrecking ball was back with force. Did think of sleeping in reception at this point. On reporting another sleepless night to reception & requesting another cabin - were told fully booked & no other cabin available, but will make a report. For the remainder of the cruise we did manage to get some peace ( to a degree) & get some sleep. Has now put us off booking with them again. Unfortunate as we had enjoyed previous times. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Getting on the ship was speedy enough and we did queue for some unexplained reason, that happened coming off as well. Of the whole cruise it was the rooms that put us off this cruise as they are so small and extremely dated, but kept very ... Read More
Getting on the ship was speedy enough and we did queue for some unexplained reason, that happened coming off as well. Of the whole cruise it was the rooms that put us off this cruise as they are so small and extremely dated, but kept very clean. The ship was kept very clean throughout. Service at the bars was very good as even with a sizable queue you didn't need to wait long. As with the rooms there are parts of the ship that require immediate attention as it is easy to tell that the it requires upgrading or probably replaced. We had a picture window in our cabin and to be honest it was not worth the extra because you could barely see out of it as it was dirty and had rusty water marks all over it. I have produced a video for this ship and the link to this is http://youtu.be/wXz1Z72dy7I which will give a tour of the main areas. Just copy and past the link to your browser. The food in the restaurants is good, sometimes only warm at times and can be a little bit limited but I would say what we had was all very good. The food is buffet style in all restaurants unless you pay extra which we did and it was well worth it to enjoy the table service and the excellent choices on the menu. The entertainment I found to be better than expected. I have travelled a couple of times before on 5 star cruises and found the theatre entertainment on board the Island Escape better by far. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We have just returned from a 2 weeks cruise on the Island Escape, we only chose this ship because of the destinations, not for the ship! We had lovely waiters in the Island Restaurant we had the same table every evening and found them ... Read More
We have just returned from a 2 weeks cruise on the Island Escape, we only chose this ship because of the destinations, not for the ship! We had lovely waiters in the Island Restaurant we had the same table every evening and found them very friendly and helpful, even giving us lessons on napkin folding. Nothing was too much trouble for them and this was for all the cruise not just when they thought they would be getting a tip at the end of our holiday. Only had problem with one head waiter who should have known better, when i asked for something different to eat that was not on the buffet, he told he to go and ask a waiter! while he continued to stand and chat! Should take lessons from head waiter Julienne who I had asked the first week for something not on buffet and his reply "certainly and went to get it himself!" Entertainment was passable. Show team were very good, especially Daniella, fantastic singer, as were the male and female singers in the Sundowner Lounge. Got very fed up with the Cruise Director telling us every 5 minutes about being camp etc. while he may have a good voice these sorts of comments get on your nerves after you have heard them hundreds of times. The entertainment in the Bounty Lounge was good for the first week but the second week was almost word for word perfect from the first week! They should remember that some people were on for two weeks and do not want to sit through same entertainment for their second week. UK artists were very good especially Jason Lee and Robbie Williams act from the second week (now being promoted by Robbie himself) and a young guitar player. Food could have been warmer but was generally ok, more imagination needed on the deserts though. Excursion team very friendly and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Have just returned from a week on the Island Escape. On the whole had a lovely holiday. On the down side i found the bar staff unfriendly except on the friday when they thought there was tips to be had. The morning staff in the mirage bar ... Read More
Have just returned from a week on the Island Escape. On the whole had a lovely holiday. On the down side i found the bar staff unfriendly except on the friday when they thought there was tips to be had. The morning staff in the mirage bar were rude and it was a extreme inconvience for them to even get u a glass of water. Everytime myself or my husband went up to get a drink they continued to talk to each other in their own ;language. The first morning we went to the main restaurant for breakfast and before we were even seated,we were approached by a waiter offering us a glass of orange juice for a pound that vto me was a rip off. On the first and second day the staff pushing the premium package was really annoying. No mention of that when u are booking. The entertainment was quite good. The 2 young people that sang in the pub every night were great entertainers.On the monday ir rained the whole evening and there was no extra activities laid on, like on the other wet evening. Felt a bit like You were going home the next day so nobody made any effort. But like i said it was cheap and cheerful and as we got it cheap it was enjoyable, though wouldnt like to pay full price. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
The flight to Palma was excellent with a 2,4,2 plane, big... Transfer excellent, Embarking excellent with cases in our room before us. Room tiny but livable and clean with our man maid KOKO excellent. Shower area toilet good. Window ... Read More
The flight to Palma was excellent with a 2,4,2 plane, big... Transfer excellent, Embarking excellent with cases in our room before us. Room tiny but livable and clean with our man maid KOKO excellent. Shower area toilet good. Window creaked with the slightest rocking and a bit noisy. The ship in general was dated and we believe talk going around the ship it was an old ferry. But that's the English for you, talk about things they are waiting to moan about. Just get on with it, for what you paid you get what you paid. The ship was laid out funny and no steps near the pool area, so you had to walk up then down to get to a point of the bar where you was originally. Waiter service was decent around the pool and buffet bar at the back of the ship, but because of the lack of beds we had to go up top deck and the staff where no where to be seen on top, this resulted in walking miles for a drink, well 500 yards... lazy boy, sorry... We upgraded to the drinks package £10.95 per day but we got our monies worth as they had corona in bottlers and my wife drank proseco and other great drinks. The only thing wrong with this was that we came on a all inclusive ship and had to pay for decent drinks. So really instead of the 1300 we paid, it was a extra £150. Food was OK, breakfasts superb but cold and for the life of me no microwaves to warm up the cold food. The night time food buffet was again OK with food that was yuck but food that was great but again luke warm, microwaves Thompsons??? You could pay extra for a lovely meal at £14.95 each but again it was all inclusive was it not. Entertainment not the best during the day, but at night some decent shows and some naff. All the staff on board though where the friendliest i have witnessed on board a ship, they where excellent. To sum it up you get what you pay for and some may call it Blackpool, Benidorm on a boat but its not that bad. I must say the Costa fortuna in March we went on was superb in every way but i suppose there was a couple of faults on that ship as well, no body can get it just right apart from the Celebrities ships but that will cost you a for tuna....If you want a good Thompsons ship then our best ever was the Thompsons Majesty last year, far better than the island escapes. We will leave the ships alone for a couple of years and we are off to Mexico November, now that is luxury all inclusive at its best........ Bon Voyage peeps.... Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We have cruised previously with other companies and have to say that Thomson have totally misdescribed this one. There was no Glitz and no Glamour. On boarding we were met with a very dated and very tired interior. Our room had an old ... Read More
We have cruised previously with other companies and have to say that Thomson have totally misdescribed this one. There was no Glitz and no Glamour. On boarding we were met with a very dated and very tired interior. Our room had an old orange sink which was badly chipped and there were large cracks in the grubby shower cubicle screen and the toilet seat was badly scratched and marked as were most of the toilet seats in the various deck toilets. We had no doors on our wardrobes only curtains. Ladies you need to take a hair dryer as there isn't one in your room. The television in our room must have been about 15 -20 years old. You could not get a seat in any of the bars on an evening and the entertainment was abismal, particularly the shows which were by the staff in the Theatre - like the cruise - dated. One of our trips was cancelled the night before we were meant to go on it and we were not even asked if we wanted to go on an alternative. The majority of the reception staff were dour faced and not welcoming at all. Some of the tables in the Beachcomber buffet restaurant were grubby and had silicone around the inside edges. We could not fault the food nor Chandran who cleaned our cabin. Also it is worth noting this is a converted Ferry so if you are prone to seasickness, avoid this ship as it was not built for cruising in stormy seas. A colleague had the same cruise booked for October and she has cancelled in light of our experience. If this was a hotel I would give it 2 stars. Not a cruise I would ever have associated with Thomsons. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This was my first cruise and this review is for solo passengers, this is a budget cruise, so yes the ship is looking a bit tired and in need of a refit, even through you will pay a considerable supplement for your cabin, don,t expect a ... Read More
This was my first cruise and this review is for solo passengers, this is a budget cruise, so yes the ship is looking a bit tired and in need of a refit, even through you will pay a considerable supplement for your cabin, don,t expect a standard cabin, you get a very small single inside cabin that they do not show on the web site. On average they only get approximately 15 solo passengers out of 1500 passengers per cruise, so quite difficult to get a compatible group together. Passengers mainly consist of couples, groups and families, and I found that while they were willing to have a brief chat, they were not interested in arranging to meet for evening events or going on shore excursions together etc: which is understandable from their perspective. The ship and facilities are okay for this type of cruise and are value for money if traveling as a couple or more but not so much as a solo passenger due to the supplement. This small very tired looking inside cabin is not a standard cabin as shown on the Thomson web site, it only has one small single bed along the back wall with another bunk type bed folded on the side wall, it is poorly lit, torn wallpaper, dirty marks, old type tv, only one electric plug, incomplete bathroom taps and in general poor condition, needing a complete refit. The only good thing about it was the Cabin Stewart Kirk who was excellent. The food in the Oasis Restaurant was great, but the food in the Island and Beachcomber Restaurants could be hit and miss, with the salad items always fresh but the cooked items were sometimes just about warm, tasteless and dry. The one high quality aspect of this cruise is the crew, which are excellent and do whatever they can to make your holiday a happy event. When looking at all the other comments regarding this cruise, take 50% from each and its about right. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We have just returned from the Souks & Sangria cruise. This was our second time on Island Escape , the last time being 2 years ago, pre all inclusive. I know this ship is advertised as casual which is the reason we choose Thomson ... Read More
We have just returned from the Souks & Sangria cruise. This was our second time on Island Escape , the last time being 2 years ago, pre all inclusive. I know this ship is advertised as casual which is the reason we choose Thomson cruises, but we found it to be less than that. Most of the guests made an effort and dressed casually but smart in the evenings. Others were just scruffy and had no respect for others. The all inclusive has attracted people who just want to drink and eat the whole time. Some don't ever leave the ship! Cabins are very small and in desperate need of refurbishment. But they have everything you need to shower and sleep which is all you need. The cabin steward work exceptionally hard. They service your cabin 2-3 times a day including turning your bed down whilst you are out. There is a note in your cabin on arrival stating that sun beds must not be reserved and that belongings will be removed after 45 minutes. This is still not the case. There was a great lack of sun beds on sea day but sun beds were left for hours while some guests had to sit on hard chairs all day or sit inside somewhere and miss the sun. The food and entertainment is good. The ship is kept lovely and clean and all staff are very polite despite being spoken to rudely by certain guests who think staff are there to fetch, carry and pick up for them. We picked Island Escape this time for the Ports of call but we won't be choosing it again unless the all inclusive is scrapped and a casual dress code reinstated. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
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
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
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
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
My wife & I had our first cruise on the Island Escape from May 21-28 2013 & as it was our first cruise we were fairly enthusiastic about it. Embarking & disembarking was fairly straight forward, the time in-between is where ... Read More
My wife & I had our first cruise on the Island Escape from May 21-28 2013 & as it was our first cruise we were fairly enthusiastic about it. Embarking & disembarking was fairly straight forward, the time in-between is where the problems lie. Since the ship has gone all-inclusive, standards appear to have dropped. The food is sub-standard...lukewarm at best. The entertainment i have no problem with, Ross & the Showteam are top notch...fantastic guys, we loved you. Halfway through the cruise, the buffet, self serving at the beginning, was served to us with no explanation, eventually, it became apparent that Norovirus was on board, but nothing from the staff to inform us of this. On departing Civitavecchia, the ship listed to one side to avoid the rocks,(ive since heard the captain has been suspended), bottles, glasses & basically anything not nailed down was forced to one side of the ship...including passengers. We were in the Ocean Theatre at this point & it was terrifying, i witnessed a disabled woman in her wheelchair drenched in blood. Another passenger was airlifted to hospital with a suspected heart attack, another had a broken arm, & several had cuts & bruises. Around 200 passengers chose to disembark the following day. The majority of staff were pleasant, although 1 or 2 could do with a course in dealing with the public. All in all, it hasn't put us off cruising.....just NOT on this ship. Another reviewer put it better than i could when he described it as Butlins at sea. Finally, we will never set sail on this poor excuse for a cruise liner again, it's really not built to handle extreme weather conditions, & we still feel grateful to escape with our lives. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
We were on the ship 28th May - 05th June 2013 - first time cruisers. Like many other people, we chose the ship due to the laid back atmosphere on board and the all-inclusive option. We would like to give a fair review of the ship and will ... Read More
We were on the ship 28th May - 05th June 2013 - first time cruisers. Like many other people, we chose the ship due to the laid back atmosphere on board and the all-inclusive option. We would like to give a fair review of the ship and will say that we did not expect a luxury liner. We also had a good holiday in terms of the places that we were able to see (Palma, Cagliari, Naples, Rome, Adjaccio, Mahon), although we were unlucky with the weather for the time of year. There was a lot of rain. It was cold and we had little chance to sunbathe. On seeing the ship at Palma, it looked good, although boarding was unorganised. Our inside cabin on the 7th floor was great and looked to have been refurbished. The ship itself left a lot to be desired for when it set sail and encountered choppy to rough water. It was very apparent that the ship was unable to handle less than perfect weather, this was made worse on more than two nights when the captain chose to put the full engines on max (after being delayed setting off at various ports). Found it difficult to sleep due to the movement of the ship and woke up one night while the ship was listing quite badly, (scary experience when you are stuck in a small cabin). Another night an emergency alarm went off at 5am then stopped. The captain did announce that the ship was at full swell & sick bags were placed down the isles for people. Many people on board complained of the ship listing. Due to these experiences this ship appears to be more suited to ferry crossings or cruising in the height of summer. Passengers who were on the ship the week before we arrived described how the ship did a sharp turn at Cittavichia, with many injured. We were unimpressed by the captain in our week and did not feel that safety was a priority. The staff were fantastic with the exception of one staff member at the Island Restaurant who was very rude (We never got the chance to eat there because it was 'fully booked').The ship was constantly being cleaned, cabin was meticulously cleaned 3 times a day. On the whole the Entertainment was great, well done to the staff, they kept us sane while the ship was swaying about from port to port, many thanks to the shop for selling sea-bands -highly recommend if you are sea-sick. Ocean Theatre was full some nights though so we missed the shows, the shows we did see were great, fantastic comedian one night. The bars were nice. We liked the rooftop bar. The all inclusive drinks were 'ok', many drinks were not included and we bought drinks, but despite that the drinks were still good value. Unfortunately, the standard of the food in the restaurants was very poor. It was look warm, bland, repetitive and was served by the staff due to an outbreak of severe novovirus while we were on board. The only night we enjoyed was when we paid for the steak menu. The food in the buffet should have been kept hotter and there is no excuse for that, disappointed with Thomsons in this respect. Many people did not bother washing their hands before entering the restaurants which is awful and must have also contributed to the outbreak. We were not affected but we spent the whole week constantly using hand sanitizer. The gym was good. Ice sculptures by the pool were good. Sunsets were beautiful. On the day of departure we had to get off early so the staff could 'deep clean' the ship due to the novovirus outbreak. We were catered for at a Thomson's all inclusive hotel in Palma due to this. Hotel was great, we were just so glad to be off the ship, had a brilliant day at the hotel! Overall, we did enjoy the holiday, however on considering a cruise again we would not opt for the Island Escape or Thomsons. The ship left a lot to be desired and we wouldn't fancy being on the ship in winter weather at all. The all inclusive option is not up to scratch. The Island Escape appears to offer good value but considering what it actually offers, we will be shopping around next time as we have seen bigger luxury ships for the same price!   Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Embarkation at Palma was great with no faults. We had read the scary reviews but decided to take the ship on face value. I can only say that having never cruised before I was not expecting the ship to be perfect but it is definitely ... Read More
Embarkation at Palma was great with no faults. We had read the scary reviews but decided to take the ship on face value. I can only say that having never cruised before I was not expecting the ship to be perfect but it is definitely showing its age, both in the cabins where the bathrooms need replacing and the furnishings also need replaced or upgraded. We pushed the boat out, so to speak and booked a deluxe balcony cabin on the 9th floor (one of the five cabins at the rear of the ship). On first view we were delighted, the cabin was large and there was a small tv corner next the double doors which lead out to the balcony. We met our cabin steward Raja, who couldn't do enough for us throughout our trip. We enjoyed our first day getting to know the staff at the sailaway bar, Rommel was extremely helpful and friendly and my hubby had some great banter with him. Everything was fine until the the fist port of call, Corsica, 5.45am to be exact, we thought there was something wrong with the ship, the vibrations were horrendous, my husband thought i was having a fit in bed, but no it was the ship being manoeuvred into port. This went on for at least two hours every morning. Apparently these cabins are directly above the propellers. With the vibrations from them and the constant scraping of chairs on the deck from the beachcomber restaurant above the cabin. We did not get any lie ins. Getting from this the excursions are a little on the expensive side but well worth the journey and getting to see the attractions. We did easy Pisa at £34 per person and Barcelona explorer at £22 per person which were within reason and both very good. The food is bog standard buffet fare for the masses. No complaints about any of the staff, they are extremely hard working and very friendly. The resident band 'Rock the Boat' should be looking for a better class of gig as they are absolutely fantastic, the lead singer has a fantastic voice and they need to be looking at recording something. Apart from the above, we had an ok week, met some lovely people and made a couple of new friends, special thanks to Dierdre and Terry for their company, we had a few laughs. If you are willing to put up with the vibrations and very basic food and entertainment, then the Island Escape is for you. It has been an experience, one we will cherish and remember but we will not be back. Good luck to all who sail in her and remember be kind to all the staff. They made our trip much better than it was. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Me and my girlfriend were recommended this cruise by our local travel agency. The room was an okay size but the shower was a bit small. It was very clean and the crew was excellent and very polite. The problem we faced was the food ... Read More
Me and my girlfriend were recommended this cruise by our local travel agency. The room was an okay size but the shower was a bit small. It was very clean and the crew was excellent and very polite. The problem we faced was the food which was absolutely RUBBISH. Same meals over and over again and all the cuisines were British except for two nights which they served Indian and Italian cuisine which was even worst than the rest. We only had one decent meal on the cruise and that was "a make it your own pasta". They served it again for the second night in a row but the quality dropped dramatically as the chef changed and he just threw everything in the pan and served it to you within 10 seconds. The entertainment was more suitable for over 50s and was the same every day. We wished we had more time at each port especially La Spezia as the excursion for Florence only gave you 4 hours to do everything as we needed 5 hours to and from the port. Toulon was a complete waste of time. Nothing to do at all besides a naval museum. When buying the tickets we were told we were going to St. Tropez but after receiving the tickets we found out that St. Tropez was an excursion option which was overpriced. All the excursion the ship had to offer were way too expensive for what they were offering and with the correct reasearch you can find excursions with more options and also cheaper. We would not recommend this cruise to anyone that is really interested in seeing new places and going sightseeing and having the chance to experience new cultures and have different types of cuisines as this cruise does not offer any of these. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We booked the IE for our honeymoon leaving Manchester on the 17th April. Left Manchester on time at 6.00am no problems with flight, took ages for the bags to come off the carousel, we then left arrivals and joined another queue to ... Read More
We booked the IE for our honeymoon leaving Manchester on the 17th April. Left Manchester on time at 6.00am no problems with flight, took ages for the bags to come off the carousel, we then left arrivals and joined another queue to get on the coaches to the port which took about 20mins once you were on the coach. The embarkation process was quick, off the bus collect your cabin envelope then queue for registration, skipped past the man with the camera who was taking photographs of passengers. They also take a photo at the desk which is used to identify you as you get on and off the ship, then went to identify luggage in the hall before boarding the ship. Once identified your bags are taken on board and they appear sometime later outside your cabin. Note there is no priority boarding for passengers who pay for higher cost cabins on the IE presume this is only on the Thomson ships despite the fact that this is advertised on their website. In the end it wasn't a problem because we were one of the last buses away from the airport so lots of those ahead of us had already passed through the embarkation process. Cabin (Suite 8528). Cabin was BIG.... Two toilets one with a shower (which proved very useful later in the cruise.... more on that later!) King size bed although we think it was bigger, the lounge area was separated from the bedroom by a large wardrobe/cabinet across the middle of the cabin, there was a fridge and a hairdryer provided along with shampoo, conditioner body lotion and a container in the shower with soap in it. Pool towels were also provided. The settee made up into a bed .... on inspection (just out of curiosity!) it looked a bit grotty don't think we would have liked to sleep on it! Dining Three restaurants, beachcomber which we used a lot of the time especially after the Rome and Florence /Pisa excursions which were all day so was convenient to drop in have tea and then go down to the show in the Ocean Theatre. Food seemed the same in both Beachcomber and Island Restaurant only difference was that you were taken to a table with 8 other diners and then you helped yourself to food, waiters served drinks, tea, coffee and water etc. We only had tea there one night and breakfast once mainly because you had no choice who you sat with there were very few tables for two and sometimes you don't always want to make 'polite' conversation with fellow diners especially when you're on your honeymoon! Food was ok, not terribly inspiring, they had themed nights, Chinese, Indian, Italian but to be honest it always tasted the same, the Indian curry was supposed to be vindaloo but was very mild tasted little of curry and wasn't really very nice the meat was grisly and very dry. Only food that was always really hot was the soup. Excursions We did Corsica wine tasting/essential oils and nougat factories. They were ok the nougat was very nice but very expensive 15 euros for 2 bars! Next up was Rome, we had booked on the Classic tour but were informed that there was a protest planned for the day and that we may not get into the places on the tour which at £82 each was expensive. We cancelled this and did Rome on your own instead. Coach into Rome dropped us off near the basilica saw everything we wanted back to the coach pick up point. We were given a map on board the bus by the guide but you really do need to be confident with map reading we got into a maze of smaller streets and it took us a while to figure out where we were, its also approx 4/5 miles to walk to see the coliseum, pantheon, trevi fountain, Spanish steps etc but they are all highlighted on the map and normally there is an underground and various buses but these weren't running because of the strike. Next up Florence/Pisa, guided tour round Florence, the guide was brilliant was local from Florence so had loads of knowledge about the area history etc. Had two hours free time which we thought some would have been better spent going earlier to Pisa as we only had about 1 ½ hours there. Pisa was beautiful... sun was shining and all that white marble... stunning. Loads of market stalls in front of the pickup point and all along the right hand side where all the monuments were. Loads of people taking photos, you paid separate to go inside but we didn't bother because there wasn't much time, the leaning tower is open for people to go up to the top but you have to book a slot as they only allow so many up at a time and this wasn't feasible because we were on the cruise and time was too limited. Toulon next we had booked for Cassis but cancelled... we were shattered from the previous two days so had a wander round the port , there is a market selling clothes etc and fruit and vegetable etc. Toulon wasn't very inspiring and we spent the rest of the day chilling on board. Barcelona -- the Nu Camp tour was cancelled at the last minute because they were preparing for the cup match on Tuesday. We still went independently map in hand took a taxi there which cost 12 euros and then wandered back by foot using the map. The tours at the stadium were still going ahead you couldn't visit the visitors changing room or the press room but other than that it seemed like everything else was open. Entertainment We went every night to the Ocean Theatre to the first show. Great entertainment they've got some wonderful singers and dancers especially the guy and gal who do the opera sets... brilliant. We didn't really bother with anything else we did see the two singers in the bar just outside the theatre, one young chap singing and playing guitar and an older guy playing keyboard doing more jazz type music which we also enjoyed. They also did a cruise factor set in the Bounty Lounge which was the same as the X factor show with fellow passengers doing the singing and four judges playing the part of the Loui and the rest of the judges. A winner was duly chosen by the rest of the passengers. We tended to be back in our cabin by 11pm because we were doing tours some of which were very early starts if you wanted to catch breakfast before you left the ship. Rome./Florence and Pisa you had to be shore side before 8am to get on the coaches and no announcements were made. You could book an early morning call through guest relations. Disembarkation You have to be out of your cabin by 8am which kind of spoils the last evening on board if you want to see any of the later shows. If you want to keep a cabin you have to pay £35 and you may or may not be able to keep the cabin you've used for the cruise. That's it for the good stuff now the not so good....... On the final evening of the cruise I became very ill with vomiting, severe stomach cramps and diarrhea. Another passenger was sick in the Ocean Theatre that evening and the show was delayed because they had to clean up where they had been sick. By 9.15pm we were back in our cabin and by 10.30 I started being violently sick, followed by diarrhea and severe stomach cramps. After waiting for over an hour I was eventually seen by the ships nurse in the cabin and was given injections and medication to stop the stomach cramps and sickness and diarrhea. We were then confined to our cabin. At 11.45 the following morning I was transferred by taxi along with another passenger who was suffering from the same symptoms to the hospital in Palma where I had to see the doctor to get a certificate of fitness to fly home at a cost of 123 euros which was the excess on our insurance policy. There were more passengers at the hospital when we got there and several more arrived from the ship while we were waiting in the outpatients department. We did make our flight in the end but we were the fortunate ones others who were at the hospital at the same time as us weren't so fortunate one couple had a morning flight which they missed. A passenger on the flight was also sick at the front of the aircraft, they had put paper towels on the floor so that you didn't have to walk through it when getting off the aircraft. . When we got home we went on the internet to find out more information about the illness and found Irwin Mitchell who have a lot of experience in this area. If anyone else who was affected by this illness whilst on board the Island Escape is reading this post you can contact Clare Pearson from Irwin Mitchell on by calling 0870 1500 100 or by emailing Clare on :clare.pearson@irwinmitchell.com to get any advice or help you may need. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
As a 'novice' cruiser, I had read the other reviews with some trepidation..but decided to go with an open mind, as we don't all have the same taste in holidays. My first impression was as previously noted by other ... Read More
As a 'novice' cruiser, I had read the other reviews with some trepidation..but decided to go with an open mind, as we don't all have the same taste in holidays. My first impression was as previously noted by other holidaymakers, that the ship was tired and in dire need of a makeover...where is Gok when you need him?! The cabin, although kept clean by Warren our happy cabin steward, was basic and in need of some TLC. The compact & bijou bathroom, needed to be ripped out and replaced, but I somehow doubt that is going to happen, even though the ship is currently on it's final cruise for the year before going in to get a refurb. The communal areas, bars, theatre, etc., are also sub-standard, so I hope that ripped chairs and stained carpets will be replaced, and not just tarted up. Admittedly the cruise is only 3*, so one should have lower expectations...The staff were generally friendly, with exceptions in Customer Relations and the Gift Shop, who I found quite surly...Funny that the two most interfacing departments were the most hostile to deal with. We went on three escorted tours, so that we could get a better feel of the countries we were visiting. The tours were fairly expensive, given that two were almost written off due to the poor weather conditions. In Trapani, the fog immersed Erice, so we literally couldn't see in front of us, let alone enjoy the view down the mountain after getting off the cable car. The visit to Pompeii was most interesting, but the weather conditions again ruined the visit, and our guide, a charming Orlando Bloom lookalike, was dressed for winter! Visiting St Tropez the home of Brigitte Bardot was an eye opener, as the actual resort is small, and not as you'd imagine. But very pretty and worth a visit, as it's not somewhere you would normally holiday at - far too expensive!! The food on board although plentiful and well cooked, could have been slightly warmer, but that would be my only comment...No wonder they say that you gain a couple of pounds a day whilst cruising - I can understand why if you eat everything that's put in front of you. The Island Restaurant seemed to be the eatery of choice for the majority of the passengers, as it was more formal than the other option, the Beachcomber Restaurant, which used plastic picnic plates and cups. The Oasis Restaurant had an additional cover charge, but everyone who'd eaten there commented on the high standard of service and food, so it was money well spent! The entertainment was varied...I enjoyed a couple of visiting acts, La Musica and Bobby Knutt...The service in the bars was generally good, and Nandy should be given a bonus by Thomson's for his 'service with a smile' - nothing was too much trouble for him. My worst complain though is reserved for the Customer Relations dept, as I visited them on 3 occasions to see if I could change my room...I was always told that the ship was full! On the last but one day, after a really bad nights sleep due to the turbulent weather conditions at sea (my cabin lurched and rattled all night!), I went again, to be told that maybe they could move me somewhere else after all - I was on deck 9, forward, port side, which I have since been told is the worst place to be...especially for a non-sailor like me!! I declined the move as I would have been leaving the ship in less than 36 hrs, and this was met with disdain by the 'happy' Customer Relations dept. This cruise ship is fine if you have low expectations, but it's not cheap, as some reviews have stated, as I paid over 1000 for a weeks holiday....I could have gone to a 5* hotel for that, and somehow wish I had!! If you like to cruise without formality then this could be for you...unfortunately not for me...I have one rule when going on holiday - the standard should be on a par or better than my own home...sadly Island Escape failed to achieve this. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
I was really disappointed in this 1st Experience of a cruise. We traveled in a group of 51. Had we been on our own I would have got off before we sailed and paid for a flight home. Fortunately being in a group made the trip OK. The cabin ... Read More
I was really disappointed in this 1st Experience of a cruise. We traveled in a group of 51. Had we been on our own I would have got off before we sailed and paid for a flight home. Fortunately being in a group made the trip OK. The cabin we had was very basic, which did not worry me too much but was quite big in comparison to some other members of our group. One of my biggest moans is the way Thompson's rip you off There is a safe in your cabin but to use it for the week costs 15. The trip was supposed to be fully inclusive, THAT'S A LIE. If you want a bottle of water you hve to pay for it if you want an Ice Cream you have to pay for it, If you want a cake with a tea or coffee you have to pay for it, if you want meal with waiter service you have to pay for it. I thought it was FULLY Inclusive. Mind you it would be possible to drink yourself absolutely paralytic at no cost, but a bottle of water would cost you 1-50 approx wheres the logic? We had an absolutely Brilliant cabin Boy in William he was marvellous. Over all the staff were really great Yun Yun in the beachcomber at around 11-00pm was really great fun serenading all with his guitar, I wish I could sing in his language as well as he sang in English. Mary on the pool deck also deserves a special mention as she was such a good waitress, she put the waiters to shame Generally the food was good. we ate breakfast and lunch in the Beachcomber then dressed up a tad to go into the Island Dining Room for the evening meal before going down to watch the evening entertainment. far too short really, But mainly very good. There were not enough sun beds, and or table and chairs on the pool deck, and then you had the greedy ones who grabbed a sun bed in the morning left the boat went out for the morning then came back to a sun bed that had not been used for 5 hours. I think that the rule should be if you leave the bed for over 1 hour you lose it. I do not sun bathe. There were also others that had 2 sun beds 1 in the sun 1 in the shade and a table and chairs just plain greedy. The other decks that could have had tables and or sun beds had nothing pretty poor really. We did splash out and go to "Oasis" even though it really went against the grain. I have to say that considering we paid out about 34 for 2 of us on a fully inclusive trip, the food was not that good, I'd have done just as well eating in the Island Restaurant. We spoke to a few people who have used Thompson's for other cruises and we were told that had we gone on any of the Thompson ships we would have felt differently. But apparently the Island Escape came with their take over of First Choice. My only other real gripe would be that there was not a small chapel on the ship. Am I the only christian ever to have sailed on this ship? Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Just returned from a cruise of the eastern med on the Island Escape. The boat is in great need of some serious updating. Cabin was VERY tatty, bed was VERY lumpy. It was clean and the staff were very helpful and tried to make our stay ... Read More
Just returned from a cruise of the eastern med on the Island Escape. The boat is in great need of some serious updating. Cabin was VERY tatty, bed was VERY lumpy. It was clean and the staff were very helpful and tried to make our stay comfortable. The shower was not working and when reported was repaired and fully working within 20 mins. Food was plenty full and available 24 hours. Entertainment was good. Don't bother with trip to Tetouan especially as I specifically wanted to see the fabrics produced in the area and am still waiting! City trip to Casablanca and the Mosque was absolutely brilliant and should not be missed. Ship needs more outside seating as we had to sit on the floor as all of the sun beds and seats we covered in towels, also only areas to sit inside were in the bars. In the cabin we were on deck 4 so had engine noise which we had expected but there were so many rattles it was unbelievable. If you are hoping to sleep well then forget it!Gibraltar easy to walk into from ship. Can get taxi trips around the Island for considerable less than if booked on ship and these were plentyful. Could also do dolphin trip independantly. We didn't need this as the dolphins escorted us out of port what a brilliant experience almeria was very quiet as we arrived on a Sunday. easy to walk in to town. Worth going to the castle as views are excellent. We also stumbled upon a Moroccan craft market this was really interesting, bread making, wool dying, silk spinning and lots of activities going on not sure how often it occurs but it was in the square outside Tourist Info shop. Even though there was a tourist info desk on the port we were not informed of this event so most people missed it Cartagena (Spain)within 5 mins of port. Pretty town, worth seeing Roman Theatre, buy a ticket for 5 sites for 8 euros its very good value, includes Theatre, castle, glass lift, Civil defence caves from Civil war all within an easy walk Would I go on this ship again NO. What a shame because you could not wish for a more helpful crew and entertainment team. We did complain about poor tour to Totouan and received 50% refund, we also passed on the comments about the Casablanca tour which was excellent and the guide, coach driver and assistant went out of their way to make this trip brilliant. Overall enjoyed the break Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
My wife, 5 year old daughter and I spent a week on the Island Escape partaking in the Monuments and Mountains Western Mediterranean Cruise. We had previously sailed on the Thompson Spirit last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. The staff and ... Read More
My wife, 5 year old daughter and I spent a week on the Island Escape partaking in the Monuments and Mountains Western Mediterranean Cruise. We had previously sailed on the Thompson Spirit last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. The staff and crew onboard made it a trip to remember. Looking at booking this year's family holiday, we kept coming back to a cruise holiday, even though it was slightly more expensive than what we intended. The Island Escape was recommended to us by my brother-in-law and partner as they had sailed on her twice before and they had had good experiences from their trips. The only complaint from the flights was the lack of legroom and the location of the tv screens, but they are standard complaints from Thompson flights. Onto the cruise itself. Initial impressions of the Escape were ok, the public areas seemed clean enough, the staff were again friendly and very helpful, but the ship does look a bit dated. On entering the cabin we slightly disappointed with it compared to the Thompson Spirit. There was a lack of storage space, the tiles in the bathroom were mouldy and bathroom leaked out onto the carpet at the entrance to the cabin. We came back from our day excursions to find that a blower had been placed in our cabin in order to dry the carpets, but this was a noisy and intrusive nuisance. We had already been informed that the ship was at full capacity so a change in cabin was out of the question. We were given a bottle of wine and basket of fruit as an apology - Ooooohhh! The cabin location turned out to be the straw that broke the camels back. We found ourselves right on the forward bulkhead on deck 6. Our first port of call was Corsica and we were due to arrive at approximately 0630. This was confirmed by the noise and vibration of the sideways thrusters as the boat manoeuvred alongside the dock. We initially thought that we had run aground judging by the noise that occurred. This was soon dispelled when the noise carried on for a further 20 minutes, a good way to start the day. Unfortunately we were due to come alongside every day at this time with the exception of Cannes as this was a tender port. Though not to be outdone. We were rudely woken on this morning by the anchor being lowered and as the operating machinery was located at the front end of the boat, this was a hell of a lot noisier than the thrusters. Needless to say, this wasn't a very relaxing holiday as were permanently shattered and constantly falling asleep or too tired to go on long excursions. The Escape advertises itself as "informal cruising". We like to make an effort for the evening and go and enjoy a nice meal. Unfortunately this would have cost us an extra £45 every night if we wanted this as some of the passenger's ideas of dressing up was to put on a cleaner t-shirt and tracksuit trousers. The "smarter" of the two inclusive eating places was still buffet eating although the tables had tablecloths. The two restaurants still offered the exact same menu but there was still a bit of variety on offer. The cost of excursions was extortionate. For the trip to Rome it would have cost £108 per adult and £80 per child. We made our own way in at a fraction of the cost including having lunch in the city. The itinerary of the cruise was enjoyable though and we did make the effort to go and explore at each port. The evenings entertainment was good, although the Cruise Director should stick to directing and not singing. The show team only put on 3 shows, god knows what else they were on board to do. The Entertainment team were brilliant though and each night was fairly enjoyable. We utilised the kids club, which was a saving grace each evening and late afternoon for our sanity and the staff were brilliant although the kids talent evening was painful to watch so much so that one passenger decided to provide his own entertainment by starting a brawl with another passenger - most entertaining! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
- Our party consisted of the ages 13,18,50, 56,77 and 85 - We had all cruised 5 times before with Thomson ,twice before on this ship -We were all disappointed with the tired looking ship ,the shower was looking tatty,the ... Read More
- Our party consisted of the ages 13,18,50, 56,77 and 85 - We had all cruised 5 times before with Thomson ,twice before on this ship -We were all disappointed with the tired looking ship ,the shower was looking tatty,the refit has not extended to the cabins -Two nights of entertainment were repeated the shows were excellent but we were only onboard for 7 nights so can't understand how this happened! -The drinks we find reasonable -at normal pub prices -The ship was very crowded it is very hard to find a sunbed on the day at sea -This ship struggled with the rough seas most days on the Atlantic -being a converted ferry .I think it should be kept for the Med or Red sea routes only. -We have always loved our Thomson cruises ,we love the shows and the food but there will have to be some improvements made before we go again Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
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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