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29 Island Escape Cruise Reviews

I will try to be a constructive as i can as we enjoyed the concept of the cruise but NOT the Islands Escape Ship. Arriving at the port and going through all the boarding process is very easy and got to our cabin without a problem. We ... Read More
I will try to be a constructive as i can as we enjoyed the concept of the cruise but NOT the Islands Escape Ship. Arriving at the port and going through all the boarding process is very easy and got to our cabin without a problem. We then went for a wonder and headed for the Beachcomber for a cold drink and a snack. I have to say it wasn't that bad but bear in mind that everything you eat from is plastic and people just wonder around in there swim wear with no shoes on. Don't look inside the cups as the stains will put you off. Not pleasant but hence the word informal, that's the Beachcomber. We then went to our cabin and unpacked our cases. Then it was off to Palma as we didn't sail until 23.00 and really didn't want to sit on the ship all day, especially as we had a day at sea on the Wednesday. We arrived back at around 19.00, had a shower and went to the Island Restaurant. We waited to be seated and went to explore the Buffet for our dinner. Please note you will be seated with others but we didn't find that a problem as the majority of people would chat and make everyone welcome. The food was good and plentiful and a lot of choice. Plates were also China and you had table cloths on your table and napkins. After dinner we went to the theatre to see the nightly show, sorry no choice on this cruise as it is a small ship, and the young guys and girls are good with the limited resources they have. The Theatre is all on one level and gets very busy and cannot hold everyone. So when full that is it i'm afraid. They serve you at your table, with your drinks, so a pleasant hour was had. The shows vary and you will enjoy it i am sure. One bloke who did get on our nerves and that is the so called Entertainment Director. My god does he love himself and loves to remind everyone that he is gay. He really needs to get into the 21st century, people are not bother if people are gay anymore! I then went to the casino and had a little flutter and we went back to the cabin at around midnight. The next day was at sea and we were awoken at around 06:00 by people on deck 10 moving their sun beds into position. Sad or what? When we finished breakfast, Island restaurant, we went back to change and went up on deck about 10.30 to grab a sun bed. NO CHANCE! they had all gone and if there was no one on them, then their towels were. We went and sat on some hard chairs, on the Beachcomber Bar, and chilled and was now looking forward to out first port of call, Corsica. Then we went back and sat on our balcony as the sun stayed there until sunset which was great. We ate in the Oasis restaurant a few times and enjoyed the fine dining experience, although you pay extra for it, it was great to be waited on. £14.99 per head but worth every penny. I wont go into the ports as we done our own thing and had a fantastic time visiting different places. Those memories will stay with us, for all the right reason, but the Island Escape took the edge off the cruising experience. We are going to do another cruise but next time will ensure we do our homework, not be hoodwinked by Thomson's, and pick a better cruise ship. Pros: You will visit some great countries and meet some great people. Cons: The ship is old and very tired and although the staff are excellent, some have been told there contracts will not be extended so are very down in the dumps. Do not expect luxuries and you will be fine. Take your break, enjoy the sights and don't think too muck about the ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Having finally persuaded my wife to go on a cruise we sat down with a Thomson cruise specialist to discover which cruise would be the best for first time cruisers, after 2 hours she convinced us that Island Escape was the ideal choice. We ... Read More
Having finally persuaded my wife to go on a cruise we sat down with a Thomson cruise specialist to discover which cruise would be the best for first time cruisers, after 2 hours she convinced us that Island Escape was the ideal choice. We went all inclusive, upgraded the cabin and paid for an excursion to Rome total of just over £2000 there and then with assurances we would have the time of our lives. Flight to Palma was good on arrival at portside we were amazed to see this FERRY (we were not informed of this and is not in Thomsons brochure to my knowledge).This was to be our base for 7 days? Locating cabin was no problem, small, twin beds, (we asked for a double) bathroom not to clever but usable and carpets throughout the ship were very tired. Restaurants at best were works canteens albeit one had tablecloths and napkins. Oasis a la carte restaurant being the exception (extra payment required) Then the nightmare began, engine noise (washing machine full of rocks) complained and asked for a cabin move nothing available and informed that this was normal and nothing wrong with engines. We complained every day same answer until 01.30am Sunday a cabin higher up was vacant so we moved, found out later a stabeliser was broken and repaired. Thomson deny anything was wrong Our trip to Rome was the saving grace if not as the airport was on route back to FERRY we would have got off and flown home Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Just returned from a week on the Island Escape cruise by Thomson. To say we were disappointed is an under statement. The only good thing to report was the excursions and the excellent attention from the crew who did everything to make our ... Read More
Just returned from a week on the Island Escape cruise by Thomson. To say we were disappointed is an under statement. The only good thing to report was the excursions and the excellent attention from the crew who did everything to make our stay pleasant. We did upgrade to a deluxe cabin, and whilst we were made aware we would have limited view outside we were not told that we would be subject to live music noise every night from 23.00 until 01.00, and then there would often be noise of people running, jumping and equipment being moved all on the above floor over our cabin. Although the ship was clean it is in desperate need of a refit. The food stands out as being cheap with limited choice, the two restaurants always served the same menu unless you want to pay extra to sit behind some pinned up net curtaining in the main thoroughfare to and from the Beachcomber restaurant. Wifi doesn't work and you still get charged whether you got connection or not (refunded when brought to attention) plus £1 for charity on every transaction which wasn't refunded. Not all drinks are all inclusive, was surprised that bottled water was not in the package. All in all image spoilt of our first cruise and chose Thomson because we have trusted them in the past. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We had not traveled on a Thomson/TUI cruise previously although had traveled with First Choice on a Nile Cruise. . The itinerary was good so we decided we would book the Western Med cruise on 29th April as the dates suited. We paid to ... Read More
We had not traveled on a Thomson/TUI cruise previously although had traveled with First Choice on a Nile Cruise. . The itinerary was good so we decided we would book the Western Med cruise on 29th April as the dates suited. We paid to upgrade the room as having used Thomson previously and used to getting good quality accommodation felt it was worth it. When we arrived we were very surprised to find the accommodation was really grim. The first thing we noticed was the tv remote was not working which we reported and we were given new batteries. We went downstairs to find a Thomson rep and were advised there were no Thomson reps on the ship - we did not realise that the Thomson reps are actually Island Escape crew, we had traveled previously on a First Choice (Thomson group) cruise and there was a First Choice rep on the Nile Cruise. We asked if there were alternative rooms but were shown a sign indicating that there were no room changes available as the ship was full - we fully expect that this sign is a permanent fixture. We decided to make the best of it and approach Thomson when we arrived home. This accommodation was without doubt the worst accommodation we have ever had on a Thomson holiday and wrote to them to make a complaint. The mattresses were holed/bent and heavily stained - the drawers dropped, and off the runners - the tv was pixilated and the aerial wires held together with plastic tape - the shower holder was sagging to the wall and the air-conditioning although working not adjustable. There is no fridge in the room and the safe chargeable. We kept our clothing that might have gone in the drawers in the cases for the week. Thomson have dismissed our complaint - they have told us their reps are Island Escape - we did not know this - and that we might have been moved it we had complained - well we did and there were not any avaailable -what is the point of putting up a sign on deck 5 if there are alternative rooms available? - does everyone want to change rooms? The itinerary is good - the public areas are clean - 1 of the lifts was out of action and had been for the previous 3 weeks. Entertainment good. Food OK. Destinations good. Whole thing let down by the awful room, and the attitude of Thomson Holidays. Thomson 'highly qualified' complaints team have dismissed all of the complaints we made when we got home hiding behind the fact that we did not complain on board - well what was the point if there were no room changes available - don't make do - complain straight away or you will be the loser - we sent a follow up complaint to the CEO and amazingly our 2nd complaint - well over 28 days from the recognition email was acknowledged by another dismissive email - Thomson so aloof they recommend you contact ABTA or ATOL - well - we have. We paid an extra £322 on top of the brochure price as an upgrade for a this room - total waste of money - book an outside room for little or nothing extra, get a last minuite deal - or book another cruise operator. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Having cruised with Thomson and NCL in the past three years (all of which have been great) my wife and I decided to give the Island Escape a try; based mainly on the ports of call and that it was a "Thomson" cruise and that it ... Read More
Having cruised with Thomson and NCL in the past three years (all of which have been great) my wife and I decided to give the Island Escape a try; based mainly on the ports of call and that it was a "Thomson" cruise and that it was the ships first cruise of the season. This is no Thomson cruise....please believe me. Yes we had read the reviews (which were mixed) before we booked. Moral of the story is you get what you pay for...yes this cruise was slightly (and I mean slightly) cheaper than others - but it's no bargain.. So here goes with an honest assessment... Boarding - painless and well organised. Cabin - we were on deck 9 at the front of the boat. As with al cruises the cabin was small and that is where the comparison with the other cruises ends. The room obviously hadn't seen a refurbishment in years, unfilled holes in the walls from where previous pictures had been hung, wall paper peeling of the walls, furniture had obviously seen better days - couple of drawers were broken. The bathroom was a through back to the early 80's. Toilet seat was broken, tap dripped, fittings generally suffering from the signs of many years use without any TLC. Given that this was the first cruise of the season imagine our surprise when on the last night we were greeted by brand new pillows and duvets in our room - all ready for the next cruise.......so much for it been the first cruise of the season. Boat in general - clean, but again showing throughout the wear and tear of age. One of the lifts was out of order for the whole trip. Food - quality was ok, variety etc. was very poor. We ate in mainly in the Ocean Restaurant - buffet service. Basically the choice was very limited. Evening meals were meat and veg (Sunday Dinner), salad and a themed meal - Chinese, Indian etc..... Service was very much get you and out as fast as they can. There was also a school canteen style restaurant with the same choice as the Ocean Restaurant. There were several other places to eat - which we didn't use so it would be unfair to pass comment. All I would say is from examining the menu's the choice was very limited for what was £17/head. Entertainment - oh boy....the ships on board troupe were at best awful. We saw all 7 evening performances of which only 4 were by the ships troupe which says it all. The other 3 nights were UK based acts which were all very good. Given the age of the audience 5-95yrs I have to say that we found some of the main show entertainment very close to the mark. We are both open minded individuals with no qualms over sexuality however it there were a number of songs where the female members of the troupe were dressed in a fashion more suitable to a Ann Summers party than a family cruise!!!!. However the final straw had to be when the male cruise director, who seemed to take an un-naturally major role in all productions, took the stage dressed as a transvestite for a rock horror show number - now I've seen the RHS and dressed up for it but really on a family cruise!!!! - however given the cruise directors openness as to the fact he was gay - he just seemed to enjoy this escapade a little to much. In fact at least half the cruise directors jokes were based around his sexuality. The ships band were good as was some of the other entertainment. Ports visited - no complaints and the excursions that we did (Pisa and Rome) were well organised if not slightly over priced. The other ports we visited were easily accessible from the boat without the need for an organised excursion. Other things to do on board --- heavily promoted casino, really small pool and that's about it. Disembarkation - once you left the boat you were very much left to your own devices. So..did we report the state of our cabin - yes we did. Did they do anything about it..no they didn't. as the ship was full...... My advice is - if you not fussy about your cabin quality, quality of food, quality of entertainment and general appearance of the boat then you'll enjoy the cruise as the ports of call are excellent. If you are looking for a degree of class then there are plenty of other cruise lines that visit these destinations; granted they may cost slightly more.....but spend the money it'll be worth it.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
First I have to say the last ship we sailed on was the Cunard Queen Elizabeth so we held no "Great Expectations" for the Island Escape but chose it because of the destinations and it was the only time we could go. However it was ... Read More
First I have to say the last ship we sailed on was the Cunard Queen Elizabeth so we held no "Great Expectations" for the Island Escape but chose it because of the destinations and it was the only time we could go. However it was somewhat of an eyeopener. The cabin was very small with two very rusty round portholes and green corrosion. Toilet flush electric switch loose coming out of the wall and some very rusty fixings. Cabin thermostat could not be adjusted.We were promised that it would be fixed but it was not so it it remained cold the whole trip. I am sure a good number of the passengers would have been quite happy with what was on offer, but we will not sail Thompson cruises again. Pros. Fly cruise. Excellent itinery. Arranged our own trips and saved a fortune. All inclusive but with the odd extremely drunk individual. The singer and guitarist in the top bar were outstanding. Cons. Quality of cabin very poor, rusty portholes and fittings with dangerous flush switch in toilet. Thermostat in cabin did not work. On cold all week! Quality of food. Buffet style and was cooked/heated for so long it was in the main tasteless. Main "theatre" is a bar with low ceiling producing very poor acoustics accompanied by harsh tinny sound quality. It was to small and was difficult to get a seat. Poor main entertainment, all West End musical style. (Good comedian however on one night) . Cruise director weak. Ship is an ex ferry built 1981 converted 1991. It is past its sell by date. Captain did not exude much enthusiasm. WiFi ridiculously expensive. The larger of the lifts was out of order all week and a couple we met when we arrive who had been on board for the two previous weeks said it had not worked at all for them. Three weeks without repair (maybe longer) is unacceptable). Other lifts very small for wheel chair users so think very carefully about booking this ship. Expensive trips and do not expect any help from the "Excursion Staff" if you intend to arrange your own intinery. One lady member of this staff was very unpleasant when asked where the bus and railway stations were in Livorno. We will stick with Cunard and possibly P&O in future.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We have just returned from a Thomson Cruise on the Island Escape and just wanted to warn anyone that is thinking of spending their hard earned cash on a cruising holiday to avoid this ship like the plague! We have sailed on other ... Read More
We have just returned from a Thomson Cruise on the Island Escape and just wanted to warn anyone that is thinking of spending their hard earned cash on a cruising holiday to avoid this ship like the plague! We have sailed on other Thomson’s ships (Topaz, Celebration, and Spirit) and always had a good time but the Island Escape is in a class of its own and for all the wrong reasons! The all inclusive package sounds pretty good until you get on board and then you are given a scrappy bit of photocopied paper which gives details of what the "all inclusive" includes-this takes up about 1/5 of the leaflet and the rest giving details of the cocktails, beers, liqueurs etc which you cannot have without paying extra. We knew that international brands were not included but what they don’t tell you is that apart from spirits there are no locally produced liqueurs offered such as Baileys, Amaretto, Tia Maria etc so if you want these or a cocktail containing these you have to pay extra at £2.50 a go!Noro Virus was rife on the ship which we were unaware of until again we were on board and started to hear the horror stories from people who were on the second week of their cruise and had all been ill and confined to their cabins at some point the previous week. The help your self buffet was reduced to something like a bad school dinner experience where absolutely EVERYTHING was put on your plate for you by staff-even the bottles of HP sauce were kept behind barriers and a "dollup" put on you plate if you wanted any. The food choice was terribly poor and compared to the other Thomason cruise ships was a massive disappointment. Needless to say despite the efforts of the cleaning staff we ended up in our cabin for a couple of days with sickness and diahorria and when we finally docked in Palma at the end of our cruise the whole ship was getting prepared for a disinfecting "deep cleaning exercise" and any passengers who were unlucky enough to be staying on board for a further week, had to be transferred to a nearby hotel while this process was taking place.The entertainment was very hit and miss,-evening shows when they were on were excellent- but the daytime entertainment was virtually non existent and consisted mainly of badly photocopied picture quizzes and bingo. On the days when the weather was awful or when we were at sea, there was no "contingency" entertainment added when it was raining- only entertainment cancelled if it was scheduled to be held at the poolside. The ship itself could only be described as a "rust bucket" which was obviously not up to sailing the bad weather conditions we experienced. Even though the captain kept reassuring us that the stabilizers on board would help in the stormy conditions this was not the case. We were on deck 9 at the rear of the ship and felt every movement and the loud clanging noise that accompanied every sway was horrific and made trying to sleep a nightmare!The only plus to this whole dreadful experience was as usual the wonderful and hard working cabin crew and bar/waiting staff.In my opinion the word "informal" which is used to describe this cruise should be changed to sub standard. We paid £1600.00 for something which at best could only be described as cheap and nasty!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Travelled on this ship from 28th May and during the week started to hear a few unbelievable stories about the week before. I booked the Deluxe Balcony cabin, one at the back of the ship, imagining sitting out there watching as we left the ... Read More
Travelled on this ship from 28th May and during the week started to hear a few unbelievable stories about the week before. I booked the Deluxe Balcony cabin, one at the back of the ship, imagining sitting out there watching as we left the various ports. Cabin was nice but a bit shabby. For the extra money Id paid I expected better! The first morning we woke up to find the toilet in our cabin was blocked and were informed by Customer Relations that this was a problem in a large part of the ship. Both my husband and I had to find a public toilet that was working to use that morning. We proceeded to breakfast in the Beachcomber Restaurant where the food was warm but not hot. Served to you on plastic plates and drinks in plastic mugs. After lunch back in the Beachcomber we walked along to the Mirage poolside bar and ordered a drink. White rum and coke for me and a whisky and lemonade for my husband. They were both awful! We then tried the vodka and that wasn’t much better! The alcohol tasted cheap and nasty. It was only drinkable in the various cocktails on offer. We could have ordered the premium brands and paid for them but that is why I went for an all inclusive so I didn't have to worry about how much was being taken out of my bank account each day. The following day, after returning from our trip to Sardinia, we decided to have dinner in the Island Restaurant. You queue up to get in here and they seat you at a table, but again a buffet. Again the food was only warm and not hot. After dinner we had a few cocktails in the Bounty Bar and then went to bed. In all the restaurants/bars they were very slow to clear tables and we often sat at a table that hadn’t been cleaned at all. The food was not of the standard that we were led to believe it should be. Butlins at sea was a common phrase used amongst the passengers. The two resident bands, duo Mardi Gras and 5 piece The Switch, were awful. People were constantly walking out, ourselves included. And if you wanted to see a show you had to queue up or you find a sign saying "full". And the fact that they knew that Norovirus was present and virulent when we boarded, and still allowed the cruise to go ahead, is unbelievable! We lost half of our last day by being transferred to a hotel in Majorca whilst they disinfected the ship and again the food there was not to standard. My 50th birthday is memorable for all the wrong reasons and has put us off of taking another cruise!   Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Wll, Where do I begin. Having had a week's stay in a Hotel, our first contact about the Island Escape was from people disembarking and "Staying" their second week. This was to inform us that we should "Not eat the Curry ... Read More
Wll, Where do I begin. Having had a week's stay in a Hotel, our first contact about the Island Escape was from people disembarking and "Staying" their second week. This was to inform us that we should "Not eat the Curry as everybody got food poisoning". Good start---NOT. On the night before joining the ship, the Company left a letter stating that boarding the next day would not be available until after 4pm as the whole ship was to have "a full sterilisation" as there had been an outbreak of "Gastroenteritis" to a few passengers (we later found out 250 people infected). Another not so good start. However, we reached Port and were very quickly processed and allowed to board. This was almost the pinnacle of the Cruise. Normally on other Cruises we have been escorted to our cabin and our luggage delivered within an hour. Not this time! We were left to find our own way to the cabin via a very small lift (the larger one was "Out of order" and stayed this way till we disembarked). This problem of lifts meant long waits, jammed packed lifts and dotty people trying to go the wrong way on the lift. We reached our Cabin on Deck 9 at rear of Ship with Balcony. This was indeed the highlight as the cabin was indeed quite deluxe. Plenty of room, double bed, enough wardrope space for hanging clothes, a recess with two seater couch and coffee table with complimentary basket of fruit and adequate Balcony with table and two chairs. This pleasure was as long as the ship remained docked (more of this later).We met our Cabin staff at this point, who explained as they had only been allowed back on ship, he had not been able to completely arrange the cabin. He suggested we go for a drink till he finished and our luggage arrived. it was at this point we started to encounter what service we would receive for the rest of the cruise. We made our way to the "Sailaway Bar" and being All-Inclusive tried to order our drinks. Firstly, the Bar Staff pointedly ignored us and when we did succeed in ordering drinks, was met a sullen and rude reply from the Staff demanding "One Card for each drink" (On other ships only one was needed to order). On taking the order the Barman!!! quite sharply stated that the drink we had ordered was "Not Inclusive" This was a Lager and a whiskey(not premium). So our "All-Inclusive" Package was hardly worth the additional costs as any known brand of spirits was at extra cost. Therefore, unless you can get the early Free Upgrade, the All Inclusive is worthless. And so we returned to our Cabin about an hor or so later. Still no Luggage had been delivered. We asked our Cabin Staff about it, only to be told that they were busy. After three hours and more enquiries one Case arrived and then again after more "demands" did our second case arrive four and a half hours after boarding. We heard later that other passengers who arrived after 6pm received theirs within an hour. Not a relaxing start before sailing. So still in travelling clothes we turned thoughts to dinner. Not wanting to go to the more formal restaurant, we visited the "Beachcomber", an informal eating place. What a shambles. There seemed to be no organisation and people were wandering around all over the place carrying plates of food. The Buffet area had a long queue waiting for plates and cutlery. At the Buffet hatched Staff were arranged to serve from individual food trays. I believe this was a hygiene procedure and knowing some other passengers' habits. I could not be critical of this practice.It did cause problems however in that the order the food was presented seemed to be back to front, meaning people were going to the end of the Buffet line and doubling back. Chaos!!!!. One other problem we discovered at this point was on being served you only received what the Serving Staff wanted to give. If you preferred more of one food than another and requested some more, it seemed you were "Oliver" and was greeted with frowns and looks of incredulity. Once you had received your "Meal" you then had to find a table and this became a "Zoo" as people jostled and snarled if you came near their table. Thus by the time you reached a table the food, tepid at best on serving, was COLD. We only visited the "Cafe" when necessary. We joined in with the party mood before departure and again seemed to turn invisible to Bar Staff. On other Thomson Cruises we were "befriended" by a Waiter/tress, who within one meeting knew our names and favourite tipple. Not this time!!! The Waters and Waitresses, what few there were, were more interested in "Selling Cigarettes" and talking to others. The entertainment at this point was the normal "Sailing Party Band" and suited at this time. Having had a long day we went to bed around midnight expecting to have a good night sleep in preparation for the week's Cruise. Again how wrong we were. As our Cabin was at the rear of the ship it was directly over the propellors. The Ship having been a Car Ferry, it had no curved stern only straight drop. This meant that the full vibration when sailing went up through the rear cabins and shook the whole place. Bleary eyed we rose in the morning and following our experience, decided to breakfast in the main restaurant. Here you were shown to a table, along with 6 other people whether you liked it or not. Coffee/Tea was served by a Waiter but the Self Service Buffet was set out in the same strange order as the "Cafe" and you received the same questioning on asking for more of something. However, the food here was hot and enjoyable. Dinner in this restaurant had the same procedures. Breakfast over, the fist day being one "at Sea" we made our way to the Pool area only to find the the "Selfish British" were here too. Towels were draped over sun-beds with no one near and would not be used, others seemed to be for storing bags, clothes and other items. Making the best of it we played them at their own game and made space for ourselves and basked in the sunshine. The Entertainment was what we expected on this cruise both day and night, though the band "Rock The Boat" (was that the groups real name) was more suited to "Club" music and their music/songs suited only a minority of passengers. Perhaps we didn't enhance ourselves to others as we a "Quiz Buffs" and won most of the quizzes and the "Millionaire" Game. The visiting British "Comedian" was nothing more than poor and thinking his late night show might be better, were completely disappointed in that it was worse. For the other days of the cruise we visited Ajaccio in Corsica, La Spezia in Italy, Villefranche and Toulon in France and Barcelona in Spain before returning to Palma. We did not take any of the Tours (too expensive and already been to places visited) but did our own thing by going ashore and touring the towns on our own. This was much more profitable in that we visited places we wanted to see and in our own time and speed. Back to the boat. On retiring for the second night we thought that either we had become accustomed to the vibration or the boat was sailing better. Oh Dear, wrong again. Around 6am we were awoken by an awful noise and shaking of the cabin as if an earthquake had happened. the whole cabin was shaking and things threatened to fall from their places, what was happening, had there been some accident. NO, THE SHIP WAS JUST DOCKING. The noise and vibration continued for about an hour and a half before the ship was tied up and the for another half hour till the engines powered down. Then sublime peace and quiet, but by this time sleep had passed. This happened every morning thereafter, so early morning rises watching the sun come up from the balcony was the order for the week. Luckily it did. By making our own way during the day, we were on board more than we have done in the past. As previously mentioned, staff on other cruises knew you addressed you as politely with your first name and had your drink almost waiting for you. Not on this Cruise. Not once was I recognised though your name is on the Ship's Card and perhaps because I Didn't "Tip", I seemed to become invisible and trying to order a drink became almost impossible. At times it took 15 to 20 minutes to get attention. Even then the order was seldom correct, having to be sent back many times. The Bar staff and Waiting staff looked as if they couldn't care. All in All the cruise was not a good experience and not one we have come across in other Thomson Ships and have certainly have made our feelings known to Thomson. However, If you don't mind the rudeness of Staff, the hastle of being served, the blandness and tepid food, the selfishness of other cruisers, the noise throughout the boat whilst at sea combined with sleeplessness, the people who believe that the "Booze" is the cruise and are most unhygienic probably causing the illness of others. then don't hesitate to book an "Island Escape" Cruise. I CERTAINLY WILL NOT. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
First impressions were that the vessel was a bit tired and definitely not luxurious, but that wasn't a problem, we knew it was at the budget end of the market. We sailed late on the evening of embarkation and it was then when we ... Read More
First impressions were that the vessel was a bit tired and definitely not luxurious, but that wasn't a problem, we knew it was at the budget end of the market. We sailed late on the evening of embarkation and it was then when we realised we had made a horrible mistake. The sea was not rough - maybe a maximum 1.5m swell with the occasional top coming off, on any other ship you would never have noticed it. The motion on this thing was ridiculous, the forward end of the ship being subjected to a deafening crash every time it hit a swell, reverberating round the cabin making sleep impossible. Customer relations just shrugged and said there were no spare cabins - which was a lie, as a visit to the bridge revealed that the ship was only 75% capacity. Several of us spent nights trying to sleep in one of the deserted lounges, or sat on the seats on deck 5 outside the Oasis resturant, just to escape the nerve jangling crashing and banging. However, the staff were great, waiters excellent, food was fine and the Oasis restaurant in particular first class. Entertainment wasn't as good as other Thomson ships, but for all that it was OK. Only complaint, and its a big one, was the total unsuitability of the forward cabins in the slight seas we encountered. It would have been nice to find a quiet lounge where you could have a conversation, but thats a rather subjective and minor niggle. There was a lot of sickness, but it was possibly down to motion sickness rather than the dreaded novovirus. Be warned, if you are thinking of using this old converted ferry - it will be fine if the seas are totally flat. Just be sure that you get a cabin no higher than deck 6 and towards the rear of the ship. The sound of the engines rattling away is far better than the banging at the front. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
The Island Escape is an older and very tired ship. We booked through Thomson's in the UK. This cruise caters to the budget minded British travelers. The food is British and the entertainment is British. We have cruised with Celebrity ... Read More
The Island Escape is an older and very tired ship. We booked through Thomson's in the UK. This cruise caters to the budget minded British travelers. The food is British and the entertainment is British. We have cruised with Celebrity and Holland America and found this cruise significantly below both their standards. The food is institutional in it's preparation and presentation. Every meal had exactly the same selection. The only decent meal with had was in the "specialty" restaurant for an additional charge. This meal was good but still below the nightly regular meals on Celebrity or Holland America. Our package "included tips" for the crew and the level of service reflected it. Service in the evening dining room was poor and when 9PM came around the staff were hastily resetting tables ignoring diners and making you feel rushed to eat. The theatre was very disappointing as the seating is cabaret style not true theatre style, so in order to get a decent seat we had to be in the theatre at least 30-45 minutes before the show. The shows were very good; on par with Celebrity and Holland America. The cabin steward was wonderful and took very good care of us, but we also tipped him fifty pounds over the course of our cruise...but he truly deserved it! I would not travel with Thomson again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
My partner and i went to Thompsons Travel Agency looking for a last minute break (we needed to depart 10 days later). We were open minded, so when the assistant suggested a cruise, we thought why not..... Well, here's why not. ... Read More
My partner and i went to Thompsons Travel Agency looking for a last minute break (we needed to depart 10 days later). We were open minded, so when the assistant suggested a cruise, we thought why not..... Well, here's why not. We were informed that once we checked in our luggage at Birmingham airport, we would next see it in our cabin. We arrived at Palma airport and wondered why there were nore ps to meet us. We saw an exit sign so went out of the termnal. When we finally found a rep, we were told to go back into the terminal to find our luggage, along with a telling off from the airport staff! We proceeded onto the boat. From the moment we stepped on, we were so disappointed by the shabby state of the ship. It got no better when we entered our cabin. We had paid for an upgrade to a cabin with a window on an upper deck. It was so small and desperately old. The bed was uncomfortable with bullet hard pillows. It was impossible for two of you to be in the same place at one time! The shower and toilet area were small (i was pleased with the shower pressure however). I feel we were lucky to be placed midway along the corridor, as I would imagine that being closer to the Sundowner bar would have been noisy at night. The rest of the ship was in need of major overhaul/refit. The Beachcomber restaurant was like a bad cafe with melamine plates/cups etc. We went just the once! The Island restaurant was alot better. The staff were very friendly and attentive (as were all staff on the boat)and could not be faulted. The food was a little disappointing, as it was pretty much the same offering every day. There were speciality dishes, but we had been hoping for regional meals, for example a tagine maybe when we went to Morocco..... We sampled the Oasis restaurant once and were pleasantly surprised. The food was tasty and varied and the cost not prohibitive. We were slightly misled over the all inclusive drinks package as all branded names were off limits and so were all my favourite cocktails. The sundecks were ok, but there were never enough sunbeds and despite the polite request from the Captain not to put towels on the beds and disappear for an age, people clearly did. I would not have gone in the teeny pool if you paid me to. It looked dirty within an hour of it opening each day. The other amenities were ok. The entertainment, though not necessarily my thing was actually ok. I cannot believe that I played bingo!! We did not go on any organised trips. We thouhgt they seemd expensive and by all accounts, they were varied in their value. we did our own thing and got off the boat at every destination and looked round ourselves. It was fairly easy to do and the information given on the boat was quite a good help. We felt that there were too many people in a small space! Most passengers who we spoke to who had cruised before told us that ths was the wporst ship they had sailed on. It has not put us off going on a cruise again, but it will not be on this boat. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
First the Good:Entertainment team and acts excellent, Passengers very friendlythats it.Now the rest:Ship; past its sell by date, could not cope with any sought of wind or swell,rocking everytime out of port, lots of complaints from ... Read More
First the Good:Entertainment team and acts excellent, Passengers very friendlythats it.Now the rest:Ship; past its sell by date, could not cope with any sought of wind or swell,rocking everytime out of port, lots of complaints from passengers.Carpets in public areas thread bare and needs a coat of paint(inside areas)Cabin: So called premier: Carpets filthy, tv not working, air con not working all in first 15 mins. Lame excuses for air con and tv got engineer myself to fix air con and IT buff to install new lead to TV.Could not open curtains as outside window were seats for smokers no peace from around 6.30 am till late.Halfway during cruise we woke to air con pumping class out soot. Cabin steward was given the job of fixing and cleaning carpets. Good job he was top boy.Food: basic same every day.All Inclusive: Having got AI as part of deal did not realise that most of ship were not on AI, they were offered it at around £180. pw.Could get basics and ship brands but could not get Tea or Coffee in Bistro absolutley ridiculous.Have cruise on thomson,s other ships and will again but will never set foot on the Escape again Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
sailed on island escape march 25th 2011 booked a de-luxe cabin 9034 if this was de-luxe i would hate to see the rest of them you had to move the bed to get into the toilet the decor was dreary and poor the toilet decor was as when the ship ... Read More
sailed on island escape march 25th 2011 booked a de-luxe cabin 9034 if this was de-luxe i would hate to see the rest of them you had to move the bed to get into the toilet the decor was dreary and poor the toilet decor was as when the ship was built the door of the cabin had more dents than a stock car.the noise in the morning when deck hands started must have been the alarm call for all of deck 9spoke to many others on deck 9 and they also lodged complaints 1 person had no doors on wardrobe just curtains and it was supposed to be deluxe.although the sea was calm throughout the voyage the ship rolled port then starboard then it would shudder this was only felt on decks 8&9during the night making people seasick and losing sleepmy wife and i have stayed in better caravans.saled on the dream last december only thing wrong there was the food was always cold except the soupi will never sail with thomsons again in fact i will never holiday with them again even cancelled my sept 11 holiday would have cancelled july as well if not taken grandsonas for nick longman at luton he couldn't care less in fact he wast'n even man enough to answer my letter Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
What a horrible experience. This ship was once a American ferry and is in need of a total make over. I was expecting something nice as I had been told there had been a make over in Nov 2010. The crew told us there had been millions ... Read More
What a horrible experience. This ship was once a American ferry and is in need of a total make over. I was expecting something nice as I had been told there had been a make over in Nov 2010. The crew told us there had been millions spent on the engines but not the cabins. The cabin was tiny and we had to share our deck with the crew, they were coming and going all night, I had to go out in the middle of the night to tell them to shut up! The make over in my opinion, was NOT were it is most needed in the area of the accommodation. It was the worst accommodation I have had ever experienced. The bedding was smelly, I had to ask for it to be replaced. The bed cover was so smelly that I wouldn't use it, the sheets were so old and thin I could see the mattress easily. The carpets were stained and tread bare in places. The ship is run down and tired. The cabin sink plug didn't work (my husband found it hard to shave) the shower leaked and hard to control I almost got burnt,the TV was very old and the TV control was broken, the curtains were tatty, the walls were marked and stained and the walls are paper thin. Some of the towels were stained. We looked at other rooms which were of the same standard, a few of the balcony rooms have new carpet (lucky for them). The Island escape is in a sad way. I couldn't wait to get off. I could not recommend this ship to anyone. I wasn't expecting a fancy ship but I didn't expect it to be so run down. The food was OK as far as buffet food goes but it could have been warmer. The the bright side, the service was out standing! The best I have ever experience any where. You might be thinking that the cabin isn't so important but it is to me. It wasn't really dirty as the cabin crew work so hard but it didn't smell clean and it looked like a 1950's holiday camp. I would go on this ship again even if it was FREE! Happy sailing. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Background: Cruise week commencing 18 Feb 2001. Island Escape (IE) has been in dry dock during the winter, and missed her first week of resumed duty for undisclosed reasons. So this was her first real week of duty after dry dock. ... Read More
Background: Cruise week commencing 18 Feb 2001. Island Escape (IE) has been in dry dock during the winter, and missed her first week of resumed duty for undisclosed reasons. So this was her first real week of duty after dry dock. I've previously sailed with Royal Caribbean (Splendour of the Seas) and P&O (Aurora, Oceana and Azura) Overall opinion: I would only travel on this ship again if the itinerary and/or price were very, very attractive. The ship: Some effort seems to have been made to revitalize some public areas of the ship. Some of the flooring is new. Some of the seats look to be fairly new. The windows could all do with a clean (inside and out.) Most of the odd smells of the first couple of days disappeared - but there is a whiff of diesel on deck which reminds me of car ferries. The Lookout was pretty awful for much of the week. I think that the A/C had failed, so it was hot and had some strange odours. The noise from various engines and other plant on deck is considerably noisier than anything else I've heard elsewhere. The ship rolls and pitches more than anything that I've been on before. I accept, though, that this cruise was around the Canaries in February (however, the winds were considerably less than I've experienced on other ships in the BoB - and they seemed a lot more stable.) When the ship is rolling or pitching (i.e. whenever it is at sea) it creaks, groans and bangs. I'm not talking about the odd coat hanger rattling - the whole ceiling graunches through the night. Much of the ship could do with a darn good clean. You really don't have to look hard to find something which has some sort of mark or blemish which could easily be wiped off. The cabins: Everything that I've read in the reviews holds true. Our cabin (7010) was pretty shabby. There was a lot of evidence of former fittings - holes poorly filled in. I don't think that the grubby box which looked like a thermostat was actually connected to any air conditioning equipment. The bathrooms have not been refurbished. Cabins on deck 7 near to the middle of the ship are near to The Sundowner, which plays music ('live' with recorded accompaniment) late into the evening. I'm guessing that the bow thrusters need power from a generator which is located somewhere at the front of the ship. This is a noisy diesel engine, but fortunately, it only runs when arriving at or leaving from port. There was a fearsome banging at the front of the ship when at sea (i.e. mostly at night) - but that disappeared half way through our trip, so the thing that was making the noise was either fastened down, or it fell off into the sea. But things are not all bad. The bathroom in cabin 7010 (and possibly others - I didn't check) has a new shower curtain! Our cabin steward was excellent. It is possible that IE has developed the first whisper-quiet bathroom fan. The food: I only ate in the self-service restaurants. As far as I could tell, they all had the same menu. I tried to get into the Oasis restaurant twice (cover charge, menu which offered hope of good food.) One night, I arrived at 7pm without a reservation, and was told that they were fully booked. At about 8pm, I returned, and found that half the tables were empty. The booking sheet was, er, available for inspection, and it showed that they had 34 (might have been 35 or 36) bookings. I tried to book for another night, and was again told that they were fully booked - but again, on the night, the restaurant was half empty. So it appears that seating is extremely limited (I wonder... why?) It would be a lie to say that the food in the self service restaurants was cold. But it would be a lie to say that it was hot either. The food that I ate was above the standard that I'd expect from a school or hospital. I thought that the "whole meal experience" was very poor. Teen Club: Was a dark, locked, room at 8pm on a Saturday evening. Tours: We didn't do any of the IE coach tours. We were delighted to find that there's a bike-tour concession on board, and went on some of those tours. There were excellent, and improved the whole-holiday experience significantly. Conclusion: For me, the ship lived down to the expectations that were set by the negative reviews on this site. The cruise experience is cheap and cheerful. I'd suggest: go with low expectations, and build from that, and only cruise on IE if the price and itinerary make you salivate, otherwise, choose a different brand. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
The staff on the ship were excellent. Our cabin maid was absolutely brilliant, as were the restaurant staff. Our cabin was very tired and uncomfortable. the shower room had tiles falling off the walls and black mold in between the ... Read More
The staff on the ship were excellent. Our cabin maid was absolutely brilliant, as were the restaurant staff. Our cabin was very tired and uncomfortable. the shower room had tiles falling off the walls and black mold in between the tiles. How they managed to fit a toilet, shower cubicle and a was basin in such a small place is remarkable. My husband and I were both ill with the sickness and diarrhea bug. This resulted in us being confined to our cabins (by the doctor) on 2 separate occasions, day 3 and day 5. This was for a period of 24 hours on both occasions. Spending so much time in such a confined space, felt very much like being in a prison cell. We had an inside cabin, therefore the feeling of night and day merged into one. The medical staff were extremely professional. We had 4 visits from the doctor and 5 from the nurse. There were no charges for this service. Sleeping felt very much like being on a roller coaster ride, at times. Obviously, this is out of the captains control, but it did make sleeping difficult. The 24 hour restaurant felt very much like a Butlin's holiday camp style cafe. The other restaurant (not the a la carte) was excellent. Both the service and food, were of a very high standard. We smelt varnish in various parts of the ship and whilst in dock, the outside of the ship was still being painted. The entertainment was of a very high standard. All in all we feel that this was our first and last cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
OK I have good news and bad news - lets do the bad first. The absolute worse thing about this ship is the constant front to back pitching and rocking when sailing which aint too bad until you come to lie down and try to go to sleep - and ... Read More
OK I have good news and bad news - lets do the bad first. The absolute worse thing about this ship is the constant front to back pitching and rocking when sailing which aint too bad until you come to lie down and try to go to sleep - and sadly this stopped me from sleeping properly for the whole cruise. It gets worse too as when the pitching increases then you have the added noise of room furniture starting to rattle. As the Med was flat calm for the entire 7 days the weather / tide is not to blame - its definitely the ship. And why? BECAUSE the Island Escape was built as a CRUISE FERRY in 1982 to work in the Baltic .Its not a true Cruise ship and I have cruised (and slept soundly before) Ok more bad news on drinks - all hugely expensive eg can of pop £1.40 1.5 litre bottle of water £2.40. To get around this buy your own from Carrefour in the ports you sail into eg 1.5 litre bottle of water 30 cents! Sadly the trips are all hugely expensive from £34- £40 and these are only half day or less. We did our own thing and here are my tours.. Palermo - walked up to the Capuchin Catacombs to see all the skeletons and then visited the Cathedral. Cost - zilch - we walked Naples - walked around some main streets and then visited the National Archaeological Museum - fantastic dislays here esp the Roman marble statues. Cost 10 Euros each with less for anyone 18-24 - take passport for proof of age for youngsters. Ajaccio - took the Tourist Train 10 Euros each but its nearly two hours and there are stops - takes you to 3 Napoloeon related sites plus right out to the Sanguinas Islands Toulon - visit the market plus the large modern shopping centre - big Carrefour in there then took another Tourist train which starts right by the dock - 6 Euros Barcelona - walked up Las Ramblas to Placa de Catalunya and caught the Metro to Lesseps then walked up to Gaudis Park Guell ( FREE entry) We got 6 Euros ONE day tickets which gives you unlimited Metro travel. Now the good news.. The food is good to very good. You can eat in the informal Beachcomber or the more formal Island Restaurant. Sadly I found the latter not to my liking and you have to buy any drinks to go with your buffet meal. In the Beachcomber you have free unlimited ice cold water tea and coffee ( sorry coffee is foul!) When we found out both restaurants serve exactly the same menus it was the Beachcomber all the time. The menu and food is different every day. You can also sit inside or outside in the Beachcomber and its nice to watch a port slip away in the evening as you enjoy your meal. Entertainment is OK but not brill but its free. Best show was the comedian. The staff are great and friendly always smiling Would I go back on the Island Escape? Absolutely not as I do not appreciate being rattled to sleep. If you want cheap and cheerful and dont mind the vibrations then it may be just what you are looking for. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
This cruise is provided with a scheduled or chartered flight but do expect cramped " knees around your earlobe seats " even on the bus to get you to and from the ship! Embarkation was to be fair very smooth and stress free but ... Read More
This cruise is provided with a scheduled or chartered flight but do expect cramped " knees around your earlobe seats " even on the bus to get you to and from the ship! Embarkation was to be fair very smooth and stress free but that unfortunately was one of the highlights! Our outside cabin on deck 7 was really small with little closet space and if you have a larger than average body size do not drop the soap in the shower or you are sure to get wedged, if the shower works! The next incumbents of our cabin should be forever grateful to us as we spent the first 3 days of this cruise treading a regular path to the pursers desk reporting problems!! Trickling hot water showers and basin,overflowing toilet bowls, no visional or audible television as well as missing or broken tube lighting! The passengers allotted this cabin the previous cruise surely must have been easily pleased! There is this theory that on average passengers weight retention on a 7 day cruise is 9lb unless you cruise on this for a week! You can double that average after with all the salty, high calorie repetitive Naafi canteen stodge dished up. Dining in the ships main Island Restaurant is like a food fight with with no waiter service and very tight seating arrangements which reminded me of locusts devouring all in their way!!! We did try the their signature Oasis waiter service restaurant on two occasions and I have to say it was worth the £14.99 cover charge, so not all bad dining and cuisine! The Ocean Theatre is a one level show lounge with several pillars obstructing sight lines which detracts from enjoying the high energy enthusiastic low budget singers/dancers. In addition visiting acts the likes of amateurish tribute acts and comedian who I have to say is a very funny guy. The ships tours were varied but as usual outrageously overpriced! We tend to make our own way around the ports of call at about the tenth of the cost asked for from the cruise companies. The island escape is suitable for all ages singles and couples with children with food that is quantity rather than quality, smiley faced Malaysian crew delivering a friendly service that lacks polish! But hey! you get what you pay for and the price was about right! Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
I have sailed on the Island Escape 4 times,but i will not be going on it again unless it has a huge overhaul.We sailed from 8th-15thjan.on the cruise colourful coasts.We had only been on the ship 2 days when we were informed by the captain ... Read More
I have sailed on the Island Escape 4 times,but i will not be going on it again unless it has a huge overhaul.We sailed from 8th-15thjan.on the cruise colourful coasts.We had only been on the ship 2 days when we were informed by the captain of a virus,and told all people who became ill must stay in there cabins and remain there untill given the all clear by the doctor.We were not allowed too put our own food on our plates,this was done by the staff.We spoke too many people who had been confined too there cabins for 2-4 days.At night we got very little sleep due too the ship rocking and none stop banging.I have in the past recomended this ship but willdo so no more.Our cabin was very small and basic the handbasin plug was rusty and the soap holders needed a good clean,there were chipped and cracked tiles in the shower cubicle.The ship needs a complete over haul NOW. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
Sailed on the ISLAND ESCAPE last week it was poss the worst holiday i have ever had,if you are booked on this ship in the coming weeks while you are eating your corn flakes or egg and bacon on deck 10 have a good look at the chairs you are ... Read More
Sailed on the ISLAND ESCAPE last week it was poss the worst holiday i have ever had,if you are booked on this ship in the coming weeks while you are eating your corn flakes or egg and bacon on deck 10 have a good look at the chairs you are sitting on,and wonder how long the in ground dirt has been on them,have a look around the bottom of the large windows and ask yourself the same question,have a look at the ceiling panels all a long the corridors, the buckets catching water from leaking pipes, the large fans paced along corridors trying to remove the stale smells, I my self became ill on the day 3 which kept me in my cabin for 2 days and 2 nights,my wife then came down with it for 2 days, my brother and his wife where next,we then found out that a lot more passengers where ill, on the SAT every one had to leave the ship so that it could be fumigated,they even laid on free coaches to make sure every one went a shore. I am not some one who would normally write a holiday review but for any one booked on this ship you need to no what you are going to get,as some who works in the cruises industry, if this ship sailed from a uk port it would be stopped by the PORT HEALTH Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
I had read the reviews for Island Escape & thought they were probably just a few people having a moan for no reason, WRONG, I know its a budget cruise ship but my moan is about the food never being hot, half pint glasses not being half ... Read More
I had read the reviews for Island Escape & thought they were probably just a few people having a moan for no reason, WRONG, I know its a budget cruise ship but my moan is about the food never being hot, half pint glasses not being half a pint, excursions not correctly advertised, grossly overpriced & the company saying they don't get any commission. To explain the above, the food was always just warm and the vegetables tasteless. I found that I could fit my half pint glass inside my brothers half pint glass & when I showed the waiter he just laughed. I am sure weights & measures would be interested in this. Finally,we paid £36.00 each to go to "Paradise Valley" in Agadir, Morocco which consisted of a 30 mile ride in a minibus followed by a walk down a track through a few derelict huts which turned out to be village dwellings, through a field and back onto the road constantly followed by children begging and a "breakfast" which consisted of a glass of mint tea, a piece of what was similar to nan bread and a few saucers of different dishes ie honey, peanut butter and a couple of other things. Then we were given a small bottle of mineral water,a bag with 6 dates,& a handful of almonds in & returned to the ship. The ships talk for this trip was so misleading I feel that we have been taken for complete mugs. The crew as always were always cheerful and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We went for a weeks cruise in a party of 16 including a 1yr old baby for a winter break on the 1st January 2010. After a long journey caused by snow at the airport etc we finally arrived at the Island Escape around 9pm in the Evening. ... Read More
We went for a weeks cruise in a party of 16 including a 1yr old baby for a winter break on the 1st January 2010. After a long journey caused by snow at the airport etc we finally arrived at the Island Escape around 9pm in the Evening. From the outside the ship seemed reasonably promising,sitting in a harbour with no other ships around it stood out quite clean and impressive. This was probably to do with the constant repainting job that gets done at every port but what you don't realise is quite how small this ship is compared to other 'real' cruise ships. Once going through all the boarding card palava that happens with every cruise we finally arrived at our cabin/hamster cage...Our room was on the 6th floor and was an outside cabin with a window,rather than a wee porthole that other rooms seemed to have. The rooms were tiny by any cruise ship standard. infact my girlfriend commented that the cabin was identical to the one she had used in an overnight ferry to France. This should have come as no surprise when we find out that the boat is acctually a 28year old Ferry that had been converted into a cruise ship some years ago. The room were fairly poor aswell as being small. How anyone ever fits a family of four into the room i will never know. 2 single beds and 2 bunk beds that can be folded against the wall. no room for suitcases and only room for a handful of clothes. The Television in the room was quite easily older than my 24years and that is without exageration. The sink was a rather interesting ....rust colour,terracota if i was being kind. The furnishings were very very very basic and no two carpets in any rooms matched. People have mentioned that the food was good? I would like to know good in comparison to what exactly? The beachcomber was a soup kitchen....nothing more. The Restaurant on the 6th floor served the same food as the beachcomber restaurant but was done in a slightly more stilish way with waited service for drinks etc. The food was not tragic and there was a few gems but a lot of it was very bland with very little flavour or variation. The cold salad buffet and cold meats/cheese were identical every single day and night. There is an a la carte resturant that you would pay extra for. We went on two occassions. The food in here is...decent,nothing more than that though. It is the sort of food you would expect from your average resturant here. Steaks were on the menu aswell but no matter how you asked for it to be cooked it always seemed to come a fairly medium-well,something that bemused me. For 12.95 per person it was ok but don't believe anyone who says it was anything spectacular. The all inclusive package is fairly decent with good quality drinks and a nice choice of cocktails etc to choose from. The staff on board are all very helpful and do there best.Waiters and bartenders are of a fairly good standard and will entertain you with card tricks etc during your meal.The cabin stewards make novel animald from your towels everyday and it is always a nice touch on a boat where not everything is that great. The boat itself is the main problem. The swiming pool is a disgrace - end of, and a lot of the on deck games and equipment are broken or in need of repair. Those are minor cosmetic problems the real problem is with it's handling of the sea. During the 7 days on the ship, on 3 occasions i had to go to bed early due to sea sickness. I have been on cruises before and never had this problem. The captain (a bit cluless) was forever mentioning the 'atlantic swell' that was causing the boat to sway. The truth is that the boat is not capable of handing the open sea. Modern cruise ships would have absolutely no problem negotiating their way through the waves that this ship had to however this ship moved fairly dramatically at times - leading to people falling in stairs and in restaurants etc. The waves from the sea were nothing major when you looked overboard but this ship was not modern enough and did not have enough stabalisers to combat this motion meaning MANY of the ships passangers had to quw for seasickness tablets and go to bed early. The boat left ports very early on many occassions meaning that you only really got a few hours at each port. Hardly ideal. On the cruise news it was forever boasting about greener cruising and how passangers could do their bit to combat fuel use etc on the ship. I found this a bit pathetic coming from a ship that left the port of Lanzarote at 6pm on thursday and circled the canary islands before coming into Tenerife port at 8am the next morning to 'save port fees'. Hardly green crusing that is it.especially when the boat waves and swirls and creaks all night leaving up to 50% of the ships passangers in bed for an early night. Overall the cruise cost around £750 pp for us in a large group, for that money it just wasn't worth it and i came back my holiday feeling worse than i did when i went. As for the excursions, with the exception of the 4x4 trips i would recommend that you did the trips yourself and save a fortune. Especially the trips in Medira and Morocco - both of which were easily accessable on your own to cover the same trip and more for at least half the price. All other comments on other reviews were accurate regarding toilets breaking down etc so no need to comment any further. There are far better cruises out there and this was most deffinately a ship that needed to be retired as it is probably one of the single most uncomfertable boats in existence. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
After one night and one port of call my husband was taken ill with gastrointestinal illness onboard with symptons consistent with Norovirus. Medical staff kept promising to come but we had to keep chasing them. We were both confined to our ... Read More
After one night and one port of call my husband was taken ill with gastrointestinal illness onboard with symptons consistent with Norovirus. Medical staff kept promising to come but we had to keep chasing them. We were both confined to our cabins for two days. Missing two ports of call. The food that was sent down for me was terrible (there was nothing wrong with me) When finially given the all clear my husband still felt unwell so spent another evening in bed missing his meal and the entertainment. After talking to other passengers there were loads of people who went down with this virus. Things were changed in the restaurants, the crew served up the food even poured the tea and coffee. The ice bucket was taken out of the cabins and plastic cups replaced glasses. On arriving at back at Tenerife everyone on board the ship at to get off from 10 am until 3 pm so they could sanitise the ship. Some people who had late flights were taken to an hotel and others who were staying on the ship had a free excursion. This was our first experience of a cruise we were really looking forward to it but needless to say we probably will never go on one again. We are looking for compensation now from Thomsons. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
On reading the Thomson in flight magazine on the way back from a 14 night cruise on the Island Escape I came across an article on how Thomson was responding to customer criticism. The first bullet point described how 400 of their worst ... Read More
On reading the Thomson in flight magazine on the way back from a 14 night cruise on the Island Escape I came across an article on how Thomson was responding to customer criticism. The first bullet point described how 400 of their worst hotel destinations had been removed from their brochures. I think they should seriously consider adding the Island Escape to this list. Here are my criticisms of the cruise I have just experienced. 1. Cabins - they creak and make loads of noise when you are trying to get some kip - so take some earplugs. We found cotton wool pads wedged into the right parts of the cabin furniture can help reduce (but not kill) the rattling sounds. The loud creaking noises cannot, although I tried on a number of occasions. 2. The linen in the cabin has been washed (I think). nuff said. 3. Food average. As with all buffets I have experienced it is never something to write home about. The Oasis restaurant was o.k (just o.k) if you are prepared to pay extra. 4. On Board Entertainment. Some of the musicians playing in the bars were really great. However, 14 nights of the same musicians playing in the bars - a little monotonous. The shows in the main theatre were centered around West End musicals and catered for the more senior amongst us. Not all the ship were seniors and even if just a few shows were a more modern it might make a difference to the younger people (those of us younger than 60). 5. Destinations. We did not make all ports of call due to bad weather. This cannot be helped. However, the time at some destinations was cut short due to serious ship malfunctions with the sewerage system. Yes, we had blocked toilets and some people on board experienced worst things than just blockages. Others were cut short for operational reasons such as emptying waste tanks. Really frustrating. 6. Staff. Really friendly and very helpfull unless it is customer relations. Expect no answers out of them, the answers you do get will be abrupt. 7. Excursions. Short and expensive. 8. Thomson aircraft. They have obviously removed the net bags on the back of every seat (the ones that normally hold the magazines and sick bag) in order to squeeze seats closer together. I am not particularly tall but anyone over 5 foot 11 inches will have definite problems trying to sit in them. 9. Thomson flight experiences. Not good, particularly for the more senior members of the party. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
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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