3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
There is a lot to recommend this ship. 1. It is excellent value for money. 2. The food overall is very good. Whether you eat in the main dining room or the buffet there is always lots of choice and the quality is good. Best pluses ... Read More
There is a lot to recommend this ship. 1. It is excellent value for money. 2. The food overall is very good. Whether you eat in the main dining room or the buffet there is always lots of choice and the quality is good. Best pluses are the pasta station and the salad bar. Only minor criticism is, for me they over cook the beef. We also never had problems in getting seats at the time of our choosing in the main restaurant. The buffet could get busy on sea days but was far less chaotic than most cruise lines we have been on. 3. Overall the basic drinks package is very good. Reasonable quality spirits and good mixers. We don't drink white wine but we liked the Rose and the red was just about acceptable. Beware the red outside the dining room because it sometimes comes at mulled wine temperatures. The only beers offered in the basic package are Fosters and John Smiths. I like these beers some may not. Some people complained that because of the restrictions it was not all inclusive. I have been on lots of cruise lines and this is pretty good. Yes, some lines do offer top shelf spirits and wines but you would have to pay far more for the cruise in the first place. There were a couple of silly anomolies, you can order a gin and a vermouth separately, but if you order a Martini, you get charged. 4. Staff throughout the ship were excellent. Sometimes, in the theatre in particular, you had to wait to be served, but that was sheer weight of numbers. The boys and girls always kept smiling and worked their butts off. Our star performer was Maria in Horizons. 5. The entertainment team and the guest acts were excellent. Less keen on the comedians, but that just may be us. We have been on many cruise lines but this was our first on Thomsons. The majority of our experiences were positive. Now for the couple of downsides: 1. We are early risers and we like to sunbathe between eight and eleven ish. The first day we went down at just after seven and all prime locations were reserved but not in use. The following day we checked before seven. Same again and every sea day. We have encountered this problem before on Italian ships, but never before have we come across the Benidorm mob on a British cruise ship. 2. When I tried to raise the issue with guest services they ignored me for four days. The Manager apparently never received my four messages. I will put that down to inefficiency, rather than rudeness. On thing this cruise has taught me is to think very carefully about repositioning cruises. Four years ago I had exactly the same problems with MSC. I have not used used them since. I will not be using Thomson again for Ocean crossings.. I will use Thomson again for cruises with frequent stops. Good value, food drink and service make it acceptable. The sun beds issue becomes unimportant because either I or the majority of the mob will be . Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise because we were on the Celebration relocation cruise last year and really enjoyed it. The ship is very clean and the crew are all very friendly. Our cabin was comfortable and kept very clean by Budi who always had a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were on the Celebration relocation cruise last year and really enjoyed it. The ship is very clean and the crew are all very friendly. Our cabin was comfortable and kept very clean by Budi who always had a smile and short chat anytime we met him. We ate in the Meridian Restaurant most nights and found this a very pleasant experience. The staff were very efficient and friendly and we met other guests whilst sharing a table with them. We mostly had breakfast and lunch in the Lido Restaurant where there was a wide and varied selection of food available. The only downside was, that if you didn't take a drink in with you, it was not easy to get a waiter. Maybe, more waiting staff would overcome this problem. We especially enjoyed the interview with Captain John one afternoon. It was very informative and interesting and he really has such a good sense of humour, which also came across on his daily bulletins when we were at sea. We enjoyed doing the daily trivia quiz but sometimes found it hard to hear the questions on deck 6. Overall, the service we received on board was excellent. The staff who especially stood out for us were Melisa and Sydney and the unforgettable Nosi, she was so wonderful, I would have been proud to have her for a daughter :-). Such hard workers and always with a smile on their face and an eagerness to help. Unfortunately, due to the hurricane, the ports we were supposed to visit were changed a bit, but that didn't matter to us. We saw some beautiful Islands in the Caribbean and met some wonderful people. Maybe next time we could visit the others. We had a wonderful time on our cruise and can't wait to do another one. Thank you to all staff and crew we came in contact with, you helped make our holiday one to remember. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I have to say this was my first ever cruise with my hubby and he had booked it for my 40th birthday surprise. He thought it would be something different from our usual beach holidays. I was a little worried at first as I thought cruises ... Read More
I have to say this was my first ever cruise with my hubby and he had booked it for my 40th birthday surprise. He thought it would be something different from our usual beach holidays. I was a little worried at first as I thought cruises were just for older people but I was very much mistaken. It was one of the best holidays I have had and we go on many holidays. The age range was from babies to very old. Everything about the cruise was amazing, every staff member says hello and cannot do enough for you. The food and DRINK were brilliant, we were AI and the variety was unbelievable. Entertainment was brilliant, there were broadway shows, karaoke, sports, everything you can actually imagine and late night discos every night. The different ports we docked at everyday were fantastic. This ship has everything you could want in a cruise, it is as laid back as you like or as fancy as you like. I have to again mention the staff and service on board its 1st class. The cabins are very modern and spotless clean, they are checked a few times a day by your specified room steward who also comes in at night when your out on board and turns down the bed and puts a chocolate on the pillows, such a nice touch. I will definitely 100% be going on another cruise soon with Marella (Thomson). My husband chose Thomson cruises as we always book our holidays with Thomson/first choice. Very good choice in my opinion as there is nothing at all to fault - well done thomsons!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We have sailed with Thomson 4 times previously (Destiny, Majesty and twice on the Dream) always enjoyed the ambiance of the ships and this time was no different. All the staff we encountered were great. Our cabin was a deluxe outside ... Read More
We have sailed with Thomson 4 times previously (Destiny, Majesty and twice on the Dream) always enjoyed the ambiance of the ships and this time was no different. All the staff we encountered were great. Our cabin was a deluxe outside on deck 7 (131) really good size, plenty of storage. We found the bed too hard (personal preference) but pillows ok. As always immaculately kept by our cabin steward. The bath towels were too small, I use this size at home to wrap around my hair after washing! Definitely not what I would class a bath towel, but always clean. The soap/body wash was awful stuff, take your own for sure!! The entertainment team in the show lounge were excellent, but as this week is their last on this ship you probably won't get to see them. We spent every evening in Liberties after the show and the resident band there were great! New Generation I think. Ports of call were all really good, only downside was the Thomson shuttle to Valencia. E7 each and a wait of 45 minutes. 5 mins walk around the corner will get you a local bus for E1.50! Our only disappointment was the food in the Meridian. Couldn't complain exactly, it was just uninspiring, and exceptionally small portions, but as always could not fault the wait staff. Enjoyed our trip but would probably not sail the Celebration again! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Having read some of the reviews we where concerned we'd bought a pup and where going to regret the holiday. We have cruised before on Holland America, P&O and Fred Olsen and this was to be our 6th cruise. We arrived at Doncaster ... Read More
Having read some of the reviews we where concerned we'd bought a pup and where going to regret the holiday. We have cruised before on Holland America, P&O and Fred Olsen and this was to be our 6th cruise. We arrived at Doncaster Airport and where greeted by a dedicated cruise reception desk and received our room tags and instructions on what to expect at Malaga airport. The flight across and transfer where faultless and we where on board within ten minutes of arriving at the port. First impression surpassed our expectations - we where in a Suite on deck 8 (0058) and the porter guided us to our room and welcomed us on board. The suite was beautiful and of a bigger size than we could have hoped for. The bathroom was clean and roomy, the main room spotless if not a little dark meaning lights where needed even during the day despite the 2 large windows which where unobstructed by the lifeboats. We eat every evening in the Lido as we are not fine diners and we felt the room was a bit more like a canteen than some of the other buffet venues we have experienced before but the food was plentiful, warm and mostly good quality - I used the noodle bar most nights and this was excellent. The Liberties bar was our venue of choice and we enjoyed all the music, quizzes and game shows which was hosted mainly by Paul who was a really engaging guy. All the staff on the entertainment team and bar staff where very polite and good fun to be with. We watched the Africa show in the Broadway Theatre which was entertaining and the guest comedy artist was brilliant. The ship is 34 years old but doesn't feel that old or look that bad - its well maintained, clean and in good decoration and upkeep - a credit to the staff. We disembarked effortlessly at the ports of call but where disappointed that the berths where mainly in the industrial areas and not centre to the towns/ cities and needed transfers at additional cost. At Valencia we purchased coach transfer at £7 each and waited 40 minutes to get on a coach, we found out within seconds of leaving the terminal the local bus was 1.5euro each each way and was every 10minutes. The mix of ages and demographic of guests was good - those who have been on Fred Olsen will know that at mid 50's were young on them but mainstream on this cruise. The minus points where the berths, the shower water pressure, slightly dark Suite and a canteen feel to the Lido restaurant but the staff, venues, passengers, public areas and the port of calls make these points petty to mention and we will certainly use Thomson Cruises in the future - or should that now say Marella Cruises! Many thanks to all on-board for a memorable cruise Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose the Celebration for the Gibraltar visit, because it was the place we wanted to visit most, spending around 10 hours in port, most of the port visits were pretty good, although the visit to Portimãoi was rather ... Read More
We chose the Celebration for the Gibraltar visit, because it was the place we wanted to visit most, spending around 10 hours in port, most of the port visits were pretty good, although the visit to Portimãoi was rather pointless, not much to see or do, activities for younger passengers were limited, my son was 15 at the time, all the pools at close at 6pm leaving nothing to do at all for the kids the food was very good for buffet food, and the staff were excellent very limited and very expensive WiFi at £49.99 for 7 days, you can get WiFi in your cabin The cabin was very good, and cleaned lots, sometimes twice a day, we didn't take any of the excursions, we thought pp £37 for a 1 hour trip was far too much there are a few hidden surcharges on food and drinks, so not all-inclusive, we were charged £7 per person for a shuttle bus to Portimaoi, that was quicker to walk than the bus, although the crew were very good, the ship let the cruise down, so i doubt i would cruise with Thomson again, there are better value deals on better equipped ship for a longer duration Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We are regular cruisers with Thomson. We wanted a cruise when the weather was starting to cool down from the heat of the summer. The ship is showing signs of age but we prefer smaller ships with lots of character. Therefore the age of ... Read More
We are regular cruisers with Thomson. We wanted a cruise when the weather was starting to cool down from the heat of the summer. The ship is showing signs of age but we prefer smaller ships with lots of character. Therefore the age of the ship does not bother us at all. The food was generally good and we also decided to go for deal where you ate in the three "pay" restaurants. Mistral's and the Kora La were both really good. Sadly, the wine on offer did not meet our expectations. We wanted a bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc but there was none available. This was particularly disappointing as the senior wine waiter who hosted the wine tasting event that we had previously attended had agreed that New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc was the business. We were on the "all inclusive" package and the "house white" on offer was pretty poor. On the plus side Prosecco is included in the "all Inclusive" package which went down very well. The destinations visited were really interesting and enjoyable. We went to Mahon, Menorca, Marseilles, Barcelona, Valencia, and Cartagena and found them all interesting. The entertainment on board was of of it's usual high standard and the attitude and helpfulness of the staff and crew was excellent. We are frequent cruisers and the last time we cruised with Thomson there was a bottle of bubbly to greet us in our cabin. There wasn't one this time. Also, there was mention of an event for frequent cruisers but we didn't get an invite. The adults only pool was heated, which was great. All in all we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and have already booked our next cruise on the same ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our first cruise around Med - Malaga, Mahon, Marseille, Barcelona, Valencia, Cartagena - We flew to Malaga from Belfast, and the whole flight, transfer and embarkation was seamless and no major waiting.When we pulled up to ... Read More
This was our first cruise around Med - Malaga, Mahon, Marseille, Barcelona, Valencia, Cartagena - We flew to Malaga from Belfast, and the whole flight, transfer and embarkation was seamless and no major waiting.When we pulled up to dock, the Freedom of the Seas was sitting next to Thomson Celebration and made it look small. But when you start to walk around the Celebration, you realise it is big enough to have everything you need (and small enough to get around) Ship - yes, like a lot of reviews, the ship is older and could do with a bit of a spruce up in places but it's easily manageable and kept continuously clean. Food - we only ate in the Lido restaurant as the buffet style suits us more. The selection of food was excellent and there was something different everyday - we had to sometimes avoid walking past the restaurant to avoid temptation - the burgers, hot dogs and pizza from 11-1am were especially tempting after a few beers! Room - we had an inside cabin on deck 2 (room 613) which was perfect for our needs - anyone we spoke to said that some of the dearer, higher deck cabins weren't much better and not necessarily worth the extra cost. No engine noise in our room and we could barely feel the ship moving anytime. The steward keep the room spotless and replaced the towels everyday (whether we requested or not) put chocolates on pillows and made up bed - attention to details was excellent. Entertainment - entertainment was very good, the ensemble singer and dancers in Broadway Lounge put on a different show every night and then sometimes sang on deck and in Liberties bar - they worked hard. A comedian was on board for 2 nights and he was good, a bit old school with some cheesy jokes but still funny and worked the crowd well - he probably has played working men clubs and this style suited the mostly UK crowd. Internet and Wi-Fi - MAKE SURE YOUR DATA ROAMING IS SWITCHED OFF - we make the mistake of having data roaming switched on as we were able to use O2 in port as we can use our data and minutes in Europe now, but the data can connect to ship's internet, which we did by mistake when we thought we were on a normal network (twice) and were charged £6 per Mb, thankfully capped at £40 by O2 - they should really drop the charge and have realistic process for the customers on board Overall, we had a fantastic time on our first cruise and will probably go on another Thomson cruise same time next year and try another itinerary - would definitely travel on the Celebration again. Finally, the main praise for this cruise is for all the staff - all the staff! From the captain to the maintenance staff, entertainment staff, waiters, bar staff, stewards - they all had a smile and a greeting - this must be difficult to keep up, but we did see a lot of staff obviously enjoying themselves, interacting with customers and simple things like remembering peoples' name, room number or even what drink you like are subtle but nice touches. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise because of its itinery. An eclectic mix of Northern Europe (Belgium, France and Ireland) and the warmth of Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar. To that end we thoroughly enjoyed the destinations and would do a similar ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its itinery. An eclectic mix of Northern Europe (Belgium, France and Ireland) and the warmth of Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar. To that end we thoroughly enjoyed the destinations and would do a similar itinery again anytime. However the ship is very old and tired. We have been on a few Thomson cruises before on the Dream and the Majesty and hadn't really had cause for concern. But our 2 previous cruises were on Royal Caribbean and Cunard so I guess we've maybe been spoiled. We could see that Thomson had tried to tart up the ship but the cabin was small with nowhere other than the bed to sit. Also our room attendant had a real attitude problem. The 2 issues we brought to his attention were both met with "This is your fault" rather than with an attempt to fix them. The most serious fault was our cabin toilet barely working throughout the cruise. We have been on 8 cruises so we know what you can and can't flush down one. Eventually they replaced the whole toilet unit and gave us a bottle of wine as a goodwill gesture. I would have been happier if the attendant had just believed us in the first place! The food is good in the specialty restaurants is good and you get a great level of personal attention in them but you do have to pay between £15 and £20 each to use them. The food in the main restaurant was nothing special and in the buffet was absolutely terrible! The entertainers tried hard but were not that great and the 2 comedians that came onto the ship would have been far more at home in a working man's club than a cruise ship. I have always stood up for Thomson cruises in the past when people have referred to them as "Butlins at Sea" but I think that description sadly is true. We may possibly try their newer Discovery ships at some point in the future but frankly, I think we'll save our pennies and stick to the more prestigious ships. On a more positive note, at only £818 each for 13 nights the basic price was very good value but you do have to add your drinks, excursions and the nice restaurants onto the price. Also, with only 2 proper bars on the ship, other than the show lounge there was nowhere to sit in an evening as the bars filled up very quickly. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Embarked at Newcastle without problem, good direction to drop off area, very friendly and welcoming staff at every point. Straight through the check in and onto the ship within about 20 minutes. Excellent starting point for us up north, ... Read More
Embarked at Newcastle without problem, good direction to drop off area, very friendly and welcoming staff at every point. Straight through the check in and onto the ship within about 20 minutes. Excellent starting point for us up north, the main reason we booked this cruise as we travelled with parents in their 80's who find airports a challenge. The rest of the cruise exceeded expectations, cabin 856 on deck 1 was mid ship and next to a crew passageway meaning we only had neighbours on 2 sides, 4 berth cabin with the ability to create a double. No complaints about the room at all, good control of heat/cool and water pressure excellent. Slightly smaller due to crew doorway outside but more than enough storage space. Firm but very comfortable mattress. Previous reviews have referred to the Celebration as being tired, we didn’t note this at all. Compared to the Spirit it’s much more modern and updated, but it’s lost some of the classic character that Spirit retained. All public areas, toilets and restaurants were clean and looked updated. That said we soon felt at home on a wonderful ship particularly the Horizons Bar for the ambiance, service and views. The bar staff there were exceptionally friendly and attentive on every occasion, appreciated when you know how hard they work. Changes to the upper decks removing the sports nets and providing additional sun beds has reduced the pressure on sea days, we always found a bed without problem on sea or sunny back on board afternoons. Celebration is just the right size, plenty of space to be entertained or quiet. The walk around deck 6 is great, both for exercising and enjoying arrival and departure times. We found the food in the Lido and Meridian restaurants very good at every meal, the best out of 4 Thomson cruises. Food hot and varied, mainly British focussed but plenty of variety, salad and vegetable choices. We had the inclusive drinks package of the first time and enjoyed the freedom to sample the drinks menu, a small additional charge for some branded drinks but without choosing them the choice was still very good. Thomson offer an upgrade for £100 a week to be fully all inclusive but we didn’t think this was necessary, only paying a supplement on a few occasions. If you weren’t all inclusive you could purchase it onboard for £370 for the 13 days :-o ! Fosters was the included draft lager, not my favourite, with Heineken having a supplement. The only problem with the bar service was that they ran out of a couple of bottled options within a few days, poor planning from Thomsons and very frustrating if you had paid for the top up all-inclusive based on those drinks. The entertainment team in the show lounge and liberties were exceptional, the shows were again the best we’ve seen supported by excellent costumes and electronic set. All the ports we visited were excellent, the only small gripe was Dublin, pay 10 euro for shuttle into the city or wait for the free shuttle to the port gate, you couldn’t walk across the port. 30 minute + wait as the free shuttle that only seated 18 passengers and took around 10 minutes+ to do the loop. No problem on return journey and the walk into the city from drop off point along the Liffey was very good. Overall an excellent cruise, sailing into Malaga. Thomson remain our favourite for the reasons quoted by others, friendly staff, you know what you’ll pay for and excellent food / entertainment. Keep it up – and don’t lose the Celebration, a well-loved and perfect sized ship. Read Less
Marella Celebration Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 3.7
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.5
Family 3.0 3.5
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.6
Enrichment N/A 3.3
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.9

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