Swings and roundabouts: Thomson Celebration Cruise Review by Jazzacat

Thomson Celebration 4
Member Since 2012
3 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Swings and roundabouts

Sail Date: August 2012
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Other
We picked this cruise for the itinerary and were not disappointed. The shore-excursions were booked via Thomson to ensure we got the most out of the holiday and I would really recommend them all. Celebration is small ship and beginning to show her age, however the team on-board work hard to give the best holiday experience they can.

Highlights include:

The entertainment: lots to choose from and (almost) all of a very high standard. The onboard party band, Meetch & The Peakles, are just fantastic. They seem to be able to play everything and despite playing up to four sets a day we never heard them repeat a set. The show team had good nights and bad nights. Sadly some of the harmonies were fairly excruciating but overall the shows were good. The crew show is a real show-stopper, when the staff get to show off their undoubted talents. Jeffery the waiter is an absolute star! Bram Lorenz is the cruise director and we loved his style. In addition to acting as MC for More everything, he played a great Thernadier in the Musicals Show, and ensured that every member of the team was introduced to us and credit given to each one. He also provided a very informative narrative as we sailed through the Dardenelles and past the war memorials. The minute silence was both respectful and moving.

The Shore Excusions Team were both informative and helpful. When we had cause to discuss disappointment with one tour (Istanbul - too much hanging around) the net day we had a letter of acknowledgement delivered to our cabin. An impressive touch and one we've not had with other cruise companies. They also advised on how to make the most of the ports even if not taking an organised tour which was very good.

We never had a problem getting sunbeds on deck, even on the day at sea.

But there were some negatives however:

On the whole the food was a real disappointment. The vegetarian options were on a par with motorway service stations and very repetitive. Sadly this applied to both the Lido (buffet) and the waiter-service Meridian dining room. The service was also hit and miss, sometimes very good but more often than not pretty ordinary. The wines are also very expensive for what they were. Australian Shiraz on "special" at around £20 a bottle? Hmmm, enough said.

I was also very unimpressed at having to ask for water, even at mealtimes.

If you're hoping to purchase any of the photos taken on board, do be sure to plan your finances wisely. At £14.95 PER PHOTO you'll need to. That said they do some "great" offers - buy three and get two free. So that's the best part of £45 for five - a bargain indeed...!

Disappointed to have to have the same pool towels all cruise, with the threat of £10 per towel being added to our account for "failure to return". Other cruise lines have laundry deposit boxes on deck and clean towels available as required.

The cabin safety deposit boxes are charged at £15 per week or £24 for the fortnight. Simply an outrage. The cabins do not have a fridge and do note that you need a European plug for UK appliances. Less

Published 08/30/12

Cabin review: 545

Small but adequate. The cabin is a little tired but everything works. Plenty of drawers and hanging space. Hairdryer provided which works well (I didn't have to use my own!) but do note that you will need a European travel plug. No fridge which was a pity although you can always call down for ice which is (usually) brought promptly. "Outside" means a small porthole on deck 3/4 - no picture windows here! There is a safe deposit box for which Thomson make a quite outrageous charge £15 per week or £24 per fortnight - daylight robbery.

Port and Shore Excursions

Blue Mosque

Simply stunning - it takes your breath away.

Kervansaray Nightclub

This was a great night out. A good meal (set menu), belly dancers, folk musicians and dancers and whirling dervishes - thoroughly entertaining! Just when we thought it was all over the MC took the mike and sang songs in different languages (including Japanese, Afrikaans and Norwegian!) according to the nations represented. Great fun!

Sabanci Museum

The venue was very interesting but sadly the visit was marred by a very poor audio system which was so blurred that we were unable to hear the tour-guide's commentary. Also not enough time to look round independently and far too much time standing around for no apparent reason and without explanation. The tour included visits to the Blue Mosque and the Underground Cistern.

Underground Cistern

Quite amazing - a breath-taking feat of engineering. Look out for the huge fish and the carvings of Medusa!

Archaeological Site of Ephesus

Simply amazing experience and well worth the coach trip from Izmir. Our tour-guide Amy was very knowledgeable, having a degree in archeology and fantastic English. A photographer came round the site with us taking shots which were an optional purchase at the end. We bought five photos for £10 (Sterling accepted) which was a bargain!

House of Virgin Mary

Incredible experience, the house and the prayer wall are really worth visiting,

Ano Mera Monastery

Part of the walking tour which itself was part of the island tour conducted by Antonio - a very competent and informative guide.

Kalafatis Beach

Part of the walking tour which itself was part of the island tour conducted by Antonio - a very competent and informative guide.

Paraportiani Church

Part of the walking tour which itself was part of the island tour conducted by Antonio - a very competent and informative guide.

Windmills Walking Tour

Part of the walking tour which itself was part of the island tour conducted by Antonio - a very competent and informative guide.

Lindos Walking Tour

Fantastic trip taking in the Acropolis at Lindos: a fantastic site. Our tour-guide was Daphne (also known as Scarlett) and she was both informative and fun.
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Member Since 2012
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