We travelled on the thomson celebration from manchester on the 27thdec for new year sailing in the red sea. We have cruised before but this was our fist time with thomson. The ship is quite old but we were happy with most things, food was good, entertainment fair, cabins adequate. The ports we travelled to were industrial but you could get a free bur into jordan, if you didn't want to go on organised trip you could get a taxi at other ports however be prepared to haggle don't take 1st prices. We went on excursions to the dead sea which was a long journey but we all thourghly enjoyed it, cairo museum and pyrimids tour was good, the museum was a bit of a waste of time, we got very little time there but good to say you were there. The entrance into the mummys room is Â£10 each, they charge you Â£16 each on the bus before you get there, they say there are limits on numbers etc - you paid at booth at entrance to mummys room and there was no problem getting in, don't get ripped off pay it yourself a nice earner for tour guides, they also have the cheek to look for a tip at the end on the day after making Â£6/person at museum cost us Â£24 extra. Our toilet filled up and almost flooded over in the cabin, a quick run by maintence corrected this but always kept an eye on it. The staff were always encouraging everyone to sanitise hands and not to help yourself to food, well done i have had bad experience of hotels in egypt, no problems in this area. The sunbeds were limited and all taken by 8.30am with tickets being put on them throughout the day to no avail, more sunbeds needed please. We docked at safagha right next to an aluminium plant the 1st day was fine but on 2nd day the dust covered the front of the ship and also the outside eating area and food serving areas. The staff continued to serve food which was obviously covered in dust. We couldn't stay outside and sunbath and eventually left the ship and went to a hotel as the reception were very unhelpful and only decided to write out a complaint for after our third visit and our insistence. We paid Â£60 for the taxi and use of hotel. We were told to keep receipts etc which we did. On return to the ship it moved further up the dock and turned around but the outside remained closed off till we left for sea. Thomson have had this problem before several times and their response is that it is outwith their control (but they choose to return to this port). On return i phoned thomson to ask how our complaint was going i was told they just keep it on file and don't give a response unless you resubmit your complaint on returning. I did this and got response below
"it's disappointing when your holiday doesn't go the way you had planned so i can empathise with you.
please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused. On arrival into the pilot station in safaga the port agent advised that our berth was occupied by another ship which has a call once a year. Our usual berthing position was not permitted on arrival into safaga as the port authorities had permitted the albatross into our usual berth. A confirmation was received late morning that we could move further down the quayside and also turn the ship around - captain has made a pa announcement at 11.30.