More like a couple of day trips than a cruise: Thomson Majesty Cruise Review by Rag Pudding
Overall Member Rating
More like a couple of day trips than a cruise
Destination: Canary Islands
An 'unannounced' note under the door posted during the day 1 departure evening from Tenerife informed us the first half of the week's itinerary had been changed by the Captain. Apparently there was a possibility of a weather front in the area which made it unsafe for the Majesty to put out to sea. This meant the cruise destinations of La Palma and Madeira were binned in favour of a 3 day berth in Gran Canaria (instead of the intended 1 days original stay) and a desperate return to Tenerife was pencilled in for day 5 (oh dear). This left us with a couple of trips at the end of the week to Fuerteventura and La Gomera, both of which proved really nice days after the boredom of extended stays on islands we have already toured many times in the past.
As regards the Majesty as a cruise ship I'll cut to the chase....
We paid extra More for a cabin on Deck 8 with a window, I wish we'd paid even more for one of the rooms with a bit more space. This was a very small cabin, barely bigger enough for 1 person never mind 2.
The objective was to get a higher deck to avoid engine noise, this plan failed. Not sure if it was the engine or the air-con system but the noise in the room was quite loud especially at night, it seemed to peak between 2am & 4am even stuck in port. When added to narrow single beds which dipped in the middle, alongside wafer thin rock hard pillows, a good nights sleep was never going to happen.
Towards the end of the week we didn't get replacement towels due to delays in the laundry (or so we were told), when I expressed concern the maid took some clean ones from another room?
One morning, still half asleep as I cleaned my teeth I got a horrible taste in my mouth. I was shocked when I ran the tap for a while longer, the most horrible dark brown liquid was pumping out! I expressed horror & alarm at reception only to be told it was nothing to worry about, they had forgotton to replace a filter and the water system would soon return to normal?
Moving onto dining, the Deck 10 self service food area had nowhere enough tables. The majority of people had to sit beside the pool area (where half the boat is given over to smokers) or you could choose to carry your plate down a deck to a bar area. Some of the meals in self service were quite good, others such as on the 'Great British Food' night, were simply terrible, its a bit hit and miss really. We had a curry night which was mainly ok but I'm not sure about using up all the spare pork chops from the weeks cruise in a hotch-potch made up 'Pork Vindaloo'?
At the back of the boat is a daytime snack bar. Its mainly fast food & salad, the burgers are absolutely awful (worse than burger vans) but the steak sandwiches are excellent, you can also get pizza but you have to normally ask the people behind the counter to put one in the oven. Tables in the open air are fine in this area but those running alongside the deck are badly affected by fumes and noise (which is why they are always empty).
I decided to take up a beer package but after a couple of days you realise its a bit weak and lacks the genuine taste, I got fed up with the stuff to be honest.
Entertainment is in the obstructed-view lounge which has lots of pillars, if you are prepared to strain your neck and wait for a seat it offers typical cruise style shows, it appears Berni Flint was the headline act for this cruise. Elsewhere there are lots and lots of pub style quiz shows going on alongside karaoke events. I'm not really keen on any of this but it offers people a choice.
I'm not mega keen on formal nights but still go along with it. This one was truly awful. You feel uncomfortable sat in areas alongside people in t-shirts and shorts in the evening, then you spend the rest of the night being herded into some self patronising Captains Cocktail event where they expect you to applaud all the officers (after all we've done is spend endless days in port). Next you join a mile long queue for your designated restaurant before being rushed through your meal, we only got our wine during the last course. Not good.
If you like a quiet meal table for 2 on your cruise you can forget it on The Majesty, tables for 2 simply dont exist. You get thrown in with whom ever else is in the queue at the time of entering the restaurant, this is ok to meet people and have a chat now and again but not all the time, you need a break from it to simply enjoy your food in peace. Same goes for all the other eating areas I'm afraid, hardly a table for 2 in site!
In my opinion, The Majesty itself is a past the sell by date boat, it needs a lot of areas redesigning and quite a lot of the facilities need upgrading, some of the smells in the public toilets were terrible. When it eventually got out to sea the weather had calmed down but it was still all over the place creaking and banging, it didn't inspire one with great confidence. Something echoed by lots of people the following morning over our compulsory all-sit-together breakfast.
I've done a good few cruises before and did this one with patience and an open mind, my full tank of understanding was down to the vapours well before the end of the week and quite honestly I can state that I will not be doing another Thomson cruise. Less