Fjordland Splendour was splendid!: Thomson Spirit Cruise Review by fairygran

Thomson Spirit 4
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Fjordland Splendour was splendid!

Sail Date: July 2014
Destination: Europe - River Cruise
Embarkation: Newcastle (England)
We've just returned from the Fjord-land Splendour aboard the Thomson Spirit and had a good time. The weather was glorious, hitting 31C on one of the days so that helped. We sailed from Newcastle which was an absolute breeze, except for the half an hour queueing to drop off our luggage. Our son is a wheelchair user and so we were fast tracked through passport control by very helpful staff who pushed him up the gangway as well. Had a bit of a wait for lifts to get to our cabin but they were very busy so that was understandable. We were very impressed with the cleanliness of the ship. There was no evidence of shabbiness anywhere so I think it must have had a refit and a very good one at that. We ate in the Compass Rose restaurant on our first night but we weren't impressed with it. The menu is a five course one but you needed all five to feel like you had eaten anything. The portions were very small as was the menu choice and only three courses on it were to our liking so we still felt More hungry after eating. Thank goodness for the late night buffet at the Lido Restaurant! It's open from 6am to 1am so we had a snack in there to finish our first night off. We ate there from day two as there was always a good choice and you could eat as much as you wanted. Breakfast was on until 11.30am so you could stay in bed a little longer and there was always plenty of food no matter what time you went in. All in all the food and service was excellent. One gripe I did have was the fact that they were charging £9.95 for steak or king prawn skewers in both restaurants. This is food that is served as standard fare on RCI so why do they charge extra in a restaurant that is supposed to be free! Bar prices were high too but through reading other reviews I knew that to order soft drinks by the glass was cheaper than buying a can. They automatically bring you a can so you need to stress that you want a glass. The entertainment was okay but nothing special. Singing and dancing is good but every night? It did feel a bit samey and reminded me of holiday camp shows! The guest comedian was Don Maclean of CrackerJack fame but he was very funny. He was on twice, once in the ordinary show then as late night cabaret then did an interview and Q&A session one afternoon with Gavin the cruise director. Gavin, Ted and Brett the three entertainment hosts were excellent. The game shows were good but again a bit holiday campish. The late night cabaret was simply the entertainment team singing for half and hour each night so much the same as earlier in the night. I think this is one thing that lets Thomson down. They could really do with something a bit different for the entertainment. The ports of call were very good and we did our own thing each time. All of them were within walking distance of the town centre and we went on the Flam and Funicular railways without having to queue and only paying the fare they charged so saved a ton of money by not doing the excursions. We used the sightseeing buses which again meant we saved as these worked out at about 25 pounds as opposed to the £40-60 Thomson charged for much the same. We did have a good time and ate well and were served well but I don't think I'd go with Thomson again. The cabin we had was on deck 1 and there was a very marked vibration all the time, in fact the vibration could be felt on decks 5 and 6 as well but not as bad as in our cabin. Also the shower curtain was to short so the bathroom floor flooded every morning. We had bunk beds because there were three in our cabin and they were not very comfortable, mattress was rock hard and pillows so thin you might as well not have one. This coupled with cheesy entertainment, small portions, high bar prices and charging for food that should be free has put me off using Thomsons again. Less

Published 07/16/14
1 Helpful Vote

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