This was our seventh cruise and the first with Thomson, it was the itinerary which appealed to us rather than the ship or company. The ship is certainly showing its age and does not come up to the standards of its competitors. Food on board was basic, since when did a salad consist of iceberg lettuce, tomato and cucumber (as was served in the main dining room). Main courses here were frequently lukewarm. Desserts were equally poor with limited variety compared to other cruise lines.
The staff were all pleasant, helpful and attentive but the evening entertainment was poor, once again compared to other providers. Sun beds on the decks were in poor condition often dirty and stained. Shore excursions were vastly overpriced costing twice or indeed much more than what can be purchased onshore, the information given out regarding destinations was inaccurate, one might even think it was designed to put off passengers from travelling independently. Examples include over inflated costs of the cable car on Santorini, they said 7 euro in reality 5 euro,they also described the local buses as infrequent, the truth being the timetable was every 20 to 30 minutes and the buses were well used by locals and visitors alike, with a single journey just costing 1.60 euro per journey. The ship's excursion lasting 4 hours cost £78.00, we undertook the same trip for a cost of £15.50 for both of us. (We only took the cable car one way, choosing to return via the steps down to the port.) Similarly the excursion to Ephesus costs £138.00 with lunch, we did the same trip for £37.50 (our trip did not include lunch) and did not need to visit the obligatory carpet shop as the ships tour did. In view of the higher standards available with the competition it is unlikely we will cruise again on the Spirit.
A decent sized cabin for 2 but designed for 4, it would have been extremely crowded if 4 people tried to use it. The towels were the most threadbare items we had ever had on any holiday, they were changed frequently but the poor quality was a constant, some of these were repaired and re stitched. The cabin staff were pleasant and helpful.