We have cruised on RCI, P&O, Princess, and this time Thomson
Having sailed on the ship when she was RC Splendour of the Seas, first time with Thomson and thought we we try as she had been taken over by them.
I will get the negatives out of the way first.
Thomson website stated that you could bag drop at Gatwick the day before, as we have the extra problem of having a mobility scooter for my husband this seemed ideal I also rang the Welfare dept before we set off to check this was the case ( excuse the pun!) and was informed yes we could. After parking and paying for parking at the airport going through to the bag drop only to find the staff on the desk told us as we were cruising it was not possible as they didn't have luggage labels or the health questionnaire we needed to complete. I rang the welfare dept on my return to explain I had been given the wrong information, the the man I spoke to certainly should not be employed on customer services let alone Welfare Dept as he was exceptionally rude and kept telling me I needed to speak to my travel agent and it had nothing to do with Thomson. I emailed Thomson complaints but as yet virtually 2 months since our cruise no one from Thomson has had the courtesay to get back to me. Also the following morning when we checked in we still did not get luggage labels nor did we fill in a health check form.
My husband has mobility problems and he is unable to manage steps or walk any distance, he can walk a little so moving around the cabin was not a problem, we were allocated a Junior Suite on deck 8 the cabin was ideal except there was a deep step to access the bathroom and the shower was over the bath, not exactly an accessible cabin which we had requested. As he cannot manage steps into a coach from Palma airport to the ship we had asked for a taxi via welfare department this took a lot of effort on our part having to get a Drs letter to explain why we needed a taxi eventually we got confirmation from the Welfare Dept that a taxi would be provided, on arrival at Palma no taxi was available and we waited more than an hour whilst one was sourced. Accessibility within the ship was good with the exception of booking a meal at Surf and Turf, we visited 2 days prior to the meal to ensure access, only to find 6 steps into the restaurant but around the other side hurrah a lift which his scooter would lift him to the restaurant area, on arrival the lift was not working which then involved 4 waiters having to LIFT him up the steps in a wheelchair and he is not a light weight, not good as the staff should not be expected to do this. Sun beds !!!!!! oh dear how people are expected to find and use one during days at sea of which there were 6 was impossible when talking to passengers at dinner telling us they reserved 6 every morning at 6:30am for their parties and in one instance reserving 6 on both sides of the ship for when the sun moved around.
The Main Dining Room was excellent for all meals which we used for most of our meals as we eat early and were happy to share we never had to wait for a table. The staff were superb and used to stand waiting to take his scooter away once he was seated and return at the end of the meal which caused some hilaritary as there was competition between them who could drive it successfully, this was entertaining for us and other passengers as well.
What a shame that the upper dining room Galley 47 was not used as much as it might be we went twice and both times there were waiters standing around with nothing to do.
The entertainment shows were worthy of the West End and an amazing selection something for everyone. 6 days at sea whilst we travelled transatlantic was too long having previously spent 5 days on other transatlantic cruises, the entertainment during the sea day needs an overhaul as it consisted of Quizzes and quizzes which is not for everyone and with the weather being good it was a choice between trying to get a sun bed ( it took me until the last sea day before I managed this) and quiz. Nice to see the casino has been reduced in size and another bar created with guest artistes. Getting off the ship at each port was v. good most ports were within walkable (for me) distance therefore not needing to wait for shuttle buses and the gangway on most ports were virtually level so access with the scooter was not a problem.
We were unable to do any shore excursions due the the mobility problems perhaps Thomson could look at providing some excursions for the less mobile?
In the main we enjoyed the cruise the food was excellent the onboard staff are amazing very friendly I would say more so than any other cruise company we have used. Thomson office staff really would need to get their act together before we would cruise with them again which is such a shame as the ship and their staff were brilliant.
Junior suite with a balcony was brilliant but not the accessible cabin we had requested, we moved a lot of the excess furniture around to be able to manoeuvre the scooter in the cabin.