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We have travelled on Thomson's ships several times over the years and liked the idea of a cruise from Dubai. Prior to sailing however I checked out some of the recent reviews on the Celebration and travelled expecting the ship to have gone down hill since we were last on it. However I am pleased to report the ship is still one of the best in terms of atmosphere, service and value. I genuinely don't know what some people have got to complain about. it is not a 5 star ship but doesn't pretend to be and you get, in my view, more than you pay for. The information provided by Thomson prior to the cruise was scant to say the least and we were left wondering about visa requirements and currencies. Future passengers should note that NO visas are required and that the United Arab Emirates Diram is accepted in each of the countries visited on this cruise. American Dollars are also accepted in some places. We flew from Glasgow to Al Maktoum airport with a transfer time of around an hour, that was a bit disappointing. Check in at the port was easy and quick, We were in cabin 666 (don't say it!!) on deck 2. Size wise the cabin was perfectly adequate with lots of hanging space for clothes. Shower room is small but serves it's purpose. The food on board, both in the formal dinning room and the buffet restaurant, was very good with a wide variety to choose from at each meal. Again if you want 5 star fine dining then this is not the cruise ship for you, The entertainment in the main show lounge was magnificent, some of the best singers and dancers I have seen on any cruise ship. A real joy. The only disappointment for me was the weather, early 20's in the mornings but it got cold and windy from about 3pm onwards. Take a jumper or cardigan if you want to sit outdoors. Each of the ports of call were well worth a visit, make full use of the free shuttle buses on offer, some are mandatory if you are getting of the ship. Disembarking the ship was again easy and straightforward. Now the downside, the return transfer to the airport. Al Maktoum is undergoing a massive renovation and only sections of it are open. The transfer to the airport took just over 1 hour and then we had to wait on the coach for a further hour just outside the terminal, no explanation was given for the hold up but we subsequently found out the airport authorities only allow 2 coaches to unload at the terminal at any one time. We then queued for a further hour to get our boarding passes. No doubt this will be sorted out at some point in the future but it's something passengers should be aware of. All in all a very pleasant experience and not one that bears any relation to the poor reviews some people have given previously.

Excellent cruise but disappointing weather

Marella Celebration Cruise Review by alan.

29 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We have travelled on Thomson's ships several times over the years and liked the idea of a cruise from Dubai.

Prior to sailing however I checked out some of the recent reviews on the Celebration and travelled expecting the ship to have gone down hill since we were last on it. However I am pleased to report the ship is still one of the best in terms of atmosphere, service and value. I genuinely don't know what some people have got to complain about. it is not a 5 star ship but doesn't pretend to be and you get, in my view, more than you pay for.

The information provided by Thomson prior to the cruise was scant to say the least and we were left wondering about visa requirements and currencies.

Future passengers should note that NO visas are required and that the United Arab Emirates Diram is accepted in each of the countries visited on this cruise. American Dollars are also accepted in some places.

We flew from Glasgow to Al Maktoum airport with a transfer time of around an hour, that was a bit disappointing. Check in at the port was easy and quick,

We were in cabin 666 (don't say it!!) on deck 2. Size wise the cabin was perfectly adequate with lots of hanging space for clothes. Shower room is small but serves it's purpose.

The food on board, both in the formal dinning room and the buffet restaurant, was very good with a wide variety to choose from at each meal. Again if you want 5 star fine dining then this is not the cruise ship for you,

The entertainment in the main show lounge was magnificent, some of the best singers and dancers I have seen on any cruise ship. A real joy.

The only disappointment for me was the weather, early 20's in the mornings but it got cold and windy from about 3pm onwards. Take a jumper or cardigan if you want to sit outdoors.

Each of the ports of call were well worth a visit, make full use of the free shuttle buses on offer, some are mandatory if you are getting of the ship.

Disembarking the ship was again easy and straightforward.

Now the downside, the return transfer to the airport. Al Maktoum is undergoing a massive renovation and only sections of it are open. The transfer to the airport took just over 1 hour and then we had to wait on the coach for a further hour just outside the terminal, no explanation was given for the hold up but we subsequently found out the airport authorities only allow 2 coaches to unload at the terminal at any one time. We then queued for a further hour to get our boarding passes. No doubt this will be sorted out at some point in the future but it's something passengers should be aware of.

All in all a very pleasant experience and not one that bears any relation to the poor reviews some people have given previously.
alan.’s Full Rating Summary
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