We chose this cruise because of its itinery. An eclectic mix of Northern Europe (Belgium, France and Ireland) and the warmth of Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar. To that end we thoroughly enjoyed the destinations and would do a similar itinery again anytime.
However the ship is very old and tired. We have been on a few Thomson cruises before on the Dream and the Majesty and hadn't really had cause for concern. But our 2 previous cruises were on Royal Caribbean and Cunard so I guess we've maybe been spoiled.
We could see that Thomson had tried to tart up the ship but the cabin was small with nowhere other than the bed to sit. Also our room attendant had a real attitude problem. The 2 issues we brought to his attention were both met with "This is your fault" rather than with an attempt to fix them. The most serious fault was our cabin toilet barely working throughout the cruise. We have been on 8 cruises so we know what you can and can't flush down one. Eventually they replaced the whole toilet unit and gave us a bottle of wine as a goodwill gesture. I would have been happier if the attendant had just believed us in the first place!
The food is good in the specialty restaurants is good and you get a great level of personal attention in them but you do have to pay between £15 and £20 each to use them. The food in the main restaurant was nothing special and in the buffet was absolutely terrible!
The entertainers tried hard but were not that great and the 2 comedians that came onto the ship would have been far more at home in a working man's club than a cruise ship.
I have always stood up for Thomson cruises in the past when people have referred to them as "Butlins at Sea" but I think that description sadly is true. We may possibly try their newer Discovery ships at some point in the future but frankly, I think we'll save our pennies and stick to the more prestigious ships.
On a more positive note, at only £818 each for 13 nights the basic price was very good value but you do have to add your drinks, excursions and the nice restaurants onto the price.
Also, with only 2 proper bars on the ship, other than the show lounge there was nowhere to sit in an evening as the bars filled up very quickly.
Old fashioned tired cabin with the most awkward steward we've met. Cabin wasn't dusted at all in the 2 weeks we were on the ship. No fridge either.
Tour went all round Lisbon before taking us to Sintra. Would have been better to have headed straight for the castle. Cascais was lovely too but we didn't have nearly enough time to see it properly.View All 37 Cascais, Sintra and the beach Reviews