We chose this cruise for the itinerary which was Dubrovnik, Kotor, Piraeus, Santorini, Rhodes and Limassol. The vessel was still sailing as Thomson Spirit (changing it's name for next year to Spirit). This is quite an old vessel and also the smallest in the fleet - this is not a problem and in fact has the advantage of making her quite charming and crew are very friendly. Another advantage is that we always got a seat in the restaurant as there were ample to cater for the number of passengers.
We could not fault the service received. We checked in our luggage at Glasgow and it was delivered to our cabin just after our arrival. TUI are very slick and everything went to plan.
There are 9 decks on board, deck 4 has the Compass Rose restaurant which has table service but basically similar food to that on the Lido Buffet on deck 5, if you like a steak, then Compass Rose is where to go, however we mainly chose to eat in Lido buffet which has a good choice of hot and cold meals to cater for most tastes. There is a 3rd restaurant which we never used called Sciroccos which had an alternative menu at a supplement of 19.95. During the day decks 5 to 9 have outside seating for relaxing and enjoying the sun. Deck 6 is ideal for just having a walk around the vessel to help work off the are for lazing outside with most.
The main entertainment provided every evening in the Broadway show lounge was superb with youngsters displaying their versatility from singing Motown, the Blues Brothers, West End Musicals and on one evening there was a comedian. In the Raffles Bar a pianist played every evening and other bars had live music bands playing which were very good.
When in Piraeus we took a shore excursion to see the highlights of Athens and the guide was very informative - the Acropolis (and Parthenon) is a must see. We were able to walk to the old towns in Kotor and Rhodes as the ship berthed close by , but in Dubrovnik we took a taxi to it's old town as it was too far to walk. At Santorini we walked up the 600 steps to the village which is not suitable unless you are quite fit, but you can always take the cable car at 6 euros each way. There is an option to take a donkey ride up the 600 steps and all credit to TUI staff for dissuading visitors from doing that as it is really quite cruel.
All in all we had a great time and would happily sail on Spirit again, especially at the bargain price we paid.
The cabin was on level 1 and was an L shaped arrangement of 2 single beds which were very comfy, there was ample cupboard space and the shower room was clean. We could see the occasional wave wash the porthole window as we were very close to the waterline, an advantage here seemed to be much less movement was felt compared to higher up.
The 2 friendly housekeepers kept our room fresh and clean, changing towels every day and even folding down bed sheets in the evening. A nice touch was some artistic origami towel folding which made us smile.