We've been on many cruises with different cruise lines before, but we chose this one because we took one of our children's families on a Thomson's Cruise last year and were very impressed, and the timing was ideal as other child care duties were becoming slightly less pressing.
We are not yet convinced by the freedom dining concept which means you don't easily build up contacts with staff and fellow travellers, and we felt that there was some evident cost trimming which meant that staff seemed more hard-pressed. We weren't sorry to lose some of the fringe activities like the chocolate festivals and ice-carving and we felt that fewer invited performers improved our entertainment enjoyment, because the young, 'resident' cast was excellent.
TUI's general co-ordination was generally up to the level we experienced last year, but communications regarding the possible impact of the recent hurricanes was not ideal.We were surprised that passengers had to pay to join a passengers' choir.
However, the food, service and entertainment were excellent, and the ship and our cabin were maintained meticulously. We couldn't have had kinder, more obliging cabin stewards than Milos and Ganna. The value, given the all-inclusive tariff and the fact that general gratuities were included, was outstanding. We liked the medium size of the ship and the show lounge and walking track in particular.
The first time in the Eastern Caribbean and the weather was excellent. I found the islands fascinating and attractive in an uncoordinated way, my wife found them disorganised, impoverished, and sometimes intimidating. Most of the local people were charming. The destinations staff could have devoted a little time in their talks to advising those who who were going ashore on foot.
very adequate and comforatble