The cruise was to Iceland and a few stops in Norway, Shetland and Invergordon. Never again would I embark at Newcastle. The charge for parking your car is £10/day. There are NO facilities at the car park so we got our luggage from the car and joined the queue which was 150 yds long. There was no shelter from the blazing sun - it would have been worse if it had been raining. It took over an hour to get to the head of the queue where labels were attached to our luggage showing our cabin. We then had to wait for a bus to take us closer to the ship. We then had to walk to the embarcation shed where (at last) there were toilets. Join another queue until your number was called to let you board. The process took over 2 hours!
We treated ourselves to a Junior Suite on Deck 8, the deck below the Pool Deck. Big mistake! On the second morning we were woken a 4.00am by tremendous noise which went on for half an hour. We discovered later that this was the crew moving the sun beds and other furniture on the pool deck from their normal night time location to areas where the guests might prefer them! When I complained to reception I was told "perhaps it was the wind" - (there was no wind and some of the furniture required quite a bit of effort to move). I was also told to let reception know next time it happened! It happened quite frequently but usually at 6.00am. The moral is DO NOT BOOK A SUITE ON DECK 8.
We have cruised with Thomsons before and found them quite acceptable. Now they are Morella and the standards have sadly fallen. The crew are generally good, polite and efficient with a few notable exceptions. Service is patchy. There is little help if you prefer to be a bit independant in going ashore to look around. The entertainment team are good and put on some very professional shows. The Islands buffet restaurant gets a bit "samey" after a few days and their salad choice is lamentable. It used to be very good in Thomsons' day. The food elsewhere was pretty good but the service could be poor on occasion. Overall there are insufficient lounge/seating areas for the number of passengers.
The cabin was a good size and well furnished for two people, if a little "tired". The location of the cabin, mentioned at length above, was very bad because of the noise from the pool deck overhead. The crew need to be told to do their routine chores at reasonable times.