Thomsons for Value: Thomson Celebration Cruise Review by adrian cackett

Thomson Celebration 5
adrian cackett

Overall Member Rating

Thomsons for Value

Sail Date: September 2010
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Other
We took off from Gatwick at 2.30pm and arrived at Dalaman airport at 8.30pm local time. We were met by a Thompson rep at the airport and the transfer from there to the ship in the coach took one and half hours this went very smoothly.

As we left the coach the luggage was taken, a short walk to the ship, we signed in and we were in our cabin in less than 15 minutes our cases arrived a couple of minutes later.

Our outside cabin, with a queen size bed, was very spacious. We had four door full length wardrobes, 2 x 2 drawer bedside cabinets and a 6 drawer chest of drawers.

We went up to the Lido restaurant for something to eat and whilst we were eating the sail away party was in full swing. The music was so good I thought it was CDs playing but in fact it was the resident group 'Ocean Vibes'. They were so good I cannot believe Thompson will be able to keep hold of them for long.

We ate in the Meridian restaurant and whilst the food was passable we More have had better. Vegetables were in short supply. The waiters were not as attentive as they are on the larger ships this could be down to the fact that as it is open dining you have a different waiter each time also as tips are included they do not have to work for their tips. Breakfast and lunch in the Lido were good. Entertainment was excellent.The resident singers and dancers were performing a variety of different tribute shows almost every evening,and were of very high quality.The shows we've seen on the American ships couldn't hold a candle to the Thomson entertainers.There was one celebrity act,a comedian by the name of Andy Wilkens.A very funny guy,and clean,with just a bit of innuendo in his late night spot. We never had a problem finding a sun bed even on the sea day,but of course there are only two small pools so they can get crowded. Overall,Thomson's offer value for money,especially as a pint of beer is £3-10p and cocktails at £3-75,and they're about 60% more alcohol content than you get at home,plus there is no 15% surcharge on drinks that the American lines are so fond of adding. I suppose the ship looks a bit tired with tiling especially needing to be done round the pools and the cabin shower rooms,but she is going in for a part refit in February when some of it will be done. If you intend to go on another Thomson cruise after this one,I recommend you book on board as you get a much better deal than on-line or at a Thomson shop.We've booked the 12 day cruise next April to the Eastern Med and on-board it was £1830 for the 2 of us +£100 per cabin on-board spend.

First port of call was Antalya in Turkey.We went in on the shuttle bus( £4 each).Not much there to be honest.Quite a nice quiet Turkish town.We walked around,no hassle,but only stayed there for about an hour.Larnica in Cyprus is quite nice,also.Again we caught the shuttle bus into town and just walked around.On the last day we were in Marmaris.This is the best Turkish resort we have ever been in.It's easy to walk into town along the quayside and takes about 30mins.Theres a beautiful covered shopping centre there with a vast array of shops,and they don't hassle you at all.Marmaris is really worth a visit.The other ports we visited I've described in the boxes below,as there was no option for the above ports in the boxes that Cruise Critic have on this site. Less

Published 10/10/10

Cabin review: 672

We had an outside cabin on Deck2.Spacious with plenty of room in the wardrobes for two suitcases packed full of clothes and room in there for the empty suitcases,although there was also room under the bed for them.Also had chest of drawers,and two bedside cabinets each with two drawers.There was more room in our cabin than we have had on some of the big American Liners.The shower cubicle needed retiling as lots of the tiles were mismatched but the shower worked fine.One other notable point was that the cold water in the tap was cold,so nice for cleaning your teeth,again on the American ships the cold water was often tepid. We were so pleased with our cabin we have booked the same one for next year.

Port and Shore Excursions

We decided to do Alex on our own.The tour guide on board said do not pay more that 10 euros as you leave the ship for a taxi into town.We shared a taxi with 2 other people but couldn't get it for less than 15 euro.Alex is a very busy town.We went down to the front on the taxi(I believe it's called El Corniche).This is where the famous lighthouse that was one of the seven wonders of the world was/is.The promenade that runs along the front is a couple of miles long,so you can either walk to it or get on one of the horses and traps that are along there.Mind you,the drivers can be a pain,they pester you all the time to hire them.There is also a Roman Fort in the town that is doable by foot,but they do a bus tour from the ship if you feel so inclined,and want to pay about £40. There is also a trip from the ship to El Alamain.We didn't do that,but the people who did do it weren't that impressed with it,but I suppose it depends on your reason for doing it.One couple we met had been on the trip,because they wanted to find a relatives grave.They said Thomson's had been brilliant and arranged everything for them so they could go to the exact location of the grave. Anyway,we got so cheesed off with the horse drivers pestering us,we got a taxi for 10 euros back to the port.He dropped us at the port gates which is a bit further down than where we caught the taxi in,but it was only a 5 minute walk.

We did the museum and pyramids.Takes 3.5 hours from Ashood on the ships tour with an armed escort,but that's nothing to worry about.Cairo is a dump,with litter everywhere.The guide will charge you £16 pp to see the mummys,because they say there will be a big queue to get tickets to see them.There wasn't any queue at all when we went in there,but you have to pay in Egyptian pounds equivalent to about £11. Pyramids are good but lots of hassle from traders.Lunch on this trip was superb,in fact the best that we have ever had on a trip on any cruise line.It's a long day(about 13 hours)but hey,if you are in Egypt you've got to see the Pyramids.They take you to a papyrus shop after the pyramids to try to get you to part with some money.It's quite interesting but wouldn't do it again.The tour guide on the ship told us before we started to remember that NOTHING IN EGYPT IS FREE.How right he was.Even as you leave the ship there is a queue of traders "giving"you a bag with Egypt on it,then a few yards on there's another chap asking you for money for it.

This takes about 1.5 hours on the ships tour.Fantastic trip and not to be missed if you haven't been there before.Lots of walking ,though,so be prepared especially as it's likely to be very hot.Bethlehem not quite as good as I expected,but Jerusalem and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre were awe inspiring.Only annoying thing on the trip was that we didn't get lunch until 3.30 and it wasn't that good,but the people who had it earlier said it wasn't too bad.Also,Israeli immigration are a nightmare.They came aboard before we disembarked and insisted on inspecting everyone's passport and doing face recognition and that included the crew.That took at least an hour,so we didn't leave the ship until 9.30.Next year Thomson's were going to stop overnight in Haifa but as Israel said they would have to do two inspections,Thomson's are not going to stop for the two days now.

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adrian cackett
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