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Island Escape Review

Island Escape
4.0 / 5.0 Cruise Critic Editor Rating
to book


Passengers 1,544
Crew 540
Passenger to Crew 2.86:1
Launched 1982 (refurbished 2010)
Shore Excursions 0
Josh Thomas
Cruise Critic Contributor

Island Escape Overview

Editor's note: This ship is no longer part of the Thomson fleet.

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Island Escape joined the Thomson Cruises' fleet in 2009, having once sailed as Royal Caribbean's Viking Serenade. It launched in 1982, and was at the time the largest cruise ferry in the world.

Today it is aimed squarely at the budget end of the market and offers decent-quality cruising with a few modern twists like an alternative restaurant.

The 1,504-passenger ship's reputation is based on offering a more relaxed cruising experience than the "traditional" cruises offered by for example P&O Cruises and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.

The ship caters exclusively for a British market, many of whom will have been on a holiday provided by parent brand Thomson, and been tempted (or persuaded) to try a cruise. Everything, from the onboard entertainment to the food, reflects this.

The ship is all-inclusive -- including most drinks -- and all food.

There's a genuine sense of community among the staff, a lot of whom have been aboard the ship together for a long time. They are friendly and talkative and make a lot of effort to learn passengers' names.

The ship is based in Palma, Majorca, and offers Mediterranean and Canary Island fly-cruises.

However, Thomson announced in 2015 that Island Escape's days are numbered -- it will be offloaded when the line's newest ship, Discovery, joins the fleet in 2016.

Fellow Passengers

Island Escape is exclusively British, and it has a large proportion of first timers, families and couples relative to other ships. It also has a fiercely loyal repeat customer base that returns to the ship again and again.

Thomson Cruises Island Escape Dress Code

Passengers are encouraged to take a more relaxed and informal approach to their cruise and, as such, there is no real dress code. However, many passengers do dress up in the evenings, especially when dining in the Oasis Restaurant, but this is by no means compulsory. Smart casual is enough for most situations.

Thomson Cruises Island Escape Gratuity

Gratuities are included in the cost of the cruise. Leaving an extra tip for members of staff who do a particularly good job is by no means expected, but definitely appreciated. The onboard currency is British pound sterling.

Thomson Cruises Island Escape Awards

Cruisers’ Choice Awards

2014 Best for Embarkation
2014 Best for Entertainment
2014 Best for Service
2014 Best for Shore Excursions

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