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8 Tenerife to Europe - British Isles & Western Cruise Reviews

This was our second cruise and I can honestly say that if it had been our first, we wouldn't be going again! It was advertised as carefree and informal, should have really been cheap and cheerful, You get what you pay for! The ship ... Read More
This was our second cruise and I can honestly say that if it had been our first, we wouldn't be going again! It was advertised as carefree and informal, should have really been cheap and cheerful, You get what you pay for! The ship should have been retired years a go and should certainly not be sailing in the Atlantic, and is in desperate need of refurbishment. I understand it was a ferry in a previous life, it should have stayed a ferry, some nights I really thought we were going to sink, what with the crashing and banging going on. My partner was sick two nights - not usual - and when we got back to UK I was in bed for 3 days with sickness and diarrhoea which I must have picked up on the ship. However, we did enjoy the ports of call except Agadir, why ever we went there I have no idea, never seen such a dump in my life, and having spent a day at sea it was very disappointing. The food was adequate but not very interesting and the Beachcomber bar was a free for all, much better in the Island but still the same food. The entertainment on board was excellent and the staff all very nice and helpful. We are booked on the Spirit in May so hopefully we will enjoy that one, If not goodbye to Thomson cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
The cruise was 'held together' by some outstanding attention, by Staff, to passenger needs. That said, the ship is, to use a phrase, 'out of its depth' in attempting to successfully cater for cruise passengers, be they ... Read More
The cruise was 'held together' by some outstanding attention, by Staff, to passenger needs. That said, the ship is, to use a phrase, 'out of its depth' in attempting to successfully cater for cruise passengers, be they seasoned or first timers. My wife and I were allocated an outside 'deluxe' cabin on Deck 9. Generally, it was a good space let down by a vital ingredient - bathroom facilities!! The floor of broken and badly laid tiles on one occasion 'attacked' my bare feet!! Basin and toilet were not of a high 'material' standard.....poor grade plastic and tired metal fittings. To endorse another review, expecting a very smooth night time sailing experience. Instead, the ship was poorly stabilised - reflecting its age and adaptation from a Ferry and the plastic cabin fittings creaked noisily throughout the night. We were not told by Thompson that, although we had upgraded to a superior cabin, we would experience much noise being immediately under the sun deck surrounding the Pool. Multiple dancing feet meant no sleep before midnight and we were woken to early morning darkness interrupted by the dragging and repositioning of sun beds! In support of the Staff, the food was excellent, of a high standard and very well presented. Other informal refreshment areas were adequate but required space to be set up effectively. Not a happy first cruise. We shall not use 'Island Escape' again nor recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We were on the Island Escape for two weeks, sailing on the 1st January 2010. The first week was enjoyable, OK the ship has seen better days, the cabins certainly need a refurb but the public rooms weren't so bad. There was staff ... Read More
We were on the Island Escape for two weeks, sailing on the 1st January 2010. The first week was enjoyable, OK the ship has seen better days, the cabins certainly need a refurb but the public rooms weren't so bad. There was staff around all day cleaning surfaces and polishing, painting and varnishing so maintenance was in hand. The Beachcomber functioned well, tables were cleared relatively quickly and queues were quick to clear. The food was well presented and plentiful, and of a good standard. The staff were a happy bunch, particularly Jammy and Irene in the Beachcomber, and Lawry our talented towel folding steward who looked after our cabin perfectly. There was a good choice of entertainment ranging from the Elvis tribute act to the wonderful Steve Simone, who told the story of Motown with songs. The entertainment team produced vibrant, colourful shows proving they have some talented singers and dancers. Although on some nights I thought the content wasn't really for children but that's just my personal opinion. The two classical singers from the team were excellent, they could go far. The Captain was no stranger to his passengers either, always to be seen walking about the ship chatting with everyone, though during the second week he was strangely missing, I wonder why ?!?! The ports of call were good, we like to explore independently so it was disappointing to find out that doing this was not advisable in Agidir. Consequently we found out too late but we had a second bite of the cherry, and the following week we booked a coach trip to the walled city of Taroudant. It was little pricey but it would have been a shame to miss this country, seeing I doubt very much we will ever return! Whilst in the company of our guide we were completely safe from the locals but as soon as we were told we had thirty minutes to explore on our own they all swooped on us. Beware of being separated from the group, you will probably be safe enough with the local but he will expect money for his "tour". All the locals want from you is your money, so if you are of a nervous disposition, then don't even think about visiting! Arricife in Lanzarote was the other port where to get to the resort you were advised to use their shuttle bus, tickets were £4 and purchased on board. Eventually, visitors will be able to walk into resort as they appear to be building a road/pathway but it could be a while before it's finished. Other ports of call were very pretty, especially visiting them just after Christmas, their street and church decorations were lovely to see. The night sailing from Funchal, in particular was beautiful, all the lights made such a pretty spectacle. On the middle Friday, the changeover day, we were able to go into Santa Cruz and explore before returning to the ship for a quiet relax with use of all the facilities. As the people left for their flights the ship became quieter, it was very pleasant. Eventually, the new cruisers started to arrive, we heard later that two flights were delayed so our sailing at 11pm was delayed until around about 3am. This meant that the passage to Gran Canaria had to be made more quickly than planned to ensure our morning arrival. This made the voyage a little rougher than the previous week, which was a shame for the new cruisers, as it made a lot of people poorly. Our cabin was amidships on deck 6, so we were lucky that we hardly felt the movement that others have complained about. The one thing I did notice on that Friday was a large number of new cruisers (especially men) pretending to sanitize their hands on entering the Beachcomber Restaurant. What is wrong with these people? Such procedures are in place for a reason, why do they think they can avoid them? Consequently, after a day or two Norovirus raised its ugly head, and spoilt the cruise for everyone. I might add that during the first week there was no hint of the virus, and everything remained normal until we entered into the second week. Staff and crew clamped down on everything, all tablecloths, drinks menus, material napkins disappeared. The self service facility was stopped so that even pats of butter, pots of jam and yoghurts had to be handed over by staff. Once tablecloths were removed it rather showed up the poor state of the tables, something we wouldn't have normally seen. On the last day of the cruise we were all taken off the ship, put on coaches and taken to hotels to relax until our flights were due. This was to allow the crew time to fully sanitize the ship before the next lot of holidaymakers. I must admit this whole procedure went like clockwork; it was as if perhaps they weren't strangers to this predicament! The only downside to this way we no longer had the all inclusive drinks package, so we had to shell out for any drinks at the hotel, although we did get a lovely lunch before a spot of sunbathing!! All in all we had an enjoyable cruise, though I doubt we would sail on the Island Escape again, Thomson has far better ships in its fleet. And I'm not that keen on this totally informal cruising, I think certain rules should apply. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
Delayed flight , but otherwise uneventful journey and efficient embarkation onto ship. As expected, ship is not new but is clean and kept in a good working condition. It lacked quiet comfortable places to sit. Unfortunately, some cases of ... Read More
Delayed flight , but otherwise uneventful journey and efficient embarkation onto ship. As expected, ship is not new but is clean and kept in a good working condition. It lacked quiet comfortable places to sit. Unfortunately, some cases of norovirus appeared after 2 days but we did not consider this to be a fault of the ship as all precautions were taken by the crew. (Rigorous hand cleansing not always observed by the passengers) Our cabin was rather small but functional with plenty of storage. We were not happy using a buffet service in the dining room as the seating made it difficult and we ate in the Oasis restaurant every evening. This was superb, with several special offers available during the week. The service was very good throughout the ship and especially in the Oasis. The shows and other entertainment were very good but not always to our taste. (Too loud in some areas) We only participated in one excursion to Fire mountain on Lanzarote and it was excellent. We had taken this cruise before and had visited several of the places offered. On the last day we were taken to a very nice hotel prior to our departure so that the ship could be deep cleaned. This turned out to be a superb end to a very enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
i embarked the ship on 15Th Jan, what a disaster from the moment i embarked it was obvious from passengers that were on the ship that norovirus was present, as the ship that day had been evacuated to be fumigated to eradicate the virus. ... Read More
i embarked the ship on 15Th Jan, what a disaster from the moment i embarked it was obvious from passengers that were on the ship that norovirus was present, as the ship that day had been evacuated to be fumigated to eradicate the virus. however after 2 days of being on the ship it was obvious that the virus was still on board. 2 days confined in a cabin on deck 9 the size of a public toilet cubicle ( do not pay for an upgrade as deck 4 cabins are better fitted out and bigger) with this virus is not my idea of a cruise. the hygiene of the ships crew was poor compared to other Thomson cruises, despite other reviews, these people obviously have not cruised often if they think this was a good experience. food was lukewarm in all eating places at all times of day(which would not be accepted in the UK.)toilets and public areas were not clean and a smell of sewerage was present throughout the ship. staff were OK, however, if you have previously travelled with Thomson you will notice a huge difference in the standard. on the day i left the ship passengers with norovirus were instructed to stay in their cabins while the ship was fumigated!!!!!!!!!!!! how is this eradicating the virus from the ship as this had already happened the previous week. in summary this ship is tired, dirty, and not a good experience, why Thomson cruises would put there name to this ship is anybody"s guess. island escape, informal cruising? more like carry on cruising with a bug. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
This is our 2nd cruise on this ship, but the 1st cruise for our 2 sons in their 20's. We were lucky in going before the bad weather of the middle and end of December. So we had an uneventful flight out and only a 1 hour delay on ... Read More
This is our 2nd cruise on this ship, but the 1st cruise for our 2 sons in their 20's. We were lucky in going before the bad weather of the middle and end of December. So we had an uneventful flight out and only a 1 hour delay on flying back. We were aboard 11th to the 18th December. Island Cruises staff are at the airport to greet you and direct you to the coach for the 45 minute ride to the port and check in. We left Manchester just after 7 a.m. and were aboard by 1p.m. The weather on the whole was good, dull and warm with some rain the 1st couple of days, then mainly warm / hot and sunny. (Especially Agadir, be careful you don't burn). On arrival there were heavy dark clouds in the port which lived up to their promise and unloaded the rain in the evening so the sail away party was held indoors. And day 2 in Las Palmas was dull with heavy clouds. We had no really bad weather untill the last night when it was rough and stormy. But a warning to those, like us, who have not sailed the Atlantic before. People complained of the "rough weather" all week, while what it was was big swells of the sea caused by bad weather elsewhere in the Atlantic. So the ship did rock up and down quite a bit. We had a balcony cabin on deck9 and the boys had an outside twin on deck 4. Others have commented on her age and need for refurbishment , It mainly shows in the age of the wallpaper and the dated appearance of the bathroom. But all fittings and tiles were not chipped or broken. (I looked in the boys' cabin and it was identical inside to ours, but they said they had no 'fridge in theirs. The cabins are not huge but have plenty of room for what you need them for, including plenty of drawer and wardrobe space. And all kept spotlessly clean by the steward. The public rooms are all in good order with plenty of shiny wood and brass. On arrival it felt odd to be there with no sign of Christmas aboard, but as the week progressed the crew decorated them ready for the Christmas cruise and it felt really festive by the 2nd half of the week. Dining is in one of the 2 buffet restaurants. The Beachcomber on deck 10 is open 24 hours, while the Island is open just at mealtimes. This time it felt very busy at main meal times in the Beachcomber and sometimes difficult to find a table, especially on the couple of days the weather made it unsuitable to use the outside seating area. So this time aboard we ate more in the Island Restaurant and never had to wait more than 3 to 4 minutes for a table. There is the Oasis A la Carte, restaurant, but we did not use it. While still good we felt the food was not quite as good as last year. This surprised me having read the reviews of the other Thomson's ships. But there was a good choice and it was always hot. And as you are eating the staff are always there for drinks orders and to remove used plates quickly. Also hygene is observed with the usual hand gels outside the restaurants and also at the gangplank before boarding. Drinks. We had the All Inclusive package and it is better than last year. As well as covering beer, wines, spirits and soft drinks it now includes many of the cocktails. It does not cover the whole drinks list, but more than enough to satisfy us. The Entertainment. Ross, the Cruise Director and his team work really hard to give everyone a good time, whether in the theatre shows or in the game shows in the Bounty Lounge. We really enjoyed "Elvis" on the 1st night. And the guest comedian. And the show team had worked hard to put on a professional shows for us on other nights. But also don't miss out on the game shows hosted by Dan and Hayley Jane. Especially Millionaire, Name That Tune and Come Dancing. I know it sound a bit Butlins or Pontins, but you get well entertained. And on sea day do not miss Ready Steady Cook. The only problem we had was on the sea day the toilet system broke down for about 4 hours. There were a lot of desperate people about by the time it was fixed. The ports and excursions. Gran Canaria, we did our own thing and used the City Sightseeing HOHO bus. But unlike other of their busses we have been on it was a bit of a waste as there was not much to see. We would have been better getting a taxi into town. Much cheaper. The ship docks at the other end of the front to the main part of the town and it is quite a walk. La Palma is a beautiful Island, though small, and we did the Volcanoes and Wine excursion. It was very interesting to see the other side of the island and round the volcano by the sea. It is not for those of poor mobility due to the nature of the track round the rim. The boys stayed in town and had a relaxing time. A lovely place but not many shops open as it is Sunday. Funchal This place is beautiful, you could easily spend a week or more here. It was dull and cloudy on arrival, but the sun came out all day for us. I had researched doing here D.I.Y. but the cost was hardly any less than the ship's excursion for the same itinerary. We did the Taste of Madeira one as we wanted to go up in the cable car and down in the toboggans. That was an experience not to be missed. Most of the time we seemed to be going down sideways. The excursion got us back to the ship for just after 1p.m. and we had lunch aboard before collecting the boys and we had a taxi back into the town centre for a lovely afternoon strolling around and relaxing outside in one of the cafes. They have a Mcdonald's on the sea front and of course the boys had to have one. The seafront is lovely to walk along but it is a long walk back to the ship. And a word of warning here. They are working on the dock improvements here and at the dock itself it is quite dangerous to walk as there is no pavement and there are works vehicles and traffic going in and out of the dock area. In the evening, as darkness fell, on came all the lights around town. We were back aboard by then and even from the ship it looked beautiful. Agadir. If there is one place we did not like it was here. I am not one who advocates staying aboard when in port but if I was ever on a ship that docked in Morocco again I definitely would not get off. We had been to Alexandria in June on our cruise and visited the Pyramids and Cairo and should have been prepared, but this place was worse. The whole place looks like it is built on a rubbish dump that is still in use. We did the Taroudant excursion and it was interesting, we went round the old market, but afterwards be prepared for haggling at stalls when the guide takes you to the touristy bit. The tree climbing goats were really interesting. We were glad to get back aboard. Lanzarote. This is the one place we all did the excursion together. Fire Mountain. This is not to be missed. DW did not realise she would be getting a ride on a camel as part of it. It was a different experience and quite hair raising in places. Then up to the top for the demonstrations of the volcano's heat. The ride through the park was amazing, like being on the moon. Then it was time for the last day and the flight home. We were lucky and only delayed about 1 hour. They couldn't get the plane off the ground in Manchester due to the ice and had to defrost it. One thing about the flight, our eldest is 6 foot 4 inches and thinking back we should have booked extra legroom seats as it was cramped for him in the standard ones. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
our cruise ship left from tenerife. We arrived at the port after a very good flight. Unlike other cruises we had to manhandle our luggage from airport to bus and from bus to quayside. The crew then took it to our cabin. With a repeat on ... Read More
our cruise ship left from tenerife. We arrived at the port after a very good flight. Unlike other cruises we had to manhandle our luggage from airport to bus and from bus to quayside. The crew then took it to our cabin. With a repeat on the return journey. We were given our cabin key cards and went to our cabin.it was fairly large and quite reasonably appointed, apart for the mattresses which were like palliasses. The noise level in the cabin was very high with a fog horn noise followed by a thump this went on constantly through the night accompanied by some weird noises behind the bed headboard. When the ship moved all this was accompanied by the cabins creaks and groans. Not being the complaining kind we tried to adapt to it. On the third night it was so bad that I lay awake at4pm and then it dawned on me the weird noise behind the headboard was the sound like RATS make inches from our heads as you can figure out we got no sleep that night. Complained to be told no rats on ship but would see if they could organise us another cabin(jolly decent of them). Back to cabin to discover infestation of horrible bugs. It was like the flat in Pacific heights. Had enough back to the poor wee lassie on reception. Told her I didn't care if it was rats, cats or troop of rampaging baboons behind the wall get me another cabin. We were given another cabin instantly, it seems being decent is not the answer. The couple next door also complained about their cabins rat like noises and were moved. I do not need to see the guests to know the neighbours are having a party next door. Moved down to bow to naughty cabin only thing missing are manacles. This cabin is a reverse tardis, also forgot to mention plugs are not UK so require an adaptor, Really clever or what. Beds better no room for cases had to leave open under bed. My bed poor, bum in case a few times discover reason , slats missing from bed allowing them to open up.Drains stank on and off for the rest of the trip. The noise on the move was incredible, bits of paper jammed in fittings and roof panels witnessed previous attempts (of those who have gone before)to silence the noise. We thought we were on the onedin line. We didn't' ask for a move as we were told by others that the whole ship was like this. Ongoing problem with toilets 200 passengers disembarked to allow repairs spend night in hotel. Constant leaking of water from ceilings. Plumber pops into 1st cabin on regular basis (no knock)as we are plumbing centre. If he had popped in a second sooner he might have got a fright as the wife had just stepped out of the shower. On the plus side great crew and captain they deserve a better ship than this. Food great to better. Entertainment team talented, it is slightly repetitive,musicals opera, opera musicals, comics were great and the guest singer super. The theatre is almost all one level which makes it difficult to see.The swimming pool is a joke. This ship is a 28 years old converted car ferry with jerry built cabins and it shows. To put the icing on the cake we missed ports because of bad weather. This ship has put us off cruising for life. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
I should first of all inform you all that as veteran cruisers on many other cruise lines my wife and I have never found the need to put pen to paper in order to complain until our experience on the Thomson Celebration. Our cabin ... Read More
I should first of all inform you all that as veteran cruisers on many other cruise lines my wife and I have never found the need to put pen to paper in order to complain until our experience on the Thomson Celebration. Our cabin number 817 was at water level on deck 1 or deck C. The two different names for each deck we found very confusing, but the problems on this deck are: when the ship is moving you cannot see anything other than frothy seawater over the porthole. also we experienced persistent loud banging of the wash against the outer shell of the ship when the ship was moving at 14 knots or more overnight. This resulted in five sleepless nights out of the seven of our cruise. This double bedded cabin was quite spacious but very-very dated. We did on the second night move the bed-head away from the outer wall in an attempt to reduce the noise levels of the ship crashing though the waves. On doing so we revealed indescribable dirt and filth, toe and fingernails, human hair of all descriptions along the wall and floor. Photos of the mess will be found on the cruise photo page of this site should the powers that be allow publication of them. The air conditioning in our cabin was stuck on cold, in the evenings it was like living in a fridge. On complaining the first attempt to repair this was to block the vent with two layers of foam. This of course resulted in us unable to breath when the cabin door was shut. On the third repair attempt, we had no access to our cabin for a whole day at sea whilst it was fixed properly. The saving grace of the cruise was the high standard of the evening theatre entertainment and the friendliness of the restaurant and house-keeping staff. We found the attitude of the senior staff when we had the audacity to complain very rude and complacent. Sorry Thomson my wife and I know that no-one is perfect but your very poor and dismissive response to our letter of complaint through Cruise.co.uk will result in our determination never to use you again and we will inform others of our bad experience. We are The Paxtons Isle of Wight. Read Less
Sail Date December 2008

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