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23 Tenerife to Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

After reading some of the reviews on here, I was not looking forward to this cruise. However, we had an excellent time and I would certainly use the ship again. The vast majority of the negative comments simply did not apply, but maybe we ... Read More
After reading some of the reviews on here, I was not looking forward to this cruise. However, we had an excellent time and I would certainly use the ship again. The vast majority of the negative comments simply did not apply, but maybe we were just lucky. The cabin was excellent and yes the a/c was a bit fierce, but it was very quiet and not intrusive at all. The beds were very comfortable and the linen changed regularly, by the excellent steward. We saw no instances of drunkenness at all, although some large groups did get a touch noisy from time to time but this was not a problem. We upgraded the drinks package, and found the upgraded choice to be excellent. The basic wine was not to my taste but the premium wines were excellent. The gin selection on basic was fine but premium allowed you to access all the gins at the gin and whisky bar for no extra charge. Overall we thought the upgrade was excellent value at £50 each for the week. The ship is a bit dated in some ways but upmarket for Thomsons. We did feel that they had dumbed the food choices down a bit. Gone was the fillet and lobster tail in the main restaurant, instead you had prawns and lamb shank. However, we always found something to eat and the quality and quantity were good. We did the trio package for the three specialty restaurants and we were glad we did so as the service and food first class. I do agree that they need to sort out the service in Latitude 53 as the meal can take up to two hours 40 minutes and other times only 90 minutes. The problem seems to be that there are no drinks waiters. The food waiter does everything and if anyone wants a premium wine, they have to go and fetch it which can take up to 10 minutes. Why not have all the very limited range of wines to hand, this would speed things up considerably. We found the crew to be exceptionally friendly and the entertainment was excellent, with everyone working hard. We had our cases within 10 minutes of finding the cabin which is a record for us. Overall we had no complaints other that the slow service in the main restaurant, and the fact that they charged for the mini bar in the cabin. Why charge for this?. A special mention to Saville and Michelle at the gin and whisky bar. These ladies were excellent, and very efficient. Please pay them a visit and sample the 10 gins and 10 whiskies on offer. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Splashed out on an Executive Suite - 10041 - for two weeks over Christmas and New Year. Lovely cabin and huge balcony and first class steward called Ocsana. Overall the food was pretty average but plentiful. We noticed that TUI had made a ... Read More
Splashed out on an Executive Suite - 10041 - for two weeks over Christmas and New Year. Lovely cabin and huge balcony and first class steward called Ocsana. Overall the food was pretty average but plentiful. We noticed that TUI had made a number of small, but significant, cuts in both staff and menu choices from a previous cruise the year before. Annoying that the German branch of TUI - Mein Schiff - always had the superior berths in every port and we were left with a long hike to the town centres. The staff in every department were excellent and couldn't do enough for guests, but they worked long hours and in the restaurants barely coped. The all inclusive drinks package more than covered our needs and certainly didn't warrant paying £200 to upgrade to premium. We met some lovely people and only a few over indulged, but no one spoiled the festive season. The highlight was Madeira with amazing Christmas lights and fireworks. Daytime entertainment was pretty mediocre and more akin to a basic holiday camp, but we made full use of our suite so really didn't care. The downside was the stops we made in the Canary Island ports. TUI failed to provide adequate shuttle buses - mostly none at all - and charged guests where they were supplied. One port was almost three miles from town, which the Captain suggested was an hour by foot! Many passengers were of an advanced age and many suffered from disabilities, so were confined to the ship. This was our fourth Marella cruise and we have booked again for later in the year. As someone who enjoys a cigar I was annoyed that the smoking area - these are few and far between - at the rear of the Squid and Anchor lounge no longer had a drinks service, even though waiters did collect empties. The anti-smoking brigade - who can inevitably be found stocking up with duty free cigarettes and rolling tobacco to take back for friends and relatives - had complained that fumes penetrated into the bar, and demanded the doors be sealed. Remember, drinking alcohol also damages your health! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We are frequently Cruise and always choose our cruise for the itinerary and as Explorer was the only ship in the canaries at our chosen dates that is the ship we chose. Embarkation was smooth and luggage delivered promptly. Our first ... Read More
We are frequently Cruise and always choose our cruise for the itinerary and as Explorer was the only ship in the canaries at our chosen dates that is the ship we chose. Embarkation was smooth and luggage delivered promptly. Our first evening we went to dinner in the main dining room Italian section. We put the poor service and the very mediocre food down to the fact it was the first night and we have experienced this before on a first night on Marella and other lines to be fair. Lunch next Day was no better to be honest nor was breakfast. The food was not what you would call bad but it was neither up to the standard we know from any cruise we have ever been on. Marella seem to have reduced their menu in the morning so you can only have egg benedict (always my chosen breakfast most mornings) on one day of the week and this is the same for anything other than English breakfast or omelettes for the main part. They have even stopped offering pastries Although they can be requested I learned. Lunch had burger, veg burger and ploughman’s lunch on the menu every day with a couple of other choices which differed each day. To be fair we found lunch better than dinner probably because they were less busy. The serving seemed pretty chaotic at times We always book a couple of speciality restaurants anyway so next evening so having booked the 3 dining package and eating in the Mediterranean restaurant we were able to avoid the dining room in the evenings. We were on Discovery 2 in March 19 and used the snack shack a few times which was very good. On Explorer it was awful. Even the smell of it as you past was horrible The speciality restaurants we found as follows Kora La - fabulous. Service food and wine was a delight Uni Shushi - this was a first for us. We put ourselves in the hands of the chef and were not disappointed. It was a lovely experience with food we’d never chosen before. Again service was impeccable The Dining Club - We have done similar food and wine pairings on other shops and cruise lines but this was the very best ever. Again food and wine exceptional as was service. Big shout out to the wine steward who was helpful throughout. He covered all restaurants and always found us a nice wine. We were on premium drinks package but in main restaurants were always offered only inferior wine Surf and Turf - starters lovely but the main course was not. We ordered medium cooked food which was raw and the fat was literally running off the side of the slate on which my food was served. The onion rings tasted only of grease. We left before trying dessert. We’d used this restaurant on Discovery which was excellent so we were very disappointed. The head waiter saw the plate and agreed it was poor. He came out to the bar area where we were and offered us a drink. How laughable is that on an all inclusive cruise Entertainment was good throughout as you would expect from Marella who in our opinion always excel here We booked a cabins for the sea day but we did not find this was worth doing. The one thing that we did enjoy was that you had access to the thermal spa. We would probably never have done this. But it was super and we used again later in cruise. Great saunas and steam rooms and fab relaxation areas We were not too bothered about the ports as had been in all before but heard from other guests that excursions were good We had a large balcony cabin which was good and clean. All you need I would never choose to sail on Explorer again and will have to look closely before using Marella. If the changes in restaurants in particular at breakfast and dinner including choices and quality run throughout the line then it’s not for me Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Chose this cruise as it sailed from Tenerife were we live, therefore no flying. We have sailed the Canaries before but still enjoyed it. The Explorer is a nice ship. Very clean, plenty of room around the various bars. The entertainment ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it sailed from Tenerife were we live, therefore no flying. We have sailed the Canaries before but still enjoyed it. The Explorer is a nice ship. Very clean, plenty of room around the various bars. The entertainment was not as good as the Discovery, just the show dancers and one night a comedian, ok nothing to shout about. We thought the service was better on Discover we waited a fairly long time to be served around the pool bar even though there were plenty of staff. That said we did get good service in the Lounge bar which we used most nights. The food was fine plenty of choice however we have had better. The snack shack was not very good food was not very warm. Help yourself dinning good with plenty of choice. Shore excursions no problems really, just the weather was cloudy so not much photo opportunity, not their fault. Had a bit of an issue with our cabin cards did not work so had to go back to reception to have them programmed seemed to be a few of us with the same problem. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly for us as we were cruise only so boarded when we arrived in Santa Cruz 1.30pm and left the ship 8.30am when we were ready. Would we go again yes of course but on Discovery. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Staff and ship lovely. Food is great. Make sure you don't miss out on the tapas as it's amazing and inclusive just make sure to book it on the app. Vista is also a great place to eat especially the carbonara which for just five ... Read More
Staff and ship lovely. Food is great. Make sure you don't miss out on the tapas as it's amazing and inclusive just make sure to book it on the app. Vista is also a great place to eat especially the carbonara which for just five pounds more is prepared in a giant parmasan wheel at your table and is super tasty. Good service. What let's it down is the passengers. From threats of physical violence for being falsely accused of queue jumping on shore, to bad language, singlets galore and a cheap northern social club vibe, Explorer is one to miss. The buffet could get very hectic and the Squid and Anchor feral after 6pm. Be prepared for constant whingers expecting champagne service for beer money. If you are a gay couple be prepared for dirty looks from your fellow passengers and people to actively avoid making conversation with you. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
After an uneventful flight from Stansted, when we arrived at Tenerife we were directed by a Tui rep. to leave the airport and turn left.! There we encountered a large crowd whom after asking other passengers were made aware “we” were ... Read More
After an uneventful flight from Stansted, when we arrived at Tenerife we were directed by a Tui rep. to leave the airport and turn left.! There we encountered a large crowd whom after asking other passengers were made aware “we” were queueing - for over two hours - for coach transfer to the ship. This was totally unacceptable as we had left home at 06:30. When we eventually got on the correct coach sat there or over an hour the delay was for no obvious reason. When we arrived at the ship terminal there was a short delay to go through the check-in formalities. When we got to our cabin – 4108 we were favourably impressed. Due to the delay in getting to the ship within a short time we off to attend the ships safety drill. It was that night when our first impressions became very negative. It was almost impossible to sleep, there was a loud vibration from the air conditioning system ventilator. As the night progressed further loud “mechanical” noises came from the deck below ours and there was a constant vibration throughout the cabin. We apparently were not the only passengers on deck 4 who were complaining about the noise. After complaining to the ships reception we were offered another cabin which we declined as there was no window. The food on the ship was good however as per previous experiences on other Marella ships there was a constant flow of people trying to find seating in the buffet restaurants. During our last dinner in the Latitude restaurant we were told by the waiter that as we had paid for the optional drinks package upgrade a better quality wine was available to us with our meal as opposed to the carafe house wine. What a waste of money. As we had never been there we were looking forward to our visit to La Gomera. However due to the weather conditions it was not possible to dock the ship so we spent a very unpleasant day at sea. At the end of our cruise the transfer to the coaches taking us onward to our hotel was more farcical than our transfer to the ship. To reach the location of the coaches and our luggage we walked the length of the quay in pouring rain. Consequently, once we had retrieved our luggage and boarded the coach we were soaked through. Yet another delay when a Tui rep, discovered that a number of passengers had been assigned to the wrong coach. At the end of our awful cruise experience what could be more appropriate than lost luggage? Well that is what happened, my luggage did not arrive in Stansted and based on the information received after a total lack of support from Tui, including the Tui travel agency the trip was booked through, it was found to be still in Tenerife. I eventually got it back after 7 days. We have been on a number of Tui/Marella cruises and have noticed that their standards have steadily declined and cost cutting is obvious in the drinks available. In the Broadway Show Lounge there used to be a waiter drinks service throughout the performance now I was offered a bottle of beer as I entered the Lounge. Worst is the lack of staff especially in the Coffee Port where often there are two staff - one delivering drinks the other dispensing them. In addition, some of the waiters are extremely rude and clearly have had little training. One evening, service in the “Lounge” bar was very slow and a number of guests were agitated. When a waiter arrived he too was agitated and made his annoyance clear. When he came to take my order he pointed at me and shouted “You”. My wife and I are of the opinion that this will be our last Tui/ Marella cruise as in the years they have been operating cruises they seemed to have learned little apart from how to save money. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise having travelled once before about 8 years ago on a thomson cruise. We knew the standards (and ceilings) were lower than the larger cruise lines we have been on, but also that the entertainment more than made up for it ... Read More
We chose this cruise having travelled once before about 8 years ago on a thomson cruise. We knew the standards (and ceilings) were lower than the larger cruise lines we have been on, but also that the entertainment more than made up for it last time, and that the food had be quite good. We wanted and inexpensive winter sun break and this fitted. Having read the reviews we were not expecting too much, but were still shocked at the small size of the cabin, and also the engine noise once the boat started up. We had been assigned cabin 491, twin beds (as a lot of the cabins are) and this was right over the engine area. If you are offered anything this low or from 480 onwards, try and get changed! I suffer from migraines and had a very first bad night, despite being told by reception this was a quiet room and I would be fine! We immediately requested a change of room, and the following night were moved - after paying £100. There was no noise in the new room, midship, floor 8. The room otherwise was exactly the same size but a double bed. We got used to it. Bed was comfy. Food - buffet was disgusting, and not just the cattle like attitude to eating there. School dinners come to mind, slop also. Used the main waiter service restaurant whenever we could, and the service was good, but the food only average, and the same everywhere. Also, be prepared to share tables - only about 8 tables for two between the two restaurants, and there was always a queue of people waiting for them. Pool area is very tired, but clean. However, if you are downwind from the funnel, the smell of fumes is strong, and I saw ash landing on people. there is nowhere near enough space of beds for all the people to sit in the sun - the ship when full I would say has just enough seats in all its areas to accommodate everyone, thus some people spent the entire sea day sitting in the bars. Not a lot to do in the Canary Island docking areas. Even the trips are a bit dull, but that was our choice to go there. La Gomera has nothing, though my husband enjoyed his cycle ride. Arricife on Lanzerote had a nice beach if you walk far enough, and was our best day - apart from Madeira and the cable car/tobbogan which was novel. On the upside - the show team of 10 singers and dancers worked their socks off and are to be praised for this. Six full on song and dance shows repeated twice each night, one Abba Tribute, one Elvis show, and one play, plus other duties they have. Worked hard. Tayler the very young cruise Director did his best, and was a nice chap. Muzzic Unlimited, one of the bands, were the best I have heard on a cruise, but the other band Rhythm of Three, were appalling - out of tune and offensive to the ear. Michael on the piano organised a passenger choir on a few days, and he was a delight to chat to. Drinks wise we had a package included, and staff we constantly plying you with drinks. All the staff did their level best and are not to blame for a tired old ship. Overall we had a nice break, but not what you would expect from a cruise. Was a bit rocky at times - old ship, and also as there was not much distance between the islands, the Captain often let the ship drift when he arrived early. Very unsettling. And - during the safety drill we were show how to put on the life jackets, and told how to jump in - hold your nose and cross your feet! We have never been told that before, and it left us feeling a bit vulnerable on this ship! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Well after reading some of the negative reviews I thought I'd add a positive review. Don't believe all you read from the moaners!! This was our first cruise and I can safely say it won't be our last!! We went on with an open ... Read More
Well after reading some of the negative reviews I thought I'd add a positive review. Don't believe all you read from the moaners!! This was our first cruise and I can safely say it won't be our last!! We went on with an open mind and wasn't disappointed. The moaners going on about the food all I can say we never had a bad meal and if you couldn't find something you liked then there's something wrong with you. The drinks package worked out a bargain for us!! The room was spotless the bathroom was only a small pod but hell I don't go on holiday to sit in my room/cabin. The staff on board bent over backwards to help and always had happy smiling faces. We did one excursion in Madeira and found this good value for money, our other stops we did our own thing and found information regarding each stop via the cruise news delivered to the cabin daily very informative. We never really went to see any shows but never heard any bad reviews, instead we choose to go to the Royal observatory bar or the Monte Carlo casino and have a little flutter on the roulette. Our embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Generally if anything the only downfall to the trip was the odd few passengers who spoke to staff like they were dirt and disrespected them. If people read ittinaries and descriptions better then maybe they'd have less to moan about!! Fantastic holiday had!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I seriously think I must of been on a completely different cruise ship to some of the reviews bellow. If fact one of the below sounds like the person who we had the misfortune of sitting with on the last night. If all the others had been ... Read More
I seriously think I must of been on a completely different cruise ship to some of the reviews bellow. If fact one of the below sounds like the person who we had the misfortune of sitting with on the last night. If all the others had been as stuck up and arrogant as they were , we would of had very miserable meals. Luckily all the other dinners we had the pleasure to sit with didn't moan and complain from the moment they sat down. Quite the opposite , full of praise for the Majesty and staff. We seriously couldn't complain about one thing on our cruise ( well except the snobs we sat with on the last night :) ) Our whole trip was perfect. Cabin was lovely and kept spotlessly clean and tidy the whole time by our wonderful cabin stewards Flor and Mark. We loved the towel art , in fact they took time too to arrange the teddies we bought along the way , in a comical way. EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF STAFF were at all times plesent and helpful , addressing us with Mam or Sir , which I did not expect. The food was plentiful and presented was and tasted absolutely fine. As for the drinks package , there was absolutely nothing wrong with it , there was plenty of choice of beers , spirits and wine , the cocktails were yummy. The bar stewards always made us laugh and by the end knew our names and fav tipple for the time of the day. We were doing the trip in memory of my mum and dad , and the social host went out of his way to let us have a private venue we could meet with the friends we had made on social media. I am into musical theatre as I have all my life . I think the one that stated it was dire had forgotten to take his sunglasses off. Apart from the few people unpleasant people we had the misfortune to meet , EVERYONE ELSE COULDNT fault the majesty at all. In fact many of them had travelled many times on Majesty before and will again. We had the most perfect , memorable holiday ever , and we will returm. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was no your first cruise and may I say if it was I would not Book another. To start the transfer to the ship was late totally disorganised which meant we lost Time on the first day. When we finally got settled in we used the main ... Read More
This was no your first cruise and may I say if it was I would not Book another. To start the transfer to the ship was late totally disorganised which meant we lost Time on the first day. When we finally got settled in we used the main restaurant and the the food was not very good at all Luke warm rather than hot, and the service was very slow all through the cruise the service from all staff was very poor, it seemed as if they just could not be bothered. We used the buffet area to eat on a few occasions and the food was cold, and not very appetising. The entertainment was poor not much going on during the day in the bars and lounges as they didn't usually open until 3pm on most days or as one waiter informed me when I asked when the bar would be open, " when we are ready". speaking to a lot of people on the cruise what they thought of it all they informed us they had stopped the service payment as they did not feel they had received good service. The only good points about the cruise was the cabin was good and well maintained by housekeeping and the all inclusive package. As you can guess from this experience we will be not sailing with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
On our journey to the port at Tenerife we were informed that the onboard maritime lifeboat drill would take place at 8.00 pm and we would arrive too late to join in. A Thomson rep boarded the bus and quickly explained how to fasten a life ... Read More
On our journey to the port at Tenerife we were informed that the onboard maritime lifeboat drill would take place at 8.00 pm and we would arrive too late to join in. A Thomson rep boarded the bus and quickly explained how to fasten a life jacket up and where to find it in our cabin. From where I was sitting near the back of the bus I couldnt see what she was demonstrating but this didnt matter as we had been through the procedures before on previous cruises, however from a health and safety point - not good!. On arrival at the port in Tenerife in preparation for embarkation onto the ship we were met with utter chaos as there appeared to be inadequate staff available to welcome the abundance of people arriving and waiting to board ship. The weather for the first 3 days was quite cool and the ships air conditioning was constantly on full blast especially in public areas and also in the Showcase Theatre room at night, this should have been adjusted accordingly to match the outside conditions as it was uncomfortably cold to sit in. When the weather did improve sun beds were a great problem on the Dream there were simply not enough of them. Passengers would quite early on in the day place towels on a sun bed and then leave them for hours unoccupied. The crew on the Dream need to implement a policy of removing towels on unused sun beds after an hour so that all passengers can have a chance to relax and enjoy the sun not just the few. The ports of call were very good and we enjoyed them all. In Morocco we went on a Thomsons tour to Casablanca & Hassan II Mosque) which we enjoyed immensely and the tour guide was excellent. We were very impressed with all our ports of call especially in Cadiz, Ceuta and Cartagena. The ship docked into very scenic ports and the places were quickly accessible to explore. Our last port of call Valencia was also an exciting city to visit. Shuttle buses were laid on by the ship for people wanting to venture into Valencia by themselves. The only problem we had here was that there were not enough buses available to cater for the vast number wanting to use this facility. I always look forward to the entertainment onboard ship during the evenings from the show team of singers/dancers. This year the group on the Dream were perhaps not as good as we have seen on previous ships with Thomsons although their Les Miserable performance on the last night was excellent. The big problem with the Dream this year was the outbreak of Norovirus which effectively went through the ship quite quickly. Most passengers had been touched in some way by it, and also staff and show team members. We managed to return home safely from Palma after a very early embarkation from the ship so that a deep clean could be done to rectify the situation. Unfortunately on our first night home my husband took ill with the virus and was very poorly over the following days. On the first morning on ship we went to have breakfast in the self-service Sirens restaurant and my husband pointed out to me that the waiters were wearing plastic gloves and serving food to people, this never happened in self-service restaurants on other ships and we wondered at this time if there was a problem on board with illness. If this was the case why wasnt a deep clean done in Tenerife by Thomsons before we set sail because the infection was obviously a problem at this point? We did enjoy the cruise but the associated problems especially the outbreak of Norovirus somewhat soured our overall holiday experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
REVIEW: Mediterranean Highlights 29th Oct- 11th Nov Thomson Dream We have recently (11th Nov) returned from an amazing 2 weeks on board the Thomson Dream on their Mediterranean Highlights cruise. Having initially sailed on their ... Read More
REVIEW: Mediterranean Highlights 29th Oct- 11th Nov Thomson Dream We have recently (11th Nov) returned from an amazing 2 weeks on board the Thomson Dream on their Mediterranean Highlights cruise. Having initially sailed on their disastrous inaugural sailing in April 2010, we were a bit apprehensive about booking on this ship again, but having given it a lot of thought, we realised that Thomson would not let all these problems go by without doing everything in their power to make this ship, their best ever. WE WERE NOT DISSAPOINTED !! Flights from Luton to Palma went without a hitch. We paid for extra legroom, and that is what we got. At Palma a swift transfer to the ship, check-in and we were on board in time for lunch. At the port we were so pleased to see Paul Evans who was on the Destiny last Christmas when we sailed on the Transatlantic crossing. He recognised us and came over straight away with a lovely warm smile and a hug. Straight away we knew this was going to be a fun cruise. Once on board, we were sooo pleased with the huge size of our cabin and bathroom. We had an over- bath shower in it so the bathroom was larger than most. This we were very pleased with. Only quibble is, we had NO storage drawers at all in our cabin, just the double wardrobe. This did upset up at first, but we soon managed to find room for all our small items and this was not a problem anymore. Our Cabin Steward Trisna, came and introduced himself and we them went to explore the ship to see if there were any changes. And there were!! The carpets in the Medusa were either new or thoroughly cleaned. In fact all the bars were the same. Everywhere smelt fresh and clean. On speaking to Reception, we were very pleased to see that Bricks, was also working on this ship. Last time we saw him was on the Celebration, and he too recognised us and gave us a warm welcome everytime we saw him. He has an amazing singing voice and performed on the crew show again this time!! On the first day, the Orion was not opened at lunchtime, so we ate in the Lido Grill buffet restaurant, which was OK. Usual buffet food, but nothing to write home about. Evenings we always ate in The Orion and the food and service there was excellent, especially our waiters Manual & Yana (bless him!!) and our wonderful wine waiter Jesse (Jesus). I was on a low calorie diet and the staff and chef did everything in their power to help me keep to the diet. I did take my own Weightwatchers bread, low calorie butter & salad cream and they kept it in their fridge, bringing it to my table every mealtime, which was great and I managed NOT to put on any weight at all on this cruise. Thank you very much for all your help. Air con very cold in the restaurant, which made it a bit uncomfortable, as you just couldn't wait to finish your meal and leave the restaurant. The entertainment on board was excellent. During the day there were lots of different things to do, including quizzes, talks, theatre show, and my favourite...deck parties which I loved. The atmosphere was great and everyone joined in. The Cruise Director Paul Fisher (snr) and his assistant Paul Evans (jnr) looked after us very well, and the team of dancers and singers were the best on any Thomson ship, especially Kate & John. Evening shows are NOT to be missed. The titles may seem the same as on other ships, but they are all performed with a different twist which makes them so unusual. Excellent shows!! The Broadway theatre does get very cold, so wear something warm over your clothes. Afternoon tea was served every day on deck 9 in the Lido and consisted of homemade cakes, scones, biscuits, sandwiches, canapés etc. Lovely feast. The resident band, Strum Jam, were excellent and kept everyone moving in the Medusa lounge, which also hosts the quizzes and game shows. Don't miss the showcase shows at the end of the night. They are excellent and usually performed by individual members of the dance team. Drinks are a bit pricey (£3.70 short excl mixer) but we had All Inclusive so it didn't matter this time. Lifts were always breaking down, but fixed instantly, and we could do with more lifts on each floor, for the number of passengers this ship holds. You were constantly waiting for lifts, especially at busy times. All in all, this was an amazing cruise and for the first time ever, we met passengers we had encountered on previous Thomson cruises (we have done 7 so far in the past 3 yrs), which was great. It was like one big family re-union. We also met some lovely new friends and thoroughly enjoyed their company too. This ship has turned itself round 120% in such a short time. Well done Thomson and we can't wait to get back on board again very soon. BEST CRUISE EVER. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
After reading several reviews before embarkation I and three friends were beginning to wish we had booked with another company, there were so many negative reviews. We were surprised, we embarked from Tenerife (as three of the party live ... Read More
After reading several reviews before embarkation I and three friends were beginning to wish we had booked with another company, there were so many negative reviews. We were surprised, we embarked from Tenerife (as three of the party live there most of the year) and were met by very helpful staff. We booked in very quickly, and taken to our cabin, which was one of the biggest I had stayed in.We have been with mainly P.& O. previously (which we had enjoyed and had had no complaints) but we were awed by the atrium in Fantasia. All the staff we came in contact with were most helpful and charming. The food was good (the self-service was very over-crowded) we preferred to breakfast and lunch in the restaurants.We had complaints regarding the trip talks, information was very nearly non-existent and we were disappointed in the T.V. We thought the drinks were on a par with most other companies and the lounges. We were surprised how few passengers used the hand sanitizer (on P.& O. cruises you don't have a choice, this could have caused an health scare.The shoes were good - mostly 45 minutes, the singing and dancers were really good for the type of shows, the acrobats were especially good, and the Michael Jackson evening was very memorable.All in all we can certainly say we will be sailing with M.S.C. again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
I have sailed on the Island Escape 4 times,but i will not be going on it again unless it has a huge overhaul.We sailed from 8th-15thjan.on the cruise colourful coasts.We had only been on the ship 2 days when we were informed by the captain ... Read More
I have sailed on the Island Escape 4 times,but i will not be going on it again unless it has a huge overhaul.We sailed from 8th-15thjan.on the cruise colourful coasts.We had only been on the ship 2 days when we were informed by the captain of a virus,and told all people who became ill must stay in there cabins and remain there untill given the all clear by the doctor.We were not allowed too put our own food on our plates,this was done by the staff.We spoke too many people who had been confined too there cabins for 2-4 days.At night we got very little sleep due too the ship rocking and none stop banging.I have in the past recomended this ship but willdo so no more.Our cabin was very small and basic the handbasin plug was rusty and the soap holders needed a good clean,there were chipped and cracked tiles in the shower cubicle.The ship needs a complete over haul NOW. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
I have been on a few cruises before mainly with Royal Carribbean. I didn't expect their standards but certainly didn't expect that non standards received on the Island Escape. If you have ever been on a cruise before or are ... Read More
I have been on a few cruises before mainly with Royal Carribbean. I didn't expect their standards but certainly didn't expect that non standards received on the Island Escape. If you have ever been on a cruise before or are thinking about one, DO NOT lower yourself to go on this "so called cruise ship"! When we arrived, we thought fair enough, it is smaller and to be more informal. Boy, we weren't let down. On entering our cabin, we tried to unpack to find there were no drawers to even put some of your clothes away or anywhere to put your suitcase. Passing space between the cabin is for one only! Don't try to walk by each other as it ain't going to happen. The cabins are now very dated meaning they are generally old, dirty and rusty. If you are lucky, you even get a smelly cabin. We were really lucky to get a cabin next to the fan room with the sound of generators 24/7. You can't ask for an exchange as the signs saying no exchanges available are up as you enter the ship. Don't drop your soap in the shower as there is no room to bend and pick it up. On quite a few days, we had a constant smell of sewerage along the corridors on our deck and there is the permanent same smell throughtout certain areas on the ship. We took a nosey around the rest of the ship to check it all out and were not left feeling much better. The pool(if you can call it that) is an absolute disgrace. It is very small and looks like something for the 50's. The beachcomber which is the buffet restaurant is beyond repair. It is like a run down back street cafe with no way back. The food wasn't much better. It is very poor quality and is like something out of Oliver Twist. You have to point and ask the staff for what you want, asking for more if required. Don't ask for a drink(and I don't mean alcohol) before 10am as you won't get. You can only have the tea/coffee or diluted juice. Yes, no fresh orange for breakfast. You then have to go and queue for a tea/coffee. This is no more than a soup kitchen. You are given your coffee/tea in a polystyrene cup!!! I certainly didn't expect china but after paying nearly £1500 for two, I didn't expect plastic! Even in the busier times, they only have one drinks terminal open and you are left to queue. God help you if you want milk in your cereal as guess what. It is the same queue! The Island restaurant is slightly better but still with the same problems, apart from you get a real cup. That is if you are left one. You can be lucky and get the person before's food stains on the table cloth. It is organised chaos. By the time, they come back with cutlery and cups the breakfast, dinner is cold. None of the restaurants are actually self service buffet as advertised as the staff dish out of food on request. We were actually all inclusive but they don't tell you that drinks are limited. You are told what drinks mainly house spirits and one choice of beer, lager and wine. If you don't like stella, boddingtons or chardonnay, tough! You can get the odd cocktail mind you. (one good note) They also don't tell you, you have to pay for your safe, sauna. Most of ports we stopped are were ok but there were a few where you had to pay for the shuttle buses or get a taxi as they advise you not to walk though the dock area. Charming. I could go on but I think most people will get the picture. Do not book this cruise ship. The only thing you could do with this ship is sink it. The boat is beyond repair, we even heard a member of staff training new staff and pointing out he was to emphasis on the boat was due to get quite a few million pound spend in the near future. Save your money! Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
Traveled on the 8th Jan. 2010 THE GOOD.. Polite dinning staff thats it. THE BAD.. We have been on the Island Escape many years ago, which was not too bad, but said would not go again. As we have never been on a cruise in the Canaries we ... Read More
Traveled on the 8th Jan. 2010 THE GOOD.. Polite dinning staff thats it. THE BAD.. We have been on the Island Escape many years ago, which was not too bad, but said would not go again. As we have never been on a cruise in the Canaries we thought give it a try, even after reading reviews we thought it can't be that bad. WHAT A MISTAKE WE MADE. It was not the same ship we remembered, rust everywhere, maintenance does not exsist, toilets patched up, tiles hanging off, cabin needs complete refurbishment, the whole ship does, there is too much to say about the condition of this ship. Would not recommend this ship to anyone. I have read the other reviews and they are truthful. There was a lot of people sick not by the rolling of the ship, it was NORO again, they like to say it was bought on board by passengers they do no want to think its the ship, I had checked with a person who works on this ship, and this is not new. there was sickness before our cruise. They do not clean very well, there are places which have never seen a cloth, and I never saw a supervisor go round with a white cloth to check, like other ships do. No wonder this sickness is always happening, I would like to have taken over the hygiene of this ship. By the time I had finished half the crew would want to leave working under me, there is no disipline. WOULD NEVER SAIL ON THIS ONE AGAIN. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We went for a weeks cruise in a party of 16 including a 1yr old baby for a winter break on the 1st January 2010. After a long journey caused by snow at the airport etc we finally arrived at the Island Escape around 9pm in the Evening. ... Read More
We went for a weeks cruise in a party of 16 including a 1yr old baby for a winter break on the 1st January 2010. After a long journey caused by snow at the airport etc we finally arrived at the Island Escape around 9pm in the Evening. From the outside the ship seemed reasonably promising,sitting in a harbour with no other ships around it stood out quite clean and impressive. This was probably to do with the constant repainting job that gets done at every port but what you don't realise is quite how small this ship is compared to other 'real' cruise ships. Once going through all the boarding card palava that happens with every cruise we finally arrived at our cabin/hamster cage...Our room was on the 6th floor and was an outside cabin with a window,rather than a wee porthole that other rooms seemed to have. The rooms were tiny by any cruise ship standard. infact my girlfriend commented that the cabin was identical to the one she had used in an overnight ferry to France. This should have come as no surprise when we find out that the boat is acctually a 28year old Ferry that had been converted into a cruise ship some years ago. The room were fairly poor aswell as being small. How anyone ever fits a family of four into the room i will never know. 2 single beds and 2 bunk beds that can be folded against the wall. no room for suitcases and only room for a handful of clothes. The Television in the room was quite easily older than my 24years and that is without exageration. The sink was a rather interesting ....rust colour,terracota if i was being kind. The furnishings were very very very basic and no two carpets in any rooms matched. People have mentioned that the food was good? I would like to know good in comparison to what exactly? The beachcomber was a soup kitchen....nothing more. The Restaurant on the 6th floor served the same food as the beachcomber restaurant but was done in a slightly more stilish way with waited service for drinks etc. The food was not tragic and there was a few gems but a lot of it was very bland with very little flavour or variation. The cold salad buffet and cold meats/cheese were identical every single day and night. There is an a la carte resturant that you would pay extra for. We went on two occassions. The food in here is...decent,nothing more than that though. It is the sort of food you would expect from your average resturant here. Steaks were on the menu aswell but no matter how you asked for it to be cooked it always seemed to come a fairly medium-well,something that bemused me. For 12.95 per person it was ok but don't believe anyone who says it was anything spectacular. The all inclusive package is fairly decent with good quality drinks and a nice choice of cocktails etc to choose from. The staff on board are all very helpful and do there best.Waiters and bartenders are of a fairly good standard and will entertain you with card tricks etc during your meal.The cabin stewards make novel animald from your towels everyday and it is always a nice touch on a boat where not everything is that great. The boat itself is the main problem. The swiming pool is a disgrace - end of, and a lot of the on deck games and equipment are broken or in need of repair. Those are minor cosmetic problems the real problem is with it's handling of the sea. During the 7 days on the ship, on 3 occasions i had to go to bed early due to sea sickness. I have been on cruises before and never had this problem. The captain (a bit cluless) was forever mentioning the 'atlantic swell' that was causing the boat to sway. The truth is that the boat is not capable of handing the open sea. Modern cruise ships would have absolutely no problem negotiating their way through the waves that this ship had to however this ship moved fairly dramatically at times - leading to people falling in stairs and in restaurants etc. The waves from the sea were nothing major when you looked overboard but this ship was not modern enough and did not have enough stabalisers to combat this motion meaning MANY of the ships passangers had to quw for seasickness tablets and go to bed early. The boat left ports very early on many occassions meaning that you only really got a few hours at each port. Hardly ideal. On the cruise news it was forever boasting about greener cruising and how passangers could do their bit to combat fuel use etc on the ship. I found this a bit pathetic coming from a ship that left the port of Lanzarote at 6pm on thursday and circled the canary islands before coming into Tenerife port at 8am the next morning to 'save port fees'. Hardly green crusing that is it.especially when the boat waves and swirls and creaks all night leaving up to 50% of the ships passangers in bed for an early night. Overall the cruise cost around £750 pp for us in a large group, for that money it just wasn't worth it and i came back my holiday feeling worse than i did when i went. As for the excursions, with the exception of the 4x4 trips i would recommend that you did the trips yourself and save a fortune. Especially the trips in Medira and Morocco - both of which were easily accessable on your own to cover the same trip and more for at least half the price. All other comments on other reviews were accurate regarding toilets breaking down etc so no need to comment any further. There are far better cruises out there and this was most deffinately a ship that needed to be retired as it is probably one of the single most uncomfertable boats in existence. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
I have just returned from a weeks cruise with Thomsons Island Escape. I would agree that the ship is a bit dated and due for an overhaul, however I don't agree with the comments about how you are treat and quality of food and drinks. ... Read More
I have just returned from a weeks cruise with Thomsons Island Escape. I would agree that the ship is a bit dated and due for an overhaul, however I don't agree with the comments about how you are treat and quality of food and drinks. I started my holiday by visiting the Beachcomber resturant, we spent 3 and a half hours eating. The food was of a good variety and the quality was good. the staff were very friendly and assisted in every way. The Island resturant was a more relaxed eating enviroment and you were very well looked after. The All inclusive drinks on board were fast and the proper drinks, Gordons Gin, Teachers or Grants whisky etc. Good measures as well. Champions bar the best of them all. If you wanted Beefeater gin famous grouse or bicardi, it only cost 10p a drink extra, that is nothing. The entertainment was excellent from broadway shows to theatre to comedians and great tribute acts, we had Frank sinatra tribute act and he was as good as the real thing. The comedian was extremely funny and entertaining. The Captain of the ship was very approachable, he was also very invovled in the entetainment, getting involved in some the the comedy shows adding to the impact. I was not really comfortable with going on cruises, I had a bit of persuading to get me to go. This cruise has wetted my appetite and I look forward to my next cruise. You have to remember when you go on a cruise, don't expect everything when your only willing to spend a little. This cruise was well worth the money. I have never spoken and got on with so many different people on my holidays as I did on this cruise. It is such a way to socialise on holiday. If your wondering, GO FOR IT, you'll get your moneys worth. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
On reading the Thomson in flight magazine on the way back from a 14 night cruise on the Island Escape I came across an article on how Thomson was responding to customer criticism. The first bullet point described how 400 of their worst ... Read More
On reading the Thomson in flight magazine on the way back from a 14 night cruise on the Island Escape I came across an article on how Thomson was responding to customer criticism. The first bullet point described how 400 of their worst hotel destinations had been removed from their brochures. I think they should seriously consider adding the Island Escape to this list. Here are my criticisms of the cruise I have just experienced. 1. Cabins - they creak and make loads of noise when you are trying to get some kip - so take some earplugs. We found cotton wool pads wedged into the right parts of the cabin furniture can help reduce (but not kill) the rattling sounds. The loud creaking noises cannot, although I tried on a number of occasions. 2. The linen in the cabin has been washed (I think). nuff said. 3. Food average. As with all buffets I have experienced it is never something to write home about. The Oasis restaurant was o.k (just o.k) if you are prepared to pay extra. 4. On Board Entertainment. Some of the musicians playing in the bars were really great. However, 14 nights of the same musicians playing in the bars - a little monotonous. The shows in the main theatre were centered around West End musicals and catered for the more senior amongst us. Not all the ship were seniors and even if just a few shows were a more modern it might make a difference to the younger people (those of us younger than 60). 5. Destinations. We did not make all ports of call due to bad weather. This cannot be helped. However, the time at some destinations was cut short due to serious ship malfunctions with the sewerage system. Yes, we had blocked toilets and some people on board experienced worst things than just blockages. Others were cut short for operational reasons such as emptying waste tanks. Really frustrating. 6. Staff. Really friendly and very helpfull unless it is customer relations. Expect no answers out of them, the answers you do get will be abrupt. 7. Excursions. Short and expensive. 8. Thomson aircraft. They have obviously removed the net bags on the back of every seat (the ones that normally hold the magazines and sick bag) in order to squeeze seats closer together. I am not particularly tall but anyone over 5 foot 11 inches will have definite problems trying to sit in them. 9. Thomson flight experiences. Not good, particularly for the more senior members of the party. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Having been on the island escape several times in the past i was expecting great things despite the recent reviews on the internet. Sadly many of these reviews have been proved right the ship appears to have been badly neglected since my ... Read More
Having been on the island escape several times in the past i was expecting great things despite the recent reviews on the internet. Sadly many of these reviews have been proved right the ship appears to have been badly neglected since my last cruise on it. When it rained water poured through the roof of the beachcomber restaurant and the roof of the lookout bar but sadly no attempt was made to fix this . Also on deck four by the lifts water was leaking through the ceiling for several days despite numerous attempts to fix it they were still trying on the last day of the cruise. The toilets broke on the first day of the cruise and were fixed and broke again over the first few days of the cruise. On docking in malaga 400 people had to be taken off the ship and put in hotels overnight while the ship was docked in port and the toilets mended. The air-conditioning was also faulty in some areas and in our cabin the vent had to be taken off the duct by the staff to try and get some cold air into the hot cabin. Three ports were missed on the cruise due to bad weather but this of course is not the fault of the ship. On a positve note the staff and the food were excellent and the entertainment staff on the ship were fantastic though the guest acts brought in from the uk were very poor with the exception of the comedian from hull. The shows put on by the ships own staff were fantastic. the comments ive read about dirty towels and bedlinen are sadly true though they had clearly been washed they had seen better days and it looked like a long time since any of the towels had actually been white. My advice if you havent already booked your holiday on this ship would be to go elsewhere unless the ship undergoes a refit and the ongoing maintenance issues are resolved Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
I too was part of the Thomsons 'Christmas Carousel' Cruise, on the Island Escape from 18th December'09-1st January '10, and concur with all Eddie has said in his review. It was an absolute nightmare of an experience, ... Read More
I too was part of the Thomsons 'Christmas Carousel' Cruise, on the Island Escape from 18th December'09-1st January '10, and concur with all Eddie has said in his review. It was an absolute nightmare of an experience, certainly not the holiday I was recommended it would be when sold it by Thomsons in Edinburgh. It came highly recommended by most of the staff on duty there that day, and I bought into it on their recommendation. It was not a cheap deal either. Our cabin was small but standard apparently, the toilet/shower was a disgrace with tiles falling off in the shower area, eventually removed during the second week of our trip, but not replaced, just piled on the floor under the wash-hand-basin. The other walls in the shower cubicle were bowed, tiles there obviously been heavily glued/grouted to keep them on. The chrome on the taps and plug was almost non-existent. The bedding was marked, obviously laundered but stained of old, also evident were cigarette burn holes, and a lovely shade of grey. Towels again obviously laundered and onceupon a time white. They too regularly had tears and stains on them. We paid extra for an outside cabin. The portholes were almost opaque due to the continuing practice of slapping white paint about externally each time the ship docked, obviously to keep the rust covered. The Air Conditioning in our cabin did not work. Was reported three times and supposedly fixed three times, in the end we were given a Fan, which only served to circulate warm stale air. The corridor leading to our cabin was littered along its length with recepticles, (ice buckets, bottoms cut off plastic bottles),to catch the dripping water from above. The area outside the Lift on our floor was leaking badly through ceiling and light fittings, a hole was drilled in the ceiling panel to allow it to drain through one large hole into a large bucket. We noted that each time the ship was in Port buckets and the various recepticles were removed and the leaks allowed to just drip onto the carpet, evident by the large wet stain, and slippery carpet. Sometimes they would even put up a wet-floor sign. This practice was not just reserved for our corridor or area, this practice was evident to us throughout the ship. Walls in the corridor bore large rust marks/stains, just above floor level. The Beachcomer especially if it rained, was a disgrace also, with tablecloths and napkins spread on the floor, and used to stop-up and plug leakages, buckets used to catch water through ceiling and light fittings, in and around tables where passengers were eating. A complete disgrace, contrary to basic health and safety practices. Users of walking aids and sticks, even the able bodied had a job keeping their balance with the rocking and rolling of the vessel due to rough seas, let alone dodging drips and wet cloths and buckets all over the place. Questionable too, the fitness of the stablising mechanism of the ship. Obviously as tired and worn as the rest of that which is visible to it's passengers. Toilets out of order, for some passengers was a huge issue. Thankfully, one problem we didn't have. A couple we became friendly with had had no toilet in their cabin for three-quarters of their trip, and they were told there was no alternative but for them to use toilets in public areas, that meant during the night as well as other times. Only after this was publicly brought to the attention of the Captain, by the lady in question, at the first of his two Public Meetings did the matter for that couple improve. The Captain denied when asked, if it was true that people had left the ship at Malaga because of viral infections on board. Apparently 30 or more passengers got off the ship there, more at Gibraltar, such was the state of things on board. Had Thomsons not been so greedy, the mojority of people would have taken the opportunity to finish the Cruise after the first disasterous week. Vouchers for a future holiday to cover the second week, would have been very acceptable. This was my first cruise, and think it will be my last. It was like being a prisoner, having to endure a regime whether you wanted to or not. Plastic mugs tainting the taste of tea or coffee, eating off melamine plates, I did without Coffee and often without enduring the feeding frenzy. When in Gibrltar bought a china mug in order to enjoy a coffee, and I could have sold it over and over when other passengers and staff noticed. So know I was not alone in how I was feeling. Health and Safety / Public Safety pretty dubious. Rubber treads on external stairs broken, chipped and missing. Public Toilets never saw any fully functional, always 2 out of 3 not useable/working. No baby-changing areas, witnessed wash-hand basin area in public toilet used. When things got rough outside, conditions got even rougher inside. The cabin shook like a washing machine on high spin, walls & pictures rattled, creams, shampoo etc., even towels and clothes hanging in the wardrobe took a dive. The ship lurched so badly at times the beds felt like they were on wheels. Not at all condusive to restful sleep. Was also sea-sick. Two other Cruise ships on the same Route as us, abandoned their trip due to bad weather conditions, putting their passengers first. They waved to us on deck as our ship left Port. Our Captain would not comment when asked about this at his public meeting. We missed three Ports in the first week due to bad weather. Bad weather no-ones fault. The practice of docking then leaving port later to dump waste and then returning to port, common practice. Why the waste could not have been dumped on the way into Port who knows! A theory given by one passenger re this practice, was to let shops on board open and make money?! Thomsons clearly have/had no contingency plans in place for anything. No-one can prevent bad weather, but the sensible thing would've been to stop the cruise. The ordinary staff, e.g., cabin and waiting staff for me were the only thing worthy of praise from this experience. Poor souls, I don't know how they do it, and keep smiling. To anyone thinking of going on this ship...........PLEASE do yourself a favour ....DON'T!! The vessel is a 'leaky colandar' not a Cruise Ship, as one lady at the public meeting put it, earning unanimous applause. The best thing Thomsons could do is take this vessel out of commission NOW, and stop robbing people of their hard-earned cash. It is not fit for purpose! I heard there's to be media-worthy coverage re this cruise, which will nodoubt give more detailed accounts of what a lot of people endured on this Thomsons Christmas Carousel, Cruise from Hell. To round things off, those of us on the early flights to Newcastle and Glasgow on Friday, were further lied to at the Airport regarding our flight home. Yes there was bad weather, but Newcastle Airport was Not Closed, as we were initially told after the let us check-in. There was no Thomsons Rep visible at the Airport at any time after that, and passengers had to keep going between Iberia Desks for information. Iberia staff in the main were not helpful, mostly pretty resentful. At 6.30pm on Friday 1st January, we were told we would be flying to Glasgow, and bussed back to Newcastle. Next, we were informed we were being flown to Manchester and bussed back to Newcastle. Then we were told that this would not be happening as Crew would be out of 'time'. After the later Thomsons flight 1539 to Newcastle announcement to proceed to boarding gate came over the tannoy, it caused an uproar by those of us sitting there all day. Proving Newcastle was not closed. But most of us already knew that was not true, by phoning home. At 10pm we heard after seeking information again ourselves from the Iberia desk, we were being taken to a hotel until the following evening. All being well, we might be leaving at 12.30am. We were then herded and traipsed through the airport to re-claim our bags, the only thing missing from this process was the lack of a sheep-dip. The elderly and infirm, some pushing partners in wheelchairs were left to get on with it. The disruption/delay also meant some people had run out of their medication. Thomsons rep at the hotel when we arrived said the rep in the morning would sort things out. It had to be brought to her attention that there were elderly standing in the long queue to check in who were tired and needed assistance. Other passengers in the queue had already sought chairs for these people observing their plight. The Rep in the morning was initially oblivious to his extra arrivals, and on being made aware of the need of some for medication due to the delay, made contact with his office. He came back and informed those of us affected, Doctors were private in Spain and a call-out fee of around £60 payable (but we could claim it back from our holiday insurance), for a prescription. When it was pointed out to him that after paying the Excess on Insurance, people would be out of pocket. After fierce protest by those involved he went back to his office and later announced that Thomsons would absorb the doctors call-out fee. It cost one man £98 to get his prescription filled, for the sakwe of one days tablets. We waited around all day in a Thomsons Hotel, to be informed by reps if/when we would be picked up and taken to the airport. At 10-10.15pm we were picked up for the airport. 12.30am we were bussed to a plane off-stand, climbing stairs to board. Again this process causing the elderly and infirm added difficulty and stress. The flight was an amalgum of two flights. The original 1523 to Newcastle and 1527 to Glasgow. Despite pleas from those people from Scotland wishing to go to Glasgow, some had, now expired, return train tickets due to the delay. With the weather and road conditions north from Newcastle it would have been much more convenient/ easier to get home from Glasgow, but we were refused. The flight would be going to Newcastle first, and after re-fueling(whilst on the tarmac and occupied), continue onto Glasgow. Apart from one young Rep saying why we scots couldn't all have gone onto Glasgow was for security reasons!?! No other explanation was offered for the refusal. When we got on board the chaos continued, because two flight had been put together, same seat numbers for both flights had been issued. By the time the crew got that sorted out, identified the booked meal details, reliant totally on the honesty of the passengers, we were on our way. At Newcastle we landed off-stand, and ushered down a very slippy ice-covered stairway, onto the deep snow covered tarmac, onto yet another bus to the terminal, at 4.30am. For the fit and able this was a daunting enough experience, but for those elderly and infirm again, it was a disgrace. It could've been, "a scene from a war film with the Nazi's hearding the Jews", certainly what it felt like, and I quote that statement as overheard and uttered by a few of those around me. Shame on you Thomsons! Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Having read some of the reviews I had mixed feelings believing it can't be as bad as described but it was - DO NOT GO ON THIS SHIP IT IS A DISGRACE. My family paid £5.2k for this holiday 2 adults 2 children aged 14 and 11 Where do I ... Read More
Having read some of the reviews I had mixed feelings believing it can't be as bad as described but it was - DO NOT GO ON THIS SHIP IT IS A DISGRACE. My family paid £5.2k for this holiday 2 adults 2 children aged 14 and 11 Where do I start - the cabin was too small for two people never mind four no storage space, damaged ceiling and wall panels, shower room tiny dirty taps, cracked shower screen, cigarette burns all over sink, mould on walls and tiles, carpets and beds very worn, outside window dirty and mouldy around seal, sleeping is near impossible due to the loose fittings and whatever was clanking about in the ceiling space. Public areas tired and neglected leaks all over, the smell of drains and damp was quite evident throughout. the food is good but the restaurants are beyond a joke, the beachcomber is ok if you like eating off old melamine plates the tables and chairs are old and very worn its bit like a greasy Joes cafe. The Island restaurant is better but the long communal tables are not my cup of tea, they are too close together compounded with the wide arm wicker chairs it's near impossible to exit the table which is a problem considering its self service. We had paid a supplement in our holiday cost to dine in the Oasis restaurant on Christmas day - the quality was much better the food good but the service was poor , there was a sorbet served between the first and second course picture this we shared a table again we had the same waiter the other couple received their sorbet then main course we received our main course but did not start as we where expecting the sorbet to come too - it did not I eventually I got the waiters attention explained we had not received the sorbet to which he disappeared for some time then he brought the sorbets then promptly disappeared guess what no sundae spoons to eat it with by this time our main was cold considering the cover charge was £34.50 pp it was a poor service. The ship in general is past its sell by date and appears unstable in choppy seas it's also worth noting that some of the stair carpets are thread bare and several people where injured falling - my daughter included. The all inclusive is a rip off its not as on other Thompson ships and I would be very surprised if the Stella is genuine - I suppose if you like cheap beer,spirits,wine & rola cola its for you. As I'm not a big drinker I like my teas & coffees but guess what their not all inclusive you have to commute to deck 10 to greasy Joes where you can get cheap coffee in a plastic cup then trek back. I've saved the best for last the toilets!! Yes they constantly break down when you complain you're told it's an old ship! In our case along with most other passengers our toilets did not function for most of the cruise and when they did they may not flush for up to 10-15 mins. We had to trek around the ship to find a loo and when you did they where usually overflowing with excrement. We where offered to be put up in hotel Malaga at for the night but I did not see the point .Complaining is an utter waste of time. Most of the staff worked hard but as the old adage says "you cant maker a silk purse from sow's ear" .I also noted the staff seemed very subdued and had some sort of discipline regime to humiliate the crew called Bananas apparently the more bananas received demonstrated a lack of competence. We have been on many cruises and booked with Thompson as they have always represented good quality but they have now seriously damaged their brand by using the Island Escape cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Having flew to Madeira to pick up the ship the transfer was fairly quick although we had to pick up our luggage from the airport and transfer it to the bus to transfer us to the ship. This was the first time on a cruise holiday we had to ... Read More
Having flew to Madeira to pick up the ship the transfer was fairly quick although we had to pick up our luggage from the airport and transfer it to the bus to transfer us to the ship. This was the first time on a cruise holiday we had to do this, usually it is delivered straight to the cabin from the flight. The Celebration was a small ship compared to most cruise liners and was easy to find your way around. Although at night the ship was quite creaky and clangy the cabin was big enough with plenty of draw space and a double wardrobe for each of us. The cruise offered freedom dining with waiter service and buffet as well and the food was EXCELLENT (5 star), having been on many cruises, including the QE2, we both felt that the food in the Maderian restaurant was the best we have every had. The shows every evening were different and mainly performed by talented singers and performers who were very adaptable in whatever they did. We never had a problem in finding a seat either inside or outside on deck as there was plenty to go round. Even the sun beds were available as there were many available on each deck. We docked most days and could walk of the ship and make our own arrangements to view the areas of Madeira, Lanzarote, Tenerife, Gran canaria and La Palma, I would not go ashore unless with a ships tour in Morocco. The ship was old in design but was undergoing some sort of refurbishment, certainly our on suite shower room was quite tired and needed bringing up to date. All the lounges and sitting areas were lovely and comfortable and there is no smoking in any inside areas which was brilliant, smokers were welcome to go outside and sit under heaters which many did and could sit on comfortable seats. Overall this was the best cruise we have ever had. Well done Thomsons and we will be back next year on the Celebration around the Red Sea. Diana Read Less
Sail Date December 2008

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