1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises)
  4. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises) Cruise Reviews
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We are 1st time cruisers, family of four, including two older teenage children. Everything went smoothly, journey and embarkation. Lovely welcome on board by staff. All staff were excellent their whole aim was to keep you happy and serve ... Read More
We are 1st time cruisers, family of four, including two older teenage children. Everything went smoothly, journey and embarkation. Lovely welcome on board by staff. All staff were excellent their whole aim was to keep you happy and serve in any way possible. The ship was very comfortable, cleaning was continual, everywhere so nothing was ever dirty or untidy. Rooms were made up twice a day, always clean towels. Cabin Steward Joko was very friendly helpful and pleasant. Ours was an outside cabin on deck 2 with the girls next door. These were not huge but were perfectly comfortable and kept clean and tidy. Food was fabulous we used a combination of the Lido and Meridian restaurants. Food was good in both but particularly in the Meridian Restaurant where we enjoyed excellent service from our waiter Alpin. We had a free upgrade at the point of booking to all inclusive, this was well worth it for a family party. After our evening meal we enjoyed the nightly shows in the Broadway Show Lounge, entertainment was very good and was enjoyed by the whole family. we also enjoyed the other entertainers around the ship performing in different bars and decks at various points throughout the day and night. We enjoyed all our destinations and ports of call. Being an active family we were happy to walk into many of the destinations on our own and found most walk in ports were about 20 mins on foot to get to the main points of interest. We did take a couple of payable shuttle busses in Stockholm and Helsinki as these were a longer distance and also a shorter amount of time was allowed in these two places as it was an early leaving sail time. We found this the only disappointing thing, that that some shore days were not as long as we may have liked. Excellent full day trip in St Pertersburg which included a guide who spoke excellent English, and a very good Russian meal, which we all enjoyed. All in all a good holiday with very good memories to take away. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
My wife and I chose this cruise primarily for the ports of call which were varied but all interesting in their own ways. The smaller ports such as Fredrikstad and Aalborg were very welcoming and the larger ports such as St Petersburg and ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise primarily for the ports of call which were varied but all interesting in their own ways. The smaller ports such as Fredrikstad and Aalborg were very welcoming and the larger ports such as St Petersburg and the capital cities had much of interest. You can always find fault if you want to but for us this was yet another fantastic cruise. It was our first time on the Celebration but we preferred it slightly to the Majesty which we have cruised on twice previously (and loved). Our cabin was spotless and the dining and entertainment experiences were pretty much faultless. In our experience all cruises are of similar high standard so it's probably best to highlight the areas where this cruise exceeded expectations. 1. Thomson Show Team - who worked tirelessly throughout and delivered top quality shows and performances. Thanks to Nicky, Beth, Alice, Ewan, Alex and the others for making it so special. Even when one of the team was sick and unable to perform the others rallied round to ensure the show went ahead. 2. Dining experiences were generally excellent but our personal favourite was Manny's panini and tortilla bar at lunchtime on the Terrace poolside at the back of the Lido. A marvellous selection of snacks made to order. Lido restaurant coped well even when the ship was full and we loved Meridian for dinner. 3. The destination ports - where we took a tour in each port. All guides were incredibly knowledgeable and my personal favourite (in Helsinki) had a wicked sense of humour. Thomson maybe not quite as slick as others in terms of excursion organisation but the choice is extensive and I felt were greater value for money than other cruise companies. The only negative for us was the difficulty in securing a table for two at dinner in the Meridian restaurant which is our preference. Not a big issue though and we didn't mind the odd occasions where we had to share. In summary, great ports and excellent onboard experience plus top notch Thomson staff made this a cruise to remember. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We have sailed with Thomson many times, but we consider that " penny pinching " is now in force. Menu wise - now only three courses, unless you request an extra starter, but food in general was ok. Ship just the same - charming ... Read More
We have sailed with Thomson many times, but we consider that " penny pinching " is now in force. Menu wise - now only three courses, unless you request an extra starter, but food in general was ok. Ship just the same - charming - but does show its age. Entertainment probably the worst we have experienced, no lack of effort, but the singing quality not up to scratch, fortunately the dancing was first class. The lectures on board very interesting. Having had my little moan I am sure we will travel with Thomson in the future, we like the smaller ships and without doubt the staff just cannot be beaten. The excursions we did with Thomson ok, but over-priced. In St Petersburg we did a 2 day Grand Tour with Alla Tours and would strongly recommend them. All in all we had a great fortnight and met with many interesting people Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We had wanted to do a Baltic cruise so the chance to sail from Newcastle was too good to miss. Very handy and well organised. However ough we'd sailed on Celebration two years ago, standards have dropped, in food, service and ... Read More
We had wanted to do a Baltic cruise so the chance to sail from Newcastle was too good to miss. Very handy and well organised. However ough we'd sailed on Celebration two years ago, standards have dropped, in food, service and entertainment. We had upgraded to a deluxe outside cabin and the walls were badly insulated to the extentar we could hear conversations on either side of us. The room was well maintained by our cabin boy but the ship is very weary. Poor bathrooms supplies with soap and body wash dispensers. No shampoo etc. The staff were generally very helpful though getting top ups of drinks in the main dining room was hit and miss. The food wasn't always hot, small portions and no luxury offerings, except lobster Thermidor which was frozen and bland. We paid to eat in the three speciality restaurants but Mistrals was not as good as on previous ships. The hot stone was just outside the lido so not a particularly good spot. The best of the three was definitely Kora La which was splendid. The ship seems to dock in cheap moorings well away from the main highlights more often so we had to walk taxi or pay for the Thomson shuttle. The sun lounge is a nice location if you want a more comfortable sun bed away from the noise of the lido. The entertainment staff worked hard but the shows have been around for some years on Thomson ships and need updating. It was also hard to get a drink in the show bar at night- we'd place an order then never see it or only part of the order arrived. The gym was totally unsupervised and people were using machines wearing flip flops and totally inappropriate wear. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Six of us joined the cruise at Newcastle Port on 15 July 2017. Embarkation was easy; we had booked a suite so we got priority boarding but there was a large queue of people awaiting their ticket colour being called. Our cabin was ... Read More
Six of us joined the cruise at Newcastle Port on 15 July 2017. Embarkation was easy; we had booked a suite so we got priority boarding but there was a large queue of people awaiting their ticket colour being called. Our cabin was excellent, it had a bath, which was a bonus and the cabin steward introduced himself and did a fantastic job for the fortnight. The itinerary was the main reason we booked and we weren't disappointed in Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, St Petersburg etc - amazing places to visit if even for a short time. Why such a small ship docks in Kalundborg rather than going straight into Copenhagen like the rest of the ships, I'm unsure; it may have something to do with the cheaper docking fees and the fact that Thomsons can then upsell a trip for an extortionate price. The ship was in a state of 'increased hygiene' for the first 4 days of our trip, no explanation was forthcoming from Thomsons; one thing their PR department do really well is ignore negative issues rather than explain them to their paying customers. The swimming pools had no water in them, no self service food or drinks, library, games etc closed off. This all changed after 4 days - no explanation was forthcoming. The food was mediocre. Service in certain areas, especially behind the bar in Hemmingways (not the waiters) was terrible, the less said about the 'show' team the better. Our little one loved the kids club so that was a real positive, the 2 girls who ran it, Rachel and Laura, were superb. This has been our 4th Thomsons cruise as a group and this has been the worst service we have ever experienced. I doubt we'll be back. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Have been with Thomson to the Baltic previously but choose this itinerary as covered all the Baltic Capitals - Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki and Copenhagen. St Petersburg is still the jewel in the crown and there is so much to see. Weather was ... Read More
Have been with Thomson to the Baltic previously but choose this itinerary as covered all the Baltic Capitals - Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki and Copenhagen. St Petersburg is still the jewel in the crown and there is so much to see. Weather was good throughout though some passengers got caught in thunderstorms in St Petersburg and Berlin when on tour. Sea conditions were OK apart from the open sea from Oslo down to Denmark. Captain did not mention this but crew said it was always rough there and a warning could have been given. The ship is comfortable and adequate for the passengers it attracts. This cruise was mostly middle / old age people with a large propotion from Newcastle area and Scotland. Some one said it was all the people who would not fly for a cruise! Food and dining was excellent and no complaints there. I think that they were not selling out the 3 charged for restaurants as they were touting for custom ever day on the lido deck. I had prebooked a cabin on deck 4 and it was quiet and well maintained dby our steward Hendra. Entertainment was a bit mixed as the game shows were all repeats and becoming dated. We won several quizzes but dispute some answers as the Thmson cards have clearly not been updated. Good show teamd and excellent Queen night. 2 live comedians were were good but the second suffered a bit as jokes used the previous week. Guest interview was Bobby George the darts player and received as just about satisfactory. Had a guest interviewer, Robin Ross, but 90% of passengers had not heard of him and he made little difference. Cruise Directot, Gavin Carroll was his usual cheeky self and was excellent when presenting Mr & Mrs. WE did paid excurions at all the ports but the value for money element is always in doubt. Had to in St Petersburg but were excellent including the Russian Songs and Dances evening. I always think Destination Services Staff have their own agenda and are not very open with passengers who just wish to go ashore for a browse. Trying o push the paid for shuttle buses too mich I thought when it was easily walkable. Getting on and off the ship was straightforward bearing in mind everbody tries to do it at roughly the same time. Woud return to the Baltic again with Thomson but next year they have the Discovery, a much bigger ship doing the these cruises which should be better. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We have been cruising with Thomson since the mid nineties and have always found them very good value for money and excellent service, but on this occasion they seemed to be sadly lacking. There had been an outbreak of Noro virus on the ... Read More
We have been cruising with Thomson since the mid nineties and have always found them very good value for money and excellent service, but on this occasion they seemed to be sadly lacking. There had been an outbreak of Noro virus on the previous cruise and many of the restrictions where still in place, we only had one day when they were partially lifted. The Lido was not self service and all food was over cooked to stop any possible problems, passangers were unable to serve themselves, we were also not allowed to serve ourselves with tea or coffee. No Drinks Menus were on show for the full 14 days and no other information given to passengers regarding pricing for bar drinks. The passenger Laundry and Libary were also closed for the two weeks. Service was very slow all over the ship and especially in the main dining room. The meals generally were average and the only the soup was hot. The entertainment was at best average with the exception of the comedienne ( Brenda Collins.) We had no cinema showings even though they were advertised in the brochure. The ports of call were brilliant as were the tour reps in St Petersburg. We went on three bike tours with Martin of Star bikes which where very enjoyable and would fully recommend them. The only disappointment was that due to high winds we were unable to call at Stockholm. Would I go on the Celebration again ? Well at the moment no, I have booked Discovery 2 for next May and that will be the deciding factor whether I continue with Thomsoncruises in the future. The above is obviously my view and some first time cruisers may have thought this standard is the norm. I have sailed 16 times with Thomson and have never been dissatisfied until this cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
Ports of call were great to visit with St Petersburg been the pick (overnight wasn't long enough). Did a private tour on day one with St Petersburg travel which was well worth the money visited Winter Palace/Hermitage, Church of ... Read More
Ports of call were great to visit with St Petersburg been the pick (overnight wasn't long enough). Did a private tour on day one with St Petersburg travel which was well worth the money visited Winter Palace/Hermitage, Church of spilled blood, Si Isaacs Cathedral as well as stop offs at other places of interest.Tallin and Wismar old towns were very picturesque. Gothenburg,Helsinki and Oslo were also very interesting. Ship is very dated and when we were on board the ship the Lido buffet restaurant was under restrictions because of stomach upsets this was only lifted for a couple of days and then had to be reintroduced. Announcements were made continuously regarding passengers sanitizsing hands but Thomson need to get this message over to their staff as well based on what I witnessed. Entertainment was very average (resident singers and dancers) comedians were good.Which was a major disappointment because on previous Thomson cruises it has been as good as if not better than other cruise lines. Cruise was poor value for money compared with higher rated cruise lines eg Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Princess. . Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Overall the cruise was good, the Staff onboard could not do enough to help, service was excellent from the majority of crew members always went the extra mile to accommodate guest needs and answer and resolve any queries or problems. ... Read More
Overall the cruise was good, the Staff onboard could not do enough to help, service was excellent from the majority of crew members always went the extra mile to accommodate guest needs and answer and resolve any queries or problems. The ship is looking a little tired particularly in the main seating areas where the seats could do with a good squirt of fabreeze! Our cabin suite was roomy for two people but if there had been four of us it would have been a squash, but we were happy with it, the cabin steward was very friendly and cheerful. Food in all area's good but not exceptional but they did cater for Vegan, GF Veggies. The Entertainment Team was good but nothing to shout about some shows not really for the type of guests on board indeed on "Sea Days" ( especially the ones when the weather was poor) no extra shows were put on in the afternoon and the games of quiots, skittles etc only had very few participants - which to me should send a message to Thomson's that they need to review and update the entertainment when guests are stuck onboard and inside. BE AWARE firstly the "All Inclusive" is not is includes certain drinks but not water which was charged at a premium as was coffee in The Coffee Pot, we were charged £1.40 for a pint of beer shandy lemon (the beer was in the dea)l plus several other bits and pieces. There were other charges we had not expected, it does seem that Thomson are looking to squeeze every penny from their guest. There was lots of "Up Selling" for shops, Beauty Salonn and photo's BUT the worst thing was getting up at 5.30AM because the times of the excursions had been changed, when I spoke to the Destinations Team they said it was due to queues I would suggest this was more about convenience for Thomson's than guest ( part of going on the cruise was to visit these places) One day we had to get up early and were back on the ship by 11.00AM. Other trips were very very long 8/9 hours. Not for the faint hearted or guests that need a bit longer to get ready. We had a good time but I feel that Thomson's need to up there game, would I go again with them probably not which is a shame for all the effort made by other staff. Oh and one more thing, great thing on board about sanitizing hands saw several younger staff with Thomson uniform on not using it and one woman came out of toilet and did not even wash her hands!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Choose this cruise due to the itinerary and we had cruised with Thomson before and enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere. Felt that the holiday was spoilt by the constant push to upsell. Even before we got to the cabin we had spent £99 on wine. ... Read More
Choose this cruise due to the itinerary and we had cruised with Thomson before and enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere. Felt that the holiday was spoilt by the constant push to upsell. Even before we got to the cabin we had spent £99 on wine. Then you were encouraged to use the restaurants where you had to pay a supplement of up to£20 which I thought was a bit much when you had already paid for food and even when you dined in the main restaurant the recommendation was a steak but that came at a £10 supplement. Then one evening we returned to the cabin to find a letter saying there would be a charge added to your account as a donation to a charity. Can't remember the name of it but it read to me like a chance for Thomson to fill the unsold cabins. Yes it was only £1 per person but surely you should opt IN rather than having to opt out. Try taking money off your account and telling them you will pass it on to your favorite charity and see how far you get. Then 2 days before we docked in Wismar Germany we were informed we would be docking in a commercial area and would not be allowed to walk off the ship. If we wanted to go into Wismar (a lovely town by the way) we would have to use the shuttle bus for which there was a charge of £6 pp. After an uprising by some passengers this charge was cancelled. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose the cruise for the ports of call. The crew were excellent and all ways very helpful And the food was as we expected good English fair. The celebration is showing its age in places especially in the cabins the one we had 542 was a ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the ports of call. The crew were excellent and all ways very helpful And the food was as we expected good English fair. The celebration is showing its age in places especially in the cabins the one we had 542 was a little noisey and the vibration is a little to much when at sea. The layout of the ship is unhelpful if you eat after eight in the lido restaurant and you wish to have a drink in Hemingway bar you have to go down two decks then walk along the corridor then back due the show in progress in the showroom. The shore excursions were mostly of good value although the one to Copenhagen had to start almost a hour and half away as the ship had docked on the other side of the island. We chose to dine at all three specialist restaurants mistrals and kora al were very nice but hot stone was very poor because it was overly complicated and in fact not a very good steak at all. The midnight meal of burgers and hot dogs was very welcome if get the munchies after a few drinks speaking of which the John smiths was always very nice. Although when there is a full complement of passengers there is a shortage of seat in all the bars. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We wanted to cruise the Baltics and also the fact that we embarked in Newcastle was a bonus. Embarkation went smoothly. The first day at sea was relaxed and there were plenty of areas to sit apart from the dining areas. Oslo was the first ... Read More
We wanted to cruise the Baltics and also the fact that we embarked in Newcastle was a bonus. Embarkation went smoothly. The first day at sea was relaxed and there were plenty of areas to sit apart from the dining areas. Oslo was the first stop and was a lovely place easily accessible without having to use the shuttle buses. The next port was Gothenburg which again was lovely. Despite being told there was nothing of interest in the port we found the Volvo museum which was worth the £8 approx. entrance fee, we could have spent hours in there. We also enjoyed a walk round the lake area. Stockholm was the next stop after another day and half at sea. This too was a lovely port and we found plenty to see without the shuttle bus again. Tallin in Estonia was a beautiful little place again easily walked to from the ship. The tours we had booked In St Petersburg were spoiled somewhat by the fact that there were so many ships and big ones at that docked where we were and obviously all wanting to see the same things but all in all lovely to get a glimpse of the city. Helsinki was a bit expensive but we had a pleasant walk from the ship round the harbour which is developing nicely. Wesmar in Germany was a real favourite of my husband and I, no more ships docked to spoil things and the town and people were so friendly, hope they don't spoil it by developing the dock areas too much and hence encouraging the larger cruise lines. That is me being selfish but it would spoil the town as well. Then the last port was Kalundborg in Denmark. We didn't do the tour to Copenhagen and were so p0leased we didn't. The town was lovely and again the residents very welcoming. We had a lovely reception and were treated to folk dancing and music for the sail away by the residents. The tours to Copenhagen were marred by the huge amount of ships docked near there and again the large numbers spoiled the trip for a lot of people. On board we really didn't see much of the entertainment. A favourite was Rod Taylor who spoke on 4 sea days and related tales about his time working with the media and stars of the time, he was very good despite having had cancer and a stroke last year. My husband saw the comedian and said he was very good. All the crew were very friendly and efficient. We ate mainly in the Lido and found there was always a good choice of cooked food items and varied salad options. There was also a wok station which seemed well attended. There could be a queue on sea days at lunch time but it usually sorted itself out in not too long a wait. Everyone behaved with patience, again the waiters were very good. My husband started to feel poorly on the last day and we put it down to the fact there were a few people coughing and sneezing and possibly the air con causing some discomfort, and he is still very poorly with a fever but despite this we enjoyed the cruise and would sail with Thomson again in the future but would hope to avoid all the large cruise ships. We found that all areas on the ship to be clean and didn't notice any threadbare carpets as reported in a review. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We have been on the Celebration before and we knew what to expect. The food in both the meridian and the Lido was excellent with a good choice always hot. The entertainment was not as good as our last cruise they had problems with the ... Read More
We have been on the Celebration before and we knew what to expect. The food in both the meridian and the Lido was excellent with a good choice always hot. The entertainment was not as good as our last cruise they had problems with the speakers on several nights. The comedian Josh Daniels was excellent and Ron Taylor who had worked at Granada Tv he had worked with many celebrities and was very interesting telling us all the amusing stories. The Cabin was kept spotless by Budi , The only downside was queing for shuttle bus tickets which you could only purchase the night before from the destination team many people were complaining about this. All the countries visited where very interesting especially St Petersburgh (except for long immigration ques) We would no hesitation cruising with Thomson again. I would not book next time till a month before as when we booked we could not take off the all inc drinks pakage as they said it was free several months later we could have paid half the price with no drinks package so dont know how they can say it is free when they reduce the cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Chose this cruise because of the ports of call, all of which were superb, especially loved Venice and Split. Unfortunately we were disappointed with the ship, it was dated in parts. Our cabin was spacious and kept immaculate by our ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the ports of call, all of which were superb, especially loved Venice and Split. Unfortunately we were disappointed with the ship, it was dated in parts. Our cabin was spacious and kept immaculate by our steward. The food was mediocre. The same food was served in the waiter restaurant as in the self service Lido, only you got small portions! We ate in the Lido most nights, but by the time you queued, got your food, then your cutlery, then found somewhere to sit, the food was lukewarm. We went to the Showboat every night, the three girls were amazing singers but a couple of the lads let them down. One night quite a few people walked out during the show. The best performance was Phantom of the Opera. Our favourite bar was the Medusa as there was a group on called Top Men who were really good. Problem was if you didn't get out of the Showboat quick there were no seats left in Medusa. The flight home was a shambles, queuing up outside Corfu airport in the heat, only a few people at a time let in once they started checking in. No in flight magazines on the plane, no tea or coffee and running out of certain food. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2008
My wife and I are frequent cruisers and have always been more than happy with the service that we have experienced, but had never cruised with Thomson before. On booking I was asked to state my preference on single or double beds, I ... Read More
My wife and I are frequent cruisers and have always been more than happy with the service that we have experienced, but had never cruised with Thomson before. On booking I was asked to state my preference on single or double beds, I stated that we would like a double bed. On arrival onboard the Celebration we were shown to our cabin, only to find we had been allocated single beds and on checking our living quarters, we would have been willing to forfeit our cruise had we had been able to reclaim our luggage. The cabin itself was passable, but our toilet facilities were disgusting, our shower room was in a terrible condition. There was mold on the grouting of the tiles both on the walls and floor of the shower tray area, also in the corners of the tray. At the rear of the toilet there were tiles hanging off the wall and around the toilet between tiles was brown stains. On turning on the shower water started to come back up the drain and if taking a shower we would then be paddling in used water from the drain. We reported the problems to reception and requested a change of cabin and were told that all cabins were fully booked but that our complaints would be noted. On the following day, we returned to reception to see what progress had been made in resolving our problem and was told that the matter had been reported. We returned to our cabin later the following day to find the bin full of old sealant which had been scraped up and sealant around the shower tray and floor had been renewed, however the mould was not removed and no attempt had been made to repair the sealant around the drain and the floor remained stained. The bathroom remained unhygienic and unfit for use. The life jackets that were assigned to this cabin were also so ingrained with grease and dirt that they were also unhygienic and unfit for use, my wife and I had to wear hand towels around our necks (so that they would not touch our skin) during the lifeboat drill. The quality of the bathroom linen during this cruise was less than luxurious; at best they were tired and worn, and at worst disgusting. The vibration that run through the whole of the ship 24/7 was unbearable and must be harmful to the health, my ankles were swollen the whole trip. The pool on the lido deck was taken out of use after the first couple of days and remained closed for the remainder of the cruise and both Jacuzzi's on board were not in use the whole trip. The hygiene in the deck showers was unsatisfactory and unfit for use. On the 15th we approached reception to find out why the pool was still closed and were treated very offhand and not given an satisfactory answer, so we requested an interview with the captain. We met with the captain the following day, we expressed our thoughts on all of the above and expressed our comments on the cruise in general. However the captain was unable to provide adequate reasons or solutions for or to our problems. We booked this cruise this cruise with Thomson because we believed British was best and feel we have been badly let down, the ship was far from luxurious and although the food was served in quantity there was very little quality even the milk served was UHT long life milk. We have contacted Thomson and supplied photographic evidence for all of our comments above, the reply from Thomson customer services was unsatisfactory. Photographs are available on request. If you have cruised with Thomson and have been happy, please try another company and you will pleasantly surprised at the difference. For the same the same price we could have booked with our usual company and had a luxury cruise. Please be aware - we wasted our money - Thomson didn't care - please don't waste your money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2008
This was the second cruise we had been on (hence the title !) and was a world apart from the luxury of the first, Royal Caribbean. We were well aware that there would be a significant difference, but didn't appreciate just how much of ... Read More
This was the second cruise we had been on (hence the title !) and was a world apart from the luxury of the first, Royal Caribbean. We were well aware that there would be a significant difference, but didn't appreciate just how much of a culture shock awaited.... Embarkation was well organized and bags arrived quickly at our cabin. We were a little disappointed that our cabin had single beds and not a double, but not the end of the world. All was clean and tidy and we remained well looked after throughout. The facilities onboard are basic but adequate, the days at sea can be long - there is only so many quizzes that any one person can cope with ! The crew were excellent and carry out there duties professionally. As other reviewers have already stated, the crew are very friendly indeed and I wouldn't make any comment against them. It's a tough job they have chosen to do ! It can't be easy entertaining and pleasing so many utterly demanding individuals (you know who you are !) I would however point the finger at "the management", with respect to a couple of matters. i. Our late arrival in Stockholm meant that, having organized tickets for the Absolut Ice Bar independently, as Thomsons didn't offer this trip, we forfeited them as we were 30 mins too late for our allocated time. This, despite our initial ETA only being delayed by 45mins which turned in 90mins which ended up 180mins. Strange as weather conditions were favorable the whole time. My guess is that, like flight arrivals, if you miss "your slot" the the ship incurs extra fees, so they take what is available to keep costs down (Thomsons, feel free to correct me on this point). So EUR60 down, we walked rather quickly around Stockholm before it was time to leave. ii. Helsinki. As a result of our delayed passage, our arrival at Helsinki was late also and taking a "cheap berth" miles from the town, meant an impromptu shuttle bus was required to transport almost the entire passenger list 800yards outside the dock area as we were not considered responsible or "grown up" enough to walk through a "dangerous" industrial area at a weekend when there was no traffic at all !!! The rest of the trip in the main was fine, ignoring the entertainment of an evening - I'm a grown adult for goodness sake, I DO NOT NEED Patronized in the name of having a good time. Leaving the ship was met with a certain element of disappointment - it had been a good trip all in all, but the sheer rage when Thomsons caused when we got ashore soon killed off any feeling of melancholy. During the process of being herded off the the ship and our baggage being removed, the rain started. Heavily. When we arrive at the car park we were to find our cases, bags, suits, dresses, lying on the ground, in the rain being stood on and run over be trolleys as people scrambled to recover there elegant and expensive belongings. This was the final straw. It seemed like a case of.....you've had your adequate holiday, we've had your money, see you later. Some small gazebo type structure would have avoided this completely, but that would have cost money. All in all, there seems to be considerable cost savings, or penny pinching as we would call it going on during the cruise and I will not be seeing Thomsons later, at all. That said, I should also add, that it is very family oriented, so if its your first cruise, and you have kids and no expectations, them go for Thomson. I'm sure you'll love it. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2008
This was our fourth cruise with Thomsons and our second on the Celebration so we had a good idea what to expect. Check-in was a fairly painless process and we were settled and unpacked by around 4 o'clock to see the ship leave a ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise with Thomsons and our second on the Celebration so we had a good idea what to expect. Check-in was a fairly painless process and we were settled and unpacked by around 4 o'clock to see the ship leave a rather grey Harwich. So - onto the full cruise review! Ship Cleanliness. Our cabin was spotless and was kept nice and tidy by our cabin "boy", Husni, throughout the cruise. The ship itself is pretty clean but some of the carpets are a little worn. Ship maintenance is a never ending task and there was always something being painted or repaired. The inside smoking ban has helped to make the interior more pleasant with no more nasty stale tobacco smells. Crew What can you say? They bend over backwards to help and are always smiling and joking. Nothing is too much trouble for them. I cannot say a bad word about any of the crew. Ship Food We ate at both the Lido buffet and Meridian restaurant. The food was of a high quality at both. The buffet is not "help yourself" but the servers will put as much or as little as you want on your plates. Finding seats was a little trickier on this cruise, perhaps because the weather meant more people ate inside. The Meridian food is superb and as good as any hotel or restaurant I've eaten at. The service was fast and efficient and we had two very good waiters - Bem and Richie - who kept us entertained. Onboard Entertainment The quality of entertainment is in the eye of the beholder. I heard one person compare it to Butlin's in the 70's but as someone who used to holiday every year at Butlin's in the 70's, I can reassure people it isn't that bad. We didn't think the evening stage shows were very good this year and the quality of the singing in particular was poor. The evening game shows were generally good, but did get a little silly at times; the "Miss Celebration" contest was very cringeworthy, although my kids loved it. During the day there were plenty of games, quizzes, lectures and films to keep just about everybody amused. Now, let's deal with the ports of call: Stockholm Some problems with the weather meant we were late arriving at Stockholm and our visit there was cut to a little less than three hours. The journey in to Stockholm is a complete joy; a three hour trip through the small islands and inlets of the archipelago. Once in the city, we wandered around the old town and the Royal Palace and took a pleasant stroll along the water front. Helsinki The ship was forced to berth some distance from the city, probably due to our late arrival. A complimentary shuttle bus was provided to the city but the queues were horrendous and we had to wait 40 minutes before we caught the bus. Apparently only two buses were available. That was the only hiccup, though, but it did give the moaners a chance to air their voices! Once in the city we took the 3B tram which is a circular route taking in the main sites, wandered around the shops and watched some street performers that were quite entertaining. St Petersburg As you are not allowed ashore without a visa, we took three excursions at St Petersburg. These are not particularly cheap (£30 - £40 per adult) but there is a good selection. We went to the Hermitage which was OK, but very crowded and rushed. Our guide was very good. Public toilets are rare so take the opportunity to go when you get one! In the evening we went to the ballet, "Swan Lake". This was excellent. Getting out of the theatre was a farce; around a thousand people were funneled through two tiny exits. One shudders to think what would have happened had there been a fire. The other trip was a guided coach tour around the city with plenty of photo stops. Tallinn An absolute delight of a city, helped by the warm weather! The city is not big and it was easy to wander from the ship, through the cobbled streets to the main sites. We enjoyed a drink at the town square and visited the oldest pharmacy in Europe! Warnemunde This is a very pleasant seaside resort with frequent rail services to nearby Rostock. We spent the day wandering around Warnemunde, though, as there are lots of shops, bars and general "goings on" to keep you amused. Kalundburg The excursions to Copenhagen were fully booked so we decided to explore the town. We were pleased we did as there is loads to do. A shuttle bus dropped us in the centre, right next to a small flea market. The church is a short walk away and right next to that was a small museum. Entrance to this was free for cruise passengers and you got the impression that we were special guests at the town. They even provided a brass band to see us off! All in all it was a very good cruise. The weather wasn't brilliant but we didn't expect that for northern Europe. The sights and the enjoyable time onboard more than made up for it! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2008
Well this was my first cruise so also my first time with Thomson and there ship the Thomson Celebration. We was both pleased on how easy getting your luggage from the car and on to the ship,it was so easy. We was given our ... Read More
Well this was my first cruise so also my first time with Thomson and there ship the Thomson Celebration. We was both pleased on how easy getting your luggage from the car and on to the ship,it was so easy. We was given our boarding/charge cards and after 5 minutes we was free to have a wander around the ship and find our cabin, We tipped our cabin boy straight away as a few people recommended this and I'm glad we did because our cabin was always kept spotless. The Food........ The food was 24/7 and always served with a smile and with great service. There was always a huge selection of food to choose from hot and cold. I always opted for a large cooked breakfast :)) then there was lunch again a wide selection of food. Most of the cruise we ate in the formal restaurant that offers a great selection and fab food (I recommend the Sea bass) Even 1-2am in the morning there was a food ranging from Burgers to Pizzas with fries. The Ship........... I had read a few forums where people had said the ship was rather dated, I would tend to agree that the ship is rather dated and the Lido restaurant reminded me of BHS food halls however I would stress although dated the ship was spotless. The Staff............... Wow the staff are out of this world and the service is fab fab fab they work such long hours and still find the time to speak with you and ask you how your day went :)) With Thomson Tips are included but I would personally stress that you tip staff at the end of your holiday because they are worth every penny. The Entertainment........... For me this was the only shortfall of our holiday :(( Although the youngsters do try there best it is still very second class acting and singing. There is also a band called "The summerland band" these are dreadful and are not even able to hold a note, the lead singer reminded me of Peters & Lee without the talent. There are a couple of entertainment staff that are great and manage to keep people laughing and smiling :)) Peewee Emma and Bren. In short if you are not worried or concerned about being entertained then this is a great ship. Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise