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Sail Date: August 2010
Joined ship at Marmaris for Ottoman Treasures Cruise on Monday 16th August 2010. Firstly,advised of change to itinary and would be visiting Dikili and not Cannakale so no trip to Troy. 1st departure from brochure and although disappointed ... Read More
Joined ship at Marmaris for Ottoman Treasures Cruise on Monday 16th August 2010. Firstly,advised of change to itinary and would be visiting Dikili and not Cannakale so no trip to Troy. 1st departure from brochure and although disappointed we all hoped the only one. However, we were only at the beginning of a trip which turned out hugely disappointing for very many reasons. A major mechanical failure meant we did not sail until Wednesday. Then all day at sea to arrive in istanbul a day late. Sailed all day Friday so now on ship for 4 days out of 5 on a 7 day cruise that was meant to have 5 ports of call in addition to Maramaris. we were advised stops at Dikili and Rhodes would need to be abandoned thus leaving Santorini on Saturday and Kusadasi on Sunday before returning to Marmaris at the end of our cruise. However, we never made it to Santorini as the weather meant we could not anchor. You may think that Thomson can do nothing about this until you learn the ship hardly ever gets into Santorini, however, Thomson keep it on their itinary as it presents a very great attraction to people thinking of which cruise to book. This announcement was made when a lot of [bored]people were in the cinema at the time [which does not receive ship's announcements] and some of whom then woke up on Saturday to discover they were in Kusadasi and not Santorini.Rhodes was then visited on Sunday having previously been cancelled. In addition to the above obvious disappiontments the infrastucure on this ship is nearing the end of it's useful life. The toilets were out of operation for 3 hours on the Monday 16th and are a persistant problem. The lifts are regularly "Out Of Order". On Saturday while at our dinner the generator broke down. The Meridian restaurant started to become extremely hot and uncomfortable while we spent an hour trying to eat our food in the semi-darkness of the emergency lighting.This lasted for about 1 hour. my wife and I have cruised many times with Thomson and have never found fault with the waiting staff in any of the public places. However,on this trip the staff in the Broadway Show Lounge and Hemingway Lounge were always unsmiling and sometimes were simply not there.[If you are AI you will not get your money's worth]. On a positive note the food is good [strangely much much better in the buffet than the service restaurant], the shows are mostly very good,energetic and inventive. The weekly comedian is a bit of a let down--asking if there are any Welsh people in and then making a sheep noise is pathetically not funny.[I am not from Wales]. Finally, while my wife and I do not mind the more relaxed approach to any dress code we do object to the relaxed approach by ship's staff to some unacceptably yobbish behaviour by a very small minority aboard. Example --a young boy keeping the lift doors on the reception deck open as an adhoc goalmouth while his father kicked a full size football at him--we found this amazing behavior on a ship. As I have said this behaviour was by a few and did not detract greatly from our holiday in itself but was magnified in it's effect as a consequence of the extra unexpected time spent onboard. Overall this was a very disappointing cruise due mostly to this ship's shortcomings and the unpleasant dispostion of too many of the staff. [perhaps they were also impacted upon by people being on the ship when normally they would have been ashore]. However, we shall not return and hopefully you can make a more informed decision now before you consider booking. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
well after winning a cruised down the nile on a scratch card earlier in the year and my dinner guest jerry went and died on the first morning of the cruise it was all 'mummified this' and 'death' that and 'dying ... Read More
well after winning a cruised down the nile on a scratch card earlier in the year and my dinner guest jerry went and died on the first morning of the cruise it was all 'mummified this' and 'death' that and 'dying this that and the other' as the poor egptian sailors stuggled to get his body off the boat they bumped into me with poor old Jerrys head & it was at that precise point that i voowed to to start livng my life abit more and to make to the very most of my time left on this mostly sea filled planet-Im only forty seven but seeing that body made me think about life and what it shold be for? MORE PLEASURE So-January. snow evverywhere and im alandscape gardener what to do? There it was staring at me on the holiday briochure Egypt again right price right week right places and some places id deciided i really wanted to go back and do someday- to me this was the filling the gaps tour the finishing off ticking the boxes tour- So by the start of february off i went; cheap inside cabin nothing FANCY slisghtly older ship and A Rock solid BRITISH SOUNDING holiday firm the Thompsons Celebration! The sun shone the boat despite being an bit long in the tooth still looked clean mean and all shiny and pointy at the front end-And definately like it was relly going to take us somwhere special- and so it did.... I'd done the pyramids before -so i didnt need to see them this time theyre just big pointy triangle things anyway! No, for me the main thing was to see the absolutely magnificent and stupedously different carved city of Petra in that fascinating plave called For me this time it was about being able to travel deep into the dessert on a jeep track. to run down asand dune and stand on the very spot where Lawrence of Arabia stood-which of course meant doing the camel ride and posing with all the Arab headgear! Lifes too short i relised that earlier in the year and i was here to spend my hard earned dosh and do the flipping lot!- I did indeed do my jeep ride in the dessert -And i ran down a mssive soft text book proper sand dune but also I saw graffitti actually scrawled by Lawrence himself- and the time on land was juat a total matvel from start to end- But like i say iwas her to do the flipping lot so that was going to involve som underwater things- Tey organised me a iving trip at Soma Bay for just sixty pounds.I began to get nervous . Embarassing to tell you thi but yours truly is scared of fish. I not only cant touch them but i can put my hand anywhere near them I wont go in water next to them and definetly cant stand them flapping about anywhere near me at all- so at the appointed time the more than helpful ships staff walked me personally down to the quayside and they even pre warned the diving peole that a scared of fifh bloke was coming their way and to take extra care of me! after waiting only a mere minute or two a nice brighly painted minibus with some arab chappie arrive all snmiles and ready to pick me up-but oh dear whwere was the other people -'Youre the only two' they said- Just myself and my travelling companion mark- all the same we got the best full on,nothing too much trouble treatment and as my mate mark was a qualified diver they took him sowehere special and i was left alone with my fear of fish building and the taxi driver telling me to 'ome come'.Down on an idyllic baech a moment later i was treated to an excellent instructional talk by a very charming but reassuringly confident mulitiligual lady and was given my very own individual one to one instructor -out we went all james bond style in at rigid raider boat at top speed till a mile out and woried about drowning i was invited to 'all in backwards' -back ward says I !.."hat if there some fish in there? "What if one comes near me? the guy reasured me that there were thousands down there and that none would come near me- Whhat! thousand..... of real fish just there! and you want me to fall in? backward? Well sixty quid is sixty quid so scared or not i was gonna get my moneys worth! (im from Yorkshire arent I!) One big splash one sight of the fish the reef,.. the colours and the 'Ooh doesnt it look pretty'- then the fear went! The guide held my hand all the way as arranged and i took to it like well like afish to water! Back at the ship that night it was some sort of special grub night again at the restaurant and all my new friends were highly amused to hear about my fishy adventures all they had to talk about was some big pointy stone things! and 'all the irritating beggars'-.in smelly backwards cairo- (they loved it really) I on the other hand, had been in the different world of a coral reef-and just the day before id done my Lawrence of Arabia imppression and what to say about Petra? better than the pyramids !My tour guide there was marvellous highly amusing and wherever you on land with the celebratio tours-the waiters followed us allover the place and they were always just to hand at all the right moments,ready with the jumbo bags of disinfectant gel-so no-one at all ever got any stomach problems whatsoever and the food on land in egypt was marvellous But the food on board ? No offence Jerry,but it was to die for!Well all i need to say is i put half a stone on Well to hell with it!im on holiday- i had two dinners one night it was that good -& you call me greedy if you like but Thompson cruises are so genuine, down to earth and freiendly that i'll have two of those as well- Cruising the Red Sea is THE thing to do in january-or February the weathers just nice and warm like gentle summers day back home,the flight isnt too long the time difference is negligeable and for anyone scared of rough seas? Dont worry -Flat as a mill pond is all ive got to say- And well organised? you betcha! An old ship? Yes and not huge-no glass lifts or fancy pools but tidy traditional and old time - Everything that you needed was there. They even left a chocolate sweetie on my pillow each night -which got annoying sometimes when i came in drunk, crashed out and woke up with an ear full of chocolate! All in all the red sea cruise is a tight t tidy nifty little cruise route It takles in the Pyramids River Nile lost city or petra-the dessert jeep rides tha scuba diiving what more do you want? ACtually one port in Saudi Arabia would be good but will they lets us in there? seems not? Stil its nice to sail along almost constanly in sight of land- with Saudi on one side and Egypt or Israel the other- Highly recommended! Martin Stephens Read Less
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