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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Hi, We are regular Thomson cruisers, (Marella Cruises) as it is now named, We have been on several of their ships, both past and present. However we had not sailed on the Spirit until November this year, when we booked the Ancient ... Read More
Hi, We are regular Thomson cruisers, (Marella Cruises) as it is now named, We have been on several of their ships, both past and present. However we had not sailed on the Spirit until November this year, when we booked the Ancient Affairs cruise, this originally should have been the Sprit's penultimate cruise before being taken out of the fleet due to her age. Thomson/Marella reversed the decision apparently as a result of customer power, and reprieved her for at least one more season. We were on her sister ship the Celebration in March this year for a 12 night repositioning cruise from Dubai to Jordan. As usual the Celebration came up to our expectations on every level, So it was no problem to sign up for the Spirit, which had as good a reputation in some reviews as her sister. Both have Horizon bars, Broadway Show Lounges, and other bars and Lounges of identical size and location. However we did notice that the All Inclusive package had shrunk somewhat between our March and November trips. In March we had draught Lager, Cider and Bitter. this time only draught lager was available. The cocktail list was much shorter also, charges had snuck in for a number of things that had previously been included, plus others had disappeared completely. The food choice in the Compass Rose Restaurant appeared to also have been reduced, less choices per course, although as usual the Waiters and Maître De's were brilliant and entertaining. She was due to have one further Cruise after ours, then laid up for 3 months, the crew going home for a well earned rest during that time .However a few confided that they weren't sure if they were going to be offered their jobs back. We enjoyed the Jerusalem/Bethlehem excursion, although it was a full on 10 hours trip it was worth it just for Jerusalem and the wailing wall, however Bethlehem not so much as the Church of the Nativity is cloaked in scaffolding and plastic sheeting, of course such an old building has to be maintained, but Thomson forgot to mention this when selling us the excursion. Only other criticism was that the Reception Staff were incredibly disinterested in sorting out anticipated issues with our transfers to Thomson Hotels on Cyprus as part of the Cruise and Stay package. The anticipated issues did come to pass, resulting in a large group of us not having any transport for an hour after leaving the ship at the appointed time. The minibus driver who turned up didn't know the location of our Hotel in Paphos, having to ask directions at a car hire office. The Hotel 'The King Jason' was fantastic; and will be reviewed separately Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
So here is my review of my first ever cruise on the Thomson Celebration (Mediterranean Sunrise). Obviously I have nothing to compare it with as I have never sailed before, but I have stayed in dozens of hotels worldwide so I will try to be ... Read More
So here is my review of my first ever cruise on the Thomson Celebration (Mediterranean Sunrise). Obviously I have nothing to compare it with as I have never sailed before, but I have stayed in dozens of hotels worldwide so I will try to be as honest as I can. Sorry it is so long, there’s so much to say, but I have subtitled each section for ease of reference. * Outbound Flight – We flew early morning from Manchester to Aqaba, Jordan and the 5 ½ hour flight was hassle free. We were only 30 minutes late taking off and they gave us breakfast an hour in. Complimentary drinks were plentiful and they didn’t dawdle when serving them either. All flight staff demonstrated great customer service skills, politeness and efficiency. We collected our suitcases quickly and the bus ride to the ship was only 30 minutes. My only gripe here was we hadn’t been told we were getting the meal and spent £25 on breakfast at the airport. That said we also ate the inflight meal (“coz we’re on holiday”, lol). * Embarkation - Our first ever experience of the embarkation/registration process was like being on the boat ride in ‘Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory’, but in a nice way. It was all so very quick and well organised like a conveyor belt moving us from photograph taking, form checking, medical declarations signed, debit card registration, optional dining extras and handing us our cabin keys with great efficiency. Everyone was very ‘happy clappy’, we loved the excitement of it all and we came out the other side like kids in a candy shop. We went straight to our room to change into clothes we’d packed in our hand luggage and our suitcases were outside our room when we left it 10 minutes later. * Cabin - Deck 6 cabin 207 (Deluxe standard) – Reviewed below. * Food – We ate in the Lido restaurant mostly and never had a single item that wasn’t delicious. Breakfast they have back bacon, eggs done to perfection, omelettes made to order and pancakes to die for. Lunch and Evening Meal were equally good. Food was mostly English fare. We tended to not have an evening meal though as we were too full to enjoy the evening festivities, so we took to eating at around midnight before bedtime when there were curries, pizza, burgers and chicken strips to devour from the Lido. We enjoyed a few meals in the Meridian where the meals were more set and this was a great way to meet other cruisers as we always shared a table (in the Lido you tend to just sit on your own). We paid £47 each to eat in the Hot Stone Terrace, Mistrals and Kora La. All 3 were fabulous, lovely food, great service and well worth the money we paid. But if you’re on a budget, you won’t feel like you missed out if you don’t do these. * Bars/Entertainment – We tended to go to Liberties in the evening and joined in many of the quizzes, fun and games. The entertainment team really are 1st class in our view. Adam, Chris, Luke and Shaneece made a great holiday even better. We went to some of the Broadway shows and loved them all, even the 2 comedians and Braximusic (those guys were amazing). So we didn’t miss out we also did Hemmingway’s 2 evenings and Horizons 2 days, as well as the Coffee Port afternoon. There really is a bar to cater for ever preference on this ship. Drinks were always good, we stuck to the AI drinks and we had more than our money’s worth on this holiday (had we have paid for it of course). * Staff – Amazing people! They work their socks off these guys. The Lido Deck and Liberties bar staff/waiters were super quick and attentive to when your glass was empty. The other bar areas were pretty efficient too, but just not a quick as Liberties, which made us feel as if we were not getting the best service from them. Every member of the service or cleaning staff said hello when you passed them and always had a smile. They are really a credit to Thomson. I’ve been told we had new starters learning the ropes as the experienced staff has moved to the newer ships, but you can’t tell. The crew and captain are also very friendly whether on or off the boat. The entertainment team tend to be less friendly when not on official duties, or rather less welcoming if you say hello. I couldn’t help but feel like I was intruding if we tried to talk to them when they were having a drink on the Lido deck after a show. * Pools/sunbeds – They were cold and only a handful ventured in. I presume this will improve later in the summer season. We didn’t struggle for a sunbed, but usually went to the Lido sun deck rather than the cushioned ones on deck 9 (got these on last day and they are amazingly comfortable). * Photographs - There was an offer on the 1st day on official photographs. £70 for every picture they take, so we couldn’t resist. Again we were like little kids queuing for the ice cream man whenever we got off the ship and went for our evening meal. We’ve got over 100 pictures and they’re brilliant. So that’s the parent’s Christmas presents sorted this year. * Shops – Only a small number of shops, with a good variety of items from tobacco and jewellery, to clothes and souvenirs. We had no intention of buying anything but couldn’t resist it as the prices were very good. The cigarette offer we got were £25 per 200, the same in UK would have been £85 per 200. We only purchased 800 (I know the limit is 200 each) and we were lucky we didn’t have any taken from us in the UK as I know others did. We didn’t bother buying alcohol as they were all glass bottles that have to go into your hold luggage and the savings were only a couple of quid a bottle. Prices on some items did get reduced later in the cruise, so wait if you can till the last day but make sure it will opens as it only opens when ship is at sea. * Wi-Fi – Costs a fortune! We just got free Wi-Fi in port in any coffee shop. From official Thomson card = 1 hour (max 75mb) £8 – 1 day (max 300mb) £15 – 3 days (max 800mb) £25 – 1 week (max 1200mb) £49 – 2 weeks (max 2200mb) £90. * Disembarkation/Malaga Airport – Every flight but 1 was early morning, however all passengers have to vacate their rooms at 7am. You can pay £25 to keep your room if you’re on a late flight. Our bus was 8.10am, so we ate breakfast at 6am when the Lido opened to beat the rush. We left the room at 7am and waited by the door on deck 4 to get off as soon as it opened. That meant we were on bus 1 leaving the port first. That also meant there were no queues at check in and as the Spanish don’t rush when checking you in, these can and did build up quickly. It also meant that we went through security without any delay either. The same cannot be said for anyone on buses 2 and above, they had a minor nightmare through check in and security, so I’m lead to believe. It wasn’t helped that we were all told to go to zone B for the gates, but the passport control box in zone B was unmanned for at the time we went through security, therefore it looked as though it was closed for the day. Luckily we knew this would open an hour before the first flight as we’d been through Malaga 6 months earlier, so we waited nearby and went through once it opened. Again we missed the major queues and our flight left on time from the gate announced. I appreciate others did not have the same experience, so can only attribute our luck to our early start before the masses and that our plane wasn’t delayed as others were. * Would I go again? – In a heartbeat yes. In short though I loved cruising and this won’t be my last. I will choose Thomson again and the Celebration will be top of my list. Why? The staff and other customers completely made this holiday the best I’ve ever had. Because the ship is not enormous we were able to meet many people who were so friendly. Of all the passengers we spoke to during our 13 days on board, only 1 couple said they wouldn’t do Thomson’s again and their reasons were that the food and entertainment is better on P&O. I would rather pay Thomson’s prices as I was completely happy with just about everything. * Excursions/ports of call Petra, Jordan – We did the Thomson excursion and it was worth every penny of the £120pp we paid. The bus ride took 2 ½ hours with one 15 minute stop off and you get 3-4 hours to view the site which is amazing, but a very long walk down to the main areas. We made it to The Treasury, Hadrian Gate and the Theatre and we walked for nearly 2 hours! There was lots more to see, but it would take us 2 hours to get back up to the entrance/exit, so we had to turn around and go back. If you stay with the guide it takes longer as they stop often to talk about everything. We followed another couple who’d been there before. You can get a horse or a pony and trap, but we slugged it out. The horses are whipped to death both up and down the hill and I didn’t trust the pony/trap drivers as there was a collision on the day we were there between 2 of these. You get a meal on this trip at a local hotel before you return home. It’s AI and satisfactory (but not a patch on the ship’s food). Chana, Crete – We did this ourselves using the map from Destination Services which is very useful. Short bus ride immediately off the ship’s gangway to the main street, then a leisurely walk around the harbour area and old town. Valletta, Malta – We did the 3 Islands tour with Thomson’s here. First off a speedboat ride over to Gozo. This was a white knuckle ride as the sea was choppy and it was pretty breezy. We loved it, but we’re 50 years young and there were people in their 80’s who weren’t as excited bouncing around at break neck speed. On Gozo we took to the road in jeeps, which were a little cramped in the back (I had a front seat lol). We visited some lovely areas, but The Azure Window (as seen in Game of Thrones) is no more as the sea took it away in early March. I was a little disappointed, but you can’t blame Mother Nature. We stopped at a beach café then back over to Malta, visiting the caves on Comino on the way. The weather was not good on this day, so this trip was slightly marred by that. However it’s still worth the £70pp we paid. Palma, Majorca – Again we did our own thing here. There is a ‘Hop On Hop Off’ bus immediately off the ship here, but it has a long queue when everyone gets off the ship first thing. It costs 18 Euros per person with headphones and we did a full round trip taking pictures of sites along the way. We got off at the shopping centre and had some lunch at a local bar then walked back to the ship. Cartagena, Spain – This is a beautiful town and you can do it yourself here. The main places to see are within a 10 minute walk of the ship. We saw the Amphitheatre, the Castle of Conception and the Bullring. The buildings are all amazing here. It was Bank Holiday so we were also treated to a parade by the local children in band uniform. Delightful. I spent nothing here as I’d inadvertently left my purse of the ship, but only realised when we went to buy a coffee and get some free Wi-Fi, lol. Gibraltar, UK – We did our own thing here. We walked into town rather than wait for the shuttle as the queue was very long. We wanted to do the cable car to the apes so we ignored all the tour guides in mini buses (Gibraltar Rock Tours or something) as they started off quoting 35 euros each to take the tour of the rock, apes, St Michael’s Cave etc. They also told us the cable car had 45 minutes wait and we would only save a few pounds, but it would take us 3 hours to walk through the reserve to get to the apes. We thought they were embellishing the truth a little to get our business, so we walked 30 minutes to the cable car only to find they were indeed telling us the truth. So we went outside to the nearest mini bus and paid £25 each for the tour. It was brilliant, he talked us through all the areas and gave us interesting facts along the way. We passed all the cable car walkers on the way up and back down and completed the tour in 90 minutes. He even dropped us in town so we could shop and buy some fish and chips for lunch, yummy. Most of the shops were offering discount for Celebration customers and I got a Pandora safety chain for £45 instead of £60. TIP - Do your research and only do the Thomson excursions that you’ll find difficult doing yourself or where you are worried about getting back on time. Our friends did a few Thomson excursions where they paid £36 each and ended up doing what we did for next to nothing. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Flight delayed out from Glasgow.Booked in premium on 767 300.Premium cabin as expected,Arrived Dubai(The smaller airport)Through customs fairly quickly, and then the problems began.Airport very quiet.Only one other flight from ... Read More
Flight delayed out from Glasgow.Booked in premium on 767 300.Premium cabin as expected,Arrived Dubai(The smaller airport)Through customs fairly quickly, and then the problems began.Airport very quiet.Only one other flight from Birmingham.Got chatting to a lady from Solihull who told me she'd been waiting since 0900 for her luggage time now 1115.Cases were very sporadic, two would appear then nothing for ten minutes.Carousel stopped at 1125 and around 12 couples without luggage.Ironically it was the passengers who had paid for premium service. After a lengthy discussion with terminal staff,we exited the baggage hall at 1515 minus luggage. Great start Thomson after 8 hour flight. Embarkation process quick( probably due to all others onboard).Guest relations team went into well rehearsed mode, stating it wasn't their responsibility,as our gripe was with the airline.Im sorry Thomson, the Tui group i.e. Thomson, First Choice and Falcon are your responsibility.We were told cases could be still in Glasgow, or could be on their way to Manchester,as they could have been left onboard at Dubai ???No communication no answers.This is the Thomson way. We were eventually awarded £50 per person onboard spend to get some essentials.Having booked dinner in the Burj Kalifa (who enforce a strict dress code) I guessed jeans, trainers and a hoody wouldn't cut it. Cancelled dinner.Shirt cost £64 in shop onboard.So didn't buy.Went to cabin 054(Sir Robert Scott suite.) Clean and roomy although a tad dated.Ate at buffet and off to bed.Luggage arrived at 0910 next morn(apparently they'd been off loaded in Dubai and forgotten.) Decided to make the most of our cruise. Food onboard surprisingly good,reviews stating otherwise totally unfounded.Staff fantastic and work tirelessly. Range of drinks surprisingly good if on AI.Speciality dining nice but not worth extra cost given standard of food in MDR.Day four plumbing in cabin playing up(Thomsons fleet seem to be plagued by this problem.) When emptying wash basin raw sewage floods into bath.Disgusting!!Phoned reception assured problem would be sorted. Signs ship wide warning of washing hands,hygiene and norovirus(joke really)Problem seemed to settle,however returned with a vengeance three days later.Complained in person at reception to be asked by reception staff "Who do you want me to call?" What!, are they for real? Plumber?Ghostbusters? Magican? Witnessed plumber sort the problem this time.Given more compensation but had to sign disclaimer.Thomson simply not good enough. Cruisers to Thomson state "You get what you pay for" Well I don't buy into this as Thomson can be as expensive as 5* lines who give 5* experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
My wife suffers from M.S. so we were a wee bit apprehensive as to how a cruise ship would suit anyone with a disability. Thomson were fantastic as we were provided with an adapted cabin with a wet room etc, with no extra charge. As 1st ... Read More
My wife suffers from M.S. so we were a wee bit apprehensive as to how a cruise ship would suit anyone with a disability. Thomson were fantastic as we were provided with an adapted cabin with a wet room etc, with no extra charge. As 1st time cruisers, we were very impressed with how easy it was for wheelchair users to get around the ship. The only gripe was that there was only 1 disabled toilet on board which was mostly used by able bodied folk who were too lazy to use the normal toilets!!!! Ok, getting that of my chest, the cruise itself was brilliant. the ship is a bit dated,but the service provided by "every" member of staff was 5 star. Cabin cleaned twice a day, food in all of the restaurants of a high quality. Entertainment was varied and mostly very good. To summarize, I would highly recommend the Thomson Celebration as it's not too formal and it certainly good value for money. The friendliness and the service of the crew made our 1st experience on a cruise ship a very memorable one. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
bad bits first ... Do not get me started on the planes madagascar airline (from the film madagascar ) only thing missing was the hula girl on the flight deck dash not impressed one bit for a 8hr flight i plus others were appalled at ... Read More
bad bits first ... Do not get me started on the planes madagascar airline (from the film madagascar ) only thing missing was the hula girl on the flight deck dash not impressed one bit for a 8hr flight i plus others were appalled at being crammed in this plane cold food naff films naff games and.... Kids.... ! i know they have to fly in the cabin space but why shove them in the middle aisle near the back away from toilets why not take note of other airlines let them on first near the front near the toilets kids love toilets on planes for some reason and have to use them at least least twenty times and thats before we have left the shores of the uk. give then a goodie bag filled with crap for them to ferret through come on thomson wake up adults take kids on holiday now a days one film for kids whoop whoop that lasts what 1hr 20 minutes whoop whoop the flight was 8hrs long what they meant to do for the rest of the flight ....oh yeah use the loo !!!! The ship is a tired "Old Lady" Vibrated 24/7 Thomson staff ... Um no comment ! They where far to busy taking selfies and walking around ignoring the passengers no social skills what so ever ! Entertainment sorry but .. Not a good experience the show team thought themselves on a broadway stage ! Very " school production " one singer very out of tune bless her for trying . And one young man didnt sing he shouted out of tune very ouch to the ears ! Thomson did not have their thinking caps on when it came to the ports of call . But where very clever. Ports with nothing of interest got a free bus to the nearest town where as ports with loads of interests and where miles away from anything you had to get a taxi costing a fortune ! In dubai you do get a free bus to a boring non exciting mall ! Be warned taxi from port in dubai to dubai mall will cost you about £25 one way ! Trips are expensive but thats what holiday companies do look around on groupon before you go and get vouchers for your destinations loads of offers on there lot cheaper than what thomson charge plus you can get money off food in the places you visit and at the airport and cheaper parking ! shhh i didnt tell you all that x They love to Tart the "Old Lady" up and are always painting sanding and varnishing Everyday one morning starting at 5.00 am with a sander lol The smell of paint lingers muscat seems to be their favourite port to paint the side of the ship one side on week other side the next and it stinks . I know maintenance has to be done but when your covered in sun cream the dust sticks to you and you end up coughing with the dust flying around . You will have to fight for your sunbeds on the days at sea as in typical brit style as with our german counterparts we love to be up at the crack of dawn claiming our sunbeds with our towels . Due to the lack of space on favoured decks when everyone is laid out they all look look like sardines crammed in a tin ! ANNA'S GOOD BITS In flight safety video well done thomson youv'e got yourself a gold star brilliant only good thing about the flight ! 38+ sunshine in February / March Food hot and very good selection mr chief can cook the meat to perfection but the veg is a little on the shall we say crunchy side typical brits love their home comforts whilst away and hp sauce heinz sauce and good old pg tips tea is on offer as well as what i call posh tea cant comment on the coffee as the stuff should be banned vile stuff ! . Sadly mr chief can not cook scones and the cream is squirty type cream not clotted ( as i come from devon its a bit of a miff subject ) afternoon tea lovely posh cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off i might add . Sadly his cake making skills lack rise and moisture.. I was going to offer to show him how to make a good sponge cake but never did . Lovely meals every night salads that would make a bunny think they where in heaven and puddings omg the hot puddings and custard mine all mine .... Cabin cleaned everyday fresh bedding fresh towels but take your own if you love to wrap up after a shower as they are small not one size fits all type . Beds turned back with a chocolate left on your pillow every night ... Please remove as you get into bed ! Bars well stocked and very quick service well done to them running around in that heat Anna's over all view on this cruise ... Sorry thomson.... Its butlins on the sea ! Nothing wrong with the ship its staff the food the cabins thats all great ... Its the thomson staff and the entertainment needs a overhaul ... Its a shame because you've got a good product there it just needs tweaking in places and good team leaders on board to pull rank on the staff . And change the bloody planes on this long haul flight i know youve got dreamliners hidden somewhere ... Love Anna x Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
This was the first time we had been on the celebration, and it will be our last, having been with other cruise lines , this is the worst ship we have sailed on, it juddered all the time even when in port,towels thread bare , ship very cold ... Read More
This was the first time we had been on the celebration, and it will be our last, having been with other cruise lines , this is the worst ship we have sailed on, it juddered all the time even when in port,towels thread bare , ship very cold in the public rooms when we asked reception why is the ship so cold we were told that it was because it was a little cooler outside, when asked if they could turn the a/con down and put a little heating on to compensate for the weather we were told no. People were sitting in the lounges with their coats on or covered in blankets , food was ok but there was a surcharge of £9.00 for steak which is unheard of on other cruise lines, very few sun beds not nearly enough,people were putting towels on them at 7am in a morning then going back to their cabin, having said this our cabin was spotless ,the entertainment team were great , pity about the other entertainment as the singers were rubbish ,restaurant staff were great nothing was 2 much trouble,very few shops on board , overall we did enjoy our cruise around the Middle East great destinations especially Dubai, to see what Dubai has to offer u need at least 3/4 days there , we saw quite a lot on the hop on hop off bus which for £52 pp a day wasn't cheap . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
This is our second time on the celebration and will probably be our last. Some of the areas on the ship are looking very tired whilst other areas have been refurbished. I think moving the theatre to its current position was a bad move. The ... Read More
This is our second time on the celebration and will probably be our last. Some of the areas on the ship are looking very tired whilst other areas have been refurbished. I think moving the theatre to its current position was a bad move. The poor entertainers have to practise whilst guests are walking through. The all inclusive package is not all its meant to be . I like a glass of red wine yet I seemed to always get mine in a glass which is no bigger than a sherry glass. To upgrade to the premium package; we were told that both myself and my wife would both have to upgrade because both occupants of the cabin have to upgrade at the same time. Absolutely ludicrous because my wife was happy on her package. So that meant I had to persevere on my sherry glass of the house red which was very mediocre or pay the surcharge to upgrade so I could have a better quality and bigger glass of wine. I have to say that the majority of staff on the ship are excellent. Especially Julie and Rory in the Lido bar and all the staff in Hemmingways. I must also mention our cabin steward Adi who did a really good job of looking after us. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
This was our first cruise and we did a Thomson cruise and stay with 7 nights on the Celebration and then 7 nights in a Dubai hotel. We decided on a cabin with a balcony (Deck 9 Room 6) and were not disappointed with the choice. The ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we did a Thomson cruise and stay with 7 nights on the Celebration and then 7 nights in a Dubai hotel. We decided on a cabin with a balcony (Deck 9 Room 6) and were not disappointed with the choice. The cabin was quite large and the balcony fitted two chairs, a table and a sun lounger which came in useful when all the sun beds had been taken or reserved with towels. Flaverino our cabin steward looked after us really well for the week and the cabin was kept spotless. As first time cruisers we were surprised at some of the extras - £15 a week to use the safe, £49 each per week for wi-fi (we are both self employed and need to check and respond to emails at least once a day when away), £10 per day each for premium drinks (we didn't upgrade to this but just paid extra for a premium drink if we wanted one which worked out cheaper), £9.95 extra for a steak or lamb cutlets, £15 - £20 per head extra to eat in one of the a la carte restaurants. The paid wi-fi was only available in the bar areas and not in the cabin or restaurants which seemed strange. Before we boarded the ship we registered a Visa card and were told that the card would not be charged until the last day when we settled the account. On day four we were handed a note saying that the bank had declined our Visa card and would we kindly go to reception to either register another card or deposit cash for our account. On going to reception we found that although they don't physically take money off the card until you settle your account, each night whatever you have spent during the day is 'reserved with your bank on the card'. As we hadn't transferred funds onto the card believing that nothing would be taken from the card until the end it had been declined!! The moral therefore is ensure that there is sufficient funds available on your card for them to 'reserve' each day or it will be declined before you come to settle up!! The service we received was excellent and many staff would go out of their way to serve you. The food was pretty good and varied and we enjoyed chatting to other guests on the shared tables in the waiter service restaurant. Many of the more seasoned cruisers were disappointed with the Celebration as it didn't come up to the standard of many other cruise ships but as first time cruisers we were quite happy with the service we received and the facilities available as we had nothing to compare it with. We enjoyed the entertainment that we saw whilst on board as well as having a flutter in the onboard casino. We had prebooked three trips before we left home and they are cheaper booking and paying online than purchasing on board. We were disappointed with two of the ports of call, Manama in Bahrain and Khasab in Oman as there was very little in either place. We took the free bus into Manama and got straight back on the first return bus as we were that disappointed with the place. We did however enjoy the trips we did in Dubai, Muscat and Abu Dhabi. We would definitely go on a cruise again and most probably do another Thomson cruise as we liked the fact that it was a smallish ship and you soon got to know other guests in the surroundings. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We wanted to go to the Middle East. Having travelled with MSC before, which was luxurious, this ship felt like we were on a ferry - very tired and not very impressive. The brochure states that there are dancing lessons.....there were ... Read More
We wanted to go to the Middle East. Having travelled with MSC before, which was luxurious, this ship felt like we were on a ferry - very tired and not very impressive. The brochure states that there are dancing lessons.....there were none. There were not enough sun loungers and one day the guests looked like sardines as they were packed together, some having to sit on chairs. The food was so basic that it was shocking. It seemed that some was recycled. The desserts were disappointing - just a few sponges with various flavoured toppings and jelly. The main courses included toad in the hole, which is a nice basic homely food but not what you would expect on a cruise. It seemed that Thomson were really penny pinching trying to charge for everything they could. They were even collecting pens up from quizzes as soon as the quiz was over and sending someone out afterwards to make sure they didn't miss any!! The excursion team were absolutely useless and seemed to enjoy telling untruths even when caught out! The entertainment team were great and two of the groups were good. The cabin crew were great and really worked hard. This appeared to be a very low class cruise and most of the guests looked thoroughly miserable!! It has put us off of cruising. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
This was my first cruise for me and my girlfriend. In our 30's, we decided to test the water with a 'cheaper' cruise instead of going all out. Going in Feb meant that we were limited to hot places, hence the Arabian Night tour. My ... Read More
This was my first cruise for me and my girlfriend. In our 30's, we decided to test the water with a 'cheaper' cruise instead of going all out. Going in Feb meant that we were limited to hot places, hence the Arabian Night tour. My first impression wasn't a good one when we boarded. After requesting (over the phone) a double bed in our cabin, we were greeted with 2 single beds that cannot be moved. Obviously the cruise was a sell out so no chance of moving. The ship was tired, rooms a bit tatty, roof looked like it would fall at any time and no mod cons. we spent a week shacked up in a single bed - romantic! The thing that made me angry was all the extras. Despite already buying the 'all inclusive' package, we were pushed to upgrade further to the premium deal. This is where they get you as the house wines arnt great, so you want to go premium. Wifi too was expensive when most ports were free. Bingo too wasn't the cheapest at £5 a ticket so add it all together and you start to feel annoyed at thomson. Thats the bad. After a drink on the first day, we decided to enjoy it to the full and the staff were EXCELLENT!!! this is what made the trip. THE STAFF. Anton, Jeffry, Risnillo, and pretty much everyone made this trip exceptional. The weather was rubbish all week but the food, staff, entertainment and facilities were brilliant. So, whats my verdict. would i do it again? Yes, i would! Not because this is the biggest, smartest ship, but the fact we had a week of laughing and felt totally at ease with everyone on the ship. TOP TIPS!! ASK FOR A DOUBLE BED AND GET IT IN WRITING!!!!!!!!! Take a strip extension gang as there are 2 measly plugs in the room. Take ear plugs as i dont care what people say, its noisey!! You either get waves, engine hum, party goers next door or keen sight see=ers at 530am getting up when you went to bed 2 hours before!! Get your sunbeds early on sea days! You wont get one Eat in the waited restaurant. Brilliant staff and food Enjoy yourself! Read Less
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