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Sail Date: October 2014
Are cruise ships rated anywhere according to the health standards achieved?? Should a cruise line continue to board new passengers when they have a serious infection problem on board. Do they not have a duty of care? The Celebration was ... Read More
Are cruise ships rated anywhere according to the health standards achieved?? Should a cruise line continue to board new passengers when they have a serious infection problem on board. Do they not have a duty of care? The Celebration was experiencing GI type infections before we boarded. For the whole cruise, passengers were being struck down. My illness only lasted five days and was contracted within 36 hours of boarding. Anyone declaring illness was treated to isolation in their cabin (along with anyone sharing the cabin, whether or not they ill )Self service restuarant changed to food being passed over the barrier and continued in this format for the full fourteen days. Except fruit which was placed direct on the tray? Jacuzzi closed to prevent infection, ditto the library and Internet facility. No ice machines or water dispensers. More interestingly, the Sports Deck had been stripped out completely. Originally we were told that it was to allow for more sun loungers !! Actually it was in full use to dry the carpets stripped from the contaminated cabins. The 'Ghostbusters squad' was a frequent sight around the ship. Public restrooms remained open. Anyone requesting Imodium type medication from the onboard shop was asked their cabin number and reported to Reception. Amazingly, pre-booked shore excursions were only refunded to the sick person not the quarantined traveller? Quite bizarre !! Not surprisingly most choose to keep quiet and self medicate.Thompson failed to communicate the current status and offered no real advice on how to avoid or deal with the illness. Best topic of conversation was the price paid, much spluttering, frustration and tears as the differential was amazing, £2k+ to £500 for the same cruise!!! Wow, never seen so many disgruntled, ripped off passengers in one room. Other common complaint, lack of information relating to the need for a visa to visit Russia independently. Reception kindly pointing out that it's in the small print. So you had to use the Thompson excursion or you were stuck on the ship all day. Read the small print carefully. Celebration is an old ship, dark and gloomy in most areas.Entertainment venues laid out like a working mans club, single, tables and chairs laid out on a single level, no tired seating. Advice, get in early and sit at the front, if you want to see the acts. Ship lacking so many basic facilities expected on a modern cruise ship. Just does not have the layout to create anything better. Food distinctly average, often warm so be prepared to send food back.Obviously working to a tight budget, so forget steak, lobster and life's niceties. Even the speciality restaurant is pathetic, no style, panache or atmosphere. You will walk past without even noticing it. Not many customers so at least the staff to passenger ratio would be excellent. As for the wine list, forget it, more choice in the corner shop. Wine package gives a small saving but limits choice. Beware the all inclusive drinks package, you will be paying a hefty supplement on most branded spirits and bottled beers but also mixers, soft drinks, juices, coffee etc. No nibbles, canapés in any of the bars. No Champagne or Cocktail bars. Plus point, unlike many other cruise lines, no supplement on drinks, no restriction on bringing on alcohol, bar prices much cheaper than rivals. Although advertised as an amenity there is no sports deck. The gym is very small with poor choice of equipment. If you like to walk the mile, you will also need to negotiate the sun loungers and chairs scattered around the promenade deck and be very patient if there are a few like minded individuals as it is often slow between the chicanes. Let's be honest no one sails Thompson to experience quality cruising !! Celebration is an entry level, budget cruise ship and I would not recommend to any first time cruiser, you will be disappointed and maybe even be put off cursing for life, which would be a genuine shame. Only suited to a particular type of client who for some reason keep going back year after year often repeating the same weeks/ itinerary, the old comfy pair of slippers routine? Conclusion, unless you are the Thompson type, why would you sail on the Celebration when the world is full of more deserving ships and destinations. Unless of course you bagged that deal and you are prepared to become an outcast with you fellow passengers. Smile and wave boys, smile and wave!   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
I travelled with my 86 year old Mum. We have cruised for the past 6 or 7 years with whatever company is going where we want to go. We have travelled with Thomson, P & O, HAL, Princes etc etc.We booked this cruise when the itinerary ... Read More
I travelled with my 86 year old Mum. We have cruised for the past 6 or 7 years with whatever company is going where we want to go. We have travelled with Thomson, P & O, HAL, Princes etc etc.We booked this cruise when the itinerary included 3 ports in the Ukraine. Only received £75 compensation for major port changes and an extra day at sea. Embarkation at Marmaris The quickest I have ever experienced. On the ship within 20 minutes of getting off the coach. Cabin. We choose to upgrade to a Balcony. Huge cabin with twin beds but so badly organised that it was VERY difficult to open drawers. Why would we want 2 upright dining room chairs in the cabin. Towels have seen better days. Grey in colour and harsh. There was great excitement when we had a fluffy white towel. zAir conditioning didn't appear to work at night so had to open balcony door. Amazing vibration!!!!!!!!!!! Food. We ate mainly in the Meridian. Luke warm school dinners. I like my food dry but this was dried up! Meat was always overcooked. All sponge desserts almost inedible. Good selection of cheeses when ordering cheese and biscuits. Steak under the Stars. Tough steak and ultra slow service. Disappointing Mistral. All food luke warm. Even the Lobster was tough! Again disappointing. Drink. we were all inclusive (part of the package when we booked.) Always found the wine forthcoming but no choose of wine. Still an exceptable opinion. Nightlife. Onboard show team FANTASTIC. Well done guys. Guest acts, including Don McLean, very entertaining. Port review. Hard sell on ships excursions. No information for independent travellers. Maps provided gave minimal information. Norovirus, Obviously a HUGE problem on this ship. All food served by staff in the lido for all the cruise. Coffee and Cocktail menus were removed and library closed. The whole thing is a farce though as menus in Meridian were passed, via the waiters from person to person without being sanitised. When you go ashore all the cards pass through the same crew members hands, If one was infected, the whole lot would be by the end of embarkation!!!! My Mum was unfortunate to get a tummy upset and duly reported it to the doctors. we were immediately put into "voluntary" isolation which meant the staff totally forgot about you. Room was not cleaned for 48 hours. Food trays were never collected despite requesting their removal. Took over an hour for food order to be delivered. Not even lukewarm, on plastic plates, plastic cheap knives and forks which disintegrated on contact with food. No fresh towels. Appalling. you wouldn't be allowed to keep prisoners in those conditions. We had to keep chasing up medical staff for release as they never called when they said they would. Even after release they forgo to unblock the cards causing a very embarrassing moment when trying to purchase an item in the shop and card was spun. The room was never sanitised after our release, Shore excursions Only did one, expensive but only way to get to the Sumela Monestry. Disembarkation. Again, very smooth. Our coach was due to pick us up at 12pm so wandered into Marmaris after vacating our cabin at 9am. Suit cases out by 2am. Overall, the whole holiday was saved by the crew, who were fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble and their memories are amazing, always ready with the coffee/drinks etc that you regulary ordered. It seems that Thomson rely on their staff to keep their customers happy to save them having to raise standards. Had a Thomson cruise booked for April 2015 which we will now cancel.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
Our third Thomson cruise and our last! Standards have slipped to an unacceptable level in every area apart from the entertainment team during this cruise. Passengers were really an inconvenience and merely a source of revenue. The first ... Read More
Our third Thomson cruise and our last! Standards have slipped to an unacceptable level in every area apart from the entertainment team during this cruise. Passengers were really an inconvenience and merely a source of revenue. The first matter which greets you on boarding was the need to pay £25 for the key to the in-cabin safe. A wholly unjustifiable policy - this should certainly be included in the normal cost. On this occasion we selected a Deluxe cabin on Deck7. Throughout the two weeks there was a strong smell of sewage in the corridor which became unbearable at times. The toilet in our cabin overflowed and flooded the bathroom twice. The plumbers clearly failed to cure the problem the first time! We overheard another couple with the same experience. It was generally known that there was a very contagious gastric bug on board and it was very disconcerting to see men in protective white overalls with masks, gloves and chemical spray equipment entering and leaving cabins on our deck. No attempt was made by anyone to reassure passengers. Buffet restaurant service was, naturally, suspended. Staff in that 'servery' did their best standing behind a tape between passengers and the food and putting the food on your plate if you could see what you wanted and could get them to understand. (Not always easy and very trying for both parties). It may be that this disruption of the norm was the cause of the poor attitude of staff whose duty it was to clear the tables and serve the drinks. Unfortunately the service in the main restaurant was only marginally better. The waiters (including, surprisingly the wine waiters) need better training. All too often they would lean in front of one diner to serve the one next to him/her. A basic impoliteness never experienced before on Thomson cruises. The food was acceptable - nothing special, but frequently served on cold plates. The excursion advisers were very poor. Their formal presentations provided nothing more than the information on the daily news sheets and that contained in the Thomson brochure. At one port of call the 'highlights' that were stressed were the city's museum and a religious site. When independent cruise passengers arrived at the museum they were told that it closed unless you were part of the Thomson (paid for) excursion. The interior of the Celebration was not well organised. It felt crowded - not enough space for passengers to find somewhere comfortable to relax. The nightly scrabble to get into (or out of) the Showlounge was quite unseemly! We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - the Crimea. Mr Putin put paid to that, and I do not blame Thomson for the huge disappointment. I do blame them for making no real effort to try and make amends by making the passengers feel they were being treated well. Officers, who from past experience can be seen walking around the ship making passengers feel valued customers. During the two weeks of this cruise the Officers were not to be seen. They kept well out of the way - I nearly said "I don't blame them", but the opposite is true. I DO blame them. It is their responsibility. It is what they get paid for. They are in a service industry and it is up to them to make the passengers' experience as enjoyable and safe as possible. Sorry Thomsons you let us all down badly. Your standards have slipped below the acceptable level and have left passengers feeling that you are only interested in extracting maximum revenue with minimum care. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
This is our third stay on the Celebration in the last four years, we feel the standards have definitely deteriorated, we stayed in cabin 321 and had no air conditioning in the cabin all week, there was no air con in Hemmingways or some ... Read More
This is our third stay on the Celebration in the last four years, we feel the standards have definitely deteriorated, we stayed in cabin 321 and had no air conditioning in the cabin all week, there was no air con in Hemmingways or some times in the Lido, although we were given a fan and some compensation because of this problem it really is not good enough. All inclusive has contracted so you really only get a basic package, my wife drinks Amaretto this use to be free, not now, lots of drinks now have a extra £1.20 charge on them, disappointing. Hard sell, its so noticeable it gets annoying, on the stage at the back of the ship, they have bartenders who put on a show making cocktails, use to be great fun, now the have waiters going around trying to sell you the cocktails, cabin staff who put a show on making up towels to look like animals, straight after the show, people are going around selling a book that shows you how to towel fold, it never ends, they now have a area of the ship where you buy a coffee and cake, just another rip off. a real shame, Good points, we thought the entertainment team and the shows they put on where fantastic, the best yet. The staff, probably the real reason we book with Thomson, wherever you are on this ship the staff are always hard working friendly and so helpful. We enjoyed all the ports of call, always do our own thing. The ship looked immaculate so clean and looks like its painted daily. I hope this is a fair review, will probably give Thomson a miss next year , but would have no problem returning the year later Just one other point could not get near the pool that many teenage children in it, nightmare Benjyliverpool   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
The Black Sea Explorer cruise out of Marmaris Turkey was good value. When I say that I mean you get what you pay for. It is a basic cruise with basic facilities and food for a basic price. The exception was the brilliant entertainment, ... Read More
The Black Sea Explorer cruise out of Marmaris Turkey was good value. When I say that I mean you get what you pay for. It is a basic cruise with basic facilities and food for a basic price. The exception was the brilliant entertainment, which was as good or better than some of the higher priced cruises. If I do not choose Thomson cruises again, it had nothing to do with the cruise, it was their ship's customer relations people. They damaged my wife's case on loading it on the ship. It was fine when we tagged off at dockside after the bus dropped us off. However, the Customer Relations people said basically tough luck, that the best that they can do for you would be a letter for your insurance company. They pointed to the T&C which said that was all that they would do in the case of luggage damaged from the coach to the Ship. I pointed out that this was not the case that the luggage was cracked when was transported within the ship, from the dock to our room. It may have been a bad omen, but as we were tagging our cases, I saw some's suitcase slide off off the conveyor that they used to bring tagged cases into the ship hold. The case crashed to the concrete dock about 6 feet or so below. I wonder if I had broken something on the ship, if they would have accepted my giving them a letter for their insurance company? In any event, we received nothing not even an apology. For those with older and stronger luggage than ours, I will continue: In terms of the food it was edible and of good quality, just a little plain and in the case of roasts usually overcooked. If you like your roasts well done and dry, the this is the place to eat. If not use plenty of gravy. For us, we learned to avoid roasted anything. They did fish and chicken well. In fairness, twice on the Cruise they offered steak that they did cook to order and gave me my medium rare perfectly. Their Mistral specialty restaurant was top notch. We ate there our last night as the fish & chips on offer in the dinning room was not our idea of a grand last night. The places the ship docked, Bourgas and Constanta were interesting and we had a good walk around. Some of these places are under reconstruction as the economy improves but there was plenty to see. We loved our visit to Istanbul. We had been there before and used the Tram adjacent to the Dock, the T1 line it was cheap and got us quickly to the Grand Bazaar and then to the other points of interest to us. Mykonos had an amazing collection of great local paintings hidden in amongst the local tourist shops. It also was a great day out. So with the exception of their attitude towards their the limited liability to their damaging our luggage, it was a fair value for a fair price. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
My wife and I chose this cruise for the itinerary, we wanted to book with Celebrity as we had such a good first cruise experience last year in the western Mediterranean on the Equinox. Celebrity didn't have a cruise in the area we ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise for the itinerary, we wanted to book with Celebrity as we had such a good first cruise experience last year in the western Mediterranean on the Equinox. Celebrity didn't have a cruise in the area we wanted, the Greek Islands, at the time we wanted, so booked with Thompson, paying a similar price but for a slightly longer cruise, actually two 7 day cruises back to back, Turkey and Greece followed by the Black Sea. Our group was made up of my wife and I, our 10 year old son and my wife's parents who have had many cruise holidays. Embarkation was a bit of a pain, after leaving arrivals we found the busses and handed over our luggage, we were taken to the dock where we had to retrieve our luggage to go through another security check then take our own luggage to the ship, none of this I must add was Thompson's fault, It was down to the Turkish authorities rules. A similar problem was had on the return journey, Dalaman being a military airport insists on every piece of luggage being scanned before even checking in, you cannot imaging the queues just to get into the airport. The staff on board were very good, always polite and friendly, especially Dileon, one of the bar staff on the Lido deck and our cabin staff member Leonora. Dileon seemed to take it that he had failed his job if I ever even walked near the bar, apologising profusely. One or two of the other bar staff seemed to have selective hearing at times but in general they were very good. The food was good, not great but good. I am sure there was something for everyone, some dishes were a little bland though, it has been mentioned previously about the Paella and the deserts being tasteless and I have to agree! We mainly ate in the buffet preferring the larger range on offer. The two times we ate in the main restaurant we were very pleased with the service and the quality of the food, I must add however I thought that the portions were a little small, but as I am a very large person maybe that is down to me, they were probably fine for your smaller person. The entertainment was very good, although I did not take in many of the shows, my wife and the outlaws attended frequently and were very impressed. The programme of events through the day were varied but I particularly enjoyed the 2pm quiz with Ash on the Lido deck. There was lots for our son to do and he very much enjoyed the experience. Again it has been mentioned by other reviewers about the seemingly tacky way of trying to extract more money from guests such as steak under the stars and the chap going round selling premium ice creams, I have to agree, tacky. The ports visited were varied and all had something to recommend them, we particularly enjoyed a boat trip down the Danube delta whilst in Romania, the inclusive meal at a local hotel was good until the desert, I think there was a little something lost in translation when our local guide informed us it was cheesecake, it was actually a savoury cheese flan of sorts, there was quite a bit of embarrassed giggling from the other holidaymakers. The only thing that spoilt this holiday was the ship. It has been mentioned many times before and it really is quite noticeable, the vibration throughout the ship, it is most noticeable on the deck outside of Liberties, you do get used to it though. My main problem was the cabin, the noise generated by the ceiling and wall panels made it seem as if you were in a clockmakers workshop at times, the shower could not be used at peak times as it filled with other peoples shower water at other times it was very slow to drain and the toilet blocked several times. The air con worked when it wanted and would make the room either hot or cold without touching the controls. The service engineers who attended simply shrugged and advised us not to use the shower at peak times. When the engineer came to look at the air con he rotated the control fully the other way, we were informed we had not set it correctly even though we had not moved it. Of course moving the dial the other way did nothing! This ship really is not up to scratch, this could have been a great holiday but was spoiled by an ageing ship that really should be scrapped. My father in law thought I was exaggerating until around day 4 when he woke in the early hours and endured his first of a few sleepless nights due to noise similar to what we were experiencing in our cabin. Our sons bed was a fold down from the wall affair, he never complained until around day 12 about the vibration of his bed, when I put my hand on it it felt like I was holding a massage chair! If we could have had this crew and this itinerary on the Equinox I would have been a very happy bunny. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
This was are first long cruise and we was really looking forward to going, we checked in the night before at Gatwick which was great and flight went on time even making up time arriving early. However once in the airport we waited over ... Read More
This was are first long cruise and we was really looking forward to going, we checked in the night before at Gatwick which was great and flight went on time even making up time arriving early. However once in the airport we waited over hour for are bags, no thomson reps about we had to follow others in the hope it was right. The coach which they used had no air con and it was about 40 degrees, the driver offered us drinks at cost. When we arrived at the ship we was treated well however I thought that £15. For the safe was very expensive, we was given 116 which on arriving was what we thought but seemed very warm the air conditioning was not working and not able to offer another room, fan given, Bed was very lumpy which they placed another mattress on top and one pillow each which had seen better days. They staff working on the ship could not do more, but this ship is very dated and lots of work needed. Often no enough sun beds or chairs in the evening. The adult pool is tiny and often full of kids ..no staff asked to remove.... Often getting wet with then jumping in. Meals very Samey and thought that having to pay an extra £10 for a steak was to much, entertament was great however it would have been nice to have had more Comedy, as not everyone likes theatre music. Not sure if I would book again unless a really great price. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2014
After cruising on larger ships with prestigious companies we were a little concerned before we travelled . . . . How wrong can someone be! This cruse was fantastic in every way - The food, Service & friendliness was OUTSTANDING! Yes - ... Read More
After cruising on larger ships with prestigious companies we were a little concerned before we travelled . . . . How wrong can someone be! This cruse was fantastic in every way - The food, Service & friendliness was OUTSTANDING! Yes - the ship is old, however, quite quirky and there are a lot of 'old' touches that makes this ship special. The excursions were so cheap in comparison to other cruise lines and worth every penny. Everything was so organised from the minute we landed at Marmaris, to getting our cabin, and going on excursions. I really can't fault it in anyway. We were lucky enough to be invited to the captains table on formal night and my husband hadn't taken appropriate clothing - no problem - reception allowed him to borrow from a selection of jackets and ties (at no cost!). Absolutely nothing was too much trouble. Most people on board had the 'All inclusive' package, something we don't do as my husband drinks Premium bottled beer (not on all inclusive) and I drink 'nice' wine. I bought the wine package for £65 for 5 bottles of very nice wine, we drank many cocktails (not on all inclusive) and drank quite a lot (ok - a lot!) and our bill was cheaper than the package! Therefore, drinks really are 'Pub' prices and not the usual cruise costs that add Tax and gratuities. The cabins have been updated and were better than I imagined. Yes - we did have a problem on the first day with the toilet overflowing (My fault I think) and was sorted and cleared up within minutes. Later in the week our shower got blocked and again, sorted and cleaned within minutes. These things will naturally happen on a full ship when everyone is using their showers at the same time! The shows were really good and varied and entertainment in the day was there if you wanted it and if you didn't you could be quiet and peaceful on the top sun deck. Some of it was a little 'Butlins' but I actually found it funny and not too much! I worked for British Airways for 10 years and have travelled the world and have never experienced such service over the years! The best thing about this cruise was the service and friendliness of all of the staff and passengers - We had a fantastic time and are ready to book with Thomson Celebration for next year! Well done Thomson! Read Less
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