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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This cruise was the first part of a cruise and stay holiday, and we were a little bit apprehensive about going back to an old ship ( a very old ship) we started our cruising holidays on thomsons and the defunct air tours ships but 48 ... Read More
This cruise was the first part of a cruise and stay holiday, and we were a little bit apprehensive about going back to an old ship ( a very old ship) we started our cruising holidays on thomsons and the defunct air tours ships but 48 cruises later and cruising on all the major cruise lines, it was a step back to the celebration, we paid extra for one of the balcony cabins, and it was well worth the money the room was large and spacious and had a bath with over shower, the balcony had two sun beds and a table and chairs, and the room overhaul was perfect, large comfortable bed, a nice size dressing table and ample storage for a two week cruise, black out curtains, fridge, in fact nothing at all was missing and we were very impressed with the room, the ship is small by modern standards but very friendly and that is down to most of the staff being from the phillipenes who have a very friendly nice aptitude to life, a small casino onboard wth two tables for cards one black jack, the other five card caribean poker, and one roulette table this casino is in Hemingway’s piano bar and is a lovely place for pre dinner drink and after a nice place to retire to bed from, with a singer on keyboard and a singer with guitar performing for you, you don’t have a full theatre on this ship but a nice showbar with adequate shows from the on board entertainers and some guest acts, dress code is poor a lot of people who think dressing up is cut off jeans with at t shirt is formal, but overhaul good value for money with all drinks and tips included in the price. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was the first cruise my partner and I had been on. We were unsure of what to expect but this ship was recommended to us by a friend of the same age so thought we would give it a go. The ship is quite small but I think this was a ... Read More
This was the first cruise my partner and I had been on. We were unsure of what to expect but this ship was recommended to us by a friend of the same age so thought we would give it a go. The ship is quite small but I think this was a good thing as it meant things were accessible and we got to know both the staff and other passengers. The ship is on the older side and did creek at times, especially when it was rough at sea. There is plenty to do on board - it depends what you are looking for. There were daily quizzes, loads of live music in the bars and outside on deck and then daily demonstrations like ice sculpturing, napkin shaping and cooking masterclasses. They had the occasional lecture (frozen shoulder and how to look after yourself) - I have heard other cruises offer more lectures there was probably one per week on this one. There are 2 pools - on the smaller size but big enough and a whirlpool. On sea days the pool got a little busy. Thomson offer their own excursions but we often found it easier and cheaper to do the excursions ourselves as their offers were usually horrendously over priced (eg £40 just to go to a beach when a local taxi would do it for £10). We did do 2 of their trips - the St Kitts railway (as you cannot do this on your own) and snorkelling in Martinique (as it was our first time snorkelling, they gave you the equipment and the boat to take you was just at the port so it was very convenient). We thought these trips were very well ran and would recommend these ones. I am sure some of the others are just as good and convenient but we would just get off at the port and see what was on offer - sometimes with a bit of bartering. Getting off the ship each day was easy - you just swipe your card and off you go. On one day we had to get a tender to shore but was very easy and quite fun. The service was unfaultable. All of the staff were always so friendly, smiling and looked like they were genuinely enjoying their jobs. We got to know some of the waiting staff well. Tips are included in the price and is not expected, however, we gave a tip to a few of the waiters who had looked after us well at the end of the cruise. Once we got off the plane we got straight onto a coach to the embarkation port. We did not have to pick up luggage and that arrived later that night outside our cabins which was amazing. Travelling back was also easy - we put our luggage outside our cabin the night before disembarkation and did not see it again until we got back to the home airport. Our cabin was one of the larger ones - 716. Unfortunately it was right next to where people disembarked each day so sometimes we would be woken up by us docking and then the beeping of the cards being swiped. We didn't have long lie ins but this started from around 7 when we would get up after 8. The wardrobes were spacious - 2 double ones and there were 3 large drawers for storage. The bed was big but was quite rigid. It was a double but there was a bit of a cover rolled up in between 2 separate mattresses to stop there being a drop in between - this felt like wood at times! The bathroom was rather small but was manageable. There was a TV and a big desk with a large mirror on one wall. There was also a little window you could see out to sea. The cabin was always made up well. The dining was exceptional. They have the main Meridian restaurant which is waiter service, the lido which is a buffet style self service restaurant and then 3 other small speciality restaurants you have to pay a supplement on. The Meridian is superb. Breakfast is good - full English, omelettes, French toast, daily specials as well as toast and cereals. Lunch is a highlight - 3 courses and all amazing with wine or any other drin from the bar. Dinner was amazing - 4 courses (you can chose 2 starters - one from the left box and one from the right). When you come in you are asked if you mind sharing - this gets you a table faster and there was often a big queue for couples wanting to sit on their own. Depends what you fancy doing - the people we met at dinner were really nice and had great stories to tell. Towards the end of the cruise we did just fancy our own space so chose to sit on our own - no issues either way! The service was very good - always so fast and they will get you anything you want. Wine was free flowing. The Lido wasn't too bad - we went there for afternoon tea which was ok and would sometimes go there for snacks in the late afternoon like pizza, chips and they have a great wrap bar as well. We would go here for a midnight snack too - it is open until 1am. We thought this was good. We got an all inclusive deal (which wasn't actually all inclusive but did give us access to most of the drinks). There are some drinks and cocktails you have to pay extra for and they do a premium wine deal for better wines. What we had in the basic drinks package was good enough though but it is a bit annoying when you think you have all inclusive to find that you actually don't! I would recommend the basic drinks package as we thought it was good value for money. The bars are cool - especially horizons at the front of the ship. Annoyingly, we had to pay for the cabin safe which was a little magnet device. It did not feel very safe and we had to hide the magnet in the room (fear that it would get lost if we carted it around with us). We again thought it was a little annoying having to pay extra for this as with all inclusive you thought that everything was included. The entertainment was great. Each evening there was 2 shows - an early and a late showing. We went on a behind the scenes of the show team and it was fascinating to learn what the team have to go through to be selected and then rehearse it all. They have different themes each night - musicals, Africa, queen etc. One day per week they had a comedian on. Annoyingly some of the shows were repeated - queen on the first night and the musicals on the last night. All the shows were great. To be honest, we could not fault the cruise itself and it had everything you would want. We did find though that some people (not all by any means) were a bit rude and had a lack of manners - for example taking menus from our table without asking, pushing in the queues etc. As it was our first cruise I cannot comment on if this was the cruise itself that attracted this kind of people or not. The majority of people we met were not like this but it did grind you down by the end of the cruise. I'd like to go back on a cruise at some point but perhaps would try another ship. I would go back on this one though but want to explore others first to see how they compare. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This cruise ship is one of the smallest in the fleet, and therefore does not have a large amount of things to do. The interior is tired but they have updated the carpets and curtains. Accommodation: Typical inside double room, ... Read More
This cruise ship is one of the smallest in the fleet, and therefore does not have a large amount of things to do. The interior is tired but they have updated the carpets and curtains. Accommodation: Typical inside double room, with 2 single beds, and a butler who does a great job, and always kept the cabin clean & tidy. Entertainment: Every night there was a musical show, usually with 2 performances, which was excellent, the team put on a great show. With 4 bars in total, which all have they’re own musical themes, jazz, piano bar, disco etc, and an outside pool music after the last show most nights. A casino & slot machines, are attached to one of the bars, which opens during the afternoon and evening, until around 2am. Daily games of Bingo, pool games, trivia quiz shows. Also on board is a small gym, photo studio, spa & beauty salon, and duty free shop. Every day we arrived in a new port, which was excellent, with trips to great locations, however we did our own thing, using the local taxi’s, which were cheaper, and where we wanted to visit, with no time restraints. Food: The food is either buffet or A la Carte, which are British style menus. The pool side offers a quick snack area, with Pizza, Burgers & Hot Dogs etc. The brochure boasts 2 other restaurants, (French & Oriental), both are available at additional costs, even though I chose to upgrade to the All Inclusive Package, they are not included. Drink: When I booked this trip I paid the additional cost to go all inclusive, however TUI’s idea of All Inclusive is not what I expected. Firstly, if you want cans of Fizzy Juice, Bottled Water, Blue Bombay Gin, Malt whisky, certain cocktails, Peach Shnaps, or bottled beer, then this is chargeable. If you want to go to the Coffee Pot, which offers various styles of coffee, muffins & cakes, this also is chargeable, (not included in the All Inclusive Package), however you can go to your cabin, or any of the bars and get a cup of coffee, for free!! As stated I feel the All Inclusive Package is not clearly defined at booking point. Within 10 mins of getting on board I was pushed to upgrade to the Premium Package, at an additional cost of £50 per person for a week. Room service is available 24/7, food & drinks, and the cabin mini bar is not covered by the All Inclusive Package or the Premium Package. Communication: When booking this trip, I was informed that Wifi was available and mobile access was available whilst at sea. The truth is, I very rarely had any signal or able to connect to the ships network provider. The only time you get signal is in ports, but on this trip we had 2 days at sea, so no contact during these occasions. WiFi is charged at £8 for an hour, £15 per day, £25 for 3 days or £49 for the week, but only available in public areas not the cabins. Services: Laundry service (wash & fold), at a cost of £14.95 a bag. Pool towels, which are replaced daily Safety Deposit box in the cabin, which is chargeable. Smoking areas are available. This was my first cruise holiday, and I enjoyed the port stops, crew were great, food excellent, however I feel TUI are always looking at ways to get more money out of you. They are not clear at pointing out the all Inclusive Package or communication when booking stage. Read Less

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