11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We have had several cruises including P and O and on Thomson, the Spirit offers good value which is spoilt by TUI/Thomson screwing every last penny form you. We had the drinks package and on previous ships to get a drink you showed one ... Read More
We have had several cruises including P and O and on Thomson, the Spirit offers good value which is spoilt by TUI/Thomson screwing every last penny form you. We had the drinks package and on previous ships to get a drink you showed one card. On this trip it was one card per drink, with thomson's little extra cost on many drinks. To cap it all they charged for water both in the cabins and in the bars. I found this most weird as spirits were free??? This fact wound most people up. The food was OK generally but i felt that the number of staff had been cut so service was slow. Open dining caused a problem every evening with huge queues at 8.00pm. Th al la carte was good value, we did it twice and found the second visit lower standard in the food quality. The ship is going out of service in November which is probably a good idea as she is getting a bit tired in the bar areas and generally in the cabins. The checkout at Limassol was poor with no staff to guide you to the cases but the worst part was at the airport where we had the passports checked 3 times before we got to the duty free area. i am all for security but this was stupid, and why do you need a boarding card to buy a newspaper? Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
went on this cruise as not cruised this area before. read the reviews ,they were quite mixed cannot believe people are giving this 5 stars want expecting much as it was only £519.00.On arrival saw what looked like a1970s ferry.The cabin ... Read More
went on this cruise as not cruised this area before. read the reviews ,they were quite mixed cannot believe people are giving this 5 stars want expecting much as it was only £519.00.On arrival saw what looked like a1970s ferry.The cabin was dated also bathroom with tiles stuck over tiles corrosion on taps threadbare towels .I was told it is coming out of service which is why no money is being spent on .The food in the restaurant was poor more like you would get in a cafe also service was slow.on the menu there were stew hot dogs & cheese burgers, all cruises i have been on before the food is top quality.The bar staff were really friendly & quick the cocktails are just coloured drinks in a tumbler no fruit, umbrella or fancy glass.The comedians jokes were older than most of the passengers which is saying something.The captains cocktail party is just waiting in line to get pictures taken only to be given either a glass of wine or bucks fizz as they call it. To sum up this is a low budget so called cruise on a tired old boat if you like social clubs butlins & Jeremy Kyle this is for you if not pay a bit more go on P&O or Cunard Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This cruise was booked by my husband as a birthday present for my 60th birthday and it could not have been any better, we were in cabin 360 deck 4, flight was a little late not the airlines fault and when we got to the airport the luggage ... Read More
This cruise was booked by my husband as a birthday present for my 60th birthday and it could not have been any better, we were in cabin 360 deck 4, flight was a little late not the airlines fault and when we got to the airport the luggage belt was broken so had to wait a while for cases, that made us a bit late for the ship and it was a long wait to get on the ship and made this a long day, we were taken to our cabin and our luggage was waiting for us. A big thank you to Ida and Cruz our cabin staff they were superb, and always had a few words with you asking how your day had been when they saw you and on my birthday there was a card from them and balloons on my bed when I got back to the cabin. Everything about this cruise was excellent, from the food, we ate in the lido restaurant every meal and we were never disappointed with the choice or the quality, the entertainment team were superb better than most shows I have seen and the guest artists were first class. We booked the all inclusive package before we went and was surprised by the quality of the drinks well worth every penny even if you are not a big drinker, again the bar staff were excellent. The only trip we did was Bethlehem and Jerusalem and yes it was a long day and quite a bit of walking but it does state this when you book, our guide advised us to wear hats and take water with us and I am glad we did, some passengers did not and were flagging by the end of the trip. We got off in every other port and walked around, some lovely places to visit. The staff on this ship go the extra mile to make sure you have a good time and we have booked to go with the Thomson spirit again in July, cant wait. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
Had booked the cruise 10 months in advance as we really wanted to go and flights from Scotland are limited. Cannot complain about the staff, the food or the cabin we were in for the week. Only ever in a cabin to sleep and shower so went ... Read More
Had booked the cruise 10 months in advance as we really wanted to go and flights from Scotland are limited. Cannot complain about the staff, the food or the cabin we were in for the week. Only ever in a cabin to sleep and shower so went for an inside. The weather was windy, the sea choppy and it appears an inside was an advantage as spoke to people on lower outside cabins who had a disturbed sleep due to the waves slapping against the ship. However one thing no one can control is the weather. We managed to visit all ports including Thira where the tender boat ran for most of the day, heard a ship couldn't stop the day before. We mainly did our own thing and only booked excursions for Israel. Chose guided tour company in Israel as they were cheaper and offered small mini bus tour rather than a coach for Jerusalem and Bethlehem, unfortunately not enough of an uptake to do second day of Masada and the Dead Sea with them. Same guide the next day when we booked through ship so they must provide Thomson with guides. Expensive but worth it as we may never go back again. Both days full of history, fun and spiritually uplifting. Entertainment on ship was varied, comedian and shows were good and plenty to keep you busy day and night. Cannot comment on children's club or the waiter service dining as never used these facilities.Self service and specials on the Lido deck again had lots of variety and you could eat as much and as often as you liked. We had a drinks package at the reduced cost of £70 per person which worked out fine as it included most soft drinks, nice coffee, peppermint tea (which I drink)and a variety of alcoholic drinks without a supplement. However feel the full price is not worth it (£230) as you would need to drink lots to run up a bar bill of £35 a day per person.What was an issue, though I do not know how it could be easily resolved, is the flight delays incurred by most, the long queue at passport control at Paphos and the issuing of cruise cards. In total it took about 11 hours from leaving Stirling to boarding the ship, a long day. Overall we loved our cruise and am sure we shall sail with Thomson again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
My husband chose this cruise as a present for me and because it left from Limassol, Cyprus and visited Santorini and Israel (Ashdod). We live in Cyprus and parking at the port is easy because the large car-park was directly opposite ... Read More
My husband chose this cruise as a present for me and because it left from Limassol, Cyprus and visited Santorini and Israel (Ashdod). We live in Cyprus and parking at the port is easy because the large car-park was directly opposite check-in. It cost us €63 for a week. We had not great expectations because the Thomson Spirit is the oldest ship in the fleet and we expected it to be showing its age. Also, this was the first cruise of the season so it was reasonable to anticipate some inexperience amongst the staff. Actually we were pleasantly surprised. We ate most main meals in the Compass Rose Restaurant. The waiting staff were friendly. There was some inexperience at the beginning of the week but this improved as the week went on. The menu was varied and good. We have food allergies and these were recognised without fuss. We did feel that the chef lacked imagination, particularly for soups - consomme or cream soups that used up the previous day's ingredients. Also, I had the same apple pie as a sugar-free dessert on three separate meals. Desserts in general were too sweet for our taste, whether they were sugar-free or not. There was a good range of choices for breakfast in both the restaurant and the self-service, with cereals, porridge, fresh fruit salad, a range of cooked breakfast options, toast and rolls. On the Lido deck there were also waffles and pancakes. A variety of teas, coffee and water were always available without charge. The ship is well taken care of and seems to have been renovated relatively recently. The only area that we felt could do with upgrading in particular, were the toilets on deck 5. There are a number of lifts that worked most of the time. We boarded and disembarked via deck 2. The ship seems to be suitable for disabled people and there were a number of wheelchairs in use on board. Any short-comings helped by willing ship staff, we were told. We stayed in cabin 67, on deck 8. This cabin is rated the same as a deck 3/4 because it is beside lifts and the floating pontoon is stored outside. The room had twin beds in an L shape. The only disadvantage was that one bed was directly under the television...this was not a problem for us. The cabin seemed a reasonable size and the bathroom seemed no smaller than other cruise lines. The cabin was quiet and had a good view through a small square/picture window. We heard no noise from the lifts and were not disturbed on the day that the pontoon was lowered for tendering. Our Cabin staff, Natali & Christine, were excellent. They responded to requests quickly and efficiently and in some cases, spotted problems before we did! We particularly liked the towel arrangements and chocolates on the pillow at night. We enjoyed the evening entertainment. Bernie Flint, a winner on the show Opportunity Knocks, was a guest comedian and absolutely hilarious. I have not laughed so much in years. The young dancers and singers were very good too. Although they had some difficulties with the routines at the beginning of the week, they improved and became very good by the end of the week. We also joined in with trivia quizzes and bingo during the week. There were a number of other musical groups that entertained during the week and we heard no complaints about them. I am disabled and like many of my fellow passengers, I was disappointed by the range of excursions on offer. I think there was only one that was rated as 'easy' walking and I don't remember seeing anything that was wheelchair-suitable on offer. Whilst there were many fit and able passengers, over half were in their late 50s or older and many had walking sticks or difficulties. I heard of a number of couples who did not leave the ship because suitable excursions were not available. A number, like us, resorted to making successful private arrangements with taxi-drivers in port. I do believe that this is an area where the excursions team, who did not encourage private arrangements, could do better. With a little imagination and some advice from disability groups I'm sure more appropriate excursions could be made available. We also found that, in most ports we were able to arrange equally good, if not better private tours, and cheaper than the ship's ones, using local taxi drivers. We discovered in Ashdod, that many local taxi drivers are available, at the cruise terminal, who have permission to come and go within the port. Some also have authority to drive within the old city. A taxi to Jerusalem, that will stay with you all day and take you back to the ship should cost no more than €200. We chose to go a little further than this basic trip. For £250 in total for four of us, we got a taxi that took us from the ship, into the old city and gave us a more extensive private tour than the excursion offered through Thomson. The driver showed us around Jerusalem and we had a brilliant, if tiring day. Disembarkation was easy for independent travellers. The suitcases were collected from the outside the cabin the night before we docked. In the morning we had docked before we woke and were free to walk off the ship after 9am. We were worried about the security situation in Israel, and Jerusalem in particular. I am pleased to report that we had no difficulties. At no point did we feel threatened or at risk. There were some persistent street vendors but most left us alone when told firmly, that we were not interested. One that was particularly persistent was dealt with by our taxi driver politely and without fuss. We had a very good cruise and would go with Thomson again. We would also like to go back to Israel to see other sights. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
We had never cruised before and whilst I love to dress up and enjoy formal events there was never any pressure to do so, although a shirt and tie at dinner was a welcome sight. One concern we had was that cruises would be just too " ... Read More
We had never cruised before and whilst I love to dress up and enjoy formal events there was never any pressure to do so, although a shirt and tie at dinner was a welcome sight. One concern we had was that cruises would be just too " nobby" with a boat full of overbearing, pretentious and generally rude people. How wrong we were. Please don't get me wrong. The Spirit cannot be compared to one of the giant liners from the land of the dollar, except in positive terms. There are no brash size xxxl families, speaking in drawl, demanding this and that and demeaning the staff. The Spirit is a family and the passengers and crew work together to create such an atmosphere that gives you a warm feeling of security. My wife and I were diagnosed as unlikely to make another holiday together but we have done and have reversed medical oplnlons, so where else to go to find the friends you don't yet know but will enjoy when you do. This time we have booked early and received the complimentary drinks package, a huge saving and stress free addition to the overall cost. I admit that a last minute deal, minus drinks, is a good saving but not as good. Remember that dehydration can be a killer! The Compas Rose serves great food in an environment that caters for everyone and I hope to try Scirroccos this time. I could witter on all night but don't let me spoil any dreams. This Ship and everything it stands for is set up for the enjoyment and relaxation of sensible members of our "Sceptered Isle" Tony and Sue. Read Less

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