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: October 2014
We have just returned from the Thomson Black Sea cruise on the Thomson Celebration that should have visited three ports in the Ukraine – these unfortunately were cancelled owing to the current instability in that region. The alternative ... Read More
We have just returned from the Thomson Black Sea cruise on the Thomson Celebration that should have visited three ports in the Ukraine – these unfortunately were cancelled owing to the current instability in that region. The alternative ports in Bulgaria, Romania, and Georgia were not to the same standard or appeal and Thomson suffered huge losses in revenue and prestige as a result of their decision to go ahead with the cruise rather than cancel completely (as the Costa line did). This was a PR disaster for Thomson as many passengers booked early believing they would be visiting the Ukraine’s prestige ports of Odessa, Sebastopol, and Crimea and the average price per person was circa £2000. Two weeks after the payment deadline (when the holiday had to be paid in full), Thomson slashed the advertised price to less than half and it dropped to £700 per person at one stage. The internet forums were white hot as disgruntled paid-up passengers argued that the three changes in port amounted to a major change in contract and, consequently, should have resulted in a full refund without penalty. Thomson argued that it wasn’t a major change and suggested that the only way to contest this was to take it through the courts. How very cynical of this Company who forever states that their primary purpose is to listen to what their customer’s have to say; what a load of tosh!!! It’s a standing joke that British passengers on cruises tend to discuss the price they paid at some stage. We have to say that this subject came up during many, many evening meals in the Meridian Restaurant where diners tend to share tables and meet new fellow passengers each meal. Some seethed at the top prices they paid without refund while others took pride in how little they actually paid. We got the impression from such exchanges that most of the passengers booked during the last ten weeks of sale at a considerably reduced fare. As for the actual cruise, we enjoyed the ship and the ports and some of the excursions that, surprisingly, were good value for money and would have been hard to beat if you chose to use alternative local transports. This is where good planning came into play. The downside of the 15-day cruise was the novo virus that could not be eradicated from the ship. It affected all decks at some time or another and the dreaded sterilization trolley with the hazard bags and the masked crews who fumigated each affected cabin was a constant reminder of the virus striking down yet another unfortunate passenger. The ship did try very hard to control the outbreak but were unsuccessful. Passengers who did not contract the virus were still considerably disrupted by the sterilization controls in place, for example the self-service buffets were no longer self service and it was like school dinners all over again. Scores of crew were recruited into ladling out each dish and many didn’t know the meaning of “no” or “just a little” so your plate rarely resembled what you intended to eat. The whole process at mealtimes was slower and queues were longer and food not as hot; it was not a happy ship for many passengers. The Thomson Celebration has a good library – but not on this cruise! The virus closed the library for the full 15 days. The daily quiz sheets and Ship newspaper could only be obtained on request at the reception desk and were not generally circulated as on previous cruises – yet another virus prevention decision. Would we travel on Thomson Celebration again (this was our third visit)? Yes – but never again would be book long-term, in future it will be last minute at the lowest price we can get! We are not alone in this policy for future holidays, it was said many times by many passengers and for this Thomson should really hang their heads in shame. Their greed to try and turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse failed terribly and they have lost a lot of customers because of their intransigent stance.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
If like me you had booked this Cruise thinking you were going to Israel. And now you are not. I was told by ABTA that i can have my money back. But Thomson s say i can not . I suggest if you are not happy with the Cruise then you phone ... Read More
If like me you had booked this Cruise thinking you were going to Israel. And now you are not. I was told by ABTA that i can have my money back. But Thomson s say i can not . I suggest if you are not happy with the Cruise then you phone ABTA yourself and speak to them. They told me if I send them the details in an E mail they would deal with it themselves. And get me a refund. Cos the change of venue counts as a (Major Change) ABTA s wards not mine. so i can receive my money back if i liked. I phoned Thomson again and told them this. Cos they would not do anything. I ask to be put through to a manager. This they did who was very RUDE and shouted down the phone that there not giving money back and that i HAD TO GO. Well my said lets go. So we did take the Cruise. But i wished i got my money back. It all about getting more money out of you this Cruise is. As soon as you get there trying to sell you a extra drinks package. (some drinks not even in package so pay twice) Photos before you get on-bored. Photos every time you get off. We had to Que to meet the captain guess what more photos. Queuing not good when wife aching feet . The ship is 35 years old so is very dated. our toilet got blocked and started to overflow. Our room was next to late night bar sounded like music was being played in our room . So loud could not even hear the TV let alone sleep. If you want a hot shower or bath you have to turn the water on and just run it down the drain for ten minutes. If you having a shower the bath fills up with water so you are standing in water. The water drains from the sink into the bath. Oh and keep an eye on your bill they tried to put things on it witch i had not brought . They stopped my on-bored card payment twice from working. Also charge you extra to use a credit card. They harass you for your card or if you pay by money they harass you all the time for some money. But if you stay in a Hotel you pay on the last day before going home don't they? NOT ask you every day for a bit more money? I have traveled with Royal Caribbean and Costa Cruises I wish i got my money back and booked with Royal Caribbean . Thomson SO RUDE. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
We have cruised with Thomsons a few times now and the overall standard has been fine. This time was a bit different!! Firstly after paying more than £150 more than some of our fellow travellers we were put off by Thomsons by saying TUFF ... Read More
We have cruised with Thomsons a few times now and the overall standard has been fine. This time was a bit different!! Firstly after paying more than £150 more than some of our fellow travellers we were put off by Thomsons by saying TUFF thems the terms and conditions folks!! Not even the offer of an upgrade or drinks package in site. The cruise itself was fine although the ship is looking a bit tired, and while the refurb is good things were sorely lacking. Our pool towels had seen much better days and the bed linen was ripped. Our fantastic cabin stewardess could not have been any more helpful. Food was Ok but the entertainment guys we fantastic. On our day at sea my Aunt fell trying to get through one of the doors using the ramp as the other door had been blocked by a very unapproachable fellow guest and his sunbed. Some of our fellow passengers were fantastic. However the Safety Crew on board were quick to dismiss any idea that it may be their fault saying her foot must have slipped out of her sandal. Funnily enough her sandals were still on when she fell. We had no follow up from any of the ships team (apart from a return visit to the doctor ) until the bill for the doctor was casually popped under our door. Also had a small GI outbreak which we continued to suffer from at home on our return. Not really the relaxing week we had hoped for. Very disappointed with the Thomson service, very reluctant to book with them again. My Aunt had changed our seats on the flights as she is disabled and need an isle seat. This was no problem and the chap she spoke to was really helpful. He assured her that there would be no charge for this service and to ensure she used the early boarding facility. She received the bill for the changes made to our seats on her return. Not really good enough Thomsons. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
We have just returned from Gems of the Aegean on the Celebration and all in all had a good time, the ports of call were changed with no notice as a result we missed meeting friends in Rhodes as the ship was at sea. This a 40 year old ship ... Read More
We have just returned from Gems of the Aegean on the Celebration and all in all had a good time, the ports of call were changed with no notice as a result we missed meeting friends in Rhodes as the ship was at sea. This a 40 year old ship and is starting to show her age like having gaffer tape sealing a window in a bar, our cabin was small (B deck) and was a bit short on storage space but as long as you have a case that will go under the bed you will manage, the towels in the cabin were so bad I would not have used them to clean my car. The crew were fantastic all with the permanent smile as was the entertainment and food. Embarkation was quick and easy and as both my wife and I require assistance this was quickly supplied by two cheeky cheery chaps with wheel chairs who had a race along the dock, I notice a earlier poster saying he could not get his money back as the Holy Land had been cancelled, we had no bother with this, we had the cost of our excursions refunded and were given £50.00 each as compensation. The most worrying thing on the cruise was the increasing number of tummy bugs that were cropping up both on this cruise and the one before it. The crew were working flat out to fight this including no self service at the buffet all done by crew members and everyone's hands getting sprayed as they entered the dining room although I did see a elderly gent asking a crew member why he was doing this and was told Black Death sir, The trip back to the airport was a nightmare as the coach we were in most of the seats were broken and jammed in the full recline and hand rails at doors were missing then we had a blowout and fortunately managed to get into a roadside garage to discover that the driver did not know where the spare wheel was or how to get it out of its carrier the result being that 50+ people including elderly and kids had to stand about for a hour in a filthy garage forecourt with no shade or water, when the tyre was taken off it was as bald as a table top and should never have been on the road, this is being sent to Thomsons under separate cover. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
My wife and I decided to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary with a cruise and stay holiday. It begins - We booked a week at Calize Island in turkey followed by a weeks cruise from Mamaris we later had to change the week to the Montana ... Read More
My wife and I decided to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary with a cruise and stay holiday. It begins - We booked a week at Calize Island in turkey followed by a weeks cruise from Mamaris we later had to change the week to the Montana pine resort owing to a friends wedding. At the time of the booking we was told that they would include a drinks package,hotel the night before and free parking as well as showing us our cabin in the middle of deck 3/4. when we moved the stay part of the holiday we was told that they would have to start the booking again and the offer on the drinks package is no longer included we questioned this saying that we have not moved the cruise but to no avail. We then asked if every thing else was the same our room double bed etc and was told yes not to worry. A few months later we received our tickets but for a totally different cruise on a totally different date.We then returned to the agents after being told that the hotel that we was due to stay in had gone bust and we will need to now pay for the parking and make other arrangements at our own expense. They then changed the cruise ensuring us that every thing was exactly the same. After boarding we found our cabin 2 single beds a port hole that you had to climb onto a shelf and crawl 5 feet into a alcove to see straight down into the sea this sea-view when booked cost £160, As it was our wedding anniversary i asked for a double bed every time we went into the shop and was on 3 occasions told that we had one. we complained to reception and was offered to upgrade at an extra cost. The first day was at sea so we made the most of a very poor ship dark and dingy and places where closed owing to a outbreak of the nureon virus the week before there was a further 3 cases whilst we was on board we went to bed at pm.The next morning at 5.30am we was woken up docking in Istanbul by the anchor dropping outside our room a experience we had everyday so we started going back to our single beds at 10 pm to get some sleep. On the 5th night we was woken at 1am by what sounded like a plane starting in our room we thought the ship was sinking it was the stabilizer this went on for several hours we could not sleep so at 4am we took our quilts and pillows and slept for a hour in reception there was already several customers there asleep. After returning to the Uk we have since complained to Thomsons about the room the view etc and to our utter amazement they have said that they are in no way responsible and that we did not pre book our room it is in the A to Z guide and we should have read it i pointed out that on 3 separate occasions we asked for double bed and was assured that this was the case I have since received a email apologizing for not being offered this service in the shop they forgot. The sea view was stated and we received a sea view although we had to do a assault course to vies the oily sea.They are also sorry that we was woken up early every morning and a very concerned that we was forced to sleep in reception. The staff overall worked very hard and where all polite and well presented the food was average and the Mistral restaurant was over priced the drinks where expensive and watered down in many cases there is not enough seats or sunbeds and if you like waiting in line this is the cruise for you. The only time to celebrate on the celebration is when you get off never again will we go with Thomson and i will actively try to persuade any one not to use them.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
1st September First look at our cabin we paid for an outside but imagine the disappointment when we saw the dark dank cabin they called outside it was virtually in the bow of the ship,we have been on the celebration in 2012 hence we wanted ... Read More
1st September First look at our cabin we paid for an outside but imagine the disappointment when we saw the dark dank cabin they called outside it was virtually in the bow of the ship,we have been on the celebration in 2012 hence we wanted to go again having enjoyed it so much you could not see with out all lights on it was appaling we were told not possible for upgrade perhaps next week! Never happend. Then the noise started 3am awoken by a horrendous noise s much so that my husband who is very. Laid back got dressed and went upon deck to see what was going on ....nothing really quite went to reception to be told we had to endure it as nothing could be done just cat napped for 13 nights after that as the noise was there every night balasting the ship we were told very important didn't help us much Then the illness on ship was bought to our attention they could not find the source looking in every little nook and crank nine with tiny torches etc we were not to touch any food but we're served by gloved staff food was not up to previous cruise but the steaks under the stars were superb also the staff We paid half the price of this cruise on p and o earlier this year and never once were we disappointed it also was for 14 nights P&0 reward loyal customers with discounts whereas Thompson reward loyal customers with what must be the worst cabin on the ship Will have to think long and hard before traveling with them again mind you just booking the cruise on line was a nightmare they took our money but did not reserve the cruise had to revert to telephone but unfortunately the girl took hours to sort it out?..     Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
Our 1st & probably last time on a Thomson Cruise. That is not to say the crew on board were anything but courteous. Waiters in the restaurant were polite and couldn't do enough to please you. A big 10/10 for that. Its difficult ... Read More
Our 1st & probably last time on a Thomson Cruise. That is not to say the crew on board were anything but courteous. Waiters in the restaurant were polite and couldn't do enough to please you. A big 10/10 for that. Its difficult to point out any particular waiter as they were all so very obliging. But a big pat on the back for Tony who made our dining experience most entertaining !! We wish him & indeed all staff well. They truly deserve it. Pity I cant say the same for Thomson as a tourism company. More of that later. I cant say the food was anything exceptional. It wasn't bad or un appetising . Just to say it was very nice & we did enjoy what was put in front of us. We ate mostly in the Meridian restaurant. The Lido buffet reminded me of a self service in a department store. Very noisy at back of ship where a stage is permanently there. Bedlam in fact. So we kept to the front of the ship. A serious lack of seating on deck at night, unless you wanted to sit out back around stage. No thanks. Not for me !! So we had to find any spare chairs we could and carry them all the way down to front of ship for peace & quiet. Ports of call were good. Particularly Ephasus. Don't pay extortionate fee for Istanbul tour. Its on the doorstep & you can easily walk it or get the tram at 8 euros for 2 people. We had to queue 50 mins to get into the Blue Mosque. But suppose it has to be done one once your there. If you decide to go to Santorini can I please IMPLORE you NOT to use donkeys. We went up in the cable car (5 euros) & walked down. Big mistake. Very slippery & dangerous & stank (donkey do dahs!) The animals are treated dreadfully. Over 30 degs when we were there . No evidence of water. Beaten with sticks to go faster. Some with 2 people having a jolly old time on back of poor animals. One in particular I cant get out of my mind. It had a large open sore on its back leg the size of a rugby ball with blow flies all around it, it head drooped low. Obviously in agony. Should be outlawed. Shameful. Cruise was 'ok' . Spoilt somewhat by Thomson trying to extricate every little extra out of you for anything they could. £49 pp for a tour of ship, £7pp for wine tasting, £15 for safe deposit key. I could go on. Don't loose your safe key or cabin key otherwise you will be charged £40 !! Cant see why it should be a Platinum Cruise ship. Could have gone on P & O for £500 extra. So all in all. A big thumbs up for crew but a big thumbs down for Thomson. Lots of money for what I considered to be a standard cruise without having to feel badgered into giving more for any extras. O, & check-in was dreadfully slow.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014
The following review concerns our first ever cruise and I am aware that I have nothing to compare it to cruise wise although I have traveled extensively and usually stay in 4 - 5 + star accommodation. My hubby and I had just returned from ... Read More
The following review concerns our first ever cruise and I am aware that I have nothing to compare it to cruise wise although I have traveled extensively and usually stay in 4 - 5 + star accommodation. My hubby and I had just returned from a cracking holiday in Malta (August 2013) and decided to book a cruise for the following year. I spoke to an elderly Aunt who had been cruising forever and a friend who just got back from one. My Aunt did say cruising was a bit like Marmite..You either love it or hate it. After much "oohing and aahing" over the Thomson Cruise brochure we decided to sail on the Thomson Celebration the following September. Over the course of 14 days we would take in Egypt, Israel, assorted Greek Islands and Turkish souks. We upgraded to a deluxe cabin on the 7th deck (104 Mariner Deck). Sadly by the time of the cruise we had lost both Egypt and Israel due to unrest in the region. I know this was unavoidable but these were going to be the main attractions for us. I did consider cancelling but after talking to Thomson Customer Services I realised that we would loose most of our money or have to pay a lot more to re-book something else. So our cruise was now called Gems of the Aegean and Ancient Wonders. After spending a cracking night in the Holiday Express Inn (Glasgow Airport) we flew into Turkey on September 1st. I would add at this point I didn't find the "Baggage Drop" any quicker than the usual check-in by Thomson Airways, Seems to me that its just cost cutting by Thomson. The drive by coach to Marmaris takes approx. 1.5 hours from Dalaman. This gives you plenty of time to take in the scenery and relax. Whilst on the coach we were given a form to fill in which asks you a bit about your recent medical history and sign a disclaimer to say you haven't had/do not have the Norovirus. At the time I thought this was the norm. We had our pics taken, were issued with our boarding cards and were finally shown to our cabin. OUR CABIN I have to say first off that Ver our steward was smashing and he looked after us brilliantly. I realised immediately that we had made a terrible choice of cabin. It was right at the end of a corridor with a door leading to busy stairwell which ran at the other side of our cabin wall and I was right. During the course of the cruise the door would bang constantly through the day and night even locking it from the inside made no difference. Also my husband hardly slept due to the loud constant.vibration that you could feel and hear whilst in the cabin. He works on an oil rig in the middle of the North Sea and he is used to noise and vibration and says that it was worse than anything he has experienced. The cabin itself was hardly deluxe and I was so disappointed. It was smaller than expected, the chair was cracked as was a wardrobe door. The bed comprised of two singles pushed together which left a 'ridge' in the middle of the bed. Only one side of the bed was accessibile the other side was blocked of by the couch. I did wonder what the standard inside cabins were like. PORTS OF CALL - Details when ship was leaving port, time to be back etc clearly displayed. RHODES - Brilliant. This was the only port where we did our own thing. CYPRUS - Did the Nicosia tour. Disappointing. Didn't really get a chance to see the sights - mostly seen from the coach. Ended with us walking back to ship before tour finished. I have no interest in shopping at shops which are the same at home i.e Debenhams. MYKONOS - Cracking wee village. Did the walking tour with a very knowledgeable guide. Loved this excursion and bought some super bits and bobs from local artists. ALAYNA - Did the Caves, Castle and City Tour again the guide was good. Ended on a lovely beach. KUSADASI - Would really recommend the visit to Ephesus and the House of Mary. Again I bought some lovely gifts. MYTILENE (Lesbos) - This was my favourite excursion. Lovely people, place and lots to see and do. Churches, fortress and Greek tavernas. You are tendered into the port. SANTORINI - Again a charming Greek Island. Cracking guide and lots to see and do. Tendered in. ISTANBUL - Hated this excursion. Too busy, too many people, too little time and huge queues. The guide gave us headsets which at times left you unable to hear him. I was also unclear where we were to meet him at the end of the day. I also felt uncomfortable during the unscheduled Turkish carpet shop visit. This is a 'hard sell'. This was the only excursion where the guide asked for tips which you handed to him. ATHENS - Busy but interesting. Liked the tour and the guide was knowledgeable. MARMARIS - When to Daylan. Did the river cruise, saw the tombs and turtles. Time for a swim at the beach. Enjoyed it. Bar one all our excursions were booked via the internet from Thomson. It was expensive. The excursions were very busy and at times it felt like a cattle market. Istanbul was particularly bad. I would go back but I would do the city at my leisure. Before going ashore/coming on-board you were encouraged to use an anti-bacterial hand gel and most times your baggage is x-rayed when boarding. IMPRESSIONS OF THE SHIP The Celebration is an 'Old Lady' and has wear and tear. Admittedly the maintenance crew are always out and about fixing things, painting etc.Keeping the ship 'Ship Shape' I suppose. She caters for a distinctly British, older (40 - 60) clientele, which likes to sunbathe, play bingo, do poolside quizzes whilst having beer/cocktails. We had the drinks package but some drinks still had an added cost which was clearly stated on the Menus. All drinks must be signed for and your boarding card shown when purchasing them. We did get someone else's card back but the mistake was rectified quickly. She has 3 main eateries:- The Lido - Buffet Style. Lots of choice but have to say on some days the hot food was 'luke warm'. Large seating area which the staff try to keep clean/clear of dirty plates etc as much as possible. The Lido is busy and seemed to me to have no dress code. People queued up but there was very little queue jumping. There is a separate ice-cream station. As always with buffets there always seems to be those who pile their plates high and leave half of it - my pet hate. Plus those who insist in touching, sniffing the food before putting it back. The Meridian Waiter service. We dined here twice and found the service to be slow. Tables with a larger group of people who arrived after us were served etc before us. We didn't order bottles of wine etc Mistrals A La Carte. We dined here only once.Slow service again. Nothing special about the luke warm food. In fact we got bored and left before the final course.We were given an appetizer then a sorbet courtesy of the chef. I would have rather had the food I ordered quickly and hot. The Norovirus On the Thursday of the first week I came down with the virus and was confined to my cabin for 2 days. I would say at this point I bought and carried my own anti-bacterial hand gel and used it frequently. I did not use any public loos or the swimming pool. I am convinced I got the virus in the Lido. When I was able to I visited the Lido and I did notice how much the food/utensils/crockery were actually handled by other passengers. Within a day of me being back on my feet it was decided by the powers that be to stop people helping themselves. The staff were to serve the food/tea etc until the end of the cruise. They also closed the library. There were others affected as the outbreak was stated within the on-board newspaper the Cruise News. I did go on to hear people moan about the fact the staff were dishing out the food. I suppose I should consider myself lucky that I was ill while the ship was at sea and didn't need to cancel any excursions. Sadly though my husband had bought me a new wedding ring and engagement ring and had been planing a blessing at sea on one of those days. He cancelled because I was so ill. After this I made sure all my meals were either very cold or boiling hot. We also got Ver to do a daily laundry for us just to make sure. He always ensured our clothes came back promptly and were ironed. The Gala Night Previous to our cruise we were told that the Gala Night is an opportunity to wear your 'glad rags'. So bearing this in mind my husband invested in a new suit and I bought an out fit from Monsoon which I knew I would relegate to the back of my wardrobe when I got home. Again I was so so disappointed. You queue up and have your photo taken with the Captain then you are ushered into the Broadway Theatre. Here you are shown to your seat, given sparkling wine, hear a short speech from the Captain and ushered out to the Meridian Restaurant. We were not given a choice of seat. The waiters hovered obviously waiting for us to move so they could clean up and get ready for the second seating. At one point my husband went to the loo and got lost on the way back. The waiters got agitated and were going to serve his food before he got back. I ended up having to go look for my husband. A complete waste of time. During the second week of the cruise we were again invited to the Gala Night but we decided to give it a miss. Entertainment In The Broadway Theatre Magic simply magic. I thoroughly enjoyed each and every show. We book VIP seats for the nights we went and I'm so glad we did. My favourite being 'Africa'. The entertainment team were electric. The only downside was the shows were repeated in the second week of our holiday. I would have loved to see more new shows. The Lounges and Pubs I barely used them but when I did the service could be hit or miss depending on how busy it was.There is a good choice of drinks and cocktails. I suspect for the amount we drunk it would have been cheaper not to have bought the drinks package though. We didn't use the Casino. General Observations Going into the second week I found myself wanting to go home. I was beginning to feel overwhelmed with the amount of people on-board. The virus had tired me out and I found it difficult to find a quiet corner except in my cabin. The main decks were awash with sun loungers and they were moved by the occupants as the sun moved. At one point I went to get a cup of tea and bring it back to my cabin. In order to do this I had to transverse stairs. Someone had placed their lounger diagonally across the bottom of the stairs oblivious to those who wished to use them or indeed how close they came to getting scalded with tea. I did speak to others who felt the same as I did and one lady had only been on-board for a day. The Cruise News is the on-board paper and gives you lots of generally information. Found it to be helpful when planning things to do. The Wi-Fi is hit or miss and dependent on where the ship is. Found the on-board computers to be slow. Booted up my I-pad which was quicker. £10.00 for 60 mins. In general the staff do an amazing job and are very helpful. Nothing is too much trouble for them. Although tips etc were included in the cost of the holiday we felt that our cabin steward was more than helpful. Marmite - Would we do it again? I did find myself comparing our cruise to a holiday I had at Butlins when I was younger. Lots and lots of people. I think we made a mistake as we don't generally lounge about on sun loungers or drink till 2am. while on holiday. We did like waking up in a new port every day and looking for a holiday bargain. We have always traveled with Thomson and thought the standards would be the same both on land and on-board a ship but they are not. I thought the Celebration would be more 'formal' then it turned out to be. I envisaged cocktails with the Captain on Gala Night and not having to stand in line with someone in a bikini whilst waiting for my lunch. I thought deluxe meant a complimentary selection of drinks in the mini bar and a proper double bed - I was so wrong. On the final night we were packed and had our suitcases outside by 10 pm. The whole dis-embarkation was easy. The only point I would make regarding the journey home would be that Dalaman Airport is a military airport and our bags were checked before we got inside the airport. All bags are x-rayed and we were stopped because I had sea salt in my suitcase. It looked suspicious. No problem but these guys don't mess about. Finally, I think we made a poor choice and didn't do enough research before booking the cruise. We would cruise again but it would be for 7 days only and perhaps be a river cruise with less people and more to see and do. We are a married couple aged 51 and 68   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
I went on a 7 day cruise on this ship. I have only been on the Thomson Dream before so cannot compare it to perhaps other 'plusher' ships. First the Thomson flight. Our journey on Thomson flight was horrendous! We were delayed ... Read More
I went on a 7 day cruise on this ship. I have only been on the Thomson Dream before so cannot compare it to perhaps other 'plusher' ships. First the Thomson flight. Our journey on Thomson flight was horrendous! We were delayed on the plane for almost 3 hours without being offered a hot drink and only water. I realise this was not the fault of the cabin crew as, firstly, the co pilot had a puncture on the motorway and was delay (we have to be at the airport 3 hours before!). Then, somebody was taken ill, however, I have to say the cabin crew were amongst the unfriendliest I have encountered on a flight. One flight attendant was very abrupt when I did not hear what she said first time. Not a good image. The leg room was good. No on-board entertainment. The food was awful. A really bland, uninteresting selection of croque Monsier, chips (7 to be precise). The journey to Marmaris is 1.5 hours which the Thomson rep had not told us about when we booked. She said it was 30 minutes! By the time we arrived at the ship at about 7pm, we had been travelling all day from about 5am and were tired and a little bad tempered. The photo taken for our ship pass says it all! We were shown to our cabin and it was very cramped but that's what we had paid for. But we did get used to it and did not spend that much time in it anyway. We had the cabin up from a standard on the Dream and it was much roomier with a big picture window. If you can, go for the bigger cabin. Our steward Mukti was lovely. He showed us how everything worked and was lovely. The cabin was cleaned to a very high standard each day with clean towels and sheets. By the third day, it really felt as if it was home from home. The other passengers were lovely. But, i have to say the crew were the best staff I have ever encountered anywhere. They were smiley, friendly, polite and efficient at all times. Our biggest problem with this ship was that the air con did not work from Day 1. Instead of being honest and telling us there was a problem, they fobbed us off by making a token gesture of taking temperatures and monitoring it each day - but not actually fixing the problem. Apparently, there was a block of cabins with the same problem. We had a fan put in the room which helped. But some temperatures were 90 degrees outside! The next people going into the cabin (490) would have encountered exactly the same problem and been fobbed off as we were. I eventually asked the Reception what 'compensation' we would be receiving for our inconvenience and they contacted the Head Office. Apparently, they deal with any compensation directly on the ship and they eventually gave us £100 back (£50 each). If you encounter a problem, it seems you do need to mention the word 'compensation'. Speaking to another passengers in the next cabin, they had not been offered this. My other gripe was the Internet access. I know it can be a bit sporadic at sea but the connection was terrible. I did not encounter this problem on the Dream so can only imagine it is isolated to this ship. It costs £4 for 15 minutes and you can only get access for about 4-5 minutes out of that time. Back to the positive! The entertainment was outstanding and the theatre crew were amazing. So talented and the shows as good as you would see anywhere. Drinks were a very reasonable price and the food in the restaurant (al la carte) was wonderful. Despite the problems with the AC and internet, I had such a lovely time, I was truly sorry to leave after 7 days. I would definitely recommend this ship but be aware that if you do encounter a problem, you do need to spell out to Reception staff what you expect for the inconvenience. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
Had a great time on our recent 7 night cruise to the Agean ( Gems of the Agean ). We will outline specific points so readers get a flavour of our experiences. FLIGHT with Thompsons from Manchester to Dalman. On time, no issues, but ... Read More
Had a great time on our recent 7 night cruise to the Agean ( Gems of the Agean ). We will outline specific points so readers get a flavour of our experiences. FLIGHT with Thompsons from Manchester to Dalman. On time, no issues, but considering the size of the plane (767) ther was no entertainment on the 4 hour flight. No way to access on board films, radio etc. we thought this very strange. No flight safety video was shown either, but it was on the return flight. Did not bother us, but it could be a problem in keeping children entertained. COACH TRANSFER was Ok (1.5hrs to Marmaris from the airport) after waiting over 1hr to get our bags at the airport in Dalman. A bit strange our driver opted to take a 15 min break some 20 mins from the port though !. Throughput to the ship was not problematic, but one thing we have noticed with Thompsons is that they are increasingly following the American trick of charging for 'extras' which at one time would have been inclusive. It starts with the plane ( pay to sit together, or take pot luck, pay to choose your cabin ( specific one ). Pay £15.00 if you want to access the safe in the cabin. Perhaps not a lot for the week, but when you have over 1000 passengers this can bre a nice little eraner. CABIN: Slightly dissapointed, split bunks and a small porthole. Clean and functional. Bed as hard as a board, and I had to ask for a decent pillow, which was sorted and provided quickly. Our steward was fantastic, and the place was very clean. Shower and toilet were fine. ONBOARD ACTIVITES/facilities. Fine in the whole. Enough shops, but we do not shop on board. Nice areas to relax, bars are pleasant and service is very good throughout. The big winner for us was the unfailing politeness of the staff and smiling faces. Service on here was perhaps the best we have encounterd to date ( take note mega cruise lines !!), and we have done a few cruises now. If you asked for anything, then it was dealt with quickly and help forthcoming. we had no real issues, and this was refelected from the friendly captain Hugh through all his staff. Cruise director provided good information, was always getting involved and did a great job. FOOD. On the whole this was very good, both in the buffet ( we only had the odd meal here ) and the main restaurant. We also tried the speciality Mistral restaurrant, which was worth the money. The food was tasty, and importantly for me it was hot, so well done to all. A nice choice of varied dishes ( one point, again an example of 'extras'. You could order a steak for a supplement of apprx £10.00 ). In previous cruises I am sure steak was an option you could order without this cover charge ENTERTAINMENT. On Thompson this is often a highlight, but the first night show was only mediocre. However the show team did put on a varied and better range of shows during the week which were on the whole good. We had one UK act, a comedian ('Buster') who was brilliant !!!. Singing acts in the bars and music was also very good. We enjoyed the DESTINATIONS, Kusadasi, Rhodes, Mykonos, Larnaca and Alanya. We only did two trips, one an island tour in Mykonos which was Ok, with a good guide; and a trip from Larnica to an archeological site and mountain village, again Ok. It is often cheaper of course to do your own thing, but as we had only been to Kusadasi previously of the ports we visited we decided to do these trips. They represented average value for money we thought. Thompsons excursions we feel compare well with some cruise lines and are not too overpriced ( Take note Fred Olsen, whom if you continue to hike your tour prices to ridiculous levels you are liable to isolate your cruise customers ! ). OVERALL the ship was most pleasant, and Thompsons certainly tried to make the voyage as enjoyable as possible. Drinks prices are quite reasonable, so we did not feel we needed to purchase a drinks package, and are please we did not as we had what we wanted and still paid less than we budgeted for !. One plus point is that Thompsons remins one of the few cruise lines that does not rip you off for drinks prices, nor adds the 15% gratuity for 'your convenience', which is a bone of contention with us which you find on the big cruise lines. So thompsons, keep this up. Would we sail with them again.? Of course we would, it was just what we needed for a week ! Dr Malc Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014
My wife and I booked a last minute cruise departing Belfast on Sept 8th with Thomsons on the Celebration ship on a cruise called Ancient Wonders, a very apt name as the ship is nearly ancient and a wonder that it is allowed to sail ... Read More
My wife and I booked a last minute cruise departing Belfast on Sept 8th with Thomsons on the Celebration ship on a cruise called Ancient Wonders, a very apt name as the ship is nearly ancient and a wonder that it is allowed to sail considering the regular outbreaks of norovirus on the ship. We got off to a good start with the flight leaving Belfast at the allotted take off time 7am for the 4.5 hour flight to Dalaman in Turkey. We enjoyed nice flight until it was time to start our descent to land, the plane dropped down very suddenly causing many on board to scream with fear before banking away and climbing again, this happened about 5/6 times before the captain came on the intercom to tell us that he was having problems getting a landing slot due to the amount of air traffic around Dalaman airport, he then advised that if no slot available on the next attempt that he would have to divert to another airport as he was running low on fuel, you can imagine what affect this had on the passengers on board. After another futile attempt he was then forced to fly to Bodrum airport to land and refuel. We eventually landed in Dalaman at 5.30pm, some 4 hours later than planned. We should have been on the ship around 3pm but did not board until almost 8pm, therefore losing any chance to spend some time in Marmaris.we boarded the ship and made our way to the cabin which was pretty much what we had expected. We then made our way to the buffet restaurant as this was the only venue open for dining and were shocked to see that staff were serving the self service food as there were cases of norovirus ongoing and the public were not allowed to serve themselves or even make a cup of tea. This greatly detracted from the enjoyment as there were difficulties due to staff not understanding what customers wanted and long queues developing due to the slowness in serving the food. As the week went on the norovirus became more wide-spread with. Number of passengers becoming infected and in some cases detained in their cabins. Staff were constantly sanitising all areas around the ship including a number of cabins on our deck. By the middle of the week my wife and I began to feel ill and decided to eat & drink as little as possible on the ship for the rest of the holiday, we survived by eating when we went ashore and by buying soft drinks & water etc off the ship, we returned home on Monday 15th and have both had to take time of work due to this illness. Our feeling is that the ship needs to be taken out of commission and to be completely overhauled, sanitised and checked to ensure that the norovirus is eliminated. On second day at sea all the power failed (albeit for a short time) and the Turkish authorities banned the ship from sailing any further until their inspectors had boarded the ship and checked that all was in order re the power supply. A few days before we returned home a number of cabins facing is were flooded, they had to be evacuated, stripped of all beds, carpets etc and satanised. We were delighted when we were able to leave the ship for the journey home.   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
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: July 2014
Just returned from the Ancient Wonders Cruise on Thomson Celebration. Traveled with my 16 year old daughter. This ship is the sister ship of Spirit which was the first ship we cruised on about 7 years ago, it has had a refurb to be ... Read More
Just returned from the Ancient Wonders Cruise on Thomson Celebration. Traveled with my 16 year old daughter. This ship is the sister ship of Spirit which was the first ship we cruised on about 7 years ago, it has had a refurb to be "Platinum" as Thomson call it. --Accommodation-- We were located on deck 1 on the inside so I didn't have great expectations, but was very pleasantly about the cabin, it was very clean, had plenty of space and ton's of storage. There was some noise, particularly on a rougher sea night, but both me and my daughter had no problem sleeping. The only problem is that the LCD TV did not have a great viewing angle and was unwatchable from my bed - but I wan't there to watch TV anyway! Although it has had the refurb, some parts of the ship are a little tired, but again this was no bother. --Food-- We found the food excellent, using the Buffet for snacks/breakfast and the main waiter restaurant for dinner and twice for breakfast. Had I not been with my daughter I would have used the waiter service a lot more - brilliant! Several people paid for a meal in the extra special restaurant (Mistral)and said it was absolutely worth the £20 surcharge per head - so hope to do that next time. We also chose to always share a table and spoke to many interesting and friendly people. --Entertainment-- This was what really made the holiday, we only caught 3 shows which were to a very high standard, but it was the entertainment team in general which made our 7 days so enjoyable - having got stitched up to be in a game show on our second night I suddenly found that this took the experience to an extra level. (having people wave to you when they see you on ship or on an excursion) My daughter now want's to be a presenter/compare, special Thanks to Jake and Paul from the entertainment team for telling her all the options and what a good life it is for someone young. We loved the quizzes and were gutted we didn't win a prize (really wanted that Thomson Bag). --Itinerary-- Ancient Wonders was a good mix, was however disappointed that Santorini had to be changed the day before - did like the added bonus of going to Rhodes though. This itinerary is quite good for those that like the option for just heading off yourself. --Summary-- A great cruise experience, I've done shock and awe cruising with Royal Caribbean and I will say hand on heart that it's not the age or size of the ship that makes a good cruise - it's the people and service and I would say that the crew on Thomson Celebration are excellent. (going on the Majesty 25th July so hopefully will be just as good!)   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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2014
This was my sixth cruise overall and my fourth cruise with Thomson but first time on the Celebration. The ship is dated and many passengers complained about vibrations and noise but our interior cabin on one of the lower decks was fine. It ... Read More
This was my sixth cruise overall and my fourth cruise with Thomson but first time on the Celebration. The ship is dated and many passengers complained about vibrations and noise but our interior cabin on one of the lower decks was fine. It was spacious, clean and pleasant. I think it was passengers on the higher decks who complained about the noise and vibrations and people in the cheapest cabins on lower decks were fine so it really doesn't pay to splash out on a cabin on a higher deck on the Celebration. Overall it was a pleasant stay on the ship. The staff were wonderful and the food was good with plenty of variety. The entertainment was good apart from the British comedian who was not funny at all unless you were completely drunk and would laugh at anything anyway. I used the gym a couple of times and found it to be basic but adequate We sailed from Marmaris in Turkey to Rhodes town, Limassol in Cyprus, Alanya in Turkey and spent two days at Ashdod in Israel. I had already been to Marmaris, Rhodes and Limassol before so nothing new there but Alanya was a pleasant surprise and such a beautiful resort. It was really hot so we took a taxi up to the fort and the views were absolutely amazing. Ashdod is just an industrial port but they had put on a free shuttle bus to the shopping mall in the town. As it is such a big industrial port passengers can't just walk in or out of the port and can only enter or leave using the free shuttle service. The Immigration process happens on the ship and you have to go through this before you are allowed to disembark in Israel. The Israeli authorities take over an area in the ship and process all passengers there. We noticed all Muslim passengers were pulled aside and interrogated before being allowed into Israel. One couple was interrogated for 3 hours before they were finally allowed to disembark and they missed their excursion to Jerusalem. Another couple were not allowed entry so had to sit on the ship in Ashdod and stare at the ugly industrial port for two days. After the interrogation we noticed that Muslim passengers were then pulled aside in the terminal building and their possessions checked thoroughly for explosives whilst all other nationalities were allowed to walk straight through the terminal. We didn't take the excursion and had pre booked a car and driver through TripAdvisor. He met us at the shopping mall in Ashdod and took us to Jerusalem . He was very good and knowledgeable and gave us the option of escorting us through Jerusalem as a tour guide for extra money but we declined and he left us there for around 4 hours and then picked us up and brought us back to the shopping mall from where we got the shuttle back to the ship. To be honest I would say he was expensive but luckily we had managed to share the car with another couple from the ship and split the cost of the fare. There are taxis available outside the shopping mall in Ashdod too but it's best to agree a price with them before you take them. Jerusalem was very busy with tourists the driver took us first to the Mount of Olives from where we had a wonderful view of the old city. He then dropped us off at the Damascus gate from where we wandered around all the holy sites. You will not get to see the Dome of Rock and the mosque unless you are Muslim. I was told that non muslims are allowed in on certain days and times and this is something you will have to plan so that your visit coincides with these times. We decided to have some lunch in a small restaurant near the Wailing wall. We had kebabs with pitta bread and fresh salad and drinks and the bill came to just under £30 for the two of us. I thought that was very steep and clearly they were taking advantage of tourists as I honestly can't see the locals paying that amount. On our second day we took a taxi to Tel Aviv and Port Jaffa and agreed a price but the driver was very grumpy cos I had wound him up a bit about the price. The old port of Jaffa was a nice place to wander around and then we walked along the seafront straight into Tel Aviv and we visited the market place. The beach is really nice and ideal for sun worshippers. The return trip was a bit stressful as there was a gay parade taking place in Tel Aviv that afternoon and most of the roads were closed off. We had a hard time finding a taxi as all the ones we saw were full. We finally managed to get a taxi but the driver was not willing to negotiate the price and we had no option but to take it otherwise we would not have made it back to the ship in time. This driver was very cheerful and cracking jokes all the way back and we had a good laugh with him. Like any other ship the shore excursions are extortionate and we avoid them at all costs preferring to do our own thing. If you do some research before you go you'll find that you'll be able to visit places for a fraction of the cost of shore excursions. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
this was a great trip the staff were very friendly the food was excellent as was the entertainment .people who complain about cabin vibration why not pay a bit more for a cabin upgrade we did and we heard no noise. also the people who moan ... Read More
this was a great trip the staff were very friendly the food was excellent as was the entertainment .people who complain about cabin vibration why not pay a bit more for a cabin upgrade we did and we heard no noise. also the people who moan about the food.are probably the ones you see with three courses and then leave half of it .also you cant blame thomsons for the weather .we went on three trips and everything was handled expertly from boarding to getting off the staff are there to help .the ship may be a bit old but with this amount of passengers it becomes more intimate .if you want a three thousand passenger superliner go elsewhere.pre book your cabin and take the drinks package .as in other reviews some of the carpets could do with a wash but how much time do you spend with your nose on the floor .we ate about eight then relaxed in a bar for the second showing in the broadway theatre and there were plenty of seats for the show. the cabin steward spent more time in the cabin than me always busy and pleasant, one drawback i got lost looking for the toilets but it was a great experiance and we will be back Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
This was my first cruise, so we pushed the boat out & booked a deluxe room with private balcony, plus full all inclusive drinks. We also went on the overnight experience to Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Overall this was a ... Read More
This was my first cruise, so we pushed the boat out & booked a deluxe room with private balcony, plus full all inclusive drinks. We also went on the overnight experience to Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Overall this was a fantastic break! The ship, although 30 years old & recently refurbished, was very comfortable, the staff were amazingly friendly with a very professional service. We especially liked dining in the Meridian Restaurant as this was a little more up market to the buffet style in the Lido Restaurant. The excursions were also very good, with the star of the main trip being Sharon Pelleg who was very knowledgeable and professional. She gave us the full story of Israel including the history, religious focus and the political problems that they face there. This was certainly a 5 star experience. The cabin was very comfortable with plenty of room and that amazing balcony! We had cabin 012 which is in the centre of the accommodation on the sun deck. The bed was large and very comfortable and there was a large amount of luggage and wardrobe space. The bathroom was a reasonable size and we had both a bath & shower in our room. The cabin staff also looked after us well with nothing being too much trouble. The only minor issues were that we could not hear the tannoy announcements in our cabin, the air conditioning was not great, we were woken a few times when fellow passengers left the Horizons bar around 2:00am in the morning and we found the reception staff a bit stand-offish and did not really resolve any of our minor issues. But, this is certainly a cruise that was worth every penny for us. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
My husband, sister and brother in law did a cruise and stay trip at the end of last month returning from a weeks stay in Turkey after our cruise.This was our second cruise, the first being on the NCL Sun to the Caribbean last winter. The ... Read More
My husband, sister and brother in law did a cruise and stay trip at the end of last month returning from a weeks stay in Turkey after our cruise.This was our second cruise, the first being on the NCL Sun to the Caribbean last winter. The Celebration was certainly smaller and older than I expected . We had booked a double cabin and were given single beds which the staff were unable to upgrade unless we were prepared to pay an extra £500 each couple! Out cabin was located on deck 1 which is the lowest deck. Consequently we could hear the hum of the engine and the slapping of the waves against the side of the ship all night long. In addition the porthole was so low that some times in port the view from the window consisted of the port wall which darkened the cabin.The food and facilities were excellent. It was great to have self service launderettes on various decks and the crew could not be friendlier. On 1 occasion there was no chocolate cake to my liking in the buffet restaurant, the chef came and asked what I preferred and brought it to my table, now that is service ! All in all it was very nice and the itinerary which included the Holy Land was fantastic. Just not sure that I would sail on the Celebration again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
This was our fourth Thomson cruise (the third time on the Celebration) and we visited Rhodes Israel Cyprus and Turkey. We had the chance to upgrade to a deluxe cabin for an additional £77 and this was money well spent.Our cabin was on ... Read More
This was our fourth Thomson cruise (the third time on the Celebration) and we visited Rhodes Israel Cyprus and Turkey. We had the chance to upgrade to a deluxe cabin for an additional £77 and this was money well spent.Our cabin was on Deck 6 and was spacious and comfortable. The bathroom included a bath as well as a shower and fresh towels were provided every day.Yes the bathrooms were looking a little tired and could do with replacement but they were clean. The hot water was a bit temperamental and sometimes it was necessary to boil a kettle but generally ok. The service provided by our steward Andy was excellent as ever and its interesting to note that even when you read other reviews even those which are critical always praise the staff.They fully deserve it as without exception they are always polite smiling helpful and really make a big difference to the enjoyment of the cruise. We found the food and choice available very good.Deserts were a little disappointing but the roast beef was excellent and my partner had it on at least three occasions! One evening we ate in the Mistrals restaurant which for a cover charge of £19.95 was brilliant value for money...seven courses of great food our desert plates even had our names inscribed on them in chocolate which was a lovely touch. We went on two tours one to Jerusalem and one in Cyprus.As always our guides were excellent and knowlegable although the lunch provided in Israel was disappointing as the food was cold and the tour quite expensive at £92 per person. We bought the drinks package at a special price of £138 and although neither of us are great drinkers it was certainly good value and we more than got our money back. One area which was disappointing was the evening shows.The Broadway showlounge is poorly laid out and there are not enough seats where you can get a good view, if you do want this it is necessary to be seated long before the show begins or it is impossible to watch the show.Consequently we didn't watch any shows this week and the bits we did catch didn't seem to be to the same standard as on previous years. However all in all we had a good time and will be back again next year! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
My DH and I have just returned from 7 nights on the Celebration. As per the title, we have mixed feelings about this trip.on the Celebration. A little about ourselves, we are early forties and this is our 10th cruise. we have sailed this ... Read More
My DH and I have just returned from 7 nights on the Celebration. As per the title, we have mixed feelings about this trip.on the Celebration. A little about ourselves, we are early forties and this is our 10th cruise. we have sailed this ship before, along with Spirit and Island Escape. We have also cruised with Carnival , NCL, MSC and Princess. We have a cruise in September coming up on Oasis of the Seas. We booked this cruise primarily for the itinerary, but also because of the drink package. We like to manage our costs in advance, so don’t like to book on a line now that does not offer a drink package - the package does not have to be free, we are happy to pay for it. Flight and Embarkation we flew from Manchester to Dalaman with Thomson, no problems at all. check in and security was easy. Embarkation was not quite so easy. after a nearly 2 hour transfer we were stuck on the coach for a further 45 minutes because the lines to check in and collect luggage were so bad. We did not get on the ship until nearly 7pm - which gave little or no time to change for dinner after luggage had been delivered. We went down to dinner at 8pm - but had to leave it half way through for the muster drill. I don’t understand why the restaurant was open if diners were going to have to leave their dinner half way through….bonkers… First thoughts of the ship were that it was much smaller than I remembered and that the size of the coffee port is a complete waste of space and I could not see where the platinum upgrades were. Also , at this point I must mention the vibration - it really never stops and is very strong in some really unusual places, for instance near the pool on deck 6 and in Mistral's. Luckily we did not experience it much in our cabin. We had cabin 306 an inisde on deck 4. it had an L shape twin bed configuration. appalling planning as the tv was directly above one bed, so i could not watch tv. The beds were the most uncomfortable I have ever slept on on a ship or in a hotel. a solid wood frame with a thin foam mattress. Awful, my hubby and I had really bad back ache by the end of the week. Our cabin steward, Leah, was excellent – apart from never changing our pool towels for the week, even though we left them on the bathroom floor to be changed. In terms of the food, it was just fine, other than the desserts, which were awful. Portions were very small, but you could ask for more if you wanted it. We only visited the buffet once, and stuck to the main restaurant in the evenings and the lido grill during the day. We only did breakfast on debarkation day which was in the main restaurant. No issues with the food in the main restaurant. We had chicken from the deck bbq on the day at Marmaris – this was raw in the middle and bleeding so I could not eat it. We ate in Mistral's twice, which was lovely. My hubby had to send his steak back on our second visit as it was underdone, however this was quickly rectified. It really is well worth the additional charge. We also did steak under the stars, which was a disaster. We both ordered a filet steak, medium. I got sirloin, rare, and DH’s filet was so overcooked he could not cut it. This got sent back and the replacement was just as bad. At this point, Franz the head maitre’d was making his rounds and asked us if we were enjoying our dinner – we explained to him what had happened, he went to see the chef and that was it, no feedback, no apology or anything – really poor customer service. We were really disappointed with the food and his lack of response. The entertainment was really good – we last sailed on Thomson’s 5 years ago and we remembered the entertainment as one of the high points, it was just as strong this time, plenty of variety and the music acts through the ship were great. It was also nice to have everything in English. Our last two cruises have had everything repeated in about six languages….. The main issue on this cruise for us was the drinks package. I enjoy cocktails on holiday and DH is a wine drinker. We took the package so we could control costs – the quality of the drinks on the package was really poor. The cocktails were all premixed and very low quality. The house wine, which is the only wine included in the package was horrible, literally undrinkable. We ended up spending circa £30 per day on a couple of bottles of wine that we had not budgeted for and not expected to have to buy. The only time you could guarantee a decent drink was if you had a straight spirit with a mixer. I love to have martini’s and different drinks on holiday, but not on this cruise, so many drinks tasted almost the same and the rest were just plain nasty. Very disappointing. We only got off the boat once, in Israel. We did the ships tour to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, the tour was good, and we really enjoyed both stops. This stop was the main reason we did this cruise and it did not disappoint. We did not get off at any other ports, as we just wanted a really relaxing holiday – apart from which we were not sleeping well due to the beds, so needed to catch up on our rest! To summarise, we had a lovely holiday, it was relaxing and we met some really lovely people and we enjoyed the entertainment. However, it would have to be the deal of the century to get me to go on a Thomson ship again. The ship is just too small and I felt a little claustrophobic by the end of the week. Also, for me, the food and drink provision has really gone downhill – this trip was not cheap even when you consider the drinks package was included. By the time we added on what we spent on wine etc we could have gone on a Carnival, RCI or NCL cruise and taken the drinks package and had a much nicer ship, with a comfortable bed and no vibration.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
We have just returned from the Aegean and the holy land on the CELEBRATION and we had a great holiday. We had read some bad reviews about this ship but I don't know why. We were in an adapted cabin as I am disabled and we were ... Read More
We have just returned from the Aegean and the holy land on the CELEBRATION and we had a great holiday. We had read some bad reviews about this ship but I don't know why. We were in an adapted cabin as I am disabled and we were pleasantly surprised how big it was, It had a fixed bed which they call Queen size but in fact it is King size any very comfortable. We were looking forward out of the ships window which made a change from only seeing one side of the ship. The steward who looked after us was called Ver and was so helpful and attended to all our needs. The bathroom is still small but would accommodate a wheelchair if needed. I used my electric scooter on board and as the lifts are out of bounds when the safety drill takes place the staff came for me and took me to my muster station. Fortunately for them it was only one deck below. I say that because I am no light weight Getting back to the lifts, when we first used them I was trapped by the doors each time so we reported this and the next day it was fixed and we had no more bother . Everything on this cruise was good. The food.in all the eating places, the drinks were good and not watery and we never had any bother finding a sun bed although most days we preferred a shady spot as it was very hot especially in Israel. As I find that hardly anyone who is disabled tells it as it is so I hope this will help in a small way. We have already booked our next cruise for Christmas and are looking forward to It but it is on the majesty We hope it will be as good. I did not go on any excursions but my husband went to Jerusalem and found it tiring but the guide was very knowledgeable so he enjoyed it very much. We got off the ship in Antalia and had a lovely wander about. Roll on Xmas. Read Less
Marella Celebration Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 3.8
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.4
Family 3.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.6
Enrichment N/A 3.3
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.9

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