12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Friends had a son who had worked as Cruise Director on this and other TUI Cruise Ships, they thought we would enjoy it. How wrong they were. All comparisons are made with previous cruises, long and short haul, made with NCL, P & O, ... Read More
Friends had a son who had worked as Cruise Director on this and other TUI Cruise Ships, they thought we would enjoy it. How wrong they were. All comparisons are made with previous cruises, long and short haul, made with NCL, P & O, Holland America and Princess Lines, all small ships. Flew out on 5th.November, flight delayed on runway over an hour, toilet function problem. Poor meet & greet at Airport, wrong directions to transfer coaches! Late arrival on board, meant less than 15 mins to the second lifeboat drill. Meet & greet staff on board did not know cabin location ! Made the drill meeting in the Show Lounge, usually it's at your appointed lifeboat station. No indication given to cabin number lifeboat, assumed that display info on Prom Deck was correct, even cabin numbers to port, odd numbers to starboard. One morning while having breakfast on the Lido outside rear deck area, noticed a pungent smell, assumed it was from the docks, but became worse, then smoke came out of the rear swimming pool vents, it had been closed off and empty, no explanation given. Smoke became dense and black, so quickly departed to upper deck, P/A issued a coded message, which was obviously for the fire crew. Staff cleared everybody off the rear deck, and the fire was extinguished. Later announcement advised the fire had been caused by welding repair to get the rear pool up and running. Several days later pool was filled and operational. Next issue followed about a week later in the Caribbean, again breakfast time, all the lights/air conditioning etc went off. About 20 mins power was restored, the fire/flood doors could be opened. They closed automatically when the power went off, explanation was a failed generator. That evening however, as we left a port, out in the navigation channel, all lighting etc went off, also no engine power ! Restarted again in about 15 mins. Blame was put on demand to aircon due to high temperatures experienced ! We are in the Caribbean remember. Action taken was to restrict aircon output, so cabin temperature rose, especially at night, and certain zones throughout the ship had intermittent aircon. The ship is now operating its Winter schedule in the Caribbean with ineffective aircon Trip was Adults only, all inclusive, however the bar price list showed only certain basic drinks and cocktails were included. Named drinks/named wines/certain cocktails etc had an extra charge up to £3, min £2.50. Named wines were expensive, Anjou Rose @ £17, half decent red up to £35, Tesco prices about a third. House wine was not good, red was undrinkable, never tried the white, Rose was weak but drinkable. The taste/flavour of all drinks and cocktails varied dependant on bar used. Outside deck sources were especially poor. Other passengers agreed with our thoughts, and we all agreed the drinks were "watered down". I even started to order a separate gin measure or light rum measure to top up a G&T or Cuba Libre, but they neither had the smell nor expected taste. The bar staff opened new bottles, but they did not have the plastic insert within the bottle necks, to prevent a bottle being refilled, so make your own decisions on the subject. Cabin was a de luxe on deck 7, paid extra, but more space quoted. Ship was refurbished not long ago, interior is light maple veneer, very good storage via drawers, and two separate built in wardrobes. Reading lights above beds, lighting controls on bedheads for the cabin. Fridge with pay as drink basics, tea and coffee making, bottled water is extra please note, we didn't realise till the bill came. Dressing table area has two power sockets, one US plug and other is 2 pin European. Bedhead has double socket UK 3 pin plug, and two USB ports built in. En suite is small, very narrow bath with shower curtain, mixer tap with button shower engagement. A grab rail to cabin side wall is badly located, too near the riser rail, so you knock your right arm on it when washing your hair or applying the shower gel. Refit specification should have stipulated a walk in shower with Glass Panel, who bathes these days, and the shower curtain wraps around your body, so so naff. PLEASE NOTE SHOWER GEL IS PROVIDED BUT NO SHAMPOO NOR CONDITIONER. We had to buy shampoo at first port of call. Couldn't believe it. Dining was either at The Meridian Restaurant with waiter service, or The Lido which was buffet self service. In both, menu was poor, some nights pretty impossible. They both offer at extra cost, £9.95, a steak or chops alternative. Never tried either, nor the extra cost Eating Venues, at £19.95 per head, as it all comes from the same source really. Quality of food was poor, portion control excessive in the Meridian, only is 3 courses now, our friends said it was 5 courses. Never had breakfast in the Meridian, the Lido gets overloaded, long queues, no glasses/plates/trays virtually every day. Choice never changed in 18 days, served up food pre cooked in hot water trays, toast pre done as well. Tinned tomatoes yuck, very thin cut bacon which was cooked about 3.00am along with the toast, black pudding whatever that tasted like heaven knows, choice of eggs, under done sausage. Separate cereal station but loose cereals, very little choice, four options, fruit never changed, sliced melon, unripe pine apple, sliced tough oranges, tinned prunes or peaches. Yoghurt was Danone tubs, like Spanish holidays in the '60s. No bread other than white rolls which were tasteless, or brown. No other offerings. Evening time they did offer brown and white sliced bread plus the tasteless rolls, although some nights the bread was stale. Fruit juice came out of machine dispensers, concentrate diluted with water, fresh orange juice was extra from the bar, but was still out of a packet !! No separate station for the soup options, this was in the middle of the horse shoe conveyor belt layout, so you had to queue up twice to get your soup, then the main meal. In the middle was the joint of the day, carved for you, deep frown received if you asked for more, felt like Oliver in the film. Pork was good, beef was really tough, lamb was good. Never tried the rolled Veal as didn't like the inner core it was stuffed with. Entertainment was poor as was the very limited Activities. The speakers offered were not good, nor was the chosen subjects, funny things that took place in his police career, and film reviews by the other guy. Did one and gave up. The first dance group were quite good, voices not bad and show themes were of interest. Second lot after changeover day and ships, were over weight, couldn't sing and not interesting themes. Had one imported Soul Night singer, ex Drifters, really good. Very boring comedian another night. Various quizzes, but the Cruise Director and seemingly most of the Entertainment Team required a translator, to know what they were saying. Mancunian and Geordie were not taught in my school days, the Queens English was however. The daily Activities must have come from a Nursery School option list, Bean Bag Targets, Skittles, Carpet Bowls, to name the highlights ! There was an option to learn Welsh, you couldn't make it up but it was true. One quiz host called me " mate" while handing over a paper, and I'd never met him before! Some passengers created their own Activities, brawling in Liberties Lounge one night, because a couple had sat in front of another couple, blocking their view of the entertainment, Security restored sanity. Another night in Hemingways Bar, another Activity and brawl was glass throwing. Service overall was quite good, plenty of staff who worked tirelessly. Cabin stewards likewise. Did not take any shore excursions, had been to all bar one port several times before, the hurricane meant an amended schedule for ports of call, original format would have seen three new Islands. Thought the excursions were expensive. Thomson clients seem to be a certain type, mostly from Up North, Tyne Tees, Wales etc, minority from the South. Many had done the trip before, even the return leg as well in April. The stereo type is grossly over weight, tattoos, and thinks acceptable behaviour includes resting ones legs by either putting ones bare feet up on another chair, or laying full length, bare foot on a lounge bar settee, despite shortage of seating. Picking assorted food from the buffet and either eating it in the queue and or on route to the table. The two main activities are drinking from 10am till the bar closes, and smoking as much as possible in the designated areas, in between the drinking. Sunbeds are a premium, requiring early towel visits to secure, anything later than 7.30 and you've missed out on the prime spots. Rumour has it, one guy was up around 5.00am to secure their padded bed on deck 8. Majority of sunbeds are unpadded, somewhat past their sell by date, dirty and tired. Conditions are very cramped unless you have picked your spot, and angled " your two" to create more space. Slyly moving adjacent ones further apart. Tip of the week there. To sum up, we all look for something different, having tried Thomson/Marella, we would not use them again, it is not the standard we require, if you think I am being a snob, that is for you alone to decide. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
There is a lot to recommend this ship. 1. It is excellent value for money. 2. The food overall is very good. Whether you eat in the main dining room or the buffet there is always lots of choice and the quality is good. Best pluses ... Read More
There is a lot to recommend this ship. 1. It is excellent value for money. 2. The food overall is very good. Whether you eat in the main dining room or the buffet there is always lots of choice and the quality is good. Best pluses are the pasta station and the salad bar. Only minor criticism is, for me they over cook the beef. We also never had problems in getting seats at the time of our choosing in the main restaurant. The buffet could get busy on sea days but was far less chaotic than most cruise lines we have been on. 3. Overall the basic drinks package is very good. Reasonable quality spirits and good mixers. We don't drink white wine but we liked the Rose and the red was just about acceptable. Beware the red outside the dining room because it sometimes comes at mulled wine temperatures. The only beers offered in the basic package are Fosters and John Smiths. I like these beers some may not. Some people complained that because of the restrictions it was not all inclusive. I have been on lots of cruise lines and this is pretty good. Yes, some lines do offer top shelf spirits and wines but you would have to pay far more for the cruise in the first place. There were a couple of silly anomolies, you can order a gin and a vermouth separately, but if you order a Martini, you get charged. 4. Staff throughout the ship were excellent. Sometimes, in the theatre in particular, you had to wait to be served, but that was sheer weight of numbers. The boys and girls always kept smiling and worked their butts off. Our star performer was Maria in Horizons. 5. The entertainment team and the guest acts were excellent. Less keen on the comedians, but that just may be us. We have been on many cruise lines but this was our first on Thomsons. The majority of our experiences were positive. Now for the couple of downsides: 1. We are early risers and we like to sunbathe between eight and eleven ish. The first day we went down at just after seven and all prime locations were reserved but not in use. The following day we checked before seven. Same again and every sea day. We have encountered this problem before on Italian ships, but never before have we come across the Benidorm mob on a British cruise ship. 2. When I tried to raise the issue with guest services they ignored me for four days. The Manager apparently never received my four messages. I will put that down to inefficiency, rather than rudeness. On thing this cruise has taught me is to think very carefully about repositioning cruises. Four years ago I had exactly the same problems with MSC. I have not used used them since. I will not be using Thomson again for Ocean crossings.. I will use Thomson again for cruises with frequent stops. Good value, food drink and service make it acceptable. The sun beds issue becomes unimportant because either I or the majority of the mob will be . Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise because we were on the Celebration relocation cruise last year and really enjoyed it. The ship is very clean and the crew are all very friendly. Our cabin was comfortable and kept very clean by Budi who always had a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were on the Celebration relocation cruise last year and really enjoyed it. The ship is very clean and the crew are all very friendly. Our cabin was comfortable and kept very clean by Budi who always had a smile and short chat anytime we met him. We ate in the Meridian Restaurant most nights and found this a very pleasant experience. The staff were very efficient and friendly and we met other guests whilst sharing a table with them. We mostly had breakfast and lunch in the Lido Restaurant where there was a wide and varied selection of food available. The only downside was, that if you didn't take a drink in with you, it was not easy to get a waiter. Maybe, more waiting staff would overcome this problem. We especially enjoyed the interview with Captain John one afternoon. It was very informative and interesting and he really has such a good sense of humour, which also came across on his daily bulletins when we were at sea. We enjoyed doing the daily trivia quiz but sometimes found it hard to hear the questions on deck 6. Overall, the service we received on board was excellent. The staff who especially stood out for us were Melisa and Sydney and the unforgettable Nosi, she was so wonderful, I would have been proud to have her for a daughter :-). Such hard workers and always with a smile on their face and an eagerness to help. Unfortunately, due to the hurricane, the ports we were supposed to visit were changed a bit, but that didn't matter to us. We saw some beautiful Islands in the Caribbean and met some wonderful people. Maybe next time we could visit the others. We had a wonderful time on our cruise and can't wait to do another one. Thank you to all staff and crew we came in contact with, you helped make our holiday one to remember. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I have to say this was my first ever cruise with my hubby and he had booked it for my 40th birthday surprise. He thought it would be something different from our usual beach holidays. I was a little worried at first as I thought cruises ... Read More
I have to say this was my first ever cruise with my hubby and he had booked it for my 40th birthday surprise. He thought it would be something different from our usual beach holidays. I was a little worried at first as I thought cruises were just for older people but I was very much mistaken. It was one of the best holidays I have had and we go on many holidays. The age range was from babies to very old. Everything about the cruise was amazing, every staff member says hello and cannot do enough for you. The food and DRINK were brilliant, we were AI and the variety was unbelievable. Entertainment was brilliant, there were broadway shows, karaoke, sports, everything you can actually imagine and late night discos every night. The different ports we docked at everyday were fantastic. This ship has everything you could want in a cruise, it is as laid back as you like or as fancy as you like. I have to again mention the staff and service on board its 1st class. The cabins are very modern and spotless clean, they are checked a few times a day by your specified room steward who also comes in at night when your out on board and turns down the bed and puts a chocolate on the pillows, such a nice touch. I will definitely 100% be going on another cruise soon with Marella (Thomson). My husband chose Thomson cruises as we always book our holidays with Thomson/first choice. Very good choice in my opinion as there is nothing at all to fault - well done thomsons!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We have sailed with Thomson 4 times previously (Destiny, Majesty and twice on the Dream) always enjoyed the ambiance of the ships and this time was no different. All the staff we encountered were great. Our cabin was a deluxe outside ... Read More
We have sailed with Thomson 4 times previously (Destiny, Majesty and twice on the Dream) always enjoyed the ambiance of the ships and this time was no different. All the staff we encountered were great. Our cabin was a deluxe outside on deck 7 (131) really good size, plenty of storage. We found the bed too hard (personal preference) but pillows ok. As always immaculately kept by our cabin steward. The bath towels were too small, I use this size at home to wrap around my hair after washing! Definitely not what I would class a bath towel, but always clean. The soap/body wash was awful stuff, take your own for sure!! The entertainment team in the show lounge were excellent, but as this week is their last on this ship you probably won't get to see them. We spent every evening in Liberties after the show and the resident band there were great! New Generation I think. Ports of call were all really good, only downside was the Thomson shuttle to Valencia. E7 each and a wait of 45 minutes. 5 mins walk around the corner will get you a local bus for E1.50! Our only disappointment was the food in the Meridian. Couldn't complain exactly, it was just uninspiring, and exceptionally small portions, but as always could not fault the wait staff. Enjoyed our trip but would probably not sail the Celebration again! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Having read some of the reviews we where concerned we'd bought a pup and where going to regret the holiday. We have cruised before on Holland America, P&O and Fred Olsen and this was to be our 6th cruise. We arrived at ... Read More
Having read some of the reviews we where concerned we'd bought a pup and where going to regret the holiday. We have cruised before on Holland America, P&O and Fred Olsen and this was to be our 6th cruise. We arrived at Doncaster Airport and where greeted by a dedicated cruise reception desk and received our room tags and instructions on what to expect at Malaga airport. The flight across and transfer where faultless and we where on board within ten minutes of arriving at the port. First impression surpassed our expectations - we where in a Suite on deck 8 (0058) and the porter guided us to our room and welcomed us on board. The suite was beautiful and of a bigger size than we could have hoped for. The bathroom was clean and roomy, the main room spotless if not a little dark meaning lights where needed even during the day despite the 2 large windows which where unobstructed by the lifeboats. We eat every evening in the Lido as we are not fine diners and we felt the room was a bit more like a canteen than some of the other buffet venues we have experienced before but the food was plentiful, warm and mostly good quality - I used the noodle bar most nights and this was excellent. The Liberties bar was our venue of choice and we enjoyed all the music, quizzes and game shows which was hosted mainly by Paul who was a really engaging guy. All the staff on the entertainment team and bar staff where very polite and good fun to be with. We watched the Africa show in the Broadway Theatre which was entertaining and the guest comedy artist was brilliant. The ship is 34 years old but doesn't feel that old or look that bad - its well maintained, clean and in good decoration and upkeep - a credit to the staff. We disembarked effortlessly at the ports of call but where disappointed that the berths where mainly in the industrial areas and not centre to the towns/ cities and needed transfers at additional cost. At Valencia we purchased coach transfer at £7 each and waited 40 minutes to get on a coach, we found out within seconds of leaving the terminal the local bus was 1.5euro each each way and was every 10minutes. The mix of ages and demographic of guests was good - those who have been on Fred Olsen will know that at mid 50's were young on them but mainstream on this cruise. The minus points where the berths, the shower water pressure, slightly dark Suite and a canteen feel to the Lido restaurant but the staff, venues, passengers, public areas and the port of calls make these points petty to mention and we will certainly use Thomson Cruises in the future - or should that now say Marella Cruises! Many thanks to all on-board for a memorable cruise Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose the Celebration for the Gibraltar visit, because it was the place we wanted to visit most, spending around 10 hours in port, most of the port visits were pretty good, although the visit to Portimãoi was rather pointless, ... Read More
We chose the Celebration for the Gibraltar visit, because it was the place we wanted to visit most, spending around 10 hours in port, most of the port visits were pretty good, although the visit to Portimãoi was rather pointless, not much to see or do, activities for younger passengers were limited, my son was 15 at the time, all the pools at close at 6pm leaving nothing to do at all for the kids the food was very good for buffet food, and the staff were excellent very limited and very expensive WiFi at £49.99 for 7 days, you can get WiFi in your cabin The cabin was very good, and cleaned lots, sometimes twice a day, we didn't take any of the excursions, we thought pp £37 for a 1 hour trip was far too much there are a few hidden surcharges on food and drinks, so not all-inclusive, we were charged £7 per person for a shuttle bus to Portimaoi, that was quicker to walk than the bus, although the crew were very good, the ship let the cruise down, so i doubt i would cruise with Thomson again, there are better value deals on better equipped ship for a longer duration Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We are regular cruisers with Thomson. We wanted a cruise when the weather was starting to cool down from the heat of the summer. The ship is showing signs of age but we prefer smaller ships with lots of character. Therefore the age of ... Read More
We are regular cruisers with Thomson. We wanted a cruise when the weather was starting to cool down from the heat of the summer. The ship is showing signs of age but we prefer smaller ships with lots of character. Therefore the age of the ship does not bother us at all. The food was generally good and we also decided to go for deal where you ate in the three "pay" restaurants. Mistral's and the Kora La were both really good. Sadly, the wine on offer did not meet our expectations. We wanted a bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc but there was none available. This was particularly disappointing as the senior wine waiter who hosted the wine tasting event that we had previously attended had agreed that New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc was the business. We were on the "all inclusive" package and the "house white" on offer was pretty poor. On the plus side Prosecco is included in the "all Inclusive" package which went down very well. The destinations visited were really interesting and enjoyable. We went to Mahon, Menorca, Marseilles, Barcelona, Valencia, and Cartagena and found them all interesting. The entertainment on board was of of it's usual high standard and the attitude and helpfulness of the staff and crew was excellent. We are frequent cruisers and the last time we cruised with Thomson there was a bottle of bubbly to greet us in our cabin. There wasn't one this time. Also, there was mention of an event for frequent cruisers but we didn't get an invite. The adults only pool was heated, which was great. All in all we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and have already booked our next cruise on the same ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our first cruise around Med - Malaga, Mahon, Marseille, Barcelona, Valencia, Cartagena - We flew to Malaga from Belfast, and the whole flight, transfer and embarkation was seamless and no major waiting.When we pulled up to ... Read More
This was our first cruise around Med - Malaga, Mahon, Marseille, Barcelona, Valencia, Cartagena - We flew to Malaga from Belfast, and the whole flight, transfer and embarkation was seamless and no major waiting.When we pulled up to dock, the Freedom of the Seas was sitting next to Thomson Celebration and made it look small. But when you start to walk around the Celebration, you realise it is big enough to have everything you need (and small enough to get around) Ship - yes, like a lot of reviews, the ship is older and could do with a bit of a spruce up in places but it's easily manageable and kept continuously clean. Food - we only ate in the Lido restaurant as the buffet style suits us more. The selection of food was excellent and there was something different everyday - we had to sometimes avoid walking past the restaurant to avoid temptation - the burgers, hot dogs and pizza from 11-1am were especially tempting after a few beers! Room - we had an inside cabin on deck 2 (room 613) which was perfect for our needs - anyone we spoke to said that some of the dearer, higher deck cabins weren't much better and not necessarily worth the extra cost. No engine noise in our room and we could barely feel the ship moving anytime. The steward keep the room spotless and replaced the towels everyday (whether we requested or not) put chocolates on pillows and made up bed - attention to details was excellent. Entertainment - entertainment was very good, the ensemble singer and dancers in Broadway Lounge put on a different show every night and then sometimes sang on deck and in Liberties bar - they worked hard. A comedian was on board for 2 nights and he was good, a bit old school with some cheesy jokes but still funny and worked the crowd well - he probably has played working men clubs and this style suited the mostly UK crowd. Internet and Wi-Fi - MAKE SURE YOUR DATA ROAMING IS SWITCHED OFF - we make the mistake of having data roaming switched on as we were able to use O2 in port as we can use our data and minutes in Europe now, but the data can connect to ship's internet, which we did by mistake when we thought we were on a normal network (twice) and were charged £6 per Mb, thankfully capped at £40 by O2 - they should really drop the charge and have realistic process for the customers on board Overall, we had a fantastic time on our first cruise and will probably go on another Thomson cruise same time next year and try another itinerary - would definitely travel on the Celebration again. Finally, the main praise for this cruise is for all the staff - all the staff! From the captain to the maintenance staff, entertainment staff, waiters, bar staff, stewards - they all had a smile and a greeting - this must be difficult to keep up, but we did see a lot of staff obviously enjoying themselves, interacting with customers and simple things like remembering peoples' name, room number or even what drink you like are subtle but nice touches. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise because of its itinery. An eclectic mix of Northern Europe (Belgium, France and Ireland) and the warmth of Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar. To that end we thoroughly enjoyed the destinations and would do a similar ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its itinery. An eclectic mix of Northern Europe (Belgium, France and Ireland) and the warmth of Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar. To that end we thoroughly enjoyed the destinations and would do a similar itinery again anytime. However the ship is very old and tired. We have been on a few Thomson cruises before on the Dream and the Majesty and hadn't really had cause for concern. But our 2 previous cruises were on Royal Caribbean and Cunard so I guess we've maybe been spoiled. We could see that Thomson had tried to tart up the ship but the cabin was small with nowhere other than the bed to sit. Also our room attendant had a real attitude problem. The 2 issues we brought to his attention were both met with "This is your fault" rather than with an attempt to fix them. The most serious fault was our cabin toilet barely working throughout the cruise. We have been on 8 cruises so we know what you can and can't flush down one. Eventually they replaced the whole toilet unit and gave us a bottle of wine as a goodwill gesture. I would have been happier if the attendant had just believed us in the first place! The food is good in the specialty restaurants is good and you get a great level of personal attention in them but you do have to pay between £15 and £20 each to use them. The food in the main restaurant was nothing special and in the buffet was absolutely terrible! The entertainers tried hard but were not that great and the 2 comedians that came onto the ship would have been far more at home in a working man's club than a cruise ship. I have always stood up for Thomson cruises in the past when people have referred to them as "Butlins at Sea" but I think that description sadly is true. We may possibly try their newer Discovery ships at some point in the future but frankly, I think we'll save our pennies and stick to the more prestigious ships. On a more positive note, at only £818 each for 13 nights the basic price was very good value but you do have to add your drinks, excursions and the nice restaurants onto the price. Also, with only 2 proper bars on the ship, other than the show lounge there was nowhere to sit in an evening as the bars filled up very quickly. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Embarked at Newcastle without problem, good direction to drop off area, very friendly and welcoming staff at every point. Straight through the check in and onto the ship within about 20 minutes. Excellent starting point for us up north, ... Read More
Embarked at Newcastle without problem, good direction to drop off area, very friendly and welcoming staff at every point. Straight through the check in and onto the ship within about 20 minutes. Excellent starting point for us up north, the main reason we booked this cruise as we travelled with parents in their 80's who find airports a challenge. The rest of the cruise exceeded expectations, cabin 856 on deck 1 was mid ship and next to a crew passageway meaning we only had neighbours on 2 sides, 4 berth cabin with the ability to create a double. No complaints about the room at all, good control of heat/cool and water pressure excellent. Slightly smaller due to crew doorway outside but more than enough storage space. Firm but very comfortable mattress. Previous reviews have referred to the Celebration as being tired, we didn’t note this at all. Compared to the Spirit it’s much more modern and updated, but it’s lost some of the classic character that Spirit retained. All public areas, toilets and restaurants were clean and looked updated. That said we soon felt at home on a wonderful ship particularly the Horizons Bar for the ambiance, service and views. The bar staff there were exceptionally friendly and attentive on every occasion, appreciated when you know how hard they work. Changes to the upper decks removing the sports nets and providing additional sun beds has reduced the pressure on sea days, we always found a bed without problem on sea or sunny back on board afternoons. Celebration is just the right size, plenty of space to be entertained or quiet. The walk around deck 6 is great, both for exercising and enjoying arrival and departure times. We found the food in the Lido and Meridian restaurants very good at every meal, the best out of 4 Thomson cruises. Food hot and varied, mainly British focussed but plenty of variety, salad and vegetable choices. We had the inclusive drinks package of the first time and enjoyed the freedom to sample the drinks menu, a small additional charge for some branded drinks but without choosing them the choice was still very good. Thomson offer an upgrade for £100 a week to be fully all inclusive but we didn’t think this was necessary, only paying a supplement on a few occasions. If you weren’t all inclusive you could purchase it onboard for £370 for the 13 days :-o ! Fosters was the included draft lager, not my favourite, with Heineken having a supplement. The only problem with the bar service was that they ran out of a couple of bottled options within a few days, poor planning from Thomsons and very frustrating if you had paid for the top up all-inclusive based on those drinks. The entertainment team in the show lounge and liberties were exceptional, the shows were again the best we’ve seen supported by excellent costumes and electronic set. All the ports we visited were excellent, the only small gripe was Dublin, pay 10 euro for shuttle into the city or wait for the free shuttle to the port gate, you couldn’t walk across the port. 30 minute + wait as the free shuttle that only seated 18 passengers and took around 10 minutes+ to do the loop. No problem on return journey and the walk into the city from drop off point along the Liffey was very good. Overall an excellent cruise, sailing into Malaga. Thomson remain our favourite for the reasons quoted by others, friendly staff, you know what you’ll pay for and excellent food / entertainment. Keep it up – and don’t lose the Celebration, a well-loved and perfect sized ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We are retired,we holiday at least 6 times a year and at the Glasgow cruise show in 2016 we were taken in by this cruise as it was somewhere we had wanted to go for years it sailed from a port only 90 miles from our home and we had a free ... Read More
We are retired,we holiday at least 6 times a year and at the Glasgow cruise show in 2016 we were taken in by this cruise as it was somewhere we had wanted to go for years it sailed from a port only 90 miles from our home and we had a free few week, so why not!. Departure was a farse. Massive 'Q's' o get into the car park and no toilets. No bus to take us to the ship [it was only 100mts away but we were not allowed to walk so had to stand in the rain for twenty minutes]. When we finally got on the ship our luggage was waiting for us and the cabin 203 deck 6] was quite spacious, plenty of wardrobe space and two windows facing the front [sorry 'Prow'] pity they didn't leek like sieve]. first night crossing the north sea was a bit rough, force 9 gale as we crossed the north sea, but we are experiences cruisers so woke up and had a hearty breakfast in the 'Lido' restaurant. . Had lunch in the meridian restaurant nice staff and food I would compare to 'Witherspoon's, Ok but nothing exceptional and dinner was the same as were all the meals we had there except the 'Escargot' which would put most french restaurants to shame as was the 'Red Snapper', so they do have some exceptional chefs. The 'excursions Sales Pitch' was a wonder to behold. It was done like a 'QVC' questions & Answer session with the cruise director and other members of his team telling us why it we would be so much better to go on the organized tour rather than doing it yourself. First stop would be Flam and we could go on the official Thomason Carriages for £98 English commentary and that if we went ourselves it would be 150, What they did not tell you was the 150 was Norwegian currency [10.6 to £1] which was under £15 and that all carriages were the same and all got the english commentary. It was the same for all other excursions, over priced and over hyped. on night two after the storm had subsided I noticed a very distinct vibration in the cabin to the point that you could not drink a cup of tea without spilling it. Morning three I woke up thinking I had 'Parkinsons' as I had the shakes [and it was not due to drink, if only it was] it was due to the shake in the ship and as we found out it was worse when the ship was docked and the main engines shut down. I gave Thomsons the benefit of doubt that something had come loose or got damaged during the storm and that is what was causing the terrible vibration that went right through the whole of the front of the ship. I have since found out that this has been reported for over twenty years on this ship. During the cruise I got more & more tired because of sleep deprivation because of sleep deprivation as did others. Reporting the vibration got lots of engineers looking about our cabin, but no improvement. Entertainment: the comedian who was on two nights was great. The entertainment team I believe this was their first cruise and it showed, bit like a secondary school concert,a bad secondary school concert. During the cruise when docked the ship was told to turn the music and sound down because we were causing sound pollution as the entertainment director thought it appropriate to make the ship sound like an 18-30 Benidorm Hotel ans all of these beautiful tranquil & peaceful Norwegian towns should suffer his choice of 'Garage Music'. We were in a church service in Stavanger Cathedral and all you could here was the music coming off Thomson Celebration and I felt ashamed to be one of the passengers. Overall the main crew are fantastic and hard working, but they have the most arrogant European officers I have ever encountered in 40 years of cruising. he ship and it's sister ship have been reported for the vibration problem for at least 20 years but Thomson [now renamed TUI] have ignored it. IMO the Celebration should have been scrapped long ago. Not only does it give you the 'Shakes' the so called 'Deluxe cabins' the windows leek. Over the next 12 months I have 4 other cruises booked already, Luckily none with Thomsons. And have they replied to my complaints? Not a word or acknowledgment in any form. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
As this was our first cruise we did not know what to expect and had nothing to compare it with, Newcastle is our nearest port so that was a bonus. The embarkation went smoothly with no long waiting time, our cases arrived at our cabin ten ... Read More
As this was our first cruise we did not know what to expect and had nothing to compare it with, Newcastle is our nearest port so that was a bonus. The embarkation went smoothly with no long waiting time, our cases arrived at our cabin ten minutes after we did, our cabin, No. 874 had plenty of room lots of storage and all the facilities we needed. The overnight and next day sailing to Norway gave us chance to discover the ship and all its facilities including restaurants and entertainment. The food was served in the Lido restaurant 19 hours a day all of it delicious and the staff were excellent, polite and nothing was too much trouble. The shows each night were brilliantly presented, the resident singers were also very good. The entertainment team provided a varied range of activities day and night to suit most tastes ( we thought the fruit & veg carving by one of the chef's was fabulous ) To sum up the ship's crew, everyone of them could not do enough for you and were very polite and helpful.The scenery of the fjords was beautiful, Norway is so clean, the excursions that were on offer, were interesting and a little show was put on for us as we left the ship at Arendel by the local dance school of bits from the film Frozen. Every night the next days itinerary was slipped under your cabin door plus the weather forecast which was really helpful .may we also point out the ship was spotless throughout,especially the cabins. Our disembarkation was quick and without any problems. We enjoyed our first ever cruise with Thomson Celebration and will definitely go with them again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Decided to do this cruise as goes from Newcastle, easy to get to for us. Loved the Fjords, very scenic and loved the places we docked in. Norway is very expensive though, we were warned about this so no surprise, we did not spend much ... Read More
Decided to do this cruise as goes from Newcastle, easy to get to for us. Loved the Fjords, very scenic and loved the places we docked in. Norway is very expensive though, we were warned about this so no surprise, we did not spend much money in Norway! We had a very turbulent night crossing the north sea, there was a storm and the ship was swaying a lot, they were making announcements saying seasick tablets were on sale!! All settled down once we got to the Fjords. We had a cabin on deck 2, cabin 695. Happy with the size and plenty of storage. Shower room was on the small side but adequate. Our cabin was looked after by Melwin, very polite and helpful.. My only complaint about the cabin is no 3 point plug socket, im sure they could install them in cabins as everyone was british on the ship. Melwin very kindly lent us an adapter. Food was great, loved the lido buffet, plenty of choice. Breakfast was very busy, sometimes struggled to find a table. Tried the waiter service restaurant a couple of times, good food but less choice. Preferred the buffet style. Was all inclusive for drinks which was great, tried a lot of the cocktails, they are not very strong but tasted good. Casino was a little disappointing, just a small area next to a bar. Loved the Cameron musical show, others were not that good. The show theatre gets full and there is not enough room for everyone, problem is that people go to the first sitting show and do not leave, i think they should tell people they have to leave after the show to enable every one the chance to see the show. Overall, had a great time, would do a thomson cruise again, somewhere else. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was our 1st cruise and being very apprehensive of going into the unknown, We are so glad we booked this cruise Sailing from Newcastle was great only being a few hours up the motorway. Embarkation went smoothly seeing that we did not ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise and being very apprehensive of going into the unknown, We are so glad we booked this cruise Sailing from Newcastle was great only being a few hours up the motorway. Embarkation went smoothly seeing that we did not know what we was doing. We had a outside cabin on deck 2. The cabin was not that big but seeing you only slep in it, it was sufficient, Plenty of storage and wardrobe space. Only one drawback not enough coat hangers. Though I did pack some into the suitcase Very clean Joko came in twice a day changed the towels he left it so clean and tidy. The ship is spotless you see the staff continually cleaning, painting to keep the ship looking good, they work so hard. We eat in the Lido restaurant there was a good selection of food and it was very good, it could get busy. We did not try the other restaurants always meant too but never got round to it definitely next time. There is a variety of bars to suit all taste Liberties with your bingo quizzes music till late, Duo singers in Hemmingway more of a relaxed and a bit quieter. Horizon up on top deck which again is one of the quieter bars. Bars to suit all taste The staff in Liberties are great we got to know them and you could not ask for anything else for helpful, always smiling staffs. Thanks Nosi and gang for making our cruise lovely and enjoyable Entertainment in the Show lounge was good, its good that the shows have 2 start times. The fjords are unbelievable and the ports of calls were lovely. I would highly recommend this destination cruise. We loved this cruise, The Fjords The Celebration. The atmosphere, the people, the staff are so friendly and this made our holiday. We would defiantly book another in fact we have for next year to the Adriatic on the Celebration. Cant wait. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to sail from Newcastle and we liked the itinerary - we wanted to see both Tallin and Riga and also the small Danish island of Bornholm which not many cruise ships go to. We also wanted to try ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to sail from Newcastle and we liked the itinerary - we wanted to see both Tallin and Riga and also the small Danish island of Bornholm which not many cruise ships go to. We also wanted to try Thomson Celebration as we have previously sailed on Spirit and really enjoyed it. We were not disappointed with the ship, its the right size for us and we liked our balcony cabin. The food was good and the staff were very friendly. Entertainment was as good as on the Spirit, fabulous shows and singers. The ports of call were mostly good and getting through passport control at St Petersburg was easy. We thought it might be complex but it was fine. Don't be fooled about the visa situation though - you can still book independent tours who will provide the same group visa for you - some of our passengers had had some better tours than the Thomson ones so do your homework. Tallin is amazing! Don't miss this port, it is just gorgeous. Sadly we had a complaint - they took more money from our credit card than what we had actually spent and more than 2 months on we haven't even had a response and we are dealing with the complaint through our travel agent. Not happy! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We were two couples who choose this cruise because of destination ports. (St Petersburgh,Tallin, Copenhagen) and the embarkation port which is close to where we live. We decided to push the boat out (excuse the pun) and booked Deluxe ... Read More
We were two couples who choose this cruise because of destination ports. (St Petersburgh,Tallin, Copenhagen) and the embarkation port which is close to where we live. We decided to push the boat out (excuse the pun) and booked Deluxe balcony cabins with premier service and all inclusive. Now we didn't expect to dine every night with the Captain but we did think our on board psend would be at a minimum. but let me enighten you on just what all inclusive DOESN'T mean 1) Bottled water in cabin £2 a bottle 2)Cabin mini bar. Bar prices 3)Taking valuable jewellry? Cabin safe £25 per voyage. 4)Want to keep in touch with home? Wi Fi £8/hour 5)Fancy a coffee in the ship's coffee bar? £1.70 (A/I concessionary price) 6)Laundry. A carrier bag size bag which must be closed. Wahed and folded only£14.95 7)Fancy a tour of the ship (with a cup of tea with the Captain thrown in?) £49/head 8)A good programme in the show room and fancy a ringside seat? £8.95 9)The all inclusive drinks do not include the more expensive cocktails and spirits so there is a confusing list of what you have to pay extra for. 10)If you didn't have a drinks package and decide to have one anyway £199/week. and whar about your little darlings? A drinks package for pop,juise etc only £99/week An hours pampering in the beauty salon will cost £100 No wonder they boast that tips are included!! On the plus side the ship itself,although dated was immaculate. The cabins were large and pristine and all the crew pleasant and helpful. The ships dance team were brilliant and worked their socks off. Food was average and the choices limited. Even the specialist restaurants which again were between £17/20 head extra were nothing really special. All in all this company try to milk their captive audience even to the point of auctions of sporting goods and a permanent shop selling booze,trinkets jewellry etc. We have been on many cruises but this is the first with Thomson and it is surely the last. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our third cruise with Thomsons. We first sailed on this ship 8 years ago around the Canary Islands - a pleasant time enjoyed by all. Earlier this year we enjoyed a week onboard the Spirit around the Eastern Med area, again quite ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Thomsons. We first sailed on this ship 8 years ago around the Canary Islands - a pleasant time enjoyed by all. Earlier this year we enjoyed a week onboard the Spirit around the Eastern Med area, again quite a pleasant voyage including the Thomson flight from the UK. However this recent cruise around the Baltic states was really plagued with onboard problems. My wife and I along with a few hundred other passengers left the ship with unpleasant medical issues relating to poor hygiene and poor fresh air circulation problems. The quality of the food from a nutritional value was well below par, and when we asked for some fresh vegetables they turned up still bloody frozen in the middle!!. Our waiter had a terrible cold and was still working in the main restaurant. I followed one crew member out of the toilets who didn`t wash his hands and went straight to work in the bar area handling drinks glasses serving passengers. There was virtually no fresh air delivery in the cabins - just recirculated warm air carrying germs. We reported this issue three times but to no avail. Along with many others we talked to on departure morning - we couldn`t wait to get off. We are still ill to this day as I write this. Thomsons/TUI you really need to get this sorted or face legal challenges. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
My boyfriend and I booked our trip rather last minute and booked a lot of excursions too online before we left. On arrival at Newcastle port, it was a little confusing for us where we had to go as there was a queue to drop off your ... Read More
My boyfriend and I booked our trip rather last minute and booked a lot of excursions too online before we left. On arrival at Newcastle port, it was a little confusing for us where we had to go as there was a queue to drop off your luggage which you had to do first, before you proceeded to a check in signposted building - easily sorted no big deal A lot of people commenting on the standards of the ship, we found our room and the restaurant very comfortable, there are a few restaurants on board that you have to pay a subsidy for again - no big deal. The staff and food was fantastic, Johnny on reception and our housekeeper Dede were lovely, and the waiters were equally friendly and lovely people. The excursions again, all great, with really good knowledgeable guides The only down points..... - my boyfriend and I although on holiday need to keep connected with work, and so accessing emails, it was mentioned the internet connection was pretty slow - understatement, for the speed you get the price should be a lot lower, ranging from £8 for an hour, to £90 for 2 weeks per device, we were told we could connect multiple devices via one wifi connection purchase, but whenever we logged in from different devices it logged the other person off.....again no real big deal, but I think Thomson should charge a price in keeping with the poor connection Right......now what really bugged me, my boyfriend and I are in our 30s, when we told our friends and family we were going on a cruise the reaction was why?! because cruises seem to be appealing to passengers a lot older than us... This is where my temper was tested - As mentioned the cruise, destinations, the ship, the staff the food were amazing But the other passengers :| where do I begin……it seems the people this cruise attracts are plain idiots - I’m surprised how such an older generation is so rude, there is one buffet restaurant the Lido, where so many older people leaned over my tray to get to something, pushed in queue, can't you wait?! where's the fire?! to which I told a few to wait and not lean over my food - There is an Indian/Chinese restaurant on board where we ate on many evenings, there was a charge for this restaurant, but the food and the service made it worth it......in this restaurant there was an older gentleman and his wife (who were white and British - my boyfriend and I also white and British) shouting at the Indian waiter telling him they didn't know how to cook Indian food....really?! so an old rude white man knows more about cooking Indian food than an Indian chef?! I don't think so, he was moaning for ages, his wife telling him to shut up, but he persisted, pushing his food around his plate like a child having a tantrum, the only people’s meals you ruined were everyone else in that restaurant who had to listen to you speaking so appealingly to the waiter, absolutely disgusting and I hope you read this, you’re an absolute embarrassment - What else?....on some of the excursions, they were walking tours, WALKING being the give away as to what the tour would involve yet, again, lots of older people moaning about the walking In summary, a great cruise, great ship, staff, food, ports of calls and excursions, the only thing that ruined it for us, was the amount of moaning we had to endure from other passengers… Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We are 1st time cruisers, family of four, including two older teenage children. Everything went smoothly, journey and embarkation. Lovely welcome on board by staff. All staff were excellent their whole aim was to keep you happy and serve ... Read More
We are 1st time cruisers, family of four, including two older teenage children. Everything went smoothly, journey and embarkation. Lovely welcome on board by staff. All staff were excellent their whole aim was to keep you happy and serve in any way possible. The ship was very comfortable, cleaning was continual, everywhere so nothing was ever dirty or untidy. Rooms were made up twice a day, always clean towels. Cabin Steward Joko was very friendly helpful and pleasant. Ours was an outside cabin on deck 2 with the girls next door. These were not huge but were perfectly comfortable and kept clean and tidy. Food was fabulous we used a combination of the Lido and Meridian restaurants. Food was good in both but particularly in the Meridian Restaurant where we enjoyed excellent service from our waiter Alpin. We had a free upgrade at the point of booking to all inclusive, this was well worth it for a family party. After our evening meal we enjoyed the nightly shows in the Broadway Show Lounge, entertainment was very good and was enjoyed by the whole family. we also enjoyed the other entertainers around the ship performing in different bars and decks at various points throughout the day and night. We enjoyed all our destinations and ports of call. Being an active family we were happy to walk into many of the destinations on our own and found most walk in ports were about 20 mins on foot to get to the main points of interest. We did take a couple of payable shuttle busses in Stockholm and Helsinki as these were a longer distance and also a shorter amount of time was allowed in these two places as it was an early leaving sail time. We found this the only disappointing thing, that that some shore days were not as long as we may have liked. Excellent full day trip in St Pertersburg which included a guide who spoke excellent English, and a very good Russian meal, which we all enjoyed. All in all a good holiday with very good memories to take away. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Never been on an ocean cruise and choice this one because we had never been to any of the countries visited. When we booked the itinerary stated Copenhagen and Oslo as destinations but prior to the cruise we were notified of the itinerary ... Read More
Never been on an ocean cruise and choice this one because we had never been to any of the countries visited. When we booked the itinerary stated Copenhagen and Oslo as destinations but prior to the cruise we were notified of the itinerary and the ship did not dock in Copenhagen or Oslo! Both cities were available by a coach trip. The cabin on deck 2 was very comfortable and larger than expected and Joko looked after our room wonderfully. As we were at the bow end only the bow thrusts were noisy. Always had hot water for the shower and lovely clean towels. The service in the Meridian restaurant was very slow and we decided to eat in the buffet restaurant Lido. Food was plentiful and hot, the work station was excellent. Drinks were by waiter service and we often had finished our meal before a glass of wine arrived! Tea and coffee were self service. Water was only available in the Lido restaurant, otherwise it was to buy by the bottle. Both Horizon and Hemingingways had continuous piped music as did the outer Lido area. It was apparent that there were not enough seating areas for all the passengers on board, especially at night and if weather was not too good. Some of the evening shows were excellent whilst some were mediocre. The staff were very friendly and always offered a greeting. However, the drinks waiters quite often walked around looking at the floor. We enjoyed the cruise but it did not wow us to think Yes we will return. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
My wife and I chose this cruise primarily for the ports of call which were varied but all interesting in their own ways. The smaller ports such as Fredrikstad and Aalborg were very welcoming and the larger ports such as St Petersburg and ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise primarily for the ports of call which were varied but all interesting in their own ways. The smaller ports such as Fredrikstad and Aalborg were very welcoming and the larger ports such as St Petersburg and the capital cities had much of interest. You can always find fault if you want to but for us this was yet another fantastic cruise. It was our first time on the Celebration but we preferred it slightly to the Majesty which we have cruised on twice previously (and loved). Our cabin was spotless and the dining and entertainment experiences were pretty much faultless. In our experience all cruises are of similar high standard so it's probably best to highlight the areas where this cruise exceeded expectations. 1. Thomson Show Team - who worked tirelessly throughout and delivered top quality shows and performances. Thanks to Nicky, Beth, Alice, Ewan, Alex and the others for making it so special. Even when one of the team was sick and unable to perform the others rallied round to ensure the show went ahead. 2. Dining experiences were generally excellent but our personal favourite was Manny's panini and tortilla bar at lunchtime on the Terrace poolside at the back of the Lido. A marvellous selection of snacks made to order. Lido restaurant coped well even when the ship was full and we loved Meridian for dinner. 3. The destination ports - where we took a tour in each port. All guides were incredibly knowledgeable and my personal favourite (in Helsinki) had a wicked sense of humour. Thomson maybe not quite as slick as others in terms of excursion organisation but the choice is extensive and I felt were greater value for money than other cruise companies. The only negative for us was the difficulty in securing a table for two at dinner in the Meridian restaurant which is our preference. Not a big issue though and we didn't mind the odd occasions where we had to share. In summary, great ports and excellent onboard experience plus top notch Thomson staff made this a cruise to remember. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Seeing St Petersburg and Tallin were on our wish list and with the ship sailing from North Shields (30 minutes from home), this was a no-brainer! Embarkation was a little chaotic with staff everywhere shouting out what to do and where ... Read More
Seeing St Petersburg and Tallin were on our wish list and with the ship sailing from North Shields (30 minutes from home), this was a no-brainer! Embarkation was a little chaotic with staff everywhere shouting out what to do and where to go. Hundreds of people milling around being told to 'move forward' over loudspeakers with no idea which line of passengers was being shouted at. A Thomsons flag outside the terminal suggested that we should use the right hand entrance which was entirely incorrect. From here cross the entire building through the hundreds sitting down, to join the end of the queue inside the other entrance. Bags were being taken at the end of this queue and boarding cards issued along with medical questionnaire. Fill in your medical questionnaire and cross the waiting hoards again to a desk to collect a coloured card. Then join the queue to hand in the questionnaire. Then find a seat and join the waiting hoards to be called via colour to the boarding desk. At least one desk could be eliminated. A family arrived at the front of the boarding queue to discover that they didn't have a coloured card because they hadn't handed in the questionnaire…. However, the whole process took under an hour so despite the confusion it was swift. Boarding and into cabin was done in the rain but that isn't Thomson's fault although the top layer in my suitcase got wet! I had two pieces of luggage. One was suit carrier because we fancied attending the Captain's Gala which we probably wouldn't bother with again because all the queuing and waiting around added over an hour to meal-time. So if you want to avoid dressing up you can eat in the Lido or if you want to dress up but avoid the waiting and photos you can book Al La Carte. The other suticase was way over the 23kg limit (only noticed when I read the rules again on the way back!) but no-one complained to me. The bags were all safely delivered to the room within 30 minutes of boarding. Cabin 145 is on the starboard side and is billed as a deluxe. I agree with many other comments that the ship is looking tired and old-fashioned but we have travelled on Celebration before and like it so knew what to expect. What I couldn't remember was the electrical socket layout so here is the definitive for this cabin: two sockets. One is continental round two pin at 220v and the other US two flat pins at (presumably) 110v. I presume this because a hair dryer ran much slower in the flat pin socket than the round pin. I believe the flat pin to be inherently less safe so I bought a 3 socket extension lead from home and used it with an adapter in the round pin socket. Cabin 145 is a deluxe cabin on deck 7. I booked it because of the position in relation to the rear staircase and deck 7 because it is not overlooked. Deck 6 is the promenade which is below and 8 the lifeboats. It is fairly large with a double rectangular window and was set up as a double for us. Plenty of storage with two wardrobes, 6 large drawers and bedside lockers with 2 drawers. There is enough spare room in the fridge for your own bottles. Tea and coffee facilites although never enough milk sachets, as normal. Fabulous service from Glenn, the steward who managed to tidy the cabin 3 times a day! The cabin does look a little tired now with brown and pine- fairly dark for today's tastes. But with the exception of the old-style radio built into the end of the desk, everything worked except the hair-dryer. We did not bother to report this because my wife bought one having learnt to never trust hair-dryers in ships and hotels!The TV reception is pretty poor in terms of picture quality but both Sky and BBC World news are available and normally the picture was viewable. The one fault that constantly annoyed me was the lack of of water pressure in the shower. Turning it full on and holding the head upside down resulted in a fountain less than an inch high...We spoke to other passengers and were assured that on deck 2 this was not an issue. The drain from the bath (shower is over bath) blocked one day and was cleared within minutes by an engineer. I would book this cabin again. We spoke to many guests who were in cabins on decks 1 and 2 and no-one seemed to have a problem with cabin size or facilities. One couple on deck 1 claimed to have more room because their cabin did not have a bath. Because of 'enhanced hygiene' the self service laundry was closed as was the library. Breakfast was served by staff at the servery rather than self-service. When we were last on Celebration the area outside the library and card room was a sitting area with a piano. It has now been turned into a coffee bar (Coffee Port) and the excursions desk. The whole area has been done very well indeed and the coffee is Lavazza which was very welcome. Whilst it is a premium price anyone on the all-inclusive deal does get a discount and so 2 cups cost less than £2.50 extra. I am not a huge fan of the Meridian restaurant where I find the menu rather unadventurous. We therefore booked a meal in each of the Al La Carte restaurants. We were impressed with Mistrals last time so were looking forward to eating there again and had read good reports about the Asian restaurant. By Tuesday the enhanced hygiene was over and everything back to normal. On the Tuesday night we ate in Mistrals. We booked all 3 restaurants as there was an offer of all three for £47.95 additional charge. The standard of both service and food was very good.. A total of 7 courses, with an amuse bouche and sorbet not on the menu. I had comments only about the lobster, which I would not normally choose and I found tasteless, and the coconut crème brulee which had no coconut taste whatever. The rest was superb including the escargots and the fillet steak. A word to the wise here- if you are on the Al Inclusive tariff then wine by the glass is included. Don't buy a bottle- the waiter will fill your glass all night long anyway. Another night we ate in Kora La, the Asian Al La Carte. This was wonderful as the main course is specified by yourself in terms of both meat and heat. My Wife loved this. The quality was good and the service fine until it got busy and then slowed down to a crawl. We booked again in here for the final night and the standard of the chicken had plummeted. First time it was great- second time it was stringy and obviously leg/wing meat. This was raised with the Head waiter who told us that they do NOT use breast meat. Conclusion- we had been lucky first time! The Hot Stone Al La Carte is set up on the Lido deck each evening. A VERY hot marble stone is presented to you with a small selection of raw veg and the meat/ fish of your choice. You cook it yourself. This sounds great in theory but we couldn't see how it would work in practice. I like a rare steak- my Wife a medium. Surf and turf involved lobster tail so that would be a third cooking time. Whilst my steak would take 7/8 minutes plus 5 minutes standing time, what would happen with the chips which were hot when bought to the table? Other guests confirmed that the whole thing was just too much bother and created worry about raw food. So we accepted the option to have the chef cook our steaks and then used the stone to cook the veg whilst the steaks stood. Then the stone came in useful for warming the chips and steaks as we sliced it up- great! We also couldn't understand why the menu included a choice of 3 sauces- wasn't that going to create quite a mess? But then they came in little dishes so were more of a selection of dips than sauces. It does seem to be a rule that if you book early you get the All-Inclusive deal thrown in, if you leave it later then the price goes down but the AI cost goes up. To the point where it costs £400 if you leave it until boarding (£200 a week each!) AI is definitely worth if you get in early. Without the AI a cocktail costs £4.50. Some drinks (Pint of Heineken, premium cocktails) incurr a small charge even to AI customers. It wasn't until the last day that we worked out that we could have a coffee (outside the meals) on AI if we asked. It was perfectly acceptable coffee although not as good as paying a small premium in the Coffee Port. The entertainment was great. The showteam, a group that travels round the fleet 'filling in' for the other teams, were incredibly hard working. Not just learning 10 different shows but also all the routines within those shows. I wasn't impressed at first but realised later that I disliked the Queen show so much not because of the showteam but because I don't like Queen! As the time went on I became more and more appreciative of their skills. Their Tamla Mowtown show and Moulin Rouge tribute were the highlights for me. A particularly 'brutal' staging of Roxanne with the boys throwing one of the girls around the stage was both disturbing and skilful and bought the audience to it's feet. One show that didn't work at all for me was the 'International Music Awards'- if you are going to sing the songs of the most successful female artist of all time then you probably shouldn't change her music and words around- Adele probably knows what she is doing. Ian Bagshaw, the Cruise Director is also a very fine magician! (But terrible comedian!) Showtime is ruined some nights by the people in first sitting simply not leaving. Those who come in for the second show have quite a problem finding seats on popular nights. We had a fascinating series of lectures by Robert Simpson about The Russian Romanovs and history that we greatly enjoyed. Robert is obviously very learned and didn't shy away from giving his opinions. He seemed permanently surprised to find himself lecturing to full houses and received gratitude with humility. Even if you think lectures are not for you this series was great background to what we were going to see in St Petersburg and the contrast between Robert's true and historical representation of the facts (Catherine The Great was really quite ruthless) and the glossing-over of the facts by our Russian Tour Guide was marked! As far as te guide was concerned the 1917 revolution was just a natural course of affairs- Robert's depiction of the Tsar's incompetent governance explained it and even hinted at how it might have been avoided. Well done Thomson for having him on. I can't judge Liberties or Hemingways at all- we never went in there! I did try the casino for the first time in my life and left with a 50% profit on the roulette... £5! We love Horizons and an ideal evening would be meal>show>Horizons Cocktails. Truth is we had such a laugh with the fellow cruisers that we ate with at the 'Captains Table' that we often ran out of time. It was incredible how many of our fellow passengers were repeat cruisers, and the majority on Thomson ships. The reason is the staff and crew and the training that goes into making them friendly and approachable. No passenger seems to treated differently. Deck 1 to deck 8 is all the same to the crew and no passenger gets priority over another. In this way there is no 'pecking order' such as on ships with exclusive restaurants for high-paying passengers. Thomsons acknowledge repeat passengers with a Captain's Reception and a little badge- just a 'thank you'. A quick summary of the ports (we did only 1 Thomson excursion- Copenhagen); Fredrickstad- Nice. Local people had set out a trail of yellow stars into town to their craft shops and cafes. Fabulous photo opportunities around the star-shaped town moat. Not a lot of chance to spend money! Walk in. Aalborg- 'Europe's Happiest City'. Well, yes, I'm sure it is. We walked to the Modern Art Museum which was fabulous. Stockholm- We got the free shuttle in and then joined the mile long queue for the free shuttle back as all those who hadn't paid used it to get back to the ship. Stockholm is lovely and perfectly walkable. We did the Vasa Museum (like the Marie Rose but better!) and then walked through the City centre. Tallinn- Unbelievable old town. Could not be more attractive if purpose built by Disney. Again, perfectly walkable from the port and no need for excursions at all. St Petersburg- Having checked out the Thomson excursions we realised that to see everything would be extortionate. So after some intense research I booked a 2 day tour with Alla Tours. Do not believe Thomson's constant lies about 'you are only covered by a group visa if you book with Thomson'. 'Your head will explode at immigration if you do not book with Thomson'. All rubbish! All you need is your passport and a valid excursion ticket. The guide then meets you on the other side of immigration and, in a party of just 16, you set off with your headsets for the most intense 2 days of sight-seeing ever! Full review on TripAdvisor! Helsinki- Why? I mean, why Helsinki? When the highlight of a 45 minute cruise around the bay is Finland's last remaining submarine (in dry dock) and the ice breaker ships (moored up and tied together, it being summer) and highlight of the market square outside the parliament is a line of ladies knitting hats, then you know that your City is maybe not a tourist hot spot. Copenhagen- Yes! Bloody difficult to get to from Kalundborg where the ship berthing fees are obviously much cheaper. Thomsons can then also get passengers to pay £6 each for a seat on a shuttle coach and make a profit on that as well. 90 minutes there and 90 minutes back. Once there we found that 14,000 passengers from 3 giant cruise liners had moored next to the Little Mermaid and blocked the streets with their coaches before we got there. Very inconsiderate. But the Havyn area for a meal (£48 for lunch....) and a wonder around was fabulous. Wouldn't do a 'tour' if there again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This was the first ship we ever cruised on and were looking forward to sailing on it again. Also chose for the itinerary Fire and Ice. Standards have dropped since we sailed with Thomson two years ago. Service in the Meridian restaurant ... Read More
This was the first ship we ever cruised on and were looking forward to sailing on it again. Also chose for the itinerary Fire and Ice. Standards have dropped since we sailed with Thomson two years ago. Service in the Meridian restaurant was slow we waited an hour one night for our main course and on another half an hour for dessert and then were not offered tea or coffee.Food was only warm , not hot. The quality of the food was not what we remembered from previous cruises. We ate for the second week in the Lido, food was hot but monotonous and it was difficult to get a drink with our meal. tables slow to be cleared. Constant loud horrid piped music in all areas. No quiet bar. Service in Horizons was atrocious, waited ages then served the wrong drinks on three occasions and twice did not get our drink at all. Service in Hemmingways slow the first week but very good the second. Embarkation was very smooth and trouble free. The cabin was quiet, deck two, and our steward Budi kept it to a high standard. The one excursion we took was excellent to Godafoss waterfall. Information on ports of call was not always accurate, glad we had a good guide book. We were charged 9 euros each for each way to get into Rekyavik and were not told about it until the previous evening, had we known we would have booked a trip. No craft or instructional activities. In summing up Thomson have just lost a customer, cruise not value for money Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
The Ship was very comfortable and the cabin was good for the price we paid as we had little choice because we were not able to book sooner. I wanted to go to Iceland so choose Fire and Ice We had 3 ports in Norway, 3 in Iceland, ... Read More
The Ship was very comfortable and the cabin was good for the price we paid as we had little choice because we were not able to book sooner. I wanted to go to Iceland so choose Fire and Ice We had 3 ports in Norway, 3 in Iceland, visited the faros and Shetlands. Excellent. choice. of excursions the scenery was stunning. Entertainment on ship was enjoyable and professional. The food was very good for breakfast and lunch in the buffet and excellent evening meals in the restaurant. the spar was worth a visit. I didn't receive an email from the ship to complete but wanted to say how I enjoyed the trip. The email would have enabled me to mention on person who stood out in their roll. I would like to recommend the lady who was in charge of the ladies toilets; her name was Digna and she was so enthusiastic about her job always a smile always happy and loved to converse with the ladies that she met she should have a gold star. 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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