Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise as a belated honeymoon and it was my husbands birthday on the 30th. Our cabin was just so noisy, vibrations, clanging and banging and something hydraulic kept going off at various times. I felt the ship was tired and ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a belated honeymoon and it was my husbands birthday on the 30th. Our cabin was just so noisy, vibrations, clanging and banging and something hydraulic kept going off at various times. I felt the ship was tired and it reminded me more of a posh ferry, no charm about it. There are not enough seats in the bars and every night, is pretty much the same as the night before regarding entertainment. I was hoping there might be some dance lessons but it is too small although we were offered a talk on liver drainage. Food was ok although if you are in the lido it was only warm and the meals in the Meridian were bland and boring. Nothing spicy because they want you to pay extra and eat in the Asian restaurant. We did eat at the hot stone and the steak was great, starters and deserts we're not so good. Coffee port is great which is just as well as free coffee is awful. The best meal was the afternoon tea, loved it! The excursions are well organised, but you do not get enough free time, even to stop for a drink when walking in the hot weather. I have to say all the staff are excellent, polite and friendly and ship was kept spotless and ran like clockwork. We weren't sorry to get off and we're pleased we did cruise and stay in Dubrovnik instead of 14 nights cruise. I have rated cabin average because of noise. It was quite spacious with plenty of storage in bathroom. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise was chosen as a family celebration for a 60th birthday. Our party consisted of 8, and had 3 children. Firstly whilst some renovations and refurbishments have been done the ship is still very outdated, and the lay out and ... Read More
This cruise was chosen as a family celebration for a 60th birthday. Our party consisted of 8, and had 3 children. Firstly whilst some renovations and refurbishments have been done the ship is still very outdated, and the lay out and location of certain facilities does not lend itself to being very child or family friendly. The main lifts are in the middle of the ship, and there are additional ones at either end. However to get to the designated children’s swimming pool there is not a direct lift, and you then have to walk through a restaurant to access it. It is not a brilliant idea to have the kids pool in an area where adults are drinking alcohol, and the lack of toilets on the same level as the pool is also poorly thought out. You either have to walk back through the restaurant or climb external stairs to the deck above, whilst navigating a further adult only bar. The food in the self service restaurant was mediocre at best with a very limited choice. The food and service in the a la cartel restaurant we couldn’t fault. Excursions were very expensive. Bottled water was chargeable, despite every other cruise company docking in the same ports as us offering water for free. The cabin was fairly spacious and the majority of the staff were very helpful. The evening entertainment was amateur but it was clear that the cast were trying their best. There were several good points about our holiday but unfortunately the small things soon mount up and tipped the balance for us. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Having cruised with Marella (Thomson) since 2011 we were looking forward to another excellent cruise. We did the same repositioning cruise last year, the only problem then was a squeaking from a ship structure which had broken loose and ... Read More
Having cruised with Marella (Thomson) since 2011 we were looking forward to another excellent cruise. We did the same repositioning cruise last year, the only problem then was a squeaking from a ship structure which had broken loose and squeaked to the movement of the ship, we were in the same cabin this year and it had been fixed. The cabin staff were excellent and helpful as usual, in fact all staff were always smiling and eager to ensure you had an excellent cruise. Our first let down was the standard of food in the Meridian Restaurant for evening meal it was the worst we have ever encountered on a Marella (Thomson) cruise, our first two weeks were an excellent example on how to destroy food examples: rib eye steak tough and tasteless, chicken scallops dried out like crisp bread, veal cutlets you could have soled your work boots with, (totally un-edible could not even be cut with a knife). I had never seen so much food being left on plates, complaints regarding the standard of food was common place all round the restaurant. We were informed, but did not witness that there was an altercation between cruisers and kitchen staff, and apparently eight people were put of the ship in Madeira, if that was the case none was the chef as the food did not improve. Also it normally took two hours to serve three courses, it was not the fault of the staff, but the lack of staff, instead of two waiters and a runner there was only two waiters who were run off their feet. On the third week we decided to try the Lido for evening meal, it was basically the same menu but help yourself, we could not believe we were on the same ship, the standard of food was excellent and cooked to perfection, the only problem was finding a seat as so many cruisers had given up on the Meridian Restaurant for the Lido, The only night the Meridian Restaurant was OK was Captains Night, maybe it was we were only a few tables from the Captain. The second let down was disembarkation it was a total shambles, the first batch of passengers for embarkation was 08.00 the second batch was scheduled for 08.15. The first batch of passengers were still queuing in the stairways at 08.15, add the second batch and we had pandemonium, the lifts were unusable due to total passenger impasse on disembarkation deck, we were stuck on the stairwell for over an hour, it was so bad the elderly and infirm had to sit on the stairs. Unfortunately we have booked a stay and cruise on Marella Celebration for October 2019, will review again when we return, hopefully things will be back to the normally good standard of service we have received from Marella (Thomson). Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
choose this cruise because we went on a med cruise in the marells discovery and loved it . the carabbian cruse ship celebration wasnt as good as the discovery . food was ok ,much better on the discovery though ..entertainment much better ... Read More
choose this cruise because we went on a med cruise in the marells discovery and loved it . the carabbian cruse ship celebration wasnt as good as the discovery . food was ok ,much better on the discovery though ..entertainment much better on the disvovery too all round the discovery was a much better ship we also did sn excersion called rhino riders we went out on our own little boat and snokerled on the reef had a great day , found that some of the islands were quite expensive , and also had to taxi to quite a few beaches which worked out quite a penny at the end of yhe holiday , one last thing all the staff are excellent on the ships , they are very helpfull polite and friendly they help make your holiday 10 out of 10 to the staff we booked the three special restaurants and found the food to be excellent hot stone wasnt great though Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Cheap last minute cruise, have been Thomson 4 times before The ship is old but spotless. Cabin on level 1 unremitting noise and vibration, awful even with earmuffs. Avoid rear half of the boat and lower levels. Cabin itself fine, if old ... Read More
Cheap last minute cruise, have been Thomson 4 times before The ship is old but spotless. Cabin on level 1 unremitting noise and vibration, awful even with earmuffs. Avoid rear half of the boat and lower levels. Cabin itself fine, if old fashioned. other: excellent - service on ship, smiles, genuine warmth, organisation on plane transfer embarking and disembarking, price, bar price, tip policy. good- food, good variety, usual odd duff meal but restuarant/self service both great, have a go evening singers! poor- cost of trips off boat, silly prices. Entertainment poor during day, no sail away parties here. Some quizzes were in bad taste and evoked gutter language and personal observations, stop it! Music by bands (not to my taste) or recorded music "in the style of", i.e. not original artists. I got the cruise well under £800, a bargain, at one thousand plus the p and o deals are better. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We were very pleased with our experience on this cruise. It was a last minute break and we only paid £2500 for a deluxe cabin sailing on 20th December for 7 nights, flying from Manchester. Its true that you get what you pay for, this ... Read More
We were very pleased with our experience on this cruise. It was a last minute break and we only paid £2500 for a deluxe cabin sailing on 20th December for 7 nights, flying from Manchester. Its true that you get what you pay for, this cruise was very good value so our expectations were realistic. The staff were excellent and it is a very friendly ship. The food was great, well cooked and enough of a selection - again the price point of this cruise I wouldn't expect any real fine dining included. The quality of the drinks were great and the service of them from the staff excellent. I was a little disappointed with some of the cocktails, it seemed that every member of staff would do them differently, substitute ingredients - some of the fruit juices for these weren't the best. There wasn't a single cocktail that I returned to. The ports, excursions were all great. We were delayed on our flight by 9hrs as a knock on effect of the 'drones' in London so missed St Lucia really as we'd only had 3 hrs sleep by then! The entertainment was ok, the men singers were better than some of the women unfortunately - there were occasions were the audience were cringing - although they all made a great effort and we were certainly entertained! The cabin was pretty standard, along with the rest of the ship you could tell it had had a bit of a spruce up. The biggest downfall was the age of the ship and thus the movement, I've done 2 other cruises any never had a problem but had to take sickness tablets on this one to start with - its not the sea movement but a constant vibrating/jumping (imagine sitting on a tractor across a field jiggling you about) of the ship...you would be sat there and could see everyone jiggling up and down and its relentless, in addition to this there was a strange constant jolting (imagine a small child shaking you for attention) If these negatives hadn't of been there I would have voted it 4/5 stars. I would recommend this cruise if you want something cheap and cheerful, just don't set you expectations too high! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This is the third or fourth time we have been on the Celebration over the past 4 yrs I believe. I feel a bit sorry to say that in all ways this ship has gone down in my estimation and is like a frail old lady. This not to say that we ... Read More
This is the third or fourth time we have been on the Celebration over the past 4 yrs I believe. I feel a bit sorry to say that in all ways this ship has gone down in my estimation and is like a frail old lady. This not to say that we did not enjoy our 2 weeks cruise because we did, but knowing this ship for a good few years it is a bit sad, so see her being dragged round the Med when all she wants is a good rest. The cabins are ok especially ours as we have an adapted cabin which is large and adequate in size but it looks exactly as it did when we first went on it all those years ago .apart from a new carpet,except it should not have done. it should have been brought more up to scratch. The cabin does not seem to have been decorated since the beginning of us using it. The food in Mistrals is really lovely but so it should at the supplement over what you have already paid. A very short menu.. The Lido is a bit like a works canteen but we only went there for breakfast as the Meridian was too early for us The food is not quite so good as before but perfectly ok. The best bit about this ship is the staff. They do all they can to make sure that you are happy. I had a couple of blips but it was soon sorted out.. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our first non-Disney cruise so we were not sure what to expect with regard to the differences between TUI and Disney. Overall we really enjoyed the experience both on the ship and at the ports of call. The Good... The ... Read More
This was our first non-Disney cruise so we were not sure what to expect with regard to the differences between TUI and Disney. Overall we really enjoyed the experience both on the ship and at the ports of call. The Good... The staff on board were all excellent and friendly. This ranged from service staff in the restaurants, the cabin stewards and the entertainment team... not a bad encounter during the whole trip! The ship was kept clean and tidy the entire time, including the restaurant areas and lounges. There was never a stack of empty glasses or litter left around. We chose to eat in the Lido Restaurant rather than the Meridian as we prefer a more relaxed atmosphere and the menus seemed to be the same but a buffet rather than table service. The food itself was very good with lots of variety and choice every day. Food was available from 6am through to around 2am so there was always plenty of opportunity to fit in a snack or three. There was a good choice of on-board entertainment to choose from. There were musical and comedy shows in the Broadway Lounge every night and quizzes, games and bingo in other venues throughout the day. Plenty to keep the guests engaged. We went on a shore excursion at each port of call and found the logistics of them to be very well organised. We will say more about the trips themselves a little later... The cabins we had were much better than we were expecting. They had plenty of space and lots of storage. The Bad... The Celebration itself is a small and rather old ship and it is starting to show. There was a constant vibration running throughout the ship even when docked in port that was very noticeable. Sometimes this vibration was enough to rattle glasses and make the stage lights swing, so it isn't a small problem. The deck areas were packed full of sunbeds, sometimes to the point of being a pain to get past, especially if guests were not being particularly considerate of others. In our cabins, the fridge wasn’t actually a fridge, but a box that sort of tried to keep things cold. It didn’t work very well. There could also be more power outlets in the cabins. One socket might have been sufficient 30 years ago when the Celebration was built but it’s far from adequate these days. Additional costs. This was particularly annoying as until we got onto the ship we had no idea that soft drinks were not included (even with meals). We booked as Full Board so was expecting a little more choice than Tea, Coffee or Water, but that is all we could have. There was an option to upgrade to the 'All Inclusive' drinks package at a cost of £200 per person for the week. This would have included soft drinks, but as we are not drinkers of Beer or Spirits it would have been an extremely expensive option. There was no option of a 'soft drinks' package. We also heard a lot of people who had purchased the all-inclusive drinks package complaining that not all of the drinks were included! There was another 'Premium' package that they could upgrade to for another £50 extra per person. Amazingly, this ALSO did not include every drink available on board, many had additional surcharges. It was all very confusing and annoying, as guests are not made aware of this before check in. This also meant that many drinks had various possible prices - full price, all-inclusive surcharge price and premium surcharge price. For example; a 200ml glass of Coke (but mostly ice) was £1.20, but is included in the all-inclusive package. A 330ml can of Coke was £1.90 but if you had the all-inclusive package, it was still an additional £1.00. Not very all-inclusive or straightforward!! If you wanted a steak meal in the ‘included in your full board’ restaurant, it was yet another additional charge. £9.95 this time. Wifi? £8 per hour! Want to use the safe in your cabin? £15 for the week. It was extremely annoying. General availability of information was a problem. We found that TUI were very bad at letting us know what to expect. They provide a service where once you drop your cases at the airport you don’t see them again until you get to your cabin. This is useful, but we didn't know about this until we were in the check-in line at the airport and were handed a label to put on our case by a TUI rep. Handy, but if we had anything in our cases that we wanted to use when we got to Dubrovnik before we got on the ship we would have been out of luck. We found the same with the shore excursions. For a start we had to Google how to book them as it isn't on the same web page as the cruise booking and nowhere had a link to the excursions sites. Once on board we found trips could be booked there, but many were sold out already and once again, we were not informed. The descriptions of the trip were also rather vague and in retrospect a bit misleading at times. For example on the Kefalonia Highlights trip in Argostoli, the tour we booked advertised "Next, it’s time for a visit to the island’s most photographed stretch of sand, Myrtos Beach. This mile-and-a-half-long curve of white pebbles is the setting for several scenes of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin." We carried around a bag with towels and swimming gear in all day only to find that this visit was a 2 minute stop at the top of a cliff to look down at the beach and take a picture. This particular tour was not a good pick due to the amount of time spent on the bus. In a five hour tour we had 20 minutes in a row boat (which to be fair was amazing) and 1 hour in a town called Fiskardo. It was very picturesque but we had no time to enjoy it before we had to head back to the coach. A couple of the tours we went on also had some very intense bouts of walking, either due to steep climbs or quick tour guides that had to be followed. This wasn't a problem for our group, but I would guess 75% of the guests on these tours were elderly and many had mobility issues. On one tour several people stayed on the coach as they couldn't do the walk to the Greek Ruins in Igoumenitsa. This could have been avoided by more information being given at the time of booking. In conclusion... We really enjoyed the trip but would not travel on the Celebration again, mostly due to the constant rumble and vibration being very off putting. We would also be hesitant about booking with TUI again due to the stream of additional charges and lack of provided information. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Liked the itineray of this cruise, and it turned out to be OK. Trip to Etna dissapointing as 4 hrs in Bus without being able to see anything due to weather. Option of cancellation/ altered itineray would have been helpful. Nothing ... Read More
Liked the itineray of this cruise, and it turned out to be OK. Trip to Etna dissapointing as 4 hrs in Bus without being able to see anything due to weather. Option of cancellation/ altered itineray would have been helpful. Nothing much to see at Ignomemitsa, Greek mainland, ? why does it stop there. Kotor in Montenegro is beautiful, and sail in is stunning Staff very friendly, and food excellent, but dissapointed in speciaility restaurants. Booking was obviously misalid when we arrived, and as this was a 30th wedding anniversary treat, the extra paid was really not worth it . Engine noise quite noticeable on lower levels. Shows in Theatre are very good, make sure you get an early seat, and the bands in the bars also excellent. Staff are very friendly, and cabin staff did a great job of cleaning rooms. Couldn't quite fathom why you need a safe when it requires a fob( which you pay for), rather than putting in a code , as in most rooms. WI-FI also extra. Enjoyed cycling trip . Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Chose this cruise as provided opportunity to visit new destinations, 3rd cruise with Thomson/Tui/Marrella, and standards of food and drinks have dropped each time. Service and cleanlinesscontinues be of a good standard, although cabins are ... Read More
Chose this cruise as provided opportunity to visit new destinations, 3rd cruise with Thomson/Tui/Marrella, and standards of food and drinks have dropped each time. Service and cleanlinesscontinues be of a good standard, although cabins are in need of upgrade. Had the AI package, but didn`t take the upgrade offered at £50 pp, spirits served were LIDL/ALDI own brand standard unless you specifically asked for the brand. Diet/Light mixers were from plastic bottles and usually flat, service in show lounge slow Entertainment team worked hard but surely time to refresh shows, Cabin beds feel as if they are worn out very uncomfortable, problem with shower draining Food quality in MR was lower than previous cruises but generally well cooke and served, wine by the glass in AI package was acceptable. Took two ships excursions, well organised and reasonable value Embarkation and disembarkation were fine, baggage delivered promptly Great atmosphere and company but may be looking elsewhere. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This was my first cruise and had been recommended by friends to travel with TUI as it's more relaxed. The ship operates a cashless system. You are given a card which is linked to your bank account. Be warned, as soon as you get on ... Read More
This was my first cruise and had been recommended by friends to travel with TUI as it's more relaxed. The ship operates a cashless system. You are given a card which is linked to your bank account. Be warned, as soon as you get on the ship you are being harassed in to photographs, massages, the payable restaurants etc. This was very annoying and not appreciated the moment you get on the ship. Service: Excellent. All the staff are very attentive and can't do enough for you. Dining: We mostly ate at the Lido. I liked the food very much, there was always plenty and was always tasty and plenty of choice. We also tried the Meridian, the food was nice but I prefer the casualness of the LIdo. They also have things like burgers, pizza and hot dogs out on the terrace too if you get peckish before dinner. Ports: I was not impressed with the ports. We called at Mahon, Marseille, Barcelona, Valencia and Cartegena. The only good one was Barcelona. We booked a tour for this at £32. On reflection I wish I hadn't booked the tour as Barcelona is very easy to navigate and everything was very rushed. I would also warn against using the shuttle service that was laid on at Marseille and Valencia. The shuttle bus service is BADLY organised. We waited 90 minutes for a shuttle bus in to Marseille and on a hot day this was unbearable especially with a lot of older people in the queue. TUI know how many tickets hey sold and should have arranged more buses! Same with Marseille, not enough buses and massive queues. Most ports have a bus service, Marseille and Valencia do. Cheaper and easier. Entertainment: The nightly shows were good. My favourites were Africa, Moulin Rouge and the west end one. The comedian/magician was awful. He performed two tricks and filled the rest of the show with old fashioned humour aimed at the 70 plus range. The only thing that really ruined the cruise for me was not being able to sleep at night. The ship was really swaying and the vibration was really hard to ignore and stopped me sleeping. Other than that, the cruise was good but i'm not sure that a cruise holiday is really for me. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Cruise 2018: Spirit of Iberia cruise (https://www.tui.co.uk/cruise/itineraries/Spirit-of-Iberia-055604) on Marella Celebration from Thompson, 8-16 April 2018. My wife and I took this cruise as our first experience of this type of ... Read More
Cruise 2018: Spirit of Iberia cruise (https://www.tui.co.uk/cruise/itineraries/Spirit-of-Iberia-055604) on Marella Celebration from Thompson, 8-16 April 2018. My wife and I took this cruise as our first experience of this type of holiday and as a special treat for our 30th wedding anniversary. Getting There & Arrival Flight TOM4796 from London Gatwick on 8th April, due to depart at 14:55 was delayed until 16:55. Aircraft Captain apologised profusely and explained that French air traffic problems caused the arrival of our aircraft to be delayed slightly but a company operational decision (not explained) to give our aircraft to a Tenerife flight instead caused the bulk of the delay. The delayed flight was without incident as was the airport transfer to our coach. • Reception in Port This was not very professional, indeed a confused affair. The young lady who met our coach and addressed us attempted to provide important boarding information in a breathless voice reading far too quickly from her clipboard and the microphone held too close to her mouth. If training in clear communication with customers and effective use of a microphone were given to her I suggest a refresher, if not I suggest the company provide such training. Important information is useless unless it is clearly given. The same situation with the same young lady occurred when we boarded the transfer coach for the homeward flight. • Check-in & boarding No issues with check-in, however we were given very little time to get onboard, find our cabin and get some food after our long delay before we were to attend a legally required safety briefing. Additionally, I discovered later that my wife’s photo had been tagged to the digital information relating to my boarding card. This meant that each time it was scanned leaving or returning to the ship my wife’s face was displayed instead of mine. I pointed this out but nothing was done and at NO TIME throughout the voyage did any of the ships security staff ever realise the mistake. • Safety Briefing This was simply shambolic. For such an important and legally required event its delivery by the Assistant Cruise Director was useless. He sat down on the stage in the Broadway theatre and proceeded to read, badly, from a sheet, with neither sufficient pauses to allow absorption of the information nor emphasis at suitable points. The demonstration on how to don a life jacket was disgracefully bad. Unclear and poorly executed. The same young lady who received us at the coach was unable to put her demonstration life jacket on properly but the Asst Cruise Director turned that into a joke. It could have been a comedy sketch, except it was important. • Ports of Call presentation On day one a presentation was given in the Broadway theatre/lounge on the ports of call we would make and what they offered. This was poorly presented in a faux chat show style with the Cruise Director obviously reading from a script. Destination Services staff showed poor audience presentation skills and poorly articulated what passengers could expect. The presentation, unfortunately, was not very professional and also seemed to focus largely on selling the expensive excursions. The Ship & Crew Marella Celebration, formerly the Nordam, is 34 years old yet quite well fitted out and comfortable. Dining and bar facilities are good, the top deck bar - Horizons - being an interesting place to drink. Our outside cabin on deck 3 was adequate with good enough facilities though an extra power socket would have been quite useful. Ventilation and heating were good yet what appeared to be a ships announcement speaker never worked. On board information sheets were good, well produced, informative and useful. Finding your way around was easy. All crew members I met were friendly, polite, helpful and approachable. I only had one problem on the second night when I asked a bar waiter for a glass of water for my wife who was feeling ill, to be refused because the bar did not open for a further 10 minutes! I had to make a complaint on one evening about a strong smell of engine exhaust in our cabin and all along our accommodation deck. This was sorted out after a time but never adequately explained. The ship had a constant wobbling motion/vibration through it, especially felt on decks 5 and 6, even when in port and engines idling. At night, engine/machinery noise permeated our cabin constantly. This could possibly have been mentally tuned out and not caused much annoyance had it not been exacerbated by the very rough seas we experienced in our Atlantic Ocean phases of the voyage. The heavy seas, heavy ship’s motion and machine noise made sleeping very difficult leading to 4 out of 7 virtually sleepless nights. Not pleasant. Marbella Cruises have no control of the weather however I feel the company should know their vessel’s comfortable sea state limitations in their role as cruise liners. Celebration is perfectly sea-worthy but not at all suited to ocean passage in such heavy sea conditions as we experienced which led to much discomfort and disappointment. I would NOT holiday on this ship again, or any other of similar dimensions and age, if the route involved any substantial sailing in open ocean. Entertainment Apart from the one show we were able to see (due to weather and illness) in the Broadway lounge, this was mediocre. Hemingway’s bar, for example, contained a beautiful (though covered up) white baby grand piano and a pianist playing on some nights was advertised. The pianist turned out to be an electronic keyboard player providing soundtracks via his laptop computer and singing not very well. Hemingway’s, a comfortable and pleasant bar, would have been vastly improved by a real pianist. Most other nightly music acts were second rate at best with very dated repertoire’s and not very entertaining. The Captain’s Gala Night was a huge disappointment. A gala evening implies a social occasion with special entertainments or performances, neither of which occurred. After half an hour of dismal musical entertainment the Captain introduced himself and spoke to us about the ship, itinerary etc and introduced key members of the crew. We then went to dinner in the Meridian restaurant but he didn’t reappear to chat with passengers and there was no further entertainment. Apart from an excellent meal with excellent service, it was all rather disappointing. Dining Meridian restaurant is excellent though service seemed slow sometimes. Very comfortable, lovely atmosphere, excellent food and wonderful, cheerful staff. The ribeye steak was definitely excellent and worth the extra £9.95 on the inclusive package. The Lido casual buffet had equally good food though it had the ambience of a school cafeteria with long queues at times, often caused by a shortage of cutlery or drinking glasses. The staff were excellent, very efficient, helpful and cheerful. Departure Although not having to depart the ship until 16:45hrs on the last day, we had to have our luggage packed and ready outside our cabin before 02:00hrs and vacate the cabin by 08:00hrs. This was especially annoying as we had suffered so much poor and fragmented sleep due to weather conditions and would have appreciated time to catch up on some of it. As it was we spent a little time in Malaga then returned and tried to rest onboard as best we could. Miscellaneous Shore excursions were quite expensively priced. A shuttle bus service was laid on by the ship at Portimao which cost £7 per adult return to the town or the beaches or both. This journey took no longer than 10 minutes so I feel it was vastly over-priced. In Malaga a port operated shuttle bus was provided, which was much more useful than that at Portimao, for a cost of €4. Casablanca could have benefitted from having a shuttle bus laid on also. There was constant selling on board which became quite tiresome. We were even charged £2 for two seasickness tablets, items that can be purchased in a pharmacy for much less. I felt this was simply taking advantage of people. Our all inclusive drinks package wasn’t quite all inclusive as, despite soft drinks supposedly being covered it didn’t cover soft drinks in cans as we were charged £1 each for six cans of Diet Coke. Some of the drinks for which a supplement was charged didn’t make sense to me. For example, Teacher’s scotch whisky, a mid-range blended whisky, was included within the package yet Bell’s, a similar quality whisky, commanded an extra charge of £2.50 as did Famous Grouse and Old Bushmills, both on a par with Teacher’s. Johnny Walker Red Label, generally considered a little more premium than either Teacher’s or ordinary Bell’s carried no extra charge. At the end of the cruise we felt that those passengers who were departing the ship became obviously less important than those newly arriving. This was displayed a few times in staff attitude and made us feel we were no longer of use as marketing targets. Conclusion Despite the poor weather and nighttime discomforts we did enjoy the adventure. We feel this holiday was overpriced and let down by the other aspects detailed above. We are not yet sure if we would cruise again. Probably we would when we feel we can afford it again but, although we felt we took great care on this occasion, we would take even more care about choosing the itinerary, ship and cruise company to hopefully gain maximum value for money and maximise our holiday experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I decided on this trip as a way to see the Caribbean with my 77 year old mum and not have the overnight flight back to UK. The Thompson’s brochure states you can check in and drop your bags the day before, unfortunately this is not ... Read More
I decided on this trip as a way to see the Caribbean with my 77 year old mum and not have the overnight flight back to UK. The Thompson’s brochure states you can check in and drop your bags the day before, unfortunately this is not the case, however once you have dropped your cases you don’t see them again until they are delivered to your cabin (it’s worth having some suitable ‘hot weather’ clothes in hand luggage so you can change and make the most of the sun as soon as you arrive. There are only 2 formal dress evenings on this cruise, the Captains gala dinner and a dress to impress night. Of the 2 main restaurants the food was often better in the self-service Lido restaurant though getting a drink with your meal is a challenge and it’s best to take on in with you, often we had finished our main course before being offered a drink. In the Meridian restaurant some of the portions were tiny, particularly the starters (i.e 1 button mushroom!) but the service is good, if you don’t want to share a table you can request not to but may have to wait. On the transatlantic crossing there were some excellent entertainers, other activities were put on, water-colour painting, choir and a murder mystery, though this was done be fellow passengers. During the crossing the clocks were put forward most days by 1 hour at 12 noon, so lunch quickly followed breakfast!. On sea days it was difficult to get sun beds or chairs or seats inside when the weather wasn’t great. Most days the weather was good enough to sit on deck particularly in sheltered areas and sea was quite calm, even though it was quite windy at times light cardigan or jumper was needed at times. Disembarkation - cabins need to be vacated by 7am we found the lido restaurant was full and people in no rush to leave their tables, the Minstalls restaurant didn’t open until 7.30 so it was complete chaos particularly as the queues to get into the restaurant was blocking the gangway to get off the ship. Crew were very friendly and helpful. Excursions- nice free trolley bus into town in Curaçao hop on\off also local tour bus $20 was good value. Would recommend glass bottom boat in Bonaire and Catamaran to Pitons in St Lucia. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
What went well: The flight, crew, and service were excellent, safety was a priority. Transfers were good with no added delay other than the wings being deiced which was acceptable. No hassle, boarding the ship was easy and well managed ... Read More
What went well: The flight, crew, and service were excellent, safety was a priority. Transfers were good with no added delay other than the wings being deiced which was acceptable. No hassle, boarding the ship was easy and well managed with the exception of the booker not being aware of 25-night passengers. The cruise director Gavin Carroll was a joy, he was always smiling and friendly and always approachable, his team was always on hand and very friendly. The performers including guest performers were all brilliant and very professional, some of the very best we have experienced on ten different cruises (some not Marella) I disagree with other reviews who have hinted at miming!!!! The cabin was dark but well maintained by the cabin steward Komang. A person worthy of mention was Glynis's from Hemingway's bar, she was a star and remembered drinks, names and cabin numbers and always had a laugh and a joke with us. Hygiene was well covered and the antibacterial gel was readily available at all relevant points. Food in both the lido and the Meridian restaurant was always great, but breakfast service in the Meridian was always very slow and things were forgotten or not provided on several occasions. The Itinerary was great one of the reasons we chose this cruise. What didn't go so well: once onboard we were hassled by every waiter or person in blue trying to upswell drinks packages. Again on other cruises, we have been on, there have been points around the ship where this happens and hassling customers has not been an issue. Things said like: "don't you want quality drinks" and "nice wines instead of Spanish" and even one barman when seeing our card said "if you can afford a suite, you can afford to upgrade" it wasn't his place to think or say this, let alone in front of customers. I asked at reception to speak to the bar manager, he came out to see me and I told him of our experience, he was apologetic for the comments. I mentioned that we had chosen this cruise because it had everything included but were now being made to feel inferior by not buying the upgrade. He explained that many people were happy with the All Inclusive drinks, so suggested we try it and see how we go. He then told me that it would be £176 each to upgrade to premium drinks, which on top of what we had paid would be too expensive. I mentioned that my brother has been on Discovery twice and recommended Marella to us, he mentioned Casselero Diablo wine and Bells whiskey, which we regularly drink, so we were more than happy, only to be told by the bar manager that Discovery was a premium ship. We were not given a safe key on the port when booking in as the people there didn't know how much to charge and were not aware of the 25 night cruise, we were told to go to reception, when we did go to reception they told us all the keys were in the port and could we come back. We finally were issued with a key later that evening, but staff couldn't tell us how much a 25-night cruise fee cost. When we tried to use the magnet key to open the safe, we discovered it was a digital safe and we didn't need a key, on returning it to reception, the receptionist said well you will still have to pay. Although there were policies onboard about reserving sunbeds or seats, this clearly happened and was rarely addressed by Marella. On one occasion whilst looking for a sunbed we observed one person lying across a double sunbed, and over 100 sunbeds with towels on but no bums on the beds, this was infuriating and as we didn't want any hassle we left without a bed. This wasn't just a one-off but most days especially at sea and there didn't seem any staff readily available to address this with. Many times seats were reserved in the Broadway by a handbag on the seat or a mobile phone or scarf, with one person guarding many seats. Our main gripe again was over the drinks, when ordering in the Broadway show lounge, the drinks were inferior and you could never taste the alcohol, (possibly because they drowned the drinks with ice and carbonated mixers) we were given drinks in strange glasses when we queried this,(a Baileys in a half pint tumbler) we were told there weren't any other glasses available, this also happened in Hemingways. We drank regularly in Horizons and Hemingways and on occasion felt the drinks didn't taste quite right, only to observe unbranded alcohol being provided when requesting gin or whisky etc. when we mentioned we were All Inclusive and expected branded drinks as per the drinks menu, I.e. Gordon's or Beefeater Gin, and J&B, johnny walker red label etc. This happened so often that my husband waited at the bars to be served to ensure we were getting what we asked for, this practice even happened when we asked specifically for Gordon's Gin or Red label whiskey, so we brought this to the attention of the bar manager on one of his fleeting visits to Horizons. He thanked us for bringing it to his attention and he would address it. We saw him enter the bar area and help clear glasses etc, he seemed to chat to staff, but we were not sure if he addressed the problem. We feel it was a wide-ranging norm on this ship, as otherwise why did they regularly stock the unbranded drinks. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
Check-in Process: I booked a cruise holiday simply enough on the website and had confirmation emails. As part of my booking documentation it clearly states: “You’ll be able to check-in online from 7 days before your departure date ... Read More
Check-in Process: I booked a cruise holiday simply enough on the website and had confirmation emails. As part of my booking documentation it clearly states: “You’ll be able to check-in online from 7 days before your departure date and once you do, you’ll automatically be allocated your seats on the plane” That’s simple to understand, However….. When I proceeded to check-in online the following error message appeared: “We're currently unable to offer you online check-in for your flight. Don't worry, you can proceed to TUI Airways bag drop desk at the airport on your day of departure where check-in will be completed for you and your boarding passes will be issued.” I thought this was strange so I ask TUI customer service why I could not check-in online and this was their response: “Online check in it is a complimentary service that we offer. We only allow 70-80% of our customers to check in online” This is information is not mentioned on the TUI website, Terms & Conditions’ or my booking forms so basically rather than being up front so I could make an informed decision before the check-in date, I am now stuck with the hassle of check-in at the Airport with no way to avoid it. This is before my holiday begins, so, who knows what else TUI will fail to mention. Airport: So got to Gatwick the day before the flight and despite advertising "day before bag drop" on their website, I could not use this service on a TUI Fly/Cruise holiday. Great Check-In on the day: This was actually good. Bags get taken straight to the ship so no need to collect at the Airport which is a nice bonus. Please note they do weight your "hand/cabin" luggage as well as your hold luggage. Make sure you don't go over your limit otherwise they will definitely charge you. The excess baggage charge for long haul is £17 a Kilo Arrival: The arrival at Dominican Republic Airport was excellent, got on coach straight after arrival, received a welcome drink and on-boarding onto the ship was very quick. Accommodation/cabin: This was basic but the bed was comfortable and shower was good. Only problem was that they charge you £15/£25 to use the in-room safe. No not a deposit, they actually charge you. wow Inclusive Package: They advertised as an all-inclusive cruise however the drinks are limited and extremely watered down (Many other guests said the same thing). Note Bottle water is not included or premium drinks such as JD etc. If you pay another £50 Per person you can get premium drinks but this still does not include bottle water (except one bottle a day in you cabin). Also if you want to have the odd premium drink with the basic all-inclusive you can pay a supplement but that is nearly the cost of the drink (Example Heineken supplement is £3.00 when the drink cost £3.90). Tours: Excellent tours and good trips. A really positive. Staff: The best thing about the cruise was the staff. They were excellent, very helpful and always attentive. Food: Lido Restaurant was nice but limited range of food. Terrible pizza and Burgers in the outdoor lido, funny considering this a basic on most cruises. Main Restaurant was excellent (£10 Steak supplement was very good) but Gala Night was a bit disappointing. Went to the one of the three paid restaurants, food was good but not worth £35 Supplement (For 2). Activities: Absolutely awful, there were seminars on water retention, bingo (£5 ago), table tennis and quiz's. There were two pools and one Jacuzzi's on board and on the only day at sea one pool and the Jacuzzi was closed. There were no movies or sports TV's in the bars or theatre and no real stand out activities. Rubbish Shows: The show team were enthusiastic and lovely people but the shows were terrible. Nothing much to write home about except the comedian shows which saved it for me. Overall, good holiday but it would be 50/50 on whether I would use TUI/Marella again. Everything comes with supplement rather than being a true all-inclusive cruise (as advertised) and food/activities/shows very underwhelming. The staff and tours saved it for me but not enough to fully recommend. If you do book with TUI, be prepared for some hidden surprises and factor this into the cost. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Firstly this was a 3 star cruise with 5 star staff. Having done two previous cruises on Majesty and Spirit we knew what to expect and were not disappointed. Some useful information first. 1. If you are just doing the cruise for one ... Read More
Firstly this was a 3 star cruise with 5 star staff. Having done two previous cruises on Majesty and Spirit we knew what to expect and were not disappointed. Some useful information first. 1. If you are just doing the cruise for one or two weeks without a hotel stay you do not have to pay 10 Dollar entrance or 20 dollar exit from Dominican Republic. 2. There is a charge for the safe in the room which is £15 for one week or £25 for a two week cruise. 3. Do check in early online to get seats together. On previous flights we were only allowed to check in 7days before but on this trip you could do it a month before. 4. The flight out from London Gatwick took 8 hrs 30 mins and back just under 8 hours. Food served around 2 hours into flight going out and a free drink and wine with dinner. Flight back we had Chicken Pie and veg with wine and Breakfast 90 mins before landing. 5. Transfer time from La Romana airport to the ship is 15 minutes then you queue outside for about 30-40 mins to check in and get your room cards and safe keys. Baggage gets to your room about 2 hours later. Suggest have light clothes for arrival as it was 29c when we got there. 6. Wifi is expensive on the ship in my opinion £7 for one hour or £15 per day. I think you can buy a weekly package if you need to use it a lot. The ship is dated 35 years old but the staff are constantly cleaning and maintaining the ship. Whilst we were aboard the captain invoked enhanced santitation which meant you could not serve yourself in the buffet not even coffee or tea. This caused delays which some passengers got frustrated with. This action was taken because a few passengers went down with tummy bugs and they did not want it to spread. Also there was no access to the Saunas, Jacuzzi, or laundry/ironing rooms. It was fine with us. A couple of things that did irritate us were the inconsiderate passengers that gathered in groups and wanted to chat through the shows. Go to the bar or coffee shop if you want to chat. Secondly there is a noticeable engine vibration that feels like a worn prop shaft and you shake in your seat in some parts of the theatre or Lido buffet. The food was ok, always found something to eat some of the starter portions were miniscule like 5 pieces of calamari or the potatoes with blue cheese were just two tiny spuds cut with a bit of blue cheese in the middle. One chap on our table ordered this as a main course and got 4 potatoes on their own no garnish. One tip here is that if you don’t fancy the soups there is a tomato and basil option that is not shown on the menu. The fish was overcooked on a couple of occasions particularly the salmon. The food in the Lido was ok, the sweets and jellies were a bit repetitive but we enjoyed what we chose. A good selection of herb teas and decaff coffee was also available. There are two speciality restaurants, one that serves indian cuisine and costs £17.95 per person extra or the other ala carte which cost £19.95 per person. The main entertainment was in the Broadway Theatre for the shows or in Liberties for the Quizzes or Mr and Mrs evening. If you do participate don’t get caught cold with the answer to the question ‘What unusual place have you had amorous relations’ i.e back of an Austin Alegro or in the sea at the resort!. It is a bit of fun and Gavin the cruise director does a great job at comparing this show. Tarin, Amy and Taylor The Milky bar Kid are also great fun. The two must see shows in my opinion are The Man in The Mirror Michael Jackson tribute and Cameron Classics with a fabulous Les Miserable Finale. The show team were excellent . A couple of the shows were shown twice in the two week cruise. Queen Tribute and Cameron Classics. Andre the Magician was good but Kamika the male/female duo reminded me of a pub act although the guitarist was good with his Eagles rendition. The first port of call after leaving La Romana is Road Town Tortola. The island is just getting back on its feet and some devastation is still there to see but the people are so friendly and welcoming. The ship is only in port for 4 hours we just walked into the town and had a look at the shops but the second week we visited Pussers Bar ‘ Serving cruise ships since 1979’ looks nothing from outside but do go inside and have a look at the art deco, nautical bric a brac and tiffany lamps. Also an exclusive (expensive clothes) shop at the rear of the bar. Next Stop was St Martin, we got a water taxi over to the beach 7 dollars return 15 dollars for two sun beds and brollie some vendors were also offering 5 bottles of beer for 10 dollars. Nice beach and plenty of shops to browse. Off to Granada next, here we did a Tui tour Highlights of Granada £36 each which was 2 hours long with a 20 minute drink stop halfway through at a nice bar in a lovely location. Drink included in cost interesting info from Driver/Guide. Then onto Antigua where we took a Tui tour Sun and Rum £34 each to the Beach which was called Mistic beach. This was very nice two sunbeds and free unlimited Rum Punch ( be careful because after 3 you start to feel tipsy) Fruit punch is another option. You do have to pay an extra 10 dollars if you want a sunshade. I was impressed they had 3 life guards on the beach. Sea a little rough pm so no good for snorkelling. Castries St Lucia next and this was the only place we felt unsafe and hassled. Water Taxi to the centre was $5 return from the berth we were berthed at. As you approach the Water taxi booths choose the one on the right for the nicer boat transfer. You can walk to the nearest beach which is about 20 mins but as a policeman told us be vigilant and keep your eyes open. Do not wear any bling as one guy had his necklace ripped from his neck. Suggest maybe do a tour here but not the little train around the town reports were not good. Back to La Romana where we booked the Altos De Chavron and Boat trip. Supposedly where they filmed Jurrasic park but the tour guide told us that was 100km away! It was a nice tour but the cost is £55 and if you don’t want to do the boat trip part then you can get a courtesy bus to the replica 16th century village for $8. The boat trip 30-40 mins was nice and free drinks on board and sandwiches but all there is to see are a couple of expensive houses palm trees and maybe some Iguana. We enjoyed it. After a second visit to Road town we went onto Bassetere St Kitts. A free shuttle bus takes you to the centre and there are lots of shops a nice town to pootle around. There are also local tours available here at a much cheaper price than the tours on the ship. Also if you are looking at Jewellery and are serious about buying push for an extra 10% off their offer price. As you walk out they may accept your offer!. Martinique was the next port of call with a large port promenade area where you can either pick up a ferry to the beach for $7 or just have a walk around to the castle and around the shops. Bridgetown Barbados is about a 30 minute walk to the centre and it is worth paying $2 each way for a taxi. We docked on a Sunday and the shops do not open until 10am. In the afternoon we did the Beach Transfer to Carlisle beach with Tui which included sunbeds and shade and a free drink. A busy but nice beach cost of trip £24 each. Last port of call was Kingstown St Vincent. Now just to be clear The Botanical gardens are walkable from the ship 30-40 mins at a stroll but last 800m is up hill so do it early in the morning. Price of entry is $2 and $4 dollars extra if you want a guide. We were told by the rep it was a 20 minute taxi ride and $20 dollars entry (not true). In the afternoon we did the Tui Caribbean Pirate Sailaway which was a 3.5 hour trip along the coast to see where Pirates of The Caribbean one was filmed. Rum Punch and soft drinks served on board and one hour stop for snorkelling Not cheap at £55 each but a very enjoyable afternoon. In summary we had a lovely time, the room on deck one was fine, our cabin steward Adang was amazing. As we were at the front of the ship Room 802 there was a couple of nights when the ship was sailing into a headwind and as the waves hit the ship you could hear a loud thud. We took earplugs for situations like this. You have to vacate your room at 8am but you can ask to keep your room til noon for £25 or there is also a courtesy room available for a 20 min shower, key at reception. We met some lovely people each night at dinner and hello to Carol and Chris and Len and Karen whose company and chat we enjoyed. 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: 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
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
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
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Six of us joined the cruise at Newcastle Port on 15 July 2017. Embarkation was easy; we had booked a suite so we got priority boarding but there was a large queue of people awaiting their ticket colour being called. Our cabin was ... Read More
Six of us joined the cruise at Newcastle Port on 15 July 2017. Embarkation was easy; we had booked a suite so we got priority boarding but there was a large queue of people awaiting their ticket colour being called. Our cabin was excellent, it had a bath, which was a bonus and the cabin steward introduced himself and did a fantastic job for the fortnight. The itinerary was the main reason we booked and we weren't disappointed in Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, St Petersburg etc - amazing places to visit if even for a short time. Why such a small ship docks in Kalundborg rather than going straight into Copenhagen like the rest of the ships, I'm unsure; it may have something to do with the cheaper docking fees and the fact that Thomsons can then upsell a trip for an extortionate price. The ship was in a state of 'increased hygiene' for the first 4 days of our trip, no explanation was forthcoming from Thomsons; one thing their PR department do really well is ignore negative issues rather than explain them to their paying customers. The swimming pools had no water in them, no self service food or drinks, library, games etc closed off. This all changed after 4 days - no explanation was forthcoming. The food was mediocre. Service in certain areas, especially behind the bar in Hemmingways (not the waiters) was terrible, the less said about the 'show' team the better. Our little one loved the kids club so that was a real positive, the 2 girls who ran it, Rachel and Laura, were superb. This has been our 4th Thomsons cruise as a group and this has been the worst service we have ever experienced. I doubt we'll be back. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We had wanted to do a Baltic cruise so the chance to sail from Newcastle was too good to miss. Very handy and well organised. However ough we'd sailed on Celebration two years ago, standards have dropped, in food, service and ... Read More
We had wanted to do a Baltic cruise so the chance to sail from Newcastle was too good to miss. Very handy and well organised. However ough we'd sailed on Celebration two years ago, standards have dropped, in food, service and entertainment. We had upgraded to a deluxe outside cabin and the walls were badly insulated to the extentar we could hear conversations on either side of us. The room was well maintained by our cabin boy but the ship is very weary. Poor bathrooms supplies with soap and body wash dispensers. No shampoo etc. The staff were generally very helpful though getting top ups of drinks in the main dining room was hit and miss. The food wasn't always hot, small portions and no luxury offerings, except lobster Thermidor which was frozen and bland. We paid to eat in the three speciality restaurants but Mistrals was not as good as on previous ships. The hot stone was just outside the lido so not a particularly good spot. The best of the three was definitely Kora La which was splendid. The ship seems to dock in cheap moorings well away from the main highlights more often so we had to walk taxi or pay for the Thomson shuttle. The sun lounge is a nice location if you want a more comfortable sun bed away from the noise of the lido. The entertainment staff worked hard but the shows have been around for some years on Thomson ships and need updating. It was also hard to get a drink in the show bar at night- we'd place an order then never see it or only part of the order arrived. The gym was totally unsupervised and people were using machines wearing flip flops and totally inappropriate wear. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Been with Thomson before but never to the fjords so decided to try this one. The fjords was excellent even though the weather wasn't the best, however the ship didn't impress us. We were constantly told the ship was on level 3 ... Read More
Been with Thomson before but never to the fjords so decided to try this one. The fjords was excellent even though the weather wasn't the best, however the ship didn't impress us. We were constantly told the ship was on level 3 hygiene as they had previously had the 'sickness' bug on board. So everyone had to be served in the lido restaurant which meant the service was slow and food was often cold by the time you got back to the table. You got to the end of the breakfast line to get toast then when asked for butter had to go back to the start of the line again. In the main restaurant the service was very slow and twice we waited that long for tea/coffee that we ended leaving with out any. They were obsessed with sanitising your hands all the time but I notice the TV remote and phone in the cabin has never been wiped in ages if nurovirus had been on the ship surely passengers would be stuck in cabins watching tv and ringing reception so these should be cleaned. Obviously we all sanitised as we didn't want to catch nurovirus but it seemed really strict one minute then not the next. The cabin was fine, most of the staff were really good but the service seemed really poor and things seemed as if they had cut back on everything. There was no bar menus and we wasn't allowed the normal daily paper or crossword unless you asked at reception as they couldn't put them out in case of bugs. There was no mints, toothpicks, salt or pepper pots. I know it seems petty but all these little things usually make the cruise that bit special, even the restaurant menu was scaled down to 3 courses. The entertainment on Thomson ships is normally second to none but it was really bad there was only two shows that were any good the rest was terrible and everyone was saying so. We had two days at sea but there was very little entertainment or things to do. They could have put more quizzes on or films in the show lounge or something. It was very poor we hardly saw the entertainment team at all during the week and didn't get a sail away disco or anything. They did veg carving but only a handful of people saw it, why they can't use a camera and show it on big screens etc so we could all see I don't know. They really need to up there game with the entertainment they offer on board, not everyone wants to sit and read a book! The fjords were excellent and the excursions were great. Sorry but I have to complain again as the bus we were put on was illegal as it had been smashed in at the rear and had no back lights which didn't fill us with confidence as we went 1500 meters up mountains via hairpin bends. I cannot believe Thomson let us on this bus, unfortunately we didn't see it until the first stop so it was too late to change it plus the driver didn't speak any English and we didn't have a rep on the bus either. We are waiting to hear from Thomson's regarding this. Please don't be put off doing a Norwegian fjords cruise as it was excellent but pick a different ship to the Celebration. We won't go on it again. We are trying Thomson's Discovery later this year so have high hopes that it will be up to Thomson's normal high standards. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
Ports of call were great to visit with St Petersburg been the pick (overnight wasn't long enough). Did a private tour on day one with St Petersburg travel which was well worth the money visited Winter Palace/Hermitage, Church of ... Read More
Ports of call were great to visit with St Petersburg been the pick (overnight wasn't long enough). Did a private tour on day one with St Petersburg travel which was well worth the money visited Winter Palace/Hermitage, Church of spilled blood, Si Isaacs Cathedral as well as stop offs at other places of interest.Tallin and Wismar old towns were very picturesque. Gothenburg,Helsinki and Oslo were also very interesting. Ship is very dated and when we were on board the ship the Lido buffet restaurant was under restrictions because of stomach upsets this was only lifted for a couple of days and then had to be reintroduced. Announcements were made continuously regarding passengers sanitizsing hands but Thomson need to get this message over to their staff as well based on what I witnessed. Entertainment was very average (resident singers and dancers) comedians were good.Which was a major disappointment because on previous Thomson cruises it has been as good as if not better than other cruise lines. Cruise was poor value for money compared with higher rated cruise lines eg Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Princess. . 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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