9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Previously sailed on Spirit so layout of ship identical. Seemed like the ship was shaking herself to bits. Vibration from engines was constant and on every deck and location of the ship. Last night in port I was unable to sleep because of ... Read More
Previously sailed on Spirit so layout of ship identical. Seemed like the ship was shaking herself to bits. Vibration from engines was constant and on every deck and location of the ship. Last night in port I was unable to sleep because of the vibrations. Celebration needs to be retired. Staff are all excellent and food of a high standard particularly the Meridian restaurant. Didn't try the speciality restaurants. Lido restaurant always had a good selection of dishes, particularly liked the afternoon tea spread. Excursions were well organised but maybe allow for more free time to explore, find a cafe or W.C. Then hunt for souvenirs. Cabins were cleaned and refreshed regularly and any issues were addressed immediately. For us there were not enough dancing opportunities. Bands good but playing pop classics only suitable for “dad dancing” or as background music. No chance to do any ballroom or Latin dancing. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Chose this cruise as we were constricted by time and wanted to visit Athens. We had been with Marella before and researched the ship before booking so knew what to expect. Luggage was dropped off at Gatwick and didn’t see it again ... Read More
Chose this cruise as we were constricted by time and wanted to visit Athens. We had been with Marella before and researched the ship before booking so knew what to expect. Luggage was dropped off at Gatwick and didn’t see it again until it was delivered to the cabin (the reverse happened on departure). Embarkation was quick but as there were only 1200 passengers there was no Premium boarding. Our cabin was roomy and clean with better decor than Discovery which was very bland. Plenty of storage and hangers. The balcony was adequate with 2 chairs and a side table, some balconies were larger with sun beds but also had less privacy. Navigating around the ship could be a bit confusing as not all lifts went to deck 9, some stairways gave no indication of what deck you were on and some corridors were dead ends. There were more than sufficient sun beds on the decks for the number of guests. Food was excellent although, being a small ship, there was not a massive choice in the buffet. Plenty of seating in the restaurants. We didn’t do any shore excursions but most destinations were interesting, those that weren’t we went to the beach. We knew beforehand about the vibration but didn’t find it a real problem, it was felt more in some places than others. A few children onboard but not a lot of activities, guests mainly middle aged to elderly. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We needed to go to Barbados and this cruise came up - 7 day cruise - 7 day hotel stay - at a good price. Tui's organisation was fantastic. From check in at Gatwick to disembarking - all superbly organised. We had an inside ... Read More
We needed to go to Barbados and this cruise came up - 7 day cruise - 7 day hotel stay - at a good price. Tui's organisation was fantastic. From check in at Gatwick to disembarking - all superbly organised. We had an inside cabin which was in fact bigger than the one we had on the QM2! Yes there is a bit of a rumble when the engines are going but it actually rocked us to sleep! Deck 2 midships was a good location as not right over the engines. Captain was awesome - so approachable and freely gave his knowledge of the ship and our destinations. Staff very positive. Food average. Seemed to be a budget per course?? Can anyone tell me why ships run out of prunes?? They come in tins for god sake!! Sorry but found the entertainment a bit basic but on a 7 day cruise not really an issue. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Sailed on marella spirit in October and was very disappointed it was tatty an average so was a bit worried about marella celebration as it's the Sister ship an had not known this when I booked but was very pleasant surprised ... Read More
Sailed on marella spirit in October and was very disappointed it was tatty an average so was a bit worried about marella celebration as it's the Sister ship an had not known this when I booked but was very pleasant surprised celebration was a massive improvement spotless fantastic staff.i was travelling with friend who has to use a buggy to get about an everyone was so helpful. .food was good for mase catering there was nothing to moan about working in catering myself I know how hard it is .i did a few excursions some were fantastic some ok an some not worth bothering with a true mixed bag wasn't worried about paying a bit more than I could have done if sorted on my own as had piece of mind making it back on time great itenary 11 Islands in two weeks loved tortola but favourite was the last port of call bequia not sure spelt that correctly it's the Sister island of St Vincent very small beautiful harbour tender to shore went all over island on back of converted truck up an down beautiful scenery and visit to turtle sanctuary. Worst trip on St Martin double decker bus don't bother waste of time .captain was a joy always time to talk to people nothing to much trouble a credit to the company. Only negative found some of the entertainment staff a bit lacking in joy for the job best way to describe it the exception being Taylor and William who were both warm and friendly big thanks to William on taking the time to show me the star constilations it was fab Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We were looking for an autumn two-week cruise that didn’t breach any of our red lines: 1) must be fairly cheap: 2) must be able to dine at variable times that we choose, not at a fixed time chosen by them. It also had to tick our main ... Read More
We were looking for an autumn two-week cruise that didn’t breach any of our red lines: 1) must be fairly cheap: 2) must be able to dine at variable times that we choose, not at a fixed time chosen by them. It also had to tick our main boxes: 1) must be a wide range of musical entertainment for us to enjoy in the evenings: 2) daily program must offer lots of options: 3) at least some of these must include, or invite, participation by guests. This simple list eliminated most of the English-style, Italian-style and American-style cruise lines. Marella, however, passed all our tests, and additionally this cruise was adults-only, so we were not likely to be impeded on the dance floor by children (just drunks, as it turned out). Having our hold bags going straight from UK airport check-in to our cabin door was an attractive extra, too. After we booked, we got a rather skimpy summary from the agency that did not even mention which terminal at Gatwick we departed from, so we had to look it up. Nothing arrived from Marella, whose website said we didn’t have a booking with them, so we had to find a ‘back door’ into our cruise personaliser to look at aircraft seating options and enter our Advanced Passenger Information. Just two weeks before departure (and twelve weeks after we had booked) we received our Marella Confirmation and e-ticket email from the agent, and then only when asked if such a thing existed. Worse still, we found that this informative document has been sent to the agent four weeks earlier, and they had deliberately delayed forwarding it to us. In the ensuing email exchange, the agent was unable to provide a satisfactory explanation for the delay, and a complaint has been filed with ABTA. The Marella confirmation itself was faulty, as it gave two different weight limits for hold and cabin baggage, so we had to query it with them direct. For this length of cruise, the TUI hold baggage limit is inadequate. We packed all we needed and it came to 23 Kg per hold bag, oddly enough the same as many carriers specify. We then had to go through the process of open, discard or substitute, re-pack and weigh, three times per bag until we got it down to the 20 Kg required, which took hours. For cruise passengers only, TUI upped their cabin baggage limit from 5 Kg to 7 Kg, still less than the typical 10 Kg, but this was scant compensation. The transit from check-in to ship worked smoothly and without any significant delays. (Our only moan was the minuscule legroom in the standard seats of the TUI 787. Flying to Dubrovnik was bearable, but we would not want to go as far as, say, Barbados, in that seat.) The queue for registration, which took place on the ship itself, took longer, and must have been difficult for the many disabled passengers on-board. Equipped with our charge cards we went straight to our cabin, which was ready for use with the door open. We dropped our hand baggage and coats and went straight to the Lido buffet, closing the door behind us. Mistake! On this old ship, the cabin doors are not unlocked by the charge card. Two separate punch cards are left in the cabin for this purpose, so we now had to visit a busy Reception desk to borrow the spare card. Separate cards for entry and payment are a minor nuisance in any case, but less so if we had been told about them in advance. As we came aboard, our first impression of the ship was not very favourable: it felt more like a cross-channel car ferry than a luxury resort. Up to a point this was correct: the ceilings were low, the lighting and wall-decorations were dated, and the carpets were a mixture of inconsistent colours. Additionally there was no impressive atrium to arrive into and no live music to welcome us aboard. But this feeling turned out to be false, as we slowly realised that it was the warm and convivial atmosphere created by the smiling, friendly crew that made customers come back, time and time again. Our standard inside cabin was large. Although about same width as on a typical modern ship, it seemed to have been ‘stretched’ in the zone between the dressing table and the fixed 5’ wide bed, creating a real sense of spaciousness. It was also very well furnished with two bedside tables, two full-sized double wardrobes and fifteen drawers in total. That’s a lot! The shower room was a good size too, and even with all our stuff unpacked, there remained plenty of unused shelving. We were pleased to find lots of hangers in the wardrobes, a tea and coffee tray that was replenished twice daily, a decent flat TV with a fair selection of UK channels, and a hairdryer. There was no refrigerator, so the usual ‘minibar’ drinks were provided on a second tray. However the safe was a disappointment, as Marella’s policy is to charge extra for its use. This makes little sense to us, as the safes are already in place, and encouraging guests to use them would surely avoid some of the issues that arise when property goes missing? The power sockets in our cabin were described on the Marella website as ‘EU 3-pin’. Our cabin had one of these, plus one UK 13 amp flat 3-pin, and (rather surprisingly) one UK 5 amp round 3-pin, a type not installed in UK homes for decades. There was also a standard 2-pin shaver point in the shower room light fitting. In general, and unusually, all the lighting was well positioned, and particularly useful were the spotlights for reading incorporated into the bedside table lamps, but with separate on/off switches. The only poor feature of the cabin was the soundproofing; we could tell from which part of the UK those in our neighbouring cabins had come! Also we were able to feel the vibration for which this ship has become well known. While in port, this was not very intrusive in our cabin near the bow on deck three, but rather more annoying when combined with the engine vibration while at sea. There were also some unexpected creaking noises from the cabin walls when under way, which created an atmosphere of being on an old sailing vessel. At no time, however, did it interfere with our sleep. Despite us keeping very unconventional hours, the cabin servicing was excellent. We were each provided with a large blue pool towel that dried quickly in the air conditioning. Shower room towels were changed whenever we left them on the floor, and we were never without tissues or toilet paper. The bed was made up so smartly that initially we thought they were changing the sheets every day! The main restaurant has open seating, though you may be invited to share a table with others. We arrived at different times every night and never had to wait to be seated, and only sharing on four out of fourteen visits. Of course we could have waited for table-for-two if we had wanted to. It was all so easy and well managed we can’t see why “traditional British” cruise lines can’t do it or why Italian lines ask you to pay extra for it. The menu was varied and tasty, and hardly ever spiced: a positive, as my wife won’t even eat dishes containing pepper. (There are also three pay-extra restaurants that we had no need to sample.) Naturally there is the usual twenty-four hour buffet where the food is good, but not exotic. On my first visit here, I renamed Celebration as the“HP Sauce Boat” as I have never seen so many bottles clustered together, except in a supermarket: oddly enough though, one had to search around for some vinegar. The Lido gives onto a stern deck with tables and chairs so you can eat outside, but under cover. This area also includes comfy sofas for relaxing and reading. The deck extends into the open, with a small pool and whirlpool, sunbeds, and a small stage. One could easily spend all the daylight hours there, assuming you don’t mind quizzes and jolly games now and again. There's a second small pool and whirlpool three decks above, and a small kids’ play area inside, but it’s not an ideal ship for children who need to be amused and occupied all day. On the plus side, there is an ample supply of sunbeds spread across many decks, some with waiter service, so you should be able to find a free one in a spot you like. For a small ship, there is a big choice of evening entertainment venues. The two-storey theatre lounge amidships has a thrust stage with seating on three sides, but as it is also the only through walkway on this deck it must be annoying for people watching movies in the afternoon or shows in the evening. These “Broadway” shows were pre-recorded, with a just a little live singing. There was plenty of rather repetitive walking and jumping about, but not much real dancing. The performers themselves were generally very good, but it was the poor choice of music and lack of structure and consistency of narrative that disappointed us. The real joy of theatre is that it is really happening, right there in front of you, and so every performance is fresh and different. This intimacy cannot be achieved with recorded music and singing. I’ve never seen so many people in an audience leave early! It’s not as if they had a bus to catch! Maybe they had been annoyed enough by the endless ‘disco’ lighting? In theatrical terms, these shows had the worst stage lighting I have ever seen, anywhere, and that includes school plays and the village hall! The most entertaining show, by far, was the Captain’s introduction of the senior officers, which was congenial, humorous and, most importantly, live! The secondary entertainment lounge featured a continuous programme of quizzes, game shows, and sets by an excellent five-piece band, plus the occasional karaoke slot. This had a dance floor big enough for a bit of ballroom and Latin dancing which we greatly enjoyed, although we were frequently the only couple doing it! Later in the evening it became the disco and by then the floor was jammed! Higher up there was cocktail lounge with a talented duo and a small round dance floor where we also managed a few routines, though trying to do slow dances on a high deck in two metre swells is more like acrobatics than dancing! Finally there was a traditional bar with a continuous programme of solo music, with guitar and piano alternating, for six hours every evening. The atmosphere here was convivial, with excellent interaction between the musicians, the bar staff, and some of the guests, even though the young musicians’ choice of songs was not always very well suited to the elderly clientele. Overall, there was more to do in the evenings on this small ship than on many of her larger competitors. Marella’s prices are fairly cheap, especially when you remember that gratuities are included, but they do charge for some things other lines don’t, like shuttle buses. At a few ports the ship was moored much further from the port exit than seemed necessary. Was that to increase shuttle bus revenues perhaps? It does seem unfair to penalise disabled passengers in this way, and there were plenty on this cruise. We had a choice of 65 tours, all too expensive. In a market like this, maximum price does not always mean maximum profit, especially when there are local alternatives. We went to Rome for the day on the train, which cost less than half the equivalent tour price. A single on-board photograph costs £40, almost twice the price of some other cruise lines, and two photos cost twice that. If you are buying more than one, and it’s the last day of the cruise, you can haggle, though. We got a personal photo shoot and nine large prints for £50! The best deal of all was in the bars, where the prices are, as advertised, the same as in (top-end) UK pubs. But Marella’s measure for a glass of spirits is 40 ml, whereas pubs use 25 ml, so you get 60% more booze for your money. Cheers! And what of the cruisers? Well, if you’ve ever been on a Thompson holiday to, say, Benidorm, you will have seen plenty of them. We didn’t meet any that were not from the UK, and most were from areas near airports where TUI operates its larger aircraft, including Birmingham, Doncaster, Glasgow, London and Manchester. Our journey home was painful, in more ways than one. Firstly, we had to collect our own hold bags in the terminal and take them to the coach. Then the driver parked nose-in outside the airport terminal, opened the baggage doors both sides, and let the passengers unload it themselves. Another coach came in, so we now had a coach on either side, and in the restricted space chaos ensued. Passengers searching for their own bags littered the road with luggage until there was nowhere to move. We finally got to our own bags and started to squeeze through the crowd towards the relative sanity of the terminal. Then somebody dragged an empty pallet truck through the people ahead of us: I saw it too late, stepped on it, lost my balance and fell heavily. I was uninjured, but not pleased with Marella’s management of that part of the holiday. Marella has a reputation for smaller, friendlier, ships and Celebration is regarded as the best in the fleet for this: it must really work, as she has many fans that come back over and over again. It’s easy to see why: every one of the crew that we met was happy to chat and some had become friends by the end. Nothing was too much trouble, and everything we requested was dealt with quickly, without having to ask twice. At the end of this cruise, Celebration was due to be retired, and most probably scrapped. But such is her popularity with customers that Marella changed their minds. She left us in Malaga and sailed away for a rest in a Cadiz dry dock. There she is being treated to a month’s re-fit during which they hope to fix the vibration. Then she’s off to the Caribbean for the winter. Would we sail again with Marella? Definitely. It’s cheap, convivial and there’s lots to do onboard. Would we sail on Celebration again? Yes. She meets our requirements and is rather like a ‘home from home’. But she may not be to everyone’s taste, so I hope some of the detail above will help others make their choices. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We tried the majesty last year and were so impressed we decided to do the next one up ie the celebration. We had a large delux cabin which we had booked however we were given a queen bed instead of twin beds as originally requested. That ... Read More
We tried the majesty last year and were so impressed we decided to do the next one up ie the celebration. We had a large delux cabin which we had booked however we were given a queen bed instead of twin beds as originally requested. That being said the bed was extremely comfy and Ahmad, who looked after our cabin kept it spotlessly clean and the towel “art” each night was great. I hope the next cruise we go on we might get lucky and have Ahmad look after us again! Unfortunately on this cruise the ship appeared to be full to capacity and it was difficult finding seats in the different bars. Also when we wanted to sit and read say in the Hemingway’s bar it was most difficult. We did try the Broadway lounge which was always empty during the day but sadly it was really cold so couldn’t sit and read. The staff were lovely always accommodating nothing was too much trouble for them. The food which was aplenty, was tasty. The pianist Ben was good as was the guitarist. We watched the shows too in the Broadway lounge which were very good I particularly liked the Philip Marlowe production. The comedian they had on was also funny and went down well. An enjoyable cruise although the Celebration is looking tired and needs some TLC. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We were recommended this ship by a family member who had cruised with her before. the size of the ship was a factor we took into consideration as we didn't want to "go large." We flew from Doncaster Airport and it was ... Read More
We were recommended this ship by a family member who had cruised with her before. the size of the ship was a factor we took into consideration as we didn't want to "go large." We flew from Doncaster Airport and it was great that after checking in our luggage the next time we saw it was outside our Cabin door. Embarkation was very well organised and it didn't take long before we had the key to our Cabin which we found very spacious, well designed and most comfortable. We chose an inside cabin in the exact centre of the ship, this proved to be an inspired decision! Due to the high winds forecast. Our sail away was in full sun and light winds. Our first day was our only "sea" day. We woke up, got dressed and rushed up to deck for our first experience of cruising. Our hearts sank as the staff were busy tying up all the sun loungers, seats and anything else that moved. Yes, the winds were up, we were sailing into a hurricane!!! Later in the day, the captain announced, we would be missing our first point of call in Crete as the winds were too great for comfort. Instead, the ship hid in the relative calm between Islands to let the storm pass and we spent 1 day and a half in Piraeus, Athens. It rained for two full days but we made the best of it and had a laugh over a few glasses each evening. The weather improved and we enjoyed the excellent food and entertainment on board. The captains night was a highlight for us as was the arrival and sail away from Kotor, Montenegro. The ship had a good ratio of passenger to staff and all the staff were always very friendly. and helpful. The entertainment team were superb and put on some great shows. The Celebration is an old ship but has bags of character, the only grumble about the ship was the constant low vibration from the engines, that seems to be constant even when in port. We would definitely recommend cruising on the Marella Celebration. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our first cruise and chose the Sail the three seas because we liked the destinations which we hadn't visited before. We liked the idea of all inclusive so we knew we didn't have to worry about a large drinks bills and ... Read More
This was our first cruise and chose the Sail the three seas because we liked the destinations which we hadn't visited before. We liked the idea of all inclusive so we knew we didn't have to worry about a large drinks bills and what tips to leave at the end of the cruise. From arriving at Manchester airport we felt looked after when our cabin numbers were put on our cases. When we arrived at the port in Croatia it was very organised at the check in onboard.Our steward Manif introduced himself straight away and showed us around the cabin. He looked after us every day cleaning the cabin twice a day. In the evening he turned the bed down and left a chocolate on our pillows with a towel sculpture. We prefered to eat in the Lido restaurant and thought again the staff were very nice and the food was very nice. We had a favourite waiter in there call Norries.The tables were cleared and cleaned quickly and waiters were around to take your drinks orders. We liked the entertainment in the Horizons bar with 2 Intense & king in the Hemingway bar. We did watch a few shows in Broadway showbar which were ok. The pool on deck 8 was very nice and there was plenty of sun loungers around the decks for everyone. You had pool towels which could be changed daily. I never saw one member of staff without a smile on their faces,everyone was happy and made you feel happy. We met some lovely people aned were very looked after on this holiday the ship is old but that wasn't an issue for us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We as a couple in our 60s always choose Marella (formerly Thomson) for our cruises. The smaller ships are our choice as they are friendlier and more intimate. Great crew, always greeting you with a smile. We sailed from Dubrovnik, ... Read More
We as a couple in our 60s always choose Marella (formerly Thomson) for our cruises. The smaller ships are our choice as they are friendlier and more intimate. Great crew, always greeting you with a smile. We sailed from Dubrovnik, taking in Bar (Montenegro), Korcula (Croatia) and Venice, among a few other ports of call. All were beautiful - and the weather helped!! Sunny and hot every day. Although the ship, the Celebration, was full, we never felt cramped at any time. We are going back on this ship in October for 2 weeks from Dubrovnik to Malaga (repositioning). A couple of small gripes. We felt the entertainment this time round was not up to the usual high standard we have experienced before, particularly in the Broadway show lounge. We also found the food in the waitered Meridian restaurant of lesser quality than on previous cruises. Marella take note - other cruisers were of the same opinion. However, we can't fault Marella Celebration crew-wise. Even the vibration of the ship we have become accustomed to and now expect! Very enjoyable from start to finish. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Chosen as interesting itinerary in the eastern Med. Flew Manchester to Dubrovnik and security tagged at the airport and sent straight to the cabin and vice versa on return. Very good service and all passengers pleased as not having to ... Read More
Chosen as interesting itinerary in the eastern Med. Flew Manchester to Dubrovnik and security tagged at the airport and sent straight to the cabin and vice versa on return. Very good service and all passengers pleased as not having to retrieve luggage at the airport and load on to the coach. Flew on the Dreamliner and pleasant experience all round. Dubrovnik airport was easy and coach to the ship. Picked up boarding cards and then had to register in on the ship - first time this has happened - and then to the cabin. All flights to the ship were early morning and by lunch everybody was on board. Equally on the last day everybody was off early and we left by 7.30. Some went off to the old City but there was an amount of hanging around until sailing at 9.00 pm. Another first was the SOLAS muster drill without having to take your life jacket. Odd I thought. Been on the Celebration before and easy to settle in and find your way around. CD was Adam Mustoe who we have seen elsewhere as an entertainment host. His parents were on board that week. Day at sea - usual port showcase and coffee's in the Coffee Port. Gala Night too but there was a change of Captain. New Captain had been delayed and old Captain sent his ceremonial uniform home.so the staff captain deputised. Quite amusing Malta - good weather and did the panoramic tour. Delay in leaving port as ship had lost some power. Messina - Late arriving at this industrial port and pulled in by 2 tugs. I suspected power issue with the thrusters which proved to be the case. Pleasant excursion to a winery on Mount Etna for a wine tasting afternoon. Excellent plate of cheese, olives salami etc. Argostoli - Late arriving and announced we had to tender. Not down as a tender port and whilst there was a large Costa ship berthed there was a view from the passengers that as the thrusters were dodgy and no tugs safer to tender. However not all the tenders were used and considerable delays in offloading passengers. Copious amount of complaints to Reception but to no avail as usual. In the end we gave up on going ashore due to the long delays. Igoumensita - not really a cruise destination port but probably a cheaper alternative. Had to pay for the shuttle bus and went into town. Average town and had coffee and ice creams etc before returning to the ship. Kotor - have been here before and there is a pleasant sail in. To be honest not a lot to see really. Went on the best excursion of the week to a Olive farm where the local farmer and his family made the group very welcome. Explained olive oil production and what to look out for when purchasing - always go for extra virgin olive oil. Absoulute superb lunch put on with plenty of wine. Note : Montenegro is not yet in the EU and all phone companies regard it as Rest of the World which makes it very expensive. Does accept the euro though. Entertainment - good though seen some show and games before. Won quizzes and choice of Octopus charger or notebook. Very good comedian called Terry Cotta. Had not seen him before but good act. Did not put champions league final on somewhere either. Food - excellent as usual and anybody who did not agree is a fussy moaner in my view Staff - excellent as usual and warm welcomes always given Loyalty - my bugbear !. Invited to meet the staff captain at a Discover your Smile party in Horizons. Glass of fizz and canapes together with a large Marella Celebration badge. Not sure of how we were were invited as in the past absolutely nothing. Couple next to us on their third Marella cruise and three different ships invited much to their amusement. Long rambling but good natured talk by the staff captain on the history of Marella cruises followed. Couple with the most Marella cruises given a bottle of wine. Though to be fair they were on their 82nd cruise. Taken this up with Tui on the social media site TUICares but clearly do not as their answer they do not have a loyalty scheme officially. Other cruise lines do and as the staff captain said 85% of passengers on that weeks cruise were repeat customers. All in all enjoyed the cruise and would go again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
STAFF: The staff were all polite, well mannered, very customer focused, impeccably dressed, clean and easily identifiable. They could not do enough for us. We felt valued throughout. Some had more confidence than others but that all ... Read More
STAFF: The staff were all polite, well mannered, very customer focused, impeccably dressed, clean and easily identifiable. They could not do enough for us. We felt valued throughout. Some had more confidence than others but that all comes with experience. We felt that every single member of staff smiles’ were genuine. They looked like they enjoyed their work. We particularly enjoyed engaging with Pieterson who served our chosen area in the LIDO Restaurant. We cannot commend him enough and were quite sad that we didn’t see him on our last day on board to say goodbye. He was on duty after we had left. FOOD: The food was in abundance. So many choices of places to eat. So much choice in each restaurant. We could eat from very early in the morning until very late at night. We could eat as much as we wanted and there was definitely something for everyone. Cooked English breakfast, cereal, toast, omelette, fruit, yoghurts, pastries, continental, hot and cold. Unlimited tea and coffee. No one could complain. Lunch – many choices including burgers, pizza, panini station, noodle station, desserts galore. Afternoon tea with the best sausage rolls, sandwiches, biscuits and scones. Dinner – Choice of 5 restaurants with different types of food. As I said before, something for everyone. We wanted for nothing. And then finally the midnight buffet. We could have eaten 24/7 if we chose to. We all ate more than enough. It was great to have so much choice. Amazingly enough I even lost weight as I was eating more healthily. Although I enjoyed this, the food was of a lesser standard to a previous cruise we took 5 years ago with Thompson. CLEANLINESS: Everywhere we looked was clean. The facilities for public use was always clean and I bumped into the same cleaner on a few occasions in the ladies. She was very thorough. Our room was cleaned and tidied every day, twice a day. We are not messy people at all, but we still appreciated the effort that goes into keeping things just so. When the LIDO deck tables were in full swing, it did get a bit untidy, but things were soon cleared away once we asked. The staff were never just stood around doing nothing. ACTIVITIES: There was plenty of activities and choices of areas we could spend our time on board. We didn’t utilise everything because we were happy with the areas we did visit. We attempted a few quizzes and enjoyed listening to the singers in between activities. Personally, I found these could be a little loud at times and we could not converse with our friends during that time. I know there was a quiet area where people went to read but they would not appreciate us all chattering away in there. I ended up going back to the room for some quiet time leaving my husband on the LIDO deck enjoying the music and drinks. INFORMATION: Information was readily available either with the daily newsletter which I found very informative or by visiting reception and asking a member of staff. There was even a printout of crosswords and quizzes that was available each day. DESTINATION SERVICES: We went to the presentation for the daily trips out at the beginning of the week. Again, these were very informative, showcasing the best of what there was on offer in each destination. Im not sure I enjoyed the delivery style but every one likes something different. I did feel that listening about Morocco put us on edge a little bit with the feedback given on the day. I was prepared to go and do our own thing, but our travel companions were a little bit on edge about it and by the time the showcase was over they were definitely not going to get off the ship in Morocco if they were not on an accompanied tour. We ended up paying for the mosque tour. At this point I would like to say that I feel it would be prudent in future to advise passengers who book this tour that they will have to remove their footwear inside the mosque. None of us were prepared for this. Also, it is not suitable for people who are less able. One gentleman on the bus could not walk to the mosque and was in a motorised wheelchair. He got inside but then was unable to remove his shoes. I helped him as his wife also had a walking aid. He was only able to stand for a very short time and the guide was obviously talking to us all for quite a while. The gentleman had to go back to his wheelchair (which he was not allowed to take any further) and wait for us to finish the tour. He also could not go down the stairs into the ablutions area, so he didn’t see much at all. His wife struggled with the steps herself and I ensured that I stayed by her side to get up and down the steps. The gentleman did not get inside the RC Church with the stained glass as this too had multiple steps. In my opinion, passengers need to be advised of this prior to booking the trips. We were also led to believe that there would be some time to shop. The tour guide, although very informative about the various places we visited, insisted we go into a particular shop that he was going to show us – he advised us all that the shop was the only place that the argon oil face cream was certified by the factory. He said it was rubbish everywhere else. He also stated the saffron here in this shop was the proper stuff and that the saffron you get everywhere else is no good. So, we all traipsed into the shop behind him. We all duly bought the oils and saffron etc in this shop. Twenty minutes later we were told it was time to go. As we left, the guide went to the till and he was handed some money (I assume a percentage of what the bus tour occupants spent in the shop – obviously he is paid to take tour buses into that particular shop. Whilst I understand that this may be normal practice, I do think that the guide is out of order stating that all other places sell rubbish and not the real McCoy. We were not given any other opportunity to try the other shops. ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment team did just that. They entertained us. Very professionally. We only missed one night in the showcase lounge. It got better and better as the week went on and saving the best till last. The Cameron’s Classics was worth waiting for. We also thoroughly enjoyed the guest comedian – not once but twice. PHOTOGRAPHS: We had our photos taken with the Captain. We felt rushed through and didn’t think the photos were very good. We had our photos taken at other places on the ship. We didn’t like these much either as they were posed. Unfortunately, we had our photos taken in the more informal setting on the deck and we loved these photos but not at the prices being charged for. I have a printer at home that I bought specifically to print photographs so asked if we could just purchase the disc with the 9 images on without the 9 prints. This was not possible it seems. I would have paid for the disc. Would it be possible to offer this service in future? I am sure that the ten minutes it took to take the pictures was worth £50. There would still be a profit made. Four couples over an hour would pay £200 an hour. I wish I could earn that kind of money. All of the above is my observation and thoughts. I do however have a complaint. My husband and I chose this particular cruise because we wanted to visit Marrakesh – this was the ideal way to do that. It meant we were on a bus trip, we were only there for a day and we could take all the photos we wanted at the same time of knowing we were not going to stray into unknown territory. You can imagine our disappointment that once we boarded, we were informed that there would no longer be a trip to Marrakesh due to the three-hour drive (surely when planning the destination and advertising the trips you knew it was going to be a long drive). Overall, we had a great time. Thank you for a lovely week’s holiday. We have come home exhausted and feel we could do with a week off. We may see you again Celebration. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We went in April and with Spring being the windiest season of the year, I knew I needed to strap myself in for a bumpy ride. NOT what I was expecting. Embarkation: Really easy and stress-free. Check in at the airport was fine ( I ... Read More
We went in April and with Spring being the windiest season of the year, I knew I needed to strap myself in for a bumpy ride. NOT what I was expecting. Embarkation: Really easy and stress-free. Check in at the airport was fine ( I still dont understand why they dont just give us those Priority Cruise tags once we've landed, but anywho ) and we were on our way. There were a few long-ish queues to check into the ship, but that was to be expected. Staff were very friendly to us, helping us to where we needed to be. Overall, the most stress-free check in i've had in a long time. Food: This is an issue I've always had with Thomson ( Well, now Marella ) ... I've never found anything WRONG with the food, its just always been a little...boring? If meat and vegetables and roast dinners every evening is your thing, then fine. But I guess I'd prefer something from the actual country I'm visiting, not just British food. Obviously if you dont like that kind of thing, then you're in luck! The actual food isself was wonderful. Considering I only had 4 dinners out of a possible 7 ( More on THAT later... ) they were all in all, pretty good. Lunches were always lots of choice, paninis, burgers, hot dogs, salads. We ate in the main restaurant for lunch one day, would HIGHLY reccomend. Lido was okay, just seemed to get a little too crowded for my liking. Having the drinks machine in the food queue, NOT a good idea. Overall, was okay, but could be better. Entertainment: We only went to 2 shows ( I'll tell you the reason... its coming ) but my god were they GOOD. I love musicals and all things like that, was right up my street. You could see how much the entertainers enjoyed performing for us, which was lovely to see. And their talent was out of this world! Other members of our party didnt agree, not enjoying the musicals. Other entertainment was also available. Live singers were always a treat to listen to. Quizzes throughout the daytime, activities on the pool deck ( When it wasnt raining sideways ). Finally, there was a games room, a library and a coffee shop. If you enjoyed a quieter ride, you had someplace to go. Overall, spectacular. Theres something for everyone. Excursions: We did one excursion, in Casablanca. All in all, it was okay. We went to a Mosque, which was BEAUTIFUL. The biggest Islamic place of worship outside of Mecca. The rest was... eye-opening. We were taken through a traditional market, where we werent allowed to buy anything. Instead we went to a tacky tourist shop... Not really my idea of fun. We were also taken through a different market- again, couldnt stop or anything. Not really sure why? Overall, an okay tour. Seemed a bit underplanned. Cabin: We had a Deck 1 cabin, pretty much as midship as you could get. Inside cabin. Very spacious and kept pristine at all times by our wonderful room steward. We had a problem with the shower on the 2nd day. Someone came right to our cabin within minutes of reporting it and sorted it so we could be on our way. Another thing, we barely ever saw our room steward. Which to me, is perfect. Never seeing them, so you never feel like you're in their way or they're in your way. Yet after a long day of adventuring, our beds were made, those little chocolates were on our pillow and we could just relax... Disembarkation: Not much to say here. The exact reverse of embarkation, completely stress free. General: In general the ship was clean. It smelled very clean upon walking in on the first day. The pool deck got untidy ( On the rare days it was actually used ) and the waiters and waitresses were always ready to fix everything for us. None of the staff ever seemed like they werent doing anything ( Except for when we left the port, and we all retreated to our porcelain vomit-bags ) Everyone was so friendly. It was just... perfect. So yes. We had some bad weather. The first night was fine, you could barely tell you were on a ship. Then we got through the Gibraltar strait, and all hell broke loose. Okay, I'm being a BIT dramatic... but throughout the course of the day the seas got rougher and rougher. So finally, at around 7pm that night I hid away in my cabin for the next 14 hours. Oh no, it didnt just last for one night... EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Rock...and roll. Im not exaggerating, 3/7 nights were about bareable for me, only because we had the protection of the Med on 2 of those nights, and the Portugese coast on the other. But the crew... they were FANTASTIC. The captain was everywhere, reassuring passengers throughout the day, then battling the seas throughout the night. We had winds at the top end of storm force 11. Bear in mind the scale only goes up to 12, and thats a Hurricane! Our cabin steward brought us extra towels on nights we didnt leave the cabin, they even delayed the ship by a few hours on the 3rd night so we could all have a nice dinner! The best thing that happened was on the final night. Since hardly anyone turned up to the captain's gala ( Escpecially in the second sitting ) they had loads of the staff come onto the stage in the entertainment, a really great photo opportunity. Just a great experience all around. The captain gave an announcement on the last day, thanking us for our co-operation, which was lovely of him. It was the worst weather he'd seen on around 20 years of working on a cruise ship, and at times it was some of the worst sea he'd ever seen. I'll miss the ship, and I'll definitely go back. Probably not on that itinerary though... Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We enjoyed our week long cruise on Celebration. It's an old ship and showing it's age but kept clean. There was some vibration and the movement of the ship was felt which isn't as evident on the larger, newer ships. We ... Read More
We enjoyed our week long cruise on Celebration. It's an old ship and showing it's age but kept clean. There was some vibration and the movement of the ship was felt which isn't as evident on the larger, newer ships. We dined in the main restaurants but also tried the 3 speciality restaurants, The food in the main restaurant was comparable to P&O and Celebrity and we found this good, the speciality restaurants were OK we enjoyed Mistrals the best, the hot stone was good but due to it's location it wasn't a "special" experience it's outside next to the buffet so although an effort was made to make it different there was limited partitioning so the tables nearby were used for people having the buffet. We didn't really enjoy the Asian restaurant, food was not as good as our local Indian restaurant service was poor we didn't really think it was worth the extra charge. The entertainment was excellent we have cruised with P&O, Celebrity, NCL, RCI and Holland America and we thought the shows were the best we have seen. During the day there was a good mix of quizzes and games but there weren't any talks like other cruise lines offer. There is a choice of bars in the evening some lively and some more relaxed which suited different tastes. We did one shore excursion - Deep Martinique we thought this was very good value for money and had an excellent guide and we had a very enjoyable day there were only 15 on the tour. This was our first cruise with Marella (Thomson's/TUI) we probably wouldn't go on Celebration again (unless we got a good deal) due to the age and size of the ship. Due to the size, age of the ship and the choppy sea we felt queasy and this is the only reason we would probably not go on Celebration again however would happily look at cruising with Marella on one of their newer larger other ships. On the whole we had a good time we were apprehensive before going due to some of the negative comments about Marella Cruises on cruise critic but other than the age of the ship I think it is similar to P&O and value for money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
we were told the marella celebration was small and friendly that it was !! but in rough seas it was like a cork ( i thought the caribbean was calm ) foolish me it was my first cruise with a food and drink package you can eat and drink all ... Read More
we were told the marella celebration was small and friendly that it was !! but in rough seas it was like a cork ( i thought the caribbean was calm ) foolish me it was my first cruise with a food and drink package you can eat and drink all day and most of the night service was excellent but they had far too many quizes on every topic, entertainment was excellent king in hemmingways was brilliant he will go far embarkation smooth and easy far too many photos at expensive prices we all have phones with cameras now do not need more paper photos shore excursions from ship expensive much cheaper to do it yourself but as long as you give plenty of time to get back to the ship and dont leave it till the last minute decide what time you are going and more important coming back some of the cruise terminal terminals are poor some like st vincent and tortola are excellent Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We choose this cruise as it was value for money (i.e. affordable!) - particularly for single cabins, and we were not disappointed overall. For those people looking for the cruise experience and luxury, this isn't the cruise for them. ... Read More
We choose this cruise as it was value for money (i.e. affordable!) - particularly for single cabins, and we were not disappointed overall. For those people looking for the cruise experience and luxury, this isn't the cruise for them. We treated this as a hotel that that parked in a different place every day, and were happy with the experience. First, the good bits - definitely the friendly staff, who were always so willing to help. The food was fine overall (particularly afternoon tea and those mini sausage rolls), the all-inclusive package offered us more than enough choice (particularly if you like cocktails, which I do), and the ship itself is clean and comfy. Our fellow passengers were friendly and helpful, and we hardly noticed the children on-board because they were so well behaved. Embarkation was smooth and fast, and the excursions were generally well organised with none of the waiting around to be called that we have previously experienced. On the downside, our cabins on deck 2 at the back were a bit noisy - but other noise was minimal and we were not disturbed overall. One of our 3 cabins had a smell at the beginning, but this was sorted - the annoying creaking noise was never identified!. The food was a bit variable - we always found something nice to eat in the Lido as there was a good choice but the food in the Meridian wasn't always what we expected although we enjoyed dining in the Meridian - the overall experience was nice. Potatoes were almost always a disappointment (roasties are meant to be crisp!). I didn't attend the evening entertainment - those that did were disappointed in the first week, but really enjoyed the second week. Excursions - mostly very good, and well organised. The only poor trip was the one around St Martin - poor guide, and 30 minutes spent in a boring, overpriced ice-cream shop Food - for those that need it, sugar free, GF and vegetarian options are offered as standard, and vegan diets are catered for on request Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This cruise was the first part of a cruise and stay holiday, and we were a little bit apprehensive about going back to an old ship ( a very old ship) we started our cruising holidays on thomsons and the defunct air tours ships but 48 ... Read More
This cruise was the first part of a cruise and stay holiday, and we were a little bit apprehensive about going back to an old ship ( a very old ship) we started our cruising holidays on thomsons and the defunct air tours ships but 48 cruises later and cruising on all the major cruise lines, it was a step back to the celebration, we paid extra for one of the balcony cabins, and it was well worth the money the room was large and spacious and had a bath with over shower, the balcony had two sun beds and a table and chairs, and the room overhaul was perfect, large comfortable bed, a nice size dressing table and ample storage for a two week cruise, black out curtains, fridge, in fact nothing at all was missing and we were very impressed with the room, the ship is small by modern standards but very friendly and that is down to most of the staff being from the phillipenes who have a very friendly nice aptitude to life, a small casino onboard wth two tables for cards one black jack, the other five card caribean poker, and one roulette table this casino is in Hemingway’s piano bar and is a lovely place for pre dinner drink and after a nice place to retire to bed from, with a singer on keyboard and a singer with guitar performing for you, you don’t have a full theatre on this ship but a nice showbar with adequate shows from the on board entertainers and some guest acts, dress code is poor a lot of people who think dressing up is cut off jeans with at t shirt is formal, but overhaul good value for money with all drinks and tips included in the price. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was the first cruise my partner and I had been on. We were unsure of what to expect but this ship was recommended to us by a friend of the same age so thought we would give it a go. The ship is quite small but I think this was a ... Read More
This was the first cruise my partner and I had been on. We were unsure of what to expect but this ship was recommended to us by a friend of the same age so thought we would give it a go. The ship is quite small but I think this was a good thing as it meant things were accessible and we got to know both the staff and other passengers. The ship is on the older side and did creek at times, especially when it was rough at sea. There is plenty to do on board - it depends what you are looking for. There were daily quizzes, loads of live music in the bars and outside on deck and then daily demonstrations like ice sculpturing, napkin shaping and cooking masterclasses. They had the occasional lecture (frozen shoulder and how to look after yourself) - I have heard other cruises offer more lectures there was probably one per week on this one. There are 2 pools - on the smaller size but big enough and a whirlpool. On sea days the pool got a little busy. Thomson offer their own excursions but we often found it easier and cheaper to do the excursions ourselves as their offers were usually horrendously over priced (eg £40 just to go to a beach when a local taxi would do it for £10). We did do 2 of their trips - the St Kitts railway (as you cannot do this on your own) and snorkelling in Martinique (as it was our first time snorkelling, they gave you the equipment and the boat to take you was just at the port so it was very convenient). We thought these trips were very well ran and would recommend these ones. I am sure some of the others are just as good and convenient but we would just get off at the port and see what was on offer - sometimes with a bit of bartering. Getting off the ship each day was easy - you just swipe your card and off you go. On one day we had to get a tender to shore but was very easy and quite fun. The service was unfaultable. All of the staff were always so friendly, smiling and looked like they were genuinely enjoying their jobs. We got to know some of the waiting staff well. Tips are included in the price and is not expected, however, we gave a tip to a few of the waiters who had looked after us well at the end of the cruise. Once we got off the plane we got straight onto a coach to the embarkation port. We did not have to pick up luggage and that arrived later that night outside our cabins which was amazing. Travelling back was also easy - we put our luggage outside our cabin the night before disembarkation and did not see it again until we got back to the home airport. Our cabin was one of the larger ones - 716. Unfortunately it was right next to where people disembarked each day so sometimes we would be woken up by us docking and then the beeping of the cards being swiped. We didn't have long lie ins but this started from around 7 when we would get up after 8. The wardrobes were spacious - 2 double ones and there were 3 large drawers for storage. The bed was big but was quite rigid. It was a double but there was a bit of a cover rolled up in between 2 separate mattresses to stop there being a drop in between - this felt like wood at times! The bathroom was rather small but was manageable. There was a TV and a big desk with a large mirror on one wall. There was also a little window you could see out to sea. The cabin was always made up well. The dining was exceptional. They have the main Meridian restaurant which is waiter service, the lido which is a buffet style self service restaurant and then 3 other small speciality restaurants you have to pay a supplement on. The Meridian is superb. Breakfast is good - full English, omelettes, French toast, daily specials as well as toast and cereals. Lunch is a highlight - 3 courses and all amazing with wine or any other drin from the bar. Dinner was amazing - 4 courses (you can chose 2 starters - one from the left box and one from the right). When you come in you are asked if you mind sharing - this gets you a table faster and there was often a big queue for couples wanting to sit on their own. Depends what you fancy doing - the people we met at dinner were really nice and had great stories to tell. Towards the end of the cruise we did just fancy our own space so chose to sit on our own - no issues either way! The service was very good - always so fast and they will get you anything you want. Wine was free flowing. The Lido wasn't too bad - we went there for afternoon tea which was ok and would sometimes go there for snacks in the late afternoon like pizza, chips and they have a great wrap bar as well. We would go here for a midnight snack too - it is open until 1am. We thought this was good. We got an all inclusive deal (which wasn't actually all inclusive but did give us access to most of the drinks). There are some drinks and cocktails you have to pay extra for and they do a premium wine deal for better wines. What we had in the basic drinks package was good enough though but it is a bit annoying when you think you have all inclusive to find that you actually don't! I would recommend the basic drinks package as we thought it was good value for money. The bars are cool - especially horizons at the front of the ship. Annoyingly, we had to pay for the cabin safe which was a little magnet device. It did not feel very safe and we had to hide the magnet in the room (fear that it would get lost if we carted it around with us). We again thought it was a little annoying having to pay extra for this as with all inclusive you thought that everything was included. The entertainment was great. Each evening there was 2 shows - an early and a late showing. We went on a behind the scenes of the show team and it was fascinating to learn what the team have to go through to be selected and then rehearse it all. They have different themes each night - musicals, Africa, queen etc. One day per week they had a comedian on. Annoyingly some of the shows were repeated - queen on the first night and the musicals on the last night. All the shows were great. To be honest, we could not fault the cruise itself and it had everything you would want. We did find though that some people (not all by any means) were a bit rude and had a lack of manners - for example taking menus from our table without asking, pushing in the queues etc. As it was our first cruise I cannot comment on if this was the cruise itself that attracted this kind of people or not. The majority of people we met were not like this but it did grind you down by the end of the cruise. I'd like to go back on a cruise at some point but perhaps would try another ship. I would go back on this one though but want to explore others first to see how they compare. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This cruise ship is one of the smallest in the fleet, and therefore does not have a large amount of things to do. The interior is tired but they have updated the carpets and curtains. Accommodation: Typical inside double room, ... Read More
This cruise ship is one of the smallest in the fleet, and therefore does not have a large amount of things to do. The interior is tired but they have updated the carpets and curtains. Accommodation: Typical inside double room, with 2 single beds, and a butler who does a great job, and always kept the cabin clean & tidy. Entertainment: Every night there was a musical show, usually with 2 performances, which was excellent, the team put on a great show. With 4 bars in total, which all have they’re own musical themes, jazz, piano bar, disco etc, and an outside pool music after the last show most nights. A casino & slot machines, are attached to one of the bars, which opens during the afternoon and evening, until around 2am. Daily games of Bingo, pool games, trivia quiz shows. Also on board is a small gym, photo studio, spa & beauty salon, and duty free shop. Every day we arrived in a new port, which was excellent, with trips to great locations, however we did our own thing, using the local taxi’s, which were cheaper, and where we wanted to visit, with no time restraints. Food: The food is either buffet or A la Carte, which are British style menus. The pool side offers a quick snack area, with Pizza, Burgers & Hot Dogs etc. The brochure boasts 2 other restaurants, (French & Oriental), both are available at additional costs, even though I chose to upgrade to the All Inclusive Package, they are not included. Drink: When I booked this trip I paid the additional cost to go all inclusive, however TUI’s idea of All Inclusive is not what I expected. Firstly, if you want cans of Fizzy Juice, Bottled Water, Blue Bombay Gin, Malt whisky, certain cocktails, Peach Shnaps, or bottled beer, then this is chargeable. If you want to go to the Coffee Pot, which offers various styles of coffee, muffins & cakes, this also is chargeable, (not included in the All Inclusive Package), however you can go to your cabin, or any of the bars and get a cup of coffee, for free!! As stated I feel the All Inclusive Package is not clearly defined at booking point. Within 10 mins of getting on board I was pushed to upgrade to the Premium Package, at an additional cost of £50 per person for a week. Room service is available 24/7, food & drinks, and the cabin mini bar is not covered by the All Inclusive Package or the Premium Package. Communication: When booking this trip, I was informed that Wifi was available and mobile access was available whilst at sea. The truth is, I very rarely had any signal or able to connect to the ships network provider. The only time you get signal is in ports, but on this trip we had 2 days at sea, so no contact during these occasions. WiFi is charged at £8 for an hour, £15 per day, £25 for 3 days or £49 for the week, but only available in public areas not the cabins. Services: Laundry service (wash & fold), at a cost of £14.95 a bag. Pool towels, which are replaced daily Safety Deposit box in the cabin, which is chargeable. Smoking areas are available. This was my first cruise holiday, and I enjoyed the port stops, crew were great, food excellent, however I feel TUI are always looking at ways to get more money out of you. They are not clear at pointing out the all Inclusive Package or communication when booking stage. Read Less
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
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
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
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
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
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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