10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Several disappointing things unfortunately seeing this was suppose to be a maiden voyage,firstly the not so good things! on arrival we found the safe in our cabin was not working,we reported it to reception who told us that apparently 250 ... Read More
Several disappointing things unfortunately seeing this was suppose to be a maiden voyage,firstly the not so good things! on arrival we found the safe in our cabin was not working,we reported it to reception who told us that apparently 250 safes were not working,another member of staff told us there were 46 safes not working in total,either way they should have been checked before paying guests went on the ship,it was still not repaired when we left the ship after 7 days,lots of guests had complained that their phones in their cabins were not working either,ours was ok but according to a member of staff the owners of the ship before tui had left the phones in that state,in which case why were they not checked?I ordered a celebration package for £99 for a surprise for my husbands birthday which included a birthday cake,i was asked to give a slip of paper to the waiter secretly whilst having our meal so my husband could have it presented to him at the end of the meal,it never happened,i went to reception the following day and asked them to just deliver it to our cabin instead,i was told it would be there in half an hour,an hour and a half later still no cake so another visit to reception!! we were told we would get a refund for the cake,so i will wait and see! In my opinion this was not a maiden voyage as the ship had already been named and had travelled from Cadiz to Palma with 800 travel representatives to promote the ship,they had Olli Murs for their party nights,streamers, dancing, we had a strictly come dancing guy who hardly anybody knew and someone from British Bake off!! Food was brilliant,staff were friendly and the entertainment overall was excellent,The captain continually apologised for all the problems but at the end of the day the ship should have been checked over properly before all the paying guests got on board,such a shame as it could have been lovely cruise. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
It was our 1st cruise and we thought it was a great experience the entertainment staff catering bar staff cabin staff highly recommended would do it again .would recommend it to other 1st time cruisers as well only thing we didnt like was ... Read More
It was our 1st cruise and we thought it was a great experience the entertainment staff catering bar staff cabin staff highly recommended would do it again .would recommend it to other 1st time cruisers as well only thing we didnt like was that you was unable to watch england games in the world cup tournament and to have wifi would be rather expensive the captains announcements were very clear and accurate information. My wife unfortunately broke her ankle while we were in rome and the medical staff were great and was Amanda of entertainment who came with us to th hospital while we docked in palermos spain also the very kind taxi drivers who took great care with us .I travelled with my with and mother in law and none of us had been on a cruise before we would do it again one year liked it very much. Read Less
81 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We have just returned from the most fabulous holiday ever with tui Marella explorer. We arrived in palma and embarked on the new to tui ship. Immaculately presented rooms newly refurbished it certainly was more impressive than we had ... Read More
We have just returned from the most fabulous holiday ever with tui Marella explorer. We arrived in palma and embarked on the new to tui ship. Immaculately presented rooms newly refurbished it certainly was more impressive than we had anticipated. We had lots of little gifts pens, notebooks toiletries chocolates etc celebrating its first voyage with tui. Over the years we have been on many Thomson tui holidays so had an ideal what to expect, average food, decent accommodation cheesy entertainment etc. Well that may have been the old Thomson/ tui experience, but after this week we can honestly say they have thrown away the old manual and reinvented themselves with this one and blown away the old tired format of the holiday experience and set the bar so high I don't think other holiday cruises will reach. Food 10 places to eat, five with a supplement and five as part of the all inclusive, it's a Thompson/tui holiday and I had the old expectation of the all in food would be poor and the supplement food would be good, how wrong I was! The all inclusive food in all five places to eat was fabulous, tasty fresh well presented with attentive staff and waiters, clean facilities and very professional chefs, tui have thrown everything into this one and thrown the old way of doing things, dining was a treat wether it was a snack or and sit down table waitered service eating was a pleasure with the all inclusive deal. We did try a meal with the supplemented eateries, the Kora La it was simply fantastic a real treat, but whatever you taste or need they cater for everyone. We in our party had and gluten free and a veggie and they were taken care of no problem. Staff Couldn't do enough for you, your every need was catered for and nothing was too much trouble, faultless in every way. Excursions We went to Pompeii and Herculaneum fabulous day out very informative guide who's knowledge and passion was beyond compare, it made for a fabulous day out Entertainment well, we have been on countless Thomson/Tui holidays and even at five star level, the entertainment was lack lustre, amateurish and cheesy at its best, OH BOY, are you in for a treat, simply put the onboard shows in the broadway lounge were outstanding, the singing, the dancing, the acting, the presentation, the musicality and directorship were second to none, we were a party of six, and we were all blown away by the outstanding performances of all of the shows. Tui have thrown away the old "how to" entertainment book and replaced it with something that's worthy of any west end stage. It sounds OTT but I promise if they keep that level of passion they gave in performing for us you will not be disappointed. The last place you want to have poor entertainment is sailing down the med with nowhere to go! The entertainment in all of the other bars and lounges were fantastic too, there is something for everyone and your musical taste I'm sure, will be catered for. Bad bits It was over in a week, first time ever we didn't want to come home! Overall We had avoided cruises for many years thinking it would be "Butlins in a Boat" how wrong were we? We are looking at next years cruises already!!! Awesome effort by all involve in making everyone's holiday on board extra special and captain peter and staff for making our journey a safe and pleasant one Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Just got back from our cruise. The ship is very tired, looks like a 1980 Travel Lodge in places. Very spacious cabin, we were on deck 4, cabin 308. Lots of cupboard and draw space but no fridge. The shower was small but did the job, but ... Read More
Just got back from our cruise. The ship is very tired, looks like a 1980 Travel Lodge in places. Very spacious cabin, we were on deck 4, cabin 308. Lots of cupboard and draw space but no fridge. The shower was small but did the job, but the flushing of the loo was hit and miss. The food was very good. Ate in the Compass Rose every night and we were never disappointed. The Lido restaurant was good with plenty of well cooked choices. The waiters are all excellent, special praise for Harley, Kevin &Don Don at table 77. Must mention a waitress called Anna, always smiling and a pleasure to see. The ship is showing its age .Very noisy and very bumpy. There was a lot of shuddering and vibrations even when docked The show team were very, very good providing great shows with limited resources. Overall the staff made the cruise, but the ship let it down. Would not sail on this ship again But can see why some people love its almost retro style Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Let me start off by saying I am neither a complainer nor a pushover. I like to say things as they are and to hell with what the majority or otherwise might say. Nor am I a happy clapper willing to give out praise where it not due. That ... Read More
Let me start off by saying I am neither a complainer nor a pushover. I like to say things as they are and to hell with what the majority or otherwise might say. Nor am I a happy clapper willing to give out praise where it not due. That out of the way, let me proceed. As seasoned travellers myself and my wife have been most places in the world and often several times over. However, until now we have resisted the urge to cruise. Don't ask me why, I have no logical reason, other than liking to be in charge of my our own day to day lives and what we decide to do with them, which is best suited to a holiday where we set the daily itinerary. I was often put off by the choice available, the often very high prices, and unfortunately, the high prices upfront to fly to some of the departure ports from Northern Ireland. For instance, the Caribbean felt a good option several times, but paying up to £700 each for flights just to get to Miami and then the cost of the cruise on top was a turn off. Deep down I also had a fear that I would get cabin fever, and also harboured an illogical feeling that a cruise ship was merely a tarted up ferry and I would know it inside out and back to front within an hour. This proved to be unfounded. So this year we decided it was time to break our mould and book a cruise. The Western Med seemed a safe bet, and being slightly off season in March we wouldn't have spent a Kings ransom if it turned out we really were not up for cruising at all. If we liked it, then spending a lot more in some sunny summer exotic destination would be less of a worry. After an evening of internet research, I arrived at the Costa website, and we finally decided on a Western Med 7 night cruise on the Costa Diadema out of Barcelona. We booked an exterior room with a balcony. We also booked the Piu Gusto all inclusive drinks package including Cocktails. So off we set in early March 2018 In the midst of severe arctic weather as a result of the polar vortex over Ireland and the UK in late feb early March 2018, and we duly arrived in Barcelona on a rather pleasant saturday afternoon. Our cruise wasn't due to leave until Monday night, so we decided it would be good to book a hotel for 2 nights in Barcelona as well. This was a great decision, we had 2 lovely days in the city, and our hotel was right by the cruise port which meant a 2 minute transfer from hotel to Ship on Monday afternoon. Monday came quick enough and a quick taxi run saw us arriving at a modern fresh Cruise terminal purpose built by Costa. The Diadema in all its spotless glory was tied up alongside. Our labelled bags were whisked away, and an hour later, we were called to board. On entering the ship the lavish design is the first thing that hits you. This was no glorified ferry! The ship is beautifully fitted out and spotlessly clean. We made out way to room 2037 on deck 2 and were pleasantly surprised at the size of the room, the bed and balcony. Our two Cruise cards were awaiting us on the bed. These act as your boarding card/ ID at port stops, your payment method whilst onboard, and your door keycard for entry to your room. The idea is you "pair" your credit card to the cruise card at one of the multiple terminals onboard. You then no longer use personal cards or cash on board. Any accrued cost, you settle the night before your trip ends. Of course, the card also holds details of your drinks package, so all your drink 'purchases' are free. You will be called to a meeting point an hour or two after boarding, resplendent with life jacket for a compulsory drill. All in all it took about 20 minutes. This is taken extremely seriously by the crew members and they expect you to treat it as seriously and pay attention to all that you are told. Common sense, and no more an interruption on your cruise than the flight attendant instructions at the start of a flight. At this point, I'll explain go back and explain the drinks packages. There are several, from water only, kids soft drinks, meal only wine packages, wine only all areas, main spirits wines and beers, everything inc Cocktails (but not absolute premium brands) this is the package that we had , and the everything you want package including the very top brands like 20 year old Brandys. Note: everyone travelling on the same booking must have the same package for adults. This is to prevent the card holder 'buying' drinks on the all inclusive package, and passing them to others who haven't paid for the package. Incidentally, I saw this once with a group of 30 something men. The barman saw it happening and immediately refused further service to the whole group. They were then escorted from the bar. I don't know if their cards were confiscated, but on the literature it does say that this could happen if abused. Simply, do the right thing and you are fine, if caught, the bar staff take it seriously and will take action. All the bars on ship serve the same range of drinks and the extensive drinks menu is at every bar. You simply look at the coloured dot that represents your package on the front page of the menu, and any drink that has your colour dot (yellow in our case) then that drink is included. Our package was hugely inclusive and only about 3 cocktails and a selection of like 20 year old brandies were excluded. It included dozens of top brands. Martell, Johnny Walker, Baileys, Smirnoff, Gordons, Martini, Bacardi, Canadian Club, and loads of liquors and beers, coffee, soft drinks and juices.. The Cocktail menu was to die for, with about 30 on offer. (Try the Bahama Mama!!) At €8.20 a cocktail, it would be an expensive night if you were paying by drink. Our package was €175 each. We each drank about €70 of cocktails etc on the first night! :-) Suffice to say, the drink package is worth it. When you consider it includes your wine at dinner, soft drinks etc at lunch time, all your Illy coffees on board. I estimate our tab would have been not much shy of €1000 for the 8 days onboard. (you can avail of your breakfast, lunch and drinks package on departure day as well!) Stay away from the minibar in the rooms as usual over priced. Now for all said above, heres the anomaly. This company (Costa) has a real bee in its bonnet over drinking water! Yes, the stuff you need to stay alive. It is not included free in the room (€3.50 a litre from the mini bar.) It is only dispensed from water dispensers to cup in the buffet area, and by glass only in the restaurants. If you want chilled bottled water, you have to pay extra! even with a drinks package, unless you take out the actual water drinks package! So Martell VSOP brandy and €9 Cocktails are included on your package, but chilled bottled water isn't even though they would likely stock it at about 10 cents a bottle! Very strange, and it seems to irk a lot of people going by comments here and elsewhere. It also seems unique to Costa. So, sort it Costa, really silly policy and one which needs addressed. I cannot for the life of me understand having an all inclusive drinks package and not having the cheapest and most basic form of drink available on it! However that said, I don't remember gasping for water onboard, it is available from dispensers 24/7 and we kept a litre in the room at all times. Moving onto dining. I can genuinely say that If I had have believed some of the ridiculous reviews left by some people here and elsewhere, I may have cancelled the trip. What it did do was leave us with some doubts as to what the food would be like. There must be a lot of people out there with very low tolerance levels, or very delicate palettes . This is an Italian cruise ship. There is no escaping it caters mainly for Italian, Spanish, French and German peoples. In fact English was the 3rd or 4th language translated for announcements. I am not a picky eater at all, but I admit enjoying the typical UK/ Irish diet. Everything from fish and chips, roast beef, a good curry etc. But I also enjoy rice dishes etc. I wouldn't say I am a big lover of the classic mediterranean diet, but I would have a go anyway. Suffice to say, the food will be different than the UK or Irish traveller might be used to. But its of very high quality. In a nutshell, both my wife and I were bowled over with the quality of food on offer. The Italian chefs onboard created dishes each night that were just amazing. From basic spaghetti and pasta dishes, to the beef, lamb, chicken and pork offerings. We were blown away. It was so satisfying too, as our expectations had been lowered so much by these reviews!. I have to say to some of the reviewers on this site, some of you must be serial complainers or just unfortunate, because the experience we had all over the ship was of a serious effort to provide top class food and experience and I don't think we were let down once. You will be allocated a dining room on day one, with either sitting 1 or 2. We were in the Fiorintino restaurant on deck 3/4 for first sitting. Some reviews said staff were nasty and overworked, food arrived cold and took hours. I think you are reviewing the wrong boat. Our waiter was prompt, wine bottle in hand before you had even warmed the seat. The 5 course menu browsed, a nibble at the constant supply of fresh breads, and the first course arrived within 10 minutes. We never spent longer than 1 hour to 80 mins in the restaurant unless chatting to people. It was a lovely experience in 5 star surroundings. The waiting staff were warm and friendly and nothing was too much for them. The food was superb, resented like a top restaurant and cooked perfectly. Now, if you didn't want the sit down 5 course meal, or you decided to eat later, the Buffet on floor 10 was available up until well after 9. If you have experienced all you can eat buffets before, this will be of no surprise to you, but it was no where near the problem some have posted. Its busy, but we never found it crazy busy. You may well have to look around for 2 or 3 minutes to get a seat in the actual buffet area, but never longer than that. Also the area directly outside the buffet has hundreds of seats and tables to eat at also. The buffet runs along 3 sides, and is split into Oriental (Chinese type dishes, rice, fried rice, noodles, ribs, chinese chicken pork etc,) Italian, spaghettis, pasta, lasagnes, ravioli, then a big area serving roast beef, chicken etc. A large salad area and a dessert area. Again, for a buffet, the food is very good and you can have a really nice meal here. One review I read actually said, "most of the food available in the buffet is cold"! what absolute rubbish! This is also the location for your continental breakfast. Cooked breakfasts are at your designated restaurants. In addition to this, there are 3 or 4 "prestige" restaurants, costing about €25 per person per head over and above your inclusive package. There is the Tarayaki, The Ferrari and another. We never bothered, as the food inclusive was so good. You also have an Italian Pizzeria and a burger bar available (at a cost) to about 1.30am, or room service 24 hours at a cost of course. The Pizza is to die for, seriously. We had a full cooked breakfast in bed one morning for €10 all in. (Full UK style) So thats the food aspect. We were really delighted. I expect in review columns like this, it is natural that people will come to complain more than compliment, but I really must say a big congratulations to Costa for service and food. So on to the ship itself. Wow. Its a bit of an assault on the senses. The sheer size of it is the first thing that hits you. It is vast. 16 floors high, numerous bars restaurants etc. A shopping mall, casino, cinema, theatre, disco, nightclub, 2 pools, jacuzzis, country club, Ice cream parlour, spas. Just about everything you would expect. I understand its one of if not the biggest currently on Mediterranean duty. The shops are typical of cruise liners. Tommy Hilfiger, up market watches, and the typical Boots type perfume and lotions shops. Not really our thing but nice enough to kill an hour or so. Do be aware, they run 'sales and promotions' most nights, but in reality the prices are rubbish and its easy to get sucked in when in holiday mode. You will pay at least what you will pay at home, sometimes a lot more! Suffice to say, ignore the 75% off luxury watches promos. Ripoff. But I am sure you are not cruising for the shops on board. Each night, you will receive the ships "newspaper" detailing all of the next days activities and the port of call. This is excellent because you know whats on the ship at any time. We enjoyed a show one night in the vast theatre, and shows change nightly. But we found our home in the country club where a terrific cover band called Royal Alligators played Dire Straits,Queen, Toto, Police, and all the old classics until the early hours. They were very talented and pulled big crowds each night. Other than that, it was nice to just drift about the ship in and out of venues to see what was on, you really can lose yourself walking about the many decks and bars. The bar and lounge areas are all slightly different but designed beautifully, and its lovely to sit in any of them and just take in a bit of entertainment. And this is non stop. This is a dancing boat! Morning noon and night, there are couple Cha cha'ing or Latin dancing to their hearts content. There are free classes on constantly, with bands, singers, musicians, comedians, and dancers doing different shows every night. The public areas are busy, but not frantic. Italians do tend to converse loudly and shout rather than talk, but I don't remember ever feeling that the Ship was rowdy or boisterous. Just happy! You would have thought the waiting and bar staff would be trained to slow down the drinks intake of all those all inclusive passengers to save the company money, but its quite the opposite. The staff will arrive as soon as your glass is empty to fetch a refill. The service is excellent. In fact, the attention and service of staff all over the ship is really exemplary. They are courteous, well trained and efficient. There are always people polishing stair rails and glass partitions, cleaning surfaces etc. You will not see a fingerprint on this ship. I'll not dwell on the ports called at. Suffice to say, we stopped at Palma, Palermo in Sicily, Rome, Savona, Marseilles and back to Barcelona. I cant comment on the tours, but we booked the bus transfer to Rome and it left and came back on time, and the same in Palma. On early arrival back at Barcelona, we had breakfast. Our cases were left outside the room the night before to be transferred to the terminal for collection (saves you carting them through he ship on exit). We were told we could stay on board until about 1 pm which we did, availing of lunch and a few more Cocktails! So an excellent trip with 5 star service board and food. We will definitely cruise on the Diadema again. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Back to Back cruise on Thomson Discovery 13th to the 27th of May 2017 The Tui flight to Palma went ok and we were on the ship by early afternoon, although we had the hassle of reclaiming our bags at the airport and dragging them to the ... Read More
Back to Back cruise on Thomson Discovery 13th to the 27th of May 2017 The Tui flight to Palma went ok and we were on the ship by early afternoon, although we had the hassle of reclaiming our bags at the airport and dragging them to the coach which nowadays we are not used to. The outside cabin on Discovery was nice and storage space was good enough and the cabin was kept ship shape by two very efficient stewards, the shower was corner shaped with a curtain which jumped on you and the sink was a basin type being small round and deeply dished so if you turned the water full on it splashed you and wet the unit through, unbelievably I have never seen such thin and poor quality toilet paper on a ship, surely this must be false economy as three times more than normal had to be used. Discovery is a cold ship with drafts from the prom deck adding to the air conditioning as the doors to the prom deck were not the traditional heavy wood ships doors but two opposing sliding glass panels which both opened completely as would a town centre shop, letting the wind whistle through and it is plain to see that this ship was built for hotter parts of the world than the Med in May. Deck space is plentiful if grubby at the rear of the ship due to spilled drinks and soot specks on the deck that left dirty streaks on deck which I never saw mopped up, or the soot on the after deck sun loungers which were neither cleaned off, and while sun loungers are plentiful on the ship most have seen better days, unfortunately one big fault appears which is most annoying as no chairs are provided on the sun deck for those who have difficulty in getting on and off a sun bed and if you needed a chair it had to be pinched from the deck bar area which is not an ideal solution, and again there were also no chairs on the prom deck which again is a pretty bad and annoying oversight. The all inclusive drinks package cannot be bettered anywhere, and I guess that this is the reason that most passengers booked with Thomson and as drinks are a big part of the budget its a great saver. The bar waiter service on deck was great being constant throughout the day but the plastic drinking vessels are most off putting and they look filthy, possibly the denaturing of the plastic but I am sure any discerning cruise line would not serve drinks to respected customers in such vessels. Many of the plastic drinking vessels cups and plates etc were never collected at sundown, and were in evidence in some parts of the ship the morning after, so the ship is a bit sloppily run by higher management. Discovery is also a ship of music, in the main restaurant and Atrium there are tuneless automatic pianos aimlessly tinkering away by themselves, or pop music when they are not playing. There is live music on deck in the afternoon for those who like deck entertainment, but at all other times there is incessant piped pop music in every part of the ship, even in the restaurants while eating, and heavy metal music at breakfast is not my thing, there is not a quiet lounge in the ship where passengers can sit quietly with a drink and talk to each other, or to just sit quietly, so wherever you go there is non stop background pop music. Food on Discovery was very average but most of the Destiny passengers seemed to appreciate it from the person who started eating by pushing a full sausage into his mouth and then dropping his chin to within 3 inches of his plate and without using a knife shovelled in the rest with just a fork, to the people who held their knives and forks as would a four year old, fine dinning it is not, but I guess on this cruise most passengers didn’t care as long as the food did not run out. On this ship there does not seem to be a formal night or Captain’s dinner, but a “Dress to impress” night, and indeed I was not impressed, Thomson have dropped smart dress, to casual, which has morphed into scruffy as T shirts and jeans with canvas type shoes seem to be the standard, or anything which showed off the tattoos, on the first dress to impress night I wore evening dress which was a mistake, as unfortunately there really was no point, and I never wore a jacket again, I also noticed that many people wore the same clothes for days and one chap wore a somewhat grubby flat cap morning and evening throughout the cruise, although during the second week in the evening just a few jackets were in evidence although the majority were still people who wore jeans or shorts and T Shirt with pumps around the ship. The Main Restaurant had an abundance of staff but the service was the worst I have ever seen on a ship in 30 years of cruising, after being escorted to a table and being given a menu the average time before the starter came was 40 minutes, with the whole three courses taking over an hour and a half and once two hours, we always arrived at the restaurant before 7pm and never left before the first show started at 8:30pm. I was not the only passenger to see that the dining format did not work, and while again the food in the main dining room was not fine dining it was acceptable and always nicely presented it was however never hot, and on two occasions my fish was wet and underdone, then one night we were told after ordering that for some reason? the steak could only be served very well done, (why) so we all cancelled the steak. There were two other bookable restaurants which were at both ends of the dismally and dimly lit Disco Bar 11 and as both were open to the incessant pop music, or the nightly disco music played in the bar 11 any intimate restaurant ambiance was also unachievable. Due to the terribly slow dinning we saw most ships shows at the second nightly performance and the shows in our view were quite poor, the singers were not very good and they had to sing over music which was far too loud straining their voices, and some productions were sort of acting and singing like their take of West Side Story, which they murdered. The guest artists were entertaining being a Yorkshire comedian who was very good, although unfortunately the comedian for the second weeks cruise was again very average, no I'v changed my mine he was poor, there were also two lady singers who were very good but many people got up and sneaked out, not their cup of tea, or possibly a little too sophisticated for this clientele, and after the show the bubbling and gushing cruise director never failed to impress upon us how great they all were, in just case we forgot. The ship's bars were in general dimly lit, with live entertainment in one of them which was a very popular venue, and of course the incessant piped pop music in the other bar lounge areas, although the barmen and bar waiter service was always very good. So to sum up, the cruise ports were very good, as were the ships tours we had booked, although our stay in Naples was cut shorter than stated in my published itinerary and as such we could not risk doing our usual trip around the bay by train to Sorrento and back, which was a lot more than irksome. Thomson have vastly dropped standards for this ship, and for certain Thomson are now targeting the ship at newbies, the first time cruises, a younger clientele and at families, as we were informed that there were 200 children due to board the day we disembarked, in preference to seasoned cruisers who demand better standards than this ship or Thomson TUi are willing to provide. We booked this cruise on the strength of having done 4 previous Thomson cruises, the last one to the Caribbean which was very good, and now it does make me wonder if Thomson have dropped standards throughout the whole fleet in order to target another market, so would we sail on Discovery again? Well its cruising Mr Spock, but not as we know it, so that’s a NO. This review is my own view of this cruise, other reviews may differ Read Less
44 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Going on a cruise has been on my "bucket" list since visiting the port at Palma de Mallorca 12 years ago. My husband decided that the occasion of my 60th birthday was right for a surprise cruise as a present. He couldn't ... Read More
Going on a cruise has been on my "bucket" list since visiting the port at Palma de Mallorca 12 years ago. My husband decided that the occasion of my 60th birthday was right for a surprise cruise as a present. He couldn't have chosen better than the Thomson Majesty. From embarkation to our final day, we had a fantastic holiday. We arrived at the Majesty embarkation centre straight from the airport, which has a transfer time of 20 minutes by coach. We arrived at a busy time with several coaches arriving at the same time, so embarking was busy, but very well organised. We explored the ship instead of visiting Palma, and there is a orientation tour of the Majesty that can be done, but we just enjoyed getting lost onboard for the first hour! One pleasing aspect for me was that since ceasing smoking a few years ago, and I now use a vape, vaping is permitted in the Polo Lounge and Casino, which meant I could enjoy my vape without having to be on the Sun Deck with smokers. We dined in all of the restaurants except the Bistro which carries a supplement. We preferred the Four Seasons to the Seven Seas, as the Four Seasons is smaller, although both restaurants have the same menus each day. The restaurants are run front of house with a Maitre d', who runs the restaurant staff with a rod of iron! The menus were varied with vegan, vegetarian, meat, fish and seafood available every day. The dress code is smart casual, and gentlemen are not permitted to wear shorts at evening dinner. There is the Captain's Gala Night in the Seven Seas, with two sittings, and the invitation is delivered to your cabin. We understand that the Gala Night is usually the evening of the day at sea. Dress code is smart to formal, and we enjoyed wearing our evening wear for this one. There is a buffet restaurant on Deck 10, where the dress code is smart casual, and shorts are allowed. The buffet restaurant has a chef's corner, where there is a different cooking method going on, or a carvery. We generally found that the standard of food very good, and the restaurants were spotlessly clean and well run. We attended only a few of the entertainments onboard, as we found that we made so many friends, the time simply flew by, and we were too late to go!! One thing we did note - every one of the staff greeted their passengers, and this friendly attitude rubbed off on every one else, which made for a lovely, friendly relaxed atmosphere. We have never found this at hotels. There was a medical incident onboard, which necessitated the need for one of the auditoriums to be evacuated whilst the medical team did their jobs. The Polo Bar flooded with guests, but the professional manner in which the staff dealt with this was very impressive. We watched the Bar Manager at his best, and bar waiting staff just appeared from nowhere, and the situation was coped with admirably. There is a gym on Deck 7, which we did not use, and a late disco as well. There is a very good Wellness Centre, and I had a full body hot stone massage, which was well worth the money. As this was our first cruise, we decided to have a private photo shoot. We negotiated a good price, and the photographer did a good job. There were some not so mobile guests on board, and | noticed that they were well catered for, including wheelchair user friendly areas. The Sun Deck on Deck 10 did get busy, and I did not notice any towel reserving of the sunbeds. We had mixed feelings regarding the excursions. We booked our excursions before the cruise, as we felt that we did not want to miss out on anything, which we would if we tried to go it alone. The Villfranche - Monaco trip was a transfer by tender to the shore, and the young lady we had was first class. She lived in Nice, and was very passionate about the area. Our next trip was to Pisa, just the morning trip as the Florence and Pisa one was a 9 hour day! Our guide was Italian, and just fired facts at us, and silence for the rest. I think I overthought the trip to Pisa, as I felt a bit let down, as it was just the leaning tower, cathedral and a baptistry. We wanted to visit the cathedral, and had to queue for a ticket, and then we couldn't visit until 45 minuted after we had to muster for the coach. The port was industrial, as one would expect, perhaps I had too high an expectation on this one. The port in Corsica was by tender, and was a bit choppy, with some guests cancelling their trip due to the weather for which they had a full refund. The excursion in Corsica for us was the wine tasting in the mountains of the island, and it was very good. The winery gave everyone on the coach a gratis bottle as well!! The guide knew her stuff, and was very informative. We were diverted next from Marseilles, due to bad weather and the French election taking place, so we went to Mahon, Menorca. The port here is a well known beautiful port, and as we had been to Mahon before, we went it alone, and used a road train that runs a circular tour around the town. A choppy night was to come, and we woke the next morning in beautiful Barcelona. The Segrada Familia is a must to see inside, and our guide was excellent. Can I just say, that if your guide tells you to meet at a certain point at a certain time, it is to keep the tour on time, so please adhere to it. We wasted time because of this. Last day was back at Palma, and the end of our lovely trip around the Med. We thoroughly enjoyed this holiday, the only gripe I have is that bottles of water are NOT part of the drinks package, and it was €1.40 for a bottle. I felt that this was wrong, even night clubs will give you water, it is a basic element of staying safe in the heat. We would book Thomson again in a heartbeat, and don't hesitate to book on an older, smaller ship like the Majesty. Read Less
45 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Horror!!! Horror! Could not wait to disembark after a week from hell !!! The most mercenary employees in tourism i have ever met in my numerous travels, the managers have absolutely no consideration for the passengers, only for their ... Read More
Horror!!! Horror! Could not wait to disembark after a week from hell !!! The most mercenary employees in tourism i have ever met in my numerous travels, the managers have absolutely no consideration for the passengers, only for their business. My family live on different continents hence we thought a week together on a cruise would mean both rest and togetherness, something to remember fondly. We booked together,we flew together, we embarked together only to be split on different decks by the company ( you do not want to know the distances between the decks and the daily hassle). The stewards told us they had rooms on the same decks and we repetitively tried to reason with the management/ guests services explaining that the very reaons for the cruise was for us to be together. it was to no avail. We were all hassled non-stop, we ended the one week exhausted since we had not had a single restful day. They are extremely mercenary in everything, thin air is the only thing you do not pay for on costa diadema. No rest, no afternoon naps ever, every afternoon emergency drills and announcements in all cabins (!!!), even if you were drilled upon embarkation you repeat everything every single day, every single afternoon for about 2 hours both in your cabin and on the halls in 5-6 languages. A total of 7 days x 2 hours / day afternoon drills resulted in a large number of hysterical passengers who embarked in the same hope to be able to enjoy a few restful days, only to literally weep with joy at the end of the cruise. Moreover, again, on a daily basis, all the crew only announcements are heard in all cabins, non- stop, as they are way too cheap to buy walkie talkies or professional switchboards to only announce the drills in specific rooms or crew only announcements delivered only to staff. By the end of a week we were bone tired, traumatized, a bundle of nerves and happy to crawl off this pathetic ship swearing never ever to book costa cruises again. Everything on this ship is focused on covering them against any complaints/claims coming from passengers, it is never about the passengers' wellbeing. Nothing works properly hence you have to run to and fro for several km/ day from upper decks to reception to sort out malfunctioning cards, misunderstandings etc after, obviously, repetitively standing in huge queues. 5000 people and two tiny pools ( one in the middle of the buffet area- imagine the chlorine smell and the flooding restrooms nearby - pictures upon request) . Ever day they automatically withdraw 10 euro/ passenger from your card unilaterally - you are compelled to put money on their card and they administer it as they think fit- conveniently forgetting to mention that this is a daily tax not legal to impose on passengers in european waters. On the contrary, the management at guest services insists that it is a must. In european waters, it is the passengers' decision to offer the sum if you are happy with the services, at the end of the journey as all other companies know and accept. Generally speaking on cruises you comply gladly because you are satisfied and well rested, happy with the services provided. here, whether you are a satisfied customer or an extremely dissatisfied one you are told that " bad luck", you have to pay (i have recorded proof i can provide in this respect). On costa diadema everything is on savings mode. On other cruises you are looking forward to the fabulous performances in the theatres every evening. On costa diadema they have a weekly evening show ( one of your 7 paid evening shows!!) delivered by the employees - pathetic amateur night they claim the passengers must appreciate as it is a gesture for them. I shall not be imposed amateur shows upon myself and my family as we did not pay for them ( can provide some videos for general hilarity). I suggested we, the passengers, could also help with further savings, some can sing, others dance, a few recite, numerous hum etc. It is extremely embarrassing for both sides: passengers who are told that they should be grateful and appreciate this " nice" gesture on the part of the staff, and the staff themselves who are ridiculed on stage. When compared with the grandiose shows on other cruise lines you feel like crying at your stupidity of having chosen costa. On the other nights a few pathetic dancers/ singers on a big stage on which they get lost, try hard to warm up the passengers, again to no avail. Non stop mix ups, attitude problems, laziness, misunderstandings because of language difficulties of employees ( we suspect super overworked and very cheap for the company, hence no special skills are needed). Should you - god forbid - expect an egg for breakfast, you are told to go down two decks and buy one in a specific restaurant:)) how cool is that ?! Fabulous Diadema savings mode Part of my family accommodated forcefully- as i have shown above-on a superior deck hardly saw their steward ( we had a very good steward on a lower deck). When they complained at reception they were sent a few apples in a basket and a bottle of cheap champagne and nothing changed, they were told that they should be pleased. No further comment. Do not recommend costa diadema to anyone ever!!! Those who worked hard for their money and wish to rest and enjoy a few nice days are in for a very nasty surprise. Buffet closed and cordoned off 1-1.30 hours before closing hour, resulting in even longer queues, even machine water and coffee are attentively monitored and offered only for a short time, while staff watch eagle-eyed so that you do not take 3-4 cups of water. Have been waiting for months on end for this cruise together with my family only to find that at the end of it i had to apologize to them all for the week from hell i had imposed on them. Never, never again costa. We have been on very many cruises before but never experienced anything of the kind. I had expected february to be a more savings oriented cruise but nothing to this extent. If that is the way they treat passengers i do not think i can afford to throw money away on them and, meanwhile, on my own money, masochistically torment myself and my entire family. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We had been told by others who were experienced cruise holidaymakers that a cruise holiday should be experienced, we booked about a month before departing and got a good price. Flight over - Thomson chartered a jet from Skywings, ... Read More
We had been told by others who were experienced cruise holidaymakers that a cruise holiday should be experienced, we booked about a month before departing and got a good price. Flight over - Thomson chartered a jet from Skywings, piloted by a Canadian with an Irish crew. Comfortable (paid for extra leg room) and a nice flight. Upon arrival, a bit of confusion as to where to meet the Thomson reps. It was actually a helpful hire car rep who told us that they were outside. Went outside, got directed to a bus that wasn't actually open yet, so stood about for a while. On the coach, got handed small medical questionnaires to complete - but no pens as such. Arrived at port, checked in, got our picture taken (which we later reviewed and thought looked awful as we weren't fresh from having just got off a flight, wait, coach and queue to check in to the ship). Luggage was taken and we had been informed that our lifeboat drill would be 10pm. Got onto the ship, stood for ages with a member of crew waiting on an elevator, they took us to our room and wished us well. Cabin - the cabin was very small, it reminded me of staying in a campervan. No real room for placing both our suitcases. It was clean enough though, though I thought that the charge for a bottle of water (the "minibar" made up of softdrinks with took up a lot of precious space on the little desk) was very stingy. We had literally only got into the room (before the cases even arrived) and got a rap at the door. We thought it was the cases. It was an agitated, stressed sounding member of crew telling us to go to the lifeboat drill now. We told her that we were told to go to the 10pm one, but she was insistent. We donned lifejackets (no real instruction on how to tie them) and went out. We stood about for about 20 minutes, were told that this is where we were to go to, and stand beside, if an emergency occurs, then back to our cabins. When we got back, our luggage had been abandoned outside the door. We paid extra for a seaview and got a view of a lifeboat. We initially had 2 twin beds, despite us specifying a double. We queried this at the reception only to be abruptly told that the ship is at capacity, there are no other rooms. So I moved the chest of drawers out, pushed the two beds together, and lifted the drawers back to the side. The first night we weren't sure about where to eat, we went to the nearby San Marco buffet which was like a school dinner, and there wasn't really anywhere to sit. There was a real pressure sale trying to sell drinks packages. We were glad we didn't - we worked out that we spent less - taking into account supplements etc. - that we would've spent, and we are partial to a tipple or two... Day 2 was day at sea, with the formal night that evening. It was a fairly relaxed affair, got our photo taken with the Captain who was an interesting character, who then at the cocktail party introduced senior staff members. Dress code was anything from shirt and jeans up to full tux. I was somewhere in the middle with a grey suit and narrow tie. Sit down dinner was tasty enough and as we would learn standard fare from the Seven Seas and Four Seasons, and an introduction to the hilarious Spice Boys dinner entertainment. All of the crew were helpful and friendly, some even took part in a talent show one night, including JD the barman with a hilarious comedy/magic routine. The evening staff who look after cabins even made animals out of the towels - which always made us smile when we arrived back for the evening. Entertainment was top notch, Shep the entertainment director, Mustoe and Sean - who led a brilliant rock and roll night in the Polo lounge one night, in fact it was better fun than the lifeless Frame52 nightclub. The on board theatre crew performed some brilliantly rehearsed shows. Special guest was a comedian who admitted that his show was less risque than his usual act. Even away from the entertainment lounge, there were quiz shows in Royal Fireworks, singers all over the bars, and daytime activities poolside. We hopped off on Villafranch for a Monaco excursion. We were told to meet at Royal Fireworks, where people were taken down to the stairs a section at a time. Our section I think was missed out, after 10 minutes of nothing we went down ourselves. You queue on the staircase, with others joining the long queue from the lifts at the bottom of the stairs, to get onto lifeboats which take you ashore. The 'Easy going' excursion gave us little time to view the F1 track, though it did do a bonus tour of Nice on the way back. The tender boat on the way back again was queued again, in the sun, for about half an hour. We eventually got onto a boat - however when it arrived at the ship the staircase was 3 foot in the air, the crew had to literally lift people - including the elderly - onto the stairs. I would recommend not doing a shore excursion where tenders are used. Livorno was a little better, with a gangway onto port. The Tuscany wine tour showed us a nice vineyard, with a few bottles of wine on the table and some bread and salami. Corsica day we stayed on ship and caught a little sun, and enjoyed some of the daytime activities. Marseille we caught a shuttle bus into the town centre. It was a sunday, a lot of shops were closed, and walking to and from the old port from the bus left us we encountered a few local drunks. That night the seas were a little rougher, you could feel the ship bobbing on the waves. Got off at Barcelona, which was a bit of a shambles. We were told to go down to deck 2 gangway, then we were told to actually go up to deck 5 to use the cruise terminal corridor, again huge queues all the way around deck 5, many people late for their coach trips (which started at 9.30, the ship didn't dock til 9). Yet on the way back we came via deck 2 again.... Another night of rough seas made us wonder if the ship had adequate stabilisers. The last night we packed the suitcases, we didn't get return luggage labels as we were supposed to, but got some from reception. Had to leave the room by 8am, but our transfer to a hotel for another week stay wasn't til 11.30, so we had to sit about with our hand luggage. When we disembarked, it wasn't immediately visible where our cases actually were. Got the transfer to our hotel for 'cruise and stay' at Jardin Del Mar, and we were glad to get a full size apartment room. Have to say though, that the transfers at the end of the week seemed to be an utter shambles. Another 'cruise and stay' couple warned us that they had issues, we didn't see our details on the transfers list at reception, so we saw the rep, who informed us that Thomsons had problems with the cruise-and-stay transfers but that they would sort something. Eventually we were told a bus and a time. So morning of departure we waited on that bus with another 2 people. Except no-one had told the coach driver, who only had on his list 2 people, and his coach was at capacity. He made some phone calls for 10 minutes or so before reluctantly letting us onboard. Got to airport and long queues, got on the flight and delayed as someone had checked in but hadn't reached the gate, so their luggage needed removed. Then, takeoff was abandoned as the autothrottle on the plane had failed - as a nervous flier I didn't really like the news of a fault on our aircraft! Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Thought this wud be a good cruise to start with, the destinations were excellent, the entertainment was excellent. The formal restaurant on deck 5 was excellent and the food really good the service was very good and the wine waiters were ... Read More
Thought this wud be a good cruise to start with, the destinations were excellent, the entertainment was excellent. The formal restaurant on deck 5 was excellent and the food really good the service was very good and the wine waiters were very good in filling up your glass as soon as it was empty. The problem we had was with a noisy room and didn't get a full nights sleep for the whole of the fortnight. We had a housekeeping cupboard opposite our room which was in use all night and kept banging. We were also on deck 9 which meant we had noise all night from the top deck which went on much of the night and then early hours of the morning we had food trolleys rolling over us going to the upstairs restaurant. So all in all I was very disappointed in my first cruise and wouldn't go again. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Chose this cruise as a short one for our first ever cruise.Embarkation was pretty smooth,we where in our cabin and unpacked by 11am.The cabin was a pretty good standard and the steward was excellent. We managed a few hours around ... Read More
Chose this cruise as a short one for our first ever cruise.Embarkation was pretty smooth,we where in our cabin and unpacked by 11am.The cabin was a pretty good standard and the steward was excellent. We managed a few hours around Palma,well worth a visit.You can walk to the city in 40mins or get a bus from the port.The other ports of call where Olbia Sardinia,don't bother with ships excursion not worth the money.Naples OK ,Messina Sicily nice town to walk around. Argostolli Kefalonia very nice town,good shops.Lastly Corfu where we disembarked which was chaotic.We enjoyed the food on the cruise,and the Orion restaurant was very good.Our biggest gripe was trying to get a drink at ANY of the bars the service was VERY slow.Hardly any waiters and hardly any bar staff.We had the drinks package but what a waste of money.As a first experience of cruising it was not what we expected at all.We drank water with our meals as we could get this ourselves from the water coolers.On the plus side we will cruise again just not with Thomson Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Spent 7 nights on this ship. Food and service excellent. Cabin had everything needed for time spent in it. Entertainment brilliant. First experience of cruising. Had to use medical facilities which were excellent. Treated promptly and ... Read More
Spent 7 nights on this ship. Food and service excellent. Cabin had everything needed for time spent in it. Entertainment brilliant. First experience of cruising. Had to use medical facilities which were excellent. Treated promptly and professionally. Nothing left to chance. Great selection of trips but a little expensive. Very good entry level cruise and great value for money. Read Less

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