Sail Date: March 2013
My wife and I had promised ourselves a cruise around our Silver Wedding Anniversary and our wish was granted ! Having had a bilateral total hip replacement with my second op. just a couple of months prior to my travel and our horrid 2013 ... Read More
My wife and I had promised ourselves a cruise around our Silver Wedding Anniversary and our wish was granted ! Having had a bilateral total hip replacement with my second op. just a couple of months prior to my travel and our horrid 2013 winter motivated us to book this Red Sea Cruise with a four night stay at a 5* Jaz Mirabel Beach Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh (SSK) The price was very reasonable. The Thomson flight from London and the transfers to the ship were brilliant and extremely well organised. Almost all cruisers were British and the average age was around 55ish. The entrance to the ship was pretty ordinary and our luggage was taken to our suite. The room size was pretty generous and perfectly adequate for our needs with a full refrigerated supplies. Our first meal was in a buffet section. We were not very impressed with the pretty ordinary looking food but once we settled down, explored all our options, all our concerns were alleviated after a chat with the Chef (Pablito) who assured us that the chicken and lamb was all halal and beef was stocked on board for the large number of muslim Indonesian crew. Pablito produced the halal labels on the boxes on request. The chef promised to prepare a halal fillet steak meal at our behest the following day in the A la Carte Restaurant (Highly Recommended ) and produced a meal of the highest michelin standard at no extra cost. We had most of our meals there since quality mattered more than quantity and the service was second to none. We made lots of friends there and were made to feel like "part of the family". Thomson go out of their way to ensure everyone on board has a wonderful time (of their lives!) Friday sermon (Jumuah) was easy to get to by taxi and needed pre-planning Food, snacks, tea,coffee and water is available 24 hours a day on most part of the ship.I had a bagful of snacks which were never used during our cruise. All Thomson cruisers get prepared to put on weight ! One fellow traveler put on a stone in just a week on a previous cruise, easily done! Another fantastic aspect of the cruise was the butler who appeared like a gremlin and made the bed, tidied up the room no less than three times daily with ice in the ice bucket topped up a number of times daily. In a nutshell, you are treated like royalty whatever price you pay and whichever cabin you choose.The entertainment every night was of West End standard and alone worth the price of the cruise. Since fellow travelers did not have to get drunk like the youngsters made the evenings a pleasure. There was no time to get bored. The ports were not too great and used for access for excursions, we did venture out of the ship a few times just for for touring the surrounding areas.We were never disappointed but always glad to be back "home" on our ship. Disembarkation was easy, luggage had to be left outside our cabins for identification on land beside the ship for taking to the coaches. Help was always available for those that required assistance. In summary, a fantastic experience likely to make most cruiseaholics! Do enjoy your journey and please do not take food/snacks onboard ! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
After reading a couple of bad reviews before we left i was very dubious about this cruise, but from the minute we stepped foot on the ship to the minute we stepped foot off the ship i could not of found one fault, the food, drinks, staff ... Read More
After reading a couple of bad reviews before we left i was very dubious about this cruise, but from the minute we stepped foot on the ship to the minute we stepped foot off the ship i could not of found one fault, the food, drinks, staff entertainment was fantastic, we went on the cruise purely to see Petra, The Pyramids & The valley of the kings. people comment on how expensive the trips are but your getting transport, a guide, an armed guard, lunch which was in a 5 star hotel, a snack box for on the bus & your entry into the sights which when you break it all down probably isn't a bad deal. We had our teenager with us and she made friends straight away & had a ball. The hasslers trying to sell you things are very intimidating & off putting they tend to spoil the excursions alot its about time something was done as this has put me off returning to the country again. driving through Cairo & Luxor again was an eye opener & pretty scary at times, but the driver & guide we had were excellent. i would definitely cruise again with Thompson, we never once had a bad meal & nothing was to much trouble, our suite didn't seem to have had its upgrade but it was still fine, the bars were always kept immaculate as were the food areas, hand sanitation was always available but quite a few people never used them!! sunbeds were a problem it was the same old faces that got up early & hogged them all day.we didn't see a great deal of the night time entertainment but we always heard good things about it. massive choice of food & drinks there will never be anything you cant find to eat & the selection of drinks couldn't be faulted either, we seemed to have a good deal with our drinks package but every time my husband wanted a drink there was a £2.00 surcharge as the only lager available was Heineken. I feel from speaking to others Thompson is a very laid back ship but you still get the service you would get on any other. I cant wait to book my next one!! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
We joined the Celebration on the 28 of February at Sh-arm El Sheik and we where not disappointed.From the quick embarkation to getting our cabin was first class.Its a pity THOMSON flights are not the same! We took this cruise with my ... Read More
We joined the Celebration on the 28 of February at Sh-arm El Sheik and we where not disappointed.From the quick embarkation to getting our cabin was first class.Its a pity THOMSON flights are not the same! We took this cruise with my brother in law and his wife as we particularly wanted to go to Petra and boy we where not disappointed Petra is awesome.We at first thought that the trips where expensive but when you way up how far Petra is and your entry fees and a first class lunch at a five star hotel it is about right,and of course if anything happens they will get you back on board. Now having sailed on the Thomson Destiny on her last voyage where a little apprehensive about the Celebration after reading some of the reviews but all our fears where in vain as for us the Celebration was far more friendlier and the accommodation better then the Destiny.We had a inside cabin on the fourth deck witch had been refurbished and was more then adequate. The food on board was to say the least superb a pity our hotel after was not the same.The crew on this ship also could not be faulted.All in all a excellent cruise which i would recommend.The only downside with this trip is Thomson flights as you can not get a in flight meal anymore on short haul flights?five to six hours short haul?you can only buy snacks which are rubbish and half the time they have run out of what you want! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
We went on the Thompson Celebration for a 7 day Red Sea Magic cruise with our 16 year old son. We have previously cruised with Princess and P & O and were advised that Thompson was a more 'relaxed' cruise company. We ... Read More
We went on the Thompson Celebration for a 7 day Red Sea Magic cruise with our 16 year old son. We have previously cruised with Princess and P & O and were advised that Thompson was a more 'relaxed' cruise company. We didn't think so. The majority of people dressed up in the evenings, and it was no more relaxed than the others. The ship itself is in the process of being renovated and the crew were working their way through the ship. It really is looking tired so hopefully the renovations will make a big difference. Embarkation This was a quick and smooth process and we were not kept waiting for long. I was really impressed with it. Staff The staff were very friendly and we were pleasantly surprised by the 5* service we received. Water was free in the restaurants and on deck. The staff really could not do enough for you and the service we experienced on this trip was by far, superior to that we had experienced on P & O. It certainly made up for the tiredness of the ship. Excursions The ports of call were industrial ports and providing you expect this then there is no problem. That means however that you are limited to the excursions you can go on. We went on three. The pyramids, the dead sea and the makadi water park. At first look I thought the excursions were expensive - they are certainly not cheap by any means but you do get a little more for your money that you think. Money Most places take English pounds, American dollars and Egyptian Pounds. The Dead Sea We were each provided with a snack box for the journey. That contained a carton of orange juice, fruit, chocolate and crisps. A very nice thought. The entrance to the Dead Sea was through a hotel and we had access to all the hotels facilities. Lunch was provided which was a 4* 3 course, eat as much as you like buffet with tea, coffee and water included. Alcoholic drinks were available for a cost. I would recommend this trip. it really was worth the cost we paid for it. Pyramids We choose to go to the Pyramids and Shopping trip. Our guide was exceptional. She gave us a commentary of Cairo and Giza etc on the way and provided us with handouts explaining the history of the pyramids. The only downside to the experience was the hassle we experienced at the Pyramids. they really don't leave you alone. There are some bargain gifts to be had from the sellers but be careful and take the advice of the guides. The sellers take English pounds and it would be far better for you to take coins or small notes. If you give a large note you will likely not get any change. Our guide was great and she got the best prices for the goods for us and sold them to us on the bus and handled all the money. That was such a huge help. it was £6 to go into a Pyramid. This was just an empty shell and not recommended if you are in the slightest claustrophobic or have difficulty walking. You need to crouch all the way down and it is a little daunting. Makadi Water Park 25 slides for adults and 25 slides for children. Really worth the money - £32. What we didn't realise until later was that the cost is all inclusive. There is a great variety of and tea coffee soft drinks which are all included in the price. This trip was supposed to have been four hours but we were given the option of staying 8 hours which we all agreed to do. It was fantastic. Entertainment The entertainment was OK. i think that more could be done. We only had a 'quiz' at the pool side and some sparse entertainment. I think that more could be done poolside to keep everyone entertained. The shows were good, not brilliant but they had a really good team and in fairness they were worth going to see. In Cabin Films Every day there was a choice of two films that you could watch in your cabin. These were recent cinema films and such a great thing to have. AT NO COST Cinema there was a different film on each day at the cinema. Showing at different times of the day so you could choose when is best for you Sunbeds There is a huge shortage of sunbeds but the waiters are tough when they see sunbeds left unattended and not a day went by when we did not see someones stuff being gathered up and taken away. They allow you 45 minutes to have food/swim etc before this. I think this is really fair and was good to see. If you want a sunbed you will need to get up early as they are gone by 9am! Norovirus There were previous reports of the Norovirus on board on an earlier cruise and I don't think that Thompson are to blame. They had hand sanitisers everywhere and were insistent that we used them. Some people were complaining that they could not help themselves to food. I would much rather that than have the sickness bug! Besides, if you wanted a bigger helping you could just ask. Nothing was too much trouble. Disembarkation This was a relatively smooth process. All suitcases were taken off us the night before but we were able to access them the following morning to put anything into them before we travelled. usually with P & O. princess, etc we do not handle our own luggage so this was a little surprise to us but no hardship. Notes: Take English pounds out with you on excursions. We only experienced one place where they were not accepted and all we spent there was £2! Don't expect too much from the ports. This trip is really for tours unless you choose to stay on board. You will need to rely on Thompson excursions at all ports with the exception of Sharm El Sheik. There the beach is within walking distance. Enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
Hi folks - We just got back from the Celebration yesterday - had a great time. We'd been on her twice before so we could see what had and had not changed. Hemmingways looked the most different for me. All new furniture and carpets ... Read More
Hi folks - We just got back from the Celebration yesterday - had a great time. We'd been on her twice before so we could see what had and had not changed. Hemmingways looked the most different for me. All new furniture and carpets and a nice bookshelf type thing at the left hand end (near the casino) which looked nice but wasn't practical (it wasn't an extension of the library ). Meridian has new carpets and furniture but ceiling and lighting were the same. Same with the Broadway Show Lounge. Horizons didn't looked like it had been touched but I liked it the way it was so no worries there. The Lido restaurant also has new carpets and furniture. The Terrace Grill behind the lido near the pool has also been refitted and has new chairs and tables and some low soft seating. The sunbeds in this area still looked like the old blue canvas ones. I don't think any major cabin refurb was going on whilst we were onboard. The ship was pretty full I think as it is half term. As we left on Thursday though they were already sectioning off corridors and ripping soft furnishings out of cabins so they are cracking on with it. I thought maybe they were working from top to bottom on the cabins on the refurn but that was not the case. I saw cabins on 7 and 8 which had been 'done' but others which had not. Similarly we were on deck 1 and some cabins had been completed and others not. I did have a peek inside the refurbed cabins. New carpets, curtains and bedding are the order of the day but the furniture/wardrobes seemed to be the same (our wardrobes in our cabin - non refurbed - looked in good nick). I would have really liked to have a look at the bathrooms in the platinum cabins but didn't have the nerve to step over the threshold. My husband went up to the sports deck where they are storing ripped out stuff and he said there were a few bathtubs but certainly not the amount of ripped out sanitary ware he would have expected. If anyone has any updates re the refurbed bathrooms they could post in a review that would be great. The gym, spa and kids club all looked the same to me (we used all three). Service as always was great. The entertainment was also very good and the UK guest act, Manuel Martinez was really fun (he's a comedy magician). Looking forward to travelling on the Celebration again soon! Rachael Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
The Celebration is having a makeover and has new carpets in many of the public areas. Some of the cabins on the lower decks were also being refurbished with double beds being installed and the old TVs were in the corridors. We were on ... Read More
The Celebration is having a makeover and has new carpets in many of the public areas. Some of the cabins on the lower decks were also being refurbished with double beds being installed and the old TVs were in the corridors. We were on deck 4 and there was occasionally a slight smell of thixofix which didn't bother us in the slightest. We took all our meals in the Lido as the informality suits us best, and a lovely waiter called Benny looked after us really well, he watched out for us and put iced water on our table, carried our tray, and served us coffee as soon as we wanted it. Our cabin steward, Yussuf, was also great, although we could do without having our beds turned down in the evenings. It does make you reluctant to go back to your cabin until he has been. Although the bathroom is slightly Dated it was always immaculately clean and we had no complaints about it at all. We felt that a chair that tucked under the desk in order to give more space would be good. Otherwise the cabin was excellent. All in all the we couldn't fault the ship in any way and we visited Jerusalem (our main reason for choosing this cruise) and the Dead Sea, we traversed the Suez Canal, a fantastic experience, and we also visited El Alamein, Cyprus; Alanya, Fethiye and Marmaris in Turkey; and Crete and Rhodes. All in all a fabulous cruise just like Red Sea Magic on the Spirit last year, and we can't wait to go on another Thomson cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
The main reason we chose this cruise was the itinerary and also it was a repositioning cruise lasting 11 days. We sailed from Sharm on the Thursday night and spent our first day in Port Sokhna for those wanting a visit to Cairo. The ... Read More
The main reason we chose this cruise was the itinerary and also it was a repositioning cruise lasting 11 days. We sailed from Sharm on the Thursday night and spent our first day in Port Sokhna for those wanting a visit to Cairo. The following day was spent sailing north through the Suez Canal, we were ship number 2 in a convoy of 25 and the scenery encountered was exciting & varied as we headed off to Alexandria where we spent Sunday morning before setting sail for Ashdod in Israel where we spent 2 days.Nothing much in Ashdod so an excursion recommended. Don't miss out on the duty free shop in Ashdod port (prices can't be beaten). Wednesday spend exploring Larnaca then off to Alanya in Turkey (great place for buying your "designer" gear. Next day in Fethiye one of the most scenic places I have visited in Turkey. Ag Nik in Crete was next then our last day in Rhodes before heading for our disembarkation port in Marmaris. We have cruised 4 times now on the Celebration and on previous cruises have had a de-luxe cabin but due to our late booking we had an outside cabin on deck 1 which was comfortable enough but a little noisy when docking etc.You also have the waves lapping against your port hole but you get used to this and it sends you to sleep at night. Overall a great cruise and would recommend a repostioning cruise for greater variety. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
We did this cruise 9th-16th Feb 2012 on Thomson Celebration and enjoyed it very much. On Friday in Aquaba there is a courtesy shuttle to the town (local map available on board). It's an interesting place to spend a while strolling ... Read More
We did this cruise 9th-16th Feb 2012 on Thomson Celebration and enjoyed it very much. On Friday in Aquaba there is a courtesy shuttle to the town (local map available on board). It's an interesting place to spend a while strolling round. Very nice welcoming people and some good restaurants for lunch. It's a duty free zone. Exchange rate virtually '£1=1 dinar. On Saturday the Petra trip ('£110) is a must (there were 12 coaches-650 people!) but do take heed and take layers of warm clothes as it can be very cold in the mountains. Depart ship 8.30 and arrive Petra 11.00 after 20 min comfort stop. The guided walk to the bottom takes 2 '½ hours at a leisurely pace (take good walking footwear !). The walk back to Hotel for lunch is about 1 hr. Very nice lunch if you enjoy the local cuisine (which we do). We departed at 4pm and back on board by 6pm. Sunday-day at sea. Monday should have been Port Sokhna but a local industrial dispute in the port so anchored at Suez and tendered ashore for excursions. Both Port Sokhna and Safaga are not places to get off ship and wander round. They are industrial ports with nothing nearby for tourists to see -- stay on ship! The Cairo museum excursion was cancelled due to problems in Tahrir Square but all others went ahead as planned. Tuesday/Wednesday - Sokhna for Luxor. We would highly recommend the overnight Luxor trip. It's '£152 pp but better value as such than the day trip which is a long hard day. We left the ship at 12.30 and arrived at our fabulous 5* hotel at 4pm. It was the Sonesta St George and backed directly on to the River Nile. We had a king sized double bed and a Nile view from our balcony! TIP- take a swimming costume and use their pool ! TIP- take small coins for use of loos -- either 10p or 1 egyptian pound. After a splendid evening dinner there is the Sound and Light Show at Karnak temple. It's then an early night for a 7.15 start to the Valley of the Kings. Not too hot or crowded at that time. A fascinating guided tour ended back at the hotel about 1.30 for lunch then back to the ship arriving about 5.30. All a more leisurely pace than a rather rushed day trip! Those who also did the ballooning thoroughly enjoyed and recommended it (but it's a VERY early start !) The exchange rate in Egypt is '£1=10 Egyptian pounds. In general the food and staff on ship are very good. Drinks are '£3.50 for a pint of beer/lager, '£3.90 for a glass of wine and '£4.35 for cocktails. If you are looking to buy cigarettes -- at East Midlands airport they are '£28 for 200 if you buy a 400 pack ('£35 for 200) in duty free. Then '£33 for 200 ('£43 for 400) on the flight and either '£17 on the ship (or '£14.50 in their sale). At Sharm airport they are about '£21 for 200 but cheaper if you purchase 400 or 600 packs. As opposed to an outward flight of about 5 hrs, the return flight was 6hrs 20 mins and really ought to be treated by Thomsons as "long haul". There was no entertainment available and seat space is cramped. Pre-ordered hot meals are no longer available. Overall a very enjoyable and interesting week. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
We're relatively experienced cruisers and although we have used Thomson before for beach holidays, had fairly low expectations of this trip. How wrong we were, this ship and her crew were excellent throughout. Booking at the last ... Read More
We're relatively experienced cruisers and although we have used Thomson before for beach holidays, had fairly low expectations of this trip. How wrong we were, this ship and her crew were excellent throughout. Booking at the last minute gave us a good deal and we upgraded to a deluxe cabin. As indicated, this was partially obstructed by lifeboats but with good views out to sea. Cabin size was good and a bath much appreciated by my Wife. Yes she is an older ship but very well maintained, exceptionally clean and crewed by the most friendly and polite people you could wish for, from the Master to the cabin and technical staff. Unlike so many other lines, there was always plenty of activities (historical talks, west end shows, comedian, bands, etc.) The entertainment staff and the shows were of a very high professional standard. We ate mainly in the waiter driven Meridian Restaurant where the service was exceptionally high standard. The food was good wherever we were. Because of the situation in Egypt, Ports of call were limited and the title 'Red Sea Magical Mystery Cruise' was actually the Master's description, we were always unsure where next. Thomson did a fantastic job in very difficult circumstances and arranged free trips to the Holy Land. Having been before we stayed on board and enjoyed freedom of an empty ship, but still with all the good services. The one organised tour we did complete was to Petra in Jordan. Don't miss this if you ever get the chance, it is a true wonder of the World. Couldn't fault Thomson at all for their arrangements and excellent and continually updated information. They even presented my Wife with a rose on valentines day (putting me to shame) Congratulations to all at Thomson for hel[ing us to have a brilliant break away from the cold and damp in England. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
Flights were on time and trouble free both ways but 5.5 hours into Sharm is a long time, and coming back my knees were touching the seat in front. I wish they would take a few rows of seats out, I wouold be happy to pay a bit more. ... Read More
Flights were on time and trouble free both ways but 5.5 hours into Sharm is a long time, and coming back my knees were touching the seat in front. I wish they would take a few rows of seats out, I wouold be happy to pay a bit more. Can't afford business class though, even if it had been available. Check in at Naples was very slow, they should have opened a few more desks to get us through. Our second cruise (the first was Red Sea Magic Easter 2010 on this same ship). The old ship is still a bit shabby chic - our bathroom had seen much better days - but the public areas are good and the room was always kept clean by the lovely staff. Check-in was pretty good although the queue at Sharm port was longer than I'd have liked - more staff at busy times would be good. Because of the itinerary changes we didn't have time to do any port research, so it became a chillax cruise - we never left the ship in the end. We'd already seen the pyramids and know Barcelona so weren't really bothered, but there were quite a few whingers on board. I reckoned it was a good heads up that cruises don't always go according to plan, and I'll learn from it. February in the med isn't really warm enough for sight-seeing, and the only one we fancied was climbing the volcano. That day it was 10 degrees and windy even at sealevel, so we decided to save the trip for another time (summer preferably!). I curled up in a patch of sun in Hemingways, drank Tom Collins and read a book instead. On the two rough nights I took pills and slept - feel ready for an Atlantic cruise now! Husband first dragged me up to Horizons to see the prow crashing into the waves - somewhat unnerving but quite exciting! Service onboard was nearly as good as last time although hardly any staff were the same, we heard they had all gone to the 'Dream'. Food good. We started with breakfast in Meridian but found it was generally buffet and when it was waiter service it was pretty rushed, as though they couldn't get us out fast enough - not what we experienced last time. We soon decamped to the Lido which was more relaxed although then you have to do your own portion control which husband is pretty bad at! We lunched in Meridian which was much more relaxed, especially on a port day when the ship was pretty quiet. Dinner also mainly in Meridian, mainly excellent. The chefs were especially good with fish and simple meat. Didn't go in the A La Carte restaurant - we did go in last year and found it no better than Meridian - maybe we made poor menu choices? Drink - we chose the AI after some thought but might not next time. It's changed since last year. Draught cider was available this time, but they had taken all fizzy wines and also baileys off the AI which was disappointing (I lived off kir royale and baileys last time). Captains night was a laugh, it's good to see (almost) everyone dressing up. The showlounge entertainment was professional and well done but not really to my taste. Kearney Street were pretty poor except when they were riffing their own stuff. The various quizzes in Liberties were hit and miss. The classical duo were good. The main quiz (held over several days) was a laugh, and we also enjoyed the captains talk and a bridge tour. My husband enjoyed the comedian, I found him a bit Bernard Manning. It must be really hard to find the right entertainment balance tough, so all power to the team for trying. Check out, especially getting on our coach in Naples, was a bit chaotic, you got a sense that we were not interesting any more, just to be got rid of. Shame - Thomson should pay attention to last impressions as much as first. And the less said about the in-flight meals the better. No way will I ever pay Thomson for one of those again. All in all, we had a lovely relaxing cruise. You get what you pay for, and the downside of this less formal cruise is lower spec accommodation. Highlights for me were the suez, and at dinner sipping a glass of wine in the straights of messina while the pilot boat was surging up and down in the spray just outside my window, with the lights of sicily in the distance. Would I cruise on Celebration again? At the right price, unreservedly yes. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
Landing at Sharm, we knew it was a mad airport but a Thomson rep was waiting and we bypassed all the long queues to get our cases and walked straight onto a coach. Embarkment was easy and well organised, from landing to walking onto ship ... Read More
Landing at Sharm, we knew it was a mad airport but a Thomson rep was waiting and we bypassed all the long queues to get our cases and walked straight onto a coach. Embarkment was easy and well organised, from landing to walking onto ship it took about just over an hour! The celebration is old and small compared to the large new ship we went on last year BUT she has the fun factor. All members of staff were excellent, the entertainment in the theatre was west end everyday! Josh, Holly, Kane and Mab kept us busy throughtout the day with quiz's and games. First stop Jordan, a shuttle bus takes you down the town, drops you in a random place but a long leisurely walk back to the town is worth it. All excursions are well organised by Thomson. The meridian restaurant was excellent, waiters were incredible and the food was amazing. he lido restaurant was fine bit same as daily as i am a veggi BUT they did offer to cook me something veggie every day if i liked (spoilt or what). Yes she does have a strange vibrating noise , nothing too loud just a faint rumble but with a ship her age thats to be expected?? Cabins were good size, the whole ship needs a revamp really as bit dated. Not much going on for the teenagers but we liked the fact we could dance the night away in Liberties together (something the larger ships dont allow). Disembarkment was again simple, we didnt leave the ship till 3.45pm so spent the day relaxing till our flight. Would recommened this ship as its incredibly friendly with lots of decent entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
This was our sixth cruise with Thomson and sorry to say very disappointing. The vibration and noise on the ship was just horrendous. I cost me several nights sleep,( I was so tired at 5:30 in the morning I was in tears at reception though ... Read More
This was our sixth cruise with Thomson and sorry to say very disappointing. The vibration and noise on the ship was just horrendous. I cost me several nights sleep,( I was so tired at 5:30 in the morning I was in tears at reception though sheer exhaustion)As the trips we wanted to do were of a very long duration 10 to 15 hours. We were so tired that we actually only done the trip to Petra as the others can all be done on other cruises. As a result we spent six complete days on board ship apart from a stroll around Aqaba,(only port supplied with a shuttle bus) in the most horrible ports watching our glasses, books and drinks vibrate across the table. A trip to the loo was a revelation,I thought I had attached myself to some kind of weight loss machine, I wobbled in places I didn't know I had. If it had not been for the wonderful passengers on board I can safely say the holiday would have been a complete waste of money. To be fair the food and restaurant service was very good, but the drinks service on the outer decks was the worst that we have ever had. I do not expect to be clearing my own tables, getting my own drinks and I certainly do not expect to have to go and find the waiter in order to retrieve my card in order to go to the bar and serve myself.It is the only time we have never tipped a waiter/waitress at the end of a holiday. It was on average anywhere between 20 and 45 mins to get served after they had taken our order you could double that waiting for your order to be taken.If they had spent as much time serving as they did watching the shows we might have got some service. The barman was constantly remonstrating with the waiters as he was having to serve the customers in person. The biggest mystery of all is that Thomson deny that this ship has a vibration/noise problem. Don't deny it just solve it and you will have a lovely ship. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
We did the Thomson Celebration Red Sea Magic out of Sharm el Sheikh (not shown in the departure listing so I've put Safaga) at the end of November 2010. We were a bit wary as had cruised on the Destiny and were bitterly disappointed ... Read More
We did the Thomson Celebration Red Sea Magic out of Sharm el Sheikh (not shown in the departure listing so I've put Safaga) at the end of November 2010. We were a bit wary as had cruised on the Destiny and were bitterly disappointed with the standard, but the Celebration Team changed our minds and we would certainly go on this ship again. The cabins are basic but comfortable and the bathrooms clean and functional. We are not talking high luxury here (such as on P&O, Carnival, Royal Caribbean etc) but everything worked and we spent so little time inside that it didn't really matter. Let's get the gripes out of the way up front and then move onto all the good stuff. The towels were rubbish - I'd have discarded the towels for dog-drying long before Thomson obviously do. They were thin, scratchy, stained and greyish. All flights etc. were great - no hold ups to speak of. Easy embarkation. Staff of course lovely. Generally this was a great week, although it was tiring with 3 long trips which had you out of bed at 6.00 a.m. or earlier. The shows were really good; more singing than dancing, and don't miss the Crew Cabaret - it was fantastic. Watch out for the two main singers - they should be in the showteam! The restaurant was a hundred times better than on Destiny. Ask for the wine list rather than the wine of the day which tended to be a bit expensive. Dining is 'freedom' style so that you sit with different people every evening which we really enjoy as you get to meet lots of interesting people. We normally like to do plenty of dancing on cruises, and this was the only cruise where we didn't really get to do much. There was ballroom early evening (not for us) but then a big gap between end of show & start of disco, which because of the early starts you couldn't be bothered to wait for. The DJ was okay, but didn't really seem to read the crowd that well. Most of the passengers were 40 - 60 and a lot of the time the music was definitely not suitable for this age group. Lots of quizzes etc. if you're into that kind of thing. A final point - we got stuck in Sharm after the cruise because of snow in the UK. The ship staff and Thomson generally were great. Information was pretty good; I think they didn't know what was going on, so couldn't tell us really. Anyway we had a great final day on board, used one of the courtesy cabins to shower and change ready to travel, and then got bussed to a fabulous 5* hotel where we spent 2 days all-inclusive soaking up the sun. We were really well looked after, the rooms were very comfortable and the food/drink all free. It was a nice relax after the long trips whilst cruising. Do note that the loos at Sharm airport in T2 are horrendous. Perhaps Thomson could have a word!!! Would we cruise with Thomson again - Yes. Would we advise other people to do this cruise - Yes. One of the nicest touches - the greeting of hot towels, juice and the crew band waiting on the quayside when you got back from EVERY trip. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
I guess Thomson are something of an anomaly in the world of cruising, less of a specialist cruise company, more of a "pile 'em high sell 'em cheap" package holiday operator who happen to have a couple of big boats on ... Read More
I guess Thomson are something of an anomaly in the world of cruising, less of a specialist cruise company, more of a "pile 'em high sell 'em cheap" package holiday operator who happen to have a couple of big boats on the side. It means a Thomson cruise is always going to be a wee bit different. The journey We flew from Glasgow. Thomson are great for the Regions! It was a Thomson plane, so it was a bit of a squeeze but it went on time and apart from the family from hell in the seats behind us it was all ok. After 4 hours or so of gritted teeth we were there. We had landed in Sharm El Sheik, safe in the knowledge that the family from hell were off in the opposite direction to a local hotel. A short coach ride past some ostentatious looking hotels conveniently located next to erm... a massive dessert.....(sorry before you get excited, I meant desert) and we were at the port. (And no it wasn't a massive port to go with the massive dessert). Come to think of it; It was more of a harbour than a port. The Ship After a 15 minute delay due to a technical glitch when the computer systems failed, we were registered to board the ship. The Thomson Celebration was sitting there. It looked huge, but I knew it wasn't, (I had recalled once standing near a big American ship appropriately named "Galaxy"). The Celebration may look a bit old fashioned but for any of you that used to own a big old Volvo and reminisce, they just don't make them like they used to, It felt like that. It was majestic, about 2 football pitches long and a capacity of 1200 passengers. Again just like an old Volvo. An inside cabin on the same floor as the reception desk and the dining room. Perfect, well a balcony would have been nice but I was told that Thomson don't do inside cabins with balconies. The room was spotlessly clean, a huge mirror, plenty of space. The only thing was the beds were at an L shape. My wife picked out the best one for herself and I was left with the one that went at right angles to the direction of the ship. Yes, the one that was easy to roll out of. But it was comfy. On board The ship was well laid out . A couple of pools, plenty of sunbathing space. A couple of bars and a few restaurants. The Lido self service restaurant was mediocre. There was a reasonable choice but after a few days it felt a bit "samey", nothing particularly special about the quality and not the type of place that you would linger in after you had fuelled up. The Meridian restaurant was more formal offering better quality food, but again nothing too special. The one exception being the Captains Gala dinner when Lobster Tail was served up. Now that was good. Entertainment was first class. Ok let me correct myself. All of the entertainment was first class except for the carpet bowls. That was rubbish and I'm not saying that because I lost. (The boat rocked at a vital moment). The west end song and dance shows were of a very high standard and the 2 tier theatre provided a great venue. While I'm on the subject I would like to express my thanks to the most important person on the ship. No, not the captain, the guy who brought me my drinks. Anyway thanks mate. Excursions The Red Sea magic itinery offers a lot in a week. My wife and I managed three excursions. All of which were full days. We were exhausted, but it was worth it. From Aquaba in Jordan we visited Petra, from Port Sokhna we visited Cairo and the Pyramids and from Safaga we visited Luxor and the Valley of the Kings. One thing these three trips had in common was that the places were miles from the ports. That's not Thomsons fault. It's the fault of the people that built them. I am also certain that those people are now dead, so I will not criticise them now. But if hypothetically one of the Pharaohs were to ask me, "What do you think of my Pyramid, I built it?". I would probably respond something like "It is really ace but next time can you put it nearer the sea". Obviously I would give due consideration to the logistics of the building materials as well as the obligatory 100,000 slaves who could probably do without a long commute on top of what is already a long day. Full marks to Thomson. The tours were well orgainised. The tour guides were knowledgeable, the pre tour lectures were fascinating and they were good value for money. I mentioned at the start that Thomson is a package holiday company with a couple of boats and I feel that this cruise reflected that. Cruise fans who are always aspiring to the bigger is better philosophy wont like it. Foodies wont be impressed. Anyone who wants to have a laugh, enjoy a few drinks whilst being really well entertained and lets not forget where the boat actually goes! If you are interested in the places that the ship visits then of course Thomson offers a great product. If I am ever asked what is the one thing that sticks in my mind about the holiday, it will probably be. "There was a lot of welsh people on board, but hey, that's good". Will Girvan Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2010
We booked this 7 night cruise and 7 night stay via Virgin Cruises and for the price of £899 AI really could not fault it, we flew from Luton which was the first time and the airport was very relaxed and not crowded security was a relaxed ... Read More
We booked this 7 night cruise and 7 night stay via Virgin Cruises and for the price of £899 AI really could not fault it, we flew from Luton which was the first time and the airport was very relaxed and not crowded security was a relaxed affair with o hassles. Very dissapointed in Thomson flight, very cramped and no drinks on offer for free, we had a breakfast which was offerd by the crew and that was ok at £7.50, on the return leg we asked for the the meal of the day but was refused and then 2 hours later it was announced that they had some but no one came to us to offer us any, so we went without eating from breakfast to 1 am..I know all airlines are cutting costs but a cup of tea on the plane would have helped, delayed one and half hours at Luton whilst the Captain decided he best refuel the plane!! Shar el Sheik airport was a disaster but I had been warned, both coming in and out, just be prepared for utter chaos they couldn't organise P*** up in brewery Embarkation was efficient but confusing, outside airport was like a bun fight to find your coach etc, at terminal you got off one coach processed and then put onto another coach, don't know haven't a clue as to why! We were on deck 2 inside more like staff quarters than guests, we know we booked basic which was our first and last time, always previously booked premium, Costa and Celebrity, but the AI attracted us..the cabin was L shaped and only one person could watch tele from the beds wikth a little thought Thomsons could install flat screen TV on the dressing table and both persons could watch TV, still 3rd class and all that, if I had known this then I would definately upgraded at booking however I believe this is were Virginwere veryt poor..they advised us smoking was allowed in cabins and in fact the book in the cabin also said it was allowed..another argument another issue. Ship..overall ok much the same as Costa Europa (now to beDream) but with less public space, sunbeds a nightmare, only got one one day out of 7, staff very freindly as usual for Phillipines. AI very worth it if you are adrinker as we are on holiday couldn't fault it. Food..very good however the Meridian Rest was not a patch on previous cruises, they brough me a Lobster that had obviously been cooked incorrectly, it was like a rock sent it back, tried one other night when the self serv was all asian food and wasn't impressed..stayed with self serv rest..b/fasts very good. Excursions..We did the Petra trip, only only do this is you are very fit, however something not to be missed, lunch excellent at hotel and very well organised. The other trip we done was the o/night Luxor, if you have the money do it, best part of the cruise and my wife couldn't stop raving about the hotel 10 star with a bathroom twice size of out cabin, overlooking the NBile, this was a very relaxed way to see the Valley of The Kings etc and the guide was excellent, food at the hotel, ev meal, b/fast, Lunch was all wonderful. We had a complaint which was that our cabin was infested, however they were very efficient in giving it a deep clean although theyt tried to resist the fact that it couldn't happen, they appear to go straight on the defense thin king your going to claim damages, be wrned however that deck 2 is were all passengers get on and off the boat so as was confirmed by a member of the crew ours was not the first time of this complaint. Overall with the AI package the cruise was value I would not however consider a Thomson cruise without that incentive compared to other cruise line we have saled with. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
The embarkation process was quite slick and organised and we were on the ship in no time at all being promptly escorted to our cabin on Deck 2 - luckily on the same deck where we accessed the ship. The cabin was of an excellent size ... Read More
The embarkation process was quite slick and organised and we were on the ship in no time at all being promptly escorted to our cabin on Deck 2 - luckily on the same deck where we accessed the ship. The cabin was of an excellent size which we were expecting as we'd paid an extra £35 to select it. It was very clean with an acceptable bathroom however the dEcor was a little tired. The only issue we had was with the air conditioning.... It didn't work! We reported it several times but they were unable to fix it - as an apology we were give a bottle of champagne and chocolate - nice touch! The entire ships dEcor was a little dated. Having said that though the ship was lovely as were the staff on board - always polite and attentive and happy to help. The food was excellent with plenty of varied choice (especially the midnight buffet) and drinks on board, including cocktails, were very reasonably priced. We went on excursions to Petra (this is a must) and visited Cairo and the Pyramids both were well organised and value for money. We decided against the trip to Luxor in view of the extremely long coach transfer. Again we felt that the trips offered were definitely good value for money. Overall, this was an excellent first cruise, not stuffy or formal with a great atmosphere..... Good old Thomson! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2008
We booked this cruise as it was a little different. A repositioning cruise from Sharm El Sheik to Palma aboard the Thomson Celebration. The flight from Cardiff was fine and due to the high tail winds, we arrive in about 4 hours and 40 ... Read More
We booked this cruise as it was a little different. A repositioning cruise from Sharm El Sheik to Palma aboard the Thomson Celebration. The flight from Cardiff was fine and due to the high tail winds, we arrive in about 4 hours and 40 mins. As ever, Sharm airport is a complete organizational nightmare. Basically everyone piles off the coach and instead of airport staff organizing people into queues your are just left to fend for yourself to get to a visa desk. Then the whole thing starts again as you try and get through passport control. As ever there are Egyptian staff taking 'Gifts' to get you higher up the queue. Once that cattle market was over, it was time to collect our bags and make our way to the bus. A short bus ride later and we were at the port. Check In was quick and simple. As the ship was some 700-800 yards away, you could either wait for the shuttle bus or take a stroll over. We decided to take the walk and it was longer than it looked. Meantime the coach that took us from the airport was already unloading the cases at the ship. Once on board, a member of staff showed us to our cabin which was up on deck 9 and was a premier outside cabin. Very spacious with 2 large windows with unrestricted views. Plenty of storage space with 2 large wardrobes. As we had not eaten for at least 3 hours, we went to the Lido for a snack. During this time, our cases arrived at the cabin, so we were able to unpack before lifeboat drill, which was nice. Lifeboat drill was at 9.30pm and we sailed at 10pm On board the Thomson Celebration, the staff are so friendly, always smiling and willing to get you anything you need from the bars or restaurants. By the time we got to the second day, all the staff in the areas we frequented already knew my wife and I by our first names, which was very nice. The next day we arrived at Port Sokhna, for excursions to Cairo. As we have been to Cairo several times before, we elected to stay on board the ship, it was quite nice as many people did go off to Cairo, the ship was half empty and you could sit wherever you liked. During the afternoon some dockworkers were knocked over on the quayside right next to the ship, they were rushed off to hospital in an ambulance. I hope they were ok. After a relaxing day in port, we headed off to the Suez Canal. The whole of the next day was spent transiting the canal arriving in Alexandria the next day. The remainder of the itinerary took us to Messina in Sicily and Naples on the Italian mainland before ending up in Palma De Majorca, from where we took a short flight back to Cardiff. Some Notes about our cabin: We like most mornings to have a lie on and we often take a nap in the afternoon between 3pm and 5pm - With this cabin that was impossible as directly above the cabin is a sun deck. Promptly at 8am staff start putting out the sun loungers , throwing and dragging them around the deck, needless to say in the cabin it sounded like a herd of elephants playing basketball. Then at around 4pm in the afternoon, they collect them all back up again. Also the cabin walls are so paper thin that we could hear everything that was being said in the cabin next door. We have stayed on this ship twice before on deck 8 and deck 7 and on both occasions we had a far more peaceful stay than this time. On about the third day, we noticed that the carpet in the cabin just in front of the bathroom was damp. We thought perhaps the cabin steward had tipped his bucket, but the wet patch started to grow, so we contacted reception who sent up guys with blowers to dry the wetness and 2 plumbers to look for a leak. They couldn't find a leak and the blowers dried the carpet. The next night reception sent us up a bottle of wine and 2 glasses, but no corkscrew? 3 days later, the water was back with a vengeance all one side of the cabin was soaking wet on the floor, luckily we did not have any bags, clothes shoes etc down that side so nothing of ours was spoiled but there was a damp dirty water smell, not nice. We did ask to be moved, but the only cabin they had available was a very small twin on deck 2 which I found very claustrophobic so we decided to stay in our cabin, especially as they were putting in a swimming pool for us ? One other thing about the cabin was the small flies that lived around the window area, we asked on 3 occasions for the room to be sprayed but they were still there. I am sure they were harmless enough but to be quite honest, my wife and I wanted our indoor swimming pool cabin to ourselves. For all the nonsense with the water and the flies, reception took £100 off our bill before we left which was a nice gesture. The last afternoon and night on board was very rocky as the ship sailed through a storm, we could have gone around it and I think the Captain did make some efforts to avoid the worst, but if we had gone much off course we would not have been in Palma in time to make our flights. A large number of people were seasick and the bars and restaurants were quite deserted on that last night. The food in the restaurants was very good but I think they need to make more healthy choices available like grilled fish, steamed veg etc - My wife does not eat meat and found that all the vegetarian choices were either fried or covered in cream or cheese. All in all we had a great cruise experience as we always do with Thomson, the staff, shows are all top class as yes we will be back. 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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