8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Having cruised with Marella (Thomson) since 2011 we were looking forward to another excellent cruise. We did the same repositioning cruise last year, the only problem then was a squeaking from a ship structure which had broken loose and ... Read More
Having cruised with Marella (Thomson) since 2011 we were looking forward to another excellent cruise. We did the same repositioning cruise last year, the only problem then was a squeaking from a ship structure which had broken loose and squeaked to the movement of the ship, we were in the same cabin this year and it had been fixed. The cabin staff were excellent and helpful as usual, in fact all staff were always smiling and eager to ensure you had an excellent cruise. Our first let down was the standard of food in the Meridian Restaurant for evening meal it was the worst we have ever encountered on a Marella (Thomson) cruise, our first two weeks were an excellent example on how to destroy food examples: rib eye steak tough and tasteless, chicken scallops dried out like crisp bread, veal cutlets you could have soled your work boots with, (totally un-edible could not even be cut with a knife). I had never seen so much food being left on plates, complaints regarding the standard of food was common place all round the restaurant. We were informed, but did not witness that there was an altercation between cruisers and kitchen staff, and apparently eight people were put of the ship in Madeira, if that was the case none was the chef as the food did not improve. Also it normally took two hours to serve three courses, it was not the fault of the staff, but the lack of staff, instead of two waiters and a runner there was only two waiters who were run off their feet. On the third week we decided to try the Lido for evening meal, it was basically the same menu but help yourself, we could not believe we were on the same ship, the standard of food was excellent and cooked to perfection, the only problem was finding a seat as so many cruisers had given up on the Meridian Restaurant for the Lido, The only night the Meridian Restaurant was OK was Captains Night, maybe it was we were only a few tables from the Captain. The second let down was disembarkation it was a total shambles, the first batch of passengers for embarkation was 08.00 the second batch was scheduled for 08.15. The first batch of passengers were still queuing in the stairways at 08.15, add the second batch and we had pandemonium, the lifts were unusable due to total passenger impasse on disembarkation deck, we were stuck on the stairwell for over an hour, it was so bad the elderly and infirm had to sit on the stairs. Unfortunately we have booked a stay and cruise on Marella Celebration for October 2019, will review again when we return, hopefully things will be back to the normally good standard of service we have received from Marella (Thomson). Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
All went wrong from the flight we took 7 hours 30 mins to get to Malaga we sat on granada runway for over two hours. We have not long come back from this ship Marella Celebration well where do I start the ship has paper thin walls I ... Read More
All went wrong from the flight we took 7 hours 30 mins to get to Malaga we sat on granada runway for over two hours. We have not long come back from this ship Marella Celebration well where do I start the ship has paper thin walls I could here the people in the next cabin snoring it was so bad and you can imagine what it was like when people came back from the casino or late night drinking. Also you sat in theatre/ show and you can watch everything vibrate It’s so bad people say you get use to it you don’t the ship is so old her sister ship has been scraped off I wonder why do not take children on this ship for me I would worry about them all the outside steps are so steep. You could not get a sun bed unless you get up at 6am just not enough they say they remove towels but they don’t Food very basic in self serving restaurant. Safe in room £35 for holiday I have never paid for safe on any cruise I’ve been on before WiFi nearly £50 which most of the time it did not work Another thing i was not feeling well at the end of cruise found my blood sugar very high (34) can’t be certain but I don’t think I was getting Diet Coke Good bit is the staff sorry not for me would try the newer ships but not this boat you will be sorry if you book look at newer ships this one is over 35 years old and her sister ship was scrapped I wonder why Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I decided to book the Greek Mystique cruise as my wife has had surgery recently and really needed to recuperate and recover. After check in at Gatwick we didn't see our luggage again until delivered to our cabin I can not tell you ... Read More
I decided to book the Greek Mystique cruise as my wife has had surgery recently and really needed to recuperate and recover. After check in at Gatwick we didn't see our luggage again until delivered to our cabin I can not tell you how amazing that was not to have to face the hustle and bustle of the airport baggage carousels! I rater enjoyed the main resturaunt as they operate an open seating dining plan so we were able to dine with new people every evening, which when we usually cruise on Seabourn and Azamara we have a fixed table and dining companions for the duration of the cruise -so Marella has hit on a good idea on the occasions where one may be sitted on a dining table with 'cruise snobs'.Which in the past we have had to endure! We are retired although a young 59 and 61, we tend to book 4 cruises per year one for each season. We have one Seabourn and one Azamrara then 2 cheaper options which this year is Marella and Cruise & Maritime to try the other end of the market. The ship Celebration was old as described on CC.reviews,but it was perfectly clean and comfortable. We prefer to have waiter service at meals as my wife isn't always able to stand and queue for periods of time and apart from the very last morning when there was literally not a seat to be had this worked perfectly for us. Our cabin steward was superb so although tips are included we left him cash in an envelope cabin was cleaned and towels replenished twice daily. My wife purchased two Radley handbags which she said were great value. we are not drinkers so didn't opt for the AI Drinks package(due to my wife's medication). We did take excursions which although costly were not exhorbitant but much more importantly safe for my wife's comfort. We ate in Mistrals which was a delight -highly recommended especially drunken prawns delicious! The Ports of call were delightful especially KOTORin Mo ntenegro and sailing out of Dubrovnik at night ! STUNNING. keeping the best till last- just has to be the entertainment. THE showteam were leaving and a new team and Cruise Director was starting the week after we disembarked. They were amazing and the show Africa was wonderful. We really thought it couldn't get any better until Monday when the Guest Act came on to do his show. His name was Christopher Gee and he was superb, my wife laughed so much it was sheer joy to behold.And his comedy impressions were stunning-the thing we could't work out was how can every voice he did be so accurate and yet he even manages to look like each person he takes on. His Tommy Cooper had everyone in stiches, and his Eric Morecambe had us all fighting off a tear at the much loved comedian but the absolute hIghlight was his one man tribute to Dave Allen it was so perfect even down to him holding a whiskey glass with only half a forefinger, his attention to detail was astounding. He recieved a richly deserved standing ovation! The neXt night was his second show and there simply wasn't a seat to be had and extra chairs from the bars were brought in, but the show was totally different Alan Carr/Michael Macintyre/Ozzy/he also did an hilarious BORIS AND Donald Trump had us ill with laughter very up to date you could hear a pin drop and that was after midnight. He was very personable young man and told us he will be on Marella Dream later in the year so we are booking that one too! We love the shows and we don't watch a lot of comedians to be fair- but I just had to post this review as everyone is quick to complain but not always ready to say a big well done Marella for booking a comedian impressionist that did nor offend one single person no un PC material or smut involved just FUNNY!!! The entire ship was talking about him the next day. in all one has to commend Marella ,especially at their price point as I assure you we have got much less from paying 4 times more!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
What went well: The flight, crew, and service were excellent, safety was a priority. Transfers were good with no added delay other than the wings being deiced which was acceptable. No hassle, boarding the ship was easy and well managed ... Read More
What went well: The flight, crew, and service were excellent, safety was a priority. Transfers were good with no added delay other than the wings being deiced which was acceptable. No hassle, boarding the ship was easy and well managed with the exception of the booker not being aware of 25-night passengers. The cruise director Gavin Carroll was a joy, he was always smiling and friendly and always approachable, his team was always on hand and very friendly. The performers including guest performers were all brilliant and very professional, some of the very best we have experienced on ten different cruises (some not Marella) I disagree with other reviews who have hinted at miming!!!! The cabin was dark but well maintained by the cabin steward Komang. A person worthy of mention was Glynis's from Hemingway's bar, she was a star and remembered drinks, names and cabin numbers and always had a laugh and a joke with us. Hygiene was well covered and the antibacterial gel was readily available at all relevant points. Food in both the lido and the Meridian restaurant was always great, but breakfast service in the Meridian was always very slow and things were forgotten or not provided on several occasions. The Itinerary was great one of the reasons we chose this cruise. What didn't go so well: once onboard we were hassled by every waiter or person in blue trying to upswell drinks packages. Again on other cruises, we have been on, there have been points around the ship where this happens and hassling customers has not been an issue. Things said like: "don't you want quality drinks" and "nice wines instead of Spanish" and even one barman when seeing our card said "if you can afford a suite, you can afford to upgrade" it wasn't his place to think or say this, let alone in front of customers. I asked at reception to speak to the bar manager, he came out to see me and I told him of our experience, he was apologetic for the comments. I mentioned that we had chosen this cruise because it had everything included but were now being made to feel inferior by not buying the upgrade. He explained that many people were happy with the All Inclusive drinks, so suggested we try it and see how we go. He then told me that it would be £176 each to upgrade to premium drinks, which on top of what we had paid would be too expensive. I mentioned that my brother has been on Discovery twice and recommended Marella to us, he mentioned Casselero Diablo wine and Bells whiskey, which we regularly drink, so we were more than happy, only to be told by the bar manager that Discovery was a premium ship. We were not given a safe key on the port when booking in as the people there didn't know how much to charge and were not aware of the 25 night cruise, we were told to go to reception, when we did go to reception they told us all the keys were in the port and could we come back. We finally were issued with a key later that evening, but staff couldn't tell us how much a 25-night cruise fee cost. When we tried to use the magnet key to open the safe, we discovered it was a digital safe and we didn't need a key, on returning it to reception, the receptionist said well you will still have to pay. Although there were policies onboard about reserving sunbeds or seats, this clearly happened and was rarely addressed by Marella. On one occasion whilst looking for a sunbed we observed one person lying across a double sunbed, and over 100 sunbeds with towels on but no bums on the beds, this was infuriating and as we didn't want any hassle we left without a bed. This wasn't just a one-off but most days especially at sea and there didn't seem any staff readily available to address this with. Many times seats were reserved in the Broadway by a handbag on the seat or a mobile phone or scarf, with one person guarding many seats. Our main gripe again was over the drinks, when ordering in the Broadway show lounge, the drinks were inferior and you could never taste the alcohol, (possibly because they drowned the drinks with ice and carbonated mixers) we were given drinks in strange glasses when we queried this,(a Baileys in a half pint tumbler) we were told there weren't any other glasses available, this also happened in Hemingways. We drank regularly in Horizons and Hemingways and on occasion felt the drinks didn't taste quite right, only to observe unbranded alcohol being provided when requesting gin or whisky etc. when we mentioned we were All Inclusive and expected branded drinks as per the drinks menu, I.e. Gordon's or Beefeater Gin, and J&B, johnny walker red label etc. This happened so often that my husband waited at the bars to be served to ensure we were getting what we asked for, this practice even happened when we asked specifically for Gordon's Gin or Red label whiskey, so we brought this to the attention of the bar manager on one of his fleeting visits to Horizons. He thanked us for bringing it to his attention and he would address it. We saw him enter the bar area and help clear glasses etc, he seemed to chat to staff, but we were not sure if he addressed the problem. We feel it was a wide-ranging norm on this ship, as otherwise why did they regularly stock the unbranded drinks. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We have done over 20 Thomson cruises and although most of the ship particularly the cabins are tired we have always enjoyed the entertainment and cruise. This one was shocking....the entertainment team spent more time on deck 6 smoking ... Read More
We have done over 20 Thomson cruises and although most of the ship particularly the cabins are tired we have always enjoyed the entertainment and cruise. This one was shocking....the entertainment team spent more time on deck 6 smoking than they did entertaining, they put on a deck party that lasted 35minutes where they just all danced together and did not involve any of the passengers and when were in dock there was no entertainment at all on the decks. All the shows were poor and pretty much everyone felt the same way one of the comedians thought it was funny to tell homephobic jokes and although we are not gay it was very uncomfortable. We were at sea for 6 days and they did nothing extra on the decks, most people had to make their own entertainment. I could go on and on about how disappointed we were and in fact couldn't wait to get off the ship and come home. There was no sail away party and even when the outside decks were full with passengers no extra entertainment was put on. If this is the future of the old Thomson cruises now called Marcella we certainly won't be doing another one Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Friends had a son who had worked as Cruise Director on this and other TUI Cruise Ships, they thought we would enjoy it. How wrong they were. All comparisons are made with previous cruises, long and short haul, made with NCL, P & O, ... Read More
Friends had a son who had worked as Cruise Director on this and other TUI Cruise Ships, they thought we would enjoy it. How wrong they were. All comparisons are made with previous cruises, long and short haul, made with NCL, P & O, Holland America and Princess Lines, all small ships. Flew out on 5th.November, flight delayed on runway over an hour, toilet function problem. Poor meet & greet at Airport, wrong directions to transfer coaches! Late arrival on board, meant less than 15 mins to the second lifeboat drill. Meet & greet staff on board did not know cabin location ! Made the drill meeting in the Show Lounge, usually it's at your appointed lifeboat station. No indication given to cabin number lifeboat, assumed that display info on Prom Deck was correct, even cabin numbers to port, odd numbers to starboard. One morning while having breakfast on the Lido outside rear deck area, noticed a pungent smell, assumed it was from the docks, but became worse, then smoke came out of the rear swimming pool vents, it had been closed off and empty, no explanation given. Smoke became dense and black, so quickly departed to upper deck, P/A issued a coded message, which was obviously for the fire crew. Staff cleared everybody off the rear deck, and the fire was extinguished. Later announcement advised the fire had been caused by welding repair to get the rear pool up and running. Several days later pool was filled and operational. Next issue followed about a week later in the Caribbean, again breakfast time, all the lights/air conditioning etc went off. About 20 mins power was restored, the fire/flood doors could be opened. They closed automatically when the power went off, explanation was a failed generator. That evening however, as we left a port, out in the navigation channel, all lighting etc went off, also no engine power ! Restarted again in about 15 mins. Blame was put on demand to aircon due to high temperatures experienced ! We are in the Caribbean remember. Action taken was to restrict aircon output, so cabin temperature rose, especially at night, and certain zones throughout the ship had intermittent aircon. The ship is now operating its Winter schedule in the Caribbean with ineffective aircon Trip was Adults only, all inclusive, however the bar price list showed only certain basic drinks and cocktails were included. Named drinks/named wines/certain cocktails etc had an extra charge up to £3, min £2.50. Named wines were expensive, Anjou Rose @ £17, half decent red up to £35, Tesco prices about a third. House wine was not good, red was undrinkable, never tried the white, Rose was weak but drinkable. The taste/flavour of all drinks and cocktails varied dependant on bar used. Outside deck sources were especially poor. Other passengers agreed with our thoughts, and we all agreed the drinks were "watered down". I even started to order a separate gin measure or light rum measure to top up a G&T or Cuba Libre, but they neither had the smell nor expected taste. The bar staff opened new bottles, but they did not have the plastic insert within the bottle necks, to prevent a bottle being refilled, so make your own decisions on the subject. Cabin was a de luxe on deck 7, paid extra, but more space quoted. Ship was refurbished not long ago, interior is light maple veneer, very good storage via drawers, and two separate built in wardrobes. Reading lights above beds, lighting controls on bedheads for the cabin. Fridge with pay as drink basics, tea and coffee making, bottled water is extra please note, we didn't realise till the bill came. Dressing table area has two power sockets, one US plug and other is 2 pin European. Bedhead has double socket UK 3 pin plug, and two USB ports built in. En suite is small, very narrow bath with shower curtain, mixer tap with button shower engagement. A grab rail to cabin side wall is badly located, too near the riser rail, so you knock your right arm on it when washing your hair or applying the shower gel. Refit specification should have stipulated a walk in shower with Glass Panel, who bathes these days, and the shower curtain wraps around your body, so so naff. PLEASE NOTE SHOWER GEL IS PROVIDED BUT NO SHAMPOO NOR CONDITIONER. We had to buy shampoo at first port of call. Couldn't believe it. Dining was either at The Meridian Restaurant with waiter service, or The Lido which was buffet self service. In both, menu was poor, some nights pretty impossible. They both offer at extra cost, £9.95, a steak or chops alternative. Never tried either, nor the extra cost Eating Venues, at £19.95 per head, as it all comes from the same source really. Quality of food was poor, portion control excessive in the Meridian, only is 3 courses now, our friends said it was 5 courses. Never had breakfast in the Meridian, the Lido gets overloaded, long queues, no glasses/plates/trays virtually every day. Choice never changed in 18 days, served up food pre cooked in hot water trays, toast pre done as well. Tinned tomatoes yuck, very thin cut bacon which was cooked about 3.00am along with the toast, black pudding whatever that tasted like heaven knows, choice of eggs, under done sausage. Separate cereal station but loose cereals, very little choice, four options, fruit never changed, sliced melon, unripe pine apple, sliced tough oranges, tinned prunes or peaches. Yoghurt was Danone tubs, like Spanish holidays in the '60s. No bread other than white rolls which were tasteless, or brown. No other offerings. Evening time they did offer brown and white sliced bread plus the tasteless rolls, although some nights the bread was stale. Fruit juice came out of machine dispensers, concentrate diluted with water, fresh orange juice was extra from the bar, but was still out of a packet !! No separate station for the soup options, this was in the middle of the horse shoe conveyor belt layout, so you had to queue up twice to get your soup, then the main meal. In the middle was the joint of the day, carved for you, deep frown received if you asked for more, felt like Oliver in the film. Pork was good, beef was really tough, lamb was good. Never tried the rolled Veal as didn't like the inner core it was stuffed with. Entertainment was poor as was the very limited Activities. The speakers offered were not good, nor was the chosen subjects, funny things that took place in his police career, and film reviews by the other guy. Did one and gave up. The first dance group were quite good, voices not bad and show themes were of interest. Second lot after changeover day and ships, were over weight, couldn't sing and not interesting themes. Had one imported Soul Night singer, ex Drifters, really good. Very boring comedian another night. Various quizzes, but the Cruise Director and seemingly most of the Entertainment Team required a translator, to know what they were saying. Mancunian and Geordie were not taught in my school days, the Queens English was however. The daily Activities must have come from a Nursery School option list, Bean Bag Targets, Skittles, Carpet Bowls, to name the highlights ! There was an option to learn Welsh, you couldn't make it up but it was true. One quiz host called me " mate" while handing over a paper, and I'd never met him before! Some passengers created their own Activities, brawling in Liberties Lounge one night, because a couple had sat in front of another couple, blocking their view of the entertainment, Security restored sanity. Another night in Hemingways Bar, another Activity and brawl was glass throwing. Service overall was quite good, plenty of staff who worked tirelessly. Cabin stewards likewise. Did not take any shore excursions, had been to all bar one port several times before, the hurricane meant an amended schedule for ports of call, original format would have seen three new Islands. Thought the excursions were expensive. Thomson clients seem to be a certain type, mostly from Up North, Tyne Tees, Wales etc, minority from the South. Many had done the trip before, even the return leg as well in April. The stereo type is grossly over weight, tattoos, and thinks acceptable behaviour includes resting ones legs by either putting ones bare feet up on another chair, or laying full length, bare foot on a lounge bar settee, despite shortage of seating. Picking assorted food from the buffet and either eating it in the queue and or on route to the table. The two main activities are drinking from 10am till the bar closes, and smoking as much as possible in the designated areas, in between the drinking. Sunbeds are a premium, requiring early towel visits to secure, anything later than 7.30 and you've missed out on the prime spots. Rumour has it, one guy was up around 5.00am to secure their padded bed on deck 8. Majority of sunbeds are unpadded, somewhat past their sell by date, dirty and tired. Conditions are very cramped unless you have picked your spot, and angled " your two" to create more space. Slyly moving adjacent ones further apart. Tip of the week there. To sum up, we all look for something different, having tried Thomson/Marella, we would not use them again, it is not the standard we require, if you think I am being a snob, that is for you alone to decide. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
There is a lot to recommend this ship. 1. It is excellent value for money. 2. The food overall is very good. Whether you eat in the main dining room or the buffet there is always lots of choice and the quality is good. Best pluses ... Read More
There is a lot to recommend this ship. 1. It is excellent value for money. 2. The food overall is very good. Whether you eat in the main dining room or the buffet there is always lots of choice and the quality is good. Best pluses are the pasta station and the salad bar. Only minor criticism is, for me they over cook the beef. We also never had problems in getting seats at the time of our choosing in the main restaurant. The buffet could get busy on sea days but was far less chaotic than most cruise lines we have been on. 3. Overall the basic drinks package is very good. Reasonable quality spirits and good mixers. We don't drink white wine but we liked the Rose and the red was just about acceptable. Beware the red outside the dining room because it sometimes comes at mulled wine temperatures. The only beers offered in the basic package are Fosters and John Smiths. I like these beers some may not. Some people complained that because of the restrictions it was not all inclusive. I have been on lots of cruise lines and this is pretty good. Yes, some lines do offer top shelf spirits and wines but you would have to pay far more for the cruise in the first place. There were a couple of silly anomolies, you can order a gin and a vermouth separately, but if you order a Martini, you get charged. 4. Staff throughout the ship were excellent. Sometimes, in the theatre in particular, you had to wait to be served, but that was sheer weight of numbers. The boys and girls always kept smiling and worked their butts off. Our star performer was Maria in Horizons. 5. The entertainment team and the guest acts were excellent. Less keen on the comedians, but that just may be us. We have been on many cruise lines but this was our first on Thomsons. The majority of our experiences were positive. Now for the couple of downsides: 1. We are early risers and we like to sunbathe between eight and eleven ish. The first day we went down at just after seven and all prime locations were reserved but not in use. The following day we checked before seven. Same again and every sea day. We have encountered this problem before on Italian ships, but never before have we come across the Benidorm mob on a British cruise ship. 2. When I tried to raise the issue with guest services they ignored me for four days. The Manager apparently never received my four messages. I will put that down to inefficiency, rather than rudeness. On thing this cruise has taught me is to think very carefully about repositioning cruises. Four years ago I had exactly the same problems with MSC. I have not used used them since. I will not be using Thomson again for Ocean crossings.. I will use Thomson again for cruises with frequent stops. Good value, food drink and service make it acceptable. The sun beds issue becomes unimportant because either I or the majority of the mob will be . Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise because we were on the Celebration relocation cruise last year and really enjoyed it. The ship is very clean and the crew are all very friendly. Our cabin was comfortable and kept very clean by Budi who always had a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were on the Celebration relocation cruise last year and really enjoyed it. The ship is very clean and the crew are all very friendly. Our cabin was comfortable and kept very clean by Budi who always had a smile and short chat anytime we met him. We ate in the Meridian Restaurant most nights and found this a very pleasant experience. The staff were very efficient and friendly and we met other guests whilst sharing a table with them. We mostly had breakfast and lunch in the Lido Restaurant where there was a wide and varied selection of food available. The only downside was, that if you didn't take a drink in with you, it was not easy to get a waiter. Maybe, more waiting staff would overcome this problem. We especially enjoyed the interview with Captain John one afternoon. It was very informative and interesting and he really has such a good sense of humour, which also came across on his daily bulletins when we were at sea. We enjoyed doing the daily trivia quiz but sometimes found it hard to hear the questions on deck 6. Overall, the service we received on board was excellent. The staff who especially stood out for us were Melisa and Sydney and the unforgettable Nosi, she was so wonderful, I would have been proud to have her for a daughter :-). Such hard workers and always with a smile on their face and an eagerness to help. Unfortunately, due to the hurricane, the ports we were supposed to visit were changed a bit, but that didn't matter to us. We saw some beautiful Islands in the Caribbean and met some wonderful people. Maybe next time we could visit the others. We had a wonderful time on our cruise and can't wait to do another one. Thank you to all staff and crew we came in contact with, you helped make our holiday one to remember. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise because of its itinery. An eclectic mix of Northern Europe (Belgium, France and Ireland) and the warmth of Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar. To that end we thoroughly enjoyed the destinations and would do a similar ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its itinery. An eclectic mix of Northern Europe (Belgium, France and Ireland) and the warmth of Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar. To that end we thoroughly enjoyed the destinations and would do a similar itinery again anytime. However the ship is very old and tired. We have been on a few Thomson cruises before on the Dream and the Majesty and hadn't really had cause for concern. But our 2 previous cruises were on Royal Caribbean and Cunard so I guess we've maybe been spoiled. We could see that Thomson had tried to tart up the ship but the cabin was small with nowhere other than the bed to sit. Also our room attendant had a real attitude problem. The 2 issues we brought to his attention were both met with "This is your fault" rather than with an attempt to fix them. The most serious fault was our cabin toilet barely working throughout the cruise. We have been on 8 cruises so we know what you can and can't flush down one. Eventually they replaced the whole toilet unit and gave us a bottle of wine as a goodwill gesture. I would have been happier if the attendant had just believed us in the first place! The food is good in the specialty restaurants is good and you get a great level of personal attention in them but you do have to pay between £15 and £20 each to use them. The food in the main restaurant was nothing special and in the buffet was absolutely terrible! The entertainers tried hard but were not that great and the 2 comedians that came onto the ship would have been far more at home in a working man's club than a cruise ship. I have always stood up for Thomson cruises in the past when people have referred to them as "Butlins at Sea" but I think that description sadly is true. We may possibly try their newer Discovery ships at some point in the future but frankly, I think we'll save our pennies and stick to the more prestigious ships. On a more positive note, at only £818 each for 13 nights the basic price was very good value but you do have to add your drinks, excursions and the nice restaurants onto the price. Also, with only 2 proper bars on the ship, other than the show lounge there was nowhere to sit in an evening as the bars filled up very quickly. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Embarkation was an extremely long drawn out operation, as when we arrived at the port, there was a huge queue while we waited to be signed in. On the Dream, we simply walked on board and were signed in within minutes. The size of the ... Read More
Embarkation was an extremely long drawn out operation, as when we arrived at the port, there was a huge queue while we waited to be signed in. On the Dream, we simply walked on board and were signed in within minutes. The size of the ship meant that there wasn't really sufficient seating for everyone on board inside. We were happy with the size of the cabin which was extremely similar to what we are used to on the Dream. Unfortunately we had separate beds this time as opposed to a double. Every evening except one, we dined in the Meridian Restaurant, but we felt that although the service of food was very efficient, the serving of wine wasn't. On many occasions we had to keep asking. Entertainment was very good and varied. Drinks service we felt was very hit and miss. The two shore excursions we did, Santorini and Petra, were excellent. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
The cruise title was "Transatlantic Quest" commencing Barbados and ending in Malaga in the Mediterranean. The first few days included calls to several Caribbean islands including St Lucia, Dominica, St Kitts, British Virgin ... Read More
The cruise title was "Transatlantic Quest" commencing Barbados and ending in Malaga in the Mediterranean. The first few days included calls to several Caribbean islands including St Lucia, Dominica, St Kitts, British Virgin Islands, St Marten and Antigua, then we had a six-days crossing the Atlantic to La Palma in the Canaries followed by a stop at Gibraltar before disembarking at Malaga to fly home. This cruise probably will never be repeated as the Celebration was in fact repositioning for new itineraries out of Dubai after maintenance somewhere in the Med. We had a balcony cabin on Deck 9 on the starboard side and the All-Inclusive package and flew from Gatwick. We are fairly used to cruising but this was our first Thomson cruise and we had the most wonderful time with excellent food and nothing less than terrific service. We dined in the "Meridian Restaurant" lunchtime and evenings with waiter service but breakfasted in the Lido self-service restaurant. There is a large comfortable theatre, the "Broadway Show Lounge", with a wide range of entertainment - although we didn't go to any of the shows ourselves preferring to spend evenings with drinks and our books in our cabin or on our balcony. But we did enrol on the water-colour painting class for the six-day Atlantic crossing, and this was excellent. There were other activities too, including chocolate making and a choir. The Celebration is a 'real ship', not a floating box and subject to getting a balcony next time we would definitely cruise on it again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
We have enjoyed 3 cruises on The Celebration previously so we knew what to expect from the ship and had chosen our cabin so we were pleasantly surprised to find it had been spruced up with new upholstery and carpets. We settled in quickly ... Read More
We have enjoyed 3 cruises on The Celebration previously so we knew what to expect from the ship and had chosen our cabin so we were pleasantly surprised to find it had been spruced up with new upholstery and carpets. We settled in quickly after a horrendous embarkation experience (described by several other reviewers) which was way below Thomson's usual standards and had them apologising many times over the next few days. To our delight, we found staff members whom we had met on a previous cruise waiting for us in the dining room on the first evening and it was like greeting old friends as they welcomed us! This is one of the special things that we love about Thomson cruises and we hope they don't change as they move to bigger ships in the future. The service in the dining room is easily as good as in any of the expensive restaurants we have been to in London and the staff are always happy and smiling. The food is pretty good too - a double edged sword on a 17 night cruise! The Celebration is a relatively small ship, but we love her. She has a proper promenade deck and is easy to get around by using the stairs for exercise, or lifts if you're tired. There are free self service laundries and several bars of which our favourite is the Horizons on the 9th deck with panoramic views at the front above the bridge. We were lucky enough to see and photograph a whale blowing from up there as we left Madeira! This repositioning cruise was different from a normal two week cruise in that there was no changeover of guests halfway through as there would have been doing two 7 night cruises back to back. Everyone who boarded at the beginning was on the ship for the whole 17 nights and no one else would be joining us, so we started to make friends that we met up with in the bars and at dinner and it took on a great atmosphere of camaraderie. This was helped by the extra activities that were available for the sea days crossing the Atlantic, such as the watercolour painting classes, chocolate making, dancing and singing etc as well as the nodding to people as we walked the laps of the deck in the mornings to try and work off some of the excess of food and drink! We had been a bit concerned about the weather and brought warm clothes and shoes in case it was cold and rough, but actually it got calmer and warmer each day as we got further south and west so we would pack much lighter next time. There will definitely be a next time as we absolutely loved this cruise - it was the best yet, even without any of the ports we saw! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Just a quick review.. The ship may be small but she has bags of character and so much prettier than the larger ships that really do resemble a block of flats! Facilities may not be of the same standard either but what we did have were ... Read More
Just a quick review.. The ship may be small but she has bags of character and so much prettier than the larger ships that really do resemble a block of flats! Facilities may not be of the same standard either but what we did have were good enough for us. The bars were tastefully decorated and very comfortable to sit in any time of the day or night. The new cafe was very popular with people. This was situated in the same room as Destination services. It has a fresh colour scheme and you could just sink nicely into the seats and read a book whilst gazing at the passing scenery through the windows. The Lavazza coffee was very good. There are only a few shops. I think the prices were a little steep for their goods to be honest. It was great to be able to walk all the way around the ship to get some exercise after eating all that food! The out door Lido pool area was great with plenty entertainment going on through the day and the entertainment team were funny and lovely people. I loved the Sail Away night from Tenerife, It really did get us in the mood for our holiday. The food was mostly good and reasonably varied. Always fresh. I'm not sure how I feel about piling all your stuff on a tray as it felt a bit like a school canteen so think this could be improved. The Meridian restaurant had helpful waiters who had bags of character. Wally was our favourite. You may well hear him sing in the final night. Not a bad voice either! I just felt there could be more choice on the menu. Perhaps they could make the portions for the starters a but bigger. Our room was compact but perfectly proportioned. We had two double wardrobes, plenty drawer space and a comfortable, spacious double bed. I slept like a baby. The bathroom was very small but again had everything you needed. One problem, however, was the water didn't empty quickly enough out of the shower tray so you had to stand in water to have a shower. Felt a bit unhygienic. Our steward, Matt, was a great guy who kept our room immaculate through our stay. Just remember to check if your sheets are getting changed. We did have to ask for fresh ones. Our only gripe though tbh. The show lounge was always packed out. People arrived for the second show as soon as the first one had finished to get a seat, obviously reflecting how good that showteam were. The singing and dancing were really good and excellent in parts. We enjoyed all of the shows but our favourites were My Fair Lady and Les Mis. Our hairs stood on end! The Murder Mystery play is worth waiting up for too. It was hilarious! You could then see them perform cabarets after the performances up in the Liberties lounge. The ports of call were Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Gibraltar, Cartagena, Palma, Majorca, Rome, Naples, Messina, Corfu, Kotor and Dubrovnik. All perfect and we have lots of great memories now from them except for Messina which we didn't feel was our cup of tea. Not a great deal to do there for us. The ship excursions we purchased onboard were for Going on the camels and seeing the volcano in Lanzarote. Had a fab guide for this and worth the money. Our 'Rome in one day' guide was excellent and very informative. Unfortunately we couldn't really understand our guide for 'Sorrento and Pompeii'. Her English wasn't quite up to scratch. But we still enjoyed the day. The weather was also perfect for the duration of the holiday. Not a drop of rain and virtually no rockiness on board the ship. The ship was very friendly and homely. I didn't want to come home! It really was a great holiday and despite the odd hiccups here and there I would recommend it to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Thomson Cruise ,We had to pay £15.00 each to book our seats (round trip =£60.00) on the Boeing 767 departed Glasgow arriving in Bridgetown Barbados ,on disembarking met by a fleet of buses to take us to the ship for quayside ... Read More
Thomson Cruise ,We had to pay £15.00 each to book our seats (round trip =£60.00) on the Boeing 767 departed Glasgow arriving in Bridgetown Barbados ,on disembarking met by a fleet of buses to take us to the ship for quayside processing . Prior to holiday we where advised deck 10 was under refurbishment , when on board noticed it was being used by the deck crew for sanding and varnish L/B oars,management team have been slow to fixed solve the problems considering they knew the ship would be crossing the pond (Atlantic) for 6 day's caused a lot of problems with sun loungers in the shade ,no evidenced of sun lounger butlers enforcing the 45 minute rule! . We have sailed on the ship many times & took this trip for Caribbean highlights/mow town themed cruise. The ship was clean ,we were on deck 3 (2 berth cabin) which was adequate .skipped the Captains Dinner & Photo shoot. Entertainment was of the usual hight standard , bands/singers be it in Liberties, Hemingway's or the Horizon's was loud, designed to drown out passenger's conversation!, noticed there had been a reduction of stewards service in bar area's, We only used Lido ( self service restaurant) the food was of a very good standard in presentation and quality.Thomson have reintroduce the water coolers. To occupy our six days at sea additional activities were arranged ,painting, chocolate decoration and a community quire was set up , you had to pay to participate. Made many new friends exchanged cruise yarns and first timer’s , one couple who complained about everything! (Gave them a wide berth) . Captains corner informal chat with passengers (a very people orientated person), spent last 10 years of his maritime career with the ship, Officer's and crew were polite & friendly. The highlight of the trip was the guest artist's Roy G Hemming's band ,(mow town ) played in the Broadway theatre , majority of the passengers enjoyed the first show so much & stayed, preventing fellow passengers from getting into second performance . Some of the Mowtown band members gave an impromptu performance in Liberties, when I left it was rocking. A night with the stars ( Hits of Mow town) on the pool deck - great night. We looked at previous reports of shore excursion's, my partner decided to play safe booked online at inflated price's ,do your research there are cheaper alternative's. Caribbean people depend on tourism in the dry season and cricket is very popular. Love to return & visit the beautiful islands. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
My wife & our boys aged 12 years & 9 years were on the Thomson Celebration Cruise during this Christmas in 2 nos. outside cabins on B deck. The cabins were comfortable with adequate space to store cloths etc. The food was ... Read More
My wife & our boys aged 12 years & 9 years were on the Thomson Celebration Cruise during this Christmas in 2 nos. outside cabins on B deck. The cabins were comfortable with adequate space to store cloths etc. The food was acceptable in the buffet restaurant but could have been hotter. A microwave would sort this problem out. The crew were both friendly & helpful. The first port of call was Aqaba in Jordan. Thomson supplied a free shuttle bus to the centre of the town which was worth a walk around. Thomson were running a tour to Petra which they would charge my family £404.00. We arranged our own taxi & including the cost of entry tickets. Total cost £140.00, a saving of 65%. The next port was Sokhna in Egypt. This port is a commercial one in the middle of nowhere surrounded only by factories. There is no town. Initially, we walked to find a taxi to take us to the Pyramids but were thwarted by the Port Authorities as they were not happy with Thomson passengers walking in their port. The Thomson representative tried to get us to return to the ship but when we refused found us a taxi. We assume that the Port Authorities complained to Thomsons which forced them to find us a taxi. We would have booked the Thomson Tour to the Pyramids if it had been reasonably priced, our cost including tickets was £150.00. Thomson were charging £320.00, a saving of 53%. If the passengers did not want to take the Thomson Tour they were kept captive on the ship, just like another day at sea. The final port before returning to Sharm El Sheikh was Safaga, another commercial port with a cement factory at the quay side. When we arrived it was windy with cement dust blowing towards the ship which is a health hazard. The town is quite run down & not really worth a visit. We easily found a taxi to take us to the Valley Of The Kings which cost £160.00 including entry tickets. The Thomson cost for my family was £344.00 our saving 53%. Thomson tours are grossly overpriced. I think that they are exploiting a captive market. A week before the cruise set sail date Thomson informed us that the Sports Deck was closed due to upgrading the ship. Having 2 nos. boys that are keen on football & basketball this was not good news as it was difficult to keep the children occupied during the day at sea. As we only booked this cruise a month before the cruise would start, we consider it was deceitful of Thomsons to not tell us about the deck closure at the time of booking. we complained to Thomsons who so far have ignored us. Finally, Thomson want to organise their airport departure procedures better. All their buses from the cruise & hotels arrive at the airport at the same time. This leads to massive unnecessary queues. All their planes were taking-off at short intervals which meant there were not enough buses at Sharm El Sheikh Airport to ferry passengers to the planes & when the planes were ready to take-off they were having to queue to leave. Our plane was 50 minutes late taking-off. This problem could easily be overcome by staggering the times that the buses arrive at the airport & leaving longer periods between flight take-offs. 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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