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  4. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises) Cruise Reviews
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: April 2013
This ticked a lot of boxes for us. We wanted to see Petra for the first time and go back to see the pyramids and Luxor etc again. My partner is more keen on cruising than me but it suited us fine. We aren't interested in the dressing ... Read More
This ticked a lot of boxes for us. We wanted to see Petra for the first time and go back to see the pyramids and Luxor etc again. My partner is more keen on cruising than me but it suited us fine. We aren't interested in the dressing up in the evening aspect and I see little point in doing it on a Thomson cruise anyway. We had a very basic bottom of the boat inside cabin but it was bigger than the one we had on the Destiny the year before. Apart from no porthole to tell us when it was dawn it was fine. No problems with hot water and the staff kept it spotless with plenty of fresh towels. Lido buffet fine but it could get very busy at times especially with the excursions forcing you to eat at certain times. The all day trips were good and what you expect in Egypt. The half day trip to Hurghada wasn't much cop but you can't win them all. Once you had worked out what entertainment you liked there was enough for everyone. 2 Intense were good in Horizon's and the main lot in the Broadway Lounge had the unenviable job of doing a different show every night. They could not be faulted for effort. Steve Johnson and his 'ciao of now' at the end of every single announcement got on our wick till we made a joke of it but like all the crew they all tried very hard to make our trip very good. They succeeded and we could do the trip again doing a different trip to what we did every day. The captain's Q & A session was very good. Well done every one on the ship. Must get a porthole next time. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
A group of four of us has just returned from what should have been an enjoyable springtime cruise on the Thomson Dream. This was our seventh cruise, the fifth with Thomsons, so we were expecting the same high standards that we had ... Read More
A group of four of us has just returned from what should have been an enjoyable springtime cruise on the Thomson Dream. This was our seventh cruise, the fifth with Thomsons, so we were expecting the same high standards that we had previously experienced on other Thomson ships - how wrong we were. When we arrived at the port to board the ship in Tenerife, we had missed the onboard lifeboat drill so a member of the crew stood at the front of the coach and tried to show us how to fasten our life jackets - no-one at the back could see a thing. We were then told that we could find our lifejackets in a cupboard within our cabins. The lifejackets would have our muster station number written on them so it was up to us to find it.This is the first time I have ever been on a ship and not been shown to my muster station. On the second night one of my party contracted Norvirus. She was ill for three days and never regained her appetite until we arrived home. On the fourth nigh, my husband contracted Norovirus. He isolated himself in his cabin for 36 hours . The nurse rang twice to say she was coming to see him but never turned up. By the middle of the week the ship became very quiet during the evenings - most passengers were in their cabins suffering form Norovirus. The food was served by the crew - to prevent the spread of Norovirus. It was never hot enough and people were asking for more because the portions were so small. The temperature on board ship was very cold - I'm told it was to prevent the spread of the disease. I heard one lady sarcastically asking a waiter for a hot water bottle during the show.one evening I had to call the plumber out to my cabin three times. The sink became blocked, the bath water was dark brown and water continuously came up through the drain in the bathroom soaking the bathroom floor - this was still happening when we left the ship. Although the crew were very friendly and supportive, they always seemed to be very disorganised. Getting onto the ship took well over an hour as there weren't enough staff deployed to check us all in. We were locked out of our cabin for two hours when we reported the key was broken. Upon our return to reception to collect a new key, they had forgotten to replace it and made us wait for a further half an hour. Disemnbarking at the various ports also turned into a circus as the crew kept changing their minds about the deck and the side of the ship they would be using. The Captain apologised to everyone and promised to report the incident back to Thomsons after the tender to Portimao turned into a disaster. It took well over half an hour for each tender to reach shore. This resulted in large queues forming on the quayside waiting to board the tenders back to the ship. Passengers were waiting for over an hour in the cold, huddled together like penguins, without any seating or warm drinks avaialble. Thank goodness for the shore excursions. They were very good value and gave us a reprieve from the fast spreading germs on board the ship - when we were well enough to go on them. This will definitely go down as the worst holiday we have ever had. We could not wait to get back home. Unfortunately, due to my experience on the Thomson Dream, I have lost all faith in my favourite cruise line and will definitely be looking at an alternative next time! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
Thomson Dream a disaster from beginning to end. Two ports missed in as many weeks. Then the canteen staff began to take the mickey by singing a Caribbean song with the words changed to having missed ports again. Had noro virus on board ... Read More
Thomson Dream a disaster from beginning to end. Two ports missed in as many weeks. Then the canteen staff began to take the mickey by singing a Caribbean song with the words changed to having missed ports again. Had noro virus on board the previous week and had to be served in self service canteen. When I asked for a couple of bread rolls and beef for lunch I was offered a slice of beef about 1inch by three which left me flabbergasted? The Orion restaurant was no better, had to wait 30 minutes for 2 cold puddings and after 20 minutes waiting to be asked if we wanted tea or coffee decided to have it elsewhere. All this time the waiter was chatting to travellers who were disembarking the next day, looking for tips which he persisted with until he was offered money. However my worst complaint was the rock hard bed which had to be endured for 2 weeks I was in agony, no spare mattresses I was told, does beg the question as to what happens if someone has an accident? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
Our biggest complaint was with reference to the food onboard. This is the only ship amongst a number of cruises we have taken where we have not wanted to eat! We are not fussy eaters but we really DID NOT enjoy the food offered on this ... Read More
Our biggest complaint was with reference to the food onboard. This is the only ship amongst a number of cruises we have taken where we have not wanted to eat! We are not fussy eaters but we really DID NOT enjoy the food offered on this trip. Let’s start with the buffet/Lido restaurant. The breakfasts and afternoon teas were very repetitive and with little variations. The food was often oily, with the eggs being either over or underdone and only luke warm. The bacon and sausages tasted cheap. The cereals were mainly of the cheap sugar laden variety while the fruit was consistently melon and pineapple. Lunchtimes fared little better. The salad was only ever the following:- lettuce, cucumber, radish, grated carrot, sweetcorn, tomatoes, watery silverskin onions (no vinegar) and cheeses with no variations. The salad dressings on offer were poor, heavily oily and poor in variety. The mixed salads on the appetiser counter were laden with mayo or looked revolting. Hasn’t the chef heard of pulses, a variety of salad leaves etc? The main courses were equally bad in their look, smell and taste. So much so lunch often became hot dog and chips from the snack bar by the pool – something we never eat at home or on holiday. The sugar free sweets were also poor in variety, being mainly a creamy mousse or pastry with fruit, not helpful if one doesn’t like creamy mousses and can’t eat pastry! Additionally the sugar free was rarely labelled as such and one had frequently to ask if there were any sugar free. Afternoon tea was the same every day, sausage rolls, small sandwiches, trifle (not sugar free) scones, cake and biscuits (none of which were sugar free). In fact the sandwiches were often the best food of the day. The scones were also acceptable if one ignored the too high bicarbonate taste, but couldn’t cheese scones have been served occasionally too? The biscuits were the worst we have tasted – dry and tasteless regardless of flavour, too much flour and not enough fat to make them flavoursome and ‘short’ in consistency, in other words, they were cheap! Drinks in the Lido – the coffee was dire, bitter and totally unacceptable. I drank only tea for the duration of the cruise whereas my husband doesn't drink tea, coffee, milk or alcohol so his choice was nil for the entire cruise, bar water, since no alternative drink was on offer, unlike other cruises which still offer juice and iced flavoured teas at all meal times. Let’s now look at the food in the Meridian Restaurant. Breakfasts: Firstly, fruit juices served at breakfast were far too sweet. We think that they were fruit concentrates which hadn’t been diluted. We had to dilute it by 1/3 or ½ to make it drinkable. The fish for breakfast was often unrecognisable as such being dry and much over-cooked, so much so we stopped choosing the fish dishes before a few days had passed. The omelette I tried after the fish was almost inedible too, the taste and texture weren’t good. My husband concurred on the only day he chose omelette. The yoghurt with fresh fruit was always sugared therefore problematic for me, also the choice of fruit was always melon unless we stipulated otherwise and when we did ask for alternatives the waiters always looked surprised, although we did get our choices. We asked for water, only wholemeal toast and sugar free conserve each day, yet we always had to ask several times for what we required and sometimes it wasn’t listened too or took far too long to get. Many people gave up without a second tea, coffee or whatever. The staff weren’t particularly helpful or friendly. To be honest, my husband ate Weetabix followed by toast for the majority of the cruise. I, by contrast, resorted to porridge followed by Egg Benedict when available. Note I said egg not eggs Benedict – most ships give two, on this ship only one was ever given. Believe it or not, breakfast was probably our best meal of the day!!!! We didn’t eat in the Meridian for lunch. Dinners: The service was appalling. Several times we waited between 1hr and 1hr 30mins between the starters and the main courses and complained about main dishes being cold on more than one occasion. One day we actually saw the chefs, waiters etc. and baked Alaska presentation TWICE, without receiving our main course! The main course were poor in quality, often way too salty, bloody meats, lacking taste, having a horrible taste etc. etc. I even refused the Spaghetti Bolognaise. It looked like a poor tin or packet mix – short lengths of spaghetti mixed with the ragout sauce, not at all like proper Spaghetti Bolognaise. It tasted like it had lots of chemicals in it – really horrible, it was sent back, I was offered a second choice but by then I didn’t want to wait again and was put off by the first offering. A couple of evenings later we went to the Kora La, hoping for a better experience. I ordered the Beef Rendang and my husband ordered the Stir-fried noodles. Were these any better? Not on your life! Both dishes were so excessively salty we had the head waiter and the chef attend our table. We were offered alternatives but by now we were not in the mood to try yet more, rather we felt ill and disappointed. NEVER have we had such experiences on a ship. Let’s move to our cabin. To be fair our steward, was very friendly and helpful so no complaints here. Yes, the cabin was small but as we booked very late, this did not surprise us. However, what did surprise us was the lack of a refrigerator in the cabin. All of our previous ships have had in-cabin ‘fridges and we didn’t even consider the possibility that there wouldn’t be one. A ‘fridge is important to us since I have medication which needs refrigeration, so every day I had to go to reception to get and return my medication to them, waiting in sometimes long queues to get and then to return it – what an inconvenience! The television in our cabin was of poor quality, poor reception and a general lack of stations to watch. The safe had to be paid for separately! Never have other ships charged us for in-cabin safes because this is for your benefit as much as our’s – shocking and expensive! The facecloths in particular, were often grey and unhealthy looking. There was no complimentary dressing gowns and an elitist system for beach towels too – pale blue for the cheaper cabins, medium blue as one moves up the decks and royal blue, plush ones, for the better cabins. We were really disgusted at this – deliberately singling out what class of passenger one is – shame on you Thomson! This too NEVER happens on other cruise lines. On the subject of sunbathing, we have a further complaint. The front of the top deck of the ship was often closed off due to ‘high winds’. Frequently this wasn’t the case but still we couldn’t use that area. The middle section was currently being refurbished; I say currently but in fact no work was done on this section all the time we were on board. We were all jammed on a small section, jammed in like sardines on the two sea days, most unpleasant. We heard this section had been shut since the start of the season. Furthermore, there are no toilets in this area. Lastly, the deck hands were regularly clearing away the sunloungers by 5pm even though the sun didn’t go down for another hour to hour and a half. They often asked passengers to get up so they could pack away. How unwelcoming! Of course this also meant there were no seats outside if one wished to sit out and peruse the stars on the warm Caribbean evenings. We’ve not seen the like of this previously either. Our final complaint is in regard to returning to the ship after a day on shore. Actually, the staff on duty at the gangplank both going and coming, were humourless and unresponsive. There was no canopy on the pier, no welcoming drink, indeed no welcome. We were the poor relations of the cruise world as compared to the other ships we were docked alongside. Lastly, the security on board was a laugh, we could have brought all sorts on board. They rarely had the X-ray working. Is this a Platinum Cruise as advertised ? – No way!!!! We consider it to be a poor cast iron level. Would we cruise with Thomson again? A resounding No! We’re so pleased we got a cheap, last minute deal. If we had paid the brochure price we would have been stomping by now and probably we be consulting with a solicitor. A shockingly, bad experience and one never to be repeated. Added to the general insult of actually being on board, on return and wishing to complain we filled in the on-line booking complaints form - it doesn't send and we have tried it on several occasions. A letter of complaint did receive the customary general reply, saying we would hear within a month. It's two months now and still no response and you can't get anyone on the phone either. We read reviews and decided to still give Thomsons a go. Warning, book at your peril - you have been warned. Our advice - try another company, any other company which isn't owned by Thomson. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We have just returned from a lovely holiday in the Caribbean aboard Thomson Celebration. We flew out on the Dreamliner and enjoyed the flight. The extra legroom and wider seats really make a difference, after a long flight we still felt ... Read More
We have just returned from a lovely holiday in the Caribbean aboard Thomson Celebration. We flew out on the Dreamliner and enjoyed the flight. The extra legroom and wider seats really make a difference, after a long flight we still felt quite perky after an eight hour flight. Yes the Celebration is an old ship, she cannot match up to the newer more modern ships, but you are not paying their prices. We have sailed on Celebration several times and this cruise we thought that Thomson had upped there game. You could not fault the cleanliness of the ship in all areas, the public areas and cabins were spotless. The staff are wonderful they always have a smile for you and leave you feeling that nothing is to much trouble. We were on deck 6 and did not experience any cabin noise or any nagging electrical faults. The food this cruise was very good both in the Meridian restaurant and the Lido self service restaurant there was plenty of choice to suit all tastes. The entertainment team did a good job and Ben Moss the very talented singer in Hemingways was excellent. We booked two trips with Thomsons and they may be a bit over priced but we did our own thing and saved money on other days. Transfers to and from the port were excellent with no delays. We thoroughly enjoyed this holiday. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Great cruise ,the highlight was the organised trip with thomsons to club tropicana in the vintage cars. Havana was brilliant , the atmosphere, people friendly, the random little jazz bands in bars and delightful cuban kids dancing. We ... Read More
Great cruise ,the highlight was the organised trip with thomsons to club tropicana in the vintage cars. Havana was brilliant , the atmosphere, people friendly, the random little jazz bands in bars and delightful cuban kids dancing. We enjoyed all the shows and the team were very talented. We even enjoyed the staff show especially Geoffrey what a star!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Thomson Dreamliner is a fantastic plane. Lots of leg room and free food and drink during the flight. But, what started well, ended badly. The Jamaican airport was hot, humid, crowded and queued. No where to sit, no air conditioning, no ... Read More
Thomson Dreamliner is a fantastic plane. Lots of leg room and free food and drink during the flight. But, what started well, ended badly. The Jamaican airport was hot, humid, crowded and queued. No where to sit, no air conditioning, no water and no where to rest in a confined corridor containing hundreds of people. Tempers flared after hours waiting to get to embarkation and some felt faint. A musical group from the island greeted us at the ship but the singer was out of tune and the musicians seemed fed up of playing it took that long for everyone to board. The buffets were always full of food and refreshments and the restaurant was great for an evening meal. However, the food was mostly overcooked, warm at best when eating and not very tasty in all the eateries. I did not like the fact you helped yourself to buffet with tongs. It would have been more hygienic to have been given the food by buffet staff. Despite the fact the ship had antibacterial dispensers throughout, many passengers ignored them. I had a bad tummy in the middle of the first week and was told by a passenger that the ship had had Noro virus aboard the week before resulting in the closure of the Jacuzzis. I was also by other passengers that many people were being treated for a bad cough, an outbreak which had been on board since December with antibiotic drips having to be issued for pneumonia and also that 5 people had died on board during this time. Myself and my husband both went home with a bad cough at the end of the cruise. One woman was badly burnt by a soot gob that had been blown from the ship's funnel. Many passengers had broken their arms whilst on board. Health and safety was an issue as I saw a crew member carrying two stacks of cups on his tray down a spiral staircase. Smoking was allowed on the decks which was very quickly extended to inside the ship and door areas by smokers who ignored the rules. It was hard to get away from cigarette smoke on the deck areas. We found it very difficult to get a sun lounger before 10am and these were hogged by selfish passengers all day despite the fact that they were not using them for hours. The ship had an overcrowded feel during the sea days and the days were quite strained. The behavior of some of the passengers was terrible despite their mature years. Tempers flared and a fight broke out over the use of a lift which carried on in the sun deck. There was a lot of foul language used by some of the down to earth types which did offend other passengers with their rudeness at times. Some of the deck flooring was bubbled and torn. The first port was La Romana. I wish I had stayed aboard the ship. We were transported by shuttle to the nearby town and was immediately bombarded by very persistent venders that were very intimidating. We all immediately got right back on the bus and returned to the ship. This port did not match the description at all. My favourite ports were St Maartin and Antigua. Shops were wonderful and there were many nice places to go. The Virgin Islands were a little boring as we had not been able to book a tour but on returning to the ship many passengers were disappointed with their trips here. One had gone to see whales and was told by locals that whales are a rare sight in April as they don’t arrive until June when the season for them starts. We did see some flying fish and dolphins on the sea days. Gibraltar is a nice place but there was very little time to visit more than one venue as the ship departs at 2pm and we had to be back on board by 1:30. We were talked out of using the cable car by the port taxi drivers who said that we would not have time to use it. The port inspector confirmed this when asked to back up the statements but on speaking to the tourist visitor centre they said we would have had plenty of time to use it. So I think we were conned into using them at a cost. To sum up, I personally quite enjoyed my time on this cruise but I know that quite a few other passengers were very disappointed and if rumors were correct some did not return at all. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We have been on this ship 5 times, we tried one of there sister ships, although it was very nice, the celebration more than any thing was amazing. With the most helpful staff and with all the amount of customer's they have each ... Read More
We have been on this ship 5 times, we tried one of there sister ships, although it was very nice, the celebration more than any thing was amazing. With the most helpful staff and with all the amount of customer's they have each year still knew what drinks we had and made a fuss of us, which made us both fill special. The cabins are great and cleaned every day and every 2nd day all linen is changed, towels are changed daily. The restaurant are great, if you want fine dining there is 3 to be visited all food is fantastic. The buffet style restaurant is great along with the burger bar at the rear of the ship. Entertainment is second to none with it's great dancing and singing acts and as there are two sessions you will be able to see some great shows. Ports are great to explore different countries we have been ashore a few times on our own and felt really safe,but if you go on any excursions make sure you have comfy shoes on as some have a lot of walking. Above all we were all inclusive which meant we did not have a bill at the end of trip to pay I would advise any one to go all inclusive as drinks can be quite pricey. I hope anyone who goes with Thomson's enjoys the holiday as much as we did. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose Thomson's as we thought as first timers we could rely on them to meet our expectations and the Caribbean Mayan Treasures cruise sounded interesting and we should have good weather. Our journey from the airport in Montego ... Read More
We chose Thomson's as we thought as first timers we could rely on them to meet our expectations and the Caribbean Mayan Treasures cruise sounded interesting and we should have good weather. Our journey from the airport in Montego Bay to the embarkation point was quick and embarkation was fairly painless. We had pre-booked cabin 7034 and found this to be quite spacious, spotlessly clean and ample storage. Our steward Renaldo was superb, ensuring we had everything we needed and always had a smile. The only criticism was the window which was dirty on the outside spoiling the views and the frame was quite rusty as were many of the window frames on the ship. There were plenty of activities during the day and we found the evening entertainment very good particularly the resident show team who were all very talented. Service at the bars was good, we had chosen the drinks package which we thought was good value. The self service dining areas were a bit like a canteen and not to our liking for an evening meal, however we enjoyed the Orion restaurant on deck 4 where we ate every night after the first day. Our waiter Clodabaido was friendly and attentive and we felt he did a fantastic job. We only used the swimming pools once as they were quite small and it was rare to be able to get a sunbed near them as people must have reserved them very early in the morning. Overall there was a shortage of sunbeds on the ship. The shore excursions we had pre-booked were good particularly the Roatan Western tour which we thoroughly enjoyed. It was disappointing that our stop Costa Mayo was not possible due to the weather, but Thomson's did refund our booked excursion cost promptly. Disembarkation was OK but having to hand over our cases the night before departure and check out of the cabin by 8.00am was not ideal. Overall we enjoyed our cruise Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Chose this cruise as a short one for our first ever cruise.Embarkation was pretty smooth,we where in our cabin and unpacked by 11am.The cabin was a pretty good standard and the steward was excellent. We managed a few hours around ... Read More
Chose this cruise as a short one for our first ever cruise.Embarkation was pretty smooth,we where in our cabin and unpacked by 11am.The cabin was a pretty good standard and the steward was excellent. We managed a few hours around Palma,well worth a visit.You can walk to the city in 40mins or get a bus from the port.The other ports of call where Olbia Sardinia,don't bother with ships excursion not worth the money.Naples OK ,Messina Sicily nice town to walk around. Argostolli Kefalonia very nice town,good shops.Lastly Corfu where we disembarked which was chaotic.We enjoyed the food on the cruise,and the Orion restaurant was very good.Our biggest gripe was trying to get a drink at ANY of the bars the service was VERY slow.Hardly any waiters and hardly any bar staff.We had the drinks package but what a waste of money.As a first experience of cruising it was not what we expected at all.We drank water with our meals as we could get this ourselves from the water coolers.On the plus side we will cruise again just not with Thomson Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
Chose this cruise as sailed previously on the dream and loved every moment this time felt standards had slipped the waiter service has really slipped compared to previous cruise , also the plumbing situation is getting worse blocked ... Read More
Chose this cruise as sailed previously on the dream and loved every moment this time felt standards had slipped the waiter service has really slipped compared to previous cruise , also the plumbing situation is getting worse blocked toilets daily in every part of ship also water pouring in through ceilings in lobby , ship needs sorted quickly or thomson will be losing customers rapidly , we found embarkation quick and efficient unlike a lot of others , we had an outside plus cabin on deck 6 which was fine although the toilet was looking shabby, it was spacious and comfy, the dining was very good enjoyed all aspects of the dining although the queuing seemed longer than on previous trips , entertainment was excellent as usual , waiter service was terrible in most bars except casino . The ports on this cruise were lovely and a fair choice of excursions . We travelled with 2 other couples who hadn't cruised before and they were unhappy about the same issues, we haven't cruised with any other company apart from thomson but feel we may try another cruise line , unless things improve drastically Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
The holiday got of to a good start with out outbound flight on the Dreamliner to Barbados. We stopped in a Gatwick hotel overnight as it was an early flight. Unfortunatley our more local airports, Birmingham and Manchester, did not have ... Read More
The holiday got of to a good start with out outbound flight on the Dreamliner to Barbados. We stopped in a Gatwick hotel overnight as it was an early flight. Unfortunatley our more local airports, Birmingham and Manchester, did not have a Dreamliner on the return flight, even though Thomsons advertise that their long haul flights are on a Dreamliner aircraft. The staff in our Thomson holiday superstore, where we booked the holiday, wrongly tried to convince us it was, so always double check. Gatwick security check in is a dream, in and out, compared to our Manchester airport experience on previous flights. Tui Discovery 1 ship is much larger and has better facilities than the Thomson Celebration, which we sailed the Carribean on a previous cruise. The food sadly is nowhere near as good, the steak on 3 occasions was uneaten as it was too tough and the main meal of prawn mac & cheese consisted of a heated pre made bowl of watery food on a plate with no garnish etc, I should have photographed it it was so bad. The staff as always are excellent and can not do enough for you but in the main restaurant they are too busy as they now have to serve the meals and drinks, there are no longer any dedicated wine waiters. The food in the Italian restaurant always seemed much nicer and better presented but there was not enough variation to eat there every night. The Tapas & Pizza bar, situated in the glass house after 6.30pm, is also worth a visit for a change of scenery and a variation of menu. The Breakfast in the main restaurant is superb, as is the food in Islands buffet bar. The casino on board was a great disapointment, on the Celebration we spent many nights playing and (mainly) watching but the Discovery has an electronic Roulette, a few bandits and 3 card tables, which were a £5 minimum bet so not many people were playing. A lot of the Thomson excursions seemed to be aimed at people who enjoyed more active things to do, many of them revolved around snorkelling etc. We did go on a catamaran in Antigua where we were taken to 2 different beaches and enjoyed a wonderful barbequed Lobster lunch. On most of the Islands we found the best way to explore was by using a local taxi driver and asking for an Island tour. This is always cheaper the more passengers there are, sometimes you can share with fellow cruisers. The evening entertainment team worked very hard to provide a different show each night and in the main they were very good. The shows did get a little 'samey' by the second week, as even though they were different, they all consisted of similar song and dance routines. The two comediens that were on during our cruise were very mediocre, especially Maurice Grumbleweed, who wasn't our cup of tea at all. Having said that it's worth a look as we are all different. The itinery of our first week included Matinique and Guadeloupe, these islands are French and only use Euro's as currency. This was not mentioned to us when we booked so we didn't take any with us. No-one we spoke to onboard was aware of this either, consequently the ship ran out of currency quite early in the morning meaning many of us were unable to get euro's to pay for taxis or food ashore. Be careful when leaving on last day as we were assured by reception days before that there was no need to keep your cabin as rooms would be provided to freshen up and change prior to disembarkation. We were provided with a list of about 10 rooms, spread all over the ship for the hundreds of people leaving. We visited all of the listed cabins to find unhappy queues outside every one. We returned to reception to explain only to be told that they were the only rooms available, they were not interested in sorting the out the problem, we even offered to pay as we did not have time to queue but the receptionist was not interested. We had to travel back for some considerable hours without having a shower or being able to properly get changed. Not an ideal situation. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Have been on a few Thomson cruises which we have enjoyed, this was the first time on the Celebration. We had a disabled room , cabin 100, which was a double, we had ordered a twin, so the steward brought us a very low put me up bed which ... Read More
Have been on a few Thomson cruises which we have enjoyed, this was the first time on the Celebration. We had a disabled room , cabin 100, which was a double, we had ordered a twin, so the steward brought us a very low put me up bed which neither of could use so in the end shared the double, the disabled wet room was very good. We enjoyed the food in the Meridian most evenings meeting some lovely people to chat to, however the Lido buffet resembled a factory canteen with not much main course choice. The food in the Lido on formal night was very poor, surely the menu should be the same in both restaurants whether you want to dress up or not.. The entertainment was ok, nowhere near as good as the Dream last Summer, the show team were often out of tune and appeared to struggle. Enjoyed Dubai and Abu Dhabi, not keen on the other stops, Muscat was a no no with many people we spoke to. So all in all, it was ok, could have been better. The staff, as on all Thomsons ships were brilliant but as someone else said, its time this vibrating old ship got replaced. I believe the Discovery is wonderful, so the sooner they get the other Discoveries, the better. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We usually cruise with P & 0 or Royal Carribean. We chose this cruise because it called into Havana. The ship felt dated and needs some attention. The itinerary was changed round and port arrival times changed which meant prebooked ... Read More
We usually cruise with P & 0 or Royal Carribean. We chose this cruise because it called into Havana. The ship felt dated and needs some attention. The itinerary was changed round and port arrival times changed which meant prebooked excursions had to be changed. Freedom Dining was ok and food was ok but have to say the choice from the buffet was limited. Beware there is a charge for safety deposit in you cabin which is ridiculous another way to make money which is wrong of Thomson to do this. Cabin was directly underneath the show theatre and very very noisy, no peace or relaxation at all when in the cabin as practising for the shows all afternoon and then the actual show in the evening till 23:30. Swimming pool on deck 11 needs some attention as damaged. We took the All Inclusive option but not everything included, most cocktails were but if you had one that used Absolute in it instead of Smirnoff then you were charged. Don't know why it's brand specific. Don't think l'll choose Thomson again. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Embarkation in Montego Bay was fairly smooth and without any problems. Once on board the ship we were shown directly to our outside plus cabin on deck six. The cabin was large clean and well maintained. Our cabin steward was a surprise as ... Read More
Embarkation in Montego Bay was fairly smooth and without any problems. Once on board the ship we were shown directly to our outside plus cabin on deck six. The cabin was large clean and well maintained. Our cabin steward was a surprise as he had been our steward on 2 previous cruises. Eating was not a problem - indeed all the eateries served good and plentiful food. The a la carte restaurants are all highly recommended especially Mistrals. The day to day shows, quizzes and live music are of a high quality as are the quiet spots like the library and the card room. Service in general is fine although it can be quite slow in the Medusa Lounge where quite often it is easier to go and get your own drinks. Now the problem - due to weather problems our complete itinerary was reversed meaning we arrived Cozumel 4 days early. This meant there were 9 ships for 8 berths and Thomson being a lot smaller than the multitude of Carnival and Royal Caribbean ships we were the ones to lose out. There was supposedly an attempt to arrange tenders to transfer us to shore but this never happened due to too large a swell at sea - things looked fairly smooth to us - which resulted in an additional day at sea and cancellation of our excursion. Overall this did not spoil our week and yes the ship is a little old but it is spotlessly clean and carries a certain air of regality that is missing in the modern floating behemoths that are the modern cruise liners of today. Don't be put off - Enjoy.................. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
So I like reviews to be short sweet and straight to the point. Here goes we book on a Thompson cruise with a trip on the TUI Discovery. We booked quite late so missed the drinks package. First point of note the day excursions off the ship ... Read More
So I like reviews to be short sweet and straight to the point. Here goes we book on a Thompson cruise with a trip on the TUI Discovery. We booked quite late so missed the drinks package. First point of note the day excursions off the ship sell out fast. We tried to book 2 trips both sold out within the first 2 days. The thai restaurant is a must again places went fast its worth the £20 extra. On sea days sadly the british culture of putting your towel out on a sun bed at daft o clock in the morning is still in evidence . To the credit of Thompson the staff were removing towels that had been on beds for more that 1 hour. Our cabin 3056 was very clean thanks Maria nice size window shower was a little tight but good water pressure. We had a great comfy double bed the cabin had plenty storage space for our clothes. The food was of a good standard with in my opinion a good choice in fresh fruit and hot and cold meals. We went to the self service breakfast buffet each day I must say that set me up for the day. The evening meals were a toss up between the Italian restaurant and the Alacarte restaurant The entertainment was ok as I have watched much better on other Thompsons Ships again this is my opinion. I was a little disappointed at the cost of the Thompson day trips a bike ride was £35 each 2 hour trip to train ride cost us £156.00. Would I use Thompson Holidays again yes would I do this itinerary of islands again No Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Arriving at Montego Bay was by a beautiful low inflight over the water to land at the airport. The paperwork for transit via Jamaica to the ship took some time and the terminal was hot and sweaty - until the coaches showed up and started ... Read More
Arriving at Montego Bay was by a beautiful low inflight over the water to land at the airport. The paperwork for transit via Jamaica to the ship took some time and the terminal was hot and sweaty - until the coaches showed up and started transferring the passengers to the cruise ship. Be sure to bring a pen with you for when you are queuing! We had wondered if it would be possible to go out somewhere to a beach for a couple of hours before going to the ship for its departure at 8pm, but by the time we had arrived after the 10 hour flight we did not have the initial enthusiasm to go anywhere else than the ship! Plus we were unsure how safe it would be to go around the port area/find a beach with our hand luggage in tow... The room was really nice with adequate space for two. It was a little dusty on the surfaces but that was soon sorted out the following day - changeover day is always busy for the hardworking cabin attendants! Cuba was a fantastic stop for us - cruise terminal is right in old town, it takes minutes to disembark the ship and you can walk around freely and safely (but must take out your passport with you) and fill in a visa form. You can exchange money right in the terminal and there is another exchange place just outside the terminal in the big square. There are also the odd ATM that we spotted in the outskirts of old town. We thought we would walk on our own and then find some agency where we could book an American car tour, but that was not really the set up there because as we entered deeper into Havana, there was no sign of tourist agencies that you might think could be there....it seems that if you don't want to book something through Thomson you can probably negotiate for it right outside the terminal be it American car trips, cart and horse, or walking tours. So we walked all the way to Revolution Square, had a trip up the lift to the watch tower with amazing views over Havana - then took a little 3 seater to Hotel Nationale, where we booked tickets for the show Le Parisien. The ships tour also goes there, which includes transport but we decided to do it ourselves with taxis. We got one welcome drink included in the price, but I would say not to eat there.....My personal view of the show was this is was good to hear the music and see some of the costumes but it was not very professionally done, nor did it have much of a story to it ....I would probably recommend that you skip the two costume shows (the other one Tropicana is more expensive) and get tickets for the Bueno Vista Social Club instead....We managed to get a American car tour ourselves by catching a driver that had just dropped off some other passengers - so we got to see a little of the larger Havana area which was nice and by this time we were also tired from all the walking so it was great to see the town in style and rest our feet! Next stop was Cozumel, Mexico. Here we had decided to rent a car ourselves as there is only one road around the island. This was fine - we found a local agency that closed at 7pm (the larger car rental in the cruise terminal closed at 5pm) so we had plenty of time to drive around. We went to Punta Sur, an eco beach and nature reserve right at the tip of the island and had a great day out there...lovely water to swim in and not so many people on the beach...there is a watch tower for birds and crocs, a small Mayan ruin and a light house with amazing views of the area...you can also have al fresco massage there so be sure to bring your dollars! Lots of shops near the terminal area but they had mostly closed by the time we had showered and changed in the evening so make sure you do your shopping early if that is what you are interested in. There is a Starbucks coffee shop nearby with free internet if you purchase something. Grand Cayman Islands: I would recommend the Stingray City tour, we paid 20 dollars for the trip just walking off the ship (cheaper than Thomson) and had a great couple of hours trying to take photos of the stingrays .....buy a water tight pouch before you go (from Amazon) for your telephone and try and take pics under the water, great fun! Snorkelling was included, and although we did not see so much marine life the water was very clear and it was definitely enjoyable to try. Jamaica: We went on ships' tour Bob Marley's tour to Nine Miles. It was a long day with lots of driving but our guide kept everyone entertained. The roads up to the village are quite scary, with large water trucks meeting you at tight bends of the road so you may wish to sit further back in the mini bus and on the left just in case! I am not sure if the day was worth all the driving - but it gave some insight into the island and some of the themes to Bob Marley's song writing. Oh and yes, there was a kitchen with some unusual 'cooking' - should you wish to have a smoke in honour of Bob! Aruba: Great Island to visit - beaches and island tour for 20 dollars.....just walk off the ship and an island tour bus will take you around to the sights and then leave you a couple of hours on a beach of your choice (and pick you up and return you to ship) .....we nearly booked the private atoll island tour with Thomson's and glad we didn't .....we spoke to some people who went to snorkel there and it was very rocky and not so good waters, and we also noticed that it was very close to the ship ....don't let the beautiful pictures of the atoll fool you, do it your own way! St. Martha, Columbia: There are city walking tours available as you disembark the ship for 30 dollars or the nature reserve and beach for 70 dollars per person if you don't fancy to do the ship's tours .... however, we suggest to do it yourself....St. Martha is perfectly safe, you can walk with your map that they give you just outside the terminal and there is a fantastic museum with information translated into English in the Old town and you can also walk and see the cathedral...for a beach you will need a taxi.....Not so many people speaking English, but you can get by with maps and good humour! Much more relaxed atmosphere here than in Cartagena....very warm and humid here, 32 degrees. Cartagena, Columbia: There is a small zoo with some animals as you disembark the ship. Outside the terminal there are plenty of people selling 3 hour city tours - we paid 20 dollars for one - and ended up in a mini bus and guide and a walk around the old city. You can also negotiate a taxi into town. It is a little bit of a distance so walking would not be recommended. I think there was four cruise ships there so the hop on hop off bus was full - you had to take a taxi into town to buy a ticket for it (which seemed to a little silly) .... great shopping here if you go on your own ... more difficult to shop if you are on a tour....very insistent street sellers - good to bring a hat with you... Panama: I did a Panama City tour with the ship' excursion team ...and my friend the Panama Canal tour. We were both not impressed! My city tour was quite long....and not so much to see in Panama City...we walked with 50 people from the bus around the Old Town, and then there was one hour of free shopping ... but we had no maps, some people had not taken much money with them as Colon was not a very safe port of call ... although there was some renovation going on in the old city really not much to see or do...plus never go with such a large crowd for a city tour! And don't walk around on your own in Colon either .... very poor place. The tour guides that we encountered (except for one in Jamaica) could not speak much English nor did they know much about the places we visited .....the quality of the guides could be better....! Entertainment team talented and good selection of shows; band in Medusa Lounge really good ..... we had a really nice holiday and the selection of the cruise stops were really good. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We had a super holiday on the Tui Discovery which we had selected based on the ability to directly fly to Barbados and the itinerary of the islands we visited over the 14 days. I was initially a bit worried that is a 20 year old Royal ... Read More
We had a super holiday on the Tui Discovery which we had selected based on the ability to directly fly to Barbados and the itinerary of the islands we visited over the 14 days. I was initially a bit worried that is a 20 year old Royal Caribbean ship that had been modernised however the ship was really nice, modern and well kept. In fact it was a slightly smaller ship than we have been on previously with other cruise companies which meant it was easier to get around and you didn't have to bother waiting for lifts etc. Another big plus from our perspective with this ship was that the drinks prices were very reasonable indeed (almost UK pub prices) which unlike with other cruise companies you didn't have to pay through the nose for your drinks. This meant we didn't have to go through the rigmarole of trying to smuggle bottles of wine like we have done on our past cruises!! We mainly ate in the 47 Degrees and Gallery 47 (the Italian) restaurant and the quality of the food was on the whole very good. There was however the occasional course for which the portion sizes were either a bit on the small size or not quite up to standard but this was in the minority. We also ate in the Hot Stone restaurant which was very good and one night we ate in Kara Le the Asian restaurant which was excellent. The service in all the restaurants was good with some excellent individuals but there were a few waiters who probably needed some extra training in my opinion. We had a balcony cabin which was really nice and our cabin steward Carlos was absolutely excellent. Although on most of the islands we did our own thing and used local taxis etc we did do a cycle tour of St Kitts, a hike to a waterfall in Grenada and also the farewell to Barbados tour on our last day with Thomson. I thought the cycle tour was a nice idea and we got to try out an e-bike which I must say are absolutely marvelous in providing you with some extra drive when cycling up hill! Finally, in terms of entertainment we went to a few of the Broadway which I must say we enjoyed. All in all I would certainly recommend Thomson and this ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Couldn't fault this cruise at all. The staff, food and entertainment was exceptional. Ok, the ship maybe a little old but all areas were clean and comfortable, as for the reviews about the vibration, this is minimal and not even worth ... Read More
Couldn't fault this cruise at all. The staff, food and entertainment was exceptional. Ok, the ship maybe a little old but all areas were clean and comfortable, as for the reviews about the vibration, this is minimal and not even worth mentioning. We were independent travellers, so our embarkation was very smooth, taking our own luggage directly to our cabin, we didn't take any shore excursions as we just did our own thing, so unable to comment on these. Watched a couple of shows, but we preferred to sit in Hemingway's on an evening and listen to the music in there which again was excellent. Daytime entertainment was good which we joined in with, trivia quizzes, darts etc Captain John, kept the passengers up to date regarding the weather, position and facts regarding ports of call. Some previous reviewers seem to moan for moaning sake, we had a great time. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Given some of the reviews, I was a little nervous of the cruise but once there we had a good relaxing holiday on the Tui Discovery, three of us in a deluxe balcony room, a little small perhaps but cleaned and tidied every day by very ... Read More
Given some of the reviews, I was a little nervous of the cruise but once there we had a good relaxing holiday on the Tui Discovery, three of us in a deluxe balcony room, a little small perhaps but cleaned and tidied every day by very polite hard working staff. The ship Busy, especially the pool area, some quiet areas at the rear, putting green was fun, the deck chairs were past their best but ok, worth picking up some towel clips, night time movies ok, if you stand still for a while someone will clean you! There are photographers around every night and you can get a private session (they are very good), and the cost is not bad but be aware of the holiday spirit and an average price is still a fair few pounds. It s worth noting that the all inclusive lasts until you leave the ship, so no nasty bar bills at the end of your trip, also you can book out a towel on the last day and store your hand luggage so no need to carry around bulky items. The food We dined in Gallery 47 each night with breakfast and lunch in the Islands restaurant, always found something on the menu to have, again looked after by friendly staff. Unlike some we never had to wait more than a few minutes but we timed it well, not at peak times, late night the Glass house is worth stopping at for a burger or curry, so if you don't like what's on offer wait an hour or so and there will be something different to eat. The drinks We had the standard Inclusive drinks package and we found this to be more than adequate a good range of known brands not local equivalent ones, they did try to sell us the enhanced package but we saw no advantage. The service was good at the bar and from the rooming waiter and waitresses. The water was terrible, so where we could we would get coke and lemonade from the mini bars as they were from bottles, plus we carried on in luggage 6 ltrs of water (heavy case but at least room for duty free on the way home.) Entertainment Something for everyone, the shows were good, given that they do 10 different in 14 days, the musicians were also very good although they did tend to do the same set over and over again in different locations, the virtual band was rubbish. Shore Excursions This one is a mixed bag, the technology is good and you can book a shore excursion quickly and efficiently, but you can get the same package cheaper on shore, but be clear what you are paying for. Although always polite to us, the destinations desk could be better in a number of ways, such as it would be useful if they went on a some of the excursions as some did not do justice to people or islands as we passed through run down villages and piles or industrial rubbish. Swimming with dolphins in Curacao however was the best trip ever. Other Top tips Bring some bubble wrap, a drink bottle, a small funnel and an elastic band with you. Fill the bottle with ice from the ship and a drink, wrap the bottle with bubble wrap and a hand towel from the room, secure with the elastic and that should stay cool for 4 hours or more, at the end of the trip use the bubble wrap to protect your fragile items in your luggage. There are no laundry facilities other than room service, so for the odd item of washing bring a little powder and a few pegs. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
This was our second time cruising and we were celebrating my 60th birthday and our silver wedding anniversary. We flew from Manchester to Malaga and once boarded, we decided to stay and explore the ship and rest up. The ship was very ... Read More
This was our second time cruising and we were celebrating my 60th birthday and our silver wedding anniversary. We flew from Manchester to Malaga and once boarded, we decided to stay and explore the ship and rest up. The ship was very clean, our cabins were cleaned twice daily by very friendly cabin staff who made us feel like it was home from home. The food was plentiful and delicious (I'm sure I gained weight) and we made lots of friends. As part of our celebrations, we were invited to dine at the captains table with other guests, a most enjoyable occasion. We paid extra for a photo shoot, a celebration package, which included flowers, Champaign, basket of fruit and of course a cake. A truly memorable occasion I highly recommend the spa treatment, it was fantastic. Everyone on board made you feel special, however, having requested an outside cabin with a queen size bed, we in fact got two single beds at opposite side of the cabin. We are now taking this up with the travel agency who made the booking. in spite of this, we enjoyed our cruise. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
I chose this cruise for its itinerary. Venice was wonderful and the Adriatic ports were oh so beautiful. The ship itself was old and dated and through the day the public lounges were SO cold. To the point of wearing a jacket! When ... Read More
I chose this cruise for its itinerary. Venice was wonderful and the Adriatic ports were oh so beautiful. The ship itself was old and dated and through the day the public lounges were SO cold. To the point of wearing a jacket! When asking at reception (which was a very ambient temp. I was told it was cold to compensate for people's body heat. That's would be ok when the lounges were full on an evening but empty through the day. We had an outside plus cabin on deck 5 it was adequate for the needs of 3 adults. We ate in the MDR on an evening. We did notice that the Filipino crew that we had on previous Thomson cruises appears to have been take over by Eastern European s. Not half as friendly as the Filipino s. To the extent that quite of them were quite surly. Indeed a fair number of the Filipino s left the ship in Dubrovnik at the end of their contracts. I have to agree with previous reviewer the service was definitely not so good. We also had to ask for a Wine waiter. Until we sat at the back end of the restaurant near the galley and encountered the lovely Roxanne. Wine waiter extrodinaire. Three nights running she new not only our order but also our room number. The food served in there was faultless good and varied. The entertainment team were fairly new to the ship so need to "gell together" but a good experience was had most nights. A special mention goes to Lewis a member of the entertainment team who had only joined the ship that week. He made my week with his tales of his home life. So camp but so funny (I'm sure he won't mind my discription of him) We only went on the half day Gondolas and St. Marks square tour. Worth every penny for the experience. The service generally was very slow and as previously stated the Eastern European s were surly. Don't be fooled by the all inclusive drinks packages. The drinks are of a very poor quality. MOH only drinks Gordon's gin and sent his drinks back on numerous occasions. Even the Gordon's was a very poor standard and could not possibly be the same strength we have in UK. If you travel with children please be aware that if you order them "Mocktails They occasionally don't listen and serve alcoholic cocktails instead. This has the potential to be dangerous. My son is adult but not allowed to drink luckily on each occasion we were able to spot the difference and stopped him drinking it. We also noticed the gala parade night is no more so yet another example of standards slipping. Disembarkation in Corfu was an absolute shambles. An hour and a half standing in a queue outside or Corfu airport then queues queues and more queues. Get your act together Thomson's. Not sure now if I will cruise again with Thomson but definitely won't be on the Dream. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Back to Back cruise on Thomson Discovery 13th to the 27th of May 2017 The Tui flight to Palma went ok and we were on the ship by early afternoon, although we had the hassle of reclaiming our bags at the airport and dragging them to the ... Read More
Back to Back cruise on Thomson Discovery 13th to the 27th of May 2017 The Tui flight to Palma went ok and we were on the ship by early afternoon, although we had the hassle of reclaiming our bags at the airport and dragging them to the coach which nowadays we are not used to. The outside cabin on Discovery was nice and storage space was good enough and the cabin was kept ship shape by two very efficient stewards, the shower was corner shaped with a curtain which jumped on you and the sink was a basin type being small round and deeply dished so if you turned the water full on it splashed you and wet the unit through, unbelievably I have never seen such thin and poor quality toilet paper on a ship, surely this must be false economy as three times more than normal had to be used. Discovery is a cold ship with drafts from the prom deck adding to the air conditioning as the doors to the prom deck were not the traditional heavy wood ships doors but two opposing sliding glass panels which both opened completely as would a town centre shop, letting the wind whistle through and it is plain to see that this ship was built for hotter parts of the world than the Med in May. Deck space is plentiful if grubby at the rear of the ship due to spilled drinks and soot specks on the deck that left dirty streaks on deck which I never saw mopped up, or the soot on the after deck sun loungers which were neither cleaned off, and while sun loungers are plentiful on the ship most have seen better days, unfortunately one big fault appears which is most annoying as no chairs are provided on the sun deck for those who have difficulty in getting on and off a sun bed and if you needed a chair it had to be pinched from the deck bar area which is not an ideal solution, and again there were also no chairs on the prom deck which again is a pretty bad and annoying oversight. The all inclusive drinks package cannot be bettered anywhere, and I guess that this is the reason that most passengers booked with Thomson and as drinks are a big part of the budget its a great saver. The bar waiter service on deck was great being constant throughout the day but the plastic drinking vessels are most off putting and they look filthy, possibly the denaturing of the plastic but I am sure any discerning cruise line would not serve drinks to respected customers in such vessels. Many of the plastic drinking vessels cups and plates etc were never collected at sundown, and were in evidence in some parts of the ship the morning after, so the ship is a bit sloppily run by higher management. Discovery is also a ship of music, in the main restaurant and Atrium there are tuneless automatic pianos aimlessly tinkering away by themselves, or pop music when they are not playing. There is live music on deck in the afternoon for those who like deck entertainment, but at all other times there is incessant piped pop music in every part of the ship, even in the restaurants while eating, and heavy metal music at breakfast is not my thing, there is not a quiet lounge in the ship where passengers can sit quietly with a drink and talk to each other, or to just sit quietly, so wherever you go there is non stop background pop music. Food on Discovery was very average but most of the Destiny passengers seemed to appreciate it from the person who started eating by pushing a full sausage into his mouth and then dropping his chin to within 3 inches of his plate and without using a knife shovelled in the rest with just a fork, to the people who held their knives and forks as would a four year old, fine dinning it is not, but I guess on this cruise most passengers didn’t care as long as the food did not run out. On this ship there does not seem to be a formal night or Captain’s dinner, but a “Dress to impress” night, and indeed I was not impressed, Thomson have dropped smart dress, to casual, which has morphed into scruffy as T shirts and jeans with canvas type shoes seem to be the standard, or anything which showed off the tattoos, on the first dress to impress night I wore evening dress which was a mistake, as unfortunately there really was no point, and I never wore a jacket again, I also noticed that many people wore the same clothes for days and one chap wore a somewhat grubby flat cap morning and evening throughout the cruise, although during the second week in the evening just a few jackets were in evidence although the majority were still people who wore jeans or shorts and T Shirt with pumps around the ship. The Main Restaurant had an abundance of staff but the service was the worst I have ever seen on a ship in 30 years of cruising, after being escorted to a table and being given a menu the average time before the starter came was 40 minutes, with the whole three courses taking over an hour and a half and once two hours, we always arrived at the restaurant before 7pm and never left before the first show started at 8:30pm. I was not the only passenger to see that the dining format did not work, and while again the food in the main dining room was not fine dining it was acceptable and always nicely presented it was however never hot, and on two occasions my fish was wet and underdone, then one night we were told after ordering that for some reason? the steak could only be served very well done, (why) so we all cancelled the steak. There were two other bookable restaurants which were at both ends of the dismally and dimly lit Disco Bar 11 and as both were open to the incessant pop music, or the nightly disco music played in the bar 11 any intimate restaurant ambiance was also unachievable. Due to the terribly slow dinning we saw most ships shows at the second nightly performance and the shows in our view were quite poor, the singers were not very good and they had to sing over music which was far too loud straining their voices, and some productions were sort of acting and singing like their take of West Side Story, which they murdered. The guest artists were entertaining being a Yorkshire comedian who was very good, although unfortunately the comedian for the second weeks cruise was again very average, no I'v changed my mine he was poor, there were also two lady singers who were very good but many people got up and sneaked out, not their cup of tea, or possibly a little too sophisticated for this clientele, and after the show the bubbling and gushing cruise director never failed to impress upon us how great they all were, in just case we forgot. The ship's bars were in general dimly lit, with live entertainment in one of them which was a very popular venue, and of course the incessant piped pop music in the other bar lounge areas, although the barmen and bar waiter service was always very good. So to sum up, the cruise ports were very good, as were the ships tours we had booked, although our stay in Naples was cut shorter than stated in my published itinerary and as such we could not risk doing our usual trip around the bay by train to Sorrento and back, which was a lot more than irksome. Thomson have vastly dropped standards for this ship, and for certain Thomson are now targeting the ship at newbies, the first time cruises, a younger clientele and at families, as we were informed that there were 200 children due to board the day we disembarked, in preference to seasoned cruisers who demand better standards than this ship or Thomson TUi are willing to provide. We booked this cruise on the strength of having done 4 previous Thomson cruises, the last one to the Caribbean which was very good, and now it does make me wonder if Thomson have dropped standards throughout the whole fleet in order to target another market, so would we sail on Discovery again? Well its cruising Mr Spock, but not as we know it, so that’s a NO. This review is my own view of this cruise, other reviews may differ Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was our first cruise and we chose it for the itinerary it covered and also the short duration. This cruise is not bad value for the money you have paid especially if you have the free drinks package included. The food choice is good ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we chose it for the itinerary it covered and also the short duration. This cruise is not bad value for the money you have paid especially if you have the free drinks package included. The food choice is good in the Orion restaurant but the Lido is very fast food based. The Entertainment is mediocre and holiday campish. The swimming pools are average size but they are not very clean and although it was forbidden children in nappies were in the pool. service in the restaurant is slow and its frowned upon not to want to sit with other passengers. The tours are value for money and informative if not a little rushed at time. Quality of breakfast in the Orion restaurant is a bit hit and miss with quality tip for travellers dont have the kippers. We did opt for the extra priced steaks one night and they were very good. The gala night dinner is a bit if a farce they sit you in the Broadway lounge for 3/4 hour with a glass of sparkly wine and some if the head crew talk as well as the captain. The dinner after I have to say was the worse food ever. Maybe as we ooted for the second sitting the food had been on warmers for too long. I would not go on another Thomson cruise again Read Less
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