Thomson Celebration Cruise Ship

, Thomson Cruises
Thomson Celebration Cruise Ship
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"As virgin cruisers and a family below 45 years of age, we were unsure of what would await us. We were amazed, the shows we knew wouldn't be for us, but the service, cleanliness and hospitality was amazing. Horizons bar was us to a tee, great entertainment by Roxy, great service by Siti and Raine. We have booked again for the summer, but the mes for 7 days, and planning to return to the Islands winter 2015."

  • Holiday details: Dec 2014, booked with Thomson
  • Advice: Do your research on the islands, what you want to do off ship etc
  • Good For: Beach
by Jacqui H
10 / 10

4 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Thomson Majesty not good.

"What can I say not impressed at all,with the ship and the entertainment was not good.

The entertainment was just Thomson own singing and dancing team, to say it was an Xmas cruise not much going on.the ship was clean and food was good.but enjoyed Island Escape better,which I didn't think I would say.Been on Royal Caribbean Independence of the sea sit was FAB.GOING To try PO in May see what they are like.

  • Holiday details: Dec 2014
by Denise S
1 / 10

Did you find this review helpful? Yes

no good for 14 day cruisers

"We like this ship.but the last trip we done we found 7 days is fine.but if you did 14 days they started to show the same shows they did in the first week."

  • Holiday details: Jun 2014
  • Advice: make sure you will see a different show every night.
by vovager
6 / 10

1 reader found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Just awful

"Never set foot on a Thomson cruise ship again.

This was my first ever cruise and will no doubt be the last.

Liner old, grotty, smelly, cramped.

Food was in fairness of a fair standard and the staff excellent ( not the ones dressed in white uniforms, passengers just seemed to be a nuisance )

Entertainment, bless they tried , but was all directed towards the old age population.

I didn't really know what to expect but the other passengers where crass, rude, uncouth and drink Pikeys.

It really was like a weather spoons on a grotty high street in some grotty town, all that was missing was a kebab shop.

Never ever again will I waste in excess of 5k for 2 on this joke.

Very bitter, much poorer and put of crushing for life.

  • Holiday details: Dec 2014, Booked Independently
  • Advice: Don't, bring febreeze and a stun gun
by Homme
3 / 10

8 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

First cruise-lots of positives

"I booked this first time Caribbean cruise with five weeks to spare. It sailed from Malaga over to Antigua. This took six days at sea..which i found slightly rocky but did not suffer any sea sickness. The food was magnificent and the staff the same. Neckson and Justin in particular in the Lido restaurant. The cabins were as expected small but practical. They are checked twice a day by cabin staff. This can feel intrusive at times, however nice to get a fresh towel and the bed made.

The Meridian restaurant is nice, but can take an age to get served if you are very hungry.

The entertainment was there if you like that sort of thing. I am 30 plus so I can't say I enjoy Neil Diamond tribute acts nor the resident band 'The Peakles'.

The acts on board are at aimed at the older crowd (60 and 70 upwards) It must be hard to cater for everyone, however, I think a bit of an up to date choice in song occasionally wouldn't go a miss. The reps were great. Gavin the cruise director is a natural entertainer. One criticism though, he favored certain guests and they would get a mention or a meal invite. Probably they were the 'big spenders' on board. Bit distasteful to others though. The islands were fantastic and the crew amazing. The Captain was down to earth and re-assuring. I enjoyed the cruise, the entertainment was a let down though if I am honest. They really tried, but please think of the 30/40 year old that might not like tribute acts. Stevie Jay Johnson needs to go, as do The Peakles. Roxy was better, but her tracks were very repetitive. You knew what she would sing before she did in the end.

  • Holiday details: Nov 2014
  • Advice: Take a good book or three
  • Good For: Beach
by nickyabra
8 / 10

4 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Changed our Black Sea cruise

"We were going to go to the Black Sea in October, but due to the problems in the Ukraine and the fact that the ports we wanted to visit were no longer available, we decided to change our cruise to the Western Med. Like others, who have posted here, we booked over a year ago and paid premium rates. We were told that we wouldn't get a refund but could use the money for extras on the new cruise, meaning we had £1800 to spend. We used it for extras that we would never normally buy - including the full price drinks package - which is definitely not good value for money, unless you're heading towards being an alcoholic!!

The cabin steward we had was pleasant, efficient and thorough and our cabin was spotlessly clean.

  • Holiday details: Oct 2014, booked with Thomson
  • Advice: Try the three restaurants - there's something for everyone. There's good entertainment as well.
by Spangles48
7 / 10

1 reader found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Greedy and indifferent Thomson management

"We have just returned from the Thomson Black Sea cruise on the Thomson Celebration that should have visited three ports in the Ukraine – these unfortunately were cancelled owing to the current instability in that region. The alternative ports in Bulgaria, Romania, and Georgia were not to the same standard or appeal and Thomson suffered huge losses in revenue and prestige as a result of their decision to go ahead with the cruise rather than cancel completely (as the Costa line did). This was a PR disaster for Thomson as many passengers booked early believing they would be visiting the Ukraine’s prestige ports of Odessa, Sebastopol, and Crimea and the average price per person was circa £2000. Two weeks after the payment deadline (when the holiday had to be paid in full), Thomson slashed the advertised price to less than half and it dropped to £700 per person at one stage. The internet forums were white hot as disgruntled paid-up passengers argued that the three changes in port amounted to a major change in contract and, consequently, should have resulted in a full refund without penalty. Thomson argued that it wasn’t a major change and suggested that the only way to contest this was to take it through the courts. How very cynical of this Company who forever states that their primary purpose is to listen to what their customer’s have to say; what a load of tosh!!!

It’s a standing joke that British passengers on cruises tend to discuss the price they paid at some stage. We have to say that this subject came up during many, many evening meals in the Meridian Restaurant where diners tend to share tables and meet new fellow passengers each meal. Some seethed at the top prices they paid without refund while others took pride in how little they actually paid. We got the impression from such exchanges that most of the passengers booked during the last ten weeks of sale at a considerably reduced fare.

As for the actual cruise, we enjoyed the ship and the ports and some of the excursions that, surprisingly, were good value for money and would have been hard to beat if you chose to use alternative local transports. This is where good planning came into play.

The downside of the 15-day cruise was the Novo Virus that could not be eradicated from the ship. It affected all decks at some time or another and the dreaded sterilization trolley with the hazard bags and the masked crews who fumigated each affected cabin was a constant reminder of the virus striking down yet another unfortunate passenger.

The ship did try very hard to control the outbreak but were unsuccessful. Passengers who did not contract the virus were still considerably disrupted by the sterilization controls in place, for example the self-service buffets were no longer self service and it was like school dinners all over again. Scores of crew were recruited into ladling out each dish and many didn’t know the meaning of “no” or “just a little” so your plate rarely resembled what you intended to eat. The whole process at mealtimes was slower and queues were longer and food not as hot; it was not a happy ship for many passengers.

The Thomson Celebration has a good library – but not on this cruise! The virus closed the library for the full 15 days. The daily quiz sheets and Ship newspaper could only be obtained on request at the reception desk and were not generally circulated as on previous cruises – yet another virus prevention decision.

Would we travel on Thomson Celebration again (this was our third visit)? Yes – but never again would be book long-term, in future it will be last minute at the lowest price we can get! We are not alone in this policy for future holidays, it was said many times by many passengers and for this Thomson should really hang their heads in shame. Their greed to try and turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse failed terribly and they have lost a lot of customers because of their intransigent stance.

  • Holiday details: Oct 2014, booked with David Urquhart Travel
  • Advice: book last minute
by Mike M
5 / 10

8 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Caunos Gulet cruise turkey

"Terrible! Felt like I was kept a prisoner on this boat despite the itinerary stating we would get off to visit ancient ruins, picnic in the hills and visit mud baths? We did not get the opportunity to do any of these. We eventually got off the boat midweek for a 3 hour stop at Gocek which was the only stop in a whole week !! The trip was boring the only highlight being swimming. The boat never sailed very far just criss crossing from one bay to another and they all looked the same apart from the one where we were staring at a pile of rubbish for 24 hours. Complained to Thomson on my return but they have ignored me."

by Gina S
1 / 10

5 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Caunos cruise turkey

"Terrible! Felt like I was kept a prisoner on this boat despite the itinerary stating we would get off to visit ancient ruins, picnic in the hills and visit mud baths? We did not get the opportunity to do any of these. We eventually got off the boat midweek for a 3 hour stop at Gocek which was the only stop in a whole week !! The trip was boring the only highlight being swimming. The boat never sailed very far just criss crossing from one bay to another and they all looked the same apart from the one where we were staring at a pile of rubbish for 24 hours. Complained to Thomson on my return but they have ignored me."

by Gina S
1 / 10

2 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Ancient Wonders & Black Sea Explorer May 2014 on the Celebration -

"I agree with so many of the critical comments already posted about this ship, cruise and company. If I could score it nil I would.

This is the direst of organisations that actually don’t care about any negative comments you may wish to make and have no intention of ever taking any criticism on board as they consider themselves above any form of criticism whatsoever.

I wrote to them with my concerns and sent an email with a copy of the letter attached, which they denied receiving, in June. After many more letters, emails and phone calls they finally gave me an answer on 12 September, which surpasses their ‘we’ll investigate your complaints and reply within 28 days’. I have received nothing in compensation as, and I quote from Ms Jessica Lancaster's reply,

‘ it is difficult for us to comment on individual tastes or opinions’.

My complaints are too numerous to list here but were mostly around the appalling quality of the food; poached egg at breakfast that swam in water, all chips were frozen ones (the Maître D confessed this) , bacon that always had congealed fat/salt residue on it, but the Pièce de Résistance, a mixed grill that came with grilled tomato and fried egg with gravy poured all over it!

Yes you can hear next door stir a cup of tea, they do charge for safes, there was no fridge in our outside cabin (this on a ship that had recently been refurbished) , no shower gel in the cabin, the air conditioning was always going wrong so public areas were freezing on occasion, the adult pool is extremely small so no you cannot swim anything but one stroke in it, it took about 2 hours on the Captain’s Cocktail Party night to get through the queue and I declined to be photographed for the third time, once through we had one glass of Prosecco and no cocktail snacks. Afternoon tea is served in the self-service restaurant, so help yourself to your mug of tea from the geyser and drink it along with your supermarket ‘value’ type scones on your Formica top table, please don’t expect a table cloth or even a pot of tea. The only alternative restaurants all charge. If we had eaten in Mistral’s each night it would have added approximately £700 to our holiday.

I am appalled at the abysmal level of customer service this company has and the cavalier attitude in which they deal with complaints. I feel I may as well have dug a large hole and thrown £3500 in it.

My advice? Don’t go with Thomson ever and don’t set foot on The Celebration. If you have a complaint do write to Ms Lancaster or better still Mr Peter Long CEO, as I did, it was the only thing that eventually got a response.

  • Holiday details: May 2014, Booked Independently
  • Advice: Avoid going on it.
by Miss Treated
1 / 10

6 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Celebration - Ancient Wonders & Black Sea Explorer May 2014

"I will be brief- mediocre and poorly prepared food – noisy cabins where you can hear your neighbors stirring a cup of tea –nowhere enough deck loungers – an adult swimming pool too small to swim in– chronic shortage of seating in public areas when there is bad weather (people sitting on the floor)-no courtesy buses from the ship to dock gates (let alone town centers) - napkin folding, teeth whitening and fruit carving considered as entertainment- and a customer service department that are rubbish and do not give a damn.

I enjoyed most of the ports of call and the excursions were well organized, but the ship was truly awful.

My advice is never ever go on a Thompson’s cruise – I will never use the company again.

  • Holiday details: May 2014, Booked Independently
  • Advice: Book a cruise with another company
by Short Changed
1 / 10

8 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Get any promises in writing before you book

"I will review the ship after leaving a warning for anyone who is considering booking anything with Thomson holidays. If they make any promises, get it in writing and take it on your cruise with you. We specifically requested a double bed and were assured by the Thomson shop at Bolton that this had been done. On embarking the ship we were shown to our cabin and we had two single beds. We went to reception who simply said that if we didn't have it in writing we could not swap. There were dozens of other couples in the same position. Prior to the cruise, information was hard to come by unless they were trying to sell something like sitting with your wife on the plane, £38, choosing a cabin £42 etc etc. When we arrived at the airport in Dalaman there were no reps in the terminal and we had to hunt them down to find our coach for the 90 minute journey. At this point people were leaving the coach to find a toilet. Some advice up front would have been helpful. On completing the embarkation process we were told that a safe would cost £15 for one week ( free on the other 5 cruise lines we have been on). To compound this it was an electronic key system so you had to carry the key around with you. Loss of the key results in a fine of £40.

They also charged £7.50 if people wanted to sit in the front row of the shows.

The ship was clean and tidy but would benefit from more color because it's very drab looking. Water colors around the ship and in the cabins would be good.

There was no sanitizer near the outside hot drinks stations and the bins for the toilets were inside so after washing your hands and disposing of your paper towel you then had to touch the door handle with your bare hands. Little wonder there was an outbreak of GastroI ntestinal illness during the week.

The staff were fantastic and the service in general very good. Drinks were priced reasonably other than fizzy soft drinks which were £1.80 for a small can.

There is no fridge in the cabin which isn't very helpful but there is sky news and sky sports news if you like to be kept informed of events at home.

The food was at least as good as any other ship we have been on in over 40 weeks of cruising and better than most and the entertainment was excellent. The show team put on some great performances and their were some great duos and a five piece band.

The deputy cruise director was quite good but he seemed to play a lot on innuendo against gays often passing comment about his fellow crew members. I wasn't offended by it but it was a little tiresome. However I'm amazed that Thomson allow this in this day and age.

The tips are paid up front so you don't have a choice but very disturbingly they also add a tip to everything you buy on board and you have no choice in this either. I asked reception what percentage was added and they refused to tell me. I am not American and we weren't in America so I'd like a choice of who and when I tip. Just to make this point clear, I have no problem with tipping the cabin steward and waiters etc and often give more, however I resent paying extra for everything I buy and this is the reason I chose an English ship.

At least the Americans are up front when they add 15% to everything

I hope this helps because despite the excellent food, entertainment and staff, many people were disappointed with the negative points outlined in this review.

  • Holiday details: Sep 2014, booked with Thomson
  • Advice: Get any promises when booking in writing otherwise you've no chance
by Dook
7 / 10

7 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

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Average rating

7.5 / 10
(499 reviews)
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Ratings summary


Rating by feature

Room: 7/10
Service: 8/10
Food: 8/10
Value: 6.5/10
Cleanliness: 7.5/10
Location: 7/10

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