Thomson Celebration Cruise Ship, Thomson Cruises
"Having browsed the reports of other travelers and with sufficient passage of time to allow for objectivity, I feel inclined to add to the comments, as follows: - My wife and I booked our 3rd cruise (with added stay) on the Celebration in June 2013. I would concur with some other cruisers that standards on the Celebration have indeed slipped. We could not get a table for two in the Meridian restaurant, despite - on one occasion - there being only one other couple present. Our eventual insistence on having a table for two led to some unpleasantness and resentment. We also noticed a great change in the attitude of staff in other areas - in Hemingway's' we were told we had to sit down before we could be served - despite the absence of available seating. In Horizons, we were served wrong drinks which were not replaced. Our cabin was not cleaned to the standard of previous cruises. Sun loungers were impossible to obtain - the majority occupied by those who appeared to spend every day on the boat. Not a very big issue with us as we cruise for the opportunity to see the different ports of call. We raised these issues on board and articulated them in writing on return to Thomson, but were - eventually - informed that customer feedback was positive i.e. no one else complained! Our "stay" which I will not elaborate on, was worse. This was also reported to Thomson. Our holiday overall cost us approx £3,000 - they offered a "without prejudice" £70 off our next holiday - which we returned to them. We have not booked with Thomson since."
- Holiday details: Jun 2013, booked with Thomson
- Advice: Take the trips
1 reader found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"We have just returned from what we can only describe as a truly fantastic holiday aboard the Thomson Celebration for the Black Sea Explorer. This was our first cruise experience and we had a wonderful time. Our cabin was half inside on deck 2, which meant we had a porthole window. The room was very clean, comfortable and plenty of storage space. Our cabin attendant was very efficient and attended to our room twice a day, something we have never experienced when staying in hotels. Fresh towels were provided whenever we needed them, our bed was turned down each evening with a complimentary chocolate left on the pillow. So Puto our cabin attendant gets 10/10 from us, as do the rest of the crew. For the entire stay we were made to feel very special, the crew are so polite and work incredibly hard to ensure that guests have a great time. They really are amazing. The entertainment team are equally impressive, they also work very hard providing entertainment throughout the day. The Broadway show in the evening was exceptional, with a different show every night. I have seen numerous professional shows and the on board shows were equally impressive. There are plenty of food options on board and we felt they catered for most tastes, the restaurant and bar staff can't do enough to help you and the food was always very good. We were able to get sunbeds whenever we wanted one, you never have to go to the bar as the crew attend to you, politely referring to you as Sir & Madam when they do so. Every moment spent on board was an enjoyable one. The only negatives relate to going ashore and the transfer to the ship. On arrival at Dalamen a coach took us to Marmaris, a 2 hour transfer. There was no air conditioning and it was extremely hot with no comfort break on route, the driver did stop to hose the coach to cool the engine, whilst we baked inside. The ship docked in Bourgas, Bulgaria. The port was a dock yard surrounded by cranes and freight ships, far from picturesque, we went ashore and from the moment we stepped off the bus we found the whole place dreary and depressing. It is very run down with absolutely nothing to see bar normal shops, its scruffy with people begging and pestering you for money. We walked through the park which was nice enough and there is a beach in Buton the whole its not what we would consider a suitable stop for a holiday cruise, Thomson, please take note, give it a miss in future. We also went on excursions in Istanbul and Romania which we really enjoyed, the tour guides knowledge greatly contributed to this. Constanta is also very run down in parts but we enjoyed the trip to the wine tasting and folk dancing. Overall we had a great holiday and would certainly go back on the Celebration."
- Holiday details: Jul 2014
- Advice: dont go ashore at Bourgas, its rubbish
9 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Our first time aboard Celebration was wonderful, the 2nd time we noticed standards were slipping, this 3rd time will be our last on board this ship & our last holiday with Thomson.
Our first night on board was marred by a head waiter who told us we couldn't have a table for two, we had to share a table. It was 9.30pm, the restaurant was half empty and there were many tables for two available. So Rolando.... you get a big thumbs down from us for trying to ruin our first night.
In our cabin was a fridge & mini bar containing bottles of beer.... but no bottle opener. We rang reception who said they would sent someone from house keeping. They arrived to ask what we wanted then off they went. 10 minutes later he arrived back with a cork screw..... i explained I needed a bottle opener not a corkscrew, he said they didn't have one.... so why put bottles of beer in the mini bar ?
The next day we were very hot and the AC didn't seem to be working, we reported it to the cabin boy who told us we hadn't set the AC properly.... no change when he 'set' it. We also noticed the fridge wasn't cold & reported that to him too.
The next day AC still not working also fridge still not working, we reported it at reception. After our day ashore we returned to a stifling hot cabin, we reported it again. We left to have our evening meal. On our return the fridge had been removed but not replaced. The cabin again far too hot. I was now very angry. Having had to sleep with the balcony door open for 2 nights so we had some air to breathe and try to cool the cabin down, I had been bitten by mosquitoes. The curtains blew about too much to have them drawn, so had to be fastened back which meant the room was fully illuminated by the lights on the deck below, it was like trying to sleep in a disco. I contacted reception again & a fridge was brought to us ( we had an early start the next day and wanted to have an early night)but it was now quarter to one in the morning. We were told to check the fridge in an hour to see if it was working..... The AC was still not working. Reception told us they would sort it out while we were out on our trip. On our return we had another fridge.... No.3 which was working hooray, but NOTHING had been done about the AC. This time I went in person & demanded to see the head receptionist. She wasn't on duty for another hour & I was told to wait in my cabin..... my answer was it was too hot to wait in it. The head receptionist didn't contact me or call to see me. This time I was furious and demanded to see her superior and also I learned missing from reception until I had seen her. She usually arrived and I received my fourth explanation about why it wasn't working. I told her she needed to get her story straight as I had already been told that all the AC was having problems from day two, that it was just us, an isolated incident, that it was just a couple if cabins on the top floor and that it happens when the ship is in port..... lies, lies and more lies. They took the temperature and said it was 22degrees as it came out of the AC unit and 29 degrees on the bed, but when we were absent it was 16 degrees..... we bought our own thermometer which showed it never dropped below 27degrees.
We were in cabin 021, we paid a huge amount to have a balcony and it certainly wasn't worth it. There is no shade from the sun above the balcony, which means without AC we had ti have the curtains closed all day. With the sliding door open we became the side show. People on the deck above leaning over & staring at us, we also had a drink split down on us, a hat blown down on us and someone smoking above us & ash blowing all over us.
We received £400 in compensation while on board but unless you complain to someone who can actually get something done about it you are wasting your time. We were not the only ones complaining about the AC but I was persistent and refused to go away and also I was very vocal refusing to be quietly sat down away from reception where others couldn't hear.
in the last 4 years we have been on 5 Thomson cruises and each time they have gotten worse. The standards have slipped and now I wouldn't go on another if they paid me too. It was nothing but hassle and aggravation"
- Holiday details: Jul 2014, Booked Independently
- Advice: dont bother
10 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"We where a Party of 5 females traveling on the celebration cruise...,!!!
The 2 pools one was mostly where the kids went, the other was the size of a postage stamp( salt water) which was not stated, the tiles round the pool where falling of with a lot missing.
The food was bland...! Totally tasteless
The mattresses where old and filthy
The entertainment wasn't great.
Most of all one member of staff stole my sisters iPhone .....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The staff member photo a photo of himself on an app called what's up... This is how we caught him
On return from our cruise I contacted Thomson and was informed I would have to write an email, confirming this, I wrote to them with my complaint about the ship and the phone. After a few weeks I contacted them, there response was the had 28 days( only as a guide line) I informed them this wasn't good enough, I then received a call from the complaints department, we are sorry to here you didn't enjoy you cruise, however I have been on this cruise and found it satisfactory.
So basically it fell on deaf ears. What a joke. I then asked about the phone and thief????
There response was can you tell us again what happened.... Really Thomson
I've sent you numinous emails and photographic evidence
A few days ago the got in touch via phone call
We have found your phone in the cabin members cabin, and he's being spoken with, as a good will gesture we would like to give you £50 voucher, and your phone will be returned when a member of Thomson staff go on board which could be several weeks...
We feel as if it's a very matter of fact that the phone was stolen.
It's a criminal offense and should have been dealt with more professional in our opinion
We will never travel with Thomson again.....!!!!"
- Holiday details: May 2014, booked with Thomson
3 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"We have cruised Thomson many times in the past though never cruised for years till March this year on the Celebration, we hadn't been on this ship. I have to say that apart from the entertainment which we thoroughly enjoyed, and the entertainers worked extremely hard, we were disappointed with most other things, our outside cabin had a tiny porthole with the window set right back, we looked out onto a harbor wall most of the time, just the luck of the draw it seems. We found the standards in the Lido restaurant had dropped, I couldn't get a sun lounger after trying lots of areas, people just reserved them with towels for hours on end. Dining areas weren't as clean as you would expect either. On the special night the service was a bit rushed. On returning home I found that two expensive items of cosmetics were missing, it was a short while after returning when I came to need them I realised this. I had read on a forum that someone had mentioned to be careful on the last night with your packing as they had things taken, too late was the cry"
- Holiday details: Mar 2014
- Advice: Choose another ship
2 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Having returned from the Celebration, I can honestly say that I never had one criticism. Service was outstanding, room was spacious and very clean, food was delicious and the kids club staff (Lysette and Hayley) we're absolutely outstanding and went above and beyond my expectation. I will definitely be returning aboard the Thomson Celebration ship."
- Holiday details: Jun 2014, Booked Independently
- Good For: Beach
5 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Our first Thomson holiday and lovely cruise. Excellent cabin on Deck 7, wonderful food and very good friendly staff. We loved it. Would travel on Celebration again. Just one negative and I would really like to know if anyone else has had the same problem. The highlight for us was to visit Jerusalem and Bethlehem. I posted a number of post cards of these important places back on the ship at reception and was told that they would be given to an agent to be posted in Ashdod before the ship left. I paid the full airmail rate for each card to UK and Thailand, attached airmail stickers and clear addresses. A month later and none have reached the various addresses. Its so disappointing as this was a very special and one off visit and my friends and family would have been pleased to receive them. I paid reception and had a receipt so I have contacted Thomson who alas were unable to help. I know it is very difficult to check but if other customers have been affected, it needs investigating further. ie. the agent collecting the post. Who applies the stamps after guests have paid? Is the money paid being used for stamps? Please report if you have had this experience. My cards sent from Rhodes and Alanya all arrived safely in the UK Wyn Somerset"
- Holiday details: May 2014, Booked Independently
- Advice: Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Perhaps post your cards off ship. I tried to in Ashdod but post office had closed at 12.30 on a Friday and not reopening until Sunday.
4 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Celebration is a lovely clean ship,beds are comfortable,food is good, staff are helpful and pleasant the entertainment was excellent. The only problem was the vibration/pulsating of the ship which was constant day and night, funnily enough we did get used to it but I am afraid that we had an evening of moderately rough sea which affected quite a large part of the passengers on the captains night, myself included. I think that the age and size of the ship probably played a part in so many passengers being ill when the sea was not that rough.
We also found that the main dining room meals were not as good as the self service which always had plenty of choice and everything was exceptional.
I feel that it is time for Thom sons to invest in some newer ships or they risk being left behind in the cruise ship business.
We still had a lovely time as Thom sons reps are excellent and there is always plenty of guidance through the whole embarkation procedure, from boarding the plane,landing, transfer to the coaches to getting on board ship.
4 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"I have recently returned from the Celebration after doing the Aegean and Holy Land i love this ship, staff fantastic, food great shows good, cabin (suite) amazing i will definitely go back on this ship the staff really made it for me they were just great we dined in the Mistrals restaurant one night and it was worth 20 pound lovely food, Thomson cruises are not posh!! But they are down to earth and met some lovely passengers i cant wait to book again!"
- Holiday details: May 2014, Booked Independently
- Advice: Just enjoy every moment
5 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Please see below my original e-mail to Thomson Cruises after our cruise in January 2014
My E-mail dated 12/02/2014
We returned from our 2 week Canary Island Cruise on Friday 31/01/2014 and we feel we must voice our great disappointment with the holiday as a whole. You are probably aware of the outbreak of the Noro virus which affected a large number of passengers and crew on the first week. My husband was taken ill with some of the symptoms and after I reported to the reception, we were both confined to the cabin. This was understandable, but what we didn't expect was the wait before anyone contacted us. Even though I told reception about my husband at 11 o'clock in the morning and we were told the Medical Center would come to see him, no one contacted us until going on for 9pm. I had tried to contact them by phone, but couldn't get through. They eventually phoned us and arranged to send some re-hydrating tablets and Imodium and a bottle of water to our cabin. During this time we were left without anything to eat and although my husband didn't want anything, I was very hungry, as I wasn't ill at this time and hadn't eaten since breakfast. I tried a number of times to phone the room service but couldn't get through, so eventually at about 8pm, I went to the Lido and quickly brought myself a bite to eat back to the cabin. Then about 10pm Room Service phoned to ask if we wanted anything to eat. A bit late by then!!
This was on the Wednesday of our first week. The next day we were told that it had been arranged for everyone on board to leave the ship on Friday, so that they could sanitize everywhere. Again we understood and thought it was probably a good idea. We were allowed back on board at 4pm, but what we didn't expect when we got back to our cabin, was to find it EXACTLY AS WE'D LEFT IT in the morning!!! There was no sign of the cabin having being sanitized, nor even the bedding changed!!! I contacted reception to ask if they were meant to have sanitized the cabins and was told yes. I said ours hadn't been, but they said it would've been and it was just the beds that weren't made. I can tell you no one had been near our cabin; there were still marks on the sink and on the dressing table etc., even our Cabin Steward told us that they hadn’t sanitized the cabin because of the smell it would have left behind. Eventually our beds did get made, but no one changed the sheets!!! IT SEEMS TO ME THAT IF YOU HAVE A VIRUS GOING ROUND AND PEOPLE ARE CONFINED TO ONE PLACE, THEN SURELY THE FIRST PLACE TO BE SANITIZED WOULD BE WHERE THEY HAVE BEEN CONFINED?? AT LEAST YOU WOULD EXPECT THE SHEETS TO BE CHANGED!! We received a bottle of bubbly and some chocolate strawberries by way of an apology the following day, but I’m afraid this didn’t stop my husband from being quite ill and unable to leave the cabin for 4 or 5 days of that second week. We blame the Air conditioning to some extent as well, as we feel this was just circulating the germs from one place to another. We asked for it to be switched off, but were told that couldn’t be done, but the engineer put some cardboard in the vent instead and we were given a fan to keep us cool!! There were a lot of passengers with bad coughs etc., that second week and I was in and out of the shop on board most of that week, buying Cold & Flu remedies, Cough medicine and Paracetamol to try to avoid needing the Medical Centre, as we were told even to see the doctor would cost us £30. Eventually of course I too became ill with flu like symptoms, which is why I am only now able to send you our views!! My husband has been to see our doctor and was told he has a viral chest infection, caused by the Air Conditioning. This holiday has cost us almost £4,000, which is a 1/5th of my husband's annual salary. At these prices - having worked hard all year and looked forward so much to our holiday – we don’t expect to come back feeling worse than before we went!!
We are seeking compensation for this Holiday from Hell and eagerly await your reply.
We received a reply last week (21/05/14), offering us £500 compensation. We don't consider this enough and we will be asking for more. What annoys me most about the disaster of our holiday is the fact that they didn't sanitize our cabin, this led to my husband being even more ill the second week!!!"
- Holiday details: Jan 2014, Booked Independently
- Advice: don't go
6 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"We booked with Thomson Cruises to travel during February 20014 and were really excited at the prospect to be traveling on the Celebration. It turned out to be the worst holiday that we have ever had. My partner became very unwell mid way through the trip and was kept in the intensive care unit on the ship.
When we arrived ashore we were transferred directly to a local hospital where we were accompanied by the ship's welfare officer, she advised that her role was to support us through the process until the ship sailed. We found her to be brash and not compassionate. She immediately advised me that we were unlikely to be passed fit for travel, on being told that we definitely had to stay I began to cry, this was a very daunting prospect as I didn't speak the language and found the health care system unfamiliar. Her response to this was "come on, you knew this was going to happen". I suppose it had some benefit, I realized that we were there alone and I would have to support my partner.
Before this happened I was told that I would have to pay the ships medical fees of approx £3700, I was astounded by this as we had shown our insurance documents on board the ship and at the hospital, we were told by the ship staff in the medical center that they would not make contact as it would be night in the UK and the company would be closed. If I hadn't been so worried about my partner I probably would have noticed myself that there was a 24 hour phone number clearly printed along the top of the documents. While in the hospital I advised the welfare officer that we would not be able to cover the costs and they would need to approach the insurance company.
We had been assigned a local agent (not employed by Thomson) but found him unreliable and had an agenda of supporting his local friend’s business. He didn’t turn up when he was meant to and was of very little use to us.
I was taken back to the ships to collect our belongings four hour before it sailed, the welfare officer arranged to meet me at reception 1 hour later. The welfare officer advised me that they had attempted to debit the medical fees from my partners account but it had been declined, as I had advised her it would be.
After struggling to reception with our bags I was met by the welfare officer, the purser, the local representative (along with his boss), and several other members of staff milled around us. At this point, despite seeing our insurance documents several times, I was told that I would have to pay the medical fees as I disembarked, I didn’t feel like it was an option not to pay, again I advised that we didn’t have the money available, I was then told that I should find someone that would cover the costs, again I advised that we didn’t have the funds available. At this point I was asked to sign a document stating that I would cover the costs within the next 10 days so that I could disembark to rejoin my partner.
We were stranded in Morocco for 11 days, 3 of which we were in hospital. Mr partner had problems with his heart and was extremely fatigued after discharge.
The local Thomson reps came to our rescue, they supported us to find accommodation at their local complex and supporting us in gaining the documents we needed from the hospital. When we asked for help we felt that nothing was too much.
We tried to rest while we were stranded, this was very difficult as we had ongoing battles with the insurance company for information and support. However if this was not enough, we found that Thomson had deducted the sum of the medical fees from my partners account in smaller amounts leaving him very overdrawn. When we discussed this with the bank, they advised that there is a ceiling limit to which the company could withdraw without our approval and by breaking the costs down they had been able to take the funds.
Several months on I am still in shock at how badly we were treated. We have sent a formal complain to Thomson to which they have replied, it has skipped over all of the issues and advised that problems are often found with the local staff. We had no problems with the local staff of Agadir, they were outstanding, we also found the hospitality staff (restaurant and bar staff) fantastic, they were all from the Philippines…..
I will never book with Thomson again and have been looking at how we can take this matter further."
- Holiday details: Feb 2014, Booked Independently
- Advice: I would suggest that you don't travel with Thomson on on board any of their ships.
4 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"I have just spent a week on the Thompson Celebration Cruise Ship and will try and put across a balanced perspective
1. Very professional and friendly waiters, cabin personnel and other staff
2. Good food in the main "Meridian" restaurant. Lots of mass produced, but very good food in the Lido" restaurant
3. I personally did not like the shows, so never stayed. But the rest of the family seem to enjoy these
1. Overall drinks and wine - Very expensive. Would highly recommend a drinks package. Some drinks were a "total Rip Off"
2. One of the days, the whole family experienced some prolonged sea sickness. I was charged £6.00 for 6 sea sickness tablets. These normally retail at the equivalent of 0.2p.
3. This is really a glorified "Booze Cruise" ideally suited to heavily tattooed people who want a drink from 10.00am till they fall over really!!"
- Holiday details: Apr 2014, booked with Thompson Shop, Bradford
- Advice: Get a Drinks Package
5 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
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" Do the Excursions.....they may be expensive but the sights you see are priceless "
by Toldo west yorkshire
" pay for a cabin upgrade if you can afford "
by Gwen Taylor
" Bethlehem is a wonderful experience and Alanya is so inviting. The celebration gives the whole day for us all to enjoy the experience. "
by Ayrshire Team
" Enjoy all the destinations Istanbul and Izmir very different and city stops - Mykonos and Rhodes and Marmaris Kusadasi great beach resorts "
by Jacki Thew
" Make a sunbed reservation very early in the morning as no one sticks to the rule of not reserving. "
" Use a Credit Card to pay on board expenses instead of Debit Card,You get a month to get over aditional expenses trips etc.If on a budget. "
by Sue Hennedy Smallshaw
" prepare in advance for the captains night, we didnt and regretted it. "
" Liberties entertainment was good "
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