Thomson Spirit Cruise Ship, Thomson Cruises
"Firstly we received in writing three different prices in the paperwork sent to us. Queried this and was told the most expensive was the right one. Wrote to Thomson head office and guess what, still waiting for any sort of reply.
The biggest disappointment was the temperature of the food in the Lido restaurant. After a while you accept it is never more than warm and go for the salad option. Not good when the trip was to the North Cape and temperatures outside were also chilly. We did complain when we were asked directly if we had enjoyed the meal, and this was seconded by a table nearby who had heard the exchange. The head waiter then came and spoke to us, he called on the head chef and we saw people taking the temperature of the food. No-one said anything to us, but then nothing changed, food still tepid.
Vibrations run through the whole ship and get very wearing after several sea days."
- Holiday details: Jun 2014, booked with Thomson
- Advice: Avoid spirit,the vibrations affect the whole ship.
2 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"As a first time cruiser, I was not really sure as to what to expect during my holiday or whether i would love the whole concept, but from start to finish I had an excellent trip and can't rate the crew highly enough.
We departed from Newcastle, simple luggage drop off before parking up and being shuttled over to the cruise ship check in, so much easier than airport check-ins. I was impressed. From the moment we stepped on board we were welcomed by smiling faces and an eagerness to please. Nada our chambermaid was a wonder, our room was always spotless and each night a cute towel shaped into a monkey or lobster etc would appear on our bed, we started to look forward to seeing the latest creation each evening. She was always happy to chat and exchange pleasantries and went out of her way to help us, such as untangling a necklace for me which had become knotted.
The dining room staff and waiters were also great with ready smiles and silly jokes to share and took the time to learn passengers names and welcome them each evening. The food in the compass rose was of a great standard and in the lido the food was good but not great, by the end of the cruise I was beginning to bored by the selection in there, but most people seemed really happy with the choices.
The highlight of this ship (not boat) for me was the Entertainment team led by Richard. The shows performed were of a high standard with a very talented and friendly team, who seemed to be able to do everything, singing, dancing and acting. I was extremely impressed with their versatility. Alongside the light entertainment team they were all very friendly and took the time to smile, banter and joke with me as well as to dance with the passengers. The smiles were genuine and the whole team seemed to be loving what they were doing. I think the happiness on board was contagious and made for a memorable holiday, so much so, that the actual site seeing seemed to take a back seat to the sociables on board.
Even though I was one of the youngest passengers on board (I heard the average age was 73 years, most people were from their mid 50's up), all the people I met were lovely and welcoming, each evening we sat with different people at dinner, all seemed to be having a jolly good time.
All in all a very memorable first cruise and I will definitely cruise again. Thank you Thomson Spirit."
- Holiday details: Jun 2014, booked with Thomson
- Advice: Take a nap during the day to enjoy the nightly entertainment.
- Good For: , City Breaks
2 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Did she have it who knows ,my wife did and was locked away in our cabin for last three days of our trip ,as was I ( guilt by association ) we booked this trip for our 25 wedding anniversary it was Baltic States Bermuda (probably not correct spelling )Germany ,for trip to Berlin witch I was really looking forward to but didn't arrive on time so couldn't do the trip the original way it was meant to be reps offered reduced price to sit on bus for 8 1/2 hours and do drive by , no thanks. Other places were fine apart from weather Estonia ,Sweden ,Russia (hi light ) Denmark (lo light). wedding anniversary not recognized by Thomson at all .and yes she was on board ."
- Holiday details: May 2014, booked with Thomson
- Advice: Dress in a germ proof suit
6 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"We have just returned from a weeks colorful coasts, canaries/ madeira/ agadir. I am a cruise newbie, and was very impressed by service, uniformly excellent, food, and cabin, which was quite spacious. . We had a larger one with window. Perhaps not worth extra on this trip, but it was our 40th anniversary so splashed out.
We thought extras, trips and drinks a little pricey,and rather over plugged, though our celebration cake complete with serenading waiters ! was very reasonable at £12,. Entertainment was enjoyable and varied.
Spirit is an older ship, a traditional liner design, which I rather liked.
We had some rough weather on 2 days and she was very stable, no problem. We did have to drop the arrecife stop, which was ok for us but disappointed others. We knew most of the islands, this would be a good intro if not familiar."
- Holiday details: Dec 2013, Booked Independently
- Advice: Bring a corkscrew and buy a couple of bottles onshore.
4 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Terrific week aboard Thomson Spirit - definitely no wonder it remains a popular ship. Its size is a winner. Cabins are certainly adequate and pleasantly presented. These compare most favourably to other ships. I'm not normally a fan of the entertainment at sea but Richard's show team were eye-poppingly talented and versatile. Superb standard and lots of fun.
Norway is, of course, unbelievably photogenic and an itinerary of both fjords (ports of Flam and Geiranger) and cities (Stavanger and Bergen)is perfect.
The experience was great once underway but embarkation at Harwich leaves a lot to be desired. A one and a half hour queue in the car just to drop off luggage? This cannot be right and needs thinking through and organising properly. Not a good start to an otherwise wonderful trip. Hence, no 10 awarded."
11 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"We have been on previous cruises and this is our first time with Thomson. I have to say we were not at all dissapointed from start to finish.The ship has a wonderful compact feel to it and we found it very easy to move around without getting lost as we have done on the bigger ships.All the staff were very polite and helpful and the housekeeping team were excellent and very efficient indeed. As for the entertainment that was just first class throughout our cruise and i think that other cruise lines could learn a lot from thomson cruises with regard to making you feel just that little bit special. I have not known a cruise line to actually take you on a tour backstage to show you the workings of the entertainment team and then to sit down for a questions and answers session with the performers and then they actually had a parade of some of the waiters and waitresses,chefs maintenance staff cleaners housekeeping etc which all in all made you feel that you knew everyone. Everything on thomson spirit exceeded my expectations and having just returned home i am already looking to book my next cruise on the same ship. The 24hr buffet restaurant was superb with something for everyone."
- Holiday details: Aug 2013, booked with Thomson
- Advice: book your excursions once on board as there is so much to see and do on the ship that you might want to change your mind and not do an excursion
21 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"we have just returned from aweeks cruise to the norwegian fjords, sailing from harwich, we found everything on board was of the highest standard. The food and the entertainment was really top notch, could not find any faults whatsoever. All the staff from the captain to the cabin maids were brilliant."
- Holiday details: Aug 2013, booked with co-op travel
- Advice: the entertainment team, the shows etc.
14 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"This was our first cruise. And it was fantastic. When we book this cruise, we didn't know what to expect, so i did read a lot of reviews. And some where ok, but not very usefull for first time cruisers.
So first off, i would just like to say, a huge thankyou for the thomson team on board the ship. The holiday was fantastic, the places we visited were beautiful, and we would love to go again.
Here is some tips and information which i would of found very usefull.
Our cabin, was the basic inside cabin, it did our purpose well. it was bigger then what i thought it would be. There is plenty of wardrobe and draw space. TOWELS ARE SUPPLIED, so dont take your own. There was also shampoo and shower gel, but im fussy so i used my own. The room attendants were fantastic, and clean 2 times a day.
Food was great, not to be faulted. There was always something that you liked. We went half board, as me and partner are not big drinkers. Thomson wanted £400 each for AL (All Inclusive). It is not worth it unless you plan to be drunk 24 hours of the day. As you dont have time to drink even if you wanted, as you where out all day. Drinks were roughly the same as pub prices, apart from cans of coke which were £1.70 a can.
The only place you had to pay for food was Sirocco, which is a la carte, 6 courses, and only £19 pp. And it is worth it. Great food and service.
Tea and coffee is free and available 24 hours of the day if wanted.
Another thing that worried me was the smart dress code. As i am not a dress person. But you can wear smart jeans and trousers with a nice top.
You cant wear sports wear or flip flop in restaurant unless in lido buffet, and there you can wear what you wanted. And we only found out the day before that there is no luggage allowance. :-)
There are washing machines and dryers on board, and only cost £2 per load, which is good, as we did a couple of loads. Irons are also provided, which are not great but they get the job done.
Hair dryers are provided in rooms, but i will admit are a bit rubbish, it took double the amount of time to dry my hair. Plugs are European, so we had to buy an adaptor while on ship. But the reception do supply a charging service for free.
Spending money was also an issue with me, We ordered all our spending money before we went. as i didnt know what to expect. Thomson staff at the shop advised £100 per person per day, and that was just for visiting the countries. so we got nearly £800 in foreign currency, And we got it in their own currency aswell. BUT we did not need all of that, we found that we only needed about £50 maximum at each stop between us, because all we brought was a couple of small souvenirs, and maybe a drink in some places.
And then we thought that £800 for spending money on the ship was enough. And it would of been if we hadnt of spent nearly £500 on jewellery. So when we got back to UK and traded in all of our currency it was nearly £500. Which was nice :-).
Next i would suggest that if you plan to do excursions, book them before you go away. We did this and it saved time, and we knew that we didnt have to spend any money on them while away. Most people book the excursions while on board the ship, and they said it was a mistake, as they had to que for a very long time. And sometimes they were all sold out, so they were dissapointed. You had to book excursions in Russia, as they require a visa, unless you plan to pick one up in UK before you go.
Excursions were all great, and i would recommend them. Great staff and tour guides.
I am Diabetic, and was worried about keeping my medication in a fridge. But you can use the fridge in reception, they will keep all medication for you if needed.
There was easy access for disabled and wheel chair users, with plenty of lifts, and the staff would also reserve places for the restaurants and shows.
The entertainment was brilliant. You couldnt of wanted any better. They try to please all. In the day while at sea, they try to put on activities that would suit most. from talks, to quizzes, and sport activities. They also have a kids club, but there was only 3 kids on our cruise i think.
The weather was hot, but we got told it was quite cold, so we packed a few jumpers and trousers, and rain coats. Which were not needed at all. We feel that we didnt pack enough summer things. So check the weather before you go.
The pools were small. not big enough to actually swim tho.
The spirit is an old small ship. but we glad we had her. She was charming, and homely, and we glad that she wasnt bigger. we saw a huge ship, and it looked like a block of flats due to balconies. I woulnt change the spirit at all.
Overall it was a fantastic holiday, and we couldnt of wanted any better. we already looking into our next one with the spirit.
I hope this wasnt too long, and it answered some questions that you might have."
- Holiday details: May 2013, booked with Thomson
- Advice: enjoy every minute
150 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Travelled on Spirit cruise ship 20th March for 7 nights. Had an excellent time, the food, drinks, staff and entertainment were very good.
Couldn't get into Crete and Rhodes due to bad weather, did an extra visit to Turkey (lots of shopping)
2nd week stayed in Paphos hotel very good (Phatheon Beach)
Booked Spirit again for November to Canaries Hope this is just as good."
13 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Great ship, the crew are excellent, the food great, entertainment great, cannot fault it. Cabins could do with a refurbishment. Showers aren't that good but are Ok. Compass Rose restaraunt is just superb. There is slight vibrations around the ship but nothing to spoil our relaxation. Tours are a bit expensive, so pluck up the courage and venture out on your own."
- Holiday details: Mar 2013, Booked Independently
- Advice: Take loose clothing as the food is just fabulous.
14 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"The Spirit is showing its age, some carpets have been changed and everything is scrupulously clean but after a recent week on the Celebration (sister ship recently upgraded) the cabins and dining rooms are a little disappointing. Other than that you cannot fail to have a great holiday on the old tub. The food is beautifull, particularly in the Compass Rose, good selection of wines, really good value if a package is purchased at the beginning of the cruise and the entertainment team were one of the most professional yet. This must be one of the best value holidays ever, one tip...never talk prices with other guests, everyone will have paid a different price, just enjoy."
24 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Just got back from the Aegean discovery cruise on Thomson Spirit and have mixed feelings about it! Overall I guess I enjoyed it, We ate too much as food is in abundance and the cabin was very good. We chose to pay extra for a deluxe cabin on deck 8 - we thought the higher up we were the less engine noise we would get. Wrong! It is an incredibly noisy old ship, especially on deck 8. We had to put up with vibration, tapping noises and the often loud drone of the ship. One morning at 4.30 am we were woken by a crew member sweeping the narrow service gangway right outside our window - and he wasnt quiet either! A couple two doors down from us complained and we weren't bothered again but they then asked to be moved because of the other noises. We also had a lifeboat right outside the window - disappointing but it didn't really hinder the view too much. However if there is a next time I would probably go for deck 6.
Hair dryers are provided and ok and there were two sockets, one for 220w and one for 110w. My hair straighteners worked better on 220 than at home so make sure you take the correct adaptor. The cabin stewards were brilliant of course and the crew talent show was great fun.
We do feel that little cutbacks are becoming bigger issues. A few years back, a glass of orange juice would have been served freshly squeezed with fruit garnish and a cocktail stick/umbrella and was extremely popular now it's straight from a carton with no frills - boring and pretty tasteless. There were other little cutbacks we noticed which individually may be minor - but aren't the frills all part of the fun of cruising?
The compass rose restaurant is lovely and food excellent and we also ate often in the Lido restaurant. The food is plentiful but a bit 'samey' just slight variations. I'm not knocking it though because they all work so hard, non stop, and there was plenty of it. Cabins were kept spotless.
Sun beds could do with being changed, they are a bit basic and tired looking, but functional. The layout of the ship is strange and we did find it difficult to find our way round sometimes and it is much smaller than the Destiny, I definitely preferred the old Destiny.
Unfortunately two of our key destinations, Heraklion and Rhodes were cancelled because of the rough weather conditions but that was unavoidable. Overall a good break but I would try not to use the old Spirit next time."
- Holiday details: Mar 2013, booked with Thomson
- Advice: Bring back the 'frills'
20 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
Rating by feature
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by Andy B
" If you can get the All Inclusive Drinks package - do it - you'll save a fortune! "
" I would certainly suggest the upgrade to a higher cabin, as we did.. The lower decks seemed rather warm n stuffy "
by John, Karen and Molly
" don't book the trips, most places can be explored on your own "
" Make the most of the on-board activities "
" Attend the welcome session and read the daily cruise mazagine features the days activities. "
by Lyn Appleby
" Relax and enjoy the experience. The crew are all so friendly and helpful "
by Kaye Penny
" Watch as many shows as you can - excellent entertainments team. "
" Ask for deck 6 near everything "
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