Thomson Spirit Cruise Ship

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Thomson Spirit Cruise Ship
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Dropping standards?

"Just got back from another week on the Thomson Spirit – this being our 6th time over the years. Really love this ship and the friendliest crew in the fleet; however, the standards seem to be going back generally throughout the ship. Most noticeably in the Compass Rose Restaurant where many of the same staff are now serving many more tables and they do not have time for the pleasantries or paper roses and serenading that was an everyday part of previous cruises. The food on this cruise was not as varied as on earlier sailings – on the last night for example there were three fish-themed main courses (fish and chips, seafood thermidor, or shellfish linguini) and the long wait between courses on every evening meant that a lot of passengers did not stay for desert or coffee if they wanted to catch the first show in the Broadway Lounge. This is an unacceptable delay and Thomson should take note but they probably won’t !!

We only have one warning for anyone who chooses not to visit the Holy sites when staying in Israel; if the docking port is Ashdod then save yourself the bother of getting the shuttle bus into the nearby town as it is very very poor in terms of shopping. If you decide to ignore this and make the trip, then don’t bother to take your camera as it is not photogenic in any shape or form.

If your pastime is sunbathing you will be disappointed by the quality of the sunbeds on the main Lido deck: they are worn out and dirty and badly need to be replaced – but once again Thomson will opt to ignore the complaints and just keep taking your money.

Drinks were reasonable and it would take a seasoned hard drinker to get value for money on the drinks packages on offer. We didn’t skimp on our drinks and only spent half what it would have cost us if we had chosen the all-inclusive options. That is something to think about as many of the drinks from the bar incur an additional charge even on the all-inclusive package.

Will we continue to book on the Spirit? Yes – but there is a limit to what we will tolerate and Thomson could be close to that limit this year.

  • Holiday details: Apr 2015, Booked Independently
7 / 10

9 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes


"Our cruise the Baltic and Norway, taken on June - July 2014 ,should have been a wonderful experience but the single cabin our son was given was horrendous .The cabin number 730 was more akin to a youth hostel [and no I am not exaggerating] more a 1 star than 3/4 star, but that was just the start , the noise and vibration was unbelievable.The first night he had no sleep with the deafening noise and the vibration causing doors to open, the ceiling panels were dislodged ,every thing moved and creaked . We took our complaint to the reception only to be told that the ship was full so their was no alternative , he had to stay where he was. From then on our son started with headaches which turned into full blown migraines obviously caused from lack of sleep and the constant loud banging which he had to endure every night.We found that the engine room is next to the cabin.

If this noise level had been in a work place and was experienced for 8 hours , then the employer could be prosecuted if hearing deference is not provided [obviously this could not be worn as the safety alarm would not be heard, although he could not hear any of the announcements anyway! ] So we ask how do Thomson feel this is a cabin fit to sell to passengers? They also charge you for a single so it is double the price charged for other passengers.

So please if you are considering a cruise on the Thomson Spirit and you need a single cabin , do not accept !!!


1 / 10

3 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Brian & Gillys best cruise on the best ship xx

"April 2014.

The spirit Fab U Lous was my husbands first time on a cruise I cruised before we met I've been on the black prince (not sailing now) I think and on the Thomson dream but hey the spirit is the best. Firstly the cabin was on deck 3 inside only draw back was not quite sure what time it was and what the weather was doing outside but had a friend on board with a cabin with. Window who rang my cabin to advise. The cabin in was very spacious and adequate for our two week stay so if you are not bothered about the time and weather go for this cabin. The cabin staff are tremendous and can't do enough for you. The food is excellent in all food areas but my favorite was the compass rose as being on holiday love to be waited on the wine waiter mario (good singer if you get to see him in the staff show) is a dream. And our two waiters and if you are reading this review we apologise but your names escape me but i loves ya. I could go on for ever but last thing is the entertainment staff brilliant my husband doe not do shows but every night we was there they were excellent and Richard the main man top dog mate. We loved this cruise so much we are returning in May this year and hope that all the staff who we met will be there so we can say hello. Thank you top notch cruise.

Mr & Mrs Yarwood

Thornton cleveleys

  • Holiday details: Apr 2014
  • Advice: Just enjoy the whole experience what ever you do
10 / 10

5 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Experience Amsterdam cruise

"As first time cruisers we booked this short one to see if we liked cruising. The ship is old but in excellent condition and the crew are always doing something (cleaning, painting etc) One or two minor things but nothing major is needed.

Our cabin was on Deck 3 (inside) and was excellent. Bags of room and the beds are really comfortable. It's a little disconcerting not having any daylight but we got used to it. The cabin stewards are wonderful and nothing was too much trouble. In fact the staff all over the ship can't do enough for you.

Food is of the highest quality and variety. We also bought the drinks package at £85 which I thought was good. Some drinks carry a premium so watch what you order. In all a first class experience.

Entertainment was of a very good standard and there was always something to do.

In general I never found any crew member who wasn't prepared to go the "extra mile" to help a novice like me

On the down side, the coffee on board has a horrible taste and the organization by Inter cruise at Harwich was appalling

  • Holiday details: Aug 2014, booked with Thomson
  • Advice: Make sure you read the "in house" Cruise News to find out what's happening and where
  • Good For: , City Breaks
8 / 10

Did you find this review helpful? Yes

Baltic Cruise

"After several cruises with different cruise lines we drove up to Newcastle end of June for our 15 night cruise. The ship is old and a bit tired, our inside cabin on deck 3 was quite large with plenty of storage space but the beds were a bit hard and the lighting was a bid dim, but it wasn't too bad and being midships was convenient located for reception, bars and Compass restaurant. We did not use the swimming pool as it is not heated. Drinks packages are expensive, £493 per person is very poor value especially when you consider that often you are off the ship on excursions. Also consider that for many drinks you have to pay a supplement e.g. at least £2 on cider, Guinness or bottled lager. We only paid our ships bill of just over £400 for the two of us and that included £25 charge for a safe key. The safe should be included (it is with P & 0)and although service is included it is obvious that the waiters and cabin stewards are hoping for some kind of a tip. We would have given our cabin steward a larger tip if the safe was included. We haven't paid a fee to reserve a cabin with other cruise lines we have been with. It is quite a noisy ship, piped music is virtually everywhere and when bands/musicians play the music is turned up very loud. This means that when you go up to the bar at night before dinner normal conversation is difficult and we had to take our drinks to a quieter part of the ship. Also outside the Lido restaurant at lunchtime when the weather is nice it is quite pleasant to take your food outside but again spoiled when the band starts up as yet again the music is far too loud. Thomsons please note - lots of noise does not equate to people having a good time - less is often better!

Anyway, been a bit negative so far - now the good parts. The staff are very helpful and friendly. The food and service in Compass restaurant is very good. In the Lido self service restaurant the food is variable but good on the whole. One lunchtime I had some excellent calves liver but another day I was disappointed with a pasta dish which was supposed to have chicken and vegetables in it but was nearly all pasta. We found the bottle wines were better quality and better value than buying house wine by the glass. Our favorite red was the Argentine Malbec at £16.50 per bottle. We had not visited any Scandinavian countries before and enjoyed all our cruise stops. We were a bit miffed that our visit to Copenhagen was only just over 4 hours instead of the 5 hours as advertised and even more miffed when we got back to coach drop off/pickup point with 15 minutes to spare before the last coach to be told that as it was the last bus it would not leave until 30 minutes past the posted time in case of any latecomers! Thomsons please note - please give the exact time of departure of the last bus and if they are late the bus will go without them and they will have to get a taxi at their own expense.

Overall a very enjoyable cruise - a few minor improvements and I would have given it 9 stars.

  • Holiday details: Jun 2014, booked with Thomson
  • Advice: Can be noisy - take some earplugs
  • Good For: , City Breaks
8 / 10

2 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Spectacular views on Norwegian Fjords Cruise from Newcastle

"This certainly was a cruise worth going on. From leaving our home in Newcastle to boarding The Thomson Spirit took all of 45 minutes. The Port of Tyne should be congratulated for there first class organization this experience was so stress free. Unlike the hassle of going through airports where it takes 3 hours of misery in the current climate. The whole 7 days were fabulous, the staff on board the Spirit are in a class of their own, so many of them remember you from a previous cruise, they are so polite, and nothing is a bother. Now this is all stopping as Thomson in their wisdom are not now sailing from UK ports until 2016! This is a very bad decision on their part, as so many people do not like flying yet to get on a Thomson cruise you are going to have to fly/cruise to Palma/Corfu/Dubrovnik and others which is defeating the whole object of flying. Life is so much easier for disabled people to go cruising, why oh why are Thomson doing this. We for a family and many others on the Spirit said the same, they will not be cruising holidaying with Thomson. Can someone from Thomson respond to this decision please through Holiday Which?? But full marks to Richard [Cruise Director] for a wonderful all round team/crew. The only complaint as such was the Lido dining room was far to hot and queues could be better managed."

  • Holiday details: Jul 2014, booked with Thomson
  • Advice: Everything on board you need, great entertainment by very talented young people on the Thomson Team - led by Richard Cruise Director
10 / 10

1 reader found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Disappointment at every turn

"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.
5 / 10

3 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Norwegian Wonders on board the Thomson Spirit - excellent

"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
9 / 10

5 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Denise welch in novo virus outbreak drama

"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
5 / 10

8 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Good trip round atlantic islands

"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.
9 / 10

4 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Fjordland Wonders

"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.

9 / 10

15 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

norwegian fjords cruise

"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
9 / 10

24 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

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Average rating

8.5 / 10
(293 reviews)
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Ratings summary


Rating by feature

Room: 8.5/10
Service: 9.5/10
Food: 9/10
Value: 9/10
Cleanliness: 9.5/10
Location: 9/10

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Top traveller tips for Thomson Spirit Cruise Ship
  • by Andy B

    " If you can get the All Inclusive Drinks package - do it - you'll save a fortune! "

  • by Stevem039

    " 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 "

  • by scattycat

    " Make the most of the on-board activities "

  • by janelizzie.

    " 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. "

  • by mick2395

    " Ask for deck 6 near everything "

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