Island Escape Cruise Ship

Thomson Cruises
7 / 10
Average rating (826 reviews)
Island Escape Cruise Ship
Check the latest prices for this cruise

Traveller reviews

4 / 10
The holiday from hell

"Me and my partner saved for 2 years to have a cruise and were assured we would love it. From the moment we arrived the problems started. Wrong rooms, noisy with a fire door closing every 5 minutes through the night. Unhelpful staff and food was uneatable. I couldn't wait to get ashore for some real food.Entertainment was not London nightlife as advertised. Local hotel is more like it and no waiter service for drinks is 2 hours per drink - dying of thirst. On departure day they split our cases and urinated in our luggage which we needed for our 2nd week in a hotel."

  • Holiday details: Jul 2012, booked with First Choice
  • Advice: don't bother it was a nightmare

Did you find this review helpful? Yes

8 / 10
old but good

"Have just got back of island escape will miss her a nice laid back ship very friendly crew and shows very good as food good yes have done the big boys ships as well but the island escape is a good British laid back ship will miss her and best of luck to captain Richard Watkins and all his crew also Ross cruise director who was so upset I am sure Thomson will keep him on a lot are going to the dream Evan the captain so look forward to seeing you all again Roley and Debbie"

  • Holiday details: Oct 2015, booked with Thomson

1 reader found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

7 / 10
an expensive last cruise on the old girl

"We knew she was retiring and we wanted to spend a last cruise with the crew, the food cleanliness were first class. Because she was being retired the prices stayed very high as everyone wanted to spend time with her. Unfortunately it was an expensive cruise on an old tired ship. It was noticeable the experienced staff had already left for pastures new. Still enjoyed it."

  • Holiday details: Sep 2015, booked with Thomson
  • Advice: none as it is retiring

Did you find this review helpful? Yes

3 / 10
Never Again

"Apart from the food and staff and the ports of Barcelona, Toulon and Villafranche there was nothing I'd write home about. Oh, sorry the cleanliness was spot on. Do yourself a favor--stay clear of this cruise ship, pay a little more and have a proper cruise. See my review on Trp/Ad."

  • Holiday details: Aug 2015, booked with Thomson
  • Advice: A refurb

Did you find this review helpful? Yes

10 / 10
cruising the med

"We just came off the island escape today and can't praise it enough,Thompson have certainly got there act together now from the get go all went great,booking in at airport,cruise ship and transfers couldn't have went any smoother,the staff couldn't do any more for you they made every one on the ship feel they were all important.we were on a all inclusive package,the food,drink and entertainment were superb also all trips were well organized a touch expensive but hey ho your on holiday so go with the flow,the only downside is you don't get free WIFI also we've sailed with Thompson several times but up to now they've not gave us anything from them like a loyalty bonus,or upgrade like other cruise companies do,the ship itself will be leaving Thompson at the end of October to everyone's disappointment what a shame."

  • Holiday details: Aug 2015, Booked Independently
  • Advice: Give out loyalty bonus

1 reader found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

9 / 10
western med august 2015

"Old ship but great company on a friendly ship.The captain on this ship even had time to speak to the passengers-I literally bumped into him one day, very amicable fellow, time for his passengers which is very nice! Small but very tidy cabin we can even forgive the lumpy mattresses. Food was o.k. but at times a little limited if you can,t eat spicy food.Loved the sail away party, and the evening shows were superb. We saw the comedian on the Majesty before and he is bloody brilliant!Wife took ill on the ship dehydration) and the medical staff were again superb.Got refunds for the excursions we booked and had to miss-A-1 service, no hassle.Easy Pisa was lovely easy going trip-it really was easy going10/10 for this trip, lovely guide too! Bandol and Toulon were another 2 easy going and enjoyable trips.In Toulon coach broke down-so we had 1 hrs extra shopping-the wife a happy bunny-spent MY money!Again 10/10 for these two trips 2 very nice informative guides. Oh dear now the rubbish one-Barcelona.We were dropped in a park in the city and my wife and I went to the toilet-when we came out about 2 minutes all our party + the guide disappeared? In the city by the cathedral she crossed the road with half our party stuck on this side of road waiting for the traffic. Nearly got run over trying to catch up-I have bad legs,I can walk but can't run! She never did a head count and as far as I know left 12 people behind!We had a surprise firework party after visiting Pisa as we stood off the port to see a magnificent display- thanks to the skipper arranging with the port authorities for us to stay and see this-many thanks.Toulon was another surprise the French version of the Red Arrows put on a great display.Shame this ship is being sold off, a grand old lady who no doubt holds many happy memories for a lot of people.We knew she was an old ship and knew what to expect-you get what you pay for.Every-one we met on the ship was happy-go lucky,crew and passengers-and my stalker(the lady in the wheelchair)Good luck to the captain and crew-hope you all get new jobs-you deserve it!"

  • Holiday details: Aug 2015, booked with Thomas Cook
  • Advice: Well we saw them loading new mattresses at Barcelona- should be o.k. now

Did you find this review helpful? Yes

1 / 10
First and last

"Cabin 4044 deck 4 Had to endure two weeks of engine noise,could not sleep even with ear plugs, ruined the holiday, never again with Thomson cruise or holidays."

  • Holiday details: Jul 2015, booked with Thomas Cook
  • Advice: Don't bother

2 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

9 / 10
First time cruisers !

"My wife and I have just returned from our first ever cruise 21 – 28 July 2015 on Island Escape.

So we had no cruise experience for comparison purposes. However for other types of holiday we have made good use of Tripadvisor which has led to us having some very good experiences. We therefore normally would have steered clear of the Island Escape, due to the proportion of bad reviews to good ones.

However we decided to give it a try. The result was very much better than we could have hoped for.

We noticed all the comments about food, poor drinks, dingy cabins, rocky ride, crowded restaurants and so on.

Here is what we experienced.

Transfer and embarkation very slick and quick: chirpy and cheerful. Had a day to become acquainted with ship. Although full, it did not seem that way.

Cabin: not enormous but because clever use is made of stowing space, our clothes and other bits and pieces disappeared leaving us with plenty of room. Comfortable mattresses (deep memory foam) and nice bedding. Everything clean if dated. Bathroom definitely dated, but functional; plenty of hot water.

We had studied which floor, where and booked a specific cabin, based on advices on sites and previous reviews. So we were on 8th floor near front.

This made our nights sleep the quietest we have probably experienced in any type of holiday accommodation: one would have thought we were the only people on the floor; so no problem with noise at all. Obviously there are other parts of the ship where noise may be unavoidable.

When there was noise it is likely that it would have been heard to a greater or lesser degree throughout the ship, ie when the thrusters started for docking man oeuvres etc – but that is what you get on a ship… is not fixed to the ground.

The other noise was when on one night we ran into some bad weather, which fortunately was coming right at us bow-on. So there was quite a bit of what the captain called “slamming” ie the wave hitting the bow. However as it was a steady motion we managed to mainly sleep through this too. What was a bit less easy to deal with, unless you got your head down, was one night when the waves were coming side on, even though it was not really stormy: it made the ship roll a bit and this is what I think makes people sick. ~ fortunately we were not and I don’t think it bothered too many people.

You MUST respect the notices about not putting anything other than toilet paper down the loo…otherwise you will block the pipes for yourself and others: again fortunately we were not aware of this occurring. This is not because of poor design, but is in the nature of many ships plumbing.

We never had any problems finding seating in the restaurants; the thing is, that it is a pretty continuous operation… everyone does not arrive at one time as if someone has rung a dinner-gong. Only one night was it tight and the answer was to wait for a bit on deck or try another restaurant. The food is good; not gourmet standard but good enough to ensure that you are guaranteed to put on weight ! Drinks are fine too…not paint stripper.

We were not that bothered about the entertainment and yet on several occasions were thinking that, subject to the limitations of the ships dimensions, it was really very well done.

We never felt crowded; there were lots of places to sit and take the rays. The only place that looked like a bit of train station was by the pool as it was too small for the number of people who were sunbathing around it. However it is likely that a larger pool would affect the ships balance and so that was all that could be… so for a good days play in the water, it was better to go ashore and find a beach nearby.

The ship was very clean; constantly being polished and maintained; plenty of staff and we never saw one grumpy response; instead there was plenty of courtesy and friendliness, which did not seem forced.

The ship felt cheerful; wide range of people on it, including families: quite a few disabled people so care had been taken to cater for all needs and tastes. We did not hear a single moan from anyone on board. The staff did not seem harassed or cowed and we felt that an effort was made from the Captain down, to maintain an efficient and happy ship. We did encounter some of the staff ashore in their free time…and they would hardly have been there if they had been run into the ground. We think if it was otherwise we would have sensed it.

All in all we felt it was good value for money… ie it cost us £2100 for 2 people for 1 week, which included flights from Bristol to Palma, transfers, food – as much as we wanted - , tips, drinks, specific cabin booked, ie outside with large window and specific number. None of this was ever fumbled by any part of the company or cruise staff.

We do not like the compulsory “gratuities” that some other cruise lines use: pay the staff a decent wage in the first place rather than that egregious practice that whiffs of the practice of airlines who levied huge credit or debit card charges…now thankfully restricted, or supermarket 2 for 1 offers which make you feel that you are being taken for a ride.

So we are not rating the ship against other ships or cruises…merely against what we were led to expect about this particular ship. The ship is supposedly going to be retired and we hope that Thomsons note the comments about what works and what turns people off. We give Island Escape 9 out of 10.

  • Holiday details: Jul 2015
  • Advice: Don't expect the world, then you should be pleasantly surprised

7 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

10 / 10

"Did not know what to expect, but will go again !!! Food - certainly no complaints. Kids Club Team - Hard workers, very polite and felt safe leaving my child with them. Waiters, cleaners were amazing nothing was too much for them. all staff were well mannered and polite. The games for the children and grown ups were a joy to behold ... very funny. Last but not least the entertainments team.... eat your heart out " West End Shows" very professional and enjoyable... my daughter was over the moon at having her photo taken with all the princesses and handsome young men...especially Brandon the team captain whom she had a crush on from the start. We were encouraged by him to enjoy the entertainment and it was nice of him to introduce himself to us a lovely smile...... 1 moan - Assistant Manager ( Entertainment) Ruth I think ? telling off one off the children's team in front of passengers ... not nice.... shame its going hope all the staff will be going on the next ship they made the cruise ......"

  • Holiday details: May 2015
  • Advice: enjoy the entertainment

3 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

10 / 10
What a fantastic time

"This was my first cruise and I'd been told by my friend it was a lovely ship so we booked a week together and what a fabulous time we had. The ship is old but so well cared for - exceptionally clean and the crew are amazing from housekeeping right through to the entertainment - even looked forward to the captains stories every day. The food was really good and I have food allergies and have never had so much choice and everything labelled so I knew what I was getting which is more than I can say for some hotels.We had a twin room with a balcony and it was a good size and the beds very comfortable. Such a shame it's the ships last year and hope the staff will all be transferred to their new one as each and everyone of the we came into contact with were friendly and very helpful a credit to Thomson holidays.Would I go on another cruise - a definite yes from me."

  • Holiday details: Jul 2015, booked with Thomson

6 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

10 / 10
Fantastic cruise

"Just got home after a weeks holiday on the island escape,fantastic holiday,lovely comfortable clean room,food brilliant service brilliant,the staff work so hard on this boat especially the entertainment team,never laughed as much in all my life they were brilliant never a dull moment,met so many lovely friendly people on the ship,highly recommend you won't regret it,loved the captains daily chats,all the staff are a credit to Thompson & the island escape don't listen to negative reviews if you have booked to go on the ship you won't regret it as we had a amazing week I'm sorry to see this ship being taken out of service this year as I would have certainly booked again for next year."

  • Holiday details: Jun 2015, booked with Thomson
  • Good For: , City Breaks

9 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

10 / 10
island escape

"This was our 6th cruise on the island escape and absolutely love it the staff are,so friendly and professional it's such a shame it is being taken of at the end of the year my only criticism would be about a young gentleman who was part of the entertainment team called gee who loved to keep reminding people about the fact that he was gay who cares but why keep reminding us he is good at his job but should learn to tone it down a bit otherwise as always a super holiday."

  • Holiday details: Jun 2015

2 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Write A Review

Ratings summary


Rating by feature


Need a hotel before or after your Island Escape cruise?

Check out these recommendations in ports for upcoming itineraries

Top traveller tips for Island Escape Cruise Ship

  • by Kathleen Connolly

    " Have a hairdryer from reception much better than our travel dryer also it american plugs. "

  • by Kerry LeCras

    " Use the drinks package in advance its worth it and make sure you go on an excursion and the show team is a must see. Ben voice... "

  • by Boblynne

    " See the shows they are top class "

  • by travelling duo

    " Be on the ship for the itinerary and not for the cruising experience necessarily! "

  • by sandracl2

    " Get the drinks package - 95 pounds for a couple. Well worth it! "

  • by SS

    " only travel on it in the summer when stormy seas are unlikely "

  • by Steve Pringle

    " Do your homework on the places that you are going to visit. "

  • by MIW

    " American plug adapters and don't buy the drinks package - not worth it! "

Share your opinion with other travellers. Write a review.

Do you own Island Escape Cruise Ship?