Model Boat Mayhem - Forum

Mess Deck: General Section => Chit-Chat => Topic started by: boatmadman on September 25, 2007, 02:45:17 PM

Title: cruise holiday
Post by: boatmadman on September 25, 2007, 02:45:17 PM
Having steered away from cruise ships for fear of 'Blackpool on the sea', swmbo has found an interesting looking one in the Red Sea.

It's with Thompson cruises and is aboard the Thompson Celebration.

Has anyone any experience of Thompson cruises and/or that particular ship?

Your comments would be greatly appreciated.

Title: Re: cruise holiday
Post by: Bunkerbarge on September 25, 2007, 03:05:37 PM
I found this on the internet about her:

Celebration does look a lot smaller, older and less glitzy and glamorous when she is alongside newer ships in port, nevertheless, the Thomson product is popular among passengers who want a value-for-money cruise, with a British atmosphere. The ship has some of the traditional cruise elements, such as (optional) waiter service lunch and dinner and captain’s cocktail party.

Thomson has an army of loyal British cruisers who would never choose to sail with anyone else. Service is acceptable, although you may have to wait a while for a wine waiter in the main restaurant. Food is rather samey, although of an acceptable standard for most passengers. There is also paid-for restaurant, Sirocco’s (cost approx £15 per person). The ship provides traditional entertainment, such as West End shows, Austin Powers sing-a-longs and magic shows.

I would suggest that she is tending towards the "Blackpool at Sea" end of the market and another concern is that you are going to an extreemly hot environment where you will be very dependant on good AC.  A ship of her age may struggle to meet your expectations.

There are however cruises for every taste and pocket nowadays so the first thing you have to do is identify these and not try to fit around a ship that you may have come across.  If you want an older crowd there is Saga Cruises if you want cheap booze and parties then try Carnival.  If you want scenery look at Alaskan cruises and if you have kids look at Disney Cruise Line, etc..etc..

I would first be sure of what you want then go and look at the hundreds of options available to you.  At the end of the day you should be able to come up with something that very closely matches your requiremnts.
Title: Re: cruise holiday
Post by: Colin Bishop on September 25, 2007, 03:17:15 PM
Hi Ian,

We had a week on the Celebration last year to Norway and liked it so much we have booked the same cabin next April for a 12 night tour of the Baltic. Thomson offer great value for momey and although the ship is informal (which we wanted) it isn't downmarket unless you are a very upmarket sort of person! Several people on board said they preferred it to P&O. It's been described as a 4 star cruise experience at 3 star prices and the Berlitz Cruising Guide gives it 3+ stars which I think is fair comment. My mother and sister in law have just done a Norway trip in Celebration's sister ship Thomson Spirit on our recommendation and they absolutely loved it.

Rather than rabbit on about it here I will PM you later on with more details and where to find detailed reviews etc.

Title: Re: cruise holiday
Post by: Bunkerbarge on September 25, 2007, 05:02:28 PM
You can't do better than first hand experience.  Sounds like a good deal Colin, I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Title: Re: cruise holiday
Post by: Colin Bishop on September 25, 2007, 05:17:53 PM
Yes, not as glitzy as some of the more modern ships Bunkerbarge but you are quite right about deciding what sort of atmosphere you want and then finding something that fits. The Berlitz Cruising Guide was very useful and I downloaded dozens of reviews off the net before we decided on Thomson. Personally I liked the idea of the smaller more traditional ship with only(!) about 1,200 passengers. It does give a more intimate atmosphere. I can't say I much liked the external appearance of the ship, too angular, but inside she retains a lot of the original Holland America ambience and decoration. And on top of the bridge the've had the sense to keep the observation bar rather than install a gym!

We were looking at other lines for next year including Fred Olsen - then I saw that they recommend hiring a dinner suit for £70 which you will only wear once or maybe twice during the trip - no thanks! In the end we decided to stick with Thomson. Two other plus points are that tips are included in the fare and the itinerary almost always gives you a full day at ports of call. A lot of other companies will just give you a few hours or half a day only. I know that some people prefer the posh stuff but dressing up beyond a suit or smart casual isn't my thing I'm afraid.
Title: Re: cruise holiday
Post by: Bunkerbarge on September 25, 2007, 05:55:30 PM
Colin, check out Saga Cruises as well.  They have, for not much longer, two very traditional ships, both of which look superb and have been very well maintained over thier lives and the big advantage of sailing out of Dover.

One of them, I think the Saga Ruby, is going soon but the Ruby and the Rose were both ex Cunard ships and I have been on both of them.  Beautifull lines with a very pronounced shear.
Title: Re: cruise holiday
Post by: Colin Bishop on September 25, 2007, 06:08:23 PM
Yes I did look at them, some reason why I didn't pursue it but can't remember what! Maybe the cost!

They are certainly nice looking ships though, both originally built for Norwegian America Line I believe.