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Thomson Celebration

4 of 8 Thomson Cruises ships

A medium sized vessel of standard rating. Built in 1984 and refit in 2005. Carries a maximum of 1370 passengers in 625 cabins, 416 of which have ocean views. 4 cabins are accessible to disabled passengers.

All cabins are well equipped and the deluxe cabins have a bathtub.

There are two show lounges featuring a weekly guest artist. Other features include a cinema, library and casino.

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196 Reviews

Traveller Rating

  • Excellent
    123
  • Very Good
    38
  • Good
    14
  • Average
    7
  • Poor
    9

Review Overview

  • Cleanliness
  • Entertainment
  • Food
  • Service
13 years 10 months ago
I was on the shakedown cruise on 3 May and thought it was a great ship. I think Thomson's have been unlucky. The shakedown cruise was precisely to sort out any problems before the paying public got on board, and was followed by a mini cruise for the paying public before the "maiden voyage" proper. I was on deck 1 and unaware of any problems with loos or aircon on the shakedown.

It was my first time on a cruise ship, and I had quite low expectations of a ship operated by a package holiday company - I am not a package holiday type of person (my brother works for the company). I was so impressed that on getting back I booked the North Cape Explorer from Harwich for 24 July.

The ship has had a complete re-fit, and appeared to me to be good as new. Certainly new carpets, furnishings etc. As the ship sailed out of S'oton, some of the entertainment team were out on deck doing a show, which started with "Celebration Time, Come On" and getting people to clap along - I inwardly groaned and thought I was at Butlins.

We were only on board 2 nights, but after the sailaway party the entertainment was much better. The main cast did two themed shows, and proved to be very talented and versatile.

I particularly enjoyed the fact that as you moved around the ship, the atmosphere changed dramatically. The bar above the bridge on deck 9 has the atmosphere of a luxury cocktail lounge, particularly so when the classical trio or singer and pianist were performing. I was also very impressed with the jazz band. You could always find a quiet space if you needed to, and I loved walking around the stylish wooden promenade deck.

The food exceeded all expectations - as good as a five star hotel. Five course lunches and dinners in the main restaurant had a choice of three items at each course. Food in the Lido buffet restaurant was equally good when I had breakfast and lunch there. Self service would be a bit of a misnomer, as attentive waiters pour iced water the minute you sit down, and clear promptly after each course. We went to the main restaurant on the formal night, but I noticed that the buffet had exactly the same food that night (Lobster Tail or Tornedos Rossini for the main course).

Service in the main restaurant was first class. We were addressed by name by excellent friendly waiters who place the napkin on your lap when you sit down and keep coming round with the pepper mill.

Drinks were good value; £2.90 for a cocktail, spirit measures of 40cl (60% more than a pub measure). Wine generally about £11 to £14 a bottle. Suggested wines with each meal were good, and a full wine list was also available.

On board facilities - I think generally the same as when she was the "Noordam" but with new names. Library, card room, kidzone, internet cafe, non smoking lounges, casino, 2 entertainment lounges and two bars with small stages for pianist/trio, 2 pools, health club, beauty salon, shops. See thomson-cruises.com for full details.

Captain - Norwegian, officers - British (I think), Maitre d' - italian, Hotel Staff - Fillipino.

We were in the cheapest cabin - inside on deck 1. Spacious, lots of hanging space, satellite TV, channel with a view from the bridge.

I was totally hooked by this ship. I think it offers tremendous value for money.

Cabins - as with any cruise ship, the best cabins are on the upper decks, which is precisely where you feel the most movement if you are at all prone to motion sickness. Down in the bowels of the ship on deck 1 (just above the waterline) you get a bit of vibration, but no feeling of motion - but only the cheapest cabins. Outside cabins on decks 1 to 4 are all the same size (144 to 177 sq ft), but on decks 1 to 3 only have portholes. Outside cabins on deck 4 have a reasonably sized window. Luxury cabins (208 sq ft) and suites (280 sq ft) on decks 6 to 9 have large windows, but deck 6 is the promenade deck so you have people walking outside your window, on deck 7 most cabins have views obstructed by lifeboats. Deck 8 is just above the lifeboats, deck 9 has the best views.

My cabin preference on this ship would be an outside cabin on deck 4 which I think optimises the view against my partners motion sickness, but I would be almost as happy back down on deck 1.

Hope they really have got the toilet problems sorted, looking forward to hearing more reviews - good or bad - from further cruises.

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Travel operator: Thomsons

Recommended
13 years 10 months ago
We were on the maiden cruise, departing Southampton 8th may 2005,this was the one that run into trouble with the toilets, our cabin was on deck 3 inside, and we only had it stop working once, and that was repaired overnight.But there were cabins near ours where there were problems also with the showers running too hot as well as toilets not flushing. overall we found the ship to be in a very clean condition.We had breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea in the Lido 24hr restaurant, this was always a good selection, although some times the choice of sweets was a bit limited, but they did wonderful fruit crumbles.One day the joint at the lunch carvery was a whole leg of beef,superb.The waiter service here was a bit disjointed,some times not very good, others very good,it was a case of the waiters working together for the first time and sorting themselves out who was doing what, but they were all friendly and most of the time smiling,by the end of the cruise they were getting more efficient.One day we were given an impromptu magic tricks demonstration on deck by one of the waiters.In the evenings we went to the main restaurant for our dinner which were all 5 courses, we found every meal to be nicely cooked and presented by efficient waiters,we could not get to know many personally as we had different tables some nights.The staff around the ship were curteous and found time to acknowledge you in passing, our cabin steward was around when you wanted him, and every night there was a chocolate on our beds which were turned down.The captain when he came on to the tanoy used to start by saying its the 'driver' speaking, and most days he was seen walking around talking to the passengers.The ships entertainment team were very very good, the singers and dancers were brilliant, and they put on some wonderful productions , especially the Can-Can show.I have been on several ships and I think this was the best teams I have seen.The Thomsons hosts done well, putting on some good quizzes and game shows, an excellent sail away party , where there were 17 of them singing and dancing around the lido, even in the sudden hailstone storm they carried on.Special mention to the Lido grill crew,who were always chirpy and friendly, and lovely burgers as well. Despite the toilet problems there is very little wrong with this ship, we will consider going back on next year.
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Travel operator: instant travel

Recommended
John Leigh
13 years 10 months ago
We were bought this cruise as a gift by our son for our silver wedding anniversary. This was the first time we had cruised with Thomson. The check-in on arrival was quite sluggish and it took a while to get onboard, however we were unaware that this was the first official voyage so we were understanding of the delays. Once onboard the ship look very presentable. We have cruised many times before with Sun Cruises and First Choice and in comparison the Thomson Celebration’s ascetics were excellent. As we sailed away from Southampton there was a cabaret show on the back deck. (The performers even continued through a heavy downpour). The entertainment team onboard created a great atmosphere from the outset.

As the evening of our first night was ending we were aware of various complaints regarding toilets not working and air conditioning malfunctioning. Our cabin was not affected by this so we had no complaints. By the morning of the second day there was a large congregation around reception. The girls at reception were struggling to handle the amount of complaints they were receiving. From what we overheard the problems with the toilet system was getting worse.

We arrived in Bilbao on the Tuesday and took the shuttle bus into town. There was a delay with gangway in the morning resulting with a large amount on people trying to take the shuttle bus at once. This caused delays and upset myself other passengers. Thomson took the decision to refund the passengers the £5 spent on the transfer.

When we arrived back at the ship the captain made an announcement telling us; that in order to fix the problems with the toilet vacuum system we would be put up in hotels overnight. Praise to Thomson on this as they managed to accommodate, arrange transport and disembark the whole ship in under 4 hours. This was a huge operation and we were constantly kept informed by the Cruise Director.

After out night in a luxury hotel we were taken back to the ship and told that all the problems were sorted. This however was not the case. The following evening at 11.30 the captain made the announcement to inform us that the cruise would be terminated in Lisbon the following day.

Chaos ensued onboard and uncontrollable (but understandably frustrated) passengers crowed reception (although told not to do so by the Captain).

The mammoth operation to disembark the passengers the following day was not as organised as that in Bilbao but the Cruise Director kept us fully informed and made himself available to everyone. He managed this without ever losing the smile on his face.

My wife is unable to fly so we asked to remain on the ship for the transit back to Southampton. I have to say that the following 2 days at sea were the some of the best we have ever had. The ship only had 500 passengers onboard, but the days were relaxing and the food excellent (had been for the entire cruise). The only downside was a small group of irritating passengers who continued to complain that they were unable to buy cheap cigarettes from the duty free shop. We had been informed previously that as the cruise had ended certain services would be unavailable.

On the last night a gala dinner was offered and another excellent show. We disembarked the following day and were taken back home courtesy of Thomson.

So thank you Thomson for a free 9 day mini cruise and 25% off my guaranteed future booking with you.
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Travel operator: Thomson

Recommended
Karla Smith
13 years 10 months ago
I went on a short cruise with my Mum, which should have been Southampton, Dublin, Scilly Isles, Guernsey and back to Southampton. We went because we needed a short break and it tempted us. Weather was fairly attrocious and visit to Scillies got cancelled. There was a lot of fuss about this but on the whole we tended to respect the Captain's judgement (although we were undeniably disappointed). Ship itself was excellent - and in particular the entertainment team - fantastic song and dance shows - brilliant can-can. I'd have given them 10 stars if your ratings system allowed it! Food was also excellent. Only negative comments I have are to do with information - or lack of it. As above, Scillies visit got cancelled but most people would have accepted this - except that they weren't informed, while still in Dublin, that we would be remaining overnight there. It was a battle of the busses in slow and scary traffic to get into the City and out again and many people were very annoyed (to say the least!) when they got back to the ship in time to sail, only to be told we weren't going anywhere. One of the ships staff could have easily have gone into the City and waited at the shuttle bus-stop to warn people. Similarly, some of the busses were 30+ minutes late in arriving at the ship to get us and take us to the town in the first place. Again, we weren't kept advised of whether they were coming for us at all or how late they would be. Some elderly people were getting very uncomfortable standing on the quay not knowing whether or not to return to the ship. It was little things like this lack of information that threatened to spoil the trip - and very nearly caused a mutiny! With such a short space of time in which to enjoy our holiday, we needed speedy and efficient information on the above situations so as not to sacrifice valuable hours wondering what was going on. I have a small business and I long ago learned that one of the keys to success is 'keep the customer informed at all times'. Come on Thomsons - if I can do it, you certainly can!
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Travel operator: thomson

Recommended
James Walker
13 years 10 months ago
Set sail from Southampton on 8th of May. Next day all hell brole loose because of toilet problems. The ship stank of raw sewage. Some cabins had raw sewage backflushing into the room. Half the public toilets were either closed or coveerd up. There were buckets all over the ship catching "water". The crew were running around like headless chickens carrying buckets and mopping up. The ship continuously vibrated alarmingly, and lurched and lunged on the sea, reletively calm seas. The staff were uselss, the information was not existant, the captain was a patronising bald bastard, and Thompsons holiday firm are shit. I sent two letters and did not recive a reply to their contents. They stuck there heads in the sand and hoped I would go away. We got a full refund, which is the least I expected, plus an insulting 25% off another cruise. I can book online and get 50% discount. I ended up with an anxiety attack which cost me £59 worth of medical expenses. I would NEVER recommned booking any sort of holiday with this firm, and would NEVER go on the Celebration. She is a vibrating lurching, lunging piece of scrap.
This was my fourth cruise so I know a bad ship when i experince one. KEEP AWAY, you have been warned.




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Travel operator: thompson

Billy
13 years 10 months ago
Following on from Pat and Steve, I totally disagree. After the cruise- early starts on trips,lots of food and drinks, evening show, hour in the Casino, hour or two in the disco, then going to bed after a full day of enjoyment, you need aweek of relaxation by the pool in a nice hotel to recover and generally chill out. (3rd time on a Thomson cruise)
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Travel operator: Thonson

Recommended

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