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Thomson Island Escape

5 of 8 Thomson Cruises ships

A medium sized vessel of standard rating. Built in 1982 and refit in 2002. The Island Escape carries a maximum of 1690 passengers in 761 cabins, 5 of which have balconies and 472 have ocean views. 4 cabins are available for disabled passengers.

Cabins are small but have telephone, TV and sufficient storage space although the bathrooms are small.
The Island Suite has seperate living area with jacuzzi.

Entertainment features 2/3 entertainment lounges and casino. Sporting facilities include fitness centre, sauna and gym.

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162 Reviews

Traveller Rating

  • Excellent
    90
  • Very Good
    30
  • Good
    22
  • Average
    14
  • Poor
    5

Review Overview

  • Cleanliness
  • Entertainment
  • Food
  • Service
DelightedCustomer
A great holiday for young and old
6 years ago
This was our first cruise and I can honestly say we were delighted. My wife and I went with two of our friends (all in our 50s) for a 7 day cruise 'Best of the Med'. All negative reviews saying that this cruise/ship is rubbish are quite honestly untrue.

The weakest part of the experience was probably the cabins. They are small and slightly disappointing at first sight. However they are clean and do the job fine. Quite honestly, it is time they were re-furbished but on the other hand you do not spend much time in your cabin on a cruise. Our rooms were on Deck 9 and were adequate with a good bathroom en suite and a good shower. The cleaner was always on hand and kept the cabin clean and tidy.

The excursions were good value and we enjoyed them all, visiting Corsica, Rome, Florence and Barcelona. They are worth booking in advance and offer a ready-made experience in an efficient well-organised package.

The food on board was superb. The restaurant on deck 10 is informal and offers food 24 hours a day. In the evening we usually visited the restaurant on deck 6 which is slightly more formal but the food was always excellent in both places. The service offered by the waiters was excellent in all respects and they did everything they could to make us feel welcome and happy. One evening they did an Italian theme and on another an Indian Night. They always had a good choice of food, usually British style, and their carvery meats were really good. We had the all inclusive deal so we could help ourselves to as much food as we wanted and could ask for as much drink as we wanted as well. House wines, beer, lager, soft drinks and cocktails were all included; premium drinks and champagne are chargeable.

There was plenty of space on board for sitting or lounging in the sun although the pool was somewhat small.

The entertainment was good although not exceptional; the entertainment crew did their best with a range of shows and acts.

What really made the cruise stand out was the friendliness and helpfulness of the crew; this was really exceptional and they really made you feel special.

Also, the captain had an interesting line in pep talks on the ship loudspeakers, giving us a different story about his experiences every day.

All in all, a brilliant holiday and I would definitely go on this one again. Well done, the Island Escape and its crew.
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Recommended
Kate Baker
Great holiday
6 years 1 month ago
Couple 50s & 22 year old son. We had one of the best family holidays ever. Son had his own cabin which was great - plenty of room. We went on the open deck most evenings where Serendipity duo played. Late night disco on the top deck ideal for our son who met other youngsters, and as the ship is AI we had no money concerns with him. Food & service very good. Staff were very friendly. Entertainment manager Russ worked very hard & the departure party was well worth going to to get you in the holiday mood. This is very much a laid back informal ship. There is no captains cocktail party & we knew this when we booked. There are some good videos on YouTube that would give you a good idea of what to eXpect. Would we travel on Island Escape again? Most definitely.

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Sandra Carter
Friendly as I was travelling on my own, informal and relaxed
7 years ago
As this was my first cruise I was a bit unsure what the cabins would be like, I was on the 5th floor in an inside cabin, when I first saw it I thought I will never sleep in here as it seemed really claustrophobic, any way I soon got used to it and the sounds of the ship at night.

All in all I enjoyed the cruise, even though I was unwell for a couple of days nothing to do with the ships food.

The staff were all very nice and kept the cabin clean.
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Recommended
Rsy Butterfield
rubbish escape
7 years ago
If this ship was your first or only then you would enjoy but go on the Thomson Spirit and u will be let down by this one, senior managers lied to us saying the ship was not Thomson when it is, drinks package half as good as the spirit, restaurants very poor treated like kids, staff in bars slow an hour to get a drink in the show bar.

If you want a coffee then you buy it or go to self serve restaurant plastic cup for your Luke warm coffee,

Pay a bit more and go on proper cruise ship not this dreadful imitation.
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Keith Baker
7 years 3 months ago
They say A picture is worth a thousand words, so look at these and decide yourself. http://www.flickr.com/photos/north_east_keith/sets/72157628206306091/show/
These photo's were taken in the cabin we were allocated after we paid to upgrade to an outside cabin with a sea view.
We have been offered a £300 holiday voucher or £180 cash compensation from Thomson (the upgrade cost more than that!. I am now going through ABTA to sort this out.
The ship is an old 1982 North Sea Ferry and has been tarted up a little. I read the reviews and they said the ship had been refurbished but found out later that it was just the engines and the rest of the ship was tatty. One of the lifts didn't work so the others were over used and queues formed to use them. Passengers were constantly pestered to buy cigarettes by the waiters. as you will see in the photo's one of the lounges had torn seating and the rest were very grubby, The main theatre had no raised stage so shows had a limited view unless you were sat at the front. The singing by the entertainment staff in the main were recorded and the lip sync was dreadful. The restaurant on deck 10 was a joke! we went twice but hated the fact you had to use plastic cups and plates no teaspoons just straws!!!!
Our cabin was awful and we immediately went to the main desk to get the cabin changed, we were told by the surly staff they were fully booked and could not change the cabin. I could go on and on but no doubt you get the idea by now.
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Travel operator: Thomson

Dorothy Lloyd
7 years 3 months ago
I have been on Island Escape a few times & I love it. The food is always 1st class (unless u are too fussy), plenty choice. The housekeeper seems to be in your cabin to clean up or make fancy images out of ur towels, & empty bins.. every time u go out. All the crew are fab. The entertainment is superb with plenty of choice. I love WATCHING in the casino--but it goes a bit fast for me. Made many friends due to sailing on her. Ross (cruise director) is absolutely hilarious--lovely guy. Kerry just loves to laugh all the time.... Shame Granville has gone but he's retired now but he has left his footprints behind.
The only prob I have now, is I am a solo traveller & it's getting too expensive for me on my own. Costs me almost the same as it does for two people. OK I like to eat & drink but I def not eat or drink as much as 2 pple.
I go on excursions which are very informative--U couldn't learn about these places on ur own.
Looking at next Sept but will wait & see prices..... Don't fancy SINGLES cruises love to see families enjoying themselves.
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Travel operator: thomson

Recommended
Joyce
7 years 3 months ago
the rooms were of a high standard. The bedding was clean and fresh and the room was cleaned 2 or 3 times a day. The sanitary areas although very small are adaquate. There were times when the carpeted areas were wet and smelt slightly musky but staff were constantly cleaning somewhere on board. Our cabin domestic was exellent. Nothing waqs too much for him and there was a different animal or shape made from the towels every day. Just that little bit of a personal touch makes all the difference.

food: I found something i liked every visit. No two dats were the same. I felt the food was a little luke warm and needed to be hotter. It would have been nice to eat of proper plates and not plastic but i understand that it may be nessaccery. There are a lot of children on board and is the safer option. Food available twenty four seven. I will look at trying the oasis restaurant next time as i havnt yet been there.

Ship staff: you couldnt want for a nicer crew of people. They tended to your every need. There was never a moment when they were not smiling. They have some very long days but still managed to give everyone a personal touch. The bar staff were exceptionally jolly. After the first drink i found that i did not have to ask again. They were there ready and waiting to pour the next before i had time to ask. They remembered everyones names and were always dressed smart and clean.

Entertainment: There was a wide selection to choose from. The casino or the theatre. The pub, and bounty lounge. All had its own type of entertainment. I didnt get bored. I thoght the comedian was exceptional.

I have sailed with the Island Escape 6 times now and would recommend it to anyone. Ok its not all glitter and glitze. Ive sailed those too but they were very aloof. I love the warm welcome, friendliness and passion that the staff on the escape show. You get what you pay for and as a lower end budget liner i think it does very well.
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Travel operator: thompson

Recommended
Kath Birch
7 years 7 months ago
Hi, I have cruised with Thomson for 5 years and have converted several friends to there ships, however Island escape is not for me.
The food was very basic and was the same menu in both of the main restaurants. The entertainment team were very good as were the staff throughout the ship.
The all inclusive was a waste of money, the only place on the ship you could get a free coffee was in the restaurant and it was a basic coffee, if you had cocktails ie pina-colada you had to pay because it is an ice based drink which seems very silly and I had a sangria whilst in spain which i had to pay for, cant think of anything more local than sangria in spain.
I was on the 5 floor and the corridors in the accomadation smelt of urine, although the cabin was fine.

I enjoyed the holiday but did feel let down by the ship
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Travel operator: First choice

Trish Richards
7 years 9 months ago
I have just been on the colourful coasts for a week with my mum and we had a fantastic time. Everything ran very smoothly at check in at Tenerife. We had an outside cabin, which was quite small, but you only sleep in it don't you. It was very clean, steward cleaned it 2-3 times a day, and came into our beach towels made into monkeys, swans etc. The food was excellent, pleanty of choice, we ate in the Beachcomber restaurant all the time. The staff were all friendly and the entertainment team were hilarious, Chris, Dan and Matt had us all in stitches. The showteam were also brilliant, and the comedian Paut Eastwood was hilarious. We will definately sail on this ship again.
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Travel operator: Thomas Cook

Recommended
7 years 10 months ago
We have just spent a fantastic week on board the island escape. In fact we are still at Tenerife airport awaiting our flight home. The ship was clean, and our cabin steward Morrison did his best in ensuring a clean and tidy cabin for us. He made 2 cabin visits a day, sometimes 3, to tidy up and make the beds e.t.c. He transformed our towels into turtles/monkeys e.t.c. Granted the cabins could do with a little upgrade, but we were more than content with it. At the end of the day you get what you pay for. If you want a chic, spotless top of the range cruise, then pay the price and go on the QE11.

The food was fantastic. We only went to the Beachcomber once as it was on top deck, buffet style and crockery was all plastic. We ate all our meals in the Island restaurant that was buffet style but had waiter service for seating, and drinks. This was much better considering there was no extra charge. On the last evening we dined in the Oasis restaurant, this had a supplementary charge of 14.99 (GBP) per person, but after 9pm it reduced to 10.99 (GBP). The food and service here was absolutely exquisite. We had tempura prawns to start, fresh lobster tail for mains, cheese board for dessert (hubby had tiramisu). The waiter de-shelled the lobster in front of us, and then to chose the dessert, they are all brought out for you to see them.
As it was my birthday, our waiter made me a candle and holder (out of my napkin), then the live guitarist and a couple of the waiters came to the table and sang Happy Birthday to me. It was great but a little embarrassing.
The staff were all fantastic, and lots of fun. To be honest there was so many activities, and variety you don´t really need to leave the ship!!. Chris the cruise director was fantastic, and Mathew the welsh wonder (entertainments manager) was great. What a comical pair. You had everything from Ready steady cook (which was hilarious), a talent show, blankety blank, Mr and Mrs, cabaret, deck parties, live musicians, comedian, bingo, quizzes e.t.c. You name it, they had it. Even the entertainments team shows were of high standards.
We would have no qualms to going on this ship again , however we did hear a few complaining that the ship was old, and needed re-vamping e.t.c. I heard no other complaints however.
The only thing that did let the week down was the weather and that is by no means anybody´s fault.
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Travel operator: Thomsons

Recommended

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