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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
Miss Pink
8 years ago
Checking in procedure - I found the whole thing quite smooth, arrived at Tenerife and was then directed to the Cruise rep who was just outside waiting for passengers to check in - I was shown the coach and case was on board and approx 45 minute joruney to the port. Arriving at port I was taken to the cruise check in - whereby you completed a health questionnaire (mainly if you had upset tummies that kind of thing) and also confirmation slip of your signature if you are settleing your onboard account by credit/debit card. You then get your pic taken for your swipe card and then follow the blue line (make sense when you get there) and put your coloured luggage label on your case. You then go aboard and a member of the crew shows you to your cabin.

Cabin - I was in cabin 9568 - Golden deck 9 and it had twin beds - as solo traveller only needed one but I took all the four pillows and the spare duvet to soften the bed as a bit lumpy. In the cabin there were two wardrobes, fridge safe (£14 rental per week) dressing table, chair, bar service bits and the balcony with bistro table and two chairs. The bathroom had shower, small but adequate, toilet and basin - and there were shower gels shampoos soaps body lotion provided and hairdryer provided. The cabin was fine albeit the decor was tired and the bed was lumpy.

Restaurants - The beachcomber was self service - cafe style with picnic style plates so ok for a sandwick by the pool but not great for hot food - the main Island restaurant had excellent food, the waiter showed you to your table, I mainly sat on round table with our passengers which was great for me as I got to chat to new people - the food was buffet style and good quality with enough to suit most needs. There was also the Oasis restuarants with a cover charge and bookable in advance I ate in here couple of times, their pepper steak was wonderful. This was waiter service.

Bars/Entertainment - The Pub was simply that and was busy quite quickly and had the casino next door which was opened late and then a lounge bar which was quiter. The Bounty lounge had varied and good entertaiment from the crew they tried hard to please all and did a good job. There is also a Cafe Brasil next to the Bounty Lounge which I used several times a day, as I Like Coffee to taste as coffee not dishwater and the restuarant didn't come up to scratch with coffee but Cafe Brasil did, it is really like a costa coffee style - all sorts. Sailaway bar on deck 11 - this was the late night bar where everyone went and stayed up for a few drinkies and had music going on.

Internet - for those that want to use the net - there are facilities on board, but expensive according to some of the passengers £8 for approx 5 minutes - I didn't use and mobile phones whilst at sea uses the ship roaming facility which was 75p per text, so be aware when at sea.

Swimming pool/deck area - this was deck 10 - the pool size itself was not an issue - but this pool was very tired and needs a refurb, the sides of the pool very dirty and the bottom needed total paint job - to be honest needs to be closed and redone - the week I was there only me and a couple of other passengers use (mind you it was very cold water). By the pool there is also very little deck space for the sun beds and you are on top of each other with little or no room.

Staff - The staff overall were very good, the bar staff in the Bounty Lounge/Cafe Brasil/Restaurant and the Cabin staff - the deck waiters were a little pushy with drinks - although I was on AI drinks package every few moments a bar member would be in your face shouting drinks from the bar, drinks from the bar.

Overall Experience - I enjoyed the cruise (have been on the ship appro 6 years ago) but think the ships needs a total revamp, whilst they seem to be concentrating on the external of the ship whilst in dock, the inside needs sorting - in the Bounty lounge for example the pillars need whitewashing, the windows are filthy, the nets are yellow stained - but the entertainment crew were very good and made constant jokes of calling it the Island Mistake. I Have said I wouldn't go on the ship again, not because I did not enjoy it because I really did, however I thought as a Solo traveller I thought I paid too much in view of the fact that the ship was not up to scratch, I paid 5 star price but got 2/3 star
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Travel operator: Thomson

Davies
8 years 1 month ago
hi just got back from colourful coast cruise..canaries/maderia/morocoo..yesterday 6mar 2011,
had a great time..have cruised previously on the bigger lines..princess,ncl,etc..cabins u cannot compare..on island it feels more like a caravan!..however clean/plus all u need really on a week cruise, we was unfortunate with some of the weather..so many nights..bit scary..loads of movement/noise of engines/sea waves slaping the ship!..(never heard before!)..but upside was..great crew sooo helpful/kind..entertainment..WOW!..fantastic..from showteam to comedy entertainers,etc etc..they really could teach the larger ships howto entertain!..food great lots to choose..well displayed..everyone we spoke to was also of the same thought..great value holiday..(if your looking for a bargin/yet great time..choose this ship!)..however if your looking for posh/mirrors/fancy theme bars etc/dont choose this..pay much more..and go larger!..enjoy xx
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Travel operator: thomson

Recommended
Irene Gilbert
8 years 1 month ago
were on holiday from australia and were unfortunate to book this cruise,we were left at the airport as we had to make a report the footrest on her wheelchair had been sheared off, going outside the coach had left without us.arriving at the port we were a bit shocked to see the ship, we were more shocked when we reached our cabin i thought we had entered the crews quarters,the wardrope had a curtain across it the carpet was filthy the bedding was grey in shock we went to look in the toilet, rubber shower hose , plastic curtain there were more cracks in the shower than on the road.it took 3 days for the water to be fixed it only trickled out and was cold,the food upstairs was disgusting and served up like slops then line up to wait for clen plastic cups, the dining room was better presented the food was much the same as upstairs, the drinks package was a joke we were presented with a sheet of paper telling us what we could purchase,drinks without a brand name, no tea ,coffee ,water what a rip off. the crew were arrigant and un helpfull as for complaints forget it someone should do us all a favour and sink the tub.
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Travel operator: thomson

Recommended
Carole
8 years 1 month ago
On reading many of the reviews for the Island Escape I wonder if I have been on the same cruises. The ship is clean and food great with good choice and freshness guaranteed. Ok so its not a formal dress code- but it does tell you that before you go that the Island Escape is the most laid back of the fleet- So why do people insist on going on a casual cruise but still expect it to have all the pomp and ceremony included. I have had no wish to go formal, and hence the reason for booking in 2010 and again in 2011. We were not disappointed - we took my elderly father in law (88) who thoroughly enjoyed himself. It was his birthday on board and I ordered a birthday cake which was amazing and only £8. Our cabins were on the 9th deck, One an outside premier and the other an inside - the inside was very basic but all we needed, the outside was great very roomy with a double bed, settee chairs and fridge. Our previous cruise was on deck 8 and in a Premier Outside which we had absolutely no complaints with at all. The beachcomber restaurant was most often frequented by ourselves, mainly because of its proximity to our cabins, the pool and some of the entertainment, you can also eat outside which is great for breakfast and lunch in the sun. Absolutely no problems and would recommend this cruise to anyone looking for a bit of fun and without having to pack the evening dresses and tiara's!!!!


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Travel operator: Thomsons

Recommended
Geoffrey Woodall
8 years 7 months ago
We booked this holiday for our Ruby wedding paying over £400 each for a cabin upgrade.Our cabin was fine as space goes but that was about it.The furnishings were in a very poor state.I have seen better in a skip. The chairs and carpet were stained and the bed valances were well past their best. On other cruise we have been on the beds were converted to sofas during the day ,these were left as beds. Our cabin crew did their best to keep the room clean. The bathroom had more sealer in than tiles.The floor tiles were breaking up and twice I had pieces sticking in my foot.We complained to Thomson but they did not even bother to reply. This is our 3rd Holiday with Tui/Thomson in the last 18 months so much for customer service. As for the rest of the ship ,it was O.K. We wanted an informal cruise and it suited us .The food was O.K and the staff were great.We found it a very relaxing holiday.Entertainment was fine and the tours as expected from earlier cruises.Overall the ship needs a refit or Thomson can visit a charity shop for some new furniture for the cabins.
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Travel operator: Thomson

8 years 9 months ago
As I have only ever been on Thomson ships, I was expecting similar service onboard the Escape, especially as it was now owned by Thomson.

However, IT IS NOTHING like the Thomson Ships, although it was a really good holiday! I shall explain why now.

The only "Thomson" related parts of the holiday were the flight and coach transfers which were both "thomson" brands.

The showteam/entertainment team wear ORANGE polo shirts and the waiters wear flowery shirts. Although this doesnt detract from their service, it was a bit of a shock, as I was expecting to see the thomson colours all around the ship!

It took a while for our luggage to arrive at the side of the ship so we could label it and get it onboard, unlike Thomson, which had it ready by the time you stepped of your coach!

Once we boarded the ship, we were left to find our cabin ourselves which was a bit annoying as we had no idea where to go, except we knew the floor. Thomson show you to your room (maybe because Island are less formal?)

We explored the ship and although having read on here before we left England, it is an amazing ship! Lots of places to go and see, and I wouldnt say it was "falling to pieces" at all!

We purchased a key for the safety deposit box. It was £14 and you don't get that back! It was definitely worth it though for all your valuables.

We were on deck 7, inside, and had a very nice cabin steward Eldrage.

I will now focus on more specific aspects of the ship.

SHIP FOOD

There were 3 places to eat on the ship.
Oasis Restaurant where you have to book a table and pay extra for waiter service, however we didn't eat here at all.

Island Restaurant - here you are shown to your seats and waiters remove your used plates etc, however it is a buffet service. We ate here for dinner every day and loved it!

Beachcomber Restaurant - Fully buffet!

At first I was a bit sceptical about the buffet service, because on the Thomson Ships, apart from the Lido areas, you are always served by waiters! However, We really enjoyed helping ourselves because you could have as much, or as little as you want, of whatever you want! Without feeling greedy or guilty for eating more of something and less of others! There was always vegetarian options, and a wide variety of traditional and more cultural foods!

SHIP STAFF

All very helpful, especially guest relations. We also became very friendly with one of the photographers - Maria. As a couple who seemed to get lured into having their photos taken every night after dinner, we got friendly and we had some very proffessional photos taken (at a very reasonable price!).

ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT

This is where the Island cruises were better than Thomson in some respects...but a lot worse in others!
I will start with the showteam.

The showteam consisted of 5 english, 5 brazillian girls and boys. It was quite obvious that those not from England didn't know the words and so mimed, despite having head microphones on! As someone who carried on going back onto Thomson ships because of their amazing showteam, I was quite dissapointed.
It felt like the English girls and boys had to work even harder to make it sound like a great team. They also only performed THREE nights during our cruise, the rest taken up by guest acts. We were very dissapointed with this as we love seeing the showteam performing and Thomson Showteam pretty much sang and danced every night!
Simiarly, the deck parties were pretty poor, as the team seemed to be on "shifts". Half would sing and dance and then go eat, and the other half would come on. This wasnt as friendly an atmosphere as we hoped, although don't get me wrong - all of the team were very talented!

HOWEVER, the entertainment team, Corrin, Matthew, Justin, Adam and Hayley-Jane were AMAZING! Their daytime and evening entertainment was second to none, and the best I have ever seen! It wasnt the case of "now we have your lunchtime quiz", they made it their own and really got everyone involved. This surprised me, as usually on Thomson Ships, the Showteam steal the show, and the entertainment is just "ok".

Another special mention has to go to Ross Roberts - Cruise Director. What a fantastic guy!

GENERAL SHIP

Was it just me or are there NO clocks around the ship? We found that we had to take out clocks everywhere with us so that we could know what time it was! Especially with dining times (and scone time - 4pm!) we wanted to get there before they ran out!.

Comparing this ship to Thomsons they are pretty much TOTALLY DIFFERENT! Apart from the similar structure to the day, Island has a lot more going on during the day (including Darts, Wii Games, Dancing Lessons), but Thomson has a lot better Showteam singers.

We would definitely go on this ship again, and next time we would be more prepared for what we were going to get for our money, rather than what we expected from previous Thomson Ships.
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Travel operator: Thomson

Recommended
Sue And Tony Oakley
8 years 10 months ago
Wife and I just returned from our very first cruise. We late booked a week on the Island Escape on the Mediterranean Discovery itinerary. After reading some of the comments we were a little apprehensive but we had a fantastic time. The food is worth a special mention, it was excellent with plenty of choice, catering for all tastes. There are two buffet restaurants, the Beachcomber (open 24 hours) which has plastic plates and mugs but this is to allow meals to be taken out on deck and the Island restaurant which is more formal, being shown to your seat next to other diners, however you can request to be on your own. The third restaurant, the Oasis is a la carte and meals are extra at around £15 per person for four excellent courses. Drinks prices are reasonable considering the location and there's entertainment to suit all tastes. There were always sun loungers available (towels provided) with plenty of non-smoking areas. Yes the ship is in need of a refurb and the pool is small but the cabin was clean with shower gel and soap provided. Hygiene is prominent with hand sanitizer dispensers all over the ship and at entrances to restaurants (and they make sure you use them). The staff cannot do enough for you. We went on several well organised excursions with good guides the only complaint being refreshments aren't included even on the full-day ones. Asking other passengers how this cruise compares they all said it was excellent value for money and we agree. We were warned we'd be hooked on cruising and this has been an excellent introduction.
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Travel operator: Thomas Cook

Recommended
The Craigs
8 years 10 months ago
we have just returned from the Island Escape last week.
Fortunately we had great weather. This is our second time onboard this ship. And yes the ship is a bit shabby however what the ship lacks the staff make up for.
The service is 5 * from everyone.
the cabins are a bit small but they are only for sleeping in.

We thought the entertainment was a bit better last year although Ross did a fantastic job. the theatre shows were good, although some of the top deck evening entertainment was a bit iffy.

We mostly ate in the Oasis restaurant where our waiters Chris, Raj and Buddi were fantastic. We got the same table everynight and were entertained learning to make napkin swans, people, flowers etc or games with cocktail sticks.
The food was of good variety, we had a vegitarian with us and they throu

Our cabin had a window although you could not really see out of it. It was small but Nashrun our cabin boy cleaned it twice a day, with fresh towels if required and always a new animal on the beds. The kids cabin maid Liliene made a person from our son's clothes, we callled him Hector. We would find him with botles of wine or vodka in his hands, but it must have been too much for him as toward the end of the week he did quite a bit of reading.....

We had originally booked the Canaries cruise in April but Ash Cloud put paid to those plans. We have been to the med a few times now although some of the stops were diferent.

I would not hesitate to book the Island Escape again, especially if they are going to refit the ship later on in the year.

I did not speak to one person on the ship who did not enjoy it.
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Travel operator: Thomsons

Recommended
Ian&lida
8 years 10 months ago
we have been back from our 1st cruise and as a few other people have said dont take notice of the moaning minnies.the reason it has take so long to write a report on this ship and the crew is i have spent so much time going around telling everyone we know, how good it was.
the only complaint that we had was that we only booked for a week instead of two.
the crew,cleaning staff,bartenders and all conected with this liner should be proud of themselves for the effort that they all put into making an addmitedly elderly ship into a welcoming and enjoyable place to spend a holiday.
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Travel operator: thompson

Recommended
Kirk
8 years 11 months ago
just returned from yet another great cruise on the island escape. affected by yhe volcanic ash cloud which meant we stayed for an extra week. even better!!! captain and all the crew couldn't do enough for us during the week, they obviously were all affected, change of itinary and some had had teir leave cancelled, but at no point did they complain.They made shows up in a few days in order to give us different entertainment and not one penny was asked of us by thomsons throughout the week and they got 1700 passengers home safely. Another great cruise, go on the ship and make up your own mind!!!!. You can't please everyone.
Thanks Thomson but most of all thanks to the hardworking staff of the island escape.
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Travel operator: thomson

Recommended

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