How are the mighty fallen! Thomson/Tui used to provide a fairly high quality mid priced cruise experience but our last cruise with Marella saw a huge drop in general standards. The staff, in the main, were brilliant and kept smiling although several said how tired they were. I was asked by a member of the gym staff to give him my charge card so he could take a gratuity when I attended a free class.
Our balcony cabin was fine although very limited TV channels. Internet incredibly slow and I was pleased I didn’t buy a package as several fellow travellers said it just wasn’t worth it.
All inclusive drinks are now quite limited and you are strongly encouraged (several times!) to upgrade to a premium package. You can view the drinks menu online so it will help you decide if you want to upgrade.
Destination services were hellbent on selling trips but knew nothing of the ports we were visiting in terms of places of local interest. No maps are now provided although you can see them online.
The entertainment team were definitely trying and you can interpret that as you wish! I guess it may be a case of getting what one pays for – in this case Tui!
Dining room food was fine although portions are small. But the buffet could best be described as ‘lukewarm’ and ‘canteen’. Sweets were almost identical daily and the labels bore no resemblance to what was actually on offer. Coffee was truly awful.
To sum up – great staff battling against a tide of financial cuts I suspect. If you have been with Tui before you may be disappointed. If you are a first timer, expect a budget type cruise and maybe you won’t be too disappointed.