Written on: 04/04/2006 by ukbyron (1 review written)
Helpful and friendly staff
Lack of sunbeds;
This was our first cruise with Thomson, and overall the experience was excellent. We were very disappointed with the ports of call, as they were generally commercial ports (apart from Sharm) with nothing worthwhile to see - more like Immingham Docks. At Sagafa the ship moored next to a ship being loaded with grain, and the noise and dust was unbearable. I would therefore only consider this cruise if you intend going on the organised excursions to Petra, Cairo, Luxor and the Pyramids etc. Visiting the towns yourself is not really practical, although taxi's do meet the ship at Sharm where there are public beaches for sunbathing and snorkeling at a cost of £3pp.
We tried an excursion to a "luxury" hotel which included a sunbed, drink and towel, but that was a complete rip-off. The hotel turned out to be a few hundred yards away, and the hotel was anything but luxury. After a small revolt, and to Thomson's credit, every ones money (£23) was refunded.
A shuttle bus is provided at Aqqaba for a transfer to the town at £5, but I wouldn't bother as there is nothing worthwhile to see or do.
We ate mainly in the Compass Rose (waiter service), and we had great food and service. There is a Lido restaurant which is self-service. It's well worth splashing out on the Sirrocco at least once - £15 - for the best lobster thermidor!
On-board, the food, drink (the drinks package was unbelievable value and covered just about everything apart from water) and entertainment was excellent. The staff were always friendly, helpful and prepared to go the extra mile for you. As well as the on-ship entertainment team, a UK comedian also appeared twice.
The only downside to our outside cabin was the extremely hard bed. The bathroom was small but perfectly functional. The in-room TV showed movies, a couple of news channels and 2 radio stations.
The on-board cinema showed a different movie each day.
On the days that excursions were running, it was easy to get a sunbed. The rest of the time it was a case of getting up at 7am and reserving one, even though the ships newsletter asked everyone not to.
Overall, a great holiday, and we will certainly be going on another Thomson Cruise - probably to the Canaries next year.