Written on: 19/08/2006 by pauljo (1 review written)
Fantastic ports of call
Lots of bars and lounges
Choice of self service or waiter service dining
Terrible day at sea (MASS sea sickness)
Irritatating cabin service
Poor quality draft beer
Too little space in pools
Too many unsupervised kids
This was my first cruise, and the Med Renaissance is a great itinerary.
I didn't go on the excursions, but I found out that the local trasport is really cheap - a return train fare from Civitavecchia to Rome is only 9 Euros and a tour bus is 13 Euros, yet plenty of passengers paid 80 pounds for a the Thomson coach trip and came back exhausted.
The holiday as a whole is great value, and it was great to wander through Corsica and the South of France.
However, the day at sea was terrible, with extremely bumpy seas - they had to close off the decks and shut the lifts. Even the experienced cruisers had sea sickness. I couldn't go to the safety drill or the Captain's Ball, but a few shots of brandy did the trick, and things were great afterwards.
The inside cabin was fine, and it seemed less bumpy lower down in the ship. You don't need a window, as there are loads of comfortable lounges.
There are also 5 bars, so you won't get bored on a 1 week cruise.
The bar service was sometimes excellent, but some of the Eastern European girls gave the impression that they didn't want to be there, and were quite surly in their attitude.
The draft beer is poor, so stay away from the all inclusive package.
The cabin stewardess was a pain - she kept moving our stuff, insisted on coming in during the evening, and I don't think she hoovered up once - it might have helped to tip her on the first night rather than the last.
I would never go in high season again, as it felt like Butlins, and sometimes I cringed at the groups of typical Brits abroad - drunk, overweight, sunburned, and with unruly kids.
Thomson need to pick their market carefully, as the idea of a British cruise (nice food and no tipping) is being spoiled by going for the bargain basement.
I would definitely recommend it, but don't go during the school holidays, stick to bottled (or canned beer) and have a measure of brandy or rum in your cabin in case you feel queasy.