Thomson’s Canaries Cruise.
We’ve just had a wonderful week’s cruise with Thomson’s. We enjoyed every minute of it.
What a difference from our Costa Cruise From Hell last year!
We flew from Gatwick and were welcomed at Gran Canaria airport, where the Tui sign was right in front of us as we came through Arrivals.
The coach whisked us away to the ship, and our luggage was delivered to our cabin within half an hour.
Then we went up to the buffet restaurant on Deck 10 where there was a wonderful choice of food, all fresh and hot or cold. I had a salad and Hubby John had fish with chips and vegetables.
There are around six restaurants on the ship, all free except for one gourmet restaurant. Two of them are a sit-down waiter service. But the food and the service is very good in all of them.
You can find something to eat 24 hours a day if you want to!
There are two theatres, a casino, shops and lots of bars.
You can always find something going on, like towel folding or singing lessons.
As the ship sails at night, we always went ashore in the daytime.
A Danish ship called the Aida visited the same ports as us. As it was bigger than the Thomson’s Majesty, it left after us and arrived there first.
The Danish and Germans wore trousers and hiking boots. They were all slim and walked briskly or rode bikes.
They seemed to have bikes on board the ship.
The only walking sticks to be seen were Nordic hiking sticks.
The Brits often wore shapeless shorts which showed their shapeless legs.
Around 75% of them were overweight. They walked as though they were in pain, shuffling slowly, bent over with their protruding bellies stuck out in front.
Sometimes our boat looked like a hospital ship as the wheelchairs and walking sticks came on shore.
We sometimes felt ashamed to be British. We stood up straight, breathed in and increased our pace.
Why are we such an overweight nation? I’m sure the Danish ship had as much food on board as our ship. And I know that the Europeans drink as much if not more than we do!
Does the answer lie in exercise, or is our diet different?
Most passengers are unaware of all the hard work and training that goes on behind the scenes.
There are 1400 passengers and 600 crew members.
I spoke to Fiona who is the Thomson’s Company Representative on board the Thomson Majesty. She told me about all the duties that the Social & Welfare Hostess has to cover.
They include; Celebration Package Arrangements, hosted tables on formal evenings, Blessings (this is a renewal of vows,) behind-the-scenes arrangements, like champagne birthday arrangements.
Around 60 people per cruise have a birthday while on board!
I had my birthday on board and awoke to find a birthday message and balloons stuck to my cabin door. And I passed birthday messages and balloons everywhere!
Then there are the welfare responsibilities, like adapted cabins for wheelchairs.
This information will be included in the booking.
If someone needs to fly home early because of a family bereavement, the Social & Welfare Hostess will arrange the flights.
She refers anyone who is taken ill on board to a hospital ashore, and often accompanies them there.
And she will discuss it with Insurance Companies and the family at home.
I then spoke to Tayler McCullough, the Cruise Director. He runs the overall Entertainment Dept on the ship.
He works long hours as needed, but does get breaks during the day, plus trips ashore. He also gets five weeks a year at home.
There are 30 of them in the entertainment team, and they’re all qualified in Sea Survival Training, with Safety of Life at Sea.
They must also pass a medical to work at sea.
They hold a Mandatory Crew Drill once a week, usually at a port when the ship’s quiet.
Drills include fire fighting, First Aid, Security, survival techniques at sea, eg how to turn a lifeboat over, and how to use the equipment on the lifeboat.
They also practice crowd management, how to deal with piracy, and Man Overboard.
The Show Team has to undergo 11 weeks’ rehearsal ashore, then two weeks’ setup period on board, with dress rehearsals, technical checks and adjusting to the size of the stage.
Tayler is the Face of the ship. He makes the announcements and would have to announce any emergencies.
I asked him the silliest question he’d ever been asked, and he said, ‘Do the crew stay on the ship?’
I’ve heard it before and I thought it was an Urban Myth, but apparently it’s true.
His 2nd silliest question, which he gets asked a lot, is ‘How do you get upstairs?’
Tayler studied at Drama School from age 18-20. He loves it on ships. He said there’s a great cameraderie on board.
They have a great Captain who is a nice man and approachable.
Would we go on another Thomson’s cruise? Yes, definitely. It’s excellent value for money. All the staff are happy and friendly. And we visited some interesting places.
I can’t wait for my next cruise!
When we fly from Gatwick, we always book reservations in the No 1 Lounge.
It’s often better value than the main airport. All food, drinks, newspapers, plus a good view of the planes, are included in the price.
No1 lounge, Gatwick North offers guests a range
of stylish areas including a chic island bar, elegant
bistro, Sports Bar, library equipped with a private
meeting room, and a wide-range of comfortable
Guests who purchase No1 lounge, Gatwick North
access via no1lounges.com will also receive
complimentary security fast-track allowing them to
skip the queues and spend more time in the lounge.
For further information, high resolution images,etc
please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The award-winning No1 lounge, Gatwick North
is one of three ‘super-lounges’ in the collection.
Bookings can be made online at no1lounges.com
Priority Pass, Diners Club & IOD members welcome
Open 4am – 10pm daily
• Complimentary hot and cold food options
from the pantry table and bistro
• A selection of juices, soft drinks, speciality
teas and bean-to-cup coffees from the
• Award-winning wines, beers and spirits
are also available from a tended bar
• Free, unlimited WiFi
• Quality newspapers and magazines
to take on board
• Classic board games
• Runway views
• Cause for celebration? Add a glass or
bottle of champagne for a small price
Walk up: £35 per adult, £18.00 per child
Advance: £28 per adult, £16 per child