I am in total agreement with Dolan. Thomson cruises are very good value for money and you can book outside cabins - no balconies I'm afraid - There is just the one formal nite and that is the Captains Gala Evening and it's nice to put your best bib and tucker on, just to get into the party spirit. The All Inclusive is great- if you can get the free upgrade - as this will ultimately save you a bill at the end of the cruise. If you read some of the reviews on this site, you will notice that some of the cruise and stayers wish that they had stayed on board for the extra week because the Hotel, etc didn't live up to the expectation of the 1st week. The entertainment on board the ships is varied, shows in the theatre, fun, games and live music in the lounge bar, and there are other options open to you if you wish to persue them. I can wholeheartly recommend Thomson for a 1st time cruise beacuse once you have been on one cruise, you will definately want to do more of them. Go on, book your cruise today and you won't be disappointed.
Thomson do an all inclusive offer- free on certain cruises and excellent value for money but they dont have balcony cabins. Thye have excellent entertainment too.
We are just back after a week on the Thomson Spirit.....my only problem was I wished we had booked for 2 weeks as it was great. We didn't have the drinks package and certainly didn't reach the 149 pounds each person that is charged if you don't get the upgrade. As this was our 1st cruise it was great, unfortunately we didn't make the captaind night as I was ill, once I got the sea sickness tablets and found my sea legs there was no looking back.We bought a dvd of our stay and loking at the captains night some people had tuxedos, some suits, some jacket and trousers others shirt and tie, ladies were in dresses on the whole.
You have something special to look forward to. We hope to go back next year.
Thanks for your feedback everyone you have given me plenty to ponder and I'm looking forward to our cruise more than ever.
If you want large cabins with balconies, and an informal but entertaining cruise, try Ocean Village. go to the cruise ship reviews on this site and look at the Berlitz guide on this site also before making your final selection. Dont be put off by FORMAL either. Try Princess or P & O mid size ships. they have at least one restaurant with freedom dining and on formal nights there are two restaurants where you can enjoy being Informal. You may find however that you wished you had brought just one suit and a cocktail dress, especially as its your 25th.