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Thomson Celebration


Overview: This ship suits adult couples and solo travelers taking their first or second cruise, seeking a modern but not glitzy ship, and happy with a middle-of-the-road experience. It is exclusively chartered by Thomson Cruises, so most passengers will be British, typically over 55.


Black Sea. by Burnett, Aberdeen

Black Sea.

Overall Rating: 5


Cruise Line:
Thomson Cruises
Cruise Ship:
Thomson Celebration

Reviewed By: on
We chose the Crimean Discovery Cruise because the itinerary was new and sounded rather exciting. Names like Dardanelles (or even Hellespont), Bosphorus, Sevastopol and Balaclava brought back memories of old geography and history lessons. We were not disappointed.

We had sailed on the Celebration before and looked forward to doing so again. The ship is still friendly, clean and not much has changed. The staff are well organised and polite. The food is good and plentiful. As the weather was very hot, the waiters in the restaurant and the buffet kept us well supplied with iced water.

The cruise was delayed because of the late arrival of a flight, (the Dreamliner again!) and the itinerary had to be changed at the last moment because we could no longer reach our first port of call in time. This was a pity but was done very efficiently and must have taken some organising. Unfortunately, we could no longer visit Cesme. Istanbul was now our first port instead of near the end and because time was short we took an organised tour. This was good because we saw the major sights but all were in a small area and not far from the ship's berth so with a bit of planning you could do it yourself. We were hardly in the bus but in retrospect, glad we had a tour guide to help us. Two days in port would have been better.

The visit to Constanta was a non-starter. There was not much to see there. It seemed a very poor area. We took a shuttle to Mamaia which was supplied free because of our missing port. This is a beach resort which had practically closed for the winter the week before. We had a coffee, a walk on the beach, and took the shuttle back.

Sevastopol was different. There are some magnificent buildings there, suffering because of Communist rule. There are also signs that there is still a great deal of poverty but the atmosphere was quite upbeat. We were there on a Friday which is the day a lot of weddings take place. Tradition is that couples visit a war memorial or similar at some point in the day. Being in the Crimea, there were a lot of these so we saw quite a few brides on our tour. We did the Sevastopol in the Crimean War Tour which covered most of the things we wanted to see - the Valley of Death, Balaclava (the Officers quarters were very grand and the poor soldiers slept in tents on a steep slope) and the Panorama Museum which is just as spectacular as everyone says.

Nessebar was charming. Just a short stroll from where the tender dropped us is the old town which you can walk round. We were disappointed not to visit Cesme which sounded much the same, but there was no time.

Embarkation and disembarkation was slick and our flights were on time.

Times cruised before: 6-10
Sailed: September, 2013
Age: 65+
Cabin: Inside

Quality of Food
Buffet or restaurant

Hard working Talented Show Team

Shore Excursions
Sevastopol in the Crimean War. Well worth the money.


Children's Facilities

Onboard Activities


Overall Rating
Louth, Holbeach - Commented on this review

Did you sail in October? Thought the Crimean sailings had finished by now. We loved ours in August. Cesme was a lovely place to stroll into in the sunshine, a lovely fort to find around the bay.Good old Celebration.

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Burnett, Aberdeen - Commented on a comment by Louth (31 Oct 13 20:23)

Sorry Louth, we sailed in September. I must have got carried away by the lovely memories when writing the review. Last time we were on the Celebration, she ploughed through northern waters to Iceland. A game old bird!!

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Levin, Stoke on Trent - Commented on this review

We also missed Cesme. We were just cruising past Lesbos when there was a bang and black smoke poured out of the funnel. Fortunately we were only adrift for four hours as everything electrical and the toilets weren't working. We went straight to Istanbul where divers surveyed the bottom of the ship and presumably everything was sorted out.

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