Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 305 out of 500
Accommodation: 126 out of 200
Food: 228 out of 400
Service: 251 out of 400
Entertainment: 61 out of 100
Cruise: 246 out of 400
Overall Score: 1217 out of 2000
Thomson Celebration Statistics
Size: Mid-size Ship
Cruise Line: Thomson Cruises
Former Names: Noordam
IMO Number: 8027298
Builder: Chantiers de l’Atlantique (France)
Original Cost: $160 million
Entered Service: Apr 1984/May 2005
Length (ft/m): 704.2/214.6
Beam (ft/m): 89.4/27.2
Draft (ft/m): 25.9/7.9
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel (21,600kW)/2
Passenger Decks: 10
Total Crew: 520
Passengers (lower beds): 1,254
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 27.0
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.4
Cabins (total): 627
Size Range (sq ft/m): 140.0-430.0/13.0-40.0
Cabins (for one person): 15
Cabins (with private balcony): 0
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 4
Wheelchair accessibility: Fair
Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 2
Hot Tubs (on deck): 1
Self-Service Launderette: Yes
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: Yes/230
Onboard currency: UK£
A family-friendly ship for a low-budget first cruise
Overview. This ship suits adult couples and singles taking their first or second cruise, seeking a modern but not glitzy ship, a middle-of-the-road lifestyle, and food and entertainment that’s not fancy. It is exclusively chartered by Thomson Cruises, so most passengers will be British, typically over 55.
The Ship. Thomson Celebration has a nicely raked bow and a contemporary transom stern, but overall the ship’s angular superstructure makes it look squat. There is a good amount of open deck space, and the traditional teakwood decks outdoors include a walk-around promenade deck. The ship, however, is quite dated and occasionally suffers from vibration.
The ship has a spacious interior design and layout, with most public rooms located aft in a vertical arrangement, while accommodation is positioned in the forward section, which keeps noise away from the accommodation areas. The soothing color combinations do not jar the senses; although they are rather dark and somber, with some new color splashes added during the ship’s refurbishment in 2005. Horizon’s observation lounge, atop the ship, is a pleasant retreat and observation lounge by day, and morphs into a nightclub/disco spot by night.
The ship operates a wide variety of cruises, and, for part of the year, is UK-based. There are many interior cabins, and standing in line for embarkation, disembarkation, shore tenders, and for self-serve buffet meals is an inevitable aspect of cruising aboard all large ships.
Families. Children have their own play areas at the aft of Bridge Deck. There are several children’s clubs: Tots is for 3-5-year-olds, Team is for 6-8s, while Tribe is for 9-12s. The clubs operate five days a week (not on embarkation or disembarkation days) and are supervised by qualified ‘children’s hosts.’
Accommodation. There are four accommodation grades: suite-grade, deluxe, outside, and interior (no view). Four cabins with great forward-facing views are for the disabled. You can pre-book your preferred cabin for an extra fee, and avoid any cabins with obstructed views. In general, cabins are adequately appointed and practically laid out, with some wood furniture and fittings, wood paneling, good counter but storage space, a large mirror, and a small bathroom.
Some cabins have bathtubs; others have shower enclosures only. Several cabins have king- or queen-size beds, although most have twin beds, some but not all of which can be pushed together. In many cabins, particularly those that are interior, the bed configuration is L-shaped, and the beds can’t be pushed together.
Some cabins have additional upper berths for a third/fourth person (useful for families with small children). Room service is provided 24 hours a day, at extra cost. Note that cabin insulation is poor, and bathroom towels are small. Some cabins on Mariner and Bridge Decks have lifeboat-obstructed views.
Dining. The 600-seat Meridian Restaurant has warm decor, and operates in an open-seating arrangement. Although there are a few tables for two, most are for four, six, or eight. Dinners typically include a choice of four entrées plus an alternative daily vegetarian choice.
Children have their own menu, with ‘home away from home’ dishes and small portions. Dessert and pastry items will usually be of good quality, and made specifically for British tastes, although there is much use of canned fruits and jellies.
Other dining options. A small à-la-carte restaurant, Mistral’s, is a specialty dining spot; reservations are required and there’s a per-person cover charge. It seats up to 45 and has superior food and service plus a more refined atmosphere. It is adjacent to the Meridian Restaurant, but is best entered from the aft stairway. The Lido Restaurant is active 24 hours a day in an open-seating arrangement. Each week a themed buffet may be offered. However, self-serve buffets are quite repetitive. On Lido Deck, the outdoor Terrace Grill provides fast-food grilled items, pasta at lunchtime, and pizza.
Entertainment. The two-deck-high 600-seat Broadway Show Lounge, with a main and balcony level, is the main venue for production shows and cabaret entertainment, but several pillars obstruct the sight lines from some seats. An array of colorful, lively production shows are presented, while cabaret acts provide entertainment on evenings when there are no production shows.
Liberties, another venue, is a multi-functional room for quizzes, dancing, karaoke, and a late-night discotheque. A number of bands and musical units provide live music for dancing and listening in several lounges and bars.
Spa/Fitness. Oceans Health Club, has good ocean views, and overlooks the aft pool. Facilities include an exercise room, a decent size gym with treadmills, exercycles, and other equipment, male and female saunas, but no steam room, and four body treatment rooms. You can have massages, aromatherapy facials, body wraps, manicures, pedicures, and hair beautifying treatments. A salon is located in a different area from the health and fitness facilities.