Onboard Experience

Still got some questions? Here's a quick guide to everything you need to know about Thomson Cruises.

How do I pay for things onboard?

All our ships have a cash-free system. Everything is priced in sterling and is charged to your cabin account. At the end of your cruise you can settle it in cash, travellers’ cheques, or by credit or debit card. If you decide to settle your bill in cash we’ll ask for up to £200 deposit per cabin per week. There’s also a 2% surcharge for using travellers’ cheques or a credit card. Whatever you choose, we’ll give you an interim bill halfway through your holiday so you can keep track of your spending.

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How much can I expect to pay for a drink onboard?

Drinks prices are comparable to UK pub prices. You’ll pay around £3.70 for a pint of beer and £4 for a glass of wine. Keep an eye out for our daily drinks specials in the Cruise News, too.

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How do you look after solo travellers?

Our Social Hostess arranges get-togethers for solo travellers, like dinners and coffee mornings. If you’re worried about dining alone, have a chat with the ship’s maître d’, who’ll make sure you’re seated with other guests.

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Can I reserve a particular cabin ahead of my cruise?

Of course. Take a look at our deck plans below.

Thomson Discovery
Thomson Celebration
Thomson Dream
Thomson Majesty
Thomson Spirit

If you see a cabin number you like, you can book it in advance for just £42. Just give us a call on 0203 636 1862 and we'll do the rest.

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What time do I have to check out of my cabin?

You’ll normally need to leave your cabin by 8am on your last day, but you can still use all the onboard facilities until your transfer arrives. Speak to reception about a courtesy cabin so you can freshen up before you leave. Alternatively, you can organise a late check out. Again, reception will advise on this.

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What should I pack?

Packing for a cruise is just like packing for any other holiday, but there are a few things to bear in mind. Hairdryers and all towels – including pool towels – are provided. And don’t panic if you forget any essentials as our onboard shops stock things like toothpaste and other toiletries. Other than that, it’s a good idea to bring a light jacket with you, as there’s often a strong sea breeze.

The onboard dress code is smart-casual, although you’ll want to pack something fancier for the formal night, where it’s more a case of black ties and cocktail dresses. Don’t forget, you’ll be photographed before dinner and have the chance to get a picture with the captain, so you’ll want to pull out all the stops.

Finally, think about what’s suitable to wear on excursions. Some churches, for example, ask for legs and shoulders to be covered.

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Do you cater for special diets?

Of course. Let us know your dietary requirements when you book, and the maître d’ on board will cater to your needs. Just so you know, each of our restaurants has at least one vegetarian selection on the menu. We also provide gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegan, and diabetic-friendly options on request. We don’t cater for kosher diets, but if you bring your own kosher food, we can prepare it for you. Take a look at a sample menu to see the kind of dishes on offer.

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Can I do my own thing in ports?

It’s up to you if you want to explore without the help of a guide. Our onboard Destination Services team can give you plenty of tips. Just remember that one of the benefits of our organised excursions is that if the tour is delayed, the ship will wait. If you’re on your own and you’re not back on the ship in time, we can’t wait for you. Take a look at our excursions for more information.

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What adaptors should I bring for the cabin sockets?

You can use either a European or a US 2-pin adaptor in the cabins.

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Do I need to bring my passport?

Yes. You’ll need your passport for every single one of our cruises. Without it, you won’t be able to board the ship.

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Do I need to tip?

No. All tips and service charges are included in the price of your cruise. You’re not expected to tip any of our crew – unless you want to, of course.

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Can I smoke onboard?

All our ships are non-smoking, which means you can only smoke in designated areas of the open deck. As for e-cigarettes, you can use these in the casino and adjoining bar areas on each of our ships, as well as in the designated areas on deck.

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What is a tender port?

It’s not always possible to tie a ship up at a dock. If this is the case, we’ll anchor a little way out from the shore, and use tender boats to get you to and from the ship. Tender ports are indicated in the itinerary where possible. You’ll still get plenty of time in the port, plus you can use the tender services to go back and forth from the ship as much as you like. Guests with disabilities or mobility issues will need to have some independent mobility to step in and out of the tender boat as our crew aren’t allowed to lift you. Go to our Customer Welfare page for more information.

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Do you cater for disabilities?

Absolutely. Give our Customer Welfare Team a call before you book your cruise for advice on things like ship accessibility, bringing equipment on board, disabled facilities, and medical care. All our ships have a small number of adapted cabins for less mobile passengers. Just remember to make sure one is definitely available before you book.

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Is Wi-Fi available?

We have internet lounges on all of our ships, as well as designated Wi-Fi zones. Internet access is charged to your cabin account at the rate advertised on board. Mobiles can be used, too, and there are telephones in each cabin, so it’s easy to stay in touch with people back home. If you’re pairing your cruise with a stay in one of our hotels, we’ll let you know which places have free Wi-Fi – just look out for the special logo.

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What sort of medical facilities can I expect?

Each of our ships has a medical centre and we have an English-speaking doctor and nurses on board who keep surgery hours. For emergencies, there’s always someone on call.

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