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Margaret French

Age: 73


Number of Cruises: 5

Cruise Line: Thomson Cruises

Ship: TUI Discovery

Sailing Date: 2016-10-15

Itinerary: Mediterranean

The ship itself is very nice and the cabins are practical and comfortable. The entertainment is the usual thing you find on cruises and the food is ok. However, the overall customer service is poor and there are so many added costs you could encounter, that it just feels like it's a 'money ship' designed to bleed passengers for every penny they have.

The food was fine.

The cabin was clean and tidy. The cabin staff were wonderful.

Activities were fine.

Excursions are expensive and not worth the money. You'll get better value using public transport or taxis once ashore.

I recently came back from a Thomson Discovery Cruise around the Med and had a terrible experience. For a start, All Inclusive most definitely does not mean all inclusive. You still have to pay for things like orange juice once the canteen has closed. And at £2 per glass, we felt this was particularly steep. When you book one of these cruises, just be aware that there are lots and lots of unexpected extras.

You can't buy basic medication such as paracetamol or ibuprofen in the on board shops - you have to go to the on board doctor who will charge £10 per strip. In addition, make sure you always take a credit card or plenty of cash, because if you fall ill, you'll have to pay a standard £200 fee to the doctor just to be seen.

Regardless of the fact you're in European waters, you can't pay for anything in euros and if you do need to exchange euros to pounds, the exchange rate is outrageous. This wasn't made clear to us when we booked the holiday through the travel agent so we took nearly £1000 in euros, which we've ended up bringing home with us. So be mindful that you need both euros when you go ashore and either sterling or a card to settle your bill.

The admin staff were incredibly rude too. We were overcharged £40 on our drinks bill, but rather than rationally sit down with us to talk our issue through, all the rep could do was rudely keep saying "it's right, it's right". She didn't want to listen to us and just wanted us out of her hair. However, it wasn't right, and the matter was fortunately rectified later on by one of the managers - but the experience still left a bad taste in our mouths.

Please be aware that the ship is trying to take money off you at every available opportunity. We were celebrating our 50th Wedding Anniversary on board and a note got pushed through our cabin door asking us if we wanted a 'complimentary' photo taken to commemorate this occasion. When we got down to the photographer's room, we were promptly advised that the session was free - but the photo would cost us £70. What an insult - and a rip off. We're both 73 years of age and we're not stupid - but we still fell for this scam.

Don't be conned into taking the trips either. To go ashore in Rome, we would have had to pay £80 each for the privilege of sitting in a cramped coach for over 2 hours, with no opportunity to get out and walk around. Instead, we took the tender ashore and caught the train into the centre of Rome - and it cost us £5 euros each. We had a wonderful day but our shipmates weren't so lucky.

We are regular cruisers and this is most definitely the worst one yet. Yes the ship is nice and the cabin staff are wonderful. However, we felt that we were soft targets for the Thomson marketing machine. All they want to do is take your money - sod giving you an experience to remember. Although there's no doubt, we will certainly remember this trip and our 50th Wedding Anniversary - but unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons.

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