Thomson Holidays (UK) TSS Topaz by Neil McMahon
We have just finished our first cruise on the TSS Topaz which is run by Thomson Holidays in the UK. It is very hard to find any reviews about this or any other Thomson ships. The TSS Topaz is run as an "All inclusive" ship and it certainly exceeded our expectations! From the outside this ship may not be the most glamorous ship in the world but the interior more than makes up for it. We found the layout of the ship to be very good with all entertainment venues situated on the same deck making it exceptionally easy to find your way around.
Our cabin was meant to be a standard inside but ended up being a standard outside & is one of the biggest cabins we have seen on the lower decks! Some of the other cabins which have double beds were indeed cramped but comfortable & clean. Each cabin had a television, which was handy as due to very rough seas and a force 9 gale, we managed to see quite a lot of our cabin the first few days & the films they were showing were quite recent and passed the time for us.
The entertainment on board was very very good and plenty of it. There was always something going on to suit everyone. All the lounges were kept in very good condition and comfortable (rough seas permitting).
The food on board was acceptable but not great, with the breakfast being a bit of a let down. Overall, the food was good in both the Topaz dining room & the Yacht Club self service room.
One really big plus was the "free" drink. Being all inclusive, there was not a large bill waiting for you at the end of the week, big bonus. The bar staff and waiting staff were excellent. Most of the staff were Eastern Europeans and there grasp of the English language was very good. The drink was plentiful. Your glass was never allowed to empty before they asked if you would like some more. The spirits were all named brands and not 'local brand' as sometime found in all inclusive hotels. Despite all this drink, there wasn't anyone going over the top as sometime tends to happen. All very enjoyable! The ports of call were all around the Canaries and to us, weren't very interesting. This, we didn't mind too much as this was to be a relaxing holiday and found it quite nice sitting by the pool with the drinks flowing!
To sum up this cruise, Good food, excellent entertainment, friendly, efficient staff, comfy cabin & lots to drink, more ships should turn to "All inclusive" as this is a definite winner. We will certainly book up to go on the TSS Topaz again, but on a different itinery. First class & excellent value for money.