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Anyone been on Island Escape cruise?

(16 Posts)
secretscwirrels Sun 19-Jan-14 09:32:36

Looking at this because we have never been on a cruise and I like the idea of it being AI and informal. I've always been put off cruises because of the impression of snobbish formality.
I have DS18 and 16 and lots of people have suggested that a cruise might suit teens. I would combine it with a week in a hotel.
Cruise reviews are tricky because they all seem to be written by the older clients who have been on hundreds of cruises.

Creamycoolerwithcream Sun 19-Jan-14 10:46:52

I'm trying a Thomson cruise this year with a week in an all inclusicve hotel. I think island and Thomson are a similar 3 star standard. I dont think there is a lot for teens but we are expecting to do stuff with ours such as quizzes excursions and them to do a bit of hanging out also. We booked with Thomson as tge ship is going to places we havent been before and as it was actually cheaper to do a 14 night stay and cruise than 10/11 days in a hotel.I've been on a number of cruises with pre teens and young to mid teens and would recommend Royal Caribbean. I've been with Disney, Carnival and NCL as well and they would all work for a family with teens. They weren't really formal more a mixture of excellent service, pampering, good fun and almost to much to do on and of the ship. They really were not full of older people. We went on Royal Caribbean's independence of the seas and it's like the ship they use on the TV advert with the surf simulator etc. My teens enjoyed the iceskating and jacuzzis.

secretscwirrels Sun 19-Jan-14 12:37:40

Yes it was a Thomson's week in a hotel and a week cruise that I was looking at.
We will only get one holiday abroad this year and two weeks in the same place would be too long.
I'm not after teen clubs or specific activities, more a good chance of other teens on board. We can go early July as they both finish school and exams in June.
It's all the tipping and dinner jackets that has put me off before, which I would tend to associate with American cruise lines.

Creamycoolerwithcream Sun 19-Jan-14 12:48:09

The tipping really isn't a big deal. As you know there is no tipping on Thomson cruises and on others you can pay the recommended amount or less or possibly nothing but it's not stressy. The only thing about early July is would there be many other teens, could you hang on to later in July or at least until private schools have broken up. I think it could work for you as 2 weeks in the same place does get a bit samey. Do you like sightseeing as cruises are great for that but even popping of the ship for a wander and a coffee can be fun. The Thomson excursions are the cheapest I have seen by a long way so that helps. I think the Island cruise is all inclusive which is also good.
I've been on five cruises and my DH never bothers with a dinner jacket. He just wears a work shirt and tie and I wear normally a black dress and we look fine (I think).

secretscwirrels Sun 19-Jan-14 12:53:37

DH and I would like to hop off and do some sightseeing and the DC are old enough to do their own thing.
As for the timing, one is finishing A levels and the other is finishing GCSEs. I thought there might be other families with similar aged teens because of that, maybe I'm wrong? I don't want to be surrounded by pre-schoolers!
The other cruise I've seen is Thomson Dream. It calls at Barcelona and Rome, among others. Not been to either so they would be good.

Creamycoolerwithcream Sun 19-Jan-14 13:09:37

I think it could work well for you. Re the early July thing I was more thinking of other families like me who will have one who has finished his GCSEs but we can't go early as have one in year 9 etc.
I'd say go for it especially if you combine with a week in a hotel as you are hedging your bets. Also your DH and yourself may love cruising and could go in a few years on your own. That's my plan.

secretscwirrels Sun 19-Jan-14 13:13:43

your DH and yourself may love cruising and could go in a few years on your own.
Yes, DH wants to do river cruises, but even though we are 55 and 64 I suspect we might bring the average age down on those. grin

Creamycoolerwithcream Sun 19-Jan-14 13:19:09

They look so relaxing. I'm 44 but have my eye of a 7 star cruise for my 50th where you get your own butler! Only problem my youngest son think he's coming with chance.

MelanieCheeks Tue 21-Jan-14 10:54:34

Yes I've cruised on the Thomson Escape. It's much less formal than more traditional cruise ships (you do get a bit of snobbery on some of the Cruise Critic etc boards). Most of the restaurants are buffet style.

I'd say it's brilliant for all ages - there's plenty of on-board entertainment, and you're visiting somewhere new each day, with a range of activities and tours either organised or do-it-yourself. Which itinerary were you thinking of? You'll get plenty of time in Barcelona (the hop on hop off bus tours are very good there), but the day trip to Rome is looooooooong.

secretscwirrels Tue 21-Jan-14 11:30:30

Looking at the Thomson Dream which has two similar itineraries depending on dates. Both include Rome and Barcelona. One includes Pompeii which I think DS2 would love. Don't like the sound of that loong day grin.

Now trying to decide on Majorca hotel suitable for 16 and 18 year olds. They want day time activities and a good gym, plus something going on in an evening. The choices seem to veer between families with small children been there done that want to avoid and 18-30s.

Creamycoolerwithcream Tue 21-Jan-14 13:01:50

There's definate gap in the market for 12 to 18 year olds. When I was looking I found so many lovely hotels and thought if only my boys were a few years younger.

secretscwirrels Tue 21-Jan-14 13:06:22

Yes, when mine were tiny I don't remember seeing any of these huge complexes geared up for small children. We tended to do villas and apartments.
I'm looking at Protur safari (sa coma) and protur alicia (cala bona). Maybe both aimed at younger families.
I don't know Majorca very well, we went to Cala D'Or a few years ago which was lovely.
Which hotel have you got in mind creamy?

Creamycoolerwithcream Tue 21-Jan-14 13:16:47

I've actually gone for the Black Sea cruise and Turkish hotel because I have already been in two different Med Cruises.(which were fab). Have you tried googling 'such and such a hotel for teens' and see what it says. I'm hoping there will be some stuff on the ship and hotel they will like. They dont need lots of stuff, even food and jacuzzis is enough on the ship for them. My youngest is like me and loves the sightseeing so it's easy to keep him busy. Luckily my 15 year old has just got into laying on the sun lounger and my youngest will be 14 enjoys the animation that a lot of hotels provide. So fingers crossed it will work out well.
I hope you find the right hotel.

WholeNutt Thu 30-Jan-14 13:10:29

I used to work on cruise ships and the Island Escape was more commonly known as the Island Mistake. It had a lot of issues, sickness, blocked toilets, and some flooding below decks. If I were going to spend on a cruise I would choose that one. P&O are nice ships, range of ages and some good itineraries plus many go from Southampton. Have a great cruise!

WholeNutt Thu 30-Jan-14 13:11:11

Forgot to add, not at all stuffy!

WholeNutt Thu 30-Jan-14 13:31:31

Shit me again I meant I would not choose island escape!

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