Egypt riots disrupt cruise calls

//Egypt riots disrupt cruise calls

Violent unrest in Egypt has forced Thomson Cruises to cancel shore excursions to Cairo and the Pyramids. Its ship, the Thomson Celebration will – for now at least – continue to call at Safaga and Port Sokhne on the Red Sea Magic cruise which starts and finishes in Sharm el Sheik.
But the trips to the Egyptian capital, a two-hour drive away down a new highway, are off because of escalating anti-government protests.
That means, in effect, an extra day on board the ship because unless the company makes arrangements to bus passengers to a couple of new hotels near the port, there’s precious little else in the area. It’s an industrial port just south of the entrance to the Suez Canal, although the highway has opened up the coast as a holiday destination for residents of Cairo.
Excursions to Luxor, Karnak and the Valley of the Kings, a three-hour drive from Safaga, are unaffected for the time being.
There are two more seven-day Red Sea cruises scheduled before the ship is due to transit the canal en route for Barcelona.
Other cruise lines have diverted their ships away from Egypt. Norwegian Jade, which was to have been in Alexandria for an overnight stay tomorrow and Sunday, is making for Istanbul instead.
MSC Magnifica will be in Limassol, Cyprus on Sunday instead of Alexandria, and MSC Splendida will divert to Izmir, Turkey on Monday.
Street protests in Tunisia are also concerning cruise lines, and will become a major problem if they continue into the summer. Each week, dozens of ships visit La Goulette, from where thousands of passengers depart for excursions to Tunis and Carthage.
UPDATE: Thomson excursions from the Egyptian port of Safaga to the nearby beach resort of Hurghada, and those to Luxor, three hours away by coach, have also been cancelled. Celebration will instead call at the Israeli port of Eilat, just across the border from Aqaba, in Jordan, from where passengers set out to see Petra and Wadi Rum.
A Thomson spokesman said: “While we understand that these changes can be disappointing to our customers, in this type of situation these changes are unavoidable.
The safety of our customers remains our top priority. We continue to monitor the situation closely and work with the Federations of Tour Operations and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and will plan any appropriate steps necessary to ensure the safety of our customers.”

By | 2011-01-28T18:54:33+00:00 28 January 2011|Cruise Destinations|131 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.


  1. John Taylor 28 January 2011 at 10:32 pm - Reply

    What about the next port of call for the Celebration after it gets into the Med?
    There has been unrest in the next port of Alexandria

  2. mary brimelow 28 January 2011 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    We are booked on Red Sea Magic 3rd Feb the only reason we were going on this cruise was to visit pyramids and luxor – these excursions have apparently been cancelled but I cannot find any information on Thomsons web pages as to how this will affect us and whether we will be offered a refund. I do not want to spend two days on the ship in port……..

  3. abi 28 January 2011 at 11:05 pm - Reply

    Mary I work for thomson. Please visit your local store tomorrow bcus all but essesial travel has been cut from luxor ciaro suez and alexadria. They will tell u what our head office advise is at the time x

  4. icini 29 January 2011 at 9:29 am - Reply

    We are party of 6 also booked on Thomson celebration on 17th Feb. Again whole point was to visit Pyrimids/Alexandria. We know it’s not their fault but it’s time Thompson tell us exactly what they are going to do, wait and see is not acceptable! People need to know now so there is time for us to conside our options. Come on Thompson, its make up your mind time NOW.

  5. colin rothery 29 January 2011 at 10:41 am - Reply

    we are booked with Thomson 4th feb smarm then nile cruise from Luxor rang the thomson local agency manager says recieved no advice at all from head office
    We will push hard now for more detail

  6. Mum 29 January 2011 at 10:47 am - Reply

    What happens if the British Foreign Office are advising against all but essential travel – to a holiday booked in Egypt. Will people get a refund?

  7. Val 29 January 2011 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    Rang Thomson today said no info available. Due to go on Red Sea Magic 3.2.2011. Main reason for us going was to see Pyramids and Valley of Kings not now available. Told us we cannot cancel or will lose monies paid. Need to know now whats happening.

  8. mary brimelow 29 January 2011 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    We also contacted local shop who said the cruise was going ahead and they had no other information. Not good enough Thomson = we need to know. Other cruise lines have diverted their ships.

  9. Richard Cator 29 January 2011 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    I spent over an hour talking to 3 diffent people in 3 places and was passed from pillar to post ended up no better then when I started, nobody knows anything.Told cruises to go ahead as normal but tough luck you can’t go to Cairo or Luxor.
    Instead you’ll have to stay on board with a ship full of disgruntled passangers fighting over insufficient sun beds while staring at the pituresque veiw of a cement factory.
    Not what i paid a lot of money for.
    I urge everyone to get after Thomson to resolve this.
    Why are n’t Thomson contacting everyone to tellus whats happening ,nobody knows not even there own staff.
    Don’t they have any contigency plans. Oh yes stick our head in the sand and hope it’ll go away DISGRACEFUL.

  10. Sandra 30 January 2011 at 12:42 am - Reply

    Same situation with Cosmos. Travelling to Luxor on 21/02/10, won’t allow transfer (would lose 70%), have to ‘wait and see’.

  11. Jason 30 January 2011 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Im traveling to Hurgahda tomorrow! No news is gpood news I guess. If your travel agent isnt telling you anything its because they dont know and cant find the info, the same as us. No point blaming them. they can only go off the the Home Office web site advice.

  12. mary 30 January 2011 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    I have just read on another website that Sharm el sheikh is now having to adhere to the curfew – not sure how this will affect the cruise we are due to embark on there this week. also possibility of suez canal closing???? if that happened there would be a 10,000 mile detour taking 3 weeks to get the ship out of the red sea?

  13. icini 30 January 2011 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    Time Thomson understood pretending all is well will not wash. I did not pay for a cruise (Celebration 14 Feb) To miss the main ports of call and spend time stuck on ship or tied up in industrial docks.
    Cancel cruise now and refund. Then take ship through suez whilst you still can.

  14. Shirley 30 January 2011 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    We are due to go on the Red Sea cruise this week (3 Feb) Until I came across this site had not received any information as to how the cruise would be affected by the current unrest as our agents are closed today!!! The appeal of this cruise is the opportunity to visit different sights and the thought of spending extra time on the ship just docked somewhere with a full compliment of passengers all requiring one of the limited number of sun-beds is pretty horrible – not my idea of a relaxing holiday. Listening to the TV reports today I understand that there are road blocks in force in Sharm and that some of the hotels are exercising a curfew!!! Happy days!!!

  15. Angela 30 January 2011 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    I am also booked to go on Celerbration on 17th Feb & there is no info on cruise website & i have just came across this site. The only reason we are going on this particular trip is for the excursions as i have been on the ship a few times i don’t mind being at sea 1 or 2 days but at this rate it will be 3 or 4 & that’s not what i booked.

  16. Wynne 30 January 2011 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    Well! We are due to sail on the Celebration on Feb. 3rd and wondering if Thomson are in breach of contract as we will not be able to visit the places advertised so are they in breach of contract??Lets face it, this cruise is no longer the product that was advertised.

  17. icini 30 January 2011 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    Anyone know of other sites where we can make posts to apply pressure to Thomson re Celebration Red Sea / Sham to Barcelona cruises ? They clearly don’t want to talk to us and it’s just shocking they say nothing on their website. I’ve also heard ( Telegraph) that El Presidente is now hanging out in his Sharm house. This does not bode well.

  18. icini 30 January 2011 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    Further to last post, there are several comments on Cruise Critic forum about this problem, though I can’t manage to make one myself (just thick I guess).
    General consensus seems to be that now Thomson have our money they will just say their terms allow them to change itinery so tough luck. Only hope seems to be if foreign office advice changes to include Sharm as a no go, and they thus can’t get us to ship. So… if this is a problem for you you need to start talking to Thomson now.

  19. Keith 30 January 2011 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    We are also 4 of us due on the celebration on the 10th feb for special anniversaries!!! We booked it for the ports of call also that are now not happening!!We along with many all need to know what Thompsons are going to do to compensate!!We dont want to spend 3/4 days in aweful docks!!!Thompson needs to tell us NOW what it is going to do,while we may still be able to change holidays!!!

  20. keith 30 January 2011 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    We agree with all the above,we are due on the celebration on 10th feb,4 of us for special anniversaries. The whole point of booking was for the ports of call.We also dont want to be stuck on an overcrowded ship for 3/4 days or more.Come on Thompsons decision time NOW!!

  21. mark 30 January 2011 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    Whilst its uncomfortable, I think for those of you departing in 2 or 3 weeks, wait and see is the best policy. This has all kicked off over the last few days – it could end as quickly as it has started. You’d also not be happy if they cancelled all February departures and things calmed down later this week and you would have been ok to travel.

  22. mary 30 January 2011 at 10:56 pm - Reply

    apparently no refund or compensation just a change of port stopping at Eliat now instead of Cairo. There is no way they are going to refund as they would have an empty ship and no revenue – tough luck for those of us booked to sail on Thursday.

  23. Shirley 30 January 2011 at 11:31 pm - Reply

    Hi Mary – where did you manage to get that information from – we are still in the dark. Quite frankly we would prefer not to be going now – they have made the curfew time 3 pm – think there may be a problem getting us to the ship

  24. icini 31 January 2011 at 9:16 am - Reply

    BBC reported yesterday that Sharm Hotels are keeping people inside during Curfew hours, road to resort is blocked and larger than usual police numbers on streets, seems everything isn’t “normal”
    Two of my party for Barcelona Xfer are pensioners & booked only so they could do Pyrimids etc. (Lifelong ambition) They will not be able to afford to do it again later. Clearly they want to cancel & try again next year. Thanks to Mirror for Celebration News shown here. Why cant Thomson post this on their Website & keep it updated ?

  25. mary 31 January 2011 at 9:27 am - Reply

    Hi Shirley I read it on another site think it was a twitter from Steve Reid I have been checking out so many sites I have lost track
    I think the bottom line is we either cancel and lose our money or go and make the best of it, although I am not looking forward to it one bit. Cannot think how they will get us from airport to ship with a 3pm curfew as our flight does not get in until after 6pm. I feel Thomsons are being unreasonable expecting people to go to a riot zone and miss all the sites they booked and paid for.

  26. Shirley 31 January 2011 at 10:00 am - Reply

    Still no mention of the cruise on Thompson site – very unreasonable of them.

  27. Margaret Harries 31 January 2011 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Due to go to Luxor for cruise on 9th Feb. thomson will not discuss cancellation for anything beyond 2nd Feb. Not good enough. Foreign office have advised against travel to Luxor. some companies have made clear decisions and informed customers. Thomson are delaying and risk losing business in the long term. i will never book with them again.

  28. Sarah 31 January 2011 at 11:50 am - Reply

    Come on Thomson, how come other websites have up to date info yet you put nothing on your website regarding cruises? It appears your only concern are your hotel guests!!! I think it very unreasonable to even allow passengers to travel there at all despite the FCO advice. Political unrest can easily spread no matter what part of the country you’re in. I for one don’t fancy being trapped in Egypt with my two daughters if we can’t get up the Suez to the med. Make a decision and make it now!!!!

  29. Craig Smith 31 January 2011 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    I to will never book with them not because of the cancelled excursions but for the sheer lack of proffesionalism and information and dis regard for thier customers.
    They are delaying in hope to not lose much money from this ordeal but this comes at the cost of destroying peoples holidays which for a lot like me have saved up and worked hard for.
    SHAME ON YOU THOMSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Shirley 31 January 2011 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    HI – this is a copy of an e-mail I have just received from our agents regarding this weeks red sea cruise :
    “We have not been informed by Thomson as yet, they will be making a decision at the close of business, Monday 31st jan. This decision will be as to go ahead with the red sea cruises or not. Any information from Thomson will be passed on immediately to yourselves.”

  31. craig smith 31 January 2011 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    The nationwide curfew has been extended from 1500-0800 local time.
    cant wait to go now glad we got a 5 star hotel lol

  32. mary 31 January 2011 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    thank you Shirley you at least got some kind of response but just watching BBC news with Thomson spokesperson saying everything was fine in Sharm does not bode well for cancellations.
    Unless the FO declare it unsafe looks like Thomsons will either confiscate our hard earned money or we will have to go…

  33. mary 31 January 2011 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    THOMSON have confirmed that the Thomson Celebration’s remaining Red Sea cruises will go ahead.
    There are two more seven-night cruises still to go, before the she relocates to the Med for the summer.
    On the current cruise, passengers are having an unexpected overnight stop in Eilat, Israel, after trips to the Pyramids and the Valley of the Kings were cancelled because of the troubles in Egypt.
    A spokesman said today: “Thomson Cruises will adjust the Red Sea Magic itinerary in accordance with the latest Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice.”
    On future cruises, the spokesman said: “Sailings remain unchanged but we will review daily in accordance with the latest Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice.
    “Currently, normal booking conditions apply on the Thomson Celebration’s Red Sea Magic itinerary.”
    That means passengers will not be getting refunds, compensation or free options to change or cancel their cruise bookings.

  34. Robert Coe 31 January 2011 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    We are booked the Celebration from the 17th just wait and see things might be OK by then and it will make it an interesting cruise.something to talk about after4, we had a problem last year but was all sorted in the end

  35. Faye 31 January 2011 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    The question of how you get from the airport to resort during curfew hours is a very good one? Any ideas? It has also been intimated that there will be a general strike on Monday 7th February, will this affect staff in hotels in resorts? Why don’t the foreign office use common sense and cancel all travel to egypt during this period and we can all replan our travels.

  36. icini 1 February 2011 at 9:01 am - Reply

    Re Transfer cruise. Visited Thomson shop yesterday. Girl there tried hard to help and phoned their Ops Dept. They promised some sort of statement today but confirmed no free cancellations as yet.
    As most travel firms,once they have your cash,Thomsons will look after their own interests first,so we’re not hopeful. Very poor this lack of communication,it will do them great harm. They seem to have no care or grasp of how customers feel. Who wants a holiday in a potential war zone ? If they don’t remove digit I will never book through them or pay full price again.

  37. Shirley 1 February 2011 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    Hi – have just heard on BBC news that Germany is advising all their citizens against travelling to ALL parts of Germany. Surely its time that Thomsons now offered some alternatives especially for those of us who are due to travel in 2 days.

  38. mary 1 February 2011 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    can anyone confirm this is correct if so our FO should do likewise and we should be able to cancel,. Absolutely disgusted with the way Thomson have dealt with this or should I say NOT dealt with it. I do not want to be on a ship with disgruntled unhappy passengers afraid the trouble will escalate and we will be stuck there.

  39. icini 1 February 2011 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    Hi all.
    I’ve Emailed CFO, seems that a conservative MP has asked them to ban all Egypt travel and posted on any site I can find to call for Thomson to allow us alternatives. I think Thomson may be German owned, if so how can they send us to Egypt if German Government say it is or may become unsafe. Lets all hope they now allow us to opt out !
    Shame because I do like Celebration & her crew, still safety first ! I also wish the Egyption people wellm and hope they get what they want.

  40. denise 1 February 2011 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    We are due to sail on the 3rd but to date have heard nothing from Thomsons. I only know of the itinery change through this website. Surely if it has to be changed prior to departure we should be advised and given the option of canceling as we are not getting what we paid for.
    I spoke to the agent it was booked through yesterday expressing my concerns and was told if when you return you were not happy with the changes write and complain!Have they not heard of Customer Service.
    The TV show “Watchdog” is screaming out at me and I feel we should ALL write to them.

  41. mary 1 February 2011 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    I agree we should all take pictures and get together on the cruise to form some sort of complaints committee and contact Watchdog and whatever other programme we can. I feel Thomsons have behaved dreadfully over this. It is not the cruise itinerary I booked. and now Jordan seem to getting in on the act so question if we will be able to go there either. Also understand Sharm is having problems – roadblocks, curfews. We rang First choice again today and they just repeated the statement that there is no problem and we are going ahead. Germany have advised against going to Sharm and I thought TUI was a German company are they allowing their German customers to cancel but not the British customers.?????

  42. craig smith 1 February 2011 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    I agree Mary a facebook group i just started we need to get as many ppl as poss to join it and complain name is “thomson cruise”
    Maybe its time the British ppl stood up and said enough is enough

  43. mary 1 February 2011 at 11:09 pm - Reply

    craig there are several sites Thomson cruise
    not sure which is yours. just seen on Steve Reids blog that the itinerary for 3rd Feb has been updated we are now being offered free trip to Jeruselem (200 mile journey)and a two day stop at Eilat and a half day at the beach in Sharm and another beach at Hurghada instead of luxor. not the trip I envisaged but at least they seem to be trying now. just wish they would inform us rather than having to search websites to find the info.

  44. Shirley Jones 1 February 2011 at 11:41 pm - Reply

    Hi – I couldn’t find the facebook site either. Totally agree, wish we heard directly from them or the agents we booked through. I was promised yesterday an e-mail giving any updates – not yet received anything. Looks as if we will all be meeting up in the bar on Thursday night though doesn’t it?!!!!! Don’t really understand all the changes but have been to Jeruselem before would quite like to go again but is seems a very long journey.

  45. Shirley 2 February 2011 at 12:30 am - Reply

    Hi – have just sent an e-mail to our agents asking where exactly we are being taken on our hols – it would be great to know wouldn’t it?!!!! Feel we are entitled to know the itinerary.

  46. Jan 2 February 2011 at 8:53 am - Reply

    My husband and I are booked on the Celebration for 17 February – goodness knows what will happen, I know we are a couple of weeks away but it is still unsettling. I spoke to my travel agent last night and they have not been given any information either, its ridiculous. I looked on the home page of Thomson and they have link to click on which says Travel Report, that gives some information but surely they have now had a few days to sort out a contingency plan. We go on holiday to enjoy ourselves and relax, are we going to be able to do this? If you are travelling tomorrow, perhaps you could keep this site posted if there is any internet access or even when you return from your hols. Many thanks.

  47. Anonymous 2 February 2011 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Oh what a mess, my husband and I are on the Celebration tomorrow, we like everyone were looking forward to this holiday, but it seems that we are going to be travelling with some real disgruntled passengers, yes of course its disappointing but there is no chance of any risks being taken regarding the excursions from the ship. We certainly wouldn’t want to go anyway!!! Lets try to do our best to make this a wonderful holiday maybe Thomson will give us free champagne for the sailaway tomorrow night (I dont think so)

  48. Wynne 2 February 2011 at 11:33 am - Reply

    Well! It appears that all is well as it is quiet on the comments front!! Is it because you are all busy packing? Both myself and my wife are just about to fill our suitcases and lets ALL look forward to an enjoyable cruise, and why not join us at the bar tomorrow evening.

  49. sharon 2 February 2011 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    we are due to fly on the 10th feb with celebration cruise with our 10 year old son and i just dont know what is happening all we are told is that they have the right to change the itinery and we have no say in the matter, as far as they are concerned its all systems go. i would rather not go as the only reason is to see pyramids and luxor, its infuriating not to be given any choices as to continue or refund or another holiday…

  50. Kath 2 February 2011 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Going on celebration on 10 Feb. Really dont want to go but dont want to lose money either. Cant get Thomsons to answer phone and sick of trawling net for info. Agree we should all keep a diary of what happens onboard ship. Notice tghat Jordan is now in the mix so expect Petra to be off limits too. Good luck everyone.

  51. Nick 2 February 2011 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    We are going 3rd Feb (Tomorrow ) and have just got back from our travel agent with the following. The new stops will be (in day order), Sharm El Sheikh, Aqaba, Aqaba, Sharm El Sheikh, Safaga (for Hurghada only), Eilat, Eilat and back to Sharm El Sheikh. There will be a complimentary trip to Jerusalem & Bethlehem while at Eilat. Also it says people who are travelling on the 3rd can amend to a cruise alternative, for travel up to and including 30th April 2011. No Free cancellations are permitted.

  52. Nick 2 February 2011 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    We are going 3rd Feb (Tomorrow) and have just got back from our travel agent with the following. The new stops will be (in day order), Sharm El Sheikh, Aqaba, Aqaba, Sharm El Sheikh, Safaga (for Hurghada only), Eilat, Eilat and back to Sharm El Sheikh. There will be a complimentary trip to Jerusalem & Bethlehem while at Eilat. Also it says people who are travelling on the 3rd can amend to a cruise alternative, for travel up to and including 30th April 2011. No Free cancellations are permitted.

  53. icini 2 February 2011 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    Still no news re Transfer cruise. Can’t find facebook page! To anyone going tomorrow I hope they manage to have enjoyable time,I think it should be safe, even if not what they paid for! The ship and crew are at least good. Please tell us what happened when you get home.
    I think if Germans allowed to cancel by Thomson owners but not Brits we could take this up with EEC. Keep diary and take pics if appropriate.

  54. Jan 2 February 2011 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    I also cannot find the Facebook page. Wishing anyone who is leaving in the next couple of weeks a happy holiday if that is at all possible. I certainly will be keeping a diary of events although we do not go until 17 Feb. We have been on the Celebration twice before now and have had such a wonderful time, the crew are absolutely lovely. Would be nice to hear from anyone during or after their Red Sea cruise to maybe get an idea what is going on because I have no faith that Thomson are going to contact us beforehand.

  55. Gill Hayes 2 February 2011 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    Myself and a friend are booked on a Nile cruise on 9th Feb – flying into Luxor. We are being given no useful information from Thomson other than keep checking each day ! When exactly do they intend letting us no whether our holiday is cancelled or not, come on Thomson we’re due to go in 6 days – how little notice are you going to give us. This is ridiculous !!!

  56. Jan 2 February 2011 at 11:52 pm - Reply

    Gill – go to the Thompson home page and you will find a link near to the top which says Travel Report – click on there and scroll down – it says that flights to Luxor on 9 Feb are cancelled. So Thompsons should be offering you an alternative holiday I would have thought.

  57. Jan 2 February 2011 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    Sorry Gill the link says Travel Alerts not Travel Report.

  58. Louise Moore 3 February 2011 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    We are travelling on 17th Feb and is so pleased to find this web site as yet you feel like there is no one to ask. I do hope things will have settled down by the 17th (I am thinking of trying to arrange another holiday is anyone else?)

  59. Jan 3 February 2011 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    We are not thinking of changing our holiday at the moment. We will see how things go over the next week. Problem is that Thompsons will charge to change your holiday unless they cancel it, then I believe they will offer another holiday. The Red Sea cruises have changed itinery but I cant see how they will change Pyramids and Piazzas. Still we will have to see.

  60. icini 4 February 2011 at 8:41 am - Reply

    Louise. We will go on Transfer cruise on 17th.and make most of it, if only other choice is to lose our money but will push hard for some sort of refund when we get back. The product Thomson is giving us is not the one they advertised or that we purchased. They should have allowed us to cancel and re-book next year or refunded. They still have not specified replacement ports of call. Don’t know any other business that can treat customers like this and have no intention of allowing them to get away with it. We should all raise hell when we get home.

  61. Robert Coe 4 February 2011 at 8:49 am - Reply

    We are on the transfer cruise too and in my experience you will not get any refund back after the cruise. we did one on the same ship in August ship had engine problems and coundn’t get to several ports we got a holiday voucher but so far not been able to use it, as you can only redeem it in their shops not over the phone or internet so you have to pay full price to get some money back very poor deal and feels like sharp practice.

  62. Louise Moore 4 February 2011 at 11:19 am - Reply

    ICINI thank you for that please keep the post coming if you here anything else.

  63. Anonymous 4 February 2011 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    Thomson didn’t mention an alternative cruise to me when I rang them yesterday. They said they were concentrating on more iminent cruises at the moment amd a decsion re the 17th Feb one would be made nearer the time! Has anyone any more info as to if they are doing a different cruise instead and where to? Any info would be appreciated.

  64. PAUL TOWERS 4 February 2011 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    we have booked on the celebration(me and girlfriend) on the 17th feb as its her lifelong dream to go to egypt, we have saved up for a year before we move into a flat as we’ll never be able to afford it in teh near future, and now it looks like we’ll just be sat on a boat!! tried ringing thomson yesterday and he said we had until 2 weeks (which was the same day till 5pm)to change the holiday to a different holiday but it had to be before the 17th and of a higher or equal value. Nothing on the website matched so souldnt anyway. Now we have to go unless thomson cancel, but they wont give any information whatsoever! what am i supposed to do with any egyptian currency i changed earlier in the year! im guessing we’ll be with the unhappy masses sat in the ports! great! I’ll be writing a long letter when (and if) we get back . . .

  65. icini 4 February 2011 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    I now hear French, German and Belgian customers with holidays booked in Sharm are being allowed by TUI (Thomson)to cancel for full refund. Not UK customers though. So much for everyone in EU being equal ! Latest reports from Sharm do seem to indicate area is quiet (no doubt very quiet with only Brits and Russians left) without incidents so far but food prices in shops have risen sharply and many banks are closed.
    If Thomson are monitering this, and they should be, sort out what you are going to do with 17th cruise and let us know now! Is it safe to go through Suez? What will replace Cairo and Alexandria ? You must have contingency plan so what is it ?

  66. Gerald 5 February 2011 at 2:53 am - Reply

    We are booked on Celebration 10th Feb.
    Am a bit surprised by the unrealistic comments in some of the threads.
    Perhaps we ought to reflect on how privileged we are to be able to arrange such holidays compared with the difficulties for all the people who live there.

  67. sarah 5 February 2011 at 10:28 am - Reply

    Re previous comment. I bet if you had saved for a year for a 40″ plasma tv but the company gave you a 14″ box one you would not be happy!!!! Not too bothered where I go just lack of info or contingency plan is disgraceful.
    Incidently, my friends who live in germany have been sent home early from Sharm because the hotel ran out of food!!!

  68. icini 5 February 2011 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Gerald you miss the point. If I promise one of my customers one product, take his money in advance and then supply something different, for whatever reason, I should be in deep trouble. What makes travel firms different? My party contains older people who have saved up to realise lifelong ambitions to see the things advertised. They may not be able to repeat the exercise. They are also frightened. Why should they now be forced to accept an inferior alternative ?

  69. Dave 5 February 2011 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    Gerald – one thing for sure, if I do not get what I pay for, then I expect a full refund which is what would happen normally with any purchase I make! You need to live in the real world.

  70. JAN 5 February 2011 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    I have to agree with Icini and Dave! Some of us have been saving up for a long time to book a holiday of our choice. I know it is not Thomsons fault as to the problems going on in Egypt but they have had enough time to give their customers an alternative whether it be to change their holiday, refund us or come up with an alternative itinery. Their lack of decision making and communication is poor. Understandably people are going to be worried or aprehensive and why should they be? This is a time of enjoyment and relaxation – my goodness we have worked hard enough for our holidays, we want to enjoy them and be worry free.

  71. JAN 5 February 2011 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    Sorry my last comment was worded wrongly. It should have said…..Understandably some people are going to be worried or apprehensive when really they should be enjoying their holiday….

  72. Louise Moore 7 February 2011 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    As far as I can see on Thomsons web site no more news 17th Feb
    Currently, we are planning to return to the published itineraries for our future sailings from 10th February. We will review the situation in Egypt on Monday 7th February which will allow us to re visit the itinerary for the next sailing of Thomson Celebration. At present, normal booking conditions apply for this and future sailings from Sharm el Sheikh on both Thomson Celebration and Thomson Spirit. Cruise guests and agents can call us for more information on 0800 009 3870.

  73. pam 7 February 2011 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    Booked to go out on the 10th with my grandson. Rang Thompson today now sat fuming… Safaga now cut as well….had i wanted to go to sit on a ship with nothing to do for a week i would have hired a canal boat….Very expensive canal boat at that
    my grandson is gutted…
    Seems Thompson have one rule for Germans..(Because its a german company)
    And us brits who really dont matter
    think we all need to join forces
    If all else fails never book with them again

  74. pam 7 February 2011 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    Booked to go out on the 10th with my grandson. Rang Thompson today now sat fuming… Safaga now cut as well….had i wanted to go to sit on a ship with nothing to do for a week i would have hired a canal boat….Very expensive canal boat at that
    my grandson is gutted…
    Seems Thompson have one rule for Germans..(Because its a german company)
    And us brits who really dont matter
    think we all need to join forces
    If all else fails never book with them again

  75. pam 7 February 2011 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    Booked to go out on the 10th with my grandson. Rang Thompson today now sat fuming… Safaga now cut as well….had i wanted to go to sit on a ship with nothing to do for a week i would have hired a canal boat….Very expensive canal boat at that
    my grandson is gutted…
    Seems Thompson have one rule for Germans..(Because its a german company)
    And us brits who really dont matter
    think we all need to join forces
    If all else fails never book with them again

  76. Anonymous 9 February 2011 at 10:24 am - Reply

    Just been advised by Thomsons that they will let us know of any changes to 17th Feb cruise on Monday 14th. Doesn’t give much time to get currency for whichever country they decide to take us to!!!!!

  77. Angela 9 February 2011 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    Just spoken to Thomson as there has not been an update on their website since Monday. The cruise going tomorrow will be the same changed itinery as it was last week & the Pyramids & Piazzas on the 17th at the mkoment is as planned but there will be an update on the website on Monday 14th. I asked if i could cancel it if the itinery changed & they said a decision has not been made yet. I know when they had the ash cloud problems & then the heavy snow that Thomson were fantastic at looking after their customers but in this case although not their fault they could be giving us more options like cancelling if we want to. This is our 5th Thomson cruise & may be our last.

  78. Robert Coe 10 February 2011 at 7:30 am - Reply

    I have spoken to Thompson’s today and been told that any changes will be made next Monday for the 17th Cruise. I was also told that depending how you booked would depend on how you would be informed i.e telephone letter travel agent.

  79. icini 10 February 2011 at 8:05 am - Reply

    We also told by Thomson that 17th cruise is as planned with update on Monday. Parking,house sitters,time off work etc etc will all be unchangable by then. They know full well that Alex and Pyrimids will be impossible, just don’t want an empty ship.
    Anyone returning from last red sea trip, please let us know how you got on. Was Sharm to ship transfer ok? How are things in Sharm?
    Mirror. Would you please keep this page open so we can communicate after our holiday. Thanks.

  80. Michael 10 February 2011 at 10:17 am - Reply

    We are due to go 24th Feb. As this is on a different ship – Spirit – is it more likely that the whole cruise will be cancelled? Could we not request a full refund under clause 4 of the booking conditions i.e. ‘major changes to your holiday’

  81. PAUL TOWERS 10 February 2011 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    theres no way that they will be taking anybody into egypt on the 17th feb trip, they just dont want to cancel to early and miss out! NOT A NICE FEELING NOT KNOWING WHERE YOUR GOING ON YOUR HOLS!!! The customer service for such a big company is not the best! they state they have lost 20 million so far, whats another few quid to keep there last remaining customers happy! they should be going all out to help!!!!

  82. Louise Moore 11 February 2011 at 9:59 am - Reply

    New update from Thomsons Site
    Currently, we are planning to return to the published itineraries for our future sailings from 17th February. We will review the situation in Egypt on Monday 14th February which will allow us to re visit the itinerary for the next sailing of Thomson Celebration. At present, normal booking conditions apply for this and future sailings from Sharm el Sheikh on both Thomson Celebration and Thomson Spirit. Cruise guests and agents can call us for more information on 0800 009 3870.

  83. Anonymous 11 February 2011 at 8:24 pm - Reply

    OMG Have you seen where we’re going!!! This is now, in effect, a med cruise when we’ve paid more than that to go to Egypt!! We’re not even going to the alternative of Eilat and we’re missing out Sicily altogether and not even going to Barcelona, we’re flying home from Naples!! Been to Limmasol before and hated it! Very upset and close to tears, what a waste of money!
    Thomson Celebration – Piazza’s and Pyramids 17th February 2011
    Following Foreign Office advice we continue to avoid Egyptian cities and as a result this cruise will not call to Port Sokhna for Cairo or Alexandria. In order to provide our guests with best cruise experience possible we have chosen to finish the cruise in Naples rather than Barcelona, allowing the addition of new ports of call and an overnight in Naples. The updated itinerary omits calls at Port Sokhna for Cairo, Alexandria and Messina but adds Limassol, Rhodes Town & Piraeus, as follows;
    Day Port Arrival Departure
    Thursday Sharm el Sheikh 22:00
    Friday At Sea
    Saturday Transit Suez Canal 02:00 19:00
    Sunday Limassol* 09:00 16:00
    Monday Rhodes Town 12:00 16:00
    Tuesday Piraeus for Athens 09:00 16:00
    Wednesday At Sea
    Thursday Naples 08:00
    Friday Naples
    *Guests may choose a complimentary half day tour from Limassol to Paphos or Curium & Omodos
    Revised flight schedules from Naples have been arranged to ensure our guests arrive back to the UK at the same time as originally planned. Return flight numbers remain the same and guests may use existing tickets for the revised return flights.

  84. JAN 11 February 2011 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the update anonymous. I cannot believe it! Who on earth dreamed up that itinery. I can honestly say I am very very upset and disappointed. We will be on the ship from Thursday afternoon/evening until Sunday morning – absolutely ridiculous. We will obviously make the most of it but I can honestly say I am not happy at all, in fact I feel near to tears too. To miss out on Scilly and Barcelona, its just not fair and I cannot understand why they have chosen this route. Why could we have not stopped at an alternative port in Egypt and then down the Suez to continue with the normal itinery. Thomsons will have a lot of unhappy customers on their hands, including us.

  85. JAN 11 February 2011 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    And… to insult us with a complimentary trip! Unbelievable!

  86. Martina 12 February 2011 at 8:12 am - Reply

    Oh for goodness sake stop whinging. Thomsons have done this on Foreign Office advice, it is likely that it will cost them a lot of money to make the change so they wouldn’t have done it without good reason. The FCO advice for Egypt includes this. “We have received a number of reports of foreigners (including journalists) being harassed, attacked and in some instances arrested and interrogated.” and “There are reports of some cars carrying foreign passengers having been attacked with rocks.” I for one am glad they have made the change. As for the new itinerary, well you can’t please everyone, I think the new one sounds pretty good. Why are you upset that Barcelona is not included, you would only have seen the dockside and airport anyway. An overnight in Naples gives a great opportunity to see more of this wonderful area. If you feel insulted by a complimentary FREE excursion in Cyprus, don’t take up their offer, that will teach them! Chill and relax.

  87. Anonymous 12 February 2011 at 8:45 am - Reply

    Having had a closer look at the itinerary, is there any need to even stop at Rhodes Town, we’re only there for 4 hours!!!! Would have been better to skip that stop altogether and go to Sicily as planned. Also can’t see the need to overnight in Naples, why not sail through the night to Barcelona and get there in the morning as per the original itinerary? Had a good cry last night and now resigned to making the most of it! In their booking terms and conditions they say
    Major changes to your holiday for which we will pay compensation unless the change is for reasons beyond our control (see ‘Important note – events beyond our control’), using the scale shown, may include the following changes: a significant change of destination; a change in accommodation to that of a lower category, a change in the time of your departure or return flight by more than 12 hours, a change of UK departure airport (excluding changes between London airports, London, Ebbsfleet and Ashford stations and between Dover/Folkestone ports). These changes are only examples and there may be other significant changes which constitute major changes. This standard payment will not affect your statutory or other legal rights. We will only make one payment for each full-fare-paying adult in the holiday booking. Any children not paying the full adult fare will receive 50% of these amounts. Children using a free child place will not receive any standard payment.
    Does anyone else think that not going to Egypt other than getting off a plane there could be classed as a significant change of destination? In my opinion it is but I’m sure Thomson will disagree as we do actually fly out there but not see any of it!
    Sorry for the rant, my tears have now dried and I’m now resigned to paying over the odds for a med cruise in February!! I will complain to Thomson, Watchdog, Abta, anyone who’ll listen though, if only to make me feel better!!!
    Hopefully see some of you around the ship (we should be easy to spot I’ll be the one with red eyes from crying, hubbie will be moaning at the expense of a ‘med cruise’ and my 2 daughters will be asking when they’re going to get to ride on a camel!!!!) Sarah x x

  88. Jane 12 February 2011 at 8:52 am - Reply

    Martina I don’t think us Brits whinge enough that’s why we’re always taken advantage of, we’re always so good at just putting up with things, well not this time!!!
    Appreciate they have to change due to what’s happened in Egypt but we are now doing an med cruise it’s just the arrival airport that makes it any different.
    Have you seen the cost of a med cruise in February? It’s about half the cost of what I’ve paid for. You might have money to burn but I and a lot of passengers have not!!!
    Wish I booked a med cruise instead and saved a grand!!

  89. JAN 12 February 2011 at 9:19 am - Reply

    Martina, that is your opinion. I have wanted to see Egypt for many years and although this is not Thomsons fault as such, I think they could have made at least one port of call in Egypt, maybe Aqaba or somewhere on the Red Sea and then back to Sharm (I quite fancied the glass bottom boat trip) and spent sometime there before heading down the Suez canal. So I think I have every right to ‘whinge’ as you put it. You may have plenty of money but its taken us a while to save for this trip. Yes I am sure we will enjoy our break, a much needed one butI hope Thomsons come up with some sort of compensation!

  90. JAN 12 February 2011 at 9:42 am - Reply

    I have just spoken to Thomsons to ask about a refund as this itinery is more of a med cruise now. They said no this is normal booking conditions so I will write to Thomsons and complain. If anyone would like the address for the complaints procedure it is, Wigmore House, Wigmore Lane, Luton LU2 9TN. I was told there is a complimentry trip as a gesture of goodwill. I asked how much this trip is worth, he couldnt tell me! I said it must be around £30(ish) each – that to me is an insult. Anyway enough of my ‘whinging’ as Martina put it – we WILL enjoy our well deserved break and deal with Thomsons on our return (for what good it will do).

  91. Martina 12 February 2011 at 10:23 am - Reply

    I’m sorry I don’t understand the comments that this is now a Med cruise, what was it before? Look at the itinerary, originally the last 4 days plus the return to the UK day were in the Med – no change apart from different ports of call. We should have had two stops in Egypt in the first 4 days, given the current situation and the FCO advice, this is clearly now not possible. If Thomsons had chosen to travel to Aqaba to make up for missing Port Sokhina then the ship would not have made its allotted time slot to go through the Suez canal early on Saturday morning (these passages are booked months in advance). I guess they could have chosen to go to Ashdod or Haifa in Israel instead of Limassol but not everybody would be keen to go to Israel. In short Egyptian ports are a no-no, we are having the same number of sea days, we are missing out on Messina but gaining Rhodes and Athens, we are gaining an extra night in Naples and missing docking in Barcelona where the latest return flight to the UK was 12:45, so there would have been no chance to see the city anyway. I’m not sure what else Thomsons could have done. Wipe away the tears and enjoy the holiday, life is too short.

  92. JAN 12 February 2011 at 11:07 am - Reply

    As I said before, you have your opinion. The main highlight of my cruise was the Egypt and the pyramids and maybe my geography isnt as good as yours. However as I said before we will enjoy our holiday and wish you a pleasant trip too.

  93. icini 12 February 2011 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    Well.. at least we know where we are going and it sounds ok but it is so not what most of my party wanted or booked for. Given the choice once the Egypt troubles started we needed to be allowed to cancel. (As it happens I know Barcelona well, used to live near there and wanted to do some specific shopping). It’s too late now to reorganise 4 households, change time booked off work etc etc, I guess we will have to go, so we will try to enjoy ourselves. The ship will be fine, been on her before. We have not finished with this yet however. One half day trip is no compensation for what we have lost. Anyway.. No more from me now, hope everyone has the best possible time and recommend we all meet here when we come home to see if we can get more realistic compensation from Thomson.

  94. Louise Moore 12 February 2011 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    Just pleased we know whats going on.. so looking forward to our holiday just want to enjoy ourselves now.
    See you on aboard

  95. JAN 12 February 2011 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    Louise – you are right! It is lovely to know that we still have a holiday despite the changes. We book a holiday to relax and enjoy ourselves so now we know whats going on bon voyage to everyone! It will be interesting if everyone can comment on the holiday on our return. You never know we may meet up on board!

  96. Alec Turner 13 February 2011 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    We too are very dissappointed with the change of route although we are trying our best to continue looking forward to the holiday despite some initial tears. To those that say Thomson have done the best they could given FCO advice – I’m not disagreeing with this, it’s an unfortunate situation (although following the jubilation in Cairo in Friday I had hoped for more). What I do take issue with is the amount of compensation. We’re simply not getting the cruise we chose and it’s not worth what we’ve payed for i. A free half day outing (approx. £30 per person) is an insult. We shall be pursuing this with Thomson over the coming months.

  97. JAN 13 February 2011 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    Alec – I totally agree with you. We are on board from Thursday late pm until Sunday morning and now only have 4 ports of call instead of 5. Also we only have 4 hours in Rhodes, so feel we could have still gone on to Sicilly, another destination that appealed to myself and my husband as we have never been. Now we know of the new itinery, we are getting used to the idea and are looking forward to our break. I have written to Thomsons already and will pursue after our holiday. Feel a bit let down with change of destinations but hope everyone departing on 17th Feb has a good break, lets hope all goes well.

  98. Robert Coe 13 February 2011 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    Well look forward to seeing everyone on the cruise on the 17th trying to explain to a child with autism that changes have to be made is difficult. still although not the cruise we booked looking forward to getting away. I will be writing to Thompson too but as I have said previously all you get are holiday vouchers you cant use on the internet or on the phone bookings !!! anyway having said all this at least we will be getting away see you all aboard Rob

  99. Anonymous 13 February 2011 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    if a lot of foreign people have been refunded, is this ship gonna be half empty then?? its not what we’ve paid for, the med cruises are almost half the price! i’ll be writing a letter for sure

  100. Andy 14 February 2011 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Whilst I too am disappointed about the change to our holiday, I agree with a previous poster that there doesn’t seem to be much else that Thomsons could have done. The inability of the ship to visit Port Sokhna and Alexandria means that Thomsons had to look for alternative ports. As the ship has to go into the Med to get to Barcelona (now Naples) it follows that those alternatives have to be in the Med, so I’m afraid its a bit rich blaming Thomsons for making this a Med cruise, does anyone have a practical suggestion of what they should have done instead? I agree it is perhaps a little strange to go to Rhodes rather than head for Messina, Thomsons should explain that one but even though Messina is nice, so too is Rhodes and you should enjoy this port. Jan mentioned only visiting 4 ports instead of 5 but as has already been pointed out Barcelona is not really a port stop we are merely disembarking there and there would be no opportunity to do any sightseeing or shopping. I think staying in Naples for the night gives a chance to spend a bit more time exploring and perhaps go a little further afield.
    Anonymous pointed out that Med cruises are half the price, I’m not sure what cruises are being looked at here but Thomsons don’t seem to have any in the Med at the moment so how can you compare. You must do a like for like comparison between Thomson cruises, priced on the same day to have any argument.
    If people are intent on writing and claiming compensation they must be reasonable and clear what they are claiming for. It will not be good enough to say “the holiday is not what we paid for”, Thomsons will just point you to their Terms and Conditions. If the problem is with the new itinerary or disembarkation port then you must at least consider what the alternatives were and whether a different itinerary would have been practical and of more benefit to most passengers over what was actually chosen. I’m afraid without suggesting some sensible alternatives or exposing a major screw-up by Thomsons you may be banging your heads against a brick wall.
    I’m sorry if I am bucking the trend but I call things as I see them.

  101. Alec Turner 14 February 2011 at 10:03 am - Reply

    To Robert … you have my sympathy, we’re in a similar situation and have spent months using the “it’s got pyramids just like Tomb Raider” line of reasoning 🙂
    To Andy, I know exactly what you’re saying, I don’t blame Thomson for changing the route but I do think (for the sake of customer good will if nothing else) that some compensation is due. The brochure had a whole range of different cruises. We, you & everyone here selected a particular one based on its destinations and now we’re getting something quite different (which personally I wouldn’t have chosen for the money). Is it wrong to feel slightly cheated?
    Oh well.
    To everyone, it a sunny 25 degrees in Sharm today and we have a wonderful ten day cruise to look forward to. Safe journey and have a great time!

  102. Andy 14 February 2011 at 11:24 am - Reply

    Alec, no it isn’t wrong to feel a bit cheated, you booked a cruise for which the major ports of call were in Egypt but unfortunately events have created this problem. Thomsons, like all cruise lines factor these situations into their Terms and Conditions and unfortunately there is very little that can be done about it. I have practical experience after a battle with Carnival some years ago. You may have a moral argument but legally I would suggest that Thomsons have eveything on their side. If enough people contact them with that moral argument they may for the sake of good customer relations provide some compensation but I wouldn’t hold your breath. Any argument made would need to state the specific problems and the practical alternatives that could have been put in place to give better value for money. I’m afraid that it will not be good enough simply to say, “I don’t like the itinerary” or “this is not the cruise I would have chosen to spend my money on”.
    Good luck to anyone who tries to get something, but I think you will be wasting your time. Sorry!

  103. JAN 26 February 2011 at 8:03 am - Reply

    If anyone has any comments on our cruise last week Sharm to Naples (changed itinery) I would be interested to know your comments about the week you had on board. It was not the best holiday I have had by far although food and service was great. There were a couple of things I felt were not so good as before but on the whole ok. I would be interested to know anyones comments on the itinery, trips and length of time on board.

  104. Jacqui Davies 26 February 2011 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    I don’t understand whay the problem with Thomson was all about we contacted them about the change of Itinerary, and encountered no problem we changed our cruise and had a rebate for the balance, all I can say is thank you Thomsons
    Jacqui (Swansea)

  105. icini 26 February 2011 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    Back from Sharm to Naples. Ship & crew were up to usual high standard but short port calls were so not what I paid for. No other industry could get away with advertising one product and providing something completely different, irrespective of circumstances. It did not help that weather/sea state was poor but that at least was not Thomson’s fault. I shall be seeking suitable compensation and may open a website just to encourage them to do the right thing.

  106. JAN 26 February 2011 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    Icini, please keep us updated if you open a website. I too will be writing to Thompsons re compensation. Really surprised at Jacqui’s comment. I was told by Thompson that if I wanted to change cruise it would come at a cost. £75 each to alter booking!

  107. Anonymous 27 February 2011 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    I really don’t understand Jacqui’s comment either! We were told we could only change our cruise to one of the same or more value as refunds would not be given, a new cruise would also need to depart on or before the original cruise date and if all that criteria was met we would have to pay £50pp admin fee to change anyway!!!
    I will be writing to claim compensation due to the grotty cabin my family were given. The bathroom soap dishes had dirt, dust and scum in them, the basin was badly chipped and an attempt at covering this was badly done, there were black hairs on the bathroom floor, clearly not ours and they stayed on the floor until we left the ship. The sheets on my bed had blood stains on them, the list goes on!!
    Before anyone asks, no I didn’t complain to a Thomson rep as by this time I was so hacked off with the whole holiday I just took photographic evidence and will present these along with my long list of complaints to Thomsons to get some compensation.
    Was this holiday worth the £3200 I paid? Not if you holidayed in my shoes…..or should I say, my cabin!!!

  108. barbara 27 February 2011 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    sorry to hear about the cabin, ours was bril, loverly and clean. holiday same as icini comments. please let me know if you do a website as my husband and i are going to complaint. we didnot even get a chnce to alter it, it was go or lost the money

  109. Judith 28 February 2011 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    Just returned from Sharm/Naples. We feel that more changes were made than were necessary. We were offered no choice as to whether to take up this changed itinerary – we were virtually told to go on this cruise or lose our money. We would have preferred to re-schedule until we could visit the places we preferred – we would have left the money with Thomsons. We were offered very late and unacceptable alternatives, too late to make new arrangements. We feel we were forced to take a holiday we did not want to be on.

  110. barbara 28 February 2011 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    where do we go from here? who do we complain to? dont expect a sorry

  111. JAN 1 March 2011 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    Barbara, I am sending my complaint to – Wigmore House, Wigmore Lane, Luton LU2 9TN. I was told this was the address to write to by an agent dealing with the cruise holidays. It seems very unfair that some people had refunds and rebates. We did not even get the choice of changing our holiday. Thompsons have taken a large amount of our money and didnt even bother contacting us about the changes or offer of another holiday. I am also unhappy about the short trips, we went on the complimentary trip to Phaphos and was on the coach for two hours in total travelling just to spend an hour there! Crazy.

  112. Jacqui Davies 2 March 2011 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    Wow am I glad we didn’t go on that cruise for the people who couldn’t understand my previous mail I can assure you Thomsons couldn’t have been more helpful.We were offered a change of holiday not necessarily a cruise as long as it was taken within 40 days, and we had a refund of the difference, yes we did have to pay £35 each admin but in the great scheme of things that was nothing.I am sorry for the difficulties other people seems to have encountered

  113. Jacqui Davies 2 March 2011 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Wow am I glad we didn’t go on that cruise for the people who couldn’t understand my previous mail I can assure you Thomsons couldn’t have been more helpful.We were offered a change of holiday not necessarily a cruise as long as it was taken within 40 days, and we had a refund of the difference, yes we did have to pay £35 each admin but in the great scheme of things that was nothing.I am sorry for the difficulties other people seems to have encountered

  114. JAN 2 March 2011 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    Seems we have been given different information. I was told £75 each admin charge to change the holiday! We will have to see what Thompsons have to say.

  115. barbara 2 March 2011 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    thanks for the information and we will write a complain to thompson. i must state that we never recieve an offer to alter our holiday( we would have been happy to pay admin or even leave our money in their bank until we could go back to egypt)it was the case of take it or lost it including the money. It makes me wonder why some people was giiven the change to alter their holiday while other didnot get a offer. Is the area we live in!!!!! or does our face fit !!!!!

  116. icini 10 March 2011 at 8:17 am - Reply

    Wrote to Thomson about 10 days ago, asking for part refund. As expected they have not so far replied, no doubt they are hoping I will give up and go away. No chance ! If it come to it I will have to look at small claims court, though I am hoping they may see sense before we get to that. Anyway I expect it to be a long drawn out exercise. I’ve done this sort of thing before, it’s a drag.

  117. MaryB 15 March 2011 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Has anyone heard anything from Thomsons?

  118. JAN 16 March 2011 at 8:13 am - Reply

    I have not heard a thing as yet, still waiting. I thought they may have at least acknowledged my letter!

  119. Anonymous 16 March 2011 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    under the ABTA code of conduct they have to give some sort of reply within 28 days of receiving your letter.

  120. Judith 20 March 2011 at 11:43 am - Reply

    We have written to thomsons quite a while ago. Have not heard a thing, but 28 days is not up yet. We will be following this up. We copied our letter to: ABTA, Watchdog, rip-off Britain.
    We need to keep up the pressure.We too would have left our money with them, and gone later. But No Choice

  121. Judith 20 March 2011 at 11:47 am - Reply

    We too wrote to Thomsons re: this cruise. We copied our letter to ABTA, Watchdog and Rip-off Britain.
    No reply as yet, but 28 days not quite up.
    We will persist if only for part refund.
    It was the NO CHOICE, issue that we found unfair.

  122. barbara 21 March 2011 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    we wrote to thompson but had no reply yet!!!! got a post card from watch dog and will be send acopy of letter to ABTA and rip -off Britian . like you judith we would have being happy to leave our money with them and go later

  123. JAN 22 March 2011 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    I too have copied my letter to ABTA & Watchdog, will post a note when I get a reply. Nothing from Thomsons as yet.

  124. JAN 24 March 2011 at 8:40 am - Reply

    Ive had my reply back from Thomsons, not what I wanted to hear. They say as the cruise was still operating they would not waiver any cancellation costs of offer alternatives. They have conveniently ignored my comments about foreign customers getting refunds and also about other customers being able to change their holiday. I made two complaints on board about a trip and our cabin and have been told that my complaints were not on the ship’s log which I am even more furious about. Fortunately I have a letter from Destination Services to prove I did complain. I have now responded to this by email. Has anyone else had a reply from them?

  125. lynda 25 March 2011 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    just had my reply, no joy, they were concerned about disembarkation and problems at airport but same old story terms and conditions etc! Will write another letter wait another 28 days for reply and then perhaps abta can do something!

  126. barbara 27 March 2011 at 11:25 am - Reply

    got same letter from thompsom. will write again

  127. barbara 2 April 2011 at 10:47 am - Reply

    just sent another letter to Thompson this morning. hope to get a personal reply instead of a standard letter which is sent to everyone.
    has anyone else heard anythng?

  128. JAN 6 April 2011 at 7:41 am - Reply

    I sent my second reply by email but as yet I have no reply. Apart from my complaint about the holiday itself, I am also annoyed that they had no record of my complaint I made about one of the trips, so I have now sent a copy of the letter to them that I received from destination services manager. Apparently it wasn’t on their ships log! So glad I have a letter to prove it. I have a feeling this is going to take a long time to sort out!

  129. JAN 8 April 2011 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    I have received 2nd reply today from Thomsons. They still more or less saying I am lying about the complaint to destination services so I have sent a copy of the destination services reply I had on board. They are adamant that the ships log is gospel etc. They have insulted me with a £50 thomsons voucher which I will return as I have no wish to book with them again after this. I will be writing again and again until they listen.

  130. MaryB 2 June 2011 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    Has anyone heard anything from ABTA?

  131. Brad Wendes 10 September 2013 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    Same thing with the new batch of riots in 2013!
    We’re due to sail on 30th September. Told today that Port Said and Alexandria were no longer on the itinerary.
    No refund or option to cancel was offered. Our alternative port is Rhodes.
    I don’t want to pay the best part of £1000 to got to Rhodes. I booked a trip to Egypt!
    I’m disgusted at the lack of customer service offered by Thomson .
    I appreciate the situation isn’t their fault. We only wanted to postpone our trip.
    As far as I’m concerned, I booked a trip to Egypt on the “Egypt & The Holy Lands” cruise. As that’s not possible, I wanted a refund or to postpone.
    I was told expressly; “It’s in your terms and conditions, we can change up to 3 ports if necessary or appropriate”

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