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Guest Solent Richard

Thomson Add Continue With Second Hand Ships

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Guest Solent Richard

Thomson, a subsidiary of German group TUI, are to be the recipients of two ex TUI ships, Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2 it was announced today.

 

http://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/12586-tui-thomson-to-get-mein-schiff-1-and-2.html

 

The two ships were themselves transferred to TUI from other cruise lines.

 

They actually look quite smart ships...

 

15347386458_8d812a9477_z.jpg

 

I spotted Mein Schiff 2 in the Dardanelles a few years ago.

 

I personally think it is an interesting development.

 

When the transfer takes place that will be three ships in the Thomson fleet that have lots of balconies to sell.

 

Thomson have also quite recently needed to take bookings from other than Thomson travel agents.

 

That in turn will lead to further increases in Thomson fares which already have seen some of their loyal passengers transferring to P&O.

 

What's your view.

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Guest Solent Richard

Incidentally, Mein Schiff 2 is the second of two Century-class cruise ships operated by TUI Cruises. She was built for Celebrity Cruises at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and was launched in 1997 as the Celebrity Mercury.

 

Mein Schiff 1 was originally Celebrity Galaxy.

 

So, in reality, when they do arrive with Thomson they will be 20 years old.

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Guest Solent Richard

Here is another photograph of Mein Schiff 2 which I took in Muscat...

 

17579082726_bedba223f0_z.jpg

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Mercury was one of my favourite ships. We were on her last cruise before she was transferred to TUI. There were workers on board who told us that they were adding extra cabins, reducing the size of the casino and increasing the fitness centre to appeal to German tastes.

Sheila

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Thomson, a subsidiary of German group TUI, are to be the recipients of two ex TUI ships, Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2 it was announced today.

 

http://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/12586-tui-thomson-to-get-mein-schiff-1-and-2.html

 

The two ships were themselves transferred to TUI from other cruise lines.

 

They actually look quite smart ships...

 

15347386458_8d812a9477_z.jpg

 

I spotted Mein Schiff 2 in the Dardanelles a few years ago.

 

I personally think it is an interesting development.

 

When the transfer takes place that will be three ships in the Thomson fleet that have lots of balconies to sell.

 

Thomson have also quite recently needed to take bookings from other than Thomson travel agents.

 

That in turn will lead to further increases in Thomson fares which already have seen some of their loyal passengers transferring to P&O.

 

What's your view.

Hubbie & I are 2 of the "loyal passengers" who are gradually transferring to p&o. We have taken 10 cruises with Thomson but this year have already got 2 p&o's booked.  We have noticed that Thomsons prices are more often than not more than other cruise lines these days and the prices for the newly acquired Discovery are silly prices for the age of the ships, although we will still do Thomson cruises because their crew and entertainment are the best we have come across, we will only book "bargains".

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Guest Solent Richard

Thank you for your pertinent comment Walkie Talkie.

 

There is obviously a ground swell - or should that be a sea swell? wink.png

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Mercury was one of my favourite ships. We were on her last cruise before she was transferred to TUI. There were workers on board who told us that they were adding extra cabins, reducing the size of the casino and increasing the fitness centre to appeal to German tastes.

Sheila

That's interesting that for Germany the fitness increases and the casinos reduce, opposite to the far east market where the casinos have to increase in size.

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At least this move will give Thomson a couple of quality ships. Both were built for Chandos Cruise Lines when they wanted to enter the luxury cruise market in the 90's and before being bought out by RCI and put under the Celebrity banner. Together with Splendour of the Seas it will be interesting to see how things progress.

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TUI are apparently phasing out the Thomson name, so no brand value as far as they are concerned.

 

I've noticed a few stores closing in and around my local area but wasn't aware they are looking to phase out the name.

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Guest Solent Richard

At least this move will give Thomson a couple of quality ships. Both were built for Chandos Cruise Lines when they wanted to enter the luxury cruise market in the 90's and before being bought out by RCI and put under the Celebrity banner. Together with Splendour of the Seas it will be interesting to see how things progress.

 

My best bet is that Thomson (aka TUI) will, post 2017, operate just the three ships.

 

They have found themselves in a catch 22 situation. Passengers are demanding more quality and quality includes the availability of balconies.

 

On the down side Thomson are haemorrhaging customers and, as I stated earlier, have resorted to using other travel agents.

 

This last winter they even laid up 25% of their fleet in Piraeus.

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Guest Solent Richard

TUI are apparently phasing out the Thomson name, so no brand value as far as they are concerned.

 

 

On the subject of TUI, an essentially German company, phasing out the Thomson name, I would like to slightly broaden the discussion.

 

It was brought to my attention that another member of this forum, DaveCM, made the following comment on another site...

 

"So might we find that one day Thomson's ships are part of the same fleet as Hapag-Lloyd's Europa 2 - thought by some to be the world's best cruise ship?"

 

I'd like to take the opportunity to point out to DaveCM that Thomson have been under the umbrella of TUI for a number of years, hence TUI's  distinctive funnel emblem appearing on Thomson's ships.

 

As far as the luxury end of TUI being Hapag-Lloyd, well that has also been a known fact as well.

 

https://www.tui-group.com/en/ir/news/2015/January/20150109

 

In fact TUI is no different from the other major players in the world cruise market.

 

Royal Caribbean International have their budget level, with Celebrity sat in the middle and Azamara at the 'luxury end. Similarly the Carnival Corporation have their budget level with Costa:  P&O, Cunard and Holland America sat in the middle; and Seabourn as their 'luxury' offering.

 

Hapag-Lloyd's Europa 2...

 

15206273108_5dec902574_z.jpg

 

...which I have sailed on, was rated the World's best cruise ship byno less an authority than Berlitz Cruise Guides.

 

wink.png biggrin.png

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Hi  Am I missing something here, many of the posts here seem to think that new cruise ships mean a higher quality product.  This is patently incorrect.  Crystal Symphony (a 6 star cruise ship) is one year older than the former RCI Galaxy which is to be transferred Thomson (TUI).  The Hebridean Princess is over fifty years old  (a converted car ferry) which is considered by the Queen to be of a satisfactory standard to meet her expectations.  The ship itself is only one component of the cruise experience and if others believe that it is the most important factor they are sadly mistaken.  I also believe that competition in the cruise market is bound to be better for the consumer and I hope that any cruise line operating for UK passengers is successful.

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To try and put this in prospective. TUI.AG is split into several operating companies one of which is TUI Cruises. TUI Cuises own Mein Schiff, Thomson Cruises and Hapag Lloyd Cruises. This is a joint venture between TUI.AG and Royal Caribbean hence up until now the Meiin Schiff ships being ex Celebrity a division of Royal Caribbean and Splendour of the Seas going to Thomson.

In some ways Land Ahoy I think newer ships do in fact mean a higher quality in that they have more balconies, better stabilisation and generally the size of basic cabin has increased to an industry norm now of 150sq. ft. rather than the 130/140 as it used to be. Also to be fair the ships you mention in your post belong to the upper end of the cruise market where as I think the comments made refer to main stream cruising.

Finall you say that anyone who thinks the ship is the most important factor is sadly mistake. I am not sure where you obtain this from other than being your own personal opinion as last year as part of my work I interviewed passengers on a particular cruise for my article and was surprised by the number who didn't mind where the ship went as the ship itself was the major element to them. Just my opinion of course.

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To try and put this in prospective. TUI.AG is split into several operating companies one of which is TUI Cruises. TUI Cuises own Mein Schiff, Thomson Cruises and Hapag Lloyd Cruises. This is a joint venture between TUI.AG and Royal Caribbean hence up until now the Meiin Schiff ships being ex Celebrity a division of Royal Caribbean and Splendour of the Seas going to Thomson.

In some ways Land Ahoy I think newer ships do in fact mean a higher quality in that they have more balconies, better stabilisation and generally the size of basic cabin has increased to an industry norm now of 150sq. ft. rather than the 130/140 as it used to be. Also to be fair the ships you mention in your post belong to the upper end of the cruise market where as I think the comments made refer to main stream cruising.

Finall you say that anyone who thinks the ship is the most important factor is sadly mistake. I am not sure where you obtain this from other than being your own personal opinion as last year as part of my work I interviewed passengers on a particular cruise for my article and was surprised by the number who didn't mind where the ship went as the ship itself was the major element to them. Just my opinion of course.

Hi  When I said the a new build doesn't mean a great cruise experience I should have added that the staff makes an enormous difference.  The quality of the galley, wait staff etc. Which would you consider to be the better land based hotel; a newly opened Travel Lodge or the elderly Dorchester: it's not the building but the service offered.  I accept that new vessels do offer more facilities but unless the service is of a high standard it's a case of smoke and mirrors (a large impressive atrium, climbing wall etc) is not what I consider cruising to be about . If passengers do wish to use these type of features why don't they just go to a theme park where these facilities are better catered for?  

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Hi Land Ahoy, I understand what you are saying and in some ways agree with you. However I think we have to remember, looking globally at cruising, the UK with it's love of tradition make for a very small percentage of the whole. Nearly all ships are built for the American and Continental markets and with the percentage they make up it is easy to see why. Personally I love the glitz and glamour of the large ships and the atmosphere that goes with it. I covered the maiden voyage of Anthem of the Seas and loved every minute of it. As my article said 'Glitz, Glamour, Elegance, the Future, all on one ship' People may 'knock' it but there again if they have never tried it they are not really in a position to comment. Why don't I go to a theme park, simple, I love being at sea and visiting the ports of the world.

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I think that it possible to enjoy different types of holiday, though probably not to the same extent, and in the past the cruise industry has only offered one option that of rest, relaxation, conversation, etc (plus duplicate bridge for US market).

The newer "populist" ships are tapping into a new market at different levels of commitment, and at the most extreme Land Ahoy's theme park question is a sound assessment, because ultimately there is a limit to how far the cruise industry can travel that route and at what cost. Whatever attraction is added to a ship it is at a premium cost to building on land, and there is always the risk of going down that route in that you are ultimately going to run out of new ideas and be left with a "white elephant".

Land based theme parks have had to continually add new attractions, and in the case of some it was enough to forestall closure.

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Guest Solent Richard

To try and put this in prospective. TUI.AG is split into several operating companies one of which is TUI Cruises. TUI Cuises own Mein Schiff, Thomson Cruises and Hapag Lloyd Cruises. This is a joint venture between TUI.AG and Royal Caribbean hence up until now the Meiin Schiff ships being ex Celebrity a division of Royal Caribbean and Splendour of the Seas going to Thomson.

In some ways Land Ahoy I think newer ships do in fact mean a higher quality in that they have more balconies, better stabilisation and generally the size of basic cabin has increased to an industry norm now of 150sq. ft. rather than the 130/140 as it used to be. Also to be fair the ships you mention in your post belong to the upper end of the cruise market where as I think the comments made refer to main stream cruising.

Finall you say that anyone who thinks the ship is the most important factor is sadly mistake. I am not sure where you obtain this from other than being your own personal opinion as last year as part of my work I interviewed passengers on a particular cruise for my article and was surprised by the number who didn't mind where the ship went as the ship itself was the major element to them. Just my opinion of course.

 

Very often for my wife and I the ship becomes the destination.

 

Interestingly we are heading later this year for the Viking Star. On another forum it was indicated that the itinerary was rather boring. You couldn't make it up. 

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Guest Solent Richard

Hi  Am I missing something here, many of the posts here seem to think that new cruise ships mean a higher quality product.  This is patently incorrect.  Crystal Symphony (a 6 star cruise ship) is one year older than the former RCI Galaxy which is to be transferred Thomson (TUI).  The Hebridean Princess is over fifty years old  (a converted car ferry) which is considered by the Queen to be of a satisfactory standard to meet her expectations.  The ship itself is only one component of the cruise experience and if others believe that it is the most important factor they are sadly mistaken.  I also believe that competition in the cruise market is bound to be better for the consumer and I hope that any cruise line operating for UK passengers is successful.

 

Hi there LA

 

I do smile when you mention the Queen on Hebridean Princess.

 

I do belief the household charter it as a somewhat down market replacement for the Royal Yacht.

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Resurrecting this topic....no-one has mentioned the superb itineraries that Thomson offer! We joined Celebration (refurbished huge cabin) in Dubrovnik this year and spent two weeks sailing the Adriatic down to Corinth then up to Venice and down again to Bari calling at Kotor, Koper, Korcula, Itea, Corfu, Sibenik and Katakolon, with a full day and evening in Dubrovnik mid cruise....this was after a flight from a local airport and luggage going straight to the Ship so no hanging around at the carousels....it was absolutely brilliant....on return to UK all passengers can stay on board the Ship until its time for transfer to the airport....it is all so well organised.

The food was excellent as were the crew and entertainment, and tips are included in the cost.

I ought to add that we have also sailed with Celebrity x 3, Princess x 3, RCI x 2, Costa x 2 , Island Escape x 3 and P & O x 10 so are not just Thomson devotees although we have done several more with them!

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Resurrecting this topic....no-one has mentioned the superb itineraries that Thomson offer! We joined Celebration (refurbished huge cabin) in Dubrovnik this year and spent two weeks sailing the Adriatic down to Corinth then up to Venice and down again to Bari calling at Kotor, Koper, Korcula, Itea, Corfu, Sibenik and Katakolon, with a full day and evening in Dubrovnik mid cruise....this was after a flight from a local airport and luggage going straight to the Ship so no hanging around at the carousels....it was absolutely brilliant....on return to UK all passengers can stay on board the Ship until its time for transfer to the airport....it is all so well organised.

The food was excellent as were the crew and entertainment, and tips are included in the cost.

I ought to add that we have also sailed with Celebrity x 3, Princess x 3, RCI x 2, Costa x 2 , Island Escape x 3 and P & O x 10 so are not just Thomson devotees although we have done several more with them!

I don't think anyone was demeaning the places there ships visited but more the prices they charge.wink.png

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I don't think anyone was demeaning the places there ships visited but more the prices they charge.;)

Hello Ron, I sort of agree with you regarding Thomson's pricing structure, they do at times sound expensive for the age of their fleet.

On the other hand they are far less fluid than P&O and Cunard and other mainstream cruiselines in my opinion, Thomson prices generally remain quite stable.

Out of curiosity I took a chance and booked Discovery for August a while ago, worked out around £80pppn which includes the drink package and obviously no gratuity charges, very reasonable I thought, albeit on older ships.

HLM.

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