As part of my current placement in the Cruise department, I was fortunate enough to get a chance to spend a couple of days on board one of our ships – Thomson Majesty. The primary reason for the trip was to provide me with an insight into the customer experience on board. This was useful to improve my general understanding of on board operations but also because one of my projects has been to consider and improve how we communicate our shore excursion offerings to our customers on board.
The trip started with an early Friday morning flight from Luton to Tenerife and a short transfer from Tenerife airport, after which I caught my first glimpse of the Thomson Majesty. This was my first time seeing a cruise ship up close and I was initially surprised at how big the ship was. By the time I was ready to board I was undoubtedly even more excited than the customers that I had shared the coach transfer with.
Mixed in with the excitement was some apprehension as, suffice to say, I have had a turbulent relationship with seafaring vessels throughout my life. However, after a few hours exploring the ship and becoming engrossed in one of the brilliant shows on board, I barely noticed that the ship had begun to sail. I spent the remainder of the evening experiencing what the ship had to offer from the customer’s perspective; including dining at the very nice Seven Seas restaurant and attending the traditional cruise sail-away celebration.
The following three nights spent on the ship were extremely busy. During this time I got to; see all of the different room types (the balcony cabins were amazing), see how our shore excursions work from an operational point of view, and get an insight into some of the challenges of running the ship, from the Thomson Manager on board. These experiences were made particularly memorable due to the generosity of the on board staff, with both their time and knowledge.
Some of the other highlights from my time on board include;
- Going on a shore excursion in beautiful Gran Canaria, where I saw spectacular views of the Bandama crater, and learnt a lot about the local culture thanks to the extremely knowledgeable tour guide.
- Going to the formal captains evening and being introduced to some of the staff that are responsible for making sure that the cruise runs smoothly.
- The hilarious Mr & Mrs show on the Saturday night, which I thought was fantastic despite having never seen the television show.
- Eating in all of the 5 different restaurants on board, including the a la carte ‘le bistro’ restaurant which was particularly special.