THOMSON MAJESTY PHOTO ESSAY (Updated)

ImageFirst of all, a couple of necessary disclaimers. All the photos you are about to see were taken when this ship was still called the Louis Majesty. However, though the ship is chartered to Thomson and currently marketed as Thomson Majesty, she is still owned and operated by Louis Cruises. Therefore, the pictures do represent the ship as she is.

ImageSecond; I have to admit to having a soft spot for this ship. I sailed her down to Bermuda twice out of Boston, when she was still owned by Norwegian. Those two trips were among the most memorable of all my voyages. I loved every moment of both.

ImageNorwegian gradually disposed of their smaller, less amenity/balcony laden tonnage, and so the Majesty came over to Louis, to operate in the Mediterranean. These pictures were taken during my third cruise aboard her, a round trip from Genoa as far west as Casablanca. A great little ten day foray.

ImageSo; to business. The Thomson Majesty (I must remember to call her that) comes in at a little over 42,000 tons. She carries around 1700 passengers maximum and, when full, she can feel pretty crowded.

ImageLet’s deal with a few negatives first. Not necessarily big things, but potential deal breakers for more sybaritic types. Deck space can be quite crowded on sea days, Of the two pools, the smaller one at the back tends to be less busy.

ImageThe buffet is right forward, on the highest deck, and woefully small for the numbers on board. Think; long lines, sometimes slow moving. Many people take their meals into the Observatory Lounge on the next level. Solution? Simple enough. Take lunch in one of the beautiful main dining rooms. it’s far less of a rugby scrum.

ImageThe standard inside/outside cabins are on the small side, with not much wardrobe space. But the ship is relatively informal, so you won’t need to pack a lot, anyway.You can safely leave the tuxes and tiaras at home. And, truth be told, you won’t spend much time in your room on these port intensive cruises. Though small, they are perfectly fit for purpose.

ImageThat said, the cabins on the promenade deck are bigger and nicer, and the suites on the top deck are really good value for the price, with lovely big bay windows. None of the cabins- in any of the grades- have balconies.

ImageAmazingly, the decor and layout of the Majesty is still exactly as it was in her Norwegian days. Apart from the creation of a coffee bar/lounge area in the casino, and the removal of some bar stools in one of the lounges, she is still obviously the former Norwegian Majesty. Even the bedspreads are the old NCL ones.

ImageInside, she remains a very pretty ship indeed, with most of the public rooms running the length of one full deck, and part of the length of another. There is much use of mirrored surfaces to create the illusion of space.

ImageBroad, window walled corridors are flanked by rows of chairs, sofas and drinks tables. The ship boasts lots of elegant, blond panelling. Wall lighting is artful, and makes the most of the space available. That swathe of huge. floor to ceiling windows bathes the interior with sunlight from bow to stern.

ImageThe main effect is of a series of boulevards at sea. Strolling before dinner is a pleasant distraction, as are pre dinner drinks at any of the bars. A little soft piano music; some cool jazz. A mellow sunset….

ImageThere are two elegant main dining rooms; the aft one has windows on three sides, allowing for some marvellous views of the ship’s wake. There are two sittings for evening meals and, last time I was aboard, the quality and quantity of the food was pretty good; certainly a good buy for the ticket price. There was a four euro charge for in-cabin continental breakfast, as on all Louis ships.

ImageEvening shows are staged in the Palace Theatre, right aft. This is not one of those hulking great auditoriums found on the mega ships; rather it’s a smaller, more intimate room. More like an old style cabaret lounge than anything else.

ImageSo, if you really want the four-and-twenty feather boas, complete with dancing horses and indoor fireworks kind of flooze fest of a floor show, you might be disappointed. But the more human scale of this room actually enhances the entertainment. Performers can interact with the audience in a way that’s all nigh impossible on bigger ships.

ImageOverall, the Thomson Majesty is a very tastefully decorated and well maintained ship. There is a beautiful observation lounge right forward on the upper deck, with a semicircular sweep of floor to ceiling windows that offer amazing sea views.

ImageThere is also a decent sized disco- Frame 52- right at the stern, together with a noisy casino, and no shortage of quiet nooks and crannies for a nightcap. She can be a bit of a late night party boat when the younger crowd is on board.

ImageThe ship has a surprising amount of open deck space at the stern; many people simply don’t seem to find these decks until the very end of their cruise for some reason.

ImageAll things considered, the Thomson Majesty is a good buy at the price. She may not be the newest or the biggest ship out there, but she has a lovely overall vibe; a real feel good ship. She’ll take you to where you want to go, and with more than a little bit of style. Bon voyage!

Update: Thomson Majesty has had balconies added to some twenty-eight suites and  cabins as part of a fleet wide renovation across three ships.

The upgraded cabins will mainly be the suite sand junior suites on nine deck, stretching fore and aft along that level.

The ship also now has expanded outdoor open deck space in the area around Piazza San Marco, on the aft upper deck of the ship. This space also now has an expanded food outlet and more tables and chairs, making breakfast and lunch buffets in the sun that much less of a rugby scrum than previously.

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