Thomson Cruises has decided to up the ante for at least two of its four ship fleet, by creating a lifestyle brand now being touted as Thomson Platinum.
The two vessels in question- Thomson Dream and Thomson Celebration- will receive enhancements designed to create a more fresh, contemporary look throughout each vessel. The line cites the installation of flat screen televisions in all cabins, plus iPod docking stations in all of the suites.as indicative of this new direction.
In addition, both ships will have tea and coffee making facilities across all cabins grades, and there will also be a themed, a la carte restaurant on each ship. Bars and lounges throughout each of the ships will be refreshed, with an emphasis on mood lighting, rich new colours, and touchable textiles, whatever that means.
As part of an ongoing addition of balconies right across the fleet, Thomson Celebration will also be gaining some twenty six balcony cabins. The ship is scheduled to winter in the Caribbean.
In addition to the cosmetic upgrades, cruises for both ships will be paired with more upscale, cruise and stay options.
How does this work out in terms of value for both the Platinum Cruises and the other two ships- Thomson Majesty and Thomson Spirit. I looked at some prices on the Thomson Cruises website, and this is what came up;
A week long, Adriatic Explorer itinerary on the Thomson Majesty in mid- June 2014 comes in at around £900 per person, based on an inside cabin, with flights from London. The online price quotes a saving of some £580.
A week long Mediterranean Medley cruise on the Platinum enhanced Thomson Dream sails from Palma that same week, also for seven nights. prices, based on an inside cabin and with flights from London, come in at- £900 per person. The site lists an online saving of £480.
So the line has actually not put any kind of premium on the two upgraded ships at first glance. Which leaves me to wonder; what exactly they are trying to achieve here?
Creating this kind of division within a five ship fleet (Thomson also continues to operate the former First Choice cruises’ Island Escape as well) seems a curious thing to do, though doubtless there is some inherent logic behind it. Perhaps it is simply the first step in a general attempt to upgrade the entire fleet to a higher standard.
An interesting conundrum, to be sure. Stay tuned.