Aimed squarely at the British package holiday market and offering excellent value, the ships – and accommodations – vary quite widely. None is in the first flush of youth, and they are all chartered from other operators (Louis, HAL). There’s a growing choice of casual alternative dining. Children’s clubs are well run and make for successful family-friendly cruises, with kids choices in all dining options. The entertainment is well geared for UK tastes, with proficient resident troops of singers and dancers, and visiting comedians. In Europe each summer, the Canaries, Caribbean in winter, they offer some imaginative cruises, including a number of itineraries based at Montego Bay, Jamaica, ands with some visiting Cuba. Thomson’s major strength is its fleet of aircraft operating from regional airports around the UK. The casual cruise ship Island Escape, with its all-buffet main restaurant, also sails under the Thomson umbrella, and has a loyal following. Thomson cruises are packaged with charter flights and all taxes and gratuities are included.