1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Caribbean Cruises
  4. Caribbean Cruise Reviews
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
What went well: The flight, crew, and service were excellent, safety was a priority. Transfers were good with no added delay other than the wings being deiced which was acceptable. No hassle, boarding the ship was easy and well managed ... Read More
What went well: The flight, crew, and service were excellent, safety was a priority. Transfers were good with no added delay other than the wings being deiced which was acceptable. No hassle, boarding the ship was easy and well managed with the exception of the booker not being aware of 25-night passengers. The cruise director Gavin Carroll was a joy, he was always smiling and friendly and always approachable, his team was always on hand and very friendly. The performers including guest performers were all brilliant and very professional, some of the very best we have experienced on ten different cruises (some not Marella) I disagree with other reviews who have hinted at miming!!!! The cabin was dark but well maintained by the cabin steward Komang. A person worthy of mention was Glynis's from Hemingway's bar, she was a star and remembered drinks, names and cabin numbers and always had a laugh and a joke with us. Hygiene was well covered and the antibacterial gel was readily available at all relevant points. Food in both the lido and the Meridian restaurant was always great, but breakfast service in the Meridian was always very slow and things were forgotten or not provided on several occasions. The Itinerary was great one of the reasons we chose this cruise. What didn't go so well: once onboard we were hassled by every waiter or person in blue trying to upswell drinks packages. Again on other cruises, we have been on, there have been points around the ship where this happens and hassling customers has not been an issue. Things said like: "don't you want quality drinks" and "nice wines instead of Spanish" and even one barman when seeing our card said "if you can afford a suite, you can afford to upgrade" it wasn't his place to think or say this, let alone in front of customers. I asked at reception to speak to the bar manager, he came out to see me and I told him of our experience, he was apologetic for the comments. I mentioned that we had chosen this cruise because it had everything included but were now being made to feel inferior by not buying the upgrade. He explained that many people were happy with the All Inclusive drinks, so suggested we try it and see how we go. He then told me that it would be £176 each to upgrade to premium drinks, which on top of what we had paid would be too expensive. I mentioned that my brother has been on Discovery twice and recommended Marella to us, he mentioned Casselero Diablo wine and Bells whiskey, which we regularly drink, so we were more than happy, only to be told by the bar manager that Discovery was a premium ship. We were not given a safe key on the port when booking in as the people there didn't know how much to charge and were not aware of the 25 night cruise, we were told to go to reception, when we did go to reception they told us all the keys were in the port and could we come back. We finally were issued with a key later that evening, but staff couldn't tell us how much a 25-night cruise fee cost. When we tried to use the magnet key to open the safe, we discovered it was a digital safe and we didn't need a key, on returning it to reception, the receptionist said well you will still have to pay. Although there were policies onboard about reserving sunbeds or seats, this clearly happened and was rarely addressed by Marella. On one occasion whilst looking for a sunbed we observed one person lying across a double sunbed, and over 100 sunbeds with towels on but no bums on the beds, this was infuriating and as we didn't want any hassle we left without a bed. This wasn't just a one-off but most days especially at sea and there didn't seem any staff readily available to address this with. Many times seats were reserved in the Broadway by a handbag on the seat or a mobile phone or scarf, with one person guarding many seats. Our main gripe again was over the drinks, when ordering in the Broadway show lounge, the drinks were inferior and you could never taste the alcohol, (possibly because they drowned the drinks with ice and carbonated mixers) we were given drinks in strange glasses when we queried this,(a Baileys in a half pint tumbler) we were told there weren't any other glasses available, this also happened in Hemingways. We drank regularly in Horizons and Hemingways and on occasion felt the drinks didn't taste quite right, only to observe unbranded alcohol being provided when requesting gin or whisky etc. when we mentioned we were All Inclusive and expected branded drinks as per the drinks menu, I.e. Gordon's or Beefeater Gin, and J&B, johnny walker red label etc. This happened so often that my husband waited at the bars to be served to ensure we were getting what we asked for, this practice even happened when we asked specifically for Gordon's Gin or Red label whiskey, so we brought this to the attention of the bar manager on one of his fleeting visits to Horizons. He thanked us for bringing it to his attention and he would address it. We saw him enter the bar area and help clear glasses etc, he seemed to chat to staff, but we were not sure if he addressed the problem. We feel it was a wide-ranging norm on this ship, as otherwise why did they regularly stock the unbranded drinks. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
Check-in Process: I booked a cruise holiday simply enough on the website and had confirmation emails. As part of my booking documentation it clearly states: “You’ll be able to check-in online from 7 days before your departure date ... Read More
Check-in Process: I booked a cruise holiday simply enough on the website and had confirmation emails. As part of my booking documentation it clearly states: “You’ll be able to check-in online from 7 days before your departure date and once you do, you’ll automatically be allocated your seats on the plane” That’s simple to understand, However….. When I proceeded to check-in online the following error message appeared: “We're currently unable to offer you online check-in for your flight. Don't worry, you can proceed to TUI Airways bag drop desk at the airport on your day of departure where check-in will be completed for you and your boarding passes will be issued.” I thought this was strange so I ask TUI customer service why I could not check-in online and this was their response: “Online check in it is a complimentary service that we offer. We only allow 70-80% of our customers to check in online” This is information is not mentioned on the TUI website, Terms & Conditions’ or my booking forms so basically rather than being up front so I could make an informed decision before the check-in date, I am now stuck with the hassle of check-in at the Airport with no way to avoid it. This is before my holiday begins, so, who knows what else TUI will fail to mention. Airport: So got to Gatwick the day before the flight and despite advertising "day before bag drop" on their website, I could not use this service on a TUI Fly/Cruise holiday. Great Check-In on the day: This was actually good. Bags get taken straight to the ship so no need to collect at the Airport which is a nice bonus. Please note they do weight your "hand/cabin" luggage as well as your hold luggage. Make sure you don't go over your limit otherwise they will definitely charge you. The excess baggage charge for long haul is £17 a Kilo Arrival: The arrival at Dominican Republic Airport was excellent, got on coach straight after arrival, received a welcome drink and on-boarding onto the ship was very quick. Accommodation/cabin: This was basic but the bed was comfortable and shower was good. Only problem was that they charge you £15/£25 to use the in-room safe. No not a deposit, they actually charge you. wow Inclusive Package: They advertised as an all-inclusive cruise however the drinks are limited and extremely watered down (Many other guests said the same thing). Note Bottle water is not included or premium drinks such as JD etc. If you pay another £50 Per person you can get premium drinks but this still does not include bottle water (except one bottle a day in you cabin). Also if you want to have the odd premium drink with the basic all-inclusive you can pay a supplement but that is nearly the cost of the drink (Example Heineken supplement is £3.00 when the drink cost £3.90). Tours: Excellent tours and good trips. A really positive. Staff: The best thing about the cruise was the staff. They were excellent, very helpful and always attentive. Food: Lido Restaurant was nice but limited range of food. Terrible pizza and Burgers in the outdoor lido, funny considering this a basic on most cruises. Main Restaurant was excellent (£10 Steak supplement was very good) but Gala Night was a bit disappointing. Went to the one of the three paid restaurants, food was good but not worth £35 Supplement (For 2). Activities: Absolutely awful, there were seminars on water retention, bingo (£5 ago), table tennis and quiz's. There were two pools and one Jacuzzi's on board and on the only day at sea one pool and the Jacuzzi was closed. There were no movies or sports TV's in the bars or theatre and no real stand out activities. Rubbish Shows: The show team were enthusiastic and lovely people but the shows were terrible. Nothing much to write home about except the comedian shows which saved it for me. Overall, good holiday but it would be 50/50 on whether I would use TUI/Marella again. Everything comes with supplement rather than being a true all-inclusive cruise (as advertised) and food/activities/shows very underwhelming. The staff and tours saved it for me but not enough to fully recommend. If you do book with TUI, be prepared for some hidden surprises and factor this into the cost. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Firstly this was a 3 star cruise with 5 star staff. Having done two previous cruises on Majesty and Spirit we knew what to expect and were not disappointed. Some useful information first. 1. If you are just doing the cruise for one ... Read More
Firstly this was a 3 star cruise with 5 star staff. Having done two previous cruises on Majesty and Spirit we knew what to expect and were not disappointed. Some useful information first. 1. If you are just doing the cruise for one or two weeks without a hotel stay you do not have to pay 10 Dollar entrance or 20 dollar exit from Dominican Republic. 2. There is a charge for the safe in the room which is £15 for one week or £25 for a two week cruise. 3. Do check in early online to get seats together. On previous flights we were only allowed to check in 7days before but on this trip you could do it a month before. 4. The flight out from London Gatwick took 8 hrs 30 mins and back just under 8 hours. Food served around 2 hours into flight going out and a free drink and wine with dinner. Flight back we had Chicken Pie and veg with wine and Breakfast 90 mins before landing. 5. Transfer time from La Romana airport to the ship is 15 minutes then you queue outside for about 30-40 mins to check in and get your room cards and safe keys. Baggage gets to your room about 2 hours later. Suggest have light clothes for arrival as it was 29c when we got there. 6. Wifi is expensive on the ship in my opinion £7 for one hour or £15 per day. I think you can buy a weekly package if you need to use it a lot. The ship is dated 35 years old but the staff are constantly cleaning and maintaining the ship. Whilst we were aboard the captain invoked enhanced santitation which meant you could not serve yourself in the buffet not even coffee or tea. This caused delays which some passengers got frustrated with. This action was taken because a few passengers went down with tummy bugs and they did not want it to spread. Also there was no access to the Saunas, Jacuzzi, or laundry/ironing rooms. It was fine with us. A couple of things that did irritate us were the inconsiderate passengers that gathered in groups and wanted to chat through the shows. Go to the bar or coffee shop if you want to chat. Secondly there is a noticeable engine vibration that feels like a worn prop shaft and you shake in your seat in some parts of the theatre or Lido buffet. The food was ok, always found something to eat some of the starter portions were miniscule like 5 pieces of calamari or the potatoes with blue cheese were just two tiny spuds cut with a bit of blue cheese in the middle. One chap on our table ordered this as a main course and got 4 potatoes on their own no garnish. One tip here is that if you don’t fancy the soups there is a tomato and basil option that is not shown on the menu. The fish was overcooked on a couple of occasions particularly the salmon. The food in the Lido was ok, the sweets and jellies were a bit repetitive but we enjoyed what we chose. A good selection of herb teas and decaff coffee was also available. There are two speciality restaurants, one that serves indian cuisine and costs £17.95 per person extra or the other ala carte which cost £19.95 per person. The main entertainment was in the Broadway Theatre for the shows or in Liberties for the Quizzes or Mr and Mrs evening. If you do participate don’t get caught cold with the answer to the question ‘What unusual place have you had amorous relations’ i.e back of an Austin Alegro or in the sea at the resort!. It is a bit of fun and Gavin the cruise director does a great job at comparing this show. Tarin, Amy and Taylor The Milky bar Kid are also great fun. The two must see shows in my opinion are The Man in The Mirror Michael Jackson tribute and Cameron Classics with a fabulous Les Miserable Finale. The show team were excellent . A couple of the shows were shown twice in the two week cruise. Queen Tribute and Cameron Classics. Andre the Magician was good but Kamika the male/female duo reminded me of a pub act although the guitarist was good with his Eagles rendition. The first port of call after leaving La Romana is Road Town Tortola. The island is just getting back on its feet and some devastation is still there to see but the people are so friendly and welcoming. The ship is only in port for 4 hours we just walked into the town and had a look at the shops but the second week we visited Pussers Bar ‘ Serving cruise ships since 1979’ looks nothing from outside but do go inside and have a look at the art deco, nautical bric a brac and tiffany lamps. Also an exclusive (expensive clothes) shop at the rear of the bar. Next Stop was St Martin, we got a water taxi over to the beach 7 dollars return 15 dollars for two sun beds and brollie some vendors were also offering 5 bottles of beer for 10 dollars. Nice beach and plenty of shops to browse. Off to Granada next, here we did a Tui tour Highlights of Granada £36 each which was 2 hours long with a 20 minute drink stop halfway through at a nice bar in a lovely location. Drink included in cost interesting info from Driver/Guide. Then onto Antigua where we took a Tui tour Sun and Rum £34 each to the Beach which was called Mistic beach. This was very nice two sunbeds and free unlimited Rum Punch ( be careful because after 3 you start to feel tipsy) Fruit punch is another option. You do have to pay an extra 10 dollars if you want a sunshade. I was impressed they had 3 life guards on the beach. Sea a little rough pm so no good for snorkelling. Castries St Lucia next and this was the only place we felt unsafe and hassled. Water Taxi to the centre was $5 return from the berth we were berthed at. As you approach the Water taxi booths choose the one on the right for the nicer boat transfer. You can walk to the nearest beach which is about 20 mins but as a policeman told us be vigilant and keep your eyes open. Do not wear any bling as one guy had his necklace ripped from his neck. Suggest maybe do a tour here but not the little train around the town reports were not good. Back to La Romana where we booked the Altos De Chavron and Boat trip. Supposedly where they filmed Jurrasic park but the tour guide told us that was 100km away! It was a nice tour but the cost is £55 and if you don’t want to do the boat trip part then you can get a courtesy bus to the replica 16th century village for $8. The boat trip 30-40 mins was nice and free drinks on board and sandwiches but all there is to see are a couple of expensive houses palm trees and maybe some Iguana. We enjoyed it. After a second visit to Road town we went onto Bassetere St Kitts. A free shuttle bus takes you to the centre and there are lots of shops a nice town to pootle around. There are also local tours available here at a much cheaper price than the tours on the ship. Also if you are looking at Jewellery and are serious about buying push for an extra 10% off their offer price. As you walk out they may accept your offer!. Martinique was the next port of call with a large port promenade area where you can either pick up a ferry to the beach for $7 or just have a walk around to the castle and around the shops. Bridgetown Barbados is about a 30 minute walk to the centre and it is worth paying $2 each way for a taxi. We docked on a Sunday and the shops do not open until 10am. In the afternoon we did the Beach Transfer to Carlisle beach with Tui which included sunbeds and shade and a free drink. A busy but nice beach cost of trip £24 each. Last port of call was Kingstown St Vincent. Now just to be clear The Botanical gardens are walkable from the ship 30-40 mins at a stroll but last 800m is up hill so do it early in the morning. Price of entry is $2 and $4 dollars extra if you want a guide. We were told by the rep it was a 20 minute taxi ride and $20 dollars entry (not true). In the afternoon we did the Tui Caribbean Pirate Sailaway which was a 3.5 hour trip along the coast to see where Pirates of The Caribbean one was filmed. Rum Punch and soft drinks served on board and one hour stop for snorkelling Not cheap at £55 each but a very enjoyable afternoon. In summary we had a lovely time, the room on deck one was fine, our cabin steward Adang was amazing. As we were at the front of the ship Room 802 there was a couple of nights when the ship was sailing into a headwind and as the waves hit the ship you could hear a loud thud. We took earplugs for situations like this. You have to vacate your room at 8am but you can ask to keep your room til noon for £25 or there is also a courtesy room available for a 20 min shower, key at reception. We met some lovely people each night at dinner and hello to Carol and Chris and Len and Karen whose company and chat we enjoyed. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
we chose this cruise as we wanted to see some carribean islands that we have not visited before This was our second cruise we have also been on this ship previously approx 10 years ago around the canaries .This was actually our honeymoon ... Read More
we chose this cruise as we wanted to see some carribean islands that we have not visited before This was our second cruise we have also been on this ship previously approx 10 years ago around the canaries .This was actually our honeymoon and we informed thomson of this when booking..We booked only the one week. We flew form manchester...flight out was delayed slightly by approx an hour so seemed very long The flight back was also delayed but only slightly and was much shorter.Both the flight crew and entertainment were good both ways .Food was ok and drinks were offered regularly at no cost.Great transfer from plane to ship short and efficient.Only problem was delayed baggage ...the baggage coming onto the ship seemed disorganised and chaotic we got one bag after approx 2 hours but had to go to dinner in our daytime clothes as our other suitcase did not turn up till later that evening The service on board was fantastic most of the time.Our cabin steward,Aldrin was brilliant friendly and efficient nothing too much trouble he made us feel well looked after. The waiting staff were always friendly and happy to help but particularly in the lido restaurant they seemed short staffed and it was difficult to get a drink unless you had the water which was taken self service We loved how they came round with drinks trolley when we were sunbathing on deck.The reception were also friendly and helpful particularly one of the lady receptionists (whose name we never got ) The ship and cabins are kept very clean ,housekeeping is very good ,but the ship is aging and although we liked our cabin and it was spacious there was a lot of "creaks and groans" during the night when the ship was moving ,and also thuds when waves hit the ship occassionally.Some of the windows in the lido look in bad condition We felt there were things that were not as good as our previous cruise on this ship...I am sure we did not have large urns for tea and coffee very canteen like and the coffee was awful.If you wanted a decent coffee you need to order one seperately from one of the bars or pay for it at the coffee port another new addition which seemed deserted most of the time and why on an all inclusive cruise are there 3 paid restaurants and a coffee bar-ridiculous.The Lido restauarants food is great really good quality but it feels like a canteen with plastic trays and the tea/coffee urns. We loved the entertainment the crew were good fun and the shows were good.The cameron macintosh show in particular was excellent we also loved the comedian(Dave Christian I think) he was very funny We had 2 excursions from the ship one on St Lucia to the pitons and waterfall was great,our guide ,Lisa was fab and very informative and we saw a lot of the island fab views of the pitons and a great lunch on a lovely beach.The other on Antigua was the jeep trip-£50 and really not that good a couple of plastic cups of rum and a bumpy rattle up into the hills then a coatal drive past carlyle bay(lovely) to a beautful beach named freyes beach .Good company from our travel companions but £50 each was way overpriced.We did our own thing on the other islands,Grenada has alovely beach and a great water taxi transfer as does st martin.I would recommend the trolley bus tour on tortola as there is nothing in the town and its only 15$ I was disappointed that the fact it was our honeymoon was not acknowledged at all by the ships staff I have heard of hotels giving special meals ,room upgrades etc when you advise them its a special occassion The only other observation I would make is that there are lots of families on there of all ages which I thought was lovely but I think they need to decide which market they are aiming for as I dont think its as good as it was 10 years ago it seems to have gone down market despite it being expensive Read Less

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise