2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Sailed on the Explorer 2 in May this year, and despite this being an older ship we preferred it in all respects except for the cabin. The weather was fantastic all week, and we opted to do our own excursions courtesy of research on ... Read More
Sailed on the Explorer 2 in May this year, and despite this being an older ship we preferred it in all respects except for the cabin. The weather was fantastic all week, and we opted to do our own excursions courtesy of research on cruise critic reviews. We travelled as a couple in an iinside cabin on deck 3. The ship's public areas are well maintained, and whereas the Explorer is more of a wooden decor, the Discovery is more brass and glass. The atrium is the main difference as the Discovery uses it as a focal point with lifts, balconies, a bar and performance area for musicians, so it is the heart of the ship whereas the Explorer just uses it as a reception area. Most of the nighttime activity is on deck 4, but this does mean that the entertainment from each room does compete with that in the adjacent room at times. The main restaurant 47 is on 2 levels with an Italian section upstairs, and the speciality restaurants are well away on deck 11. The food is of a good standard, but to us the variety is always limited in that you will always find something that appeals, but you won't be spoiled for choice. The buffet restaurant Islands is on deck 9, and the selection comment would be the same, but we thought the layout and viewing area was as good as we have experienced. Our main disappointment was that the quality of the full English breakfast was nowhere near that of P&O. The service on the ship is one of the standout aspects, as often we find the barstaff to be functional only, but on here they were good fun and speedy. The all inclusive drinks package is great value, as it includes decent brands as standard e.g Famous Grouse, and for £50 pw more you can get eg Glenmorangie if you want. The entertainment in the evening is of a high standard with kids fresh out of drama school, but they are all talented. The solo musicians and singers are also good and focussed in the atrium. Where things could be improved is the daytime entertainment schedule is very limited, and even accepting that most will be on day trips, they could lay on more for mid afternoon onwards when people start to return. There is a basic mini golf course albeit a bit worn, a climbing wall, table tennis tables, and a breakout room for hire. We didn't go on any ship excursions as we find them overpriced, but we did similar trips under our own steam in most ports and a third of the price, so it's worth doing some research. The ports were good except for Taranto which I could only see that this ship stops there once a month and nobody else bothers? The age profile was 50 to 60, and the all inclusive booze probably makes people more approachable and chatty, especially come late afternoon leaning on the railings at sailaway time. There weren't many kids onboard at the time, but we left on 28/6 and there were lots embarking then. Without doubt we will sail with Marella again, as its good value, and the age profile is a good fit for us, making it friendlier and more fun. If you want a plusher environment and higher food quality then I would go with P&O. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We are four friends and chose this cruise because of the. There is no disputing that this is a nice ship however there is also no hiding the fact that it is 25 years old. The refurbish has been tastefully done however there are just a ... Read More
We are four friends and chose this cruise because of the. There is no disputing that this is a nice ship however there is also no hiding the fact that it is 25 years old. The refurbish has been tastefully done however there are just a couple of niggles. We both had balcony cabins and it is quite obvious that the glass panels at one point had all the edges were protected with some kind of bezel and these have been removed and not replaced leaving a 50mm exposed edge with the remains of the adhesive showing, its not dangerous but it just looks tatty and shoddy. Both of our toilets also having problems with the engineer having to be called out on at least six occasions. The cabin refurbish looks ok but looks a little on the cheap side. So the question is why spoil the ship for a halfpenny of tar. My next niggle concerns the buffet lounge on the 9th deck and the plastic glasses. Now I understand the use of plastic glasses but the state of the wine glasses were a disgrace, they were scratched, cloudy, and generally looked if they should not go near anyone’s mouth, either find a plastic friendly detergent or change them on a frequent basis. I repeat they look disgusting. My third niggle, sack the sound engineer/mixer he just does not have a clue. The crew performers were virtually having to shout not sing into the microphones to get themselves heard and most nights it just finished up as a shouting match, either that or they are such bad singers that he had to drown them out, I prefer my first option sack him. Now that I am over that,we really enjoyed the cruise, the atmosphere on board is lovely the crew are a delight and we loved the open dinning. I suppose the question is would we cruise with Marella again, we have been with Cunard, Princess, and Celebrity in the past, and whilst it is not up to their standards re luxury etc,Marella cruises are excellent value for money and we would sail with them again if the itinerary was right. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
20+cruises with thomson,1st on discovery great ship ,staff,and entertainment, one gripe Broadway lounge next to live room the noise could be heard in the atrium we're a singer was trying to perform right next door to the live room ,3 ... Read More
20+cruises with thomson,1st on discovery great ship ,staff,and entertainment, one gripe Broadway lounge next to live room the noise could be heard in the atrium we're a singer was trying to perform right next door to the live room ,3 venues right next to each other crazy!.the slug and lettuce pub was only used for quizzes and sometimes a group, good bar to meet and have a talk with people instead of daft quizzes and noise,perfect for background music and relax. Plus disappointed with no group or singer on stage in the afternoons when people get back on the ship ,we used to look forward to hear them on deck before the afternoon trivia questions. All in all great time had by all nearly!we must mention our room cleaners Rhea and Eddi very polite and always smiling made everyday a happy one thanks to them and all the bar staff and waiters for there hard work .corfu airport is a joke,waiting outside in a queue about 100 yards long in the heat waiting to put our cases in to the check out,sorry but not much help or info from tui staff.the much liked crew show was pathetic the backgroud pictures of the singer/artist took longer than the person singing,we are all for a bit of background on their lives but come on! maybe thats why there was only 4 crew members chose to sing,usually they put on a great show and receive the loadest cheers of the night.i hope this is a fair review and we will pick marella cruises again, thanks again to all the staff for a great cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The good, the bad and the ugly... This was our 3rd cruise with Marella. I almost cancelled going on the Dream due to the reviews I read, but had a great time. We were on the maiden voyage of the Explorer last year and there were the ... Read More
The good, the bad and the ugly... This was our 3rd cruise with Marella. I almost cancelled going on the Dream due to the reviews I read, but had a great time. We were on the maiden voyage of the Explorer last year and there were the inevitable teething problems but the junior suite with large balcony was worth the money despite the terrible service and food. This time we opted for the family suite on Discovery and it was everything I hoped it would be. A twin bed room, a shower room (shower curtain is the only criticism) a sitting room with 2 chairs and a sofa, a double bedroom, a bathroom with tub and shower (again dreaded shower curtain!) and what would have been a decent size balcony but 2 sunloungers cramped the table and 2 chairs. Perhaps a table and 4 chairs would have made more sense? Bambang the steward and the rest of the cleaners/housekeeping were tireless, always cheerful and polite and the suite was always immaculate. No problems at Corfu Airport getting the cases and the transfer went smoothly. It was a bit of a hike to the boat from the port terminal for those who are disabled though. On arrival I had pre-ordered champagne and strawberries as a birthday surprise for my husband which were not in the cabin. Julia at reception apologised and reordered them for the day we were in Venice, but the surprise was ruined. Also noticed I paid an extra £4.00 than the price listed but hey ho. Food in the Islands were reminiscent of school dinners and had a "canteen" feel to it. That said, the food was hot as were the plates and the stewards were efficient in clearing plates and detritus quickly. Often in the children's section, the burgers and hot dog sausage were raw or undercooked. Wouldn't allow the child to eat chicken all week as it was pink as well. The 47 restaurant... an hour wait with a pager. Fast service once seated but food wasn't even body temperature. Portion size was laughable. Wouldn't fill a child. Was ill after eating there and wouldn't go back again. Snack shack food was tasty but the queues were hectic often. Felt sorry for the servers, they did their best. Smoking sections were a joke. The non-smokers kept taking the chairs. If it had been the other way round something would have been done! They had the whole of the ship and the poor smokers only had a half dozen tables! Only smoking section was deck 10 and deck 4 on the port side (left). It kept being moved to starboard now and again (for maintenance?) Also have a critique of some smokers who insisted in putting rubbish in the ashtrays instead of the bins provided. I saw two on two separate occasions on fire! No sense or just laziness who can tell. Bar staff did an amazing job even though they could have done with 4 hands at times. Absolutely slammed but still had a smile, apart from one guy on deck 9 serving at the bar outside the islands. He looked like someone had stolen his last bun. Bad day? Husband enjoyed the comedian and went to the show twice. Kids club staff were absolutely amazing. No other words to describe them. They went above and beyond and were fantastic. Spa staff were lovely and actually were able to make me look presentable! Husband didn't know me! Great experience I highly recommend them. The ports were great and I really am glad we chose this itinerary. Wish we'd been able to stay longer in Venice and Montenegro instead of leaving early evening. Didn't seem to be enough hours in the day to visit those 2 in particular. Cases left out the night before disembarkation and everything went smoothly. Corfu Airport is about the same size as my living room. Something really needs to be done instead of vast queues of people outside worried about making their flight. Perhaps Tui should consider leaving this airport in favour of one capable of taking the capacity? It's a sour taste in the mouth after having a holiday. Basically our family enjoyed the cruise despite my grumblings above. It cost us just over £7000.00 for 3 adults and one child. Hardly what I'd call a "budget" cruise but the all-inclusive is a great idea. We will try again (forever optimistic!) , possibly next year, but if things haven't improved even slightly we'll go back to Royal Caribbean or NCL. Couldn't face the same problems with food and airport again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
The price, the ports, the all inclusive package and the fact that we could stay on in corfu all lead us to pick this cruise. The ship was beautiful, and easy to find our way around. We had balcony cabins which were great, and our steward ... Read More
The price, the ports, the all inclusive package and the fact that we could stay on in corfu all lead us to pick this cruise. The ship was beautiful, and easy to find our way around. We had balcony cabins which were great, and our steward was very attentive and looked after our needs. We ate alot in the mdr, including the Italian option upstairs and service was excellent as was the food. Many times we ordered a number of starters to be able to sample different dishes, portions were not huge which suited us well. We had an issue one night with our table and did not feel it was handled well however we gave feedback and the dining room manager listened to us and apologized profusely.we also ate at the tapas restaurant in the glass house on 2 occasions and this was a very good experience, much quieter than the mdr but still waiter service. Captain Chris was from Manchester and it was very entertaining listening to his announcements! A real character!! We did the ship transfer to Rome which was straight forward. Naples was chaotic but we headed up to castle st Elmo and escaped the madness. Messina has an amazing clock tower both inside and out, be there at 11.30 to go inside before the display starts at 12. Valetta was our favourite place, we enjoyed the British quirks around the town, even a George clothes shop!! very easy to do on foot. Taranto- was a great disappointment. Nothing to see there, not even a coffee shop...definitely do a trip out of town if you go to this port. We stayed on in corfu at hotels bono, highly recommended. Lovely hotel, supermarket nearby and buses around the island were very good. No sandy beaches was a disappointment, kassiopi was our favourite place. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this ship for its itinerary but heavy rain and thunderstorms spoilt the on shore days in Italy. Embarkation was easy but a fire drill just after arrival caused confusion and were forced to attend even though our drill was ... Read More
We chose this ship for its itinerary but heavy rain and thunderstorms spoilt the on shore days in Italy. Embarkation was easy but a fire drill just after arrival caused confusion and were forced to attend even though our drill was scheduled for a later time, so food had to wait. The cabin was kept scrupulously clean by Davis and the whole ship was spotless. Dined mostly in Islands which had a good choice of food, although not enough tables during busy periods. Portions were small in 47 (ate there once only) and food hit or miss, service for our table slow. The food in Gallery 47 (one visit only) was excellent although 1 waiter was 'pretend shooting' when he had nothing to do! The entertainment was mediocre and acts/bands moved from venue to venue. We went to 2 shows. Not quite to our taste but the cast worked really hard. Bar service was good and on the whole the staff were friendly. Or cabin was too warm and A/C not effective and the constant drumming at night meant we had little sleep. Rain ruined the trip to Rome and also the day in Taranto. Naples was a disappointment (with rain again), very busy and quite tatty. Valetta and Corfu Town both lovely. Not enough seating in main areas and The Live Room chairs were uncomfortable. Squid and Anchor 'pub' really? Make better use of this entertainment venue please. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My third Tui cruise and my last I’m afraid. I’m won’t be too hard in my review as you get what you pay for and this cruise was heavily discounted. Naples airport was very poor- many passengers over 65 struggled having to carry their ... Read More
My third Tui cruise and my last I’m afraid. I’m won’t be too hard in my review as you get what you pay for and this cruise was heavily discounted. Naples airport was very poor- many passengers over 65 struggled having to carry their luggage a long distance from the airport to the coaches. Uneven pavements, crowded walkways and tiredness after a flight don’t mix well. One mature lady had a fall and was took away by ambulance. I would not recommend this embarkation port for anyone with health or mobility issues, or those who would struggle to carry their cases. I know Tui won’t be using Naples for this ship next year. This may be one of the reasons ! The food was disappointing- poor choice for those with dietary needs. Our cabin was fine and everything worked . The cruise has been refitted and is pleasant. It does however lack the plush luxury you get on most other ships. Buffet restaurant more like a canteen - crowded and noisy with queues. There was a bug on board so extensive special measures were in place to prevent its spread. This couldn’t be helped and contributed to difficulties. The main areas are open plan and lack cosy comfort making it all feel abit like Butlins. All the staff very friendly and welcoming . Shops have a good choice of products. The shore excursions were well planned and organised which was better than my last Tui experience . To summarise - I expect more from a cruise and won’t be back Tui . As I’ve said, it was heavily discounted which is the reason for the three rating . Had i paid full price I would have been very disappointed. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise to allow us to visit Petra in Jordan*, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, it also called in at Kefalonia, on the Petra return the driveshaft went on the bus delaying us for almost 2 hours. The weather was hot in Jerusalem and ... Read More
We chose this cruise to allow us to visit Petra in Jordan*, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, it also called in at Kefalonia, on the Petra return the driveshaft went on the bus delaying us for almost 2 hours. The weather was hot in Jerusalem and more so in Jordan, but later in the cruise after traversing the Suez canal we had two days of high winds and grey skies that not only kept you from sunbathing, but kept you off the top deck completely. Half way through the cruise at around 07-00 there was a 'machine labouring' noise, the cabin lights went off, and the ship stopped for 15 or 20 minutes the 'claim' being 'dirty fuel', although I find it difficult to understand that dirt in a ships fuel would cut everything off completely at the same time with no back up, fortunately for us we carry a battery lamp. Those who had been on for two weeks said the ship had suffered an 'air conditioning' breakdown the previous week and had to pull in for repairs, thus delaying people on the following onshore trips. The food onboard was fine generally, and the cabin steward and cleaning lady were excellent as usual. The entertainment was rather drab, we were on this ship 2 years ago, and the 'Broadway show lounge' shows were still exactly the same routines and songs as they had been. The music played in all the bars, disco, and entertainment parts of the ship was ranging from the early 60's to early 80's (it seems Marella believe music stopped in the early 80's, and nothing has been produced since). The one exception to the drab entertainment rule was a guy on a guitar singing Irish songs. On departing the ship in Corfu, we were stood waiting outside the airport in a queue of some 100 meters for more than an hour, with no explanation of why, or as to how long we would be there until someone challenged one of the TUI staff over the matter. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Having sailed numerous times with NCL, MSC, RCI and P&O I was more than happy with my recent cruise with Marella especially after reading some of the reviews. Flight, transfer and embarkation to our cabin was the best I have ever ... Read More
Having sailed numerous times with NCL, MSC, RCI and P&O I was more than happy with my recent cruise with Marella especially after reading some of the reviews. Flight, transfer and embarkation to our cabin was the best I have ever encountered, all well planned and trouble free. The ship is smaller than the others I have sailed on but every facility is available. The food was amazing, we ate in 47 and gallery 47 mostly but did try the island restaurant a few times for lunch. Choice of food was very good. The excursion were not too expensive although the one we were on to Bethlehem could have been better planned as we did not get to go to crypt due to delay in departing from the ship, this was very disappointing as other trips did get to see the crypt. Our cabin was a junior suite on deck 8 which was very spacious. One of the best features of this cruise was the entertainment, every night there was different shows in the theatre as well as an abundance of other bars for live bands and singers. We will most definitely be sailing with Marella again Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We were a group of 2 married couples. We boarded the discovery with absolute ease everything run so professionally. Our cabin was ready on arrival we had only an indoor cabin on deck 2 which suited our needs perfectly. Enough room and ... Read More
We were a group of 2 married couples. We boarded the discovery with absolute ease everything run so professionally. Our cabin was ready on arrival we had only an indoor cabin on deck 2 which suited our needs perfectly. Enough room and everything that was needed. The ship was easy to navigate around and plenty of information and personnel around if you got lost We dined in the waiter service restaurant which was just like eating in a 5* restaurant every morning and evening. Entertainment was always available and was really good. We did a few excursions and again information was given and disembarking was carried out in a professional and organised way. The staff on the ship were amazing, every single one never did we see a miserable face and never greeted without a smile. The captain Chris Dodds does an outstanding job, he is an ever presence around the ship always taking time to stop and chat and made everyone on the ship feel special. Restaurant manager Kenan was always around with a smiling face and happy to help. Absolutely loved our cruise and would recommend to anyone Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise to make sure we took our last chance to dance with Amy and Roland, the amazing professional dance couple, before the show team's contracts expired at the end of the season... we also really wanted to see Petra and ... Read More
We chose this cruise to make sure we took our last chance to dance with Amy and Roland, the amazing professional dance couple, before the show team's contracts expired at the end of the season... we also really wanted to see Petra and sail through the Suez Canal. We have taken four cruises on Discovery in the last 11 months and have loved each and every one. I'm sure we will be back aboard Discovery soon. Our flight from Manchester was a little delayed (45 minutes or so) but the flight was good and we arrived in Muscat where we had a very speedy transit to the boat and check-in. We were in our cabin with our bags unpacked within an hour of setting foot on board. The embarkation crew were so friendly and helpful. It was lovely to be greeted by young people who remembered us, by name, from our previous cruises! Flying back from Corfu was less good... the airport is in a state of flux... it will be better soon. Discovery is a bright and airy ship with full length windows in the main dining rooms and a beautiful Atrium space. We stayed on deck 6 this time and the cabin was almost identical to the ones we had on decks 2 and 3 previously: plenty of hangers and hanging space; a lovely big bed and a powerful shower. Splendid! There are a variety of bars and restaurants in which the service is, in our experience, excellent. Sun-bathing is not our thing but the sunbeds were in great demand throughout the cruise. I found the open deck spaces crowded but I suppose that just shows they are popular. We ate almost exclusively in the waiter service restaurants: 47 Degrees and Gallery 47. Menu variety and food quality were excellent at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast in 47 Degrees was a treat... quiet, calm and great way to start the day.We did use the Islands, self-service and the Glass House restaurants on occasion and these too were excellent. We chose the use Islands only at "quiet" times... early afternoon... as we found that peak time dining there was a little too frantic for us. We really like the "free" dining system on Discovery. Dining between 6 and 7.45 we never had to wait and we were always able to select a table for two. Even at really busy times our maximum wait was 20 minutes and the "bleeper" system worked well. The entertainment aboard Discovery is fabulous. We watched this show team team for almost nine weeks on four cruises and they never missed a beat. Beautiful singers, amazing dancers and splendid, twice-nightly, shows were a massive part of our enjoyment of our cruises. On our first cruise, we learned to dance with Amy and Roland and we loved dancing with them on this cruise as much as we did on that first time. If you get a chance to cruise with Amy and Roland, I really encourage you to learn to dance... they're brilliant! We enjoyed watching the passenger choir and the ukulele groups perform their pieces with their professional mentors. A variety of lectures, quizzes, karaoke, tea dances and craft activities provided a full and satisfying experience. All aspects of service aboard were excellent. Cabin crew and restaurant staff were friendly and so hard-working. Service felt really personal with many staff knowing our cabin numbers and first names within days of starting the cruise. Captain Chris Dodds and Demitris were ever-present, personable and professional. It was very hard not to feel comfortable on this ship. We took only the excursion to Petra which was spectacular and good value... especially the free wi-fi on the coach! Ashdod and Aqaba were very enjoyable. we simply took the courtesy coaches and did our own thing. We have booked Discovery2 in November! Thank you Marella! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise was a belated birthday present for my wife. She had always wanted to visit Jordan, and I wanted to visit the Suez Canal, so when I spotted the itinerary for this cruise it was a no-brainer. It suited that we did the ... Read More
This cruise was a belated birthday present for my wife. She had always wanted to visit Jordan, and I wanted to visit the Suez Canal, so when I spotted the itinerary for this cruise it was a no-brainer. It suited that we did the longhaul flight out first to Muscat in Oman to join the Discovery and only had a short flight home from Corfu. On this ocassion embarkation was a little hetic as our flight out of Manchester was delayed by nearly an hour which caused a bit of chaos for the crew to get our baggage onboard and the passenger's checked in. We were sailing within an hour-and-a-half, which was a shame as we would liked to have had a walk around Muscat before sailing. We were not new comers to the Discovery as we had sailed on her some 18 months previous. On this occasion we had an inside cabin, not recommended as it was dark and you felt like it was night all the time, however, the bed was comfy and the cabin staff did a wonderful job of keeping it clean and tidy and I also kept updated with the football results from the TV in the cabin. A major improvement in the restaurant's this time was that the food was always hot and not luke-warm like the last time, the service seemed to have gone up a notch too, so all-in-all it made for a great experience. We spent the first at at sea before stopping at Salalah in Oman. Because we had already pre-booked a few excursion we did not get off at Salalah, plus you had to either get a bus or taxi as Salalah was about 40 minutes away, and if you did your own thing you were advised to agree your fare before getting in the taxi, and also not to pay until you return otherwise you risk being left by your driver, this was slightly unnerving to say the least. Aqaba was our next port of call, here we had an excursion to Petra The Rose Red City which was well worth the money. We walked in the footsteps of Indiana Jones and discover the city that was lost to the world for over 1000 years. Petra is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites with 2000 years of history and 800 monuments still standing, well worth the visit. The icing on the cake for me was travelling through the Suez Canal. It is a sight you have to see for yourself just to grasp the scale of the project undertaken to land cut the Canal. I have to leave wit a word of warning, please ensure you cover yourself in sun screen before leaving your cabin. The temperature was always in the 40's and with the breeze whilst sailing it's like being in a fan oven. Many passenger's had the misfortune of being badly sun burnt on the first day, and spent the rest of the cruise looking like mummies. Don't make any sense to spend a couple of grand on a cruise holiday only to spend probably three times as much in doctor's fee. And another thing, some of the places you visit on your excursion, you have to cover your shoulder's and knee's especially if you wish to visit places of worship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We choose this cruise for the itinerary and dates we are available to travel. The cruise sailed from Muscat, taking in a short visit to Salalah, Oman, then up to Jordan for 3 days/2 nights in Aqaba, for Petra, the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, then ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the itinerary and dates we are available to travel. The cruise sailed from Muscat, taking in a short visit to Salalah, Oman, then up to Jordan for 3 days/2 nights in Aqaba, for Petra, the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, then through the Suez Canal, around to Israel, Ashdod, for Jerusalem and Bethlehem, then over to Kefalonia and finally disembarking in Corfu. Unfortunately, after booking we discovered there would be no time to go ashore in Muscat, as we sailed early the following morning, and soon after booking we were advised that the Dead Sea trip from Aqaba was cancelled due to road conditions. We were disappointed but understand these things happen, so added an excursion to a 5 star hotel in Aqaba for a beach day instead. We had a great flight out in Premium on the Dreamliner, Muscat airport was easy and we were onboard quickly. The whole process smooth and efficient. We had an aft cabin, pre-booked and it was spacious, clean, comfortable, but I have to say on occasion noisy from the engine's, vibration was bad some nights, and yes, you do get a little soot on the balcony, there's nothing you can do about that, just don't wear white! The steward cleaned it daily. I'm not complaining, just pointing it out. The ship was full I think. Hard to get a sun bed. Or a seat in the atrium. Nowhere really for some peace and quiet, we were glad of our large balcony. Bar 11 was lovely for evening cocktails, we preffered the buffet for evening meals as we found the MDR very busy, squashed together and brightly lit, and actually didn't rate the meals there apart from breakfast and Beef Wellington. The surf and turf was excellent, you need to book as soon as you can! The excursions were a bit manic. They were long days in high temperatures which we were prepared for, but felt really rushed, the guides all knowledgeable and friendly, but a little inflexible. We were awed by some of the places we visited, but just didn't have time to appreciate them. Destination Services on board were rude and unhelpful, and you had the feeling they didn't care once they'd got your money! Many people complained about various issues on various trips, but I don't think there's been any resolution. If you can, book privately or go it alone. There was a mix of entertainment, both day and night, a great comedian, opera singer, guy with a guitar, we didn't do the shows but heard they were good, just not our thing. Most of the staff are fabulous, friendly, helpful, with one or two exceptions. The food was good and varied and mostly hot (except strangely chilled poached eggs in the MDR on the last morning for breakfast!!) As I said we preferred the buffet, snack shack was great for lunch, glass house for snacks in the evening. Plenty of choice of drinks on the standard AI, though we paid extra for a fancy cocktail or coffee occasionally. Overall though, we felt extremely lucky to be able to do this cruise, visit the places we went to (we will go back independently), enjoyed our sea days with a book and a view of the wake, dolphins, stars, and our adventures on shore. The ship was still having the occasional engine/electrical problems, so we lost some time in ports too. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise due to the itenery around india, dubai, oman, abu dhabi and bharain. Firstly most of the ports were no where near the towns and the towns that were accessible by foot or free transfer were baron. When we arrived at ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the itenery around india, dubai, oman, abu dhabi and bharain. Firstly most of the ports were no where near the towns and the towns that were accessible by foot or free transfer were baron. When we arrived at Cochin port, we waited almost an hour in a queue to get on the ship. This was through no fault of TUI, but the visa requirements being as they are in India. We arranged most of our tours independently due to the cost of the TUI excurions. For example in Dubai, the excursion to the top of the Burj Khalifa was £134 per person. We paid £12 for a taxi between 4 people and around £40 per person to go up the Burj saving about £90 per person! We also did a dhow cruise in Khasab for £20 per person, the same dhow booked through TUI was £54 per person. Overall the boat is ok, the food was average in both islands and 47/47 italian. We visited Kora La twice in the 2 weeks and we really loved the food here which was around £17 supplement per person. The entertainment on the boat was great, with so much to do all day round especially on sea days. Although we travelled as a group of 4 you could easily get to know other passengers by attending the entertainment/activities organised on board. The boat is staffed to perfection, but this means there is no personal touch (like there is on some other boats). The only people to really speak to us was the cabin housekeeping, who were lovely. The rest of the staff are so overworked they have no time to chat. We love cruises so we will definitely be back, but i think there are some small improvements with big benefits that TUI could take in to account. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our 4th cruise with Tui/Marella. twice on the Dream and twice on Discovery. This being our 4th year in a row, we were hoping for something different. We were very disappointed to find that the food menu was very much the same, ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Tui/Marella. twice on the Dream and twice on Discovery. This being our 4th year in a row, we were hoping for something different. We were very disappointed to find that the food menu was very much the same, but shocked to find the the menu was repeated after the first week. How strange when most of the cruises that were available to book were for 14 or more nights. The show team on board performed the same songs and dance routines the we'd seen for the previous 3 cruises with only some minor changes to the shows. The only new entertainment for the two weeks were the guest singer and comedian. So if you've been on any of the tui/marella cruises before, don't expect to see any new. The destinations on this cruise also sounded interesting. But we found that Port Blair in the Anderman islands was a wasted day, Not much to see and driving across the island was like taking a tour through the local tip. Mangalore was also a horrible port. The cruise ships were docked alongside the coal terminal that was being scooped and heaped all day by diggers, throwing clouds of coal dust into the air. Tui like to claim that they out their customers first, but like all big companies, profit comes first and when you complain they only accept what you say, but do noting to rectify the problems. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Delayed in Manchester for 3 hours as Langkawi had a military air display.. TUI only had 2 years notice of this so why did they arrange flights for this day?? Arrived after a good flight Premium Economy on the Dreamliner. Took 2.5 hours to ... Read More
Delayed in Manchester for 3 hours as Langkawi had a military air display.. TUI only had 2 years notice of this so why did they arrange flights for this day?? Arrived after a good flight Premium Economy on the Dreamliner. Took 2.5 hours to do the 20 minute Port transfer due to the Military event. Once on the Ship everything was great.. cabin steward Prakash was amazing.. Deluxe Balcony on deck 7 was brilliant.. loads of storage bigger than usual bathroom.. tea and coffee facility great balcony. Ship was great staff helpful and friendly food ok. Tried each of the specialty restaurants which were worth a visit. Ports of call... appalling!! Sri Lanka was lovely everywhere else wasn’t worth the effort of going ashore. After the fiasco with visas the itinerary was very disappointing as ports were too far away and far too industrial. The departure from Dubai was stressful to say the least as I think it’s the first time the smaller airport had been used by TUI.. total IT system failure meant we waited nearly 2 hours to begin check in following arrival with no TUI Rep at the airport not a good end to the holiday Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Landed in Malaysia, then cruised to the Andaman Islands , Sri Lanka and then the West Coast of India finishing in Dubai. Andaman Islands .. the organised trip we did was terrible , not a good start , all we saw was rubbish, dock areas ... Read More
Landed in Malaysia, then cruised to the Andaman Islands , Sri Lanka and then the West Coast of India finishing in Dubai. Andaman Islands .. the organised trip we did was terrible , not a good start , all we saw was rubbish, dock areas full of plastic. But Great people. Sri Lanka lovely, .. west coast of India ... put it this way, just hope and pray you don’t want the toilet and I honestly don’t know why as a country we bother to re cycle plastics and take care of our environment. The same enthusiasm does not seem to exist here. We went on organised trips every day, some were good but most were not. Overall though the people were kind and curtious We cruise a lot, and what you pay for this ship is fairly good value for money. Food good, but not outstanding, we tried all the restaurants and I have to stay the Glasshouse restaurant was amazing. Our room however was not, we were directly under the gym and boy did you know it. Stay away from them rooms. We complained several times about the noise, but nothing was done, the normal fobbing off. Depending on what bar you went to would would depend on the customer service. Not consistently good. And TUI overall pre and post holiday, not good service. Would not go with TUI again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this Cruise as it was out of our comfort zone and was for our Golden Wedding. We had a fantastic holiday The Ship was very good, bit tired in places but in general very nice. Main problem encountered was the vibration ... Read More
We chose this Cruise as it was out of our comfort zone and was for our Golden Wedding. We had a fantastic holiday The Ship was very good, bit tired in places but in general very nice. Main problem encountered was the vibration running through the ship when sailing, which suggests an in balance in the drive mechanism, especially when trying to sleep. Staff were the best we have encountered, food very good in all Depts and entertainment generally very good Flights too long for us especially on the return which was 6 hours late. The trips we did were very good and informative The ports were primarily working ports which was a bit off putting, possibly down to cost. Overall a fabulous holiday which we will never forget. We had a problem with dirty water in our first cabin but this was quickly remedied by a move to another cabin John and Pat Caulkin Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We have cruised with Marella in the past and already had great cruises but this one surpassed all expectations. Asia was a new itinerary for Marella this year, I had visited all of the destinations many moons ago when backpacking but knew ... Read More
We have cruised with Marella in the past and already had great cruises but this one surpassed all expectations. Asia was a new itinerary for Marella this year, I had visited all of the destinations many moons ago when backpacking but knew it would have changed a lot, whereas for my mum and dad it was their first time in Asia. It certainly won't be the last! Fabulous itinerary and made all the better by a classy ship and amazing crew and officers who really went out of their way to make everything perfect! Would recommend it in a heartbeat! We flew from Bormingham to Langkawi on the Dreamliner. I have to admit that we all hated such a long flight, this was the only downside, but the crew were excellent onboard the flight and Tui were very helpful in organising extra luggage allowance for the medicating I need to travel with, full marks to the welfare team pre cruise! The drwMliner very comfortable. Unfortunately the inflight entertainment was a bit uninspiring but comfort wise the Dreamliner was very roomy. On arrival to Langkawi it took only around half an hour transfer time and the check in on board was very quick and efficient. Doe to booking only ten weeks before there had only been the choice of all three of us in a standard inside cabin so we spectre it o be cramped, which it was. However full marks to Chiefhousekeeper Larry and his team, the ship was cleaner than spotless all cruise and all of the housekeeping team we encountered were do pleasant and helpful, especially our cabin steward Andy who even specially arranged a fridge for my medication. Marella still do the nightly turndown service and chocolates on pillow which I'd a nice touch, we find a lot of lines skip this nowadays. We did not eat in any of the speciality restaurants but the island's buffet for breakfast and lunch, the glasshouse for lunches and reaturant 47 deck 4 and the Italian on deck 5 were excellent. I cannot commend the f and b team highly enough. I have to follow an extremely strict diet for medical reasons and thus travelling can be a nightmare for me. However I was met on board on arrival and the restaurant staff and chefs were fabulous. They were already aware of my allergies. They cooked specially for me all week and managed to produce anything I requested. Julia who is in charge of special diets deserves a particular mention. In all of my years of travel I have never received such good customer service! She has the patience of a saint and is worth her weight in gold to Marella. Her attentative service is one thing that will certainly make us cruise with Marella again alone! The food was excellent and the service consistently brilliant.. I have also never had better porridge in my life! Top marks to the breakfast chefs! It as also nice that they tried to incorporate local fruits such as dragonfruit, Logan berries and guavas into the menu! Well done executive chef and his team! Destinations services team and their manager Pd were also brilliant, they were a fountain of knowledge and also very helpful with independent information, not just interested in those doing their trips. We did most things independently apart from the 'on your own' transfers onto Ho Chi Minh city and Kuala Lumpar which were both very well organised. Very impressed. We found the other ports easy enough to do by ourselves although be warned, you need to do plenty of research, this is not a relaxing cruise but the destinations are so worth it! We found the who's very good. Also the gym instructoe Curtis was very pleasant and helpful. Well done Marella for a brilliant two weeks. Can't recommend you enough. You have three loyal passengers now for life!ggg Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
i was waiting to see if Thomson (TUI) were going to cruise Asia as they haven't in the past and we've always wanted to go in that direction. I will not comment about the ship as others have provided more than enough information ... Read More
i was waiting to see if Thomson (TUI) were going to cruise Asia as they haven't in the past and we've always wanted to go in that direction. I will not comment about the ship as others have provided more than enough information and pics. Travel The whole journey out and back went more or less to plan (a little late both ways but that's almost to be expected). We flew Premium both ways and was a little disappointed at Gatwick because check-in was a free for all, fortunately we arrived early so there wasn't too much of a queue. However we did get fast track through the emigration. Cabin crew both ways were good and the food adequate; but having paid a lot of money for Premium, charging extra for things like crisps was penny pinching and little niggles like that pervaded the whole experience (see comments below). Unusually we had to collect our cases on landing to go through customs. This is the first cruise we've been on where that had to be done. On the return journey however we didn't see our cases again until we arrived at Gatwick baggage reclaim. Embarkation/disembarkation The whole operation ran smoothly but the signs for Premier check-in were less than obvious and most, like us, joined the main queue. We had to leave our cases outside the cabin by 2am and vacate by 8am on the day of departure and as our flight wasn't till 5pm everyone was milling around waiting to go. Cabin Our cases were delivered to our cabin and the cabin itself was exactly as expected and up to the Company's usual standard, well equipped and clean. The balcony had 2 chairs a table and 2 loungers. Our cabin steward, Riva, looked after us very well. Having had a long journey we wanted a drink of water so opened the bottle without realising that there was a charge of £1.50 for the privilege! Water stations were on most decks with notices not to fill your own bottles. Dining We only ate in the Islands Restaurant as there was a 'supplement' to dine in many of the others. The food was plentiful and varied but some rather bland. The desserts were an absolute dream and were the best past of the meal. Excursions All were rather expensive (we knew that as most were booked before leaving UK), some did not represent good value for money in my view but I accept that others may not agree. However they were enjoyable and all but the island catamaran trip provided a well informed commentary and the guides were helpful. I must congratulate the destinations team for their positive and helpful approach. Bar service The bar staff were always smiling and helpful and we never had to wait too long for drinks service. Disappointing that some drinks (including coffee) were at an additional cost. Overall impression Entertainment was good and the team worked very hard, a comedian - Martin Daniels, was the highlight for me. There were 'technical difficulties' one night which stopped the show but these things happen. I did get the impression that the Company was out to extract every last £ whilst you were on the ship. I know that they have to encourage spending for commercial reasons but making the process obvious was unnecessary. I think it would be better the Cruise was billed as 'inclusive' to indicate that not everything was included. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Have been on Marella ( formerly Thomson) Cruises before and this one appealed as it was a new itinerary with some great places. Flight was long but good, arrived on time and apart from a queue at airport immigration we arrived at the ... Read More
Have been on Marella ( formerly Thomson) Cruises before and this one appealed as it was a new itinerary with some great places. Flight was long but good, arrived on time and apart from a queue at airport immigration we arrived at the ship after a 20 min journey. Check in was done on board and was speedy and our luggage appeared quite quickly. Cabin - we had an inside cabin on deck 6. Although near stairs and lift it was very quiet and we heard no noise from bars downstairs. It was an ideal deck to be on - down to bars/restaurants and a few flights up to the pool deck, yet away from engine noise/vibration. Although not large there's plenty of drawers and cupboard space & a small sofa,adequate for our 2 weeks. The bathroom was small but well planned & also had good storage space , Ive been in smaller. Ship - the Discovery was new to us and we really liked it. Plenty of bars and restaurants but some quiet spaces as well. It was spotlessly clean and we saw staff cleaning & dusting every day. On sea days sunbeds were short ( as on every ship Ive been on!) but we always managed to find one in the afternoons. The indoor pool - The Glass House- was an indoor spa with pool, sunbeds, relaxing chairs & a small restaurant, a great place to go when it was so hot outside. Also loved the Veranda Terrace with sunbeds & big round chairs away from hustle& bustle. We also loved the putting course & had many a game as well as shuffleboard, although we didn't have the nerve to try the climbing wall. It also has an escape room at extra cost. Food & entertainment - the usual buffet & a waiter service restaurant. There was an Italian restaurant which only had 2 menus, a small tapas & pizza restaurant and the Snack shack which had breakfast & lunch snacks e.g. sandwiches, salads, chips etc.There were also the usual extra charge restaurants but we didn't try these. After discussion we decided the food was generally underwhelming and there were only a few meals we could say we really enjoyed. It was often bland and didn't live up to its description. The buffet had some good options depending on what time you went, the Snack shack sandwiches were fresh but very sparsely filled but hey,you'll never go hungry. The restaurant was often full by 7.30 pm and we were given a pager that buzzed when your table was ready which meant we often ate quite late & staff were a bit rushed. I think some passengers complained but it was fair.There was plenty of the usual entertainment - singers, bands, quizzes,game shows etc. the shows were varied - some were reminiscent of a 6th Form school production often off key and shrieking songs, others dance routines were fantastic,especially the Roxane and Can Can dance.Mark Daniels ( Paul Daniel's son) was the guest comedian and was hilarious, it was packed. Excursions -loads on offer to suit everyone. We were often berthed in ports far away from main cities but there was always transport for you to do your own thing. There was very little to do in port as they were quite industrial in places. I found some staff on destination services a little dismissive -we were told the local beach at Koh Samui had no facilities & ' you wont want to swim there' when in fact it was a lovely little palm fringed beach with clear sandy waters and a bar at the end. Paper maps weren't available any more - maybe maps could be put on the Discovery app as there was nothing to help you find your way round places,just a moving display map. Unfortunately, I developed a kidney infection and had to use the medical centre - I cannot fault the treatment, care and follow up from the medical team, complete with full copies of all tests and results which meant I could enjoy the end of my holiday. The places we visited were amazing and never to be forgotten and I think this itinerary gave us a flavour of the Far East Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Have reviewed Disco before and we love it, so will concentrate on ports and trips. It’s fair to say that in some of the Ports a DIY job is not really an option as they’re as big as a city. In other places the ports are a minimum of 2 ... Read More
Have reviewed Disco before and we love it, so will concentrate on ports and trips. It’s fair to say that in some of the Ports a DIY job is not really an option as they’re as big as a city. In other places the ports are a minimum of 2 1/2 to 3hrs away so it’s a long day. We like half-day trips so a bit restricted, but most were very good. Compared to a recent cruise to Norway where everything was very expensive, we thought these trips were reasonable. We reckon the grub to be good but not great. We did Islands buffet for brek and most lunches or the Snack Shack where the wings, fish and chips are excellent and hot. Stays open until 6pm so if you’re late lunchers like us it’s great. One slight knock in most areas is that the grub could be a bit hotter. We liked 47 for dinner and eat quite late, after 8.30pm.You do get a buzzer but it’s a chance for a few bubbles pre-dins. We tried the Steak on Stone for an £11.95 surcharge. Well worth it-best dinner of trip. As others have said, if you want a sunbed on sea days you need to be up with the early breakfast cooks, about 5am. We normally waited until it thinned out a bit later. No-one gives up their beds. They run a ‘yellow card’ system for beds left for more than 2 hrs but it’s just for show. Drinks great. Longest wait a few mins. Good bottled beers, Peroni, Corona, San Miguel. **I refuse to pay for wi-fi so there’s very limited internet access. Even on the day trips there was hardly any ‘free time’ so you had to try find wi-fi wherever you could. Langkawi Nature Reserve: Excellent. Half day. About 30min journey. You go into bat cave then boat journey to watch eagles feeding from the river which is amazing. Penang: Temple followed by funicular ride to top of island. Really good. At top you can have a buggy ride around the area for a couple a quid. Very good. ***Hotel at top of hill has wi-if you can access. KL: Half day sights. Petronas Tower excellent and Independence Square and War Memorial good. Visit to disused colonial railway station a bit bizarre and an obvious ‘filler’ Bangkok: did trip ‘On your own’. Be warned, it’s 3 hrs in traffic to get there and you get 4 hrs there. And you’re dropped at a Shopping Mall outside the city. Our excellent guide recommended the Skytrain (about £3 for an all day tourist ticket) to the river, a river taxi (also about £3)then a Tuk Tuk back which was about a fiver. Had a great day. Went to Reclining Buddha which wife loved. Some guides apparently discourage being too adventurous due to time constraints but we really enjoyed it and had no problems getting back. Pattaya Beach: Coach Trip ‘On your own’. Cancelled Bangkok on own for day 2 as couldn’t face the journey and getting up in middle of night-or so it seems. Taken to shopping mall then on your own. Not really a daytime place but still enjoyable. Lots of British men talking to young people in sea front bars which is a bit weird but glad we went. Singapore: half day ‘In the footsteps of Raffles’. Best trip of the hol. Only four hrs but we got half hour walk tour, 30 mins boat ride, Singapore Sling in the Raffles Hotel (no queueing as part of trip-on your own be ready to queue for about 45 mins) then a ride on a tri-bike with a recognised firm so safe and reliable. Excellent. Sihanoukville, Cambodia: Did our own thing. An eye-opener. Quite a few scare stories re valuables and the like but didn’t hear any horror stories. There will be beggars and Tuk-Tuk overload but it’s not overwhelming. Went to the beach with another couple we met, Tuk Tuk for about 20 mins which was $20 dollars US and he wouldn’t haggle. Whole place is a building site. Vietnam: Ship is 3hrs from Ho Chi Minh so any trip is a schlep. We did Cu Chi tunnels which I really enjoyed but it was a bit of a one-trick pony. Still worthwhile. Malacca: half day sightseeing. Bit dull. Highlight was going up viewing tower and a castle. We did all those trips and they’re great, but they’re usually early kick-offs. We did four on the spin and I couldn’t wait to get back for my bottle of Peroni. We’d do the itinerary again. Loved it. **Depending on flight time, you can keep cabin past the 8am kick-out.Ours was £35 right up to 3pm departure for Gatwick and worth every penny as you weren’t fighting for space as everyone waits to get off. Apparently, 80% of people paying keep their own cabin. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Having cruised many times, mainly with P&O, we thought we’d give Marella a try as it was going to places we hadn’t been to before. Accommodation We had a balcony cabin on Deck 7 which had loads of storage space and kept ... Read More
Having cruised many times, mainly with P&O, we thought we’d give Marella a try as it was going to places we hadn’t been to before. Accommodation We had a balcony cabin on Deck 7 which had loads of storage space and kept clean and tidy by our steward, Charlie. Some of the towels, particularly the hand ones, were very thin and were pretty useless in absorbing any water and were seriously in need of replacement. Food The Islands buffet we found to be very poor. The same choices seemed to be repeated again and again. Always Chicken Korma, Chilli Con Carne, pizza. Poor selection of salads and cooked meat. The waiter service restaurant just couldn’t cope. Every evening, at various times, it was necessary to have a pager and wait for 40 minutes to be called. The food again was repetative and not enough choice. Trips As we hadn’t visited this area before we booked ship’s tours. We did feel that some of the trips were poor value for money and that we were being used as guinea pigs for Marella’s first visit to Asia. Coaches were of dubious quality, one had little or no rear suspension and we all feared for our backs when going over bumps. One trip advertised as 4.5 hours had us back on ship in 3. One of the highlights of another was a visit to a fruit and spice stall at the side of a busy road! Entertainment Lady Boys of Bangkok was a good show but as only one show was performed, many people were left disapppointed as they couldn’t get into theatre. We had two comedians. One, Martin Daniels ( son of Paul) was very good, the other not so good. The Marella entertainers were very good and worked hard. Loved Natalie, she was hilarious! Could have done with something a bit different on sea days. Perhaps a talk? Would we do Marella again? Yes at the right price to the right place. Would we do Asia again. Probably not but would return to Singapore in a heartbeat, such a clean place and easily accessible . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Just to be aware most of the ports on this cruise are large container ports so don’t expect pretty vistas from your balcony cabin. Also the main ports, those for Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City are a long way from these ... Read More
Just to be aware most of the ports on this cruise are large container ports so don’t expect pretty vistas from your balcony cabin. Also the main ports, those for Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City are a long way from these cities (at least 2-3 hours). There are lots of reviews about the ship so won’t go into detail about that as there is lots of info online. We found the standard drinks package fine (I don’t drink alcohol and hubby was able to have beers that he likes from the limited choice of beers as it is mainly lagers) and felt it was not worth the upgrade to the premium package which is an £50 per person per week so £200 on the 2 week cruise. We flew in and out of Langkawi as we wanted the extra time in Bangkok and had booked the ship tour called Sleepless Bangkok and tuk tuk ride which meant we didn’t get back to the ship until around midnight. One of the things I would have liked to see was a ladyboy show and unbeknown to us the ladyboys of Bangkok come onto the ship and do a show in the theatre on the evening of the overnight in Bangkok which we missed. Everybody says the show is fabulous. Langkawi – the advice I read was to walk past the initial throng of taxi drivers trying to get your business and carry on a bit further to the car park area. However one of our group of 4 was able to negotiate a return fare to the cable car of 150 ringgits (£30 so £15 per couple). Took about 45 minutes to get there but was closed due to high winds, we had been advised it was closed the previous day also due to the winds but did open later in the day, we hung around for a while but no sign of it opening or the wind easing so the other couple were returned to the ship and on their advice we went to the mangroves. The boat trip for 2 hours was 350 ringgits (£70) which is a private boat, there were no other people getting a boat at the same time so we were unable to share despite plenty of room on the boat, the price is for the boat, not the number of people so would be better to have several of you to share the cost. The 1 hour trip (sorry can’t remember the cost) would be sufficient as you don’t see much more on the 2 hour trip. We then got the taxi driver to take us to Eagle Square where we stopped for about 20 minutes. When we asked the taxi driver how much extra it was he said to pay what we felt so we paid a further 150 ringgits on top of the original 150 for taking us to the cable car and back and he seemed happy with this. He was happy to wait as long as needed at each stop. We found out later that the cable car did open later in the day despite it still being windy so if it is windy suggest going early afternoon and you may get to do it. Penang – we got the HOHO bus from outside the port – bus was waiting as you exited the port terminal but had to wait a while for it to depart. We bought our tickets inside the terminal at a cost of 45 ringgits each – so around £10 each. We wanted to go on the funicular (as we were unable to do the cable car in Langkawi), you can buy tickets on the bus, either 30 ringgits or 80 ringgits for fast pass tickets per person. We made the mistake of going for the cheaper ones and it took about an hour and a half before we made it to the top. You have to wait until your boarding number is called, then queue for about 15 minutes in one area, then you move on and think you are going to board the funicular but then it is another big queue before a final big queue before you get on. The fast pass tickets just go straight through so you would be up in about 10 minutes. By the time we made it to the top we only had a quick scout round as we were concerned about the queue to get back down and having to wait for the HOHO bus. Kuala Lumpur – we did the Kuala Lumpur on your own trip with the ship which I would recommend. I had pre-booked the Petronas Tower tour for 12.15 so before that we got a taxi to and from central market which cost 40 ringgits (£8) there and 20 ringgits back (£4). We were given maps on the coach and the drop off and pick up was by the Petronas Towers. Singapore – we used the metro which is accessible from the port terminal – jus follow the signs or ask. A day pass is $10 per person or a single ride is $1.80. We just did single rides as we knew we wouldn’t do enough to warrant the day pass. We got the metro to Clarke Quay and then did a boat trip from there to Marina Bay which was $18 each. There are various stops to get off in Marina Bay. (We got off at Marina Bay Sands hotel but I would recommend getting off at the Merlion Statue to see that close up then walking round to Marina Bay Sands although this would be a fair walk). We then went up to the viewing platform of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel which was $23 each – just enter the hotel and follow the signs. We then followed the signs to Gardens by the Bay. Unfortunately the arial walkway in the trees was closed for maintenance on the day we were there but costs $8 each. We were undecided about doing the domes (as we have been to the Eden Project in Cornwall and felt it would be like that) but we did it and they are amazing – highly recommended. $28 each. Koh Samui – We got a songthew (type of bus with an open rear) to Chaweng Beach, agreed a cost with the driver of 500 baht (£13) return fare for a couple. 6 other couples joined us. On arrival the driver arranged a pick up time with us and he was there exactly on time which we arranged for 2.30pm to allow sufficient time to get back to the ship, it was an hour’s journey each way. The driver even stopped on the way back and went into a shop, then presented us all with a chilled bottle of water. We walked about 5 minutes or so along the beach and hired sunbeds on the beach outside a hotel for 100 baht each (£2.63) for the day. We also had access to the toilet facilities. Hubby also had his first ever massage for I think 300 baht – was supposed to be 45 minutes but was over an hour. Laem Chabang (Bangkok) – we did ship tours on the 2 days to Bangkok – Sleepless Bangkok and tuk tuk ride on the first day and the ancient city on the second day. The tuk tuk ride was fun, night market was quite small. Spent quite a lot of time at the temple where they do the evening chanting (bit too long) and the flower market is just a walk through. Ancient city trip was nice, very clean and picturesque. Cambodia, Sihanoukville – the port transfer bus gets accosted by taxi/tuk tuk drivers wanting your business which some people find very intimidating and return straight away to the ship. The guy at my husband’s window met us off the bus and we moved away from the crowd to negotiate a price which was $60US for 3 hours, He spoke good English and the Cambodian people are friendly. We visited a square, a religious site, several beaches, golden lions roundabout and a fishing village. There is a lot of building going on of casinos and hotels by the Chinese as advised by our driver/guide but they bring their own people so it doesn’t give work to the locals. The area is very third world with lots of rubbish around and basic roads, with the fishing village being extremely basic and slum-like, makes you appreciate what we have at home! So is an experience which shouldn’t be missed, plus you are helping their economy. We had originally planned to go on a ferry to the island of Koh Rong Sanloem and had prebooked and paid online for the return ferries. This was based on the the itinerary had said we would be in Sihanoukville from 7am to 9pm so allowed plenty of time for getting back to the ship as we had been told that transport such as ferries don’t always run to the scheduled times. However when we received the cruise paper the evening before the departure time was 7pm which we felt was too tight to ensure we would make it back in time so had to forgo the island trip. This trip is not offered by the ship. On asking other people the 7pm departure had also happened on the previous cruise. Phu My Vietnam – Vung Tau – We chose to do a ship tour to the seaside area of Vung Tau rather than go into Ho Chi Minh City which is retrospect was probably not a great idea. The trip was partly sightseeing and partly beach with lunch. We were firstly driven to a lookout point but there wasn’t long enough to climb the many steps to get to the top to see the Jesus statue due to the short time we were given here. We then went to a religious site and were given quite a long time here which wasn’t needed as not a great deal to see, so the timings were not great. We also stopped along the seafront for a brief photo stop. The beach hotel we were taken to was nice, the lunch was basic but ok (no choice of food), the beach was nice although the sea was rough and there were kite surfers who didn’t have any consideration for the bathers so you had to be careful when in the sea. Speaking to people who had gone into Ho Chi Minh City, they said it was really good, so we wished we had gone there instead. Malacca – Tenders to shore which was not mentioned in Tui info but departure time was 4pm rather than the stated 2pm. We walked to Dutch Square and Jonker Street, then did a boat trip on the river which cost 30 ringgts each (approx £6 each). As it was very hot we then hired one of the bike/tuk tuks to save further walking in the heat (sorry can’t remember how much this was). However we ended up re-visiting some of the places we had already been to and wasn’t able to communicate this with the language barrier. We got him to drop us at McDonalds so we could get some refreshments and use their wifi and we then walked back to the tender area. Read Less
Marella Discovery Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 3.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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