2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We have been on many Tui/Marella cruises and although the cruise was ok we thought the ship was lacking standards of other ships we have been on. We booked a deluxe cabin with floor to ceiling window and paid an extra £500. The ... Read More
We have been on many Tui/Marella cruises and although the cruise was ok we thought the ship was lacking standards of other ships we have been on. We booked a deluxe cabin with floor to ceiling window and paid an extra £500. The Cabin was quite large but extremely basic, the refitted furniture was of poor quality, much like cheap flat pack you can buy anywhere. The bathroom was adequate and although this supposed to be deluxe range, one would expect some toiletries at least, all we got was a piece of soap, one used piece was even left in the shower from the previous occupant !! and a wall shower/shampoo dispenser..unbelievable. The cleanliness of the room was below standard, I had to clean finger marks off handles with a sterile wipe. The whole cabin looked very uninviting with dull features. Food: well this was hit and miss, some days were really quite nice others were dreadful. Entertainment in the main theatre was not as good as we'd had on other Marella ships, somewhat amateurish except for an operatic duo who where amazing. The crew who did the quizzes where really good. Bar staff were very nice and the drinks served were good. We had a very bad experience to finish our holiday. One of our cases was broken into (locked security straps were cut off) this happened between the cases going outside the cabin at midnight and receiving the cases at the airport. The cases are in the care of Tui/Marella during this time, the cases were quick to be processed at the return airport so it is highly unlikely to have happened there, therefore it must have been whilst they were still in the care of Tui/Marella. We reported this when we got home (Feb) with many emails being sent to them, it has taken from then till now (4 months) for them to wash their hands of our complaint, they just don't want to know. Highly unacceptable. We do not recommend this ship and we will not be recommending or travelling withTui/Marella ever again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
flight from b'mam v.good but waited for over 30 mins at airport for cruise transfer bus---airport staff said this was a regular experience because tui do not charter enough buses for the volume of travellers arriving at the same time ... Read More
flight from b'mam v.good but waited for over 30 mins at airport for cruise transfer bus---airport staff said this was a regular experience because tui do not charter enough buses for the volume of travellers arriving at the same time ! embarkation seamless--cabin v.good (floor 3 outside( - food always v'good especially italian bar service excellent - choice of drinks extensive entertainment varied - pianist guy stoker superb but sax player and acoustic guitar player talented but soporiphic. shows good but too much dance and not enough vocals bands v.good ship old and external areas need attention---internally all ok staff without exception brilliant problems ------ no toilets on level 4 which housed most bars and rests.----some crap destinations (Guatemala and Honduras)---excursuions grossly over priced . disembarkation again spoiled by 20 mins wait for transfer bus flight home on time and ok but miserable staff (but efficient) compared to superb staff on outbound flight (well done gareth and team) Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise at short notice after returning from a terrible cruise on MSC Seaside.We had cruised with Thomson before on one of the smaller ships and found it okay no better,but this larger ship was much better.Everything on this ... Read More
We chose this cruise at short notice after returning from a terrible cruise on MSC Seaside.We had cruised with Thomson before on one of the smaller ships and found it okay no better,but this larger ship was much better.Everything on this ship was great,from the entertainment to the food and service.The shows cater for British cruisers,which was just what we liked the most.The breakfasts were the full Monty and drinks in the restaurants were in full flow.Okay the ship is a little old but it was clean and the cruise was good value.We will certainly cruise with Marella again.This cruise visited Belize,Guatamala,Honduras and Cuba,all new countries for cruise ships and so were not too commercialised yet.Most needed an excursion to see anything interesting.But not Cuba,Havana is a great place to visit.Old American cars,old but beautiful buildings and old but crumbling ones too.Overall a great cruise and new countries visited.With more larger ships to come Marella are on the up. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Exotic explorer/Cuban fusion. Before I start, I do have to declare a liking for Marella. I realise that in the past their ships have been a bit like a pair of comfy old shoes, scuffed, well worn and leaky, not a good a good analogy for ... Read More
Exotic explorer/Cuban fusion. Before I start, I do have to declare a liking for Marella. I realise that in the past their ships have been a bit like a pair of comfy old shoes, scuffed, well worn and leaky, not a good a good analogy for a ship, I know, but you know what I mean. So I looked forward to sailing on the Discovery 2, and I was quite impressed, even if they do still have shower curtains, have these people never seen Psycho? One of the good, if not great things about Marella, is that the TUI 'planes take off from many regional airports, and once you've waved bye-bye to your luggage, the next time you see them is in your cabin. Well it's always worked in the past and I am an optimist. Getting on board was pretty straight forward, although the photographer wasn't too welcome after travelling for twenty hours or so. Accommodation: We had cabin, sorry, state room, 3092 with a window. Although it was near the blunt end, it wasn't too far from the lifts and the main restaurant was one deck up. Although the room wasn't the biggest it had adequate space and storage for clothes etc. The bed was a king size and very comfy. There was also a credit card operated safe, provided free. Television, not too many channel options. Food: There are many options, most of them included. The main restaurant, 47° is on deck 4, and on this cruise it was set up for any time dining. It does get busy between 7:30 ish and 8:30, so plan accordingly. There are many two seater tables, set up in a 2-2-2 format so that you can talk to your neighbours or be antisocial as the mood takes you, of course there are bigger tables if you wish to share, although being on one usually extends the meal time. Gallery 47° is an Italian themed restaurant on deck 5. It has a choice of two menus that alternate daily. Islands, well a buffet is a buffet, sometimes good, sometimes cold, however many times they stick the thermometer in. But that applies to all buffets. It does have beer and wine on tap for those with a serious problem. Snack Shack, a favourite of ours, provides, strangely, snacks. Cereals, hot sandwiches and a delicious ham and cheese pastry at breakfast and small portions of fish and chips, burgers, salads etc during the day. Ideal if you come back on board late. The Glass House. Is an evening venue that is a tapas style restaurant, we didn't like it that much, but each to his own. They also do the Hot Stone fad here, although there is a charge, why you pay extra to cook your own food is beyond me. There are two other restaurants, the Surf and Turf and the Kora La, both at a supplement, although we didn't try either of these. During these two cruise they did put on a deck BBQ once a week, which must give the safety engineer nightmares! Drinks: (The important stuff) This was an AI cruise and there are a lot of different drinks included. Beer, Fosters, John Smiths and Strongbow on draft. Becks, Peroni in bottles. You can buy others at a supplement, although why you would buy a can of John Smiths smooth at £3:30, when Dettol is available is beyond me. There are also a large range of wines including Proseco by the glass and many cocktails included. Entertainment: As usual this is very varied and very good. There is usually something going on especially in the evening, and the 'Game Shows' are very funny, the 'Actor Hosts', didn't they used to be the animation team? are exceptional. Staff: Again, in the main they are exceptional, although the waiters haven't been taught the basics, ie after serving somebody look up. It can take 45 minutes between deciding you want a drink to getting it. If you think you can circumvent this by going to the bar, think again. The bar staff, once again haven't been taught the most important lesson, knowing who is next to be served, it can get very frustrating. Excursions: We tend not to do too many excursions these days, being fortunate enough to have travelled widely, we have seen all the museums, the ABC tours and the old ruins we need to see, although my wife maintains that she sees an old ruin every day. However we did do three. Altan Ha, nearly an hour and a half in a poor coach, being lectured, loudly, all the way by two guides who thought they were funny. The place itself was very pleasant although you are only there just over an hour before the return journey. There was a city tour included, but blink and you missed it. Good Hope house, Jamaica. We both really enjoyed this, a trip to an old plantation house which included afternoon tea, complete with the ubiquitous jerk chicken, at 11:30 AM! Lastly the Parisien Cabaret in Havana. A good show spoiled by the cramped seating arrangements. After three hours we felt as though we could do with seeing a Chiropractor. We have seen the Tropicana before and it is the far better show, although it is more expensive. As I've said these days we are just happy to get off the ship and walk for a few hours, although in some of these ports there is not a lot, locally to see, eg Cozumel- Blackpool with sunshine, so excursions might be the best, if expensive, way to go. So, thanks Thompson/TUI/Marella, no more name changes eh, it's starting to look suspicious. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Visiting Havana and sub tropical regions were the main reasons of booking as it was also my 70th birthday.Did not dissapoint .Been on previous Thomson cruises and by far this was the best so far in terms of ports of call and ship. Quick ... Read More
Visiting Havana and sub tropical regions were the main reasons of booking as it was also my 70th birthday.Did not dissapoint .Been on previous Thomson cruises and by far this was the best so far in terms of ports of call and ship. Quick check ins both ways and dreamliner very good aircraft All inclusive very good value and plentyfull as was the quality and quantity of the food. Entertainment team worked very well different shows every night together with good comedians each week Honduras and Guatamalia are new and upcoming destinations who were all very friendly and welcoming.Hope that mass tourism does nit spoil their simple way of life Visiting Havana was like going back in a time warp but you must see before the Americans invade and spoil.. We in England have nothing to complain about when you see conditions in these countries but they appear to be all happy. Some recent reviews on your site have criticised this ship. but my experience is much different. All staff work very hard to further your experience. All choice of meals very good and all freshly cooked .If you are worried about putting on weight head for the two 47o restaurants and enjoy sensible served portions.If weight no problem indulge in the wide variety in the buffet restaurant. Afternoon tea is good and if you miss a main meal you can head for the Glass House for a dinner or light snack. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Cuban Fusion Cruise, Marella Discovery 2, January 2018 Pre-Cruise Stay. As the outbound flight was at 0915, I travelled to Gatwick Airport the night before and stayed in the Premier Inn North Terminal, which is immediately opposite ... Read More
Cuban Fusion Cruise, Marella Discovery 2, January 2018 Pre-Cruise Stay. As the outbound flight was at 0915, I travelled to Gatwick Airport the night before and stayed in the Premier Inn North Terminal, which is immediately opposite the North Terminal, where my flight left from. The room was comfortable and quiet. I had a pleasant meal in the evening with very good service. The next morning I went to check-in and then returned to the hotel for a shower and breakfast. I would recommend this hotel – especially if you fly from the North Terminal. Flights & Transfers. I flew on a 787 Dreamliner in the Premium Cabin. Seats were comfortable with plenty of room in both width and pitch. Food was pretty good and included unlimited complimentary drinks and a welcome aboard glass of fizz. Outbound we had a four-course lunch and then afternoon tea. Inbound, a four-course dinner and hot breakfast. The cabin crew on the outbound leg were particularly excellent. Transfer on arrival was efficient and very good. Luggage was handed in at the airport and transferred direct to your cabin. Immigration forms were dealt with swiftly by three staff in a corridor which meant we did not pass right through the airport, leaving by a side-door straight on to waiting coaches. Very short queue at the rather basic Cruise Terminal meant I was off the coach and on to the ship within about 10 minutes. For the inbound flight, luggage was collected overnight from outside the cabin and not seen again until collecting it back at Gatwick Airport. Good job done by TUI and Marella. Ship. Marella Discovery 2 entered service in 1995 as Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas and remained as such until last year when she was bought by TUI. She had a refit by TUI before becoming Discovery 2. She is smaller by today's standards, being 70,000 tons and taking around 1,800 passengers. Her public rooms had mostly been re-designed by TUI in a fairly light/bright décor and style – certainly more contemporary than classic style. The Atrium Bar, Bar 11 and Venue lounge were reasonably stylish. Personally I did not find many comfortable seats around the ship. The buffet restaurant (Islands) did not appear to have been refurbished and looked tired. The servery area was spacious but the seating areas really crowded with tables very close together. One thing I did find rather odd – Deck 4 is comprised entirely of public rooms (restaurant, bar/lounge/casino, show-lounge) but there are no toilets on this deck! There are two pools – one indoor, one outside. The outdoor pool area was very busy on sea days and also noisy a lot of the time. My cabin was a small inside on Deck 2, which was ideal for one but would have been a bit tight for two travelling together. Despite being almost below a late-night entertainment venue, it was quiet and the bed was very comfortable. The only refurbishment to the cabin appears to be a new carpet, wall-art, TV and maybe washbasin in the bathroom. The furniture was pretty cheap stuff with a 'flat-pack' feel about it. There was a safe (big enough for a tablet) but no fridge. Air-con was just about sufficient but was set at the lowest temperature the whole week. Food. I found the food pretty disappointing in all venues I used. I didn't use any of the for-fee eating venues. Dishes often did not resemble the description on the menu and portion sizes were pretty small – especially considering that dinner is three-courses as standard. In general terms, fruit juices at breakfast were pretty tasteless and the yogurts were a particularly cheap brand. The sausages were disgusting – probably as much cereal content as meat and utterly tasteless. Three specific examples. 1 - They made fresh 'paninis' in the buffet at lunchtime so I tried one. She asked if I wanted “panini bread” so I said yes. In fact it was only a soft baguette-style roll. I asked for cheese & mushroom and she made it with a spoonful of chopped mushroom and 2 small and very thin bits of 'plastic' cheese-slice. I asked for more cheese as I wouldn't have tasted it otherwise. 2 – My main course one night was “Prawn, Scallop and Monkfish Brochette. I had two small prawns, one very small piece of monkfish and a bit of scallop about half the size of a broad bean! There was more red/green/yellow pepper than anything else! 3 – My desert one evening was “Citrus & Coconut Tart”. What came up was like a cheap mousse which tasted of neither citrus nor coconut, that sat on a very thin layer of sponge cake. A table-mate agreed with me about the lack of taste. Solo travellers had a large table set side so we ate together every night at the same table. The main waiter was at times brusque and sarcastic. He did the rounds of the table asking if the food was okay but ignored any negative comments. A table-mate replied one night that her steak was tough – no response! The assistant waiter on the other hand was super – smiling, friendly and helpful. I did have a very pleasant steak one night and also enjoyed a hot souffle for desert one evening. Entertainment. There was a show-team who put on five productions over the seven nights. They were a young team, very enthusiastic but I think struggled with the rather ambitious productions. They seemed to be all-rounders and so not exceptionally good at either song or dance. There was also a set of “trained actor hosts”, who put on a 30 minute play and acted in an 'audience participation' murder-mystery. Both these relied on much double-entendre. There were two main guest acts – Braxi, a husband & wife classical-crossover duo and Dave Kristian, a comedian. Braxi were very enjoyable but I don't really do comedians so didn't attend either of his shows. There was also a number of musicians performing around the ship – saxophonist, pianist/vocalist, guitarist, trio and party band. They were all of a reasonable standard but often over-amplified – especially in the Live Room, a venue I had to leave on a couple of occasions as I just could not stand the noise level. The Cruise Director shared his daily TV broadcast with the Asst CD. I feel they thought they were Ant & Dec... To me, they both had rather irritating voices. Again, much use was made of double-entendre. An example of this is the CD, when making an announcement mentioned he had an early rise the next morning and qualified it by saying - “and that's not a euphemism”. I really am not a prude but felt this kind of thing not appropriate for a CD. All the entertainment team are contracted by Peel Productions – including the CD, so maybe that is why he felt the need to try and be a comic. Ports of Call. George Town, Grand Cayman. I tendered ashore here for a walk around. It is a typical Caribbean Cruise port, with a lot of shopping opportunities! The town absorbed the 14000+ cruise pax well. Obviously there were plenty of excursions available to beaches and attractions. Havana. This was the reason I booked this cruise and it did not disappoint. We were docked right on the edge of the old town, affording plenty of opportunity for independent exploration of the city. This is what I did – on foot – for a day and a half. Plenty of tours on offer and also a HOHO bus. I loved this place. Many of the grand buildings are currently undergoing renovation and if you are not prepared for it, going 'off the beaten track' could be shocking, showing real poverty and squalor. Walking around the back-streets felt really safe and the locals were friendly and interested in you. I felt quite humbled after my visit – the local population here have very little but seem so happy. Cozumel, Mexico. Again, a typical Caribbean Cruise port. If the town of San Miguel de Cozumel ever had any character, it is either now long gone or well hidden. Plenty of beaches on hand and a few tours – the pick of which were to the Mayan ruins on the mainland, a ferry-ride away. 'Destination Services' on the ship should really be named 'Excursion Sales Team' as they gave no information for independent travellers in their “Port Showcase” presentation. A very small amount of basic information was given on the very basic Port Maps available at the desk. General. The Captain was a bit too laid-back and informal for my tastes but did a good job communicating weather and itinerary issues etc. A lot of the crew were friendly and smiley but Bar staff seemed poorly trained and never knew who they should be serving next. In conclusion. In my view and based on this cruise, Marella Cruises are very much a budget outfit and should be looked at as a 'fun, boozy cruise'. It is likely to be your cup of tea if you would prefer Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway and Celebrity Juice to Strictly Come Dancing and Have I Got News for You. That's not me being a snob – we all like different things in life and that is absolutely fine. The All-Inclusive offered on all Marella's new ships will mean good value if you like quite a few drinks across the day. Whilst they advertise that the standard AI package includes branded drinks, you have to ask for them by name otherwise they will use the cheap (weak and tasteless) house brands such as Kamel.... Marella Cruises are probably best booked if you can get a late and very cheap deal imho. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Having sailed with Thomson on several previous occasions we had no hesitation in booking Discovery 2 for a joint retirement/ birthday treat. Firstly let me state that I have never written a review previously and tend to take them with a ... Read More
Having sailed with Thomson on several previous occasions we had no hesitation in booking Discovery 2 for a joint retirement/ birthday treat. Firstly let me state that I have never written a review previously and tend to take them with a piece of cake, I always believe that you make up your own mind, however, I did feel that I needed to comment on this cruise albeit it was our experience and there were probably plenty of passengers who enjoyed their trip. Whilst not wishing to write war and piece I will try to sumise as much as I can. ● Ship is not new but we'll layed out and perfectly adequate. ● Rooms are a decent size with plenty of space, unfortunately our room was under the bar area on deck 3 which meant it was impossible to sleep between 0600 and 0300 due to the staff dragging crates etc across the floor. This was clearly our biggest problem and was not resolved by the staff. Whilst I know you take your chances with a lower deck inside cabin it has never been a problem previously and having spent several thousand pounds on a holiday I expect to be able to sleep at night!! Complaint is on route to TUI. Don't accept cabin 3537 it is not fit for purpose and should not be used for passengers!!! ● Food is average at best, it is unimaginative, repetative and uninspiring. Having sailed with Thomson before this was always one of the highlights for me but not this time, having read many comments about the buffet I can only describe it as a cattle market with passengers struggling to get seats at many times during the day. I have to say that I had no issues with any of the behaviour of my fellow passengers as reported previously. Food and service in the main restaurants was sporadic and I did send food back on a couple of occasions due to it been cold or of a poor quality. ● Staff are generally friendly and hard working although there are not enough of them, this is particularly pertinent in the bar areas where customers waited for unacceptable lengths of time. ● Entertainment is OK, the team work hard and put on some decent performances. Braxi music are bloody brilliant. ● All inclusive package is excellent with a huge choice of beers, wines, spirits and cocktails. ● Reception Staff from our experience were poor, they didn't resolve the problem with our room despite promising to, didn't communicate amongst themselves and the hotel staff which resulted in a very unsavoury situation which I am again taking up with TUI. ● Destinations for the first week ( Cuban Fusion) were good, really enjoyed Cayman Islands, Havana and Mexico, Montego Bay was OK if you went on an organised trip as there is a state of emergency there at the moment. I was disappointed for the second week on Exotic Explorer, whilst I am all for taking in the local culture both Guatemala and Trujillo in Honduras needed an organised trip to get the best from the locations. ● Organised trips were again hit and miss and in my opinion very expensive, there were lots of mutterings from other passengers regarding the quality and price. ● Overall our experience was disappointing, this was probably heavily weighted by our room experience, Will we travel with Marella again well probably not in the near future there were too many little things which left me irritated and frustrated so probably time to give someone else a chance. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this particular cruise mainly because of the itinerary, and the fact this ship was an ex royal Caribbean ship that had supposedly been totally refurbished! we have cruised on numerous occasions with P&O We flew out on the ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise mainly because of the itinerary, and the fact this ship was an ex royal Caribbean ship that had supposedly been totally refurbished! we have cruised on numerous occasions with P&O We flew out on the dreamliner, Embarkation and disembarkation went well along with all ports where we visited some tenders but all very well organised The ship is advertised as totally refurbished ...it is not! it is ok but not luxurious it is run down in places and in need of a re paint and varnish with many of the carpets looking gruby and worn especially in the buffet restaurant, The cabin was ok we had a deluxe balcony plenty of storage space but a bit 1970s decor and tired nice comfy bed but you were not able to turn air con off if you wanted you had to call maintenance to get it disconnected!, Tea and coffee facility a fridge and a safe bathroom ok but no shampoos ect You are not able to book a time for the restaurant and will have to queue, you are taken too a different table each night and served by different waiters so its very hard to build up any rap-pour with them Our first weeks food was absolutely awful especially the dress to impress night when I had the toughest piece of steak I have ever had! there were many passengers complaining and sending food back, perhaps the ship could also have made a bit more effort like some of its passengers to impress!! Im all for a more relaxed approach to dress codes but still feel at dinner time and in bar 11 you should at least make the effort to put on a pair of trousers and a collared shirt, this was followed by poor quality luke warm food served especially in the islands restaurant that we renamed Watford gap as you really felt you were in a service station rather than on a cruise ship poor tepid food that was mobbed at breakfast time, the second week showed a dramatic improvement in the restaurants with watford gap still lagging behind! I think the entertainment is very tough for a cruise ship to get right as we all have different tastes, I personally found the live room ok early on with the guitarist and pianist providing some nice pre dinner music but it never really picked up after that and became tiresome and dreary other than that I found the entertainment team very red coat style! it was a bit like going to a northern working mans club Blackpool style! so if thats your cup of tea then you will probably like it I found all the staff to be pleasant and polite but would agree with a past comment that they obviously have not had the correct support and training from the company they work for, restaurant staff should at least know that if a passenger orders a glass of Merlot they should not be asking you if that is red or white! The captain is a genuine person that always made himself available to you, I genuinely think that his main purpose was to give all of his passengers a pleasurable cruise, but really lowers the tone with his Bobby Dazzlers!! giving you a Hi Di Hi morning all campers holiday camp image We found the ports of call all of interest and enjoyed seeing all of the different cultures some of these ports are under developed and poor but thats why you do a cruise isnt it to experience everything and not just the glamour! the tours we did do were very well organised but did hear some horror stories from other passengers so probably a bit hit and miss So would I go on this ship again...No Would I recommend it to anyone...depends what you are after if you like a holiday camp style feeling then you may like it But for me its probably back to P&O Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Review Marella Discovery 2 Cuban Fusion 22 January 2018 This was our forth Thomson (Dream*3) Marella cruise, our least favourite but still a good cruise. Rated a 4 instead of five is related to entertainment. About 1800 passengers ... Read More
Review Marella Discovery 2 Cuban Fusion 22 January 2018 This was our forth Thomson (Dream*3) Marella cruise, our least favourite but still a good cruise. Rated a 4 instead of five is related to entertainment. About 1800 passengers mostly from the UK, 100 from Canada. Different flavour from US origin ships, we enjoy it and find the itineraries somewhat different. We booked and flew with Sunwing from Toronto on a 737 which was a bit cramped but adequate for a 4 hour flight. Be sure to take a pen to fill in the Jamaican immigrations forms. The transfer from the airport to the ship and the boarding process was very well organized, ditto for the return. This cruise was “all inclusive”. We being 100% and 95% non drinkers, were a bit nervous but needlessly. Never noticed any problems, no lineups for drinks etc. We were not the only non drinkers on board. The ship is quite nice, all crew, waiters, etc excellent. They all obviously make efforts to keep the ship clean and enjoyable for your stay. There was some sickness aboard, don’t know how this can be avoided, once you have payed your fare most will be going, coughing or not. Our suggestion is to always use the hand sanitizers and wash your hands more frequently than usual. Shame on the gent that was finger feeding himself on the cheese counter, should have slapped his hand. There were two main formal eating areas with similar names. 47 on deck 4 has a traditional menu (fish, meat, chicken etc), Gallery 47 on deck 5 is Italian themed with an alternating A & B menu. Both were excellent, we tended to look over the menus mid afternoon to make a choice. We had breakfast and lunch in ISLANDS on deck 9 which is buffet style, lots of choice. We enjoy sharing a table for the evening meal, which we did every night, thanks folks. There are plenty of tables for two or four therefore sharing is not quite as easy on this ship but still possible, you have to ask to share. Entertainment in the Broadway Show Lounge was not as good as we have seen on other Thomson cruises, not spectacular and lacked modern recognizable music. It is the content, we have seen quite a few of the entertainment staff before and know that they are capable. On our previous Thomson/TUI cruises entertainment was spectacular, we rated it the best of any cruise. Entertainment on this cruise was a bit of a let down and the reason for a 4 star instead of 5. Very pleased that Braxi Music (Brandy and Max) plus Daniella were onboard. Their powerful performances were very enjoyable. The comedian Dave Kristian entertained us well for two shows. The piano vocalist (Guy Stoker) in “Live Room” was quite good and later he performed as “Elton Guy”. In our opinion the “Elton Guy” show should have been moved to ‘Venue” which could have accommodated the overflow crowd. The cruise featured an on board Bubbleologist (Graham Maxwell). It was a quirky, interesting show, certainly one of the most unusual that we have seen. Did not do any ship excursions as we did the same cruise two years ago. Only tendered in the Caymen Islands. In all the ports we just got off the ship and walked around. We find Havana very interesting both culturally and architecturally, great photo opportunities. In Havana we rented an old car (52 Chev) for a tour. Felt quite safe walking around, had a coffee bought some churritos. Churritos, are local delicacy, made on the street, try um. The ship literally docks right beside the sidewalk in Old Havana. We did consider the ship based bike tour of Havana but declined as the weather forecast was not good and apparently the tours go regardless of the weather. The ship is quite nice and spacious, never had much of a problem with seating lineups etc. If you need a deck lounge in the perfect sunny spot you need to stake your claim early. We were always able to find a lounge chair in the shade on at sea days. The Broadway Show Lounge can fill up, most shows are on twice, just pick your time and go early. We had an inside cabin (6089) which was quite nice and suited our needs. Clean and kept clean. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Having traveled on the discovery 1 last year I was looking forward to this trip, although the ship is identical the standards are very different, the staff working on the acomadation where fantastic and every time you left the cabin they ... Read More
Having traveled on the discovery 1 last year I was looking forward to this trip, although the ship is identical the standards are very different, the staff working on the acomadation where fantastic and every time you left the cabin they where in there working, it was spotless on each occasion Something had gone seriously wrong with the drinks on this trip as they where nowhere near as good as the 1, they just seems to be thrown together, there seemed far less bar staff on this trip, not that I drank a lot, we didn't upgrade to the premium drinks as most of the drinks on the standard menu seemed ok, and if you wanted anything off the premium list you could pay a supliment of around £2.50 which was more expensive than the discovery 1 Also for the food in the 47 & gallery 47 was ok tho a tad repedative I do understand keeping 2k people happy is a monumental task, ok as for the Asiain and Steak restaurants tui seem to have bumped up the price form what I paid in the summer the Asian (Kora-La) was £24 each and the surf and turf was £29 each perhaps the paint job in the name change cost them a few bob and they where trying to recoup the cost The entertainment was very good and the show team work very hard in delivering complex different shows each night As for the shore trips I felt like I was an audience member in a fourteen day infomercial you couldn't escape the continual sell, sell, sell, on every TV Chanel, they even put it on the jumbo screen round the pool area arghhhhhhhhhhh enough already Overall the holiday was good and this blip has not put me off sailing with tu-rella again Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
The flight from Manchester to Montego Bay on a Dreamliner was great. We didn’t see our luggage once we had dropped it off at the airport until it appeared outside our cabin about an hour after we embarked. The transfer from Montego ... Read More
The flight from Manchester to Montego Bay on a Dreamliner was great. We didn’t see our luggage once we had dropped it off at the airport until it appeared outside our cabin about an hour after we embarked. The transfer from Montego Bay to the ship was not so good as we waited in a queue for over an hour waiting for a bus to transfer us to the ship. We were lucky. A number of flights landed in quick succession and some had to wait 2 hours for their transfer. It was raining heavily in Montego Bay and the traffic to the ship was busy so maybe this caused the problem. Our first impressions of the ship were that it looked great and we weren’t disappointed with it at any stage of the cruise. We had an inside cabin on deck 3 and it was more than adequate for our needs and it was kept spotlessly clean. The staff throughout the cruise were very friendly and helpful. All said hello when we passed them. We ate in the restaurants and buffet and found the food and service to be very good we also ate in the Surf and Turf Restaurant and the meal was fantastic. We didn’t feel the need to upgrade to the Premium drinks package as there was already plenty on offer that we liked. We found the entertainment to be of good quality although it wasn’t always to our taste. We mainly used the ship excursions and thought they were reasonable value for money. One of our excursions was to 2 different places and the price was either £44 or £55. I looked at the separate prices for each attraction and the entrance for each of them was $40. We also had a guide to each of them, transport to them and a drink at one of them. On some of the other excursions lunch was included. I listened to the complaints of some on the cruise and you can make your own mind up if you think they were justified. I visited deck 9 on a number of occasions during the day and evening and some were complaining that the All Inclusive package was not good value for money. I visited that deck a number of times and the same people were there complaining whilst having a different drink each time I was there. They seemed to be slurring their words a bit come later in the evening! Someone was complaining that the climbing wall was not open when the Cruise News clearly states the opening times. We had a couple of rough days at sea and someone complained that the outdoor pool was closed and the same person complained that there was no entertainment on the outside deck that day. It was obvious to me that it would have been unsafe. Some complained that there was not enough to do on sea days. I have a copy of one day’s cruise news, a port day, and there are 24 different activities and this does not include the entertainment around the ship, the shows, the climbing wall or the mini golf. After a tour of the rainforest one woman complained that she had seen too many sloths and not enough of other kinds of animals. We enjoyed our cruise and the ports of call and would have no hesitation in going on this ship again. Indeed we could probably do the same cruise and still find different things to do. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
For what is suppose to be a newly refurbished cruise ship they sure cut a few corners but the cabins are both comfortable and clean. The housekeeping staff are some of the more pleasant individuals onboard. All the staff look miserable ... Read More
For what is suppose to be a newly refurbished cruise ship they sure cut a few corners but the cabins are both comfortable and clean. The housekeeping staff are some of the more pleasant individuals onboard. All the staff look miserable and overworked. Or it could be the guest who has made them this way. I have honestly never been on a ship where the F-word was so prominently used. You would think you were at a stag party. The aim for the day seems to be to drink as much as you can whilst making as much noise as you can. This isn't exclusive to the younger guests either. The ship has a relatively young laid back captain and this can be seen in the actions of some of the staff. (The service is not a bobby dazzler as the captain would say) There seems to be a general disorganised service across the ship, with staff who seem to have minimal training and little to no guidance. Entertainment was OK, nothing special. What is interesting is that they seem to be using the best singers less that some of the ones who could easily do damage to one's eardrums. The ports during my trip were mostly great and it was great to get off the ship for a while and experience some of the local cultures. The ship did offer some great excursions but we also found some great excursions when we got ashore. The food lacked taste and while fairly varied frankly lacked any excitement. Overall not impressed. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our first holiday without the kids (both started Uni) so we were looking forward to a relaxing time. We flew from Birmingham Premium Class, everything ran smoothly from checking in to the lounge, then the problems start... ... Read More
This was our first holiday without the kids (both started Uni) so we were looking forward to a relaxing time. We flew from Birmingham Premium Class, everything ran smoothly from checking in to the lounge, then the problems start... Premium Class is just a decent economy with minimal extra room and no real support for your legs when reclined if you wanted a sleep, also we sat to the rear of premium (by the toilet) and we had a set of two couples who thought it would be a good idea to stand around this area and act like they were down the pub having no regard for other passengers and the flight attendants seemed oblivious to it and in the end I had to speak to them which is quite embarrassing my advice is save your money go economy and spend what you save on either upgrading your room or drinks package. On arrival at Montego Bay it was crazy we had to wait in a hot non air conditioned corridor for over an hour which we thought was for customs but actually was the lack of coaches to take us to the ship. At this stage people around us were getting irate (complaining, swearing being quite aggressive to airport staff) and all was adding to the stress levels which probably could have been avoided with a little communication to let everyone know the process. The bus journey was fine and when we arrived at the terminal it was chaos again no structure and people pushing in and nobody taking control. We finally got our cards and went to our cabin (without any guidance). We decided to go for a junior suite and were quite happy, it was clean and had reasonable space and the balcony was a god send with the table, chairs and sunlounger although rust could be seen all outside but it was during our two weeks a sanctuary to get away from the foul language and selfish behavior of some other passengers especially around the buffet area and main pool. After arriving onboard we were told that our itinery had been changed, this led to us going to the Cayman Islands first and due to the weather our excursion being cancelled and also the same in Mexico the excursion being cancelled and finally in Cuba I had to ring around to our excursion operator to reschedule (I booked independently) then on our second week one stop in Columbia was cancelled all together, they did have an extra stop in Jamaica to compensate. I understand that the weather can not be guaranteed and it was most unfortunate that we had just one of those bad weeks but I still think if our schedule wasn't changed we would of potentially not missed out on at least one of the excursions. Overall on board I would suggest the vibe of the ship is like a 3 star Costa Brava All Inclusive Hotel so if that is not your thing (it isn't mine) you are not really going to enjoy or going to get value for money as I cannot believe that anyone who hasn't been on the beer all day can enjoy the food and entertainment provided. The flight home was better without any issues (except if you fly premium from Montego Bay you can't use the lounge unless you pay more!!!!! never know that). THE SHIP: Little tired in places I suggest a rushed refit (rust on paintwork virtually everywhere) but overall it is hard complain. CABIN: We had a Junior Suite and was so pleased we upgraded as when walking past others (Balcony / inside cabins) I don't think I would of lasted the two weeks onboard. The lounger on the balcony got plenty of use. DINING: Simply terrible, the buffet was like a war zone survival of the fittest, Main & Italian Restaurant poor service and the food had no taste and all the cuts of meat we the cheapest we tried each twice to give the benefit of the doubt but there was not doubt it was pretty much awful, the best free restaurant in the evening was the Glass House, this was because they did pizza and nobody can mess a pizza (saying that I probably won't have another this year after 7 you do get fed up. We ate twice at the Asian Restaurant, the food was good (not sure if that was because the other food onboard was so bad so our taste buds had been shot) service was poor unless you were in a big group or had a Birthday (Waiting on staff seemed more interested in singing "Happy Birthday" instead of looking after diners) numerous times I had an empty glass for over 5 minutes and I only got a refill after calling the waiter over. Drinks, we upgraded to the premium package, it was well worth it as the brands offered on the all inclusive were not what I would normally drink, also you have a 1.5ltr bottle of water delivered to your room every day so you don't have to drink the fountain stuff!!! plus you get coffee & tea from the coffee bar included, soft drinks like coke you can ask for a cans also asked for canned mixers with your spirits (normally an extra £1.00) instead of drinking the flat bottled coke / lemonade they serve (believe me it does make a difference). ENTERTAINMENT / ACTIVITIES: The shows in the main theatre were extremely poor they had lots of energy but no direction I am sure if they listened to the shows themselves they would be distraught on how bad they sounded. Each week they had a comedian which was really the only decent entertainment over the two weeks. Resident musicians were ok Activities - Don't bother!!! SERVICE: Our Cabin Boy Carlos was fantastic on the first two days he was for ever trying to please and I like my privacy and said to him that I know he was only trying to impress but I enjoy our space after that he respected that and was first class efficient and did what ever we asked and the room was always cleaned properly. Other staff were poor in the main not sure if they had not had the correct training or that they just could be bothered. Captain Chris and The Entertainment Directors daily announcements were mainly annoying (Captain was either Bobby Dazzler or Cracking sure he thought it was endearing but just got on your nerves after three days) The daily news was a joke also what a waste of paper never changed other than a few lines about the next port of call, one thing that did entertain us was they had one section about different craft beers they had changing every day as a special, every day we would check and day one Hobgobblin day two Hobgobblin yes you have it everyday. PORTS & EXCURSIONS: We had three excursions cancelled due to weather / not going to port of call, which is understandable but annoying as was down to the change of schedule possibly?? The shore excursions that we did manage to go on were mainly booked through the ship and I have to admit they were very good and we felt extremely good value for money and would recommend if anyone goes to Costa Rica to do the Zip Wire tour we did it in torrential rain but it was still amazing and the photo / video package they offer after is really fairly priced. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Review TUI Discovery 2 Exotic Explorer/Cuban Fusion Start date 5th December 2017 This was our first cruise so we have nothing to compare it with. We chose this because of the interesting places to see, and because it was all ... Read More
Review TUI Discovery 2 Exotic Explorer/Cuban Fusion Start date 5th December 2017 This was our first cruise so we have nothing to compare it with. We chose this because of the interesting places to see, and because it was all inclusive, including tips. We also liked that we could go to meals where and when we liked. We got off to a bad start, with it taking well over an hour to leave the airport in Jamaica to get to the ship, due to there being not enough buses to pick people up. Also most people filled in the Jamaican immigration forms wrong, as we had no guidance when we were given them. Our cabin with balcony was a decent size, with air conditioning (not controllable due to broken dial), comfortable bed, nice shower, wardrobe and tea/coffee making facilities. The room was cleaned twice a day. Food was mostly nice. We decided not to use the Islands buffet restaurant for evening meals after the first night. Although the food there was good with plenty of choice, it was difficult to find a seat, and too easy to overeat. We used it for breakfast and occasional afternoon tea. We went mainly to 47˚ where the menus changed regularly. The food was good, and the portions were not too large, so you could have 3 courses without feeling stuffed. The staff seemed to be genuinely happy to serve you and were very friendly and easy to talk to. You were often given the choice as to whether to share a table, which was a good way of meeting other people on the cruise. Gallery 47˚ was the Italian restaurant. I enjoyed my meals there, but others found them to be of variable standard. The evening meals at the Glass House were crazy. We just wanted tapas but not only was there a bread platter, and a sharing platter, but after the tapas you had a pizza. If you could manage it there was a dessert. A ridiculous amount of food – it should have been tapas or pizza, not both. There was so much wasted food because people couldn’t eat it all. During the day the Glass House did excellent salads. We didn’t try the restaurants where there was a surcharge. The cocktails and mocktails often used a fruit syrup and were quite sickly. There was a decent gym on board, and you could exercise on some of the equipment whilst gazing out over the sea. There were lots of areas for sunbathing, but the serious sunbathers got in early to grab the best places. That didn’t bother us as we are not sunbathers. There were 2 small pools, one inside, one outside. The indoor one was adults only during the afternoon. There were various places to drink, where you could either go to the bar or relax in a chair waiting to be served. If you went to a show, waiters would come around taking your orders. The entertainment was variable. The main venue, the Broadway Show Lounge had a programme of shows of varying quality. We also saw 2 comedians, one good, one not so good. There was also a decent magician who performed in The Venue. Other entertainers on board included a very good guitarist, an excellent saxophonist and an iffy pianist/vocalist who seemed to be in the Live Lounge every night. The Cruise Director’s relentless enthusiasm grated after a while but perhaps that’s a pre-requisite for the job. The itinerary: First stop was Belize where we went on a tour listed as a river cruise and Lamanai ruins. We thoroughly enjoyed it. The river cruise was more of a white knuckle speedboat ride especially on the return journey when the driver wasn’t looking out for interesting wildlife to show us. Next came Guatemala. We decided to stay on board. The port was a container port, not pretty, and there seemed to be nothing close by to visit, and we didn’t fancy the trips. Turns out most people we spoke to who went on a trip or just into town didn’t have a good time. Next was Roatan, Honduras, where our snorkelling trip was cancelled due to bad weather. We went on the West Island Tour and Semi Submarine. Despite poor weather it was a good day, seeing the coral reef from the semi sub, visiting rum outlet and chocolate factory and then the butterfly farm, which had all sorts of other animals and birds the guide let you handle. The next day due to bad weather the stop at Trujillo, Honduras was cancelled and we went to sunny Costa Maya, Mexico. There was a touristy port and a short ride (or long walk) away was a beautiful beach with bars, restaurants etc. Then it was back to Montego Bay, where, on a very wet day we decided to go for High Tea at Good Hope Estate. This was an interesting 18th century plantation house high in the hills which on a sunny day would have wonderful views. The tour is interesting and informative. Next was the Cuban Fusion week of the holiday. The itinerary was changed: due to bad weather in the Caymen Islands we went to Cozumel, Mexico, first, leaving Caymen until last. In Cozumel we did the trip to Tulum and Xel-Ha. We could have gone to Chichen Itza but it was a 4 hour journey so we decided not to. The Mayan ruins at Tulum were very impressive, and Xel-Ha was a kind of water theme park, where we snorkelled. There were various things to do there. Our tour included entry, which once you were in, lunch and drinks was included. Also free use of towels, changing rooms etc. Next we went to Cuba. Due to the changed itinerary, we only had 2 half days here, which annoyed some people for whom Cuba was the main reason for this cruise. As we didn’t arrive until lunch time, all trips were leaving at roughly the same time, so there were long queues to get off the ship and through customs. We did the interesting half day tour around Havana. We didn’t go into Havana next day as the ship was leaving at 12 and it didn’t seem worthwhile. Next was Grand Caymen, where once again snorkelling was cancelled due to wind, so we looked around Georgetown before going on a trip to stingray city, where you get into the water with lots of stingrays on a sand bar. They would even eat out of your hands. For me a great way to end the holiday. Then it was back to Montego Bay. Everything like taking your luggage is well organised by TUI but once you get to the airport it is chaos with huge queues which loop round on themselves, and no-one from TUI providing any help or guidance. Summary Good points Great trips Cheerful, friendly helpful staff Good food. Bad points Memories of Jamaica – Lack of buses and chaos at airport, traffic jams, rain. No control of air conditioning. They do not refund cancelled pre-booked trips as quickly as they tell you on board. We had to chase up our refunds when we got back. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
To set the scene, this was our 17th Thomson/TUI/Marella cruise since 2010. We hadn't been on a Thomson cruise since autumn 2014 as we were becoming disillusioned with what was on offer (we moved away to P&O and Princess). The ... Read More
To set the scene, this was our 17th Thomson/TUI/Marella cruise since 2010. We hadn't been on a Thomson cruise since autumn 2014 as we were becoming disillusioned with what was on offer (we moved away to P&O and Princess). The itinerary (featuring Cuba, Honduras, Belize and Guatemala, all new places for us) along with the newly acquired ship lured us back. In summary we were really pleased with the cruise and it exceeded our expectations. We were in two cabins (a junior suite plus an inside) on deck 8 and for an all-inclusive cruise for four over the festive period it was excellent value for money. The food in the sit down restaurants (at no extra cost) was far better than experienced on previous Thomson cruises. The head waiters were charming and took the opportunity to speak with us regularly. The service, although not quite as warm and smiley as on previous vessels (Celebration etc.) was good and if you took the time to engage with staff they soon opened up and chatted, remembered drinks preferences etc. Drinks quality was all fine and we didn't feel the need to upgrade to premium all inclusive (regular all-inclusive featured Guinness, Strongbow, Tanqueray, Baileys to name a few brands plus Irish coffee and cappuccino). We had the occasional poor cocktail but we just went to a different bar and reordered, not a problem and an excuse for a bit of a leg stretch. Condition of cabins and public rooms was all fine. There were a couple of maintenance issues in our cabin which were fixed with no problem within a couple of hours. Clarins toiletries and a Lavazza coffee machine were included as standard in the junior suite along with bathrobes, in cabin breakfast, pillow menu and pressing of 3 items per person. Excursions were mostly fine. Didn't enjoy the Stingray City one in Grand Cayman which was disorganised, too short, crowded, not as advertised and expensive for £62 per person. Excursions in Cozumel (Mini Speedboat), Roatan (West Island Tour) and Belize (Airboat Ride) met expectations and were as advertised. Entertainment was good. Really enjoyed engaging with the actor hosts who run the quizzes. Phil is a legend! Brett, Naomi, Helen and Matt all work hard too and are worthy of note. The cruise director (Martyn) who had been promoted due to the previous CD (Ted) being unwell over the festive period was first class and will hopefully get a permanent CD position soon. Captain Chris was very amenable and accessible and we looked forward to his updates every day - good weather = bobby dazzler, bad weather = bobby drizzler! He was from Nottingham and so good to talk to. A tiny proportion of the passengers could do with learning this is a family cruise line and to behave better (not youngsters, people in their 40s and 50s using foul language at many times of day regardless of venue, not that any time of day or venue is appropriate). My husband respectfully challenged this and was given a mouthful for his trouble. I raised this with the bar manager and general manager too, the latter who agreed he would be looking into this issue further. Finally, the general manager mentioned above (Darren) was fabulous, so approachable and helpful, considering feedback, both positive and constructive where improvements could be made. He really is an asset to the ship and the company. So, to finalise, even though Thomson cruises have been off our radar for 3 years they are firmly back in the picture for us now, particularly with some of the newer itineraries - a plea to the company though, please extend to families and not restrict to adults only. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We sailed on this ship in May 2017 and had a fantastic holiday. Flight from Birmingham to Montego Bay was long, transfers to ship were good and timely. Cabin the smallest I've ever seen. Cabin service was excellent. Attendant ... Read More
We sailed on this ship in May 2017 and had a fantastic holiday. Flight from Birmingham to Montego Bay was long, transfers to ship were good and timely. Cabin the smallest I've ever seen. Cabin service was excellent. Attendant even went looking for, and found, our missing luggage. Poor service at bars and in restaurants. Queues often caused people to get irate.Although some staff , as always, are the except. Poor quality food, grey fish and rubber chicken, on one occasion. Many meals returned uneaten. Best food was often in the buffet, unfortunately I prefer not to eat my main meals here. Poor entrainment, shows were OK and comedian good , but bands drab and soulless. Decorations, for Christmas, were nice but there was was no atmosphere at all. People were grumbling all around you and the general feeling of dissatisfaction wears you down. Ports visited were excellent as was the excursion we went on. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Overall this was a good Holiday but I booked this last minute and paid half of what some people on board paid, if i had paid the full price I would have been very disappointed. Firstly the ship ex Royal Caribbean,Supposed to have been ... Read More
Overall this was a good Holiday but I booked this last minute and paid half of what some people on board paid, if i had paid the full price I would have been very disappointed. Firstly the ship ex Royal Caribbean,Supposed to have been refurbished a 6 months previously and to be honest the ship looked in good condition a few bits here and there could be improved and tidied up and a few repairs are needed, but don't let that put you off. Staff from almost every part of the ship were very helpful polite, friendly & hard working I never had a bad experience with any of them, service with a smile. Food & Drinks were excellent most of the time there was the odd occasion when a meal may be not what you expected or to your liking but there is always food available at and mainly to a high standard. Entertainment on board was in my opinion to a high standard and the bands and Singers all over the ship were fantastic. The comedian the first week was Don McLean from Crackerjack now in is seventies was Hilariously funny, completely opposite to the one the second week Tank Sherman Mid 50s using material I had heard 35 years ago. To be honest I only had three things that need to sorted to make me go on another Marella cruise again, 1) They don't have no Currency exchange on board unless you carry Sterling with you & they are happy to change that at anytime, but if you go with using credit/ Debit cards there is no way on board or on a lot of the destinations/ ports of call were you can access your money making it very awkward when ashore trying to purchase drinks and food,unless you could find somewhere that accepted plastic, We went from Montego Bay on the second week to Belize, Guatemala, Roatan Honduras & then to Mainland Honduras and at no point could draw any money out of the cash machines as most of them said they did dollars but all the machine said they were empty. 2) Destinations. The First week we went to Cayman Islands, Cuba, Cozumel & Jamaica all these destinations Are fine Plenty to do & see and enjoyed all of these, Second week though we went to Belize, Guatemala, Roatan Honduras & Honduras mainland and to be honest unless you had booked an excursion on board the ship these are not destinations i would recommend, no beaches or Clean ones to be precise other than Roatan which has a purpose made area for the cruise ship Clientele nice beaches, bars and shops. 3) Flight Cabin Staff The Flight out from Gatwick was late leaving but on the whole the experience was fine, the new Dreamliners are a great plane and Very comfortable, But the Cabin staff need to be retrained to inform us all that we do have to fill in the paperwork on board and supply the odd pen, They told us that if we were on the cruise then we didn't have to fill them out, to find out we did, we had to sit on the floor in a crowded airport and fill them out. I Would Like to thank my Cabin Cleaner who worked tirelessly to keep are room clean and tidy and the bar staff & Waiters who work hard to keep your glasses full. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Been on 34 previous cruises as a professional travel writer, now retired, and chose this Christmas cruise to see what TUI had done to the former Legend of the Seas! After spending a total of almost £8,000 for a Grand Suite onboard, and ... Read More
Been on 34 previous cruises as a professional travel writer, now retired, and chose this Christmas cruise to see what TUI had done to the former Legend of the Seas! After spending a total of almost £8,000 for a Grand Suite onboard, and Premium flight from Cardiff, I expected to get a touch of luxury - and wasn't disappointed. The flight was seamless with an excellent cabin crew, plenty of free drinks, and pretty good food for airline standards. We were whizzed through immigration In Montego Bay, and didn't see our baggage from checking in at Cardiff until we reached our cabin. The ship is elderly compared to some, but spotlessly clean, and great attention to onboard hygiene. The Grand Suite (Cabin 8006) was roomy with plenty of storage space, settee and two chairs, double bed, his and hers sinks, shower and bath, and a huge balcony with two sunloungers and table and chairs. There was even a Christmas tree, sparkling wine and strawberries to greet us in the suite. Heineken (yes that's correct) our cabin steward was five stars, and got a good tip at the end of the cruise, even though gratuities are not expected on this all inclusive ship. Food in the main restaurant could have been served hotter, but there was plenty of it, and very varied and tasty. The buffet was a bit chaotic, but the alternative fish and chips outlet was excellent, with large portions and plenty of variety. We found all the bars were easy to find our drinks and cocktails, and waiters were on hand to bring drinks to poolside and lounge areas at all times. We stayed on the standard drinks package included in the price, and the only thing missing was my favourite cognac, but I could live without that for two weeks. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was memorable with carols, a visit from Santa for the kids onboard, carrots and mince pies for the reindeer, and SNOW! Realistic flakes falling from the ceiling with the temperature at 30C outside! We never bother with the onboard entertainment, but there seemed to be plenty going on, and we only did one excursion to see the crocodiles in Black River, Jamaica. TUI spend more time in ports than many other cruise lines, and our Captain was certainly more friendly and informative than most. Criticisms? Just a couple of daft things really, like charging for bottled water on an all inclusive cruise, and not providing tenders from remote ports. But on the whole Excellent! Well done TUI! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise as a family holiday with our children and their families. After a week, I became ill with respiratory distress; I went to the Medical Centre and was told that I might have pneumonia and (without testing) was advised ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a family holiday with our children and their families. After a week, I became ill with respiratory distress; I went to the Medical Centre and was told that I might have pneumonia and (without testing) was advised to have a special IV treatment of antibiotics, oxygen and steroids for four sessions over two days. My other option was helicopter evacuation to the nearest hospital in Havana, Cuba. Obviously I had little choice and had the treatment. ( I later noticed other guests with IV catheters taped to their arms). Upon return home and seeing doctors and presenting ship treatment records, I was informed that it was extreme, and it has taken me two months to recover from the effects of the illness and the treatment. My invoice for the four IV and oxygen sessions was over $6600. I present this account as a caution for other travellers. While on board one lunchtime, I was bumped by a staff member in the buffet restaurant, and the hot soup I was carrying splashed onto my midsection, left breast and left eye. I hate to think what damage my eye would have sustained had I not been wearing glasses. The staff member attempted to wipe me done which only made the scalding worse. No one else came to my assistance, nor was anyone else summoned. I ran to my stateroom to find ice and to clean up. I then went to reception and asked them to notify the medical centre that I was scalded and needed help as this was outside the centre's regular hours. It took some convincing before they called. I was treated and told that ship personnel would contact me about this accident. That only happened two days later, and rather than receiving any empathy, their language indicated a concern that they avoid a potential lawsuit or a demand for compensation. The staff and administration clearly need to address deficiencies in training regarding these types of accidents. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise for Christmas and New Year for the ports of calls that we have not visited before. The refurbishment to the ship overall looked good. We had booked a junior suite on deck 8, which was nicely appointed. The Captain, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for Christmas and New Year for the ports of calls that we have not visited before. The refurbishment to the ship overall looked good. We had booked a junior suite on deck 8, which was nicely appointed. The Captain, Officers, Crewe and Staff were all efficient, pleasant and helpful. Now the bad points. Most of the ports of call were not what we expected. Many were dirty Port towns which could only be avoided by selecting shore excursions. Inclusive wines and spirits all of very poor quality. Food choice and quality was well below our experience with other cruise lines. Chicken dry, steaks tough, fish over cooked, some vegetables under cooked and tasteless. The New Years dinner was a disaster. Main course took well over an hour to serve and was very poor quality. We tried afternoon tea on two occasions and found sandwiches under hot lamps which made them curled and dry. Scones were hard, jam and cream runny. Entertainment we never found the Broadway theatre more than half full. The show team tried hard but not up to the standard of other ships. We will not be cruising with Marella again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Flight from Gatwick was 1 hour late leaving, but made up the time. Once in Montego Bay smooth transfer on to coach . Check in at port was in a shed. Credit card/Debit card was £1 per person donation taken without any explanation! Once ... Read More
Flight from Gatwick was 1 hour late leaving, but made up the time. Once in Montego Bay smooth transfer on to coach . Check in at port was in a shed. Credit card/Debit card was £1 per person donation taken without any explanation! Once on ship, left to your own devices. No-one met or greeted you. Reception will do as little as possible to assist you. Tui Destionation Sercice staff were worse. Never smiled and totally unhelpful. Food was dire. Service in restaurants was a joke, except no-one was laughing. Entertainment in Broadway Lounge - seen better in my son's school play. The only saving grace was the comedian Don Maclean. Daytime activities were boring and nothing to do on days at sea. Pools and Jacuzzi overrun with children. Glass House child free zone daily from 2 pm until 5 pm. Babies with nappies in pools. Yuck!!! Drinks in all bars were hit and miss. However, the bartenders did try their best.Movies by moonlight on Deck 9 run when bar is in full swing with people thoroughly enjoying a drink or 10. Cabin kept spotless. Would I recommend Marella Discovery 2 to friends, family, colleagues, strangers? No. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The crew was very cooperative, humble, polite and made us feel like home. They accommodated special requested meals (WOW! The Indian meals were amazing!!!). In addition, everyone was very welcoming and treated us like their very own. ... Read More
The crew was very cooperative, humble, polite and made us feel like home. They accommodated special requested meals (WOW! The Indian meals were amazing!!!). In addition, everyone was very welcoming and treated us like their very own. Huge shoutout to the cabin and the restaurant crew for always looking after us, and treating us like special guests. The cabins were always spic and span, no matter when we entered the room and the Indian food was great as well! With regards to the on-board activities, the cruise offered a variety of entertainment from day time sporting events to night time live music and shows. The ports were absolutely stunning as well, from Costa Rica, to Colombia, all the destinations visited were ones to never forget. All in all, this was one of our most favourite vacations and is one to never forget. I would definitely recommend it to everyone !!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Our 6th cruise with Thomson/Tui/Marella and we expected this to be as good as the others in terms of quality to price match for food, service, destinations and entertainment. What a let down. We would have had no problem in recommending ... Read More
Our 6th cruise with Thomson/Tui/Marella and we expected this to be as good as the others in terms of quality to price match for food, service, destinations and entertainment. What a let down. We would have had no problem in recommending this company before, based on previous experiences but now really could not. Arrival - our flight was very late and the air staff gave everybody incorrect information for completing immigration forms for Montego Bay. We all had to change, details or complete extra. At the cruise terminal (tatty large shed!) the procedure was slick and we got onboard. Nobody to direct us to the cabin although to be fair anybody can read signs, so that did not matter. Cabin - deck 3 outside. The cabin was plenty large enough, it looked a bit tired but OK. First thing we spotted was a great ball of grey hair (I removed) on the floor from a previous occupant and a couple of other small bits of rubbish (these were left on the floor and were still there when we left. Toilet and shower were OK although there was not much shower pressure and no toiletries other than a fixed shower gel and bars of soap. Sheets were only changed once in the two weeks - just before the end of week one. Food - Don't agree to share a table, you have to wait ages for the table to fill up, take order and then deliver. Breakfast was a slow affair in the waiter service restaurant and food not that good when you got it. We ate most mornings in the buffet because of this but there you have other issues - mad fight for tables. However the breakfast food there was always fresh and plenty of it - recommended. Only 2 failures - the orange dispense ran out after day three and we had to open cartons of juice ourselves and the fresh fruit (basically melons) were hard and not very tasty. We lunched either in the waiter service which was acceptable for this meal or snacked from the Snack Shack and Glass House. The fish and chips were particularly good, as were the filled rolls. We paid extra to eat in Surf and Turf where waiting staff were plentiful to say the least. Our meals were OK but nothing special - lobster tails were tasty but the fillet steak was a bit chewy. Italian - we had pasta meals on two nights and both times the pasta was stodgy and totally lacked any sauce. Service here by Carlos and his team was very slick and efficient. Being onboard for Christmas day we thought there would be a gala meal - we were at first sitting in the main restaurant. The meal was rushed through, portions poor, roast potatoes (not!), hard stalky brussels and poor tasting pudding.After queuing for 35 minutes to get in we were finished in 45. Not even a bucks fizz offered at breakfast or dinner. Food generally in this restaurant was poor - rib eye steak was less than 1 cm thick, carved honey roast ham looked like it could have come from a packet on a shelf in the supermarket. Since our last cruise with Thomson the soup course has been cut although I expect you could have asked for that extra. Bars - drinks were all inclusive but do you think you could find a cocktail menu anywhere? No. The only place they were displayed once was in the Atrium bar. Waiters in this bar were visible and active but elsewhere they were not. The times we were on deck we sat at the rear of deck 10 - saw a drinks trolley one day and no sign of a waiter any time. Indoor pool - good place to sit and the pool itself was great. Big irritation was the continuous so called music - sounded like a whale birthing and good music to drown yourself by. When I asked the eastern european barman if he had anything a bit more happy he said I should go on Carnival. He totally missed the point - we just wanted something with words! Not even Christmas songs- bah humbug. Entertainment was good in the shows and the two trios but who decided we wanted to listen to a half hour of saxophone or, separately, to a guitarist strumming and beating his guitar. Now we were there for two weeks so what do they do? The main show of the week, a take off of Full Monty was shown in week one and then again as the gala show on Christmas day - not thought out at all. This also applied to the short whodunnit play - Who Killed Rudolph. Ports of call - bad weather caused a change of schedule and severely restricted our time in Cuba (for us one of the main reasons for choosing this week). All other places we had visited in the past but unfortunately they too have gone down hill - progress it's probably called. Poorest description we allocate to the rainforest aerial tram - no better than the cliff lift at Folkestone. A view of the tops of deciduous trees. Cartagena old town is a $20 taxi ride each way plus tip - that's 20+ minutes in a traffic queue. In the old town you are pestered almost every step by someone selling sunglasses, cigars, hats, fridge magnets, emeralds etc. All in all, we would not recommend this cruise and it's a shame that Marella has fallen below previous standards. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I chose this cruise because of by passing the USA...The port of Montego Bay worked for us..me and wife as we live in Toronto.Very smooth process to get on ship...very impreseed with the overall transfer on and off(back to airport) ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of by passing the USA...The port of Montego Bay worked for us..me and wife as we live in Toronto.Very smooth process to get on ship...very impreseed with the overall transfer on and off(back to airport) organised by TUI...excellent job. Cayman tender was disaster...somehow cruise lines cant seem to get it right when there is a tender...I cannot fathom cattle herding people into a waiting area...what a waste of time..there is afar superior and more efficient way if they really want to improve. The bands were awful...this is the West Indies...you need to be upbeat and jumping and waving..the bands were performing as if they were at a WAKE...7 nights of going to a WAKE..a bit too much for me. The theater group and their performance were excellent...now thats lively. I think the cruise director Ian(or whatever his name is) is not up to the job..very poor and boring individual...no imagination..definitely needs replacing....I cannot foresee repeat passengers. The passengers were very nice to talk to....but the majority of English passengers(which is about 99 percent)..are queue jumpers and could not care less ...I was shocked at this behaviour..as coming from Canada we behave civilly...but as I said they are great to talk to..its just this pushing thing...oh well... They need a captain that speaks proper English...his accent is awful..maybe cockney or whatever..I have yet to understand any public announcement from him.. Thats it..... TUI you have anice cruise and ship,but your personnel needs lots of work and need to improve very fast. Read Less
Marella Discovery 2 Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.5 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.5 3.7
Family 3.5 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.5 3.3
Service 4.5 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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