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2nd cruise with TUI. First time on Discovery. Boat was lovely. Even though the boat was full it was very easy to get a seat in Broadway Show Lounge and The Venue. Easy to get drinks from bars. Food was very good. Staff were friendly and helpful. We had inside deck 2 cabins which were fine. Clean and plenty of storage. Shows are mostly good the occasional not so good. Negatives - Deck 9 where the main pool is was very crowded at times so we tended to go to The Glasshouse but that was indoors but the pool in there was fine. On the last cruise there was specific entertainment for 13 - 17 year old's but teenage club only went up to 16 so my 14 and 17 year old's would not attend as they couldn't have gone together. Didn't stay on boat much during the cruise as for us it is about the places and experiences off the boat. Our teens struggled with a lack of Wifi but to be honest it meant they had to engage with us playing games or talking so I think that is a positive! I would like to give a comprehensive review of the ports so will try to do that further in my review. Our favourite islands by far were Bequia and Bonaire. My least favourite islands were Curacao and Barbados.

A Caribbean Christmas with teens

Marella Discovery Cruise Review by Deans

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2017
  • Destination: Caribbean
2nd cruise with TUI. First time on Discovery. Boat was lovely. Even though the boat was full it was very easy to get a seat in Broadway Show Lounge and The Venue. Easy to get drinks from bars. Food was very good. Staff were friendly and helpful. We had inside deck 2 cabins which were fine. Clean and plenty of storage. Shows are mostly good the occasional not so good.

Negatives - Deck 9 where the main pool is was very crowded at times so we tended to go to The Glasshouse but that was indoors but the pool in there was fine. On the last cruise there was specific entertainment for 13 - 17 year old's but teenage club only went up to 16 so my 14 and 17 year old's would not attend as they couldn't have gone together.

Didn't stay on boat much during the cruise as for us it is about the places and experiences off the boat. Our teens struggled with a lack of Wifi but to be honest it meant they had to engage with us playing games or talking so I think that is a positive! I would like to give a comprehensive review of the ports so will try to do that further in my review. Our favourite islands by far were Bequia and Bonaire. My least favourite islands were Curacao and Barbados.
Deans’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Dining
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Shore Excursions
Ages 16+
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Cabin Review

Cabin 2097
Fine plenty of space

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Antigua
    We went to the port area and got a taxi with 5 other people to Dickenson Bay. We realised that taxis charge per person rather than an amount divided by number of passengers - making taxi fares more expensive than European taxis. He initially wanted to charge us $8 pp each way to another beach saying Dickenson Bay the sea was rough. I had done research and knew Dickenson Bay was only $3pp each way. When I told him this he agreed to take us to Dickenson Bay for this amount. Dickenson Bay was lovely - one of my favourites of the entire 2 weeks. We sat outside Tony's Bar negotiated 2 beds and an umbrella for $20 . $2 to get wifi. There were toilets and a changing area. 4 drinks came to $11. Beach and sea were fantastic.
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  • Barbados
    Walked to The Boat Yard. Took about 30 minutes. Out of port follow the sea to your right and keep walking into Bridgetown then over little bridge with sea still to your right. Pirate Cove first place then The Boat Yard. $20 per person to enter. Get a bed, umbrella, a free drink each, wifi. There are 3 inflatables in the sea and rope swings to play on. A free snorkeling trip but I would advise you to take your own snorkeling equipment if you wanted to do this. A party atmosphere in the bar with lots of music. Staff were very helpful when I thought I had lost some shoes. You also get a free taxi back to the port. The sea was very rough here and it was a windy day - our umbrella blew down! I went for a run along the beach up to the hotels at the far end and some people just put towels on beach for free. Bridgetown looked a bit run down but only saw it from the coach but it didn't appeal to us. A lady said there is a big Woolworth there.
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  • Bequia
    FABULOUS!!! This was one of my favorite places in the 2 weeks. Very quaint and colonial. 7 miles sq and what I always imagined a Caribbean island to be. Tender to shore. Turn right and walk down road that leads onto a shore pathway/boardwalk. Some lovely pretty bars/restaurants/an upmarket hotel along way. About 15 minute walk to St Margarets Beach. Only a few chairs/umbrellas to hire $16 for 2. We continued walking to the very end of the beach and used our towels - it was very quiet hardly anyone around. A few huts on the beach to purchase drinks. We then walked further up a very steep hill to Lower Beach Bay. On the way found a lovely bar and had 4 drinks costing $5 for 2 cokes and $6 for 2 beers. Free wifi available and usable. It was so quiet at Lower Beach Bat we left all our valuables on the beach and we all went into the lovely clear warm water. I would return to this island in a heartbeat - but if you want plenty of things to do it may not be for you.
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  • Grenada
    We really liked this island. It was boxing day and most places were closed. We exited the port and turned left up a steep hill to visit the fort for $2 each. The fort is old and abandoned but if you like photography we got some great quirky/arty photos here. We had a funny experience in a tunnel with some bats and as a family we just had a lot of laughs here. After spending about 45 minutes at the Fort we went into the town and found the Chocolate Cafe/Museum. This was a lovely place were we spent an hour looking at the produce and reading about chocolate manufacture in Grenada. We had 3 drinks, a chocolate ice-cream and 3 chocolate bars for $30 with free Wifi that worked. Had 100% chocolate that was an amazing experience. After we walked round the harbor spotting lots of colorful fish and up a steep hill to a church were we bought some spices for $5. A really enjoyable few hours.
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  • Rainforest Tour
    Went on TUI rainforest tour. Local guide was wonderful and knowledgeable. Went to an old plantation first then went in rain forest. All very interesting but we would have liked longer in the rain forest we were probably only walking for about 60 minutes. The trip only lasted half a day and cost £200 so not sure it represented great value for money. If I was going again I might be tempted to book a trip independently of the cruise company. Many shops/bars say free wifi - but we didn't find any here. The port area was a bit touristy and not to our liking.
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  • St. Lucia
    Arrived here Christmas Day with a poorly son so our initial idea of going to the beach for the day was scrapped as son was too ill. Probably a very different day as it was Christmas Day a few taxis offering short island tour for $10 per person. Walked outside port but everything closed - much prettier island than I expected.
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  • St. Maarten
    15 minute walk from port to beach. Supermarket on your right to buy bottled water at 85c a bottle. $7pp return on a water taxi to beach if you can't walk far. Lots of beds/umbrellas along beach. We paid $30 for 4 beds/2 umbrellas/wifi/a drink each. Beach and sea were lovely. Hurricane damage still evident at many buildings but interesting talking to locals about how thy are coping. They were really pleased to see tourists on the island again.
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  • Tortola
    You could get an island trip on a mulit-coloured bus at the port for $20pp. Lots of people off the boat were doing these. We walked in to town took about 10 minutes. Hurricane damage evidence all around. Saw shoeboxes full of Christmas gifts being delivered to a local school. TUI said Botanical Gardens were closed but we walked to them to look. Local people inside invited us in as they are starting to rebuild them. It was an honor to talk to the people who are trying to rebuild the Botanical Gardens and listen to their stories. We looked around the town but they are still in the process of getting things up and running but again so grateful of your visits.
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