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We had been on the celebration last year and thought it was very good value for money. The itinerary was great for the discovery 2 so thought we would give it a go. The ship is big and newer than the celebration. Impressive when you arrive. Luggage delivered to door of cabin with no issue and in a reasonable time. Everything was clean and tidy (I think the only thing I saw which had a bit of mould on was the showers next to the glasshouse pool). Our cabin was towards the back of the ship on starboard side. Reasonable size. Nice seating area with a sofa and table. Plenty of storage - drawers/shelves etc. The balcony is lovely. 2 chairs and a table. Great for sitting out on. The bathroom is quite small but easy to get around in and plenty of room to shower/use the sink. Quiet as it’s at the back of the ship with no bars above it. No cabins opposite which I’m sure reduces the noise too. In all we loved our cabin and it was very well maintained. Fridge in the room. Tea and coffee making facilities. Water dispenser just up the corridor. Hair dryer (not the greatest). On some nights it got really hot as though the air con wasn’t workings well which sometimes made sleeping a bit difficult. Bed was comfortable though. They have an outdoor pool on deck 9 - it did get full fast with people on the sunloungers. We didn’t go in the pool here. We didn’t spend a lot of time on here other than to listen to the music from the live bands. The glasshouse is a nice relaxing place. The pool is nice and the whirl pools are super warm and relaxing. We had a massage from the spa which was lush (a little bit pricey but reasonable). The gym seemed well equipped - I didn’t use it but did some of the free classes there (you can pay extra for Pilates/yoga class). There are various places to eat. We ate most in 47. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner here when we could! It is waiter service so was a real treat. Breakfast has a spread of breads, fruits, salmon and cereals and then you can chose from omelette, English breakfast, fish, daily specials and pancakes. Lunch was 3 courses - excellent! Wine as well. Dinner had excellent choices. Some meals were better than others. I felt most meals were cold or at least warm - I like my food pipping hot which it wasn’t most of the time. Gallery 47 is above 47 and is an Italian restaurant - they only have 2 menus which they rotate. We went twice and had a great menu on both occasions. We didn’t go to the speciality restaurants as it was booked up but they did look good! Islands the buffet restaurant - they do breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea ans dinner. Good views from here. In general they had a good selection of food. The snack shack had good fish and chips and chicken wings. The sandwiches weren’t that good. The glasshouse has food until 1am - good for a midnight curry or burger! Good selection of drinks on the all inclusive but on celebration had a bigger choice of cocktails. You can upgrade or pay about £2.50 for the premium drinks. We loved drinking in the atrium - comfortable, a great space and good to people watch. Bar 11 is also a good way to begin and/or end a night! There is a lot going on during the day but some of it wasn’t that interesting. They had lectures on metabolism, secrets to a flat stomach and swollen ankles - not my cup of tea. They had regular quizzes and also bingo. The deck parties were good - great songs and bands. They also have a film showing outdoors which is cool. The shows were good - great production team. Some lesser known songs on some shows but done well. There’s also a guess act - we had one of the grumbleweeds on our first week which was fun. We enjoyed the behind the scenes tour of the ship and of the broadway showroom - interesting to see how things work. We enjoyed the actors the most. Their play and entertainment in the evening was excellent. I also totally loved the dance couple - Alex and George. They were so good and did dance classes. We were looked after so well. The staff are fabulous. Always attentive, happy and willing to do anything for you. The cabin steward ensured we were comfortable and would always talk to us - they would try help with anything they could. The same in the restaurant - great service. Everyone said hello to you when passing on the corridor etc. The ports were great - places you wouldn’t think to go. In week one we had quite a lot of time at sea (our overnight Havana stop was cut short) which wasn’t ideal. There was a variety of things to do in each port. We did 2 excursions with TUI - the Panama Canal and jaguar rescue centre in Costa Rica. These trips you couldn’t really do on your own so I’m glad we did get to go on them. A lot of their trips though could be done for less than half the price if you did them yourself. The TUI trips have the added bonus that if you are delayed and miss the time to be back on board then they will wait. We wanted a late check out from our cabin but were told that there were no late check out cabins left. Of course you had to pay a fee but for none to be available seemed quite unreasonable. They didn’t even check which room we were in to see if it was available. I wasn’t impressed with that. The dress to impress nights lacked effort from some people who still felt it ok to dine in shorts. People may well like the fact you’re given a choice and it’s up to you what you wear but for me it’s like going to a formal do at home - everyone dresses up as it adds to the atmosphere and you wouldn’t dream in rocking up with your T-shirt on. For me personally I didn’t like that there was no clear dress code and no effort was made even on formal nights by some. I feel that at times the clientele were a little vulgar - swearing in public, pushing into queues etc. One person described the ship as ‘Benidorm at sea’ which I agreed with at times. We had similar experience on celebration. Don’t get me wrong - most people we spoke to were lovely fascinating people. In all, we felt that the cruise was excellent value for money with a delightful cabin and excellent service. Some parts were not to our liking but in the future we decided to look at other cruise liners to get experience on another companys ship. I’d certainly recommend it for a first time cruise.

Good value for money

Marella Discovery 2 Cruise Review by Lottelliott

14 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2019
  • Destination: Caribbean
We had been on the celebration last year and thought it was very good value for money. The itinerary was great for the discovery 2 so thought we would give it a go.

The ship is big and newer than the celebration. Impressive when you arrive.

Luggage delivered to door of cabin with no issue and in a reasonable time. Everything was clean and tidy (I think the only thing I saw which had a bit of mould on was the showers next to the glasshouse pool).

Our cabin was towards the back of the ship on starboard side. Reasonable size. Nice seating area with a sofa and table. Plenty of storage - drawers/shelves etc. The balcony is lovely. 2 chairs and a table. Great for sitting out on.

The bathroom is quite small but easy to get around in and plenty of room to shower/use the sink.

Quiet as it’s at the back of the ship with no bars above it. No cabins opposite which I’m sure reduces the noise too.

In all we loved our cabin and it was very well maintained. Fridge in the room. Tea and coffee making facilities. Water dispenser just up the corridor. Hair dryer (not the greatest).

On some nights it got really hot as though the air con wasn’t workings well which sometimes made sleeping a bit difficult. Bed was comfortable though.

They have an outdoor pool on deck 9 - it did get full fast with people on the sunloungers. We didn’t go in the pool here. We didn’t spend a lot of time on here other than to listen to the music from the live bands.

The glasshouse is a nice relaxing place. The pool is nice and the whirl pools are super warm and relaxing.

We had a massage from the spa which was lush (a little bit pricey but reasonable).

The gym seemed well equipped - I didn’t use it but did some of the free classes there (you can pay extra for Pilates/yoga class).

There are various places to eat. We ate most in 47. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner here when we could! It is waiter service so was a real treat.

Breakfast has a spread of breads, fruits, salmon and cereals and then you can chose from omelette, English breakfast, fish, daily specials and pancakes. Lunch was 3 courses - excellent! Wine as well.

Dinner had excellent choices. Some meals were better than others. I felt most meals were cold or at least warm - I like my food pipping hot which it wasn’t most of the time.

Gallery 47 is above 47 and is an Italian restaurant - they only have 2 menus which they rotate. We went twice and had a great menu on both occasions.

We didn’t go to the speciality restaurants as it was booked up but they did look good!

Islands the buffet restaurant - they do breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea ans dinner. Good views from here. In general they had a good selection of food.

The snack shack had good fish and chips and chicken wings. The sandwiches weren’t that good.

The glasshouse has food until 1am - good for a midnight curry or burger!

Good selection of drinks on the all inclusive but on celebration had a bigger choice of cocktails. You can upgrade or pay about £2.50 for the premium drinks.

We loved drinking in the atrium - comfortable, a great space and good to people watch. Bar 11 is also a good way to begin and/or end a night!

There is a lot going on during the day but some of it wasn’t that interesting. They had lectures on metabolism, secrets to a flat stomach and swollen ankles - not my cup of tea. They had regular quizzes and also bingo. The deck parties were good - great songs and bands. They also have a film showing outdoors which is cool.

The shows were good - great production team. Some lesser known songs on some shows but done well. There’s also a guess act - we had one of the grumbleweeds on our first week which was fun.

We enjoyed the behind the scenes tour of the ship and of the broadway showroom - interesting to see how things work.

We enjoyed the actors the most. Their play and entertainment in the evening was excellent.

I also totally loved the dance couple - Alex and George. They were so good and did dance classes.

We were looked after so well. The staff are fabulous. Always attentive, happy and willing to do anything for you. The cabin steward ensured we were comfortable and would always talk to us - they would try help with anything they could. The same in the restaurant - great service. Everyone said hello to you when passing on the corridor etc.

The ports were great - places you wouldn’t think to go. In week one we had quite a lot of time at sea (our overnight Havana stop was cut short) which wasn’t ideal. There was a variety of things to do in each port.

We did 2 excursions with TUI - the Panama Canal and jaguar rescue centre in Costa Rica. These trips you couldn’t really do on your own so I’m glad we did get to go on them. A lot of their trips though could be done for less than half the price if you did them yourself. The TUI trips have the added bonus that if you are delayed and miss the time to be back on board then they will wait.

We wanted a late check out from our cabin but were told that there were no late check out cabins left. Of course you had to pay a fee but for none to be available seemed quite unreasonable. They didn’t even check which room we were in to see if it was available. I wasn’t impressed with that.

The dress to impress nights lacked effort from some people who still felt it ok to dine in shorts. People may well like the fact you’re given a choice and it’s up to you what you wear but for me it’s like going to a formal do at home - everyone dresses up as it adds to the atmosphere and you wouldn’t dream in rocking up with your T-shirt on. For me personally I didn’t like that there was no clear dress code and no effort was made even on formal nights by some.

I feel that at times the clientele were a little vulgar - swearing in public, pushing into queues etc. One person described the ship as ‘Benidorm at sea’ which I agreed with at times. We had similar experience on celebration. Don’t get me wrong - most people we spoke to were lovely fascinating people.

In all, we felt that the cruise was excellent value for money with a delightful cabin and excellent service. Some parts were not to our liking but in the future we decided to look at other cruise liners to get experience on another companys ship.

I’d certainly recommend it for a first time cruise.
Lottelliott’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
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Cabin Review

Cabin 7612
Towards the back of the ship on starboard side. Reasonable size. Nice seating area with a sofa and table. Plenty of storage - drawers/shelves etc. The balcony is lovely. 2 chairs and a table. Great for sitting out on.
The bathroom is quite small but easy to get around in and plenty of room to shower/use the sink.
Quiet as it’s at the back of the ship with no bars above it. No cabins opposite which I’m sure reduces the noise too.
In all we loved our cabin.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cartagena (Colombia)
    Amazing place.
    Firstly, the port is my favourite - macaws, anteaters, taucons, flamingoes. It’s lovely!
    Do not be put off by the abundance of taxi drivers as you leave the port - all are trying to sell you a tour, if you don’t want it then keep saying no - they were persistent with us! We did our own thing and got a taxi to san Felipe, brilliant views here and cool tunnels to explore. Another taxi into the main town to the clock tower where we entered the walled city - something around every corner, it really is a beautiful place. Plazas, statues, cathedrals, super pretty houses and streets with lush flowers. It was great. We just wondered around checking out whatever took our fancy.
    View All 716 Cartagena (Colombia) Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Panama Canal Tour
    I’ve only knocked it down one because I felt the boat we went on was very crowded with uncomfy plastic chairs which you stuck to. The lunch was so so and ‘free’ soft drinks were just bottles of sugery awefulness. The Panama Canal though was awesome. A brilliant thing to see/do.
    View All 95 Panama Canal Tour Reviews
  • Cozumel
    Brilliant place - so pretty. Loved it. At the port there is a big shopping complex to buy your souvenirs and there’s also a few bars/cafes if you wish (hooters was surprisingly good).
    We had tried to get a snorkelling trip but didn’t have any luck via email. Luckily we found someone going the snorkelling trips. Just outside the port follow the road past the hooters to the left (with the sea behind you). We found people with ‘union worker’ on their top doing the snorkelling trips. We got on one right away.
    Took us to a few stop - all beautiful and great snorkelling, we saw barracuda, sting ray, a turtle, starfish. Was a great day and they did transport to and from the port. Lobo Marino tours was their name.
    View All 6,596 Cozumel Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Cozumel Cruise Port Review
  • Grand Cayman
    We organised a trip to sting ray city online with cayman eco adventures. All paid online meaning didn’t have to carry cash. Met at the port. Mini bus to the boat which was comfortable and not over crowded. Went to 3 stops - starfish beach, a reef with good snorkelling and the stingrays. They were superb creatures. We got to feed them and appreciate them.
    View All 3,351 Grand Cayman Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Grand Cayman Cruise Port Review
  • Havana
    The sail in was amazing. I thought that Cuba was going to be a place where I’d return again and again...but then we got off the ship and wondered around and realised that it’s not all as grand as it first appeared. It was just a bit dirty in places and quite poor looking. The money seems to go on all the tourist visitor attractions. We just wondered round on day 1 and had a nice drink with a good view in one of the rooftop bars. Day 2 we had booked a tour with Havana vintage car tours who were excellent - showed us all the main attractions with brilliant explainations. If I had just gone on this car tour I still would have loved Havana but then I wouldn’t have seen all of Havana either. I felt there were nicer ports to have an over night stay.
    View All 171 Havana Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Havana Cruise Port Review
  • Snorkeling
    Emailed barrets adventures who were able to ensemble a crew at short notice! We went to the ‘fish pond’ which was the best snorkelling I’ve ever done.
    The boat was comfortable. We fed sergeant major fish which meant we were surrounded by them! Quite an experience. The reef is awesome - pretty corals, brightly coloured fish, clear water. Back on the boat we enjoyed a beer before taking a look at doctors cave beach. I loved this trip.
    View All 9 Snorkeling Reviews
  • Sloth Sanctuary
    River trip before hand which was great for spotting wildlife. Quite a lengthy ride it felt to the jaguar rescue centre (which doesn’t have any jaguars). It was great to see but we would have liked more explaination as to why the animals were there - what was wrong with them, how had they been helped, what was needed to get them back into the wild? Without this it just felt like a glorified zoo. We stopped off at a souvenir shop on the way back which was ridiculous because the port had a super big market there.
    View All 11 Sloth Sanctuary Reviews