Marella Discovery 2 Cruise Review by DJ1973
- Sail Date: January 2019
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
After a rather farsical check in at Birmingham, with 12 available check in desks and only 3 people working it resulted in a rather long wait. Flight out again wasn't great as one of the toilets was broken which seemed to cause chaos! We were very lucky with ur landing as the weather was awful when we arrived in Montego Bay, however the Captain managed to land at the second attempt, unlike a flight from Gatwick that had to divert to Kingston!
From here in the process was smooth, through immigration in Jamaica, on the bus, through the port check in and on the ship in circa 1 hour 25 minutes, despite the traffic being bad due to the weather.
We were show to our cabin, a Junior suite on deck 8 starboard side, and were very impressed with what we saw. Bathroom to the left, with a bath and shower, then a large bed (2 singles joined together), a settee, 2 arm chairs, a foot rest and a coffee table then leading out onto the balcony which had a sunbed, 2 chairs & a table. We noticed most other balconies had 2 sunbeds however Im sure we could have got a 2nd one of we asked. Our cabin steward Nonet was fantastic for the whole cruise, always calling us by our first names preceeded by Sir & Miss, his towel folding was great and he was a credit to the ship.
Now comes my only real complaint of the whole holiday, the life jacket drill. Scheduled for 18.30, then moved to 20.00 due to late flights, which is understandable. Our cases arrived by 19.00 (about 1.5 hours after getting on the ship), so we decided to unpack, go to the life jacket drill then eat. so we arrived where we were supposed to be at 20.00, got told eventually to go to Venue to wait. By now it was 20.15 and no sign of the drill commencing, around 20.25 an announcement was made saying it would commence 'shortly', finally at around 20.50 the drill commenced, which led to a rather hangry grumpy passenger who hadn't eaten!
Ports - The first day we were at sea but managed to easily get a sunbed, then day 2 was Grand Cayman. Little tip here, as its the only port using tenders on the whole cruise it was very busy between around 9.30 & 12.30 to get of, so Id advise you hang around till about 12.30 (unless you are on an organised trip). Grand Cayman was beautiful, clean, lovely bars, vibrant but be aware, very expensive! 25 dollars for a bottle of cider & a daiquiri!! Next 2 days was Havanna, again the queues to get through immigration were crazy for the first couple of hours so we waited until around 4.30 then sailed through. You are right in the middle of town so can easily do your own thing. Final port of the first week was Cozumel, again you are right in the middle of a huge shopping complex, however we did the speed boat/snorkel trip off the boat. On arriving back in Jamaica we decided to make the most of the ship being very, even eerily quiet, to enjoy some downtime. Week 2 and first stop was Santa Marta in Colombia. Again you are around a 5 minute walk into the town, its a bussling town, you will get pestered lots however I didn't feel unsafe, there are a lot of armed police around. Its an ok town however my least favourite port we visited. Next to Caragena. Little tip here, if you don't want to do a trip or venture in a taxi to the old town, then go to the little zoo/gardens place right in the port, its amazing, with parrots, flamingos, lizards, monkeys, birds, and best of all free!! Theres a lovely little bar and gift shop there, and we had a great couple of hours there. Next stop Panama. I strongly advise you do an organised trip here or stay on the boat, as Colon is very very run down and there were warnings in the Cruise news to be careful. We did the aerial tram/Eco Gardens trip, and on driving through Colon its the only place we went were I really wouldn't have wanted to walk around! The trip was great, got to see the Panama Canal, a sloth in the wild which was the highlight, and also sloths in a rehabilitation centre. The trip is a must for animal lovers. The main trip they do here is the Panama Canal Ferry, however be aware this trip leaves at 6.30am and is around 8 hours long. Finally on to Costa Rica where we did the 3 hour amazon river trip, again saw loads of wildlife, more sloths, crocodiles, monkeys. Trips off the ship are pricey but in general very good.
Entertainment - The shows each night were fantastic, and Nashville was one of the best shows I have seen on a cruise ship. So please make an effort to go. Guest comedians both weeks. Also live music in Live room after the shows, in the Atrium there was often a singer too. so plenty to keep you entertained & of a great standard.
Food - Plenty of choice. Islands was great for breakfast, Snack Shack perfect to grab a burger, salad, sandwich, fish & chips on the go or sit down. The main restaurant is 47 degrees, with the upstairs Gallery 47, which also has an Italian section. The food was on the whole great. If you want a table for 2 you may have to wait upto 30 mins in busy times but they give you a buzzer so you don't have to hang around. The Italian has 2 menus which it rotates so we tried both of them and theres a different menu each night in 47. We also ate at Kora La, whoch was lovely but £22.95 per person, and in surf & turf which was absolutely amazing. £28 pp, however I had the steak and lobster which wa sout of this worl, so please treat yourselves if you like a steak!
Bars - Plenty of bars to choose from however our favourite was Bar 11, up on deck 11. wed go there before dinner for a drink. They do 'smokey' cocktails which are great, and come served in either smoke filled glass boxes or jars. They are free if on premium AI or £2.50 if not. The atrium bar was also nice and busy, an we used to go to the Live Room after the show.
Cabin - we had 8554, slightly further back than wed usually choose however due to the over hang, which stops at around 8544, we decided to go further back. Quite a bit of vibration at times however we got used to that, and also occasionally heard sunbeds being moved above us but nothing to disturb us.
All in all a great cruise, a lovely ship, fantastic entertainment, amazing staff, including Phillip who will entertain you all day with his 'beep beep, room service, no card no charge' drinks trolley on the pool deck, great food and all in all great ports
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