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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
Chose this cruise as part of a cruise and stay holiday.Reviews were mixed but we took a chance as we’d been on 3 Thomson cruises before, although the last one was 10 years ago. What a mistake. The Lido buffet restaurant was awful, horrid ... Read More
Chose this cruise as part of a cruise and stay holiday.Reviews were mixed but we took a chance as we’d been on 3 Thomson cruises before, although the last one was 10 years ago. What a mistake. The Lido buffet restaurant was awful, horrid seating, massive queues and mediocre food. The Sirens was a lot better for breakfast and lunch. The Orion was no bad for dinner, but I wouldn’t call the food cruise standard as I know it. Nice large cabin, lovely theatre and good entertainment. Deck 8 laid out nicely, but not many quiet places. Far too many smoking areas. This ship is ideal for smokers and young families, but not for us. TUI is definitely the bottom end of the market. It’s a shame as our previous cruises with the Thomson line were very good and we have some lovely memories of them. We will not return. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
This Cruise was chosen by friends who have been on many cruises. We have never been on one so to us it was a whole new experience. From start to finish the experience was brilliant. The highlights were the Restaurant 47 and the other ... Read More
This Cruise was chosen by friends who have been on many cruises. We have never been on one so to us it was a whole new experience. From start to finish the experience was brilliant. The highlights were the Restaurant 47 and the other speciality Restaurants. The meals in these are just out of this world and where supplements were paid it was worth every single penny. At 47 we sat at Table 124 numerous times with the Worlds Best Waiter Baskaran. He was out standing and made us come back to the same table 8 times. Fault-less. The Entertainment and the Entertainment staff were so professional that it was hard to believe we were on a cruise ship All in all the only Complaint was after paying so much for terrific Cruise to be asked to PAY for wifi in the 21st Century was truly a joke, if you want money for wifi ask us to pay with the rest of the holiday not after…. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
For context, we are Princess people and have also cruised with P and O and NCL. Chose this cruise due to itinerary, date and regional flight. Knew it would not be as special as Princess and so it turned out but was very enjoyable and ... Read More
For context, we are Princess people and have also cruised with P and O and NCL. Chose this cruise due to itinerary, date and regional flight. Knew it would not be as special as Princess and so it turned out but was very enjoyable and decent value for money. The flights, transfers and embarkation/disembarkation arrangements were excellent. Things that were better: size of cabin and bathroom, drinks prices, included tips. Things that were worse: bar service was a bit offhand, slow and they did not know how to serve certain drinks; food in the main restaurant was nothing special (we did try Kora La, the Asian restaurant which was very good); felt crowded on the day at sea. The worst comparison however was the "entertainment" - the theatre shows had excellent dancing but terrible singing and the two bands playing in the lounges were just dire and far far too loud. A grand piano sat untouched in Tides while the pianist was stuck in a closed room and the "party band" could be heard above him! The quizzes were badly presented and indeed all the entertainment staff seemed too young and far from interested. Two really bad things that I will be taking up with the company - I have never been as ripped off as paying £15 for the use of the safe and far more importantly the safety briefing commenced 2 minutes after we boarded while people were still finding their cabins and no effort was made to ensure everyone attended; worth mentioning that the medical questonnaires were dumped in a heap on a table and not counted or presumably checked. We also greatly missed the central atrium as there was literally nowhere quiet to chat in the evenings. In summary, a decent week away but not one I would consider suitable for any kind of "big trip"/special occasion. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We have been on 20+ cruises with the TUI group but not on this ship. We used the Thomson shop to book as my husband needed a welfare taxi (this is free and very helpful of TUI). The shop staff know ... Read More
We have been on 20+ cruises with the TUI group but not on this ship. We used the Thomson shop to book as my husband needed a welfare taxi (this is free and very helpful of TUI). The shop staff know our needs and they spent hours on the phone trying to book us a cabin with shower but NO bath. Seems their call centre is in South Africa and staff were unhelpful and rude. Eventually managed (we thought to book one). £45 to secure. Flight was good, taxi waiting and check in went smoothly but gangway really steep. We cannot fault the crew who had to carry my husband up and down but this put us off disembarking in most ports. As usual all staff were lovely and our thanks go Lara from reception who managed to change our cabin on the third day, Amy, bar manager who reserved us VIP seats in the Broadway lounge. Also Clemente who assisted and brought us drinks and Leroy Brown who seemed to sort us in which ever restaurant we ate in. It was a hassle going around the ship. Lifts were small and we sometimes waited 20 mins for a wheelchair space and door ramps were too steep for little me. But lovely fellow guests often helped. Especial thanks to Janet and John for their kindness and friendship. Food was mostly good although there seem to have been some cut backs, Drinks were excellent with named brands. Even though we had to down grade our cabin both were comfortable and we slept well, We enjoyed the show team and the comedian. Best we have seen. I had a "Botox" hair conditioner and wash and blow dry that was expertly done for £42. We only got off in Medeira and took a taxi to the main street, We had a drink in a bar and I left my husband there while I shopped. We also got off in Lanzarote and went along the prom,. Excursions were out because my husband cannot get on a coach. Officers were friendly on this ship and often around as was the Captain. Disembarkation was fine but after boarding in Tenerife we were told the windscreen was cracked and plane grounded. Taken to a lovely hotel but problems getting back to airport and grounded, then diverted so we ended up in Liverpool. Nightmare journey back on an old bus. We eventually rebelled and left at Manchester airport hotel. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
6 islands cruise. We chose this cruise as initially all 6 islands were ones we hadn't visited. Unfortunately,3 had to be changed prior to departure but at least we didn't end up with our dreaded "days at sea" ... Read More
6 islands cruise. We chose this cruise as initially all 6 islands were ones we hadn't visited. Unfortunately,3 had to be changed prior to departure but at least we didn't end up with our dreaded "days at sea" Overall an excellent week. Overwhelmingly, staff were friendly, attentive and helpful. Typically- our cabin stewardess Serina was superb. Food was excellent in all the places we tried. Mostly for evenings we used either 47 or Gallery 47 (both included in price). Plenty of choice and well presented. We had a couple of breakfasts where the waiting staff were somewhat disorganised - eg coffee turning up, followed 10 minutes later, after numerous requests, by milk and a further 5 minutes for tea spoons (forks work well provided you use the wrong end!!) The inclusive drinks range was sufficiently extensive for most people with few exclusions. I suppose if you only like one specific brand you may be disappointed (eg Remy Martin brandy is excluded as is champagne) but genuine Bacardi and named Whiskies were included and the beers/lager were good for my taste. We would certainly not have benefitted from the Premium upgrade although we did pay extra a couple of times at the Coffee shop which we enjoyed. Island buffet was also very good and we used this for breakfast when we had early starts and also at lunch - problem here is trying not to eat too much when you know you face dinner later. Then, of course, there’s always afternoon tea for when you get peckish! Surf and Turf restaurant – We tried to book this from day 1 for any night but the best we could get was, on day 2, to be put on a stand-by list for the week! We didn’t get in. As we were on a cruise and stay we were only on board for one week. We suspect that all bookings went to people for whom this was their second week thus had pre-booked before newcomers arrived. Even though we were told this wasn’t the case, we couldn’t get any other explanation. So if you are cruising for one week only you may not get in which to us felt like we were penalised. Others who had been to Surf and Turf said it was good but maybe not worth the £28 ish supplement each. Snack Shack is worth a visit during the day – some sandwiches / boxed salads to take away and some people loved the fish and chips although we didn’t try that. Bar Eleven, the top floor bar was OK but not as good as some other Tui ships. We were hoping for an “Horizons” type of bar (eg on Celebration and Spirit this was a good sized pleasant relaxed bar with some live relaxed music). We think that sticking Bar Eleven in a thoroughfare between Kora La and Surf and Turf restaurants spoiled the atmosphere noticeably. For us the Atrium was far better although many others must have thought the same as it was sometimes hard to find a table. However if you go to the Atrium later when the show is on in the Broadway lounge, you stand a better chance of getting a seat. Some excellent entertainment here particularly the guitarist. Other watering holes were good with quizzes, music and entertainment aplenty. See separate review for cabin On the dress to impress night I reckon about 60% or so wore DJ’s, most others wore smart casual. I don’t think it matters as long as people are seen to make some sort of effort. We were lucky enough to get last minute seats on the Death in Paradise excursion on Guadaloupe. This wasn’t available online before the cruise and was thus a pleasant surprise for us. We only found out accidentally at the excursions counter onboard – no idea why Tui hadn’t advertised it – staff didn’t know. And finally, where did the name Marella come from. I see Tui don’t call their German ships Marella. Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Regent Seven Seas, Princess, P&O, Norwegian Cruise lines, MSC, Silversea etc . Compared with those I think Marella sounds second rate. Even Tui would sound better. Just couldn't spend enough time on board to try everything out so certainly large enough ship for our needs and transport between islands. Overall, very good ship, staff and entertainment with plenty to keep all well fed, watered and entertained. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Choose this cruise because of destination and price for our party. Getting there was a bit of a nightmare because of the bad weather and closure of Dublin airport. We elected to book alternative flights from Belfast which did get out and ... Read More
Choose this cruise because of destination and price for our party. Getting there was a bit of a nightmare because of the bad weather and closure of Dublin airport. We elected to book alternative flights from Belfast which did get out and we got to Tenerife in time to embark. We had inside cabins on deck 7 which were clean and very pleasant throughout our cruise. We did have 1 night when the water was off for maintenance but this was no problem as work took place late at night. We ate at buffet restaurants for breakfast and lunch and at Orion in the evening. We did try kora la the Asian restaurant which was excellent. Would have liked to try the others but couldn’t get booked. The choice of food at all restaurants we ate at was excellent and served every taste. We had the all inclusive drinks package and didn’t feel the need to upgrade as it was adequate for and offered cocktails, wine, prosecco and spirits as choices. Entertainment while not west end show standard, was good and we thoroughly enjoyed the visiting artist Mark Daniels. We enjoyed the evening game shows which required the involvement of passengers - they were good fun. There was always live music in the different bars. Thought the option of the card room and quiet room with jigsaws was good. The coffee bar explorer was a popular spot and we never got to use it as it was always too busy for our group of 6 to get a seat. The ports were excellent - especially Madeira. Wasn’t keen on Agadir but the bad weather probably didn’t help.we did miss out on las Palma because of delay in getting all passengers on board but this wasn’t a problem. Everyone got on board credit as compensation which we found most generous. We did take ships excursions at Madeira and Agadir. Found everyone from our cabin steward to the ships officers to be very pleasant and always smiling - happy to stop and chat or give direction as needed. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Wanted to try a cruise as many friends have loved them, took a chance and booked the only one going during my husbands big birthday! Wondered if we had done the right thing afterwards as read some bad reviews and we are quite fussy ... Read More
Wanted to try a cruise as many friends have loved them, took a chance and booked the only one going during my husbands big birthday! Wondered if we had done the right thing afterwards as read some bad reviews and we are quite fussy customers who usually book sheduled airlines and hotels or stay with friends abroad, thought we might have made a massive mistake as got closer to departure date! The airline (Tui's own) not the best, and this was probaby the worst part, as used to KLM or Finnair where you get superb service and free hot food/drinks onboard. Not too impressed with professionalism of stewards, but put up with it and food not that bad, even if you have to pay for it. Embarkation a hit and miss experience at the end of a tiring day (delayed by that awful snow in Edinburgh). Once on the ship however, a different story completely! We were totally blown away by the quality of the service, the food was second to none (compared to best hotels and restaurants we have tried throughout the world),they simply couldn't do enough to help you enjoy your holiday. OK the cabin, although deluxe was not super decor, but it was clean, a good size and had everything it needed. Loved the choice of bars and dined in the wonderful Orion a la carte restaurant each night. Well worth paying for the drinks package as some great bars we really enjoyed each night. The shows not first class like the West End, but to be fair they did very well considering limitations of stage size etc and wouldn't knock their talent or enthuisiam. Will be going back next year to do the same cruise for my big birthday, can't wait. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
have read some of the reviews on here we was worried before travelled .however when we got there we was surprised .we have cruised on most of the big cruise lines so going on a smaller ship was new to us .we felt the service and friendly ... Read More
have read some of the reviews on here we was worried before travelled .however when we got there we was surprised .we have cruised on most of the big cruise lines so going on a smaller ship was new to us .we felt the service and friendly staff made our trip .we upgraded to premier drinks package (no big bills at the end) the food was equal to that of many other ship in the orian restaurant could have been better in the buffet restaurant the food was hot and there was always some thing I liked and iam a funny eater the advantage of a smaller ship the queues are not as bad ..as my wife and the the 2 others with me where smokers we found the casino lounge with its outside smoke area plus the 3 guys singing where very good we had a room on deck 7 a cruise ship standard very clean ..its a old ship but many areas have been refurbished at the end of the day if you want to go on a bigger ship and pay £000000 more its your choice but we was more than satisfied Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We did a 2 week cruise on Marella Discovery visiting many Caribbean islands we had not previously visited on other ships. We were so impressed with this ship with its wonderful friendly staff. It started with the Thomson flight, plenty ... Read More
We did a 2 week cruise on Marella Discovery visiting many Caribbean islands we had not previously visited on other ships. We were so impressed with this ship with its wonderful friendly staff. It started with the Thomson flight, plenty of legroom, a new aircraft and plenty of food and drink that you could want, it was a really good flight. We have cruised with many other cruise lines but never with Tui, this was our first. From the word go everything was so well organised. We enjoyed the food in all the restaurants. We visited Surf and Turf on two occasions and the food was amazing as was the service too, this restaurant was an added supplement as was Hot Stones and Kora La but the food in all three restaurants was brilliant we had beautiful meals in all three, well worth the supplement. The 47 and Gallery restaurants were very good too, well presented food and good choices. The buffet in Islands was also very good with a good choice of food every day. There was a self service beer and wine area near the entrance to Islands and I was so impressed with how spotlessly clean it was always kept. I commented to the guy who went over and above keeping this area tip top, his name was Stephan and well worth a mention. The quality of the inclusive wines was very good and although we occasionally ordered a bottle of wine it was certainly not on a regular basis. The entertainment was also excellent, although we did not get to every show, we were too tired on a few occasions but the shows we saw were really good. The comedian was really funny and the dancers very professional and top quality entertainment. It was such a happy atmosphere on this ship, like no other we have been on previously. Including P&O, Fred Olsen, Princess and Royal Caribbean, they certainly have got a good product with an excellent team and we will certainly be cruising on this ship again. Danni and Danielle at reception were very professional and went to so much trouble to sort out any queries and problems we had and all the reception staff were brilliant too. I must mention Claudia, social hostess who did such an excellent job hosting various events, so professional and friendly and made everyone feel special. We were a bit unsure about cruising with Tui for the first time but I must say we were extremely satisfied with the whole package, certainly as good as any other line we've cruised with in fact a lot better than most. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this as our first cruise as we have holidayed many times with Thomsons/TUI and have always been happy with the service and standards in their hotels.They obviously haven't replicated that level on the Marella Dream as its a ... Read More
We chose this as our first cruise as we have holidayed many times with Thomsons/TUI and have always been happy with the service and standards in their hotels.They obviously haven't replicated that level on the Marella Dream as its a tired old ship that should have been scrapped years ago. A few tips from Thomsons who knew it was our first cruise would have helped ,such as you cant use cash on board as everything has to be done though a cabin account which we had to open. We were berthed on deck seven and whilst the cabin was old with mould between the tiles in the bathroom it was well serviced by a really good attendant (who we tipped as he deserved it) The air con in the room was efficient but overly loud all the time making it hard to sleep for the first few nights till we got used to it .Do not be fooled by the term swimming pool because it isn't more than a glorified paddling pool which the kids loved especially as it was only a meter deep and a quarter the size of your local swimming baths -The 2 Jacuzzis had young children in them every day they were open even though the sign says no under 13s.There was no t.v. or sports bar and the only tv was in your cabin covering world and sports news headlines.There were lots of things that came at an extra cost-such as wifi at £8 per day and even though we were all inclusive the waiters pushed us to get the premium drinks package for another £199 for two weeks which we declined-There was even a charge for bottled water in your cabin- A cup of tea and a tour of the bridge was another £10.If my wife wanted to do Pilates it was another £7 per session.The entertainment was repetitive and although the dancers tried hard the shows were pretty amateurish. The best night was the visiting uk comedian who filled the theatre for both shows he did.There are 3 resident musical acts in the different bars and to be honest they tried but were average at best. As for meals,we had breakfast/lunch and afternoon tea in Sirens which was good although the furniture was very old-The main downfall was the evening meals--If you ate in the Lido buffet restaurant it was poorly set out with soup next to desserts and by the time you had zig zagged back to your seat most of your food was almost cold and if you picked a bad time to go the queue was out the door- an awful experience.If you ate in the waiter service Orion restaurant the service was slow and you were guaranteed to get at least one course that was either almost cold or looked inedible--You could actually pay an extra £16-£20 for a better dining experience in different areas if you wished but we declined.The restaurant and bar staff worked very hard and although lacking in numbers were on the whole very helpful.We did meet some very nice people on the cruise and the benefit of dining in the waiter service restaurant was you could share your holiday experience with others most of whom were equally disappointed with the Dream--I know lots of people enjoyed the Dream based on their reviews but I can only state how we felt about the experience. I hope this isn't our last cruise because I know there are better operators out there offering quality cruises but it will take some time before we get over spending so much and getting so little in return-- Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We have just returned from a fantastic week on the dream, the ship is a grand old white lady . Our room was nice and clean from what I could see but I didn’t go round on my hands and knees like some of the sad critics, as I didn’t have ... Read More
We have just returned from a fantastic week on the dream, the ship is a grand old white lady . Our room was nice and clean from what I could see but I didn’t go round on my hands and knees like some of the sad critics, as I didn’t have time as we were enjoying our holiday. The food was nice and hot , we ate mainly in the mdr as we like to be waited on and the staff worked really hard to please people. We really liked the entertainment and thought they worked really hard. The ports of call were good as well and having good weather made a big difference. This ship is not as glamorous as the Discovery ships, but we still had a great time and made some new friends. At the end of the day a holiday is what you make it, if you want to go looking for faults then I’m sure you will find some, but that’s not what we went for. We really liked this ship and it’s staff and would definitely go on her again. Ps If people come up to you when you first get on and start moaning then just tell them to do one as this happened to us, sad people. Go and enjoy Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We did the 7 day cruise 8 years ago as a sampler (our first cruise - Thomson Dreams) along with a 7 day beach stay. Decided on 14 days this time (our 6th cruise) Perfect flight and transfer to liner. Upgraded to deluxe cabin (No.230) ... Read More
We did the 7 day cruise 8 years ago as a sampler (our first cruise - Thomson Dreams) along with a 7 day beach stay. Decided on 14 days this time (our 6th cruise) Perfect flight and transfer to liner. Upgraded to deluxe cabin (No.230) well worth it. Food and service is top class. Anyone who complains is probably a habitual complainer. However, we did take out the All Inclusive drinks package. Unless you drink like a fish, don't take it. The "house" table wine, (served by the glass) was not only the worst I have ever had on A.I. (16 years all around the world) but you'd have a job to buy anything so bad. Very, very cheap Spanish. The remaining A.I. drinks were ok unless you wanted premium shorts cocktails or bottled beers. (Supplements of £2.50 upwards.) Unlike some other cruises we have been on, the overall price of drinks, beer cocktails, shorts and wine, were very reasonable The other issue was Wi-Fi. £49 for 7 days or £95 for the 14 day cruise. Not only was it ridiculously expensive but it didn't work. I eventually got a full refund after 48 hours. Either get a sim with plenty of data allowance or use the Wi-Fi cafes in each port. The only other small gripe was the charge of £25 for the cabin safe. You can buy a fully electronic small safe for £100 so this charge was a complete rip off. Those things apart, we thoroughly enjoyed the whole cruise. The evening stage show was as good as anything you will see anywhere and there were a couple of performers who should be on B.G.T.! We saw every show ( not my personal scene) for all 14 nights - they were that good! Our cabin boy was excellent, he thoroughly deserved the extra tip we gave him. Return to airport and flight back were perfect. So overall, a great cruise, marred only by a couple of issues which Marella should be able to rectify. Would we go again? YES! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Lovely looking ship and cabin was clean and functional. Cabin staff great (Boyana). The excursions we chose were good and reasonably priced. However, the food was a major let down. We tried the Waiter Service Dining Room - ‘poached ... Read More
Lovely looking ship and cabin was clean and functional. Cabin staff great (Boyana). The excursions we chose were good and reasonably priced. However, the food was a major let down. We tried the Waiter Service Dining Room - ‘poached eggs’ consisted of one yolk that was just about warm, served with two pieces of bacon. The Buffet Breakfast was ok - the Buffet Lunch was poor - we actually could not find anything we wanted to eat on three days - and ended up with cheese and crackers. The Italian in the evenings was the best choice and although we knew the menu completely by the end of the week. Afternoon Tea was the best meal of the day. We ate once only, thank goodness, at Kore La, Speciality Restaurant - never had fusion food like that and will never do again hopefully. Total waste of money. The pool area was ok but noisy, however the Glass House was an oasis of calm. Would not go on this ship again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
Good spacious cabin, bathroom outdated -awkward to use shower and toilet. No balconies on this boat. Very crowded around pools but there were other desk areas. Food good choice at buffets but a lot was pretty tasteless and could be stale - ... Read More
Good spacious cabin, bathroom outdated -awkward to use shower and toilet. No balconies on this boat. Very crowded around pools but there were other desk areas. Food good choice at buffets but a lot was pretty tasteless and could be stale - felt like a bit of a feeding frenzy sometimes, other dining areas less crowded and food quality a bit better but still very average. Entertainment second rate. Shore excursions much more expensive than picking up trips with local operators. Wifi very expensive on board but good at cafes when we docked each day. Staff were fine and provided useful town maps for each island visited. Major upgrade of boat still left it with limited facilities. Lot of very overweight passengers many did not leave boat when in ports. Good facilities and staff for disabled people and their families. Drinks packages were expensive but house wines were reasonably priced and quality. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This was our first cruise and the December and January reviews were so bad we nearly cancelled. That would have been a big mistake. The general organisation including flights, transfers and daily information about ports of call was ... Read More
This was our first cruise and the December and January reviews were so bad we nearly cancelled. That would have been a big mistake. The general organisation including flights, transfers and daily information about ports of call was excellent. All the staff were helpful, polite and courteous. The ship was immaculately clean and a very high priority was given to hygiene on board. The food in the self-service restaurants was very good and there was a wide variety of choice throughout the day. We felt that he food in the Orion waiter service restaurant was not as good and rather bland, particularly the main course. There was a wide variety of activities to suit most tastes and we particularly enjoyed the shows in the Broadway Lounge. There were plenty of places on board where you could find a pleasant spot if you just wanted to relax during the day to have a coffee or cocktail. Our cabin was very nice with an excellent shower in the bathroom. We had an outside berth and we really enjoyed the view as we entered a different port each morning. The cabin staff were excellent and tidied our cabin in the morning and again before we went to bed at night. The choice of ports was good and it was just a short walk into most of the towns if you want wanted to do your own thing. We had the all inclusive package which gave us a large selection of alcoholic drinks including cocktails. The Marella Dream is about thirty years old and unlike the modern cruise ships it is still a nice looking boat. However, it is starting to look a little tired and dull in places, but it is important to stress again that the boat was kept immaculately clean throughout and this did not detract from us having a very enjoyable holiday. The weather was mixed, but we were out walking every day in shorts, with plenty sunshine and a just few showers. 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
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
3 sisters and our sister in law wanted 7 days somewhere warmer than home. We were all on our first cruise so did not know what to expect! We had 2 cabins next to each other on level 5, they were larger than expected and spotless. Our ... Read More
3 sisters and our sister in law wanted 7 days somewhere warmer than home. We were all on our first cruise so did not know what to expect! We had 2 cabins next to each other on level 5, they were larger than expected and spotless. Our first meal was in the Lido which was ideal after a long day travelling. We then had all our meals in the Orion which was very good, food superb,service friendly by well trained staff, wine glasses always refilled. We loved the Waterside bar in the evening, the trio was great and the atmosphere a little less hectic. We liked th quizzes ( but was amazed at the presenter of the pop one who referred to CARL Simon twice, not Carly, she could have read the questions as she obviously had not. The bingo was great and not too long, I had not played since I was a child! All in all a memorable and great week, we will be back! Very disappointed with Agadir souks trip, far too long in first souk and not longer in the larger one, also being walked through lots of vegetables, which were great but no use to us! The touristy things we were walked past on the way to the bus. There was little time to buy let alone to barter. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This cruise was the first part of a cruise and stay holiday, and we were a little bit apprehensive about going back to an old ship ( a very old ship) we started our cruising holidays on thomsons and the defunct air tours ships but 48 ... Read More
This cruise was the first part of a cruise and stay holiday, and we were a little bit apprehensive about going back to an old ship ( a very old ship) we started our cruising holidays on thomsons and the defunct air tours ships but 48 cruises later and cruising on all the major cruise lines, it was a step back to the celebration, we paid extra for one of the balcony cabins, and it was well worth the money the room was large and spacious and had a bath with over shower, the balcony had two sun beds and a table and chairs, and the room overhaul was perfect, large comfortable bed, a nice size dressing table and ample storage for a two week cruise, black out curtains, fridge, in fact nothing at all was missing and we were very impressed with the room, the ship is small by modern standards but very friendly and that is down to most of the staff being from the phillipenes who have a very friendly nice aptitude to life, a small casino onboard wth two tables for cards one black jack, the other five card caribean poker, and one roulette table this casino is in Hemingway’s piano bar and is a lovely place for pre dinner drink and after a nice place to retire to bed from, with a singer on keyboard and a singer with guitar performing for you, you don’t have a full theatre on this ship but a nice showbar with adequate shows from the on board entertainers and some guest acts, dress code is poor a lot of people who think dressing up is cut off jeans with at t shirt is formal, but overhaul good value for money with all drinks and tips included in the price. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We booked this cruise ship for the first time last year it was so good we booked again for this year, it was really well organised from start to finish, the ship is spotlessly clean and the staff are always there to make your trip more ... Read More
We booked this cruise ship for the first time last year it was so good we booked again for this year, it was really well organised from start to finish, the ship is spotlessly clean and the staff are always there to make your trip more enjoyable, we really enjoyed the shows put one the broadway lounge, the entertainment staff are spectacular, we dined in the Orion some nights the service there was really amaizing don't have to Waite long for your meals and your wine glass is topped up all the time, we also dined in sirens this was self service this was very nice something for everyone. The bars are also very varied again something for all ages, we used the waters edge this was are favourite. The staff there were very good the staff were very friendly special thanks to Navin and Glenny they were amazing the ports of call were very scenic my favourite was Syros and marmaris amaizing holiday overall. Read Less
162 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Spanish Sunsets Cruise : Date of Cruising: 28 May to 4 June 2017 Having cruised previously with Princess, Royal Caribbean and P&O on their larger ships holding 3,500 passengers, we were a little nervous about booking a western ... Read More
Spanish Sunsets Cruise : Date of Cruising: 28 May to 4 June 2017 Having cruised previously with Princess, Royal Caribbean and P&O on their larger ships holding 3,500 passengers, we were a little nervous about booking a western Mediterranean cruise with Thompson (now rebranded TUI), on their newly refurbished flagship ‘Discovery 2’. The TUI ship is a lot smaller carrying just 1900 passengers. Obviously, on ‘Discovery 2’ you don’t get the feeling of space as on the bigger ships and there is no ice rink, sports court, flowrider, water slides, large promenades, zip wires, etc … that you get on the larger cruise ships, everything is obviously scaled down, but so is the price. This ‘Discovery 2’ is a ship that was previously owned by Royal Caribbean but sold to TUI who then have rebranded it along with a major refurbishment in May 2017. I was presently surprised by what I saw and experienced and in most areas my expectations were exceeded. The cabin was first class and on a par with the other cruise liners we have sailed with. It was spacious and well equipped and had we had no complaints what so ever. The restaurant where we dined for our evening meals (Gallery 47), was also excellent with a varied menu and delicious food. The service from the restaurant staff was also first class. No complaints from me and I’m a fussy eater. Breakfast and lunch was in the Islands buffet restaurant and again the food was very good. It did get busy at peak times but going slightly earlier or later meant you could always get a table. (Peak time for breakfast was around 9am). Generally the look of the various areas of the ship was good and taking into account that it was a ‘refurbishment’ and not a ‘refit’ a good job had been done. Most importantly there was new carpeting throughout which is important as nothing makes a ship look more ‘tired’ than worn faded carpeting. There was a variety of entertainment around the ship and most was of a reasonable standard and some excellent. The main disappointment were the shows in the main theatre. Although the singers and dancers were very talented, their choice of material was disappointing and song choices could have been a lot stronger. The production and scenery was good and the seating was very, very comfortable, it was just a shame the the material chosen for them to perform was not the best. Also TUI could have done better by having more variety with professional artists being brought onboard to perform that were of a higher calibre than the TUI resident dancers and singers, as good as they were. There was one variation during the week when we had a comedy magician who was OK but not the best. Most of the crew were very courteous and helpful and the room stewards good although they were not as visible and as ‘chatty’ as some on other cruises we’ve been on. There were two pools (both with jacuzzis), one indoor and one outdoor. Both were of good quality and the indoor one was not overcrowded, as was the outdoor one, but that probably wasn’t helped with the week of our cruise being Spring Bank holiday week, and so there was a large number of children onboard. There were plenty of sun beds around the ship and if you looked around you could find a variety of shaded areas. In summary: There is an old saying that ‘you get what you pay for’, and that is certainly true here. You just get the feel that things are just not quite as big, as plush, as roomy and of the same quality as the cruise companies I’ve made mentioned previously, but for what you pay it is good value for money. As you can probably tell, I’d prefer to cruise with Princess, Royal Caribbean, P&O etc, but for a cheap one week cruise in the Mediterranean then it’s worth considering if ‘money is not is a little tight’. Having spoken to others that have previously sailed with TUI/Thompson, I think this is a step up for the company and the effort they are putting into raising their image and brand in the cruise market is to be commended. If you’ve booked a cruise on ‘Discovery 2’ then I suspect you’ll enjoy it as long as you don’t expect the same experience as on the larger cruise liners who specialise in this type of holiday. I hope this review has proved useful and if you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me at glyn.day@ntlworld.com. Cheers, Glyn Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was our first cruise and we chose it for the itinerary it covered and also the short duration. This cruise is not bad value for the money you have paid especially if you have the free drinks package included. The food choice is good ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we chose it for the itinerary it covered and also the short duration. This cruise is not bad value for the money you have paid especially if you have the free drinks package included. The food choice is good in the Orion restaurant but the Lido is very fast food based. The Entertainment is mediocre and holiday campish. The swimming pools are average size but they are not very clean and although it was forbidden children in nappies were in the pool. service in the restaurant is slow and its frowned upon not to want to sit with other passengers. The tours are value for money and informative if not a little rushed at time. Quality of breakfast in the Orion restaurant is a bit hit and miss with quality tip for travellers dont have the kippers. We did opt for the extra priced steaks one night and they were very good. The gala night dinner is a bit if a farce they sit you in the Broadway lounge for 3/4 hour with a glass of sparkly wine and some if the head crew talk as well as the captain. The dinner after I have to say was the worse food ever. Maybe as we ooted for the second sitting the food had been on warmers for too long. I would not go on another Thomson cruise again Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was our first cruise we chose this mainly for the itinerary of the Greek Islands and short duration. We booked it and then after looking at some of the reviews considered cancelling it, after some deliberation we decided to go with it ... Read More
This was our first cruise we chose this mainly for the itinerary of the Greek Islands and short duration. We booked it and then after looking at some of the reviews considered cancelling it, after some deliberation we decided to go with it but with an open mind. Checking in at the airport and on ship was quite well organised, the ship itself can only be described as tired, from both my perspective as an technical engineer and in line with the reviews that we had read. We suppose that TUI can only do so much though with what they have, the ship being a "few" years old" and having had multiple previous owners along with refits. Our cabin was good, but we had paid for an outside plus. The young lady who tended the room was always pleasant and polite and a credit to her role in the excellent way she serviced the cabin. She was suitably rewarded for this on our departure. The food on board was plentiful and varied meaning that even the most selective could find something adequate to eat in the buffet restaurant areas. The omelette bars at breakfast were good on Decks 8/9 as they were made to your own specification. These bars also served pizzas at certain times during the day as snacks We chose to eat in the Orion served restaurant for our evening meals, the menu choices were fine and again the food was acceptable, but the service was varied across different areas in the restaurant. We had what we considered was good service on only two out of all the evenings that we dined. We had paid for the all inclusive drinks package and on most occasions we had to ask multiple times for wine glasses to be refilled during meals, something that had been reflected in reviews that we had read. I tried the white wine on the first night, after that I stuck to the red which was slightly better and my wife had the rosie. Having read reviews prior to departure we had discussed cancelling the pre-booked drinks package, our advice is look into it closely as what you think your going to get is not always what you are going to get, after all it's all about making money. Local drinks only...Greek Islands Cruise...no Ouzo???. (No worries bought a 1l bottle at the first port 9 euros). If your a big drinker you'll no doubt drink your fill, if your an average drinker you'll probably cover your cost. Again this reflected the reviews we had previously read. We enjoyed the shows in theatre on most nights, some nights were better than others and most of the bands were quite entertaining. Be prepared to get to some of these areas in good time as the best seating was often a premium. During the day some of the daytime entertainment and quizzes were a laugh if nothing else...some people are so competitive. Waiter service to get a drink was inconsistent being good in some areas and poor to non-existent in others, we certainly fetched more drinks than we were served something again that was reflected in reviews we had read after booking. In fact we were asked and served with a drink only twice when by the pool during our week cruise. On another point concerning service we found it annoying as non smokers to be constantly asked if we wanted to buy cheap cigarettes whilst by the pool or on the sun loungers, again this had been commented on in reviews. Towels on sunbeds by the pool is supposedly not permitted, we witnessed this policy enforced only twice during our time on ship, after having seen someone make complaint. A note was left stating that if the lounger was not occupied within the next 30 minutes the towel would be removed, freeing the lounger for use. We enjoyed all the ports of call choosing to do our own thing, with the exception of Kefalonia where we booked a shore excursion "Highlights of Kefalonia". Our advice would be check in detail before considering booking and find out exactly what you are getting as a vist to Melissani Lake, Fiscardo & finally Myrtos Beach turned out to be around six hours on a coach with a couple of toilet stops. Total just over one hour actually off of the coach. No fun for anyone especially the family with two young children who were on our coach and like ourselves had expected time on the beach and not to photograph it from a camera view point 300m above. So the description of the excursion was not particularly accurate. Had it been we would not have booked it, we did receive a gesture of good will on board ship having complained about this. On returning home we decided against writing a further letter to TUI as from past experience any negative contact to their customer services falls on deaf ears. We would advise and early breakfast on the final morning before disembarkation as we struggled to find anywhere to sit and have breakfast, this was around eight o'clock in the morning having checked and settled any outstanding bill before. This was our first cruise to test out the water and we must say we do not see anything not to like about cruising, leaving from one port of call and arriving in another and then an opportunity to explore. We spoke to many seasoned cruisers whilst on ship and their perception of this cruise was less complimentary than ours. Quite a few of them had been on other Thomson Cruise Ships and rated them fair more highly than this vessel so we can only assume that something is missing in the running of things aboard ship, that is down to the TUI management team to sort out. Was it value for money..."well may be bordering on not"...But hey, we read the reviews having booked, we half expected them to be correct and guess what they were. Will we cruise again...?...Most certainly yes, but not on this ship and probably not with Thomson. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Back to Back cruise on Thomson Discovery 13th to the 27th of May 2017 The Tui flight to Palma went ok and we were on the ship by early afternoon, although we had the hassle of reclaiming our bags at the airport and dragging them to the ... Read More
Back to Back cruise on Thomson Discovery 13th to the 27th of May 2017 The Tui flight to Palma went ok and we were on the ship by early afternoon, although we had the hassle of reclaiming our bags at the airport and dragging them to the coach which nowadays we are not used to. The outside cabin on Discovery was nice and storage space was good enough and the cabin was kept ship shape by two very efficient stewards, the shower was corner shaped with a curtain which jumped on you and the sink was a basin type being small round and deeply dished so if you turned the water full on it splashed you and wet the unit through, unbelievably I have never seen such thin and poor quality toilet paper on a ship, surely this must be false economy as three times more than normal had to be used. Discovery is a cold ship with drafts from the prom deck adding to the air conditioning as the doors to the prom deck were not the traditional heavy wood ships doors but two opposing sliding glass panels which both opened completely as would a town centre shop, letting the wind whistle through and it is plain to see that this ship was built for hotter parts of the world than the Med in May. Deck space is plentiful if grubby at the rear of the ship due to spilled drinks and soot specks on the deck that left dirty streaks on deck which I never saw mopped up, or the soot on the after deck sun loungers which were neither cleaned off, and while sun loungers are plentiful on the ship most have seen better days, unfortunately one big fault appears which is most annoying as no chairs are provided on the sun deck for those who have difficulty in getting on and off a sun bed and if you needed a chair it had to be pinched from the deck bar area which is not an ideal solution, and again there were also no chairs on the prom deck which again is a pretty bad and annoying oversight. The all inclusive drinks package cannot be bettered anywhere, and I guess that this is the reason that most passengers booked with Thomson and as drinks are a big part of the budget its a great saver. The bar waiter service on deck was great being constant throughout the day but the plastic drinking vessels are most off putting and they look filthy, possibly the denaturing of the plastic but I am sure any discerning cruise line would not serve drinks to respected customers in such vessels. Many of the plastic drinking vessels cups and plates etc were never collected at sundown, and were in evidence in some parts of the ship the morning after, so the ship is a bit sloppily run by higher management. Discovery is also a ship of music, in the main restaurant and Atrium there are tuneless automatic pianos aimlessly tinkering away by themselves, or pop music when they are not playing. There is live music on deck in the afternoon for those who like deck entertainment, but at all other times there is incessant piped pop music in every part of the ship, even in the restaurants while eating, and heavy metal music at breakfast is not my thing, there is not a quiet lounge in the ship where passengers can sit quietly with a drink and talk to each other, or to just sit quietly, so wherever you go there is non stop background pop music. Food on Discovery was very average but most of the Destiny passengers seemed to appreciate it from the person who started eating by pushing a full sausage into his mouth and then dropping his chin to within 3 inches of his plate and without using a knife shovelled in the rest with just a fork, to the people who held their knives and forks as would a four year old, fine dinning it is not, but I guess on this cruise most passengers didn’t care as long as the food did not run out. On this ship there does not seem to be a formal night or Captain’s dinner, but a “Dress to impress” night, and indeed I was not impressed, Thomson have dropped smart dress, to casual, which has morphed into scruffy as T shirts and jeans with canvas type shoes seem to be the standard, or anything which showed off the tattoos, on the first dress to impress night I wore evening dress which was a mistake, as unfortunately there really was no point, and I never wore a jacket again, I also noticed that many people wore the same clothes for days and one chap wore a somewhat grubby flat cap morning and evening throughout the cruise, although during the second week in the evening just a few jackets were in evidence although the majority were still people who wore jeans or shorts and T Shirt with pumps around the ship. The Main Restaurant had an abundance of staff but the service was the worst I have ever seen on a ship in 30 years of cruising, after being escorted to a table and being given a menu the average time before the starter came was 40 minutes, with the whole three courses taking over an hour and a half and once two hours, we always arrived at the restaurant before 7pm and never left before the first show started at 8:30pm. I was not the only passenger to see that the dining format did not work, and while again the food in the main dining room was not fine dining it was acceptable and always nicely presented it was however never hot, and on two occasions my fish was wet and underdone, then one night we were told after ordering that for some reason? the steak could only be served very well done, (why) so we all cancelled the steak. There were two other bookable restaurants which were at both ends of the dismally and dimly lit Disco Bar 11 and as both were open to the incessant pop music, or the nightly disco music played in the bar 11 any intimate restaurant ambiance was also unachievable. Due to the terribly slow dinning we saw most ships shows at the second nightly performance and the shows in our view were quite poor, the singers were not very good and they had to sing over music which was far too loud straining their voices, and some productions were sort of acting and singing like their take of West Side Story, which they murdered. The guest artists were entertaining being a Yorkshire comedian who was very good, although unfortunately the comedian for the second weeks cruise was again very average, no I'v changed my mine he was poor, there were also two lady singers who were very good but many people got up and sneaked out, not their cup of tea, or possibly a little too sophisticated for this clientele, and after the show the bubbling and gushing cruise director never failed to impress upon us how great they all were, in just case we forgot. The ship's bars were in general dimly lit, with live entertainment in one of them which was a very popular venue, and of course the incessant piped pop music in the other bar lounge areas, although the barmen and bar waiter service was always very good. So to sum up, the cruise ports were very good, as were the ships tours we had booked, although our stay in Naples was cut shorter than stated in my published itinerary and as such we could not risk doing our usual trip around the bay by train to Sorrento and back, which was a lot more than irksome. Thomson have vastly dropped standards for this ship, and for certain Thomson are now targeting the ship at newbies, the first time cruises, a younger clientele and at families, as we were informed that there were 200 children due to board the day we disembarked, in preference to seasoned cruisers who demand better standards than this ship or Thomson TUi are willing to provide. We booked this cruise on the strength of having done 4 previous Thomson cruises, the last one to the Caribbean which was very good, and now it does make me wonder if Thomson have dropped standards throughout the whole fleet in order to target another market, so would we sail on Discovery again? Well its cruising Mr Spock, but not as we know it, so that’s a NO. This review is my own view of this cruise, other reviews may differ Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
I chose this cruise for its itinerary. Venice was wonderful and the Adriatic ports were oh so beautiful. The ship itself was old and dated and through the day the public lounges were SO cold. To the point of wearing a jacket! When ... Read More
I chose this cruise for its itinerary. Venice was wonderful and the Adriatic ports were oh so beautiful. The ship itself was old and dated and through the day the public lounges were SO cold. To the point of wearing a jacket! When asking at reception (which was a very ambient temp. I was told it was cold to compensate for people's body heat. That's would be ok when the lounges were full on an evening but empty through the day. We had an outside plus cabin on deck 5 it was adequate for the needs of 3 adults. We ate in the MDR on an evening. We did notice that the Filipino crew that we had on previous Thomson cruises appears to have been take over by Eastern European s. Not half as friendly as the Filipino s. To the extent that quite of them were quite surly. Indeed a fair number of the Filipino s left the ship in Dubrovnik at the end of their contracts. I have to agree with previous reviewer the service was definitely not so good. We also had to ask for a Wine waiter. Until we sat at the back end of the restaurant near the galley and encountered the lovely Roxanne. Wine waiter extrodinaire. Three nights running she new not only our order but also our room number. The food served in there was faultless good and varied. The entertainment team were fairly new to the ship so need to "gell together" but a good experience was had most nights. A special mention goes to Lewis a member of the entertainment team who had only joined the ship that week. He made my week with his tales of his home life. So camp but so funny (I'm sure he won't mind my discription of him) We only went on the half day Gondolas and St. Marks square tour. Worth every penny for the experience. The service generally was very slow and as previously stated the Eastern European s were surly. Don't be fooled by the all inclusive drinks packages. The drinks are of a very poor quality. MOH only drinks Gordon's gin and sent his drinks back on numerous occasions. Even the Gordon's was a very poor standard and could not possibly be the same strength we have in UK. If you travel with children please be aware that if you order them "Mocktails They occasionally don't listen and serve alcoholic cocktails instead. This has the potential to be dangerous. My son is adult but not allowed to drink luckily on each occasion we were able to spot the difference and stopped him drinking it. We also noticed the gala parade night is no more so yet another example of standards slipping. Disembarkation in Corfu was an absolute shambles. An hour and a half standing in a queue outside or Corfu airport then queues queues and more queues. Get your act together Thomson's. Not sure now if I will cruise again with Thomson but definitely won't be on the Dream. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
This was our second time cruising and we were celebrating my 60th birthday and our silver wedding anniversary. We flew from Manchester to Malaga and once boarded, we decided to stay and explore the ship and rest up. The ship was very ... Read More
This was our second time cruising and we were celebrating my 60th birthday and our silver wedding anniversary. We flew from Manchester to Malaga and once boarded, we decided to stay and explore the ship and rest up. The ship was very clean, our cabins were cleaned twice daily by very friendly cabin staff who made us feel like it was home from home. The food was plentiful and delicious (I'm sure I gained weight) and we made lots of friends. As part of our celebrations, we were invited to dine at the captains table with other guests, a most enjoyable occasion. We paid extra for a photo shoot, a celebration package, which included flowers, Champaign, basket of fruit and of course a cake. A truly memorable occasion I highly recommend the spa treatment, it was fantastic. Everyone on board made you feel special, however, having requested an outside cabin with a queen size bed, we in fact got two single beds at opposite side of the cabin. We are now taking this up with the travel agency who made the booking. in spite of this, we enjoyed our cruise. Read Less
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