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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Chose this cruise as we were constricted by time and wanted to visit Athens. We had been with Marella before and researched the ship before booking so knew what to expect. Luggage was dropped off at Gatwick and didn’t see it again ... Read More
Chose this cruise as we were constricted by time and wanted to visit Athens. We had been with Marella before and researched the ship before booking so knew what to expect. Luggage was dropped off at Gatwick and didn’t see it again until it was delivered to the cabin (the reverse happened on departure). Embarkation was quick but as there were only 1200 passengers there was no Premium boarding. Our cabin was roomy and clean with better decor than Discovery which was very bland. Plenty of storage and hangers. The balcony was adequate with 2 chairs and a side table, some balconies were larger with sun beds but also had less privacy. Navigating around the ship could be a bit confusing as not all lifts went to deck 9, some stairways gave no indication of what deck you were on and some corridors were dead ends. There were more than sufficient sun beds on the decks for the number of guests. Food was excellent although, being a small ship, there was not a massive choice in the buffet. Plenty of seating in the restaurants. We didn’t do any shore excursions but most destinations were interesting, those that weren’t we went to the beach. We knew beforehand about the vibration but didn’t find it a real problem, it was felt more in some places than others. A few children onboard but not a lot of activities, guests mainly middle aged to elderly. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The cruise was taken with friends one of whom was to celebrate their 60th birthday during the 7 day cruise. No problems at airport or transfer but disappointed that on this cruise we had to deal with our own luggage. Slight mix up on ... Read More
The cruise was taken with friends one of whom was to celebrate their 60th birthday during the 7 day cruise. No problems at airport or transfer but disappointed that on this cruise we had to deal with our own luggage. Slight mix up on room allocation due to being given wrong room number belonging to another couple with very similar names. Rectified before boarding boat and luggage arrived at right room. Our outside cabin on level 6 was plenty big enough for two, plenty of storage and kept clean by very attentive crew member. Food: Self service Sirens and Lido were okay, but sometimes over busy. Didn't seem as much choice as previous cruises. Orion waiter service was generally better, although two incidents of less professional service by one waiter who rushed us on Captains night but allowed others different service and then on final night a wine waiter who was busy doing other tasks rather than keeping our glasses full. Food in Mistrals pretty decent apart from Captains night when it was pretty dire. Also ate one night in Mistrals for the birthday celebration meal. Excellent service and good value. We were all inclusive and upgraded our drinks package. We thought this offered us wider variety and good value for money. Bar staff were excellent and only on a couple of times did we experience any delays in being served. All the music entertainment was pretty good. Not all to my individual taste but pretty good all the same. The shows in the Broadway Lounge were really good, including the guest comedian. The ship is old, but clean and well looked after. Sun beds can be difficult to find on sea days. Overall we would go on the Dream again but on a different route. Madeira was superb but the Canaries hold nothing new for use. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We are fairly recent cruisers and wanted a winter sun break and booked this cruise in January on line. The weather was superb and we were told by the crew the best they have had for several years. We flew from East Midlands to Tenerife and ... Read More
We are fairly recent cruisers and wanted a winter sun break and booked this cruise in January on line. The weather was superb and we were told by the crew the best they have had for several years. We flew from East Midlands to Tenerife and arrangements at departure, on arrival, coaching to Santa Cruz and boarding Marella Dream went like clockwork. The ship is old but is modern in appearance with good quality furnishings and the staff very friendly and helpful, nothing was too much trouble from our room steward to the bar and restaurant staff. Corridors and lift space are a little narrow and not as spacious as more modern ships. The variety of lounges and drinking and dining options were first class as was the food and drinks. We like to be on our own for dinner and for six nights we were served by Jennifer and April who looked after us very well. The Marella Dream Show team and their shows in the Broadway Show Lounge were excellent. Some very good singers and dancers however the comedian Alan Wilkins material was older than us and we are in our 70's. The resident band were again very good with such a wide range of music on offer. Our only disappointment was the lack of space for sunbathing when we had such good weather. We were birthed in walking distance of six of the places we visited which is brilliant. There were lots of excursions and trips arranged which people we spoke to enjoyed. Leaving the cruise was also faultless, colour coded luggage and well organised. Our only disappointment was East Midlands Border Control on the return. It took about 30 minutes to process us which is not acceptable. A superb restful and enjoyable cruise. Thank you TUI. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We wanted to try one of the newer larger ships And we were not disappointed The staff were outstanding The captain (Jason ) and cruise director (Paul Evans) looked after us really well The choice of restaurants was brilliant ... Read More
We wanted to try one of the newer larger ships And we were not disappointed The staff were outstanding The captain (Jason ) and cruise director (Paul Evans) looked after us really well The choice of restaurants was brilliant special mention to marlon Italian and topson who was brilliant attentive barman in bar 11 Show team one of the best I have seen Leah especially wow well done! We had a balcony and it’s worth every penny to hear the sea at night Adriatic itenary the ports especially kotor was unbelievable! Venice and Dubrovnik also were fabulous it’s a great itenary some minor tech issues meant we missed split but we had an extra day at sea and enjoyed the sunshine and cocktails and this means we will have to try and do this all over again! Spoilt for choice on the ship on daily food snack shack was fab too! Thankyou everyone we had fabulous time Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
After watching the reviews from those on the Caribean trip we were a little apprehensive, however, we chose the Greek Island trip just a week and to put to rest anyone's doubt about Marella Discovery 2. we have to say disregard the ... Read More
After watching the reviews from those on the Caribean trip we were a little apprehensive, however, we chose the Greek Island trip just a week and to put to rest anyone's doubt about Marella Discovery 2. we have to say disregard the minority negative comments, we've cruised with TUI/Thomson before and if you've been happy with them you'll be happy with Marella, you receive the same courtesy, politeness, and the main thing the smile from the staff, the food everywhere is lovely in 47 and 47deg. three-course ample plateful really tasty, we didn't try any of the other restaurants didn't feel the need but anyone who does why not. The drinks package is excellent, again I don't see why anyone needs to upgrade but that's a personal choice, I drink lager and normally I don't like Fosters but it was great as was The Corona, Budweiser, and The Peroni, but I found I had a liking for a Tequila Sunrise quite often not to mention The Jamesons nightcap, great, I am now in rehab..... The show in the theatre on an evening was very good a different theme every night and the entertainment staff, in general, deserve a mention for the organising and keeping us all informed, there's live music in most bars. Around the pool area, there are quizzes, live music etc. not for everyone so if not for you go one deck higher and you'll find quiet and an abundance of sunbeds and loads of spaces the ship was full and lack of sunbeds was not an issue, the trolly bar visits regularly to save walking a few feet, well stocked. Someone mentioned the noise from engines etc. we always book a low deck inside cabin and pay to chose where, we had 2745 tucked away and quiet, the only thing about an inside cabin is, if there are no lights on they are pitch black day and night so no window to see if it's dawn, not for everyone. There was a cool drinking water distribution point near the lifts on our floor so I presume they're on others so everyone filled there water bottles up there.There were little things on our cruise that cropped up but nothing to spoil it or even worth mentioning, we saw no one drunk, the majority over ate that includes us, met some lovely people. Bon Voyage. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
My friend and I have just returned from the Marella Dream 'Colourful Coasts' cruise. We enjoyed every minute of our trip. For an older ship she is still in great condition inside, our cabin was spotless and well maintained on ... Read More
My friend and I have just returned from the Marella Dream 'Colourful Coasts' cruise. We enjoyed every minute of our trip. For an older ship she is still in great condition inside, our cabin was spotless and well maintained on a daily basis. We ate in the Orion restaurant every night and we can't fault the food or staff. A good choice of menu and excellent wine waiters! We enjoyed every night in the Broadway theatre, the Dream cast do a fab job and they work hard to provide a good night of entertainment. We also enjoyed listening to the accoustic duo in Tides lounge. All the staff in and around the ship were very nice and accommodating. . We did an excursion in every port we visited. The shore excursions we booked through the ship all went according to plan. We had a fabulous 7 night cruise aboard this ship and we are looking to book another Marella cruise for next spring!! 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
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
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
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: April 2017
Given some of the reviews, I was a little nervous of the cruise but once there we had a good relaxing holiday on the Tui Discovery, three of us in a deluxe balcony room, a little small perhaps but cleaned and tidied every day by very ... Read More
Given some of the reviews, I was a little nervous of the cruise but once there we had a good relaxing holiday on the Tui Discovery, three of us in a deluxe balcony room, a little small perhaps but cleaned and tidied every day by very polite hard working staff. The ship Busy, especially the pool area, some quiet areas at the rear, putting green was fun, the deck chairs were past their best but ok, worth picking up some towel clips, night time movies ok, if you stand still for a while someone will clean you! There are photographers around every night and you can get a private session (they are very good), and the cost is not bad but be aware of the holiday spirit and an average price is still a fair few pounds. It s worth noting that the all inclusive lasts until you leave the ship, so no nasty bar bills at the end of your trip, also you can book out a towel on the last day and store your hand luggage so no need to carry around bulky items. The food We dined in Gallery 47 each night with breakfast and lunch in the Islands restaurant, always found something on the menu to have, again looked after by friendly staff. Unlike some we never had to wait more than a few minutes but we timed it well, not at peak times, late night the Glass house is worth stopping at for a burger or curry, so if you don't like what's on offer wait an hour or so and there will be something different to eat. The drinks We had the standard Inclusive drinks package and we found this to be more than adequate a good range of known brands not local equivalent ones, they did try to sell us the enhanced package but we saw no advantage. The service was good at the bar and from the rooming waiter and waitresses. The water was terrible, so where we could we would get coke and lemonade from the mini bars as they were from bottles, plus we carried on in luggage 6 ltrs of water (heavy case but at least room for duty free on the way home.) Entertainment Something for everyone, the shows were good, given that they do 10 different in 14 days, the musicians were also very good although they did tend to do the same set over and over again in different locations, the virtual band was rubbish. Shore Excursions This one is a mixed bag, the technology is good and you can book a shore excursion quickly and efficiently, but you can get the same package cheaper on shore, but be clear what you are paying for. Although always polite to us, the destinations desk could be better in a number of ways, such as it would be useful if they went on a some of the excursions as some did not do justice to people or islands as we passed through run down villages and piles or industrial rubbish. Swimming with dolphins in Curacao however was the best trip ever. Other Top tips Bring some bubble wrap, a drink bottle, a small funnel and an elastic band with you. Fill the bottle with ice from the ship and a drink, wrap the bottle with bubble wrap and a hand towel from the room, secure with the elastic and that should stay cool for 4 hours or more, at the end of the trip use the bubble wrap to protect your fragile items in your luggage. There are no laundry facilities other than room service, so for the odd item of washing bring a little powder and a few pegs. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We had a super holiday on the Tui Discovery which we had selected based on the ability to directly fly to Barbados and the itinerary of the islands we visited over the 14 days. I was initially a bit worried that is a 20 year old Royal ... Read More
We had a super holiday on the Tui Discovery which we had selected based on the ability to directly fly to Barbados and the itinerary of the islands we visited over the 14 days. I was initially a bit worried that is a 20 year old Royal Caribbean ship that had been modernised however the ship was really nice, modern and well kept. In fact it was a slightly smaller ship than we have been on previously with other cruise companies which meant it was easier to get around and you didn't have to bother waiting for lifts etc. Another big plus from our perspective with this ship was that the drinks prices were very reasonable indeed (almost UK pub prices) which unlike with other cruise companies you didn't have to pay through the nose for your drinks. This meant we didn't have to go through the rigmarole of trying to smuggle bottles of wine like we have done on our past cruises!! We mainly ate in the 47 Degrees and Gallery 47 (the Italian) restaurant and the quality of the food was on the whole very good. There was however the occasional course for which the portion sizes were either a bit on the small size or not quite up to standard but this was in the minority. We also ate in the Hot Stone restaurant which was very good and one night we ate in Kara Le the Asian restaurant which was excellent. The service in all the restaurants was good with some excellent individuals but there were a few waiters who probably needed some extra training in my opinion. We had a balcony cabin which was really nice and our cabin steward Carlos was absolutely excellent. Although on most of the islands we did our own thing and used local taxis etc we did do a cycle tour of St Kitts, a hike to a waterfall in Grenada and also the farewell to Barbados tour on our last day with Thomson. I thought the cycle tour was a nice idea and we got to try out an e-bike which I must say are absolutely marvelous in providing you with some extra drive when cycling up hill! Finally, in terms of entertainment we went to a few of the Broadway which I must say we enjoyed. All in all I would certainly recommend Thomson and this ship. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Arriving at Montego Bay was by a beautiful low inflight over the water to land at the airport. The paperwork for transit via Jamaica to the ship took some time and the terminal was hot and sweaty - until the coaches showed up and started ... Read More
Arriving at Montego Bay was by a beautiful low inflight over the water to land at the airport. The paperwork for transit via Jamaica to the ship took some time and the terminal was hot and sweaty - until the coaches showed up and started transferring the passengers to the cruise ship. Be sure to bring a pen with you for when you are queuing! We had wondered if it would be possible to go out somewhere to a beach for a couple of hours before going to the ship for its departure at 8pm, but by the time we had arrived after the 10 hour flight we did not have the initial enthusiasm to go anywhere else than the ship! Plus we were unsure how safe it would be to go around the port area/find a beach with our hand luggage in tow... The room was really nice with adequate space for two. It was a little dusty on the surfaces but that was soon sorted out the following day - changeover day is always busy for the hardworking cabin attendants! Cuba was a fantastic stop for us - cruise terminal is right in old town, it takes minutes to disembark the ship and you can walk around freely and safely (but must take out your passport with you) and fill in a visa form. You can exchange money right in the terminal and there is another exchange place just outside the terminal in the big square. There are also the odd ATM that we spotted in the outskirts of old town. We thought we would walk on our own and then find some agency where we could book an American car tour, but that was not really the set up there because as we entered deeper into Havana, there was no sign of tourist agencies that you might think could be there....it seems that if you don't want to book something through Thomson you can probably negotiate for it right outside the terminal be it American car trips, cart and horse, or walking tours. So we walked all the way to Revolution Square, had a trip up the lift to the watch tower with amazing views over Havana - then took a little 3 seater to Hotel Nationale, where we booked tickets for the show Le Parisien. The ships tour also goes there, which includes transport but we decided to do it ourselves with taxis. We got one welcome drink included in the price, but I would say not to eat there.....My personal view of the show was this is was good to hear the music and see some of the costumes but it was not very professionally done, nor did it have much of a story to it ....I would probably recommend that you skip the two costume shows (the other one Tropicana is more expensive) and get tickets for the Bueno Vista Social Club instead....We managed to get a American car tour ourselves by catching a driver that had just dropped off some other passengers - so we got to see a little of the larger Havana area which was nice and by this time we were also tired from all the walking so it was great to see the town in style and rest our feet! Next stop was Cozumel, Mexico. Here we had decided to rent a car ourselves as there is only one road around the island. This was fine - we found a local agency that closed at 7pm (the larger car rental in the cruise terminal closed at 5pm) so we had plenty of time to drive around. We went to Punta Sur, an eco beach and nature reserve right at the tip of the island and had a great day out there...lovely water to swim in and not so many people on the beach...there is a watch tower for birds and crocs, a small Mayan ruin and a light house with amazing views of the area...you can also have al fresco massage there so be sure to bring your dollars! Lots of shops near the terminal area but they had mostly closed by the time we had showered and changed in the evening so make sure you do your shopping early if that is what you are interested in. There is a Starbucks coffee shop nearby with free internet if you purchase something. Grand Cayman Islands: I would recommend the Stingray City tour, we paid 20 dollars for the trip just walking off the ship (cheaper than Thomson) and had a great couple of hours trying to take photos of the stingrays .....buy a water tight pouch before you go (from Amazon) for your telephone and try and take pics under the water, great fun! Snorkelling was included, and although we did not see so much marine life the water was very clear and it was definitely enjoyable to try. Jamaica: We went on ships' tour Bob Marley's tour to Nine Miles. It was a long day with lots of driving but our guide kept everyone entertained. The roads up to the village are quite scary, with large water trucks meeting you at tight bends of the road so you may wish to sit further back in the mini bus and on the left just in case! I am not sure if the day was worth all the driving - but it gave some insight into the island and some of the themes to Bob Marley's song writing. Oh and yes, there was a kitchen with some unusual 'cooking' - should you wish to have a smoke in honour of Bob! Aruba: Great Island to visit - beaches and island tour for 20 dollars.....just walk off the ship and an island tour bus will take you around to the sights and then leave you a couple of hours on a beach of your choice (and pick you up and return you to ship) .....we nearly booked the private atoll island tour with Thomson's and glad we didn't .....we spoke to some people who went to snorkel there and it was very rocky and not so good waters, and we also noticed that it was very close to the ship ....don't let the beautiful pictures of the atoll fool you, do it your own way! St. Martha, Columbia: There are city walking tours available as you disembark the ship for 30 dollars or the nature reserve and beach for 70 dollars per person if you don't fancy to do the ship's tours .... however, we suggest to do it yourself....St. Martha is perfectly safe, you can walk with your map that they give you just outside the terminal and there is a fantastic museum with information translated into English in the Old town and you can also walk and see the cathedral...for a beach you will need a taxi.....Not so many people speaking English, but you can get by with maps and good humour! Much more relaxed atmosphere here than in Cartagena....very warm and humid here, 32 degrees. Cartagena, Columbia: There is a small zoo with some animals as you disembark the ship. Outside the terminal there are plenty of people selling 3 hour city tours - we paid 20 dollars for one - and ended up in a mini bus and guide and a walk around the old city. You can also negotiate a taxi into town. It is a little bit of a distance so walking would not be recommended. I think there was four cruise ships there so the hop on hop off bus was full - you had to take a taxi into town to buy a ticket for it (which seemed to a little silly) .... great shopping here if you go on your own ... more difficult to shop if you are on a tour....very insistent street sellers - good to bring a hat with you... Panama: I did a Panama City tour with the ship' excursion team ...and my friend the Panama Canal tour. We were both not impressed! My city tour was quite long....and not so much to see in Panama City...we walked with 50 people from the bus around the Old Town, and then there was one hour of free shopping ... but we had no maps, some people had not taken much money with them as Colon was not a very safe port of call ... although there was some renovation going on in the old city really not much to see or do...plus never go with such a large crowd for a city tour! And don't walk around on your own in Colon either .... very poor place. The tour guides that we encountered (except for one in Jamaica) could not speak much English nor did they know much about the places we visited .....the quality of the guides could be better....! Entertainment team talented and good selection of shows; band in Medusa Lounge really good ..... we had a really nice holiday and the selection of the cruise stops were really good. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
The holiday got of to a good start with out outbound flight on the Dreamliner to Barbados. We stopped in a Gatwick hotel overnight as it was an early flight. Unfortunatley our more local airports, Birmingham and Manchester, did not have ... Read More
The holiday got of to a good start with out outbound flight on the Dreamliner to Barbados. We stopped in a Gatwick hotel overnight as it was an early flight. Unfortunatley our more local airports, Birmingham and Manchester, did not have a Dreamliner on the return flight, even though Thomsons advertise that their long haul flights are on a Dreamliner aircraft. The staff in our Thomson holiday superstore, where we booked the holiday, wrongly tried to convince us it was, so always double check. Gatwick security check in is a dream, in and out, compared to our Manchester airport experience on previous flights. Tui Discovery 1 ship is much larger and has better facilities than the Thomson Celebration, which we sailed the Carribean on a previous cruise. The food sadly is nowhere near as good, the steak on 3 occasions was uneaten as it was too tough and the main meal of prawn mac & cheese consisted of a heated pre made bowl of watery food on a plate with no garnish etc, I should have photographed it it was so bad. The staff as always are excellent and can not do enough for you but in the main restaurant they are too busy as they now have to serve the meals and drinks, there are no longer any dedicated wine waiters. The food in the Italian restaurant always seemed much nicer and better presented but there was not enough variation to eat there every night. The Tapas & Pizza bar, situated in the glass house after 6.30pm, is also worth a visit for a change of scenery and a variation of menu. The Breakfast in the main restaurant is superb, as is the food in Islands buffet bar. The casino on board was a great disapointment, on the Celebration we spent many nights playing and (mainly) watching but the Discovery has an electronic Roulette, a few bandits and 3 card tables, which were a £5 minimum bet so not many people were playing. A lot of the Thomson excursions seemed to be aimed at people who enjoyed more active things to do, many of them revolved around snorkelling etc. We did go on a catamaran in Antigua where we were taken to 2 different beaches and enjoyed a wonderful barbequed Lobster lunch. On most of the Islands we found the best way to explore was by using a local taxi driver and asking for an Island tour. This is always cheaper the more passengers there are, sometimes you can share with fellow cruisers. The evening entertainment team worked very hard to provide a different show each night and in the main they were very good. The shows did get a little 'samey' by the second week, as even though they were different, they all consisted of similar song and dance routines. The two comediens that were on during our cruise were very mediocre, especially Maurice Grumbleweed, who wasn't our cup of tea at all. Having said that it's worth a look as we are all different. The itinery of our first week included Matinique and Guadeloupe, these islands are French and only use Euro's as currency. This was not mentioned to us when we booked so we didn't take any with us. No-one we spoke to onboard was aware of this either, consequently the ship ran out of currency quite early in the morning meaning many of us were unable to get euro's to pay for taxis or food ashore. Be careful when leaving on last day as we were assured by reception days before that there was no need to keep your cabin as rooms would be provided to freshen up and change prior to disembarkation. We were provided with a list of about 10 rooms, spread all over the ship for the hundreds of people leaving. We visited all of the listed cabins to find unhappy queues outside every one. We returned to reception to explain only to be told that they were the only rooms available, they were not interested in sorting the out the problem, we even offered to pay as we did not have time to queue but the receptionist was not interested. We had to travel back for some considerable hours without having a shower or being able to properly get changed. Not an ideal situation. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose Thomson's as we thought as first timers we could rely on them to meet our expectations and the Caribbean Mayan Treasures cruise sounded interesting and we should have good weather. Our journey from the airport in Montego ... Read More
We chose Thomson's as we thought as first timers we could rely on them to meet our expectations and the Caribbean Mayan Treasures cruise sounded interesting and we should have good weather. Our journey from the airport in Montego Bay to the embarkation point was quick and embarkation was fairly painless. We had pre-booked cabin 7034 and found this to be quite spacious, spotlessly clean and ample storage. Our steward Renaldo was superb, ensuring we had everything we needed and always had a smile. The only criticism was the window which was dirty on the outside spoiling the views and the frame was quite rusty as were many of the window frames on the ship. There were plenty of activities during the day and we found the evening entertainment very good particularly the resident show team who were all very talented. Service at the bars was good, we had chosen the drinks package which we thought was good value. The self service dining areas were a bit like a canteen and not to our liking for an evening meal, however we enjoyed the Orion restaurant on deck 4 where we ate every night after the first day. Our waiter Clodabaido was friendly and attentive and we felt he did a fantastic job. We only used the swimming pools once as they were quite small and it was rare to be able to get a sunbed near them as people must have reserved them very early in the morning. Overall there was a shortage of sunbeds on the ship. The shore excursions we had pre-booked were good particularly the Roatan Western tour which we thoroughly enjoyed. It was disappointing that our stop Costa Mayo was not possible due to the weather, but Thomson's did refund our booked excursion cost promptly. Disembarkation was OK but having to hand over our cases the night before departure and check out of the cabin by 8.00am was not ideal. Overall we enjoyed our cruise Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Great cruise ,the highlight was the organised trip with thomsons to club tropicana in the vintage cars. Havana was brilliant , the atmosphere, people friendly, the random little jazz bands in bars and delightful cuban kids dancing. We ... Read More
Great cruise ,the highlight was the organised trip with thomsons to club tropicana in the vintage cars. Havana was brilliant , the atmosphere, people friendly, the random little jazz bands in bars and delightful cuban kids dancing. We enjoyed all the shows and the team were very talented. We even enjoyed the staff show especially Geoffrey what a star!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We have just returned from a lovely holiday in the Caribbean aboard Thomson Celebration. We flew out on the Dreamliner and enjoyed the flight. The extra legroom and wider seats really make a difference, after a long flight we still felt ... Read More
We have just returned from a lovely holiday in the Caribbean aboard Thomson Celebration. We flew out on the Dreamliner and enjoyed the flight. The extra legroom and wider seats really make a difference, after a long flight we still felt quite perky after an eight hour flight. Yes the Celebration is an old ship, she cannot match up to the newer more modern ships, but you are not paying their prices. We have sailed on Celebration several times and this cruise we thought that Thomson had upped there game. You could not fault the cleanliness of the ship in all areas, the public areas and cabins were spotless. The staff are wonderful they always have a smile for you and leave you feeling that nothing is to much trouble. We were on deck 6 and did not experience any cabin noise or any nagging electrical faults. The food this cruise was very good both in the Meridian restaurant and the Lido self service restaurant there was plenty of choice to suit all tastes. The entertainment team did a good job and Ben Moss the very talented singer in Hemingways was excellent. We booked two trips with Thomsons and they may be a bit over priced but we did our own thing and saved money on other days. Transfers to and from the port were excellent with no delays. We thoroughly enjoyed this holiday. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
This ticked a lot of boxes for us. We wanted to see Petra for the first time and go back to see the pyramids and Luxor etc again. My partner is more keen on cruising than me but it suited us fine. We aren't interested in the dressing ... Read More
This ticked a lot of boxes for us. We wanted to see Petra for the first time and go back to see the pyramids and Luxor etc again. My partner is more keen on cruising than me but it suited us fine. We aren't interested in the dressing up in the evening aspect and I see little point in doing it on a Thomson cruise anyway. We had a very basic bottom of the boat inside cabin but it was bigger than the one we had on the Destiny the year before. Apart from no porthole to tell us when it was dawn it was fine. No problems with hot water and the staff kept it spotless with plenty of fresh towels. Lido buffet fine but it could get very busy at times especially with the excursions forcing you to eat at certain times. The all day trips were good and what you expect in Egypt. The half day trip to Hurghada wasn't much cop but you can't win them all. Once you had worked out what entertainment you liked there was enough for everyone. 2 Intense were good in Horizon's and the main lot in the Broadway Lounge had the unenviable job of doing a different show every night. They could not be faulted for effort. Steve Johnson and his 'ciao of now' at the end of every single announcement got on our wick till we made a joke of it but like all the crew they all tried very hard to make our trip very good. They succeeded and we could do the trip again doing a different trip to what we did every day. The captain's Q & A session was very good. Well done every one on the ship. Must get a porthole next time. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
Flights were on time and trouble free both ways but 5.5 hours into Sharm is a long time, and coming back my knees were touching the seat in front. I wish they would take a few rows of seats out, I wouold be happy to pay a bit more. ... Read More
Flights were on time and trouble free both ways but 5.5 hours into Sharm is a long time, and coming back my knees were touching the seat in front. I wish they would take a few rows of seats out, I wouold be happy to pay a bit more. Can't afford business class though, even if it had been available. Check in at Naples was very slow, they should have opened a few more desks to get us through. Our second cruise (the first was Red Sea Magic Easter 2010 on this same ship). The old ship is still a bit shabby chic - our bathroom had seen much better days - but the public areas are good and the room was always kept clean by the lovely staff. Check-in was pretty good although the queue at Sharm port was longer than I'd have liked - more staff at busy times would be good. Because of the itinerary changes we didn't have time to do any port research, so it became a chillax cruise - we never left the ship in the end. We'd already seen the pyramids and know Barcelona so weren't really bothered, but there were quite a few whingers on board. I reckoned it was a good heads up that cruises don't always go according to plan, and I'll learn from it. February in the med isn't really warm enough for sight-seeing, and the only one we fancied was climbing the volcano. That day it was 10 degrees and windy even at sealevel, so we decided to save the trip for another time (summer preferably!). I curled up in a patch of sun in Hemingways, drank Tom Collins and read a book instead. On the two rough nights I took pills and slept - feel ready for an Atlantic cruise now! Husband first dragged me up to Horizons to see the prow crashing into the waves - somewhat unnerving but quite exciting! Service onboard was nearly as good as last time although hardly any staff were the same, we heard they had all gone to the 'Dream'. Food good. We started with breakfast in Meridian but found it was generally buffet and when it was waiter service it was pretty rushed, as though they couldn't get us out fast enough - not what we experienced last time. We soon decamped to the Lido which was more relaxed although then you have to do your own portion control which husband is pretty bad at! We lunched in Meridian which was much more relaxed, especially on a port day when the ship was pretty quiet. Dinner also mainly in Meridian, mainly excellent. The chefs were especially good with fish and simple meat. Didn't go in the A La Carte restaurant - we did go in last year and found it no better than Meridian - maybe we made poor menu choices? Drink - we chose the AI after some thought but might not next time. It's changed since last year. Draught cider was available this time, but they had taken all fizzy wines and also baileys off the AI which was disappointing (I lived off kir royale and baileys last time). Captains night was a laugh, it's good to see (almost) everyone dressing up. The showlounge entertainment was professional and well done but not really to my taste. Kearney Street were pretty poor except when they were riffing their own stuff. The various quizzes in Liberties were hit and miss. The classical duo were good. The main quiz (held over several days) was a laugh, and we also enjoyed the captains talk and a bridge tour. My husband enjoyed the comedian, I found him a bit Bernard Manning. It must be really hard to find the right entertainment balance tough, so all power to the team for trying. Check out, especially getting on our coach in Naples, was a bit chaotic, you got a sense that we were not interesting any more, just to be got rid of. Shame - Thomson should pay attention to last impressions as much as first. And the less said about the in-flight meals the better. No way will I ever pay Thomson for one of those again. All in all, we had a lovely relaxing cruise. You get what you pay for, and the downside of this less formal cruise is lower spec accommodation. Highlights for me were the suez, and at dinner sipping a glass of wine in the straights of messina while the pilot boat was surging up and down in the spray just outside my window, with the lights of sicily in the distance. Would I cruise on Celebration again? At the right price, unreservedly yes. Read Less
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