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Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise because in November 2016 we had cruised on Discovery 1 & had a wonderful cruise, but then it was under the TUI brand name. The ship's are sister ship's so we knew what to expect. What we didn't ... Read More
We chose this cruise because in November 2016 we had cruised on Discovery 1 & had a wonderful cruise, but then it was under the TUI brand name. The ship's are sister ship's so we knew what to expect. What we didn't account for was that the new brand name would alter everything. The cabin and cabin steward were excellent but everything else seemed to have been forfeited. The food in the restaurant was acceptable but the control of how people dressed was appalling. They allowed people to come in to dine in shorts, teeshirts and one even came in in flip flops. We complained to maitre d who explained that there had been a directive allowing dress shorts to be worn, the ones we saw were not dress shorts. There was a sign I in the glass house sayng it was adult only after 4pm ( or 5pm not sure) but although there were very few children on board we still saw children in there after the time stated. To us it seemed that no one was prepared to enforce any of the so called rules. We had booked a premium balcony room & expected to have decent toiletries but the toiletries turned out to be a green shower gel on the wall and a small(very small) handsoap. The entertainment was ok although some of the shows were repeats from previous cruises with Thomson. We have always rated Thomson or TUM but we would not be using them again Under the Marella flag it would seem that standards have dropped drastically, so very disappointing. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Booked this as a quick break before Christmas,as we live 15 minutes from the port it is ideal, Boarding quick and easy on board with in 10 minutes,boarded early afternoon for a eight o'clock sailing First impressions,ship ... Read More
Booked this as a quick break before Christmas,as we live 15 minutes from the port it is ideal, Boarding quick and easy on board with in 10 minutes,boarded early afternoon for a eight o'clock sailing First impressions,ship smaller than we are used to , pools didn't have any water to begin with so took advantage of jacuzzi, afterwards were too busy with young children and babies Cabin very good size more room than usual plenty of storage space etc Really think they should upgrade bedding as looking warn and not as white as should be Restaurant irían good for breakfast and dinner Special Indian Thai restaurant good food and value Plenty of different bars with music, quite corners if you wanted, Always managed to get a seat. Drinks included in the price were good and you could upgrade if you wanted We didn't get involved in actives but there seemed to be enough to do As only four days first stop was Cadiz with is a nice and easy city to walk around Shame it was a cold and windy day. Next was Lanzarote a quick car hire and trip to the fire mountain, Always works out as cheap to hire a car and do it under your own steam Disembarking in Tenerife was again easy and no rush Summary all in all a good trip and great value for money Will see what Marcella have from Malaga next year Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We like the repositioning cruises as you can go to ports not on the regular schedules and with only 4 days on the crossing part a real bonus .Gran Canaria to Cape Verde then over direct west to Barbados,Grenada,ABC isles then port of Colon ... Read More
We like the repositioning cruises as you can go to ports not on the regular schedules and with only 4 days on the crossing part a real bonus .Gran Canaria to Cape Verde then over direct west to Barbados,Grenada,ABC isles then port of Colon ( as its name ) for Panama where our real disappointment came .more later .The ship has many good facilities eg fitness gym,glass house and atrium area .The food was generally pretty good without being Michelin standard .Islands the casual buffet area could get very full at times .The shack which served snacks as well great fish bites and smoked salmon in salad tub .Waiter service dining in 47 was reasonable because we found a great funny waiter and other excellent guests. The menu was at times repeated ,there must be no Angus beef left in world .We tried upstairs in the pizza area and throughly enjoyed the different fare.There were plenty of activities and it was good to see the captain get involved in the cycling competition .Entertainment was the same structure as most of TU I cruises .The main shows had in our opinion one of the best team of dancers,singers that we have seen in our 14 cruises. The new team who were taking over were sub standard even allowing for it being their first show .That leaves our massive negative .Destination services ,Beware of the super slick presentations either in showcase or over the screens .As most know this is a big profit area for them .Our experiences have been very mixed a couple excellent and a few poor and generally poor value . Without boring you of all details ,we didn't do an excursion as the transport was old,no air con,no seat belts ,overcrowded. Not as described in literature however after 4 e mail dialogues once back home and an uninterested manager on board no refund of monies has been received .The moral is that they hide behind a couple of regs They say that as they are just an agent you must complain to the supplier of trip if a problem .Not easy at the end or when you are back on ship and the local agent is long gone . They also say any discretion on refunds is back in UK whereas when back they say it could have been sorted on board .Think twice as there are mostly good independent tours available from ports with a little research before trip using local tourist boards .Many complaints re Colon . However next day Cartagena in Colombia turned out despite prior beliefs to have a lovely old walled town which we explored with another couple getting a taxi as TUI said it was not safe .More inaccurate info from destination services .We had a day at sea before docking in Montego BAy Jamaica then a flight back from the airport which has not grown with the increased number of planes and passengers and we were an hour late leaving but there are many more longer delays ,it needs to resolve this although they had a very good PA system .Overall a very good cruise only tainted late on Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise exactly one week after coming of Discovery last year doing the transatlantic with a different itinerary. We had nothing to complain about last year it was superb. We chose exactly the same cabin we had last year on ... Read More
We chose this cruise exactly one week after coming of Discovery last year doing the transatlantic with a different itinerary. We had nothing to complain about last year it was superb. We chose exactly the same cabin we had last year on deck 8 right at the back. Discovery 2 is the sister ship of Discovery and are practically identical in terms of layout. For us Embarkation was swift, smooth and painless with baggage delivered and collected in a timely manner. The cabin is an aft facing cabin which meant we had the sun most days whilst crossing the Atlantic. The cabin is roomy with plenty of storage. A great feature this year was the addition of USB sockets in each of the lamps which was handy for charging up Ipads and phones. The electrical sockets are 2 standard USA and 2 Eurpean type. The decor was ok although a picture missing from the wall of the cabin which showed up the marks where it had been. Generally the cabin was kept immaculate by the cabin steward however he rarely replaced the toiletries and despite requesting and reminding him it still did not happen or if it did they were only partially replaced. On embarkation day there was a letter on the bed welcoming us back. Reading the letter it tells you that you have a Lavazza coffee machine in the room to which you are entitled to one cup of coffee a day! (What! after what we paid I would expect coffee to be free flowing like it was last year) That certainly did not set me off in the right frame of mind. There were two days were half a dozen teeny pellets of soot landed on the balcony. The stewards cleaned the balconies up immediately and there was nothing to complain about. Those who have not stayed in one of these junior suites seem to imagine that it happens all the time. It does not! Another point is the saying the higher your cabin the more you pay the more it sways. It is no different to anywhere else on the ship. We only had two days were there was a bit of a roll and that was from Tenerife to Gran Canaria and en route to Jamaica but we slept quite well both nights. It is very quiet at the back of the ship. The air conditioning was not able to be adjusted. Food and dining. The food in the waiter restaurants was always hot and our meals were served in a timely fashion. I was surprised to hear people complain that dinner took around two hours. For me that is quite acceptable, who wants to bolt down their food when you are on holiday it also gives you the chance to share tables and meet some very interesting people. We never ate in the buffet restaurant apart from having afternoon tea one afternoon. I can't really comment on what it was like but the same food is served in the buffet as is available in the main dining room. Gallery 47 is an Italian restaurant with two alternating menus. The food is quite nice here and we ate here a few times. Surf and Turf and Kora La restaurants have to be booked at a supplement and both are like being on a completely different ship. The attention to detail and the quality is second to none. We only ate at Surf and Turf this time and the supplement was around £29. There was a fast food outlet called the snack shack where you could grab rolls in the morning fish and chips at lunch time or chicken wings etc. There were also cool cabinets with a variety of salads, sandwiches and pots of fruit. We only had a snack twice here but it was quick, tasty and filling. At busy times you might be given a buzzer and have to wait around 20 minutes for a table in the main restaurants it only happened once to us during the 18 night cruise but that was because we wanted a specific table so we were quite happy to wait. Drinks We upgraded the drinks package which for us was good value. We had 2 X 1.5 litres of water in the cabin each day. Access to the coffee bar for premium coffees and an enhanced premium drink menu. We found that the drinks on the normal menu seemed to be lacking in something but there was a noticeable difference in the premium drinks. We never had to wait too long for our drinks either being served or being waited on. There were ample staff for this and they were always busy. It worked out at £7 a day and we thought that was good value. Entertainment. We always found something to occupy us on sea days. There were some activities going on at one time or another. I think one of the biggest problems was inadequate seating in some of the venues particularly the atrium. The theatre is much more comfortable that theatres in London. My only criticism is that once the shows have started the bar service should stop. It is irritating during the show to see bar staff passing through and blocking the views. The shows only last an hour why not bring a drink from the bar it is not as if you are going hours without access to a drink. Also on a couple of occasions there were some ignorant people talking all the way through the shows. The shows were ok some better than others. I think the entertainment could have been a bit better but that is down to personal preferences. Service. There were a mixture of Filipino and Eastern European staff on the ship. All we came across were brilliant and everyone of them we met greeted us with a smile and a hello. They are on the ship for up to 8 months and there were some passengers do tend to be rude to them. We met quite a few staff from the Discovery who had transferred to Discovery 2. Surprisingly they remembered us and actually came to our tables to say hi. Ports and excursions. Our itinerary. Tenerife Day of boarding. Gran Canaria - We did our own thing as we were here last year. Mindelo Cape Verde - A God forsaken place not geared up to cruise ships at all. We left the ship at 10:00 and people were already heading back to the ship. Not worth a visit here. Barbados - Wonderful place but most things closed on Sundays! Got a hotel day pass. Grenada - Speedboat and snorkel. Absolutely brilliant but £72 was a bit pricey but worth it. Bonaire - A beautiful little island.- We did out own thing got a hotel day pass. Aruba - Lovely island- Got our own taxi for a tour $20 each. Island tour and beach for 3 hours. Brilliant. Curacao - Willemstad is a delightful colourful town. $20 taxi tour about four hours. Panama Canal - Vastly over priced. £120 Not as described in the blurb not the companies fault but 4-5 hours going around the lakes due allocated time of going through the locks. The last 3 hours were brilliant but the lead up to it was dire! We were very late back to the ship which had to wait for 350 passengers on this tour. Cartegena- Colombia $30 Taxi tour for 3 hours a beautiful city but boiling hot and humid. Jamaica- We did not do a tour here. We loved the itinerary and 18 nights went in a flash it only felt like a week. Can't understand visiting Mindelo but I guess it is a very cheap port for port fees. There are other beautiful islands in the cape so why those chose this one is beyond comprehension. Major concern. The medical centre. I have never ever seen so many people walking around a ship with Canulas in situ. Most being diagnosed with pneumonia some clearly not actually having pneumonia. Either there is something majorly wrong with the ventilation system or there is something afoot with the insurance claims. Would we sail with Marella gain? Not in the near future certainly. Reasonable standard of service but not quite up to the same standard as last year. Price wise they are not dissimilar to other cruise lines whose standards are a bit higher. I would point out here that customer service pre and post cruise is abysmal. We had no communications from our Tui travel agent at all. I only got information from a facebook group and had to go into the shop myself to get this information I understand that the telephone service leaves a hell of a lot to be desired too. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We have done over 20 Thomson cruises and although most of the ship particularly the cabins are tired we have always enjoyed the entertainment and cruise. This one was shocking....the entertainment team spent more time on deck 6 smoking ... Read More
We have done over 20 Thomson cruises and although most of the ship particularly the cabins are tired we have always enjoyed the entertainment and cruise. This one was shocking....the entertainment team spent more time on deck 6 smoking than they did entertaining, they put on a deck party that lasted 35minutes where they just all danced together and did not involve any of the passengers and when were in dock there was no entertainment at all on the decks. All the shows were poor and pretty much everyone felt the same way one of the comedians thought it was funny to tell homephobic jokes and although we are not gay it was very uncomfortable. We were at sea for 6 days and they did nothing extra on the decks, most people had to make their own entertainment. I could go on and on about how disappointed we were and in fact couldn't wait to get off the ship and come home. There was no sail away party and even when the outside decks were full with passengers no extra entertainment was put on. If this is the future of the old Thomson cruises now called Marcella we certainly won't be doing another one Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Friends had a son who had worked as Cruise Director on this and other TUI Cruise Ships, they thought we would enjoy it. How wrong they were. All comparisons are made with previous cruises, long and short haul, made with NCL, P & O, ... Read More
Friends had a son who had worked as Cruise Director on this and other TUI Cruise Ships, they thought we would enjoy it. How wrong they were. All comparisons are made with previous cruises, long and short haul, made with NCL, P & O, Holland America and Princess Lines, all small ships. Flew out on 5th.November, flight delayed on runway over an hour, toilet function problem. Poor meet & greet at Airport, wrong directions to transfer coaches! Late arrival on board, meant less than 15 mins to the second lifeboat drill. Meet & greet staff on board did not know cabin location ! Made the drill meeting in the Show Lounge, usually it's at your appointed lifeboat station. No indication given to cabin number lifeboat, assumed that display info on Prom Deck was correct, even cabin numbers to port, odd numbers to starboard. One morning while having breakfast on the Lido outside rear deck area, noticed a pungent smell, assumed it was from the docks, but became worse, then smoke came out of the rear swimming pool vents, it had been closed off and empty, no explanation given. Smoke became dense and black, so quickly departed to upper deck, P/A issued a coded message, which was obviously for the fire crew. Staff cleared everybody off the rear deck, and the fire was extinguished. Later announcement advised the fire had been caused by welding repair to get the rear pool up and running. Several days later pool was filled and operational. Next issue followed about a week later in the Caribbean, again breakfast time, all the lights/air conditioning etc went off. About 20 mins power was restored, the fire/flood doors could be opened. They closed automatically when the power went off, explanation was a failed generator. That evening however, as we left a port, out in the navigation channel, all lighting etc went off, also no engine power ! Restarted again in about 15 mins. Blame was put on demand to aircon due to high temperatures experienced ! We are in the Caribbean remember. Action taken was to restrict aircon output, so cabin temperature rose, especially at night, and certain zones throughout the ship had intermittent aircon. The ship is now operating its Winter schedule in the Caribbean with ineffective aircon Trip was Adults only, all inclusive, however the bar price list showed only certain basic drinks and cocktails were included. Named drinks/named wines/certain cocktails etc had an extra charge up to £3, min £2.50. Named wines were expensive, Anjou Rose @ £17, half decent red up to £35, Tesco prices about a third. House wine was not good, red was undrinkable, never tried the white, Rose was weak but drinkable. The taste/flavour of all drinks and cocktails varied dependant on bar used. Outside deck sources were especially poor. Other passengers agreed with our thoughts, and we all agreed the drinks were "watered down". I even started to order a separate gin measure or light rum measure to top up a G&T or Cuba Libre, but they neither had the smell nor expected taste. The bar staff opened new bottles, but they did not have the plastic insert within the bottle necks, to prevent a bottle being refilled, so make your own decisions on the subject. Cabin was a de luxe on deck 7, paid extra, but more space quoted. Ship was refurbished not long ago, interior is light maple veneer, very good storage via drawers, and two separate built in wardrobes. Reading lights above beds, lighting controls on bedheads for the cabin. Fridge with pay as drink basics, tea and coffee making, bottled water is extra please note, we didn't realise till the bill came. Dressing table area has two power sockets, one US plug and other is 2 pin European. Bedhead has double socket UK 3 pin plug, and two USB ports built in. En suite is small, very narrow bath with shower curtain, mixer tap with button shower engagement. A grab rail to cabin side wall is badly located, too near the riser rail, so you knock your right arm on it when washing your hair or applying the shower gel. Refit specification should have stipulated a walk in shower with Glass Panel, who bathes these days, and the shower curtain wraps around your body, so so naff. PLEASE NOTE SHOWER GEL IS PROVIDED BUT NO SHAMPOO NOR CONDITIONER. We had to buy shampoo at first port of call. Couldn't believe it. Dining was either at The Meridian Restaurant with waiter service, or The Lido which was buffet self service. In both, menu was poor, some nights pretty impossible. They both offer at extra cost, £9.95, a steak or chops alternative. Never tried either, nor the extra cost Eating Venues, at £19.95 per head, as it all comes from the same source really. Quality of food was poor, portion control excessive in the Meridian, only is 3 courses now, our friends said it was 5 courses. Never had breakfast in the Meridian, the Lido gets overloaded, long queues, no glasses/plates/trays virtually every day. Choice never changed in 18 days, served up food pre cooked in hot water trays, toast pre done as well. Tinned tomatoes yuck, very thin cut bacon which was cooked about 3.00am along with the toast, black pudding whatever that tasted like heaven knows, choice of eggs, under done sausage. Separate cereal station but loose cereals, very little choice, four options, fruit never changed, sliced melon, unripe pine apple, sliced tough oranges, tinned prunes or peaches. Yoghurt was Danone tubs, like Spanish holidays in the '60s. No bread other than white rolls which were tasteless, or brown. No other offerings. Evening time they did offer brown and white sliced bread plus the tasteless rolls, although some nights the bread was stale. Fruit juice came out of machine dispensers, concentrate diluted with water, fresh orange juice was extra from the bar, but was still out of a packet !! No separate station for the soup options, this was in the middle of the horse shoe conveyor belt layout, so you had to queue up twice to get your soup, then the main meal. In the middle was the joint of the day, carved for you, deep frown received if you asked for more, felt like Oliver in the film. Pork was good, beef was really tough, lamb was good. Never tried the rolled Veal as didn't like the inner core it was stuffed with. Entertainment was poor as was the very limited Activities. The speakers offered were not good, nor was the chosen subjects, funny things that took place in his police career, and film reviews by the other guy. Did one and gave up. The first dance group were quite good, voices not bad and show themes were of interest. Second lot after changeover day and ships, were over weight, couldn't sing and not interesting themes. Had one imported Soul Night singer, ex Drifters, really good. Very boring comedian another night. Various quizzes, but the Cruise Director and seemingly most of the Entertainment Team required a translator, to know what they were saying. Mancunian and Geordie were not taught in my school days, the Queens English was however. The daily Activities must have come from a Nursery School option list, Bean Bag Targets, Skittles, Carpet Bowls, to name the highlights ! There was an option to learn Welsh, you couldn't make it up but it was true. One quiz host called me " mate" while handing over a paper, and I'd never met him before! Some passengers created their own Activities, brawling in Liberties Lounge one night, because a couple had sat in front of another couple, blocking their view of the entertainment, Security restored sanity. Another night in Hemingways Bar, another Activity and brawl was glass throwing. Service overall was quite good, plenty of staff who worked tirelessly. Cabin stewards likewise. Did not take any shore excursions, had been to all bar one port several times before, the hurricane meant an amended schedule for ports of call, original format would have seen three new Islands. Thought the excursions were expensive. Thomson clients seem to be a certain type, mostly from Up North, Tyne Tees, Wales etc, minority from the South. Many had done the trip before, even the return leg as well in April. The stereo type is grossly over weight, tattoos, and thinks acceptable behaviour includes resting ones legs by either putting ones bare feet up on another chair, or laying full length, bare foot on a lounge bar settee, despite shortage of seating. Picking assorted food from the buffet and either eating it in the queue and or on route to the table. The two main activities are drinking from 10am till the bar closes, and smoking as much as possible in the designated areas, in between the drinking. Sunbeds are a premium, requiring early towel visits to secure, anything later than 7.30 and you've missed out on the prime spots. Rumour has it, one guy was up around 5.00am to secure their padded bed on deck 8. Majority of sunbeds are unpadded, somewhat past their sell by date, dirty and tired. Conditions are very cramped unless you have picked your spot, and angled " your two" to create more space. Slyly moving adjacent ones further apart. Tip of the week there. To sum up, we all look for something different, having tried Thomson/Marella, we would not use them again, it is not the standard we require, if you think I am being a snob, that is for you alone to decide. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
There is a lot to recommend this ship. 1. It is excellent value for money. 2. The food overall is very good. Whether you eat in the main dining room or the buffet there is always lots of choice and the quality is good. Best pluses ... Read More
There is a lot to recommend this ship. 1. It is excellent value for money. 2. The food overall is very good. Whether you eat in the main dining room or the buffet there is always lots of choice and the quality is good. Best pluses are the pasta station and the salad bar. Only minor criticism is, for me they over cook the beef. We also never had problems in getting seats at the time of our choosing in the main restaurant. The buffet could get busy on sea days but was far less chaotic than most cruise lines we have been on. 3. Overall the basic drinks package is very good. Reasonable quality spirits and good mixers. We don't drink white wine but we liked the Rose and the red was just about acceptable. Beware the red outside the dining room because it sometimes comes at mulled wine temperatures. The only beers offered in the basic package are Fosters and John Smiths. I like these beers some may not. Some people complained that because of the restrictions it was not all inclusive. I have been on lots of cruise lines and this is pretty good. Yes, some lines do offer top shelf spirits and wines but you would have to pay far more for the cruise in the first place. There were a couple of silly anomolies, you can order a gin and a vermouth separately, but if you order a Martini, you get charged. 4. Staff throughout the ship were excellent. Sometimes, in the theatre in particular, you had to wait to be served, but that was sheer weight of numbers. The boys and girls always kept smiling and worked their butts off. Our star performer was Maria in Horizons. 5. The entertainment team and the guest acts were excellent. Less keen on the comedians, but that just may be us. We have been on many cruise lines but this was our first on Thomsons. The majority of our experiences were positive. Now for the couple of downsides: 1. We are early risers and we like to sunbathe between eight and eleven ish. The first day we went down at just after seven and all prime locations were reserved but not in use. The following day we checked before seven. Same again and every sea day. We have encountered this problem before on Italian ships, but never before have we come across the Benidorm mob on a British cruise ship. 2. When I tried to raise the issue with guest services they ignored me for four days. The Manager apparently never received my four messages. I will put that down to inefficiency, rather than rudeness. On thing this cruise has taught me is to think very carefully about repositioning cruises. Four years ago I had exactly the same problems with MSC. I have not used used them since. I will not be using Thomson again for Ocean crossings.. I will use Thomson again for cruises with frequent stops. Good value, food drink and service make it acceptable. The sun beds issue becomes unimportant because either I or the majority of the mob will be . Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise because we were on the Celebration relocation cruise last year and really enjoyed it. The ship is very clean and the crew are all very friendly. Our cabin was comfortable and kept very clean by Budi who always had a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were on the Celebration relocation cruise last year and really enjoyed it. The ship is very clean and the crew are all very friendly. Our cabin was comfortable and kept very clean by Budi who always had a smile and short chat anytime we met him. We ate in the Meridian Restaurant most nights and found this a very pleasant experience. The staff were very efficient and friendly and we met other guests whilst sharing a table with them. We mostly had breakfast and lunch in the Lido Restaurant where there was a wide and varied selection of food available. The only downside was, that if you didn't take a drink in with you, it was not easy to get a waiter. Maybe, more waiting staff would overcome this problem. We especially enjoyed the interview with Captain John one afternoon. It was very informative and interesting and he really has such a good sense of humour, which also came across on his daily bulletins when we were at sea. We enjoyed doing the daily trivia quiz but sometimes found it hard to hear the questions on deck 6. Overall, the service we received on board was excellent. The staff who especially stood out for us were Melisa and Sydney and the unforgettable Nosi, she was so wonderful, I would have been proud to have her for a daughter :-). Such hard workers and always with a smile on their face and an eagerness to help. Unfortunately, due to the hurricane, the ports we were supposed to visit were changed a bit, but that didn't matter to us. We saw some beautiful Islands in the Caribbean and met some wonderful people. Maybe next time we could visit the others. We had a wonderful time on our cruise and can't wait to do another one. Thank you to all staff and crew we came in contact with, you helped make our holiday one to remember. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
we have been on this cruise before, however entertainment poor, all the same shows as last year , bands and singers all sang sad songs,people said ;get me out of here;.....NOT A HAPPY SHIP .The comic Peter Piper was good,.singer Benjamin ... Read More
we have been on this cruise before, however entertainment poor, all the same shows as last year , bands and singers all sang sad songs,people said ;get me out of here;.....NOT A HAPPY SHIP .The comic Peter Piper was good,.singer Benjamin Moss has a good voice,but again guests complained about his smutty jokes in between songs.Josh very friendly shame about the others in the show team.Staff in 47 fantastic.but food cold and lots of oil on veg in island on 9th floor ,even oil on top of mashed potatoes,very hard to find healthy option food ,also very underhanded as they knew we were not going to certain ports BEFORE we set of yet did not inform guests,the bar staff could do with more training,I understand they took on alot of new staff.when you think we were all going to the west indies,you would imagine it would be upbeat instead of dire entertainment,something is wrong with the agency that is supplying the entertainment.I would sack them and give the contract to someone else Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We had a deluxe balcony cabin which was spacious with plenty of space for clothes. The cabin was immaculate and it was kept like that all the cruise by Art who was the best steward we have had on any cruise. The ship was nice and public ... Read More
We had a deluxe balcony cabin which was spacious with plenty of space for clothes. The cabin was immaculate and it was kept like that all the cruise by Art who was the best steward we have had on any cruise. The ship was nice and public areas were kept clean. The all inclusive was very good with a lot of premium brand drinks. I'm afraid that is all the positives. On our first night we thought we would go to the Italian restaurant but there were no tables for 2 and a 15 minute wait for one. We decided to go to the other restaurant but there were no tables for 2 there either and a 20 minute wait so we decided to go back to the Italian but no tables for 2 so we joined with another couple but there were no tables for 4 either so we ended up at a table for 8. In the Italian there were empty tables for 2 but front of house said she was not given that information. 2 meals had to be sent back because they were cold. The food in the buffet restaurant was at best lukewarm. As time went by we were able to get a table for 2 in the main dining room. There were no wine waiters in the buffet restaurant so you had to serve yourself at the beer and wine pumps. When glasses ran out there was quite a long wait for clean ones to arrive. This was the poorest food on any cruise I have been on. Marella are cutting corners and it shows. The entertainment was also a weak point apart from Benjamin Moss and a few guest comedians. The service in the restaurant was hectic and you felt obliged to finish and get out. The Glasshouse was something else. You were allowed 3 tapas each and when they arrived they were the smallest portions I have ever seen. The late night buffet was awful with deep fried wraps being described as chapatis. We will never go with Marella again and a lot of passengers felt the same. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We booked this cruise with the thought that this is as good as Tui cruises get , we were totally disappointed, from start to finish all we did was wait , we had to wait [a long time] to embark, wait for tables at dinner, wait for drinks in ... Read More
We booked this cruise with the thought that this is as good as Tui cruises get , we were totally disappointed, from start to finish all we did was wait , we had to wait [a long time] to embark, wait for tables at dinner, wait for drinks in fact a large part of our holiday was taken up waiting for every thing,we put it down to untrained staff as a lot of them had no idea why they were on the ship. The food was of a very poor standard and poorly served in all areas ,buffet ,M.D.R. Glasshouse and Italian, and the snack shack served the same food every single day. The entertainment was generally mediocre apart from a couple of shows by the ships company and a wonderful singer called Ben he was the highlight of our entertainment experience. The A.I. drinks package was good but you had to ask specifically for the drinks you wanted E.G if you didn't ask for a specific brand they would serve an inferior brand. We had a great time on this cruise but very little could be attributed to Marella as they now call themselves and most of our enjoyment was derived from the wonderful people we sailed with Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We've been on many cruises with different cruise lines before, but we chose this one because we took one of our children's families on a Thomson's Cruise last year and were very impressed, and the timing was ideal as other ... Read More
We've been on many cruises with different cruise lines before, but we chose this one because we took one of our children's families on a Thomson's Cruise last year and were very impressed, and the timing was ideal as other child care duties were becoming slightly less pressing. We are not yet convinced by the freedom dining concept which means you don't easily build up contacts with staff and fellow travellers, and we felt that there was some evident cost trimming which meant that staff seemed more hard-pressed. We weren't sorry to lose some of the fringe activities like the chocolate festivals and ice-carving and we felt that fewer invited performers improved our entertainment enjoyment, because the young, 'resident' cast was excellent. TUI's general co-ordination was generally up to the level we experienced last year, but communications regarding the possible impact of the recent hurricanes was not ideal.We were surprised that passengers had to pay to join a passengers' choir. However, the food, service and entertainment were excellent, and the ship and our cabin were maintained meticulously. We couldn't have had kinder, more obliging cabin stewards than Milos and Ganna. The value, given the all-inclusive tariff and the fact that general gratuities were included, was outstanding. We liked the medium size of the ship and the show lounge and walking track in particular. The first time in the Eastern Caribbean and the weather was excellent. I found the islands fascinating and attractive in an uncoordinated way, my wife found them disorganised, impoverished, and sometimes intimidating. Most of the local people were charming. The destinations staff could have devoted a little time in their talks to advising those who who were going ashore on foot. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
This was our first cruise. We picked it because so many people told us what a fantastic experience it would be . Everyone raves about the quality of food, the level of service etc that you receive and we thought it would be a great way to ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We picked it because so many people told us what a fantastic experience it would be . Everyone raves about the quality of food, the level of service etc that you receive and we thought it would be a great way to visit a lot of new destinations in one trip. We love the Caribbean and have spent many holidays on various islands and were looking forward to both re-visiting some of these as well as setting foot on some new ones. We certainly didn't get what we both paid for and expected. Yes, there were good points. Our cabin with balcony was fine and serviced very well. The drinks included in our AI package were of a good quality. The evening entertainment was superb. However, everything else was extremely poor. The food was for the most part pretty diabolical - the standard of poor school dinners. The only good meals that we ate were in the restaurants which carried a surcharge, one of which cost an additional £60 for the two of us!!! Service in the main dining room was by and large abysmal, often waiting 3/4 to 1hr to be served our main meals. It would appear that a lot of the staff were new and were being given on the job training, which maybe accounted for some of the bad service. However, we did not sign up to be part of a training programme ! Yes, there were a lot of apologies and offers of more drink, but really it got to the point when all you wanted was your dinner!! The buffet restaurant was a total let down. We only tried it for a main meal on our first night. It was completely chaotic. Food looked awful. All dishes looked completely unappetising - very poorly displayed. There were no wine glasses - indeed no white wine,and the list goes on ! We did try it one more time for breakfast during the cruise but it was just like a bunfight to try and get food and tables were left uncleared and dirty. We didn't go back there again! Most excursions that we went on were also disappointing- incredibly poor value for money! At the end of our holiday we were unlucky that our flight was delayed and we had to spend a night in a hotel on Barbados. Obviously, rooms had to be found for a whole planeload of people, but we were assured that they would all be of the same quality. Unfortunately, we were part of a group that were put in a hotel, probably not fit for purpose. Amongst, many awful things, there was not even enough drinking water for us all. We have obviously raised all these points and more with Tui, who have not even had the decency to reply. So, we are now taking our case to ABTA who we hope will be able to help us. Would we cruise again ??? Certainly not for a long time, and definitely not with Tui. In the past we have booked many holidays through Thompson holidays, and yes we did sometimes have problems . The difference is that they were always sorted out in a speedy and professional way. Shame on Tui for not doing the same ! Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Thought we would try Discovery 2 as it is an ex Royal Caribbean ship. They had great crew, seemed really happy, which is always a bonus. Plenty of time in the ports of call. The only thing we didn't like was the casino as this ... Read More
Thought we would try Discovery 2 as it is an ex Royal Caribbean ship. They had great crew, seemed really happy, which is always a bonus. Plenty of time in the ports of call. The only thing we didn't like was the casino as this is always a fun part of a cruise. In this case it was far too small with only one crowded roulette table and dull electronic slot machines. Other than that we had a great time. This cruise was on an all inclusive drinks package. We chose to upgrade to premium but not really necessary as lots of branded drinks included. Passengers dressed smartly for dinner. Great saxophonist and a good comedian. Excellent club on Floor 11. Decent evening meals. A much more chilled experience to have breakfast in the main dining rooms rather than search for a table in the buffet restaurant. Get a cab to town if you travel to Madeira its only 10 euros and saves a huge walk. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise because of its itinery. An eclectic mix of Northern Europe (Belgium, France and Ireland) and the warmth of Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar. To that end we thoroughly enjoyed the destinations and would do a similar ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its itinery. An eclectic mix of Northern Europe (Belgium, France and Ireland) and the warmth of Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar. To that end we thoroughly enjoyed the destinations and would do a similar itinery again anytime. However the ship is very old and tired. We have been on a few Thomson cruises before on the Dream and the Majesty and hadn't really had cause for concern. But our 2 previous cruises were on Royal Caribbean and Cunard so I guess we've maybe been spoiled. We could see that Thomson had tried to tart up the ship but the cabin was small with nowhere other than the bed to sit. Also our room attendant had a real attitude problem. The 2 issues we brought to his attention were both met with "This is your fault" rather than with an attempt to fix them. The most serious fault was our cabin toilet barely working throughout the cruise. We have been on 8 cruises so we know what you can and can't flush down one. Eventually they replaced the whole toilet unit and gave us a bottle of wine as a goodwill gesture. I would have been happier if the attendant had just believed us in the first place! The food is good in the specialty restaurants is good and you get a great level of personal attention in them but you do have to pay between £15 and £20 each to use them. The food in the main restaurant was nothing special and in the buffet was absolutely terrible! The entertainers tried hard but were not that great and the 2 comedians that came onto the ship would have been far more at home in a working man's club than a cruise ship. I have always stood up for Thomson cruises in the past when people have referred to them as "Butlins at Sea" but I think that description sadly is true. We may possibly try their newer Discovery ships at some point in the future but frankly, I think we'll save our pennies and stick to the more prestigious ships. On a more positive note, at only £818 each for 13 nights the basic price was very good value but you do have to add your drinks, excursions and the nice restaurants onto the price. Also, with only 2 proper bars on the ship, other than the show lounge there was nowhere to sit in an evening as the bars filled up very quickly. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We were originally booked to travel to Florida but as a result of damage etc and the hurricanes prevailing at that time we decided to cancel and were offered the chance to rebook so decided on a cruise and stay as always fancied this type ... Read More
We were originally booked to travel to Florida but as a result of damage etc and the hurricanes prevailing at that time we decided to cancel and were offered the chance to rebook so decided on a cruise and stay as always fancied this type of holiday. We had cruised many times before, only once though with Thomson on the Majesty which we hadn't particularly enjoyed at the time but had heard of good reports of the Discovery 1 and 2 ships. We were immediately very impressed, only had an inside cabin as that was all that was available approximately 6 days before we sailed but it was fine, plenty of storage, clean, quite modern, well kept by the steward whose name I sadly have forgotten, easy access to the parts of the ship we visited and also close to a water cooler so we always had fresh water to take ashore or during the night, great idea this instead of the constant sales push by other companies to purchase bottles of water from them at extortionate prices. The only negative is the horrid shower curtains that keep attaching themselves to you, why can't they get rid of them! Shower doors would be much better. We used the main dining room for breakfast as we had had a break from cruising as we had both got utterly sick of buffets, the queueing for tables and hustle bustle and noise of it all in the past. This was a much better choice, waiter service, good selection of breakfasts and much more relaxing dining option and we never had to wait for a table. We also used this option for dinner, generally we had to have a pager but often we ordered a drink, sat down and then our pager went off. Food was excellent too at dinner, cannot fault it and my husband is fussy! Would thoroughly recommend the main dining room and the all inclusive drinks option was wonderful. The Prosecco, cocktails and wines which I tried were excellent and bar service was good. We used to have a drink in the bar on the upper deck which became the disco later in the evening and would then go down to book a table for dinner, going into the atrium bar while we waited. Coffees were also available on the all inclusive package. We did not book any trips etc but did our own thing. During the day we used the glass house for swimming as I do not sunbathe, the pool was a little chilly but the atmosphere was lovely and the food options for lunch good and the takeaway section just outside did a variety of foods and fresh fruit selection. We only used the buffet once, quite late in the afternoon so it was not too busy to at that point. We went to a couple of shows which were very good but generally did our own thing in the evening. Embarkation was very speedy when we boarded and our suitcases arrived very quickly indeed which is always a relief !and as we were going to a hotel for four days we left the ship fairly early in the morning but sadly we ended up sitting on a coach for ages as the coach was overbooked initially, the passengers were transferred to another coach, all a bit of a pain really and then we had a long wait to check in at our hotel but that is another story! The cruise was excellent thoughout, would definitely go again and would recommend, the all inclusive drinks package and tips included is a bonus. 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
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We approached this cruise with some trepidation. We had done the Bay of Biscay a couple of times in rough weather on the big car ferries so no problem there. But we had not used Thomson flights or holidays for some ten years following a ... Read More
We approached this cruise with some trepidation. We had done the Bay of Biscay a couple of times in rough weather on the big car ferries so no problem there. But we had not used Thomson flights or holidays for some ten years following a dispute over flight seats. (On a holiday to Egypt we did not get the allocated seats we had paid for in advance) The flight turned out to be alright but the registration in the terminal at Malaga was a shambles. A two hour queue before we got on the ship. We had an outside plus cabin midships on deck seven which we thought was very good until we woke up on day two to find no heating in the cabin. That day in Cartergena was cold and wet. It was finally solved on day three after breakfast,it was at this point we started to relax and enjoy ourselves. We dined in the Orion Waiter Service Restaurant for breakfast and dinner,we found it very pleasant away from the queues and jostling in the buffet restaurants and helpful to be able to resist the urge to top up your plates. We preferred a table for four as we found we met with nice and interesting people. Any table with more seats ran the risk of meeting the cruise bores, (we've been on thirty or more cruises)- to be avoided at all cost. We did eat in the Lido and Sirens buffet restaurants during the day which were well stocked with a large variety of hot and cold food.We found the service very good everywhere and the food especially in the Mistral a la Carte Restaurant for a birthday celebration was excellent. A highlight of the cruise was a tour of the bridge which we found very interesting. The entertainment was mostly just OK, we preferred the piano bar after dinner, very relaxing with a good singer. The cruise lived up to our expectations which we thoroughly enjoyed. Nice weather in Valleta, Kotakolon, Kefallonia and Corfu certainly helped. Thomson Cruises have certainly got their act together and we will be cruising with them again soon Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Flight out Manchester to Barbados, great on Thomson Dreamliner. Embarkation smooth with no Drama. Ship looked stunning, and we were looking forward to our first cruise with Thomson, after they procured this ship from RCI. We are seasoned ... Read More
Flight out Manchester to Barbados, great on Thomson Dreamliner. Embarkation smooth with no Drama. Ship looked stunning, and we were looking forward to our first cruise with Thomson, after they procured this ship from RCI. We are seasoned cruisers, and were looking at whether Thomson were to be a competitor for P&O In the UK market. The price we paid was reasonable alone, as well as the free upgrade to AI drinks. Well here goes, We had a decent cabin on deck 8 which was classed as a deluxe interior. Cabin 8023 was assigned to us when we were on board. Plenty of space and well kept. The only negative was that the pool area was above , and you were waken by the noise of the pool or fellow holidaymakers claiming and marking their sunbed as their territory. Please note no fridge. Ronaldo the cabin steward a real credit to Thomson. The ship itself is the smallest we had sailed on, but no dramas, and held herself well in some stormy conditions on the 6 day crossing. Bars were plenty and the theatre and facilities were ok. Gym small and half the equipment not working. Bars, our favourite was the venue, but was spoiled by some really poor cheesy entertainment. Bar eleven was nice too and was open till 0300. Drinks, reasonably priced, although we were AI. The drinks package was fine and wine by the glass was available with meals. Just watch the heavy sales pitch to upgrade to Premium. At 80 quid each person for the 13 nights to upgrade to premium it looked worth whilst. Covers all drinks and brands including craft ales.....the selling point for me. The disappointment was that most drinks including the ale ran out 2 days out to sea, and each bar does not stock the same drinks so its a little hit and miss. Cans of mixer are covered in the package as well as bottled water in cabin and speciality coffee at the coffee port. All in all worth the money. Well done Thomson. Dress code was lax, with anything goes. Most people did make the effort though. Food simply was poor in buffet, but good whilst seated in 47 degrees on deck 4.The free Italian in 47 gallery on deck 5 was brilliant. Snack bars ok and Barbeque on pool deck really good. Speciality dining is expensive. Excursions very expensive...do your own. Same with money exchange...poor rates. So far so good......now the entertainment......dismal. Mostly local on this cruise and usually the theatres where dance shows, the teams tried hard but not every night. In madeira a singer comedian from Wigan was on....ok best describes his efforts. The venue was all about trivia games and quizzes, very crude in parts and aimed at adults only...not in good taste and cheap, poorly managed rubbish. The local singer and band at best average just. This was the last winter cruise and the ship was now taking up its summer port and itineraries from Palma, so the crew were flying home with us, as with the entertainment team. Cruise ending, means you leave out your luggage on the last night, its collected and then you reclaim it on the dockside when you disembark. You then load the coach and join the check- in race. Loaded onto a cattle truck and flew home. The 2 hour flight home felt longer than the 8 hours out on the Dreamliner. Really poor here. Palma airport very busy and the walk to the departure terminal long. To be fair still good value for money all in all. Attention to detail will get Thomson there. Thanks for reading my honest review... Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
This was our second cruise with Thomson having been on the spirit last year gave me the bug to book another one. We travelled with my sister on her 1st cruise. The Discovery was a much bigger ship and easier to get around. Disappointed ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Thomson having been on the spirit last year gave me the bug to book another one. We travelled with my sister on her 1st cruise. The Discovery was a much bigger ship and easier to get around. Disappointed that when at sea for 6 days due to wind sunbeds where not available on upper deck and everybody thought it a good idea to fill every spare space on lower deck blocking walkways etc and making it very difficult at times for individuals able bodied not to mention those with mobility aids. Unlike the previous post we attended every show on the later slot and would say each show was fully attended and thoroughly enjoyed, there was only one which I was disappointed with was the penultimate one which I found boring.The show team worked very hard to out in these productions and their professionalism came through. The cabin and ship were kept very clean and the staff around the ship were always friendly. There is a bar on deck 10 which is very understaffed especially on sail away's and should be looked at. I would say that there seems to be far to many guests to the ratio of staff, and they are very stretched at times. The open seating which has been introduced for meal times didn't really work for us. comparing it against my last cruise the service was very slow and we had to keep asking for a top up of drinks. On a number of occasion we were sat in a corner near the kitchens and felt like we had been forgotten. Although I must add that the food was excellent. The entertainment throughout the day for us was a little on the overload with quizzes etc, and some of the live entertainment was a little too much especially the saxophone man and the acoustic guitar around the pool. A little soft music would have been nice once in a while rather than live music. There were two fantastic live groups Trinity and B12 whom my sister and I thought were fantastic. Given all the above good and not so, this has defiantly not put us off travelling with TUI/Thomson as we met some incredible people who we hope we will meet again in the future and had a truly memorable experience. I hope Thomson will take the comments made and where improvements can be made on board they do so for future guests to enjoy. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
This was our seventh Transatlantic crossing, the fourth with Thomson, sorry, TUI! and about our 25th cruise in total. Previously we've crossed on Celebration, lovely little ship! I shall be sorry to see it go, Azura (P&O) and ... Read More
This was our seventh Transatlantic crossing, the fourth with Thomson, sorry, TUI! and about our 25th cruise in total. Previously we've crossed on Celebration, lovely little ship! I shall be sorry to see it go, Azura (P&O) and Adventure of the Seas (RCL). Flight was great. Travelled Dreamliner Premium Club which is worth every penny of the additional charge. Transfer was OK by Barbados standards but they don't have big comfy buses and its only 30/40 minutes so no big deal. Embarkation was swift and possibly helped by the fact we were in a Junior Suite with priority boarding. First impressions of the ship were good. Thomson, sorry TUI, at last has a ship in style and facilities to rival the big lines. It IS quite impressive! Very spacious and loads and loads of interior light in the public areas. I did note like another reviewer the crew demographic had changed with many Eastern European crew members, but who cares where they're from provided they do a good job and they largely did. We ate mostly in the main restaurant served by two great guys, Julio and Appollon. Ive cruised with many different cruise lines and on all Thomson ships except Dream and without a doubt, the food was every bit as good as any other four star cruise line and better than some Ive travelled on . I often read and have posted reviews myself complaining about cold food but not the case on this ship in the main restaurant where the food was always interesting, varied, well presented and hot. Only ate once in the self service restaurant and my choice was very nice but luke warm. The only minor hiccup came early in the cruise when a waiter who shall remain nameless served us at lunch. Three out of four starters came out all of which were hot so three of us began to eat. We then saw the main courses delivered to the waiter station at the same time as the missing starter. Three of us had finished our starters whilst the fourth was still eating theirs when the waiter came to the table and said he was going to serve the main courses because they'd been there a while. He didn't ask.... he just told us! We declined his kind offer and asked that the main courses when served be replaced having been standing about ten minutes and fish cools quickly. At this point it seemed that we'd asked for the impossible and were visited by Head Waiters, Restaurant Managers and other waiters one of which took responsibility and resolved the problem. Thank you to Anthony! The first waiter never served us again even though he was always close by. Not sure if that was by design or luck but a restaurant needs in my view to conform to common dining etiquette and on this occasion, it didn't. This incident apart, the main restaurant was excellent! Thank you. We like to eat in the specialist restaurants and the Italian was really good and does not incur a surcharge. I cant t say the same for my experience of Surf and Turf for which there IS a surcharge of £25 per head. Previously we've eaten in Mistral and Kora La on Celebration and the al a carte on Majesty. All three are excellent restaurants with a great food in a convivial atmosphere for an additional £20 a head. In the case of Mistral, that's for a six or seven course quality meal served by experienced and knowledgeable waiters. In Kora La on Celebration, you enter an oriental environment with suitably dressed waiters and the food is great. This is not the case on Discovery. The atmosphere and environment is no different to any other restaurant and depending on the time you eat, you have the vast pool deck screen glaring through the windows into your face. Not very oriental! I'm sorry to make the comparison but I'm afraid to do so is inevitable. We cancelled our reservation in Kora La as we found the screen intrusive and would have detracted from the dining experience. For your £25 in S and T, there are four courses and my personal view is that the food was little different to that served in the main restaurant. I chose seared scallops as a starter. It consisted of three small queen scallops which were not seared. Nice but........For my main I chose Sole which was to be served at the table. No fault of the waitress but I'm sure she hadn't deboned many sole. It took an age for her to do so whilst the fish was cooling all the time. Why not ask the customer whether or not they would like the fish to be deboned at the table or would they prefer to do it themselves. I wanted to scream out "Please give it me to do" but I resisted not wanting to cause any embarrassment. In short, S and T was not a good experience, not good value in my view and one I would not repeat in the current circumstances. We did speak to the head of F and B, raised our concerns and made the comparison with Mistral but his response was "Its the new concept" It certainly was different to Mistral and a "difference" I didn't care for! For me, a backward step. It's sad that there are no longer any wine waiters on board. Wine is now very ably and frequently provided by your table waiters but it was a little hint of extra class to have a wine waiter?waitress. I'm sure someone from TUI will read this review and I would point out that my comments are intended for their benefit also and to ultimately improve MY experience. I'm not a serial moaner and have cruised many times and to make comparisons although subjective, is inevitable. I have noted one comment on a review which I also totally agree with and is something we commented on when speaking to those in authority. In S and T restaurant, it was as if I was being served by someone speaking from a prepared script. Each waiter who approached the table started with the same pre prepared script and conversations with them were very stilted.. Ive never experienced this before on a Tui ship. It is unnatural, unwanted by me at least and makes normal conversations difficult. Please let the waiting staff be themselves. They can still say what they need to say. It was so obviously scripted, it became farcical. Lets be honest, Discovery is a nice ship. I didn't see a speck of dirt anywhere, 99.9% of the crew are fantastic. There is plenty of deck space and the sun beds are comfy. Although the bed grabbers were there at the crack of dawn as always, we never struggled to find availability.. I did read another review which commented that two of the six days were rather rough (my description, not theirs) My response would be to say that it was nothing more than gentle pitching and not nearly approaching rough. Have a ride through the Bay of Biscay on a bad day when all the doors are secured and you are not allowed outside at all. That's rough!!! Yes I agree the upper decks were closed for sunbeds on a couple of days but that was for safety reasons to prevent anyone being injured by airborne sunbeds. Yes it was windy, but if you ride a motor bike at 20mph into a 20mph headwind, it WILL be windy!! The ship was travelling at 18 knots (20mph ish) into a 20 mph headwind. Not much that can be done about that. Ive had worse transatlantic crossings but none I would describe as being uncomfortably rough and certainly none where abandoning ship became a consideration!!!. Its a great way to get home without jet lag whilst just relaxing or doing whatever takes your fancy on the ship. We don't do the shows so I cant comment on entertainment. Overall, we really enjoyed our cruise. So much so, we've already booked again for next year on Discovery and I look forward to once again meeting some great people providing a great experience. Thank you. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We checked in at Gatwick and flew by Dreamliner to Barbados. We were taken directly (the hold luggage is taken directly to the ship) from the aircraft to the Ship, so no immigration or collecting baggage at the airport. Check in at the ... Read More
We checked in at Gatwick and flew by Dreamliner to Barbados. We were taken directly (the hold luggage is taken directly to the ship) from the aircraft to the Ship, so no immigration or collecting baggage at the airport. Check in at the port was seamless and efficient. We had an outside cabin on deck 3 which was spacious and comfortable with a large picture window. Only downside if any was there was no fridge, otherwise lovely. The ship was brilliant. We prefer this freestyle type cruise and this was excellent value for money. I was slightly apprehensive after reading some reviews, however we experienced no problems whatsoever and indeed it exceeded our expectations. If you want formal, luxury type of cruise then maybe this isn’t for you although you’d have to pay a lot more on Cunard or other providers. We bought the drinks package which was well worth every penny. Good house wine and drinks whenever you wanted them. Prosecco flowed freely. The food in the buffet was our favourite. The quality and choice was amazing and we never failed to find something tasty to eat. There was a roast at lunch and dinner in addition to a speciality menu ie Greek, Turkish, Chinese etc, perfectly cooked and a choice of vegetables and salads. Soup was delicious and every day there was a traditional British pudding, including various sponges, spotted dick, fruit crumbles all served with lashings of custard as well as other deserts to choose from. The pastry chefs excelled and the cakes at afternoon tea were a delight. We also ate in 47, the formal dining room which was very nice and you could eat any time during their opening hours and choose to share or have a table for two. We also ate at Gallery 47, the Italian restaurant, also very good. We treated ourselves and ate at the Sushi bar, which was a supplement of £13.95 and well worth it if you enjoy sushi and sashimi. The cruise was for 13 nights with six days at sea and our stops were at St Lucia, Antigua, Madeira, Malaga, Ibiza and then we flew home from Majorca. I can’t comment on the Thomson excursions as we arranged our own using advice on Trip Advisor etc. I was concerned about spending six days at sea, however the entertainment lead by Ted and his team was varied and interesting. We particularly enjoyed talks by ex police officer Simon Dinsdale, cookery, and ice carving demonstrations. Dance classes, Ukulele lessons and choir lessons were also available along with quizzes and numerous other forms of activities. A first class gym with modern equipment and Yoga and Pilates classes too. The climbing wall was challenging and fun to do. Some of our fellow passengers did have various complaints but they were mostly niggly little things that wouldn’t have bothered us. Ie they thought the sea was choppy. Sun beds always appeared to be an issue, although we always managed to find somewhere to sit and it wasn’t a big deal for us. For two days there was quite a swell, however to my knowledge no one was sick and in fact I’ve experienced much worse on previous cruises, and I expected worse considering we were in the middle of the Atlantic. Apparently though most Atlantic crossings are very smooth and there’s not a lot anyone can do about the weather. The staff were friendly and helpful, special mentions to Rosmic, our cabin steward, Denny for excellent and friendly service in Bar Eleven, Alasdair the DJ for great music. Kamal at the omelette station in the buffet and all the other staff, who always had a greeting and remained cheerful. I would definitely recommend Tui Discovery . We’ve already booked for next year! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Our first time Thomson ,,,, (we have done many PO , princess, and Royal Carabean ) And it was more than we expected ,,, entairtainment great , so much choice in food , so much so we never got to the speciality resturants , we did a ... Read More
Our first time Thomson ,,,, (we have done many PO , princess, and Royal Carabean ) And it was more than we expected ,,, entairtainment great , so much choice in food , so much so we never got to the speciality resturants , we did a transatlantic 6 days at sea , felt there could have been a movie on through the day , as we are not all into quizzes ,,,,, however we came home and booked the Discovery 2 for March next year ...but not a transatlantic again , we spoke to other cruisers ,who were on there first ever cruise ,and said it would be there last ever cruise , as I said not enough going on in sea days . Great friendly staff and all inclusive premium drinks .... No cheap drinks ...... Staff in tge resturants were so friendly ... I cannot take peppers (allergy ) and chef made special fo me . Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose thomson for our first cruise as we were told they were a bit more relaxed, adults only, all inclusive and not too big a ship! I don't want to repeat previous reviews so will try and add bit that were relevant to us .. our ... Read More
We chose thomson for our first cruise as we were told they were a bit more relaxed, adults only, all inclusive and not too big a ship! I don't want to repeat previous reviews so will try and add bit that were relevant to us .. our Cabin was 8026 which was big and had a balcony with sunbed (just one!) - and a table and two chairs, there was tons of storage - we didn't use all the shelves, lots of hangers in the wardrobe, plenty of storage in bathroom. There was good lighting to put make up on and dry hair. Our cabin steward Herald was very thorough and due to our cabin, we had Clarins toiletries that were replenished as we needed them, and a couple of treats through the week - Temple Spa sleep mist, and two other sleep products. The beds were very comfy, we had twin beds and both have bad backs and didn't suffer which was a first. We had taken ear plugs as had heard that there could be some noise - we were below the sun bathing areas so sometimes heard them putting the sun beds out early in the morning - no other noise though. We ate in the Islands for breakfast the first couple of days but then once we tried 47 waiter service, never went back - there was a great selection on offer along with different cooked items each day. We thought the portion size was perfect and as it was waiter service, everything arrived hot. Lunchtime - we tried the Islands which always had a good selection, the Glass House had a small salad bar but with odd things to go with them, filled rolls or a joint of meat (which wasn't for us) - we had sandwiches from the Snack Shack on a couple of occasions and they were nice and fresh. Our favourite lunchtime place was again 47 for the Waiter Service .. there was a great fresh salad bar where you chose what you wanted and they chopped it up and added a dressing, there was always a burger available (which was really tasty), jacket potatoes we had a couple of times .. and then a choice from the menu for 3 courses if you wanted - the fish pie I had one day was just amazing! Dinner, again we tried the Islands once and that was enough for us, we alternated between 47 and the Italian where we had great food in both - beware with the Italian, they bring you a plate of fresh anti pasta while you order, and we ended up eating that and then being full! - they did some amazing tomato and chorizo soup with croutons. We found the red wine a bit hit and miss between the restaurants as we weren't keen on the one in 47 or the Italian, but the white was really nice - and the red wine from the other bars around the ship was nice. We booked Surf and Turf and the Kora La as soon as we got on the ship, before we even went to our cabin as it was my birthday while we were away and we wanted a nice restaurant for that night. We actually went back and booked both again before even trying them - and we were glad we did. The first time we went to Kora La - we had the most amazing beef penang - and had that the second time too .. the dessert the second time was called yin and yang - and is the best dessert I have ever tasted! The steak on the first night in the Surf and Turf wasn't the best, but the second time was gorgeous - luck of the draw I think. We hadn't told anyone it was my birthday but they brought us a 'happy birthday' tiramisu which was a lovely touch. We paid extra for the wine in the Surf and Turf, but that was £14 for a gorgeous South African red, well worth the money. The staff were just lovely in both restaurants and hugged us on our second visit - they are all so friendly. We tried a coffee from the Coffee Hut (can't actually remember what it is called) - but didn't waste our money again, they made a nicer latte in the atrium, and it was included. We tried a few different cocktails and had some nice gin and tonics - we paid extra for a smoked cocktail in Bar 11 on my birthday, and on the last night - these were great fun to watch being made and were really nice. We thought about adding to the All Inclusive drinks package but to be honest we're glad we didn't as there was enough of a selection included. We went to see the Comedian the first week - he was very funny, and the Operatic duo who were quite good, but we didn't get to any other shows. We went to the Live lounge a couple of times to see all the Bands having a jam session and that was great fun .. we had a good old dance to those, and then carried on upstairs at Bar 11. We were going to go and watch one of the movies on deck but it was the same evening as the BBQ and they overran each other which was a shame. It did always seem a bit to blowy at other times. The days we were at sea we went to listen to the talks that were given by an ex-police officer (I can't remember his name sorry) - but he was very interesting and entertaining, would recommend. I don't know how some people can say that the staff weren't friendly as our experience was totally different - everyone we passed smiled and said hello, from maintenance upwards (they may have been told to do this but whatever they've done, it has worked) - we also didn't have any problems getting served at the bars, and the girls walking around the atrium bar taking orders were pretty quick too. The days we did manage to sunbathe, there was a guy going around the deck taking drinks orders which we got quickly too. I don't think we are cruise converts - we would do one again at some stage, but would not personally do this one again .. we did know that we were going to be at sea for 6 days but it did seem far too long when we actually did it. We will do a shorter cruise in the future. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Great flight out from Birmingham,long flight but well looked after.outside cabin excellent,well looked after by maid.food great after complaining about cold meals in restaurant manager made sure our food was always hot .Missed the ... Read More
Great flight out from Birmingham,long flight but well looked after.outside cabin excellent,well looked after by maid.food great after complaining about cold meals in restaurant manager made sure our food was always hot .Missed the philippino staff,who are always great,this cruise had mainly Eastern Europe staff and some of them were hopeless.drinks package was great but let down by flat mixer drinks mainly out of plastic bottle.entertainment was none existing ,group was so noisy,broadway shows were awful,three piece band would be better busking in street,you could learn to dance ,or better still learn how to play the ukullele,ha.ive seen better entertainment in an old persons home.This was our tenth and worst cruise with Thomson.six days at sea with very little entertainment was boring,you can drink as much as you want for ai.but you have to pay for water is stupid.The sea was never rough a bit swell now and then but this ship seamed to rock and roll from day one,something I never felt on celebration!. Read Less
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