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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We found the arrival very easy,straight off the plane on a bus and on to the ship. The ship itself was not my favorite, not easy to navigate around. The seating in some of the public areas was very uncomfortable( the brown sofas in the ... Read More
We found the arrival very easy,straight off the plane on a bus and on to the ship. The ship itself was not my favorite, not easy to navigate around. The seating in some of the public areas was very uncomfortable( the brown sofas in the Squid and Anchor need throwing over board!) The resident entertainment was very good.Some of the guest shows on the other hand went from excellent to awful. The ship was kept very clean and all the staff worked very hard and were very friendly. The food was lovely, we always managed to get a seat or table without any problem. Plenty of places to sun bath ,either quiet or lively by the pool. The cruise itinerary was the reason we choose this particular holiday. We decided to stay on from Southampton to cruise up to Newcastle as it was easier to get home from Newcastle. WERE WE SORRY!!!! From what we heard 600 passengers disembarked, and 400 Tui reps and their family's embarked.( Bearing in mind the average age on the cruise was about 65 and the new passengers where younger ) the lovely cruise was spoiled by the new passengers. They were on for one thing, to get as drunk as possible as quickly as possible, resulting in us not being able to get served for over half an hour at some of the bars and having to suffer drunken behavior from quite a few on them. Not the staffs fault I mite add, purely how fast they where drinking. there were scuffles in the disco and security had to be called. People where also inconsiderate when returning to there cabins.The result was a lot of the original passengers where not very happy. This has ruined the memory of what was otherwise a lovely cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Having cruised with Marella (Thomson) since 2011 we were looking forward to another excellent cruise. We did the same repositioning cruise last year, the only problem then was a squeaking from a ship structure which had broken loose and ... Read More
Having cruised with Marella (Thomson) since 2011 we were looking forward to another excellent cruise. We did the same repositioning cruise last year, the only problem then was a squeaking from a ship structure which had broken loose and squeaked to the movement of the ship, we were in the same cabin this year and it had been fixed. The cabin staff were excellent and helpful as usual, in fact all staff were always smiling and eager to ensure you had an excellent cruise. Our first let down was the standard of food in the Meridian Restaurant for evening meal it was the worst we have ever encountered on a Marella (Thomson) cruise, our first two weeks were an excellent example on how to destroy food examples: rib eye steak tough and tasteless, chicken scallops dried out like crisp bread, veal cutlets you could have soled your work boots with, (totally un-edible could not even be cut with a knife). I had never seen so much food being left on plates, complaints regarding the standard of food was common place all round the restaurant. We were informed, but did not witness that there was an altercation between cruisers and kitchen staff, and apparently eight people were put of the ship in Madeira, if that was the case none was the chef as the food did not improve. Also it normally took two hours to serve three courses, it was not the fault of the staff, but the lack of staff, instead of two waiters and a runner there was only two waiters who were run off their feet. On the third week we decided to try the Lido for evening meal, it was basically the same menu but help yourself, we could not believe we were on the same ship, the standard of food was excellent and cooked to perfection, the only problem was finding a seat as so many cruisers had given up on the Meridian Restaurant for the Lido, The only night the Meridian Restaurant was OK was Captains Night, maybe it was we were only a few tables from the Captain. The second let down was disembarkation it was a total shambles, the first batch of passengers for embarkation was 08.00 the second batch was scheduled for 08.15. The first batch of passengers were still queuing in the stairways at 08.15, add the second batch and we had pandemonium, the lifts were unusable due to total passenger impasse on disembarkation deck, we were stuck on the stairwell for over an hour, it was so bad the elderly and infirm had to sit on the stairs. Unfortunately we have booked a stay and cruise on Marella Celebration for October 2019, will review again when we return, hopefully things will be back to the normally good standard of service we have received from Marella (Thomson). Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I chose this cruise as I wanted to be away to avoid a certain anniversary. I looked for a Reposioning Cruise as I like plenty of sea days and not many port calls. Travelling as a single is always expensive and this was not a cheap holiday ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I wanted to be away to avoid a certain anniversary. I looked for a Reposioning Cruise as I like plenty of sea days and not many port calls. Travelling as a single is always expensive and this was not a cheap holiday even though it included drinks and gratuities. So one could not say ‘ You get what you pay for’ and imply it was a bargain rate and that I should have known better... The ship itself is fine, very clean and the majority of the staff are good at their job, helpful and courteous. The food is again ‘fine’, good choice, plentiful and varied, if somewhat overcooked at times, but the chefs are catering for a wide range of tastes and appetites. The Turf and Surf had very good food and was well worth the supplement.Embarkation and airport transfer were excellent. Excursions were pretty standard and reasonably priced. My problem was I am not vastly overweight, don’t wear Primark clothes, wouldn’t dream of drinking a pint of lager at ten in the morning, dislike having to strain to speak to people over the incessant row made by the talent-challenged entertainers in the bars, would have loved to sit on the sundeck without loud pop music blaring out - so I didn’t really fit in. It sounds snobby I know, but had I been aware of the target market of Marella Cruises, I would have realised it was out of my comfort zone. We all have different tastes and it doesn’t make us better or worse than each other, but Marella was not for me. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Nice ship! RC obviously have their ship design sorted and Marella now own a nice/modern ship. It isn’t a monster either and we like ships this size. We’d prefer this ship over P&O’s Oriana and Aurora and it’s that much ... Read More
Nice ship! RC obviously have their ship design sorted and Marella now own a nice/modern ship. It isn’t a monster either and we like ships this size. We’d prefer this ship over P&O’s Oriana and Aurora and it’s that much ‘nicer’. Shame about the buffet being at the front where every other ship puts a bar: Many tables weren’t available due to people being sat at the windows with a glass of orange juice just to watch the world go by. The ship. Looks and is very nice. Great to walk around, shiny and well maintained. Humorous captain and most of the crew very attentive. The culture on our sea-day intensive cruise was lovely & laid back. The main restaurant was good; 3 courses for all and the house wine or Prosecco please. We enjoyed our 2 weeks aboard, one week of which was at sea (we love sea days). The enrichment talks and presentations on board were great (Astronomy/Space, Piracy, belly dancing lessons and others) and the trips ashore to Petra, Wadi Rum and Spinalonga were a proper cultural immersion. Shame about the extremely average food at Spinalonga. (we didn’t order the rain either but we didn’t complain to Marella about that…) Marella forcibly entertain you. Most of the entertainment is in your face. There is some (usually good) music and performance in the Atrium but it is often overpowered by the performance from the live room, itself sometimes overpowered from the music in the Squid & Anchor. Ordering your cocktails from the all-inclusive menu? Don’t worry about the alcohol content as they all will be short-measured. Our cabin, 6500, was over the entertainment at the front of the ship. Early nights were a nightmare of music, music and music, courtesy of the Squid & Anchor. On one occasion we had to wait an hour between starter and main course. We had to be blunt with the restaurant manager whose staff kept telling us ‘it’s on its way’ so many times… The buffet was just a buffet. The bacon was unsmoked, the sausages mundane. (The moussaka was great!) The afternoon tea was OK; you could tell we weren’t sailing Cunard. Oh, we also liked having ‘technical problems’ a couple of days before Oman. We enjoyed the ship cruising far more slowly and having an extra night on board Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I thought you may like some feedback on our recent cruise in June 2018 to the Midnight Sun on TUI new ship Marella Discovery. We have been cruising with Thompson’s (TUI) since 2004 and have booked in excess of ten cruise trips with ... Read More
I thought you may like some feedback on our recent cruise in June 2018 to the Midnight Sun on TUI new ship Marella Discovery. We have been cruising with Thompson’s (TUI) since 2004 and have booked in excess of ten cruise trips with TUI. This is our second cruise with TUI in 2018. The ship is beautiful, with excellent recreation facilities, entertainment and lounge and bar service. In general, the facilities, bar and lounge staff were excellent. The two main areas that we were not too pleased with was the supervision and service provided in the Gallery 47 Restaurant and Island Restaurant. Maitr'd seldom visible did not help out. We eventually moved away from these facilities of the Gallery 47 and Island Restaurants and used the excellent facilities and food at the Black Rock Grill, Glass House, which was well supervised by Mr Anthony Tapiador, the Head Waiter and his most pleasant staff. I would recommend this excellent facility for your meals. Look forward to our next cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Like another reviewer on Discovery 2. We have been cruising with Thomson/Tui for many years and agree with everything they have said. Celebration was our favourite ship until Discovery came and then we saw how tired Celebration looked. Our ... Read More
Like another reviewer on Discovery 2. We have been cruising with Thomson/Tui for many years and agree with everything they have said. Celebration was our favourite ship until Discovery came and then we saw how tired Celebration looked. Our first cruise on Discovery was really good ;we were really impressed so we booked another. There were 2 years between the cruises. We were shocked how tired it looked in such a short time. In the buffet dining area tables were taking a long time to be cleared. The choice of food was not as good as the previous cruise. Entertainment was nowhere near as good as the Celebration. Since all inclusive has come onboard as non drinkers we believe we are subsidising the drinkers who seem to order for the sake of it. The dress code has well and truly gone down. Seems you can wear what you like despite the rules. Due to how things have changed we are now looking at other cruise lines which is a real shame. The crew on the Celebration is what made us return year after year. Our first Captain on the Discovery was from the Celebration. He told us Tui knows the love Celebration has and they want to replacate that on all their ships. Sadly they are going badly wrong and will loose alot of their valued customers. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I have cruised with tui for many years but this has to be one that I can stay will stick in my mind for the wrong reason. Getting to the ship was as usual very good as you would expect with marella cruises from leaving Manchester to ... Read More
I have cruised with tui for many years but this has to be one that I can stay will stick in my mind for the wrong reason. Getting to the ship was as usual very good as you would expect with marella cruises from leaving Manchester to arrival in Montego Bay. Could not fault cabin very good as usual, but when you go for evening meal in 47 Restuarant here is where it falls down. Firstly the waiters lean across table to serve other dinners on table,rather than by your side as with normal Restuarants, If you have steak for an evening meal don't expect steak knife cut through with blunt knife, you are not offered tea and coffee now you have to ask. The second day was good easy to get sun bed no worries. I took two evening shirts for formal nights but did not wear because on the evening of dress to impress I had a quick look over the Atriaum balcony and what I saw changed my mind, I was going to wear my formal wear but when people are wearing shorts and bathing wear why bother. I make my way again to 47 Restuarant that evening and was dressed with shirt bow tie trousers and shoes so as far as I was concerned smart but then dinners walk in in shorts open toed sandals so why bother. After evening meal went for walk on ship and easy to get to other areas through Broadway shops good quality into show lounge. Here maybe the show team are new but not the best I've seen I am sure they will get better. After show of to venue bar for game shows very good and funny entertainment team were very good. After shows of to love room where the casino was and again could not fault. If you are still hungry in the evening then go to Glasshouse and get a good evening buffet recommend the curry. The service in all areas was great and the waiters are very friendly and if you go often even rember what you drink which is amazing. The ship is very good indeed and unfortunately had to visit medical centre because my wife became ill, these people really do care and look after you, if it's an insurance claim don't worry they sort out the whole thing. To them I send a big thank you. So all in all here are my main points about this cruise, 1....Think about how waiters serve meals and correct utensils for meal 2....Think about dress code and monitor it Hopefully these can be improved, I realise I could have gone to Islands which is self service but I like to be served in evening. Let's hope things do improve am on discovery in December so hope for better things. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We booked this cruise as a "transitional " from the Caribbean to Palma calling at various places , we particularly were looking forward to Cuba ,Nassau and Lisbon and Bermuda ...the first three destinations were cancelled shortly ... Read More
We booked this cruise as a "transitional " from the Caribbean to Palma calling at various places , we particularly were looking forward to Cuba ,Nassau and Lisbon and Bermuda ...the first three destinations were cancelled shortly after the final balance was paid ( nice!! ) We booked an upgrade and were given cabin 8031 The ship looked good , staff brilliant , food very good with a wide choice , cabin horrendous , the vessel had a major refit in 2016 , former office space was converted into cabins ( 6 in all on the port side ) On this vessel the engines are amidships and as the cabins are by the open atrium they are subject to a lot of noise , worse still they are also afflicted with constant vibration from the engines ( particularly at sea ) and creaking from the wall panels and windows .We had to move to another cabin to save our sanity .... All this made the cruise a nightmare at times , which was a shame because resturants were very good , entertainment suited most people we talked to , the other thing to note is that you cannot get away from piped music ( loud at times ) wherever you walk or sit it will always be there which is a shame because there where some very nice places . There is a complete walk round on deck ( 4 laps 1 mile ) We would probably have enjoyed the cruise more with a better cabin as the ship has a lot going for it but sadly the vibration issue afflicting it spoiled our enjoyment Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
What went well: The flight, crew, and service were excellent, safety was a priority. Transfers were good with no added delay other than the wings being deiced which was acceptable. No hassle, boarding the ship was easy and well managed ... Read More
What went well: The flight, crew, and service were excellent, safety was a priority. Transfers were good with no added delay other than the wings being deiced which was acceptable. No hassle, boarding the ship was easy and well managed with the exception of the booker not being aware of 25-night passengers. The cruise director Gavin Carroll was a joy, he was always smiling and friendly and always approachable, his team was always on hand and very friendly. The performers including guest performers were all brilliant and very professional, some of the very best we have experienced on ten different cruises (some not Marella) I disagree with other reviews who have hinted at miming!!!! The cabin was dark but well maintained by the cabin steward Komang. A person worthy of mention was Glynis's from Hemingway's bar, she was a star and remembered drinks, names and cabin numbers and always had a laugh and a joke with us. Hygiene was well covered and the antibacterial gel was readily available at all relevant points. Food in both the lido and the Meridian restaurant was always great, but breakfast service in the Meridian was always very slow and things were forgotten or not provided on several occasions. The Itinerary was great one of the reasons we chose this cruise. What didn't go so well: once onboard we were hassled by every waiter or person in blue trying to upswell drinks packages. Again on other cruises, we have been on, there have been points around the ship where this happens and hassling customers has not been an issue. Things said like: "don't you want quality drinks" and "nice wines instead of Spanish" and even one barman when seeing our card said "if you can afford a suite, you can afford to upgrade" it wasn't his place to think or say this, let alone in front of customers. I asked at reception to speak to the bar manager, he came out to see me and I told him of our experience, he was apologetic for the comments. I mentioned that we had chosen this cruise because it had everything included but were now being made to feel inferior by not buying the upgrade. He explained that many people were happy with the All Inclusive drinks, so suggested we try it and see how we go. He then told me that it would be £176 each to upgrade to premium drinks, which on top of what we had paid would be too expensive. I mentioned that my brother has been on Discovery twice and recommended Marella to us, he mentioned Casselero Diablo wine and Bells whiskey, which we regularly drink, so we were more than happy, only to be told by the bar manager that Discovery was a premium ship. We were not given a safe key on the port when booking in as the people there didn't know how much to charge and were not aware of the 25 night cruise, we were told to go to reception, when we did go to reception they told us all the keys were in the port and could we come back. We finally were issued with a key later that evening, but staff couldn't tell us how much a 25-night cruise fee cost. When we tried to use the magnet key to open the safe, we discovered it was a digital safe and we didn't need a key, on returning it to reception, the receptionist said well you will still have to pay. Although there were policies onboard about reserving sunbeds or seats, this clearly happened and was rarely addressed by Marella. On one occasion whilst looking for a sunbed we observed one person lying across a double sunbed, and over 100 sunbeds with towels on but no bums on the beds, this was infuriating and as we didn't want any hassle we left without a bed. This wasn't just a one-off but most days especially at sea and there didn't seem any staff readily available to address this with. Many times seats were reserved in the Broadway by a handbag on the seat or a mobile phone or scarf, with one person guarding many seats. Our main gripe again was over the drinks, when ordering in the Broadway show lounge, the drinks were inferior and you could never taste the alcohol, (possibly because they drowned the drinks with ice and carbonated mixers) we were given drinks in strange glasses when we queried this,(a Baileys in a half pint tumbler) we were told there weren't any other glasses available, this also happened in Hemingways. We drank regularly in Horizons and Hemingways and on occasion felt the drinks didn't taste quite right, only to observe unbranded alcohol being provided when requesting gin or whisky etc. when we mentioned we were All Inclusive and expected branded drinks as per the drinks menu, I.e. Gordon's or Beefeater Gin, and J&B, johnny walker red label etc. This happened so often that my husband waited at the bars to be served to ensure we were getting what we asked for, this practice even happened when we asked specifically for Gordon's Gin or Red label whiskey, so we brought this to the attention of the bar manager on one of his fleeting visits to Horizons. He thanked us for bringing it to his attention and he would address it. We saw him enter the bar area and help clear glasses etc, he seemed to chat to staff, but we were not sure if he addressed the problem. We feel it was a wide-ranging norm on this ship, as otherwise why did they regularly stock the unbranded drinks. 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
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
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
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
After over 12 previous cruises with Thomson 3 being transatlantic the Discovery was what we expected, being on deck 2 inside was very good, clean and cabin staff very good. The restaurant was a big disappointment, even at a quieter times ... Read More
After over 12 previous cruises with Thomson 3 being transatlantic the Discovery was what we expected, being on deck 2 inside was very good, clean and cabin staff very good. The restaurant was a big disappointment, even at a quieter times it took up to and over 2 hours the serve a 3 course meal. One evening the whole experience was a disaster from start to finish, as there aren't any wine waiters anymore our waiter brought the wrong drink that was ordered, mixed up the starters and when we had to send 3 sirlon steaks back as they were so tough it was hard to cut and even harder to chew, as an alternative we ordered turkey scallops in breadcrumbs with pasta, the pasta was dry and under cooked, the turkey looked like it was bought from Iceland to be cooked in a microwave when we complained the head waiter apologised took our cabin numbers but we had no feedback. The buffet lunch time meals were okay if you enjoy pies made with what was left from the night before, the evening buffet meal was better with a good selection apart from the pasta alternative that was spaghetti or pasta shells with tomato or white sauce very day. There was one good point the all inclusive drinks package was the best we have had on any other Thomson ship. . Entertainment, the Broadway shows were good but the other entertainment was not up to the Thomson standard, don't think we will be on the Discovery again Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Thomson Dreamliner is a fantastic plane. Lots of leg room and free food and drink during the flight. But, what started well, ended badly. The Jamaican airport was hot, humid, crowded and queued. No where to sit, no air conditioning, no ... Read More
Thomson Dreamliner is a fantastic plane. Lots of leg room and free food and drink during the flight. But, what started well, ended badly. The Jamaican airport was hot, humid, crowded and queued. No where to sit, no air conditioning, no water and no where to rest in a confined corridor containing hundreds of people. Tempers flared after hours waiting to get to embarkation and some felt faint. A musical group from the island greeted us at the ship but the singer was out of tune and the musicians seemed fed up of playing it took that long for everyone to board. The buffets were always full of food and refreshments and the restaurant was great for an evening meal. However, the food was mostly overcooked, warm at best when eating and not very tasty in all the eateries. I did not like the fact you helped yourself to buffet with tongs. It would have been more hygienic to have been given the food by buffet staff. Despite the fact the ship had antibacterial dispensers throughout, many passengers ignored them. I had a bad tummy in the middle of the first week and was told by a passenger that the ship had had Noro virus aboard the week before resulting in the closure of the Jacuzzis. I was also by other passengers that many people were being treated for a bad cough, an outbreak which had been on board since December with antibiotic drips having to be issued for pneumonia and also that 5 people had died on board during this time. Myself and my husband both went home with a bad cough at the end of the cruise. One woman was badly burnt by a soot gob that had been blown from the ship's funnel. Many passengers had broken their arms whilst on board. Health and safety was an issue as I saw a crew member carrying two stacks of cups on his tray down a spiral staircase. Smoking was allowed on the decks which was very quickly extended to inside the ship and door areas by smokers who ignored the rules. It was hard to get away from cigarette smoke on the deck areas. We found it very difficult to get a sun lounger before 10am and these were hogged by selfish passengers all day despite the fact that they were not using them for hours. The ship had an overcrowded feel during the sea days and the days were quite strained. The behavior of some of the passengers was terrible despite their mature years. Tempers flared and a fight broke out over the use of a lift which carried on in the sun deck. There was a lot of foul language used by some of the down to earth types which did offend other passengers with their rudeness at times. Some of the deck flooring was bubbled and torn. The first port was La Romana. I wish I had stayed aboard the ship. We were transported by shuttle to the nearby town and was immediately bombarded by very persistent venders that were very intimidating. We all immediately got right back on the bus and returned to the ship. This port did not match the description at all. My favourite ports were St Maartin and Antigua. Shops were wonderful and there were many nice places to go. The Virgin Islands were a little boring as we had not been able to book a tour but on returning to the ship many passengers were disappointed with their trips here. One had gone to see whales and was told by locals that whales are a rare sight in April as they don’t arrive until June when the season for them starts. We did see some flying fish and dolphins on the sea days. Gibraltar is a nice place but there was very little time to visit more than one venue as the ship departs at 2pm and we had to be back on board by 1:30. We were talked out of using the cable car by the port taxi drivers who said that we would not have time to use it. The port inspector confirmed this when asked to back up the statements but on speaking to the tourist visitor centre they said we would have had plenty of time to use it. So I think we were conned into using them at a cost. To sum up, I personally quite enjoyed my time on this cruise but I know that quite a few other passengers were very disappointed and if rumors were correct some did not return at all. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
flew to Barbados and cruised back to the Med for 3 weeks on Thomson Dream with my wife, sister and her husband. They found the deal and are experienced cruisers but this was our first and not as good as we had hoped or expected. The ship ... Read More
flew to Barbados and cruised back to the Med for 3 weeks on Thomson Dream with my wife, sister and her husband. They found the deal and are experienced cruisers but this was our first and not as good as we had hoped or expected. The ship is huge and the staff try very hard to look after you - extremely well since tips are not expected! But the food was disappointing - being the same in Orion, Lido and Sirens albeit the service is much more personal in Orion and you pay extra for the other options. And the standards are inconsistent too - no tie at the captains dinner then no entry but come to the second sitting (when chances are he has gone) and you can wear shorts it appears! And it isn't just the Germans with a problem with towels and sunbeds. The entertainment team also try their best and some acts are very good but others are just awful. Lots of other guests were quite happy so it's probably just not for us but don't expect any complaints to be heard - we thought the house white wine particularly poor and the exchange rates on board astronomically punitive but got no reply so beware. Also cannot recommend the drinks package as other reviews have also said - forget the "from £10/day"in the brochure - the actual cost was nearer to £30/day and certainly not worth it. Cabins on deck 6 are best value (around the centre) Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
Having cruised with Thomson before and having been on the Celebration last year Thomsons other platinum ship we were really looking forward to the Dream. We flew from Newcastle and having booked extra legroom we had a very pleasant ... Read More
Having cruised with Thomson before and having been on the Celebration last year Thomsons other platinum ship we were really looking forward to the Dream. We flew from Newcastle and having booked extra legroom we had a very pleasant journey. On arriving in Barbados we we're put on a coach and driven straight to the port where we completed the embarkation process quite smoothly. Our disillusionment began when we entered our cabin, the dark brown furniture was so dated,and overpowered the cabin. we are used to small bath/shower rooms but expected the shower curtain to have a full set of hooks. The shower head had virtually no movement to it and was placed high up on the wall. We ate mainly in the Lido or Sirens we tried Oriens but the service was so slow we never bothered again. We found the food to be of poor quality not very warm and on a couple of occasions inedible. This is not what we expect from Thomson, although I did notice when we arrived in Europe the quality of the food seemed to improve. Could the poor quality of the food be to push us in using the Grill and Steak under the stars which are an extra charge. I agree with reviewers about the sunbed situation there just wasn't enough and they had seen better days, lo and behold brand new sun beds appeared on our last day. The entertainment team did their best and produced some decent shows. The Michael Jackson show was an outstanding moment. The quizzes and game shows on a evening were ok but we had seen the shows before. The guest lecturer was excellent but we weren't impressed with the guest comedians although other people seemed to be, it was just not to our taste. Thomsons main strength is its Crewe from our lovely cabin steward to the bar and restaurant staff who work incredibly long hours seven days a week but still greet you with a smile. We thoroughly enjoyed our trips and at the different ports of call the destination services team were always visible and helpful. Disembarkation was smooth as was our flight home. This cruise was not up to the standard of other Thomson cruises we have been on. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
My wife & our boys aged 12 years & 9 years were on the Thomson Celebration Cruise during this Christmas in 2 nos. outside cabins on B deck. The cabins were comfortable with adequate space to store cloths etc. The food was ... Read More
My wife & our boys aged 12 years & 9 years were on the Thomson Celebration Cruise during this Christmas in 2 nos. outside cabins on B deck. The cabins were comfortable with adequate space to store cloths etc. The food was acceptable in the buffet restaurant but could have been hotter. A microwave would sort this problem out. The crew were both friendly & helpful. The first port of call was Aqaba in Jordan. Thomson supplied a free shuttle bus to the centre of the town which was worth a walk around. Thomson were running a tour to Petra which they would charge my family £404.00. We arranged our own taxi & including the cost of entry tickets. Total cost £140.00, a saving of 65%. The next port was Sokhna in Egypt. This port is a commercial one in the middle of nowhere surrounded only by factories. There is no town. Initially, we walked to find a taxi to take us to the Pyramids but were thwarted by the Port Authorities as they were not happy with Thomson passengers walking in their port. The Thomson representative tried to get us to return to the ship but when we refused found us a taxi. We assume that the Port Authorities complained to Thomsons which forced them to find us a taxi. We would have booked the Thomson Tour to the Pyramids if it had been reasonably priced, our cost including tickets was £150.00. Thomson were charging £320.00, a saving of 53%. If the passengers did not want to take the Thomson Tour they were kept captive on the ship, just like another day at sea. The final port before returning to Sharm El Sheikh was Safaga, another commercial port with a cement factory at the quay side. When we arrived it was windy with cement dust blowing towards the ship which is a health hazard. The town is quite run down & not really worth a visit. We easily found a taxi to take us to the Valley Of The Kings which cost £160.00 including entry tickets. The Thomson cost for my family was £344.00 our saving 53%. Thomson tours are grossly overpriced. I think that they are exploiting a captive market. A week before the cruise set sail date Thomson informed us that the Sports Deck was closed due to upgrading the ship. Having 2 nos. boys that are keen on football & basketball this was not good news as it was difficult to keep the children occupied during the day at sea. As we only booked this cruise a month before the cruise would start, we consider it was deceitful of Thomsons to not tell us about the deck closure at the time of booking. we complained to Thomsons who so far have ignored us. Finally, Thomson want to organise their airport departure procedures better. All their buses from the cruise & hotels arrive at the airport at the same time. This leads to massive unnecessary queues. All their planes were taking-off at short intervals which meant there were not enough buses at Sharm El Sheikh Airport to ferry passengers to the planes & when the planes were ready to take-off they were having to queue to leave. Our plane was 50 minutes late taking-off. This problem could easily be overcome by staggering the times that the buses arrive at the airport & leaving longer periods between flight take-offs. Read Less
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