My wife & I arrived at Avonmouth at the appointed time and were made to feel very welcome by the port staff. The refreshment facilities are basic, but at least the tea & coffee are free.
Boarding was quick and painless and when we got to our cabin our bags were already there. Our cabin was clean, tidy and well presented, and remained that way due to the diligence of our cabin stewardess, despite our best efforts!
Amongst the passengers were many elderly and infirm, using sticks and crutches. And we were not informed prior to booking the cruise that 3 of the planned 5 ports of call could not be reached by the ship so tenders are used to get passengers ashore, except that the tenders are unusable by the old and infirm, so 3 of the visited ports would be out of the reach of a lot of the passengers.
One of the ports of call was Douglas, IoM and we did not visit there as the weather was so bad. So we sailed past the Isle of Man on our way to Cobh, missing out Douglas completely.
The tender operation that we witnessed at Oban was so dangerous, in our opinion, that we decided not to go ashore at Tobermorie, so that is another port of call denied to us.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment, though, was our visit to Dublin, European City of Culture, with sights, museums, theatres, and a thousand years of history yet our stay there was 3 HOURS! but we had a full day at Oban and a full day at Tobermorie. We were told that the free shuttle buses laid on to take us into Dublin took 3/4 of an hour each way, so the 3 hours in Dublin was, in reality, only 1 1/2 hours, so we took a taxi, which, there and back (2 people), was less than the cost of an excursion for 1 person.
We spent a night sheltering in Cobh, unable to leave as the storm in the Celtic Sea was too severe (10 gusting 12, apparently) so we arrived in Avonmouth a day late having crossed the Celtic Sea in what we were told was a force 5. At times it felt like the ship was not fitted with stabilisers, as she rolled quite badly, although there was no sign of the extreme left hand list reported elsewhere.
It is alleged that the ship has recently undergone a refit, but there is no evidence of that, as the paintwork is tired and chipped, the carpets are faded, the decking is chipped and rotted and some of the handrails on deck have an alarming amount of rust on them.
And this trip cost us more than a longer trip on P&O last year. We did this trip mainly because Avonmouth is less than an hours drive from us, but we would much rather drive down to Southampton than travel on Discovery again.
I believe they are planning a trip to Australia. I can't imagine it!