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8 Marella Cruises Kochi (Cochin) Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because of its interesting itinerary which proved to be so - the colour, congestion of Indian cities and the opulence of the Gulf States. The cabin (outside) was spacious, with a large window; well appointed with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its interesting itinerary which proved to be so - the colour, congestion of Indian cities and the opulence of the Gulf States. The cabin (outside) was spacious, with a large window; well appointed with plenty of storage; only issue was a shower curtain rather than a door. Service in cabin, bars and restaurant (we only used the 'Islands' ) was excellent, though the Deck bar service was often slow, mainly because under-staffed. Poor staff management. Food was variable - we only used the 'Islands' and Snack-Shack. The latter very limited and ran out of wine on two occasions. The 'Islands' had a good selection, though the carvery was disappointing, and on one occasion the chicken was raw (ie bloody) and the staff rude, requiring attention from senior staff. Our main complaint though is with the poor information provided both by TUI before the cruise and on board. This provided by Reception and Destinations desk was poor and often inaccurate regarding documents required ashore, particularly in India. The excursion arrangements were akso often poor requesting people to assemble in the Broadway lounge resulting in several hundred to go to the gangway, when in fact making announcements for people to go from cabins/ public lounges would have resulted in smaller queues. Basically the staff didn't know what they were doing. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise due to the itenery around india, dubai, oman, abu dhabi and bharain. Firstly most of the ports were no where near the towns and the towns that were accessible by foot or free transfer were baron. When we arrived at ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the itenery around india, dubai, oman, abu dhabi and bharain. Firstly most of the ports were no where near the towns and the towns that were accessible by foot or free transfer were baron. When we arrived at Cochin port, we waited almost an hour in a queue to get on the ship. This was through no fault of TUI, but the visa requirements being as they are in India. We arranged most of our tours independently due to the cost of the TUI excurions. For example in Dubai, the excursion to the top of the Burj Khalifa was £134 per person. We paid £12 for a taxi between 4 people and around £40 per person to go up the Burj saving about £90 per person! We also did a dhow cruise in Khasab for £20 per person, the same dhow booked through TUI was £54 per person. Overall the boat is ok, the food was average in both islands and 47/47 italian. We visited Kora La twice in the 2 weeks and we really loved the food here which was around £17 supplement per person. The entertainment on the boat was great, with so much to do all day round especially on sea days. Although we travelled as a group of 4 you could easily get to know other passengers by attending the entertainment/activities organised on board. The boat is staffed to perfection, but this means there is no personal touch (like there is on some other boats). The only people to really speak to us was the cabin housekeeping, who were lovely. The rest of the staff are so overworked they have no time to chat. We love cruises so we will definitely be back, but i think there are some small improvements with big benefits that TUI could take in to account. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Chose this cruise for the itinerary and past good experiences on Thomson cruises. Embarkation at Manchester airport was very slow and disorganised with staff struggling to hand out docs.We travelled as a couple and for the very first time ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary and past good experiences on Thomson cruises. Embarkation at Manchester airport was very slow and disorganised with staff struggling to hand out docs.We travelled as a couple and for the very first time found ourselves seperated on the long flights because we didn’t pay extra to book seats, shame on you Tui, you might expect this on a budget airline, not on a cruise package. Whilst the ship was nicely decked out for Christmas, the celebrations were somewhat spoilt by some passengers who do not know how to dress on a cruise ship. It seems that because of over capacity in the cruise industry, the operators will let anything go these days. Shorts, trainers and football tops in the main dining room, surely not? The quality of the food was very disappointing, probably the worst we have experienced in over 20 years of cruising. The buffet choices were very limited and repetitive, either under or over cooked!The Christmas dinner was mediocre to say the least, we were on the third and last sitting and the dining room staff had obviously had enough by then and just wanted to get rid of us with rushed service and no offer of coffee/ tea after the meal. The only people we spoke to who thought all was good seemed to be first time cruisers. Entertainment was generally of a good standard, the entertainment staff and cruise director did a good job, although most of the acts were onboard for the entire cruise and were not refreshed. Captain Chris was very entertaining with his midday broadcasts. The shore excursions we booked (6) were generally very good, partly due to the excellent local guides. The departure airport in Thailand was on the small side with not enough seating for the aircraft size and hot! The return flight was 2 hours longer than the brochure stated at 13hrs. Come on Tui you can do better, if not you’re reputation will sink like the Titanic in todays ultra competitive market. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Embarkation at Cochin was quick once we actually got on the ship but customs there did make things drag out unnecessarily. We were in outside cabin deck 2. Plenty of drawer and hanging space and sufficient for the time you actually ... Read More
Embarkation at Cochin was quick once we actually got on the ship but customs there did make things drag out unnecessarily. We were in outside cabin deck 2. Plenty of drawer and hanging space and sufficient for the time you actually spend in the cabin. Kettle and coffee/tea provided. Water machines on each floor and a carafe provided in your cabin to top up when needed. Food in all the al a carte restaurants very good especially enjoyed gallery 47. Salads and other grab and go food in snack shack very good and fresh. We also went 2 of the speciality restaurants which were excellent particularly enjoyed kora la. Buffet restaurant can get crowded at breakfast would be useful if an outside omelette station was also available elsewhere. The service in alll bars and restaurants was fantastic and The Captain was very entertaining. We had Christmas on board with a carol concert in the atrium Christmas Eve and a lovely Christmas dinner in chrsistmas day with 3 sittings to choose from. Entertainment was mixed. First week great with a number of one off acts on board such as Tom Seels & Jaki Graham. Second week only the lady boys of bangkok show so entertainment got a bit repetitive . Destination services very much only provided information regarding own excursions. An electronic map was available onboard for each port and very limited information. Tips on ports of call we visited:- Langkawi - went on the caves and mangroves tour. Very good half day out. Also went to Pentai Cenang beach. This is a lovely resort and Is duty free so much cheaper than Kuala Lumpur and Penang. There is a free shuttle provided from port but not informed of this by ship. Penang- again there is a free hop on bus available outside the port. Also done orangutan island which was good. Singapore - be careful if using the hop on hop off bus. We were advise the last bus back to the ship was 6pm and when we arrived at 5.30 they had changed this to 5pm. They did however organise a free taxi for us back the ship. If going Marina Bay Sands hotel do not pay the 23 dolllars for the sky bridge go to the cest la vi bar reception desk and pay 20 dollars entry which you redeem towards a drink and this takes you to the level above the sky bridge. Same views. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My partner chose this cruise as he’s cruised before and it was my first time. We flew from Manchester where the queue for checking in was 2 hours as there were only 2 staff on, someone said there was a staff walkout? It left no time for ... Read More
My partner chose this cruise as he’s cruised before and it was my first time. We flew from Manchester where the queue for checking in was 2 hours as there were only 2 staff on, someone said there was a staff walkout? It left no time for duty free or any other shopping, my partner had wanted a drink as he thought it would help him sleep on the long night flight, but there was no time. The flight was good, long but Asia’s a long way. Arrived at Cochin, India. This was the first time TUI had flown into Cochin and to be fair probably their last, it cost us £110 each for a visa to set foot in India, we arrived at Cochin airport and queued 2 hours to go through immigration, we got on a coach and drove for 2 hours to get to Cochin sea port, we waited 40 mins on the bus then queued 2 hours to go through immigration to leave India and board the ship. Sadly we paid £220 for this. But to be fair the captain apologised and they obviously were as put out by the experience as we were. The ship was ok, not the lap of luxury I’d been led to expect but certainly not run down at all. Our cabin was big enough, had all we needed and was kept spotless by the cleaning staff who came in at least twice a day. My partner broke the safe and they fixed it within ten mins of asking. The food was a bit disappointing, in the self service Islands restaurant it was often lukewarm rather than hot and a bit samey, but never bad. The staff were ace, friendly, helpful. The Gallery Restaurant was nice, but again samey, the same item appeared on the menu the following night more than once. But the food was good and service excellent. We ate Christmas lunch here and it was perfect, we shared a table, by choice you could eat alone if you wanted, it was very nice. It wasn’t as dressy as I’d have liked but I’m a girlie type and I like getting dressed up at Christmas. I’d have preferred a more formal Christmas lunch, certainly for the later sittings. The entertainment was mixed, we watched most of the shows, some were excellent, some less so, but you can’t expect to like everything and they certainly put their all into it. There was a funny pantomime type first, a couple of pop/rock things which were not really me, mainly because I like the real stuff and it fell short, but it would, the Van gough show had the most fantastic can can in it, well worth seeing just for that alone. The west side story take off was good. On our last night we were in Bangkok and they brought in the Ladyboys of Bangkok to do a show and wow, the place was packed with some standing and it was relayed to the big screen on the pool deck so more could watch up there. It was very good, a great end to our entertainment. In the bars there were quizzes etc, some entertaining, mr and Mrs was funny. There were a number of full time singers/players TUI staff who were ok, not fabulous but certainly ok. TUI brought in guest entertainers, a comedian I didn’t really rate and a pianist who was superb, I’d pay to watch him at home, just out of this world proper first class good. Tom someone, has played with Jooles Holland. As the cruise director said, you can’t please 1800 people all the time but the staff give their all and there has to be something on there you’ll like. I’m picky and I liked enough to be well happy a few times and happy enough mostly, and the bits that weren’t me were still ok. There were a good choice of bars, I liked the little casino bit and the carol service on Christmas Eve with the staff was magic. We stopped in Shi Lanka where we looked around on our own, we were pestered by tuktuk drivers a bit more aggressively than was comfortable and the market we were told was on was closed for that day, we had a drink in a bar, did some shopping and finally took a tuktuk for a whizz round before going back. It was an ok day but could have been better had we known a bit more. I’d look more up next time. Our mistake I think. The tuktuk driver was naughty, we agreed a price for an hour, he kept asking for longer and saying no charge but w stuck to an hour, towards the end he asked if we would go to this gem shop where we would look just for a few mins and he would get a petrol voucher as he had 4 children to feed, so we went, nice for me as my partner bought me a lovely ring, but then he deposited us at a tea place for another voucher and wanted to take us somewhere else but we said no, when he got us back to port he demanded double money as we’d been longer than the hour. We said we’d only been longer because of his petrol voucher but he was quite forceful and it was a bit worrying. My partner wanted to pay him but it was quite a lot £40, so I said no and said he could bring a policeman so he went, but it took the edge off the day a bit. I felt a bit mean but I don’t like being ripped off and we already paid him the original £20 before he wanted another £40. Lesson learned, don’t go over the time even for their benefit. Next stop was Malaysia, sebang, much gentler, we walked miles and shopped a bit and looked at street food and how they lived and had a fantastic day doing nothing other than that. Such lovely people. Nothing fancy, not a thing posh, scary looking fish being cooked, hot and humid but so lovely. Then a day at sea, bit of sunbathing and reading, no trouble getting a subbed, small pool but not crowded. Another good day. Lang Kwai next and we went to the cable car on a trip which encorporated a rice museum. The cable car was fantastic, there wasn’t enough time to do the skywalk due to queues but if we hadn’t done the rice place which I could quite happily have missed, we’d have had time. If you get chance to go don’t do a trip, get a taxi and go under your own steam, there’s enough time and it’s easy. We didn’t know how tricky it would be or how far so took the safer option, but there’s enough time and taxis. It was fabulous. I think we went to Penang next, amazing, busy, bustling but not overpoweringly so. Lots to see, got on a hop on hop off bus, stopped at a shopping center and did a bit of Christmas shopping very very good and sooo cheap, then Penang hill, amazing, saw lots of architecture, a mix of colonial, Asian temples, shacks and modern stuff, I love all that. Then street food in a market, very nice. Another good day. I think we had a couple of days at sea then, one of which was Christmas Day, some people moaned that it wasn’t very Christmassy, but it’s hot and there’s no family so what do you expect, it was nice, we got up and exchanged pressies, had breakfast and sunbathed, it was hot and lovely. We changed for dinner, we’d chosen the middle sitting so ate at 6, the food was excellent and it felt christmassey to me, we had crackers and although I chose scallops rather than turkey I had Christmas pud and enjoyed every bit of what I ate. We visited Singapore, fabulous, waking up there was just out of this world. We did the sea air and road trip and the Singapore flyer was the highlight of my day, you could see everything for miles around. Also I saw the orchid collection, not my other half’s choice but just stunningly beautiful and even he said it was pretty. Interesting loos tho, don’t wear trousers, too tricky. After that we visited 3 places in Thailand and more of Malaysia, including Kuala Lumpur and a trip up the KL Tower and to visit the Petronas Towers. Well worth seeing both. Thailand was beaches and Bangkok, both good, chaweng beach is a trip worth making but we did a trip and I think I’d have preferred to make our own way there and back and have longer, my other half liked the beer and we have several pics of him in various places in Thailand drinking different beers. Mine are good, baby octopus and just gorgeous gorgeous food. Our final trip to Bangkok was my only disappointment, we set of mega early and it was 2 hours away, that was fine, when we got there we were dropped at a huge shopping center and told that it was an hour and a half each way to see anything anyone wanted to see, not cos it was overly far but cos it was gridlocked traffic wise. We went on the sky train to the river and took a river boat trip for an hour and a half, not organised just under our own steam, we saw plenty but nothing at the same time if you know what I mean, I’m glad I went and I enjoyed the river, it was manically busy and we saw the back of huge impressive temples and how people lived, but there wasn’t time for more. The nature of the beast I think, one day in that sort of traffic. We set off back as we were told getting back may take longer than expected and found the skytrain easy enough, not clear signs but I just asked with a map and people were helpful, pointing which platform and which stop. We got back with two hours to kill as the journey was not long and just wandered around quite mundane shops killing time. Not a good trip but maybe that was down to us. That was out last day on board and the cruise director had organised the ladyboys of Bangkok to visit the ship and put on a show. That more than made up for a bit of a let down in the city itself. If I were going again I’d do more research before I went, particularly in Bangkok, a missed opportunity I think. But not a complete flop, the boat was bonkers, a cross between a formula one car and a tractor, driven by a maniac, loud, fast, like a rollercoaster ride on water, good fun. And we did the sky equivalent of the London Underground with no language skills and didn’t get lost. I had a fabulous holiday, saw places I’ve never seen before and was entertained, well fed and felt looked after, the cabin was comfortable and bigger than I expected. But the thing I’ll remember most about the ship is the friendliness of the staff, in 15 days I didn’t pass a single member of the ships staff who didn’t make eye contact and smile, most spoke but no one, not one of them, looked anything other than chuffed to death to smile at me. It was lovely, not always quite me, but lovely non the less. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We choose this cruise mainly for the itinerary, but have cruised with Thompson previously and always found it good value. Travelled with my husband and we both had a great time and met some lovely people. Really friendly crew who ... Read More
We choose this cruise mainly for the itinerary, but have cruised with Thompson previously and always found it good value. Travelled with my husband and we both had a great time and met some lovely people. Really friendly crew who couldn't do enough for you, always available to provide drinks and the entertainment team were good. Special shout out to the guys in bar 11, our favourite bar and the infused gin was really good. Our cabin 6622 was kept spotless by Prakash and we appreciated the towel art and Christmas treats, a lovely touch. Food good and plenty of choice and didn't need to visit the themed restaurants. The excursions we went on were good value. The only feedback is our check-in at Birmingham, the desk wasn't available till 7pm for the 9.25pm flight and only 1 person checking visas meant over an hour in the queue. We had booked into the lounge for 3 hours to relax but only had 50 minutes in there. Also it is disappointing that bottles of water are not provided free of charge in cabins when on all inclusive package. Didn't spoil the holiday and would definitely recommend. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise, Wonders of Asia, because of the itinerary and the fact that the weather in this part of the world at this time would be good. We applied for our Sri Lanka visa on line which took ten minutes and was free. Then for ... Read More
We chose this cruise, Wonders of Asia, because of the itinerary and the fact that the weather in this part of the world at this time would be good. We applied for our Sri Lanka visa on line which took ten minutes and was free. Then for the Indian visa - this took hours to complete as the Indian system kept crashing and we had to start again. If we had known how difficult it would be we may not have booked the cruise. On top of all the grief in applying they have the cheek to charge each of you 100 US. All of our fellow passenger agreed it had been a nightmare. We flew to India with TUI in a Dreamliner and upgraded to the Premium cabin which is well worth the extra cost especially on our return flight which was 13.5 hours with a 7 hour time difference. Now for the cruise, we have been on Discovery2 and Discovery is identical so we knew our way around and also new a few members of the crew. We had an outside cabin on Deck 3 which was of a good size with plenty of storage and well looked after by our cabin steward. Just a small point, bathroom towels did not always arrive until early evening. The public rooms and bars were all in good condition and bearing in mind it was a Christmas cruise nicely decorated. We always have breakfast and dinner in the main restaurant which on the whole was good with just one or two exceptions. The open seating at dinner worked reasonably well especially earlier, however if you went about 8pm you often had to obtain a bleeper and wait to be called which was on average about 15 minutes. The buffet at lunchtime had plenty of choice and we never had a problem finding a seat (unlike some other cruise companies we have been on). The nearest thing to a cruise 'formal' night is the 'dress to impress' weekly night which a large number of passengers really dressed up. Now for the AI drinks package, this was really good with a good choice of beer/larger good house wines/spitits and a large selection of cocktails. The bar staff are all very good and really encourage you to have another. Having said this we never saw a passenger drunk. The staff were all excellent, were friendly and worked really hard bearing in mind they almost work seven days a week for eight months. We generally do not do the shows in the theatre so cannot comment. The sunbeds were plentiful especially if you were happy to sit away from the main pool. There were many excursions on offer some of which were reasonably priced. The Italian restaurant was good and free, however the two other speciality restaurants ( which we did not use) were both very expensive. The weather turned out to be just what we wanted, very hot and very humid which we felt was the reason for the late arrival of towels as we felt the laundry could not keep up with the demand. This area of the world is a 'first' season for Marella and generally all went well with one exception. We were relived of our passports by immigration when we boarded the ship and were not to see them again until we disembarked. It would have been good if the company had advised passengers the passports were on the ship and were needed at each port of call by the immigration people. They did not give any reason for their being retained. Generally a good cruise, no children, excellent value for money and a company we will go with again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I chose this cruise for the ports of call, all we’re exciting. The ship was broken when we got on.Ok I understand sometimes things go wrong that really wasn’t the issue. It started at Gatwick we were delayed for 15 hrs, Tui handled ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the ports of call, all we’re exciting. The ship was broken when we got on.Ok I understand sometimes things go wrong that really wasn’t the issue. It started at Gatwick we were delayed for 15 hrs, Tui handled things terribly. Promising a hotel room for everyone with lunch and dinner all sounds good. They marched 300 people out of the airport so we could stand at the side of the road, It was so cold . No shelter from the elements. One coach was put on and the hotel was half an hour away. We had to stand there for 2 hrs until. It dawned on Tui that you can’t get 300 people on one coach. No excuse they knew about the delay the day before. everyone was frozen to the bone, old people, people in Wheelchairs,Everyone. Consequently my first four days on board I was in my cabin ill. We missed so many ports of call because the ship was just about crawling along. The staff on board were so rude , It was like we owed them gratitude just for being there.Im talking about the Eastern Europe staff here. They either ignored you or spoke like you were dirt on their shoe. Tui should get rid of the lot of them, they do you no favours. drinks waiters on deck we’re almost nonexistent, not what cruising is about. Tables on deck we’re rarely cleared of glasses, or wiped clean , AWFUL. I’ve seen cleaner greasy spoon cafes.I will never cruise Marella again, or go with Tui, and i would advise others to avoid them if you want a lovely cruise because you won’t get it! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
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