42 Montego Bay Senior Cruise Reviews

Upon arrival into our cabin we found it was dirty, not clean properly. There were stain marks on the ceiling, carpet, walls and mirror. The door jamb for the bathroom where you place you hand to step in/out was covered in grunge, some ... Read More
Upon arrival into our cabin we found it was dirty, not clean properly. There were stain marks on the ceiling, carpet, walls and mirror. The door jamb for the bathroom where you place you hand to step in/out was covered in grunge, some looked like dry blood. The main door for the cabin was also covered in this grunge. We complained and they did a cleaning but not to any high standards which left us wondering what else might be lurking in our cabin [germs]. In addition the bathroom door was secured with silicone along the bottom frame and the fan would not work. This was not a quality cruise; we could not get a martini because it was not on the drink menu, there was no John Smith beer in the upper lounge, you had to go down and get it yourself; the furniture in the various lounges were dated and stained, the carpet in the main lounge had a bad smell; service was slow in the various lounges and in some cases no service at all. The internet was poor, you paid a high price and if you did not use you time it was gone, you could not log in/out unless you purchased more time. Entertainment was poor. Shore excursions in most cases were poor and in some cases we did not get what we paid for; the excursion staff did not care nor deal with the problems. The food was generally good and service in the restaurants was fair but in the buffet area the servers stood around talking rather than cleaning tables. The buffet selection was limited. We spent two weeks on this cruise, far too many days were at sea with absolutely nothing to do other than trivia or lay by the pool. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My first Marcella Cruise I found the ship and crew and staff very helpful it was also my 1st all inclusive and there was no shortage of drinks all over the ship you had just put your empty glass down and bar staff were rushing to give you ... Read More
My first Marcella Cruise I found the ship and crew and staff very helpful it was also my 1st all inclusive and there was no shortage of drinks all over the ship you had just put your empty glass down and bar staff were rushing to give you a refill cocktail of the day was always yummy the entertainment was first class and so professional that comment was heard all over the ship by passengers the only negative comment were the food though nice it was always very sameness in Buffet and Restaurants 47 also I fell I'll as I'm prone to Chest Inf with air-con I visited the Medical Center who issued me with just 3 antibiotics at £15 each 4 steroids at £1.50 each and a cough bottle £27 they were of course of no use really wasn't happy with treatment which totaled £127 but would I travel with Marcella again ? Yes but take your medication with you and stay healthy Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Having been on Discovery1 last march we were interested to see the differences, which were very minor. The crew as on all Marella cruise ships were excellent, and wre always helpful. The ship was in good condition for its age but I ... Read More
Having been on Discovery1 last march we were interested to see the differences, which were very minor. The crew as on all Marella cruise ships were excellent, and wre always helpful. The ship was in good condition for its age but I have seen worst on younger P & O. The food for us was always very good but we are early eaters and the food was ALWAYS hot. Special mention must go to Surf & Turf whose steaks we have never found better anywhere. We like well done steaks and most fancy restuarants havent a clue how to do them. Kora La , Hot Stone and the Italian had very good food, but yet again we always ate early, Some people complained some of the food was cold. We had to miss the highlight of the cruise in Cuba because of their bad weather and flooding, But we up for it on the second week by doing an ocean rescue of a group of migrants between Jamaica and Belize ( bet they were miffed we were going west and not north to the states). Evening entertainment I dont rate as we had only one visiting act in the fortnight, one less then last march. There seems to be a trend of cutting back not just Marella but P&O as well. Most show teams may be good but not for us but their again we found 4tunes very good indeed. The bloke with the guitar and flat hat we wish would jump off the stern. Cabin 7500 very good no next door neighbour on one side and very quiet. Cabin steward Alam went the extra mile to help out when required. Overall an excellent cruise Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Pride of Panama and Cuban Fusion Cruise The flight from Gatwick took off at 9.30am and was a 10 hr flight due to a head wind the flight back was only 8hrs and 10 mins. On arrival at Jamaica at 2.30pm it was a bit chaotic having to fill ... Read More
Pride of Panama and Cuban Fusion Cruise The flight from Gatwick took off at 9.30am and was a 10 hr flight due to a head wind the flight back was only 8hrs and 10 mins. On arrival at Jamaica at 2.30pm it was a bit chaotic having to fill in Immigration forms which were handed to us while queueing, it would have helped if these we given on the flight as it held things up and took nearly 30 mins to get out of the airport the coach to the ship. On arrival at the port which took 30 mins it was very efficient embarkation and getting our boarding cards. We were allocated the inside room we had paid extra to choose and the room was a nice size and comfortable. There was some noise from the aircon. No fridge in the room but you could get cool water from dispensers in our case Midship. Plenty of hangers and storage space for a 2 week stay. We ate in 47 most nights and found the food to be nice and well presented although it did seem a little repetitive the second week with items appearing on the menu the same as first week. Fish selection was very average. Gallery 47 is the Italian themed restaurant and if you are not in before 6.45 you may have to wait in some cases upto 1hr ( they give you a pager). Do try the Trio Tiramisu and the Lasagne which are both very nice. In both restaurants if you want to make the 8.30 show it is best to opt for a table for 2 as the service is quicker, it takes longer to serve tables of 8 or 10. We sat on shared tables sometimes and met some nice people. One thing that was a disappointment was Christmas Eve where there was no special Christmas eve menu or dress to impress night particularly for the people leaving the ship on Christmas day. The entertainment team put on some nice shows in the Broadway Lounge , The Broadway Musicals, Vincent Van Gough Parody and The full Monty were all excellent. Some of the interactive shows in Venue were ok apart from the awful 007 spoof which I felt was dire. Bar service in the Broadway Theatre was always very good and in most bars on the ship the service was friendly and quick. A special mention here to Patrick the star of the Bar Staff ( No Card No Charge……spread the love). Towels are available for the sunbeds and to take to the beach and also towels are available in the Saunas which are in the Spa, you hand in the boarding card and they give you a locker key. Santa Marta, We didn’t do a tour here just walked along the promenade and had a beer at the Elevated café on the Marina. This maybe a good place to do a tour as there is little of interest apart from a small beach and a few shops. Cartagena, has a nice little animal park at the port with Parrots Flamingos and ant eaters. Got a taxi into Cartagena old town awful traffic getting in and took 30 mins shared with two other people for $20 we got one back for $10 but agree a price and make sure it’s a yellow authorised cab. Town is ok for a pootle around but you get pestered at a lot of places by street sellers. Also had a Columbian Coffee in Columbia at a Café near the church. Colon Panama Panama Canal, We did the Old and New Tour which included a visit to the old locks then onto Fort Lorenzo which was quite interesting and to get there is about an hour through rain forest roads and we saw Monkeys and Sloths. Then onto the New Locks Visitor centre where you get a good view of the new locks and big ships transiting through. Where the ship docks in Colon is not a nice area and is not somewhere some people felt safe walking around. It is also worth booking tours in advance here as they get booked quickly. Costa Rica, We did the Cahuita Transfer here which took around 40 mins. Arrived at a nice beach which was next to the Cahuita Rain Forrest park which we went through with our tour guide for around and hour (entrance $2 voluntary contribution) Toilet and changing facilities available and a couple of bars and shops nearby. We then had around an hour on the beach free time. Would have preferred to have an extra half hour on the beach rather than a long stop visiting a gift shop on route back to ship. Changeover day Jamaica, Went to Hard Rock Café, free transfer bus from port ask ladies on the gates where to pick it up. It cost $12 for two sunbeds and sunbrella and a beer was $5 and a free refill coke $2. Lovely beach and a nice chill out space also free wifi but not great wifi. Grand Cayman, This was our favourite place just across the road next to the library about 100yds from port you can get the Public Bus (minibuses) it costs $2 per journey so we went to Hell for $2 Each then Back to Seven Mile Beach $2 each then Back to the ship $2 each. Hell was Ok a bit warm and you only need 30 mins here for pic stop and post card purchase. There are toilets behind the gift shops next to the post office. We stopped at Luca Hotel on the beach managed to get a couple of free beds and two beers and two cokes was $20 not a cheap place but what a beach wow. Havana , Didn’t happen Port was flooded and damaged and closed so we had to go to Mexico a day early. This was genuine situation and there are vids on Youtube. Mexico, We visited the Mayan Ruins and Beach which was ok to hear the history about the place but not much to blow you away at the site. Then off to the beach which was lovely and the Mexican food was good value Tacos x 3 with salsa and Guacamole $8 had a nice time. Shops more reasonable in Mexico. Ocho Rios Jamaica (alternative to Havana) , We did the Dunns Falls and Kinoko Park. Kinoko Park is a lovely little place with nice trees and waterfalls there are also birds including Parrots which can be held and a snake around your neck if you like also a couple of lazy crocs. Normal cost of entry here is $20. Then onto Dunns falls which was interesting (DO NOT TAKE PHONES OR CAMERAS UNLESS WATERPROOF OR IN WATERPROOF POUCH if you are climbing the falls or they will be destroyed. Runners will offer to take pics with your camera but will expect a tip. The café next to beach seemed a rip off $10 for two beers. Also be careful when leaving the falls to go to the coach/Taxi rank there is a market area where people will try to put things in your hand and say they are free and then will ask your name and try to engrave another for your partner and then charge you $40 NOTHING IS FOR FREE!!! Entrance fee is $23 if you do it yourself. My wife managed to stay Mosquito bite free all week using the Deet sprays but seemed to have got bitten on the coach back to airport or at the airport so try to keep a liquid deet spray less than 100ml and spray before leaving ship arms and legs particularly. Ok Ive rambled on enough now just a quick hello to Rose and Tom and thanks for the Hard Rock Café tip and sharing the cab in Cartagena. We really enjoyed our cruise and would travel on Discovery 2 again. Both Captain Chris and Captain Jason it was nice to meet you both and some of your front line team. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Was on this ship in April doing Cuban Fusion and had a great time. No complaints so we decided to do Pride of Panama this time. We booked a Oceanview cabin 2062 but was upgraded to a balcony 6516 which we didn’t know about until at ... Read More
Was on this ship in April doing Cuban Fusion and had a great time. No complaints so we decided to do Pride of Panama this time. We booked a Oceanview cabin 2062 but was upgraded to a balcony 6516 which we didn’t know about until at the Airport we meet another couple an upon talking to them they also were assigned cabin 2062. So we assumed one of us would be moved. We didn’t attend any of the shows as we spent most of our time in the live room listening to the great band 4Tunes. They were sensational and we couldn’t Wait for them to play. We were not impress by the food this time in 47 Restaurant. The lamb was tough and the veal was also not that good. The chicken had no taste. The buffet was ok for breakfast and we only had salad at lunch. The Italian restaurant saved our food experience. The lasagna was excellent,the sea food platter and the swordfish were really delicious and the trio desert was very good.Best of all was our waiter Lloyd who spent time talking to us and making us feel comfortable. He couldn’t do enough for us and made each of our visits to the restaurant very enjoyable. Our cabin was nice but not enough drawer space as we had in our previous cabin. It was nice to have the balcony but we didn’t use it that much. Our cabin stewart Henri was very personable and kept our cabin clean and we had plenty of clean towels.. The only reason I gave this cruise a 4 was due to the food in buffet and 47 Restaurant others wise this cruise was a 5 Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My cruise was a 70th birthday gift, the most disappointing aspect was the change in the itinerary. they took out three of the ports we really wanted to see. The ship is okay, showing it's age a little, but the cruise was 18 nights all ... Read More
My cruise was a 70th birthday gift, the most disappointing aspect was the change in the itinerary. they took out three of the ports we really wanted to see. The ship is okay, showing it's age a little, but the cruise was 18 nights all inclusive and I didn't consider the price to be expensive. The staff were very good overall, some still in training in the 47 dining room I think, but the food generally was good. The overall cruise was very relaxed so if you want fine dining and evening dress every night this isn't for you, although we did our best to show how dressing up is done. The dance teachers on board held lessons almost every day and there was ballroom and sequence dancing most nights, the teachers Jasmin and Adam were excellent. The other entertainment was provided by visiting comedians 3 of them who we enjoyed very much. the rest of the entertainment team put on there shows on a regular basis. The two singers on board were Max & his wife Brandi, could not fault them, professional, fantastic singers-they will go far. If you like fun and a great atmosphere without stuffiness this is for you.Thank you to all the staff for a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise as our first because it was advertised as all-inclusive,which appealed to our budget.It was a wonderful week, where we enjoyed good food and drinks in a variety of locations aboard ship and met some lovely people.The ... Read More
We chose this cruise as our first because it was advertised as all-inclusive,which appealed to our budget.It was a wonderful week, where we enjoyed good food and drinks in a variety of locations aboard ship and met some lovely people.The crew were exemplary;performing their jobs in a most courteous and friendly manner.The entertainment was varied and very good-no excuses to be bored.We didn't venture into Georgetown because of the need to use a "lighter"boat.Havana was an eye-opener.You walked off ship immediately into the heart of the old city.The crumbling architecture,begging and poverty was more than we anticipated.During the long days at sea getting a lounger around the pools wasn't always easy but we managed to eventually find a suitable location to tan or enjoy a beverage.The ship docked in Cozumel near the core of the town square so shopping was handy-no need for a taxi.We didn't use any excusions as we simply utilized the essence of the cruise itself and prefer to explore on our own.It costs less too!We very much look forward to another Marella cruise next winter. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was our first cruise on a European based cruise line as opposed to North American. We were attracted to the all inclusive and air travel options as well as the opportunity to visit Havana which was cut short by Cuban Harbour ... Read More
This was our first cruise on a European based cruise line as opposed to North American. We were attracted to the all inclusive and air travel options as well as the opportunity to visit Havana which was cut short by Cuban Harbour authorites due to lack of dock space which increased our stay in Cozumel. After our arrival in Montego Bay which was a bit of a nightmare and confusion clearing customs and a bus trip through mass traffic jams we arrived at the cruise terminal which is in dire need of an upgrade.Basiclly a very spartan wharehouse. Our ship which used to be the well loved RCL Legend of the Seas is in great shape and all facilities are in top condition. Dining options were many and the food .while not exceptional was satisfactory in the main dining rooms which we used every evening' the tables are arranged in such manner so you can enjoy conversation with fellow diners who were predominately British and delightful conversationalists. The production shows in the show lounge included the best overall vocalists we ever enjoyed on any cruise so far. The all inclusive bar package was great and we were well taken care of in the Atrium bar by the personality plus Maria . Our day in Havana was mostly taken up by utilizing the hop on hop off double decker bus which takes you all over the city, The city is obviously in need of an upgrade which is underway but has a long way to go, Enjoyed the Caymans,very nice and friendly too. All in all would not hesitate to travel with Marella again Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
The reason we chose this cruise was to visit Cuba and Panama, and they did not disappoint. I was in a party of 8, all in our 60's and 70's. The flight, transfer and embarkation were fine, cases were also delivered promptly. ... Read More
The reason we chose this cruise was to visit Cuba and Panama, and they did not disappoint. I was in a party of 8, all in our 60's and 70's. The flight, transfer and embarkation were fine, cases were also delivered promptly. On entering our cabin we found a communication stating that due to bad weather, our itinerary had changed, and we would be visiting the first week destinations on different days. As we had pre booked mostly private tours, we then had to contact the tour companies to rearrange. We asked Reception if we could have one hour of free internet to contact the tour companies, and they duly agreed to our request. All the private tour companies changed our days without any issues and no extra charges (same happened 2nd week). The only problem we encountered was that sometimes the departure time was brought forward, but again the tour companies were very co operative. The first day at sea was extremely windy, and 3 of our party suffered from severe sea sickness, one having to pay £20 for an injection, which gave instant relief. All 8 of us found the food on board quite acceptable, and we had no problems getting a table for breakfast, although we often had to sit in pairs or 4's. Santa Marta, Columbia This tour we had booked with the ship, nice tour but nothing special. Cartagena, Columbia We booked our tour with Dora the explorer. After leaving the ship we met Dora's rep before the actual port exit. We passed through a small aviary before meeting Dora herself waiting outside in an air conditioned taxi for 8 people. Dora was an excellent guide taking us to all the important sites and views in the city. Colon, Panama the tour was booked with 'my friend mario'. We met Mario's rep Rey outside the port at the pre arranged place. Now Rey was one of the best guides we have ever had, his knowledge of Caribbean history was incredible, and he really made our tour so memorable. Our tour took us on a ferry across the canal and through a rain forest to an abandoned fort ~ good photo opportunities. We also visited the Canal Locks (small entrance charge) which were very interesting. Porto Limon, Costa Rica Tour Operator was Lucky Tours. A nice tour visiting a fruit store, Banana Plantation, boat trip and beach. Montego Bay, Jamaica Private tour with Marvyn Gayle, Very good security when exiting the ship. We were picked up for a tour to Dunns River Falls. Taxi took about one and a half hours to reach the Falls, where we were greeted by Marvyn himself who took our money for the trip. The Falls climb was good fun, but more difficult than I expected, although all our party completed the climb from bottom to top. We stopped off at a very nice beach on the way back to the ship. Havana, Cuba Our tour was booked with Havana Journeys, and our guides were Miguel and Eileen ~ 2 excellent guides. Through Havana Journeys we had pre booked the 2 guides, 2 Cadillacs and one hardtop from 1950's (together with the drivers) for the 8 in our party. Havana was quite different to any other Caribbean country we have visited, lovely architecture, people and vehicles. Our ship stayed overnight so we booked a night out at the Buena Vista Social Club with the Legends of Guarjirito. I really enjoyed the experience ~ great music, singing and atmosphere, most singers were elderly but they sure could play those instruments and sing. The meal was just ok. Cozumel, Mexico We booked a day out at the Allegro Hotel and Resort with Shore Excursioner, transport to and from resort included. At the resort we watched International Rugby matches from back home, and enjoyed the beach and various pools. Geargetown, Grand Caymen Booked a tour with Captain Marvin. Tour included transport to Stingray City and snorkeling. Great tour, snorkeling equipment supplied by tour company. Good Stingray encounter and variety of fish seen when snorkeling. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I was so happy when I saw Sunwing was again offering this Pride of Panama almost all inclusive cruise. We had taken it on Thomson Dream in Feb. 2016 & then didn't see it last year so were really happy we got it this time. It was ... Read More
I was so happy when I saw Sunwing was again offering this Pride of Panama almost all inclusive cruise. We had taken it on Thomson Dream in Feb. 2016 & then didn't see it last year so were really happy we got it this time. It was good value with flight, cabin, transfers, drink package included & NO tipping! The Marella Discovery 2 is a lovely ship, a nice size with a great CD, happy dining room staff, very efficient & friendly cabin stewardess, beautiful shows, good food with nice choices & great excursions. I liked it so much I almost cried when we had to leave. I wish we could have stayed on for another week. The ship is lovely & in great shape for being built in 1995. It's so easy to find your way around on it. It has everything one would want on a ship. Our cabin, an inside, was big enough of the 2 of us, had a love seat & plenty of storage space. There was also a kettle with coffee & tea to drink. We used the door cards so our lovely stewardess Jelena & her assistant Svitlana always had the cabin made up for us on our return from breakfast, something I really appreciate. There was also towel animals occasionally then or at night along with the chocolates I've been missing on other lines. We always ate in the dining rooms & usually had a table for two. We didn't try the pay restaurants just did the 2 47' ones & enjoyed the food & service in both. The staff are really friendly & efficient. The menu was varied & the food generally quite good. Martyn, the CD is everywhere & does a great job. We went to all the production shows & really enjoyed them. The theatre has comfy seating with a drink holder. I only went to Bingo a couple of times as it was at the same time as we usually have supper. It was good, only 5 GBP & fast. I really enjoyed the Elton John show, the singing couple & comedian too. We never use pools or hot tubs or hang around bars so can't comment on them. We did like having the opportunity to try new drinks with the included package. The photographers were good & helpful when we had a bit of a problem with our boarding picture or lack thereof. We had prebooked a couple of shore excursions then booked a couple more onboard. I did the Panama Railway tour which also included a stop at the new locks where we saw a movie & walked around a bit then took the train, had a little drive by tour of the city & a stop at a duty free place on the water. I was surprised & happy to see some food on the train then a sandwich on the bus. DH did his 1st zip line in Costa Rica & the boat ride while I did the Jaguar Animal Rescue trip with river cruise too. We both enjoyed our choices. Our guide at the animal place was great, very keen having volunteered there for 6 years. I was afraid the animals would jump on you but that never happened to me at least. The flora & fauna were lovely there. We had been to Santa Marta & Cartagena before so just walked along the Malecon & into the town a bit in the former, & took a cab to the Fort walked around for about an hour then returned to the lovely little zoo right at the port, at the latter. We never did find the Emerald Museum there at the port, oh well maybe next time! I took the ship tour & was happy with it. I've done them on other ships & they're all different. This one began with a chat over tea or coffee on the bridge with Captain Chris & ended with a glass of bubbly in the MDR. I must say Cap't Chris is a young handsome friendly man who seems down to earth & very efficient, looking out for our best interests. He did change the routing on our cruise due to weather but it still was a pretty rocky ride a couple of nights. He did keep us informed so that was appreciated. I really loved this cruise & was sad to leave the ship. One thing about that was there was no rush to leave, sure you had to be out of the cabin by 8:00 am but you could stay onboard using the services 'til your transfer left. We had purchased the wifi so passed time on that while waiting to disembark.. Hopefully we'll be able to do another cruise on D2 or another in the fleet next year if Sunwing offers the same sort of deal. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Where do I even begin, This year I was fortunate enough to experience the best holiday imaginable. I booked my holiday through TUI for a two week carirbean cruise on the Marella Discovery 2. This was my first ever cruise and the ... Read More
Where do I even begin, This year I was fortunate enough to experience the best holiday imaginable. I booked my holiday through TUI for a two week carirbean cruise on the Marella Discovery 2. This was my first ever cruise and the price and itenary were incredible. The whole holiday was seemless from booking, to flying to arriving to resort to embark the ship. TUI and Marella staff were always on hand to help. We were greeted with the smiliest faces at Montego Bay where we were checked in and directed to board the Cruise. That night we were instructed and reassured on all safety procedures and given a guided tour of the cruiseship to find our bearings whilst our suitcases were delivered to our cabins. Everynight we recieved an entertainment planner for the days entertainment and events as well as an update on the days port, local information, weather for the day, currencys used and things to do. The cruise was all inclusive and having stayed in many 5* all inclusive hotels around the world the food and drink on the cruise may as well have been 10*. The variety, standard, presentaion and flavour were fantastic. There were many retsuarants to use and the only problem i faced was trying not too eat too much or picking where to eat. The staff on the cruise were the best team of staff i have ever come accross on my holidays. Everyone was so warm and friendly and really helped to personalise your holiday and go out of their way to make it special. In the mornings you would have a wake up announcement from Captain Chris and the Cruise Director Martyn who would start you day off with a lovely update on the weather outside, the port, when you could get off the cruise and overall a lovely start to the day. When you go on shore there are so many different things to see and do to experience the fantastic culture and sights. We always booked out excurions through TUI on the cruise and everything we did added value to our holiiday experience and was unique and great for getting out of the country what we wanted to see, do and experience. We never faced any issues with our cabin and never struggled for size. The cabin was cleaned twice a day and two sets of towels also. We were always left chocolates at night and the cleaners were lovely, always said hello when passing in the corridors. TV channels were fab, plenty of films and programmes to choose from and we loved that there were Marella channels to keep you posted with excursions. We always tried to tune into Cruise Director TV to find out whats been on and whats upcoming chilst on board. The pool on the cruise was a great size and perfect way to cool off on a hot carribean day. There was never any issues with sunbeds as there was deck 9 and deck 10 to lay out on. The entertainment team will keep you entertained with poolside games and quizzes as well as laying back to onboard bands and and talented voices to sing poolside. Waiter service aorund the pool was an added bonus as you didnt even have to move to get a drink. The entertainments show team, actor hosts and family hosts really made our holiday. They were all so friendly and always smiling and laughing. The level of enterainment on the Cruise is one of the most professional, talanted and sought after I have ever seen. The entertainment lounge and gameshows venue were always full and you could see from just looking around all of the guests were constantly happy and enjoying as much as us. A big shout out to the whole team and we really hope we get to see you on furture cruises. Your an assest to Marella and TUI and the way you interact and are constanly around your guests socialising and entertaining is incredible. we dont have children but even seeing the childcare team around the pool helping with quizzes and interacting around the cruise was also amazing to see. All of the staff want to inteact with the guests and really go out of their way to make their holiday. The cruise also has a jogging track, a virtual reality room, casino, climbing wall, minigolf, outdoor cinema, nighclub, shops and full spa just to name a few extras. I would 100% recommend a cruise on the Marella Discovery 2 for the best holiday you can ask for. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
flight from b'mam v.good but waited for over 30 mins at airport for cruise transfer bus---airport staff said this was a regular experience because tui do not charter enough buses for the volume of travellers arriving at the same time ... Read More
flight from b'mam v.good but waited for over 30 mins at airport for cruise transfer bus---airport staff said this was a regular experience because tui do not charter enough buses for the volume of travellers arriving at the same time ! embarkation seamless--cabin v.good (floor 3 outside( - food always v'good especially italian bar service excellent - choice of drinks extensive entertainment varied - pianist guy stoker superb but sax player and acoustic guitar player talented but soporiphic. shows good but too much dance and not enough vocals bands v.good ship old and external areas need attention---internally all ok staff without exception brilliant problems ------ no toilets on level 4 which housed most bars and rests.----some crap destinations (Guatemala and Honduras)---excursuions grossly over priced . disembarkation again spoiled by 20 mins wait for transfer bus flight home on time and ok but miserable staff (but efficient) compared to superb staff on outbound flight (well done gareth and team) Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Exotic explorer/Cuban fusion. Before I start, I do have to declare a liking for Marella. I realise that in the past their ships have been a bit like a pair of comfy old shoes, scuffed, well worn and leaky, not a good a good analogy for ... Read More
Exotic explorer/Cuban fusion. Before I start, I do have to declare a liking for Marella. I realise that in the past their ships have been a bit like a pair of comfy old shoes, scuffed, well worn and leaky, not a good a good analogy for a ship, I know, but you know what I mean. So I looked forward to sailing on the Discovery 2, and I was quite impressed, even if they do still have shower curtains, have these people never seen Psycho? One of the good, if not great things about Marella, is that the TUI 'planes take off from many regional airports, and once you've waved bye-bye to your luggage, the next time you see them is in your cabin. Well it's always worked in the past and I am an optimist. Getting on board was pretty straight forward, although the photographer wasn't too welcome after travelling for twenty hours or so. Accommodation: We had cabin, sorry, state room, 3092 with a window. Although it was near the blunt end, it wasn't too far from the lifts and the main restaurant was one deck up. Although the room wasn't the biggest it had adequate space and storage for clothes etc. The bed was a king size and very comfy. There was also a credit card operated safe, provided free. Television, not too many channel options. Food: There are many options, most of them included. The main restaurant, 47° is on deck 4, and on this cruise it was set up for any time dining. It does get busy between 7:30 ish and 8:30, so plan accordingly. There are many two seater tables, set up in a 2-2-2 format so that you can talk to your neighbours or be antisocial as the mood takes you, of course there are bigger tables if you wish to share, although being on one usually extends the meal time. Gallery 47° is an Italian themed restaurant on deck 5. It has a choice of two menus that alternate daily. Islands, well a buffet is a buffet, sometimes good, sometimes cold, however many times they stick the thermometer in. But that applies to all buffets. It does have beer and wine on tap for those with a serious problem. Snack Shack, a favourite of ours, provides, strangely, snacks. Cereals, hot sandwiches and a delicious ham and cheese pastry at breakfast and small portions of fish and chips, burgers, salads etc during the day. Ideal if you come back on board late. The Glass House. Is an evening venue that is a tapas style restaurant, we didn't like it that much, but each to his own. They also do the Hot Stone fad here, although there is a charge, why you pay extra to cook your own food is beyond me. There are two other restaurants, the Surf and Turf and the Kora La, both at a supplement, although we didn't try either of these. During these two cruise they did put on a deck BBQ once a week, which must give the safety engineer nightmares! Drinks: (The important stuff) This was an AI cruise and there are a lot of different drinks included. Beer, Fosters, John Smiths and Strongbow on draft. Becks, Peroni in bottles. You can buy others at a supplement, although why you would buy a can of John Smiths smooth at £3:30, when Dettol is available is beyond me. There are also a large range of wines including Proseco by the glass and many cocktails included. Entertainment: As usual this is very varied and very good. There is usually something going on especially in the evening, and the 'Game Shows' are very funny, the 'Actor Hosts', didn't they used to be the animation team? are exceptional. Staff: Again, in the main they are exceptional, although the waiters haven't been taught the basics, ie after serving somebody look up. It can take 45 minutes between deciding you want a drink to getting it. If you think you can circumvent this by going to the bar, think again. The bar staff, once again haven't been taught the most important lesson, knowing who is next to be served, it can get very frustrating. Excursions: We tend not to do too many excursions these days, being fortunate enough to have travelled widely, we have seen all the museums, the ABC tours and the old ruins we need to see, although my wife maintains that she sees an old ruin every day. However we did do three. Altan Ha, nearly an hour and a half in a poor coach, being lectured, loudly, all the way by two guides who thought they were funny. The place itself was very pleasant although you are only there just over an hour before the return journey. There was a city tour included, but blink and you missed it. Good Hope house, Jamaica. We both really enjoyed this, a trip to an old plantation house which included afternoon tea, complete with the ubiquitous jerk chicken, at 11:30 AM! Lastly the Parisien Cabaret in Havana. A good show spoiled by the cramped seating arrangements. After three hours we felt as though we could do with seeing a Chiropractor. We have seen the Tropicana before and it is the far better show, although it is more expensive. As I've said these days we are just happy to get off the ship and walk for a few hours, although in some of these ports there is not a lot, locally to see, eg Cozumel- Blackpool with sunshine, so excursions might be the best, if expensive, way to go. So, thanks Thompson/TUI/Marella, no more name changes eh, it's starting to look suspicious. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Review Marella Discovery 2 Cuban Fusion 22 January 2018 This was our forth Thomson (Dream*3) Marella cruise, our least favourite but still a good cruise. Rated a 4 instead of five is related to entertainment. About 1800 passengers ... Read More
Review Marella Discovery 2 Cuban Fusion 22 January 2018 This was our forth Thomson (Dream*3) Marella cruise, our least favourite but still a good cruise. Rated a 4 instead of five is related to entertainment. About 1800 passengers mostly from the UK, 100 from Canada. Different flavour from US origin ships, we enjoy it and find the itineraries somewhat different. We booked and flew with Sunwing from Toronto on a 737 which was a bit cramped but adequate for a 4 hour flight. Be sure to take a pen to fill in the Jamaican immigrations forms. The transfer from the airport to the ship and the boarding process was very well organized, ditto for the return. This cruise was “all inclusive”. We being 100% and 95% non drinkers, were a bit nervous but needlessly. Never noticed any problems, no lineups for drinks etc. We were not the only non drinkers on board. The ship is quite nice, all crew, waiters, etc excellent. They all obviously make efforts to keep the ship clean and enjoyable for your stay. There was some sickness aboard, don’t know how this can be avoided, once you have payed your fare most will be going, coughing or not. Our suggestion is to always use the hand sanitizers and wash your hands more frequently than usual. Shame on the gent that was finger feeding himself on the cheese counter, should have slapped his hand. There were two main formal eating areas with similar names. 47 on deck 4 has a traditional menu (fish, meat, chicken etc), Gallery 47 on deck 5 is Italian themed with an alternating A & B menu. Both were excellent, we tended to look over the menus mid afternoon to make a choice. We had breakfast and lunch in ISLANDS on deck 9 which is buffet style, lots of choice. We enjoy sharing a table for the evening meal, which we did every night, thanks folks. There are plenty of tables for two or four therefore sharing is not quite as easy on this ship but still possible, you have to ask to share. Entertainment in the Broadway Show Lounge was not as good as we have seen on other Thomson cruises, not spectacular and lacked modern recognizable music. It is the content, we have seen quite a few of the entertainment staff before and know that they are capable. On our previous Thomson/TUI cruises entertainment was spectacular, we rated it the best of any cruise. Entertainment on this cruise was a bit of a let down and the reason for a 4 star instead of 5. Very pleased that Braxi Music (Brandy and Max) plus Daniella were onboard. Their powerful performances were very enjoyable. The comedian Dave Kristian entertained us well for two shows. The piano vocalist (Guy Stoker) in “Live Room” was quite good and later he performed as “Elton Guy”. In our opinion the “Elton Guy” show should have been moved to ‘Venue” which could have accommodated the overflow crowd. The cruise featured an on board Bubbleologist (Graham Maxwell). It was a quirky, interesting show, certainly one of the most unusual that we have seen. Did not do any ship excursions as we did the same cruise two years ago. Only tendered in the Caymen Islands. In all the ports we just got off the ship and walked around. We find Havana very interesting both culturally and architecturally, great photo opportunities. In Havana we rented an old car (52 Chev) for a tour. Felt quite safe walking around, had a coffee bought some churritos. Churritos, are local delicacy, made on the street, try um. The ship literally docks right beside the sidewalk in Old Havana. We did consider the ship based bike tour of Havana but declined as the weather forecast was not good and apparently the tours go regardless of the weather. The ship is quite nice and spacious, never had much of a problem with seating lineups etc. If you need a deck lounge in the perfect sunny spot you need to stake your claim early. We were always able to find a lounge chair in the shade on at sea days. The Broadway Show Lounge can fill up, most shows are on twice, just pick your time and go early. We had an inside cabin (6089) which was quite nice and suited our needs. Clean and kept clean. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Having traveled on the discovery 1 last year I was looking forward to this trip, although the ship is identical the standards are very different, the staff working on the acomadation where fantastic and every time you left the cabin they ... Read More
Having traveled on the discovery 1 last year I was looking forward to this trip, although the ship is identical the standards are very different, the staff working on the acomadation where fantastic and every time you left the cabin they where in there working, it was spotless on each occasion Something had gone seriously wrong with the drinks on this trip as they where nowhere near as good as the 1, they just seems to be thrown together, there seemed far less bar staff on this trip, not that I drank a lot, we didn't upgrade to the premium drinks as most of the drinks on the standard menu seemed ok, and if you wanted anything off the premium list you could pay a supliment of around £2.50 which was more expensive than the discovery 1 Also for the food in the 47 & gallery 47 was ok tho a tad repedative I do understand keeping 2k people happy is a monumental task, ok as for the Asiain and Steak restaurants tui seem to have bumped up the price form what I paid in the summer the Asian (Kora-La) was £24 each and the surf and turf was £29 each perhaps the paint job in the name change cost them a few bob and they where trying to recoup the cost The entertainment was very good and the show team work very hard in delivering complex different shows each night As for the shore trips I felt like I was an audience member in a fourteen day infomercial you couldn't escape the continual sell, sell, sell, on every TV Chanel, they even put it on the jumbo screen round the pool area arghhhhhhhhhhh enough already Overall the holiday was good and this blip has not put me off sailing with tu-rella again Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was our first holiday without the kids (both started Uni) so we were looking forward to a relaxing time. We flew from Birmingham Premium Class, everything ran smoothly from checking in to the lounge, then the problems start... ... Read More
This was our first holiday without the kids (both started Uni) so we were looking forward to a relaxing time. We flew from Birmingham Premium Class, everything ran smoothly from checking in to the lounge, then the problems start... Premium Class is just a decent economy with minimal extra room and no real support for your legs when reclined if you wanted a sleep, also we sat to the rear of premium (by the toilet) and we had a set of two couples who thought it would be a good idea to stand around this area and act like they were down the pub having no regard for other passengers and the flight attendants seemed oblivious to it and in the end I had to speak to them which is quite embarrassing my advice is save your money go economy and spend what you save on either upgrading your room or drinks package. On arrival at Montego Bay it was crazy we had to wait in a hot non air conditioned corridor for over an hour which we thought was for customs but actually was the lack of coaches to take us to the ship. At this stage people around us were getting irate (complaining, swearing being quite aggressive to airport staff) and all was adding to the stress levels which probably could have been avoided with a little communication to let everyone know the process. The bus journey was fine and when we arrived at the terminal it was chaos again no structure and people pushing in and nobody taking control. We finally got our cards and went to our cabin (without any guidance). We decided to go for a junior suite and were quite happy, it was clean and had reasonable space and the balcony was a god send with the table, chairs and sunlounger although rust could be seen all outside but it was during our two weeks a sanctuary to get away from the foul language and selfish behavior of some other passengers especially around the buffet area and main pool. After arriving onboard we were told that our itinery had been changed, this led to us going to the Cayman Islands first and due to the weather our excursion being cancelled and also the same in Mexico the excursion being cancelled and finally in Cuba I had to ring around to our excursion operator to reschedule (I booked independently) then on our second week one stop in Columbia was cancelled all together, they did have an extra stop in Jamaica to compensate. I understand that the weather can not be guaranteed and it was most unfortunate that we had just one of those bad weeks but I still think if our schedule wasn't changed we would of potentially not missed out on at least one of the excursions. Overall on board I would suggest the vibe of the ship is like a 3 star Costa Brava All Inclusive Hotel so if that is not your thing (it isn't mine) you are not really going to enjoy or going to get value for money as I cannot believe that anyone who hasn't been on the beer all day can enjoy the food and entertainment provided. The flight home was better without any issues (except if you fly premium from Montego Bay you can't use the lounge unless you pay more!!!!! never know that). THE SHIP: Little tired in places I suggest a rushed refit (rust on paintwork virtually everywhere) but overall it is hard complain. CABIN: We had a Junior Suite and was so pleased we upgraded as when walking past others (Balcony / inside cabins) I don't think I would of lasted the two weeks onboard. The lounger on the balcony got plenty of use. DINING: Simply terrible, the buffet was like a war zone survival of the fittest, Main & Italian Restaurant poor service and the food had no taste and all the cuts of meat we the cheapest we tried each twice to give the benefit of the doubt but there was not doubt it was pretty much awful, the best free restaurant in the evening was the Glass House, this was because they did pizza and nobody can mess a pizza (saying that I probably won't have another this year after 7 you do get fed up. We ate twice at the Asian Restaurant, the food was good (not sure if that was because the other food onboard was so bad so our taste buds had been shot) service was poor unless you were in a big group or had a Birthday (Waiting on staff seemed more interested in singing "Happy Birthday" instead of looking after diners) numerous times I had an empty glass for over 5 minutes and I only got a refill after calling the waiter over. Drinks, we upgraded to the premium package, it was well worth it as the brands offered on the all inclusive were not what I would normally drink, also you have a 1.5ltr bottle of water delivered to your room every day so you don't have to drink the fountain stuff!!! plus you get coffee & tea from the coffee bar included, soft drinks like coke you can ask for a cans also asked for canned mixers with your spirits (normally an extra £1.00) instead of drinking the flat bottled coke / lemonade they serve (believe me it does make a difference). ENTERTAINMENT / ACTIVITIES: The shows in the main theatre were extremely poor they had lots of energy but no direction I am sure if they listened to the shows themselves they would be distraught on how bad they sounded. Each week they had a comedian which was really the only decent entertainment over the two weeks. Resident musicians were ok Activities - Don't bother!!! SERVICE: Our Cabin Boy Carlos was fantastic on the first two days he was for ever trying to please and I like my privacy and said to him that I know he was only trying to impress but I enjoy our space after that he respected that and was first class efficient and did what ever we asked and the room was always cleaned properly. Other staff were poor in the main not sure if they had not had the correct training or that they just could be bothered. Captain Chris and The Entertainment Directors daily announcements were mainly annoying (Captain was either Bobby Dazzler or Cracking sure he thought it was endearing but just got on your nerves after three days) The daily news was a joke also what a waste of paper never changed other than a few lines about the next port of call, one thing that did entertain us was they had one section about different craft beers they had changing every day as a special, every day we would check and day one Hobgobblin day two Hobgobblin yes you have it everyday. PORTS & EXCURSIONS: We had three excursions cancelled due to weather / not going to port of call, which is understandable but annoying as was down to the change of schedule possibly?? The shore excursions that we did manage to go on were mainly booked through the ship and I have to admit they were very good and we felt extremely good value for money and would recommend if anyone goes to Costa Rica to do the Zip Wire tour we did it in torrential rain but it was still amazing and the photo / video package they offer after is really fairly priced. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I chose this cruise for its itinerary which started from Montego Bay, Jamaica, and circumnavigated Cuba, stopping at Santiago de Cuba, Havana, and Cienfuegos. The ship was quite nice, well maintained. The staff was very friendly and ... Read More
I chose this cruise for its itinerary which started from Montego Bay, Jamaica, and circumnavigated Cuba, stopping at Santiago de Cuba, Havana, and Cienfuegos. The ship was quite nice, well maintained. The staff was very friendly and helpful,the food was excellent, and the entertainment was outstanding. The included tours of the three cities, and the drinks package were good deals. The only extra expense was the $149 each cost for the Tropicana Club evening. That was actually worth it! The person-to-person enrichment lectures by a U of Havana historian were very informative. There were also documentary movies about Cuban history and Afro-Cuban music and dance. Americans received a certificate at the end of the cruise, which could be used to satisfy a current US Treasury requirement that travel to Cuba be for educational/humanitarian reasons. The ship was way below its capacity of 1200 passengers. While that is great for the passengers who are onboard, the company deserves more business, considering what a great time we had. I am happy to recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This was our 8th time on the dream and we cannot fault it,we cruised from jamaica,around the caribbean over to funchal in madeira then over to cadiz finishing the cruise in malaga.For any one who likes cruising i would try a thomson cruise ... Read More
This was our 8th time on the dream and we cannot fault it,we cruised from jamaica,around the caribbean over to funchal in madeira then over to cadiz finishing the cruise in malaga.For any one who likes cruising i would try a thomson cruise first as it caters for the british holiday maker ie english food rather than continental menus,a decent pint of john smiths and stella artois lager.There is an a la carte menu available at a cost of £20 per person,were you will have a 6 course meal in mistrals restaurant,also there is the kora la were you can have a choice of indian or thai cuisine for the same price.The entertainment is west end style,the crew and the staff are brilliant,there is also the formal night were you can get you best togs on and be wined and dined in the restaurant.There are various excursions which can be booked before you go or at your local thomson shop and if your funds can stretch if your on a long haul flight book premium class its well worth it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This objective-chronological perspective of Cuba is provided by Dr.Jorge Gonzalez Arocha, PhD , Havana University. Professor Arocha covered all important ports of call providing historical, cultural and architectural information in a ... Read More
This objective-chronological perspective of Cuba is provided by Dr.Jorge Gonzalez Arocha, PhD , Havana University. Professor Arocha covered all important ports of call providing historical, cultural and architectural information in a colloquial manner . Each and every one of the towns visited was a vivid picture that solidified the historical, architectural and cultural presentations made on board. All shore excursions were perfectly geared to the presentation on-board, providing a platform for us to interact with the people, the music, the culture itself. This jelling experience is The Authentic Cuban Experience. As for the ship experience itself, I was pleasantly surprised. Dining Room Exp: Food was delicious and authentic. I really enjoyed my lunch and dinners, when time permitted, at The Almanthia. Jose Luis, "Rest. Captain" has a welcoming smile and handshake for everyone which makes you feel "at home". Monica and Luis are excellent members of the wait staff but they also have the quality of making you laugh, which is medicine for the soul. That's an A+ in my book. I must mention Edel and Ricardo, "Rest Capt." from LEDA Deck Rest. Also gracious hosts with a sunny disposition. Our Cabin was impeccable every day, with special towel art presented by Vivianne and Ernesto. (5th Deck) All special requests were acted on immediately. They both were so attentive, always providing service with a smile. Entertainment on board were spectacular, thematic shows, provided by a team of polifacetic artistic acrobatic-singers, MC'd by Danny-from Romania, Cruise Director. Based on this experience, I'm already planning my next Cruise with Celestyal - Crystal...Thanks for the opportunity to share, Kudos to these people who make cruising fun as well as a learning experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Wow, I have much to say here. The experience was a mixed one, but I got what I wanted to get out of the trip. No one goes on a cruise to Cuba to be on a ship, so I will cover the excursions first. I am a US citizen, so my itinerary was ... Read More
Wow, I have much to say here. The experience was a mixed one, but I got what I wanted to get out of the trip. No one goes on a cruise to Cuba to be on a ship, so I will cover the excursions first. I am a US citizen, so my itinerary was pre-planned as is required for the visa. Note that all tour guides were happy to answer questions, but they were well-indoctrinated. Coaches were clean and air conditioned and were like rolling castles compared to the life that the citizenry experienced. Throughout Cuba, you see crumbling homes and buildings with rusting corrugated steel. Be prepared for lack of toilet seats and paper everywhere, even with a 1 CUC restroom fee. Expect fees to take photos of almost anything, including the old cars. You will see music and dancing almost everywhere. The pride of Cuba is around their art/music/culture and it is deservedly so. Some of the other things that they are proud of is their social services, and that is probably misplaced from the view of western visitors. You won't see much graffiti. In the "tourist bubble" of coaches and tour guides, I felt safe all the time. Santiago is the first experience on this schedule, and it is a levelsetter for your Cuban visit. As you pull into the port you see the small boats and crumbling buildings. San Pedro de la Roca castle in Santiago is a must-see, as is San Juan Hill where I would have enjoyed more time. Additionally, in Santiago, you can get a guided tour of Moncada Barracks with a lesson on Castro, and see a community center with teenagers putting on a dance show. You may also be taken to a rum distillery that was pretty much worthless for me, an opportunity to separate your CUC from you. My suggestion: get rum and cigars in Cienfuegos on your last day in Cuba. 2 days or so in Havana. Old Havana is somewhat restored and is highly tourist-oriented, along with a price premium for everything. Some "fine" hotels and restaurants can be found, including a hotel where Hemingway stayed. Architecture is pleasant and wrought iron is beautiful (almost "New Orleans" level). You can find an edible meal with live music for lunch and supper. The walking tour was a bit rough on my 83 yr old father and after being shown the 5th city square/plaza, he was spent. I enjoyed the Craft/Souvenir market though most of the wares were not too exciting, the market itself is an experience. Must See's: Fusterlandia house (buy a tile if you can), Havana's art museum (no photos at all allowed), and the Cabana evening show (extra excursion). The cabana show was PG rated, but I don't think children are allowed.. the dancers were amazing and the band was as good as any US big band of old. Old cars with new engines are everywhere, we didn't take a ride as the coach had already shown us the same sights. Havana is worth experiencing and I feel like I just got a small taste of a complex, tragic, lovely city. 1 day in Cienfuegos Cienfuegos looks to be a resort town that has seen better days. We were given a bit of a song-and-dance about the government-provided pharmacy, food markets, dry goods, etc. We were again treated to a pleasant town square (which would be a good place to purchase cigars and rum, had I waited). We also were shown a city theatre building for what seemed like no reason. Must Sees: We were driven out to see a restaurant called palacio del valle that was picturesque. Finally, we hit 3 artistic spots, two of them that are worthy of leaving some money at...the most salient being the Graphical Society of Cienfuegos (works with down's syndrome artists). Crew and services First know that this ship employs MANY native Cubans, and they are rightfully proud of that. The crew on board the ship were friendly and helpful. I was happy with their efforts to keep things clean and to care for passengers. I purchased the full drink package. Drink and food service was very good. I never went hungry or thirsty. I did find that pleading for water bottles wasn't the most fun experience, especially if I wanted a few extra for excursions. I eventually resorted to filling up a thermos from the workout room's large water cooler. Stateroom was well-kept by maid service with towel folding art. The massage that I had was good-not-great. Meal service was great, the waitstaff were attentive, friendly, and well-informed about the options. I felt disturbingly guilty retiring in the evenings to a good meal after having seen the conditions in Cuba. Note that the ship's mixed drinks were not particularly liberal with the alcohol, but I could have as many as I wanted. The administrative staff at reception and excursion desks were also reasonably helpful. Cabin and amenities The ship is old and it shows. We did not have a good time with shower temperature. Additionally, having been on a newish RC ship with shower doors, the shower curtain clinging to my body was not pleasant. The soap and tray placement in the shower did not help things. Eventually I ended up showering in halves with one foot out. Other than that, the bathroom was as reasonable as any other on a ship, yet still old. Hint: take a shower at the gym/spa for some elbow room. The beds were twins/bunks with older electrical fixtures, but adequate. Cabin electricity was present, along with a reasonable closet, plenty of shelves, some drawers, and under-bunk storage. really only complaint about cabin was shower/watertemp. The pool was smallish for a ship and very few people used it, I did not. The hot tub appeared reasonable too. Though it was small, I did see people using it. Comments were that it was not particularly hot, but still acceptable. The casino was all electronic and was pretty empty throughout the cruise. The library was also empty. Decks and deck chairs were good. My phone (ATT) did get ATT at sea, but the other party could not hear me. Internet was not great, but it was available, I did not try it. Additionally, the internet area was near the smoking area, so some 2nd hand wafted over. One night, outdoors, I did clearly smell marijuana; this is not surprising as the ship sails from Jamaica. I am not sure if it was coming from passengers or crew, nor am I sure of the ship's policy on that as it is becoming acceptable in the USA in places. Entertainment etc. The "shows" were not good. Each night, was the same performers dancing and singing, and synchronization among dancers was not good. The band was also pretty weak. Intonation would be something that the singer and the sax player could learn. Thankfully, the shows were short (45 mins) and they all included scantily clad women so I was at least distracted from the performance. A few people would go up to the disco/karaoke bar later at night, but it was not exactly crowded either. There were also a few lounge-act type singers and a classical pianist. Some small classes which I'd say more like interactive "demos" were available such as food carving and napkin folding, and towel folding. Additionally some cuban dance and cooking demos. They seemed well enough for the at-sea days. In contrast with the dance/music shows, the ship had a cuban expert, a mid-30s PhD in Cuban history who was excellent. I cannot say enough good words about him. He gave daily lectures. He explained the history of how Cuba got to where it is today. He taught me much about Cuba and her international relations that I did not know prior to the cruise. Unlike the excursion tour guides, he was happy to answer ANY question, including difficult ones such as "Cuba gives every citizen a food ration card, but can the citizen actually turn that ration card into food?" His contribution made this trip very worthwhile. He joked that on one side he was being bugged by the CIA and on the other by the Cuban military; he presented Cuba in a good light with a balanced view. Other/leftovers: The excursions for US citizens are NOT resort-type excursions, do not expect to swim with dolphins, snorkel at a reef, or relax on a beach with umbrella-drinks at your demand. The excursions are primarily intended to be educational with a bit of tourist shopping, and for the most part, they were. On the excursions, do not expect any discussion about the missile crisis or GTMO. The shipboard "view" of GTMO was after dark and pretty far away, but it was lit up. Remember that GTMO is a huge military base and only a small part of it is the infamous prison. A family that had relatives in Cuba was able to visit them, and that family left all sorts of goods with the relatives, OTC meds, towels, shoes, t-shirts, extra CUCs, etc, if you are in a similar spot, you may want to do that. The economic situation is complex and troubling. It isn't as bad as Juarez with beggars on the street, but still difficult to see with our western lens, the tour guides and waiters earn more then the MDs. You may only exchange money at the ports, everyone says to bring Euro or CAD rather than USD, and I can agree with that, a few vendors accept USD and there is a premium for USD exchange to CUC. Do not expect an ATM or credit card acceptance. This trip had few teenagers or families or 20-somethings. It was adults and seniors. Spend the $12 at reception and schedule a bridge tour, it's worthwhile. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this cruise as it was a back to back (Cuban Fusion and Mayan Treasures) both of which we loved the itinerary of. The dream is a lovely old girl and stands up to the test of time beautifully. we chose Thomson because of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a back to back (Cuban Fusion and Mayan Treasures) both of which we loved the itinerary of. The dream is a lovely old girl and stands up to the test of time beautifully. we chose Thomson because of the All-Inclusive nature of the package. It was great to check in our cases at Birmingham and not have to worry about them again, as they'd be delivered to our cabin door. Our cabin was an outside plus (Mid-Ships, Deck 9) and was lovely. plenty of room, for clothes and our cases stored neatly behind the settee. Bed was made up into a double and was one of the most comfortable we'd ever slept in on a holiday. Our housekeeper Cristina looked after us with an excellent service. All the staff were some of the most helpful we've ever come across and are a credit to Thomson, The Dream and her Captain. Food was always a treat and there was something for everyone. We did however really really enjoy the "Kora La" Asian Cuisine restaurant. the food was to die for and of sizable portions too. The entertainment was plentiful, varied and of an excellent standard. our twice daily Captain's update was one of our highlights' as he made his announcements amusing. I could go on and on about our experience aboard the Dream, however I won't. All I'll say is try her yourself. you wont be disappointed !!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, the brochure description and travel agent recommendations to celebrate a special birthday. Dreamliner flight was fine, except for the poor entertainment offer which made the 9 hour flight ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, the brochure description and travel agent recommendations to celebrate a special birthday. Dreamliner flight was fine, except for the poor entertainment offer which made the 9 hour flight appear much longer. Food was acceptable quality. On the return flight, the food and staff were less good and the cabin was extremely hot. It was only on landing that we were told that an air conditioning motor had stopped working, poor communication. Montego Bay airport and transfer was a joke, kept waiting in an airless corridor for buses to transport to the ship, then even longer in the port hall waiting for passes etc. Also the, as we found out later, every present photographers, who throughout the 2 weeks pestered us to have photographs taken in corridors and any spare space they could find. Such an annoyance. Food in the buffet restaurants was better in Sirens than in Lido which as per other reviews, was often dirty and messy. Orion restaurant was far better and we were lucky to have excellent service from Noel, his assistant Ryan and Raymond the sommelier. We called them the dream team. Breakfast was fine except that cold toast was brought to the table the minute you sat down, not really acceptable, however this was a minor issue. Our cabin was spotless, however it was very dated, not the refurbished vessel we had been sold! In one area of the ship there was a constant smell of sewage so we were glad that was not near our cabin. Captain Richard was a lovely man and his announcements were always good. Broadway lounge entertainment was of a good standard and the costumes were excellent. Entertainment in other areas of the ship were very overpowering for those, like us, who wished to relax quietly. Very "Hi-de-hi" quizzes and bingo, great for those who like it but not for all guests, hence there should have been other areas available without the need to move to avoid. Bar staff were mixed, some were excellent, others less good. Thank goodness for the "Dream News" which displayed the opening times of bars/restaurants as these varied from day to day. We did several excursions, however weather did spoil some of these, no-one's fault, but overall of an acceptable standard, although in Cozumel, our bus, along with others was taken to the "main shopping area" where we had 45 minutes, we were dropped outside a restaurant which it was obvious later had been "recommended" by the tour company. Very few shops were open and it was rather a run down area, however on re-boarding the bus and driving further along the road, there were some lovely busy squares full of shops, cafes etc, obviously the actual main shopping district, but we did not have enough time to walk there or visit. Very disappointing. The itinerary of our trip was changed from the original one booked and there was no mention of this prior to our departure. Again this was a common thread amongst guests' conversations. Like other reviewers, we would have welcomed a deck plan as it took several days to orientate ourselves. Main negatives: Cost of Wi-Fi - extortionate, should be free in this day and age. Having to pay for water (despite being all-inclusive). Tea and coffee facilities provided in rooms but not water! Drinks in Explorers' Lounge were not included in our All Inclusive Drinks Package, which we paid extra for, as only "Premium" guests could access these for free (additional cost of £10 per day if we wished to access this!), but we could pay a surcharge if we wished, £1.20 per cup! Lack of one quiet lounge inside for inclement weather or just to sit and relax, we spent a lot of time moving from lounge to lounge to get away from the poor duos performing on the various stages, surely one lounge could be kept for entertainment leaving another clear for quiet guests. Not all lounges serving drinks throughout the day and I feel that they should all have been available at all times. Couldn't just sit in one lounge and get a drink without moving at some time. This would have been invaluable when the weather was so bad on several days. Persistent photographers in your face, trying to drum up business. Lack of implementation of dress code policy, many guests wearing shorts of an evening in the bar areas. Overall, we were very, very disappointed, as were numerous guests who expressed similar comments to ours. Thomson have a lot of work to do to bring this cruise up to an acceptable standard. Luxury holidays in other parts of the world are far better quality and value. We will never cruise again following this very disappointing experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise because of the relaxed dress code.This was our first cruise. so evening dress was out of the question.We both like to dress up ,but on our terms .So it was nice to have the choice after a day excursion that we could ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the relaxed dress code.This was our first cruise. so evening dress was out of the question.We both like to dress up ,but on our terms .So it was nice to have the choice after a day excursion that we could just chill and have our evening meal in the self service restaurant,if we wanted to.anything went in there. Even shorts and T shirts was acceptable.The food in the Orion restaurant was excellent ,as was the service We had the best rib eye steak that we had tasted You could either share a table or have one for the two of you The all inclusive carried on at the dining table were the waiter took your order .The service was like a well oiled machine,everyone had there courses without waiting very long, and were hot.To say how many people ate at one time , it still amazes me how they did it. The self service restaurant was also very good, plenty of choice.such as soup salads .hot meats cold meats cooked veg.chips. Pasta dishes Pizzas. Stir frys and plenty more . The staff were constantly keeping a watch on the food keeping it tidy, and changing the trays as soon as they started to look a little empty.Food was not allowed to fall out of the containers, before it got wiped away keeping it looking nice even if you went very late in the evening.The ship is 36years old., so it is tired looking. We didnt care about that as we were only concerned how clean it was as I have O.C.D. out off my own house.It came up to expectations.(thank god )The entertainment was brilliant. Thompson Excursions were a bit hit and miss. We had a trip round Aruba, waste of money, there was nothing of interest at all. Get a taxi to the beach it will be better. we felt ripped off. we also felt the same when we went on a excursion with Thompson again to Santa marta that was even worse.again nothing of interest. and these trips are not cheap. Havana was great .We had a thompson coach take us to the town and gave us a guide to show us around.Worth every penny The showTropicana is a must.it looks expensive, but booking it through thompson , we got a good table.and a bottle of presseco bottle of rum to share between 4people and as you are on a thompson bus you can drink the lot,..Unfortunatly the ship had to leave two people behind as they were late to embark.They had got the wrong time to return to the ship.The captain felt terrible ,but he had to go,as there was another ship waiting to dock. Thompson removed all their belongings and put their cases on the quay. A rep that was on the quay then took over to make sure they were ok. This is why we took all the trips with thompson because if for some reason you get held up,they have to go . but if you are with thompson this never happens If you go to the panama canal ,dont go on the train, go on the boat. the train ride is very boring as all you see is trees mostly as you go through the rain forest. Our cabin was an inner one as we were never in it. bed was so comfortable it was hard to get out in a morning. We are now hooked on cruising . Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Well let's start with the positives, flight out on Thomson Dreamliner very good, seating,food,entertainment,cabin staff excellent. Montego Bay port arrival bit of a shambles, first impressions of ship and cabin ok, all staff cheery ... Read More
Well let's start with the positives, flight out on Thomson Dreamliner very good, seating,food,entertainment,cabin staff excellent. Montego Bay port arrival bit of a shambles, first impressions of ship and cabin ok, all staff cheery and helpful. Havana, well nothing quite prepares you for Havana, fascinating, cars, architecture , people, shops ( what shops?),holes in road and pavement, believe you me you've never seen "roadworks" till you've been to Havana. Don't bother with a tour in Havana , you don't need it, straight off ship into old town. Now I'm afraid it's all down hill from here folks! Weather after Cuba was awful,very rough crossing for "sea days" ( i hope I never here those two words again in a sentence for as long as I live) that comprised of trying to avoid 75% of the ship clientele ( loud, greedy hippos floundering around on the sun decks) high de high Thomson reps with 50s holiday camp mentality, and if you saw a sun bed without a towel, well that's not relevant cos you won't!. Why do Thomson make rules with no attempt to enforce them, towels must not be left on sun beds for more than 45 minutes or will be removed ( think that's probably days not minutes, easy mistake!) but on a more serious note,the standard of hygiene on board was excellent, hand cleaning stations at every turn, food hygiene excellent, and numerous notices around food stations to cover up at the counters, oops that's where it all falls down, obviously no one enforcing this rule so for most of the time on food station 11 deck out side it was covered in mountains of naked human blubber ( nice). The entertainment on board was of a high standard with the Broadway show room team being top class, apart from the guest comedian ( Stan somebody or other ) on the Wednesday night , I thought I'd been teleported back to the 70s ( Englishman Irishman and chinaman, WHAT! ) sexist jokes, racists jokes , Japanese impressions I kid you not with false teeth and wig " ah fank u very much" and before you ask I'm 66 and not particularly politically correct. Well people I could go on but I think you will get the feel of the cruise from my point of view , the second week was just awful, forget Columbia and Panama ( well the ports of call the ship went too, not fair to dismiss the countries like that, but first impressions not good) Did not feel safe in Santa Marta, Cartagena just continually harassed by taxi drivers, just gave up and went back to the ship, and as for Colon ( well the English pronouciation says it all I'm afraid) Thank you Thomson you have the dubious honour of providing us with our most expensive holiday to date and by a country mile the worst, needless to say we won't be back! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Basically: Cuba has only moderately good roads; passable Chinese buses and long roads and distances. This is why it is fantastic to travel to Cuba by ship. You drive especially in the night and you have time in the day for sightseeing. ... Read More
Basically: Cuba has only moderately good roads; passable Chinese buses and long roads and distances. This is why it is fantastic to travel to Cuba by ship. You drive especially in the night and you have time in the day for sightseeing. The ship, the Celestyal Chrystal is a very good three stars - plus ship. After 41 years of cruising I can say that quite in comparison. If you are looking for a luxury vessel for a reasonable price, this will be difficult. In comparison (from cheap ferry boat to Queen Mary 2 in the "Queens" class I've already done a lot of cruises): great value for money and a nice ship. Pleasantly small; You feel partially "yacht-like". Ship well through and easy to walk through. What more do you want? We had a larger interior cabin (deck 3); It was relatively spacious with enough boxes and a desk. That the bathroom in this class is small, one must know and accept. The TV offers "exterior view" as well as ship and travel information; Unfortunately no outside temperature was displayed Friends were with us and had the newly built suite with balcony (deck 6). Very beautiful! And almost 5-star! In ship evaluations, three weak points were sometimes mentioned: quality of the meat, tightness of the buffet at the pool and long waiting times on "all inclusive" drinks. I can not confirm. Here the shipping company may have reacted: The meat quality is excellent; As at all the food is rich and tasty. There is a breakfast buffet in the restaurant and the top deck café; Lunch restaurant served or top deck buffet cafe; In the evening the same. In reviews it was criticized that the buffet is not 24 hours on duty; I found with these food amounts funny, because afternoon snack is also available! The "narrowness" of the buffet on deck I found not problematic, as it was only once during the trip the buffet as a BBQ outside the pool and the pool was locked. Otherwise, the buffet is at the upper deck inside and you can sit outside or inside and also the bathers have enough space. As for the "all inclusive" drinks, there is now the sun bars waiter, who can help and you can take the drink right away. Incredibly nice ship personnel; Both from the "ships crew", as well as from the restaurant service, bar service, entertainment team. In addition, a first-class professor was on board, who gave interesting lectures in English. The pool: well, adapted to the size. But you do not go on a vessel for swimming. Entertainment: an excellent revue theater on board; All great Cuban artists; Like a small branch of the Tropicana: dancers, singers; Show actors; Liveband etc. 5 different performances in 7 days! Very interesting lectures. The excursions - as always with cruises - quite interesting, although dependent on the quality of the respective guide. Cuba is a friendly and safe country. One can see much, especially In Havana on foot. Many interesting museums; Also the Museo de la Revolucion! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016

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