8 Malaga Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

I give this cruise, the ship, the staff, the food, everything EXCEPT TUI, full marks. If Tui step up their game, and put customer service instead of money first, then there would be very little to moan about. Yes, my gripes are more ... Read More
I give this cruise, the ship, the staff, the food, everything EXCEPT TUI, full marks. If Tui step up their game, and put customer service instead of money first, then there would be very little to moan about. Yes, my gripes are more like moans. I was determined my first ever cruisewould not be spoiled by a petty nasty Destination Services person. Dear Julie, oh how I will always remember our time together. I travelled with my blind husband. A large ship would have been difficult. So, the ship. Small. Compared to some monsters that moor up beside us, our little clipper was a tiny craft, but, she made up for it by offering the BIGGEST group hug every day. Our cabin was basic, a small porthole window, but, spotless, comfortable, and a happy steward greeted up with big smiles every day. He made our bed twice a day, chocs on the pillow. The next days entertainment itinerary every evening to read. And boy were we entertained. Shows, games, lectures, lessons, loads to occupy anyone lost for something to do. The show team put on energetic performances with lots of song, dance, feathers and sequins twice a night. Guest comedians too. With table service inclusive drinks from smiling staff who never found anything too much trouble. Ok food. Well. It was hot. Plentiful. Tasty. Varied. We began by using the Lido self service restaurant, but by day two, we discovered the silver service restaurant was inclusive and made more sense for us. You were treated to wonderful service, ask for your own table, no need to share if you don’t want to. Breakfast, a served up number of choices, never empty juice, tea/coffee. Lunch. Dinner, all choice of menu, all good, and order what you want, some guests ordered double servings! There are small gripes. The shops on the ship are expensive. And the continued push for diamond international purchases at port. The excursions are expensive. And watch out for Julie. We missed an excursion, it took us 1.5hrs to get off the ship on day one, the excursion left without us. No refund, your fault. She refused further discussion. £76. No way..I phoned their UK office, 3 days later she refunded us. But she wasn’t happy. Another gripe. Sunbeds. Same as in hotels. Never a sunbed to be had, towels everywhere! Oh well, enjoy the quiet of the cafe, bar or reading rooms while the towel folk play sunbed roulette. You will read that the ship is old and tired. Yes...but...not tatty. Always clean. Wonderful cheery staff. And amazing entertainment. Taylor the entertainment manager, knows his stuff, and seems to be everywhere! We have to say, that, we did not enjoy the Caribbean, for many reasons. We took many excursions, taxis, and found nothing worth returning for. But, others found secret beaches and lovely places to go. We didn’t. The ship was our holiday, and the Celebrity was wonderful. We got stuck on our last day while Gatwick Airport dealt with its drones. An extra day onboard enjoying the hospitality, there were worse places to have been stuck. And the crew, staff and Taylor, made us all welcome, and kept us informed on progress. This is where Tui redeemed themselves. Finding planes, and coach transport back in the UK. Our first cruise. Not our last I hope. Would not blink if I find another Celebration cruise I fancy! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Our reason for booking this Tui cruise was that we booked late and needed a disabled cabin, Tui were the only cruise line that could accommodate this at such short notice. We are not “seasoned” cruisers, this was only our fourth ... Read More
Our reason for booking this Tui cruise was that we booked late and needed a disabled cabin, Tui were the only cruise line that could accommodate this at such short notice. We are not “seasoned” cruisers, this was only our fourth cruise in total and we have only sailed with P&O previously. We were nervous reading the reviews but have to say from the outset that we did enjoy our seven nights on Marella Discovery. I will try to make this review as fair and informative as I can. There are positives in that the ship was very clean, the staff (though mainly young and in lots of cases a bit inexperienced) were polite, friendly and very helpful. Discovery 2 isn’t massively impressive from the outside but the pretty atrium and public rooms on board are comfortably furnished and very welcoming and the vibe in the atrium bar is just lovely. I’m not sure whether this is down to the staff or the clientele but the atmosphere is very pleasant and relaxed. We met some lovely people on this cruise and didn’t find the snobby element you can sometimes encounter elsewhere. I need to say here that level 4 on the ship is the main “entertainment” area accommodating the theatre, a live-lounge (the clue’s in the name), a casino, the very popular atrium bar and the main dining room - BUT THERE ARE NO PUBLIC TOILETS ON THIS LEVEL!! You have to either go up one floor or down one floor to find a loo. Now this is fine if you, like me, are able bodied and can easily manage the double staircases (about 20 steps) to each level but, if you have to wait for a lift, it’s really unacceptable. This wouldn’t only affect the age demographic on this adult only cruise - I wouldn’t like to be travelling with children who, in my experience, nearly always decide they are desperately in need the loo when they sit down to eat. This really is my biggest niggle with Marella Discovery 2. As for eating, we personally used the main dining room, the Italian dining area, the Island buffet and the Snack Shack. The food in all dining rooms varied from perfectly acceptable to fairly good; there was lots of choice and you’d have to be a very fussy eater not to find something you’d like, however, we felt the dining room cuisine was not as good a standard as we have experienced on P&O. The temperature of the food served (on BOTH cruise lines we have travelled with) is never hot enough for British palates - we like hot food to be piping hot and this is something we rarely find in Mediterranean countries. Service in the main dining room can be a bit slow but we felt this could be improved either by better supervision, giving the staff more training or taking on more experienced waiting staff. That being said, the waiters/waitresses were all friendly and helpful. We were a bit worried about the “all inclusive” aspect of the cruise (which was adult only on our trip) and wondered whether people would be drunk by lunchtime. Again, we needn’t have worried, we didn’t see anyone taking undue advantage and going mad with the all inclusive drinks package. As for service of drinks, this was excellent with waiters/waitresses patrolling the pool area most of the day and checking whether you wanted anything from the bar and the same in the lounges in the evening. Drinks were served quickly and measures are European so more generous than in UK. We were asked if we wanted to upgrade to the premier drinks package but this really isn’t necessary and, though I’ve read in other reviews that people were pressured into purchasing the upgrade, we were not and we didn’t see anyone else being given the hard sell either. Our cabin was spacious, clean and comfortable. My only complaint was that drawer space was extremely limited. In an extra large, double cabin we had a wardrobe with plenty of hangers and only three very small drawers (I’m talking about 12” wide) built into a very small dressing table, though there was lots of space for a reasonable sized set of drawers. We do like the formality of P&O cruises (probably because that’s what we’re used to) and I wasn’t sure how we’d go on with a less formal approach. It’s a case of almost anything goes but most people seem to dress smart/casual. I didn’t take any “evening” dresses - I think I’d have felt a bit too “showy” if I had. Several men wore dinner jackets and a few of the ladies did wear evening dresses on the “Dress to Impress” night (equivalent of the Captain’s formal nights on other lines) but, in the main, most guests were smart but less formal. (Some men in lounge suits, some in shirts, ties and smart trousers and others in open neck shirts with smart, casual trousers; ladies in anything from long or short summer dresses, jumpsuits, and smart pants and tops). We didn’t see anyone looking scruffy in the dining rooms in the evening and found the less formal approach very refreshing. The shows we saw (4 in total) were all very professional and your enjoyment of these will really depend on your own taste. The theatre is very comfortable and drinks are not only served there by waiting staff but you can also pick up a drink from the makeshift bar outside each performance in your way in but soft drinks were not available outside the theatre. Poolside entertainment was limited but we didn’t mind that and it may be different in summer months or on family cruises. (To be fair, we only had one sea day and the weather wasn’t conducive to sitting by the pool (November) so we didn’t get to find out whether there’s a bigger range of “entertainment” on sea days). There were quizzes by the pool during the day and you could take part or not, as you wish. On the strength of this experience we have booked to cruise with Tui again later in 2019 - having checked that there are loos close to the main entertainment and restaurant areas first. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Just returned on the 5th August after a weeks cruise on the marella spirit. Was very apprehensive about going after reading the latest reviews. I would just like to say ignore all the negative reviews as there was nothing to complain ... Read More
Just returned on the 5th August after a weeks cruise on the marella spirit. Was very apprehensive about going after reading the latest reviews. I would just like to say ignore all the negative reviews as there was nothing to complain about. Yes the ship is tired in some areas but made no difference to us. Firstly check in at the port was excellent and cabin was ready and luggage delivered to our room promptly. The room had a double wardrobe and plenty drawer space. The staff on board can not do enough for you and are constantly cleaning the ship. The food was of good choice and always hot, not like previous reviews have said about food being cold. There were always a lot of people around the pool area but we always got a sun bed on the top deck, enabling us to see the amazing sites and the sights as we were sailing out of port. We were all inclusive but if you wanted eg corona, magners etc then you had to pay £2.30 and the odd cocktail had a £2.30 supplement. We had the odd drink we paid for but mainly had a/i drinks which were good. There was always a cocktail of the day to choose from. Also if you order soft drinks they are for example pepsi, sprite, fanta etc. The resident band Strum Jam were amazing as were the entertainment team. We went in the show bar a couple times, very good shows. We had an amazing time and compared to the cruise we did in October last year on the discovery I would say they were both on par, apart from a better selection of a/i drinks on the discovery, but made no difference to us. IGNORE ALL NEGATIVE REVIEWS Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our first cruise and We Were not sure what to expect. The whole experience from start to finish was memorable. What an amazing ship with the most friendliest staff and crew you could ask for. Food and entertainment was fantastic ... Read More
This was our first cruise and We Were not sure what to expect. The whole experience from start to finish was memorable. What an amazing ship with the most friendliest staff and crew you could ask for. Food and entertainment was fantastic and our rooms although dated were spotless. Henry and Rocky were fantastic cabin stewards with the most loveliest smiles for you every time they saw you . I can’t believe waiter staff knew our names after only a couple of days . Service was fantastic. Absolutely gutted this is the ships last year sailing . Only downfall was that there was only one charging socket for phones etc .And WiFi not so good although it was £49 for 7 days per person . The entertainment team were amazing as was the compare who was very funny. Shops ok but not much to purchase would have liked a little more choice Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
SHIP We have cruised with P&O Ventura, Carnival Velor, Norwegian Spirit and RC Explorer of the Seas and they have been relatively big ships compared to the Marella Spirit. When we first pulled up on the transfer we thought my god ... Read More
SHIP We have cruised with P&O Ventura, Carnival Velor, Norwegian Spirit and RC Explorer of the Seas and they have been relatively big ships compared to the Marella Spirit. When we first pulled up on the transfer we thought my god this is small, but it was much easier to navigate about (especially as we had 3 cabins which were dotted on different floors). There is still plenty of options for drinking holes on the ship, Broadway Show Lounge, Lido Deck pool bar then the classier night time bars Raffles (cocktail bar feel with Casino in), High Spirits then Horizons bar which had a chilled, relaxed vibe. None particularly modern but all had friendly staff who were all more than happy to pour you a drink. We loved the fact that 95% of the clientele were brits. We were the only brits on Explorer (Sydney to South Pacific) and Carnival (around Caribbean) and although its nice to speak to new people, brits have the same sense of humour and its nice to get to know people from back home. CABIN The cabins were a good size with lots of storage. They were immaculately clean and the cleaners were lovely. The cabins were a good layout so you felt like you had plenty of floor space. The TV quality was reasonably poor but who goes on holiday to watch TV? Shower room was fine, same as any other ship we've been on really! FOOD The food on board was great, breakfast in both the buffet and the Compass Rose main restaurant was nice, served hot most of the time and had plenty of options. Lunch was REALLY NICE! Couldnt grumble at lunch, lots of healthy salad options and plenty of options for vegetarians. We ate in the Compass Rose every night, menu was average, the menu itself felt cheap as it was just a printed piece of A4 paper wedged between an old leather booklet but the actual options were average, especially for vegetarians. The actual food itself was often served luke warm but most of it was very nice. We love a good drink and get hungry afterwards, we went on the hunt for a late buffet but it shut at 1pm, only option is room service at your cost! SERVICE Out of the 7 days, we only had one poor experience with a waiter at breakfast which to be fair, was because we rocked up 10 mins before breakfast was mean to finish so he didnt want to seat us. We did pull him up and tell his manager and he came over and apologised, but other than this the service was amazing, all staff were very friendly and they couldnt do enough for us. We are incredibly fussy, vegetarian, gay and like lemon, ice and a straw in our drinks everytime but they were very good at getting the drinks right. We've been on ships that we have been paying for drinks on and not been able to get a drink around the pool, on here they are always coming around, not bombarding you, just being available and it was great! Same during the shows. Tips were included according to TUI but we still tipped as we had some great bar service! ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES There was a show on every night and although the theathre is small, they still put on a fantastic show. Broadway standard every night. The shows could maybe do with updating but the clientele was mainly over 50/60 so it doesnt suprise me that they have entertainment like this. During the day, standard towel folding, bingo, cocktail show, fruit carving etc. Game shows were good of a night but lack of seating a problem if you are not there an hour before! PORTS The reason we booked this cruise was the ports were perfect for our family. There were no tenders needed which is great considering we had a wheelchair, pram and mobility scooter. Gibraltar was amazing, went up to visit the monkeys then shopped the cheapest duty free shops known to man (£5.95 for a litre of Smirnoff!!). Portimao, great beach! Lisbon, loads of little windy streets with stunning views from top of the hill. Cadiz, same but without the hill view - had a lovely beach though. The streets were gorgeous little Spanish streets with lovely balconies, immaculately clean and plenty of little eateries. Couldn't be bothered with the 1.5 hour drive either way to Seville although may do this next time! SUMMARY All in all, the ship wasn't very modern and it was reasonably small compared to others, but if you had never cruised before you wouldn't know any different and would think it was amazing. We thoroughly enjoyed the time on board and would recommend to friends and family. The service, drinks, food, price and ports all made up for anything else that wasnt really important to us. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Let me start by saying that this was my first cruise so maybe the points that I did not enjoy are standard on these kinds of holiday. If you are 60+, then you will likely enjoy this cruise. We went on the TUI Discovery 2 primarily to ... Read More
Let me start by saying that this was my first cruise so maybe the points that I did not enjoy are standard on these kinds of holiday. If you are 60+, then you will likely enjoy this cruise. We went on the TUI Discovery 2 primarily to spread the ashes of my mother in law as per her wishes. Before I go on, I have to say that they were fantastic with assisting us. Elanor helped us out greatly and is a true asset to the ship. On arrival to Malaga Port, I was a little underwhelmed with the size of the ship but in fairness, I had seen pictures so had an idea that this wasn't the Royal Caribbean monster ships that I'd seen on my travels. Once we got to port we were told that our luggage would be brought to our rooms and all we had to do was check in. While this is a nice idea, I had been up since 3 am (it was now 2 PM) and I wanted to have a shower and change but I had to wait for my bag. Accommodation: The package we booked included an internal cabin. My opinion on a holiday is to spend as little time as possible in my room so it didn't matter to me if I had a balcony etc. In saying that, these rooms are tiny! Maybe all ships provide a cabin of this size but there is very little room to move. With our cases in the room, it meant I had to climb over the bed to get into it because of the room that the 2 cases took up. Not including the tiny shower & WC the room was approx 3 mtrs x 4 Mtrs. The rooms were supposed to be upgraded but not seeing them before I can't comment. The bed was comfortable and there were USB chargers in all of the wall lights which was handy. There is a flatscreen TV in the room with a couple of channels (ITV choice and a couple others that I can't recall). They have kids movies on a loop so handy for kids but the room is too small to spend any time in it really. The safes in the rooms should be replaced. They work using a magnetic strip which essentially means that you need to carry a credit card with you in order to open and close it. That kind of defeats the purpose in my opinion as I only want to take my credit card out when I need to. Housekeeping: The housekeeping was exceptional. The room was cleaned daily in the morning and towels replaced etc in the evening. The ship is kept very clean and tidy. Drinks: The cruise is all inclusive as standard but all inclusive does not mean all inclusive. On the standard package, you can have a couple of beers on tap (nothing in a bottle) and a few spirits. We immediately upgraded for £50 (EACH) as we are fussy with drinks. It worked out OK. If you stay on the standard package, you will be hit with a supplement for each drink on the premium menu at an average of £1.50 per drink. Entertainment: There are 5 main places for entertainment: The atrium, The Live Lounge, The Venue, Bar Eleven and The Theatre. Live Lounge: It's a really comfortable place but the bar gets really crowded as its the most popular. Most nights there was a guy on piano followed by a band or singer giving it socks to "Your favourite hits" which consisted of Billy Joel / Neil Diamond type music. While it was not my cup of tea, the older folks certainly enjoyed it. The casino is also part of the Live Lounge and has Blackjack, Poker and Roulette. The Venue: This place is just weird. It's done really well but the entertainment was just odd. I went in twice and was left kind of scratching my head as to what was going on. The first time we went in, there was an interview with a staff member on stage followed by a guy going through the "Top 10 Tweets of the day". It was like watching a video on Youtube but live. The second time we went in, there was a guy showing Youtube video "Fails". I really think that this could be a great venue but they are not using it properly. The Atrium: Located beside the Live Lounge The Atrium is actually quite similar to the Live Lounge ad the entertainment is similar. Broadway Show Lounge: The venue is stunning and it's obvious that Thomson has put some money in here. We went in 3 nights of the 7 that we were there and the acts were ok. What was weird was that the sound seemed a little "tinny" considering they had a cracking sound set up. Bar Eleven: We were delighted to find this in the evening as we really needed a break from the cabaret. It's the nightclub of the ship and I would say caters for about 200 people so it's quite small. The music was refreshing for the first night and was kind f wedding like i.e. Abba, Justin Beiber, Tom Jones. It was ok but the DJ seemed to play the same set every night so it got a bit repetitive. Good for a late night drink though. Food: I don't think there is a need to review every place but there are some good and some not so good points to make. The food overall is OK. Nothing really to complain about and nothing t write home about. The best restaurants that don't require a reservation is 47 and just above it (Mezzanine style) Gallery 47. The food here is nice and a step up from the buffet. The main issue we had with the food was that there are 2 restaurants that require a booking - Kora La and Surf and Turf. We tried to book a table for either restaurant for any night on Tuesday morning (We arrived on Sunday) and were told they were booked out for our entire stay. Saying that i managed to book a table with Kora La despite being told it was booked out. What made it worse was that while we ate, there were 6 tables free for the entire meal. So it looks like people book and just don't show up. Kora La (Asian fusion) was amazing by the way. These 2 restaurants require a £20 pp supplement. Staff: In general, the staff were great and very accommodating. There were times at the bar when we ordered drinks and were told: "we don't have it here, please go to another bar". Not really what you want to hear on this kind of holiday. Tours: The tours looked overpriced so in all locations except Ibiza, we did our own thing, which after booking the Island Tour in Ibiza, was a good idea. The Ibiza Island tour stated it was a tour around the Island, stopping in a couple of towns, then lunch and a beach. At £55 per person, we thought it seemed reasonable. The tour was just that, a bus ride around the island where we stopped at places to do our own thing for x amount of minutes and then meet at the bus. Lunch was not included! All in all, it was a bus trip around the island and was not worth the £110 per couple we spent on it. This was my first and definitely my last (At east until it nearer retirement age). It just was not my idea of a good holiday and didn't represent value for money. I can see the appeal for the older generation however and this is who they cater for. While it may sound like I am being critical, I again must stress that it was my first cruise so maybe the items I disliked are standard. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Our eighth Thompson cruise and as usual had a great time. Spirit is "getting on" and a bit worn but we prefer the older style ships and not the floating blocks of flats that are seen around. Unfortunately our chosen cabin was ... Read More
Our eighth Thompson cruise and as usual had a great time. Spirit is "getting on" and a bit worn but we prefer the older style ships and not the floating blocks of flats that are seen around. Unfortunately our chosen cabin was flooded on the second day and we had to be shuffled around other cabins. This was not Thompson's fault and the staff did all they could to sort things out for us it did rather spoil the holiday. On previous cruises with Thompson we put our luggage on the check in at Bristol and the next time we see it is when it arrives at our cabin, not this time however, At Malaga we had to collect our luggage and take it to the coach. As I am disabled this proved difficult and stressful. The staff told us we would be compensated for the inconvenience caused by the flooding however this turned out to be a bottle of champagne left in the cabin with a complements note, as neither my wife or I like Bubbly it was as much use as a handbrake on a canoe.. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This is the first on the Spirit having been on the rest except the Discovery. I am writing this as a disabled passenger, as I try to help if I can, other people like me. We have a adapted cabin which was kept perfectly clean. It was ... Read More
This is the first on the Spirit having been on the rest except the Discovery. I am writing this as a disabled passenger, as I try to help if I can, other people like me. We have a adapted cabin which was kept perfectly clean. It was showing it's age with peeling veneer and such. We ate in the Compass Rose restaurant and the staff were really great and the baked Alaska night was made better by all the staff singing you will never walk alone, it put a lump in my throat. The worst thing about this two week cruise was trying to leave the ship and go on land to visit the country we were in as this is what we do normally as the excursions never seem to fit me. The first stop was Lisbon and we went to leave from deck 4 and I was horrified, the steps from the ship were very steep which was bad enough but they were not ordinary steps but we had to stand on a potion of the step about 2 inches wide or walk on the step tread which was at angle and nearly impossible for me to manage. We did try and my husband had to take my small scooter to pieces and walk up and down 4 times, and I felt awful as I caused a backlog because it took me so long. The reason for these steps was the TIDES. Most disabled people just gave up and went back inside, and needless to say I also gave up three times after that. On three occasions they used number 2 deck as the Tides were right and at least we were able to leave the ship We felt a little let down by the fact that nothing could be done to allow us to better enjoy our trip, after all Thomsons use the same routes over and over so they could warn disabled passengers to choose before going, if they want to stay on the ship and not be able to leave when the it is subject to the TIDES. The rest of the holiday was fine and I was given all the help I needed but now I am a bit wary about going away in October. We will not be going on the Spirit again as we are booked up till mid 2017 and it is going out of service after that year. We will stick to the Celebration the Spirit's better sister I hope this gives an insight to other disabled passengers and let them know what to expect. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016

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