40 Malaga Family Cruise Reviews

Our first time on a cruise and having travelled with Tui previously we thought we were in safe hands. Some very good experiences onboard; the staff were excellent, the Tui excursions were well organised and guides very good. However the ... Read More
Our first time on a cruise and having travelled with Tui previously we thought we were in safe hands. Some very good experiences onboard; the staff were excellent, the Tui excursions were well organised and guides very good. However the entertainment wasn’t for us, very Hi De Hi, they tried hard but lacked any sophistication. The food was plentiful though more canteen than cuisine. The ship was old and we were surprised Tui were associated with such a vessel; though we believe this is its last year - the paint work was awful, no straightlines to be seen! The continuous promotions to sell photos, treatments and items from the onboard shops was tiresome - shame on you Tui. The cycle tours were excellent and highly recommended. The cabin was shabby, though very well cleaned twice a day by the excellent stewards. In summary, if you want games, fun and frolics with like minded passengers this is the ship for you. If you want sophistication, an up to-date ship I’m sure Tui can do better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Our second time on the spirit and again really enjoyed every moment. Had a balcony suite so it was really lovely to sit on the balcony after a long day of walking. Every one was so kind, cheerful and helpful. Made lots of friends as we ... Read More
Our second time on the spirit and again really enjoyed every moment. Had a balcony suite so it was really lovely to sit on the balcony after a long day of walking. Every one was so kind, cheerful and helpful. Made lots of friends as we were in the Compass Rose every evening and sat with different interesting people. One evening as we were eating, a pod of dolphins and tuna swam past, and the ship slowed down so that everyone could enjoy seeing them- I doubt if the bigger cruise ships would do that! The ship is extremely clean and the food isn't cold as some reviews said. Enjoyed the entertainment every evening and the team are so enthusiastic and give 100%. We went on two trips- the tuk-tuk and Gibraltar on tour own, but you could do both on your own really because the tuk-tuks are waiting for you in Lisbon and you could walk really early to the cable car in Gibraltar and no queuing. Porto itself was very disappointing but the beach was lovely. Gibraltar- be warned some of the shops close early on the Saturday., Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I chose this cruise because it fitted in with when my twin sister could take time off work and was a reasonable price (it was a birthday treat for her). I also liked the fact that tips and service charges are included in the price - ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it fitted in with when my twin sister could take time off work and was a reasonable price (it was a birthday treat for her). I also liked the fact that tips and service charges are included in the price - I've been on other cruise lines where they haven't and it all adds up. I also liked the intinerary. Marella offer flights from a number of different UK airports but that wasn't a factor for me as I live in London. I was a little worried about the cruise before I went having read some reviews that were pretty bad, especially as it was my sister's and my niece's first cruise experience and I didn't want it to be a bad one. However, I'm happy to say that the ship was pretty good. It's not the smartest one I've been on but everything was clean and well maintained as far as I saw. It's the smallest cruise ship I've been on and I agree that the sun loungers get occupied pretty quickly. The bars fill up pretty quickly at night too. In fact, we started going to dinner earlier so we could make sure we got a seat at the 8.30 performance. You need to be there at least twenty minutes before the show starts. The other one is at 10.30 p.m. The ship's vibrations were pretty noticeable a lot of the time and that was the thing my sister and my niece disliked most about the ship. I’m gluten free and hadn’t mentioned it when I booked but I told the maître d’ the first night and it was fine. You get the menu the night before from the assistant maître d’ and choose your selection. They even have a small selection of gluten free goodies in the afternoon tea although the gluten free scones weren’t that great. I thought the food in the Compass Rose and the Lido was fine. Occasionally, things weren’t quite as hot as they should have been. Our first breakfast in the Compass Rose, I wasn’t impressed because we declined to share a table and wanted to sit by the window. Perhaps the long wait we then had to get asked about tea or coffee or to be offered a juice was a co-incidence. But the service was better after that meal. I was surprised that breakfast in the Compass Rose is buffet apart from tea or coffee and juice. I’ve not had that on any of the other cruise ships I’ve been on. My niece preferred the Lido because of the outdoor Chef’s Corner where you can get omelettes at breakfast, but I preferred the Compass Rose because it was easier to get gluten free toast there. (I say toast, but it looked like it had been waved under the grill – this applied to both restaurants.) We went to Sirocco’s one night, which was amazing value for good food. A 7-course meal for £20.00. It’s a nice restaurant with very attentive, friendly waiters. And offers gluten free food. We took advantage of the VIP offer, for about £5 more, you got a reserved seat at the show and a glass of champagne. I was most impressed that because my sister ended up not coming to the show, they refunded the money without us asking. I read somewhere in the reviews that the shows are like West End productions. I think that’s exaggerating although the very young cast are talented and have fantastic voices. The stage is very small so it’s impressive they can manage to dance their routines on them. The other bands and singers were almost all very good. We didn’t watch the comedian, so I can’t comment on him. I was pleased that the Spirit has a cinema and looking forward to seeing a film or two. Be warned that most of the films on the schedule are pretty old – Big, 9 to 5, Romeo and Juliet, Moulin Rouge, etc. All the more recent films are shown on TV for some reason. We tried to go and see The Secret Life of Bees but when we arrived just before it was due to start, we found the film was half way through. We complained at Reception and the woman apologised and then told us the reason was the change to the clocks and that the same thing had happened yesterday as a passenger had complained then too. I wasn’t impressed that they knew there was a problem but had done nothing about it. We didn’t bother to try and see any films after that. By the way, no films are shown in the cinema on Sunday as it’s used as a storage space for carry-on luggage for departing passengers. The shore excursions were very good. We went on the panoramic plus river cruise in Porto, the tuk tuk tour in Lisbon and my sister and niece went on the Dolphin Watch in Gibraltar. My favourite was the tuk tuk, which was great fun but they liked the Dolphin one best as they saw lots of dolphins. One great thing about the Spirit was that you had until 2.00 in the morning to put your hold luggage out. That means you can pack your evening clothes and don’t have to put them in your carry-on unlike other cruise lines where you have to put your bag outside your cabin by 10.00. You can also stay on the ship even if you have a late flight as we did – 7.30 in the evening and still eat in the restaurants and use the facilities. You do have to pay for your drinks, of course. This is unlike other cruise lines where you get kicked off fairly early in the day. Overall, I enjoyed the cruise and my sister and niece did too although, as mentioned, they hated the vibration. Would I cruise with Marella again? I’m not entirely sure. There were many good things about the cruise. There is a good atmosphere on board and all the passengers are very friendly and I loved that usually, you got a full day in port unlike some other lines. I think I’d want a better cabin although the price for an inside cabin in August is very good value. And knowing that taxes and service charges are included is a big bonus. But the swimming pools are tiny even for a cruise ship. I know the Spirit is going out of service in October, but I’d want to do a lot more research about what the other ships offer before booking. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We’ve been on the spirit quite a few times and we booked this so we could experience it on its last season. We opted for the free all inclusive package which was a bonus. The draught beer was San Miguel which isn’t to my taste so ... Read More
We’ve been on the spirit quite a few times and we booked this so we could experience it on its last season. We opted for the free all inclusive package which was a bonus. The draught beer was San Miguel which isn’t to my taste so drank canned john smiths. We had as much coke as we wanted. Plus lovely coffee was also included. So pretty good. The clientele is mainly British so not surprising English breakfast was available every day ( responding to another reviewer) but other options are available. We went to the restaurant for breakfast - waiter served which was good. I had Indian vegetarian breakfast one day which was lovely. Lunchtimes in the lido was very samey with little variety, so we eat outside next to the pool most days. They had nice chilli and gyros som days. But lunches were quite poor overall. The evening meals in the restaurant were generally ok. I don’t like being ripped off by being charged £12 for steak. This used to be included. The freestyle dining meant you met different people each night which was good. We had 2 glasses of wine with our meal which was included in our package. The cruise director Ted was very good. There is always a good friendly atmosphere on board. This is also down to the passengers as well as the staff. Normal not posh people cruise on the Spirit, The sailaway party is like a family wedding. The shows were not as good as in the past. It was a young show team but the singers were not up to scratch especially when performing solo. The dancers were good though. There is not much to do during the day in terms of entertainment education compared with other cruise lines. But we were happy just chilling and reading. The itinerary was good Porto - defo go back Lisbon - been loads of times - excellent Portimao - wouldn’t go back to Cadiz - didn’t get off ship so don’t know Gibraltar - first time there but found it an odd place - won’t go back. So all in all a good cruise. However we feel the airline let them down despite travelling on a lovely b787 Dreamliner. Why don’t tui provide proper airline food that can be booked like Thomas cook does. On the way back there was no food available on the plane. So farewell spirit we have had some good times with you. We like the smaller ships so looking at the celebration next time. I’m not convinced by marella’s strategy of going for larger ship cast offs. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My daughter and I chose this cruise because we had such an amazing adventure last year on Spirit, that was our first ever cruise and it left us wanting more. As soon as we returned home having discovered the beautiful older lady was ... Read More
My daughter and I chose this cruise because we had such an amazing adventure last year on Spirit, that was our first ever cruise and it left us wanting more. As soon as we returned home having discovered the beautiful older lady was staying for one more year we went straight to Tui and booked for this year. Embarkation went smoothly as Tui have it down to an art form. As we had been delayed over two hours on Luton Airport tarmac because of a baggage issue (somebody pressed the computer button too soon to print off the baggage list!) it made us late getting to the ship. This meant that our luggage was outside our door within minutes of arrival at our cabin. Yes she is an older lady that does shudder, but that only adds to her charm, in fact we find it quite soothing. It is such a friendly environment small and compact in a good way. Food in The Compass Rose restaurant was second to none every evening, Ludi and James our waiters from last year remembered us and took good care of us. The Lido was excellent for breakfast and lunch times. The shows were amazing all week especially Moulin Rouge the show team work so hard and it shows fabulous everyone. We pre-booked three excursions Tuk Tuk in Lisbon (Pedro was our guide), City Tour in Cadiz and Dolphin Watching in Gibraltar all were great value for money and we learnt so much. Wish we could have stayed a few more days. Spirit will be missed a true lady. People love to complaint but we feel the holiday is what you make it. We have met some amazing people and cruising is the only holiday for us now. If you want more upmarket cruises there are plenty of companies to choose from, do your homework first and do not always listen the negative comments or you will never leave your home. Will we cruise again? actually we have already booked our week away for 2019 and the count down has started again. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
Seeing some of the negative reviews on this site I was a tad apprehensive. I should not have worried, my first cruise and it was amazing. Yes the ship is a bit old but I felt it added to the character. The ship is very clean, cabin ... Read More
Seeing some of the negative reviews on this site I was a tad apprehensive. I should not have worried, my first cruise and it was amazing. Yes the ship is a bit old but I felt it added to the character. The ship is very clean, cabin staff amazing and JoJo and Teng in the Compass Rose Restaurant made our holiday. For the whole trip they were our waiters, very funny and great hard working guys :-). My single cabin was a bit small, very clean and ideal for one person. Favourite port was definately Portamao in Portugal, great little beach resort. We had the drinks package and I thought it was worth the money. Yes some drinks cost extra, you had at least one brand choice of all the main spirits. I like San Miguel so was very fortunate that this was the lager included in the all inclusive. Loved having a little flutter in the Casino after dinner, the staff were so friendly. :-) Come home very relaxed and I cannot wait to book another cruise with TUI next year. 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
The ship itself is old and tired but everyone knows this in advance with a bit of research. What is harder to find out is that the ship is actually leased by Marella from a Greek company (Celestyal Cruises). Consequently the Captain ... Read More
The ship itself is old and tired but everyone knows this in advance with a bit of research. What is harder to find out is that the ship is actually leased by Marella from a Greek company (Celestyal Cruises). Consequently the Captain and senior officers are Greek, which is perfectly fine. The problem is that they are in charge of the food and drinks too and the food is simply no where near as good as on Marella controlled ships. We experienced the best fish ever on Marella Discovery in Feb 2018 and the worst fish ever on Marella Spirit in May/June 2018. The swimming pool has a capacity of 9 people, which again is not exactly in line with expectations. Good luck finding a sunbed as there simply weren’t enough of them! We were lucky to have a cabin midship so we had no sea sickness at all, but the whole ship did have a type of “heartbeat” which made it vibrate slowly. Even though Marella Spirit is soon going out of the fleet, there is no excuse to not sort things out for the people who have spent there hard earned money on a cruise. On the plus side, the entertainment team and their shows were amazing, as was the kids club. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We went in April and with Spring being the windiest season of the year, I knew I needed to strap myself in for a bumpy ride. NOT what I was expecting. Embarkation: Really easy and stress-free. Check in at the airport was fine ( I ... Read More
We went in April and with Spring being the windiest season of the year, I knew I needed to strap myself in for a bumpy ride. NOT what I was expecting. Embarkation: Really easy and stress-free. Check in at the airport was fine ( I still dont understand why they dont just give us those Priority Cruise tags once we've landed, but anywho ) and we were on our way. There were a few long-ish queues to check into the ship, but that was to be expected. Staff were very friendly to us, helping us to where we needed to be. Overall, the most stress-free check in i've had in a long time. Food: This is an issue I've always had with Thomson ( Well, now Marella ) ... I've never found anything WRONG with the food, its just always been a little...boring? If meat and vegetables and roast dinners every evening is your thing, then fine. But I guess I'd prefer something from the actual country I'm visiting, not just British food. Obviously if you dont like that kind of thing, then you're in luck! The actual food isself was wonderful. Considering I only had 4 dinners out of a possible 7 ( More on THAT later... ) they were all in all, pretty good. Lunches were always lots of choice, paninis, burgers, hot dogs, salads. We ate in the main restaurant for lunch one day, would HIGHLY reccomend. Lido was okay, just seemed to get a little too crowded for my liking. Having the drinks machine in the food queue, NOT a good idea. Overall, was okay, but could be better. Entertainment: We only went to 2 shows ( I'll tell you the reason... its coming ) but my god were they GOOD. I love musicals and all things like that, was right up my street. You could see how much the entertainers enjoyed performing for us, which was lovely to see. And their talent was out of this world! Other members of our party didnt agree, not enjoying the musicals. Other entertainment was also available. Live singers were always a treat to listen to. Quizzes throughout the daytime, activities on the pool deck ( When it wasnt raining sideways ). Finally, there was a games room, a library and a coffee shop. If you enjoyed a quieter ride, you had someplace to go. Overall, spectacular. Theres something for everyone. Excursions: We did one excursion, in Casablanca. All in all, it was okay. We went to a Mosque, which was BEAUTIFUL. The biggest Islamic place of worship outside of Mecca. The rest was... eye-opening. We were taken through a traditional market, where we werent allowed to buy anything. Instead we went to a tacky tourist shop... Not really my idea of fun. We were also taken through a different market- again, couldnt stop or anything. Not really sure why? Overall, an okay tour. Seemed a bit underplanned. Cabin: We had a Deck 1 cabin, pretty much as midship as you could get. Inside cabin. Very spacious and kept pristine at all times by our wonderful room steward. We had a problem with the shower on the 2nd day. Someone came right to our cabin within minutes of reporting it and sorted it so we could be on our way. Another thing, we barely ever saw our room steward. Which to me, is perfect. Never seeing them, so you never feel like you're in their way or they're in your way. Yet after a long day of adventuring, our beds were made, those little chocolates were on our pillow and we could just relax... Disembarkation: Not much to say here. The exact reverse of embarkation, completely stress free. General: In general the ship was clean. It smelled very clean upon walking in on the first day. The pool deck got untidy ( On the rare days it was actually used ) and the waiters and waitresses were always ready to fix everything for us. None of the staff ever seemed like they werent doing anything ( Except for when we left the port, and we all retreated to our porcelain vomit-bags ) Everyone was so friendly. It was just... perfect. So yes. We had some bad weather. The first night was fine, you could barely tell you were on a ship. Then we got through the Gibraltar strait, and all hell broke loose. Okay, I'm being a BIT dramatic... but throughout the course of the day the seas got rougher and rougher. So finally, at around 7pm that night I hid away in my cabin for the next 14 hours. Oh no, it didnt just last for one night... EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Rock...and roll. Im not exaggerating, 3/7 nights were about bareable for me, only because we had the protection of the Med on 2 of those nights, and the Portugese coast on the other. But the crew... they were FANTASTIC. The captain was everywhere, reassuring passengers throughout the day, then battling the seas throughout the night. We had winds at the top end of storm force 11. Bear in mind the scale only goes up to 12, and thats a Hurricane! Our cabin steward brought us extra towels on nights we didnt leave the cabin, they even delayed the ship by a few hours on the 3rd night so we could all have a nice dinner! The best thing that happened was on the final night. Since hardly anyone turned up to the captain's gala ( Escpecially in the second sitting ) they had loads of the staff come onto the stage in the entertainment, a really great photo opportunity. Just a great experience all around. The captain gave an announcement on the last day, thanking us for our co-operation, which was lovely of him. It was the worst weather he'd seen on around 20 years of working on a cruise ship, and at times it was some of the worst sea he'd ever seen. I'll miss the ship, and I'll definitely go back. Probably not on that itinerary though... Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Right from the start this Cruise was a Ripoff. TUI changed flights from Glasgow from 7.30am to 2.30pm, lost 7 hrs straight away and gave us earlier flights on return, basically lost 2 days of our holiday.Said we could fly from Newcastle if ... Read More
Right from the start this Cruise was a Ripoff. TUI changed flights from Glasgow from 7.30am to 2.30pm, lost 7 hrs straight away and gave us earlier flights on return, basically lost 2 days of our holiday.Said we could fly from Newcastle if we wanted, but couldn't guarantee they wouldn't change these flights.Having been on Thomson Spirit the year before and received amazing service we expected this to be the same or better, boy were we about to be sorely disappointed. Most of the Eastern European staff were arrogant,ignorant and couldn't be ased doing anything, but why would they when they have a bar manager who never acknowledged passengers, never spoke, never smiled, wouldn't move out your way and was arrogant, ignorant and great role model for Staff.The Philippine staff could not have been any nicer, a credit to the company. Drinks were watered down, food was ok but nothing for youngsters.Perhaps a separate menu for under 10's Marella.Pizza,burgers and hot dogs every day get a tad boring.Did I mention that all the drinks are watered down. I was ill with your pork meatballs, most were undercooked.Service at meals could have been so much better, loads of times I had to go looking for spoons to eat my puddings or Brown sauce for my dinner and by the time I got back my meals were cold. Childrens entertainment was ok and the two staff tried there best, but you seriously need someone to show you how to work with kids and with over 20 years of experience of working with young people, I Do know what I am talking about.Happy kids make Happy Parents. The ship was noisy and I don't mean the engines, every night from 10.00 pm - 2.00 am what sounded like a train would roar by our cabins and wake us up, not happy and funnily enough wasn't mentioned in the brochure. Shore excursions were ok, but cancelling Portmao trip because of a Port workers strike and taking us to Helvua was a poor substitute...You knew about strike well in advance and could have offered us a tourist destination, Helvua was not a tourist destination. Have I mentioned the drinks were all watered down. The ship also charges for everything, visit to the deck to see captain, give us your money, momento of your miles travelled, give us your money, want to safely store things in your cabin,give us your money. I could go on and on and on, but basically this Cruise was a mini Blackpool at Sea, tatty and money money money and judging from other passengers complaints not a very good advert for Marcella. I Paid well over £6500 to take all my family on what I told them would be a brilliant Cruise. Never again will Marella Cruises be getting my hard earned money and never will I tell people how good they are...keep it up Marella, great way to go out of business. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
'Essential ' maintenance was carried out. Now we'd all agree the maintenance to lifeboats is essential. However, Fred insisted on chipping off the paint on the upper decks of Boudicca during the very brief time that the sun ... Read More
'Essential ' maintenance was carried out. Now we'd all agree the maintenance to lifeboats is essential. However, Fred insisted on chipping off the paint on the upper decks of Boudicca during the very brief time that the sun came out when we were trying to relax in the sun. The noise was unbearable. Unbelievable given that the ship was about to go into dry dock for a refit the week after! The weather was against us (no fault of Fred) and so the captain decided that we should miss out 2 stops. Quite understandable from a safety of life view, but the holiday was ruined. The prospect of spending three nights and two days at sea in the forecasted storms made us jump ship, stayed in an hotel overnight in Lisbon and flew home early., at quite a price. We would welcome the views of other passengers. The other comment is that the entertainmment (with the exception of the comedien, who was hillarious), seemed to be aimed at a much younger audience, for instance, 'Get off your feet and dance' shouted over and over again, didn't seem to suit the average age of about 68.. This is the last cruise we shall be booking. Nick Lodge. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was a last minute booking due to family circumstances which in truth limited our choice of cruise. However, we have now cruised with NCL five times and since our first cruise with NCL 24 years ago we have noted a marked decline in ... Read More
This was a last minute booking due to family circumstances which in truth limited our choice of cruise. However, we have now cruised with NCL five times and since our first cruise with NCL 24 years ago we have noted a marked decline in standards and quality. This time my wife and I cruised with my brother and sister-in-law and both of them reflect our views on standards and quality. The reason we chose this cruise was it covered the Christmas and New Year periods and my brother and his wife had never been to the Canary Islands. Christmas was disappointing in that it was not marked in any special way, the Christmas dinner was two slices of turkey with few trimmings served as usual on a cold plate. More effort was made for the New Year festivities. Despite a recent refit parts of the ship were drab and dated. Particular in this respect was the scruffy Henry`s bar and Blue Lagoon cafe. The Raffles restaurant offered repetitively burgers, hot dogs plus other dishes and the general scrummage for food was only tolerated when there was no alternative options. The main windows restaurant was acceptable and a calm recluse when not full up but there was constant repetition of some of the meals on offer, though counterbalanced by an extensive choice of dishes. The service was generally good but was spoilt by a lack of understanding of our requirements by both waiting staff and Matre `D.The waiting staff were falling over themselves to help but due to lack of training they would not always fulfill their function correctly. As a party of 4 we were always prepared to share with others on tables of six plus, but however hard we tried to convey this concept the idea was never executed. There were often long queues for tables at Windows and Garden restaurants and sharing would have gone some way to alleviating the waiting time. We noticed a tremendous wastage of food when waiters failed to served the requested portions. One egg at breakfast time was always interpreted as two resulting in wastage. Portions of fruit plate were excessive but despite pleas to reduce the portion size this again went unheeded. The evening entertainment whilst generally good was of poor standard in some cases being typical of a budget cruise line. The daytime activity programme whilst plentiful were in most cases designed specifically to raise revenue for NCL and not necessarily for the enjoyment of passengers. The talks given on ports of call were short, normally less than 15 minutes and did not convey the extent of information most passengers required. Information regarding shuttle bus service were not always relayed and resulted in confusion on the dockside when attempting to find transport. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise as it was her last cruise under Thomson Majesty, before returning to her original owners. After collecting our luggage from the airport carousel the transfer from Malaga Airport to ship was quick and efficient, at ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was her last cruise under Thomson Majesty, before returning to her original owners. After collecting our luggage from the airport carousel the transfer from Malaga Airport to ship was quick and efficient, at the ship our luggage was transported from the coach to our cabin. Registration was quick and efficient taking approximately 5 min. Staff were on hand to escort you to your cabin, which is a nice touch and was always available on the Majesty. Our cabin was clean and ready for our occupation, with all relevant information neatly placed on the dressing table by Maricel and Bill our cabin stewards, lifeboat drill was carried out at 18.30, was informative and completed much quicker than in other Thomson ships we have cruised in. Thomson Majesty has not changed much over the last 5 years, she still shows her age, but is always clean and well looked after, the staff are all pleasant and go out of their way to make your cruise a happy memorable one, even though many did not know what the future held for further employment. As it was her last cruise under the Thomson flag, our local TUI shop expected there would be additional shows and parties, the only additions from normal was (1) a glass of bubbly on arrival at ship, (2) a dress up in colour night, (3) a party in the reception area with cakes, various nibbles, fruit and bubbly, all beautifully set up with ice and fruit carvings, (4) a lovely sail away from Cadiz with large fireworks display on the quay all washed down with as much bubbly as you wanted. We always had breakfast in the Piazza San Marco as we like to have a light breakfast, there was always tea, coffee, fruit juice and cold water, also a large selection of cold meat, cheese, breads, yogurts, fruits, sticky buns, and the full English breakfast selection of eggs (fried scrambled, boiled), sausages, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, beans, hash browns etc, all nicely presented and kept topped up. Due to doing a lot of trips late lunch was normally in the Piazza San Marco and usually consisted of soup and a pudding. The Seven Sea's Restaurant was our chosen venue for evening dinner, we tend to eat early 18.30 so never found the restaurant full. We always sat at the same table, with Don and Mario as our waiters, they did a marvellous job over the week, tending to our every want, they definitely helped make it a happy memorable cruise. Regardless of our selection the food was always well prepared and presented, not dolloped on the plate like the pub grub we were presented with on the Thomson Dream in September. All shows in the Jubilee Lounge were well performed, especially Killer Queen, having been on the Majesty six times, covering 9 weeks we had seen most of the shows various times, we therefore will not comment as we may be a bit biased. We did a trip in every port:- Lisbon, Panoramic Drive:- A nice easy tour on the legs an informative trip covering the main attractions of Lisbon with plenty of photo stops. Portimao, Quaint Fishing Villages:- Relaxing relatively easy tour to two small fishing villages, which were quiet and relaxing, some lovely views for photo's. Casablanca, Casablanca City Tour:- A real eye opener on how to drive, (heart stopping), covers a walk through open Olive Market, a visit to the exterior of the Hassan II Mosque, the Notre Dame Church and a stop at the Habous Quarter to see the Kings Palace. A good tour for Casablanca information. Gibraltar, World War Two Tunnels:- A relatively easy tour starting with a bus tour around the rock, then off to the tunnels we were informed how the tunnels were dug and where and how the troops lived. Interesting but not for you if you are not interested in world war two. Plenty of time afterwards for duty free shopping. Cadiz, Cadiz & A Taste Of Jerez:- A panoramic tour round Cadiz's old quarter covering most of the main attractions, then off to Jerez to visit a wine cellar (TIO PEPE) where we were given the history of the winery and how the wine and sherry is made, there was vast vaults full of signed barrels (Her Majesty The Queen, Prince Philip, Winston Churchill, to name a few), there was hundreds signed by famous people. We were then taken to a lavish tasting area to sample the sherry, dry, medium (Croft, they have owned the Croft name since 2002) and sweet. I think the sweet was most liked by the group. very interesting if you like sherry. Over all we had another great cruise on a lovely but old ship served by staff happy to do their best to make your cruise a pleasant happy memory. We will be sorry to see Thomson Majesty go, we have many happy memories of the various cruises we have had on the Majesty, especially some of the staff whom we have met on our travels, (Mario our waiter for three cruises), (Hady, waiter on our first and last Majesty cruise), (Grace, drinks waitress two cruises) thanks to you all. In my opinion, having cruised on all of the older Thomson ships, it should have been the Dream that went, it was the worst lay out and the worst food of the lot from a cruiser's view. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I have to say this was my first ever cruise with my hubby and he had booked it for my 40th birthday surprise. He thought it would be something different from our usual beach holidays. I was a little worried at first as I thought cruises ... Read More
I have to say this was my first ever cruise with my hubby and he had booked it for my 40th birthday surprise. He thought it would be something different from our usual beach holidays. I was a little worried at first as I thought cruises were just for older people but I was very much mistaken. It was one of the best holidays I have had and we go on many holidays. The age range was from babies to very old. Everything about the cruise was amazing, every staff member says hello and cannot do enough for you. The food and DRINK were brilliant, we were AI and the variety was unbelievable. Entertainment was brilliant, there were broadway shows, karaoke, sports, everything you can actually imagine and late night discos every night. The different ports we docked at everyday were fantastic. This ship has everything you could want in a cruise, it is as laid back as you like or as fancy as you like. I have to again mention the staff and service on board its 1st class. The cabins are very modern and spotless clean, they are checked a few times a day by your specified room steward who also comes in at night when your out on board and turns down the bed and puts a chocolate on the pillows, such a nice touch. I will definitely 100% be going on another cruise soon with Marella (Thomson). My husband chose Thomson cruises as we always book our holidays with Thomson/first choice. Very good choice in my opinion as there is nothing at all to fault - well done thomsons!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose the Celebration for the Gibraltar visit, because it was the place we wanted to visit most, spending around 10 hours in port, most of the port visits were pretty good, although the visit to Portimãoi was rather pointless, ... Read More
We chose the Celebration for the Gibraltar visit, because it was the place we wanted to visit most, spending around 10 hours in port, most of the port visits were pretty good, although the visit to Portimãoi was rather pointless, not much to see or do, activities for younger passengers were limited, my son was 15 at the time, all the pools at close at 6pm leaving nothing to do at all for the kids the food was very good for buffet food, and the staff were excellent very limited and very expensive WiFi at £49.99 for 7 days, you can get WiFi in your cabin The cabin was very good, and cleaned lots, sometimes twice a day, we didn't take any of the excursions, we thought pp £37 for a 1 hour trip was far too much there are a few hidden surcharges on food and drinks, so not all-inclusive, we were charged £7 per person for a shuttle bus to Portimaoi, that was quicker to walk than the bus, although the crew were very good, the ship let the cruise down, so i doubt i would cruise with Thomson again, there are better value deals on better equipped ship for a longer duration Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I have been on several cruises. and this one was ok .. but that pretty much sums it up . it was ok...the ship itself although old . is still a beautiful ship.easy to navigate. plenty of restaurants .plenty or bars . they do get quite ... Read More
I have been on several cruises. and this one was ok .. but that pretty much sums it up . it was ok...the ship itself although old . is still a beautiful ship.easy to navigate. plenty of restaurants .plenty or bars . they do get quite crowded though and it becomes impossible to find a seat . food was average we ate in the buffet mostly . but did go to the pizza and hot stone restaurant too. snack shack very good for day times snacks . entertainment ... this was a complete let down to us. it seemed the same three acts just rotating the bars. the main show of the evening was not on until 11.30 each night . this seems very late for the prime time show. room was ok . howwever i came back to the cabin one evening to my wife in tears . there was the biggest cockroach i have ever seen in the bathroom. she called one of the staff in who said there was nothing there.. well i found it . it was on the underside of the sink . at least 2" i mentioned it to the steward . tbh he didnt seemed that concerned. we traveled with friend and overall had a good time just a few minor things .. staff great... food average.. cabin spacious but nothing special. entertainment poor. ports where good and the efficiency of the staff . for getting on and off ship is one of the best i have experienced Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Been on Thomson cruises previously and enjoyed the experience the Discovery 2 was to us different value from other Thomson Cruises the ship was clean beds comfortable but most times around the ship was loud music which although i do enjoy ... Read More
Been on Thomson cruises previously and enjoyed the experience the Discovery 2 was to us different value from other Thomson Cruises the ship was clean beds comfortable but most times around the ship was loud music which although i do enjoy music was not at all necessary all of the time.Having previously enjoyed thomsons there seemed to be a bit of a sea change on board discovery2 although it was all inclusive you had to queue at very busy bars as there did not seem to have been as many waiters/waitresses for taking drinks orders on this ship apart from in the show lounge,the ports of call were all very good and the captain gave you a good idea of what to find ashore every morning.Thomson as usual gave you plenty of time ashore which is more than some other cruise lines do allin all we enjoyed the cruise as we were with our family but i would now think long and hard sad tosaybefore cruising with Thomson cruises again, Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We did a cruise only and met the ship in Malaga. They took our bags from us and we were on board within 5 minutes, very fast & efficient boarding. Our inside cabin had plenty of room and you couldn't hear any noise from anyone ... Read More
We did a cruise only and met the ship in Malaga. They took our bags from us and we were on board within 5 minutes, very fast & efficient boarding. Our inside cabin had plenty of room and you couldn't hear any noise from anyone next door. The ship was fantastic. You would not have known it was older. Thomson had done a good job turning it into their own style. The best bit about Thomson is their entertainment. It beats other cruise lines. We had 6 nights of shows by the show team. The amount of songs they had to sing and knew the words to was amazing plus the extra shows they put on around the pool and in the centrium. We never had to wait for a table at dinner. We always got the same table as our waiters Sergio & Emir from Serbia were so friendly and attentive. The food was very nice with, as always, lots of choice available. We were never disappointed. We have done a few Thomson Cruises and lots of other companies too and they are always the best cruises due to their fun nature and excellent entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Out first impressions when we boarded the Tui Discovery 2 cruise ship was good. We went to our balcony cabin and was pleased with the cabin and balcony.The 2 gentlemen that serviced our room which was number 7040 was very good and ... Read More
Out first impressions when we boarded the Tui Discovery 2 cruise ship was good. We went to our balcony cabin and was pleased with the cabin and balcony.The 2 gentlemen that serviced our room which was number 7040 was very good and everything was clean and tidy every day. On the first day of our cruise we were at sea all day and night consequently everybody that was cruising was on board the ship for 24 hours. Each evening we toured round the various bar/entertainment arears and found it very hard to find 2 seats and table to sit and enjoy a drink. Every venue was extremely loud and the only place you could actually sit and hear yourself speak was the pool bar. The first time we visited this bar we got our drinks and when looking at the glasses, which were understandably reusable plastic glasses as it was the pool area we found that the glasses were badly scratched and looked dirty we asked for 2 different glasses but these were in the same state, so every time we went to this area to have a drink we took with us 2 glasses from the restaurant which were clean. We docked into a different port every morning and found that you had to pay for the shuttle bus to take you from the port to the town this was £6 pounds return. Cruises are not a cheap holiday and we feel it was extremely bad that Thompson charged people to be taken from each port to the towns. The food was ok, we have had a lot better in all inclusive hotels but it was ok each day. Because of our experience on the Tui Discovery 2 ship we have decided that we will not be going on any more cruises which is sad as if our experience had been a good one we would have booked at least 2 cruises next year. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
The check in process was very quick and we were on board the ship very quickly. Our cases were taken onboard for us and were waiting outside our cabin for us. The Atlantic ocean for the first 2 days was very windy and rough and not that ... Read More
The check in process was very quick and we were on board the ship very quickly. Our cases were taken onboard for us and were waiting outside our cabin for us. The Atlantic ocean for the first 2 days was very windy and rough and not that enjoyable and I was actually cold. You couldn't actually sit up on the deck as it was too windy and all the sun beds blew away. I had to take sea sickness pills the first few days which I have never done before on cruises. However the cruise was still very nice. The food and drink was excellent, no complaints at all. Plenty of choice at breakfast and lunch time and dinner in the evening in the restaurant was very nice. We enjoyed all the entertainment on the cruise throughout the day and evenings. There was only one dress up night where previously on other cruises we have been on there were 2 nights. The casino on board was very small which was a disappointment. Every Port we stopped at was enjoyable, literally had all day at each Port so could get on and off the ship as many times as you wanted throughout the day. I would definitely recommend this ship to friends and family and I probably would go on this ship again although we do prefer a bigger ship than this. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Having cruised last October on Tui Discovery I had no hesitation in booking this cruise on its new sister ship Tui Discovery 2, and was not disappointed. I travelled with my four children (aged 19, 17, 14 and 8) and all five of us had a ... Read More
Having cruised last October on Tui Discovery I had no hesitation in booking this cruise on its new sister ship Tui Discovery 2, and was not disappointed. I travelled with my four children (aged 19, 17, 14 and 8) and all five of us had a fantastic time. Embarkation (and disembarkation) were smooth and swift, which always helps on a cruise! And, on boarding, our luggage arrived at our cabins in a very timely fashion. The ship itself was clean throughout and easy to navigate (as I say I had already sailed on the Tui Discovery and this ship's layout was identical). This is a mid-size ship (previously a RC ship), which is perfect for first time cruisers or families as it does not take too long to get your bearings. We had two different types of cabin - myself and my two youngest were in a deluxe balcony and my two eldest were in a standard inside. Both cabins were clean (and constantly kept that way by the super efficient staff) with comfy beds, adequate storage and standard size/facilities as for most cruise ships. I booked specific cabins so that we were close to each other and so that we were mid-ship and not near any noisy/busy areas of this ship so was very happy with my choices. Dining was very good with plenty of options for all. I did not bother with the speciality restaurants (as they cost extra and because there were so many other places to eat). Breakfast can either be taken at Islands buffett (good selection, good food, was a little busy on disembarkation today, but apart from that never a problem finding somewhere to sit) or in the main restaurant (this was more civilised and a more leisurely affair, as the main hot options were waiter service with a small cold buffet selection). Lunch can be taken again at the buffett or a set 4 course at the main 47 restaurant or you can just grab a snack at the snack shack (burgers, hot dogs, mac cheese, sandwiches, salads etc) or there is also food at the indoor pool. In the afternoons you can get ice-cream and from 3pm - 5pm afternoon tea at the buffet was very good (great selection of tasty sandwiches, cakes, cream teas etc). Dinner can either again be in the buffet or in the main restaurant or the Italian above (we had 5 meals in the main restaurant and 2 in the Italian, all of which were really good - although the Italian menu does tend to be the same every night). We only had to wait to be seated on one evening (you are provided with a buzzer and you do not have to wait long). All in all very good food and very good service. Bar service was in general good although there was often a long wait at the pool bars (they could do with more staff) and occassionally waiting time at the other bars in the evenings. The new all inclusive package was ample for us and do not see why you would want to pay any extra - all your standard drinks - shorts, wines, beers and cocktails (and they were good quality labelled brands) and good selection of non-alcholic drinks and mocktails too were included - you just have to present your card. Evening shows were good quality (although one was identical to a show we saw in October which was a shame, also there were no real plays, which I usually like and one night there was a comedian but it was unclear whether this was suitable for young children so we did not attend just in case) we did not go to any of the films this time as they were either not things we wanted to see or things we had seen. All the bands/musicians/singers around the ship were really good and provided good entertainment. Did not use the casino (it is tiny!!). Never had a problem finding a seat in the theatre (we went to the 8.30pm perfomances each night). Day time entertainment was OK (although a little tacky at times). Kids club was good (although I would have preferred more or longer sessions or drop in sessions). Climbing wall was good (you need to book a slot) my middle and youngest boy enjoyed this. We also enjoyed the mini golf and shuttle board and table tennis. My 17 year old used the gym every day which he said was not bad. The main pool is tiny and crowded (full of kids) is more like a glorified children's paddling pool, but that is often the way on a cruise ship. The inside pool was better and had an adults only time period, but who wants to be inside when there is sun shining outside? There was not usually a problem finding a sun bed - apart from the day at sea when we could not find one at all!! So had to all cram onto our balcony!! They are supposed to impose a 45 minute rule (whereby if a sun bed is empty for more than 45 minutes they remove the items on it) but I never saw this being implemented. Likewise you can never get anywhere to sit in the adults only section (had the same problem on Tui Discovery in October). Also finding any beds that are in shade (for my 8 year old) was impossible so had to use our towels to form a tent for him! It was a shame that only about 50 - 60% of the passengers bothered to dress up for the "dress to impress night". I always love this night on cruises and it makes it so special - however when you and your daughter are dressed in a cocktail dress and your boys are in suits and you are seated at dinner next to people in t-shirts it does rather spoil it. I think if there is a formal night or dress up night reminders should be sent to travellers before the holiday (so they can pack accordingly) and maybe if they don't want to dress up for that one night they can be seated in a more casual dining area. Ports of call were all very good: In Barcelona we got a hop on hop off bus tour and managed to see quite a bit. In Palma we did book one trip through the ship (the train in Soller) which was OK but nothing special. At all the other ports (Ibiza, Almeria and Ceuta) I had already researched in advance where we could go and what we could see so we were well prepared to do our own thing (as I always find the maps that you get from the ship are a bit basic). All staff were excellent - polite, efficient, friendly, courteous, helpful ..... perfect!! I did have two small issues - Firstly I ordered a photo (for £14.95) and before I went to collect it I gave £20 cash to reception to add to my account to cover the photo - however later that evening my card was refused at the bar and during dinner when I asked for wine and both times I was told I owed money (the drinks were all inclusive anyway so did not understand the logic behind this) - this was embarrassing (as I did not owe money) and had to use my eldest boy's card instead just to have wine with my dinner. When I went to reception they said my account was in credit and they did not understand why there had been a problem. (To their credit, the next day, as way of apology, I was sent a bottle of wine to my cabin so have to say I was more than happy that they acknowledged and acted on the issue). Secondly on leaving the ship I was told I owed E1.50 for a premium drink (that had somehow been added to my card) It was only a small amount but out of principle I said i did not want to pay for somebody else's drink. I then was kept waiting for almost 10 minutes (when I needed to disembark) for the matter to be resolved. However, these two tiny issues did not spoil what was an excellent holiday over all and I would definitely sail on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We choose this cruise solely because of the itinerary. We didn't want to have to use ship excursions to enjoy ourselves and this really did fit the bill. We were able to do our own thing at every port and enjoyed ourselves doing so - ... Read More
We choose this cruise solely because of the itinerary. We didn't want to have to use ship excursions to enjoy ourselves and this really did fit the bill. We were able to do our own thing at every port and enjoyed ourselves doing so - it was really easy. Balcony cabin 7600 was a good size and kept spotlessly clean by steward. Was pleasantly surprised by size of bathroom and shower. Weather was always good and it was nice to sit on balcony when you needed some quiet time. Lots of restaurant choice and overall we found the quality of the food to be very good. Surf n Turf and Kora La were both excellent but the food in 47 and Gallery47 was also of a high standard. We only had dinner in buffet on one occasion but main courses were limited, our fault as we went very late. SnackShak was very handy for a quick (small) lunch or breakfast and I managed to restrict myself to only one curry in Glasshouse at end of night. We had no problems getting a table for two and met some nice company at the tables near to us. We enjoyed the entertainment throughout the ship, some performers had more talent than others but they all worked so hard to put on good performances. Some of the shows were excellent and there was always something going on. The staff worked very hard and everyone we came into contact with was pleasant and helpful, special mention to Sari, Marlon and Miko who looked after us very well (apologies to the others I haven't mentioned, can't remember names). The ports were all good and easy to navigate without expensive excursions and we had plenty of time available to explore all of them. Only 2 sea days out of 14 which was great and meant there was no danger of ever being bored. We upgraded to premium all inclusive and were pleased with it. Don't think it was essential though but the basic AI choice was very good (i.e. Tanquery). Only one minor complaint related to slow service if you went to some bars. We overcame this by using waiter service, they soon got to know you and saved you queuing at bar. Overall we had a brilliant time and met some great company on several nights. Would love to do same ship and itinerary again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We absolutely loved this ship and had a superb holiday. The ship is big but not overwhelming. It is beautifully appointed through out and is kept scrupulously clean. There are plenty of lifts and never had a significant wait. Try the ... Read More
We absolutely loved this ship and had a superb holiday. The ship is big but not overwhelming. It is beautifully appointed through out and is kept scrupulously clean. There are plenty of lifts and never had a significant wait. Try the glass lifts from the atrium, nice way to travel to decks 9 and 10. Deck 9 is the main pool. It gets very busy with the usual Sunbed issues. There are also shaded areas, a stage and islands buffet. The bar here gets busy. Use the waiters as they are pretty efficient. The snack shack on this deck stocks a range of hot and cold food, all of high quality. Can recommend the snack sized fish and chips. The entertainment on 9 is great, bands, game shows, quizzes and music all day. More sedate is deck 10 which wraps around deck 9. The bar here is also a lot quieter. Great views on deck 10 of ports, sailaway said and while at sea. Smokers are also catered for up here. Really objected one afternoon to a woman who parked herself in the middle of the smoking area despite there being sunbeds free elsewhere and proceeded to create a fuss about smoke. Deck 4 is the only other smoking area so she wasn't short of places to go to avoid smoke. There is an indoor pool up here and that offers adult only swimming in the afternoon. Didn't use it but iit looked very classy. The glasshouse resturant is up here. Deck 4 and 5 are home to the. Ian entertainment venues. The live lounge offers a wide range of good quality entertainment. With the small casino at night it gets very very busy at night. Great atmosphere in here. On deck 5 the venue is a lot quieter and is the bigger room, again in the evening a great place for entertainment. The atrium also transforms into a entertainment venue at night and some great singers appeared here. All the venues have bars and waiter service. For a quiter evening there is plate 11 which becomes a disco at 11. Earlier on it is quiet in here. Deck 9 also does movies under the stars and is a great place to socialise under the stars, the bar stays open till late. The Broadway showlounge is on deck 4 a plush venue with great sight lines and a good waiter service. The show team are exceptional especially Reiss and Seb both stand out performers. The shows steel town, the festival show and Beatz international are must sees. The staff talent show is also brilliant.open dining in 47 and gallery 47 works well even at peak times. Food is varied and exceptional. Didn't use the pay venues as the food in the mdr was great. Islands buffet is well laid out and offers a great range of breakfast options including a great full English. The evening buffet was great if you went early. The glasshouse offered late night curries which was great. A brilliant curry till around 1230am. The cabin was a midship inside on deck 2. A lovely cabin, plenty of space and storage. A spotless bathroom with a good shower with hair and body shampoo. The tv had a wide range of channels (didn't use it much). Midship was ideal, close to 8 lifts and stable. The room was maintained to a very high standard by our ever smiling steward Vanessa from Honduras who we tipped separately even though gratuities are included. On a cruise like this with such good weather and so many activities we used the cabin to sleep, shower and change in. Had an issue on one occasion and spoke to reception about it quietly and calmly. This led to an unexpected meeting with the guest relations manager who both appreciated and apologised for the situation. Next day in the cabin they delivered a complimentary bottle of prose vo on ice with two wine flutes plus chocolate dipped strawberries. A lovely unexpected touch by TUI. Only did one TUI excursion as we found we could wander around the ports on foot or take the much more reasonably priced tourist buses which visited the same places as the overpriced shore excursions. The ship tour in Gibraltar was good but we felt rushed and didn't have long enough visiting the Barbary Macaws. Some ports charged for shuttles others did not. Marsaille has a lovely trip ca.led the petit train which you catch on the harbour. The tourist buses in Porto, vigo and lisbon depart close to the ship. Be warned the barcelona bus is very expensive and in vigo the bus departs every 2 hours from 10am. Service was wonderful, happy smiling friendly staff from stewards to bar staff to the officers. A huge shout out to Lewis Power Stannard, an outstanding cruise director. We loved every second and can't wait to be back on board next year to explore the Adriatic and agean. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017

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