14 Malaga to Mediterranean Marella Cruises Marella Discovery 2 Cruise Reviews

Thought we would try Discovery 2 as it is an ex Royal Caribbean ship. They had great crew, seemed really happy, which is always a bonus. Plenty of time in the ports of call. The only thing we didn't like was the casino as this ... Read More
Thought we would try Discovery 2 as it is an ex Royal Caribbean ship. They had great crew, seemed really happy, which is always a bonus. Plenty of time in the ports of call. The only thing we didn't like was the casino as this is always a fun part of a cruise. In this case it was far too small with only one crowded roulette table and dull electronic slot machines. Other than that we had a great time. This cruise was on an all inclusive drinks package. We chose to upgrade to premium but not really necessary as lots of branded drinks included. Passengers dressed smartly for dinner. Great saxophonist and a good comedian. Excellent club on Floor 11. Decent evening meals. A much more chilled experience to have breakfast in the main dining rooms rather than search for a table in the buffet restaurant. Get a cab to town if you travel to Madeira its only 10 euros and saves a huge walk. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Having been on this ship before when she was Legend of the Seas (Royal Caribbean), I was interested to see what the changes were. It was like night and day! In the main restaurant the meals were not of a good standard and service was ... Read More
Having been on this ship before when she was Legend of the Seas (Royal Caribbean), I was interested to see what the changes were. It was like night and day! In the main restaurant the meals were not of a good standard and service was not good. We often had to ask for things like black pepper and tea and coffee. I got the impression that they were just rushing everyone to get out as soon as possible so that they could get the next lot in. The buffet for breakfast was OK but at lunchtime everything was quite simple and plain. The entertainment was average at best but there was a Freddie Mercury tribute guy who was very good. The cabin was clean but for the first few days the air conditioning was not working properly. We never met our cabin steward but he/she was efficient. The organisation at the airport and the port was excellent. We were in our cabin within an hour of arriving at the airport and our luggage arrived shortly afterwards. This was the first time we had been on a Thomson cruise and can quite safely say it will be the last. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
To start we cruised on Discovery in June and enjoyed it so much we decided to book another cruise on Discovery 2. There were some differences between the 2 ships but we loved both cruising experiences. Firstly, the organizational skills ... Read More
To start we cruised on Discovery in June and enjoyed it so much we decided to book another cruise on Discovery 2. There were some differences between the 2 ships but we loved both cruising experiences. Firstly, the organizational skills of the TUI crew at the Malaga Airport was exceptional – this was a vast improvement on our experience with the crew at Palma Airport. It could not have gone smoother! On arrival at the port again this experience was much better than Discovery – Our bags were correctly labeled and we were on the ship in 10 minutes with our bags delivered within the next 30 minutes – no searching ship for lost baggage as per Discovery. Now our cabin was how can I put it – compact but functional. It had half the space compared to our cabin in Discovery, an inside deck 7 as well but we were unlucky with allocation. The beds were very comfortable and slept soundly every night. Bathroom was very small, no storage, in need of upgrade but the shower was great. Very quiet location and convenient to stairs/lifts, entertainment areas and buffet restaurant. Evn though we had over 200 kids on this cruise we hardly ever noticed except that they took ownership of the outdoor pool. Thankfully we had the adult only pool indoors if and when we wanted a swim. The ship is beautiful and cannot really be faulted but comparing the 2 ships – Discovery is styled / finished to a higher standard to Discovery 2. I personally believe it would have been better if it had a bit longer in dry dock to fix and complete the “snag list” but then others would not have noticed due to not having its “twin” to compare it to. The food in all the restaurant was delicious, entertainment outstanding every day & night and the various ports were excellent with lots to do and explore independently. ALL the Crew on board are OUTSTANDING!! Debarkation again was faultless and well organized. Over all we both enjoyed our time on Discovery 2 immensely, will recommend it others and look forward to cruising again on either Ship or even the new ship TUI Explorer in 2018.. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Brilliant holiday made all the better by good food excellant and friendly staff in all departments including entertainment (which on other cruises we have been on has been hit and miss). A special mention has to go to Captain Chris and ... Read More
Brilliant holiday made all the better by good food excellant and friendly staff in all departments including entertainment (which on other cruises we have been on has been hit and miss). A special mention has to go to Captain Chris and the cruise director who were so friendly and worked so well together which made it so funny and enjoyable for all the guests. The all inclusive drinks package was so good it was not necessary to upgrade. Our cabin 6602 was very comfortable and quiet always kept very tidy and clean by our steward FAHRUDIN plus his assistant who i cannot remember his name. Embarkation and Disembarkation went very smoothly with our cases being in our cabin within the hour. The excursions we went on were very enjoyable Lisbon, Porto, Cadiz from where we went to Seville which was our favourite. Vigo and Gibralter we made our own way into the towns and no tenders were required at any of our destinations Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Everything from the captain to his crew were fantastic, this was our first cruise but won't be our last.all the staff were outstanding but 3 stuck out for me. We went to the venue bar most evenings, there were 2 bartenders that ... Read More
Everything from the captain to his crew were fantastic, this was our first cruise but won't be our last.all the staff were outstanding but 3 stuck out for me. We went to the venue bar most evenings, there were 2 bartenders that really stuck out for my husband and myself these two did an amazing job of entertaining the customers with their smiles and personalities. (in fact i named them ant and deck)nothing was too much trouble for steve and marvin, these two brightened our nights and we have never laughed so much. There was also a wonderful lady called tin-tin who was the head bartender, she made sure every thing was ok no matter where she was on the ship. These 3 stood out for us and i would like you to say a big thank you to steve, marvin and tin-tin. Also thank you to dewa who kept out cabin very clean. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We must say what a fantastic holiday cruise we have just witnessed a well maintained ship with excellent staff and great food mainly Restaurant 47 with Alexander and Jake who where exceptional waiters. Also all the bar staff in the atrium ... Read More
We must say what a fantastic holiday cruise we have just witnessed a well maintained ship with excellent staff and great food mainly Restaurant 47 with Alexander and Jake who where exceptional waiters. Also all the bar staff in the atrium bar were excellent, helpful and very polite and friendly. I have a gluten tolerance so need gluten free foods and was more than happy with the whole selection of meals on board the ship. Great entertainment and activities during the day and evening. Also if you have children so much to keep them entertained all day and night. Great room service by Jaya who was a very friendly and helpful guy. Visited some excellent ports captain was a lovely guy. Would highly recommend to any 1 looking for a great holiday cruise either as a couple or as a family. Will hopefully be looking to rebook again for next year. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We first sailed on Discovery 2 on the 11th June 2017 and loved it so much booked again for the 16th July. We enjoyed the second cruise every bit as much as the first. I really can't think of anything about which to complain. The ... Read More
We first sailed on Discovery 2 on the 11th June 2017 and loved it so much booked again for the 16th July. We enjoyed the second cruise every bit as much as the first. I really can't think of anything about which to complain. The food was varied and enjoyable, and there was a good choice of restaurants. Service was excellent and the wines offered were very good. Entertainment throughout the ship was enjoyable and I very much liked the small, intimate casino. Both cabins were excellent on the 8th floor, first time a deluxe junior suite and the second time a grand suite. We looked forward to Captain Chris giving his daily announcements and he always sounded so jolly and funny, it was a great way to start our day. I read an earlier comment someone complaining of a steamy bathroom !! I love a steamy bathroom, so you see, you can't please everyone. One highlight of our cruise was the meeting of Discovery 1 and Discovery 2 somewhere south of Nice when we sailed alongside them for about 45 minutes whilst a helicopter above us danced and twirled, swooped and rose all whilst taking photographs and a promotional video. Can't wait to see the finished product. We are back on the Discovery 2 on the 20th August (ten of us this time) for my daughter's 50th and can't wait. Well done Thomson for pitching this cruise just about perfect. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
UK local airports available, we flew from Bristol. Good flight times. Transfer to ship smooth, embarkation process friendly, informative and quick. The cabins, we had an inside on deck 6, were nicely refurbished with enough space for ... Read More
UK local airports available, we flew from Bristol. Good flight times. Transfer to ship smooth, embarkation process friendly, informative and quick. The cabins, we had an inside on deck 6, were nicely refurbished with enough space for what a cabin is intended for. Although all inclusive we decided to upgrade to the premium drinks package purely for the cocktails although the standard package is more than acceptable for most people.The bar staff and waiters in all the bars we used including the theatre were all friendly and efficient. The restaurants were clean and bright,and waiting times for a table in the evening were never longer than 10 minutes, usually being seated straight away. The waiting staff were very friendly and attentative. The food was varied and up to usual cruise standard and we never felt rushed to clear the table for the next person. The entertainment throughout the ship was a credit to the cruise director, Luis, and his team.all the shows were full of energy and fun and performed to a very high standard.I don't think we got to bed much before 2:30 in the morning. Great fun. All the destination ports were well selected but Ceuta was the pick of the bunch for attractiveness.and ease of access. We would definitely book tui discovery again. The step in size has been handled perfectly. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
The Discovery 2 is a nice ship and the food and drink is great. The entertainment was not good by comparison to the entertainment on the Dream in March. There were a couple of themed plays for example, Charlie Chaplin and Simon and ... Read More
The Discovery 2 is a nice ship and the food and drink is great. The entertainment was not good by comparison to the entertainment on the Dream in March. There were a couple of themed plays for example, Charlie Chaplin and Simon and Garfunkel which did not have any sparkle and failed to flow. The singing voices of the team were weak apart from a couple of the team. When the assistant cruise director stepped in to fill in for the comedian/magician (he couldn't perform as his luggage was lost so he had no props) in the main theatre she sang classical. She has a good voice but the amplification of the sound was so high that it was quite painful to listen to the piercing sound of the high notes. As mentioned above, amplification. The noise in the bars was horrendous with the music blasting out. Perhaps Thomsons think all their passengers are deaf, if they weren't when they embarked they will be when they disembark. My wife and I searched for a quiet bar where we could talk after the evening meal. The only bar which facilitated this was Bar 11. This was until the DJ arrived at about 11 pm. I do understand that Bar 11 is the disco bar after 11 pm but the choice of music by the DJ was totally out of touch with the customers. The average age in the bar was in excess of 55 years when the DJ arrived nightly. The DJ played music for an age group of between 18 to 30 years and at a volume so loud that it was impossible to hold a conversation. There were generally no people of that age in the bar at that time. Nobody danced to the music for at least half an hour and many got up and left the bar. This occurred nightly. My wife and I wandered about in search of a quiet bar after leaving Bar 11 and there was no bar suitable for this purpose. The Atrium bar was intended for this purpose but the quiet background music was drowned out by the excessively loud music from the adjoining bar, thereby providing an unacceptable mixture of the two. We celebrated our wedding anniversary on the ship and to this end we booked into the top restaurant Surf and Turf. The restaurant is small and we were shown to our table for two. Ideal we thought as it provided the perfect intimate dining experience. Well that is how we felt until the table right next to ours became occupied. It was a table for six people and so that was the end of our quiet intimate dining experience. The food in that restaurant was good but not good enough to justify the additional £25 per head over and above the main restaurant. There was a "compliments of the Chef smoked dish" brought to us and it was a small smoked baked potato with caviar on top, such a small quantity of caviar that it couldn't be tasted. When the main meal was brought out we were presented with a bridge plate in addition to the main food plate. It was explained to us that this was a specialty of the restaurant. This bridge plate could have been quite special but it had on it, believe it or not, three onion rings and a cherry tomato! We both chose the selection of desserts and the small chocolate muffin was dreadful. It was dry and dense with a strong bitter chocolate taste. The disappointments didn't end when we left the ship and still under the care of Thomsons. We went to Malaga airport where the baggage check in can only be described as chaotic. Firstly we were told to make our way to gates 44 to 48. There was no organised queue but there was a snake like shambles of people stood about. This soon ended as people decided to just ignore what there was of a queue. The were in fact only gates 44 to 47 open initially and there were no defined queues and no sign of any Thomson Reps to organise. Generally this wouldn't be too much of a problem but it was certainly a big problem on this occasion. The reason being was that there was a flight to Gatwick and a flight to Manchester booking in at the same time. Therefore there were two plane loads of passengers being booked in through four check in desks, with no priority to the first flight Gatwick. As the time passed by there was concern among passengers that they wouldn't be in time for their flight especially as there were Gatwick passengers behind Manchester ones. After about an hour and twenty minutes a couple of Thomson reps became visible. I asked one of them if he thought the problem was because there were two planes being checked in through four desks. His attitude was a "couldn't care less" one as he responded that it has nothing to do with Thomsons as "The Spanish" had taken over since April. This rep was wandering about with a clip board and doing absolutely nothing to prioritise the Gatwick passengers. I am not being biased in these comments as I was destined for Manchester. I could see the problem but nothing was being done by these reps to alleviate the situation whereby passengers were becoming anxious about their flight times. When my wife and I neared the check in, I heard a female Thomsons rep say Gatwick passengers should use the check in desk which we were queuing for. I asked her if she was designating that queue for Gatwick passengers and she replied in the affirmative. I then asked where she would like me to queue and she then said that the queue was for both sets of passengers. She told me to complain if I was unhappy. I certainly was and got her to write her name down, it was Martha. I told her that the problem was directly caused by her incompetence and that with simple organisation the situation wouldn't have arisen. I then took it upon myself to ask the destination of the passengers behind me and to allow Gatwick passengers to the front ahead of us and other Manchester passengers. This female rep and her male colleague did nothing whatsoever to assist the Gatwick passengers, both stood about clutching their clip boards. We did enjoy our cruise but these problems took the edge off it and left us disappointed. I have cruised on thirteen occasions and five of these have been with Thomsons. It is doubtful that I will use Thomsons (TUI) again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Short break, booked via cruise.co.uk, (always use these as they get great prices for me). Went for this cruise because it was a great price, on an old Royal Caribbean ship which was rebranded and it was - ahem - "all ... Read More
Short break, booked via cruise.co.uk, (always use these as they get great prices for me). Went for this cruise because it was a great price, on an old Royal Caribbean ship which was rebranded and it was - ahem - "all inclusive". We flew Monarch airways, they were great and got to Malaga airport after a good flight. Unfortunately, TUI staff at Malaga airport were, quite frankly, offhand, peremptory and dismissive could do with a lesson in customer care! (We thought it was just us, but other passenger passed the same comments to us during the holiday) Thankfully the TUI staff at the CRUISE terminal were far more pleasant and helpful. We boarded Discovery 2 without any hassle and headed straight for a comfy seat nd drink. We soon found out that "all inclusive" was limited and so upgraded to Premium All Inclusive (which still wasn't all inclusive as if we wanted a cake/pastry from the coffee shop we had to pay full price). Our inside cabin was good, only downside being no fridge to keep water cool in, our cabin steward, Baby, was excellent and we left her an extra tip as she was so good. Ship was nice too as were most of the servers at mealtimes in the restaurants. We didn't find out until the penultimate day that we could ask for the same table each night (we would have to ask for it daily) and if it was free we could be allocated it, so that you get to know the waiters and they get to know you and your likes/dislikes. Unfortunately the Customer Service Desk staff were definitely NOT the most helpful people and information on ports/films being shown was poor. Entertainment was ok, but only 1 guest artiste, comedian and not my cup of tea at all. Wouldn't choose Thomson again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I've been on all the present fleet apart from Discovery 1 which is of course the sister ship of Discovery 2, the ship is easy to get around with plenty of lifts all quite spacious. Travelling on my own for the first time as a senior ... Read More
I've been on all the present fleet apart from Discovery 1 which is of course the sister ship of Discovery 2, the ship is easy to get around with plenty of lifts all quite spacious. Travelling on my own for the first time as a senior widowed male I found everyone quite friendly and although I never ventured into the main restaurants I found the Island Restaurant quite acceptable for my needs and the food was always of a good standard and variety. My Cabin on deck 3 was the best single cabin I have had as a solo traveller over the last 7 or 8 years ( previous cruises always had companions on-board) quite spacious and loads of drawers and hanging space, only gripe was the extraction in the shower room was very weak and did not clear the steam away from showering, I complained about this and although the maintenance engineer came he could not improve the situation, so found myself stepping out into the cabin to dry off, easy if your on your own!! The show lounge was very comfortable and the singers and dancers were of the usual high standard you expect from Thomson, the rest of the entertainment team were all very acceptable but I thought the solo saxophonist played for himself accompanied by backing tracks and it was unbearable, I never heard him play any melodic numbers at all, it was all Jaz stuff which the majority of patrons don't understand, he never spoke and I never heard anyone applaud him. The pool area was very good and spacious with plenty of sunbeds and chairs in the shaded areas below the top deck, the large screen display meant you could see any demonstrations easily from wherever you were without crowding around the stage to see what was going on. The Surf & Turf and Kora La dining as well as the Main restaurants I never used, being on my own, but I spoke to many cruisers who all recommended them. The all inclusive drinks package was very good and there was free ice cream available, The introduction of the Snack Shack was a novel and well used feature, the free cabin safe also saved me £25 but the single supplement is as always a sore point for me, why I have to pay £65 a night extra when i only eat for one drink for one use hot water and bedding for one I will never understand, the Greed of Thomson / Tui I suppose, I feel as if I am paying for my wife who sadly I have no longer by my side. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Thomsons have embarkation so finely organised, there us just no hassle, my only problem was I require wheelchair assistance and on arrival at Malaga I was left waiting for over an hour for a wheelchair and only got one by a fluke! Our ... Read More
Thomsons have embarkation so finely organised, there us just no hassle, my only problem was I require wheelchair assistance and on arrival at Malaga I was left waiting for over an hour for a wheelchair and only got one by a fluke! Our friends did not know where I was and got quite stressed with worry. I appreciate this is beyond Thomsons control but I think they should be aware of this problem. Once we had checked in, it was no time at all we were exploring Discovery 2 and then unpacking in your quite spacious cabin. Everywhere is scrupulously clean. In the restaurants the waiters are so very friendly and give expert service, those I remember are Hakeem, Nadia, Imobe and Mensur. The food was delicious with plenty of choices. We ate in the 47 every evening, but you could eat in the self service restaurant. There is an Italian restaurant and a late night snack bar. The Surf and Turf restaurant charges £25 each but the food was exceptional, our itinerary was changed and we were given £25 each as consolation to be spent onboard, so that covered our meal. There is an Asian restaurant charging similar but we did not try this. Every night there is some thing on in all the venues. The Atrium offers piano music and a saxophonist with dancing. The Live bar has the Casino, a small stage and small dance floor. We found this room was used for popular acts with not enough seating and people were packed in. The Venue bar is a large theatre type room which would suit all the popular acts with lots of seating, a stage and large dance floor. Some of the entertainment in here was quite boring. In the Broadway theatre a professional show, singing and dancing is on twice nightly, a very large room with plenty of seats. Bar 11 is small bar with fantastic views, the waiters in here were fantastic, couldn't,t do enough for you, Milan and Ogee (I think was her name). At 11.30pm a DJ comes on and plays boom boom music and most nights emptied the bar. I think 70.s or 80.s music would have gone down better. The pools are ok with plenty of sun loungers and entertainment. There is a crazy golf course and a climbing wall. Overall I would give my cruise 5 stars, just the evening entertainment I found to be dull, even though the entertainment crew tried very hard to entertain. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We have been with most if not all the Thomsons fleet, and each experience we have witnessed the decline in standards. The cabin/ship itself was fine, but the "as standard" all inclusive simply means, cheap sub standard wine, ... Read More
We have been with most if not all the Thomsons fleet, and each experience we have witnessed the decline in standards. The cabin/ship itself was fine, but the "as standard" all inclusive simply means, cheap sub standard wine, which you have to queue to get served yourself. This eliminates the need for waiting staff, one of the reasons I enjoy cruising, I want to be waited on. The few staff available were curt and unfriendly, the destination services deliver no helpful information, and the crème was the "virtual reality" entertainment, in short, videos, which of course they didn't have to employ entertainment staff either. The food was abysmal, and the chef should be made to walk the plank. All in all Thomsons, you have lost it , no style, none of the niceties or service one would expect. You will not see our custom anymore.Oh ! the weather, which you have no control over was mainly good. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Spanish Sunsets Cruise : Date of Cruising: 28 May to 4 June 2017 Having cruised previously with Princess, Royal Caribbean and P&O on their larger ships holding 3,500 passengers, we were a little nervous about booking a western ... Read More
Spanish Sunsets Cruise : Date of Cruising: 28 May to 4 June 2017 Having cruised previously with Princess, Royal Caribbean and P&O on their larger ships holding 3,500 passengers, we were a little nervous about booking a western Mediterranean cruise with Thompson (now rebranded TUI), on their newly refurbished flagship ‘Discovery 2’. The TUI ship is a lot smaller carrying just 1900 passengers. Obviously, on ‘Discovery 2’ you don’t get the feeling of space as on the bigger ships and there is no ice rink, sports court, flowrider, water slides, large promenades, zip wires, etc … that you get on the larger cruise ships, everything is obviously scaled down, but so is the price. This ‘Discovery 2’ is a ship that was previously owned by Royal Caribbean but sold to TUI who then have rebranded it along with a major refurbishment in May 2017. I was presently surprised by what I saw and experienced and in most areas my expectations were exceeded. The cabin was first class and on a par with the other cruise liners we have sailed with. It was spacious and well equipped and had we had no complaints what so ever. The restaurant where we dined for our evening meals (Gallery 47), was also excellent with a varied menu and delicious food. The service from the restaurant staff was also first class. No complaints from me and I’m a fussy eater. Breakfast and lunch was in the Islands buffet restaurant and again the food was very good. It did get busy at peak times but going slightly earlier or later meant you could always get a table. (Peak time for breakfast was around 9am). Generally the look of the various areas of the ship was good and taking into account that it was a ‘refurbishment’ and not a ‘refit’ a good job had been done. Most importantly there was new carpeting throughout which is important as nothing makes a ship look more ‘tired’ than worn faded carpeting. There was a variety of entertainment around the ship and most was of a reasonable standard and some excellent. The main disappointment were the shows in the main theatre. Although the singers and dancers were very talented, their choice of material was disappointing and song choices could have been a lot stronger. The production and scenery was good and the seating was very, very comfortable, it was just a shame the the material chosen for them to perform was not the best. Also TUI could have done better by having more variety with professional artists being brought onboard to perform that were of a higher calibre than the TUI resident dancers and singers, as good as they were. There was one variation during the week when we had a comedy magician who was OK but not the best. Most of the crew were very courteous and helpful and the room stewards good although they were not as visible and as ‘chatty’ as some on other cruises we’ve been on. There were two pools (both with jacuzzis), one indoor and one outdoor. Both were of good quality and the indoor one was not overcrowded, as was the outdoor one, but that probably wasn’t helped with the week of our cruise being Spring Bank holiday week, and so there was a large number of children onboard. There were plenty of sun beds around the ship and if you looked around you could find a variety of shaded areas. In summary: There is an old saying that ‘you get what you pay for’, and that is certainly true here. You just get the feel that things are just not quite as big, as plush, as roomy and of the same quality as the cruise companies I’ve made mentioned previously, but for what you pay it is good value for money. As you can probably tell, I’d prefer to cruise with Princess, Royal Caribbean, P&O etc, but for a cheap one week cruise in the Mediterranean then it’s worth considering if ‘money is not is a little tight’. Having spoken to others that have previously sailed with TUI/Thompson, I think this is a step up for the company and the effort they are putting into raising their image and brand in the cruise market is to be commended. If you’ve booked a cruise on ‘Discovery 2’ then I suspect you’ll enjoy it as long as you don’t expect the same experience as on the larger cruise liners who specialise in this type of holiday. I hope this review has proved useful and if you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me at glyn.day@ntlworld.com. Cheers, Glyn Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Marella Discovery 2 Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.5 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.5 3.6
Family 3.5 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.5 3.3
Service 4.5 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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