19 Malaga to Europe - Western Mediterranean Marella Cruises Marella Discovery 2 Cruise Reviews

Our reason for booking this Tui cruise was that we booked late and needed a disabled cabin, Tui were the only cruise line that could accommodate this at such short notice. We are not “seasoned” cruisers, this was only our fourth ... Read More
Our reason for booking this Tui cruise was that we booked late and needed a disabled cabin, Tui were the only cruise line that could accommodate this at such short notice. We are not “seasoned” cruisers, this was only our fourth cruise in total and we have only sailed with P&O previously. We were nervous reading the reviews but have to say from the outset that we did enjoy our seven nights on Marella Discovery. I will try to make this review as fair and informative as I can. There are positives in that the ship was very clean, the staff (though mainly young and in lots of cases a bit inexperienced) were polite, friendly and very helpful. Discovery 2 isn’t massively impressive from the outside but the pretty atrium and public rooms on board are comfortably furnished and very welcoming and the vibe in the atrium bar is just lovely. I’m not sure whether this is down to the staff or the clientele but the atmosphere is very pleasant and relaxed. We met some lovely people on this cruise and didn’t find the snobby element you can sometimes encounter elsewhere. I need to say here that level 4 on the ship is the main “entertainment” area accommodating the theatre, a live-lounge (the clue’s in the name), a casino, the very popular atrium bar and the main dining room - BUT THERE ARE NO PUBLIC TOILETS ON THIS LEVEL!! You have to either go up one floor or down one floor to find a loo. Now this is fine if you, like me, are able bodied and can easily manage the double staircases (about 20 steps) to each level but, if you have to wait for a lift, it’s really unacceptable. This wouldn’t only affect the age demographic on this adult only cruise - I wouldn’t like to be travelling with children who, in my experience, nearly always decide they are desperately in need the loo when they sit down to eat. This really is my biggest niggle with Marella Discovery 2. As for eating, we personally used the main dining room, the Italian dining area, the Island buffet and the Snack Shack. The food in all dining rooms varied from perfectly acceptable to fairly good; there was lots of choice and you’d have to be a very fussy eater not to find something you’d like, however, we felt the dining room cuisine was not as good a standard as we have experienced on P&O. The temperature of the food served (on BOTH cruise lines we have travelled with) is never hot enough for British palates - we like hot food to be piping hot and this is something we rarely find in Mediterranean countries. Service in the main dining room can be a bit slow but we felt this could be improved either by better supervision, giving the staff more training or taking on more experienced waiting staff. That being said, the waiters/waitresses were all friendly and helpful. We were a bit worried about the “all inclusive” aspect of the cruise (which was adult only on our trip) and wondered whether people would be drunk by lunchtime. Again, we needn’t have worried, we didn’t see anyone taking undue advantage and going mad with the all inclusive drinks package. As for service of drinks, this was excellent with waiters/waitresses patrolling the pool area most of the day and checking whether you wanted anything from the bar and the same in the lounges in the evening. Drinks were served quickly and measures are European so more generous than in UK. We were asked if we wanted to upgrade to the premier drinks package but this really isn’t necessary and, though I’ve read in other reviews that people were pressured into purchasing the upgrade, we were not and we didn’t see anyone else being given the hard sell either. Our cabin was spacious, clean and comfortable. My only complaint was that drawer space was extremely limited. In an extra large, double cabin we had a wardrobe with plenty of hangers and only three very small drawers (I’m talking about 12” wide) built into a very small dressing table, though there was lots of space for a reasonable sized set of drawers. We do like the formality of P&O cruises (probably because that’s what we’re used to) and I wasn’t sure how we’d go on with a less formal approach. It’s a case of almost anything goes but most people seem to dress smart/casual. I didn’t take any “evening” dresses - I think I’d have felt a bit too “showy” if I had. Several men wore dinner jackets and a few of the ladies did wear evening dresses on the “Dress to Impress” night (equivalent of the Captain’s formal nights on other lines) but, in the main, most guests were smart but less formal. (Some men in lounge suits, some in shirts, ties and smart trousers and others in open neck shirts with smart, casual trousers; ladies in anything from long or short summer dresses, jumpsuits, and smart pants and tops). We didn’t see anyone looking scruffy in the dining rooms in the evening and found the less formal approach very refreshing. The shows we saw (4 in total) were all very professional and your enjoyment of these will really depend on your own taste. The theatre is very comfortable and drinks are not only served there by waiting staff but you can also pick up a drink from the makeshift bar outside each performance in your way in but soft drinks were not available outside the theatre. Poolside entertainment was limited but we didn’t mind that and it may be different in summer months or on family cruises. (To be fair, we only had one sea day and the weather wasn’t conducive to sitting by the pool (November) so we didn’t get to find out whether there’s a bigger range of “entertainment” on sea days). There were quizzes by the pool during the day and you could take part or not, as you wish. On the strength of this experience we have booked to cruise with Tui again later in 2019 - having checked that there are loos close to the main entertainment and restaurant areas first. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
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 have cruised with Thomson before, last year on the Discovery 1, we chose Discovery 2 because the itinerys were what we were looking for. We like the all inclusive element with Thomson, not that we are big drinkers but it's good to ... Read More
We have cruised with Thomson before, last year on the Discovery 1, we chose Discovery 2 because the itinerys were what we were looking for. We like the all inclusive element with Thomson, not that we are big drinkers but it's good to know there is no bill at the end. We were in cabin 6010 which is a balcony cabin. Not a deluxe cabin but plenty of room. Plenty of wardrobe space with shelving in the wardrobe and a 3 draw cabinet. It was great having a balcony and we will always go for a balcony cabin in future. No issues with sun beds even on days at sea. Staff as always were fantastic always with a smile and nothing to much trouble. Food was better than Discovery 1, always a good selection and importantly the food was hot. I am a veggie and don't like pasta so frequently struggle with food but no issues at all. The entertainment was excellent and to a high standard. Ports of call were perfect for us, we did some excursions booked with Thomson but the rest of the time we went ashore independently with no problem. Cadiz is beautiful by the way, Lisbon very busy, traffic everywhere so glad we did the excursion in order to get around. The stop at Porto was slightly disappointing, don't bother getting off unless you intend to get into Porto itself which is 7 miles from the port. All in all highly recommend the Discovery 2 experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Went as first part of cruise and stay - second week in the excellent Yaramar, Fuengirola. Chose the cruise mainly because of itinerary, had never been to San Remo and especially keen to visit Valencia and Cartagena. Good flight ontime ... Read More
Went as first part of cruise and stay - second week in the excellent Yaramar, Fuengirola. Chose the cruise mainly because of itinerary, had never been to San Remo and especially keen to visit Valencia and Cartagena. Good flight ontime out of Manchester, very quick and easy coach transfer to port, unbelievably quick and efficient check-in meant we virtually walked straight onto the ship and were having a drink within half an hour of arrival.(Other cruise lines should take note!) No luggage obviously but cabin was ready though not sparklingly clean and this was a feature throughout the cruise. Decent size outside cabin with inevitably small but manageable bathroom; safe but no fridge, Tv reception a bit hit and miss but no big deal. Cabin steward very nice guy but not hugely effective. Food in self-service Islands had loads of variety at both breakfast and dinner, something for everyone, nice and hot, and all replaced quickly. Tended to get very busy at peak breakfast times so sometimes had to scout round for a table but no big deal. Staff really friendly and very quick to clear tables.Most unusual unique selling point, and even allowing that this was an all-inclusive cruise, was the self-service beer, cider and wine taps! Only one or two took advantage to extremes. Had dinner in the regular restaurant 5 nights, all pretty good.Usually went straight in and only once had beeper for about 10 minutes.Can choose separate or shared table though the tables for two were so close together you might as well be sharing.Food and service here was good and again the drinks kept flowing thanks to attentive waiters/resses. Went to a couple of shows in theatre which were OK but nothing out of the ordinary.Various daytime activities round the ship if you wanted. Virtually all staff genuinely friendly, helpful and pleasant and even captain and senior officers regularly visible and approachable around ship. Only gripe was about the "all-inclusive" drinks and the "premium " package - think TUI have made this unnecessarily complicated.Could not understand the distinction with the likes of Peroni and Corona part of the regular deal but Heiniken and even Coke on the premium - made no sense and I expect there may have been some issues at the final reckoning when people discovered they had been having the payable premium drinks all week! Personally, I found the regular package totally acceptable. Overall, thoroughly recommend this cruise - a distinct step up from the older ships on the Thomson team though obviously not competing at the top end of the market. One final observation - there were no more than about twenty children on the cruise, first week after the UK schools went back but I understand a very different proposition during school holidays! Would definitely do this ship again. Enjoy! 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
Have explained in cabin review all about the service,entertainment,resturants,food etc. staff excellent very helpful and very friendly,the top dining resturants were booked out before we sailed,the entertainment overall was very ... Read More
Have explained in cabin review all about the service,entertainment,resturants,food etc. staff excellent very helpful and very friendly,the top dining resturants were booked out before we sailed,the entertainment overall was very average,the casino was way to small,the closing times were to early and the late 2am dj lounge deck 11 was over crowded,the late night snack at the islands restaurant 1am close did not have a good selection of food and the standard was very average,this was our first cruise ever and we were disappointed,there were several couples that said it was just a cheap booze cruise.I think it will take some hard work to get my family back again,but never say never.Top marks go to all the staff and a special thanks to our cabin staff and to a very special member of you staff(head bartender)Cecily Frias this kind of person went over the top with her kindness and help. Staff excellent Cabin good food average,special dining resturants booked out before we sailed,not good enough Drinks good and again the service excellent Times could be better for late entertainment in all the bars Getting on good Getting off good The entertainment overall was average The late night snacks food was very average(islands restaurant) This restaurant closed at 1am,should be at least 2am Shops were good for duty free items The inside cabin we had was a little bit stuffy but it did the job,and was kept very clean every day with the very hard working staff credit to them Shows (with the exception of the comedian)were very average With this being our first cruise I have to say we were disappointed,would we do it again at this moment in time probadly not but never say never,it will take a lot of hard work to convince my wife,but with an outside cabin who knows? Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
The crew were unfailingly nice and attentive, not a single person who wouldn't smile and say hello, even the odd mechanic or engineering worker who I bumped into. I am aware staff on cruises work really hard but I think Thomson ... Read More
The crew were unfailingly nice and attentive, not a single person who wouldn't smile and say hello, even the odd mechanic or engineering worker who I bumped into. I am aware staff on cruises work really hard but I think Thomson have a reputation for treating them better than some other cruise lines. I'm an HR Manager so I tend to automatically look for the cracks, what do you have to do to get absolutely everybody to be civil to passengers but I saw none - genuine good natured interactions between staff as well as between staff and passengers. Organisation was incredibly slick, from arrival at the airport you were met at every stage, luggage delivered to your room, and the trips to cities were well organised and varied. Trips tended to be quite short - Santiago De Compostela, probably spent an hour in the town, if I've got a gripe it's that you don't really get a chance to explore. Food in the main buffet is pretty good and most basic alcohols are free (you pay surcharges for specific brands like Grey Goose Vodka but can get other vodka free). Food in the two proper restaurants, Gallery 47 and 47°, is really exceptionally good, and there are three restaurants that you can try at a premium - Surf and Turf, a sushi bar, and Kora La. Tried Surf and Turf, food was really good but it was a bit pretentious. Food portions in the restaurants tend to be along the small and classy lines that you'd get in a posh restaurant. They have one 'dress to impress' night and be warned quite a lot of people do take along tuxedos and full evening wear. On other nights, people dressed up a bit for dinner, but tended to be evening dresses for the women whereas most of the blokes went as far as a short sleeved shirt and no further... Have some decent clothes with you or you will stand out. We tended to go for an early sitting at dinner and never had to share a table. I think if it's busy they give you a little alarm that tells you when a table's free but I don't think you'd end up forced to sit with people you don't know. We travelled in peak holiday season, and some people worry about hordes of children - there were a few on the ship but they were pretty well behaved and they seem to have ways of keeping them occupied. They are incredibly careful about hygiene, alcohol hand spray stations throughout the ship, advice about what to do if you become unwell, even instructions in the bathrooms about opening doors after you've used the toilets using a tissue in your hand. In all but the really posh premium restaurants they have a policy of cooking meat 'well done', so things like duck can be a bit of a disappointment, but in Surf and Turf you can specify how you want your steak done. Captain is Chris Douglass, makes announcements every day and came across as friendly, good sense of humour, and very approachable. I would never normally go on an 'all-inclusive' holiday, but I'd go on a Thomson cruise again - a lot of variety and choice on offer, and no pressure to do anything you don't want to. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I sailed on the Iberian Treasures and Spanish Sunsets cruises with other family members. Embarkation, disembarkation and flights were all smooth and well organised. I stayed in a single inside cabin, which was spacious with plenty of ... Read More
I sailed on the Iberian Treasures and Spanish Sunsets cruises with other family members. Embarkation, disembarkation and flights were all smooth and well organised. I stayed in a single inside cabin, which was spacious with plenty of storage space. My cabin stewardess was great and kept it really clean and tidy. To cover other points in turn Food: We always ate Breakfast in Islands and had lunch there most days as well. Breakfast was excellent with a good choice of food. There was an omelettes counter with various fillings and a daily specialist eggs dish available to order, along with poached eggs. There was a full hot buffet, including hash browns and fried bread, cold meats and cheeses, fresh, tinned and dried fruit and a selection of breads and pastries. Toast was also available. There was also pancakes, what I think were waffles, a fish (either smoked, peppered mackerel or smoked trout) and kedgeree. The staff were excellent and cleared tables really quickly. We also got to see them dance on two mornings. The only slight complaint was that it was very busy, so it could take a few minutes to find a table. At lunch the choice wasn’t (in my opinion) as good. There was a carved joint and a panini counter, a full hot buffet, including a pie of the day and a fish dish, a salad bar, cold meats and cheeses, bread and various deserts, including a hot pudding and fresh fruit. There was also jacket potatoes with a choice of three fillings, meat and vegetarian burgers, Caesar salad and pizza. I think I would just have liked to see more variety, like various pizza toppings and some pasta and stir fries, maybe vary the specialist food station, so it wasn’t always paninis. Wine, beer and cider were available on tap to avoid queing. The only issue we had (and this probably won’t bother everyone) was that the only place to sit outside to eat, which we like to do at lunchtime, was right by the pool area, so could be quite noisy, while we like to just sit and relax over our lunch. At night we ate in 47. The choice of food was good. There were 7 starters, including 2 soups and 2 salads, 4 mains – 2 meat, varied between chicken, beef, lamb, pork and duck, 1 fish and 1 vegetarian, followed by a selection of deserts. Ice cream and cheese and biscuits were always available and you could also ask for a plate of fruit. The service was excellent and our wine glasses were never empty – they would go round filling them up or if you asked they would do them immediately. The only issue we had was having to wait for a table. We like to eat around 8pm and were given a buzzer nearly every night. Often it was only 10 to 15 minutes, which was fine, but on a few occasions, we had to wait up to 45 minutes, which we found a little annoying. We ate in gallery 47 one night and found the food good, but the service a little slow and again we had to wait for a table. Bars We had a drink in all the bars onboard the ship. During the day, we mainly used the deck bar and occasionally the pool bar. Again, we felt the ship would have benefitted from having an outdoor bar away from the pool area, so people who prefer to sit on a chair rather than a sun lounger reading in peace or watch the sailaway away from the entertainment of the pool area could do so. The staff in those bars worked very hard and were always really helpful, but the only other issue we had was that we sometimes had to wait a while to be served, suggesting possible staff shortages. At night we would drink in Bar Eleven before dinner which was lovely. It had a nice relaxing atmosphere and the staff were very good. We then mainly used the Atrium and the Live Room, both of which had very good service. Again, we often had to wait a while to get drinks from the bar, but waiting staff would go round and take orders. At busy time, it could also be hard to get a seat It could also be difficult if we were wanting a drink that wasn’t standard, to ensure we got what we wanted. Overall, though, the staff were very pleasant and helpful. We only used the standard all inclusive, as we found there was a good selection of drinks there. Entertainment Overall the entertainment on the ship was very good. We didn’t really bother with the entertainment during the daytime, preferring to do our own thing, but there seemed to be a good variety and everyone who did take part seemed to enjoy themselves. We never had problems finding sunloungers, but did sometimes need to split. We always saw the shows in the showlounge in the evening and found them all very good. There were some we enjoyed more than others, but I think everyone would find that. There was also live music in the live room, which was excellent, especially the Seb Kelly cabaret on the sailaway night of the first week. Again, we enjoyed some of it more than others, but that was just personal taste. Ports of Call: Vigo – We walked off the ship and had a walk round the town. It was very straightforward to do ourselves. It was a nice town for a short walk around, but not (in my opinion) a major sightseeing port. Porto – The ship actually docks at Leixoes about 10km away from Porto. We got the shuttle buss to the port entrance, then walked about 5 to 10 minutes to catch a tram into Porto. Porto is quite hilly, but quite interesting to just walk round. Again, this was fairly easy to do ourselves. Lisbon – The ship docks about a 15 to 20 minutes walk from the city centre. We got a bus into the centre, then walked round. We saw quite a bit of the city, including going up to the fort and having lunch in a café bar overlooking the city. We walked back, but it was quite a long way and would be too much for people with walking difficulties. It was easy to do ourselves with a map, but I fully admit we didn’t see all of it. Cadiz – Again, we just walked off and had a walk round the city. It’s old and quite interesting to walk round and see. We went to where the cathedral was and there are some nice shops and cafes near there. Again, it was very easy to do ourselves. Gibraltat – We got a shuttle into the town centre, which cost £2 single or £4 return. That dropped us at the bottom of main street, then we walked up main street and got the cable car to the top of the rock. We had to queue for about an hour to get on the cable car, but got on it in the end. We just looked round at the monkeys and went round the café and souvenir shop at the top, then walked back to the top of main street. We had a long wait for the shuttle back, as it turns out they only run for the first three hours, but we weren’t aware of that. Apparently, you can get a taxi back for the same price, which is probably worth bearing in mind. Overall though, it’s easy to do yourself. Malaga – We got a shuttle bus out of the port, then had a walk round the city centre. As it was Sunday, there wasn’t a lot of shops open, but it was nice for a walk round and easy enough to do ourselves. Barcelona – We got a taxi from the port to Park Guell. We had to wait 1.5 hours to go in the main area of the park, but you can walk round the public areas, which are quite nice. The Main monumental park is very interesting and good to walk round. We then got a taxi from there to Place de Catalonia. As that taxi was a lot cheaper than the first one, we think you’re better leaving the port and getting a taxi somewhere away from it. We then walked down Las Ramblas and got the shuttle bus back to the ship. Again, it was very easy to do ourselves. Palma – We go a paid for shuttle bus into the centre, which drops you off by the cathedral. We then walked round the city centre, which is a nice place with quite a few shops and cafes and the talking statues, then got the shuttle bus back. It was easy to do ourselves with a map. Ibiza Town – We got a paid for shuttle bus into the centre, then had a walk round. It’s a nice place, but very busy. The area by the marina is a good place to stop and have a drink. We got the shuttle bus back. It’s very to do yourself with a map. Almera – We got a free shuttle bus into the city and had a walk round. There wasn’t a lot to see. We walked up to see the cathedral, but that area was very quiet. It’s a very big commercial city and didn’t seem to have a lot for tourists, but we may not have found the right area. We got the shuttle bus. It was easy enough to do ourselves, but was so big it was difficult finding anywhere. Ceuta – We just walked off the ship. It was a public holday, so a lot of places were closed but it was nice for a walk round Overall, the cruise was very good, with just a couple of minor issues. We would consider this ship again, but perhaps not in the school holidays, as the entertainment felt very family oriented, though that is only my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
To say I was a bit apprehensive about going it alone is an understatement but it was the best experience ever! I flew from Glasgow with Easyjet. The flight was 30 minutes late leaving but made up the time en route. Arrived in Malaga, ... Read More
To say I was a bit apprehensive about going it alone is an understatement but it was the best experience ever! I flew from Glasgow with Easyjet. The flight was 30 minutes late leaving but made up the time en route. Arrived in Malaga, through passport control and collected my luggage in jig time. There were plenty of Thomson reps at the airport to guide me to the coach. Journey to the port took about 25 mins. On arrival at the port there was no waiting about and I checked in and was on the ship within 10 minutes. My suitcase was sitting outside my cabin after just 10 minutes of getting on board!! Great! The cabin was a twin and had plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. The bathroom was small but perfectly suitable. There's a safe but it had to be operated by using a credit/debit card...not exactly ideal as it meant you had to carry the card around with you! The ship itself is lovely and was kept clean and tidy by the hard working staff. The restaurants were great, plenty of choice and the waiters were always happy and cheery. My favourite was 47 Gallery. Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to try one of the restaurants that charged a surcharge Surf and Turf as it was fully booked. Entertainment was plentiful and varied. Loads going on during the day and great shows/music at night. There was a comedian on one of the nights who was hilarious. My favourite ports were Porto, Lisbon and Cadiz. Gibraltar was a big disappointment, bit dirty and smelly I thought. Didn't do any of the excursions, just did my own thing as the ship docks fairly close to all the towns/cities. A special mention to the Social Hostess, Eleanor. She organised a coffee morning for all the solo passengers on the first day and I was lucky enough to meet 6 other like minded female solo passengers. We all got on well and met up for dinner etc. Good times were had by all!! I would definitely go on Discovery 2 again, if fact I'm looking at the Greek Islands for 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
25th wedding Anniversary so we though we would do something different. Chose the Vigo/Porto/Lisbon/Cadiz/Gibraltar. The Atlantic bit to Portugal very windy and rough but luckily we didn't get seasick! We paid extra to have a balcony ... Read More
25th wedding Anniversary so we though we would do something different. Chose the Vigo/Porto/Lisbon/Cadiz/Gibraltar. The Atlantic bit to Portugal very windy and rough but luckily we didn't get seasick! We paid extra to have a balcony cabin which was still tiny but glad we had a bit more room than other cabins. Although the lady (Baby) who cleaned obviously only gave the room a lick and a promise as there was a pair of shoes, dirty mugs under the bed and a top in the cupboard! Very good at changing towels though got new ones 2/3 times a day. Food excellent although obviously geared towards British as nothing too adventurous and I thought there would be more fish as we were in the sea! Mini bar Not free and trips expensive when all you needed to do was walk or hop on local bus/taxi. Entertainment not brilliant in the bars although we did not go to function rooms so can't comment on that. Best thing you could get boiling water for a cup of tea!! Read Less
Sail Date August 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
My wife and myself have been cruising with Thomson for 11 years now, and this was definitely the best too date. We booked an outside deluxe cabin on deck 7, mid ship, without balcony. The room had a large floor to ceiling window, which ... Read More
My wife and myself have been cruising with Thomson for 11 years now, and this was definitely the best too date. We booked an outside deluxe cabin on deck 7, mid ship, without balcony. The room had a large floor to ceiling window, which gave us a lovely view. The room consisted of both round and flat pin sockets, but also had USB charging sockets on the bedside lights, which we found to be a big bonus in charging phones and tablets. The room was spacious, with a fold down sofa bed to sit on, rather than lying on the beds during the short time in the room. The bathroom was adequate, with a shower. As with previous cruises, the cabin boy must have hidden around the corner as we never really saw him, but our bed was always made! We ate breakfast in 47, lunch mainly in the buffet restaurant (Islands), and even meal either in 47 or 47 Italian. Food was excellent, with the Italian meals being exceptional. Service was always very good. The waiters in both areas were friendly, funny and generally entertaining, and were always willing to go that extra mile for you if needed. Special mention to Jesus, the head man in this area, who kept everything ticking on well without any seen issues. There was a food shack on deck 9 as well during the day, serving fish, hot dogs, burgers, chicken wings, as well as sandwiches, salads and fruit pots. We ate here just the once, but the fish was very nice. Entertainment was of a good standard, with the highlight being the beautiful operatic voice of Danielle. However, there were times when getting seats was difficult to watch some of the performances in the Atrium bar. Service for drinks could be slow at time, but not too long. The ladies looking after the Atrium section were amazing. The deck pool area got busy, and there was a large influx of children during the second week, so it became noisy. However, there were other areas to go to step away if needed. The captain was of the new breed, known by his first name, and always willing to talk if you approached him. His first question to us was what we thought could improve the ship and our experience, which was refreshing. We did point out that WIFI was a huge costs at £90, where you could quite often get free WIFI in the ports. He commented that this was outside of his control, but should be commented on the Thomson report when made. One of the new innovations is the interactive display boards around ship, which helped you to look for activities, food, etc. You could also look at the picture gallery through panels on deck 5. The onboard photography was expensive, but worth it if you want memories to take home, either digital or hard copy. We did not do any excursions, but just walked out in the local ports, or took the buses where necessary. Sometimes these were at a small cost, but not too expensive. I did go out on two bike rides, around Ibiza and Barcelona. Callum and Paige were well co-ordinated and looked after our bike parties well. The bikes were new and well maintained, and there was also a choice of e-bikes if needed. There were a couple of challenging hill climbs in Barcelona, but we always knew we had to come down at the end! Overall, we felt the positives well exceeded a small amount of minor issues, which did not affect our overall enjoyment of the holiday. We both agreed that we would go back on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We weren't sure about Thomson's cruises but were persuaded but the Travel Agent it would be as good as any other ship we had been on. How wrong she was! I don't think the ship has been fully refurbished it appears to have ... Read More
We weren't sure about Thomson's cruises but were persuaded but the Travel Agent it would be as good as any other ship we had been on. How wrong she was! I don't think the ship has been fully refurbished it appears to have had new carpets in most cabins and public rooms. The unfortunate thing was the propulsion system had broken and after we sailed the Captain decided we couldn't go to two out of five destinations on itinerary. It was changed from Mairselles and San Remo to Ibizia and Palma. To say we were disappointed is an understatement we had chosen the ship for the itinerary. However, I have since been informed by Thomson's this was a minor change!! We upgraded to the premium drinks package £50 per person per week, and a number of the staff in the main dining room did not want to get the premium wine from the bar as they did not keep it in the dining room so we gave up asking for it. The food was okay nothing exceptional no lobster on this ship. We didn't try the restaurant with a cover charge as they were always fully booked. The entertainment was ok but the cruise director did not interact with us during the day. It was very difficult to get a seat or lounger at the pool. Likewise at night it was difficult to get a seat in the bars. A number of the staff also complained to us about their working conditions TUI must be pretty bad to work for. We will not travel with Thomson's TUI again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
All in all a very enjoyable cruise but despite being "Fully Refurbished" i dont think enough attention was paid to the actual cabins, the seals around the shower were greying and mouldy but that said the bathroom was kept clean ... Read More
All in all a very enjoyable cruise but despite being "Fully Refurbished" i dont think enough attention was paid to the actual cabins, the seals around the shower were greying and mouldy but that said the bathroom was kept clean and fresh towels given daily so only a small gripe there. My biggest bug bear was the water, having paid for an all inclusive cruise the bottled water was not included and at the bars was 80cents per 500ml bottle, however when leaving the ship to go on an excursion at 9am i wanted to buy some water to take with me but the little man selling his wares at the gangway wanted 1.40euro for the exact same bottle, i asked why the increase in price compared to the bar price and i was told before 9.30am the inflated price is payable, i find this totally unacceptable and so refused to pay it and chose to purchase water from outside. Another really anoying thing was anti sickness tablets, I have in the past suffered from seasickness. I did take some tablets purchased at Boots called Stugeron, 15 15mg tabs at a cost of £3.19 I was taking them only as a precaution however i run out of them and needed some just for the final 2 nights cruising so i went to reception to buy some, i was offered 2 tablets at a cost of £2.00!!!! bloody extortionate so i politly declined and went to a pharmacy in portugal and purchased the exact same tablets, 60 for 3.40 euro. so be aware if there is any chance you are going to suffer with seasickness then take plenty of tabs with you or you will be stung at reception. I simply hate being ripped off! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This is the 4th TUI (Thomson) ship we have been on we originally booked the Celebration but we got transfered to the 1st sailing of discovery2. From arriving at the ship everything went smoothly. The cabin we chose was a deluxe outside ... Read More
This is the 4th TUI (Thomson) ship we have been on we originally booked the Celebration but we got transfered to the 1st sailing of discovery2. From arriving at the ship everything went smoothly. The cabin we chose was a deluxe outside with a full length window it had been completely refitted new bedding and also very good storage. We dined for breakfast and dinner in the waiter service restaurant on deck4 it was perfect. We went to the shows in the Broadway show lounge and an afternoon performance of Re-take that and an evening performance of Andy Abraham from the xfactor all were very good. The ship had some lovely staff who we had a lot of fun with. All the ports were very good the cruise had special touches being the 1st cruise. This September we are going on the Spirit for 2weeks starting in Dubrovnik which we are now looking forward to. Tui please keep it up 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

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click