533 Marella Cruises Marella Discovery Cruise Reviews

My wife & I booked this trip at the last minute and can honestly say "WOW!" Although we had to miss Cambodia due to the virus situation we were blessed to have an overnight stay in Vietnam which turned out fantastic for us ... Read More
My wife & I booked this trip at the last minute and can honestly say "WOW!" Although we had to miss Cambodia due to the virus situation we were blessed to have an overnight stay in Vietnam which turned out fantastic for us as it gave us time to see Ho Chi Minh and a trip down Mekong Delta. The staff & crew were fantastic especially the waiters Damoder,David,Dede & Ernesto. The captain,Chris,was so down to earth and his announcements were enjoyable yet informative. Visiting Thailand,Malaysia,Singapore etc gave us the chance to visit some breathtaking temples,beaches etc and we spent very little due to the local street food etc being less than £5 for 2 people and it was deeeeeelicious! The cabins on board cleaned daily made it soooo refreshing to get into bed after a great day exploring although it was after a great night onboard also with entertainment for all tastes. Our housekeeping team Ramil,Liza & Manju were the most attentive and caring as my wife who is disabled was never bothered when she needed to stay in bed longer. We can only say Thankyou TUI & the Marella Discovery Cruise team for our trip of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise on Valentine's Day when we found an amazing price on line. Flying from Manchester was quite smooth but our disembarkation in Thailand was so slow and frustrating. Once at the ship our check-in was quick and easy ... Read More
We chose this cruise on Valentine's Day when we found an amazing price on line. Flying from Manchester was quite smooth but our disembarkation in Thailand was so slow and frustrating. Once at the ship our check-in was quick and easy and our cases were at our room within the hour. Our cabin: deck 2 outside was clean and tidy and our cabin crew kept it spotless throughout the cruise. The itinerary was excellent though we had to miss Cambodia because of the developing Corona crisis. We loved Penang. Langkawi was a sheer delight. Malacca was fascinating and Singapore was impressive. Thailand: Ko Samui was great fun and we were well pleased with all our stops. My wife and I made our own arrangements for shore stops and found this to be quite easy to do. On board the entertainment was excellent. Daily dance lessons and twice-nightly social dances were superb and our heartfelt thanks go to Amy and Dmitrii for making our holiday really special. The showteam were excellent, performing a range of shows to suit all tastes. We also enjoyed Celidh dancing, Jazz Dancing and line dancing - so much to do! We ate in the waiter service restaurants for breakfast and dinner. For lunch we used the Islands self service restaurant. The food was always excellent... suckling pig was an unexpected treat and the veal, venison, duck and Angus beef were great. All bar and waiting staff were so helpful and good-natured. There was a real family atmosphere on board throughout the cruise. Captain Chris Dodds and his officers were an inspiration, dealing brilliantly with many difficult situations caused by outside factors. The reception team were also really helpful and caring for the entire cruise. It's hard to find fault with this cruise, crew and ship. They were all excellent. We will be back on board as soon as circumstances make it possible! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I was Very hesitant,husband booked it really wanted to go (Without the virus) just wasn’t on my to do list How wrong was abs amazing Would not have gone to the countries without going on a cruise the itinerary was excellent ... Read More
I was Very hesitant,husband booked it really wanted to go (Without the virus) just wasn’t on my to do list How wrong was abs amazing Would not have gone to the countries without going on a cruise the itinerary was excellent and was adapted due to restrictions what also made it was knowing I was goin back to a wonderful friendly ship everything and everyone was amazing and made lasting memories Thanks to sue Stewart who made us feel special inviting us to sit at her table and to all the staff Thank you so much The food entertainment service cleanliness everything was spot on varied entertainment to suit every taste met some really lovely people from all over the UK due to choosing to share a table some nights surf n turf was a special night at an extra but it was worth it would have done it again but left it late to book Would recommend defo Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We are regulars on cruise holidays and were looking forward to our cruise of Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand as these were all countries we had never visited before and my partner was particularly looking forward to ... Read More
We are regulars on cruise holidays and were looking forward to our cruise of Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand as these were all countries we had never visited before and my partner was particularly looking forward to visiting Singapore. Plus points - the first week was great fun, we met some great people, the staff in restaurants and bars and cleaning and domestic services were lovely and all added to a great atmosphere onboard. Cambodia was an experience but we welcome the opportunity to see how people live in some of the poorer countries. The entertainment we saw was very good and the singer's rendition of Whitney Houston songs was wonderful - best I have heard in 16 cruises. Now the negatives - my partner had a relatively mild condition but one that she felt needed medical attention. The diagnosis was that she was suffering from an "acute respiratory condition" which warranted her being sent off ship for a CT scan at Hospital, despite the fact she had responded to treatment. This diagnosis was reached in spite of the fact that she had successfully toured Penang in hot temperatures for 5/6 hours on day previous without any issue!! If she had chosen not to follow medical advice, our travel insurance would have been invalid. Things went from bad to worse, the hospital authorities treated her for Covid-19 (well hardly treated her - tested her pulse, temperature and blood pressure - as had already been taken onboard and were fine). She never received any treatment at all yet was transferred to another hospital for another procedure (same happened here, no treatment just questions and tested pulse, temperature and blood pressure). Marella rep at hospital was no use at all, all he did was advise there were procedures in place but not explain what they were and if he communicated with the ship (I assume he did) and with the Hospital authorities then he didn't let us know what was going on. Apparently there should have been a Marella Port Agent available to support us - none available. As my partner had not been discharged from Hospital by time the ship sailed, we were disembarked and basically abandoned in a foreign country with no support. Useful contact numbers are only useful if they are attainable - they weren't - and in our opinion, the ship should not have sailed whilst my partner had not been cleared of COVID-19. We had to arrange to get to Singapore and re-embark there - this despite the fact that we were both in a state of shock at how this ridiculous situation had ever materialised. We were up for 28 hours and stayed in Singapore Airport guarding our belongings (which had been sent to us at the Hospital along with our passports via a local taxi driver - no one from Marella involved in ensuring our belongings arrived safely but totally left to chance). We re-embarked at Singapore but were nervous about leaving the ship again in case we were disembarked and our cruise was ruined. Subsequent attempts to get answers from TUI on how this farcical chain of events happened have been shockingly handled by the company to date. This experience has put us off cruising completely and we are trying to ensure that what happened to us will never happen to any other couple ever again. The service rating reflects the onboard welfare service and customer service thereafter and is no reflection of the excellent service provided by the bar staff, restaurant and cleaning staff. Equally the VFM would have been a 4 based on week 1 but was reduced to 1 in light of our experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I don't normally write a review post holiday but felt on this occasion it was necessary, to help inform potential customers and for Tui to use for continuous improvement. We embarked on christmas day and found out that there had ... Read More
I don't normally write a review post holiday but felt on this occasion it was necessary, to help inform potential customers and for Tui to use for continuous improvement. We embarked on christmas day and found out that there had been a fire in the engine room transformer. Planet cruise knew but did not make us aware beforhand. The itinerary had not changed on the ticket confirmation received on 19th dec 19 - they claim they sent an email on the 17th Dec to advise of this change but not received. They also couldn't forward this specific mail so sent a new mail upon my request/return. We understood the transformer issue was a known problem but sent the ship anyway hoping it wouldn't fail - It did. Discovery has now had two fires in twelve months so as the first fix didn't solve the issue therefore i believe this could be considered negligent on their part, if the same root cause As a result we had to sail at a reduced speed which meant 2 destinations were missed completely, and nearly 1 day less in Langkawi, resulting in nearly 3 extra days at sea. We were due in langkawi at 8am but arrived at 16.30 so Marella could cliam they had not missed another port to trigger bigger refund Tui consider this a minor change so offered customers a refund of £250pp - i'm not sure we, and most other passengers, would agree its minor. Some passengers who joined the week before us also had £100 extra onboard spend for their inconvenience - i do not see how their holiday was more impacted than ours. Embarkation was simple and efficient Onboard, most staff were generally miserable/rude, which created lots of negatively on the ship, didn't appear to care and just went through the motions. Don't even bother with reception - greeted with a 'yes' rather than 'good morning, how can i help so sums up nicely Sergi at the pool bar(deck9), a young blondy lady at the coffee pot(serving magic coffee) and our chamber team were the most notable exceptions. Bar staff, waiters and managers were happy to argue in front of customers. Mostly Eastern european and Asian staff onboard. Ship lacked leadership and perhaps a coincidence but the captain was replaced mid-cruise. The frustrations and negativety with passengers, esp in the 1st week, was also poor which added to the tense atmosphere onboard. We heard a fight broke out with several drunk passengers on our 1st night and to Marella's credit got them off the ship quickly The entertainment was average and with the extra sea days repetative. We had a deluxe cabin(dec8) which was great - although next to atrium so quite noisy until midnight, which wasn't a problem for us. Deck space for sunbeds is tight on sea days so get up early Food in waiter service restaurants was good. Buffet restaurant was hit and miss - mainly miss so average at best. Choice, quality and temperature. Plates usually hotter than food. Premium drinks upgrade is worth it - grey goose normal and bar 11 cocktails hasx an additional charge of £2.50. Deck10 bar/smoking area a disgrace in the evening as tables not cleared. Even when passengers asked staff if they would mind clearing tables they said they were too busy so no and would walk off. Destination services have no clue about the actual destinations themselves and can only advise on the official trips, or point you to book using screens. I suggest doing research upfront on things to do, costs, locations to port(laem chabang is 2.5hrs from Bangkok, Mekong delta is 3hrs, kuala lumpur is 1hr). They even asked us to let them know the cost for Orang utan island(penang) as many people had asked - trip unavailable on board so many did alone (its 40ringit pp), haggle for taxi outside (its about a 1hr drive n we paid $60 for 2 people from $200). Come on Marella sort this out as you should be the experts. If you have not changed money to local do NOT do this onboard. Example ex rate gbp/usd 1/1.12. Exchange rates are better in port terminals. Book well in advance online if you want to go up Petronas Towers - between 10-15hrs is ideal to fit with timing of 'tui book your own' trip. You would be lucky if there is an allotted time available on the day Singapore is AMAZING. We booked 'sea, land and air' trip. Although 'Hop on/off buses' are also at port terminal and taxi is c $14singapore so would do that if visiting again. Spent the evening at Boat quay n Marina bay and the city comes to life at night so would well advise - don't miss out on this Language isn't an issue as english is mainly 2nd lanuage and locals happy to help. Not sure I'd do this in Cambodia though All things considered we had a good holiday, visited some great countries, gutted we missed koh samui and malacca but would rate the ship as average. My onboard experience has in reality put me off booking another Marella cruise. Although other customers, and a Tui employee who was on holiday, suggested that based on previous cruises they'd done, his didn't reflect all their ships in the fleet. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
For the itinerary, unfortuately there was a few technical errors so we missed 2 ports. One in particular I was really wanting to visit, Koh samui on Christmas day. But Marella gave us £100 each to spend on board, so shopping away my ... Read More
For the itinerary, unfortuately there was a few technical errors so we missed 2 ports. One in particular I was really wanting to visit, Koh samui on Christmas day. But Marella gave us £100 each to spend on board, so shopping away my cares. There was a lot of moaning people on board but to me you just get on with it or spoil the rest of your holiday. I got quite annoyed and defensive saying I have been on other ships, not Marella, where they missed ports and nothing was given, so i think cheers Marella thanks for making a situation a little better. Boat is good, lots to do and places to go, even when more sea days than expected. Food was super as ever. The places we visited I would have never gone on my own. It's a way to see the world in a snapshot. Overall Super experience Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were celebrating Birthdays & Special Anniversary. The itinerary included Koi Samui and Cambodia and was the right dates. Firstly, we have been on many cruises over the years, most higher class but always enjoyed Thomson because ... Read More
We were celebrating Birthdays & Special Anniversary. The itinerary included Koi Samui and Cambodia and was the right dates. Firstly, we have been on many cruises over the years, most higher class but always enjoyed Thomson because of the wonderful service, mainly from the Phillipino and British Staffand their attention to care. However, this is our 2nd trip on Discovery mainly to give it the benefit of the doubt as we went went TUI had just acquired it and put it down to teething problems, we now know not so. The ship was badly run, food was very basic unless you paid and went into the speciality restaurants, service was either non existent or poor apart from a few stars. We found the Eastern Europeans lacking in manners, abrupt even arguing with each other in front of customers, not all but largely. No waiter service in the Theatre despite paying for Premium Drinks. Just a lot of pre poured drinks in plastic glasses,classy. Not enough sun beds on board for sea days despite having three extra of those. Lost three ports and offered £250 and £200 onboard spend which was used to go the nicer restaurants. No port showcases anymore, and although the trips we did take were good, the actual TUI staff were not very knowledgable about the destinations. We were not told when we boarded about the problems. We were not told until the following day after overhearing various passengers complaining. Despite having three extra sea days, there were no extra activities really. It is a money pot onboard with anything that is decent is chargeable. I cannot believe how what was a very good brand has turned in to a hotel at sea for drunks, We even had people fighting onboard, unbelievable. The cabins are old and tired despite being in a suite. Spacious and clean but very dated. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Our 1st time of Marella and we wont be using them again. The ship itself is fine as is the food and service. Cabins adequate and quite spacious. Any trips we did with them were good value. The entertainment while not as varied as ... Read More
Our 1st time of Marella and we wont be using them again. The ship itself is fine as is the food and service. Cabins adequate and quite spacious. Any trips we did with them were good value. The entertainment while not as varied as some ships was good. Though the lack of daytime speakers is a loss imo. The all inclusive did lead to a few drunks on board, one lady disrupted the whole theatre, one dancing on tables and one offloaded on Singapore via Police ! The onboard climbing wall, running track and gym are all very useful. What lets them down is the appalling customer service if anything goes wrong. To change a cruise and only be told when you get into your cabin is awful as they knew the ship had issues 1 week earlier. So we lost 3 ports, lost Christmas day on Koh Samui and gained 3 sea days and a repeat visit to Singapore. This is not what we booked or paid for. TUI think £250 is worthy compensation. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
the itineraries were amazing, lots of different places we have always wanted to go then there was a fire in the engine room transformer which was dealt with quickly but the repercussions were we had to sail at a reduced speed which ... Read More
the itineraries were amazing, lots of different places we have always wanted to go then there was a fire in the engine room transformer which was dealt with quickly but the repercussions were we had to sail at a reduced speed which meant three of our excursions were canceled with an extra two days at sea. The itineraries were the only reason we paid nearly six thousand pounds to spend twenty-four hours on an aeroplane to board the ship and the cruise experience was ruined. What made it worse was the paltry £250 each Tui told us we would receive without consultation and when everybody complained I overheard, with witnesses, the captain saying loudly he would be glad when all the moaners left his ship. True. The same captain who knew his ship had the same problem a year before and TUI still sent the ship out in the hope it wouldn`t happen again. They gambled and failed with the resultant ruination of our cruise. If I wanted to spend five days at sea I would have chosen a cheap and cheerful Med cruise. Tui In our opinion should never have sent that ship out without ensuring the transformer problem was addressed properly. They didn`t and will have to pay the consequences. Marella Discovery and two fires in twelve months is negligent in my opinion and would not go with TUI Marella again. The entertainment was average and the staff and waiters were mostly eastern Europeans who do not smile Unfortunately the Asian staff seemed to copy them and made for a depressing cruise. The captain was arrogant and the food not up to standard, proved by a notice in the self service restaurant which asked passengers to stop leaving so much waste on their plates! Shocking. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I chose this cruise because ihad exotic locatopns and it was warm at this tome of the year. The flight from Gatwick with Tui was fine no problems on time. The presentation of the ship and thr cabin was very gppd. The food and drink ... Read More
I chose this cruise because ihad exotic locatopns and it was warm at this tome of the year. The flight from Gatwick with Tui was fine no problems on time. The presentation of the ship and thr cabin was very gppd. The food and drink selection were very good. The entertainment was good with a lot of effort put in by the entertainment team Now the bad bit The ship had a technical problem coming out of Singapore, which caused a major disruption to the cruise, we spent almost 6 days a t sea and missed 3 ports. Despite Marella sending out technicians the ship remained unfixed and Marella have no intention of recifying the fault until it has to relocate. Probably about 50% of the cruise was dtsrupted and Marella offered £250 per passenger compensation on a cruise that was well over £1200 per person, some paid far more. The bar syaff and cabin stewards were very good I will never go on another Marella cruise and this was our 6th Ports visited Langkawi, Penang Port Klang Singapre x 2 Laem Chabang Phu My Missed ports Khosamui Sihanoukville and Malaca. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We went on the Enchanting Far East cruise on the Marella Discovery in December 2019. The cruise got off to a bad start when we fell victim to a somewhat desperate money-grabbing trick. Even though we went online to reserve seats for our ... Read More
We went on the Enchanting Far East cruise on the Marella Discovery in December 2019. The cruise got off to a bad start when we fell victim to a somewhat desperate money-grabbing trick. Even though we went online to reserve seats for our party of three as soon as booking opened, TUI allocated us seats scattered all around the plane and then demanded an additional fee for sitting near (not even next to) each other. The food in the buffet was of the usual standard. Not great, but adequate if you’re not dining at one of the proper restaurants. One thing that bothered us is the fact that they have done away with paper napkins at the buffet. These were useful for holding the tongs/ladles etc when serving up the food. If you have ever noticed the sticky residue on them you would understand why. Their disappearance is a backward step in maintaining hygiene. The meals at both “all inclusive” restaurants were a bit hit and miss but the upstairs Italian one was the better of the two. Although the portions were sometimes comically small, when it was good, it was very good, and the service was very friendly and mostly efficient. Having said that, for the second year running we gave up waiting one night and walked out before our dessert reached the table. My main criticism is that the plates in both restaurants were often greasy and finger-marked. Staff were not very receptive to feedback on the subject. All the basics are covered in the bars but the number of drinks in the “all inclusive” package has dwindled, along with the variety of cocktails available. I wonder how long they can keep calling it “all inclusive” without some watchdog picking up on the fact that it is in fact a long way from all inclusive. We found the waiter service in the bars to be quite poor. Several times we saw staff just standing in a virtually empty bar staring at the entertainment and studiously avoiding eye contact with the handful of customers. The entertainment was OK for the first few nights. Generally, though, the entertainment is aimed at older ladies and chavs. If you’re neither of those, you’re going to get very bored, very fast. Unfortunately, the on-deck TV screen was zapped by lightning early on and we missed several nights of movies as a result, although they did put on some movies indoors, which is a welcome development. Marella need to work on this – and on providing cheaper and more effective Wi-Fi – if they are ever going to attract a new generation of cruisers. The cabin crew were efficient and friendly. Some of the entertainment staff were likeable and very good at their job too (eg, George and Dean), although others were less popular with customers and need to work on their people skills. One guy at destination services – Kevin – was very helpful and willing to spend time discussing trip options. Some of his colleagues were less user-friendly. We found one or two of the reception staff to be unhelpful or outright rude; one girl in particular smirked and gave us an attitude when we were unable to book a late checkout. Most of the organised trips were expensive but enjoyable. But there were some issues. Before the engine problems, we booked a cable car excursion on Langkawi. Once on the tour bus we were told that the cable car wouldn’t be running that day due to high winds. Fair enough. That wasn’t TUI’s fault and couldn’t be helped. However, TUI knew about the cancellation before we boarded the bus and yet instead of taking us to another sight on the island, or just giving us our money back, they drove us to a very shabby, crowded aquarium. It took 20 minutes to look around, after which we had to hang around a shopping centre for two hours to await our ride back to the ship. This was by no means an equivalent to going on a cable car sightseeing trip. We were offered some money back for this fiasco but I would rather have ditched the excursion altogether. The cruise itself was marred by a well-publicised incident that led to several of the ports being cancelled. One night, the captain (who came across as somewhat aloof and unsympathetic) announced that there had been a fire in one of the engine rooms. The damage meant that the ship couldn’t make a decent speed and so three ports of call were cancelled: Cambodia, Malacca and Koh Samui. This meant additional (boring) days at sea. The incident has received some unfavourable press coverage. It turns out that the Discovery has suffered similar problems before. In addition to abandoning some ports of call, some of the organised trips had to be shortened. The timing for our Bangkok trip was rescheduled. We were told at destination services that cutting the trip by two hours would have no impact on the quality of the excursion. This turned out to be untrue. We set out at 6am and after a long journey into the city, we were rushed around a temple complex and then whisked away to a grubby restaurant on the river before being bussed back to port just in time for departure. We didn’t see much of Bangkok, some temples were missed out and there was no exploration of the canals as promised. All in all, it was a stressful and unpleasant experience. Even though they did not provide the trip we paid for, TUI have refused to compensate us. To be fair, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. The trips to Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon were all very good; the guides were knowledgeable and the restaurants in the latter two were of particularly high quality. In addition, due to the engine problem a return stop in Singapore was added, which was welcome as it is a really nice place. We managed to see a lot of the city on our two DIY trips via the metro. But it should have been the same for Bangkok, Malacca, Koh Samui and Cambodia. Along with most customers, we had booked this cruise purely because it was stopping at locations that we were unlikely ever to visit any other way. But it turns out that TUI’s policy is that they make no guarantees about visiting specific ports and they reserve the right to change the published itinerary at any point, without compensating their customers. If you think about it, this is very odd. After all, you wouldn’t pay a taxi driver for taking you round and round the M25 if you had booked him to take you to the airport, would you? The bottom line is that we did not get the holiday that was advertised and for which we paid TUI a significant amount of money. So, take this as a warning. Regardless of what cruise you think you are booking with TUI/Marella, you could end up just pootling around the ocean and not actually going anywhere! We have been offered a £250 refund but this is nowhere near sufficient compensation given the huge amount of money the holiday cost. All in all, I can’t help concluding that TUI is desperate to squeeze as much money out of its customers as it can, while providing as little service as possible. Moreover, the Marella Discovery is badly managed, prone to worrying engine problems and is staffed by some of the least able TUI employees. We’ve been on TUI/Marella cruises for many years. We know it is cruising at the lower end of the market and there have always been minor grumbles but, generally, the positives have always outweighed any negatives. After this experience, though, we couldn’t recommend them to anyone anymore and we intend to upgrade to a more professional, honest and reliable cruise company next time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We boarded in Muscat and chose this cruise for the itinerary stopping at Mumbai, Goa, Mangalore, Cochin, Sri Lanka, Sabang & Phuket. We knew most of the ports. There wasn't lots to do in Mangalore or Sabang but we knew that ... Read More
We boarded in Muscat and chose this cruise for the itinerary stopping at Mumbai, Goa, Mangalore, Cochin, Sri Lanka, Sabang & Phuket. We knew most of the ports. There wasn't lots to do in Mangalore or Sabang but we knew that before but it was good to get off and have a look around. Quite a few days at sea so be prepared to be up early if you want to lay in the sunshine. We enjoyed the ship, the staff are all fantastic but the best bit are the west end style shows that are on 6 nights of the week. Better than most American Cruise lines....Norwegian, RCL etc. We ate in the restaurant every night and chose the same table number as we liked the waiting staff in that area. Food was excellent. Service in the bars on this particular cruise was quick. On other cruises we have found long waits to be served. Not sure if this was because less people were drinking or a better system of being served. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The itinerary was changed 3 weeks before we sailed and we were given the option to cancel. However, having made a variety of arrangements (hotels. car park, house-sitters) we decided to stick with it and accept the OBC, although with it ... Read More
The itinerary was changed 3 weeks before we sailed and we were given the option to cancel. However, having made a variety of arrangements (hotels. car park, house-sitters) we decided to stick with it and accept the OBC, although with it being an All Inclusive cruise this wasn't really much use. A week before we travelled we received notification that we would be flying back to East Midlands, rather than Birmingham, since the runway was undergoing works at night. This added an hour on our homeward journey, not what you want at 1.30am when you've been up for over 20 hours already and still have almost 5 hours to drive home. As the runway works had been published much earlier in the year, they were clearly aware of this at the time we booked (September) and should have made us aware. Had they done so, we would not have booked the cruise. The outbound flight had about 125 empty seats, presumably due to passengers who had cancelled. Cabin crew did move a few people so as to ease the congested areas. We did only have one meal going out, rather than the promised two for long-haul. Our cabin was generally OK, other than the vibration which did hinder my sleep a few nights. We tried to upgrade and were quite happy to pay. Even though they had about 200 empty cabins, they wanted a ridiculous amount from us. It was twice as much as we could have paid whilst still at home. Service in the restaurant was excellent. The waiters are always so friendly and helpful. Food is very goo, although does lack a bit of variety at times. The bar service was generally very good but it was a shame that many of the drinks I expected on the upgraded premium package ran out early on and were not replenished for about a week. I discussed this with a manager but was not recompensed for the lack of being able to use the package I'd paid for. Service from Destination Services was poor. The information that was provided was, in many instances, totally incorrect and, when I queried this with them, they were quite defensive and unpleasant. It transpires that the only information they have to impart comes from Google (!!) or the Port Agents. I got the impression that they were really only interested in those people taking the ships tours. Part way through the first week, it was announced that some of the original itinerary was being re-instated. Whilst it was a vast improvement on the amended itinerary it did lead to some issues, such as not having the right currency, and not having done enough research for DIY when in port. Some of the ports that were left on were diabolical with nothing at all to do in the vicinity. Fujairah - we went to the port gates, took one look at where we would have to walk to get anywhere ourselves, and went back to the ship. The shuttle bus driver said that there wasn't much point in going in to Fujairah as it was Friday, Prayer Day and everywhere was shut anyway. Khor Fakkan - the ship offered tours to Fujairah and not a lot else so that was another wasted day. The entertainment on offer was generally poor, mainly Butlins or Benidorm style. It was trivia, quizzes and karaoke. I mean, 'cryptic biscuit', guess the name of the biscuit from the clue? Whoever thought of that?! The evening theatre shows should have been twice a night but in the second week this was reduced to just one. We were not told why so I asked the assistant cruise director who said that they had been told to do it by HO, due to the low passenger numbers. In the second week there were only about 1100 passengers instead of 1800, presumably again because people had taken the cancellation option. I was told that it was better for the show team to perform to one larger audience. I replied that surely what suited the paying passengers should have been of higher importance. Since we like to dine at about 8pm, we were unable to see any of the shows as they were held at 9pm. The classical singer in the Atrium was popular so this is an area that could be built on The guest speakers were great but not utilised enough. Marella needs to realise that some of the passengers actually have brains that they want to use, even when on holiday. One day, when we were in the worst port of all (and it rained all day) out of 21 activities listed in the Cruise News, 10 were Spa events, 2 were shop sales, 1 was Bingo ticket sales! I used the steam room a few times which was very pleasant. However, on many occasions the floor in the changing area was swimming in water. Embarkation was OK, in general, although disembarking was poor. We had to get on a coach, drive less than 200 metres, get off the coach to do Oman immigration, then re board the coach to the airport. I asked if we could just walk but were told that we couldn't since passengers might get on the shuttle bus to the port gates by mistake. Many passengers didn't take their hand-luggage off with them to go through the security machines but the Marella representative said to keep in quiet and it wouldn't matter. We were at the airport several hours early and, whilst it is a beautiful airport (Muscat) there is very little seating. On the plane back the rear part was almost empty of passengers and the captain announced that there were 170 passengers on the 300 seat plane. Cabin crew refused to let anybody move unless they paid £65 each, claiming that the empty seats were all extra legroom seats. This meant that we had a very uncomfortable 8 hour flight home since we had a rather large and smelly passenger sat next to us who had wanted to move. This seemed to be another penny pinching move by Tui/Marella. To summarise, there were too many changes which were poorly communicated. Many of the ports should never be chosen as cruise ports since they had nothing to offer. Restaurant staff were excellent and the major plus point. If you want intelligent entertainment, choose another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We wanted to visit Dubai. The ship. The crew. The food. The entertainment all very good. It he itinerary had Beeb changed about a week before departure and we were not notified.we would finish in Oman. Then on our penultimate day travel ... Read More
We wanted to visit Dubai. The ship. The crew. The food. The entertainment all very good. It he itinerary had Beeb changed about a week before departure and we were not notified.we would finish in Oman. Then on our penultimate day travel by free bus to Dubai. But due to medical emergencies the ship diverted , delaying our arrival in Oman by 24 hours. So we didn't get to see Dubai. Our first stop Aqaba ,we stayed for two days and after departure it was announced we had taken on security guards, we would picking up weapons at sea. Some decks and areas of ship were closed for safety against pirate attack. This was around the Gulf of Aden. We were 12 days at sea on this cruise. We departed with a 2.5 hour drive to Dubai Airport. The choice of restaurants is excellent. The food quality first class. Great choice of drinks on the fully inclusive. Cleanliness of cabin very good, obliging stewards. Cleanliness of ship very good. Entertainment, plenty of choices, for a lively time or places to just chill. We have been many times with Marella, they are our favourite cruise line. Because the service is excellent From Oman. Our holiday was booked from Manchester Airport even though Birmingham is our closest airport. The reason for this was, if we took the Manchester flight we gained an extra night in Dubai. We are disappointed this time with Marella as we should have been given the option to change our holiday. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Hi all , first of all I am not a good writer . Me and my wife booked a late deal with tui , we have never been on a cruise before ! But recently we have talked a lot about going on a short trip to test the waters as they say , we ... Read More
Hi all , first of all I am not a good writer . Me and my wife booked a late deal with tui , we have never been on a cruise before ! But recently we have talked a lot about going on a short trip to test the waters as they say , we decided to book our holiday at Meadowhall shopping centre tui travel agent , luckily we had a very well informed sales woman who knew everything to know , she was fabulous , our holiday was booked for the 18 /10 /19 sailing on the marrella discovery , around the Mediterranean Our holiday day arrived , our flight was from Doncaster to Corfu where we boarded the stunning marrella discovery ship , ok she’s not massive or even brand new , but she is beautiful , once we had boarded ship we was shown to our inside cabin , our cabin was very clean , ample storage with many draws , sufficient hanging rails , clean bathroom with shower , nice firm comfortable bed with pristine clean ironed sheets , and nice bedside lighting , it’s not the most modern of cabin , but it was a pleasure to be in there , Moving on to the all inclusive package, The food is excellent in all the restaurants on the ship , and overall we thought restaurant 47 was the best for dinner , but if you like a good slap up English breakfast restaurant islands to front was buffet style which me and my wife preferred because English breakfast isn’t meant to be perfectly placed on your plate.? As it was in 47 ? , the drinks also have a huge variety of all the top brands either at the bar or there’s waiters everywhere near the bar areas taking orders Entertainment All the entertainment thrown at you day and night was for all age groups in numerous places scattered around the ship , never a dull moment , the acts was very professional , The days outings All the ports of calls that the ship stopped off at in many different countries was a good choice of diversity All in all it takes a lot for me to Wright something as long as above , but I needed to express how much of a fabulous holiday tui holiday gave me and my wife , thanks for reading Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I have to reply to a previous poor review I sailed for first time with Tui having previously sailed with many other cruise lines.The professionalism and dedication of the crew was excellent.The embarking procedure was quick and ... Read More
I have to reply to a previous poor review I sailed for first time with Tui having previously sailed with many other cruise lines.The professionalism and dedication of the crew was excellent.The embarking procedure was quick and efficient.The boat and cabin very good we had and inside cabin 6591 .The food in all sections was good the staff very helpful .Entertainment was varied and of a good standard.I believe this cruise line offers good value for money and we will sail with them again.Well done to Katy the cruise director who kept up a lively commentary on events and the ports of call .The ship is in good order and the cruise kept to timetable.Malta was our highlight for the trip and would have liked more time in port.We often followed the large MSC ship to port which made travel around Naples and Messina difficult .This cruise offered great value for money. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had been on the Marella Discovery before and even cruises on the sister ship Marella Discovery 2 last year. We decided to go on another cruise with my Parents and my Brother and Siater-in-law for my Parents 50th golden wedding ... Read More
We had been on the Marella Discovery before and even cruises on the sister ship Marella Discovery 2 last year. We decided to go on another cruise with my Parents and my Brother and Siater-in-law for my Parents 50th golden wedding anniversary. It started out ok with the only gripe was we were not able to book the Surf and Turf speciality restaurant on the day we embarked (11/10/2019), as we missed out with the speciality restaurant we went to the 47 gallery restaurant and the waiter staff were absolutely fantastic which was a consistent feeling when we dined. But this seems to be the only positive thing about the ship. Throughout the whole week the ship smelt of Fuel and a number of the Toilets were continuously blocked and smelly. The Balcony room was looking tired and used needs another refurb. The cabin staff were friendly but missed things when cleaning. The shows were very mediocre compared to previous Marella Cruises. I’m not sure I could guarantee I will cruise by Marella again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Sadly where do I start . We had booked a deluxe cabin and to our shock we saw no deluxe at all, the windows were that bad we could hardly see out of them. The shower was that small with a shower curtain,not deluxe to me. No toiletries ... Read More
Sadly where do I start . We had booked a deluxe cabin and to our shock we saw no deluxe at all, the windows were that bad we could hardly see out of them. The shower was that small with a shower curtain,not deluxe to me. No toiletries apart from a small soap and shower cream canister. we enjoy going to the restaurant , only the first night was the best after that we were rushed every night and the food was not always hot and the plates cold. The staff were rushing around and the tables way to close to one another and the staff were not always attentive. In the end we tried the buffet lounge which I have to say the food was much better and the plates piping hot. Entertainment was awful it was a comedian and then entertainment team no professional dancers. Service in bars were very relaxed , there seemed to be a lack of staff. Found out later that this was coming to end of season and some were going home. We had diesel fumes which circulated around the ship even in our room on deck 8. Later the captain explained there were complaints about diesel fumes , explanation from the captain something about doing something to the tanks to put in an eu directive on fuel. Seems rather strange to do this while there were passengers on board. I had to cancel a trip due to the fumes making me ill because I ahave asthma . This cruise was a very disappointment overall. If it was coming to end of season that should not have made any difference we still payed for our holiday which our ruby anniversary was spoiled all together. Would I go back on this ship no, it was more like a Butlins camp . I would love to hear from other people affected by the fumes. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Been on Marbella Explorer Oct 2018 excellent couldn’t fault anything 1st ever cruise so this year go on Discovery Oct 4th to 18th smelt Diesel Fumes on embarking on ship Booked Delux Balcony Cabin 7th deck very disappointed only one bar ... Read More
Been on Marbella Explorer Oct 2018 excellent couldn’t fault anything 1st ever cruise so this year go on Discovery Oct 4th to 18th smelt Diesel Fumes on embarking on ship Booked Delux Balcony Cabin 7th deck very disappointed only one bar of soap and a shower gel balcony tiny not as big as Explorer though paid the same price the biggest let down was the constant smell of Fumes my husband was poorly throughout the cruise he suffers from Asthma we constantly complained at reception was listened to but the so called venting of tanks was still done not good enough as we had saved hard for a lovely cruise and looked forward to it for months. The food was excellent in latitude 47 and also waiters were excellent too couldn’t do enough to please us shows were 1st classs enjoyed them very much.My husband and I felt let down and was devastated by the constant smell of Fumes all over the ship. Once home my husband visited his GP and was prescribed Steroids for his breathing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our first holiday for 3 years and first ever cruise. We were on the Marella Discovery for 2 weeks sailing from Corfu up to Koper, Venice and down the Croatian coast line with the 2nd week over to Rome, Naples and around Southern ... Read More
This was our first holiday for 3 years and first ever cruise. We were on the Marella Discovery for 2 weeks sailing from Corfu up to Koper, Venice and down the Croatian coast line with the 2nd week over to Rome, Naples and around Southern Italy and Malta. We are a young couple mid 20's and early 30's and didn't know what quite to expect, we had a balcony cabin which was in fairly good condition with the only minor complaint being the cabins were a little dated, clean but dated. The service on board was fairly good albeit a little rushed at times, we are not big drinkers or party animals and were usually in bed for 11pm and found you couldn't hear anything other than the water lapping up against the side of the ship when we retired to bed at night, even though not 15 metres below us other guest were having a ball. We went on this cruise more for the destinations than all inclusive drink and entertainment and found that our privacy was respected. I was worried this may have been a "benidorm at sea" kind of holiday but it was not, a good honest mix of people who were all friendly and seemed to be honest hard working people who were on holiday, just like us. We didn't see any drunken passengers staggering around, shouting, screaming or bad behaviour. On the flip side i was also worried it could be full of people who walk around with their noses in the air, i was pleasantly surprised to only encounter 1 person like that who described the cruise ship as a "tug boat" later going on to tell me of her 64 other cruises being better later wandering off across the deck with her husband pacing 6 feet behind her. We had the opportunity to dress up at night and sample all the restaurants part from the Sushi one, all were very nice especially the Surf & Turf being really good. The entertainment on board was just enough to keep us occupied for the 2 days at sea, passing time on the mini golf course, playing poker and using the breakout escape room. We found the excursions (we went on 4 i think) very good value for money and had to get a refund from a company we had booked an excursion with before getting on the ship. Cruising excursions charged us £254.00 with Marella charging £120.00 for the same excursion. The ports we visited were very nice with the only exception being Malta, we would have liked more time there as with the tender across meaning we only got to spend 2.5 hours in Valletta. We are the type of people that would get off the ship early and head to the train station taking a regional train to the nearest point of interest, sometimes up to 1.5 hours away, Valletta, obviously we couldn't do this. I use an E Cig and would have liked some more smoking areas, i was forced to either go 3 floors down or 2 floors up to have a quick smoke on my e cig, there are a lot of more mature passengers and a lot do smoke so maybe catering for them a little more would have made the cruise slightly more enjoyable. The entertainment on the top deck when leaving a port was a little OTT, with loud music and singing as we sailed out of port as you sat having a beer and tried to relax taking in the views, that could just be me being miserable but after a tiring (but enjoyable) day exploring the last thing you want is someone murdering an Andrea Bocelli song not 10 metres away. Would we do it again though, yes, certainly. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Just returned from this cruise. We booked this primarily for the itinerary as, even though we’ve cruised quite a bit, we had not visited any of the ports on this cruise save for the departure port of Corfu. We also booked to get an ... Read More
Just returned from this cruise. We booked this primarily for the itinerary as, even though we’ve cruised quite a bit, we had not visited any of the ports on this cruise save for the departure port of Corfu. We also booked to get an experience of Marella’s move to larger ships, with the Discovery being the biggest we have cruised on to date. Overall the cruise was very good. The facilities on the ship are well documented on the Internet so I won’t go into too much detail, suffice to say they were of a high standard. A few pointers for potential Discovery guests and also the good and not so good points: Good: The staff were superb. Quick to serve, helpful and smiling. I did get to have a chat with the Master of the ship, Captain Chris Dodds, and it was apparent that he was proud of the ship and his staff, justifiably so. The entertainment crew were the best I’ve seen and the Broadway lounge is big enough and well equipped enough to allow spectacular shows to be delivered. All inclusive allowed beers and wines to be on draught in the self service restaurants so you could help yourself. As a consequence you weren’t having to wait to be served to have a drink with your meal. When going into the Broadway lounge for the evening show, drinks were served as you went in so you weren’t having to order a drink once in the lounge. This meant you able to watch the show without people waving their cards at the waiting staff and the staff having to serve drinks in the dark. The Galley 47 restaurant serves Italian dishes and was very good. I used it twice and was very impressed. My jury was out about all inclusive. I considered that that this did not allow the possibility of enticing offers for drinks packages etc for early bookers (which I have used before) but I’m beginning to change my mind. The way that some people went mad at the buffet meant that they have some of my share but, nevertheless, all inclusive allowed me to budget with confidence. Not so good: During our cruise, the main restaurant opened for waiter served breakfast at 07:30. For guests going on organised tours this did not generally give sufficient time for breakfast before the tours commenced. Hence these guests had to use the self service on deck 9, the result of which the self service got unnecessarily busy. This may be a bit unfair. The food was excellently prepared and served. I could not fault it but...... it was a bit safe. I though we could have had a bit more of the Mediterranean flavour. “Tailor the menu to the venue” so to speak. No criticism of the way the food was delivered but more Med, less English would have been my preference. Marella provide all guests with the opportunity to download an “app” which connects to the ship’s Internet (at no cost) and provides details of your on-board account, what’s going on, excursions, where to eat, etc and is, overall very useful. They also still produce the “Cruise News” paper which is left in your cabin during the evening turn down. The problem I encountered is that the itinerary on the “app” and the “Cruise News” didn’t always match up so you still ended up at Destination Services or Reception to verify the precise details. Just a bit of co-ordination needed for what was otherwise a very useful facility. Nothing to do with the actual cruise but I was seriously stitched up over the price, with the possibility of saving almost £300 for the same deal if I’d timed it right, having been enticed to book early with a discount code. I did write to Marella head office (as a long standing and loyal customer, of 20 years if you include Thomson), but my loyally and my comments were dismissed as “bad luck”. Marella/TUI didn’t even bother to respond using the same medium as I did, rather just an e-mail. Itinerary: Good (Santorini apart) and I’ve glad I’ve been. Santorini is too crowded and you end up watching out for the next gap in the crowds rather than enjoying the island. The cable car had a two hour wait to descend so I had to use the steps, past the ill-treated donkeys and horses, tied up with no water, one passing you every so often with a selfish tourist on his back, just so he can tell his mates he took part in the Santorini tradition (don’t use them please). In summary: This was our seventh cruise with Thomson/TUI/Marella and I do detect a change in the target clientele and company’s philosophy. Absolutely nothing but praise for the experience I had, but Marella’s move to larger ships, the subsequent escalating cost to support the all inclusive packages and the dismissive way I was treated by head office may cause me to investigate alternatives. Finally, one area that doesn’t get mentioned very often, my local TUI office (Newark-on-Trent). The staff in there are excellent hence I use them rather than the Internet. I pay a small premium but it’s worth it for the assistance I receive during booking and should I need to book any excursions or have any queries regarding my holiday. Well done to them. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have travelled with many cruise companies mainly British one US & one Italian we chose this cruise mainly because we have never travelled to this part Europe .We were very impressed with the service in the restaurants mainly the 47 ... Read More
We have travelled with many cruise companies mainly British one US & one Italian we chose this cruise mainly because we have never travelled to this part Europe .We were very impressed with the service in the restaurants mainly the 47 the service and food was excellent in every way as we ate there all the time even for breakfast & lunch times as it was impossible to find any where to sit in the upstairs buffet and also other guest seemed reluctant to share or talk to us (it must be a British thing ).I did notice that other guests reserved seating in the bars and theatre of which I found very frustrating as it is not allowed on the P&O ships as they endorse strict rules of which are enforced by security personel. The entertainment was of a very high standard with a very good selection of shows we only missed one .The only complaint that I have was that in the cabin for some reason there was a double bed in the middle and also a two seater settee on the side of which made it a bit cramped .We will always travel with Marella cruises in the future as even embarkation & disembarkation was simple. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The only bad thing about the cruise was that we only booked 7 days, I didn’t want to leave and felt envious of the other passengers who had another week. The itinerary was perfect, visiting great places including Venice, Koper, ... Read More
The only bad thing about the cruise was that we only booked 7 days, I didn’t want to leave and felt envious of the other passengers who had another week. The itinerary was perfect, visiting great places including Venice, Koper, Dubrovnik, Split and kotor. We loved Croatia and will certainly return. On board the service was perfect and all of the crew did a fantastic job from the housekeeping staff to the Captain. We honestly loved every minute, the food was great, the drinks service brilliant and I can’t begin to say how awesome the entertainment was. Katie stole the show, I’m sure she must be solar powered (I’ve never seen anyone with so much energy). Each one of the entertainment team we’re fabulous, Chessie singing as we left Koper was just outstanding, I was a blubbering wreck. We were serenaded out of Venice too. The shows and quizzes were a big favourite of ours, each one such fun. A special mention to Dean too, what a lovely lad, but then again all of the team were. We even managed to get out if the escape room (with lots of clues) it was so well planned. We had the most magical time on board, so a big, huge thank you to everyone on Marella Discovery. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was honestly the worst cruise I’ve ever been on. It was truly awful. I had my two children with me as we couldn’t get away during the summer holidays due to work commitments. This cruise is not family friendly at all. ... Read More
This was honestly the worst cruise I’ve ever been on. It was truly awful. I had my two children with me as we couldn’t get away during the summer holidays due to work commitments. This cruise is not family friendly at all. 1. Not once was the climbing wall open 2. The indoor pool bans kids between 2-5pm covering a good part of the hot part of the day. I pay the same amount of money as everyone else, I should have the access to the same facilities. 3. The kids food at the buffet was rock hard and quite frankly absolutely bogging. It had obviously been out for a very long time. On the final day you can expect no kids buffet. 4. The pool tiles are broken and one of them actually cut my sons foot.. it’s very obvious it’s about a foot wide. The staff are friendly but the entertainment is like butlins. It’s really loud, you can’t sit at the pool and have a conversation with someone without some game show rubbish or having to listen to some pub quiz. If butlins is your thing, this is for you. Also, as a footnote, I not only saw the cruise director speak to a member of staff like crap but also the deputy cruise director do the same.. uncomfortable. Much of the entertainment was awkward and just so over the top it was ridiculous. I witnessed bar staff being rude to kids when they were asking for things at the bar. Just no need. It was overall a really poor experience and despite cruising with TUI 7 times now I won’t be going with them again. I certainly would never recommend this for a family. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
From start to finish this cruise was for my wife and i was superb, the ship, the staff, the food, every aspect of the ship was very well managed, from the pool side to the very high class restaurants nothing was to much, the staff in all ... Read More
From start to finish this cruise was for my wife and i was superb, the ship, the staff, the food, every aspect of the ship was very well managed, from the pool side to the very high class restaurants nothing was to much, the staff in all the bars and restaurants could not do enough for you and were so pleasant, the cabin we had was very spacious clean and tidy, when we returned each night it was spotless, we will be going back for another cruise, no matter what time of day there was always a different activity going on around the ship, something for everyone no matter how old or young you are, from mini golf to rock climbing learning to dance to been in a choir, in the atrium every day there an artist performing, in the theatre there was always a great show to watch, so something for everyone. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Marella Discovery Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 3.5 3.7
Public Rooms 4.5 4.1
Fitness & Recreation 3.0 N/A
Family 3.0 3.7
Enrichment Activities 2.0 N/A
Service 4.5 4.2
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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