3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because we liked the itinerary - it was a bit different than the million other carribean cruises out there. We were on the Exotic Explorer followed by the Cuban Fusion. For those unfamiliar the ship does rolling themes ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we liked the itinerary - it was a bit different than the million other carribean cruises out there. We were on the Exotic Explorer followed by the Cuban Fusion. For those unfamiliar the ship does rolling themes to each week of the cruise. It is Cuban Fusion every other week with the gap alternating between Exotic Explorer and Pride of Panama. Ship We were very happy with the ship, it was smaller than the last ship we were on but we were pleased with the size and variety of public areas, never did we find a situation where a bar/coffee bar had no seats; which was not the case when on the two MSC ships we have been on. Unlike some of the newer larger ships being put out there all areas, apart from the two speciality dining options, were accessible to all passengers which was nice. Cabin The cabin is classed as a deluxe balcony and it was larger than most balconies as it accommodated both a table, two chairs AND two sun beds. In terms of storage it was generous and the wardrobe space was significantly bigger than those of the normal balcony rooms (we looked in). Compared to other cruise lines I would still stay it was more than their standard balconies but less so. The cabin itself was very clean and the bed was comfortable although, at least from our personal perspective, it shares a common problem with all hotels and cruises in that the pillows are always fluffy but provide no neck support but when doubled up are too much. This is personal so I don't place too much emphasis on this. The fridge was large and whilst having some mini bar items it had enough space for me to keep my epipen cold and also bottles of water and cans of pop. However, there were a couple of small touches that could have been addressed to improve the cabin. The carpets were poorly fitting around the edges and were frayed or pulled up. In addition, in the bathroom the shower curtain had some tears and was missing eyelets and didn't really hand well or stay within the shower tray. For the record we are not fat but the curtain barely hung below the lip on the shower and was not really weighted so as you moved in the shower it would easily just fall out and soak the floor. Dining We were impressed with the dining on board which definitely suited British tastes. The main restaurant houses both a traditional dining option that rotates daily, with the italian menu reserved for upstairs but that has a static menu (but wider than the daily rotating menu). The main dining room had some good food and we were pleased whenever we ate there (I was not well for most of the first week so didn't eat much - nothing to do with the ship but personal health issues). Steak was sometimes served in the main restaurant but my wife was rather non-plus over it. That said we were pleased with the food here and did not feel short changed or required to go to the speciality dining venues. The buffet choice was good with salads and fruit always available. Alongside this there were staples such as chips, burgers and hot dogs accompanied by rotating food suited to British tastes as well as rotating themed food. One thing we really liked was the hot coconut and chocolate cake with custard, it was only on one night but it really hit the spot and we wished it would be rotated on again. At lunch there was a panini station which at breakfast served as an omelette station. Immediately next to this there was a carvery station and I must say I was particularly impressed with the quality of the meat; it was cooked well without being overdone and was very tender. I like a carvery and was not disappointed. For me this most notably applied to all the beef dishes served at the buffet - the meat was tender whether it was in a curry or stroganoff. It felt unusual that the buffet closed by 9.30pm then the choice became much more limited over at the 'Glass House'. Several times I had the curry there alongside salad but I must highlight that regardless of what it says the curry says 'vindaloo, 'madras', 'mild' they all tasted the same except for the meat being used and was in no way spicy - but was tasty. Also a couple of times the chicken curry included small bits of bone so it is worth being careful when going for the chicken curry. Specialty dining wise we did not go to either the Steakhouse or the Asian fusion option but personally I felt it was not great value. For example when paying the cover charge on NCL or MSC the range of sides and cuts of steaks were generous and better than we normally get in the UK and good value (especially in the context of NCL). However, when looking at the menu it felt more limited and did not provide particularly good value in terms of cost when compared to what you would pay in the UK - the desserts and starters were not particularly impressive. Service We were pleased with the service, the staff were very good and generally greeted you with a smile and conversation without being too in your face. English is the only language onboard and the staff all had strong English and there was a good diversity of staff - on some cruises the staff are almost exclusively Indonesian or Filipino (not that I have any issue with this) but onboard there were a number of staff from South and East Asia, the Carribean and Europe which seemed to make a different atmosphere. The waiting staff in the bars were attentive and there was rarely a situation where you would be left without a drink. Often we went to the bar but that was our personal preference as I am not used to having my drinks brought to me. Ports and Excursions We only went on one ship organised excursions otherwise we had made our own arrangements. I personally recommend picking independent tours as they were cheaper, easy to locate and you had more personal attention. For example One of the tours we went on was to the Mayan Ruins about an hour away from Costa Maya. Our tour both arrived before and left after the ship organised tour with a guide for only 6 of us and a chance to spend longer at each part of the site and ask questions of the guide. I have some more tips below. Entertainment The entertainment was good and provided a nice range of both musical productions and comedy. The other activities onboard were well organised and provided a range of choices no matter what your preference so all groups were well catered for. Other points All the main activities were free onboard - the wall climbing, the mini golf, VR taster and video games. The latter is an important one if you had kids or teenagers. Having been on cruises with arcade machines you watch kids and teens (I was the same when I was a kid) pumping money (well swiping their cruise card) into the arcade machines. However, the ship had a number of XBOX ONE consoles that were available to be played by passengers for no cost. It is something small but something I could appreciate if I was travelling with kids. Upgraded drinks package - We upgraded the drinks package and would say that it was worth it in terms of the canned soft drinks as well as our preferred options when it came to spirits, amongst other things The soft drinks are useful because we could pack a couple of cans in our bag when we went on excursions - it does save you a few dollars a time plus you avoid being gouged for soft drinks in some places. The cocktails were less impressive although there were a couple that stood out but confusingly, despite some being listed as available in every bar (there were a number that are specialty to each bar - for example beer cocktails in Live Room, smoking cocktails in Bar 11), some staff would refuse to make them which was annoying when we got called a liar when we stated we had been served one in that bar the night before by their colleague. They also varied in terms of the quality they were made and sometimes staff made it feel like a nuisance to go get them from the back. It is also worth noting in the Live Room they have a much larger range of premium beers - Duval is a personal favourite of mine and if you are beer connoisseur then it certainly beats the standard choices. My wife liked the Coffee Port - she thought the coffee was far better than the coffee available from the bars and while I don't drink coffee I liked the milkshakes and blended drinks available. Also whilst it is not off limits to other passengers as all drinks there were in the premium drinks package only (so if you were on the standard all inclusive you would need to pay individually for them) it tended to be quieter as an area to read or have a quiet discussion. Some Tips 1. The Premium drinks package is not for everyone but I love 'real' coca cola and the coke on tap often had a 'rola' cola taste to it. Also it is worth noting that the canned drinks like the Coca Cola and San Peligrino were not UK sourced. This meant that the coke was made with High Fructose Corn Syrup, the San Peligrino was full sugar (not the reblended reduced sugar version in the UK) and the Fanta was an unnatural colour owing to the various aritificial colours allowed in the US. This was not an issue for me but I know some people may have an issue. 2. Cuba (late arriving and leaving early the next day) - we used an independent company that was great at providing a custom tour for a lower price to the cruise's own. However, you should note that you have to go through passport control and complete a visa - in this regard they prevent those not on ship organised excursions getting off until the ship tours get off. This delays you by about an hour to an hour and a half. However, as most of them are big tours we soon caught up with them with our small tour so it is not a big issue. In addition, if you want to go to Tropicana you may need to curtail your independent tour (it started later than it would have otherwise because the ship docks late). 3. Cuba currency - Be careful with converting your currency. Do not take US dollars as whilst the currency is pegged to the dollar the exchange rate includes a penalty. Use GBP or Euros. One thing that was annoying was we had some money left and went to exchange it back - we knew the buy back rate would be worse than the sell rate but the staff rounded down to the nearest £10 (they don't have GBP coins and it appears no £5). As such I would suggest not converting all your money in one go but rather convert it most on the first day and then on the morning of the second day in port convert some more if required. Wait until the morning to buy general souvenirs (rather than quality cigars) as you don't want to waste the time on the first day (remember you won't get off until between 3pm-4pm) on what could be spent seeing the main attractions. Our guide highlighted a good general souvenir shop and we went back the next morning. Also please note that many people plan to go to the market near the ship but as you dock on at a weekend the market does not open until 10am - as such you may want to spend the morning elsewhere before stopping at the market. A good general souvenir shop is on O'Reilly between Mercaderes and San Ignacio - it is just a doorway without a sign but you will see souvenirs around the doorway and the prices were good as well as being close to the ship and open at around 9am on the day you leave. 4. Guatemala - We pre-booked a tour that included a visit to a local school where they ask for stationary for the children and staff. If you think you will go on the tour then it is worth bringing stuff as it is amazing how something that seems inconsequential to us makes such a difference to them. It definitely made you appreciate how lucky we are here. The reason we did not give the cruise 5 stars is because of a few issues: 1. Some of the time the premium drinks would not be cold which might be small but who wants a warm coke or a luke warm beer? Sometimes they just didn't have it - at one time they ran out of coke at one of the bars for two days. I understand that most customers are not on the premium package but it is no way to encourage people on it. 2. Entertainment Staff - One of the entertainment staff 'subtely' let us know they have to pay for their drinks and what her favourite drink was. We kind of felt like a**ses if we didn't get one - I mean it is all inclusive and it was not a premium drink so we got her one and left it for her. However, we did this twice more over the next week and on the third time a different member of bar staff than normal warned us that we would be reported if we did it again and we would be in trouble not the member of staff. Either let passengers give drinks or tell staff not to casually drop it into conversation. I don't expect to get in trouble plus if they looked at our drinks tab they would see that, with my illness and the number and length of excursions, we drank far less than others (some people were mainlining Peroni or margaritas like they were water). 3. Return flights - we had upgraded to premium club and on the outbound flight we were very happy with the level of service and general staff friendliness and standards onboard. On the return flight it felt very much like 'we have your money and you had your holiday so what do we care!' They were funny about which of the two toilets I could use (both were working but they wanted me to use the one in my aisle rather than the one closest to my seat (because of my condition I specifically chose a seat close to the toilet; they made passive agressive comments about other passengers and despite only having a Sprite all flight when I asked for a soft drink over an hour before we landed I was told the bar was closed. Economy on Emirates or even Virgin Atlantic is better than this. It wasn't like I was trying to rinse the bar or get wasted - I just wanted a soft drink. It really did put a downer on it rather than a nice end to the holiday. So overall it was a very good cruise - I would recommend it to others but I would be cautious about upgrading the flights and upgrading the drinks package unless they could be more consistent and not end up feeling like a nuisance or you have asked for something you shouldn't have. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Chose this cruise due to the ports of call. Flight out from Manchester smooth, excellent onboard service and check in at Montego Bay was efficient.I knew the ship having previously travelled on her when in Royal Caribbean brand,but ... Read More
Chose this cruise due to the ports of call. Flight out from Manchester smooth, excellent onboard service and check in at Montego Bay was efficient.I knew the ship having previously travelled on her when in Royal Caribbean brand,but transformation was great.We had an inside cabin and was suffucient for our needs as only in room to shower and change,room kept clean by excellent cabin steward. Dining-- we are early risers so we ate breakfast at the buffet in Islands restaurant, plenty of variety of food and very tasty, we also went to the same restaurant for buffet lunch, excellent choices and never had a problem finding something to eat.Had evening meals in 47 restaurant with waiter service, couldnt fault the menus, evening meals excellent choices and our waiters were superb, nothing too much trouble. Now the entertainment, this was our 20th cruise having been with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and P&O, the entertainment team onboard Marella Discovery 2 were by far the most professional group we have ever seen, so energetic, it made the cruise so special as we like the shows in the evening but this team were in a different league from previous cruises,Thanks for your hard work We visited Jamaica, Grand Cayman,Cuba,Belize,Costa Maya, Cozumel, Guatemala and Honduras. We only did 2 tours, Cuba in an old vintage car, pink Pontiac and was great fun,booked before we left with independent company at half the price. We also did the catamaran and snorkel in Roatan,Honduras, this was through ship and was excellent value. Cozumel lots of shops,Costa maya has a purpose built cruise area and this was fantastic as you could watch the dolphin show, free unless you wanted to swim with them, lots of shopping and even pool bars to swim in. Staff onboard Marella Discovery 2 were always smiling, service was excellent throughout the ship,nothing was too much trouble. I would have no hesitation in going on this cruise again, Marella excelled my expectations Just made extra special by all the shows in the evening,this for me was the highlight of our cruise, cant compliment the evening entertainment team enough. Return flight and check in once again smooth and efficient Read Less
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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My first Marcella Cruise I found the ship and crew and staff very helpful it was also my 1st all inclusive and there was no shortage of drinks all over the ship you had just put your empty glass down and bar staff were rushing to give you ... Read More
My first Marcella Cruise I found the ship and crew and staff very helpful it was also my 1st all inclusive and there was no shortage of drinks all over the ship you had just put your empty glass down and bar staff were rushing to give you a refill cocktail of the day was always yummy the entertainment was first class and so professional that comment was heard all over the ship by passengers the only negative comment were the food though nice it was always very sameness in Buffet and Restaurants 47 also I fell I'll as I'm prone to Chest Inf with air-con I visited the Medical Center who issued me with just 3 antibiotics at £15 each 4 steroids at £1.50 each and a cough bottle £27 they were of course of no use really wasn't happy with treatment which totaled £127 but would I travel with Marcella again ? Yes but take your medication with you and stay healthy Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our first cruise, we were never interested in cruising. Our reason for choosing this cruise was we were able to fly out of Toronto, Ontario (1.5hrs from home) and everything was included for a reasonable price. So we thought ... Read More
This was our first cruise, we were never interested in cruising. Our reason for choosing this cruise was we were able to fly out of Toronto, Ontario (1.5hrs from home) and everything was included for a reasonable price. So we thought let’s give it a try. Positives were........The staff made this cruise one of the best experiences we’ve had. All of the staff were amazing, eager to help, polite and very, very accommodating. We have never experienced staff like this in all our travels. There was a great selection of food and a variety of places to eat. We never had to wait long for meals, line ups were minimal. The ship was kept very clean and the public bathrooms were spotless. There were hand sanatizing stations everywhere. The shows at night 8:30 and 10:30 were fantastic. The ship had designated smoking areas which passengers adhered to. Negatives were.......it would have been nice to have longer in ports. We didn’t like the timelines always worrying about missing the ship. The ship has an indoor and outdoor pool. The outdoor pool could have been bigger, however on sea days the ship never appeared or felt crowded. We had a wonderful time, met very lovely people and would cruise again if it was all included from Toronto, Ontario. Also once again kudos to the staff for making this such a memorable experience, the staff all appear to love their jobs. Well done! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Went on the Cuban Fusions followed by Pride of Panama cruises on the 29th January. After a rather farsical check in at Birmingham, with 12 available check in desks and only 3 people working it resulted in a rather long wait. Flight out ... Read More
Went on the Cuban Fusions followed by Pride of Panama cruises on the 29th January. After a rather farsical check in at Birmingham, with 12 available check in desks and only 3 people working it resulted in a rather long wait. Flight out again wasn't great as one of the toilets was broken which seemed to cause chaos! We were very lucky with ur landing as the weather was awful when we arrived in Montego Bay, however the Captain managed to land at the second attempt, unlike a flight from Gatwick that had to divert to Kingston! From here in the process was smooth, through immigration in Jamaica, on the bus, through the port check in and on the ship in circa 1 hour 25 minutes, despite the traffic being bad due to the weather. We were show to our cabin, a Junior suite on deck 8 starboard side, and were very impressed with what we saw. Bathroom to the left, with a bath and shower, then a large bed (2 singles joined together), a settee, 2 arm chairs, a foot rest and a coffee table then leading out onto the balcony which had a sunbed, 2 chairs & a table. We noticed most other balconies had 2 sunbeds however Im sure we could have got a 2nd one of we asked. Our cabin steward Nonet was fantastic for the whole cruise, always calling us by our first names preceeded by Sir & Miss, his towel folding was great and he was a credit to the ship. Now comes my only real complaint of the whole holiday, the life jacket drill. Scheduled for 18.30, then moved to 20.00 due to late flights, which is understandable. Our cases arrived by 19.00 (about 1.5 hours after getting on the ship), so we decided to unpack, go to the life jacket drill then eat. so we arrived where we were supposed to be at 20.00, got told eventually to go to Venue to wait. By now it was 20.15 and no sign of the drill commencing, around 20.25 an announcement was made saying it would commence 'shortly', finally at around 20.50 the drill commenced, which led to a rather hangry grumpy passenger who hadn't eaten! Ports - The first day we were at sea but managed to easily get a sunbed, then day 2 was Grand Cayman. Little tip here, as its the only port using tenders on the whole cruise it was very busy between around 9.30 & 12.30 to get of, so Id advise you hang around till about 12.30 (unless you are on an organised trip). Grand Cayman was beautiful, clean, lovely bars, vibrant but be aware, very expensive! 25 dollars for a bottle of cider & a daiquiri!! Next 2 days was Havanna, again the queues to get through immigration were crazy for the first couple of hours so we waited until around 4.30 then sailed through. You are right in the middle of town so can easily do your own thing. Final port of the first week was Cozumel, again you are right in the middle of a huge shopping complex, however we did the speed boat/snorkel trip off the boat. On arriving back in Jamaica we decided to make the most of the ship being very, even eerily quiet, to enjoy some downtime. Week 2 and first stop was Santa Marta in Colombia. Again you are around a 5 minute walk into the town, its a bussling town, you will get pestered lots however I didn't feel unsafe, there are a lot of armed police around. Its an ok town however my least favourite port we visited. Next to Caragena. Little tip here, if you don't want to do a trip or venture in a taxi to the old town, then go to the little zoo/gardens place right in the port, its amazing, with parrots, flamingos, lizards, monkeys, birds, and best of all free!! Theres a lovely little bar and gift shop there, and we had a great couple of hours there. Next stop Panama. I strongly advise you do an organised trip here or stay on the boat, as Colon is very very run down and there were warnings in the Cruise news to be careful. We did the aerial tram/Eco Gardens trip, and on driving through Colon its the only place we went were I really wouldn't have wanted to walk around! The trip was great, got to see the Panama Canal, a sloth in the wild which was the highlight, and also sloths in a rehabilitation centre. The trip is a must for animal lovers. The main trip they do here is the Panama Canal Ferry, however be aware this trip leaves at 6.30am and is around 8 hours long. Finally on to Costa Rica where we did the 3 hour amazon river trip, again saw loads of wildlife, more sloths, crocodiles, monkeys. Trips off the ship are pricey but in general very good. Entertainment - The shows each night were fantastic, and Nashville was one of the best shows I have seen on a cruise ship. So please make an effort to go. Guest comedians both weeks. Also live music in Live room after the shows, in the Atrium there was often a singer too. so plenty to keep you entertained & of a great standard. Food - Plenty of choice. Islands was great for breakfast, Snack Shack perfect to grab a burger, salad, sandwich, fish & chips on the go or sit down. The main restaurant is 47 degrees, with the upstairs Gallery 47, which also has an Italian section. The food was on the whole great. If you want a table for 2 you may have to wait upto 30 mins in busy times but they give you a buzzer so you don't have to hang around. The Italian has 2 menus which it rotates so we tried both of them and theres a different menu each night in 47. We also ate at Kora La, whoch was lovely but £22.95 per person, and in surf & turf which was absolutely amazing. £28 pp, however I had the steak and lobster which wa sout of this worl, so please treat yourselves if you like a steak! Bars - Plenty of bars to choose from however our favourite was Bar 11, up on deck 11. wed go there before dinner for a drink. They do 'smokey' cocktails which are great, and come served in either smoke filled glass boxes or jars. They are free if on premium AI or £2.50 if not. The atrium bar was also nice and busy, an we used to go to the Live Room after the show. Cabin - we had 8554, slightly further back than wed usually choose however due to the over hang, which stops at around 8544, we decided to go further back. Quite a bit of vibration at times however we got used to that, and also occasionally heard sunbeds being moved above us but nothing to disturb us. All in all a great cruise, a lovely ship, fantastic entertainment, amazing staff, including Phillip who will entertain you all day with his 'beep beep, room service, no card no charge' drinks trolley on the pool deck, great food and all in all great ports Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
As first time cruisers we were apprehensive at the point of booking as this cruise (Cuban Fusion and Pride of Panama) was costing much more than we would usually pay on a holiday but as we were travelling for a 65th birthday, we decided to ... Read More
As first time cruisers we were apprehensive at the point of booking as this cruise (Cuban Fusion and Pride of Panama) was costing much more than we would usually pay on a holiday but as we were travelling for a 65th birthday, we decided to stretch the budget for a holiday of a lifetime. Before we even travelled we had countless issues that UK based staff failed to deal with. Firstly, out full Day, evening and full Morning in Cuba was reduced to an evening, a night and we were to set sail early the following morning. Staff at the travel agents were unable to issue any compensation and eventually they had authorisation from head office to credit our onboard accounts with £100. We felt that this was a small amount to only have a few hours in Cuba in a Cuban Fusion cruise (our main reason for choosing that cruise). Throughout the process of complaining about the change we were constantly ignored by Tui, emails were not responded to and calls that they promosed to make back to us never happened. 4 days before we were due to fly, we received an email saying one of our pre booked cabins had been double booked and one of our party had been allocated a new cabin on the other side of the ship with a different muster station. The email stated that they had been trying to call (they hadn’t) and the email was also sent at 17.29 - just as the store closed so we were left panicked and upset as we could not speak with anyone until the next morning. The next morning, we called the store and was told that they would try and get us cabins together. We got a call a short while later saying that they could get us 2 cabins together, but they were twin cabins (maybe bunk beds) and were near the public toilets, lifts and stairs. When booking cabins we researched where to avoid and all the above were mentioned. So we were advised to keep the newly allocated rooms and that it would be sorted onboard. We were very upset and distressed and this was made worse by the rude and incompetent store manager at Waltham Cross telling us that she didn’t have time to deal with it due to January being a busy time and high levels of staff sickness. The flight to Jamaica was fraught with anxiety again made worse by only 4 toilets being available to everyone in economy and one of those being placed out of order within the first hour leaving people queuing down the aisles for over 30 minutes to use the toilets. We were also made to share 1 can of drink between 2 people! Throughout the day of travel we were constantly told us our cabin would be sorted at the next opportunity, when our bags were tagged to cabins at the airport, the port embarkation process and when we boarded, we still didn’t have cabins together. We headed to reception to ask where our cabins were and we were told that we were never getting new cabins, it was a full cruise! We had continuously asked to have a full refund rather than separate cabins but were lured to the cruise ship under false pretences. We were devastated. One of our party suffers with anxiety, which is why it was so important for us to be close by each other but this was totally ignored by Tui. We were left with no option but to go to our separate cabins and get in with our cruise. These are the reasons why we have given the grades below. The cabin, despite the issues we faced, the cabins had a 70’s caravan feel. They were very dated and very small. They did have a lot of storage and were very clean. Sophie, our cabin stewardess was amazing. We loved seeing what animals she had shaped our towels into each night. Dining, islands, lots of choice at all times of day but the menu was quite repetitive, especially at breakfast. Snack shack, was the same food everyday. Surf and turf, limited menu. Glass house was strange- you had to sit through all courses just to get the pizza. We never ate at the other restaurants as men had to wear trousers and closed in shoes which we felt unnecessary as surf and turf and the Asian restaurant were the same. Embarking - when our bags finally arrived at our cabin, they had clearly been left outside in the rain and everything inside was soaked wet through, from close to hair straighteners. It added to our disastrous start. Entertainment - staff who were preforming in the shows were mediocre at best. The daily quizzes very quickly become annoying as they are so loud and are clearly written by a much younger team than your average cruise traveller and the live music is far to loud in the bars. We did see a comedian who was good, 4 tunes were pleasant to listen to but loud, as was Paul Greenwood. We did enjoy DJ Remedi when he was on the pool deck. The gym and running track can not be faulted. Onboard experience & Public rooms there is nowhere near enough space for all guests on board. There is not enough space for sun beds around the pool or deck 10 - people start reserving them before 7am! It’s stated that unused beds with towels will be removed by staff but never were. There were not enough tables in lounges which was made worse when the first show of the evening finished. Also, there is no sitting space without some form of entertainment being forced upon you. Service - this was brilliant by all staff onboard from Lynn Smith, head of guest relations, who helped us with our cabin issue to Tjana in reception, Sophie our cabin Stewardess, Phillip who served drinks round the pool and Live lounge to all the waiting staff in the restaurants. The UK team could learn a lot from the onboard team as they let Tui down. Shore excursions - we have reviewed these separately but in general we found them to be over priced and under whelming. Finally, WiFi, does not have the capability that it should do for £90 for 2 weeks. I rely on the internet to work whilst I am away and it was made impossible due to the internet being so slow and constantly logging me out. We welcome any comments or questions. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My sister from Canada invited me to go on this Cruise with her friends. The ship was extremely clean. The Shows were awesome. There were many other activities including golf and rock climbing. Every night we enjoyed the entertainment. The ... Read More
My sister from Canada invited me to go on this Cruise with her friends. The ship was extremely clean. The Shows were awesome. There were many other activities including golf and rock climbing. Every night we enjoyed the entertainment. The stage performances were great. The actors did a wonderful job. I felt as if I was in New York without paying the price for the Broadway show tickets. The crews were outstanding. Food and drinks were delicious and non-stop. I still keep hearing the bell and Mr Spread the love. I met many interesting people. We had great times at Jamaica, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico. I highly recommend this cruise for the perfect sized ship and outstanding crew. It was a peaceful and very enjoyable experience. I definitely will take another trip on the Marella Discovery 2 Ship. I thank the captain for a safe trip and the crew for their hard work and outstanding services. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our first cruise and being in the service industry we are subjective to service levels relative to overall experience. The cabin size was very adequate and it was serviced daily with impeccablle care and attention - loved the ... Read More
This was our first cruise and being in the service industry we are subjective to service levels relative to overall experience. The cabin size was very adequate and it was serviced daily with impeccablle care and attention - loved the "towel animals" - thank you Reginald our service steward! The various restaurants both included in the package and additional fee ones were excellent. The service team at Gallery 47 Lloyd, Victoria, Aimee, Carolina and Aiyu made the Italian Dinner even more special. Dinner at Hot Stone Restaurant was a unique experience and our server Jacob and his team member Rayse were fabulous. We ate dinner twice at Kora La enjoying two great dinners served by a great service team of Randy, Hoely, Jaydeep and Katut. The live performances on the ship were first class with our favourite being Nashville. We had two refreshment servers that went above and beyond, Sherene and Phillip Rickets. Phillip was the life of the boat from serving drinks to dancing and dancing with guests hence being the most photographed person on the ship - Phillip you truly are and were our star - THANK YOU!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our 10th cruise with Marella (Thomson) and we have also cruised with NCL and Royal Caribbean. We really enjoyed our cruise on Discovery over Christmas 2017 and I suppose we were expecting this cruise to be as enjoyable. The ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise with Marella (Thomson) and we have also cruised with NCL and Royal Caribbean. We really enjoyed our cruise on Discovery over Christmas 2017 and I suppose we were expecting this cruise to be as enjoyable. The itinerary was Panama Canal and Cuban Fusion. The change to the port time in Cuba added effectively another day at sea so 5 days in total. The activities on offer were very poor, "medical"/ beauty seminars to sell things mainly. I did enjoy the two Ceilidh dance classes, they were fun. There is nowhere on ship to quietly read, Spirit had a rather nice reading room. Part of the problem was fellow passengers being rather loud with no regard for others so we often retreated to our cabin. The cabin 8076 was fine, spacious, quiet but the toilet stopped flushing every 3 or 4 days. Days in Jamaica were a trial. Food in the buffet was more awful than usual and the snack shack and 47 were not open for lunch. 2 of the main lifts were out of action for 13 days and it was a trial on changeover day to get anywhere with the remaining lifts being crowded with departing and incoming passengers and their luggage. There was also limited evening entertainment, no show or quiz, in fact evening quizes were every other night rather than every night and were interspersed with "Human Jukebox" which was lame. The Broadway Lounge shows were generally good apart from the guest comedian in the first week who would have been booed off stage at any Working Men's Club and the show with "virtual" Anton de Bec which is just a film. I enjoyed the actor hosts games and play, We normally enjoy the buffet but not on this ship, food was cold, tough, unappetising and it was a trial to get a table. We had debated upgrading to Premium drinks but decided against it. If you like a buffet be aware that you can't get Premium drinks there, you would have to get them from a bar and bring them in with you.Same if you want a G&T, Prosecco etc on the All- inclusive. There is no waiter service for drinks in this buffet, there is just a drinks station with John Smiths, Strongbow, Fosters and red and white wine on tap. My Dad drinks John Smith's all the time but he couldn't drink this, he said it was awful. I feel this is a downmarket move by Marella, saving them money on both drinks and waiters. We ate mainly at 47, had great fish and chips at the Snack Shack and enjoyed the Glasshouse, the trio of Tiramisu's at Gallery 47 and one dinner at Surf and Turf. Food outside of the buffet was acceptable, nothing was delectable but we could always find something to eat. Excursions: The flavours of Colombia excursion in Santa Marta was good but there was far too much food. I believe it was authentic for the area but it wasn't really very nice. Cartagena we saw with Dora the Explorer private group trip. Panama tour by ferry was awful. Colon is decrepit, dirty and unsafe. We went by bus across the isthmus to Panama City where we boarded a ferry. the seats were just plastic or metal folding chairs and it was really crowded. Horrible sugary soft drinks included with the poor lunch of 4 tiny bits of chicken, cold pasta and veg and a piece of cake. We went through 3 locks and eventually disembarked at Gatun Lake for the bus back. It was a long, boring and uncomfortable day that was never worth £108. The only saving grace of Colon as a port is that there is a big supermarket very close to the dock where we were able to get drinks and snacks (they took dollars and gave change in dollars too) Costa Rica we did the Jaguar rescue Centre and Boat ride. Be aware that this is a 7 hour trip with no lunch included and nowhere to buy lunch. I can't understand the mentality of Marella contracting with an agency for a tour that doesn't make any provision for lunch. We had snacks and drinks we bought in Panama and we went to the snack Shack the day before the trip and took some sandwiches. There are notices all the time in the buffet & cruise news warning that it is illegal in some places to carry food off the ship and that you can be fined. We didn't take any fruit and the sandwiches were in sealed packets so we took the chance. The only place there could have been a problem was Cozumel in Mexico where all bags were searched on disembarkation. Grand Cayman we had to anchor away from the main town as it was too windy for the tenders. We got shared taxis into town but there were 6 cruise ships that day, there must have been 10,000 people on the streets and the queues to get the tender back to some of the ships were enormous and taking up all the pavement. Cuba was the best stop. I have been before but it was better than I remembered. We did a private tour with Fertours. 3 hours tour by convertible classic car to see Revolution and other squares, the neighbourhoods, the forts, Malecon and the army museum and a park. We went back to the ship for dinner then met our guide with driver and a hard-top classic car. We went to the National hotel and had a tour round and a cocktail on the terrace, this was the highlight of my holiday the hotel has so much history and atmosphere. We then went to the 9pm cannon shot ceremony which was much better than it sounds, the fort is amazing and the soldiers are dressed in old-time uniforms. The next day we had a 2 hr waking tour of Havana with our guide which was really nice. We saw 3 or 4 squares, Hemingway places, the Camera Obscura, churches, sculptures and learned a lot about life in Cuba and the difficulties they had when the Soviet Union collapsed. Havana is a lovely city, Highly recommended Cozumel: couldn't berth where supposed to because of the wind. Our tour to Tulum and Xel-Ha was cancelled as no ferries were running. It was Sunday so most of the shops were closed even at the cruise port because of course we weren't supposed to be docked in that place. Too windy to go to the beach so had a taxi tour round town and to nearby Mayan ruins. Cozumel is perhaps not an ideal port of call especially on a Sunday. Somewhere on the mainland would give more opportunities on shore. Overall the cruise was ok, no major disasters fortunately but I wouldn't wholeheartedly recommend this itinerary. Regarding the ship there were enough niggles to make us question the direction Marella is going (downmarket it seems) and to make us disinclined to travel with them again. Read Less
Marella Discovery 2 Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.5 0.0
Family 3.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.5 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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