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Marella Discovery Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
519 Reviews

First transatlanic repositioning cruise for TUI Discovery and us.

Marella Discovery Cruise Review by Jayrb582

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2016
  • Destination: the Eastern Caribbean

I chose this cruise to mark my retirement. We had looked at a number of other cruises but saw this as a late booking and liked the look of the itinerary. We booked a Junior Suite (8060) on the port side so we would have the sun on our balcony during the 6 day Atlantic crossing. This proved to be very worthwhile as the usual sunbed reservation took place on the pool deck throughout the cruise. There were constant notices in the cruise news asking people not to do this but to no avail. It didn't bother us too much as I'm not fussed about getting a tan anyway but my wife enjoyed the sunbed provided on our balcony. The cabin was excellent with lots of storage a good sized bath room, with bath, and plenty of space. Our steward was excellent and very attentive.

Overall we enjoyed the ship and the facilities, we mostly dined in Gallery 47, the upper level restaurant which has an Italian menu, it rotates between two daily menus but also includes a selection from the main 47 restaurant. We found that we got a table quicker there. We really liked the open airy feel to the restaurant, not buried down in the depths as on some ships we've been on. The food quality was generally good and service fine. Most of the crew were very friendly and happy to chat, there are a lot of East Europeans among the waiters. Also worth a try is the Glass House restaurant which is where the indoor pool is housed. It offers a Tapas and Pizza menu plus a hot stone option for which there is a cover charge of £9.50 (I think). This area is probably our favourite daytime spot, it is adult only 2 - 5, (this was an adult only cruise anyway which was another reason we chose it) and is nice and quiet to chill out in. They serve light snacks and salads during the day. We ate in the Surf & Turf a'la carte one night, the cover charge is £24.95 which seems a lot but my wife and I both agreed that the steaks we had were probably the best ever.

The entertainment was generally fine comprising a range of music and dance shows in the Broadway lounge, we particularly enjoyed 'Starry Starry Night' 'Boogie Shoes' and 'Hot Summer Nights'. The final show 'Homeward Bound' based on Simon and Garfunkel songs was only marred by a jokey Elvis spot for Graceland. The alternative 'Venue' hosted a series of game shows and quizs which we didn't bother with, just not our thing. There were a number of bands performing around the ship plus some fly in performers, a couple of comics and singers. We particularly enjoyed 'Protege' 4 boys from St Lucia who were billed as the party band and Ben Moss. The crew put on a good Halloween party after we left Gibraltar with quite a few guests dressing up for the occasion too.

We had wondered before about the 6 day crossing and what activities would be offered. These included a chance to learn the Ukelele, join a choir, have a golf lesson using a simulator. There was also a series of lectures on aviation from a former civil airline pilot. My wife and I joined the choir and took part in a concert on the last night before we got to Antigua and I also attended the aviation lectures, which proved quite popular.

Everything was fine until we got to the Caribbean, we both had complained about waking up with very dry throats in the morning due to the air conditioning, which can't be turned off. My wife eventually lost her voice and we had to visit the medical centre, who were excellent, where she was diagnosed with a severe throat infection requiring intravenous antibiotics. As a result the last few days of the cruise were marred by this and we had to cancel some planned excursions. As I write this review we are back home and are both suffering from throat infections and are seeing our own GP. This spoiled what had been an excellent holiday and has made us think twice about cruising again for some time.

Overall TUI Discovery is a pretty good ship which caters well for it's target market and I'm sure it will do well. The bulk of the guests were 40+ Brits, a few younger couples, maybe honeymooners, and quite a few elderly with mobility issues. There is something for just about everyone even if you don't fancy all that is on offer all the time.


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Cabin Review

Cabin Junior Suite 8060

Very good sized cabin with balcony and full bathroom. Tea and coffee and espresso facilites, mini bar fridge. Sunbed table and 2 chairs on balcony. TV with music and film channels, though no schedule provided.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Antigua

Trip to small island by bus and speedboat, only 24 guests, swimming snorkling bar and lunch included. Bit primitive, facilities basic but good fun, sea warm and clear.


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Jayrb582
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