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Marella Discovery Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
515 reviews
34 Awards

Lovely ship, but not as good an experience as the Dream or Celebration

Review for Marella Discovery to the Western Caribbean
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6-10 Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Jan 2017

We chose this to try the new ship and a different Caribbean itinerary, having twice cruised on the Dream, and several times in the Med on Celebration. The timing was to coincide with my 70th birthday on Day 2 (day at sea), so we sailed on New Year;s Day, having flown Thomson Premium Club from London, Gatwick.

Transfer from the airport to ship was pretty quick, with the luggage going separately. On previous trips, our flight & cabin upgrades had given us priority check-in and escort to our cabin, but that did not happen this time. Nonetheless, it was quite slick, and experience had taught us to keep hold of our hand baggage with a change of clothes, ie, shorts & T-shirt, so we were out on deck within a few minutes of boarding. We had pre-chosen our Junior Suite cabin on Deck 8 (described below) We headed for Deck 11 for a relaxing drink in the sunshine. After about an hour, we went down to see if our luggage had arrived, which it had, but one case was damaged (could have been at any point on the journey) but the contents were unharmed. (we reported it - it was subsequently expertly repaired by the ship's carpenter!) We just had time for a shower/change before the mandatory safety drill, and then found a bar for pre-dinner drinks in the Live Bar, which we favoured on subsequent nights also, particularly for its pianist,vocalist.

We had dinner in restaurant 47 and found the food ok, but the service was a bit lacking. The following evening (my birthday) we went for Gallery 47 at 8.30 and were told there was a 40 minute wait, so tried 47 who turned us away completely, suggesting the Glasshouse, which is only a cafeteria, which didn't go down too well (apart from my birthday, it was also Gala Night, so I was in full Tux) Going back to 47, we were given a pager and then waited an hour whilst others, arriving later, were allocated tables. We partnered-up with two other similarly disgruntled couples and started to make a fuss, so we agreed to make a table of six and were taken in. Infuriatingly, after all this, we were walked past numerous empty tables for two and four, all ready, made-up. It seemed the reception girls on the door did not understand their own system. Demanding the Restaurant Manager, we told him exactly what we thought of this appalling fiasco. In apology we were kept supplied with unlimited wine, (we were all-inc anyway) Cava and a birthday cake, and had a brilliant night in good company, making new friends. There was clearly some re-training going on at the door on subsequent nights, with a manager in attendance, but there was still a wait of 20-40 minutes every night at the populat times between 7.00 to 9.00pm and you were sent away with a pager. This was the worst aspect of the whole cruise and needs to be sorted. (the alternative restaurants were all booked-up from Day1).

Cabin Review

Cabin Junior Suite

The cabin was very well designed and nicely appointed, with lots of storage space and a sensible sized bathroom (with bath) and a small balcony. It had a Queen bed, settee, easy chairs & coffee table and plenty of room to get around them. We were a bit concerned to find we were exactly opposite the water treatment room for the pool, which seemed to be constantly open with crew dosing the water with chemicals, but we never heard anything from it at night, so it was not a problem, although not a pretty sight to face every time we went out of the door. The linen was changed regularly, but we never saw our steward - he/she never introduced themselves as they usually do and the cabin was not magically tidied every time we left it, which has been our previous experience - only one make-up plus evening turn-down service.

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