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

Amazing cruise for kids and families from someone who cruised for 4 yrs as staff

Marella Discovery Cruise Review by Longalion

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2017
  • Destination: the Caribbean

Wow, after all the cruises I have worked on (8) but never been a passenger I can just say you will enjoy the holiday if your a fun easy going person. This cruise was everything I remember cruises to be, yes it is not a new ship, but it is still nice. Arrived at Gatwick and Marella had their own check in desk to Barbados, where you said goodbye to all your large cases which they labelled up with your cabin number on, so you wouldn't see them until about 6pm that day outside your cabin (so pack warm stuff to change into in your hand luggage). Flight Dreamliner was good, after flying years with Ryanair, this was a nice treat as I got pre ordered flight meals and free drinks onboard, TVs on back of the seats with a big range of shows, free headphones too. Arrived on time and Barbados mini busses showed and transferred us to the port which was 30mins. Check in was really quick and literally hand them your debit card, enter pin, and then everything gets charged to that. Photos taken for cruise key too, takes 2 mins then your onboard. You can drink as soon as you get there, ask for Vodka etc if you want not the local stuff it's still free or upgrade to Premium drinks £50 per person. After arriving I booked with Nikota the restaurants as I heard they get booked quickly, she was very helpful or you can book on the kiosks machines around. The Sushi was amazing, best meal for us, but we had to ask for seconds as it was just not enough, he was happy to assist £12 per head. Surf and turf £28 per head was ok, a bit overrated some passengers wanted it every night, but I was happy just the once, however from previous cruises you used to get this in main restaurants and never had to pay. Curry restaurant £23 per head, was ok too staff would make hotter if you wished. Allow 2hrs for each restaurant as they can't rush the service even in the free ones. Kids had a child meal which was nice too.

Kids club helped out loads, gave us time to relax, gym, spa etc. They had them daily 9-11, 4-6 and 8-10, so we often let them sleep in day so after the early dinner 6:15 they went kids club for 8pm. They played in the club or they took them to shows front row seats reserved.

Entertainment was good, show first night is a must to meet the staff, they had Latin American dancers on too is show first night, then they ware in atrium to dance with the rest of cruise. All dancers were singers too which was ok, but also showed that Marella cuts costs by hiring staff to do both jobs. Cruise director was very funny looking, but funny too.

Water had to pay for due to hygiene refilling bottles, whatever Marella. Water is free and they filter this onboard so why the extra cost? £2 per bottle.

Pools were great, the sea day was hard to find a bed by pool, but the port days there are plenty.

The excursions on board are double what you pay off shore, so if you have time to research before, book before, then you will save lots of money.

Gym was pretty small but ok for what I needed. No big excercise classes as the room is small.

Spa, booked a £59 on second day which was managers special and it was excellent. Go for the 11am raffle and they give the offer.

St Vincent is a tender boat ride to shore which is like a trip alone and you can walk along the coast line to the right, to the princess Margaret beach, about 10 mins with a little climb.

Debark day, meet 7-9 in lounge with all the paperwork and my husband queued for 10 mins at 7:45, so that was good. You can leave all hand luggage in the lounge which is labelled and secure, the night before all big suitcases needed to be outside by 1am.

Hope this helps you anyway.

Longalion's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Level 2 outside window, a must have if you don't want a balcony.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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