I was so happy when I saw Sunwing was again offering this Pride of Panama almost all inclusive cruise. We had taken it on Thomson Dream in Feb. 2016 & then didn't see it last year so were really happy we got it this time. It was good value with flight, cabin, transfers, drink package included & NO tipping!
The Marella Discovery 2 is a lovely ship, a nice size with a great CD, happy dining room staff, very efficient & friendly cabin stewardess, beautiful shows, good food with nice choices & great excursions. I liked it so much I almost cried when we had to leave. I wish we could have stayed on for another week.
The ship is lovely & in great shape for being built in 1995. It's so easy to find your way around on it. It has everything one would want on a ship.
Our cabin, an inside, was big enough of the 2 of us, had a love seat & plenty of storage space. There was also a kettle with coffee & tea to drink. We used the door cards so our lovely stewardess Jelena & her assistant Svitlana always had the cabin made up for us on our return from breakfast, something I really appreciate. There was also towel animals occasionally then or at night along with the chocolates I've been missing on other lines.
We always ate in the dining rooms & usually had a table for two. We didn't try the pay restaurants just did the 2 47' ones & enjoyed the food & service in both. The staff are really friendly & efficient. The menu was varied & the food generally quite good.
Martyn, the CD is everywhere & does a great job. We went to all the production shows & really enjoyed them. The theatre has comfy seating with a drink holder. I only went to Bingo a couple of times as it was at the same time as we usually have supper. It was good, only 5 GBP & fast.
I really enjoyed the Elton John show, the singing couple & comedian too. We never use pools or hot tubs or hang around bars so can't comment on them. We did like having the opportunity to try new drinks with the included package.
The photographers were good & helpful when we had a bit of a problem with our boarding picture or lack thereof.
We had prebooked a couple of shore excursions then booked a couple more onboard. I did the Panama Railway tour which also included a stop at the new locks where we saw a movie & walked around a bit then took the train, had a little drive by tour of the city & a stop at a duty free place on the water. I was surprised & happy to see some food on the train then a sandwich on the bus.
DH did his 1st zip line in Costa Rica & the boat ride while I did the Jaguar Animal Rescue trip with river cruise too. We both enjoyed our choices.
Our guide at the animal place was great, very keen having volunteered there for 6 years. I was afraid the animals would jump on you but that never happened to me at least. The flora & fauna were lovely there.
We had been to Santa Marta & Cartagena before so just walked along the Malecon & into the town a bit in the former, & took a cab to the Fort walked around for about an hour then returned to the lovely little zoo right at the port, at the latter. We never did find the Emerald Museum there at the port, oh well maybe next time!
I took the ship tour & was happy with it. I've done them on other ships & they're all different. This one began with a chat over tea or coffee on the bridge with Captain Chris & ended with a glass of bubbly in the MDR. I must say Cap't Chris is a young handsome friendly man who seems down to earth & very efficient, looking out for our best interests. He did change the routing on our cruise due to weather but it still was a pretty rocky ride a couple of nights. He did keep us informed so that was appreciated.
I really loved this cruise & was sad to leave the ship. One thing about that was there was no rush to leave, sure you had to be out of the cabin by 8:00 am but you could stay onboard using the services 'til your transfer left. We had purchased the wifi so passed time on that while waiting to disembark..
Hopefully we'll be able to do another cruise on D2 or another in the fleet next year if Sunwing offers the same sort of deal.
I was leery of having this assigned cabin as it wasn't one I would have picked with it being as far forward as you could go & above a lounge but it turned out to be fine. We did hear the music from below but it never interfered with us sleeping so that was good.