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It is not often that you decide to go away with your elderly mother so you need to choose the right method of doing so. A cruise from Southampton is the obvious choice although selecting an itinerary and a cruise line is the challenge. I have cruised in the past with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, which have always been great. Last year my wife and I went with P&O which we thought was awful. That left me a little nervous of my selection of another English cruise company. Thankfully my fears were not to be compounded. I have never sailed with such fantastic staff before. Every single member of the team was happy, pleased to see you and went out of their way to say hello. The fact that they weren't reliant on gratuities seems to relax them. There is no big push trying to flog cocktails, trips or anything else and this makes for a great atmosphere. The food is not as good as you find on the US ships but is way better than that offered by P&O. Snack Shack is brill for mid afternoon arrivals after a day's touring; the two main restaurants are pretty good - the starters and desserts are better than the main courses; the buffet isn't bad at all (apartb from the soggy sausages at breakfast) and the two pay restaurants look lovely although we didn't go as my Mum didn't fancy. The standard all inclusive package offers almost every drink you could ever want. Bottled beers, as well as draught, is a big surpise. Premium is for those who are, perhaps, more discerning with their wine or for those who think that Lavazza coffee is worth an extra £7 or so per day. I, personally, didn't bother and wouldn't do so. The ship's entertainment crew are second to none. In all reality they are too good to be on a cruise ship. Six magnificent singers, who can all dance too. Add in extra talented dancers and the evening shows shouldn't be missed. The cruise director, however, minces around the ship like an anorexic Freddie Mercury and he can get annoying. Talking of which you must see one of the singers, Seb Mercury, perform his Queen tribute - his Barcelona duet with another of the singers, Freya Hawkins is the best you will ever see on a ship. The comedian, Anthony Scott, was awful and I think they knew it. Can't see him being booked again in a hurry. Because of my Mum's walking difficulties we had an Accessible Cabin. It was an incredible, huge space with a bathroom/wet room as big as some cabins. It was always spotless. Some nicer toiletries wouldn't go amiss. Our European Experience itinerary was good in places and poor in others. It felt slightly experimental on Marella's part and they didn't do well with the tours. Quite a few fellow passengers complained, particularly about Bruges. Talking of which there were no tours to Bruges suitable for wheelchair users whatsoever and that was a real shame as my Mum was really looking forward to going there. We visited Blankenberg, the local town instead, under or own steam, but it wasn't the same. Bremerhaven was surprisingly nice and Amsterdam was fab. Le Havre is about as exciting as a day out in Tilbury. Cherbourg makes up for it.

Amazing Value for Money - A Fab Cruise

Marella Discovery Cruise Review by Dickster1

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
It is not often that you decide to go away with your elderly mother so you need to choose the right method of doing so. A cruise from Southampton is the obvious choice although selecting an itinerary and a cruise line is the challenge.

I have cruised in the past with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, which have always been great. Last year my wife and I went with P&O which we thought was awful. That left me a little nervous of my selection of another English cruise company.

Thankfully my fears were not to be compounded. I have never sailed with such fantastic staff before. Every single member of the team was happy, pleased to see you and went out of their way to say hello. The fact that they weren't reliant on gratuities seems to relax them. There is no big push trying to flog cocktails, trips or anything else and this makes for a great atmosphere.

The food is not as good as you find on the US ships but is way better than that offered by P&O. Snack Shack is brill for mid afternoon arrivals after a day's touring; the two main restaurants are pretty good - the starters and desserts are better than the main courses; the buffet isn't bad at all (apartb from the soggy sausages at breakfast) and the two pay restaurants look lovely although we didn't go as my Mum didn't fancy.

The standard all inclusive package offers almost every drink you could ever want. Bottled beers, as well as draught, is a big surpise. Premium is for those who are, perhaps, more discerning with their wine or for those who think that Lavazza coffee is worth an extra £7 or so per day. I, personally, didn't bother and wouldn't do so.

The ship's entertainment crew are second to none. In all reality they are too good to be on a cruise ship. Six magnificent singers, who can all dance too. Add in extra talented dancers and the evening shows shouldn't be missed. The cruise director, however, minces around the ship like an anorexic Freddie Mercury and he can get annoying. Talking of which you must see one of the singers, Seb Mercury, perform his Queen tribute - his Barcelona duet with another of the singers, Freya Hawkins is the best you will ever see on a ship.

The comedian, Anthony Scott, was awful and I think they knew it. Can't see him being booked again in a hurry.

Because of my Mum's walking difficulties we had an Accessible Cabin. It was an incredible, huge space with a bathroom/wet room as big as some cabins. It was always spotless. Some nicer toiletries wouldn't go amiss.

Our European Experience itinerary was good in places and poor in others. It felt slightly experimental on Marella's part and they didn't do well with the tours. Quite a few fellow passengers complained, particularly about Bruges. Talking of which there were no tours to Bruges suitable for wheelchair users whatsoever and that was a real shame as my Mum was really looking forward to going there. We visited Blankenberg, the local town instead, under or own steam, but it wasn't the same.

Bremerhaven was surprisingly nice and Amsterdam was fab. Le Havre is about as exciting as a day out in Tilbury. Cherbourg makes up for it.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 2556
An amazingly large space - as big as a suite, with a bathroom/wet room which is about 8 foot by 6 foot. Huge window and absolutely mid ship.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews