We chose this cruise, Wonders of Asia, because of the itinerary and the fact that the weather in this part of the world at this time would be good.
We applied for our Sri Lanka visa on line which took ten minutes and was free. Then for the Indian visa - this took hours to complete as the Indian system kept crashing and we had to start again. If we had known how difficult it would be we may not have booked the cruise. On top of all the grief in applying they have the cheek to charge each of you 100 US. All of our fellow passenger agreed it had been a nightmare.
We flew to India with TUI in a Dreamliner and upgraded to the Premium cabin which is well worth the extra cost especially on our return flight which was 13.5 hours with a 7 hour time difference.
Now for the cruise, we have been on Discovery2 and Discovery is identical so we knew our way around and also new a few members of the crew. We had an outside cabin on Deck 3 which was of a good size with plenty of storage and well looked after by our cabin steward. Just a small point, bathroom towels did not always arrive until early evening.
The public rooms and bars were all in good condition and bearing in mind it was a Christmas cruise nicely decorated. We always have breakfast and dinner in the main restaurant which on the whole was good with just one or two exceptions. The open seating at dinner worked reasonably well especially earlier, however if you went about 8pm you often had to obtain a bleeper and wait to be called which was on average about 15 minutes. The buffet at lunchtime had plenty of choice and we never had a problem finding a seat (unlike some other cruise companies we have been on). The nearest thing to a cruise 'formal' night is the 'dress to impress' weekly night which a large number of passengers really dressed up.
Now for the AI drinks package, this was really good with a good choice of beer/larger good house wines/spitits and a large selection of cocktails. The bar staff are all very good and really encourage you to have another. Having said this we never saw a passenger drunk.
The staff were all excellent, were friendly and worked really hard bearing in mind they almost work seven days a week for eight months.
We generally do not do the shows in the theatre so cannot comment. The sunbeds were plentiful especially if you were happy to sit away from the main pool. There were many excursions on offer some of which were reasonably priced. The Italian restaurant was good and free, however the two other speciality restaurants ( which we did not use) were both very expensive. The weather turned out to be just what we wanted, very hot and very humid which we felt was the reason for the late arrival of towels as we felt the laundry could not keep up with the demand.
This area of the world is a 'first' season for Marella and generally all went well with one exception. We were relived of our passports by immigration when we boarded the ship and were not to see them again until we disembarked. It would have been good if the company had advised passengers the passports were on the ship and were needed at each port of call by the immigration people. They did not give any reason for their being retained.
Generally a good cruise, no children, excellent value for money and a company we will go with again.
A good size window, good lighting, plenty of hanging and draw space. A two seater settee and chair. Bathroom with shower and the inevitable shower curtain. The cabin is at the front of the ship and had no engine noise at all.