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We have been cruising over Xmas and New Year for 6 years now, usually to the Caribbean but when this trip to Asia came up we decided to give it a try. Our flight from Manchester was the inaugural one and so there was a bit of pomp included with champagne and cake. The flight itself from Manchester was good though long at 11 hours. On arriving in Langkawi there was no substantial delay in getting through the airport to the ship and the boarding process was fairly quick. Having got our ships cards we went to the cabin only to find it was not what we booked. We had booked a cabin with 2 beds and a sofa bed as there was 3 of us. We had been given a cabin with a double bed and an elevated bunk bed which is not practical as we cannot climb into a bunk bed. On complaining to the hotel manager we were told that it was impossible for us to have booked such a room as they did not exist on the ship. This was a barefaced lie as we know they do and have physically seen them. The outcome is that we had to accept another cabin for me which was a workable solution but not too convenient as it was a good distance apart and a bit inconvenient. I can live with ,mistakes being made but not being lied to. Anyway, we had to make the best of it from that point though moving cabins meant our credit card became detached for our account and we had to make 2 visits to reception to get it reactivated. We had booked excursions in advance and were very surprised to find tickets on our beds on arrival for the morning of that day which had already elapsed. A computer mistake I was told on complaining to the excursion desk and new tickets would be issued in a weeks time as the computer can only work in the current week. There were a few mistakes made on issuing excursion tickets and they had to be replaced on several occasions. The trips themselves were a bit of a mixed bag, some excellent and some not so good. The trip to the Chu Chi tunnels in Vietnam was not good as the guide spoke bad English too quickly, did not take care of her party, gave us her life story and nearly lost everyone in Ho Chi Minh city. We were very pleased to have booked the excursion in advance, as many were not available on the ship and the ports that the ship stops at are industrial dockyards up to 2 hours away from anything worth seeing. You simply cannot do much on foot on this trip. A spurious charge for mini bar appeared on my account after a few days. It took 3 trips to reception to get this removed. There is very much a computer says no regime on this ship. The good points. The ship though old is nice and roomy and clean. The food is very good in all the restaurants and New Year dinner was exceptional as was the steak house speciality restaurant. The entertainment team are very good, probably the best I have seen on a cruise ship and we had very good guest acts apart from the comedians who were very average. Service in the bars can be excellent or very poor depending on the time of day. The service in the main restaurant was exceptional. Overall the cruise was good but let down by some mistakes and it was quite apparent that this was the first time they had done this itinerary. We were definitely the Guinea Pigs on this one. If you just want a taste of the far east then this cruise is okay but I will stick to the Caribbean in future.

Good but not without problems.

Marella Discovery Cruise Review by stevensdrs

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2018
  • Destination: Asia
We have been cruising over Xmas and New Year for 6 years now, usually to the Caribbean but when this trip to Asia came up we decided to give it a try. Our flight from Manchester was the inaugural one and so there was a bit of pomp included with champagne and cake.

The flight itself from Manchester was good though long at 11 hours. On arriving in Langkawi there was no substantial delay in getting through the airport to the ship and the boarding process was fairly quick. Having got our ships cards we went to the cabin only to find it was not what we booked. We had booked a cabin with 2 beds and a sofa bed as there was 3 of us. We had been given a cabin with a double bed and an elevated bunk bed which is not practical as we cannot climb into a bunk bed. On complaining to the hotel manager we were told that it was impossible for us to have booked such a room as they did not exist on the ship. This was a barefaced lie as we know they do and have physically seen them. The outcome is that we had to accept another cabin for me which was a workable solution but not too convenient as it was a good distance apart and a bit inconvenient. I can live with ,mistakes being made but not being lied to.

Anyway, we had to make the best of it from that point though moving cabins meant our credit card became detached for our account and we had to make 2 visits to reception to get it reactivated.

We had booked excursions in advance and were very surprised to find tickets on our beds on arrival for the morning of that day which had already elapsed. A computer mistake I was told on complaining to the excursion desk and new tickets would be issued in a weeks time as the computer can only work in the current week. There were a few mistakes made on issuing excursion tickets and they had to be replaced on several occasions. The trips themselves were a bit of a mixed bag, some excellent and some not so good. The trip to the Chu Chi tunnels in Vietnam was not good as the guide spoke bad English too quickly, did not take care of her party, gave us her life story and nearly lost everyone in Ho Chi Minh city.

We were very pleased to have booked the excursion in advance, as many were not available on the ship and the ports that the ship stops at are industrial dockyards up to 2 hours away from anything worth seeing. You simply cannot do much on foot on this trip.

A spurious charge for mini bar appeared on my account after a few days. It took 3 trips to reception to get this removed. There is very much a computer says no regime on this ship.

The good points. The ship though old is nice and roomy and clean. The food is very good in all the restaurants and New Year dinner was exceptional as was the steak house speciality restaurant.

The entertainment team are very good, probably the best I have seen on a cruise ship and we had very good guest acts apart from the comedians who were very average.

Service in the bars can be excellent or very poor depending on the time of day. The service in the main restaurant was exceptional.

Overall the cruise was good but let down by some mistakes and it was quite apparent that this was the first time they had done this itinerary. We were definitely the Guinea Pigs on this one. If you just want a taste of the far east then this cruise is okay but I will stick to the Caribbean in future.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 2534
As detailed in the review, not what we ordered.