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

Enchanting Enchanting Far East

Marella Discovery Cruise Review by ilstonio

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2019
  • Destination: Asia

Have reviewed Disco before and we love it, so will concentrate on ports and trips. It’s fair to say that in some of the Ports a DIY job is not really an option as they’re as big as a city. In other places the ports are a minimum of 2 1/2 to 3hrs away so it’s a long day. We like half-day trips so a bit restricted, but most were very good. Compared to a recent cruise to Norway where everything was very expensive, we thought these trips were reasonable.

We reckon the grub to be good but not great. We did Islands buffet for brek and most lunches or the Snack Shack where the wings, fish and chips are excellent and hot. Stays open until 6pm so if you’re late lunchers like us it’s great. One slight knock in most areas is that the grub could be a bit hotter. We liked 47 for dinner and eat quite late, after 8.30pm.You do get a buzzer but it’s a chance for a few bubbles pre-dins. We tried the Steak on Stone for an £11.95 surcharge. Well worth it-best dinner of trip. As others have said, if you want a sunbed on sea days you need to be up with the early breakfast cooks, about 5am. We normally waited until it thinned out a bit later. No-one gives up their beds. They run a ‘yellow card’ system for beds left for more than 2 hrs but it’s just for show.

Drinks great. Longest wait a few mins. Good bottled beers, Peroni, Corona, San Miguel.

**I refuse to pay for wi-fi so there’s very limited internet access. Even on the day trips there was hardly any ‘free time’ so you had to try find wi-fi wherever you could.

Langkawi Nature Reserve: Excellent. Half day. About 30min journey. You go into bat cave then boat journey to watch eagles feeding from the river which is amazing.

Penang: Temple followed by funicular ride to top of island. Really good. At top you can have a buggy ride around the area for a couple a quid. Very good. ***Hotel at top of hill has wi-if you can access.

KL: Half day sights. Petronas Tower excellent and Independence Square and War Memorial good. Visit to disused colonial railway station a bit bizarre and an obvious ‘filler’

Bangkok: did trip ‘On your own’. Be warned, it’s 3 hrs in traffic to get there and you get 4 hrs there. And you’re dropped at a Shopping Mall outside the city. Our excellent guide recommended the Skytrain (about £3 for an all day tourist ticket) to the river, a river taxi (also about £3)then a Tuk Tuk back which was about a fiver. Had a great day. Went to Reclining Buddha which wife loved. Some guides apparently discourage being too adventurous due to time constraints but we really enjoyed it and had no problems getting back.

Pattaya Beach: Coach Trip ‘On your own’. Cancelled Bangkok on own for day 2 as couldn’t face the journey and getting up in middle of night-or so it seems. Taken to shopping mall then on your own. Not really a daytime place but still enjoyable. Lots of British men talking to young people in sea front bars which is a bit weird but glad we went.

Singapore: half day ‘In the footsteps of Raffles’. Best trip of the hol. Only four hrs but we got half hour walk tour, 30 mins boat ride, Singapore Sling in the Raffles Hotel (no queueing as part of trip-on your own be ready to queue for about 45 mins) then a ride on a tri-bike with a recognised firm so safe and reliable. Excellent.

Sihanoukville, Cambodia: Did our own thing. An eye-opener. Quite a few scare stories re valuables and the like but didn’t hear any horror stories. There will be beggars and Tuk-Tuk overload but it’s not overwhelming. Went to the beach with another couple we met, Tuk Tuk for about 20 mins which was $20 dollars US and he wouldn’t haggle. Whole place is a building site.

Vietnam: Ship is 3hrs from Ho Chi Minh so any trip is a schlep. We did Cu Chi tunnels which I really enjoyed but it was a bit of a one-trick pony. Still worthwhile.

Malacca: half day sightseeing. Bit dull. Highlight was going up viewing tower and a castle.

We did all those trips and they’re great, but they’re usually early kick-offs. We did four on the spin and I couldn’t wait to get back for my bottle of Peroni.

We’d do the itinerary again. Loved it.

**Depending on flight time, you can keep cabin past the 8am kick-out.Ours was £35 right up to 3pm departure for Gatwick and worth every penny as you weren’t fighting for space as everyone waits to get off. Apparently, 80% of people paying keep their own cabin.

ilstonio's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Cabin Junior Suite outside 8574

We treated ourselves to a Junior Suite as it was the Mrs’ 60th. We were deck 8 Starboard rear. Excellent. No noise. Not near lifts but not bothered. Loads of storage. Balcony great. Had much smaller hotel rooms. Cleanliness very good. Bath and shower.

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