Returned on 17th Aug 2019 from a 7 day cruise on Marella Discovery 2 on its Cosmopolitan Classics Cruise. This was our first cruise and Marella were recommended to us by a relative.
Our flight was from Manchester airport scheduled for 12:50. Up on arrival at Manchester at 09:35 we joined a large queue at the TUI check in desks. There were only 2 desks open for all TUI flights that morning. WE slowly made our way through the queue only for all of us in the queue to be asked to move back whilst other flights took priority. No explanation was given by the TUI staff whose only comment was for us to go downstairs and have a coffee for at least half an hour. We all refused and just stood there beyond the barriers and were told that we had to move as we were blocking the fire exit. No one moved. We were all disgusted by the treatment we received from the TUI staff who did not seem to care or any customer service. We eventually were checked in at about 10:45. The flight was then delayed for approx. 45 minutes with the reason given that the baggage handlers were very slow at loading the aircraft. Manchester Airport is the “pits”. It is undergoing major refurbishment of the terminal 2 but will not be any better as it is still run by the worst management I have come across. It is run by the local Councils and needs to be privatised.
Buffet restaurant. The good points – Plenty of choice of food, lovely views from the tables near the windows, plenty of seating/tables which were cleared very quickly by the staff. Drinks were self-service with a good choice. The bad points – Breakfast was the same every day and the bacon and sausages appeared to be very pale and undercooked. The fruit choice was also very limited and this was the only meal of the day that you could obtain a banana. Although there was a choice of food at lunch and dinner menu choices were themed foreign dishes which were cooked in sauces/herbs etc. There was no alternative choice of “plain food” with even the salad section having spices/oils on the lettuce. The fruit choice was very limited being mainly melon and pineapple. The hot “puddings” did not appeal to us as they did not look nice. The cakes were small and did not appear enticing and were the same choice every day. You were expected to use a plastic “glass” for water/ fruit juice. However although these were washed they appeared not to have been rinsed properly and therefor looked dirty and cloudy. They looked to be a health hazard to us and we therefore chose to use glasses instead where available.
There is also a snack area on deck 9 where you can obtain what is described as “food on the go”. This consisted of mainly burgers/chips and sandwiches. The area stunk of burnt fat/oil and the sandwiches were the most unappetising that I have ever seen. You can eat in this area but it is directly next to a designated smoking area so you are subjected to cigarette smoke as you eat.
Other free restaurants. The good points – 2 to choose from, one of which was sort of a general choice and the other a themed Italian menu. We did not use any of these as I do not eat Italian as I have a pasta allergy and the general themed restaurant menu consisted again of everything being cooked in sauces/herbs etc.
Main pool. This was on deck 9. It is a small pool that is filled with filtered seawater. It was extremely busy and people were on sunbeds all around it. There was also a pool bar. There was a constant noise of either loud music or the entertainment team shouting through microphones and organising games. My impression was that it was like Butlin’s on sea but I soon revised this to Pontin’s on sea. It was dreadful.
Bars. These were mainly situated on deck 4. They were adequately furnished and appeared OK but in the light of day the upholstery needed a good clean. Bar service was prompt and there was also waiter service. The glasses that drinks were served in were cloudy and appeared dirty. I lost count of the times I had to request a clean glass. There seems to be a problem with the dishwashing as it does not give a good finish to glassware. Although the bars were on deck 4 there were no toilets on this deck. You either had to go down 1 deck or up 2 decks for a toilet. This is very bad design and needs addressing.
This is an old ship which was purchased second hand from Royal Caribbean and in my opinion is in need of modernisation and decent planning of facilities.
At the end of the cruise all suitcases needed to be placed outside the cabin by 02:00 and cabins had to be vacated by 09:00. This is very bad and appears to be bad customer service. In this day and age with computer technology they should be able to stagger cabin vacation around flight times etc. There is no need for every cabin to be vacated by 09:00.
Overall we enjoyed the cruise but would be very wary of booking another one with TUI. They seem to be aiming for the bottom end of the market both price and service wise. If we ever cruise again it will be with a more up market organisation.
Cabin. We had a balcony cabin on the starboard side. The good points were that it was larger than I imagined it would be, the bed was large and very comfortable. The cabin appeared to be very clean and housekeeping came in twice a day to make the bed/remove rubbish etc. The bathroom was on the small side with a small shower. The bathroom was clean and was maintained in this condition throughout the cruise. The bad points – despite having a thermostat on the wall the air conditioning seemed to be centrally controlled and was either too cold or too hot. Turning the thermostat did not increase or decrease the temperature. There was also no way of turning the air conditioning off and so it was on all day and night during which we found it noisy and it disturbed our sleep. The shower was not at all powerful and was therefore not very refreshing or invigorating. The toilet roll holder was positioned under the wash basin unit and so you had to be a contortionist if you wished to access the toilet tissue if you were seated on the toilet. My wife suffers from a back problem and found this difficult.
Nice looking port but did not have time to disembark.
Went ashore on our own. Walked down the nmain shopping ares. Had a drink but were ripped off 5 euros for 1 tonic water.
Took a local tour rather than one advertised by TUI. Cost half the price and was enjoyable. Do nott pay TUI organised tour prices.View All 141 Leaning Tower of Pisa Reviews
Made our own way to NIce on the train. Very nice city and enjoyed ourselves.