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We have now been back for a few days so thought it was time I got down to writing my final and overall review of our two week, first ever, cruise. First thing I want to say is that I would definitely recommend a cruise on the TUI Marella Discovery 2 as an amazing experience on a fabulous ship (just in case you are wondering, it is a ship and not a boat, Captain Chris told us so). The ship is incredibly comfortable and I must say unbelievably clean and tidy, this being due in no uncertain terms to the tireless cleaning, polishing, hoovering, clearing, bed making and cabin tidying of the members of the crew who seem to be on the go 24 hours a day. Everywhere you go on board you see someone with a cloth in their hand or a vacuum cleaner running it over another bit of carpet just because. The waiting staff, in the same way, are on the go from way before sun up to well after sun down. Breakfast starts at around 6am when there is an early start to the excursions which I would guess means someone is starting preparation by at least 4am, then as soon as breakfast is over they are then getting ready for snacks, then lunch, then afternoon tea (with proper Cornish Clotted Cream for the scones I must add, yummy, and there was enough for a gurt great dollop). Sorry got a bit carried away with that memory. They are then getting set up for dinner which starts at around 6pm and with 1800 very hungry passengers, many of whom who have been away from the ship on exhausting and hunger inducing excursions, so you can imagine the chaos with this and that is not the end of it for the catering staff as once they have finished with the dinner service they are then preparing food for the midnight snack bar which goes on till... actually I have no idea what time that finishes as the latest we went to this one was around 11.30pm and there were still plenty of people coming in after us. Then just a few short hours later it starts all over again for them. As far as the individual restaurants are concerned, here we go. The Snack Shack - our first experience of dining once we embarked on board. We were wandering around the ship trying to get our bearings and we came across this one and thought, why not. It has a cold frame with sandwiches, wraps, salads and fruit which you can help yourself to and then there is a serving counter where you can get fish and chips, burgers, hot dogs, etc and then the bar area for drinks. I will say the fish and chips were lovely and everyone else in our party were impressed with whatever they had. So good start, well done Snack Shack. Islands - I must be honest, we only ate in Islands a couple of times for breakfast and the 'Cornish Clotted Cream' afternoon teas but from what we could see it was good, wholesome buffet style food which looked tasty and hot. 47 Degrees - Again being honest, we tried to get in here on our first night on board requesting a table for 4. Well... we were told it was very busy and it would be about 30 minutes to get a table. How dreadful... NOT, when you consider that right next door to the restaurant is the Atrium bar where you can get a drink on the house... or was it on our All Inclusive package?!! Sorry, back to being serious now, we were given a buzzer and told that once they had sorted a table for us the buzzer would go off, which it did, but not 30 minutes later, it was about 15 minutes, what a service. We were welcomed at the door by two smiling hostesses who passed us on to the waiting staff who again had huge smiles on their faces and we were shown to our table. Waiter service? But I thought All Inclusive was always buffet style! Not on this ship, 47 Degrees is a fully waiter serviced restaurant where you get a proper fine dining experience of the waiter placing your napkin on your lap, immediately asking what you would like to drink, and I must add, as we had upgraded to the premium drinks package, this basically meant we could have whatever we wanted (too many good quality wines and spirits to list here, I would recommend the upgrade). The menu changes every day and always has a choice of 5 dishes in each of the starters, mains and deserts. The food was amazing, again I can't list all the fantastic dishes on the menu as, like I said they change the dishes every day. One dish I will mention though is Sticky Toffee Pudding. We met the Executive Chef, Carl, on the stairs one morning and I mentioned to him how much I really love Sticky Toffee Pudding. He told me that unfortunately this pudding was not on the menu for another two weeks. Obviously seeing how disappointed I was, three days later on our table at dinner when it came to the desert course he had made a Sticky Toffee Pudding just for me. Honestly! Everyone around was so jealous especially when I wouldn't share it. Actually I did let them all taste it, it was delicious. One of the best I have had, thank you Carl! The Glass House - We ate in here a couple of times for lunch where they did a mean sandwich, chips and salad which you ordered and was made fresh for you from the serving counter. We also had the midnight snacks in here a couple of times, where the curries were lovely and the burger and chips really do sit well at about midnight, or is that sit on your stomach well at about midnight. Not sure? Surf and Turf - You pay a supplement for this restaurant but then you do get to order some impressive steaks which are delicious and tender. As the name suggests they do a surf and turf option on the menu which, surprisingly, includes a steak and some lobster. Again, three courses and a fantastic wine selection which compliments all the different flavours and choices on the menu. One other thing is that all the waiters know which wines go well with which dishes so just ask if you're not sure. And also, again, it is fully waiter serviced where everything is done for you apart from actually eating the food. Kora La - Wow! Pan Asian in this restaurant. Again there is a supplement for this one but BOY is it worth it in here! In case you're wondering from the previous sentence, this was by far our favourite restaurant. The flavour combinations and taste sensations were far better than we ever expected them to be. We actually ate in here four times on our two week cruise in the end. Only planned to eat a couple of times in the supplement restaurants but this one was sooooo good we couldn't help ourselves. Right, on to the most important areas on the ship, the bars. Only joking we don't drink that much... at least not normally. The Atrium bar is a great focal point of the ship with the six floor high, sorry meant deck high, ceiling, an amazing sight and also with the singers, guitarists, saxophonists, pianists, etc there to entertain you while you relax and have a drink, it's great place to sit and chill out after a hard days sunbathing. Then there is the live Room where, as it says on the tin, there is live music played by the resident band, the pianist, or whoever the entertainment is at the time, while you order your drinks and relax. Next up is the Venue where again, surprisingly there is live music at various times and even, once weekly a karaoke evening. Even in the Broadway Theatre during the shows in the evening there are waiters coming round constantly taking your orders for drinks and bringing them right to your seats while you are watching the amazing West End standard shows on every night. In the day time there is a pool deck bar for drinks while you are lounging around the pool, you have a choice of either going to the bar yourself or just sitting or lying on your sunbed and order your drink from the waiting staff who are constantly walking around serving you. Even on the upper decks, the Veranda at the back of the boat, sorry, I mean ship, on the sunbeds around the mini golf course, around the climbing wall or just about anywhere you can find a space to sit or lie there is a crew member coming around taking your drinks order. Amazing! Then there is the Coffee Ports dotted around the ship where surprisingly they serve coffee and cakes and other bits. Every single person we came across who is there to serve you always has a smile on their face and is forever ready to provide you with whatever your stomach requires at the time. Fantastic! Now the entertainment. All the entertainers on board are well seasoned and experienced performers who are only not on the West End stage or performing in arenas because either they are not bothered to, prefer to be travelling the world on a cruise ship seeing all the sights for free, oh, and getting paid at the same time or maybe they just haven't been in the right place at the right time... yet! The guitarist, saxophonist, pianist and singers around the ship are amazingly talented but, again, (sorry, keep saying this) I must be honest with you all, for me the stars of the entertainment are the Broadway Show Team. They perform a different show every night of the two week cruise, only having one night off a week, so that's 12 different shows they have to learn with precision and perfection, learning the songs, the dances and lines for each different show. At our amateur dramatic society we take about six months to learn and perform one show, let alone 12 shows. My hats off to you guys, and each of the shows are amazing. Well, there are other things I could have added to this but I think it is probably time I went to bed and, basically typing with one hand is taking it's toll on me so I need to rest now. I hope this review hasn't been too long and boring for you but then if it was too long and boring for you then you wouldn't have read that last line so that was probably pointless putting that in but, never mind! See you all on our next cruise! Who knows, someone from Marella might see this and employ me to review one of their other ships. We can but dream!

First Ever Cruise and WOW!

Marella Discovery 2 Cruise Review by Steveclemo

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We have now been back for a few days so thought it was time I got down to writing my final and overall review of our two week, first ever, cruise.

First thing I want to say is that I would definitely recommend a cruise on the TUI Marella Discovery 2 as an amazing experience on a fabulous ship (just in case you are wondering, it is a ship and not a boat, Captain Chris told us so). The ship is incredibly comfortable and I must say unbelievably clean and tidy, this being due in no uncertain terms to the tireless cleaning, polishing, hoovering, clearing, bed making and cabin tidying of the members of the crew who seem to be on the go 24 hours a day. Everywhere you go on board you see someone with a cloth in their hand or a vacuum cleaner running it over another bit of carpet just because.

The waiting staff, in the same way, are on the go from way before sun up to well after sun down. Breakfast starts at around 6am when there is an early start to the excursions which I would guess means someone is starting preparation by at least 4am, then as soon as breakfast is over they are then getting ready for snacks, then lunch, then afternoon tea (with proper Cornish Clotted Cream for the scones I must add, yummy, and there was enough for a gurt great dollop). Sorry got a bit carried away with that memory. They are then getting set up for dinner which starts at around 6pm and with 1800 very hungry passengers, many of whom who have been away from the ship on exhausting and hunger inducing excursions, so you can imagine the chaos with this and that is not the end of it for the catering staff as once they have finished with the dinner service they are then preparing food for the midnight snack bar which goes on till... actually I have no idea what time that finishes as the latest we went to this one was around 11.30pm and there were still plenty of people coming in after us. Then just a few short hours later it starts all over again for them.

As far as the individual restaurants are concerned, here we go.

The Snack Shack - our first experience of dining once we embarked on board. We were wandering around the ship trying to get our bearings and we came across this one and thought, why not. It has a cold frame with sandwiches, wraps, salads and fruit which you can help yourself to and then there is a serving counter where you can get fish and chips, burgers, hot dogs, etc and then the bar area for drinks. I will say the fish and chips were lovely and everyone else in our party were impressed with whatever they had. So good start, well done Snack Shack.

Islands - I must be honest, we only ate in Islands a couple of times for breakfast and the 'Cornish Clotted Cream' afternoon teas but from what we could see it was good, wholesome buffet style food which looked tasty and hot.

47 Degrees - Again being honest, we tried to get in here on our first night on board requesting a table for 4. Well... we were told it was very busy and it would be about 30 minutes to get a table. How dreadful... NOT, when you consider that right next door to the restaurant is the Atrium bar where you can get a drink on the house... or was it on our All Inclusive package?!! Sorry, back to being serious now, we were given a buzzer and told that once they had sorted a table for us the buzzer would go off, which it did, but not 30 minutes later, it was about 15 minutes, what a service. We were welcomed at the door by two smiling hostesses who passed us on to the waiting staff who again had huge smiles on their faces and we were shown to our table. Waiter service? But I thought All Inclusive was always buffet style! Not on this ship, 47 Degrees is a fully waiter serviced restaurant where you get a proper fine dining experience of the waiter placing your napkin on your lap, immediately asking what you would like to drink, and I must add, as we had upgraded to the premium drinks package, this basically meant we could have whatever we wanted (too many good quality wines and spirits to list here, I would recommend the upgrade). The menu changes every day and always has a choice of 5 dishes in each of the starters, mains and deserts. The food was amazing, again I can't list all the fantastic dishes on the menu as, like I said they change the dishes every day. One dish I will mention though is Sticky Toffee Pudding. We met the Executive Chef, Carl, on the stairs one morning and I mentioned to him how much I really love Sticky Toffee Pudding. He told me that unfortunately this pudding was not on the menu for another two weeks. Obviously seeing how disappointed I was, three days later on our table at dinner when it came to the desert course he had made a Sticky Toffee Pudding just for me. Honestly! Everyone around was so jealous especially when I wouldn't share it. Actually I did let them all taste it, it was delicious. One of the best I have had, thank you Carl!

The Glass House - We ate in here a couple of times for lunch where they did a mean sandwich, chips and salad which you ordered and was made fresh for you from the serving counter. We also had the midnight snacks in here a couple of times, where the curries were lovely and the burger and chips really do sit well at about midnight, or is that sit on your stomach well at about midnight. Not sure?



Surf and Turf - You pay a supplement for this restaurant but then you do get to order some impressive steaks which are delicious and tender. As the name suggests they do a surf and turf option on the menu which, surprisingly, includes a steak and some lobster. Again, three courses and a fantastic wine selection which compliments all the different flavours and choices on the menu. One other thing is that all the waiters know which wines go well with which dishes so just ask if you're not sure. And also, again, it is fully waiter serviced where everything is done for you apart from actually eating the food.

Kora La - Wow! Pan Asian in this restaurant. Again there is a supplement for this one but BOY is it worth it in here! In case you're wondering from the previous sentence, this was by far our favourite restaurant. The flavour combinations and taste sensations were far better than we ever expected them to be. We actually ate in here four times on our two week cruise in the end. Only planned to eat a couple of times in the supplement restaurants but this one was sooooo good we couldn't help ourselves.

Right, on to the most important areas on the ship, the bars. Only joking we don't drink that much... at least not normally. The Atrium bar is a great focal point of the ship with the six floor high, sorry meant deck high, ceiling, an amazing sight and also with the singers, guitarists, saxophonists, pianists, etc there to entertain you while you relax and have a drink, it's great place to sit and chill out after a hard days sunbathing.

Then there is the live Room where, as it says on the tin, there is live music played by the resident band, the pianist, or whoever the entertainment is at the time, while you order your drinks and relax.

Next up is the Venue where again, surprisingly there is live music at various times and even, once weekly a karaoke evening.

Even in the Broadway Theatre during the shows in the evening there are waiters coming round constantly taking your orders for drinks and bringing them right to your seats while you are watching the amazing West End standard shows on every night.

In the day time there is a pool deck bar for drinks while you are lounging around the pool, you have a choice of either going to the bar yourself or just sitting or lying on your sunbed and order your drink from the waiting staff who are constantly walking around serving you.

Even on the upper decks, the Veranda at the back of the boat, sorry, I mean ship, on the sunbeds around the mini golf course, around the climbing wall or just about anywhere you can find a space to sit or lie there is a crew member coming around taking your drinks order. Amazing!

Then there is the Coffee Ports dotted around the ship where surprisingly they serve coffee and cakes and other bits. Every single person we came across who is there to serve you always has a smile on their face and is forever ready to provide you with whatever your stomach requires at the time. Fantastic!

Now the entertainment. All the entertainers on board are well seasoned and experienced performers who are only not on the West End stage or performing in arenas because either they are not bothered to, prefer to be travelling the world on a cruise ship seeing all the sights for free, oh, and getting paid at the same time or maybe they just haven't been in the right place at the right time... yet!

The guitarist, saxophonist, pianist and singers around the ship are amazingly talented but, again, (sorry, keep saying this) I must be honest with you all, for me the stars of the entertainment are the Broadway Show Team. They perform a different show every night of the two week cruise, only having one night off a week, so that's 12 different shows they have to learn with precision and perfection, learning the songs, the dances and lines for each different show. At our amateur dramatic society we take about six months to learn and perform one show, let alone 12 shows. My hats off to you guys, and each of the shows are amazing.

Well, there are other things I could have added to this but I think it is probably time I went to bed and, basically typing with one hand is taking it's toll on me so I need to rest now.

I hope this review hasn't been too long and boring for you but then if it was too long and boring for you then you wouldn't have read that last line so that was probably pointless putting that in but, never mind!

See you all on our next cruise! Who knows, someone from Marella might see this and employ me to review one of their other ships.

We can but dream!
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