We are regulars on cruise holidays and were looking forward to our cruise of Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand as these were all countries we had never visited before and my partner was particularly looking forward to visiting Singapore.
Plus points - the first week was great fun, we met some great people, the staff in restaurants and bars and cleaning and domestic services were lovely and all added to a great atmosphere onboard. Cambodia was an experience but we welcome the opportunity to see how people live in some of the poorer countries. The entertainment we saw was very good and the singer's rendition of Whitney Houston songs was wonderful - best I have heard in 16 cruises.
Now the negatives - my partner had a relatively mild condition but one that she felt needed medical attention. The diagnosis was that she was suffering from an "acute respiratory condition" which warranted her being sent off ship for a CT scan at Hospital, despite the fact she had responded to treatment. This diagnosis was reached in spite of the fact that she had successfully toured Penang in hot temperatures for 5/6 hours on day previous without any issue!! If she had chosen not to follow medical advice, our travel insurance would have been invalid. Things went from bad to worse, the hospital authorities treated her for Covid-19 (well hardly treated her - tested her pulse, temperature and blood pressure - as had already been taken onboard and were fine). She never received any treatment at all yet was transferred to another hospital for another procedure (same happened here, no treatment just questions and tested pulse, temperature and blood pressure). Marella rep at hospital was no use at all, all he did was advise there were procedures in place but not explain what they were and if he communicated with the ship (I assume he did) and with the Hospital authorities then he didn't let us know what was going on. Apparently there should have been a Marella Port Agent available to support us - none available. As my partner had not been discharged from Hospital by time the ship sailed, we were disembarked and basically abandoned in a foreign country with no support. Useful contact numbers are only useful if they are attainable - they weren't - and in our opinion, the ship should not have sailed whilst my partner had not been cleared of COVID-19. We had to arrange to get to Singapore and re-embark there - this despite the fact that we were both in a state of shock at how this ridiculous situation had ever materialised. We were up for 28 hours and stayed in Singapore Airport guarding our belongings (which had been sent to us at the Hospital along with our passports via a local taxi driver - no one from Marella involved in ensuring our belongings arrived safely but totally left to chance). We re-embarked at Singapore but were nervous about leaving the ship again in case we were disembarked and our cruise was ruined. Subsequent attempts to get answers from TUI on how this farcical chain of events happened have been shockingly handled by the company to date. This experience has put us off cruising completely and we are trying to ensure that what happened to us will never happen to any other couple ever again. The service rating reflects the onboard welfare service and customer service thereafter and is no reflection of the excellent service provided by the bar staff, restaurant and cleaning staff. Equally the VFM would have been a 4 based on week 1 but was reduced to 1 in light of our experience.