1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises)
  4. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises) Cruise Reviews

40 Marella Cruises Asia Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because of its interesting itinerary which proved to be so - the colour, congestion of Indian cities and the opulence of the Gulf States. The cabin (outside) was spacious, with a large window; well appointed with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its interesting itinerary which proved to be so - the colour, congestion of Indian cities and the opulence of the Gulf States. The cabin (outside) was spacious, with a large window; well appointed with plenty of storage; only issue was a shower curtain rather than a door. Service in cabin, bars and restaurant (we only used the 'Islands' ) was excellent, though the Deck bar service was often slow, mainly because under-staffed. Poor staff management. Food was variable - we only used the 'Islands' and Snack-Shack. The latter very limited and ran out of wine on two occasions. The 'Islands' had a good selection, though the carvery was disappointing, and on one occasion the chicken was raw (ie bloody) and the staff rude, requiring attention from senior staff. Our main complaint though is with the poor information provided both by TUI before the cruise and on board. This provided by Reception and Destinations desk was poor and often inaccurate regarding documents required ashore, particularly in India. The excursion arrangements were akso often poor requesting people to assemble in the Broadway lounge resulting in several hundred to go to the gangway, when in fact making announcements for people to go from cabins/ public lounges would have resulted in smaller queues. Basically the staff didn't know what they were doing. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our 4th cruise with Tui/Marella. twice on the Dream and twice on Discovery. This being our 4th year in a row, we were hoping for something different. We were very disappointed to find that the food menu was very much the same, ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Tui/Marella. twice on the Dream and twice on Discovery. This being our 4th year in a row, we were hoping for something different. We were very disappointed to find that the food menu was very much the same, but shocked to find the the menu was repeated after the first week. How strange when most of the cruises that were available to book were for 14 or more nights. The show team on board performed the same songs and dance routines the we'd seen for the previous 3 cruises with only some minor changes to the shows. The only new entertainment for the two weeks were the guest singer and comedian. So if you've been on any of the tui/marella cruises before, don't expect to see any new. The destinations on this cruise also sounded interesting. But we found that Port Blair in the Anderman islands was a wasted day, Not much to see and driving across the island was like taking a tour through the local tip. Mangalore was also a horrible port. The cruise ships were docked alongside the coal terminal that was being scooped and heaped all day by diggers, throwing clouds of coal dust into the air. Tui like to claim that they out their customers first, but like all big companies, profit comes first and when you complain they only accept what you say, but do noting to rectify the problems. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Delayed in Manchester for 3 hours as Langkawi had a military air display.. TUI only had 2 years notice of this so why did they arrange flights for this day?? Arrived after a good flight Premium Economy on the Dreamliner. Took 2.5 hours to ... Read More
Delayed in Manchester for 3 hours as Langkawi had a military air display.. TUI only had 2 years notice of this so why did they arrange flights for this day?? Arrived after a good flight Premium Economy on the Dreamliner. Took 2.5 hours to do the 20 minute Port transfer due to the Military event. Once on the Ship everything was great.. cabin steward Prakash was amazing.. Deluxe Balcony on deck 7 was brilliant.. loads of storage bigger than usual bathroom.. tea and coffee facility great balcony. Ship was great staff helpful and friendly food ok. Tried each of the specialty restaurants which were worth a visit. Ports of call... appalling!! Sri Lanka was lovely everywhere else wasn’t worth the effort of going ashore. After the fiasco with visas the itinerary was very disappointing as ports were too far away and far too industrial. The departure from Dubai was stressful to say the least as I think it’s the first time the smaller airport had been used by TUI.. total IT system failure meant we waited nearly 2 hours to begin check in following arrival with no TUI Rep at the airport not a good end to the holiday Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Landed in Malaysia, then cruised to the Andaman Islands , Sri Lanka and then the West Coast of India finishing in Dubai. Andaman Islands .. the organised trip we did was terrible , not a good start , all we saw was rubbish, dock areas ... Read More
Landed in Malaysia, then cruised to the Andaman Islands , Sri Lanka and then the West Coast of India finishing in Dubai. Andaman Islands .. the organised trip we did was terrible , not a good start , all we saw was rubbish, dock areas full of plastic. But Great people. Sri Lanka lovely, .. west coast of India ... put it this way, just hope and pray you don’t want the toilet and I honestly don’t know why as a country we bother to re cycle plastics and take care of our environment. The same enthusiasm does not seem to exist here. We went on organised trips every day, some were good but most were not. Overall though the people were kind and curtious We cruise a lot, and what you pay for this ship is fairly good value for money. Food good, but not outstanding, we tried all the restaurants and I have to stay the Glasshouse restaurant was amazing. Our room however was not, we were directly under the gym and boy did you know it. Stay away from them rooms. We complained several times about the noise, but nothing was done, the normal fobbing off. Depending on what bar you went to would would depend on the customer service. Not consistently good. And TUI overall pre and post holiday, not good service. Would not go with TUI again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this Cruise as it was out of our comfort zone and was for our Golden Wedding. We had a fantastic holiday The Ship was very good, bit tired in places but in general very nice. Main problem encountered was the vibration ... Read More
We chose this Cruise as it was out of our comfort zone and was for our Golden Wedding. We had a fantastic holiday The Ship was very good, bit tired in places but in general very nice. Main problem encountered was the vibration running through the ship when sailing, which suggests an in balance in the drive mechanism, especially when trying to sleep. Staff were the best we have encountered, food very good in all Depts and entertainment generally very good Flights too long for us especially on the return which was 6 hours late. The trips we did were very good and informative The ports were primarily working ports which was a bit off putting, possibly down to cost. Overall a fabulous holiday which we will never forget. We had a problem with dirty water in our first cabin but this was quickly remedied by a move to another cabin John and Pat Caulkin Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We have cruised with Marella in the past and already had great cruises but this one surpassed all expectations. Asia was a new itinerary for Marella this year, I had visited all of the destinations many moons ago when backpacking but knew ... Read More
We have cruised with Marella in the past and already had great cruises but this one surpassed all expectations. Asia was a new itinerary for Marella this year, I had visited all of the destinations many moons ago when backpacking but knew it would have changed a lot, whereas for my mum and dad it was their first time in Asia. It certainly won't be the last! Fabulous itinerary and made all the better by a classy ship and amazing crew and officers who really went out of their way to make everything perfect! Would recommend it in a heartbeat! We flew from Bormingham to Langkawi on the Dreamliner. I have to admit that we all hated such a long flight, this was the only downside, but the crew were excellent onboard the flight and Tui were very helpful in organising extra luggage allowance for the medicating I need to travel with, full marks to the welfare team pre cruise! The drwMliner very comfortable. Unfortunately the inflight entertainment was a bit uninspiring but comfort wise the Dreamliner was very roomy. On arrival to Langkawi it took only around half an hour transfer time and the check in on board was very quick and efficient. Doe to booking only ten weeks before there had only been the choice of all three of us in a standard inside cabin so we spectre it o be cramped, which it was. However full marks to Chiefhousekeeper Larry and his team, the ship was cleaner than spotless all cruise and all of the housekeeping team we encountered were do pleasant and helpful, especially our cabin steward Andy who even specially arranged a fridge for my medication. Marella still do the nightly turndown service and chocolates on pillow which I'd a nice touch, we find a lot of lines skip this nowadays. We did not eat in any of the speciality restaurants but the island's buffet for breakfast and lunch, the glasshouse for lunches and reaturant 47 deck 4 and the Italian on deck 5 were excellent. I cannot commend the f and b team highly enough. I have to follow an extremely strict diet for medical reasons and thus travelling can be a nightmare for me. However I was met on board on arrival and the restaurant staff and chefs were fabulous. They were already aware of my allergies. They cooked specially for me all week and managed to produce anything I requested. Julia who is in charge of special diets deserves a particular mention. In all of my years of travel I have never received such good customer service! She has the patience of a saint and is worth her weight in gold to Marella. Her attentative service is one thing that will certainly make us cruise with Marella again alone! The food was excellent and the service consistently brilliant.. I have also never had better porridge in my life! Top marks to the breakfast chefs! It as also nice that they tried to incorporate local fruits such as dragonfruit, Logan berries and guavas into the menu! Well done executive chef and his team! Destinations services team and their manager Pd were also brilliant, they were a fountain of knowledge and also very helpful with independent information, not just interested in those doing their trips. We did most things independently apart from the 'on your own' transfers onto Ho Chi Minh city and Kuala Lumpar which were both very well organised. Very impressed. We found the other ports easy enough to do by ourselves although be warned, you need to do plenty of research, this is not a relaxing cruise but the destinations are so worth it! We found the who's very good. Also the gym instructoe Curtis was very pleasant and helpful. Well done Marella for a brilliant two weeks. Can't recommend you enough. You have three loyal passengers now for life!ggg Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
i was waiting to see if Thomson (TUI) were going to cruise Asia as they haven't in the past and we've always wanted to go in that direction. I will not comment about the ship as others have provided more than enough information ... Read More
i was waiting to see if Thomson (TUI) were going to cruise Asia as they haven't in the past and we've always wanted to go in that direction. I will not comment about the ship as others have provided more than enough information and pics. Travel The whole journey out and back went more or less to plan (a little late both ways but that's almost to be expected). We flew Premium both ways and was a little disappointed at Gatwick because check-in was a free for all, fortunately we arrived early so there wasn't too much of a queue. However we did get fast track through the emigration. Cabin crew both ways were good and the food adequate; but having paid a lot of money for Premium, charging extra for things like crisps was penny pinching and little niggles like that pervaded the whole experience (see comments below). Unusually we had to collect our cases on landing to go through customs. This is the first cruise we've been on where that had to be done. On the return journey however we didn't see our cases again until we arrived at Gatwick baggage reclaim. Embarkation/disembarkation The whole operation ran smoothly but the signs for Premier check-in were less than obvious and most, like us, joined the main queue. We had to leave our cases outside the cabin by 2am and vacate by 8am on the day of departure and as our flight wasn't till 5pm everyone was milling around waiting to go. Cabin Our cases were delivered to our cabin and the cabin itself was exactly as expected and up to the Company's usual standard, well equipped and clean. The balcony had 2 chairs a table and 2 loungers. Our cabin steward, Riva, looked after us very well. Having had a long journey we wanted a drink of water so opened the bottle without realising that there was a charge of £1.50 for the privilege! Water stations were on most decks with notices not to fill your own bottles. Dining We only ate in the Islands Restaurant as there was a 'supplement' to dine in many of the others. The food was plentiful and varied but some rather bland. The desserts were an absolute dream and were the best past of the meal. Excursions All were rather expensive (we knew that as most were booked before leaving UK), some did not represent good value for money in my view but I accept that others may not agree. However they were enjoyable and all but the island catamaran trip provided a well informed commentary and the guides were helpful. I must congratulate the destinations team for their positive and helpful approach. Bar service The bar staff were always smiling and helpful and we never had to wait too long for drinks service. Disappointing that some drinks (including coffee) were at an additional cost. Overall impression Entertainment was good and the team worked very hard, a comedian - Martin Daniels, was the highlight for me. There were 'technical difficulties' one night which stopped the show but these things happen. I did get the impression that the Company was out to extract every last £ whilst you were on the ship. I know that they have to encourage spending for commercial reasons but making the process obvious was unnecessary. I think it would be better the Cruise was billed as 'inclusive' to indicate that not everything was included. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Have been on Marella ( formerly Thomson) Cruises before and this one appealed as it was a new itinerary with some great places. Flight was long but good, arrived on time and apart from a queue at airport immigration we arrived at the ... Read More
Have been on Marella ( formerly Thomson) Cruises before and this one appealed as it was a new itinerary with some great places. Flight was long but good, arrived on time and apart from a queue at airport immigration we arrived at the ship after a 20 min journey. Check in was done on board and was speedy and our luggage appeared quite quickly. Cabin - we had an inside cabin on deck 6. Although near stairs and lift it was very quiet and we heard no noise from bars downstairs. It was an ideal deck to be on - down to bars/restaurants and a few flights up to the pool deck, yet away from engine noise/vibration. Although not large there's plenty of drawers and cupboard space & a small sofa,adequate for our 2 weeks. The bathroom was small but well planned & also had good storage space , Ive been in smaller. Ship - the Discovery was new to us and we really liked it. Plenty of bars and restaurants but some quiet spaces as well. It was spotlessly clean and we saw staff cleaning & dusting every day. On sea days sunbeds were short ( as on every ship Ive been on!) but we always managed to find one in the afternoons. The indoor pool - The Glass House- was an indoor spa with pool, sunbeds, relaxing chairs & a small restaurant, a great place to go when it was so hot outside. Also loved the Veranda Terrace with sunbeds & big round chairs away from hustle& bustle. We also loved the putting course & had many a game as well as shuffleboard, although we didn't have the nerve to try the climbing wall. It also has an escape room at extra cost. Food & entertainment - the usual buffet & a waiter service restaurant. There was an Italian restaurant which only had 2 menus, a small tapas & pizza restaurant and the Snack shack which had breakfast & lunch snacks e.g. sandwiches, salads, chips etc.There were also the usual extra charge restaurants but we didn't try these. After discussion we decided the food was generally underwhelming and there were only a few meals we could say we really enjoyed. It was often bland and didn't live up to its description. The buffet had some good options depending on what time you went, the Snack shack sandwiches were fresh but very sparsely filled but hey,you'll never go hungry. The restaurant was often full by 7.30 pm and we were given a pager that buzzed when your table was ready which meant we often ate quite late & staff were a bit rushed. I think some passengers complained but it was fair.There was plenty of the usual entertainment - singers, bands, quizzes,game shows etc. the shows were varied - some were reminiscent of a 6th Form school production often off key and shrieking songs, others dance routines were fantastic,especially the Roxane and Can Can dance.Mark Daniels ( Paul Daniel's son) was the guest comedian and was hilarious, it was packed. Excursions -loads on offer to suit everyone. We were often berthed in ports far away from main cities but there was always transport for you to do your own thing. There was very little to do in port as they were quite industrial in places. I found some staff on destination services a little dismissive -we were told the local beach at Koh Samui had no facilities & ' you wont want to swim there' when in fact it was a lovely little palm fringed beach with clear sandy waters and a bar at the end. Paper maps weren't available any more - maybe maps could be put on the Discovery app as there was nothing to help you find your way round places,just a moving display map. Unfortunately, I developed a kidney infection and had to use the medical centre - I cannot fault the treatment, care and follow up from the medical team, complete with full copies of all tests and results which meant I could enjoy the end of my holiday. The places we visited were amazing and never to be forgotten and I think this itinerary gave us a flavour of the Far East Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Having cruised many times, mainly with P&O, we thought we’d give Marella a try as it was going to places we hadn’t been to before. Accommodation We had a balcony cabin on Deck 7 which had loads of storage space and kept ... Read More
Having cruised many times, mainly with P&O, we thought we’d give Marella a try as it was going to places we hadn’t been to before. Accommodation We had a balcony cabin on Deck 7 which had loads of storage space and kept clean and tidy by our steward, Charlie. Some of the towels, particularly the hand ones, were very thin and were pretty useless in absorbing any water and were seriously in need of replacement. Food The Islands buffet we found to be very poor. The same choices seemed to be repeated again and again. Always Chicken Korma, Chilli Con Carne, pizza. Poor selection of salads and cooked meat. The waiter service restaurant just couldn’t cope. Every evening, at various times, it was necessary to have a pager and wait for 40 minutes to be called. The food again was repetative and not enough choice. Trips As we hadn’t visited this area before we booked ship’s tours. We did feel that some of the trips were poor value for money and that we were being used as guinea pigs for Marella’s first visit to Asia. Coaches were of dubious quality, one had little or no rear suspension and we all feared for our backs when going over bumps. One trip advertised as 4.5 hours had us back on ship in 3. One of the highlights of another was a visit to a fruit and spice stall at the side of a busy road! Entertainment Lady Boys of Bangkok was a good show but as only one show was performed, many people were left disapppointed as they couldn’t get into theatre. We had two comedians. One, Martin Daniels ( son of Paul) was very good, the other not so good. The Marella entertainers were very good and worked hard. Loved Natalie, she was hilarious! Could have done with something a bit different on sea days. Perhaps a talk? Would we do Marella again? Yes at the right price to the right place. Would we do Asia again. Probably not but would return to Singapore in a heartbeat, such a clean place and easily accessible . Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise with Marella Discovery because we wanted to visit the places on offer. ( Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore). We also booked some of the excursions before with Tui because we hadn't visited any ... Read More
We chose this cruise with Marella Discovery because we wanted to visit the places on offer. ( Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore). We also booked some of the excursions before with Tui because we hadn't visited any of the places before apart from Thailand, so were not sure about what we could or couldn't do on our own. Our cabin was 8029, which had a wall to wall glass window, which was really good. Where the cabin was situated was down a small corridor on its own which made it very quiet. It was also close to the lifts, which again made it an ideal location. The cabi was very roomy and the cleaner was excellent and changed the towels/sheets every other day. The Dining experience was very good but if you wanted to eat after 7.45pm then you had a wait of about 20 -40 minutes. All the food in the Italian and the 47 degrees restaurants were good, there was plenty of choice and the menu changed each evening. The waiters were all happy and couldn't do enough for you. The Steak and Turf Specialty Restaurant is a must to visit but gets booked up very quickly. The entertainment during the day was fine and the shows at night were stunning. Service for drinks in the evening was excellent, there were always waiters on hand to get your orders. Drinks on deck while you were sunbathing were good and always cold. Shore Excursions at the various ports were hit and miss. Many of the excursions that we had prebooked before we left were much cheaper when you docked and asked the taxi drivers. All the drivers had a sheet with pictures of the places you could visit with them and you could then pick which ones you went to and which you wanted to avoid. This was better than going on the Ship Excursion because on one trip you visited about 3 temples which after one Temple the others look the same and have the same statues, people were coming back from the Ship Excursion saying they were " Templed Out" but on your own you could go to one Temple and then visit somewhere else. You saved about £30-£60. We went on a Ship Excursion entitled " Highlights of Sihanoukville by Tuk Tuk" in Cambodia. The excursion was a shambles, we were put on a fleet of Tuk Tuks, The told to get off them because they were the wrong ones, we then ended up on the Tuk Tuk from hell. 4 people squashed into a Tuk Tuk facing each other with our feet on the spare wheel. We thought the driver had the radio on but when we stopped we found that he was actually watching a Kung Fu movie on his phone that was propped up in front of the steering wheel. When we got off the Tuk we found we all had blue paint on our hands where we had been gripping the sideshow tightly because the Tuk was so unsafe, on the way back the exhaust blew. I could go on but having complained to the Ships Destination team we were only offered 30% refund which we declined because we felt from a safety point of view all we had done was hang on for dear life and not enjoyed the experience one bit. If we had booked a Tuk ourselves we could have chosen a roadworthy one and seen much more for less money. So I would recommend that you do all the trips independently, one because it a lot cheaper, if you do a trip in every port then you can save up to £200 and secondly where we thought going with Tui and Marbella would be safer as they advertise that they use reputable companies for the trips, this was clearly not the case in Cambodia. Having said that, I would recommend the cruise, the ship, and the places that it visited but I would strongly suggest that you do your excursions independently because you see more, get there quicker and can see what you want to see. Always negotiate your price first and then go explore! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Just to be aware most of the ports on this cruise are large container ports so don’t expect pretty vistas from your balcony cabin. Also the main ports, those for Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City are a long way from these ... Read More
Just to be aware most of the ports on this cruise are large container ports so don’t expect pretty vistas from your balcony cabin. Also the main ports, those for Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City are a long way from these cities (at least 2-3 hours). There are lots of reviews about the ship so won’t go into detail about that as there is lots of info online. We found the standard drinks package fine (I don’t drink alcohol and hubby was able to have beers that he likes from the limited choice of beers as it is mainly lagers) and felt it was not worth the upgrade to the premium package which is an £50 per person per week so £200 on the 2 week cruise. We flew in and out of Langkawi as we wanted the extra time in Bangkok and had booked the ship tour called Sleepless Bangkok and tuk tuk ride which meant we didn’t get back to the ship until around midnight. One of the things I would have liked to see was a ladyboy show and unbeknown to us the ladyboys of Bangkok come onto the ship and do a show in the theatre on the evening of the overnight in Bangkok which we missed. Everybody says the show is fabulous. Langkawi – the advice I read was to walk past the initial throng of taxi drivers trying to get your business and carry on a bit further to the car park area. However one of our group of 4 was able to negotiate a return fare to the cable car of 150 ringgits (£30 so £15 per couple). Took about 45 minutes to get there but was closed due to high winds, we had been advised it was closed the previous day also due to the winds but did open later in the day, we hung around for a while but no sign of it opening or the wind easing so the other couple were returned to the ship and on their advice we went to the mangroves. The boat trip for 2 hours was 350 ringgits (£70) which is a private boat, there were no other people getting a boat at the same time so we were unable to share despite plenty of room on the boat, the price is for the boat, not the number of people so would be better to have several of you to share the cost. The 1 hour trip (sorry can’t remember the cost) would be sufficient as you don’t see much more on the 2 hour trip. We then got the taxi driver to take us to Eagle Square where we stopped for about 20 minutes. When we asked the taxi driver how much extra it was he said to pay what we felt so we paid a further 150 ringgits on top of the original 150 for taking us to the cable car and back and he seemed happy with this. He was happy to wait as long as needed at each stop. We found out later that the cable car did open later in the day despite it still being windy so if it is windy suggest going early afternoon and you may get to do it. Penang – we got the HOHO bus from outside the port – bus was waiting as you exited the port terminal but had to wait a while for it to depart. We bought our tickets inside the terminal at a cost of 45 ringgits each – so around £10 each. We wanted to go on the funicular (as we were unable to do the cable car in Langkawi), you can buy tickets on the bus, either 30 ringgits or 80 ringgits for fast pass tickets per person. We made the mistake of going for the cheaper ones and it took about an hour and a half before we made it to the top. You have to wait until your boarding number is called, then queue for about 15 minutes in one area, then you move on and think you are going to board the funicular but then it is another big queue before a final big queue before you get on. The fast pass tickets just go straight through so you would be up in about 10 minutes. By the time we made it to the top we only had a quick scout round as we were concerned about the queue to get back down and having to wait for the HOHO bus. Kuala Lumpur – we did the Kuala Lumpur on your own trip with the ship which I would recommend. I had pre-booked the Petronas Tower tour for 12.15 so before that we got a taxi to and from central market which cost 40 ringgits (£8) there and 20 ringgits back (£4). We were given maps on the coach and the drop off and pick up was by the Petronas Towers. Singapore – we used the metro which is accessible from the port terminal – jus follow the signs or ask. A day pass is $10 per person or a single ride is $1.80. We just did single rides as we knew we wouldn’t do enough to warrant the day pass. We got the metro to Clarke Quay and then did a boat trip from there to Marina Bay which was $18 each. There are various stops to get off in Marina Bay. (We got off at Marina Bay Sands hotel but I would recommend getting off at the Merlion Statue to see that close up then walking round to Marina Bay Sands although this would be a fair walk). We then went up to the viewing platform of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel which was $23 each – just enter the hotel and follow the signs. We then followed the signs to Gardens by the Bay. Unfortunately the arial walkway in the trees was closed for maintenance on the day we were there but costs $8 each. We were undecided about doing the domes (as we have been to the Eden Project in Cornwall and felt it would be like that) but we did it and they are amazing – highly recommended. $28 each. Koh Samui – We got a songthew (type of bus with an open rear) to Chaweng Beach, agreed a cost with the driver of 500 baht (£13) return fare for a couple. 6 other couples joined us. On arrival the driver arranged a pick up time with us and he was there exactly on time which we arranged for 2.30pm to allow sufficient time to get back to the ship, it was an hour’s journey each way. The driver even stopped on the way back and went into a shop, then presented us all with a chilled bottle of water. We walked about 5 minutes or so along the beach and hired sunbeds on the beach outside a hotel for 100 baht each (£2.63) for the day. We also had access to the toilet facilities. Hubby also had his first ever massage for I think 300 baht – was supposed to be 45 minutes but was over an hour. Laem Chabang (Bangkok) – we did ship tours on the 2 days to Bangkok – Sleepless Bangkok and tuk tuk ride on the first day and the ancient city on the second day. The tuk tuk ride was fun, night market was quite small. Spent quite a lot of time at the temple where they do the evening chanting (bit too long) and the flower market is just a walk through. Ancient city trip was nice, very clean and picturesque. Cambodia, Sihanoukville – the port transfer bus gets accosted by taxi/tuk tuk drivers wanting your business which some people find very intimidating and return straight away to the ship. The guy at my husband’s window met us off the bus and we moved away from the crowd to negotiate a price which was $60US for 3 hours, He spoke good English and the Cambodian people are friendly. We visited a square, a religious site, several beaches, golden lions roundabout and a fishing village. There is a lot of building going on of casinos and hotels by the Chinese as advised by our driver/guide but they bring their own people so it doesn’t give work to the locals. The area is very third world with lots of rubbish around and basic roads, with the fishing village being extremely basic and slum-like, makes you appreciate what we have at home! So is an experience which shouldn’t be missed, plus you are helping their economy. We had originally planned to go on a ferry to the island of Koh Rong Sanloem and had prebooked and paid online for the return ferries. This was based on the the itinerary had said we would be in Sihanoukville from 7am to 9pm so allowed plenty of time for getting back to the ship as we had been told that transport such as ferries don’t always run to the scheduled times. However when we received the cruise paper the evening before the departure time was 7pm which we felt was too tight to ensure we would make it back in time so had to forgo the island trip. This trip is not offered by the ship. On asking other people the 7pm departure had also happened on the previous cruise. Phu My Vietnam – Vung Tau – We chose to do a ship tour to the seaside area of Vung Tau rather than go into Ho Chi Minh City which is retrospect was probably not a great idea. The trip was partly sightseeing and partly beach with lunch. We were firstly driven to a lookout point but there wasn’t long enough to climb the many steps to get to the top to see the Jesus statue due to the short time we were given here. We then went to a religious site and were given quite a long time here which wasn’t needed as not a great deal to see, so the timings were not great. We also stopped along the seafront for a brief photo stop. The beach hotel we were taken to was nice, the lunch was basic but ok (no choice of food), the beach was nice although the sea was rough and there were kite surfers who didn’t have any consideration for the bathers so you had to be careful when in the sea. Speaking to people who had gone into Ho Chi Minh City, they said it was really good, so we wished we had gone there instead. Malacca – Tenders to shore which was not mentioned in Tui info but departure time was 4pm rather than the stated 2pm. We walked to Dutch Square and Jonker Street, then did a boat trip on the river which cost 30 ringgts each (approx £6 each). As it was very hot we then hired one of the bike/tuk tuks to save further walking in the heat (sorry can’t remember how much this was). However we ended up re-visiting some of the places we had already been to and wasn’t able to communicate this with the language barrier. We got him to drop us at McDonalds so we could get some refreshments and use their wifi and we then walked back to the tender area. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was our 8th Cruise, our first with Marella. Previously we have cruised with RC, P&O and MSC. We had previously sailed on Discovery 10 years ago when it was Royal Caribbean - Splendour of the Seas so we knew what to expect. ... Read More
This was our 8th Cruise, our first with Marella. Previously we have cruised with RC, P&O and MSC. We had previously sailed on Discovery 10 years ago when it was Royal Caribbean - Splendour of the Seas so we knew what to expect. The flight and boarding of the ship was smooth and easy. We had an inside cabin and this was small but functional and clean. Marella have tarted up the sink units in the bathroom but the shower is still the same with a curtain, rather than an enclosed cubicle. Freedom Dining: This was a new system to us as we have always previously had a late set dining time. We were a large party of 14 adults and we knew that we would not be able to have one large table, so we split into two groups each night - a table of 6 and a table of 8. Personally I thought this was a good system, we would be given a buzzer which would indicate when our tables were ready and there was never a long wait. I would add that the down side to this is that we didn't have the same waiting staff each night and the service varied considerably, on the whole the staff were attentive and being all inclusive the wine glasses and water glasses were kept filled. However, one evening our glasses remained empty until we asked a passing staff member for more drinks, which he immediately started to fill, only to be questioned by the Restaurant Manager why he was waiting on someone else's table, a short sharp heated exchange took place, which resulted in half our glasses being filled before he walked off very disgruntled! This was awkward and embarrassing for us. Personally I think you get better service on a set sitting on a set table as the waiting staff get to know you and also know they will be tipped if they provide a good service. Entertainment: The bands on the ship were very good, there were some fantastic singers on this cruise. Bar & Drinks: All inclusive package was absolutely fine, I didn't find any need to upgrade as there was plenty of choice in the normal package. We never had to wait too long for drinks to be served. Excursions & Ports of Call: We booked the Catamaran Excursion on our 2nd Day in Langkawi, after a long flight we had to be up early to join the excursion, only to be told when we got to the dock that our excursion was cancelled as the Catamaran had broken down. We took a taxi to a local beach - in hindsight this was probably one of the best beaches of the cruise but at the time I thought how dirty and shabby it looked. There were plastic bottles and waste on the beach and the sea was quite rough with Jelly Fish warnings posted on the beach! I went swimming all the same - no Jelly Fish sighted! Malaysia - Penang The next day we had an excursion to Monkey Beach, despite reading terrible reviews we thought we would like to try it for ourselves. The reviews were not unfounded - the beach was covered in plastic, rubbish and bottles, lots of rundown shacks that need clearing away. I would not use the "facilities" they were too dirty. We had a BBQ lunch on the beach but I was very wary of the hygiene, but hunger got the better of me and I ate some of the chicken skewers which were very tasty and nothing untoward happened. The monkeys all came down to the beach, so you do get to see a lot of monkeys. They were not aggressive but you need to watch your bags etc.. we saw one monkey make off with a packet of pills from one ladies handbag! Another grabbed a can of coke and bit into the can to drink it, I don't think we tourists are making a very good contribution to their diet and well being. On the return journey we had to climb a ladder onto a very rickety pontoon with no handrails, so I would not advise anyone with any mobility issues to attempt this excursion. I actually wonder whether a Tui representative has tried this excursion? Kuala Lumpur - Port Klang By this time jet lag had definitely kicked in but we still had to be up early for our excursion to see Kuala Lumpur on your own. A very clean modern city. Loved the KL & Petronas Towers. Singapore Another very clean city - we used the hop on hop off bus, which goes from the Cruise terminal. Went to Raffles (of course) but a long queue deterred us from waiting for a Singapore Sling. My sister went in but found it a bit of a tourist conveyor belt. Went to the sky bar with the inifinity pool - lovely views but pricey - expect to pay London prices. Finally a Lay in and a day at sea...of course no sunbeds available on deck. One point to note on the sea day - my brother in law went underwater in the pool and came up in agony, something in the pool really upset his eyes. He wasn't the only person either, there were a couple of other guys also complaining of painful eyes after submerging in the pool. Koh Samui - Thailand Got a mini bus for $75 each way for 8 people to Chaweng beach, quite a pretty beach but not clear enough for snorkelling. Jelly fish warnings again but none of us suffered any stings. Bangkok - Thailand We booked the Classic Thai dance and dinner The port is a working port - with nothing pretty to see, as were quite a few of the ports on this cruise. The coach trip to Bangkok was 2 hours - we had an hour in the Night Market before going to the show, the show lasted for one hour with dinner served during the show - a typical thai curry with various accompaniments (we were told it was Crocodile Curry) - good tasty food but it was all over and done with very quickly and we were back on the coach for the 2 hour journey back. In hindsight I wish we had made our own arrangements to see Bangkok on our own - perhaps with an overnight stay in an hotel. Pattaya - Thailand We did Pattaya on our own, again due to the ship departure time we only had a very short amount of time here. Had a look around a shopping centre and went to the beach - nothing much to say about it - beach ok but not pretty like the beaches in the Caribbean. I think it would be better to visit at night to see the lady boys etc.. Cambodia A group of us took the port shuttle bus to make our own way around. However be prepared for a total scrum of Tuk tuk drivers who as soon as the shuttle bus gets out of the port will start to run along side the bus, banging on the windows, pointing at their placards of places they will take you. When the bus stopped I wasn't sure I wanted to get off as there were around 30 tuk tuk drivers wanting our business. In the end two of the guys in our group managed to agree for two brothers to take our group to Sokha which is a beach resort hotel. The short tuk tuk ride took us past the building sites and smells of this area of Cambodia. It looks at present as though the whole region is under construction so don't expect anything pretty. The resort of Sokha however was a little haven. I am sure we paid too much for the Tuk tuks - but it was only $15 dollars each way and the brothers only took payment on the return journey. Sokha has a beautiful pool and access to the beach which looked clean and nice although the sea was a bit rough. Entry to Sokha was $20 each and for this you got a beach towel, and a drink. Vietnam: We cancelled our - Saigon on your own tour as I didn't fancy the long coach trip - 2 - 2.5 hours for a few hours there. Some of our friends did the tunnels and thoroughly enjoyed it although they all felt claustrophobic in the tiny tunnels. The rest of us grabbed a minibus and again went to a local Beach Resort Hotel - this was about 45 minutes away. The hotel and pool were very nice $24 each, this time no drink just a towel and use of the facilities. The beach was full of bitumen and again very rough sea, so we stayed in the resort area. Malacca - Malaysia The last stop before returning to Langkawi for home. This is a tender to shore, very quick and easy, you can walk into the town area, you don't need an excursion. The tuk tuks here are very colourful and blasting out with different kinds of music. You can walk to the Jonker Street area, which is quite busy and near the Dutch Square too. Conclusion: My first time in Asia: Some countries were very clean and modern and others not but that was all part of the experience. In hindsight some of the excursions we booked were not the best choice. There are things I would have liked to have differently but not knowing how easy it was to get around we played safe. I would have liked to see the Mekong Delta and Saigon but both places were 2-2.5 hours away from the port as were some of the other excursions. I expected breath taking beaches and pretty towns but this was not what we got, a lot of the places are in the midst of mass development. The beaches are not good for snorkelling and all the beaches we visited were strewn with rubbish. I think I have been spoilt by the beauty of the Caribbean. But everything added to the experience and it was a holiday I would not have missed. I just don't think I would hurry back...just yet. One final point to note; there was a lot of sickness and tummy upsets on the ship, we heard people in the public toilets being violently ill and heard lots of people talking about stomach bugs! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Change of itinerary! A two hour delay leaving Manchester , flight ok tho , apart from a medical emergency,which had a happy ending . Reasonable drinks service , but the food left a lot to be desired , the breakfast muffin, was ... Read More
Change of itinerary! A two hour delay leaving Manchester , flight ok tho , apart from a medical emergency,which had a happy ending . Reasonable drinks service , but the food left a lot to be desired , the breakfast muffin, was absolutely awful , but Thomson , will have surely changed this by now , as nearly everybody left it. Crew friendly and efficient. Breakfast very good , lunch was a bit disappointing,evening meals were either very good or on occasion , slightly disappointing. Drinks were only average , running out of a number of bottled beers and no beer mats , so lots of dripping tables and drinks . Clearly not enough staff to serve drinks , long waiting times and quest at bars . Ports of call were mostly good , but very long travelling times to main attractions, 2-3 hours each way in most cases . Entertainment, was very disappointing , the two uk guest comedians, were Rudy West & Phil Doyle , both very good if you haven't seen them before , but anybody that cruises regularly, with Marella, will have seen these guys numerous times , anyway two nights missing the theatre isn't a big deal , but what is , in our opinion, is that we had watched all the other shows last February on this ship , apart from the ladyboys of Bangkok , who for some reason , only do one show , so not everybody, can get in to see it and it isn't worth watching on the big screen, we could not go to see this show , even if we had wanted too as our excursion to Bangkok , takes 12 hours , it is advertised as a 10'hour trip but the guide told us before we even left the quay that it would be at least 12 , with 6 hours travelling time due to the traffic congestion. On arrival we noticed a musky smell in the cabin , the night before our arrival , there had been a burst pipe , scalding 4 passengers, whilst asleep in their beds and scaring the others who had got up and stepped into water , this happened another two times during our stay .one couple who used the bottled water in their cabin ,were charged £1.40 for the privilege. As always the crew on board are exceptionally friendly, with nothing to much trouble , just a pity there numbers, have been cut back . Delayed 1 hour , on our return flight , the captain stated , that , this was due to the meals for premium class passengers arriving late . The service once again was very good , apart from one stewardess called Helen , who for the full duration of the flight , was in a foul mood and spoke to the passengers in a very derogatory manner .On one occasion she almost frog marched A lady back to her seat , who was about to use the toilet just as the fasten your seat belt light came on , yes rules are rules but the turbulence wasn't that bad and the lady had been waiting some considerable time and the toilets in the middle of the plane were still being used by some big guys , who she must not of fancied being so offensive to . If the turbulence was that bad , why weren't the cabin crew buckled up , in fact they were sitting on aluminium boxes in the galley ! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We booked a late deal with Tui to go on The Colours of the Far East Cruise from Gatwick on 6th February. The fact that it was on the Marrella Discovery attracted us because it was all-inclusive and we went on this same ship in the ... Read More
We booked a late deal with Tui to go on The Colours of the Far East Cruise from Gatwick on 6th February. The fact that it was on the Marrella Discovery attracted us because it was all-inclusive and we went on this same ship in the Caribbean last year and it was great. The only things that had changed were the location and many of the crew. There was still the same friendly atmosphere from the moment we boarded in Laem Chabang until we disembarked 14 days later. The service in the bars and restaurants were first class and always came with smile and a chat where possible. I appreciated this particularly on deck 10 from Djordje (Barman) and Vladyslav (Waiter/ Barman) and also their supervisor Petre Alin. We normally had dinner in the 47 degrees restaurant which never disappointed with fantastic a la carte food with the 3 courses varied every evening and the excellent service always ensured the food was hot. The standard of the food in this restaurant is a credit to the Executive Chef Paul and his staff. We took several of the Tui excursions and enjoyed all particularly Singapore. A great Cruise thank you to the Captain Hugh and the General manager Demetris. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
fantastic cruise to the far east with marella discovery. we cant fault it in any way. the food in all areas was very good. the all inclusive booze was also very good as was all the staff who served it a special mention to elma ... Read More
fantastic cruise to the far east with marella discovery. we cant fault it in any way. the food in all areas was very good. the all inclusive booze was also very good as was all the staff who served it a special mention to elma the barman at pool bar in the day and live room at night a great bloke very hard working but that was true of all the staff on board. the entertainment was also top drawer the best band was b12 and the singer venus from the Philippines was first class, spoke to her on a number of occasions and she is a lovely young lady and very talented. saw Maurice grumbleweed , we have seen him a few times now and he was as good as ever, we didn't see the other comic. met lots of people and had a great time. we cant comment on sun loungers as we don't use them, we are of the opinion we spend all night lying down with our eyes shut so we don't do it all day as well, much prefer to sit in a chair on deck near the bar having a few drinks and watching the world go by doing the quiz (badly) and listening to the band. we have been cruising now for about 15 years mostly 2 a year and never had a bad one, we don't do land based holidays anymore except for city breaks. trips out we used local people except for city tours when we used the marella transfers to Saigon and kuala lumpur and pattaya, and some places we just did our own thing. all in all very good trip and cant wait for the next one. we have sailed royal Caribbean, princess, marella p and o and ncl last few years we have been mostly on marella because although we haven't been on any that were not good we find that for our needs marella beats all the others if only for the friendly atmosphere and entertainment on the ships Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise for the destinations namely- Thailand, Cambodia,Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. All destinations varied as Cambodia and Vietnam in comparison to the others are a tad behind with the modern World, however we had done ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the destinations namely- Thailand, Cambodia,Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. All destinations varied as Cambodia and Vietnam in comparison to the others are a tad behind with the modern World, however we had done our research, therefore they came as no surprise. We enjoyed having a taster of all the places and Singapore was the cleanest place we've ever visited, it's spotless. Malaysia was fantastic. The cruise experience was mixed due to poor entertainment for us. Emphasis was on game show and quizzes galore. Two comedy acts, one of the Grumbleweeds and Peter Piper a seasoned comic pro. An Asian 4 piece male ensemble, good to be fair, especially the Operatic songs. The Bangkok lady boys show was excellent. Two resident bands one British who were okay. The other Asian who were excellent. Food on board was average to good, service was excellent. 99% of staff are a credit to themselves and Marella all over the ship.....always polite and smiling. Cinema on open deck showed poor films, one night Jaws was on???? Why not put a film on in afternoon instead of quizzes!!!! Films on in cabin were not advertised so you never knew what or when they were coming on? I mention this because the ship was plagued with coughs colds and chest infections. To which I succumbed to myself and could have done with an itinerary when I took to my bed ill. The medical team looked after me putting I.V. Antibiotics into me getting me in reasonable shape to fly home. Cabin steward Willy was top notch along with his team. As I fell ill towards the end of the trip fortunately this did not distract our overall enjoyment. A great taster for this part of the world which has enabled us to most certainly go back. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Check in took place on the ship in the Squid and Anchor, it was ok, there was a lot of people checking you in but still a long wait. (Royal Caribbean are outstanding at check in and getting you holiday off to amazing start) The ... Read More
Check in took place on the ship in the Squid and Anchor, it was ok, there was a lot of people checking you in but still a long wait. (Royal Caribbean are outstanding at check in and getting you holiday off to amazing start) The entertainment was excellent, the team performed 12 different evening shows twice a night, we find that all Marella / Thompson ships entertainment team are the hardest working team compared to the 3 other cruise companies we have sailed with. 2 different comedians, a little old fashioned but it suits the age range. The final show when we docked in Bangkok was the Lady Boys and there was standing room only. We dined most nights in the main restaurant which is any time dining, great service and great food ! Great choice of drinks on the all inclusive drinks package that comes as standard - no need to upgrade. Great choice of different bar areas, we found the best cocktails in Barr 11. Excursions - we did a mixture of booking with Marella and making our own way, some of them cheaper to do on your own and others not much difference. We took one of the guided bike tours which is always a great way to see the local area. Destinations - as always with Marella the stops are very good, over 14 nights we had 3 days at sea and the rest exploring places such as Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpa, Penang, Mellaka, Vietnam, Cambodia and more. Overall we had a great time, we found that the age range was more mixed on this Marella cruise with at least a handful under 30 which is nice for a change. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My wife and I chose this cruise because we wanted something a bit different to the Caribbean , We chose Marella because we have always liked the ships and crews . This was the first time we had been on the Discovery and we were quite ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise because we wanted something a bit different to the Caribbean , We chose Marella because we have always liked the ships and crews . This was the first time we had been on the Discovery and we were quite impressed with the ship , our cabin was a junior suite with a balcony and to be quite honest we could find nothing to complain about it was spacious and very comfortable , our steward kept everything clean and tidy and also gave us a sprinkling of towel art and chocolates on the bed . Regarding the food on the ship we found that there was always something to eat somewhere we ate a lot in the Italian restaurant at night and just snacked at the snack shack in the daytime . The drinks available on the all inclusive were very good and very plentiful and having to show your card was not really a problem as if you did not have it with you you could give your cabin number , Moving on to the entertainment we thought the big shows were not quite as good as on previous ships but there was quite a choice around the ship like game shows in the Squid and Anchor or music in the live lounge . Some of the places we visited were quite an eye opener like Cambodia but we found a tour you can book on the internet with the Don Bosco Hotel School Sihanoukville , You can google it , They do a tour around picking you up at the port gate with English speaking students , They will take you to a fishing village , To a temple then to the Hotel school for lunch after that you will visit the waterfalls then back to the Hotel school for Dinner after which you will visit a local market then travel alongside some beaches back to the port , All the food is included this was one of the best days of our cruise , most of the other destinations were better to book of the boat as you got better value , I would say that the destination services team were not very good if we asked about tours they would just point you to the monitors to book them , On most of the news letters we got it said if you wanted to know about your next stop ask destination services but we found that to be a waste of time , Overall we had a great time it was not perfect but pretty close to it Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We had visited South Africa, Sri Lanka and stopped for three days in Bangkok in September, October and November 2018 with a view to visiting more of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. We returned home in UK for a family wedding and Christmas ... Read More
We had visited South Africa, Sri Lanka and stopped for three days in Bangkok in September, October and November 2018 with a view to visiting more of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. We returned home in UK for a family wedding and Christmas and we spotted this cruise offer in local travel agent window during December. Having not done a cruise previously, we decided to give it a try based on friends and family feedback from other cruises. This is totally our personal view of the experience, which will certainly be different for everyone. I will bullet point only as not wanting to write a book. POSITIVES - Cruise was very well organised and ship was very clean with excellent staff. Comfortable cabin and bed. Flexible eating options. ‘Some’ good entertainment. Different place to visit most mornings. Plenty bars around the ship. Able to find quiet spots even on days at sea. NEGATIVES - One week would have been long enough on a ship for us. Adult only cruise catered more for older generation (55+) with most entertainment. All English on cruise. The towels on sun beds situation. Very limited times on shore. Food became a little bland after a while. All inclusive did not include bottled drinking water. All inclusive did not include WiFi. We feel that as drinking water and WiFi are pretty important things to most, they should be included. A glass of coke was chargeable at bars before 10am. Could not get foreign currency onboard using a bank card at reception and no ATM. Excursions not always value for money or too long. Some ports too far from places of interest. Some entertainment a little poor. Ended up coming home with a severe bout of diarrhoea even though we only ate onboard and always followed the hygiene facilities (unlike a lot of others using the toilets) A different experience for both my wife and me but no more cruising for us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
have cruised many times but wanted something different for our 40th anniversary. disappointingly, we found out from another cruiser that our stop to cambodia would not be happening due to immigration problems but the person we spoke to had ... Read More
have cruised many times but wanted something different for our 40th anniversary. disappointingly, we found out from another cruiser that our stop to cambodia would not be happening due to immigration problems but the person we spoke to had been informed by their travel agent before they left home so was annoyed we hadn't been emailed at home as we booked online. to replace this stop, we diverted to singapore. shame as we we were scheduled for another stop there later. would have been nice to have two days together rather than separate visits. next stop was vietnam. we did the mekong delta excursion. 3 hours to get there and was disappointed with a grotty , cramped mini bus, yet river was an eye opener to life on the delta. a six hour journey travelling there and back. cannot understand why coach was not used for this 10 hour excursion. malaysia was a delight, especially langkawi. kuala lumpur was a complete opposite to all other malaysian stops. trip to the mangroves and batu cave was excellent. singapore is a wonderful diverse place to visit. it really deserves a week to explore properly. for 1 day visits, buy a one day ticket for the metro, unlimited use for under 10 dollars. spotlessly clean carriages. last stop, koh samui, a tender stop. lovely feel and make sure you visit the temples. you won't be disappointed. our airport was changed from bangkok to a utapau, nearer to laem chabang where you join cruise but not much of an airport. you wouldn't like to be delayed at this airport. entertainment was average to good. the shows were ok but have seen better on other thomson and tui cruises. the best group was b12 who joined the cruise after the first week. the casino was pokey and cramped. food was very good and bars well spaced out. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Went on the Enchanting Far East Cruise We were sold the cruise as an ‘All inclusive’ package but found that we were limited as to what we could drink and where we could eat. Having talked to other passengers about this we were told ... Read More
Went on the Enchanting Far East Cruise We were sold the cruise as an ‘All inclusive’ package but found that we were limited as to what we could drink and where we could eat. Having talked to other passengers about this we were told that even had we paid £100 per person for the ‘premium’ package we would still have had to pay a nominal amount for ‘premium’ drinks and would still have to pay for the speciality restaurants. This is not what we expect from an ‘All inclusive’ package. Once aboard the ship we tried most of the restaurants, including the so-called Italian restaurant which appears to be Italian in name only. Overall the food was average at most. Apart from Lankawi, Singapore and the ports where a tender was required we berthed in what can only be described as industrial freight ports which were miles from any towns {we can only surmise that this was for cheaper port tax}. This meant that it was pointless trying to see places like Ho Chi Min City which was 80 miles from the port. We were told by thr agent that we needed cash for a Cambodia visa only to be told onboard that the fee would be taken from our account even if you didn't get off the ship! We considered taking the excursions but after talking to passengers who had done so did not bother as they all said they didn’t have time to see everything on the printed itinerary due to the time taken to travel to and from the destinations. On our last day we were informed that we had to leave our main cases outside our cabin by 2:00am and had to vacate our cabin at 8:00am. As our transfer to the airport wasn’t until 3:00pm this meant we had a 7 hour wait. We were also informed that there were 8 cabins available for 3 hours for the whole flight (300+ people) to freshen up in which calculates to just over 4 minutes per person!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
left Gatwick just before it was shut down ,due to drones which may or may not be true. Flight, transfer and embarkation well organised .Balcany cabin 7578 was spacious clean , quiet Food in the buffet was good with lots of ... Read More
left Gatwick just before it was shut down ,due to drones which may or may not be true. Flight, transfer and embarkation well organised .Balcany cabin 7578 was spacious clean , quiet Food in the buffet was good with lots of choice. Gallery 47,was nice as was 47 and the glass house . Drinks were plentiful , never waited more than 2 minutes ,cocktails were a little weak but still nice . The Broadway Show lounge had some entertaining shows, as did the Squid and anchor.The pool deck had an afternoon quiz and Gavin and Co messing around . jaki Graham appeared one night ,singing her 80s hits. All the staff worked hard ,with little time off The Ports were all new to tui, so we were first to experience them , firstly Lankawi . Was a lovely island would be happy to spend 2 weeks there Next Penang ,a day was sufficient,went to see the Oranutans , they didnt seem th Kuala Lumpar ,Batu Caves and Petronas Towers were a must see ,liked the city Then Singapore . Did the open top bus, saw one building of merit ,the rest were average a few shopping malls , a bit like boring .When returning to the ship the bus driver tried to stop an Indian family ,who were on the cruise , getting on the bus .You live and learn Koh Samui .Taxi to Niki Beach ended up somehow in a luxury beachfront hotel with huge beds being waited on by friendly Thai staff !! Did ships tour to Bankok because of distance , Boat trip on river ,saw temples . Guide then took 30 people on the metro , very crowded but never lost anyone!!Went to mall ate some local street food Cambodia , Taxi to beach and temple .The Chinese are investing a lot of money here Did ships tour to Ho Chi Minh city, again because of the distance .The way the locals drive and ride is incredible .Went down Cu Chi tunnels .Crossed the road twice and lived , Malacca , not worth getting off the ship Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Chose this cruise for the itinerary and past good experiences on Thomson cruises. Embarkation at Manchester airport was very slow and disorganised with staff struggling to hand out docs.We travelled as a couple and for the very first time ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary and past good experiences on Thomson cruises. Embarkation at Manchester airport was very slow and disorganised with staff struggling to hand out docs.We travelled as a couple and for the very first time found ourselves seperated on the long flights because we didn’t pay extra to book seats, shame on you Tui, you might expect this on a budget airline, not on a cruise package. Whilst the ship was nicely decked out for Christmas, the celebrations were somewhat spoilt by some passengers who do not know how to dress on a cruise ship. It seems that because of over capacity in the cruise industry, the operators will let anything go these days. Shorts, trainers and football tops in the main dining room, surely not? The quality of the food was very disappointing, probably the worst we have experienced in over 20 years of cruising. The buffet choices were very limited and repetitive, either under or over cooked!The Christmas dinner was mediocre to say the least, we were on the third and last sitting and the dining room staff had obviously had enough by then and just wanted to get rid of us with rushed service and no offer of coffee/ tea after the meal. The only people we spoke to who thought all was good seemed to be first time cruisers. Entertainment was generally of a good standard, the entertainment staff and cruise director did a good job, although most of the acts were onboard for the entire cruise and were not refreshed. Captain Chris was very entertaining with his midday broadcasts. The shore excursions we booked (6) were generally very good, partly due to the excellent local guides. The departure airport in Thailand was on the small side with not enough seating for the aircraft size and hot! The return flight was 2 hours longer than the brochure stated at 13hrs. Come on Tui you can do better, if not you’re reputation will sink like the Titanic in todays ultra competitive market. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click