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531 Marella Cruises Family Cruise Reviews

We wanted a cruise at short notice. Somewhere warm. Or even warmish. Our only option was this Mariella cruise around the Canary Islands. I must say it was cheap. Therefore we made a number of assumptions, only some of them were ... Read More
We wanted a cruise at short notice. Somewhere warm. Or even warmish. Our only option was this Mariella cruise around the Canary Islands. I must say it was cheap. Therefore we made a number of assumptions, only some of them were accurate. We travelled on the Tui flight from Gatwick. Extra legroom seat for only £25 each. Flight was comfortable. Bus collection and transfer was flawless. Embarkation was remarkably quick. And within about fifteen minutes we were onboard the ship. The ship is beautiful. It’s an older tug, but as it was originally a Celebrity ship the rooms and spaces are well thought out. It’s a really easy smaller ship to navigate around so there wasn’t many passengers looking lost. A word about our fellow cruisers. Perhaps it was the time of year, or perhaps the itinerary but if did feel a bit like a Fred Olsen cruise. The average age was at least 70. This meant that although the alcohol was all inclusive there wasn’t many obviously drunk passengers onboard...... The main problem concerned the food. The budget must have been about £5.00 a day. The food was monotonous and boring. Little choice and items repeated. Service was variable. From excellent to absolutely awful. The worst was me watching the waiter taking big crafty gulps of red wine when we weren’t even served our own glasses. He missed courses out, got confused over the order and didn’t fill our glasses but managed to fill his own!! If Marella increased the daily budget by about £2 or £3 a day the difference would be dramatic. Then they really would take P and O to task. But as it is there really is no comparison. I would rather pay more, and buy my drinks rather than eat those school dinners again. That’s a shame. We were in the Atlantic Ocean so I expected a bit of movement. But never in nearly twenty cruises have I been thrown around like that. And the sea was calm!! The captain did say he only had one engine going. My personal opinion was that the stabilisers were not used to save on drag and the extra fuel cost. That is laudable but not when the comfort of your passengers is at stake. He should be ashamed. The ports we visited was a bonus but I have to say if you get the chance to visit Madeira then go. Beautiful and beautifully kept. A real highlight. Try and do the cable car and the sleigh ride down the street. Fabulous. Though do not walk back into the town. It’s about a mile and a half down a one is three hill. A torture!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Well having sailed with Thompson on the Thompson Spirit (which was falling to peices) this was a pleasant surprise. The ship isn't new but they have obviously invested a lot of money refitting the ship. Everywhere was clean, the food ... Read More
Well having sailed with Thompson on the Thompson Spirit (which was falling to peices) this was a pleasant surprise. The ship isn't new but they have obviously invested a lot of money refitting the ship. Everywhere was clean, the food was great quality and selection (main dinning hall (Latitude 56), buffet restaurant (the market place), an Italian (serves buffet style pizzas and pasta during the day) and a tapas restaurant and the snack shack (burger, hotdogs and grab as you go items) they also have 3 paid restaurants also (not visited). The entertainment was a bit sparse and I would not like to be stuck on this ship for more than a day of sailing without stopping. It also doesn't offer a lot of things to do, it has a cinema (poor old selections of films), library, little crazy golf, sport court (very small), pool area with 3 jacuzzis (pool was warm, which makes a change, spa (chargeable), small gambling area (wouldn't call it a casino) a coffee shop (extra charge) and shops. I would rate this a one of the nicest cruises we have taken and we have taken a lot. The staff were friendly and the cabin was clean, more spacious than other cruise companies and a powerful shower (bonus) and a bit bigger than most. Good things 1. Embarkation and de embarkation 2. Food 3. Room spacious and clean 4. Not over crowded 5. Staff friendly 6. They are not trying to squeeze every penny out of you unlike other cruise companies 7. All inclusive food, drink and tips 8. Cabin Not so good. 1. Not much to do on board I have been on the following cruise lines and this is how they rate: 1 Princess and Marella 2. P&O 3. Royal Caribbean 4. Carnival 5. Thompson cruises 6. Costa Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Very pleased with the services and crew members. Thank you Sarah in Registration for your empathy and professionalism! The crew were very happy and friendly. Shout out to Eury in the bar services! The spa was I delightful ... Read More
Very pleased with the services and crew members. Thank you Sarah in Registration for your empathy and professionalism! The crew were very happy and friendly. Shout out to Eury in the bar services! The spa was I delightful experience! I learned how to care for my face and enjoyed a fabulous massage. Thank you Nancy and Alex! We were disappointed to only be able to make reservations at the steak house for one evening. The food was very food and the service was exceptional! It was a big surprise to learn the currency on the ship was the pound. We hadn’t prepared in advance for the exchange. it was also a big surprise that the all inclusive did not include top shelf products. There was an additional cost of 60 pounds per person. Would have been nice to have known, however would have been nice to know in advance and be able to pay in advance. Thank you to all that make these adventures possible! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Discovery 2 Panama Canal Experience Jan 2020 First the Bad. We booked early through Sunwing (Toronto), paid full price. When we boarded the ship, our assigned cabin was quite small. We are pensioners, Sunwing requested our age. There ... Read More
Discovery 2 Panama Canal Experience Jan 2020 First the Bad. We booked early through Sunwing (Toronto), paid full price. When we boarded the ship, our assigned cabin was quite small. We are pensioners, Sunwing requested our age. There was a queen bed in the corner, 1 night table sideways at head (drawer could not be opened), access to the bed was only from foot or on right side. Access at right side, about 12 inches opening to 18 inches. We went to reception, they had a look at the cabin and asked us to return after all passengers had boarded. When we returned, they did have an inside cabin for us with the queen bed in the middle, night tables each side and access on both sides. A big thumbs up to Stiven at Customer Service, a very upfront and professional Marella employee. Booking from Canada we could not pre book a cabin or anything else. Sunwing need to ensure that elderly passengers are in a suitable cabin and/or have the option of booking a suitable cabin. If we were in our 40’s we would not have complained. Sunwing are hard to deal with, we requested a call back from a supervisor re our booking and were never called back. If you book with Sunwing cover all of your bases before they get your credit card info! Next the Good! Third time on Discovery 2, another excellent cruise. It's a friendly ship. There was some obvious updating in Islands and the new Quid and Anchor Lounge. Food was very good. Third time on board but first time for the fish & chips at the Snack Shack – excellent! Entertainment, excellent as usual, amazing talent. Even though we had seen most of the shows the year before they were still quite enjoyable - must have been as most nights we went twice. We are still laughing at the comedian’s (Peter Piper) jokes – “How Much?”! Costa Rica, Port Limon – did the canal and train excursion and enjoyed it. Guide (Ivan) was excellent. Panama, Colon - We chose this cruise primarily for the trip through the locks on the Panama Canal into Lake Gatun. Up at 4:30am, coffee was on. Quite interesting and well worth it. We stayed on board for the day and enjoyed the return trip back through the canal. Columbia, Cartagena – Just took a cab into town and wandered around. Quite an interesting place. Port Royal Jamaica – Well what can I say, first ship to dock since Captain Henry Morgan! Interesting swing out pier/walkway that attaches magnetically to the ship. This is new tourist destination facility, first day it was open. People were very friendly, we walked through the town to the old fort, quite interesting. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I was a little concerned booking this cruise having read some of the reviews but concerns absolutely unfounded. We had the most brilliant time. The cabins we had were perfectly fine with plenty of storage space, and a decent size ... Read More
I was a little concerned booking this cruise having read some of the reviews but concerns absolutely unfounded. We had the most brilliant time. The cabins we had were perfectly fine with plenty of storage space, and a decent size bathroom. We only ate breakfast in the Lido buffet restaurant which was great with so many options and the advantage of being able to sit outside. Dinner we always used the Meridien restaurant which was fabulous. Brilliant service and amazing food. We were on the cruise for 2 weeks and never had the same choices. I do not understand why anyone would feel the need to pay for any of their three "fine dining" restaurants. We could not fault the entertainment - except perhaps the guitarist, Michael Brew, in Hemmingways - but perhaps that is a matter of taste. StrumJam were sensational, as were New Dimensions Trio and the entertainment team were just fabulous - the most amazing bunch of young and talented singers and dancers - they were brilliant. And Capt. Alex Downes was fantastic - he had the most amazing sense of humour. Would highly recommend. We did not do any of the Marella excursions so cannot comment on those but certainly the destinations visited and information available was perfect. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Opted for this cruise because it sounded such good value and we were not disappointed! Whole trip was a total success! Plenty to do, eat visit. Very relaxed atmosphere throughout the ship. Entertainment was very good too. Staff always ... Read More
Opted for this cruise because it sounded such good value and we were not disappointed! Whole trip was a total success! Plenty to do, eat visit. Very relaxed atmosphere throughout the ship. Entertainment was very good too. Staff always there to help you. Got to know acouple of the staff quite well. Emilliaj, Daryna and Kerry, were just brilliant with our group. Always smiling and always had time to chat to us. Cant recommend the ship enough and will certainly be returning. Food was excellent. There was plenty of choice for everyone. Entertainment was great, too. Highwaves and Entourage, are great live bands and they also take time out to talk to the passengers. All staff make time to talk to you. There are also plenty of sun beds, so no need to put towels on them during the night, haha. Other smaller activities are available too, such as mini-golf, wall climbing and table tennis. Its a 10/10 from our group. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Before I say anything else, I must say how friendly and helpful all the staff we encountered were. They all had a smile and friendly greeting. They made the whole cruise so much more enjoyable and despite anything you may perceive ... Read More
Before I say anything else, I must say how friendly and helpful all the staff we encountered were. They all had a smile and friendly greeting. They made the whole cruise so much more enjoyable and despite anything you may perceive as negative you read below, we had a fabulous time and intend to cruise with Marella/Tui again. We went on the Christmas Day departure cruise to Turkey and Israel but this is a review of the ship not the destinations, having said that we berthed within walking distance of the towns (except in Cyprus) and so had hassle free visits. Basic ship facts that you need to know which unfortunately seem lacking on the Tui website or brochures: The currency on board is £ Sterling. The power sockets in the cabins are 2 pin / 240v so bring adapters. There were 2 USB ports by the bed and 2 in our lounge but don’t know if the other cabins had them. Room service food is chargeable (unlike many other cruise ships we have been on where it is free). Wifi is NOT free, you can get a 7 day pass, limited to a miserly maximum of only 1200 mb overall, for the princely sum of £ 50.00 Not all drinks are included in your basic price but that’s not really an issue as the prices are not expensive. They do not give out any paper deck plans so if you have a brochure with them in at home bring it with you. Having said that most facilities were all in deck 8 or 11 and after the first evening we knew where everything was as we explored everywhere. Room safes which are big enough for iPads or small lap tops are now free. Yes there is a nightly bed turndown service with a chocolate on your pillow. Your onboard ID card does not open your cabin, you have a separate plastic card with holes punched in it. Embarkation was swift but we did get off the transfer coach promptly. We should have had priority check in but I forgot to ask about it and the nobody asked me either. (This is part of the Premiere Service pack) Our cabin: There are only a handful of balcony cabins on this ship, unfortunately we booked too late to get one. We had cabin 7062 which is a suite with a separate bedroom and lounge. A fruit basket, chocolate covered strawberries and 2 bottles of fizz awaited us which was a nice welcome. It had a walk in wardrobe with masses of storage everywhere and more than sufficient cost hangers. If fact there was so much storage I forgot where I had put some things. The irony was that the one place a drawer would have been useful, ie: the bedside table there was not. The bed was made up of two single mattresses but with a double duvet. I liked that there was no profusion of useless cushions which seem to annoyingly appear on many hotel and cruise ship beds nowadays. The lounge area had a couple of hidden fold down berths, so the suite could sleep 4 guests. Two big sofas, a coffee table, a flat screen tv, DVD player and a generous sliding desk area which could double as a dining table for two made the lounge very practical and comfortable. The bathroom actually had a large walk in shower where originally the bath had been. I like relaxing in a bath, so was a little disappointed as our travel agent stated there was a bath with shower over it. There was plenty of hot water and the cosmetics were better than I was expecting. The towels were rather on the small size. 2 x bathrobes but no slippers. The shower water is not heavily chlorinated like on some ships (Cunard for example) so no itchy dry skin. Our steward named Gusti, very unobtrusively, made up our bed and cleaned up the suite almost as if by magic when we were ashore or having breakfast etc. If you wanted to get to bed before midnight this was not a good cabin position as the music and singing from the Medusa bar on the deck above was often excessive. It must have been ear damaging in the bar itself. However on the stroke of midnight silence prevailed apart from the crying baby we could hear through the thin cabin walls. Food: We had dinner in the Orion main restaurant on our first evening. The table layout was good and the way the tableware was presented plus an attractive looking menu choice increased our expectations. Unfortunately although the staff were hard working, service was slow and the food mediocre at best. My partner’s scallop linguine was sweet & virtually inedible. My roast beef although tasty was only lukewarm. To their credit the staff were concerned and in record time produced another main course of salmon to replace the pasta. Breakfast orange juice was better than I was expecting, the toast was wrapped in a napkin in a basket to keep it warm, however coffee took ages to arrive. My eggs benedict were acceptable but again not particularly hot and the portions of bacon and hollandaise sauce minuscule. We didn’t have breakfast there again. Lunch on several other occasions was better but they seem to have a problem getting the main courses out hot and not just warm. Although some of the waiters are really hard working, others need a little more direction and this can only come from better supervision and training. However on New Years’s Eve everything seemed to come together, service food and the table decoration made it a memorable evening. We tried the Hot Stone (extra charge) restaurant one evening. We were really made to feel welcome and special. The novelty here is that you cook the meat yourself on a hot rock bought to your table. I recommend the surf and turf (steak and lobster tail). Marko, Joel and Juliet were a superb team and the food amazing. We promptly booked again. Mistrals (extra charge) restaurant was also very enjoyable and the dessert was made very memorable - but I won’t spoil the surprise. We ate here twice so it must have made a good impression but some of the service could do with a bit more finesse to complete the fine dining experience such as a teapot rather than a cup of hot water and a teabag, not having to order dessert when ordering mains etc and better quality coffee. Kora La, the Asian themed (extra charge) restaurant looked lovely but we didn’t eat there so can’t really say anything. We look forward to trying it next time. The other inclusive restaurants such as The Lido or Sirens were great for breakfast with a view. Explorers Lounge for coffee anytime and alcoholic beverages after 6 pm was friendly and cosy with a piano player too. The staff were lovely and remembered our preferences and cabin number. It was our favourite watering hole. Try the hot chocolate, it really is the best! Premium drinks package: This costs approx £50 per person per week. You get excellent ‘Lavazza’ brand coffee and fabulous hot chocolate at no extra charge in the Explorers Lounge (otherwise approx £1.20 ish) and a better range of alcoholic cocktails, spirits and beers. Plus a bootle of water per day in your cabin. To make it pay you would really need to have at least a couple of these cocktails and coffees a day as the already inclusive range is pretty good anyway. We would not go for it on our next cruise. Premier Service: This really is all about marketing as the benefits are not great yet Tui staff are told to mention it as something special and worthwhile, I think even they are embarrassed about it. Good job they don’t try and make an extra charge for it. Marella brand: It would appear that Tui can’t quite let go and allow Marella be an independent brand. Staff would look a lot smarter in dark blue uniforms than the yucky, not quite sky blue they are currently attired in. Entertainment: There is a fair amount going on each day and the cruise director liked to make a point of telling everyone very loudly on the ship’s public announcement at noon, right after the very quiet (almost a whisper in comparison) daily report from the Bridge. Having said that he really is a great guy when you meet him and impossible not to like. The pianist Keith, is excellent and on New Year’s Eve he surprised with a fabulous singing voice. We sat in only briefly to a couple of the singing acts in the bars and thought they were good and certainly well appreciated by the audiences. We especially liked the duo Tom & Maris, who are unfortunately moving to a different ship. The resident singer and instrumentalists who were in the Medusa bar were far too loud for us to stay for more than a couple of songs. We watched two shows in the Broadway Theatre and were impressed by the energy, talent and professionalism of the show team. The theatre itself is one two levels and they have not sacrificed quality and comfort of the the seating for quantity like some ships. Most of the seats have excellent site lines and are comfortable, some have tables too, just watch out for the odd pillar. Marella really went to town for their New Year party with great music, ice sculpture, party poppers etc and of course lots of complimentary fizz. The only thing missing was the traditional count down. Anyway everyone had an amazing time with no one over doing the drinking etc. Decks: Deck 9 is great for walking around the ship and felt very ocean liner like. The ship has 2 swimming pools both filled with salt water - not heated and some lovely warm jacuzzis. They main pool has a retractable roof which is a fabulous idea. The sun deck and sun bar hidden away near the funnel look very classy and have some great seating plus a couple of hammocks too. Final Bill: This was cheap, detailed and most importantly accurate. No problems. Disembarkation: I was not looking forward to this as usually you need to put your suitcases outside your cabin the night before and vacate your cabins early and our flight was not until early evening. As usual any information about this before the cruise or even until the day before from Tui or the ship was unobtainable. As it happened the ship was going off for a 2 month refit and no more passengers were coming aboard so we could keep our cabin until we departed and all the restaurants were open as usual. I doubt things would always work out so well! Conclusion: Forewarned is to be forearmed they say, so if you know what to expect beforehand you won’t be disappointed. Despite reading several favourable reviews of the ship, I still had doubts but I am very pleased to say my expectations were vastly exceeded. We had a very comfortable, enjoyable, relaxing and even maybe describable as dreamy cruise. It was excellent value for money. The wonderful staff made a huge positive impact on the experience as did all the guests we interacted with. Inclusive drinks helped too, it took away the hassle of having to sign for everything and the concern of a big bar bill - it will be the future of cruising - take note Cunard! As the ship is now having a refit some things may change. We are looking forward to cruising with Marella/Tui again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Wanted to go away for a family Christmas and get some sun. The flight from Gatwick was delayed by one day so missed first day of cruising. Tui conspicuous by their absence, no explanation to passengers for the delay. Relayed to local ... Read More
Wanted to go away for a family Christmas and get some sun. The flight from Gatwick was delayed by one day so missed first day of cruising. Tui conspicuous by their absence, no explanation to passengers for the delay. Relayed to local hotels and bussed back next day only to have to check in again and only one lady on check in desk for 200 people. Food in main dining room was very mediocre, rushed xmas dinner, couldn't wait to clear plates to get ready for the next sitting. Some of us hadn't finished eating. Show every night from same cast, no variety. One night had comedian who wasn't in the least bit funny. Same old cruise jokes. Booked buggy riding trip for daughter and hubby and no where on the confirmation did it say needed driving licence or under21s couldn't drive. so couldn't go on excursion and staff extremely unhelpful, they weren't the only people who couldn't go. Food in buffet very repetative, same puddings each day although boxing day was spectactular. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I would like to have given this cruise a higher rating but there are some matters that need to be addressed mainly which occurred before and after the cruise. When you book this cruise TUI advise that you download their TUI app but when ... Read More
I would like to have given this cruise a higher rating but there are some matters that need to be addressed mainly which occurred before and after the cruise. When you book this cruise TUI advise that you download their TUI app but when you do so you soon realise that the TUI app is not applicable to Morella cruises. You will also receive a lot of paperwork re TUI but not necessarily about Morella cruises. In the notes it clearly says that you can take your luggage to the airport the day before. We were booked into a hotel for the night preceding the cruise. Having booked in the hotel I dragged 2 suitcases to the airport and found an unmanned check in which had a note saying if you wanted to check in your luggage to use the desk phone and someone would attend but alongside that note was another saying that early check in did not apply to Morella cruises. So I dragged the 2 suitcases back to the hotel. At Jamaica it was chaos from leaving the plane it took 3 hours to embark the boat people were being screamed at in the airport children were crying some disabled people were crying. On the Manchester flight passengers had been given a short immigration form but on the Birmingham flight we were given the long form but you were supposed to fill in both forms.Then there was even bigger chaos at the port where Morella staff were trying to register everyone. On the return flight to Birmingham we had to wait for 1.45 hours for the luggage to be off loaded. This is totally unacceptable and management need to sort it out. On board the ship the bar staff, cleaners etc could not have been more helpful and polite and they are to be congratulated. Entertainment was not of a high standard except for the singer/guitarist and the saxophonist who were excellent. There was one musician who was a real primadonna in the words of Mr. Fawlty "stroke him and you will never play the guitar again" Security was obviously important as you had to show your photographic pass every time you left and returned to the ship. My pass in my name had my wife's photograph and hers had mine (not the best form of security). So TUI sort out the admin both before, after and during the cruise and get HR on board to sort out the management cliques and you could have a brilliant cruise. I have seen previous reviews mentioning the mixers for drinks and I agree they are terrible we had to pay £100 premium to upgrade so that we could get tins of tonic etc not the "splash" mixers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was a Christmas present to us both, with the interesting places being visited. We'd never been away for Christmas before. Tui Dreamliner flights are excellent and we treated ourselves to Premier class - very good. For us ... Read More
This was a Christmas present to us both, with the interesting places being visited. We'd never been away for Christmas before. Tui Dreamliner flights are excellent and we treated ourselves to Premier class - very good. For us embarkation was smooth, but Montego Bay airport was disorganised (not in Tui's control). Also embarkation/disembarkation at the Port was disorganised - again poor coordination by the Jamaican authorities . Flew to Jamaica and did two 7-day back to back cruises, covering the Christmas period. Felt the ship could have been more festive - only the Atrium looked Christmassy. Many families on board, which gave the ship a better feel at Christmas time. Carols in the Atrium on Christmas Eve, with sparkling wine and mince pies. Christmas Day we had 3 sittings for the traditional meal - very good. AND most guests dressed to impress that day. By Boxing Day we had reached a lovely beach in Honduras - warm and sunny and it felt like Christmas was over. Meals in the main dining room were sometimes excellent, other times not so much. Serving staff under too much pressure - Tui don't have wine waiters now, so the waiter was doing everything - not fair on staff. However, they were always very pleasant. Self-service cafeteria on deck 9 was a poor choice of food and the floor always had remains of food on the carpeting. Only ate 1 main meal there. Ship's singers/dancers were excellent, but you get tired of seeing them every night. More variety please. Entertainers around the ship were good. Think most people are attracted by the free drinks (good choices) and no tipping. We did several trips with Tui, as some of the destinations visited were not considered that safe - we would have normally done our own thing. Panama Canal tour was excellent, seeing both ends of the Canal in Colon (v. poor area and not advised to wander on your own) ships going through the canal and then Panama City in the Pacific - prosperous City. Guide was excellent and informative. Did our own thing in Santa Marta, Colombia. Another poor place, but trying to attract tourism. Had plenty of attention from street sellers, but just said "No, gracias" and they didn't pester us. Did walking tour of Cartagena, Colombia. Beautiful City - not enough time there. Could have stayed all day. Didn't get any time to ourselves. Guide spent too much time giving a very detailed history of Cartagena - people glazing over. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. Tortuguero Canals. Good canal trip on waterways in a rain forest area. Saw sloths in trees, monkeys, plenty of bird life, iguanas, but I think some children were hoping to see alligators. Another poor area. Days sailing back to Montego Bay, Jamaica. Poured with rain o.night and into the morning, so not a beach day. Went to the Hard Rock Cafe (only ½mile away). Rain stopped, but still v warm with o.cast skies. Paid 8$ each to get in, which entitled us to a sunbed. Good area to be. Lovely small sandy beach, swimming pool, music, bar/restaurant and no-one pestering you to buy something. V Good value close to the Dock. Don't take a taxi - you can walk it. Roatan, Honduras. Walked off the ship and spent the day in Mahogany Bay, owned by Carnival Group. Fortunately only 2 ships in. Plenty of sunbeds, shade under trees, changing area/toilets. Sea lovely. Bars/restaurants/shopping. Good place to relax. Las Escobas Springs, Santo Tomas, Guatemala. Listed as a walk through the rainforest with glass-like rivers where waterfalls tumble into streams. Swim in the natural pools. (this is the drinking water for the people of the v. poor Santo Tomas). We were looking forward to seeing wildlife in this rainforest area. We saw NOTHING, apart from humming birds flying around a feeder. V disappointing. All the guide seemed to want us to do was swim/paddle in the pools. Reason we didn't see any wildlife is that there are too many tourists going round a very small area of rainforest. Belize City - Seas are v shallow and the ship had to dock 5 miles off the coastline. So we were taken in by 250 seater water taxis. Belize looks a prosperous place with many big yachts and is part of the Commonwealth, with English the main language. Went to a water park with huge water slide and man-made swimming area. (water a bit cool though) Plenty of sunbeds, warm sunshine, drink/food/music. Couldn't swim in the sea because of stingrays. Costa Maya, Mexico - Yucatan Peninsula. Just went ashore on our own. Looked like the ship had docked in the middle of nowhere - palm trees/mangrove as far as the eye could see. Only ship in that morning. Walked to end of jetty - very touristy area at end, full of shops selling the same stuff we had seen everywhere else + bars & eating places. Many people had gone on an 8hr coach trip to Mayan temples, but we didn't. Decided to walk outside of the tourist area to see what else there was on offer. Plenty of taxi drivers willing to show you the village where 700 people live, plus a trip further down the coastline, which we did. The village had no water (only collecting rain in water butts), or electricity. People cooking outside on fires. Stray dogs everywhere. V. poor and we don't think many of these people worked inside the tourist compound. Taxi driver said there was much corruption and wages were around $6 a day. When there's no ships in, there's no work. Went further down the coast, where they obviously had electricity as there were several small hotels etc - usual tourism and good beaches. Sailed back to Montego Bay and decided to have a coach trip on our final day to the Good Hope Great Plantation House, Trelawney County, plus lunch, then onward to the airport. The previous week we had seen those leaving the ship sitting around waiting until their flights were called in the afternoon. You had to vacate your cabin at 9am. Also, those who had just arrived wanting to board the ship, but couldn't because everyone was still waiting to leave. It was chaos on the quayside. Disembarked the ship at 9am in plenty of time for the 9.30 trip. However, we hadn't reckoned on Jamaican immigration wanting you to stand in a long queue whilst they looked at your immigration departure form, then stamped your passport. We still don't understand the purpose of this exercise, as no-one at the airport wanted the immigration form - just bureaucracy. Staff gazing into space. Tui staff unable to assist the situation. Note to Tui - consider not using Jamaica as a starting/departure point. Their organisation is dreadful and it causes many people so much frustration. This is our holiday. Went on the coach with Chukka tours, which departed at 9.30, but we had to stop and return to the departure point, as there were still several people held up in the immigration queue in the terminal. Eventually we left at 10am. The drive to the Good Hope house was good and we saw plenty of lovely scenery in the drive towards Falmouth on the north coast. Then turned off the Martha Brae road into the countryside - bumpy roads. The house stood in breathtaking surroundings with lovely gardens. It was v warm and sunny. However, there were 10 other groups touring around the house that day, so we felt a bit rushed, as some people on our coach said they had return flights at 4.15pm - ours was 5.50pm. We were then given lunch outside, which was a selection of typical Jamaican food, very tasty, followed by melon, cake and the famous Blue Mountain coffee. Or rather it would have been, had we not been rushed to move on to a rum tasting, so didn't get any coffee. The rum tasting was also rushed as we were moving on to another part of the Estate to look at the swimming pool/activity area, before heading to the airport. Such a shame, as this COULD have been a good trip instead of a rushed exercise. Returning to Montego Bay airport - chaos ensued, but we had Premier class tickets, and the queue was v small. However, going through security was chaotic - everyone being made to take off their shoes, find their own trays, load them with their belongings and push them down the conveyor belt. Went to gate 18 and waited, then an announcement that the Gatwick flight was from gate 15. People all over the place. Flight called. Everyone surged forward. Jamaican staff just stood around gazing (again). Flight waited another hour before being able to leave, as ground staff had not loaded 3 containers of luggage, plus all the pushchairs and wheelchairs. The Captain even left the flight deck to find out what was happening, but has no control over what happens in the airport. Night flight back. By the time we left, we realised that it was almost midnight, New Year's Eve, in the UK, so raised our glasses to 2020. 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Sail Date December 2019
Boarding - We have cruised many times including two with Marella, on their smaller ships, so looked forward to this, the latest addition to the fleet. Boarding at Barbados was smooth, with up selling limited to the AI Premium pack, which ... Read More
Boarding - We have cruised many times including two with Marella, on their smaller ships, so looked forward to this, the latest addition to the fleet. Boarding at Barbados was smooth, with up selling limited to the AI Premium pack, which we already had. First impressions of the ship were disappointing, the general decor being a low key drab‘battleship’ grey and the main atrium area, though nicely decorated for Christmas, being soulless and more like a shopping centre, There is only one bar, ‘Flutes’, around the atrium, this is a pleasant place for pre-show drinks, but has a limited capacity. In my view too much space has been allocated to shops, that never seemed to have customers. Cabin - plenty of storage, very nice shower and useful customer features on the TV, though no music options. All the films were free. Space at the end of the bed is limited. We also found the bed uncomfortable, a thin mattress that felt lumpy. The room was kept immaculate by Maria, with fresh towels every day. Our cabin, 9211, was located opposite the cleaners store, so we were woken early most mornings as they parked the service trollies and got ready. Food - best described as mediocre in all the standard restaurants, we preferred Vista. The self catering is the usual free for all but ok if you go off-peak. The additional costs for the specialist restaurants are some of the most expensive we’ve seen across all lines. Surf & Turf, nothing special, but the Dining Club was lovely. Pool area - two nice pools and four jacuzzis. Sun bed hogging is endemic on this ship, particularly on sea days. Due to our circumstances we couldn’t get off the ship at several ports and witnessed people reserving beds in the morning and returning several hours later, in the afternoon, presumably after doing a shore tour. The staff did nothing about this. People with restricted mobility, unable to use stairs, should be aware they will not have access to the upper decks that have The Veranda and Sundeck, the lifts do not service these decks! It means you must sit around the pool area. This is were all the quizzes, live performances and discos take place. OK for a while, but for us there was no escape to a quiet area. Finally, the large poolside screen, it just shows adverts for cruises, trips and staff bio’s all day, why can’t they show a concert or similar during the day? There were a couple of films in the evening, but no comfortable seating available, sorry I’m being so negative, but we were trapped here for 12 days! Shows & Bars - nice theatre with some well produced shows. We enjoyed the comedian. My wife, due to an on shore accident, had to use a wheelchair throughout the cruise, giving us an eye opening insight into this aspect of cruising. The PRM (Persons of Restricted Mobility) seats are at the back of the theatre. Like the sun-beds, you have to get in early to secure one. Again, no staff oversight of this area, on one occasion we were told the seat was being reserved whilst the person ran to the toilet! Squid and Anchor, the Gin and Whisky bar is the highlight, but again, it’s like drinking on the moon, no atmosphere. It’s a general feature that the seating on the ship though it looks stylish is uncomfortable with few places to really relax. Finally - my fellow cruisers! We met some lovely people who enriched our experience. Equally there were some who were selfish, loud, boorish and occasionally outright drunk. There were a couple of dress to impress nights when some did make an effort, with long dresses and evening suits, making it so incongruous to see people in shorts, vests and flip-flops, mingling in the bars. Special thanks to Carol, from the ships welfare team, for her communication and invaluable assistance following our accident on Tortola. Overall though a really disappointing cruise and I doubt we will return to Marella. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We went on the Enchanting Far East cruise on the Marella Discovery in December 2019. The cruise got off to a bad start when we fell victim to a somewhat desperate money-grabbing trick. Even though we went online to reserve seats for our ... Read More
We went on the Enchanting Far East cruise on the Marella Discovery in December 2019. The cruise got off to a bad start when we fell victim to a somewhat desperate money-grabbing trick. Even though we went online to reserve seats for our party of three as soon as booking opened, TUI allocated us seats scattered all around the plane and then demanded an additional fee for sitting near (not even next to) each other. The food in the buffet was of the usual standard. Not great, but adequate if you’re not dining at one of the proper restaurants. One thing that bothered us is the fact that they have done away with paper napkins at the buffet. These were useful for holding the tongs/ladles etc when serving up the food. If you have ever noticed the sticky residue on them you would understand why. Their disappearance is a backward step in maintaining hygiene. The meals at both “all inclusive” restaurants were a bit hit and miss but the upstairs Italian one was the better of the two. Although the portions were sometimes comically small, when it was good, it was very good, and the service was very friendly and mostly efficient. Having said that, for the second year running we gave up waiting one night and walked out before our dessert reached the table. My main criticism is that the plates in both restaurants were often greasy and finger-marked. Staff were not very receptive to feedback on the subject. All the basics are covered in the bars but the number of drinks in the “all inclusive” package has dwindled, along with the variety of cocktails available. I wonder how long they can keep calling it “all inclusive” without some watchdog picking up on the fact that it is in fact a long way from all inclusive. We found the waiter service in the bars to be quite poor. Several times we saw staff just standing in a virtually empty bar staring at the entertainment and studiously avoiding eye contact with the handful of customers. The entertainment was OK for the first few nights. Generally, though, the entertainment is aimed at older ladies and chavs. If you’re neither of those, you’re going to get very bored, very fast. Unfortunately, the on-deck TV screen was zapped by lightning early on and we missed several nights of movies as a result, although they did put on some movies indoors, which is a welcome development. Marella need to work on this – and on providing cheaper and more effective Wi-Fi – if they are ever going to attract a new generation of cruisers. The cabin crew were efficient and friendly. Some of the entertainment staff were likeable and very good at their job too (eg, George and Dean), although others were less popular with customers and need to work on their people skills. One guy at destination services – Kevin – was very helpful and willing to spend time discussing trip options. Some of his colleagues were less user-friendly. We found one or two of the reception staff to be unhelpful or outright rude; one girl in particular smirked and gave us an attitude when we were unable to book a late checkout. Most of the organised trips were expensive but enjoyable. But there were some issues. Before the engine problems, we booked a cable car excursion on Langkawi. Once on the tour bus we were told that the cable car wouldn’t be running that day due to high winds. Fair enough. That wasn’t TUI’s fault and couldn’t be helped. However, TUI knew about the cancellation before we boarded the bus and yet instead of taking us to another sight on the island, or just giving us our money back, they drove us to a very shabby, crowded aquarium. It took 20 minutes to look around, after which we had to hang around a shopping centre for two hours to await our ride back to the ship. This was by no means an equivalent to going on a cable car sightseeing trip. We were offered some money back for this fiasco but I would rather have ditched the excursion altogether. The cruise itself was marred by a well-publicised incident that led to several of the ports being cancelled. One night, the captain (who came across as somewhat aloof and unsympathetic) announced that there had been a fire in one of the engine rooms. The damage meant that the ship couldn’t make a decent speed and so three ports of call were cancelled: Cambodia, Malacca and Koh Samui. This meant additional (boring) days at sea. The incident has received some unfavourable press coverage. It turns out that the Discovery has suffered similar problems before. In addition to abandoning some ports of call, some of the organised trips had to be shortened. The timing for our Bangkok trip was rescheduled. We were told at destination services that cutting the trip by two hours would have no impact on the quality of the excursion. This turned out to be untrue. We set out at 6am and after a long journey into the city, we were rushed around a temple complex and then whisked away to a grubby restaurant on the river before being bussed back to port just in time for departure. We didn’t see much of Bangkok, some temples were missed out and there was no exploration of the canals as promised. All in all, it was a stressful and unpleasant experience. Even though they did not provide the trip we paid for, TUI have refused to compensate us. To be fair, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. The trips to Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon were all very good; the guides were knowledgeable and the restaurants in the latter two were of particularly high quality. In addition, due to the engine problem a return stop in Singapore was added, which was welcome as it is a really nice place. We managed to see a lot of the city on our two DIY trips via the metro. But it should have been the same for Bangkok, Malacca, Koh Samui and Cambodia. Along with most customers, we had booked this cruise purely because it was stopping at locations that we were unlikely ever to visit any other way. But it turns out that TUI’s policy is that they make no guarantees about visiting specific ports and they reserve the right to change the published itinerary at any point, without compensating their customers. If you think about it, this is very odd. After all, you wouldn’t pay a taxi driver for taking you round and round the M25 if you had booked him to take you to the airport, would you? The bottom line is that we did not get the holiday that was advertised and for which we paid TUI a significant amount of money. So, take this as a warning. Regardless of what cruise you think you are booking with TUI/Marella, you could end up just pootling around the ocean and not actually going anywhere! We have been offered a £250 refund but this is nowhere near sufficient compensation given the huge amount of money the holiday cost. All in all, I can’t help concluding that TUI is desperate to squeeze as much money out of its customers as it can, while providing as little service as possible. Moreover, the Marella Discovery is badly managed, prone to worrying engine problems and is staffed by some of the least able TUI employees. We’ve been on TUI/Marella cruises for many years. We know it is cruising at the lower end of the market and there have always been minor grumbles but, generally, the positives have always outweighed any negatives. After this experience, though, we couldn’t recommend them to anyone anymore and we intend to upgrade to a more professional, honest and reliable cruise company next time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was my first cruise, I was with 3 other people who had been on cruises before but not with tui. I found the whole experience amazing and very worth the money! There were special staff members who’s names are below; - Ian ... Read More
This was my first cruise, I was with 3 other people who had been on cruises before but not with tui. I found the whole experience amazing and very worth the money! There were special staff members who’s names are below; - Ian (Indigo) - George - Dindin (Rooms) - Jamie (DJ) - Paul (Latitude 53) - Dmitri x2 (Indigo) These staff members made sure we had the best experience by always being polite; saying hi every time we saw them and always keeping our drinks topped up once they noticed they were empty. Ian gave me and my partner handshakes and high-fives once he knew it was time for us to go home and he knew which alcoholic drinks would suit us best and recommended drinks for us which were good! Jamie always spoke to us when he saw us and was a good dj. Played songs we requested and it was my mother in law’s 50th birthday and he shouted her out and sung happy birthday to her which made it very special for her. Dindin was always smiling and polite when he needed to clean the room and there were times when we forgot things from the cabin and had to go back when he was cleaning and he didn’t mind us going back to get what we needed. Paul was very talented and very funny to watch during the rendition of a classic spanish song in Vista restaurant when he did a funny dance for us all. The 2 Dmitri’s also made us feel good when they spoke to us in detail about their experiences on the ship and how happy it made them! The shows were fantastic and unique to the cruise and the comedian we had, had us in stitches! (Lee Evans tribute) We will definitely come back for another tui cruise and yes i would 100% recommend the canary island cruise to anyone that is skeptical or wondering whether or not to go, do it! You won’t regret it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Adults only. Senior cruise. The staff were 100% attentive with courteous and friendly smiles every day. They work extremely hard and should receive MORE tips from all clients. (The pool area bar service from these hard working people ... Read More
Adults only. Senior cruise. The staff were 100% attentive with courteous and friendly smiles every day. They work extremely hard and should receive MORE tips from all clients. (The pool area bar service from these hard working people should not go unrecognised). The cabin was very clean and tidy but we had to negotiate who was going where around the bedroom area. Food, Market Place was for quick and easy breakfast but we opted for Latitude if we dressed accordingly unlike some who still thought Football shirts and vests were OK for evening attire. The Beach Cove and Surf & Turf were excellent even though there was an additional charge; But we were on holiday. Pool deck. Get up there early to place your towels out to get a sunbed especially on at sea days. It was very crowded. (a bit like God's waiting room) and one can only say that there were far too many quizzes? After speaking with loads of guests who were ALL saying we want it more lively with Sail Away parties and foot taping music for the afternoon? There was only so much tiny winey from The Collective who sang the same set every day (Great band though). Us seniors do not want afternoon naps? Tours; Do not go on the island tours around Bonaire and Curacao? total waste of money and being given 15 min's to visit the so called stops??? By the time the frail and elderly got off the buses it was time to go. Cheaper to do it yourself. This was The Explores 2 first Caribbean so there were loads of creases to iron out. The entertainment staff should also stop talking over the records and Matt (you really can not sing like Freddy Mercury) Let the record play and people around the pool do their own thing. The main show in the evenings; Well done to ALL the staff and entertainers who work really hard to put on different shows every night (twice nightly). Would we re-book this ship? At the moment No. A lot of people who were on these two weeks felt the same.Lets see how it goes next year. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This cruise was part of a stay & cruise on Marella Celebration departing from Dubrovnik. This was our second cruise on the Celebration this year, the first was a repositioning cruise from the Caribbean in April, on that Cruise the ... Read More
This cruise was part of a stay & cruise on Marella Celebration departing from Dubrovnik. This was our second cruise on the Celebration this year, the first was a repositioning cruise from the Caribbean in April, on that Cruise the meals in the Meridian Restaurant were terrible the worst we have ever encountered on a Marella (Thomson) cruise, and the most complaints and returned food we have ever seen on a cruise. We were not looking forward to another weeks cruise with food which had been totally destroyed, but we should not have worried the standard of food and service in the Meridian Restaurant were back to normal, 100% better than in April. Our cruise was Adriatic Affair from Dubrovnik on 24 October 2019. The first port was Hvar Croatia (a tender port) it is a lovely old town with beautiful buildings and has relatively flat but uneven walking areas, also the town centre area is car free making it easy to explore. The second port was Ancona Italy, there it is an industrial area with a ship building/repair yard to the left of the cruise port area, this contrasts with the Greek and Roman buildings of the town which can be easily accessed from the cruise terminal on foot, there are many older buildings to visit and plenty of pavement cafes to rest your feet. The third port was Koper Slovenia, Koper a medieval town is set on a horseshoe shaped bay with lots of historical sights. One thing to try on your visit is their wine, especially the desert wines they are delicious. Until now the weather had been un-seasonally warm in the lower to mid 20's, but that was to change on our fourth port of Venice. Our approach to the cruise port in Venice was delayed until 12.30 due to a heavy mist, which resulted in all trips to be cancelled, and the walk from the ship through the terminal to gain access to the city was considerable and resulted in many cruisers staying onboard. I felt very sorry for the cruisers who had picked this cruise especially to have a clear view cruise through Venice up to the cruise port, spoilt by a mist haze, then being unable to take their booked trips. As by next year Venice is stopping cruise ships of any size from sailing up through Venice past St Mark's Square to the cruise port. Our fifth port was Rijeka Croatia with a colder temperature of 16-18C, Rijeka is a working port, but there is plenty to see in the traffic free streets of the Korzo district as you seek out a pavement café to do a bit of people watching. The last port was Split Croatia, Split is one of my favourite ports being easily reached by foot from the cruise terminal, it is also flat with very good walking areas, especially along the sea front where there are many cafes to sit and people watch. A must is to try some authentic Croatian cooked food, a starter of bean soup and the main course from under the Bell, it is usually a mixture of beef, chicken and potatoes cooked in a large round metal casserole dish covered by a metal dome, it is placed on glowing embers of a wood fire then the dome is also covered in embers and allowed to cook slowly until the meat is soft and tender, it then placed on the table to help your self. The Celebration though an older ship is kept very clean with hand sanitizers placed at the door ways to all eating areas and bars to assist in the prevention of norovirus. All the ships staff encountered were pleasant and eager to help make your cruise a memorable one for the best reasons. Two staff who stood above the rest, firstly was Wilbur our cabin steward deck 6 who kept our cabin spick and span despite our efforts to make it otherwise, Wilbur always met you with a smile and showed interest in how you were, and where you were going and what you had done the day before. The second was waiter Gemmar in Hemingways, he always remembered your drink and cabin No, every drink was quickly served with a smile, he also showed interest in your day and would make time to exchange pleasantries. The efforts of these two staff made all the difference to our cruise to make it a pleasurable memorable one, as you were not just a number but a person to whom they could help and assist. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Was a little nervous about cruising, also after reading some of the reviews, however we needn't have worried. As this was our first cruise we had nothing to compare it with but highly recommend this ship to anyone. Flew from ... Read More
Was a little nervous about cruising, also after reading some of the reviews, however we needn't have worried. As this was our first cruise we had nothing to compare it with but highly recommend this ship to anyone. Flew from Manchester to Palma to do the Western Mediterranean. Check in at Manchester was just like any other flight. At Palma you are directed to the transfer coaches and given an information leaflet (good to read on the coach). Takes around 20 minutes to the port. Once at the Port you are given an envelope with luggage tags with your cabin number on and boarding cards. Your suitcases are then ready for you to tag up. You don't see your cases again until they are brought to your cabin. At the port you queue to get a photo taken,and to leave your debit/credit card details. You are welcomed onboard and directed to your cabin. Cases arrived very quickly, before we went to explore the ship. As everyone has mentioned, all staff are amazing, polite and attentive, cannot do enough for you. Drinks are free flowing, don't bother with the upgrade package, there is plenty to choose from just on the all inclusive. Food was amazing at every meal. Cannot fault it. We tended to have breakfast and evening dinner at the Orion Restaurant on Deck 4. Waiter service all meals. You are made to feel very special. Dinner you can choose to sit with other passengers if you wish. We did both, and it was a lot of fun. We also used the buffets on Deck 9 & 11. Was going to try the 3 restaurants that you can pay extra (it isn't expensive), however we found the food excellent without going to these restaurants.(there is a package, bookable by reception for around £49 per person to include all 3 if you like). Entertainment is fantastic, the staff all work very hard and long hours. There is so much going on, you need to organise yourself a little timetable. Something for everyone.Our 'day at sea' was poor weather, but plenty of things to keep you amused all day/evening. The Theatre normally has an 8.30pm & 10.30pm show, we went every evening as they were so good. You need to take your seat around 15 minutes before as it does get busy. Entrances on Deck 8 & 9. Help yourself to drinks at the tables as you enter the Theatre. Waiters also come round once inside asking if you want more. Most things are on Deck 8, such as the lounges, reception, excursion booking, shops. Photographers will take your photo each evening on Deck 8 by the Madusa Lounge (if you don't want this just say so), and also when you get off at each port. Available to buy from the studio on Deck 8 by reception. We viewed ours a few days into the cruise. TIP - DON'T BUY THEM AT THIS TIME. £14.95 each. They will try to sell you the package for around £200 as they do take a lot. We waited until our very last evening. Chose 4 we really liked and made them an offer (accepted, as any money to them is better none). The swimming pools are small but adequate and sunbeds close together. We went onto the very top sundeck where there is more space, you get more sun, and can still hear the daytime entertainment and look over the rails to see what is going on. When it is your last day, you are given information in your cabin, about leaving your suitcases outside your cabin before you go to bed, they are collected by crew while you are sleeping, you see them again all lined up at the Port ready for you to claim. TIP - as you can have 10kg hand luggage, pack enough for at least one day - swimwear, day clothes, evening outfit, and miniature toiletries.... just incase. Pool Towels are provided in your cabin. TIP - as any extras you may have are added to your cabin number, ask for a 'print out' from reception part way through your cruise, so you can keep an eye on it. TIP - if you are prone to motion sickness seabands, the seasickness tablets & 'Gin Gins' hard boiled ginger sweets from Holland & Barrett help a lot. I booked 3 excursions online prior to the cruise, and booked another couple whilst onboard. If you are confident or have been before, you can easily do things yourself. I just knew that i would be the one to get lost and miss the boat. They won't wait for you, however with the excursions you are sure to be back in good time. TRIPS: PALERMO Scicily. Were due to go to Trapani, but due to the weather had to change Port. A lovely short excursion around some of the sights. NAPLES. Were due to be in Sorrento, but again due to weather had to change Port. We had already pre booked to go to Versuvius and Pompeii, all trips went ahead as normal & as we were a little closer we actually got a small refund. Loved this trip, but please note the walk up the volcano is steep & hard going on the legs or if you are unfit like me. Pompeii is amazing would have loved to spend more time there. ROME. We did Rome in a Day. A lot of walking as expected but fantastic to see the main sights, was very fast paced. Our local guide there did walk a little too fast for people to keep up & appreciate what she was saying. It was mentioned to her, so after lunch she went at a more manageable & enjoyable pace. CORSICA. Probably my most favourite place. Very green and beautiful. We visited the tortoise sanctuary. I got bitten...not by a tortoise but by some insect on my legs. Perhaps a good idea to use mozzie spray dependent on time of year. Most of the signage is in French, but doesn't stop you enjoying it. Once back at the Port we had a little stroll around the town & market and had a drink at the harbour. Was very busy, but probably due to an enormous cruise liner coming in similar time to us. PALERMOS. Sadly for some guests the Barcelona trips were unable to go ahead. I had already pre booked The Best of Costa Brava trip. To be honest this was a bit disappointing. It was quite a drive on the coach, but nothing really to look at along the way. Stopped in Lloret de Mar to visit a garden. The garden itself is lovely and overlooks the sea, however it has a steep climb up to it, even with a handrail. Some of our elderly passengers had to stay at the bottom. There are quite a number of steps to climb in the garden too. We then went on to Tossa del Mar, this was a nicer town, a few shops and bars/restaurants. You can visit a castle, but please be warned again it is quite a climb and uneven cobbles. I wish I had done the trip with the little train and medieval village instead. Have a fantastic trip everyone, you will love it Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I have just returned from a 7 day Cosmopolitan Classic cruise around the Mediterranean on the Marella Discovery 2. This was my first cruise with my family which includes my husband, 27 year old daughter and my 86years old mother-in-law who ... Read More
I have just returned from a 7 day Cosmopolitan Classic cruise around the Mediterranean on the Marella Discovery 2. This was my first cruise with my family which includes my husband, 27 year old daughter and my 86years old mother-in-law who finds it difficult to walk and needs a wheelchair. The ship was beautiful, very grand and our balcony rooms were clean and comfortable. The entertainment was very good with different Broadway shows every night, a piano singer, opera singer, a band and more. The food was superb with different menus every night. All the people that worked on the boat from the cooks, the restaurant staff, the room staff, bar staff, etc were very attentive to the needs of my elderly mother-in-law and our needs, nothing was to much trouble. In fact I cannot praise them enough, they always had big smiles on their faces and made the experience for all my family a very memorable one. This was our first booking with a TUI holiday and I certainly will be using them again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had been on the Marella Discovery before and even cruises on the sister ship Marella Discovery 2 last year. We decided to go on another cruise with my Parents and my Brother and Siater-in-law for my Parents 50th golden wedding ... Read More
We had been on the Marella Discovery before and even cruises on the sister ship Marella Discovery 2 last year. We decided to go on another cruise with my Parents and my Brother and Siater-in-law for my Parents 50th golden wedding anniversary. It started out ok with the only gripe was we were not able to book the Surf and Turf speciality restaurant on the day we embarked (11/10/2019), as we missed out with the speciality restaurant we went to the 47 gallery restaurant and the waiter staff were absolutely fantastic which was a consistent feeling when we dined. But this seems to be the only positive thing about the ship. Throughout the whole week the ship smelt of Fuel and a number of the Toilets were continuously blocked and smelly. The Balcony room was looking tired and used needs another refurb. The cabin staff were friendly but missed things when cleaning. The shows were very mediocre compared to previous Marella Cruises. I’m not sure I could guarantee I will cruise by Marella again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We decided to take our first cruise around the western med as we was both 40 and wanted to do something different and the excursions had some places we have always wanted to visit. We had our three year old daughter with us. From start to ... Read More
We decided to take our first cruise around the western med as we was both 40 and wanted to do something different and the excursions had some places we have always wanted to visit. We had our three year old daughter with us. From start to finish our holiday was wonderful the check in at the start the staff before the cruise and during the cruise are amazing and are a credit to tui. Plenty of fun things to do on the ship a big pool to relax by a library lots of bar areas there is something for all ages even a kids club for the little ones. Our cabin was small but it was enough for us and our belongings we are not ones for sitting around in rooms we just use as a place to shower get ready and sleep. If we do cruise again we would opt for a bigger room just so our daughter has a little more room to play when we are in the room. The staff who cleaned our room are so friendly and we enjoyed coming back to the room every afternoon off our tours to a different animal made with our towels. there is a snack bar on board a buffet restaurant and three other restaurants one where you pay a small supplement to eat there a steakhouse. The buffet restaurant had a different theme everyday and plenty of food on offer for breakfast lunch and dinner the snack bar near the pool has same food everyday from fish and chips to burgers sandwiches and salads. There are two restaurants that are free and require no booking though at certain times are extremely busy but they will give you a ticket with a time on for you to go back. Staff again in both restaurants are super friendly and can’t do enough for you. Both restaurants have changing menus daily. There a lots of options in the all inclusive for drinks you can also pay £50 extra at the beginning of your cruise for premium drinks package but I feel there is plenty of choice on the all inclusive option with lagers from red stripe corona and peroni to Smirnoff Gordon’s gin and Morgan’s spice rum there are more options in spirits also you have plenty of choice for cocktails. The entertainment on this cruise was fantastic with the daily full of things to do if you prefer to stay on board rather than go offshore. From quizzes to dance lessons cruise ship tours etc. They have shows and entertainers every night in the different bars and a movie every night on deck by the pool at 9pm. We did about 3 of the excursions our favourite being Pisa the only problem we had about the cruise is we did not know there was a no cash policy on board now bringing £2000 spends in euros was a bit of a shock as the exchange rate wasn’t so great luckily had a bit of cash on the cards we did change some money not all. I think it was because we booked online and they do not inform you of this. Overall a brilliant first cruise and we would use tui again Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Just back from Fjords on the first day of our cruise my husband had his Jacket stolen from the top deck so we were down at reception every day to see if anyone had handed in a jacket the reception staff were anything but helpful just ... Read More
Just back from Fjords on the first day of our cruise my husband had his Jacket stolen from the top deck so we were down at reception every day to see if anyone had handed in a jacket the reception staff were anything but helpful just said come down later so every day we went down to reception they said the staff wouldn't take it someone did also my house key was in the secret pocket .so wasnt impressed with the help we got . Also the cabin was for four and the beds jutted out so not impressed I'm a first time cruiser the food was good in the market place it was busy in the morning but at night wasnt impressed the staff were nice and the cabin staff were lovely entertainment was ok we done three excursions expensive but good The Fjords were beautiful the weather was amazing don't know if I would do it again maybe choose another cabin . Didn't expect thieves on ship either . Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for the ports of call Discovery 2 was visiting and we have had a wonderful holiday. The entertainment team put on some truly spectacular shows we especially enjoyed the Freddie Mercury show absolutely amazing, also ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports of call Discovery 2 was visiting and we have had a wonderful holiday. The entertainment team put on some truly spectacular shows we especially enjoyed the Freddie Mercury show absolutely amazing, also Carl the UK comedian had everyone laughing from the minute he came on stage to the minute he left and what an amazing voice he's got! The cuisine in all the restaurants is excellent, we especially enjoyed the Italian restaurant, our waiters, we're John Vicoy, Gilzen and the lovely Mary Rose, ask to be seated at Mary Rose's section of the restaraunt, I assure you they will add to your dining experience, thank you guy's and Mary Rose, you really made our holiday special and the trio of tiramasui is the best desert I have ever tasted! A mahoosive thank you to each and every crew member for making our holiday so wonderful. We will be back! Carol and Robert Parkes Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was honestly the worst cruise I’ve ever been on. It was truly awful. I had my two children with me as we couldn’t get away during the summer holidays due to work commitments. This cruise is not family friendly at all. ... Read More
This was honestly the worst cruise I’ve ever been on. It was truly awful. I had my two children with me as we couldn’t get away during the summer holidays due to work commitments. This cruise is not family friendly at all. 1. Not once was the climbing wall open 2. The indoor pool bans kids between 2-5pm covering a good part of the hot part of the day. I pay the same amount of money as everyone else, I should have the access to the same facilities. 3. The kids food at the buffet was rock hard and quite frankly absolutely bogging. It had obviously been out for a very long time. On the final day you can expect no kids buffet. 4. The pool tiles are broken and one of them actually cut my sons foot.. it’s very obvious it’s about a foot wide. The staff are friendly but the entertainment is like butlins. It’s really loud, you can’t sit at the pool and have a conversation with someone without some game show rubbish or having to listen to some pub quiz. If butlins is your thing, this is for you. Also, as a footnote, I not only saw the cruise director speak to a member of staff like crap but also the deputy cruise director do the same.. uncomfortable. Much of the entertainment was awkward and just so over the top it was ridiculous. I witnessed bar staff being rude to kids when they were asking for things at the bar. Just no need. It was overall a really poor experience and despite cruising with TUI 7 times now I won’t be going with them again. I certainly would never recommend this for a family. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
From start to finish this cruise was for my wife and i was superb, the ship, the staff, the food, every aspect of the ship was very well managed, from the pool side to the very high class restaurants nothing was to much, the staff in all ... Read More
From start to finish this cruise was for my wife and i was superb, the ship, the staff, the food, every aspect of the ship was very well managed, from the pool side to the very high class restaurants nothing was to much, the staff in all the bars and restaurants could not do enough for you and were so pleasant, the cabin we had was very spacious clean and tidy, when we returned each night it was spotless, we will be going back for another cruise, no matter what time of day there was always a different activity going on around the ship, something for everyone no matter how old or young you are, from mini golf to rock climbing learning to dance to been in a choir, in the atrium every day there an artist performing, in the theatre there was always a great show to watch, so something for everyone. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Having sailed with lots of other cruise companies in the past, we were a bit apprehensive about booking this cruise but we loved it. It was a short 10-15minute journey from Corfu airport followed by an efficient check in. You had the ... Read More
Having sailed with lots of other cruise companies in the past, we were a bit apprehensive about booking this cruise but we loved it. It was a short 10-15minute journey from Corfu airport followed by an efficient check in. You had the option of a shuttle bus or 5minute walk to the ship. The itinerary was wonderful with several memorable sailing in & out of ports such as Kotor in Montenegro and Venice ( leaving at night was magical). We went on a cruise tour to the beautiful Krka waterfalls and also half day gondola tour. There were plenty of other tour options/activities available on the dockside. The staff on board were friendly, efficient and seemed genuinely happy. The Entertainment staff led by Katy were great and the Captain was a star! There was no heavy sales pressures and unless you wanted to, you weren’t harassed by ship photographers. There were various dining options to suit everyone. Yes, the ship is a bit tired looking but it didn’t affect the service you received. We were warned about the potential wait at Corfu airport when we departed and the process was managed as well as it could be. We would definitely sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was myself and wife 15th cruise all with Marella and the 4th time on the Dream as it was !! Our favourite ship in the fleet. I’ll keep the review practical many frequent Marbella cruise travellers hopefully get the key points. ... Read More
This was myself and wife 15th cruise all with Marella and the 4th time on the Dream as it was !! Our favourite ship in the fleet. I’ll keep the review practical many frequent Marbella cruise travellers hopefully get the key points. The positives are its an older ship but has some great venues and bars which makes the personnel touches better than the bigger ships and it proved no different from our previous sailings. The services from the bars and restaurant staff were excellent. The professional entertainment was excellent although some of the best act were too late in the evening. We read on an informative letter in our cabin on arrival that they listen to the cruise feedback reviews. They had decided they would let children use the adult pools which I’m not sure was thought through. We like the lido pool on deck 9 it has a children’s pool but they all used the adult pool. Not supervised by staff and parents and just basic chaos all week. Jumping,pushing,shoving,inflatables the size of a person. Water guns the size of cannons firing all over the deck. We are not stick in the muds we have 3 children who don’t behave in this fashion. Three times we complained to reception and all we got back was they are the same throughout the ship. Ruined the holiday and experience. The sail away party the life and sole of these cruises was ruined by the life safety drill taking place at 10.00 in the evening which is unheard off. The food which was always the stalwart of the Dream has gone backwards!! Repetitive basis offering and the sweet selection was really poor. The Cruise Director spent more time trying to sell upgrades than actually information around the entertainment. The 2 hour flight delay coming and 5 hour delay going back didn’t help either. This is our 2nd Marella cruise this year which hasn’t come anywhere near expectations with delays and standards going backwards.one of the biggest frustrations is trying to get your voice heard. The Tui App on the ship is loaded with questions they want to hear rather than anything they don’t. The questionnaire they send you is just as frustrating and if you criticising too much will not let you complete. Prices going up and standards going down. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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