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6 Marella Cruises Gourmet Food Cruise Reviews

Heard from friends of Marella Discovery 2, especially the ' all inclusive' feature. My wife and I have done 8 cruises before and we were impressed with the service, the politeness of the whole crew of Marella Discovery 2. ... Read More
Heard from friends of Marella Discovery 2, especially the ' all inclusive' feature. My wife and I have done 8 cruises before and we were impressed with the service, the politeness of the whole crew of Marella Discovery 2. Never seen in any of the ships before the amount of drinks ( free ) available on that ship ... Anywhere on any floor you are greeted with carts of drinks. On the deck, almost every 15-20 minutes, you are approached by servers with always a smile on their face to offer you with drinks. Service is impeccable anywhere on the ship , in any department. Very clean ship. Entertainment was out of this world . Food ... no need for reservation in ' fine dining'. First come first. The only area which , I believe , needs improvement is the buffet . Breakfast is the same every day . If Marella improves in area of food , I won't hesitate to give the ship a 10/10. As it stands I give it a 9. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Absolutely lovely cruise.... staff from room cleaners through to management were excellent... bar staff fab.. Anthony in the squid and anchor and lllian in the whisky and gin bar were fantastic.. Clifford our brilliant house keeper was ... Read More
Absolutely lovely cruise.... staff from room cleaners through to management were excellent... bar staff fab.. Anthony in the squid and anchor and lllian in the whisky and gin bar were fantastic.. Clifford our brilliant house keeper was tops never a problem to do anything for u... food choices galore restaurants staff amazing... these guys work long hours but are always polite and give u the time of day... would 100% book with marella explorer again... had a problem with our room nothing major.. but the ship manager got us moved straight away.... fabulous time couple of days a bit wet but hey 15 nights without cooking makes up for that... entertainment good.. broadway show room is like going to London except in London u don’t get complementary drinks... ship was very clean literally inside and out were kept clean daily and more than once a day... couldn’t ask for a better first time cruise The 6 days going across to the Caribbean were long but hey we knew wen we booked... oh and the guys at the Lavizza coffee port loved seeing me at 7am every morning Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We have never cruised before, so was not sure we would enjoy the experience, how wrong we were. The ship, Marella discovery, was very modern, well equipped, and professionally staffed, we were wined and dined, entertained, and felt ... Read More
We have never cruised before, so was not sure we would enjoy the experience, how wrong we were. The ship, Marella discovery, was very modern, well equipped, and professionally staffed, we were wined and dined, entertained, and felt pampered from arrival to departure, nothing was too much for them. we traveled to multiple ports around the fjords and the scenery was a delight to the eyes, we enjoyed our experience so much we are already planning our next cruise, I am a firm believer of not booking the same hotel twice, as I like variety when parting with my hard earned cash, but marella dicovery is more than just a hotel, it really felt like home from home, I would like to thank our captain, Chris, general manager Elizabeth, Karen, Fiona, rachel, in fact too many to mention, thank you all so much for the memories xxxx be seeing you all soon, Chris and Ruth , from brighouse. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Spanish Sunsets Cruise : Date of Cruising: 28 May to 4 June 2017 Having cruised previously with Princess, Royal Caribbean and P&O on their larger ships holding 3,500 passengers, we were a little nervous about booking a western ... Read More
Spanish Sunsets Cruise : Date of Cruising: 28 May to 4 June 2017 Having cruised previously with Princess, Royal Caribbean and P&O on their larger ships holding 3,500 passengers, we were a little nervous about booking a western Mediterranean cruise with Thompson (now rebranded TUI), on their newly refurbished flagship ‘Discovery 2’. The TUI ship is a lot smaller carrying just 1900 passengers. Obviously, on ‘Discovery 2’ you don’t get the feeling of space as on the bigger ships and there is no ice rink, sports court, flowrider, water slides, large promenades, zip wires, etc … that you get on the larger cruise ships, everything is obviously scaled down, but so is the price. This ‘Discovery 2’ is a ship that was previously owned by Royal Caribbean but sold to TUI who then have rebranded it along with a major refurbishment in May 2017. I was presently surprised by what I saw and experienced and in most areas my expectations were exceeded. The cabin was first class and on a par with the other cruise liners we have sailed with. It was spacious and well equipped and had we had no complaints what so ever. The restaurant where we dined for our evening meals (Gallery 47), was also excellent with a varied menu and delicious food. The service from the restaurant staff was also first class. No complaints from me and I’m a fussy eater. Breakfast and lunch was in the Islands buffet restaurant and again the food was very good. It did get busy at peak times but going slightly earlier or later meant you could always get a table. (Peak time for breakfast was around 9am). Generally the look of the various areas of the ship was good and taking into account that it was a ‘refurbishment’ and not a ‘refit’ a good job had been done. Most importantly there was new carpeting throughout which is important as nothing makes a ship look more ‘tired’ than worn faded carpeting. There was a variety of entertainment around the ship and most was of a reasonable standard and some excellent. The main disappointment were the shows in the main theatre. Although the singers and dancers were very talented, their choice of material was disappointing and song choices could have been a lot stronger. The production and scenery was good and the seating was very, very comfortable, it was just a shame the the material chosen for them to perform was not the best. Also TUI could have done better by having more variety with professional artists being brought onboard to perform that were of a higher calibre than the TUI resident dancers and singers, as good as they were. There was one variation during the week when we had a comedy magician who was OK but not the best. Most of the crew were very courteous and helpful and the room stewards good although they were not as visible and as ‘chatty’ as some on other cruises we’ve been on. There were two pools (both with jacuzzis), one indoor and one outdoor. Both were of good quality and the indoor one was not overcrowded, as was the outdoor one, but that probably wasn’t helped with the week of our cruise being Spring Bank holiday week, and so there was a large number of children onboard. There were plenty of sun beds around the ship and if you looked around you could find a variety of shaded areas. In summary: There is an old saying that ‘you get what you pay for’, and that is certainly true here. You just get the feel that things are just not quite as big, as plush, as roomy and of the same quality as the cruise companies I’ve made mentioned previously, but for what you pay it is good value for money. As you can probably tell, I’d prefer to cruise with Princess, Royal Caribbean, P&O etc, but for a cheap one week cruise in the Mediterranean then it’s worth considering if ‘money is not is a little tight’. Having spoken to others that have previously sailed with TUI/Thompson, I think this is a step up for the company and the effort they are putting into raising their image and brand in the cruise market is to be commended. If you’ve booked a cruise on ‘Discovery 2’ then I suspect you’ll enjoy it as long as you don’t expect the same experience as on the larger cruise liners who specialise in this type of holiday. I hope this review has proved useful and if you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me at glyn.day@ntlworld.com. Cheers, Glyn Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our seventh Transatlantic crossing, the fourth with Thomson, sorry, TUI! and about our 25th cruise in total. Previously we've crossed on Celebration, lovely little ship! I shall be sorry to see it go, Azura (P&O) and ... Read More
This was our seventh Transatlantic crossing, the fourth with Thomson, sorry, TUI! and about our 25th cruise in total. Previously we've crossed on Celebration, lovely little ship! I shall be sorry to see it go, Azura (P&O) and Adventure of the Seas (RCL). Flight was great. Travelled Dreamliner Premium Club which is worth every penny of the additional charge. Transfer was OK by Barbados standards but they don't have big comfy buses and its only 30/40 minutes so no big deal. Embarkation was swift and possibly helped by the fact we were in a Junior Suite with priority boarding. First impressions of the ship were good. Thomson, sorry TUI, at last has a ship in style and facilities to rival the big lines. It IS quite impressive! Very spacious and loads and loads of interior light in the public areas. I did note like another reviewer the crew demographic had changed with many Eastern European crew members, but who cares where they're from provided they do a good job and they largely did. We ate mostly in the main restaurant served by two great guys, Julio and Appollon. Ive cruised with many different cruise lines and on all Thomson ships except Dream and without a doubt, the food was every bit as good as any other four star cruise line and better than some Ive travelled on . I often read and have posted reviews myself complaining about cold food but not the case on this ship in the main restaurant where the food was always interesting, varied, well presented and hot. Only ate once in the self service restaurant and my choice was very nice but luke warm. The only minor hiccup came early in the cruise when a waiter who shall remain nameless served us at lunch. Three out of four starters came out all of which were hot so three of us began to eat. We then saw the main courses delivered to the waiter station at the same time as the missing starter. Three of us had finished our starters whilst the fourth was still eating theirs when the waiter came to the table and said he was going to serve the main courses because they'd been there a while. He didn't ask.... he just told us! We declined his kind offer and asked that the main courses when served be replaced having been standing about ten minutes and fish cools quickly. At this point it seemed that we'd asked for the impossible and were visited by Head Waiters, Restaurant Managers and other waiters one of which took responsibility and resolved the problem. Thank you to Anthony! The first waiter never served us again even though he was always close by. Not sure if that was by design or luck but a restaurant needs in my view to conform to common dining etiquette and on this occasion, it didn't. This incident apart, the main restaurant was excellent! Thank you. We like to eat in the specialist restaurants and the Italian was really good and does not incur a surcharge. I cant t say the same for my experience of Surf and Turf for which there IS a surcharge of £25 per head. Previously we've eaten in Mistral and Kora La on Celebration and the al a carte on Majesty. All three are excellent restaurants with a great food in a convivial atmosphere for an additional £20 a head. In the case of Mistral, that's for a six or seven course quality meal served by experienced and knowledgeable waiters. In Kora La on Celebration, you enter an oriental environment with suitably dressed waiters and the food is great. This is not the case on Discovery. The atmosphere and environment is no different to any other restaurant and depending on the time you eat, you have the vast pool deck screen glaring through the windows into your face. Not very oriental! I'm sorry to make the comparison but I'm afraid to do so is inevitable. We cancelled our reservation in Kora La as we found the screen intrusive and would have detracted from the dining experience. For your £25 in S and T, there are four courses and my personal view is that the food was little different to that served in the main restaurant. I chose seared scallops as a starter. It consisted of three small queen scallops which were not seared. Nice but........For my main I chose Sole which was to be served at the table. No fault of the waitress but I'm sure she hadn't deboned many sole. It took an age for her to do so whilst the fish was cooling all the time. Why not ask the customer whether or not they would like the fish to be deboned at the table or would they prefer to do it themselves. I wanted to scream out "Please give it me to do" but I resisted not wanting to cause any embarrassment. In short, S and T was not a good experience, not good value in my view and one I would not repeat in the current circumstances. We did speak to the head of F and B, raised our concerns and made the comparison with Mistral but his response was "Its the new concept" It certainly was different to Mistral and a "difference" I didn't care for! For me, a backward step. It's sad that there are no longer any wine waiters on board. Wine is now very ably and frequently provided by your table waiters but it was a little hint of extra class to have a wine waiter?waitress. I'm sure someone from TUI will read this review and I would point out that my comments are intended for their benefit also and to ultimately improve MY experience. I'm not a serial moaner and have cruised many times and to make comparisons although subjective, is inevitable. I have noted one comment on a review which I also totally agree with and is something we commented on when speaking to those in authority. In S and T restaurant, it was as if I was being served by someone speaking from a prepared script. Each waiter who approached the table started with the same pre prepared script and conversations with them were very stilted.. Ive never experienced this before on a Tui ship. It is unnatural, unwanted by me at least and makes normal conversations difficult. Please let the waiting staff be themselves. They can still say what they need to say. It was so obviously scripted, it became farcical. Lets be honest, Discovery is a nice ship. I didn't see a speck of dirt anywhere, 99.9% of the crew are fantastic. There is plenty of deck space and the sun beds are comfy. Although the bed grabbers were there at the crack of dawn as always, we never struggled to find availability.. I did read another review which commented that two of the six days were rather rough (my description, not theirs) My response would be to say that it was nothing more than gentle pitching and not nearly approaching rough. Have a ride through the Bay of Biscay on a bad day when all the doors are secured and you are not allowed outside at all. That's rough!!! Yes I agree the upper decks were closed for sunbeds on a couple of days but that was for safety reasons to prevent anyone being injured by airborne sunbeds. Yes it was windy, but if you ride a motor bike at 20mph into a 20mph headwind, it WILL be windy!! The ship was travelling at 18 knots (20mph ish) into a 20 mph headwind. Not much that can be done about that. Ive had worse transatlantic crossings but none I would describe as being uncomfortably rough and certainly none where abandoning ship became a consideration!!!. Its a great way to get home without jet lag whilst just relaxing or doing whatever takes your fancy on the ship. We don't do the shows so I cant comment on entertainment. Overall, we really enjoyed our cruise. So much so, we've already booked again for next year on Discovery and I look forward to once again meeting some great people providing a great experience. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our first cruise and we wanted warm climate, good atmosphere, friendly travellers and a relaxing environment. After researching various cruise destinations, packages and value for money, Thomson Cruises came out top in all fields. ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we wanted warm climate, good atmosphere, friendly travellers and a relaxing environment. After researching various cruise destinations, packages and value for money, Thomson Cruises came out top in all fields. We then read all the feedback from other traveller's only to discover that many were return voyager's who had done several cruises on various ships and returned to the Dream for it's friendliness, professionalism, helpfulness of staff and great atmosphere. All these factors helped to convince us to do this cruise. It was the best money we ever spent on a holiday and I can't believe we never did a cruise before. Embarkation was quick and efficient. Within 6 minutes we were processed and heading to our cabin. The cabin was clean and fairly spacious, I was half expecting it to be cramped so I was pleasantly surprised. There was an information pack in our cabin with the name of who was allocated to look after our cabin during our cruise, activities for the day and the name of our next port of call. Each day you had a news letter with all the timings for activities, arrival time in port, departure time and port excursions available at your destinations. The Thomson Dream is a decent sized ship and well maintained, the crew and staff are very courteous, helpful and always cheerful. The quality of the food was excellent. The entertainment is of a professional standard and varied.. During the days at sea you are never short of activities that the staff organise, or you can just opt to laze by the pools or on the sun deck's. You can pre-book your excursion's before leaving the UK to join your cruise if you so wish, or choose to book once on board, the choice is entirely yours. Within a week of our return, we had booked our 2016 cruise on the Thomson Dream again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
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