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34 Marella Cruises Southampton Cruise Reviews

I chose this cruise as it was smart casual as we dont like getting dolled up every night , we paid £3500 for 14 days in a balcony cabin , the service we got on board was excellent ie cleaning cabins bars and restaurants, even though we ... Read More
I chose this cruise as it was smart casual as we dont like getting dolled up every night , we paid £3500 for 14 days in a balcony cabin , the service we got on board was excellent ie cleaning cabins bars and restaurants, even though we paid £1500 more than people with an inside cabin wegot no additional perks ie premium package was £100 each for 14 days extra all trips were extra we worked it out if you went on a trip every day for your trip you would pay between £1000 and £1500 extra for your holiday . there was no advice on trips that you could do yourself without paying for the trips out , which we thought was unbelievable we asked about a tourist attraction which we thought we could walk to and was pointed in a direction 1hour walking later we asked a local and it would have been impossible only by a car to get to and would take 4 hours. as for the ship there was only 1 bar you could get a proper coffee and that was after 1pm all other bars was coffee in geezers which was absolutely awful even with breakfast we used the free sachets of nescafe that we got in our room to make a decent coffee at breakfast no sachets available in the restaurants .. food and drink was excellent there was a 4 all inclusive restaurants all fab. as for the northern lights well the captain only mentioned once that they had made an appearance and wouldnt broadcast this in the cabins as somepeople didnt want to be disturbed at all so what was the point of going on anorthern lights cruise hence i was in the shower so couldnt hear the announcement. when we did go on deck 11 there was no bar open outside no seating people were just stood outside with a member of staff serving hot chocolate out of a machine in paper cups, its as though the "northern lights" cruise was secondary to being just on a cruise to norway we were extremely disappointed with this , it was just rubbish. the ship is good creaks in the cabins abit but as a ship it is good . we cant say anything about the shows as we didnt go to any as we only got out of restaurant at 9.45 . would have been lovely to go to Stavanger at night instead of sailing off as it looked great for a night out as being on aship for 14 days can be very mononotous all in all it was good but not upto our expectations for the money we paid out , we shant be going on another cruise personal choice for us . Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because my wife's bucket included waning to see the Northern lights. It didn't disappoint. However there are only a few days during the cruise when this is possible. This is when the ship is inside the Atric ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my wife's bucket included waning to see the Northern lights. It didn't disappoint. However there are only a few days during the cruise when this is possible. This is when the ship is inside the Atric circle. ( only 3 day on this itinery) you also need the right weather conditions & they are only visible for a few hours ( normally between about 10pm & 2am). Our departure port was Southampton & we used Intercruise coaches as transport to the port from Cheshire. I would highly recommend them they were punctual & extremely well appointed on both journeys. Our cabin was 1045 with a large balcony. PLEASE AVOID. The cabin is well appointed & spacious. However it is situated just below an extractor outlet from the Mediterranean restaurant. This caused a horrible acrid oily fat smell to drift onto the balcony when in port & into the room when the door was open. We complained twice & nothing was done. Trips..we did the Flam railway & was good value for money. In Olden we used the sightseeing tour bus just adjacent to the port which was half the price of the TUI tour & exactly the same. All ports visited allowed you to walk easily to the towns although some were only small villages. Pulpit rock tour from Stavanger was also worth while & the town is quite large. Eating & drinking out in Norway is expensive & so are souvenirs. Food & Entertainment on the ship was first class. We always upgrade to the premium drinks package. At £7 pp/day well worth it. And we also had a couple of nights in the Surf n Turf & Kora La restaurants ( extra charge). Overall we would do this itinerary again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Having had the view of wishing to see the 'northern lights', it seemed a good option to choose. It was a great experience on the Explorer. We have cruised Princess (that experience takes some beating), RCI, and P & O, the ... Read More
Having had the view of wishing to see the 'northern lights', it seemed a good option to choose. It was a great experience on the Explorer. We have cruised Princess (that experience takes some beating), RCI, and P & O, the thing we find with P & O is that they are trying every which way to obtain more spend out of the passengers, and, in our view, the service kind of seems to be falling off... Marella have it sorted.. you can't help but come off the ship we were on with a smile on your face.. The dining facilities were very good with high windows, roomy table layouts, able to accommodate shared dining experiences if required, the menus were varied and similarly, very good, table assistance was also excellent, everyone of the staff had a smile on their faces and it felt a total commitment to service on behalf of their employers. Although we had the all inclusive aspect we did try the Dining Club, Kora La & the Turf & Turf fine dining experiences, we were not disappointed, if they were to be put in order of preference, we'd say Dining Club first with a close second by the Kora La and perhaps a not so close Surf & Turf last... but still worth the visits... Since the ship is an all inclusive deal the only consideration of using the Explorer for another cruise again would be, where and what time in the year.. we could see it quite easily see it being a booze cruise.. where as, a Fjords Cruise out in school term and in a cold climate perhaps not so... Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose a junior suite for our trip around the Fjords. The weather and ports were faultless - For that reason we are glad we went. This ship and staff - appalling. Self service at best No service at worse OR indeed - glasses ... Read More
Chose a junior suite for our trip around the Fjords. The weather and ports were faultless - For that reason we are glad we went. This ship and staff - appalling. Self service at best No service at worse OR indeed - glasses stomped down on bar Barmen swearing and indeed backchat in their own language And just so boring.. Missed the buzzers and bells of a big ship The officers never acknowledge you - walked by head down - In twenty years of cruising I have seldom met such a rude crew Cabin steward was first class - as always - the workforce are the best - but unfortunately are lead by a dreary Captain who is well past his Best Before Date. Music and entertainment ... think 1980s Hi-De-Hi level. Nice Gin Bar spoiled by being adjacent to an open doorway on to the smoking area, As a non smoker (and yes, reformed ex smoker) I found it such a shame as it was the one nice bar I enjoyed, and could get a decent drink Premium all inclusive was good for quality drinks (when you could find one) and canned drinks + water. Dining - forget it - worst ever - options very limited I would not repeat Marella and after twenty years of cruising it takes a lot to deter me from not giving something another try Final straw in debarkation - complete and absolute shambles - Alongside P&O .. (even worse dare I say it?) Booked Norwegian for 2020 - they value their guests and their ships are real ships - not dated old boats which were retired by decent lines long ago.. Like their ships.. Marella is history for me! 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 itinerary which was very good.We travelled to Southampton with Inter cruises who were very professional with no problems,but on arriving we had to queue to receive the luggage tags then again to get port side ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary which was very good.We travelled to Southampton with Inter cruises who were very professional with no problems,but on arriving we had to queue to receive the luggage tags then again to get port side with only one desk open even the ladies on the desk were complaining then again to get checked in where there was a "technical" problem with the computers-it took over 2 hours to get on board and it's the last thing you need when you've been travelling for 5 hours. We liked the ship with lots of space it was bright and clean.I booked our cabin 8004 as it looked bigger and we weren't disappointed it was huge.With Steward Prasetyo and team we were well looked after and nothing was too much trouble and surprised us with amazing towel sculptures. We had breakfast and lunch in the buffet and there was a good selection to please everyone,evening meal was in the main dining room and the meals were well cooked and beautifully presented again we were well looked after by Noel,Freddie and Vladlena? "The A Team" Entertainment was varied with something for everyone and we enjoyed going to the cinema a few times as well. Our favourite place for a drink was the Lounge after the show -a special mention for Alice who was a star. All the staff we encountered greeted you with a smile and they're all a credit to the company.We enjoyed daily announcements by Captain Peter -he's certainly got a sense of humour especially when explaining that we'd just got through a severe storm but now it 's just a storm-we were on deck 8 and the waves were hitting our window!! We enjoyed all the ports of call on this trip but again we were plagued with the dreaded queuing getting off and back on the ship Disembarkation was a breeze thank goodness very well organised We will certainly cruise with Marella again if the ports of call are what we want. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The itinerary and time of year are main reasons we chose this cruise and it did not disappoint. The crew and staff all so kind, helpful and humorous and most importantly skilful whatever their role. Special thanks to Willy and his team ... Read More
The itinerary and time of year are main reasons we chose this cruise and it did not disappoint. The crew and staff all so kind, helpful and humorous and most importantly skilful whatever their role. Special thanks to Willy and his team who kept our spacious room so tidy and clean and yes the monkey towel sculpture hanging from a mirror did make us jump. We enjoyed our meals in Latitude 53 and the Market Place for snacks. The Italian restaurant Vista came highly recommended by other guests but we only had the chance to visit once as so popular. Embarkation and security checks took a while but disembarkation was straightforward. The only disappointment was slight problems with most of our trips but they did not spoil the enjoyment of the trip...for us but did for some . Plenty going on throughout the ship and we especially enjoyed the evening shows but they did come over as very loud and the music was all very much the same whatever show they were performing but nevertheless, some very talented musicians and dancers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We pick this cruise to see what marella was like after not being on them since 2006 in the thomson days.It was bad start to finish.We put the cases on at the coach pick up then at the port took them off found somebody with luggage labels ... Read More
We pick this cruise to see what marella was like after not being on them since 2006 in the thomson days.It was bad start to finish.We put the cases on at the coach pick up then at the port took them off found somebody with luggage labels ,put them on then found somebody to take them off you.Then it took 1 hour to register in.The cabin was a good size but dated we paid £196.00 extra for this cabin a inside plus.The duvet was only very low tog so it was cold in the cabin in fact it was cold where ever you went on the ship.It needed new towels to all grey.The food was very poor in the restaurant so after 4days we give up like a lot of people & started eating in the buffet.The food in the buffet was only just ok,when ever you went in the buffet itwas very hard to get a seat people was just sat there taking in the view & drinking because you could serve yourself beer & wine. Each week they had a one good comedian on the theatre shows were only just watchable.There was one good quiz per day in the live bar but hard to get a seat because some never moved out of the live bar.The condition of the ship was poor plenty rust to be seen .On the second week they started stripping down at the the back of the ship ready for its third refurb in 4years thats shows the condition of the ship.The tours was poorly organised & they changed a lot of them.The tender boats at leknes was a disgrace we had to cue up for hour &half in the cold & rain to get back on we was lucky some was over two hours thank god these lot was not at dunkirk. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Marella discovery searching for the northern lights 4th October 2018 until 18th October 2018 This is our 13th year of cruising with Thomson’s but our first time after the name change last year. For this review I’m going to split ... Read More
Marella discovery searching for the northern lights 4th October 2018 until 18th October 2018 This is our 13th year of cruising with Thomson’s but our first time after the name change last year. For this review I’m going to split into separate parts Firstly we sailed from Southampton. Embarking was completely hassle free. Parked the car at 12:15 on board with a drink at 13:15 cases arrived shortly after a massive well done to everyone involved Our room located on deck 7 inside was plenty big enough with a nice big double bed and small seating area the addition of having a water jug and glasses with a fresh water tap on the level was a pleasant surprise. Our shower was missing it’s head but our steward soon had that sorted. I think in total out of the 14 days we saw our steward twice but the room was always well maintained twice a day. One big thing we noticed on this ship is how quiet the rooms are most ships we have been on have paper thin walls so you can hear everything happening. After looking around the ship and finding out the swimming pools are heated bonus.we went downstairs for predinner drinks and this is where the ship falls down in a big way. Most of the evening entertainment is done in the Broadway theatre for shows then the live lounge and atrium. There is inadequate seating in the live lounge and atrium. There is a massive lounge called the venue on deck 5 but this is only used for the game shows a complete waste of good space. Dinner in the main dining area is waiter served you are unable to book a table. If you wish to only use the 1 set of waiters then you take a chance at getting them or take a pager this is something I’ve never experienced before on any ship and have to say I’m not at all keen. Service like the food can be hit and miss. I mentioned the food out of all the ships I’ve been on this one is on par with the majesty not great they seem to of run out of seasoning in the kitchens, and everything seems to of been left on the hot plate for far to long before serving, none of the food is fresh and vibrant,burgers in the snack shack are warmed up when ordered bun and all. On one occasion I gave them back both our burgers as they were stone cold in the middle after that we didn’t eat there again. We did treat ourselves to the surf and turf restaurant on deck 11 something I would urge people to avoid as it’s not worth anywhere near the £28 per person I got my money back when I complained. Last year on the spirit we had 10 courses of heaven as our cruise treat for much less. Breakfast and lunch you either need to get up very early to eat in the buffet area or use the restaurant as people use it as seating area instead of finishing then moving away somewhere eles. I completely understand this was a cold weather cruise but come on it can’t be right people reading,taking photos while others are trying to sit down to eat. As said this was a cold weather cruise so the main pool deck wasn’t needed as much. The other bars didn’t cope with the added pressures with some of the bar staff actually making you feel bad about ordering especially in the atrium where they were more interested in whistling and cat calling a female customer on the deck above, the female waitress said they do it all the time. Not very professional I can recommend the bar on deck 11 which had excellent service the staff made you feel very welcome and you didn’t wait very long for your drink to arrive. This ship does make use of some interactive technology does that some of the staff interactiveness out of the cruise? Yes I think it does especially when booking excursions or wanting to know more about a port. Does the fact it’s an all inclusive ship make a difference yes I think it does especially when the first 2 days of the cruise staff were trying to sell the upgraded all inclusive when the all inclusive has already been added to the initial cost of the holiday. Would I do this cruise again yes I would however I wouldn’t recommend this ship unless significant improvements are made Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Just back from an amazing 2 week cruise on board Marella Discovery to Norway. What a fantastic time we had from start to finish. Embarkation was quick and easy, we were on the ship within an hour of our taxi dropping us off at ... Read More
Just back from an amazing 2 week cruise on board Marella Discovery to Norway. What a fantastic time we had from start to finish. Embarkation was quick and easy, we were on the ship within an hour of our taxi dropping us off at Southampton. Balcony cabin 7604 was clean, with plenty of storage space. It was great to have the balcony to sit out on late at night watching the northern lights! Entertainment we found to be excellent, great show team with something different every night. We were on this ship last year and we found that the entertainment shows were a lot better this time, what a very talented team. Dining: We ate mainly in restaurant 47 as we preferred this to the hustle & bustle of Islands up on deck 9. Trying to find a seat up there was a challenge. The service we received in restaurant 47 was excellent, great staff, all very welcoming and friendly. Always pleased to see you. Food was excellent, something different to choose from every night, we never had a bad meal. Just want to say thanks to Bojan and Yana for their professional, friendly service, together they make a great team. We know the dress code has been relaxed on this ship but it was good to see that on this cruise so many passengers still liked the chance to get dressed up in the evenings. We went on a lot of organised excursions, all of which were very good. In Bergan we went on the full day trip to Hardangerfjord, lovely scenery, knowledgeable guide and with a 3 course meal included in the price, it was excellent value for money, would recommend this trip. All staff we met were very friendly and always greeted you with a smile. Great crew all round. Seeing the Northern Lights was the icing on the cake, what a fantastic cruise, with lots of happy memories. This was our 3rd cruise with Tui / Marella and hopefully it wont be our last. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Norway, really wanted see the Northern lights and this cruise ticked all the boxes. So we booked this on an impulse. After booking I checked out some of the reviews and felt a little unsure ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Norway, really wanted see the Northern lights and this cruise ticked all the boxes. So we booked this on an impulse. After booking I checked out some of the reviews and felt a little unsure as to whether we'd chosen the right ship etc. due to some poor reviews, but i needn't have worried as we had a fantastic time & the icing on the cake was actually seeing the Northern lights on 3 nights during the cruise. The embarkation procedure was really smooth, we checked in our luggage, went on board & it was delivered directly to our cabin. We had booked a cabin with a balcony, (No. 6080), it was spacious with plenty of storage, and although we were not able to sit out on the balcony for long (due to the cold weather), it was lovely to stand out when in port, when 'sailing out' and for viewing the northern lights when they were visible in the early hours of the morning. The tea & coffee making facilities were kept well stocked by Joseph & the other members of the housekeeping staff. The cabin was kept immaculately clean throughout the cruise. The cruise was all inclusive, although you could upgrade if you wanted to include premium brands of alcohol. We did not feel that this was necessary for us as the drinks available on the all inclusive included sparkling wines & certain cocktails. The food was delicious & well cooked, we alternated most evenings between the two waiter service restaurants, and also ended up eating breakfast there as well as getting a seat in the self service restaurant was too much of a struggle. We did not go to any of the specialty restaurants as we did feel the extra you needed to pay for them was too much. The entertainment on board was very good with two shows in the Broadway theatre every evening, pianist & live singing in the lounges, and talks during the days. There was always something to do on board. The gym on board was well equipped, I used this during the days at sea, followed by a relaxing time in the steam room. We booked our excursions online prior to the cruise which was easy to do. The tickets for all of theses were delivered to our cabin on our first evening. The excursions were well planned, but, as we normally find with excursions around the world, some sound better on paper than they actually are. But, on these excursions we did get to see the beautiful countryside by coach that we would not have seen otherwise if we'd just stayed in the port area. The whole ship was kept immaculately clean during the whole cruise. All the staff were friendly & service excellent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
It is not often that you decide to go away with your elderly mother so you need to choose the right method of doing so. A cruise from Southampton is the obvious choice although selecting an itinerary and a cruise line is the challenge. ... Read More
It is not often that you decide to go away with your elderly mother so you need to choose the right method of doing so. A cruise from Southampton is the obvious choice although selecting an itinerary and a cruise line is the challenge. I have cruised in the past with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, which have always been great. Last year my wife and I went with P&O which we thought was awful. That left me a little nervous of my selection of another English cruise company. Thankfully my fears were not to be compounded. I have never sailed with such fantastic staff before. Every single member of the team was happy, pleased to see you and went out of their way to say hello. The fact that they weren't reliant on gratuities seems to relax them. There is no big push trying to flog cocktails, trips or anything else and this makes for a great atmosphere. The food is not as good as you find on the US ships but is way better than that offered by P&O. Snack Shack is brill for mid afternoon arrivals after a day's touring; the two main restaurants are pretty good - the starters and desserts are better than the main courses; the buffet isn't bad at all (apartb from the soggy sausages at breakfast) and the two pay restaurants look lovely although we didn't go as my Mum didn't fancy. The standard all inclusive package offers almost every drink you could ever want. Bottled beers, as well as draught, is a big surpise. Premium is for those who are, perhaps, more discerning with their wine or for those who think that Lavazza coffee is worth an extra £7 or so per day. I, personally, didn't bother and wouldn't do so. The ship's entertainment crew are second to none. In all reality they are too good to be on a cruise ship. Six magnificent singers, who can all dance too. Add in extra talented dancers and the evening shows shouldn't be missed. The cruise director, however, minces around the ship like an anorexic Freddie Mercury and he can get annoying. Talking of which you must see one of the singers, Seb Mercury, perform his Queen tribute - his Barcelona duet with another of the singers, Freya Hawkins is the best you will ever see on a ship. The comedian, Anthony Scott, was awful and I think they knew it. Can't see him being booked again in a hurry. Because of my Mum's walking difficulties we had an Accessible Cabin. It was an incredible, huge space with a bathroom/wet room as big as some cabins. It was always spotless. Some nicer toiletries wouldn't go amiss. Our European Experience itinerary was good in places and poor in others. It felt slightly experimental on Marella's part and they didn't do well with the tours. Quite a few fellow passengers complained, particularly about Bruges. Talking of which there were no tours to Bruges suitable for wheelchair users whatsoever and that was a real shame as my Mum was really looking forward to going there. We visited Blankenberg, the local town instead, under or own steam, but it wasn't the same. Bremerhaven was surprisingly nice and Amsterdam was fab. Le Havre is about as exciting as a day out in Tilbury. Cherbourg makes up for it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise as a bit of an experiment to see if we would like the kind of package provided. Price was good itinerary interesting and we thought why not? Good news is we are now avidly going through future cruise options with ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a bit of an experiment to see if we would like the kind of package provided. Price was good itinerary interesting and we thought why not? Good news is we are now avidly going through future cruise options with Marella who have just surpassed all the others as a favourite cruise line Reason? we liked informality, the genuine nature of the goodwill from all the staff and the relaxed feeling of fun that pervades everything. We were a little concerned that the ubiquitous all-inclusive drinks might create a Laddish or Hennish atmosphere. However this was not the case at all. Instead, the relaxed atmosphere really made the cruise one to remember. Okay maybe food didn’t quite match the heights we have experienced with other providers, but the friendliness of the staff and the like-minded passengers made dining a real pleasure supported by a more relaxed nature of the dress code. The ship felt younger even though many of the cruisers clearly weren’t. We really enjoyed the Broadway shows which were more modern and inventive than the predictable show songs often provided. even the comedian had appeared at the Edinburgh fringe. I have read in all the reviews that the stressful free for all in the islands restaurant has caused concern. Whilst I understand this and feel Marella like many other lines would do well to consider Fred’s policy of organising the seating by a maitre d approach, seems to me that cruisers need to be more prepared to politely share. When we have done this it has opened up a multitude of friendly interesting conversations. Of course this doesn’t suit everybody. Those who prefer their own company should consider other cruising options . With regard to the ports, Bremerhaven was a pleasant surprise. The Climate house was brilliant. Excursions were ok and relatively keenly priced. At the moment we are going off them if there is any feasible on your own option. One new idea was a port walk into the centre of Amsterdam ( free) which was greatly appreciated by the less confident amongst us. We like quizzes, but they can be spoiled by a level of seriousness above their station. Not so here. A right laugh. Anyone need a Marella luggage strap? Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
First of all we stayed on the discovery between 26th September to the 4th October. The biggest compliment was the kids club where they looked after our twins and did a fantastic job so a mention to DANIELLE, AMY AND CARA you are a ... Read More
First of all we stayed on the discovery between 26th September to the 4th October. The biggest compliment was the kids club where they looked after our twins and did a fantastic job so a mention to DANIELLE, AMY AND CARA you are a credit to the brand and a big thank you. The food could of been better as very mediocre and hopefully will improve in due course. The assesbility factors were very bad and getting off on the 4th floor on a wet and gale force wind day was a huge health and safety risk and after several complaints lowered it to the 2nd floor. Communication could massively be improved as there was lots of things that were not adhered to and needs to be improved ASAP Service from cleaners on the junior suites were very friendly and did a good standard of work and were all go. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Just returned from a great cruise on Marella Discovery. We have previously cruised on NCL, MSC, P&O and other Thomson ships and have to say that this is the best value for money cruise and the best Thomson, now Marella, ship we have ... Read More
Just returned from a great cruise on Marella Discovery. We have previously cruised on NCL, MSC, P&O and other Thomson ships and have to say that this is the best value for money cruise and the best Thomson, now Marella, ship we have been on. The cruise was All Inclusive, no cheap brands...Gordons, Smirnoff etc so a great package plus teas and coffees and which included gratuities. You could upgrade for an extra £58 per person for the whole cruise which gave you extra premium brands and specialist coffees. The ship is lovely, spotlessly clean and carries the most amazing, friendly and genuine staff. The food in Islands Buffet was very good, great choice, always hot (plates were sometimes too hot to handle!). Different carvery every day... its not so often that you see suckling pig on offer at lunch!! Self service beer and wine at lunch is a great idea and if you wanted any shorts the bar is just outside and you can bring in what ever you want. The food in the main dining room in the evening blew hot and cold, some nights its was good...others not so good and choice was at times limited. The service however was outstanding. As a rule we don't usually go to the shows at night...but this time we did....in fact we went to 5 of the shows...so that in itself tells a story. There's no need to go to the bar as waiters come round taking your drinks order. The entertainment staff were absolutely superb.. the best entertainment we have seen. They worked so hard and always had a smile on their faces and always had time for a chat..well done to you all!!! All in all, we had a brilliant cruise on a great ship with exceptional staff and service for very good value for money...and yes...we will definitely be taking another Marella cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We have never done a sea cruise before. River cruises are our favourite but felt that we would take the plunge and find a suitable 'starter' cruise. Marella Discovery had a good itinerary which just about the right length. So ... Read More
We have never done a sea cruise before. River cruises are our favourite but felt that we would take the plunge and find a suitable 'starter' cruise. Marella Discovery had a good itinerary which just about the right length. So we went ahead and booked The European Experience cruise, albeit a little apprehensive about one or two of the reviews we have read. Embarkation at Southampton was very fast. We arived at the dock at 11.30 and were on board at 12:00 in spite of having a 10 minute walk from the car park to the ship. To be honest we were a bit overwhelmed once on board because the river cruise ships have about 120 passengers and Discovery had 1800+ so it was a bit of a shock to the system!!!! Once we settled down and found our cabin and after the luggage arrived, we went to explore the ship. She is spotlessly clean, they are always polishing or hoovering something. The weather for sail away was perfect hot, sunny and calm waters.We spoke to many people who had been on the ship before and even more who loved to sail with Tui. We had our first meal in Gallery 47 which is the upper level of 47 and is Italian. The service was very good, the table was well laid out with a spotless white cloth and it was so good that, even in a full restaurant, there was no problem in hearing what people were saying (we were on a table of 6). Food was good We then went to see the show and I was amazed at how good it was. The cast, sets, technical side were all superb and the seats were so comfortable and everyone had a clear view. The next day was a day at sea and we found that a bit boring but only because we had not got the hang of the ship yet. Once we had been on board for about three days we had worked out what was where and what we wanted to do etc. There was so much choice. All the ports we called at were great and the excursions were very good. The weather was also kind to us. Sailing into Amsteram was fantastic. We enjoyed an early morning round of putting on Deck 10 takng in the views between holes! We had one meal in the Surf and Turf and that was fantastic, a real dining experience and if we sail on Discovery agian we would certainly do that. Ate in the 47 r4estaurant for rest of voyage and all the meals were very good and just the right portions. Shows were all of a very high standard indeed and the performance of songs and dance from Chicago was West End Standard. Ship was stable in choppy Seas and it was comforting to see how quickly the crew dealt with medical emergencies one of which resulted in an air ambulance landing and taking a passenger to hospital, the other necessitated the ship turning back into port to allow a passenger to be taken off. All staff and crew friendly and helpful. No annoying announcements except for essential ones. Cabin comfortable. The duvet cover could have done with replacement but sheets and bed linen clean and new. Shower very good for its size and plenty of hot water. Only sticking point was that in the evenings it was quite hard to find a seat in the Atrium. This was undoubtedly due to the fact that it was dark and a bit chilly on most nights. had this been a summer cruise a lot of people would have been on deck. Would we travel Marella again? Yes I think we would. To sum up this is a value for money cruise and if your trip is destination led this is the perfect way to do it without being saddled with huge bills for drinks and gratuities at the end. The crew do everything they can to make you comfortable and happy and the service in the restaurants and the food does not make you feel like you are on a 'budget' experence. At ports there are lots of staff to guide you to the trips or show you how to get out the the port, so no worries whatsover. Well done Marella, you offer a good pacakge. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Was on this ship last September round Med couldn't praise it enough food/drinks/service but what a difference 12 months make. Easy check in but card readers called to reception to 're register them Cabin, paid for a delux ... Read More
Was on this ship last September round Med couldn't praise it enough food/drinks/service but what a difference 12 months make. Easy check in but card readers called to reception to 're register them Cabin, paid for a delux cabin first freezing cold sat with blankets round us which had to ask for bedding inferior sheets tied in knots at bottom duvet cover too big for duvet. Bathroom 1 tiny bar of soap body wash on shower wall and that was it. Food same quality ingredients, waiter dining room excellent but upstairs in the Zoo, sorry self service same quality food but ALWAYS overcooked, dried up and spoiled. DRINKS last year excellent quality wines, spirits, beers but this year what a change, NO chardonnay in wine choices quality of other wines like vinegar, only 2 beer choices spirits cheapest brands there is and you have to BUY bottled water, no wine waiter any more could pay £100 each for a drjnks package but stuff that. Had to pay £90 per cabin for WiFi no thank you. Money orientated trying to get as much out of you as possible Entertainment same shows as last year tweaked a little nothing outstanding. Trips destinations team not a clue wrong information on trips, one trip asked about was short walk through park to get to Church of Spilled Blood, a 3 mile yes 3 mile walking jaunt showing us completely insignificant buildings. bring bad on kegs with others the same NOT too amused. Overall a very dissspointing cruise and would aI sail with Marellw again NO NEVER. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This is a second hand ship so we had lowish expectations but it turned out to look quite good. We had an unassigned balcony cabin and it was midship on deck 6; could not have been better. Shortage of draws but adequate wardrobe space. The ... Read More
This is a second hand ship so we had lowish expectations but it turned out to look quite good. We had an unassigned balcony cabin and it was midship on deck 6; could not have been better. Shortage of draws but adequate wardrobe space. The cabin safe was difficult to use with a 10 inch tablet. Bed was comfortable and the room warm. The weather on the cruise was not brilliant so did not use the balcony much for sitting out but it was worth the extra money for the great views. All the staff we met were very friendly and professional. The theatre looked great and produced excellent shows every evening; can not praise the Broadway troupe highly enough. The cruise is all inclusive which we liked. The drinks package included was comprehensive (choice of Gins, numerous cocktails, soft drinks etc.) so there really is no need to buy in the expensive Premium drinks package. Our first disappointment came within minutes of boarding and was a persistent problem. There are simply not enough seats in the Island buffet room, every meal was a fight to secure a seat before attempting to find any food. Finish eating and go to one of the bars for a drink and you have the same problem, so the great atrium which looked so good was difficult to find seating in, this was no more apparent than when the captain gave us a welcome speech when the majority of people were left standing. The balconies overlooking the atrium were devoted to selling photos or bike rides rather than providing more seats which just shows the priorities of Tui. Mass catering is never going to be great so no surprises that the food was average, but not always as hot as it should be. Our first meal in restaurant 47 was a disaster and when we tried to give it a second try we were told there was a waiting time of one hour. We did get into 47 Gallery and the meal here was quite good. Snack Shack provided a quick bite especially coming back onto the boat after a shore trip. The Island buffet, the main eatery on board, was a perfect disaster of planning; having found a seat and leaving your partner to guard it you then went to a series of islands to prise out a plate from the heated servery and then had to visit three different islands to get a main meal! The islands had an eclectic mix of fruit, chips and beans (green beans were available for every lunch or dinner we had !), move to another island to find salads and hot vegetables, curry and mashed potatoes; bizarre. Another thing we could not understand was having roast turkey, cranberry sauce, pigs in blankets and then having chips or mash as the potatoes served with it; next morning roast potatoes were served with the eggs!! . . this happened on more than one occasion. Want a croissant? you will not find them on the 'Bakers Dozen' island. The fruit juice, available only at breakfast time, turned out to be far too sweet for most peoples taste. We were encouraged to sanitise our hands on the way into the restaurants but the tables were rarely wiped and we never saw disinfectant used on the tables at all. On a sea day the heating in the Glass House/ indoor pool failed so people either wrapped up in towels or tried to find seating elsewhere, there was also an issue with lifts not working. The joining instructions from Tui were clearly written some time ago and have been added to over the years so that they no longer make sense, they tell you the ship sails at 15.00 and also at 16.00, they also say you can board from 13.30 until 14.00 or maybe 15.00; quite confusing. A very friendly ship that with a bit of reorganisation could be good. We would have to think carefully before booking with Tui again, but would not rule it out. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Havnt cruised for 10 years and that was in the Red sea on the Thomson Spirit.Almost didn't book this cruise as we were looking to travel to Mexico but that fell through.Not quite sure what to expect on a COLD cruise with city ... Read More
Havnt cruised for 10 years and that was in the Red sea on the Thomson Spirit.Almost didn't book this cruise as we were looking to travel to Mexico but that fell through.Not quite sure what to expect on a COLD cruise with city sightseeing trips and not the hot spots we are used to but I have to say we were very happy with our choice of holiday.Embarkation went quite smoothly through check in and security and took about 1 hour.The discovery is a refurbished royal Caribbean ship and the perfect size.About 1800 passengers and around 700 crew.The demograph on board was quite elderly which you might expect but we were happy to see a few couples on board considerably younger than us,{were in our late fifties] and it was nice to see the vast majority of people smartly dressed in the evenings.Being all inclusive its difficult to critisice the drinks but the cocktails always needed a top up with a bit more alchohol.Food for us was a little disappointing,the buffet was always too busy and the food not great and we much preferred the restuarants with waiter service.There were no set eating times or tables and we liked to share tables with other couples to make for a pleasant dining conversation experience.Unfortunatly the food wasn't consistently good.I hope im not being too critical as we certainly didn't starve and we arnt foodies but we had expected slightly better.Staff in the restaurants and bars were excellent but we felt that the restaurant staff were understaffed and overworked to give of their best.Entertainment in the evenings was very good and the broadway shows were excellent and the activities during the day covered most peoples tastes,Only problem with a cold cruise is extra pressure on seating indoors especially on at sea days and the discovery does not have enough capacity.Most of the trips ashore we did ourselves apart from st Petersburg Russia where you travel on a group visa on organised trips.An amazing place to visit.To summarise we wernt expecting to enjoy out holiday as much as we did and have never taken so many pics on holiday.We would absolutely travel on the discovery again Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We started cruising in 1987 when the ships were smaller and the food and service was excellent but over the years the ships got larger and larger the food and service deteriated to such an extent that we cruised twice in 2017 on these ... Read More
We started cruising in 1987 when the ships were smaller and the food and service was excellent but over the years the ships got larger and larger the food and service deteriated to such an extent that we cruised twice in 2017 on these floating theme parks we said that's it no more cruising for us. A friend recommended marella which turned out to be brilliant just like cruising used to be we booked a suite which was massive, every member of the crew were friendly and seemed happy in their work and couldn't do enough for us.Within two days most of the crew and senior officers were calling us by our name. The ship was spotless in all departments and whether you ate in the restruants or the self service islands the choice of food and service was as good as any ship we have been on. The performers in the shows were absolutely brilliant, I'm not a fan of singing and dancing shows and always sit on the isle so I wouldn't disturb people when I left early, on this ship the show and the talent was so good I sat through every show. Despite the drinks being free the waiters were always offering you drinks and being free you would have thought they would be slow to keep the costs down but the opposite was true. My wife complained that the ship lacked the wow factor but compared with other ships I found it homely comfortable and very friendly, we could all find something to complain about but my only complaint is this ship isn't based in Southampton and doing the Mediterranean as if it was I wouldn't consider using any other shipping line . Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
First embarkation from Southampton for Discovery and we always wanted to visit St Petersburg, This is our second trip on the Discovery and weren’t disappointed with the ambience,food or entertainment. Embarkation was a piece of cake, ... Read More
First embarkation from Southampton for Discovery and we always wanted to visit St Petersburg, This is our second trip on the Discovery and weren’t disappointed with the ambience,food or entertainment. Embarkation was a piece of cake, straight through check in and luggage delivered to cabin by the time we had a coffee in the Snack Shack deck nine. There were six in our party( four plus two who had not been with Marcella before) but subsequent dining was a doddle ,it only took a couple of days to find a great waiter and team- table 29- in the 47# dining room. Entertainment by the resident troupe was very good, how they remembered all the routines, only disappointment was that there was only one guest act the whole cruise, though Sebby Mercury was a joy ( one of the troupe) Generally all the staff, front of shop and back room, were excellent and all attentive, and all team leaders were approachable and friendly. We visited Gothenburg Tallin Warnemunde Stockholm St. Petersburg ( two days) Copenhagen and Zeebrugge though not necessarily in that order A downside , though we had a larger cabin chosen from the ship’s deck plan on line, Deluxe on deck eight (8534) which was quite spacious,the floor to ceiling windows were grimy outside mainly because the window cleaner couldn’t reach and because the deck above (9) was the lounger and table area for the snack bar we had furniture movement at about 6am to 7 am and again about 9 to 10 pm The casino had only two tables, blackjack and poker, the roulette was an automatic one and very popular, and the slot machines plentiful and paid out quite well,!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Should of known what was coming when the manager of the store at the forte Birmingham gave us incorrect information regarding parking and checking in. From parking the car at the port following a twenty minute queue it took exactly 3 ... Read More
Should of known what was coming when the manager of the store at the forte Birmingham gave us incorrect information regarding parking and checking in. From parking the car at the port following a twenty minute queue it took exactly 3 hours to board the ship. Totally unprepared for check in with 8 stations open and the card registration crashing constantly. The ship itself as a previous Royal Carribean ship was OK The staff were uninterested and personally witnessed what I believe was 5he staff helping themselves to wine from the islands cafe and transferring into implements at the waiters station. The shows in the broadway lounge were pathetic and the one act they brought in which was a magic/comedian act made ourselves and a large number of people walkout as it was worst than you would see in a working mans club. For the first three days I was bombarded with staff trying to upgrade my all inclusive package to a premium package, this was indicative of the cruise with regard to trying you to spend more and mor3 money on nothing more than crap. I have cruised many times before and this is by far the worst overall experience I have experienced. This is no mor3 than a poor performance of Haven on the seas. Don’t waste your money. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We travelled as part of a family group and the entire trip was paid for by my father-in-law. As we had a junior suite we had priority boarding at Southampton so this was very quick and easy (I later found out that non-priority passengers ... Read More
We travelled as part of a family group and the entire trip was paid for by my father-in-law. As we had a junior suite we had priority boarding at Southampton so this was very quick and easy (I later found out that non-priority passengers had uptown a three hour queue and the whole process was a bit chaotic, something that Marella is looking at how to improve). Discovery is a fairly small ship and first impressions from the quayside was very pleasing. Onboard the public areas were clean and modern, plenty of seating and excellent service. Dinning was generally excellent in the main restaurants (we tended to avoid the buffet due to lack of inside seating) and although they were table service we always asked for (and got) extra helpings. Shows were generally not my taste but the others enjoyed them; I did enjoy the magician which the others didn't. There was live music, dance classes and bingo in the lounges. Outside there is a complete circuit deck (four laps to a mile) and some partial decks. Apart from the outdoor pool and jacuzzi (both of which were little used due to the weather) there is a 9 hole mini golf and a climbing wall; also two shuffleboards. Inside is another pool (with retractable roof) and table tennis. There are arcade games in the children's area (deck 10). Cabin was comfortable but a little disappointing (see separate review). Apart from Stravanga the ports, although scenic, had little to offer. This is largely due to the lack of population in Norway (in fact it was very rare to see a Norwegian on the streets). The distances between the excursion sights meant a lot of time on coaches but at least the ship has to wait if you're late back which we were once. Overall, we all had a very good trip, the scenery was fantastic (which is the whole point) even if the weather wasn't. The crew were excellent and I have no major complaints with the ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Just back from our fifth cruise, this one the Fjords. Only two negatives from an otherwise excellent cruise. Firstly, out of eight lifts, two were out of order for the whole trip. Amazing the difference to when we were last on the ship ... Read More
Just back from our fifth cruise, this one the Fjords. Only two negatives from an otherwise excellent cruise. Firstly, out of eight lifts, two were out of order for the whole trip. Amazing the difference to when we were last on the ship last May. Frequent long frustrating waits. Secondly the entertainment wasn't as good as previously. The main topic of conversation throughout the voyage at every meal was the boarding experience at Southampton. It was in a nutshell, a complete shambles. We were comparatively lucky, queuing for only one hour twenty five minutes. Some people we spoke to waited up to three and a half hours plus many had to re-register on the ship as the system would not process their boarding cards. We were thinking this was the norm for cruise embarkation as we had the same problem on our first cruise with Thomson/TUI/Marella back in May 2017 at Malaga on the Dream. A two hour wait due to a computer crash. So despite all the effort of the ships wonderful crew the whole experience was marred by the incompetence on shore. We certainly think the director in charge of this part of operations should be promoted ASAP and moved to department where he or she can cause little damage to customer relations. A final thought, it might well be of interest for some organisation like yourselves to publish a list of cruise embarkation ports and feature the average embarkation times of each cruise line so that we can eliminate poor performers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Southampton is so easy to cruise from unless u travel with Marella queue to pick up your envelope to but luggage tag on suitcase and get room key then take luggage to pick up point for porters to take to room not so easy if wife in ... Read More
Southampton is so easy to cruise from unless u travel with Marella queue to pick up your envelope to but luggage tag on suitcase and get room key then take luggage to pick up point for porters to take to room not so easy if wife in wheelchair that`s the bad bit for us then straight thru and onto ship. for u more able bodied people about 2-3 hours after that to get on the ship as most people we spoke to said. The bad bit over with, Our 1st time on a small ship we had nothing to be nervous about this is a great ship we found all staff very good never used the buffet restaurant used the MDR & Italian every time food very good yes small portions but 3 course meal with wine then port you will not go hungry the shows were normal standard for any cruise ship and we have seen quite a few over the years service at the bars/coffee shop was 97 per cent very good layout of ship easy to get around toilets every other floor the price for this type of all inclusive cruise is very good value check out celebrity prices for this cruise and you will have nothing to complain about also check out the pub in Flam right by the doc £15 for a glass of wine £10 a pint very nice pub tho will go with marella again enjoyed the trip Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
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