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94 Marella Cruises Repositioning Cruise Reviews

Having cruised only on Discovery, we decided to try Discovery 2 and we are very glad we did! We flew from Manchester to Malaga and arrived slightly late. We had the usual queueing to check in which did nothing to raise our flagging ... Read More
Having cruised only on Discovery, we decided to try Discovery 2 and we are very glad we did! We flew from Manchester to Malaga and arrived slightly late. We had the usual queueing to check in which did nothing to raise our flagging spirits! As a result our first evening was rather brief... check-in, bar, safely drill, food and bed! Islands Restaurant was very busy and rather chaotic but this was understandable given the late and large influx of passengers. We spent our second day in Gibraltar before sailing on to the delightful Funchal in Madeira. All the itinerary ran on time and we enjoyed every stop. We did our own thing in every destination using public transport or local tour companies. Our cabin (deck 3 inside) was clean and tidy with a super, powerful shower. Our cabin steward dealt with all our concerns and made us feel really welcome. We dined mainly in 47°, and a few times in Islands and Gallery 47. The food was excellent.. great quality, good choice of menus and brilliant service. Islands was great for lunches... we selected our food and took it outside to eat in the verandah area next to the ice cream machine! The entertainment was the biggest plus for us. Jasmine and Adam, the professional dance couple, were excellent. They took excellent dance classes every day and hosted social dance sessions almost every evening! Great teachers, very friendly and very patient... their performances in the Broadway Show Lounge were breathtaking! The Broadway Shows were superb. The entertainment team were tireless and talented and a joy to watch. Manuel and Tom, on piano and guitar respectively, provided excellent entertainment throughout the evenings in the Atrium and Live lounge. We loved this ship, its crew and its sheer good value for money! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Fantastic cruise... yes it is an older ship, but it is small enough to make great friends and see them again...the food was fantastic...the service and friendliness of the crew out of this world and the entertainment crew led by Katy ... Read More
Fantastic cruise... yes it is an older ship, but it is small enough to make great friends and see them again...the food was fantastic...the service and friendliness of the crew out of this world and the entertainment crew led by Katy fantastic and very professional. Plenty of room for all of your clothes in the cabins we were on deck 6 cabin 202 facing the bow,large double bed. We have been on many different cruise lines and the value for money with Marella cruises cannot be beaten anywhere to date. This was an adult only cruise and would never recommend this cruise for children. Once you have paid your money you never have to pay for anything else unless you wish to upgrade,the cruise gives you 6 days at sea to relax crossing the Atlantic which we love rather than having to rush ashore every day. we hope to go again on the return journey in march hope to see our great friends that we met on board last trip again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The itinerary was changed 3 weeks before we sailed and we were given the option to cancel. However, having made a variety of arrangements (hotels. car park, house-sitters) we decided to stick with it and accept the OBC, although with it ... Read More
The itinerary was changed 3 weeks before we sailed and we were given the option to cancel. However, having made a variety of arrangements (hotels. car park, house-sitters) we decided to stick with it and accept the OBC, although with it being an All Inclusive cruise this wasn't really much use. A week before we travelled we received notification that we would be flying back to East Midlands, rather than Birmingham, since the runway was undergoing works at night. This added an hour on our homeward journey, not what you want at 1.30am when you've been up for over 20 hours already and still have almost 5 hours to drive home. As the runway works had been published much earlier in the year, they were clearly aware of this at the time we booked (September) and should have made us aware. Had they done so, we would not have booked the cruise. The outbound flight had about 125 empty seats, presumably due to passengers who had cancelled. Cabin crew did move a few people so as to ease the congested areas. We did only have one meal going out, rather than the promised two for long-haul. Our cabin was generally OK, other than the vibration which did hinder my sleep a few nights. We tried to upgrade and were quite happy to pay. Even though they had about 200 empty cabins, they wanted a ridiculous amount from us. It was twice as much as we could have paid whilst still at home. Service in the restaurant was excellent. The waiters are always so friendly and helpful. Food is very goo, although does lack a bit of variety at times. The bar service was generally very good but it was a shame that many of the drinks I expected on the upgraded premium package ran out early on and were not replenished for about a week. I discussed this with a manager but was not recompensed for the lack of being able to use the package I'd paid for. Service from Destination Services was poor. The information that was provided was, in many instances, totally incorrect and, when I queried this with them, they were quite defensive and unpleasant. It transpires that the only information they have to impart comes from Google (!!) or the Port Agents. I got the impression that they were really only interested in those people taking the ships tours. Part way through the first week, it was announced that some of the original itinerary was being re-instated. Whilst it was a vast improvement on the amended itinerary it did lead to some issues, such as not having the right currency, and not having done enough research for DIY when in port. Some of the ports that were left on were diabolical with nothing at all to do in the vicinity. Fujairah - we went to the port gates, took one look at where we would have to walk to get anywhere ourselves, and went back to the ship. The shuttle bus driver said that there wasn't much point in going in to Fujairah as it was Friday, Prayer Day and everywhere was shut anyway. Khor Fakkan - the ship offered tours to Fujairah and not a lot else so that was another wasted day. The entertainment on offer was generally poor, mainly Butlins or Benidorm style. It was trivia, quizzes and karaoke. I mean, 'cryptic biscuit', guess the name of the biscuit from the clue? Whoever thought of that?! The evening theatre shows should have been twice a night but in the second week this was reduced to just one. We were not told why so I asked the assistant cruise director who said that they had been told to do it by HO, due to the low passenger numbers. In the second week there were only about 1100 passengers instead of 1800, presumably again because people had taken the cancellation option. I was told that it was better for the show team to perform to one larger audience. I replied that surely what suited the paying passengers should have been of higher importance. Since we like to dine at about 8pm, we were unable to see any of the shows as they were held at 9pm. The classical singer in the Atrium was popular so this is an area that could be built on The guest speakers were great but not utilised enough. Marella needs to realise that some of the passengers actually have brains that they want to use, even when on holiday. One day, when we were in the worst port of all (and it rained all day) out of 21 activities listed in the Cruise News, 10 were Spa events, 2 were shop sales, 1 was Bingo ticket sales! I used the steam room a few times which was very pleasant. However, on many occasions the floor in the changing area was swimming in water. Embarkation was OK, in general, although disembarking was poor. We had to get on a coach, drive less than 200 metres, get off the coach to do Oman immigration, then re board the coach to the airport. I asked if we could just walk but were told that we couldn't since passengers might get on the shuttle bus to the port gates by mistake. Many passengers didn't take their hand-luggage off with them to go through the security machines but the Marella representative said to keep in quiet and it wouldn't matter. We were at the airport several hours early and, whilst it is a beautiful airport (Muscat) there is very little seating. On the plane back the rear part was almost empty of passengers and the captain announced that there were 170 passengers on the 300 seat plane. Cabin crew refused to let anybody move unless they paid £65 each, claiming that the empty seats were all extra legroom seats. This meant that we had a very uncomfortable 8 hour flight home since we had a rather large and smelly passenger sat next to us who had wanted to move. This seemed to be another penny pinching move by Tui/Marella. To summarise, there were too many changes which were poorly communicated. Many of the ports should never be chosen as cruise ports since they had nothing to offer. Restaurant staff were excellent and the major plus point. If you want intelligent entertainment, choose another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
this was good value for money! The cabin was excellent - the shower one of the best The staff were hardworking but far too few in number. This caused disjointed service in the dining room and bars. There was a lot of queuing for the ... Read More
this was good value for money! The cabin was excellent - the shower one of the best The staff were hardworking but far too few in number. This caused disjointed service in the dining room and bars. There was a lot of queuing for the buffets. Portions were relatively small - "oatcakes" with smoked …. was one oatcake. The surf and turf restaurant which was an extra charge was excellent. We opted for the premium drink package so we could get canned tonic but this was not available every where on the ship and then only after discussion. There was a good stock of whisky in the Gin and Whisky bar but the whisky was served with chlorinated water. Bottled water was chargeable! What a waste of malt whisky! It was an adult only ship but showed children's films such as Toy Story. The choice of wine was both limited and baffling with different wines available in different restaurants at different times. The cocktails were premixed and highly sweet with no fresh lime juice on the boat. On the whole they were very poor with the exception of Expresso Martinis in the coffee port which were excellent. The shows and entertainment in general was very loud without being good quality sound. The dancers were very good. We didn't pay much and saw new places in comfort. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
First time cruisers and we had a fantastic time. The staff were amazing so polite and very friendly . We ate in the Market place all the time as I had been in hospital 2weeks before and in there I could just eat what I wanted. There was ... Read More
First time cruisers and we had a fantastic time. The staff were amazing so polite and very friendly . We ate in the Market place all the time as I had been in hospital 2weeks before and in there I could just eat what I wanted. There was plenty of choice as I am a fussy eater I couldn't complain at all . The entertainment was excellent from the shows in the Broadway lounge (there was only one that I wasn't keen on) but the rest was superb. Danny Lisa and Derek with the Irish/Scootish set was brilliant as was Derek and the Vibes rock set. The pianists were great to. All in all a lot of talent . The sunbeds were all taken by 8 in the morning some people out at 5.30 in the morning putting their towels out made me laugh. Our cabin 1024 was superb lovely bathroom with a large shower bed was extremely comfortable and the balcony was lovely with a table and chairs . All in all a fabulous time was had . Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
From start to finish Great cruise .the flight out was on time although with about four planes arriving at Palma at the same time there was some delay at the check in but hay ho the sun was shining the weather for the time of the year was ... Read More
From start to finish Great cruise .the flight out was on time although with about four planes arriving at Palma at the same time there was some delay at the check in but hay ho the sun was shining the weather for the time of the year was very good with only the occasional shower.although there were more sea days on this cruise we still found plenty to do we dined mainly in the orian for both breakfast and evening dinner where we found a really good selection on the menu at lunch time we ate in sirensthe staff on the dream are excellent especially in the orian restaurant.special thanks to mary-ann.ema.cristan and bikas for the service they gave us.the entertainment was great both in the Broadway and madusa where Philip was a star turn.many times on the dream before but not the last.keep up the good work and see you soon Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We found the arrival very easy,straight off the plane on a bus and on to the ship. The ship itself was not my favorite, not easy to navigate around. The seating in some of the public areas was very uncomfortable( the brown sofas in the ... Read More
We found the arrival very easy,straight off the plane on a bus and on to the ship. The ship itself was not my favorite, not easy to navigate around. The seating in some of the public areas was very uncomfortable( the brown sofas in the Squid and Anchor need throwing over board!) The resident entertainment was very good.Some of the guest shows on the other hand went from excellent to awful. The ship was kept very clean and all the staff worked very hard and were very friendly. The food was lovely, we always managed to get a seat or table without any problem. Plenty of places to sun bath ,either quiet or lively by the pool. The cruise itinerary was the reason we choose this particular holiday. We decided to stay on from Southampton to cruise up to Newcastle as it was easier to get home from Newcastle. WERE WE SORRY!!!! From what we heard 600 passengers disembarked, and 400 Tui reps and their family's embarked.( Bearing in mind the average age on the cruise was about 65 and the new passengers where younger ) the lovely cruise was spoiled by the new passengers. They were on for one thing, to get as drunk as possible as quickly as possible, resulting in us not being able to get served for over half an hour at some of the bars and having to suffer drunken behavior from quite a few on them. Not the staffs fault I mite add, purely how fast they where drinking. there were scuffles in the disco and security had to be called. People where also inconsiderate when returning to there cabins.The result was a lot of the original passengers where not very happy. This has ruined the memory of what was otherwise a lovely cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
5 weeks before sailing the cruise was on offer at a good price.Got off to a great start when allocated our outside cabin which was huge! (9006) After that things went downhill a bit. First let me say the ship itself was hit and miss. Great ... Read More
5 weeks before sailing the cruise was on offer at a good price.Got off to a great start when allocated our outside cabin which was huge! (9006) After that things went downhill a bit. First let me say the ship itself was hit and miss. Great theatre with good sight lines. A decent sized cinema.But as a cruise experience did not live up to the standard we have become accustomed to with P@O. On sea days the main pool area was a no go for us,with its loud music,that was not even catered to the average age group of around 65 (it was an adults only cruise).Felt like we were back at Butlins.For anyone who likes to dance the Indigo disco with its small dance floor and no seats was a waste of time.What would on other ships be known as the crows nest was a strange layout and doubled as the casino.It was difficult to get a seat in the squid and anchor pub which was incredibly noisy and consisted of mainly childish game shows.And finally the food.Again hit and miss.as was the service.We finally cottoned on to two excellent waiters Maiko and Benjie one in the vista and one in the latitude restaurants. Service in the tapas and pizza restaurants was good.The staff were more multicultural than on any of our 18 or so other cruises.Some of the entertainment in the evening was good some not so good.Very little in the way of entertainment during the day,no lectures or talks just films in the cinema that tended to repeat.Spoke to people who had cruised on Discovery and much preferred it.All in all,in my opinion a long way to go to match P@O. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Having sailed numerous times with NCL, MSC, RCI and P&O I was more than happy with my recent cruise with Marella especially after reading some of the reviews. Flight, transfer and embarkation to our cabin was the best I have ever ... Read More
Having sailed numerous times with NCL, MSC, RCI and P&O I was more than happy with my recent cruise with Marella especially after reading some of the reviews. Flight, transfer and embarkation to our cabin was the best I have ever encountered, all well planned and trouble free. The ship is smaller than the others I have sailed on but every facility is available. The food was amazing, we ate in 47 and gallery 47 mostly but did try the island restaurant a few times for lunch. Choice of food was very good. The excursion were not too expensive although the one we were on to Bethlehem could have been better planned as we did not get to go to crypt due to delay in departing from the ship, this was very disappointing as other trips did get to see the crypt. Our cabin was a junior suite on deck 8 which was very spacious. One of the best features of this cruise was the entertainment, every night there was different shows in the theatre as well as an abundance of other bars for live bands and singers. We will most definitely be sailing with Marella again Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We were a group of 2 married couples. We boarded the discovery with absolute ease everything run so professionally. Our cabin was ready on arrival we had only an indoor cabin on deck 2 which suited our needs perfectly. Enough room and ... Read More
We were a group of 2 married couples. We boarded the discovery with absolute ease everything run so professionally. Our cabin was ready on arrival we had only an indoor cabin on deck 2 which suited our needs perfectly. Enough room and everything that was needed. The ship was easy to navigate around and plenty of information and personnel around if you got lost We dined in the waiter service restaurant which was just like eating in a 5* restaurant every morning and evening. Entertainment was always available and was really good. We did a few excursions and again information was given and disembarking was carried out in a professional and organised way. The staff on the ship were amazing, every single one never did we see a miserable face and never greeted without a smile. The captain Chris Dodds does an outstanding job, he is an ever presence around the ship always taking time to stop and chat and made everyone on the ship feel special. Restaurant manager Kenan was always around with a smiling face and happy to help. Absolutely loved our cruise and would recommend to anyone Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We choose this cruise for the itinerary and dates we are available to travel. The cruise sailed from Muscat, taking in a short visit to Salalah, Oman, then up to Jordan for 3 days/2 nights in Aqaba, for Petra, the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, then ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the itinerary and dates we are available to travel. The cruise sailed from Muscat, taking in a short visit to Salalah, Oman, then up to Jordan for 3 days/2 nights in Aqaba, for Petra, the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, then through the Suez Canal, around to Israel, Ashdod, for Jerusalem and Bethlehem, then over to Kefalonia and finally disembarking in Corfu. Unfortunately, after booking we discovered there would be no time to go ashore in Muscat, as we sailed early the following morning, and soon after booking we were advised that the Dead Sea trip from Aqaba was cancelled due to road conditions. We were disappointed but understand these things happen, so added an excursion to a 5 star hotel in Aqaba for a beach day instead. We had a great flight out in Premium on the Dreamliner, Muscat airport was easy and we were onboard quickly. The whole process smooth and efficient. We had an aft cabin, pre-booked and it was spacious, clean, comfortable, but I have to say on occasion noisy from the engine's, vibration was bad some nights, and yes, you do get a little soot on the balcony, there's nothing you can do about that, just don't wear white! The steward cleaned it daily. I'm not complaining, just pointing it out. The ship was full I think. Hard to get a sun bed. Or a seat in the atrium. Nowhere really for some peace and quiet, we were glad of our large balcony. Bar 11 was lovely for evening cocktails, we preffered the buffet for evening meals as we found the MDR very busy, squashed together and brightly lit, and actually didn't rate the meals there apart from breakfast and Beef Wellington. The surf and turf was excellent, you need to book as soon as you can! The excursions were a bit manic. They were long days in high temperatures which we were prepared for, but felt really rushed, the guides all knowledgeable and friendly, but a little inflexible. We were awed by some of the places we visited, but just didn't have time to appreciate them. Destination Services on board were rude and unhelpful, and you had the feeling they didn't care once they'd got your money! Many people complained about various issues on various trips, but I don't think there's been any resolution. If you can, book privately or go it alone. There was a mix of entertainment, both day and night, a great comedian, opera singer, guy with a guitar, we didn't do the shows but heard they were good, just not our thing. Most of the staff are fabulous, friendly, helpful, with one or two exceptions. The food was good and varied and mostly hot (except strangely chilled poached eggs in the MDR on the last morning for breakfast!!) As I said we preferred the buffet, snack shack was great for lunch, glass house for snacks in the evening. Plenty of choice of drinks on the standard AI, though we paid extra for a fancy cocktail or coffee occasionally. Overall though, we felt extremely lucky to be able to do this cruise, visit the places we went to (we will go back independently), enjoyed our sea days with a book and a view of the wake, dolphins, stars, and our adventures on shore. The ship was still having the occasional engine/electrical problems, so we lost some time in ports too. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Having cruised with Marella (Thomson) since 2011 we were looking forward to another excellent cruise. We did the same repositioning cruise last year, the only problem then was a squeaking from a ship structure which had broken loose and ... Read More
Having cruised with Marella (Thomson) since 2011 we were looking forward to another excellent cruise. We did the same repositioning cruise last year, the only problem then was a squeaking from a ship structure which had broken loose and squeaked to the movement of the ship, we were in the same cabin this year and it had been fixed. The cabin staff were excellent and helpful as usual, in fact all staff were always smiling and eager to ensure you had an excellent cruise. Our first let down was the standard of food in the Meridian Restaurant for evening meal it was the worst we have ever encountered on a Marella (Thomson) cruise, our first two weeks were an excellent example on how to destroy food examples: rib eye steak tough and tasteless, chicken scallops dried out like crisp bread, veal cutlets you could have soled your work boots with, (totally un-edible could not even be cut with a knife). I had never seen so much food being left on plates, complaints regarding the standard of food was common place all round the restaurant. We were informed, but did not witness that there was an altercation between cruisers and kitchen staff, and apparently eight people were put of the ship in Madeira, if that was the case none was the chef as the food did not improve. Also it normally took two hours to serve three courses, it was not the fault of the staff, but the lack of staff, instead of two waiters and a runner there was only two waiters who were run off their feet. On the third week we decided to try the Lido for evening meal, it was basically the same menu but help yourself, we could not believe we were on the same ship, the standard of food was excellent and cooked to perfection, the only problem was finding a seat as so many cruisers had given up on the Meridian Restaurant for the Lido, The only night the Meridian Restaurant was OK was Captains Night, maybe it was we were only a few tables from the Captain. The second let down was disembarkation it was a total shambles, the first batch of passengers for embarkation was 08.00 the second batch was scheduled for 08.15. The first batch of passengers were still queuing in the stairways at 08.15, add the second batch and we had pandemonium, the lifts were unusable due to total passenger impasse on disembarkation deck, we were stuck on the stairwell for over an hour, it was so bad the elderly and infirm had to sit on the stairs. Unfortunately we have booked a stay and cruise on Marella Celebration for October 2019, will review again when we return, hopefully things will be back to the normally good standard of service we have received from Marella (Thomson). Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
All went wrong from the flight we took 7 hours 30 mins to get to Malaga we sat on granada runway for over two hours. We have not long come back from this ship Marella Celebration well where do I start the ship has paper thin walls I ... Read More
All went wrong from the flight we took 7 hours 30 mins to get to Malaga we sat on granada runway for over two hours. We have not long come back from this ship Marella Celebration well where do I start the ship has paper thin walls I could here the people in the next cabin snoring it was so bad and you can imagine what it was like when people came back from the casino or late night drinking. Also you sat in theatre/ show and you can watch everything vibrate It’s so bad people say you get use to it you don’t the ship is so old her sister ship has been scraped off I wonder why do not take children on this ship for me I would worry about them all the outside steps are so steep. You could not get a sun bed unless you get up at 6am just not enough they say they remove towels but they don’t Food very basic in self serving restaurant. Safe in room £35 for holiday I have never paid for safe on any cruise I’ve been on before WiFi nearly £50 which most of the time it did not work Another thing i was not feeling well at the end of cruise found my blood sugar very high (34) can’t be certain but I don’t think I was getting Diet Coke Good bit is the staff sorry not for me would try the newer ships but not this boat you will be sorry if you book look at newer ships this one is over 35 years old and her sister ship was scrapped I wonder why Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Arrival at Gatwick did not go according to plan as there was conflict regarding checking our bags in the night before. ON FLY CRUISES YOU CANNOT DO THIs Otherwise embarkation and disembarkation was speedy and efficient This cruise came ... Read More
Arrival at Gatwick did not go according to plan as there was conflict regarding checking our bags in the night before. ON FLY CRUISES YOU CANNOT DO THIs Otherwise embarkation and disembarkation was speedy and efficient This cruise came up to all our expectations with one major exception that is the volume of the entertainment on deck 9 and in the Atrium. In the afternoon on deck 9 it was what they call Trivia which was quizzes, music etc. The compare had the microphone on full volume, to the extent it was difficult to talk to people and too read. The same applied to the music in the atrium in the evenings. In our case there was a guy with a guitar playing and singing. The volume was such that you could not carry out a conversation, we along with others had to move.Again in was a case of the volume being turned up too loud,Music in cases like this should be back ground you should not need to compete with it to talk to people a few feet away. I hasten to add the guitarist was really good. The bar staff on deck 9 in particular Jodi and her brother Christopher was excellent, super efficient and very happy people a real pleasure to be served by them. The classic car trip in Havana was good but Havana itself did not impress us. Would recommend the panama canal excursions,In Montego Bay. I did the Chukka Zip Wire. Superb fun and the instructors in particular namely Gray Goose Oka and Gossy Vernon. Excellent at their jobs. All in all everything about the cruise was superb in particular the food and our cabin boy Ikhsan, he really looked after us.My wife would have appreciated an Act of Worship on Sundays as practiced on other cruise ship. Finally talks or discussions would be appreciated as and alternative to going ashore or in addition too.sea days Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I chose this cruise as I wanted to be away to avoid a certain anniversary. I looked for a Reposioning Cruise as I like plenty of sea days and not many port calls. Travelling as a single is always expensive and this was not a cheap holiday ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I wanted to be away to avoid a certain anniversary. I looked for a Reposioning Cruise as I like plenty of sea days and not many port calls. Travelling as a single is always expensive and this was not a cheap holiday even though it included drinks and gratuities. So one could not say ‘ You get what you pay for’ and imply it was a bargain rate and that I should have known better... The ship itself is fine, very clean and the majority of the staff are good at their job, helpful and courteous. The food is again ‘fine’, good choice, plentiful and varied, if somewhat overcooked at times, but the chefs are catering for a wide range of tastes and appetites. The Turf and Surf had very good food and was well worth the supplement.Embarkation and airport transfer were excellent. Excursions were pretty standard and reasonably priced. My problem was I am not vastly overweight, don’t wear Primark clothes, wouldn’t dream of drinking a pint of lager at ten in the morning, dislike having to strain to speak to people over the incessant row made by the talent-challenged entertainers in the bars, would have loved to sit on the sundeck without loud pop music blaring out - so I didn’t really fit in. It sounds snobby I know, but had I been aware of the target market of Marella Cruises, I would have realised it was out of my comfort zone. We all have different tastes and it doesn’t make us better or worse than each other, but Marella was not for me. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Nice ship! RC obviously have their ship design sorted and Marella now own a nice/modern ship. It isn’t a monster either and we like ships this size. We’d prefer this ship over P&O’s Oriana and Aurora and it’s that much ... Read More
Nice ship! RC obviously have their ship design sorted and Marella now own a nice/modern ship. It isn’t a monster either and we like ships this size. We’d prefer this ship over P&O’s Oriana and Aurora and it’s that much ‘nicer’. Shame about the buffet being at the front where every other ship puts a bar: Many tables weren’t available due to people being sat at the windows with a glass of orange juice just to watch the world go by. The ship. Looks and is very nice. Great to walk around, shiny and well maintained. Humorous captain and most of the crew very attentive. The culture on our sea-day intensive cruise was lovely & laid back. The main restaurant was good; 3 courses for all and the house wine or Prosecco please. We enjoyed our 2 weeks aboard, one week of which was at sea (we love sea days). The enrichment talks and presentations on board were great (Astronomy/Space, Piracy, belly dancing lessons and others) and the trips ashore to Petra, Wadi Rum and Spinalonga were a proper cultural immersion. Shame about the extremely average food at Spinalonga. (we didn’t order the rain either but we didn’t complain to Marella about that…) Marella forcibly entertain you. Most of the entertainment is in your face. There is some (usually good) music and performance in the Atrium but it is often overpowered by the performance from the live room, itself sometimes overpowered from the music in the Squid & Anchor. Ordering your cocktails from the all-inclusive menu? Don’t worry about the alcohol content as they all will be short-measured. Our cabin, 6500, was over the entertainment at the front of the ship. Early nights were a nightmare of music, music and music, courtesy of the Squid & Anchor. On one occasion we had to wait an hour between starter and main course. We had to be blunt with the restaurant manager whose staff kept telling us ‘it’s on its way’ so many times… The buffet was just a buffet. The bacon was unsmoked, the sausages mundane. (The moussaka was great!) The afternoon tea was OK; you could tell we weren’t sailing Cunard. Oh, we also liked having ‘technical problems’ a couple of days before Oman. We enjoyed the ship cruising far more slowly and having an extra night on board Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We booked this cruise totally for the length and the ports of call. We were not sure of the quality Marella would provide but the whole experience was much better than anticipated from some reviews. Flights arriving throughout the day ... Read More
We booked this cruise totally for the length and the ports of call. We were not sure of the quality Marella would provide but the whole experience was much better than anticipated from some reviews. Flights arriving throughout the day which meant embarkation was staggered and went very smoothly. Cabin was available straight away and luggage arrived timely. The ship is a medium sized older ship. Well laid out, decor good and plenty of room apart from deck space which was very crowded on sea days as the cruise was fully sold. Only one outside pool. We booked the basic inside cabin on the lower decks. It was smaller than other ships we had sailed on with just enough room at the side of the bed to squeeze out into the cabin. The cabin creaked and groaned quite loudly especially in rough seas. Apart from that it was very well laid out with a small seating area, dressing table, drawers and plenty of wardrobe space, hairdryer and tea and coffee making facilities. No Fridge. The bathroom was OK with shower curtain but plenty of hot water and shower gel and hand soap. Dining - Islands Buffet - even on a full ship we had no problems finding a seat. It feels very airy because of the full length surround windows. Staff were very attentive and the food was varied and hot. We ate breakfast and lunch here and enjoyed both experiences. We did try the MDR for breakfast one day - if you like a leisurely meal then this may be for you. For us, we like to be up and away there are always so many things to do so we preferred the Islands. MDR - We ate most of our evening meals here. The decor of the room is lovely with tables for 2 and more, although most of the tables for 2 are so close together you feel as if you are on a table for 4 or 6. We felt the food served here was very good with a good selection and always hot and drinks served promptly. Staff were very friendly and efficient. If you eat early you can walk straight in, if you like to eat later you may have to wait for a table, generally 20 mins. This was never a problem for us as we like to go for a pre-dinner drink so we would go to the restaurant, were given a pager, would go off to enjoy our drink and then be called to eat at the time we wanted to. Great system. MDR - Italian Menu - Half of the upstairs MDR is set aside to serve an Italian Menu. There are 2 menus which are changed during the cruise so you need to keep an eye on that if you want to eat from both of them. Although you are still in the MDR, it is a different eating experience and an option if you don't fancy anything on the main MDR menu. Glass House - In the evening serves a tapas and pizza menu. Tried this once enjoyed the food, but didn't like eating next to the indoor pool and sunbeds. There is a platter of continenta meats and cheese, then you can choose from 7 tapas choices and then you choose a pizza of your choice. There is also a desert choice available. This is free of charge - you can choose a hot stone meal for which a supplement is charged. Snack Shack - Sandwiches, Salads, Fruit pots, chips, burgers, chicken Wings, Fried Fish - that type of food. Only used this when coming back late to the ship - it's OK but wouldn't eat here if other options were available. Did not eat in the paid for restaurants. Entertainment was excellent and varied, as was the activities - something for everyone and if you didn't want to join in you could find quiet parts of the ship. All the entertainment staff were excellent. To ring the changes on this 18 day cruise entertainers were flown in to perform on one or 2 days and then left the ship. There were plenty of bars depending what you like to do in an evening and the choice of drinks was excellent. We never had to wait long to be served whether at the bar or from our seat. Ports of Call - Arrived as scheduled and we were given plenty of time in each port (an average of 7 hours). Did not go on any Marella excursions but the excursion staff were helpful when asked questions and provided a printed map of the main town area. Tip - If the weather is not good try to get a seat at The Veranda at the rear of the ship, it was sheltered when the outer decks were very windy. To sum up we had a fabulous trip, Food and Drinks were Very Good, Entertainment and Activities were excellent and the staff were the best. We enjoyed it so much we would book to go again as there are still things to see at the ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Been on Discovery 2 before, nice ship, food ok, staff lovely always smiling, especially Philip he is a credit to Marcella. Ports of call very good, weather in Europe not so good, we were in a force 12 gale one day, but we survived it. ... Read More
Been on Discovery 2 before, nice ship, food ok, staff lovely always smiling, especially Philip he is a credit to Marcella. Ports of call very good, weather in Europe not so good, we were in a force 12 gale one day, but we survived it. Entertainment from Headliners excellent, didn't see comidiens so can't comment. 4 Tunes very good but did not like Jon Asher. Pleased Captain didn't say it's going to be a 'bobby dazzler' as often as he did on last cruise, he must have taken heed of feedback. I must say to all those inconsiderate people who went up to the Veranda deck to move sun beds on the 5 consecutive sea days ,one night it was 3am and others it varied between 4 am and 6am you should be ashamed of yourselves and if anyone thinks of booking a Junior Suite on deck 8 think again because you will be woken up in the early hours unless General Manager does something about blocking the stairs on deck 9 that lead to Veranda deck during night time thus stopping the selfish people from accessing Veranda deck until a reasonable time. Good cruise overall, but will not book a Junior Suite deck 8 again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our 2nd Marella cruise on one of their newer ships, having been on Discovery 2 in March. This was our first experience of a transatlantic crossing. Flights from Manchester to Palma were uneventful, however we arrived in ... Read More
This was our 2nd Marella cruise on one of their newer ships, having been on Discovery 2 in March. This was our first experience of a transatlantic crossing. Flights from Manchester to Palma were uneventful, however we arrived in pouring rain, thunder and lightening. Quick transfer from airport to port and easy embarkation process and we were soon on board and able to access our cabin immediately. We went exploring the ship and found most places quite easily, however without an atrium, it does make it a little bit harder. Our cabin was on deck 8, standard balcony cabin, midships, port side for the sun on our long sea days. Spacious, with plenty of storage space and very clean, and continued to be that way by the lovely Joel. The air conditioning was a little noisey, but we soon got used to it. We tended to eat in either Latitude or Vista at night, which did a lovely cod loin and a very nice sirloin steak, breakfast in the Marketplace. Food was plentiful, good choice and nicely presented. We ate in the Mediterranean most lunchtimes for lighter bites. We also ate here in the evening when one side was Tapas, and had to be booked, but was included, unless you had one of their Portuguese skewers, which were £9.95. We didn't try one of these, as we found the tapas enough, and if you wanted more, you only had to ask. We also ate in the Pizza and Pasta side at night and found this really good. Choosing your own pizza or pasta made to order and piping hot. Both of these restaurants are waiter service at night. Portions in the main dining rooms were plenty for us, but if you wanted more, you could ask for it. Service was quite prompt, and all the staff were very friendly and kept the wine flowing. We didn't upgrade our included drinks package, as there was plenty of choice for our needs. The Sauvignon Blanc was very palatable. Tanquery gin with slimline tonic [which was served from a can] and the occasional cocktail. Weather in Spain continued to be unsettled. Our ports of call being Cadiz, Cartagena and Malaga. The crossing to Madeira was in almost Force 10 gales. However, the weather was much improved in Madeira and the 6 day crossing was smooth and the sun shone most of the time. Our first port of call in the Caribbean was Antigua, where the weather was a little mixed, however we needed to get our land legs back, so we wandered around the town and made contact with home. St.Lucia was our next stop, where it poured all day. We shared a minibus with some other passengers and did a small tour of the island. Grenada was beautiful, hot and sunny, so we took the opportunity to go to a lovely beach. Barbados was our final stop where we disembarked. Unfortunately, the rain followed us here and although we didn't leave the ship until 3pm, we couldn't do any last minute sun bathing. We were glad we had decided to keep our cabin on our final day which was £35. Entertainment was very good. The show cast were very talented, and put on some very good shows and some of them had individual stints in Bar 53 early evening, which was lovely just before dinner. There were some guest artists, including 2 comedians, a magician and a trio of singers who sung Take That songs and were excellent. Overall, value for money this was a very good cruise, it was just unfortunate about the weather, but this cannot be helped. All the staff on board are the friendliest staff we have met and are a credit to Marella cruises. Would we do another transatlantic crossing? If the price was right, yes we would and with the same company. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My first time on Discovery and most enjoyable, the cities were exceptional and lucky with the weather. I was lucky to discover an art class on the first sea day as I attended a lecture which was very entertaining about Pirate Radio and ... Read More
My first time on Discovery and most enjoyable, the cities were exceptional and lucky with the weather. I was lucky to discover an art class on the first sea day as I attended a lecture which was very entertaining about Pirate Radio and Interviews with some Graffitti information, well worth the time. i found myself attending the class with a Robin who was an excellent teacher and very patient. I now have an artistic ability I never knew about. Bar 11 was super in the evenings an oasis on board to enjoy a drink with a great view and excellent staff. The Entertainment in the evenings was much the usual with themed shows and quality speciality acts, all very good. just a warning there are no toiletries in the cabins so take plenty, however the cleaning staff were top draw. I believe that Marella will make changes but hopefully not too many. There was a charge for Shuttle Buses but all excursions were good value. St Petersburg is stunning and Aarhus was special but of course visiting so many cities its difficult to be critical. Docking in Copenhagen was a way out of the city which meant you couldn't walk to the city, but as it was raining not a bad thing, dock in Oslo was great. All in all I hope to return. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I decided to book the Greek Mystique cruise as my wife has had surgery recently and really needed to recuperate and recover. After check in at Gatwick we didn't see our luggage again until delivered to our cabin I can not tell you ... Read More
I decided to book the Greek Mystique cruise as my wife has had surgery recently and really needed to recuperate and recover. After check in at Gatwick we didn't see our luggage again until delivered to our cabin I can not tell you how amazing that was not to have to face the hustle and bustle of the airport baggage carousels! I rater enjoyed the main resturaunt as they operate an open seating dining plan so we were able to dine with new people every evening, which when we usually cruise on Seabourn and Azamara we have a fixed table and dining companions for the duration of the cruise -so Marella has hit on a good idea on the occasions where one may be sitted on a dining table with 'cruise snobs'.Which in the past we have had to endure! We are retired although a young 59 and 61, we tend to book 4 cruises per year one for each season. We have one Seabourn and one Azamrara then 2 cheaper options which this year is Marella and Cruise & Maritime to try the other end of the market. The ship Celebration was old as described on CC.reviews,but it was perfectly clean and comfortable. We prefer to have waiter service at meals as my wife isn't always able to stand and queue for periods of time and apart from the very last morning when there was literally not a seat to be had this worked perfectly for us. Our cabin steward was superb so although tips are included we left him cash in an envelope cabin was cleaned and towels replenished twice daily. My wife purchased two Radley handbags which she said were great value. we are not drinkers so didn't opt for the AI Drinks package(due to my wife's medication). We did take excursions which although costly were not exhorbitant but much more importantly safe for my wife's comfort. We ate in Mistrals which was a delight -highly recommended especially drunken prawns delicious! The Ports of call were delightful especially KOTORin Mo ntenegro and sailing out of Dubrovnik at night ! STUNNING. keeping the best till last- just has to be the entertainment. THE showteam were leaving and a new team and Cruise Director was starting the week after we disembarked. They were amazing and the show Africa was wonderful. We really thought it couldn't get any better until Monday when the Guest Act came on to do his show. His name was Christopher Gee and he was superb, my wife laughed so much it was sheer joy to behold.And his comedy impressions were stunning-the thing we could't work out was how can every voice he did be so accurate and yet he even manages to look like each person he takes on. His Tommy Cooper had everyone in stiches, and his Eric Morecambe had us all fighting off a tear at the much loved comedian but the absolute hIghlight was his one man tribute to Dave Allen it was so perfect even down to him holding a whiskey glass with only half a forefinger, his attention to detail was astounding. He recieved a richly deserved standing ovation! The neXt night was his second show and there simply wasn't a seat to be had and extra chairs from the bars were brought in, but the show was totally different Alan Carr/Michael Macintyre/Ozzy/he also did an hilarious BORIS AND Donald Trump had us ill with laughter very up to date you could hear a pin drop and that was after midnight. He was very personable young man and told us he will be on Marella Dream later in the year so we are booking that one too! We love the shows and we don't watch a lot of comedians to be fair- but I just had to post this review as everyone is quick to complain but not always ready to say a big well done Marella for booking a comedian impressionist that did nor offend one single person no un PC material or smut involved just FUNNY!!! The entire ship was talking about him the next day. in all one has to commend Marella ,especially at their price point as I assure you we have got much less from paying 4 times more!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
It was our 1st cruise and we thought it was a great experience the entertainment staff catering bar staff cabin staff highly recommended would do it again .would recommend it to other 1st time cruisers as well only thing we didnt like was ... Read More
It was our 1st cruise and we thought it was a great experience the entertainment staff catering bar staff cabin staff highly recommended would do it again .would recommend it to other 1st time cruisers as well only thing we didnt like was that you was unable to watch england games in the world cup tournament and to have wifi would be rather expensive the captains announcements were very clear and accurate information. My wife unfortunately broke her ankle while we were in rome and the medical staff were great and was Amanda of entertainment who came with us to th hospital while we docked in palermos spain also the very kind taxi drivers who took great care with us .I travelled with my with and mother in law and none of us had been on a cruise before we would do it again one year liked it very much. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I thought you may like some feedback on our recent cruise in June 2018 to the Midnight Sun on TUI new ship Marella Discovery. We have been cruising with Thompson’s (TUI) since 2004 and have booked in excess of ten cruise trips with ... Read More
I thought you may like some feedback on our recent cruise in June 2018 to the Midnight Sun on TUI new ship Marella Discovery. We have been cruising with Thompson’s (TUI) since 2004 and have booked in excess of ten cruise trips with TUI. This is our second cruise with TUI in 2018. The ship is beautiful, with excellent recreation facilities, entertainment and lounge and bar service. In general, the facilities, bar and lounge staff were excellent. The two main areas that we were not too pleased with was the supervision and service provided in the Gallery 47 Restaurant and Island Restaurant. Maitr'd seldom visible did not help out. We eventually moved away from these facilities of the Gallery 47 and Island Restaurants and used the excellent facilities and food at the Black Rock Grill, Glass House, which was well supervised by Mr Anthony Tapiador, the Head Waiter and his most pleasant staff. I would recommend this excellent facility for your meals. Look forward to our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Facilities were poor. Smoking areas were a joke and people were treated like "the great unwashed". Eventually after a Petition was set up the Captain provided a covered smoking area (weather was not very good). They ... Read More
Facilities were poor. Smoking areas were a joke and people were treated like "the great unwashed". Eventually after a Petition was set up the Captain provided a covered smoking area (weather was not very good). They announced it in the daily paper as an additional area, then proceeded to close the smoking area on the sunny deck Day time entertainment was very poor considering the weather, evening entertainment was not average but could have been so much better if nearly all the entertainment staff were not all their first cruise. They just did not seem to gel at all, they should have mixed it up a bit more. Poor standard of food, never ever warm never mind hot! Daily information about the ports was nearly non-existent, to the stage that a half-hour bus ride to a destination that was closed (bank holiday) was a total waste of time. A bit of a wash-out is the best way to describe it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Like another reviewer on Discovery 2. We have been cruising with Thomson/Tui for many years and agree with everything they have said. Celebration was our favourite ship until Discovery came and then we saw how tired Celebration looked. Our ... Read More
Like another reviewer on Discovery 2. We have been cruising with Thomson/Tui for many years and agree with everything they have said. Celebration was our favourite ship until Discovery came and then we saw how tired Celebration looked. Our first cruise on Discovery was really good ;we were really impressed so we booked another. There were 2 years between the cruises. We were shocked how tired it looked in such a short time. In the buffet dining area tables were taking a long time to be cleared. The choice of food was not as good as the previous cruise. Entertainment was nowhere near as good as the Celebration. Since all inclusive has come onboard as non drinkers we believe we are subsidising the drinkers who seem to order for the sake of it. The dress code has well and truly gone down. Seems you can wear what you like despite the rules. Due to how things have changed we are now looking at other cruise lines which is a real shame. The crew on the Celebration is what made us return year after year. Our first Captain on the Discovery was from the Celebration. He told us Tui knows the love Celebration has and they want to replacate that on all their ships. Sadly they are going badly wrong and will loose alot of their valued customers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
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