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12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 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
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
we went on a 16 day cruise round some of Spain then onto Madeira, then 6 days at sea over to the Caribbean. We cruised the year before with P&O and we thought the service we received was as good. we loved the ship even if it n't ... Read More
we went on a 16 day cruise round some of Spain then onto Madeira, then 6 days at sea over to the Caribbean. We cruised the year before with P&O and we thought the service we received was as good. we loved the ship even if it n't as posh as P&O. we thought the food was very good in the restaurants Latitude & Vista and didn't feel the need to spend money in the others. The service from all bar staff was very good and the all inclusive package was excellent for us. The only two negatives are...… we find the staff in the retail shops to be really rude and unfriendly . we thought the prices changed for internet was far too expensive and lots of people had bad experience using it. overall a great cruise and we would 100% go on the ship again. The embarking & Disembarking was fantastic and well organised. Read Less
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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
been on this ship before , assistant cruise director very good,Ted is his name .4 tunes group excellent the guitar player was like a Jimmy Hendrix.show team a bit like a high school end of team thing. Boys had good voices but the girls ... Read More
been on this ship before , assistant cruise director very good,Ted is his name .4 tunes group excellent the guitar player was like a Jimmy Hendrix.show team a bit like a high school end of team thing. Boys had good voices but the girls ,dreadful!. staff in restaurants brilliant ,Vladimir,Jason,Romaine in fact all of them. Not enough chairs in bar areas,A bit like a booze cruise for pensioners. lots of nice people,However the free flowing drink ,didnt always bring out the best in people. lots of calls for code Alfa,Alfa ,WHICH MEANS THERE IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. all that drinking and the age group I am sure did not help. bar staff good apart from the bar manager on deck 4, very arrogant and aggressive.I saw him in action.Not a good way to handle a situation. comics in the broadway not that good they had racist overtones, one comic stood and insulted the guests . does anyone monitor the comedians?. sun loungers a problem as usual . all in all a bit manic.The departure from Jamaica was a nightmare, It was like going through prison ,the attitude of customs was really terrible. Infact we wil NEVER go through Montego Bay again . Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I booked this cruise back in December 2017. Having travelled on Tui Discovery2 in June and had a magnificent time, I persuaded my friends and son and partner to come on the Transatlantic voyage. The new Explorer is not a patch on Discovery ... Read More
I booked this cruise back in December 2017. Having travelled on Tui Discovery2 in June and had a magnificent time, I persuaded my friends and son and partner to come on the Transatlantic voyage. The new Explorer is not a patch on Discovery 2 on many accounts and I feel you all need to know. The Market Place restaurant is typically a Spanish Hotel's 3 star Buffet junction - deplorable without question. Head chef should be sacked. The pay as you go restaurants were very nice but also very pricey as individuals but at £75.00 pp for 3 dinners OK. They reception staff are complete nonentities who didn't know what they were doing or how they were doing it and served up countless lies to my son, who received a note from his bank saying that they were charging him OD facilities as TUI started to take any fees immediately and not on cruise end. A breach of conditions! If you are a smoker, which I am not, you will get wet, have to sit on other knees and generally be treated like animals by the whole ship's company. They don't clean ashtrays on a regular basis. Moving on perhaps the worst single event was the Explorer talent show. They offered a prize of £250 as well as a recording date in Hamstead for the overall winner. A young man, who works for Jet 2 as a cabin steward won the competition. To everybody's shock the Captain and Entertainment Officer refused to pay out the £250 and offered him £50 and decided not to go ahead with the recording studio. He later was abused by the general manager for so called cheating as well as a member of the shows entertainment people. This is a disgraceful breach and needs to be dealt with by TUI. Finally the waiting staff and room attendants were absolutely brilliant, but beware of the management. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
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
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise as the itinerary appealed and the price seemed very good value. Having sailed on the Vision of The Seas with RCL, we knew that the Discovery had been the sister ship Vision of The Seas and what the ship would be like. ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the itinerary appealed and the price seemed very good value. Having sailed on the Vision of The Seas with RCL, we knew that the Discovery had been the sister ship Vision of The Seas and what the ship would be like. We've also sailed on the Marella Dream so knew a bit about the Tui format for all inclusive cruising. We booked a junior suite with balcony and it didn't disappoint. The whole organisation from departure at Manchester to arriving on board was smooth and hassle free. The Tui entertainment hosts and staff could not have been more pleasant and the crew were fantastic...everyone had a smile and a hello and it genuinely felt like a very happy ship. Yes, there was an element on board who appeared do nothing but drink from morning until night but each to their own. The enrichment activities were varied and as we were at sea for 6 consecutive days there was time to learn new skills in classes including dancing, ukele and a choir, culminating in a great performance by those guests who participated. We couldn't fault the food and we especially enjoyed the Kora La and Surf and Turf and thought the supplement was justified for the quality. The main restaurant 47 and the Gallery 47 (Italian) always had a great choice and excellent service so no need to pay for the other restaurants if you didn't want to. The buffet restaurant was great for lunch and breakfast but we never ate there at night, although we did try the Glasshouse for pizza and tapas one evening. Entertainment was very varied in places around the ship but we especially enjoyed the professional theatre shows and the two guest comedians as well as a young lady called Rachel who sang in classical style in the Atrium. If there is any criticism it would be to ask Tui not to dumb down on the dress code in the evening. As the cruise went on more and more people turned up for dinner in the restaurant in shorts and were allowed in. I think the professional moaners will always find something to pick at but if you do your research before you book, you can easily work out what to expect with Marella and their different ships. It's not 5 star cruising but it is very good value indeed and the staff work as hard to ensure guests are happy and having a good time as any other cruise line we have been on..... if not harder! We are contemplating another cruise with Marella next year on one of their Asian itineraries. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
From checking in at Manchester the service was excellent. The Dreamliner plane is definitely one of the best I have travelled on. The ship is really good with special mention to the 47 and Gallery restaurants where the food and service ... Read More
From checking in at Manchester the service was excellent. The Dreamliner plane is definitely one of the best I have travelled on. The ship is really good with special mention to the 47 and Gallery restaurants where the food and service were exceptional. The entertainment team worked tirelessly to ensure the passengers had a good time but to point them out would be unfair because the staff over all the ship made the cruise as good as it was. Our cabin steward Nemanja couldn't have done more than he did, nothing was any trouble and couple of minor problems were sorted very quickly. My wife was disappointed with the water and tonic water on tap as she didn't like the taste. The one and only thought for Marella is if they have a dress code i.e. No shorts in the restaurants they should enforce it or don't have a dress code but that would be in my opinion a bad thing as you would be able to dress as you please. After being n a number of Princess and P&O cruises I was a bit apprehensive but there was nothing to worry about we had a great cruise and will travel on Marella again Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I have cruised with tui for many years but this has to be one that I can stay will stick in my mind for the wrong reason. Getting to the ship was as usual very good as you would expect with marella cruises from leaving Manchester to ... Read More
I have cruised with tui for many years but this has to be one that I can stay will stick in my mind for the wrong reason. Getting to the ship was as usual very good as you would expect with marella cruises from leaving Manchester to arrival in Montego Bay. Could not fault cabin very good as usual, but when you go for evening meal in 47 Restuarant here is where it falls down. Firstly the waiters lean across table to serve other dinners on table,rather than by your side as with normal Restuarants, If you have steak for an evening meal don't expect steak knife cut through with blunt knife, you are not offered tea and coffee now you have to ask. The second day was good easy to get sun bed no worries. I took two evening shirts for formal nights but did not wear because on the evening of dress to impress I had a quick look over the Atriaum balcony and what I saw changed my mind, I was going to wear my formal wear but when people are wearing shorts and bathing wear why bother. I make my way again to 47 Restuarant that evening and was dressed with shirt bow tie trousers and shoes so as far as I was concerned smart but then dinners walk in in shorts open toed sandals so why bother. After evening meal went for walk on ship and easy to get to other areas through Broadway shops good quality into show lounge. Here maybe the show team are new but not the best I've seen I am sure they will get better. After show of to venue bar for game shows very good and funny entertainment team were very good. After shows of to love room where the casino was and again could not fault. If you are still hungry in the evening then go to Glasshouse and get a good evening buffet recommend the curry. The service in all areas was great and the waiters are very friendly and if you go often even rember what you drink which is amazing. The ship is very good indeed and unfortunately had to visit medical centre because my wife became ill, these people really do care and look after you, if it's an insurance claim don't worry they sort out the whole thing. To them I send a big thank you. So all in all here are my main points about this cruise, 1....Think about how waiters serve meals and correct utensils for meal 2....Think about dress code and monitor it Hopefully these can be improved, I realise I could have gone to Islands which is self service but I like to be served in evening. Let's hope things do improve am on discovery in December so hope for better things. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We booked this cruise as a "transitional " from the Caribbean to Palma calling at various places , we particularly were looking forward to Cuba ,Nassau and Lisbon and Bermuda ...the first three destinations were cancelled shortly ... Read More
We booked this cruise as a "transitional " from the Caribbean to Palma calling at various places , we particularly were looking forward to Cuba ,Nassau and Lisbon and Bermuda ...the first three destinations were cancelled shortly after the final balance was paid ( nice!! ) We booked an upgrade and were given cabin 8031 The ship looked good , staff brilliant , food very good with a wide choice , cabin horrendous , the vessel had a major refit in 2016 , former office space was converted into cabins ( 6 in all on the port side ) On this vessel the engines are amidships and as the cabins are by the open atrium they are subject to a lot of noise , worse still they are also afflicted with constant vibration from the engines ( particularly at sea ) and creaking from the wall panels and windows .We had to move to another cabin to save our sanity .... All this made the cruise a nightmare at times , which was a shame because resturants were very good , entertainment suited most people we talked to , the other thing to note is that you cannot get away from piped music ( loud at times ) wherever you walk or sit it will always be there which is a shame because there where some very nice places . There is a complete walk round on deck ( 4 laps 1 mile ) We would probably have enjoyed the cruise more with a better cabin as the ship has a lot going for it but sadly the vibration issue afflicting it spoiled our enjoyment Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I decided on this trip as a way to see the Caribbean with my 77 year old mum and not have the overnight flight back to UK. The Thompson’s brochure states you can check in and drop your bags the day before, unfortunately this is not ... Read More
I decided on this trip as a way to see the Caribbean with my 77 year old mum and not have the overnight flight back to UK. The Thompson’s brochure states you can check in and drop your bags the day before, unfortunately this is not the case, however once you have dropped your cases you don’t see them again until they are delivered to your cabin (it’s worth having some suitable ‘hot weather’ clothes in hand luggage so you can change and make the most of the sun as soon as you arrive. There are only 2 formal dress evenings on this cruise, the Captains gala dinner and a dress to impress night. Of the 2 main restaurants the food was often better in the self-service Lido restaurant though getting a drink with your meal is a challenge and it’s best to take on in with you, often we had finished our main course before being offered a drink. In the Meridian restaurant some of the portions were tiny, particularly the starters (i.e 1 button mushroom!) but the service is good, if you don’t want to share a table you can request not to but may have to wait. On the transatlantic crossing there were some excellent entertainers, other activities were put on, water-colour painting, choir and a murder mystery, though this was done be fellow passengers. During the crossing the clocks were put forward most days by 1 hour at 12 noon, so lunch quickly followed breakfast!. On sea days it was difficult to get sun beds or chairs or seats inside when the weather wasn’t great. Most days the weather was good enough to sit on deck particularly in sheltered areas and sea was quite calm, even though it was quite windy at times light cardigan or jumper was needed at times. Disembarkation - cabins need to be vacated by 7am we found the lido restaurant was full and people in no rush to leave their tables, the Minstalls restaurant didn’t open until 7.30 so it was complete chaos particularly as the queues to get into the restaurant was blocking the gangway to get off the ship. Crew were very friendly and helpful. Excursions- nice free trolley bus into town in Curaçao hop on\off also local tour bus $20 was good value. Would recommend glass bottom boat in Bonaire and Catamaran to Pitons in St Lucia. Read Less
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