1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises)
  4. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises) Cruise Reviews
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Having previously sailed on Explorer 1 in December and really enjoyed the ship and food we thought we would try Discovery 2. Embarkation from Montego Bay was a disaster, after a 10 hour flight we were left in a small holding area for ... Read More
Having previously sailed on Explorer 1 in December and really enjoyed the ship and food we thought we would try Discovery 2. Embarkation from Montego Bay was a disaster, after a 10 hour flight we were left in a small holding area for over an hour because Tui did not have enough coaches for us. It was awful, there was no air con and people were fainting !! After eventually getting on a coach, they make a point that everyone must wear seat belts due to safety but the driver was talking for the whole journey on his mobile phone!! Our balcony cabin was ok, plenty of storage the shower had a mind of its own and kept going hot and cold, the air con didn't work so we complained, they fixed it but then we couldn't turn it off !! The food was awful!! Buffet food was cold, restaurant food was served to us cold although the plates were very hot.The only place you could get a hot meal was Surf and Turf but that cost over £60 per meal for two. The drinks were good and service good, the staff worked hard. The evening entertainment show cast team were excellent and if it hadn't been for them I would have given this review a 1 star not a 2. Discovery 2 is not a ship I will be returning on. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise got off to a bad start. It took 15 minutes to find steps to get off the plane and another hor and 15 minutes being held in a hot airless corridor before a bumpy coach trip to the ship. I later found out that probems in UK ... Read More
This cruise got off to a bad start. It took 15 minutes to find steps to get off the plane and another hor and 15 minutes being held in a hot airless corridor before a bumpy coach trip to the ship. I later found out that probems in UK airports led to 3 planes arriving at much the same time. The local staff (TUI and airport) were overwhelmed. A situation made worse by the local authorities making the coaches queue outside and only 1 at a time allowed into the bonded area. Not Marella's fault but the fiasco at the muster drill certainly was. A technical problem with no backup plan led to chaos. Things improved once the cruise was under way. The captain skillfully avoided the worst of the weather although we had to miss Horta, Azores because the tenders could not launch. The ship itself may be older than some but the recent refurbishment made the public areas look new with hi tech everywhere. A mention here for the app which is really a website hosted on the ships computer - so no internet needed to use it. Dining was a weak point. The buffet area is well laid out with indoor and outside seating. The breakfast food was frequently lukewarm or missing. We quickly learned to choose the best items and avoid the rest. It was better at lunchtime but choice was limited. The MDR was much better. The main restaurant is attractive and the staff mainly very good. The food was better here. We dined as soon as it opened and had no problems getting a table for 2. Gallery 47 is the best complimentary eating place for both service and food but its limited menu means it is not for every night. Entertainment was definitely a strong point. The production cast were the best I have seen on any cruise. They were also the friendliest. The use of trained actors in the other entertainment staff was an improvement on most ships. Even the quizzes were amusing. The cruise director and his 2 assistants were top notch. Music was all over the ship with all the musicians very competent and enjoyable. Bars The bar areas were frequently overcrowded and it was often difficult to find a seat but there was a good vibe about them. The included drinks are OK. There is no need to upgrade the drinks package. This was our first cruise with Marella and it was better than I expected. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
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
13 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
14 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
4 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
7 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
9 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
15 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
10 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
9 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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We have sailed with Tui (Thompson) on a number of occasions and spent a week sailing around Spain and Portugal on Discovery 1 last October so knew what to expect. This was a trip a long time in the planning. It had been our dream to do ... Read More
We have sailed with Tui (Thompson) on a number of occasions and spent a week sailing around Spain and Portugal on Discovery 1 last October so knew what to expect. This was a trip a long time in the planning. It had been our dream to do the Atlantic crossing for many years. The crew and staff on board are excellent and cannot be praised highly enough. They go all out to ensure guests enjoy their stay on board. Dining can, it is fair to say, be a bit haphazard. We avoided the buffet restaurant for the reasons given by other reviewers. However. we never experienced any problems with getting a table for 2 at either breakfast or dinner in the main dining rooms. We did not mind sharing, if it came to it. The a la carte restaurants are very good, food is to a high standard. The real issue we found was repetition. We were aboard 17 days and there was simply not enough variety. Some of the restauarants, such as the Glass House Hot Stones restaurant for example, do not change their menu, it is fixed. Others, such as Gallery 47 and 47 only change about once a week, and even then some of the dishes remain the same. Entertainment was varied. The guest UK artists were a mixed bag. The entertainment team do a good job in trying to put on variety shows that appeal to the masses but sometimes it just looks all a bit amateurish. That may be a bit harsh, but after 17 days, again it began to get a bit samey. We did take part in a few quizzes and game shows which were well organised and fun. We also booked a number of shore excursions, again with a mixed result. The beach trip to Bonaire was awful. The sea could only be reached via a moving pontoon as the shoreline was covered in dangerous rocks. We complained to TUI and got a 50% refund. Some of the ports were no where near any shops or decent activities, and you needed a taxi to reach anything remotely interesting. By the time we reached Aruba we were a bit stir crazy and went off and did our own thing, catching a bus to the local beach, then spending the afternoon shopping and having a meal out. It was very liberating. Most of the time your time onshore is limited as the ship will depart around 5-6pm. We had decided given the length of the cruise to upgrade to a cabin with more space and a floor to ceiling window. This was on deck 8. We were to live to regret this decision. Although there was nothing wrong with the cabin itself, its proximity to the atrium meant that we were constantly subjected to noise travelling up from the atrium bar, the Live Room and indeed the disco up in Bar 11. Also, as we were just below the pool deck, at around 4:30am each morning, no exaggeration, we were awoken by guests on deck, moving and securing their sun loungers. I didn't get a nights uninterrupted sleep once. So please, do think ahead when you book and have a good look at the floor plan to see what's around the cabin you are booking. This can make a huge difference to your holiday. TUI (Marella) has now gone all inclusive and this will I think impact on future bookings.It certainly had a different vibe to other cruises we have been on. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise exactly one week after coming of Discovery last year doing the transatlantic with a different itinerary. We had nothing to complain about last year it was superb. We chose exactly the same cabin we had last year on ... Read More
We chose this cruise exactly one week after coming of Discovery last year doing the transatlantic with a different itinerary. We had nothing to complain about last year it was superb. We chose exactly the same cabin we had last year on deck 8 right at the back. Discovery 2 is the sister ship of Discovery and are practically identical in terms of layout. For us Embarkation was swift, smooth and painless with baggage delivered and collected in a timely manner. The cabin is an aft facing cabin which meant we had the sun most days whilst crossing the Atlantic. The cabin is roomy with plenty of storage. A great feature this year was the addition of USB sockets in each of the lamps which was handy for charging up Ipads and phones. The electrical sockets are 2 standard USA and 2 Eurpean type. The decor was ok although a picture missing from the wall of the cabin which showed up the marks where it had been. Generally the cabin was kept immaculate by the cabin steward however he rarely replaced the toiletries and despite requesting and reminding him it still did not happen or if it did they were only partially replaced. On embarkation day there was a letter on the bed welcoming us back. Reading the letter it tells you that you have a Lavazza coffee machine in the room to which you are entitled to one cup of coffee a day! (What! after what we paid I would expect coffee to be free flowing like it was last year) That certainly did not set me off in the right frame of mind. There were two days were half a dozen teeny pellets of soot landed on the balcony. The stewards cleaned the balconies up immediately and there was nothing to complain about. Those who have not stayed in one of these junior suites seem to imagine that it happens all the time. It does not! Another point is the saying the higher your cabin the more you pay the more it sways. It is no different to anywhere else on the ship. We only had two days were there was a bit of a roll and that was from Tenerife to Gran Canaria and en route to Jamaica but we slept quite well both nights. It is very quiet at the back of the ship. The air conditioning was not able to be adjusted. Food and dining. The food in the waiter restaurants was always hot and our meals were served in a timely fashion. I was surprised to hear people complain that dinner took around two hours. For me that is quite acceptable, who wants to bolt down their food when you are on holiday it also gives you the chance to share tables and meet some very interesting people. We never ate in the buffet restaurant apart from having afternoon tea one afternoon. I can't really comment on what it was like but the same food is served in the buffet as is available in the main dining room. Gallery 47 is an Italian restaurant with two alternating menus. The food is quite nice here and we ate here a few times. Surf and Turf and Kora La restaurants have to be booked at a supplement and both are like being on a completely different ship. The attention to detail and the quality is second to none. We only ate at Surf and Turf this time and the supplement was around £29. There was a fast food outlet called the snack shack where you could grab rolls in the morning fish and chips at lunch time or chicken wings etc. There were also cool cabinets with a variety of salads, sandwiches and pots of fruit. We only had a snack twice here but it was quick, tasty and filling. At busy times you might be given a buzzer and have to wait around 20 minutes for a table in the main restaurants it only happened once to us during the 18 night cruise but that was because we wanted a specific table so we were quite happy to wait. Drinks We upgraded the drinks package which for us was good value. We had 2 X 1.5 litres of water in the cabin each day. Access to the coffee bar for premium coffees and an enhanced premium drink menu. We found that the drinks on the normal menu seemed to be lacking in something but there was a noticeable difference in the premium drinks. We never had to wait too long for our drinks either being served or being waited on. There were ample staff for this and they were always busy. It worked out at £7 a day and we thought that was good value. Entertainment. We always found something to occupy us on sea days. There were some activities going on at one time or another. I think one of the biggest problems was inadequate seating in some of the venues particularly the atrium. The theatre is much more comfortable that theatres in London. My only criticism is that once the shows have started the bar service should stop. It is irritating during the show to see bar staff passing through and blocking the views. The shows only last an hour why not bring a drink from the bar it is not as if you are going hours without access to a drink. Also on a couple of occasions there were some ignorant people talking all the way through the shows. The shows were ok some better than others. I think the entertainment could have been a bit better but that is down to personal preferences. Service. There were a mixture of Filipino and Eastern European staff on the ship. All we came across were brilliant and everyone of them we met greeted us with a smile and a hello. They are on the ship for up to 8 months and there were some passengers do tend to be rude to them. We met quite a few staff from the Discovery who had transferred to Discovery 2. Surprisingly they remembered us and actually came to our tables to say hi. Ports and excursions. Our itinerary. Tenerife Day of boarding. Gran Canaria - We did our own thing as we were here last year. Mindelo Cape Verde - A God forsaken place not geared up to cruise ships at all. We left the ship at 10:00 and people were already heading back to the ship. Not worth a visit here. Barbados - Wonderful place but most things closed on Sundays! Got a hotel day pass. Grenada - Speedboat and snorkel. Absolutely brilliant but £72 was a bit pricey but worth it. Bonaire - A beautiful little island.- We did out own thing got a hotel day pass. Aruba - Lovely island- Got our own taxi for a tour $20 each. Island tour and beach for 3 hours. Brilliant. Curacao - Willemstad is a delightful colourful town. $20 taxi tour about four hours. Panama Canal - Vastly over priced. £120 Not as described in the blurb not the companies fault but 4-5 hours going around the lakes due allocated time of going through the locks. The last 3 hours were brilliant but the lead up to it was dire! We were very late back to the ship which had to wait for 350 passengers on this tour. Cartegena- Colombia $30 Taxi tour for 3 hours a beautiful city but boiling hot and humid. Jamaica- We did not do a tour here. We loved the itinerary and 18 nights went in a flash it only felt like a week. Can't understand visiting Mindelo but I guess it is a very cheap port for port fees. There are other beautiful islands in the cape so why those chose this one is beyond comprehension. Major concern. The medical centre. I have never ever seen so many people walking around a ship with Canulas in situ. Most being diagnosed with pneumonia some clearly not actually having pneumonia. Either there is something majorly wrong with the ventilation system or there is something afoot with the insurance claims. Would we sail with Marella gain? Not in the near future certainly. Reasonable standard of service but not quite up to the same standard as last year. Price wise they are not dissimilar to other cruise lines whose standards are a bit higher. I would point out here that customer service pre and post cruise is abysmal. We had no communications from our Tui travel agent at all. I only got information from a facebook group and had to go into the shop myself to get this information I understand that the telephone service leaves a hell of a lot to be desired too. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We have done over 20 Thomson cruises and although most of the ship particularly the cabins are tired we have always enjoyed the entertainment and cruise. This one was shocking....the entertainment team spent more time on deck 6 smoking ... Read More
We have done over 20 Thomson cruises and although most of the ship particularly the cabins are tired we have always enjoyed the entertainment and cruise. This one was shocking....the entertainment team spent more time on deck 6 smoking than they did entertaining, they put on a deck party that lasted 35minutes where they just all danced together and did not involve any of the passengers and when were in dock there was no entertainment at all on the decks. All the shows were poor and pretty much everyone felt the same way one of the comedians thought it was funny to tell homephobic jokes and although we are not gay it was very uncomfortable. We were at sea for 6 days and they did nothing extra on the decks, most people had to make their own entertainment. I could go on and on about how disappointed we were and in fact couldn't wait to get off the ship and come home. There was no sail away party and even when the outside decks were full with passengers no extra entertainment was put on. If this is the future of the old Thomson cruises now called Marcella we certainly won't be doing another one Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Friends had a son who had worked as Cruise Director on this and other TUI Cruise Ships, they thought we would enjoy it. How wrong they were. All comparisons are made with previous cruises, long and short haul, made with NCL, P & O, ... Read More
Friends had a son who had worked as Cruise Director on this and other TUI Cruise Ships, they thought we would enjoy it. How wrong they were. All comparisons are made with previous cruises, long and short haul, made with NCL, P & O, Holland America and Princess Lines, all small ships. Flew out on 5th.November, flight delayed on runway over an hour, toilet function problem. Poor meet & greet at Airport, wrong directions to transfer coaches! Late arrival on board, meant less than 15 mins to the second lifeboat drill. Meet & greet staff on board did not know cabin location ! Made the drill meeting in the Show Lounge, usually it's at your appointed lifeboat station. No indication given to cabin number lifeboat, assumed that display info on Prom Deck was correct, even cabin numbers to port, odd numbers to starboard. One morning while having breakfast on the Lido outside rear deck area, noticed a pungent smell, assumed it was from the docks, but became worse, then smoke came out of the rear swimming pool vents, it had been closed off and empty, no explanation given. Smoke became dense and black, so quickly departed to upper deck, P/A issued a coded message, which was obviously for the fire crew. Staff cleared everybody off the rear deck, and the fire was extinguished. Later announcement advised the fire had been caused by welding repair to get the rear pool up and running. Several days later pool was filled and operational. Next issue followed about a week later in the Caribbean, again breakfast time, all the lights/air conditioning etc went off. About 20 mins power was restored, the fire/flood doors could be opened. They closed automatically when the power went off, explanation was a failed generator. That evening however, as we left a port, out in the navigation channel, all lighting etc went off, also no engine power ! Restarted again in about 15 mins. Blame was put on demand to aircon due to high temperatures experienced ! We are in the Caribbean remember. Action taken was to restrict aircon output, so cabin temperature rose, especially at night, and certain zones throughout the ship had intermittent aircon. The ship is now operating its Winter schedule in the Caribbean with ineffective aircon Trip was Adults only, all inclusive, however the bar price list showed only certain basic drinks and cocktails were included. Named drinks/named wines/certain cocktails etc had an extra charge up to £3, min £2.50. Named wines were expensive, Anjou Rose @ £17, half decent red up to £35, Tesco prices about a third. House wine was not good, red was undrinkable, never tried the white, Rose was weak but drinkable. The taste/flavour of all drinks and cocktails varied dependant on bar used. Outside deck sources were especially poor. Other passengers agreed with our thoughts, and we all agreed the drinks were "watered down". I even started to order a separate gin measure or light rum measure to top up a G&T or Cuba Libre, but they neither had the smell nor expected taste. The bar staff opened new bottles, but they did not have the plastic insert within the bottle necks, to prevent a bottle being refilled, so make your own decisions on the subject. Cabin was a de luxe on deck 7, paid extra, but more space quoted. Ship was refurbished not long ago, interior is light maple veneer, very good storage via drawers, and two separate built in wardrobes. Reading lights above beds, lighting controls on bedheads for the cabin. Fridge with pay as drink basics, tea and coffee making, bottled water is extra please note, we didn't realise till the bill came. Dressing table area has two power sockets, one US plug and other is 2 pin European. Bedhead has double socket UK 3 pin plug, and two USB ports built in. En suite is small, very narrow bath with shower curtain, mixer tap with button shower engagement. A grab rail to cabin side wall is badly located, too near the riser rail, so you knock your right arm on it when washing your hair or applying the shower gel. Refit specification should have stipulated a walk in shower with Glass Panel, who bathes these days, and the shower curtain wraps around your body, so so naff. PLEASE NOTE SHOWER GEL IS PROVIDED BUT NO SHAMPOO NOR CONDITIONER. We had to buy shampoo at first port of call. Couldn't believe it. Dining was either at The Meridian Restaurant with waiter service, or The Lido which was buffet self service. In both, menu was poor, some nights pretty impossible. They both offer at extra cost, £9.95, a steak or chops alternative. Never tried either, nor the extra cost Eating Venues, at £19.95 per head, as it all comes from the same source really. Quality of food was poor, portion control excessive in the Meridian, only is 3 courses now, our friends said it was 5 courses. Never had breakfast in the Meridian, the Lido gets overloaded, long queues, no glasses/plates/trays virtually every day. Choice never changed in 18 days, served up food pre cooked in hot water trays, toast pre done as well. Tinned tomatoes yuck, very thin cut bacon which was cooked about 3.00am along with the toast, black pudding whatever that tasted like heaven knows, choice of eggs, under done sausage. Separate cereal station but loose cereals, very little choice, four options, fruit never changed, sliced melon, unripe pine apple, sliced tough oranges, tinned prunes or peaches. Yoghurt was Danone tubs, like Spanish holidays in the '60s. No bread other than white rolls which were tasteless, or brown. No other offerings. Evening time they did offer brown and white sliced bread plus the tasteless rolls, although some nights the bread was stale. Fruit juice came out of machine dispensers, concentrate diluted with water, fresh orange juice was extra from the bar, but was still out of a packet !! No separate station for the soup options, this was in the middle of the horse shoe conveyor belt layout, so you had to queue up twice to get your soup, then the main meal. In the middle was the joint of the day, carved for you, deep frown received if you asked for more, felt like Oliver in the film. Pork was good, beef was really tough, lamb was good. Never tried the rolled Veal as didn't like the inner core it was stuffed with. Entertainment was poor as was the very limited Activities. The speakers offered were not good, nor was the chosen subjects, funny things that took place in his police career, and film reviews by the other guy. Did one and gave up. The first dance group were quite good, voices not bad and show themes were of interest. Second lot after changeover day and ships, were over weight, couldn't sing and not interesting themes. Had one imported Soul Night singer, ex Drifters, really good. Very boring comedian another night. Various quizzes, but the Cruise Director and seemingly most of the Entertainment Team required a translator, to know what they were saying. Mancunian and Geordie were not taught in my school days, the Queens English was however. The daily Activities must have come from a Nursery School option list, Bean Bag Targets, Skittles, Carpet Bowls, to name the highlights ! There was an option to learn Welsh, you couldn't make it up but it was true. One quiz host called me " mate" while handing over a paper, and I'd never met him before! Some passengers created their own Activities, brawling in Liberties Lounge one night, because a couple had sat in front of another couple, blocking their view of the entertainment, Security restored sanity. Another night in Hemingways Bar, another Activity and brawl was glass throwing. Service overall was quite good, plenty of staff who worked tirelessly. Cabin stewards likewise. Did not take any shore excursions, had been to all bar one port several times before, the hurricane meant an amended schedule for ports of call, original format would have seen three new Islands. Thought the excursions were expensive. Thomson clients seem to be a certain type, mostly from Up North, Tyne Tees, Wales etc, minority from the South. Many had done the trip before, even the return leg as well in April. The stereo type is grossly over weight, tattoos, and thinks acceptable behaviour includes resting ones legs by either putting ones bare feet up on another chair, or laying full length, bare foot on a lounge bar settee, despite shortage of seating. Picking assorted food from the buffet and either eating it in the queue and or on route to the table. The two main activities are drinking from 10am till the bar closes, and smoking as much as possible in the designated areas, in between the drinking. Sunbeds are a premium, requiring early towel visits to secure, anything later than 7.30 and you've missed out on the prime spots. Rumour has it, one guy was up around 5.00am to secure their padded bed on deck 8. Majority of sunbeds are unpadded, somewhat past their sell by date, dirty and tired. Conditions are very cramped unless you have picked your spot, and angled " your two" to create more space. Slyly moving adjacent ones further apart. Tip of the week there. To sum up, we all look for something different, having tried Thomson/Marella, we would not use them again, it is not the standard we require, if you think I am being a snob, that is for you alone to decide. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
There is a lot to recommend this ship. 1. It is excellent value for money. 2. The food overall is very good. Whether you eat in the main dining room or the buffet there is always lots of choice and the quality is good. Best pluses ... Read More
There is a lot to recommend this ship. 1. It is excellent value for money. 2. The food overall is very good. Whether you eat in the main dining room or the buffet there is always lots of choice and the quality is good. Best pluses are the pasta station and the salad bar. Only minor criticism is, for me they over cook the beef. We also never had problems in getting seats at the time of our choosing in the main restaurant. The buffet could get busy on sea days but was far less chaotic than most cruise lines we have been on. 3. Overall the basic drinks package is very good. Reasonable quality spirits and good mixers. We don't drink white wine but we liked the Rose and the red was just about acceptable. Beware the red outside the dining room because it sometimes comes at mulled wine temperatures. The only beers offered in the basic package are Fosters and John Smiths. I like these beers some may not. Some people complained that because of the restrictions it was not all inclusive. I have been on lots of cruise lines and this is pretty good. Yes, some lines do offer top shelf spirits and wines but you would have to pay far more for the cruise in the first place. There were a couple of silly anomolies, you can order a gin and a vermouth separately, but if you order a Martini, you get charged. 4. Staff throughout the ship were excellent. Sometimes, in the theatre in particular, you had to wait to be served, but that was sheer weight of numbers. The boys and girls always kept smiling and worked their butts off. Our star performer was Maria in Horizons. 5. The entertainment team and the guest acts were excellent. Less keen on the comedians, but that just may be us. We have been on many cruise lines but this was our first on Thomsons. The majority of our experiences were positive. Now for the couple of downsides: 1. We are early risers and we like to sunbathe between eight and eleven ish. The first day we went down at just after seven and all prime locations were reserved but not in use. The following day we checked before seven. Same again and every sea day. We have encountered this problem before on Italian ships, but never before have we come across the Benidorm mob on a British cruise ship. 2. When I tried to raise the issue with guest services they ignored me for four days. The Manager apparently never received my four messages. I will put that down to inefficiency, rather than rudeness. On thing this cruise has taught me is to think very carefully about repositioning cruises. Four years ago I had exactly the same problems with MSC. I have not used used them since. I will not be using Thomson again for Ocean crossings.. I will use Thomson again for cruises with frequent stops. Good value, food drink and service make it acceptable. The sun beds issue becomes unimportant because either I or the majority of the mob will be . Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
we have been on this cruise before, however entertainment poor, all the same shows as last year , bands and singers all sang sad songs,people said ;get me out of here;.....NOT A HAPPY SHIP .The comic Peter Piper was good,.singer Benjamin ... Read More
we have been on this cruise before, however entertainment poor, all the same shows as last year , bands and singers all sang sad songs,people said ;get me out of here;.....NOT A HAPPY SHIP .The comic Peter Piper was good,.singer Benjamin Moss has a good voice,but again guests complained about his smutty jokes in between songs.Josh very friendly shame about the others in the show team.Staff in 47 fantastic.but food cold and lots of oil on veg in island on 9th floor ,even oil on top of mashed potatoes,very hard to find healthy option food ,also very underhanded as they knew we were not going to certain ports BEFORE we set of yet did not inform guests,the bar staff could do with more training,I understand they took on alot of new staff.when you think we were all going to the west indies,you would imagine it would be upbeat instead of dire entertainment,something is wrong with the agency that is supplying the entertainment.I would sack them and give the contract to someone else Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We had a deluxe balcony cabin which was spacious with plenty of space for clothes. The cabin was immaculate and it was kept like that all the cruise by Art who was the best steward we have had on any cruise. The ship was nice and public ... Read More
We had a deluxe balcony cabin which was spacious with plenty of space for clothes. The cabin was immaculate and it was kept like that all the cruise by Art who was the best steward we have had on any cruise. The ship was nice and public areas were kept clean. The all inclusive was very good with a lot of premium brand drinks. I'm afraid that is all the positives. On our first night we thought we would go to the Italian restaurant but there were no tables for 2 and a 15 minute wait for one. We decided to go to the other restaurant but there were no tables for 2 there either and a 20 minute wait so we decided to go back to the Italian but no tables for 2 so we joined with another couple but there were no tables for 4 either so we ended up at a table for 8. In the Italian there were empty tables for 2 but front of house said she was not given that information. 2 meals had to be sent back because they were cold. The food in the buffet restaurant was at best lukewarm. As time went by we were able to get a table for 2 in the main dining room. There were no wine waiters in the buffet restaurant so you had to serve yourself at the beer and wine pumps. When glasses ran out there was quite a long wait for clean ones to arrive. This was the poorest food on any cruise I have been on. Marella are cutting corners and it shows. The entertainment was also a weak point apart from Benjamin Moss and a few guest comedians. The service in the restaurant was hectic and you felt obliged to finish and get out. The Glasshouse was something else. You were allowed 3 tapas each and when they arrived they were the smallest portions I have ever seen. The late night buffet was awful with deep fried wraps being described as chapatis. We will never go with Marella again and a lot of passengers felt the same. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We were persuaded to go on this cruise by friends who had been on the transatlantic voyage several times with Thomsons. They too were extremely disappointed by this one. Where do I start? On boarding the ship on previous cruises we ... Read More
We were persuaded to go on this cruise by friends who had been on the transatlantic voyage several times with Thomsons. They too were extremely disappointed by this one. Where do I start? On boarding the ship on previous cruises we have always been escorted to our cabin. Not this time. We were put in the lift with several others and one member of staff who opened the door on the relevant floor and directed the guest in which direction to take, only to come running after us to tell us she had sent us the wrong way. The suite was fabulous but the sunbeds on the balcony were dirty but we couldn't fault the service we received from our cabin steward. We enjoyed our first meal but the next day was an eye opener. Having stood in a queue at the restaurant for a while we were given a pager with a 45 min wait. Of course we had given up our seats in the bar so had to wander the ship until our table was ready. The same thing happened the next night but when we asked to see the supervisor there was suddenly a table free. On entering the restaurant there were several tables set up but no staff to service them. When we managed to get a table on other nights we had to wait a long time between courses, so we were dining whilst a lot of the entertainment was occurring which we then missed. On several occasions the meal was inedible. We were offered an alternative but this isn't feasible when others on the table have their meal. OBVIOUSLY BOTH THE KITCHEN AND RESTAURANT WERE UNDERSTAFFED. The entertainment left a lot to be desired. The show team were great and put on some different shows but the last one was spoiled with technical breakdowns. Ben Moss and Peter Piper were excellent but the bands/soloists in the bars were a let down. The seating was also a problem as there was a shortage in all the bars (especially when approx. 30 entertainers/staff took up the whole seating in one area receiving waiter service whilst paying guest had to visit the bar to be served) and quite a few of the waiters were quite surly as though we were an inconvenience wanting service or there was a language barrier. We have never experienced this before. Having booked an Executive Suite with premier service we were disappointed with what the premier service consisted of. The consierge suite no longer exists so there was no complementary WiFi. There was no exclusive use of sunbeds on the veranda as this was available to everyone. We were informed we could stay in our cabin until 3pm on the day of departure (we were leaving at 12.30pm) but on returning to our cabin the night before we had received a letter stating that we had to move cabins by 10am. This didn't make sense to us. Why dirty another cabin for the sake of 2 hours so the poor cabin steward had to clean two cabins instead of one? We enjoyed the ports (two of which were changed once we were underway which they must have known before we sailed or if not just more incompetence). The scenic railway in St. Kitts is a must, never been on any thing else like it, what a way to see the island. We left the ship at the allotted time to be shown into a queue for buses in full sunlight with no shade at the hottest part of the day to wait for half an hour. Organisation was not one of the strong points of this ship. The staff shortages were obvious and the staff undertrained. Really disappointed with this cruise after spending over £4000 we expected the same service/food/entertainment we'd always had on Thomsons cruises. Unfortunately it all left a lot to be desired. We would always have chosen Thomsons over other cruise lines if the destinations suited us but our allegiance has been dented and we will now give other cruiselines a chance after this experience. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We booked this cruise with the thought that this is as good as Tui cruises get , we were totally disappointed, from start to finish all we did was wait , we had to wait [a long time] to embark, wait for tables at dinner, wait for drinks in ... Read More
We booked this cruise with the thought that this is as good as Tui cruises get , we were totally disappointed, from start to finish all we did was wait , we had to wait [a long time] to embark, wait for tables at dinner, wait for drinks in fact a large part of our holiday was taken up waiting for every thing,we put it down to untrained staff as a lot of them had no idea why they were on the ship. The food was of a very poor standard and poorly served in all areas ,buffet ,M.D.R. Glasshouse and Italian, and the snack shack served the same food every single day. The entertainment was generally mediocre apart from a couple of shows by the ships company and a wonderful singer called Ben he was the highlight of our entertainment experience. The A.I. drinks package was good but you had to ask specifically for the drinks you wanted E.G if you didn't ask for a specific brand they would serve an inferior brand. We had a great time on this cruise but very little could be attributed to Marella as they now call themselves and most of our enjoyment was derived from the wonderful people we sailed with Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Originally selected this cruise because we had visited most of the other Caribbean Island's on our previous two cruises, and fancied St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands and San Juan in Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, due to the recent ... Read More
Originally selected this cruise because we had visited most of the other Caribbean Island's on our previous two cruises, and fancied St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands and San Juan in Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, due to the recent hurricane's, these two ports were dropped from our Itinerary and instead visited Pointe a Pitre in Guadeloupe, and Fort de France in Martinique. Both were nice but I think personally fairly pricey. That said I did not venture too far as I was slightly off-colour in Guadeloupe. Embarkation at the start of the cruise is always a timely process due to the number of passenger's boarding, this is one of the stages I don't enjoy much but I understand the reason. But in fairness, this year it was a quicker process, the previous 2 years we were on the Thomson Dream as it was known then before rebranding. The ship Discovery is a beautiful ship and I was impressed, this was our first trip on the Discovery, we had an outside cabin and found it to be smaller than that on the Dream and it had no fridge which we had on the dream, so I was a little disappointed in that respect as I had a few items of my own for the fridge. My view on this is that I think Marella, (as they are known now), are reducing the smaller details that can help make your cruise a more enjoyable experience as a way of cutting cost, unfortunately they are not passing it on to us the passengers. I also observed varying complaints from passengers that had voyaged on the Discovery before, mainly since their rebrand. The service overall was not bad from a personal point of view, but again I observed several complaints from returning passenger's. During my 15 days we only had bad service twice, once the meals for the whole table arrived cold and had to be returned and on the second occasion items were missing off the plates (maybe chef had got a roasting from his boss, who knows). Personally I understand that things will go array from time-to-time as we are dealing with humans, but it is the attitude it which it is rectified that leaves a lasting impression. The bars are stocked with a varied selection of Cocktails, Spirits, Red, White or Rose wines, not much of a selections on beers, depending on your taste. The Entertainment for me was good, the team work hard and put on shows to a high standard, again here I heard various opinions from other cruiser's, this is an area which will always be debatable as different people have different expectations. Shore excursions for me are overpriced with the company, some were enjoyable others were forgettable. We only did two with the company, the others we did with the locals which were cheaper and better value for money at a more relaxed paced. On the day of Disembarkation we had to exit our cabins by 8am and one person from the party had to take their passports and emigration forms to deck where the emigration processed was carried out on-board ship. We did not leave the ship until 12:30 for the airport. In summary; I had an great cruise, met some lovely people, the ship was nice and the majority of the staff were brilliant. I did encounter 1 bar staff member who was rude and abrupt which I had to report to his supervisor, but this was the only extreme negative. There were some minor issues but not enough to ruin my experience, and when dealing with people of varying origins there are always going to be difference of opinions at times. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We've been on many cruises with different cruise lines before, but we chose this one because we took one of our children's families on a Thomson's Cruise last year and were very impressed, and the timing was ideal as other ... Read More
We've been on many cruises with different cruise lines before, but we chose this one because we took one of our children's families on a Thomson's Cruise last year and were very impressed, and the timing was ideal as other child care duties were becoming slightly less pressing. We are not yet convinced by the freedom dining concept which means you don't easily build up contacts with staff and fellow travellers, and we felt that there was some evident cost trimming which meant that staff seemed more hard-pressed. We weren't sorry to lose some of the fringe activities like the chocolate festivals and ice-carving and we felt that fewer invited performers improved our entertainment enjoyment, because the young, 'resident' cast was excellent. TUI's general co-ordination was generally up to the level we experienced last year, but communications regarding the possible impact of the recent hurricanes was not ideal.We were surprised that passengers had to pay to join a passengers' choir. However, the food, service and entertainment were excellent, and the ship and our cabin were maintained meticulously. We couldn't have had kinder, more obliging cabin stewards than Milos and Ganna. The value, given the all-inclusive tariff and the fact that general gratuities were included, was outstanding. We liked the medium size of the ship and the show lounge and walking track in particular. The first time in the Eastern Caribbean and the weather was excellent. I found the islands fascinating and attractive in an uncoordinated way, my wife found them disorganised, impoverished, and sometimes intimidating. Most of the local people were charming. The destinations staff could have devoted a little time in their talks to advising those who who were going ashore on foot. Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise