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225 Marella Cruises Eastern Caribbean Cruise Reviews

My cruise was a 70th birthday gift, the most disappointing aspect was the change in the itinerary. they took out three of the ports we really wanted to see. The ship is okay, showing it's age a little, but the cruise was 18 nights all ... Read More
My cruise was a 70th birthday gift, the most disappointing aspect was the change in the itinerary. they took out three of the ports we really wanted to see. The ship is okay, showing it's age a little, but the cruise was 18 nights all inclusive and I didn't consider the price to be expensive. The staff were very good overall, some still in training in the 47 dining room I think, but the food generally was good. The overall cruise was very relaxed so if you want fine dining and evening dress every night this isn't for you, although we did our best to show how dressing up is done. The dance teachers on board held lessons almost every day and there was ballroom and sequence dancing most nights, the teachers Jasmin and Adam were excellent. The other entertainment was provided by visiting comedians 3 of them who we enjoyed very much. the rest of the entertainment team put on there shows on a regular basis. The two singers on board were Max & his wife Brandi, could not fault them, professional, fantastic singers-they will go far. If you like fun and a great atmosphere without stuffiness this is for you.Thank you to all the staff for a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Chose this cruise as it aligned with our holidays. Loved the atrium in the ship. This was a great focal point, especially to enjoy a few drinks. Deck 9 was always a hive of entertainment, which was great but meant it wasn’t always ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it aligned with our holidays. Loved the atrium in the ship. This was a great focal point, especially to enjoy a few drinks. Deck 9 was always a hive of entertainment, which was great but meant it wasn’t always easy to get a seat in the sun and not ideal for a quiet read. It is a shame the lower decks did not get the sun. All the staff with the exception of those at reception were incredibly helpful and friendly. They couldn’t do enough to help my mother in law who is not very mobile. It was a shame that the itinerary made it difficult for her to disembark. Loved Havana. A unique place full of character. Food was plentiful and well presented. Loved the shows. I love live theatre so always a winner. There were a couple of particularly talented performers who definitely have the potential to go further in their careers! The show team worked relentlessly, with very little free times yet produced some very varied shows of high quality. Personally I loved the Musicals show and Hot Summers Night. However, there was such a variety everyone had something to see during the trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Just wanted to let fellow cruisers know of an amazing place near Amber Cove where you can volunteer to spend either half or full day at Dove Missions. Check out their website and trip adviser. We had such a worthwhile morning spent ... Read More
Just wanted to let fellow cruisers know of an amazing place near Amber Cove where you can volunteer to spend either half or full day at Dove Missions. Check out their website and trip adviser. We had such a worthwhile morning spent meeting children from one of the poorest areas around tbe barrio. At the school we played games, crafts and helped them with learning English. Martina and the staff are amazing and make you feel so welcome. You leave with a memory that will last a lifetime. Back to the cruise itself. I loved joining the' A Band on Ship 'learning to play the ukelele. My husband joined the choir. The singers, in particular Braxi Music and Dan were excellent, and we couldnt fault anything regarding entertainment. The theatre shows were outstanding. Food was fab, public areas beautiful, the whole ship was very impressive. The only downside of the whole experience was disembarking at Palma. Poor Brett put himself (very admirably) on the front line to take responsibility for a very badly organised departure from the ship. Should have kept cruisers in the groups which pertained to the colour of their luggage labels denoting their flight destinations and moved people group by group rather than the free for all experience of taking an hour and half to get off the ship. Despite that one hiccup we had an amazing time and will definitely look to cruise with Marella again Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. Wanting to go to Havana and see the Panama Canal. We have cruised with Thomson before on the Destiny, but having enjoyed balcony cabins with other cruise lines, we hadn't returned to Thomson ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. Wanting to go to Havana and see the Panama Canal. We have cruised with Thomson before on the Destiny, but having enjoyed balcony cabins with other cruise lines, we hadn't returned to Thomson until they acquired their new ships. We flew from Manchester to Montego Bay, no delays, and were promptly through immigration and onto the coach to the ship. On board the ship within an hour from airport. Found our cabin easily, you don't need anyone showing you the way. Went up to pool deck for a drink and a bite to eat. Cases were outside cabins within 2hours. Our cabin was on deck 6, near the back of the ship [we hadn't pre-booked our cabin], very clean and adequate size and plenty of storage. We ate in 47 most mornings for breakfast, and lunch, unless we were out and about and most evenings. Food was always well presented, hot and tasty and portions were not too big. We ate twice in Gallery47, the Italian, and had lovely meals up there. Sometimes you had to wait for a table, not longer than 10 mins. and you were given a pager. We ate in Kora La one evening which was lovely. Indian curry made to order and as hot as you wanted. Drinks package was excellent. No need to upgrade. Prosecco, wine, cocktails and Tanquerry gin and slim line tonic out of a can. All the staff appeared happy in their work, some have worked with Marella for years and there were plenty of staff. Never had to wait for a drink at the bars. Cabins and the rest of the ship were spotless. Plenty of sunbeds when you wanted one. If you want to be on the pool deck then you did need to be up early to get a bed there. However, we were happy to be on deck 10. Entertainment was okay, nothing special, but you can't please everyone. Ports of call were lovely, especially Havana, Caymen Islands, Cozumel, Panama Canal, Cartagena and Costa Rica. I would certainly choose to cruise with Marella again, if the itinerary was what we wanted. We tend to cruise for the itinerary, not to be loyal to one cruise company. Give it a go, you will be pleasantly surprised. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
6 islands cruise. We chose this cruise as initially all 6 islands were ones we hadn't visited. Unfortunately,3 had to be changed prior to departure but at least we didn't end up with our dreaded "days at sea" ... Read More
6 islands cruise. We chose this cruise as initially all 6 islands were ones we hadn't visited. Unfortunately,3 had to be changed prior to departure but at least we didn't end up with our dreaded "days at sea" Overall an excellent week. Overwhelmingly, staff were friendly, attentive and helpful. Typically- our cabin stewardess Serina was superb. Food was excellent in all the places we tried. Mostly for evenings we used either 47 or Gallery 47 (both included in price). Plenty of choice and well presented. We had a couple of breakfasts where the waiting staff were somewhat disorganised - eg coffee turning up, followed 10 minutes later, after numerous requests, by milk and a further 5 minutes for tea spoons (forks work well provided you use the wrong end!!) The inclusive drinks range was sufficiently extensive for most people with few exclusions. I suppose if you only like one specific brand you may be disappointed (eg Remy Martin brandy is excluded as is champagne) but genuine Bacardi and named Whiskies were included and the beers/lager were good for my taste. We would certainly not have benefitted from the Premium upgrade although we did pay extra a couple of times at the Coffee shop which we enjoyed. Island buffet was also very good and we used this for breakfast when we had early starts and also at lunch - problem here is trying not to eat too much when you know you face dinner later. Then, of course, there’s always afternoon tea for when you get peckish! Surf and Turf restaurant – We tried to book this from day 1 for any night but the best we could get was, on day 2, to be put on a stand-by list for the week! We didn’t get in. As we were on a cruise and stay we were only on board for one week. We suspect that all bookings went to people for whom this was their second week thus had pre-booked before newcomers arrived. Even though we were told this wasn’t the case, we couldn’t get any other explanation. So if you are cruising for one week only you may not get in which to us felt like we were penalised. Others who had been to Surf and Turf said it was good but maybe not worth the £28 ish supplement each. Snack Shack is worth a visit during the day – some sandwiches / boxed salads to take away and some people loved the fish and chips although we didn’t try that. Bar Eleven, the top floor bar was OK but not as good as some other Tui ships. We were hoping for an “Horizons” type of bar (eg on Celebration and Spirit this was a good sized pleasant relaxed bar with some live relaxed music). We think that sticking Bar Eleven in a thoroughfare between Kora La and Surf and Turf restaurants spoiled the atmosphere noticeably. For us the Atrium was far better although many others must have thought the same as it was sometimes hard to find a table. However if you go to the Atrium later when the show is on in the Broadway lounge, you stand a better chance of getting a seat. Some excellent entertainment here particularly the guitarist. Other watering holes were good with quizzes, music and entertainment aplenty. See separate review for cabin On the dress to impress night I reckon about 60% or so wore DJ’s, most others wore smart casual. I don’t think it matters as long as people are seen to make some sort of effort. We were lucky enough to get last minute seats on the Death in Paradise excursion on Guadaloupe. This wasn’t available online before the cruise and was thus a pleasant surprise for us. We only found out accidentally at the excursions counter onboard – no idea why Tui hadn’t advertised it – staff didn’t know. And finally, where did the name Marella come from. I see Tui don’t call their German ships Marella. Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Regent Seven Seas, Princess, P&O, Norwegian Cruise lines, MSC, Silversea etc . Compared with those I think Marella sounds second rate. Even Tui would sound better. Just couldn't spend enough time on board to try everything out so certainly large enough ship for our needs and transport between islands. Overall, very good ship, staff and entertainment with plenty to keep all well fed, watered and entertained. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose to return to the Caribbean again to escape some of the winter, and having had enjoyable cruises with Thomson Ships in the past chose to go on Discovery. We are getting older now and not so able bodied. My husband has a mobility ... Read More
We chose to return to the Caribbean again to escape some of the winter, and having had enjoyable cruises with Thomson Ships in the past chose to go on Discovery. We are getting older now and not so able bodied. My husband has a mobility scooter which we took with us for the first time. Everyone was amazing. As soon as we landed in Barbados after a wonderful flight and great service on board Dreamliner, we were met by a taxi and taken to the Ship. Our cabin on deck six was midships and perfect for lifts etc. We ate all breakfasts and most dinners in 47. The waiters loved parking the "Ferrari" as they called it usually doing a lap of the restaurant first. We ate in Surf and Turf and Kora la which were good. The Italian was also enjoyable and made a change occasionally. We didn't do much ashore as we had been to most islands before, but did do the catamaran trip in Antigua which was great. The Ship was immaculate. We were well informed by the Captain regarding weather and sea conditions and have no complaints about service, food, or crew who were all friendly and welcoming. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
we were told the marella celebration was small and friendly that it was !! but in rough seas it was like a cork ( i thought the caribbean was calm ) foolish me it was my first cruise with a food and drink package you can eat and drink all ... Read More
we were told the marella celebration was small and friendly that it was !! but in rough seas it was like a cork ( i thought the caribbean was calm ) foolish me it was my first cruise with a food and drink package you can eat and drink all day and most of the night service was excellent but they had far too many quizes on every topic, entertainment was excellent king in hemmingways was brilliant he will go far embarkation smooth and easy far too many photos at expensive prices we all have phones with cameras now do not need more paper photos shore excursions from ship expensive much cheaper to do it yourself but as long as you give plenty of time to get back to the ship and dont leave it till the last minute decide what time you are going and more important coming back some of the cruise terminal terminals are poor some like st vincent and tortola are excellent Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Destinations and to celebrate retirement. From stepping on the ship everything was amazing lovely staff great destinations, the captain and crew were friendly and informative nothing was too much trouble. The Jamaican people in ... Read More
Destinations and to celebrate retirement. From stepping on the ship everything was amazing lovely staff great destinations, the captain and crew were friendly and informative nothing was too much trouble. The Jamaican people in Montego were welcoming friendly. The tour guides were brilliant particularly Alex when we went to the Mayan ruins in Chichen Itza Mexico. Alex was enthusiastic informative and good fun. Havana and classic cars was a once in a lifetime experience and lived up to its reputation as did Tropicana. Roatan was the perfect Caribbean island. Food was excellent in the 47 restaurant as was the food in the Islands restaurant. Snack Shack was perfect for a real sandwich and a great place to have burgers. Shows were a very high standard. Cabin and balcony were perfect. We have had a wonderful experience. .we enjoyed the cruise so much we have booked again! Thank you Captain Chris and your staff Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I could hardly express how great it was! It really exceeded my expectations. We were on the Caribbean Gems cruise. Indeed, the ship is old but does not ruin anything. The maintainenace is excellent, everything is cleaned every day ... Read More
I could hardly express how great it was! It really exceeded my expectations. We were on the Caribbean Gems cruise. Indeed, the ship is old but does not ruin anything. The maintainenace is excellent, everything is cleaned every day and every hour. We were in a cabin on deck one and it was quite rocky especially during the first night (it was the day at sea) but we got used to it quickly. The cabin was not very spacious but there was enough place for all our stuff. We were a little disappointed that we bed was not double and we had to sleep on separate beds. We had a window and could watch the waves crashing on the ship, it was fascinating.Our cabin steward was great, he cleaned the acbin twice a day and arranged the towels in the shape of animals :) The dining was perfect. Most of the dishes in Lido restaurant (the buffet) were not something really special but there was a great variety and the food was always available, fresh and warm. Mistal's restaurant provided excelent cuisine and service. The lobster and the beef were so delicious. Kora La was not as special as we expected - you could skip it. The entertainment was superb. There was something for everyone - live performances, singing, dancing, theathe, trivia, karaoke and so on. For me, the funniest moments were when the staff themselves were part of the show - they amused us a lot and you can tell that they enjoyed themselves. Speaking of the staff - they are thoroughly amazing and make you feel fantastic. Now that the cruise ended, I miss the ship, I miss the sea, I miss the staff, everything. this is definitely the worst part... Don't worry about getting seasick. I have problems when travelling by car and I often have nausea but I did not feel bad during the cruise. It is just as if you are a little drunk and cannot keep balance ;) The shore excursions were amazing too, especially Seven Sisters in Grenada and Swimming with stingrays in Antigua. The organization of embarkation, excursions and everything was punctual and smooth. All in all - it is soooooo good, do not hesitate to do it! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I chose this cruise only for the ports of call, which was then amended as the ship wasn't allowed in Puert Rico and US Virgin Islands. So we ended instead going to Tobago and Antigua yet again. I normally say you get what you pay ... Read More
I chose this cruise only for the ports of call, which was then amended as the ship wasn't allowed in Puert Rico and US Virgin Islands. So we ended instead going to Tobago and Antigua yet again. I normally say you get what you pay for and I certainly did not. I paid as a solo traveller and it was my 70th Birthday I would treat myself £4600 but I did have a small balcon but what I got for the price was disgusting. I ate in Restaurant 47 in total I just had 6 breakfasts I thought they were tasteless, lack of quality and not very warm. It was a good job I had taken some biscuits with me. Lunchtime in the islands the food there lacked very little choice unless you liked ChilI, chicken Korma rice and chips. The salad was non discript with plastic cheese and meats. The warmest and tastiest food was the fish and chips from the snack shack. Then we have dinner in total out of 14 dinners I only ate 3, I just could not taste anything. The quality, quantity and the presentation was disgusting I have never eaten such food in my life. I knew what I was supposed to be eating but that was it. I just had to leave it. On some occasions I had to leave the table as I felt physically sick.I did raise my concerns to the restaurant manager and to reception The we have the cabins I was on deck 6 hear the coffee port. A total of 3 nights I did not have a bath towel, on 3 separate occasions I had soaking wet hand towels and twice soaking wet bath/shower mats. The cabin steward was more interested in making animals out of the towels. The blue towels were thread bare, and I never had a white towel in 14 days they were all yellow and grey I do think these need all replacing. The last night of the cruise no bath towel I used a hand towel. When I went out to try and eat the cabin steward was outside I explained I did not have a bath towel so he came into the cabin to check and he blamed his assistant. When I came back later as soon as I opened the door such a horrible smell greeted me. I opened the bathroom door to find 2 soaking wet hand towels and the stench made wretch. I didnt know that I could have rang house keeping. During the night the smell was being blown round the cabin with the air conditioning, by this time I started with a bad cough, I could sleep and then I got a sore throat I felt so drained. I did report this again to reception. To end things on the plane back I could breathe properly, very short of breathe I had to have Oxygen for 6 hrs during the flight and of course I could eat. What was supposed to be a fantastic birthday present and a lovely cruise was just a nightmare. In future I will stick to P & O and you certainly get what you pay for. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We done a fly/cruise with TUI/Marella and came away impressed with their whole operation. Checking-in at London Gatwick was very easy with a short queue, representatives were on-hand from Marella to provide us our check-in details for the ... Read More
We done a fly/cruise with TUI/Marella and came away impressed with their whole operation. Checking-in at London Gatwick was very easy with a short queue, representatives were on-hand from Marella to provide us our check-in details for the ship. Bags were checked in all the way to the ship, so no need to pick them up at Barbados airport. Flights with TUI were good on-board the Dreamliner and is comparible to any good quality long haul carrier with TV's in seats etc. Landing into Barbados TUI had organised for buses for the cruise passengers to pick-us up from in front of the plane, so no need to go through immigration, which was a huge plus. Transfer took us straight to the ship where we checked-in. Check in was fairly quick to get on the ship. Bags arrived an hour or so later once we were on-board and were places outside our cabin door. The Marella Discovery was an impressive ship, my girlfriend and I were both first time cruisers so can't really compare to any other ships but the ship seemed to be kept in good condition, very clean and all new carpets throughout. We had a Balcony Deluxe cabin and found this roomy, balcony was good too and had a small table and 2 chairs, which we used quite a bit in the evenings. The ship had enough to do to keep us entertained when we were at sea, I especially liked the mini golf coarse. Pool area seemed to be bustling during the day but fairly quiet in the late afternoon and evenings, which was good. Gym was well equipped and it was great having a Trainer on-hand who held regular classes. Dining was good, we didn't eat any of the Specialty restaurants mainly due to not being able to secure a reservation however the 47 degrees (main restaurant with waiter service), Galleries 47 (Italian restaurant) and Glass House (Tapas) were good, food was tasty and moist. The Islands buffet had a large range of foods and was also good, we only ate here once at night and had a few breakfasts here, food was always hot when we went there. Bars were plentiful and the all-inclusive had a large range of branded drinks including Corona beer. We never waited longer than a few minutes to be served, which was better than most pubs in London! Staff were incredibly friendly and plentiful. They really did make the experience so much better. They also seemed to like their jobs and also took a personal interest in your day. Entertainment seemed ok, though were only went to the comedy and one other show. Activities organised by the ship were good and they hired local tourist companies which was a nice touch, most of our tours were small in size which was nice too. Most ports were just caught a local taxi to take us to a beach and bring us back to the ship and this was much cheaper and more private. Our week on-board the Discovery was fantastic and I would love to do another cruise in the future with Marella. It was very handy having everything all inclusive, as all the money we spent was on-shore, which was minimal. Marella being quite new the cruising world deserves praise as the whole week ran without any incidents or interruptions. We did have a late change of itinery where we missed out on Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands and went to Tobago and Antigua instead. Antigua ended up being our favourite port, so we were very happy with the change. The atmosphere on-board the ship was very positive and everyone seemed to be impressed with the ship and the cruise, a lot of people had been with Marella before, which was nice to know. Age group seemed to be a bit more mature, my girlfriend and I seemed to be the youngest on-board but this didn't bother us at all, again everyone was very friendly and happy. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
You hear good and bad. About Marella discovery,but I would say from what I found it’s mostly good ,from the moment you drop your baggage at the airport to collection at your return airport you ar3 well looked after....1 Dreamliner ... Read More
You hear good and bad. About Marella discovery,but I would say from what I found it’s mostly good ,from the moment you drop your baggage at the airport to collection at your return airport you ar3 well looked after....1 Dreamliner lovely quiet aircraft..2. Transfers to ship could not be easier...3 cabin clean and tidy every day ..4food enough choice for most people 5 entertainment could be better but enoug( choice to find something you like. ..6 .waiter/waitress service around the ship you could not fault ....ports of call were the best in the Caribbean,,...the things that could be improved on are(food)...letting you know what has garlic in as I had to ask most days ,they could put a label on them .sometimes the people behind the counters did not know ,another is including water in your cabin another is tonic water both these are extras (chargeable),the next is wi if should be free or at most a nominal charge Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Went on this 'new' ship for the new year into 2019. The most boring cruise I'd ever been on. There was no laughs and no entertainment. Reality bands on a big screen every night. Same thing every evening. We had excursions ... Read More
Went on this 'new' ship for the new year into 2019. The most boring cruise I'd ever been on. There was no laughs and no entertainment. Reality bands on a big screen every night. Same thing every evening. We had excursions booked for most early mornings so had to be in bed by 11pm and up early. So our routine was that after dinner each night we would head to the bars for a few drinks. But is was sooo boring. Nothing happening. Maybe a game of over priced bingo and then a reality band on the big screen. The same one that was playing the night before, and the night before that. Oh my god it was so boring on that ship. Nothing, just nothing went on. The Theater was dismal, I know them young people work very hard and they were pretty good but the shows were just rubbish. I couldn't work out what one or two of the shows was even about, seemed like a bit of a mishmash. Days at sea were unbearable. Just lay out on a sunbed bored to death and then in the afternoon someone who was unable to sing a note in tune would start playing acoustic guitar, they would come on and sing slow, slow, slow ballads.. It would make me feel like jumping overboard. The cruise was drinks all inclusive, so getting somebody to try and serve you at the bar was like waiting for a bus. There were no staff and on sea days if you were lucky enough to flag a waiter and order a drink, they would be 30 minutes coming back with it. On two occasions they didn't return at all and when I complained I was told it was probably because they had finished their shift or gone on their break. Kill me now, YES it really was that boring. We booked a cabin at the back of the ship. The cabin was terrible. The lampshade was hanging off, the walls were filthy, the mattresses had 'stains' on them, the shelves rattled about and the toilet was half way up the wall that I had to climb up onto it with my legs dangling in mid air whist I tried to do my business. I don't need to explain the difficulties in cleansing oneself! The shower was a disgrace. Was filthy dirty scum on the walls and mold all around the seals. Food was alright but nothing to get excited about. But better that some cruises I've been on. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I chose this cruise ship because of previous reviews, this was our first cruise and did not want the formality of dressing up all the time, and all tips included, and the all inclusive option was perfect for us. The crew are very relaxed ... Read More
I chose this cruise ship because of previous reviews, this was our first cruise and did not want the formality of dressing up all the time, and all tips included, and the all inclusive option was perfect for us. The crew are very relaxed and friendly, nothing is too much trouble, they work extremely hard. The restaurant are fantastic there is food for everyone, spoilt for choice. I would chose Marella cruises again, if I was to change anything I would book a outside cabin, just personal preference as it was so dark. Overall the facilities and entertainment on board is fantastic something for every if you want to stay on the ship when docked or explore the amazing island, the destination team are very knowledgeable, I would definitely recommend swimming with sting rays in Antigua amazing, the wardens are extremely helpful and put you at ease. Definitely recommend Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Review Marella Discovery 2 Cuban Fusion 22 January 2018 This was our forth Thomson (Dream*3) Marella cruise, our least favourite but still a good cruise. Rated a 4 instead of five is related to entertainment. About 1800 passengers ... Read More
Review Marella Discovery 2 Cuban Fusion 22 January 2018 This was our forth Thomson (Dream*3) Marella cruise, our least favourite but still a good cruise. Rated a 4 instead of five is related to entertainment. About 1800 passengers mostly from the UK, 100 from Canada. Different flavour from US origin ships, we enjoy it and find the itineraries somewhat different. We booked and flew with Sunwing from Toronto on a 737 which was a bit cramped but adequate for a 4 hour flight. Be sure to take a pen to fill in the Jamaican immigrations forms. The transfer from the airport to the ship and the boarding process was very well organized, ditto for the return. This cruise was “all inclusive”. We being 100% and 95% non drinkers, were a bit nervous but needlessly. Never noticed any problems, no lineups for drinks etc. We were not the only non drinkers on board. The ship is quite nice, all crew, waiters, etc excellent. They all obviously make efforts to keep the ship clean and enjoyable for your stay. There was some sickness aboard, don’t know how this can be avoided, once you have payed your fare most will be going, coughing or not. Our suggestion is to always use the hand sanitizers and wash your hands more frequently than usual. Shame on the gent that was finger feeding himself on the cheese counter, should have slapped his hand. There were two main formal eating areas with similar names. 47 on deck 4 has a traditional menu (fish, meat, chicken etc), Gallery 47 on deck 5 is Italian themed with an alternating A & B menu. Both were excellent, we tended to look over the menus mid afternoon to make a choice. We had breakfast and lunch in ISLANDS on deck 9 which is buffet style, lots of choice. We enjoy sharing a table for the evening meal, which we did every night, thanks folks. There are plenty of tables for two or four therefore sharing is not quite as easy on this ship but still possible, you have to ask to share. Entertainment in the Broadway Show Lounge was not as good as we have seen on other Thomson cruises, not spectacular and lacked modern recognizable music. It is the content, we have seen quite a few of the entertainment staff before and know that they are capable. On our previous Thomson/TUI cruises entertainment was spectacular, we rated it the best of any cruise. Entertainment on this cruise was a bit of a let down and the reason for a 4 star instead of 5. Very pleased that Braxi Music (Brandy and Max) plus Daniella were onboard. Their powerful performances were very enjoyable. The comedian Dave Kristian entertained us well for two shows. The piano vocalist (Guy Stoker) in “Live Room” was quite good and later he performed as “Elton Guy”. In our opinion the “Elton Guy” show should have been moved to ‘Venue” which could have accommodated the overflow crowd. The cruise featured an on board Bubbleologist (Graham Maxwell). It was a quirky, interesting show, certainly one of the most unusual that we have seen. Did not do any ship excursions as we did the same cruise two years ago. Only tendered in the Caymen Islands. In all the ports we just got off the ship and walked around. We find Havana very interesting both culturally and architecturally, great photo opportunities. In Havana we rented an old car (52 Chev) for a tour. Felt quite safe walking around, had a coffee bought some churritos. Churritos, are local delicacy, made on the street, try um. The ship literally docks right beside the sidewalk in Old Havana. We did consider the ship based bike tour of Havana but declined as the weather forecast was not good and apparently the tours go regardless of the weather. The ship is quite nice and spacious, never had much of a problem with seating lineups etc. If you need a deck lounge in the perfect sunny spot you need to stake your claim early. We were always able to find a lounge chair in the shade on at sea days. The Broadway Show Lounge can fill up, most shows are on twice, just pick your time and go early. We had an inside cabin (6089) which was quite nice and suited our needs. Clean and kept clean. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. From checking in with no ques ( Manchester ) to having our luggage outside our door within 1 hour of getting to the room everything was easy sailing. As it was a special occasion we chose to ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. From checking in with no ques ( Manchester ) to having our luggage outside our door within 1 hour of getting to the room everything was easy sailing. As it was a special occasion we chose to upgrade to a junior cabin suite on the 8th floor. Wonderful views each morning at on the balcony as we docked. The crew were fantastic both our cabin steward Nonet, to the croupiers in the casino. There where 4 of us 2 couples, most mornings we ate in the waiter restaurant at table 23 and in the evening the same but at table 105. The food was excellent and nothing was to much trouble, we where well looked after by Dejan and Rubia. From there it was to the Broadway show, most where excellent to watch, then to the Casino. The blackjack table where we met a lot of friends during the cruise. A big hello to Sean and Jorge you kept us amused. I used the wi-fi with out any problems during days at sea. We enjoyed it that much we have booked to join on the Asia cruise next April. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Marella Celebration Caribbean Cruise Decided on a cruise and stay with friends starting with the 1 Caribbean Gems cruise on the 17 th January from La Romana in the Dominican Republic followed by a 1 week stay at the Riu Macao in ... Read More
Marella Celebration Caribbean Cruise Decided on a cruise and stay with friends starting with the 1 Caribbean Gems cruise on the 17 th January from La Romana in the Dominican Republic followed by a 1 week stay at the Riu Macao in Bavaro. Flights on the Dreamliner once again could not be faulted with ample food, drinks and interactive entertainment on the monitor. Transfer to the Ship was extremely quick as all cruise passengers bypassed the arrivals hall and were transferred to the waiting coaches ( not even a passport check ) Were we actually in the Dominican !! Transfer time to the ship was only 20 minutes or so and the checking in process only took a matter of 20 minutes followed by welcome photos !! When you have been on the go since 5.00am in the morning do you really want photos before you get on the ship!! Our cases arrived within minutes of being shown to our cabins. We had opted for an upgrade to a level 7 Deluxe cabin with a large double bed, settee, bath/ shower and large windows and totally unobstructed views. We knew that our cabin had an interconnecting door to the adjacent cabin ( not our friends ) but had taken a roll of “ Gaffer Tape” as suggested on a trip advisor should noise be heard from the adjacent cabin, to tape up the door edge. As it was it happened it was easier to push folded newspaper into the gap - we didn’t hear anything from our neighbours the whole week. That evening for ease we dined in the Lido self service Restaurant and the choice of food was reasonable and overall of good quality. We also chose to dine there at lunch time and breakfast time with the breakfasts being exceptional. We dined in the Mistral Restaurant on an evening and this was a much better dining experience with a varied menu and exceptional service, also they have an open meal time arrangement where you just turn up at whatever time you want. We had decided not to go for the all inclusive drinks package as we were going to be fully all inclusive for our 2nd week at the Riu Macaoa Hotel and decided to “ take it easy “ on the ship! This we felt to be the right decision when we noticed that over 50% of drinks were subject to a supplement if on “ All Inclusive “ Typical Bar prices along with the supplements if on “ All Inclusive “ are Jonnie Walker Red £4.20 No Supplement Dewers White Label £4.30 All Inclusive £2.50 Supplement Zombie Cocktail £4.90 No Supplement Moscow Mule £4.90 All Inclusive £2.50 Supplement John Smiths Pint £3.95 No Supplement John Smiths 500mm Can £4.00 - All Inclusive Supplement £3.30 !!!!!! It should be noted that some water, coffees and soft drinks were also subject to a supplement. The evening entertainment in the main Broadway show lounge was of an extremely high standard. They advertise the shows as “West End Productions“ and they were, with all the animation crew giving 100%, the quality of their singing voices being exceptional. The entertainment in the various bars etc was equally good. As far as trips were concerned we did our own thing and used taxis which worked out at least half the price of the organised trips and visited exactly the same destinations. Worth a mention was George on St Lucia ( email georgietx479@gmail.com ) He was near the other terminal to where we docked ( past the glass pyramid building ) Also Glen Roy on Antigua ( email glenmon8@hotmail.com ) who gave us an incredible tour over to Nelsons Dockyard and surrounding areas, and was more interested in showing us the sights rather than watching the clock. He was quite a way up the main pedestrian street when you get of the ship. I can fully recommend them both and would suggest you email them first and organise a trip as you will not be disappointed with either of them - It will also save you “ running the gauntlet “ of 100s of taxi drivers and agents !! St Maarten was a beach day as it was only a 20 minute walk to glorious white sands and the warm Caribbean sea. As we were the only ship in that day we were able to secure some sun loungers and parasols for the day - if more than one ship is in I would suggest you take your towels just in case. Another ship, or should I say Yacht did turn up, this was the Eclipse belonging to Roman Abromovich with estimated costs following refits and addition of a submarine etc at 1.2 Billion Dollars - I don’t think their were any sun beds left for him though !! A word of caution on Guadeloupe - due to large Costa ship being in port at the same time their were very few taxis about, as such we ended up with a particularly bad taxi /driver / experience. Do not use a white 8/10 seater Reg BG424-EE, COQUASHANE Also note that on Guadeloupe they only accept the Euro. Overall an excellent Cruise with great ports of call and we would go on this smaller ship cruise again. I have posted a separate report on our stay at the Riu Macao Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was a great cruise, my first one! I am used to arranging holidays myself so to be honest i thought i would be bored but i was so wrong! There was plenty to do. First of all for what i paid for both of us, i was astounded at ... Read More
This was a great cruise, my first one! I am used to arranging holidays myself so to be honest i thought i would be bored but i was so wrong! There was plenty to do. First of all for what i paid for both of us, i was astounded at what i got for the price, i was even trying to work out how they made any money out of that once flights where taken off etc. The booking process was simple, the flight was clean, comfortable, well provided for and the process of getting to the ship was easy. Yes there are a lot of older generation people on the ship, i have no idea how people can moan about this in the reviews lol!, who really cares! everyone knows that demographically your retired and well off older people are going to be a likely target market for the cruise, it didn't bother me at all, why would it lol. I didn't spend the whole trip sat next to old people taking out their false teeth in front of me, they make it sound horrific lol. The ship is old. That is okay. Some people are moaning about this, believe it or not people are quite capable of doing their own research before hand, i googled the ship before hand, i could see it was an older ship, ships can be old, they are allowed to be old!, how can people moan that a ship is old! yes it is!, if they don't like it, don't go on that particular ship! what are the agents supposed to do? give it an age warning just in-case? people need to get a grip. It was an older ship yes, did the slight creaks bother me? no it didn't, absolutely fine. The entertainment was fab, a great variety, some people are moaning about this too, if i wasn't in the mood for a pop quiz i could simply walk away from it and sit at another pool or part of the ship, people do have free choice and cannot expect to have every aspect provided to their needs ALL the time, it drives me batty. I didn't expect to like much entertainment on board because i don't usually see shows etc, but i was pleasantly surprised and a great comedian too! The food was great, yes the all you can eat area might not have been fine dining but it was fine for me, and to be honest it was exceptional value for money, there was lots of choice, for what i paid for the cruise i had lower expectations, but there was nothing low about the quality of the food. The ports where great too, yes the British virgin islands had been damaged by the hurricane, i expected this, there had just been a hurricane, even then i had choices, go on one of the tours to get me away from the lesser damaged areas, or stay on the ship, i cannot moan at company for taking us their, they are one of the only ships that are still docking at tortola and giving well needed custom to an island that really needs our help. I could either 'moan that we shouldn't have gone there because aesthetically it didn't meet my needs' or go 'sod it, who cares, we are helping someone, if i am privileged enough to even go on a cruise, then some broken buildings and bent palm trees are not going to trouble me', and i made sure i give the local shops there my money too. We visited lots of beautiful islands. It was amazing and i swear every single member of staff greeted us and said hi, it was lovely. We had to see an on-ship doctor at one point, that was great too, yes i paid for the doctor, did i expect to get it free? no of course i didn't! i didn't mind paying either! someone was moaning earlier that the on ship doctor wasn't free, jesus christ! Sure there might be some luxury high end cruises that wrap the cost of this up in their ticket prices but it certainly wasn't going to be in a marella cruise ticket,it's a cruise not the ritz lol, of course its extra! doctors have jobs, incomes, families, he's probably contracted out by the company as well, hiring a doctor is not cheap!, everything needs looking after, it's so mean of people to say its a money grabbing exercise from the ship, well yes it is grabbing money, to pay the blimming doctors wages and keep it a high standard! thats how business works. I loved my cruise but some people want everything given to them and do not appreciate things. It was lovely!!!!! Our room cleaner was really great too! saying hi every single day! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was our third cruise with Thompson’s and compared to the first two the food was poor. In the Islands restaurant it looked so unappetising, and was bland. They are needing more staff, tables took ages to clear, not the staffs fault ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Thompson’s and compared to the first two the food was poor. In the Islands restaurant it looked so unappetising, and was bland. They are needing more staff, tables took ages to clear, not the staffs fault as they work so hard. Food in 47 was often Luke warm and one night in the Italian part it took 1 hour 20 minutes and we were still to have our desert. We paid in the Surf and Turf, the steak was nice but rest of menu was pretty average, the Asian restaurant where we tried the 2nd week gave you a large bowl of curry with runny sauce a small amount of rice and one small slice of Nan, we had to ask for more. In the evening the only place you can eat after 9.30 is a small area called the glass house, it has a limited choice...the show doesn’t finish till after that so was busy. The entertainment was average, the show team were all so young, maybe needing a bit of experience with older staff, around the ship there could be more going on, they had a magician which was excellent but he was on for an hour a day, he could have been going about the ship more, there was someone teaching Spanish but you saw her sunbathing, she was browner than the guests! There was a huge area the Antrim bar area that had little in it. The B52s were a great band. The price of treatments were ridiculous, far too much, over £100 for a massage. So many things had extra costs...a bridge tour £9.95, a drinks package for premium spirits, WiFi which was a joke it hardly worked excursions double the price of what you would pay on shore, the cost of buying photographs was stupid money..I think TUi are forgetting the majority of folk are paying nearly £2000 to come onboard The staff work so hard but around the restaurants that they needed more. They only get a few hours off daily, never a whole day in the months they are there. The higher posts seem to get a day off. The staff are so friendly and nice, I wonder if they ever get 5he tips we pay for The ship is spotlessly clean. If I’m honest I was disappointed and am going to look at other companies for our next cruise Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Paradise Islands cruise - St Marteen and Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, St Kitts, Antiqua, St Vincent and Barbados. The ship was amazing. It still has the smell of fresh carpets. It is immaculately clean. Hand sanitisers all ... Read More
Paradise Islands cruise - St Marteen and Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, St Kitts, Antiqua, St Vincent and Barbados. The ship was amazing. It still has the smell of fresh carpets. It is immaculately clean. Hand sanitisers all over too. We were surprised at the number of staff on-board - there is someone to tend to your every need. Getting off the ship and finding something to do is really easy, there are local buses in all of the ports and the islands are easy to see with some imagination - you do not need to take the ships excursions if you do not want to. Try getting hold of the lonely planet for the Caribbean if you want to do more than slob around on deck boozing or explore the port towns. The ship looks like a ship, not a floating hotel. It has a class and elegance that the enormous ships we were parked next to at some ports simply lack. Lovely atmosphere on board! Lovely outdoor decks. So All Inclusive - well we were expecting really basic British buffet boring food - what a surprise though. The two full service sit down restaurants were amazing on reflection. The choice and menus changed, the staff were amazing and the menus really different. Just like a modern bistros really. We were delighted with the quality too. There were a couple of slightly strange dishes, but on the whole we enjoyed everything - we are not fussy and love cooking and eating out. And the waiters were brilliant with fast, keen, attentive service. People forget that these guys are mass catering, and they likely pick up produce once a week in Barbados - so we didn't expect too much, but honestly it was great. The wine (especially the Merlot and Pinot) were perfect. Breakfast specials better than the full English! All inc drinks - branded spirits, lovely cocktails, Corona beer, cava and prosecco - we really did not feel the need to upgrade to the premium package, but if you want to have something nicer its a small supplement of £2.50. Perfect. Bottled water was £1.40 (sparking or still) but there were water stations around the ship to fill up bottles. Better for the environment. Perfect for us, and we bought water locally in supermarkets on the shore too to bring back on board. St Marteen and Tortola in the British Virgin Islands - these are fab islands. You can see through the devastation of Hurricane Irma, you can chat to the locals about their experiences and sympathise with their losses. The Island folk loved having us there and saw that Marella were ethical and responsible in coming back soon. Some folk on board really need to understand that our being there mattered. Biggest problem for us - Some of the other Brits. They love to moan, groan and winge. The cruise was not expensive compared to others, it was most certainly all inc and we were looked after from the moment we checked in at Manchester airport - mollycoddled all the way and home again- you did not have to use your brain once on-board (apart from the quiz!). The level of organisation is remarkable. For example, our bags were checked in at Manchester, and when we landed we boarded a coach straight to the ship from the apron. We did not even clear passport control or immigration. Our bags were by our cabins an hour or so later! Dreamliner flights both ways. Full service long haul airline, bang on time. Perfect. Staff on the boat - Ill say it again, brilliant. Entertainment - varied. if you are bored read a book or chat to someone! We loved the bar on Deck 11 in the eve - so chic! We had a lovely time! Thank you to everyone on board. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Well, we have just recovered and accepted the fact we are back from two fantastic weeks in the Caribbean, aboard the Discovery. So, here is my review. Let me say at the outset that there will be a few gripes, but more whoopees! But I ... Read More
Well, we have just recovered and accepted the fact we are back from two fantastic weeks in the Caribbean, aboard the Discovery. So, here is my review. Let me say at the outset that there will be a few gripes, but more whoopees! But I have decided to voice them, mainly for the benefit of those who have cruised Thomson/Tui before as there were a few contrasts we observed. Even so, whether you are new to cruising, the Marella Discovery or old timers to either or both, you will have a blast and I wish we were going back soon. Having said that, we have booked Marella Explorer for September, so you will know that we are still fans of the company. After a pretty grim year for us, we decided to bring forward our plans to return to the Caribbean. We were last there five years ago on Thomson Dream. We pushed the boat out, and went premium on the Dreamliner. Wow, what can I say! It was fantastic; comfortable, relaxing and the journey was really delightful. Our bones are getting old now and having that extra space made such a difference. Embarkation was smooth, but I did sweat and fret on the coach transfer. Having read on the terms and conditions and various threads that travel irons were allowed, I had packed my Mother’s old faithful. It is donkey’s years old and just about man enough to iron out the creases in my linen trousers. As we boarded the transfer coach from the airport, I noticed bold lettering in the welcome letter, saying that during security checks any suitcases which contained a travel iron would be kept at reception where the owner would be asked to remove it. The checks must be random, because my case arrived intact with the iron still tucked amongst my clothes. The first difference we noticed was on arrival in our cabin. We had a couple of minor issues which we knew could be sorted by the cabin steward. He was nowhere to be seen, which is unusual. They are always there to meet you and if needed, help you familiarise yourself with the cabin. He eventually appeared a few hours later, when we discovered him hauling cases. Our lovely cabin stewards are now also used as baggage handlers on embarkation days. We soon settled into cruising life. Food is excellent on this ship during the evenings. We could not fault any dinner we had. We ate in 47, Gallery 47, Kora La, Surf ’n’ Turf and Glasshouse. The only let down is the late night ‘buffet’. It is held in the glasshouse area, as the Islands buffet is closed. Sorry folks, but nothing like you will have been used to. It is served by one person who does not honestly have much to serve. Apparently, it is soon to be called ‘late night snacks’. The biggest shame, is that on the other ships (and we have been on all the other Thomson’s) it was great to go to the buffet restaurants and meet the show and entertainment team who would also eat there late at night. They rarely bother here. We did something really daft. We upgraded to the premium drinks package. It really is not necessary, but I drink loads of cola and fanta during the day and I do like a nice coffee and fresh orange juice. We are not fans of cups of post mix drinks that are stuffed with ice. So, we wanted canned drinks, a good gin and vodka and good coffee, so thought that at £7 per day each it would be worth it. To be fair, we did get our money’s worth but then found that the good coffee was not served until the coffee shop opened at 10 a.m. and the freshly squeezed orange juice was also not available until 10 a.m. I wanted both at breakfast! Never mind, I thought I could then have the orange juice at lunchtime in Islands. No. They stop serving it at 11.30am! Also, what really exasperated me, was they have removed drinks waiters from Islands buffet. So, because I don’t drink alcohol during the day, I had to remember to queue at one of the bars to get a soft drink before we went to the restaurant. My husband could help himself to beer or wine. The Hotel Manager, who give him credit is always visible around the ship, was soon collared by me. He said they do not have the accommodation for the amount of crew they need, so he had to pull the drinks service in the buffet to give more service at the bars. I suggested to him, that at the very least they could keep the juice machine from breakfast going into lunchtime. Entertainment was as always excellent. The show team were brilliant and the Broadway Show Lounge is the best we have experienced on any ship. There really is no bad seat and you know you do not have to worry that you won’t get a seat if you are not there extra early. The musicians (Pianist and Saxophonist) were good, but we were a little disappointed with the party and resident bands. We have definitely seen better on the other ships. Guest acts were outstanding. Quizzes etc. were very much in keeping with the usual formulas. We did feel for the first time that with the exception of the show lounge, the evening entertainment became a little ‘samey’. We had a de-luxe balcony cabin which we made full use of. Morning coffee pulling into port and vodka pulling out. Bliss! Plenty of storage space and comfy beds. Overall, we had a fantastic holiday and I hope all of you heading out there have an equally great time on this lovely ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Having done several cruises with various companies including TUI Celebration (a great little ship full of fun and with great service), last April we booked with friends to spend Christmas on the Discovery. Back in October we did a late ... Read More
Having done several cruises with various companies including TUI Celebration (a great little ship full of fun and with great service), last April we booked with friends to spend Christmas on the Discovery. Back in October we did a late booking on the same ship, the last Med cruise before it headed off to the Caribbean. Expectations for the Christmas cruise were high and we just hoped that there wouldn't be as many negatives as there had been on the October cruise. How wrong we were. This time we had a deluxe balcony cabin. I have had standard cabins in the past that have been more deluxe than this one. The towels and bed linen were thin and had seen better days. On the surface the cabin was kept quite clean but I did find an old pair of men's pants with a hole in the crotch stuffed in the corner of the wardrobe. Yuk!!! Food on board was pretty good with plenty of choice. Didn't try Kora La or Surf & Turf after friends who had been said it wasn't worth the extra. The Island Grill (or canteen as I called it) was a free for all dining experience with people in a feeding frenzy trying to find somewhere to sit and eat. In October there was a wine waiter service which has now been replaced by a help yourself bar. The Asian waiters were as ever a smiling, charming bunch. Not so the sour faced Eastern European restaurant and bar staff who generally appeared to have a lack of training and courtesy. Unlike other cruise companies TUI did not change the itinerary post hurricane Irma. The Discovery was the only one to call into St Martin and Tortola even though both islands had been destroyed and there was nothing to see but devastation. When the excursions desk explained that we were calling there because the islands needed tourism and our money I told him that I felt we had paid quite a lot of money for a scenic cruise not a charitable one. The variety of excursions on offer were excellent and not that pricey compared to other cruise companies. The ones we did were brilliant and were probably the highlight of the holiday or maybe it was just a case of getting away from the damned ship. The entertainment was poor. The show team was worked to death doing 6 shows twice nightly per week most of which we had seen on the previous cruise. Apart from a comedian there were no other guest artists during our 2 weeks apart from a magician/juggler who was more like a kids entertainer. The musicians on board were awful and totally inappropriate for the type of cruise we were on. The 'Party Band' Eclipse were excellent but songs by Adele, Amy Winehouse etc.are not the sort of stuff to make you want to get up and dance. Where was the West Indian/Caribbean band that is standard on Caribbean cruises and why weren't the staff dressed in Caribbean shirts? Why were there no evenings of entertainment on deck on those warm balmy nights? The only entertainment on deck in the evenings were the kids films at 9 pm. This ship was totally lacking in atmosphere, we could have been in the North Pole for all the Caribbean atmosphere that there was on board. There was never enough seating in the bars (Live Lounge, Atrium and Bar 11) and yet the Venue with a bar, stage, large dance floor and plenty of seating was hardly ever utilised. As was the case in October, many passengers totally disregarded the rules and smoked/vaped all around the ship and as usual security and uniformed staff were noticeable by their absence. I have come to the conclusion that the all inclusive drinks package is there to the detriment of other services. Cheap cabins, cheap untrained staff, poor entertainment, need I go on. The icing on the cake was our last evening in Bar 11. It was like a scene out of Rab C Nessbitt with an older woman and her husband so drunk they could hardly sit up let alone stand. We had booked another cruise on the Discovery 2 and were due to depart in March but as it is on an identical ship with the same shows/entertainment and service needless to say we have cancelled. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I chose this cruise because of by passing the USA...The port of Montego Bay worked for us..me and wife as we live in Toronto.Very smooth process to get on ship...very impreseed with the overall transfer on and off(back to airport) ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of by passing the USA...The port of Montego Bay worked for us..me and wife as we live in Toronto.Very smooth process to get on ship...very impreseed with the overall transfer on and off(back to airport) organised by TUI...excellent job. Cayman tender was disaster...somehow cruise lines cant seem to get it right when there is a tender...I cannot fathom cattle herding people into a waiting area...what a waste of time..there is afar superior and more efficient way if they really want to improve. The bands were awful...this is the West Indies...you need to be upbeat and jumping and waving..the bands were performing as if they were at a WAKE...7 nights of going to a WAKE..a bit too much for me. The theater group and their performance were excellent...now thats lively. I think the cruise director Ian(or whatever his name is) is not up to the job..very poor and boring individual...no imagination..definitely needs replacing....I cannot foresee repeat passengers. The passengers were very nice to talk to....but the majority of English passengers(which is about 99 percent)..are queue jumpers and could not care less ...I was shocked at this behaviour..as coming from Canada we behave civilly...but as I said they are great to talk to..its just this pushing thing...oh well... They need a captain that speaks proper English...his accent is awful..maybe cockney or whatever..I have yet to understand any public announcement from him.. Thats it..... TUI you have anice cruise and ship,but your personnel needs lots of work and need to improve very fast. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Holiday Review Ship: Discovery Dates: 10th December - 24th December 2017 Travelling: 2 Couples, 1st Couple Ages - 36 & 38 2nd Couple Ages 70 (Partially Sighted) & 74 (mobility issues). All first time Cruisers, but well ... Read More
Holiday Review Ship: Discovery Dates: 10th December - 24th December 2017 Travelling: 2 Couples, 1st Couple Ages - 36 & 38 2nd Couple Ages 70 (Partially Sighted) & 74 (mobility issues). All first time Cruisers, but well practiced normally long-haul globe trotters. 1st Couple: Premium flights & Junior Suite 2nd Couple: Extra Legroom seats & Inside cabin deck 8 Flights from Gatwick for both couples with assistance booked in advance for 2nd Couple & pre-booked lounge access. At Gatwick:- Parking booked with ACE Parking meet & greet, excellent service very easy drop-off at the short stay carpark north terminal & incredibly fast pick-up at 6am on Christmas Day from the short stay car park north terminal. Car was exactly the same as when we dropped it off & service from both the Driver & call centre/office was efficient & professional. Total Cost £68.85 for 15 days parking. Airport Lounge: No. 1 Gatwick, access included with Premium flights for Couple 1, Couple 2 access pre-bought @ £55 for 2 pax. Breakfast was simple but just what we needed bacon rolls & an omelette with self-service hot drinks, fruit, pastries & yogurt. Also available were free news papers & Wifi. Seating was plentiful & comfortable. Reception staff were smilie & very helpful even at 6am where as the waitress at the bar was miserable and looked like she was forced into work that day at gun point. Outgoing Flight: Premium seats were well worth the money as always & I personally would not fly with TUI long haul any other way, they recline well whilst giving the people in seats behind you space to move. Couple 2 were very happy with the extra leg-room seats but next time will prefer to go Premium for the extra seat pitch as well as leg room. Cabins: Junior Suite 8574:- We are so glad we paid extra for a Junior suite, we’ll worth paying for. We Pros:- The cabin was spacious, very clean and kept very well by our cabin steward & his assistant. They were always smiling, polite & professional. They replenished the Clarins toiletries when needed & kept us well stocked with water. They also made sure we used the best value laundry service when we filled in the wrong form. Mattress was a little on the firm side but we slept really well every night. We had issues with the Aircon unit not turning on properly when we 1st checked in, however it was sorted the same day and worked really well for the rest of our stay. Bathroom was spacious with a shower & bath. Loads of storage space. Sockets were US & European with the TV having a USB Port that was very easy to connect a games console up to. Cons:- We were under the Gym weight room and at 8am most days people would be in the gym dropping weights onto the floor & waking us up with the noise this would continue on & off throughout the morning, day & evening during gym opening times. It was tolerable for us as we’ve lived in flats in London for most of our lives so very used to continuous noise others however may find the noise very off putting. I would also steer clear of Cabin 8578 as this cabin is under where the treadmills were in the gym & the noise here was so much worse & much harder to ignore. Travel Tip:- Take the following, a Door Hanging Organiser https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01IQJLAEG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 , a Europe &/or US Travel Adaptor extension cord https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005DRD87W/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and a games console I recommend an Nintendo SNES Classic Mini console as the games are preloaded onto the console, it's really small & light, fits perfectly in the Hand Luggage. Inside Cabin 8549:- Before the cruise my parents said that paying extra for a balcony or window would be a complete waste of money as they didn’t intend on spending any time in their room. Pros:- Cabin Stewards were absolutely brilliant with my parents. When my Dad took seriously ill on board while my husband & I were off ship they really helped my Mum out by trying to find us on ship & generally looked out for them and always made sure they wanted for nothing in their room. Cons:- The room was really small, much smaller then we were expecting, they wished they had booked a Junior Suite too as they struggled to get out of bed as there was no room between the bed & either wall. Travel Tip:- If you have pre-exsisting health issues getting adequate Travel insurance is paramount. If my parents hadn’t they would of had a huge medical bill from the on-board medical centre. Which by the way was top-notch, they stopped my Dad slipping into a diabetic coma & he was able to enjoy the rest of his holiday after only 1 days bed rest. The medical staff are 1st rate. Ship:- The ship was lovely, not 5 star hotel quality but really great value for money. It was a hotel I’d say it was an excellent 3 star. The staff were brilliant, it was clean & easy to get round. I suffer with travel sickness regularly and I was never seasick. My parents loved all the bars and preferred dining in Islands (The 9th Deck buffet restaurant) over all the other restaurants. The food was always hot, plentiful and great choice our only negative was the lack of “local” food. It would of been great to have a small selection of food from the Island we’d stopped at that day. Gallery 47, Food was alright we only ate there once as choice was quite limited, we only had to wait 5 mins for a table. 47, Again the food was nice breakfast was the same as what was normally available in Islands but with table service. We only waited 10mins for a table. We only ate here once. Kora La, extra charge restaurant. The food here was awful, I would avoid as it’s a complete waste of time. Surf & Turf, extra charge restaurant. Steaks were beautifully done well worth the extra charge. Spa Services:- Not a lot of choice of facial treatments if you don’t need anti ageing treatments. massages were excellent, Manicure & pedicure’s both Shellac & normal were brilliant and well done. Hairdresser’s were clueless if you have anything other then European or Asian hair. I’m mixed race so my hair is in-between European & African, its also quite long. I went in for just a wash & blow-dry. The hairdresser took about 2 hours to do this and my experience was awful, I was hit in the head with the blow-dryer, my scalp was repeatedly burnt, my hair was yanked about then ripped out of velcro rollers every after I said my hair was too fine for them. My head stung for days. So if you don’t have European or Asian hair I would avoid the hairdressers as they are not honest enough to say they can’t do all hair types. Excursions:- For me the standout was the horse riding in Antigua for £60, My husband really enjoyed the Sun & Rum tour in Grenada for £36. My parents really enjoyed the Train tour in St. Lucia. Our overall favourite Island was Grenada but I felt most at home in Guadeloupe. We had a fabulous time and we are all now converts to cruising, so glad we took the plunge after avoiding it for years. Now looking at 2019 Asian Itineraries. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
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