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45 Marella Cruises Eastern Caribbean Cruise Reviews

We needed to go to Barbados and this cruise came up - 7 day cruise - 7 day hotel stay - at a good price. Tui's organisation was fantastic. From check in at Gatwick to disembarking - all superbly organised. We had an inside ... Read More
We needed to go to Barbados and this cruise came up - 7 day cruise - 7 day hotel stay - at a good price. Tui's organisation was fantastic. From check in at Gatwick to disembarking - all superbly organised. We had an inside cabin which was in fact bigger than the one we had on the QM2! Yes there is a bit of a rumble when the engines are going but it actually rocked us to sleep! Deck 2 midships was a good location as not right over the engines. Captain was awesome - so approachable and freely gave his knowledge of the ship and our destinations. Staff very positive. Food average. Seemed to be a budget per course?? Can anyone tell me why ships run out of prunes?? They come in tins for god sake!! Sorry but found the entertainment a bit basic but on a 7 day cruise not really an issue. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My partner and I chose this cruise/ship to celebrate my 65th birthday. Lovely, clean ship and could not fault the crew. Our outside cabin on Deck 5 was of ample size for the two of us and was kept clean twice daily with towels ... Read More
My partner and I chose this cruise/ship to celebrate my 65th birthday. Lovely, clean ship and could not fault the crew. Our outside cabin on Deck 5 was of ample size for the two of us and was kept clean twice daily with towels changed etc. We ate in the Market Place buffet restaurant on our first evening which, as with other Marella cruise ships, had very average fare. Our intention was to eat in the main dining room, Latitude 53, for the rest of our cruise. Oh dear. What a letdown. The service was appalling both nights we went and didn't go back. Therefore, we were limited for choice. As for the Broadway show lounge, we found the entertainment rather poor compared to other cruises we have been on. And the two guest acts - "comedians" - were woefullly dire. But the sun shone (mainly) and we didn't allow the downsides to mar our holiday. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Background: We usually go with all-inclusive holidays, mostly with TUI First Choice. Lately we have thought that we spend too much time on the resorts and miss out on seeing much of where we are - hence the decision to go with a ... Read More
Background: We usually go with all-inclusive holidays, mostly with TUI First Choice. Lately we have thought that we spend too much time on the resorts and miss out on seeing much of where we are - hence the decision to go with a cruise. We chose marella as we are used used to TUI, and know their standards and the all inclusive is important - we didn't want to get hit with unexpected costs. The itinerary and ship were the result of research - we liked the small number of sea days, and a mid-sized but newly (partly) refurbished ship seemed ideal. Arrival and first impression: First impressions were fantastic - dropping luggage at the airport to next see it onboard was great, as was the get off the plane and straight onto a bus. Our flight was late (and was last of all the flights) so we were rushed on board and straight to muster drill, it was all well organised despite this. Cabin: We chose 9107 based on reviews (and paid to choose - but as a deal with booking extra space seats) - we wanted a large balcony so that we could use it if the ship was very busy on sea days, and its central position was ideal for stability. Central location meant its never too far to go up to pool deck or Market Place, and same not far down to bars and restaurants. I was very happy with 9107 - everything worked, it has enough room and storage, and got 2 cases out of the way under the bed. Cabin steward Prasetyo was brilliant, always friendly, greeted everyone by name, and learnt our routines to make sure the cabin was always cleaned and tidied while we were out. Dining: Market place buffet was just what I would expect from an all-inclusive buffet. There was always plenty of choice and I was happy to see staff always cleaning, and checking food temperatures etc. They also really try hard with sanitisers everywhere and strongly encourage guests to use them. Latitude 53 was fine, we ate here on dress to impress night and it was busy but we were given a pager and just had a few drinks while waiting. Again the staff were very attentive although busy, and my wife's drinks just magically kept being replaced without asking. The Italian in Latitude was great also, which a good choice, and attentive service. Kora La was a nice change and the food and service was worth the upgrade. The same was true of surf and turf - it was a very nice relaxed dining experience, and well worth the extra. The steak was brilliant - though the beef onboard everywhere was excellent - the sirloin I had in the Italian was gorgeous. The only slight niggle is pre-dinner drinks in aperitif - everything in aperitif is cost extra if you are on the std drinks package - just a small niggle. Bars: All the bars were excellent - I only ever had to wait a bit in the lounge on dress to impress night when it was really,really busy. Just about everywhere a waiter appeared as soon as you sat down and had drinks quickly. Even on the pool deck the waiters were constantly circling with trolleys of booze. I stuck with the std drinks package as it covered 90% of what I wanted and was happy of pay for the occasional cocktail (mudslide) and other drinks - like in the coffee port. I ordered what I felt like, and the bit extra I had to pay was still well less that the £200 to upgrade - but you may feel differently - read the menu online as make your mind up! Entertainment: This was the least impressive bit of the cruise. The team work hard, but the main shows were a bit lacking - Vocalists and the many voices of LIss Jones were very poor. Though rockology was great - so they can do it! That said the other bands and singers in the bars were great for the most part - especially the duo who were often in the lounge. It certainly didn't spoil my holiday - just a minor niggle that could be improved. Service: Service onboard was fantastic everywhere, staff were always happy to help. All the staff I interacted with from embarking/disembarking, shore excursion team, waiters, cleaners etc were all great. Ports / excursions: The choice of ports was good, though I think the paradise islands itinerary was a bit weaker. We did a mix of TUI excursions and DIY. To be honest I would do less TUI ones next time, as all of the ports had lots to do, and only the Antigua Lobster Lunch and Aruba Sea and see were really worth the extra cost of the TUI - they were the two stand-out excursions. Overall: A fantastic holiday, and now my wife wants to always cruise in future - so that says it all really! (And probably with Marella again as they match what we want/expect) I'd certainly cruise on the explorer again or any of the bigger Marella ships... Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise for two things , first that it covered Christmas and New year, secondly it was going to Cuba. Flight from Gatwick to Montego Bay was good no problems , arrival was chaotic , wrong forms for immigration given out so ... Read More
We chose this cruise for two things , first that it covered Christmas and New year, secondly it was going to Cuba. Flight from Gatwick to Montego Bay was good no problems , arrival was chaotic , wrong forms for immigration given out so had to fill new ones while standing in a long line. Embarkation at port no problem. Cabin allocated was on deck 2 with a large window. Good size with a sofa lots of storage space, good size bathroom with a shower , just shower gel and soap in there. Lots of hangers in wardrobe and able to hold full length evening dresses so no creases. good size safe , though this one need ed you to use a credit card to open and close it which meant you had to keep card out at all times. Kettle and tea and coffee provided also carafe which meant you could fill this at water stations near lifts meaning that you did not have to buy water. Water is not included in the all inclusive product but is if you upgrade to premium at an extra 99 pounds per person per week. we did not do this as the normal package was adequate. Ate in main dining room for most breakfasts and dinner, food at night was a bit boring, steaks when offered were not good, best steak was on last night. short on vegetables Could do better. Gallery 47 (italian) was good but service hit and miss. Glass house tapas good , pizza good, service again hit and miss also a lot of vibration here. Buffet ok but hate looking for a table only had a couple of lunches here and 1 dinner. Snack shack good for quick breakfast and lunch. used Veranda on deck 9 most days as had comfortable sunbeams (adult only) nice and quiet. Noisy round pool . Indoor pool area good but a bit stuffy on a hot day. Entertainment was the best a different show every night with very good performers . Venue had a good variety of acts with 4 actor staff all good , Katie, Jenny,Josh and Adam kept us amused every night . Live bands every night in different places plus piano players, guitarists etc all good. Staff in bars excellent especially Boris and Dejen who looked after us on the Veranda deck Information desk staff were not the best could do with more training they did not know their product , learned more from other passengers. Destination desk handed out maps of ports which were useless had to wait to get off ship to find out more. Felt that they did not want us to know more so that we booked tours through the ship. Do not book and pay for internet as its not good and expensive for what you get. Most ports have a bar etc with wifi etc. We missed Havana completely as there was a storm and ship not allowed to dock . If we had managed to get into port Havana was under 4 feet of water and we may not have got out again. Costa Maya was excellent pool, bars , shops etc all at dock Dolphins Flamingos to watch for free. Guatemala was one of the best ports , we took a local river tour for 40 Dollars fantastic experience , good guide (Herman) Roatan , again problems so did not go into Mahogany bay instead went into old port took taxi to West bay , spent day at beach @ 20 dollars each to include beds , umbrellas and wifi good value. Belize , went to St Johns cathedral as had been before and wanted to revisit, also Governers house which was still not open to public, was not 12 years ago either. Cozumel just wandered the seafront Ochios Rios spent day at beach as had been before. Montego Beach shade on ship had been before. Over all do not think we will visit this side of the caribbean again. Would go on Discovery 2 again if price and Itinerary ok Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We choose this cruise as it was available at the right price and the timing suited our schedules, we were not disappointed with any aspect of the cruise, there can always be improvements, check in at the ship on day 1 could be better but ... Read More
We choose this cruise as it was available at the right price and the timing suited our schedules, we were not disappointed with any aspect of the cruise, there can always be improvements, check in at the ship on day 1 could be better but have had worse, cabin could have been a little more spacious, the all inclusive package offered a quite acceptable range of drinks, would be nice for bottled water to be included though, did not hear many people complaining throughout the cruise (there are always some) but having to pay for bottled water was mentioned. Good selection of places to eat with by and large good quality food, did not try any of the pay extra restaurants as was very happy with the others, the buffet tends to get a bit busy at lunchtime found it best to avoid at peak times. Could do with an earlier breakfast option as the first one opens at 7 am, 6 would be better to cater for early risers, could do with some improvements in the standard tea & Coffee making facilities Shore excursions are quite expensive and probably not worth the money, did find that the dress standards were lower than previous cruises with this company, not a move in the right direction in our opinion. Staff very good and helpful in all areas, based on our experience on this ship for the first time we will have no hesitation in returning to this ship, provided excellent value for money. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
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
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 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
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
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
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
Chose this cruise as we liked the itinerary and have been on Thomson cruises before. We also wanted to see how Marella Discovery compared with Thomson. The flight from Newcastle was delayed 2 hours and on board my husbands in flight ... Read More
Chose this cruise as we liked the itinerary and have been on Thomson cruises before. We also wanted to see how Marella Discovery compared with Thomson. The flight from Newcastle was delayed 2 hours and on board my husbands in flight screen didn't work so they moved us to the back of the plane which had more room. Other than that the flight was fine. Your luggage is taken at the UK airport then you don't see it till its outside your cabin. On arriving on the ship we were informed that our first port of call in Tobago was cancelled and we would have a day at sea as some passengers delayed from Birminham wouldn't arrive on board until the early hours of the morning. This did give us time to explore the ship and get our bearings. We do not spend much time in our cabins on cruises so chose an inside cabin, we were allocated cabin 7007. When we arrived it was made up as a double but as that meant one of us climbing over the bed to get in and out after two nights we asked our cabin steward to change it to twin bed set up and the cabin felt much roomier. Our steward Artemio was brilliant. The food on board was ok but at times could have been hotter and the service in 47 was extremely slow and the portions were small. One night it took us two hours 15 minutes to be served 3 courses so we missed the show that night. (have always had choice of 4 courses on previous cruises) After that night we reverted to islands for our evening meals. We visited the Italian restaurant once but were very disappointed with the food in there. The calzone was more like a Cornish pasty - tiny and very stodgy bread. The all inclusive drinks package was great with no need to upgrade to premium. We both like our G&T and you could have Gordon's, Beefeater or Tanqueray but ask for your brand or you get a cheap one. We drank mainly in the Live room (Vanessa is brilliant) and the Atrium and a few times in Bar 11 and all the staff were great. The entertainment team had been brought in off Discovery 2 and did a great job. Especially the Sebbie Mercury show and Daniellas Christmas concerts. We didn't take any tours from the ship knowing from previous experience and my own research on the internet that local tours were available and much cheaper. In many of the ports we got island tours which included a beach stop for between 20 and 30 US$. All in all a good cruise. Slight improvement could be made with the food and a few more waiters in 47 to speed up the service would help. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We had a super holiday on the Tui Discovery which we had selected based on the ability to directly fly to Barbados and the itinerary of the islands we visited over the 14 days. I was initially a bit worried that is a 20 year old Royal ... Read More
We had a super holiday on the Tui Discovery which we had selected based on the ability to directly fly to Barbados and the itinerary of the islands we visited over the 14 days. I was initially a bit worried that is a 20 year old Royal Caribbean ship that had been modernised however the ship was really nice, modern and well kept. In fact it was a slightly smaller ship than we have been on previously with other cruise companies which meant it was easier to get around and you didn't have to bother waiting for lifts etc. Another big plus from our perspective with this ship was that the drinks prices were very reasonable indeed (almost UK pub prices) which unlike with other cruise companies you didn't have to pay through the nose for your drinks. This meant we didn't have to go through the rigmarole of trying to smuggle bottles of wine like we have done on our past cruises!! We mainly ate in the 47 Degrees and Gallery 47 (the Italian) restaurant and the quality of the food was on the whole very good. There was however the occasional course for which the portion sizes were either a bit on the small size or not quite up to standard but this was in the minority. We also ate in the Hot Stone restaurant which was very good and one night we ate in Kara Le the Asian restaurant which was excellent. The service in all the restaurants was good with some excellent individuals but there were a few waiters who probably needed some extra training in my opinion. We had a balcony cabin which was really nice and our cabin steward Carlos was absolutely excellent. Although on most of the islands we did our own thing and used local taxis etc we did do a cycle tour of St Kitts, a hike to a waterfall in Grenada and also the farewell to Barbados tour on our last day with Thomson. I thought the cycle tour was a nice idea and we got to try out an e-bike which I must say are absolutely marvelous in providing you with some extra drive when cycling up hill! Finally, in terms of entertainment we went to a few of the Broadway which I must say we enjoyed. All in all I would certainly recommend Thomson and this ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
EXCELLENT: - The itinerary (12 islands in 14 days with just 1 day at sea) - The 32in seat pitch on the 787 Dreamliner was fine for the 8hour flight to Barbados - Seamless transfer of luggage from Gatwick bag drop straight to ... Read More
EXCELLENT: - The itinerary (12 islands in 14 days with just 1 day at sea) - The 32in seat pitch on the 787 Dreamliner was fine for the 8hour flight to Barbados - Seamless transfer of luggage from Gatwick bag drop straight to cabin - Slick organisation - Food quality (with a few exceptions) - Cabin space and storage - Shore excursions - All inclusive drinks and tips NOT SO GOOD: - No destination lectures - Lack of variation in food and few locally influenced dishes - Room water (£1.90 a bottle) not included in drinks package - No toiletries other than soap in cabin - Surf and Turf restaurant expensive, pretentious and difficult to book but food good - The account App did not work and still showed zero spend at the end of the cruise - No local guide books in Library - Shopping is mainly watches, jewellery and perfume but few general supplies - Loud music everywhere (hints of Club 18-30 forty years on) - Ship rules e.g restaurant dress code, towels on sunbeds, smoking areas not enforced - Finally DO NOT order lasagne in Gallery 47 Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Cruising was a first for my husband and I, we were on holiday to celebrate my parents birthdays and this was their choice. The travel itinerary was excellent and took in places such as Costa Rica, Panama and Cuba to name just a few of our ... Read More
Cruising was a first for my husband and I, we were on holiday to celebrate my parents birthdays and this was their choice. The travel itinerary was excellent and took in places such as Costa Rica, Panama and Cuba to name just a few of our destinations. We did many of the official tours which were good, especially The Panama City Tour and The Havana Highlights ones, these were very informative, the guides English was excellent and you really took in the history, sights and atmosphere, we visited a rescue centre in Costa Rica which was my personal favourite. The entertainment on the ship was first class with the nightly theatre shows very professional even when the boat was a little bumpy. What really made the cruise for us was the staff. All the staff were friendly, eager to please and Natasha in the Orion Restaurant and Eugene our wine waiter were superb. Nothing was too much trouble, from fetching an extra cracker to go with our cheese or keeping our wine glasses topped up without us asking. All the staff from cleaners to the Captain were cheery, helpful and carried out their duties with a smile. Yes the boat is a little dated, the food is very good rather than excellent but everything was clean, the public toilets were always clean! at the self service restaurants in busy times you might have to queue but then this isn't a luxury holiday (but then you aren't paying luxury prices) but if you want value for money and an enjoyable trip then this is the boat for you! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
My wife and I recently returned from a lovely two week all inclusive cruise in a junior suite. This was our fifth cruise and our second Caribbean cruise. We visited some lovely islands and booked a number of excursions with Thomson which I ... Read More
My wife and I recently returned from a lovely two week all inclusive cruise in a junior suite. This was our fifth cruise and our second Caribbean cruise. We visited some lovely islands and booked a number of excursions with Thomson which I must say were excellent. We found the food in both 47 and Gallery 47 a bit “hit and miss” especially the breakfast which on two occasions had items missing. We thought the food in the Island buffet restaurant was much nicer and definitely a lot hotter than 47 and Gallery 47. Another place we ate was the Snack Shack which was great for a quick snack and drink. We also went to both the al la carte restaurants which were excellent and well worth the extra cover charge. I drank mainly the bottled beer which was fine and my wife tried a variety of drinks including the gin and tonic which if you didn’t ask for the branded make ie. Gordon’s they tended to give you the local brand. The majority of the staff were fine as was the service in all the bars and restaurants. We watched a few shows including the two comedians and enjoyed them all. One thing we weren’t impressed with was the “dress to impress” night which we think TUI have got all wrong with only 60% (approx) taking part. In our opinion and others we spoke to on the ship it should be everyone takes part or don’t do it at all. Also, we thought the charge for the Wi-Fi was expensive and we felt Thomson should at least give you free Wi-Fi in the public areas. We didn’t watch any films because they were mainly children’s film which was surprising as there were only a few children on the ship. If you change any money on the ship you will find the rate very disappointing and if you need to change any money in any of the ports make sure you take your passport with you. You have to vacate your cabin on your departure day at 08.00 so we booked a late checkout cabin for £35 which was well worth the money. The cabin is available from 10.00 but you can stay in your original cabin until then. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and would recommend this itinerary and ship to friends and family. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We had a lovely cruise and would recommend to friends and family. We tried all the restaurants including the 2 al carte ones which where well worth the extra cost. We wern't impressed with either the breakfast, lunch or dinner party ... Read More
We had a lovely cruise and would recommend to friends and family. We tried all the restaurants including the 2 al carte ones which where well worth the extra cost. We wern't impressed with either the breakfast, lunch or dinner party in Gallery 47. But Gallery 47% (only open in the evenings) which had an Italian theme was much bettter and also offered a couple of english options on the menu. A great introduction to this ship was the Snack Shack resturant which we used on a couple occasion for breakfast and lunch. Most of the entertainment wasn't for us apart from the 2 comedians who were excellent. Having been on previous cruises the captains gala night was always one of the highlight of cruise but this ships idea of a "dress to impress night" was not for us and a bit of a letdown. We booked a few excursions through Thomsons which were all excellent. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise because of the relaxed dress code.This was our first cruise. so evening dress was out of the question.We both like to dress up ,but on our terms .So it was nice to have the choice after a day excursion that we could ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the relaxed dress code.This was our first cruise. so evening dress was out of the question.We both like to dress up ,but on our terms .So it was nice to have the choice after a day excursion that we could just chill and have our evening meal in the self service restaurant,if we wanted to.anything went in there. Even shorts and T shirts was acceptable.The food in the Orion restaurant was excellent ,as was the service We had the best rib eye steak that we had tasted You could either share a table or have one for the two of you The all inclusive carried on at the dining table were the waiter took your order .The service was like a well oiled machine,everyone had there courses without waiting very long, and were hot.To say how many people ate at one time , it still amazes me how they did it. The self service restaurant was also very good, plenty of choice.such as soup salads .hot meats cold meats cooked veg.chips. Pasta dishes Pizzas. Stir frys and plenty more . The staff were constantly keeping a watch on the food keeping it tidy, and changing the trays as soon as they started to look a little empty.Food was not allowed to fall out of the containers, before it got wiped away keeping it looking nice even if you went very late in the evening.The ship is 36years old., so it is tired looking. We didnt care about that as we were only concerned how clean it was as I have O.C.D. out off my own house.It came up to expectations.(thank god )The entertainment was brilliant. Thompson Excursions were a bit hit and miss. We had a trip round Aruba, waste of money, there was nothing of interest at all. Get a taxi to the beach it will be better. we felt ripped off. we also felt the same when we went on a excursion with Thompson again to Santa marta that was even worse.again nothing of interest. and these trips are not cheap. Havana was great .We had a thompson coach take us to the town and gave us a guide to show us around.Worth every penny The showTropicana is a must.it looks expensive, but booking it through thompson , we got a good table.and a bottle of presseco bottle of rum to share between 4people and as you are on a thompson bus you can drink the lot,..Unfortunatly the ship had to leave two people behind as they were late to embark.They had got the wrong time to return to the ship.The captain felt terrible ,but he had to go,as there was another ship waiting to dock. Thompson removed all their belongings and put their cases on the quay. A rep that was on the quay then took over to make sure they were ok. This is why we took all the trips with thompson because if for some reason you get held up,they have to go . but if you are with thompson this never happens If you go to the panama canal ,dont go on the train, go on the boat. the train ride is very boring as all you see is trees mostly as you go through the rain forest. Our cabin was an inner one as we were never in it. bed was so comfortable it was hard to get out in a morning. We are now hooked on cruising . Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was a last minute booking for us so we didn't get to do a lot of research. We've cruised many times with larger cruise lines mostly American and family oriented. I am going to go over the first impressions first which ... Read More
This was a last minute booking for us so we didn't get to do a lot of research. We've cruised many times with larger cruise lines mostly American and family oriented. I am going to go over the first impressions first which weren't great but please read till the end. When we got to the ship we were really disappointed as it looked very dated. The cabins were small and my 14 year old daughter was upset as the average age of the vacationers on board was around 55 years of age. During the week we saw maybe 6 - 8 other kids who unfortunately were much younger. It was definitely an adult cruise. Not very kid friendly at all. No entertainment during the day or poolside. We initially considered leaving the ship before it left port and staying at a resort instead but that would have proved to be way too expensive so we stuck it out. I'm happy we did because we had one of the best experiences ever. The staff, the staff, the staff!!! I can not stress enough how amazing they were. From the waitresses, to the front desk, the waiters in the restaurant to the maintenance guys. Everyone was friendly, professional and helpful. They made us feel welcome and were there to help no matter what we needed. The big thing for me is that my daughter has a severe nut allergy. We are used to having to deal with this when we travel and when we mention it to those who deal with food services we get reactions from lack of understanding coupled with clumsy attempts to help to out right ignorance and lack of concern. This was the first time my wife and I were made to feel fully comfortable with entrusting the supervisors, chefs and food service personnel with the safety of our daughter. They asked the right questions, showed they were knowledgable and followed up with us daily on the breakfast, dinner and lunch menus. Making sure they made her food separately and had it preordered so there would be no issues. I want to specifically mention head waiter Svilin. Never has anyone done so much to make one little girls cruise go off without a hitch. In the end this ended up being one of our favourite trips and if they took this staff and transplanted them onto a more up to date ship this would have been a best cruise we had ever been on. Thank you Thomson staff and crew for saving our vacation. Other special mentions for excellent staff members our waiter Adan, Kadek his helper, our sommelier Alberto, our cabin man Yandy and once again the amazing incredible Svilen. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Our first cruise to the Carribean. Good start to 2017. Ship was lovely with the Christmas trees , garlands, lights. Glass lifts. Really nice to look at. Cabin was on 3rd deck and was fine nice and clean and always nice to go back to after ... Read More
Our first cruise to the Carribean. Good start to 2017. Ship was lovely with the Christmas trees , garlands, lights. Glass lifts. Really nice to look at. Cabin was on 3rd deck and was fine nice and clean and always nice to go back to after Max the cabin stewart had been in. Food was good. Breakfast was usually in Islands Restaurant . Alway busy but cannot expect it to be any different from other self-service restaurants. Best eating places wa definately 47. Table service excellent by Allan and Rudi who welomed us with a smile and we enjoyed our hats with them. Twice we tried 47 Gallery / Italian. Sorry to say we did not enjoy the food as much as 47. Menu not great. Service was disappointing and not many happy looking waiters.. This is why we choe 47 as it was so much more enjoyable, better atmosphere. Entertainment , sadly to say was very disappointing. We have been on several Thomson cruise ships and and the entertainment on the Dream ,Spirit and Majesty was by far so much better. Broadway shows not the same. After reading reviews and speaking to some people on the cruise we all had the same comments. This is a bigger ship and I hope Thomson/Tui take on board how there valued customers felt with the change in there entertainment . We go with Thomson as we have always had great times onboard their other ships. Think some people might go elsewhere. Ports some not so nice St Maartens was the best .. We got taxi's in some ports which were good. Don't think I would rush back to the Caribbean ---- long flight etc. We are on the Disovery 2 in June 2017 and we hope that the entertainment will be much better .Like a lot of other couples its nice to get up and dance , enjoy the evening entertainment as this is a big part of the holiday as well. Thomson look at your other ships and see how much we enjoyed being on them. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and due to our friends not been to the Caribbean before so it was maximising the visit. In actual fact it is 2 seven day cruises back to back taking in 12 islands and 2 sea days. First impressions ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and due to our friends not been to the Caribbean before so it was maximising the visit. In actual fact it is 2 seven day cruises back to back taking in 12 islands and 2 sea days. First impressions not good with check in at the airport. Two members of staff who could not cope and our wait in the queue was over an hour. This was an all-inclusive package yet on the plane there were charges for little things like a bag of crisps! First impressions of the ship - lots of money spent on the public areas but the cabin was a let down. There is definitely not enough seats in the atrium area and it is badly designed despite the money spent. We booked a rear facing cabin 6122 and actually got slightly more space than some of the other cabins. Two sun loungers, inside sofa and table - there was a lot of cabin space but the shower was incredibly small. Our room was dated and lots of silly things in the cabin made me wonder about the ship and it's upkeep. Drawers had not been cleaned from the previous occupant - hair, dirt and a receipt from duty free still there. The coat hooks on the wall - both loose, the door lock falling out and the carpet was grubby. Veranda was filthy with cigarette ends from previous occupants not cleaned. Not a great start. Our first week things looked up. Throughout the ship all the staff were excellent and greeted us every day (apart from our steward who was sadly lacking by his constant absence). Special note to be made of staff throughout the ship - Aleksander (Glass House), Kenan - Head Waiter, Julia, Surf & Turf, Ganna - Head Waiter, Rafael - (the hot waiter!) (excellent with all customers), Serhil, Marco, Julio - Kora La, Frisian - breakfast waiter and Smezana 47 reception. Second week - apparently there was a new influx of staff and service levels definitely went downhill. We had lots of complaints at various meals and Kenan tried his best to sort things out - great credit to the ship. Other small things soured our impression of the cruise - charge for the water in the cabin?!! Ridiculous - together with an extortionate charge for wi-fi both of these free of charge on other cruise lines - not good Thomson. Positive notes abound though the TUI Discovery show team - Dan, Tom, Dylan, Jess, Harriet, Arnie, Amy and Adam - by far the best show team ever. Brilliant shows sometimes twice a day plus extra show times and events - boy did they work hard. They did a superb job and were brilliant - an excellent team and worthy of West End or Broadway. Some excellent shows including comedian - Carl Schofield and Steve Michaels from the Drifters - absolutely brilliant - well done Thomson. The Glass House was an excellent location - marred slightly by the rules not being enforced - no children allowed between 2 and 5pm yet they were in the room and staff did not tell them to leave - if you have a rule make sure it is enforced. We spent a lot of money to get away from kids so we definitely didn't want them there! Food throughout the ship was superb and all the restaurants were well stocked with fresh food. Great touches too throughout the ship for hygiene and cleanliness in the public areas was excellent. Overall this was a great cruise with some fabulous islands visited - see my Trip Adviser reviews for these! Not quite there Thomson but a good try. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I chose this cruise to mark my retirement. We had looked at a number of other cruises but saw this as a late booking and liked the look of the itinerary. We booked a Junior Suite (8060) on the port side so we would have the sun on our ... Read More
I chose this cruise to mark my retirement. We had looked at a number of other cruises but saw this as a late booking and liked the look of the itinerary. We booked a Junior Suite (8060) on the port side so we would have the sun on our balcony during the 6 day Atlantic crossing. This proved to be very worthwhile as the usual sunbed reservation took place on the pool deck throughout the cruise. There were constant notices in the cruise news asking people not to do this but to no avail. It didn't bother us too much as I'm not fussed about getting a tan anyway but my wife enjoyed the sunbed provided on our balcony. The cabin was excellent with lots of storage a good sized bath room, with bath, and plenty of space. Our steward was excellent and very attentive. Overall we enjoyed the ship and the facilities, we mostly dined in Gallery 47, the upper level restaurant which has an Italian menu, it rotates between two daily menus but also includes a selection from the main 47 restaurant. We found that we got a table quicker there. We really liked the open airy feel to the restaurant, not buried down in the depths as on some ships we've been on. The food quality was generally good and service fine. Most of the crew were very friendly and happy to chat, there are a lot of East Europeans among the waiters. Also worth a try is the Glass House restaurant which is where the indoor pool is housed. It offers a Tapas and Pizza menu plus a hot stone option for which there is a cover charge of £9.50 (I think). This area is probably our favourite daytime spot, it is adult only 2 - 5, (this was an adult only cruise anyway which was another reason we chose it) and is nice and quiet to chill out in. They serve light snacks and salads during the day. We ate in the Surf & Turf a'la carte one night, the cover charge is £24.95 which seems a lot but my wife and I both agreed that the steaks we had were probably the best ever. The entertainment was generally fine comprising a range of music and dance shows in the Broadway lounge, we particularly enjoyed 'Starry Starry Night' 'Boogie Shoes' and 'Hot Summer Nights'. The final show 'Homeward Bound' based on Simon and Garfunkel songs was only marred by a jokey Elvis spot for Graceland. The alternative 'Venue' hosted a series of game shows and quizs which we didn't bother with, just not our thing. There were a number of bands performing around the ship plus some fly in performers, a couple of comics and singers. We particularly enjoyed 'Protege' 4 boys from St Lucia who were billed as the party band and Ben Moss. The crew put on a good Halloween party after we left Gibraltar with quite a few guests dressing up for the occasion too. We had wondered before about the 6 day crossing and what activities would be offered. These included a chance to learn the Ukelele, join a choir, have a golf lesson using a simulator. There was also a series of lectures on aviation from a former civil airline pilot. My wife and I joined the choir and took part in a concert on the last night before we got to Antigua and I also attended the aviation lectures, which proved quite popular. Everything was fine until we got to the Caribbean, we both had complained about waking up with very dry throats in the morning due to the air conditioning, which can't be turned off. My wife eventually lost her voice and we had to visit the medical centre, who were excellent, where she was diagnosed with a severe throat infection requiring intravenous antibiotics. As a result the last few days of the cruise were marred by this and we had to cancel some planned excursions. As I write this review we are back home and are both suffering from throat infections and are seeing our own GP. This spoiled what had been an excellent holiday and has made us think twice about cruising again for some time. Overall TUI Discovery is a pretty good ship which caters well for it's target market and I'm sure it will do well. The bulk of the guests were 40+ Brits, a few younger couples, maybe honeymooners, and quite a few elderly with mobility issues. There is something for just about everyone even if you don't fancy all that is on offer all the time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our second cruise, both with Thomson, the first being on the Thomson Dream last February. I'll break my review down into the following sections so you don't have to read it all if you don't want to (it's ... Read More
This was our second cruise, both with Thomson, the first being on the Thomson Dream last February. I'll break my review down into the following sections so you don't have to read it all if you don't want to (it's long but hopefully informative and funny in places): 1) Overall comment 2) Travel to and from the ship 3) The ship in general and its crew 4) Cabin 5) Dining and drinks incl packages 6) Entertainment 7) Port and shore excursions 8) Photography 9) Pre-travel Services from Thomson 10) Individual excursions 1) Overall Comment (4 stars) We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The Celebration is 31 years old but it has character and is well looked after. The Dream probably gets the edge as it is slightly larger which makes some of the public areas better. If you want a cross between battery hen living and a shopping trolley on water, then go for one of the huge liners. They're not for us. Going as a couple and not a group, you do people-watch more and it's quite fun! You could divide the cruisers into many groups but I think five groups covered most people - a) the friendly, polite, nice people who either want to keep to themselves or chat every so often. b) the professional cruisers / Thomson regulars who tend towards being boring know-it-alls. c) the groupie - kling-ons who have to hang around Thomson employees, particularly the entertainment team. d) the loud-mouths, some with added alcohol, some without e) the downright obnoxious, arrogant, self important types who deserve a spell on a life-boat being dragged behind the ship. Fortunately, the majority were in Group A, we were amused by and learned to avoid those in Groups B,C and D and only came across three in Group E - two incredibly rude, pompous mature ladies and one teenage brat who has got a lot of growing up to do. All in all, the Celebration came through for us and provided a great holiday. If you want to see the Eastern Caribbean Lesser Antilles Islands, this is a recommended way to do it. 2)Travel to and from the ship (5 stars) We flew from Birmingham. Got there early, baggage taken from us. Next time we saw it was outside our cabin. Embarkation on the ship took about 30 mins from arrival at the port. All in all - excellent Homeward bound - cases had to be left outside your cabin by 2am on day of leaving. Next time we saw them was on the carousel at Birmingham airport. You had to be out of your cabin by 9am but a few rooms were made available for changing in. Coach pick ups suit your flight time or there is an option to go on the "Farewell Barbados Tour" which lasts about 4 hours, costs £45 and drops you off at the airport. We went on the tour which took us around the centre of the island, included 3 overly long cultural stops and lunch - personally we would rather have seen more of the island. All in all - apart from the turbulence on the plane flight home, excellent organisation by Thomson. 3) The ship in general and its crew (4 stars) For us, the ship was well looked after and the crew / waiters / cabin team were polite at all times. Some of the Entertainment, Destination Services and Photographic staff could learn from the crew etc although I can understand why the Entertainment Team do shy away from talking to the Cruisers some of the time. If they didn't, they'd get no peace. The Captain had a great sense of humour and did two Q/A sessions while we were there. Mark, the "stand-in" Cruise Director took a bit of getting used to but when you got the hang of him, he was a credit to Thomson and hopefully will get a permanent senior position in due course. Due to the size of the ship, we felt certain public areas were limited. For us, the Broadway Show Lounge was very small, there was no large open room (with windows) to sit in and the Meridian Restaurant just didn't work for us. The Dream was better for all of these. 4) Cabin (4 stars) We were on Deck 3 with a porthole. There were two wall-hung beds in our cabin which suggests it could be used for a family. We had a double bed and plenty of storage. Our Cabin Steward was excellent and kept the room spotless - cleaned twice per day. Only negatives were that the toilet and shower curtain were incredibly close which sometimes proved challenging for the fuller figure and the "cistern" on our toilet was forever failing but was always fixed quickly by the maintenance dept. 5) Dining and Drinks incl packages (4 stars) Essentially, if you couldn't find food you enjoyed somewhere on the boat everyday, you need to get a life!! Food was available for the best part of 20 hours per day with different options and different restaurants (some at extra cost). We did not like the Meridian, many did though. We stuck to the Lido restaurant most of the time, only venturing into the Meridian for the Captain's Dinner. We never had a bad meal anywhere. We had the wine package at £99 for 7 bottles which appeared reasonable value for money. We did not take up the Drinks package as it was so expensive for limited drinkers. However, there were those on board who got it free in their overall package, others got it at less than a third of the price we were offered. One for Thomson to think about! 6) Entertainment (4 stars) There was always something happening somewhere and the entertainment staff really worked hard to provide a great deal of fun and enjoyment. The evening shows in the Broadway were a bit of a mixed bag, some excellent, some average but never was there a lack of effort. Most of it was down to the choreography, not the dancers etc themselves. Of all the shows though, a comedian called Carl Schofield was in a league of his own. He did two timetabled shows and some "off the cuff" singing and jokes sessions in Hemingways. Absolutely brilliant. Watch out for Hazel in the Crew Show. What a voice! 70 Port and Shore Excursions (2 stars) We had three excursions cancelled (the last three of our cruise). The one that we were most looking forward to was cancelled the night before. You must, therefore, read this section appreciating that we are not best pleased with those involved in this aspect of the Cruise. The Thomson excursions that we did will be rated individually in section 10. Thomson Cruises are basically not cheap but suit those who have concerns about going it alone. If you're happy to go it alone, value for money is generally better but you may miss out on some of the highlights of an organised tour. The Destination Services Team on the ship are very helpful if you are booking a tour, lack interest once you've booked it and have no real interest in your feelings when you've had a tour cancelled UNLESS, of course, you elect to book a replacement one. Whether this department is self-managing or is controlled from the UK, it needs to get its act together. PLEASE NOTE - if you do prefer to go it alone, be wary of the taxi drivers in Tobago. They are very "in your face" but we understand you can get good deals 8) Photographic (0 stars) Overpriced. Package deals are confusing. Photographic staff should join the pompous mature ladies mentioned above on a day trip on a lifeboat - perhaps Destination Services could organise this and charge them an arm and a leg so they can appreciate what it's like to bankrupt yourself buying one photo!! On a serious note, they need to stop taking photos of people who don't want them, stop printing off thousands of pictures and fridge magnets and concentrate on finding ways to reduce costs and therefore prices. Maybe showing photos to individuals on computer screens in lieu of printing them all off might help costs and prices. This system is used at other events I have been to. My score of one star for "enrichment activities" below is for the Photographic department. 9) Pre-travel Services from Thomson (1 star) I asked one question needing limited research by Thomson. After weeks of repeatedly asking, I was still being fobbed off except for one young member of staff in Thomson's Welsh Office who did his best to help me. I wrote to the Head Office and got a phone call back. I was given an answer which had no research behind it at all. This item was really concerning us but Thomson's Head Office made no effort to reduce this concern. Worse was to come - the lady running customer care services on the ship was apparently also unaware of what I was talking about. As soon as we went on tours, we were told what had been happening by the tour guides and locals. Fortunately the problem never affected our holiday. It just needed a bit of time and research by Thomson to allay our fears. Not too much to ask really. 10) Individual Excursions (our opinion) Pigeon Point Beach Break, Tobago - a lovely beach but with limited swimming areas due to water sports. You would not want to be on this tour if there is a second cruise ship in. The beach is small and they were running out of umbrellas with just our ship in port. Cruisers who ran the gauntlet of the taxi drivers got good deals to this beach. (3 stars) The Spice Island, Grenada - this is all about seeing the people, the island and some of its heritage and specialities - spices and rum. It's not about beaches and shopping at all. A meal in a wonderful location is included. Our tour guide was Rooster the Rasta - he was brilliant. Not a cheap tour but so enjoyable - maybe that was down to Rooster? (5 stars) Bequia Coastal Cruise - the best snorkelling we did on this cruise as part of a tour. Princess Margaret Beach and the meal we had there were very enjoyable. Bequia is a lovely island with limited commercialism and no dock for the ship so they use the lifeboats as shuttles. The tour was not cheap but made for a good day out. (4 stars) Dolphin & Whale Watch, Dominica - expensive for a 3 hour trip especially if you didn't see any wildlife. We were very fortunate to see about six whales, some breached and some dived showing their tails for the necessary photograph. The lads on the boat were very knowledgeable and made a lot of effort to find whales for us. No dolphins were seen. Recommend sea sick tablets for those who need them! NOTE - the International Jewellers shop in the port do some great deals - I bought a watch for a lot less than in England.(4 stars) Time at the Beach, St Lucia - you are taken by coach to a very nice beach (Reduit) where you are left for about 2.5 - 3 hours. You are given sunbeds and one free drink each but the umbrella costs $10. There are quite a lot of beach sellers here that do become a pain so prepare yourself to deal with them. The swimming area is again limited by water sports etc. Our tour guide on the coach was permanently stressed but kept telling us to "chill". Her only aim was to get us back to the ship. Not much fun. Consider a taxi to this beach (or another one if you prefer) but remember that you will have to pay for sunbeds and umbrellas if you want them. (2 stars) Carlisle Beach Break, Barbados - a 20 minute coach trip takes you to this beach where you get sunbeds, umbrellas and a drink for £20 per person. You're on the beach (with limited swimming areas) for about 2.5 hours. I went on a snorkelling trip organised at the beach. This was $25 for one hour. We swam around two ships wrecks where there were plenty of fish and then we swam with turtles. Best snorkelling I did. If you don't use sunbeds etc, probably best to consider a taxi.(3 stars) Tortola by Land & Sea - this was a 4 hour trip - about 2 hours on a boat where we saw many of the British Virgin Islands (not Necker - Richard Branson's Island) followed by half hour shopping in Soper's Hole and then 1.5 hours on a coach seeing the sights of Tortola. I would recommend you ask the driver which side of the bus gets the best views of the Atlantic Ocean - they are stunning. Not bad value for money. We preferred the time on the boat. (3 stars) Golden Eagle Catamaran Sail & Snorkel - about 4 hours including snorkelling, rum, swimming, rum, watching the planes pass low overhead into the airport, more rum etc. You get the gist. Although there was a sunken ship and helicopter where we snorkelled, it was such a limited area that it wasn't very enjoyable. The catamaran could not pull onto the beach where we swam so you had to be a reasonable swimmer to get there (or use buoyancy aids). The beach was very nice though. It was good to see the planes flying so low overhead but, in hindsight, I would either have taken a taxi to the airport beach or gone on a tour if it was available. That would have been excellent. (3 stars) St Kitts Scenic Railway - booked after the beach trip was cancelled. You are taken on a 45 minute coach tour of part of the island upto the start of the train trip. Once on the train, get on the upper level and make sure at least one of you sits on the coastal side of the train. The rum flows!! Non-alcoholic drinks available. The train trip is about 1.5 hours and goes through lovely parts of the island with locals all waving at you and the train. Very enjoyable and welcoming. The coach picks you up at the train terminus for a 10 minute trip back to the ship. (4 stars) Catamaran Cruise and lobster lunch, Antigua - booked when our tour to Crusoe Island was cancelled. If you like beaches, music, lobster, rum, dancing, laughing, go on this day out. It's not cheap but it's 6 hours of fun. The crew on the boat were excellent and we went to Deep Bay Beach which is the archetypal Caribbean beach. Best tour we went on by far. (6 stars) Aqua Terra, St Vincent - booked when our tour to Mustique was cancelled very late in the day and for all the wrong reasons. Quite honestly, this tour was a rush from beginning to end. The other half of our group were late back and delayed the ship from sailing. The trip involved a stomach churning 2.5 hour tour of the west coast of the Island on a coach, a very enjoyable drenching under a waterfall if you like that kind of thing which I do, lunch, a 2 hour trip back to the ship on a catamaran which included a quick visit to a black sand beach for a swim / snorkel. Not a great day. (2 stars) Farewell Barbados - I've made most of my comments earlier in this review. It got you off the ship on the last day but the structure of the tour was poor (2 stars) In summary, our holiday on the Thomson Celebration was really enjoyable. Yes there were moments, people and activities that could have been better but looking at the overall picture, we had a great time and we'd do it again happily. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
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