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400 Marella Cruises Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

I have to reply to a previous poor review I sailed for first time with Tui having previously sailed with many other cruise lines.The professionalism and dedication of the crew was excellent.The embarking procedure was quick and ... Read More
I have to reply to a previous poor review I sailed for first time with Tui having previously sailed with many other cruise lines.The professionalism and dedication of the crew was excellent.The embarking procedure was quick and efficient.The boat and cabin very good we had and inside cabin 6591 .The food in all sections was good the staff very helpful .Entertainment was varied and of a good standard.I believe this cruise line offers good value for money and we will sail with them again.Well done to Katy the cruise director who kept up a lively commentary on events and the ports of call .The ship is in good order and the cruise kept to timetable.Malta was our highlight for the trip and would have liked more time in port.We often followed the large MSC ship to port which made travel around Naples and Messina difficult .This cruise offered great value for money. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had been on the Marella Discovery before and even cruises on the sister ship Marella Discovery 2 last year. We decided to go on another cruise with my Parents and my Brother and Siater-in-law for my Parents 50th golden wedding ... Read More
We had been on the Marella Discovery before and even cruises on the sister ship Marella Discovery 2 last year. We decided to go on another cruise with my Parents and my Brother and Siater-in-law for my Parents 50th golden wedding anniversary. It started out ok with the only gripe was we were not able to book the Surf and Turf speciality restaurant on the day we embarked (11/10/2019), as we missed out with the speciality restaurant we went to the 47 gallery restaurant and the waiter staff were absolutely fantastic which was a consistent feeling when we dined. But this seems to be the only positive thing about the ship. Throughout the whole week the ship smelt of Fuel and a number of the Toilets were continuously blocked and smelly. The Balcony room was looking tired and used needs another refurb. The cabin staff were friendly but missed things when cleaning. The shows were very mediocre compared to previous Marella Cruises. I’m not sure I could guarantee I will cruise by Marella again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Sadly where do I start . We had booked a deluxe cabin and to our shock we saw no deluxe at all, the windows were that bad we could hardly see out of them. The shower was that small with a shower curtain,not deluxe to me. No toiletries ... Read More
Sadly where do I start . We had booked a deluxe cabin and to our shock we saw no deluxe at all, the windows were that bad we could hardly see out of them. The shower was that small with a shower curtain,not deluxe to me. No toiletries apart from a small soap and shower cream canister. we enjoy going to the restaurant , only the first night was the best after that we were rushed every night and the food was not always hot and the plates cold. The staff were rushing around and the tables way to close to one another and the staff were not always attentive. In the end we tried the buffet lounge which I have to say the food was much better and the plates piping hot. Entertainment was awful it was a comedian and then entertainment team no professional dancers. Service in bars were very relaxed , there seemed to be a lack of staff. Found out later that this was coming to end of season and some were going home. We had diesel fumes which circulated around the ship even in our room on deck 8. Later the captain explained there were complaints about diesel fumes , explanation from the captain something about doing something to the tanks to put in an eu directive on fuel. Seems rather strange to do this while there were passengers on board. I had to cancel a trip due to the fumes making me ill because I ahave asthma . This cruise was a very disappointment overall. If it was coming to end of season that should not have made any difference we still payed for our holiday which our ruby anniversary was spoiled all together. Would I go back on this ship no, it was more like a Butlins camp . I would love to hear from other people affected by the fumes. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Just returned from this cruise. We booked this primarily for the itinerary as, even though we’ve cruised quite a bit, we had not visited any of the ports on this cruise save for the departure port of Corfu. We also booked to get an ... Read More
Just returned from this cruise. We booked this primarily for the itinerary as, even though we’ve cruised quite a bit, we had not visited any of the ports on this cruise save for the departure port of Corfu. We also booked to get an experience of Marella’s move to larger ships, with the Discovery being the biggest we have cruised on to date. Overall the cruise was very good. The facilities on the ship are well documented on the Internet so I won’t go into too much detail, suffice to say they were of a high standard. A few pointers for potential Discovery guests and also the good and not so good points: Good: The staff were superb. Quick to serve, helpful and smiling. I did get to have a chat with the Master of the ship, Captain Chris Dodds, and it was apparent that he was proud of the ship and his staff, justifiably so. The entertainment crew were the best I’ve seen and the Broadway lounge is big enough and well equipped enough to allow spectacular shows to be delivered. All inclusive allowed beers and wines to be on draught in the self service restaurants so you could help yourself. As a consequence you weren’t having to wait to be served to have a drink with your meal. When going into the Broadway lounge for the evening show, drinks were served as you went in so you weren’t having to order a drink once in the lounge. This meant you able to watch the show without people waving their cards at the waiting staff and the staff having to serve drinks in the dark. The Galley 47 restaurant serves Italian dishes and was very good. I used it twice and was very impressed. My jury was out about all inclusive. I considered that that this did not allow the possibility of enticing offers for drinks packages etc for early bookers (which I have used before) but I’m beginning to change my mind. The way that some people went mad at the buffet meant that they have some of my share but, nevertheless, all inclusive allowed me to budget with confidence. Not so good: During our cruise, the main restaurant opened for waiter served breakfast at 07:30. For guests going on organised tours this did not generally give sufficient time for breakfast before the tours commenced. Hence these guests had to use the self service on deck 9, the result of which the self service got unnecessarily busy. This may be a bit unfair. The food was excellently prepared and served. I could not fault it but...... it was a bit safe. I though we could have had a bit more of the Mediterranean flavour. “Tailor the menu to the venue” so to speak. No criticism of the way the food was delivered but more Med, less English would have been my preference. Marella provide all guests with the opportunity to download an “app” which connects to the ship’s Internet (at no cost) and provides details of your on-board account, what’s going on, excursions, where to eat, etc and is, overall very useful. They also still produce the “Cruise News” paper which is left in your cabin during the evening turn down. The problem I encountered is that the itinerary on the “app” and the “Cruise News” didn’t always match up so you still ended up at Destination Services or Reception to verify the precise details. Just a bit of co-ordination needed for what was otherwise a very useful facility. Nothing to do with the actual cruise but I was seriously stitched up over the price, with the possibility of saving almost £300 for the same deal if I’d timed it right, having been enticed to book early with a discount code. I did write to Marella head office (as a long standing and loyal customer, of 20 years if you include Thomson), but my loyally and my comments were dismissed as “bad luck”. Marella/TUI didn’t even bother to respond using the same medium as I did, rather just an e-mail. Itinerary: Good (Santorini apart) and I’ve glad I’ve been. Santorini is too crowded and you end up watching out for the next gap in the crowds rather than enjoying the island. The cable car had a two hour wait to descend so I had to use the steps, past the ill-treated donkeys and horses, tied up with no water, one passing you every so often with a selfish tourist on his back, just so he can tell his mates he took part in the Santorini tradition (don’t use them please). In summary: This was our seventh cruise with Thomson/TUI/Marella and I do detect a change in the target clientele and company’s philosophy. Absolutely nothing but praise for the experience I had, but Marella’s move to larger ships, the subsequent escalating cost to support the all inclusive packages and the dismissive way I was treated by head office may cause me to investigate alternatives. Finally, one area that doesn’t get mentioned very often, my local TUI office (Newark-on-Trent). The staff in there are excellent hence I use them rather than the Internet. I pay a small premium but it’s worth it for the assistance I receive during booking and should I need to book any excursions or have any queries regarding my holiday. Well done to them. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise and was all we imagined and more. The ship has loads of character and yes there us some vibrations but I found it relaxing. The staff and food were fantastic. We could not fault anything. Our room steward Fernand ... Read More
This was our first cruise and was all we imagined and more. The ship has loads of character and yes there us some vibrations but I found it relaxing. The staff and food were fantastic. We could not fault anything. Our room steward Fernand was great and mad us several towel sculptures which I loved.I know it's not for everyone but we are now looking at our next cruise. We visited Malta which was beautiful and we would go back to. Sicily was ok but only as we did a trip to taromina as Catania looked terrible, graffiti everywhere. We loved Argostoli in Kefalonia and would go back there. We had a tender to shore which was very good. We did a trip to Alberbello when docked in Brindisi which was beautiful. Kotor in Montenegro was absolutely stunning and not to be missed. Looking forward to exploring Croatia for our week now. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
As soon as we stepped on the ship we really liked it. Everywhere is light, bright and airy. Our cabin was 1130 right at the back and was very quiet. The cabin had more storage than we have ever had before and the bathroom was clean ... Read More
As soon as we stepped on the ship we really liked it. Everywhere is light, bright and airy. Our cabin was 1130 right at the back and was very quiet. The cabin had more storage than we have ever had before and the bathroom was clean and bright with a good shower, always plenty of hot water. The bed was very firm which were great for us and the balcony was a good size. We mostly ate in Latitude or Vista and never had a bad meal nor did we have to wait long. Liked the Nonnas pizza restaurant for lunch and also the Beach Cove where they did hot sandwiches and a salad bar etc. There was also Scoops which did delicious Italian ice creams. We didn't try the pay restaurants as we didn't feel the need. We thought the shows were very professional and loved them all bar one but you can't please everyone. Liked The Beats resident group but weren't keen on The Vibes (the backing was too loud and you couldn't hear the singer very well, on one occasion she sang with The Beats' backing group and she was much better) We loved Danny and Jack who I think were called Swing Pin. There were also other good musicians around the ship. We thought the entertainment in the Squid and Anchor was very poor so we went up to Indigo where it was a lovely atmosphere. The service on the ship was fantastic, all the crew did a great job. We had lovely cabin stewards, Iyoful,Dindo and Jose who were so polite and always asked if everything was okay. The ports of call were all very good and the weather was mostly kind to us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have been on the Celebration a couple of times before so we new what to expect. The TUI flight was on time from Gatwick on the Dreamliner plane. The bonded luggage should be adopted at all airports as it is in Dubrovnic, where you check ... Read More
We have been on the Celebration a couple of times before so we new what to expect. The TUI flight was on time from Gatwick on the Dreamliner plane. The bonded luggage should be adopted at all airports as it is in Dubrovnic, where you check your luggage in as usual at the airport, and the next time you see it is outside you cabin door when you arrive on board, The same on return, your luggage is collected from outside your cabin on the last night and you next see it on the belt at the home airport. Last time on the Celebration we checked in on board and it went very smoothly, this time we checked in in a shed at the dockside and it was chaos, queue, queue, and more queues. Our cabin was 203, a de-luxe cabin on deck 6 right at the front of the ship looking foreward and was very quiet. We ate breakfast and lunch in the Lido, and dinner in the main dining room and found the food and service excellent. The waiters now serve the wine as well, and that kept flowing nicely. We were not pestered at all to upgrade to the premium drinks package as the standard package was adequate for us, nor were we pestered to have photos taken we just said 'no thanks' and were left alone. We did dine at the extra payable 'Kora La' restaurant one night and that also was excellent. We only went on one excursion and that was to the Corinth canal trip from Athens, which included a boat trip on the canal which was amazing to think the canal was dug by slaves. We went to all the shows in the show lounge which included an excellent comedian one night, and he returned the next evening for a late night 'adult' session. It's a shame that the Celebration will soon be leaving the fleet, although it has always had its 'wobble' its always been our ( and lots of other people) favourite. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have travelled with many cruise companies mainly British one US & one Italian we chose this cruise mainly because we have never travelled to this part Europe .We were very impressed with the service in the restaurants mainly the 47 ... Read More
We have travelled with many cruise companies mainly British one US & one Italian we chose this cruise mainly because we have never travelled to this part Europe .We were very impressed with the service in the restaurants mainly the 47 the service and food was excellent in every way as we ate there all the time even for breakfast & lunch times as it was impossible to find any where to sit in the upstairs buffet and also other guest seemed reluctant to share or talk to us (it must be a British thing ).I did notice that other guests reserved seating in the bars and theatre of which I found very frustrating as it is not allowed on the P&O ships as they endorse strict rules of which are enforced by security personel. The entertainment was of a very high standard with a very good selection of shows we only missed one .The only complaint that I have was that in the cabin for some reason there was a double bed in the middle and also a two seater settee on the side of which made it a bit cramped .We will always travel with Marella cruises in the future as even embarkation & disembarkation was simple. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
OUR FRIENDS HAD PREVIOUSLY BOOKED THIS SHIP LAST YEAR TO RENEW THEIR WEDDING VOWS - we only booked on the sat before we sailed on the Thursday and it was the Best ever cruise we have had - we have sailed with P & O to the Caribbean and ... Read More
OUR FRIENDS HAD PREVIOUSLY BOOKED THIS SHIP LAST YEAR TO RENEW THEIR WEDDING VOWS - we only booked on the sat before we sailed on the Thursday and it was the Best ever cruise we have had - we have sailed with P & O to the Caribbean and done three cruises on NCL - which we thought were unbeatable ..............BUT MARELLA CELEBRATION BEATS THEM ALL FOR VALUE FOOD AND ENTERTAINMENT - YES IT MAYBE NOT AS GLITZY AND GLAMOROUS AS PREVIOUS SHIPS WE HAVE SAILED ON ...BUT MY GOODNESS IT MADE UP FOR THAT IN SUCH PERSONAL WAYS .....here's to the next Marella cruise The food was excellent in both the Lido buffet and the Meridan Restaurant - I have never experienced such friendly staff - everyone said Hi or Hello and this made us feel even more welcome - the duty free shops were small but excellent value and finally the entertainment team worked so hard - they were fabulous and the guest singer Richard Hadfiel was truly amazing so much so we attended both the shows he performed on .....All in All well done Marella cannot wait to book the next one Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The only bad thing about the cruise was that we only booked 7 days, I didn’t want to leave and felt envious of the other passengers who had another week. The itinerary was perfect, visiting great places including Venice, Koper, ... Read More
The only bad thing about the cruise was that we only booked 7 days, I didn’t want to leave and felt envious of the other passengers who had another week. The itinerary was perfect, visiting great places including Venice, Koper, Dubrovnik, Split and kotor. We loved Croatia and will certainly return. On board the service was perfect and all of the crew did a fantastic job from the housekeeping staff to the Captain. We honestly loved every minute, the food was great, the drinks service brilliant and I can’t begin to say how awesome the entertainment was. Katie stole the show, I’m sure she must be solar powered (I’ve never seen anyone with so much energy). Each one of the entertainment team we’re fabulous, Chessie singing as we left Koper was just outstanding, I was a blubbering wreck. We were serenaded out of Venice too. The shows and quizzes were a big favourite of ours, each one such fun. A special mention to Dean too, what a lovely lad, but then again all of the team were. We even managed to get out if the escape room (with lots of clues) it was so well planned. We had the most magical time on board, so a big, huge thank you to everyone on Marella Discovery. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was honestly the worst cruise I’ve ever been on. It was truly awful. I had my two children with me as we couldn’t get away during the summer holidays due to work commitments. This cruise is not family friendly at all. ... Read More
This was honestly the worst cruise I’ve ever been on. It was truly awful. I had my two children with me as we couldn’t get away during the summer holidays due to work commitments. This cruise is not family friendly at all. 1. Not once was the climbing wall open 2. The indoor pool bans kids between 2-5pm covering a good part of the hot part of the day. I pay the same amount of money as everyone else, I should have the access to the same facilities. 3. The kids food at the buffet was rock hard and quite frankly absolutely bogging. It had obviously been out for a very long time. On the final day you can expect no kids buffet. 4. The pool tiles are broken and one of them actually cut my sons foot.. it’s very obvious it’s about a foot wide. The staff are friendly but the entertainment is like butlins. It’s really loud, you can’t sit at the pool and have a conversation with someone without some game show rubbish or having to listen to some pub quiz. If butlins is your thing, this is for you. Also, as a footnote, I not only saw the cruise director speak to a member of staff like crap but also the deputy cruise director do the same.. uncomfortable. Much of the entertainment was awkward and just so over the top it was ridiculous. I witnessed bar staff being rude to kids when they were asking for things at the bar. Just no need. It was overall a really poor experience and despite cruising with TUI 7 times now I won’t be going with them again. I certainly would never recommend this for a family. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
From start to finish this cruise was for my wife and i was superb, the ship, the staff, the food, every aspect of the ship was very well managed, from the pool side to the very high class restaurants nothing was to much, the staff in all ... Read More
From start to finish this cruise was for my wife and i was superb, the ship, the staff, the food, every aspect of the ship was very well managed, from the pool side to the very high class restaurants nothing was to much, the staff in all the bars and restaurants could not do enough for you and were so pleasant, the cabin we had was very spacious clean and tidy, when we returned each night it was spotless, we will be going back for another cruise, no matter what time of day there was always a different activity going on around the ship, something for everyone no matter how old or young you are, from mini golf to rock climbing learning to dance to been in a choir, in the atrium every day there an artist performing, in the theatre there was always a great show to watch, so something for everyone. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise as a belated honeymoon and it was my husbands birthday on the 30th. Our cabin was just so noisy, vibrations, clanging and banging and something hydraulic kept going off at various times. I felt the ship was tired and ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a belated honeymoon and it was my husbands birthday on the 30th. Our cabin was just so noisy, vibrations, clanging and banging and something hydraulic kept going off at various times. I felt the ship was tired and it reminded me more of a posh ferry, no charm about it. There are not enough seats in the bars and every night, is pretty much the same as the night before regarding entertainment. I was hoping there might be some dance lessons but it is too small although we were offered a talk on liver drainage. Food was ok although if you are in the lido it was only warm and the meals in the Meridian were bland and boring. Nothing spicy because they want you to pay extra and eat in the Asian restaurant. We did eat at the hot stone and the steak was great, starters and deserts we're not so good. Coffee port is great which is just as well as free coffee is awful. The best meal was the afternoon tea, loved it! The excursions are well organised, but you do not get enough free time, even to stop for a drink when walking in the hot weather. I have to say all the staff are excellent, polite and friendly and ship was kept spotless and ran like clockwork. We weren't sorry to get off and we're pleased we did cruise and stay in Dubrovnik instead of 14 nights cruise. I have rated cabin average because of noise. It was quite spacious with plenty of storage in bathroom. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Having sailed with lots of other cruise companies in the past, we were a bit apprehensive about booking this cruise but we loved it. It was a short 10-15minute journey from Corfu airport followed by an efficient check in. You had the ... Read More
Having sailed with lots of other cruise companies in the past, we were a bit apprehensive about booking this cruise but we loved it. It was a short 10-15minute journey from Corfu airport followed by an efficient check in. You had the option of a shuttle bus or 5minute walk to the ship. The itinerary was wonderful with several memorable sailing in & out of ports such as Kotor in Montenegro and Venice ( leaving at night was magical). We went on a cruise tour to the beautiful Krka waterfalls and also half day gondola tour. There were plenty of other tour options/activities available on the dockside. The staff on board were friendly, efficient and seemed genuinely happy. The Entertainment staff led by Katy were great and the Captain was a star! There was no heavy sales pressures and unless you wanted to, you weren’t harassed by ship photographers. There were various dining options to suit everyone. Yes, the ship is a bit tired looking but it didn’t affect the service you received. We were warned about the potential wait at Corfu airport when we departed and the process was managed as well as it could be. We would definitely sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This is a review of Idyllic Italia on Marella Discovery from 16th - 23rd August 2019. My wife & I have travelled on P&O 6 or 7 times and my wife has also travelled on Cunard however this was to be our first experience of Marella. ... Read More
This is a review of Idyllic Italia on Marella Discovery from 16th - 23rd August 2019. My wife & I have travelled on P&O 6 or 7 times and my wife has also travelled on Cunard however this was to be our first experience of Marella. It was also our first experience of an inside cabin having previously only been in a balcony or outside cabin. Inevitably therefore this review will feature a number of comparisons to P&O. This review focusses on the ship, Discovery, rather than the ports we visited. We had an early morning flight from Bristol (5:15) which left on time and landed in Corfu at 10am local time. Our cases were amongst the first to come through on the carousel and then we made our way onto one of the waiting coaches. There followed a smooth transfer to the port and we were onboard and in our cabin by 11:20am. The boarding process however felt rather disjointed, for example, we had to collect our own luggage at Corfu airport and carry them to the coach. Once we arrived at port our cases were taken off the coach and lined up whilst we queued to collect a luggage label which we then had to attach to our suitcase. Once we had done this we then had to queue again to register a payment card after which we had to walk to the ship which was about 400 metres away (in 30C heat). We were told there was a port shuttle bus if we wanted to use it but we saw no sign of a bus. The walk to ship was certainly exciting and gave us a lovely view of the ship but the whole boarding/registration process felt a bit haphazard. I don’t know if this is mostly due to facilities at the port or due to the way Marella operate. Once we had settled into our inside cabin on deck 7 we went to explore the ship and soon found ourselves in Islands Buffet where we had an eclectic mix of salad, pizza & chips. We were impressed by the space in the buffet and the ease with which we found a table. The range of food was exactly what you would expect for a mass catering buffet operation and was certainly no worse than the buffets on P&O ships. Following lunch we completed our tour of the ship before settling into the Atrium bar for a couple of drinks. We didn’t wait long at all to get served which was great although this also gave us a false impression of how the rest of the week would be. As we had been awake since 2am we both needed a little snooze so we retired to our spacious and comfortable inside cabin. We ate in 47 restaurant on our first night and were keen to see how the restaurant and food compared to P&O. The restaurant itself is lovely. Two tiered with floor to ceiling windows provide a light, airy space which creates a perfect atmosphere in which to dine. The food was perfectly pleasant however we felt it was let down by the presentation. On more than one occasion during the week we were presented with food that looked distinctly unappetising however it always tasted very good. The portions are definitely smaller than P&O to the extent that some nights we basically filled up on the cheeseboard. We were very surprised to see that the Islands Buffet closed at 9pm with only a few snacks available at the Glasshouse bar until the early hours. The buffets on P&O ships are open 24hours (or close to) and provide a much wider range of options for a late night snack. One of my favourite parts of any cruise is breakfast on the first day. We (nearly) always eat breakfast in the MDR rather than the buffet as we enjoy the waiter service so we were surprised to find a mixture of self service and table service in the MDR. The hot food was waiter service and everything else was via the buffet in the middle of the restaurant. We both thought this worked well as it meant that you could help yourself to rolls, pastries, fruit and yoghurt without having to order everything from the waiter (unlike P&O). We had decided not to upgrade to the premium package however on the first night I asked for a pint of John Smiths in the MDR and it was basically undrinkable. I am a keen home brewer and have worked in the craft beer industry so I know a thing or two about beer and I know what I like. John Smiths is far from my favourite but I felt that it would be fine to drink that for the week as I certainly wouldn’t drink mass produced lager such as Fosters or Heineken that they also sell onboard. The pint of John Smiths tasted like it was oxidised which can happen if the beer has been on tap for a (very) long time. I literally had one sip and left the rest. We noticed that Live Room had an extended range of bottled beers including two Belgian beers (Chimay and Duvel) so we decided to upgrade to the premium drinks package. In retrospect this probably wasn’t a great idea as I had two bottles of Duvel and was then told that they had run out. So in essence we upgraded but only had 2 bottles of a decent beer!! Anyway, the range of cocktails was good and they did have bottled beer from a UK 'craft' brewery called Meantime which was fine. On a cruise ship it is always enjoyable to walk into a bar/lounge and be promptly attended by a waiter asking for your drinks order, at least it is on P&O. With the exception of the Atrium Bar if we wanted a drink on Discovery we went to the bar to get it ourselves which of course meant queuing with everyone else - which is not what we come on a cruise for. We once waited 30 minutes in the Live Room for waiter service. Basically if you want a drink on Discovery you need to go and get it yourself due to the chronic lack of staff. The evening entertainment on P&O ships is a combination of guest performers and the inhouse entertainments team called The Headliners. We have found that the quality of this team varies from embarrassingly awful to mediocre at best however we know that other passengers have really enjoyed shows that we have hated. Given this experience we had low expectations of the Discovery evening shows. How wrong we were. The production quality and, most importantly, the individual talent in the team was exceptional. This meant that unlike on a P&O cruise we found ourselves scheduling our evenings around attending one of the shows. As has been mentioned by many other people the staff on Discovery were, mostly, excellent, Whilst there were one or two notable exceptions which were confined to the bar staff in the Live Room and the Pool Bar, the staff were friendly and helpful, it was just a shame that there weren't enough of them. The captain was highly visible throughout the ship. We have been on previous cruise on P&O where we saw the captain once or twice over a fortnight. In this cruise however we saw him 2 or 3 times every day. We found his tannoy announcements to be much more informal and friendly that we have experienced on P&O. Which brings us to his sidekick, Katie, the cruise director. Now we now lots of people love her style and have even commented that she was the difference in their cruise but for us she was reminiscent of an over-active duracell bunny. Everything was brilliant, amazing or fantastic. Everything was cranked up to 11. For us this was just over the top and at times annoying. There is no doubting her talent and commitment but for us it was just too much. A feature of the ship that I would like to comment on is the lifts. Given that there was no aft lift well (unlike most of the P&O ships that we have been on) we had assumed the lift situation would be bad however this was not the case at all. If we compare the P&O Ventura which carries a maximum of 3192 passengers and has 14 lifts this gives us a ratio of 1 left per 228 passengers, however each time we have been on Ventura there were always at least 2 lifts out of order meaning the ration was more like 266:1. The ratio on Discovery is 183:1 (1830 max passengers with 10 lifts - all of which were working all week). This may seem like a trivial point but I can genuinely say that on Ventura one of the primary annoyances, and persistent topics of conversation, is the waiting time for a lift. On Discovery this simply wasn’t a issue. We pressed the lift button and a lift came - simple!! No need to factor in how long we would be waiting for a lift when planning when to go to dinner! Additionally the two glass lifts that run the full height of the ship were fantastic. Going form the ground floor of the Atrium up to the outside pool deck was great. We spent most of our time in the indoor Glass House pool which was much quieter than the outside pool deck. We were also able to find shade in the Glass House unlike the outside decks, however the main reason was that in the Glass House we were not assaulted by loud music and the hyper active Katie and her team arranging 'fun' activities. The pool in the Glass House was fantastic. It had proper steps going into the pool which made it nice and easy to get in and out, and acclimatise to the cold water on the way in! Before we left I had read a number of comments about occasional sewage smells on Discovery. We experienced this 2 or 3 times. Once in the Live Room and once in the Atrium which was rather embarrassing as the Captain was being interviewed by Katie at the time. Both of these were unpleasant and caused us to the leave the area asap however this was nothing compared to the forward lift about half way through the holiday. Once we entered the lift there was a gut wrenching, overpowering and disgusting stench of raw sewage. There is no other description I'm afraid. We were only in the lift for about 20 seconds but we both had to cover our faces and hold our breath. It was deeply unpleasant however when we used the same lift the following day the stench had gone. All in all we felt that Marella compared very well to P&O. It has a slightly different offering to P&O (or at least this ship does) and is probably more family focussed, although bear in mind that this cruise was in August. We felt the evening entertainment team were far and away better than anything we had experienced on P&O and the food was more plentiful, though not necessarily better, on P&O. We were pleasantly surprised by our inside cabin and would be happy to have an inside cabin again. Overall we would be happy to travel with Marella cruises again although I think we would try the adults only ship next time. Hope this review has been helpful to someone !! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
After having a brilliant time on the Discovery last August we decided once again last minute to try the Idyllic Italia itinerary. As before this ship did not disappoint us, we had an inside plus cabin on deck 7 which was very spacious and ... Read More
After having a brilliant time on the Discovery last August we decided once again last minute to try the Idyllic Italia itinerary. As before this ship did not disappoint us, we had an inside plus cabin on deck 7 which was very spacious and kept spotless clean by the cabin staff. We did think about a balcony cabin as one was available but didn’t think the extra £600 for 1 week worth it. Maybe if we were on the ship for 2 weeks we would have thought about it. In all honestly we didn’t miss having a balcony as we only used the room to sleep and change in as there were plenty of excursions/ports to see. We had no problems with the food, used the Islands for breakfast and lunch, 47 and gallery 47 for dinner. We also tried the Glasshouse one evening for the tapas which was excellent. Only had to use the pagers twice and the wait was only about 10 minutes, didn’t even have time for a drink !! Went to Bar 11 every night after dinner, really enjoyed the ambiance there and all the staff were great. Always ended up sitting up at the bar chatting and having a bit of a laugh with the staff. Manuel, Maria and Ericka were delightful. Drinks were good and plentiful but slightly disappointed this year as the all inclusive cocktails had changed, last year there were a few rum based ones but this year only one, had to order a couple off the premium menu but only an extra £2.50 so not too bad. Went on 2 excursions with TUI -Pompeii and Taormina which were both very good, although when visiting Pompeii it was much to hot and there’s not a lot of shade so we were exhausted at the end but still worth doing. We met some nice people and never saw any rowdy or bad behaviour even the small amount of children on board were no trouble. The only time we struggled for a sunbed was on the sea day which was to be expected but we did see staff going round the decks putting notices on any sunbeds that were being reserved but no one on them. Loved the adult only veranda and that the Glasshouse pool also became adults only in the afternoon. Disembarkation was well organised but Corfu airport is still a bit of a nightmare, 45 minutes to check in, then 1hour queuing for security only just got through and the plane was ready to board. Not a fault of TUI but can only hope security can improve. Already looking at Discovery’s itinerary for next year but will do a last minute again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our room was also beside the staff room (we think) so that may give you a clue as to where about a we were. as many times that we walked to or from our room and encountered various staff members every single one acknowledged us with a nod ... Read More
Our room was also beside the staff room (we think) so that may give you a clue as to where about a we were. as many times that we walked to or from our room and encountered various staff members every single one acknowledged us with a nod or hello, (again cannot express how good their social skills and manners were, even when they were finishing a long shift)!! this review site and couldn’t not leave a review, even though it’s 14 month later”! Myself (44) and my father (63) booked our first ever cruise at the last minute (3 days in advance) in july 2018. My father booked our twin room with porthole on the telephone directly with a tui rep. As i am just browsing online now i’m kind of thinking errrmm we were robbed by the rep. as we didn’t know any different at the time it was, what it was!! Anyway, we boarded a plane at newcastle to dubrovnik and after check-in at newcastle we didn’t see our suitcases again till we arrived at our room onboard, which was excellent! transfer from airport to port was smooth and we joined in with all of the queuing and having photos taken by the pro’s at the port. We were onboard within approx 20 minutes and just kept following the directions of crew and followed the crowd. Once onboard it was more queues but everything was very civilised and as we came through the dining room there was music playing which i personally appreciated as it had a calming effect. Whilst waiting to be given our room information there was a man hovering/offering drinks upgrades. He was the least pushy salesman ever, which had a positive affect as he actually made myself and others approach him to enquire what he was offering. neither myself or my father knew anything about such upgrades. i drink vodka and he drinks stout/beer, grey goose was my upgrade and “cold cans- guaranteed” of tetley's for dad. i’m never ever ill when i drink grey goose and anyone that knows about tetley's knows it’s not tolerated from a pump if it is poor quality, frothy, warm etc. So needless to say we upgraded, i can’t remember exactly how much it was but i will guesstimate £100 each for the whole week. as the cans were approx £4/£5 each of we were going to have to buy them the upgrade was a no brainer! The staff were outstanding in every single area of the ship, the food was decent in the help yourself buffet area, with different choices daily. the fact that we could sit down in the other restaurant if dressed correctly and be served by staff was a lovely touch as a non-payment extra. we did also eat in both of the payable restaurants and again it was worth it as it felt as though we were in a different eatery. All of the bar staff got used to us as we tended to sit in the same areas daily and in the same bars and seating areas on an evening. This meant sometimes we just had to nod or wave to get our drinks refreshed whilst in a noisy area or whilst watching the shows. I cannot compliment the staff enough for their memories and attention to detail in this area. The entertainment crowd can also not be commended enough. I saw how hard the showtime crew worked and practised during the day and then they put on 2 full shows on an evening. the other entertainment crowd entertained us during the day, playing bingo, daft quizzes and just being around and then they were up on stage in one room or another on an evening! again i cannot fault any of them. the man that was cleaning and looking after our corridor was a star turn, he was such a happy man always singing and dancing and an absolute joy to encounter! We did a couple of trips via the ships tour operators (without feeling robbed) which were fab as we went up onto the hills of montenegro which was outstanding and athens was just something else. we also got off the ship and wandered around at every other port that we docked at and have no complaints. We were on a “child free” cruise which suited us perfectly. As someone that normally has a decent sense of direction i was absolutely useless at finding my way around, so i continuously went the long way around to anywhere i went. this was highly amusing for the people we met who became friends and moreso if i did go to the bar to order drinks and the staff carried them back to the room for me as the staff had worked out which room i was in and would take me the more direct route. We had perfect weather which obviously no-one has any control over but it made a massive difference as the seas were calm as well as the sun shining. I have very little to be negative about but i have to be true to the people who may read this. So.... Again as it was so long ago i can’t remember which level we were on, but.... We must have been somewhere near the engine room as the fumes in the corridor were quite bad and we had to put towels across the bottom of the door. to be fair we aren’t the sort of people that complain if we can deal with it, so as we were putting the towel across the bottom of the door we didn’t once complain. We had 1 major complaint and that is tui were not showing the england world cup games on any tv’s. all we had was sports news report on 1 tv in the coffee room and we didn’t even have the radio as suggested we would have. we had been told they had apparently shown the royal wedding a few months previous and individuals were able to get games on personal phones, laptops etc yet we were being told the signal wasn’t available. at one port (corfu i think) loads of us got off and went scouring for pubs with the england game of the day on. we only saw the first half and had to run back to the ship before it departed. after a lot of hoo haa we did eventually get the england vs croatia game on, and as we pulled back into croatian waters the final whistle went and england were out of the 2018 world cup. Now i know that result is neither tui or marella’s fault, but it just felt like an unnecessary lot of stress towards the end of an absolutely excellent holiday and first cruise experience. As aforementioned i am already browsing and looking at the possibility of another cruise, this time to see the northern lights. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I have been on over 20 cruises mostly with NCL, MSC, RCI and P&O. In April I sailed on this ship on the repositioning cruise via Suez canal. I booked it again in August for my recently widowed friend and her son as I had enjoyed the ... Read More
I have been on over 20 cruises mostly with NCL, MSC, RCI and P&O. In April I sailed on this ship on the repositioning cruise via Suez canal. I booked it again in August for my recently widowed friend and her son as I had enjoyed the previous cruise in April. The friendliness of the very hard working crew is phenomenal. The performers in the Broadway Theatre are the best I have seen on a cruise ship, the standard of the shows is excellent. They really should be in west end shows. It is a smaller ship that is very easily navigated from bars, theatre to dining rooms and cabins. We are mainly in the main dining room as the food and service was so good we didn't want to go anywhere else. Captain Chris and Katy the cruise director work so hard to ensure that all guests are well looked after. We will certainly be booking the Marella again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I have been on a Royal Caribbean cruise, was a bit wary of doing a Tui cruise, we didn't have to worry. Captain Chris and his team were brilliant. Vey clean, plenty of food choice. Entertainment was first class as were Katie and ... Read More
I have been on a Royal Caribbean cruise, was a bit wary of doing a Tui cruise, we didn't have to worry. Captain Chris and his team were brilliant. Vey clean, plenty of food choice. Entertainment was first class as were Katie and her team. Loved the way the captain interacts with everyone. The sail away from ports were amazing. we could not find fault. ignore negative comments see for yourself will definitely go on the Discovery again. The captains part was a brilliant night had everyone dancing the Captains dance. The Venice sail away parade was lovey to watch with most people had masks on. Have to mention Katie and crew for a brilliant end of cruise party. Husband on the dance floor a well. Brilliant cruise every crew member was outstanding from housekeeping to bar staff. definitely go again. A big thank you to everyone we had a fab time on the Discovery. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
A great two week Aegean cruise. Wonderful destinations, fantastic food and attentive staff. Cabins were kept clean at all times and the beds were turned down at night lovely touch. Chris the captain walked the ship every day and ... Read More
A great two week Aegean cruise. Wonderful destinations, fantastic food and attentive staff. Cabins were kept clean at all times and the beds were turned down at night lovely touch. Chris the captain walked the ship every day and would often stop and chat sometimes show people to their tables the restaurant. This was a lovely touch, he even got involved in entertaining us one night with an officer Cupid dance! Entertainment was amazing always something to watch. We loved the daily afternoon quiz it became a ritual. My two teenagers had a great time at the hideout teen club. Housem the club leader became a true friend to them. They met some lovely friends and had a great two weeks. I couldn’t fault this Cruise we had an amazing time. I would recommend a stop in Venice as we left we had one of the entertainment crew singing opera it was amazing, I will remember it forever brought me to tears. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We wanted to do something special for our Silver wedding anniversary so we decided on the Adriatic Affair itinerary, where we celebrated our vows, followed by a hotel stay. The whole experience was fantastic. All of the staff were ... Read More
We wanted to do something special for our Silver wedding anniversary so we decided on the Adriatic Affair itinerary, where we celebrated our vows, followed by a hotel stay. The whole experience was fantastic. All of the staff were friendly, helpful and hardworking and the ship was lovely. Patrick, our cabin steward, was lovely. Nothing was too much trouble for him. I had a light mishap with my dress, when we were getting ready for dinner at the captain’s table; however, some of the stewards were quickly on hand with a sewing kit, so a disaster was avoided. The food and drink were plentiful. We upgraded to premium all inclusive due to us preferring ‘zero’ pop, and my husband’s love of coffee. Our Celebration of Vows, in Venice, was perfect, and Elaine ( the social/welfare hostess) ensured that everything was perfect! It was lovely that she could share our special moment with us, along with the lovely Captain Nikos. We have got some lovely photographs that were taken by the onboard photographer. Overall, we had a wonderful experience, and will definitely be back on the Celebration as soon as we can. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Having booked Merella explorer 2 as our first cruise was a choice well made. The ship is an older ship nearly 25 years old and is showing its age here and there although the ship has gone through a refit in March and those additions have ... Read More
Having booked Merella explorer 2 as our first cruise was a choice well made. The ship is an older ship nearly 25 years old and is showing its age here and there although the ship has gone through a refit in March and those additions have added greatly to the experience. A negative was the lack of toilets on the main restaurant decks 5,6 and 7. That was the only negative. The staff were excellent and the food and drink packages were again value for money. The entertainment was good throughout the ship and the silent disco is something to behold. The cabin we had was on deck 9 with a balcony, it was spacious, the bathroom was well proportioned with the shower enclosure big enough for me as I'm six foot four. The pool deck area had enough sun loungers for all the guests and the bar staff ensured your drinks were topped up continually. On the whole it was a superb holiday with way more positives than negatives. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was an absolute fantastic holiday everything was perfect the cases we never saw they appeared outside the cabin from the airport.This is a small ship and we love it because it has a more personal approach you feel like one big ... Read More
This was an absolute fantastic holiday everything was perfect the cases we never saw they appeared outside the cabin from the airport.This is a small ship and we love it because it has a more personal approach you feel like one big family.The service was second to none and every member of staff had a genuine smiling face .The entertainment was great and food and drink was fantastic.We have a lot of people who made our holiday special but we cannot name them all we would like to give a big thank you for our cabin boy Patrick who was exceptional he certainly went the extra mile.Also like to mention the outstanding service we received every day from Kenneth he will never forget us (the grey goose clan).We would all like to give a big mention and a huge thanyou to Marcy Sarich hotel manager she was always out and about extremely approachable and ever so friendly she made our holiday and in fact we have just booked another two with you.Last but no means least we thank siva our dancing chef he makes a mean rice/noodles once again thank you Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Staff food cabins shows everything exceeded my expectations all the places we visited were amazing cudnt have asked for more will def do it again loved every minute the entertainment was fantastic the food was amazing the only negative ... Read More
Staff food cabins shows everything exceeded my expectations all the places we visited were amazing cudnt have asked for more will def do it again loved every minute the entertainment was fantastic the food was amazing the only negative thing I wud say is they need sort out sun lounge situation cud never get one near the pool as people filled them every morning and left the ship all day so that was a night mare ant the pool is small for size of ship the all inclusive was great no need to up grade to premium there was plenty to do on sea days like the spa was fantastic and mini golf and table tennis also great climbing wall the teenagers loved that and the escape room wat else can I say only had fantastic experience for my first ever cruise and really glad we choose tui they were great from start to finish we done 2 wks and never got dored Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Met up with friends for this cruise. We all felt standards have dropped. Undercooked and cold food in islands. Much better in 47. Less staff so cleaning in toilets was less often also running out of toilet paper . Too much of demonstrating ... Read More
Met up with friends for this cruise. We all felt standards have dropped. Undercooked and cold food in islands. Much better in 47. Less staff so cleaning in toilets was less often also running out of toilet paper . Too much of demonstrating and upselling of spa treatments. Sunbed reserving time limits not enforced. Music volume too loud in all venues. Smoking areas too small. Let smokers back on one side of deck 9 so they can join in with deck 9 entertainment. Increase tables and chairs smoking area on deck 4. Special praise goes to Alster and Rosemarie waiters from the live room. Kept everyone topped up with drinks and chat. Was impressed by bath towel size but sometimes they were stained. No need to upgrade to premium drinks package. Excursions too pricey. Aircon not working properly in both cabins. Had cruise cough when returned home. Corfu airport disabled area not big enough and not enough seats. We also had a couple of the same shows the second week. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
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