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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We had our first cruise in July - on board the Marella Discovery - and we booked this cruise as soon as got home! Our first cruise was fabulous and we were worried that our second might not live up to our expectations. There was no need to ... Read More
We had our first cruise in July - on board the Marella Discovery - and we booked this cruise as soon as got home! Our first cruise was fabulous and we were worried that our second might not live up to our expectations. There was no need to worry: the In Search of the Northern Lights cruise was also just brilliant! We took a coach from Bolton to Southampton and the boarding experience was fine... about 30 minutes from coach to cabin. There were lots of people to be processed, but there were plenty of staff to process them. Our cabin was clean and well prepared and our bags arrived within about an hour of boarding... all good. We took almost all our meals in the waiter service restaurants 47 Degrees and Gallery 47. The food was excellent and the service faultless. We were always made to feel welcome and the choice of wines and menus in the basic all inclusive package were excellent.... the Merlot, Sauvignon and Pinot Noir were lovely. Service was always prompt, polite and so entertaining! Waiters and Restaurant managers soon learned our names and preferences. They made us feel special. We spent most of on-ship time in the Atrium which was busy at times, especially during performance times... but surely that's a good thing! The waiters and waitresses were wonderful: always attentive and nothing was too much trouble. I cannot commend these lovely people highly enough and it was very sad to say goodbye at the end of the cruise. The basic drinks package is great and the bar staff are tireless. As value for money, I really don't know how anyone could fault it! The most enjoyable part of the cruise was the brilliant entertainment team. We met Roland and Amy, the professional dance couple who introduced us to dance three months ago, and they made us feel very special indeed from the first moment we met them again. The Passion for Dance classes and daily social dances were joyful, exuberant times which we will never forget. Very special people - Amy and Roland! Brandi and Max (Braximusic) also made us feel welcome and their shows were just brilliant! So professional and so talented! They were fabulous performers and also such friendly and considerate team members. We saw them talking and laughing with passengers throughout the cruise... they were awesome! The show team provided a 14-day extravaganza of dance, musical theatre and drama. Their shows were quite simply wonderful: wide ranging and so well sang and danced... something for everyone. We took no excursions, preferring to "do our own thing" and the itinerary was very good. We were blessewd with good weather and so we made the most of the spectacular scenery on offer in the Norwegian fjords. Our brilliant bonus was a 4-day spell during which the Northern Lights were visible every night! Impossible to describe and largely good fortune, but an experience we will never forget! We are a young at heart, retired couple travelling alone and the crew and passengers soon made us feel very welcome. We made good friends and thoroughly enjoyed the ambience on board. We booked our next cruise on Discovery for December 6th this year... we hope to pick up where we left off. Thank you, Discovery Team, for another fabulous experience! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We pick this cruise to see what marella was like after not being on them since 2006 in the thomson days.It was bad start to finish.We put the cases on at the coach pick up then at the port took them off found somebody with luggage labels ... Read More
We pick this cruise to see what marella was like after not being on them since 2006 in the thomson days.It was bad start to finish.We put the cases on at the coach pick up then at the port took them off found somebody with luggage labels ,put them on then found somebody to take them off you.Then it took 1 hour to register in.The cabin was a good size but dated we paid £196.00 extra for this cabin a inside plus.The duvet was only very low tog so it was cold in the cabin in fact it was cold where ever you went on the ship.It needed new towels to all grey.The food was very poor in the restaurant so after 4days we give up like a lot of people & started eating in the buffet.The food in the buffet was only just ok,when ever you went in the buffet itwas very hard to get a seat people was just sat there taking in the view & drinking because you could serve yourself beer & wine. Each week they had a one good comedian on the theatre shows were only just watchable.There was one good quiz per day in the live bar but hard to get a seat because some never moved out of the live bar.The condition of the ship was poor plenty rust to be seen .On the second week they started stripping down at the the back of the ship ready for its third refurb in 4years thats shows the condition of the ship.The tours was poorly organised & they changed a lot of them.The tender boats at leknes was a disgrace we had to cue up for hour &half in the cold & rain to get back on we was lucky some was over two hours thank god these lot was not at dunkirk. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Marella discovery searching for the northern lights 4th October 2018 until 18th October 2018 This is our 13th year of cruising with Thomson’s but our first time after the name change last year. For this review I’m going to split ... Read More
Marella discovery searching for the northern lights 4th October 2018 until 18th October 2018 This is our 13th year of cruising with Thomson’s but our first time after the name change last year. For this review I’m going to split into separate parts Firstly we sailed from Southampton. Embarking was completely hassle free. Parked the car at 12:15 on board with a drink at 13:15 cases arrived shortly after a massive well done to everyone involved Our room located on deck 7 inside was plenty big enough with a nice big double bed and small seating area the addition of having a water jug and glasses with a fresh water tap on the level was a pleasant surprise. Our shower was missing it’s head but our steward soon had that sorted. I think in total out of the 14 days we saw our steward twice but the room was always well maintained twice a day. One big thing we noticed on this ship is how quiet the rooms are most ships we have been on have paper thin walls so you can hear everything happening. After looking around the ship and finding out the swimming pools are heated bonus.we went downstairs for predinner drinks and this is where the ship falls down in a big way. Most of the evening entertainment is done in the Broadway theatre for shows then the live lounge and atrium. There is inadequate seating in the live lounge and atrium. There is a massive lounge called the venue on deck 5 but this is only used for the game shows a complete waste of good space. Dinner in the main dining area is waiter served you are unable to book a table. If you wish to only use the 1 set of waiters then you take a chance at getting them or take a pager this is something I’ve never experienced before on any ship and have to say I’m not at all keen. Service like the food can be hit and miss. I mentioned the food out of all the ships I’ve been on this one is on par with the majesty not great they seem to of run out of seasoning in the kitchens, and everything seems to of been left on the hot plate for far to long before serving, none of the food is fresh and vibrant,burgers in the snack shack are warmed up when ordered bun and all. On one occasion I gave them back both our burgers as they were stone cold in the middle after that we didn’t eat there again. We did treat ourselves to the surf and turf restaurant on deck 11 something I would urge people to avoid as it’s not worth anywhere near the £28 per person I got my money back when I complained. Last year on the spirit we had 10 courses of heaven as our cruise treat for much less. Breakfast and lunch you either need to get up very early to eat in the buffet area or use the restaurant as people use it as seating area instead of finishing then moving away somewhere eles. I completely understand this was a cold weather cruise but come on it can’t be right people reading,taking photos while others are trying to sit down to eat. As said this was a cold weather cruise so the main pool deck wasn’t needed as much. The other bars didn’t cope with the added pressures with some of the bar staff actually making you feel bad about ordering especially in the atrium where they were more interested in whistling and cat calling a female customer on the deck above, the female waitress said they do it all the time. Not very professional I can recommend the bar on deck 11 which had excellent service the staff made you feel very welcome and you didn’t wait very long for your drink to arrive. This ship does make use of some interactive technology does that some of the staff interactiveness out of the cruise? Yes I think it does especially when booking excursions or wanting to know more about a port. Does the fact it’s an all inclusive ship make a difference yes I think it does especially when the first 2 days of the cruise staff were trying to sell the upgraded all inclusive when the all inclusive has already been added to the initial cost of the holiday. Would I do this cruise again yes I would however I wouldn’t recommend this ship unless significant improvements are made Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Just back from an amazing 2 week cruise on board Marella Discovery to Norway. What a fantastic time we had from start to finish. Embarkation was quick and easy, we were on the ship within an hour of our taxi dropping us off at ... Read More
Just back from an amazing 2 week cruise on board Marella Discovery to Norway. What a fantastic time we had from start to finish. Embarkation was quick and easy, we were on the ship within an hour of our taxi dropping us off at Southampton. Balcony cabin 7604 was clean, with plenty of storage space. It was great to have the balcony to sit out on late at night watching the northern lights! Entertainment we found to be excellent, great show team with something different every night. We were on this ship last year and we found that the entertainment shows were a lot better this time, what a very talented team. Dining: We ate mainly in restaurant 47 as we preferred this to the hustle & bustle of Islands up on deck 9. Trying to find a seat up there was a challenge. The service we received in restaurant 47 was excellent, great staff, all very welcoming and friendly. Always pleased to see you. Food was excellent, something different to choose from every night, we never had a bad meal. Just want to say thanks to Bojan and Yana for their professional, friendly service, together they make a great team. We know the dress code has been relaxed on this ship but it was good to see that on this cruise so many passengers still liked the chance to get dressed up in the evenings. We went on a lot of organised excursions, all of which were very good. In Bergan we went on the full day trip to Hardangerfjord, lovely scenery, knowledgeable guide and with a 3 course meal included in the price, it was excellent value for money, would recommend this trip. All staff we met were very friendly and always greeted you with a smile. Great crew all round. Seeing the Northern Lights was the icing on the cake, what a fantastic cruise, with lots of happy memories. This was our 3rd cruise with Tui / Marella and hopefully it wont be our last. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Norway, really wanted see the Northern lights and this cruise ticked all the boxes. So we booked this on an impulse. After booking I checked out some of the reviews and felt a little unsure ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Norway, really wanted see the Northern lights and this cruise ticked all the boxes. So we booked this on an impulse. After booking I checked out some of the reviews and felt a little unsure as to whether we'd chosen the right ship etc. due to some poor reviews, but i needn't have worried as we had a fantastic time & the icing on the cake was actually seeing the Northern lights on 3 nights during the cruise. The embarkation procedure was really smooth, we checked in our luggage, went on board & it was delivered directly to our cabin. We had booked a cabin with a balcony, (No. 6080), it was spacious with plenty of storage, and although we were not able to sit out on the balcony for long (due to the cold weather), it was lovely to stand out when in port, when 'sailing out' and for viewing the northern lights when they were visible in the early hours of the morning. The tea & coffee making facilities were kept well stocked by Joseph & the other members of the housekeeping staff. The cabin was kept immaculately clean throughout the cruise. The cruise was all inclusive, although you could upgrade if you wanted to include premium brands of alcohol. We did not feel that this was necessary for us as the drinks available on the all inclusive included sparkling wines & certain cocktails. The food was delicious & well cooked, we alternated most evenings between the two waiter service restaurants, and also ended up eating breakfast there as well as getting a seat in the self service restaurant was too much of a struggle. We did not go to any of the specialty restaurants as we did feel the extra you needed to pay for them was too much. The entertainment on board was very good with two shows in the Broadway theatre every evening, pianist & live singing in the lounges, and talks during the days. There was always something to do on board. The gym on board was well equipped, I used this during the days at sea, followed by a relaxing time in the steam room. We booked our excursions online prior to the cruise which was easy to do. The tickets for all of theses were delivered to our cabin on our first evening. The excursions were well planned, but, as we normally find with excursions around the world, some sound better on paper than they actually are. But, on these excursions we did get to see the beautiful countryside by coach that we would not have seen otherwise if we'd just stayed in the port area. The whole ship was kept immaculately clean during the whole cruise. All the staff were friendly & service excellent. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
First Cruise so cant compare it with others. First of all I must say that every single one of the staff were brilliant you could not fault the service at all in any way, everyone worked really hard and seemed to be enjoying it, well apart ... Read More
First Cruise so cant compare it with others. First of all I must say that every single one of the staff were brilliant you could not fault the service at all in any way, everyone worked really hard and seemed to be enjoying it, well apart from one waitress one night who did not seem very happy. The Tui entertainment staff put on some good shows, the bands and other entertainers were good apart from one who we only saw once although he appeared on the program several times he did not turn up. I must admit the bands got a bit repetitive every night. There was entertainment in the Atrium but you could never get a seat and it beats me why they put the farewell cabaret on in there, the smallest entertainment room on the ship. The Venue room, the largest entertainment room on the ship was underused especially on the days at sea, there was not enough seats in the Live room and Atrium for everyone to sit. Plus at night it turned into a modern Hi De Hi with stupid game shows. The food in the Island buffet was a bit hit and miss, some things really good others no so good such as rubbery carrots under cooked veg and tough lamb. Afternoon tea was nice and a good choice at breakfast. That said you could always find something to eat. Can't comment on the other restaurants as we did not use them. We found the days at sea boring, could have done with some musical entertainment. There is very little to do at the ports of call unless you have booked some excursions which could easily add another £400-£500 on the cost of the cruise. The best port of call was Flam. One place we called at had one shop and a shop of tatt in the tourist office, we could not event find a cafe that served cappuccino. Just forgot to mention that embarkation took about 75 mins but some people reported 3 hours. To sum up it was not bad value for money and I would not say I would not do one again. They do have a dress to impress night and lots did get dressed up but on the whole there were a mixture of what people wearing on other days and evenings, some really smart, some smart casual and some who looked as if the had just put the bins out. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Should of known what was coming when the manager of the store at the forte Birmingham gave us incorrect information regarding parking and checking in. From parking the car at the port following a twenty minute queue it took exactly 3 ... Read More
Should of known what was coming when the manager of the store at the forte Birmingham gave us incorrect information regarding parking and checking in. From parking the car at the port following a twenty minute queue it took exactly 3 hours to board the ship. Totally unprepared for check in with 8 stations open and the card registration crashing constantly. The ship itself as a previous Royal Carribean ship was OK The staff were uninterested and personally witnessed what I believe was 5he staff helping themselves to wine from the islands cafe and transferring into implements at the waiters station. The shows in the broadway lounge were pathetic and the one act they brought in which was a magic/comedian act made ourselves and a large number of people walkout as it was worst than you would see in a working mans club. For the first three days I was bombarded with staff trying to upgrade my all inclusive package to a premium package, this was indicative of the cruise with regard to trying you to spend more and mor3 money on nothing more than crap. I have cruised many times before and this is by far the worst overall experience I have experienced. This is no mor3 than a poor performance of Haven on the seas. Don’t waste your money. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We travelled as part of a family group and the entire trip was paid for by my father-in-law. As we had a junior suite we had priority boarding at Southampton so this was very quick and easy (I later found out that non-priority passengers ... Read More
We travelled as part of a family group and the entire trip was paid for by my father-in-law. As we had a junior suite we had priority boarding at Southampton so this was very quick and easy (I later found out that non-priority passengers had uptown a three hour queue and the whole process was a bit chaotic, something that Marella is looking at how to improve). Discovery is a fairly small ship and first impressions from the quayside was very pleasing. Onboard the public areas were clean and modern, plenty of seating and excellent service. Dinning was generally excellent in the main restaurants (we tended to avoid the buffet due to lack of inside seating) and although they were table service we always asked for (and got) extra helpings. Shows were generally not my taste but the others enjoyed them; I did enjoy the magician which the others didn't. There was live music, dance classes and bingo in the lounges. Outside there is a complete circuit deck (four laps to a mile) and some partial decks. Apart from the outdoor pool and jacuzzi (both of which were little used due to the weather) there is a 9 hole mini golf and a climbing wall; also two shuffleboards. Inside is another pool (with retractable roof) and table tennis. There are arcade games in the children's area (deck 10). Cabin was comfortable but a little disappointing (see separate review). Apart from Stravanga the ports, although scenic, had little to offer. This is largely due to the lack of population in Norway (in fact it was very rare to see a Norwegian on the streets). The distances between the excursion sights meant a lot of time on coaches but at least the ship has to wait if you're late back which we were once. Overall, we all had a very good trip, the scenery was fantastic (which is the whole point) even if the weather wasn't. The crew were excellent and I have no major complaints with the ship. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Just back from our fifth cruise, this one the Fjords. Only two negatives from an otherwise excellent cruise. Firstly, out of eight lifts, two were out of order for the whole trip. Amazing the difference to when we were last on the ship ... Read More
Just back from our fifth cruise, this one the Fjords. Only two negatives from an otherwise excellent cruise. Firstly, out of eight lifts, two were out of order for the whole trip. Amazing the difference to when we were last on the ship last May. Frequent long frustrating waits. Secondly the entertainment wasn't as good as previously. The main topic of conversation throughout the voyage at every meal was the boarding experience at Southampton. It was in a nutshell, a complete shambles. We were comparatively lucky, queuing for only one hour twenty five minutes. Some people we spoke to waited up to three and a half hours plus many had to re-register on the ship as the system would not process their boarding cards. We were thinking this was the norm for cruise embarkation as we had the same problem on our first cruise with Thomson/TUI/Marella back in May 2017 at Malaga on the Dream. A two hour wait due to a computer crash. So despite all the effort of the ships wonderful crew the whole experience was marred by the incompetence on shore. We certainly think the director in charge of this part of operations should be promoted ASAP and moved to department where he or she can cause little damage to customer relations. A final thought, it might well be of interest for some organisation like yourselves to publish a list of cruise embarkation ports and feature the average embarkation times of each cruise line so that we can eliminate poor performers. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Southampton is so easy to cruise from unless u travel with Marella queue to pick up your envelope to but luggage tag on suitcase and get room key then take luggage to pick up point for porters to take to room not so easy if wife in ... Read More
Southampton is so easy to cruise from unless u travel with Marella queue to pick up your envelope to but luggage tag on suitcase and get room key then take luggage to pick up point for porters to take to room not so easy if wife in wheelchair that`s the bad bit for us then straight thru and onto ship. for u more able bodied people about 2-3 hours after that to get on the ship as most people we spoke to said. The bad bit over with, Our 1st time on a small ship we had nothing to be nervous about this is a great ship we found all staff very good never used the buffet restaurant used the MDR & Italian every time food very good yes small portions but 3 course meal with wine then port you will not go hungry the shows were normal standard for any cruise ship and we have seen quite a few over the years service at the bars/coffee shop was 97 per cent very good layout of ship easy to get around toilets every other floor the price for this type of all inclusive cruise is very good value check out celebrity prices for this cruise and you will have nothing to complain about also check out the pub in Flam right by the doc £15 for a glass of wine £10 a pint very nice pub tho will go with marella again enjoyed the trip Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our first cruise. We never considered a cruise before but the deal for 8 nights to the Norwegian Fjords was an offer we couldn’t refuse. My husband couldn’t believe going to notoriously expensive Norway could be achieved at ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We never considered a cruise before but the deal for 8 nights to the Norwegian Fjords was an offer we couldn’t refuse. My husband couldn’t believe going to notoriously expensive Norway could be achieved at such good value yet it is all inclusive ie: cabin, all food, all drinks/alcohol, entertainment, tips etc We were not impressed by the embarkation which was a shambles. Ten check in desks for over 1800 guests caused a long wait for everyone. However, once on board everything was great for the deal we had booked. The whole ship was kept spotlessly clean and tidy, the staff were fantastic providing a friendly, effecient and professional service. Our inside cabin was small but had ample storage, a hairdryer, coffee/tea facilities, a tv, the en-suite was a bit like a caravan with shower curtain rather than screen but we coped ok, our cabin was cleaned by Pande who did a great job. The food in several different eateries was great with plenty of variety. We normally had breakfast and lunch at Islands buffet restaurant and enjoyed a delicious 3 course meal each evening at 47 which in any other restaurant along with alcohol, coffee etc would have probably cost a minimum of £75. Service was exemplary. Special mention to Paul Col the main chef and Ajay his assistant, for the wonderful food, the quality astounded us considering there were so many covers. Special mention for waiters Trajche from Mexico and Manuel from Honduras who provided great service. There were two shows each evening in the beautiful Art Deco styled thie: singing, dancing, costumes and was often better than many shows we’ve seen elsewhere provided by a young, energetic and enthusiastic team. In other areas there was live music. Special mention to the band B12 and fantastic solo saxophonist Vernal. There are other areas on the ship ie the inside pool (food and drink served there too, served with a smile by Stanislavsky), Outside pool where there are different functions, nightly films shown, BBQ, live music. Table tennis tables are provided. There are quiz’s and dancing classes during the day. A climbing wall. The deck has walking circuit which many people used. It sounds busy but we always found a quiet area to read etc. There were plenty of bars available where alcolhol/drinks were served freely. The sailing was done over night, the ship docked at a different easily accessible destination each day. The destinations all had a different feel to them. We had no regrets visiting Norway, it’s a beautiful, clean country. We didn’t book any excursions as we found them expensive. We researched ahead of time (often using trip advisor) and did some DIY excursions. The Flam railway was wonderful. We got off ship early, there was a short walk to railway station, booked the next train which left 1/2 hour later, the train wasn’t as busy as those on the excursion trips. Needless to say sailing through the Fjords before docking in the morning or leaving a destination late afternoon/early evening were spectacular, stunning, unspoilt and truly beautiful. We particularly enjoyed from the front of the ship the sun setting one evening If another deal came our way particularly to an expensive destination, we would definitely consider Marella Cruises again and would not hesitate to recommend them. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was a last minute booking,as we just needed a break,Having never sailed with Thomson/Tui/Marella before because of people putting us off, we decided to give them a try.Having done around 20 previous cruises with 1 Cunard who are in a ... Read More
This was a last minute booking,as we just needed a break,Having never sailed with Thomson/Tui/Marella before because of people putting us off, we decided to give them a try.Having done around 20 previous cruises with 1 Cunard who are in a league of their own,1 with Cruise & Maritime (yuk) never again,The rest were with P&O,who up until going on the Discovery we were quite happy with.The check in at Newcastle was total chaos,no time slot for check in,so everyone turns up together,people waiting in the car park & even on the slip road,which is a danger in itself,then you have to get on a bus to travel a few hundred yards,then check in your card details,then another bus to an area near the ship then about a 5 minute walk to the ship,having said all that Newcastle IS a port & not a cruise terminal,OK that's the bad thing out of the way,The ship itself is a pretty decent ship,she is looking a bit tired in places but she is getting on a bit,One of the nicest atrium's we have seen,a decent theatre,with excellent shows each night off the theatre group,Which P&O don't do 2 or 3 on a weeks cruise,Morgan from the theatre group has an outstanding voice & does a solo show in the atrium,the entertainment overall was good,There was a classical duo called Braximusic who were amazing.The crew are some of the friendliest we have ever met.The food was really good some people were saying the portions where a bit small & only 3 courses,how much food do they want,smaller portions mean less waste & you can ask for more if you want,( sounds like line from Oliver). Probably the best buffet We have ever experienced on land or sea,despite it being all inclusive (which does not include fizzy drinks on their own) we never seen anybody drunk,A bit strange that you can have a vodka or rum & coke,but not just coke.Overall we were really happy with this ship so much so that we have already booked another 2 Marella cruises for next year,Marella need to go to Southampton to see how check in should be done & P&O need to go on a Marella cruise to see how the all inclusive drinks & gratuities & entertainment is done because if other cruise companies can do it so can P&O. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Food in main restaurants pretty average. All inclusive drinks package good (avoid Don Mendo white). Service excellent with special mention to Nico and David in the Atrium Bar and Yansi the lovely waitress. Oh, and the Snack Shack, a modest ... Read More
Food in main restaurants pretty average. All inclusive drinks package good (avoid Don Mendo white). Service excellent with special mention to Nico and David in the Atrium Bar and Yansi the lovely waitress. Oh, and the Snack Shack, a modest and underrated place where you can get hot instant and tasty food from talented staff. Rooms cleaned well by polite towel sculpturers,Captain looked and sounded like a captain should. Entertainment very good with excellent singers let down by couple of dodgy shows (drumming show especially). Opera singers enjoyable especially when on deck on sailing from port. Disembarkation disappointing took thee hours for us to get off which meant serious problems on motorway. Embarkation reasonable. Port of Tyne staff unfailingly cheerful and polite. Wine tasting event so enjoyable and well run by Darren, Moses and the knowledgeable and delightful sommelier Judy. Second time on the Discovery and have enjoyed both cruises. Looking forward to October Med cruise on Explorer. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We booked this cruise very late and were not sure what to expect after reading some of these reviews. Well we can honestly say that you shouldn't pay any attention to the negative reviews. This ship is excellent value for money, kept ... Read More
We booked this cruise very late and were not sure what to expect after reading some of these reviews. Well we can honestly say that you shouldn't pay any attention to the negative reviews. This ship is excellent value for money, kept spotlessly clean, all the staff we had contact with were good, decent food and the all important decent drinks included on the all-inclusive package. No need to upgrade to the premium unless you only drink a certain brand. All the most popular spirits are included and the cocktail list was the most comprehensive we have come across in our many years of all-inclusive holidays ( particularly the rum based ones- it was nice to have a few more than Pina colada ). As we had booked late the only rooms available were inside cabins, we have never stayed in an inside cabin before so were a bit apprehensive but we were pleasantly surprised in how spacious the room was. It wasn't a bit claustrophobic the only problem is that you can't see what the weather is doing or the temperature outside. The room was well serviced by the cabin staff and included a few towel animals. Shower was a bit on the small side but we coped and didn't flood the bathroom floor. Liked that there were water dispensers available on certain decks to fill up your kettle as we didn't want to drink the water from the tap. We tried all the restaurants except the Surf and Turf which was a bit expensive. The Kora ora ( Asian ) was lovely with a great view. Gallery 47 ( the Italian ) was the one we used mostly at dinner and used the buffet restaurant for breakfast and lunch. We never had a bad meal and in fact there was too much choice so had to be careful we didn't overeat. ( but we still put on 5 lbs on in a week !!!! ). At night we only ever used the bar on deck 11, this bar only opens at 5pm and it tended to be a bit quieter and no loud music till later when it became a disco ? not sure about this as we usually left around midnight. The bar staff here were excellent especially Sacha and Sachin - a credit to the company. The whole trip was very scenic and although we had rain for 3 days it didn't distract from the magnificent scenery. The guests on this trip were slightly older we thought than normal with hardly any children and we didn't see or hear any bad behaviour from anybody. I think this was because of where we went and as the weather was a bit cooler there was no hassles re sunbeds which you usually get. We had said that this would be our last ocean cruise as we do prefer a hotel based / decent swimming pool holiday but we would certainly reconsider travelling on the Discovery again if a decent deal came up. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
A previous cruise on Discovery and a previous Norwegian cruise on a different ship had both been so enjoyable we booked "Wonders of the Fjords" to celebrate my 70th Birthday. What a good choice. Parking and Embarkation went ... Read More
A previous cruise on Discovery and a previous Norwegian cruise on a different ship had both been so enjoyable we booked "Wonders of the Fjords" to celebrate my 70th Birthday. What a good choice. Parking and Embarkation went just as explained in the Port Parking Voucher (although expensive at £10 per day) and a quick and easy booking-in provided the necessary security checks and provision of the check-in card to be shown on boarding and leaving the ship and for ordering either all inclusive drinks or for any extras to be charged to your credit card. Having selected (for £45 extra) the same cabin we had chosen on our previous Tui Discovery holiday on Deck 7, front of midships starboard side we knew exactly where we were going and found our balcony cabin well prepared by Adios clean and with ample hanging and drawer space. This cabin has ample space for the bathroom, a three seater settee and the queen sized bed, and leads through the sliding door onto the balcony which has just enough room for two chairs and a table. Not enormous, but enough. Although we chose to eat our first meal in the Islands self-service buffet restaurant we chose to only eat here occasionally as we found the 47 degree restaurant provided superb service and choice. We chose to sit at a table for two and had two waiters who became the ICING ON THE CAKE!. Nothing was too much trouble for Bojan and Trajche! They very quickly remembered our choice of wine and filled and re-filled glasses without being asked. They remembered that I have a dislike of nuts and pointed out the desserts which I wouldn't like. They always had a smile (even at breakfast). To say they made a good cruise better would be quite true. The entertainment team were superb with quality theatre shows every night. The standard of both song and dance was a credit to the performers and to the back-room too. The Stars of the extra entertainment must be Braximusic who performed in different venues around the ship continually. Having heard a very early performance of theirs on leaving Venice on Thompson Majesty in 2013 it was wonderful to see how their joint career has progressed and what a polished, goose-bumps performance they give. Thank you Max and Brandie. The ports were just as expected and the excursions (although expensive) informative and very enjoyable. The weather helped too. With the exception of Bergen ("it always rains in Bergen" we were told) and low cloud as we took a small boat cruise from Flam, we were lucky with relatively calm seas and mid August sunshine. All in all would we do it again? We we did. We had arranged to stay aboard the ship to go from Newcastle to the Baltic and enjoy our longest ever holiday. But that's another story. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Having been new and previously resistant to cruising, the entire cruise was fantastic. The ship is beautiful, entertainment programme varied and excellent, housekeeping attentive, but the restaurant waiting staff in gallery 47 and 47 put ... Read More
Having been new and previously resistant to cruising, the entire cruise was fantastic. The ship is beautiful, entertainment programme varied and excellent, housekeeping attentive, but the restaurant waiting staff in gallery 47 and 47 put the icing on the cake. They have, and are allowed to show, their personalities within their jobs -some fabulous characters. The cruise organisation from start to finish was amazing, easy to get off at stops (all of which were great). We booked mostly our own trips but did the organised train trip at Flam, which went very smoothly. A very special moment was sail away from Geiranger with the brilliant Braximusic singing on the deck - actually very emotional. I was travelling with my parents so we are aged 50-78 and this review is our combined experience. If cruising again, Marella will be our choice. Interestingly, the senior leadership team were regularly seen and happy to engage with passengers too. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We travelled as a party of 8 and ranged in age from 13-72! We can definitely state that Marella Discovery has something for all ages, as each one of us has had a fantastic time. We left this morning already talking about where we wanted to ... Read More
We travelled as a party of 8 and ranged in age from 13-72! We can definitely state that Marella Discovery has something for all ages, as each one of us has had a fantastic time. We left this morning already talking about where we wanted to go next. Embark was quick and well organised. We were soon on the ship and welcomed onboard by such friendly crew. They really cannot do enough for you and everyone is so friendly and will always say hello. As we booked fairly late, we had inside cabins but we were pleasantly surprised by the size and how much storage space we had in them. We were barely in our rooms and found them comfortable and quiet. (deck 7599-7593) The entertainment began with the sail away and continued throughout the week. There was always something to do and events are put on throughout the day. You could exhaust yourself going from one to the other. Our youngest teenager loved kids club and made so many friends. The hideout is a fantastic room/idea as it’s quite awkward to make friends at this age but both our teenagers spent time here and made friends because of it. The entertainment team on board are superb!! They are very experienced and it shows. The standard of their shows is incredible. They have already received great feedback and I can see why. The shows are fantastic. We loved festival (it had us up out of our seats dancing), the new Anton de Bec show with their dance couple Roland and Amy, and ‘Steel city’ which left us in stitches. Don’t miss some of their cabarets (Bring him home and Friends of Macintosh) in the Atrium either, as they have their chance to show off their voices in more of a musical theatre/ classical style. We also enjoyed the game shows/quizzes in venue. We usually came straight here after watching the first broadway show. They were always fun and Sophie, one of the hosts, is so bubbly and friendly. We also enjoyed Bar 11. It was somewhere we could all dance together and we particularly enjoyed the nights when The saxophonist played along with ge music. It was lovely to see so many people of all ages dancing together. Please don’t think this is a room for the youngsters. There was plenty of variety when it came to eating. We ate in most restaurants on board and never had a bad meal. There was always so much to choose from. Kota la and especially Surf and Turf are worth paying the extra for. We were also impressed by the range of gluten free food available. One of our party has coeliacs and I have never seen him eat so much. He could not believe the amount that was available and certainly took advantage of all the desserts that were available to him! We had a tour of the bridge and met the captain. I would definitely recommend doing this on board. It was so interesting and Captain Chris is so down to earth- having selfies with our teenager! His announcements with Gavin (the cruise director) used to make us chuckle. We didn’t do any excursions as we enjoyed just wandering around the ports by ourselves. The scenery is breathtaking and it’s worth doing this cruise just for the sail always alone. We had a fantastic week and didn’t want it to end. A great captain, cruise director, showteam and staff. Like my heading says ‘what’s not to like?’ I’d recommend this cruise/ship to anyone. Well done Tui. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
AMAZING DISCOVERY . More then a Ten . Just back from our 2nd Norwegian Fjords cruise in 2 months on board the Marella Discovery. The first cruise was so enjoyable we booked the 2nd 2 days after we came back home and the 2nd ... Read More
AMAZING DISCOVERY . More then a Ten . Just back from our 2nd Norwegian Fjords cruise in 2 months on board the Marella Discovery. The first cruise was so enjoyable we booked the 2nd 2 days after we came back home and the 2nd week was even better and a lot of the staff remembered us as soon as they saw us which was so nice . We also learnt how to dance under the patient guidance of the fabulous professional dance couple ( Amy and Roland) The staff were fantastic from the cleaner to the Captain and all have the same work etchic of wanting you to have the best holiday and service they can give. So freindly but so profresisonal also . Anyone wanting to find fault would have to work hard it was SO EASY to have an amazing time. nothing is to much trouble,, we even heard hat on one of the recent cruise the bad weather had menat the had to replan the cruise itenery at the drop of the hat , how amazing service is that . Ok to give the break down of each aspect of what our cruise offered ENTERTAINMENT . Always something going on to watch or do . First class evening shows , good variety and the performers are so talented and put so much energy and enthusiasm into each peforrmance . They have two fantastc bands and also have Solo peformances by a magical saxophonist, guitarist and pianist also excellent and well rotated . There were also plays for adults and children,quizes, bingo , game shows and other activiies such as tours, tournaments movies and health talks. And not forgetting our favourite , daily dance lessons ‘passion for dance’ in the afternoon and also the evening althuogh on board with a lot of people you could find quiet areas for most of the daytime and therre are adult only areas . The evening does get more of a party atmophere but you do get the full range from classical music to pop and ballroom to disco . On sail out days they often had some musical event making the scenery of the Fjords even more awesome . one night they had a live musical duo (Braximusic ) ther singing was superb and made for a magical experience. All the enertament staff are visible and approcahable and are happy to engage with you FOOD and DRINK . All great quality and service . The restatarants (47 and 47 Gallery) was our favourite when we had the time and every meal was superb and service incredible . One one day the restaurant was supposed to be closed for lunch as was a port day but the weather was so wwt in the morning so not many people went to shore as expected so they opened it up , this showed to usthey go the extra mile by giving up what was a few hours off for the chefs/waiters. Island buffet had a great chioce and open most the daytime as with any ship the buffet does get busy. for snacks you can also go to the Snak shack and the Glass House .The all inclusive drinks litss is amazingly varied. even loads of mocktails if you prefer not to have alchol. The waiters are everywhere(even in the theatre) and very effecient at getting you order wthout you having to go to the bar . Before we cruised we were little anxious that an al inclusive meant a booze cruse mentality but all in all most people on the ship did;over indulge so the atmosphere was just 'happy' ROOMS AND HOSPITALITY. THe whole ship could not be cleaner and if there is a problem you report they fix it very promptly . Cabins vary in size depending on what you pay but the service is the same you know your cabin crew. beds are comfy and good storage space /plugs etc Tv is limited depending upon were you are so they show films etc EXCURSIONS. for the more poplular /limited spaces it is best to book before your cruise . but you do find they are sometimes more choice There is a destination desk open each day On the first day at sea they do a run down of all avavailble in the main theatre but ff you dont go the recording of it is shown on the onship tv channels . Each excursions we went on was on time ,had agreat local guide and was as desribed. Had good stops for photos.toilets etc Some ports you can just walk off find a tourist info and book your own activity if you prefer. One day we had to tender to shore and again very smooth operation and was running continuously from 9 - 5. It’s hard to find anything to be negative but if we were pushed to find anythig it would be the embarkation process could be better at the car park , if the weather is wet you would get very wet standing in a long queue to drop off your cases. Thsi may be the port rsther than marella as it is organised once you get to the terminal building as you get a numbered ticket and there are lots of seats and facilties whilst you wait . and most the boarding crew are from the cruise crew so yo get met them from the start. Wil definitely be looking at another cruise on this ship again in he near future Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I chose this cruise as it sails from North Shields where I was born and I had always wanted to sail out of the Tyne! The staff and food were amazing. The scenery was everything we expected and the whole thing went very smoothly. Would ... Read More
I chose this cruise as it sails from North Shields where I was born and I had always wanted to sail out of the Tyne! The staff and food were amazing. The scenery was everything we expected and the whole thing went very smoothly. Would highly recommend. We did one excursion and then just went ashore and did our own thing. It was very expensive ashore but as we had an all inclusive package it wasn’t a problem as it wasn’t too far back to the boat to eat. The ship also provided buses and tenders to transfer us so it was very quick. We did have to pay for some items on the ship but the staff always told us when we ordered. The two restaurants were amazing 47 and Gallery 47 which served Italian food. The buffet was excellent as well with a huge choice of foods but sometimes found it tricky for us all to sit together as there were 6 of us. Grandson loved the fact he could get chips at any time of day! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Chose this cruise - Fire and Ice because of the intinery and sailing ex Newcastle. Took 2 hours from arriving at terminal to boarding ship. This was pretty good as some waited over 4 hours! Embarkation gets 4 out of 10. At first the ... Read More
Chose this cruise - Fire and Ice because of the intinery and sailing ex Newcastle. Took 2 hours from arriving at terminal to boarding ship. This was pretty good as some waited over 4 hours! Embarkation gets 4 out of 10. At first the A/C was able to be set to 'Baltic' which is great for sleeping. Being too cold through the day when we got further north I adjusted the A/C - big mistake never could get it back to cold enough for sleeping despite being told an engineer had corrected it. I think somehow it had been adjusted to save energy as when we were almost back to Newcastle it was blowing like billyo for the next boarders. The bed wasn't good quality. You get 2 pillows; one is an inch thin and the other is like a football - take your own! The so called comforter is too heavy - THERE WAS NO COMFORT IN BED and the room was stuffy. Because of this sleep quality gets 1 out of 10. Surrounding noise could be heard through the day which was annoying. Dining was not up to cruise standard. Very samey e.g. chilli con carne and chicken korma on just about every day. Plenty red meat and fatty stuff, but not much for fish/shell fish lovers- and yes we visited Iceland and Fjords! Be prepared for at least 2 hours in the waiter service venue despite staff working like navvies! It really wasn't worth the wait but trying to get a table in Islands which is the self service restaurant, was like trying to find a hen with teeth! Dining experience gets 3 out of 10. I don't know what they did to gin and tonics which is my usual tipple the world over, but I left several and gave up on them eventually. As did my hubby who isn't as fussy as me. The wine was disgusting and I am no wine snob. I drink Baron Saint Jean at £3.15 per bottle from Aldi - red, white and rose all very palatable. The stuff skin flints Tui are dishing out on their A/I must be 50p at the most per bottle when quality compared. Some of the cocktails were decent. Drinks gets 4 out of 10. The itinery was good until it took 34 hrs to sail from Invergordon to Newcastle (I kid you not). This meant we paid for an extra night on board which was not necessary. I consider this being ripped off! Itinery gets 5 out of 10. The salvation of the ship is definitely the crew and they deserve 10 out of 10! This has a definite knock on effect with the passengers and makes for a very friendly warm atmosphere. There is obviously a shoe string budget for staff, (typical TUI - skinflints IMO), but those who are there are excellent! The main venues have been done up to look attractive but in reality aren't very comfortable. The Atrium is cold and drafty with huge round chairs which appeal to no one, whereas in the rather warm Broadway show lounge you have to peel yourself off the faux leather couches at the end of the shows. It's all a bit top show but in reality - cheap and nasty. The Venue room where there are also live performances is directly above the show lounge and the 2 are in competition sometimes - hardly what you would call good design is it? Some of the entertainers, in particular the band called B12 were very good. To sum up briefly I think quality of food, service and other overheads like good A/C have been sacrificed for all inclusive drinks package. I think TUI are trying to create party ships rather than having emphasis on relaxation and attentiveness. However judging by what would appear to be an average age of 92yrs their plan isn't working! (last comment maybe a bit of an exaggeration but wanted to get point across!) A week would have been better than 2 ! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
The cruise was to Iceland and a few stops in Norway, Shetland and Invergordon. Never again would I embark at Newcastle. The charge for parking your car is £10/day. There are NO facilities at the car park so we got our luggage from the car ... Read More
The cruise was to Iceland and a few stops in Norway, Shetland and Invergordon. Never again would I embark at Newcastle. The charge for parking your car is £10/day. There are NO facilities at the car park so we got our luggage from the car and joined the queue which was 150 yds long. There was no shelter from the blazing sun - it would have been worse if it had been raining. It took over an hour to get to the head of the queue where labels were attached to our luggage showing our cabin. We then had to wait for a bus to take us closer to the ship. We then had to walk to the embarcation shed where (at last) there were toilets. Join another queue until your number was called to let you board. The process took over 2 hours! We treated ourselves to a Junior Suite on Deck 8, the deck below the Pool Deck. Big mistake! On the second morning we were woken a 4.00am by tremendous noise which went on for half an hour. We discovered later that this was the crew moving the sun beds and other furniture on the pool deck from their normal night time location to areas where the guests might prefer them! When I complained to reception I was told "perhaps it was the wind" - (there was no wind and some of the furniture required quite a bit of effort to move). I was also told to let reception know next time it happened! It happened quite frequently but usually at 6.00am. The moral is DO NOT BOOK A SUITE ON DECK 8. We have cruised with Thomsons before and found them quite acceptable. Now they are Morella and the standards have sadly fallen. The crew are generally good, polite and efficient with a few notable exceptions. Service is patchy. There is little help if you prefer to be a bit independant in going ashore to look around. The entertainment team are good and put on some very professional shows. The Islands buffet restaurant gets a bit "samey" after a few days and their salad choice is lamentable. It used to be very good in Thomsons' day. The food elsewhere was pretty good but the service could be poor on occasion. Overall there are insufficient lounge/seating areas for the number of passengers. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Spent to whole days at sea before we arrived in Iceland. Always wanted to visit Iceland and more of Norway. Was not disappointed with any of it. Our cabin was really good and so clean. Thanks must go to our Cabin Boys, they were ... Read More
Spent to whole days at sea before we arrived in Iceland. Always wanted to visit Iceland and more of Norway. Was not disappointed with any of it. Our cabin was really good and so clean. Thanks must go to our Cabin Boys, they were superb and really friendly. Our cabin was checked twice every day and our bed turned down each night with 2 chocolates and our news letter for following day. Sometime they made an animal out of towels for us. 1st one was a Turtle, then a dog and an elephant. Last one was great, a money hanging on a coat hanger. Rally appreciated all they did for us. The corridors leading from the cabins to the bar areas was spotless. Even the decks were very clean and well kept. The bar waiters were great when you wanted a coffee/tea or any kind of drink and were always very curteous. Dining room 47 deg was excellent and thanks must go to Jade, Ann and Agnel who are excellent waiters and cannot do enough for you and they are such good fun even when we played a trick on them, they took it all in their stride. If you go on this cruise you must try to occupy tables 126 or thereabouts and you will meet them for yourselves. We would give them 12 out of 10 as expert waiters. The staff when booking in for a meal were also excellent if you wished to have a table for two you got one. If you were willing to share that was also okay with them and they couldn't be more helpful. From the Captain down all the staff were so friendly, helpful and pleasant to meet. The shows were excellent and the entertainers work so hard it is unbelievable and they are very energetic and have lovely singing voices. Would recommend that you take in a show or two. Last but not least from Captain Chris Dodds and his Officers and Reception and shop staff they were all excellent and Captain Chris I am glad to see did get up to dance on our last night at sea. Well done Chris and thank you and all of your staff for a wonderful holiday. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
What a wonderful cruise, helped very much by the fantastic weather. Reykyavik – we had booked the Golden Circle with Iceland Guided Tours and had a lovely day. Visited Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir and the techtonic plates between ... Read More
What a wonderful cruise, helped very much by the fantastic weather. Reykyavik – we had booked the Golden Circle with Iceland Guided Tours and had a lovely day. Visited Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir and the techtonic plates between Europe and America. It was only 4 degrees but was dry and we were able to see everything. Our driver took us on a tour of Reykyavik on the way back to the ship and we were able to go into the church there, absolutely beatiful Isafjordur – brighter day. We hadn’t booked anything and just walked around the small town. Found a fishing museum which had a good film showing what hard lives the fishermen had in the early days. That evening there was a ‘crossing the Arctic Circle party’ on deck. We were warned to wrap up and it was freezing cold. An iceburg was nearby and the captain tried to get as near as possible but unfortunately a mist came down and we could not see it, however we did see the smaller pieces of ice that had become detached. The light was very bright and the sky looked wonderful even though it was after midnight. Akureyri – our favourite in Iceland. Took a tour with FAB tours and visited Godafoss Waterfall, Lake Myvatn where there are hot pools for bathing and also large volcano craters, Dimmuborgir lava fields and a place that was like nowhere else with bubbling hot water spilling out and strong sulphur smells. Our guide said this was the warmest day they had this year and the sun shone all day. When we sailed the captain announced that there were whales on the port side. We saw small Minke whales and they were blowing water from their blow holes. Molde – very nice town in Norway. We walked to the Romsdall museum which was very interesting and then walked back into the town. There were some nice shops and cafes Olden – very small but beautiful. Was a sunny morning so decided to go to the Loen Skylift. Got off the ship early and went to the tourist info (25 yards away). Booked a bus to take us to Loen and the lift pass. Loen is a lovely little place, obviously a new tourist resort on the lake. We spent around 2 hours walking on the marked paths at the top and then returned to the ship for lunch. In the afternoon we walked through the village to the new church. There were open top buses and a land train taking tours direct from the dock. When we were about to leave, the local people turned out to wave us off and played music – a very memorable moment! Flam – our favourite. We opened the curtains and were nearly docked in the village! Only around 2 dozen buildings but surrounded by mountains and really beautiful. It was very hot and we walked around the fjord and then returned to the ship to get our tickets for the train we had pre-booked. Took the train up the mountain, lovely views and we met some great people from different places who wanted to try their English on us. The atmosphere was great, people had come from all around to sunbathe on the grass and swim in the fjord due to the unusual heat. We eventually sailed and the people on the bank waved us off, Brandi & Max sang classical music and the whole sailaway was quite emotional. Haugesund – just a town really. Not one I would choose to visit again Lerwick – had a problem docking due to paperwork and eventually got ashore 3 hours late. We had arranged a hire car and they were waiting for us. Drove down to the lighthouse at Sunburgh, the scenery was rugged and fantastic. There was a lovely tea room there and loads of guillemots and puffins. Then drove to Jarlshof, a Viking settlement, and walked around there. We returned via the coast road and found a stunning beach at St Ninians Isle where we had a walk. Had a quick stop at Scalloway and back to the ship. Loved Shetland! Invergordon – Was piped ashore and picked up a hire car. Drove across the highlands to Gairloch and then round Loch Ewe where there were lovely beaches. Eventually made our way back stopping off at waterfalls and gorges. Again a sunny and warm day and a pipe band turned out to see us off. Apart from 1 sea day, the sea was like a mill pond. The ship was a bit crowded on the first couple of cold days when it was too windy to sit outside but after that people were sunning themselves on the open decks. Food was good and we didn’t feel the need to try the pay restaurants although we were told the food was excellent. Entertainment was very good although not all of it was our cup of tea but they have to cater for all. Braximusic were fantastic and a great asset to Marella but the whole team worked hard. Staff, well what can I say? They were brilliant as usual and only a couple of times had to wait to be served in the bar (it was extremely busy when the England football matches were on). Captain Chris was really funny and we looked forward to his daily message All in all, one of our favourite cruises although it could have been so different if it had rained the whole time. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We have never cruised before, so was not sure we would enjoy the experience, how wrong we were. The ship, Marella discovery, was very modern, well equipped, and professionally staffed, we were wined and dined, entertained, and felt ... Read More
We have never cruised before, so was not sure we would enjoy the experience, how wrong we were. The ship, Marella discovery, was very modern, well equipped, and professionally staffed, we were wined and dined, entertained, and felt pampered from arrival to departure, nothing was too much for them. we traveled to multiple ports around the fjords and the scenery was a delight to the eyes, we enjoyed our experience so much we are already planning our next cruise, I am a firm believer of not booking the same hotel twice, as I like variety when parting with my hard earned cash, but marella dicovery is more than just a hotel, it really felt like home from home, I would like to thank our captain, Chris, general manager Elizabeth, Karen, Fiona, rachel, in fact too many to mention, thank you all so much for the memories xxxx be seeing you all soon, Chris and Ruth , from brighouse. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We (my wife and I) only booked this cruise as I have wanted to visit Nordkapp for a number of years. The dates fitted with our diaries so opted not to go on a European road trip as the opportunity had arisen. The tour was called ... Read More
We (my wife and I) only booked this cruise as I have wanted to visit Nordkapp for a number of years. The dates fitted with our diaries so opted not to go on a European road trip as the opportunity had arisen. The tour was called Norway's Midnight Sun and included a run up the coast of Norway to Honningsvag (for North Cape) then a run back down and call in at a fjord and a couple of other places. This was our thirteenth cruise. After the second stop at Bodo and as we were about to leave the Captain announced there was a storm in the forecast and that he had decided not to go north to avoid it. He was looking at where the ship could visit and the company were trying to make the alternative arrangements. Obviously I was disappointed but had to accept the safety element of the diversion etc. (I must note at no point throughout the rest of the cruise, 10 days or so, did I speak to any member of the ship's company to make any level of dissatisfaction but it appears there were a number of passengers that had, based on public announcements) I have to say I was disappointed how it was handled. There were obviously a number of passengers (1881 pax on board) that were in a similar situation to me - wanting to go to Nordkapp and even though the whole itinerary changed - from then on we did not arrive at a port on the date of the original schedule - there was no mention of trying to attempt to go to Honningsvag. I would have at least expected to hear something on the grounds of 'we looked at going earlier next week and then head back south once the storm has passed but we could not manage it' but I never heard anything like that - just that if we went on schedule there would be a swell for three days on the way back. It was just head south for the rest of the trip. It must be noted that a lot of work would have been taken by all to rearrange the new ports so I fully appreciate that. The new itinerary took in a lot of fjords! Gerainger and Eiderfjord were added to Flam which was on the original schedule. Beautiful places but a bit too much of the fjords for me! I wish the company would have thought a little out of the box and added the Faroes and/or Shetland - two places well within reach. Both places I have visited previously but it would have shown a bit of ingenuity. The ship itself is 23 yeard old, previously Royal Caribbean's Splendour of the Seas. I knew this beforehand but it seemed to have a number of problems, especially with the plumbing. I had heard of a few plumbing niggles from passengers during the cruise (our cabin heating did not work but was repaired efficiently when it was reported) but two days from the end of the cruise there was a 'major water leak' on deck 3. It was announced as this over the PA and the water to the whole ship had to be turned off. This announcement was made at 3pm when some passengers were ashore and nothing was heard for 3 hours 15 minutes - yes 3 and a quarter hours without water and no updates whatsoever! It was announced that a number of cabins were damaged (it seems around 20) but no other comments. As a lay person, I did not know if the water had cascaded from deck 3 down through the floor and may have caused more damage to the ship and engine room. So for that length of time we were unsure if the cruise was going to continue. Eventually, the water returned at about 3 and a half hours and the crew got stuck into clearing the water and repairing the damaged cabins. The Ship's Master announced that we would leave later that evening. This has to be the coldest ship in the world in the public araeas. I know we visited Norway but I have also visited the South Atlantic on the Zaandam (HAL) but can't remember ever being cold. Once someone goes onto the promenade on deck 4 whatever the tepmerature is outside affects about 20 metres into the ship. Remember to bring some warm clothing. when going into the public areas when in colder climes. In our cabin there was plenty of storage space. We always opt for an internal cabin for peace and quiet and the obvious saving on price, although did opt for an Inside Plus which had more space and was on a higher deck, in this case deck 7. Our first two cruises were balcony rooms then an outside and since all inside. There is a shower curtain! The TV had Sky News and Sky Sports News plus various other channels with movies and soaps etc. The dining was OK at best - the food was a little repetitive - I think chilli was on in the buffet every day. At the price point this cruise was set at it was value for money. We did not use the speciality restaurants. The entertainment was very good, the singers and dancers have to be the most hardworking on the seven seas and the activities staff put on some good shows in the evening. It's obvious the budget is not there as compared to other companies. There were two guest comedians over the 13 night trip. B12 are excellent - they are a group from The Philippinnes, the band Taylor-Made, the pianinst plus the guitvoc were also good. The DJ in Bar 11 got people dancing every night with a mash-up on some occasions with the saxophonist. The front line staff are excellent and for me are the saving grace of this company. I don't know how they get paid as gratuities are non-existent (I did leave a tip for the room attendant) but they were just as good and pleasant as all other cruise companies. They were from all nations around the world. On occasion, the service was slow in some bars and it was quicker just to wander over and get a drink there. There was usually a big smile from them. It was a challenging cruise for the staff, as we were being told on a number of occasions but the element of the cruise that will stick with me will be the Captain's rousing speech on the last night on stage in front of around 800 passengers, who were applauding his team and maybe him, and possibly 100+ crew on the stage behind him was that "It has been a challenging cruise, we have had some staff issues but that is nothing unusual and when you receive an email for feedback remember it's only the moaners that fills them in so can I please ask that you all fill it in when you get it" He didn't say it as a joke. I have to say I have worked in customer service for 36 years and I can't remember a time when a senior manager with two statements that mentioned problems with his staff and also criticizing his customers so openly. Maybe TUI are going the same way as a certain budget airilne, altough I am not sure that airline has openly criticised its staff? On this cruise the average age of the passengers appeared to be higher - cruises are generally for older people but it seemed they were older. It did not stop them from enjoying themselves though. Allow for extra time in the buffet - which seemed to be always rammed - but that is not a problem isolated to this cruise ship though. All-in-all the price of this cruise is a little lower than cruise speciality companies, remember TUI is a holiday company that has branched into cruising, but on this ship it was all-inclusive which made it much better value than others. However, costs have to be saved somewhere. In truth the saving wasn't worth it for me. A cruise should be a special occasion and at times it felt more like a budget resort at sea. There will be a lot of people who will enjoy that experience and obviously do. In future I will stick to the comapnies that treat cruising as a speciality with better food, entertainment (although the entertainment on Discovery was good) and the key - bigger, modern ships with better facilities. Read Less
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