1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises)
  4. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises) Cruise Reviews
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Was going to give them 3 stars for a cheap and cheerful cruise but you have to give TUI an extra star for the help and support we received from their staff. We took 3 kids, one only 8 months and most of the airplane and ship staff were ... Read More
Was going to give them 3 stars for a cheap and cheerful cruise but you have to give TUI an extra star for the help and support we received from their staff. We took 3 kids, one only 8 months and most of the airplane and ship staff were brilliant. Positives: - Drop bags at check in and don't see them again until you're at your cruise ship cabin - Great airplane staff who can't do enough for you - Decent food and service on plane - Coach Transfer to ship waiting upon arrival and you're whisked off without going through all the hassle of the airport - OK sized cabin - Well stocked buffet with nice fresh (mostly) salads and plenty of choice, although does get a bit samey by end of 2 weeks - The free A La Carte restaurants of decent standard with good service - the paid-for ones were OK but you wouldn't miss much if you didn't visit those - Informal dresscode which was great (wish I knew this before I lugged a tux and a suit halfway round the world lol) - Impressive refurbed show lounge with comfy seats not-bad acts - Good selection of beers wines and spirits included - Great housekeeping staff who cleaned our cabin TWICE a day! - Friendly Captain who is often seen mingling with the passengers on the ship and enjoyed his morning announcements with the odd pun thrown in for good measure - No tips Negatives: - The staff must get commission for upgrading you to premium as they are on you as soon as you order your first drink. However, there's a decent selection of drinks included anyway and I reckon I only really made my money back on the premium drinks I had - Coffee from the machines on the ship is a bit naff but there is a coffee shop where you can get decent coffee for a premium. This is supposedly included if you have paid for premium however if you go before 10am you still have to pay! Come on TUI you must have a £billion turnover you can do without this penny-pinching - Watch out for the Narcissistic Cruise Director. Loves himself so much he even has his own TV channel featuring himself mainly, along with staff from different areas on ship. You'll just be starting to relax by the pool when his face will suddenly appear on the big screen and he'll be trying to flog you some SPA treatments or some other product they are finding difficult to shift - If you go to Indigo Bar give yourself plenty of time to get a drink. In fact take a drink with you from another bar to drink while you're waiting to be served a drink. They offer ridiculous cocktails like a 'Bathtub' that is a mini porcelain bathtub filled with spirits and mixers for 4 people - however only the head barman knows how to make it and it takes him half an hour. They call themselves the 'bar wizards' - Harry Potter morelike Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We’re experinced cruise holiday makers and feel qualified to make comparisons to previous cruises . Marella explorer is not a beautiful ship on either the outside or the inside . To my way of thinking she looks like a ferry. The ... Read More
We’re experinced cruise holiday makers and feel qualified to make comparisons to previous cruises . Marella explorer is not a beautiful ship on either the outside or the inside . To my way of thinking she looks like a ferry. The advertising suggested looking for a lean contemporary look but my feeling is they run out of money and didn’t have sufficient to buy artwork sculptures or anything that would inspire or and wander for the pain guest . if you are looking for a value for money package holiday experience then probably Marella explorer fits the bill however if you are looking for a value for money special experience in line with the amount of money you are paying then choose an alternative cruise line . I’m gutted to have to say this about this ship as in the past we have sailed on Thompson spirit and the now departed Emerald both of which had a certain level of sophistication and certainly charm but this was without doubt lacking in this new bath tub of a boat. I sense the amiable courteous and highly present captain is slightly disappointed by his crew as he asserts at every opportunity they are the happiest crew afloat and the best crew and one in which he is extremely proud to sail alongside our experience is that the majority of staff from all departments were indeed courteous but there were a significant number of waitresses in particular in latitude 53 the main dining restaurant who clearly have never ever been taught the slightest about customer courtesy in fact it became a bit of an in joke amongst our crowd to see if we could elicit a smile from one in particular . on the subject of the food one of the reasons my family and I started to cruise was because there is vegetarians in our party we were always able to have excellent dining experience however on Marella explorer dining experience was either exceptionally good in the Vista restaurant or at best average and below par at other times we were very disappointed with the cuisine overall . whoever is responsible for booking the lounge bar pianists needs to have a rethink about who is a book whilst it is without doubt the pianist could indeed play the piano they banged out the tune at maximum volume and sang so loudly it wasn’t ever a relaxing experience to go and listen to them in fact I claps the loudest when they eventually stopped . The theatre on-board explorer is magnificent with very good sightlines pretty much where ever you sat but what a shame none of the singers in the show cast can sing; they can shout but they cannot sing. the dancers were good but not great and the choreography repetitive . We did however thoroughly appreciate the room we had on deck 8. our balcony cabin 8099 had excellent storage facilities, was very clean and our steward was always willing to help. the balcony was bigger than average and actually was one of the pleasing parts of the ship. In addition The Champneys spa is an absolute gem and staff there are certainly extremely welcoming I enjoyed the Marella explorer massage which was wonderful; I highly recommend it - especially if Alex is peoviding the treatment. I also enjoyed a very very good pedicure by Angela which was very pleasing and has lasted well. The ports of call were excellent and some of the tours and excursions offered by the ship as a family we all thoroughly enjoyed particularly the best of Barbados which took in the wild Orchid farm and the Sunbury house plantation I would highly recommend both of these we also enjoyed the zip lines in Saint Lucia. I wish Marella Explorer well but hope the people that hold the budget pump in some cash to put some much needed style on this vessel and appoint a cruise director who has more than four ‘jokes’ in his repotoire. If the jokes could be funny that would also be great. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My friend and I had done the other side of the Caribbean a couple of years ago,and we liked that so we thought we would go and see Cuba,flight over was not too bad,when we arrived we were met and got through Customs quickly, and then taken ... Read More
My friend and I had done the other side of the Caribbean a couple of years ago,and we liked that so we thought we would go and see Cuba,flight over was not too bad,when we arrived we were met and got through Customs quickly, and then taken to our Ship she was very nice Bigger then the last one we were on. we were given our Cabin and were very pleased with it.Cabin Crew Carlos and Alex were just great polite and happy and looked after us very very well.(miss them already). Dining was very good indeed well for my self and Hilary as we are not fussy what we eat,great in every place we tried. Can not Fault the Entertainment at all very well presented ,and it was nice that they had the time to come and see you after the show. Activities well we are a couple of old dears so we did not do much but what i saw people seem to enjoy them. Service can not fault it were very pleased with how we were looked after. We only went on a few excursions and we enjoyed them, we met some nice Canadian ladies on board , also some nice English people, Being disabled I found quite a few unhelpful people as well. Both my self and Hilary are slow walker and people could not be bothered to say excuse me but just tutt and push past. Myself and Hilary travel together no children, did not see many on this trip. would we go again, yes to some of the countries not all. I must say as far as we are concerned we had a great time and recommend it to any one who feel in need of a break. Last Must say thank you for a great time on your ship and thank our two boys for all your help Carlos and Alex. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Last year we had done the Northern Carribean on Marella Discovery 2 and decided that this year was to be the Southern part! We had loved both of the Discoveries and were concerned that the lack of an Atrium would be important. Well is is ... Read More
Last year we had done the Northern Carribean on Marella Discovery 2 and decided that this year was to be the Southern part! We had loved both of the Discoveries and were concerned that the lack of an Atrium would be important. Well is is a shame but the ship is still fantastic! It is different but in a nice way. You can always find somewhere to enjoy a quiet cocktail or 2, well someone has to do it. It is most unusual that although the ship was full, there didn't seem to be crowds of people around although the restaurants sometimes got a bit full. I think that was largely our own fault as we always seemed to be wanting to eat between sittings as we do like our cocktails! Oh have I said that before? Our Cabin 9107 and our friends in the neighbouring cabin 9103. Both were excellent, spacious & quiet and as we had adjoining balconies we had them opened up for an amazing space! The cruise itself was exactly what we wanted, although some destinations were still in the throes of repairs after the 2017 storms, but the welcome wherever we went was amazing. All in all our only little complaint was the 2 stops at Bequia, although we enjoyed ourselves greatly there, it would have been nice to go somewhere different (supposed to be St Vincent on the first week). Mostly we made our own way exploring by taxi's / minibuses which came out at about 1/2 Marella's trip prices and we got to see more and with less time wasted getting 40 odd people out of a bus at a time!. We did do the train in St Kitts with Marella though as it isn't possible privately. We did the Surf & Turf one night, however it seemed very rushed whereas we were anticipating a relaxing and leisurely meal. Whilst the quality was ok, so was the menu in the MDR's both traditional and Italian. We never eat dinner in the Buffet restaurants as it just too much of a `bun fight'! Neither did we go in the Squid & Anchor Pub, just too noisy and frenetic. IMHO, as long as you want a relaxing holiday/cruise, have a balcony cabin so that you can relax after your trips without the perpetual noise in the pool areas which sadly Marella seem to think should always be blasted with 130dB noise and certainly is not a place to have a few zzzz's! All in all a fantastic cruise and thanks to all of the extremely helpful staff all over the ship. We did have a terrible experience at the end when one of our friends sadly passed away suddenly, however the ship helped us through this disaster even arranging a private taxi to the airport and also assistance at Birmingham airport on our return. We have to thanks especially the Welfare Hostess Fiona Smith and all of the others in the medical department and the Hotel department for their help. Whilst we would have dearly loved not to have had to meet them under these circumstances, they comforted us and especially our friend who was obviously grieving. Just a short note, apparently Marella are the only cruise line with a dedicated Welfare Hostess whose main responsibility is medical emergencies. Other lines have a shared Social/Welfare hostess which I guess is not as good. Thanks Explorer, we look forward to our return on June 22nd on the Legends of the Baltic Cruise! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our third Caribbean cruise with TUI but the first with Marella. The first two were on the Dream and the Celebration. Marella have brought a more commercial side to TUI which is not necessarily for the best. A sense of greed has ... Read More
This was our third Caribbean cruise with TUI but the first with Marella. The first two were on the Dream and the Celebration. Marella have brought a more commercial side to TUI which is not necessarily for the best. A sense of greed has crept in which is a shame. Having said that, we still enjoyed our one week cruise very much and have booked again for next year. In this review, I aim to review each element briefly with areas where improvement is necessary highlighted. Flight Departures and transfers - all very easy. The bus we were loaded into at Barbados to take us to the ship was too small for the passengers and luggage being transferred. MARELLA ISSUE. Flight out - very comfortable, good service and food Return Flight - I was in seat 27C. This should be removed. I was bashed at least 100 times during the night flight, therefore no sleep. The breakfast was horrible. Embarkation at the Port - very simple, takes a while. Met by Captain and senior crew. Drink available and Bajan music being played. Toilet nearby if required! Once you are through this process, you can go straight to your room. Our luggage arrived quickly. Ship generally - the Captain advised us that it is a vessel, not a ship! The Explorer is in good condition generally with some areas in need of refurbishment soon. Overall very pleasant. Crew generally - all very polite, courteous and helpful. The Captain was very informative and told dreadful jokes. We didn't take to the Cruise Director. Reception - generally very helpful. One lad never gave us a straight answer to any question which became a bit annoying. Wifi - if you wish to contact relatives about your safe arrival, do this before you get on board. Wifi charges when we were on board were absolutely disgraceful. MARELLA GREED. Cabin - we had an internal cabin on Deck 5 - it was a very good size with excellent storage and a really good shower. Electric sockets were poor - ours worked intermittently which we reported. Our cabin steward was very polite, helpful and thorough - a very clean room throughout the cruise. Water - there is a water point on each floor. You have a carafe in your room which you can use to fill kettles, bottles etc All inclusive package - totally adequate unless you like speciality drinks. Unless you have the Premium package, Marella seem to have made getting a coffee more difficult than necessary. Some bars will make you one, others won't and the Mediterranean bar wouldn't make us a coffee but would make us an Irish coffee???!! Bar staff were in short supply at times at all the bars but with the exception of one barman in the Squid and Anchor who took exception to me asking him regularly to reduce the amount of ice he used in cocktails, they were all very polite and helpful. Restaurants The Market Place (buffet) - great for breakfast with hot and cold options. The cumberland sausages and bacon warrant specific praise. Lunch and Evening Meals were not as good and seemed to lack choice, imagination and quality. We used the Snack Shack for lunch if we were on the the ship. Latitude 53 and Vista - less quantity, better quality, excellent service. Our favourites. Mediterranean Tapas - one specific meal carries a cover charge. Other than that, the food was delicious but did lack quantity. This was the only meal I left hungry. Service was excellent. Mediterranean Italian - nice food but service was below the standard of the other restaurants. The staff never really made an effort - they seemed aloof. Other restaurants - carry a cover charge of circa £25. Entertainment - as we have specific involvement in Song / Dance, we will limit the comments in this section. The main Auditorium is sizeable and well designed but will need decoration soon. The rake of the seating does mean a tall person can block the view of those behind quite badly. The professional dancers are very good, the female singers are better than the male ones but need to stop "screaming". The comedians (Harper Brothers) were excellent. There are other singers etc in various bars during the day. None of them left us wanting more. However, we really enjoyed The Collective, a Bajan Band who mostly sang during the day by the pool. Bingo - expensive, short games and poor prizes. We only played once. Photographers - pains in the backside!! Swimming Pool and Sunbeds - as would be expected, the pool is small but well used. There are a significant number of sunbeds over 4 decks with only Deck 11 offering shade. Despite this, the sunbed hogs are out early to stake their claim and keep them with limited use. However, the crew do make some effort to remove towels where beds are unused for 45 minutes. A good start but needs to be more stringent. Like the bars, you can have drinks served to your table / sunbed. Excursions - generally Marella try to pack you into small buses. MARELLA ISSUE. Curacao - we went on the Sea & See Island Tour. Beautiful Island with a stunning Town. The tour took us around the island to a Liquor Factory followed by a trip on a boat with a hull that makes you think you are in a submarine. You see a lot of smaller fish BUT this is NOT for those who suffer with sea sickness or claustrophobia. The bus we were in was cramped. There is an ice cream shop near the ship - excellent ice cream. Tour 7/10 Bonaire - we went on the Palm Beach Reef Snorkel. These comments are based on the fact that we don't know what Bonaire beaches are generally like. We were driven in a multi coloured children's bus, with no legroom at all, by a suicidal version of Lewis Hamilton and no guide, to a "Building Site by the Sea". There, we were dropped off and left with the people who run the snorkelling, the leader of whom was not exactly a people person. The sunbeds available offered no protection from the sun and the entry point to the water was across rocks and stones unless you were lucky enough to find the odd sandy patch. The only saving grace was the lady guide who took us snorkelling - she made every effort to ensure we enjoyed it. The fish we saw were only small. This tour was poor. From a snorkelling perspective, this is for novices only. Tour 2/10. Grenada - we went on the Highlights of St George's Tour - other than again being cramped in the bus, this was a very enjoyable tour with an excellent guide. Tour 8/10 St Lucia - we went on the Ultimate Sea and Land. This was an expensive and long but interesting tour of which 5.5 hours were spent cramped on a bus followed by 2 hours on a cramped catamaran (4 bus loads got on it). We had to stand for the first half an hour. The food at lunch time was at best average with water dispensers offering warm water!! The highlights were a visit to the Sulphur Springs and the chance to have a swim off the catamaran. Tour 5/10 Transfer to our Hotel - well organised other than a lady in the Port who seemed totally confused about everything. You are required to take your suitcases from the port building to the coaches for transfer to your hotel. Would we do it again? - Yes, we have already booked. We just hope that Marella improves some of its current failings and penny pinching. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My first Marcella Cruise I found the ship and crew and staff very helpful it was also my 1st all inclusive and there was no shortage of drinks all over the ship you had just put your empty glass down and bar staff were rushing to give you ... Read More
My first Marcella Cruise I found the ship and crew and staff very helpful it was also my 1st all inclusive and there was no shortage of drinks all over the ship you had just put your empty glass down and bar staff were rushing to give you a refill cocktail of the day was always yummy the entertainment was first class and so professional that comment was heard all over the ship by passengers the only negative comment were the food though nice it was always very sameness in Buffet and Restaurants 47 also I fell I'll as I'm prone to Chest Inf with air-con I visited the Medical Center who issued me with just 3 antibiotics at £15 each 4 steroids at £1.50 each and a cough bottle £27 they were of course of no use really wasn't happy with treatment which totaled £127 but would I travel with Marcella again ? Yes but take your medication with you and stay healthy Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We were on a 7 day cruise on marella explorer in December 2018 . There were a good selection of islands that we visited and we really enjoyed the experience ... We have a 6yo and she had lots of fun. there were many activities and ... Read More
We were on a 7 day cruise on marella explorer in December 2018 . There were a good selection of islands that we visited and we really enjoyed the experience ... We have a 6yo and she had lots of fun. there were many activities and clubs for kids . They have a good selection of excursions which we could enjoy as a family .. it is not over crowded and we never had to wait for any facilities on the ship ... the food was excellent and the staff were really helpful and pleasant and happy to help ... the crew took care of our luggage from initial check in till we landed back in the UK. That really was helpful while travelling with children. The embarcation was quick and managed well by the crew. The spa , Varanda, private cabana, indigo bar n casino , the lounge all add to the entertainment and fun .. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because it visited so many different places in the Caribbean - we only had one sea day in 2 weeks as we did a back to back cruise. When we landed at barbados we walked off the plane on to a waiting coach which took us ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it visited so many different places in the Caribbean - we only had one sea day in 2 weeks as we did a back to back cruise. When we landed at barbados we walked off the plane on to a waiting coach which took us straight to the cruise ship - we didn’t have to go through passport control or pick up our baggage which was a definite bonus. We must have been on the boat just over 3/4 hour after stepping off the plane and doing the necessary photo shoot etc. Brilliant service. The ship had been recently refurbished so was quite nice but not the best we’ve been on. The cabin was plenty big enough, as was all the drawers, wardrobe and storage space. More than we’ve had before. The bathroom was nice with the biggest shower we’ve ever had on a cruise Ship which was good. We enjoyed the food but my only complaint was the beef which was nearly always tough! I had two steaks which were both tough and the roast beef was a bit better but not tender enough for me. All the rest of the meats I had like pork and lamb were very tender. We ate downstairs in the Italian restaurant at no extra cost. We enjoyed the food down there. The staff in the dining room were brilliant and could not do enough for you, we never ever had to ask for our drinks topping up as the waiters were there topping you up before you had finished, or in my case, getting me another Fanta orange as soon as I had finished. Also I had a latte coffee after my meal on the first night and I never had to ask for another as it was always there waiting for me as soon as I finished my meal - though we always asked for the same table / waiters. The quantities were also bigger than you usually get on a cruise ship - that could explain the weight gain !!!! The singers in the theatre had brilliant voices, the dancing good, as were the costumes. Unfortunately what let them down was the production. They had a soul night one night, the next night a rock night. I love rock music but they sang songs we hardly knew ! Another night was west end musicals - they only sang two songs we knew ! Another night was called cogs - and that’s what it was about - cogs !!! The producer did some really ‘off the wall’ stuff. If they had sang songs we knew it would have been brilliant with their voices but it was spoilt ! We also went to see a comedian one night and he was absolutely rubbish! We didn’t laugh once. I wasn’t overly impressed with the singers around the boat, they were ok but not fantastic. We visited a lot of ports which were good but the excursions were quite pricey. We got taxis outside the port for a fraction of the price but even the taxi prices have gone up in the last few years. We did one excursion through the boat and we went kayaking in Antigua. Our guide was lovely and couldn’t have been more helpful, offering to take pictures of us or holding on to us when we were walking around the speedboat (stationary!). He was really pleasant and polite and at the end of the tour he whipped his hat off to reveal he was one of the theatre singer, Trez (pronounced Tray - however you spell it !) he was absolutely lovely, a credit to the team. We had to be out of the cabin at 8.00 am on the morning of disembarkation but we were allowed to stay on the boat all day and use the facilities. We’ve never had this on a boat before as usually we have to go straight to the airport in the morning, even if we’re not flying until the evening. We also booked a courtesy cabin and although we only had it for 20 minutes it was long enough to get a shower and changed. So all in all that was a bonus being allowed to stay on the boat for the day. Before we went we read reviews that although it was all inclusive you had to pay for water. That was certainly untrue. They poured water every night with meals, and topped you up. You could get water in the bars, around the pool, in the market place and there was a water machine outside cabins so you could fill your kettle. - first time we’ve ever had a kettle and tea / coffee in the cabin. I would definitely go on this boat again - as I would the airline - which was roomy and plenty of food and drinks on board. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
My partner and I chose Marella Discovery 2 as I had previously been on a smaller cruise (formerly with Thomson) and as it was his first cruise. Also we wanted to do something special/memorable for my 50th birthday. The price was ... Read More
My partner and I chose Marella Discovery 2 as I had previously been on a smaller cruise (formerly with Thomson) and as it was his first cruise. Also we wanted to do something special/memorable for my 50th birthday. The price was reasonable, and we split 2 cruises over 2 weeks which made the choice of locations more interesting. We also wanted to see different places rather than just spend 14 days on a sunbed, so this seemed ideal for us. We booked the Pride of Panama for the first week and Cuban Fusion for the second week, as suggested by a Tui Rep. Having read varied reviews beforehand, we booked with an open mind, and are so glad we went with our instinct. The Gatwick process with Marella was flawless and we received our cabin number tag in advance. It was fantastic that we didn't have to lug heavy luggage about and it arrived on the ship in good time. The flight was also excellent both ways and arrived in good time (can't beat the Tui Dreamliner wow!). The process at Montego Bay airport, although very busy and slightly confusing with the immigration forms (which were provided by Tui staff) went much better than expected, and we were directed straight to our coaches without delay. The only immigration forms needed are those given to you by Tui staff on the plane (the forms we were given separately by Jamaican staff were not actually required from Jamaica to your first port of call - please check with Tui staff if unclear). The transfer and process for accessing the ship was fine, and everyone appeared to be dealt with quickly and efficiently. On arrival, the ship looked enormous, but when moored next to a newer, sparkly and much larger ship, yes it does look a little old and insignificant in size, but the rest definitely made up for it and we weren't disappointed. The staff were friendly, helpful and reacted well to positive communication. We were saddened to hear some people moaning about having to wait, etc, but hey your on holiday and its not a race! We couldn't fault the staff who bent over backwards to keep everyone well fed, watered, comfortable and entertained. We were amazed by our cabin 7128 at the rear of the ship....wow what a view and a memory we will always treasure. The cabin wasn't sparkling but was extremely comfortable and the bed was lush! I suffer with upper back problems and I slept like a log, sometimes too good and nearly missed breakfast on a few occasions! Yes the Island Buffet and other restaurants were busy, but we compromised happily and patiently and worked our eating times around the much busier periods. The pager system was a brilliant idea for 47 and Gallery 47, which alerted us whilst nipping to the bar before dinner. We really enjoyed the food on offer, and were unable to fault any of the restaurants on-board and the choice was immense. We particularly enjoyed the Kora La Restaurant (Pan Thai) which was superb. The staff were also amazing and helped with our surprise engagement whilst moored in Cuba. This involved the manager, serving staff and also Camilla (Special Events Hostess) all keeping the secret. It was a truly amazing evening and a special memory for us both, and we can't thank them all enough. Also thank you to housekeeping who put up special balloons, a banner and beautiful swans towel art when we returned to our room after a wonderful evening. Bojan was terrific, always polite and helpful throughout our stay, and our room remained immaculate throughout. The entertainment was excellent, and again the staff did everything they could to make our stay enjoyable. The shows were fantastic and varied across the 14 days. There was always something to do even on the days at sea, and we admit to attending the gym only once! However we did enjoy the walk around deck, playing board games, visiting the shops, drinking coffee and even trying the climbing wall and crazy golf! Paul Evans (Entertainment Manager during our cruise) and Captain Chris' announcements were hilarious (our sort of humour and a bit cheesy). We loved listening to them together, a real live double-act to brighten your day! We even held our cabin door open to listen to the morning announcements, as they were most entertaining whilst informative. The trips offered were varied and interesting. We found the app for booking restaurants, spa sessions, trips, etc, extremely useful. We did think the internet costs were expensive and the wifi reception not always great, but to be honest were glad to have a break away from social media for 14 days! Just remember you are on the ocean miles from anything so it may not be perfect! We enjoyed all our booked trips, and despite initially thinking they were expensive, soon realised that by doing your own thing isn't cheap either and wished that we had booked more trips through Marella/Tui. Also you have the knowledge that you are in safer hands and the trips are organised. We felt that we wasted time not knowing what to do, and could have spent our money more wisely i.e, spent 110 dollars on a taxi tour round Costa Rica for 2hrs, etc. It was lovely but we were literally following the Tui Tour. Next time we will research more before visiting, but we really enjoyed all the locations we visited. We particularly enjoyed a chilled Zuana Beach Day (Santa Marta, Colombia), Kayaking in Panama, River Tubing in Jamaica (which was most memorable, chilled and fun!), guided walking tour in Cuba (also old cars and horse and cart trips are available by the port) and Ze-hal (Lagoon in Mexico). Each of the locations brought about something different, and were real eye openers at times! We can honestly say this was one of the best holidays that we have ever had, in addition to the kindness we received on our engagement. We loved MD2, it may not be new, sparkly and not the biggest, but it has a warmth/comfort about it being a smaller ship, and we couldn't fault the hospitality we received on this cruise. It still took us about a week to find everything though! Well done to Marella/Tui and hope to see you again soon for our next adventure. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
The destinations were very good despite the rain. We had never been to the Carribean before so did not know what to expect. Excursions organised by the ship were ok if pricey. Entertainment and food were ok but a bit repetitive (3 of the 5 ... Read More
The destinations were very good despite the rain. We had never been to the Carribean before so did not know what to expect. Excursions organised by the ship were ok if pricey. Entertainment and food were ok but a bit repetitive (3 of the 5 shows were the same as experienced eighteen months earlier). Remember to take an umbrella or lightweight waterproof as you may well get the full rain forest experience as we did. All destinations accepted US dollars but did seem to round all the prices up i.e. 5 dollars for a fridge magnet!! . I chose this cruise as it was sold as being adults only. Tropical delights ,April 2018. Two days before embarking I received an email saying a mistake had been made and the cruise would have children on board. Not a problem, so I thought, until I found our cabin, junior suite so not cheap, was next to one with small children who's constant noise made the overall cruise experience very disappointing. This was logged on board and advised to customer services on return. The response from tui was that it had not been advertised as adults only even though their email confirmed that it had. I would like to add that we have previously taken several cruises with Thompson and the crew are exceptional however I now feel tui are only after your money and do not care once they have this. Buyer beware. Even with written proof tui will not admit they are wrong and certainly will not say sorry. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise for our honeymoon and were not disappointed. The ship was well appointed and in good condition throughout. Everywhere was immaculate and the cleaning was very thorough. We had a balcony cabin in deck 6. Not ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our honeymoon and were not disappointed. The ship was well appointed and in good condition throughout. Everywhere was immaculate and the cleaning was very thorough. We had a balcony cabin in deck 6. Not massive but adequate with plenty of storage and hanging space. The bathroom was compact like most are and functional. The cabin was well soundproof and the air con worked well. The cabin attendant was excellent. The ship was run very efficiently from arrival to departure. The service from staff was exemplary and friendly. Formal when required and relaxed as well. There was a range of passengers on board. Your hard core pensioner cruisers who enjoy a ballroom waltz to chavvy Wetherspoons regulars just interested in when the pool bar opens. This didnt seem to be a problem as there were dining options bars and entertainment suitable for most. As the saying goes birds of a feather flock together. The main restaurant No 47 was lovely. It was nice that you weren't dictated to sh are tables or strict dining times. The pay off however is be prepared to wait for a table at peak time. Not a problem for us as they give you a pager and we enjoyed a drink in the bar for a short while. The food was lovely. Being from a hotel and catering background i could not fault any of the catering on board. The surf and turf restaurant was fully booked so didn't eat there but the Asian Kora la restaurant was excellent as was the Italian gallery 47, the glass house tapas and the snack snack on pool deck . Island restaurant was typical self service fayre. At times the pool bar was stretched but the wait was ok. There was plenty of waiting staff on pool deck and all the bars providing table service of you didn't want to go to the bar. The entertainment was ok. I guess it's always subjective and would never appeal to everyone but I would say they had a good attempt at providing good variety. We didnt choose to go on the ships excursions but did our own thing in each port. Maps available for each port. Destinations on tropical delights trip were good and I think there was adequate time at each destination. Overall no complaints. Good value duty free ship too. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Sorry for this being a long review but I tried to cover most of what we did and how we found it. The holiday started well at the airport, travelling premier class with TUI we were whisked through check in and security, it was the last ... Read More
Sorry for this being a long review but I tried to cover most of what we did and how we found it. The holiday started well at the airport, travelling premier class with TUI we were whisked through check in and security, it was the last we saw of our hold luggage until it arrived at our cabin. We were greeted on the plane with a glass of bubbly before take off, we were glad to have booked premier as it was a 9 hour flight the longest we have ever done. There was plenty of room to move around in your seat, video's to watch and plenty to eat and drink. On arrival at the Dominican Republic, going through security was just as fast as check in at home, signing in at the ship was fast and straight forward, if you can travel premier when with TUI it saves a lot of time at check in's and security. Marella Celebration had not changed much from our last cruise her in October 2016, new carpeting and seating in Hemmingways and Horizons lounges. The standard of food on board was very good it was well cooked and presented in The Meridian Restaurant, in the Lido Buffet the standard was just as good with plenty of variety to suit every one. We tended to have breakfast and lunch in the Lido Buffet where there was always a large selection of both hot and cold foods along with a plentiful array of fruit, we were able to have as little or as much as we wanted. Our preference was to have evening dinner in The Meridian Restaurant served by waiters Iasury, Jaydeep and Katerina and wine by Kumar who did an excellent job keeping the glasses full. Health and gluten free meals were available on request in The Meridian Restaurant and on display in the Lido Buffet to help yourself. It was definitely an excellent change to our eating experience on Marella Dream in September 2017 where the food was just about as god as pub grub and dolloped on your plate. Being repeat Marella (Thomson) cruisers we had seen most of the shows/guest artists on previous cruises, so it would not be fair to make comment on any of the shows we attended. Being a repositioning cruise the cruise itinerary had 8 port stops and 9 days at sea this made the cruise very relaxing. After our first day at sea we arrived at Curacao, where we did the Discover Curacao Island Tour which started with a visit to Curacao Museum in Otrabanda, one floor is kitted out like a 19th century Curacao mansion, then on to the Hato Caves which have about 50 steps to enter and exit the caves which are full of stalagmites and stalactites, next we were on to the Chobolo Liqueur Factory where you can see where the islands Blue Curacao Liqueur is made along with a tasting. The caves make this trip unsuitable for wheelchair users or those with waking difficulties. Our next port of call was Aruba where we did the Aruba Off Road trip, starting with a visit to Casibari Rock a formation that is the result of the island’s trade winds, then on to the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins which operated in the 19th century, next it was on to the ocean carved Natural Bridge, followed by the Alto Vista Chapel and the California Lighthouse which sits on the islands northwest tip, finally to the palm fringed white sands at Arashi Beach. This trip would be unsuitable to wheelchair users also those with back or joint problems and pregnant women due to the very rough and uneven terrain covered. Next was the island of Bonaire where we did the Bonaire Highlights & Culture Explorer tour. Our first stop was the village of Rincon at the Rose Inn to sample the locally Cadushy Liqueur made from cactus and lime, then on to the Mangazina di Rei Culture Park where The King’s Warehouse is the second oldest building on the island, finally to the Salt Flats and Salt Mountains where salt was mined by slaves in the 19th century, some of the old slave huts are still standing. This trip would suit most people looking for a relaxing non-energetic trip. Our second day at sea was a welcome break, there were plenty of activities organised if you were becoming bored with the sun bathing, but most cruisers were topping up on their sun tan. Our 4th port of call was Castries, St. Lucia, where we had booked the Scenes of St. Lucia tour, starting with a drive up the scenic Morne Fortune hillside, translated as “Hill of Good Luck”, it was a key battleground during colonial times, our first stop was at St Marks House, a colonial style house high in the hills where you have a panoramic view of Castries harbour and the Caribbean sea. Then it was on to St. Lucia’s one and only rum distillery, where you see how the spirit is produced, afterwards you have a chance to sample the produce, all 17 different rum’s, from double strength to crème liqueur varieties and it was help yourself, you were invited go round twice if you wanted, no one in our group was brave enough. Lastly it was a bit of retail therapy at Howelton Estate/Caribelle Batic which is famous throughout the Caribbean for it’s batic prints. This tour was easy on the legs and would be suitable for most people. The next port of call was St. John’s, Antigua where we went on the Highlights of Antigua, the first stop was The Blockhouse Fort ruins, perched 500 feet above sea level making it a great viewing platform for the island. Then it was on to Shirley Heights where during the 18th century soldiers used this as a lookout to spot their enemies and signal to near by forts. Finally it was on to Nelson’s Dockyard which is the world’s only working Georgian Dockyard still in use today, you are able to stroll through the Georgian buildings and visit the original Naval Officer’s house. This tour is not suitable for wheelchair users or those with walking difficulties due to the rough terrain under foot. Our final port of call in the Caribbean before 6 days a sea was Philipsburg, St. Maarten, where we did the Philipsburg by Trolley Train tour, our first stop was a short distance from the ship at a cheese outlet for free samples, most of the cheese on show was the same as home, but we did get a free tub of ice cream which was delicious, the trolley train then took us on a natural, cultural and historic landmarks trip through Philipsburg, stopping at two venues for a quick taste of flavoured rums. We then had a 30 min stop for shopping etc. before returning to the ship. This was a short easy tour which was suitable for most people. Our next 6 days at sea were spent relaxing, attending some of the activities arranged on ship, but mostly finding a nice quiet place to sit and watch time go by. After 6 days at sea our port of call was Funchal, Madeira, where some cruisers could hardly wait to get on terra firma. We had booked the Taste of Madeira & Cable Car, after a short coach run to the cable car station it into the cable car for the ride from Funchal to Monte where the panoramic views are superb. It was then decision time, go back down by coach or wicker toboggan. The toboggan won, it was a great experience sitting in the wicker toboggan sliding down hill guided by two drivers using their rubber soled boots as brakes, then it was on to the Botanical Gardens, unfortunately the weather had been unusually cold this year and plants were about a month behind normal so there was not much to see. The toboggan ride costs 30 euro per couple or 25 euro single, well worth the experience. This tour is not suitable for wheelchair users and may cause problems for those with walking difficulties. Next it was our last lazy day at sea, by now it was a bit colder 18c and a bit chilly for sitting on deck. Our last port of call was Gibraltar, having been here many times we decided to do our own thing and walk into town for a bit of window shopping, have a coffee or two and people watch. Our disembarking port was Malaga, transfer from ship to airport was carried out very smoothly and efficiently, but not as quick as our outbound flight, overall it was another pleasant experience even though we had to carry our own cases this time. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I was so happy when I saw Sunwing was again offering this Pride of Panama almost all inclusive cruise. We had taken it on Thomson Dream in Feb. 2016 & then didn't see it last year so were really happy we got it this time. It was ... Read More
I was so happy when I saw Sunwing was again offering this Pride of Panama almost all inclusive cruise. We had taken it on Thomson Dream in Feb. 2016 & then didn't see it last year so were really happy we got it this time. It was good value with flight, cabin, transfers, drink package included & NO tipping! The Marella Discovery 2 is a lovely ship, a nice size with a great CD, happy dining room staff, very efficient & friendly cabin stewardess, beautiful shows, good food with nice choices & great excursions. I liked it so much I almost cried when we had to leave. I wish we could have stayed on for another week. The ship is lovely & in great shape for being built in 1995. It's so easy to find your way around on it. It has everything one would want on a ship. Our cabin, an inside, was big enough of the 2 of us, had a love seat & plenty of storage space. There was also a kettle with coffee & tea to drink. We used the door cards so our lovely stewardess Jelena & her assistant Svitlana always had the cabin made up for us on our return from breakfast, something I really appreciate. There was also towel animals occasionally then or at night along with the chocolates I've been missing on other lines. We always ate in the dining rooms & usually had a table for two. We didn't try the pay restaurants just did the 2 47' ones & enjoyed the food & service in both. The staff are really friendly & efficient. The menu was varied & the food generally quite good. Martyn, the CD is everywhere & does a great job. We went to all the production shows & really enjoyed them. The theatre has comfy seating with a drink holder. I only went to Bingo a couple of times as it was at the same time as we usually have supper. It was good, only 5 GBP & fast. I really enjoyed the Elton John show, the singing couple & comedian too. We never use pools or hot tubs or hang around bars so can't comment on them. We did like having the opportunity to try new drinks with the included package. The photographers were good & helpful when we had a bit of a problem with our boarding picture or lack thereof. We had prebooked a couple of shore excursions then booked a couple more onboard. I did the Panama Railway tour which also included a stop at the new locks where we saw a movie & walked around a bit then took the train, had a little drive by tour of the city & a stop at a duty free place on the water. I was surprised & happy to see some food on the train then a sandwich on the bus. DH did his 1st zip line in Costa Rica & the boat ride while I did the Jaguar Animal Rescue trip with river cruise too. We both enjoyed our choices. Our guide at the animal place was great, very keen having volunteered there for 6 years. I was afraid the animals would jump on you but that never happened to me at least. The flora & fauna were lovely there. We had been to Santa Marta & Cartagena before so just walked along the Malecon & into the town a bit in the former, & took a cab to the Fort walked around for about an hour then returned to the lovely little zoo right at the port, at the latter. We never did find the Emerald Museum there at the port, oh well maybe next time! I took the ship tour & was happy with it. I've done them on other ships & they're all different. This one began with a chat over tea or coffee on the bridge with Captain Chris & ended with a glass of bubbly in the MDR. I must say Cap't Chris is a young handsome friendly man who seems down to earth & very efficient, looking out for our best interests. He did change the routing on our cruise due to weather but it still was a pretty rocky ride a couple of nights. He did keep us informed so that was appreciated. I really loved this cruise & was sad to leave the ship. One thing about that was there was no rush to leave, sure you had to be out of the cabin by 8:00 am but you could stay onboard using the services 'til your transfer left. We had purchased the wifi so passed time on that while waiting to disembark.. Hopefully we'll be able to do another cruise on D2 or another in the fleet next year if Sunwing offers the same sort of deal. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We did the 7 day cruise 8 years ago as a sampler (our first cruise - Thomson Dreams) along with a 7 day beach stay. Decided on 14 days this time (our 6th cruise) Perfect flight and transfer to liner. Upgraded to deluxe cabin (No.230) ... Read More
We did the 7 day cruise 8 years ago as a sampler (our first cruise - Thomson Dreams) along with a 7 day beach stay. Decided on 14 days this time (our 6th cruise) Perfect flight and transfer to liner. Upgraded to deluxe cabin (No.230) well worth it. Food and service is top class. Anyone who complains is probably a habitual complainer. However, we did take out the All Inclusive drinks package. Unless you drink like a fish, don't take it. The "house" table wine, (served by the glass) was not only the worst I have ever had on A.I. (16 years all around the world) but you'd have a job to buy anything so bad. Very, very cheap Spanish. The remaining A.I. drinks were ok unless you wanted premium shorts cocktails or bottled beers. (Supplements of £2.50 upwards.) Unlike some other cruises we have been on, the overall price of drinks, beer cocktails, shorts and wine, were very reasonable The other issue was Wi-Fi. £49 for 7 days or £95 for the 14 day cruise. Not only was it ridiculously expensive but it didn't work. I eventually got a full refund after 48 hours. Either get a sim with plenty of data allowance or use the Wi-Fi cafes in each port. The only other small gripe was the charge of £25 for the cabin safe. You can buy a fully electronic small safe for £100 so this charge was a complete rip off. Those things apart, we thoroughly enjoyed the whole cruise. The evening stage show was as good as anything you will see anywhere and there were a couple of performers who should be on B.G.T.! We saw every show ( not my personal scene) for all 14 nights - they were that good! Our cabin boy was excellent, he thoroughly deserved the extra tip we gave him. Return to airport and flight back were perfect. So overall, a great cruise, marred only by a couple of issues which Marella should be able to rectify. Would we go again? YES! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose the Cuban Fusion and Pride of Panama 'back-to-back' cruises for their itineraries and this was our first Thomson/Tui/Marella cruise, although we have cruised with three other lines previously. The Pros: Check in ... Read More
We chose the Cuban Fusion and Pride of Panama 'back-to-back' cruises for their itineraries and this was our first Thomson/Tui/Marella cruise, although we have cruised with three other lines previously. The Pros: Check in at Gatwick and Montego Bay was simple and the arrangements made for luggage transfer were very good. Transfers from Montego Bay to the ship and from the ship to Montego Bay were well organised. Our deck 6 basic balcony cabin was adequate and quiet. Excursions ashore were well organised with simple, speedy transfer from ship to coach. Most restaurant and bar staff were friendly and helpful, particularly those serving in the Coffee Port. Havana, Costa Rica and Cartagena were the highlights for us. The Captain altered the itinerary for the second week because of bad weather (rough seas) in an attempt to ensure we would be able to visit all ports of call and to make the voyage as tolerable as possible. Fortunately his gamble paid off! The Cons: Some ship accommodation was tired and our cabin and balcony were poorly cleaned. Windows were filthy most of the time. Quality of food was very inconsistent, ranging from very poor to good. Reception desk staff were often unhelpful and very defensive. A small minority of guests left empty beer bottles and glasses all over the upper decks and seemed obsessed with drinking all day and sunbathing. The pool deck was an area to avoid at all costs as it resembled a very cheap all inclusive Costa hotel. A lack of seats outside on the boat deck - Marella seems to think that all passengers are obsessed with sunbathing and supply only rather uncomfortable sunbeds. Premium economy seats are the most uncomfortable we have ever experienced - a waste of money. Overall: A great itinerary but unfortunately we would never sail with Marella again. The ship clearly encourages the all inclusive boozing Costa crowd so it's not for us. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Just got back from 2 weeks aboard the Marella Discovery and we had the best time! On first impressions the ship was excellent with a impressive atrium, glass lifts and classy bars. It was well organised and check in went smoothly. When ... Read More
Just got back from 2 weeks aboard the Marella Discovery and we had the best time! On first impressions the ship was excellent with a impressive atrium, glass lifts and classy bars. It was well organised and check in went smoothly. When we first embarked the staff were available on every floor for help if we needed it. Our outside cabin was of a good size with a comfortable double bed. We found it to be clean with plenty of storage space with everything we needed for the short amount of time we spent in our cabin. They supplied shower gel, tissues and soap, so dont bother taking them with you. Restaurants and service was very good and nothing was to much trouble, we found that if we were willing to share, we never had to wait for table. Portions were a little on the small side, but you could ask for a bigger portion if you wanted to. The bar service (especially around the pool) is excellent with staff walking round regularly clearing the tables and asking if we would like another drink! The bars are well stocked with everything you could ask for (No need to up grade to a drinks package) with lots of branded spirits and bottled beers.Try the cocktails they are to die for! Entertainment staff are very professional with great singing and dancing, they preform 2 shows, 6 nights a week, we also saw a couple of comedians while we were there and ive never laughed so much! The venue bar is a lot of fun with interactive games, such as Family fortunes and Mr & Mrs which we took part in. We booked 2 trips on board and can recommend them both, swimming with turtles in Barbados and Swimming with stingrays in Antigua. To summarise it was great.. not just seeing so many beautiful islands, but the experience on the ship was so much fun. Thank you Marcella. See you soon... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Price and location were the reason for this our 5th visit to the Caribbean. Food and Beverage were my highlight of this voyage. Entertainment team did a fantastic job with one UK act per week. Cruise Director ' Paul ' excellent ... Read More
Price and location were the reason for this our 5th visit to the Caribbean. Food and Beverage were my highlight of this voyage. Entertainment team did a fantastic job with one UK act per week. Cruise Director ' Paul ' excellent on our second week. Bar service excellent all around the Discovery. Special mention for pool bar :Tony, Francis, Gary, Observatory bar : Ivan and Maria also waitress Marina Many thanks to all. Special mention goes to the team in the 47 Restaurant namely Stefan, Kajrati and Jaroslav. These guys were excellent and went the extra mile with attention to detail. It was a little difficult getting the same station every night and sometimes we had to take a pager but when seated Stefan new exactly what drinks to get and was so professional. Even when very busy they were attentive and greeted us warmly. Our cabin steward was also very good and nothing was too much trouble. We were on the inside deck 2 midship quiet and comfortable. The weather on the second week was mixed in that we had a lot of rain and wind but it was still very warm. It was quite sad to see the state of some of the islands after the hurricane especially St Marten and Tortola. They were crying out for tourists. Flights and transfers all very smooth. All in all an excellent cruise. Would definitely go with Marella again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Despite reservation of our cabin and confirmation of the trip in the previous June, three days before we were due to travel we were advised, without any explanation, that we had been allocated a cabin at the other end of the ship. We later ... Read More
Despite reservation of our cabin and confirmation of the trip in the previous June, three days before we were due to travel we were advised, without any explanation, that we had been allocated a cabin at the other end of the ship. We later discovered that many of the other passengers found themselves in a similar position. On board the general condition of the ship was poor. Our cabin required refurbishment. Restaurant service was substandard and the food was on par with a school meal. On Christmas day evening following a 45 minute wait to enter the dinning area we then waited a further 75 minuets to be served with our meal. On board entertainment was found to be extremely amateur, most of the entertainers lacked any experience, most had recently left stage school. Singing groups throughout the ship a various location appeared to be foreign and were difficult to understand. The each way flight from Gatwick however could not be faulted. The crew were attentive, polite and considerate. Fortunately TUI had no control on the weather which was excellent. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Well was looking for an all inclusive deal ' got that . The ship it self may be showing its age but the food , staff and entertainment were on point. Never did I see, hear, or hear of, a single upset staff member ;very profesional ... Read More
Well was looking for an all inclusive deal ' got that . The ship it self may be showing its age but the food , staff and entertainment were on point. Never did I see, hear, or hear of, a single upset staff member ;very profesional ,engaged and helpfull. Cabin was always clean. The food was excellent ;I personaly feel that if they can put fish "properly" cooked on my table ,then they know what their doing . They were alway well organized. Could of had a few more shady on dec areas,but thats just me ..I think. The captian spent time every day walking the dec talking openly to guests as was the head chef ,giving us all opportunity to express our thoughts . With "any time" dinng room seation ,rushing to dinner was never an issue ,though we timed it so we had the wonderfull Christopher and Alena every night . two thumbs up .. way to go Thompson. des Read Less
52 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Having cruised with several different companies over the last 20 years, we decided to give this ship a try as it was offering two decent itineraries with only 2 sea days, also the A.I. drinks package and a nice cabin for the price we paid ... Read More
Having cruised with several different companies over the last 20 years, we decided to give this ship a try as it was offering two decent itineraries with only 2 sea days, also the A.I. drinks package and a nice cabin for the price we paid seemed appealing. The ship itself was in very nice considering its age, RCCL do look after their ships, and the recent refit carried out by TUI obviously helped. The only negative was the lack of access to other decks at the aft end. The food was no better than 3*, but we found the service in all of eateries to be very good, it could be a little slow at peak times but that should be expected, however the staff were great and coped admirably, thankfully no singing and dancing with baked Alaska, "So last millennium". The Glass House was a nice alternative dining venue with its Tapas and Pizza menu at no extra charge. We paid £25 pp to dine in Surf & Turf, the service was outstanding, but unfortunately in our opinion the food wasn't, we had scallops as a starter, which were either badly cooked or had been frozen, and the lobster was the same, the fillet steak was only average with little taste, the hand cut chips were in fact hand cut frozen chips, we did expect fresh food in this venue. The A.I. drinks package was excellent, all major brands included, and the bar service, contrary to previous comments was excellent, I can only assume that if you approach the bar staff in a friendly manner you'll get better results. Dymitrio & Francis in the Atrium Bar were both fabulous, as was Viraj up on the main deck bar, Mimi & Tatianna in the Glass House were amazing. The entertainment, Oh dear, this really let the cruise down, it's difficult to know where to start, TUI must have put this together on a shoestring. If the staging and production values of a P.&O theatre show cost £50,000 then TUI must have spent £5000, their was nothing wrong with the kids singing and dancing but they were given little chance to shine due to the low budget costumes, scenery and props, this was a shame as the Broadway show lounge was a nice venue. The Live Room, nobody seemed to know what this was all about with the virtual bands on a video wall, you can't applaud a video, some numpty at TUI has come up with this strange concept and all of their daft mates have jumped up and down in agreement, but hey think about it, it's cheap. The two guest comics were both good. The individual acoustic acts who performed in various venues around the ship, let's just say if they were busking down your local high street for money, they'd starve. The two pianists were quite good as was the saxophonist, the one high spot in the entertainment programme was the 4 piece band "Protoge" very good, but used in the wrong venues, if you weren't on deck then you didn't see much of them inside the ship. The dress code was hit and miss, TUI have failed to say whether or not there is a formal evening, I don't know what dress to impress implies, as do many other people, thus half of the guys donned their black tie and DJ. the rest dressed casually, thankfully only a few turned up in shorts, but were refused admission to the main dining venues. Would we cruise with TUI again? Probably not, unless TUI stop cutting corners and doing things on the cheap. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
First cruise ever to celebrate a special birthday, it took a lot of persuading and only a back to back Caribbean would do to give it a try. Not everything went as it should. No Dreamliner which Thomson had promoted very heavily for this ... Read More
First cruise ever to celebrate a special birthday, it took a lot of persuading and only a back to back Caribbean would do to give it a try. Not everything went as it should. No Dreamliner which Thomson had promoted very heavily for this holiday, that was big disappointment not only to us but also to most travellers from other UK airports. The transfers went very well despite our flight being late. A full safety drill was the first thing to go through on board before being able to change after hours of travel, however the captain and crew were very diligent and our safety was their main concern. After a few days we sorted the best places to eat namely 47 Degrees restaurant for civilised breakfast and dinner any other place , Snack Shack or Glass House for light lunches or daytime/nighttime snacks. All inclusive seems to be a funny word for Tui as we had to pay for all the bottled water and extra for coffees at certain place on board. Wifi was also charged at an arm and a leg prices on board £90 per device for two weeks, so waited for free Wifi at cafes/bars in various ports of call. The cabin with balcony was clean and fairly comfortable, the bathroom was a bit tight and somewhat dated. Plenty of storage space though for all our clothes. The Itinerary was pretty good but in one or two places we could have done with more time,Grenada & Bonaire only 6 or seven hours. We may have chosen to take some excursions but leaving ship at 7.00 or 8.00 in the morning was not on for us, we were on holiday !!!! We dis our own exploring at every stop and discovered the house where my mother was born 94 years ago. We thought the entertainment overall was entertaining. Some we liked some we liked less. What do you expect ? We met lots of nice people on board and were surprised at the extremely and I mean extremely wide cross section of passengers on board. The captain and crew worked extremely hard to ensure we were happy and well looked after. Overall we enjoyed our first cruise. Would we go again ? Yes but maybe cruise and stay instead. Would we go Tui ? Not sure, still have issues with previous holidays. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We flew on a lovely Thomson Dreamliner flight direct to Jamaica to pick up the ship 'Dream' for 2 back to back cruises. Unfortunately no one had been informed that these cruises were now operating on a different itinerary to that ... Read More
We flew on a lovely Thomson Dreamliner flight direct to Jamaica to pick up the ship 'Dream' for 2 back to back cruises. Unfortunately no one had been informed that these cruises were now operating on a different itinerary to that published, and had been doing so for several months. As you can imagine this caused some problems for those passengers who had booked their own private excursions, or were meeting friends at different ports. I myself had booked trips with Thomson's online a few weeks before departure, and that itinerary was still out of date. This did not cause us too much hassle as the tickets issued on board had the correct port dates on. The big gripe we had was the attempted docking at Cozumel after a day and night at sea. The captain knew it was going to be busy with 8 other ships in, and that we, the poor relations, would have to tender, but due to rough seas this was not possible, and we had to drift around for a day. Not acceptable, especially when according to the itinerary we should of been in Roatan! We then went to Costa Maya, here you walk through the port and get a trolley bus for $3 go three stops and walk along the lovely beach there, a taxi back is also $3 each. Next day we did the Thomson highlights tour in Belize to see the Altun Ha, we thought it was worth the money. The following day we were in Roatan we just walked round the port, other passengers got a taxi and had a tour round the island, we wished we had also done this, as they had a great time. Back to Jamaica, and on change over day we managed to fit in an express trip to Dunns River Falls, and what a great time we had, although the rep wanted to take us to a shopping mall on the way back, luckily some of our passengers spoke up and said no, this is the express trip, we don't want to go to the mall, it had already been a 6 hour 'express' trip. Gran Cayman, we found the bus stop next to the library and jumped on a local number 1 bus, it costs $2.50 each to go to 7 mile beach, we stayed on and did the whole bus route, $5, to see some of the island, and how the locals live, and jumped off on the way back to have a walk on the famous beach. Cuba, we did the highlights tour, which was good value, and then had a walk around Havana ourselves as the ship docks right in the town. People we spoke to were disappointed with the cost and content of the evening trip to a show. We did our own thing and got a ride in an old open top car for an hour for $40. The following morning we were told we were leaving at 11.30am a bit disappointing, I wonder if his is knock on effect of the changed itinerary? So we got off the ship for a quick walk around,and turned left to walk along the front, and was pleasantly surprised to find some old train engines, one fired up, just sitting on the side of the road. Next to this was an old warehouse full of artists paintings for sale as well as the usual souvenirs for those last minute purchases. Finally we got to dock in Cozumel, we jumped in a taxi to go and see some Mayan ruins that Thomson's don't take you to, as they are more interested in taking you back over to the mainland on a long ferry/ coach journey. If in Cozumel, do Cozumel, try San Gervasio a 20 minute taxi drive $40, the driver stayed and waited for us as it is in the middle of nowhere, and $9 each entry fee, gives you an insight into the culture and still have time for the beach etc.. The Dream is a an old lady, maybe showing her age, and is a bit dated in areas, but the food was good, and the night time entertainment shows excellent. The daytime activities especially during sea days are very lacking, trying to play skittles on the carpet just to the side of the theatre was not very professional, I would of thought a blow up or temporary alley would not have broken the bank. Make sure you take a pack of cards or your kindle! We managed to borrow the one scrabble set late one night,one set amongst 1500 passengers. Our cabin 5079 served it's purpose, we were in the middle of the ship and had a plus size cabin on deck 5 with a larger picture window. We did have rough seas on 2 nights and one day, lying down on the bed you could not feel it too much, but the suspended ceiling creaks badly. I would travel on the Dream again, but as they say forewarned is forearmed! Take USA$ in small denominations as all of the ports except Cuba will take these, but will want to give change in local currency. Take sterling to change in Cuba as you get a better rate. Thomson's provided the visa/ tourist card required for entry to Cuba, they don't make that clear in their information, and a few passengers panicked and purchased online visas at a very overinflated rate. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We chose this cruise as it was a back to back (Cuban Fusion and Mayan Treasures) both of which we loved the itinerary of. The dream is a lovely old girl and stands up to the test of time beautifully. we chose Thomson because of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a back to back (Cuban Fusion and Mayan Treasures) both of which we loved the itinerary of. The dream is a lovely old girl and stands up to the test of time beautifully. we chose Thomson because of the All-Inclusive nature of the package. It was great to check in our cases at Birmingham and not have to worry about them again, as they'd be delivered to our cabin door. Our cabin was an outside plus (Mid-Ships, Deck 9) and was lovely. plenty of room, for clothes and our cases stored neatly behind the settee. Bed was made up into a double and was one of the most comfortable we'd ever slept in on a holiday. Our housekeeper Cristina looked after us with an excellent service. All the staff were some of the most helpful we've ever come across and are a credit to Thomson, The Dream and her Captain. Food was always a treat and there was something for everyone. We did however really really enjoy the "Kora La" Asian Cuisine restaurant. the food was to die for and of sizable portions too. The entertainment was plentiful, varied and of an excellent standard. our twice daily Captain's update was one of our highlights' as he made his announcements amusing. I could go on and on about our experience aboard the Dream, however I won't. All I'll say is try her yourself. you wont be disappointed !!! Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Suitable itinerary Flight from Gatwick to Barbados first class, return somewhat spoilt by a delay of 3 hours no explanation given . Ship on the whole good but so noisy, wherever you went music of some kind was blaring While on ... Read More
Suitable itinerary Flight from Gatwick to Barbados first class, return somewhat spoilt by a delay of 3 hours no explanation given . Ship on the whole good but so noisy, wherever you went music of some kind was blaring While on this subject was very dissapointed with the show the lead female singer just shouted ! The. Parisian item was terrible almost as tho they were reading dialogue from a script ,never walked out on a show before .First week Maurice Grumbleweed was very entertaining second weeks guest was embarrassing ! Food in 47 and the gallery needs fine tuning, the lasagne I was served looked and tasted awful resembled a suet pudding However all the staff from reception to waiter were great. Enjoyed the 10 shore tours although felt some were overpriced especially when comparing with what other guests had paid on shore Have taken into consideration that this is a learning curve for Discovery but would like to stress that I feel the staff in Islands are on a hard task . Every time we went in ,there were crumbs etc lining the carpet under the windows might help to issue them with hand held vacs or close it for 30 mins Would I book again ? Bearing in mind this maybe classed as an age thing ,maybe not,cannot fault staff especially our cabin cleaners but can only say thank goodness we had a balcony to have a little quiet read . Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Hi, we were two of about 25 Canadians aboard this UK oriented cruise ship. We met and made friends with some great people. The ship was very efficiently run and our only real complaint was the winds but that was not a slight to the efforts ... Read More
Hi, we were two of about 25 Canadians aboard this UK oriented cruise ship. We met and made friends with some great people. The ship was very efficiently run and our only real complaint was the winds but that was not a slight to the efforts of the crew. A very welcoming atmosphere. The entertainers in the Broadway Show Lounge were top notch for every performance even when the ship was rocking with the windy weather. I would suggest that the regular bar band chat and communicate more with the audience when performing rather than just clone classic pop hits. They seemed rather stiff and award although musicality was strong. The staff were extremely cheerful even under demanding circumstances with the rough seas. We particularly enjoyed Cartegena , Colombia with its mix of modern and colonial charm. Its unfortunate that the cruise ships on this itinerary have to dock at strictly cargo ports. The constant hum of shipyard noise was irritating to say the least and having a huge crane directly overhead in one pool area at one port was a huge visual distraction. Again Thomson is not to blame for these facilities. Overall a wonderful vacation experience for travellers with an adventurous spirit. Cheers, Thomson , Captain Harris , crew and fellow cruisers. Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

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