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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. This was our first cruise with Marella. Our first impression of the ship was good it was clean and easy to move around. Our cabin was an inside cabin, it was clean and a good size. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. This was our first cruise with Marella. Our first impression of the ship was good it was clean and easy to move around. Our cabin was an inside cabin, it was clean and a good size. The cabins are cleaned in the morning (if you are lucky) and the bed turned down in the evening. On one occasion our room was not touched until after we had gone for our evening meal! The cafe on deck 9 had a reasonable selection of food which was nice but not outstanding. Breakfast was the same selection each day. We are at the main restaurant on deck 4/5 in the evenings. Again the food was very good but not outstanding. The service in the restaurant was dependent on where you sat. Most evenings our meal took about an hour. The bar staff throughout the ship are friendly they work very hard and sometimes you have to wait for your drink. Mid to late evening it is very hard to get somewhere to sit in any of the inside bars. The shows are very good. The show team did 12 shows during our 14 night cruise so they work very hard. The other 2 nights we had comedians who were also good. On deck 10 there is a mini golf course, it is a bit worse for wear but was very popular. On a few occasions we had to wait for other golfers. It can be used day and night and beats the unused basketball courts you get on a lot of other ships!! There are a lot of sunbeds but not enough on sea days. They allow you to pin your towel to a bed and hog that bed for the rest of the day!! Most of the time half of the sunbeds have towels on them but no body's which is really annoying. A lot of people were pegging their towels to the sunbeds as soon as they got up, so you go to breakfast at 8am and half the sunbeds already have towels pegged to them. So if you are a sunworshiper you need to claim your sunbeds early!!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Travelled with a family group for special celebration. The cabin was a Deluxe Balcony Cabin on 7th Deck. Adequate but a bit shabby and in need of refurbishment. Bed and bedding poor and uncomfortable. Small shower room with plastic ... Read More
Travelled with a family group for special celebration. The cabin was a Deluxe Balcony Cabin on 7th Deck. Adequate but a bit shabby and in need of refurbishment. Bed and bedding poor and uncomfortable. Small shower room with plastic shower curtain in need of replacement. Cabin staff very helpful. Found food very average. Tried A la Carte steak house but not impressed, especially as the extra charge was far too high. Public areas on board during the 'Days at Sea' were over-crowded and noisy. The main restaurant was probably the best dining option as the buffet restaurant was over-crowded. The entertainment team worked very hard but it still felt amateurish. Our main criticism was regarding the second week's itinerary which included Belize, Guatemala and Honduras as we felt these destinations were not fit for purpose. Unless you had booked excursions at least the day before docking, there was literally nowhere to explore independently or safely. This was our first cruise experience but we were travelling with family who had all travelled on several different cruise lines previously, including Princess and P&O. We all felt disappointed with the ship's facilities and some of the ports of call. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We have not cruised with Tui before and we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived onboard. The ship is lovely and the crew is extremely friendly and helpful, nothing is too much trouble for them. The cabin was clean and comfortable with ... Read More
We have not cruised with Tui before and we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived onboard. The ship is lovely and the crew is extremely friendly and helpful, nothing is too much trouble for them. The cabin was clean and comfortable with a balcony and the maid service was excellent. We thought the food and service in the dining room was excellent with a good choice and the food in the self service restaurant and other areas was also good. The shows each evening were superb and the show team are very professional, they would all not be out of place on the West End theatres. The entertainment in the Live Room was also really good. There was no need to upgrade the drinks package as there was plenty of choice on the inclusive one with all the usual well know branded drinks available. There is a small gym and sauna which is adequate and the spa is quite good. The shops don’t really have that much choice but I am sure others may disagree. The pool can get quite noisy with all of the sun beds full and the entertainment going on around it. However the covered pool is a much quieter area. So you can choose which you prefer. All in all the whole trip was fabulous and I would certainly sail on this ship again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because we liked the itinerary - it was a bit different than the million other carribean cruises out there. We were on the Exotic Explorer followed by the Cuban Fusion. For those unfamiliar the ship does rolling themes ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we liked the itinerary - it was a bit different than the million other carribean cruises out there. We were on the Exotic Explorer followed by the Cuban Fusion. For those unfamiliar the ship does rolling themes to each week of the cruise. It is Cuban Fusion every other week with the gap alternating between Exotic Explorer and Pride of Panama. Ship We were very happy with the ship, it was smaller than the last ship we were on but we were pleased with the size and variety of public areas, never did we find a situation where a bar/coffee bar had no seats; which was not the case when on the two MSC ships we have been on. Unlike some of the newer larger ships being put out there all areas, apart from the two speciality dining options, were accessible to all passengers which was nice. Cabin The cabin is classed as a deluxe balcony and it was larger than most balconies as it accommodated both a table, two chairs AND two sun beds. In terms of storage it was generous and the wardrobe space was significantly bigger than those of the normal balcony rooms (we looked in). Compared to other cruise lines I would still stay it was more than their standard balconies but less so. The cabin itself was very clean and the bed was comfortable although, at least from our personal perspective, it shares a common problem with all hotels and cruises in that the pillows are always fluffy but provide no neck support but when doubled up are too much. This is personal so I don't place too much emphasis on this. The fridge was large and whilst having some mini bar items it had enough space for me to keep my epipen cold and also bottles of water and cans of pop. However, there were a couple of small touches that could have been addressed to improve the cabin. The carpets were poorly fitting around the edges and were frayed or pulled up. In addition, in the bathroom the shower curtain had some tears and was missing eyelets and didn't really hand well or stay within the shower tray. For the record we are not fat but the curtain barely hung below the lip on the shower and was not really weighted so as you moved in the shower it would easily just fall out and soak the floor. Dining We were impressed with the dining on board which definitely suited British tastes. The main restaurant houses both a traditional dining option that rotates daily, with the italian menu reserved for upstairs but that has a static menu (but wider than the daily rotating menu). The main dining room had some good food and we were pleased whenever we ate there (I was not well for most of the first week so didn't eat much - nothing to do with the ship but personal health issues). Steak was sometimes served in the main restaurant but my wife was rather non-plus over it. That said we were pleased with the food here and did not feel short changed or required to go to the speciality dining venues. The buffet choice was good with salads and fruit always available. Alongside this there were staples such as chips, burgers and hot dogs accompanied by rotating food suited to British tastes as well as rotating themed food. One thing we really liked was the hot coconut and chocolate cake with custard, it was only on one night but it really hit the spot and we wished it would be rotated on again. At lunch there was a panini station which at breakfast served as an omelette station. Immediately next to this there was a carvery station and I must say I was particularly impressed with the quality of the meat; it was cooked well without being overdone and was very tender. I like a carvery and was not disappointed. For me this most notably applied to all the beef dishes served at the buffet - the meat was tender whether it was in a curry or stroganoff. It felt unusual that the buffet closed by 9.30pm then the choice became much more limited over at the 'Glass House'. Several times I had the curry there alongside salad but I must highlight that regardless of what it says the curry says 'vindaloo, 'madras', 'mild' they all tasted the same except for the meat being used and was in no way spicy - but was tasty. Also a couple of times the chicken curry included small bits of bone so it is worth being careful when going for the chicken curry. Specialty dining wise we did not go to either the Steakhouse or the Asian fusion option but personally I felt it was not great value. For example when paying the cover charge on NCL or MSC the range of sides and cuts of steaks were generous and better than we normally get in the UK and good value (especially in the context of NCL). However, when looking at the menu it felt more limited and did not provide particularly good value in terms of cost when compared to what you would pay in the UK - the desserts and starters were not particularly impressive. Service We were pleased with the service, the staff were very good and generally greeted you with a smile and conversation without being too in your face. English is the only language onboard and the staff all had strong English and there was a good diversity of staff - on some cruises the staff are almost exclusively Indonesian or Filipino (not that I have any issue with this) but onboard there were a number of staff from South and East Asia, the Carribean and Europe which seemed to make a different atmosphere. The waiting staff in the bars were attentive and there was rarely a situation where you would be left without a drink. Often we went to the bar but that was our personal preference as I am not used to having my drinks brought to me. Ports and Excursions We only went on one ship organised excursions otherwise we had made our own arrangements. I personally recommend picking independent tours as they were cheaper, easy to locate and you had more personal attention. For example One of the tours we went on was to the Mayan Ruins about an hour away from Costa Maya. Our tour both arrived before and left after the ship organised tour with a guide for only 6 of us and a chance to spend longer at each part of the site and ask questions of the guide. I have some more tips below. Entertainment The entertainment was good and provided a nice range of both musical productions and comedy. The other activities onboard were well organised and provided a range of choices no matter what your preference so all groups were well catered for. Other points All the main activities were free onboard - the wall climbing, the mini golf, VR taster and video games. The latter is an important one if you had kids or teenagers. Having been on cruises with arcade machines you watch kids and teens (I was the same when I was a kid) pumping money (well swiping their cruise card) into the arcade machines. However, the ship had a number of XBOX ONE consoles that were available to be played by passengers for no cost. It is something small but something I could appreciate if I was travelling with kids. Upgraded drinks package - We upgraded the drinks package and would say that it was worth it in terms of the canned soft drinks as well as our preferred options when it came to spirits, amongst other things The soft drinks are useful because we could pack a couple of cans in our bag when we went on excursions - it does save you a few dollars a time plus you avoid being gouged for soft drinks in some places. The cocktails were less impressive although there were a couple that stood out but confusingly, despite some being listed as available in every bar (there were a number that are specialty to each bar - for example beer cocktails in Live Room, smoking cocktails in Bar 11), some staff would refuse to make them which was annoying when we got called a liar when we stated we had been served one in that bar the night before by their colleague. They also varied in terms of the quality they were made and sometimes staff made it feel like a nuisance to go get them from the back. It is also worth noting in the Live Room they have a much larger range of premium beers - Duval is a personal favourite of mine and if you are beer connoisseur then it certainly beats the standard choices. My wife liked the Coffee Port - she thought the coffee was far better than the coffee available from the bars and while I don't drink coffee I liked the milkshakes and blended drinks available. Also whilst it is not off limits to other passengers as all drinks there were in the premium drinks package only (so if you were on the standard all inclusive you would need to pay individually for them) it tended to be quieter as an area to read or have a quiet discussion. Some Tips 1. The Premium drinks package is not for everyone but I love 'real' coca cola and the coke on tap often had a 'rola' cola taste to it. Also it is worth noting that the canned drinks like the Coca Cola and San Peligrino were not UK sourced. This meant that the coke was made with High Fructose Corn Syrup, the San Peligrino was full sugar (not the reblended reduced sugar version in the UK) and the Fanta was an unnatural colour owing to the various aritificial colours allowed in the US. This was not an issue for me but I know some people may have an issue. 2. Cuba (late arriving and leaving early the next day) - we used an independent company that was great at providing a custom tour for a lower price to the cruise's own. However, you should note that you have to go through passport control and complete a visa - in this regard they prevent those not on ship organised excursions getting off until the ship tours get off. This delays you by about an hour to an hour and a half. However, as most of them are big tours we soon caught up with them with our small tour so it is not a big issue. In addition, if you want to go to Tropicana you may need to curtail your independent tour (it started later than it would have otherwise because the ship docks late). 3. Cuba currency - Be careful with converting your currency. Do not take US dollars as whilst the currency is pegged to the dollar the exchange rate includes a penalty. Use GBP or Euros. One thing that was annoying was we had some money left and went to exchange it back - we knew the buy back rate would be worse than the sell rate but the staff rounded down to the nearest £10 (they don't have GBP coins and it appears no £5). As such I would suggest not converting all your money in one go but rather convert it most on the first day and then on the morning of the second day in port convert some more if required. Wait until the morning to buy general souvenirs (rather than quality cigars) as you don't want to waste the time on the first day (remember you won't get off until between 3pm-4pm) on what could be spent seeing the main attractions. Our guide highlighted a good general souvenir shop and we went back the next morning. Also please note that many people plan to go to the market near the ship but as you dock on at a weekend the market does not open until 10am - as such you may want to spend the morning elsewhere before stopping at the market. A good general souvenir shop is on O'Reilly between Mercaderes and San Ignacio - it is just a doorway without a sign but you will see souvenirs around the doorway and the prices were good as well as being close to the ship and open at around 9am on the day you leave. 4. Guatemala - We pre-booked a tour that included a visit to a local school where they ask for stationary for the children and staff. If you think you will go on the tour then it is worth bringing stuff as it is amazing how something that seems inconsequential to us makes such a difference to them. It definitely made you appreciate how lucky we are here. The reason we did not give the cruise 5 stars is because of a few issues: 1. Some of the time the premium drinks would not be cold which might be small but who wants a warm coke or a luke warm beer? Sometimes they just didn't have it - at one time they ran out of coke at one of the bars for two days. I understand that most customers are not on the premium package but it is no way to encourage people on it. 2. Entertainment Staff - One of the entertainment staff 'subtely' let us know they have to pay for their drinks and what her favourite drink was. We kind of felt like a**ses if we didn't get one - I mean it is all inclusive and it was not a premium drink so we got her one and left it for her. However, we did this twice more over the next week and on the third time a different member of bar staff than normal warned us that we would be reported if we did it again and we would be in trouble not the member of staff. Either let passengers give drinks or tell staff not to casually drop it into conversation. I don't expect to get in trouble plus if they looked at our drinks tab they would see that, with my illness and the number and length of excursions, we drank far less than others (some people were mainlining Peroni or margaritas like they were water). 3. Return flights - we had upgraded to premium club and on the outbound flight we were very happy with the level of service and general staff friendliness and standards onboard. On the return flight it felt very much like 'we have your money and you had your holiday so what do we care!' They were funny about which of the two toilets I could use (both were working but they wanted me to use the one in my aisle rather than the one closest to my seat (because of my condition I specifically chose a seat close to the toilet; they made passive agressive comments about other passengers and despite only having a Sprite all flight when I asked for a soft drink over an hour before we landed I was told the bar was closed. Economy on Emirates or even Virgin Atlantic is better than this. It wasn't like I was trying to rinse the bar or get wasted - I just wanted a soft drink. It really did put a downer on it rather than a nice end to the holiday. So overall it was a very good cruise - I would recommend it to others but I would be cautious about upgrading the flights and upgrading the drinks package unless they could be more consistent and not end up feeling like a nuisance or you have asked for something you shouldn't have. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We researched cruises last year but couldn’t seem to get an “all-in” price so we put cruising on the back burner for another time. This year while looking for an all-inclusive resort we stumbled across the Tui-Marella Discovery 2 ... Read More
We researched cruises last year but couldn’t seem to get an “all-in” price so we put cruising on the back burner for another time. This year while looking for an all-inclusive resort we stumbled across the Tui-Marella Discovery 2 Cruise. We read the reviews and purchased our tickets the next day. The cruise was an all inclusive booked through Sunwing, flying fromToronto to board in Montego Bay. This was our first cruise and we loved it! We very much liked the ship. The size was perfect...not too big and not a lot of children. We are in our 50s so we wanted something a little quieter. We loved everything, the ship, our room, the staff, the food, the shows and the drinks. Sasha got to know the drinks we enjoyed and always had a great drink and a smile for us. We upgraded to the deluxe balcony stateroom, and we were not disappointed. The two gentlemen did a great job straightening up our cabin daily, Alma and Nichola (sorry if the spelling isn’t correct)! The staff on board originated from 50 plus countries around the world and worked so hard! Their incredible efforts were applauded at dinner one evening and again at one of the amazing shows. It was a privilege to recognize and thank these wonderful folks! We chose the Exotic Explorer itinerary because we heard about how great snorkelling was in Roatan. We brought our own snorkel gear and snorkelled right from Mahogany Bay (at port.) The snorkeling was excellent, we saw so many tropical fish. We felt the cruise was of great value. There were NO hidden fees at the end of the cruise. We look forward to cruising on the Marella Discovery 2 next year. Leigh and Cathy - Ontario Canada Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Upon arrival into our cabin we found it was dirty, not clean properly. There were stain marks on the ceiling, carpet, walls and mirror. The door jamb for the bathroom where you place you hand to step in/out was covered in grunge, some ... Read More
Upon arrival into our cabin we found it was dirty, not clean properly. There were stain marks on the ceiling, carpet, walls and mirror. The door jamb for the bathroom where you place you hand to step in/out was covered in grunge, some looked like dry blood. The main door for the cabin was also covered in this grunge. We complained and they did a cleaning but not to any high standards which left us wondering what else might be lurking in our cabin [germs]. In addition the bathroom door was secured with silicone along the bottom frame and the fan would not work. This was not a quality cruise; we could not get a martini because it was not on the drink menu, there was no John Smith beer in the upper lounge, you had to go down and get it yourself; the furniture in the various lounges were dated and stained, the carpet in the main lounge had a bad smell; service was slow in the various lounges and in some cases no service at all. The internet was poor, you paid a high price and if you did not use you time it was gone, you could not log in/out unless you purchased more time. Entertainment was poor. Shore excursions in most cases were poor and in some cases we did not get what we paid for; the excursion staff did not care nor deal with the problems. The food was generally good and service in the restaurants was fair but in the buffet area the servers stood around talking rather than cleaning tables. The buffet selection was limited. We spent two weeks on this cruise, far too many days were at sea with absolutely nothing to do other than trivia or lay by the pool. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Chose this cruise because we enjoyed our Caribbean cruise on Discovery last year. Our main grumbles were with the poor quality restaurant food and the shambolic service in the Latitude. The food presentation was poor and the meals ... Read More
Chose this cruise because we enjoyed our Caribbean cruise on Discovery last year. Our main grumbles were with the poor quality restaurant food and the shambolic service in the Latitude. The food presentation was poor and the meals didn’t resemble any level of quality that one would expect from a restaurant. Adjacent dirty tables were never cleared until required by other diners. Service was slow, meals taking up to three hours and drinks often arrived after food was served or even finished! The staff seemed inexperienced and lacking in training. We did complain to the catering manager, Wally. He ensured that on our next meal the service standard improved, but sadly this was not sustained for the rest of our week. We thought the buffet food was superior to the restaurant food. The wine served tasted awful and I frequently couldn’t finish my glass - very unusual for me! The bottle labels said 13% alcohol but it tasted watered down, as did many of the other drinks served. Theatre entertainment was average, our balcony cabin clean and comfortable and the ports visited were good. Cruise staff seemed happy and for the most part helpful and transfers were good. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our first cruise and being in the service industry we are subjective to service levels relative to overall experience. The cabin size was very adequate and it was serviced daily with impeccablle care and attention - loved the ... Read More
This was our first cruise and being in the service industry we are subjective to service levels relative to overall experience. The cabin size was very adequate and it was serviced daily with impeccablle care and attention - loved the "towel animals" - thank you Reginald our service steward! The various restaurants both included in the package and additional fee ones were excellent. The service team at Gallery 47 Lloyd, Victoria, Aimee, Carolina and Aiyu made the Italian Dinner even more special. Dinner at Hot Stone Restaurant was a unique experience and our server Jacob and his team member Rayse were fabulous. We ate dinner twice at Kora La enjoying two great dinners served by a great service team of Randy, Hoely, Jaydeep and Katut. The live performances on the ship were first class with our favourite being Nashville. We had two refreshment servers that went above and beyond, Sherene and Phillip Rickets. Phillip was the life of the boat from serving drinks to dancing and dancing with guests hence being the most photographed person on the ship - Phillip you truly are and were our star - THANK YOU!! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Do people just go on cruises to moan about things??? Our holiday was perfect from start to finish. The food, the entertainment, the destinations, the excursions, the staff, the cleaners, the ship....everything was perfect! The 2 dancers ... Read More
Do people just go on cruises to moan about things??? Our holiday was perfect from start to finish. The food, the entertainment, the destinations, the excursions, the staff, the cleaners, the ship....everything was perfect! The 2 dancers on board george and alex were lovely, Katie, Harlequin and the young blonde lady who played Tinkerbell in the Peter Pan show were really polite friendly and helpful. The BEEP BEEP man serving drinks at the pool side and in the show lounge is a legend and I think he might have been the most popular attraction on the ship! We tried all the free restaurants...mostly good not perfect but that's the benefit of the buffet....if you don't like it go and pick something else! Over the course of the week I only encountered one person that I didn't find to be friendly and he worked in the Snack shack place, maybe I read him wrong but he didn't seem too willing to pour me a drink and slammed the drink down in front of me after ? Maybe I'm right maybe I'm wrong. Anyway....we loved it so much we have returned home and booked to go again in 2 months time! See you soon Marella Discovery 2! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Outside cabin well fitted out and always kept clean and tidy by excellent steward. All staff friendly and helpful, though they seemed very short staffed in the resatuarnt so all waiters seemed to look after too many tables so we often ... Read More
Outside cabin well fitted out and always kept clean and tidy by excellent steward. All staff friendly and helpful, though they seemed very short staffed in the resatuarnt so all waiters seemed to look after too many tables so we often waited a while for drinks to arrive. Food seemed better in week two or had we just got used to it. The stanadrds did seem to vary depending on your meal choice, some meals were like a carvery meal, sliced meat with gravy and veg, compared to lobster souffle and prawns. Both seved on the same night and really no comparison. We always asked for extra steamed veg on a separtae plate as again some meals were full plates others small bit of veg under the meat. Entertainment varied, all were very enthusiastic. But not a very good choice of quiz type shows. We missed most of the shows due the the timings and slow restaurant service. Shows were 8.30 and 10.30. prefer 7.30 and 9.30 show timings. The singer Adela was excellent. Freddy and Lisbet did salsa classes and spanish lessons but freddys best talent was his singing, absolutley amazing there was not a dry eye in the house. He was very talented and seemed genuinely surprised to get such a good reation from the crowd. Overall we choose this cruise for the itinerary and this was great, we saw loads of interesting places. We would cruise with Marella again. We prefer to tour private tours as I think its nice that the local economy get our money and also you get smaller groups and more tailored to you. Many people will only book ships tour for the fear of the ship leaving without you, but all private companies are used to the ships timings. Belize - we did cave tubing and zip lining with buttsup.com. it was exactly the same tour as offered by TUI but we were in a 14 seater mini bus and arrived before the TUI coaches, our tubes were already at the river we didn't have to carry them 20 minutes like TUI groups. We had no queueing at the zip line and moved from each station with no queues. The TUI group queued from one station to the next. we are in our 50s but had great fun so well done butts up. Com. I emailed the company and then spoke to them via watts app and they answered my many questions which gave me great confidence to book with them. we paid in dollars at the end of the trip. Roatan - our best tour of the trip. We booked with Cleve Bodden. Cleve’s tours and adventures look him up on trip advisor, he was absolutely amazing and everything said on there is true. we did a tour of the island, visited the monkey and sloth sanctuary then snorkelling. plus stopped on route for many local snacks and fruit. He gives you many options to choose. Santo Tomas de Castilla - GUATEMALA - the ship docks in a container port so there is no where to walk to. once you get off the ship there is a large warehouse with indoor market selling some nice handmade crafts just remember to barter to about 1/4 of their starting price. Outside there are many taxi and mini buses taking you on a trip or boat companies taking you up the dulce river and Livingston. Each company just seemed to wait until they had a boat full then their guide took the next boat out. Happy fish were the main company but there were other inside the warehouse. We went with blue creek but they all appeared to do the same. approx. $45 up river dulce canyon, lily ponds, stop at a native house, hot springs, lunch in Livingstone then beach. So a full day. Be outside as early as you can as the same boat stays with you for the day so once all the boats have gone that's it. Costa Maya Mexico - TUI trips mainly to the ruins but a fair old trek by bus! we opted for the beach but the beach its self is a bit disappointing. Very narrow in places. We took a taxi approx. $6 for the car or there was a trolley bus at $6 each. There are many bars which seem to operate as private beaches. Our taxi dropped us at Big mammas, he said we could have sun beds for free if we ate at their bar. so far so good, except they definitely operated a two tier pricing system. a bucket of 5 beers was approx. $20, a fish platter for 4 was $80 then at the end the bill came with 18.5% GST (VAT) added. The guy said he was only paid $5 a day plus tips. We were there on a sunday so it was filled with large Mexican families. Grand Cayman - tender into the port. We only had a very short wait in the theatre then onto the tenders. Private Mini buses available we did a boat trip to see and swim with the stingrays. The port was very busy with 5 other ships in so don't hang around if you want to see the stingrays. luckily we managed to get the last few places on a 10am trip otherwise it was 2pm! Havanna we booked with Blexie and had Jorge. Look him up on Facebook Havana tours with Blexie We had a driver and guide who spoke perfect English for six hours. we arranged to meet him at 3 but it was around 3.30 before we got off the ship and through customs. They called the TUI trips first but we joined the queue on deck two before they even called independent tours so quickly through. He took us all around Havanna to see all the sites, a few stops for photos, art alley, Fusterlandia, floradita, then to a very nice restaurant, sat and waited for us then a walking tour through havanna. took us back to the square to get our bearings then back to the old town for some bars. We had a great time and Cozumel - we did Tulum and Xel-ca with TUI. They hire out the first ferry so I don't think its possible to do on your own, Tulum was a bit underwhelming but xel-ca was amazing. look it up on youtube. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Having been on Discovery1 last march we were interested to see the differences, which were very minor. The crew as on all Marella cruise ships were excellent, and wre always helpful. The ship was in good condition for its age but I ... Read More
Having been on Discovery1 last march we were interested to see the differences, which were very minor. The crew as on all Marella cruise ships were excellent, and wre always helpful. The ship was in good condition for its age but I have seen worst on younger P & O. The food for us was always very good but we are early eaters and the food was ALWAYS hot. Special mention must go to Surf & Turf whose steaks we have never found better anywhere. We like well done steaks and most fancy restuarants havent a clue how to do them. Kora La , Hot Stone and the Italian had very good food, but yet again we always ate early, Some people complained some of the food was cold. We had to miss the highlight of the cruise in Cuba because of their bad weather and flooding, But we up for it on the second week by doing an ocean rescue of a group of migrants between Jamaica and Belize ( bet they were miffed we were going west and not north to the states). Evening entertainment I dont rate as we had only one visiting act in the fortnight, one less then last march. There seems to be a trend of cutting back not just Marella but P&O as well. Most show teams may be good but not for us but their again we found 4tunes very good indeed. The bloke with the guitar and flat hat we wish would jump off the stern. Cabin 7500 very good no next door neighbour on one side and very quiet. Cabin steward Alam went the extra mile to help out when required. Overall an excellent cruise Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Was on this ship in April doing Cuban Fusion and had a great time. No complaints so we decided to do Pride of Panama this time. We booked a Oceanview cabin 2062 but was upgraded to a balcony 6516 which we didn’t know about until at ... Read More
Was on this ship in April doing Cuban Fusion and had a great time. No complaints so we decided to do Pride of Panama this time. We booked a Oceanview cabin 2062 but was upgraded to a balcony 6516 which we didn’t know about until at the Airport we meet another couple an upon talking to them they also were assigned cabin 2062. So we assumed one of us would be moved. We didn’t attend any of the shows as we spent most of our time in the live room listening to the great band 4Tunes. They were sensational and we couldn’t Wait for them to play. We were not impress by the food this time in 47 Restaurant. The lamb was tough and the veal was also not that good. The chicken had no taste. The buffet was ok for breakfast and we only had salad at lunch. The Italian restaurant saved our food experience. The lasagna was excellent,the sea food platter and the swordfish were really delicious and the trio desert was very good.Best of all was our waiter Lloyd who spent time talking to us and making us feel comfortable. He couldn’t do enough for us and made each of our visits to the restaurant very enjoyable. Our cabin was nice but not enough drawer space as we had in our previous cabin. It was nice to have the balcony but we didn’t use it that much. Our cabin stewart Henri was very personable and kept our cabin clean and we had plenty of clean towels.. The only reason I gave this cruise a 4 was due to the food in buffet and 47 Restaurant others wise this cruise was a 5 Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
There was an awesome deal through Wagjag & Sunwing so since we'd never been on a cruise before thought we'd try it & so glad we did as it's been our best trip ever by far! I'll never forget from the very first ... Read More
There was an awesome deal through Wagjag & Sunwing so since we'd never been on a cruise before thought we'd try it & so glad we did as it's been our best trip ever by far! I'll never forget from the very first moment when we opened the door to our cabin the view that awaited us through a huge window over top of our headboard & beautiful accommodations took our breath away! The staff were so nice, helpful, accommodating & personable all the way from our handsome young Captain Chris to our 'ever present to our needs' cabin steward Bojan to the bartender Alex that gave us our very first drink then always looked for us after that, to the most talented young man I've ever met Thomas (I told him he looked like the actor Freddie Highmore) that kept us entertained night after night. There were so many more that I wish I could remember everyone's names like the lovely very helpful ladies at reception & the excursion desks to help plan trips. Also, the endless list of the most wonderful group of entertainers that provided Vegas-style shows to the many behind the scenes people that worked endlessly to provide all the delicious, varied meals & snacks you definitely never went hungry!. Words alone can't express enough the experience you provided so many thanks to all of you & we guarantee this won't be our last cruise with you! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Just returned from a 7 day cruise on the Marella Discovery 2. It was without doubt the best value we've had to date. The entertainment staff were close and personal throughout, with the daily shows all having a different theme which ... Read More
Just returned from a 7 day cruise on the Marella Discovery 2. It was without doubt the best value we've had to date. The entertainment staff were close and personal throughout, with the daily shows all having a different theme which was very enjoyable, as the ship is of a medium size, there was no need to book to visit places on board and we very very rarely queued for anything. The food was great and varied, with everything I could see being fresh the ship was clean, but when dirtied by passengers was then quickly cleaned up. For a mid 90's ship it had been modified and brought up to date, and the excursions were as described. The cruise wasn't without it's issues, such as our time in Cuba being shorter than originally stated, and the queue to disembark was longer than anticipated (not TUI fault), but it's how it's dealt with that counts, and it was dealt with very well. I would highly recommend them. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I love this ship, the staff are lovely, the ship is beautiful. there's lots of choice food and drinks. the only things i didn't like is the 2 jacuzzi's in the indoor pool, they never worked av been on 2 cruises with ... Read More
I love this ship, the staff are lovely, the ship is beautiful. there's lots of choice food and drinks. the only things i didn't like is the 2 jacuzzi's in the indoor pool, they never worked av been on 2 cruises with discovery, and each cruise i've not seen them work yet. and i just wish when you travel to a colder place like Norway or Russia the pools were heated, you pay all that money and can't go in a warm or hot pool. which would be lovely. and the other thing is the wifi its so expensive 1.2gb is £50, they said it will last a week. but a lot had used it in 48 hrs. you think you have a week of wifi but it only lasts you till you have used your 1.2gb. the tv had about 25 to 30 channels but maybe 18 of them just have tui page or tui cruise on, that would be nice to have some proper channels on, instead of news, news,news and a game channel that repeats all day everyday. the 2 film channels is not to bad but sometimes you can wait a longtime before a film comes on. free bottles of water would have been nice to but you have to pay for thous. the staff work really hard most of the beds on board are new and very comfy, i booked the same room and went back because the bed was so comfy as i can suffer with back pains, but the bed had been changed, my porter did his best to try make us comfy, but explained the bed must have been change for some reason, as when i went last year they were all brand new hipnos beds. but the things i mentioned can be improved hopefully, but i still love this beautiful ship. and will be back and hope i can find the jacuzzis indoor working, the outside ones do work, and there nice and hot, be nice if pool was warmer. lol. in colder countrys. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We're Canadians. This cruise far exceeded our expectations. With so many negative reviews we wondered what we were getting into. It was an all inclusive cruise with Marella through Sunwing Vacations. We chose it because it was ... Read More
We're Canadians. This cruise far exceeded our expectations. With so many negative reviews we wondered what we were getting into. It was an all inclusive cruise with Marella through Sunwing Vacations. We chose it because it was all inclusive including drinks, food and all tips. We didn't see anyone do extra tipping. We did upgrade to the premium beverage package and loved having the extra selection. The ship is 99% British passengers. They were all very friendly. The crew on the ship with amazing. Special thanks to our cabin steward Nur and Antrium bar waitress Mary. Both made our cruise extra special. Food was the best, our balcony cabin was kept spotless. We stopped in Havana off a cruise ship and spent an amazing day with our guide Ida. Havana was the highlight of our trip due to Ida. She was AMAZING. So personable and knowledgeable. She loves her country and now we love Cuba too!! We highly recommend the tour "Havana Vintage Style Day Tour" and Ida. I suggest getting your CUC (Cuban currency) at the cruise terminal. The only complaint we have for Marella was the disembarkation process in Montego Bay. Getting off the ship and transferring to the airport was total chaos due to a lack of buses to move passengers to the airport. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this cruise particularly for my husband's special birthday as he wanted to visit Havana in Cuba, we were not disappointed, it was truly amazing, in fact the whole cruise was from start to finish. We were very unsure about ... Read More
We chose this cruise particularly for my husband's special birthday as he wanted to visit Havana in Cuba, we were not disappointed, it was truly amazing, in fact the whole cruise was from start to finish. We were very unsure about going with Tui having cruised previously with P & O, RCL, and MSC and after having read some of the Discovery 2 bad reviews it was a bit disconcerting. However, this did not put us off as we wanted to make our own minds up and went with a positive attitude. We had a deluxe balcony cabin on deck 7 and it was one of the biggest cabins we have experienced compared to other ships. It was kept spotless and the bed was very comfy with very nice bedlinen. It had lots of space for clothes etc, all in all delighted with the cabin. We had one slightly rocky night but apart from that it was a perfect cruise. We found all the staff including the Captain and his Crew very friendly and always had time to speak on the way past. The entertainment shows were very good and we went most nights to the earlier show. The cruise director Paul was very entertaining and we liked to listen to him on our TV in the morning informing everyone of the itinerary for the day. I would like to say a special thank you to our waiters in " 47" (table 132 or 134) who made our holiday, a special thanks to Allan, Chris & Myhindra who helped to make our dining experience truly amazing. The food was hot, varied for the full 2 weeks we were on our cruise and very nicely presented. We also ate in Gallery 47 which was nice and in the Glass House for lunch where you can get a light salad. We would have liked to eat in Surf and Turf but felt the £29.95 per head supplement was too much considering we enjoyed the food elsewhere. Our itinerary was amazing and for us Havana and Cartagena was the highlight of our cruise. We can highly recommend Marella discovery 2 and will not hesitate to go with them again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this cruise as our first because it was advertised as all-inclusive,which appealed to our budget.It was a wonderful week, where we enjoyed good food and drinks in a variety of locations aboard ship and met some lovely people.The ... Read More
We chose this cruise as our first because it was advertised as all-inclusive,which appealed to our budget.It was a wonderful week, where we enjoyed good food and drinks in a variety of locations aboard ship and met some lovely people.The crew were exemplary;performing their jobs in a most courteous and friendly manner.The entertainment was varied and very good-no excuses to be bored.We didn't venture into Georgetown because of the need to use a "lighter"boat.Havana was an eye-opener.You walked off ship immediately into the heart of the old city.The crumbling architecture,begging and poverty was more than we anticipated.During the long days at sea getting a lounger around the pools wasn't always easy but we managed to eventually find a suitable location to tan or enjoy a beverage.The ship docked in Cozumel near the core of the town square so shopping was handy-no need for a taxi.We didn't use any excusions as we simply utilized the essence of the cruise itself and prefer to explore on our own.It costs less too!We very much look forward to another Marella cruise next winter. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
12th cruise, first time on a TUI ship. Excellent itinerary. Had to wait on the runway for 95 mins as the plane wings had to be de-iced. No drinks were offered, a very poor show. Overall the cruise was fantastic with no major ... Read More
12th cruise, first time on a TUI ship. Excellent itinerary. Had to wait on the runway for 95 mins as the plane wings had to be de-iced. No drinks were offered, a very poor show. Overall the cruise was fantastic with no major complaints . We had most of our evening meals at Gallery or Gallery 47. We always went at around 6-6:30 never queued and only once there was no room at the Gallery, so we went upstairs to 47, no problems. I have read a couple of really nasty negative reviews about these restaurants, The people who wrote those obviously expected Jamie Oliver or Raymond Blanc to cook their food, then personally serve them their meals.They should of taken a Silversea cruise instead!or just stayed at home eating at their normal 5 star restaurant. The food and service in those restaurants was first rate. The entertainment was first rate, passengers all nice and polite, standard drinks package very good.The ship was the smallest one we had been on, a little old but in good condition. The crew were all fantastic and I will definitely be cruising again on this ship or its sister one. The only bad point about the cruise was the stop in BVI. Walked off the ship and there was nothing to do or see because of the hurricane damage. This stop was I think just for brownie points for TUI. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Wanted to try new places and a different ship company.Fantastic value for money.All inclusive cruise with fab food and premium branded drinks which came under all inclusive umbrella.Dining experience was plain sailing and no hassle for ... Read More
Wanted to try new places and a different ship company.Fantastic value for money.All inclusive cruise with fab food and premium branded drinks which came under all inclusive umbrella.Dining experience was plain sailing and no hassle for queuing or getting served.Waiters were exceptional.Best service on any ship I’ve been on,not one unhappy member of staff,so bravo for the customer service.Beautiful spacious cabin and very comfortable beds.Clean pool areas and sunbeds always available.A good choice of shore excursions and we paid for 3 .Again the shore excursions were good value for money .My only disappointment was the shops on board,not much choice not many brands . The nightly shows were good but not brilliant also entertainment in other areas of the ship was just ok,nothing stood out.The food onboard was amazing and plenty of choice,we did not book any special restaurants as we did not need to.Overall ship was a good four star and I would definitely book again with Marcella. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This was our first cruise, we went with TUI as they had a good rating. We had a good time overall but having paid nearly £5000 were a bit disappointed at some things, the food could have been better, my wife got food poisoning, with ... Read More
This was our first cruise, we went with TUI as they had a good rating. We had a good time overall but having paid nearly £5000 were a bit disappointed at some things, the food could have been better, my wife got food poisoning, with vomiting and diarrhoea, the second week which wrote off four days as another passenger who ate the same meal on the same night in Gallery 47 did. Pros: Ship was quiet and stable. Nighttime shows were good. AI drinks were OK. Asian staff very friendly and helpful, even maintenance people. Restaurant food was mainly OK. Getting on and off the ship was efficient. Cons: Felt TUI was trying to squeeze more money out of us at every opportunity, no warning if not AI. Not that safe or a lot to do in most of the small places unless you went on an excursion, very expensive at around £70.00 pp. NO FREE WIFI, £8.00 per hour, and apparently didn't work too well then. NO AI bottled water. Constant smell of diesel fumes on our rear balcony. Bit like a floating holiday camp. Daytime activities and entertainment a bit limp. Eastern European, black and Indian staff mostly miserable,unfriendly and gave the impression they didn't want to be there. Outdoor pool was smoking area and like "fag city", smelt awful and avoided it for whole cruise. Nasty smells occasionally on deck and in corridors, like a cesspit, (I have one!!!!!). Most of the food from Islands buffet, grab and go was not that fresh and "cooked to death", although there were some exceptions like the curries etc., carvery meat and breakfast omelettes. Aircon in room only just adequate. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise for a couple of reasons. We wanted an all inclusive cruise at an affordable price and the ports were different than that offered by other cruise lines. We flew from Toronto (Sunwing) to Montego Bay, where we were met ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a couple of reasons. We wanted an all inclusive cruise at an affordable price and the ports were different than that offered by other cruise lines. We flew from Toronto (Sunwing) to Montego Bay, where we were met by a bus to whisk us off to the ship. Check in at the port was painless. We actually joked that we passed a crew member that didn't speak...everyone of the crew were so pleasant. We did not have any service that we could begin to complain about. The only slight thing that was "different" than any other cruises we have been on, was the food. This is a British ship, so not the same as you would be used to on Celebrity, Carnival, NCL, but we never went hungry. The fish and chips in the Snack Shack were amazing. The ports of Belize, Roatan, Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala and Trujillo, Honduras were very interesting. Cruise ships have only been stopping on the main land of Honuras and Guatimala for about 3 years and still very limited. You definitely want to book something on the ship as there is not much to do just walking off the ship. We went ATVing ing Guatemala - excellent guide a machines. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Just had two weeks aboard marella discovery 2 and could not fault it. our balcony cabin was always meticulously maintained by Anna our cabin steward. The ship has been refurbished to a high standard, although on the balcony there is ... Read More
Just had two weeks aboard marella discovery 2 and could not fault it. our balcony cabin was always meticulously maintained by Anna our cabin steward. The ship has been refurbished to a high standard, although on the balcony there is evidence of all the players of paint. Staff as always were friendly, with a real smile nothing was too much trouble for them. chose this cruise because of the different points of call which in the first week made it more of an experience than the usual ports of call. Mayan ruins at Belize worth a visit. Roatan Island and Trujillo interesting, at Trujillo on a sunday band playing in the square, local beach friendly bars had lobster delicious. Second week main reason for cruise as visiting Havanna, loved it, ride n a 1956 Buick convertible, walk round the old town, national hotel worth a visit, in the evening visited tropicana slightly disappointed expected wider variety of music, costumes colourful, but each dance seemed almost the same - Cozumel enjoyed the shops and town square in the evening have a fountain that was dancing to music - enchanting. Grand Cayman, lovely relaxing day at a local beach. Food good did try the speciality restaurants - well worth it especially the turf and surf - delicious.Would definitely travel with them again - seemed really good value for money. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We booked our cruise ten days before we sailed so definitely a last minute deal. We had previously been on a week's cruise and four day stay in Spain September 2017 on Discovery 2 and enjoyed it and had also had a two week cruise on ... Read More
We booked our cruise ten days before we sailed so definitely a last minute deal. We had previously been on a week's cruise and four day stay in Spain September 2017 on Discovery 2 and enjoyed it and had also had a two week cruise on the Marella Discovery in December 2017. The two ships are identical so roughly knew what to expect. We had a lower cabin this time, again inside, but on deck 2 and it was fine, would have preferred a window but that wasn't available when we booked. My husband prefers an inside cabin as he sleeps better and we really don't spend any time in it other than to shower and change before dinner. Cabin was always beautifully clean and anything we requested speedily delivered. The cover over the extractor over the shower fell out one day as I noticed it on the floor when I went in for my shower but this was never replaced! We did mention it twice to the steward but he couldn't fix it and it remained on the floor until we left. We tended to use the glass house during the day for swimming as I don't sunbathe and my husband can't take the heat so much now and it was lovely in here, fairly quiet, generally easy to get a sunbed, drinks readily available as well as food and the Snack Shack handy too. Much quieter than the pool deck which resembled Butlins on a bad day! Very noisy, people drinking like mad, certainly couldn't have used this area every day. Although a big screen at the pool deck it wasnt really used well, could have had music or even films on, just a running dvd of facilities available on board and quizzes etc. We used the 47 restaurant, the buffet which was manic and to be avoided if possible and the glass house for breakfast, getting muesli or yoghurt from the Snack Shack. The buffet food was good but hard to get a table, you end up eating separately as a couple and noisy too. We ate lunch from the buffet sometimes but took our food outside near the doors where it was quieter or used the glass house. Good idea to have wine and beer available from pumps in the buffet. In the evenings we used the 47 restaurant, food was generally good although for some reason the food seemed better the first week than the second and we always got a table for two easily. The only time we had a problem was on the dress to impress night of the second week when it seemed incredibly busy and we were given a pager, along with many others, several people gave up waiting and went up to the buffet but we waited and went into dinner well after 9 pm. Shows were good that we saw although they are repeated and most of them we had seen on our two previous cruises so didn't always bother. Bar staff were lovely, always helpful and very friendly, waiting staff too excellent. Itinery was changed on both weeks owing to inclement weather, the first week the ship did have a fair bit of movement and the first day, at sea , my husband felt a bit queasy but resorted to taking Qwells and was fine! I had wristbands but didn't need to wear them luckily as felt fine. Second week was much calmer and Captain Chris was very good at updating us all on our progress, he was one of the few captains we have travelled with who had a lovely manner and also a good sense of humour when addressing his passengers. Some captains seem to struggle with the social side but he seemed really at home chatting to us all and all the staff spoke to you whenever they saw you around the ship. The change in the itinery threw us at first as we had booked a trip independently but that worked out fine, we used the company Shore Excursioneer and would recommend them, half the price of the cruise trips and very well organised. Embarkation was excellent, we were taken to the ship speedily and we were aware of tighter security at the airport as Jamaica was in a lockdown situation owing to gun crime and we noticed the staff kept people on the bus all the time as a few boarded when the bus was full and they were kept on the coach for a few minutes until the next coach pulled in. We were aware of this situation in Jamaica and hesitated booking for a while but we didn't go ashore here although the Captain reassured everyone just to be aware of personal security etc and organised trips were safe and obviously we weren't there during the evening or darkness. Debarquation was easy too, quick transfer to the airport and we prefer our luggage being taken from the ship and us collecting it in the UK airport, much easier. We really enjoyed the cruise, the drinks package was fine and we certainly didn't see any need to upgrade to the Premium package, Cocktails were good although I only drink Pina Coladas and they did seem to vary a little depending which bar you were at, the rose and white wine was good, Prosecco too was fine, my husband enjoyed the beer and Long Island Iced Tea and knew which red wine he preferred as they had a few different bottles! We didn't book any trips so can't comment on those and we didn't use the Spa or gym. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We would class ourselves as loyal Thomson cruisers as this was the 16th we have travelled with them. This was by far the worst experience ever. The philosophy seems to be that of a water based Butlins. I agree with other publishers ... Read More
We would class ourselves as loyal Thomson cruisers as this was the 16th we have travelled with them. This was by far the worst experience ever. The philosophy seems to be that of a water based Butlins. I agree with other publishers that despite rules no one seemed to follow them and the crew certainly did not enforce them. The drinks package is not worth it with supplement added onto the majority of drinks. The wine supplied under the drinks package tasted like it had been brewed by the crew. The staff numbers are low and as noted by other travellers they seemed unhappy and disinterested. The philosophy of tui now seems to be get them on board and screw as much money out of them as possible. The excursions are becoming really expensive and not value for money. Do your homework and do it yourself. The bad service starts when you first board the ship to find there is no one to greet you and you are left to search for your cabin. If you didn't know the ship then this is a nightmare ,especially for older and handicapped cruisers. I agree with other publishers that the entertainment was poor and not what Thomson cruisers are used to. I have always praised Thomson/tui but I'm afraid after 16 trips of loyalty my opinions have now changed. Read Less
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