5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our first cruise, we were never interested in cruising. Our reason for choosing this cruise was we were able to fly out of Toronto, Ontario (1.5hrs from home) and everything was included for a reasonable price. So we thought ... Read More
This was our first cruise, we were never interested in cruising. Our reason for choosing this cruise was we were able to fly out of Toronto, Ontario (1.5hrs from home) and everything was included for a reasonable price. So we thought let’s give it a try. Positives were........The staff made this cruise one of the best experiences we’ve had. All of the staff were amazing, eager to help, polite and very, very accommodating. We have never experienced staff like this in all our travels. There was a great selection of food and a variety of places to eat. We never had to wait long for meals, line ups were minimal. The ship was kept very clean and the public bathrooms were spotless. There were hand sanatizing stations everywhere. The shows at night 8:30 and 10:30 were fantastic. The ship had designated smoking areas which passengers adhered to. Negatives were.......it would have been nice to have longer in ports. We didn’t like the timelines always worrying about missing the ship. The ship has an indoor and outdoor pool. The outdoor pool could have been bigger, however on sea days the ship never appeared or felt crowded. We had a wonderful time, met very lovely people and would cruise again if it was all included from Toronto, Ontario. Also once again kudos to the staff for making this such a memorable experience, the staff all appear to love their jobs. Well done! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
As first time cruisers we were apprehensive at the point of booking as this cruise (Cuban Fusion and Pride of Panama) was costing much more than we would usually pay on a holiday but as we were travelling for a 65th birthday, we decided to ... Read More
As first time cruisers we were apprehensive at the point of booking as this cruise (Cuban Fusion and Pride of Panama) was costing much more than we would usually pay on a holiday but as we were travelling for a 65th birthday, we decided to stretch the budget for a holiday of a lifetime. Before we even travelled we had countless issues that UK based staff failed to deal with. Firstly, out full Day, evening and full Morning in Cuba was reduced to an evening, a night and we were to set sail early the following morning. Staff at the travel agents were unable to issue any compensation and eventually they had authorisation from head office to credit our onboard accounts with £100. We felt that this was a small amount to only have a few hours in Cuba in a Cuban Fusion cruise (our main reason for choosing that cruise). Throughout the process of complaining about the change we were constantly ignored by Tui, emails were not responded to and calls that they promosed to make back to us never happened. 4 days before we were due to fly, we received an email saying one of our pre booked cabins had been double booked and one of our party had been allocated a new cabin on the other side of the ship with a different muster station. The email stated that they had been trying to call (they hadn’t) and the email was also sent at 17.29 - just as the store closed so we were left panicked and upset as we could not speak with anyone until the next morning. The next morning, we called the store and was told that they would try and get us cabins together. We got a call a short while later saying that they could get us 2 cabins together, but they were twin cabins (maybe bunk beds) and were near the public toilets, lifts and stairs. When booking cabins we researched where to avoid and all the above were mentioned. So we were advised to keep the newly allocated rooms and that it would be sorted onboard. We were very upset and distressed and this was made worse by the rude and incompetent store manager at Waltham Cross telling us that she didn’t have time to deal with it due to January being a busy time and high levels of staff sickness. The flight to Jamaica was fraught with anxiety again made worse by only 4 toilets being available to everyone in economy and one of those being placed out of order within the first hour leaving people queuing down the aisles for over 30 minutes to use the toilets. We were also made to share 1 can of drink between 2 people! Throughout the day of travel we were constantly told us our cabin would be sorted at the next opportunity, when our bags were tagged to cabins at the airport, the port embarkation process and when we boarded, we still didn’t have cabins together. We headed to reception to ask where our cabins were and we were told that we were never getting new cabins, it was a full cruise! We had continuously asked to have a full refund rather than separate cabins but were lured to the cruise ship under false pretences. We were devastated. One of our party suffers with anxiety, which is why it was so important for us to be close by each other but this was totally ignored by Tui. We were left with no option but to go to our separate cabins and get in with our cruise. These are the reasons why we have given the grades below. The cabin, despite the issues we faced, the cabins had a 70’s caravan feel. They were very dated and very small. They did have a lot of storage and were very clean. Sophie, our cabin stewardess was amazing. We loved seeing what animals she had shaped our towels into each night. Dining, islands, lots of choice at all times of day but the menu was quite repetitive, especially at breakfast. Snack shack, was the same food everyday. Surf and turf, limited menu. Glass house was strange- you had to sit through all courses just to get the pizza. We never ate at the other restaurants as men had to wear trousers and closed in shoes which we felt unnecessary as surf and turf and the Asian restaurant were the same. Embarking - when our bags finally arrived at our cabin, they had clearly been left outside in the rain and everything inside was soaked wet through, from close to hair straighteners. It added to our disastrous start. Entertainment - staff who were preforming in the shows were mediocre at best. The daily quizzes very quickly become annoying as they are so loud and are clearly written by a much younger team than your average cruise traveller and the live music is far to loud in the bars. We did see a comedian who was good, 4 tunes were pleasant to listen to but loud, as was Paul Greenwood. We did enjoy DJ Remedi when he was on the pool deck. The gym and running track can not be faulted. Onboard experience & Public rooms there is nowhere near enough space for all guests on board. There is not enough space for sun beds around the pool or deck 10 - people start reserving them before 7am! It’s stated that unused beds with towels will be removed by staff but never were. There were not enough tables in lounges which was made worse when the first show of the evening finished. Also, there is no sitting space without some form of entertainment being forced upon you. Service - this was brilliant by all staff onboard from Lynn Smith, head of guest relations, who helped us with our cabin issue to Tjana in reception, Sophie our cabin Stewardess, Phillip who served drinks round the pool and Live lounge to all the waiting staff in the restaurants. The UK team could learn a lot from the onboard team as they let Tui down. Shore excursions - we have reviewed these separately but in general we found them to be over priced and under whelming. Finally, WiFi, does not have the capability that it should do for £90 for 2 weeks. I rely on the internet to work whilst I am away and it was made impossible due to the internet being so slow and constantly logging me out. We welcome any comments or questions. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Boarded ship effortlessly in Montego Bay certainly the quickest we have gone from airport to being onboard Ship staff were brilliant very friendly Disappointed with Havana stop as we arrived around 2pm and then it was a free for all ... Read More
Boarded ship effortlessly in Montego Bay certainly the quickest we have gone from airport to being onboard Ship staff were brilliant very friendly Disappointed with Havana stop as we arrived around 2pm and then it was a free for all to get off 4.5hrs to finally get through customs We were told you could only use Cuban money and to exchange Stirling but this was untrue as Dollars and Stirling were accepted Infact all stops accepted dollars including Columbia and Panama Cartegna port was brilliant as they have a zoo type area when you get off with parrots monkeys flamingos and other wildlife just free to move around Some people said they saw more wildlife here than they did in the rain forest trip off the ship Montego Bay port has a Hard Rock Cafe within walking distance from the ship which has a nice beach where sun beds are $4 each and bar and restaurant and has a free shuttle back to the ship The HR cafe is to the right as you walk out the port and about 5-10mins walk away The cruise itself goes to some great ports we were just disappointed with the entertainment at night which wasn’t great in any bar and he lack of good information when visiting areas off the ship as everything is geared towards you booking trips and not to do it yourself Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Wanted to visit Havana and limited in choice as not a fan of MSC. Liked the Tui dreamliner flights in premium economy. Pleasantly surprised at how good the condition of this older ship was. Great staff and cruise director made it ... Read More
Wanted to visit Havana and limited in choice as not a fan of MSC. Liked the Tui dreamliner flights in premium economy. Pleasantly surprised at how good the condition of this older ship was. Great staff and cruise director made it very relaxed . Food was very good and drink package covered most tastes. Only £50 to upgrade if you want top brands. Would definitely book with Tui again as good value for money compared to most of American owned ships . The evening shows were the best on any ship and geared towards a uk audience. Cabins were fine if a bit dated but the dining areas are very good with excellent service throughout. We ate at the 2 specialty restaurants and surf and turf was particularly good. Gym ,steam and sauna are all included You get your cases picked up outside the cabin on the last night ,delivered to the airport and checked through to your destination,great service with all tips included. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We wanted to do a Havana overnight cruise and because this was an all inclusive with airfare it was a good deal. The food was good especially afternoon tea,entertainment and evening shows were great. The atmosphere was very ... Read More
We wanted to do a Havana overnight cruise and because this was an all inclusive with airfare it was a good deal. The food was good especially afternoon tea,entertainment and evening shows were great. The atmosphere was very friendly,all the crew had a smile for you whenever you came in direct contact with them or would ask how your day was going or even would take the time to have a conversation with you. Fellow passengers were also very friendly and we felt very comfortable sitting down and chatting with them all day. The singers,dancers,bands and all other entertainment were great. Always got everyone involved with whatever they were doing whether it be singalong or dancing or games. We had an Oceanview cabin which had a lot of storage space and a nice size closet. The only thing that bothered us was that there are no washrooms on the fourth floor at all and this was where the theatre was and the main dining room and also the live rooms entertainment area. You had to go either up to 5th floor or down to 3rd floor for washrooms which after a few drinks made it very inconvenient We really enjoyed this cruise and are going to book it again for next year. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
I'll start by saying we have used other cruise lines and had not tried TUI/Marella till last year and liked it so decided to try this cruise as it had Colombia and overnight in Cuba as two of the destinations. I really like the ... Read More
I'll start by saying we have used other cruise lines and had not tried TUI/Marella till last year and liked it so decided to try this cruise as it had Colombia and overnight in Cuba as two of the destinations. I really like the Dreamliner planes very roomy and flight was good. Flight landed at Jamaica and we had to stand in a queue for an hour to find when we got to the desk only one man checking passports and immigration cards, not the best start when you've had a long flight! (Last year with TUI in Barbados there was no queuing) Cruise: Colombia the Tui excursion to Santa Marta beach hotel was excellent value , beautiful resort with several pools and the lunch they served was delicious. I don't think they oversell their excursions as most turned out to be so much better than they were described in brochures . Our walking tour of Havana was a tour on the coach,and we saw revolution square and other places of interest, then a mojito cocktail in a gorgeous old Havana Hotel with a Cuban band playing! Then we had the walking tour it really was value for money. We went out later and just got a taxi at the port to the National hotel and used the same driver next morning for a private tour in an old convertible car which was fantastic too! We were glad we just did the short trip to see the Panama canal new locks because the one to go on the canal was a very long day and ship had to wait for them.The guide on the Panama trip was excellent she explained all about the port of Colon and why it had deteriorated to such a run down state, it was shocking and not somewhere to walk about. I would recommend excursions only in this port. Dining: I am gluten free and I was well catered for. We went to dining room once for breakfast and I asked if I could have GF french toast it wasn't on the menu but they made it for me which was very good of them. At lunch time the salads were delicious and the desserts too , always had a GF dessert choice the GF mille feuille dessert was one of the best cakes I have ever tasted! They had it on the second last day wish it would have been every day! Main dining room and Italian were consistently good. Only criticism and it is just my opinion , but shorts should not be worn in the MDR, somehow it takes away from all the ladies wearing nice dresses. If people want to wear them fine, but go to buffet or even Italian nor for MDR. Entertainment : Plenty to do on board. This has to be one the best entertainment group we have seen on any cruise, the shows they put on at night were always very good. We especially enjoyed the one based on the We will rock you show, my husband is not a musicals fan but he loved it! I recently had seen it in the London west end and the male leads on the cruise show easily matched the leads on the west end show. The addition of Lisbet and Freddie a Cuban couple was an inspired choice by whoever chooses the acts on ship. They both added the Cuban flavour to everything they did. The Spanish lessons ( they could change it for week 2 as it was exactly the same class) and the salsa dancing were really fun. However Freddie singing in the atrium had people coming from all over the ship to listen, a real treat, what a voice and personality! Captain Chris was a very modern kind of captain in that he seems approachable and is visible to passengers around the ship , we enjoyed his very interesting question and answer session. Overall a fantastic cruise! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
This was our first cruise on a European based cruise line as opposed to North American. We were attracted to the all inclusive and air travel options as well as the opportunity to visit Havana which was cut short by Cuban Harbour ... Read More
This was our first cruise on a European based cruise line as opposed to North American. We were attracted to the all inclusive and air travel options as well as the opportunity to visit Havana which was cut short by Cuban Harbour authorites due to lack of dock space which increased our stay in Cozumel. After our arrival in Montego Bay which was a bit of a nightmare and confusion clearing customs and a bus trip through mass traffic jams we arrived at the cruise terminal which is in dire need of an upgrade.Basiclly a very spartan wharehouse. Our ship which used to be the well loved RCL Legend of the Seas is in great shape and all facilities are in top condition. Dining options were many and the food .while not exceptional was satisfactory in the main dining rooms which we used every evening' the tables are arranged in such manner so you can enjoy conversation with fellow diners who were predominately British and delightful conversationalists. The production shows in the show lounge included the best overall vocalists we ever enjoyed on any cruise so far. The all inclusive bar package was great and we were well taken care of in the Atrium bar by the personality plus Maria . Our day in Havana was mostly taken up by utilizing the hop on hop off double decker bus which takes you all over the city, The city is obviously in need of an upgrade which is underway but has a long way to go, Enjoyed the Caymans,very nice and friendly too. All in all would not hesitate to travel with Marella again Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Cuban Fusion Cruise, Marella Discovery 2, January 2018 Pre-Cruise Stay. As the outbound flight was at 0915, I travelled to Gatwick Airport the night before and stayed in the Premier Inn North Terminal, which is immediately opposite ... Read More
Cuban Fusion Cruise, Marella Discovery 2, January 2018 Pre-Cruise Stay. As the outbound flight was at 0915, I travelled to Gatwick Airport the night before and stayed in the Premier Inn North Terminal, which is immediately opposite the North Terminal, where my flight left from. The room was comfortable and quiet. I had a pleasant meal in the evening with very good service. The next morning I went to check-in and then returned to the hotel for a shower and breakfast. I would recommend this hotel – especially if you fly from the North Terminal. Flights & Transfers. I flew on a 787 Dreamliner in the Premium Cabin. Seats were comfortable with plenty of room in both width and pitch. Food was pretty good and included unlimited complimentary drinks and a welcome aboard glass of fizz. Outbound we had a four-course lunch and then afternoon tea. Inbound, a four-course dinner and hot breakfast. The cabin crew on the outbound leg were particularly excellent. Transfer on arrival was efficient and very good. Luggage was handed in at the airport and transferred direct to your cabin. Immigration forms were dealt with swiftly by three staff in a corridor which meant we did not pass right through the airport, leaving by a side-door straight on to waiting coaches. Very short queue at the rather basic Cruise Terminal meant I was off the coach and on to the ship within about 10 minutes. For the inbound flight, luggage was collected overnight from outside the cabin and not seen again until collecting it back at Gatwick Airport. Good job done by TUI and Marella. Ship. Marella Discovery 2 entered service in 1995 as Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas and remained as such until last year when she was bought by TUI. She had a refit by TUI before becoming Discovery 2. She is smaller by today's standards, being 70,000 tons and taking around 1,800 passengers. Her public rooms had mostly been re-designed by TUI in a fairly light/bright décor and style – certainly more contemporary than classic style. The Atrium Bar, Bar 11 and Venue lounge were reasonably stylish. Personally I did not find many comfortable seats around the ship. The buffet restaurant (Islands) did not appear to have been refurbished and looked tired. The servery area was spacious but the seating areas really crowded with tables very close together. One thing I did find rather odd – Deck 4 is comprised entirely of public rooms (restaurant, bar/lounge/casino, show-lounge) but there are no toilets on this deck! There are two pools – one indoor, one outside. The outdoor pool area was very busy on sea days and also noisy a lot of the time. My cabin was a small inside on Deck 2, which was ideal for one but would have been a bit tight for two travelling together. Despite being almost below a late-night entertainment venue, it was quiet and the bed was very comfortable. The only refurbishment to the cabin appears to be a new carpet, wall-art, TV and maybe washbasin in the bathroom. The furniture was pretty cheap stuff with a 'flat-pack' feel about it. There was a safe (big enough for a tablet) but no fridge. Air-con was just about sufficient but was set at the lowest temperature the whole week. Food. I found the food pretty disappointing in all venues I used. I didn't use any of the for-fee eating venues. Dishes often did not resemble the description on the menu and portion sizes were pretty small – especially considering that dinner is three-courses as standard. In general terms, fruit juices at breakfast were pretty tasteless and the yogurts were a particularly cheap brand. The sausages were disgusting – probably as much cereal content as meat and utterly tasteless. Three specific examples. 1 - They made fresh 'paninis' in the buffet at lunchtime so I tried one. She asked if I wanted “panini bread” so I said yes. In fact it was only a soft baguette-style roll. I asked for cheese & mushroom and she made it with a spoonful of chopped mushroom and 2 small and very thin bits of 'plastic' cheese-slice. I asked for more cheese as I wouldn't have tasted it otherwise. 2 – My main course one night was “Prawn, Scallop and Monkfish Brochette. I had two small prawns, one very small piece of monkfish and a bit of scallop about half the size of a broad bean! There was more red/green/yellow pepper than anything else! 3 – My desert one evening was “Citrus & Coconut Tart”. What came up was like a cheap mousse which tasted of neither citrus nor coconut, that sat on a very thin layer of sponge cake. A table-mate agreed with me about the lack of taste. Solo travellers had a large table set side so we ate together every night at the same table. The main waiter was at times brusque and sarcastic. He did the rounds of the table asking if the food was okay but ignored any negative comments. A table-mate replied one night that her steak was tough – no response! The assistant waiter on the other hand was super – smiling, friendly and helpful. I did have a very pleasant steak one night and also enjoyed a hot souffle for desert one evening. Entertainment. There was a show-team who put on five productions over the seven nights. They were a young team, very enthusiastic but I think struggled with the rather ambitious productions. They seemed to be all-rounders and so not exceptionally good at either song or dance. There was also a set of “trained actor hosts”, who put on a 30 minute play and acted in an 'audience participation' murder-mystery. Both these relied on much double-entendre. There were two main guest acts – Braxi, a husband & wife classical-crossover duo and Dave Kristian, a comedian. Braxi were very enjoyable but I don't really do comedians so didn't attend either of his shows. There was also a number of musicians performing around the ship – saxophonist, pianist/vocalist, guitarist, trio and party band. They were all of a reasonable standard but often over-amplified – especially in the Live Room, a venue I had to leave on a couple of occasions as I just could not stand the noise level. The Cruise Director shared his daily TV broadcast with the Asst CD. I feel they thought they were Ant & Dec... To me, they both had rather irritating voices. Again, much use was made of double-entendre. An example of this is the CD, when making an announcement mentioned he had an early rise the next morning and qualified it by saying - “and that's not a euphemism”. I really am not a prude but felt this kind of thing not appropriate for a CD. All the entertainment team are contracted by Peel Productions – including the CD, so maybe that is why he felt the need to try and be a comic. Ports of Call. George Town, Grand Cayman. I tendered ashore here for a walk around. It is a typical Caribbean Cruise port, with a lot of shopping opportunities! The town absorbed the 14000+ cruise pax well. Obviously there were plenty of excursions available to beaches and attractions. Havana. This was the reason I booked this cruise and it did not disappoint. We were docked right on the edge of the old town, affording plenty of opportunity for independent exploration of the city. This is what I did – on foot – for a day and a half. Plenty of tours on offer and also a HOHO bus. I loved this place. Many of the grand buildings are currently undergoing renovation and if you are not prepared for it, going 'off the beaten track' could be shocking, showing real poverty and squalor. Walking around the back-streets felt really safe and the locals were friendly and interested in you. I felt quite humbled after my visit – the local population here have very little but seem so happy. Cozumel, Mexico. Again, a typical Caribbean Cruise port. If the town of San Miguel de Cozumel ever had any character, it is either now long gone or well hidden. Plenty of beaches on hand and a few tours – the pick of which were to the Mayan ruins on the mainland, a ferry-ride away. 'Destination Services' on the ship should really be named 'Excursion Sales Team' as they gave no information for independent travellers in their “Port Showcase” presentation. A very small amount of basic information was given on the very basic Port Maps available at the desk. General. The Captain was a bit too laid-back and informal for my tastes but did a good job communicating weather and itinerary issues etc. A lot of the crew were friendly and smiley but Bar staff seemed poorly trained and never knew who they should be serving next. In conclusion. In my view and based on this cruise, Marella Cruises are very much a budget outfit and should be looked at as a 'fun, boozy cruise'. It is likely to be your cup of tea if you would prefer Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway and Celebrity Juice to Strictly Come Dancing and Have I Got News for You. That's not me being a snob – we all like different things in life and that is absolutely fine. The All-Inclusive offered on all Marella's new ships will mean good value if you like quite a few drinks across the day. Whilst they advertise that the standard AI package includes branded drinks, you have to ask for them by name otherwise they will use the cheap (weak and tasteless) house brands such as Kamel.... Marella Cruises are probably best booked if you can get a late and very cheap deal imho. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Thomson Holidays seems to be going through a period of flux. Companies in trouble often change their name to improve their fortunes, but needing to change it three times could be an indicator of a real problems. This was certainly the case ... Read More
Thomson Holidays seems to be going through a period of flux. Companies in trouble often change their name to improve their fortunes, but needing to change it three times could be an indicator of a real problems. This was certainly the case for our recent cruise on Discovery 2, sailing under Thomson’s newest name, “Marella Cruise Line”, where the Thomson Gold Standard for customer care and support fell by the wayside and resulted in a very unsatisfactory holiday for us. We knew about Thomson cruises prior to our booking to sail on Discovery 2 on the 5th December 2017. We had sailed with Thomson many times before and were looking forward to an excellent holiday. Unfortunately, as things turned out, it was more of a holiday nightmare with poor service from incompetent ill trained waiters who couldn’t pour a glass of wine without staining the tablecloth, then being charged for items that should have been included in the all-inclusive package and then to cap it all, we had items stolen from our cases on the way home. The majority of the crew sounded like they came from Eastern Europe and, while everyone was very pleasant and eager to help, the lack of training showed. The holiday started well enough and the flight from Gatwick was uneventful. The 787 Dreamliner looked new, was very comfortable and, as we flew premium, the food and drinks were plentiful. The seats were very comfortable, but it was disappointing that we were unable to be seated together. We logged-on to the Thomson site to select our seats the minute we were advised that we were able to do so, but all seats apart from four were already taken and there were no two seats together. Apparently you can only get this sort of seat choice by paying an extra fee at booking time. We would later find out just how much was not included in the so-called All-Inclusive package. The problems all started when we arrived in Jamaica. There was nobody from Thomson, TUI or Marella there to meet us. We were met instead by some Jamaican airport workers who corralled everyone from the flight into a hot corridor with no adequate ventilation for nearly an hour while they worked out what to do with us. Nobody in-charge seemed sure what to do next. We were issued security forms and, depending where you were standing in the queue and who you spoke to, you were given different instructions as to how to complete the form. After the fourth change of instructions resulting in form re-writes, we gave up and waited until we got to the front of the line to see what that person wanted on the form. After what seemed like an eternity we were then shepherded onto an old bus with a very loud Jamaican driver who insisted on singing the song “Shame and Scandal in the Family”. He had a terrible singing voice and took great pleasure in telling everyone that he knew his voice was bad, but he said he just had to sing it. When he had finished he told us that he accepted tips in any currency except Jamaican. Not a good start to the holiday. We finally arrived at the ship and joined the queue to provide our credit card details for billing, and to receive our cruise cards. We were then free to board the ship, but there was nobody to tell us where the lifts were or what deck we should be on, or how to find our cabin. Fortunately, as experienced cruise passengers we were able to find our way around, but there were many people standing there looking lost. We found our cabin on deck 8. We had opted for a Junior Suite so that we could have some extra room to move about, but the cabin was small when compared to a standard balcony cabin on some of the P&O ships we had been on. This was a big disappointment as the cabin cost us substantially more than we have ever paid on any ship for a two week cruise. The problems did not stop there, the bathroom had the advertised shower, but it was over the bath and you could only get wet if you bent over to get under the water flow. As to the quality of the cabin, the railings on our balcony had rust spots all over them, and the sliding door kept coming off the rails, which made it impossible to close the balcony door until it was forced back onto its rails. The air conditioning on the ship was generally pathetic and in our cabin was almost non-existent. I spent the entire holiday sweating profusely except in the premium restaurants, (not included in the “All Inclusive”), where the air conditioning actually worked. This was no doubt a cynical ploy to tempt you to use the premium restaurants so that you could enjoy a meal without feeling overheated. This potential benefit was unfortunately spoiled by the service we received despite being charged nearly £30 per head for the meal – more than any other cruise line we have been on, where the price is normally £12 per head. My wife and I ordered fillet steak and the steaks was tiny. My sister in law ordered Dover Sole, which was supposed to be de-boned at the table, but the waiter left most of the bones in the fish, which meant every mouthful of food had bones in it and she had to leave the meal uneaten. The restaurant did not apologise for their error and still charged us full price. The money grabbing does not stop there either. If you wanted a Gin & Tonic it was free, but if you wanted a coffee, it was not included in the package and you had to pay extra for it. In addition, if you wanted the coffee before 10am, you were charged double the price. If you wanted a drink of water you had to pay for a bottle, as water is not included in the package either. True, they had water dispensers on each accommodation deck, but these dispensers are used by people re-filling their water bottles and are not very hygienic. As for the things that were included in the package, the bars served tasteless drinks made with the cheapest spirits with excessive ice in them. If you wanted the so-called premium brands, like you drink at home, you would have to pay an additional £50 per person per week. On top of this, most of the barmen were rude and dismissive – one told me he did not like me because I didn’t find his joke funny. I was not trying to be difficult, I just couldn’t understand his heavy eastern European accent above the noise of the entertainment team running a disco on the upper deck. For the un-initiated, this cruise ship is advertised as “Relaxed” and less formal, which we thought we would try for a change. What we did not expect however was the fact that many people would arrive in the dining room in inappropriate clothing. In the “Glass House” restaurant, people were even arriving in swimming trunks and tee shirts for their lunch. No-one seemed to have any sense of occasion. On the “Dress to Impress” nights, only the women appeared to make any effort. For the remainder of passengers, with few exceptions, the dress sense was decidedly scruffy. If that’s your thing then this cruise is for you, but if you like to dress for dinner and have a sense of occasion, you should avoid this ship like the plague. To make matters worse, the entertainment team, legendary on other Thomson ships, seemed unsure of what to do next when dancing, and one or two of them struggled to remain in tune when attempting to sing. The shows they put on were interesting and will no doubt get better with practice. At each port of call you can opt to take an organised tour. These tours lack content, are very expensive when compared to other ships and are not good value for money. For example, In Guatemala the coach tour we were on had no microphone in the bus, so we could not hear the tour guide speaking and the bus windows had logos painted on them thus obscuring vision out of the bus. The noisy air conditioning unit at the rear of the bus kept spitting water at everyone in range us and, since legionnaire’s disease is spread this way, we were less than pleased and asked to be taken back to the ship. Along with a large number of other passengers, we asked for a refund, but despite only being on the tour for less than 30 minutes, the ship’s customer services said they would only refund 50% of the £84 tour fee. We were informed of this decision by letter sent to our cabin. Customer services would not even talk to us about it. This lack of customer care was continued after our cruise when I complained about items being stolen from my case. I provide full details of the theft, but Marella Cruise Line have done nothing about it. They just sent me an email saying sorry I was inconvenienced and left it at that. There was no return of goods, no offer of compensation and not even an offer of a discount for a future cruise on another ship – the very least they could have done. The days spent at sea, gave us a chance to look around. The ship had previously been owned by Royal Caribbean and had been known as Legend of the Seas. The last scheduled cruise with Royal Caribbean ended on 26 March 2017. The ship was transferred to Thomson Cruises who débuted the ship as the TUI Discovery 2 in Malaga, Spain on 14 May 2017. Despite only being in service for 7 months with TUI, the ship looked like it needed a paint job. There were rust spots all over our balcony and down the side of the ship. However, one side of the ship looked better than the other and this was the side they usually docked on. The shops were few and far between and had very little to excite the senses. Most of the goods on display were overpriced when compared to UK stores, and the staff were not helpful. I could go on and on, but I think you probably get the drift. On the plus side • Great flight if you go premium • Good food • Comfortable bed • Some interesting ports of call On the minus side • All-inclusive package that was poor value for money • Junior suite was small and disappointing – but still expensive • Inexperienced green crew • Rusty ship • TUI take every possible opportunity to charge you extra for something • Poor selection of tours that were overpriced, had unexciting content and were not good value for money • Poor security for our baggage, which resulted in theft from my case • Cases in general were opened and tampered with • Little or no organisation for arriving passengers at Jamaica • Poor customer services with no effort made to please people • Overall an Expensive and very poor value cruise Avoid- you have been warned. Read Less
Marella Discovery 2 Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.5 0.0
Family 3.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.5 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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