6 Marella Cruises Marella Discovery 2 Cruise Reviews for Entertainment Cruises to Mediterranean

We have just returned from a fabulous 7 days. The whole thing was fabulous. A clean and lovely ship. The staff are excellent can’t do enough for you. Cheerful friendly and helpful. Our room was well looked after cleaned everyday. Top ups ... Read More
We have just returned from a fabulous 7 days. The whole thing was fabulous. A clean and lovely ship. The staff are excellent can’t do enough for you. Cheerful friendly and helpful. Our room was well looked after cleaned everyday. Top ups for tea coffee milk etc. Our cabin was a balcony deluxe and it lived up to its name.Chocolates on your pillows. Always an animal towel in your bed lol.The entertainment was professional and great to watch.A different show each night. We had waiter service in the bars for our wide selection of cocktails.Irish cream coffees Baileys etc. The food was great .A good selection and always hot. Salads were tasty and tempting. Breakfast has a wide variety of things From English breakfast to continental. Omelettes were delicious. The trips were long days but we made lots of memories. Just need extra stops on the Rome walking tour. We packed a lot in a week but was a great holiday. Can’t wait to go cruising again with TUI. Thanks to everyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The ship was terrible for the money that was paid .the food was terrible .we went all inclusive and every given opportunity tui could charge you for something they would .same entertainment every night butlins style and on the the top deck ... Read More
The ship was terrible for the money that was paid .the food was terrible .we went all inclusive and every given opportunity tui could charge you for something they would .same entertainment every night butlins style and on the the top deck bar rave music at midnight with young hoody types breaking glasses and being destructive .the holiday was awful and id avoid at all costs .its back to norwegian cruises from now on they know how to give value for money . The cabin was tited and we went to the italian restaraunt if you want to call it that .my partner got spagetti bolognase which was terrible and no parmazan was offered as there was a charge .there seemed to be a charge for everything .tui tend to be very money orientated .i think if they could have charged you for using the pool they would have .the worst cruise ive ever been on .what a waste of money .the ports were good .that was iit or maybe they were more appealing because we couldnt wait to get off the boat for sanity reasons . Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Cabin 6572 Small double cabin with balcony. Smallest cabin we’ve ever experienced on Thomson/tui/marella ships, and one of the most expensive for its size (full price was approx £5700 for 2 weeks) and WITHOUT A FRIDGE for the first ... Read More
Cabin 6572 Small double cabin with balcony. Smallest cabin we’ve ever experienced on Thomson/tui/marella ships, and one of the most expensive for its size (full price was approx £5700 for 2 weeks) and WITHOUT A FRIDGE for the first time ever which was a huge disappointment especially as it meant the bottled water provided (payable) was luke warm. Limited storage with shoebox size drawers & shallow cupboards. I frequently cruise with a female friend & know both of us would have struggled with lack of storage for 2 weeks. Fortunately my husband travels lightly even with his evening suit & on this occasion we had to make do with what there was. (Skipped the formal suit on our 2nd week as many didn't bother & so many wearing shorts for the formal evening.) Tiny shower/bathroom but spotless - apart from the smell/stench from drains throughout the 2 weeks. Frequent deposits of soot on the balcony which was washed down once a week only. Bed linen, towels etc. frequently changed and room kept tidy by hard working cabin stewards. Noise at night from atrium events/singing/saxophone/jazz music etc. Close to lifts and staircase. Handy usb ports in both bedside lamps for charging iPhone etc. No news channels on cabin TV - advised there was a satellite problem they were “working very hard to address” but 14 days later still no news channels. Reasonable selection of food in the Islands buffet restaurant on Deck 9 though we have noticed cut backs in many areas (cheaper cuts of meat, less choice of fish dishes / cold meats / salad selection / limited selection of cheeses). There’s an omelette station at breakfast where these were made to order. Ran out of chicken at chicken stir fry station…. Continued serving chicken stir fry as just vegetables! 47 Degrees Restaurant breakfast is good & there’s waiter service here although we found the evening meals in 47 rather hit & miss, generally poor/average with very small main meal portions. Paper thin roast beef, couldn’t have been thinner, served as main course. Served custard in a chipped/broken glass. Mostly staff were attentive even though extremely busy and appeared short staffed. Numerous gents admitted wearing shorts & flip flops for evening meals in the main 47 Degrees Restaurants, Surf & Turf Steakhouse restaurant, Kora La, & other speciality restaurants where most diners did make an effort to dress smartly/smart casual. Dress codes blatantly ignored by passengers and unchallenged by staff. Casual dress code is fine in the buffet restaurant. Speciality restaurants - Surf & Turf, Kora La, Hot Stone, etc - all charge various supplements (ranging from approx. £12 to around £29 per person)and were heavily booked throughout our 2 weeks so I would advise anyone considering a special evening meal in any of these to make their reservations as early as possible. Food was very good in these but it does come at a cost on top of what you’ve already paid for your all inclusive holiday. No rushed panic in the morning for sun beds during our time onboard despite some very early rise & reservers, but unfortunately there was the usual hogging of beds. Many reserved beds with towels etc and abandoned them for several hours. There’s a 45 minute rule for unoccupied sun beds whereby towels & personal belongings will be removed but despite timed tickets being issued no action was taken to remove items to free up sun beds that had remained unused for over 3 hours! A covered, warm, adults only indoor pool and sun beds can also be found in the Glasshouse on deck 9, however there were a number of unsupervised children in the “adult only” indoor pool and jacuzzis. The main outdoor seawater pool for cooling off and a leisurely dip also has a shallow area sectioned off for children. Be aware that the main Pool depth is 5’ 6” approx throughout so depending on your height you may not be able to stand or touch the floor of it. Outdoor POOL CLOSED ALL DAY both arrival/departure days during our 2 weeks- so don’t expect to be able to use it at all during theses days. Pool water was keep clean throughout our stay. There are varied daily activities around the ship but most we found uninspiring. Entertainment & events on weekly Arrival/Departure days are extremely limited so if you’re onboard for 2 weeks there’s very little and at times absolutely nothing happening on these days should you remain onboard. All Inclusive drinks - DOES NOT include everything. Premium drinks, premium cocktails etc incur a supplement or you can pay extra to upgrade to a Premium package - this is stipulated in the booking but the majority of people don’t discover this until they’re onboard and wondering why they have to pay extra for drinks. The All Inclusive wine is cheap house wine - again further cut backs. Check drinks & charges at the bars before you order & decide whether or not its worth your while upgrading. Deck/Pool bars ran out of Sauvignon Blanc white wine & didn’t bother replenishing from other bars around the ship. At the Island buffet restaurant, guests can help themselves to Fosters larger, John Smiths, and Strongbow Cider - all available at self serve taps, as well as house white/rose/red wines - again on tap which we felt was a great idea. Docked at an industrial port in Chaina, Crete, not as previously, but did put on shuttle buses which passengers had to pay for. We felt the ship was being docked more frequently at industrial ports and again we believe this is further cost cutting by Marella as no doubt the docking fees are less at these. Never seen the Captain once around the ship but did hear he joined some passengers for their evening dinner. Did spot an occasional senior officer. Repeaters (now TUI smile) meeting - no count nor recognition of how many cruises passengers had completed & now a simple draw for a bottle of fizz. No canapés provided / yet more cut backs??? Clash of suits -v- shorts & flip flops on dress to impress (formal) evening. We felt Discovery 2 was struggling to achieve the fun, friendly, atmosphere that has been synonymous with so many of the Thomson ships over the years, but failing miserably to achieve that of its predecessors. Unspectacular & mostly boring entertainment. A number of other guests we met felt likewise (and had worse comments to make regarding the entertainment onboard but which I don’t feel could be repeated here !!!). The atrium was used far too much as a main venue for jazz, operatic singing, saxophonist, formal dance displays, guitarist/singer. Vocals ranged from rear shattering screeching to hoarse… and if your cabin is located mid ship you’ll hear it all & it can be quite noisy & disruptive. A pre-recorded “virtual” band is used as a filler + main event on a large screen in areas such as The Venue & at the poolside but with the songs & music completely different to & miss-matching the bands mime. Ships bands “Banda Certa” and 4Tunes are good but venue doesn’t do them justice. Rather watch paint dry than listen to an Audience with Martin Daniels - utterly boring and another time filler. Same old, same old, usual stuff for sale in the shops. Theatre Shows were well below Thompson’s usual standard which we’ve previously always found to be excellent - not on this ship though. We witnessed a number of people leave during the shows… Beware the Ships spa free demonstrations which turn out to be a hard pressure sale event to buy their expensive products and services. One young lady was particularly persistent to sell expensive products with an expectation that because you had attended a free talk or consultation, you were bound to make a purchase. Some examples : skin analysis, hair analysis, wrinkle solutions, puffy/dark circle eye treatments, acupuncture, back problems, foot problems etc. to name but a few - all honey traps to buy expensive products or services, however the choice is yours if thats what you want and have lots of cash to splash. Some decks (not all) do have water dispensers located on them - noticeably one is located immediately outside the door to the ladies public toilets on level 3/4. I cant help but contemplate: hygiene / drinking water / public toilets . . . Having cruised many times with Thomson (now Marella) over the past 20 years, our overall feeling is of a downgraded cruise experience with every means possible to extract more money from passengers. There is even a small charity donation automatically added to everyones bill at the end of your cruise. While minimal, it is nevertheless a bit of a liberty especially when this totals several thousands of pounds each week taken automatically from guests although there is of course an option to have it credited back to you account but of course you’d have to queue at reception to have this arranged. Great staff from previous Thomson ships have now been dispersed throughout the most recent additions to the Marella fleet - I wont call them their “new” ships as they are clearly not new - they’ve already been around for quite a while before being acquired by Marella. These experienced staff are key to the success of these ships but they are thin on the ground, with staff shortages and inexperienced staff evident. Bar & restaurant staff in particular appeared to be under pressure with only 1 bar person to serve customers 3 deep at some of the bars and frayed patience being evident as a result of out of turn ordering/serving. Our whole experience on Discovery 2 was quite different from that of previous Thomson cruises and their ships full of character and their more friendly, more personal, experience with their wonderfully friendly staff and great entertainment package. Discovery 2 fell very far short of this. We feel it has lost a lot of what Thomson built up over the years. While appreciating everyone has their own individual expectations, these are our personal findings from our recent 2 weeks cruise on Discovery 2 and unless things improve significantly with Marella, which we sincerely hope they do, we shall probably consider booking elsewhere in future as there are plenty of other cruise lines in this price range to chose from. We’ve had many happy years on the waves and hope that whoever you chose to sail with, that you will enjoy your experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
To start we cruised on Discovery in June and enjoyed it so much we decided to book another cruise on Discovery 2. There were some differences between the 2 ships but we loved both cruising experiences. Firstly, the organizational skills ... Read More
To start we cruised on Discovery in June and enjoyed it so much we decided to book another cruise on Discovery 2. There were some differences between the 2 ships but we loved both cruising experiences. Firstly, the organizational skills of the TUI crew at the Malaga Airport was exceptional – this was a vast improvement on our experience with the crew at Palma Airport. It could not have gone smoother! On arrival at the port again this experience was much better than Discovery – Our bags were correctly labeled and we were on the ship in 10 minutes with our bags delivered within the next 30 minutes – no searching ship for lost baggage as per Discovery. Now our cabin was how can I put it – compact but functional. It had half the space compared to our cabin in Discovery, an inside deck 7 as well but we were unlucky with allocation. The beds were very comfortable and slept soundly every night. Bathroom was very small, no storage, in need of upgrade but the shower was great. Very quiet location and convenient to stairs/lifts, entertainment areas and buffet restaurant. Evn though we had over 200 kids on this cruise we hardly ever noticed except that they took ownership of the outdoor pool. Thankfully we had the adult only pool indoors if and when we wanted a swim. The ship is beautiful and cannot really be faulted but comparing the 2 ships – Discovery is styled / finished to a higher standard to Discovery 2. I personally believe it would have been better if it had a bit longer in dry dock to fix and complete the “snag list” but then others would not have noticed due to not having its “twin” to compare it to. The food in all the restaurant was delicious, entertainment outstanding every day & night and the various ports were excellent with lots to do and explore independently. ALL the Crew on board are OUTSTANDING!! Debarkation again was faultless and well organized. Over all we both enjoyed our time on Discovery 2 immensely, will recommend it others and look forward to cruising again on either Ship or even the new ship TUI Explorer in 2018.. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
UK local airports available, we flew from Bristol. Good flight times. Transfer to ship smooth, embarkation process friendly, informative and quick. The cabins, we had an inside on deck 6, were nicely refurbished with enough space for ... Read More
UK local airports available, we flew from Bristol. Good flight times. Transfer to ship smooth, embarkation process friendly, informative and quick. The cabins, we had an inside on deck 6, were nicely refurbished with enough space for what a cabin is intended for. Although all inclusive we decided to upgrade to the premium drinks package purely for the cocktails although the standard package is more than acceptable for most people.The bar staff and waiters in all the bars we used including the theatre were all friendly and efficient. The restaurants were clean and bright,and waiting times for a table in the evening were never longer than 10 minutes, usually being seated straight away. The waiting staff were very friendly and attentative. The food was varied and up to usual cruise standard and we never felt rushed to clear the table for the next person. The entertainment throughout the ship was a credit to the cruise director, Luis, and his team.all the shows were full of energy and fun and performed to a very high standard.I don't think we got to bed much before 2:30 in the morning. Great fun. All the destination ports were well selected but Ceuta was the pick of the bunch for attractiveness.and ease of access. We would definitely book tui discovery again. The step in size has been handled perfectly. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Spanish Sunsets Cruise : Date of Cruising: 28 May to 4 June 2017 Having cruised previously with Princess, Royal Caribbean and P&O on their larger ships holding 3,500 passengers, we were a little nervous about booking a western ... Read More
Spanish Sunsets Cruise : Date of Cruising: 28 May to 4 June 2017 Having cruised previously with Princess, Royal Caribbean and P&O on their larger ships holding 3,500 passengers, we were a little nervous about booking a western Mediterranean cruise with Thompson (now rebranded TUI), on their newly refurbished flagship ‘Discovery 2’. The TUI ship is a lot smaller carrying just 1900 passengers. Obviously, on ‘Discovery 2’ you don’t get the feeling of space as on the bigger ships and there is no ice rink, sports court, flowrider, water slides, large promenades, zip wires, etc … that you get on the larger cruise ships, everything is obviously scaled down, but so is the price. This ‘Discovery 2’ is a ship that was previously owned by Royal Caribbean but sold to TUI who then have rebranded it along with a major refurbishment in May 2017. I was presently surprised by what I saw and experienced and in most areas my expectations were exceeded. The cabin was first class and on a par with the other cruise liners we have sailed with. It was spacious and well equipped and had we had no complaints what so ever. The restaurant where we dined for our evening meals (Gallery 47), was also excellent with a varied menu and delicious food. The service from the restaurant staff was also first class. No complaints from me and I’m a fussy eater. Breakfast and lunch was in the Islands buffet restaurant and again the food was very good. It did get busy at peak times but going slightly earlier or later meant you could always get a table. (Peak time for breakfast was around 9am). Generally the look of the various areas of the ship was good and taking into account that it was a ‘refurbishment’ and not a ‘refit’ a good job had been done. Most importantly there was new carpeting throughout which is important as nothing makes a ship look more ‘tired’ than worn faded carpeting. There was a variety of entertainment around the ship and most was of a reasonable standard and some excellent. The main disappointment were the shows in the main theatre. Although the singers and dancers were very talented, their choice of material was disappointing and song choices could have been a lot stronger. The production and scenery was good and the seating was very, very comfortable, it was just a shame the the material chosen for them to perform was not the best. Also TUI could have done better by having more variety with professional artists being brought onboard to perform that were of a higher calibre than the TUI resident dancers and singers, as good as they were. There was one variation during the week when we had a comedy magician who was OK but not the best. Most of the crew were very courteous and helpful and the room stewards good although they were not as visible and as ‘chatty’ as some on other cruises we’ve been on. There were two pools (both with jacuzzis), one indoor and one outdoor. Both were of good quality and the indoor one was not overcrowded, as was the outdoor one, but that probably wasn’t helped with the week of our cruise being Spring Bank holiday week, and so there was a large number of children onboard. There were plenty of sun beds around the ship and if you looked around you could find a variety of shaded areas. In summary: There is an old saying that ‘you get what you pay for’, and that is certainly true here. You just get the feel that things are just not quite as big, as plush, as roomy and of the same quality as the cruise companies I’ve made mentioned previously, but for what you pay it is good value for money. As you can probably tell, I’d prefer to cruise with Princess, Royal Caribbean, P&O etc, but for a cheap one week cruise in the Mediterranean then it’s worth considering if ‘money is not is a little tight’. Having spoken to others that have previously sailed with TUI/Thompson, I think this is a step up for the company and the effort they are putting into raising their image and brand in the cruise market is to be commended. If you’ve booked a cruise on ‘Discovery 2’ then I suspect you’ll enjoy it as long as you don’t expect the same experience as on the larger cruise liners who specialise in this type of holiday. I hope this review has proved useful and if you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me at glyn.day@ntlworld.com. Cheers, Glyn Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Marella Discovery 2 Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.5 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.5 3.7
Family 3.5 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.5 3.3
Service 4.5 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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