8 Marella Cruises Marella Discovery 2 Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Caribbean - All

Ok if you want an honest review of this amazing ship please continue to read my review. We were on a family holiday (2 x adults aged mid 40's and 1 x 8 yr old), we have done over 10+ cruises previously mainly with P&O so would ... Read More
Ok if you want an honest review of this amazing ship please continue to read my review. We were on a family holiday (2 x adults aged mid 40's and 1 x 8 yr old), we have done over 10+ cruises previously mainly with P&O so would consider ourselves good critics. I started reading the reviews people had written upto 6months before we travelled and started to get quite concerned with what some people were saying.....But how wrong I was! Obviously travelling mainly on P&O we were expecting a certain high standard but considering the same cruise was £3K cheaper than P&O. Embarkation - Ok so you may read reviews of people saying it took forever and long queues,in my opinion it was vey smooth extremely well organised, the thing that holds people up are guests not organising themselves and completing all the embarkation forms before they get in the queue to board the ship because you are the people that hold embarkation up. For us it was a very smooth transition from airport to boat. Room - On arriving on the boat we had already pre-booked our room so had a quick peep before making our way upto top deck. We had booked an inside room which was fine ( a little dated, but immaculately clean, and would say the showers were on the small size) but large comfy bed and loads of storage space. 6 days into the cruise we suddenly discovered a noise coming from the cabin above. Reception were fantastic and promptly came to see were it was coming from. Unable to resolve we were offered a new room which was an outside window cabin (2568) which was lovely with a bigger bathroom. The whole process was dealt with quickly and promptly and the bedroom attendants moved all my luggage across, fantastic service. Dining - We tried all of the restaurants on the ship and all very good with a good mix of food available. Breakfast: I did read one recent comment on here that there was not enough options at breakfast, well if cereals, fresh fruit bar, yoghurts, omelette station, a speciality breakfast each day (ie scambled egg and smoked salmon on a bagel), usual fried breakfast options, danishes, meats, cheeses and smoothies isn't enough options then what the hell else do you eat for breakfast...seriously! We tended to eat breakfast in Gallery 47 as like table service but the Islands buffet is fine aswell. Please note they have different opening times dependant on at sea or not. Lunch: Mainly used the Islands buffet always had a massive salad bar available aswell as other hot options and always a large joint on the cavery station so some lovely meat with salad was perfect for us. You do alos have the gallery option and snack shack which if you wanted something quick the chicken wings were lovely and crispy aswell as the fish (but were a bit to battery for me). They also do a lovely selection of salads and sandwiches for you to snack on from 12-3. Dinner: We tended to use Gallery 47 and the 47 degress which were both very good. Food was lovely and hot and good quality. We did also try Kora La, Surf and Turf and the Sushi which were all exception. Please do book promptly to get into these as get very busy plus there is a small surcharge on the food of around £22pp. Overall the food was very good, no sickness and good variety. On some of the other ships they have to much variety were on this ship they got a good balance of choice. Entertainment: For a mid 40's aged couple this cruise suited us perfectly. One thing we were not always keen on were the formal nights, on this cruise they only do one a week and its not compulsory to get dressed up and if your not its fine. To me and my husband wearing a ballgown and dinnersuit in 30 degree heat is not fun! The bands and solo acts that were on board were of an excellent standard, the shows were fantastic and covered such a broad range of shows from "Cats" to "The Full Monty" which were all brilliant. Live lounge is a great central hub were a lot of people go for pre-drinks before dinner and sometimes we would have a lively band on then the piano player would come on and kill the atmosphere slightly with his very mellow music, I think if he uped the tempo it would bring a lot more people to this bar especially with the casino to the side of it aswell. Entertainment team on deck: All I have to say is "No Card no charge!"...our amazing Philip spreading the love and sunshine really brought such energy to the top deck he is worth his weight in gold, all the other bar attenders on deck were equally as attentive and lovely. Afternoon trivia and games were good...only thing is maybe a bit more passenger interaction in physically getting them involved in the games etc would make it even better in my opinion. Some of the jokes said can also get a bit repetitive but all round fine. Caribbean party night on top deck the day before we came home was the best...shame they didn't do more of those types of nights! Kids Club: My 8yr old was asking to go into the club during the day and night thoroughly enjoyed himself which then gave mummy and daddy some quality relaxation time. Rock climbing wall, xbox room, virtual reality room and golf were all great. Service: The standard of service delivered on this boat is fantastic, cannot fault it at all, the boat is kept immaculate, never had to wait for drinks long, all round excellent. Ports and Excursions - My top tips: Grand Cayman - Got to be a visit to seven mile beach, a local taxi will take you there and is around 10 mins away from ship. Try the jerk chicken from one of the small caravans and pitches at the back of the beach were it is all cooked on the BBQ and tastes amazing. Havana (Cuba) - Was not as pretty as I was expecting but still did our own private Cadillac tour of the city old and new. We used "Mela's Havana Drive" on Facebook, lovely girl who charged 50 CUC an hour for the tour. We did two hours and then asked to be dropped in Hemingways bar for a cuban drink and music. Due to over 18yrs only were unable to go to the Cuban show that the boat organised but everyone said it was fantastic. Cozumel (Mexico) - We arrived on a Sunday and a lot of the beach bars were shut apart from Paradise Beach Club which was 15 mins by taxi and had inflatables in the water for kids and a fantastic beach and pool available to use for a small fee. If you also want food try the chicken burritos and chicken caesar salad....(to die for!!!) To top of an amazing day the ship organised for a Mexican band to come on board for an 1.5hr set which was amazing followed by a Mexican BBQ on top deck. Montego Bay - Jamacia - To hungover from night before so didn't get off!! Colombia Santa Marta - My husband had hurts his foot before we came away so didn't get to explore that much but in the old town visit the old chapel its stunning a very old town but very pretty. Also if you walk of there is a little small zoo you walk through and see lots of local animals. Colombia - Cartagena - Booked the boogie bus tour through the ship which was a great fun way to see more of Colombia whilst drinking Rum! Panama - Were you dock there is nothing there so best to grad a tour and go exploring, or as we did go and buy a Panama hat! Costa Rica - Beautiful and pretty again just get of the ship and get a local tour to rainforests, quiet beaches etc. Well all in all we loved it, one f the best cruises we have done and loved it so much we have booked to go back and do it all again next year with all our friends. If you want a relaxed family cruise, good entertainment then go ahead book. Marella Discovery 2...we will be back in December see you all then! x Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Arrival at Gatwick did not go according to plan as there was conflict regarding checking our bags in the night before. ON FLY CRUISES YOU CANNOT DO THIs Otherwise embarkation and disembarkation was speedy and efficient This cruise came ... Read More
Arrival at Gatwick did not go according to plan as there was conflict regarding checking our bags in the night before. ON FLY CRUISES YOU CANNOT DO THIs Otherwise embarkation and disembarkation was speedy and efficient This cruise came up to all our expectations with one major exception that is the volume of the entertainment on deck 9 and in the Atrium. In the afternoon on deck 9 it was what they call Trivia which was quizzes, music etc. The compare had the microphone on full volume, to the extent it was difficult to talk to people and too read. The same applied to the music in the atrium in the evenings. In our case there was a guy with a guitar playing and singing. The volume was such that you could not carry out a conversation, we along with others had to move.Again in was a case of the volume being turned up too loud,Music in cases like this should be back ground you should not need to compete with it to talk to people a few feet away. I hasten to add the guitarist was really good. The bar staff on deck 9 in particular Jodi and her brother Christopher was excellent, super efficient and very happy people a real pleasure to be served by them. The classic car trip in Havana was good but Havana itself did not impress us. Would recommend the panama canal excursions,In Montego Bay. I did the Chukka Zip Wire. Superb fun and the instructors in particular namely Gray Goose Oka and Gossy Vernon. Excellent at their jobs. All in all everything about the cruise was superb in particular the food and our cabin boy Ikhsan, he really looked after us.My wife would have appreciated an Act of Worship on Sundays as practiced on other cruise ship. Finally talks or discussions would be appreciated as and alternative to going ashore or in addition too.sea days Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Chose the cruise because of the itinerary. Have cruised the Caribbean before but this cruise visited places we had'nt been. Cuba, Costa Rica, Panama and Columbia to name a few. We were delighted to find we not only had a great ... Read More
Chose the cruise because of the itinerary. Have cruised the Caribbean before but this cruise visited places we had'nt been. Cuba, Costa Rica, Panama and Columbia to name a few. We were delighted to find we not only had a great itinerary but we also were on a great ship. The entertainment was fantastic , 12 different shows and 2 guest artists in 14 nights. Cabin was ample in size, food was good although very busy at peak times. Staff were very friendly and helpful . All inclusive drinks were of a good quality not rubbish like we've had on occasion. We went on several excursions and were only disappointed in one The Panama Tour. The boat we went on was quite small for the number of people and seating was loose chairs crammed together on deck. People who arrived on first coaches obviously took outside seats near rail and once we started most of them stood up meaning the majority of people could see nothing. The locks on canal are massive and consume a vast amount of water so our boat was'nt allowed in alone and had to squeeze in behind a great big cargo ship the back end of this ship and the back end of people was our view for most of the trip. Certainly not worth the £110 pp cost. Apart from this one thing I can find no fault with cruise at all. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Where do I even begin, This year I was fortunate enough to experience the best holiday imaginable. I booked my holiday through TUI for a two week carirbean cruise on the Marella Discovery 2. This was my first ever cruise and the ... Read More
Where do I even begin, This year I was fortunate enough to experience the best holiday imaginable. I booked my holiday through TUI for a two week carirbean cruise on the Marella Discovery 2. This was my first ever cruise and the price and itenary were incredible. The whole holiday was seemless from booking, to flying to arriving to resort to embark the ship. TUI and Marella staff were always on hand to help. We were greeted with the smiliest faces at Montego Bay where we were checked in and directed to board the Cruise. That night we were instructed and reassured on all safety procedures and given a guided tour of the cruiseship to find our bearings whilst our suitcases were delivered to our cabins. Everynight we recieved an entertainment planner for the days entertainment and events as well as an update on the days port, local information, weather for the day, currencys used and things to do. The cruise was all inclusive and having stayed in many 5* all inclusive hotels around the world the food and drink on the cruise may as well have been 10*. The variety, standard, presentaion and flavour were fantastic. There were many retsuarants to use and the only problem i faced was trying not too eat too much or picking where to eat. The staff on the cruise were the best team of staff i have ever come accross on my holidays. Everyone was so warm and friendly and really helped to personalise your holiday and go out of their way to make it special. In the mornings you would have a wake up announcement from Captain Chris and the Cruise Director Martyn who would start you day off with a lovely update on the weather outside, the port, when you could get off the cruise and overall a lovely start to the day. When you go on shore there are so many different things to see and do to experience the fantastic culture and sights. We always booked out excurions through TUI on the cruise and everything we did added value to our holiiday experience and was unique and great for getting out of the country what we wanted to see, do and experience. We never faced any issues with our cabin and never struggled for size. The cabin was cleaned twice a day and two sets of towels also. We were always left chocolates at night and the cleaners were lovely, always said hello when passing in the corridors. TV channels were fab, plenty of films and programmes to choose from and we loved that there were Marella channels to keep you posted with excursions. We always tried to tune into Cruise Director TV to find out whats been on and whats upcoming chilst on board. The pool on the cruise was a great size and perfect way to cool off on a hot carribean day. There was never any issues with sunbeds as there was deck 9 and deck 10 to lay out on. The entertainment team will keep you entertained with poolside games and quizzes as well as laying back to onboard bands and and talented voices to sing poolside. Waiter service aorund the pool was an added bonus as you didnt even have to move to get a drink. The entertainments show team, actor hosts and family hosts really made our holiday. They were all so friendly and always smiling and laughing. The level of enterainment on the Cruise is one of the most professional, talanted and sought after I have ever seen. The entertainment lounge and gameshows venue were always full and you could see from just looking around all of the guests were constantly happy and enjoying as much as us. A big shout out to the whole team and we really hope we get to see you on furture cruises. Your an assest to Marella and TUI and the way you interact and are constanly around your guests socialising and entertaining is incredible. we dont have children but even seeing the childcare team around the pool helping with quizzes and interacting around the cruise was also amazing to see. All of the staff want to inteact with the guests and really go out of their way to make their holiday. The cruise also has a jogging track, a virtual reality room, casino, climbing wall, minigolf, outdoor cinema, nighclub, shops and full spa just to name a few extras. I would 100% recommend a cruise on the Marella Discovery 2 for the best holiday you can ask for. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
For what is suppose to be a newly refurbished cruise ship they sure cut a few corners but the cabins are both comfortable and clean. The housekeeping staff are some of the more pleasant individuals onboard. All the staff look miserable ... Read More
For what is suppose to be a newly refurbished cruise ship they sure cut a few corners but the cabins are both comfortable and clean. The housekeeping staff are some of the more pleasant individuals onboard. All the staff look miserable and overworked. Or it could be the guest who has made them this way. I have honestly never been on a ship where the F-word was so prominently used. You would think you were at a stag party. The aim for the day seems to be to drink as much as you can whilst making as much noise as you can. This isn't exclusive to the younger guests either. The ship has a relatively young laid back captain and this can be seen in the actions of some of the staff. (The service is not a bobby dazzler as the captain would say) There seems to be a general disorganised service across the ship, with staff who seem to have minimal training and little to no guidance. Entertainment was OK, nothing special. What is interesting is that they seem to be using the best singers less that some of the ones who could easily do damage to one's eardrums. The ports during my trip were mostly great and it was great to get off the ship for a while and experience some of the local cultures. The ship did offer some great excursions but we also found some great excursions when we got ashore. The food lacked taste and while fairly varied frankly lacked any excitement. Overall not impressed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
To set the scene, this was our 17th Thomson/TUI/Marella cruise since 2010. We hadn't been on a Thomson cruise since autumn 2014 as we were becoming disillusioned with what was on offer (we moved away to P&O and Princess). The ... Read More
To set the scene, this was our 17th Thomson/TUI/Marella cruise since 2010. We hadn't been on a Thomson cruise since autumn 2014 as we were becoming disillusioned with what was on offer (we moved away to P&O and Princess). The itinerary (featuring Cuba, Honduras, Belize and Guatemala, all new places for us) along with the newly acquired ship lured us back. In summary we were really pleased with the cruise and it exceeded our expectations. We were in two cabins (a junior suite plus an inside) on deck 8 and for an all-inclusive cruise for four over the festive period it was excellent value for money. The food in the sit down restaurants (at no extra cost) was far better than experienced on previous Thomson cruises. The head waiters were charming and took the opportunity to speak with us regularly. The service, although not quite as warm and smiley as on previous vessels (Celebration etc.) was good and if you took the time to engage with staff they soon opened up and chatted, remembered drinks preferences etc. Drinks quality was all fine and we didn't feel the need to upgrade to premium all inclusive (regular all-inclusive featured Guinness, Strongbow, Tanqueray, Baileys to name a few brands plus Irish coffee and cappuccino). We had the occasional poor cocktail but we just went to a different bar and reordered, not a problem and an excuse for a bit of a leg stretch. Condition of cabins and public rooms was all fine. There were a couple of maintenance issues in our cabin which were fixed with no problem within a couple of hours. Clarins toiletries and a Lavazza coffee machine were included as standard in the junior suite along with bathrobes, in cabin breakfast, pillow menu and pressing of 3 items per person. Excursions were mostly fine. Didn't enjoy the Stingray City one in Grand Cayman which was disorganised, too short, crowded, not as advertised and expensive for £62 per person. Excursions in Cozumel (Mini Speedboat), Roatan (West Island Tour) and Belize (Airboat Ride) met expectations and were as advertised. Entertainment was good. Really enjoyed engaging with the actor hosts who run the quizzes. Phil is a legend! Brett, Naomi, Helen and Matt all work hard too and are worthy of note. The cruise director (Martyn) who had been promoted due to the previous CD (Ted) being unwell over the festive period was first class and will hopefully get a permanent CD position soon. Captain Chris was very amenable and accessible and we looked forward to his updates every day - good weather = bobby dazzler, bad weather = bobby drizzler! He was from Nottingham and so good to talk to. A tiny proportion of the passengers could do with learning this is a family cruise line and to behave better (not youngsters, people in their 40s and 50s using foul language at many times of day regardless of venue, not that any time of day or venue is appropriate). My husband respectfully challenged this and was given a mouthful for his trouble. I raised this with the bar manager and general manager too, the latter who agreed he would be looking into this issue further. Finally, the general manager mentioned above (Darren) was fabulous, so approachable and helpful, considering feedback, both positive and constructive where improvements could be made. He really is an asset to the ship and the company. So, to finalise, even though Thomson cruises have been off our radar for 3 years they are firmly back in the picture for us now, particularly with some of the newer itineraries - a plea to the company though, please extend to families and not restrict to adults only. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise as a family holiday with our children and their families. After a week, I became ill with respiratory distress; I went to the Medical Centre and was told that I might have pneumonia and (without testing) was advised ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a family holiday with our children and their families. After a week, I became ill with respiratory distress; I went to the Medical Centre and was told that I might have pneumonia and (without testing) was advised to have a special IV treatment of antibiotics, oxygen and steroids for four sessions over two days. My other option was helicopter evacuation to the nearest hospital in Havana, Cuba. Obviously I had little choice and had the treatment. ( I later noticed other guests with IV catheters taped to their arms). Upon return home and seeing doctors and presenting ship treatment records, I was informed that it was extreme, and it has taken me two months to recover from the effects of the illness and the treatment. My invoice for the four IV and oxygen sessions was over $6600. I present this account as a caution for other travellers. While on board one lunchtime, I was bumped by a staff member in the buffet restaurant, and the hot soup I was carrying splashed onto my midsection, left breast and left eye. I hate to think what damage my eye would have sustained had I not been wearing glasses. The staff member attempted to wipe me done which only made the scalding worse. No one else came to my assistance, nor was anyone else summoned. I ran to my stateroom to find ice and to clean up. I then went to reception and asked them to notify the medical centre that I was scalded and needed help as this was outside the centre's regular hours. It took some convincing before they called. I was treated and told that ship personnel would contact me about this accident. That only happened two days later, and rather than receiving any empathy, their language indicated a concern that they avoid a potential lawsuit or a demand for compensation. The staff and administration clearly need to address deficiencies in training regarding these types of accidents. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Been on 34 previous cruises as a professional travel writer, now retired, and chose this Christmas cruise to see what TUI had done to the former Legend of the Seas! After spending a total of almost £8,000 for a Grand Suite onboard, and ... Read More
Been on 34 previous cruises as a professional travel writer, now retired, and chose this Christmas cruise to see what TUI had done to the former Legend of the Seas! After spending a total of almost £8,000 for a Grand Suite onboard, and Premium flight from Cardiff, I expected to get a touch of luxury - and wasn't disappointed. The flight was seamless with an excellent cabin crew, plenty of free drinks, and pretty good food for airline standards. We were whizzed through immigration In Montego Bay, and didn't see our baggage from checking in at Cardiff until we reached our cabin. The ship is elderly compared to some, but spotlessly clean, and great attention to onboard hygiene. The Grand Suite (Cabin 8006) was roomy with plenty of storage space, settee and two chairs, double bed, his and hers sinks, shower and bath, and a huge balcony with two sunloungers and table and chairs. There was even a Christmas tree, sparkling wine and strawberries to greet us in the suite. Heineken (yes that's correct) our cabin steward was five stars, and got a good tip at the end of the cruise, even though gratuities are not expected on this all inclusive ship. Food in the main restaurant could have been served hotter, but there was plenty of it, and very varied and tasty. The buffet was a bit chaotic, but the alternative fish and chips outlet was excellent, with large portions and plenty of variety. We found all the bars were easy to find our drinks and cocktails, and waiters were on hand to bring drinks to poolside and lounge areas at all times. We stayed on the standard drinks package included in the price, and the only thing missing was my favourite cognac, but I could live without that for two weeks. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was memorable with carols, a visit from Santa for the kids onboard, carrots and mince pies for the reindeer, and SNOW! Realistic flakes falling from the ceiling with the temperature at 30C outside! We never bother with the onboard entertainment, but there seemed to be plenty going on, and we only did one excursion to see the crocodiles in Black River, Jamaica. TUI spend more time in ports than many other cruise lines, and our Captain was certainly more friendly and informative than most. Criticisms? Just a couple of daft things really, like charging for bottled water on an all inclusive cruise, and not providing tenders from remote ports. But on the whole Excellent! Well done TUI! Read Less
Sail Date December 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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