6 Marella Cruises Marella Discovery 2 Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Panama Canal & Central America

This wasn't my choice of holiday normally but I replaced someone who couldn't go. Overall it was a lovely holiday on a clean and comfortable ship but it was in need of a spruce up in placed particularly the glass house/indoor ... Read More
This wasn't my choice of holiday normally but I replaced someone who couldn't go. Overall it was a lovely holiday on a clean and comfortable ship but it was in need of a spruce up in placed particularly the glass house/indoor pool. Food was good with a variety of choice. Entertainment was good if not a but samey after a few nights shows were excellent with a talented bunch of people. Only problem was times of shows and dining if you wanted early show you had to eat early as restaurants closed when show ended as late night buffet was average. Staff were mostly pleasant and helpful but service did alter depending on where you sat in restaurant. Nice to return to cabin with towel animal, chocs and next day info. Excusions had a good choice and were well organised. Main issues were the quality of drinks. Cocktails were weak and soft drinks were of poor quality which spoils all the drinks which meant a lot got left which were a waste Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
It was the first that I tried an all inclusive cruise and I was pleasantly surprised. I have cruised with several cruise lines and I loved the entertainment The crew did a fantastic job with songs from Broadway shows and they were all ... Read More
It was the first that I tried an all inclusive cruise and I was pleasantly surprised. I have cruised with several cruise lines and I loved the entertainment The crew did a fantastic job with songs from Broadway shows and they were all so enthusiastic My friends had never cruised before and they enjoyed their week away from Arctic weather so much that they can't wait to go on another cruise The specialty coffees were delicious and the waitress was so kind to prepare them the way we wanted. We had offers of alcoholic drinks in the Broadway theatre while we enjoyed the music and that was a welcome plus The Snack SHACK served delicious fish and chips and Phillip was around serving the beer and soft drinks with his Beep Beep cheery voice sharing the LOVE There was only 1 screening daily of movies which did not fit my schedule The ports were great and we had ample time to discover what they had to offer the tourists The embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly I liked the idea of storing our luggage in the Venue room while we went to the port to look around before boarding our bus to transfer to the airport The tables around the pool were being used by smokers so avoid that if someone is sensitive to the smell of tobacco There was a variety in the Islands Restaurant and the Chef tried to make a different theme every night. All in all I would highly recommend MARELLA 2 discovery Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was our 10th cruise with Marella (Thomson) and we have also cruised with NCL and Royal Caribbean. We really enjoyed our cruise on Discovery over Christmas 2017 and I suppose we were expecting this cruise to be as enjoyable. The ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise with Marella (Thomson) and we have also cruised with NCL and Royal Caribbean. We really enjoyed our cruise on Discovery over Christmas 2017 and I suppose we were expecting this cruise to be as enjoyable. The itinerary was Panama Canal and Cuban Fusion. The change to the port time in Cuba added effectively another day at sea so 5 days in total. The activities on offer were very poor, "medical"/ beauty seminars to sell things mainly. I did enjoy the two Ceilidh dance classes, they were fun. There is nowhere on ship to quietly read, Spirit had a rather nice reading room. Part of the problem was fellow passengers being rather loud with no regard for others so we often retreated to our cabin. The cabin 8076 was fine, spacious, quiet but the toilet stopped flushing every 3 or 4 days. Days in Jamaica were a trial. Food in the buffet was more awful than usual and the snack shack and 47 were not open for lunch. 2 of the main lifts were out of action for 13 days and it was a trial on changeover day to get anywhere with the remaining lifts being crowded with departing and incoming passengers and their luggage. There was also limited evening entertainment, no show or quiz, in fact evening quizes were every other night rather than every night and were interspersed with "Human Jukebox" which was lame. The Broadway Lounge shows were generally good apart from the guest comedian in the first week who would have been booed off stage at any Working Men's Club and the show with "virtual" Anton de Bec which is just a film. I enjoyed the actor hosts games and play, We normally enjoy the buffet but not on this ship, food was cold, tough, unappetising and it was a trial to get a table. We had debated upgrading to Premium drinks but decided against it. If you like a buffet be aware that you can't get Premium drinks there, you would have to get them from a bar and bring them in with you.Same if you want a G&T, Prosecco etc on the All- inclusive. There is no waiter service for drinks in this buffet, there is just a drinks station with John Smiths, Strongbow, Fosters and red and white wine on tap. My Dad drinks John Smith's all the time but he couldn't drink this, he said it was awful. I feel this is a downmarket move by Marella, saving them money on both drinks and waiters. We ate mainly at 47, had great fish and chips at the Snack Shack and enjoyed the Glasshouse, the trio of Tiramisu's at Gallery 47 and one dinner at Surf and Turf. Food outside of the buffet was acceptable, nothing was delectable but we could always find something to eat. Excursions: The flavours of Colombia excursion in Santa Marta was good but there was far too much food. I believe it was authentic for the area but it wasn't really very nice. Cartagena we saw with Dora the Explorer private group trip. Panama tour by ferry was awful. Colon is decrepit, dirty and unsafe. We went by bus across the isthmus to Panama City where we boarded a ferry. the seats were just plastic or metal folding chairs and it was really crowded. Horrible sugary soft drinks included with the poor lunch of 4 tiny bits of chicken, cold pasta and veg and a piece of cake. We went through 3 locks and eventually disembarked at Gatun Lake for the bus back. It was a long, boring and uncomfortable day that was never worth £108. The only saving grace of Colon as a port is that there is a big supermarket very close to the dock where we were able to get drinks and snacks (they took dollars and gave change in dollars too) Costa Rica we did the Jaguar rescue Centre and Boat ride. Be aware that this is a 7 hour trip with no lunch included and nowhere to buy lunch. I can't understand the mentality of Marella contracting with an agency for a tour that doesn't make any provision for lunch. We had snacks and drinks we bought in Panama and we went to the snack Shack the day before the trip and took some sandwiches. There are notices all the time in the buffet & cruise news warning that it is illegal in some places to carry food off the ship and that you can be fined. We didn't take any fruit and the sandwiches were in sealed packets so we took the chance. The only place there could have been a problem was Cozumel in Mexico where all bags were searched on disembarkation. Grand Cayman we had to anchor away from the main town as it was too windy for the tenders. We got shared taxis into town but there were 6 cruise ships that day, there must have been 10,000 people on the streets and the queues to get the tender back to some of the ships were enormous and taking up all the pavement. Cuba was the best stop. I have been before but it was better than I remembered. We did a private tour with Fertours. 3 hours tour by convertible classic car to see Revolution and other squares, the neighbourhoods, the forts, Malecon and the army museum and a park. We went back to the ship for dinner then met our guide with driver and a hard-top classic car. We went to the National hotel and had a tour round and a cocktail on the terrace, this was the highlight of my holiday the hotel has so much history and atmosphere. We then went to the 9pm cannon shot ceremony which was much better than it sounds, the fort is amazing and the soldiers are dressed in old-time uniforms. The next day we had a 2 hr waking tour of Havana with our guide which was really nice. We saw 3 or 4 squares, Hemingway places, the Camera Obscura, churches, sculptures and learned a lot about life in Cuba and the difficulties they had when the Soviet Union collapsed. Havana is a lovely city, Highly recommended Cozumel: couldn't berth where supposed to because of the wind. Our tour to Tulum and Xel-Ha was cancelled as no ferries were running. It was Sunday so most of the shops were closed even at the cruise port because of course we weren't supposed to be docked in that place. Too windy to go to the beach so had a taxi tour round town and to nearby Mayan ruins. Cozumel is perhaps not an ideal port of call especially on a Sunday. Somewhere on the mainland would give more opportunities on shore. Overall the cruise was ok, no major disasters fortunately but I wouldn't wholeheartedly recommend this itinerary. Regarding the ship there were enough niggles to make us question the direction Marella is going (downmarket it seems) and to make us disinclined to travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
It was my 60th birthday and I bought packages for me and my three adult children. We are Canadian. I saved for months for this trip. It fell short by a long shot. In no specific order: First, the Santa Marta destination was cancelled ... Read More
It was my 60th birthday and I bought packages for me and my three adult children. We are Canadian. I saved for months for this trip. It fell short by a long shot. In no specific order: First, the Santa Marta destination was cancelled without explanation. This is an historic site in Colombia that we anticipated for months. We were given a paltry 40 british pounds credit per person and instead were offered an extra day in Jamaica. As Canadians, we have already seen all that can be seen in Jamaica over the years. This meant essentially we were in Montego Bay for about 3 of the 8 days. Second - the entire Marella entertainment was British based, the assumption being that only Brits were on the cruise. We were only asked our nationality from off-cruise excursion people. All trivia and other fun activities on board were exclusive to Brits: you needed to know their tv shows, their culture, etc. to participate in any activities. We were clearly invisible and insignificant to this cruise line. Third - excursion costs were too much! I can compare excursion rates at Montego Bay with those offered by MSC Divina which we cruised on last year. Way too much. Fourth - the casino slots were a joke - I've never experienced such lack of even tiny wins. Fifth - several times I had to change cutlery at the ship buffets due to filth and crusted food. We were encouraged not to use straws but how else to escape the lipstick stains of dirty glasses. Sixth - the food was bland, and generic. Some Brit curries - also bland and few vegetarian options. I appreciated the attentiveness to germ control. Too bad the Brits continue to cough and sneeze everywhere and perhaps use their hands to then spread germs around. Finally this past Tuesday leaving the ship (April 3), we were warehoused in this hideous hotbox at Montego Bay consisting of hundreds of tourists waiting for one bus at a time. The apology is not sufficient, Marella. We were treated like cattle. I did not appreciate that Brits were "first on the buses" while Canadians were told to wait, even though our departures were of similar times. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Having traveled on the discovery 1 last year I was looking forward to this trip, although the ship is identical the standards are very different, the staff working on the acomadation where fantastic and every time you left the cabin they ... Read More
Having traveled on the discovery 1 last year I was looking forward to this trip, although the ship is identical the standards are very different, the staff working on the acomadation where fantastic and every time you left the cabin they where in there working, it was spotless on each occasion Something had gone seriously wrong with the drinks on this trip as they where nowhere near as good as the 1, they just seems to be thrown together, there seemed far less bar staff on this trip, not that I drank a lot, we didn't upgrade to the premium drinks as most of the drinks on the standard menu seemed ok, and if you wanted anything off the premium list you could pay a supliment of around £2.50 which was more expensive than the discovery 1 Also for the food in the 47 & gallery 47 was ok tho a tad repedative I do understand keeping 2k people happy is a monumental task, ok as for the Asiain and Steak restaurants tui seem to have bumped up the price form what I paid in the summer the Asian (Kora-La) was £24 each and the surf and turf was £29 each perhaps the paint job in the name change cost them a few bob and they where trying to recoup the cost The entertainment was very good and the show team work very hard in delivering complex different shows each night As for the shore trips I felt like I was an audience member in a fourteen day infomercial you couldn't escape the continual sell, sell, sell, on every TV Chanel, they even put it on the jumbo screen round the pool area arghhhhhhhhhhh enough already Overall the holiday was good and this blip has not put me off sailing with tu-rella again Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
The crew was very cooperative, humble, polite and made us feel like home. They accommodated special requested meals (WOW! The Indian meals were amazing!!!). In addition, everyone was very welcoming and treated us like their very own. ... Read More
The crew was very cooperative, humble, polite and made us feel like home. They accommodated special requested meals (WOW! The Indian meals were amazing!!!). In addition, everyone was very welcoming and treated us like their very own. Huge shoutout to the cabin and the restaurant crew for always looking after us, and treating us like special guests. The cabins were always spic and span, no matter when we entered the room and the Indian food was great as well! With regards to the on-board activities, the cruise offered a variety of entertainment from day time sporting events to night time live music and shows. The ports were absolutely stunning as well, from Costa Rica, to Colombia, all the destinations visited were ones to never forget. All in all, this was one of our most favourite vacations and is one to never forget. I would definitely recommend it to everyone !!! 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 3.6
Family 3.5 3.6
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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