6 Marella Cruises Marella Discovery 2 Cruise Reviews for Senior 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
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
We chose this cruise because it went to the Ports we wished to visit and we wanted a further week at the Corfu Palce Hotel. ten minutes from Corfu Town. The Hotel was wonderful. The Marella could have been just as wonderful. We chose a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went to the Ports we wished to visit and we wanted a further week at the Corfu Palce Hotel. ten minutes from Corfu Town. The Hotel was wonderful. The Marella could have been just as wonderful. We chose a 8th floor Junior suite with a magnificent and ample bathing balcony overlooking the back of the ship with two sunbeds. There were minor problems with the drains but that was sorted and didn't bother us. But above us was the Terrace sunbathing deck with heavy rattan sunbeds and chairs and these seemed to be dropped from great heights in the early hours of the morning when no one should have been up there. Well it seemed that the Terrace was Scheduled for cleaning in the early hours of the morning thus we could hear dragging of beds and buckets. My partner is a very light sleeper and I sleep so deeply that thunder and lightening doesn't wake me but the cleaners did. Our neighhours heard something but said after so many cocktails it didn't bother them. This is an All Inclusive Ship but we don't drink so weren't in the desirable drunken stupour needed to sleep in the 8th floor cabins. We complained about the noise at reception and were told categorically, no one should be up there between the hours of 10pm and 7am and next time it happened to call reception and the security would go and investigate which we did that night and a phone call back said no one was up there!!! So my partner went up and there was a mop bucket on wheels outside the gym and someone had been up there mopping up water. The next night at 12.30am to 2.30am my partner had to go up again where he found a crew member scrubbing the decks which was 'Scheduled' the desk said this was in the 'SCHEDULE' and couldn't be changed. After this there was no point in complaining as things weren't going to change and the desk wasn't sympathetic to our pleas. It was all in the Schedule. The desk in actual fact lied in the beginning when we complained and couldn't care less after that. So after that we got our sleep in during the day. Shame really because it's a nice ship and very stable, not a rocking or bumping when coming into port like most ships.Typically THOMSON of course. Loud music, entertainment of a labour club standard, no quiet rooms (although our cabin was quieter in the day than at night) and dished up food in bowls but again one must be aware this is how THOMSON operate and their passemgers seem not to notice so long as there is plenty of it and booze. We didn't bother with the restaurant after the first night as the menu is limited there by what's in the canteen. The ship broke down in Venice and we had to anchor there overnight when we should have been travelling to Split so we didn't get to Split and ended up late for the next venue which was Dubrovnik for which we rewarded £25 each to spend on ship. It paid for the Wifi. The only trip we wanted to go to, Budva, was cancelled because of lack of interest. Thank goodness we booked the marvellous Corfu Palace Hotel for a further week so having said all that in itself was a good deal. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I've been on all the present fleet apart from Discovery 1 which is of course the sister ship of Discovery 2, the ship is easy to get around with plenty of lifts all quite spacious. Travelling on my own for the first time as a senior ... Read More
I've been on all the present fleet apart from Discovery 1 which is of course the sister ship of Discovery 2, the ship is easy to get around with plenty of lifts all quite spacious. Travelling on my own for the first time as a senior widowed male I found everyone quite friendly and although I never ventured into the main restaurants I found the Island Restaurant quite acceptable for my needs and the food was always of a good standard and variety. My Cabin on deck 3 was the best single cabin I have had as a solo traveller over the last 7 or 8 years ( previous cruises always had companions on-board) quite spacious and loads of drawers and hanging space, only gripe was the extraction in the shower room was very weak and did not clear the steam away from showering, I complained about this and although the maintenance engineer came he could not improve the situation, so found myself stepping out into the cabin to dry off, easy if your on your own!! The show lounge was very comfortable and the singers and dancers were of the usual high standard you expect from Thomson, the rest of the entertainment team were all very acceptable but I thought the solo saxophonist played for himself accompanied by backing tracks and it was unbearable, I never heard him play any melodic numbers at all, it was all Jaz stuff which the majority of patrons don't understand, he never spoke and I never heard anyone applaud him. The pool area was very good and spacious with plenty of sunbeds and chairs in the shaded areas below the top deck, the large screen display meant you could see any demonstrations easily from wherever you were without crowding around the stage to see what was going on. The Surf & Turf and Kora La dining as well as the Main restaurants I never used, being on my own, but I spoke to many cruisers who all recommended them. The all inclusive drinks package was very good and there was free ice cream available, The introduction of the Snack Shack was a novel and well used feature, the free cabin safe also saved me £25 but the single supplement is as always a sore point for me, why I have to pay £65 a night extra when i only eat for one drink for one use hot water and bedding for one I will never understand, the Greed of Thomson / Tui I suppose, I feel as if I am paying for my wife who sadly I have no longer by my side. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Thomsons have embarkation so finely organised, there us just no hassle, my only problem was I require wheelchair assistance and on arrival at Malaga I was left waiting for over an hour for a wheelchair and only got one by a fluke! Our ... Read More
Thomsons have embarkation so finely organised, there us just no hassle, my only problem was I require wheelchair assistance and on arrival at Malaga I was left waiting for over an hour for a wheelchair and only got one by a fluke! Our friends did not know where I was and got quite stressed with worry. I appreciate this is beyond Thomsons control but I think they should be aware of this problem. Once we had checked in, it was no time at all we were exploring Discovery 2 and then unpacking in your quite spacious cabin. Everywhere is scrupulously clean. In the restaurants the waiters are so very friendly and give expert service, those I remember are Hakeem, Nadia, Imobe and Mensur. The food was delicious with plenty of choices. We ate in the 47 every evening, but you could eat in the self service restaurant. There is an Italian restaurant and a late night snack bar. The Surf and Turf restaurant charges £25 each but the food was exceptional, our itinerary was changed and we were given £25 each as consolation to be spent onboard, so that covered our meal. There is an Asian restaurant charging similar but we did not try this. Every night there is some thing on in all the venues. The Atrium offers piano music and a saxophonist with dancing. The Live bar has the Casino, a small stage and small dance floor. We found this room was used for popular acts with not enough seating and people were packed in. The Venue bar is a large theatre type room which would suit all the popular acts with lots of seating, a stage and large dance floor. Some of the entertainment in here was quite boring. In the Broadway theatre a professional show, singing and dancing is on twice nightly, a very large room with plenty of seats. Bar 11 is small bar with fantastic views, the waiters in here were fantastic, couldn't,t do enough for you, Milan and Ogee (I think was her name). At 11.30pm a DJ comes on and plays boom boom music and most nights emptied the bar. I think 70.s or 80.s music would have gone down better. The pools are ok with plenty of sun loungers and entertainment. There is a crazy golf course and a climbing wall. Overall I would give my cruise 5 stars, just the evening entertainment I found to be dull, even though the entertainment crew tried very hard to entertain. 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 3.6
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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