8 Marella Cruises Marella Discovery 2 Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Europe - Western Mediterranean

November 2019. Over the last decade, there has been something of a revival in interest and the number of people cruising, and sadly an equal number of operators providing substandard cruises. Having cruised 8 timespreviously with ... Read More
November 2019. Over the last decade, there has been something of a revival in interest and the number of people cruising, and sadly an equal number of operators providing substandard cruises. Having cruised 8 timespreviously with P&O, NCL, and RCI, we decided a change was needed as the last P&O cruise we took two years ago nearly put us off cruising for life. We booked the cruise 8 months in advance with Igloo online, paid and additional fee for a cabin 'guaranteed' to be on decks 6 or 7. When we arrived we were given a cruise card for our cabin on deck 2...argued our case with reception, but got nowhere. Determined not to let this spoil our holiday, we went to the buffet for a snack whilst waiting for our cases to arrive. I had a kind of stew, and bit into a raw sprout that couldn't even be cut with a knife. I tried to explain this to several members of staff, but none of them posessed enough knowledge of the English language to understand what I was saying. Undeterred, I put this to the back of my mind, and went to the cabin. An incredibly helpful, friendly and fun room stewardess welcomed my wife and me to the room, and we settled in. My wife soon noticed large amounts of black mould around the base of the shower. Of the 3 mains sockets, only one had UK 220v (and this was a 2-pin continental plug socket), the other two supplied 110v continental power. The beds (two singles pushed together) were rock hard...no give whatsoever - planks pretending to be beds. The TV had a constant hum, and played 5 movies on continual loop throughout the cruise, with no live tv, owing to 'an antenna fault that we're hoping to rectify'...but didn't. The drinks are all-inclusive, and I can see why. I asked for a Coke...I got a totally flat glass of Coke substitute..the spirits are all flooded with cheap mixers to the point where even a double is barely detectable, and you have to wait 15-20 minutes to get your drinks to arrive owing to the chronic lack of staff. The dining in the main dining room was something of a mixed bag. Again, too few staff (in common with every line these days) that constantly got your order wrong, especially breakfast time. It has to be said that although the portions were very small, the food was of a higher standard than P&O and light years ahead of Royal Caribbean...albeit never really more than warm at best. The head of house management were very full of themselves, and at times plain rude...one of them argued loudly with a guest (because he had arrived 4 minutes early) in front of a queue of guests. The entertainment...words cannot describe just how bad this was. A rude and mediocre acoustic guitarist appeared 4-5 times a day, every day, a deafeningly over-amplifies pianist, bashing out floor fillers, appeared 2-3 times a day, a talented saxophonist twice a day, constant quizzes, mock Tv game shows, and totally amateurish stage shows. All of them played Queen tunes to the point where you'd have thought they were a new band. To me, one of the best parts of a cruise are the evening shows, but even these were poor.(Push the entertainer into the pool...I kid you not...was reminiscent of Hi De Hi) After 4 days of trying to put a positive spin on things, I gave up, and waited for this particular horse to be put out of it's misery, and for the cruise to end. Most of the staff were friendly, it must be said, but overall the whole shebang resembled a working mens club at sea. Avoid. Please, avoid. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Ship was lovely and exceptionally cjean. Service was excellent. Food was great with a wide variety of choice. Entertainment was excellent and overall was excellent cruise! Waiters and cabin staff very courteous and friendly and really ... Read More
Ship was lovely and exceptionally cjean. Service was excellent. Food was great with a wide variety of choice. Entertainment was excellent and overall was excellent cruise! Waiters and cabin staff very courteous and friendly and really went out of their way to please you. Restaurant managers were excellent. We upgraded to premium drinks package but would recommend it. We noticed that other passengers who had not upgraded were served premium drinks. The DJ in night club was excellent and played a good variety of music for all ages. Thought the whole cruise was very streamlined and very well managed and organised. Would definitely recommend and is very good value for money. The only complaint I have is the Cartegena Trolley Train excursion! Complete waste of money at £25.50 each. The train was extremely uncomfortable and cramped and spent the whole journey sardined between two people travelling backwards! The tour guide was awful! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I`m just back from a week on Discovery 2 and wasn`t disappointed. The ship was a lovely ship and the service was fantastic as I would expect from TUI. People have moaned about the bar service, that just ain`t true as the service was ... Read More
I`m just back from a week on Discovery 2 and wasn`t disappointed. The ship was a lovely ship and the service was fantastic as I would expect from TUI. People have moaned about the bar service, that just ain`t true as the service was second to none and this is my 6th cruise and I`ve seen bad bar service on other ships. They even have wine and lager on tap in the Islands buffet area. The staff in every department of the ship are so hard working and can`t do enough for you. The ship it`s self is a nice ship and the itinerary was really good. I had a Balcony and have now learnt to be at the bow and on the starboard side or you`ll not get any sun and the smoke from the funnels at night comes down the side towards the aft sides. The 47 restaurant wasn`t the best menu and sometimes you had to wait about 40 mins to get seated, even if they weren`t full. Was the biggest negative on the ship. It was better to go up to the Islands Buffet as the food was good. The shows were ok, but nothing brilliant, as I expect from TUI. The tv in the room was worse than useless, no news channels and limited programmes with same films repeated everyday. The discovery 2 isn`t for kids either. very few facilities for them. But overall I would def go back, but try the Eplorer2 as it`s adults only. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were a group of four - a 50+ couple travelling with our 14 year old son and my 80+ mother (with limited mobility). We selected two, back to back 7 day cruises making a figure 8 from Palma de Mallorca around Portugal, Spain, Italy and ... Read More
We were a group of four - a 50+ couple travelling with our 14 year old son and my 80+ mother (with limited mobility). We selected two, back to back 7 day cruises making a figure 8 from Palma de Mallorca around Portugal, Spain, Italy and Southern France. We chose the ship and Marella (Tui) because it went where we wanted to go when we were able to go - we haven’t cruised with Marella before. First - some shout outs to the exceptional service from our cabin staff - led by Faiden - who looked after us all with great care throughout our fortnight. We particularly enjoyed the e-bike excursions led by Niko and Ashleigh - they led us through the sights and the beaches of Portimao, Corsica and St Raphael. We also used some of the coach based excursions- which were comfortable and as expected. We appreciated the peace of mind of all inclusive drinks - the upgrade was not necessary- and saw no evidence of it being abused by our fellow passengers. We were keen patrons of the coffee port, where we always enjoyed friendly service from Tamara. We ended up consistently using the Islands buffet for meals, for the pure convenience and because we tended to be earlier to rise and to bed than most, so that we tended to want our meals earlier than the other restaurants opened. We had breakfast a couple of times in the waiter service 47 degrees dining room - and it was a better experience. Islands certainly has a variety of food, but it has to be said that some of it was not very tasty - which is probably an inevitable consequence of the cooking methods required to produce food on that scale. Nonetheless we opted for convenience and there was usually something memorable on our plate each night. We frequently used the gym and adjoining spa/sauna services which were well equipped and set up. We preferred the Glass house indoor pool area which was quieter and cooler than the main pool area. In summary, the cruise delivered the experience we had hoped for with some of the staff making it that little bit better than we had expected. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose this cruise for several reasons. 1. Itinerary, following the Adriatic coast I felt it would be more likely to be a smooth sail and the sea would be calm. ( I am not a good sailor). 2. The stop ports were places I hadn't ... Read More
I chose this cruise for several reasons. 1. Itinerary, following the Adriatic coast I felt it would be more likely to be a smooth sail and the sea would be calm. ( I am not a good sailor). 2. The stop ports were places I hadn't been to before. This was my first time on a cruise and I traveled as a single woman. I arrived after an early morning flight. The check in was easy, quick photograph taken and given card for boarding in a flash. Everything was so organised and I felt that continued throughout the cruise and included departure at the end. The dining was fabulous, especially the main restaurants, with waiter service for breakfast lunch and dinner. Food was really good and well presented, menu changed every day. Italian on upper level fabulous too. Given a pager at busy times, so just went for a drink until table ready. Sharing a table meant that it was quicker to get a table and a great way to meet new people and chat. Didn't manage the A la Carte restaurants as they were booked up very quickly. The buffet restaurant has lots of choices but can be very busy, only went in there for breakfast and also lunch on first arrival but enjoyed it. I attended a singles meeting on the second day organised by the crew hostess. Lovely new friends made, and in particular one friend, that enabled us to do things together including trips ashore and evenings at different entertainment spots. So much to do and still didn't manage all the entertainment on board. My cabin had a window and a lovely comfy double bed, loved it, and a really good steward, who looked after me and my room. So much to say I could go on and on. The singing from the entertainers was superb. The places and excursions are amazing. I had 3 nights after the cruise at a hotel in Corfu, because as much as I loved it, It can be very tiring and hard on the joints. It was wonderful way to end an incredible holiday. The ship is gorgeous! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Been on Thomson cruises previously and enjoyed the experience the Discovery 2 was to us different value from other Thomson Cruises the ship was clean beds comfortable but most times around the ship was loud music which although i do enjoy ... Read More
Been on Thomson cruises previously and enjoyed the experience the Discovery 2 was to us different value from other Thomson Cruises the ship was clean beds comfortable but most times around the ship was loud music which although i do enjoy music was not at all necessary all of the time.Having previously enjoyed thomsons there seemed to be a bit of a sea change on board discovery2 although it was all inclusive you had to queue at very busy bars as there did not seem to have been as many waiters/waitresses for taking drinks orders on this ship apart from in the show lounge,the ports of call were all very good and the captain gave you a good idea of what to find ashore every morning.Thomson as usual gave you plenty of time ashore which is more than some other cruise lines do allin all we enjoyed the cruise as we were with our family but i would now think long and hard sad tosaybefore cruising with Thomson cruises again, Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Went as first part of cruise and stay - second week in the excellent Yaramar, Fuengirola. Chose the cruise mainly because of itinerary, had never been to San Remo and especially keen to visit Valencia and Cartagena. Good flight ontime ... Read More
Went as first part of cruise and stay - second week in the excellent Yaramar, Fuengirola. Chose the cruise mainly because of itinerary, had never been to San Remo and especially keen to visit Valencia and Cartagena. Good flight ontime out of Manchester, very quick and easy coach transfer to port, unbelievably quick and efficient check-in meant we virtually walked straight onto the ship and were having a drink within half an hour of arrival.(Other cruise lines should take note!) No luggage obviously but cabin was ready though not sparklingly clean and this was a feature throughout the cruise. Decent size outside cabin with inevitably small but manageable bathroom; safe but no fridge, Tv reception a bit hit and miss but no big deal. Cabin steward very nice guy but not hugely effective. Food in self-service Islands had loads of variety at both breakfast and dinner, something for everyone, nice and hot, and all replaced quickly. Tended to get very busy at peak breakfast times so sometimes had to scout round for a table but no big deal. Staff really friendly and very quick to clear tables.Most unusual unique selling point, and even allowing that this was an all-inclusive cruise, was the self-service beer, cider and wine taps! Only one or two took advantage to extremes. Had dinner in the regular restaurant 5 nights, all pretty good.Usually went straight in and only once had beeper for about 10 minutes.Can choose separate or shared table though the tables for two were so close together you might as well be sharing.Food and service here was good and again the drinks kept flowing thanks to attentive waiters/resses. Went to a couple of shows in theatre which were OK but nothing out of the ordinary.Various daytime activities round the ship if you wanted. Virtually all staff genuinely friendly, helpful and pleasant and even captain and senior officers regularly visible and approachable around ship. Only gripe was about the "all-inclusive" drinks and the "premium " package - think TUI have made this unnecessarily complicated.Could not understand the distinction with the likes of Peroni and Corona part of the regular deal but Heiniken and even Coke on the premium - made no sense and I expect there may have been some issues at the final reckoning when people discovered they had been having the payable premium drinks all week! Personally, I found the regular package totally acceptable. Overall, thoroughly recommend this cruise - a distinct step up from the older ships on the Thomson team though obviously not competing at the top end of the market. One final observation - there were no more than about twenty children on the cruise, first week after the UK schools went back but I understand a very different proposition during school holidays! Would definitely do this ship again. Enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Have explained in cabin review all about the service,entertainment,resturants,food etc. staff excellent very helpful and very friendly,the top dining resturants were booked out before we sailed,the entertainment overall was very ... Read More
Have explained in cabin review all about the service,entertainment,resturants,food etc. staff excellent very helpful and very friendly,the top dining resturants were booked out before we sailed,the entertainment overall was very average,the casino was way to small,the closing times were to early and the late 2am dj lounge deck 11 was over crowded,the late night snack at the islands restaurant 1am close did not have a good selection of food and the standard was very average,this was our first cruise ever and we were disappointed,there were several couples that said it was just a cheap booze cruise.I think it will take some hard work to get my family back again,but never say never.Top marks go to all the staff and a special thanks to our cabin staff and to a very special member of you staff(head bartender)Cecily Frias this kind of person went over the top with her kindness and help. Staff excellent Cabin good food average,special dining resturants booked out before we sailed,not good enough Drinks good and again the service excellent Times could be better for late entertainment in all the bars Getting on good Getting off good The entertainment overall was average The late night snacks food was very average(islands restaurant) This restaurant closed at 1am,should be at least 2am Shops were good for duty free items The inside cabin we had was a little bit stuffy but it did the job,and was kept very clean every day with the very hard working staff credit to them Shows (with the exception of the comedian)were very average With this being our first cruise I have to say we were disappointed,would we do it again at this moment in time probadly not but never say never,it will take a lot of hard work to convince my wife,but with an outside cabin who knows? Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Marella Discovery 2 Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
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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