Cruise Ratings
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Having previously sailed on Explorer 1 in December and really enjoyed the ship and food we thought we would try Discovery 2. Embarkation from Montego Bay was a disaster, after a 10 hour flight we were left in a small holding area for ... Read More
Having previously sailed on Explorer 1 in December and really enjoyed the ship and food we thought we would try Discovery 2. Embarkation from Montego Bay was a disaster, after a 10 hour flight we were left in a small holding area for over an hour because Tui did not have enough coaches for us. It was awful, there was no air con and people were fainting !! After eventually getting on a coach, they make a point that everyone must wear seat belts due to safety but the driver was talking for the whole journey on his mobile phone!! Our balcony cabin was ok, plenty of storage the shower had a mind of its own and kept going hot and cold, the air con didn't work so we complained, they fixed it but then we couldn't turn it off !! The food was awful!! Buffet food was cold, restaurant food was served to us cold although the plates were very hot.The only place you could get a hot meal was Surf and Turf but that cost over £60 per meal for two. The drinks were good and service good, the staff worked hard. The evening entertainment show cast team were excellent and if it hadn't been for them I would have given this review a 1 star not a 2. Discovery 2 is not a ship I will be returning on. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise got off to a bad start. It took 15 minutes to find steps to get off the plane and another hor and 15 minutes being held in a hot airless corridor before a bumpy coach trip to the ship. I later found out that probems in UK ... Read More
This cruise got off to a bad start. It took 15 minutes to find steps to get off the plane and another hor and 15 minutes being held in a hot airless corridor before a bumpy coach trip to the ship. I later found out that probems in UK airports led to 3 planes arriving at much the same time. The local staff (TUI and airport) were overwhelmed. A situation made worse by the local authorities making the coaches queue outside and only 1 at a time allowed into the bonded area. Not Marella's fault but the fiasco at the muster drill certainly was. A technical problem with no backup plan led to chaos. Things improved once the cruise was under way. The captain skillfully avoided the worst of the weather although we had to miss Horta, Azores because the tenders could not launch. The ship itself may be older than some but the recent refurbishment made the public areas look new with hi tech everywhere. A mention here for the app which is really a website hosted on the ships computer - so no internet needed to use it. Dining was a weak point. The buffet area is well laid out with indoor and outside seating. The breakfast food was frequently lukewarm or missing. We quickly learned to choose the best items and avoid the rest. It was better at lunchtime but choice was limited. The MDR was much better. The main restaurant is attractive and the staff mainly very good. The food was better here. We dined as soon as it opened and had no problems getting a table for 2. Gallery 47 is the best complimentary eating place for both service and food but its limited menu means it is not for every night. Entertainment was definitely a strong point. The production cast were the best I have seen on any cruise. They were also the friendliest. The use of trained actors in the other entertainment staff was an improvement on most ships. Even the quizzes were amusing. The cruise director and his 2 assistants were top notch. Music was all over the ship with all the musicians very competent and enjoyable. Bars The bar areas were frequently overcrowded and it was often difficult to find a seat but there was a good vibe about them. The included drinks are OK. There is no need to upgrade the drinks package. This was our first cruise with Marella and it was better than I expected. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We booked this cruise totally for the length and the ports of call. We were not sure of the quality Marella would provide but the whole experience was much better than anticipated from some reviews. Flights arriving throughout the day ... Read More
We booked this cruise totally for the length and the ports of call. We were not sure of the quality Marella would provide but the whole experience was much better than anticipated from some reviews. Flights arriving throughout the day which meant embarkation was staggered and went very smoothly. Cabin was available straight away and luggage arrived timely. The ship is a medium sized older ship. Well laid out, decor good and plenty of room apart from deck space which was very crowded on sea days as the cruise was fully sold. Only one outside pool. We booked the basic inside cabin on the lower decks. It was smaller than other ships we had sailed on with just enough room at the side of the bed to squeeze out into the cabin. The cabin creaked and groaned quite loudly especially in rough seas. Apart from that it was very well laid out with a small seating area, dressing table, drawers and plenty of wardrobe space, hairdryer and tea and coffee making facilities. No Fridge. The bathroom was OK with shower curtain but plenty of hot water and shower gel and hand soap. Dining - Islands Buffet - even on a full ship we had no problems finding a seat. It feels very airy because of the full length surround windows. Staff were very attentive and the food was varied and hot. We ate breakfast and lunch here and enjoyed both experiences. We did try the MDR for breakfast one day - if you like a leisurely meal then this may be for you. For us, we like to be up and away there are always so many things to do so we preferred the Islands. MDR - We ate most of our evening meals here. The decor of the room is lovely with tables for 2 and more, although most of the tables for 2 are so close together you feel as if you are on a table for 4 or 6. We felt the food served here was very good with a good selection and always hot and drinks served promptly. Staff were very friendly and efficient. If you eat early you can walk straight in, if you like to eat later you may have to wait for a table, generally 20 mins. This was never a problem for us as we like to go for a pre-dinner drink so we would go to the restaurant, were given a pager, would go off to enjoy our drink and then be called to eat at the time we wanted to. Great system. MDR - Italian Menu - Half of the upstairs MDR is set aside to serve an Italian Menu. There are 2 menus which are changed during the cruise so you need to keep an eye on that if you want to eat from both of them. Although you are still in the MDR, it is a different eating experience and an option if you don't fancy anything on the main MDR menu. Glass House - In the evening serves a tapas and pizza menu. Tried this once enjoyed the food, but didn't like eating next to the indoor pool and sunbeds. There is a platter of continenta meats and cheese, then you can choose from 7 tapas choices and then you choose a pizza of your choice. There is also a desert choice available. This is free of charge - you can choose a hot stone meal for which a supplement is charged. Snack Shack - Sandwiches, Salads, Fruit pots, chips, burgers, chicken Wings, Fried Fish - that type of food. Only used this when coming back late to the ship - it's OK but wouldn't eat here if other options were available. Did not eat in the paid for restaurants. Entertainment was excellent and varied, as was the activities - something for everyone and if you didn't want to join in you could find quiet parts of the ship. All the entertainment staff were excellent. To ring the changes on this 18 day cruise entertainers were flown in to perform on one or 2 days and then left the ship. There were plenty of bars depending what you like to do in an evening and the choice of drinks was excellent. We never had to wait long to be served whether at the bar or from our seat. Ports of Call - Arrived as scheduled and we were given plenty of time in each port (an average of 7 hours). Did not go on any Marella excursions but the excursion staff were helpful when asked questions and provided a printed map of the main town area. Tip - If the weather is not good try to get a seat at The Veranda at the rear of the ship, it was sheltered when the outer decks were very windy. To sum up we had a fabulous trip, Food and Drinks were Very Good, Entertainment and Activities were excellent and the staff were the best. We enjoyed it so much we would book to go again as there are still things to see at the ports of call. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
been on this ship before , assistant cruise director very good,Ted is his name .4 tunes group excellent the guitar player was like a Jimmy Hendrix.show team a bit like a high school end of team thing. Boys had good voices but the girls ... Read More
been on this ship before , assistant cruise director very good,Ted is his name .4 tunes group excellent the guitar player was like a Jimmy Hendrix.show team a bit like a high school end of team thing. Boys had good voices but the girls ,dreadful!. staff in restaurants brilliant ,Vladimir,Jason,Romaine in fact all of them. Not enough chairs in bar areas,A bit like a booze cruise for pensioners. lots of nice people,However the free flowing drink ,didnt always bring out the best in people. lots of calls for code Alfa,Alfa ,WHICH MEANS THERE IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. all that drinking and the age group I am sure did not help. bar staff good apart from the bar manager on deck 4, very arrogant and aggressive.I saw him in action.Not a good way to handle a situation. comics in the broadway not that good they had racist overtones, one comic stood and insulted the guests . does anyone monitor the comedians?. sun loungers a problem as usual . all in all a bit manic.The departure from Jamaica was a nightmare, It was like going through prison ,the attitude of customs was really terrible. Infact we wil NEVER go through Montego Bay again . Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We booked this cruise as a "transitional " from the Caribbean to Palma calling at various places , we particularly were looking forward to Cuba ,Nassau and Lisbon and Bermuda ...the first three destinations were cancelled shortly ... Read More
We booked this cruise as a "transitional " from the Caribbean to Palma calling at various places , we particularly were looking forward to Cuba ,Nassau and Lisbon and Bermuda ...the first three destinations were cancelled shortly after the final balance was paid ( nice!! ) We booked an upgrade and were given cabin 8031 The ship looked good , staff brilliant , food very good with a wide choice , cabin horrendous , the vessel had a major refit in 2016 , former office space was converted into cabins ( 6 in all on the port side ) On this vessel the engines are amidships and as the cabins are by the open atrium they are subject to a lot of noise , worse still they are also afflicted with constant vibration from the engines ( particularly at sea ) and creaking from the wall panels and windows .We had to move to another cabin to save our sanity .... All this made the cruise a nightmare at times , which was a shame because resturants were very good , entertainment suited most people we talked to , the other thing to note is that you cannot get away from piped music ( loud at times ) wherever you walk or sit it will always be there which is a shame because there where some very nice places . There is a complete walk round on deck ( 4 laps 1 mile ) We would probably have enjoyed the cruise more with a better cabin as the ship has a lot going for it but sadly the vibration issue afflicting it spoiled our enjoyment Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I have cruised with tui for many years but this has to be one that I can stay will stick in my mind for the wrong reason. Getting to the ship was as usual very good as you would expect with marella cruises from leaving Manchester to ... Read More
I have cruised with tui for many years but this has to be one that I can stay will stick in my mind for the wrong reason. Getting to the ship was as usual very good as you would expect with marella cruises from leaving Manchester to arrival in Montego Bay. Could not fault cabin very good as usual, but when you go for evening meal in 47 Restuarant here is where it falls down. Firstly the waiters lean across table to serve other dinners on table,rather than by your side as with normal Restuarants, If you have steak for an evening meal don't expect steak knife cut through with blunt knife, you are not offered tea and coffee now you have to ask. The second day was good easy to get sun bed no worries. I took two evening shirts for formal nights but did not wear because on the evening of dress to impress I had a quick look over the Atriaum balcony and what I saw changed my mind, I was going to wear my formal wear but when people are wearing shorts and bathing wear why bother. I make my way again to 47 Restuarant that evening and was dressed with shirt bow tie trousers and shoes so as far as I was concerned smart but then dinners walk in in shorts open toed sandals so why bother. After evening meal went for walk on ship and easy to get to other areas through Broadway shops good quality into show lounge. Here maybe the show team are new but not the best I've seen I am sure they will get better. After show of to venue bar for game shows very good and funny entertainment team were very good. After shows of to love room where the casino was and again could not fault. If you are still hungry in the evening then go to Glasshouse and get a good evening buffet recommend the curry. The service in all areas was great and the waiters are very friendly and if you go often even rember what you drink which is amazing. The ship is very good indeed and unfortunately had to visit medical centre because my wife became ill, these people really do care and look after you, if it's an insurance claim don't worry they sort out the whole thing. To them I send a big thank you. So all in all here are my main points about this cruise, 1....Think about how waiters serve meals and correct utensils for meal 2....Think about dress code and monitor it Hopefully these can be improved, I realise I could have gone to Islands which is self service but I like to be served in evening. Let's hope things do improve am on discovery in December so hope for better things. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We have sailed with Tui (Thompson) on a number of occasions and spent a week sailing around Spain and Portugal on Discovery 1 last October so knew what to expect. This was a trip a long time in the planning. It had been our dream to do ... Read More
We have sailed with Tui (Thompson) on a number of occasions and spent a week sailing around Spain and Portugal on Discovery 1 last October so knew what to expect. This was a trip a long time in the planning. It had been our dream to do the Atlantic crossing for many years. The crew and staff on board are excellent and cannot be praised highly enough. They go all out to ensure guests enjoy their stay on board. Dining can, it is fair to say, be a bit haphazard. We avoided the buffet restaurant for the reasons given by other reviewers. However. we never experienced any problems with getting a table for 2 at either breakfast or dinner in the main dining rooms. We did not mind sharing, if it came to it. The a la carte restaurants are very good, food is to a high standard. The real issue we found was repetition. We were aboard 17 days and there was simply not enough variety. Some of the restauarants, such as the Glass House Hot Stones restaurant for example, do not change their menu, it is fixed. Others, such as Gallery 47 and 47 only change about once a week, and even then some of the dishes remain the same. Entertainment was varied. The guest UK artists were a mixed bag. The entertainment team do a good job in trying to put on variety shows that appeal to the masses but sometimes it just looks all a bit amateurish. That may be a bit harsh, but after 17 days, again it began to get a bit samey. We did take part in a few quizzes and game shows which were well organised and fun. We also booked a number of shore excursions, again with a mixed result. The beach trip to Bonaire was awful. The sea could only be reached via a moving pontoon as the shoreline was covered in dangerous rocks. We complained to TUI and got a 50% refund. Some of the ports were no where near any shops or decent activities, and you needed a taxi to reach anything remotely interesting. By the time we reached Aruba we were a bit stir crazy and went off and did our own thing, catching a bus to the local beach, then spending the afternoon shopping and having a meal out. It was very liberating. Most of the time your time onshore is limited as the ship will depart around 5-6pm. We had decided given the length of the cruise to upgrade to a cabin with more space and a floor to ceiling window. This was on deck 8. We were to live to regret this decision. Although there was nothing wrong with the cabin itself, its proximity to the atrium meant that we were constantly subjected to noise travelling up from the atrium bar, the Live Room and indeed the disco up in Bar 11. Also, as we were just below the pool deck, at around 4:30am each morning, no exaggeration, we were awoken by guests on deck, moving and securing their sun loungers. I didn't get a nights uninterrupted sleep once. So please, do think ahead when you book and have a good look at the floor plan to see what's around the cabin you are booking. This can make a huge difference to your holiday. TUI (Marella) has now gone all inclusive and this will I think impact on future bookings.It certainly had a different vibe to other cruises we have been on. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise exactly one week after coming of Discovery last year doing the transatlantic with a different itinerary. We had nothing to complain about last year it was superb. We chose exactly the same cabin we had last year on ... Read More
We chose this cruise exactly one week after coming of Discovery last year doing the transatlantic with a different itinerary. We had nothing to complain about last year it was superb. We chose exactly the same cabin we had last year on deck 8 right at the back. Discovery 2 is the sister ship of Discovery and are practically identical in terms of layout. For us Embarkation was swift, smooth and painless with baggage delivered and collected in a timely manner. The cabin is an aft facing cabin which meant we had the sun most days whilst crossing the Atlantic. The cabin is roomy with plenty of storage. A great feature this year was the addition of USB sockets in each of the lamps which was handy for charging up Ipads and phones. The electrical sockets are 2 standard USA and 2 Eurpean type. The decor was ok although a picture missing from the wall of the cabin which showed up the marks where it had been. Generally the cabin was kept immaculate by the cabin steward however he rarely replaced the toiletries and despite requesting and reminding him it still did not happen or if it did they were only partially replaced. On embarkation day there was a letter on the bed welcoming us back. Reading the letter it tells you that you have a Lavazza coffee machine in the room to which you are entitled to one cup of coffee a day! (What! after what we paid I would expect coffee to be free flowing like it was last year) That certainly did not set me off in the right frame of mind. There were two days were half a dozen teeny pellets of soot landed on the balcony. The stewards cleaned the balconies up immediately and there was nothing to complain about. Those who have not stayed in one of these junior suites seem to imagine that it happens all the time. It does not! Another point is the saying the higher your cabin the more you pay the more it sways. It is no different to anywhere else on the ship. We only had two days were there was a bit of a roll and that was from Tenerife to Gran Canaria and en route to Jamaica but we slept quite well both nights. It is very quiet at the back of the ship. The air conditioning was not able to be adjusted. Food and dining. The food in the waiter restaurants was always hot and our meals were served in a timely fashion. I was surprised to hear people complain that dinner took around two hours. For me that is quite acceptable, who wants to bolt down their food when you are on holiday it also gives you the chance to share tables and meet some very interesting people. We never ate in the buffet restaurant apart from having afternoon tea one afternoon. I can't really comment on what it was like but the same food is served in the buffet as is available in the main dining room. Gallery 47 is an Italian restaurant with two alternating menus. The food is quite nice here and we ate here a few times. Surf and Turf and Kora La restaurants have to be booked at a supplement and both are like being on a completely different ship. The attention to detail and the quality is second to none. We only ate at Surf and Turf this time and the supplement was around £29. There was a fast food outlet called the snack shack where you could grab rolls in the morning fish and chips at lunch time or chicken wings etc. There were also cool cabinets with a variety of salads, sandwiches and pots of fruit. We only had a snack twice here but it was quick, tasty and filling. At busy times you might be given a buzzer and have to wait around 20 minutes for a table in the main restaurants it only happened once to us during the 18 night cruise but that was because we wanted a specific table so we were quite happy to wait. Drinks We upgraded the drinks package which for us was good value. We had 2 X 1.5 litres of water in the cabin each day. Access to the coffee bar for premium coffees and an enhanced premium drink menu. We found that the drinks on the normal menu seemed to be lacking in something but there was a noticeable difference in the premium drinks. We never had to wait too long for our drinks either being served or being waited on. There were ample staff for this and they were always busy. It worked out at £7 a day and we thought that was good value. Entertainment. We always found something to occupy us on sea days. There were some activities going on at one time or another. I think one of the biggest problems was inadequate seating in some of the venues particularly the atrium. The theatre is much more comfortable that theatres in London. My only criticism is that once the shows have started the bar service should stop. It is irritating during the show to see bar staff passing through and blocking the views. The shows only last an hour why not bring a drink from the bar it is not as if you are going hours without access to a drink. Also on a couple of occasions there were some ignorant people talking all the way through the shows. The shows were ok some better than others. I think the entertainment could have been a bit better but that is down to personal preferences. Service. There were a mixture of Filipino and Eastern European staff on the ship. All we came across were brilliant and everyone of them we met greeted us with a smile and a hello. They are on the ship for up to 8 months and there were some passengers do tend to be rude to them. We met quite a few staff from the Discovery who had transferred to Discovery 2. Surprisingly they remembered us and actually came to our tables to say hi. Ports and excursions. Our itinerary. Tenerife Day of boarding. Gran Canaria - We did our own thing as we were here last year. Mindelo Cape Verde - A God forsaken place not geared up to cruise ships at all. We left the ship at 10:00 and people were already heading back to the ship. Not worth a visit here. Barbados - Wonderful place but most things closed on Sundays! Got a hotel day pass. Grenada - Speedboat and snorkel. Absolutely brilliant but £72 was a bit pricey but worth it. Bonaire - A beautiful little island.- We did out own thing got a hotel day pass. Aruba - Lovely island- Got our own taxi for a tour $20 each. Island tour and beach for 3 hours. Brilliant. Curacao - Willemstad is a delightful colourful town. $20 taxi tour about four hours. Panama Canal - Vastly over priced. £120 Not as described in the blurb not the companies fault but 4-5 hours going around the lakes due allocated time of going through the locks. The last 3 hours were brilliant but the lead up to it was dire! We were very late back to the ship which had to wait for 350 passengers on this tour. Cartegena- Colombia $30 Taxi tour for 3 hours a beautiful city but boiling hot and humid. Jamaica- We did not do a tour here. We loved the itinerary and 18 nights went in a flash it only felt like a week. Can't understand visiting Mindelo but I guess it is a very cheap port for port fees. There are other beautiful islands in the cape so why those chose this one is beyond comprehension. Major concern. The medical centre. I have never ever seen so many people walking around a ship with Canulas in situ. Most being diagnosed with pneumonia some clearly not actually having pneumonia. Either there is something majorly wrong with the ventilation system or there is something afoot with the insurance claims. Would we sail with Marella gain? Not in the near future certainly. Reasonable standard of service but not quite up to the same standard as last year. Price wise they are not dissimilar to other cruise lines whose standards are a bit higher. I would point out here that customer service pre and post cruise is abysmal. We had no communications from our Tui travel agent at all. I only got information from a facebook group and had to go into the shop myself to get this information I understand that the telephone service leaves a hell of a lot to be desired too. Read Less
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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