1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Our flights were delayed 15 hours from Gatwick and therefore lost a day of our cruise. Despite efforts to repair the damage we were informed that it was necessary to cancel our next 3 ports and limp to Dubai (Captains words) to pick up ... Read More
Our flights were delayed 15 hours from Gatwick and therefore lost a day of our cruise. Despite efforts to repair the damage we were informed that it was necessary to cancel our next 3 ports and limp to Dubai (Captains words) to pick up spares and specialist assistance on Monday. That took 2 days at slow speed as we seemed to sail the long way round? The plan was to fit the spares carry out tests and sail to Abu Dhabi on Wednesday for our scheduled visit. However the problem remained and the Abu Dhabi visit took place by road (1 hour there and 1 hour back) for those who wanted to go. On Wednesday evening the Captain announced that, after a long discussion with head office, Discovery would sail on Friday (7th) at 3 pm for India but at low speed, and as a result the ports of Mumbai and Mangalore would be dropped, leaving Goa (all of 8 hours), and Cochin where people on Adventure to India would leave the ship. We booked this holiday for the ports before Dubai and the the following Indian ports, Dubai not being of importance (only so many skyscrapers that you can see) we decided that we would rather fly home from Dubai as opposed to sailing another 3 days to Goa, if we made it, and then a day and a half to Kerala to then disembark and fly 11 hours home. I think we made the right choice as the ship did not leave Dubai until 3am the following morning. Life on board was pretty warm as the air con was only operating at low level . The food was not up to standard as feeding the whole ship for nearly 2 weeks with nobody getting off obviously depleted supplies. We had a balcony cabin, thought it would be nice for the 2 days at sea that we had planned, view in Dubai was the industrial end of the dock with lorries and forklifts running up and down all day. Day 2 and 3 the ship decided to load supplies and clean and paint the ship right outside our balcony starting at 6am. This was our wedding anniversary! We put in for our delayed flights when we arrived back in the UK and have now been told that the flight was delayed due to bad weather so no compensation will be paid, total lie! I am very disappointed with TUI and Marella as there has been no communication apart from refusing our flight delays, not sure i want to cruise with them again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I chose this cruise as I wanted to be away to avoid a certain anniversary. I looked for a Reposioning Cruise as I like plenty of sea days and not many port calls. Travelling as a single is always expensive and this was not a cheap holiday ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I wanted to be away to avoid a certain anniversary. I looked for a Reposioning Cruise as I like plenty of sea days and not many port calls. Travelling as a single is always expensive and this was not a cheap holiday even though it included drinks and gratuities. So one could not say ‘ You get what you pay for’ and imply it was a bargain rate and that I should have known better... The ship itself is fine, very clean and the majority of the staff are good at their job, helpful and courteous. The food is again ‘fine’, good choice, plentiful and varied, if somewhat overcooked at times, but the chefs are catering for a wide range of tastes and appetites. The Turf and Surf had very good food and was well worth the supplement.Embarkation and airport transfer were excellent. Excursions were pretty standard and reasonably priced. My problem was I am not vastly overweight, don’t wear Primark clothes, wouldn’t dream of drinking a pint of lager at ten in the morning, dislike having to strain to speak to people over the incessant row made by the talent-challenged entertainers in the bars, would have loved to sit on the sundeck without loud pop music blaring out - so I didn’t really fit in. It sounds snobby I know, but had I been aware of the target market of Marella Cruises, I would have realised it was out of my comfort zone. We all have different tastes and it doesn’t make us better or worse than each other, but Marella was not for me. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Although embarkation went smoothly the rest of the cruise was dire. We were told the ship had been undergoing renovations in the month before, but there were problems throughout the ship. The cabins were clean but dated; and there were ... Read More
Although embarkation went smoothly the rest of the cruise was dire. We were told the ship had been undergoing renovations in the month before, but there were problems throughout the ship. The cabins were clean but dated; and there were lots of people having problems with the electrics and air conditioning. Although the room stewards were helpful some of the reception staff were incompetent and very slow to resolve problems. Guests felt that they were fobbed off, having to repeatedly report the same issue with complaints completely ignored. On one night the main lights on deck 9 were flickering off and on causing a hazard. We just sat there in darkness, which had the bonus of us not being able to see the revolting food.There did not appear to be staff doing anything about it. (see photo below) The food in the main dining room was variable but the buffet on deck 9 was inedible. We both suffered from diarrhoea and fellow guests told us that they had been poorly too. There were very limited dining options elsewhere.We tired of the queues and waited too long to be served. As with the all inclusive drinks package, guest were constantly pressurised into upgrading to the three restaurants on deck 9. It is disappointing that the quality of the food and drink should be determined by an upgrade. It should be uniformly excellent. Unbelievably, they charged for the Wi-fi!! Yet another way of extracting money from guests in what is supposed to be an 'All Inclusive holiday'. Generally the staff were polite and helpful with a few exceptions which really ruined the efforts of the other staff. A very badly managed ship and a waste of money. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Just back from an amazing 2 week cruise on board Marella Discovery to Norway. What a fantastic time we had from start to finish. Embarkation was quick and easy, we were on the ship within an hour of our taxi dropping us off at ... Read More
Just back from an amazing 2 week cruise on board Marella Discovery to Norway. What a fantastic time we had from start to finish. Embarkation was quick and easy, we were on the ship within an hour of our taxi dropping us off at Southampton. Balcony cabin 7604 was clean, with plenty of storage space. It was great to have the balcony to sit out on late at night watching the northern lights! Entertainment we found to be excellent, great show team with something different every night. We were on this ship last year and we found that the entertainment shows were a lot better this time, what a very talented team. Dining: We ate mainly in restaurant 47 as we preferred this to the hustle & bustle of Islands up on deck 9. Trying to find a seat up there was a challenge. The service we received in restaurant 47 was excellent, great staff, all very welcoming and friendly. Always pleased to see you. Food was excellent, something different to choose from every night, we never had a bad meal. Just want to say thanks to Bojan and Yana for their professional, friendly service, together they make a great team. We know the dress code has been relaxed on this ship but it was good to see that on this cruise so many passengers still liked the chance to get dressed up in the evenings. We went on a lot of organised excursions, all of which were very good. In Bergan we went on the full day trip to Hardangerfjord, lovely scenery, knowledgeable guide and with a 3 course meal included in the price, it was excellent value for money, would recommend this trip. All staff we met were very friendly and always greeted you with a smile. Great crew all round. Seeing the Northern Lights was the icing on the cake, what a fantastic cruise, with lots of happy memories. This was our 3rd cruise with Tui / Marella and hopefully it wont be our last. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We pick this cruise to see what marella was like after not being on them since 2006 in the thomson days.It was bad start to finish.We put the cases on at the coach pick up then at the port took them off found somebody with luggage labels ... Read More
We pick this cruise to see what marella was like after not being on them since 2006 in the thomson days.It was bad start to finish.We put the cases on at the coach pick up then at the port took them off found somebody with luggage labels ,put them on then found somebody to take them off you.Then it took 1 hour to register in.The cabin was a good size but dated we paid £196.00 extra for this cabin a inside plus.The duvet was only very low tog so it was cold in the cabin in fact it was cold where ever you went on the ship.It needed new towels to all grey.The food was very poor in the restaurant so after 4days we give up like a lot of people & started eating in the buffet.The food in the buffet was only just ok,when ever you went in the buffet itwas very hard to get a seat people was just sat there taking in the view & drinking because you could serve yourself beer & wine. Each week they had a one good comedian on the theatre shows were only just watchable.There was one good quiz per day in the live bar but hard to get a seat because some never moved out of the live bar.The condition of the ship was poor plenty rust to be seen .On the second week they started stripping down at the the back of the ship ready for its third refurb in 4years thats shows the condition of the ship.The tours was poorly organised & they changed a lot of them.The tender boats at leknes was a disgrace we had to cue up for hour &half in the cold & rain to get back on we was lucky some was over two hours thank god these lot was not at dunkirk. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Marella discovery searching for the northern lights 4th October 2018 until 18th October 2018 This is our 13th year of cruising with Thomson’s but our first time after the name change last year. For this review I’m going ... Read More
Marella discovery searching for the northern lights 4th October 2018 until 18th October 2018 This is our 13th year of cruising with Thomson’s but our first time after the name change last year. For this review I’m going to split into separate parts Firstly we sailed from Southampton. Embarking was completely hassle free. Parked the car at 12:15 on board with a drink at 13:15 cases arrived shortly after a massive well done to everyone involved Our room located on deck 7 inside was plenty big enough with a nice big double bed and small seating area the addition of having a water jug and glasses with a fresh water tap on the level was a pleasant surprise. Our shower was missing it’s head but our steward soon had that sorted. I think in total out of the 14 days we saw our steward twice but the room was always well maintained twice a day. One big thing we noticed on this ship is how quiet the rooms are most ships we have been on have paper thin walls so you can hear everything happening. After looking around the ship and finding out the swimming pools are heated bonus.we went downstairs for predinner drinks and this is where the ship falls down in a big way. Most of the evening entertainment is done in the Broadway theatre for shows then the live lounge and atrium. There is inadequate seating in the live lounge and atrium. There is a massive lounge called the venue on deck 5 but this is only used for the game shows a complete waste of good space. Dinner in the main dining area is waiter served you are unable to book a table. If you wish to only use the 1 set of waiters then you take a chance at getting them or take a pager this is something I’ve never experienced before on any ship and have to say I’m not at all keen. Service like the food can be hit and miss. I mentioned the food out of all the ships I’ve been on this one is on par with the majesty not great they seem to of run out of seasoning in the kitchens, and everything seems to of been left on the hot plate for far to long before serving, none of the food is fresh and vibrant,burgers in the snack shack are warmed up when ordered bun and all. On one occasion I gave them back both our burgers as they were stone cold in the middle after that we didn’t eat there again. We did treat ourselves to the surf and turf restaurant on deck 11 something I would urge people to avoid as it’s not worth anywhere near the £28 per person I got my money back when I complained. Last year on the spirit we had 10 courses of heaven as our cruise treat for much less. Breakfast and lunch you either need to get up very early to eat in the buffet area or use the restaurant as people use it as seating area instead of finishing then moving away somewhere eles. I completely understand this was a cold weather cruise but come on it can’t be right people reading,taking photos while others are trying to sit down to eat. As said this was a cold weather cruise so the main pool deck wasn’t needed as much. The other bars didn’t cope with the added pressures with some of the bar staff actually making you feel bad about ordering especially in the atrium where they were more interested in whistling and cat calling a female customer on the deck above, the female waitress said they do it all the time. Not very professional I can recommend the bar on deck 11 which had excellent service the staff made you feel very welcome and you didn’t wait very long for your drink to arrive. This ship does make use of some interactive technology does that some of the staff interactiveness out of the cruise? Yes I think it does especially when booking excursions or wanting to know more about a port. Does the fact it’s an all inclusive ship make a difference yes I think it does especially when the first 2 days of the cruise staff were trying to sell the upgraded all inclusive when the all inclusive has already been added to the initial cost of the holiday. Would I do this cruise again yes I would however I wouldn’t recommend this ship unless significant improvements are made Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We had our first cruise in July - on board the Marella Discovery - and we booked this cruise as soon as got home! Our first cruise was fabulous and we were worried that our second might not live up to our expectations. There was no need to ... Read More
We had our first cruise in July - on board the Marella Discovery - and we booked this cruise as soon as got home! Our first cruise was fabulous and we were worried that our second might not live up to our expectations. There was no need to worry: the In Search of the Northern Lights cruise was also just brilliant! We took a coach from Bolton to Southampton and the boarding experience was fine... about 30 minutes from coach to cabin. There were lots of people to be processed, but there were plenty of staff to process them. Our cabin was clean and well prepared and our bags arrived within about an hour of boarding... all good. We took almost all our meals in the waiter service restaurants 47 Degrees and Gallery 47. The food was excellent and the service faultless. We were always made to feel welcome and the choice of wines and menus in the basic all inclusive package were excellent.... the Merlot, Sauvignon and Pinot Noir were lovely. Service was always prompt, polite and so entertaining! Waiters and Restaurant managers soon learned our names and preferences. They made us feel special. We spent most of on-ship time in the Atrium which was busy at times, especially during performance times... but surely that's a good thing! The waiters and waitresses were wonderful: always attentive and nothing was too much trouble. I cannot commend these lovely people highly enough and it was very sad to say goodbye at the end of the cruise. The basic drinks package is great and the bar staff are tireless. As value for money, I really don't know how anyone could fault it! The most enjoyable part of the cruise was the brilliant entertainment team. We met Roland and Amy, the professional dance couple who introduced us to dance three months ago, and they made us feel very special indeed from the first moment we met them again. The Passion for Dance classes and daily social dances were joyful, exuberant times which we will never forget. Very special people - Amy and Roland! Brandi and Max (Braximusic) also made us feel welcome and their shows were just brilliant! So professional and so talented! They were fabulous performers and also such friendly and considerate team members. We saw them talking and laughing with passengers throughout the cruise... they were awesome! The show team provided a 14-day extravaganza of dance, musical theatre and drama. Their shows were quite simply wonderful: wide ranging and so well sang and danced... something for everyone. We took no excursions, preferring to "do our own thing" and the itinerary was very good. We were blessewd with good weather and so we made the most of the spectacular scenery on offer in the Norwegian fjords. Our brilliant bonus was a 4-day spell during which the Northern Lights were visible every night! Impossible to describe and largely good fortune, but an experience we will never forget! We are a young at heart, retired couple travelling alone and the crew and passengers soon made us feel very welcome. We made good friends and thoroughly enjoyed the ambience on board. We booked our next cruise on Discovery for December 6th this year... we hope to pick up where we left off. Thank you, Discovery Team, for another fabulous experience! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Norway, really wanted see the Northern lights and this cruise ticked all the boxes. So we booked this on an impulse. After booking I checked out some of the reviews and felt a little unsure ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Norway, really wanted see the Northern lights and this cruise ticked all the boxes. So we booked this on an impulse. After booking I checked out some of the reviews and felt a little unsure as to whether we'd chosen the right ship etc. due to some poor reviews, but i needn't have worried as we had a fantastic time & the icing on the cake was actually seeing the Northern lights on 3 nights during the cruise. The embarkation procedure was really smooth, we checked in our luggage, went on board & it was delivered directly to our cabin. We had booked a cabin with a balcony, (No. 6080), it was spacious with plenty of storage, and although we were not able to sit out on the balcony for long (due to the cold weather), it was lovely to stand out when in port, when 'sailing out' and for viewing the northern lights when they were visible in the early hours of the morning. The tea & coffee making facilities were kept well stocked by Joseph & the other members of the housekeeping staff. The cabin was kept immaculately clean throughout the cruise. The cruise was all inclusive, although you could upgrade if you wanted to include premium brands of alcohol. We did not feel that this was necessary for us as the drinks available on the all inclusive included sparkling wines & certain cocktails. The food was delicious & well cooked, we alternated most evenings between the two waiter service restaurants, and also ended up eating breakfast there as well as getting a seat in the self service restaurant was too much of a struggle. We did not go to any of the specialty restaurants as we did feel the extra you needed to pay for them was too much. The entertainment on board was very good with two shows in the Broadway theatre every evening, pianist & live singing in the lounges, and talks during the days. There was always something to do on board. The gym on board was well equipped, I used this during the days at sea, followed by a relaxing time in the steam room. We booked our excursions online prior to the cruise which was easy to do. The tickets for all of theses were delivered to our cabin on our first evening. The excursions were well planned, but, as we normally find with excursions around the world, some sound better on paper than they actually are. But, on these excursions we did get to see the beautiful countryside by coach that we would not have seen otherwise if we'd just stayed in the port area. The whole ship was kept immaculately clean during the whole cruise. All the staff were friendly & service excellent. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise as a bit of an experiment to see if we would like the kind of package provided. Price was good itinerary interesting and we thought why not? Good news is we are now avidly going through future cruise options with ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a bit of an experiment to see if we would like the kind of package provided. Price was good itinerary interesting and we thought why not? Good news is we are now avidly going through future cruise options with Marella who have just surpassed all the others as a favourite cruise line Reason? we liked informality, the genuine nature of the goodwill from all the staff and the relaxed feeling of fun that pervades everything. We were a little concerned that the ubiquitous all-inclusive drinks might create a Laddish or Hennish atmosphere. However this was not the case at all. Instead, the relaxed atmosphere really made the cruise one to remember. Okay maybe food didn’t quite match the heights we have experienced with other providers, but the friendliness of the staff and the like-minded passengers made dining a real pleasure supported by a more relaxed nature of the dress code. The ship felt younger even though many of the cruisers clearly weren’t. We really enjoyed the Broadway shows which were more modern and inventive than the predictable show songs often provided. even the comedian had appeared at the Edinburgh fringe. I have read in all the reviews that the stressful free for all in the islands restaurant has caused concern. Whilst I understand this and feel Marella like many other lines would do well to consider Fred’s policy of organising the seating by a maitre d approach, seems to me that cruisers need to be more prepared to politely share. When we have done this it has opened up a multitude of friendly interesting conversations. Of course this doesn’t suit everybody. Those who prefer their own company should consider other cruising options . With regard to the ports, Bremerhaven was a pleasant surprise. The Climate house was brilliant. Excursions were ok and relatively keenly priced. At the moment we are going off them if there is any feasible on your own option. One new idea was a port walk into the centre of Amsterdam ( free) which was greatly appreciated by the less confident amongst us. We like quizzes, but they can be spoiled by a level of seriousness above their station. Not so here. A right laugh. Anyone need a Marella luggage strap? Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We have never done a sea cruise before. River cruises are our favourite but felt that we would take the plunge and find a suitable 'starter' cruise. Marella Discovery had a good itinerary which just about the right length. So we went ... Read More
We have never done a sea cruise before. River cruises are our favourite but felt that we would take the plunge and find a suitable 'starter' cruise. Marella Discovery had a good itinerary which just about the right length. So we went ahead and booked The European Experience cruise, albeit a little apprehensive about one or two of the reviews we have read. Embarkation at Southampton was very fast. We arived at the dock at 11.30 and were on board at 12:00 in spite of having a 10 minute walk from the car park to the ship. To be honest we were a bit overwhelmed once on board because the river cruise ships have about 120 passengers and Discovery had 1800+ so it was a bit of a shock to the system!!!! Once we settled down and found our cabin and after the luggage arrived, we went to explore the ship. She is spotlessly clean, they are always polishing or hoovering something. The weather for sail away was perfect hot, sunny and calm waters.We spoke to many people who had been on the ship before and even more who loved to sail with Tui. We had our first meal in Gallery 47 which is the upper level of 47 and is Italian. The service was very good, the table was well laid out with a spotless white cloth and it was so good that, even in a full restaurant, there was no problem in hearing what people were saying (we were on a table of 6). Food was good We then went to see the show and I was amazed at how good it was. The cast, sets, technical side were all superb and the seats were so comfortable and everyone had a clear view. The next day was a day at sea and we found that a bit boring but only because we had not got the hang of the ship yet. Once we had been on board for about three days we had worked out what was where and what we wanted to do etc. There was so much choice. All the ports we called at were great and the excursions were very good. The weather was also kind to us. Sailing into Amsteram was fantastic. We enjoyed an early morning round of putting on Deck 10 takng in the views between holes! We had one meal in the Surf and Turf and that was fantastic, a real dining experience and if we sail on Discovery agian we would certainly do that. Ate in the 47 r4estaurant for rest of voyage and all the meals were very good and just the right portions. Shows were all of a very high standard indeed and the performance of songs and dance from Chicago was West End Standard. Ship was stable in choppy Seas and it was comforting to see how quickly the crew dealt with medical emergencies one of which resulted in an air ambulance landing and taking a passenger to hospital, the other necessitated the ship turning back into port to allow a passenger to be taken off. All staff and crew friendly and helpful. No annoying announcements except for essential ones. Cabin comfortable. The duvet cover could have done with replacement but sheets and bed linen clean and new. Shower very good for its size and plenty of hot water. Only sticking point was that in the evenings it was quite hard to find a seat in the Atrium. This was undoubtedly due to the fact that it was dark and a bit chilly on most nights. had this been a summer cruise a lot of people would have been on deck. Would we travel Marella again? Yes I think we would. To sum up this is a value for money cruise and if your trip is destination led this is the perfect way to do it without being saddled with huge bills for drinks and gratuities at the end. The crew do everything they can to make you comfortable and happy and the service in the restaurants and the food does not make you feel like you are on a 'budget' experence. At ports there are lots of staff to guide you to the trips or show you how to get out the the port, so no worries whatsover. Well done Marella, you offer a good pacakge. Read Less
Marella Discovery Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 3.5 3.7
Public Rooms 4.5 4.1
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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