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Maryam wrote a review Sep 2022
13 contributions25 helpful votes
It is a very different experience from any other holidays, even all inclusive holidays. It is a massive operation of about 800 staff providing three meals, snacks and unlimited drink every day as well as various entertainment. You get to spend time both on the ship and on destinations you pass by, and you get to see and talk to people from different places. You can relax or you can go to a party on the ship.
It is generally believed that it is a holiday type for retired or elderly people, which makes sense as everything is planned and very convenient; but if you go as you are younger (maybe not in your 20s but definitely late 30s) you will have a different experience.
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Sail Date: May 2022
Cabin Type: Inside
Type of Trip:
Destination: Europe
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Marella Discovery 2

274 reviews
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Traveller (493)
Common Areas (109)
Dining and Bars (55)
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About
Passengers: 1,836   |   Crew: 771
Passengers to crew: 2.38:1
Launched: 1996   

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Balcony
Cabin size: 139 - 172 sq. ft.
Connected rooms: 54
Accessible rooms: 0
Maximum passengers: 4
Number of cabins: 268
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Ian F wrote a review Nov 2022
41 contributions5 helpful votes
As to date, I have not received a survey form from TUI, so here goes. On the whole the cruise was enjoyable but I can understand the viewpoints of other reviewers. The crew, staff and entertainers were brilliant and hard working. Cleanliness on board was to a high standard but sometimes this was undermined by people not washing their hands after visiting the toilet! My inside cabin was clean but on the small side and there was not much clearance on one side of the bed. The shower was small with a curtain which moved due to the air conditioning but there was plenty of hot water. It was OK as not much time was spent in here. As I am not a sun worshipper I did not get involved with the sunbed fiasco. I did find it amusing seeing people leave their cabins early in the morning with their blue towels in order to grab a sunbed at the first opportunity. For convenience, I only dined at The Islands restaurant. The majority of the food was of a high standard with a varied menu. However, on two occasions the lettuce leaves were "brown" and burgers seemed under-cooked. Generally the bar service was good but some queues formed especially when people requested complicated cocktails or coffee. Is a ticketing system required to avoid queue jumpers? The opening time of the Squid & Anchor should be earlier to serve the bingo ticket queue customers. I enjoyed most of the shows but there were some weak speciality acts. I was concerned that the 6 day Atlantic crossing would be boring but there was always something going on to keep me occupied whether it was a talk, quiz etc. I went on 4 official TUI shore excursions which were very enjoyable. The guides were very knowledgeable. The only port of call I found disappointing was Grand Turk. It was OK if you wanted to sunbathe or have a drink. The prices at the so called duty free shops were very expensive. The cost for connection to the onboard WIFI/internet was very expensive. No doubt this is why people made a beeline for the nearest internet cafe at every port of call. The flight experience from Manchester to Palma and transfer to ship was good. The return from Montego Bay seemed a little chaotic. The documentation procedures seemed long winded but I experienced no significant queues. The airport was busy with three TUI flight queues crammed in to a small area. My flight was 2 hours late due to the late arrival of the incoming flight due to baggage handling problems and the same on the outgoing flight. The flight and food were satisfactory but the breakfast was very rushed. Should start earlier? I had to use my own ear pieces for the entertainment as none were on board. I like the concept of an all inclusive cruise, however I feel like I am subsidising others who seem to spend all day drinking. Also, for hygiene purposes, I would like to see a dress code enforced in the restaurant areas. Would I cruise with TUI again? Yes as they provide good value for money. They must not standards slip for the sake of upsetting a few passengers.
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Andrea W wrote a review Nov 2022
10 contributions1 helpful vote
Wouldn’t holiday with Tui again. This is our first experience and wouldn’t use them again. Late flight, no in flight entertainment on a 10 hour flight and then a 2 hour wait on the Tarmac for a slot to disembark. Cruise terminal not too bad as we were late, but still a long queue. We got a daily text stating our rep was in reception. However it turned out it was referring to the rep at the hotel and not on the ship. We booked a luxury, balcony cabin and it was dated and tired. The sofa was dirty and we didn’t sit on it. The crew were great, housekeeping v good. The top deck was rowdy and rough some days with an excessive drinking culture, however you could find quieter spots but getting a sun bed was impossible. Italian and tapas restaurant were good and food good overall. Squid and anchor great, live room very loud but some great bands. We did very much enjoy our week but there seemed to be little hidden extras that we didn’t pay in our second week in Jamaica. The entertainment was good. Poor organisation when disembarking via tender and on leaving chaos in corridors and in terminal with no direction from Tui team.
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Denise W wrote a review Nov 2022
3 contributions2 helpful votes
Marella Discovery 2 World Not a great cruise 869263590 29/10/22 Transatlantic Discoveries Cruise, 17 nights, Palma to Jamaica. Having cruised for nearly 20 years (& done several similar transatlantic cruises on both Thomson & P & O), sadly this was not the best cruise experience because of the 10 sea days, 6 days being consecutive. In the past we’ve found the sea days very relaxing but not this time because we experienced the worst daily sunbed scramble we've ever known; this happened every single sea day & it really spoiled our cruise. We don’t go on holiday to set our alarms or to get up early in order to get a sunbed, but if you didn’t join in with this unfair activity, then you were left with nowhere to sit outside, you had no alternative but to sit inside. Passengers were known to be out on deck trying to unstack beds as early as 5.30am & once staff put beds out on the top pool deck at 7am, they were pounced on immediately. Once you got a sunbed you were reluctant to leave it (even for the permitted hour) because you never knew what people would do while you were away & if your sunbed would still be available on your return. We saw passengers removing other people's belongings & also cramming other people's sunbeds closer together, (to give themselves more room) leaving no room to access the beds except to climb on the bottom & crawl up. There were rules but people ignored them & when approached by staff, became abusive & aggressive. We knew the rules about sunbeds & stuck to them ourselves but found our sunbed taken by someone else when we returned from a quiz. It transpired that the Passenger Relations Officer had removed our towels by mistake. Despite my protestations, she did not agree with us about the embarrassment & upset this caused, that we were left with nowhere to sit & it really did spoil our day (we had an inside cabin & the last thing we wanted to do was spend our days inside too). Consequently, we were reluctant to leave our beds on the other sea days in case it happened again. The Discovery 2 is not a tall ship & therein lies the problem, there is very little deck space so there were insufficient sunbeds & that resulted in the sunbed scramble. It didn’t help that some people who not only reserved beds (in the sun) but also reserved tables & chairs (in the shade) at the same time too. FOOD: Choice was not as good as previous cruises but there was always something which appealed; depending on what you ordered, some portion sizes were very small although you could ask for more. Please be aware (gentlemen) that you “might” be turned away from the restaurant at breakfast time for wearing flip flops! A young woman requested my OH change his footwear so he obliged even though he had worn them everyday! When others were not turned away, I questioned this & was greeted with a blank expression. It transpired that staff approached some passengers but received short shrift so they allowed these passengers to do as they wished regardless of rules. We didn’t do any of the specialty dining. We were happy with the service at the 47, the Gallery 47 & The Glass House (which had huge portions) ENTERTAINMENT: Very hit and miss. The Blues Brothers were amazing as was Brian Connelly jr. Dem Boyz were fantastic (the lead singer was phenomenal & probably the best frontman we’ve ever seen on a cruise). Vili was good too. The Band Jam was great & we enjoyed the farewell show in the Atrium. Unfortunately some of the other guest artists (magician) were poor - the show team worked incredibly hard & we found the shows to be ok but not as good as previous Marella/Thomson cruises. We took part in the quizzes but people were obviously cheating which amused us as the prizes weren’t brill, a metal straw or one size fits all flip flops 😂. We were particularly disappointed with the Great British Pub Night which lasted about 25 minutes & consisted of a single quiz, nothing more. P & O do a pub night which lasts most of the evening. The bar area being decorated with Union Jack bunting, passengers given flags, sing songs, quizzes, game shows, competitions & spot prizes etc VENUES: We loved the Live Room but struggled to get a seat. We weren’t keen on the pub (Squid & Anchor) because it was more like a lounge with no atmosphere. The lack of a drinks menu was frustrating, the app worked well but it was tiresome having to keep opening it as different bars served different drinks. CABIN: This was probably the best inside cabin we have ever had (apart from the dreaded shower curtain, the bruises from the oversized metal mattress frame & the cases not fitting underneath); we slept soundly every night, it was very quiet with no noise (from staff/passengers/machinery/vibration etc) to disturb us. It was tidied every day, our stewards were the best & we loved their towel folding skills. We didn’t do any excursions. We have done them in the past but have always been disappointed so now we do things our way. Taxis are always available at ports & to keep costs down, we shared with other cruise passengers. We’ve had no problems doing this, we always agree a price upfront & always pay when the taxi returns to pick us up when we are ready to return to the ship. By far the best thing about Marella is their staff who, (with the exception of a minority) were absolutely brilliant, always smiling, always polite & working very hard to make your cruise an enjoyable one. Nothing is too much trouble, they are a credit to the company & we applaud them. 👏 To sum things up, the cruise was disappointing, it was ok but not great & this was the opinion of lots of people we spoke to, with many referring to it as a “booze cruise”. Despite what the Passenger Relations Officer said, the sunbed fiasco had a HUGE impact on our (& others) enjoyment & we will remember this holiday for all the wrong reasons. I think if we do another Marella cruise it will most definitely be a different ship, a different itinerary & a shorter duration with no sea days.
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Dr Malcolm B wrote a review Nov 2022
66 contributions59 helpful votes
We went on a transatlantic cruise to the Caribbean on board Marella Discovery2 in October / November 2022. What was good about the cruise: * The ship visited all the ports on the dates and times advertised. * The cabin was excellent and the stewards were friendly and looked after us well. * A wide variety of free entertainments was available on board - theatre shows, line dancing, dancing lessons, craft courses, lectures etc. All were of a high standard. * A remembrance service was held on board - excellent. * The staff aboard were all friendly and helpful * The cost of the cruise represented good value What needs improvement:- They put far too much emphasis on using the tui 'navigate' app during the voyage. for example: * All bar drinks menus were on the app and varied from bar to bar. * We were told to check in for our flight home using the app. This required purchase of expensive internet access from the ship. Despite trying to log in for the check in process on many occasions at all times of the day and night this was not possible. It caused a lot of stress and upset at the end of the holiday. Passengers were then told to check in at the cruise terminal in Montego Bay, Jamaica. This involved queuing for an hour in the terminal, return to the ship, then once more to go ashore to the terminal for immigration clearance. This took one and a half hours more queuing for hundreds of people in line in the hot sun. This process was totally unacceptable in terms of organisation, particularly as many passengers were elderly. * Internet access on the ship is expensive and very very slow * The food provided was adequate but nowhere near as the high standard on a previous cruise. * The food provided on the long Tui flight home from Jamaica was of a very poor standard. Positive suggestions for improvement:- * Have a standard list of drinks with ingredients available at ALL bars in a printed booklet provided to passengers. This is what happened on a previous cruise several years ago on the same ship and worked well. * The check in process for the return flight needs radical improvement. On the same cruise a few years ago, immigration officers were invited on board the air conditioned ship. Passengers had times allocated to deal with the formalities and all proceeded smoothly and swiftly. PLEASE GO BACK TO THIS METHOD - IT WORKS! * The food provided in 'Islands' self-service restaurant requires improvement. * Some drinks were not available and others were very dilute * Improve the speed of the internet access on board
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Irene W wrote a review Nov 2022
7 contributions6 helpful votes
+1
We’ve just returned from the above 17 night Cruise, it was our first cruise and we can honestly say we would never cruise with Tui again! We paid for a deluxe balcony cabin on deck 7, all inclusive. Wasn’t cheap but felt cheap! It was Benidorm at sea, those people who tell you it is good must have really low standards! Cabins were so dated, food was same and tasteless (who goes on an all inclusive for 17 nights and comes back having lost weight???) staff at reception were useless and really unable to answer basic questions. We couldn’t get a sun lounger for love nor money on any of the days! Same people reserved them daily! Drinks on tap were flat most days. Entertainment was good and house keeping staff were amazing. The two chargeable restaurants were good, but that was it! The biggest disappointment was in Jamaica when we disembarked the ship! Communication was really poor, we were left in a queue for immigration for an hour and a half in 31 degrees midday sun. Only two people at immigration desks working! It was so hot and in the terminal they only had 3 fans on, I asked them to switch on the other fans as we were melting but my request fell on deaf ears. At no point did any of the Tui staff come to sort out the issue. When we were leaving the ship everyone was piling on into the exit area, stairways were full, lifts were coming down full with nowhere to get out! It was total disaster waiting to happen. I told the officer working there that if there was a fire we would all die and he just looked at me! I had high hopes for this cruise but was really let down. People need to write honest reviews or not write them at all, as I wouldn’t have wasted my hard earned money had a read some honest reviews from people with good standards. I’ve attached a video of the immigration queue, although you only see the queue outside the terminal, there was long queue inside the ship and also inside the terminal building. Immigration staff were slow and rude.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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