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phizbec wrote a review Oct 2021
Uk31 contributions13 helpful votes
Just back from a wonderful week cruising around the Greek islands. Itinerary so enjoyable with great stops. Food great ( except for personal disappointment with such small selection of gluten free food at breakfast/ afternoon tea especially, but also sadly, in general. Yes, gf rolls available at all times- but became so fed up with the little bread rolls, and sooo longed for some sweet croissants/pastries. At tea time- tiny, hard scones with one or two gf sandwiches and the odd gf piece of cake. Come on- you could do so much better.)
The crew are akin to a large, close and supportive family, they cannot do enough for you and are all so delighted to be back together after so long without passengers. The evening shows in the theatre are totally incredible, so professional with a cast that would not be out of place on the west end and some of the costumes held a total “wow factor”. Ship not yet running to full capacity, great when looking for seats etc and during theatre performances when directed to spaced out seats by the hosts - but sadly, also means that Marella are only making a reduced capacity profit, let’s hope for full cruising soon. Top marks for all Covid safety measures, tests the night before, tests on arrival at port, half way through week and 2 days before return. Daily temperature checks via little stand up machines, masks at all times when inside and even mid week cabin fumigation. Another liner we were following had minimal measures and were very impressed by ours.
The day before return, passengers did find the uploading of tests and the completion of the Passenger locator forms tricky and some spent a very stressed couple of hours sorting it all out - which somewhat took the shine off their last day on board. Others, however, were lucky enough to sail through the test, uploading of pic and the pl forms, just as well as the reception queue grew by the minute! (Luckily, the return tests will no longer be a requirement due to easing of restrictions.) A special locator form help session was put on to ensure guests were able to complete their forms - indeed, over a dozen crew members gave up their free time to volunteer at this session to help out - this further illustrates the passion of the wonderful crew, under the wing of the fantastic and humorous Captain Chris.
Thank you Discovery for a memorable and relaxing cruise and look forward to seeing you soon.
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Sail Date: September 2021
Cabin Type: Balcony
Type of Trip:
Destination: Europe
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Marella Discovery

188 reviews
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Traveller (314)
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Itineraries for this ship
Itinerary

Overview

About
Passengers: 1,830   |   Crew: 753
Passengers to crew: 2.43:1
Launched: 1996   

Cabins

Balcony
Cabin size: 139 - 172 sq. ft.
Connected rooms: 50
Accessible rooms: 0
Maximum passengers: 4
Number of cabins: 270
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DVW69 wrote a review 1 Dec
Norwich, United Kingdom82 contributions38 helpful votes
Booked cruise in early part of year and spent the rest of the time up to mid November looking so forward to it. Very impressed with Tui Dreamliner, with excellent food and drinks and service. Paid extra for premium cabin, well worth it. Arrived in Barbados for two week cruise and smooth transition to ship where for the first week we had about 1000 passengers onboard. Sadly the mix of passengers seemed to favour quite a lot of folk that didn't seem to think the Covid measures asked for by Tui were needed and often we found people without masks where they should be wearing them, more people in lifts than allowed, people hogging sun beds but not occupying them, people drinking too much then sleeping it off and getting very sunburned so cooling off in the two pools and shedding dead, sunburnt skin in the pool! We found some passengers very aggressive and unpleasant to be around such that we kept to our cabin and balcony quite a lot. Did lots of trips as keen to see new islands and found some very good ones (Catamaran and snorkelling trips especially) but some were dreadful but this is very much about what 'floats your boat'. Some folk for example thought De Palm Island day trip was fantastic, we didn't, but if you like lots of people squeezed onto a holiday camp type resort with cheap drink and fast food, sun beds so close to each other it was difficult to move comfortably and then sharing the sea with far too many folk then great....but wasn't for us! There was a great deal of entertainment on board and again, if you like that sort of holiday it was great but if you want somewhere that is quiet and calm but still in the sun, forget it as on Discovery this doesn't exist...or didn't for our two weeks. We had a larger cabin as we thought that if Covid requirements needed us to isolate more in rooms we would have a bit more space but we were not aware that the pool deck held a lot the activities both throughout the day and on some nights. Late night parties were held once the fist week and twice the second. We had stomping and loud music until well after 1am on two occasions, could often hear the deck being washed in the very early hours and any movement sounded quite loud. Again, if you like partying until the early hours then this is fine however if you like to get to bed/sleep by 11 pm to midnight DO NOT book a cabin on deck 8 near the pool area. If you are a light sleeper too then go down a deck! We ate at both speciality restaurants more than once and enjoyed the excellent food and service, we found 47 degrees very nice too and the quality of food was very good. A dietary intolerance was catered for very well by the pleasant, accommodating staff but you needed to know about telling them about this and then understanding that each day you needed to tell them in advance what you would like for lunch and supper so they could cater for intolerance. This worked very well. If you can afford it go for the premium drinks package as the wine (very nice white called Ampora) and sprints are far nicer. You need to make sure you ask for the premium choice otherwise you will always be given the cheaper drink. You will also need to be patient as service is slow because not enough waiting staff. Second week saw a further 400 passengers so we had 1400 onboard and there was a noticeable decline in service and how long we had to wait for both drinks and food and even space in restaurants. Less wait if went to buffet restaurant but food less good although restaurant very nicely appointed. Only served non-premium drinks there though. We ended up eating early at 47 to get a table without waiting. Also seemed that folk got even more unpleasant the second week if they didn't get what they wanted. Just a bit of a shock to see grown ups behaving badly. We appreciated that things might be a little challenging with Covid restrictions, some islands did not allow free visiting and we needed to be on a tour to visit but accepted this as part of actually being able to get away. We struggled with a lot of the holiday as it seemed to feel like a floating holiday camp where you couldn't really find any outside space that was calm and quiet that actually had bed chairs free or even seats. We have cruised about 8 times before and have never looked forward to coming home.......until this one. There were certainly positives: the crew were great, food very good, premium drinks good (when you get served), nice cabin (if it wasn't being stopped over the roof), lovely cabin staff and some of the trips very good. The negatives were that it was just too noisy, no possibility of avoiding noisy and often rather pushy folk (goodness what it is like when the boat has full passenger capacity), pool filthy pool after a days use, Covid guidelines not adhered to, slow service. The return home was poor, we initially had a good transfer off boat to busses to airport but then it fell apart. End up spending 3 hours in airport so be prepared for this and then we had further delay of about a further 1.5 hours. Departure gate was not correctly given and folk ended up pushing quite aggressively to get in queue for correct gate and onto bus for plane. Not pleasant and clearly people were getting stressed. We then had to wait another little while to actually depart so we were well over 2 hours late after our 5a.m. slot before we actually got in the air. Would be go back???? Probably not as perhaps a larger boat isn't for us but then again we now know what to avoid and if the itinerary was somewhere we wanted to visit then we would consider it as Tui offer very good value for the money spent, we would just be careful where we went and what cabin we booked!
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Paul S wrote a review Nov 2021
Cambridge, United Kingdom2 contributions3 helpful votes
Not a great holiday and having done a cruise on this ship in January 2020 we were so looking forward to a lovely holiday. Operational staff, restaurants, cabins, bars and shows unbelievably hard working. Senior mangers good but short staffed. Officers universally absent. I tried on about 4 or 5 occasions to get someone to come and speak with me but they couldn't be bothered. 2.5 hours standing in queue at Birmingham. 1 hour sitting on bus outside terminal in Barbados with no air conditioning because a few stupid passengers opened the windows. 2 hours standing in queue in terminal in baking heat waiting to get onto ship. Covid restrictions in place but not enough bar staff or bar waitresses which meant that the few were worked off their feet. Daily constant flow of inane and loud chatter, trivia quizzes or music on pool deck which made it impossible to read a book quietly. The usual problem of all the best sunbeds being reserved by people from about 8am and kept all day even if they were out on excursions or having meals. Great shows and cast but why oh why did we have to suffer and watch an overly homoerotic show called Diva on the last night. I do not wish to see men dressed in glittery shorts and high heeled laced leather boots acting camp. The ship was half-full on week 1 and yet even so the problems surfaced early on. The second week was about 80% full and the problem were magnified. 3.5 hours on the penultimate day trying to fill in paperwork for the return and another 3.5 hours on the last day and still we were not 100% complete. To charge £8 an hour for internet connection to £90 for a fortnight with a inisculae data handling is shocking. We bought a 9 day package and without downloading anything we were told we had used up the pathetically small allowance after 12 hours. Big groblems at Birmingham on arrival home nearly two hours before we could get off the plane but that was not TUI's fault.
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Eilidh M wrote a review Nov 2021
Aberdeen, United Kingdom12 contributions4 helpful votes
This holiday was just brilliant. It was very good value for money £846 for one week, really wish we could have done two weeks. It was a time consuming hassle getting all the paperwork & testing sorted out & of course added to the cost. I would totally recommend getting the CHRONOMICS test kit - £30. Tui have partnered with them & it is so efficient and easy to use. We went straight from the runway to the port and check-in was relatively quick. We thought the excursions from Tui were expensive and only booked one. You can easily walk straight from the ship to towns. We felt safe on the ship with COVID measures being adhered to. Ship only had 1100 passengers. Staff were fantastic, couldn’t do enough for you. We ate everywhere except Koro la and enjoyed every meal we had. The surf & turf at £21.95 cover charge is definitely worth it. The tapas in the glass house is also excellent. There’s really no need to upgrade to premium drinks package, we’re quite big drinkers and got everything we wanted! As a lot of reviews have said WiFi on the ship is not good, people who had paid for it were also not happy. Tui via their app do allow you certain usage, but when we couldn’t get flight boarding passes for coming home, the reception staff had no hesitation in doing it for us. The completion of the PLF before coming home was a pest as the WiFi was so slow, you do need to have patience. However, the WiFi at Barbados port is fast. We love sailing with Marella, this was our 3rd time and won’t be our last. The transfers and check-in are always in our experience seamless and speedy. It really is excellent value, especially if you book just at the right time because prices do fluctuate. Tui really do know how to look after you.
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David S wrote a review Nov 2021
Plymouth9 contributions1 helpful vote
TUI prebooked flights seats change outbound without being told, luggage allowance paid for then taken away , cruise cabin downgraded due to overbooking and due to errors by TUI premium fight seat paid for then cancelled by TUI AVOID TUI AT ALL COST. DISGRACEFUL
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Roving29093070852 wrote a review Nov 2021
1 contribution
We have been on a 19 day cruise on Marella discovery between 26/10/21 and 15/11/21. First the foods great I loved the food. The misses not so much. The service is friendly but slow and awkward. This is apparently because of covid. like you cant help yourself to the buffet. you cant go to the bars either. A waitress has to bring your drink to you and there's not enough of them. The room was good enough very clean. They clean too much.The house keeping are about most of the day. The shows are really good. The live singers are excellent really talented but I don't think I can watch anyone for three weeks. After the first week it was all the same songs again. We went on three excursions. One was absolutely rubbish, one wasn't very good and one was excellent. I would expect tui would vet the excursions that they sell you. The gym is good best gym I've had on holiday. The internet is rubbish and expensive. Didn't realise how much I depend on the internet. The internet is so bad you might as well say there's none. I was told they exchange currency on the ship but they only exchange cash for cash. There was a tv in our cabin but there's no channels. There's a cinema screen but its not on every night. On the whole I had a great holiday its a lovely ship just a few little awkward things that spoilt it a little bit.
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