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123Eliz123 wrote a review Oct 2021
Warrington, United Kingdom4 contributions8 helpful votes
Aegean Shores Cruise 1 – 8th October 2021

Before l review the cruise l thought l’d go through the process of the forms filling and testing. We booked out tests through Chronomics and the service was excellent. As soon as we booked the tests they provided the reference number you need for both the Greece plf and the UK entry PLF. For the Greece form l filled this in two weeks before departure, all people in your party are added to the one form. As soon as l pressed submit, it was emailed to me instantly.

The next process was the Antigen test required by the ship, submitted not before 9pm prior to departure. Talking to passengers they found this the most stressful and l’m not sure why it has to be after 9pm. However once you log on to register the kit the instructions are easy to follow and again as soon as I pressed submit, I instantly received a link to access the negative confirmation form. But this could have been carried out earlier in the day and therefore less stressful.

On arrival at the ship, we were tested and again midway though. Each day you have your temperature tested at machines located on deck 4. If you fail to do this by 4pm your card is blocked and you are contacted by reception.
The next form to complete is the UK plf, completed no less than 48 hours before returning to the uk. There was guidance on one of the ships tv channels and plenty of cruise staff to help. For anyone nervous about the process, another alternative is to leave all your details with a relative / friend who can complete it for you and then email you the completed form.

At Corfu airport you needed to show your double vaccinated certificate along with the UK plf. Some people were having difficulties bringing the form up on their phone. l’m sure if the ship offered to print the forms at a cost a lot of people would have taken this offer up

The final step is the 2 day PCR test taken once you get home. This can be returned either to a TUI shop or posted.

Onto the cruise. The ship was at 50% capacity so very covid safe. Masks had to worn when walking around inside the ship and when queuing up outside at the bar. The staff wore masks at all times. On the decks more waiters were required so this would have saved passengers having to queue.

Food. The buffet was in operation with staff putting the food on the plate, l hope this continues. There are so many places to eat and the standard was very high. The lunch time fish and chips were amazing! And the afternoon tea lovely. The Glass House turns into a lovely restaurant in the evening, with antipasti sharing boards and tapas choices, all superb. We visited the Surf & Turf one night (£28.95 pp) and the food was outstanding.

Entertainment. The 4 tunes were excellent and the Collection okay but instead of doing short 45 minute sessions l would have liked there to have been one venue where lively entertainment was on all evening, instead of a good group followed by slow piano or guitar music. I’m sure the passengers who like slow back ground music would also prefer this. The saxophone player on the deck was amazing and we would have loved to hear more of this.

Air conditioning. The air-conditioning was set too low with people wearing sweatshirts coats and even scarves. So bring something warm to wear in the evening.

Everything has gone digital and this even includes accessing the menus. My phone wouldn’t connect to the ships ‘navigation’ website so I had to ask for a paper menus which were readily available.

The destinations were excellent and everything was so close so the only trip we went on was to Athens (8km from the ship) The trip was for 4 hours and gave us 2 hours free time to explore. The tour guide Chrisest, was very informative and it was certainly worth the £48pp.
We were due to call at Zante but due to bad weather this was changed to Gythion. This is a lovely place and should definitely be included on future cruises. Thank you Captain Chris!

Apart from all the excellent things listed above, the staff are Marella’s biggest asset and they bring repeat passengers back time and time again. Thank you all for an amazing cruise and we can’t wait to be back again.
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Sail Date: October 2021
Cabin Type: Balcony
Type of Trip:
Destination: Mediterranean
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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

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

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Balcony
Cabin size: 139 - 172 sq. ft.
Connected rooms: 50
Accessible rooms: 0
Maximum passengers: 4
Number of cabins: 270
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Eilidh M wrote a review 28 Nov
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 26 Nov
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 26 Nov
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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janet w wrote a review 5 Nov
Wakefield, United Kingdom31 contributions24 helpful votes
Superb cruise around Greek Islands. Captain Chris is the star of the show! Fabulous entertainment with some new shows, excellent food and service. No problems with extra checks for Covid. Half capacity and chairs more spaced out inside. Felt very safe indeed. Temp. Taken on machine outside main dining room. You were free to get on and off the ship at your leisure. Staff couldn't do enough for you. Book you next cruise!
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Jacky J wrote a review 2 Nov
2 contributions
Just got back a week ago from a short cruise on Marella Discovery. We have cruised many times but this was the first time with Marella I found the pre cruise information by the cruise line was excellent. We were told everything we would need and all the tests we would need and were able to purchase our tests beforehand at a very reasonable price. I was very worried before the trip about things we would need etc. But as long as you get what you are told to get you will be fine. I tended to take as many paper copies of things as possible to save having to look for things on my phone which would have really stressed me out. I made a small folder of plastic wallets and this worked well for us. The staff were incredible and I have to say that Captain Chris was great and was often seen walking around the ship and talking to people. All the staff were very friendly and, as always, hard working. We were in a balcony cabin on Deck 7 and although it was getting a bit tired, it was very clean and our cabin steward was very quick at making up the room even though she had at least half a deck of rooms to service! The entertainment in the theatre was also very good and it was nice to be shown to your seat and to be seated carefully. The hygiene was particularly good and was adhered to by most people. Sanitisers were everywhere and if you did not have your temperature taken by 4pm each day a note was sent to your room! However, although I enjoyed my trip there were a couple of things that I was not happy about. Firstly I did not find the food to be the normal cruise standard. The buffet was very small and except on the first night I was disappointed with the MDR food. This takes me to my next complaint. We had children with us, 4,6 and 8. They were in different age groups so we always had a child with us but I understand this could not be helped and we were lucky that the children were allowed to go to every available session if they wanted to. However, the younger two had a session from 3.30 to 5.30 and then 6.30 to 8.30. When I tried to get food for them in between, the only place that was open was the food shack on the pool deck which just had burgers, hot dogs and chips which they had had already at lunchtime and this was closing at 6 so there wasn’t much left. As the children were the same price as the adults I did not think this was very satisfactory for the money we had paid, Finally and I did think the most unfair thing was that my daughter decided to come on the cruise after us but could not get on our flight and had to come on a later flight. We arrived at the ship at 1pm but she did not arrive until 9.30pm. This was the only flight Tui could offer her! When she arrived with her two children, the dining room had closed the buffet had very little left. Also she had to do her safety check in before 10 so realistically she did not have a four day cruise but a three day cruise but was charged the same price!! Then to add insult to injury her flight was the first one off the ship at 7.30 am!!! To me this was totally unfair! Hopefully, you do not think I have been too negative as we did enjoy the cruise and there were lots of positives but I did feel I had to point out the problems we did encounter.
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