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Jacky J wrote a review Nov 2021
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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Sail Date: October 2021
Cabin Type: Balcony
Type of Trip:
Destination: Mediterranean
Pools & Sundecks
Onboard Activities
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Marella Discovery

206 reviews
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Traveller (321)
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Itineraries for this ship


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


Cabin size: 139 - 172 sq. ft.
Connected rooms: 50
Accessible rooms: 0
Maximum passengers: 4
Number of cabins: 270
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Grant and Sue B wrote a review 24 Jan
Congleton, United Kingdom37 contributions26 helpful votes
To begin with the flight was delayed by 3 hours, not TUI's fault but they did not give any announcement at Manchester Airport until we were on the aircraft, then waited another one hour for the luggage to be put on board. We arrived very late in Barbados and missed the welcome show. Soon discovered that having paid the extra we were astonished to discover there were only 2 red, 2 white so called premium wines (which were pretty awful) plus they ran out of the Premium Cider after only two drinks. My advice don't pay the extra £240 for a two week cruise it's not worth it. The standard of food was pretty bad (we have cruised before and the food was exceptional with other lines). The soup tasted like stock either beef or chicken. The main course were pretty bland with very fancy names as were the sweets. You could always get extra ice cream if you asked. Bacon was rationed in the buffet breakfast towards the last few days of the cruise. The show times were constantly changed from 7-30 to 8-30 so it was difficult to arrange to have dinner at the same time each night and due to Covid amongst the performers 3 shows were cancelled. The staff were first class throughout, very helpful and friendly at all times. Another 3 hour flight delay at Barbados airport again with no announcements being made by TUI representatives. This was our first cruise with TUI and we have others booked, so we hope that there will be a lot of improvement on our next cruise on another ship.
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primpops wrote a review 12 Jan
York, United Kingdom273 contributions196 helpful votes
After the stresses of testing etc we were relieved to get on board for our cruise and stay holiday. Fab to be taken straight from plane to the ship without having to go into the airport. Everything very straightforward and constant cleaning and handcsanitizing. Cabin was inside on deck 7, very convenient for all the restaurants, pool etc. it’s a fairly small ship so very easy to find your way around. cabin was lovely and clean and spacious and was attended twice a day by Lawrence, Jebril and Cyrus who were fantastic. Sadly Covid was on the ship, discovered by routine antigen testing onboard. Asymptomatic passengers were quarantined into cabins at rear of ship but we were unable to cruise anywhere due to them being onboard. Despite this disappointment the ship crew did all they could to make our floating hotel as good as it could be. Food was excellent in all the restaurants, inclusive drinks were a godsend even if there were a few who abused this!!! Entertainment was plentiful and good. With the ship being only 60% full we nearly always managed to get a sun bed and the staff worked extremely hard. There were a couple of occasions when it was busy due to the ship not being allowed to berth so we were at sea and some passengers were embarrassingly rude to the bar stewards who were doing their best to supply the demand of alcohol!! There were quiet spots on the ship to avoid these situations and most guests we spoke to were having a fabulous week. Unfortunately the following weeks cruise was cancelled due to C and all passengers were offered flights home early. A logistical nightmare for Marella/TUI but Captain Alan and his staff kept everybody informed at all times what would be happening. We really enjoyed the ship and will sail with them again.
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3 Helpful votes
Christine F wrote a review 4 Jan
Heysham, United Kingdom219 contributions113 helpful votes
Well we have avoided cruising all our lives due to fears of large ships and being out on the ocean.....what a mistake we've missed out on another way of life. This company not only put us at ease with all the needed covid rules we were checked each day the best antigen testing we've had friendly clean wonderful staff from the moment we arrived at the port until getting back on the transfer bus to the airport...the systems in place were quick streamlined and efficient making it a very stress free way to travel...the islands we got to visit and the optional tours available to all abilities was incredible a beautiful ship. Thank you to our wonderful cabin lads Cyrus, Laurence and Jebril took extremely wonderful care of us from the moment we appeared to our sad farewells at the last minute ensuring we were eating and drinking and resting properly at all times couldn't do enough to assist us. Lester our wonderful server at dinner in Islands we wish you luck in your career with Marella you are fantastic Kamara didn't matter where he saw us even when off duty took the time to assist us and take care of our needs and a lovely hello to Rachel and Callum at the climbing wall go see them they're great. After seeing other cruise ships at port we didn't care for any of them we'd definitely use Marella again we've been converted forever and we thank you it was the holiday of a lifetime and we'll never forget our time with you all thanks Captain Aland and team for making us safe showing us beautiful destinations with a great nights sleep on the seas take care all stay safe and thank you
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Craig H wrote a review Dec 2021
11 contributions1 helpful vote
It started of at premium check In we were stood there for 1hr while 4 staff had a conversation!!.. we git refused the no1 lounge that we had pre booked with tui as it was to busy. On board the ship I had paid for premium all Inclusive and when I went to the bar and told I wasn't premium. When I went to reception see what was going on I was spoken to in the rudist manner I felt like I was a piece of dirt on the bottom of the receptions shoe.. after paying anougher £240 in cash on a so called cash less ship!! I got premium. I then remembered I had the proof in an email. So I should the email and I got told I couldn't get a refund. Day 2. Woke up to the misses having a asthma attack and I had locked her inhalers in the safe with the money. The safe wouldn't open so went to reception and got told that it wasn't there problem and I'd have to wait!!!! I had to borrow an inhaler of anougher passenger who over heard. VERY SAFE ON A SUPPOSIDLY COVID FREINDLY SHIP. When we had to do the lateral flows coming into barbadoes he rubbed it on my top lip. When I asked should that not go up my nose. He winked at me and SAID DONT WORRY NOBODY FAILS WE DONT DO COVID ON THIS SHIP!!! trying to get hold of any1 is a joke got a email saying some1 would be in touch within 14days it's not 30days and no contact.. This was my first cruise and it has left me very disappointed and put me off going on anougher
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lynn w wrote a review Dec 2021
Solihull, United Kingdom10 contributions9 helpful votes
Had a brilliant fortnight on Marella Discovery . Firstly, let’s remember Tui could have cancelled due to COVID again! as plane (Dreamliner) and ship on half capacity so they must be running at a loss so for those complaining ‘not as good’ just be grateful to have been able to get away !! We visited 11 islands in 2 weeks each and everyone just beautiful. The staff on board are delightful, always smiling and going the extra mile. We ate lunch in the islands on 2 sea days and waiter service restaurant each evening, the food was lovely (again especially under the circumstances ) and wonderful staff. The shows in the evening were fantastic a different one each evening well done to the team (you should be in the West End) Honestly believe we were safer than back home, yes hassle testing before flying to Barbados but so worth it once arrived. Cabin was lovely, and looked after by the lovely Tamara and her team thank you. If considering this cruise line …. Just book it!
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