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Paul S wrote a review Nov 2021
Cambridge, United Kingdom2 contributions4 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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Sail Date: November 2021
Cabin Type: Outside
Type of Trip:
Destination: Caribbean
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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

205 reviews
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Traveller (321)
Common Areas (112)
Dining and Bars (44)
Itineraries for this ship
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About
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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primpops wrote a review 12 Jan
York, United Kingdom272 contributions191 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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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 contributions8 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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Robin_Anne_01 wrote a review Dec 2021
Thornton, Lancashire49 contributions61 helpful votes
Having put this back 3 times due to COVID pandemic we were extremely grateful for getting away, seeing some beautiful islands and getting a bit of welcome relaxation. Summary as follows:- Room - we were on 7th deck in outside cabin with full floor to ceiling window - floor space actually bigger than nearby balcony equivalents, so bear that in mind if you choose, pretty spacious, loads of hanger space, bathroom adequate and maintained superbly twice daily by Cyrus and his crew. Food - excellent choice at numerous restaurants. We particularly enjoyed the 47deg and Gallery 47 for evening meal and the Glasshouse for lunch, but we did sample every restaurant onboard apart from Sushi Bar and no faults at all. Drinks - Large variety and each bar has different menu, which gives them a bit of uniqueness. You do have to see menu on the App, which is a bit of a pain. The worst part, though, was the table service - nowhere near enough staff for a full ship, and the poor service team were run ragged all fortnight. Spirits and cocktails are low in alcohol content, but you can ask for “strong” ones to get reasonable measures. Entertainment- absolutely superb. The Broadway Show Cast were fantastic - they really were West End calibre shows. The singers, guitarists, pianists and groups were also very good too. Only slight criticism - did we need so much Ballroom Dancing in the Atrium. Great when the pros were on, but several nights it happened for the passengers and nobody looked like getting up. Suggest reducing this by a night or two a week. We also enjoyed the Escape Room on Deck 3 - great idea for a cruise ship. Decks -:spotlessly clean generally (there was a tissue in the pool shower for 2 or 3 days though, so this got overlooked). We generally sunbathed on Deck 10 and walked down a deck to the pool to cool down. Trips - definitely recommend the Best of St Kitts, Rums of Barbados, Sea and See (Curacao), Eco Trek in Grenada, and the Pigeon Island/Pitons trip in St Lucia. The Sun and Rum trip in Antigua was a big disappointment though - crammed beach, not the safest sea to paddle in, and the rum punch was diluted after first drink. Suggest getting a taxi to a better beach and saving money. Weather - generally great (29deg and sunny most days) though it did rain a bit in second week. Crew - all very hardworking and generally friendly, Think they were a bit overwhelmed in 1st week as ship was virtually full; they weee definitely short staffed, And finally …… I won’t deny it - the COVID forms, etc. are a pain. Not so bad from the UK end, but trying to fill in forms and take screenshots when you are in the middle of the Caribbean with limited internet is not easy. Even less so, when Boris changes the rules half way through your holiday and you have to upgrade tea packages. We got no email from Chronomics (we should have done as others did), so couldn’t merely click a link to upgrade, in the end we spent several hours on our last three days trying to sort it out when we could get internet. The reception staff should have been able to contact Chronomics (packages linked with Tui) to help us instead of leaving us in limbo (we did waste money on ship internet too, to try to sort it out in vain). All that said ….. you have to weigh up the faff with finally getting away on holiday. It’s definitely worth going!
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