1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our 8th Cruise, our first with Marella. Previously we have cruised with RC, P&O and MSC. We had previously sailed on Discovery 10 years ago when it was Royal Caribbean - Splendour of the Seas so we knew what to expect. ... Read More
This was our 8th Cruise, our first with Marella. Previously we have cruised with RC, P&O and MSC. We had previously sailed on Discovery 10 years ago when it was Royal Caribbean - Splendour of the Seas so we knew what to expect. The flight and boarding of the ship was smooth and easy. We had an inside cabin and this was small but functional and clean. Marella have tarted up the sink units in the bathroom but the shower is still the same with a curtain, rather than an enclosed cubicle. Freedom Dining: This was a new system to us as we have always previously had a late set dining time. We were a large party of 14 adults and we knew that we would not be able to have one large table, so we split into two groups each night - a table of 6 and a table of 8. Personally I thought this was a good system, we would be given a buzzer which would indicate when our tables were ready and there was never a long wait. I would add that the down side to this is that we didn't have the same waiting staff each night and the service varied considerably, on the whole the staff were attentive and being all inclusive the wine glasses and water glasses were kept filled. However, one evening our glasses remained empty until we asked a passing staff member for more drinks, which he immediately started to fill, only to be questioned by the Restaurant Manager why he was waiting on someone else's table, a short sharp heated exchange took place, which resulted in half our glasses being filled before he walked off very disgruntled! This was awkward and embarrassing for us. Personally I think you get better service on a set sitting on a set table as the waiting staff get to know you and also know they will be tipped if they provide a good service. Entertainment: The bands on the ship were very good, there were some fantastic singers on this cruise. Bar & Drinks: All inclusive package was absolutely fine, I didn't find any need to upgrade as there was plenty of choice in the normal package. We never had to wait too long for drinks to be served. Excursions & Ports of Call: We booked the Catamaran Excursion on our 2nd Day in Langkawi, after a long flight we had to be up early to join the excursion, only to be told when we got to the dock that our excursion was cancelled as the Catamaran had broken down. We took a taxi to a local beach - in hindsight this was probably one of the best beaches of the cruise but at the time I thought how dirty and shabby it looked. There were plastic bottles and waste on the beach and the sea was quite rough with Jelly Fish warnings posted on the beach! I went swimming all the same - no Jelly Fish sighted! Malaysia - Penang The next day we had an excursion to Monkey Beach, despite reading terrible reviews we thought we would like to try it for ourselves. The reviews were not unfounded - the beach was covered in plastic, rubbish and bottles, lots of rundown shacks that need clearing away. I would not use the "facilities" they were too dirty. We had a BBQ lunch on the beach but I was very wary of the hygiene, but hunger got the better of me and I ate some of the chicken skewers which were very tasty and nothing untoward happened. The monkeys all came down to the beach, so you do get to see a lot of monkeys. They were not aggressive but you need to watch your bags etc.. we saw one monkey make off with a packet of pills from one ladies handbag! Another grabbed a can of coke and bit into the can to drink it, I don't think we tourists are making a very good contribution to their diet and well being. On the return journey we had to climb a ladder onto a very rickety pontoon with no handrails, so I would not advise anyone with any mobility issues to attempt this excursion. I actually wonder whether a Tui representative has tried this excursion? Kuala Lumpur - Port Klang By this time jet lag had definitely kicked in but we still had to be up early for our excursion to see Kuala Lumpur on your own. A very clean modern city. Loved the KL & Petronas Towers. Singapore Another very clean city - we used the hop on hop off bus, which goes from the Cruise terminal. Went to Raffles (of course) but a long queue deterred us from waiting for a Singapore Sling. My sister went in but found it a bit of a tourist conveyor belt. Went to the sky bar with the inifinity pool - lovely views but pricey - expect to pay London prices. Finally a Lay in and a day at sea...of course no sunbeds available on deck. One point to note on the sea day - my brother in law went underwater in the pool and came up in agony, something in the pool really upset his eyes. He wasn't the only person either, there were a couple of other guys also complaining of painful eyes after submerging in the pool. Koh Samui - Thailand Got a mini bus for $75 each way for 8 people to Chaweng beach, quite a pretty beach but not clear enough for snorkelling. Jelly fish warnings again but none of us suffered any stings. Bangkok - Thailand We booked the Classic Thai dance and dinner The port is a working port - with nothing pretty to see, as were quite a few of the ports on this cruise. The coach trip to Bangkok was 2 hours - we had an hour in the Night Market before going to the show, the show lasted for one hour with dinner served during the show - a typical thai curry with various accompaniments (we were told it was Crocodile Curry) - good tasty food but it was all over and done with very quickly and we were back on the coach for the 2 hour journey back. In hindsight I wish we had made our own arrangements to see Bangkok on our own - perhaps with an overnight stay in an hotel. Pattaya - Thailand We did Pattaya on our own, again due to the ship departure time we only had a very short amount of time here. Had a look around a shopping centre and went to the beach - nothing much to say about it - beach ok but not pretty like the beaches in the Caribbean. I think it would be better to visit at night to see the lady boys etc.. Cambodia A group of us took the port shuttle bus to make our own way around. However be prepared for a total scrum of Tuk tuk drivers who as soon as the shuttle bus gets out of the port will start to run along side the bus, banging on the windows, pointing at their placards of places they will take you. When the bus stopped I wasn't sure I wanted to get off as there were around 30 tuk tuk drivers wanting our business. In the end two of the guys in our group managed to agree for two brothers to take our group to Sokha which is a beach resort hotel. The short tuk tuk ride took us past the building sites and smells of this area of Cambodia. It looks at present as though the whole region is under construction so don't expect anything pretty. The resort of Sokha however was a little haven. I am sure we paid too much for the Tuk tuks - but it was only $15 dollars each way and the brothers only took payment on the return journey. Sokha has a beautiful pool and access to the beach which looked clean and nice although the sea was a bit rough. Entry to Sokha was $20 each and for this you got a beach towel, and a drink. Vietnam: We cancelled our - Saigon on your own tour as I didn't fancy the long coach trip - 2 - 2.5 hours for a few hours there. Some of our friends did the tunnels and thoroughly enjoyed it although they all felt claustrophobic in the tiny tunnels. The rest of us grabbed a minibus and again went to a local Beach Resort Hotel - this was about 45 minutes away. The hotel and pool were very nice $24 each, this time no drink just a towel and use of the facilities. The beach was full of bitumen and again very rough sea, so we stayed in the resort area. Malacca - Malaysia The last stop before returning to Langkawi for home. This is a tender to shore, very quick and easy, you can walk into the town area, you don't need an excursion. The tuk tuks here are very colourful and blasting out with different kinds of music. You can walk to the Jonker Street area, which is quite busy and near the Dutch Square too. Conclusion: My first time in Asia: Some countries were very clean and modern and others not but that was all part of the experience. In hindsight some of the excursions we booked were not the best choice. There are things I would have liked to have differently but not knowing how easy it was to get around we played safe. I would have liked to see the Mekong Delta and Saigon but both places were 2-2.5 hours away from the port as were some of the other excursions. I expected breath taking beaches and pretty towns but this was not what we got, a lot of the places are in the midst of mass development. The beaches are not good for snorkelling and all the beaches we visited were strewn with rubbish. I think I have been spoilt by the beauty of the Caribbean. But everything added to the experience and it was a holiday I would not have missed. I just don't think I would hurry back...just yet. One final point to note; there was a lot of sickness and tummy upsets on the ship, we heard people in the public toilets being violently ill and heard lots of people talking about stomach bugs! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Change of itinerary! A two hour delay leaving Manchester , flight ok tho , apart from a medical emergency,which had a happy ending . Reasonable drinks service , but the food left a lot to be desired , the breakfast muffin, was ... Read More
Change of itinerary! A two hour delay leaving Manchester , flight ok tho , apart from a medical emergency,which had a happy ending . Reasonable drinks service , but the food left a lot to be desired , the breakfast muffin, was absolutely awful , but Thomson , will have surely changed this by now , as nearly everybody left it. Crew friendly and efficient. Breakfast very good , lunch was a bit disappointing,evening meals were either very good or on occasion , slightly disappointing. Drinks were only average , running out of a number of bottled beers and no beer mats , so lots of dripping tables and drinks . Clearly not enough staff to serve drinks , long waiting times and quest at bars . Ports of call were mostly good , but very long travelling times to main attractions, 2-3 hours each way in most cases . Entertainment, was very disappointing , the two uk guest comedians, were Rudy West & Phil Doyle , both very good if you haven't seen them before , but anybody that cruises regularly, with Marella, will have seen these guys numerous times , anyway two nights missing the theatre isn't a big deal , but what is , in our opinion, is that we had watched all the other shows last February on this ship , apart from the ladyboys of Bangkok , who for some reason , only do one show , so not everybody, can get in to see it and it isn't worth watching on the big screen, we could not go to see this show , even if we had wanted too as our excursion to Bangkok , takes 12 hours , it is advertised as a 10'hour trip but the guide told us before we even left the quay that it would be at least 12 , with 6 hours travelling time due to the traffic congestion. On arrival we noticed a musky smell in the cabin , the night before our arrival , there had been a burst pipe , scalding 4 passengers, whilst asleep in their beds and scaring the others who had got up and stepped into water , this happened another two times during our stay .one couple who used the bottled water in their cabin ,were charged £1.40 for the privilege. As always the crew on board are exceptionally friendly, with nothing to much trouble , just a pity there numbers, have been cut back . Delayed 1 hour , on our return flight , the captain stated , that , this was due to the meals for premium class passengers arriving late . The service once again was very good , apart from one stewardess called Helen , who for the full duration of the flight , was in a foul mood and spoke to the passengers in a very derogatory manner .On one occasion she almost frog marched A lady back to her seat , who was about to use the toilet just as the fasten your seat belt light came on , yes rules are rules but the turbulence wasn't that bad and the lady had been waiting some considerable time and the toilets in the middle of the plane were still being used by some big guys , who she must not of fancied being so offensive to . If the turbulence was that bad , why weren't the cabin crew buckled up , in fact they were sitting on aluminium boxes in the galley ! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We booked a late deal with Tui to go on The Colours of the Far East Cruise from Gatwick on 6th February. The fact that it was on the Marrella Discovery attracted us because it was all-inclusive and we went on this same ship in the ... Read More
We booked a late deal with Tui to go on The Colours of the Far East Cruise from Gatwick on 6th February. The fact that it was on the Marrella Discovery attracted us because it was all-inclusive and we went on this same ship in the Caribbean last year and it was great. The only things that had changed were the location and many of the crew. There was still the same friendly atmosphere from the moment we boarded in Laem Chabang until we disembarked 14 days later. The service in the bars and restaurants were first class and always came with smile and a chat where possible. I appreciated this particularly on deck 10 from Djordje (Barman) and Vladyslav (Waiter/ Barman) and also their supervisor Petre Alin. We normally had dinner in the 47 degrees restaurant which never disappointed with fantastic a la carte food with the 3 courses varied every evening and the excellent service always ensured the food was hot. The standard of the food in this restaurant is a credit to the Executive Chef Paul and his staff. We took several of the Tui excursions and enjoyed all particularly Singapore. A great Cruise thank you to the Captain Hugh and the General manager Demetris. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise for the destinations namely- Thailand, Cambodia,Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. All destinations varied as Cambodia and Vietnam in comparison to the others are a tad behind with the modern World, however we had done ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the destinations namely- Thailand, Cambodia,Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. All destinations varied as Cambodia and Vietnam in comparison to the others are a tad behind with the modern World, however we had done our research, therefore they came as no surprise. We enjoyed having a taster of all the places and Singapore was the cleanest place we've ever visited, it's spotless. Malaysia was fantastic. The cruise experience was mixed due to poor entertainment for us. Emphasis was on game show and quizzes galore. Two comedy acts, one of the Grumbleweeds and Peter Piper a seasoned comic pro. An Asian 4 piece male ensemble, good to be fair, especially the Operatic songs. The Bangkok lady boys show was excellent. Two resident bands one British who were okay. The other Asian who were excellent. Food on board was average to good, service was excellent. 99% of staff are a credit to themselves and Marella all over the ship.....always polite and smiling. Cinema on open deck showed poor films, one night Jaws was on???? Why not put a film on in afternoon instead of quizzes!!!! Films on in cabin were not advertised so you never knew what or when they were coming on? I mention this because the ship was plagued with coughs colds and chest infections. To which I succumbed to myself and could have done with an itinerary when I took to my bed ill. The medical team looked after me putting I.V. Antibiotics into me getting me in reasonable shape to fly home. Cabin steward Willy was top notch along with his team. As I fell ill towards the end of the trip fortunately this did not distract our overall enjoyment. A great taster for this part of the world which has enabled us to most certainly go back. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Check in took place on the ship in the Squid and Anchor, it was ok, there was a lot of people checking you in but still a long wait. (Royal Caribbean are outstanding at check in and getting you holiday off to amazing start) The ... Read More
Check in took place on the ship in the Squid and Anchor, it was ok, there was a lot of people checking you in but still a long wait. (Royal Caribbean are outstanding at check in and getting you holiday off to amazing start) The entertainment was excellent, the team performed 12 different evening shows twice a night, we find that all Marella / Thompson ships entertainment team are the hardest working team compared to the 3 other cruise companies we have sailed with. 2 different comedians, a little old fashioned but it suits the age range. The final show when we docked in Bangkok was the Lady Boys and there was standing room only. We dined most nights in the main restaurant which is any time dining, great service and great food ! Great choice of drinks on the all inclusive drinks package that comes as standard - no need to upgrade. Great choice of different bar areas, we found the best cocktails in Barr 11. Excursions - we did a mixture of booking with Marella and making our own way, some of them cheaper to do on your own and others not much difference. We took one of the guided bike tours which is always a great way to see the local area. Destinations - as always with Marella the stops are very good, over 14 nights we had 3 days at sea and the rest exploring places such as Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpa, Penang, Mellaka, Vietnam, Cambodia and more. Overall we had a great time, we found that the age range was more mixed on this Marella cruise with at least a handful under 30 which is nice for a change. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
fantastic cruise to the far east with marella discovery. we cant fault it in any way. the food in all areas was very good. the all inclusive booze was also very good as was all the staff who served it a special mention to elma ... Read More
fantastic cruise to the far east with marella discovery. we cant fault it in any way. the food in all areas was very good. the all inclusive booze was also very good as was all the staff who served it a special mention to elma the barman at pool bar in the day and live room at night a great bloke very hard working but that was true of all the staff on board. the entertainment was also top drawer the best band was b12 and the singer venus from the Philippines was first class, spoke to her on a number of occasions and she is a lovely young lady and very talented. saw Maurice grumbleweed , we have seen him a few times now and he was as good as ever, we didn't see the other comic. met lots of people and had a great time. we cant comment on sun loungers as we don't use them, we are of the opinion we spend all night lying down with our eyes shut so we don't do it all day as well, much prefer to sit in a chair on deck near the bar having a few drinks and watching the world go by doing the quiz (badly) and listening to the band. we have been cruising now for about 15 years mostly 2 a year and never had a bad one, we don't do land based holidays anymore except for city breaks. trips out we used local people except for city tours when we used the marella transfers to Saigon and kuala lumpur and pattaya, and some places we just did our own thing. all in all very good trip and cant wait for the next one. we have sailed royal Caribbean, princess, marella p and o and ncl last few years we have been mostly on marella because although we haven't been on any that were not good we find that for our needs marella beats all the others if only for the friendly atmosphere and entertainment on the ships Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My wife and I chose this cruise because we wanted something a bit different to the Caribbean , We chose Marella because we have always liked the ships and crews . This was the first time we had been on the Discovery and we were quite ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise because we wanted something a bit different to the Caribbean , We chose Marella because we have always liked the ships and crews . This was the first time we had been on the Discovery and we were quite impressed with the ship , our cabin was a junior suite with a balcony and to be quite honest we could find nothing to complain about it was spacious and very comfortable , our steward kept everything clean and tidy and also gave us a sprinkling of towel art and chocolates on the bed . Regarding the food on the ship we found that there was always something to eat somewhere we ate a lot in the Italian restaurant at night and just snacked at the snack shack in the daytime . The drinks available on the all inclusive were very good and very plentiful and having to show your card was not really a problem as if you did not have it with you you could give your cabin number , Moving on to the entertainment we thought the big shows were not quite as good as on previous ships but there was quite a choice around the ship like game shows in the Squid and Anchor or music in the live lounge . Some of the places we visited were quite an eye opener like Cambodia but we found a tour you can book on the internet with the Don Bosco Hotel School Sihanoukville , You can google it , They do a tour around picking you up at the port gate with English speaking students , They will take you to a fishing village , To a temple then to the Hotel school for lunch after that you will visit the waterfalls then back to the Hotel school for Dinner after which you will visit a local market then travel alongside some beaches back to the port , All the food is included this was one of the best days of our cruise , most of the other destinations were better to book of the boat as you got better value , I would say that the destination services team were not very good if we asked about tours they would just point you to the monitors to book them , On most of the news letters we got it said if you wanted to know about your next stop ask destination services but we found that to be a waste of time , Overall we had a great time it was not perfect but pretty close to it Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We had visited South Africa, Sri Lanka and stopped for three days in Bangkok in September, October and November 2018 with a view to visiting more of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. We returned home in UK for a family wedding and Christmas ... Read More
We had visited South Africa, Sri Lanka and stopped for three days in Bangkok in September, October and November 2018 with a view to visiting more of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. We returned home in UK for a family wedding and Christmas and we spotted this cruise offer in local travel agent window during December. Having not done a cruise previously, we decided to give it a try based on friends and family feedback from other cruises. This is totally our personal view of the experience, which will certainly be different for everyone. I will bullet point only as not wanting to write a book. POSITIVES - Cruise was very well organised and ship was very clean with excellent staff. Comfortable cabin and bed. Flexible eating options. ‘Some’ good entertainment. Different place to visit most mornings. Plenty bars around the ship. Able to find quiet spots even on days at sea. NEGATIVES - One week would have been long enough on a ship for us. Adult only cruise catered more for older generation (55+) with most entertainment. All English on cruise. The towels on sun beds situation. Very limited times on shore. Food became a little bland after a while. All inclusive did not include bottled drinking water. All inclusive did not include WiFi. We feel that as drinking water and WiFi are pretty important things to most, they should be included. A glass of coke was chargeable at bars before 10am. Could not get foreign currency onboard using a bank card at reception and no ATM. Excursions not always value for money or too long. Some ports too far from places of interest. Some entertainment a little poor. Ended up coming home with a severe bout of diarrhoea even though we only ate onboard and always followed the hygiene facilities (unlike a lot of others using the toilets) A different experience for both my wife and me but no more cruising for us. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
have cruised many times but wanted something different for our 40th anniversary. disappointingly, we found out from another cruiser that our stop to cambodia would not be happening due to immigration problems but the person we spoke to had ... Read More
have cruised many times but wanted something different for our 40th anniversary. disappointingly, we found out from another cruiser that our stop to cambodia would not be happening due to immigration problems but the person we spoke to had been informed by their travel agent before they left home so was annoyed we hadn't been emailed at home as we booked online. to replace this stop, we diverted to singapore. shame as we we were scheduled for another stop there later. would have been nice to have two days together rather than separate visits. next stop was vietnam. we did the mekong delta excursion. 3 hours to get there and was disappointed with a grotty , cramped mini bus, yet river was an eye opener to life on the delta. a six hour journey travelling there and back. cannot understand why coach was not used for this 10 hour excursion. malaysia was a delight, especially langkawi. kuala lumpur was a complete opposite to all other malaysian stops. trip to the mangroves and batu cave was excellent. singapore is a wonderful diverse place to visit. it really deserves a week to explore properly. for 1 day visits, buy a one day ticket for the metro, unlimited use for under 10 dollars. spotlessly clean carriages. last stop, koh samui, a tender stop. lovely feel and make sure you visit the temples. you won't be disappointed. our airport was changed from bangkok to a utapau, nearer to laem chabang where you join cruise but not much of an airport. you wouldn't like to be delayed at this airport. entertainment was average to good. the shows were ok but have seen better on other thomson and tui cruises. the best group was b12 who joined the cruise after the first week. the casino was pokey and cramped. food was very good and bars well spaced out. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have been cruising over Xmas and New Year for 6 years now, usually to the Caribbean but when this trip to Asia came up we decided to give it a try. Our flight from Manchester was the inaugural one and so there was a bit of pomp included ... Read More
We have been cruising over Xmas and New Year for 6 years now, usually to the Caribbean but when this trip to Asia came up we decided to give it a try. Our flight from Manchester was the inaugural one and so there was a bit of pomp included with champagne and cake. The flight itself from Manchester was good though long at 11 hours. On arriving in Langkawi there was no substantial delay in getting through the airport to the ship and the boarding process was fairly quick. Having got our ships cards we went to the cabin only to find it was not what we booked. We had booked a cabin with 2 beds and a sofa bed as there was 3 of us. We had been given a cabin with a double bed and an elevated bunk bed which is not practical as we cannot climb into a bunk bed. On complaining to the hotel manager we were told that it was impossible for us to have booked such a room as they did not exist on the ship. This was a barefaced lie as we know they do and have physically seen them. The outcome is that we had to accept another cabin for me which was a workable solution but not too convenient as it was a good distance apart and a bit inconvenient. I can live with ,mistakes being made but not being lied to. Anyway, we had to make the best of it from that point though moving cabins meant our credit card became detached for our account and we had to make 2 visits to reception to get it reactivated. We had booked excursions in advance and were very surprised to find tickets on our beds on arrival for the morning of that day which had already elapsed. A computer mistake I was told on complaining to the excursion desk and new tickets would be issued in a weeks time as the computer can only work in the current week. There were a few mistakes made on issuing excursion tickets and they had to be replaced on several occasions. The trips themselves were a bit of a mixed bag, some excellent and some not so good. The trip to the Chu Chi tunnels in Vietnam was not good as the guide spoke bad English too quickly, did not take care of her party, gave us her life story and nearly lost everyone in Ho Chi Minh city. We were very pleased to have booked the excursion in advance, as many were not available on the ship and the ports that the ship stops at are industrial dockyards up to 2 hours away from anything worth seeing. You simply cannot do much on foot on this trip. A spurious charge for mini bar appeared on my account after a few days. It took 3 trips to reception to get this removed. There is very much a computer says no regime on this ship. The good points. The ship though old is nice and roomy and clean. The food is very good in all the restaurants and New Year dinner was exceptional as was the steak house speciality restaurant. The entertainment team are very good, probably the best I have seen on a cruise ship and we had very good guest acts apart from the comedians who were very average. Service in the bars can be excellent or very poor depending on the time of day. The service in the main restaurant was exceptional. Overall the cruise was good but let down by some mistakes and it was quite apparent that this was the first time they had done this itinerary. We were definitely the Guinea Pigs on this one. If you just want a taste of the far east then this cruise is okay but I will stick to the Caribbean in future. Read Less
Marella Discovery Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 3.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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