“I was lucky enough to attend the launch of TUI Discovery and sailed from Palma to Barcelona in the Mediterranean. This was a pre-maiden sailing for TUI Discovery, with agents and Marella staff onboard.
I will be honest I had my doubts with Marella and my expectations were of a budget “does what it says on the tin” cruise line. But now I can see firsthand why a Marella cruise is such excellent value for money.
First ImpressionsWe arrived in the evening and were given private transfers rather than getting on the coaches with everyone else. As we approached, I was wowed by the ship, she looked stunning and all lit up. Check-in was quick and easy so we got on the ship very quickly and were able to go straight to our cabins. The ship looked fantastic and I thought that the Atrium was definitely a standout feature upon boarding. The crew were all very friendly and well presented.
CabinWe had an Inside cabin on Deck 7 which I believe to be an Inside Plus. The cabin was well presented and much larger than I had expected, there was plenty of walking space between the two single beds and a nice seating area with sofa. My only negative points would be that it felt a bit dated and there were a few scratches on the table etc leading me to believe that not everything had been fully refurbished. The ensuite bathroom was compact however no more so than on any other cruise ship. Overall I was very pleased with the cabin, It was clean, tidy and we had large bottles of fresh water daily.
The ShipI can honestly say I was very surprised by the overall decor of the ship and found it to be very nice. The ship felt very spacious considering it was almost full on our cruise. The Live Lounge proved to be a really popular venue with a bar and dancefloor. They tend to have either a live band in here or a virtual band. There is a DJ in the late evening and it becomes a club.
EntertainmentThe Sail Away party on top deck was very good and the staff were very quick at taking drinks orders so that you never had to wait too long at the bar. They also had waiting staff mingling and taking orders.
On the night of the launch there was an amazing show, with a stage set up over the pool, amazing dancers and a performance by Jess Glynne with fireworks.
The live singers and bands onboard were very talented and really added to the amazing atmosphere. We watched ‘Walking on Sunshine’ in the ship theatre which was a lively and fun performance.
Other things to do onboard include mini golf (which was actually a really good sized course) and a Rock Climbing Wall. The cherry on top was the Breakout and Escape Room, something different and great for families or groups.
Food and DrinkIslands – Is a buffet restaurant, I dined in here for breakfast one morning with a choice of breakfast foods like cereals, fruit, bacon beans etc. My only negative would be that they could do with more mugs, we like our tea!
47 – This is the main restaurant and the food was great, good portions and great value. We also had breakfast here with a great range to choose from.
Gallery 47 – This was a very popular venue and it didn’t take long for us to be seated. The restaurant was amazing, the food was easily as good as that which I have experienced on other cruise lines and the service couldn’t be faulted. Highlight menu options included swordfish and anti-pasti.
Snack Shack – We only had breakfast here which was limited however this is normally the place to get burgers, chips and pizza while you are out by the pool, perfect for a lunchtime snack and ideal for families.
ExcursionsI took the West Coast tour of Majorca and tour of La Granja house. This excursion was great, it was well organised and there was no time waiting around. The TUI coaches were comfortable and air-conditioned and I found the Tour Guide to be very knowledgeable and fun. The trip itself was very memorable and I would happily recommend Marella Excursions to my future cruise customers.
Homeward BoundOn the journey home we were luckily enough to fly on the Dreamliner and it was great to see what all the hype was about. The plane itself was massive and very spacious, we had standard seating and the leg-room was like Premier Class on a BA 777. Before the plane took off it showed off its technology with multi-coloured lights and dimming windows. The windows have no blind you just simply press a button and dim until you’re happy. The seats also had nice size screens with a great selection of films, TV shows and Music.
Overall it was a great experience to see why Marella Cruises is so popular and the cruise line really exceeded my exceptions. Great value for money!”
Planet Cruise Weekly
Find out more cruise expert information on TUI Discovery from Keith and Jade in our dedicated Planet Cruise Weekly episode.