My Cruise Experience of the Tui Discovery 2
Last week I sailed with Thomson Cruises on their new TUI Discovery 2 which has been recently acquired by Thomson and was formerly the Royal Caribbean Legend of the Seas.
I hadn’t sailed with Thomson before and although I had generally had a very positive response from my clients about them I had been a little bit put off personally by the smaller size and age of their fleet of ships.
With Thomson now taking on some of these larger (medium sized in real terms) ships with a more modern design, things suddenly started to become more attractive to me.
Throw in the fact that that Discovery and Discovery 2 are now all-inclusive ships with an all-inclusive drinks package thrown in as standard I thought it would be rude not to give them a try.
As usual with Thomson Cruises the gratuities are also included in the price of the cruise as standard and they are unrivaled with regional flight availability.
We sailed for 7 nights from Malaga and I have to say that upon embarkation my expectations were instantly exceeded. The ship is stunning all over and really well fitted out, alot more modern than I thought it would be.
Service was nothing less than excellent and the crew always seemed happy too, I could not fault any of the crew what so ever. I would like to thank all of the crew who made our cruise so special, in particular a few that I can remember. Cecily, Marvin and Jason from the Bar. Varun our cabin steward. Paul and Vukasin in the Gallery 47 Restaurant. Richard from the 47 Restaurant. I can’t remember your name but the very waiter in the Surf and Turf, everyone who has been or goes will know who I mean.
We had a standard Inside cabin on deck 3. We were happy with the amount of space for what was the cheapest accommodation type on the ship. There was lots of storage space and a large flat screen TV. The only thing missing really was a fridge to keep our water cool. There is a kettle with tea and coffee making facilities in the cabin. There is a free of charge safe in the cabin, you will need to use a personal debit or credit card to lock or unlock this but no charge is made.
The only speciality dining we experienced on-board was the Surf and Turf restaurant which carried a £24.95 supplement. This was most definitely worth a visit in my opinion and good value for money.
The snack shack out on the pool deck is a really good snack bar with plenty of options, they serve nice fish and chips here.
The Islands buffet does a really good breakfast. None of that strange bacon from American ships (sorry Americans) but proper decent British fry up material. There are plenty of tables to eat outside too. I didn’t go here for dinner as prefer a la carte dining at dinner time.
The main 47 and Gallery 47 Restaurants were very good and it was nice to be able to choose from them instead of just one main dining room. I was completely satisfied with the quality of the food although people who would be disappointed if it were not as good as some other alternative cruise lines that charge a lot higher prices might need to have more realistic expectations.
The ships operates an open dining policy in the Main Dining rooms in the evening. We just turned up when we liked and always got a table of 2 every night with no waiting at all.
We did have breakfast in 47 a couple of times but it wasn’t really any better quality than the buffet to be honest and not really much more on offer there.
You will get a lot better idea of what is included and not included by watching my video below.
We upgraded to the Premium drinks package for an extra £50pp for the week but most people will find that they are happy with the standard package with such a large choice included.
The quality of the drinks on this ship as very good indeed, I really could not find any faults with any of them.
I have heard many good things about the entertainment on Thomson Cruises and they are all true. The Entertainment team is large and they are always doing as much as they can to entertain people around the ship. The live musicians on-board are excellent and there are lots of them, I really enjoyed listening to them. There are always entertainment staff around keeping the atmosphere going and getting up to dance with people.
For the dancers out there they do have a dance couple on board and dancing in the Atrium most evenings also.
I didn’t see any of the theatre productions so I can’t comment on them but other passengers that I spoke to on the ship said that they were very good.
We went to watch a comedian, Lee Carroll a couple of times in the theatre who had us in stitches. Good old school, clean, decent British humour.
There are all sorts of other games, quizzes and other entertainment going on round the ship, never stuck for something to do.
Top Tips from my experience:-
Book specialty dining as soon as possible to have the best chance of getting the time and day you prefer.
Go to specialty dining early on in the cruise when you aren’t as bloated from all of the food and drink.
All Inclusive drinks package runs from 10am till 2am, outside of these hours you will be charged in full.
There is a lovely adults only Veranda to the aft of deck 9, this has nicer rattan furniture and is more luxurious, there is no extra charge for this, access through the Glass House then Gym, through the Spa or from a set of steps at the rear of deck 10 near the golf course.
The Glass house area with indoor pool is adults only from 2pm to 5pm.
If you are not on the Premium drinks package any drinks from the Coffee Port shop will have an added surcharge, if you go to another bar like the Atrium bar there will not be a surcharge (for items included on the standard package).
Gallery 47 the Italian Restaurant has two Evening menus that run on a daily rotation.
The main restaurant 47 serves breakfast but personally I think the buffet is better.
Plug sockets in the cabin are dual European/American.
There are three USB charging sockets in the cabin, two below the lamps above the bed and the other on the lamp on the outside wall of the bathroom.
Most bars around the ship will have their own speciality drinks menus as well as the standard one.
My Verdict :-
As far as I am concerned based on my experience on the TUI Discovery 2 I could give it a 5 out of 5. Everyone has different requirements, tastes and budgets and you will never be able to please everyone but I personally though think that Thomson are offering a brilliant cruise product here that with everything that you get included offers exceptional value for money.
I loved the whole relaxed feel throughout the ship, it was relatively informal but at the same time I didn’t come across any badly behaved or rude people.
I have already convinced my dad to book on the Discovery 2 and I would love to sail on this ship again myself.
Once again thank you to Thomson’s and all of the Discovery 2 crew.
Here are some more videos I have made showcasing other areas of the ship.