Our Verdict On The Brand New TUI Discovery
June 27, 2016
As you’ve probably heard, the TUI Discovery is Thomson’s largest vessel yet and was originally Royal Caribbean’s Splendour of the Seas. As part of the re-brand that will see the whole of Thomson transition to TUI, this 69,130 ton ship has a capacity of 1,830 passengers and is completely all inclusive. As ever, the lucky www.CRUISE.co.uk team have just been on-board! Keep reading for our exclusive look into this new and exciting ship…
Did you know? The TUI Discovery is the first ship in Thomson’s fleet to be completely all inclusive. Make sure you make the most of it if you’re going on-board!
Our specialist cruise consultant Steve told us: ‘From when TUI was the Splendour of the Seas, you now wouldn’t recognize it! They’ve toned down the brighter areas so everything looks more modern and calm. It’s still remained as traditional cruising just with a lot of modern touches. Plus the ship isn’t overly large so isn’t a pain to walk from one end of the ship to the other- always a bonus!’ Read more about Steve here.
Our team found that there was a different type of atmosphere in every bar, lounge, restaurant or area of the ship and the bars were the places with the most atmosphere.
Our specialist cruise consultant David told us: ‘Everything seems more lively in the evenings on-board but luckily everything is now soundproofed, so not a problem for those wanting some quiet time. The Viking lounge bar had a great atmosphere, it was split into three areas: Asian cuisine, a steakhouse and a cocktail bar. The cocktail bar felt like the top floor in a trendy bar in London with great views and a classy feel’. Read more about David here.
Like most ships you’ll find a theatre in the form of the Broadway Show Lounge, the ship’s main entertainment venue, and it’s debuting 11 new shows for its guests. Movies Under The Stars is a popular one for a lot of ships and this time it is a first for Thomson where you can watch classic movies and the latest releases too under the stars with blankets, popcorn and hot chocolate.
Our specialist cruise consultant Steve told us: ‘My favourite place on an evening was Live Lounge, the vibe was very chilled there and there was a brilliant pianist who even let me sing Elton John into the microphone next to him as he played! For something a little more lively there was also a top deck party with a Caribbean band playing for everyone, that was cool too.’
There are several bars to choose from on TUI Discovery: Bar Eleven is at the highest point of the ship and transforms into a disco the later the night gets, Venue is one of the bars defined with high tech entertainment- you’ll find LED screens for family game shows and interactive shows for the kids.
You’ll find the best selection of on-tap beers in the Live Room where you can wait for the atmosphere to build through the night with its signature piano and dancefloor classic. The atrium is always a popular choice for grabbing some champagne and enjoying the entertainment from afar.
Our specialist cruise consultant David told us: ‘There was also a virtual band playing in the Live Lounge too which felt very modern, something the kids would be amazed at too. We noticed there was only 3 casino tables too- it seemed like Thomson didn’t want to waste any space that no-one would use, they really make sure every part of the ship is used for a variety of things. They’ve really put thought into there being enough areas to suit everyone.’
All cabins on-board TUI come with air conditioning, a flatscreen TV, wardrobe space, hairdryer, a safe and tea and coffee making facilities (the most important thing!) Thomson even cater for solo travellers with inside and outside single cabins where the twin beds convert to a queen-size double bed if needed.
Our marketing director Sukie told us: ‘The cabins are still in the same style but you can’t tell at all! Especially considering the age of the ship- completely new décor and still a lot of room with plenty of storage space. All of the new carpets are subtle and more modern without any sort of garishness.’
You can expect the usual choice from inside, outside, balcony and deluxe cabins but there’s an answer for families too with the family suites (they hold up to 7 people with separate rooms, fold down beds and two bathrooms!)
Our specialist cruise consultant Steve told us: ‘All of the suites are named after older ships and there’s even deluxe cabins that have Clarins products and a staircase that goes directly into the spa area (there’s even buttons on the loungers in there that brings the waiter over to you!)’
There’s seven restaurants to choose from including the ship’s main restaurant that’s split into two floors and two eateries; there’s also two a la carte spots where you’ll have the best sea views as you dine.
Our specialist cruise consultant Dave told us: ‘The main restaurant is a great place to dine with its two floors: 47 degrees and Gallery 47. 47 degrees is finished with colours that remind you of the seaside and Gallery 47 that’s a classic Italian restaurant. 47 degrees is the latitude of Saint Nazaire which is where the ship is built! It’s clear no detail has gone amiss with TUI Discovery.’ Read more about David here.
You can also choose from the Surf and Turf steakhouse, the Deck bar, Kora La- Thomson’s signature pan-Asian a la carte spot- or Islands, the ship’s buffet spot.
Our specialist cruise consultant Steve told us: ‘There’s the Snack Shack too which is unique in its festival themed food stalls and its feel of British beach huts. It’s an easy grab-and-go place with colourful seating too. There’s lots of food choice on-board and a real innovative use of space to give the guests real variety.’ You can read more about Steve here.
The ship’s atrium has taken over the heart of the ship with five storeys, panoramic windows and cabaret performances (and even cocktails with the cabin so expect class and a real feel of exclusivity).
Our marketing director Sukie told us: ‘I felt like the ship was almost like an upgrade from an all-inclusive resort, it’s a clear step up from the other ships! The staff are known for how nice they are and this didn’t disappoint for me: the cabin stewards go the extra mile and make sure that guests feel like they’re being well cared for.’
You’ll even find internet lounges on board and designated wi-fi zones signed by a logo. The ‘out with the old, in with the new’ feel offers you touch screens on ever deck telling you where you are and what’s happening that day- even the back-lit LED menus in bar 11 accompanies the technology brimming from most details.
Our specialist cruise consultant Steve told us: ‘There’s so much detail and innovation we found on-board that you just wouldn’t think of. For example, all the stairs facing the front of the ship are yellow and the ones facing the back are red so you always know which direction you’re in and don’t get lost! There’s countless technological touches too, from the wifi to the touch screens you can use to check your account or make on-board reservations’.
Our team have given us their final verdict on TUI Discovery from their favourite things to what facilities they were most impressed with. This is the ship that has the largest show lounge and spa in the entire fleet, 915 cabins, 2 swimming pools, 7 restaurants, 8 bars and lounges and an outdoor movie screen.
On-board there is everything from a kids club for 3 to 11 year old’s to enjoy arts and crafts, movie nights and games, to the Veranda- an adults only sunbathing area with views of the horizon.
Our specialist cruise consultant David told us: ‘This ship is great for families, there’s plenty of areas for the whole family and I know my son would love the teenage arcade. Every day has a different theme for kids and a soft play area for the young ones. It’s also a ship just for relaxing as well as enjoying activities and entertainment; it’s never too crowded to find somewhere quiet or peaceful to relax especially just for the adults’.
So that was www.CRUISE.co.uk team’s verdict of their time on-board TUI Discovery. Are you a fan of Thomson? What would your favourite feature be? Are you impressed with the modern makeover or are you a lover of the traditional décor? Let us know your thoughts below!
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