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Voyages of Discovery January 2011

Voyages of Discovery January 2011

Postby JollyJill » 29 Mar 2011 13:38

We joined the ship on 3rd January in Barbados. The Virgin flight was part of the package, which was on time and the transfer from the airport to the ship was swift with no hassle.
Although we had booked a similar cabin as before, we were lucky enough to have been upgraded to the Pacific deck, which had 2 large windows and was generally more comfy than we had previously experienced.
The ship stayed in Barbados overnight and didn't sail till late the next day, which meant that we were on a beautiful beach and in the Caribbean sea by 9.45 am after a good night's sleep.
We had booked this second cruise before we had sailed on her in June. Having had problems and a general feeling of disappointment, we were naturally a bit concerned that we would feel the same second time around.
I am delighted to report that it was not the case as the problems that we had previously encountered did not repeat themselves-with the exception of a short term air-con breakdown whilst in Brazil.
The food was marginally better, although not 5 star but then Discovery is not a 5 star ship and you get what you pay for.
The entertainment was a great deal better. The cruise director Alex was on a learning curve back in June as she had only just taken up the position and had not worked on a ship before. What a difference in 6 months-she is now very good at her job. The Romanian trio, as the previous review states, were truly excellent and a joy to listen to.
The troup of 6 young entertainers, in my opinion, were also excellent. They provided a wide variety of shows which appealed to the age group of the passengers. There were 4 girls and 2 chaps who sang, danced and acted. We were treated to music from Rogers and Hammerstein, Broadway shows, a WW2 singalong, a Murder Mystery evening, 2 short Alan Ayckbourn plays. All were performed with great enthusiasm and talent.

The staff on Discovery were, as always pleasant and happy to oblige. Some of the crew have been on the ship for years which is a fair measure of their job satisfaction.

The only criticism I have is the ship's excursions. We mostly did our own thing but the 2 excursions we did book were overpriced and badly organised so that was nothing new from our first time around. The itinerary of course was magnificent, which is why we booked in the first place. We were of course disappointed that we couldn't sail into the Orinoco river but that was due to water levels and was unavoidable.

Would I sail on Discovery again? Most definitely, if we fancy the itinerary.
Quality of Food
We ate breakfast and lunch in the Lido. First sitting in the MDR for dinner, except for the night we ate in the yacht club.
Entertainment
All the shows by the 6 youngsters were excellent as were those performed by the trio. We thought that the duo were ok but the repertoire was limited and we often felt that the female singer didn't understand the lyrics.
Shore Excursions
The best ship's excursion was the boat to Lake Maica in Santarem. The rest were overpriced and disappointing.
Staff
Our cabin steward Joel was great as was the cruise director Alex.
Children's Facilities n/a

Onboard Activities
There were plenty of activities provided, especially on sea days. The port lectures were excellent.
The cabins could have been a bit more spacious but the was adequate storage space.
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Re: Voyages of Discovery

Postby Dave » 29 Mar 2011 15:54

Which year was that Jill?
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Voyages of Discovery

Postby Dave » 19 Nov 2011 17:30

A Voyages of Discovery video for small ship lovers: :D


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Re: Voyages of Discovery

Postby JollyJill » 14 May 2012 13:27

IT WAS WORTH ASKING

We are booked on Discovery for the Nordic Wonders cruise in July. When I booked it, Plunky commented on the cost as he thought it quite expensive., however we thought that the price was probably because of the itinerary.

I was somewhat fed up when I read on the forum attached to the the TA with whom we booked and an email from Voyages of Discovery today. It would seem that this particular cruise must be undersold because the same grade cabin as the one we booked is now selling for approx. £450pp less than we paid. :o

After stewing for a while I decided to give the agent a call. She was very helpful and understanding and kept me on the line whilst she called the cruise line. The upshot is that we have been given a complimentary upgrade to a much better cabin.
OK, we probably wouldn't have paid the extra ourselves for the upgrade but at least I feel that we have a bit more for our money.

I realise of course that price reductions sometimes happen and by booking so far in advance, you can end up paying more than someone who leaves it until much later. Fortunately, this is the first time this has happened to us.

Has this happened to you and if so, did you get any recompense?
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Re: Voyages of Discovery

Postby Dave » 14 May 2012 14:44

Well done Jill! There's never any harm in asking and it can certainly pay. I can't say it's happened to us, mainly because I make a point of not looking at the price once we've committed ourselves.
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Re: Voyages of Discovery

Postby JollyJill » 14 May 2012 15:05

Dave wrote:Well done Jill! There's never any harm in asking and it can certainly pay. I can't say it's happened to us, mainly because I make a point of not looking at the price once we've committed ourselves.


I never do either Dave but the reduction in price was thrust in my face on this occasion. I've just read that with the cabin upgrade we've been given, we get champagne and fruit in our cabin when we embark.
To be honest, I would have preferred to keep our original cabin and been given some on board credit but I'm surprised we got anything. Even our TA was surprised. :)
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Re: Voyages of Discovery

Postby grannyM » 14 May 2012 16:07

I suppose it's better than nothing Jill. Which is exactly what we got from HAL when not only the price came down but they later offered OBC and free parking at Dover for new bookings. Our TA did ask about the parking but it was a NO so we had to pay. :sick:
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Re: Voyages of Discovery

Postby Mungo » 14 May 2012 16:33

Once had £400 back from Royal Caribbean. They do a price drop. However you have to keep watching prices on their website and if booked via a TA then they have to enquire for you. ;)
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Re: Voyages of Discovery

Postby JollyJill » 14 May 2012 17:35

Thanks Marie and Sue. We've taken it on the chin- what else can we do? I am glad that I made the call though as something is better than nothing.

Now that we have done quite a few cruises and with so many late offers out there, I think we will refrain from booking so early in future- famous last words. :roll:
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Re: Voyages of Discovery

Postby jsb » 14 May 2012 17:52

We have our eye on a cruise later on the in year but if the price doesn't drop we won't bother and probably do a land based holiday instead and then see if we can find a similar cruise next year again waiting until the last minute. We are very lucky that my hubby can take his holidays from work at very short notice.

If all else fails we can always repeat our Norfolk Broads experience. :lol:
Don't worry be happy.
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