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Marella Discovery – 8 Free “Must Do” Activities Onboard

Who Are Marella?

Marella Cruises are part of TUI – one of the world’s biggest travel groups.

Marella sells cruises to the British market – including flights and transfers in the cruise price.

(Tui also have seven German cruise ships sailing for German passengers, under the name “Mein Schiff” -then a number 1 to 7. Not very imaginative!)

Marella is the only UK cruise line to take care of everything as standard, so it is a very easy option for first-time cruisers. They have holiday representatives onboard, should any problems arise.

All Marella cruises are All-Inclusive as standard, so you don’t have to worry about budgeting once onboard. Drinks and tips are included in the cruise fare.

Flights, transfers, luggage, food, drinks and tips are all part of the package

There are five ships in the Marella Cruises fleet.

  • Marella Discovery
  • Marella Discovery 2
  • Marella Explorer
  • Marella Explorer 2
  • Marella Voyager 

Marella Cruises ships were not new when they joined the Marella fleet.

They sailed for other cruise lines previously – but were all given a complete refurbishment when they joined Marella.

They sailed for Royal Caribbean, Celebrity or the German “Tui” cruise line.

Marella Discovery – Baltic Treasures Cruise

I LOVED my time onboard the Marella Discovery. It was my first Marella cruise and I was so surprised by how much there was to do onboard and how much was included in the cruise fare.

She is a mid-sized ship (1800 passengers) but felt much bigger. The number of options onboard meant that I was never ever bored or hungry.

If you are considering a cruise onboard the Marella Discovery soon, then this is the post for you.

In this post, I aim to let you know about all the free things you should not miss out on when onboard. I was onboard for two weeks but it took me a while to find a few of these things out! 

girl and cruise ship marella discovery in copenhagen

1 – Head to the Glass House for Pizza

What is the Glass House?

The Glass House is a restaurant located by the inside pool.

During the day you can grab ‘Deli-style’ bites here – such as wraps and smoothies.

When i was onboard they started around 11 a.m. and continued until 6 p.m.

In the evening the place transforms into a restaurant. They serve Tapas, Pizza and steaks cooked on a hot stone.

(There is an additional charge for hot stone steaks)

Marella Discovery Glass House Restaurant Seating Menu

Marella Discovery Tip #1

Head to the glass house to have a flatbread pizza. 

They have a few options on the menu as well as a ‘create your own’ option. I try to avoid dairy so took the cheese off of my pizza each time that we visited.

They also give you bread baskets here before your meal that are AMAZING. We managed to eat a whole bread basket each before our pizzas came!

Marella Discovery Glass House Pizza

Service

The service here was really good (it was on all parts of the ship).

We were offered drinks multiple times during each visit and were asked often if our food was okay.

I could have quite happily eaten pizza in the Glass House on every day of the cruise – but thought I had better try something else – for research purposes of course!

2 – Find the Veranda (A Secret “Adult Only” Area Behind The Gym) 

Marella Discovery cruise tip #2

There is a ‘secret’ adults-only area behind the gym.

It isn’t advertised very well, and I think you could easily cruise for a week or two without finding it.

The Veranda Marella Discovery

How Do You Get To It?

You can either get to it by walking through the Gym or if you go to the Rock Climbing Wall on the level above, you can walk down to it.

What is there?

There are sun loungers here as well as some big egg-like chairs.

These are SO comfortable but be warned, once you get in you may never get back out. I had to get help to pull me out…

It is usually pretty quiet here. I’m sure that most people don’t know about it!

It reminded me a little of the pay for extra areas on other cruise lines, and I wondered if other passengers thought that you had to pay to enter. Either way, it’s a great place to relax and watch a sail away.

The Veranda Marella Discovery Chair

3 – Have a Drink!

Marella Discovery tip #3

Have a drink! There are SO many drinks included in the Marella cruise fare.

Make the most of this and try to work your way through the menus.

I don’t think it would have been possible for me to try all of the Included drinks on my two-week cruise – but I gave it a good shot!

Marella Discovery drinks in nbar eleven old smokey

What is included in Marella’s “All-inclusive” drinks?

I was amazed when I first sat down onboard and flicked through the menu.

Before cruising with Marella I knew that some drinks were included – but I expected this to be a couple of beers, wine and soft drinks.

I had no idea about the number of cocktails and spirits that were included!

Each bar has its own menu. They also serve drinks from the universal menu named “into the drink.” You’ll find this menu everywhere and it has page after page of included drinks. In total, I counted over 120! 

Marella Discovery Drinks Venue

Drinks around the ship

Each time that you enter the theatre or walk past the pool you will be offered a drink from a table of ready-prepared drinks.

It is really easy to get a drink this way – but it is also really easy to sit down and wait for a waiter to come to you.

Quite a few of the waiters recognised us by the end of the cruise and would know what we wanted before we even spoke.

Amazingly I never really saw anybody who was drunk around the ship. I’ve seen a lot of rowdier behaviour on other cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, NCL or MSC.

Marella Discovery Drinks

4 – Watch the Discovery Show Team Perform

The theatre shows are not to be missed.

The Discovery show team are without a doubt amongst the best that I have seen at sea, I went back every night. (I’ve been on over 50 cruises to date.)

What do the Discovery Show Team do?

The Discovery show team puts on a different show every night of the cruise – and they do each show twice a night.

In one show they perform the Can-Can twice… and they do that twice a night! How they do it I will never know but I always come out of the show feeling energised and happy.

Most shows were a mix of dancing and singing with some comedy thrown in for good measure.

The choreography in the shows was amazing and kept my attention for the full hour – my mind usually tends to wander, so this is impressive!

Each singer and dancer was also extremely talented in their own right and none of them would look out of place on a Broadway stage. Some shows were backed by a live band.

Marella Cruises Discovery Show team on theatre stage

Marella Discovery Tip #4

Don’t miss Sebby Mercury if he is onboard!

One of my favourite shows onboard was called ‘Sebby Mercury’ and featured Seb (a member of the Discovery show team) performing many of Freddie Mercury’s/Queen’s hits.

The show was incredible. Not only is Seb an amazing singer but also quite a showman with a great stage presence.

He had the whole audience singing and clapping along throughout the show and received a standing ovation at the end.

I had my photo taken with Seb at the end of the show, I’ve never seen passengers queue up to have a photo taken with a singer before!

Sebby Mercury Marella Discovery

If Seb is doing a UK tour next year I am definitely going to go. You can check out his FB page here

5 – Play a game of Mini Golf

Mini golf is located at the back of the ship and is free to play.

It is usually open from around 10 am until 9 pm, each day the times are listed in the cruise news.

The golf course has nine holes and we enjoyed playing it. At the start of the course, you pick up the clubs, a score sheet and a pencil to record your scores.

Marella Discovery tip #5

The course can get busy as it is popular. The best times to go are either during the evening or in the day if its a port day.

We went during port days when the ship was docked as most people were off exploring. By doing this we never had to queue or wait and completing the course took us around 20 minutes.

Marella Discovery Cruises Golf Course

Is the Mini Golf on Marella Ships Free?

Yes. 100% free – all of the time.

6 – Get Fish and Chips From the Snack Shack 

What is the Snack Shack?

The Snack Shack is a “grab and go” food venue, and we found ourselves here almost every day of the cruise.

When I was onboard it was open from 11am-6pm, and they serve things like burgers, hot dogs and chicken wings.

There is also a section of sandwiches and salads which are being continually replaced. I had a wrap which was avocado, chicken and sweetcorn. I also tried a beef salad.

fish and chips from the snack shack marella discovery

Why the Fish and Chips?

Without a doubt, the best food served here is the Fish and Chips. Do not miss it!

A good portion of Fish and Chips may cost on some other cruise lines, but it’s all included in your Marella cruise fare. It’s all fresh and ready to grab anytime.

fish and chips from the snack shack marella discovery

Marella Discovery tip #6

Grab some cookies and take them back to your cabin for late-night snacks.

I did this almost every day. Two for now, two for later! I would say that the cookies got even better after having been left in the room to go a little bit soft. Mmm…

Marella Discovery Snack Shack Cookies

7 – Listen to Some Live Music in the Live Room 

Grab another drink and sit in the “Live Room.”

I really liked the atmosphere in this lounge, it was always relaxed and fun. It’s very colourful too which I love. Below is a photo I managed to take when it was empty!

Marella Discovery Live Room Music

The Live Room has live music playing every single evening and the musical acts were really varied. The ship’s main band “B2” play here as well as various other musicians.

Marella Discovery tip #7

They serve Mason Jar Cocktails here which are AMAZING.

Some of them are free and some of them cost a little extra (if you don’t have the premium beverage package). They’re worth getting just to take a photo of.

8 – Go to a Game Show, Trivia or Karaoke

Trivia

Multiple times a day there are trivia quizzes going on around the ship.

These sometimes take place inside in lounges like the Live Room but they also happen on the pool deck. If you win the trivia you will win a Marella luggage tag! Who doesn’t want that?!

Just because the trivia says ‘Nice and Easy’ doesn’t mean that it is!

Marella Cruises Discovery Trivia Denmark

Gameshows

There are a number of game shows that happen in the evening too, which can be really funny to watch.

I’m sure they’re also fun to take part in too but I’m not really one for audience participation!

I’d much prefer to sit back with a drink and watch the world go by. 

(Having said that, I shaved my head on this cruise on the theatre stage of Macmillan, so I guess I’m not completely against audience participation!)

We watched one game show called ‘What’s the Story?‘ where each member of the audience had a voting pad and got to decide which direction the story took.

The actors then acted out the story and it was really really funny. I’m not sure I can explain the below photo! 

Marella Cruises Discovery Entertainment Whats the story gameshow venue

Karaoke

The Karaoke again is really good, but really popular!

We managed to get a good seat the first week but the second week we were only able to sit at the bar. That’s where the drinks are though so that’s not all bad! 

Marella Discovery Tip #8

Make sure you get there early if you want to get a good seat.

Karaoke happened in “Venue” – and it happened twice on our two-week cruise.  

** Bonus tip **

 Go to the Gym!

Okay, I understand this one isn’t for everybody. But, the Gym onboard Marella Discovery is completely free to use and they hold various dance classes throughout the cruise.

The Gym isn’t particularly exciting but it has all the machines you’ll ever need, plus towels waiting for when you finish.

I went to the Gym three times (never to exercise!) The gym has amazing views out over the sea, or over the port you are docked in.

Marella Cruises Discovery Gym

Take a Bike Tour 

If the Gym isn’t your thing but you’d still like to get some exercise I’d suggest taking a bike tour in one of your ports.

We did a bike tour in Tallinn and it was so much fun. It was almost 20 miles – but it poured with rain the entire time.

Active Excursions Marella Bike Tour Weight Gain

We still had an amazing time though and I would wholeheartedly recommend it. This one isn’t free as it is an excursion, but its something to consider...

Other Marella Cruises I have Taken…

Marella run some great themed cruises. I took some non-cruising friends on a 1990s-themed cruise, and they had a wonderful time!

The ship we sailed on was Marella Discovery 2.

1990’s bands, fancy dress (costume dress,) unlimited drinks, what’s not to like? Find out all about that trip here:

After the Covid 19 pandemic, the first “fly-cruise” I took was with Marella on Explorer 2. It seemed like the least stressful option as all the flights and transfers were included.

The most stressful part was juggling all the Covid testing and the necessary paperwork! The cruise itself was wonderful! Find out about that Spanish cruise in the video below:

Considering a Marella cruise?

Visit Marella’s website here:

https://tui-uk.7cnq.net/4jPQM

(affiliate link)

“Braving the Shave” for Macmillan Cancer Support

This is a bit of a strange thing to write but… I shaved my head onboard this cruise. Crazy!

The passengers of the Marella Discovery raised an amazing £1500 whilst we were onboard.

I raised £4500 in total! Thanks so much to Marella who organised this and thank you to the passengers of the Marella Discovery who were a fabulous audience!

Before You Go

Find out all about the cruise I took with the luxury cruise line Azamara. They also include the cost of tips and drinks in the cruise fare:

Azamara Cruises – What is Included? (Food, Gratuities and More)

Most other cruise lines will charge for daily gratuities (tips) drinks and much much more! Find out how to cut your onboard spending by planning ahead here:

Cutting Onboard Expenses, BEFORE You Cruise. Avoid Unnecessary Costs (Drinks, Speciality Meals, Excursions and More) Once Onboard.

Taking a Cruise: Recommendations and Resources

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John Simeone

Friday 12th of April 2019

Regarding the Venue, we were talking to Phil Aizelwood the Cruise Director, who told us that there plans to ‘soundproof’ the floor and ceiling of the Venue so events can go on longer and later. Deck 6 above is where the officers sleep so, at the moment, this ‘venue’ has to close at 11:30 pm. I agree that a ‘refurb’ i.e. the furniture, isn’t really necessary.

Emma Le Teace

Friday 12th of April 2019

Hey John! Thanks for your comment. That's interesting to here!! I never thought about the soundproofing before.

Steven Mclean

Sunday 30th of September 2018

Iwas on Marella Discovery 1 earlier in the summer for the Fire and Ice cruise and had a fantastic time despite being ill and having to see the medical centre people.Felt a lot better after treatment.Hope you enjoyed your cruise and Bravo to you for raising so much money for Macmillan .A truly fantastic total.

Emma Le Teace

Sunday 30th of September 2018

Glad to hear you enjoyed it too! Thanks for commenting. Fire and Ice sounds incredible!!

Debbie paterson

Sunday 30th of September 2018

Went on Discovery in march to the Carribean. Been on afew ships but was so impressed with Discovery. Great entertainment great staff. Food was brilliant. Hoping to go on the Asian cruise in 2020 if its still cruising there. Couldnt go on 2019 one. Would love to hear if anyone are going on the Asian one next year. Nothing bad to say about ship. Go and try and will be hooked.

Emma Le Teace

Sunday 30th of September 2018

Hey Debbie! Thanks for commenting :) Glad you were impressed too. The entertainment was amazing!!

Paul and Carole Morgan

Saturday 29th of September 2018

Thanks for the tips, love the look of the Verandar and the jam jar cocktails! We really can't wait to get on this ship. Sounds a fab idea with a night out seeing Sebby with the CIJFOP family too!

Emma Le Teace

Saturday 29th of September 2018

I wish I could come with you guys... I know I just got off but I miss her already! :')