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Marella Discovery

The 9 Best things to do onboard Marella Discovery

Marella Discovery
Leon Beckenham
Kerry Spencer

Last updated
May 9, 2024

Read time
5 min read

Marella Cruises' Marella Discovery might not have the whizzbang amenities of today's megaships, but it still offers plenty of things to do for cruisers sailing the ship's Eastern Mediterranean and Caribbean itineraries.

From sipping on decadent cocktails at Bar Eleven to taking in one of the 11 shows at the Broadway Show Lounge, here are nine of the best things to do onboard this much-loved cruise ship.

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1. Sip on sumptuous cocktails at Bar Eleven

Marella Discovery's Bar Eleven is the ship's most sophisticated drinking venue (Photo: Kerry Spencer)

Marella Discovery's top-deck cocktail venue, Bar Eleven, is the ship's most sophisticated drinking spot, opening from 5 p.m. until late. Dazzling chandeliers sparkle from the ceiling and there are floor-to-ceiling sweeping glass windows offering Pool Deck and sea views, with comfy leather seating and armchairs.

Bar Eleven begins to fill from 6 p.m. as passengers gather for pre-dinner drinks (Bar Eleven is at the entrance to Kora La, Sushi Bar and Surf & Turf Steakhouse). The bar's cocktails are a real treat, with 11 innovative drinks that are either smoky or infused — for a purse-friendly £3.95 each — such as the Lemon & Thyme Collins and the Smoky Old Fashioned.

2. Test your puzzle-solving skills

Breakout & Escape on TUI Discovery (photo: Leon Beckenham)

Marella Discovery's Deck 3 Breakout & Escape room certainly provides one of the more novel ways to spend time onboard. The idea is straightforward: 'escape' the room within an hour by solving a series of clues. Breaking the codes, however, can be far from simple and you'll find the tension, and heart rates, start to rise as time runs low. There's a choice of a murder mystery or spy themed experience (£10 per person).

3. Take in a West End-style show

The 800-seat Broadway Show Lounge on Marella Discovery (Photo: Kerry Spencer)

A homage to the Golden Age of 1920s New York, the 800-seat Broadway Show Lounge provides suitably glitzy surroundings for 11 West End-style shows. Ranging from "West End to Broadway," featuring a range of well-known songs from shows such as "Jersey Boys" and "Phantom of the Opera," to the jaunty "Club Tropicana," which celebrates George Michael's best-known songs with a tropical-themed set. Other highlights include "Bud's Diner" for a fifties American-themed production and a homage to Elvis with fanciful costumes complete with Cuban collars and flared jumpsuits.

4. Watch a movie under moonlight

Pool deck movie screen on TUI Discovery (photo: Leon Beckenham)

Marella Discovery introduced 'Movies by Moonlight' — a giant cinema screen on the Pool Deck where passengers can lie back on a lounger under the stars — when it debuted in 2017. We can safely say it remains a success with one showing per night, typically family-friendly blockbusters ("Wonka" and "Aquaman" on a recent Caribbean sailing). There are cosy blankets and passengers can grab some popcorn and their favourite tipple from the bar before kicking back on a sun lounger under a pitch-black sky.

5. Relax in a cabana at the Glass House

A double cabana at the Glass House on Marella Discovery (Photo: Kerry Spencer)

Few holiday experiences beat lying back with the sight and sound of the sprawling blue ocean behind you in the plush surroundings of a private cabana. Passengers can do just that on Marella Discovery in the impressive surroundings of the Glass House.

Under a glass retractable roof, there is a filtered saltwater pool and two hot tubs lined with sunbeds with thick padded cushions and to the starboard side of the ship (the right side when facing the ship's bow) is a row of plush cabanas.

Marella Discovery's indoor pool, The Glass House doubles as a dining venue (Photo: Kerry Spencer)

White shutters adorn the space and each cabana features a thin veil for added privacy. It's an ideal spot to lie back with a book and take a mid-afternoon nap.

6. Watch a stand-up comedian

Marella Discovery's Broadway Show Lounge hosts a weekly stand-up comedian (Photo: Kerry Spencer)

On every Marella Discovery sailing there is a stand-up comedian who performs once a week (sometimes more) at the Broadway Show Lounge. While watching stand-up comedy is not for everyone, we implore you to give Marella Discovery's a try. On a recent Caribbean cruise, we took in Ian Jones as Lee Evans who was genuinely funny on stage. Jones is considered the country's best Lee Evans impersonator and he perfectly captured the style and mannerism of the former comedian (Evans retired from stand-up in 2014).

Passengers loved Jones' take on Lee Evans and filled the theatre to watch the evening comedy show.

7. Book a couples' massage at Oceans Spa

A couples' hot stone massage is a fantastic way to unwind on Marella Discovery

Marella Discovery's spa is not huge and there is no thermal area on the ship, but the couples' treatment room is a real treat, with gorgeous sea views and treatments such as the Elemis Aroma Spa Seaweed Wrap and Massage and Elemis Intensely Cleaning Salt Scrub. There's also a range of couples' massages to choose from, including hot stone, bamboo, deep tissue and Swedish.

The treatment room is bright and airy with ocean views flooding in, or if you prefer a darker, more ambient setting, curtains can be closed, with ambient music adding to the romance of the experience.

8. Chow down on gourmet food

Surf n turf dinner on TUI Discovery (photo: Leon Beckenham)

Marella Discovery has three standalone speciality restaurants (restaurants not included within the cost of the cruise fare), including Kora La, Sushi Bar and Surf & Turf Steakhouse. There is also a supplementary evening menu, alongside an inclusive menu, at the Glass House.

These extra-fee restaurants are all excellent value and offer great quality, too. For an informal low-cost choice, the Glass House's supplementary menu is fantastic — and so tasty we tried it twice — consisting of loaded nachos followed by a 'World Skewers' menu and a dessert of Signature Key Lime Pie. Honestly, we had to skip dessert because the skewers are super-sized portions of either free-range chicken, Angus beef, Iberico pork, salmon and prawn or vegetable, with a side of creamy coleslaw and peri-peri chips. The poolside setting is relaxed and the food is a steal at £14.95.

There's also Kora La (£28.45pp) for excellent pan-Asian cuisine, including mostly Chinese and Japanese starters and Indian mains; Surf & Turf (£33.45pp) for the best selection of seafood and steaks onboard (pictured), including juicy scallops and tender sirloin; and the Sushi Bar (£15.95pp) is another hit for sushi rolls, sashimi, dim sum and the mochi ice-cream.

9. Listen to live music at the Live Room 

One of our favourite evening venues onboard Marella Discovery is the Live Room. Positioned between the Atrium Bar and Broadway Show Lounge on Deck 4, it is ideally located for passengers to segue from one live performance to another.

There's a yellow piano in the centre of the room, a stage area facing the bar and plenty of seating. From soul and Motown to jazz and funk and soloist singers we heard some fantastic live music here and the bar is typically buzzy until late every evening. 

Publish date January 08, 2020
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