P&O V Thomson Discovery


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#1
Lancashire... UK
850 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Hi...we are considering a cruise on Thomson Discovery....main reason being the brilliant itinerary. We have cruised many times but only once with Thomson...one of their older smaller ships... and unfortunately that didn't "tick our boxes" .

The itinerary that we have seen is really good but their is a nagging doubt in our minds but are thinking that the Discovery is one of the previous RCI ships so could be more to our liking so has anyone cruised on the Discovery and with P&O.

The decision is made slightly harder because we have just come off the Azura and that was so good.
We have cruised on the Oceana so we are thinking....hoping... it may be like that....older ship but standards ok
#2
Teignmouth
333 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by janny444
Hi...we are considering a cruise on Thomson Discovery....main reason being the brilliant itinerary. We have cruised many times but only once with Thomson...one of their older smaller ships... and unfortunately that didn't "tick our boxes" .

The itinerary that we have seen is really good but their is a nagging doubt in our minds but are thinking that the Discovery is one of the previous RCI ships so could be more to our liking so has anyone cruised on the Discovery and with P&O.

The decision is made slightly harder because we have just come off the Azura and that was so good.
We have cruised on the Oceana so we are thinking....hoping... it may be like that....older ship but standards ok
We've been on all the P&O fleet over the past 15 years with the exception of Britannia.
Last year we tried TUI Discovery because we had sailed on her as Splendour of this Seas, and we loved the experience, to the point we rebooked for last winter's Caribbean season on our return. We'd been on numerous Caribbean cruises previously but the Discovery was one of the best, mainly because it was more port intensive, and longer time in port, plus the ship is beautiful.
She is in excellent condition. The atrium is similar to Oceana, but the accommodation range is better, and bigger balconies. Last time we had a junior suite, which is similar to the de luxe cabins on Azura, with big balcony (including sunbed).
The MDR is on 2 levels and is very light and airy with windows all the way up.
Food we found to be very good in quality, quantity, and choice, and there are 2 specially restaurants, but they book up very quickly. Other dining venues are available.
The entertainment is also very good, and the main theatre is better than P&O for comfort and capacity.
If Thomson(TUI) can maintain this standard other lines have a major competitor.
I know most P&O stalwarts like P&O because of the no fly Southampton departures, but we prefer to join a cruise from our local airport, although Discovery is doing some Southampton departures to Europe next year.
I hope our experience helps.
#3
Lancashire... UK
850 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Thank you jake 26 ... your answer is what I was looking for. We were put off Thomson with our last cruise with them...the Spirit. We liked the Oceana atrium so that is good to know.

In the MDR are tables for 2 available...I understand that it is open seating but for personal reasons we prefer a table for 2.

Unfortunately we are no longer able to fly so it has to be cruises from the UK.

The cruise we are considering is ...as you say...very port intensive with only one day at sea out of an 8 night cruise.
#4
Scotland
814 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
We have not been on the Discovery as a Thomson ship but enjoyed it when RCI and it was definitely nothing like the Spirit, Celebration etc, much much nicer.

We stopped going Thomson as well as the ships were just getting too old and tired but now it is serious competition to P&O, for us at least, so comparing for next year.

Oceania is a good comparator.

The fact that TUI are now offering the Newcastle and Souhamptopn departures over the summer months again makes it all the more tempting.

P&O will always be there for early or late season cruises from the UK.
#5
UK
416 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
Originally posted by Eglesbrech
We stopped going Thomson as well as the ships were just getting too old and tired but now it is serious competition to P&O, for us at least, so comparing for next year.
Their new cruise ships - TUi Discovery 1 & 2 are both over 21 years old, reliability must be a serious issue !
#6
Teignmouth
333 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by jody75
Their new cruise ships - TUi Discovery 1 & 2 are both over 21 years old, reliability must be a serious issue !
They've invested millions into both ships and, to be honest, they are in better condition than Oceana and Ventura, and similar age to Oriana and the temperamental Aurora.
I would have thought the prolonged period of dry dock work before TUI put them into service dealt with any engineering issues.
Discovery 1 has been in service for 18 months with very good reviews.
A very positive step forward for TUI, filling the mid sized ship market gap with 2 beautiful vessels. Many people don't want the new monster ships. That is why we drifted away from P&O.
#7
Kent, England
6,246 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
I cruise with P&O and Thomson, soon to be TUI and have cruised on Discovery twice. She is very much the equivalent of the mid sized P&O ships and the main differences are less formality, an excellent drinks package included in the fare and as tips are also included you don't have to worry about that.

One thing I find interesting is that Thomson tend to concentrate the 'butlins' style entertainment in one venue, actually called the Venue on the newer ships.

Plenty of tables for 2 in the main dining rooms as well.

Next year Mein Schiff 1 will be joining the fleet as Explorer and there is an extensive remodelling even although she looks superb to me, check out the Mein Schiff 1 images. In 2019 Mein Schiff 2 joins the fleet.

IMO TUI are moving Thomsons more upmarket and they will have 5 ships in the med next summer and Discovery in the UK. There are also very strong rumours that they will be basing a ship in the far east for the winter season.

Dream and Spirit are smaller and older and I found the single cabins on Spirit very noisy, just like Ventura except the noise was a grinding rather than a squeaking and creaking

As Thomson cruises are 7 nighters you won't be trapped for ages if you don't like it.

ps my next 2 cruises are on Oceana followed TUI Discovery and TUI Explorer
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Include tips in the fare

Previously
Thomson Celebration x 4
Thomson Spirit x 3
Thomson Destiny x 3
Thomson Dream x 2
Thomson Majesty x 3
P&O Ventura x 6
P&O Oceana x 8
P&O Arcadia
P&O Britannia
P&O Aurora x 2
P&O Oriana
TUI Discovery x 2
NCL Epic

To come
Thomson Majesty 2017
P&O Oceana 2017
P&O Azura 2017
TUI Discovery 2018
TUI Explorer 2018
P&O Oceana 2018
#8
Nottingham
236 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Thanks all for the comparisons here, we've booked Explorer for next Sept and you've all put my mind at rest, can't see them letting Explorer be any less than the 2 Discovery.

Kev
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#9
Teignmouth
333 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
We are on Discovery 2 next, in November, and also on Explorer next September.
We very nearly booked Adonia, but obviously glad we didn't.
#10
England
1,296 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by janny444
Hi...we are considering a cruise on Thomson Discovery....main reason being the brilliant itinerary. We have cruised many times but only once with Thomson...one of their older smaller ships... and unfortunately that didn't "tick our boxes" .

The itinerary that we have seen is really good but their is a nagging doubt in our minds but are thinking that the Discovery is one of the previous RCI ships so could be more to our liking so has anyone cruised on the Discovery and with P&O.

The decision is made slightly harder because we have just come off the Azura and that was so good.
We have cruised on the Oceana so we are thinking....hoping... it may be like that....older ship but standards ok
I think it all depends on exactly what you didn't like about your cruise on Thomson Spirit. If it was just that it was an old, small ship, then Discovery is indeed newer and bigger. However, when you talk about 'standards', then that raises questions about exactly what was wrong, as the chances are that the 'standards' will be much the same on Spirit and Discovery.

So what exactly didn't you like on Spirit?
#11
Lancashire... UK
850 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
So what exactly didn't you like on Spirit?


Let me start with I did like.....The food in the buffet....entertainment ....one of the best we have had with any cruise line. Overall friendly atmosphere.

What we didn't like.....we had a cabin on one of the lower decks and it felt like we were going "into the bowels of the earth"...we have had lower deck cabins and have never felt like that....we were glad we were not on the bottom deck because the engine noise down there was quite intrusive.
The overall upkeep & maintenance we felt was below standard...it's never a good sign seeing patched up pipe work in the toilets....repair work yes...but patched up...no.

We just felt that the ship is past it's sell by date.
#12
England
1,296 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Well, that sounds quite promising for your liking Discovery then. Perhaps you should avoid lower deck cabins though! And maybe posting on the Thomson forum to enquire about the general condition of the ship would be a good idea. Although I have sailed on Spirit and most of the P&O ships, I cannot help personally with Discovery.
#13
969 Posts
Joined Nov 2012
I am on her in few weeks, I sailed her sister ship on RCI so plan to do a comparison review on my return. I will post a link on here. Previously I would never have consider Thomson as their ships looked more like over night ferries to me - but the itinerary and new ships have encouraged me to give them a try - hope the Butlins reference is a myth!
#14
OXFORD
6,786 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
We have been on Discovery and Oceana, both lovely ships. Spirit is OK, but not as well renovated as her sister, Celebration.

We like Thomson and P&O equally. Have done 13 with Thomson and 4 so far with P&O and two more booked.

I think if you like Oceana you will like Discovery.
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Thomson Celebrationx3, ThomsonDreamx3 ThomsonSpiritx2, Thomson Majestyx3, Thomson Discovery, Discovery 2, P&O Oceana x2, P&O Azura, P&O Oriana, Fred.Olsen Braemarx3, Crown Princess x2, Sea Princess, Celebrity Eclipse, Jewel of the Seas,Independence of the Seas, Ocean Village



#15
Cornwall, UK
2,115 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
We are planning to book Discovery 2 next year for 2 weeks and have no doubts about booking.......it is about 130 pounds per night as opposed to around 100 per night on Ventura sailing from Southampton...BUT we can fly from our local airport at a reasonable time of day, the tips are included, the All inclusive drinks and coffee package has most branded drinks included and there are 10 ports of call as opposed to 7 with P and O .......we think it's a no brainer! We have done at least a dozen Thomson cruises and maybe a few more with P and O but Thomson do seem to be upping their game recently and will, I think, give P and O a run for their money!
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Still to come:-

Oriana Christmas in the Canaries 21 Dec 2017
Ventura Caribbean & USA 5 Feb 2018
Marella Discovery 2 Aegean & Adriatic 28 Sep 2018
#16
London, England
3,534 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Have been interested to read this thread. We have also been interested to book Discovery 2 as we like the itinerary with overnight in Havana. They have a more varied itinerary which interests us as P and O visit the same islands all the time, so looking for something different .

I joined the FB page and the impression I have got is that it is a lot less formal and no set dining, which we particularly like. It also seems that many people don't make an effort to dress for dinner. As we very rarely get the opportunity to dress at home, we like having the chance on a cruise, so OH takes his tux.

Many of the comments and questions have been putting me off, plus the fact that some of the itineraries will be changed due to the hurricanes.

However, we have thought the prices reasonable due to AI and included gratuities. We are not keen to go on one of the mega ships, so have been looking for something different.



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#17
essex uk and calabria italy
879 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Hi,we've booked on Discovery 2 next year,purely for the itinerary as it ticks off the last on our bucket list of destinations.With all the penny pinching of the main lines recently,it seems the way to go,cheers,Brian.
#19
Dereham
741 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
We have sailed P&O, Oceana and Ventura and several Thomson (Tui) cruises as well, including Discovery last year. I preferred the Discovery to either of the P&O vessels. Both of them were dated and in need of refurbishment IMO. Discovery by contrast was light and airy, the decor better and the overall feel was they had done a decent job on doing her up. Crew wise, I thought both were similar. People rave about the friendly crew on Thomson but I thought P&O were equally good. Food was much the same too, though we did enjoy the Italian on gallery 47 on Discovery. The big downside however was the wall to wall noise. Music blasting from everywhere making it impossible to hold a conversation. Even in our JS on deck 8 (I think), the music from the pool area drifted down on us, just no peace! I said at the time I would never go with Thomson again, however, it’s hard to beat their itineraries so the jury is still out. Hope you make the right decision for you.


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Previously sailed with Thomson, Celebrity & P&O
#20
Lancashire... UK
850 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Hi and thank you for all of your replies and comments. We have now booked the Discovery. .The itinerary was just what we wanted and the price was good too and most comments on here were favourable. If we didn't try we would never know and as I said itinerary ticks our boxes and also 8 nights and just one day at sea. ..brilliant