A selection of our team were invited on the shakedown cruise of Thomson Cruises’ latest addition to the fleet, the spectacular TUI Discovery 2! We asked a member of our marketing team, Hal, to tell us all about his exciting experience…
Hi everyone! I was lucky enough to join over 800 TUI staff on the TUI Discovery 2 Shakedown Cruise – the ship crew’s final practice to make it perfect for all you guys. Safe to say, we all had an amazing time. Take a look at the highlights of our trip – from delectable dining to performances from X Factor superstars, Thomson Cruises certainly unveiled their new ship in style.
After a smooth and swift arrival onboard the ship in Malaga, we were greeted with prosecco (yes, please!) and after a quick muster drill, we quickly dropped our belongings off at our cabins. I was pleasantly surprised at how warming and spacious the room was, and the beds were especially comfortable. There was plenty of wardrobe space for my few-too-many shirts, and to my delight the TV’s had English channels.
After a quick change, we were treated to a four-course meal at the onboard restaurant 47 degrees – I opted for the Caesar salad, leg of lamb, and the espresso crème brulee, followed by a selection of wine and fresh bread. It was simply delicious! Afterwards, we watched the first of many brilliant shows, including Steel City – a must-see performance all performed by the fantastic entertainment team. It was then time to dance the night away – the resident dance team managed to persuade a few of us to get up and give it a go, and after a drink or two, I wasn’t shy with my moves! We ended the night in Bar 11, the onboard nightclub – and the lively music, cool lighting and All Inclusive drinks certainly made for a fun night.
After a great night’s sleep I woke up feeling well-rested and ready for the busy day ahead. The selection of food at breakfast was out-of-this-world. I decided to go for a full English, while others took their pick from an array of tempting areas – a pastry section with all-butter croissants, muffins, cereals, bagels, a continental section and even an omelette station – everything looked mouth-watering.
We then took part in a treasure hunt that got us exploring the ins and outs of the ship, before heading off to Gallery 47, the onboard Italian restaurant, for even more delicious cuisine – the four-course meal certainly didn’t disappoint. Then, it was time to get ready for the big sail away party! We were lucky enough to witness the christening of the ship – and the famous smashing of the champagne against the hull – before we were surprised with an unbelievable performance from X Factor superstar Fleur East! She was followed by a Robbie Williams tribute act who really got us singing along, as well as a fantastic firework display before we finally set sail. Thomson Cruises really went all out in giving this ship the best start possible.
We arrived in Cadiz the following morning at around 9am, where TUI Discovery 2 had recently spent six weeks getting refitted. As we watched her pull into port, the Spanish city looked magnificent – the sun was shining and we couldn’t wait to spend the day there. If you preferred to stay onboard for the day, there was still plenty to do – from a games room to a library, a spa, gym, two pools, restaurants, bars, plus a host of featured entertainment throughout the day. Not forgetting a rock climbing wall, mini-golf course and a kitted-out XBOX suite (one the kids will love!)
Our day in Cadiz was amazing – from drinking sangria in a local restaurant to devouring lemon ice-creams and browsing colourful markets, we had a fabulous time. Once back on the ship, we got ready for our fancy dress evening! After another delightful meal in 47 degrees – the gnocchi was to die for – we had a flutter in the casino (thankfully, Lady Luck was in my favour!) before another memorable night talking to fellow TUI colleagues, discussing our favourite parts of the ship.
Take me back!
Overall, TUI Discovery 2 didn’t disappoint. The quality of the dining was impeccable – from the fanciful al a carte 4 course meals to the buffet, the flavours were amazing. The feature that really stood out for me was the crew onboard – they went above and beyond to ensure we all had a brilliant time. They were talented, funny, and provided such personal service. It really bought home how much value you get on a cruise – amazing entertainment, great food and service, and a different destination every day (and you only need to pack once!) All in all, I can’t wait to get back onboard this ship – it’s definitely time to book my summer cruise!
Your turn to get onboard?
If TUI Discovery 2 is calling your name, you can read more about her and find your next sailing here – or simply give us a call on our freephone number, 0800 027 8302. A member of our friendly cruise team will be happy to help!