Monday, 5 August 2013

A Day On MV Discovery

Recently,  I had the pleasure of spending a few hours on the Cruise & Maritime Voyages ship MV Discovery - and what a most pleasant time it was!

We met as usual in the passenger terminal at Port of Tyne and were escorted on board at around 11am. The gangway was located at the aft of the ship, literally straight on to her open deck. I have never boarded a ship in this way before but have seen it done on many of the smaller vessels. It was a much nicer way to board and far more relaxed than the hustle-bustle you sometimes get from the larger ships.

I really could imagine myself boarding after having spent a long day ashore on a wonderful tropical island. I am met within a few moments by a chair and the bar, where I can grab a nice chilled Diet Coke, drop everything at my feet and relax. This is what I am beginning to fall in love with when it comes to smaller ships.

Daydream over, back to the blog…

We had a short welcome introduction and a brief 'Hello' from the Captain in the Discovery Lounge before heading to one of her show lounges for a small treat from the singers and dancers on board. I have never come across an ‘entertainment preview’ on any other day ship visits so it was something nice to add to the tour. It lasted around 20 minutes and was a flash preview of various songs they do throughout Discovery’s cruises. I was allowed to video the performance, so have added a section to YouTube. Go on, have a look - just be sure to come back and read the rest!

After the show, it was time to tour the ship. She is relatively small, only 168 metres in length and just 20,186 tons, but she is pleasantly spacious. We explored numerous areas, including her bars and other lounges, the buffet area, which also has a swimming pool at one end and a retractable roof.
We passed through the small gym and then landed the Spa area, where I took one of the 'menus’ with to see what is usually on offer. 
They do Honey Massage, Shiatsu, Exfoliating Body Polish, Mineral Mud Wrap, Teen Facial, Swedish Classic Massage and more, with prices quite reasonable. For example, a 45-minute Exfoliating Body Polish is just £45, as I am sure I have seen the same treatment on other vessels for £60.

After peeking into a few other areas, we doubled back through the Discovery Lounge and out on to the sun deck. I absolutely adored this space. I am a huge fan of the open decks on any ship, as this is where I spend the majority of my time whilst cruising, so I always go in for a closer inspection. On offer was a deck the width of the ship with a small bar on the port side and a swimming pool in the middle. What a swimming pool, too! The one midships was just under 6ft in depth but this one must have easily been 8 or 9 feet deep. I have never seen such a pool on a ship before and, had it been filled with water, I would have been tempted to jump in. This was my kind of chill-out area.

We managed to have a peek inside two cabins during the visit. Both outside but one was a disabled cabin. They were both spacious considering the size of the ship. Nicely furnished and the disabled cabin offered three lovely little port holes. I did notice the cabin doors are the good old key-in-the-lock-system. No electronic door cards on this ship! Not sure how I would cope with that as I’m so used to a card.

Once the tour ended, we made our way to the Seven Continents Restaurant for lunch. It is a good-sized restaurant, airy and with all tables spaced perfectly.
I dislike nothing more than feeling like people are sitting on top of me whilst I am eating but the space worked well. The lunch selection was quite good. I opted for chicken tikka to start as I was intrigued to see how they could make such a dish into a starter. It was delicious. 
For the main course, I decided on the vegetarian option, which was oven baked Cannelloni. I have to say it was possibly the nicest Cannelloni I have ever tasted and I’m pretty fussy with pasta. Dessert came in the shape of a Strawberry Gateaux, which was light but just a little too moist for my liking. Sadly, lunch marked the end of our visit but what a pleasant one it had been.

MV Discovery was something new for me, the oldest ship by far I have ever explored and, in some areas, she was showing her age. But would she be a ship I would cruise on? Without question. She offered everything I would look for in a cruise experience, plus there’s the added bonus of boarding like she were a grand yacht.

I can now also say I have visited one of the ships featured in The Love Boat TV series, although then she was known as Island Princess.

See more on my photo album on this link:

Love, Danielle