The Marella Discovery cruise ship, previously Splendour of the Seas and TUI Discovery, is operated by TUI Cruises, a cruise operator based in the UK.
Splendour of the Seas was built by Chantiers de l’Atlantique at the Saint-Nazaire shipyard in France. Operated by Royal Caribbean Cruises, the ship was launched in June 1995 and embarked on its maiden voyage in March 1996.
In March 2015, Royal Caribbean entered into an agreement to sell the Splendour of the Seas cruise ship to TUI Cruises. The cruise ship transformed into Marella Discovery after a major refurbishment, which was completed in June 2023.
Marella Discovery is operated by Marella Cruises, a cruise line owned by TUI.
Marella Discovery cruise ship details
The 69,130-tonne (t) Vision-class cruise ship has an overall length of 264m and a draft of 7.9m. It can accommodate 1,830 passengers and up to 750 crew members.
Transformation of the Splendour of the Seas cruise ship into the Marella Discovery included the refurbishment of 915 cabins, including the replacement of 2,500 headboards, and the addition of 2,696 scatter cushions.
The live room entertainment space on deck four was divided into two parts including an open space and a focal hub. New bulkheads, deck heads, and storage areas were added apart from an acoustic floating deck, LED lighting, and a custom-built bar.
The venue was converted into an entertainment and seating area featuring custom bulkheads, upholstered furniture, and drinks ledges.
The two-tiered restaurant and dining room were transformed into a modern and airy space with floor-to-ceiling windows, new lighting, carpets, and wall coverings.
Other refurbishments included the addition of a DJ booth in Bar Eleven, the installation of an outside stage on deck nine, and recarpeting of alleyways throughout the ship.
Accommodation on Marella Discovery
The Marella Discovery has 918 cabins categorised as Inside cabin, Outside cabin, Deluxe cabin, Balcony cabin, Deluxe Balcony cabin, Junior Suite cabin, Family Junio Suite cabin, Grand Suite cabin, Executive Suite cabin and Royal Suite cabin.
The rooms range from 12m² for the Single Inside cabin to 92m² for the Royal Suite cabin. All of the cabins feature AC, a hair dryer, a TV, a phone, a tea and coffee maker, a safe, as well as a vanity table.
The premium rooms include two twin beds that can be made into queen-size, a private balcony, a private bathroom with a bathtub, and a sitting area with a sofa bed.
Dining and bars
The refurbished cruise ship features a main dining room that offers complimentary, multicourse menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The new dining venues are the Surf & Turf Steakhouse, Sushi Bar, Kora La pan-Asian speciality restaurant, Islands buffet, Snack Shack, Gallery 470 Italian restaurant, and the Glass House.
Bar Eleven, Squid & Anchor pub, Deck Bar, Live Room, and Atrium Bar are some of the bars and lounges available on the ship.
The Marella Discovery features a theatre, a casino, shops, themed bars, and lounges. The Broadway Show Lounge is the main entertainment venue, offering 11 unique shows. Live Casino is the ship’s casino, offering blackjack tables and fruit machines.
The ship also offers Babytainment classes for kids and babies, M Club kids club for children, and Hideout for teens.
Relaxation facilities include a poolside outdoor movie screen, the Ocea Spa and Beauty Salon, a fitness centre, and whirlpools. The ship also features a rock-climbing wall, upper-deck jogging track, and an 18-hole miniature golf course.
Marella Discovery is powered by five Wasa Wartsila 12V46B V12 engines driving two fixed-pitch propellers. Each engine delivers a power output of 11,700kW. The main propulsion is complemented by two 1,500kW bow thrusters and a 1,728kW stern thruster.
The ship is also fitted with two stabilisers. The propulsion system provides a maximum speed of 24 knots and a cruising speed of 22 knots.
Trimline, an interior outfitter based in the UK, carried out the refurbishment of the Splendour of the Seas into the Marella Discovery.
Splendour of the Seas refurbishment
In October 2011, Royal Caribbean signed a contract with Navantia for an extensive refurbishment of Splendour of the Seas. The ship was provided with a new 217t ducktail at the stern for increased stability.
The ship relaunched in December 2011 after the refurbishment and sailed on a series of voyages throughout South America.
The revitalisation added 124 new balconies, dining spaces, guest amenities, and stateroom amenities. Regular scheduled maintenance to the propellers, shafts, and rudder was also conducted during the refit.
The refurbishment took five weeks to complete and involved 550 workers. It was enacted as part of an extensive $300m programme for introducing the latest innovations to the Royal Caribbean fleet.