Marella Cruises' new ship, the 1,814-passenger Marella Explorer 2, emerged from dry dock on March 27, 2019, with a swanky new look, ready to begin Mediterranean voyages out of its Naples homeport.
Passengers can expect some fun new-to-the-line features, such as a quirky Champagne bar that will allow passengers to order a drink at the press of a button; a golf-themed clubhouse bar and a poolside beach club and barbecue-inspired venue.
Here are nine reasons to get excited about Marella Explorer 2.
1. Adults Only
Getting whacked in the face with an inflatable toy in the ship's main pool with the sound of kids wallowing in the background is so relaxing ... said no one ever. If your idea of unwinding on your next cruise holiday doesn't involve little ones, then you can breathe a sigh of relief because Marella Explorer 2 is the line's first adults-only ship. This also means no designated kids clubs onboard and more space for adult-only venues, such as the ship's 17 bars and restaurants -- the most on any Marella ship.
2. Flutes Prosecco & Champagne Bar
This new-to-the-line bar is designed as a pre- or post-dinner drinks venue serving everyone's favourite aperitif: Fizz. The beauty of Flutes is the ease with which passengers can order their drink, simply by pressing the "Press for Bubbles" buttons that are dotted around the venue. What's not to love? The all-inclusive nature of Marella Cruises also means Prosecco is included in your cruise fare, though passengers can expect a fee for premium drinks, such as Champagne.
3. Champneys Spa
Already a popular feature on sister ship Marella Explorer, this luxury British spa brand offers a thermal suite, treatment rooms with their own showers, a beauty salon and luxurious spa cabanas on the Veranda sun deck on Explorer 2.
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Passengers can indulge in a range of spa treatments, including facials, massages, acupuncture, body treatments such as wraps, teeth whitening, plus hair and nail services. There's also a fitness centre, a couples' treatment room and medi-spa treatments available. The space also features a gorgeous relaxation area with private daybeds looking out to sea and a sauna with floor-to-ceiling windows.
4. The 19th Hole
Sandwiched between Broadway Show Lounge and Broad Street Shops on Deck 7, the line's brand-new 19th Hole takes on a golf theme. Though passengers don't need to know golf lingo -- bogey, anyone? -- to enjoy this venue. Expect golf-inspired cocktails, craft beers and seating in fun golf buggies. Two golf simulators are also available for an added fee.
5. The Beach Cove
Another new-to-the-line venue, The Beach Cove is a chic poolside dining concept with a beachy vibe and barbecue theme. With its alfresco seating and laidback atmosphere, we're excited to test out this new dining option.
6. The Veranda
Twice as spacious as The Veranda on Marella Explorer, this space is set to feel extra special thanks to luxurious Balinese-style daybeds and cocoon chairs for passengers to lounge in during the day. The Veranda is free to use and split over two decks with passengers able to order drinks from the comfort of their sun lounger.
7. The Royal Suite
For anyone looking to upgrade cabin for something a little extra special, Marella Explorer 2's Royal Suite is a lavish option. Measuring 102 square metres, the Royal Suite is the line's largest cabin and features a separate bedroom with a King-size bed, dressing room, bathroom with a shower and separate bathtub, dining area and a large balcony featuring a whirlpool bath, which is another first for the line. The downside is you won't ever want to leave your cabin.
8. Movies by Moonlight
The concept of Movies by Moonlight might not be new for cruise lines (it's also a feature on Discovery, Discovery 2 and Explorer), but that doesn't detract from the enjoyment passengers take from the experience. Picture the romantic scene, with your favourite classic movie on the big screen, while sailing in the Mediterranean at moonlight, wrapped up in a cosy blanket and with unlimited popcorn and drinks. With calls in destinations such as Italy, we'd love to see some themed movies scheduled, such as "Roman Holiday," on the evening the ship is docked in Civitavecchia (Rome) to really bring the experience to life.
9. New Theatre Shows
We had a sneak preview of the ship's brand-new shows, "Revive - The Forgotten Circus" and "Lovestruck," and can't wait to see them both come to life in the ship's Broadway Show Lounge. "Revive - The Forgotten Circus" takes inspiration from "Moulin Rouge" and "The Greatest Showman" and features aerial acrobatics incorporated into the performance, which is set inside a rundown theatre. "Lovestruck" is a modern love story that is squarely aimed at the couples expected to be frequenting the theatre. With 12 shows -- 10 carried over from Explorer -- the ship's entertainment programme is set to be a high-energy affair packed with variety.