78 Dubrovnik to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Marella Cruises Marella Celebration Cruise Reviews

Chose this cruise as we were constricted by time and wanted to visit Athens. We had been with Marella before and researched the ship before booking so knew what to expect. Luggage was dropped off at Gatwick and didn’t see it again ... Read More
Chose this cruise as we were constricted by time and wanted to visit Athens. We had been with Marella before and researched the ship before booking so knew what to expect. Luggage was dropped off at Gatwick and didn’t see it again until it was delivered to the cabin (the reverse happened on departure). Embarkation was quick but as there were only 1200 passengers there was no Premium boarding. Our cabin was roomy and clean with better decor than Discovery which was very bland. Plenty of storage and hangers. The balcony was adequate with 2 chairs and a side table, some balconies were larger with sun beds but also had less privacy. Navigating around the ship could be a bit confusing as not all lifts went to deck 9, some stairways gave no indication of what deck you were on and some corridors were dead ends. There were more than sufficient sun beds on the decks for the number of guests. Food was excellent although, being a small ship, there was not a massive choice in the buffet. Plenty of seating in the restaurants. We didn’t do any shore excursions but most destinations were interesting, those that weren’t we went to the beach. We knew beforehand about the vibration but didn’t find it a real problem, it was felt more in some places than others. A few children onboard but not a lot of activities, guests mainly middle aged to elderly. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Just returned from this cruise. We booked this for several reasons, a late cruise, visiting Sicily and Kefalonia, adults only, all on the fabulous Celebration, in my opinion, Thomson’s/Marella’s best ship. The ships specification is ... Read More
Just returned from this cruise. We booked this for several reasons, a late cruise, visiting Sicily and Kefalonia, adults only, all on the fabulous Celebration, in my opinion, Thomson’s/Marella’s best ship. The ships specification is well documented on the Internet so I won’t go into the details, suffice to say, the food, entertainment, information, cabin service, bar service and so on were all of a very high standard. The pre-booked excursion tickets were waiting for us in our cabin on embarkation and the embarkation and disembarkation procedures were incredibly slick, including the experience of parting with your luggage at East Midlands airport and not seeing it again until it arrived outside your cabin, without having to collect it at Dubrovnik airport. The same procedure (in reverse of course) on the return home. That’s progress. I few points about the ports of call. Messina, Sicily - a nice place but not a lot to do if you arrive on a Sunday so it may be worth booking a trip. Argostoli, Kefalonia - again, a pretty town but a bit sleepy. Worth having a walk along the front and across the causeway (which leads to the other side of the bay). Igoumenitsa, Greece - this is a port town, with ferries to Corfu and beyond. It has little historical interest. The Marella map shows a castle but all we found was a church, something that may have been lost in the translation? We actually booked a tour to Nekromanteio which is steeped in Greek mythology if you like that sort of thing, then onto the postcard-perfect village of Parga, and it really is very pretty. Not enough for us for a whole day but a couple of hours is perfect to climb up to the castle and take in the views. Kotor, Montenegro - this is a quaint but bustling town. Check beforehand how many ships are in on the day and it will give you an idea as to how busy it will be. There are loads of options for tours, including private taxi’s and hop-on, hop-off busses. As we had been before we did our own thing. I took on the challenge of climbing up to the fortress Castle of San Giovanni, approximately 1,200 metres high and approximately 1,350 steps to climb to reach the castle. €8 for the privilege and it is a seriously long climb, over uneven (and sometimes missing) stone steps, or, in parts, a steep slope. The view at the top is fantastic and worth the pull on your calf muscles and hamstrings for the next couple of days. In general, as we went in October, the on shore tour options may not all have been present as this is right at the end of the season. If you go earlier in the year, there may be more available. In summary, this is not an itinerary that jumps out at you. The is no “Venice” or Barcelona”, but the cruise does visit some quaint, pretty and interesting places, many with stunning scenery (the bay of Kotor in particular). Couple this up with the magnificent Celebration cruise ship and add in the food, drinks, entertainment, the attentive, hard working staff and being able to meet like minded people, this all equates to a complete cruise experience. I would wholeheartedly recommend this cruise to any prospective cruiser. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We tried the majesty last year and were so impressed we decided to do the next one up ie the celebration. We had a large delux cabin which we had booked however we were given a queen bed instead of twin beds as originally requested. That ... Read More
We tried the majesty last year and were so impressed we decided to do the next one up ie the celebration. We had a large delux cabin which we had booked however we were given a queen bed instead of twin beds as originally requested. That being said the bed was extremely comfy and Ahmad, who looked after our cabin kept it spotlessly clean and the towel “art” each night was great. I hope the next cruise we go on we might get lucky and have Ahmad look after us again! Unfortunately on this cruise the ship appeared to be full to capacity and it was difficult finding seats in the different bars. Also when we wanted to sit and read say in the Hemingway’s bar it was most difficult. We did try the Broadway lounge which was always empty during the day but sadly it was really cold so couldn’t sit and read. The staff were lovely always accommodating nothing was too much trouble for them. The food which was aplenty, was tasty. The pianist Ben was good as was the guitarist. We watched the shows too in the Broadway lounge which were very good I particularly liked the Philip Marlowe production. The comedian they had on was also funny and went down well. An enjoyable cruise although the Celebration is looking tired and needs some TLC. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This is the third or fourth time we have been on the Celebration over the past 4 yrs I believe. I feel a bit sorry to say that in all ways this ship has gone down in my estimation and is like a frail old lady. This not to say that we ... Read More
This is the third or fourth time we have been on the Celebration over the past 4 yrs I believe. I feel a bit sorry to say that in all ways this ship has gone down in my estimation and is like a frail old lady. This not to say that we did not enjoy our 2 weeks cruise because we did, but knowing this ship for a good few years it is a bit sad, so see her being dragged round the Med when all she wants is a good rest. The cabins are ok especially ours as we have an adapted cabin which is large and adequate in size but it looks exactly as it did when we first went on it all those years ago .apart from a new carpet,except it should not have done. it should have been brought more up to scratch. The cabin does not seem to have been decorated since the beginning of us using it. The food in Mistrals is really lovely but so it should at the supplement over what you have already paid. A very short menu.. The Lido is a bit like a works canteen but we only went there for breakfast as the Meridian was too early for us The food is not quite so good as before but perfectly ok. The best bit about this ship is the staff. They do all they can to make sure that you are happy. I had a couple of blips but it was soon sorted out.. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We were recommended this ship by a family member who had cruised with her before. the size of the ship was a factor we took into consideration as we didn't want to "go large." We flew from Doncaster Airport and it was ... Read More
We were recommended this ship by a family member who had cruised with her before. the size of the ship was a factor we took into consideration as we didn't want to "go large." We flew from Doncaster Airport and it was great that after checking in our luggage the next time we saw it was outside our Cabin door. Embarkation was very well organised and it didn't take long before we had the key to our Cabin which we found very spacious, well designed and most comfortable. We chose an inside cabin in the exact centre of the ship, this proved to be an inspired decision! Due to the high winds forecast. Our sail away was in full sun and light winds. Our first day was our only "sea" day. We woke up, got dressed and rushed up to deck for our first experience of cruising. Our hearts sank as the staff were busy tying up all the sun loungers, seats and anything else that moved. Yes, the winds were up, we were sailing into a hurricane!!! Later in the day, the captain announced, we would be missing our first point of call in Crete as the winds were too great for comfort. Instead, the ship hid in the relative calm between Islands to let the storm pass and we spent 1 day and a half in Piraeus, Athens. It rained for two full days but we made the best of it and had a laugh over a few glasses each evening. The weather improved and we enjoyed the excellent food and entertainment on board. The captains night was a highlight for us as was the arrival and sail away from Kotor, Montenegro. The ship had a good ratio of passenger to staff and all the staff were always very friendly. and helpful. The entertainment team were superb and put on some great shows. The Celebration is an old ship but has bags of character, the only grumble about the ship was the constant low vibration from the engines, that seems to be constant even when in port. We would definitely recommend cruising on the Marella Celebration. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We have been on the celebration before so we knew what to expect. We flew from Gatwick on the Dreamliner and the self service check -in took about 5 mins. with no queuing. The plane arrived early and we were swiftly driven by coach to the ... Read More
We have been on the celebration before so we knew what to expect. We flew from Gatwick on the Dreamliner and the self service check -in took about 5 mins. with no queuing. The plane arrived early and we were swiftly driven by coach to the cruise terminal. The check in for the cruise was different this year as it was done on the ship with no queuing at all. Our cases arrived outside our cabin within 20 mins. The Celebration still has its slight wobble but it did not affect us at all. Our cabin was a de-luxe on deck 8, very spacious with large double bed under the 2 windows, settee,chairs, bath with shower over it and spotlessly clean and kept that way by our cabin steward all week. We ate in the Lido (self service) for breakfast and lunch, and in the main dining room for evening dinner. Sometimes there were queues to get in but they moved very quickly and we only waited for 10 mins. at the most. The food in all the eating places was very good with quick service. We eat in Minstralls on one night and it was well worth the extra money. We went to the shows every evening which were good, and one night there was a comedian who was excellent, he did a further show at 11.30pm later in the week. It was an adults only cruise. We got off at every port we stopped at and just walked around and did our own thing except for Venice where we went on the island of Marano and Buarno trip which was very interesting. We were not asked at all to buy drinks packages, photos, spa treatments, etc. We enjoyed ourselves so much that we have already booked the Celebration again for next year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
So many basic errors and a lack of understanding what cruisers expect. Obvious frozen veg straight out of a packet. Packet gravy. Braised beef hard and dry. Coq au vin not cooked in the totally unrelated sauce. Fruit salad straight from ... Read More
So many basic errors and a lack of understanding what cruisers expect. Obvious frozen veg straight out of a packet. Packet gravy. Braised beef hard and dry. Coq au vin not cooked in the totally unrelated sauce. Fruit salad straight from the tin served as stewed fruit compot. The lobster highlight was dry, over cooked and tasteless. Appalling waste of good produce. Fish nearly always flaccid and with no discernible flavour. Best meal was lamb shank local pub style. One sweet served in a badly buckled stemmed dish. Obvious no one is overseeing what is coming out of the kitchen or understands what we expect. Feel I am being taken for a simpleton and being insulted by the offer of an upgraded meal (standard on any cruise line) at extra cost. Staff great. Cabin clean but no fridge. Some good entertainment but some screeching singers. Overaul third rate. Booked for an excellent itinerary pity about the rest. Tui wake up and get a grip. Will only consider Tui for land based holidays in future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our first non-Disney cruise so we were not sure what to expect with regard to the differences between TUI and Disney. Overall we really enjoyed the experience both on the ship and at the ports of call. The Good... The ... Read More
This was our first non-Disney cruise so we were not sure what to expect with regard to the differences between TUI and Disney. Overall we really enjoyed the experience both on the ship and at the ports of call. The Good... The staff on board were all excellent and friendly. This ranged from service staff in the restaurants, the cabin stewards and the entertainment team... not a bad encounter during the whole trip! The ship was kept clean and tidy the entire time, including the restaurant areas and lounges. There was never a stack of empty glasses or litter left around. We chose to eat in the Lido Restaurant rather than the Meridian as we prefer a more relaxed atmosphere and the menus seemed to be the same but a buffet rather than table service. The food itself was very good with lots of variety and choice every day. Food was available from 6am through to around 2am so there was always plenty of opportunity to fit in a snack or three. There was a good choice of on-board entertainment to choose from. There were musical and comedy shows in the Broadway Lounge every night and quizzes, games and bingo in other venues throughout the day. Plenty to keep the guests engaged. We went on a shore excursion at each port of call and found the logistics of them to be very well organised. We will say more about the trips themselves a little later... The cabins we had were much better than we were expecting. They had plenty of space and lots of storage. The Bad... The Celebration itself is a small and rather old ship and it is starting to show. There was a constant vibration running throughout the ship even when docked in port that was very noticeable. Sometimes this vibration was enough to rattle glasses and make the stage lights swing, so it isn't a small problem. The deck areas were packed full of sunbeds, sometimes to the point of being a pain to get past, especially if guests were not being particularly considerate of others. In our cabins, the fridge wasn’t actually a fridge, but a box that sort of tried to keep things cold. It didn’t work very well. There could also be more power outlets in the cabins. One socket might have been sufficient 30 years ago when the Celebration was built but it’s far from adequate these days. Additional costs. This was particularly annoying as until we got onto the ship we had no idea that soft drinks were not included (even with meals). We booked as Full Board so was expecting a little more choice than Tea, Coffee or Water, but that is all we could have. There was an option to upgrade to the 'All Inclusive' drinks package at a cost of £200 per person for the week. This would have included soft drinks, but as we are not drinkers of Beer or Spirits it would have been an extremely expensive option. There was no option of a 'soft drinks' package. We also heard a lot of people who had purchased the all-inclusive drinks package complaining that not all of the drinks were included! There was another 'Premium' package that they could upgrade to for another £50 extra per person. Amazingly, this ALSO did not include every drink available on board, many had additional surcharges. It was all very confusing and annoying, as guests are not made aware of this before check in. This also meant that many drinks had various possible prices - full price, all-inclusive surcharge price and premium surcharge price. For example; a 200ml glass of Coke (but mostly ice) was £1.20, but is included in the all-inclusive package. A 330ml can of Coke was £1.90 but if you had the all-inclusive package, it was still an additional £1.00. Not very all-inclusive or straightforward!! If you wanted a steak meal in the ‘included in your full board’ restaurant, it was yet another additional charge. £9.95 this time. Wifi? £8 per hour! Want to use the safe in your cabin? £15 for the week. It was extremely annoying. General availability of information was a problem. We found that TUI were very bad at letting us know what to expect. They provide a service where once you drop your cases at the airport you don’t see them again until you get to your cabin. This is useful, but we didn't know about this until we were in the check-in line at the airport and were handed a label to put on our case by a TUI rep. Handy, but if we had anything in our cases that we wanted to use when we got to Dubrovnik before we got on the ship we would have been out of luck. We found the same with the shore excursions. For a start we had to Google how to book them as it isn't on the same web page as the cruise booking and nowhere had a link to the excursions sites. Once on board we found trips could be booked there, but many were sold out already and once again, we were not informed. The descriptions of the trip were also rather vague and in retrospect a bit misleading at times. For example on the Kefalonia Highlights trip in Argostoli, the tour we booked advertised "Next, it’s time for a visit to the island’s most photographed stretch of sand, Myrtos Beach. This mile-and-a-half-long curve of white pebbles is the setting for several scenes of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin." We carried around a bag with towels and swimming gear in all day only to find that this visit was a 2 minute stop at the top of a cliff to look down at the beach and take a picture. This particular tour was not a good pick due to the amount of time spent on the bus. In a five hour tour we had 20 minutes in a row boat (which to be fair was amazing) and 1 hour in a town called Fiskardo. It was very picturesque but we had no time to enjoy it before we had to head back to the coach. A couple of the tours we went on also had some very intense bouts of walking, either due to steep climbs or quick tour guides that had to be followed. This wasn't a problem for our group, but I would guess 75% of the guests on these tours were elderly and many had mobility issues. On one tour several people stayed on the coach as they couldn't do the walk to the Greek Ruins in Igoumenitsa. This could have been avoided by more information being given at the time of booking. In conclusion... We really enjoyed the trip but would not travel on the Celebration again, mostly due to the constant rumble and vibration being very off putting. We would also be hesitant about booking with TUI again due to the stream of additional charges and lack of provided information. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
we chose the cruise for the itinary also because we love the celebration the ship is very clean a bit tired but you wouldnt notice the staff are brilliant always smiling and helpful the cabin we had a suite was spotless and rohman our ... Read More
we chose the cruise for the itinary also because we love the celebration the ship is very clean a bit tired but you wouldnt notice the staff are brilliant always smiling and helpful the cabin we had a suite was spotless and rohman our steward was very good and always had a smile for us the food is excellent as always the dining room waiters oung and alwyn were lovely and looked after us so well we sat at their table the whole fortnight wasnt impressed with the showteam they seemed to do a lot of screeching but all the others were good the horizans team was very good also the liberties team were very good we have been on four times now and have always enjoyed it and had fun we will book again hopefully next year if the itinary is what we want the dreamliner plane was superb Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My friend and I chose this cruise because it was affordable and went to places we hadn’t been to before. From the moment we handed over our suitcases at Gatwick we couldn’t fault the service we received. Neither of us had been on a sea ... Read More
My friend and I chose this cruise because it was affordable and went to places we hadn’t been to before. From the moment we handed over our suitcases at Gatwick we couldn’t fault the service we received. Neither of us had been on a sea cruise before so I admit we have nothing to compare it to but we both really enjoyed the whole experience. We liked the ship; some bits felt a bit tired but no more so than some hotels I’ve been to. The cabin (644 on deck 2) was fine. It was spacious enough for the 2 of us and there was plenty of storage space. It had a porthole which gave us a lovely view if the passing scenery. Everything was immaculately clean. We ate breakfast and lunch/ afternoon tea in the Lido buffet and our evening meal in the Meridien restaurant. The choice at all meals was really varied, designed to suit all tastes. Everything was well presented and tasty. The service from all the staff was impeccable. We went on excursions in Montenegro, Greece, Kefalonia, Sicily and Malta and really enjoyed them. Our couriers were all knowledgeable and made the trips special, even the Etna trip which took place in pouring rain. The entertainment in the evening was eclectic, from piano playing, to the shows and quizzes. We went to the shows in the Broadway Lounge and enjoyed them also; some were better than others. Martin Daniels, the comedy magician was brilliant and had us in stitches. During the day at sea we tried out some of the on-board activities like dancing and carpet bowls, again good fun and made enjoyable by the crew taking them. Everything was well organised, from arrival to departure, with coaches arriving on time and suitcases arriving safely. We would definitely go again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The ship is extremely dated and very shabby indeed. Its in a total need of refurbishment. Its such a mismatch. The vibration of the ship was terrible to the point where ladies earrings were swinging and glasses were shacking on the ... Read More
The ship is extremely dated and very shabby indeed. Its in a total need of refurbishment. Its such a mismatch. The vibration of the ship was terrible to the point where ladies earrings were swinging and glasses were shacking on the tables. Windows in the Lido Restaurant/buffet were extremely bad, very dirty and patched up where they needed mending......I could go on but I would be writing forever. Me and my friend were in a balcony cabin. However on day 2 of the cruise there was squeaking from two different areas of the ceiling. TUI obviously knew about this as there was bits of wood jammed between the ceiling and the wardrobe to stop the noise.. When I complained about this, they tried to say that I was the first to ever complain about the noise! Cabin was clean but extremely dated. Lots of wardrobe space. It was an OK size room. Lido - This was the buffet - I am a bit picky when it comes to food and to me it was substandard. Waiter Service Restaurant (Included in price) - Cant remember the name of this restaurant but it is on deck 4 - Waiters are in total confusion when its busy. Its certainly not silver service. On different occasions but each time eating at this restaurant there was always something wrong. For example, wine stained table cloths, water not given until half way through our food, Alcohol was the same, we were seated with no cutlery or if we were lucky some of the cutlery were present. Food was a bit hit and miss but it was OK for the price point. Marella/TUI are nowhere near close to food that I have eaten on other cruises. I suppose you get what you pay for. We only saw one show in the evening and that was enough, just a bit armature. The disco played the same music most nights. It was just recordings and no DJ. Service/Customer service on the ship was atrocious especially when you had a complaint. The reception/excursion staff try and make you feel that you are the problem. As mentioned above the cabin was squeaking and it was so loud that it was impossible to sleep. I had to request for someone to come to the room three times on three different days. When I had enough I complained to the reception and they then said they didn't have a record of my complaint and therefore I could not have complained.....Now is that Customer Service? The cruise itinerary had to be reversed due to weather and this did upset me as arranged meeting a friend in Malta. However I understand that due to weather etc itineraries would be changed but I was told by a member of staff at the reception desk that it was due to bigger ships paying more money to dock at certain locations and because the ship couldn't pay as much we were at the back of the queue! We went on two excursions one in Montenegro which was fine and worth the money and the other one in Sicily which would have been good value but wasn't. I understand that when you book excursions on the ship it is tough luck if you get bad weather. Well let me say the weather in Sicily was so bad, torrential rain , thunder and lightening. The local guide said that the ship said that the weather was going to be fine! Now with all that sophisticated machinery on the ship, is this really true? Anyway that's not the end of it. The guide stood outside a church shouting at the top of her voice in the rain thunder and lightening while a family were mourning taking a coffin out of a hearse. I asked her to stop but she wouldn't. Other people in our group were extremely embarrassed and either walked away or turned their back. By this time I was raging when I got back to the ship and the reply I got back from the manager of excursions was, wait for it........Other countries do not have the same traditions we have in the UK!!!! If that's not disrespectful, what is! I also wanted to comment that due to the adverse weather conditions that we should not have been climbing uphill due to the strong lightening strikes. She just said "You signed the booking form" Surely TUI have a duty of care to their customers. I just felt yet again that they put the fault back on us. Just one more thing, the tour guide wore sunglasses all the way through the tour, which was rude and even through we were in a bad storm. Plus no-one could understand her accent. Well as you can see we had two issues and it took six days to finally sort out. We received £250.00 in total off our onboard spend. Considering we were in a balcony cabin and we only got back 50% of our tour, I think it was unreasonable, especially having to chase them up everyday. So really we only had 1 night/day without hassle out of 7. We didn't bother with the drinks package as we like to drink branded alcohol and not the local stuff. Well I can honestly say that the Barcardi is really watered down. It was around £12.00 inclusive for two Barcardi and cokes, that's expensive for watered down drinks. I would like to see if TUI will reply to this. Lets see if they care! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
An expensive upgrade to a balcony cabin, first impressions was the damp and stained bedding, from mattress protector to sheets and pillows. Cabin very dated, shower curtain (why) with many occasions standing waiting for water to come ... Read More
An expensive upgrade to a balcony cabin, first impressions was the damp and stained bedding, from mattress protector to sheets and pillows. Cabin very dated, shower curtain (why) with many occasions standing waiting for water to come through, towels never looked clean and were rough to touch. When sitting anywhere on the ship to lying down there was constant vibrations from the engines and as we were on deck 9 it must have been hell for the lower decks. Food was okay, the lido restaurant just reminded me of the school canteen and even in the Al a carte restaurant my breakfast order was forgotten. Other restaurants were fine but they would be as you had to pay extra to use them. Not sure how often the pools were cleaned but there was often yellow scum floating on the surface with missing tiles and generally in need of major repairs. We had to throw away a bikini and swim shorts due to them being stained yellow from the pool. The sun loungers were dirty and torn. The entertainment was cheesy and boring due to the same show most evening which was just singing and dancing by the same guys. This ship is tired and in my opinion needs to be scrapped, it would be nice if TUI or Marella would contact with me as I have tried on many occasions to contact them regarding my expensive and very disappointing cruise. This was our first cruise and considering this terrible experience we would never cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We have cruised regularly on Thomson (TUI - Marella) and Cunard. We finally persuaded our friends to join us. The Marella Celebration itinerary was excellent as it included Venice, Dubrovnik and Korcular. Some of our favourite places. ... Read More
We have cruised regularly on Thomson (TUI - Marella) and Cunard. We finally persuaded our friends to join us. The Marella Celebration itinerary was excellent as it included Venice, Dubrovnik and Korcular. Some of our favourite places. Marella is less formal than Cunard, uses Sterling and had a great all inclusive deal when we booked. We did a cruise and stay holiday staying on the island of Kolocep just 30 mins from Dubrovnik. This was our first time on the Celebration but we knew her sister ship, the Spirit very well. Our first impressions were very favourable as though the deck layout is almost identical there is a much more modern feel to the Celebration - less vestiges of her Holland America past. The main dining room food was excellent - we ate all our meals there as it’s so much relaxed experience than the Lido. The included drinks were good enough for the most of us though one of our friends who deals in wine thought the Cote de Rhône to be excellent and good value for money. There were no sea days on this cruise - and I do miss a good sea day to relax. I think all that can be said about the age of the ship has been said before. I love the teak decks and the fact she is easy to get around. What gives this ship her heart are the people who work on it, the value for money and the entertainment. We would certainly return if it was the right itinerary. A first for TUI Marella is a welcome back party for loyal cruisers. You have to go to reception to let them know you have cruised with Thomsons before to be eligible. Cunard contact you and know your status - so me thinks Thomson’s weren’t keeping this info. We even received a little badge! We really found no fault with anything on the ship apart from the embarkation process that takes place on the ship - Long long queues We always choose our cabins after studying the deck plan as we like to be central and not near noisy areas. I do think a deck plan should be given out at departure - like other cruise lines. We knew the layout but our friends hadn’t cruised before. The cabin numbers and decks don’t tally. We were on deck 8 bridge deck but cabin 075. Dining - we dined in the Meridian for most of our meals and were very pleased with the food (better than on the Spirit). We celebrated our anniversary in the Mistral Restaurant which was excellent. Not so impressed by the food in the Kora La - the service was excellent in all the places we ate. Ports of call Bari Montenegro- There is a free port transfer bus to Bar - we then took a taxi to Stari Bar. It cost 5€ agree the price first. Stari Bar is no Kotor but still worth a visit. Korcula - tender port. Lovely old town - birth place of Marco Polo. We went for a wine tasting in a local restaurant- god wine but very expensive. It seems that most wine is produced for local consumption only. Zadar - ship to town transfer costs £7 - drop off near the Sea Organ. Lovely town with Roman ruins and great atmosphere. Venice - Get up foe the sail in - it is so peaceful and the only time you see Venicecwithout the masses. There was no organised transfer to St Marks Square but possible to buy tickets for transfer once off the ship. We realise that there appears to be a hop on hop off water bus that may be worth using. We used the People carrier to take us to P le Roma near the Station. We made a mistake of getting a gondola from here. It costs €80 but not the most picturesque trip. Walk further on - there are plenty of gondola’s around in better settings. We followed the signs to the Rialto bridge. The streets/canals up unti this point are relatively quiet. We then visited St Marks Square. We have visited Venice before so wouldn’t have bothered visiting again as it is always heaving but our friends have not visited before. I would strongly suggest pre booking St Marks or Doge’s palace and trip to Guggenheim art gallery.Eat anywhere away from St Marks or Rialto. Trieste - short walk from ship to main shopping area. Hike up to the castle and church well worth it. Public transport runs up to the castle as well. Split - Diocletian palace and medieval town within is amazing - very game of thrones. Well worth a visit. Dubrovnik - We visited Dubrovnik at night on a sunset trip from Kolocep. We sailed into the old harbour - it was a fabulous trip. For those who are only cruising - the ship doesn’t sail till 10 pm so if you have the energy and inclination get the bus to the Pile gate and spend late afternoon/early evening there before she sails. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We as a couple in our 60s always choose Marella (formerly Thomson) for our cruises. The smaller ships are our choice as they are friendlier and more intimate. Great crew, always greeting you with a smile. We sailed from Dubrovnik, ... Read More
We as a couple in our 60s always choose Marella (formerly Thomson) for our cruises. The smaller ships are our choice as they are friendlier and more intimate. Great crew, always greeting you with a smile. We sailed from Dubrovnik, taking in Bar (Montenegro), Korcula (Croatia) and Venice, among a few other ports of call. All were beautiful - and the weather helped!! Sunny and hot every day. Although the ship, the Celebration, was full, we never felt cramped at any time. We are going back on this ship in October for 2 weeks from Dubrovnik to Malaga (repositioning). A couple of small gripes. We felt the entertainment this time round was not up to the usual high standard we have experienced before, particularly in the Broadway show lounge. We also found the food in the waitered Meridian restaurant of lesser quality than on previous cruises. Marella take note - other cruisers were of the same opinion. However, we can't fault Marella Celebration crew-wise. Even the vibration of the ship we have become accustomed to and now expect! Very enjoyable from start to finish. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
My husband and I did this cruise as first time cruisers. I was never going on a cruise for a variety of reasons and chose this one because it was in the Adriatic Sea which isn’t as wide open as others so my theory was it may be calmer as ... Read More
My husband and I did this cruise as first time cruisers. I was never going on a cruise for a variety of reasons and chose this one because it was in the Adriatic Sea which isn’t as wide open as others so my theory was it may be calmer as sea sickness was a big concern. I also wanted to go to places I hadn’t been before and the only place I would be revisiting was Venice, which was fine as you can never visit Venice too many times. I had read that there is vibration in the ship and there is! We had an inside cabin on deck 3 and we could feel vibration but it didn’t affect us at all, we both slept well and did not feel any movement from the ship. There was no natural light in the cabin as it was an inside one but we weren’t in there much. For a longer cruise I would probably like a porthole at least. The air conditioning was good and the cabin didn’t feel at all stuffy. It was small but adequate. Ivon, our cabin steward was always available and very pleasant. We didn’t buy the drinks package and this was the right choice for us, we had whatever we wanted and it still cost around half of what the package would have been, however, we don’t drink alcohol so this may have made a difference. The food was good, we always had our evening meal in Meridian as I like to be waited on. The menu was changed every day and there was always something we liked. The waiters were very attentive, sometimes we shared a table but we didn’t have to, you can request your own and wait a few minutes for one to become free. We had breakfast and lunch in the Lido restaurant and again the food was good and plates were cleared quickly. The pool areas were clean and we could always find a sunbed when we wanted, even on the day at sea. Entertainment was of a good standard but you could find a quiet area if you wanted to. We enjoyed all of the ports, the only disappointment was that we visited Ancona on a Sunday and as it’s in Italy it was pretty much closed. However you have to go somewhere on a Sunday and we found enough to occupy us. I am now almost converted, I didn’t love cruising in the way a lot of people do! But I will go on another cruise and would go on the celebration again if it was a cruise I wanted to do. All together we were very satisfied. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
My Wife and I have been cruising for many years on Royal Caribbean, Princess and P and O.We decided to go on the Marella Celebration because of the itinerary. We booked a Balcony cabin and were delighted with the size of the room. They ... Read More
My Wife and I have been cruising for many years on Royal Caribbean, Princess and P and O.We decided to go on the Marella Celebration because of the itinerary. We booked a Balcony cabin and were delighted with the size of the room. They staff were the friendliest we have ever had on board a ship always smiling and friendly everyone of them that passed you said hello from the ships officers to painters . The reception staff were so pleasant and helpful rather than the stuffy approach we have experienced on other ships. Embarking the ship was really easy we were in our Cabin in minutes and our cases arrived within 30 minutes not the normal 4 hour wait. The all inclusive package had a good choice of lager beer and Cider with top shelf spirits not watered down as we have read on previous reviews, the drinks were so good we did not have to upgrade to the premium package. The food in the restaurants was excellent and the service could not be faulted, the buffet restaurant always had fresh supplies of food. We also visited the Asian restaurant this was as good as any Indian restaurant we have visited in the UK. The entertainment was superb with some of the best singers we have seen when cruising. We will certainly be cruising with Marella in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Chose this cruise as provided opportunity to visit new destinations, 3rd cruise with Thomson/Tui/Marrella, and standards of food and drinks have dropped each time. Service and cleanlinesscontinues be of a good standard, although cabins are ... Read More
Chose this cruise as provided opportunity to visit new destinations, 3rd cruise with Thomson/Tui/Marrella, and standards of food and drinks have dropped each time. Service and cleanlinesscontinues be of a good standard, although cabins are in need of upgrade. Had the AI package, but didn`t take the upgrade offered at £50 pp, spirits served were LIDL/ALDI own brand standard unless you specifically asked for the brand. Diet/Light mixers were from plastic bottles and usually flat, service in show lounge slow Entertainment team worked hard but surely time to refresh shows, Cabin beds feel as if they are worn out very uncomfortable, problem with shower draining Food quality in MR was lower than previous cruises but generally well cooke and served, wine by the glass in AI package was acceptable. Took two ships excursions, well organised and reasonable value Embarkation and disembarkation were fine, baggage delivered promptly Great atmosphere and company but may be looking elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I Recently cruised on Tui Marella celebration, this was my first cruise and I wasn’t disappointed The food was excellent and the staff couldn’t do enough for you, my cabin was clean and the bed was comfortable there was some ... Read More
I Recently cruised on Tui Marella celebration, this was my first cruise and I wasn’t disappointed The food was excellent and the staff couldn’t do enough for you, my cabin was clean and the bed was comfortable there was some slight vibrations but this is to be expected, it was well worth upgrading to premium drinks package however I would’ve preferred to be told about this option when booking online apart from this everything was perfect. The whole experience from start to finish was made simple for us we dropped our bags off at the airport and then was reunited with them on the ship , twice-A-Day the housekeeping staff would make up the room and leave a wonderful towel animal on the bed , there was plenty of choice of food to eat with menu that changed every day and three à la cart restaurants to eating at a slight additional cost which were all very good , The entertainment was fantastic really enjoyed the quizzes and the stand-up comedian . Overall I couldn’t ask for more I would like to thank staff and crew for fantastic time Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Chosen as interesting itinerary in the eastern Med. Flew Manchester to Dubrovnik and security tagged at the airport and sent straight to the cabin and vice versa on return. Very good service and all passengers pleased as not having to ... Read More
Chosen as interesting itinerary in the eastern Med. Flew Manchester to Dubrovnik and security tagged at the airport and sent straight to the cabin and vice versa on return. Very good service and all passengers pleased as not having to retrieve luggage at the airport and load on to the coach. Flew on the Dreamliner and pleasant experience all round. Dubrovnik airport was easy and coach to the ship. Picked up boarding cards and then had to register in on the ship - first time this has happened - and then to the cabin. All flights to the ship were early morning and by lunch everybody was on board. Equally on the last day everybody was off early and we left by 7.30. Some went off to the old City but there was an amount of hanging around until sailing at 9.00 pm. Another first was the SOLAS muster drill without having to take your life jacket. Odd I thought. Been on the Celebration before and easy to settle in and find your way around. CD was Adam Mustoe who we have seen elsewhere as an entertainment host. His parents were on board that week. Day at sea - usual port showcase and coffee's in the Coffee Port. Gala Night too but there was a change of Captain. New Captain had been delayed and old Captain sent his ceremonial uniform home.so the staff captain deputised. Quite amusing Malta - good weather and did the panoramic tour. Delay in leaving port as ship had lost some power. Messina - Late arriving at this industrial port and pulled in by 2 tugs. I suspected power issue with the thrusters which proved to be the case. Pleasant excursion to a winery on Mount Etna for a wine tasting afternoon. Excellent plate of cheese, olives salami etc. Argostoli - Late arriving and announced we had to tender. Not down as a tender port and whilst there was a large Costa ship berthed there was a view from the passengers that as the thrusters were dodgy and no tugs safer to tender. However not all the tenders were used and considerable delays in offloading passengers. Copious amount of complaints to Reception but to no avail as usual. In the end we gave up on going ashore due to the long delays. Igoumensita - not really a cruise destination port but probably a cheaper alternative. Had to pay for the shuttle bus and went into town. Average town and had coffee and ice creams etc before returning to the ship. Kotor - have been here before and there is a pleasant sail in. To be honest not a lot to see really. Went on the best excursion of the week to a Olive farm where the local farmer and his family made the group very welcome. Explained olive oil production and what to look out for when purchasing - always go for extra virgin olive oil. Absoulute superb lunch put on with plenty of wine. Note : Montenegro is not yet in the EU and all phone companies regard it as Rest of the World which makes it very expensive. Does accept the euro though. Entertainment - good though seen some show and games before. Won quizzes and choice of Octopus charger or notebook. Very good comedian called Terry Cotta. Had not seen him before but good act. Did not put champions league final on somewhere either. Food - excellent as usual and anybody who did not agree is a fussy moaner in my view Staff - excellent as usual and warm welcomes always given Loyalty - my bugbear !. Invited to meet the staff captain at a Discover your Smile party in Horizons. Glass of fizz and canapes together with a large Marella Celebration badge. Not sure of how we were were invited as in the past absolutely nothing. Couple next to us on their third Marella cruise and three different ships invited much to their amusement. Long rambling but good natured talk by the staff captain on the history of Marella cruises followed. Couple with the most Marella cruises given a bottle of wine. Though to be fair they were on their 82nd cruise. Taken this up with Tui on the social media site TUICares but clearly do not as their answer they do not have a loyalty scheme officially. Other cruise lines do and as the staff captain said 85% of passengers on that weeks cruise were repeat customers. All in all enjoyed the cruise and would go again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We have been on the celebration before so we knew what the ship was like. We flew from Gatwick on the Dreamliner which arrived in Dubrovnik early. Dubrovnik is called a 'bonded' airport which means we checked our luggage in as ... Read More
We have been on the celebration before so we knew what the ship was like. We flew from Gatwick on the Dreamliner which arrived in Dubrovnik early. Dubrovnik is called a 'bonded' airport which means we checked our luggage in as normal at Gatwick and the next time we saw it was outside our cabin. A fantastic service and it was the same on the return trip. We had a de-luxe cabin on deck 7 which had 2 large picture windows, a bath and shower, loads of space, 2 single beds and a sofa. It was as usual kept spotlessly clean by the 2 cabin staff. The ship was completely full and was adult only, we booked early so got the drinks package free. There were plenty of waiters both in bars and around the ship ( unlike the discovery last year where it was lacking in waiters) The food in all restaurants was of a good standard, the shows in the show lounge were excellent as were all the staff around the ship. We didn't go on any shore excursions we just did our own thing walking around every port of call. Its a shame the old girl is going but she is now showing her age. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this cruise itinerary because of the ports of call and have been on about 10 cruises with Thomson so was really looking forward to it. The ports of call did not disappoint but I feel that Thomson did. We had noticed a change ... Read More
We chose this cruise itinerary because of the ports of call and have been on about 10 cruises with Thomson so was really looking forward to it. The ports of call did not disappoint but I feel that Thomson did. We had noticed a change straight the way, no sooner we were checked in on board and before we took a few paces away from the table we were offered to buy a drinks package, if we had wanted one then we would have bought one when we booked our holiday. They used to have a different theme every night for food, but sadly no more. The food was very plain, not much flavour and it seemed to me cheap cuts of meat. The staff do as best as they can and always seem happy, but i feel they have cut back on them as well, as many a time people were waiting to be served. Cut backs all round I think. We were lucky as we got our holiday at a good price, but talking to other passengers if I had paid what they had I wouldn't have been happy. Maybe it's time to try other companies out. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We sailed on the Thomson Celebration from September 29 - October 5 on the Eastern Mediterranean trip. It was our first-ever cruise so we were pretty green and did not have anything to compare it with. First impressions were good, ... Read More
We sailed on the Thomson Celebration from September 29 - October 5 on the Eastern Mediterranean trip. It was our first-ever cruise so we were pretty green and did not have anything to compare it with. First impressions were good, embarkation no problem and our deluxe cabin 136 was much larger than we imagined it would be. Enjoyed first day walk excursion in Dubrovnik, taking in cable car and the extremely busy walled city. Next day was Athens, what a dump and a miserable courier. Glad to get back but not so happy with the sickness and diarrhea bug (norovirus warning had greeted us in cabin on arrival) that struck me almost immediately. Called the doctor and he gave injection and confined both myself and my partner to the cabin. Next day was miserable sitting on bed most of the time - glad we had a window - and missed booked excursion to Itea. We were released from cabin late that evening as I had recovered sufficiently so were okay for Corfu Town trip next day. Enjoyed that, taking boat ride around the caves and a winding coach journey up to an impressive vantage point at a local restaurant Looking forward to Montenegro excursion the next day but hopes dashed when partner went down with the bug the previous evening. Given the jab by the doc and confined to cabin, I was allowed out but had to stay on ship. I did go out on deck early in the morning as the ship moved in through the fjords, impressive. On each occasion the doctor said he would hand our unused excursion tickets to reception and apparently if you book them on the ship you are reimbursed immediately, but we booked ours in our local Thomson shop prior to departure. Reception told us refunds would take 7-14 days paid on the card on which they were issued. That time passed and no money had arrived, so I complained and Thomson stated they would deal with the issue within 28 days of my contact email. What great PR. We revisited our local shop in an attempt to expedite the matter and were told the Montenegro refund had been issued - the problem was nobody had told us and it certainly was not in our bank account. As to the Itea payment the shop managed to ascertain that the matter was under investigation but were unable to reveal any more as the 'investigators' refused to release any further details. No further contact so far. What a farce. Are they saying we are lying? We booked five trips on five days at a cost of £360 which would suggest we intended to enjoy as much of the holiday as possible. Surely they only have to check the ship's medical records to find the truth - presumably these would include details of injections, confinement to cabin etc. If not somebody was sadly lacking in their duty. In future on cruises we will certainly heed the advice of a senior member of crew - avoid the self service area whenever possible and eat in the main restaurants. A final word for the staff - apart from the reception desk which was hopeless in most cases they were excellent and our cabin steward Mustaffah was a real star. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Price was good and all the destinations were places we had never visited before. We had a previous cruise on The Dream 5 years ago and it was brilliant. Ship lovely ,clean and so well organized. Melvin our cabin stewart did ... Read More
Price was good and all the destinations were places we had never visited before. We had a previous cruise on The Dream 5 years ago and it was brilliant. Ship lovely ,clean and so well organized. Melvin our cabin stewart did everything he could to keep our cabin perfect. Not a crease in the sheets. Night wear folded perfectly and lovely towel sculptures every day. Brill and so so friendly and always happy. The dining is brilliant. In the main restaurant the staff can not do enough to please. They work so hard and long hours. Always clean,smart and the food is like eating in a 5 star restaurant . The self service is just as top class, no complaints at all.The same can be said in the bars. All the staff are so efficient ,friendly and all seem happy in their jobs. Entertainment is also top class and although some games etc. may sound silly we had lots of laughs. Loved Debrovnik which we did ourselves but very busy with tourists. Greek main land had a lot of graffiti and rubbish and trip to canal and ruins was rushed, No time for drink to cool us down. Enjoyed bike ride in Itea which was brilliant and the rest of my party did Itea and Delphi themselves ,also good but Itea also had a lot of graffiti and rubbish when not on the front. Loved Montenegro the most beautiful place I have visited and the trip was brilliant too . Very clean and peaceful place. Corfu we also did ourselves but also a lot of graffiti and litter. Cruising is brilliant if you havn't already tried it have a go. We spoke to a lot of people who have been on other companies ships and they prefer Thompsons smaller ships as too much queuing in the bigger ships and too big to fin their way around if only on for a week. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Our flight to Dubrovnik was good and on arrival we were transferred quickly to the ship. Check in on board was fairly smooth but it was a bit annoying having a photographer line you up for photographs when you have just come off a flight. ... Read More
Our flight to Dubrovnik was good and on arrival we were transferred quickly to the ship. Check in on board was fairly smooth but it was a bit annoying having a photographer line you up for photographs when you have just come off a flight. Our cabin was a disappointment. It was small, but sufficient for our needs. We were lucky that the weather was good during our stay as I would not like to have spent a lot of time in it if the weather had been bad. The furniture was basic and in need of a refurb and the electrics were pretty wonky with a lack of sufficient points for charging phones, tablets etc or using the hairdryer. Also, there was a distinct sewage smell. My wife refused to unpack and we went to reception to complain. They said that they would send someone to inspect it but because everyone was busy with check in it would be several hours before anyone could come. We then discovered that several people on our deck (No 1) had the same problem. Someone came down at night to check. They sprayed the room and said that they would work on resolving the problem, which in fairness did improve as the week went on. However, my wife was still not happy, after all, you would not put up with a smell at home. We asked to be moved but were told that there were no cabins available. There was no place to sit other than on the beds and from one bed you could see the television but from the other you couldn't. In the free self service laundrette on our deck one of the available driers was out of order for the duration of the cruise, and also the iron did not work. I wonder if there had been a charge for this service whether the broken equipment would have been fixed sooner rather than later. Despite some reservations I would say that overall the cruise was excellent and good value for money. The food was excellent with a great selection in both the dining room and the self service cafeteria. We used the cafeteria for breakfast and lunch and there was a large enough selection to cover a huge variety of tastes with an omelette bar at breakfast and pasta and sandwich bars at lunchtime, as well as a huge selection of hot and cold food. The dining room was great with a choice of a four course meal which changed every evening . We had intended visiting one of the speciality restaurants but didn't bother as the food in the main dining room was so good. The choices included Steak, Lobster, Chicken, Salmon and Lamb as well as a selection of lovely soups, salads and deserts. It is also worth saying that the staff in the dining rooms were excellent. All very friendly and good natured. The entertainment in the theatre was terrific, but not so good in some of the bars, although the ships resident band were very good. We went to the theatre three times during the week and we saw the Brit Awards Show, the Tribute to Cameron Mackintosh show, and the comedian Stan James. All were very high quality shows, pretty much West End standard and very unusually, I had not heard any of the comedians jokes before. It is also worth paying tribute to Jake the cruise director, who put his heart and soul into everything and even appeared in one of the shows. I don't know when he managed to sleep. We had bought a drinks package and this was my biggest issue. We did not realise that you could buy bottles on board and take them to your cabin. We paid £360 for the package but I would certainly not buy it again. It annoyed me having to sign for every drink that you bought. When we cruised previously with Celebrity you were issued with a smart card, which the barman simply swiped to automatically charge your account. The biggest issue with the bars though was the APPALLING service. On entering a bar, particularly Hemingways or Liberties, the waiters would studiously ignore you and you could easily wait for 10-15 minutes before someone took your order. I tried going up to the bar but they asked me to sit down and someone would come to take my order. It would often then take another 15-20 minutes before the drinks arrived. It was so bad that on a couple of occasions I actually went up to the bar and took the drinks from the waiter and got them myself. This happened so often that I am convinced that it was Thomsons policy to ensure that they profited from the drinks packages. I'm quite sure that had we been paying for every drink, the service would have been a heckuva lot quicker. I also noticed that if you did not specify a proprietary brand, you were given a local spirit. Another way for Thomsons to maximise their profits. If I had known then what I know now I would certainly not have bought the package. If this is not Thomsons policy then they really need to retrain their bar staff or employ some new ones. The destinations which we visited were on the whole excellent, particularly Dubrovnik and Kotor, although we did these on our own as the tours were pretty expensive. We walked into Dubrovnik from the ship which took about an hour, although we were just dawdling along, so could have done it much quicker. We shared a taxi back which was only 7 Euros. Kotor is very accessible and you can walk in in a few minutes. We took a taxi from Corinth to Delphi, which was 30 Euros each way, but still cheaper than the tour (especially if you share). We took the tour of Athens because it was an hours journey from Itea to Athens. We enjoyed seeing the Parthenon and The Acropolis as well as the Olympic Stadium. Again, it was fairly expensive but we felt worth it. In summary I would say that this cruise is excellent value for money, despite the problems with the cabin and the drinks package. I would certainly do it again but would not buy the drinks package, and would probably go for a higher specced cabin Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise because my partner had been on this ship with Thomsons before and really liked it. Embarkation went ok apart from being asked to fill in a health questionnaire on the bus but none of us knew what they were talking ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my partner had been on this ship with Thomsons before and really liked it. Embarkation went ok apart from being asked to fill in a health questionnaire on the bus but none of us knew what they were talking about. Hence, it got a bit chaotic for a short period. Not being a great cruise traveller I was rather hesitant but the size of the ship was perfect for me - not too small and not too big to be unfriendly. It was cleaner than many hotels I had stayed in and the staff were always very friendly and willing to help. The cabins were a bit stuffy and the air conditioning was non-existent, but very clean and serviced to a high standard throughout the day. Food was okay but very variable depending upon where you were. The Lido self-service restaurant was expansive but a bit repetitive after a few days. Hence, we went to The Meridien which was beautiful and the food was served to a high standard and the menu contained something to please everyone I would think. The entertainment was amazing and I was in awe of the staff involved. They work so hard and truly do integrate with the passengers which is easier on a ship of this size. The shows put on were at a highly professional standard and never failed to entertain their audience. The shops were rather dismal I felt and very limited in what they sold. Rather pricey and only sold high end items and not everyday things which people needed. Just felt the shops could have been a bit more imaginative. Excursions were well organised and appealed to what I imagine most people would expect from Thomsons. Cannot fault them at all as far as these were concerned. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Marella Celebration Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 3.8
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.5
Family 3.0 3.5
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.6
Enrichment N/A 3.3
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.9

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