1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Marella Spirit Review
  4. Marella Spirit Cruise Reviews

2 Southampton to Europe - Western Mediterranean Marella Spirit Cruise Reviews

Cabin deluxe deck 7 135 The cabin was spacious with lots of storage space. There was plenty of wardrobe space but the hotel style hangers fell off with the slightest touch. The lighting was good with controls by the bed. There was a good ... Read More
Cabin deluxe deck 7 135 The cabin was spacious with lots of storage space. There was plenty of wardrobe space but the hotel style hangers fell off with the slightest touch. The lighting was good with controls by the bed. There was a good view from picture window only slightly obscured by lifeboats when looking upwards. We had an exceptionally calm cruise and did not feel any motion on deck 7. Other passengers complained of noise and vibration in the lower decks. There was a noticeable vibration or wobble throughout the ship, but this did not bother us at all, and in fact was quite soothing. The bathroom was tired, and the shower was only just adequate. The water pressure was lower at popular times. We made good use of the over bath line and towel hangers. The towels were a bit grey, but were changed frequently. I am addicted to an early morning cup of tea but there was no kettle in the cabin and bringing your own was banned. It cost £1.75 for room service for one cup of tea, provided with a small cup and one poor quality tea bag. We resolved this by buying a thermos flask and filling it at the Lido Restaurant when we went to bed. Tea bags (PG Tips), sugar and creamer were freely available in the Lido. The water in the cabin was drinking quality but heavily chlorinated, so we stuck to bottled water for drinking. The fridge was o full of chargeable items there was no room for our own things. It did not work anyway and staff stated it was only intended to be a 'cooler' not a fridge. The thermostat appeared to make no difference and the cabin was initially too hot, 71 degrees overnight. The air conditioning was turned down after we complained, but the engineer said that this would also affect other rooms nearby and it appeared to be turned back up after a couple of days. The two single beds could not be put together because of the fixed unit in the centre. The mattresses were hard and lumpy. I heard that another passenger was given a new mattress after complaining but was too busy enjoying the rest of the ship to find time for this. There was a ridiculously high charge £12.00 per week for use of the safe. Food This was a highlight of our cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed the food. The crockery and cutlery were clean and plates were very hot. There was a good range of choices. We especially liked the afternoon tea, which included jelly and peanut butter sandwiches, delicious cookies and cakes. The vegetables tended to be overcooked and the range was limited at some evening meals. The desserts looked good but were rather bland. There was a very limited range of cheese and biscuits and soft cheese did not appear until the last day. There was a limited range of bread and rolls and the toast looked horrid. The fruit juices at breakfast tasted watery. We ate in the Compass Rose several times, but always felt hustled to sit at a table with strangers. Service was variable and sometimes very slow. It was often noisy with the waiters too busy singing Happy Birthday to attend to us. The food was generally of a higher standard but we preferred the more relaxed atmosphere in the Lido. We did not choose to eat in the Sirrocco because of the extra charge, but it's location leading off the Compass Rose did not make it look inviting. The Lido Pool Grill offered a selection of lighter food options and was very convenient if we had been swimming and did not want to go inside. Entertainment This was of a high standard and very energetic. There was a terrific range of colourful and interesting costumes. The programme was quite varied apart from having the same (very funny) comedian twice in one week. The Show Lounge is located in the middle of the ship, which felt odd and was inconvenient as entrance was barred during performances and you have to go up or down a deck to get past it. The seats are comfortable but many areas have a poor view and you need to get there early to get a good seat. Resident bands were the Top Men and New Dimensions, both very versatile and fun to watch. There were dancing sessions in both High Spirits and Horizons bars every evening. Classical music sessions were provided by Duo Cantabile throughout the evening in the Explorer's Lounge. Quizzes were held several times a day at various locations. We enjoyed some of these, but there were also regular rowdy games shows which we avoided after the first time. The cinema was comfortable and showed a good range of films. Facilities The Spirit is a very friendly ship, with lots of comfortable corners to relax in. The main pool was deep, 5'8" and only access was via steep ladder, impossible for less able people to get in and out. The second pool was shallower, and was supposed to be adults only, but this was not enforced and several people complained about children jumping in. Both pools were emptied and refilled with salt water each day, but took a long time to warm up. They would be too cold to use in cooler weather. There were ample supplies of comfortable sun beds and reclining chairs. We were always able to get a sun bed when we wanted one, although sometimes had to fetch one from another deck. Embarkation and disembarkation were handled well. We particularly appreciated being able to use a courtesy cabin to shower after a morning trip on our last day. However the in flight meals were the worst we have ever had. The best that could be said for them was that they helped the time pass. There was a three hour delay on our way out, and flights from other airports were similarly delayed. The flight back was uneventful. Some of the advertised trips did not run, and the range felt quite limited. Costs were high, but no worse than other ships we have been on. The trips were well organised and we enjoyed the two which we took. We especially appreciated the guide on the Corfu trip, who had the whole coach roaring with laughter because of her witty comments. Shuttle buses were not provided at any of the ports, and the information provided was limited and not always up to date. The shops were small, cramped and expensive, and we spent very little time in them. We did buy a bottle of sherry to drink in our cabin which was comparable in price to the UK. I only used the Beauty Salon once, for a manicure and pedicure which cost £69. The beautician was very pleasant and it was a relaxed and enjoyable experience. Casino - we did not use this, but it looked welcoming and comfortable. There was one formal night, when we dressed up, but others were a bit half hearted and we saw plenty of men wearing casual clothes. Other nights there was a mixture, with many women in lovely frocks, however the general feel was casual. Service On the whole the staff were universally cheerful and helpful and went out of their way to ensure we had what we wanted. We were less impressed in the Compass Rose where the waiters seemed overworked and rushed. There was a staff show one night which was great fun, especially spotting them back in their normal roles the next morning. Reception was efficient and well staffed. Our few complaints were dealt with very quickly but not entirely satisfactorily and we didn't bother to follow this up as it really wasn't that important. We saw our cabin steward in passing most days, but she was discreet and never intrusive. We liked not having to worry about tips, which were already included. To sum up, we had a marvellous holiday on the Spirit, and got exactly what we expected. This was our 7th cruise, having also tried Island Escape, Ocean Village and several P&O. The Spirit is an older ship and does not have the wow factor of some of the newer ones. On the other hand, the atmosphere on board was friendly and relaxed, and we appreciated the lack of formality. There were very few children on board, and I would think it could be different with a lot of teenagers around. We would consider travelling on the Spirit again in future if the itinerary and price were right. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
My husband and I have cruised before and, some might say, have been spoilt by our previous experience which was excellent. Nevertheless, despite this Thompson Spirit was able to offer true value for money. On the plus side the crew did ... Read More
My husband and I have cruised before and, some might say, have been spoilt by our previous experience which was excellent. Nevertheless, despite this Thompson Spirit was able to offer true value for money. On the plus side the crew did their absolute utmost to entertain and to ensure we enjoyed ourselves: top marks go to them. The cabin, though tired, was always clean and well furnished with plenty of storage space. The walls, however, were paper thin and I comment on this later. We were greeted by turned-down bedding and a chocolate on the pillow when we retired for the evening. A nice touch, which has been lost with the larger operators. Embarkation was a joy and by comparison to larger ships we simply breezed through formalities. Although informal dining was available we chose to dine every evening in the Compass Rose Restaurant. The food was good (note choice of words) with, I believe, something for every taste. The waiters were friendly and often joined in as part of the entertainment. One evening I was pleased to notice that pretty much everyone had troubled themselves to dress up which helps to create a special atmosphere. On the formal night a good number of gentlemen wore evening dress. Before booking I noticed many comments made regarding rocking and vibrating and I take this into consideration. Take it from me - she does! Quite spectacularly! And this affected a number of passengers we spoke to. We were quite lucky in that respect. I had been dreading sailing past the Bay of Biscay having heard from many that it could be an experience one could discuss for many a year. Fortunately it was calm and we didn't even notice. The ship is quite old and as I write I believe she is on her final voyage before a re-fit. She maintained an air of old luxury and dignity but now the poor old girl is past it and the re-fit is over due. Thompson please note: Attention must be made to the quality of wall partitioning. Sadly on our trip we had neighbours to one side who appeared to gain enormous enjoyment from poor quality partitioning. They even seemed to know that by thumping the bed on their side of the wall the sensation would be felt with equal force on mine. I think the rooms would also benefit from the television being linked to an automated system whereby one could keep abreast current purchases. This would be especially useful when partners or even children can purchase independently. It was not essential to go on tours. Traveling independently was easy at all destinations. Indeed in some respects it was more preferable. Warning: it is important to recognise traveling on an organised tours is far safer than going it alone. The ship could go without you if you are unexpectedly delayed. At our final destination the sailing time was changed. This was advertised in the daily news sheet that was pushed under our cabin door. However, I believe that not enough attention was given to the thought of ensuring all those who departed were aware of the time change. Disembarkation, by comparison to our earlier experiences, was frightful. Our group, navy blue, were the first to leave as we had a 10:20 flight. No sooner had the group been called to disembark when the true British grit turned nasty and became a free-for-all. Only one coach at a time was allowed and was quickly filled by passengers wanting later flights. At one point the staff lost control and almost had to physically drag people off the coach. This had a knock-on effect right through to departure when people were actually running to catch their flight! Finally, it was comforting to note the way in which, after their previous problem this year, Thompson regarded the health of passengers and crew with high regard: to the point where hand cleansing when boarding or entering restaurants was paramount. Overall I would recommend Thompson Spirit, but only after her re-fit. She has a large number of dedicated passengers who clearly would not go anywhere else. Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
Marella Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 4.2
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 3.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 2.0 3.7
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 5.0 4.1
Rates N/A 4.0

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click