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101 Marella Cruises Malaga Cruise Reviews

All went wrong from the flight we took 7 hours 30 mins to get to Malaga we sat on granada runway for over two hours. We have not long come back from this ship Marella Celebration well where do I start the ship has paper thin walls I ... Read More
All went wrong from the flight we took 7 hours 30 mins to get to Malaga we sat on granada runway for over two hours. We have not long come back from this ship Marella Celebration well where do I start the ship has paper thin walls I could here the people in the next cabin snoring it was so bad and you can imagine what it was like when people came back from the casino or late night drinking. Also you sat in theatre/ show and you can watch everything vibrate It’s so bad people say you get use to it you don’t the ship is so old her sister ship has been scraped off I wonder why do not take children on this ship for me I would worry about them all the outside steps are so steep. You could not get a sun bed unless you get up at 6am just not enough they say they remove towels but they don’t Food very basic in self serving restaurant. Safe in room £35 for holiday I have never paid for safe on any cruise I’ve been on before WiFi nearly £50 which most of the time it did not work Another thing i was not feeling well at the end of cruise found my blood sugar very high (34) can’t be certain but I don’t think I was getting Diet Coke Good bit is the staff sorry not for me would try the newer ships but not this boat you will be sorry if you book look at newer ships this one is over 35 years old and her sister ship was scrapped I wonder why Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I give this cruise, the ship, the staff, the food, everything EXCEPT TUI, full marks. If Tui step up their game, and put customer service instead of money first, then there would be very little to moan about. Yes, my gripes are more ... Read More
I give this cruise, the ship, the staff, the food, everything EXCEPT TUI, full marks. If Tui step up their game, and put customer service instead of money first, then there would be very little to moan about. Yes, my gripes are more like moans. I was determined my first ever cruisewould not be spoiled by a petty nasty Destination Services person. Dear Julie, oh how I will always remember our time together. I travelled with my blind husband. A large ship would have been difficult. So, the ship. Small. Compared to some monsters that moor up beside us, our little clipper was a tiny craft, but, she made up for it by offering the BIGGEST group hug every day. Our cabin was basic, a small porthole window, but, spotless, comfortable, and a happy steward greeted up with big smiles every day. He made our bed twice a day, chocs on the pillow. The next days entertainment itinerary every evening to read. And boy were we entertained. Shows, games, lectures, lessons, loads to occupy anyone lost for something to do. The show team put on energetic performances with lots of song, dance, feathers and sequins twice a night. Guest comedians too. With table service inclusive drinks from smiling staff who never found anything too much trouble. Ok food. Well. It was hot. Plentiful. Tasty. Varied. We began by using the Lido self service restaurant, but by day two, we discovered the silver service restaurant was inclusive and made more sense for us. You were treated to wonderful service, ask for your own table, no need to share if you don’t want to. Breakfast, a served up number of choices, never empty juice, tea/coffee. Lunch. Dinner, all choice of menu, all good, and order what you want, some guests ordered double servings! There are small gripes. The shops on the ship are expensive. And the continued push for diamond international purchases at port. The excursions are expensive. And watch out for Julie. We missed an excursion, it took us 1.5hrs to get off the ship on day one, the excursion left without us. No refund, your fault. She refused further discussion. £76. No way..I phoned their UK office, 3 days later she refunded us. But she wasn’t happy. Another gripe. Sunbeds. Same as in hotels. Never a sunbed to be had, towels everywhere! Oh well, enjoy the quiet of the cafe, bar or reading rooms while the towel folk play sunbed roulette. You will read that the ship is old and tired. Yes...but...not tatty. Always clean. Wonderful cheery staff. And amazing entertainment. Taylor the entertainment manager, knows his stuff, and seems to be everywhere! We have to say, that, we did not enjoy the Caribbean, for many reasons. We took many excursions, taxis, and found nothing worth returning for. But, others found secret beaches and lovely places to go. We didn’t. The ship was our holiday, and the Celebrity was wonderful. We got stuck on our last day while Gatwick Airport dealt with its drones. An extra day onboard enjoying the hospitality, there were worse places to have been stuck. And the crew, staff and Taylor, made us all welcome, and kept us informed on progress. This is where Tui redeemed themselves. Finding planes, and coach transport back in the UK. Our first cruise. Not our last I hope. Would not blink if I find another Celebration cruise I fancy! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Although embarkation went smoothly the rest of the cruise was dire. We were told the ship had been undergoing renovations in the month before, but there were problems throughout the ship. The cabins were clean but dated; and there were ... Read More
Although embarkation went smoothly the rest of the cruise was dire. We were told the ship had been undergoing renovations in the month before, but there were problems throughout the ship. The cabins were clean but dated; and there were lots of people having problems with the electrics and air conditioning. Although the room stewards were helpful some of the reception staff were incompetent and very slow to resolve problems. Guests felt that they were fobbed off, having to repeatedly report the same issue with complaints completely ignored. On one night the main lights on deck 9 were flickering off and on causing a hazard. We just sat there in darkness, which had the bonus of us not being able to see the revolting food.There did not appear to be staff doing anything about it. (see photo below) The food in the main dining room was variable but the buffet on deck 9 was inedible. We both suffered from diarrhoea and fellow guests told us that they had been poorly too. There were very limited dining options elsewhere.We tired of the queues and waited too long to be served. As with the all inclusive drinks package, guest were constantly pressurised into upgrading to the three restaurants on deck 9. It is disappointing that the quality of the food and drink should be determined by an upgrade. It should be uniformly excellent. Unbelievably, they charged for the Wi-fi!! Yet another way of extracting money from guests in what is supposed to be an 'All Inclusive holiday'. Generally the staff were polite and helpful with a few exceptions which really ruined the efforts of the other staff. A very badly managed ship and a waste of money. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Our reason for booking this Tui cruise was that we booked late and needed a disabled cabin, Tui were the only cruise line that could accommodate this at such short notice. We are not “seasoned” cruisers, this was only our fourth ... Read More
Our reason for booking this Tui cruise was that we booked late and needed a disabled cabin, Tui were the only cruise line that could accommodate this at such short notice. We are not “seasoned” cruisers, this was only our fourth cruise in total and we have only sailed with P&O previously. We were nervous reading the reviews but have to say from the outset that we did enjoy our seven nights on Marella Discovery. I will try to make this review as fair and informative as I can. There are positives in that the ship was very clean, the staff (though mainly young and in lots of cases a bit inexperienced) were polite, friendly and very helpful. Discovery 2 isn’t massively impressive from the outside but the pretty atrium and public rooms on board are comfortably furnished and very welcoming and the vibe in the atrium bar is just lovely. I’m not sure whether this is down to the staff or the clientele but the atmosphere is very pleasant and relaxed. We met some lovely people on this cruise and didn’t find the snobby element you can sometimes encounter elsewhere. I need to say here that level 4 on the ship is the main “entertainment” area accommodating the theatre, a live-lounge (the clue’s in the name), a casino, the very popular atrium bar and the main dining room - BUT THERE ARE NO PUBLIC TOILETS ON THIS LEVEL!! You have to either go up one floor or down one floor to find a loo. Now this is fine if you, like me, are able bodied and can easily manage the double staircases (about 20 steps) to each level but, if you have to wait for a lift, it’s really unacceptable. This wouldn’t only affect the age demographic on this adult only cruise - I wouldn’t like to be travelling with children who, in my experience, nearly always decide they are desperately in need the loo when they sit down to eat. This really is my biggest niggle with Marella Discovery 2. As for eating, we personally used the main dining room, the Italian dining area, the Island buffet and the Snack Shack. The food in all dining rooms varied from perfectly acceptable to fairly good; there was lots of choice and you’d have to be a very fussy eater not to find something you’d like, however, we felt the dining room cuisine was not as good a standard as we have experienced on P&O. The temperature of the food served (on BOTH cruise lines we have travelled with) is never hot enough for British palates - we like hot food to be piping hot and this is something we rarely find in Mediterranean countries. Service in the main dining room can be a bit slow but we felt this could be improved either by better supervision, giving the staff more training or taking on more experienced waiting staff. That being said, the waiters/waitresses were all friendly and helpful. We were a bit worried about the “all inclusive” aspect of the cruise (which was adult only on our trip) and wondered whether people would be drunk by lunchtime. Again, we needn’t have worried, we didn’t see anyone taking undue advantage and going mad with the all inclusive drinks package. As for service of drinks, this was excellent with waiters/waitresses patrolling the pool area most of the day and checking whether you wanted anything from the bar and the same in the lounges in the evening. Drinks were served quickly and measures are European so more generous than in UK. We were asked if we wanted to upgrade to the premier drinks package but this really isn’t necessary and, though I’ve read in other reviews that people were pressured into purchasing the upgrade, we were not and we didn’t see anyone else being given the hard sell either. Our cabin was spacious, clean and comfortable. My only complaint was that drawer space was extremely limited. In an extra large, double cabin we had a wardrobe with plenty of hangers and only three very small drawers (I’m talking about 12” wide) built into a very small dressing table, though there was lots of space for a reasonable sized set of drawers. We do like the formality of P&O cruises (probably because that’s what we’re used to) and I wasn’t sure how we’d go on with a less formal approach. It’s a case of almost anything goes but most people seem to dress smart/casual. I didn’t take any “evening” dresses - I think I’d have felt a bit too “showy” if I had. Several men wore dinner jackets and a few of the ladies did wear evening dresses on the “Dress to Impress” night (equivalent of the Captain’s formal nights on other lines) but, in the main, most guests were smart but less formal. (Some men in lounge suits, some in shirts, ties and smart trousers and others in open neck shirts with smart, casual trousers; ladies in anything from long or short summer dresses, jumpsuits, and smart pants and tops). We didn’t see anyone looking scruffy in the dining rooms in the evening and found the less formal approach very refreshing. The shows we saw (4 in total) were all very professional and your enjoyment of these will really depend on your own taste. The theatre is very comfortable and drinks are not only served there by waiting staff but you can also pick up a drink from the makeshift bar outside each performance in your way in but soft drinks were not available outside the theatre. Poolside entertainment was limited but we didn’t mind that and it may be different in summer months or on family cruises. (To be fair, we only had one sea day and the weather wasn’t conducive to sitting by the pool (November) so we didn’t get to find out whether there’s a bigger range of “entertainment” on sea days). There were quizzes by the pool during the day and you could take part or not, as you wish. On the strength of this experience we have booked to cruise with Tui again later in 2019 - having checked that there are loos close to the main entertainment and restaurant areas first. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We had a balcony suite and if you can afford the upgrade it is well worth it. The accommodation is amazing and to wake up to a different view from your bed every morning is amazing. The cabin stewards were spot on, every day. The ... Read More
We had a balcony suite and if you can afford the upgrade it is well worth it. The accommodation is amazing and to wake up to a different view from your bed every morning is amazing. The cabin stewards were spot on, every day. The cinema, while a nice looking comfortable cinema, didn't really have much to offer by way of current films. The live theatre entertainment though was excellent. The food in the buffet restaurants was not as good as I had expected but was adequate. The all inclusive can be a bit confusing as it doesn't include everything, you have to pay for premium drinks and coffees. Overall though the experience totally sold us on the cruise experience and I would be more than happy to return to the Explorer for another trip. This was our first cruise but certainly will not be our last, and we are looking forward to more Marella cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I choose this cruise because I had been on two Thomson ships before it became Tui. The expieriance before was amazing. This time it was awful!!! Firstly, there was no sail away party which before was fabulous and we looked so forward to it ... Read More
I choose this cruise because I had been on two Thomson ships before it became Tui. The expieriance before was amazing. This time it was awful!!! Firstly, there was no sail away party which before was fabulous and we looked so forward to it again. After our first night in our inside cabin, which we had had inside before, this time two mattresses put together and they separated during the night making it impossible to get comfortable. So we went to reception to ask if they could help our situation. We were told there would be a super king mattress put in place, I was in the cabin when the maid came to inform me they don’t have such thing on the ship. So she proceeded to strip the bed to see how she could help. To my disgust when she removed the sheet the mattress protector was filthy with stains from top to bottom. I was horrified to think this is what we had lay on. The protectors from the bed were replaced with relatively clean ones put across the beds to stop them parting in the middle. Still not happy we returned to reception next day informing them that no such mattress was available according to the maid. Then once more they said they would deal with it. Next we were approached with the head housekeeper to apologise for our inconvenience but said there is no such mattress on board! Staff on board were very much under pressure and with only a very few happy helpful faces. My husband has the constitution of an Ox, and yet after dining in Gallery 47 was extremely sick just after eating his meal. The choice of menus were very limited also. The buffet eating was nothing like our expieriance on the two previous ships. Then the entertainment, was poor same things every day/night. The standard was very poor. The promise of movies by midnight never once was on. Our holiday on this ship has put us off ever cruising again, it was a long two weeks trying to put our time in while on board. The outside pool was closed for days. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Facilities were poor. Smoking areas were a joke and people were treated like "the great unwashed". Eventually after a Petition was set up the Captain provided a covered smoking area (weather was not very good). They ... Read More
Facilities were poor. Smoking areas were a joke and people were treated like "the great unwashed". Eventually after a Petition was set up the Captain provided a covered smoking area (weather was not very good). They announced it in the daily paper as an additional area, then proceeded to close the smoking area on the sunny deck Day time entertainment was very poor considering the weather, evening entertainment was not average but could have been so much better if nearly all the entertainment staff were not all their first cruise. They just did not seem to gel at all, they should have mixed it up a bit more. Poor standard of food, never ever warm never mind hot! Daily information about the ports was nearly non-existent, to the stage that a half-hour bus ride to a destination that was closed (bank holiday) was a total waste of time. A bit of a wash-out is the best way to describe it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Like another reviewer on Discovery 2. We have been cruising with Thomson/Tui for many years and agree with everything they have said. Celebration was our favourite ship until Discovery came and then we saw how tired Celebration looked. Our ... Read More
Like another reviewer on Discovery 2. We have been cruising with Thomson/Tui for many years and agree with everything they have said. Celebration was our favourite ship until Discovery came and then we saw how tired Celebration looked. Our first cruise on Discovery was really good ;we were really impressed so we booked another. There were 2 years between the cruises. We were shocked how tired it looked in such a short time. In the buffet dining area tables were taking a long time to be cleared. The choice of food was not as good as the previous cruise. Entertainment was nowhere near as good as the Celebration. Since all inclusive has come onboard as non drinkers we believe we are subsidising the drinkers who seem to order for the sake of it. The dress code has well and truly gone down. Seems you can wear what you like despite the rules. Due to how things have changed we are now looking at other cruise lines which is a real shame. The crew on the Celebration is what made us return year after year. Our first Captain on the Discovery was from the Celebration. He told us Tui knows the love Celebration has and they want to replacate that on all their ships. Sadly they are going badly wrong and will loose alot of their valued customers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
STAFF: The staff were all polite, well mannered, very customer focused, impeccably dressed, clean and easily identifiable. They could not do enough for us. We felt valued throughout. Some had more confidence than others but that all ... Read More
STAFF: The staff were all polite, well mannered, very customer focused, impeccably dressed, clean and easily identifiable. They could not do enough for us. We felt valued throughout. Some had more confidence than others but that all comes with experience. We felt that every single member of staff smiles’ were genuine. They looked like they enjoyed their work. We particularly enjoyed engaging with Pieterson who served our chosen area in the LIDO Restaurant. We cannot commend him enough and were quite sad that we didn’t see him on our last day on board to say goodbye. He was on duty after we had left. FOOD: The food was in abundance. So many choices of places to eat. So much choice in each restaurant. We could eat from very early in the morning until very late at night. We could eat as much as we wanted and there was definitely something for everyone. Cooked English breakfast, cereal, toast, omelette, fruit, yoghurts, pastries, continental, hot and cold. Unlimited tea and coffee. No one could complain. Lunch – many choices including burgers, pizza, panini station, noodle station, desserts galore. Afternoon tea with the best sausage rolls, sandwiches, biscuits and scones. Dinner – Choice of 5 restaurants with different types of food. As I said before, something for everyone. We wanted for nothing. And then finally the midnight buffet. We could have eaten 24/7 if we chose to. We all ate more than enough. It was great to have so much choice. Amazingly enough I even lost weight as I was eating more healthily. Although I enjoyed this, the food was of a lesser standard to a previous cruise we took 5 years ago with Thompson. CLEANLINESS: Everywhere we looked was clean. The facilities for public use was always clean and I bumped into the same cleaner on a few occasions in the ladies. She was very thorough. Our room was cleaned and tidied every day, twice a day. We are not messy people at all, but we still appreciated the effort that goes into keeping things just so. When the LIDO deck tables were in full swing, it did get a bit untidy, but things were soon cleared away once we asked. The staff were never just stood around doing nothing. ACTIVITIES: There was plenty of activities and choices of areas we could spend our time on board. We didn’t utilise everything because we were happy with the areas we did visit. We attempted a few quizzes and enjoyed listening to the singers in between activities. Personally, I found these could be a little loud at times and we could not converse with our friends during that time. I know there was a quiet area where people went to read but they would not appreciate us all chattering away in there. I ended up going back to the room for some quiet time leaving my husband on the LIDO deck enjoying the music and drinks. INFORMATION: Information was readily available either with the daily newsletter which I found very informative or by visiting reception and asking a member of staff. There was even a printout of crosswords and quizzes that was available each day. DESTINATION SERVICES: We went to the presentation for the daily trips out at the beginning of the week. Again, these were very informative, showcasing the best of what there was on offer in each destination. Im not sure I enjoyed the delivery style but every one likes something different. I did feel that listening about Morocco put us on edge a little bit with the feedback given on the day. I was prepared to go and do our own thing, but our travel companions were a little bit on edge about it and by the time the showcase was over they were definitely not going to get off the ship in Morocco if they were not on an accompanied tour. We ended up paying for the mosque tour. At this point I would like to say that I feel it would be prudent in future to advise passengers who book this tour that they will have to remove their footwear inside the mosque. None of us were prepared for this. Also, it is not suitable for people who are less able. One gentleman on the bus could not walk to the mosque and was in a motorised wheelchair. He got inside but then was unable to remove his shoes. I helped him as his wife also had a walking aid. He was only able to stand for a very short time and the guide was obviously talking to us all for quite a while. The gentleman had to go back to his wheelchair (which he was not allowed to take any further) and wait for us to finish the tour. He also could not go down the stairs into the ablutions area, so he didn’t see much at all. His wife struggled with the steps herself and I ensured that I stayed by her side to get up and down the steps. The gentleman did not get inside the RC Church with the stained glass as this too had multiple steps. In my opinion, passengers need to be advised of this prior to booking the trips. We were also led to believe that there would be some time to shop. The tour guide, although very informative about the various places we visited, insisted we go into a particular shop that he was going to show us – he advised us all that the shop was the only place that the argon oil face cream was certified by the factory. He said it was rubbish everywhere else. He also stated the saffron here in this shop was the proper stuff and that the saffron you get everywhere else is no good. So, we all traipsed into the shop behind him. We all duly bought the oils and saffron etc in this shop. Twenty minutes later we were told it was time to go. As we left, the guide went to the till and he was handed some money (I assume a percentage of what the bus tour occupants spent in the shop – obviously he is paid to take tour buses into that particular shop. Whilst I understand that this may be normal practice, I do think that the guide is out of order stating that all other places sell rubbish and not the real McCoy. We were not given any other opportunity to try the other shops. ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment team did just that. They entertained us. Very professionally. We only missed one night in the showcase lounge. It got better and better as the week went on and saving the best till last. The Cameron’s Classics was worth waiting for. We also thoroughly enjoyed the guest comedian – not once but twice. PHOTOGRAPHS: We had our photos taken with the Captain. We felt rushed through and didn’t think the photos were very good. We had our photos taken at other places on the ship. We didn’t like these much either as they were posed. Unfortunately, we had our photos taken in the more informal setting on the deck and we loved these photos but not at the prices being charged for. I have a printer at home that I bought specifically to print photographs so asked if we could just purchase the disc with the 9 images on without the 9 prints. This was not possible it seems. I would have paid for the disc. Would it be possible to offer this service in future? I am sure that the ten minutes it took to take the pictures was worth £50. There would still be a profit made. Four couples over an hour would pay £200 an hour. I wish I could earn that kind of money. All of the above is my observation and thoughts. I do however have a complaint. My husband and I chose this particular cruise because we wanted to visit Marrakesh – this was the ideal way to do that. It meant we were on a bus trip, we were only there for a day and we could take all the photos we wanted at the same time of knowing we were not going to stray into unknown territory. You can imagine our disappointment that once we boarded, we were informed that there would no longer be a trip to Marrakesh due to the three-hour drive (surely when planning the destination and advertising the trips you knew it was going to be a long drive). Overall, we had a great time. Thank you for a lovely week’s holiday. We have come home exhausted and feel we could do with a week off. We may see you again Celebration. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was my first cruise and had been recommended by friends to travel with TUI as it's more relaxed. The ship operates a cashless system. You are given a card which is linked to your bank account. Be warned, as soon as you get on ... Read More
This was my first cruise and had been recommended by friends to travel with TUI as it's more relaxed. The ship operates a cashless system. You are given a card which is linked to your bank account. Be warned, as soon as you get on the ship you are being harassed in to photographs, massages, the payable restaurants etc. This was very annoying and not appreciated the moment you get on the ship. Service: Excellent. All the staff are very attentive and can't do enough for you. Dining: We mostly ate at the Lido. I liked the food very much, there was always plenty and was always tasty and plenty of choice. We also tried the Meridian, the food was nice but I prefer the casualness of the LIdo. They also have things like burgers, pizza and hot dogs out on the terrace too if you get peckish before dinner. Ports: I was not impressed with the ports. We called at Mahon, Marseille, Barcelona, Valencia and Cartegena. The only good one was Barcelona. We booked a tour for this at £32. On reflection I wish I hadn't booked the tour as Barcelona is very easy to navigate and everything was very rushed. I would also warn against using the shuttle service that was laid on at Marseille and Valencia. The shuttle bus service is BADLY organised. We waited 90 minutes for a shuttle bus in to Marseille and on a hot day this was unbearable especially with a lot of older people in the queue. TUI know how many tickets hey sold and should have arranged more buses! Same with Marseille, not enough buses and massive queues. Most ports have a bus service, Marseille and Valencia do. Cheaper and easier. Entertainment: The nightly shows were good. My favourites were Africa, Moulin Rouge and the west end one. The comedian/magician was awful. He performed two tricks and filled the rest of the show with old fashioned humour aimed at the 70 plus range. The only thing that really ruined the cruise for me was not being able to sleep at night. The ship was really swaying and the vibration was really hard to ignore and stopped me sleeping. Other than that, the cruise was good but i'm not sure that a cruise holiday is really for me. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Cruise 2018: Spirit of Iberia cruise (https://www.tui.co.uk/cruise/itineraries/Spirit-of-Iberia-055604) on Marella Celebration from Thompson, 8-16 April 2018. My wife and I took this cruise as our first experience of this type of ... Read More
Cruise 2018: Spirit of Iberia cruise (https://www.tui.co.uk/cruise/itineraries/Spirit-of-Iberia-055604) on Marella Celebration from Thompson, 8-16 April 2018. My wife and I took this cruise as our first experience of this type of holiday and as a special treat for our 30th wedding anniversary. Getting There & Arrival Flight TOM4796 from London Gatwick on 8th April, due to depart at 14:55 was delayed until 16:55. Aircraft Captain apologised profusely and explained that French air traffic problems caused the arrival of our aircraft to be delayed slightly but a company operational decision (not explained) to give our aircraft to a Tenerife flight instead caused the bulk of the delay. The delayed flight was without incident as was the airport transfer to our coach. • Reception in Port This was not very professional, indeed a confused affair. The young lady who met our coach and addressed us attempted to provide important boarding information in a breathless voice reading far too quickly from her clipboard and the microphone held too close to her mouth. If training in clear communication with customers and effective use of a microphone were given to her I suggest a refresher, if not I suggest the company provide such training. Important information is useless unless it is clearly given. The same situation with the same young lady occurred when we boarded the transfer coach for the homeward flight. • Check-in & boarding No issues with check-in, however we were given very little time to get onboard, find our cabin and get some food after our long delay before we were to attend a legally required safety briefing. Additionally, I discovered later that my wife’s photo had been tagged to the digital information relating to my boarding card. This meant that each time it was scanned leaving or returning to the ship my wife’s face was displayed instead of mine. I pointed this out but nothing was done and at NO TIME throughout the voyage did any of the ships security staff ever realise the mistake. • Safety Briefing This was simply shambolic. For such an important and legally required event its delivery by the Assistant Cruise Director was useless. He sat down on the stage in the Broadway theatre and proceeded to read, badly, from a sheet, with neither sufficient pauses to allow absorption of the information nor emphasis at suitable points. The demonstration on how to don a life jacket was disgracefully bad. Unclear and poorly executed. The same young lady who received us at the coach was unable to put her demonstration life jacket on properly but the Asst Cruise Director turned that into a joke. It could have been a comedy sketch, except it was important. • Ports of Call presentation On day one a presentation was given in the Broadway theatre/lounge on the ports of call we would make and what they offered. This was poorly presented in a faux chat show style with the Cruise Director obviously reading from a script. Destination Services staff showed poor audience presentation skills and poorly articulated what passengers could expect. The presentation, unfortunately, was not very professional and also seemed to focus largely on selling the expensive excursions. The Ship & Crew Marella Celebration, formerly the Nordam, is 34 years old yet quite well fitted out and comfortable. Dining and bar facilities are good, the top deck bar - Horizons - being an interesting place to drink. Our outside cabin on deck 3 was adequate with good enough facilities though an extra power socket would have been quite useful. Ventilation and heating were good yet what appeared to be a ships announcement speaker never worked. On board information sheets were good, well produced, informative and useful. Finding your way around was easy. All crew members I met were friendly, polite, helpful and approachable. I only had one problem on the second night when I asked a bar waiter for a glass of water for my wife who was feeling ill, to be refused because the bar did not open for a further 10 minutes! I had to make a complaint on one evening about a strong smell of engine exhaust in our cabin and all along our accommodation deck. This was sorted out after a time but never adequately explained. The ship had a constant wobbling motion/vibration through it, especially felt on decks 5 and 6, even when in port and engines idling. At night, engine/machinery noise permeated our cabin constantly. This could possibly have been mentally tuned out and not caused much annoyance had it not been exacerbated by the very rough seas we experienced in our Atlantic Ocean phases of the voyage. The heavy seas, heavy ship’s motion and machine noise made sleeping very difficult leading to 4 out of 7 virtually sleepless nights. Not pleasant. Marbella Cruises have no control of the weather however I feel the company should know their vessel’s comfortable sea state limitations in their role as cruise liners. Celebration is perfectly sea-worthy but not at all suited to ocean passage in such heavy sea conditions as we experienced which led to much discomfort and disappointment. I would NOT holiday on this ship again, or any other of similar dimensions and age, if the route involved any substantial sailing in open ocean. Entertainment Apart from the one show we were able to see (due to weather and illness) in the Broadway lounge, this was mediocre. Hemingway’s bar, for example, contained a beautiful (though covered up) white baby grand piano and a pianist playing on some nights was advertised. The pianist turned out to be an electronic keyboard player providing soundtracks via his laptop computer and singing not very well. Hemingway’s, a comfortable and pleasant bar, would have been vastly improved by a real pianist. Most other nightly music acts were second rate at best with very dated repertoire’s and not very entertaining. The Captain’s Gala Night was a huge disappointment. A gala evening implies a social occasion with special entertainments or performances, neither of which occurred. After half an hour of dismal musical entertainment the Captain introduced himself and spoke to us about the ship, itinerary etc and introduced key members of the crew. We then went to dinner in the Meridian restaurant but he didn’t reappear to chat with passengers and there was no further entertainment. Apart from an excellent meal with excellent service, it was all rather disappointing. Dining Meridian restaurant is excellent though service seemed slow sometimes. Very comfortable, lovely atmosphere, excellent food and wonderful, cheerful staff. The ribeye steak was definitely excellent and worth the extra £9.95 on the inclusive package. The Lido casual buffet had equally good food though it had the ambience of a school cafeteria with long queues at times, often caused by a shortage of cutlery or drinking glasses. The staff were excellent, very efficient, helpful and cheerful. Departure Although not having to depart the ship until 16:45hrs on the last day, we had to have our luggage packed and ready outside our cabin before 02:00hrs and vacate the cabin by 08:00hrs. This was especially annoying as we had suffered so much poor and fragmented sleep due to weather conditions and would have appreciated time to catch up on some of it. As it was we spent a little time in Malaga then returned and tried to rest onboard as best we could. Miscellaneous Shore excursions were quite expensively priced. A shuttle bus service was laid on by the ship at Portimao which cost £7 per adult return to the town or the beaches or both. This journey took no longer than 10 minutes so I feel it was vastly over-priced. In Malaga a port operated shuttle bus was provided, which was much more useful than that at Portimao, for a cost of €4. Casablanca could have benefitted from having a shuttle bus laid on also. There was constant selling on board which became quite tiresome. We were even charged £2 for two seasickness tablets, items that can be purchased in a pharmacy for much less. I felt this was simply taking advantage of people. Our all inclusive drinks package wasn’t quite all inclusive as, despite soft drinks supposedly being covered it didn’t cover soft drinks in cans as we were charged £1 each for six cans of Diet Coke. Some of the drinks for which a supplement was charged didn’t make sense to me. For example, Teacher’s scotch whisky, a mid-range blended whisky, was included within the package yet Bell’s, a similar quality whisky, commanded an extra charge of £2.50 as did Famous Grouse and Old Bushmills, both on a par with Teacher’s. Johnny Walker Red Label, generally considered a little more premium than either Teacher’s or ordinary Bell’s carried no extra charge. At the end of the cruise we felt that those passengers who were departing the ship became obviously less important than those newly arriving. This was displayed a few times in staff attitude and made us feel we were no longer of use as marketing targets. Conclusion Despite the poor weather and nighttime discomforts we did enjoy the adventure. We feel this holiday was overpriced and let down by the other aspects detailed above. We are not yet sure if we would cruise again. Probably we would when we feel we can afford it again but, although we felt we took great care on this occasion, we would take even more care about choosing the itinerary, ship and cruise company to hopefully gain maximum value for money and maximise our holiday experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We went in April and with Spring being the windiest season of the year, I knew I needed to strap myself in for a bumpy ride. NOT what I was expecting. Embarkation: Really easy and stress-free. Check in at the airport was fine ( I ... Read More
We went in April and with Spring being the windiest season of the year, I knew I needed to strap myself in for a bumpy ride. NOT what I was expecting. Embarkation: Really easy and stress-free. Check in at the airport was fine ( I still dont understand why they dont just give us those Priority Cruise tags once we've landed, but anywho ) and we were on our way. There were a few long-ish queues to check into the ship, but that was to be expected. Staff were very friendly to us, helping us to where we needed to be. Overall, the most stress-free check in i've had in a long time. Food: This is an issue I've always had with Thomson ( Well, now Marella ) ... I've never found anything WRONG with the food, its just always been a little...boring? If meat and vegetables and roast dinners every evening is your thing, then fine. But I guess I'd prefer something from the actual country I'm visiting, not just British food. Obviously if you dont like that kind of thing, then you're in luck! The actual food isself was wonderful. Considering I only had 4 dinners out of a possible 7 ( More on THAT later... ) they were all in all, pretty good. Lunches were always lots of choice, paninis, burgers, hot dogs, salads. We ate in the main restaurant for lunch one day, would HIGHLY reccomend. Lido was okay, just seemed to get a little too crowded for my liking. Having the drinks machine in the food queue, NOT a good idea. Overall, was okay, but could be better. Entertainment: We only went to 2 shows ( I'll tell you the reason... its coming ) but my god were they GOOD. I love musicals and all things like that, was right up my street. You could see how much the entertainers enjoyed performing for us, which was lovely to see. And their talent was out of this world! Other members of our party didnt agree, not enjoying the musicals. Other entertainment was also available. Live singers were always a treat to listen to. Quizzes throughout the daytime, activities on the pool deck ( When it wasnt raining sideways ). Finally, there was a games room, a library and a coffee shop. If you enjoyed a quieter ride, you had someplace to go. Overall, spectacular. Theres something for everyone. Excursions: We did one excursion, in Casablanca. All in all, it was okay. We went to a Mosque, which was BEAUTIFUL. The biggest Islamic place of worship outside of Mecca. The rest was... eye-opening. We were taken through a traditional market, where we werent allowed to buy anything. Instead we went to a tacky tourist shop... Not really my idea of fun. We were also taken through a different market- again, couldnt stop or anything. Not really sure why? Overall, an okay tour. Seemed a bit underplanned. Cabin: We had a Deck 1 cabin, pretty much as midship as you could get. Inside cabin. Very spacious and kept pristine at all times by our wonderful room steward. We had a problem with the shower on the 2nd day. Someone came right to our cabin within minutes of reporting it and sorted it so we could be on our way. Another thing, we barely ever saw our room steward. Which to me, is perfect. Never seeing them, so you never feel like you're in their way or they're in your way. Yet after a long day of adventuring, our beds were made, those little chocolates were on our pillow and we could just relax... Disembarkation: Not much to say here. The exact reverse of embarkation, completely stress free. General: In general the ship was clean. It smelled very clean upon walking in on the first day. The pool deck got untidy ( On the rare days it was actually used ) and the waiters and waitresses were always ready to fix everything for us. None of the staff ever seemed like they werent doing anything ( Except for when we left the port, and we all retreated to our porcelain vomit-bags ) Everyone was so friendly. It was just... perfect. So yes. We had some bad weather. The first night was fine, you could barely tell you were on a ship. Then we got through the Gibraltar strait, and all hell broke loose. Okay, I'm being a BIT dramatic... but throughout the course of the day the seas got rougher and rougher. So finally, at around 7pm that night I hid away in my cabin for the next 14 hours. Oh no, it didnt just last for one night... EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Rock...and roll. Im not exaggerating, 3/7 nights were about bareable for me, only because we had the protection of the Med on 2 of those nights, and the Portugese coast on the other. But the crew... they were FANTASTIC. The captain was everywhere, reassuring passengers throughout the day, then battling the seas throughout the night. We had winds at the top end of storm force 11. Bear in mind the scale only goes up to 12, and thats a Hurricane! Our cabin steward brought us extra towels on nights we didnt leave the cabin, they even delayed the ship by a few hours on the 3rd night so we could all have a nice dinner! The best thing that happened was on the final night. Since hardly anyone turned up to the captain's gala ( Escpecially in the second sitting ) they had loads of the staff come onto the stage in the entertainment, a really great photo opportunity. Just a great experience all around. The captain gave an announcement on the last day, thanking us for our co-operation, which was lovely of him. It was the worst weather he'd seen on around 20 years of working on a cruise ship, and at times it was some of the worst sea he'd ever seen. I'll miss the ship, and I'll definitely go back. Probably not on that itinerary though... Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
To be positive. Single cabin very clean. Medium sized bed. It also seemed to be good value for money for a single cabin (prior to boarding). No tips. Good and friendly cabin "porters". Negatives. Cabin decor dismal. Small. TV ... Read More
To be positive. Single cabin very clean. Medium sized bed. It also seemed to be good value for money for a single cabin (prior to boarding). No tips. Good and friendly cabin "porters". Negatives. Cabin decor dismal. Small. TV poor. Low deck. Bad noise and awful vibration from the engines; especially in port. This vibration affected the whole ship but because these single cabins are lower in the decks affect was much worse. I can only describe it like sitting on a washing machine. I was told (by customer service) this should have been pointed out at the time of sale - it was not! In fact, it was sold as a single cabin with external porthole e.g. outside. Reception/Customer Service was dreadful. I offered to pay for upgrade (of course this would have depended on value) given the manner of vibration I said I would sleep in the lounge if I wasn't given a change of cabin. Despite offers to review this I was effectively ignored and even when given deadlines for resolution none were forthcoming after 24 hours and I had to chase. Was told that rooms were full. Fortunately, the vibration was not as violent when the ship sailed and I did get more accustomed to it; but not good enough. I asked to speak to the reception manager and the staff effectively blocked this. I am sure the manager had told staff not to put complaints through to her. Ineffective manager. Probably afraid of dealing with complaints and, thus, pushes these to her staff. One central american girl was very good and tried her best but the rest ineffective. As a single traveller, I rely on the activities to meet other people. On other cruises, there have been choirs, dancing, crafts and daily single meets. Fantastic holidays for single people. On this cruise there were none (one line dancing class; one singles meeting in front of reception and I was the only one who turned up. Nobody asked me why I was sat there alone by reception staff so I left). Most of the activities were expensive tours; and mainly sitting on a coach. I did go on one horse riding tour in Menorca which was fantastic. I do not enjoy evening cabarets and tend to relax in my cabin in the evenings; what a joy given the ambience etc. of the cabin as described. The weather was not good enough to sit on deck so I was in my room from 7/8 each evening. The cycling tours appeared a good option. I am not a good cyclist which I discussed with the tour leader e.g. which was the best tour for an inexperienced cyclist not good with hills. Recommendation was Valencia tour. He asked if I could balance on a bike; which I can. On the day, he "assessed" my cycling ability (in front of the other cyclists) and as I could not use the gears properly he said I was not good enough and must return the bike to ship (with money refunded). I lost two hours that morning and the opportunity for other tours. I spent the day walking to Valencia and back; alone as I had no other plans and needed the exercise. When I suggested to him that he needed another assessment method his response was he could only do that by seeing people ride; and that 15 mile ride should have been indicative. I am fit and regularly walk 12 miles +. What about simply saying that only experienced cyclists can go! I enjoyed seeing the different ports and wide variety of food (although it was not hot and vegetables under-cooked for me), I did see cabins on other, higher decks, which were perfectly acceptable (although I know these would be more expensive). They had a seating area, for example. Check in and check out was great. Flights were extremely delayed but one in flight very good. The holiday overall could have been much better. Having a decent cabin would have gone a long way towards the other weaknesses. I could only class this as a budget cruise compared to other cruises. To be fair the price was less than my other cruises given that all cruises sting singles for high supplements. . As it was, I was glad to get home! I had seen other reviews about these issues but chose to ignore them because it had been recommended to me. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Right from the start this Cruise was a Ripoff. TUI changed flights from Glasgow from 7.30am to 2.30pm, lost 7 hrs straight away and gave us earlier flights on return, basically lost 2 days of our holiday.Said we could fly from Newcastle if ... Read More
Right from the start this Cruise was a Ripoff. TUI changed flights from Glasgow from 7.30am to 2.30pm, lost 7 hrs straight away and gave us earlier flights on return, basically lost 2 days of our holiday.Said we could fly from Newcastle if we wanted, but couldn't guarantee they wouldn't change these flights.Having been on Thomson Spirit the year before and received amazing service we expected this to be the same or better, boy were we about to be sorely disappointed. Most of the Eastern European staff were arrogant,ignorant and couldn't be ased doing anything, but why would they when they have a bar manager who never acknowledged passengers, never spoke, never smiled, wouldn't move out your way and was arrogant, ignorant and great role model for Staff.The Philippine staff could not have been any nicer, a credit to the company. Drinks were watered down, food was ok but nothing for youngsters.Perhaps a separate menu for under 10's Marella.Pizza,burgers and hot dogs every day get a tad boring.Did I mention that all the drinks are watered down. I was ill with your pork meatballs, most were undercooked.Service at meals could have been so much better, loads of times I had to go looking for spoons to eat my puddings or Brown sauce for my dinner and by the time I got back my meals were cold. Childrens entertainment was ok and the two staff tried there best, but you seriously need someone to show you how to work with kids and with over 20 years of experience of working with young people, I Do know what I am talking about.Happy kids make Happy Parents. The ship was noisy and I don't mean the engines, every night from 10.00 pm - 2.00 am what sounded like a train would roar by our cabins and wake us up, not happy and funnily enough wasn't mentioned in the brochure. Shore excursions were ok, but cancelling Portmao trip because of a Port workers strike and taking us to Helvua was a poor substitute...You knew about strike well in advance and could have offered us a tourist destination, Helvua was not a tourist destination. Have I mentioned the drinks were all watered down. The ship also charges for everything, visit to the deck to see captain, give us your money, momento of your miles travelled, give us your money, want to safely store things in your cabin,give us your money. I could go on and on and on, but basically this Cruise was a mini Blackpool at Sea, tatty and money money money and judging from other passengers complaints not a very good advert for Marcella. I Paid well over £6500 to take all my family on what I told them would be a brilliant Cruise. Never again will Marella Cruises be getting my hard earned money and never will I tell people how good they are...keep it up Marella, great way to go out of business. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise as it was a very good price and we needed to see some blue sky. I had read mixed reviews about the ship and was aware it was quite old and smaller than I had been on before, but it was truly lovely, the staff were ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a very good price and we needed to see some blue sky. I had read mixed reviews about the ship and was aware it was quite old and smaller than I had been on before, but it was truly lovely, the staff were wonderful, entertainment was great and and so was the food...no complaints at all. Sailed from Malaga and were able to have a good explore before we left as we didn't have until 10 pm and Malaga is compact. All ports of call were easy to explore on your own, although I would recommend a tour from Casablanca, we chose Rabat. The disembarkation always ran smoothly and without queues, one of the advantages of a smaller vessel. We travelled as a couple and had a cabin on the lower deck, mid ship, the beds were very comfortable and our cabin steward, Wilbur, was fantastic. We had a porthole window which I was fascinated by, it was a whole new perspective being right by the water, especially when the waves came over the window. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Reviews were mixed but we took a chance as we’d been on 4 Thomson cruises before, although the last one was 8 years ago. What a mistake. The Lido buffet restaurant was awful, horrid seating, massive queues and mediocre food. The Sirens ... Read More
Reviews were mixed but we took a chance as we’d been on 4 Thomson cruises before, although the last one was 8 years ago. What a mistake. The Lido buffet restaurant was awful, horrid seating, massive queues and mediocre food. The Sirens was a lot better for breakfast and lunch. The food was just ok but the choice in the self serve was disappointing,the drinks prices were expensive and the quality of the beer was very hit and miss,the serving staff were excellent as we expected from tui cruises. This ship is ideal for smokers and young families, but not for us. TUI is definitely the bottom end of the market. Everything is always to pay extra for learning how to play poker to a visit to the bridge its pay pay pay more more more . The ship is very out dated. We did not feel that we had value for money and the experience was not one we would repeat Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was my first time as a solo passenger so that's why I picked the 5 night and am so glad I did I found the ship to be very tired with not much happening for a solo passenger. I usually cruise with P&O and will definitely go ... Read More
This was my first time as a solo passenger so that's why I picked the 5 night and am so glad I did I found the ship to be very tired with not much happening for a solo passenger. I usually cruise with P&O and will definitely go back to them. I was in cabin 5211and although it was quite spacious it was very noisy, the shower room had an unpleasant odour and only one socket worked so had to boil the kettle and change to charge anything else. The food was ok nothing special the only redeeming thing was the staff were very pleasant, would I go with Marella again that would be a definite no there was no ship map in the cabin which would be very handy as the signs around the ship only told you what was on that deck but not direction you should be heading. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Booked this as a quick break before Christmas,as we live 15 minutes from the port it is ideal, Boarding quick and easy on board with in 10 minutes,boarded early afternoon for a eight o'clock sailing First impressions,ship ... Read More
Booked this as a quick break before Christmas,as we live 15 minutes from the port it is ideal, Boarding quick and easy on board with in 10 minutes,boarded early afternoon for a eight o'clock sailing First impressions,ship smaller than we are used to , pools didn't have any water to begin with so took advantage of jacuzzi, afterwards were too busy with young children and babies Cabin very good size more room than usual plenty of storage space etc Really think they should upgrade bedding as looking warn and not as white as should be Restaurant irían good for breakfast and dinner Special Indian Thai restaurant good food and value Plenty of different bars with music, quite corners if you wanted, Always managed to get a seat. Drinks included in the price were good and you could upgrade if you wanted We didn't get involved in actives but there seemed to be enough to do As only four days first stop was Cadiz with is a nice and easy city to walk around Shame it was a cold and windy day. Next was Lanzarote a quick car hire and trip to the fire mountain, Always works out as cheap to hire a car and do it under your own steam Disembarking in Tenerife was again easy and no rush Summary all in all a good trip and great value for money Will see what Marcella have from Malaga next year Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We have sailed on this ship about 7 times but this was the worst one ever, we have taken around 15 cruises with Thomson never know it this bad. Maybe it the take over I don't know but they are cutting back on everything. Never know ... Read More
We have sailed on this ship about 7 times but this was the worst one ever, we have taken around 15 cruises with Thomson never know it this bad. Maybe it the take over I don't know but they are cutting back on everything. Never know such small meals served in the restaurant, was always a five course meal now down to three (very small at that) choice so poor and quality not good. All meals served either just about warm or cold, people sending meals back left right and centre. I have never been hungry on a ship before., yes I know that I could have gone up to the self service( cash cafe as I call it) its like school dinners fight for a table, up and down every few minutes to get next course not for me I'm afraid. Drinks package that was something else, first time we have ever purchased drinks package and may be the last, once on board they pushed and pushed to upgrade the package to include everything, would not have purchased in the first place if I had known it did not include certain things. We found it very difficult to get a drink, service was very slow except for the last night when they were all over us like a rash (tips night I guess). the early part of the cruise you had to chase a waiter or go to the bar yourself it was like they didn't want you to have a drink (and we are not great drinkers) others made up for it though. Entrainment well more like what entrainment, the shows are a cringe factor very poor I do wonder who does the auditions (it ain't Simon Cowell that's for sure) the rest of the lounges its full of passengers entertain yourselves quiz's all night one after the other. On this cruise no comedian no crew show nothing. I have a lactose issue no help at all no lactose free milk, (unlike P & O who we sailed with in July they carry lactose free and head waiter was able to tell me where at certain ports to buy goats milk from, also chef made lactose free desserts ect on request) but I did take my own milk with me from the UK on both ships. I think this will be the last trip on the dream its showing its age and TUI don't spend the money on the British Fleet. Strange how in one port a TUI ship was in port Brand New Shiny ship unlike our old tub. They spent the whole of the cruise painting, hammering, drilling and washing down life boat as we sat under them, passengers where just a pest really we got in the way of the work of the men in white overalls, I was sick of seeing men in white overalls with pots of varnish, paint and tools through out the cruise. Its a shame we have had some great cruises with Thomson over the years maybe its time to walk away now. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We have done over 20 Thomson cruises and although most of the ship particularly the cabins are tired we have always enjoyed the entertainment and cruise. This one was shocking....the entertainment team spent more time on deck 6 smoking ... Read More
We have done over 20 Thomson cruises and although most of the ship particularly the cabins are tired we have always enjoyed the entertainment and cruise. This one was shocking....the entertainment team spent more time on deck 6 smoking than they did entertaining, they put on a deck party that lasted 35minutes where they just all danced together and did not involve any of the passengers and when were in dock there was no entertainment at all on the decks. All the shows were poor and pretty much everyone felt the same way one of the comedians thought it was funny to tell homephobic jokes and although we are not gay it was very uncomfortable. We were at sea for 6 days and they did nothing extra on the decks, most people had to make their own entertainment. I could go on and on about how disappointed we were and in fact couldn't wait to get off the ship and come home. There was no sail away party and even when the outside decks were full with passengers no extra entertainment was put on. If this is the future of the old Thomson cruises now called Marcella we certainly won't be doing another one Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Friends had a son who had worked as Cruise Director on this and other TUI Cruise Ships, they thought we would enjoy it. How wrong they were. All comparisons are made with previous cruises, long and short haul, made with NCL, P & O, ... Read More
Friends had a son who had worked as Cruise Director on this and other TUI Cruise Ships, they thought we would enjoy it. How wrong they were. All comparisons are made with previous cruises, long and short haul, made with NCL, P & O, Holland America and Princess Lines, all small ships. Flew out on 5th.November, flight delayed on runway over an hour, toilet function problem. Poor meet & greet at Airport, wrong directions to transfer coaches! Late arrival on board, meant less than 15 mins to the second lifeboat drill. Meet & greet staff on board did not know cabin location ! Made the drill meeting in the Show Lounge, usually it's at your appointed lifeboat station. No indication given to cabin number lifeboat, assumed that display info on Prom Deck was correct, even cabin numbers to port, odd numbers to starboard. One morning while having breakfast on the Lido outside rear deck area, noticed a pungent smell, assumed it was from the docks, but became worse, then smoke came out of the rear swimming pool vents, it had been closed off and empty, no explanation given. Smoke became dense and black, so quickly departed to upper deck, P/A issued a coded message, which was obviously for the fire crew. Staff cleared everybody off the rear deck, and the fire was extinguished. Later announcement advised the fire had been caused by welding repair to get the rear pool up and running. Several days later pool was filled and operational. Next issue followed about a week later in the Caribbean, again breakfast time, all the lights/air conditioning etc went off. About 20 mins power was restored, the fire/flood doors could be opened. They closed automatically when the power went off, explanation was a failed generator. That evening however, as we left a port, out in the navigation channel, all lighting etc went off, also no engine power ! Restarted again in about 15 mins. Blame was put on demand to aircon due to high temperatures experienced ! We are in the Caribbean remember. Action taken was to restrict aircon output, so cabin temperature rose, especially at night, and certain zones throughout the ship had intermittent aircon. The ship is now operating its Winter schedule in the Caribbean with ineffective aircon Trip was Adults only, all inclusive, however the bar price list showed only certain basic drinks and cocktails were included. Named drinks/named wines/certain cocktails etc had an extra charge up to £3, min £2.50. Named wines were expensive, Anjou Rose @ £17, half decent red up to £35, Tesco prices about a third. House wine was not good, red was undrinkable, never tried the white, Rose was weak but drinkable. The taste/flavour of all drinks and cocktails varied dependant on bar used. Outside deck sources were especially poor. Other passengers agreed with our thoughts, and we all agreed the drinks were "watered down". I even started to order a separate gin measure or light rum measure to top up a G&T or Cuba Libre, but they neither had the smell nor expected taste. The bar staff opened new bottles, but they did not have the plastic insert within the bottle necks, to prevent a bottle being refilled, so make your own decisions on the subject. Cabin was a de luxe on deck 7, paid extra, but more space quoted. Ship was refurbished not long ago, interior is light maple veneer, very good storage via drawers, and two separate built in wardrobes. Reading lights above beds, lighting controls on bedheads for the cabin. Fridge with pay as drink basics, tea and coffee making, bottled water is extra please note, we didn't realise till the bill came. Dressing table area has two power sockets, one US plug and other is 2 pin European. Bedhead has double socket UK 3 pin plug, and two USB ports built in. En suite is small, very narrow bath with shower curtain, mixer tap with button shower engagement. A grab rail to cabin side wall is badly located, too near the riser rail, so you knock your right arm on it when washing your hair or applying the shower gel. Refit specification should have stipulated a walk in shower with Glass Panel, who bathes these days, and the shower curtain wraps around your body, so so naff. PLEASE NOTE SHOWER GEL IS PROVIDED BUT NO SHAMPOO NOR CONDITIONER. We had to buy shampoo at first port of call. Couldn't believe it. Dining was either at The Meridian Restaurant with waiter service, or The Lido which was buffet self service. In both, menu was poor, some nights pretty impossible. They both offer at extra cost, £9.95, a steak or chops alternative. Never tried either, nor the extra cost Eating Venues, at £19.95 per head, as it all comes from the same source really. Quality of food was poor, portion control excessive in the Meridian, only is 3 courses now, our friends said it was 5 courses. Never had breakfast in the Meridian, the Lido gets overloaded, long queues, no glasses/plates/trays virtually every day. Choice never changed in 18 days, served up food pre cooked in hot water trays, toast pre done as well. Tinned tomatoes yuck, very thin cut bacon which was cooked about 3.00am along with the toast, black pudding whatever that tasted like heaven knows, choice of eggs, under done sausage. Separate cereal station but loose cereals, very little choice, four options, fruit never changed, sliced melon, unripe pine apple, sliced tough oranges, tinned prunes or peaches. Yoghurt was Danone tubs, like Spanish holidays in the '60s. No bread other than white rolls which were tasteless, or brown. No other offerings. Evening time they did offer brown and white sliced bread plus the tasteless rolls, although some nights the bread was stale. Fruit juice came out of machine dispensers, concentrate diluted with water, fresh orange juice was extra from the bar, but was still out of a packet !! No separate station for the soup options, this was in the middle of the horse shoe conveyor belt layout, so you had to queue up twice to get your soup, then the main meal. In the middle was the joint of the day, carved for you, deep frown received if you asked for more, felt like Oliver in the film. Pork was good, beef was really tough, lamb was good. Never tried the rolled Veal as didn't like the inner core it was stuffed with. Entertainment was poor as was the very limited Activities. The speakers offered were not good, nor was the chosen subjects, funny things that took place in his police career, and film reviews by the other guy. Did one and gave up. The first dance group were quite good, voices not bad and show themes were of interest. Second lot after changeover day and ships, were over weight, couldn't sing and not interesting themes. Had one imported Soul Night singer, ex Drifters, really good. Very boring comedian another night. Various quizzes, but the Cruise Director and seemingly most of the Entertainment Team required a translator, to know what they were saying. Mancunian and Geordie were not taught in my school days, the Queens English was however. The daily Activities must have come from a Nursery School option list, Bean Bag Targets, Skittles, Carpet Bowls, to name the highlights ! There was an option to learn Welsh, you couldn't make it up but it was true. One quiz host called me " mate" while handing over a paper, and I'd never met him before! Some passengers created their own Activities, brawling in Liberties Lounge one night, because a couple had sat in front of another couple, blocking their view of the entertainment, Security restored sanity. Another night in Hemingways Bar, another Activity and brawl was glass throwing. Service overall was quite good, plenty of staff who worked tirelessly. Cabin stewards likewise. Did not take any shore excursions, had been to all bar one port several times before, the hurricane meant an amended schedule for ports of call, original format would have seen three new Islands. Thought the excursions were expensive. Thomson clients seem to be a certain type, mostly from Up North, Tyne Tees, Wales etc, minority from the South. Many had done the trip before, even the return leg as well in April. The stereo type is grossly over weight, tattoos, and thinks acceptable behaviour includes resting ones legs by either putting ones bare feet up on another chair, or laying full length, bare foot on a lounge bar settee, despite shortage of seating. Picking assorted food from the buffet and either eating it in the queue and or on route to the table. The two main activities are drinking from 10am till the bar closes, and smoking as much as possible in the designated areas, in between the drinking. Sunbeds are a premium, requiring early towel visits to secure, anything later than 7.30 and you've missed out on the prime spots. Rumour has it, one guy was up around 5.00am to secure their padded bed on deck 8. Majority of sunbeds are unpadded, somewhat past their sell by date, dirty and tired. Conditions are very cramped unless you have picked your spot, and angled " your two" to create more space. Slyly moving adjacent ones further apart. Tip of the week there. To sum up, we all look for something different, having tried Thomson/Marella, we would not use them again, it is not the standard we require, if you think I am being a snob, that is for you alone to decide. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
There is a lot to recommend this ship. 1. It is excellent value for money. 2. The food overall is very good. Whether you eat in the main dining room or the buffet there is always lots of choice and the quality is good. Best pluses ... Read More
There is a lot to recommend this ship. 1. It is excellent value for money. 2. The food overall is very good. Whether you eat in the main dining room or the buffet there is always lots of choice and the quality is good. Best pluses are the pasta station and the salad bar. Only minor criticism is, for me they over cook the beef. We also never had problems in getting seats at the time of our choosing in the main restaurant. The buffet could get busy on sea days but was far less chaotic than most cruise lines we have been on. 3. Overall the basic drinks package is very good. Reasonable quality spirits and good mixers. We don't drink white wine but we liked the Rose and the red was just about acceptable. Beware the red outside the dining room because it sometimes comes at mulled wine temperatures. The only beers offered in the basic package are Fosters and John Smiths. I like these beers some may not. Some people complained that because of the restrictions it was not all inclusive. I have been on lots of cruise lines and this is pretty good. Yes, some lines do offer top shelf spirits and wines but you would have to pay far more for the cruise in the first place. There were a couple of silly anomolies, you can order a gin and a vermouth separately, but if you order a Martini, you get charged. 4. Staff throughout the ship were excellent. Sometimes, in the theatre in particular, you had to wait to be served, but that was sheer weight of numbers. The boys and girls always kept smiling and worked their butts off. Our star performer was Maria in Horizons. 5. The entertainment team and the guest acts were excellent. Less keen on the comedians, but that just may be us. We have been on many cruise lines but this was our first on Thomsons. The majority of our experiences were positive. Now for the couple of downsides: 1. We are early risers and we like to sunbathe between eight and eleven ish. The first day we went down at just after seven and all prime locations were reserved but not in use. The following day we checked before seven. Same again and every sea day. We have encountered this problem before on Italian ships, but never before have we come across the Benidorm mob on a British cruise ship. 2. When I tried to raise the issue with guest services they ignored me for four days. The Manager apparently never received my four messages. I will put that down to inefficiency, rather than rudeness. On thing this cruise has taught me is to think very carefully about repositioning cruises. Four years ago I had exactly the same problems with MSC. I have not used used them since. I will not be using Thomson again for Ocean crossings.. I will use Thomson again for cruises with frequent stops. Good value, food drink and service make it acceptable. The sun beds issue becomes unimportant because either I or the majority of the mob will be . Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Having sailed on this ship & other ex Thomson cruise ships is was quite obvious that not only has the name changed but so has everything else but not for the better. Swimming pool on lido deck billowed out black smoke and deck had to ... Read More
Having sailed on this ship & other ex Thomson cruise ships is was quite obvious that not only has the name changed but so has everything else but not for the better. Swimming pool on lido deck billowed out black smoke and deck had to be evacuated, pool out of action for 5-6days. Having booked and paid for a deluxe outside cabin next one along from last years we were unable to sleep for the musician and his synthesiser blasting out a monotonous drum beat until 01.00am from the Hemingway bar below us even the pillow vibrated. Having made a complaint we were told couldn't be moved to another cabin as none available suggested we were given earplugs. To quote Queen Victoria we were not amused. The quality of food was appalling completely tasteless and very often cold especially at the buffet.It has always been the norm that a 2 week cruise would have 2 formal nights so packed accordingly only to find second was turned into a dress to impress night for photo's instead very disappointing .On the six days at sea passengers were out at 05,00am reserving sun beds on sunny side of ship thus waking us up with moving of beds.. AS there were so many walking wounded on top of everything else did begin to wonder if I was on a jinxed ship.Is this another German ploy the British have lower standards than them. The crew as always were brilliant except for reception who were polite but cold & did nothing to alleviate any concerns. Designated smoking areas were a joke as people considered walking around the deck was the norm even smoking leaning over the rail while ship being refuelled .Consequently anyone wishing to enjoy a coffee on deck 6 outside liberties in a smoke free zone were unable to do so,Anyone flying into or out of La Romana aiport Dominican Republic should be made aware there is no ambilift so you have to be able to walk up stair to aircraft. Gill Clay cabin 0223 Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose this cruise because we were on the Celebration relocation cruise last year and really enjoyed it. The ship is very clean and the crew are all very friendly. Our cabin was comfortable and kept very clean by Budi who always had a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were on the Celebration relocation cruise last year and really enjoyed it. The ship is very clean and the crew are all very friendly. Our cabin was comfortable and kept very clean by Budi who always had a smile and short chat anytime we met him. We ate in the Meridian Restaurant most nights and found this a very pleasant experience. The staff were very efficient and friendly and we met other guests whilst sharing a table with them. We mostly had breakfast and lunch in the Lido Restaurant where there was a wide and varied selection of food available. The only downside was, that if you didn't take a drink in with you, it was not easy to get a waiter. Maybe, more waiting staff would overcome this problem. We especially enjoyed the interview with Captain John one afternoon. It was very informative and interesting and he really has such a good sense of humour, which also came across on his daily bulletins when we were at sea. We enjoyed doing the daily trivia quiz but sometimes found it hard to hear the questions on deck 6. Overall, the service we received on board was excellent. The staff who especially stood out for us were Melisa and Sydney and the unforgettable Nosi, she was so wonderful, I would have been proud to have her for a daughter :-). Such hard workers and always with a smile on their face and an eagerness to help. Unfortunately, due to the hurricane, the ports we were supposed to visit were changed a bit, but that didn't matter to us. We saw some beautiful Islands in the Caribbean and met some wonderful people. Maybe next time we could visit the others. We had a wonderful time on our cruise and can't wait to do another one. Thank you to all staff and crew we came in contact with, you helped make our holiday one to remember. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We have sailed with Thomson 4 times previously (Destiny, Majesty and twice on the Dream) always enjoyed the ambiance of the ships and this time was no different. All the staff we encountered were great. Our cabin was a deluxe outside ... Read More
We have sailed with Thomson 4 times previously (Destiny, Majesty and twice on the Dream) always enjoyed the ambiance of the ships and this time was no different. All the staff we encountered were great. Our cabin was a deluxe outside on deck 7 (131) really good size, plenty of storage. We found the bed too hard (personal preference) but pillows ok. As always immaculately kept by our cabin steward. The bath towels were too small, I use this size at home to wrap around my hair after washing! Definitely not what I would class a bath towel, but always clean. The soap/body wash was awful stuff, take your own for sure!! The entertainment team in the show lounge were excellent, but as this week is their last on this ship you probably won't get to see them. We spent every evening in Liberties after the show and the resident band there were great! New Generation I think. Ports of call were all really good, only downside was the Thomson shuttle to Valencia. E7 each and a wait of 45 minutes. 5 mins walk around the corner will get you a local bus for E1.50! Our only disappointment was the food in the Meridian. Couldn't complain exactly, it was just uninspiring, and exceptionally small portions, but as always could not fault the wait staff. Enjoyed our trip but would probably not sail the Celebration again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
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