9 Marella Cruises Marella Explorer 2 Senior Cruise Reviews

Went on Discovery 2 last year - Eastern Med and loved it so tried Western Med this year. No complaints. Food excellent, staff superb. Relaxed cruise and would recommend. Entertainment hit and miss. Loved the comedian but didn't like ... Read More
Went on Discovery 2 last year - Eastern Med and loved it so tried Western Med this year. No complaints. Food excellent, staff superb. Relaxed cruise and would recommend. Entertainment hit and miss. Loved the comedian but didn't like the crew's musical. Squid and Anchor pub was a popular venue, got quite busy. Personally would only cruise for a week. We did cruise and stay and stayed in Sorrento after the cruise which was fab. Had an outside cabin with a window and it was more than adequate, not luxurious but you don't spend much time in your cabin. Discovery and Explorer quite similar. More restaurants on Explorer but missing the lovely Atrium on the Discovery. Swings and roundabouts really. If I had to pick a negative it would only be in relation to the ports on this cruise. They were all commercial ports and if you didn't choose to do the excursions on offer which were quite expensive you had to get a bus or taxi to get off the port. The ports of call we visited in the eastern med, we could just walk off the ship into town. Everyone - guests and crew were so friendly and if you had a problem they would sort it out for you. Wouldn't hesitate to book another Marella cruise. If you want a 'posh' cruise and wear your evening gowns and tuxedos every night this is probably not for you. We loved it! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My first cruise with my partner.Was nervous and apprehensive at first but put at ease with the experience.Security in this day and age are very important and the security unit certainly lived up to expectations.The room “Jnr ... Read More
My first cruise with my partner.Was nervous and apprehensive at first but put at ease with the experience.Security in this day and age are very important and the security unit certainly lived up to expectations.The room “Jnr Suit””was unbelievable,spacious,clean and well turned out.Balcony included was an extra advantage and welcome.Food was absolutely beautiful and well presented.The restaurant personnel were well turned out smart and very helpful.The shows which I can understand are not to everyone’s taste but that’s a personal choice.Shows we liked were ‘Cogs’ and the Comedian.The drinks were plentiful.We went on two tours ‘Barcelona’and ‘Rome’which were amazing and interesting (a bit hot though)lol.The Crew were polite and nothing was to much trouble for them,always there to help.I think a lot of people don’t appreciate the crew under working in the guts of the ship.As I said in the beginning,this was my first Cruise and I was to say the least apprehensive but having said that would I cruise again......yes most definitely. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
As a National Customer Account Manger of one of the UK leading holiday companies and having now complete 15 Marella cruises I like to give an honest rounded option on the experience. Whilst this isn't a new ship and other reviews I ... Read More
As a National Customer Account Manger of one of the UK leading holiday companies and having now complete 15 Marella cruises I like to give an honest rounded option on the experience. Whilst this isn't a new ship and other reviews I read before the cruise also stated its new to the fleet and its a nice ship. The positives. Nice ship with some really good venues, bars and restaurants. The customer service from all the staff from cabins to bars & restaurants etc is excellent and what you would expect from Marella. The negatives. This ships sail out of Naples the worst airport experience I've had in 40 years both on arrival and departure so beware when you book. An hour and a half to get you luggage, another 20 minutes walk up bank with your cases to the coach park and another 20 minutes queue for the bus. Not the best start to a holiday going back was worse. Food was well below the standard and the worst myself and wife experienced in all our sailings. Respective tough meat dishes, no roast of the day,Jacket, boiled or roasts and only chips twice in the week. The sweet selection was basic and the same every night. As we and others arrived late on the ship due to the debacle at Naples airport the lunch buffet was closed and limited food on offer. The late night buffet was really basic and not worth the effort. We paid £100 for the drinks upgrade on the first day as I would rather drink Heineken rather than Fosters and my wife Bulmer rather than Strongbow ( personal choice) Two of the main bars Pool bar and the Squid and Anchor didn't stock these. The entertainment was pretty dreadful. The two best acts on the ship were the crew show and the guest artist from the UK. The bands The Collective were great but the Vibe were awful and looked and sounds as if the got together 5 minutes before the ship sailed. The rest of the entertainment crew were the worst I've seen on any cruise or even in the UK. This was an Adult cruise and they fed us kid type games shows backed up with poor jokes, lousy singers on top. If the Cruise Director/staff spent less time talking about themselves and put more focus on the customers it would have been better. The ports of call were good but the usual information you got maps etc from destination services were none existent. I purchase the internet for work back home if you don't use your megabytes you loose them. Summarise. Great ship. Excellent service. Entertainment rubbish. Food Poor. Talking on a new ship to the fleet, sticking it dry dock for two weeks and getting it out on the ocean is always going to have problems. You might change the name but not the previous shame. Marella have built up loyal following myself and wife included. The have built up the fleet of good ships and created a brand in Marella. This ship is way off the standard of any of the others and needs some serious surgery. I would give this ship a wide berth for 12 months till they sort the basics of the food and the entertainment out. I like many others would never travel into or out of Naples airport again its an nightmare. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We picked this cruise for price and destinations and it delivered on both, I was thinking there was no way this cruise would be great as it was so cheap, flights from UK to Naples then onto Split, Croatia Venice, Italy Ancona, Italy ... Read More
We picked this cruise for price and destinations and it delivered on both, I was thinking there was no way this cruise would be great as it was so cheap, flights from UK to Naples then onto Split, Croatia Venice, Italy Ancona, Italy Dubrovnik, Croatia and Sicily and back to Naples 7 nights all-inclusive for under £800 WOW The dining in the main restaurants was superb and the food choice was excellent, onboard activities I must admit apart from a quiz or to we didn't do much but from the list provided every day there was lots to do in the day time if you wanted it, the service from the staff was very good and they were all too keen on doing anything you asked of them, the evening entertainment was good, all be it same type each evening musical and dance apart from a comedian one night, Food and drinks during the day was very good overall the cruise was very good but not as good as cruises costing twice as much we have been on but you can't expect it to be but we were both very pleased with everything on board and would recommend this cruise to everyone wanting to cruise on a budget. We went on trips to the waterfalls from split and the caves from Ancona both good value trips we felt, but both had long coach trips over 1.5 hours but comfortable coaches help and both trips had a lot of walking so keep that in mind if you not good in your feet. We did have a issue in Naples unfortunately due to the port powers to be not letting us on board because if a sickness but for 8 Very long hours with no food or drinks supplied by Tui they did let us down there but they were on top of it once on board as we believe it had run the course. If it wasn't for that they would have got 5stars for everything. Word of warning !!!! Don't use the so-called duty free on board unless you know in advance how much the item you are buying is back home as like we found out it is not cheaper than back home and they will not honor their price match promise unless you tell them while on the cruise so they refused to give me a refund because I didn't find out until I was back in the UK, Tui isn't running the duty free I believe the company is called HARDING BROTHERS RETAIL Ltd well that's what it says on the receipt Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
chose this cruise as I had never tried a marella cruise before. previously sailed with p and o , princess and Azamara. liked the destinations offered for a 7 night cruise.. booked a deluxe cabin on deck 9 or 10 at cost of £2460 and ... Read More
chose this cruise as I had never tried a marella cruise before. previously sailed with p and o , princess and Azamara. liked the destinations offered for a 7 night cruise.. booked a deluxe cabin on deck 9 or 10 at cost of £2460 and paid for this in february. on arrival at airport handed cabin labels for a deck 8 cabin. told rep incorrect as no deluxe cabins on that deck. was told do not worry as she would email ship and rectify. arrived at naples and cabin type not resolved complained at booking hall and told to go to reception. went to reception at 13.00 and told to come back at 15.00. at 15.00 told do not worry cabin will be sorted but officer who could resolve issue was sorting out lost luggage. when asked why not resolved from our 4.00a.m query at airport was told officer was dealing with medical emergency. went back 2 hours later and maria the customer service supervisor told us not to worry that it would all be sorted.at18.00 as the ship was sailing from naples harbour was informed that TUI had changed the cabin type and refunded money to our booking agent. was told no deluxe cabin available and would have to keep the cabin allocated.i had no communication prior to the cruise about any change to the cabin type ,i received my etickets in april stating a deluxe cabin. no refund was received prior to the cruise date. if my booking was changed why was I not notified and why was I not given the chance to cancel and get a refund. the cabin booked was a deluxe cabin with a queen bed. we received a bed that had walls / petitions on 3 sides. to get out of the bed you could not walk around the bed but had to climb over the other person. after the first night my husband slept on the settee so as not to disturb me. hardly a deluxe holiday experience. food on cruise was okay but nothing special . tried speciality once but not worth the premium charged. best place for eating was nona for pizza and fresh pasta. on arrival in Dubrovnik went to customer service and asked about shuttle buses into the old town. told not allowed to provide as local bus companies do not allow it.azamara supplied shuttle buses when i went to dubrovnik with them. feel like customer service staff lie to your face in the hope that they will just get rid of you . it is now over 2 months since my cruise and i have still not had an explanation or apology from TUI. at the end of june they refunded £294 for the difference in cabin prices Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This is only our fourth cruise and we wanted a cruise that visited interesting places in the Mediterranean and was only a short flight from home. Mornings and evenings were cool but temperatures in the day around the low 20 degrees C and ... Read More
This is only our fourth cruise and we wanted a cruise that visited interesting places in the Mediterranean and was only a short flight from home. Mornings and evenings were cool but temperatures in the day around the low 20 degrees C and we had one rainy morning. We flew from East Midlands to Palma and although check-in was slow arrangements went smoothly until check-in at the cruise terminal where things again were slow. This cruise was the second week since the ship had been refurbished and the quality of furnishings and fittings was exceptional. The lifts were spacious and quick. Without exception all the staff we met were friendly, welcoming and helpful. Eating was a delight with open dining in six restaurants and three a la carte which cost extra. Ten bars, one a pub and a coffee shop completed the arrangements. The talented Explorer 2 Show Team produced a number of top class shows in the Broadway Show Lounge that would rival any produced in the West End. There were lots of activities during the day and in the evenings. Pampering was available at Champney’s Spa a new venture. We visited three Countries, five towns and could either walk in or take an inexpensive shuttle bus to enjoy them. There were lots of excursions to places like Pisa, Florence, Genoa and St Tropez and lots of room for sunbathing. Departing the ship was an ordeal because of poor organisation and we were again held up by Border Control at East Midlands on return. An enjoyable cruise, a top-class ship, fine food and drink and an outstanding crew. And the bonus adults only. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have been with Mariella (Thomson) several times including Baltic capitals this last August on Discovery -which encouraged us to go again with this company. As we wanted to avoid the Bay of Biscay and have limited mobility, we opted to ... Read More
We have been with Mariella (Thomson) several times including Baltic capitals this last August on Discovery -which encouraged us to go again with this company. As we wanted to avoid the Bay of Biscay and have limited mobility, we opted to fly cruise via Majorca. We are less mobile than we used to be and assistance was booked but this seemed to exclude TUI staff. Help was needed with luggage not wheelchairs but airports do both not one. The ship was Explorer 2 which was undertaking its second cruise since being fully refurbished. The ship and staff are still having issues. However I feel that others might wish to learn that this ship is not up to the standard even of Discovery There is a reduction or omission in many areas offered in comparison * no maps of the ship in the cabin * no maps of ports visited * much lower mileage of cruising: we even left port about 6 pm to idle off the coast for several hours (presumably this saves on port charges?) rather than take off later poorer entertainment * no classical music whatsoever - all pop * no readily available deck games (hosted or otherwise) although the putting green (not golf) was on the top deck around the funnel and was unreachable when the wind was up as most of the time * library was a joke - just one small stand with charity shop books although a few board games were available and were well used as little else to do Add to this, we had issues with a stuck loo outlet switch, a broken safe causing us a loss of almost a days visiting - not expected on an expensively regenerated ship It felt that every attempt was being made to cut costs even at the expense of cruisers enjoyment Overall - a boring experience and not to be repeated Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have done almost 30 cruises with Thomson/Marcella and this was the most luxurious ship we have been on. Yes we did have problems with our cabin - no safe working all week, no light in the bathroom but this was soon repaired. The inside ... Read More
We have done almost 30 cruises with Thomson/Marcella and this was the most luxurious ship we have been on. Yes we did have problems with our cabin - no safe working all week, no light in the bathroom but this was soon repaired. The inside cabin at the front of deck 9 was was comfortable, quite spacious with a well designed bathroom, plenty of storage space and very quiet. Daytime activities were limited and quizzes almost all music questions. However the breakfast and lunchtime buffets in the Marketplace was very good and evening waiter service along with the food in Latitudes were also very good. The shows in the Broadway were often excellent, but the evening entertainment in the Squid and Anchor was variable and often a bit chaotic, however since this was a maiden cruise it should improve as the entertainment team ' come to grips with their roles'. The crew are a major asset of the ship since they were invariably friendly and helpful. We knew the shore excursions can be expensive and since we had visited all the ports before only did one to Rome. It was The Easy Rome and was ok but did not leave the ship until 12pm. We arrived on the ship after 6pm so missed the lifeboat drill and never did one - this oversight must be sorted out. Yes we were aware of other problems around the ship but overall we enjoyed the cruise and are sure Marcella will sort them out and we recollect the Marcella Dream had host of problems when she first came into service with Thomson's. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Couldn’t get no worse!! First ever cruise and what a let down. We were on the inaugural cruise from 2 April 2019. In my opinion the ship was just not ready. Arrived on board before midday and cabins not ready. On an inaugural ... Read More
Couldn’t get no worse!! First ever cruise and what a let down. We were on the inaugural cruise from 2 April 2019. In my opinion the ship was just not ready. Arrived on board before midday and cabins not ready. On an inaugural cruise?? However, advised to go to Pool Deck where food and drinks were available. That was fine but the toilets were blocked. No water for washing hands, toilet tissue, sanitiser. A recipe for passengers being stuck down with tummy bugs. Crew directed us to Deck 12. Same condition. Crew then shrugged shoulders. Problems with toilets blocking all week including on final morning. Customers were blamed for this which is never the best strategy to adopt. When the above situation was reported to Reception was told this was because vessel had been in dry dock. Wrong answer. Logistical management at best could only be described as poor. The cabin was fine and front of house staff worked very hard but lacked management back-up. Food was fine but service in main restaurant started off poor. Did improve during week and a couple of the Sections delivered a very good service in the end, one of which we reported on board. I will be critical but will also praise where praise is due. On one occasion, in Gents WC on Pool Deck water was coming through ceiling via light fitting. A bucket had been placed underneath but I advised the crew member present the water leak was the least of the problems as water and electricity was never a good mix. Think that went above his head. Code Victoria was called twice to my knowledge and it was not unusual to find blowers drying out carpets which ha£ been contaminated by flood water. Captain said on ore than one occasion they were having ‘teething problems’. These were not ‘teething problems’. A number of bits of kit failed to work especially in the buffet restaurant. Many did not have signs on. TIP: if going on. Cruise on this ship take some ‘out of order’ signs with you so you can help crew. Well, experience put me off cruising but experienced ‘cruisers’ reassured Us this was not a good example and recommended other Lines for us to try. We have decided to do this as we liked the experience of visiting different locations/ countries each day but this is down to fellow travellers rather than this experience. Such a shame as had terrific potential As stated above, in my opinion the ship was, simply, not ready. The Captain did state needed the passengers to fully test vessel. I don’t mind this providing I am given the choice before booking and do not pay full price. Oh well, bye, bye Marella. We could have had such a great future relationship if only, if only!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Marella Explorer 2 Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
Dining 5.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.4
Family N/A 3.4
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.4
Enrichment 2.5 3.0
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 5.0 3.6

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