203 Marella Cruises Marella Explorer Cruise Reviews

regular cruiser looking for some warmer climes this winter. explorer ship pretty good, food in italian restaurant very good with friendly attentive staff. only used main restaurant twice for breakfast which was just ok. buffet restaurant ... Read More
regular cruiser looking for some warmer climes this winter. explorer ship pretty good, food in italian restaurant very good with friendly attentive staff. only used main restaurant twice for breakfast which was just ok. buffet restaurant patchy, soups were pretty good, salads average and main foods average. we do not think the range is as big or as good as 5 years ago. there was a late night snack area that was ok. bars all clean, staff up to usual standard. one bar that was far and away superior was the lounge. staff are so quick at preparing drinks and cocktails to clear the large number of people using this bar from 9pm onwards. the star performers from the lounge bar was vanessa, david, roland and gusti. top notch. the trips were all interesting. favourites were Taste of Fuerteventura and the wie,pottery, whistling tour of la gomera. shows were all very entertaining with the stand out being Zuma.the weather was quite warm ranging from 13c to 25c. Some good fish and shellfish eateries in the marina area of Lanzarote. rooms were looked after with great diligence as was reception. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My wife and I have used Marella cruises for a while now and used the Marella Explorer twice in 2019, having only recently done the Tenerife trip we were very disappointed, firstly a sand storm hit the island's which was not the ... Read More
My wife and I have used Marella cruises for a while now and used the Marella Explorer twice in 2019, having only recently done the Tenerife trip we were very disappointed, firstly a sand storm hit the island's which was not the ship's fault And lost out on visiting one of our ports, we were awarded a £25.00 compensation to spend on-board, we proceeded to Madeira only to find engine trouble and then was stranded in Madeira a day and a half and being informed that we could not make it to one of our major ports Morococo.but to the port we missed out previously wich was nothing like what Morocco would have been. The service on-board had dropped dramatically in the main restaurant we were constantly requesting more wine and even water, only a few month ago they were constantly topping our glasses up, (but not to the stage of being inubriated ). This was also the same in the lounge bar, waiters constantly walking past you but not asking if you required anything else, the staff has totally changed, Due to the current situation with this virus threatening the world I would have expected hand sanitizer all around the ship in every entrance to every bar but this was NOT so. We booked a extra large balcony which was smaller than everyone else's tucked away at the stern of the ship a table 2 chairs,2 sunbeds and a hammock. In a space no bigger than a small cupboard if you put the hammock up your partner could not get to or from a sun bed, room 12041. We have always praised Marella cruises but unfortunately not this time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
THE FOOD =. Let’s start with the food. The main restaurant looks nice to lull you into a false sense of security ... order fish... pretty close to their natural environment what can go wrong?.... wet spongy bread crumbs with wafer thin ... Read More
THE FOOD =. Let’s start with the food. The main restaurant looks nice to lull you into a false sense of security ... order fish... pretty close to their natural environment what can go wrong?.... wet spongy bread crumbs with wafer thin fish floating on a bed of water .... breakfast a very strange lamb sausage and rubber egg..... cram everyone into one corner and if you have the utter cheek to ask to sit somewhere else the shock and confusion on the waiters face that he has been lumbered with a stray sheep is all too obvious So we paid an exra £150 to have the privilege of having 3 meals in the speciality restaurant. 1. The dining club ... cold...empty ... ( should have read the signs there) ... foie gras floating in fat and a very basic meat dish. 2. Kora La ... slightly more people .....most in crew uniforms ..... presented with a prawn wrapped up in deep fried pan cake mis masquerading as tempura prawn. Watery madras...... 3. Surf n turf ....give me strength did I really sign up for 3 meals!,, My husband spoke to the chefs and explained the problems. They exclaimed with delight yes sir you know a lot about cuisine. My husband has huge experience in cuisine and hotel management and won’t be fobbed off. ENTERTAINMENT =. The production shows are nice. Scotty Miller the comedian was good fun. The Robbie Williams tribute looked like him but doesn’t 45 mins shouting. The over 40’s women liked him. The bands are a bit boring. No rapport! Just standing there looking into space. The singer whingeing about being on board for so long ( if you have to whinge do it in your own time not during my £1000 holiday,). The best the band can give is functional .... like musical wallpaper (and not the outrageous 70’s stuff but the dreadful bustling woodchip kind). CREW =. There are a few little gems. The Asian girls on reception and the lovely African waiter who does everything with a smile and bags of enthusiasm even though the barman calls out Boy! When he wants him. I found 70% of the crew either grunt, scowl, look at your cleavage or avoid you like the corona virus. Given that the entertainment hosts are sweet and try hard So my experience is.... a grossly over priced cruise because I’ve had to come in school time. Miserable crew and basically crap food! Will I cruise again with Marbella ... not if I have the choice of camping in the out backs of Glasgow. I’ll opt for Glasgow. Tui can take you to the sun but they can put a huge black cloud on your holiday. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We had been looking forward to this cruise since the day we booked it, and we have mad the most of it, a week in the sun is valuable time. However we probably won’t be booking another cruise with Tui, for us they have a lot of ... Read More
We had been looking forward to this cruise since the day we booked it, and we have mad the most of it, a week in the sun is valuable time. However we probably won’t be booking another cruise with Tui, for us they have a lot of improvement to make. The Marella is a nice ship but showing it’s age. We did throughly enjoyed sitting out in the Mediterranean bar on deck 11, a nice place to sit and enjoy a drink in the sun. One of our biggest problem is customer service, poor would be an understatement, be sure I’m not aiming this at the troops they did a fantastic job, however the management were a different kettle of fish. We were on one night denied dinner in our chosen any time dinning restaurant as we were simply told we can’t accommodate you so you’ll have to go and eat somewhere else. I’ll be honest that didn’t go down to well as the other dinning options didn’t really appeal to us that evening. To cut a long story short, we complained and were offered a meeting to discuss our issues in the morning with the Food and Beverage manager and the customer relations manager. It would be fair to say, i sat in that meeting as the customer, feeling lime a naughty school boy, customer relations is not the fdm strong point, I think she needs to climb down out of the ivory tower she seems to be sat in. After not having eaten the night before, we were not offered any apologies apart from verbal, this is not my wife and I after something for nothing, but we have experienced in past situations like this and not even had to say of do anything to have the situation out right, it was just done as a matter of course. Any way enough negative there is some good news, we did upgrade to the premium drinks package and boy I’m glad we did, as we found the appetitive bar on deck 7, staffed by the comedy duo Ilyia and Rikki and kept in check by Simena this was a great please to be, to say these three epitomise what customer service should be is an understatement, they were fabulous night after night, (Maybe TUI you should look further down the line to see what customer service looks like and maybe your management can learn something) Appetitive is located outside the Surf and turf and Korloa restaurants (Both extra charge) again though the level of service and the food was excellent when we eat at both. The main dining hall was nice service was as you would expect food was just ok, the Mediterranean was nice especially if you visited on the tapas night, and equally the Italian was nice, the maker place however was a let down, provost the poorest buffet restaurant I’ve been to, I’m on holiday I don’t want a roast everyday, to the eye it looked empty,a far cry from what we experienced on Royal Caribbean where there was so much choice you couldn’t decide. (Work to be done TUI I think) To sum up we had a nice week in the sun there were areas of the ship we enjoyed but they were predominantly extra charge services, it’s unlikely that we will travel again with Marella cruises we didn’t really feel like we were the U in the middle, further more there are other cruise lines offering a far superior service for similar money Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose the Explorer as it was only a four hour flight from the uk you are guaranteed some sunshine in the canaries. We had a had a balcony cabin on 9 deck and the balcony was the biggest we have ever had it had a lounger two chairs ... Read More
We chose the Explorer as it was only a four hour flight from the uk you are guaranteed some sunshine in the canaries. We had a had a balcony cabin on 9 deck and the balcony was the biggest we have ever had it had a lounger two chairs coffee table and hammock. Shower was good as it has a door rather than the usual clingy curtain. The decor was of the usual standard you get in cabin and no complaints. The food on board was good and as with the majority of cruise lines you have to pay supplements for speciality restaurants for the better quality food. We decided to pay the supplement upgrade on the all-inclusive drinks package and we felt it was worth the money as you would have to pay for cans coffee etc on the normal package. The entertainment on the ship was good and always plenty to do, the ship and anchor is popular along with the theatre and these tend to get quite busy but they have lots of bars around the ship to choose from. We have cruised with Tui before and will continue to do so Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We wanted a cruise at short notice. Somewhere warm. Or even warmish. Our only option was this Mariella cruise around the Canary Islands. I must say it was cheap. Therefore we made a number of assumptions, only some of them were ... Read More
We wanted a cruise at short notice. Somewhere warm. Or even warmish. Our only option was this Mariella cruise around the Canary Islands. I must say it was cheap. Therefore we made a number of assumptions, only some of them were accurate. We travelled on the Tui flight from Gatwick. Extra legroom seat for only £25 each. Flight was comfortable. Bus collection and transfer was flawless. Embarkation was remarkably quick. And within about fifteen minutes we were onboard the ship. The ship is beautiful. It’s an older tug, but as it was originally a Celebrity ship the rooms and spaces are well thought out. It’s a really easy smaller ship to navigate around so there wasn’t many passengers looking lost. A word about our fellow cruisers. Perhaps it was the time of year, or perhaps the itinerary but if did feel a bit like a Fred Olsen cruise. The average age was at least 70. This meant that although the alcohol was all inclusive there wasn’t many obviously drunk passengers onboard...... The main problem concerned the food. The budget must have been about £5.00 a day. The food was monotonous and boring. Little choice and items repeated. Service was variable. From excellent to absolutely awful. The worst was me watching the waiter taking big crafty gulps of red wine when we weren’t even served our own glasses. He missed courses out, got confused over the order and didn’t fill our glasses but managed to fill his own!! If Marella increased the daily budget by about £2 or £3 a day the difference would be dramatic. Then they really would take P and O to task. But as it is there really is no comparison. I would rather pay more, and buy my drinks rather than eat those school dinners again. That’s a shame. We were in the Atlantic Ocean so I expected a bit of movement. But never in nearly twenty cruises have I been thrown around like that. And the sea was calm!! The captain did say he only had one engine going. My personal opinion was that the stabilisers were not used to save on drag and the extra fuel cost. That is laudable but not when the comfort of your passengers is at stake. He should be ashamed. The ports we visited was a bonus but I have to say if you get the chance to visit Madeira then go. Beautiful and beautifully kept. A real highlight. Try and do the cable car and the sleigh ride down the street. Fabulous. Though do not walk back into the town. It’s about a mile and a half down a one is three hill. A torture!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Hi just back from a week on the Explorer the flight from Edinburgh was good Transfer was quick.When we got too our cabin the cabin had a bad spell reported too reception fixed straight away smell came back 2 days later and you could smell ... Read More
Hi just back from a week on the Explorer the flight from Edinburgh was good Transfer was quick.When we got too our cabin the cabin had a bad spell reported too reception fixed straight away smell came back 2 days later and you could smell it a lot round the ship as if there was problem with drainage a few times the public toilets were closed. The food on the ship was not as good as Discovery 2 some days the choices were poor The food was off average standard if you wanted Ice cream you had too pay even if you up graded too premium The entertainment was good but again not as good as discovery 2 the games were not as funny and did not get guest involled as much the shows in the Broadway shows were just about the same each night singing too soul music The Broadway Theartre did not have a waiter service You had too take your drinks with you or take what they had too offer at the door The Squid and Anchor bar was very busy at night and if you were not fast you could not get a seat The sun decks were busy up on the varanda deck there was not enough sun loungers and guest were putting towels on the beds and going off shore for 4 hours and coming back Overall this was a old ship need work done too there drainage system and more staff would book with marella again but not this ship Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Arriving in Tenerife after our flight from Manchester we embarked on Explorer. Our first impressions were good. Although the ship is around 25 years old, it is in good condition and has recently been refurbished. Happily, we were given a ... Read More
Arriving in Tenerife after our flight from Manchester we embarked on Explorer. Our first impressions were good. Although the ship is around 25 years old, it is in good condition and has recently been refurbished. Happily, we were given a our first upgrade by TUI. As cruise veterans we have sailed with half a dozen cruise companies, large and small. So TUI , thanks for treat of a cabin upgrade. A key feature of the refurbished ship is the electronic excursion booking system which does away with hoards of passengers waiting in line. A great feature, and time saver.. The cabin was kept tidy by our busy stewards. It was a decent size, that would suit most couples. It did have overhead beds for two, which we had to be careful not to bang our heads on getting out of bed. The dining room experience was good. Plenty of good food was on offer, in my view on a par with P&O. We did not see any point in dining in the Premium Restaurants it was so good. Also, the drinks package was very good. Again it was not worth buying the Premium package on offer. TUI is to be commended for providing good standard 'all in' experience without trying to do it 'on the cheap'. The ship does have a Lido style Buffet. We did not use it more than couple of times for lunch. To be honest it does need some work doing on it, as it is in places dark and uninviting. The standard of service throughout the ship was very good. Staff would go out of their way to keep the customer satisfied. No problems at all. I do not intend writing about the various ports of call, as information about the Canary Islands, Maderia, and Agadir is abundant on the internet.. Our verdict,a good value for money experience. Have no doubts before booking on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Having read a number of negative reviews we went on this cruise (out first with Marella) with no real expectations. We came back quite impressed and would not hesitate booking another cruise provided it came in at a good price/ itinerary. ... Read More
Having read a number of negative reviews we went on this cruise (out first with Marella) with no real expectations. We came back quite impressed and would not hesitate booking another cruise provided it came in at a good price/ itinerary. We have travelled on a number of lines including Oceania, Azamara, Celibrity, MSC, Holland America, Royal Carribean, Pullmantur and Princess. A number of other passengers had also cruised on similar lines to us and were also satisfied with Marella so this is not a review by a Marella diehard. Food. Both in main dining room and buffet was always hot probably better than most other cruises (was on Celebrity last year and a number of times left food in the buffet as it was too cold to eat). Quality- I would probably pitch it at good pub standard. Portion size was very good (Other than potatoes where you sometimes had to hunt on the plate for them - we ordered extra - but have had similar on other lines). Fewer choices in dining room than experienced elsewhere other than the handful of always available options of chicken, fish etc there were only about 4 or 5 choices but always had a least one vegetarian choice. Buffet had the same selections as main dining room plus a roast so less choice than usual there. Main dining room also had an Italian area which had usual selection of pastas etc. We also went there one night when there was nothing appealing on main menu and it had sirloin steak on their menu. There was also a separate Mediterranean option with pizza or pasta and a Tapas section. Both of these were in a separate area and were less 'formal' and quality was acceptable. Usual burger and not dog service beside pool and again was good and food hot. Lunchtime food selection included a pie option every day. Did try them a couple of times and they were good. We also had spotted dick and custard on the menu one day. Good generally very much geared to UK customers and no lobster tails or fillet steak but did have steak one night and duck another night. We didn't feel the need to try any of the extra cost venues. Drink. The included drinks included most of main brands e.g. Grouse whisky, Gordon's gin, Malibu etc and beers included draft Fosters, Stongbow as well as a range of bottles including Morretti, Peroni, corona. A number of cocktails were also included as well as draught soft drinks.Never had long to wait for waiter service or at bar - with no need to tip to get good service. A!though no 'at seat' service in show lounge there were tables when you went in with a selection of cocktails, red/white/rose wine as well as prosecco and a selection of bottles beers. As the longest show was no longer than an hour i didn't have a problem with picking up my drink(s)as I went in. Shows. Main shows were all very good with better singers and dancers than on most other lines and pianists/guitar/singers in bars were also good. Don't know what poolside entertainment was like as not really our scene but my wife enjoyed watching Downton Abbey film on outside big screen while I say next to her and watched a film streamed to my tablet from a selection of free films available through their app on the ship. Staff. Never saw a grumpy member of staff either in dining room, bars or housekeeping and all were universally pleasant and helpful. Cabin. We had an inside cabin and were quite happy with it. It was nothing special but did have good storage. Bed wasn't the best and probably not the worst either. Ship. It is an old ship but has been well looked after and refurbished with all public areas clean and bright - no classic wood panelling. Other passengers. Average age probably 60 plus but probably a factor of cruise type and timing. Almost all passengers were white and from the UK so not as diverse as we are more used to seeing on other lines. No real evidence of overindulgence than we have seen on other lines - there are always a few that are louder than they probably should have been. Disembarkation. Although you have to leave your cabin at 9 am you can continue to use all facilities including food and beverage until you depart, in our case 13.15. We were on a package and don't know when you would have to leave if you were cruise only. Overall we had a good break and would book again. Not our best cruise but not our worst (haven't really had any bad cruises) and Marella wouldn't be at the bottom if we ranked the different lines we have been on. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Well having sailed with Thompson on the Thompson Spirit (which was falling to peices) this was a pleasant surprise. The ship isn't new but they have obviously invested a lot of money refitting the ship. Everywhere was clean, the food ... Read More
Well having sailed with Thompson on the Thompson Spirit (which was falling to peices) this was a pleasant surprise. The ship isn't new but they have obviously invested a lot of money refitting the ship. Everywhere was clean, the food was great quality and selection (main dinning hall (Latitude 56), buffet restaurant (the market place), an Italian (serves buffet style pizzas and pasta during the day) and a tapas restaurant and the snack shack (burger, hotdogs and grab as you go items) they also have 3 paid restaurants also (not visited). The entertainment was a bit sparse and I would not like to be stuck on this ship for more than a day of sailing without stopping. It also doesn't offer a lot of things to do, it has a cinema (poor old selections of films), library, little crazy golf, sport court (very small), pool area with 3 jacuzzis (pool was warm, which makes a change, spa (chargeable), small gambling area (wouldn't call it a casino) a coffee shop (extra charge) and shops. I would rate this a one of the nicest cruises we have taken and we have taken a lot. The staff were friendly and the cabin was clean, more spacious than other cruise companies and a powerful shower (bonus) and a bit bigger than most. Good things 1. Embarkation and de embarkation 2. Food 3. Room spacious and clean 4. Not over crowded 5. Staff friendly 6. They are not trying to squeeze every penny out of you unlike other cruise companies 7. All inclusive food, drink and tips 8. Cabin Not so good. 1. Not much to do on board I have been on the following cruise lines and this is how they rate: 1 Princess and Marella 2. P&O 3. Royal Caribbean 4. Carnival 5. Thompson cruises 6. Costa Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This must be the worst ship in the fleet for service. Food isn't great either and hygiene standards in the restaurants are unusually low. There seemed too few staff to offer a good standard of drinks service and service at the bars ... Read More
This must be the worst ship in the fleet for service. Food isn't great either and hygiene standards in the restaurants are unusually low. There seemed too few staff to offer a good standard of drinks service and service at the bars was random (unless you tip, which we did!). Managers were disinterested in feedback. Cocktails were dreadful, never had the same mix twice and no at seat service in the show lounge. I suspect that the further away the company get from the origional Thompson brand the lower the standards become. Food was cafe standard in the main dining room, tapas was lovely but the italian was distinctly average too. Dont expect the usual frills with your suite either, no canapes or bubbly on this boat. Usually, the good point outweighs the bad, but this time it just tipped the other way, I would never want to go on the explorer again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We choose this cruise to escape the Scottish winter and cheer us up in hope of some winter sun in the Canary Islands just after Christmas and New Year I was apprehensive as we were going with 3 generations . Once onboard and we had ... Read More
We choose this cruise to escape the Scottish winter and cheer us up in hope of some winter sun in the Canary Islands just after Christmas and New Year I was apprehensive as we were going with 3 generations . Once onboard and we had familiarised ourselves with the ship it was evident there really was plenty going on and something for everyone ., We were so impressed with all the staff . Michelle who cleaned our cabin every day was an absolute star, the waiters Roberto, Austin , Lloyd , Kamlesh, Vena, Ramonoito, Rhea and Sun shine . Their happy smiling dispositions were contagious and nothing was too much trouble . Senthill the chef in The Surf and Turf restaurant was outstanding . My mum who is 80 described the steak he cooked as the best she’d ever had !!! We loved the Broadway Shows in the evening and the dancers were superb . However for me , being treated by Dr Bandula for my very sensitive stomach with Accupuncture has been life changing . I can’t thank him enough . The spa was wonderful . Truly relaxing with the various saunas and steam rooms . I even got into the habit of pouring the bucket of ice cold water over me after too. I did use the gym for my stretching in the morning . Classes were available but I just didn’t have time to fit them in as well . I haven’t even mentioned the excursions yet . Madeira was beautiful and the Botanical gardens a definite must , as was careering down the hill in a wicker basket afterwards . Just loved it . The 4 wheel drive excursion in Morocco was outstanding and Ahmed the tour guide really topped it off . He was hilarious . These were my favourite ports Our cabin with a balcony wasn’t huge but was adequate . We really hardly spent any time in there apart from sleeping and it was kept really clean and tidy by Michelle . The food was fine. We preferred to use The latitude restaurant for breakfast ( just found the market place too busy but there was a huge selection there ) We loved the fact there was the fine dining option too and ate in the Surf and Turf twice and the Kora-la once . Stunning food and superb service . We left the ship really feeling as though we didn’t want to go home. Super holiday and would definitely consider another one ...soon !!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
23rd CRUISE IN TEN YEARS - Cabin comfortable with towel sculptures and effective service!! We eat exclusively in the Main Restaurant as we are not fans of buffets at any cost!! We also refuse to take part in the cruise industries ... Read More
23rd CRUISE IN TEN YEARS - Cabin comfortable with towel sculptures and effective service!! We eat exclusively in the Main Restaurant as we are not fans of buffets at any cost!! We also refuse to take part in the cruise industries 'up selling' measures. The restaurant experiences was excellent. Good food although there is clear evidence of 'dumping down' and cost saving going on, compared to when we started cruising ten years ago with THOMSON!! The waiters and waitresses are superb. Constantly smiling and can not do enough to please. We were well received by the the Restaurant Managers too. Especially Micheal. On the down side we have not witnessed so much DIY drinks service as that seen on Explorer. There were too few drinks waiters and waitresses to serve the number of passengers seeking to obtain drinks - a major disappointment coupled with my wife [a diabetic] having to pay extra for diet tonic as this NOT included in the all-inclusive drinks package!! We enjoyed the entertainment and congratulate the show team on their performances. The amount of lectures/presentations based around SPA treatments is EXCESSIVE and shuttle bus fees a little high!! However, it is difficult to argue that this was not a good value cruise. Will we be back? That is under review given the balance of good and indifferent. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Oh how standards fall in just 12 months. We were cruising on Marella Discovery this time last year and absolutely loved it. This ship either has a staffing problem or they have reduced standards. I must point out however that the adapted ... Read More
Oh how standards fall in just 12 months. We were cruising on Marella Discovery this time last year and absolutely loved it. This ship either has a staffing problem or they have reduced standards. I must point out however that the adapted room we had on deck 5 was superb and with a thorough and friendly steward. My grumble is mainly with the food, the buffet was frequently not replenished, esp the salad section, i like to eat around 1.30 - 2 pm and was very hit and miss after the lunchtime rush, my partner is disabled and the assigned tables were all at one end, usually as near to the food counters as possible for ease. Latitude 53 was passable, going off the very well written gushing menu you would expect something special but was actually everyday food with the odd exception, maybe they want you to pay extra for a special meal in one of the paid restaurants. I thought the theatre shows were very good though the Squid is nowhere near big enough when the entertainment is on and the lowest chairs Ive seen, donate them to a primary school ! No problems with the itinerary, loved Madeira. So an average cruise with good and bad points, we continued our holiday in Costa Adeje which we enjoyed esp the food, which was much better than Marella Explorer. I think I will avoid this ship in future and hope its not a trend on the whole fleet, there are several cruise lines in the same price range. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was a Canaries cruise where we picked the ship up in Santa Cruz Tenerife. We have done this cruise before with another company so had no need to visit the locality again. Although an easy walk into the town, about 20mins. The Explorer ... Read More
This was a Canaries cruise where we picked the ship up in Santa Cruz Tenerife. We have done this cruise before with another company so had no need to visit the locality again. Although an easy walk into the town, about 20mins. The Explorer is a mid sized ship with about 2000 passengers and 1000 crew on board. They have been doing this a while now and the whole operation for embarkation was very slick. Even for the luggage which beat us to our cabin by about 30 seconds. We had a balcony double room which was reasonably spacious with a reasonable sized balcony. The bathroom was quite big, there was a fridge and mini bar and a reasonable amount of hanging space. All very reasonable!!!! Only niggles are the bed was quite hard and pillows quite small. Dining was very good. The food in the Latitude restaurant was in the main the same as what was available in the Mediterranean self service restaurant. There were some speciality restaurants which came at a cover charge, but at about £25pp extra we didn't partake. There is a also an Italian style restaurant which comes in the deal. We ate there several times as the menu was quite good and the portions quite large. There was as you would expect entertainment in the form of a show every night. As well as two guest artists. A very good Whitney Houston tribute (Nya King) and very good comedian (Scotty Mitchell). The in house show singers and dancers were okay. Some nights the show was good others a bit too much for them. Some of the lead singers struggled a bit with the notes. The girl dancers were also much better than the boys. There was also entertainment going on round the pools and bars by various artist which were also quite good. Lots of excursions to go on all at a fair price. As we have been round the area before we only chose to go on the dune buggy off road experience on Lanzarote. Which was great fun, only a 20 min ride in the coach to get there and 3 hours driving round the waste lands. If you do this prepare to get dusty and dirty and also take sun glasses and a bandanna to wear over your mouth. Otherwise they want another 6Euros each to buy one. Service was excellent in all aspects, from the Captain (John) down. can't praise them enough really!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
After reading some of the reviews on here, I was not looking forward to this cruise. However, we had an excellent time and I would certainly use the ship again. The vast majority of the negative comments simply did not apply, but maybe we ... Read More
After reading some of the reviews on here, I was not looking forward to this cruise. However, we had an excellent time and I would certainly use the ship again. The vast majority of the negative comments simply did not apply, but maybe we were just lucky. The cabin was excellent and yes the a/c was a bit fierce, but it was very quiet and not intrusive at all. The beds were very comfortable and the linen changed regularly, by the excellent steward. We saw no instances of drunkenness at all, although some large groups did get a touch noisy from time to time but this was not a problem. We upgraded the drinks package, and found the upgraded choice to be excellent. The basic wine was not to my taste but the premium wines were excellent. The gin selection on basic was fine but premium allowed you to access all the gins at the gin and whisky bar for no extra charge. Overall we thought the upgrade was excellent value at £50 each for the week. The ship is a bit dated in some ways but upmarket for Thomsons. We did feel that they had dumbed the food choices down a bit. Gone was the fillet and lobster tail in the main restaurant, instead you had prawns and lamb shank. However, we always found something to eat and the quality and quantity were good. We did the trio package for the three specialty restaurants and we were glad we did so as the service and food first class. I do agree that they need to sort out the service in Latitude 53 as the meal can take up to two hours 40 minutes and other times only 90 minutes. The problem seems to be that there are no drinks waiters. The food waiter does everything and if anyone wants a premium wine, they have to go and fetch it which can take up to 10 minutes. Why not have all the very limited range of wines to hand, this would speed things up considerably. We found the crew to be exceptionally friendly and the entertainment was excellent, with everyone working hard. We had our cases within 10 minutes of finding the cabin which is a record for us. Overall we had no complaints other that the slow service in the main restaurant, and the fact that they charged for the mini bar in the cabin. Why charge for this?. A special mention to Saville and Michelle at the gin and whisky bar. These ladies were excellent, and very efficient. Please pay them a visit and sample the 10 gins and 10 whiskies on offer. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I booked the cruise with Iglu cruises about 7 weeks before departure as a surprise for my husband on our 45th wedding anniversary and because the price was good and all inclusive. We've cruise a few times before with RC, NCL & ... Read More
I booked the cruise with Iglu cruises about 7 weeks before departure as a surprise for my husband on our 45th wedding anniversary and because the price was good and all inclusive. We've cruise a few times before with RC, NCL & Princess after looking at reviews my expectations were not too high however we were very happy with the level of service provided. Our cabin was on deck 10 a large balcony cabin ideally located near the lifts and was kept spotless at all times. We only went to the showroom once it was a fantastic singer it was a Whitney Houston tribute sorry can't remember her name. The staff overall were very attentive the food was good the Surf & Turf was excellent, like any other ship there is room for improvement however for the price we paid the cruise exceeded our expectations. This was our 1st time on the Marella Explorer and I'm sure it won't be the last. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Wanted to go away for a family Christmas and get some sun. The flight from Gatwick was delayed by one day so missed first day of cruising. Tui conspicuous by their absence, no explanation to passengers for the delay. Relayed to local ... Read More
Wanted to go away for a family Christmas and get some sun. The flight from Gatwick was delayed by one day so missed first day of cruising. Tui conspicuous by their absence, no explanation to passengers for the delay. Relayed to local hotels and bussed back next day only to have to check in again and only one lady on check in desk for 200 people. Food in main dining room was very mediocre, rushed xmas dinner, couldn't wait to clear plates to get ready for the next sitting. Some of us hadn't finished eating. Show every night from same cast, no variety. One night had comedian who wasn't in the least bit funny. Same old cruise jokes. Booked buggy riding trip for daughter and hubby and no where on the confirmation did it say needed driving licence or under21s couldn't drive. so couldn't go on excursion and staff extremely unhelpful, they weren't the only people who couldn't go. Food in buffet very repetative, same puddings each day although boxing day was spectactular. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Splashed out on an Executive Suite - 10041 - for two weeks over Christmas and New Year. Lovely cabin and huge balcony and first class steward called Ocsana. Overall the food was pretty average but plentiful. We noticed that TUI had made a ... Read More
Splashed out on an Executive Suite - 10041 - for two weeks over Christmas and New Year. Lovely cabin and huge balcony and first class steward called Ocsana. Overall the food was pretty average but plentiful. We noticed that TUI had made a number of small, but significant, cuts in both staff and menu choices from a previous cruise the year before. Annoying that the German branch of TUI - Mein Schiff - always had the superior berths in every port and we were left with a long hike to the town centres. The staff in every department were excellent and couldn't do enough for guests, but they worked long hours and in the restaurants barely coped. The all inclusive drinks package more than covered our needs and certainly didn't warrant paying £200 to upgrade to premium. We met some lovely people and only a few over indulged, but no one spoiled the festive season. The highlight was Madeira with amazing Christmas lights and fireworks. Daytime entertainment was pretty mediocre and more akin to a basic holiday camp, but we made full use of our suite so really didn't care. The downside was the stops we made in the Canary Island ports. TUI failed to provide adequate shuttle buses - mostly none at all - and charged guests where they were supplied. One port was almost three miles from town, which the Captain suggested was an hour by foot! Many passengers were of an advanced age and many suffered from disabilities, so were confined to the ship. This was our fourth Marella cruise and we have booked again for later in the year. As someone who enjoys a cigar I was annoyed that the smoking area - these are few and far between - at the rear of the Squid and Anchor lounge no longer had a drinks service, even though waiters did collect empties. The anti-smoking brigade - who can inevitably be found stocking up with duty free cigarettes and rolling tobacco to take back for friends and relatives - had complained that fumes penetrated into the bar, and demanded the doors be sealed. Remember, drinking alcohol also damages your health! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise just a few weeks before departure, as for the first time we we we’re going to spend Christmas Day alone. We had sailed on Explorer 2 in September, our very first Marella cruise & loved it. We’ve cruised with ... Read More
We chose this cruise just a few weeks before departure, as for the first time we we we’re going to spend Christmas Day alone. We had sailed on Explorer 2 in September, our very first Marella cruise & loved it. We’ve cruised with P&O, Princess, NCL, but mostly with RCI. I would have no hesitation is suggesting Marella. I have read some of the negative comments on here, but can honestly say we didn’t find any of that. There were a number of children on board but we thought there would have been a lot more. The whole week was fantastic, although the sea day to Madeira was a bit bouncy. The ship, crew, food & entertainment all excellent. Our Christmas Day was the 6 o’clock sitting & the meal was faultless. We’re not huge drinkers so found the basic drinks package sufficient. We’re going to the Caribbean with P&O in March. Had I known what Marella cruises were like when I booked it, I would have booked a very similar cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Music loud same old Christmas songs. Towels on sun beds with no person on them for hours Christmas dinner rushed to get ready for next sitting show lounge acts same most nights Best was the soul singer last night of cruise. All staff where ... Read More
Music loud same old Christmas songs. Towels on sun beds with no person on them for hours Christmas dinner rushed to get ready for next sitting show lounge acts same most nights Best was the soul singer last night of cruise. All staff where above excellent. Will not go on Xmas cruise again to busy every body pushing and shoving at meal times. We decided to eat late in the Mediterranean restaurant at least you could get a seat.Had a junior suite which was ok but as for priority boarding did not happen just get a balcony cabin and save a packet..... it's a booze and food cruise if you want that fine,,,,,Transport back to the airport was late because at the port of Santa Cruze they decided to wait to load the next flight onto the bus which gave our fight no time at the airport also nobody helped the disabled people of the bus I had to do that... Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Worst Holiday Ever on this ship total let down would have preferred to stay at home. First Cruise and the last such a boring ship more like a booze cruise than a holiday booked for Christmas two week Canaries Cruse sheer hell. Never ... Read More
Worst Holiday Ever on this ship total let down would have preferred to stay at home. First Cruise and the last such a boring ship more like a booze cruise than a holiday booked for Christmas two week Canaries Cruse sheer hell. Never seen so many people happy it was over. Never seen so many container ports waking up to banging and crashing most ports it called into not a sandy beach in sight just ferries and cargo ships all around. No proper entertainment shows 45 mins of rubbish with show cast climbing ladders etc etc same cast every night just pure boring as for the late night comedian once a week people walked out he was so bad. Daytime no entertainment as such apart from silly kids so called entertainers on a 3 till 3.15 not a kid in sight in main bar it was so bad some kind of I.Spy NONSENSE. Nobody could understand it. As for nightly entertainment same group every night in Squid and Anchor for a whole 45 mins. No Atmosphere same old songs night after night. Bring your knitting was one form of entertainment during the day not a decent quiz or family show in site. Also they had Teeth Whitening and Health Check seminars going on if your into that. God help us if that's what Tui think people want. Paid for the £200 drinks upgrade what a wast of money as Premium Spirits few and far between more money wasted.Booked a couple of trips shocking seen 2 camels a couple of snakes and lucky men trying to sell you volcanic rock utter rubbish then taken to a beach with cafes and lucky men non stop. O and a mosque visit to stand outside highlight of Morocco. Went on an evening trip in Portugal to see the lights stopped at a fishing village then dragged through the town through a Christmas market AT LIGHTNING SPEED THINK TOUR GUIDE WAS ON SOME KIND OF RACE TOTALLY SHOCKING. My wife had to go to ships medical centre as half the ship had coughing and breathing difficulties 4th day with a chest infection got home and got the bill for £3.500 for 2 hours treatment now fighting this outrages bill. What a rip off. Not even offered a cough bottle and travel insurance refusing to pay this another fight on our hands. Carpets in bar areas filthy i actually thought it was water on floor till i felt carpet just huge stains as people caring drinks all round the ship. As i say more a booze cruise. Main restaurant Market Place more a cafeteria pool snack shack filthy dirty tables etc etc. Sit down restaurants were ok but Menu very bland. Ship totally short of staff bar staff did there best happy a smiley and did there best only good point. Cabin Stewards also very good just to much work 33 cabins to service every day just ridicules. White Suites walking about like they were gods gift did very little as far as we could see. Ship more in line with a 3 star hotel than a relaxing cruise Total cost with medical bill £7.500 for 2 bored 65yr olds totally shocking experience last time i book with Thompson. Would be better off at Butlins by the sea. After you arrive and hand over your credit card they don't want to know you. My advice book with a decent cruise company and not this shower of rouges. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was my first cruise, I was with 3 other people who had been on cruises before but not with tui. I found the whole experience amazing and very worth the money! There were special staff members who’s names are below; - Ian ... Read More
This was my first cruise, I was with 3 other people who had been on cruises before but not with tui. I found the whole experience amazing and very worth the money! There were special staff members who’s names are below; - Ian (Indigo) - George - Dindin (Rooms) - Jamie (DJ) - Paul (Latitude 53) - Dmitri x2 (Indigo) These staff members made sure we had the best experience by always being polite; saying hi every time we saw them and always keeping our drinks topped up once they noticed they were empty. Ian gave me and my partner handshakes and high-fives once he knew it was time for us to go home and he knew which alcoholic drinks would suit us best and recommended drinks for us which were good! Jamie always spoke to us when he saw us and was a good dj. Played songs we requested and it was my mother in law’s 50th birthday and he shouted her out and sung happy birthday to her which made it very special for her. Dindin was always smiling and polite when he needed to clean the room and there were times when we forgot things from the cabin and had to go back when he was cleaning and he didn’t mind us going back to get what we needed. Paul was very talented and very funny to watch during the rendition of a classic spanish song in Vista restaurant when he did a funny dance for us all. The 2 Dmitri’s also made us feel good when they spoke to us in detail about their experiences on the ship and how happy it made them! The shows were fantastic and unique to the cruise and the comedian we had, had us in stitches! (Lee Evans tribute) We will definitely come back for another tui cruise and yes i would 100% recommend the canary island cruise to anyone that is skeptical or wondering whether or not to go, do it! You won’t regret it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We are frequently Cruise and always choose our cruise for the itinerary and as Explorer was the only ship in the canaries at our chosen dates that is the ship we chose. Embarkation was smooth and luggage delivered promptly. Our first ... Read More
We are frequently Cruise and always choose our cruise for the itinerary and as Explorer was the only ship in the canaries at our chosen dates that is the ship we chose. Embarkation was smooth and luggage delivered promptly. Our first evening we went to dinner in the main dining room Italian section. We put the poor service and the very mediocre food down to the fact it was the first night and we have experienced this before on a first night on Marella and other lines to be fair. Lunch next Day was no better to be honest nor was breakfast. The food was not what you would call bad but it was neither up to the standard we know from any cruise we have ever been on. Marella seem to have reduced their menu in the morning so you can only have egg benedict (always my chosen breakfast most mornings) on one day of the week and this is the same for anything other than English breakfast or omelettes for the main part. They have even stopped offering pastries Although they can be requested I learned. Lunch had burger, veg burger and ploughman’s lunch on the menu every day with a couple of other choices which differed each day. To be fair we found lunch better than dinner probably because they were less busy. The serving seemed pretty chaotic at times We always book a couple of speciality restaurants anyway so next evening so having booked the 3 dining package and eating in the Mediterranean restaurant we were able to avoid the dining room in the evenings. We were on Discovery 2 in March 19 and used the snack shack a few times which was very good. On Explorer it was awful. Even the smell of it as you past was horrible The speciality restaurants we found as follows Kora La - fabulous. Service food and wine was a delight Uni Shushi - this was a first for us. We put ourselves in the hands of the chef and were not disappointed. It was a lovely experience with food we’d never chosen before. Again service was impeccable The Dining Club - We have done similar food and wine pairings on other shops and cruise lines but this was the very best ever. Again food and wine exceptional as was service. Big shout out to the wine steward who was helpful throughout. He covered all restaurants and always found us a nice wine. We were on premium drinks package but in main restaurants were always offered only inferior wine Surf and Turf - starters lovely but the main course was not. We ordered medium cooked food which was raw and the fat was literally running off the side of the slate on which my food was served. The onion rings tasted only of grease. We left before trying dessert. We’d used this restaurant on Discovery which was excellent so we were very disappointed. The head waiter saw the plate and agreed it was poor. He came out to the bar area where we were and offered us a drink. How laughable is that on an all inclusive cruise Entertainment was good throughout as you would expect from Marella who in our opinion always excel here We booked a cabins for the sea day but we did not find this was worth doing. The one thing that we did enjoy was that you had access to the thermal spa. We would probably never have done this. But it was super and we used again later in cruise. Great saunas and steam rooms and fab relaxation areas We were not too bothered about the ports as had been in all before but heard from other guests that excursions were good We had a large balcony cabin which was good and clean. All you need I would never choose to sail on Explorer again and will have to look closely before using Marella. If the changes in restaurants in particular at breakfast and dinner including choices and quality run throughout the line then it’s not for me Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Chose this cruise as it sailed from Tenerife were we live, therefore no flying. We have sailed the Canaries before but still enjoyed it. The Explorer is a nice ship. Very clean, plenty of room around the various bars. The entertainment ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it sailed from Tenerife were we live, therefore no flying. We have sailed the Canaries before but still enjoyed it. The Explorer is a nice ship. Very clean, plenty of room around the various bars. The entertainment was not as good as the Discovery, just the show dancers and one night a comedian, ok nothing to shout about. We thought the service was better on Discover we waited a fairly long time to be served around the pool bar even though there were plenty of staff. That said we did get good service in the Lounge bar which we used most nights. The food was fine plenty of choice however we have had better. The snack shack was not very good food was not very warm. Help yourself dinning good with plenty of choice. Shore excursions no problems really, just the weather was cloudy so not much photo opportunity, not their fault. Had a bit of an issue with our cabin cards did not work so had to go back to reception to have them programmed seemed to be a few of us with the same problem. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly for us as we were cruise only so boarded when we arrived in Santa Cruz 1.30pm and left the ship 8.30am when we were ready. Would we go again yes of course but on Discovery. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Marella Explorer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 3.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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