203 Marella Cruises Marella Explorer Cruise Reviews

Staff and ship lovely. Food is great. Make sure you don't miss out on the tapas as it's amazing and inclusive just make sure to book it on the app. Vista is also a great place to eat especially the carbonara which for just five ... Read More
Staff and ship lovely. Food is great. Make sure you don't miss out on the tapas as it's amazing and inclusive just make sure to book it on the app. Vista is also a great place to eat especially the carbonara which for just five pounds more is prepared in a giant parmasan wheel at your table and is super tasty. Good service. What let's it down is the passengers. From threats of physical violence for being falsely accused of queue jumping on shore, to bad language, singlets galore and a cheap northern social club vibe, Explorer is one to miss. The buffet could get very hectic and the Squid and Anchor feral after 6pm. Be prepared for constant whingers expecting champagne service for beer money. If you are a gay couple be prepared for dirty looks from your fellow passengers and people to actively avoid making conversation with you. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had cruised with Thomsons several times previously and really enjoyed the friendly, personal touch of their Ships. We had tried several other ones over the years and decided to give Marella a go, so booked a weeks cruise on the ... Read More
We had cruised with Thomsons several times previously and really enjoyed the friendly, personal touch of their Ships. We had tried several other ones over the years and decided to give Marella a go, so booked a weeks cruise on the Explorer. Initial impressions were very good...very friendly staff, clean ship, great lounges/bars, spacious inside cabin..all good. The itinary suited us and even though the weather wasn't kind to us there wasn't much we could do about that. But I have to say from initial good impressions the standard deteriorated. Food wasn't great in all areas/ restaurants, service was very slow and several times we waited at least 45-50 mins between courses in the Latitude restaurant. When food came elements were missing as they had "run out". No crackers for cheese, missing veg, etc We booked the Mediterranean Italian one night. As required we chose our pasta ingredients and pizza to be freshly cooked...it wasn't as ordered but very nice, but pizza didn't arrive to the table. After asking 4 times it did come - undercooked and not as ordered after an hours wait. Vista was marginally the better eateries of them all. The toilets in public areas were never very clean or well maintained, often blocked and spillage on floors. Probably due to reduced staff provision tbh. Our cabin wasn't made up on 2 occasions on a morning but frankly we weren't too bothered. Cabins were kept very clean overall, and very comfortable. My husband and I experienced upset tummys after eating from the breakfast buffet on 2nd day...same item eaten, same onset symptoms!! We swerved that area after. The entertainment team worked hard, and the 2 bands, piano man and Robbie played every day. But please stop playing the same 60s/70s music....not all clients like that era! The silent discos were a triumph. Casino was chaotic at times with crupieres not in control of the roulette playing areas..not professional. Bar services and staff were good and all worked their socks off. One mention of soda drinks dispensed, not in cans, from the bars ..they were foul tasting and frankly inedible. I like lime & soda but if I'd drank them I would have been ill...tasted of musty, old, stale water. On our final departure day...on way home we both had onset of D&V, despite using every precaution we could have undertaken during the cruise. Least our cruise weight has fallen off! We will try Marella again I think, but we won't rush to book. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We thought , why not cruise around the Canary Isles with Madeira thrown in for good measure . We chose a Junior suite no 10015 on 10th floor , impressed with the cabin and facilities ( except a shower cubicle that floods ) Sadly however ... Read More
We thought , why not cruise around the Canary Isles with Madeira thrown in for good measure . We chose a Junior suite no 10015 on 10th floor , impressed with the cabin and facilities ( except a shower cubicle that floods ) Sadly however we quickly realised we were directly under the Gym due to the continuous crashing of the dumbells from the weights onto the floor ( typically from 7AM onwards ) Potential customers take note … You cannot turn the Air Conditioning off and it makes a hell of a noise , especially when it is windy which it was for most of the time on our cruise ( this also applies to the Marella Explorer 2 ) The ship is difficult to navigate around especially amidships on deck 5 and 6 , there is no Atrium as such so there is no central point to get your bearings . Foodwise we were well satisfied , we chose the buffet style restaurant , food was very good in our opinion with lots of choice , it did get busy now and again but it was easy to share a table and talk to other passengers . The ship is all inclusive , with a good selection of drinks and spirits , you could upgrade to a premium package but with Southern Comfort and Peroni among others listed as free why bother . Strangely though Lemonade is not free …. There are 10 bars to choose from so something for everybody we chose the quiet ones so cannot comment on the rowdy ones …. Cabin staff were efficient and friendly , reception staff not so ( this has been commented on in another review ) Entertainment varied from decent musicians to very average singers , think of tour reps doubling up as singers and you will get the idea ... To sum up , you could have a good cruise onboard Marella Explorer , you will have to put up with a few things , for us it was the continuous air conditioning and the ships appetite for rocking and rolling ( stabilisers or no stabilisers ) Finally it would have been nice to get maps of where you are stopping off so you could explore , but the line was " just so you know ( !!!!) we are doing our bit for the carbon footprint so you can ( try to ) get them on your phone …" Best of luck Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
After an uneventful flight from Stansted, when we arrived at Tenerife we were directed by a Tui rep. to leave the airport and turn left.! There we encountered a large crowd whom after asking other passengers were made aware “we” were ... Read More
After an uneventful flight from Stansted, when we arrived at Tenerife we were directed by a Tui rep. to leave the airport and turn left.! There we encountered a large crowd whom after asking other passengers were made aware “we” were queueing - for over two hours - for coach transfer to the ship. This was totally unacceptable as we had left home at 06:30. When we eventually got on the correct coach sat there or over an hour the delay was for no obvious reason. When we arrived at the ship terminal there was a short delay to go through the check-in formalities. When we got to our cabin – 4108 we were favourably impressed. Due to the delay in getting to the ship within a short time we off to attend the ships safety drill. It was that night when our first impressions became very negative. It was almost impossible to sleep, there was a loud vibration from the air conditioning system ventilator. As the night progressed further loud “mechanical” noises came from the deck below ours and there was a constant vibration throughout the cabin. We apparently were not the only passengers on deck 4 who were complaining about the noise. After complaining to the ships reception we were offered another cabin which we declined as there was no window. The food on the ship was good however as per previous experiences on other Marella ships there was a constant flow of people trying to find seating in the buffet restaurants. During our last dinner in the Latitude restaurant we were told by the waiter that as we had paid for the optional drinks package upgrade a better quality wine was available to us with our meal as opposed to the carafe house wine. What a waste of money. As we had never been there we were looking forward to our visit to La Gomera. However due to the weather conditions it was not possible to dock the ship so we spent a very unpleasant day at sea. At the end of our cruise the transfer to the coaches taking us onward to our hotel was more farcical than our transfer to the ship. To reach the location of the coaches and our luggage we walked the length of the quay in pouring rain. Consequently, once we had retrieved our luggage and boarded the coach we were soaked through. Yet another delay when a Tui rep, discovered that a number of passengers had been assigned to the wrong coach. At the end of our awful cruise experience what could be more appropriate than lost luggage? Well that is what happened, my luggage did not arrive in Stansted and based on the information received after a total lack of support from Tui, including the Tui travel agency the trip was booked through, it was found to be still in Tenerife. I eventually got it back after 7 days. We have been on a number of Tui/Marella cruises and have noticed that their standards have steadily declined and cost cutting is obvious in the drinks available. In the Broadway Show Lounge there used to be a waiter drinks service throughout the performance now I was offered a bottle of beer as I entered the Lounge. Worst is the lack of staff especially in the Coffee Port where often there are two staff - one delivering drinks the other dispensing them. In addition, some of the waiters are extremely rude and clearly have had little training. One evening, service in the “Lounge” bar was very slow and a number of guests were agitated. When a waiter arrived he too was agitated and made his annoyance clear. When he came to take my order he pointed at me and shouted “You”. My wife and I are of the opinion that this will be our last Tui/ Marella cruise as in the years they have been operating cruises they seemed to have learned little apart from how to save money. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I chose this cruise as it was smart casual as we dont like getting dolled up every night , we paid £3500 for 14 days in a balcony cabin , the service we got on board was excellent ie cleaning cabins bars and restaurants, even though we ... Read More
I chose this cruise as it was smart casual as we dont like getting dolled up every night , we paid £3500 for 14 days in a balcony cabin , the service we got on board was excellent ie cleaning cabins bars and restaurants, even though we paid £1500 more than people with an inside cabin wegot no additional perks ie premium package was £100 each for 14 days extra all trips were extra we worked it out if you went on a trip every day for your trip you would pay between £1000 and £1500 extra for your holiday . there was no advice on trips that you could do yourself without paying for the trips out , which we thought was unbelievable we asked about a tourist attraction which we thought we could walk to and was pointed in a direction 1hour walking later we asked a local and it would have been impossible only by a car to get to and would take 4 hours. as for the ship there was only 1 bar you could get a proper coffee and that was after 1pm all other bars was coffee in geezers which was absolutely awful even with breakfast we used the free sachets of nescafe that we got in our room to make a decent coffee at breakfast no sachets available in the restaurants .. food and drink was excellent there was a 4 all inclusive restaurants all fab. as for the northern lights well the captain only mentioned once that they had made an appearance and wouldnt broadcast this in the cabins as somepeople didnt want to be disturbed at all so what was the point of going on anorthern lights cruise hence i was in the shower so couldnt hear the announcement. when we did go on deck 11 there was no bar open outside no seating people were just stood outside with a member of staff serving hot chocolate out of a machine in paper cups, its as though the "northern lights" cruise was secondary to being just on a cruise to norway we were extremely disappointed with this , it was just rubbish. the ship is good creaks in the cabins abit but as a ship it is good . we cant say anything about the shows as we didnt go to any as we only got out of restaurant at 9.45 . would have been lovely to go to Stavanger at night instead of sailing off as it looked great for a night out as being on aship for 14 days can be very mononotous all in all it was good but not upto our expectations for the money we paid out , we shant be going on another cruise personal choice for us . Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Having had the view of wishing to see the 'northern lights', it seemed a good option to choose. It was a great experience on the Explorer. We have cruised Princess (that experience takes some beating), RCI, and P & O, the ... Read More
Having had the view of wishing to see the 'northern lights', it seemed a good option to choose. It was a great experience on the Explorer. We have cruised Princess (that experience takes some beating), RCI, and P & O, the thing we find with P & O is that they are trying every which way to obtain more spend out of the passengers, and, in our view, the service kind of seems to be falling off... Marella have it sorted.. you can't help but come off the ship we were on with a smile on your face.. The dining facilities were very good with high windows, roomy table layouts, able to accommodate shared dining experiences if required, the menus were varied and similarly, very good, table assistance was also excellent, everyone of the staff had a smile on their faces and it felt a total commitment to service on behalf of their employers. Although we had the all inclusive aspect we did try the Dining Club, Kora La & the Turf & Turf fine dining experiences, we were not disappointed, if they were to be put in order of preference, we'd say Dining Club first with a close second by the Kora La and perhaps a not so close Surf & Turf last... but still worth the visits... Since the ship is an all inclusive deal the only consideration of using the Explorer for another cruise again would be, where and what time in the year.. we could see it quite easily see it being a booze cruise.. where as, a Fjords Cruise out in school term and in a cold climate perhaps not so... Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because my wife's bucket included waning to see the Northern lights. It didn't disappoint. However there are only a few days during the cruise when this is possible. This is when the ship is inside the Atric ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my wife's bucket included waning to see the Northern lights. It didn't disappoint. However there are only a few days during the cruise when this is possible. This is when the ship is inside the Atric circle. ( only 3 day on this itinery) you also need the right weather conditions & they are only visible for a few hours ( normally between about 10pm & 2am). Our departure port was Southampton & we used Intercruise coaches as transport to the port from Cheshire. I would highly recommend them they were punctual & extremely well appointed on both journeys. Our cabin was 1045 with a large balcony. PLEASE AVOID. The cabin is well appointed & spacious. However it is situated just below an extractor outlet from the Mediterranean restaurant. This caused a horrible acrid oily fat smell to drift onto the balcony when in port & into the room when the door was open. We complained twice & nothing was done. Trips..we did the Flam railway & was good value for money. In Olden we used the sightseeing tour bus just adjacent to the port which was half the price of the TUI tour & exactly the same. All ports visited allowed you to walk easily to the towns although some were only small villages. Pulpit rock tour from Stavanger was also worth while & the town is quite large. Eating & drinking out in Norway is expensive & so are souvenirs. Food & Entertainment on the ship was first class. We always upgrade to the premium drinks package. At £7 pp/day well worth it. And we also had a couple of nights in the Surf n Turf & Kora La restaurants ( extra charge). Overall we would do this itinerary again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose a junior suite for our trip around the Fjords. The weather and ports were faultless - For that reason we are glad we went. This ship and staff - appalling. Self service at best No service at worse OR indeed - glasses ... Read More
Chose a junior suite for our trip around the Fjords. The weather and ports were faultless - For that reason we are glad we went. This ship and staff - appalling. Self service at best No service at worse OR indeed - glasses stomped down on bar Barmen swearing and indeed backchat in their own language And just so boring.. Missed the buzzers and bells of a big ship The officers never acknowledge you - walked by head down - In twenty years of cruising I have seldom met such a rude crew Cabin steward was first class - as always - the workforce are the best - but unfortunately are lead by a dreary Captain who is well past his Best Before Date. Music and entertainment ... think 1980s Hi-De-Hi level. Nice Gin Bar spoiled by being adjacent to an open doorway on to the smoking area, As a non smoker (and yes, reformed ex smoker) I found it such a shame as it was the one nice bar I enjoyed, and could get a decent drink Premium all inclusive was good for quality drinks (when you could find one) and canned drinks + water. Dining - forget it - worst ever - options very limited I would not repeat Marella and after twenty years of cruising it takes a lot to deter me from not giving something another try Final straw in debarkation - complete and absolute shambles - Alongside P&O .. (even worse dare I say it?) Booked Norwegian for 2020 - they value their guests and their ships are real ships - not dated old boats which were retired by decent lines long ago.. Like their ships.. Marella is history for me! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Just back from Fjords on the first day of our cruise my husband had his Jacket stolen from the top deck so we were down at reception every day to see if anyone had handed in a jacket the reception staff were anything but helpful just ... Read More
Just back from Fjords on the first day of our cruise my husband had his Jacket stolen from the top deck so we were down at reception every day to see if anyone had handed in a jacket the reception staff were anything but helpful just said come down later so every day we went down to reception they said the staff wouldn't take it someone did also my house key was in the secret pocket .so wasnt impressed with the help we got . Also the cabin was for four and the beds jutted out so not impressed I'm a first time cruiser the food was good in the market place it was busy in the morning but at night wasnt impressed the staff were nice and the cabin staff were lovely entertainment was ok we done three excursions expensive but good The Fjords were beautiful the weather was amazing don't know if I would do it again maybe choose another cabin . Didn't expect thieves on ship either . Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The itinerary and time of year are main reasons we chose this cruise and it did not disappoint. The crew and staff all so kind, helpful and humorous and most importantly skilful whatever their role. Special thanks to Willy and his team ... Read More
The itinerary and time of year are main reasons we chose this cruise and it did not disappoint. The crew and staff all so kind, helpful and humorous and most importantly skilful whatever their role. Special thanks to Willy and his team who kept our spacious room so tidy and clean and yes the monkey towel sculpture hanging from a mirror did make us jump. We enjoyed our meals in Latitude 53 and the Market Place for snacks. The Italian restaurant Vista came highly recommended by other guests but we only had the chance to visit once as so popular. Embarkation and security checks took a while but disembarkation was straightforward. The only disappointment was slight problems with most of our trips but they did not spoil the enjoyment of the trip...for us but did for some . Plenty going on throughout the ship and we especially enjoyed the evening shows but they did come over as very loud and the music was all very much the same whatever show they were performing but nevertheless, some very talented musicians and dancers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary which was very good.We travelled to Southampton with Inter cruises who were very professional with no problems,but on arriving we had to queue to receive the luggage tags then again to get port side ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary which was very good.We travelled to Southampton with Inter cruises who were very professional with no problems,but on arriving we had to queue to receive the luggage tags then again to get port side with only one desk open even the ladies on the desk were complaining then again to get checked in where there was a "technical" problem with the computers-it took over 2 hours to get on board and it's the last thing you need when you've been travelling for 5 hours. We liked the ship with lots of space it was bright and clean.I booked our cabin 8004 as it looked bigger and we weren't disappointed it was huge.With Steward Prasetyo and team we were well looked after and nothing was too much trouble and surprised us with amazing towel sculptures. We had breakfast and lunch in the buffet and there was a good selection to please everyone,evening meal was in the main dining room and the meals were well cooked and beautifully presented again we were well looked after by Noel,Freddie and Vladlena? "The A Team" Entertainment was varied with something for everyone and we enjoyed going to the cinema a few times as well. Our favourite place for a drink was the Lounge after the show -a special mention for Alice who was a star. All the staff we encountered greeted you with a smile and they're all a credit to the company.We enjoyed daily announcements by Captain Peter -he's certainly got a sense of humour especially when explaining that we'd just got through a severe storm but now it 's just a storm-we were on deck 8 and the waves were hitting our window!! We enjoyed all the ports of call on this trip but again we were plagued with the dreaded queuing getting off and back on the ship Disembarkation was a breeze thank goodness very well organised We will certainly cruise with Marella again if the ports of call are what we want. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
As stated above ,this review is of 2 different cruises ,both from Newcastle ,to the Baltic sea on the 10th of August,with an immediate turn round on the 24th for another week around the Norwegian fjords,so if its overly long apologies in ... Read More
As stated above ,this review is of 2 different cruises ,both from Newcastle ,to the Baltic sea on the 10th of August,with an immediate turn round on the 24th for another week around the Norwegian fjords,so if its overly long apologies in advance. First of all,embarkation at Newcastle was not the perfect start for us. We arrived for the first shuttlebus from Newcastle station at 1145, to be told it was already full and the next one would be in an hour ,as there was a bus "missing".. Once at the port, checking in our luggage was fairly straightforward, there then followed a 50metre bus ride to a larger building where we waited a long time for our number to be called for boarding. The journey from our home in Sheffield took less time than all this. Our first impressions of the ship was that it had been partially, not fully, refurbished. The Atrium,shops and reception area were all brightness and bling, elsewhere the dominant colour was brown ,usually varnished wood, including most of the old furniture in the public areas, and the fittings in the cabin. We chose these cruises for their itineries, and in this case we were not disappointed. We had beautiful weather throughout the Baltic cruise, usually sunshine with low 20s temperatures, so in the majority of cases we did our own thing, eschewing museum visits and concentrated on outdoor activities .In Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Helsinki we took local boat trips with great city views. Marella provided a (good value) shuttle into Gothenburg ( which was mainly closed due to our early arrival and departure) and at Warnemünde we hired bikes to try and burn off some of the pounds gained on board. Along with most reviewers ,we felt St. Petersburg was the highlight, there we took a private tour for 2 days , very exhausting but well worth the money, with the advantage of a canal /river trip and early entry into various museums.This was specially good as otherwise we would have been queuing for hours! Our only disappointment was Tallinn, but this was because we were sharing the port with 3 other ships, all of which arrived simultaneously ,and the small capital was overwhelmed. So to the food.The Marketplace buffet had all the trappings of a cross-channel ferry, with a scrum and race for tables at breakfast time , but the quality was ok. The MDR (Latitude 53 ) had more or less the same menu but with waiter service and better wine. The menu changed each day. Best of all was the Vista Italian , only 2 different menus throughout the cruise , but top class, The only problem was that this soon became common knowledge and there was always a wait of up to an hour.. We found the Mediterranean Italian and Tapas both disappointing, and didn't try any of the speciality restaurants so can't comment there. Regarding entertainment and enrichment, this is where we felt Marella fell down and thought certain activities were inappropriate. The cruise was blessed with beautiful sailaways past islands and through archipelagoes. Was it necessary to have loud music and films on deck at these times? There was plenty of that to be had in the bars and cinemas, we would have preferred to sail away in peace and quiet, like in the sail -ins we usually missed due to early morning arrivals! Having said that, the music and games in the evening in the bars were fun, but the entertainment in the Broadway Show lounge (with the exception of the crew show) a bit so-so. We also felt Marella should have included lectures on board regarding the history and culture of the ports we were visiting, but all we got were talks about Baltic royalty, and a couple of shallow presentations from Destination Services who were simply trying to sell excursions. The staff were magnificent, and we'd give them 6 stars if we could. From the cabin staff, always there to help,bar staff serving drinks quickly and efficiently,to reception organising our transition from the 1st to the 2nd cruise.. There was only a slight problem in the restaurants, where service could sometimes be a bit too slow, or after a late start in Vista having 3 courses served in a gold medal winning time of 20 minutes. The 2nd cruise to the Fjords was only a week, but it was lovely to have the ship to ourselves in the 2-3 hours before the next group of passengers boarded, especially in the untypically warm Newcastle weather. There were more families with children this time, with pool safety regulations often being ignored, and bizarrely people who just wanted to drink all day ,which was a bit mystifying given the landscape. 2 of the ports here were tender ports, and Marella ,to our chagrin, always tendered people who had booked their excursions first. This meant in Olden, we arrived ashore too late to book anything locally. We used the ship's excursion in Geiranger, which was a long day, beautiful scenery but an amateurish guide.Not a patch on St.Pete. However, here the Norwegian authorities banned noisy sailaways. so instead we had classical music accompanying the fjord exits, which we found far more applicable. Indeed ,on one occasion we took our evening meal up on deck with us as the fjord slipped serenely by. Disembarkation back at Newcastle was a piece of cake compared to embarkation, and we got a train home an hour earlier than anticipated. Would we cruise again? Difficult to answer after all the adverse publicity the larger floating hotels have had, but Marella seems to pollute less than others, so its a possibility. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Just returned from two week Baltic cruise on Marella Explorer (10 th Aug19). Never having cruised before, we were unsure what to expect, but the itinerary was exactly what we wanted. Apologies in advance for the length of this review, I ... Read More
Just returned from two week Baltic cruise on Marella Explorer (10 th Aug19). Never having cruised before, we were unsure what to expect, but the itinerary was exactly what we wanted. Apologies in advance for the length of this review, I know it's going to be a long one We sailed from Newcastle, so no flights involved for us which was a huge bonus, mainly as no luggage restrictions ( so long as each case weighed no more than 23k each) but also being able to avoid the chaos of airports in summer. We stayed overnight the night before in Premier inn at the port( not the best, will review separately on trip advisor) . We drove to the car park at 1130 which took all of 30 seconds from the hotel, dropped off our luggage in the marquee as instructed, where our cases were tagged with our cabin number - didn't see them again until we were on board. Then taken by bus to the check in area where we were given our cruise cards and information. We waited no more than 10 mins to be called to have passports checked, and after another very short bus ride we embarked. We were on board by 1215 - really efficient, smooth process, greatly appreciated by us as we had no idea of the process. We had just had lunch by the pool when an announcement was made at 130 pm that cabins were available and our luggage arrived around 330 pm , really efficient service. We explored and attended muster drill which was obviously very busy, but it was well organised and lasted no more than 15 mins. Unfortunately the weather was poor for sail away so I believe a sail away party was held indoors. We stayed on deck in the typical British summer weather to watch us sail away instead. We had a sea day immediately which gave us time to explore all the ship had to offer. Two pools, which were bigger than we expected. Three generous hot tubs too. Poolside bands when weather allowed, and twice daily films by the pools. 10 bars, 10 restaurants , a kids area, a teenage area, table tennis, mini golf, cinema, show lounge, champneys spa and gym, basket ball court, adults only sunbathing area, library with table games, shuffle board, quoits a huge English style pub with lots of quizzes and bands. Great value shops, I'm sure there was more but am at a loss to remember Entertainment was on in the show lounge twice nightly and the few we saw were good. They had a guest comedian who was really good - so good we went to both his shows , one being a late night version Service on board really was with a smile. Every member of staff without exception was friendly and polite. Everyone of the staff worked so hard and gave the impression they loved what they did. Our room stewards were fab and we appreciated the turndown service in the evening. Our cabin was kept very clean each day. Hygiene was important throughout the ship, with hand sanitiser everywhere and gentle reminders in the daily cruise news . Exiting the ship at each port of call was easy and smooth. , no long lines , and the same getting back on after each port. The sail away party after each port was great and after our two day stay in St Petersburg we were welcomed back with songs and dancing from all the crew on the dock side - really nice touch. Another nice touch was a BBQ by the pool on a rare sunny day after we visited Copenhagen . Food is subjective and I'm sure you can't please everyone. But we didn't have a meal we didn't enjoy on board. From the buffet to the steak house, all really good. We tried them all, including the ones with the supplement except for the Dining club, purely as its not to my taste . There were no tender ports on this itinerary , but a few of the ports were a little way out of town. TUI did provide shuttles for these at £5 each which we used. Only in Stockholm was the shuttle useless. It dropped us in a busy part of town difficult to find again for the return. We made our own way back to the ship, but guests were complaining the shuttle picked up in a different part of town that people weren't made aware of causing some to have to get taxis back to the ship We didn't use TUI excursions at all, we researched before and either did our own thing or booked privately with no issues at all. Besides the price, the fact that TUI use full size coaches for excursions put us off. The privately booked tours used 16 seat mini buses, making it easier to see the sights quickly with a guarantee of not missing all aboard time We didn't know wether we would love or hate the cruising experience, but can safely say we are hooked ! Thank you captain John , you have an amazing crew, you should be very proud, but you need better jokes ! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise for it's itinerary as the Baltic was somewhere we had never been before and were keen to experience. St Petersburg was the highlight but we enjoyed the other ports of call too. Embarkation/disembarkation ... Read More
We chose this cruise for it's itinerary as the Baltic was somewhere we had never been before and were keen to experience. St Petersburg was the highlight but we enjoyed the other ports of call too. Embarkation/disembarkation was very well organised with no issues for us. We thought the dining was excellent, especially Vista Italian, the Pizza/Pasta Italian and the Mediterranean Tapas. The quality and choice at Latitude 53 was also very good. Market Place was always busy but had a really good choice all day and we especially enjoyed afternoon tea. We didn't try eating in any of the places where there was a cover charge. On the whole, we also really enjoyed the onboard entertainment. The show cast are a very talented bunch and certainly work very hard. All the staff were smiley & friendly. We thought the wifi was expensive at £25 for 3 days. If they do have to charge then surely those 3 days needn't be consecutive? Couldn't the system at least recognise when you're off the ship and therefore couldn't possibly be using it? Obviously there were one or two other things that could be improved upon but you can't please all the people all the time and overall the ship, cabin, dining entertainment & service were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We picked this cruise for a number of reasons. The dates fitted in with dates I had booked well in advance (without knowing what we were going to do in the summer) to please my work, the itinerary, and by reading several reviews that the ... Read More
We picked this cruise for a number of reasons. The dates fitted in with dates I had booked well in advance (without knowing what we were going to do in the summer) to please my work, the itinerary, and by reading several reviews that the line was good for families and kids. 14 days is a long time for a 10 year old to be onboard so it had to be fun for him too, which I am happy to report it was. Embarkation was smooth enough but as we had a few smaller bags rather than a couple of big bags they insisted that we took on the "hand luggage". Disembarkation was not so smooth and Port of Tyne were making a hash of it and being rude with it. Ramming as many as they could on the car park shuttle buses for example and siting on the quay for 10 mins while they could have got a full load to the car park and back in this time. Ship was lovely. Nothing too fancy but very clean kept and run throughout. She is big enough to have plenty on her but you will still only be meeting people for the "first" time it seems on the day you are leaving which is the down fall of larger ships. Food was excellent and plenty of options without having to go the areas that you had to pay more. You can pretty much have something different every night and you can choose between sit down service at several restaurants to having a quick buffet which is ideal if you have had a busy port call and you just want good food quickly with no fuss. The choice overall is excellent. Drink we took the premium all inclusive which was little extra at booking and meant you could have any drink on the menu included which made things very easy. There are no hidden costs really and the end of the trip we had about £100 to our account for a couple of transfer buses and photos. Cabin was a little small (Deck 10 aft) when the sofa bed was out. Nice size of balcony though and staff were superb. Very clean and plenty of storage etc, worked very well. Entertainment was generally very good, decent show on each night and plenty of other activities around the ship and did not see half of it so always something to do. Plenty of live music around the bars etc. Overall making for a great feel. The entertainments team work very hard to get a good feel and it worked well, sail away parities etc were really upbeat and enjoyable and a real informal feel with lots of laughs. There were 2 formal nights, one of which we took part in and the other we chose to go the buffet (Market Place) so there is no pressure. Ports were superb. Some of the cities there was not enough time but this is cruising, a day in Stockholm, Copenhagen, etc is never going to be enough so you have to see these as giving you a taste. There was a full day (2 in Russia) so the line worked hard to give you the best time available in what is a tight itinerary to pull off overall. We only took the excursions in Russia as it saved getting a visa and also taking advantage of the Moscow trip. Both days in Russia the excursions were very good. In the other cities we took 2 laid on transfers (Gothenburg and Hellsinki) which were very hand. We enjoyed followed our noses to explorer the cities and if this is what you want (I.e. see a bit of the place and enjoy a coffee etc) there is no need to take pre planned excursions. It would have been nice if there was a transfer laid on at Copenhagen as it was a good walk from the city and the public transport did not seem logical although there were hop on/off buses at the quay. The Children's "M Club" was superb. We made our 10 year old go to the first session (he did not want to) and gave him the options if he wanted to go back or not, he hardly missed one after it. He made some great friends and got on really well with the staff which went out of their way to make them feel welcome and make sure they had a good time. Overall there was only very minor things we thought could be better (Coffee Port was slow for example) but nothing major and we really did not want to get off the ship. We would definitely go with Marella and the Explorer again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was my second time on this ship and was very much looking forward to exploring the places round the Baltic’s. The trip exceeded all expectations from start to finish. The embarkation was a breeze having parked the car it ... Read More
This was my second time on this ship and was very much looking forward to exploring the places round the Baltic’s. The trip exceeded all expectations from start to finish. The embarkation was a breeze having parked the car it literally took 1/2hour to get in the ship by 1200 I was sipping champagne in the Mediterranean bar outside looking out to sea. We opted for the same junior suits as last year and it was amazing large balcony with hammocks, sun loungers and table and chairs. The house keeping staff were beyond fabulous and kept the room spotless and were very attentive. The food was amazing in the ship in all areas - we mostly dined in Latitude 53 but treated ourselves to the dining club twice and Kora la my 15 year old son thought he had died and gone to heaven with the waiter service and innovative food staff could not do enough for you - the staff really looked after us. I upgraded our drinks package which was great as branded soft drinks , coffees for my son and lovely selection wines, spirits etc. It meant we could use the quiet Aperitif bar before dinner where we were treated like royalty, we also preferred hanging out in the Mediterranean bar where the service was great too and the bar staff were a hoot. The places we visited on the trip were beyond amazing especially Stockholm St Petersburg and Oslo and the sailing between places the scenery at time was amazing so special. The only disappointment was Gothenburg I really did not take to the place but our tui trip there was rubbish. We used tui for every trip and the tour guides were so knowledgeable and helpful apart from Gothenburg. I was very disappointed by some of the British peoples behaviour at the concentration camp in Berlin - taking selfies seriously not appropriate my feeling is photography should be banned as a sign of respect for the site and only take photos of the monument I was disgusted by some people behaviour laughing and joking. We took part in wine tasting which was very good, cannot really comment on the entertainment as not really our thing. It was just a fabulous holiday so much more I could say, I just do not know how anyone can complain there is so much variety of places and things to do on the ship. Can’t wait to book again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
As a first time cruiser, I was attracted to Marella’s package given it included not only food, but drinks also. I was initially nervous, having read mixed reviews online. The ship is fantastic. There’s loads to do at all hours. Our ... Read More
As a first time cruiser, I was attracted to Marella’s package given it included not only food, but drinks also. I was initially nervous, having read mixed reviews online. The ship is fantastic. There’s loads to do at all hours. Our cabin was clean, comfortable, well maintained and offered plenty of storage space. The food was fantastic. The main fine dining restaurant, Latitiude 53, was good, albeit hit and miss at times. However the Vista restaurant was faultless every time and was some of the best food we’ve ever eaten. Mediterranean Italian was also superb and the buffet restaurant offered a great choice, whilst also maintaining a high quality. The organisation of the embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and faultless. All the staff were beyond superb. I cannot put into words how they made the cruise. Will definitely be cruising with Tui again- already looking at the next one! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Never again will I sail with Marrella, from day one the drains stank and had to be treated daily, this permeates around the ship. The food in the main dining room and the cafe is substandard cheap rubbish, I've never sent a meal ... Read More
Never again will I sail with Marrella, from day one the drains stank and had to be treated daily, this permeates around the ship. The food in the main dining room and the cafe is substandard cheap rubbish, I've never sent a meal back on a cruise until this one. My wife got sick on day 7 with diarrhea, probably something she ate. I caught them replacing the premium ingredients of the premium all inclusive drinks menu with cheap alternatives. The entertainment is pretty much the same every day, singing and dancing with the same group of dancers, it's OK but after a week it's too much, too repetitive. Be warned if you sail from Newcastle with parking your car it takes two buses to get to the ship and likewise on return, this needs simplifying. The baltic itinery is great, however the tours are not so great, save yourself some money and spend it on a better cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The ship and the holiday The ship has limitations compared to others in the fleet or on other lines. We missed a promenade deck and also found limitation in the number of seats available. Good places of call and all excursions were ... Read More
The ship and the holiday The ship has limitations compared to others in the fleet or on other lines. We missed a promenade deck and also found limitation in the number of seats available. Good places of call and all excursions were well organised despite tender trouble in Stornaway. Excellent Captain who kept us well informed throughout – often very humerous The embarkation procedure needs attention. We had to queue for luggage labels despite our disability and that we had booked our cabin. Need more than 3 checking in We have some limitations on mobility and asked for help with our luggage when we arrived by taxi. None given - just a shrug. I am unable to lift luggage but able to walk with a stick. We are not wheelchair bound both but have difficulty walking. It appears that we are unable to get assistance unless we take to a wheelchair. Other cruise lines offer very much better assistance Staff worked very hard and were always pleasant with a smile. However, we learnt from one of the very good cabin staff that when he started 10 years ago he had 12 staterooms to oversee. Each now have 28. No wonder they were tired and used periods off to catch up with sleep Newcastle a good port for cruises for almost everyone we spoke to. However Marella need to sort the embarkation procedure out better as well as disembarkation Dining Dining was very slow initially in Latitude 53 but TUI did respond to complaints and service much improved after 3 nights Menu in Latitudes not as wide as in earlier years and sad to say the quality of the food was poorer which is different to my views on earlier cruises- More cost cutting? Had foul smell in shower room when we returned from a function - attended to 3 times but reappeared - was told that it was due to the ship being on rocky seas and the foul water was swishing into shower water - surely not on level 9 - as this means that both foul water and washing water are the same - this would be a very dangerous health hazard Entertainment We had a very good speaker and very well attended Broadway theatre full for 4 of the 5 talks (well done!) despite some issues not of his making. Entertainment apart from the talks was very poor - not aimed for all the generations on board. The shows were given by a well-trained and enthusiastic group of singer dancers. Mostly it was pop. However as someone commented, if we were watching on TV at home, we would switch off. Just one comedian in 14 nights – no other speciality acts. No classical music at all. The scheduled deck games were not hosted or hosts did not appear at all. Note to Marella - The limitation of some of these games issues could be overcome by utilising the space adjacent to the putting area as well as enforcing what we were promised. Also unhosted Bridge etc was scheduled at breakfast time. Tis did nt take place. The library (the Attic) was much better than on Explorer 2 although 3 of the 5 bookcases were emptied within 24 hours. Many more games provided compared Explorer 2 but no playing cards (unless they were taken by guests) The games were needed in view of the poor entertainment available. A request failed to see them arrive. However the Attic was a lovely quiet spot Scheduling was erratic – we did not see or meet the captain until the last night as it clashed Overall We felt that everything that could be cut financially, had been with the result that the cruise will appeal to a limited market covered by other cruise lines. We have cruised with Tomson/TUI/ Marella about 10 times but probably not again despite the convenience of the port Suggestions for Marella 1. Use the sheltered deck area adjacent to part of the putting/golf area. No doubt used for ship storage etc But consider adapting for eg quoits when not in use (it was not used throughout the cruise) 2. Can we have cards provided 3. Can you afford hosted bridge and whist etc as on other cruise ships 4. Can you afford hosted arts and crafts as many would follow this- On P & O, the number on the watercolour class filled the lounge Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We are a young couple having just been on Marella's inaugural 'Land of Fire & Ice' cruise. Everything about this sailing was fantastic. The itinerary (Kirkwall, one day at sea, Akureyri, Isafjordur & ... Read More
We are a young couple having just been on Marella's inaugural 'Land of Fire & Ice' cruise. Everything about this sailing was fantastic. The itinerary (Kirkwall, one day at sea, Akureyri, Isafjordur & Reykjavik, two days at sea, Flam, Bergen, Eidfjord, Haugesund & Kristiansand, one day at sea) was obviously well thought through and every port of call was like a picture postcard, rain or shine. Our inside stateroom cabin on Deck 4 was very peaceful, allowing for plenty of sleep. The room was also kept spick and span by cabin steward Majol who like many other cabin staff on board was also an expert at creating animals/roses out of towels. The excursions we took all had informative guides and were great value for money. We ate in The Market Place buffet most nights, switching to The Mediterranean Italian restaurant (included in the price of the cruise) for two others. The food in both was tasty, of good quality and varied. The variety of all inclusive alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks was also impressive with a range of beers, wines, spirits, cocktails and mocktails. Having been on two previous cruises (with Celebrity and another Marella ship) the nightly shows on this ship were by far the best. The production of each one was of a professional standard and some of the singers (especially leading lady Rianna) wouldn't have sounded out of place in the West End. The guest entertainers (Bryan Adams UK tribute & stand up comic Josh Adams) were also worthy additions to the line up. Other entertainment on board included regular films on the pool deck or indoor cinema, quizzes and gameshows in the Squid n Anchor pub, lectures in the theatre, a decent gym, Playstation gaming and a range of small sports facilities. For £50 per person per week (£200 overall for me and the wife) we also bought a cruise pass for the onboard Champneys Spa. With all things considered (including 2x saunas, 2x steam rooms, foot spa, heated bench, hot & cold showers, a blue relaxation room, thermal garden and relaxation lounge complete with double beds looking out the front of the ship) this was unbelievable value, especially if used most days. The spa also offers a range of consultations (including food intolerance tests and beauty treatments) at reasonable prices. Special shout outs go to Sophie, Michelle and James in the Bike Tour team. Having ridden with Sophie on last years cruise in Skiathos, we rode again in Kirkwall and Kristiansand this time around. Sophie's routes ensure you get a comprehensive tour of the place you're in. These rides cater for a range of abilities and ages with the team ensuring no one gets left behind with plenty of encouragement given. Just expect a few hills and distances between 12 to 25 miles with regular drink and photo stops on the way. We would recommend these tours to anyone with a reasonable level of fitness and met some lovely people (Allan and Leslie if they read this) from these tours. Overall, it was a holiday of a lifetime and incredible value to boot . With the cost of everything in Iceland and Norway (where a standard pint of beer costs around £10 to £12 in each place to use a typical British financial comparison) if we went everywhere the cruise took us on our own steam, we would have paid thousands and thousands of pounds more. In fact the only gripe we had at all was with some other guests on board, especially those of a certain advanced age. Complaint after complaint after complaint, none of which were warranted. The kind of people who try and get a chef sacked if the consistency of the mashed potato isn't exactly to their liking or wake up every morning itching to find anything to moan about. As Marella seem to be doing this itinerary again in 2020, just go for it. During our two Marella cruises we have wanted for nothing on board and cannot fathom how anyone can gripe about anything. 100% recommended to all ages! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, wanted to see the north of iceland and fjords of Norway. This two week cruise from Newcastle was ideal. We had read of issues with embarkation at Newcastle with past Marella cruises so were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, wanted to see the north of iceland and fjords of Norway. This two week cruise from Newcastle was ideal. We had read of issues with embarkation at Newcastle with past Marella cruises so were prepared. We arrived (having spent the night in Newcastyle) by Taxi at about 12:00 noon and were dropped off as instructed by port officials at the 'red terminal building' with our cases. We waited in a queue for maybe 5 minutes before leaving our cases and recieving an envelope from the staff on duty, ,walked outside to the suttle bus and were taken to the main port terminal. We were then given cruise cards and asked to wait until called. We were priority so did not wait however those with us at that time 12:15 did not wait long before being processed and re-bussed to the ship. Our friends who were self drive and park took ages to get on board, they arrived at the parking at 13:00 and did not get on board until 15:00. So I would suugest arriving earlier to avoid a long wait. Disembarkation was easy. We had cabin 12031. Really good, modern and clean. Food on board was fine. Long waits for tables in Vista (italian) at peak times, paigers given out however they only reached as far as the adjacent bar, no issues if you could find a seat. This is a small bar with liuttle seating. Vista was good. MDR had no real wait but some queueing. Plenty of tables for two if needed but all (most) were very close to each other, Food here was hit and miss as was service, service at times in certain sections was very slow, sometimes without a smile however generally waiting staff tried hard and worked hard. We tried Surf and Turf, Asian Fustion and the Dinning Club , Surf and Turf was rushed and ordinary, steaks were OK but the atmosphere was lacking, we had so many waiters it was hard to keep track, Asain fusion was OK. Marco (in charge of this section) is so good and deserves a special mention. The Dinning Club although the most expensive was really really good, the night we ate there the food was to die for as good as any restaurant we have dined in over the last few years. Wiat staff on point, explained everything to you, service was not rushed. We met Stanley the chef and gave him 10 out 10. Its expensive however if you have special event on board just try it. We up graded the drinks package as we like real coffe ( no charge at the coffee pot), really enjoyed the whiskeys and gins in the whisky and gin bar and the fact that Fever tree tonic comes with this package, as does better wines and proper canned drinks. We were less keen on the lay out the ship-it did not flow from aft to stern. There is no bar near the Show lounge so unless you want the bottled beer or pre-poured wines you had to remember to get your drink befotre the show-no table service either in teh show lounge. Drinks were a little inconsistant-in indego some were good some were not as different mixers made different cocktails, some cokctails on the pool deck bar were undrinkable.Never had a real problem in delays getting served. Seats in the Indego lounge were at times hard to find as this was a cold weather cruise lots of people 'camped' for the day inside in an area to read not caring that others wanted to sit and listen to music , bands or do teh quizzes. Shows were not so good. Singers and dancers tried but the 'shows' did not really suit the audience. Previous Marella cruises had more 'professional looking shows. Some people were dismayed (given the continued controversy around Michael Jackson) that he 'won' the soul award. Maybe Marella should look at that one as despite his music he has become a controversial figure. Staff were as usual very friendly, they all speak and say hello and most do enjoy a chat. Our cabin stewrads were wonderful, always chatty and we had lots of towel animals. Some of the excurstions did seem a bit overpriced. We like to do our own thing however on this cruise due to the small nature of ports of call its not always possibnle.The Flam railway is very expensive for what it is, half and hour up the mountain (scenery is nice) a stop not quite at the top for awful coffe and a cold waffle and half an hour down again. Its very hyped however there is not much else to do in port. All in all we enjoyed the cruise, were happy with the ship, really happy with our chosen cabin and found teh food fine. We would use Marella again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Iceland and Norway were on our bucket list so this cruise seemed the perfect way to tick them off. As destinations they didn’t disappoint and are both amazing places. We had sailed with Marella at Xmas in the Caribbean and selecting ... Read More
Iceland and Norway were on our bucket list so this cruise seemed the perfect way to tick them off. As destinations they didn’t disappoint and are both amazing places. We had sailed with Marella at Xmas in the Caribbean and selecting Marella again was an easy choice. This time departure was from Newcastle so no flights and extra luggage allowance. Departure was fine. It took a little while and there was some queues but overall not a problem and thankfully the rain kept off. We had inside cabins on Deck 9. Excellent fit out with a good bathroom and shower. Cabin stewards attentive and helpful as were all the staff onboard. Cabins serviced twice daily too. The ship itself is good. There is a good selection of restaurants. Some you have to pay extra for but there is enough choice and variety if you don’t want that. Food quality good throughout. One shortfall is a general shortage of indoor seating which can create challenges when the weather is not so good. Bars excellent as is the range of all inclusive drinks.. there’s enough variety and choice.. if you do fancy an up market brand for a change then you can pay as you go for those adding it to your cabin bill. This works well and saves you going for the drinks upgrade package. The prices are reasonable too. Entertainment was a mixed bag. The shows and tribute act in the Broadway lounge were generally excellent and to a good standard. They certainly had the family looking forward to the next nights show. Otherwise it was a hit and miss affair with bands quizzes etc mainly catering for an older audience. This did get wearing after a while and we did crave something more up to date and modern after a few days. This was a particular issue for my teenagers who continually joked about this being a cruise for “old duffers”. This wasn’t the case although this perception can only have been exacerbated by the frequent and somewhat petty gripes of some of the more senior patrons on the boat. Movies were good with some up to date titles. Outdoor cinema was chilly at night so good that blankets were provided. It was the destinations that made this trip special however. Orkney - We took the tour to Skara Brae - A must for history buffs with a knowledgeable guide. Really excellent. Kirkwall was also fun to explore and there’s enough to do and see here. Aukeyreri was jaw dropping and the cascading waterfalls either side as we entered the fjord were amazing. We took the tour to Mvaytyn baths. This was a long ride on a coach .. over an hour but we got so see some of this fantastic landscape. The bath itself is quite an experience and highly recommended. The town is also fun to explore with some good shops. Isafjordur was a gem. There is so little there at first glance . I can imagine some people only spent an hour ashore. A helpful guide in tourist information provided an excellent walking map and a few hours later we were up amongst the ski slopes with a vista that rivals anything I’ve ever seen. Reykjavík is a funky place with lots going on. We self booked onto a whale watching tour which was excellent and we saw plenty of minke whales feeding. 2 days at sea then into Norway - Flam is so pretty. Everyone heads for the railway and it gets very busy . We didn’t pre-book so couldn’t ride. Instead we hiked and climbed up to see Brekfossen waterfalls which was spectacular. The old town of Flam is also worth an explore .Good walking here and plenty to see. Bergen is excellent and all the key sights are worth your time . Funicular provides great views and fish market is amazing. Eidfjord is also pretty and there is an excellent circular walk which takes a couple of hours if you take it slowly. But not much else other than that at the port. It seems this is a place to look at excursions or car hire. Haugesund was surprisingly fun. Great walks up the coast provided stunning views. Great town and shops too. Kristiansand was a wet day . There is a good nature park to explore at the back of the town and this town had some excellent shops also. Overall - The destinations provided an amazing holiday. The Marella Explorer is a good ship with an excellent crew. There’s little to complain about really and it’s good value for money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We wanted to visit the Baltic region and the itinerary looked good Embarkation was very easy and well organised. We had a short wait for our luggage but took the time to explore the ship. We dined in all the restaurants with the ... Read More
We wanted to visit the Baltic region and the itinerary looked good Embarkation was very easy and well organised. We had a short wait for our luggage but took the time to explore the ship. We dined in all the restaurants with the exception of the sushi bar.and found the food to be fair to good in the market place but we preferred latitude 53 and the supplement restaurants (surf and turf, kora - la and the dining club) where the food was absolutely amazing. The only small niggle was that there wasn't much information on the ports to allow you to go it alone. We had done research before we left but would have appreciated maps and guidance from destination services. We booked with a Russian tour company (TJ TRAVEL ) for the 2 day stop over in Saint Petersburg. There appeared to be a bit of overkill about the need for visas and the potential problems that could arise in Russia unless a Tui excursion was booked. We had an absolutely fabulous time with TJ TRAVEL with no problems at all. We attend the ballet with Tui which was lovely and fairly priced As always the crew were all very helpful and always smiling despite their heavy workload Overall the cruise was busy. We were blessed with good weather so managed a bit of sun bathing an a dip in the pool. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Price was great for all inclusive. Travelled with Tui before and very informal and friendly so prefer this type of cruising. Great cabin spacious and clean and as usual very friendly hardworking staff. Few issues with queues at ... Read More
Price was great for all inclusive. Travelled with Tui before and very informal and friendly so prefer this type of cruising. Great cabin spacious and clean and as usual very friendly hardworking staff. Few issues with queues at Main dining area and waiting once in but relsoved after speaking with maitre D. The Med Bar for TAPAS excellent as well as the Italian so plenty of choice for eats Good quality drinks Plenty of entertainment., shows, quizzes, groups, piano, lectures , cinema something for everyone Lots of different bars for entertainment or quiet areas if you prefer Lovely Lounge Bar very bright and spacious with our fave staff Michelle Roland David Alice always singliong smiling and going hte extra mile Too may great staff to mention all the names Booked the 2 day Saint Petersburg tour with ALLA tours, by far the best from speaking to others . only 14 in the group, no queues, excellent lunches in 4 star hotels each day, Dimitry our guide was fantastic and knowledgable. Very easy to book and answered all questions beforehand, highly recommend ALLA Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Check in at Newcastle went pretty smooth,Considering it's not a cruise terminal but a working port, Our cabin was 9148,was excellent,huge balcony,with hammock,sun lounger,2 chairs & a table,which was not quite ready when we got ... Read More
Check in at Newcastle went pretty smooth,Considering it's not a cruise terminal but a working port, Our cabin was 9148,was excellent,huge balcony,with hammock,sun lounger,2 chairs & a table,which was not quite ready when we got there,but our steward did let us hang my wife's dresses in 2 dress bags,& our coats up on the wall hangers,to save carrying them around for an hour or so,When we returned an hour later,the dresses had gone,the cabin steward denied ever letting us in,then couldn't understand what we were trying to explain that 6 dresses had gone from our cabin,On our way to reception I just happened to glance into the cabin stewards room (which was open & ajar) & there was all the dresses & coats,dumped on the floor,To say that we were unhappy is an understatement to say the least,We went for a cuppa to calm down before go to reception,After we did calm down,We decided to let the matter drop,We didn't want to see the poor steward getting into trouble,or worse.There are 2 bands on board Rhythm who are very good,Girl sounds like Stevie Nicks,The Beats also very good,guest acts were very good with the exception of the "Comedian" who was absolutely dire,Got to be the worst I've ever seen,I couldn't believe the amount of people who walked out of the theatre,Don't know how he makes a living from it,BUT he can certainly hold a note,What a singer.Theater cast were also excellent.Surf & Turf & Kora La are well worth that little bit extra for a different dining experience,Not worth the extra for premium drinks as all we wanted was the all inclusive menu,Which ends at 02:00 hrs,But they did announce it in the club,The silent disco is a MUST,Hilarious. Overall a good cruise & good itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Marella Explorer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness & Recreation 5.0 N/A
Family 3.0 3.7
Shore Excursions 3.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.1
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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