6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
The flights and logistics We had a delayed departure from Gatwick 20mins nevertheless after a comfortable flight we were safely in Palma. The process of getting from baggage claim to the coach was not great as it was raining (like ... Read More
The flights and logistics We had a delayed departure from Gatwick 20mins nevertheless after a comfortable flight we were safely in Palma. The process of getting from baggage claim to the coach was not great as it was raining (like I've never seen rain like it before) On arrival at the port our cases were ferried from the coach (A little Wet) and we picked up our boarding cards for cabin 9176 and within 20 minutes we were on board and exploring. First impressions There is not the wow factor of Indy with the multi storey atrium but they have managed to get a lot in the ship. Areas that felt a little small to start with then we noticed how much more room you have per person we had, but the ship is in lovely condition albeit there are perhaps a few blemishes but we were more than happy. Our cabin We were in cabin 9176 which is a standard balcony. It was immaculately presented and quite spacious. where I was only allowed 3 drawers, a shelf and two hangers we reached a more equitable distribution and all our 40kg of luggage had a home. The cases fit under the bed if you lift the frame to get them past the lip. Our cabin steward Roberto was a handsome young chap and very polite and thorough. We were very content. The bars/drink We decided not to get the premium Ai package. The house red was very pleasant as were the other wine options we tried. In terms of everything else the Ai suited us as it does contain main brands and we are not fussy over whether the gin is Gordon's or Tanqueray . It has much the same effect after sufficient numbers. Of the bars we tried squid and anchor, the lounge, indigo bar and the pool bar. We really liked the lounge and also indigo was a good spot for a drink before the club started as it was quieter and had some of the best views on the ship and a thank you to Imer,Rita and Anna for great service. Places to eat/food For breakfast we tended to eat at the market place. The choice was plentiful and most days I managed to resist the temptations of the fried bread. Most days. There are good options jn terms of cereals, fruit, cooked and continental options. We had no issues in getting a table at any time. Lunches we used both the market place and the Mediterranean. The options in the market place were nice and fresh and had variety. In the med I had the bespoke pasta option. Taste wise it was very nice indeed although perhaps a little oily. For our evening meals we generally ate in latitude 53, We never had a poor meal with highlights for me being the beef Wellington. Service wise it was excellent but we had some incredible service from Annette and Capella and they are an absolute credit to Marella Explorer . Entertainment All of the entertainment from the quizzes to the meditation classes were excellent and the show cast were all very talented and excellent individuals singing at the piano including Matt CD Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Absolutely lovely cruise.... staff from room cleaners through to management were excellent... bar staff fab.. Anthony in the squid and anchor and lllian in the whisky and gin bar were fantastic.. Clifford our brilliant house keeper was ... Read More
Absolutely lovely cruise.... staff from room cleaners through to management were excellent... bar staff fab.. Anthony in the squid and anchor and lllian in the whisky and gin bar were fantastic.. Clifford our brilliant house keeper was tops never a problem to do anything for u... food choices galore restaurants staff amazing... these guys work long hours but are always polite and give u the time of day... would 100% book with marella explorer again... had a problem with our room nothing major.. but the ship manager got us moved straight away.... fabulous time couple of days a bit wet but hey 15 nights without cooking makes up for that... entertainment good.. broadway show room is like going to London except in London u don’t get complementary drinks... ship was very clean literally inside and out were kept clean daily and more than once a day... couldn’t ask for a better first time cruise The 6 days going across to the Caribbean were long but hey we knew wen we booked... oh and the guys at the Lavizza coffee port loved seeing me at 7am every morning Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Wanted to go to different places in the Western Med (as been to all the main sites). Embarkation was excellent all the way from off the plane to arriving at our cabin (comments on cabin below). Everything was easy and smooth. There was ... Read More
Wanted to go to different places in the Western Med (as been to all the main sites). Embarkation was excellent all the way from off the plane to arriving at our cabin (comments on cabin below). Everything was easy and smooth. There was only one person trying to sell extras as we embarked (premium drinks), which was also nice and the photographers weren't pushy either. We didn't need the extra drinks as the inclusive package had enough decent drinks to easily satisfy us and the quality of the house wines was plenty good enough. All the staff were absolutely excellent and caring. they were always helpful and polite, with a genuine smile (and the number of staff who said good morning to me at 06:00 was truly impressive). The reception staff were always polite and attentive, even during our issue with the cabin.The waiters in the main restaurant and Vista (table 118) were absolutely brilliant, for breakfast and dinner - with no complaints whatsoever. Entertainment was pretty good, we attended a few quizzes, but there was this and then bingo - which was not for us. The shows we saw were generally of high quality, though someone does need to explain the COGS concept to me as it was just confusing. Though the dancing was good the story was completely missing (e.g. girl called Celeste, but Roxanne was putting on the red light...) The food at breakfast and dinner in the main restaurant was of excellent quality and fresh/hot every time. Getting lunch in the Market Place was also easy and there were no queues when we went there, so no problems getting a place to sit and eat at all. Shore excursions were excellent (apart from Pisa and the wine trip associated, Pisa really crowded and the walk from the coach park too long and difficult, with street vendors trying to sell you tack for the last half a mile. The wine tour/tasting involved 2 minutes of talking then leaving us in a tent with nice food and reasonable wine for a long time). The Palermo wine tasting trip was brilliant and of much better quality (and so was the wine). The trip to Herculaneum was a real eye-opener and there is much more there than in Pompeii. The Pals village trip we really good and rice tour very insightful. Monaco was brilliant and though we didn't stay with the tour of the old part, we bused close to Casino Square (number 1 or 2) and then walked back down the F1 track to the star finish area, had a coffee then went back to the main road to catch the bus back up the hill, in time to rejoin the coach. Note there are ticket machines at major bus stations that allow you to buy tickets (1.5 euro's for 1 way) rather than 2 euro's on the bus and the screens for bus progress are excellent. Ticket machines with English annotation. Disembarkation was easy from off the ship and to the airport (it couldn't have been easier to find the luggage and get on the coach). The airport itself is chaos with late planes and too many people and not enough staff (not a fault of Marella). Overall this cruise and the staff exceeded my expectations and we would put Marella above MSC (terrible) and Royal Caribbean (good) based on this experience. The value for money and not having to pay for tips or drinks meant our bill at the end was 20 x what has been on other lines. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We had a fantastic time on this cruise. Our balcony cabin on deck 9 was spacious and had plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. We upgraded to the premium drinks package which was an extra £50 and although not necessary you can then have ... Read More
We had a fantastic time on this cruise. Our balcony cabin on deck 9 was spacious and had plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. We upgraded to the premium drinks package which was an extra £50 and although not necessary you can then have special cocktails, gins etc and your soft drinks are cans also 1.5 litres of water in your cabin every day. You can also have a lovely coffee in the Coffee Port which would be an additional cost otherwise. Vista was our favourite restaurant due to the food choices and also we found the waiter service there was even better if that's possible. As it was a special occasion we paid £35 each to eat in the Dining Club which was a great experience as the food and service were exceptional. We also paid an extra £27 for Surf and Turf restaurant and the food was first class. It's not necessary to do this, you could easily have a wonderful time on board without any upgrades. The waiters work so hard and are so friendly and helpful. Many of them are away from home for 8 months at a time but still managed to make us laugh. Entertainment in the fantastic show lounge was OK and we also had a choice of other singers in the various lounges. The one negative experience happened when we got home and I believe has nothing to do with the staff on the ship. Our bill was paid in full and the money deducted from our Bank account however we still have a "pending" amount of £335 which is restricting access to our funds. I've emailed Marella but it's still to be resolved. I don't have a lot of faith in Tui's customer service due to previous experience and feel this may drag on. I hope I'm wrong as apart from this we had a wonderful time. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was a great itinerary on a really charming ship. The ship is big enough to offer almost anything, yet small enough to feel familiar and intimate. The Explorer war recently refurbished and previously enjoyed a very popular career as ... Read More
This was a great itinerary on a really charming ship. The ship is big enough to offer almost anything, yet small enough to feel familiar and intimate. The Explorer war recently refurbished and previously enjoyed a very popular career as "Mein Schiff 1". As Germans we were probably from a somewhat unusual customer group for Marellla, as they specifically cater for the UK market and almost any passenger we spoke to was from the UK. There are a lot of bars and eating venues in the ship, the most popular seemed to be the "Squid and Anchor", a pub themed bar. Unlike all other cruises we have been on, there was no resident band that served a regular dance venue. There was a normal disco, called Indigo that also featured a stunning bar, but suffered somewhat from very chilly air conditioning. The entertainment theater was very nice and the two shows we were attending were of excellent quality. Marella's all inclusive is OK with lots of beers to chose from and the wine was quite drinkable as well. Their regular cocktails are nothing worth drinking, though. You could upgrade to a premium drink package that we considered not worthwhile The pools were nice but by all means very cold. The children's area has a nice little poll but is quite small, but since the cruise was not during school holidays there was enough space for our two year old daughter to play. Our favorite place in the ship was the serviced restaurant called Latitude 53. It served basically the same dishes you could get at the buffet restaurant but in a much nicer environment with lots of space around your table and nice views through the large windows at the back of the ship. The food was quite good as well, with snacks being available until late at night. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Have previously only cruised with Celebrity and P&O, but we fancied a short break in the sunshine at the last moment and this cruise fitted the bill. We've taken several TUI package holidays to the Canaries so we knew we were ... Read More
Have previously only cruised with Celebrity and P&O, but we fancied a short break in the sunshine at the last moment and this cruise fitted the bill. We've taken several TUI package holidays to the Canaries so we knew we were happy to go with them. Booking was straightforward, apart from having to phone to find out which cabins were available, as we like to choose where on the ship we'll be. After an early morning flight, we were directed through Palma airport by several TUI staff to the waiting coaches. This was done very efficiently and as soon as one coach was full, off it went with no waiting around. On arrival at the port, we were registered and checked in very quickly. The whole arrival operation was very smooth, and we were soon on board enjoying an early lunch in the buffet. Any misgivings we had about lower standards on an older ship were soon dispelled. The refurbishment had been done extremely well. All the public rooms were light and welcoming and the ship was clean throughout.(Lots of cleaning going on all through the cruise). We ate breakfast in the buffet - always a good selection of hot and cold food. Lunch was sometimes taken there - again plenty of choice, or out on deck from the Snack Shack. Evenings we used the MDR - food was always nicely prepared with a reasonable choice of meat or fish dishes. The included house wine was always regularly topped up by the willing and friendly waiting staff. We ate in Surf & Turf once - very pleased and wanted to use it again but it got fully booked up very quickly. Our balcony cabin was spacious and comfortable with more than enough wardrobe and drawer space and was kept very clean by the cabin steward Akash.( Different towel animals each day). The bathroom wasn't large but the shower cubicle was a good size and the towels were changed frequently. We went on two excursions - again the organisation was very good and the guides were excellent. Positives - The friendly atmosphere on board, sunbeds always available even on sea days, the quality and choice of the food, the value for money. Negatives - Purely personal, but the entertainment wasn't our cup of tea. This certainly won't be our last Marella cruise. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Had a lovely time onboard the Explorer, the ship itself was very good and well organised. The cabin was of the usual cruise ship size but was cleaned to a very high standard. The food was very good in the many all inclusive/buffet ... Read More
Had a lovely time onboard the Explorer, the ship itself was very good and well organised. The cabin was of the usual cruise ship size but was cleaned to a very high standard. The food was very good in the many all inclusive/buffet style restaurants onboard. We went to two of the additional charge restaurants Surf & turf, and Kori la both were excellent and well worth the extra charges. The entertainment crews were very good and the Broadway shows were excellent. ALL the waiter, waitress, & bar staff were very friendly and always had a smile for us. All the crews work very hard and do deserve a tip although I think most people didn't tip, but in my experience good service deserves a tip whatever cruise company you go with. We didn't go on any Tui excursion as though they were on the expensive side although we went ashore in every port and did our own thing. I did read a few bad reviews about the Explorer prior, but to be honest this is a great ship with an excellent crews. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Really liked the Explorer. The moment we stepped on the ship we could see that the carpets and upholstery were all new. Everything was in immaculate condition. We had a large balcony cabin on deck 10. The room was quite small, IMO it ... Read More
Really liked the Explorer. The moment we stepped on the ship we could see that the carpets and upholstery were all new. Everything was in immaculate condition. We had a large balcony cabin on deck 10. The room was quite small, IMO it would have been better for the balcony to be a bit smaller and the cabin a bit larger. The balcony had 2 chairs, a table, a lounger and a hammock. The cabin was well appointed with plenty of wardrobe and drawer space, there was a dressing table with a large mirror above and good lighting. There was a European and American plug socket. The bed was very comfortable. The shower room was nice, all white with a large shower with glass door. There was a washing line in the shower and plenty of space for toiletries. The toilet flush was a little unpredictable and slow, but we never had any major worries. The only problem we had was the very noisy air conditioning. You definitely need to take ear plugs. The dining rooms were all bright and airy and the waiters were very hard working, they could have done with a few more. The food was all very good wherever we ate. Latitude was on both decks 5 & 6 and Vista Italian made up part of deck 5. There seemed to be plenty of tables for 2 especially in Vista. The Market Place (buffet) was pleasant and we never had a problem getting a table. The Mediterranean was good for a quick breakfast and plenty of outside tables. We weren’t keen on the position of Umi Sushi which was a room between other rooms, effectively a corridor, and people were walking through and passing the diners. We did not use the ‘pay’ restaurants as we did not feel the need. Entertainment was as usual around the pool in the daytime and there was audience participation type of entertainment in the Squid and Anchor pub. We found the shows to be extremely good, the showteam work so hard to put on a different show every night and all the shows were new to us, they included Musicals, 50’s Diner and Festivals. Not too keen on the upstairs seating in the Broadway as much of the view was restricted. We never had any problem with drinks service although there are clearly fewer waiters than on previous ships. However, they now have waiters pushing carts around the pool decks full of beer, wine, prosecco and cold drinks all on ice. This worked really well as you could get a drink instantly. If you wanted other drinks, you could order them as usual. In the Broadway theatre they have lots of drinks out in the entrance e.g. beer, prosecco and blue lagoon and maitai cocktails. Again you could order other drinks and you could take 2 drinks in if you wanted to. We found this to all work well. Dress to impress night – This was the first cruise my DH has not taken his suit. And we were so glad he didn’t. There was hardly anyone wearing suits, most men wore smart trousers, shirt and tie. Some obviously hadn’t dressed to impress at all! The ship staff were lovely and over 50% were Philipinos, they are always smiling and cheerful and nothing is too much trouble. The crew show was back and it was a joy to see the staff enjoying themselves. Didn't do any excursions, all ports were easy to walk around and DIY Would we return to Explorer, of course can’t wait! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We really loved this Cruise Ship, having been on Majesty, Celebration, Discovery 1 and 2. All were very good , but we found there wasn't the atmosphere on the Discoveries with the crew that there was on Majesty and Celebration. On ... Read More
We really loved this Cruise Ship, having been on Majesty, Celebration, Discovery 1 and 2. All were very good , but we found there wasn't the atmosphere on the Discoveries with the crew that there was on Majesty and Celebration. On Explorer it had all come back wtih the singing and music playing from the crew in the dining room. We loved our outside cabin and the bathroom had a proper shower cubical rather than a space with a curtain that has been on all the other ships The entertainment was really good with the crew and their shows and for two nights we had the brilliant finalist from 'Britain's Got Talent' a few years ago Jon Clegg. His comedy and impressions weregreat and went down really well. A chap that was singing in the lounge was really good and was playing many of the folk songs we used to sing when we first stated dating back in the early 70s. It brought back some lovely memeories. The food was really good and great sevice from the staff. On the night when they have a party for regular guests, we were approached by Richard the general manager and asked for our feedback on the new ship. I said we had a wonderful time, but to be really picky the Gluten Free bread and rolls they provide for my diet were pretty hard, like they are on all long haul airlines. We were very impressed that the next day Richard phoned me in the cabin and said he had looked at the bread and agreeing with me spoke to thechef. He said in future they would be getting freshly baked GF bread for the ship. Hober was our cabin man and he was as helpful and friendly as all the other crew. Looking forward to thinking about Explorer two due to be launched later this year. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Wow Amazing is the word to describe our cruise. Embarking was quick and easy. The ship is wonderful she as a small runni g track a small gym a great spa a pub a casino several bars lots of choice for meals our favorite was the dining club ... Read More
Wow Amazing is the word to describe our cruise. Embarking was quick and easy. The ship is wonderful she as a small runni g track a small gym a great spa a pub a casino several bars lots of choice for meals our favorite was the dining club this is a payable resteraunt but tbe food was top class we highly recomend it. The shows at night were excellant the attention to detail and the service from all the staff was first class. Our cabin steward effendi dmade our stay brilliant. We will be going again nxt year we cannot recomend this cruise enough you will not be disappointed if you book it. The staff made our holiday very special.The cabins have a minibar that are well stocked. Every member of the crew were excellant nothing was too much trouble.The pool area was excellant waiters constantly fetching drinks for you. The coffee shop serves excellant coffee and cakes. The movies in the cinema were very good. Fantastic cruise all round. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
First time cruising and we both loved it from day one the party atmosphere when we set off was really good we knew then we were in for a good time as the second day came around the crew were so polite and helpful. Right let's get onto ... Read More
First time cruising and we both loved it from day one the party atmosphere when we set off was really good we knew then we were in for a good time as the second day came around the crew were so polite and helpful. Right let's get onto the cabins they are a little small but clean and tidied twice a day at the end of day you only sleep in them we were out everyday soaking up the atmosphere on pool deck with waiter service giving ice cold drinks bottles corona San Miguel or peroni lager or if you want strongbow John smiths or even cans draughts Guinness just a sample of what you can have not to mention cocktails ha the food was always a good quality and plenty to choose from your never go hungry even in night time after a night out the market place is open for a scoff we did do trips out won't mention that as others have said anyway overall like I said first time on the waves we both have different views on cruising and will be going again Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We had heard a lot of positive feedback about Thomson cruises in the past and thought we would try them now that they are updating their fleet. Having used various cruise lines in the past, it exceeded our expectations in comparison. The ... Read More
We had heard a lot of positive feedback about Thomson cruises in the past and thought we would try them now that they are updating their fleet. Having used various cruise lines in the past, it exceeded our expectations in comparison. The whole experience on board was positive, however we feel that the excursions we booked could have been better. The food was very good and there was an excellent choice of venues that were included. We used Vista twice, the Tapas bar twice and Choose your own Pasta and Pizza. on three nights. Latitude 53, the main waiter service restaurant was well laid out with plenty of tables for 2 and spacious. The food and service was also good. The food in the self-service restaurant was good and a good choice, in particular for lunch and dinner. The service points were well laid out and no trouble getting a table. We tried the "Surf and Turf" speicality restaurant for our anniversary, but it was the worst meal we had on board. The food arrived cold and we were placed under an air conditioning vent. The food was replaced but that spoiled the occasion. It was not value for money for the £28.95 that we paid We were all inclusive and their was no need to upgrade to the Premium package as the choice was good. It was good service and the waiters in the restuarants always made sure your drinks were refilled The cabin was very comfortable and well organised with plenty of storage and hangers. It was kept spotlessly clean by Madelyn and Dimitro who were very friendly and helpful. The toliet only blocked once however it was sorted within 15 mins and housekeeping came and sanitised the bathroom. Entertainment in general was very good. The evening shows in the theatre were mainly done by the Show Cast and were very professional using a lot of modern technology and well produced. The Broadway Show Lounge is the nicest and most comfortable theatre we have experienced. There was plenty of leg room and tables provided. The seating capacity was large and easily accomodated all the passengers over the two shows. We feel that the excursions could have been better. They were too early in the day, too short and did not give much time to explore the destinations. Some of the information was not accurate enough - for example at Monreale it said some steps and a hill to the cathedral when there was in excess of 90. We would definitely cruise with Marella again. A very positive experience having previously cruised with P and O, Celebrity, NCL and MSC. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our second cruise with Tui and once again was fantastic.Our first cruise was last year on The Discovery Ship. The Explorer was a bigger ship. The cabin was lovely and kept very clean by a lovely young man called Isaac who looked ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Tui and once again was fantastic.Our first cruise was last year on The Discovery Ship. The Explorer was a bigger ship. The cabin was lovely and kept very clean by a lovely young man called Isaac who looked after our cabin extremely well! The food and entertainment was super . We went on eccursions to Rome, Pisa and went ashore in Corsica which was beautiful. And also went ashore to St Raphael in France which also was a beautiful place. All the staff on board did an amazing job and were very friendly and helpful! If you are thinking of going on a cruise then I thouroughly recommend it! You will want to do it again and again because it really is that good that you get hooked :) It is a great way to see different countries in one whole week. Bon voyage! Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
The first cruise we ever did years ago was with Thompson on the island escape and we thoroughly enjoyed it - it was the Start of the cruise bug.. Since then we actually cruised with Royal Caribbean - BUT THAT WILL CHANGE FROM NOW ON !! ... Read More
The first cruise we ever did years ago was with Thompson on the island escape and we thoroughly enjoyed it - it was the Start of the cruise bug.. Since then we actually cruised with Royal Caribbean - BUT THAT WILL CHANGE FROM NOW ON !! Just finished a two week cruise on the Marella Explorer and I am delighted to say that it exceeded all our expectations - above and beyond! From check in at Dublin Airport with Tui everything went smoothly. The ship was gorgeous, the cabin was immaculate thanks to the lovely Deni, the food in latitude was absolutely gorgeous with a great variety, the Mediterranean Bar and restaurant is an great addition to the ship and not to be missed. They also do the nicest pina colada served by Marlon - an excellent waiter who never let your glass go empty!! The entertainment in the Broadway lounge was EXCELLENT - SUCH TALENTED SINGERS AND DANCERS. All of the staff were genuinely friendly. Overall 10/10 for everything on board, we can honestly say we haven't got one bad thing to say about our overall experience. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
A great cruise on a nice ship.Very friendly and attentative crew ,this was our first cruise and Were very impressed with it from start to finish.The cabins were clean and the stewards were good at their job making sure everything was up ... Read More
A great cruise on a nice ship.Very friendly and attentative crew ,this was our first cruise and Were very impressed with it from start to finish.The cabins were clean and the stewards were good at their job making sure everything was up to standard.There was a good choice of restaurants from the main dining restaurant to the self service and the ones which incurred a small surcharge ,there was also a Mediterranean tapas and Italian restaurant giving a different choice of food..The squid and anchor themed British pub was a great place to relax with a drink after dinner with live music or the very impressive piano lounge with its live music also.Entertainment in the Broadway lounge was of a high standard and the cast of the shows were superb giving a different show of good quality every night.The facilities on the sun deck were as expected with enough sun beds by the pool and thwart service was excellent with a good choice of beers wines and cocktails .The ship was just back from a big refit in May so there was a new feel to a lot of things on it.There was a good selection of excursions offered by the ship in all the ports or a shuttle service if you preferred to do your own thing.All drinks and tips were included and 8 thought this worked very well.Would I book with Marella again the answer would be most definitely yes ,The Marella explorer2 will be ready next spring and be working out of Naples so you never know , Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Can not praise this ship enough excellent staff from entertainment Lisa James and Matt and Lisa Victoria can sing. Cooper on the pool Deck was so helpful and pleasant . Everything about the ship was fabulous and will be booking again. Surf ... Read More
Can not praise this ship enough excellent staff from entertainment Lisa James and Matt and Lisa Victoria can sing. Cooper on the pool Deck was so helpful and pleasant . Everything about the ship was fabulous and will be booking again. Surf and Turf restaurant good is amazing. The squid and anchor was an amazing stop for us and karaoke was so much fun. The main shoe bar in fantastic and had BGT John Clarke comedy one night. The sail away party was something else. We did excursions one was to Rome when we arrived back to a band playing and staff with trays of ice cold water and the captain and staff saying welcome back madam I felt like royalty. Getting in and 8ff the ship is so stress free everything is so organised. To sum up all the staff are a credit to the ship and captain John was very nice and funny Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Booked a week for our 10th wedding anniversary as we always wanted to try a cruise, and thought a week was enough, in case we didn't like it. From the time we boarded until the time we left was fantastic, and the crew were marvellous, ... Read More
Booked a week for our 10th wedding anniversary as we always wanted to try a cruise, and thought a week was enough, in case we didn't like it. From the time we boarded until the time we left was fantastic, and the crew were marvellous, with a special shout out to Rain who was our bar steward in the Squid and Anchor, and was always making sure our glasses were full and even knew exactly what we were drinking before we had sat down, he's a credit to your company!!They worked extremely long hours and still couldn't do enough for you and were always polite and smiling. Plenty of food choices from buffet to sit down and plenty to go around. Night time entertainment was nonstop in several areas of the ship, although I can't comment on the day time as we were on excursions all day and not getting back until late afternoon. The excursions we booked were great, with the guides being very informative, but be prepared for a hectic and tiring day as your trying to cram everything in to such a short amount of time. Make sure you have your boarding card on you at all times as you need it to get on and off the ship, when ordering your drinks, and also in the shops as it's all registered to your cabin. Security is very tight, and a bit time consuming, but to be expected in the world that we now find ourselves in, so give yourself extra time when you leave or return to the ship. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Sorry if the review is a bit TLDR.... The flights and logistics We had a slightly delayed departure from Leeds although this was not of Tui's making. Nevertheless after a comfortable flight we were safely deposited in Palma. The ... Read More
Sorry if the review is a bit TLDR.... The flights and logistics We had a slightly delayed departure from Leeds although this was not of Tui's making. Nevertheless after a comfortable flight we were safely deposited in Palma. The process of getting from baggage claim to the coach was seamless with some pre information to whet the appetite. On arrival at the port our cases were ferried from the coach by burly men and we picked up our cards for cabin 8183 and within 15 minutes we were on board and exploring the explorer (pun intended). First impressions There is not the wow factor of the Discovery with the multi storey atrium but they have managed to get a lot in the ship. Areas that felt a little small on the discovery e.g. Kora la have plenty of room to breathe. The ship is in lovely condition albeit there are perhaps a few blemishes which given more time in dry dock would have been resolved but nothing to fret over. Our cabin We were in cabin 8183 which is a standard balcony. It was immaculately presented and quite spacious. After an initial arm wrestle with Mrs D where I was only allowed 3 drawers, a shelf and two hangers we reached a more equitable distribution and all our 50kg of luggage had a home. The cases fit under the bed if you lift the frame to get them past the lip. Our cabin steward Basirun was a quiet chap but very polite and thorough. We were very content. One slight issue in the first two days or so was that people were getting used to the vacuum toilet system and twice our system (through no fault of our own must add!) lost its suction. It certainly wasn't built by Dyson. Captain John did seem to have become rather expert in the thoroughbred style fragility of the system as it regularly featured in his anecdotes. Having said that the person who reputedly flushed a breakfast sausage down there certainly needs an intervention. The bars/drink We decided not to get the premium Ai package. The house red was very pleasant as were the other wine options we tried. In terms of everything else the Ai suited us as it does contain main brands and we are not fussy over whether the gin is Gordon's or Bombay. It has much the same effect after sufficient numbers. Of the bars we tried squid and anchor, the lounge, indigo bar and the pool bar. We really liked s & a and also indigo was a good spot for a drink before the club started as it was quieter and had some of the best views on the ship. Places to eat/food For breakfast we tended to eat at the market place. The choice was plentiful and most days I managed to resist the temptations of the fried bread. Most days. There are good options jn terms of cereals, fruit, cooked and continental options. We had no issues in getting a table at any time. Lunches we used both the market place and the Mediterranean. The options in the market place were nice and fresh and had variety. In the med I had the bespoke pasta option. Taste wise it was very nice indeed although perhaps a little oily. For our evening meals we generally ate in latitude 53 but occasionally went to vista if the menu was not to our taste. We never had a poor meal with highlights for me being the beef Wellington, the lovely soups and the crepes suzette. We ate at kora la one evening and it was superb. If anything they've raised the bar further from D1. A brilliant evening. Service wise it was mostly excellent although you could be lucky or unlucky with who was looking after you. On one night it took 2 and a half hours to get through and the waiter was clearly confused and forgot orders. We aren't complainers and felt a little sympathetic to be honest as he was floundering a bit. The same night however showed some incredible service as said waiter's line manager was aware that things had not gone as they ought and was at pains to check we were okay and in subsequent nights made a point of checking that we had had speedier service. Her name is Princess Ann (great name) and she is an absolute credit to Marella. Ports/trips Propriano Its a sleepy sort of town but we spent an enjoyable few hours ashore and walked from one end of the town to the other and back. There are a few interesting shops and nice bars for a bit of liquid refreshment. Civitavecchia We did the Tui excursion Rome on your own. The coach dropped you outside the Palace of justice which is 700yds from St Peters Square. The map was very good. We did a whistle-stop tour of the sights mainly walking but also used the metro to get to the colloseum. We fell in love with Rome and really want to go back for a long weekend. Fingers crossed that euro in the Trevi fountain works! It was a long day but so worth it. Marina Di carrara We again did a tour as the port itself is meant to be a bit bleak. Our tour was to santa marguerite and Porto fino. There was a boat trip between the two. I suspect that this is a trip that is very heavily dependent on weather but we had a fantastic time. The levels of opulence and wealth in Portofino are unbelievable. If Simon Cowell moved there they'd put him on income support. Our tour guide was also an absolute star. She seemed to have more fun than work and encouraged her colleague to sing and dance on the boat trip back. Saint Raphael This was a tender port. It is a lovely little town and tuns into The neighbouring town of Frejus. Lovely bars and cafes and some nice shops. We planned to have an easier day after two early starts. Naturally we did over 20k steps on this 'easier' day. Barcelona Simply stunning city. The shuttle bus from the port is well worth the price and drops you at the bottom of La Rambla. From there we meandered our way around and then after a quick beer had a long walk out to the sagrada familia. If you picture a sandcastle covered in fruit and pictures all of which are melting you get a fair idea. It is well worth the trek albeit it was a long walk from the main drag. Palma Doing a two week trip means you get to have palma as a port of call and it remains one of my favorite cities. Lot of great shops and bars. We walked to and from the town centre and it is a long hot walk. I was a soggy mess by time I got back to the ship. Palermo If this town were in UK we would think it was a bit grotty and steer away. As its in Italy it feels to have an earthy charm. Lovely architecture sits cheek to cheek with utter decay. The hawkers at the port are persistent although a firm no tends to work. Naples In Italy they say va fa Napoli to mean go to hell. We had done pompeii and sorrento previously so decided to do a different trip instead. We went to Capri. The trip was very well organised albeit we sacked off the walking tour to explore at our own pace. Marco the guide clearly had a lot of good connections as he could are age a meal, a boat trip and perfume discounts. We lived Capri. It is stunningly beautiful and has some wow type shopping. Based on the photos at restaurants keanu reeves and Beyonce agree as they seem to have eaten everywhere in that town. The hydrofoil to and from Capri was also great fun and it was well worth the excursion price. Livorno We got the obligatory port authority bus into town. We then walked to the station and went over to Pisa on the train for an extortionate fare of 2.6 euros. For a clean train as well. No where near as good value as our smelly old trains... Not. After some questionable photos we went back to livorno. The town centre is actually very nice and worth a visit albeit people normally use it as a base to go further afield. Villefranche We got an early tender then walked to the gare in order to get the train to Monaco. Nice few hours there including walking the full grand prix circuit. Back to villefranche and had a nice l lunch in the town before heading back on board. Its an easy trip to do yourself and much cheaper. Palamos Probably the weakest port of the cruise. Its a quiet fishing town and aside from a few bars and some shops there isn't much to do other than go to the beach. As it was overcast we chose not to do this. Still it's a pleasant place to spend a few hours. As it was our last day we weren't too worried that it was a quieter day. Entertainment and facilities The show cast are clearly very talented although some of the shows weren't our taste perhaps. The comedian Tucker was OK albeit a bit bland. Has to be fairly safe though. We did not use the spa although in the hope of fighting against the inevitable weight gain made a few visits to the gym. It's a nice part of the ship and we'll equipped. Whenever I was there it was quiet albeit I cant guarantee those two facts weren't linked ;). We also really enjoyed the quizzes and gameshows. Overall It was the best cruise we've had. So many great memories and places. We met some lovely people as well. The staff are exceptional (albeit some of the guests can verge on rudeness in their dealings with them at times) and the ship is great. It's definitely a grower. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I choose explorer cruise by mistake originally as I thought it was adult only, but once getting on board I found it was not a mistake as it was absolutely the best , we didn't try the diners that you had to pay extra for as there was ... Read More
I choose explorer cruise by mistake originally as I thought it was adult only, but once getting on board I found it was not a mistake as it was absolutely the best , we didn't try the diners that you had to pay extra for as there was no need to , we ate in all the other diners and if we didn't like the menu 1 night we went to another, the whole of the staff on board was amazing and friendly nothing was to much, I've heard people complain about the toilet blockages but if mindless cruisers didn't put things down the toilet that shouldn't be there then this wouldn't happen. we had a little trouble getting a sun bed especially on sea day but that's life we found a suitable chair and bathed from there it didn't ruin anything . some of the excursions I choose was long and a bit to much walking but that was my fault as I should of read more information properly. the cabins was kept very clean. the entertainment was great the singers and dancers had so much energy, and was also very friendly. the Broadway shops was far cheaper for things o board than ashore (we checked before buying ) the waiter service in the dining rooms was exceptionally good. I could go on and on but all I can end with is we have rebooked for next year already (done today ) Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our fourth cruise with Marella. The previous three were when they were still Thomson Cruises. We have been on the Dream, Celebration and the Majesty. All of these ships were very good, but, the Explorer was so much better. ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise with Marella. The previous three were when they were still Thomson Cruises. We have been on the Dream, Celebration and the Majesty. All of these ships were very good, but, the Explorer was so much better. Cabins are bigger, there are more places to eat. 10 restaurants to be precise, and also many bars. Every night the food was superb. We ate most nights in the Latitude 53 restaurant. There was nothing we could fault. The waiting staff are so friendly, attentive and helpful, nothing was too much trouble. I Have to mention Zibel and Mindroy. They were fantastic. The food was so much better than on any cruise we've done before, it was almost Michelin star standard. Even the food in the self service area was great. We went with four of our friends who have never cruised before. It has taken us five years of trying to get them afloat and now they are hooked. They could believe the standard of everything. The entertainment was excellent as well. The only blip in all of this was sometimes the toilet system blocked, but, this was mainly due to mindless idiots putting wet wipes etc, down the toilet which causes the narrow bore pipes to block easily. Nearly everyday the Captain had to keep telling people not to do this over the ships P.A. system. Overall the experience was fanatstic. I would highly recommend Marella. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our seventh cruise {fifth Marella} and was definitely the best by far. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth and hassle free. The ship was immaculate and extremely well organised. The staff could not have been any more ... Read More
This was our seventh cruise {fifth Marella} and was definitely the best by far. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth and hassle free. The ship was immaculate and extremely well organised. The staff could not have been any more helpful, they were so professional, happy and catered for our needs. A thank you to Cyrius our cabin attendant {9103} who was so cheerful and nothing was a bother. Dining in every restaurant was superb from the Market Place to Lattitude 53 restaurant. I would like to mention more waiters by name but Mark stood out and even got me my bowl of custard with my different desserts which I appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed. He was always there topping my wine glass up. The entertainment on this ship was the best that my husband and I have ever experienced on any cruise ship even the two previous larger cruise companies. We loved the comedian, George Michael and the theatre group. Every show was superb and there was always something going on in different parts of the ship. If I am being picky the only negative was that we were not always greeted with picturesque ports. The only port that we arrived in that was a wow arrival was Ajaccio {Corsica} but who cares about the first impression of the port as each place was fantastic. We left Palma and arrived in Sardinia where we just walked to the nearest beach and enjoyed our day. Sea day was extra special to us as my husband had been in excruciating pain with sciatica prior to the cruise and we went along to a sciatic seminar by Dr Mithelesh who diagnosed and treated him with four acupuncture sessions and who has completely cured him which meant he could enjoy his holiday and be prepared for a planned Marella excursion to Florence. This was a perfect and very enjoyable day. Following Florence was Corsica which happened to fall on Napolean's Birthday and we watched a procession and took an open top bus then beach for the rest of the day. Sete was the next port and we should have done this via an excursion as we ended up a little stressed as we were aiming to get to the beach and struggled to find the correct bus. Not many people spoke English and I had to use my Spanish as I couldn't remember any French but luckily a little old French woman could understand Spanish. We managed in the end and the beaches were fantastic. Our final port was Tarragona and we paid for an excursion to the beach for only 3 hours but probably should have had a walk around the town, however it was very hot and we were just happy to get back on ship and enjoy the very nice cream tea! We travelled on this cruise with two friends who had never cruised before and who are now definitely hooked on cruising after this amazing holiday. If I was to do this cruise again, I wouldn't bother with a balcony cabin as it was so hot, we hardly used it as we needed the very good air con inside the cabin. Can't wait to book my next Cruise on the Marella Explorer. Well done and Thank You Marella, Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I was a bit worried after reading a few bad reviews about coming on this cruise and being a first time cruiser. The cruise exceeded expectations in every way. Room- I booked a junior suite allocation on arrival - Deck 10 - it was ... Read More
I was a bit worried after reading a few bad reviews about coming on this cruise and being a first time cruiser. The cruise exceeded expectations in every way. Room- I booked a junior suite allocation on arrival - Deck 10 - it was massive with so much storage. The bathroom was immaculate with a large walk in shower. The balcony was large with 2 chairs, table, 2 sun loungers and a hammock. The cleaning staff Darko and Edmund were a hoot and worked very hard cleaning the cabin twice a day. There was a kettle, hairdryer and expresso maker in the room. Dining- the food was superb in all the restaurants and so much choice and the service by the staff was fabulous they really cannot do enough for you. We paid to go to the Dining Club and Surf and Turf the food and service was outstanding. Latitude 53 sit down dining was amazing was very looked after in that restaurant.by Ling who treated us like royalty. Bars- I was a bit concerned the ship would feel busy and I hate children running around unsupervised but this did not happen there are plenty of places to sit and have a quiet drink - Famíles mostly congregated round the pool and squid and anchor which I avoided. The Mediterranean Bar was lovely. My only complaint about bars was having to pay for premium soft drinks and coffee/tea which seemed stupid when you could have as much alcohol as you wanted and very good brands too. Trips - were very good and very informative I thought they were good value for money but the trip to Rome was a bit too long and very tiring. Although the trip to St Tropez was not worth it and I would avoid this trip again. Entertainment- there was so much to chose from - not my cup of tea but fellow passengers said it was very good. I did partake in wine tasting twice and Simina who ran this was amazing. Overall I cannot wait to book another cruise on this ship and all previous complaints must have been resolved to make our cruise unforgettable. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We had an amazing holiday for 14 nights on the explorer in August. This was our second cruise with tui the first one was on the dream 2 years ago. The explorer was larger than the dream but we soon got used to navigating our way around ... Read More
We had an amazing holiday for 14 nights on the explorer in August. This was our second cruise with tui the first one was on the dream 2 years ago. The explorer was larger than the dream but we soon got used to navigating our way around the ship. We really enjoyed the sail away party and relaxing in the adults only section after a day off the ship. All the restaurants were very good, we didn't try the speciality restaurants as the food in the inclusive restaurants was so good. We did think there could have been more entertainment/activities going on in the day. Most of the ports of call were really good and we enjoyed them except in the port of Sardinia which we thought was disappointing. Our holiday was made extra special by one member of staff on the back of the ship in the Mediterranean bar His service was fab and he always made time not to only serve us our drinks but talk to us and answer any questions we had. His name was Rene. It was really nice to meet you Rene, by the time we left we felt like you had become a friend. Another member of staff was Marlon. Thank you Marlon for your great service. Glenmorangie and a cold prosecco Thank you guys. Sorry we didn't get to say goodbye on the saturday morning. We were gutted you weren't in the Mediterranean bar when we called there before we left the ship. Would we cruise with you again? Yes most definitely. Stev and Andrea Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We have been on other cruises with Thompson and encouraged family members to come this time and they were not disappointed. My mum is disabled and she was looked after so well with regard to arrival and every time we left the ship everyone ... Read More
We have been on other cruises with Thompson and encouraged family members to come this time and they were not disappointed. My mum is disabled and she was looked after so well with regard to arrival and every time we left the ship everyone was so attentive and caring.We had balcony cabins on deck eight which were just perfect they are not plush but clean and comfortable and just what you need. We had a very nice steward who looked after us very well thank you Basirun. The food was really good and there was enough choice to suit everyone, you could if you wanted pay extra to dine at specialty restaurants but we really didn't see the need. The broadway shops are a must and if you go look out for Mustafa who works in the watch shop he is great fun a great salesman and knows his stuff, then there is the lovely Simone she can be found in the perfume shop and does make overs, she is a very talented make up artist and both are massive assets to Tui, well done guys you helped to make our cruise special. There are plenty of activities on board to suit all age groups although the pool is not really sufficient for the size of the boat particularly for the day at sea but other than that there are plenty of bars a cinema restaurants game zones a casino and great shows every night, something for everyone. There are plenty of excursions but really if you can research the ports before you go as there are some that you can do alone for a fraction of the cost, having said that though you are more protected if you go with Tui, we did both. Tui please review the excursion in Barcelona to the Aquarium and Beach, we felt that was not worth the money 1 hour 20 mins in Aquarium then 1 hour 20 mins on the beach at £44 a head, maybe make both a day each as not long enough at either destination really. We would go again it's a great way to see the world and waking up each morning in another port cannot be beaten in our opinion and flying and sailing with Tui previously Thompson we have never been disappointed. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Last minute booking was a little dubious as had sailed with TUI before and was disappointed with the state of the ship (celebration)old and shabby looking.. I needn't have worried as Marella Explorer is stunning launched in May 2018 ... Read More
Last minute booking was a little dubious as had sailed with TUI before and was disappointed with the state of the ship (celebration)old and shabby looking.. I needn't have worried as Marella Explorer is stunning launched in May 2018 it is jam packed with all the things you would expect and much much more, beautiful public areas, cabins and large pool area, first class entertainment, show lounge is more like West end theatre and shows are breath taking, nice adult only deck to escape the lively pool area if needed, plenty of choice of food which was amazing. Had last meal at Kora Li Asian infusion restaurant, paid extra but so worth it, food, presentation and service were excellent. All the staff were verý friendly, welcoming and helpful, amazing cruise, amazing ship, would highly recommended. Fantastic value for money. Would definitely book with Marella again. My only criticism would be the high prices in the on board Champneys spa. Read Less
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 3.8
Family 3.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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