7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
After many cruises with Thomson on Emerald,Celebration and number one Spirit, we decided to see what a “new “ ship was like. One out of 5 is good. Newcastle was waiting for 2 hours after 4 hours of driving. (We were lucky- others much ... Read More
After many cruises with Thomson on Emerald,Celebration and number one Spirit, we decided to see what a “new “ ship was like. One out of 5 is good. Newcastle was waiting for 2 hours after 4 hours of driving. (We were lucky- others much longer. This is not the first time - see reviews. Access to ship far too steep - why not a lower deck? Outside cabin ok but continual noise all night as ceiling panels vibrating so noisy - new ship? Seatings a problem everywhere - lounge, market place, indigo and theatre. Food fair in market place and 53. Found vista for last 2 days - much better. Staff in restaurants don’t seem to be allowed to be part of your holiday - Spirit was fun- Explorer dead pan waiters. Shows poor quality- team worked hard but material terrible - what was cogs all about? Far too loud-too much visual effects and flashing lights. Oh, Spirit was 10 out of 10. Did not participate in any of the daily activities other than walking ourselves around the deck! Days at sea were dead - why no speaker - why no play by show team? Met some of our old Spirit team - Spirit is still their ship- no further comment required. Out of control is the “show your appreciation to the magnificent crew” - how many times were we asked to applaud? Leaving the ship was just as bad. Group 8 had 1000 leaving at same time to queue, get transfer bus and finally find luggage. WHY not make groups of 300 max. So view of Marella is that they have totally lost the Thomson “spirit” that made cruising so enjoyable. Sorry Marella but it’s goodbye from us Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Liked the look of the cruise itinerary, and departing from Newcastle is more convenient and an easier port to get to than other ports. Booked an executive suite which are supposedly the best cabins on board and are on deck 10. Bad ... Read More
Liked the look of the cruise itinerary, and departing from Newcastle is more convenient and an easier port to get to than other ports. Booked an executive suite which are supposedly the best cabins on board and are on deck 10. Bad decision. Must say the cabin is spacious and well furnished BUT the inescapable element is constant noise from the deck above. We noticed it initially during the first day, noise of furniture being moved and scraped along the deck. The first night we were woke at 5am, then at 1.30am second night. It appears the deck was being cleaned which needed furniture to be moved. Formally complained in writing, no one responded and had a third night of disturbed sleep. Altogether had to complain 3 times to the “hotel manager”, not impressed at all with the response. The cruise was spoiled by the noise as it is a constant irritant when in the cabin, even during the day. A number of other issues occurred such as on embarkation we were told there was an IT problem which meant long queues while dropping off luggage in the car park and within the terminal building. Luggage was not unloaded on time from the ship after disembarkation, again huge queues in the car park whilst fork lift trucks were coming and going delivering suitcases. The food generally in the restaurants is adequate, not of a high quality. Got the feeling that some of the crew were very inexperienced, and required further training. Overall, it is downmarket, it was a bad experience and will not be going anywhere near a Marella ship again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise to celebrate our Ruby anniversary, and wife's 75th birthday. Upgraded seating on plane, luggage allowance, and to a extra large balcony cabin. Start with the cabin. You can't control the air con. It is either ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our Ruby anniversary, and wife's 75th birthday. Upgraded seating on plane, luggage allowance, and to a extra large balcony cabin. Start with the cabin. You can't control the air con. It is either hot or cold. everyone had dry cough's, and colds. The bathing area is at least 8 inches higher than the cabin floor. This is awkward, and dangerous at our age. The toilet is a joke, you sit on the toilet with your left arm on a sink, and your right arm on a toilet roll holder. The cold water is warm, and the shower door only get by at a squeeze. The wardrobe doors are directly outside the bathroom door. So be careful. The gap at the bottom of the bed is about 18 inches wide. With a tv sticking out. Watch your shoulders. The bed is metal framed, and the mattress was in need of being replaced. Not packed up with blanket, and mattress protectors. The food choice in the market place was repetitive, poor quality, and cold. The entertainment was abysmal. In the Squid & Anchor you had a quiz, followed by virtual reality entertainment. In other words a projector screen with musicians on. This was repeated on deck 11. The lounge had a piano with a couple of singers. Heard better in the local. The broadway had such as an illusionist. Who just did card tricks. And what shows they did, where performed by the entertainments team. They put enough ice in the drinks to sink the titanic, and it took you half an hour to get served. You had to pay in the coffee shop, and if you went before 10-00 it was double the price. You could only smoke in 3 places on the ship, outside the squid and anchor at back of ship on deck 7, Outside the coffee port on deck 6, if it was open. And on deck 12 between 10-00 and 03-00. Weather permitting. So you have to leave your partner, if they don't smoke. Whilst you went up and down the ship. There are different levels to gain access to certain venues. This is because the middle of the ship is not open. It gets confusing, and tiring. The lifts sometimes close their doors on you. I have bruises to prove it. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This was my 33rd cruise and by far the worst , food was very poor the main restaurant very slow and presentation was like a cafe, quality of food like a back street pub, reception a total joke 5 times we requested certain things and was ... Read More
This was my 33rd cruise and by far the worst , food was very poor the main restaurant very slow and presentation was like a cafe, quality of food like a back street pub, reception a total joke 5 times we requested certain things and was completely ignored, but the most alarming thing was the attitude of the general manager who accused me of cheating at the casino even after cctv showed I wasn’t and made of with £80 of my money ,i also got food poisoning on the 2nd day and was confined to cabin for 24 hours after the doctor was pretty sure it was food poisoning but again the general manager didn’t agree ,I sent a letter to the CEO of Marella Chris Hackney nearly 4 weeks ago, and still no reply, as I said in the heading ....Butlins at Sea ....but that’s probably unfair to Butlins Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Drunken and abusive behaviour of some passengers seems to allowed by the security on board, this escalated until two of my family were physically assaulted. After I intervened I was accused of assaulting the aggressor and the head of ... Read More
Drunken and abusive behaviour of some passengers seems to allowed by the security on board, this escalated until two of my family were physically assaulted. After I intervened I was accused of assaulting the aggressor and the head of security called the police to arrest me, the French police found me to be innocent of assault. To add insult to injury I was forced off ship, leaving my family alone and having to make my own way home from a foreign port, the tears of my distraught daughter and objections from other passengers had no effect on the crews decision to abandon me. After I was forced from the ship my family were refused food and drink ( even though the cruise was all inclusive) as management explained I was the registered card holder and I was not present! My family were treated very poorly after my departure and made to feel like criminals, they were openly talked about by the head of security and monitored constantly. Tui have not tried to contact me since abandoning me, they obviously do not care about my well being or safety. Bad customer care to say the least! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise as we liked the destinations that it offered and we had previously been on the Discovery. The negatives: The ship was shabby, the handrails on deck 12 had bolts missing from them, one of the large curtains in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we liked the destinations that it offered and we had previously been on the Discovery. The negatives: The ship was shabby, the handrails on deck 12 had bolts missing from them, one of the large curtains in the cinema was hanging off, there were large scratches on mirror doors of the lifts, there were scuffs marks on walls everywhere. I could understand this if the ship had not just undergone a refurbishment but it seemed as if everything was rushed to get the ship ready in time. The toilets are horrendous, they block continuously and there is a nasty smell from them. Trip to Barcelona from Palamos - We visited La Sagrada and the tour operator whisked us on foot around the outside of the building in 12 minutes, this was after just spending 15 minutes in a shop where the operator told us they allow us to use their toilet facility. The Explorer comes with All Inclusive drinks as standard - but if you want a bottle of water you have to pay for it. The food was very disappointing, one evening we left the Latitude (sit down waiter restaurant) as the menu was so poor. The positives: The trips to Lucca, Pompeii and Herculaneum were excellent as was the port of Villefranche. The excursion staff and house keeping staff were excellent. Neutral: On occasion we felt intimidated whilst in the entertainment areas but the two shows that we watched were good. We had a large balcony cabin which was spacious but due to technical difficulties the television did not work properly. You could not turn the air conditioning off - it went from cold to hot on a turntable switch which we found very loud. Summary: This one week holiday cost us £3000 which we do not feel was value for money as excursions are on top of this. We will never go on the Explorer again and feel that Tui should be automatically refunding passengers part of the cruise costs as the ship is not up to standard Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
The worst holiday experience ever. If you think all inclusive means just that, forget it. Read my review on trip advisor. We have never seen so many disgruntled people in one place nor such blatant price gouging. The food, service, staff, ... Read More
The worst holiday experience ever. If you think all inclusive means just that, forget it. Read my review on trip advisor. We have never seen so many disgruntled people in one place nor such blatant price gouging. The food, service, staff, swimming pool, awful. Excursions were a massive rip off. Nothing more than expensive trips in a coach with no water or lunch provided at up to £98 per person; on one we were taken to a fruit and veg market in Cannes on the Rivera!!! The swimming pool was so cold as to be unusable even by the children. Food was dreadful unless you paid a £50 upgrade per couple each time to visit the restricted restaurants that served average food. The staff appeared resentful and clearly did not want to be there. There were a couple of exceptions and we were informed that all the staff were agency and had only been on board 2/3 weeks when we boarded, it showed. Several times the waiting staff could not read the menu. It truly was an awful experience that is never to be repeated. We were thankful we only had to spend a week on the ship DON'T book, you have been warned. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This was only the second cruise my husband and I have been on and were so looking forward to it. Unfortunately, things went from bad to worse including our dealings with the provider TUI. We had booked a balcony cabin as we have in the ... Read More
This was only the second cruise my husband and I have been on and were so looking forward to it. Unfortunately, things went from bad to worse including our dealings with the provider TUI. We had booked a balcony cabin as we have in the past but although the room was pleasant, it certainly wasn't the standard we expected. There was a dummy dial (did not work) on the wall for the air-conditioning but it did not control anything so all day and all night we had cold air blowing directly on to our bed for the whole week. We went on the second sailing for this cruise ship and it was quite obvious, that things were not what they should be. Many of the staff, although always polite and helpful, ran around like headless chickens and it was obvious that management had not completed training of the staff. The food was OK but not as good as we had had on a previous cruise ship with a different company. I think that probably the worse problem was with the toilets. The public toilets were constantly having to be closed as the sewerage was overflowing and floating which smelt dreadful at times. Staff tried their best to keep on top of the problem but it is obvious that this old refurbished ship was not fit for purpose and was not able to take the volume of passengers. I can understand why things such as norovirus can spread quickly on a ship. There were many other issues which are too many to mention but I think what I am most annoyed about is that on the day after our return to the UK, I emailed TUI to outline all my concerns and problems. They did not respond so after 28 days I had no option but to contact ABTA who are no handling the complaint. A simple apology from TUI with acknowledgment of the problems the ship was having would have been sufficient but it has now angered me that they didn't even have the common courtesy to contact me following my email. I now have to wait a further 28 days for ABTA to try and resolve the matter but if nothing is forthcoming, I shall pursue the matter further TUI ..... (from a very annoyed TUI customer) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Went on this 'new' ship for the new year into 2019. The most boring cruise I'd ever been on. There was no laughs and no entertainment. Reality bands on a big screen every night. Same thing every evening. We had excursions ... Read More
Went on this 'new' ship for the new year into 2019. The most boring cruise I'd ever been on. There was no laughs and no entertainment. Reality bands on a big screen every night. Same thing every evening. We had excursions booked for most early mornings so had to be in bed by 11pm and up early. So our routine was that after dinner each night we would head to the bars for a few drinks. But is was sooo boring. Nothing happening. Maybe a game of over priced bingo and then a reality band on the big screen. The same one that was playing the night before, and the night before that. Oh my god it was so boring on that ship. Nothing, just nothing went on. The Theater was dismal, I know them young people work very hard and they were pretty good but the shows were just rubbish. I couldn't work out what one or two of the shows was even about, seemed like a bit of a mishmash. Days at sea were unbearable. Just lay out on a sunbed bored to death and then in the afternoon someone who was unable to sing a note in tune would start playing acoustic guitar, they would come on and sing slow, slow, slow ballads.. It would make me feel like jumping overboard. The cruise was drinks all inclusive, so getting somebody to try and serve you at the bar was like waiting for a bus. There were no staff and on sea days if you were lucky enough to flag a waiter and order a drink, they would be 30 minutes coming back with it. On two occasions they didn't return at all and when I complained I was told it was probably because they had finished their shift or gone on their break. Kill me now, YES it really was that boring. We booked a cabin at the back of the ship. The cabin was terrible. The lampshade was hanging off, the walls were filthy, the mattresses had 'stains' on them, the shelves rattled about and the toilet was half way up the wall that I had to climb up onto it with my legs dangling in mid air whist I tried to do my business. I don't need to explain the difficulties in cleansing oneself! The shower was a disgrace. Was filthy dirty scum on the walls and mold all around the seals. Food was alright but nothing to get excited about. But better that some cruises I've been on. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
My family and I have cruised with Thompsons many times in the past and we have always had a fantastic experience. I thought the change of name to Marella was quite simply that, a name change, but that is obviously not the case. The ... Read More
My family and I have cruised with Thompsons many times in the past and we have always had a fantastic experience. I thought the change of name to Marella was quite simply that, a name change, but that is obviously not the case. The entertainment on board is the worst I have ever experienced on any cruise, its Butlin’s at sea, cheap and extremely irritating. The team responsible for your entertainment can easily be found in the smoking areas of the bars, drinking, smoking and entertaining each other. The food is reasonable, however the service is painfully slow and you can expect to be spending a great deal of time waiting between courses for your meals to be served. The specialist restaurants that incur a supplement are still painfully slow from a service perspective, the food is nothing special and certainly not worth the additional cost. The icing on the cake came during our second week when we rounded a corner on deck 7 to find human excrement on the deck, a crew member was placing a chair over the turd to prevent anyone walking in it and he smile and said “someone had relaxed too much on their holiday”. I'm no snob, I like a drink and a good laugh as much as anyone, howsever the calibre of guest on this cruise left much to be desired. . The excursions are over-priced, but they always are on cruise ships and in fairness we enjoyed them all. On days where we had no excursions booked we couldn’t face staying on-board with the drunks staggering around so we left the ship and got Taxi’s to the nearest beach. My advise to anyone considering booking with Marella is simple, DON'T. Maybe we were just unlucky, but I will never cruise with Marella again. 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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