11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I don't have any other cruises to compare it with but we found the marella explorer to be brilliant value for money . We stayed in a suite number 10041. Fantastic cabin with a separate living room and bedroom . Plenty of storage space ... Read More
I don't have any other cruises to compare it with but we found the marella explorer to be brilliant value for money . We stayed in a suite number 10041. Fantastic cabin with a separate living room and bedroom . Plenty of storage space and the cabin got cleaned twice a day . The balcony was huge with and it had plenty of seating plus a hammock . We upgraded to the premium all inclusive . This was £200 overall for the two weeks for 2 people . The main reasons for the upgrade where the extra selection of gins and whiskys on offer . Plus the coffee is free in the coffee port . You also get bottled water delivered to your cabin as well as access to soft drinks on the bars . On top of all this there is a better selection of cocktails and beers/ciders and wines. We found this upgrade very useful . The food is the free restaurants was a little disappointing compared to all inclusive hotels I've been to . The market place is good for a quick meal and the MDR is nice but the portions are small and you can wait a long time for your food . Our favourite was vista. We also tried the sushi and the surf and turf which are paid restaurants . Both excellent and worth the money especially the sushi . We only went to a couple of shows and we enjoyed them . The comedians they had on weren't to our taste, very old hat . We did all our excursion through TUI which in hind site we should have done more local tours . They are a lot cheaper . This is the a list of the excursions we did so if you want to know more just contact me : ARUBA SIGHTS AND BEACH BONAIRE 4X4 GRENADA RUM RUHNER ST LUCIA ULTIMATE LAND & SEA BARBADOS TURTLE ENCOUNTER ANTIGUA CRUSOE ISLAND ROAD TOWN CANE GARDEN BEACH The only negatives about the cruise was the lack of space on the main deck during the sea days . You had to be up really early to get a bed . The food wasn't the best and it would be nice if they had better quality wines available . Overall we had a very enjoyable experience and we will defiantly cruise again with Marella 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We choose this cruise as it was available at the right price and the timing suited our schedules, we were not disappointed with any aspect of the cruise, there can always be improvements, check in at the ship on day 1 could be better but ... Read More
We choose this cruise as it was available at the right price and the timing suited our schedules, we were not disappointed with any aspect of the cruise, there can always be improvements, check in at the ship on day 1 could be better but have had worse, cabin could have been a little more spacious, the all inclusive package offered a quite acceptable range of drinks, would be nice for bottled water to be included though, did not hear many people complaining throughout the cruise (there are always some) but having to pay for bottled water was mentioned. Good selection of places to eat with by and large good quality food, did not try any of the pay extra restaurants as was very happy with the others, the buffet tends to get a bit busy at lunchtime found it best to avoid at peak times. Could do with an earlier breakfast option as the first one opens at 7 am, 6 would be better to cater for early risers, could do with some improvements in the standard tea & Coffee making facilities Shore excursions are quite expensive and probably not worth the money, did find that the dress standards were lower than previous cruises with this company, not a move in the right direction in our opinion. Staff very good and helpful in all areas, based on our experience on this ship for the first time we will have no hesitation in returning to this ship, provided excellent value for money. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
we went on a 16 day cruise round some of Spain then onto Madeira, then 6 days at sea over to the Caribbean. We cruised the year before with P&O and we thought the service we received was as good. we loved the ship even if it n't ... Read More
we went on a 16 day cruise round some of Spain then onto Madeira, then 6 days at sea over to the Caribbean. We cruised the year before with P&O and we thought the service we received was as good. we loved the ship even if it n't as posh as P&O. we thought the food was very good in the restaurants Latitude & Vista and didn't feel the need to spend money in the others. The service from all bar staff was very good and the all inclusive package was excellent for us. The only two negatives are...… we find the staff in the retail shops to be really rude and unfriendly . we thought the prices changed for internet was far too expensive and lots of people had bad experience using it. overall a great cruise and we would 100% go on the ship again. The embarking & Disembarking was fantastic and well organised. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise for our honeymoon as it started in the Mediterranean and sailed across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. Can honestly say it was the best holiday of my life, however it was my first ever cruise so I have nothing to ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our honeymoon as it started in the Mediterranean and sailed across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. Can honestly say it was the best holiday of my life, however it was my first ever cruise so I have nothing to compare it to. We had an inside cabin on deck 4 which was quite small but I wasn't expecting any larger and we barely spent any time in the room anyway. The cabin was kept pristine by our cabin steward Isaac who was fantastic. There was a TV and coffee / tea making facilities. Shower wasn't great, kept going between hot and cold on the same settings, we didn't complain about this at the time but in hindsight that might have helped. At the time we just put up with it. Didn't get a great sleep on the beds either, they weren't uncomfortable but I think I was missing my own mattress. Plenty of choice for food and every restaurant we went to served great food, even in the marketplace (buffet style). Loved latitude and vista for our dinners, went to surf and turf once but didn't try other speciality restaurants. Loved having lunch in the Mediterranean, their pasta was lovely. Boat was a good size and there was always plenty to do around the boat which was important during our 6 sea days. They even put on some tournaments over the 6 days like shuffleboard and table tennis which was nice. Went to a couple of the shows and they were good, the cast seemed really professional, loved the movies show and had a few guest comedians which was up my street. Put off the pool deck as it was always really busy and I can't swim anyway. There was no children on our cruise but looked as though there was plenty there for kids. Service was generally good, sometimes meals and drinks were a bit slow but all the staff on board were really helpful and I have no complaints about any of them. All ports were great and had plenty to do, went on a couple of excursions organised by TUI, tour guides were very knowledgeable and made sure we had a great time. Came off this cruise and immediately wanted to book another, so we've booked a baltic cruise in July for the same ship. Can't recommend highly enough. Thankyou to all the staff who made it exceptional. Note - This cruise was perfect for myself and my husband as it was slightly more casual than expected, for those that prefer luxury cruises, this was luxurious by my standards but from what I've heard from experienced cruisers this was not as formal as others. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
The ship as a whole is good, plenty of bars to visit, but my main concern with all the Marella ships that they have acquired in the past few years is the entertainment. The standard is very poor, this year was the worst it has been. their ... Read More
The ship as a whole is good, plenty of bars to visit, but my main concern with all the Marella ships that they have acquired in the past few years is the entertainment. The standard is very poor, this year was the worst it has been. their specialty acts they brought on for the duration of the Atlantic ocean was to be honest DIRE. I have seen better acts on my local social club, a tribute Take That act that said they were not a tribute act but like to sing their songs. well I did not pay a lot of money to listen to a Karaoke night as a show night. There were two so called comedians who were in my opinion as funny as a funeral and as for the resident acts, so boring, no life at all no chance of dancing to any of it apart from the disco on the 12th deck. The Celebration is an older ship but I never had a better time than on there. Finally the Shows on the Broadway Theatre, singing and dancing shows virtually every night, no West End musicals like they used to be I would say that they have drastically cut there entertainment budget but increased their prices for maximum profit. This may sound like Victor Meldrew but after talking to many passengers during the cruise we were all of the same opinion. Goodnight and happy cruising. Read Less
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
11 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I booked this cruise back in December 2017. Having travelled on Tui Discovery2 in June and had a magnificent time, I persuaded my friends and son and partner to come on the Transatlantic voyage. The new Explorer is not a patch on Discovery ... Read More
I booked this cruise back in December 2017. Having travelled on Tui Discovery2 in June and had a magnificent time, I persuaded my friends and son and partner to come on the Transatlantic voyage. The new Explorer is not a patch on Discovery 2 on many accounts and I feel you all need to know. The Market Place restaurant is typically a Spanish Hotel's 3 star Buffet junction - deplorable without question. Head chef should be sacked. The pay as you go restaurants were very nice but also very pricey as individuals but at £75.00 pp for 3 dinners OK. They reception staff are complete nonentities who didn't know what they were doing or how they were doing it and served up countless lies to my son, who received a note from his bank saying that they were charging him OD facilities as TUI started to take any fees immediately and not on cruise end. A breach of conditions! If you are a smoker, which I am not, you will get wet, have to sit on other knees and generally be treated like animals by the whole ship's company. They don't clean ashtrays on a regular basis. Moving on perhaps the worst single event was the Explorer talent show. They offered a prize of £250 as well as a recording date in Hamstead for the overall winner. A young man, who works for Jet 2 as a cabin steward won the competition. To everybody's shock the Captain and Entertainment Officer refused to pay out the £250 and offered him £50 and decided not to go ahead with the recording studio. He later was abused by the general manager for so called cheating as well as a member of the shows entertainment people. This is a disgraceful breach and needs to be dealt with by TUI. Finally the waiting staff and room attendants were absolutely brilliant, but beware of the management. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Having cruised with Thomson (Marella) a few times we decided to try one of the new additions to the fleet and the ship itself is very nice at first glance and is well laid out. The market place buffet is typical of modern cruise buffets ... Read More
Having cruised with Thomson (Marella) a few times we decided to try one of the new additions to the fleet and the ship itself is very nice at first glance and is well laid out. The market place buffet is typical of modern cruise buffets areas quite a good choice of foods but badly laid out causing a lot of queuing problems especially at peak breakfast times. The resteraunt is a different problem choice of food is not great but adequate but the lack of staff is not acceptable to slow a service. The spa is a massive space and is not overly expensive but has one major fault there is no indoor hydro pool and this is a shame because all class spas have them. Our cabin was cabin number 10103 a large balcony cabin and yes it is a large balcony but the room is far to small and the bathroom had a very bad smell all week which after talking to other guest they had the same problem so again a Marella cruise has problems with the santitacion side.one great addition to the balcony was the hammock that was very comfortable and nice for a lazy afternoon kip. The squid and anchor bar was very nice and in one corner it has the premium gin and whisky bar and that is a nice area with access to the outside smoking area which was always well used a lot of smokers were on this cruise. The casino area which incorporated the indigo nightclub was a good concept with two blackjack tables and one five card stud table plus live roulette it was adequate in size for the ship. But because the ship was all inclusive it attracts a lot of non cruise tramps at sea who think that getting dressed up is to wear scruffy t shirt shorts and flip flops, and drink to ecsess ignorant rude people who really should not be on this type of holiday they should stick to Benidorm. 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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our 2nd Marella cruise on one of their newer ships, having been on Discovery 2 in March. This was our first experience of a transatlantic crossing. Flights from Manchester to Palma were uneventful, however we arrived in ... Read More
This was our 2nd Marella cruise on one of their newer ships, having been on Discovery 2 in March. This was our first experience of a transatlantic crossing. Flights from Manchester to Palma were uneventful, however we arrived in pouring rain, thunder and lightening. Quick transfer from airport to port and easy embarkation process and we were soon on board and able to access our cabin immediately. We went exploring the ship and found most places quite easily, however without an atrium, it does make it a little bit harder. Our cabin was on deck 8, standard balcony cabin, midships, port side for the sun on our long sea days. Spacious, with plenty of storage space and very clean, and continued to be that way by the lovely Joel. The air conditioning was a little noisey, but we soon got used to it. We tended to eat in either Latitude or Vista at night, which did a lovely cod loin and a very nice sirloin steak, breakfast in the Marketplace. Food was plentiful, good choice and nicely presented. We ate in the Mediterranean most lunchtimes for lighter bites. We also ate here in the evening when one side was Tapas, and had to be booked, but was included, unless you had one of their Portuguese skewers, which were £9.95. We didn't try one of these, as we found the tapas enough, and if you wanted more, you only had to ask. We also ate in the Pizza and Pasta side at night and found this really good. Choosing your own pizza or pasta made to order and piping hot. Both of these restaurants are waiter service at night. Portions in the main dining rooms were plenty for us, but if you wanted more, you could ask for it. Service was quite prompt, and all the staff were very friendly and kept the wine flowing. We didn't upgrade our included drinks package, as there was plenty of choice for our needs. The Sauvignon Blanc was very palatable. Tanquery gin with slimline tonic [which was served from a can] and the occasional cocktail. Weather in Spain continued to be unsettled. Our ports of call being Cadiz, Cartagena and Malaga. The crossing to Madeira was in almost Force 10 gales. However, the weather was much improved in Madeira and the 6 day crossing was smooth and the sun shone most of the time. Our first port of call in the Caribbean was Antigua, where the weather was a little mixed, however we needed to get our land legs back, so we wandered around the town and made contact with home. St.Lucia was our next stop, where it poured all day. We shared a minibus with some other passengers and did a small tour of the island. Grenada was beautiful, hot and sunny, so we took the opportunity to go to a lovely beach. Barbados was our final stop where we disembarked. Unfortunately, the rain followed us here and although we didn't leave the ship until 3pm, we couldn't do any last minute sun bathing. We were glad we had decided to keep our cabin on our final day which was £35. Entertainment was very good. The show cast were very talented, and put on some very good shows and some of them had individual stints in Bar 53 early evening, which was lovely just before dinner. There were some guest artists, including 2 comedians, a magician and a trio of singers who sung Take That songs and were excellent. Overall, value for money this was a very good cruise, it was just unfortunate about the weather, but this cannot be helped. All the staff on board are the friendliest staff we have met and are a credit to Marella cruises. Would we do another transatlantic crossing? If the price was right, yes we would and with the same company. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We have cruised on just about all the mainstream cruise lines With our favourite as a couple being celebrity and a group Royal Caribbean. Had never considered Marella due to the old age and small size of the ships. Having been on ... Read More
We have cruised on just about all the mainstream cruise lines With our favourite as a couple being celebrity and a group Royal Caribbean. Had never considered Marella due to the old age and small size of the ships. Having been on the explorer when it was the galaxy and with flights from Norwich we thought it was time to give it a try. We were a group of 8 and I was very anxious having been the one to suggest this ship! Flight - great , transfers and boarding handled very well our bags were in our cabin within 5 mins of us. Headed straight to the buffet for lunch, had one sip of the house wine and upgraded whilst overall this was good value to us I think 2 white wines to choose from is not enough. Plenty of seating in the buffet as long as you head out towards the back of the ship where this a lovely outside eating area and bar for drinks. In my opinion the food is where this cruise lost top marks - whilst it was ok you could tell it was all done on a budget. Personally I would prefer to pay say £50 a week more and have better quality food. For example the joints of meat you always get on the buffet were usually chicken or pork never once saw the huge joints of beef found on every other line. The MDR choices were usually ‘cheap’ meals. The service in the MDR was good unless you went later. I loved that you could turn up when you likes and get a pager the problem is they do not have enough people relaying tables so you can wait a long time and then sit surrounded by tables that need laying. The bar staff were great no issues with getting a drink (especially if you tip). The cabin staff also were fantastic kept the cabin spotlessly clean and took the time to create great towel animals. They were a few issues with blocked toilets but didn’t cause too much of an issue. We did our own trips in all the ports although next time I think I would try the bike tours as these looked good fun and a bit different. Entertainment was surprisingly good we watched all the main shows and loved the comedian the first week but not the second although the audience did seem to love them Sun beds always available despite the usual bed blockers! Overall a good value cruise and I would consider another Marella cruise on explorer 2 or any subsequent ships they purchase. In summary the really good points were Bar staff Cabin No signing for drinks all orders taken on tablets and cards scanned. Great value premiums drinks Entertainment Transfers on and off ship very smooth Flights from regional airports Speciality restaurants particularly the sushi it was amazing Ship never felt overcrowded ...... Things not so good in our opinion Age of ship meant noisy engines Food quality poor due to the ingredients not the staff Ports felt like penny pinching again by going to a number of cheap ports each week. Dress code old fashioned women could look as scruffy as they liked but men even in beautiful clothes had to have a collar. 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
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Having done over 15 Thompson cruises with our husbands and together have to say that Thompson have not just rebranded but have sold out to Merella.The ship is nice enough but some how lacks the touch of the Thompson's older ships, ... Read More
Having done over 15 Thompson cruises with our husbands and together have to say that Thompson have not just rebranded but have sold out to Merella.The ship is nice enough but some how lacks the touch of the Thompson's older ships, there just was not the atmosphere any were on board, most of the staff were friendly enough but that spark has gone, and well some are down right miserable , never saw the cruise director walking around meeting people ( as they have on our other cruises) and the entertainment staff did a few quizzes and that was it. The evening shows were good but the girls singers did tend to screech, the groups, singers and soloist were good I think it is now all about paying extra in the specialist resturants if you want a decent meal, the choice at breakfast was good as we always eat in the resturanr, as the self service is a free for all fighting for tables. Luch was ok with plenty of choice from a sandwich to a 3 course meal in the resturant, (salad was a bit of a let down) evenging meal in the self service was terrible very little choice and it closes early., the resturant is better but very hit and miss not as good as it used to be, i could of soled my shoes with the duck i was served, looks nice though, lots of complaing at night. I am not a big drinker but i do like to taste it when i am having one, had a cidar with lunch one day tasteless, so watered down as were the cocktails, have to say the banana daiquiris were good but more of a mocktail, very little choice in the wine and the house wine coloured water. We were very luck as there were only 43 children on our criuise (very noisey around the pool deck) as there were 450 a couple of weeks ago, what they did i have no idea as there is not the facilities for so many children. We thought we would spoil ourselves and have a cabin with a large balcony, yes the balcony is large but the room is very small with little room to move around, but the bathroom was good with a walk in shower with glass door (not curtain) plenty of wardrobes and draws. On one of the days we were unable to tender as it was a bit rough, would of thought that the entertainment director would of had a program for such an event but it seems not it took 2 hours with a lets do Q&A with the show team once they had got out of there beds. To sum up the cruise would i do another Merella cruise the answer is NO, i am afraid it was like Butlins on the sea ( i beleive that they are targeting the younger couples with children) and we were very thankfull that we had gone that week and not the week after as that was Buzz Bingo week and you could play bingo 4 times a day every day, my friend said she woukd of thrown me overboard but i said it was ok i would of jummped. 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Choose this cruise as flying time to Majorca is ok. Weather was excellent through out the 7 days.As usual the crew were excellent . Food is always subjective !!,but I thought it was just average in the MDR,some nice meals some not so ... Read More
Choose this cruise as flying time to Majorca is ok. Weather was excellent through out the 7 days.As usual the crew were excellent . Food is always subjective !!,but I thought it was just average in the MDR,some nice meals some not so nice,choices poor as well,servings were poor as well.MARELLA !! TAKE NOTE it,s hardly AI if you got to pay for the ice cream on deck 11,Breakfast was very good,even the juice was not watered down !! Only went to 2 shows,singing and dancing to loud,boring !! ,Comedian was good. Gave up on cocktails ,all fruit juice !!! Outside cabin on deck 5 good,best shower i've had on Thomson ships.cabin was spotless every day. Can,t say anything about the tours as I did'nt go. Probably wont go on Marella again as they have made all ship's AI,i THINK EVERYONE HAS A CHOICE NOT EVERYBODY WANTS A DRINK PACKAGE !!!. 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
3 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
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I really enjoyed my cruise on Marella Explorer. The ship is slightly bigger than the Discovery, which I have also sailed on. The only negative was the 'sail away' party and the first two theatre shows, which could have been ... Read More
I really enjoyed my cruise on Marella Explorer. The ship is slightly bigger than the Discovery, which I have also sailed on. The only negative was the 'sail away' party and the first two theatre shows, which could have been better. The 'sail away' party was lead by an excellent female singer. But what was everyone else doing? Very little. This is not the usual experience I've had with Thomson/Marella. This show should be the most important of the cruise but lacked the 'X' factor. The first two theatre shows didn't have a story. SOUL was good but just seemed to be one song followed by another. ROCKOLOGY was similar. But he choice of songs could have been much stronger and need changing. Matt, the cruise director, was excellent. But why have him singing in a small lounge, when he should have been singing 'swing songs' from the musicals on either the main stage or on the deck. All in all though, an enjoyable cruise. 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We arrived at the ship after our flight from Leeds/Bradford first impressions were wow what a ship how large it was, suppose it had to be with around 1800 passengers, check in airport security style, got a plastic card which was key to ... Read More
We arrived at the ship after our flight from Leeds/Bradford first impressions were wow what a ship how large it was, suppose it had to be with around 1800 passengers, check in airport security style, got a plastic card which was key to cabin, card for drinks food etc, and boarding card, got to out cabin 9100 which was deck 9, reasonable size with a large balcony with chairs table and a hammock, beds were ok, Bottled water-small bottles of wine, biscuits on what we thought was a complimentary tray, later discovered all that was chargeable, at an exorbitant rate. This is where it all started to go wrong, we booked as "All inclusive", turns out not as all inclusive as you think. In the coffee pot lounge you were charged for coffee, several other places, bars and restuarants had a charge, and not cheap. So we set sail had our first nights meal in The Market Place, which was very basic cafeteria food, which was ok, self serve pumps of red/white wine and fosters lager, this was free. had a wander around the ship seemed quite well appointed, eventually went to bed around 11pm quite a tiring day... didnt sleep at all well as above the twin beds was the air conditioning unit very noisy all night slept badly, woke tired. complained to reception asked if it could be turned off, very curtly told no, reception staff not very helpful, after talking to other passengers who also agreed they had problems with reception. tried other restuarants Meditteranean pasta and pizza, average, latitude 53 was ok, but not exactly what we would expect from a restuarant that appeared to be a bit more upmarket than others. drinks were free, rather most drinks were free, could drink oneself silly as a lot did especially on the pool deck Entertainment was somewhat amatuerish, girls and guys prancing around and trying to sing, more like yelling, too loud afoten had no idea what they were singing about, the best night was when they had the comedian steve? terry he was very funny. Excursions to Rome-Florence-Pisa etc were very expensive almost £200.00 per couple, and those places would be jam packed with tourists, All in all for us was not a good experience, could, and should have spent our money elsewhere .not on a cruise, we agreed that it was an experience not a good one and we would never ever go on a cruise again, although there was one guy who had done 54 cruises in 7 years (must have been insane) The plus side was our cabin staff were absolutely amazing Madelyn and ? cannot remeber his name nothing too much trouble. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Our first cruise was chosen as our honeymoon. Embarkation went smoothly and our hold luggage didn’t take long to follow us to our rooms. Had read other reviews just before departing and made sure swimming essentials were packed in ... Read More
Our first cruise was chosen as our honeymoon. Embarkation went smoothly and our hold luggage didn’t take long to follow us to our rooms. Had read other reviews just before departing and made sure swimming essentials were packed in hand luggage, but as it so happens didn’t need them. First thing to point out is that only British money is needed on board. You can pay for any extras one of two ways. Either hand over debit card details, and any extras will be charged to that, or use cash. If using cash, you must ensure that there is always a positive balance of £200 on your account. I opted for the debit card and lowered the outstanding balance to be taken by paying some of it off with the cash I had taken. They have an app (doesn’t require internet access) which shows the balance of your account amongst other information (absolute must get when you first board). Each time you order/make a purchase they scan your cabin key and the account is updated immediately (mostly with £0 as its all inclusive. Second thing I wish I had known or thought about was the positioning of the cabin. Unfortunately chose an inside cabin and didn’t pre book a cabin ( novice mistake). We were given deck four towards the aft of the boat and the noise of the engine meant sleeping was very difficult for a couple of nights. Even once, we had got used to it, when the boat was put in to reverse to dock we were up like a shot, the whole cabin shook and noise was horrendous - PRE BOOK YOUR CABIN IS A MUST. As for the cabin itself, was tidy and only possible negatives were the lack of an iron or enough hangers. Wife was glad she took her own hairdryer as said the one provided wasn’t good enough. Toilets are vacuum based and ours only blocked once on the trip which was soon rectified. Wet wipes seem to be the main culprit despite constant messages about not flushing them. Wi fi needs to be paid for £50 for 1200Mb for the 7 days. Remember that on a ship you do not get the same rates as at home or when travelling in Europe. So basically saved using mobile data until on shore. That’s the only negatives. Didn’t need to use the premium restaurants or drinks as the normal restaurants were excellent and offered a good variety. Only premium items bought were ice creams. Didn’t have any problems getting a table. Some restaurants require smart clothing but this does not mean tux or even a suit. Chinos and shirts seemed to be popular choices for men. Visited the broadway show lounge most nights and entertainment was of good quality, but then it was throughout the ship. The service was nothing short of excellent and would be hard to find on any other holiday. Can’t praise this enough. We took a shore excursion on every day, and if you don’t know the cities then would recommend using one of their excursions. These can be pre booked before you travel or whilst you are on board. Palermo - opted for half day excursion (allowed us time to get back on board and get some sleep before we set sail again) to Santa rosarios grotto and morello beach - didn’t think much of this at all. The most interesting bit was seeing if the coach driver was going to manage to get the coach up the steep windy hills. Naples - full day excursion to climb Vesuvius and a guided tour around Pompei. Absolutely excellent. Having such a knowledgable guide for Pompeii was a must. Livorno - full day excursion to Florence and Pisa. Both require some time on the coach. Florence is a beautiful city and days are needed here rather than hours but the tour gives you an excellent feel for the city. Pisa was worthwhile if you have never been there before, but it is a once and done place unlike Florence. Good day. Villefranche - took half day excursion to Monte Carlo and Monaco. For those that might want to, you can’t gamble in Monte Carlo casino as is not permitted before 2 pm, but you do have time for a tour €17. For those that want to be able to say they have gambled in Monte Carlo, you can gamble in the cafe du Paris for a €5 entrance fee, but will need your passport (this is cheaper than a coffee at the same cafe which is €8). Monaco is a lovely place, coach drives along the start/finish line of the f1 track and you get to walk some of the course (an absolute must if you are an F1 fan). Again though, a once and done excursion. Barcelona - had the half day Barcelona Explorer excursion. Big mistake, wish I had chosen a full day one. Another city that requires more than one day. Would I do it again. Most definitely but probably for 14 days instead. The issues were minor and were novice mistakes. Read Less
Marella Explorer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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