17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
TUI were recommended by a cruise mad friend as a great introduction to this type of holiday. We chose this cruise and ship as it covered an awful lot of places of interest. On the day of arrival we were stunned at seeing the shop and is ... Read More
TUI were recommended by a cruise mad friend as a great introduction to this type of holiday. We chose this cruise and ship as it covered an awful lot of places of interest. On the day of arrival we were stunned at seeing the shop and is sheer size. Now of course we are first timers with experience limited to cross channel ferries. And even more stunning to us was this is a sort of mid sized ship! Embarkation was smooth and we were greeted by extremely friendly staff from the terminal through to walking on board. The ship is beautiful and despite initial 'newbie' confusion everything is well sign posted and there are lots of maps to help you find your way about. We boarded about 15:00 and after unpacking in the lovely, clean cabin we used the next two hours or so to explore every part of the shop and get our bearings. Be warned that for some areas such as Latitude and Vista restaurants might mean taking a detour up or down a deck as deck 5 seems to end suddenly despite signs pointing you beyond a point you're told you can't pass! Anyway that bit of obvious advice aside the cabin was lovely. We booked a balcony cabin and we're on deck 8 starboard. It was clean, well equipped and very well laid out. It includes an electronic valuable safe much the same as hotels provide. The shower is brilliant, like standing in front of a fire hose! Our cabin was cleaned around three times a day and the staff are very friendly and only to happy to help with any requirements. That last sentence applies to ALL the TUI staff who are always helpful, smiling and friendly. That goes a long way to making the whole experience very personable and personal. Dining facilities are excellent from the self service marketplace with a huge choice of hot and cold, sweet and savoury food and drink, to the superb Fine Dining Club (£35pp supplement). The included Latitude and Vista restaurants are also very good quality. Entertainment on board was mixed. The Broadway Show Lounge shows were superb, almost West End quality and there are plenty of other things to entertain you on board albeit some rather 'hi de hi' level but......you choose what suits you. We loved the Lounge with the Pink piano and a rather more easy going atmosphere. The pub on board, The Squid and Anchor,was pretty close to a pub atmosphere and has an aft outside area for smokers /vapers with excellent waiter service. As for excursions, they were a mixed bag. None were bad but some are limited time at destination with long transfer times (nearly 2 hours from Palamos to Barcelona leaving us just 4 hours to discover as an example). Next time as experienced city breakers we will take some Lonely Planet guides and research the transfer from Port to destination more carefully. But then the whole cruise was for us to learn this stuff. Every day is a school day on your first cruise. In summary,so impressed were we by the whole experience that we booked next year's one on board and for a great price.until next time Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
First time cruisers, so didn’t know what to expect. Smooth embarkation. All ports reached on time. Excursions very well organised. Loved the restaurants and bars. Waiters very attentive. Lovely selection of drinks. If you wanted to ... Read More
First time cruisers, so didn’t know what to expect. Smooth embarkation. All ports reached on time. Excursions very well organised. Loved the restaurants and bars. Waiters very attentive. Lovely selection of drinks. If you wanted to sun bathe there were plenty of sun beds. Cabin had lots of storage, shower lovely. Beds comfortable. Lovely nightclub, didn’t get to bed till 2 as dancing away. Shows very good - drinks laid on for this too. Captain and team very professional. There was a dress to impress night and it was lovely to see people dressed up. We have been really bitten by the cruise bug and are already thinking about the next one. Only negatives are that it is a refurbished boat and some of the windows shabby. A little disorganised when leaving ship to go to our hotel for the week. But we had an amazing time. Can’t wait to do it again. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This was our 1st cruise with a view to a Carrabean cruise next year and were glad we chose Marella to sail with especially the new ship to the fleet the Explorer, our 1st impressions weren't great our Cabin was not ready when we ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise with a view to a Carrabean cruise next year and were glad we chose Marella to sail with especially the new ship to the fleet the Explorer, our 1st impressions weren't great our Cabin was not ready when we arrived, the former occupants had left a mess in the room, mucky cups, dirty beds and dirty bathroom. We informed the cabin staff who informed us there had been 900 reps on the launch party and they had left a mess. We were told to grab a drink and it would be ready in 30 mins, we also had problems with the safe and toilet not flushing, but nothing that was not fixed and spoilt our Holiday, after that it was plain sailing literally, we had a Balcony cabin (8199). It was amazing waking up in a different location every day, the Food was delicious in every restaurant and the beer was cold in every bar, we didn't opt for the AI drinks upgrade as I drink Corona, bud and Peroni at home so why would you, the wine was good and all spirits we liked were branded Bailey's, Gin and Amarreto so why would you, we tried the Surf and Turf and it was worth the money it was High end food, the only thing we had a problem with was the trip Naples + Pizza, it was described as a moderate walk around Naples with lunch. In fact it was an 8.5km speed March in 26° temperature. We lost 6 people in 1st hour as the couldn't keep up. We complained and was refunded 25% each. The cost was £74 Not cheap for a workout and a Pizza lunch. Would o go back he'll yes, would I use Marella again Yes. It was the maiden voyage and a lot of the staff were new and learning and we expected teething problems. We were lucky to have amazing crew and staff on board and guests like Lisa Riley and the Overtones. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this as it was our first time cruising. Overall we were not dissapointed. Fantastic ship, first class service, & out of this world meals. The cabins were spacious & clean. We booked a large balcony cabin & on it was a ... Read More
We chose this as it was our first time cruising. Overall we were not dissapointed. Fantastic ship, first class service, & out of this world meals. The cabins were spacious & clean. We booked a large balcony cabin & on it was a hammock , a sun lounger, & table & 2 chairs. Dining We tried the buffet restaurant but found this to be a little over crowded & the food was not hot. We dined in latitude53 all week for breakfast ,lunch ,& evening meal. The food was fantastic with 1st class waiter service who couldn't do enough for you. Entertaining The entertainment was also first class, with high standard acts, we saw the Overtones which was brilliant & brought back a lot of memories. Excursions We managed to book on 3 tours which was very informative but tiring as the bus journey was 3hrs round trip which made it a long day but enjoyable. Pool area There was always a sunbed available no matter what time of day. The waiters around the pool work very hard & always pleasant. The pool is small but amicable, there is also 3 jaccusis. The snack bar around the pool is brilliant with freshly cooked burgers, hotdogs, chips ,salads , & a selection of sandwiches. Now for the teething problems as it was the maiden voyage. Firstly service at the bars is chaotic, with people queue jumping & arguments erupting. The bar staff try very hard but when it is full it was hard for them. We had a word with the bar manager advising him that a queuing system should be put in place, but he said this could not be done. ( Don't know why). You may say why not use the waiters but on busy nights the waiting time to get a drink could sometimes be 30mins. Secondly as the week went on, toilets in the public areas were starting to block & overflow which caused terrible smells in the surrounding areas. At the end of the week there was not many toilets in the public areas that was working, so hopefully this was resolved for people embarking after us. But all in all this was a really enjoyable cruise & would not hesitate to book again Read Less
81 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We have just returned from the most fabulous holiday ever with tui Marella explorer. We arrived in palma and embarked on the new to tui ship. Immaculately presented rooms newly refurbished it certainly was more impressive than we had ... Read More
We have just returned from the most fabulous holiday ever with tui Marella explorer. We arrived in palma and embarked on the new to tui ship. Immaculately presented rooms newly refurbished it certainly was more impressive than we had anticipated. We had lots of little gifts pens, notebooks toiletries chocolates etc celebrating its first voyage with tui. Over the years we have been on many Thomson tui holidays so had an ideal what to expect, average food, decent accommodation cheesy entertainment etc. Well that may have been the old Thomson/ tui experience, but after this week we can honestly say they have thrown away the old manual and reinvented themselves with this one and blown away the old tired format of the holiday experience and set the bar so high I don't think other holiday cruises will reach. Food 10 places to eat, five with a supplement and five as part of the all inclusive, it's a Thompson/tui holiday and I had the old expectation of the all in food would be poor and the supplement food would be good, how wrong I was! The all inclusive food in all five places to eat was fabulous, tasty fresh well presented with attentive staff and waiters, clean facilities and very professional chefs, tui have thrown everything into this one and thrown the old way of doing things, dining was a treat wether it was a snack or and sit down table waitered service eating was a pleasure with the all inclusive deal. We did try a meal with the supplemented eateries, the Kora La it was simply fantastic a real treat, but whatever you taste or need they cater for everyone. We in our party had and gluten free and a veggie and they were taken care of no problem. Staff Couldn't do enough for you, your every need was catered for and nothing was too much trouble, faultless in every way. Excursions We went to Pompeii and Herculaneum fabulous day out very informative guide who's knowledge and passion was beyond compare, it made for a fabulous day out Entertainment well, we have been on countless Thomson/Tui holidays and even at five star level, the entertainment was lack lustre, amateurish and cheesy at its best, OH BOY, are you in for a treat, simply put the onboard shows in the broadway lounge were outstanding, the singing, the dancing, the acting, the presentation, the musicality and directorship were second to none, we were a party of six, and we were all blown away by the outstanding performances of all of the shows. Tui have thrown away the old "how to" entertainment book and replaced it with something that's worthy of any west end stage. It sounds OTT but I promise if they keep that level of passion they gave in performing for us you will not be disappointed. The last place you want to have poor entertainment is sailing down the med with nowhere to go! The entertainment in all of the other bars and lounges were fantastic too, there is something for everyone and your musical taste I'm sure, will be catered for. Bad bits It was over in a week, first time ever we didn't want to come home! Overall We had avoided cruises for many years thinking it would be "Butlins in a Boat" how wrong were we? We are looking at next years cruises already!!! Awesome effort by all involve in making everyone's holiday on board extra special and captain peter and staff for making our journey a safe and pleasant one 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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