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
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
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Positives: We had an inside cabin (5071), which was fairly spacious and it had a really comfortable bed (equivalent to a queen size) and pillows. Thank you to Adang for keeping our room so clean. There were plenty of sunbeds ... Read More
Positives: We had an inside cabin (5071), which was fairly spacious and it had a really comfortable bed (equivalent to a queen size) and pillows. Thank you to Adang for keeping our room so clean. There were plenty of sunbeds available, although when at sea most of them were taken up. There is a good waiter service providing you with an endless supply of iced drinks and brought to your sunbed as well as a poolside bar. The poolside snack bar was fairly good, providing healthy salad take-aways as well as the usual chips, burgers, hotdogs etc. We thought that some of the all-inclusive food could be a bit hit and miss and although Latitude was good in the morning for breakfast it got really busy in the evening. We had to wait a bit too long between each course and we found the food to be quite average. Because of this we booked into the Dining Club and paid a £45 supplement each for an 8 course meal, but wow it was worth it! It was up there with being one of the best meals we have had and was accompanied by a different wine with each course as well as cognac after the cheese and biscuits. This was French cuisine at its finest. If you’re a foodie like us, it’s worth trying out to make your holiday more memorable. We were so impressed that we booked in again 3 days later. Thank-you to Ralph, Alona and Dejan for looking after us and informing us about the food and how it was prepared and the different wines that went with each course. We also booked into the Surf and Turf at an extra supplement which was very good but not as special as The Dining Room in our opinion. The entertainment was really good and every night was different including two very funny comedians. We were really looked after in the Broadway theatre by Serhii one of the wine waiters – thank-you Serhii. Negatives: The trip to Rome – although there is some fantastic things to see in Rome this trip ended up being a very long day with no free time of your own! There was too much information given via the tour guide and a lot of the guests were taking out their headphones as it was just information overload - please change this to be only as informative as necessary so we can actually retain some of the information being told! There was also a lot of walking involved - approx 7 miles which was very tiring! When we eventually stopped for a drink we were charged 7 Euros for a coke and 10 Euros for a beer at a nearby bistro! Toilets - unfortunately inconsiderate passengers will insist on dropping all sorts down the toilet other than human waste and the provided toilet paper. This caused huge problems with many public toilets on the ship getting blocked and being made out of action. I often found myself just returning to my room instead of using one on the deck where we were sat. On the day of departure we had to be out of our room at 8:00 and I found myself looking for a toilet before debarkation. Most of the public toilets, if not in use, were out of action on deck 5,6,7,8 and 11. Overall we found this cruise to be really good and the Captain and his staff to be really friendly and attentive and although we did upgrade to the finer dining experiences, we are glad that we did as it made the holiday much more memorable. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
After reading the previous reviews I was wishing I hadn't booked this cruise and when we finally went on the Explorer I agred with all the complaints. The check in at the port was very quick, you just went to the desk, gave your name ... Read More
After reading the previous reviews I was wishing I hadn't booked this cruise and when we finally went on the Explorer I agred with all the complaints. The check in at the port was very quick, you just went to the desk, gave your name and airport flown from and were given an envelope with your key cards in. Went through security and onto the ship and our bags were delivered within half an hour of boarding. We can cabin 9255 right at the back. We had a big balcony and the room was well appointed and the beds comfy. You could only get 3 tv channels. However our toilet blocked on 3 days. The one next door did too as I could hear the maintenance man trying to unblock it. Our sink plug didnt work either, it would not stay down. The public toilets by the buffet were blocked too. When we docked it was really noisy in our cabin and because we were docking early in the morning we were woken up by the engines about 6 am. We and my daughter both paid £49 each for 7 days wifi. After 3 days my daughters ran out. We went down to reception to query it and were told it had all been used up and would have to buy more days. How it could have been used up I do not know but the receptionist wasnt interested. She paid £25 for another 3 days and this ran out after 2 days, even though she barely used it and on one of those days we were on a 10 hour trip to Pisa so didnt even use wifi. We booked a full day trip to Rome which was described on TUI website as visiting the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps among other places. However the guide dropped us off at the Piazzo Navonna and said if we wanted to see the Fountain and the Steps we could make our own way there and it was a 20 minute walk. We were not given a map or directions. She then left us and said to meet back in 2 1/2 hours. As we did not have our phones with us we didnt know how to get there so ended up not seeing them. We spoke to another couple at dinner that night who had been on same trip but on another coach and their guide had taken them to those places and stayed with them the whole time. We did PIsa and Florence trip too but only saw 4 places in Florence, and only saw the leaningI Tower in Pisa. I did not feel they were good value for what we paid. The food in the buffet in the evening was the worst I've ever had on a curise ship and I've been on P&O, NCL, RCI and Carnival. If you were a vegitarian there was very little choice apart from steamed brocoli, carrots and cauliflower or salad. The food in the Italian was excellent but if you went between 7.30 and 8.30 there was a 40 minute wait. One night we went at 8 pm and she said there was an hours wait and they had run out of pagers. The food in the main dining room was good too. The cocktails were limited and there were only 2 creamy ones. I paid extra for a mudslide but it was very watery. If you wanted to pay for extra premium brands or other cocktails it was £2.50. I paid extra for a creamy cocktail in the Italian restaurant but when it came it just had a great big blob of cream floating in the middtle. The staff were lovely, we never had a problem getting sunbeds, the boat wasnt very busy seeing as it was school holidays and waiters were constantly coming round to take drinks orders. The lounges were spacious and you could always find a seat. We went to one show but it was very poor so never bothered going again. The ship never enforced using hand gel before entering the restaurants, unlike other boats I've been on. Hardly anybody used it. The gym was described as being state of the art but was tiny with limited equipment. There were free classes for half an hour (walk around the deck in the am) and 45 minute classes that cost £7. I paid for the 45 minute classes but they only ran for 30 minutes and that included a warm up and cool down. I did not feel as though I had had a full workout in that time. The instructor was good, just wish the classes had run for the advertised time. Our flight home was at 1.15 pm but we were taken to the airport at 9 am so had a long wait there. I will not be going with Marella next time, they have a long way to go before catching up with RCI and NCL 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
We booked this cruise, as, with the exception of Ajaccio, we hadn't visited any of the ports of call (more of that later). We also liked the idea of the all-inclusive drinks and tips. I think the longest queue we encountered was ... Read More
We booked this cruise, as, with the exception of Ajaccio, we hadn't visited any of the ports of call (more of that later). We also liked the idea of the all-inclusive drinks and tips. I think the longest queue we encountered was when we first arrived at the airport to check-in (couldn't do it online beforehand), which was about 15 minutes. After this everything went perfectly, and, from our flight departing at 6am from East Midlands, we were in the pool on the Explorer less than 4 hours later (we took swimming costumes in our cabin luggage). We expected to have to wait a short while for our cabin, but we were well looked after with food & drink, and the cabin was ready after just over an hour. The cabin was wonderful - clean and spacious, and the upgrade to the large balcony, with its hammock, was an indulgence that we were both delighted with. I had looked at deck plans at time of booking, and selected one mid-ships on Deck 9 (cabins above and below). Credit must go to our cabin steward, Cyrus, who looked after us all week and was so friendly, whether it was early morning, or late night. The all-inclusive drinks package didn't disappoint (I have included photos of everything that is included, as well the drinks in the premium package). Great selection of bottled beers, labelled spirits, and cocktails. Beware - the measures are much larger than standard UK!! Food - absolutely fantastic. I have nothing but praise for the kitchen and restaurant staff. I've seen some reviews where people have complained about the size of portions in the Latitude restaurant. It was really simple - if we wanted more, we asked! Nothing was too much trouble, and when we couldn't decide which starter or dessert to have, they brought both. Surely it's better this way than having loads of waste. Different story in The Marketplace, where people stacked plates sky high and then left half of it. We booked into the Italian restaurant on two nights, and had tapas on another; both had a wide range of wonderful food on offer. All these are inclusive, and you could have as much as you wanted. As with the drinks we didn't even consider booking for one of the restaurants with the the uplift. Oh, and the midnight buffet was a welcome end to the evening on more than one occasion! Entertainment - West End shows really aren't our bag, but, as we had friends onboard who liked them, we went to one. Not really sure what was going on (for reference it was the show called 'Cogs'), but very professionally done. Musicians around the ship were top quality, as would be expected, and the silent disco was hilarious (even better after a couple of strawberry & black pepper infused vodkas). We thought that the ship looked really fresh throughout - the refit has been done really well. We didn't use the Spa, so can't comment on that. There was some difficulty in obtaining sunbeds on the day at sea, but we were expecting that. We managed to find space around to pool on all the other days, after returning from shore. So far, so good. Now on to our gripe. It appears that Tui are selecting ports that are perhaps cheaper to dock at, encouraging people to book on their extremely expensive shore excursions. In the past we have been used to ports like Monaco, Kotor, Barcelona, Naples, etc, where you can just walk off the ship and be straight in the town, or within easy reach of the train station - even Dubrovnik port, where we have visited previously, had a dock with a nice view, even though it was a bus transfer away. Anyway, I digress. In the ports where passengers aren't allowed to walk (Porto Torres, La Spezia and Sete), Tui provided complimentary shuttle services to the entrance of the port. Fair enough - Sete was actually a lovely town, and we took a boat trip onto the lagoon, and we had a good walk around La Spezia, including St George's Castle, which had great views across the town and harbour. However, the town of Porto Torres was not pleasant. For the first time ever in our cruising history, we booked a shore excursion (we always use local transport). For £22 each we had a half hour coach ride to the beach at La Pelosa (stunning, although very busy). However, on arrival we found that we needed to hire a pair of sunbeds at €30, and we were only there for 3 hours!!! We did venture into the town on our return to Porto Torres, but were back on the ship within half an hour. We were somewhat disappointed at having to pay £7 each for the shuttle bus into Tarragona; whilst, technically, we were allowed to walk to the town from the dock, it took the coach more than 20 minutes to cover the journey, so that will give an idea of the distance. Apart from a case going missing for a few minutes as we left the ship, the return journey for us was as smooth as the outward. Overall, we wouldn't hesitate in sailing on this ship again, and Tui's all-inclusive pricing seems to be the way forward. However, we will look very carefully at the ports in future; just because we haven't been somewhere before doesn't mean we should! Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Lots of bad reviews noted before travelling but need not have worried. This was our third TUI cruise having previously been on the Dream and Discovery 2. The Explorer was larger than both the previous ships and displayed positive signs ... Read More
Lots of bad reviews noted before travelling but need not have worried. This was our third TUI cruise having previously been on the Dream and Discovery 2. The Explorer was larger than both the previous ships and displayed positive signs of the recent refurbishment. The Latitude 53 restaurant was very good and had enough of a menu choice to keep us occupied over a two week cruise, we dined in the speciality restaurant Kora La and Surf and Turf paying a supplement and both were well worth it. The Balcony cabin was ok, maintained very well by Andrew our steward who was perfectly discreet but kept an untidy bunch from making too much of a mess in our cabin. The kettle and fridge were a useful addition and despite the cabins being 16m sq it was just big enough for us to not be on top of one another. The service delivery throughout the ship was magnificent as always, every member of staff was polite, courteous and couldn't do enough for us wherever we went or whatever we did. Definitely the company's best asset. A special mention for the show cast who were Broadway standard every night and even the guest entertainment was very good. There is not much I could criticise but if pushed Marella should look to improve their ports of call, or indeed stop mooring in commercial locations. We didn't mind this too much initially but on two occasions there was a charge for the shuttle bus which we thought was taking liberties given the cost of the cruise. Propriano in Corsica was a very nice exception to this to be fair however. Our final comments have to go to the bike excursion team, in particular Nico and Ahsleigh for looking after us on our Rome trip - different class!. In addition head waiter Carlos and his team of Chris, Mark, Frank etc etc were amazing. A nice ship with great staff and magnificent entertainment - shame about Marellas first pub the Squid & Anchor which brought an all inclusive hotel clientelle to an otherwise perfect two weeks cruising, if you just don't go there then it doesn't impact on you too much. 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
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise as we had done three other cruises with Thomsons and thought the new ships would be an improvement. I have to say we were a little disappointed. Good points were that staff were excellent and the cabin facilities ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had done three other cruises with Thomsons and thought the new ships would be an improvement. I have to say we were a little disappointed. Good points were that staff were excellent and the cabin facilities were good and very clean. Service was good. Bad points were the food in the inclusive restaurants was very poor we felt but the service was good. We didn't go in the other restaurants as felt we had paid enough for the holiday without paying more. As another review said we didn't like the fact that customers didn't follow the dress code and were too casual in the main dining room, I.e shorts in the evening. They should have been turned away. If they wanted to be that casual should have eaten in the self service. The shows were boring same old singing and dancing which we get fed up with. The swimming pool area was very noisy during the day and we did not even entertain the idea of sitting there. (There is only one pool). The cabin walls are thin and we could here almost every word from the family from hell next door with their screaming kids who banged and screamed with their mother shouting back. (I do have teenagers and would never have let them have such disrespect of others around them). My daughters bunk bed moved as a result of next doors kids jumping on their beds. Overall we had a good holiday but we thought that the food quality had suffered as a result of All Inclusive and maybe next time will pick an Adults only cruise. 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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
we chose this ship because we have always went with tui before and we wanted to try the latest ship.although it is not like any other tui ship overall the food and entertainment were good there are two many places where you have to pay a ... Read More
we chose this ship because we have always went with tui before and we wanted to try the latest ship.although it is not like any other tui ship overall the food and entertainment were good there are two many places where you have to pay a supplement for food and it does not come cheap up to £49 per person.and it is no better than the food supplied indeed we had to walk out of the Asian restaurant as it was grossly overcooked.whoever designed the pub the squid and anchor should be told are you having a laugh hardly any seats and half of them face the bar away from the stage.i spoke to the manager and the cruise director about this and they totally agreed and said it would be changed in January I hope so as we like a game show but if you go to the second show in the broadway forget about a seat and getting a drink to busy and not enough staff on.overall we loved the cruise but some of the ports are industrial and you can only look at so many cranes and containers and at a couple of ports tui have a cheek to charge you £7 return on there shuttle bus get a grip tui and take us to some nice ports 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
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We have just returned from a fabulous 14 day Mediterranean Cruise on Marella Explorer – our 10th cruise and second with Tui Marella. The crew were welcoming and hospitable from the Captain to the young man from Jamaica who was cleaning ... Read More
We have just returned from a fabulous 14 day Mediterranean Cruise on Marella Explorer – our 10th cruise and second with Tui Marella. The crew were welcoming and hospitable from the Captain to the young man from Jamaica who was cleaning toilets on decks 5/6. The staff go out of their way to build a good rapport and to make you feel valued, particularly in the Squid & Anchor!! We enjoyed the size of the ship and found it so much better than the extra large super liners than we have experienced in the past, particularly on tender days. The entertainment was varied and high quality as was the food in all restaurants. Our junior suite had an amazing view, extra large balcony with hammock. By comparison, this cabin would have been so much more expensive on other ships. We very much enjoyed the excursions and the 12 port stops out of 14 days. The contrast of cities, beaches, towns was just perfect. Negatives – there was a slight sewage aroma which occasionally filtered into our cabin. However this was not too much of a problem as to spoil our holiday. Pricing – we enjoyed our Caribbean cruise in April 2017 so much that we booked this holiday on return. However, in March 2018, we checked availability and we could have bought the identical cruise for £600 cheaper and there was full availability. We therefore believe that there should be a price promise recognition for those who book particularly early. We have earmarked a cruise for 2019 but will not now book this until next year. All in all, we are very much looking forward to booking another Tui cruise. The All Inclusive is most definitely a plus. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We were first time cruisers on TUI (now Marella) Spirit last August and were both absolutely smitten. I think after a couple of days we were hooked, and after the two weeks were up we were ready to book the next, this one – departing at ... Read More
We were first time cruisers on TUI (now Marella) Spirit last August and were both absolutely smitten. I think after a couple of days we were hooked, and after the two weeks were up we were ready to book the next, this one – departing at the end of July 2018. We used or local TUI store and were sold this two week back to back on Explorer. This time we decided to take our 17 year old with us as she would really have. We paid adult price for her as she is 17 and had a cabin to herself (she was classed as a single traveller, she was issued with an adult cruise card and even had the note left on her bed inviting her to the single travellers reception.) Arrival in Palma was slick, as was boarding, it was very soon apparent that this ship had far more technology than Spirit, more reliance on it! The ship is quite big although it's still dwarfed by the likes of the Aida Prima and some of the MSC liners, it is plush in places. I'm aware that one reviewer picked up on things like scratches in the lifts, yes they're there but they didn't detract from the sparkle that this ship has. The food is great, we feel that some of the restaurants are still struggling at busy times possibly because the staff are all so new, but the food quality is fabulous as was the service of most of the staff, so good that we tipped one or two as they really did go above and beyond what was required. We ate in Latitude 53 most nights, Vista (the Italian) one night and tried on another two occasions, each of those times the wait time was just too long and so we returned to Latitude 53. Breakfast was taken in the self-service (Market Place), the selection of food is good with English cooked breakfast, continental, freshly prepared omelettes etc. fruit and cereal always on offer. The only downside to the Market Place at breakfast time is the queue and the seating. Breakfast in Latitude 53 is a much more civilised affair however the choice of food is not available. The cabins are well appointed and clean, we had an inside to keep the costs down, three of us for two weeks has cost more or less £7000! Had we travelled without daughter we would have had an outside cabin, we would not have an inside cabin again just because they are so dark! We did not notice much sunbed hogging, although we did see some belongings removed after beds were ticketed. TUI should operate the same procedure in some of the bars! We didn’t upgrade to premium as personally we have no need to. The drinks selection is adequate. There have been some issues and things that don't sit right with us: Over the first five days we experienced a series of minor problems... each of these took time out of our day to sort. Wrong people allocated the wrong cabin, boarding cards not working to open our cabin door on several occasions, my debit card swiped but receptionist added my husband's name as card holder, bank subsequently declined (quite right too), safe would not open and had to have someone in to sort this -- twice initially and then again at the end of our first week. When I complained about the series of minor issues the receptionist clearly thought all of our issues were amusing! This was subsequently escalated to the General Manager who felt that a bottle of wine would fix this. The excursions are very expensive (this is common among all tour operators I know). Please be careful! We were made aware of a family group who booked to go to Camp Nou in Barcelona – parents and a young child in a buggy. They were charged by TUI for three… Children under five go into Camp Nou FREE! The premium restaurants are all expensive when you consider this is an all-inclusive ship... the "supplement" is between £25 and £35 per person. You may think different but to me, that's not a "supplement", that's paying for the meal in full! If it really is a supplement then are we saying that steak and chips in Surf & Turf costs well over £50 a head? Despite paying an adult fare for daughter, despite her boarding card starting that she is on here as an adult we had one waitress try to give a 17 year old a baby plastic beaker and straw for a glass of coke. When questioned the waitress advised that daughter was "under age", we had ordered “a coke!!!” I should point out that my daughter doesn't drink alcohol so no comments about legal age limit please. Entertainment is confused to say the least. The cruise director, Matthew, was only really seen on TV and seemed to spend his time promoting Champneys. If comparing the entertainment team to Spirit, then Spirit is first rate and Explorer is dreary. The resident band, The Collective seemed to have more rapport with the guests. Structured entertainment seemed to be nothing more than quiz after quiz punctuated with bingo and the standard sail away parties. We didn’t use the casino which is located between the Indigo Bar and Night Club. We did watch one or two games, we thought it was noisy with hustle and bustle. It appears that despite the signs children are allowed into the casino area. Broadway show was generally very good, some of the jokes from the comedians were recycled, but not the less very well presented. This is very much a family ship and not what we were sold. I did query the family element with our travel agent before we paid the final balance but were assured it would not be overrun with small children (my husband is a school teacher and during our holidays he likes to be away from children), however this was not the case. Whilst we observed a deal of children behaving well there was of course the contingent who were unruly and allowed to be so, the late adult entertainment (another form of quiz) being overtaken by a seven year old – yes, I am sure your son is cute but this is adult time! However, in short we're had a good holiday. We will not be cruising on Explorer again, we may consider Explorer 2 (adults only) although we are also considering that market. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Spent a week on the Marella Explorer at the end of July/beginning of August with my partner and our youngest (aged 9) and, all in all, had a good holiday. I have had two cruises with Marella previously which I had enjoyed - this one was ... Read More
Spent a week on the Marella Explorer at the end of July/beginning of August with my partner and our youngest (aged 9) and, all in all, had a good holiday. I have had two cruises with Marella previously which I had enjoyed - this one was not quite as good as these previous ones, but was still enjoyable. Firstly the positives: Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and quick Ship well laid-out and easy to navigate Cleanliness of cabin and general areas very good and housekeeping attentive All staff friendly, polite and helpful Kid’s club very good All the shows in the theatre (bar one that did not work well at all) were very good Bands/musicians excellent Bar drinks/service excellent and inclusive drinks more than plentiful in choice Availability of sun loungers/hammocks good (especially on upper decks above pool) apart from sea day when it did take some time to find somewhere. Plentiful supply of water dispensers around ship very useful Proper shower screen instead of curtain Loved the cream teas! Now for the negatives: FOOD: – In general the food was not as good as we have had on previous cruises (included Marella Discovery and Marella Discovery 2). It was acceptable, but nothing particularly special and seemed to have been tailored for a bland, “safe” palate (on one occasion we ordered the “vindaloo” which was nothing more than a risotto with no spice or any heat at all – it would not even have passed as a biriyani!). The buffet had a good selection (but not as varied or extensive as previous cruises and again, fairly bland) and the ice-cream machine rarely worked properly as it was not freezing correctly. In addition on days when we returned from trips sometimes they were in the middle of changing from one meal to another so vast areas were shut with little choice of anything to eat. The pasta/pizza/tapas restaurant was mediocre and limited (although the idea of selecting ingredients for your pasta/pizza was an interesting concept). The snack shack sandwiches were OK but the salads were mainly lettuce and the burgers and hotdogs of very cheap quality. The menu selection in Latitude 53 was pretty limited (and two of the items were exactly the same every night) and most of the starters were very small portions, more like an “amuse bouche”. At Vista (the Italian) they offered the same, fairly uninspired, menu for 3 nights then changed it for the last 4 – the Italian on both Discovery ships is much better, with more selection, more courses and more changes) so we did not even bother eating here. I got the impression that they were pushing people to pay extra to eat in their speciality restaurants (as they were constantly plugging this over the tannoy system and in the Cruise News) and I believe that is why less effort was given to the inclusive restaurants. In addition the inter-active screens did not display the correct menus for the 2 waiter restaurants – it always showed the menu from the day before, which was of little use (I used to use this a lot on previous cruises to decide where to eat) They did not even display the menus outside the restaurants (again on previous cruises they were outside) so every night I had to go to the restaurants as they was opening to ask to see the menus (by the end of the cruise Latitude 53 was putting some menus out on a table in front of the restaurant about 15 minutes before it opened so people could have a look). The service in the main restaurant on our first two nights was ridiculously slow – on the first night it took over 2 hours to be served 3 courses (we missed nearly all of the show due to this), in addition to which our deserts (which should have been hot) arrived virtually stone cold – on the second night it took almost 2 hours to be served 2 courses so we decided to skip the 3rd course so that we could dash to the theatre just as the show was starting. Both these nights we were at the restaurant at 6.45pm (we did not really want to go any earlier as it would be too early to eat and by the time our son came back from kid’s club at 6.30pm, showered and got changed this was the time we could go). Another annoyance was that my partner asked for Peronni on the first night (which was freely available at all bars and was also brought round during the day on trolleys and is included as part of the all-inclusive) but was told they did not have any in the restaurant. He told them that the bar (literally opposite the restaurant) served it so could they not get one from there – they said they would check and after about 20 minutes my partner asked again and finally a further 15 minutes later they brought him a bottle. On the second night the same thing happened and my partner said it would be quicker for him to have just got up from the table and walked to the bar himself. By the third night, as there was a Barbecue on the pool deck, we decided we would try that as it might be quicker. Yes, it was quick, but all the food was stone cold (I mean everything – totally cold) even when new items were being put out they were already cold by the time we put them on our plate and sat down!! (I did complain about the service and cold food – see further down review for the ship's reaction). SOCKETS IN CABIN– there was only one socket (two if you unplugged the kettle and balanced your item on the tea/coffee making items) which, for a cabin for 3 of us, was really not enough when trying to charge phones, i-pads, kindles, cameras etc. DRESS TO IMPRESS – so few people bothered which made it a real shame as we really enjoy this night. The main restaurant had some people in ball gowns, cocktail dresses, three piece suits, tuxedos and even dress kilts, whilst others were just turning up in casual shorts and t-shirts! Firstly Marella/Tui should maybe make people aware of this night prior to their holiday by including a note about this before people leave the UK or add it to the information they provide or even send an email (I spoke to two families who had never been on a cruise before and they had no idea that there was a formal night and had not brought anything with them. They both said that, had they known, they would have loved to have packed something special to wear). Secondly, seeing as the main restaurant is on two floors, why can’t the staff direct those in formal attire to one floor and those in casual dress to another? My partner was in tuxedo and bow tie, my son in three piece suit and bow tie and I was in cocktail dress, so we felt a little uncomfortable as several of the tables seated around us were in t-shirts or casual polo tops! (I would suspect that, likewise, people turning up in casual day wear might feel awkward seated amongst people in full Black tie attire!) KID’S CLUB DRESSING UP PARTIES: This also applies to the kid’s club as there was a fancy dress night and also a super heroes night (had we known in advance we would have packed something for him to wear – as it was I did not bring him any fancy dress outfits!!). BRIDGE TOUR KIDS CLUB; this was my son’s 3rd cruise and both times before he has not made the bridge tour, as we had been off the ship on booked excursions, so he was very keen to do it this time. Therefore, on the first day when I registered him I asked about the tour and was told that a note would be put on the door to inform us of when it would take place. We checked every day, but saw no note so no idea if this ever took place – he was a little disappointed. REPEAT CRUISER'S DRINKS NIGHT: the cruise news asked for anybody who had sailed before with Tui to contact the reception. I did this and my name and cabin number were taken and I was told we would be invited to a drinks party with the Captain near the end of the week. I asked if they knew which night but was told I would be informed by way of an invite. We waited for an invite and by the last night had not received anything. When I went to investigate I was told that they did have our name but that we had missed the party as it was the night before and that the invites were given to housekeeping to hand out so there was nothing they could do but they would send us “pins” to our room (which we received in an envelope on the last day with a letter apologising) – strangely exactly the same thing happened when I sailed with them last time, when they again forgot our invite!! BILLS: I was charged for a drink that I did not have and had to go to reception to have this removed from my bill - again the same thing happened on my last cruise (so I would advise people to check their statements daily!). As mentioned above, re my complaints, a comments card had been placed in our room so I did fill it in with some positive comments but also mentioned that service in restaurants was too slow, food (in particular at barbecue) was cold and menus on interactive screens were out of date. And, to their credit, the next day I was approached during lunch by a member of staff who thanked me for bringing this to their attention, apologised profusely and said that they were looking into the slowness and that they were trying to work out a way of keeping the barbecue food hot (although I’ve had barbecues on cruises before and they have managed to serve hot food, so they must have experience of how to do this). In addition the following day a note was put in my room to say the head waiter would speak to me regarding my comments (but as I had already had the discussion with another member of staff I did not feel a further discussion was necessary). On the fourth night we finally received excellent service – and I must mention and thank Rajesh, who provided a most attentive, friendly and professional approach – the food came swiftly, the bottles of Perroni were flowing and he constantly checked on us. Likewise, Dimitri, who also served us, was most attentive and efficient. From then on we always asked to be seated in the area staffed by Rajesh and Dimitri and have to say the service for these meals could not be faulted. Also, on the morning before last, as we were in no rush to get off the ship, we ate breakfast in Latitude 53 and the service was swift and attentive and the food hot. We took three organised tours through Marella (which I had booked in advance) which were well arranged and enjoyable. Half-day tour of Pompeii; Inside the Tower of Pisa; Nice tour and little train. The other three days we explored shore on our own. Palma was a bit awkward as there was a taxi strike (although Marella staff did not seem aware and were not that helpful in suggesting other routes into town, they just kept telling us where to get taxis – even though we kept going back to tell them that there weren’t any – we eventually found a public bus). at Palermo we just walked into town and got a taxi back. At Palamos we used the shuttle bus. In summary this was a decent and enjoyable cruise for the money. If they can sort out the temperature of the food, provide a slightly better menu and improve the speed of service provided by all staff in the main restaurants then this would help immensely. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We have been on a few Thomsons cruises and we decided to go on the new ship the explorer, we had read many reviews on the ship before we went and there was a mixture off what people were saying , we went for 7 nights and had a large ... Read More
We have been on a few Thomsons cruises and we decided to go on the new ship the explorer, we had read many reviews on the ship before we went and there was a mixture off what people were saying , we went for 7 nights and had a large balcony which the cabin was still small but clean , the dress code is more relaxed which we think to relax you were getting people coming in ,in wet bathing suits and sitting down in the dining area, on a night time people were just in shorts and tee shirts which there is nothing wrong in that , but we just think on the night time long trousers . We also found that there is a lot more restaurants where you have to pay a supplement. The Turf & Surf is roughly £28.95 each , Kora La £19.95 each and the Diner club is £45.00 each if you go for the 8 course meal and you get a different wine with each meal which I must say was the best one for us . We were all inclusive, but we find now there are a lot off restaurants where you have to pay which is up to people if they want to to go up market a bit . We also think the dress code is far to relax and I think Thomsons cruises have taken things out that was great ,things like the captains night , the ice sculptures that was on display and the dress code . The entertainment was poor have seen better on Thomsons cruises. But it just what people make it themselves. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
First time we have ever cruised, and we were not disappointed. The whole experience was fantastic, the food was excellent lots of different choices to choose from, the speciality restaurants were well worth the supplement fee that applied. ... Read More
First time we have ever cruised, and we were not disappointed. The whole experience was fantastic, the food was excellent lots of different choices to choose from, the speciality restaurants were well worth the supplement fee that applied. The entertainment was fantastic the crew work very hard, and there is a variety to suit all. The cabin was immaculate on arrival and kept up to the same standard throughout our stay a big thank you to Hobir . Overall we had a fantastic holiday and would recommend Marella explorer, the destinations we visited were very enjoyable. Thanks to Tui for making our holiday so enjoyable, and we are already looking to book another, but for a longer stay, and a big thank you to all the crew on board who word very hard to cater for everyone, and also a big thank you to captain John and his team . Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We always go with Tui on cruises as we have enjoyed the experience in the past. We thought the Explorer was worth a look but were disappointed overall. The negatives were minor in comparison with both Discovery ships but made a ... Read More
We always go with Tui on cruises as we have enjoyed the experience in the past. We thought the Explorer was worth a look but were disappointed overall. The negatives were minor in comparison with both Discovery ships but made a difference to us. On the adults sun deck, some beds were broken, towels were down but no takers as per usual, the back the seat in the show lounge came off as I sat down and only one coffee machine in Lattitude 53 was annoying. We had to walk out a few times to catch the show, as we had waited so long. The food was adequate but not too exciting and the waiters were sometimes a bit ‘novicey’. On the positive side, we always got a bed on any deck, waiter service was good on the decks and our cabin on deck 12 was excellent with cabin staff really helpful. We had sailed with Captain John before and he was as informative about destinations as on past cruises and the entertainments manager was also very good. As it was our anniversary, we went to the Surf and Turf restaurant and it was worth every penny. We won’t go on the Explorer again but will certainly continue on other Marella Cruises in particular, both Discovery vessels. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
1st time cruisers was very wary at first about going on a ship but can honestly say that you would not even know you are moving so smooth.The cabin was spotless and kept that way all week by the hardworking staff .The restaurants were ... Read More
1st time cruisers was very wary at first about going on a ship but can honestly say that you would not even know you are moving so smooth.The cabin was spotless and kept that way all week by the hardworking staff .The restaurants were great market place was busy most of the time but food was excellent ,if you want to pay an extra charge then there are sushi ,surf and turf and others to try we found the all inclusive restaurants were fine for us so did not try them.Entertainment was excellent and the team work very hard to keep us happy pool deck very busy so uf you want a lounger go early .All in all this was a fantastic expierence and we have booked to go on discovery next year so thank you captain John and his hardworking team for giving us a fantastic holiday we will deffo be cruising again Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Cruised with Thompsons many times over the years but decided against sailing again as we felt the standards were beginning to drop. We sailed with Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Epic the last couple of years and due to not been able to get ... Read More
Cruised with Thompsons many times over the years but decided against sailing again as we felt the standards were beginning to drop. We sailed with Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Epic the last couple of years and due to not been able to get our dates we opted for the New Thomsons Cruise Ship mainly with recommendation from the Travel Agent. So Disappointing for paying £3,000 for a weeks holiday on a basic ship.........I have a Diary Allergy and food or help from staff was non existent . The food was basic, and very limited in The Marketplace. Plenty eating places to choose from if you wish to pay supplements but still not worth the money. Some eating areas were set along corridors where people walked passed or children ran through! The all inclusive drinks package was cheap drink, diet coke in a glass full of ice 80%water approx 20% coke. I ended up buying cans of diet coke at a supplement of £1.00. The cabin was roomy and a bigger balcony with chairs, table, sunbed and hammock but the room was still basic. The staff were wonderful at keeping it immaculate. Entertainment was ok, Virtual bands , constant repetitive viewing. Theatre shows were ok but finding a seat was impossible at times and guests were not willing to move to make room for other people. Sunbeds .... well unless you were there at 6am in the morning and dumping your towels then you weren't lucky to find a bed. Policy is ,,,towels will be removed if no one is on the bed for a period of time, that was never implemented. People were even leaving their towels on their bed, going off shore for the morning then coming back onto their bed... !!!! It was a real let down, nothing impressive about the ship...apart from the Captain and the wonderful staff. Marrella Cruises have a long way to go to compete with other Cruise Companies, instead of moving forward they are still living in the times of Thomsons Cruises 10years ago.... I never write reviews and sometimes wonder why people see lots of negatives in holidays but i felt so dissapointed, hax a wasted holiday and were £3,000 out of pocket for one of the worst cruise ships I have sailed on.... Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
As first time cruisers we were excited about the prospect of seeing a bit of the med via a family orientated, sparkly new cruise ship. We were disappointed from the start. The welcome was lack lustre and as a result we had no idea ... Read More
As first time cruisers we were excited about the prospect of seeing a bit of the med via a family orientated, sparkly new cruise ship. We were disappointed from the start. The welcome was lack lustre and as a result we had no idea where to go or what to do while we waited for our cabin. Our cabin (a junior suite with balcony) was nice until night came. We were directly above the Squid and Anchor “pub” and our bed pulsated until the early hours to the beat of the music downstairs. After much complaining we were moved for our second week. This time to the tenth floor. This room whilst quieter was slightly smaller and had a much bigger problem. Every day, without fail, the toilet would block..... often while we were out..... the shared vacuum system is horrid and I saw over flowing toilets on more than one occasion. The housekeeping staff were fantastic and extremely hard working, some of the bar staff however (coffee port) were pretty miserable. The evening shows were fantastic and a real highlight!!!! The food was good but the selection could have been better, I’ve been on all inclusive holidays with Tui in the past year with much better food selection. Probably my biggest problem with this cruise though was that it is advertised as All Inclusive..... this is not! WiFi is extra and expensive, drinks before 10 are extra, ice cream..... extra. It just feels like they are trying to squeeze money out of you at every opportunity. Please note this ship is not new, it has been revamped, and well, but it is a bit rough around the edges. The gym is run by Champneys and is the best equipped gym I have ever seen in any holiday resort. Some of the classes cost extra. The 45 minute ‘no leave’ sunbed rule is not enforced and finding sun beds on a sea day is very challenging. This is branded as a family cruise ship but as our kids are at private school their summer holidays start 2 weeks before state schools. The first week we were cruising was mostly adults.....OAPs to be exact and there was a distinct feeling the kids were not welcome. The second week was better but I still heard older people joking how there seemed to be a lot of kids skipping school! In conclusion I definitely think I will cruise again but it’s unlikely we will cruise with Tui..... I will be looking for a higher end cruise with less child intolerant fat old people..... if such a thing exists. 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 3.7
Family 3.0 3.7
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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