36 Marella Cruises Marella Explorer Cruise Reviews

My wife and I have used Marella cruises for a while now and used the Marella Explorer twice in 2019, having only recently done the Tenerife trip we were very disappointed, firstly a sand storm hit the island's which was not the ... Read More
My wife and I have used Marella cruises for a while now and used the Marella Explorer twice in 2019, having only recently done the Tenerife trip we were very disappointed, firstly a sand storm hit the island's which was not the ship's fault And lost out on visiting one of our ports, we were awarded a £25.00 compensation to spend on-board, we proceeded to Madeira only to find engine trouble and then was stranded in Madeira a day and a half and being informed that we could not make it to one of our major ports Morococo.but to the port we missed out previously wich was nothing like what Morocco would have been. The service on-board had dropped dramatically in the main restaurant we were constantly requesting more wine and even water, only a few month ago they were constantly topping our glasses up, (but not to the stage of being inubriated ). This was also the same in the lounge bar, waiters constantly walking past you but not asking if you required anything else, the staff has totally changed, Due to the current situation with this virus threatening the world I would have expected hand sanitizer all around the ship in every entrance to every bar but this was NOT so. We booked a extra large balcony which was smaller than everyone else's tucked away at the stern of the ship a table 2 chairs,2 sunbeds and a hammock. In a space no bigger than a small cupboard if you put the hammock up your partner could not get to or from a sun bed, room 12041. We have always praised Marella cruises but unfortunately not this time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We had been looking forward to this cruise since the day we booked it, and we have mad the most of it, a week in the sun is valuable time. However we probably won’t be booking another cruise with Tui, for us they have a lot of ... Read More
We had been looking forward to this cruise since the day we booked it, and we have mad the most of it, a week in the sun is valuable time. However we probably won’t be booking another cruise with Tui, for us they have a lot of improvement to make. The Marella is a nice ship but showing it’s age. We did throughly enjoyed sitting out in the Mediterranean bar on deck 11, a nice place to sit and enjoy a drink in the sun. One of our biggest problem is customer service, poor would be an understatement, be sure I’m not aiming this at the troops they did a fantastic job, however the management were a different kettle of fish. We were on one night denied dinner in our chosen any time dinning restaurant as we were simply told we can’t accommodate you so you’ll have to go and eat somewhere else. I’ll be honest that didn’t go down to well as the other dinning options didn’t really appeal to us that evening. To cut a long story short, we complained and were offered a meeting to discuss our issues in the morning with the Food and Beverage manager and the customer relations manager. It would be fair to say, i sat in that meeting as the customer, feeling lime a naughty school boy, customer relations is not the fdm strong point, I think she needs to climb down out of the ivory tower she seems to be sat in. After not having eaten the night before, we were not offered any apologies apart from verbal, this is not my wife and I after something for nothing, but we have experienced in past situations like this and not even had to say of do anything to have the situation out right, it was just done as a matter of course. Any way enough negative there is some good news, we did upgrade to the premium drinks package and boy I’m glad we did, as we found the appetitive bar on deck 7, staffed by the comedy duo Ilyia and Rikki and kept in check by Simena this was a great please to be, to say these three epitomise what customer service should be is an understatement, they were fabulous night after night, (Maybe TUI you should look further down the line to see what customer service looks like and maybe your management can learn something) Appetitive is located outside the Surf and turf and Korloa restaurants (Both extra charge) again though the level of service and the food was excellent when we eat at both. The main dining hall was nice service was as you would expect food was just ok, the Mediterranean was nice especially if you visited on the tapas night, and equally the Italian was nice, the maker place however was a let down, provost the poorest buffet restaurant I’ve been to, I’m on holiday I don’t want a roast everyday, to the eye it looked empty,a far cry from what we experienced on Royal Caribbean where there was so much choice you couldn’t decide. (Work to be done TUI I think) To sum up we had a nice week in the sun there were areas of the ship we enjoyed but they were predominantly extra charge services, it’s unlikely that we will travel again with Marella cruises we didn’t really feel like we were the U in the middle, further more there are other cruise lines offering a far superior service for similar money Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose the Explorer as it was only a four hour flight from the uk you are guaranteed some sunshine in the canaries. We had a had a balcony cabin on 9 deck and the balcony was the biggest we have ever had it had a lounger two chairs ... Read More
We chose the Explorer as it was only a four hour flight from the uk you are guaranteed some sunshine in the canaries. We had a had a balcony cabin on 9 deck and the balcony was the biggest we have ever had it had a lounger two chairs coffee table and hammock. Shower was good as it has a door rather than the usual clingy curtain. The decor was of the usual standard you get in cabin and no complaints. The food on board was good and as with the majority of cruise lines you have to pay supplements for speciality restaurants for the better quality food. We decided to pay the supplement upgrade on the all-inclusive drinks package and we felt it was worth the money as you would have to pay for cans coffee etc on the normal package. The entertainment on the ship was good and always plenty to do, the ship and anchor is popular along with the theatre and these tend to get quite busy but they have lots of bars around the ship to choose from. We have cruised with Tui before and will continue to do so Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We wanted a cruise at short notice. Somewhere warm. Or even warmish. Our only option was this Mariella cruise around the Canary Islands. I must say it was cheap. Therefore we made a number of assumptions, only some of them were ... Read More
We wanted a cruise at short notice. Somewhere warm. Or even warmish. Our only option was this Mariella cruise around the Canary Islands. I must say it was cheap. Therefore we made a number of assumptions, only some of them were accurate. We travelled on the Tui flight from Gatwick. Extra legroom seat for only £25 each. Flight was comfortable. Bus collection and transfer was flawless. Embarkation was remarkably quick. And within about fifteen minutes we were onboard the ship. The ship is beautiful. It’s an older tug, but as it was originally a Celebrity ship the rooms and spaces are well thought out. It’s a really easy smaller ship to navigate around so there wasn’t many passengers looking lost. A word about our fellow cruisers. Perhaps it was the time of year, or perhaps the itinerary but if did feel a bit like a Fred Olsen cruise. The average age was at least 70. This meant that although the alcohol was all inclusive there wasn’t many obviously drunk passengers onboard...... The main problem concerned the food. The budget must have been about £5.00 a day. The food was monotonous and boring. Little choice and items repeated. Service was variable. From excellent to absolutely awful. The worst was me watching the waiter taking big crafty gulps of red wine when we weren’t even served our own glasses. He missed courses out, got confused over the order and didn’t fill our glasses but managed to fill his own!! If Marella increased the daily budget by about £2 or £3 a day the difference would be dramatic. Then they really would take P and O to task. But as it is there really is no comparison. I would rather pay more, and buy my drinks rather than eat those school dinners again. That’s a shame. We were in the Atlantic Ocean so I expected a bit of movement. But never in nearly twenty cruises have I been thrown around like that. And the sea was calm!! The captain did say he only had one engine going. My personal opinion was that the stabilisers were not used to save on drag and the extra fuel cost. That is laudable but not when the comfort of your passengers is at stake. He should be ashamed. The ports we visited was a bonus but I have to say if you get the chance to visit Madeira then go. Beautiful and beautifully kept. A real highlight. Try and do the cable car and the sleigh ride down the street. Fabulous. Though do not walk back into the town. It’s about a mile and a half down a one is three hill. A torture!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
23rd CRUISE IN TEN YEARS - Cabin comfortable with towel sculptures and effective service!! We eat exclusively in the Main Restaurant as we are not fans of buffets at any cost!! We also refuse to take part in the cruise industries ... Read More
23rd CRUISE IN TEN YEARS - Cabin comfortable with towel sculptures and effective service!! We eat exclusively in the Main Restaurant as we are not fans of buffets at any cost!! We also refuse to take part in the cruise industries 'up selling' measures. The restaurant experiences was excellent. Good food although there is clear evidence of 'dumping down' and cost saving going on, compared to when we started cruising ten years ago with THOMSON!! The waiters and waitresses are superb. Constantly smiling and can not do enough to please. We were well received by the the Restaurant Managers too. Especially Micheal. On the down side we have not witnessed so much DIY drinks service as that seen on Explorer. There were too few drinks waiters and waitresses to serve the number of passengers seeking to obtain drinks - a major disappointment coupled with my wife [a diabetic] having to pay extra for diet tonic as this NOT included in the all-inclusive drinks package!! We enjoyed the entertainment and congratulate the show team on their performances. The amount of lectures/presentations based around SPA treatments is EXCESSIVE and shuttle bus fees a little high!! However, it is difficult to argue that this was not a good value cruise. Will we be back? That is under review given the balance of good and indifferent. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Oh how standards fall in just 12 months. We were cruising on Marella Discovery this time last year and absolutely loved it. This ship either has a staffing problem or they have reduced standards. I must point out however that the adapted ... Read More
Oh how standards fall in just 12 months. We were cruising on Marella Discovery this time last year and absolutely loved it. This ship either has a staffing problem or they have reduced standards. I must point out however that the adapted room we had on deck 5 was superb and with a thorough and friendly steward. My grumble is mainly with the food, the buffet was frequently not replenished, esp the salad section, i like to eat around 1.30 - 2 pm and was very hit and miss after the lunchtime rush, my partner is disabled and the assigned tables were all at one end, usually as near to the food counters as possible for ease. Latitude 53 was passable, going off the very well written gushing menu you would expect something special but was actually everyday food with the odd exception, maybe they want you to pay extra for a special meal in one of the paid restaurants. I thought the theatre shows were very good though the Squid is nowhere near big enough when the entertainment is on and the lowest chairs Ive seen, donate them to a primary school ! No problems with the itinerary, loved Madeira. So an average cruise with good and bad points, we continued our holiday in Costa Adeje which we enjoyed esp the food, which was much better than Marella Explorer. I think I will avoid this ship in future and hope its not a trend on the whole fleet, there are several cruise lines in the same price range. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Wanted to go away for a family Christmas and get some sun. The flight from Gatwick was delayed by one day so missed first day of cruising. Tui conspicuous by their absence, no explanation to passengers for the delay. Relayed to local ... Read More
Wanted to go away for a family Christmas and get some sun. The flight from Gatwick was delayed by one day so missed first day of cruising. Tui conspicuous by their absence, no explanation to passengers for the delay. Relayed to local hotels and bussed back next day only to have to check in again and only one lady on check in desk for 200 people. Food in main dining room was very mediocre, rushed xmas dinner, couldn't wait to clear plates to get ready for the next sitting. Some of us hadn't finished eating. Show every night from same cast, no variety. One night had comedian who wasn't in the least bit funny. Same old cruise jokes. Booked buggy riding trip for daughter and hubby and no where on the confirmation did it say needed driving licence or under21s couldn't drive. so couldn't go on excursion and staff extremely unhelpful, they weren't the only people who couldn't go. Food in buffet very repetative, same puddings each day although boxing day was spectactular. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Music loud same old Christmas songs. Towels on sun beds with no person on them for hours Christmas dinner rushed to get ready for next sitting show lounge acts same most nights Best was the soul singer last night of cruise. All staff where ... Read More
Music loud same old Christmas songs. Towels on sun beds with no person on them for hours Christmas dinner rushed to get ready for next sitting show lounge acts same most nights Best was the soul singer last night of cruise. All staff where above excellent. Will not go on Xmas cruise again to busy every body pushing and shoving at meal times. We decided to eat late in the Mediterranean restaurant at least you could get a seat.Had a junior suite which was ok but as for priority boarding did not happen just get a balcony cabin and save a packet..... it's a booze and food cruise if you want that fine,,,,,Transport back to the airport was late because at the port of Santa Cruze they decided to wait to load the next flight onto the bus which gave our fight no time at the airport also nobody helped the disabled people of the bus I had to do that... Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We thought , why not cruise around the Canary Isles with Madeira thrown in for good measure . We chose a Junior suite no 10015 on 10th floor , impressed with the cabin and facilities ( except a shower cubicle that floods ) Sadly however ... Read More
We thought , why not cruise around the Canary Isles with Madeira thrown in for good measure . We chose a Junior suite no 10015 on 10th floor , impressed with the cabin and facilities ( except a shower cubicle that floods ) Sadly however we quickly realised we were directly under the Gym due to the continuous crashing of the dumbells from the weights onto the floor ( typically from 7AM onwards ) Potential customers take note … You cannot turn the Air Conditioning off and it makes a hell of a noise , especially when it is windy which it was for most of the time on our cruise ( this also applies to the Marella Explorer 2 ) The ship is difficult to navigate around especially amidships on deck 5 and 6 , there is no Atrium as such so there is no central point to get your bearings . Foodwise we were well satisfied , we chose the buffet style restaurant , food was very good in our opinion with lots of choice , it did get busy now and again but it was easy to share a table and talk to other passengers . The ship is all inclusive , with a good selection of drinks and spirits , you could upgrade to a premium package but with Southern Comfort and Peroni among others listed as free why bother . Strangely though Lemonade is not free …. There are 10 bars to choose from so something for everybody we chose the quiet ones so cannot comment on the rowdy ones …. Cabin staff were efficient and friendly , reception staff not so ( this has been commented on in another review ) Entertainment varied from decent musicians to very average singers , think of tour reps doubling up as singers and you will get the idea ... To sum up , you could have a good cruise onboard Marella Explorer , you will have to put up with a few things , for us it was the continuous air conditioning and the ships appetite for rocking and rolling ( stabilisers or no stabilisers ) Finally it would have been nice to get maps of where you are stopping off so you could explore , but the line was " just so you know ( !!!!) we are doing our bit for the carbon footprint so you can ( try to ) get them on your phone …" Best of luck Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I chose this cruise as it was smart casual as we dont like getting dolled up every night , we paid £3500 for 14 days in a balcony cabin , the service we got on board was excellent ie cleaning cabins bars and restaurants, even though we ... Read More
I chose this cruise as it was smart casual as we dont like getting dolled up every night , we paid £3500 for 14 days in a balcony cabin , the service we got on board was excellent ie cleaning cabins bars and restaurants, even though we paid £1500 more than people with an inside cabin wegot no additional perks ie premium package was £100 each for 14 days extra all trips were extra we worked it out if you went on a trip every day for your trip you would pay between £1000 and £1500 extra for your holiday . there was no advice on trips that you could do yourself without paying for the trips out , which we thought was unbelievable we asked about a tourist attraction which we thought we could walk to and was pointed in a direction 1hour walking later we asked a local and it would have been impossible only by a car to get to and would take 4 hours. as for the ship there was only 1 bar you could get a proper coffee and that was after 1pm all other bars was coffee in geezers which was absolutely awful even with breakfast we used the free sachets of nescafe that we got in our room to make a decent coffee at breakfast no sachets available in the restaurants .. food and drink was excellent there was a 4 all inclusive restaurants all fab. as for the northern lights well the captain only mentioned once that they had made an appearance and wouldnt broadcast this in the cabins as somepeople didnt want to be disturbed at all so what was the point of going on anorthern lights cruise hence i was in the shower so couldnt hear the announcement. when we did go on deck 11 there was no bar open outside no seating people were just stood outside with a member of staff serving hot chocolate out of a machine in paper cups, its as though the "northern lights" cruise was secondary to being just on a cruise to norway we were extremely disappointed with this , it was just rubbish. the ship is good creaks in the cabins abit but as a ship it is good . we cant say anything about the shows as we didnt go to any as we only got out of restaurant at 9.45 . would have been lovely to go to Stavanger at night instead of sailing off as it looked great for a night out as being on aship for 14 days can be very mononotous all in all it was good but not upto our expectations for the money we paid out , we shant be going on another cruise personal choice for us . Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The ship and the holiday The ship has limitations compared to others in the fleet or on other lines. We missed a promenade deck and also found limitation in the number of seats available. Good places of call and all excursions were ... Read More
The ship and the holiday The ship has limitations compared to others in the fleet or on other lines. We missed a promenade deck and also found limitation in the number of seats available. Good places of call and all excursions were well organised despite tender trouble in Stornaway. Excellent Captain who kept us well informed throughout – often very humerous The embarkation procedure needs attention. We had to queue for luggage labels despite our disability and that we had booked our cabin. Need more than 3 checking in We have some limitations on mobility and asked for help with our luggage when we arrived by taxi. None given - just a shrug. I am unable to lift luggage but able to walk with a stick. We are not wheelchair bound both but have difficulty walking. It appears that we are unable to get assistance unless we take to a wheelchair. Other cruise lines offer very much better assistance Staff worked very hard and were always pleasant with a smile. However, we learnt from one of the very good cabin staff that when he started 10 years ago he had 12 staterooms to oversee. Each now have 28. No wonder they were tired and used periods off to catch up with sleep Newcastle a good port for cruises for almost everyone we spoke to. However Marella need to sort the embarkation procedure out better as well as disembarkation Dining Dining was very slow initially in Latitude 53 but TUI did respond to complaints and service much improved after 3 nights Menu in Latitudes not as wide as in earlier years and sad to say the quality of the food was poorer which is different to my views on earlier cruises- More cost cutting? Had foul smell in shower room when we returned from a function - attended to 3 times but reappeared - was told that it was due to the ship being on rocky seas and the foul water was swishing into shower water - surely not on level 9 - as this means that both foul water and washing water are the same - this would be a very dangerous health hazard Entertainment We had a very good speaker and very well attended Broadway theatre full for 4 of the 5 talks (well done!) despite some issues not of his making. Entertainment apart from the talks was very poor - not aimed for all the generations on board. The shows were given by a well-trained and enthusiastic group of singer dancers. Mostly it was pop. However as someone commented, if we were watching on TV at home, we would switch off. Just one comedian in 14 nights – no other speciality acts. No classical music at all. The scheduled deck games were not hosted or hosts did not appear at all. Note to Marella - The limitation of some of these games issues could be overcome by utilising the space adjacent to the putting area as well as enforcing what we were promised. Also unhosted Bridge etc was scheduled at breakfast time. Tis did nt take place. The library (the Attic) was much better than on Explorer 2 although 3 of the 5 bookcases were emptied within 24 hours. Many more games provided compared Explorer 2 but no playing cards (unless they were taken by guests) The games were needed in view of the poor entertainment available. A request failed to see them arrive. However the Attic was a lovely quiet spot Scheduling was erratic – we did not see or meet the captain until the last night as it clashed Overall We felt that everything that could be cut financially, had been with the result that the cruise will appeal to a limited market covered by other cruise lines. We have cruised with Tomson/TUI/ Marella about 10 times but probably not again despite the convenience of the port Suggestions for Marella 1. Use the sheltered deck area adjacent to part of the putting/golf area. No doubt used for ship storage etc But consider adapting for eg quoits when not in use (it was not used throughout the cruise) 2. Can we have cards provided 3. Can you afford hosted bridge and whist etc as on other cruise ships 4. Can you afford hosted arts and crafts as many would follow this- On P & O, the number on the watercolour class filled the lounge Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We liked the ports of call & the fact that we could leave from Newcastle. Having never sailed from there before we stayed in South Shields the night before to make the journey to the port easier. We had asked TUI about wheelchair ... Read More
We liked the ports of call & the fact that we could leave from Newcastle. Having never sailed from there before we stayed in South Shields the night before to make the journey to the port easier. We had asked TUI about wheelchair assistance to the ship & was told that Tui did not offer that service( at any of their ports worldwide) but we could take our own wheelchair. Arrived at the port around 10-30 to be told TUI had a policy of not letting passengers into the pre- booked parking area till 11-45 so we tried again at 11-35 to be in a cue of around 20 + vehicles, with nearly 200 already parked. In the embarkation hall there were wheelchairs available if required & early boarding. The boarding process was quite lengthy with periods of standing in line waiting for the shuttle bus to the ship. The ship was quite well set out & easy to get round. We used the main dining room most nights & the service ranged from very good to awful, sadly more awful times & the food choices terrible, no better in the buffet either. For us the entertainment was of a pretty poor standard, so we did our best to avoid it. Ports & shore excursions were very good & well organised. On the final 2 days my wife was feeling unwell( either a cold or flu ) we think due to the A/C mainly in the cabin. A couple of days after arriving home I also became unwell & 1 week later we are both under the weather & unable to go about our normal day to day activities. This was only our second TUI cruise & will be our last! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This is an extensive review...Bear with me, but this is our honest opinion and our personal view. Firstly, to put this cruise into context it will have been our 17th. We have enjoyed 3 previous cruises with 'Thompson', all of ... Read More
This is an extensive review...Bear with me, but this is our honest opinion and our personal view. Firstly, to put this cruise into context it will have been our 17th. We have enjoyed 3 previous cruises with 'Thompson', all of which have been fine and we thought good value for money. This was why we booked with their new branding 'Marella' and we were looking forward to going on the Explorer. The advertising and videos looked fine, and the Baltic was an area we had not cruised in but had been to independently previously. The port itinerary was great, Copenhagen, Warnemunde, Stockholm, St Petersburg, Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga, Klaipeda, and Fredericia. We had visited Tallinn and Riga both previously. The cruise did what it said on the tin, and destinations were not disappointing with no problems visiting the ports. All through the cruise, we were blessed with sunny weather and mainly calm seas. From this aspect, the voyage went well. Embarkation was good, as it was at the ports, and at the end of our cruise; well organised by the ship and no issues. Same in Russia, where good advice was given by destination services on procedure etc. There was enough time to organise and plan your own trips/activities if you had not booked ship ones, and what excursions we did take were reasonable and good. One issue which a number of people raised was the point that Marella no longer provides port maps in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint and help the planet. Fine, but a lot of people were not happy accessing an online map version on the ship, and some are not IT savvy, so its a cheap cost-cutting exercise in our view. You can in most places get a 'hard copy' map from the cruise terminals at the ports you visit for free anyway. In Stockholm, we went to the ABBA museum and a walk around the old town. Probably as cheap to do this with the cruise ship excursion than independently. In St Petersburg, it was, as always busy but the Panoramic Tour we did with the ship excursion was very good. Our trip to the Ballet was also good. The second day we visited the Yusopov Palace and had a canal trip. It was somewhat chaotic due to road closures ( not Marella's fault ), and our guide was somewhat confused and our experience of Yousopof was marred by rude staff. The disembarkation from our canal cruise via an unstable and unsecured gangway was downright dangerous and a major health and safety issue, which we reported to Marella, and which they need to take up with the operator before someone is injured or worse. A number of passengers were phased by this incident on our trip. Those were the only organised trips we took, apart from a shuttle to enter Helsinki which Marella charged £5.00 return for. I am not sure if in the past with Thompson these were free. They are not now. However, now to comment on the onboard experience., the good and not so good. Let's start by saying the staff were polite and good-natured, and worked incredibly hard. Any queries we had were dealt with promptly but we had a number of issues. ( See cabin report ). From getting on the ship the hard sell started. I was asked almost straight away if I wanted a premium drinks package. We don't drink much, so it was of little use to us. The all-inclusive was fine, as there is no shortage of the stuff either !. I drink mainly wine, and the white, red and rose were perfectly acceptable, but cocktails are invariable too sweet ( depends on taste though ) and lacking in alcoholic 'punch'. Spirits were not of great quality. I suppose our biggest disappointment was food and service in the dining room. We felt that the quality of the ingredients had gone down from previous 'Thompson' cruises, and some of the meals over salty ( again, personal taste ). There was certainly less choice on the evening menu, and some of the meats were fatty ( lamb ) and poorly presented with bland and repetitive vegetables. The Latitude 53 dining room was very hit and miss. The evening meal was 3 courses, fine for us, but a few people were not happy, The Market Buffet was essentially the same with little change. There were no specific theme nights, a feature we have found on other cruises. The Italian option Vista was quite good, and the Tapas evening restaurant OK. The major issue was service, so much so we complained and met the catering manager. In Latitude 53 we waited one evening 3/4 of an hour to obtain our starters and the next evening 1hr before receiving our main course, and we were not alone. A gentleman at the next table waited with us, only to be served cold soup after the wait. My wife is on medication before meals and needs to eat within a reasonable time after taking it, and such a long delay made her feel ill. Often the dishes were presented lukewarm. The catering services manager responded quickly and admitted there was a 'communication problem'. He offered us a complimentary meal in a premium restaurant, which was nice, but not the object of our exercise !. We did try both the steak restaurant and the oriental one and they were both good and worth the extra money. Over and above communication however, there seems to be a cost cutting exercise in staffing. The same issue was evident in the bars, where there was a lack of waiting on staff and it could take quite a while to order drinks from the bar areas. It got to such a state that we often ate in the Market Place Buffet where we were able to serve ourselves and eat in time for the first show in the evening which we liked to go to. That said, entertainment in the theatre was varied, and unfortunately, again not as good as on our other cruises. The entertainers were enthusiastic even if at times the quality was lacking. The theatre has good sight lines and is comfortable. The acts engaged were OK. A comedy duo and singer. We had an individual comedy entertainer ( forgot his name ) who we did not enjoy. The musician in the venues were Ok, apart from the piano player who was an expert at being out of tune. Sea days dragged ( there were not many, and we normally like them ). However, the activities were not well organised. No, I don't want to learn how to fold a towel or napkin. There were no talks or lectures as we have had on other cruises, only the destinations talk by the crew who were out to hard sell excursions. Such a shame as the lack of activity was commented on by more than ourselves. The gym was busy though and I got time to read two books !. The onboard cinema was a great idea if they had put more films on and not used it most of the day to flog acupuncture treatments and consultations with the onboard acupuncturist. There was such a lot we could have learned about the Baltic, and it was an opportunity missed. So of all the Thompson 'Marella' ships this has been the most disappointing in the entertainment offerings, surprising as Thompson were widely praised for their cruise ship entertainment in the past. The usual hard sell from the cruise ship shops was evident, but that happens everywhere. They were even trying to flog Bridge Tours at just under £10.00 !!. Did we enjoy the Baltic, yes the ports were fine and the trip went very smoothly As we said the staff were fine, but in our view, the management need to take a long hard look at the training and support they give and the quality of what they are delivering. Standards have undoubtedly dropped as prices have risen. It's a competitive market and people will not pay good money for 3rd rate cruise experiences. Would we cruise Marella again ??? I doubt it if this is what they are offering. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We found the arrival very easy,straight off the plane on a bus and on to the ship. The ship itself was not my favorite, not easy to navigate around. The seating in some of the public areas was very uncomfortable( the brown sofas in the ... Read More
We found the arrival very easy,straight off the plane on a bus and on to the ship. The ship itself was not my favorite, not easy to navigate around. The seating in some of the public areas was very uncomfortable( the brown sofas in the Squid and Anchor need throwing over board!) The resident entertainment was very good.Some of the guest shows on the other hand went from excellent to awful. The ship was kept very clean and all the staff worked very hard and were very friendly. The food was lovely, we always managed to get a seat or table without any problem. Plenty of places to sun bath ,either quiet or lively by the pool. The cruise itinerary was the reason we choose this particular holiday. We decided to stay on from Southampton to cruise up to Newcastle as it was easier to get home from Newcastle. WERE WE SORRY!!!! From what we heard 600 passengers disembarked, and 400 Tui reps and their family's embarked.( Bearing in mind the average age on the cruise was about 65 and the new passengers where younger ) the lovely cruise was spoiled by the new passengers. They were on for one thing, to get as drunk as possible as quickly as possible, resulting in us not being able to get served for over half an hour at some of the bars and having to suffer drunken behavior from quite a few on them. Not the staffs fault I mite add, purely how fast they where drinking. there were scuffles in the disco and security had to be called. People where also inconsiderate when returning to there cabins.The result was a lot of the original passengers where not very happy. This has ruined the memory of what was otherwise a lovely cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We’re experinced cruise holiday makers and feel qualified to make comparisons to previous cruises . Marella explorer is not a beautiful ship on either the outside or the inside . To my way of thinking she looks like a ferry. The ... Read More
We’re experinced cruise holiday makers and feel qualified to make comparisons to previous cruises . Marella explorer is not a beautiful ship on either the outside or the inside . To my way of thinking she looks like a ferry. The advertising suggested looking for a lean contemporary look but my feeling is they run out of money and didn’t have sufficient to buy artwork sculptures or anything that would inspire or and wander for the pain guest . if you are looking for a value for money package holiday experience then probably Marella explorer fits the bill however if you are looking for a value for money special experience in line with the amount of money you are paying then choose an alternative cruise line . I’m gutted to have to say this about this ship as in the past we have sailed on Thompson spirit and the now departed Emerald both of which had a certain level of sophistication and certainly charm but this was without doubt lacking in this new bath tub of a boat. I sense the amiable courteous and highly present captain is slightly disappointed by his crew as he asserts at every opportunity they are the happiest crew afloat and the best crew and one in which he is extremely proud to sail alongside our experience is that the majority of staff from all departments were indeed courteous but there were a significant number of waitresses in particular in latitude 53 the main dining restaurant who clearly have never ever been taught the slightest about customer courtesy in fact it became a bit of an in joke amongst our crowd to see if we could elicit a smile from one in particular . on the subject of the food one of the reasons my family and I started to cruise was because there is vegetarians in our party we were always able to have excellent dining experience however on Marella explorer dining experience was either exceptionally good in the Vista restaurant or at best average and below par at other times we were very disappointed with the cuisine overall . whoever is responsible for booking the lounge bar pianists needs to have a rethink about who is a book whilst it is without doubt the pianist could indeed play the piano they banged out the tune at maximum volume and sang so loudly it wasn’t ever a relaxing experience to go and listen to them in fact I claps the loudest when they eventually stopped . The theatre on-board explorer is magnificent with very good sightlines pretty much where ever you sat but what a shame none of the singers in the show cast can sing; they can shout but they cannot sing. the dancers were good but not great and the choreography repetitive . We did however thoroughly appreciate the room we had on deck 8. our balcony cabin 8099 had excellent storage facilities, was very clean and our steward was always willing to help. the balcony was bigger than average and actually was one of the pleasing parts of the ship. In addition The Champneys spa is an absolute gem and staff there are certainly extremely welcoming I enjoyed the Marella explorer massage which was wonderful; I highly recommend it - especially if Alex is peoviding the treatment. I also enjoyed a very very good pedicure by Angela which was very pleasing and has lasted well. The ports of call were excellent and some of the tours and excursions offered by the ship as a family we all thoroughly enjoyed particularly the best of Barbados which took in the wild Orchid farm and the Sunbury house plantation I would highly recommend both of these we also enjoyed the zip lines in Saint Lucia. I wish Marella Explorer well but hope the people that hold the budget pump in some cash to put some much needed style on this vessel and appoint a cruise director who has more than four ‘jokes’ in his repotoire. If the jokes could be funny that would also be great. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I must say the standered of food in the resturant was good, and the Vista resturant very good, but the variety could have been more varied, the buffet resturant did not have choice of other cruise ships we have been on. The main resturant ... Read More
I must say the standered of food in the resturant was good, and the Vista resturant very good, but the variety could have been more varied, the buffet resturant did not have choice of other cruise ships we have been on. The main resturant was very random with service, one night 2.5 hours to get served the meal, another 1.5 hours to get first course, there was never any reason to it, some nights water and wine as you sat down other nights had to ask 4-5 times to get anything, many managers walking about but could not see the problems the waiters were having., each night was different with different problems, number of people complaining but no one seemed that bothered, that was the first time I have ever complained on a cruise. Pointed out the problems several times to resturant manager, and senior manger on ship, really made no difference. Went to the paying Asian resturant one night which was very good. Bars, on first day on board at sea there seemed to be no control on the amount of alcohol some people were drinking, which did result in several audications between passengers but any no one bothered. The entertainment team were very good and the shows excellent I must say we got on with the cruise and enjoyed our self, but having cruised with many companies we will not be sailing with TUI again, it has some way to go compete with the establish cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Chose this cruise because we enjoyed our Caribbean cruise on Discovery last year. Our main grumbles were with the poor quality restaurant food and the shambolic service in the Latitude. The food presentation was poor and the meals ... Read More
Chose this cruise because we enjoyed our Caribbean cruise on Discovery last year. Our main grumbles were with the poor quality restaurant food and the shambolic service in the Latitude. The food presentation was poor and the meals didn’t resemble any level of quality that one would expect from a restaurant. Adjacent dirty tables were never cleared until required by other diners. Service was slow, meals taking up to three hours and drinks often arrived after food was served or even finished! The staff seemed inexperienced and lacking in training. We did complain to the catering manager, Wally. He ensured that on our next meal the service standard improved, but sadly this was not sustained for the rest of our week. We thought the buffet food was superior to the restaurant food. The wine served tasted awful and I frequently couldn’t finish my glass - very unusual for me! The bottle labels said 13% alcohol but it tasted watered down, as did many of the other drinks served. Theatre entertainment was average, our balcony cabin clean and comfortable and the ports visited were good. Cruise staff seemed happy and for the most part helpful and transfers were good. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
After cruising with Marella before around the Mediterranean two years ago on Discovery 1 and having such a fantastic cruise , I was really looking forward to this cruise on their newest and largest ship. The previous cruise on ... Read More
After cruising with Marella before around the Mediterranean two years ago on Discovery 1 and having such a fantastic cruise , I was really looking forward to this cruise on their newest and largest ship. The previous cruise on Discovery was going to take some beating but I was confident Marella would not let me down. We got off to a good start with perfect flights over to Barbados then it was straight off the aircraft and onto a bus and straight to the ship and the boarding process was quick and problem free , well done Marella they really have got this process running like a well oiled machine. We didn't book the cruise to late on so by this time there was no balcony cabins available which we were not that bothered about as we have had balcony cabins in the past and although we have enjoyed them we are not sure if we get the full benefit of them so on this occasion we were quite happy to go with an inside cabin , however we did not pay the extra to choose the cabin and ended up having our cabin allocated which maybe wasn't a great idea as you end up with what nobody else wants .Our cabin was on deck 9 near the back of the ship , close to the kids club which was not a problem at all, the cabin itself was adequate and seemed fine at first but on closer inspection e found that the air con unit above the bed was filthy and you were also not able to knock it off at all. The main problem with the cabin though was the noise everything rattled and groaned from the safe door to the wardrobe doors and drawers and during early morning docking the noise was horrendous and the cabin literally shook at times, but when I reported this to reception I was told that you have to expect a bit of noise on a ship, anyways the ship was full and there was no other cabins available to re locate us so we had to put up with it , most of the rattling was rectified by myself by some strategically placed pieces of toilet paper. I guess you get what you pay for o we decided to get on with the cruise and not to let the cabin get us down which we didn't, As expected based on the last cruise on Discovery the bar service and choice of drinks on board was excellent , the service from the drinks waiters was very good and you never had to wait long , they work so hard and always with a smile, excellent in every way and a credit to the company. Entertainment was varied and decent , the resident band were very good and the theatre productions were also very good, some of the solo acts didn't really appeal to my taste but that is just a personal choice, overall the entertainment was not as good as previously on Discovery. Dining there is a good choice of places to eat on board and you will never go hungry, the market place buffet was perfect for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea but not great for dinner , the Mediterranean restaurant was nice with the tapas section being a favourite of ours .Unfortunately the main dining room Vista was the real let down for us , previously on Discovery the dinner in the main dining room was a real highlight every evening where we were served some delicious food every night , really good fine dining experience but on Explorer it was no way near as good , the food was mainly ok but nothing exceptional infact on a couple of occasions it was very disappointing verging on poor. Also the service in the dining room could be quite poor at times, it seemed disorganised and chaotic on occasions , service could be very slow and a couple of times we walked out before dessert as it was that bad. Finally the ports of call were all beautiful and we went to some magical places and we loved every one , done all out trips independently as Marella excursions were overpriced Overall we loved many parts of the cruise but I expected more from this ship which it failed to deliver , if I was to go with Marella again which we probably will because we love the all inclusive concept that they offer , but next time it will be back to the Discovery ships which to us offer so much more despite being older and smaller. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Just returned today from a 2 week cruise with marella explorer in the Caribbean, a party of 6 adults.. We have been on about 12 Tui cruises and this one was very disappointing the food in the main restaurant in an evening was not as good ... Read More
Just returned today from a 2 week cruise with marella explorer in the Caribbean, a party of 6 adults.. We have been on about 12 Tui cruises and this one was very disappointing the food in the main restaurant in an evening was not as good as on previous ships in fact we left our food on a few occasions because of the poor quality. Market street restaurant was ok but almost the same thing everyday. We did not go to the entertainment in the broadway show lounge every night but the shows we did go to were very good. Our cabin was a bit dated as all Tui ships are but big enough and plenty of wardrobe and drawer space and kept clean by housekeeping staff. The music and entertainment round the pool area was very very loud as was anything that was going on in the said and anchor pub but plenty of quiet areas if you wanted quiet. The itinerary was good and captain John and the crew were great as were most (not all) the staff Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
First of all let me inform you that my husband and I have cruised many times with many of the main cruise operators.This is our opinion of our New Year Carribean cruise. The staff throughout the ship are pleasant and efficient. The ship is ... Read More
First of all let me inform you that my husband and I have cruised many times with many of the main cruise operators.This is our opinion of our New Year Carribean cruise. The staff throughout the ship are pleasant and efficient. The ship is clean and well maintained. The entertainment was good. The major issue with this ship is the food in Latitudes Restaurant and the Lido Buffet. In both of these eateries the quality and choice of food is poor. We visited Latitudes on the first evening of our trip and left very disappointed indeed.For the rest of our cruise we ate at Vista (Italian and included in fare) or at one of the speciality restaurants. To eat in the speciality restaurants, Kora La, Surf and Turf and The Dining Club cost us £220 but knowing that we were assured of a good meal made it well worth the price. The difference in quality is staggering and begs the question if Chefs can produce excellent meals in these restaurants, why is it not the same throughout the ship? The answer is obviously cost but in our opinion cutting costs with food is a big mistake and deters passengers from booking with Marella again. In the middle of the week all of the speciality restaurants were full, with people being turned away or put onto waiting lists should guests not turn up. Marella strongly encourage guests to pay for an upgrade in drinks, offering well known brands as opposed to local ones. Why don’t they have the good sense to put £100 pounds on each fare and up the quality of food? Marella you seriously need to up your game. Also there is no loyalty scheme for frequent sailors.Others offer free WiFi, laundry, mini bars and excursions. We are at the top of some loyalty schemes and have received all of these benefits. Where is our incentive to book again? We have been told by our local Tui branch that a loyalty scheme has been discussed several a times during the last few years. Remember, there is a lot of choice when booking a cruise. Food plays an important part in any holiday and the number of foodie programmes on TV , shows the appetite the U.K. public have for well cooked great looking meals ! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We were recommended by some friends who had previously been on Marella before it became all inclusive. Unfortunately it has now become like a cheap holiday camp that caters for grossly overweight chav’s that like to booze from the moment ... Read More
We were recommended by some friends who had previously been on Marella before it became all inclusive. Unfortunately it has now become like a cheap holiday camp that caters for grossly overweight chav’s that like to booze from the moment they get up and they made up about 40% of the passengers. The Pool deck was like a walrus colony and best avoided as was the buffet at the Market Place were most of the them ate as much as they could of the 3 star food served there. Money doesn’t make you a better person but manners do and most of these people didn’t have any. The good points were the TUI and ship staff who were mostly excellent, the efficient airport and transfer to the ship, good itinerary. There is generally plenty of space on the ship and quieter areas such as the veranda which has better sun beds with pads, however certain people would be up early to reserve even if they weren’t around all morning and no one enforced their policy of removing towels if left for more than 45 mins. The ship was refitted this year but it looks like a lot of areas were not touched. We had an executive cabin which was very spacious with separate lounge area, double shower and walk in wardrobe. There was a large balcony with sun loungers, hammock and table and chairs. The bed is quite firm and we did ask for a topper which was quickly provided.Our room was on deck 10 which is below the pool deck and there used to quite a bit of noise from the sun loungers being stacked or people running around in the evening. Our cabin steward Irena was excellent and always eager to help. The restaurants are not up to the standard you would expect, Latitude 53 serves the occasional good dish but generally average fare. Vista served one of the best lasagnes I have had but the bruschetta was terrible and the steaks were tough. The tapas and and Mediterranean were reasonable but the restaurant felt like a cafe. The Kora La and Surf and Turf are good but then you have to pay £24.95 or £28.95 extra per person extra so should be. Breakfast at Latitude was good apart from the long life juices. The sail away Caribbean BBQ was awful. The Head Chef really needs replacing with someone who can improve the standard of catering on the ship. The shore excursions were a mixed bag some like St Kitts scenic railway good but the Bequia coastal cruise awful as catamaran is really a small motorise catamaran ferry not one with sails which expected. After a trip to snorkel we were then dumped on a crowded beach with no sun beds or anywhere to sit for 3 hour and given a cheap lunch in the local cafe. The beach transfers were a waste of money and you are far better organising yourself. The shows are alright but spoiled by the female singers thinking that screeching as loud as they can adds to their performance rather clarity. The guest comedian Steve Terry was very funny and would of been better to see more comedians. Embarkation and disembarking is very slick and well organised. The Champneys spa is good although the gym is quite limited. With all inclusive most drinks are included but the cocktails are more like slushy’s as so full of ice and although you can drink unlimited alcohol you have to pay for bottled water or a special coffee which is really irritating. Based on our experience TUI seem to be catering more for the 3 star holiday brigade and we won’t go again which is sad as they do put in a lot of effort and have some aspects which are very good. However if you like to eat and drink for 19 hours a day baste yourself in the sun until lobster red lying right next to other overweight people this is the holiday for you. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise for itinerary – two sea days in two weeks and a route covering a good contrasting area of the Caribbean such as the dry arid island of Bonaire to the green lush island of St Lucia. Also ease of access is a bonus – ... Read More
We chose this cruise for itinerary – two sea days in two weeks and a route covering a good contrasting area of the Caribbean such as the dry arid island of Bonaire to the green lush island of St Lucia. Also ease of access is a bonus – checking in at our UK airport and not seeing our luggage again until it arrives at your cabin is a bonus as too is arriving at Barbados airport and just walking a few metres to your transfer coach. Our first Marella cruise, but have cruised with Celebrity, RCCL, Azamara and Cunard over the past 8 yrs. We chose Premium cabin seating, adding this on a couple of months before departure. The included Escape Lounge at Manchester was quite good, very busy though but was a good step up from Aspire which we have previously used. The flights were very comfortable and you would certainly not go hungry or be uncomfortable on the flight with popcorn/crisps, two meals, plenty of drinks and water, hot towels, spacious seating and relatively good IFE. The Explorer is 22 years old and feels and looks her age in most places, she has a wobble too and is not the smoothest of rides where ever you are on the ship, yaw movement as well as a pitch and roll even in light seas. Parts of the ship are art-décor style such as the MDR restaurant and parts are modern, light and airy such as the coffee port and the Mediterranean restaurants and bar areas. The Broadway show lounge hasn’t been touched in refurb, with some carpets and seating in poor condition, a gold ceiling and grab handles, illuminated side tables with gold coloured surround which are so dated. The Market Place Buffet is the least updated, the new dark grey carpet and probably original seating, tables, panelling and ceilings are unwelcoming and dismal. Walking through the area between service the area smelled of stale water and unpleasant odour. We only occasionally ate here as it was often busy and other guests rarely used tongs etc to handle food. There were people in swimwear too – many of these guests were dressed to impress with plenty of body artwork, obese in size and little clothing. Drinks included wine were on draft. Fruit juice was only served at breakfast and not available at other times. Tables were cleared quickly in here though. Our cabin a deck 10 junior suite was a good size with an immense amount of storage. House-keeping was some of the best we have experienced. The extras for booking this class of cabin were not enough however, they should have included the premium drinks package. The extras were: Three items pressed per person for the first 24hrs even returned and re-hung in our wardrobes. two mornings of complimentary room service breakfast (continental) – which was very good – lots too!, a Lavazza coffee maker in the cabin, Clarins toiletries which were pleasant to use and express luggage delivery with speedy check-in. We never had any problems with the toilets or smells that others encountered. This forward cabin was extremely quiet too and we never heard noise from docking etc. The bathroom was quite spacious with a glass door on the good-sized shower, washing line, lots of shelving. The balcony was large with a hammock – rarely used, two chairs and a table and two sun loungers. We used our balcony quite a lot as the sundecks are cramped and noisy. We could hear the music on the deck 11 pool deck from the balcony. Our main gripe is the poor quality of food and drink, Marella are really counting the beans here. The included wines were poor quality, most of the pre-made cocktails at events and the theatre were so watered down with ice they were tasteless. We don’t drink excessively and ended up upgrading to the Premium package for the second week, also to enjoy the lovely Lavazza coffees in the Coffee Port – the lovely Phillipino lady working here was excellent in her work. The dinner menus in Latitudes both in choice and presentation often resembled a meal in a supermarket café. Poor cuts of meat, tasteless bland food and a lack of presentation and service which took forever, sometimes 40-45 mins between courses! Wine and water not refilled, having to chase up with staff orders and refills should not be necessary. The Vista the lower floor of the MDR was an Italian with a slightly better menu that changed every other day, but was very popular, hence pagers were often used with waiting up to an hour, we managed to eat here early between 6.30 – 7pm or 8-30 onwards. Service was inconsistent, there was not enough staff. We enjoyed the Surf & Turf restaurant, the main course and deserts were very good, the starters not so. Not sure it was worth the cost again other supplementary restaurants on other ships at a a similar price though. We also ate a couple of times at Med Tapas, the food was quite tame with not enough flavouring used. The Portuguese Espetada skewers were very good but at a supplement of £9.95. The meat on these was excellent. On one occasion, our two main courses arrived 30 mins apart! We were not charged the supplement. The entertainment was adequate, the shows we gave up on and were not of interest to us. The two girl entertainers flown in called Union Avenue were very good up in Indigo, with a couple of singers and guitarists around the ship very good too – vocally most were very good and extremely hardworking. We avoided the pool sailaway parties and BBQ’s – we like a good time but to see a 20 stone tattooed woman with a pint in her hand dancing dancing to calypso and reggae music is not a pleasant sight and multiply this by the other chavs (around 25% of the cruise guests) it was a low grade holiday camp. The staff themselves from Captain Peter who was very personable yet showed he was in authority and was always visible around the ship, I don’t know when he slept! (he needs to work for Azamara as they have great captains too!) were really friendly, welcoming and there was always a hello when walking about, yet the waiting staff in the bars and restaurants lacked training and service was totally inconsistent, yet you cannot fail to like them for they work long hours on eight month contracts. As mentioned the house keeping staff we had were some of the best we have experienced. The TUI-navigate app was very useful it uses the ships wifi (without charge as not connected to the internet) and you are able to access your onboard account, book restaurants, check your itinerary and book excursions, You can also buy internet use - which is very expensive, slow and not worth the money. On a final note and not many people that are booking may not be aware of is that you have to vacate your cabin by 8am on your last morning, this is fine if you are on a lunch time flight, however if you are not flying until early evening as many of the Barbados flights do then you will have to either try to book a limited number of courtesy cabin @ £35 or hang about the ship and book a slot in a cabin to use the shower. There is secure storage for hand luggage and your suitcases are taken from you the evening before departure. We managed to retain ours however I had asked on our arrival day. We would not return to Marella, the cruise cost over £3000 per person and for that money we expected more, especially in food and drink quality. My title R&R could mean.... 'Rough and Ready' are guests and ship in place. Rum & Reggae- order double to taste the cocktails and be fed up of hearing Mysterious girl, Red, Red Wine each day reggae style and it could mean Rest & Relaxation - yes in places, our balcony was quiet, parts of the ship were too, mostly not though. It is entry level cruising and for those loyal to the brand they need to experience other lines. Also, for those loyal to Marella they need a loyalty scheme. Read Less
Sail Date November 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
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
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
Sail Date October 2018
Marella Explorer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness & Recreation 5.0 N/A
Family 3.0 3.7
Shore Excursions 3.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.1
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click