67 Marella Cruises Marella Explorer Cruise Reviews

We choose this cruise to escape the Scottish winter and cheer us up in hope of some winter sun in the Canary Islands just after Christmas and New Year I was apprehensive as we were going with 3 generations . Once onboard and we had ... Read More
We choose this cruise to escape the Scottish winter and cheer us up in hope of some winter sun in the Canary Islands just after Christmas and New Year I was apprehensive as we were going with 3 generations . Once onboard and we had familiarised ourselves with the ship it was evident there really was plenty going on and something for everyone ., We were so impressed with all the staff . Michelle who cleaned our cabin every day was an absolute star, the waiters Roberto, Austin , Lloyd , Kamlesh, Vena, Ramonoito, Rhea and Sun shine . Their happy smiling dispositions were contagious and nothing was too much trouble . Senthill the chef in The Surf and Turf restaurant was outstanding . My mum who is 80 described the steak he cooked as the best she’d ever had !!! We loved the Broadway Shows in the evening and the dancers were superb . However for me , being treated by Dr Bandula for my very sensitive stomach with Accupuncture has been life changing . I can’t thank him enough . The spa was wonderful . Truly relaxing with the various saunas and steam rooms . I even got into the habit of pouring the bucket of ice cold water over me after too. I did use the gym for my stretching in the morning . Classes were available but I just didn’t have time to fit them in as well . I haven’t even mentioned the excursions yet . Madeira was beautiful and the Botanical gardens a definite must , as was careering down the hill in a wicker basket afterwards . Just loved it . The 4 wheel drive excursion in Morocco was outstanding and Ahmed the tour guide really topped it off . He was hilarious . These were my favourite ports Our cabin with a balcony wasn’t huge but was adequate . We really hardly spent any time in there apart from sleeping and it was kept really clean and tidy by Michelle . The food was fine. We preferred to use The latitude restaurant for breakfast ( just found the market place too busy but there was a huge selection there ) We loved the fact there was the fine dining option too and ate in the Surf and Turf twice and the Kora-la once . Stunning food and superb service . We left the ship really feeling as though we didn’t want to go home. Super holiday and would definitely consider another one ...soon !!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise just a few weeks before departure, as for the first time we we we’re going to spend Christmas Day alone. We had sailed on Explorer 2 in September, our very first Marella cruise & loved it. We’ve cruised with ... Read More
We chose this cruise just a few weeks before departure, as for the first time we we we’re going to spend Christmas Day alone. We had sailed on Explorer 2 in September, our very first Marella cruise & loved it. We’ve cruised with P&O, Princess, NCL, but mostly with RCI. I would have no hesitation is suggesting Marella. I have read some of the negative comments on here, but can honestly say we didn’t find any of that. There were a number of children on board but we thought there would have been a lot more. The whole week was fantastic, although the sea day to Madeira was a bit bouncy. The ship, crew, food & entertainment all excellent. Our Christmas Day was the 6 o’clock sitting & the meal was faultless. We’re not huge drinkers so found the basic drinks package sufficient. We’re going to the Caribbean with P&O in March. Had I known what Marella cruises were like when I booked it, I would have booked a very similar cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was my first cruise, I was with 3 other people who had been on cruises before but not with tui. I found the whole experience amazing and very worth the money! There were special staff members who’s names are below; - Ian ... Read More
This was my first cruise, I was with 3 other people who had been on cruises before but not with tui. I found the whole experience amazing and very worth the money! There were special staff members who’s names are below; - Ian (Indigo) - George - Dindin (Rooms) - Jamie (DJ) - Paul (Latitude 53) - Dmitri x2 (Indigo) These staff members made sure we had the best experience by always being polite; saying hi every time we saw them and always keeping our drinks topped up once they noticed they were empty. Ian gave me and my partner handshakes and high-fives once he knew it was time for us to go home and he knew which alcoholic drinks would suit us best and recommended drinks for us which were good! Jamie always spoke to us when he saw us and was a good dj. Played songs we requested and it was my mother in law’s 50th birthday and he shouted her out and sung happy birthday to her which made it very special for her. Dindin was always smiling and polite when he needed to clean the room and there were times when we forgot things from the cabin and had to go back when he was cleaning and he didn’t mind us going back to get what we needed. Paul was very talented and very funny to watch during the rendition of a classic spanish song in Vista restaurant when he did a funny dance for us all. The 2 Dmitri’s also made us feel good when they spoke to us in detail about their experiences on the ship and how happy it made them! The shows were fantastic and unique to the cruise and the comedian we had, had us in stitches! (Lee Evans tribute) We will definitely come back for another tui cruise and yes i would 100% recommend the canary island cruise to anyone that is skeptical or wondering whether or not to go, do it! You won’t regret it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had cruised with Thomsons several times previously and really enjoyed the friendly, personal touch of their Ships. We had tried several other ones over the years and decided to give Marella a go, so booked a weeks cruise on the ... Read More
We had cruised with Thomsons several times previously and really enjoyed the friendly, personal touch of their Ships. We had tried several other ones over the years and decided to give Marella a go, so booked a weeks cruise on the Explorer. Initial impressions were very good...very friendly staff, clean ship, great lounges/bars, spacious inside cabin..all good. The itinary suited us and even though the weather wasn't kind to us there wasn't much we could do about that. But I have to say from initial good impressions the standard deteriorated. Food wasn't great in all areas/ restaurants, service was very slow and several times we waited at least 45-50 mins between courses in the Latitude restaurant. When food came elements were missing as they had "run out". No crackers for cheese, missing veg, etc We booked the Mediterranean Italian one night. As required we chose our pasta ingredients and pizza to be freshly cooked...it wasn't as ordered but very nice, but pizza didn't arrive to the table. After asking 4 times it did come - undercooked and not as ordered after an hours wait. Vista was marginally the better eateries of them all. The toilets in public areas were never very clean or well maintained, often blocked and spillage on floors. Probably due to reduced staff provision tbh. Our cabin wasn't made up on 2 occasions on a morning but frankly we weren't too bothered. Cabins were kept very clean overall, and very comfortable. My husband and I experienced upset tummys after eating from the breakfast buffet on 2nd day...same item eaten, same onset symptoms!! We swerved that area after. The entertainment team worked hard, and the 2 bands, piano man and Robbie played every day. But please stop playing the same 60s/70s music....not all clients like that era! The silent discos were a triumph. Casino was chaotic at times with crupieres not in control of the roulette playing areas..not professional. Bar services and staff were good and all worked their socks off. One mention of soda drinks dispensed, not in cans, from the bars ..they were foul tasting and frankly inedible. I like lime & soda but if I'd drank them I would have been ill...tasted of musty, old, stale water. On our final departure day...on way home we both had onset of D&V, despite using every precaution we could have undertaken during the cruise. Least our cruise weight has fallen off! We will try Marella again I think, but we won't rush to book. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Having had the view of wishing to see the 'northern lights', it seemed a good option to choose. It was a great experience on the Explorer. We have cruised Princess (that experience takes some beating), RCI, and P & O, the ... Read More
Having had the view of wishing to see the 'northern lights', it seemed a good option to choose. It was a great experience on the Explorer. We have cruised Princess (that experience takes some beating), RCI, and P & O, the thing we find with P & O is that they are trying every which way to obtain more spend out of the passengers, and, in our view, the service kind of seems to be falling off... Marella have it sorted.. you can't help but come off the ship we were on with a smile on your face.. The dining facilities were very good with high windows, roomy table layouts, able to accommodate shared dining experiences if required, the menus were varied and similarly, very good, table assistance was also excellent, everyone of the staff had a smile on their faces and it felt a total commitment to service on behalf of their employers. Although we had the all inclusive aspect we did try the Dining Club, Kora La & the Turf & Turf fine dining experiences, we were not disappointed, if they were to be put in order of preference, we'd say Dining Club first with a close second by the Kora La and perhaps a not so close Surf & Turf last... but still worth the visits... Since the ship is an all inclusive deal the only consideration of using the Explorer for another cruise again would be, where and what time in the year.. we could see it quite easily see it being a booze cruise.. where as, a Fjords Cruise out in school term and in a cold climate perhaps not so... Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Just returned from two week Baltic cruise on Marella Explorer (10 th Aug19). Never having cruised before, we were unsure what to expect, but the itinerary was exactly what we wanted. Apologies in advance for the length of this review, I ... Read More
Just returned from two week Baltic cruise on Marella Explorer (10 th Aug19). Never having cruised before, we were unsure what to expect, but the itinerary was exactly what we wanted. Apologies in advance for the length of this review, I know it's going to be a long one We sailed from Newcastle, so no flights involved for us which was a huge bonus, mainly as no luggage restrictions ( so long as each case weighed no more than 23k each) but also being able to avoid the chaos of airports in summer. We stayed overnight the night before in Premier inn at the port( not the best, will review separately on trip advisor) . We drove to the car park at 1130 which took all of 30 seconds from the hotel, dropped off our luggage in the marquee as instructed, where our cases were tagged with our cabin number - didn't see them again until we were on board. Then taken by bus to the check in area where we were given our cruise cards and information. We waited no more than 10 mins to be called to have passports checked, and after another very short bus ride we embarked. We were on board by 1215 - really efficient, smooth process, greatly appreciated by us as we had no idea of the process. We had just had lunch by the pool when an announcement was made at 130 pm that cabins were available and our luggage arrived around 330 pm , really efficient service. We explored and attended muster drill which was obviously very busy, but it was well organised and lasted no more than 15 mins. Unfortunately the weather was poor for sail away so I believe a sail away party was held indoors. We stayed on deck in the typical British summer weather to watch us sail away instead. We had a sea day immediately which gave us time to explore all the ship had to offer. Two pools, which were bigger than we expected. Three generous hot tubs too. Poolside bands when weather allowed, and twice daily films by the pools. 10 bars, 10 restaurants , a kids area, a teenage area, table tennis, mini golf, cinema, show lounge, champneys spa and gym, basket ball court, adults only sunbathing area, library with table games, shuffle board, quoits a huge English style pub with lots of quizzes and bands. Great value shops, I'm sure there was more but am at a loss to remember Entertainment was on in the show lounge twice nightly and the few we saw were good. They had a guest comedian who was really good - so good we went to both his shows , one being a late night version Service on board really was with a smile. Every member of staff without exception was friendly and polite. Everyone of the staff worked so hard and gave the impression they loved what they did. Our room stewards were fab and we appreciated the turndown service in the evening. Our cabin was kept very clean each day. Hygiene was important throughout the ship, with hand sanitiser everywhere and gentle reminders in the daily cruise news . Exiting the ship at each port of call was easy and smooth. , no long lines , and the same getting back on after each port. The sail away party after each port was great and after our two day stay in St Petersburg we were welcomed back with songs and dancing from all the crew on the dock side - really nice touch. Another nice touch was a BBQ by the pool on a rare sunny day after we visited Copenhagen . Food is subjective and I'm sure you can't please everyone. But we didn't have a meal we didn't enjoy on board. From the buffet to the steak house, all really good. We tried them all, including the ones with the supplement except for the Dining club, purely as its not to my taste . There were no tender ports on this itinerary , but a few of the ports were a little way out of town. TUI did provide shuttles for these at £5 each which we used. Only in Stockholm was the shuttle useless. It dropped us in a busy part of town difficult to find again for the return. We made our own way back to the ship, but guests were complaining the shuttle picked up in a different part of town that people weren't made aware of causing some to have to get taxis back to the ship We didn't use TUI excursions at all, we researched before and either did our own thing or booked privately with no issues at all. Besides the price, the fact that TUI use full size coaches for excursions put us off. The privately booked tours used 16 seat mini buses, making it easier to see the sights quickly with a guarantee of not missing all aboard time We didn't know wether we would love or hate the cruising experience, but can safely say we are hooked ! Thank you captain John , you have an amazing crew, you should be very proud, but you need better jokes ! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise for it's itinerary as the Baltic was somewhere we had never been before and were keen to experience. St Petersburg was the highlight but we enjoyed the other ports of call too. Embarkation/disembarkation ... Read More
We chose this cruise for it's itinerary as the Baltic was somewhere we had never been before and were keen to experience. St Petersburg was the highlight but we enjoyed the other ports of call too. Embarkation/disembarkation was very well organised with no issues for us. We thought the dining was excellent, especially Vista Italian, the Pizza/Pasta Italian and the Mediterranean Tapas. The quality and choice at Latitude 53 was also very good. Market Place was always busy but had a really good choice all day and we especially enjoyed afternoon tea. We didn't try eating in any of the places where there was a cover charge. On the whole, we also really enjoyed the onboard entertainment. The show cast are a very talented bunch and certainly work very hard. All the staff were smiley & friendly. We thought the wifi was expensive at £25 for 3 days. If they do have to charge then surely those 3 days needn't be consecutive? Couldn't the system at least recognise when you're off the ship and therefore couldn't possibly be using it? Obviously there were one or two other things that could be improved upon but you can't please all the people all the time and overall the ship, cabin, dining entertainment & service were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We picked this cruise for a number of reasons. The dates fitted in with dates I had booked well in advance (without knowing what we were going to do in the summer) to please my work, the itinerary, and by reading several reviews that the ... Read More
We picked this cruise for a number of reasons. The dates fitted in with dates I had booked well in advance (without knowing what we were going to do in the summer) to please my work, the itinerary, and by reading several reviews that the line was good for families and kids. 14 days is a long time for a 10 year old to be onboard so it had to be fun for him too, which I am happy to report it was. Embarkation was smooth enough but as we had a few smaller bags rather than a couple of big bags they insisted that we took on the "hand luggage". Disembarkation was not so smooth and Port of Tyne were making a hash of it and being rude with it. Ramming as many as they could on the car park shuttle buses for example and siting on the quay for 10 mins while they could have got a full load to the car park and back in this time. Ship was lovely. Nothing too fancy but very clean kept and run throughout. She is big enough to have plenty on her but you will still only be meeting people for the "first" time it seems on the day you are leaving which is the down fall of larger ships. Food was excellent and plenty of options without having to go the areas that you had to pay more. You can pretty much have something different every night and you can choose between sit down service at several restaurants to having a quick buffet which is ideal if you have had a busy port call and you just want good food quickly with no fuss. The choice overall is excellent. Drink we took the premium all inclusive which was little extra at booking and meant you could have any drink on the menu included which made things very easy. There are no hidden costs really and the end of the trip we had about £100 to our account for a couple of transfer buses and photos. Cabin was a little small (Deck 10 aft) when the sofa bed was out. Nice size of balcony though and staff were superb. Very clean and plenty of storage etc, worked very well. Entertainment was generally very good, decent show on each night and plenty of other activities around the ship and did not see half of it so always something to do. Plenty of live music around the bars etc. Overall making for a great feel. The entertainments team work very hard to get a good feel and it worked well, sail away parities etc were really upbeat and enjoyable and a real informal feel with lots of laughs. There were 2 formal nights, one of which we took part in and the other we chose to go the buffet (Market Place) so there is no pressure. Ports were superb. Some of the cities there was not enough time but this is cruising, a day in Stockholm, Copenhagen, etc is never going to be enough so you have to see these as giving you a taste. There was a full day (2 in Russia) so the line worked hard to give you the best time available in what is a tight itinerary to pull off overall. We only took the excursions in Russia as it saved getting a visa and also taking advantage of the Moscow trip. Both days in Russia the excursions were very good. In the other cities we took 2 laid on transfers (Gothenburg and Hellsinki) which were very hand. We enjoyed followed our noses to explorer the cities and if this is what you want (I.e. see a bit of the place and enjoy a coffee etc) there is no need to take pre planned excursions. It would have been nice if there was a transfer laid on at Copenhagen as it was a good walk from the city and the public transport did not seem logical although there were hop on/off buses at the quay. The Children's "M Club" was superb. We made our 10 year old go to the first session (he did not want to) and gave him the options if he wanted to go back or not, he hardly missed one after it. He made some great friends and got on really well with the staff which went out of their way to make them feel welcome and make sure they had a good time. Overall there was only very minor things we thought could be better (Coffee Port was slow for example) but nothing major and we really did not want to get off the ship. We would definitely go with Marella and the Explorer again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was my second time on this ship and was very much looking forward to exploring the places round the Baltic’s. The trip exceeded all expectations from start to finish. The embarkation was a breeze having parked the car it ... Read More
This was my second time on this ship and was very much looking forward to exploring the places round the Baltic’s. The trip exceeded all expectations from start to finish. The embarkation was a breeze having parked the car it literally took 1/2hour to get in the ship by 1200 I was sipping champagne in the Mediterranean bar outside looking out to sea. We opted for the same junior suits as last year and it was amazing large balcony with hammocks, sun loungers and table and chairs. The house keeping staff were beyond fabulous and kept the room spotless and were very attentive. The food was amazing in the ship in all areas - we mostly dined in Latitude 53 but treated ourselves to the dining club twice and Kora la my 15 year old son thought he had died and gone to heaven with the waiter service and innovative food staff could not do enough for you - the staff really looked after us. I upgraded our drinks package which was great as branded soft drinks , coffees for my son and lovely selection wines, spirits etc. It meant we could use the quiet Aperitif bar before dinner where we were treated like royalty, we also preferred hanging out in the Mediterranean bar where the service was great too and the bar staff were a hoot. The places we visited on the trip were beyond amazing especially Stockholm St Petersburg and Oslo and the sailing between places the scenery at time was amazing so special. The only disappointment was Gothenburg I really did not take to the place but our tui trip there was rubbish. We used tui for every trip and the tour guides were so knowledgeable and helpful apart from Gothenburg. I was very disappointed by some of the British peoples behaviour at the concentration camp in Berlin - taking selfies seriously not appropriate my feeling is photography should be banned as a sign of respect for the site and only take photos of the monument I was disgusted by some people behaviour laughing and joking. We took part in wine tasting which was very good, cannot really comment on the entertainment as not really our thing. It was just a fabulous holiday so much more I could say, I just do not know how anyone can complain there is so much variety of places and things to do on the ship. Can’t wait to book again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
As a first time cruiser, I was attracted to Marella’s package given it included not only food, but drinks also. I was initially nervous, having read mixed reviews online. The ship is fantastic. There’s loads to do at all hours. Our ... Read More
As a first time cruiser, I was attracted to Marella’s package given it included not only food, but drinks also. I was initially nervous, having read mixed reviews online. The ship is fantastic. There’s loads to do at all hours. Our cabin was clean, comfortable, well maintained and offered plenty of storage space. The food was fantastic. The main fine dining restaurant, Latitiude 53, was good, albeit hit and miss at times. However the Vista restaurant was faultless every time and was some of the best food we’ve ever eaten. Mediterranean Italian was also superb and the buffet restaurant offered a great choice, whilst also maintaining a high quality. The organisation of the embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and faultless. All the staff were beyond superb. I cannot put into words how they made the cruise. Will definitely be cruising with Tui again- already looking at the next one! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are a young couple having just been on Marella's inaugural 'Land of Fire & Ice' cruise. Everything about this sailing was fantastic. The itinerary (Kirkwall, one day at sea, Akureyri, Isafjordur & ... Read More
We are a young couple having just been on Marella's inaugural 'Land of Fire & Ice' cruise. Everything about this sailing was fantastic. The itinerary (Kirkwall, one day at sea, Akureyri, Isafjordur & Reykjavik, two days at sea, Flam, Bergen, Eidfjord, Haugesund & Kristiansand, one day at sea) was obviously well thought through and every port of call was like a picture postcard, rain or shine. Our inside stateroom cabin on Deck 4 was very peaceful, allowing for plenty of sleep. The room was also kept spick and span by cabin steward Majol who like many other cabin staff on board was also an expert at creating animals/roses out of towels. The excursions we took all had informative guides and were great value for money. We ate in The Market Place buffet most nights, switching to The Mediterranean Italian restaurant (included in the price of the cruise) for two others. The food in both was tasty, of good quality and varied. The variety of all inclusive alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks was also impressive with a range of beers, wines, spirits, cocktails and mocktails. Having been on two previous cruises (with Celebrity and another Marella ship) the nightly shows on this ship were by far the best. The production of each one was of a professional standard and some of the singers (especially leading lady Rianna) wouldn't have sounded out of place in the West End. The guest entertainers (Bryan Adams UK tribute & stand up comic Josh Adams) were also worthy additions to the line up. Other entertainment on board included regular films on the pool deck or indoor cinema, quizzes and gameshows in the Squid n Anchor pub, lectures in the theatre, a decent gym, Playstation gaming and a range of small sports facilities. For £50 per person per week (£200 overall for me and the wife) we also bought a cruise pass for the onboard Champneys Spa. With all things considered (including 2x saunas, 2x steam rooms, foot spa, heated bench, hot & cold showers, a blue relaxation room, thermal garden and relaxation lounge complete with double beds looking out the front of the ship) this was unbelievable value, especially if used most days. The spa also offers a range of consultations (including food intolerance tests and beauty treatments) at reasonable prices. Special shout outs go to Sophie, Michelle and James in the Bike Tour team. Having ridden with Sophie on last years cruise in Skiathos, we rode again in Kirkwall and Kristiansand this time around. Sophie's routes ensure you get a comprehensive tour of the place you're in. These rides cater for a range of abilities and ages with the team ensuring no one gets left behind with plenty of encouragement given. Just expect a few hills and distances between 12 to 25 miles with regular drink and photo stops on the way. We would recommend these tours to anyone with a reasonable level of fitness and met some lovely people (Allan and Leslie if they read this) from these tours. Overall, it was a holiday of a lifetime and incredible value to boot . With the cost of everything in Iceland and Norway (where a standard pint of beer costs around £10 to £12 in each place to use a typical British financial comparison) if we went everywhere the cruise took us on our own steam, we would have paid thousands and thousands of pounds more. In fact the only gripe we had at all was with some other guests on board, especially those of a certain advanced age. Complaint after complaint after complaint, none of which were warranted. The kind of people who try and get a chef sacked if the consistency of the mashed potato isn't exactly to their liking or wake up every morning itching to find anything to moan about. As Marella seem to be doing this itinerary again in 2020, just go for it. During our two Marella cruises we have wanted for nothing on board and cannot fathom how anyone can gripe about anything. 100% recommended to all ages! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Price was great for all inclusive. Travelled with Tui before and very informal and friendly so prefer this type of cruising. Great cabin spacious and clean and as usual very friendly hardworking staff. Few issues with queues at ... Read More
Price was great for all inclusive. Travelled with Tui before and very informal and friendly so prefer this type of cruising. Great cabin spacious and clean and as usual very friendly hardworking staff. Few issues with queues at Main dining area and waiting once in but relsoved after speaking with maitre D. The Med Bar for TAPAS excellent as well as the Italian so plenty of choice for eats Good quality drinks Plenty of entertainment., shows, quizzes, groups, piano, lectures , cinema something for everyone Lots of different bars for entertainment or quiet areas if you prefer Lovely Lounge Bar very bright and spacious with our fave staff Michelle Roland David Alice always singliong smiling and going hte extra mile Too may great staff to mention all the names Booked the 2 day Saint Petersburg tour with ALLA tours, by far the best from speaking to others . only 14 in the group, no queues, excellent lunches in 4 star hotels each day, Dimitry our guide was fantastic and knowledgable. Very easy to book and answered all questions beforehand, highly recommend ALLA Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We always choose cruises based on the itinerary and this completely fitted the bill! Our second cruise on this ship and once again it excelled itself. We had a large balcony cabin (9135) which is well placed midships and well looked ... Read More
We always choose cruises based on the itinerary and this completely fitted the bill! Our second cruise on this ship and once again it excelled itself. We had a large balcony cabin (9135) which is well placed midships and well looked after and cleaned by the cabin stewards. Food as always was excellent in both Latitude 53 and Vista, as well as the lunches in The Market Place. The entertainment by the ships enetertainment crew was generally good except that we had seen most of the shows before so in some cases we didn't get to see a show. The guest artists, The Harper Brothers are still performing the same act as we have seen 4 times before and well worth missing and Ricky K was also poor and reminded me why I don't watch Britains Got Talent, because blatantly he didn't! There was a guest crossover singer (sorry forgot her name) who was excellent however although only allowed one show! The 2 Crew shows were excellent and show a wealth of talent, in fact in our opinion the best Crew show ever! We did our own thing as regards trips except for the occasional port shuttle bus. In most ports we used the HOHO bus's and Canal/River trips sometimes combined to get a better deal. In St Petersburg we used Alla Tours who were beyond excellent and I really recommend them as opposed to the ships offerings as for about the same price you see more, are in groups of a maximum size of 16 comfortable mini bus's. The guide (ours was Marina) was excellent and spoke great English. All in all an excellent cruise on a super ship with great staff! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and we weren't disappointed. The countries visited were all so interesting but all different too. Due to my lack of mobility we chose to go on an excursion on nearly all the ports of call and I ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and we weren't disappointed. The countries visited were all so interesting but all different too. Due to my lack of mobility we chose to go on an excursion on nearly all the ports of call and I have to say they were the best we've ever done. All the tour guides were informative, interesting and fun, yes even in Russia!! We chose to have a balcony and had cabin 10000 which was a great location. It's the last cabin before the bridge on deck 10 so you only have a few staff members going past the door. Plus when you arrive or leave a port you can watch the captain and his amazing staff maneuver the ship when on the balcony. Also in this location you weren't anywhere near any of the music entertainment, which suited us well. Our cabin stewards were superb and so helpful, they were unobtrusive and kept the cabin nice and clean. We only ate at the Market Place as that's our preferred way to eat. I don't want a waiter fussing over me, I'm quite capable of getting my own food, putting a napkin on my own lap and able to eat without being asked if everything is ok. The food was amazing and so beautifully presented and with such choice. As I said all the excursions were so good and well worth the money. It's fascinating to find out how other countries run themselves and their history. As I have limited mobility I found that after 2 reasonably active excursions (I thought I'd chosen ones with little walking, but it was more than my knee could stand easily) that I couldn't face a third so went to destinations just to see if it was possible to exchange to a less active one. They were so very helpful and with the say so of the boss we were allowed to do this, for which we were very grateful. We went on a river cruise instead so hardly any walking and it was a superb way to see Stockholm. The entertainment wasn't as good as other Tui cruises we've been on and I think they got the age demographic a bit wrong. But the performers themselves tried their hardest and we didn't miss a show. Getting on the ship in Newcastle was a bit of a shambles, but getting off went very smoothly. It's hard to exit nearly 2000 people at one time, so we thought they did a good job. ALL the staff are so friendly, polite, happy and courteous and as all tips are included its not like they are trying to be friendly so they get tips. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole event apart from some rather rough sea coming back over the North Sea, but that's Mother Natures fault, no-one else's! Other than a bit of seasickness that afternoon the rest of the cruise was wonderful and we've already booked our next one and I wouldn't call ourselves typical cruise people! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Everything was perfect, You walk off the plane and onto a coach where you’re taken straight to the ship where our bags were waiting for us at our cabin. On return you see the immigration officers onboard, the queues move very fast, ... Read More
Everything was perfect, You walk off the plane and onto a coach where you’re taken straight to the ship where our bags were waiting for us at our cabin. On return you see the immigration officers onboard, the queues move very fast, no standing still. Then we were taken from the ship to the airport and our cases were sent to the plane ahead of us so we didn’t have to carry them around with us, they will also look after your hand luggage for you from when you leave your cabin until you depart the ship, they give you clean towels and an option to use a cabin to freshen up before your flight. Completely hassle free. Cabin was very comfortable and quiet, spotlessly cleaned twice daily and the cabin stewards were so friendly and kind. Fantastic staff, so attentive, friendly and really make you feel valued. Delicious food with plenty of options. The restaurants were very nice and in the buffet you have tons of options, you have fresh food cooked to order including omelettes and create your own stir fries, pastas and pizzas where you can choose exactly what ingredients they put in your meal. The fresh salad bars were so good too with freshly made potato salads, coleslaws and bean salads to name but a few. They had branston like pickle, piccalilli, chutneys and all the usual condiments including HP sauce, Branded drinks and a great choice of cocktails. Even without the premium drinks upgrade. Twinings breakfast and Yorkshire tea and many other kinds of herbal teas, delicious fresh sweet pure orange juice. The snack bar by the pool had freshly prepared salads (Caesar, Greek, Asian, curried chicken, avocado, salmon and more) sandwiches, wraps and burgers, hotdogs, fries etc to grab and go. Excellent entertainment with so many different options to choose from each day and night, something to do whatever your mood. The Collective were absolutely fantastic and got everyone rocking! Plenty of fun, lively areas with great music and entertainment and also calmer areas if you want some peace and quiet to just chill out and enjoy the moment. Didn’t feel at all overcrowded, even at the busiest times there was always somewhere to sit in the shade or in the sun. You can dress to impress if you like which meant I got the chance to wear some evening dresses but if you don’t feel like dressing up you don’t have to. You’re treated beautifully whatever you wear. Unlike other holidays I’ve been on (where drunken idiots have spoiled it for everyone else with their bad behaviour and they’ve been allowed to remain in the hotel and carry on their behaviour for the whole holiday) if someone gets out of hand they are promptly removed from the ship, they have zero tolerance of violent or abusive behaviour, Brilliant! Like staying in a 5 star hotel where the view changes daily. I can’t see how they can improve this ship and it’s staff. We don’t know how they manage it but even on a ship with so many other people on board you are made to feel special, the staff remember you and treat you very well. We will definitely be booking with TUI / Marella again. Everything really was perfect. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We"d never done a cruise before and wanted to do something special for our silver wedding anniversary so we decided to book a cruise around the Caribbean. We also booked to renew our wedding vows and we'd just like to say a very ... Read More
We"d never done a cruise before and wanted to do something special for our silver wedding anniversary so we decided to book a cruise around the Caribbean. We also booked to renew our wedding vows and we'd just like to say a very big THANK YOU to Amanda Hudson the social host and our captain Peter Harris for sorting everything out so that we could do it on our wedding anniversary. We had a lovely day thanks again to Amanda Hudson for everything that you did to it happen it's very much appreciated. The ship is lovely all staff very friendly and work very hard food lovely as well will definitely be coming back. All the staff are really friendly and work hard food was excellent we had an invite to join the captain at his table as well which was lovely couldn't of asked for a better 25th wedding anniversary cruise we've got lots of wonderful memories and photos Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Previously cruised on the Royal Clipper (twice) and Norwegian Star (not the best experience), so we have been on small and larger vessels. Tui package holidays have always been consistent for quality, so it was interesting to try their ... Read More
Previously cruised on the Royal Clipper (twice) and Norwegian Star (not the best experience), so we have been on small and larger vessels. Tui package holidays have always been consistent for quality, so it was interesting to try their cruise option. Flights - very good, the system of leaving luggage at Manchester airport and not having to handle it again until it arrived at the cabin worked extremely well. The Dreamliner is an excellent aircraft, in our opinion better than Airbus offerings. Apart from some slow service on the plane (don't think there were enough cabin crew) and not much variety in inflight entertainment all went well. Very comfortable flights both ways. The ship - excellent all round. Large balcony cabin has plenty of storage and well laid out. Didn't find the small number of power points too much of an inconvenience, we always seemed to keep our smart phones and iPad charged. No other reviewers have mentioned a super innovation on this ship - the Navigate app. for smart phone or tablet. Much better than reams of paper daily news letters cluttering the cabin. Reception service was excellent, always attended to quickly and with a smile. Not many children on this cruise, almost adults only. No issues with food and drink on board, mainly used Lattitude 53 for breakfast and dinner and the Market Place for lunch. Tried Vista one night, the only time we had to wait for a table, but no real inconvenience, the food was worth the wait - the Parpadelli Carbonare was superb! Visited Surf and Turf once, again a real treat, the fillet steak and lobster combination was to die for, well worth the extra. Generally the food was far superior to Norwegian and on a par with Royal Clipper ( a totally diffent cruise experience). Didn't bother with the Premium upgrade, didn't spend anywhere near the £100 it would have costs, the standard offerings were fine. Service was always quick and efficient, we had no problems on this cruise. Entertainment was good, with enough variety for us. No problems with sunbeds as we don't like being too near the pools (too noisy). Always found a quiet spot, the Veranda wasn't all that busy and we could retreat to the cabin and the large balcony if we wanted. Just a mention for Alan and Linda - you've stirred my interest in ballroom dancing and am looking to take some lessons ashore, many thanks. Shore excursions - only tried two. St. Maarten got off to a bad start, over 30 minutes late starting and the tour didn't show off the island in its best light. We walked into the town in the afternoon and we saw a much better side. The Tortola land and sea exclusion was in total contrast, gave us a real taster for the BVI. Otherwise we did our own thing at the other ports (have been to St.Kitts, Antigua and Bequia on previous holidays, so knew our way around). All in all an excellent holiday, Marella must be doing something right as we are about to book another cruise on the Explorer 2 next March to see some other islands we haven't yet visited. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose the cruise to celebrate some special birthdays somewhere hot and sunny! We have previously travelled with Marella on their other ships and with P & O. Embarkation was super quick - off the plane in Barbados, straight on a ... Read More
We chose the cruise to celebrate some special birthdays somewhere hot and sunny! We have previously travelled with Marella on their other ships and with P & O. Embarkation was super quick - off the plane in Barbados, straight on a coach and to the ship. The Explorer is a nice ship but lacks any wow factor. There is no central atrium which other ships have and we found this ship awkward to navigate as you have to go up/down a floor to get to some areas and remember what colour staircase you need to take! All areas of the ship were kept clean. Staff were always friendly and polite. Food in the dining rooms was absolutely lovely with a good variety and waiters were friendly. Only niggle with dining in the main restaurants was if you had to have a pager and wait for a table to be ready you could only wait in a small bar area as we were told the pagers would not work further away. This was crowded at times with very little seating so mostly standing while waiting for a table, so not overly comfortable. We have no problem waiting for a table but on other ships you could take the pager anywhere, so not all herded together! The Market Place was often really crowded at peak times (breakfast) and not always easy to find a table but food was generally good. Our balcony cabin was comfortable and kept really clean by our cabin stewerd who was always ready with a greeting and smile. The shows were very good but a little 'samey'. Felt there had been more of a variety on other ships. We booked some excursions through Marella which were as described and we were happy with what was offered. At some ports we took taxis which were a lot cheaper than a Marella excursion. Overall Marella offers really good value, you can do as little or much as you like, all staff generally seem happy and we would definately book again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our first cruise for our silver wedding anniversary & certainly won’t be our last. After arriving in Barbados we were put on a coach straight to the ship, embarkation was fantastic. We were greeted by a steel band & ... Read More
This was our first cruise for our silver wedding anniversary & certainly won’t be our last. After arriving in Barbados we were put on a coach straight to the ship, embarkation was fantastic. We were greeted by a steel band & given rum punches, got our room cards, photos taken & all done & dusted in minutes. Our cases arrived outside our cabin about an hour later. Entertainment was fantastic, we particularly enjoyed the shows in the theatre, they are young but work their socks off to give fantastic performances which last approx 45 minutes & drinks are served to you throughout. The entertainment around the ship & in the Squid & Anchor by the bands The Beats & The Collectables were fantastic also as were the games in the Squid & Anchor, really good fun if you want to partake or just watch. A must is the silent disco which was on twice a week, again you can partake or just watch. The entertainment is run by cruise director Cameron & he & all involved really do a good job to cater for everyone’s taste. There is always something going on somewhere if something in particular is not to your taste. There is a cinema & outdoor cinema, casino, library, gym, coffee port, scoops ice cream, snack shack, Champneys Spa & Salon, Broadway shops, 2 swimming pools, 3 jacuzzis, running track, mini golf, 10 restaurants to name a few so there is something for everyone. Sea days are a nightmare to get a sun bed as people put their towels down early, come at 8am & you’ve no chance. Staff do put tickets on them if they are empty for 45 mins but we saw loads of ‘reserved beds’ empty for longer, we never saw any towels being removed for people wanting a sun bed. We did a few tours with Tui which were amazing, one of these tours started an late so inevitably we arrived back late for the ship which thankfully had to wait for us because it was a Tui excursion. We did the trikes in Aruba (independently booked from home) submarine tour, catamaran & Pitons, Champagne & lobster catamaran & a few more independent ones off shore. All trips were fantastic, all the locals were extremely friendly towards us & we never felt intimidated anywhere. We picked up some WiFi with the price of a drink in certain bars. We were lucky enough to have our wedding renewal on our anniversary with thanks to Amanda the social hostess. This was something we couldn’t book back home at our Tui shop or the many phone calls by my husband. We were fortunate enough to get hold of Amanda’s e-mail & arranged it the week before we went, it was absolutely amazing & they couldn’t do enough for us. Captain Peter performed the ceremony on the bridge & it was wonderful, we had the silver package for £200 & it was perfect. We also purchased all the photos taken which was set to music & have it on a usb stick, also included was 16 photos which are professional photos taken by the lovely photographer team. All the staff on board are extremely polite & friendly & work such long hours to ensure we have the best time possible, they have a few hours off here & there but not days off. In order to receive a full day off they have to be mentioned in reviews so it’s very sad & darn right rude when you see people clicking fingers at them for service or moaning because they have to wait a short time for a table in one of the restaurants. Unfortunately I can’t remember all their names who made our holiday but a shout out goes to Gladys, housekeeping on deck 9, Roman who refilled our drinks on the deck pool, Vicky & Elizabeth entertainment staff, Captain Peter & Cameron for their daily announcements & Amanda social hostess for making it possible for us to renew our wedding vows. A few necessities to take with you, towel pegs or bands as it gets very windy in the Caribbean ( if your towel blows off or you lose it you will be charged £10 per towel). As I’ve said it gets quite windy & for us girls it is very unkind to our hair. 5 mins after drying my hair it went frizzy & after a few days very dry, my heat protection spray wasn’t strong enough for the Caribbean wind so I purchased Ghd protection spray from the Broadway shops which cost $13 but so worth it, this spray is expensive but I would not be without it for future cruises. I never felt the need to wrap up in the evening so didn’t wear the wrap I brought. Definitely bring looser fitting clothes for your second week as despite my good intentions not to over indulge it’s very hard as the food is delicious & plentiful. We also never used the euros as all islands accept usd, we used ours to pay off part of our bill on leaving. On the day of disembarkment you have to leave your cabin by 8am. You can pay £35 for a late room check out subject to availability & only till 1.30 or you can pay £14.95 pp for a day pass in Champneys Spa. We did this & it was amazing, we got our travel luggage in the lockers, provided with robes, towels, refreshments, showers & you can still use the ships facilities. For any disabled people wanting to cruise there were plenty of guests in wheelchairs & mobility scooters, incidentally the ship has plenty of lifts. We had an absolutely amazing time aboard the Explorer & are already looking for our next cruise - yep we’ve got the cruise bug. All the negative comments we read about before embarking on our first cruise in our eyes are unfounded but that is just our opinion, everyone has different expectations, experiences & are entitled to their own opinions. A holiday is what you make it & my husband & I have made many memories visiting 12 islands on one holiday. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Did not know what to expect on this our first cruise as we had read so many varied reviews, but we could not fault our cruise experience, we booked a large balcony cabin and it was perfect, we had our own sun lounger, table with 2 chairs ... Read More
Did not know what to expect on this our first cruise as we had read so many varied reviews, but we could not fault our cruise experience, we booked a large balcony cabin and it was perfect, we had our own sun lounger, table with 2 chairs and a hammock! It was ideal to get away from the hustle and bustle of the pool deck areas and really chill out. Okay the Marella explorer is not brand new and not as huge as some of the other cruise ships but for us it as just right. The main self service dinning room served a good range of hot and cold dishes which changed daily, and if you wanted a full English breakfast you'd have to go a long way to beat it, we also tried out the specialty restaurants, some you had to pay a cover charge for, but well worth it, and the all inclusive drinks package was the best we ever had, all the top and well known beers and spirits.We can't praise all the staff on-board enough, from the cleaners to the ships Captain, nothing was too much. Plenty of hand sanitisers' everywhere, entertainment and activities were suited to all age groups and were well organised, The only thing I would do differently next time would be to book shore excursions on-board the ship, yes they are more expensive than doing it yourself but it saves the hassle of being pestered by the hoards as you walk out of the port area into local towns, overall we had a fantastic first cruise experience and certainly do it all over again, especially on the Marella Explorer. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This ship is a real asset to the Marella line. It is really well run, spotlessly clean and comfortable. The crew are happy to help with a smile. There is a great choice of food, my only criticism is that a lot of the beef dishes were a bit ... Read More
This ship is a real asset to the Marella line. It is really well run, spotlessly clean and comfortable. The crew are happy to help with a smile. There is a great choice of food, my only criticism is that a lot of the beef dishes were a bit chewy and tough. Having said that anyone who can't find something good to eat must be the most picky eater ever. Such a wide variety. We had a balcony cabin on deck 9, it was spacious with plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. The balcony had two chairs of reasonable comfort and a small table. There was a kettle and fridge in the cabin. Bath, hand and pool towels were provided along with face cloths. There were two pools, not large but big enough and quite deep. There was also 3 jacuzzi's. Plenty of entertainment to suit everyone. Good variety of drinks and cocktails included in the drinks package. Didn't bother upgrading to premier for more choices. There was enough. The premium cocktails were not that expensive at £2.50 a time. The champneys although expensive were fabulous. Paid to keep a room on last day at a cost of £ 35, wasn't really worth it, only allowed to have it from 10 til 1.30. better to pay £15 each and book into the spar where they have lockers sauna's steam rooms, hot seats, fresh air room and sleeping room. Fabulous place. Loved every minute. The shore excursions run by the ship were over priced. We tended to get the tours on shore from official operaters and taxi's. Much cheaper and really good value. The people on the islands we visited were really friendly. The only island we found that tended change prices at a whim was St Lucia but even there we enjoyed the tour. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
After a long bout of illness we were looking for a special holiday and boy did we get one. Every port/island that we visited was absolutely amazing, beautiful scenery, white sand beaches and crystal clear sea’s. The ship was ... Read More
After a long bout of illness we were looking for a special holiday and boy did we get one. Every port/island that we visited was absolutely amazing, beautiful scenery, white sand beaches and crystal clear sea’s. The ship was equally amazing, we had an inside cabin on deck 9 (9162) it was spacious with a good sized en-suite and plenty of storage, the cabin crew came in twice a day to clean and tidy replacing towels as often as required, Andrew was our steward and a friendlier and more helpful person you could not wish for. Although we had two weeks on board we did not see everything as there was just too much to see, places we did frequent were, The Broadway show lounge, 2 sometimes 3 shows a night we went at least once a night and were very happy with the shows especially the George Michael tribute act and The Harper Brothers which were the funniest comedy act I’ve seen in years. Squid and Anchor, typical Saturday night pub with pub quiz, Mr & Mrs and other games and live music nightly. Indigo nightclub, Disco’s and silent disco’s (very funny) casino where you could play Blackjack, Poker or Roulette. Food and drink, If you wanted to be waited on Latitude 53 is all you could ask for excellent food and service, choice of 5/6 starters,mains and deserts, if you wanted self service The Market place offerers a larger choice and is of equal quality, if like me your a late night snacker the Mediterranean bar is open until 01.30 where you can get a curry or burger and chips etc. Ours was an all inclusive cruise without the premium package we found that we could eat and drink as much as we required without the added expense. Finally I would like to say thank you to all the staff from cleaners to captain who made this the most wonderful holiday that I’ve ever had and I will definitely be doing this again. Special mentions go to Andrew our cabin Steward, Carlos our drinks waiter (Indigo), Ramonne drinks waiter (Squid and Anchor) Chloe entertainment Squid and Anchor, Cameron entertainment manager and James who I think had something to do with sound and lighting. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Flight left gatwick a little late but still managed to arrive on time crew were friendly food wasn't bad. Really impressed with arrival after landing we were put on a bus and taken to the ship with in an hour and a bit we were in our ... Read More
Flight left gatwick a little late but still managed to arrive on time crew were friendly food wasn't bad. Really impressed with arrival after landing we were put on a bus and taken to the ship with in an hour and a bit we were in our cabin luggage arrived about an hour later. We have cruised before twice with marella on the dream and discovery 2 twice with royal caribbean legend and splendor of the seas .p&o azura celebrity constellation. and azamara journey. We really enjoyed our time on this ship the staff are excellent you never have to wait to be served and nearly always with a smile. What really made this ship stand out for us were the restaurant choices we are normally feed up with the food after a week but not on this ship. we ate in all of them except the sushi and enjoyed most of our meals. We only had one sea day and decided to hire a cabana for that day glad we did as you could not get a sun bed after 7.30am the rest of the time we had no trouble with sun beds. We did four excursions with the ship and they were very well organised the rest of the time we did our own thing. We will cruise with marella again as we like the older smaller ships and you get good value for money so we can go more often. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise for a 60th birthday gift for my wife having never been to the Caribbean before. We were not to be disappointed. A painless flight on the Dreamliner from Glasgow to Barbados saw us straight into a bus and on our way to ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a 60th birthday gift for my wife having never been to the Caribbean before. We were not to be disappointed. A painless flight on the Dreamliner from Glasgow to Barbados saw us straight into a bus and on our way to the ship within minutes of landing. The check in service was speedy and efficient and our luggage arrived very quickly and so the holiday began. The ship was in general very good with hard working staff who tried everything possible to make our holiday a memorable one. Our Captain John Clark was tremendous keeping everyone well informed of sailing times destinations etc and did it all with a fabulous sense of purpose and with great humour. The cabin with balcony 8223 was well furnished and well looked after by our attendant Flavia who on the occassion of my wifes birthday decorated it stylishly for the day. The balloons towel art and birthday sash were fab but the added birthday card from the housekeeping staff was much appreciated. Plenty clean towels linen etc and always a smile and a hello from housekeeping was impressive as we enjoyed ourselves. Dining .. we always ate at the market place (buffet) as we found it easily accessible and plenty of choice everyday. Loved the breakfasts and afternoon cream teas mmm scones and cream were fabulous. Rhea May was a breath of fresh air always a smile and a little chat whilst working tirelessly at her station. Lovely lady. Entertainment was good most nights in the Broadway Lounge with Amy in particular catching our eye with her fantastic voice and enthusiasm during the routines but that said all the staff/team were very good. We found all the entertainers on board very good but after two weeks a little repetetive but thats a small gripe. Comedians were fab with the Harper Brothers fantastic. We did however think that pool deck and other daytime activities a little sparse. Good mix of quizzes throughout the day. The one disappointment was the lack of atrium activity. The staff on explorer were mostly exellent whilst providing us with our experience and would like to give special mention to again Rhea May in the market place, Flavia our cabin attendant and Oscar behind the bar in the Squid and Anchor. Captain John and all his crew are a real credit to Marella for making our holiday a special holiday. Lastly on ports of call and excursions. We enjoyed all the ports but found the price of excursions aboard the ship a little high. If this was addressed by the company many more people would book i am sure. Prices from local operators were much more realistic. Look forward to joining Marella on another cruise in the not too distant future. Thank you all. Only a couple of negatives for me .. the coffee bar not being part of the all inclusive although selected coffee in various bars were and the minibar being not included having to purchase water seems a bit silly. If your all inclusive then surely all is included. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Last year we had done the Northern Carribean on Marella Discovery 2 and decided that this year was to be the Southern part! We had loved both of the Discoveries and were concerned that the lack of an Atrium would be important. Well is is ... Read More
Last year we had done the Northern Carribean on Marella Discovery 2 and decided that this year was to be the Southern part! We had loved both of the Discoveries and were concerned that the lack of an Atrium would be important. Well is is a shame but the ship is still fantastic! It is different but in a nice way. You can always find somewhere to enjoy a quiet cocktail or 2, well someone has to do it. It is most unusual that although the ship was full, there didn't seem to be crowds of people around although the restaurants sometimes got a bit full. I think that was largely our own fault as we always seemed to be wanting to eat between sittings as we do like our cocktails! Oh have I said that before? Our Cabin 9107 and our friends in the neighbouring cabin 9103. Both were excellent, spacious & quiet and as we had adjoining balconies we had them opened up for an amazing space! The cruise itself was exactly what we wanted, although some destinations were still in the throes of repairs after the 2017 storms, but the welcome wherever we went was amazing. All in all our only little complaint was the 2 stops at Bequia, although we enjoyed ourselves greatly there, it would have been nice to go somewhere different (supposed to be St Vincent on the first week). Mostly we made our own way exploring by taxi's / minibuses which came out at about 1/2 Marella's trip prices and we got to see more and with less time wasted getting 40 odd people out of a bus at a time!. We did do the train in St Kitts with Marella though as it isn't possible privately. We did the Surf & Turf one night, however it seemed very rushed whereas we were anticipating a relaxing and leisurely meal. Whilst the quality was ok, so was the menu in the MDR's both traditional and Italian. We never eat dinner in the Buffet restaurants as it just too much of a `bun fight'! Neither did we go in the Squid & Anchor Pub, just too noisy and frenetic. IMHO, as long as you want a relaxing holiday/cruise, have a balcony cabin so that you can relax after your trips without the perpetual noise in the pool areas which sadly Marella seem to think should always be blasted with 130dB noise and certainly is not a place to have a few zzzz's! All in all a fantastic cruise and thanks to all of the extremely helpful staff all over the ship. We did have a terrible experience at the end when one of our friends sadly passed away suddenly, however the ship helped us through this disaster even arranging a private taxi to the airport and also assistance at Birmingham airport on our return. We have to thanks especially the Welfare Hostess Fiona Smith and all of the others in the medical department and the Hotel department for their help. Whilst we would have dearly loved not to have had to meet them under these circumstances, they comforted us and especially our friend who was obviously grieving. Just a short note, apparently Marella are the only cruise line with a dedicated Welfare Hostess whose main responsibility is medical emergencies. Other lines have a shared Social/Welfare hostess which I guess is not as good. Thanks Explorer, we look forward to our return on June 22nd on the Legends of the Baltic Cruise! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
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

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