14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Lots of bad reviews noted before travelling but need not have worried. This was our third TUI cruise having previously been on the Dream and Discovery 2. The Explorer was larger than both the previous ships and displayed positive signs ... Read More
Lots of bad reviews noted before travelling but need not have worried. This was our third TUI cruise having previously been on the Dream and Discovery 2. The Explorer was larger than both the previous ships and displayed positive signs of the recent refurbishment. The Latitude 53 restaurant was very good and had enough of a menu choice to keep us occupied over a two week cruise, we dined in the speciality restaurant Kora La and Surf and Turf paying a supplement and both were well worth it. The Balcony cabin was ok, maintained very well by Andrew our steward who was perfectly discreet but kept an untidy bunch from making too much of a mess in our cabin. The kettle and fridge were a useful addition and despite the cabins being 16m sq it was just big enough for us to not be on top of one another. The service delivery throughout the ship was magnificent as always, every member of staff was polite, courteous and couldn't do enough for us wherever we went or whatever we did. Definitely the company's best asset. A special mention for the show cast who were Broadway standard every night and even the guest entertainment was very good. There is not much I could criticise but if pushed Marella should look to improve their ports of call, or indeed stop mooring in commercial locations. We didn't mind this too much initially but on two occasions there was a charge for the shuttle bus which we thought was taking liberties given the cost of the cruise. Propriano in Corsica was a very nice exception to this to be fair however. Our final comments have to go to the bike excursion team, in particular Nico and Ahsleigh for looking after us on our Rome trip - different class!. In addition head waiter Carlos and his team of Chris, Mark, Frank etc etc were amazing. A nice ship with great staff and magnificent entertainment - shame about Marellas first pub the Squid & Anchor which brought an all inclusive hotel clientelle to an otherwise perfect two weeks cruising, if you just don't go there then it doesn't impact on you too much. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our seventh cruise {fifth Marella} and was definitely the best by far. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth and hassle free. The ship was immaculate and extremely well organised. The staff could not have been any more ... Read More
This was our seventh cruise {fifth Marella} and was definitely the best by far. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth and hassle free. The ship was immaculate and extremely well organised. The staff could not have been any more helpful, they were so professional, happy and catered for our needs. A thank you to Cyrius our cabin attendant {9103} who was so cheerful and nothing was a bother. Dining in every restaurant was superb from the Market Place to Lattitude 53 restaurant. I would like to mention more waiters by name but Mark stood out and even got me my bowl of custard with my different desserts which I appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed. He was always there topping my wine glass up. The entertainment on this ship was the best that my husband and I have ever experienced on any cruise ship even the two previous larger cruise companies. We loved the comedian, George Michael and the theatre group. Every show was superb and there was always something going on in different parts of the ship. If I am being picky the only negative was that we were not always greeted with picturesque ports. The only port that we arrived in that was a wow arrival was Ajaccio {Corsica} but who cares about the first impression of the port as each place was fantastic. We left Palma and arrived in Sardinia where we just walked to the nearest beach and enjoyed our day. Sea day was extra special to us as my husband had been in excruciating pain with sciatica prior to the cruise and we went along to a sciatic seminar by Dr Mithelesh who diagnosed and treated him with four acupuncture sessions and who has completely cured him which meant he could enjoy his holiday and be prepared for a planned Marella excursion to Florence. This was a perfect and very enjoyable day. Following Florence was Corsica which happened to fall on Napolean's Birthday and we watched a procession and took an open top bus then beach for the rest of the day. Sete was the next port and we should have done this via an excursion as we ended up a little stressed as we were aiming to get to the beach and struggled to find the correct bus. Not many people spoke English and I had to use my Spanish as I couldn't remember any French but luckily a little old French woman could understand Spanish. We managed in the end and the beaches were fantastic. Our final port was Tarragona and we paid for an excursion to the beach for only 3 hours but probably should have had a walk around the town, however it was very hot and we were just happy to get back on ship and enjoy the very nice cream tea! We travelled on this cruise with two friends who had never cruised before and who are now definitely hooked on cruising after this amazing holiday. If I was to do this cruise again, I wouldn't bother with a balcony cabin as it was so hot, we hardly used it as we needed the very good air con inside the cabin. Can't wait to book my next Cruise on the Marella Explorer. Well done and Thank You Marella, Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
After reading the previous reviews I was wishing I hadn't booked this cruise and when we finally went on the Explorer I agred with all the complaints. The check in at the port was very quick, you just went to the desk, gave your name ... Read More
After reading the previous reviews I was wishing I hadn't booked this cruise and when we finally went on the Explorer I agred with all the complaints. The check in at the port was very quick, you just went to the desk, gave your name and airport flown from and were given an envelope with your key cards in. Went through security and onto the ship and our bags were delivered within half an hour of boarding. We can cabin 9255 right at the back. We had a big balcony and the room was well appointed and the beds comfy. You could only get 3 tv channels. However our toilet blocked on 3 days. The one next door did too as I could hear the maintenance man trying to unblock it. Our sink plug didnt work either, it would not stay down. The public toilets by the buffet were blocked too. When we docked it was really noisy in our cabin and because we were docking early in the morning we were woken up by the engines about 6 am. We and my daughter both paid £49 each for 7 days wifi. After 3 days my daughters ran out. We went down to reception to query it and were told it had all been used up and would have to buy more days. How it could have been used up I do not know but the receptionist wasnt interested. She paid £25 for another 3 days and this ran out after 2 days, even though she barely used it and on one of those days we were on a 10 hour trip to Pisa so didnt even use wifi. We booked a full day trip to Rome which was described on TUI website as visiting the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps among other places. However the guide dropped us off at the Piazzo Navonna and said if we wanted to see the Fountain and the Steps we could make our own way there and it was a 20 minute walk. We were not given a map or directions. She then left us and said to meet back in 2 1/2 hours. As we did not have our phones with us we didnt know how to get there so ended up not seeing them. We spoke to another couple at dinner that night who had been on same trip but on another coach and their guide had taken them to those places and stayed with them the whole time. We did PIsa and Florence trip too but only saw 4 places in Florence, and only saw the leaningI Tower in Pisa. I did not feel they were good value for what we paid. The food in the buffet in the evening was the worst I've ever had on a curise ship and I've been on P&O, NCL, RCI and Carnival. If you were a vegitarian there was very little choice apart from steamed brocoli, carrots and cauliflower or salad. The food in the Italian was excellent but if you went between 7.30 and 8.30 there was a 40 minute wait. One night we went at 8 pm and she said there was an hours wait and they had run out of pagers. The food in the main dining room was good too. The cocktails were limited and there were only 2 creamy ones. I paid extra for a mudslide but it was very watery. If you wanted to pay for extra premium brands or other cocktails it was £2.50. I paid extra for a creamy cocktail in the Italian restaurant but when it came it just had a great big blob of cream floating in the middtle. The staff were lovely, we never had a problem getting sunbeds, the boat wasnt very busy seeing as it was school holidays and waiters were constantly coming round to take drinks orders. The lounges were spacious and you could always find a seat. We went to one show but it was very poor so never bothered going again. The ship never enforced using hand gel before entering the restaurants, unlike other boats I've been on. Hardly anybody used it. The gym was described as being state of the art but was tiny with limited equipment. There were free classes for half an hour (walk around the deck in the am) and 45 minute classes that cost £7. I paid for the 45 minute classes but they only ran for 30 minutes and that included a warm up and cool down. I did not feel as though I had had a full workout in that time. The instructor was good, just wish the classes had run for the advertised time. Our flight home was at 1.15 pm but we were taken to the airport at 9 am so had a long wait there. I will not be going with Marella next time, they have a long way to go before catching up with RCI and NCL Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Drunken and abusive behaviour of some passengers seems to allowed by the security on board, this escalated until two of my family were physically assaulted. After I intervened I was accused of assaulting the aggressor and the head of ... Read More
Drunken and abusive behaviour of some passengers seems to allowed by the security on board, this escalated until two of my family were physically assaulted. After I intervened I was accused of assaulting the aggressor and the head of security called the police to arrest me, the French police found me to be innocent of assault. To add insult to injury I was forced off ship, leaving my family alone and having to make my own way home from a foreign port, the tears of my distraught daughter and objections from other passengers had no effect on the crews decision to abandon me. After I was forced from the ship my family were refused food and drink ( even though the cruise was all inclusive) as management explained I was the registered card holder and I was not present! My family were treated very poorly after my departure and made to feel like criminals, they were openly talked about by the head of security and monitored constantly. Tui have not tried to contact me since abandoning me, they obviously do not care about my well being or safety. Bad customer care to say the least! Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Sorry if the review is a bit TLDR.... The flights and logistics We had a slightly delayed departure from Leeds although this was not of Tui's making. Nevertheless after a comfortable flight we were safely deposited in Palma. The ... Read More
Sorry if the review is a bit TLDR.... The flights and logistics We had a slightly delayed departure from Leeds although this was not of Tui's making. Nevertheless after a comfortable flight we were safely deposited in Palma. The process of getting from baggage claim to the coach was seamless with some pre information to whet the appetite. On arrival at the port our cases were ferried from the coach by burly men and we picked up our cards for cabin 8183 and within 15 minutes we were on board and exploring the explorer (pun intended). First impressions There is not the wow factor of the Discovery with the multi storey atrium but they have managed to get a lot in the ship. Areas that felt a little small on the discovery e.g. Kora la have plenty of room to breathe. The ship is in lovely condition albeit there are perhaps a few blemishes which given more time in dry dock would have been resolved but nothing to fret over. Our cabin We were in cabin 8183 which is a standard balcony. It was immaculately presented and quite spacious. After an initial arm wrestle with Mrs D where I was only allowed 3 drawers, a shelf and two hangers we reached a more equitable distribution and all our 50kg of luggage had a home. The cases fit under the bed if you lift the frame to get them past the lip. Our cabin steward Basirun was a quiet chap but very polite and thorough. We were very content. One slight issue in the first two days or so was that people were getting used to the vacuum toilet system and twice our system (through no fault of our own must add!) lost its suction. It certainly wasn't built by Dyson. Captain John did seem to have become rather expert in the thoroughbred style fragility of the system as it regularly featured in his anecdotes. Having said that the person who reputedly flushed a breakfast sausage down there certainly needs an intervention. The bars/drink We decided not to get the premium Ai package. The house red was very pleasant as were the other wine options we tried. In terms of everything else the Ai suited us as it does contain main brands and we are not fussy over whether the gin is Gordon's or Bombay. It has much the same effect after sufficient numbers. Of the bars we tried squid and anchor, the lounge, indigo bar and the pool bar. We really liked s & a and also indigo was a good spot for a drink before the club started as it was quieter and had some of the best views on the ship. Places to eat/food For breakfast we tended to eat at the market place. The choice was plentiful and most days I managed to resist the temptations of the fried bread. Most days. There are good options jn terms of cereals, fruit, cooked and continental options. We had no issues in getting a table at any time. Lunches we used both the market place and the Mediterranean. The options in the market place were nice and fresh and had variety. In the med I had the bespoke pasta option. Taste wise it was very nice indeed although perhaps a little oily. For our evening meals we generally ate in latitude 53 but occasionally went to vista if the menu was not to our taste. We never had a poor meal with highlights for me being the beef Wellington, the lovely soups and the crepes suzette. We ate at kora la one evening and it was superb. If anything they've raised the bar further from D1. A brilliant evening. Service wise it was mostly excellent although you could be lucky or unlucky with who was looking after you. On one night it took 2 and a half hours to get through and the waiter was clearly confused and forgot orders. We aren't complainers and felt a little sympathetic to be honest as he was floundering a bit. The same night however showed some incredible service as said waiter's line manager was aware that things had not gone as they ought and was at pains to check we were okay and in subsequent nights made a point of checking that we had had speedier service. Her name is Princess Ann (great name) and she is an absolute credit to Marella. Ports/trips Propriano Its a sleepy sort of town but we spent an enjoyable few hours ashore and walked from one end of the town to the other and back. There are a few interesting shops and nice bars for a bit of liquid refreshment. Civitavecchia We did the Tui excursion Rome on your own. The coach dropped you outside the Palace of justice which is 700yds from St Peters Square. The map was very good. We did a whistle-stop tour of the sights mainly walking but also used the metro to get to the colloseum. We fell in love with Rome and really want to go back for a long weekend. Fingers crossed that euro in the Trevi fountain works! It was a long day but so worth it. Marina Di carrara We again did a tour as the port itself is meant to be a bit bleak. Our tour was to santa marguerite and Porto fino. There was a boat trip between the two. I suspect that this is a trip that is very heavily dependent on weather but we had a fantastic time. The levels of opulence and wealth in Portofino are unbelievable. If Simon Cowell moved there they'd put him on income support. Our tour guide was also an absolute star. She seemed to have more fun than work and encouraged her colleague to sing and dance on the boat trip back. Saint Raphael This was a tender port. It is a lovely little town and tuns into The neighbouring town of Frejus. Lovely bars and cafes and some nice shops. We planned to have an easier day after two early starts. Naturally we did over 20k steps on this 'easier' day. Barcelona Simply stunning city. The shuttle bus from the port is well worth the price and drops you at the bottom of La Rambla. From there we meandered our way around and then after a quick beer had a long walk out to the sagrada familia. If you picture a sandcastle covered in fruit and pictures all of which are melting you get a fair idea. It is well worth the trek albeit it was a long walk from the main drag. Palma Doing a two week trip means you get to have palma as a port of call and it remains one of my favorite cities. Lot of great shops and bars. We walked to and from the town centre and it is a long hot walk. I was a soggy mess by time I got back to the ship. Palermo If this town were in UK we would think it was a bit grotty and steer away. As its in Italy it feels to have an earthy charm. Lovely architecture sits cheek to cheek with utter decay. The hawkers at the port are persistent although a firm no tends to work. Naples In Italy they say va fa Napoli to mean go to hell. We had done pompeii and sorrento previously so decided to do a different trip instead. We went to Capri. The trip was very well organised albeit we sacked off the walking tour to explore at our own pace. Marco the guide clearly had a lot of good connections as he could are age a meal, a boat trip and perfume discounts. We lived Capri. It is stunningly beautiful and has some wow type shopping. Based on the photos at restaurants keanu reeves and Beyonce agree as they seem to have eaten everywhere in that town. The hydrofoil to and from Capri was also great fun and it was well worth the excursion price. Livorno We got the obligatory port authority bus into town. We then walked to the station and went over to Pisa on the train for an extortionate fare of 2.6 euros. For a clean train as well. No where near as good value as our smelly old trains... Not. After some questionable photos we went back to livorno. The town centre is actually very nice and worth a visit albeit people normally use it as a base to go further afield. Villefranche We got an early tender then walked to the gare in order to get the train to Monaco. Nice few hours there including walking the full grand prix circuit. Back to villefranche and had a nice l lunch in the town before heading back on board. Its an easy trip to do yourself and much cheaper. Palamos Probably the weakest port of the cruise. Its a quiet fishing town and aside from a few bars and some shops there isn't much to do other than go to the beach. As it was overcast we chose not to do this. Still it's a pleasant place to spend a few hours. As it was our last day we weren't too worried that it was a quieter day. Entertainment and facilities The show cast are clearly very talented although some of the shows weren't our taste perhaps. The comedian Tucker was OK albeit a bit bland. Has to be fairly safe though. We did not use the spa although in the hope of fighting against the inevitable weight gain made a few visits to the gym. It's a nice part of the ship and we'll equipped. Whenever I was there it was quiet albeit I cant guarantee those two facts weren't linked ;). We also really enjoyed the quizzes and gameshows. Overall It was the best cruise we've had. So many great memories and places. We met some lovely people as well. The staff are exceptional (albeit some of the guests can verge on rudeness in their dealings with them at times) and the ship is great. It's definitely a grower. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I choose explorer cruise by mistake originally as I thought it was adult only, but once getting on board I found it was not a mistake as it was absolutely the best , we didn't try the diners that you had to pay extra for as there was ... Read More
I choose explorer cruise by mistake originally as I thought it was adult only, but once getting on board I found it was not a mistake as it was absolutely the best , we didn't try the diners that you had to pay extra for as there was no need to , we ate in all the other diners and if we didn't like the menu 1 night we went to another, the whole of the staff on board was amazing and friendly nothing was to much, I've heard people complain about the toilet blockages but if mindless cruisers didn't put things down the toilet that shouldn't be there then this wouldn't happen. we had a little trouble getting a sun bed especially on sea day but that's life we found a suitable chair and bathed from there it didn't ruin anything . some of the excursions I choose was long and a bit to much walking but that was my fault as I should of read more information properly. the cabins was kept very clean. the entertainment was great the singers and dancers had so much energy, and was also very friendly. the Broadway shops was far cheaper for things o board than ashore (we checked before buying ) the waiter service in the dining rooms was exceptionally good. I could go on and on but all I can end with is we have rebooked for next year already (done today ) Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Positives: We had an inside cabin (5071), which was fairly spacious and it had a really comfortable bed (equivalent to a queen size) and pillows. Thank you to Adang for keeping our room so clean. There were plenty of sunbeds ... Read More
Positives: We had an inside cabin (5071), which was fairly spacious and it had a really comfortable bed (equivalent to a queen size) and pillows. Thank you to Adang for keeping our room so clean. There were plenty of sunbeds available, although when at sea most of them were taken up. There is a good waiter service providing you with an endless supply of iced drinks and brought to your sunbed as well as a poolside bar. The poolside snack bar was fairly good, providing healthy salad take-aways as well as the usual chips, burgers, hotdogs etc. We thought that some of the all-inclusive food could be a bit hit and miss and although Latitude was good in the morning for breakfast it got really busy in the evening. We had to wait a bit too long between each course and we found the food to be quite average. Because of this we booked into the Dining Club and paid a £45 supplement each for an 8 course meal, but wow it was worth it! It was up there with being one of the best meals we have had and was accompanied by a different wine with each course as well as cognac after the cheese and biscuits. This was French cuisine at its finest. If you’re a foodie like us, it’s worth trying out to make your holiday more memorable. We were so impressed that we booked in again 3 days later. Thank-you to Ralph, Alona and Dejan for looking after us and informing us about the food and how it was prepared and the different wines that went with each course. We also booked into the Surf and Turf at an extra supplement which was very good but not as special as The Dining Room in our opinion. The entertainment was really good and every night was different including two very funny comedians. We were really looked after in the Broadway theatre by Serhii one of the wine waiters – thank-you Serhii. Negatives: The trip to Rome – although there is some fantastic things to see in Rome this trip ended up being a very long day with no free time of your own! There was too much information given via the tour guide and a lot of the guests were taking out their headphones as it was just information overload - please change this to be only as informative as necessary so we can actually retain some of the information being told! There was also a lot of walking involved - approx 7 miles which was very tiring! When we eventually stopped for a drink we were charged 7 Euros for a coke and 10 Euros for a beer at a nearby bistro! Toilets - unfortunately inconsiderate passengers will insist on dropping all sorts down the toilet other than human waste and the provided toilet paper. This caused huge problems with many public toilets on the ship getting blocked and being made out of action. I often found myself just returning to my room instead of using one on the deck where we were sat. On the day of departure we had to be out of our room at 8:00 and I found myself looking for a toilet before debarkation. Most of the public toilets, if not in use, were out of action on deck 5,6,7,8 and 11. Overall we found this cruise to be really good and the Captain and his staff to be really friendly and attentive and although we did upgrade to the finer dining experiences, we are glad that we did as it made the holiday much more memorable. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Booked a week for our 10th wedding anniversary as we always wanted to try a cruise, and thought a week was enough, in case we didn't like it. From the time we boarded until the time we left was fantastic, and the crew were marvellous, ... Read More
Booked a week for our 10th wedding anniversary as we always wanted to try a cruise, and thought a week was enough, in case we didn't like it. From the time we boarded until the time we left was fantastic, and the crew were marvellous, with a special shout out to Rain who was our bar steward in the Squid and Anchor, and was always making sure our glasses were full and even knew exactly what we were drinking before we had sat down, he's a credit to your company!!They worked extremely long hours and still couldn't do enough for you and were always polite and smiling. Plenty of food choices from buffet to sit down and plenty to go around. Night time entertainment was nonstop in several areas of the ship, although I can't comment on the day time as we were on excursions all day and not getting back until late afternoon. The excursions we booked were great, with the guides being very informative, but be prepared for a hectic and tiring day as your trying to cram everything in to such a short amount of time. Make sure you have your boarding card on you at all times as you need it to get on and off the ship, when ordering your drinks, and also in the shops as it's all registered to your cabin. Security is very tight, and a bit time consuming, but to be expected in the world that we now find ourselves in, so give yourself extra time when you leave or return to the ship. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our second cruise with Tui and once again was fantastic.Our first cruise was last year on The Discovery Ship. The Explorer was a bigger ship. The cabin was lovely and kept very clean by a lovely young man called Isaac who looked ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Tui and once again was fantastic.Our first cruise was last year on The Discovery Ship. The Explorer was a bigger ship. The cabin was lovely and kept very clean by a lovely young man called Isaac who looked after our cabin extremely well! The food and entertainment was super . We went on eccursions to Rome, Pisa and went ashore in Corsica which was beautiful. And also went ashore to St Raphael in France which also was a beautiful place. All the staff on board did an amazing job and were very friendly and helpful! If you are thinking of going on a cruise then I thouroughly recommend it! You will want to do it again and again because it really is that good that you get hooked :) It is a great way to see different countries in one whole week. Bon voyage! Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
The first cruise we ever did years ago was with Thompson on the island escape and we thoroughly enjoyed it - it was the Start of the cruise bug.. Since then we actually cruised with Royal Caribbean - BUT THAT WILL CHANGE FROM NOW ON !! ... Read More
The first cruise we ever did years ago was with Thompson on the island escape and we thoroughly enjoyed it - it was the Start of the cruise bug.. Since then we actually cruised with Royal Caribbean - BUT THAT WILL CHANGE FROM NOW ON !! Just finished a two week cruise on the Marella Explorer and I am delighted to say that it exceeded all our expectations - above and beyond! From check in at Dublin Airport with Tui everything went smoothly. The ship was gorgeous, the cabin was immaculate thanks to the lovely Deni, the food in latitude was absolutely gorgeous with a great variety, the Mediterranean Bar and restaurant is an great addition to the ship and not to be missed. They also do the nicest pina colada served by Marlon - an excellent waiter who never let your glass go empty!! The entertainment in the Broadway lounge was EXCELLENT - SUCH TALENTED SINGERS AND DANCERS. All of the staff were genuinely friendly. Overall 10/10 for everything on board, we can honestly say we haven't got one bad thing to say about our overall experience. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
A great cruise on a nice ship.Very friendly and attentative crew ,this was our first cruise and Were very impressed with it from start to finish.The cabins were clean and the stewards were good at their job making sure everything was up ... Read More
A great cruise on a nice ship.Very friendly and attentative crew ,this was our first cruise and Were very impressed with it from start to finish.The cabins were clean and the stewards were good at their job making sure everything was up to standard.There was a good choice of restaurants from the main dining restaurant to the self service and the ones which incurred a small surcharge ,there was also a Mediterranean tapas and Italian restaurant giving a different choice of food..The squid and anchor themed British pub was a great place to relax with a drink after dinner with live music or the very impressive piano lounge with its live music also.Entertainment in the Broadway lounge was of a high standard and the cast of the shows were superb giving a different show of good quality every night.The facilities on the sun deck were as expected with enough sun beds by the pool and thwart service was excellent with a good choice of beers wines and cocktails .The ship was just back from a big refit in May so there was a new feel to a lot of things on it.There was a good selection of excursions offered by the ship in all the ports or a shuttle service if you preferred to do your own thing.All drinks and tips were included and 8 thought this worked very well.Would I book with Marella again the answer would be most definitely yes ,The Marella explorer2 will be ready next spring and be working out of Naples so you never know , Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My husband and I set sail on the 1st September on the Highlights of the Mediterranean and Mediterranean Secrets cruise. We were impressed with the ship especially the layout it was spacious with lots of seating areas. Having been on the ... Read More
My husband and I set sail on the 1st September on the Highlights of the Mediterranean and Mediterranean Secrets cruise. We were impressed with the ship especially the layout it was spacious with lots of seating areas. Having been on the Discovery two where the entertainment was exceptional, Daniella, Sammy and Reggae Band to name just a few and the cruise Director and Assistant very in touch with the passengers, we were disappointed this time. Explorer appears to be catering for younger cruises as the entertainment team were all very young and whilst we were sure, probably good for a younger clientele, we and many of those we spoke to were of the same opinion that it was not suited to the majority of passengers on Explorer at this time. The ship appears to lack atmosphere. This may because its fairly new and perhaps will improve with time. The food was exceptional!, there were no repeats during the two weeks. Service in the Latitude was poor. The poor waiters /waitresses were run off their feet. There did not appear to be enough staff in this area. We complained and were moved around the restaurant during the week that we were able to visit. , sadly wherever we were placed the service did not improve. All other areas were good. Unfortunately my husband was taken very ill on the cruise resulting in him spending a considerable time in the medical centre and in hospital in St Raphael and Palma. I Must now say how delighted we were to the medical staff and the doctor on board and want to say a huge BIG thankyou Their care and attention was second to none and we cannot thank you enough, nothing was too much trouble during the day or in the middle of the night, I had not realised that Tui Marella employed a welfare worker, again many thanks to Elaine for her care and diligence escorting us on both occasions to hospital and assisting with insurance queries/taxis/medication etc. Eric our Cabin Steward was so very kind and ensured that we were given the care and attention and privacy during the week that my husband was unwell and needing to spend time in the cabin. A special thank you to the girls in Latitude they always had a smile on their faces and tried to accommodate us where ever they could. The destinations were fabulous, we were disappointed that the illness prevented us from benefitting from what I think would have been a very good cruise. Hopefully Tui Marella will sort some of these small teething problems out and Explorer will soon enjoy the warm and friendly atmosphere that the other ships in the fleet offer. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Can not praise this ship enough excellent staff from entertainment Lisa James and Matt and Lisa Victoria can sing. Cooper on the pool Deck was so helpful and pleasant . Everything about the ship was fabulous and will be booking again. Surf ... Read More
Can not praise this ship enough excellent staff from entertainment Lisa James and Matt and Lisa Victoria can sing. Cooper on the pool Deck was so helpful and pleasant . Everything about the ship was fabulous and will be booking again. Surf and Turf restaurant good is amazing. The squid and anchor was an amazing stop for us and karaoke was so much fun. The main shoe bar in fantastic and had BGT John Clarke comedy one night. The sail away party was something else. We did excursions one was to Rome when we arrived back to a band playing and staff with trays of ice cold water and the captain and staff saying welcome back madam I felt like royalty. Getting in and 8ff the ship is so stress free everything is so organised. To sum up all the staff are a credit to the ship and captain John was very nice and funny Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We had heard a lot of positive feedback about Thomson cruises in the past and thought we would try them now that they are updating their fleet. Having used various cruise lines in the past, it exceeded our expectations in comparison. The ... Read More
We had heard a lot of positive feedback about Thomson cruises in the past and thought we would try them now that they are updating their fleet. Having used various cruise lines in the past, it exceeded our expectations in comparison. The whole experience on board was positive, however we feel that the excursions we booked could have been better. The food was very good and there was an excellent choice of venues that were included. We used Vista twice, the Tapas bar twice and Choose your own Pasta and Pizza. on three nights. Latitude 53, the main waiter service restaurant was well laid out with plenty of tables for 2 and spacious. The food and service was also good. The food in the self-service restaurant was good and a good choice, in particular for lunch and dinner. The service points were well laid out and no trouble getting a table. We tried the "Surf and Turf" speicality restaurant for our anniversary, but it was the worst meal we had on board. The food arrived cold and we were placed under an air conditioning vent. The food was replaced but that spoiled the occasion. It was not value for money for the £28.95 that we paid We were all inclusive and their was no need to upgrade to the Premium package as the choice was good. It was good service and the waiters in the restuarants always made sure your drinks were refilled The cabin was very comfortable and well organised with plenty of storage and hangers. It was kept spotlessly clean by Madelyn and Dimitro who were very friendly and helpful. The toliet only blocked once however it was sorted within 15 mins and housekeeping came and sanitised the bathroom. Entertainment in general was very good. The evening shows in the theatre were mainly done by the Show Cast and were very professional using a lot of modern technology and well produced. The Broadway Show Lounge is the nicest and most comfortable theatre we have experienced. There was plenty of leg room and tables provided. The seating capacity was large and easily accomodated all the passengers over the two shows. We feel that the excursions could have been better. They were too early in the day, too short and did not give much time to explore the destinations. Some of the information was not accurate enough - for example at Monreale it said some steps and a hill to the cathedral when there was in excess of 90. We would definitely cruise with Marella again. A very positive experience having previously cruised with P and O, Celebrity, NCL and MSC. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because of the ports of call, either those we had not previously visited or those we wished to see. The ship was new to the fleet and so we had anticipations of a new experience, having previously sailed on several ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports of call, either those we had not previously visited or those we wished to see. The ship was new to the fleet and so we had anticipations of a new experience, having previously sailed on several older TUI ships. As it transpired our experiences were almost all negative. Marella have gone 'all inclusive' and our feeling is that they have cut staff to balance the books. Whereas on previous cruises with them, the self service area at lunchtime had waiter service for wines/lagers, not any more, self service stations fill this function. At dinner in the main dining area (Latitude 53), the waiters gave the impression of inexperience, wine waiters were inattentive and had to be called to refresh glasses, indeed I am unsure if there were wine waiters, it seemed totally disorganised. The food was often a disappointment, there were dishes I enjoyed but overall my memories are not 'wow'. My wife was served carrots and cauliflower that were impenetrable to either knife or fork. The theatre, an experience we have always looked forward to on previous cruises, on this ship if you have any walking issues, arthritis etc, forget it. The aisles are all stepped, so folk such as my wife simply could not cope. Apart from that the spacing between the rows of seats is designed for the petite, also there are tiny, I do mean minuscule, oval tables on which to place your drinks. Any drinks are a hostage to fortune of those trying to navigate the row. If you were to sit in the Lounge bar during the day, by day a quiet area where you may wish to read a book or play cards, you could absolutely guarantee that there would be no service, you would have see to your own needs. On previous sailings on their other ships in a similar area, service would be available. The bathroom in our cabin was small, opening the shower door, it opened outwards, meant navigating the small remaining space between the edge of the door and the toilet. Drying yourself nearly always meant cracking your elbow on something. I'm not a big guy, just shy of 6ft, bigger guests I'm sure would be frequently unamused. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Our first cruise was chosen as our honeymoon. Embarkation went smoothly and our hold luggage didn’t take long to follow us to our rooms. Had read other reviews just before departing and made sure swimming essentials were packed in ... Read More
Our first cruise was chosen as our honeymoon. Embarkation went smoothly and our hold luggage didn’t take long to follow us to our rooms. Had read other reviews just before departing and made sure swimming essentials were packed in hand luggage, but as it so happens didn’t need them. First thing to point out is that only British money is needed on board. You can pay for any extras one of two ways. Either hand over debit card details, and any extras will be charged to that, or use cash. If using cash, you must ensure that there is always a positive balance of £200 on your account. I opted for the debit card and lowered the outstanding balance to be taken by paying some of it off with the cash I had taken. They have an app (doesn’t require internet access) which shows the balance of your account amongst other information (absolute must get when you first board). Each time you order/make a purchase they scan your cabin key and the account is updated immediately (mostly with £0 as its all inclusive. Second thing I wish I had known or thought about was the positioning of the cabin. Unfortunately chose an inside cabin and didn’t pre book a cabin ( novice mistake). We were given deck four towards the aft of the boat and the noise of the engine meant sleeping was very difficult for a couple of nights. Even once, we had got used to it, when the boat was put in to reverse to dock we were up like a shot, the whole cabin shook and noise was horrendous - PRE BOOK YOUR CABIN IS A MUST. As for the cabin itself, was tidy and only possible negatives were the lack of an iron or enough hangers. Wife was glad she took her own hairdryer as said the one provided wasn’t good enough. Toilets are vacuum based and ours only blocked once on the trip which was soon rectified. Wet wipes seem to be the main culprit despite constant messages about not flushing them. Wi fi needs to be paid for £50 for 1200Mb for the 7 days. Remember that on a ship you do not get the same rates as at home or when travelling in Europe. So basically saved using mobile data until on shore. That’s the only negatives. Didn’t need to use the premium restaurants or drinks as the normal restaurants were excellent and offered a good variety. Only premium items bought were ice creams. Didn’t have any problems getting a table. Some restaurants require smart clothing but this does not mean tux or even a suit. Chinos and shirts seemed to be popular choices for men. Visited the broadway show lounge most nights and entertainment was of good quality, but then it was throughout the ship. The service was nothing short of excellent and would be hard to find on any other holiday. Can’t praise this enough. We took a shore excursion on every day, and if you don’t know the cities then would recommend using one of their excursions. These can be pre booked before you travel or whilst you are on board. Palermo - opted for half day excursion (allowed us time to get back on board and get some sleep before we set sail again) to Santa rosarios grotto and morello beach - didn’t think much of this at all. The most interesting bit was seeing if the coach driver was going to manage to get the coach up the steep windy hills. Naples - full day excursion to climb Vesuvius and a guided tour around Pompei. Absolutely excellent. Having such a knowledgable guide for Pompeii was a must. Livorno - full day excursion to Florence and Pisa. Both require some time on the coach. Florence is a beautiful city and days are needed here rather than hours but the tour gives you an excellent feel for the city. Pisa was worthwhile if you have never been there before, but it is a once and done place unlike Florence. Good day. Villefranche - took half day excursion to Monte Carlo and Monaco. For those that might want to, you can’t gamble in Monte Carlo casino as is not permitted before 2 pm, but you do have time for a tour €17. For those that want to be able to say they have gambled in Monte Carlo, you can gamble in the cafe du Paris for a €5 entrance fee, but will need your passport (this is cheaper than a coffee at the same cafe which is €8). Monaco is a lovely place, coach drives along the start/finish line of the f1 track and you get to walk some of the course (an absolute must if you are an F1 fan). Again though, a once and done excursion. Barcelona - had the half day Barcelona Explorer excursion. Big mistake, wish I had chosen a full day one. Another city that requires more than one day. Would I do it again. Most definitely but probably for 14 days instead. The issues were minor and were novice mistakes. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
First time cruising and we both loved it from day one the party atmosphere when we set off was really good we knew then we were in for a good time as the second day came around the crew were so polite and helpful. Right let's get onto ... Read More
First time cruising and we both loved it from day one the party atmosphere when we set off was really good we knew then we were in for a good time as the second day came around the crew were so polite and helpful. Right let's get onto the cabins they are a little small but clean and tidied twice a day at the end of day you only sleep in them we were out everyday soaking up the atmosphere on pool deck with waiter service giving ice cold drinks bottles corona San Miguel or peroni lager or if you want strongbow John smiths or even cans draughts Guinness just a sample of what you can have not to mention cocktails ha the food was always a good quality and plenty to choose from your never go hungry even in night time after a night out the market place is open for a scoff we did do trips out won't mention that as others have said anyway overall like I said first time on the waves we both have different views on cruising and will be going again Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I really enjoyed my cruise on Marella Explorer. The ship is slightly bigger than the Discovery, which I have also sailed on. The only negative was the 'sail away' party and the first two theatre shows, which could have been ... Read More
I really enjoyed my cruise on Marella Explorer. The ship is slightly bigger than the Discovery, which I have also sailed on. The only negative was the 'sail away' party and the first two theatre shows, which could have been better. The 'sail away' party was lead by an excellent female singer. But what was everyone else doing? Very little. This is not the usual experience I've had with Thomson/Marella. This show should be the most important of the cruise but lacked the 'X' factor. The first two theatre shows didn't have a story. SOUL was good but just seemed to be one song followed by another. ROCKOLOGY was similar. But he choice of songs could have been much stronger and need changing. Matt, the cruise director, was excellent. But why have him singing in a small lounge, when he should have been singing 'swing songs' from the musicals on either the main stage or on the deck. All in all though, an enjoyable cruise. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Wow Amazing is the word to describe our cruise. Embarking was quick and easy. The ship is wonderful she as a small runni g track a small gym a great spa a pub a casino several bars lots of choice for meals our favorite was the dining club ... Read More
Wow Amazing is the word to describe our cruise. Embarking was quick and easy. The ship is wonderful she as a small runni g track a small gym a great spa a pub a casino several bars lots of choice for meals our favorite was the dining club this is a payable resteraunt but tbe food was top class we highly recomend it. The shows at night were excellant the attention to detail and the service from all the staff was first class. Our cabin steward effendi dmade our stay brilliant. We will be going again nxt year we cannot recomend this cruise enough you will not be disappointed if you book it. The staff made our holiday very special.The cabins have a minibar that are well stocked. Every member of the crew were excellant nothing was too much trouble.The pool area was excellant waiters constantly fetching drinks for you. The coffee shop serves excellant coffee and cakes. The movies in the cinema were very good. Fantastic cruise all round. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We arrived at the ship after our flight from Leeds/Bradford first impressions were wow what a ship how large it was, suppose it had to be with around 1800 passengers, check in airport security style, got a plastic card which was key to ... Read More
We arrived at the ship after our flight from Leeds/Bradford first impressions were wow what a ship how large it was, suppose it had to be with around 1800 passengers, check in airport security style, got a plastic card which was key to cabin, card for drinks food etc, and boarding card, got to out cabin 9100 which was deck 9, reasonable size with a large balcony with chairs table and a hammock, beds were ok, Bottled water-small bottles of wine, biscuits on what we thought was a complimentary tray, later discovered all that was chargeable, at an exorbitant rate. This is where it all started to go wrong, we booked as "All inclusive", turns out not as all inclusive as you think. In the coffee pot lounge you were charged for coffee, several other places, bars and restuarants had a charge, and not cheap. So we set sail had our first nights meal in The Market Place, which was very basic cafeteria food, which was ok, self serve pumps of red/white wine and fosters lager, this was free. had a wander around the ship seemed quite well appointed, eventually went to bed around 11pm quite a tiring day... didnt sleep at all well as above the twin beds was the air conditioning unit very noisy all night slept badly, woke tired. complained to reception asked if it could be turned off, very curtly told no, reception staff not very helpful, after talking to other passengers who also agreed they had problems with reception. tried other restuarants Meditteranean pasta and pizza, average, latitude 53 was ok, but not exactly what we would expect from a restuarant that appeared to be a bit more upmarket than others. drinks were free, rather most drinks were free, could drink oneself silly as a lot did especially on the pool deck Entertainment was somewhat amatuerish, girls and guys prancing around and trying to sing, more like yelling, too loud afoten had no idea what they were singing about, the best night was when they had the comedian steve? terry he was very funny. Excursions to Rome-Florence-Pisa etc were very expensive almost £200.00 per couple, and those places would be jam packed with tourists, All in all for us was not a good experience, could, and should have spent our money elsewhere .not on a cruise, we agreed that it was an experience not a good one and we would never ever go on a cruise again, although there was one guy who had done 54 cruises in 7 years (must have been insane) The plus side was our cabin staff were absolutely amazing Madelyn and ? cannot remeber his name nothing too much trouble. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Had a lovely time onboard the Explorer, the ship itself was very good and well organised. The cabin was of the usual cruise ship size but was cleaned to a very high standard. The food was very good in the many all inclusive/buffet ... Read More
Had a lovely time onboard the Explorer, the ship itself was very good and well organised. The cabin was of the usual cruise ship size but was cleaned to a very high standard. The food was very good in the many all inclusive/buffet style restaurants onboard. We went to two of the additional charge restaurants Surf & turf, and Kori la both were excellent and well worth the extra charges. The entertainment crews were very good and the Broadway shows were excellent. ALL the waiter, waitress, & bar staff were very friendly and always had a smile for us. All the crews work very hard and do deserve a tip although I think most people didn't tip, but in my experience good service deserves a tip whatever cruise company you go with. We didn't go on any Tui excursion as though they were on the expensive side although we went ashore in every port and did our own thing. I did read a few bad reviews about the Explorer prior, but to be honest this is a great ship with an excellent crews. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Choose this cruise as flying time to Majorca is ok. Weather was excellent through out the 7 days.As usual the crew were excellent . Food is always subjective !!,but I thought it was just average in the MDR,some nice meals some not so ... Read More
Choose this cruise as flying time to Majorca is ok. Weather was excellent through out the 7 days.As usual the crew were excellent . Food is always subjective !!,but I thought it was just average in the MDR,some nice meals some not so nice,choices poor as well,servings were poor as well.MARELLA !! TAKE NOTE it,s hardly AI if you got to pay for the ice cream on deck 11,Breakfast was very good,even the juice was not watered down !! Only went to 2 shows,singing and dancing to loud,boring !! ,Comedian was good. Gave up on cocktails ,all fruit juice !!! Outside cabin on deck 5 good,best shower i've had on Thomson ships.cabin was spotless every day. Can,t say anything about the tours as I did'nt go. Probably wont go on Marella again as they have made all ship's AI,i THINK EVERYONE HAS A CHOICE NOT EVERYBODY WANTS A DRINK PACKAGE !!!. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Really liked the Explorer. The moment we stepped on the ship we could see that the carpets and upholstery were all new. Everything was in immaculate condition. We had a large balcony cabin on deck 10. The room was quite small, IMO it ... Read More
Really liked the Explorer. The moment we stepped on the ship we could see that the carpets and upholstery were all new. Everything was in immaculate condition. We had a large balcony cabin on deck 10. The room was quite small, IMO it would have been better for the balcony to be a bit smaller and the cabin a bit larger. The balcony had 2 chairs, a table, a lounger and a hammock. The cabin was well appointed with plenty of wardrobe and drawer space, there was a dressing table with a large mirror above and good lighting. There was a European and American plug socket. The bed was very comfortable. The shower room was nice, all white with a large shower with glass door. There was a washing line in the shower and plenty of space for toiletries. The toilet flush was a little unpredictable and slow, but we never had any major worries. The only problem we had was the very noisy air conditioning. You definitely need to take ear plugs. The dining rooms were all bright and airy and the waiters were very hard working, they could have done with a few more. The food was all very good wherever we ate. Latitude was on both decks 5 & 6 and Vista Italian made up part of deck 5. There seemed to be plenty of tables for 2 especially in Vista. The Market Place (buffet) was pleasant and we never had a problem getting a table. The Mediterranean was good for a quick breakfast and plenty of outside tables. We weren’t keen on the position of Umi Sushi which was a room between other rooms, effectively a corridor, and people were walking through and passing the diners. We did not use the ‘pay’ restaurants as we did not feel the need. Entertainment was as usual around the pool in the daytime and there was audience participation type of entertainment in the Squid and Anchor pub. We found the shows to be extremely good, the showteam work so hard to put on a different show every night and all the shows were new to us, they included Musicals, 50’s Diner and Festivals. Not too keen on the upstairs seating in the Broadway as much of the view was restricted. We never had any problem with drinks service although there are clearly fewer waiters than on previous ships. However, they now have waiters pushing carts around the pool decks full of beer, wine, prosecco and cold drinks all on ice. This worked really well as you could get a drink instantly. If you wanted other drinks, you could order them as usual. In the Broadway theatre they have lots of drinks out in the entrance e.g. beer, prosecco and blue lagoon and maitai cocktails. Again you could order other drinks and you could take 2 drinks in if you wanted to. We found this to all work well. Dress to impress night – This was the first cruise my DH has not taken his suit. And we were so glad he didn’t. There was hardly anyone wearing suits, most men wore smart trousers, shirt and tie. Some obviously hadn’t dressed to impress at all! The ship staff were lovely and over 50% were Philipinos, they are always smiling and cheerful and nothing is too much trouble. The crew show was back and it was a joy to see the staff enjoying themselves. Didn't do any excursions, all ports were easy to walk around and DIY Would we return to Explorer, of course can’t wait! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We really loved this Cruise Ship, having been on Majesty, Celebration, Discovery 1 and 2. All were very good , but we found there wasn't the atmosphere on the Discoveries with the crew that there was on Majesty and Celebration. On ... Read More
We really loved this Cruise Ship, having been on Majesty, Celebration, Discovery 1 and 2. All were very good , but we found there wasn't the atmosphere on the Discoveries with the crew that there was on Majesty and Celebration. On Explorer it had all come back wtih the singing and music playing from the crew in the dining room. We loved our outside cabin and the bathroom had a proper shower cubical rather than a space with a curtain that has been on all the other ships The entertainment was really good with the crew and their shows and for two nights we had the brilliant finalist from 'Britain's Got Talent' a few years ago Jon Clegg. His comedy and impressions weregreat and went down really well. A chap that was singing in the lounge was really good and was playing many of the folk songs we used to sing when we first stated dating back in the early 70s. It brought back some lovely memeories. The food was really good and great sevice from the staff. On the night when they have a party for regular guests, we were approached by Richard the general manager and asked for our feedback on the new ship. I said we had a wonderful time, but to be really picky the Gluten Free bread and rolls they provide for my diet were pretty hard, like they are on all long haul airlines. We were very impressed that the next day Richard phoned me in the cabin and said he had looked at the bread and agreeing with me spoke to thechef. He said in future they would be getting freshly baked GF bread for the ship. Hober was our cabin man and he was as helpful and friendly as all the other crew. Looking forward to thinking about Explorer two due to be launched later this year. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was a great itinerary on a really charming ship. The ship is big enough to offer almost anything, yet small enough to feel familiar and intimate. The Explorer war recently refurbished and previously enjoyed a very popular career as ... Read More
This was a great itinerary on a really charming ship. The ship is big enough to offer almost anything, yet small enough to feel familiar and intimate. The Explorer war recently refurbished and previously enjoyed a very popular career as "Mein Schiff 1". As Germans we were probably from a somewhat unusual customer group for Marellla, as they specifically cater for the UK market and almost any passenger we spoke to was from the UK. There are a lot of bars and eating venues in the ship, the most popular seemed to be the "Squid and Anchor", a pub themed bar. Unlike all other cruises we have been on, there was no resident band that served a regular dance venue. There was a normal disco, called Indigo that also featured a stunning bar, but suffered somewhat from very chilly air conditioning. The entertainment theater was very nice and the two shows we were attending were of excellent quality. Marella's all inclusive is OK with lots of beers to chose from and the wine was quite drinkable as well. Their regular cocktails are nothing worth drinking, though. You could upgrade to a premium drink package that we considered not worthwhile The pools were nice but by all means very cold. The children's area has a nice little poll but is quite small, but since the cruise was not during school holidays there was enough space for our two year old daughter to play. Our favorite place in the ship was the serviced restaurant called Latitude 53. It served basically the same dishes you could get at the buffet restaurant but in a much nicer environment with lots of space around your table and nice views through the large windows at the back of the ship. The food was quite good as well, with snacks being available until late at night. Read Less
Marella Explorer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 3.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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