14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This was our 1st cruise with a view to a Carrabean cruise next year and were glad we chose Marella to sail with especially the new ship to the fleet the Explorer, our 1st impressions weren't great our Cabin was not ready when we ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise with a view to a Carrabean cruise next year and were glad we chose Marella to sail with especially the new ship to the fleet the Explorer, our 1st impressions weren't great our Cabin was not ready when we arrived, the former occupants had left a mess in the room, mucky cups, dirty beds and dirty bathroom. We informed the cabin staff who informed us there had been 900 reps on the launch party and they had left a mess. We were told to grab a drink and it would be ready in 30 mins, we also had problems with the safe and toilet not flushing, but nothing that was not fixed and spoilt our Holiday, after that it was plain sailing literally, we had a Balcony cabin (8199). It was amazing waking up in a different location every day, the Food was delicious in every restaurant and the beer was cold in every bar, we didn't opt for the AI drinks upgrade as I drink Corona, bud and Peroni at home so why would you, the wine was good and all spirits we liked were branded Bailey's, Gin and Amarreto so why would you, we tried the Surf and Turf and it was worth the money it was High end food, the only thing we had a problem with was the trip Naples + Pizza, it was described as a moderate walk around Naples with lunch. In fact it was an 8.5km speed March in 26° temperature. We lost 6 people in 1st hour as the couldn't keep up. We complained and was refunded 25% each. The cost was £74 Not cheap for a workout and a Pizza lunch. Would o go back he'll yes, would I use Marella again Yes. It was the maiden voyage and a lot of the staff were new and learning and we expected teething problems. We were lucky to have amazing crew and staff on board and guests like Lisa Riley and the Overtones. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this as it was our first time cruising. Overall we were not dissapointed. Fantastic ship, first class service, & out of this world meals. The cabins were spacious & clean. We booked a large balcony cabin & on it was a ... Read More
We chose this as it was our first time cruising. Overall we were not dissapointed. Fantastic ship, first class service, & out of this world meals. The cabins were spacious & clean. We booked a large balcony cabin & on it was a hammock , a sun lounger, & table & 2 chairs. Dining We tried the buffet restaurant but found this to be a little over crowded & the food was not hot. We dined in latitude53 all week for breakfast ,lunch ,& evening meal. The food was fantastic with 1st class waiter service who couldn't do enough for you. Entertaining The entertainment was also first class, with high standard acts, we saw the Overtones which was brilliant & brought back a lot of memories. Excursions We managed to book on 3 tours which was very informative but tiring as the bus journey was 3hrs round trip which made it a long day but enjoyable. Pool area There was always a sunbed available no matter what time of day. The waiters around the pool work very hard & always pleasant. The pool is small but amicable, there is also 3 jaccusis. The snack bar around the pool is brilliant with freshly cooked burgers, hotdogs, chips ,salads , & a selection of sandwiches. Now for the teething problems as it was the maiden voyage. Firstly service at the bars is chaotic, with people queue jumping & arguments erupting. The bar staff try very hard but when it is full it was hard for them. We had a word with the bar manager advising him that a queuing system should be put in place, but he said this could not be done. ( Don't know why). You may say why not use the waiters but on busy nights the waiting time to get a drink could sometimes be 30mins. Secondly as the week went on, toilets in the public areas were starting to block & overflow which caused terrible smells in the surrounding areas. At the end of the week there was not many toilets in the public areas that was working, so hopefully this was resolved for people embarking after us. But all in all this was a really enjoyable cruise & would not hesitate to book again Read Less
81 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We have just returned from the most fabulous holiday ever with tui Marella explorer. We arrived in palma and embarked on the new to tui ship. Immaculately presented rooms newly refurbished it certainly was more impressive than we had ... Read More
We have just returned from the most fabulous holiday ever with tui Marella explorer. We arrived in palma and embarked on the new to tui ship. Immaculately presented rooms newly refurbished it certainly was more impressive than we had anticipated. We had lots of little gifts pens, notebooks toiletries chocolates etc celebrating its first voyage with tui. Over the years we have been on many Thomson tui holidays so had an ideal what to expect, average food, decent accommodation cheesy entertainment etc. Well that may have been the old Thomson/ tui experience, but after this week we can honestly say they have thrown away the old manual and reinvented themselves with this one and blown away the old tired format of the holiday experience and set the bar so high I don't think other holiday cruises will reach. Food 10 places to eat, five with a supplement and five as part of the all inclusive, it's a Thompson/tui holiday and I had the old expectation of the all in food would be poor and the supplement food would be good, how wrong I was! The all inclusive food in all five places to eat was fabulous, tasty fresh well presented with attentive staff and waiters, clean facilities and very professional chefs, tui have thrown everything into this one and thrown the old way of doing things, dining was a treat wether it was a snack or and sit down table waitered service eating was a pleasure with the all inclusive deal. We did try a meal with the supplemented eateries, the Kora La it was simply fantastic a real treat, but whatever you taste or need they cater for everyone. We in our party had and gluten free and a veggie and they were taken care of no problem. Staff Couldn't do enough for you, your every need was catered for and nothing was too much trouble, faultless in every way. Excursions We went to Pompeii and Herculaneum fabulous day out very informative guide who's knowledge and passion was beyond compare, it made for a fabulous day out Entertainment well, we have been on countless Thomson/Tui holidays and even at five star level, the entertainment was lack lustre, amateurish and cheesy at its best, OH BOY, are you in for a treat, simply put the onboard shows in the broadway lounge were outstanding, the singing, the dancing, the acting, the presentation, the musicality and directorship were second to none, we were a party of six, and we were all blown away by the outstanding performances of all of the shows. Tui have thrown away the old "how to" entertainment book and replaced it with something that's worthy of any west end stage. It sounds OTT but I promise if they keep that level of passion they gave in performing for us you will not be disappointed. The last place you want to have poor entertainment is sailing down the med with nowhere to go! The entertainment in all of the other bars and lounges were fantastic too, there is something for everyone and your musical taste I'm sure, will be catered for. Bad bits It was over in a week, first time ever we didn't want to come home! Overall We had avoided cruises for many years thinking it would be "Butlins in a Boat" how wrong were we? We are looking at next years cruises already!!! Awesome effort by all involve in making everyone's holiday on board extra special and captain peter and staff for making our journey a safe and pleasant one Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
TUI were recommended by a cruise mad friend as a great introduction to this type of holiday. We chose this cruise and ship as it covered an awful lot of places of interest. On the day of arrival we were stunned at seeing the shop and is ... Read More
TUI were recommended by a cruise mad friend as a great introduction to this type of holiday. We chose this cruise and ship as it covered an awful lot of places of interest. On the day of arrival we were stunned at seeing the shop and is sheer size. Now of course we are first timers with experience limited to cross channel ferries. And even more stunning to us was this is a sort of mid sized ship! Embarkation was smooth and we were greeted by extremely friendly staff from the terminal through to walking on board. The ship is beautiful and despite initial 'newbie' confusion everything is well sign posted and there are lots of maps to help you find your way about. We boarded about 15:00 and after unpacking in the lovely, clean cabin we used the next two hours or so to explore every part of the shop and get our bearings. Be warned that for some areas such as Latitude and Vista restaurants might mean taking a detour up or down a deck as deck 5 seems to end suddenly despite signs pointing you beyond a point you're told you can't pass! Anyway that bit of obvious advice aside the cabin was lovely. We booked a balcony cabin and we're on deck 8 starboard. It was clean, well equipped and very well laid out. It includes an electronic valuable safe much the same as hotels provide. The shower is brilliant, like standing in front of a fire hose! Our cabin was cleaned around three times a day and the staff are very friendly and only to happy to help with any requirements. That last sentence applies to ALL the TUI staff who are always helpful, smiling and friendly. That goes a long way to making the whole experience very personable and personal. Dining facilities are excellent from the self service marketplace with a huge choice of hot and cold, sweet and savoury food and drink, to the superb Fine Dining Club (£35pp supplement). The included Latitude and Vista restaurants are also very good quality. Entertainment on board was mixed. The Broadway Show Lounge shows were superb, almost West End quality and there are plenty of other things to entertain you on board albeit some rather 'hi de hi' level but......you choose what suits you. We loved the Lounge with the Pink piano and a rather more easy going atmosphere. The pub on board, The Squid and Anchor,was pretty close to a pub atmosphere and has an aft outside area for smokers /vapers with excellent waiter service. As for excursions, they were a mixed bag. None were bad but some are limited time at destination with long transfer times (nearly 2 hours from Palamos to Barcelona leaving us just 4 hours to discover as an example). Next time as experienced city breakers we will take some Lonely Planet guides and research the transfer from Port to destination more carefully. But then the whole cruise was for us to learn this stuff. Every day is a school day on your first cruise. In summary,so impressed were we by the whole experience that we booked next year's one on board and for a great price.until next time Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
First time cruisers, so didn’t know what to expect. Smooth embarkation. All ports reached on time. Excursions very well organised. Loved the restaurants and bars. Waiters very attentive. Lovely selection of drinks. If you wanted to ... Read More
First time cruisers, so didn’t know what to expect. Smooth embarkation. All ports reached on time. Excursions very well organised. Loved the restaurants and bars. Waiters very attentive. Lovely selection of drinks. If you wanted to sun bathe there were plenty of sun beds. Cabin had lots of storage, shower lovely. Beds comfortable. Lovely nightclub, didn’t get to bed till 2 as dancing away. Shows very good - drinks laid on for this too. Captain and team very professional. There was a dress to impress night and it was lovely to see people dressed up. We have been really bitten by the cruise bug and are already thinking about the next one. Only negatives are that it is a refurbished boat and some of the windows shabby. A little disorganised when leaving ship to go to our hotel for the week. But we had an amazing time. Can’t wait to do it again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Just returned from a weeks cruise the explorer is lovely ship the cabins have been refurbished a decent shower and plenty of storage we had a small but adequate balcony.The main disappointment was the itinerary which we picked as we had ... Read More
Just returned from a weeks cruise the explorer is lovely ship the cabins have been refurbished a decent shower and plenty of storage we had a small but adequate balcony.The main disappointment was the itinerary which we picked as we had not visited several of the ports before having been on several cruises.Porto Torres was very disappointing 3 of the ports were industrial which meant a bus was needed to get through the port 2 were curtesy 1 was £7.Because the itinerary had been changed our first stop was on a Sunday and everything was shut.The restaurants were generally good the food in the Vista was excellent but the meal took 3 hours from start to finish.The Market Place is a bit like a canteen but a good choice of food.The trips were an absolute rip off we could have done them ourselves at a fraction of the price.The evening entertainment was very good they have tried to do things a bit differently which was not to everyone’s taste as some of the audience did walk out from some of the shows.The comedian was outdated and not very pc.The staff are amazing so friendly and accommodating can’t do enough for you.Personally I found the deck are around the pool very noisy the music was too loud it was often difficult to get a sun lounger round the pool area.I would cruise with TUI again but will research the ports Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Both myself and partner Jeanette were on Marella Explorer for western Mediterranean cruise for 2 weeks from June 23rd to July 7th. We were in outside balcony cabin 8071. This was our very first ever cruise so didn’t really know what to ... Read More
Both myself and partner Jeanette were on Marella Explorer for western Mediterranean cruise for 2 weeks from June 23rd to July 7th. We were in outside balcony cabin 8071. This was our very first ever cruise so didn’t really know what to expect. The cruise was for my 60th birthday. At the age of 60 and having done most if not all exotic holidays Caribbean, Maldives, Mauritius so on and so on, this has to be the best vacation yet. Flights, transfers, baggage to your room was ‘military planning’. There was something on board for everyone and the ‘standard’ drinks menu was endless with “all” premium bottled and draught beers along with spirits and wine. No need to upgrade, in fact we both wondered what we were upgrading to. The food was delicious with something for everyone and I mean everyone!! The fish and cuts of meat were delicious (try the lamb shank in Latitude restaurant). Our room was great and cleaned “twice a day” by the two relentlessly hard working duo Lewis and Kate a massive thank you to you both. Kate!!! We already miss your welcoming smile each day. I have got to say that “all” the staff worked hard in whatever role they were working in. Nothing was ever too much trouble so it really is difficult here to name names. I have to say a big thank you to both Yassa and Kostia who were working each evening in the Lounge bar. Kostia served everyone in their turn no matter who they were, something bar staff over here in the UK could learn from. Yassa was very competent and so friendly (I hope that your eye is better now). Lastly but not least we would both like to thank Stevan the waiter on the upper decks for his ‘Outstanding’ friendly tireless service. Lastly but not least, the nightly Broadway shows were of premium UK theatre standard, an absolute well done to all of you for giving us both memories we will never forget. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our 15th cruise with Tui/Marcella and it was the best. It was wonderful to have a door on the shower instead of a wrap around curtain. All members of the crew were great, but as usual the attention of some need a mention. ... Read More
This was our 15th cruise with Tui/Marcella and it was the best. It was wonderful to have a door on the shower instead of a wrap around curtain. All members of the crew were great, but as usual the attention of some need a mention. Jesus,Walito and Tamara in the restaurant and Naren in the Market Place all of whom gave such incredible attention to detail. The ship was great, even better than Discovery2 The cabin was better than any we've had before. The food was super with plenty of choice. The broadway shows were fantastic but as one reviewer mentioned no one came round with drinks while the show was on,our take on that was you could pick up a drink as you walked into the theatre our bring in the drink or drinks of your choice and the show was never spoiled by someone standing in front of you. We found all service excellent. All transfers and flights were good. We are hoping to go on the explorer again this year loved it. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
1st time cruisers was very wary at first about going on a ship but can honestly say that you would not even know you are moving so smooth.The cabin was spotless and kept that way all week by the hardworking staff .The restaurants were ... Read More
1st time cruisers was very wary at first about going on a ship but can honestly say that you would not even know you are moving so smooth.The cabin was spotless and kept that way all week by the hardworking staff .The restaurants were great market place was busy most of the time but food was excellent ,if you want to pay an extra charge then there are sushi ,surf and turf and others to try we found the all inclusive restaurants were fine for us so did not try them.Entertainment was excellent and the team work very hard to keep us happy pool deck very busy so uf you want a lounger go early .All in all this was a fantastic expierence and we have booked to go on discovery next year so thank you captain John and his hardworking team for giving us a fantastic holiday we will deffo be cruising again Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
First time we have ever cruised, and we were not disappointed. The whole experience was fantastic, the food was excellent lots of different choices to choose from, the speciality restaurants were well worth the supplement fee that applied. ... Read More
First time we have ever cruised, and we were not disappointed. The whole experience was fantastic, the food was excellent lots of different choices to choose from, the speciality restaurants were well worth the supplement fee that applied. The entertainment was fantastic the crew work very hard, and there is a variety to suit all. The cabin was immaculate on arrival and kept up to the same standard throughout our stay a big thank you to Hobir . Overall we had a fantastic holiday and would recommend Marella explorer, the destinations we visited were very enjoyable. Thanks to Tui for making our holiday so enjoyable, and we are already looking to book another, but for a longer stay, and a big thank you to all the crew on board who word very hard to cater for everyone, and also a big thank you to captain John and his team . Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Last minute booking was a little dubious as had sailed with TUI before and was disappointed with the state of the ship (celebration)old and shabby looking.. I needn't have worried as Marella Explorer is stunning launched in May 2018 ... Read More
Last minute booking was a little dubious as had sailed with TUI before and was disappointed with the state of the ship (celebration)old and shabby looking.. I needn't have worried as Marella Explorer is stunning launched in May 2018 it is jam packed with all the things you would expect and much much more, beautiful public areas, cabins and large pool area, first class entertainment, show lounge is more like West end theatre and shows are breath taking, nice adult only deck to escape the lively pool area if needed, plenty of choice of food which was amazing. Had last meal at Kora Li Asian infusion restaurant, paid extra but so worth it, food, presentation and service were excellent. All the staff were verý friendly, welcoming and helpful, amazing cruise, amazing ship, would highly recommended. Fantastic value for money. Would definitely book with Marella again. My only criticism would be the high prices in the on board Champneys spa. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We have just returned from a fabulous 14 day Mediterranean Cruise on Marella Explorer – our 10th cruise and second with Tui Marella. The crew were welcoming and hospitable from the Captain to the young man from Jamaica who was cleaning ... Read More
We have just returned from a fabulous 14 day Mediterranean Cruise on Marella Explorer – our 10th cruise and second with Tui Marella. The crew were welcoming and hospitable from the Captain to the young man from Jamaica who was cleaning toilets on decks 5/6. The staff go out of their way to build a good rapport and to make you feel valued, particularly in the Squid & Anchor!! We enjoyed the size of the ship and found it so much better than the extra large super liners than we have experienced in the past, particularly on tender days. The entertainment was varied and high quality as was the food in all restaurants. Our junior suite had an amazing view, extra large balcony with hammock. By comparison, this cabin would have been so much more expensive on other ships. We very much enjoyed the excursions and the 12 port stops out of 14 days. The contrast of cities, beaches, towns was just perfect. Negatives – there was a slight sewage aroma which occasionally filtered into our cabin. However this was not too much of a problem as to spoil our holiday. Pricing – we enjoyed our Caribbean cruise in April 2017 so much that we booked this holiday on return. However, in March 2018, we checked availability and we could have bought the identical cruise for £600 cheaper and there was full availability. We therefore believe that there should be a price promise recognition for those who book particularly early. We have earmarked a cruise for 2019 but will not now book this until next year. All in all, we are very much looking forward to booking another Tui cruise. The All Inclusive is most definitely a plus. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I was a bit worried after reading a few bad reviews about coming on this cruise and being a first time cruiser. The cruise exceeded expectations in every way. Room- I booked a junior suite allocation on arrival - Deck 10 - it was ... Read More
I was a bit worried after reading a few bad reviews about coming on this cruise and being a first time cruiser. The cruise exceeded expectations in every way. Room- I booked a junior suite allocation on arrival - Deck 10 - it was massive with so much storage. The bathroom was immaculate with a large walk in shower. The balcony was large with 2 chairs, table, 2 sun loungers and a hammock. The cleaning staff Darko and Edmund were a hoot and worked very hard cleaning the cabin twice a day. There was a kettle, hairdryer and expresso maker in the room. Dining- the food was superb in all the restaurants and so much choice and the service by the staff was fabulous they really cannot do enough for you. We paid to go to the Dining Club and Surf and Turf the food and service was outstanding. Latitude 53 sit down dining was amazing was very looked after in that restaurant.by Ling who treated us like royalty. Bars- I was a bit concerned the ship would feel busy and I hate children running around unsupervised but this did not happen there are plenty of places to sit and have a quiet drink - Famíles mostly congregated round the pool and squid and anchor which I avoided. The Mediterranean Bar was lovely. My only complaint about bars was having to pay for premium soft drinks and coffee/tea which seemed stupid when you could have as much alcohol as you wanted and very good brands too. Trips - were very good and very informative I thought they were good value for money but the trip to Rome was a bit too long and very tiring. Although the trip to St Tropez was not worth it and I would avoid this trip again. Entertainment- there was so much to chose from - not my cup of tea but fellow passengers said it was very good. I did partake in wine tasting twice and Simina who ran this was amazing. Overall I cannot wait to book another cruise on this ship and all previous complaints must have been resolved to make our cruise unforgettable. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We had an amazing holiday for 14 nights on the explorer in August. This was our second cruise with tui the first one was on the dream 2 years ago. The explorer was larger than the dream but we soon got used to navigating our way around ... Read More
We had an amazing holiday for 14 nights on the explorer in August. This was our second cruise with tui the first one was on the dream 2 years ago. The explorer was larger than the dream but we soon got used to navigating our way around the ship. We really enjoyed the sail away party and relaxing in the adults only section after a day off the ship. All the restaurants were very good, we didn't try the speciality restaurants as the food in the inclusive restaurants was so good. We did think there could have been more entertainment/activities going on in the day. Most of the ports of call were really good and we enjoyed them except in the port of Sardinia which we thought was disappointing. Our holiday was made extra special by one member of staff on the back of the ship in the Mediterranean bar His service was fab and he always made time not to only serve us our drinks but talk to us and answer any questions we had. His name was Rene. It was really nice to meet you Rene, by the time we left we felt like you had become a friend. Another member of staff was Marlon. Thank you Marlon for your great service. Glenmorangie and a cold prosecco Thank you guys. Sorry we didn't get to say goodbye on the saturday morning. We were gutted you weren't in the Mediterranean bar when we called there before we left the ship. Would we cruise with you again? Yes most definitely. Stev and Andrea Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We have been on other cruises with Thompson and encouraged family members to come this time and they were not disappointed. My mum is disabled and she was looked after so well with regard to arrival and every time we left the ship everyone ... Read More
We have been on other cruises with Thompson and encouraged family members to come this time and they were not disappointed. My mum is disabled and she was looked after so well with regard to arrival and every time we left the ship everyone was so attentive and caring.We had balcony cabins on deck eight which were just perfect they are not plush but clean and comfortable and just what you need. We had a very nice steward who looked after us very well thank you Basirun. The food was really good and there was enough choice to suit everyone, you could if you wanted pay extra to dine at specialty restaurants but we really didn't see the need. The broadway shops are a must and if you go look out for Mustafa who works in the watch shop he is great fun a great salesman and knows his stuff, then there is the lovely Simone she can be found in the perfume shop and does make overs, she is a very talented make up artist and both are massive assets to Tui, well done guys you helped to make our cruise special. There are plenty of activities on board to suit all age groups although the pool is not really sufficient for the size of the boat particularly for the day at sea but other than that there are plenty of bars a cinema restaurants game zones a casino and great shows every night, something for everyone. There are plenty of excursions but really if you can research the ports before you go as there are some that you can do alone for a fraction of the cost, having said that though you are more protected if you go with Tui, we did both. Tui please review the excursion in Barcelona to the Aquarium and Beach, we felt that was not worth the money 1 hour 20 mins in Aquarium then 1 hour 20 mins on the beach at £44 a head, maybe make both a day each as not long enough at either destination really. We would go again it's a great way to see the world and waking up each morning in another port cannot be beaten in our opinion and flying and sailing with Tui previously Thompson we have never been disappointed. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our fourth cruise with Marella. The previous three were when they were still Thomson Cruises. We have been on the Dream, Celebration and the Majesty. All of these ships were very good, but, the Explorer was so much better. ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise with Marella. The previous three were when they were still Thomson Cruises. We have been on the Dream, Celebration and the Majesty. All of these ships were very good, but, the Explorer was so much better. Cabins are bigger, there are more places to eat. 10 restaurants to be precise, and also many bars. Every night the food was superb. We ate most nights in the Latitude 53 restaurant. There was nothing we could fault. The waiting staff are so friendly, attentive and helpful, nothing was too much trouble. I Have to mention Zibel and Mindroy. They were fantastic. The food was so much better than on any cruise we've done before, it was almost Michelin star standard. Even the food in the self service area was great. We went with four of our friends who have never cruised before. It has taken us five years of trying to get them afloat and now they are hooked. They could believe the standard of everything. The entertainment was excellent as well. The only blip in all of this was sometimes the toilet system blocked, but, this was mainly due to mindless idiots putting wet wipes etc, down the toilet which causes the narrow bore pipes to block easily. Nearly everyday the Captain had to keep telling people not to do this over the ships P.A. system. Overall the experience was fanatstic. I would highly recommend Marella. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
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
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
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
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
Marella Explorer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
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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