12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Everything was perfect, You walk off the plane and onto a coach where you’re taken straight to the ship where our bags were waiting for us at our cabin. On return you see the immigration officers onboard, the queues move very fast, ... Read More
Everything was perfect, You walk off the plane and onto a coach where you’re taken straight to the ship where our bags were waiting for us at our cabin. On return you see the immigration officers onboard, the queues move very fast, no standing still. Then we were taken from the ship to the airport and our cases were sent to the plane ahead of us so we didn’t have to carry them around with us, they will also look after your hand luggage for you from when you leave your cabin until you depart the ship, they give you clean towels and an option to use a cabin to freshen up before your flight. Completely hassle free. Cabin was very comfortable and quiet, spotlessly cleaned twice daily and the cabin stewards were so friendly and kind. Fantastic staff, so attentive, friendly and really make you feel valued. Delicious food with plenty of options. The restaurants were very nice and in the buffet you have tons of options, you have fresh food cooked to order including omelettes and create your own stir fries, pastas and pizzas where you can choose exactly what ingredients they put in your meal. The fresh salad bars were so good too with freshly made potato salads, coleslaws and bean salads to name but a few. They had branston like pickle, piccalilli, chutneys and all the usual condiments including HP sauce, Branded drinks and a great choice of cocktails. Even without the premium drinks upgrade. Twinings breakfast and Yorkshire tea and many other kinds of herbal teas, delicious fresh sweet pure orange juice. The snack bar by the pool had freshly prepared salads (Caesar, Greek, Asian, curried chicken, avocado, salmon and more) sandwiches, wraps and burgers, hotdogs, fries etc to grab and go. Excellent entertainment with so many different options to choose from each day and night, something to do whatever your mood. The Collective were absolutely fantastic and got everyone rocking! Plenty of fun, lively areas with great music and entertainment and also calmer areas if you want some peace and quiet to just chill out and enjoy the moment. Didn’t feel at all overcrowded, even at the busiest times there was always somewhere to sit in the shade or in the sun. You can dress to impress if you like which meant I got the chance to wear some evening dresses but if you don’t feel like dressing up you don’t have to. You’re treated beautifully whatever you wear. Unlike other holidays I’ve been on (where drunken idiots have spoiled it for everyone else with their bad behaviour and they’ve been allowed to remain in the hotel and carry on their behaviour for the whole holiday) if someone gets out of hand they are promptly removed from the ship, they have zero tolerance of violent or abusive behaviour, Brilliant! Like staying in a 5 star hotel where the view changes daily. I can’t see how they can improve this ship and it’s staff. We don’t know how they manage it but even on a ship with so many other people on board you are made to feel special, the staff remember you and treat you very well. We will definitely be booking with TUI / Marella again. Everything really was perfect. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We"d never done a cruise before and wanted to do something special for our silver wedding anniversary so we decided to book a cruise around the Caribbean. We also booked to renew our wedding vows and we'd just like to say a very ... Read More
We"d never done a cruise before and wanted to do something special for our silver wedding anniversary so we decided to book a cruise around the Caribbean. We also booked to renew our wedding vows and we'd just like to say a very big THANK YOU to Amanda Hudson the social host and our captain Peter Harris for sorting everything out so that we could do it on our wedding anniversary. We had a lovely day thanks again to Amanda Hudson for everything that you did to it happen it's very much appreciated. The ship is lovely all staff very friendly and work very hard food lovely as well will definitely be coming back. All the staff are really friendly and work hard food was excellent we had an invite to join the captain at his table as well which was lovely couldn't of asked for a better 25th wedding anniversary cruise we've got lots of wonderful memories and photos Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Previously cruised on the Royal Clipper (twice) and Norwegian Star (not the best experience), so we have been on small and larger vessels. Tui package holidays have always been consistent for quality, so it was interesting to try their ... Read More
Previously cruised on the Royal Clipper (twice) and Norwegian Star (not the best experience), so we have been on small and larger vessels. Tui package holidays have always been consistent for quality, so it was interesting to try their cruise option. Flights - very good, the system of leaving luggage at Manchester airport and not having to handle it again until it arrived at the cabin worked extremely well. The Dreamliner is an excellent aircraft, in our opinion better than Airbus offerings. Apart from some slow service on the plane (don't think there were enough cabin crew) and not much variety in inflight entertainment all went well. Very comfortable flights both ways. The ship - excellent all round. Large balcony cabin has plenty of storage and well laid out. Didn't find the small number of power points too much of an inconvenience, we always seemed to keep our smart phones and iPad charged. No other reviewers have mentioned a super innovation on this ship - the Navigate app. for smart phone or tablet. Much better than reams of paper daily news letters cluttering the cabin. Reception service was excellent, always attended to quickly and with a smile. Not many children on this cruise, almost adults only. No issues with food and drink on board, mainly used Lattitude 53 for breakfast and dinner and the Market Place for lunch. Tried Vista one night, the only time we had to wait for a table, but no real inconvenience, the food was worth the wait - the Parpadelli Carbonare was superb! Visited Surf and Turf once, again a real treat, the fillet steak and lobster combination was to die for, well worth the extra. Generally the food was far superior to Norwegian and on a par with Royal Clipper ( a totally diffent cruise experience). Didn't bother with the Premium upgrade, didn't spend anywhere near the £100 it would have costs, the standard offerings were fine. Service was always quick and efficient, we had no problems on this cruise. Entertainment was good, with enough variety for us. No problems with sunbeds as we don't like being too near the pools (too noisy). Always found a quiet spot, the Veranda wasn't all that busy and we could retreat to the cabin and the large balcony if we wanted. Just a mention for Alan and Linda - you've stirred my interest in ballroom dancing and am looking to take some lessons ashore, many thanks. Shore excursions - only tried two. St. Maarten got off to a bad start, over 30 minutes late starting and the tour didn't show off the island in its best light. We walked into the town in the afternoon and we saw a much better side. The Tortola land and sea exclusion was in total contrast, gave us a real taster for the BVI. Otherwise we did our own thing at the other ports (have been to St.Kitts, Antigua and Bequia on previous holidays, so knew our way around). All in all an excellent holiday, Marella must be doing something right as we are about to book another cruise on the Explorer 2 next March to see some other islands we haven't yet visited. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose the cruise to celebrate some special birthdays somewhere hot and sunny! We have previously travelled with Marella on their other ships and with P & O. Embarkation was super quick - off the plane in Barbados, straight on a ... Read More
We chose the cruise to celebrate some special birthdays somewhere hot and sunny! We have previously travelled with Marella on their other ships and with P & O. Embarkation was super quick - off the plane in Barbados, straight on a coach and to the ship. The Explorer is a nice ship but lacks any wow factor. There is no central atrium which other ships have and we found this ship awkward to navigate as you have to go up/down a floor to get to some areas and remember what colour staircase you need to take! All areas of the ship were kept clean. Staff were always friendly and polite. Food in the dining rooms was absolutely lovely with a good variety and waiters were friendly. Only niggle with dining in the main restaurants was if you had to have a pager and wait for a table to be ready you could only wait in a small bar area as we were told the pagers would not work further away. This was crowded at times with very little seating so mostly standing while waiting for a table, so not overly comfortable. We have no problem waiting for a table but on other ships you could take the pager anywhere, so not all herded together! The Market Place was often really crowded at peak times (breakfast) and not always easy to find a table but food was generally good. Our balcony cabin was comfortable and kept really clean by our cabin stewerd who was always ready with a greeting and smile. The shows were very good but a little 'samey'. Felt there had been more of a variety on other ships. We booked some excursions through Marella which were as described and we were happy with what was offered. At some ports we took taxis which were a lot cheaper than a Marella excursion. Overall Marella offers really good value, you can do as little or much as you like, all staff generally seem happy and we would definately book again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our first cruise for our silver wedding anniversary & certainly won’t be our last. After arriving in Barbados we were put on a coach straight to the ship, embarkation was fantastic. We were greeted by a steel band & ... Read More
This was our first cruise for our silver wedding anniversary & certainly won’t be our last. After arriving in Barbados we were put on a coach straight to the ship, embarkation was fantastic. We were greeted by a steel band & given rum punches, got our room cards, photos taken & all done & dusted in minutes. Our cases arrived outside our cabin about an hour later. Entertainment was fantastic, we particularly enjoyed the shows in the theatre, they are young but work their socks off to give fantastic performances which last approx 45 minutes & drinks are served to you throughout. The entertainment around the ship & in the Squid & Anchor by the bands The Beats & The Collectables were fantastic also as were the games in the Squid & Anchor, really good fun if you want to partake or just watch. A must is the silent disco which was on twice a week, again you can partake or just watch. The entertainment is run by cruise director Cameron & he & all involved really do a good job to cater for everyone’s taste. There is always something going on somewhere if something in particular is not to your taste. There is a cinema & outdoor cinema, casino, library, gym, coffee port, scoops ice cream, snack shack, Champneys Spa & Salon, Broadway shops, 2 swimming pools, 3 jacuzzis, running track, mini golf, 10 restaurants to name a few so there is something for everyone. Sea days are a nightmare to get a sun bed as people put their towels down early, come at 8am & you’ve no chance. Staff do put tickets on them if they are empty for 45 mins but we saw loads of ‘reserved beds’ empty for longer, we never saw any towels being removed for people wanting a sun bed. We did a few tours with Tui which were amazing, one of these tours started an late so inevitably we arrived back late for the ship which thankfully had to wait for us because it was a Tui excursion. We did the trikes in Aruba (independently booked from home) submarine tour, catamaran & Pitons, Champagne & lobster catamaran & a few more independent ones off shore. All trips were fantastic, all the locals were extremely friendly towards us & we never felt intimidated anywhere. We picked up some WiFi with the price of a drink in certain bars. We were lucky enough to have our wedding renewal on our anniversary with thanks to Amanda the social hostess. This was something we couldn’t book back home at our Tui shop or the many phone calls by my husband. We were fortunate enough to get hold of Amanda’s e-mail & arranged it the week before we went, it was absolutely amazing & they couldn’t do enough for us. Captain Peter performed the ceremony on the bridge & it was wonderful, we had the silver package for £200 & it was perfect. We also purchased all the photos taken which was set to music & have it on a usb stick, also included was 16 photos which are professional photos taken by the lovely photographer team. All the staff on board are extremely polite & friendly & work such long hours to ensure we have the best time possible, they have a few hours off here & there but not days off. In order to receive a full day off they have to be mentioned in reviews so it’s very sad & darn right rude when you see people clicking fingers at them for service or moaning because they have to wait a short time for a table in one of the restaurants. Unfortunately I can’t remember all their names who made our holiday but a shout out goes to Gladys, housekeeping on deck 9, Roman who refilled our drinks on the deck pool, Vicky & Elizabeth entertainment staff, Captain Peter & Cameron for their daily announcements & Amanda social hostess for making it possible for us to renew our wedding vows. A few necessities to take with you, towel pegs or bands as it gets very windy in the Caribbean ( if your towel blows off or you lose it you will be charged £10 per towel). As I’ve said it gets quite windy & for us girls it is very unkind to our hair. 5 mins after drying my hair it went frizzy & after a few days very dry, my heat protection spray wasn’t strong enough for the Caribbean wind so I purchased Ghd protection spray from the Broadway shops which cost $13 but so worth it, this spray is expensive but I would not be without it for future cruises. I never felt the need to wrap up in the evening so didn’t wear the wrap I brought. Definitely bring looser fitting clothes for your second week as despite my good intentions not to over indulge it’s very hard as the food is delicious & plentiful. We also never used the euros as all islands accept usd, we used ours to pay off part of our bill on leaving. On the day of disembarkment you have to leave your cabin by 8am. You can pay £35 for a late room check out subject to availability & only till 1.30 or you can pay £14.95 pp for a day pass in Champneys Spa. We did this & it was amazing, we got our travel luggage in the lockers, provided with robes, towels, refreshments, showers & you can still use the ships facilities. For any disabled people wanting to cruise there were plenty of guests in wheelchairs & mobility scooters, incidentally the ship has plenty of lifts. We had an absolutely amazing time aboard the Explorer & are already looking for our next cruise - yep we’ve got the cruise bug. All the negative comments we read about before embarking on our first cruise in our eyes are unfounded but that is just our opinion, everyone has different expectations, experiences & are entitled to their own opinions. A holiday is what you make it & my husband & I have made many memories visiting 12 islands on one holiday. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Did not know what to expect on this our first cruise as we had read so many varied reviews, but we could not fault our cruise experience, we booked a large balcony cabin and it was perfect, we had our own sun lounger, table with 2 chairs ... Read More
Did not know what to expect on this our first cruise as we had read so many varied reviews, but we could not fault our cruise experience, we booked a large balcony cabin and it was perfect, we had our own sun lounger, table with 2 chairs and a hammock! It was ideal to get away from the hustle and bustle of the pool deck areas and really chill out. Okay the Marella explorer is not brand new and not as huge as some of the other cruise ships but for us it as just right. The main self service dinning room served a good range of hot and cold dishes which changed daily, and if you wanted a full English breakfast you'd have to go a long way to beat it, we also tried out the specialty restaurants, some you had to pay a cover charge for, but well worth it, and the all inclusive drinks package was the best we ever had, all the top and well known beers and spirits.We can't praise all the staff on-board enough, from the cleaners to the ships Captain, nothing was too much. Plenty of hand sanitisers' everywhere, entertainment and activities were suited to all age groups and were well organised, The only thing I would do differently next time would be to book shore excursions on-board the ship, yes they are more expensive than doing it yourself but it saves the hassle of being pestered by the hoards as you walk out of the port area into local towns, overall we had a fantastic first cruise experience and certainly do it all over again, especially on the Marella Explorer. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This ship is a real asset to the Marella line. It is really well run, spotlessly clean and comfortable. The crew are happy to help with a smile. There is a great choice of food, my only criticism is that a lot of the beef dishes were a bit ... Read More
This ship is a real asset to the Marella line. It is really well run, spotlessly clean and comfortable. The crew are happy to help with a smile. There is a great choice of food, my only criticism is that a lot of the beef dishes were a bit chewy and tough. Having said that anyone who can't find something good to eat must be the most picky eater ever. Such a wide variety. We had a balcony cabin on deck 9, it was spacious with plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. The balcony had two chairs of reasonable comfort and a small table. There was a kettle and fridge in the cabin. Bath, hand and pool towels were provided along with face cloths. There were two pools, not large but big enough and quite deep. There was also 3 jacuzzi's. Plenty of entertainment to suit everyone. Good variety of drinks and cocktails included in the drinks package. Didn't bother upgrading to premier for more choices. There was enough. The premium cocktails were not that expensive at £2.50 a time. The champneys although expensive were fabulous. Paid to keep a room on last day at a cost of £ 35, wasn't really worth it, only allowed to have it from 10 til 1.30. better to pay £15 each and book into the spar where they have lockers sauna's steam rooms, hot seats, fresh air room and sleeping room. Fabulous place. Loved every minute. The shore excursions run by the ship were over priced. We tended to get the tours on shore from official operaters and taxi's. Much cheaper and really good value. The people on the islands we visited were really friendly. The only island we found that tended change prices at a whim was St Lucia but even there we enjoyed the tour. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
After a long bout of illness we were looking for a special holiday and boy did we get one. Every port/island that we visited was absolutely amazing, beautiful scenery, white sand beaches and crystal clear sea’s. The ship was ... Read More
After a long bout of illness we were looking for a special holiday and boy did we get one. Every port/island that we visited was absolutely amazing, beautiful scenery, white sand beaches and crystal clear sea’s. The ship was equally amazing, we had an inside cabin on deck 9 (9162) it was spacious with a good sized en-suite and plenty of storage, the cabin crew came in twice a day to clean and tidy replacing towels as often as required, Andrew was our steward and a friendlier and more helpful person you could not wish for. Although we had two weeks on board we did not see everything as there was just too much to see, places we did frequent were, The Broadway show lounge, 2 sometimes 3 shows a night we went at least once a night and were very happy with the shows especially the George Michael tribute act and The Harper Brothers which were the funniest comedy act I’ve seen in years. Squid and Anchor, typical Saturday night pub with pub quiz, Mr & Mrs and other games and live music nightly. Indigo nightclub, Disco’s and silent disco’s (very funny) casino where you could play Blackjack, Poker or Roulette. Food and drink, If you wanted to be waited on Latitude 53 is all you could ask for excellent food and service, choice of 5/6 starters,mains and deserts, if you wanted self service The Market place offerers a larger choice and is of equal quality, if like me your a late night snacker the Mediterranean bar is open until 01.30 where you can get a curry or burger and chips etc. Ours was an all inclusive cruise without the premium package we found that we could eat and drink as much as we required without the added expense. Finally I would like to say thank you to all the staff from cleaners to captain who made this the most wonderful holiday that I’ve ever had and I will definitely be doing this again. Special mentions go to Andrew our cabin Steward, Carlos our drinks waiter (Indigo), Ramonne drinks waiter (Squid and Anchor) Chloe entertainment Squid and Anchor, Cameron entertainment manager and James who I think had something to do with sound and lighting. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Flight left gatwick a little late but still managed to arrive on time crew were friendly food wasn't bad. Really impressed with arrival after landing we were put on a bus and taken to the ship with in an hour and a bit we were in our ... Read More
Flight left gatwick a little late but still managed to arrive on time crew were friendly food wasn't bad. Really impressed with arrival after landing we were put on a bus and taken to the ship with in an hour and a bit we were in our cabin luggage arrived about an hour later. We have cruised before twice with marella on the dream and discovery 2 twice with royal caribbean legend and splendor of the seas .p&o azura celebrity constellation. and azamara journey. We really enjoyed our time on this ship the staff are excellent you never have to wait to be served and nearly always with a smile. What really made this ship stand out for us were the restaurant choices we are normally feed up with the food after a week but not on this ship. we ate in all of them except the sushi and enjoyed most of our meals. We only had one sea day and decided to hire a cabana for that day glad we did as you could not get a sun bed after 7.30am the rest of the time we had no trouble with sun beds. We did four excursions with the ship and they were very well organised the rest of the time we did our own thing. We will cruise with marella again as we like the older smaller ships and you get good value for money so we can go more often. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise for a 60th birthday gift for my wife having never been to the Caribbean before. We were not to be disappointed. A painless flight on the Dreamliner from Glasgow to Barbados saw us straight into a bus and on our way to ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a 60th birthday gift for my wife having never been to the Caribbean before. We were not to be disappointed. A painless flight on the Dreamliner from Glasgow to Barbados saw us straight into a bus and on our way to the ship within minutes of landing. The check in service was speedy and efficient and our luggage arrived very quickly and so the holiday began. The ship was in general very good with hard working staff who tried everything possible to make our holiday a memorable one. Our Captain John Clark was tremendous keeping everyone well informed of sailing times destinations etc and did it all with a fabulous sense of purpose and with great humour. The cabin with balcony 8223 was well furnished and well looked after by our attendant Flavia who on the occassion of my wifes birthday decorated it stylishly for the day. The balloons towel art and birthday sash were fab but the added birthday card from the housekeeping staff was much appreciated. Plenty clean towels linen etc and always a smile and a hello from housekeeping was impressive as we enjoyed ourselves. Dining .. we always ate at the market place (buffet) as we found it easily accessible and plenty of choice everyday. Loved the breakfasts and afternoon cream teas mmm scones and cream were fabulous. Rhea May was a breath of fresh air always a smile and a little chat whilst working tirelessly at her station. Lovely lady. Entertainment was good most nights in the Broadway Lounge with Amy in particular catching our eye with her fantastic voice and enthusiasm during the routines but that said all the staff/team were very good. We found all the entertainers on board very good but after two weeks a little repetetive but thats a small gripe. Comedians were fab with the Harper Brothers fantastic. We did however think that pool deck and other daytime activities a little sparse. Good mix of quizzes throughout the day. The one disappointment was the lack of atrium activity. The staff on explorer were mostly exellent whilst providing us with our experience and would like to give special mention to again Rhea May in the market place, Flavia our cabin attendant and Oscar behind the bar in the Squid and Anchor. Captain John and all his crew are a real credit to Marella for making our holiday a special holiday. Lastly on ports of call and excursions. We enjoyed all the ports but found the price of excursions aboard the ship a little high. If this was addressed by the company many more people would book i am sure. Prices from local operators were much more realistic. Look forward to joining Marella on another cruise in the not too distant future. Thank you all. Only a couple of negatives for me .. the coffee bar not being part of the all inclusive although selected coffee in various bars were and the minibar being not included having to purchase water seems a bit silly. If your all inclusive then surely all is included. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Last year we had done the Northern Carribean on Marella Discovery 2 and decided that this year was to be the Southern part! We had loved both of the Discoveries and were concerned that the lack of an Atrium would be important. Well is is ... Read More
Last year we had done the Northern Carribean on Marella Discovery 2 and decided that this year was to be the Southern part! We had loved both of the Discoveries and were concerned that the lack of an Atrium would be important. Well is is a shame but the ship is still fantastic! It is different but in a nice way. You can always find somewhere to enjoy a quiet cocktail or 2, well someone has to do it. It is most unusual that although the ship was full, there didn't seem to be crowds of people around although the restaurants sometimes got a bit full. I think that was largely our own fault as we always seemed to be wanting to eat between sittings as we do like our cocktails! Oh have I said that before? Our Cabin 9107 and our friends in the neighbouring cabin 9103. Both were excellent, spacious & quiet and as we had adjoining balconies we had them opened up for an amazing space! The cruise itself was exactly what we wanted, although some destinations were still in the throes of repairs after the 2017 storms, but the welcome wherever we went was amazing. All in all our only little complaint was the 2 stops at Bequia, although we enjoyed ourselves greatly there, it would have been nice to go somewhere different (supposed to be St Vincent on the first week). Mostly we made our own way exploring by taxi's / minibuses which came out at about 1/2 Marella's trip prices and we got to see more and with less time wasted getting 40 odd people out of a bus at a time!. We did do the train in St Kitts with Marella though as it isn't possible privately. We did the Surf & Turf one night, however it seemed very rushed whereas we were anticipating a relaxing and leisurely meal. Whilst the quality was ok, so was the menu in the MDR's both traditional and Italian. We never eat dinner in the Buffet restaurants as it just too much of a `bun fight'! Neither did we go in the Squid & Anchor Pub, just too noisy and frenetic. IMHO, as long as you want a relaxing holiday/cruise, have a balcony cabin so that you can relax after your trips without the perpetual noise in the pool areas which sadly Marella seem to think should always be blasted with 130dB noise and certainly is not a place to have a few zzzz's! All in all a fantastic cruise and thanks to all of the extremely helpful staff all over the ship. We did have a terrible experience at the end when one of our friends sadly passed away suddenly, however the ship helped us through this disaster even arranging a private taxi to the airport and also assistance at Birmingham airport on our return. We have to thanks especially the Welfare Hostess Fiona Smith and all of the others in the medical department and the Hotel department for their help. Whilst we would have dearly loved not to have had to meet them under these circumstances, they comforted us and especially our friend who was obviously grieving. Just a short note, apparently Marella are the only cruise line with a dedicated Welfare Hostess whose main responsibility is medical emergencies. Other lines have a shared Social/Welfare hostess which I guess is not as good. Thanks Explorer, we look forward to our return on June 22nd on the Legends of the Baltic Cruise! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our second cruise with Marella, having been on a seven nights cruise to Jamaica on Discovery 2 last January. Our experience on board Explorer was very good. The staff were all amazing, very professional, friendly and nothing ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Marella, having been on a seven nights cruise to Jamaica on Discovery 2 last January. Our experience on board Explorer was very good. The staff were all amazing, very professional, friendly and nothing was too much trouble for any of them. A special mention to Yonique, Fernan and Vladimir in Vista, Ana (from the Dominican Republic in the Lounge, Mediterranean, Coffee Port and Broadway Show Lounge areas) and Flavia, our cabin steward. They all contributed in making our holiday very special, with their constant smiles, friendliness and great service. The standard of entertainment provided by the team in the Broadway Show Lounge was second to none. The variety of shows and high standards of singing, dancing and acting were absolutely amazing and something we looked forward to watching every night. We cannot comment on the comedy acts as we didn't attend any of them. The standard and variety of the food on offer in the main restaurants was very good. The only criticism would be a lack of consistency with some of the drinks, particularly those where mixers were involved i.e Bacardi and Coke, Gin and Tonic. Depending on the bar attendant, they could be either the correct strength or very weak. However, taking into consideration the fact that the cruise is all inclusive, the overall impression is that it is very good value for money. The port of calls were all absolutely fabulous with a good variety of excursions on offer. The outbound and homeward flights were on time, with great staff and onboard entertainment. Overall, the cruise was a fabulous experience and we wouldn't hesitate to book again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We wanted to visit the Caribbean islands offered on this cruise. We also wanted to go “all inclusive”. We chose back to back cruises Tropical Delights and Paradise Islands.We also wanted to avoid lots of “at sea” days. We flew ... Read More
We wanted to visit the Caribbean islands offered on this cruise. We also wanted to go “all inclusive”. We chose back to back cruises Tropical Delights and Paradise Islands.We also wanted to avoid lots of “at sea” days. We flew direct from Gatwick to Barbados. The flight was comfortable and the staff helpful. The transfer and embarkation process was smooth and uneventful and our cases were in our cabin shortly after we were. There was a good choice of restaurants and lots of food choices. My husband loved a cooked breakfast every day and there was lots of fresh fruit and lighter choices if you prefer. Dinner served in Lattitude was good. Interesting menu and plenty of choice. We ate at one of the special restaurants (small supplement) on a couple of occasions and were delighted with the food and service. There were a number of bars and even a pub on board. These offered entertainment and the cocktails were delicious. We would not recommend paying the supplement for the Premium drinks package. If you want Gordon’s gin instead of an imported spit it just ask as it’s included. Entertainment in the Broadway lounge was good overall. Every taste was catered for. Not everything was to our taste. We booked our trips in advance of our cruise and the tickets were delivered to our cabin. Overall the trips we took were very well organised and interesting. We have already booked for January 2020 for Flavours of The Caribbean and Pride of Panama. This time flying direct to Jamaica. Our Marella Cruise on the Marella Explorer was fun and great value. Thanks to TUI. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We were on a 7 day cruise on marella explorer in December 2018 . There were a good selection of islands that we visited and we really enjoyed the experience ... We have a 6yo and she had lots of fun. there were many activities and ... Read More
We were on a 7 day cruise on marella explorer in December 2018 . There were a good selection of islands that we visited and we really enjoyed the experience ... We have a 6yo and she had lots of fun. there were many activities and clubs for kids . They have a good selection of excursions which we could enjoy as a family .. it is not over crowded and we never had to wait for any facilities on the ship ... the food was excellent and the staff were really helpful and pleasant and happy to help ... the crew took care of our luggage from initial check in till we landed back in the UK. That really was helpful while travelling with children. The embarcation was quick and managed well by the crew. The spa , Varanda, private cabana, indigo bar n casino , the lounge all add to the entertainment and fun .. Read Less
30 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise for my wife's 50th Birthday. Looking at some of the reviews beforehand we were a bit worried, but these fears were allayed by our own personal experience and we couldn't find any faults whatsoever. I would ... Read More
We chose this cruise for my wife's 50th Birthday. Looking at some of the reviews beforehand we were a bit worried, but these fears were allayed by our own personal experience and we couldn't find any faults whatsoever. I would not dream of making derogatory comments on fellow passengers as everyone is entitled to spend their holiday as they see fit. I can certainly say that I saw no behaviour from anybody which affected my enjoyment of this cruise. So when looking at reviews I would recommend focusing on the average person's expectations, not specific gripes. I can quite honestly say that the food was fantastic everywhere, from the Market Place to Vista, Latitude 53 and even the burgers in the Snack Shack. Of course there were occasional minor issues with service, but immediately rectified with humble and sincere apologies each time. The staff all over the ship were excellent, very polite, helpful and friendly. The singers and dancers on the shows were amazing, especially the girls, no screeching to this musical ear! Both comedians were great, borne out by the fact that 99% of the audience were laughing. Special mention to Ellie, who sang to my wife on her 50th. Go and see Ellie and Ross, singer and guitarist - they are brilliant and have big futures ahead of them. We went on half a dozen excursions, all great. The Bequia cruise was a laugh with the rum flowing and Bohemian Rhapsody sung throughout (the boat was named Scaramouche). The Carbet Falls in Guadeloupe were amazing. My favourite Island was Martinique although it does have a traffic problem. We ate at the Surf & Turf on my wife's 50th - again a wonderful experience. The Explorer as a whole is a very comfortable ship. Couldn't see any signs of ageing, although we have nothing to compare it to, being our first cruise. So the message is if you are Mr, Miss or Mrs Average then you will enjoy this ship immensely and what it has to offer. We are already looking at our next cruise in May 2020 for my 60th and this will almost certainly be with Marella. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I don't have any other cruises to compare it with but we found the marella explorer to be brilliant value for money . We stayed in a suite number 10041. Fantastic cabin with a separate living room and bedroom . Plenty of storage space ... Read More
I don't have any other cruises to compare it with but we found the marella explorer to be brilliant value for money . We stayed in a suite number 10041. Fantastic cabin with a separate living room and bedroom . Plenty of storage space and the cabin got cleaned twice a day . The balcony was huge with and it had plenty of seating plus a hammock . We upgraded to the premium all inclusive . This was £200 overall for the two weeks for 2 people . The main reasons for the upgrade where the extra selection of gins and whiskys on offer . Plus the coffee is free in the coffee port . You also get bottled water delivered to your cabin as well as access to soft drinks on the bars . On top of all this there is a better selection of cocktails and beers/ciders and wines. We found this upgrade very useful . The food is the free restaurants was a little disappointing compared to all inclusive hotels I've been to . The market place is good for a quick meal and the MDR is nice but the portions are small and you can wait a long time for your food . Our favourite was vista. We also tried the sushi and the surf and turf which are paid restaurants . Both excellent and worth the money especially the sushi . We only went to a couple of shows and we enjoyed them . The comedians they had on weren't to our taste, very old hat . We did all our excursion through TUI which in hind site we should have done more local tours . They are a lot cheaper . This is the a list of the excursions we did so if you want to know more just contact me : ARUBA SIGHTS AND BEACH BONAIRE 4X4 GRENADA RUM RUHNER ST LUCIA ULTIMATE LAND & SEA BARBADOS TURTLE ENCOUNTER ANTIGUA CRUSOE ISLAND ROAD TOWN CANE GARDEN BEACH The only negatives about the cruise was the lack of space on the main deck during the sea days . You had to be up really early to get a bed . The food wasn't the best and it would be nice if they had better quality wines available . Overall we had a very enjoyable experience and we will defiantly cruise again with Marella Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise for our honeymoon as it started in the Mediterranean and sailed across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. Can honestly say it was the best holiday of my life, however it was my first ever cruise so I have nothing to ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our honeymoon as it started in the Mediterranean and sailed across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. Can honestly say it was the best holiday of my life, however it was my first ever cruise so I have nothing to compare it to. We had an inside cabin on deck 4 which was quite small but I wasn't expecting any larger and we barely spent any time in the room anyway. The cabin was kept pristine by our cabin steward Isaac who was fantastic. There was a TV and coffee / tea making facilities. Shower wasn't great, kept going between hot and cold on the same settings, we didn't complain about this at the time but in hindsight that might have helped. At the time we just put up with it. Didn't get a great sleep on the beds either, they weren't uncomfortable but I think I was missing my own mattress. Plenty of choice for food and every restaurant we went to served great food, even in the marketplace (buffet style). Loved latitude and vista for our dinners, went to surf and turf once but didn't try other speciality restaurants. Loved having lunch in the Mediterranean, their pasta was lovely. Boat was a good size and there was always plenty to do around the boat which was important during our 6 sea days. They even put on some tournaments over the 6 days like shuffleboard and table tennis which was nice. Went to a couple of the shows and they were good, the cast seemed really professional, loved the movies show and had a few guest comedians which was up my street. Put off the pool deck as it was always really busy and I can't swim anyway. There was no children on our cruise but looked as though there was plenty there for kids. Service was generally good, sometimes meals and drinks were a bit slow but all the staff on board were really helpful and I have no complaints about any of them. All ports were great and had plenty to do, went on a couple of excursions organised by TUI, tour guides were very knowledgeable and made sure we had a great time. Came off this cruise and immediately wanted to book another, so we've booked a baltic cruise in July for the same ship. Can't recommend highly enough. Thankyou to all the staff who made it exceptional. Note - This cruise was perfect for myself and my husband as it was slightly more casual than expected, for those that prefer luxury cruises, this was luxurious by my standards but from what I've heard from experienced cruisers this was not as formal as others. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
The flights and logistics We had a delayed departure from Gatwick 20mins nevertheless after a comfortable flight we were safely in Palma. The process of getting from baggage claim to the coach was not great as it was raining (like ... Read More
The flights and logistics We had a delayed departure from Gatwick 20mins nevertheless after a comfortable flight we were safely in Palma. The process of getting from baggage claim to the coach was not great as it was raining (like I've never seen rain like it before) On arrival at the port our cases were ferried from the coach (A little Wet) and we picked up our boarding cards for cabin 9176 and within 20 minutes we were on board and exploring. First impressions There is not the wow factor of Indy with the multi storey atrium but they have managed to get a lot in the ship. Areas that felt a little small to start with then we noticed how much more room you have per person we had, but the ship is in lovely condition albeit there are perhaps a few blemishes but we were more than happy. Our cabin We were in cabin 9176 which is a standard balcony. It was immaculately presented and quite spacious. where I was only allowed 3 drawers, a shelf and two hangers we reached a more equitable distribution and all our 40kg 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 Roberto was a handsome young chap and very polite and thorough. We were very content. 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 Tanqueray . 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 the lounge 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 and a thank you to Imer,Rita and Anna for great service. 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, We never had a poor meal with highlights for me being the beef Wellington. Service wise it was excellent but we had some incredible service from Annette and Capella and they are an absolute credit to Marella Explorer . Entertainment All of the entertainment from the quizzes to the meditation classes were excellent and the show cast were all very talented and excellent individuals singing at the piano including Matt CD Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Absolutely lovely cruise.... staff from room cleaners through to management were excellent... bar staff fab.. Anthony in the squid and anchor and lllian in the whisky and gin bar were fantastic.. Clifford our brilliant house keeper was ... Read More
Absolutely lovely cruise.... staff from room cleaners through to management were excellent... bar staff fab.. Anthony in the squid and anchor and lllian in the whisky and gin bar were fantastic.. Clifford our brilliant house keeper was tops never a problem to do anything for u... food choices galore restaurants staff amazing... these guys work long hours but are always polite and give u the time of day... would 100% book with marella explorer again... had a problem with our room nothing major.. but the ship manager got us moved straight away.... fabulous time couple of days a bit wet but hey 15 nights without cooking makes up for that... entertainment good.. broadway show room is like going to London except in London u don’t get complementary drinks... ship was very clean literally inside and out were kept clean daily and more than once a day... couldn’t ask for a better first time cruise The 6 days going across to the Caribbean were long but hey we knew wen we booked... oh and the guys at the Lavizza coffee port loved seeing me at 7am every morning Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Wanted to go to different places in the Western Med (as been to all the main sites). Embarkation was excellent all the way from off the plane to arriving at our cabin (comments on cabin below). Everything was easy and smooth. There was ... Read More
Wanted to go to different places in the Western Med (as been to all the main sites). Embarkation was excellent all the way from off the plane to arriving at our cabin (comments on cabin below). Everything was easy and smooth. There was only one person trying to sell extras as we embarked (premium drinks), which was also nice and the photographers weren't pushy either. We didn't need the extra drinks as the inclusive package had enough decent drinks to easily satisfy us and the quality of the house wines was plenty good enough. All the staff were absolutely excellent and caring. they were always helpful and polite, with a genuine smile (and the number of staff who said good morning to me at 06:00 was truly impressive). The reception staff were always polite and attentive, even during our issue with the cabin.The waiters in the main restaurant and Vista (table 118) were absolutely brilliant, for breakfast and dinner - with no complaints whatsoever. Entertainment was pretty good, we attended a few quizzes, but there was this and then bingo - which was not for us. The shows we saw were generally of high quality, though someone does need to explain the COGS concept to me as it was just confusing. Though the dancing was good the story was completely missing (e.g. girl called Celeste, but Roxanne was putting on the red light...) The food at breakfast and dinner in the main restaurant was of excellent quality and fresh/hot every time. Getting lunch in the Market Place was also easy and there were no queues when we went there, so no problems getting a place to sit and eat at all. Shore excursions were excellent (apart from Pisa and the wine trip associated, Pisa really crowded and the walk from the coach park too long and difficult, with street vendors trying to sell you tack for the last half a mile. The wine tour/tasting involved 2 minutes of talking then leaving us in a tent with nice food and reasonable wine for a long time). The Palermo wine tasting trip was brilliant and of much better quality (and so was the wine). The trip to Herculaneum was a real eye-opener and there is much more there than in Pompeii. The Pals village trip we really good and rice tour very insightful. Monaco was brilliant and though we didn't stay with the tour of the old part, we bused close to Casino Square (number 1 or 2) and then walked back down the F1 track to the star finish area, had a coffee then went back to the main road to catch the bus back up the hill, in time to rejoin the coach. Note there are ticket machines at major bus stations that allow you to buy tickets (1.5 euro's for 1 way) rather than 2 euro's on the bus and the screens for bus progress are excellent. Ticket machines with English annotation. Disembarkation was easy from off the ship and to the airport (it couldn't have been easier to find the luggage and get on the coach). The airport itself is chaos with late planes and too many people and not enough staff (not a fault of Marella). Overall this cruise and the staff exceeded my expectations and we would put Marella above MSC (terrible) and Royal Caribbean (good) based on this experience. The value for money and not having to pay for tips or drinks meant our bill at the end was 20 x what has been on other lines. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We had a fantastic time on this cruise. Our balcony cabin on deck 9 was spacious and had plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. We upgraded to the premium drinks package which was an extra £50 and although not necessary you can then have ... Read More
We had a fantastic time on this cruise. Our balcony cabin on deck 9 was spacious and had plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. We upgraded to the premium drinks package which was an extra £50 and although not necessary you can then have special cocktails, gins etc and your soft drinks are cans also 1.5 litres of water in your cabin every day. You can also have a lovely coffee in the Coffee Port which would be an additional cost otherwise. Vista was our favourite restaurant due to the food choices and also we found the waiter service there was even better if that's possible. As it was a special occasion we paid £35 each to eat in the Dining Club which was a great experience as the food and service were exceptional. We also paid an extra £27 for Surf and Turf restaurant and the food was first class. It's not necessary to do this, you could easily have a wonderful time on board without any upgrades. The waiters work so hard and are so friendly and helpful. Many of them are away from home for 8 months at a time but still managed to make us laugh. Entertainment in the fantastic show lounge was OK and we also had a choice of other singers in the various lounges. The one negative experience happened when we got home and I believe has nothing to do with the staff on the ship. Our bill was paid in full and the money deducted from our Bank account however we still have a "pending" amount of £335 which is restricting access to our funds. I've emailed Marella but it's still to be resolved. I don't have a lot of faith in Tui's customer service due to previous experience and feel this may drag on. I hope I'm wrong as apart from this we had a wonderful time. 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
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Have previously only cruised with Celebrity and P&O, but we fancied a short break in the sunshine at the last moment and this cruise fitted the bill. We've taken several TUI package holidays to the Canaries so we knew we were ... Read More
Have previously only cruised with Celebrity and P&O, but we fancied a short break in the sunshine at the last moment and this cruise fitted the bill. We've taken several TUI package holidays to the Canaries so we knew we were happy to go with them. Booking was straightforward, apart from having to phone to find out which cabins were available, as we like to choose where on the ship we'll be. After an early morning flight, we were directed through Palma airport by several TUI staff to the waiting coaches. This was done very efficiently and as soon as one coach was full, off it went with no waiting around. On arrival at the port, we were registered and checked in very quickly. The whole arrival operation was very smooth, and we were soon on board enjoying an early lunch in the buffet. Any misgivings we had about lower standards on an older ship were soon dispelled. The refurbishment had been done extremely well. All the public rooms were light and welcoming and the ship was clean throughout.(Lots of cleaning going on all through the cruise). We ate breakfast in the buffet - always a good selection of hot and cold food. Lunch was sometimes taken there - again plenty of choice, or out on deck from the Snack Shack. Evenings we used the MDR - food was always nicely prepared with a reasonable choice of meat or fish dishes. The included house wine was always regularly topped up by the willing and friendly waiting staff. We ate in Surf & Turf once - very pleased and wanted to use it again but it got fully booked up very quickly. Our balcony cabin was spacious and comfortable with more than enough wardrobe and drawer space and was kept very clean by the cabin steward Akash.( Different towel animals each day). The bathroom wasn't large but the shower cubicle was a good size and the towels were changed frequently. We went on two excursions - again the organisation was very good and the guides were excellent. Positives - The friendly atmosphere on board, sunbeds always available even on sea days, the quality and choice of the food, the value for money. Negatives - Purely personal, but the entertainment wasn't our cup of tea. This certainly won't be our last Marella cruise. 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
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
Marella Explorer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise