1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This was by far the most disappointing TUI cruise I have been on for the following reasons: 1. The air conditioning was not working for the first 5 days and our cabin was stifling hot which made it impossible to rest well for ... Read More
This was by far the most disappointing TUI cruise I have been on for the following reasons: 1. The air conditioning was not working for the first 5 days and our cabin was stifling hot which made it impossible to rest well for subsequent activities. 2. The cabin toilet failed to flush on at least 3 occasions meaning we had to rely on toilets around the ship which also failed to flush on occasions. 3. The quality of the Market Place buffet was very poor. The cooked breakfast, for example, was rendered tasteless by the way you cook them. Try for yourself the bacon and sausage and it should be clear what I mean. The porridge was glue-like and inedible, the coffee rancid, the toast rubbery ( although I appreciate other bread was available). 4. We tried the Latitude restaurant and found the service slow and the food also poor, compared to our experiences of TUI cruises. 5. 'All inclusive' should mean you provide at least good service and quality. It felt to us that you were providing poor quality in order to encourage passengers to pay for the additional food packages. 6. The TV did not work from the outset. When finally tuned in, around day 4 of the cruise, it worked intermittently but usually the screen went blank after a few minutes. Interestingly, the channels selling TUI services was working 7. Some gym equipment was not set up correctly and did not work well. The bike leads were loose and should be tidied/taped, for health and safety reasons. 8. We enjoyed a very expensive couples massage. The price was twice what a premium massage would cost at home and I acknowledge I understood this at the time. It was disappointing to be given the hard sell whilst still wearing a towel, for oils and further massages, we were really embarrassed. The massage was good but not good value for money. 9. ‘All inclusive’ seems to mean being offered beer at 9am in the morning and being able to eat quantity throughout the day. Is this really the direction you are heading? 10. We enjoyed a couple of trips. In Barcelona, I was able to get decent internet access for the price of a (decent) Americano in Costa and can of course get free access pretty anywhere in the world. Surely a decent and free internet connection should be provided on the ship as part of the being ‘all inclusive’? I have complained to TUI who wish to present any complaint as minor teething issues with a small discount of a subsequent cruise. This is very disappointing and we will be looking elsewhere in future. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Couldn’t get no worse!! First ever cruise and what a let down. We were on the inaugural cruise from 2 April 2019. In my opinion the ship was just not ready. Arrived on board before midday and cabins not ready. On an inaugural ... Read More
Couldn’t get no worse!! First ever cruise and what a let down. We were on the inaugural cruise from 2 April 2019. In my opinion the ship was just not ready. Arrived on board before midday and cabins not ready. On an inaugural cruise?? However, advised to go to Pool Deck where food and drinks were available. That was fine but the toilets were blocked. No water for washing hands, toilet tissue, sanitiser. A recipe for passengers being stuck down with tummy bugs. Crew directed us to Deck 12. Same condition. Crew then shrugged shoulders. Problems with toilets blocking all week including on final morning. Customers were blamed for this which is never the best strategy to adopt. When the above situation was reported to Reception was told this was because vessel had been in dry dock. Wrong answer. Logistical management at best could only be described as poor. The cabin was fine and front of house staff worked very hard but lacked management back-up. Food was fine but service in main restaurant started off poor. Did improve during week and a couple of the Sections delivered a very good service in the end, one of which we reported on board. I will be critical but will also praise where praise is due. On one occasion, in Gents WC on Pool Deck water was coming through ceiling via light fitting. A bucket had been placed underneath but I advised the crew member present the water leak was the least of the problems as water and electricity was never a good mix. Think that went above his head. Code Victoria was called twice to my knowledge and it was not unusual to find blowers drying out carpets which ha£ been contaminated by flood water. Captain said on ore than one occasion they were having ‘teething problems’. These were not ‘teething problems’. A number of bits of kit failed to work especially in the buffet restaurant. Many did not have signs on. TIP: if going on. Cruise on this ship take some ‘out of order’ signs with you so you can help crew. Well, experience put me off cruising but experienced ‘cruisers’ reassured Us this was not a good example and recommended other Lines for us to try. We have decided to do this as we liked the experience of visiting different locations/ countries each day but this is down to fellow travellers rather than this experience. Such a shame as had terrific potential As stated above, in my opinion the ship was, simply, not ready. The Captain did state needed the passengers to fully test vessel. I don’t mind this providing I am given the choice before booking and do not pay full price. Oh well, bye, bye Marella. We could have had such a great future relationship if only, if only!! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first cruise, and was a disappointment for several reasons. When we booked, we were sold the "newest" ship in the fleet, we later discovered it had undergone a 9 week refurbishment. My local pub was recently ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and was a disappointment for several reasons. When we booked, we were sold the "newest" ship in the fleet, we later discovered it had undergone a 9 week refurbishment. My local pub was recently refurbished, and it took 4 times that. We had 3 "Code Victoria's" meaning that that a serious flood had occurred requiring intimidate attention. We later discovered that this was due to busting pipes, due to the ship standing for several months during its impending sale - its 24 years old. Blocked toilets were a major problem bringing flooding, and constantly running fans to try and dry them out. One night we dined at Beach Cove, (and experience we had to pay for), only to sit in water that was being washed out of the near by pool and running under the doors. Although an apology was given, even the captain was summoned to inspect, no refund was offered. We were asked to upgrade our drink package which was £50 for the week, and as a fairly heavy social drinker I thought that good value - and it was! All premium brands, including 12 year old Glenfiddich, all premium cocktails, and they were not shy on pouring measures!! Also worthy of note were the Asian restaurant, and steak restaurant, although neither were in the inclusive package. One thing I did find strange is that without the purchase of the premium drinks package soft drinks were NOT included. Not Coke, water or any other. Even the ice cream by the pool was an extra £1. By far our worst problem was noise at night. Not noise of other guests, but and "unexplained noise" from somewhere below our cabin, something like a metal door slamming repeatedly. Despite complaining 5 nights out of the 7 it was never resolved, although they did look. And here is another problem - because no OFFICIAL complaint was recorded despite complaining almost every night, when we raised this on checkout there was only a single record of the issue, despite my partner being on first name terms with the night staff having repeatedly raised the issue at 2, 3, and 4am. It finally resulted in a £100 rebate on our account - at least it paid for our drinks package. The food range was acceptable, but certainly not extensive. We also had groups of contractors on board (that came for 2 weeks for the refurb and were still on the ship 8 later) fixing the plumbing, the TV's and the WiFi. The one thing that was amazing were the staff. All willing to help, all friendly, and all wanting to make the experience a good one. What they could not obliviously legislate for was Tui's poor management, and letting this ship sale far far to early. The only trip we almost booked was an underground tour of Naples costing £60. Due to cost we decided not to, thinking we'd walk there ourselves, around 20 mins from the boat. Good job we did, it was 10 euros each!!! Total saving over £100!!! Finally there were some "excitable" other guests on board, clearly with some characteristically individual needs. These were not dealt with by the staff appropriately, although they were banned from drinking alcohol after the 4th night... Too late for some... Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Chose aft deluxe cabin and paid extra. Hyped up as Maiden Voyage of new ship and seemed ideal with the stops on the way. Cabin we had chosen showed new bed , carpets etc and the layout seemed ideal. Upon arrival the room was not refurbed, ... Read More
Chose aft deluxe cabin and paid extra. Hyped up as Maiden Voyage of new ship and seemed ideal with the stops on the way. Cabin we had chosen showed new bed , carpets etc and the layout seemed ideal. Upon arrival the room was not refurbed, but "refreshed" . The shower had black stained grouting, the bed was pushed into an alcove and you had to crawl across the other person to get out of bed. Not great when you are both in your 60's . The aircon was on permanently very cold. The lightbulb by the cabin door failed on day one and it took 5 days for anyone to look at it. Went to reception to change room but nothing available as some rooms were not ready for the public to use, and nothing deluxe, or even an upgrade available. Engineers came and went but we were told that there was a technical issue with the aircon. Bed was a bit basic with a metal frame and a thin mattress. Had to have a couple of mattress toppers on, but still sunk in the middle. Food was very good. Some of the supplements seemed very excessive. Waiting times were ok, but sometimes you don't want to be bleeped by a pager after 35 minutes or so, so you have to go elsewhere to eat. The main buffet was somewhere we only went to at lunch time for a quick salad or maybe a cup of tea and a scone in the afternoon, but it is a bit basic. Staff were really friendly and realised that there were problems with bits of kit on board. Engines were quiet on sailing but very noisy when trying to manoeuvring to the dock. The cabin rattled and the door came open to the bathroom and glasses and cups rattle. Not great at 530 am most mornings. Entertainment in the Broadway Show Lounge was fine for us . The Bingo and activities during the day was not our thing. The Pool area is packed and noisy most of the day so we just went off ship as much as we could. Trips are expensive, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet and pay up. Luckily we did on the Rome excursion as some people got lost and we were 45 minutes late back, so the ship waited . Basically it is a 24 year old ship that has been refitted a couple of times. This time it was done a bit too quickly and it needed another 4 weeks , but TUI are very money orientated so pushed ahead, despite their customers needs. I note that the cabin is now not being shown as Deluxe. If I had known that before departure I would have cancelled and got a refund. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Several disappointing things unfortunately seeing this was suppose to be a maiden voyage,firstly the not so good things! on arrival we found the safe in our cabin was not working,we reported it to reception who told us that apparently 250 ... Read More
Several disappointing things unfortunately seeing this was suppose to be a maiden voyage,firstly the not so good things! on arrival we found the safe in our cabin was not working,we reported it to reception who told us that apparently 250 safes were not working,another member of staff told us there were 46 safes not working in total,either way they should have been checked before paying guests went on the ship,it was still not repaired when we left the ship after 7 days,lots of guests had complained that their phones in their cabins were not working either,ours was ok but according to a member of staff the owners of the ship before tui had left the phones in that state,in which case why were they not checked?I ordered a celebration package for £99 for a surprise for my husbands birthday which included a birthday cake,i was asked to give a slip of paper to the waiter secretly whilst having our meal so my husband could have it presented to him at the end of the meal,it never happened,i went to reception the following day and asked them to just deliver it to our cabin instead,i was told it would be there in half an hour,an hour and a half later still no cake so another visit to reception!! we were told we would get a refund for the cake,so i will wait and see! In my opinion this was not a maiden voyage as the ship had already been named and had travelled from Cadiz to Palma with 800 travel representatives to promote the ship,they had Olli Murs for their party nights,streamers, dancing, we had a strictly come dancing guy who hardly anybody knew and someone from British Bake off!! Food was brilliant,staff were friendly and the entertainment overall was excellent,The captain continually apologised for all the problems but at the end of the day the ship should have been checked over properly before all the paying guests got on board,such a shame as it could have been lovely cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have done almost 30 cruises with Thomson/Marcella and this was the most luxurious ship we have been on. Yes we did have problems with our cabin - no safe working all week, no light in the bathroom but this was soon repaired. The inside ... Read More
We have done almost 30 cruises with Thomson/Marcella and this was the most luxurious ship we have been on. Yes we did have problems with our cabin - no safe working all week, no light in the bathroom but this was soon repaired. The inside cabin at the front of deck 9 was was comfortable, quite spacious with a well designed bathroom, plenty of storage space and very quiet. Daytime activities were limited and quizzes almost all music questions. However the breakfast and lunchtime buffets in the Marketplace was very good and evening waiter service along with the food in Latitudes were also very good. The shows in the Broadway were often excellent, but the evening entertainment in the Squid and Anchor was variable and often a bit chaotic, however since this was a maiden cruise it should improve as the entertainment team ' come to grips with their roles'. The crew are a major asset of the ship since they were invariably friendly and helpful. We knew the shore excursions can be expensive and since we had visited all the ports before only did one to Rome. It was The Easy Rome and was ok but did not leave the ship until 12pm. We arrived on the ship after 6pm so missed the lifeboat drill and never did one - this oversight must be sorted out. Yes we were aware of other problems around the ship but overall we enjoyed the cruise and are sure Marcella will sort them out and we recollect the Marcella Dream had host of problems when she first came into service with Thomson's. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We joined this ship on It’s maiden voyage following a major refit. Unfortunately the refit was not completed before the ship sailed. We arrived in our cabin to find no electricity, safe not working, old shower door stored on the ... Read More
We joined this ship on It’s maiden voyage following a major refit. Unfortunately the refit was not completed before the ship sailed. We arrived in our cabin to find no electricity, safe not working, old shower door stored on the balcony. The electricity and shower door were dealt with in a reasonable space of time. Someone came to fix the safe, told us it was new and they didn’t have a code and another person would come to fix. More than 24 hours later no one had come and we contacted reception again, after giving a report of the items that needed repairing the receptionist rolled her eyes to indicate she had enough of us. Another member of staff arrived to give us the same answer about the safe and left. It was eventually fixed after more than 24 hours on the ship. Once the electricity was back on we realised the television did not work. This was fixed on the second day. On the third night we came back from dinner to find we had no running water from the sink taps and reception was closed. We reported next day and it was repaired while we were on an excursion. That night after dinner we came back to find no water again until the next day when we reported again. At this time we asked for the general manager, to be told he’s usually around somewhere and no further indication that anyone would find him. Maintenance staff have called on three occasions to fix the air conditioning which has always worked and we’ve not reported any problems. Many of the dining areas incur a supplementary charge, not all. We went to Nanno’s (no charge) at lunchtime for pasta (45 minute wait), the Beach cove for skewers (1hr 10 minutes for main course), latitude for breakfast (dirty tablecloth, dirty crockery, toast with a 10 minute wait for butter). We decided to eat in the market place where there was a good choice of food and no waiting. My partner uses the gym most days and most of the electrical equipment and exercise bicycles do not work. Speaking to other guests it seems as if everyone has had issues with either their cabin, service or both. The staff are very friendly and are working hard but there is a sense that the processes in place are not working and a lot needs to be done to get this ship up to an acceptable standard. There is a real sales atmosphere on board, constant encouragement to upgrade to different packages. If you buy something there is a hard sell to buy more, we understand the need for companies to make money but it seems the balance is not right on this ship, and it can be uncomfortable at times and not relaxing. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
It was an anniversary cruise and we have sailed with TUI before and the Explorer 2 was supposed to have been refitted for this maiden voyage. We were given our cabin number at the airport and told our luggage would be taken straight to the ... Read More
It was an anniversary cruise and we have sailed with TUI before and the Explorer 2 was supposed to have been refitted for this maiden voyage. We were given our cabin number at the airport and told our luggage would be taken straight to the ship, this however was not the case, we were then told by the TUI rep on arrival we would have to get our cases ourselves. (For us not a big problem ) . Embarkation went smoothly and we found our cabin 9245 an aft balcony, soon we noticed the air con was not working, really cold cabin, the main cabin lights not working, wires hanging down from unconnected light, hole in roof panel where a vent should have been. All the above faults were reported immediately and again and again over the next few days, it was not until the 5th day of the cruise that they were all dealt with. Ours was not the only cabin to have faults and by the end of the cruise letters were posted under cabin doors offering compensation for the faults. The entertainment at nights was good but during the day was not as good as previous cruises we have done. Food was plentiful and OK in the main Market Place dining area, also in Latitudes but the vegetarian choice was very repetitive. Nonnas was worth trying for pasta. Shore excursions mixed reviews on these, Pompei and Vesuvius was good but that was only because we had Marios as a guide who was very passionate about the history. Disappointing to find out that most of the artefacts are on show in the City of Pompei museum and not on the actual archeological site. The opinion of several TUI staff on board was that the ship had not had long enough in refit process and we have to agree on that. Assume that most problems should have been dealt with by now but it’s a pity there were so many on a what was billed as a maiden voyage. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
At the time we booked the cruise because we thought we were going on a brand new luxury ship. Wrong. It is an old ship which has been refurbed once before. Some of the public rooms had had a make over and seeing them for the first time ... Read More
At the time we booked the cruise because we thought we were going on a brand new luxury ship. Wrong. It is an old ship which has been refurbed once before. Some of the public rooms had had a make over and seeing them for the first time raised expectations about the cabins. But looking around you realised many of the carpets had not been replaced in the upgrading. Unfortunately the cabins were shabby. The bathroom was grubby looking and I don't think it had been updated since it was new. There were none of the luxury touches I would expect of a 5 star holiday on land. No shampoo, creams etc. Just bog standard soap, and shower gel in a large container next to the shower. Our bathroom flooded one day when some valve broke, maintenance sent someone within half an hour who looked at it but the water stopped before he got there so he declared it fixed. Half an hour later it started flooding again and this time he had to replace the valve. I thought he would have sent a cleaner to clean up the water on the floor but I had to do that. Our safe did not work. There was only one electrical socket in the cabin. My room card stopped working and had to be replaced 6 times. We had a disabled cabin which was quite large, but the ordinary cabins were very small and had a step to the bathroom. One night the water was a bit choppy and the bathroom door kept sliding open and shut all night long as it didn't close properly. Food was OK but nothing great. Veg was frozen, including roast potatoes and chips. Not a lot of choice in the Market Place buffet, and no gravy with pie and mash.....! Premium restaurants were very expensive, ie £25 for the Indian restaurant. Very few people wanted to pay it so it was empty most of the time. On the last or second last night it was advertised in the notice put under your door every night as now being on offer at £19.95 after 9pm. Cocktails on the all inclusive were weak and made with a "mix" rather than real fruit juice so were very acidic. Staff were very friendly in the main, always saying hello when they passed by. However, some would say "sir" or "ma'am" and they often got the gender of one female guest with short hair wrong. We went on only one excursion which was OK. The entertainment was not our taste. Singers and dancers were young but quite good. The shows were not well written. Cinema was outside and the weather was poor. My mother had been looking forward to seeing a movie or two. You could purchase a movie package for the TV in your room but who wants to sit in their room on holiday. There was a couple of movie channels on the TV but they were often very old, or strangely for an adults only cruise, Disney style cartoons. Disembarkation was a fiasco. Your luggage was taken downstairs overnight you had to find it next morning using a colour coded label given to you the day before. The buses were late getting there so the queue of people with cases coiled in the hall. An expensive disappointment. My first and last cruise. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have been with Mariella (Thomson) several times including Baltic capitals this last August on Discovery -which encouraged us to go again with this company. As we wanted to avoid the Bay of Biscay and have limited mobility, we opted to ... Read More
We have been with Mariella (Thomson) several times including Baltic capitals this last August on Discovery -which encouraged us to go again with this company. As we wanted to avoid the Bay of Biscay and have limited mobility, we opted to fly cruise via Majorca. We are less mobile than we used to be and assistance was booked but this seemed to exclude TUI staff. Help was needed with luggage not wheelchairs but airports do both not one. The ship was Explorer 2 which was undertaking its second cruise since being fully refurbished. The ship and staff are still having issues. However I feel that others might wish to learn that this ship is not up to the standard even of Discovery There is a reduction or omission in many areas offered in comparison * no maps of the ship in the cabin * no maps of ports visited * much lower mileage of cruising: we even left port about 6 pm to idle off the coast for several hours (presumably this saves on port charges?) rather than take off later poorer entertainment * no classical music whatsoever - all pop * no readily available deck games (hosted or otherwise) although the putting green (not golf) was on the top deck around the funnel and was unreachable when the wind was up as most of the time * library was a joke - just one small stand with charity shop books although a few board games were available and were well used as little else to do Add to this, we had issues with a stuck loo outlet switch, a broken safe causing us a loss of almost a days visiting - not expected on an expensively regenerated ship It felt that every attempt was being made to cut costs even at the expense of cruisers enjoyment Overall - a boring experience and not to be repeated Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We went on the 2nd sailing of Explorer 2. Collection at the airport went smoothly, we were given some information to read on the coach. The check in at the port was quick and easy. Was slightly disappointed that we were not given a map ... Read More
We went on the 2nd sailing of Explorer 2. Collection at the airport went smoothly, we were given some information to read on the coach. The check in at the port was quick and easy. Was slightly disappointed that we were not given a map of the ship but there were screens and pictures around the ship that you could look to find your way around. The ship isn't perfect despite the recent refurb but its also not brand new and I think that is something people need to remember. It has been refurbished not ripped out and started again. So there were cosmetic things that were not in tip top shape. Was this a problem for us? No. There are some great features to it, the 19th Hole with its quirky buggies and golf simulators. Flutes where you can press the button and get more prosecco. The Squid & Anchor for quizzes, game shows, karaoke and Indigo where the nightclub is. Cabin - we had a balcony cabin on deck 9. It was really spacious. The wardrobes had plenty of hanging space and hangers. Then there were several drawers and shelves as well as the vanity table with drawers. The bathroom was decent as well and shower larger that other ships i've been on. Only negative the toilet wasn't working properly. We tried to ring Reception but our phone wasn't working either. Both were resolved fairly quickly after speaking with our Cabin Steward although the toilet did break 3 times that first day. We had a kettle & cups with tea bags etc which we were really pleased with. We were located near the stairs Aft (at the back of the ship) convenienty located just above Squid & Anchor and Latitude 53 and slightly below the Market Place. Dining - This for me was the most disappointing for me. We ate in all the free restaurants. I personally didn't feel there was as many options that we have had on previous cruises and wasn't very excited by the options given. We loved Nonna's which does fab pastas. Its worth noting that in the evening you get little breads and a small salad and slightly different choices on the pizza and the toppings for pasta. Definately worth trying in the day and evening. The Market Place has pretty much the same food as the Latitude restaurant. We enjoyed some meals in Vista which is the lower part of Latitude restaurant & has a bit of a Italian feel. We did not pay for any of the Speciaility Restaurants so I cannot comment on them. A nice touch was afternoon tea 3 - 5 that did sandwiches and scones. Food came out pretty quick and was well presented. The food at the Snack Shack and Beach Cove were about the same most days with a small varience. I really enjoyed the chocolate brownies. An added bonus was they had pre-packed salads and sandwiches and cookies. So if you wanted to take someting to your room for a snack later you could. The Coffee Port was set out really nice but I didn't use as I don't drink coffee and you had to pay extra for everything. We did go the the late night snack up in the Market Place most nights. Entertainment/Activities - The shows in the Broadway were pretty good. The main cast sing and dance very well but I didn't feel it was as good as some other ships. They were a 45 min set done twice a night. I felt sometimes the programme could have been done a bit better as some activities clashed with others so you missed out. Everyone has been raving about Revive, I didn't feel the story line was clear although the singing and dancing and costumes were great. I really enjoyed the Rockology and Soul shows. The Commedian was fantastic although if you are easily offended I wouldn't go. The Piano Man wasn't really to my taste but he was a good singer, his piano playing sometimes got lost in the backing tracks. Daytime Entertainment I felt was a bit lacking, we like to get involved in things and whilst looking at the Cruise News there seemed to be lots of things to do when you looked at what they were they were things like demonstrantions. Line dancing every day or signing up for golf simulator (which had charges). Evening Quizes were pretty good but we found it was the same people joining in all the time and audience particpation wasn't great. Indigo nightclub we went up a few times but it mainly was not many people in there, I think this was due to clashes with other activities and people not wanting to be up so late. Mini Golf is ok although the first game was the Sea Day when the waters were a bit rough so was a bit difficult but went back a few times. Pool Area - Plenty of sunbeds around the pool area and upper deck. There is also a veranda that you can use that has cushioned sunbeds and some nice little chairs. This is near the Cabana's but you have to pay for the Cabana's. There is always a man going around with a cart of certain drinks which delighted my husband. If you don't like anything on the cart though there was normally waiters around most of the time. Shore Excusions - we only did 2. We weren't going to bother as normally they are expensive but we booked one for Livorno before the Cruise and one whilst on it that were reasonable. The Livorno was the Canals but was pretty disappointed as out of 4 hours we were on the boat for about 40 mins then were left for an hour at a indoor market that sold fish, meat & cheese. None of which we could take back on the ship. The surrounding area wasn't the nicest and then we walked about 5 mins to the bus through a lovely little area that would have been nicer to sit and have a drink. The other was Sights in Barcelona. 3 hr tour to two mountains then a quick stop on the way back somewhere else. Enjoyed the tour. All ports were docked which is a lot easier when getting off the ship. Didn't have any problems with queing for getting on or off in a short amount of time. We bought photo's which was a pain because of how they have set up the offers. In the end we negotiated and got the photo's we wanted. You can buy photo's individually at a reasonable price which i haven't seen on other ships It felt very geared up for British Customers which isn't necessarily a bad thing but it has just been very different to the other cruises we've been on. All in all we had a great week, I'm not sure we'd go on Marella again as I don't feel it had the Wow factor hence the 4 star rating but we did have a great time and found the staff friendly and helpful in most cases. There were not that many public toilets and where there were some ie in the 19th Hole near the Show lounge there was only 2 cubicles. Should have toilets on every floor in my opinion. Thanks for reading if you made it to the end. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have sailed previously with Marella and overall been very happy with the product. Note... this is not a new ship. She is 25 years old and while she has been refurbished (some public areas are beautiful) there are some expected signs of ... Read More
We have sailed previously with Marella and overall been very happy with the product. Note... this is not a new ship. She is 25 years old and while she has been refurbished (some public areas are beautiful) there are some expected signs of the ships genuine age. Marella and TUI have been very upfront about the ships age, however some travel agents will say what they need to say to get the booking on! We stayed in the Royal Suite, which on first glance was amazing. After the first day we spotted some snagging that we attempted to get resolved with reception and our cabin staff but things didn’t get resolved. We escalated this to the guest relations manager who resolved it quickly and efficiently and showed a great deal of empthathy. Thank you Sam Hale, you’re a credit to Marella. The specialty dining was brilliant. Main dining was ok. I’d recommend the trio dining package for specialty resturants as it saves some money and brings the cost in at a quite reasonable price. We also paid extra for the premium drinks package. Being a wine drinker it was worth every penny, however many beer and spirits drinkers would be happy with the standard package. Overall it would have scored a 5 but the initial issues brought it down to a 4. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We booked this cruise based on the ship having been refitted, adults only and all inclusive. However, it was very difficult to see where any major investment had been made. The ship looked dated and tired in places. We had opted for a ... Read More
We booked this cruise based on the ship having been refitted, adults only and all inclusive. However, it was very difficult to see where any major investment had been made. The ship looked dated and tired in places. We had opted for a Junior Suite which was allocated on deck 12, and although the cabin was a reasonable size with a decent balcony, it was far from a premium product. The fixtures and furnishings were cheap and lacked comfort or style, the bed was the most uncomfortable I have had to sleep on. It was a cheap sprung mattress that was rock hard and the pillows were just awful. We had several problems during the cruise; safe not working, tepid water throughout the cruise, and the air conditioning was either hot or cold. The food onboard was very disappointing. We opted to eat four times in Vista the Italian restaurant within the main Latitude restaurant, as the food here was better than in Latitude which was awful. Food was served lukewarm, the choices were limited and as tables were crammed together it was impossible to have a private conversation. We found staff to be generally lacking any enthusiasm, and service was very hit and miss. Even at 7am as it opened for breakfast the tea was far from hot, the eggs cold and service sporadic. The all inclusive option also had several limitations. Coffees from the coffee shop were extra, water in the cabin was extra and the choice of cocktails included was basic, and as most were premixed the quality was poor. We were constantly asked to upgrade to a premium drinks package but at £50 each a week on top of what we had already paid, which was not insignificant, it felt like an insult. There were 3 speciality restaurants onboard but at a minimum of £28.95 per head, it felt like extortion. We have never had to pay anything like this on far superior cruises. Entertainment was generally good in the theatre, but some of the music acts were definitely lacking talent. We took two trips in port which were well executed and the tour companies employed were professional. Overall this is a budget cruise, and struggling to retain the basic standards. The ship needs further investment and updating, service and maintenance needs improving and food needs an overhaul. We were so disappointed and underwhelmed, and more so as we had high expectations based on the ship being on only its second week after the refit. We have cruised on many other lines and feel for what we paid we could have had a far better product with other companies. On a separate note the disembarkation was awful, disorganised, chaotic and badly planned - never again Marella. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The ship itself although it had its tea thing problems was a nice overall. The cabins were adequate and served there purpose we had an inside cabin, I felt the shower was very good, the pillows needed to be firmer or at least have the ... Read More
The ship itself although it had its tea thing problems was a nice overall. The cabins were adequate and served there purpose we had an inside cabin, I felt the shower was very good, the pillows needed to be firmer or at least have the option, plenty of storage, could be cleaner. The food in the self service was ok lots of room for improvement but served its purpose, I am Cluton free and that was very disappointing as I was hoping this had improved from our previous cruises, very little options although they show options but was never available. The restaurants on the ship was fantastic the food and service was very good this includes the package restaurants as well. The entertainment was way above my expectations and the theatre itself was very comfortable. The staff on board are very polite across the ship. As a whole we had a great time on and off the ship and would recommend a cruise, these are not high end but are a very good standard Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This is only our fourth cruise and we wanted a cruise that visited interesting places in the Mediterranean and was only a short flight from home. Mornings and evenings were cool but temperatures in the day around the low 20 degrees C and ... Read More
This is only our fourth cruise and we wanted a cruise that visited interesting places in the Mediterranean and was only a short flight from home. Mornings and evenings were cool but temperatures in the day around the low 20 degrees C and we had one rainy morning. We flew from East Midlands to Palma and although check-in was slow arrangements went smoothly until check-in at the cruise terminal where things again were slow. This cruise was the second week since the ship had been refurbished and the quality of furnishings and fittings was exceptional. The lifts were spacious and quick. Without exception all the staff we met were friendly, welcoming and helpful. Eating was a delight with open dining in six restaurants and three a la carte which cost extra. Ten bars, one a pub and a coffee shop completed the arrangements. The talented Explorer 2 Show Team produced a number of top class shows in the Broadway Show Lounge that would rival any produced in the West End. There were lots of activities during the day and in the evenings. Pampering was available at Champney’s Spa a new venture. We visited three Countries, five towns and could either walk in or take an inexpensive shuttle bus to enjoy them. There were lots of excursions to places like Pisa, Florence, Genoa and St Tropez and lots of room for sunbathing. Departing the ship was an ordeal because of poor organisation and we were again held up by Border Control at East Midlands on return. An enjoyable cruise, a top-class ship, fine food and drink and an outstanding crew. And the bonus adults only. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Booked under no illusion this would be like a Celebrity, Princess Cruise ect for the money paid, and that it was also an old shop which had been renovated rather than brand new. Overall impression public areas were clean and modern ... Read More
Booked under no illusion this would be like a Celebrity, Princess Cruise ect for the money paid, and that it was also an old shop which had been renovated rather than brand new. Overall impression public areas were clean and modern although there was a few snagging issues but this is to be expected and didn’t distract from our enjoyment while onboard. Food in the main dining room was really good, we had no complaints, and the a la cadre dining especially Surf and Turf was sublime. The only disappointment was the buffet restaurant which had limited choice at each meal time. Snack shack was good especially with the choice if having fresh salads and sandwiches available if you didn’t want to have a full blown meal. Entertainment was excellent, all performers were very professional and we enjoyed many a night in Squid and Anchor at the Gin bar listening and dancing to them. We was fortunate enough to have a Executive Suite, which was amazing, having usually booked a standard balcony. I read many complaints about size of cabins, beds against walls. For us we couldn’t complain. All in all we had a brilliant week, weather was also good for mid April in the Med, but having sailed on other cruise lines many of which are classed as ‘premium’ we knew not to compare, Marella target the U.K. market and the food and entertainment reflects this as does the price. Service was second to non and we would certainly travel on a Marella cruise in the future, however if you like the finer things in life maybe book another cruise line. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The first thing to note is that whilst this ship is new to Marella it was built in 1994 and in places despite a refit is showing its age. You will need to travel on TUIs German Mein Schiff 1 & 2 if you want brand new ships! It is also ... Read More
The first thing to note is that whilst this ship is new to Marella it was built in 1994 and in places despite a refit is showing its age. You will need to travel on TUIs German Mein Schiff 1 & 2 if you want brand new ships! It is also a shame the all inclusive bit doesn't start when you step on the very old Boeing 757 plane but then i suppose prices would be higher. We booked a cabin with a balcony and were allocated right in the middle of the ship on the port side on deck 8 . It was about the size of a normal Travelodge room and had a nice sized shower cubicle which for a big chap is really welcome and had plenty of storage with the cases fitting under the bed. We heard many guests who were on deck 4 and near the back of the boat complaining of noise from the kitchens and vibrations when the boat was travelling, however this was not the case where we were situated. As always the cabin steward was very helpful and all the staff worked hard to ensure the guests had a great time.The only niggle we found was how thin the toilet paper was but other than that everything else worked well. It was great to have pool towels, TV, safe, hairdryer and a small fridge included in our cabin. We stuck with the standard inclusive package which is all anyone could ever need, although we noticed that since our last cruise on Discovery last year the choice of cocktails is less extensive than it was just 11 months ago - Not a major issue though. Similarly instead of waiter service at your seats in the Broadway show lounge they offer you a table of about 8 different drinks as you go in. Whilst it limited your choice of drinks it did stop constant chatting to the waiters during the shows. The entertainment was excellent in the evenings with 5 fantastic shows by the entertainment cast with fantastic use of technology and two guest slots the first were two comedians and the second an Elton John impressionist. There is always lots going on around the ship although we were a little disappointed that the movies by moonlight were started 30 minutes before the first evening ) show finished (and ended 30 minutes after the second show started) so you never got to see a film all the way through! Marella seem to be catering for a younger generation in its 50s (which we are) as we heard lots of grumbles from older passengers that there was no formal dancing available, dance lessons or classical music evenings which apparently is what they like to do! Dining is plentiful and to cater for 1800 plus people they do a great job. The buffet was always hot and plentiful of choice. The formal restaurants Lattitude and Vista were also great. We loved Nonna's an informal no frills Italian restaurant. which we went to a few times. We could not justify paying for the additional charge restaurants and don't think we suffered for not going there. For lunch we picked up sandwiches from the snack shack before heading out for the day. We did not use the pools or the spa.gym but it had lots of customers during the time we were there. The real joy was the itinerary. A different destination everyday with no sea days made it a great holiday for us. It was a great cruise which i would happily go on again. Hope you find his useful Read Less
30 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Chose the cruise as a late booking, to compare with our experiences with P&O so far, as well as choosing an interior cabin for the first time. We usually travel as a party of 4 adults, so this was our first cruise as a couple, on an ... Read More
Chose the cruise as a late booking, to compare with our experiences with P&O so far, as well as choosing an interior cabin for the first time. We usually travel as a party of 4 adults, so this was our first cruise as a couple, on an adults only ship. TUI had only just started using Naples as their home port, and our arrival and departure at the airport were poor, not down to TUI, but the local airport services, with delays to finding stairs and buses and luggage for virtually every flight we talked to. Our weather for the week was mixed, but it didn't hinder any of our plans, and in fact the lightening storm at Ancona was the highlight of the visit, as there just isn't much there, especially on a Sunday ! Overall I would say that whilst Marbella was smaller than any P&O ship we have been on, half of the things about it were better, and half were poorer, so we would definitely sail with them again. I would say that P&O ships are better appointed, it's public spaces more luxurious, and they offer a wider variety of food in the buffets and restaurants. However the all inclusive on Marella is much better, the rooms more spacious, and the standard of service and friendliness from the staff overall was better. The main difference to us was that the Explorer made no use of the atrium area on the ship, and unlike P&O it wasn't a focal point for seating or dancing, but it was a smaller ship to be fair. The age profile probably averaged 50 to 60, and the activities reflected this. We had intended to eat at larger tables to meet people, but to be honest the tables for 2 are so close together, you have no option but to interact with other dinners ! Our ports of call were as follows, and I hate paying the rip off prices for tours charged by all cruise lines, so a bit of research means you can do it all at half the price - Naples we only had a couple of hours to explorer before departure, and so no chance to visit Pompei. It was May Day, and there was a major rally in the city, so it was as busy as Oxford Street on a Saturday, so we didn't see it at its best, but I wouldn't rush back as it struck me as a working port and a bit grubby. Easy walk to the centre of the city from the port. Split in Croatia was really worthwhile. Again an easy 10 minute walk from the ship to the centre, and it's really interesting to walk around the market outside the city walls, and then the warren of streets in the centre. We went back to the ship for lunch and then back along the waterfront and past the city centre to the Marjan Peninsular for a walk with views back down onto the city. Venice we went on deck for the early morning sail in, but the poor weather meant it was like sailing up the Humber Estuary in the mist. The rain delayed our start but we took the people mover from just outside the port (1.5 euros) to Piazza Roma, and took the vaporetto route 1 water taxi down the Grand Canal (7.5 euros) to San Marco. We went in the Doges Palace (20 euros) with only a 15 minute queue, up the Campanile Tower (8 euros) with only a 20 minute queue, and into the Basilica (free) with only a 10 minute queue. All were well worthwhile, especially the Basilica as on the way out you have the option to pay 5 euros to go up onto the roof for some great views down onto the square below which I would recommend. Afterwards we wandered the streets up the Rialto Bridge and market, and walked back up the Grand Canal to the people mover at Piazza Roma. The city is easy to walk around and there is no need to travel on the canals if you don't wish to, and the gondolas are a published 80 euros for 40 minutes wherever you catch one from. Ancona was just a filler stop, as there just isn't much there. The weather was our worst of the trip, which in some ways worked out, as we had a tremendous lightening storm in the afternoon which was the highlight of the town ! Dubrovnik was our favourite stop along with Venice, with the buildings like Split but more structured streets unlike the warrens at Split. From the port exit turn left and catch the bus 1 or 8 into the old town (15 kune) as it's a bit too far to walk, and when you get there you will want to walk the walls (200 kune). The walls are intact and a full circuit takes around an hour and a half, but the views are spectacular, and includes the adjacent fort with views back onto the town. The cable car to the lookout above the city was not operating due to a tax dispute with the government. Messina town in Sicily doesn't have much, so we opted to turn left out of the port and a 10 minute walk takes you to the central train station where a train runs regularly to Traormina Giardini station (8 euros return), but you need a taxi up to the town (15 euros) or wait for the bus. We didn't have much time so we got a taxi and the town is very quaint. Turns out that we did the right thing as some of the ship tours went nowhere due to an accident on the main road. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
chose this cruise as I had never tried a marella cruise before. previously sailed with p and o , princess and Azamara. liked the destinations offered for a 7 night cruise.. booked a deluxe cabin on deck 9 or 10 at cost of £2460 and ... Read More
chose this cruise as I had never tried a marella cruise before. previously sailed with p and o , princess and Azamara. liked the destinations offered for a 7 night cruise.. booked a deluxe cabin on deck 9 or 10 at cost of £2460 and paid for this in february. on arrival at airport handed cabin labels for a deck 8 cabin. told rep incorrect as no deluxe cabins on that deck. was told do not worry as she would email ship and rectify. arrived at naples and cabin type not resolved complained at booking hall and told to go to reception. went to reception at 13.00 and told to come back at 15.00. at 15.00 told do not worry cabin will be sorted but officer who could resolve issue was sorting out lost luggage. when asked why not resolved from our 4.00a.m query at airport was told officer was dealing with medical emergency. went back 2 hours later and maria the customer service supervisor told us not to worry that it would all be sorted.at18.00 as the ship was sailing from naples harbour was informed that TUI had changed the cabin type and refunded money to our booking agent. was told no deluxe cabin available and would have to keep the cabin allocated.i had no communication prior to the cruise about any change to the cabin type ,i received my etickets in april stating a deluxe cabin. no refund was received prior to the cruise date. if my booking was changed why was I not notified and why was I not given the chance to cancel and get a refund. the cabin booked was a deluxe cabin with a queen bed. we received a bed that had walls / petitions on 3 sides. to get out of the bed you could not walk around the bed but had to climb over the other person. after the first night my husband slept on the settee so as not to disturb me. hardly a deluxe holiday experience. food on cruise was okay but nothing special . tried speciality once but not worth the premium charged. best place for eating was nona for pizza and fresh pasta. on arrival in Dubrovnik went to customer service and asked about shuttle buses into the old town. told not allowed to provide as local bus companies do not allow it.azamara supplied shuttle buses when i went to dubrovnik with them. feel like customer service staff lie to your face in the hope that they will just get rid of you . it is now over 2 months since my cruise and i have still not had an explanation or apology from TUI. at the end of june they refunded £294 for the difference in cabin prices Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Destinations and fitted in with work etc. Reason for choice of Cruise. From the time we checked in on board to the time we left all was perfect. Ship new, clean and great taste. Latitude restaurant was first class. We ate most meals ... Read More
Destinations and fitted in with work etc. Reason for choice of Cruise. From the time we checked in on board to the time we left all was perfect. Ship new, clean and great taste. Latitude restaurant was first class. We ate most meals here, a treat for Mum and easier with wheelchair. All staff superb, always ready to help with mum and happy in their work. Cabin we had two balcony cabins and were superb. Entertainment in main theatre was very good. We enjoyed all. Some better than others, but overall a great evening. Went to nightclub and also entertaining. We were asked by Steven if we would be models for the fashion show, which we agreed to and was an amazing evening. Such fun. Ports were good, disappointed with Messina, a shame we couldn’t dock in Taormina. But others good. Have recommended to friends for July. We thought the Director of entertainment, Matt was excellent, and always had time to speak to us when we bumped into him on board. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We did have an enjoyable cruise returning home 2 days ago from Naples. It was unfortunate that norovirus was onboard for our entire cruise. This meant long queues in the buffet and the hot tubs were closed. The staff were great even ... Read More
We did have an enjoyable cruise returning home 2 days ago from Naples. It was unfortunate that norovirus was onboard for our entire cruise. This meant long queues in the buffet and the hot tubs were closed. The staff were great even though their work load increased greatly with having to serve passengers the buffet food. Hand sanitisers were everywhere and the majority of passengers did use them. We had a balcony cabin although we didn't use the balcony due to the poor weather. Our air con did not work. Although we reported it to reception twice and to maintenance three times, it was not fixed although maintenance tried 3 times. Consequently our cabin was freezing. When we disembarked, I mentioned to reception that the air con was still faulty and that it was a shame that they did not follow up any problems. They said that they had followed it up with us and that we had confirmed that the air con was fixed! That did not happen. It was also unfortunate that on our last night our toilet stopped working. Maintenance had to come out twice to try to fix it. We enjoyed the food. Our favourite restaurant was Vista. Our least favourite was Nonnas which was pizza and pasta. We liked the snack shack for poolside snacks and enjoyed the inclusive drinks. The broadway shows were excellent. I did feel that the cruise line was penny pinching more than usual. This is a brand new ship and when I asked for a map of the ship, I was told that there weren't any. We were also told that they would no longer give out any maps and information sheets for any of the ports. The reason given was that they wished to save paper. Ironically at the end of the cruise they were selling cruise certificates signed by the captain for £4.95. Yes - work that one out! Disembarkation day was not great. Naples was refusing to allow passengers to leave the ship due to the illness onboard until certain checks had been carried out. We left the ship late and had a stressful journey home. Embarking passengers were given onboard spend for their inconvenience but nothing for those passengers caught up in the disembarkation chaos. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
this was chose for the places to visit that we liked to go to. Firstly can i point out that this ship is a New to Marella cruises and not a Brand new ship as some say and was never listed as a Brand new ship. Anyway on to the review , The ... Read More
this was chose for the places to visit that we liked to go to. Firstly can i point out that this ship is a New to Marella cruises and not a Brand new ship as some say and was never listed as a Brand new ship. Anyway on to the review , The flight was good and on time , on arrival at Naples airport we were at the far end of the airport to get off the flight the transfer buses were slow in arriving and on arrival in the airport we had to wait close on an hour for our luggage .one all luggage collected we were then pointed to were we had to get the transfer bus to the ship , this was a long walk not really suitable for the elderly or those not good on their feet. we were then directed to the transfer bus and told by a rep that we could not go straight to the ship as the was a hold up and we would be taken to have some food and drink in Naples , we settled down to pizzas and wine and was taken care of very well. eventually after a few hours the rep came and collected us and we made our way to the port . when we arrived it was total chaos no one was able to go on board as the Naples authority would not let on due to an outbreak of Neurovirus onboard from the last cruise. Communication was poor throughout the wait and very little place to sit until much later when they opened a conference lounge for people. Eventually about 7.00 pm we were allowed onboard and able to go to our cabin where the luggage was waiting for us. The pools and the hot tubs were closed for the first week The staff were very helpful even though their work load increased with having to serve passengers buffet food and drinks the first week Hand sanitisers were everywhere and the majority of passengers did use them but not everyone .( this is why viruses are spread ) We enjoyed the food in all of the eating places we visited Our favourite restaurant was Vista . Least favourite was Nonnas which was pizza and pasta that you picked yourself and was prepared from your order The snack shack for poolside snacks very good food ,and enjoyed the inclusive drinks. The broadway shows were varied and really good. Comedian was great as was the silent disco ( a must for everyone to see ) The Squid and Anchor pub held all different activities , Flutes was really good for pre dinner drinks .Plenty of activity onboard throughout the day and evening at the different venues depending on your tastes. We thought that the cruise line was penny pinching a bit this time . This being a new ship to them we expected better, quite Disappointing that they no longer give out any maps and information sheets for any of the ports. or daily news sheets. The reason given was t they wished to save paper. on the first week the weather was mixed with some of our finest British rain. Venice in the rain was not quite the same as last time. We had a medical emergency and had to turn round and head for land which was a total of 6 hours altogether. all in all the cruise was very good and made better by the group we met right at the beginning when taken for our food. Many thanks to all the crew onboard for their efforts to make us all welcome under this difficult situation. This was our 16th cruise with this cruise line and will still sail with them again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Sat on floor as little seating in Naples port for over 5 hours with approx 1000 people. Rolls and water far between if can run and get them. As a pensioner with arthritis i couldn’t so a lady bought me chocolate at shop as starving . ... Read More
Sat on floor as little seating in Naples port for over 5 hours with approx 1000 people. Rolls and water far between if can run and get them. As a pensioner with arthritis i couldn’t so a lady bought me chocolate at shop as starving . Very little information. Told ship being deep cleaned as noro virus onboard although passengers There from previous cruise. Onboard ship found it extremely cold in all areas. Air vents blowing cold air even though unusually cold in Italy. Cabin thermostat not working . Other people saying same. Only felt warmer second week in Greece when weather warmer. Still had cold areas though. Woken 08.40 first morning after a very cold night with extremely loud vibrating metal hammering above my cabin. Forty five minutes later c/services sent maintenance man. He phoned someone but didn’t speak. I visited c/service desk , told working on air con and would only last one day. Four days later after same noise, same time plus every afternoon to a degree every day I was distraught from lack of sleep and very upset it finally stopped. I had tatty grubby shower curtain until door fitted on day 12 of cruise. No tv for 4 days then hit and miss. Electrician fitting low level lights on my deck several days, huge cable reel and tools to walk round. Plus huge noisy blowers drying wet carpets in lift areas. Good choice food in buffet but mostly only luke warm, even meat and fish, possible due to very cold temperature in ship. On positive side. Crew were wonderful, friendly ,nothing too much trouble. Shows brilliant. Lattitude 53 restaurant lovely service and food. I paid a lot of money for this cruise and am bitterly disappointed and upset that marella would treat its passengers this way. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Explorer 2 – What can I say? Loved, loved, loved her to bits and neither of us wanted to come home. I can only tell you our experiences and about the parts of the ship we frequented. Our favourite watering hole was Flutes, Prosecco ... Read More
Explorer 2 – What can I say? Loved, loved, loved her to bits and neither of us wanted to come home. I can only tell you our experiences and about the parts of the ship we frequented. Our favourite watering hole was Flutes, Prosecco for myself and G&T for DH, very well looked after by Karnal, Natassia and Flocer. Most evening the golden piano was played and it was a relaxing place to sit, have a drink and watch the world go by. We also used Aperitif as this was closest to the restaurants and was a far as the Vista pager range would stretch. We also used the bar in the nightclub Indigo and on the Verandah (deck 12). We upgraded to the Premium package which worked out at £7 per day and we reckon we had our monies worth. We used the Coffee Port every day, the lovely Alexandra fetching us steaming Flat Whites of Lavazza coffee. There is a small library of books, biographies and autobiographies, odd travel book and some fiction. On the last day passengers were leaving books they had brought with them so it should soon build up. One of Ex2’s cows lives in the coffee port and there are UK sockets in some of the booths if you want to recharge or work using them for your electronics. We weren’t able to book into any of the ‘pay’ extra eating venues as they were on reduced numbers due to staff having to be relocated to serve in the buffet and you just had to book them on the first day, whilst this was a bit disappointing we still had very good food elsewhere on the ship. We dined in Latitude 53 (MDR) 3 times and 4 times in Vista (Italian next door) and at all times we had lovely waiting staff, who kept our drinks topped up, can highly recommend the Merlot and Pinot Grigio, the food was hot and tasty and there was plenty of variety. I have to say I had the 3 pot Tastes of Tiramisu twice! We dined between 8pm and 8.30pm mostly and sometimes had to have a pager for Vista from the very efficient Iona. We also had lunch at The Snack Shack (lovely fish & chips), used the Help yourself cabinet with all manner of goodies for a lighter lunch, The Beach Cove and of course the Buffet where Afternoon Tea was served which I can personally recommend…Red Velvet cup cakes to die for and Jam & cream scones…lush! (All deck 11 Pool) We went to the 10.30 show in the Broadway lounge every night except one as we didn’t care to see a comedian. We loved Movies; a compilation of hits from the movies, Zuma; a Strictly Latin American extravaganza, Cogs; a lovely story about an inventor and Buds Diner; Grease based but didn’t rate Lovestruck which we thought was poorly directed and had a very good cast of singers wasted singing and shouting over each other so much you couldn’t tell what song they were singing, the story wasn’t good either, way too messy. The Broadway Shops are still building up but there was a god selection of goods for a price. I bought some perfume to use up the OBC and used the rest of it to buy some ship’s photographs. Everywhere around the ship there were hand sanitizers and you were encouraged to use them frequently. The Pool Deck when we were able to use it (3 days rain out of 7!!)had plenty of beds and places to eat as mentioned above. There were music quizzes and live music every day and all day there was music playing which at times was so loud you couldn’t speak to the person on the sun bed beside you. Marella its ok to have some quiet time at the pool, we don’t need entertaining all the time. My only real complaint was not enough public toilets only one set per deck, 6,7,11,and 12. They were however immaculately clean and well provisioned at all times. Sail aways weren’t particularly special but it was good to be on deck despite the rain in Venice but both Split and Dubrovnik were sunny. When Ex2 was putting in the knots to make up lost time it was windy on deck and quite a few people got burnt on sea day as they hadn’t counted for the strength of the sun due to the cooling wind. There were some very red legs and chests! All in all Explorer 2 is a great ship we were only on a week and would liked to have more time to have tried more of the facilities, we never got to Nonna’s or the 19th Hole or Champneys but gives us a good excuse to board her again later in the year! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We picked this cruise for price and destinations and it delivered on both, I was thinking there was no way this cruise would be great as it was so cheap, flights from UK to Naples then onto Split, Croatia Venice, Italy Ancona, Italy ... Read More
We picked this cruise for price and destinations and it delivered on both, I was thinking there was no way this cruise would be great as it was so cheap, flights from UK to Naples then onto Split, Croatia Venice, Italy Ancona, Italy Dubrovnik, Croatia and Sicily and back to Naples 7 nights all-inclusive for under £800 WOW The dining in the main restaurants was superb and the food choice was excellent, onboard activities I must admit apart from a quiz or to we didn't do much but from the list provided every day there was lots to do in the day time if you wanted it, the service from the staff was very good and they were all too keen on doing anything you asked of them, the evening entertainment was good, all be it same type each evening musical and dance apart from a comedian one night, Food and drinks during the day was very good overall the cruise was very good but not as good as cruises costing twice as much we have been on but you can't expect it to be but we were both very pleased with everything on board and would recommend this cruise to everyone wanting to cruise on a budget. We went on trips to the waterfalls from split and the caves from Ancona both good value trips we felt, but both had long coach trips over 1.5 hours but comfortable coaches help and both trips had a lot of walking so keep that in mind if you not good in your feet. We did have a issue in Naples unfortunately due to the port powers to be not letting us on board because if a sickness but for 8 Very long hours with no food or drinks supplied by Tui they did let us down there but they were on top of it once on board as we believe it had run the course. If it wasn't for that they would have got 5stars for everything. Word of warning !!!! Don't use the so-called duty free on board unless you know in advance how much the item you are buying is back home as like we found out it is not cheaper than back home and they will not honor their price match promise unless you tell them while on the cruise so they refused to give me a refund because I didn't find out until I was back in the UK, Tui isn't running the duty free I believe the company is called HARDING BROTHERS RETAIL Ltd well that's what it says on the receipt Read Less
Marella Explorer 2 Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins N/A 3.8
Dining N/A 3.8
Entertainment N/A 3.9
Fitness Recreation N/A 3.1
Family N/A 3.1
Service N/A 4.4

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