5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because it included places we hadn't visited before. In that respect, it was a success, and might have been even better if the final stopping point of Giardini Naxos on Sicily was not mysteriously removed from the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it included places we hadn't visited before. In that respect, it was a success, and might have been even better if the final stopping point of Giardini Naxos on Sicily was not mysteriously removed from the itinerary as we boarded the ship !!! The excuse from the Captain is that it was a tender port and there wouldn't have been enough time to get passengers on and off. Really ? Marella only worked that out on the first day of the cruise ???? Difficult to believe that one. Passengers were offered £25 pp on-board credit to make up for this second sea day out of 7. On the face of it, a cost to TUI of about £50K. In reality, just getting passengers to buy more of the ship's services. A huge con. The holiday was going well (including a fabulous flight over the Alps) until we reached Naples airport. I've read other reviews, and our issue of no stairs, no buses to transfer to the terminal and late arrival of baggage is clearly not unique. On the return flight, we were between 1 and 2 hours late departing, again due to inefficient airport staff (or, being generous, using an airport which lacks the capacity to handle multiple arrivals). I will never fly into or out of Naples again !!! Our balcony cabin on Deck 8 was spacious and well equipped. The lack of sockets was offset to a large extent by the USB connections either side of the bed, very useful for charging phones !!! As long as you appreciate Explorer 2 is NOT new, you will be ok with things like stained shower grouting. Less satisfactory was a safe which was falling to bits and a balcony door which very definitely did not open and close in the designed manner. Because of the faulty safe, we actually had to attend the safety drill with our valuables in a Tesco bag !!!!!!!!!! We splashed out on one of the Cabanas for Sea Day 1, £99 but worth it as it also allowed us to access the health suite. Never been in an infinity pool which was warmer than a bath !! On Sea Day 2, I didn't make it to our favourite Veranda spot before 8 a.m. and there wasn't a free sunbed to be seen. The Market Place was fine for breakfast and afternoon snacks. We ate in Vista in the evening three times, and that was quite good. The undoubted eating highlight for us was the Diners Club on Sea Day 1, Yes, there was an additional cost of £45 pp, but for that we had a superb 7-course tasting menu, with an excellent complementary wine served with each course. Memorable. Less enjoyable was the Surf & Turf, but that was probably down to ourselves (I was sunburnt and my wife was unwell). Entertainment in the Broadway Lounge was surprisingly good - what an excellent group of dancers and singers the ship has. I believe there was a comedian on the ship on Day 5, but we had never heard of him (Tom Binns ??? ) so gave that a miss. Our favourite port was Split, though we felt a bit aggrieved to have splashed out £42 pp for an excursion which we could have done on foot for a few euro.The so-called wine tasting was a joke... Venice was disappointing due to the constant drizzle. We did get our trip on a gondola, but were unlucky enough to get the most surly Venetian gondolier who never spoke a word, never mind break into a few verses of O Solo Mio !!!! At least my wife was able to have a Bellini in the famous Harry's Bar. When she also wanted to eat in the famous restaurant, I knew it was time to break out the credit card !!!!! Ancona looked to be a lovely little town, but it was shut on the Sunday we called. Dubrovnik was absolutely lovely, and the cruise terminal was in a beautiful area, albeit a couple of miles from the old town. This brings me on to my main gripe about the Marella service - a lack of shuttle transport and lack of basic port information in the daily newssheets. I've read elsewhere that this is to save paper, to which I say 'Claptrap'. Why not tell you about the Venice Water Taxis (and cost) ? That would probably take all of a paragraph on Page 1. As I said, we didn't get our final stop in Giardini Naxos. It was a very small consolation to be sailing through the Messina Strait at tea-time and to cruise slowly past active Stromboli a few hours later. Imagine if it had been this week !!! It was a bit galling, however, to see what we think was Marella Explorer coming out from Giardini Naxos as we sailed past !!!!!!!!! No time problems for them. We were so looking forward to making a trip to Taormina. All in all, I know my review is not especially positive, but it is my honest opinion of a cruise experience which would not tempt me back to Marella. One good point which can't be forgotten is that our hold luggage was taken from the corridor and directly to Naples Airport. We didn't see it again until we got back in Glasgow. This was a first for me, and very welcome. Last word for the heroic staff, who serve drinks and food and keep the place shining, while smiling constantly. They are the real stars. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to have a weeks stay in Sorrento afterwards. It was our first cruise and after reading the reviews our expectations were not too high. After all it isn’t a high end cruise so we were not ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to have a weeks stay in Sorrento afterwards. It was our first cruise and after reading the reviews our expectations were not too high. After all it isn’t a high end cruise so we were not expecting luxury. Cabin - our balcony cabin was a good size, with more storage space than we could possibly use ( I pack the kitchen sink). Tea and coffee making facilities, comfy bed, everything you need. Food - Latitude restaurant the food was variable, some good some not so good. Some starters were so small I wouldn’t have bothered dirtying a plate it would have fit on a cracker. Vista was our favourite the Italian dishes were delicious Nonnas pizza was really good, but service slow because it is so busy. The Market Square - canteen food. Did not enjoy the food in here Entertainment- a good variety in the different bars and the broadway lounge Drinks - we upgraded to the premium drinks package and really enjoyed everything. The gym was well equipped and there was a fitness studio, however the air conditioning in the gym is non existent which is surprising when the rest of the ship is so well air conditioned. When I went to use the shower and changing room I was told I couldn’t as it was being reserved for people using the spa. Staff - OUTSTANDING everywhere. I couldn’t believe that on our second visit to the aperitive bar our waiter Rene knew what our drinks were. After all there are another 1400 or so people on the ship. The staff were amazing Now for what I didn’t like. The pool area is jam packed with sun beds and I am sure the people are up at the crack of dawn to get on them, and they don’t shift. The ship has a policy of moving towels off beds that are unoccupied after 45 minutes but I never saw that enforced. There are no parasols so if you did get a bed you would be in full sun. For the seven days we were on the ship the only sun we got was on our balcony as we couldn’t get near the sun deck till after 5 pm. I didn’t go on holiday to sit in my room! Unless you book the massively overpriced excursions there was little or no information given about where you are visiting. A request at destination services was met with are you booking a trip? When we said no, then we don’t give maps! They cancelled the stop in Sicily so we had an extra day at sea, for me that was the nail in the coffin. There were too few areas where you could relax in the fresh air. We did get a lounger on the starboard deck but it was in the shade and very windy. The activities on board ranged from bingo and quizzes to towel folding and talks on how to get rid of your fat belly. It was like being in a hotel with the doors locked and there is a limit to how much eating and drinking you can do Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
been with marella before,not the biggest ships but some value as the basic drinks package is in with the price,entertainment was good and the food is good,but not the italian restuarant the vote is out on that,but Norras paizza place ... Read More
been with marella before,not the biggest ships but some value as the basic drinks package is in with the price,entertainment was good and the food is good,but not the italian restuarant the vote is out on that,but Norras paizza place excellent,although they say referb ship only in the public areas cabins not only bathrooms the food is good and lots of places to eat from lots of choice,thae speciality restaurants are also very good the standard drinks package is excellent but they dont do banana banches on explorer 1 or 2 as they do on discovery,you can upgrade the drinks package if you like, entertainment i the main showroom is very good and varried,however on deck its the normal entertainment as on all ships no maps or info given out for your destination of the day wich is not very helpfull,they say look at the screen as this is saving papper,but seem to deliver plenty of crap in flyers to your cabin every day to sell you things. the flight to and from Naples (nighmare)on arriving half a mile walk along streets to the coaches,plus 1 broken wheel from flight on returning 2and a half hour delay while sitting on plane waiting for luggage to be loaded,only 1 small glass of water from tui,arrive gatewick 2 hrs 45 mins late another brocken wheel and zipper riped on case, I would use marella again but never NAPLES AVOID,but it would be about itinery first,the suites on board marella 2 i would not call suites at all just lager balcony cabins 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
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
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
8 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
Marella Explorer 2 Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins N/A 0.0
Dining N/A 0.0
Entertainment N/A 0.0
Fitness Recreation N/A 0.0
Family N/A 0.0
Service N/A 0.0

Find a Cruise

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