6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
As a National Customer Account Manger of one of the UK leading holiday companies and having now complete 15 Marella cruises I like to give an honest rounded option on the experience. Whilst this isn't a new ship and other reviews I ... Read More
As a National Customer Account Manger of one of the UK leading holiday companies and having now complete 15 Marella cruises I like to give an honest rounded option on the experience. Whilst this isn't a new ship and other reviews I read before the cruise also stated its new to the fleet and its a nice ship. The positives. Nice ship with some really good venues, bars and restaurants. The customer service from all the staff from cabins to bars & restaurants etc is excellent and what you would expect from Marella. The negatives. This ships sail out of Naples the worst airport experience I've had in 40 years both on arrival and departure so beware when you book. An hour and a half to get you luggage, another 20 minutes walk up bank with your cases to the coach park and another 20 minutes queue for the bus. Not the best start to a holiday going back was worse. Food was well below the standard and the worst myself and wife experienced in all our sailings. Respective tough meat dishes, no roast of the day,Jacket, boiled or roasts and only chips twice in the week. The sweet selection was basic and the same every night. As we and others arrived late on the ship due to the debacle at Naples airport the lunch buffet was closed and limited food on offer. The late night buffet was really basic and not worth the effort. We paid £100 for the drinks upgrade on the first day as I would rather drink Heineken rather than Fosters and my wife Bulmer rather than Strongbow ( personal choice) Two of the main bars Pool bar and the Squid and Anchor didn't stock these. The entertainment was pretty dreadful. The two best acts on the ship were the crew show and the guest artist from the UK. The bands The Collective were great but the Vibe were awful and looked and sounds as if the got together 5 minutes before the ship sailed. The rest of the entertainment crew were the worst I've seen on any cruise or even in the UK. This was an Adult cruise and they fed us kid type games shows backed up with poor jokes, lousy singers on top. If the Cruise Director/staff spent less time talking about themselves and put more focus on the customers it would have been better. The ports of call were good but the usual information you got maps etc from destination services were none existent. I purchase the internet for work back home if you don't use your megabytes you loose them. Summarise. Great ship. Excellent service. Entertainment rubbish. Food Poor. Talking on a new ship to the fleet, sticking it dry dock for two weeks and getting it out on the ocean is always going to have problems. You might change the name but not the previous shame. Marella have built up loyal following myself and wife included. The have built up the fleet of good ships and created a brand in Marella. This ship is way off the standard of any of the others and needs some serious surgery. I would give this ship a wide berth for 12 months till they sort the basics of the food and the entertainment out. I like many others would never travel into or out of Naples airport again its an nightmare. 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
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
5 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
8 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
8 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
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
7 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
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

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