1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We choose this cruise as it was value for money (i.e. affordable!) - particularly for single cabins, and we were not disappointed overall. For those people looking for the cruise experience and luxury, this isn't the cruise for them. We ... Read More
We choose this cruise as it was value for money (i.e. affordable!) - particularly for single cabins, and we were not disappointed overall. For those people looking for the cruise experience and luxury, this isn't the cruise for them. We treated this as a hotel that that parked in a different place every day, and were happy with the experience. First, the good bits - definitely the friendly staff, who were always so willing to help. The food was fine overall (particularly afternoon tea and those mini sausage rolls), the all-inclusive package offered us more than enough choice (particularly if you like cocktails, which I do), and the ship itself is clean and comfy. Our fellow passengers were friendly and helpful, and we hardly noticed the children on-board because they were so well behaved. Embarkation was smooth and fast, and the excursions were generally well organised with none of the waiting around to be called that we have previously experienced. On the downside, our cabins on deck 2 at the back were a bit noisy - but other noise was minimal and we were not disturbed overall. One of our 3 cabins had a smell at the beginning, but this was sorted - the annoying creaking noise was never identified!. The food was a bit variable - we always found something nice to eat in the Lido as there was a good choice but the food in the Meridian wasn't always what we expected although we enjoyed dining in the Meridian - the overall experience was nice. Potatoes were almost always a disappointment (roasties are meant to be crisp!). I didn't attend the evening entertainment - those that did were disappointed in the first week, but really enjoyed the second week. Excursions - mostly very good, and well organised. The only poor trip was the one around St Martin - poor guide, and 30 minutes spent in a boring, overpriced ice-cream shop Food - for those that need it, sugar free, GF and vegetarian options are offered as standard, and vegan diets are catered for on request Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This cruise was the first part of a cruise and stay holiday, and we were a little bit apprehensive about going back to an old ship ( a very old ship) we started our cruising holidays on thomsons and the defunct air tours ships but 48 ... Read More
This cruise was the first part of a cruise and stay holiday, and we were a little bit apprehensive about going back to an old ship ( a very old ship) we started our cruising holidays on thomsons and the defunct air tours ships but 48 cruises later and cruising on all the major cruise lines, it was a step back to the celebration, we paid extra for one of the balcony cabins, and it was well worth the money the room was large and spacious and had a bath with over shower, the balcony had two sun beds and a table and chairs, and the room overhaul was perfect, large comfortable bed, a nice size dressing table and ample storage for a two week cruise, black out curtains, fridge, in fact nothing at all was missing and we were very impressed with the room, the ship is small by modern standards but very friendly and that is down to most of the staff being from the phillipenes who have a very friendly nice aptitude to life, a small casino onboard wth two tables for cards one black jack, the other five card caribean poker, and one roulette table this casino is in Hemingway’s piano bar and is a lovely place for pre dinner drink and after a nice place to retire to bed from, with a singer on keyboard and a singer with guitar performing for you, you don’t have a full theatre on this ship but a nice showbar with adequate shows from the on board entertainers and some guest acts, dress code is poor a lot of people who think dressing up is cut off jeans with at t shirt is formal, but overhaul good value for money with all drinks and tips included in the price. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Marella Celebration Caribbean Cruise Decided on a cruise and stay with friends starting with the 1 Caribbean Gems cruise on the 17 th January from La Romana in the Dominican Republic followed by a 1 week stay at the Riu Macao in ... Read More
Marella Celebration Caribbean Cruise Decided on a cruise and stay with friends starting with the 1 Caribbean Gems cruise on the 17 th January from La Romana in the Dominican Republic followed by a 1 week stay at the Riu Macao in Bavaro. Flights on the Dreamliner once again could not be faulted with ample food, drinks and interactive entertainment on the monitor. Transfer to the Ship was extremely quick as all cruise passengers bypassed the arrivals hall and were transferred to the waiting coaches ( not even a passport check ) Were we actually in the Dominican !! Transfer time to the ship was only 20 minutes or so and the checking in process only took a matter of 20 minutes followed by welcome photos !! When you have been on the go since 5.00am in the morning do you really want photos before you get on the ship!! Our cases arrived within minutes of being shown to our cabins. We had opted for an upgrade to a level 7 Deluxe cabin with a large double bed, settee, bath/ shower and large windows and totally unobstructed views. We knew that our cabin had an interconnecting door to the adjacent cabin ( not our friends ) but had taken a roll of “ Gaffer Tape” as suggested on a trip advisor should noise be heard from the adjacent cabin, to tape up the door edge. As it was it happened it was easier to push folded newspaper into the gap - we didn’t hear anything from our neighbours the whole week. That evening for ease we dined in the Lido self service Restaurant and the choice of food was reasonable and overall of good quality. We also chose to dine there at lunch time and breakfast time with the breakfasts being exceptional. We dined in the Mistral Restaurant on an evening and this was a much better dining experience with a varied menu and exceptional service, also they have an open meal time arrangement where you just turn up at whatever time you want. We had decided not to go for the all inclusive drinks package as we were going to be fully all inclusive for our 2nd week at the Riu Macaoa Hotel and decided to “ take it easy “ on the ship! This we felt to be the right decision when we noticed that over 50% of drinks were subject to a supplement if on “ All Inclusive “ Typical Bar prices along with the supplements if on “ All Inclusive “ are Jonnie Walker Red £4.20 No Supplement Dewers White Label £4.30 All Inclusive £2.50 Supplement Zombie Cocktail £4.90 No Supplement Moscow Mule £4.90 All Inclusive £2.50 Supplement John Smiths Pint £3.95 No Supplement John Smiths 500mm Can £4.00 - All Inclusive Supplement £3.30 !!!!!! It should be noted that some water, coffees and soft drinks were also subject to a supplement. The evening entertainment in the main Broadway show lounge was of an extremely high standard. They advertise the shows as “West End Productions“ and they were, with all the animation crew giving 100%, the quality of their singing voices being exceptional. The entertainment in the various bars etc was equally good. As far as trips were concerned we did our own thing and used taxis which worked out at least half the price of the organised trips and visited exactly the same destinations. Worth a mention was George on St Lucia ( email georgietx479@gmail.com ) He was near the other terminal to where we docked ( past the glass pyramid building ) Also Glen Roy on Antigua ( email glenmon8@hotmail.com ) who gave us an incredible tour over to Nelsons Dockyard and surrounding areas, and was more interested in showing us the sights rather than watching the clock. He was quite a way up the main pedestrian street when you get of the ship. I can fully recommend them both and would suggest you email them first and organise a trip as you will not be disappointed with either of them - It will also save you “ running the gauntlet “ of 100s of taxi drivers and agents !! St Maarten was a beach day as it was only a 20 minute walk to glorious white sands and the warm Caribbean sea. As we were the only ship in that day we were able to secure some sun loungers and parasols for the day - if more than one ship is in I would suggest you take your towels just in case. Another ship, or should I say Yacht did turn up, this was the Eclipse belonging to Roman Abromovich with estimated costs following refits and addition of a submarine etc at 1.2 Billion Dollars - I don’t think their were any sun beds left for him though !! A word of caution on Guadeloupe - due to large Costa ship being in port at the same time their were very few taxis about, as such we ended up with a particularly bad taxi /driver / experience. Do not use a white 8/10 seater Reg BG424-EE, COQUASHANE Also note that on Guadeloupe they only accept the Euro. Overall an excellent Cruise with great ports of call and we would go on this smaller ship cruise again. I have posted a separate report on our stay at the Riu Macao Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was the first cruise my partner and I had been on. We were unsure of what to expect but this ship was recommended to us by a friend of the same age so thought we would give it a go. The ship is quite small but I think this was a ... Read More
This was the first cruise my partner and I had been on. We were unsure of what to expect but this ship was recommended to us by a friend of the same age so thought we would give it a go. The ship is quite small but I think this was a good thing as it meant things were accessible and we got to know both the staff and other passengers. The ship is on the older side and did creek at times, especially when it was rough at sea. There is plenty to do on board - it depends what you are looking for. There were daily quizzes, loads of live music in the bars and outside on deck and then daily demonstrations like ice sculpturing, napkin shaping and cooking masterclasses. They had the occasional lecture (frozen shoulder and how to look after yourself) - I have heard other cruises offer more lectures there was probably one per week on this one. There are 2 pools - on the smaller size but big enough and a whirlpool. On sea days the pool got a little busy. Thomson offer their own excursions but we often found it easier and cheaper to do the excursions ourselves as their offers were usually horrendously over priced (eg £40 just to go to a beach when a local taxi would do it for £10). We did do 2 of their trips - the St Kitts railway (as you cannot do this on your own) and snorkelling in Martinique (as it was our first time snorkelling, they gave you the equipment and the boat to take you was just at the port so it was very convenient). We thought these trips were very well ran and would recommend these ones. I am sure some of the others are just as good and convenient but we would just get off at the port and see what was on offer - sometimes with a bit of bartering. Getting off the ship each day was easy - you just swipe your card and off you go. On one day we had to get a tender to shore but was very easy and quite fun. The service was unfaultable. All of the staff were always so friendly, smiling and looked like they were genuinely enjoying their jobs. We got to know some of the waiting staff well. Tips are included in the price and is not expected, however, we gave a tip to a few of the waiters who had looked after us well at the end of the cruise. Once we got off the plane we got straight onto a coach to the embarkation port. We did not have to pick up luggage and that arrived later that night outside our cabins which was amazing. Travelling back was also easy - we put our luggage outside our cabin the night before disembarkation and did not see it again until we got back to the home airport. Our cabin was one of the larger ones - 716. Unfortunately it was right next to where people disembarked each day so sometimes we would be woken up by us docking and then the beeping of the cards being swiped. We didn't have long lie ins but this started from around 7 when we would get up after 8. The wardrobes were spacious - 2 double ones and there were 3 large drawers for storage. The bed was big but was quite rigid. It was a double but there was a bit of a cover rolled up in between 2 separate mattresses to stop there being a drop in between - this felt like wood at times! The bathroom was rather small but was manageable. There was a TV and a big desk with a large mirror on one wall. There was also a little window you could see out to sea. The cabin was always made up well. The dining was exceptional. They have the main Meridian restaurant which is waiter service, the lido which is a buffet style self service restaurant and then 3 other small speciality restaurants you have to pay a supplement on. The Meridian is superb. Breakfast is good - full English, omelettes, French toast, daily specials as well as toast and cereals. Lunch is a highlight - 3 courses and all amazing with wine or any other drin from the bar. Dinner was amazing - 4 courses (you can chose 2 starters - one from the left box and one from the right). When you come in you are asked if you mind sharing - this gets you a table faster and there was often a big queue for couples wanting to sit on their own. Depends what you fancy doing - the people we met at dinner were really nice and had great stories to tell. Towards the end of the cruise we did just fancy our own space so chose to sit on our own - no issues either way! The service was very good - always so fast and they will get you anything you want. Wine was free flowing. The Lido wasn't too bad - we went there for afternoon tea which was ok and would sometimes go there for snacks in the late afternoon like pizza, chips and they have a great wrap bar as well. We would go here for a midnight snack too - it is open until 1am. We thought this was good. We got an all inclusive deal (which wasn't actually all inclusive but did give us access to most of the drinks). There are some drinks and cocktails you have to pay extra for and they do a premium wine deal for better wines. What we had in the basic drinks package was good enough though but it is a bit annoying when you think you have all inclusive to find that you actually don't! I would recommend the basic drinks package as we thought it was good value for money. The bars are cool - especially horizons at the front of the ship. Annoyingly, we had to pay for the cabin safe which was a little magnet device. It did not feel very safe and we had to hide the magnet in the room (fear that it would get lost if we carted it around with us). We again thought it was a little annoying having to pay extra for this as with all inclusive you thought that everything was included. The entertainment was great. Each evening there was 2 shows - an early and a late showing. We went on a behind the scenes of the show team and it was fascinating to learn what the team have to go through to be selected and then rehearse it all. They have different themes each night - musicals, Africa, queen etc. One day per week they had a comedian on. Annoyingly some of the shows were repeated - queen on the first night and the musicals on the last night. All the shows were great. To be honest, we could not fault the cruise itself and it had everything you would want. We did find though that some people (not all by any means) were a bit rude and had a lack of manners - for example taking menus from our table without asking, pushing in the queues etc. As it was our first cruise I cannot comment on if this was the cruise itself that attracted this kind of people or not. The majority of people we met were not like this but it did grind you down by the end of the cruise. I'd like to go back on a cruise at some point but perhaps would try another ship. I would go back on this one though but want to explore others first to see how they compare. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was a great cruise, my first one! I am used to arranging holidays myself so to be honest i thought i would be bored but i was so wrong! There was plenty to do. First of all for what i paid for both of us, i was astounded at ... Read More
This was a great cruise, my first one! I am used to arranging holidays myself so to be honest i thought i would be bored but i was so wrong! There was plenty to do. First of all for what i paid for both of us, i was astounded at what i got for the price, i was even trying to work out how they made any money out of that once flights where taken off etc. The booking process was simple, the flight was clean, comfortable, well provided for and the process of getting to the ship was easy. Yes there are a lot of older generation people on the ship, i have no idea how people can moan about this in the reviews lol!, who really cares! everyone knows that demographically your retired and well off older people are going to be a likely target market for the cruise, it didn't bother me at all, why would it lol. I didn't spend the whole trip sat next to old people taking out their false teeth in front of me, they make it sound horrific lol. The ship is old. That is okay. Some people are moaning about this, believe it or not people are quite capable of doing their own research before hand, i googled the ship before hand, i could see it was an older ship, ships can be old, they are allowed to be old!, how can people moan that a ship is old! yes it is!, if they don't like it, don't go on that particular ship! what are the agents supposed to do? give it an age warning just in-case? people need to get a grip. It was an older ship yes, did the slight creaks bother me? no it didn't, absolutely fine. The entertainment was fab, a great variety, some people are moaning about this too, if i wasn't in the mood for a pop quiz i could simply walk away from it and sit at another pool or part of the ship, people do have free choice and cannot expect to have every aspect provided to their needs ALL the time, it drives me batty. I didn't expect to like much entertainment on board because i don't usually see shows etc, but i was pleasantly surprised and a great comedian too! The food was great, yes the all you can eat area might not have been fine dining but it was fine for me, and to be honest it was exceptional value for money, there was lots of choice, for what i paid for the cruise i had lower expectations, but there was nothing low about the quality of the food. The ports where great too, yes the British virgin islands had been damaged by the hurricane, i expected this, there had just been a hurricane, even then i had choices, go on one of the tours to get me away from the lesser damaged areas, or stay on the ship, i cannot moan at company for taking us their, they are one of the only ships that are still docking at tortola and giving well needed custom to an island that really needs our help. I could either 'moan that we shouldn't have gone there because aesthetically it didn't meet my needs' or go 'sod it, who cares, we are helping someone, if i am privileged enough to even go on a cruise, then some broken buildings and bent palm trees are not going to trouble me', and i made sure i give the local shops there my money too. We visited lots of beautiful islands. It was amazing and i swear every single member of staff greeted us and said hi, it was lovely. We had to see an on-ship doctor at one point, that was great too, yes i paid for the doctor, did i expect to get it free? no of course i didn't! i didn't mind paying either! someone was moaning earlier that the on ship doctor wasn't free, jesus christ! Sure there might be some luxury high end cruises that wrap the cost of this up in their ticket prices but it certainly wasn't going to be in a marella cruise ticket,it's a cruise not the ritz lol, of course its extra! doctors have jobs, incomes, families, he's probably contracted out by the company as well, hiring a doctor is not cheap!, everything needs looking after, it's so mean of people to say its a money grabbing exercise from the ship, well yes it is grabbing money, to pay the blimming doctors wages and keep it a high standard! thats how business works. I loved my cruise but some people want everything given to them and do not appreciate things. It was lovely!!!!! Our room cleaner was really great too! saying hi every single day! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our first cruise and most certainly will not be our last. Firstly, I cannot praise the staff enough. The entertainment team were brilliant, the housekeeping team were so helpful.Towels and bedding were changed daily. (Towels twice ... Read More
This was our first cruise and most certainly will not be our last. Firstly, I cannot praise the staff enough. The entertainment team were brilliant, the housekeeping team were so helpful.Towels and bedding were changed daily. (Towels twice a day). Our housekeeper, Mukti, was happy to change our "pool" towels whenever we asked. The catering team, reception, in fact everyone, was hard working yet still had time to be friendly. With different entertainment and dining options on each level, there was plenty of choices for everyone. The meals were great. I highly recommend buying the all inclusive package. My one moan would be that the Wi-Fi on board was a little over priced, but with free Wi-Fi at all ports,this wasn't a problem. We took advantage of a lot of the excursions as we found this was the best way to make the most of the Islands and what they had to offer.Be prepared to see some of the most amazing scenery. We loved every minute and will be looking at returning next year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Fantastic time on this cruise. The staff and crew made the holiday from the time we boarded until the time we left. We would like to thank all the staff but would like to name a few who made our first time special. Our cabin ... Read More
Fantastic time on this cruise. The staff and crew made the holiday from the time we boarded until the time we left. We would like to thank all the staff but would like to name a few who made our first time special. Our cabin steward was Ronaldo who always smiled and was always there if we needed anything. Every morning in the Meridian restaurant we were greeted by the staff who were all pleasant and helpful especially Rosey. At night we returned to the Meredian and was spoilt by Frank our waiter who was always pleasant, polite and who spent time learning our names so we felt special (especially my mother who is in her 80’s and everyone called met mammy). Our wine waiter was Kumar who was so polite and always smiling, he made sure our glasses were never empty and made the most fantastic cocktails. After the show at night (which were always brilliant) we went to the Horizons bar were the staff could not do enough for you. They were so funny the way the reacted to each other it was sometimes like being at another show. We would like to thank Mohammed, Roger, Cecelia, Benjamin and Rohan for making our time on the Marella a memorable one. All the officers were pleasant but we enjoyed chatting to Chimi who was in charge of all the restaurants. If we met any of the staff or officers around the ship they always spoke and therefore when we look at cruising again in the future it will be with Thompson’s. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This cruise ship is one of the smallest in the fleet, and therefore does not have a large amount of things to do. The interior is tired but they have updated the carpets and curtains. Accommodation: Typical inside double room, ... Read More
This cruise ship is one of the smallest in the fleet, and therefore does not have a large amount of things to do. The interior is tired but they have updated the carpets and curtains. Accommodation: Typical inside double room, with 2 single beds, and a butler who does a great job, and always kept the cabin clean & tidy. Entertainment: Every night there was a musical show, usually with 2 performances, which was excellent, the team put on a great show. With 4 bars in total, which all have they’re own musical themes, jazz, piano bar, disco etc, and an outside pool music after the last show most nights. A casino & slot machines, are attached to one of the bars, which opens during the afternoon and evening, until around 2am. Daily games of Bingo, pool games, trivia quiz shows. Also on board is a small gym, photo studio, spa & beauty salon, and duty free shop. Every day we arrived in a new port, which was excellent, with trips to great locations, however we did our own thing, using the local taxi’s, which were cheaper, and where we wanted to visit, with no time restraints. Food: The food is either buffet or A la Carte, which are British style menus. The pool side offers a quick snack area, with Pizza, Burgers & Hot Dogs etc. The brochure boasts 2 other restaurants, (French & Oriental), both are available at additional costs, even though I chose to upgrade to the All Inclusive Package, they are not included. Drink: When I booked this trip I paid the additional cost to go all inclusive, however TUI’s idea of All Inclusive is not what I expected. Firstly, if you want cans of Fizzy Juice, Bottled Water, Blue Bombay Gin, Malt whisky, certain cocktails, Peach Shnaps, or bottled beer, then this is chargeable. If you want to go to the Coffee Pot, which offers various styles of coffee, muffins & cakes, this also is chargeable, (not included in the All Inclusive Package), however you can go to your cabin, or any of the bars and get a cup of coffee, for free!! As stated I feel the All Inclusive Package is not clearly defined at booking point. Within 10 mins of getting on board I was pushed to upgrade to the Premium Package, at an additional cost of £50 per person for a week. Room service is available 24/7, food & drinks, and the cabin mini bar is not covered by the All Inclusive Package or the Premium Package. Communication: When booking this trip, I was informed that Wifi was available and mobile access was available whilst at sea. The truth is, I very rarely had any signal or able to connect to the ships network provider. The only time you get signal is in ports, but on this trip we had 2 days at sea, so no contact during these occasions. WiFi is charged at £8 for an hour, £15 per day, £25 for 3 days or £49 for the week, but only available in public areas not the cabins. Services: Laundry service (wash & fold), at a cost of £14.95 a bag. Pool towels, which are replaced daily Safety Deposit box in the cabin, which is chargeable. Smoking areas are available. This was my first cruise holiday, and I enjoyed the port stops, crew were great, food excellent, however I feel TUI are always looking at ways to get more money out of you. They are not clear at pointing out the all Inclusive Package or communication when booking stage. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
First of all this is not my first cruise my 3rd in the last 12 months Marella Celebration is a old ship and feels old passages are mostly 99 percent on all-inclusive and Are drinking most of the day and not even seeing the ports of ... Read More
First of all this is not my first cruise my 3rd in the last 12 months Marella Celebration is a old ship and feels old passages are mostly 99 percent on all-inclusive and Are drinking most of the day and not even seeing the ports of call. Let start of the food not the greatest food ever been severed on any ship lukewarm and just basic if you want to pay more and go to that paid restaurants then of course it ups its standards. Now the entertainment on board is where I have some real issues the leadership of the cruise director called Gavin is a lot to be desired when he's around the poolside doing games he makes ridiculous noises dogs other sounds and looks like a complete fool who is in charge of his team also I'm not a great lover of shows when you are never sure if the singers are really singing. The game show are great if you have been drinking all day and night because I have never had the pleasure of being to any holiday camps in the UK but I was told by most people sitting around me thats how they come across very poor and badly presented . The cabins are fine but any vibrations around the ship can be heard most nights. I will not be booking any more Tui ships in the future I understand that the company have new ships what I can't understand why they let This ship carry on in the fleet because it's a very poor example stay well clear of this company and its ships till they rethink their ships Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
First of all this was my 4th cruise in the last 16 months and thankfully I know there are better cruise lines & ships out there. Straight away after the captains reception you know this cruise is not going to be normal cruising ... Read More
First of all this was my 4th cruise in the last 16 months and thankfully I know there are better cruise lines & ships out there. Straight away after the captains reception you know this cruise is not going to be normal cruising the captain speech which is the most boring and longest I've ever seen on any ship in 5 years of cruising starts what really is a very poor week. Because the man who is the figure head for the ship tells awful corny jokes about all members and officers of his team as for the entertainment Onboard the shows are ok if you are not use to other ships which have a band play along side the shows which you are never sure if the singers are actually singing or miming . The games shows are some of the wrost I have seen on any entertainment venue anywhere in the world if you are drunk or have never watched any telly for 20 years they would be fine but all I saw were the hosts trying as hard as they can to make the games look good. The cruise director a Mr Gavin Carroll make the most. Ridiculous noises I've ever heard all around the poolside when he is hosting a game somebody or some drunk must have told this is funny at sometime. I watch the cruise director talk to his team several times in a manner that would not be acceptable in any shape or form of any business and comes across as someone who only cares about how he is doing as a performer not his team. The meals onboad are very basic not what you come to expect from any cruise ship nothing that's going to get you excited about entering the dining room . Most passengers that I watched aboard the ship with my husband were either drunk midday or very drunk at night the ship comes across as something you would expect to see in Benidorm or some low-grade hotel in Europe if you are somebody that cruise before like myself this is one ship to stay clear off because it is not anything you would expect to see on any other shipping company very low grade food and hospitality. cabins on board are okay big problem is the noise of the vibration of the ship Read Less
Marella Celebration Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 3.7
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.5
Family 3.0 3.5
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.6
Enrichment N/A 3.3
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.9

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