1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Marella Spirit
This cruise was apparently the first of the season for Spirit: from Cyprus via Turkey and Greece (Santorini) to Israel before return to Limassol. The weather was poor until Israel, something to consider in future for this area. Embarkation took an age; very few staff to cope with the long queues waiting in the wind and rain. There is no getting away from the fact that the Spirit has seen better days. It is an old workhorse being flogged to death, and you can only paint over the rust so many times. The crew never stop, seeming to be on duty practically every hour of the day. They do their best, but it is obvious they are working within very limited budgets. Food is basic, nothing of note apart from in the small Sirocco a la carte restaurant attached to the Compass Rose dining room. Meals in the Sirocco are £19 a head extra, well worth every penny. The menu is the same every day. The menu in the Compass Rose is pretty much the same as in the Lido restaurant, the self-service canteen. In many ways, apart from no tablecloths, the Lido offers diners a more interesting choice of food because they can mix and match whatever is available. Salads were plentiful, but daily offerings of cheap luncheon meat, broken up fish bits or cheese slices were not appealing. The extremely limited food budget was most noticeable towards the end of the voyage, where the menu was obviously a "use up" concoction of whatever was left in the galley storeroom. Chefs can only work with what they have. The destinations team needs to get its act together, and perhaps it will as the season progresses. Elderly and no-too-fit passengers were misled by information about trips: some people on the Hidden Santorini trips had real difficulties coping with a steep one-way tour. Information suggested only a short steep stretch near the cable car. A trip to the Dead Sea raised questions about changing and showering facilities. The information given was that the trip used a plush hotel with sunbeds, massages, and good showers. There was a bar, a few shops/stalls, communal changing, and chain-pulled showers on the beach. On the final day, at Limassol, passengers had to vacate cabins by 9am, and, obviously, many headed into town for a mini-outing before their flight home. The destination team had no idea - or failed to mention - that April 1st is a national holiday, so everything was closed. Cabins varied enormously, but always clean. Ours, on Deck 8, was always immaculate. Only a few cabins, on Deck 9, have balconies. These were overlooked by smokers on the sun deck. The evening entertainment showtime team were a young talented group with slick performances certain to be outstanding by the end of the season, and music at venues around the ships performed solo artistes and a combo was always well done. Much of the daytime "entertainment" was dire. Enrichment was a vegetable carving display, well done, but hardly mind-stretching. Public rooms varied; a couple of lounges were light and airy, but a huge opportunity is missed in the Horizon bar. It has the potential for panoramic views but is dark, dingy. A lick of light paint would do wonders.

Can only get better

Marella Spirit Cruise Review by Sycamoregirl

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
This cruise was apparently the first of the season for Spirit: from Cyprus via Turkey and Greece (Santorini) to Israel before return to Limassol. The weather was poor until Israel, something to consider in future for this area.

Embarkation took an age; very few staff to cope with the long queues waiting in the wind and rain.

There is no getting away from the fact that the Spirit has seen better days. It is an old workhorse being flogged to death, and you can only paint over the rust so many times. The crew never stop, seeming to be on duty practically every hour of the day. They do their best, but it is obvious they are working within very limited budgets.

Food is basic, nothing of note apart from in the small Sirocco a la carte restaurant attached to the Compass Rose dining room. Meals in the Sirocco are £19 a head extra, well worth every penny. The menu is the same every day. The menu in the Compass Rose is pretty much the same as in the Lido restaurant, the self-service canteen. In many ways, apart from no tablecloths, the Lido offers diners a more interesting choice of food because they can mix and match whatever is available. Salads were plentiful, but daily offerings of cheap luncheon meat, broken up fish bits or cheese slices were not appealing. The extremely limited food budget was most noticeable towards the end of the voyage, where the menu was obviously a "use up" concoction of whatever was left in the galley storeroom. Chefs can only work with what they have.

The destinations team needs to get its act together, and perhaps it will as the season progresses. Elderly and no-too-fit passengers were misled by information about trips: some people on the Hidden Santorini trips had real difficulties coping with a steep one-way tour. Information suggested only a short steep stretch near the cable car. A trip to the Dead Sea raised questions about changing and showering facilities. The information given was that the trip used a plush hotel with sunbeds, massages, and good showers. There was a bar, a few shops/stalls, communal changing, and chain-pulled showers on the beach. On the final day, at Limassol, passengers had to vacate cabins by 9am, and, obviously, many headed into town for a mini-outing before their flight home. The destination team had no idea - or failed to mention - that April 1st is a national holiday, so everything was closed.

Cabins varied enormously, but always clean. Ours, on Deck 8, was always immaculate. Only a few cabins, on Deck 9, have balconies. These were overlooked by smokers on the sun deck.

The evening entertainment showtime team were a young talented group with slick performances certain to be outstanding by the end of the season, and music at venues around the ships performed solo artistes and a combo was always well done. Much of the daytime "entertainment" was dire. Enrichment was a vegetable carving display, well done, but hardly mind-stretching.

Public rooms varied; a couple of lounges were light and airy, but a huge opportunity is missed in the Horizon bar. It has the potential for panoramic views but is dark, dingy. A lick of light paint would do wonders.
Sycamoregirl’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Marella Spirit price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews