1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Marella Celebration
The cruise was billed as a luxury cruise, lovely ship and service. The opposite was true. Embarkation was easy and we were on in minutes, after a long flight (Thomson an hour delay too) we needed to rest. First impressions of the ship..tired and old and nothing very attractive about it..too little sundeck space so nowhere to sit or lie in the sun as beds literally crammed in. The ship has an almost constant large vibration you can feel no matter what deck you are on..and i mean it SHAKES you. Several people i spoke to had moved cabins as found it hard to sleep but found no resolution as the whole ship shook. Even the Captain at his cocktal party when asking if people enjoyed themselves so far got a booo when it came to asking about the ship and said 'yes shes old' or something to that effect! Anyway given one twin cabin one double which i was supposed to share with my 11yr old..asked for a change of cabin and told doubles are rare and in need so they will sort but it didnt happen so my husband shared with our 14yr old son in the double all week. The cabins were ok good size but tired, bedding and towels not a good colour of grey! You could hear people turn over in bed next door and coughing..all night. Or coming in from the bar at 3am fighting/screaming/shouting...The aircon didnt work and i assume they know this as they sent me a fan right away when i asked..no repair man first even..and the fan was broken i had to prop it with a box we had. The safety/muster talk went on for ages, even telling us to be careful on deck cos can be slippy..and to be careful as some doorways to the deck are raised and it can be breezy on deck etc..really? the longest most boring hot muster ever experienced. We quickly became aware of the boozy mentality of a lot of our fellow passengers...boasting they were 'all inclusive' drinks and at the bar at 10am with pints. We even witnessed the 'Captains cocktail party' people downing the champagne glass after glass and had the cheek to lean back and put the empties on our table! i mean to the point where the wife couldnt walk without holding her husband who had said loudly 'shes going for a beer' (champagne!) So many nice people who expected a civilised trip. We had feral teens with no adults (asleep in the cabin!) while they screamed, shouted and upset people with their language..dug their hands in food, removed baubles from the trees to use as footballs..left unchallenged til passengers actually took it on themselves to sort them. People were so angry. It was day 5 before they were told the adults with them needed to stay with them all the time for the remainder of the cruise. On each cruise we have been on my young for his age, but wise, 14yr old joins kids club with his 11yr old sibling, is no trouble to anyone and joins in the quizes and games but was refused even tho there were few kids in the club. I was told NO most def. Neither of them went to kids club after that.. Food selection was quite poor..a few evenings my son and i who dont like red meat ate crackers and cheese or made rolls..vegetarian options were thin on the ground. We asked for omelettes one day in the meridian but they were tasteless. Xmas dinner was the worst ive ever had..nothing that resembled gravy! no extras to make it feel special...oh other than a table with scattered 'quality street' on it! Entertainment wasnt my thing but my partner enjoyed it..its the same every evening but one, the thomson crew singing and dancing...on the one evening we had a comedy magician he wasn't much cop..expected better especially over xmas! A quiz each afternoon and a resident band singing on deck (her voice can clear your ears) was the rest of the entertainment for families. Staff onboard were lovely and service excellent (ship staff) we couldnt have asked for much more. Thomson reps were rude, and gave very wrong info to me on more than one occasions. Thankfully i got advice at the port and was put right. (they told me in Dubai you cant use public beaches with swimsuits on..and they would be too crowded!....we found a beach with no-one within 100yds of us and pure clear waters, and we bathed for 4hrs in our swimsuits! ) Made to disembark for the flight home at 5.45am but the coach sat there for 30 minutes before we left...got to the airport at 7am for the 9.15am flight..told it was delayed an hour..waited til 2pm before being told we werent flying. No info at all all day..told there was no public address system. After asking told to go to mcds for lunch-a queue of over an hour..eventually after waiting an hour for cases back and 90minutes in the foyer of the airport we left at 5.10pm to be taken to premier inn and arrive 3 coach loads taking almost 2hrs to check-in..my partner was given 3 lots of rooms! the first two he was given had people in them when he opened the doors! During all this time the Thomson rep avoided us and because no-one knew what was happening people were getting angry. We were told the flight was going to be 3am the next morning..so not even a nights sleep..ended up being 10am scheduled to another early start and even then it was delayed again. i was told groups of young adults were making a nuisance of themselves on deck 3 fighting and punched a cabin wall and cracked it, drunk and had even threatened to burn people out of their cabins. Staff refused to call police as said it would be too dangerous to put them off ship in the UAE! I could go on all day..but will leave you with this as it sums up their attitude to us. Quote of the day...one passenger asks 'is there water on the coach?' as we leave the airport at 5.10pm after being there since 7am...rep answers 'no' man says..'we have been here since 7am you know we need more drinks?' rep replies 'yeh so have i' Man (and several on the coach) YES BUT YOU'RE GETTING PAID TO BE HERE!! My best tip? dont ever book a thomson flight or cruise!

Shocking ship, shocking holiday-makers-shame on Thomson

Marella Celebration Cruise Review by louloo22

20 people found this helpful
Trip Details
The cruise was billed as a luxury cruise, lovely ship and service. The opposite was true. Embarkation was easy and we were on in minutes, after a long flight (Thomson an hour delay too) we needed to rest.

First impressions of the ship..tired and old and nothing very attractive about it..too little sundeck space so nowhere to sit or lie in the sun as beds literally crammed in. The ship has an almost constant large vibration you can feel no matter what deck you are on..and i mean it SHAKES you. Several people i spoke to had moved cabins as found it hard to sleep but found no resolution as the whole ship shook. Even the Captain at his cocktal party when asking if people enjoyed themselves so far got a booo when it came to asking about the ship and said 'yes shes old' or something to that effect!

Anyway given one twin cabin one double which i was supposed to share with my 11yr old..asked for a change of cabin and told doubles are rare and in need so they will sort but it didnt happen so my husband shared with our 14yr old son in the double all week.

The cabins were ok good size but tired, bedding and towels not a good colour of grey! You could hear people turn over in bed next door and coughing..all night. Or coming in from the bar at 3am fighting/screaming/shouting...The aircon didnt work and i assume they know this as they sent me a fan right away when i asked..no repair man first even..and the fan was broken i had to prop it with a box we had.

The safety/muster talk went on for ages, even telling us to be careful on deck cos can be slippy..and to be careful as some doorways to the deck are raised and it can be breezy on deck etc..really? the longest most boring hot muster ever experienced.

We quickly became aware of the boozy mentality of a lot of our fellow passengers...boasting they were 'all inclusive' drinks and at the bar at 10am with pints. We even witnessed the 'Captains cocktail party' people downing the champagne glass after glass and had the cheek to lean back and put the empties on our table! i mean to the point where the wife couldnt walk without holding her husband who had said loudly 'shes going for a beer' (champagne!)

So many nice people who expected a civilised trip. We had feral teens with no adults (asleep in the cabin!) while they screamed, shouted and upset people with their language..dug their hands in food, removed baubles from the trees to use as footballs..left unchallenged til passengers actually took it on themselves to sort them. People were so angry. It was day 5 before they were told the adults with them needed to stay with them all the time for the remainder of the cruise.

On each cruise we have been on my young for his age, but wise, 14yr old joins kids club with his 11yr old sibling, is no trouble to anyone and joins in the quizes and games but was refused even tho there were few kids in the club. I was told NO most def. Neither of them went to kids club after that..

Food selection was quite poor..a few evenings my son and i who dont like red meat ate crackers and cheese or made rolls..vegetarian options were thin on the ground. We asked for omelettes one day in the meridian but they were tasteless. Xmas dinner was the worst ive ever had..nothing that resembled gravy! no extras to make it feel special...oh other than a table with scattered 'quality street' on it!

Entertainment wasnt my thing but my partner enjoyed it..its the same every evening but one, the thomson crew singing and dancing...on the one evening we had a comedy magician he wasn't much cop..expected better especially over xmas! A quiz each afternoon and a resident band singing on deck (her voice can clear your ears) was the rest of the entertainment for families.

Staff onboard were lovely and service excellent (ship staff) we couldnt have asked for much more. Thomson reps were rude, and gave very wrong info to me on more than one occasions. Thankfully i got advice at the port and was put right. (they told me in Dubai you cant use public beaches with swimsuits on..and they would be too crowded!....we found a beach with no-one within 100yds of us and pure clear waters, and we bathed for 4hrs in our swimsuits! )

Made to disembark for the flight home at 5.45am but the coach sat there for 30 minutes before we left...got to the airport at 7am for the 9.15am flight..told it was delayed an hour..waited til 2pm before being told we werent flying. No info at all all day..told there was no public address system. After asking told to go to mcds for lunch-a queue of over an hour..eventually after waiting an hour for cases back and 90minutes in the foyer of the airport we left at 5.10pm to be taken to premier inn and arrive 3 coach loads taking almost 2hrs to check-in..my partner was given 3 lots of rooms! the first two he was given had people in them when he opened the doors! During all this time the Thomson rep avoided us and because no-one knew what was happening people were getting angry. We were told the flight was going to be 3am the next morning..so not even a nights sleep..ended up being 10am scheduled to another early start and even then it was delayed again.

i was told groups of young adults were making a nuisance of themselves on deck 3 fighting and punched a cabin wall and cracked it, drunk and had even threatened to burn people out of their cabins. Staff refused to call police as said it would be too dangerous to put them off ship in the UAE!

I could go on all day..but will leave you with this as it sums up their attitude to us.

Quote of the day...one passenger asks 'is there water on the coach?' as we leave the airport at 5.10pm after being there since 7am...rep answers 'no' man says..'we have been here since 7am you know we need more drinks?' rep replies 'yeh so have i' Man (and several on the coach) YES BUT YOU'RE GETTING PAID TO BE HERE!!

My best tip? dont ever book a thomson flight or cruise!
louloo22’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Marella Celebration price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Cabin 819
thin walls, dirty grey looking towels and sheets with marks on..no aircon...good size but needs some care. Take earplugs if you want to sleep although dont expect much of that due to ships vibrations
  Marella Celebration Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Dubai
    loved it got the free shuttle to one of the malls and walked few yards to the beach..taxi downtown to Burj khaleefa and Dubai mall..aquarium amazing...light and fountain show stunning. Taxis so cheap. Roads really busy tho 40minutes to go 9km. Lovely to see but wouldnt stay there for a holiday. Too much building work such a shame x
    View All 223 Dubai Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Dubai Cruise Port Review