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This was our first cruise and we did a Thomson cruise and stay with 7 nights on the Celebration and then 7 nights in a Dubai hotel. We decided on a cabin with a balcony (Deck 9 Room 6) and were not disappointed with the choice. The cabin was quite large and the balcony fitted two chairs, a table and a sun lounger which came in useful when all the sun beds had been taken or reserved with towels. Flaverino our cabin steward looked after us really well for the week and the cabin was kept spotless. As first time cruisers we were surprised at some of the extras - £15 a week to use the safe, £49 each per week for wi-fi (we are both self employed and need to check and respond to emails at least once a day when away), £10 per day each for premium drinks (we didn't upgrade to this but just paid extra for a premium drink if we wanted one which worked out cheaper), £9.95 extra for a steak or lamb cutlets, £15 - £20 per head extra to eat in one of the a la carte restaurants. The paid wi-fi was only available in the bar areas and not in the cabin or restaurants which seemed strange. Before we boarded the ship we registered a Visa card and were told that the card would not be charged until the last day when we settled the account. On day four we were handed a note saying that the bank had declined our Visa card and would we kindly go to reception to either register another card or deposit cash for our account. On going to reception we found that although they don't physically take money off the card until you settle your account, each night whatever you have spent during the day is 'reserved with your bank on the card'. As we hadn't transferred funds onto the card believing that nothing would be taken from the card until the end it had been declined!! The moral therefore is ensure that there is sufficient funds available on your card for them to 'reserve' each day or it will be declined before you come to settle up!! The service we received was excellent and many staff would go out of their way to serve you. The food was pretty good and varied and we enjoyed chatting to other guests on the shared tables in the waiter service restaurant. Many of the more seasoned cruisers were disappointed with the Celebration as it didn't come up to the standard of many other cruise ships but as first time cruisers we were quite happy with the service we received and the facilities available as we had nothing to compare it with. We enjoyed the entertainment that we saw whilst on board as well as having a flutter in the onboard casino. We had prebooked three trips before we left home and they are cheaper booking and paying online than purchasing on board. We were disappointed with two of the ports of call, Manama in Bahrain and Khasab in Oman as there was very little in either place. We took the free bus into Manama and got straight back on the first return bus as we were that disappointed with the place. We did however enjoy the trips we did in Dubai, Muscat and Abu Dhabi. We would definitely go on a cruise again and most probably do another Thomson cruise as we liked the fact that it was a smallish ship and you soon got to know other guests in the surroundings.

First Time Cruisers

Marella Celebration Cruise Review by Anderton94

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was our first cruise and we did a Thomson cruise and stay with 7 nights on the Celebration and then 7 nights in a Dubai hotel.

We decided on a cabin with a balcony (Deck 9 Room 6) and were not disappointed with the choice. The cabin was quite large and the balcony fitted two chairs, a table and a sun lounger which came in useful when all the sun beds had been taken or reserved with towels. Flaverino our cabin steward looked after us really well for the week and the cabin was kept spotless.

As first time cruisers we were surprised at some of the extras - £15 a week to use the safe, £49 each per week for wi-fi (we are both self employed and need to check and respond to emails at least once a day when away), £10 per day each for premium drinks (we didn't upgrade to this but just paid extra for a premium drink if we wanted one which worked out cheaper), £9.95 extra for a steak or lamb cutlets, £15 - £20 per head extra to eat in one of the a la carte restaurants. The paid wi-fi was only available in the bar areas and not in the cabin or restaurants which seemed strange.

Before we boarded the ship we registered a Visa card and were told that the card would not be charged until the last day when we settled the account. On day four we were handed a note saying that the bank had declined our Visa card and would we kindly go to reception to either register another card or deposit cash for our account. On going to reception we found that although they don't physically take money off the card until you settle your account, each night whatever you have spent during the day is 'reserved with your bank on the card'. As we hadn't transferred funds onto the card believing that nothing would be taken from the card until the end it had been declined!! The moral therefore is ensure that there is sufficient funds available on your card for them to 'reserve' each day or it will be declined before you come to settle up!!

The service we received was excellent and many staff would go out of their way to serve you. The food was pretty good and varied and we enjoyed chatting to other guests on the shared tables in the waiter service restaurant.

Many of the more seasoned cruisers were disappointed with the Celebration as it didn't come up to the standard of many other cruise ships but as first time cruisers we were quite happy with the service we received and the facilities available as we had nothing to compare it with.

We enjoyed the entertainment that we saw whilst on board as well as having a flutter in the onboard casino.

We had prebooked three trips before we left home and they are cheaper booking and paying online than purchasing on board. We were disappointed with two of the ports of call, Manama in Bahrain and Khasab in Oman as there was very little in either place. We took the free bus into Manama and got straight back on the first return bus as we were that disappointed with the place. We did however enjoy the trips we did in Dubai, Muscat and Abu Dhabi.

We would definitely go on a cruise again and most probably do another Thomson cruise as we liked the fact that it was a smallish ship and you soon got to know other guests in the surroundings.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 6
Definitely worth the additional cost - large cabin with sliding patio door onto a reasonable sized balcony with 2 chairs, a table and a sun bed.
  Marella Celebration Deck Plans