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We decided to go on the Explorer's first voyage under the TUI flag. It was my 50th birthday, so my husband and grandchild came along with me. Embarking, we had no issues and since we had a "premier" suite we were allowed to skip waiting to board. Have to say there wasn't any queue anyway. We received a very warm welcome from the staff and crew and we were happy with our large balcony, complete with hammock, 2 chairs, table and 2 sunloungers. Our room was what we expected. Plenty of closet space, TV, tea/coffee facilities, safe, useless hairdryer (always, no matter what cruise line you use!) mini bar etc. We were perplexed about where to store our empty cases, so we stuck them out on the balcony. The socket for the kettle kept blowing. It worked once and then would blow again. Similarly, the loo kept breaking. There were problems the first day: 2 of our cards refused to go on the system, charged 3 times (refunded) for 1 ice cream, but again, we were expecting a few teething troubles. We were at sea the second day and the queues were unreal. Took over an hour to order a coffee in the nook, we left only to wait for 20 mins in a further queue for 2 cokes. Only one poor struggling barman with about 100 thirsty customers! This was soon resolved by the evening time. The food wasn't great. Basic "school dinners" in the market place. You had to bring your drinks in with you. Only beer, wine, water or milk available and no waiters. Quite a long wait for dinner in latitude 53. Also, I asked if I could do without the sauce on the steak and was told no. Only one potato at dinner and a small spoonful of veg. I had 3 green beans... We dined there 3 times, same every time. Again drinks are an issue if you don't drink wine. Kid's club was fantastic to the extent that my grandson huffed if it wasn't open. The staff are amazing, and my husband and I enjoyed the peace very much! Champneys spa and gym were fabulous. Cost the same for make-up as a blow dry. Thought £50 was a little steep for a blow dry but my hair looked great as did my make-up. The photographers were brilliant and we came home with some very nice shots. Entertainment was good. There was a celebrity on board. Unfortunately I didn't know who they were, but I rarely watch television. Says more about me than TUI! The excursions seemed to be well planned. We really enjoyed ours. Our guides were good and enthusiastic. Going home we were told in advance about departure times, where to disembark and get our cases/transfers. It went very smoothly for us. All in all, we enjoyed ourselves and have great faith the hiccups will be addressed with time and experience.

Teething problems on maiden voyage

Marella Explorer Cruise Review by Grannyvamp

16 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We decided to go on the Explorer's first voyage under the TUI flag. It was my 50th birthday, so my husband and grandchild came along with me.

Embarking, we had no issues and since we had a "premier" suite we were allowed to skip waiting to board. Have to say there wasn't any queue anyway.

We received a very warm welcome from the staff and crew and we were happy with our large balcony, complete with hammock, 2 chairs, table and 2 sunloungers. Our room was what we expected. Plenty of closet space, TV, tea/coffee facilities, safe, useless hairdryer (always, no matter what cruise line you use!) mini bar etc. We were perplexed about where to store our empty cases, so we stuck them out on the balcony.

The socket for the kettle kept blowing. It worked once and then would blow again. Similarly, the loo kept breaking.

There were problems the first day: 2 of our cards refused to go on the system, charged 3 times (refunded) for 1 ice cream, but again, we were expecting a few teething troubles.

We were at sea the second day and the queues were unreal. Took over an hour to order a coffee in the nook, we left only to wait for 20 mins in a further queue for 2 cokes. Only one poor struggling barman with about 100 thirsty customers! This was soon resolved by the evening time.

The food wasn't great. Basic "school dinners" in the market place. You had to bring your drinks in with you. Only beer, wine, water or milk available and no waiters.

Quite a long wait for dinner in latitude 53. Also, I asked if I could do without the sauce on the steak and was told no. Only one potato at dinner and a small spoonful of veg. I had 3 green beans... We dined there 3 times, same every time. Again drinks are an issue if you don't drink wine.

Kid's club was fantastic to the extent that my grandson huffed if it wasn't open. The staff are amazing, and my husband and I enjoyed the peace very much!

Champneys spa and gym were fabulous. Cost the same for make-up as a blow dry. Thought £50 was a little steep for a blow dry but my hair looked great as did my make-up.

The photographers were brilliant and we came home with some very nice shots.

Entertainment was good. There was a celebrity on board. Unfortunately I didn't know who they were, but I rarely watch television. Says more about me than TUI!

The excursions seemed to be well planned. We really enjoyed ours. Our guides were good and enthusiastic.

Going home we were told in advance about departure times, where to disembark and get our cases/transfers. It went very smoothly for us.

All in all, we enjoyed ourselves and have great faith the hiccups will be addressed with time and experience.
Grannyvamp’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 3 to 6
Service
Onboard Experience
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