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Marella Explorer I’d like to say this cruise was fantastic, we’d been on a Caribbean cruise last year, and hoped this would be as good. I’m pleased to say it was not just as good but actually better. First the positives: 1. We had a great cabin on deck 10, it had a large balcony with a hammock, sun lounger and table and chairs, the shower room was lovely, and on the whole it was kept very clean. Plenty of hanging space and drawers for our clothes. 2. The restaurants were clean, tidy and plenty of choice. The dress to impress evening was lovely and we met some really nice people that shared our table. 3. The front of the ship had an adults only area, it was quiet with waiter service, we always managed to get sun loungers, what a bonus. 4. There was a huge screen on the pool deck. Lots of guests watched the football. 5. The excursions were definitely worth the money. We can’t comment on the excursion for Rome as we cancelled it. 6. There was always seats in the theatre, and we attended a few of the shows, they were quite good, 45 minutes was long enough. 7. The food was very good, even fussy eaters would have found something, there was plenty of choice. The negatives: 1. We feel the ship is understaffed, on our first evening we waited 30 minutes for a starter, we were brought the wrong drinks 4 times, we actually felt sorry for the waiters, who were almost running between tables, one of them informed us that he on previous cruises looked after 5 tables, on this cruise he was looking after 13. Often there were only 2 bar staff, with up to 20 to 30 people waiting to be served, it was actually quicker to go into the buffet restaurant and pour yourself a drink. On the subject of drinks, bizarrely all wines, larger and soft drinks were freely available in the a la carte resteraunts, but in the buffet restaurant you couldn’t get a soft drinks, and at the bars you had to pay for water! 2. BEWARE this is not an all inclusive cruise, you have to pay in most of the restaurants , a steak meal on dress to impress evening incurred an additional £100 approx. 3. You had to pay for ice-cream, and coffee in the coffee lounge. 4. To exchange beach towels you had to leave them in your room in the evening when the cabin boys came into check the cabins, usually this was around 6ish when we were trying to get ready for dinner. 5. Items from the mini bar had to be paid for, NOT all inclusive. 6. Children were allowed to jump in and out of the jacuzzis completely unchecked by staff and parents, it stated clearly next to the jacuzzi children under 13 were not allowed in it, children under 16 needed to be supervised by an adult. On one of these occasions one young girl around 4 years old urinated in the jacuzzi, we found this completely unacceptable also their parents whilst sat in the smoking area were passing food to the children. This seriously needs addressing. We did actually complain to reception, they said to call security if it happened again. 7. Our holiday was cruise and stay, our disembarkation was an absolute shambles, as the TUI staff didn’t seem to have any idea, where people should queue for their specific coach. 8. WiFi is very expensive, and you can’t use 3G or 4G on board. On the whole we had a lovely time and have booked another cruise next year.

Great cruise, needs a little improvement.

Marella Explorer Cruise Review by Christine Wainwright

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Marella Explorer

I’d like to say this cruise was fantastic, we’d been on a Caribbean cruise last year, and hoped this would be as good. I’m pleased to say it was not just as good but actually better. First the positives:

1. We had a great cabin on deck 10, it had a large balcony with a hammock, sun lounger and table and chairs, the shower room was lovely, and on the whole it was kept very clean. Plenty of hanging space and drawers for our clothes.

2. The restaurants were clean, tidy and plenty of choice. The dress to impress evening was lovely and we met some really nice people that shared our table.

3. The front of the ship had an adults only area, it was quiet with waiter service, we always managed to get sun loungers, what a bonus.

4. There was a huge screen on the pool deck. Lots of guests watched the football.

5. The excursions were definitely worth the money. We can’t comment on the excursion for Rome as we cancelled it.

6. There was always seats in the theatre, and we attended a few of the shows, they were quite good, 45 minutes was long enough.

7. The food was very good, even fussy eaters would have found something, there was plenty of choice.

The negatives:

1. We feel the ship is understaffed, on our first evening we waited 30 minutes for a starter, we were brought the wrong drinks 4 times, we actually felt sorry for the waiters, who were almost running between tables, one of them informed us that he on previous cruises looked after 5 tables, on this cruise he was looking after 13. Often there were only 2 bar staff, with up to 20 to 30 people waiting to be served, it was actually quicker to go into the buffet restaurant and pour yourself a drink. On the subject of drinks, bizarrely all wines, larger and soft drinks were freely available in the a la carte resteraunts, but in the buffet restaurant you couldn’t get a soft drinks, and at the bars you had to pay for water!

2. BEWARE this is not an all inclusive cruise, you have to pay in most of the restaurants , a steak meal on dress to impress evening incurred an additional £100 approx.

3. You had to pay for ice-cream, and coffee in the coffee lounge.

4. To exchange beach towels you had to leave them in your room in the evening when the cabin boys came into check the cabins, usually this was around 6ish when we were trying to get ready for dinner.

5. Items from the mini bar had to be paid for, NOT all inclusive.

6. Children were allowed to jump in and out of the jacuzzis completely unchecked by staff and parents, it stated clearly next to the jacuzzi children under 13 were not allowed in it, children under 16 needed to be supervised by an adult. On one of these occasions one young girl around 4 years old urinated in the jacuzzi, we found this completely unacceptable also their parents whilst sat in the smoking area were passing food to the children. This seriously needs addressing. We did actually complain to reception, they said to call security if it happened again.

7. Our holiday was cruise and stay, our disembarkation was an absolute shambles, as the TUI staff didn’t seem to have any idea, where people should queue for their specific coach.

8. WiFi is very expensive, and you can’t use 3G or 4G on board.

On the whole we had a lovely time and have booked another cruise next year.
Christine Wainwright’s Full Rating Summary
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