Spent a week on the Marella Explorer at the end of July/beginning of August with my partner and our youngest (aged 9) and, all in all, had a good holiday. I have had two cruises with Marella previously which I had enjoyed - this one was not quite as good as these previous ones, but was still enjoyable.
Firstly the positives:
Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and quick
Cabin size as expected. Bathroom functional and acceptable (liked the shower screen as the past 3 cruises I have been on have had a useless curtain!). They only provide a bar of soap and a generic "body wash" so take your own shampoo/conditioner/body lotion etc. Our main bed was very comfortable but my son was on a bed settee which was not comfortable at all - also once this was out you could not get onto the balcony without climbing over the bed as it was right in front of the whole of the balcony doors and ended at the drawers with no space to walk round at all. Storage ample. Hairdryer a bit useless! Only one socket (two if you unplugged the kettle).
There was a taxi strike the day we were here but we finally found a public bus which provided an easy journey into town (5 euros there and 5 back for 2 adults and 1 child). This was actually embarkation day so did not have too much time, however, spent a good 3 hours wandering around the outside of the cathedral and around the streets and little market stalls.
Had planned what we would see and printed a map in England prior to coming and glad i did as the one from the ship was virtually useless! We walked 20 minutes from the ship until we came to the main road (Via Vittorio Emanuele). We then walked through a little park with amazing trees (huge with massive roots - must have been hundreds and hundreds of years old - very impressive). We then carried on the main road then on to the fountain and main squares and went into several little churches (la Marorana, Santa Caterina and Dai Teatini) – Martorana in particular had some amazing mosaics and fantastic ceilings. We then came back out onto main street to the four corners (magnificent buildings and small fountain) then carry on the main road to Palermo cathedral on the right. We paid extra to do the jewels, catacomb and climb on to the roof (the view from the roof was excellent but they only let a few people up at a time so we had to wait about 20 minutes for this section). We could not find a bus back and most of the taxis seemed to have been pre-booked - eventually a taxi driver kindly phoned in to his office and booked us a taxi back to the ship
Pretty little fishing port. Not really much to see or do, but we walked around the little town, through the streets and into the church and took some photos from a view point. We also visited the fishing museum (although was not that interesting to be honest).