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We have cruised on just about all the mainstream cruise lines With our favourite as a couple being celebrity and a group Royal Caribbean. Had never considered Marella due to the old age and small size of the ships. Having been on the explorer when it was the galaxy and with flights from Norwich we thought it was time to give it a try. We were a group of 8 and I was very anxious having been the one to suggest this ship! Flight - great , transfers and boarding handled very well our bags were in our cabin within 5 mins of us. Headed straight to the buffet for lunch, had one sip of the house wine and upgraded whilst overall this was good value to us I think 2 white wines to choose from is not enough. Plenty of seating in the buffet as long as you head out towards the back of the ship where this a lovely outside eating area and bar for drinks. In my opinion the food is where this cruise lost top marks - whilst it was ok you could tell it was all done on a budget. Personally I would prefer to pay say £50 a week more and have better quality food. For example the joints of meat you always get on the buffet were usually chicken or pork never once saw the huge joints of beef found on every other line. The MDR choices were usually ‘cheap’ meals. The service in the MDR was good unless you went later. I loved that you could turn up when you likes and get a pager the problem is they do not have enough people relaying tables so you can wait a long time and then sit surrounded by tables that need laying. The bar staff were great no issues with getting a drink (especially if you tip). The cabin staff also were fantastic kept the cabin spotlessly clean and took the time to create great towel animals. They were a few issues with blocked toilets but didn’t cause too much of an issue. We did our own trips in all the ports although next time I think I would try the bike tours as these looked good fun and a bit different. Entertainment was surprisingly good we watched all the main shows and loved the comedian the first week but not the second although the audience did seem to love them Sun beds always available despite the usual bed blockers! Overall a good value cruise and I would consider another Marella cruise on explorer 2 or any subsequent ships they purchase. In summary the really good points were Bar staff Cabin No signing for drinks all orders taken on tablets and cards scanned. Great value premiums drinks Entertainment Transfers on and off ship very smooth Flights from regional airports Speciality restaurants particularly the sushi it was amazing Ship never felt overcrowded ...... Things not so good in our opinion Age of ship meant noisy engines Food quality poor due to the ingredients not the staff Ports felt like penny pinching again by going to a number of cheap ports each week. Dress code old fashioned women could look as scruffy as they liked but men even in beautiful clothes had to have a collar.

Almost a great cruise

Marella Explorer Cruise Review by Nicsteve

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We have cruised on just about all the mainstream cruise lines With our favourite as a couple being celebrity and a group Royal Caribbean.

Had never considered Marella due to the old age and small size of the ships.

Having been on the explorer when it was the galaxy and with flights from Norwich we thought it was time to give it a try.

We were a group of 8 and I was very anxious having been the one to suggest this ship!

Flight - great , transfers and boarding handled very well our bags were in our cabin within 5 mins of us.

Headed straight to the buffet for lunch, had one sip of the house wine and upgraded whilst overall this was good value to us I think 2 white wines to choose from is not enough.

Plenty of seating in the buffet as long as you head out towards the back of the ship where this a lovely outside eating area and bar for drinks.

In my opinion the food is where this cruise lost top marks - whilst it was ok you could tell it was all done on a budget. Personally I would prefer to pay say £50 a week more and have better quality food. For example the joints of meat you always get on the buffet were usually chicken or pork never once saw the huge joints of beef found on every other line.

The MDR choices were usually ‘cheap’ meals.

The service in the MDR was good unless you went later. I loved that you could turn up when you likes and get a pager the problem is they do not have enough people relaying tables so you can wait a long time and then sit surrounded by tables that need laying.

The bar staff were great no issues with getting a drink (especially if you tip).

The cabin staff also were fantastic kept the cabin spotlessly clean and took the time to create great towel animals.

They were a few issues with blocked toilets but didn’t cause too much of an issue.

We did our own trips in all the ports although next time I think I would try the bike tours as these looked good fun and a bit different.

Entertainment was surprisingly good we watched all the main shows and loved the comedian the first week but not the second although the audience did seem to love them

Sun beds always available despite the usual bed blockers!

Overall a good value cruise and I would consider another Marella cruise on explorer 2 or any subsequent ships they purchase.

In summary the really good points were

Bar staff

Cabin

No signing for drinks all orders taken on tablets and cards scanned.

Great value premiums drinks

Entertainment

Transfers on and off ship very smooth

Flights from regional airports

Speciality restaurants particularly the sushi it was amazing

Ship never felt overcrowded

......

Things not so good in our opinion

Age of ship meant noisy engines

Food quality poor due to the ingredients not the staff

Ports felt like penny pinching again by going to a number of cheap ports each week.

Dress code old fashioned women could look as scruffy as they liked but men even in beautiful clothes had to have a collar.
Nicsteve’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Dining
Public Rooms
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Cabin Review

Cabin 4078
Well maintained cabin spacious although the least comfortable bed on a cruise to date.