It was a late decision as we already had another cruise booked for November. We saw that Marella Spirit’s last cruise was advertised as having a fireworks send off from Malaga. That was enough incentive so we signed up. Sailing at ten in the evening meant that there was time for exploring the sights of the city. Malaga has improved dramatically over the last decade and the port area with shops and restaurants is a delight to walk around. The old city around the Alcazaba, cathedral and Roman amphitheatre is interesting too.
The sailaway was on a calm, mild October evening. As we left the port entrance, cruise director Ted reminded everyone that Spirit had visited 41 countries and 213 ports whilst covering over 700,000 miles for Thomson/Marella over 16 years. There followed an impressive firework display to set the atmosphere for an amazing final week. Marella had laid on several ‘little extras’ and souvenirs to mark the occasion from a glass of sparkling at check in, a free arrival photo and special chocolates for this final cruise.
First full day was a sea day and friends often say that we must be bored on a sea day on a cruise – far from it. There was plenty to entertain us from a talk about the ports to be visited, a backstage tour with the entertainments girls, cocktail demo, an afternoon play and music around the ship. This was also the day for the Captain’s Gala reception and dinner. Most people dressed to impress but sadly I found the meal itself somewhat under-whelming. This contrasted with otherwise excellent food throughout. Meals on Marella are tailored to British tastes with great cooked breakfasts and roasts at both lunch and dinner. There were plenty of alternative choices and vegetarian options too.
A little tired but good on space.