This was our 2nd Marella cruise on one of their newer ships, having been on Discovery 2 in March. This was our first experience of a transatlantic crossing.
Flights from Manchester to Palma were uneventful, however we arrived in pouring rain, thunder and lightening. Quick transfer from airport to port and easy embarkation process and we were soon on board and able to access our cabin immediately. We went exploring the ship and found most places quite easily, however without an atrium, it does make it a little bit harder.
Our cabin was on deck 8, standard balcony cabin, midships, port side for the sun on our long sea days. Spacious, with plenty of storage space and very clean, and continued to be that way by the lovely Joel. The air conditioning was a little noisey, but we soon got used to it.
We tended to eat in either Latitude or Vista at night, which did a lovely cod loin and a very nice sirloin steak, breakfast in the Marketplace. Food was plentiful, good choice and nicely presented. We ate in the Mediterranean most lunchtimes for lighter bites. We also ate here in the evening when one side was Tapas, and had to be booked, but was included, unless you had one of their Portuguese skewers, which were £9.95. We didn't try one of these, as we found the tapas enough, and if you wanted more, you only had to ask. We also ate in the Pizza and Pasta side at night and found this really good. Choosing your own pizza or pasta made to order and piping hot. Both of these restaurants are waiter service at night.
Portions in the main dining rooms were plenty for us, but if you wanted more, you could ask for it. Service was quite prompt, and all the staff were very friendly and kept the wine flowing.
We didn't upgrade our included drinks package, as there was plenty of choice for our needs. The Sauvignon Blanc was very palatable. Tanquery gin with slimline tonic [which was served from a can] and the occasional cocktail.
Weather in Spain continued to be unsettled. Our ports of call being Cadiz, Cartagena and Malaga. The crossing to Madeira was in almost Force 10 gales. However, the weather was much improved in Madeira and the 6 day crossing was smooth and the sun shone most of the time. Our first port of call in the Caribbean was Antigua, where the weather was a little mixed, however we needed to get our land legs back, so we wandered around the town and made contact with home.
St.Lucia was our next stop, where it poured all day. We shared a minibus with some other passengers and did a small tour of the island.
Grenada was beautiful, hot and sunny, so we took the opportunity to go to a lovely beach.
Barbados was our final stop where we disembarked. Unfortunately, the rain followed us here and although we didn't leave the ship until 3pm, we couldn't do any last minute sun bathing. We were glad we had decided to keep our cabin on our final day which was £35.
Entertainment was very good. The show cast were very talented, and put on some very good shows and some of them had individual stints in Bar 53 early evening, which was lovely just before dinner. There were some guest artists, including 2 comedians, a magician and a trio of singers who sung Take That songs and were excellent.
Overall, value for money this was a very good cruise, it was just unfortunate about the weather, but this cannot be helped.
All the staff on board are the friendliest staff we have met and are a credit to Marella cruises.
Would we do another transatlantic crossing? If the price was right, yes we would and with the same company.
Spacious, plenty of storage. Quiet area, near lifts, midships.