This was our 14th cruise and as we liked the look of the itinerary decided to give Marella a go after previously being loyal to P&O and Cunard. We did back to back Cuban Fusion and Exotic Explorer cruises so first the good points;
The Premium flight outbound was very good. The nightly shows were excellent. The staff were very good, especially Tamara , A Macedonian bar waitress.
Negatives- where to begin? Cuban Fusion should have been called Fusion as we didn't actually get to Cuba - apparently the port was flooded and despite the annoyingly self-congratulatory captain Jason Ikiadis announcing he was confident we would get there, his next announcement overturned this and we were condemned to another boring sea day - more of those later - and an extra day in the sinkhole which is Jamaica.
The food was distinctly average especially in the 47 degrees main restaurant where there was very limited choice. Even the Christmas Day gala dinner was disappointing - we were rushed in and out in an hour and didn't even get a mince pie!
There was very little to do on board unless you were interested in seminars about back pain, metabolism, wrinkles, bad feet etc - all ending with a hard sell of course. No guest speakers, no lectures, very few quizzes and those that were put on were hosted by staff with excruciating senses of humour and an apparent inability to pronounce the simplest of words.
There was a carol service on Christmas Eve but even this was ruined by some baffling readings/poems which bear no relation to Christmas. No religious service as the planned Boxing Day occasion was cancelled owing to a 4 hour anchored stop while the ship picked up 13 Colombian 'refugees' who were drifting in the sea. All well and good but there was an appalling lack of communication while this was going on - my wife suffers from anxiety and for all we knew these people could have been pirates. Still it was another excuse for a 'look how good I am' tannoy announcement from the captain.
Worst of all was the behaviour of some fellow passengers. There was a fight on the pool deck on the first night then on Christmas Day we had the pleasure of the arrival of 2 families of what I am apparently forced to call 'travellers.' These people behaved like savages, 1 of them threatening to 'break the bloody back' of a fellow passenger by the pool, and the teenagers terrorising bar staff by swearing and shouting at them and demanding alcohol. Unfortunately 2 of these people were in the cabin directly above us and sleep was at a premium because of the disgraceful racket they created. Complaints to reception led to warning letters being sent to them but these had little effect as we had 4 security guards visit our cabin at 2 am on the final morning.
The cruise director and his assistants were juvenile throughout and the shop staff were unhelpful and unsmiling. The shops stocked neither deodorant or toothpaste.
I could go on but I'm depressing myself remembering it! If you're considering cruising with this line do yourself a big favour and think again.
Ok. Basic inside. Tiny shower and horrible shower curtain. Cabin steward Benji did a good job.
Ferry to Playa del Carmen. Coach to Mayan ruins at Tullum.
Visited some gardens and the Falls. Ok but spoiled by the gauntlet of 'craft market' hustlers who made the exit an unpleasant experience.View All 287 Dunn's River Falls Reviews
The house was interesting with a good guided tour. Price of drinks very high. The town itself is horrible - I was offered drugs 3 times in 5 minutes.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Main street ok but don't wander off it - intimidating and unsafe.