Our problems with Marella Cruises started just after booking: we didn't realise that when we booked through the cruise hotline we were automatically diverted to a store location (which was nowhere near us). Not only were the staff at Stockport ill-trained, but their computer system didn't even link up with the Cruise dept. I later had to give up adding an additional week hotel reservation because they could not provide live pricing and by the time they got back to me with details, the property had sold out - this happened 3 times over! I also believe the agent knowingly misinformed me about cruise details in order to secure a sale.
We booked a week cruise for 7 people over 3 rooms. Even 10 months advance booking could not secure us a family room nor adjoining rooms, meaning our 10-year anniversary cruise had to be spent in separate rooms in order to chaperone the children.
We decided to take our children on our anniversary cruise because the cruise was advertised as having Kids' Club from 9am until 2am each day, so we assumed we could have a couple 'date nights'. Once aboard we learned that the nearly fully booked ship considered the October school half-term break a low season, thus cancelling the vast majority of kids club. They offered 3 awkward 2-hour sessions instead of the original promise.
As for other onboard offerings for children, there was a video game room which was unsuitable for our children (mainly too young to 'get it'), a 9-hole mini golf, a climbing wall (open 2hrs per day) and 2 swimming pools. Unfortunately we were not informed the the pools were re-filled with sea water each day, including the indoor one, making them far to cold for anyone to actually swim in. They were not heated in the meantime. Is this common practice on cruises?
Within 3 days, our children were bored with the pathetic offerings onboard, and not able to spend entire days out at port.
We found the ship clean and the food great. The ports were amazing, and obviously these can not be faulted. That said, Marella advertises Corfu as one of the ports on the itinerary, which is false advertising as they only flew us in at 10:30pm on embarkation day, and out at 10:30am on disembarkation day. Ridiculous.
I might recommend this cruise to adults travelling unaccompanied by children, but it is certainly NOT fit as advertised, as Marella's flagship 'family' option. Very disappointed.