We did this cruise for my 50th birthday, Having previously cruised on the Marella Dream we had high expectations for the Explorer.
The transfer & check in system from Bridgetown was excellent and we were aboard ship within 1 & a half hours of landing. We booked an inside cabin on deck 8 which was fine if a little on the small side, even though we had booked a larger 4 berth cabin, there is no way 4 people would manage. Plenty of wardrobe space, usual shower room my only complaint would be no iron in cabin. I spoke to head of housekeeping regarding this and was informed an iron is a fire hazard and any clothing requiring ironing would be sent to the laundry.... For a charge of course!!
Dining ... We ate breakfast in the marketplace, perfectly adequate with an omelette station & poached eggs on request, along with all the usual buffet.
Latitude was disappointing, tasteless food , the vista was far better quality so we ate here mostly. We didn't pay for any extra dining but did try the tapas which was nice but the portions for 2 were very very small & we felt rushed.
The squid & anchor was like butlins, listening to Lisa from entertainment do a quiz with 2 other members running round cruisers for answers is not what you expect on a cruise. Nor karaoke!! Avoid at all costs.we liked the lounge for drinks with the piano and lovely singers, the beats, resident band were also very good.
Broadway entertainment was mediocre, saw better on the dream. The first night was soul & Motown which was excellent but it went downhill from there, the entertainment team were doing a changeover & I must stress those that left were far better then the new members, a special mention to Tobias who was a fantastic singer, far better then the girls who sounded like they were in competition every night. The poolside quiz was fine but again mid afternoon was spoiled by Lisa who played music far too loud & liked the sound of her own voice.
You can't fault the cabin staff or any of the bar staff or waiters they were all excellent. A special mention to Vanessa & Suzie who worked the bars & Joseph on the pool deck.
We didn't book any trips & just did our own thing but couldn't fault any destination. Captain John was great & very informative with a great sense of humour. I'm no snob but some of the dress code should of been addressed, tracksuit bottoms in a restaurant should not be allowed, whilst smart casual is ok I think Marella need to look at listing what is acceptable.
All in all a lovely cruise but could of been excellent if the niggle things were sorted. This is a Marella flagship but in my opinion the Dream was better.
A 4 berth cabin adequate but the cabin crew staff have a storeroom along side and you hear them early morning