This cruise got off to a bad start. It took 15 minutes to find steps to get off the plane and another hor and 15 minutes being held in a hot airless corridor before a bumpy coach trip to the ship. I later found out that probems in UK airports led to 3 planes arriving at much the same time. The local staff (TUI and airport) were overwhelmed. A situation made worse by the local authorities making the coaches queue outside and only 1 at a time allowed into the bonded area. Not Marella's fault but the fiasco at the muster drill certainly was. A technical problem with no backup plan led to chaos.
Things improved once the cruise was under way. The captain skillfully avoided the worst of the weather although we had to miss Horta, Azores because the tenders could not launch. The ship itself may be older than some but the recent refurbishment made the public areas look new with hi tech everywhere. A mention here for the app which is really a website hosted on the ships computer - so no internet needed to use it.
Dining was a weak point.
I booked a mini suite because the price difference from a balcony was minimal. There are some perks that go with this category. Priority boarding (useful in this case) some items ironed and upgraded toiletries. The cabin is large enough to have a sofa, 2 armchairs and a table.There is more storage space than you would ever need on a fly cruise. It is all in good codition. As mentioned elsewhere there is a useful water jug with a fresh cold water dispenser on every deck. Another useful item is the USB charge ports under the wall lights. The balcony must also be larger as there was room for 2 chairs, 2 sunbeds and a small table. Our cabin steward were excellent.
There are some cons
This cabin is under the glasshouse seating and we could hear chairs and table scraping the floor and lumpy trolley wheels early in the morning. The bed was very hard. I asked the steward for an additional mattress topper. I also dislike the bath/shower arrangement. It seems to be neither one thing or the other.
My overall impression was that it was a good cabin.