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My husband and I both choose this cruise a year and a half before our wedding as we wanted to get everything set in advanced. Additionally, we also booked the excursions online as soon as they became available. Firstly, this was our Honeymoon and I started this review mid-way through our cruise as we were so disappointed. We had quite a few issues and as we were only away for 7 days we seemingly had the worst luck possible. We arrived in Naples, Italy via a flight from Gatwick which overall wasn't too bad. The wait for the luggage was around 30 minutes so not a bad wait compared to what we had seen on other reviews. The crew on the ship are delightful and I cannot fault anything here. Everyone is lovely and so accommodating - Jaya, our cabin steward was brilliant and would recommend anyone to say hello if they ever pass by him. The only department I would complain about is the Excursion team. When we were in Dubrovnik no one had any idea who was queuing where and was a nightmare. My husband and I got told to go the wrong way/ into the wrong queue twice and other cruisers were having the same issue. Please, can someone make sure in the future there is a protocol for these members to run by as they had no idea? The food is great, and the a la carte dining experiences (specifically Surf and Turf and also Kora La) was amazing. The specialty restaurants are fabulous and would thoroughly recommend. Now, the massive negatives here are our experience with the port days. We are here only for a week for our first cruise and honeymoon. Just as we had got into our cabin, we had noticed there was an excursion ticket missing. So there were 4 days worth of excursions instead of 5. We had to go to the desk to find out what was going on as no other information was provided, no letters sent etc. When speaking with the excursion team, it turned out that our excursion had been cancelled due to congestion which I cover below. We had also taken out around £500 worth of euros, to be told that the currency on the cruise itself is GBP. No one mentioned this at all which is surprising and also disappointing. If we wanted to change this we'd end up with much less than what we set out with which again is a joke. We ended up using our credit card which was the last thing we wanted to do. Our first port, Messina Sicily was fantastic. We travelled to Mt. Etna and had a great time, no faults here. The port team was lovely and very insightful about our trip. The coach journey to Mt Etna was around 1hr 30mins (or so) however the lady who had done our tour (can't remember her name), was great. Our 2nd port was Drubovnik. Now, this is the excursion that was cancelled - we also were not able to Dock due to "congestion". This meant we had to wait for a tender to pick up and drop off hundreds of people. This was an absolute nightmare and we were not able to get on shore until 5 hours after anchoring. The tenders were also very limited which was above and beyond frustrating. This was at no fault of the cruise however none of the excursion team really knew what they were doing which made things even worse. When we were queuing for the tender after our ticket number finally being called the staff didn't even know what queue we were to get in, it was very disorganized. This meant we had 2 hours before "rush hour" to get back in the cruise. We had next to no time to do anything which is extremely disappointing and a massive waste to a day in a location we really wanted to explore more. The next day, the port was Ancona. My husband and I had booked the picture-perfect bayside duo. Originally when booking we were told we would be heading down to the pebble shores and would be able to take a dip in the fantastic beaches. Oh, how wrong they were, as we didn't even touch the beach. Sirolo was lovely but again after lugging our swimwear around we felt this day wasn't great but was not as bad as the last. The tour guide here was very knowledgeable in regards to the area and provided a better experience, even though we were disappointed as we wanted to go for a swim in such lovely weather. The 4th day, where we were when I started to write this review, is Venice. We were supposed to Dock at 5am, however, it was around 9am and we were still a few miles from shore. There was a power outage in the early hours of the morning which resulted in us both being woken up by several announcements between the hours of 1:30am and 2:40am. This, in turn, meant we did not manage to get to the Dock in time and as Venice operates a time slot functionality - we inevitably missed our slot and we had to wait until midday to dock. This meant our excursion, which was a gondola ride (the 2nd favourite excursion we booked) was cancelled, along with many others from other passengers. The destination desk was absolutely packed so there was no chance of us booking a different excursion. We were however given a cruise card credit of £50 each and of course, our excursion was refunded but the time lost on both this excursion and the other excursion (Dubrovnik) was just a little too much for us and we were overwhelmingly disappointed. On the 5th day, we arrived at Split, where we went onto our last excursion - Krka waterfalls. This was our favorite day and can I just say everything on this day was fantastic. Starting from the coach Journey with the tour guide (Coach 1, can't remember his name unfortunately - the driver was Ivan) down to the Waterfalls and exploring the nature park and then the boat ride back to the coach > then back to the cruise. The tour guide was awesome and hilarious and we're very happy with how this day turned out. The last day was a full day at sea. Unfortunately, this means everyone is up at the crack of dawn to get onto a sunbed where apparently if you leave your towel it is yours for the day. There was a note which mentioned if you leave it for longer than 45 minutes the items will be removed however I noticed some people were covering 2 sunbeds at times to make sure their partner could come back and I also noticed some people coming back to their sunbed for 10 minutes at a time and then leaving for another 30 minutes, cheating the system. This is very disappointing. Similarly, in the whirlpool, it says on the sign 15 minutes at a time however there were people in there for hours, m4eaning my husband and we didn't get a chance to go in there. The pool is nice when hot but very salty so head above water at all times. My husband and I ended up paying something around £3 to watch movies in our cabin as we'd already had enough of walking and trying to find a sunbed over a period of 2 hours (we went to the bar to wait for a further 10-15 minutes). Overall, including the cruise itself, excursions, euros we had taken and the current amount accumulated was around £4500. This is one of our biggest spends but I can certainly say we won't be booking this cruise again due to the disappointments with the excursions. We did, of course, get the canceled excursions refunded but there was no recognition to the fact that our days were wasted and we had to make our own way around with no insight to the locations whatsoever. We understand these things can happen but in our perspective, we had a nightmare on some days that became very stressful on what should have been a relaxing holiday away for a week.

Not the best for a honeymoon

Marella Explorer 2 Cruise Review by Jillian2456

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
My husband and I both choose this cruise a year and a half before our wedding as we wanted to get everything set in advanced. Additionally, we also booked the excursions online as soon as they became available.

Firstly, this was our Honeymoon and I started this review mid-way through our cruise as we were so disappointed. We had quite a few issues and as we were only away for 7 days we seemingly had the worst luck possible.

We arrived in Naples, Italy via a flight from Gatwick which overall wasn't too bad. The wait for the luggage was around 30 minutes so not a bad wait compared to what we had seen on other reviews.

The crew on the ship are delightful and I cannot fault anything here. Everyone is lovely and so accommodating - Jaya, our cabin steward was brilliant and would recommend anyone to say hello if they ever pass by him. The only department I would complain about is the Excursion team. When we were in Dubrovnik no one had any idea who was queuing where and was a nightmare. My husband and I got told to go the wrong way/ into the wrong queue twice and other cruisers were having the same issue. Please, can someone make sure in the future there is a protocol for these members to run by as they had no idea?

The food is great, and the a la carte dining experiences (specifically Surf and Turf and also Kora La) was amazing. The specialty restaurants are fabulous and would thoroughly recommend.

Now, the massive negatives here are our experience with the port days. We are here only for a week for our first cruise and honeymoon. Just as we had got into our cabin, we had noticed there was an excursion ticket missing. So there were 4 days worth of excursions instead of 5. We had to go to the desk to find out what was going on as no other information was provided, no letters sent etc. When speaking with the excursion team, it turned out that our excursion had been cancelled due to congestion which I cover below.

We had also taken out around £500 worth of euros, to be told that the currency on the cruise itself is GBP. No one mentioned this at all which is surprising and also disappointing. If we wanted to change this we'd end up with much less than what we set out with which again is a joke. We ended up using our credit card which was the last thing we wanted to do.

Our first port, Messina Sicily was fantastic. We travelled to Mt. Etna and had a great time, no faults here. The port team was lovely and very insightful about our trip. The coach journey to Mt Etna was around 1hr 30mins (or so) however the lady who had done our tour (can't remember her name), was great.

Our 2nd port was Drubovnik. Now, this is the excursion that was cancelled - we also were not able to Dock due to "congestion". This meant we had to wait for a tender to pick up and drop off hundreds of people. This was an absolute nightmare and we were not able to get on shore until 5 hours after anchoring. The tenders were also very limited which was above and beyond frustrating. This was at no fault of the cruise however none of the excursion team really knew what they were doing which made things even worse. When we were queuing for the tender after our ticket number finally being called the staff didn't even know what queue we were to get in, it was very disorganized. This meant we had 2 hours before "rush hour" to get back in the cruise. We had next to no time to do anything which is extremely disappointing and a massive waste to a day in a location we really wanted to explore more.

The next day, the port was Ancona. My husband and I had booked the picture-perfect bayside duo. Originally when booking we were told we would be heading down to the pebble shores and would be able to take a dip in the fantastic beaches. Oh, how wrong they were, as we didn't even touch the beach. Sirolo was lovely but again after lugging our swimwear around we felt this day wasn't great but was not as bad as the last. The tour guide here was very knowledgeable in regards to the area and provided a better experience, even though we were disappointed as we wanted to go for a swim in such lovely weather.

The 4th day, where we were when I started to write this review, is Venice. We were supposed to Dock at 5am, however, it was around 9am and we were still a few miles from shore. There was a power outage in the early hours of the morning which resulted in us both being woken up by several announcements between the hours of 1:30am and 2:40am. This, in turn, meant we did not manage to get to the Dock in time and as Venice operates a time slot functionality - we inevitably missed our slot and we had to wait until midday to dock. This meant our excursion, which was a gondola ride (the 2nd favourite excursion we booked) was cancelled, along with many others from other passengers. The destination desk was absolutely packed so there was no chance of us booking a different excursion. We were however given a cruise card credit of £50 each and of course, our excursion was refunded but the time lost on both this excursion and the other excursion (Dubrovnik) was just a little too much for us and we were overwhelmingly disappointed.

On the 5th day, we arrived at Split, where we went onto our last excursion - Krka waterfalls. This was our favorite day and can I just say everything on this day was fantastic. Starting from the coach Journey with the tour guide (Coach 1, can't remember his name unfortunately - the driver was Ivan) down to the Waterfalls and exploring the nature park and then the boat ride back to the coach > then back to the cruise. The tour guide was awesome and hilarious and we're very happy with how this day turned out.

The last day was a full day at sea. Unfortunately, this means everyone is up at the crack of dawn to get onto a sunbed where apparently if you leave your towel it is yours for the day. There was a note which mentioned if you leave it for longer than 45 minutes the items will be removed however I noticed some people were covering 2 sunbeds at times to make sure their partner could come back and I also noticed some people coming back to their sunbed for 10 minutes at a time and then leaving for another 30 minutes, cheating the system. This is very disappointing. Similarly, in the whirlpool, it says on the sign 15 minutes at a time however there were people in there for hours, m4eaning my husband and we didn't get a chance to go in there. The pool is nice when hot but very salty so head above water at all times. My husband and I ended up paying something around £3 to watch movies in our cabin as we'd already had enough of walking and trying to find a sunbed over a period of 2 hours (we went to the bar to wait for a further 10-15 minutes).

Overall, including the cruise itself, excursions, euros we had taken and the current amount accumulated was around £4500. This is one of our biggest spends but I can certainly say we won't be booking this cruise again due to the disappointments with the excursions. We did, of course, get the canceled excursions refunded but there was no recognition to the fact that our days were wasted and we had to make our own way around with no insight to the locations whatsoever. We understand these things can happen but in our perspective, we had a nightmare on some days that became very stressful on what should have been a relaxing holiday away for a week.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 5011
The Cabin was perfect. We were on Deck 5 with a cabin that had no window and my husband and I was quite surprised! It was quaint.

The cabin crew were absolutely perfect - our cabin steward was Jaya and he was lovely

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews