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We booked this cruise having read about the extensive, multi million pound work, carried out on the ship, earlier in the year. The idea of an adults only, all inclusive, port intensive cruise, especially during school holidays, in an Executive suite, appealed.....how wrong we were ! The public areas are very well appointed, but our Executive suite, oh dear. When we first walked in, we presumed it hadn’t been used much before & was a spare, back up suite. There were so many things wrong with place, missing door handles, rubber seal falling off the bottom of the fridge door, hooks broken, & missing, on back of bathroom door. We had difficulty in opening bathroom units, which are supposed to be spring action, but need a small knob on at least one door under each sink. Water from one sink tap sprayed everywhere, especially the mirror & the person standing in front of it ! The bathroom had been partially modernised, but nowhere else, and even here, more work still needs to be done. The door leading to the bathroom had been damaged and repaired, at some point, but long cracks could be easily seen. There is a shower screen over the bath, but .... no shower ! This rendered the screen futile, & the rubber seal on the door kept falling off when it was opened & closed. Why did we constantly open this door ? The bath towels were always on a shelf above the bath, inside this unit, & we required them twice daily ! When we read about the suites before we left, and again, after we returned home, it clearly stated that there is an over the bath shower, as well as a walk in one. The tv unit in the lounge area was in a very bad state of disrepair, in fact falling apart, & wires were everywhere. Photographs we looked at, of some suites, showed flat screen tv’s mounted on walls, not in ours. Both TVs sat on units, with many wires bundled behind them. The USB points on both bedside lamps, didn’t work properly. The left one didn’t work at all.... The biggest shock...the safe was not secured to anything, meaning it could be lifted & removed from room ! Fortunately we managed to get maintenance to repair some things, especially the safe, but if this place was in regular use, surely others, including cabin stewards, & inspections by senior management, would have noticed the dreadful state of the place. We found an old pair of sandals under the coffee table, & a packet of painkillers in a bedroom drawer..... For what we were charged, almost £7,000, about 5 weeks before we embarked, we expected superb accommodation, & numerous amenities which goes with suites. Prior to leaving home, we had to seek advice as to what amenities would be included, as nothing is stated in brochures, or any website. Eventually, after phoning the South African call centre, several times, as to begin with, we were told “ the system was down “, so they were unable to answer our queries, we were advised we would get robes & toiletries. In fact we got robes, slippers & Clarins toiletries, but.....no shower cap, shoe shine cloth, vanity pack containing cotton buds & cotton wool discs. Once a week, we were also given a tiny tube of lip balm, & a slightly larger tube of limb & foot balm, described a mini spa luxuries. Our suite was also an interconnecting room, so could hear the ramblings during the night, of the occupants in the balcony cabin. The balcony for our suite was massive, the loungers were very comfortable, so we spent much of our on board time there. Unfortunately, this also needed much attention & tlc, particularly in need of painting of the metal floor area under the wooden slats, & varnishing of chair arms. The floor was rusty & old, although no doubt cleaned daily...It is directly under the pool bar, so during the day, it was very noisy, but we were not aware of any noise once we were inside. We went ashore every day we were in port. Leaving the ship early, meant we could enjoy the places we visited when it was quiet, returning to the ship once it started to get very busy. There were times when our suite hadn’t been serviced by the time we got back, in spite of having told our stewards that we rose early, went out, & also were early bedders. Unfortunately, for the majority of the time, our place was the last to be done, until almost the end of the two weeks, when, having spoken with supervisors, it was done early, both morning & evening. There were many issues, which we have already submitted to the company directly, but the bottom line is that we got virtually nothing, having paid a great deal of money. On the very last morning, we returned to our suite after breakfast, & found a letter asking us to go to reception for compensation. We went, & were given a form to sign in order to get our compensation, in which it stated that we wouldn’t get any more money. The amount we were given was underwhelming....£50. Evidently this is the norm, & maximum given out...really ?!? To date, we have not even had an automated reply for our report, which was submitted shortly after we returned home. We decided to wait until we received word from them, but since over a week has elapsed, have decided to carry out the request of the CD. He asked, through the television, for us to post our thoughts on social media, so that everyone could read our comments ! Premium service is a joke.... Not all suite levels should be treated the same. Those pax paying more should get better amenities, but no, on this ship, all suites regardless of money spent, get the same. We suggested some benefits which could be given to Executive & Royal suite guests, but they have obviously fallen on deaf ears. These suites should automatically be given the premium drinks package, & at least 1hour of free Wi-fi daily. There is no Concierge lounge onboard, no private areas for sunbathing, drinking or eating, in fact, once you leave the suite, nothing is given. We read CruiseMapper’s description of this accommodation, prior to embarking, & were wowed, but alas this is completely wrong. This ship started life with Celebrity, and obviously the description given was for when it was a suite with them. There is one line saying, half way through the information, that this suite gets only ‘Premium Service’...... The entire overview should be removed from publication, as it is completely false. We are very experienced cruisers, not with this company, so know what is acceptable, & what is not. To say we were appalled by the standards in this suite, is fairly accurate. Many fellow passengers also left much to be desired. Walking about the ship, in lounges, and the Market Place( buffet ), females wearing only a bikini, men, bare chested & with bare feet were common sights ! Fortunately, the crew in Indigo lounge, deck 12, where we were enjoying a preprandial drink about 17.30, asked men to put on tops, although some men were wearing swimming shorts, but not always dry ! We didn’t frequent the Squid & Anchor pub, as Bingo was being played there daily before dinner. Most crew we encountered were very pleasant. Our servers in the MDR, Latitudes, table 412, which we managed to get regularly, were very good, attentive, friendly & helpful. We found the presentation, & quality of food, to be very good, & had no complaints at all, regardless of where, & when, we ate. We both liked the concept of the Snack Shack on the pool deck, where light prepared snacks could be taken from the refrigerated cabinet, during the day, and consumed on our balcony, & small portions of fish & chips, readily available at the counter for lunch. Two bar staff, Flocera in Flutes, & Alikasandra,( from Belarus ), who worked in both the pool bar, & Aperitif, were excellent. The latter spent much time in conversation with us, when the place was quiet, and we thoroughly enjoyed these encounters. All bar staff we met were good, but the barmen in both Indigo & Aperitif, were particularly attentive, & knew our choice of drinks in the evening. Naples Airport is a disaster, especially when leaving. Arrival wasn’t too bad, except we had to wait quite a while for our luggage, then had a long walk, in the heat, to the coaches. Returning home was horrendous. The place is too small to cope with all the people. UK citizens tend to stand in line, not other nationalities, so it was just a general free for all when going through immigration etc. The departure gate was extremely small, meaning most people had to stand until the bus arrived to take us to the plane. To make matters worse, we were standing for almost an hour. Fortunately the door was open, so fresh air could circulate, but a dreadful situation, especially for older people. The ports of call, particularly the Greek getaway sector, were very good. The second week was alright, but think we would have preferred the following week’s itinerary, going to Croatia etc. We have submitted constructive criticism, & trust our points have been noted by HQ. It is not as if we have manufactured situations or conditions....we report what we found. We have not detailed all the faults on here, but did in our report submitted to the company. One supervisor actually said that it was just the fact the suite didn’t live up to our expectations, was why we were being so critical ! We would defy anyone, paying what we did, for such substandard accommodation, not to be concerned, & report same. Most clocks around the ship displayed the wrong time, some out by many hours. If all other accommodation was in the same dire state as ours, then the ship should not have been put into service when it was. Maintenance work was ongoing all around the ship during our two weeks on board. Did the company run out of time, & money, before it could complete the renovations to our suite ? If so, then the cost to us should have been amended. Surely, the top suites should have been the first places to have undergone massive refurbishment, after the public areas. Finally, some may think, when reading this, that several faults are minor...individually, some are, but collectively, they make for appalling conditions.

Well below par accommodation for money paid

Marella Explorer 2 Cruise Review by Janda7

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We booked this cruise having read about the extensive, multi million pound work, carried out on the ship, earlier in the year. The idea of an adults only, all inclusive, port intensive cruise, especially during school holidays, in an Executive suite, appealed.....how wrong we were !

The public areas are very well appointed, but our Executive suite, oh dear. When we first walked in, we presumed it hadn’t been used much before & was a spare, back up suite. There were so many things wrong with place, missing door handles, rubber seal falling off the bottom of the fridge door, hooks broken, & missing, on back of bathroom door. We had difficulty in opening bathroom units, which are supposed to be spring action, but need a small knob on at least one door under each sink. Water from one sink tap sprayed everywhere, especially the mirror & the person standing in front of it ! The bathroom had been partially modernised, but nowhere else, and even here, more work still needs to be done. The door leading to the bathroom had been damaged and repaired, at some point, but long cracks could be easily seen.

There is a shower screen over the bath, but .... no shower ! This rendered the screen futile, & the rubber seal on the door kept falling off when it was opened & closed. Why did we constantly open this door ? The bath towels were always on a shelf above the bath, inside this unit, & we required them twice daily !

When we read about the suites before we left, and again, after we returned home, it clearly stated that there is an over the bath shower, as well as a walk in one.

The tv unit in the lounge area was in a very bad state of disrepair, in fact falling apart, & wires were everywhere. Photographs we looked at, of some suites, showed flat screen tv’s mounted on walls, not in ours. Both TVs sat on units, with many wires bundled behind them. The USB points on both bedside lamps, didn’t work properly. The left one didn’t work at all....

The biggest shock...the safe was not secured to anything, meaning it could be lifted & removed from room ! Fortunately we managed to get maintenance to repair some things, especially the safe, but if this place was in regular use, surely others, including cabin stewards, & inspections by senior management, would have noticed the dreadful state of the place.

We found an old pair of sandals under the coffee table, & a packet of painkillers in a bedroom drawer.....

For what we were charged, almost £7,000, about 5 weeks before we embarked, we expected superb accommodation, & numerous amenities which goes with suites.

Prior to leaving home, we had to seek advice as to what amenities would be included, as nothing is stated in brochures, or any website. Eventually, after phoning the South African call centre, several times, as to begin with, we were told “ the system was down “, so they were unable to answer our queries, we were advised we would get robes & toiletries. In fact we got robes, slippers & Clarins toiletries, but.....no shower cap, shoe shine cloth, vanity pack containing cotton buds & cotton wool discs. Once a week, we were also given a tiny tube of lip balm, & a slightly larger tube of limb & foot balm, described a mini spa luxuries.

Our suite was also an interconnecting room, so could hear the ramblings during the night, of the occupants in the balcony cabin.

The balcony for our suite was massive, the loungers were very comfortable, so we spent much of our on board time there. Unfortunately, this also needed much attention & tlc, particularly in need of painting of the metal floor area under the wooden slats, & varnishing of chair arms. The floor was rusty & old, although no doubt cleaned daily...It is directly under the pool bar, so during the day, it was very noisy, but we were not aware of any noise once we were inside.

We went ashore every day we were in port. Leaving the ship early, meant we could enjoy the places we visited when it was quiet, returning to the ship once it started to get very busy. There were times when our suite hadn’t been serviced by the time we got back, in spite of having told our stewards that we rose early, went out, & also were early bedders. Unfortunately, for the majority of the time, our place was the last to be done, until almost the end of the two weeks, when, having spoken with supervisors, it was done early, both morning & evening.

There were many issues, which we have already submitted to the company directly, but the bottom line is that we got virtually nothing, having paid a great deal of money. On the very last morning, we returned to our suite after breakfast, & found a letter asking us to go to reception for compensation. We went, & were given a form to sign in order to get our compensation, in which it stated that we wouldn’t get any more money. The amount we were given was underwhelming....£50. Evidently this is the norm, & maximum given out...really ?!?

To date, we have not even had an automated reply for our report, which was submitted shortly after we returned home. We decided to wait until we received word from them, but since over a week has elapsed, have decided to carry out the request of the CD. He asked, through the television, for us to post our thoughts on social media, so that everyone could read our comments !

Premium service is a joke.... Not all suite levels should be treated the same. Those pax paying more should get better amenities, but no, on this ship, all suites regardless of money spent, get the same. We suggested some benefits which could be given to Executive & Royal suite guests, but they have obviously fallen on deaf ears. These suites should automatically be given the premium drinks package, & at least 1hour of free Wi-fi daily. There is no Concierge lounge onboard, no private areas for sunbathing, drinking or eating, in fact, once you leave the suite, nothing is given. We read CruiseMapper’s description of this accommodation, prior to embarking, & were wowed, but alas this is completely wrong. This ship started life with Celebrity, and obviously the description given was for when it was a suite with them. There is one line saying, half way through the information, that this suite gets only ‘Premium Service’...... The entire overview should be removed from publication, as it is completely false.

We are very experienced cruisers, not with this company, so know what is acceptable, & what is not. To say we were appalled by the standards in this suite, is fairly accurate.

Many fellow passengers also left much to be desired. Walking about the ship, in lounges, and the Market Place( buffet ), females wearing only a bikini, men, bare chested & with bare feet were common sights ! Fortunately, the crew in Indigo lounge, deck 12, where we were enjoying a preprandial drink about 17.30, asked men to put on tops, although some men were wearing swimming shorts, but not always dry !

We didn’t frequent the Squid & Anchor pub, as Bingo was being played there daily before dinner.

Most crew we encountered were very pleasant. Our servers in the MDR, Latitudes, table 412, which we managed to get regularly, were very good, attentive, friendly & helpful.

We found the presentation, & quality of food, to be very good, & had no complaints at all, regardless of where, & when, we ate. We both liked the concept of the Snack Shack on the pool deck, where light prepared snacks could be taken from the refrigerated cabinet, during the day, and consumed on our balcony, & small portions of fish & chips, readily available at the counter for lunch.

Two bar staff, Flocera in Flutes, & Alikasandra,( from Belarus ), who worked in both the pool bar, & Aperitif, were excellent. The latter spent much time in conversation with us, when the place was quiet, and we thoroughly enjoyed these encounters. All bar staff we met were good, but the barmen in both Indigo & Aperitif, were particularly attentive, & knew our choice of drinks in the evening.

Naples Airport is a disaster, especially when leaving. Arrival wasn’t too bad, except we had to wait quite a while for our luggage, then had a long walk, in the heat, to the coaches.

Returning home was horrendous. The place is too small to cope with all the people. UK citizens tend to stand in line, not other nationalities, so it was just a general free for all when going through immigration etc. The departure gate was extremely small, meaning most people had to stand until the bus arrived to take us to the plane. To make matters worse, we were standing for almost an hour. Fortunately the door was open, so fresh air could circulate, but a dreadful situation, especially for older people.

The ports of call, particularly the Greek getaway sector, were very good. The second week was alright, but think we would have preferred the following week’s itinerary, going to Croatia etc.

We have submitted constructive criticism, & trust our points have been noted by HQ. It is not as if we have manufactured situations or conditions....we report what we found. We have not detailed all the faults on here, but did in our report submitted to the company.

One supervisor actually said that it was just the fact the suite didn’t live up to our expectations, was why we were being so critical ! We would defy anyone, paying what we did, for such substandard accommodation, not to be concerned, & report same.

Most clocks around the ship displayed the wrong time, some out by many hours.

If all other accommodation was in the same dire state as ours, then the ship should not have been put into service when it was. Maintenance work was ongoing all around the ship during our two weeks on board. Did the company run out of time, & money, before it could complete the renovations to our suite ? If so, then the cost to us should have been amended. Surely, the top suites should have been the first places to have undergone massive refurbishment, after the public areas.

Finally, some may think, when reading this, that several faults are minor...individually, some are, but collectively, they make for appalling conditions.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 1029
Needs a massive makeover & certainly not worth the money we paid. The main section of this review covers most points for this accommodation.