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Marella Explorer Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
202 Reviews

Seeking the Northern Lights

Marella Explorer Cruise Review by markyboy236

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Sep 2019
  • Destination: the Baltic Sea

We chose this cruise because my wife's bucket included waning to see the Northern lights. It didn't disappoint. However there are only a few days during the cruise when this is possible. This is when the ship is inside the Atric circle. ( only 3 day on this itinery) you also need the right weather conditions & they are only visible for a few hours ( normally between about 10pm & 2am).

Our departure port was Southampton & we used Intercruise coaches as transport to the port from Cheshire. I would highly recommend them they were punctual & extremely well appointed on both journeys.

Our cabin was 1045 with a large balcony. PLEASE AVOID. The cabin is well appointed & spacious. However it is situated just below an extractor outlet from the Mediterranean restaurant. This caused a horrible acrid oily fat smell to drift onto the balcony when in port & into the room when the door was open. We complained twice & nothing was done.

Trips..we did the Flam railway & was good value for money. In Olden we used the sightseeing tour bus just adjacent to the port which was half the price of the TUI tour & exactly the same. All ports visited allowed you to walk easily to the towns although some were only small villages. Pulpit rock tour from Stavanger was also worth while & the town is quite large. Eating & drinking out in Norway is expensive & so are souvenirs.

Food & Entertainment on the ship was first class. We always upgrade to the premium drinks package. At £7 pp/day well worth it. And we also had a couple of nights in the Surf n Turf & Kora La restaurants ( extra charge). Overall we would do this itinerary again.

markyboy236's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

AVOID...Spacious with large balcony. But there is a constant awful oil chip fat smell that comes from an extraction fan above the cabin. This made the option of sitting on the balcony...not an option. Only time it wasn't there was when the ship was at sea. The smell was so strong that when you opened the balcony door it came into the cabin.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Flam Railway

Well organised & it included a snack & drink

View All 212 Flam Railway Reviews

Superb views of the surrounding area along with a visit to the heritage centre

View All undefined undefined Reviews
Tromso Highlights Tour

Views from the cable car were stunning

View All 45 Tromso Highlights Tour Reviews

Used the local sightseeing bus. Which is parked right adjacent to the cruise port. Much cheaper than the TUI alternative & runs every 20 minutes.. whole trip took just over the hour and was £22 pp.

Pulpit Rock

Nice ride down the fjord to the rock in a hydrofoil. Snack & drink included.

View All 76 Pulpit Rock Reviews

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