We are very experienced cruisers aged 67 and 68, this being our 31st cruise, however it was our first with Marella.We picked this cruise for the itinerary and strangely enough the extended port times. We came aboard with limited expectations re food , entertainment, service etc, First of all the stateroom— we had a balcony on deck 7, it was clean,and kept so by the steward. The bed was the most uncomfortable that we’ve had the misfortune to sleep on with small pillows.If you moved in you sleep you ended up flat on your back. I slept on the couch a couple of nights.The bathroom had the dreaded shower curtain with no decent toiletries like shampoo and conditioner.There was a kettle though which is always welcome, it was kept well stocked by the steward. The food—- the buffet was quite limited, with a woeful selection of fresh fruit, no stir fry station, poor quality cuts of meat and if you wanted toast for breakfast it came burnt or you didn’t bother if you warned it softer.As with most buffets the food was generally lukewarm, although the plates were hot. We were not overly impressed with the main dining room either, it was no better than your average Wetherspoons. The fine dining was another story, cruising as it used to be, we used them a number of times. The late night snacks were awful, truly awful, and without doubt the worst we have ever seen. Oh for the days of the midnight gala buffets, a bygone age! To be honest we expected as much and it didn’t ruin things for us. We were pleasantly surprised with some, and we do emphasise some of the entertainment. Some production shows were very amateurish with screaming singers and little dancing, some were quite good. The headline acts were fine in our opinion.Unfortunately the craze for no cost entertainment continued with Tui with banal game shows evident in the Squid and Anchor lounge, we body swerved these “shows”. One word of advice, we purchased the all inclusive upgrade on day one only to find some the drinks that we wanted weren’t available in all the bars. We got a refund for this. We done a couple of tours with Tui and they were fine. To sum up—- Marella cruises are a budget cruise line. Older refurbished ships, mediocre food (unless you pay for the fine dining), second rate cheaper furniture, and a shortage of staff which basically renders it akin to Wetherspoons in terms of jostling at the bar trying to get served. The staff work hard and were always pleasant to us but there just isn’t enough of them. If considering cruising with Marella you may want to know that as likely as not you may think you’ve joined a booze cruise as there appeared to be a culture of “Ive paid for it so I’m going to get my moneys worth of liquor “ on this cruise. Unfortunately some passengers couldn’t handle it, started a scrap in the night club and were subsequently thrown off in Jamaica. Would we cruise with Marella again— possibly, if the itinerary and port times suited us, we got what we expected withTui. By the way you may think of us as snobs, old farts who like a good moan, not at all. We are both from as rough as they come council estates in Liverpool, we’ve worked hard, played hard and done ok for ourselves. Regarding the drink, I’ve spilt more on my shirt than most passengers on this ship have supped, the difference being that I know when to stop, and more importantly how to behave. That’s all inclusive for you. May a fair wind be behind you, happy cruising. Brian and Joyce.
Dated, hard uncomfortable bed,kept clean.
Good day at doctors cave beach followed by a meal and drinks at the Hard Rock Cafe by the ship.
Went to royal palms beach club, then to the port area for food and drinks.