We booked this cruise a week before we went to be away for my husband’s birthday. We are frequent cruisers but normally with Princess and for the last several years, with Celebrity. When we read the reviews on this site about the Marella Explorer, we were quite anxious about what we would experience but we were pleasantly surprised. The Explorer doesn’t have the finesse, space or luxury that we have experienced on Princess or Celebrity but the Marella cruise was a third of the price that we would normally pay and we thought it was good value.
Cabin - we booked a cabin with large balcony and our cabin number was 10120, just slightly towards the aft from midship. It was smaller than we were used too but it had plenty of wardrobe and drawer space and enough hangers and the bed was comfortable. There was a fridge, tea and coffee making facilities and an excellent hairdryer. We loved the hammock on the balcony and we also had a sun lounger, 2 chairs and a small table. The cabin and bathroom was spotlessly clean and our housekeeping team led by Destian were excellent.
Restaurants - The main restaurant Latitude 53 was nicely decorated and very clean. We don’t understand why people have said it was small portions, we found there was enough food on the plate and you didn’t feel that it was too much to have three courses. We also ate in Vista (Italian food) and throughly enjoyed every meal, the food was good quality and cooked well. On my husband’s birthday we booked a specialty restaurant - Tapas at the Mediterranean. We had Angus beef fillet kebabs and they were superb as were the starters and desserts. This specialty restaurant was £11 per person extra and was worth every penny, we would have paid considerably more on Celebrity to have food of this quality in their specialty restaurants. We would have like to have tried the surf and turf restaurant but it was fully booked, however speaking to people who had tried it said that the food was excellent.