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Cruise Ratings
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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
My third Tui cruise and my last I’m afraid. I’m won’t be too hard in my review as you get what you pay for and this cruise was heavily discounted. Naples airport was very poor- many passengers over 65 struggled having to carry their ... Read More
My third Tui cruise and my last I’m afraid. I’m won’t be too hard in my review as you get what you pay for and this cruise was heavily discounted. Naples airport was very poor- many passengers over 65 struggled having to carry their luggage a long distance from the airport to the coaches. Uneven pavements, crowded walkways and tiredness after a flight don’t mix well. One mature lady had a fall and was took away by ambulance. I would not recommend this embarkation port for anyone with health or mobility issues, or those who would struggle to carry their cases. I know Tui won’t be using Naples for this ship next year. This may be one of the reasons ! The food was disappointing- poor choice for those with dietary needs. Our cabin was fine and everything worked . The cruise has been refitted and is pleasant. It does however lack the plush luxury you get on most other ships. Buffet restaurant more like a canteen - crowded and noisy with queues. There was a bug on board so extensive special measures were in place to prevent its spread. This couldn’t be helped and contributed to difficulties. The main areas are open plan and lack cosy comfort making it all feel abit like Butlins. All the staff very friendly and welcoming . Shops have a good choice of products. The shore excursions were well planned and organised which was better than my last Tui experience . To summarise - I expect more from a cruise and won’t be back Tui . As I’ve said, it was heavily discounted which is the reason for the three rating . Had i paid full price I would have been very disappointed. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Chose the cruise as a late booking, to compare with our experiences with P&O so far, as well as choosing an interior cabin for the first time. We usually travel as a party of 4 adults, so this was our first cruise as a couple, on an ... Read More
Chose the cruise as a late booking, to compare with our experiences with P&O so far, as well as choosing an interior cabin for the first time. We usually travel as a party of 4 adults, so this was our first cruise as a couple, on an adults only ship. TUI had only just started using Naples as their home port, and our arrival and departure at the airport were poor, not down to TUI, but the local airport services, with delays to finding stairs and buses and luggage for virtually every flight we talked to. Our weather for the week was mixed, but it didn't hinder any of our plans, and in fact the lightening storm at Ancona was the highlight of the visit, as there just isn't much there, especially on a Sunday ! Overall I would say that whilst Marbella was smaller than any P&O ship we have been on, half of the things about it were better, and half were poorer, so we would definitely sail with them again. I would say that P&O ships are better appointed, it's public spaces more luxurious, and they offer a wider variety of food in the buffets and restaurants. However the all inclusive on Marella is much better, the rooms more spacious, and the standard of service and friendliness from the staff overall was better. The main difference to us was that the Explorer made no use of the atrium area on the ship, and unlike P&O it wasn't a focal point for seating or dancing, but it was a smaller ship to be fair. The age profile probably averaged 50 to 60, and the activities reflected this. We had intended to eat at larger tables to meet people, but to be honest the tables for 2 are so close together, you have no option but to interact with other dinners ! Our ports of call were as follows, and I hate paying the rip off prices for tours charged by all cruise lines, so a bit of research means you can do it all at half the price - Naples we only had a couple of hours to explorer before departure, and so no chance to visit Pompei. It was May Day, and there was a major rally in the city, so it was as busy as Oxford Street on a Saturday, so we didn't see it at its best, but I wouldn't rush back as it struck me as a working port and a bit grubby. Easy walk to the centre of the city from the port. Split in Croatia was really worthwhile. Again an easy 10 minute walk from the ship to the centre, and it's really interesting to walk around the market outside the city walls, and then the warren of streets in the centre. We went back to the ship for lunch and then back along the waterfront and past the city centre to the Marjan Peninsular for a walk with views back down onto the city. Venice we went on deck for the early morning sail in, but the poor weather meant it was like sailing up the Humber Estuary in the mist. The rain delayed our start but we took the people mover from just outside the port (1.5 euros) to Piazza Roma, and took the vaporetto route 1 water taxi down the Grand Canal (7.5 euros) to San Marco. We went in the Doges Palace (20 euros) with only a 15 minute queue, up the Campanile Tower (8 euros) with only a 20 minute queue, and into the Basilica (free) with only a 10 minute queue. All were well worthwhile, especially the Basilica as on the way out you have the option to pay 5 euros to go up onto the roof for some great views down onto the square below which I would recommend. Afterwards we wandered the streets up the Rialto Bridge and market, and walked back up the Grand Canal to the people mover at Piazza Roma. The city is easy to walk around and there is no need to travel on the canals if you don't wish to, and the gondolas are a published 80 euros for 40 minutes wherever you catch one from. Ancona was just a filler stop, as there just isn't much there. The weather was our worst of the trip, which in some ways worked out, as we had a tremendous lightening storm in the afternoon which was the highlight of the town ! Dubrovnik was our favourite stop along with Venice, with the buildings like Split but more structured streets unlike the warrens at Split. From the port exit turn left and catch the bus 1 or 8 into the old town (15 kune) as it's a bit too far to walk, and when you get there you will want to walk the walls (200 kune). The walls are intact and a full circuit takes around an hour and a half, but the views are spectacular, and includes the adjacent fort with views back onto the town. The cable car to the lookout above the city was not operating due to a tax dispute with the government. Messina town in Sicily doesn't have much, so we opted to turn left out of the port and a 10 minute walk takes you to the central train station where a train runs regularly to Traormina Giardini station (8 euros return), but you need a taxi up to the town (15 euros) or wait for the bus. We didn't have much time so we got a taxi and the town is very quaint. Turns out that we did the right thing as some of the ship tours went nowhere due to an accident on the main road. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Destinations and fitted in with work etc. Reason for choice of Cruise. From the time we checked in on board to the time we left all was perfect. Ship new, clean and great taste. Latitude restaurant was first class. We ate most meals ... Read More
Destinations and fitted in with work etc. Reason for choice of Cruise. From the time we checked in on board to the time we left all was perfect. Ship new, clean and great taste. Latitude restaurant was first class. We ate most meals here, a treat for Mum and easier with wheelchair. All staff superb, always ready to help with mum and happy in their work. Cabin we had two balcony cabins and were superb. Entertainment in main theatre was very good. We enjoyed all. Some better than others, but overall a great evening. Went to nightclub and also entertaining. We were asked by Steven if we would be models for the fashion show, which we agreed to and was an amazing evening. Such fun. Ports were good, disappointed with Messina, a shame we couldn’t dock in Taormina. But others good. Have recommended to friends for July. We thought the Director of entertainment, Matt was excellent, and always had time to speak to us when we bumped into him on board. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise to allow us to visit Petra in Jordan*, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, it also called in at Kefalonia, on the Petra return the driveshaft went on the bus delaying us for almost 2 hours. The weather was hot in Jerusalem and ... Read More
We chose this cruise to allow us to visit Petra in Jordan*, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, it also called in at Kefalonia, on the Petra return the driveshaft went on the bus delaying us for almost 2 hours. The weather was hot in Jerusalem and more so in Jordan, but later in the cruise after traversing the Suez canal we had two days of high winds and grey skies that not only kept you from sunbathing, but kept you off the top deck completely. Half way through the cruise at around 07-00 there was a 'machine labouring' noise, the cabin lights went off, and the ship stopped for 15 or 20 minutes the 'claim' being 'dirty fuel', although I find it difficult to understand that dirt in a ships fuel would cut everything off completely at the same time with no back up, fortunately for us we carry a battery lamp. Those who had been on for two weeks said the ship had suffered an 'air conditioning' breakdown the previous week and had to pull in for repairs, thus delaying people on the following onshore trips. The food onboard was fine generally, and the cabin steward and cleaning lady were excellent as usual. The entertainment was rather drab, we were on this ship 2 years ago, and the 'Broadway show lounge' shows were still exactly the same routines and songs as they had been. The music played in all the bars, disco, and entertainment parts of the ship was ranging from the early 60's to early 80's (it seems Marella believe music stopped in the early 80's, and nothing has been produced since). The one exception to the drab entertainment rule was a guy on a guitar singing Irish songs. On departing the ship in Corfu, we were stood waiting outside the airport in a queue of some 100 meters for more than an hour, with no explanation of why, or as to how long we would be there until someone challenged one of the TUI staff over the matter. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Having sailed numerous times with NCL, MSC, RCI and P&O I was more than happy with my recent cruise with Marella especially after reading some of the reviews. Flight, transfer and embarkation to our cabin was the best I have ever ... Read More
Having sailed numerous times with NCL, MSC, RCI and P&O I was more than happy with my recent cruise with Marella especially after reading some of the reviews. Flight, transfer and embarkation to our cabin was the best I have ever encountered, all well planned and trouble free. The ship is smaller than the others I have sailed on but every facility is available. The food was amazing, we ate in 47 and gallery 47 mostly but did try the island restaurant a few times for lunch. Choice of food was very good. The excursion were not too expensive although the one we were on to Bethlehem could have been better planned as we did not get to go to crypt due to delay in departing from the ship, this was very disappointing as other trips did get to see the crypt. Our cabin was a junior suite on deck 8 which was very spacious. One of the best features of this cruise was the entertainment, every night there was different shows in the theatre as well as an abundance of other bars for live bands and singers. We will most definitely be sailing with Marella again Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The first thing to note is that whilst this ship is new to Marella it was built in 1994 and in places despite a refit is showing its age. You will need to travel on TUIs German Mein Schiff 1 & 2 if you want brand new ships! It is also ... Read More
The first thing to note is that whilst this ship is new to Marella it was built in 1994 and in places despite a refit is showing its age. You will need to travel on TUIs German Mein Schiff 1 & 2 if you want brand new ships! It is also a shame the all inclusive bit doesn't start when you step on the very old Boeing 757 plane but then i suppose prices would be higher. We booked a cabin with a balcony and were allocated right in the middle of the ship on the port side on deck 8 . It was about the size of a normal Travelodge room and had a nice sized shower cubicle which for a big chap is really welcome and had plenty of storage with the cases fitting under the bed. We heard many guests who were on deck 4 and near the back of the boat complaining of noise from the kitchens and vibrations when the boat was travelling, however this was not the case where we were situated. As always the cabin steward was very helpful and all the staff worked hard to ensure the guests had a great time.The only niggle we found was how thin the toilet paper was but other than that everything else worked well. It was great to have pool towels, TV, safe, hairdryer and a small fridge included in our cabin. We stuck with the standard inclusive package which is all anyone could ever need, although we noticed that since our last cruise on Discovery last year the choice of cocktails is less extensive than it was just 11 months ago - Not a major issue though. Similarly instead of waiter service at your seats in the Broadway show lounge they offer you a table of about 8 different drinks as you go in. Whilst it limited your choice of drinks it did stop constant chatting to the waiters during the shows. The entertainment was excellent in the evenings with 5 fantastic shows by the entertainment cast with fantastic use of technology and two guest slots the first were two comedians and the second an Elton John impressionist. There is always lots going on around the ship although we were a little disappointed that the movies by moonlight were started 30 minutes before the first evening ) show finished (and ended 30 minutes after the second show started) so you never got to see a film all the way through! Marella seem to be catering for a younger generation in its 50s (which we are) as we heard lots of grumbles from older passengers that there was no formal dancing available, dance lessons or classical music evenings which apparently is what they like to do! Dining is plentiful and to cater for 1800 plus people they do a great job. The buffet was always hot and plentiful of choice. The formal restaurants Lattitude and Vista were also great. We loved Nonna's an informal no frills Italian restaurant. which we went to a few times. We could not justify paying for the additional charge restaurants and don't think we suffered for not going there. For lunch we picked up sandwiches from the snack shack before heading out for the day. We did not use the pools or the spa.gym but it had lots of customers during the time we were there. The real joy was the itinerary. A different destination everyday with no sea days made it a great holiday for us. It was a great cruise which i would happily go on again. Hope you find his useful Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have cruised with Marella approximately ten times and sadly have to say this will be our last, the cabin was kept spotlessly clean but the smell on some decks was ghastly, I presume sanitation problems. The food was ok, we didn’t ... Read More
We have cruised with Marella approximately ten times and sadly have to say this will be our last, the cabin was kept spotlessly clean but the smell on some decks was ghastly, I presume sanitation problems. The food was ok, we didn’t have a drinks package but at least Marella allow you to take alcohol on board as the house wine is absolutely vile. The best thing about this ship is the entertainment, the game shows and quizzes are good fun and the west end style shows in the broadway show lounge are of an excellent standard. All the entertainment team work especially hard. Not very keen on the resident band partly due to the ridiculously high volume in the medusa lounge. A special mention should go to Haizel (waitress) in the orion restaurant, the drinks manager who was very courteous and on the ball and David, Rachael and Holly (entertainment hosts). Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We were a group of 2 married couples. We boarded the discovery with absolute ease everything run so professionally. Our cabin was ready on arrival we had only an indoor cabin on deck 2 which suited our needs perfectly. Enough room and ... Read More
We were a group of 2 married couples. We boarded the discovery with absolute ease everything run so professionally. Our cabin was ready on arrival we had only an indoor cabin on deck 2 which suited our needs perfectly. Enough room and everything that was needed. The ship was easy to navigate around and plenty of information and personnel around if you got lost We dined in the waiter service restaurant which was just like eating in a 5* restaurant every morning and evening. Entertainment was always available and was really good. We did a few excursions and again information was given and disembarking was carried out in a professional and organised way. The staff on the ship were amazing, every single one never did we see a miserable face and never greeted without a smile. The captain Chris Dodds does an outstanding job, he is an ever presence around the ship always taking time to stop and chat and made everyone on the ship feel special. Restaurant manager Kenan was always around with a smiling face and happy to help. Absolutely loved our cruise and would recommend to anyone Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise was a belated birthday present for my wife. She had always wanted to visit Jordan, and I wanted to visit the Suez Canal, so when I spotted the itinerary for this cruise it was a no-brainer. It suited that we did the ... Read More
This cruise was a belated birthday present for my wife. She had always wanted to visit Jordan, and I wanted to visit the Suez Canal, so when I spotted the itinerary for this cruise it was a no-brainer. It suited that we did the longhaul flight out first to Muscat in Oman to join the Discovery and only had a short flight home from Corfu. On this ocassion embarkation was a little hetic as our flight out of Manchester was delayed by nearly an hour which caused a bit of chaos for the crew to get our baggage onboard and the passenger's checked in. We were sailing within an hour-and-a-half, which was a shame as we would liked to have had a walk around Muscat before sailing. We were not new comers to the Discovery as we had sailed on her some 18 months previous. On this occasion we had an inside cabin, not recommended as it was dark and you felt like it was night all the time, however, the bed was comfy and the cabin staff did a wonderful job of keeping it clean and tidy and I also kept updated with the football results from the TV in the cabin. A major improvement in the restaurant's this time was that the food was always hot and not luke-warm like the last time, the service seemed to have gone up a notch too, so all-in-all it made for a great experience. We spent the first at at sea before stopping at Salalah in Oman. Because we had already pre-booked a few excursion we did not get off at Salalah, plus you had to either get a bus or taxi as Salalah was about 40 minutes away, and if you did your own thing you were advised to agree your fare before getting in the taxi, and also not to pay until you return otherwise you risk being left by your driver, this was slightly unnerving to say the least. Aqaba was our next port of call, here we had an excursion to Petra The Rose Red City which was well worth the money. We walked in the footsteps of Indiana Jones and discover the city that was lost to the world for over 1000 years. Petra is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites with 2000 years of history and 800 monuments still standing, well worth the visit. The icing on the cake for me was travelling through the Suez Canal. It is a sight you have to see for yourself just to grasp the scale of the project undertaken to land cut the Canal. I have to leave wit a word of warning, please ensure you cover yourself in sun screen before leaving your cabin. The temperature was always in the 40's and with the breeze whilst sailing it's like being in a fan oven. Many passenger's had the misfortune of being badly sun burnt on the first day, and spent the rest of the cruise looking like mummies. Don't make any sense to spend a couple of grand on a cruise holiday only to spend probably three times as much in doctor's fee. And another thing, some of the places you visit on your excursion, you have to cover your shoulder's and knee's especially if you wish to visit places of worship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We choose this cruise for the itinerary and dates we are available to travel. The cruise sailed from Muscat, taking in a short visit to Salalah, Oman, then up to Jordan for 3 days/2 nights in Aqaba, for Petra, the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, then ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the itinerary and dates we are available to travel. The cruise sailed from Muscat, taking in a short visit to Salalah, Oman, then up to Jordan for 3 days/2 nights in Aqaba, for Petra, the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, then through the Suez Canal, around to Israel, Ashdod, for Jerusalem and Bethlehem, then over to Kefalonia and finally disembarking in Corfu. Unfortunately, after booking we discovered there would be no time to go ashore in Muscat, as we sailed early the following morning, and soon after booking we were advised that the Dead Sea trip from Aqaba was cancelled due to road conditions. We were disappointed but understand these things happen, so added an excursion to a 5 star hotel in Aqaba for a beach day instead. We had a great flight out in Premium on the Dreamliner, Muscat airport was easy and we were onboard quickly. The whole process smooth and efficient. We had an aft cabin, pre-booked and it was spacious, clean, comfortable, but I have to say on occasion noisy from the engine's, vibration was bad some nights, and yes, you do get a little soot on the balcony, there's nothing you can do about that, just don't wear white! The steward cleaned it daily. I'm not complaining, just pointing it out. The ship was full I think. Hard to get a sun bed. Or a seat in the atrium. Nowhere really for some peace and quiet, we were glad of our large balcony. Bar 11 was lovely for evening cocktails, we preffered the buffet for evening meals as we found the MDR very busy, squashed together and brightly lit, and actually didn't rate the meals there apart from breakfast and Beef Wellington. The surf and turf was excellent, you need to book as soon as you can! The excursions were a bit manic. They were long days in high temperatures which we were prepared for, but felt really rushed, the guides all knowledgeable and friendly, but a little inflexible. We were awed by some of the places we visited, but just didn't have time to appreciate them. Destination Services on board were rude and unhelpful, and you had the feeling they didn't care once they'd got your money! Many people complained about various issues on various trips, but I don't think there's been any resolution. If you can, book privately or go it alone. There was a mix of entertainment, both day and night, a great comedian, opera singer, guy with a guitar, we didn't do the shows but heard they were good, just not our thing. Most of the staff are fabulous, friendly, helpful, with one or two exceptions. The food was good and varied and mostly hot (except strangely chilled poached eggs in the MDR on the last morning for breakfast!!) As I said we preferred the buffet, snack shack was great for lunch, glass house for snacks in the evening. Plenty of choice of drinks on the standard AI, though we paid extra for a fancy cocktail or coffee occasionally. Overall though, we felt extremely lucky to be able to do this cruise, visit the places we went to (we will go back independently), enjoyed our sea days with a book and a view of the wake, dolphins, stars, and our adventures on shore. The ship was still having the occasional engine/electrical problems, so we lost some time in ports too. Read Less
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