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2,948 Marella Cruises Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for the exciting itinerary. The varied and plentiful ports of call made this a must-cruise for our party of 8. Our flight & embarkation were first class. Our cabin was spotless & our cabin boys made us feel ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the exciting itinerary. The varied and plentiful ports of call made this a must-cruise for our party of 8. Our flight & embarkation were first class. Our cabin was spotless & our cabin boys made us feel welcome. The food & drink we got on board were very good. We were looked after by Khalek in the main restaurant & nothing was too much trouble. We found the bars at night to be well staffed with not much waiting time & shows varied and we'll put together. The trolley service during the day was very good. Our 3 ports of call we managed to get to were very interesting, with Cadiz being the stand out. We will return. It all started going wrong after that, through no fault of Captain Steve, who was professional & communitive at all times, or Marella. We missed 3 ports of call & had to go home a week early than booked due to the virus. Throughout the cruise we were treated in a proper & caring way by Marella & we enjoyed our week entirely. Howeve now we are home we have not been contacted in anyway by Marella or TUI. We understand that it is a hectic time for travel companies but would have expected some correspondence regarding our lost weeks money back & compensation for ports missed. We do not want to seem mercenary, but we paid up our money in the timescales required & would like to be treated equally. We will happily cruise with Marella in the future, but would like some information about refunds. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Picked cruise for the places it was visiting and price i.e. Caribbean then on to Europe. Unfortunately the cruise was cut short in Antigua due to coronaviras. We spent 11 days at sea due to this but wasn't bored had pleanty to do new ... Read More
Picked cruise for the places it was visiting and price i.e. Caribbean then on to Europe. Unfortunately the cruise was cut short in Antigua due to coronaviras. We spent 11 days at sea due to this but wasn't bored had pleanty to do new people to meet and have a laugh with them. Could have been more sun beds but they were monitored if left unattended. Daily walks round the decks 5 times was a mile. The crew from cabin staff to Captain were fantastic nothing to much trouble and updates given all the time. Brilliant can't thank them enough. Cabins great basic but all amenities, Good bathroom plenty of space. Good wardrobe space for clothes to hang and plenty of draw space. Food brilliant you could eat all day and night. Entertainment and Activities all excellent. Ports we were able to visit St Kitts, St Lucia, But Antigua unfortunately basically shut being a Sunday were great. I know it would have been Brilliant if the virus hadn't happened. There is always another time. Thank you Marcella. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
regular cruiser looking for some warmer climes this winter. explorer ship pretty good, food in italian restaurant very good with friendly attentive staff. only used main restaurant twice for breakfast which was just ok. buffet restaurant ... Read More
regular cruiser looking for some warmer climes this winter. explorer ship pretty good, food in italian restaurant very good with friendly attentive staff. only used main restaurant twice for breakfast which was just ok. buffet restaurant patchy, soups were pretty good, salads average and main foods average. we do not think the range is as big or as good as 5 years ago. there was a late night snack area that was ok. bars all clean, staff up to usual standard. one bar that was far and away superior was the lounge. staff are so quick at preparing drinks and cocktails to clear the large number of people using this bar from 9pm onwards. the star performers from the lounge bar was vanessa, david, roland and gusti. top notch. the trips were all interesting. favourites were Taste of Fuerteventura and the wie,pottery, whistling tour of la gomera. shows were all very entertaining with the stand out being Zuma.the weather was quite warm ranging from 13c to 25c. Some good fish and shellfish eateries in the marina area of Lanzarote. rooms were looked after with great diligence as was reception. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We cruised 4 years ago and wanted to do a different itinerary . The newer upgraded ship was fabulous . Love the size of the ship .The food was great ( don’t miss the fish &chips and the chicken wings at the snack shak ) , the buffet ... Read More
We cruised 4 years ago and wanted to do a different itinerary . The newer upgraded ship was fabulous . Love the size of the ship .The food was great ( don’t miss the fish &chips and the chicken wings at the snack shak ) , the buffet was average but always lots of choices . The 47* restaurant ( a waitered a la carte) was excellent. There were many options that we didn’t even have the chance to explore ! All the staff , from the maintenance workers to the crew with stripes on their shoulders were super friendly and accommodating. We were very well looked after . Our cabin girl and guy were terrific . Mark and Lourdes deserve a day off ! ( deck 3 cabin 3052) This was our third cruise and the overall experience was excellent ! We will more than likely be back Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My wife & I booked this trip at the last minute and can honestly say "WOW!" Although we had to miss Cambodia due to the virus situation we were blessed to have an overnight stay in Vietnam which turned out fantastic for us ... Read More
My wife & I booked this trip at the last minute and can honestly say "WOW!" Although we had to miss Cambodia due to the virus situation we were blessed to have an overnight stay in Vietnam which turned out fantastic for us as it gave us time to see Ho Chi Minh and a trip down Mekong Delta. The staff & crew were fantastic especially the waiters Damoder,David,Dede & Ernesto. The captain,Chris,was so down to earth and his announcements were enjoyable yet informative. Visiting Thailand,Malaysia,Singapore etc gave us the chance to visit some breathtaking temples,beaches etc and we spent very little due to the local street food etc being less than £5 for 2 people and it was deeeeeelicious! The cabins on board cleaned daily made it soooo refreshing to get into bed after a great day exploring although it was after a great night onboard also with entertainment for all tastes. Our housekeeping team Ramil,Liza & Manju were the most attentive and caring as my wife who is disabled was never bothered when she needed to stay in bed longer. We can only say Thankyou TUI & the Marella Discovery Cruise team for our trip of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My wife and I have used Marella cruises for a while now and used the Marella Explorer twice in 2019, having only recently done the Tenerife trip we were very disappointed, firstly a sand storm hit the island's which was not the ... Read More
My wife and I have used Marella cruises for a while now and used the Marella Explorer twice in 2019, having only recently done the Tenerife trip we were very disappointed, firstly a sand storm hit the island's which was not the ship's fault And lost out on visiting one of our ports, we were awarded a £25.00 compensation to spend on-board, we proceeded to Madeira only to find engine trouble and then was stranded in Madeira a day and a half and being informed that we could not make it to one of our major ports Morococo.but to the port we missed out previously wich was nothing like what Morocco would have been. The service on-board had dropped dramatically in the main restaurant we were constantly requesting more wine and even water, only a few month ago they were constantly topping our glasses up, (but not to the stage of being inubriated ). This was also the same in the lounge bar, waiters constantly walking past you but not asking if you required anything else, the staff has totally changed, Due to the current situation with this virus threatening the world I would have expected hand sanitizer all around the ship in every entrance to every bar but this was NOT so. We booked a extra large balcony which was smaller than everyone else's tucked away at the stern of the ship a table 2 chairs,2 sunbeds and a hammock. In a space no bigger than a small cupboard if you put the hammock up your partner could not get to or from a sun bed, room 12041. We have always praised Marella cruises but unfortunately not this time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise on Valentine's Day when we found an amazing price on line. Flying from Manchester was quite smooth but our disembarkation in Thailand was so slow and frustrating. Once at the ship our check-in was quick and easy ... Read More
We chose this cruise on Valentine's Day when we found an amazing price on line. Flying from Manchester was quite smooth but our disembarkation in Thailand was so slow and frustrating. Once at the ship our check-in was quick and easy and our cases were at our room within the hour. Our cabin: deck 2 outside was clean and tidy and our cabin crew kept it spotless throughout the cruise. The itinerary was excellent though we had to miss Cambodia because of the developing Corona crisis. We loved Penang. Langkawi was a sheer delight. Malacca was fascinating and Singapore was impressive. Thailand: Ko Samui was great fun and we were well pleased with all our stops. My wife and I made our own arrangements for shore stops and found this to be quite easy to do. On board the entertainment was excellent. Daily dance lessons and twice-nightly social dances were superb and our heartfelt thanks go to Amy and Dmitrii for making our holiday really special. The showteam were excellent, performing a range of shows to suit all tastes. We also enjoyed Celidh dancing, Jazz Dancing and line dancing - so much to do! We ate in the waiter service restaurants for breakfast and dinner. For lunch we used the Islands self service restaurant. The food was always excellent... suckling pig was an unexpected treat and the veal, venison, duck and Angus beef were great. All bar and waiting staff were so helpful and good-natured. There was a real family atmosphere on board throughout the cruise. Captain Chris Dodds and his officers were an inspiration, dealing brilliantly with many difficult situations caused by outside factors. The reception team were also really helpful and caring for the entire cruise. It's hard to find fault with this cruise, crew and ship. They were all excellent. We will be back on board as soon as circumstances make it possible! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I was Very hesitant,husband booked it really wanted to go (Without the virus) just wasn’t on my to do list How wrong was abs amazing Would not have gone to the countries without going on a cruise the itinerary was excellent ... Read More
I was Very hesitant,husband booked it really wanted to go (Without the virus) just wasn’t on my to do list How wrong was abs amazing Would not have gone to the countries without going on a cruise the itinerary was excellent and was adapted due to restrictions what also made it was knowing I was goin back to a wonderful friendly ship everything and everyone was amazing and made lasting memories Thanks to sue Stewart who made us feel special inviting us to sit at her table and to all the staff Thank you so much The food entertainment service cleanliness everything was spot on varied entertainment to suit every taste met some really lovely people from all over the UK due to choosing to share a table some nights surf n turf was a special night at an extra but it was worth it would have done it again but left it late to book Would recommend defo Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Poor food. Poor service. Poor entertainment . Ship not as good as others in Marella Fleet. Not enough staff on bars. Waiters stood around chatting. Waiters telling me it isn't my job to serve on this area. It's not my job to ... Read More
Poor food. Poor service. Poor entertainment . Ship not as good as others in Marella Fleet. Not enough staff on bars. Waiters stood around chatting. Waiters telling me it isn't my job to serve on this area. It's not my job to do something about empty water machine. Lack of hygiene. Snack Shack . One member of staff putting fruit juice on back of his hand to taste if it was strong enough. In front of me whilst I waited. A certain arrogance with shop staff, off putting. Maintenance moving us whilst they did jobs. Drains on deck 9 being cleaned out next to our sun beds. Stinking drains. Total lack of enthusiasm with some staff. This ship doesn't compare to other Marella ships we have been on Stale entertainment, seen it all before. New all answers to quizzes. Only one guest act during two weeks in theatre. One very good opera singer in Atrim. The food in buffet it not kept hot. The food in Gallery 47 below usual standard. Window in our cabin clouded up. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
THE FOOD =. Let’s start with the food. The main restaurant looks nice to lull you into a false sense of security ... order fish... pretty close to their natural environment what can go wrong?.... wet spongy bread crumbs with wafer thin ... Read More
THE FOOD =. Let’s start with the food. The main restaurant looks nice to lull you into a false sense of security ... order fish... pretty close to their natural environment what can go wrong?.... wet spongy bread crumbs with wafer thin fish floating on a bed of water .... breakfast a very strange lamb sausage and rubber egg..... cram everyone into one corner and if you have the utter cheek to ask to sit somewhere else the shock and confusion on the waiters face that he has been lumbered with a stray sheep is all too obvious So we paid an exra £150 to have the privilege of having 3 meals in the speciality restaurant. 1. The dining club ... cold...empty ... ( should have read the signs there) ... foie gras floating in fat and a very basic meat dish. 2. Kora La ... slightly more people .....most in crew uniforms ..... presented with a prawn wrapped up in deep fried pan cake mis masquerading as tempura prawn. Watery madras...... 3. Surf n turf ....give me strength did I really sign up for 3 meals!,, My husband spoke to the chefs and explained the problems. They exclaimed with delight yes sir you know a lot about cuisine. My husband has huge experience in cuisine and hotel management and won’t be fobbed off. ENTERTAINMENT =. The production shows are nice. Scotty Miller the comedian was good fun. The Robbie Williams tribute looked like him but doesn’t 45 mins shouting. The over 40’s women liked him. The bands are a bit boring. No rapport! Just standing there looking into space. The singer whingeing about being on board for so long ( if you have to whinge do it in your own time not during my £1000 holiday,). The best the band can give is functional .... like musical wallpaper (and not the outrageous 70’s stuff but the dreadful bustling woodchip kind). CREW =. There are a few little gems. The Asian girls on reception and the lovely African waiter who does everything with a smile and bags of enthusiasm even though the barman calls out Boy! When he wants him. I found 70% of the crew either grunt, scowl, look at your cleavage or avoid you like the corona virus. Given that the entertainment hosts are sweet and try hard So my experience is.... a grossly over priced cruise because I’ve had to come in school time. Miserable crew and basically crap food! Will I cruise again with Marbella ... not if I have the choice of camping in the out backs of Glasgow. I’ll opt for Glasgow. Tui can take you to the sun but they can put a huge black cloud on your holiday. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We had been looking forward to this cruise since the day we booked it, and we have mad the most of it, a week in the sun is valuable time. However we probably won’t be booking another cruise with Tui, for us they have a lot of ... Read More
We had been looking forward to this cruise since the day we booked it, and we have mad the most of it, a week in the sun is valuable time. However we probably won’t be booking another cruise with Tui, for us they have a lot of improvement to make. The Marella is a nice ship but showing it’s age. We did throughly enjoyed sitting out in the Mediterranean bar on deck 11, a nice place to sit and enjoy a drink in the sun. One of our biggest problem is customer service, poor would be an understatement, be sure I’m not aiming this at the troops they did a fantastic job, however the management were a different kettle of fish. We were on one night denied dinner in our chosen any time dinning restaurant as we were simply told we can’t accommodate you so you’ll have to go and eat somewhere else. I’ll be honest that didn’t go down to well as the other dinning options didn’t really appeal to us that evening. To cut a long story short, we complained and were offered a meeting to discuss our issues in the morning with the Food and Beverage manager and the customer relations manager. It would be fair to say, i sat in that meeting as the customer, feeling lime a naughty school boy, customer relations is not the fdm strong point, I think she needs to climb down out of the ivory tower she seems to be sat in. After not having eaten the night before, we were not offered any apologies apart from verbal, this is not my wife and I after something for nothing, but we have experienced in past situations like this and not even had to say of do anything to have the situation out right, it was just done as a matter of course. Any way enough negative there is some good news, we did upgrade to the premium drinks package and boy I’m glad we did, as we found the appetitive bar on deck 7, staffed by the comedy duo Ilyia and Rikki and kept in check by Simena this was a great please to be, to say these three epitomise what customer service should be is an understatement, they were fabulous night after night, (Maybe TUI you should look further down the line to see what customer service looks like and maybe your management can learn something) Appetitive is located outside the Surf and turf and Korloa restaurants (Both extra charge) again though the level of service and the food was excellent when we eat at both. The main dining hall was nice service was as you would expect food was just ok, the Mediterranean was nice especially if you visited on the tapas night, and equally the Italian was nice, the maker place however was a let down, provost the poorest buffet restaurant I’ve been to, I’m on holiday I don’t want a roast everyday, to the eye it looked empty,a far cry from what we experienced on Royal Caribbean where there was so much choice you couldn’t decide. (Work to be done TUI I think) To sum up we had a nice week in the sun there were areas of the ship we enjoyed but they were predominantly extra charge services, it’s unlikely that we will travel again with Marella cruises we didn’t really feel like we were the U in the middle, further more there are other cruise lines offering a far superior service for similar money Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose the Explorer as it was only a four hour flight from the uk you are guaranteed some sunshine in the canaries. We had a had a balcony cabin on 9 deck and the balcony was the biggest we have ever had it had a lounger two chairs ... Read More
We chose the Explorer as it was only a four hour flight from the uk you are guaranteed some sunshine in the canaries. We had a had a balcony cabin on 9 deck and the balcony was the biggest we have ever had it had a lounger two chairs coffee table and hammock. Shower was good as it has a door rather than the usual clingy curtain. The decor was of the usual standard you get in cabin and no complaints. The food on board was good and as with the majority of cruise lines you have to pay supplements for speciality restaurants for the better quality food. We decided to pay the supplement upgrade on the all-inclusive drinks package and we felt it was worth the money as you would have to pay for cans coffee etc on the normal package. The entertainment on the ship was good and always plenty to do, the ship and anchor is popular along with the theatre and these tend to get quite busy but they have lots of bars around the ship to choose from. We have cruised with Tui before and will continue to do so Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
First our Profile Canadian...57 and 67 years old/regular cruisers (15 cruises between Carnival, RC, NCL and Celebrity in the last 10 years)…. first time Marella Room - Excellent well serviced/clean 7th floor balcony cabin Ship - ... Read More
First our Profile Canadian...57 and 67 years old/regular cruisers (15 cruises between Carnival, RC, NCL and Celebrity in the last 10 years)…. first time Marella Room - Excellent well serviced/clean 7th floor balcony cabin Ship - Been on sister ship with RC...nice small ship...well re-appointed effort Overall Service - As good as any cruise line we've experienced Shows - very impressed (this is my biggest love and I am very critical)....considering the age and experience of the young vocalists (25+ age?) I thought some of the shows were Broadway level...my favorites in order were Tribute to Broadway, Van Gogh (sort of Moulin Rouge style) and the Freddy Mercury show...we had a professional British comedian one night and we had a little trouble understanding him but when I could he was very funny Other Entertainment Venues - lots of locations with good musicians/bands Overall Entertainment Staff - fantastic and very creative...the interactive/video trivia in the "Squid" was the best I have ever seen...some questions were very "British centric" but who cares (we still won twice)... Cruise Director/Staff - Great...very outgoing and appeared truly sincere about everyone having a great time!...they were very approachable too... Bars - great selection and service...they all had a "specialty/theme"....those reviews about bad bar service I don't understand...there are busy times but I saw no lack of effort to serve...we got the $100 upgrade package and although the basic package is very good we thought it was worth while especially with the inclusion of the specialty "coffee port". My only complaint is that I could not find a good red wine even at the premium level...just my taste I guess...having said that my girlfriend got her favorite white wine that she actually drinks at home (Matua) Food - very average at best in Buffet for breakfast and lunch (never had dinner there)….very limited selection...service still great though Main Restaurant - Okay/Hit and miss but great service...Italian Restaurant a bit better Specialty Restaurants - did not do...wanted to do the Surf and Turf but could not get a reservation Excursions - all fine (usual Caribbean stuff)....best sites were Cartegena and the Panama Canal...some disembarkation issues on 2 days...getting on and off the ship (beginning and end) was well orchestrated Bottom Line - this was the best value cruise we have ever been on with fantastic entertainment...only negative was the food and I guess they have to cut corners somewhere to provide such value...the service from ALL the employees was second to none One last observation...with the cruise full of just Brits and Canucks it was so nice to have line-ups with no pushing/shoving and people cutting in for a change!! Hope this helps Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We went for Marella as have been with them lots of times before and always the best for entertainment. However, we were disappointed with the shows in the first week, although they improved by the second week. We understood the team had ... Read More
We went for Marella as have been with them lots of times before and always the best for entertainment. However, we were disappointed with the shows in the first week, although they improved by the second week. We understood the team had not been together long and also that another production company are involved with explorer, and it showed. Not impressed with the Cruise Director, except for his bollywood dancing. Not a lot going on during the day - but as we had lots of ports of call, this was excepted. Very good reggae band and good party on deck the second week. Had to be brought indoors the first week due to rain. The ship itself was great, lovely dining room with lots of small tables and plenty of room. Went to the Diners Club and although you pay extra it was well worth it. Cafes on the pool deck were very good, as was the self service restaurant and it was never crowded, except on the first sea day. Pool area, good - but sun beds need replacing. All crew friendly and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We wanted a cruise at short notice. Somewhere warm. Or even warmish. Our only option was this Mariella cruise around the Canary Islands. I must say it was cheap. Therefore we made a number of assumptions, only some of them were ... Read More
We wanted a cruise at short notice. Somewhere warm. Or even warmish. Our only option was this Mariella cruise around the Canary Islands. I must say it was cheap. Therefore we made a number of assumptions, only some of them were accurate. We travelled on the Tui flight from Gatwick. Extra legroom seat for only £25 each. Flight was comfortable. Bus collection and transfer was flawless. Embarkation was remarkably quick. And within about fifteen minutes we were onboard the ship. The ship is beautiful. It’s an older tug, but as it was originally a Celebrity ship the rooms and spaces are well thought out. It’s a really easy smaller ship to navigate around so there wasn’t many passengers looking lost. A word about our fellow cruisers. Perhaps it was the time of year, or perhaps the itinerary but if did feel a bit like a Fred Olsen cruise. The average age was at least 70. This meant that although the alcohol was all inclusive there wasn’t many obviously drunk passengers onboard...... The main problem concerned the food. The budget must have been about £5.00 a day. The food was monotonous and boring. Little choice and items repeated. Service was variable. From excellent to absolutely awful. The worst was me watching the waiter taking big crafty gulps of red wine when we weren’t even served our own glasses. He missed courses out, got confused over the order and didn’t fill our glasses but managed to fill his own!! If Marella increased the daily budget by about £2 or £3 a day the difference would be dramatic. Then they really would take P and O to task. But as it is there really is no comparison. I would rather pay more, and buy my drinks rather than eat those school dinners again. That’s a shame. We were in the Atlantic Ocean so I expected a bit of movement. But never in nearly twenty cruises have I been thrown around like that. And the sea was calm!! The captain did say he only had one engine going. My personal opinion was that the stabilisers were not used to save on drag and the extra fuel cost. That is laudable but not when the comfort of your passengers is at stake. He should be ashamed. The ports we visited was a bonus but I have to say if you get the chance to visit Madeira then go. Beautiful and beautifully kept. A real highlight. Try and do the cable car and the sleigh ride down the street. Fabulous. Though do not walk back into the town. It’s about a mile and a half down a one is three hill. A torture!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We are regulars on cruise holidays and were looking forward to our cruise of Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand as these were all countries we had never visited before and my partner was particularly looking forward to ... Read More
We are regulars on cruise holidays and were looking forward to our cruise of Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand as these were all countries we had never visited before and my partner was particularly looking forward to visiting Singapore. Plus points - the first week was great fun, we met some great people, the staff in restaurants and bars and cleaning and domestic services were lovely and all added to a great atmosphere onboard. Cambodia was an experience but we welcome the opportunity to see how people live in some of the poorer countries. The entertainment we saw was very good and the singer's rendition of Whitney Houston songs was wonderful - best I have heard in 16 cruises. Now the negatives - my partner had a relatively mild condition but one that she felt needed medical attention. The diagnosis was that she was suffering from an "acute respiratory condition" which warranted her being sent off ship for a CT scan at Hospital, despite the fact she had responded to treatment. This diagnosis was reached in spite of the fact that she had successfully toured Penang in hot temperatures for 5/6 hours on day previous without any issue!! If she had chosen not to follow medical advice, our travel insurance would have been invalid. Things went from bad to worse, the hospital authorities treated her for Covid-19 (well hardly treated her - tested her pulse, temperature and blood pressure - as had already been taken onboard and were fine). She never received any treatment at all yet was transferred to another hospital for another procedure (same happened here, no treatment just questions and tested pulse, temperature and blood pressure). Marella rep at hospital was no use at all, all he did was advise there were procedures in place but not explain what they were and if he communicated with the ship (I assume he did) and with the Hospital authorities then he didn't let us know what was going on. Apparently there should have been a Marella Port Agent available to support us - none available. As my partner had not been discharged from Hospital by time the ship sailed, we were disembarked and basically abandoned in a foreign country with no support. Useful contact numbers are only useful if they are attainable - they weren't - and in our opinion, the ship should not have sailed whilst my partner had not been cleared of COVID-19. We had to arrange to get to Singapore and re-embark there - this despite the fact that we were both in a state of shock at how this ridiculous situation had ever materialised. We were up for 28 hours and stayed in Singapore Airport guarding our belongings (which had been sent to us at the Hospital along with our passports via a local taxi driver - no one from Marella involved in ensuring our belongings arrived safely but totally left to chance). We re-embarked at Singapore but were nervous about leaving the ship again in case we were disembarked and our cruise was ruined. Subsequent attempts to get answers from TUI on how this farcical chain of events happened have been shockingly handled by the company to date. This experience has put us off cruising completely and we are trying to ensure that what happened to us will never happen to any other couple ever again. The service rating reflects the onboard welfare service and customer service thereafter and is no reflection of the excellent service provided by the bar staff, restaurant and cleaning staff. Equally the VFM would have been a 4 based on week 1 but was reduced to 1 in light of our experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Flew Glasgow to Montego Bay. Arrived on the ship with no problems. Booked a balcony cabin allocated 6154, sorry to say there was an electricity substation behind a door adjacent to our cabin. The noise was 24/7 so we complained next ... Read More
Flew Glasgow to Montego Bay. Arrived on the ship with no problems. Booked a balcony cabin allocated 6154, sorry to say there was an electricity substation behind a door adjacent to our cabin. The noise was 24/7 so we complained next morning to reception. The lady came upstairs and agreed said she would see if anything could be done. To cut a long story short after 5 days they offered us an inside cabin for 'sleep quality' we refused. 3 days later another lady from reception arrived at the door offering us the use of an additional inside cabin on deck 7 just to sleep in. We refused, there was no other available balcony cabin. Put a bit of a blight on our holiday we had to put up with it. Two days before the end of the holiday they offered us £100 compensation and we settled with £200 cash. Could we have asked for more, I dont know. We had booked this holiday 14 mths in advance. The cabin size was adequate not a lot of storage space. Our cabin stewardess Hanna and her team kept it clean and tidy. We ate in the main restaurant 47 degrees, food a bit drab not a lot of selection, plenty wine on offer. Tried Gallery 47 which was Italian was ok but only 1 menu it never changes. Did not pay for the fancy restaurants. Neither did we pay the premium drinks package there was plenty on offer on the AI. Did not pay for internet at £49 per week. Managed to get w-ifi when we went ashore. The Islands buffet was good plenty breakfast and lunch selection, never had any problems with getting a table. Wine and beer available at the self service area lunchtime and dinner time. Snack shack great for fish and chips around 3pm if you have been out on a trip. Nice selection of afternoon tea cakes etc. The glass house was like a green house very warm, food area a bit mixed up always a Q for service. Blackpool at sea is the way we would desrcribe the pool area. A smoking area down the one side behind the sunbeds. Beds booked up early with towels out, the usual. The Veranda area at the back of the ship was far too small and towels out early. The promenade deck was nice and quiet and you could get a drink from the bar at the atrium. The staff are a credit to the ship, always a smile and a hello. The ship is spotless always someone cleaning and plenty hand sanitisers everywhere. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have been regular cruisers for a few years now, and have sailed with most of the big operators. We are recent converts to Marella and have just enjoyed a two week trip on the Caribbean on the Discovery 2. We particularly like the ... Read More
We have been regular cruisers for a few years now, and have sailed with most of the big operators. We are recent converts to Marella and have just enjoyed a two week trip on the Caribbean on the Discovery 2. We particularly like the Discovery 2 (as well as Discovery 1). Here’s why. 1. Design of the ship. The D2 is a mid-size ship and is easy to get around. We never had to wait long for lifts unlike on the big American ships where you can wait for ages. We never felt overcrowded, not even in the buffet (which has recently been revamped and looked great). Some of the bigger ships may have more razzmatazz, but they seem to use the extra space for money making ventures such as huge (and smoky) casinos, art auctions, premium restaurants, and large jewellery shops, none of which interest us. Norwegian now have a policy of restricting large parts of their new ships to premium passengers only. On the D2 there is a very small (smoke free) casino, a couple of premium restaurants out of the way on the top deck, and a few shops. Most of the communal areas are devoted to entertainment. In addition to the lovely theatre, there are three other indoor venues for entertainers to do their stuff. That suits us fine. 2. Food. The quality and quantity of food was as good as any other operator that we’ve cruised with, perhaps with the exception of Celebrity. But what was really good was that every evening you had the option of eating in two free restaurants with completely different menus. If you cruise on the D2, do try Gallery 47 which has lovely food with an Italian style and desserts to die for. 3. The crew. All staff seemed happy and chatty. None of the surly or hard selling types you get on some ships. Captain Chris joined in one of the game shows and was quite a comedian in his own right. 4. Other cruisers. I have to admit that on the D2 I did miss having some Americans to have a smile with (and at!). However, Marella now market their Caribbean cruises in Canada, so we were able to talk to some non-Brits, which was fun. 5. No exploitation. On certain ships I have felt under constant pressure to spend, spend, spend. For example on MSC even though I had a drinks package, every time I asked for a drink the waiter tried to persuade me to buy an even better package. On Celebrity the main focus of day and evening activity seemed to centre on the casino. All other operators try very hard to persuade you to eat in their premium restaurants. On the Norwegian Epic if you want to see the circus show it costs extra. There’s none of that sort of thing with Marella. All shows are free, most drinks are free, there are no gratuities to pay, and even the excursions are reasonably priced. You don’t end up with a surprise bill at the end of the cruise. By the way, though the alcoholic drinks are free on the D2, I didn’t see anyone inebriated. This was unlike the American ships where people buy very expensive drinks packages then try to get their money’s worth. 6. Entertainment. The design of the ship facilitates a wide variety of entertainment. There was always something going on, and it was all very professionally presented. The cruise director Jonny and his great team kept the happy vibes going throughout the day, and in the evening the ship really came to life. There were two excellent resident bands, a good singer guitarist, an opera singer, a solo saxophonist, a singer pianist, comedians, and an engaging duo of competition dancers who kept the fun and music going all evening. There were four resident actors who put on small shows in the daytime and then used their improvisation skills to help make the evening game shows really great fun. 7. Theatre shows. It’s worth the price of the cruise to be able to stroll down to the Broadway theatre to watch a different show every night. In a two week cruise every show was different. This was unlike other cruise lines we’ve sailed with, where the shows the second week were exactly the same as the first. What made the shows on the D2 outstanding is that they were all so cleverly thought out and choreographed, the scenery and special effects were very artistic and well controlled, and the shows, at around 40 minutes, were about the right length for me. I’ve taken a dislike to the 2 hour long Broadway productions they have on the big Norwegian and RCI ships, where you end up with a numb backside one night, then have no show to see the following night because the same show is being repeated. 8. The quality of the show team. On every Marella cruise we’ve been on we have been very impressed with the quality of the stage performers. The current team on D2 lived up to expectations. The singers were good and could hold a note, unlike the warblers you get on American ships. The dancers were absolutely superb, we could only marvel at how they manage to keep doing it every day and remember all the steps to complete a synchronised performance. Better still, all the singers could dance and all the dancers could sing. All in all I couldn’t fault our two weeks aboard the Marella Discovery 2. Well, maybe some of the destinations were a bit iffy, but so what! In fact the best day out we had was in Montego Bay, where we went to a garden called Aaah Ras Natango. Check it out on TripAdvisor. A lovely place up in the hills, where hummingbirds land on your hand to feed (honestly!) Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Originally wanted to see the Panama canal. We couldn't find a cruise there from Toronto, we did find this one online and booked through our travel agency in town. Once on board we found out this ship had been in the canal the ... Read More
Originally wanted to see the Panama canal. We couldn't find a cruise there from Toronto, we did find this one online and booked through our travel agency in town. Once on board we found out this ship had been in the canal the previous week! Oh well . Will have to go back. We did not take any excursions just did our own thing mainly walking around our stops. We were overall extremely happy for this whole week gallery 47 and 47 restaurants were first class. We never use the buffet. All our drinks were included. Did not upgrade to premium. We received a £40 credit which we weren't expecting. Spent in the shops. New dress and beach bag. Snack shack on deck 9 had fish and chips for lunch plus many lovely sandwiches and wraps. The glass house indoor pool was lovely on our one rainy day. Food there and service was the only disappointment. Pizza was good there. Service and comfort at the Atrium bar was second to none. All in all this was really a spur of the moment trip that turned into a delightful holiday. Will sail on the Discovery 2 again. PLEASE NOTE did not take any excursions and don't know what enrichment activities were. Won't let me change my review on the blue dots. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have previously cruised with Marella and enjoyed great service and on board experiences. Celebration was a disappointment. She is an old tired ship showing her age in several areas from cosmetic finish to constant ship vibration and ... Read More
We have previously cruised with Marella and enjoyed great service and on board experiences. Celebration was a disappointment. She is an old tired ship showing her age in several areas from cosmetic finish to constant ship vibration and poor air conditioning. Our cabin was aft on deck three and suffered from ineffective air con, constant mechanical noise from a major piece of machinery and vibration which varied from annoying to totally unacceptable, making it difficult to sleep. Food was very good, shows were outstanding and bar service was great particularly the very attentive Suresh. The itinerary was excellent and the facilities at all ports were very well managed. The Captain was the friendliest we have come across (in a large number of cruises). The all inclusive package was adequate although some brands listed as premium and therefore not included would not be on my premium list. We will cruise Marella agin but not on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Price of cruise sounded really good,we were not dissapointed,the cruise ship was a bit dated but was clean and all the staff were brilliant our cabin member Sharmain was a real pleasure to speak to really looked after us nothing was a ... Read More
Price of cruise sounded really good,we were not dissapointed,the cruise ship was a bit dated but was clean and all the staff were brilliant our cabin member Sharmain was a real pleasure to speak to really looked after us nothing was a problem to her always smiling and chatty,also would like to mention lunn who kept us supplied with our refreshments in most of the lounges and bars she also was very pleasant and always on hand,also yairis and Ronald deserve a mention for all their efforts and hard work ,these people never stopped,also all the entertainment crew were brilliant some fantastic shows every night with different shows,we visited different places every day seen some marvellous sights and lovely beaches,only problems and dislikes were getting online with internet was very expensive,£8 a day which would have worked out to much,we waited toget ashore for free wi fi,we had to miss out to one of the destinations due to a problem with the ship’s propeller we had to dock for 2days to get repaired so felt a bit let down by that,we were not offered anything in return. But apart from that we would definitely try another cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Hi just back from a week on the Explorer the flight from Edinburgh was good Transfer was quick.When we got too our cabin the cabin had a bad spell reported too reception fixed straight away smell came back 2 days later and you could smell ... Read More
Hi just back from a week on the Explorer the flight from Edinburgh was good Transfer was quick.When we got too our cabin the cabin had a bad spell reported too reception fixed straight away smell came back 2 days later and you could smell it a lot round the ship as if there was problem with drainage a few times the public toilets were closed. The food on the ship was not as good as Discovery 2 some days the choices were poor The food was off average standard if you wanted Ice cream you had too pay even if you up graded too premium The entertainment was good but again not as good as discovery 2 the games were not as funny and did not get guest involled as much the shows in the Broadway shows were just about the same each night singing too soul music The Broadway Theartre did not have a waiter service You had too take your drinks with you or take what they had too offer at the door The Squid and Anchor bar was very busy at night and if you were not fast you could not get a seat The sun decks were busy up on the varanda deck there was not enough sun loungers and guest were putting towels on the beds and going off shore for 4 hours and coming back Overall this was a old ship need work done too there drainage system and more staff would book with marella again but not this ship Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Having read a number of negative reviews we went on this cruise (out first with Marella) with no real expectations. We came back quite impressed and would not hesitate booking another cruise provided it came in at a good price/ itinerary. ... Read More
Having read a number of negative reviews we went on this cruise (out first with Marella) with no real expectations. We came back quite impressed and would not hesitate booking another cruise provided it came in at a good price/ itinerary. We have travelled on a number of lines including Oceania, Azamara, Celibrity, MSC, Holland America, Royal Carribean, Pullmantur and Princess. A number of other passengers had also cruised on similar lines to us and were also satisfied with Marella so this is not a review by a Marella diehard. Food. Both in main dining room and buffet was always hot probably better than most other cruises (was on Celebrity last year and a number of times left food in the buffet as it was too cold to eat). Quality- I would probably pitch it at good pub standard. Portion size was very good (Other than potatoes where you sometimes had to hunt on the plate for them - we ordered extra - but have had similar on other lines). Fewer choices in dining room than experienced elsewhere other than the handful of always available options of chicken, fish etc there were only about 4 or 5 choices but always had a least one vegetarian choice. Buffet had the same selections as main dining room plus a roast so less choice than usual there. Main dining room also had an Italian area which had usual selection of pastas etc. We also went there one night when there was nothing appealing on main menu and it had sirloin steak on their menu. There was also a separate Mediterranean option with pizza or pasta and a Tapas section. Both of these were in a separate area and were less 'formal' and quality was acceptable. Usual burger and not dog service beside pool and again was good and food hot. Lunchtime food selection included a pie option every day. Did try them a couple of times and they were good. We also had spotted dick and custard on the menu one day. Good generally very much geared to UK customers and no lobster tails or fillet steak but did have steak one night and duck another night. We didn't feel the need to try any of the extra cost venues. Drink. The included drinks included most of main brands e.g. Grouse whisky, Gordon's gin, Malibu etc and beers included draft Fosters, Stongbow as well as a range of bottles including Morretti, Peroni, corona. A number of cocktails were also included as well as draught soft drinks.Never had long to wait for waiter service or at bar - with no need to tip to get good service. A!though no 'at seat' service in show lounge there were tables when you went in with a selection of cocktails, red/white/rose wine as well as prosecco and a selection of bottles beers. As the longest show was no longer than an hour i didn't have a problem with picking up my drink(s)as I went in. Shows. Main shows were all very good with better singers and dancers than on most other lines and pianists/guitar/singers in bars were also good. Don't know what poolside entertainment was like as not really our scene but my wife enjoyed watching Downton Abbey film on outside big screen while I say next to her and watched a film streamed to my tablet from a selection of free films available through their app on the ship. Staff. Never saw a grumpy member of staff either in dining room, bars or housekeeping and all were universally pleasant and helpful. Cabin. We had an inside cabin and were quite happy with it. It was nothing special but did have good storage. Bed wasn't the best and probably not the worst either. Ship. It is an old ship but has been well looked after and refurbished with all public areas clean and bright - no classic wood panelling. Other passengers. Average age probably 60 plus but probably a factor of cruise type and timing. Almost all passengers were white and from the UK so not as diverse as we are more used to seeing on other lines. No real evidence of overindulgence than we have seen on other lines - there are always a few that are louder than they probably should have been. Disembarkation. Although you have to leave your cabin at 9 am you can continue to use all facilities including food and beverage until you depart, in our case 13.15. We were on a package and don't know when you would have to leave if you were cruise only. Overall we had a good break and would book again. Not our best cruise but not our worst (haven't really had any bad cruises) and Marella wouldn't be at the bottom if we ranked the different lines we have been on. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Well having sailed with Thompson on the Thompson Spirit (which was falling to peices) this was a pleasant surprise. The ship isn't new but they have obviously invested a lot of money refitting the ship. Everywhere was clean, the food ... Read More
Well having sailed with Thompson on the Thompson Spirit (which was falling to peices) this was a pleasant surprise. The ship isn't new but they have obviously invested a lot of money refitting the ship. Everywhere was clean, the food was great quality and selection (main dinning hall (Latitude 56), buffet restaurant (the market place), an Italian (serves buffet style pizzas and pasta during the day) and a tapas restaurant and the snack shack (burger, hotdogs and grab as you go items) they also have 3 paid restaurants also (not visited). The entertainment was a bit sparse and I would not like to be stuck on this ship for more than a day of sailing without stopping. It also doesn't offer a lot of things to do, it has a cinema (poor old selections of films), library, little crazy golf, sport court (very small), pool area with 3 jacuzzis (pool was warm, which makes a change, spa (chargeable), small gambling area (wouldn't call it a casino) a coffee shop (extra charge) and shops. I would rate this a one of the nicest cruises we have taken and we have taken a lot. The staff were friendly and the cabin was clean, more spacious than other cruise companies and a powerful shower (bonus) and a bit bigger than most. Good things 1. Embarkation and de embarkation 2. Food 3. Room spacious and clean 4. Not over crowded 5. Staff friendly 6. They are not trying to squeeze every penny out of you unlike other cruise companies 7. All inclusive food, drink and tips 8. Cabin Not so good. 1. Not much to do on board I have been on the following cruise lines and this is how they rate: 1 Princess and Marella 2. P&O 3. Royal Caribbean 4. Carnival 5. Thompson cruises 6. Costa Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Arriving in Tenerife after our flight from Manchester we embarked on Explorer. Our first impressions were good. Although the ship is around 25 years old, it is in good condition and has recently been refurbished. Happily, we were given a ... Read More
Arriving in Tenerife after our flight from Manchester we embarked on Explorer. Our first impressions were good. Although the ship is around 25 years old, it is in good condition and has recently been refurbished. Happily, we were given a our first upgrade by TUI. As cruise veterans we have sailed with half a dozen cruise companies, large and small. So TUI , thanks for treat of a cabin upgrade. A key feature of the refurbished ship is the electronic excursion booking system which does away with hoards of passengers waiting in line. A great feature, and time saver.. The cabin was kept tidy by our busy stewards. It was a decent size, that would suit most couples. It did have overhead beds for two, which we had to be careful not to bang our heads on getting out of bed. The dining room experience was good. Plenty of good food was on offer, in my view on a par with P&O. We did not see any point in dining in the Premium Restaurants it was so good. Also, the drinks package was very good. Again it was not worth buying the Premium package on offer. TUI is to be commended for providing good standard 'all in' experience without trying to do it 'on the cheap'. The ship does have a Lido style Buffet. We did not use it more than couple of times for lunch. To be honest it does need some work doing on it, as it is in places dark and uninviting. The standard of service throughout the ship was very good. Staff would go out of their way to keep the customer satisfied. No problems at all. I do not intend writing about the various ports of call, as information about the Canary Islands, Maderia, and Agadir is abundant on the internet.. Our verdict,a good value for money experience. Have no doubts before booking on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
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