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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
My wife and I chose this for our honeymoon. Having never cruised before we were apprehensive - there was no need for that. What a perfect holiday. Arrival at Naples was fine for us mid twenties couple, although there is a little 10 ... Read More
My wife and I chose this for our honeymoon. Having never cruised before we were apprehensive - there was no need for that. What a perfect holiday. Arrival at Naples was fine for us mid twenties couple, although there is a little 10 minute walk from the terminal to the bus so can't imagine it's great for everyone. Straight onto the boat and into our cabin, bags were delivered about 15 minutes after our arrival. We can't fault any member of staff on board the ship, and a special mention to our cabin steward Anastasiia and also Zaida in the perfume shop as their service went above and beyond. We were invited for dinner with the captain on our second week which was a great experience! Plenty of places to eat and the food is great for everyone, plenty going on in the day and at night, the shows were good - we both felt that the male singers weren't great. Went past Stromboli after leaving Sicily and WOW. As I said... Perfect holiday. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Went on 4th cruise... chose Marella Explorer 2 for itinerary and port of Naples .... cruise and stay to encompass Sorrento and Amalfi Coast.. Travelled with friends to celebrate 30th wedding anniversaries. My opinion ( shared by husband ... Read More
Went on 4th cruise... chose Marella Explorer 2 for itinerary and port of Naples .... cruise and stay to encompass Sorrento and Amalfi Coast.. Travelled with friends to celebrate 30th wedding anniversaries. My opinion ( shared by husband and friends). Fabulous week had by all. Ship and cabins very comfortable and spotlessly clean. Service and staff all amazing . Bend over backwards to ensure passengers enjoy their time with them . Food brilliant standard. We tend to avoid the buffet type restaurants. Prefer to be waited on and finer dining offered in the other restaurants. Had one upgraded meal “Surf and Turf” which was an excellent experience all round. Food service all faultless Entertainment on board was very good. Shows ok to good. The musicians .... in a class all o their own. Just absolutely brilliant. Sooo talented. And something for everyone. Jazz/swing quartet to soul and rock sessions. Just amazing. Can honestly say the best we have EVER seen ( apart from famous band of course). Standard of hygiene, the decor and presentation of on board facilities all very good and o par with 4 and 5* all inclusive resorts we have stayed in many times previously across the Med, Caribbean and Australasia. I dot understand some of the bad reviews... beyond me how people have rated below 4*.....were we on same ship?? My advice.... if you are looking for all round fun, value for money, good food and service then Marella deliver on all . Do not listen to the moaners.... maybe they have 5* lifestyles every day. T Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
My husband and I both choose this cruise a year and a half before our wedding as we wanted to get everything set in advanced. Additionally, we also booked the excursions online as soon as they became available. Firstly, this was our ... Read More
My husband and I both choose this cruise a year and a half before our wedding as we wanted to get everything set in advanced. Additionally, we also booked the excursions online as soon as they became available. Firstly, this was our Honeymoon and I started this review mid-way through our cruise as we were so disappointed. We had quite a few issues and as we were only away for 7 days we seemingly had the worst luck possible. We arrived in Naples, Italy via a flight from Gatwick which overall wasn't too bad. The wait for the luggage was around 30 minutes so not a bad wait compared to what we had seen on other reviews. The crew on the ship are delightful and I cannot fault anything here. Everyone is lovely and so accommodating - Jaya, our cabin steward was brilliant and would recommend anyone to say hello if they ever pass by him. The only department I would complain about is the Excursion team. When we were in Dubrovnik no one had any idea who was queuing where and was a nightmare. My husband and I got told to go the wrong way/ into the wrong queue twice and other cruisers were having the same issue. Please, can someone make sure in the future there is a protocol for these members to run by as they had no idea? The food is great, and the a la carte dining experiences (specifically Surf and Turf and also Kora La) was amazing. The specialty restaurants are fabulous and would thoroughly recommend. Now, the massive negatives here are our experience with the port days. We are here only for a week for our first cruise and honeymoon. Just as we had got into our cabin, we had noticed there was an excursion ticket missing. So there were 4 days worth of excursions instead of 5. We had to go to the desk to find out what was going on as no other information was provided, no letters sent etc. When speaking with the excursion team, it turned out that our excursion had been cancelled due to congestion which I cover below. We had also taken out around £500 worth of euros, to be told that the currency on the cruise itself is GBP. No one mentioned this at all which is surprising and also disappointing. If we wanted to change this we'd end up with much less than what we set out with which again is a joke. We ended up using our credit card which was the last thing we wanted to do. Our first port, Messina Sicily was fantastic. We travelled to Mt. Etna and had a great time, no faults here. The port team was lovely and very insightful about our trip. The coach journey to Mt Etna was around 1hr 30mins (or so) however the lady who had done our tour (can't remember her name), was great. Our 2nd port was Drubovnik. Now, this is the excursion that was cancelled - we also were not able to Dock due to "congestion". This meant we had to wait for a tender to pick up and drop off hundreds of people. This was an absolute nightmare and we were not able to get on shore until 5 hours after anchoring. The tenders were also very limited which was above and beyond frustrating. This was at no fault of the cruise however none of the excursion team really knew what they were doing which made things even worse. When we were queuing for the tender after our ticket number finally being called the staff didn't even know what queue we were to get in, it was very disorganized. This meant we had 2 hours before "rush hour" to get back in the cruise. We had next to no time to do anything which is extremely disappointing and a massive waste to a day in a location we really wanted to explore more. The next day, the port was Ancona. My husband and I had booked the picture-perfect bayside duo. Originally when booking we were told we would be heading down to the pebble shores and would be able to take a dip in the fantastic beaches. Oh, how wrong they were, as we didn't even touch the beach. Sirolo was lovely but again after lugging our swimwear around we felt this day wasn't great but was not as bad as the last. The tour guide here was very knowledgeable in regards to the area and provided a better experience, even though we were disappointed as we wanted to go for a swim in such lovely weather. The 4th day, where we were when I started to write this review, is Venice. We were supposed to Dock at 5am, however, it was around 9am and we were still a few miles from shore. There was a power outage in the early hours of the morning which resulted in us both being woken up by several announcements between the hours of 1:30am and 2:40am. This, in turn, meant we did not manage to get to the Dock in time and as Venice operates a time slot functionality - we inevitably missed our slot and we had to wait until midday to dock. This meant our excursion, which was a gondola ride (the 2nd favourite excursion we booked) was cancelled, along with many others from other passengers. The destination desk was absolutely packed so there was no chance of us booking a different excursion. We were however given a cruise card credit of £50 each and of course, our excursion was refunded but the time lost on both this excursion and the other excursion (Dubrovnik) was just a little too much for us and we were overwhelmingly disappointed. On the 5th day, we arrived at Split, where we went onto our last excursion - Krka waterfalls. This was our favorite day and can I just say everything on this day was fantastic. Starting from the coach Journey with the tour guide (Coach 1, can't remember his name unfortunately - the driver was Ivan) down to the Waterfalls and exploring the nature park and then the boat ride back to the coach > then back to the cruise. The tour guide was awesome and hilarious and we're very happy with how this day turned out. The last day was a full day at sea. Unfortunately, this means everyone is up at the crack of dawn to get onto a sunbed where apparently if you leave your towel it is yours for the day. There was a note which mentioned if you leave it for longer than 45 minutes the items will be removed however I noticed some people were covering 2 sunbeds at times to make sure their partner could come back and I also noticed some people coming back to their sunbed for 10 minutes at a time and then leaving for another 30 minutes, cheating the system. This is very disappointing. Similarly, in the whirlpool, it says on the sign 15 minutes at a time however there were people in there for hours, m4eaning my husband and we didn't get a chance to go in there. The pool is nice when hot but very salty so head above water at all times. My husband and I ended up paying something around £3 to watch movies in our cabin as we'd already had enough of walking and trying to find a sunbed over a period of 2 hours (we went to the bar to wait for a further 10-15 minutes). Overall, including the cruise itself, excursions, euros we had taken and the current amount accumulated was around £4500. This is one of our biggest spends but I can certainly say we won't be booking this cruise again due to the disappointments with the excursions. We did, of course, get the canceled excursions refunded but there was no recognition to the fact that our days were wasted and we had to make our own way around with no insight to the locations whatsoever. We understand these things can happen but in our perspective, we had a nightmare on some days that became very stressful on what should have been a relaxing holiday away for a week. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our first ever cruise, going to Spain, South of France, Italy and Croatia. Overall we enjoyed the cruise. Embarkation was straightforward and the ship seemed clean and well-equipped. The major plus point was the staff in the bars ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise, going to Spain, South of France, Italy and Croatia. Overall we enjoyed the cruise. Embarkation was straightforward and the ship seemed clean and well-equipped. The major plus point was the staff in the bars and restaurants who were very, very good as were the cabin crew.However, a major damper was put on the cruise early on when I had my wallet with my credit cards stolen in Barcelona on the first excursion out. Obviously this was a fairly big issue but I thought that, as this must be a relatively common occurrence there would be ample help and support available - how wrong I was! I'd emphasise that throughout the whole process on board ship, the everyday staff that I dealt with were all very helpful and friendly and did whatever they could to assist. The problem seemed to be higher up the food chain where senior crew weren't willing to do anything to help if it meant bending their rules or processes and procedures in anyw ay whatsoever. Our account on the ship was tied to the credit card I lost and so this had to be closed down. i was immediately told that the only way to buy anything on board ship going forward would be to put cash on account. Fortunately we had a small amount of cash with us which I put on the account but it wasn't enough to allow us to do all the things we wanted to - it was my birthday, my wife's birthday and our 30th wedding anniversary whilst we were away and we had wanted to celebrate each event in the premium (extra cost) restaurants on board but we now couldn't do this and we subsequently also had to cancel my wife's celebratory meal through lack of money. The reason for this was that because some of the excursions had been so poor we changed our Venice excursion to another one. We hoped, given our situation, to be able to just pay the difference in price between the two trips but no, they insisted on cancelling the original booking (made pre-departure) and refunding the amount to our credit card and making us pay for the new trip from our ship's account - which meant we didn't have enough money to pay the cover charge for the restaurant for my wife's meal. To make things worse, the Venice trip was subsequently cancelled after we spent 30-60 minutes adrift during the night with no power at all which made us 7 hours late docking in Venice meaning that most excursions were cancelled. Of course by this time all of the premium restaurants on board were full so we still couldn't get in! By this time I was sick and tired of the total lack of help or goodwill from TUI. We had paid for our cruise by all due dates, we'd pre-booked and paid for nearly £900 worth of excursions before setting off and yet they still wouldn't bend in any way whatsoever to make our holiday better or less stressful. I met with the Guest Relations Manager who simply reiterated what her staff had told me - that it wasn't their fault I'd had my wallet stolen and as it happened in port they didn't even have any responsibility to us! She even stressed how they'd pointed out that Barcelona was full of pickpockets - pointing out the paragraph in the "Cruise News" where this had been said - inferring that we were either stupid or careless to have our belongings stolen. She said that as I had said I was trying to get an emergency credit card sent to us (which it was, in Naples) they didn't think they needed to do anything more to help us. Yet they knew within 10 minutes of the credit card arriving that it wouldn't work with their systems (again, they have one way of doing things and no other, apparently) but still they showed no goodwill or willingness to help. Then, finally, the Guest Relations Manager told me that someone in the UK could have gone to a TUI travel shop and made a money transfer to us on the ship! When I asked why she was only now telling me this she said that it was "quite involved with many steps so they didn't like to publicise it"!! Although it may not seem it this is a brief recounting of what was a catalogue of issues with the senior staff on board Marella Explorer 2. The total lack of goodwill shown by them and by TUI was completely at odds with the helpfulness and friendliness of the general crew. We could have had a really good first ever cruise, but they managed to ruin it. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We had a great cruise on Marella Explorer 2. Our cabin was on deck 4 and was in a good position mid ships to get to the MDR, Market place for breakfast and the gangway on Deck 3. The only issue I had was the sound of cutlery or glasses ... Read More
We had a great cruise on Marella Explorer 2. Our cabin was on deck 4 and was in a good position mid ships to get to the MDR, Market place for breakfast and the gangway on Deck 3. The only issue I had was the sound of cutlery or glasses being rattled around late at night from deck 5, MDR. Cabin was spacious with plenty of wardrobe space and drawers. Only one socket though so we had to take turns charging phones, using the hairdryer, kettle etc. Lovely shower with a glass door...makes a nice change to having a shower curtain wrapped around you! Food was great and plentiful served in different areas of the ship. Lots of different types of entertainment venues, silent disco was hilarious. Always able to get a sunbed. Where was the captain? First cruise I’ve been on where I haven’t seen the captain! Lovely ports of call. Paramos, shuttle to beach. Toulon, walkable or a little train from the ship 7€ takes you on a little tour. Livorno, we went to Florence and Pisa with Tuscanybus.com who left us stranded in Pisa !!!! Rome on your own with the ship. Olbia, bus will take you to a beautiful beach for 5€ return, or the town is easy to reach by foot. All staff onboard were amazing, as always! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Very disappointed with Explorer 2 as was not as good as Explorer 1. Didnt look or feel like been refurbished. Cabin bathroom grotty, particularly shower smelled and grubby. Bar staff unfriendly and rude, never smiled, communication poor. ... Read More
Very disappointed with Explorer 2 as was not as good as Explorer 1. Didnt look or feel like been refurbished. Cabin bathroom grotty, particularly shower smelled and grubby. Bar staff unfriendly and rude, never smiled, communication poor. Dirty mop left in pool shower all day, pools small and dirty, all 4 jacuzzis didnt work all week, beds crammed in, very noisy all day like Butlins on Board, tacky and cheesy or trying to sell stuff on screen! Breakfast cold, not much selection, no omlette station, no service on the terrace or bar, no atmosphere dead at terrace end of ship at night. Clock by pool didnt work all week, drink stations didnt work, or no cups, very poor! Even online feedback didnt work. Many complaints from others about no escape from noise level, nowhere outside quiet or able to relax with service. Food was average, needed to book trips as not much near ports! Couldn't understand daily announcements. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We flew into Naples airport expecting the worse but were pleasantly surprised as we encountered no problems other than waiting 40mins for our luggage to come through.TUI staff were on hand to guide us onto the waiting buses and in a short ... Read More
We flew into Naples airport expecting the worse but were pleasantly surprised as we encountered no problems other than waiting 40mins for our luggage to come through.TUI staff were on hand to guide us onto the waiting buses and in a short time we were at the port ready to board the ship.We had to go through some security checks before boarding,but this is perfectly understandable in this day and age.The ship itself is modern and clean and fairly easy to find your way around,we found the different colour carpets to be a big help with this.We ate mainly in the Market Place during the day and Latitude 53 for evening meals where we were expected to dress in smart casual to eat here.We found the food here very good with mostly different things on the menu every evening and the waiter service excellent.On one night we paid approximately £50 for the two of us to book into Kora La for a meal,although this is extra to the all inclusive we found it to be well worth the money as the food and service provided was exceptional.Special mention for Albert who went out of his way to look after us that night.We had paid for the Premium package for drinks and as my wife enjoys different types of gin and I enjoy my whisky we found this to be value for money,again special mention to Rommel in the Gin and Whisky bar in the Squid and Anchor a top class barman.We enjoyed some of the shows in the Broadway Showroom also.We did not go on any excursions preferring to find our own way around the lovely cities we visited.All in all a great first cruise experience,looking forward to the next. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Went on Discovery 2 last year - Eastern Med and loved it so tried Western Med this year. No complaints. Food excellent, staff superb. Relaxed cruise and would recommend. Entertainment hit and miss. Loved the comedian but didn't like ... Read More
Went on Discovery 2 last year - Eastern Med and loved it so tried Western Med this year. No complaints. Food excellent, staff superb. Relaxed cruise and would recommend. Entertainment hit and miss. Loved the comedian but didn't like the crew's musical. Squid and Anchor pub was a popular venue, got quite busy. Personally would only cruise for a week. We did cruise and stay and stayed in Sorrento after the cruise which was fab. Had an outside cabin with a window and it was more than adequate, not luxurious but you don't spend much time in your cabin. Discovery and Explorer quite similar. More restaurants on Explorer but missing the lovely Atrium on the Discovery. Swings and roundabouts really. If I had to pick a negative it would only be in relation to the ports on this cruise. They were all commercial ports and if you didn't choose to do the excursions on offer which were quite expensive you had to get a bus or taxi to get off the port. The ports of call we visited in the eastern med, we could just walk off the ship into town. Everyone - guests and crew were so friendly and if you had a problem they would sort it out for you. Wouldn't hesitate to book another Marella cruise. If you want a 'posh' cruise and wear your evening gowns and tuxedos every night this is probably not for you. We loved it! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Old ship showing its age in places where it has been refurbished many times. Some fittings very tired. Cabin ok and nice balcony, although unable to control the air con so the cabin could get cold at times Decent food and ... Read More
Old ship showing its age in places where it has been refurbished many times. Some fittings very tired. Cabin ok and nice balcony, although unable to control the air con so the cabin could get cold at times Decent food and entertainment for the price paid. Some customers could get very noisy after a long day utilising the 'all inclusive' drinks and there were a couple of scuffles between passengers. Staff seem to accept these events as normal and took no action. Good itinerary for the one week Adriatic Cruise but spoiled by missing one of the main destinations being Sicily. TUI advised that 'due to customer feedback' the ship would stop an extra 2 hours in Dubrovnik (ie from 7.5 hours to 9.5 hours) then have a 2nd day at sea (on a 7 day cruise!). Nobody that we spoke to on the cruise would have preferred that option and many were angry at the change, which was only advised on the transfer to the ship. The weather was good and the sea calm so there were no operational reasons for missing one of the main destinations on this cruise. TUI gave each passenger a pathetic £25 to spend on the ship in compensation for the loss of 1/6 of the destinations. There seems to be no reason other than TUI cost saving for missing Sicily. On return we sent a letter of complaint (completely ignored) and then email (acknowledged a month ago but no response). TUI's poor customer service continues. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Loyal Marella customers. This was our second cruise on this ship. It has definitely improved since our last voyage on her - you can tell that the team have settled in and the snagging issues from earlier this year have gone. The ship ... Read More
Loyal Marella customers. This was our second cruise on this ship. It has definitely improved since our last voyage on her - you can tell that the team have settled in and the snagging issues from earlier this year have gone. The ship is being maintained nicely and the public areas are still very fresh. The only snag being that the air conditioning didn’t seem to cope very well when the ship was in port. Our cabin was one of the two Royal Suites on board and it was worth every penny. Very luxurious and comfortable. There always seemed to be some form of entertainment going on around the ship. We saw a few of the shows and also watched the comedians (note to the unaware - stay well away from the front few rows If you don’t want to be the butt of any jokes!). We preferred the pianists in Flutes and Aperitif over the more formal entertainment like the shows. As always with Marella, the thing that made it so good was the service that the staff offered. So many of the staff remember us from previous cruises - it was lovely. A special thanks to Simina the sommelier, the wine tasting she does on sea day is really good fun and informative. She looked after us for the rest of our cruise surprising us with nice wines. Dining was great. From the al a carte dining we went to Surf and Turf, Kora La and the Dining Club. All well worth a visit! The only downside with this particular cruise has to be Naples airport. Really really bad. Stressful. Made better by the fact that the TUI cabin crew warned us before we got off that it ‘runs on Italian time!’ That bit of good humour kept everything in perspective. We waited on the aircraft for 40 minutes on the tarmac before the busses came to take us to the airport. We were told by the screens to wait at luggage belt 5 and then an hour later were told to move to belt 1, and then it took another 30 minutes for luggage to arrive that then got stuck at the entrance to to belt and other passengers had to pull it through. It was also quite a walk to the coach transfer in the heat so if you do have anyone in your party with a disability make sure you ask for assistance. The return experience was just as shambolic with no where to sit while you wait (think people actually arguing over seats!!!), so again if you struggle I would be requesting a wheel chair. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
To celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Have Cruised before around UAE but the Greek island cruise all inclusive seemed ideal. We were looked after immediately we stepped aboard, went to our cabin 8229 aft of the ship and found it was ... Read More
To celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Have Cruised before around UAE but the Greek island cruise all inclusive seemed ideal. We were looked after immediately we stepped aboard, went to our cabin 8229 aft of the ship and found it was very clean with sufficient space. The bathroom was good with an excellent shower. Every time we ventured through the Ship and returned to Cabin it had been cleaned and tidied as if by magic, the cabin crew were excellent as were rest of crew can't speak highly enough of them. The Dining was very good with plenty of choice and if you asked for something not on menu the staff would try to serve you with alternative. I must repeat the staff were excellent. The shows were very good it was obvious that entertainment team had spent many hours rehearsing. seating was very comfortable, the only negative of cruise is what happens on all cruises and thats passengers who think they own the sunbeds, however even this problem was addressed with the introduction of 45 minute rule, if beds were vacated for 45 mins then towels were removed a great idea that should be implemented on all ships and holiday resorts. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our first ever cruise as a couple of 26 year olds and my parents in law, who had been desperate to try a cruise, so we booked together and then personally followed our cruise with a trip to Sorrento. We have been truly ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise as a couple of 26 year olds and my parents in law, who had been desperate to try a cruise, so we booked together and then personally followed our cruise with a trip to Sorrento. We have been truly converted and would love to cruise again, on explorer 2 again too. Wish we’d done a 2 week cruise!!! Best bits: - Food was really good and in such abundance! (Vista and the Dining Club were brilliant). - Crew were lively and generally super helpful and polite. - Drinks package is very good and although we upgraded to premium we needn’t have as there was such a large selection of drinks. - We always managed to get a sunbed, even on sea days and we certainly weren’t up at the crack of dawn- but they were enforcing rules for people leaving towels on beds which is good to see. - My mother and father in law had a cabin on lower decks and their service from Nui (their steward) was incredible. - Jack Glanville the guest comedian was the highlight of the week for the entertainment. - I loved using the gym, running track. - Fish and Chips from snack shack were a treat! - We did excursions to St Tropez, Rome and Florence but did the ‘on your own’ versions as didn’t fancy following an umbrella!! They were beautiful places, but hot and over crowded at this time of year- completely not Marella’s fault, but just a word of advice for other cruisers. Think we would organise tours independently next time as they were extremely long days and fellow cruisers said we could do them cheaper if we arranged taxi tours ourselves! Things to improve on: - Both main speciality restaurants (Kora La and Surf and Turf) were booked up by day 2 of our cruise which we were gutted about. They didn’t seem to care either, I did complain and say customers should be told they book up quickly and I would have booked day 1 of the cruise (even though this seems a bit sad to have to do as soon as stepping on the ship). It did mean we booked The Dining Club instead which in the end was superb, but my boyfriend really wanted to try Surf and Turf. - Our steward kept walking into our room without knocking, whilst we didn’t spend a lot of time in the room, it was a bit uncomfortable! He walked in without a moments knock or hesitation and my partner was quite frustrated by this when he walked in and I was in the shower and he just asked, ‘is someone in there?’ A little strange but I suppose they’re just used to people not being in the cabin, but may require some further training. We just ended up leaving the lock on the door or do not disturb in whenever we were in. - As others have mentioned, Naples airport was a nightmare, queues galore through passport control and a very long wait for bags, and long walk in the heat for the bus transfer. I hope they don’t only use Naples (although it’s good for Sorrento trips for us!) - Noise in our cabin kept me from sleeping one night due to a loud noise when the ship was rocking in the wind- I didn’t sleep till 5am. (Cabin 8128) - Spa is great, but an infinity pool it is not! (It is only deep enough to sit in!) - Gym needs air con!!!!! All in all, these are minor complaints for a superb cruise but things which if rectified would be amazing! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My first cruise with my partner.Was nervous and apprehensive at first but put at ease with the experience.Security in this day and age are very important and the security unit certainly lived up to expectations.The room “Jnr ... Read More
My first cruise with my partner.Was nervous and apprehensive at first but put at ease with the experience.Security in this day and age are very important and the security unit certainly lived up to expectations.The room “Jnr Suit””was unbelievable,spacious,clean and well turned out.Balcony included was an extra advantage and welcome.Food was absolutely beautiful and well presented.The restaurant personnel were well turned out smart and very helpful.The shows which I can understand are not to everyone’s taste but that’s a personal choice.Shows we liked were ‘Cogs’ and the Comedian.The drinks were plentiful.We went on two tours ‘Barcelona’and ‘Rome’which were amazing and interesting (a bit hot though)lol.The Crew were polite and nothing was to much trouble for them,always there to help.I think a lot of people don’t appreciate the crew under working in the guts of the ship.As I said in the beginning,this was my first Cruise and I was to say the least apprehensive but having said that would I cruise again......yes most definitely. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our third cruise with Marella we chose this one Explorer 2 because it's a Adult monly ship which appealed to us as last year on the Discovery2 there were children on board and we don't think cruise ships are the best ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Marella we chose this one Explorer 2 because it's a Adult monly ship which appealed to us as last year on the Discovery2 there were children on board and we don't think cruise ships are the best for children. Our time on the ship was very enjoyable especially the Italian resturant which we dined in every night,the entertainment in the broadway show lounge was excellent and worthy of the west end being a disabled pasenger i could not fault the level of service the facilties were excellent and the shows were of west end standard l will be certainly using Marella Crusing again and would recommend any one like me who as a disability to use Marella the Explorer 2 is a fantastic ship and as a number of features like the Squid and Anchor the on board pub which as enntertainment through out the day..the other good thing is the all inclusive which allows you not to worry about what you have to drink. All in all we have had a great holiday and can't wait for next Marella Cruise Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Where to start? Embarkation and disembarkation were fairly smooth. No wow factor when boarding. Our cabin was fairly comfortable, but there was a lack of storage. Zoe, which was touted as the new best personal assistant was a waste of ... Read More
Where to start? Embarkation and disembarkation were fairly smooth. No wow factor when boarding. Our cabin was fairly comfortable, but there was a lack of storage. Zoe, which was touted as the new best personal assistant was a waste of time. Didn't work once. We wasted far more time than necessary trying, unsuccessfuly, to get the system to change to English. Bed was comfortable. Food was average but avoid the buffet. Too many people fighting to get in first. There was very little entertainment, and what there was proved to be very poor. Activities were very poor unless you were willing to pay extra for them. MSC could learn from other cruise companies. Not what you expect from a cruise when you book it. Everything except for specialty dining should be included for the cost. We have now cruised with MSC twice. The first cruise was extremely bad, but we decided to give it another go as we had spoken to other people who said that our first experience was not up to the usual standard. That, coupled with the allure of a brand new ship, persuaded us to give this cruise a go. We will not be going for "third time lucky". Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We joined the cruise after 4 nights in Naples. Embarkation and disembarkation procedures were fine and pretty quick. The cruise had embarkation and disembarkation at each port so it was quite easy with staggered numbers. Cabins are ... Read More
We joined the cruise after 4 nights in Naples. Embarkation and disembarkation procedures were fine and pretty quick. The cruise had embarkation and disembarkation at each port so it was quite easy with staggered numbers. Cabins are lovely and fresh and quite spacious, even for an interior. The MSC Zoe assistant is useless though. Selection of TV channels is mostly news with very no English speaking entertainment channels. Movies are on a paid basis only. The restaurant is usually a highlight of ours, but this time we were left very much wanting. Until we requested a table transfer, the service was a disaster, our waiter didn’t bother introducing himself and service was very slow. After we changed tables, Ardana gave great service and was lovely, however meals were very slow coming out of the kitchen, we had to change our theatre reservation to accomodate. The quality of the meals was very hit and miss. As a vegetarian it was extremely disappointing to frequently only be offered a single choice, or a very sub-par risotto that looked like it came out of a boxed instant meal. Portions were tiny and not made up for in quality, only 2 pieces of tofu or 3 pieces of ravioli does not a dinner make. Over salted and very average. Desserts that were frozen often came out half melted. We were also very frustrated to have to pay for water with our dinner in a restaurant when one can access water on demand dining in the buffet, this was especially egregious given how salty the meals were. Buffet food was really good surprisingly, however the clientele made it a very unpleasant experience. The amount of times I nearly ended up with my breakfast down my front because I was bumped was ridiculous. In addition to the restaurant it was very frustrating that most activities on board were at cost or non existent- while the itinerary was port heavy, even on a sea day no activities were available between 9:30am and 3pm, and even then both were additional costs. I understand that language here presents a challenge for trivia and other cruising classics, but it was missed. The itinerary was the standout, and ultimately the ship faded into simply a mode of transport for us. When in Genoa, make an effort to get into the back streets for some of the best food of your life! While the crew were great and the ship is beautiful it’s unlikely we’d come back to MSC. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
First of all the good news, it s a beautiful ship! Cabins are very nice and quiet. Other positive point is the entertainment team, it s a big team and most of them are really nice, except for the italians...unfortunately, like all the ... Read More
First of all the good news, it s a beautiful ship! Cabins are very nice and quiet. Other positive point is the entertainment team, it s a big team and most of them are really nice, except for the italians...unfortunately, like all the italians on board, they lost their friendly attitude somewhere and they give you the feeling they are far better than the rest of the world. All the negative points : * nobody welcomed us on board, no explanation, we had to find out everything ourselves. * kids club staff very unfriendly * restaurant terribly unfriendly waiter, very slow service and tables are so close to one another that the waiter bumps you like 20 times .. * bar service, same story, slow, and on top of it all...we had an all in package and it happened to me 4 times on a one- week cruise that the drink i ordered was not available. I can assure you, a soft drink can not be the hardest drink to get on board, but one barman discussed with me about it, saying that this is a ship and it s not like on land. I cruised a lot, i never encountered this in any other cruise line. I had to go to another bar to get it....i might as well stayed at home , there i also need to do it myself. * guest service has lines from here to Tokyo. When it was my turn, she picked up the phone 6 times...don t know why ... but the wristwatch we wanted was not available, blablabla. Come back another day was the answer. I did the cruise without wristband cause queing to hear they don t know how to do it, is not really an activity to look forward to. * main pool too busy, and the result of that too dirty. Food, paper...drifting everywhere. * horizon pool and sundeck is to avoid when boat sails out of a harbor. All the soot from the engine flies upon you, clothes are black, skin is black, nothing nice about that.. * another place to avoid is the buffet, unless you want to eat the same pizza, the same ham and the same salad over and over again ... * soft ice..queu is enormous... * parties start at 23.30 or 24.00 at night...really late if you want to do excursions the next day. * ship uses 5 languages to make an announcment...very boring * shore excursions...they don t expect tips and you can tell by the way they act during the excursion, boring, boring, boring .. After sailing with this line, we now know the American lines are 100 % better than this one. If you only find out after 6days that there is a cruise director on board then you did something wrong as cruise director. But then again, he was italian and busy with himself, not with guests... Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
I have just returned yesterday 18th November 2013 from a very disappointing seven night cruise on the Costa Serena. We were picked up from our hotel at 1100 and taken to Civitavecchia to board the ship. When we got there we were herded ... Read More
I have just returned yesterday 18th November 2013 from a very disappointing seven night cruise on the Costa Serena. We were picked up from our hotel at 1100 and taken to Civitavecchia to board the ship. When we got there we were herded into a large shed and found out ship couldn't dock and had gone to Naples. No Costa staff told us anything, a woman got on our bus spoke only in Italian which resulted in a slanging match with the Italians on board, nobody either from Costa or the other passengers told the number of English on board anything, not a good start. When we reached Naples it was raining, there were no porters to take our cases, it was like a rugby scum not very good after over five hour trip. Cannot blame Costa for weather but their lack of communication to the English was very poor. Check in, again a shambles two desks open for over a hundred passengers. We got on board and what we found was cigarette smoke everywhere. It was awful the smokers just ignored the few no smoking signs and puffed away. Costa do not cater for English speaking, all the announcements were often enough not in English. We had BBC World on the tv for two days and even that was taken off. You had to pay to watch films in either the cinema or in your cabin I was on the Costa Serena two years ago and comparing the two there is no comparison. Even the Captain couldn't be bothered to come to the Costa Club cocktail ! Every port we came too passengers got off to be replaced by more mostly Italians and French. The Costa Serena is the biggest ferry the Med. The only good thing about my cruise was the staff. The numbers have clearly been cut so they are working harder. Most of the Britsh passengers I spoke to swore they wouldn't go on a Costa cruise again, I certainly wont they just does not cater for us. Read Less

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