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Marella Explorer Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
207 reviews
16 Awards
Marella Explorer (Photo: Marella Cruises)
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Editor Rating
Very Good
Adam Coulter
Cruise Critic UK Managing Editor

Marella Explorer was launched in May 2018 and debuted a number of new-to-the-fleet features, including a link-up with upmarket health spa Champneys (the first at sea), a raft of brand-new restaurants, a gin- and whisky-tasting bar and a large number of new shows.


Great food, top-class entertainment and one of the finest spas at sea


Very small kids' club, very small portions in main dining room and no indoor pool

Bottom Line

A ship that knows exactly what passengers want -- and delivers


Passengers : 1,924
Crew : 794
Passenger to Crew : 2.42:1
Launched : 1996
Shore Excursions : 359

Familiar facilities, such as The Veranda adults-only terrace and Broadway Show Lounge, are bigger, as is the spa. (However, despite boasting the largest spa in the fleet, there's no indoor pool.)

Aimed squarely at the British market, the vessel is easily manageable for first-timers, with plenty of entertainment for families with kids (despite the fact there is a tiny kids' club) and enough standout and high-end facilities -- including upmarket eateries and a high-tech top-deck disco/bar/casino -- to keep the most seasoned cruisers happy.

Like the fleet as a whole, the ship is billed all-inclusive (in that alcohol and tips are included), and you'll find buckets full of cold beer outside the theatre and on the deck, as well as beer and wine dispensers in the buffet. However, should you wish a more "premium" experience, there is a number of excellent restaurants that carry a cover charge.

Marella inspires loyalty with its long-serving staff and repeat passengers from the line's days as Thomson. The line knows its clientele thoroughly, inside and out -- exactly what they need and want.

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And, in the case of this ship, Marella has even anticipated what passengers might not yet know they need or want with a number of first-time additions. This ship is an outstanding addition to the Marella fleet.

Fellow Passengers

Marella Explorer attracts an exclusively British clientele wherever it is based, whether in the Med during the summer or the Caribbean in the winter. You'd be hard pressed to find any other nationality, and certainly no concession is made for them. The average age is around mid-50s, with multigenerational groups during peak holiday periods. Expect a lot of children onboard from the beginning of July to the beginning of September and over the Christmas holidays.

Marella Explorer Dress Code

The ship is casual during the day -- think shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops -- due to its locations (summer in the Med and winter in the Caribbean). In the evenings, it's smart casual. One night on a seven-night cruise is "Dress to Impress" night, which has replaced gala evenings or formal nights. There's no real guidance on this, though most people opt for a jacket and smart trousers or (non-ripped) jeans for men and a dress and perhaps heels for women.

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More about Marella Explorer

Where does Marella Explorer sail from?

Marella Explorer departs from

Where does Marella Explorer sail to?

Marella Explorer cruises to

How much does it cost to go on Marella Explorer?

Cruises on Marella Explorer start from null per person.

Is Marella Explorer a good ship to cruise on?

Marella Explorer won 16 awards over the years, including Best Overall, Best for Cabins, and Best for Cabins in 2019.
Marella Explorer Cruiser Reviews

Great to be back at sea

Thank you to all the staff on Marella Explorer and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.Read More
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10+ Cruises

Age 60s

Not a bad outing given the circumstances

The Marella Explorer had all the expected elements of a cruise. Clearly aimed at British clientele - led by a very good cruise director.Read More
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6-10 Cruises

Age 50s

Strange Times Crusing

Firstly, thank you Marella for making a difficult cruise very pleasant.Read More
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10+ Cruises

Age 70s

Lovely ship, teething problems on the return

Friend's have sailed with Marella many times and explained this is a very different product from MSC. We stayed in a mini suite with a large balcony.Read More
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2-5 Cruises

Age 40s

Marella Cruises Fleet
Marella Discovery
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