6 Marella Cruises Marella Celebration Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

We have cruised regularly on Thomson (TUI - Marella) and Cunard. We finally persuaded our friends to join us. The Marella Celebration itinerary was excellent as it included Venice, Dubrovnik and Korcular. Some of our favourite places. ... Read More
We have cruised regularly on Thomson (TUI - Marella) and Cunard. We finally persuaded our friends to join us. The Marella Celebration itinerary was excellent as it included Venice, Dubrovnik and Korcular. Some of our favourite places. Marella is less formal than Cunard, uses Sterling and had a great all inclusive deal when we booked. We did a cruise and stay holiday staying on the island of Kolocep just 30 mins from Dubrovnik. This was our first time on the Celebration but we knew her sister ship, the Spirit very well. Our first impressions were very favourable as though the deck layout is almost identical there is a much more modern feel to the Celebration - less vestiges of her Holland America past. The main dining room food was excellent - we ate all our meals there as it’s so much relaxed experience than the Lido. The included drinks were good enough for the most of us though one of our friends who deals in wine thought the Cote de Rhône to be excellent and good value for money. There were no sea days on this cruise - and I do miss a good sea day to relax. I think all that can be said about the age of the ship has been said before. I love the teak decks and the fact she is easy to get around. What gives this ship her heart are the people who work on it, the value for money and the entertainment. We would certainly return if it was the right itinerary. A first for TUI Marella is a welcome back party for loyal cruisers. You have to go to reception to let them know you have cruised with Thomsons before to be eligible. Cunard contact you and know your status - so me thinks Thomson’s weren’t keeping this info. We even received a little badge! We really found no fault with anything on the ship apart from the embarkation process that takes place on the ship - Long long queues We always choose our cabins after studying the deck plan as we like to be central and not near noisy areas. I do think a deck plan should be given out at departure - like other cruise lines. We knew the layout but our friends hadn’t cruised before. The cabin numbers and decks don’t tally. We were on deck 8 bridge deck but cabin 075. Dining - we dined in the Meridian for most of our meals and were very pleased with the food (better than on the Spirit). We celebrated our anniversary in the Mistral Restaurant which was excellent. Not so impressed by the food in the Kora La - the service was excellent in all the places we ate. Ports of call Bari Montenegro- There is a free port transfer bus to Bar - we then took a taxi to Stari Bar. It cost 5€ agree the price first. Stari Bar is no Kotor but still worth a visit. Korcula - tender port. Lovely old town - birth place of Marco Polo. We went for a wine tasting in a local restaurant- god wine but very expensive. It seems that most wine is produced for local consumption only. Zadar - ship to town transfer costs £7 - drop off near the Sea Organ. Lovely town with Roman ruins and great atmosphere. Venice - Get up foe the sail in - it is so peaceful and the only time you see Venicecwithout the masses. There was no organised transfer to St Marks Square but possible to buy tickets for transfer once off the ship. We realise that there appears to be a hop on hop off water bus that may be worth using. We used the People carrier to take us to P le Roma near the Station. We made a mistake of getting a gondola from here. It costs €80 but not the most picturesque trip. Walk further on - there are plenty of gondola’s around in better settings. We followed the signs to the Rialto bridge. The streets/canals up unti this point are relatively quiet. We then visited St Marks Square. We have visited Venice before so wouldn’t have bothered visiting again as it is always heaving but our friends have not visited before. I would strongly suggest pre booking St Marks or Doge’s palace and trip to Guggenheim art gallery.Eat anywhere away from St Marks or Rialto. Trieste - short walk from ship to main shopping area. Hike up to the castle and church well worth it. Public transport runs up to the castle as well. Split - Diocletian palace and medieval town within is amazing - very game of thrones. Well worth a visit. Dubrovnik - We visited Dubrovnik at night on a sunset trip from Kolocep. We sailed into the old harbour - it was a fabulous trip. For those who are only cruising - the ship doesn’t sail till 10 pm so if you have the energy and inclination get the bus to the Pile gate and spend late afternoon/early evening there before she sails. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I decided to book the Greek Mystique cruise as my wife has had surgery recently and really needed to recuperate and recover. After check in at Gatwick we didn't see our luggage again until delivered to our cabin I can not tell you ... Read More
I decided to book the Greek Mystique cruise as my wife has had surgery recently and really needed to recuperate and recover. After check in at Gatwick we didn't see our luggage again until delivered to our cabin I can not tell you how amazing that was not to have to face the hustle and bustle of the airport baggage carousels! I rater enjoyed the main resturaunt as they operate an open seating dining plan so we were able to dine with new people every evening, which when we usually cruise on Seabourn and Azamara we have a fixed table and dining companions for the duration of the cruise -so Marella has hit on a good idea on the occasions where one may be sitted on a dining table with 'cruise snobs'.Which in the past we have had to endure! We are retired although a young 59 and 61, we tend to book 4 cruises per year one for each season. We have one Seabourn and one Azamrara then 2 cheaper options which this year is Marella and Cruise & Maritime to try the other end of the market. The ship Celebration was old as described on CC.reviews,but it was perfectly clean and comfortable. We prefer to have waiter service at meals as my wife isn't always able to stand and queue for periods of time and apart from the very last morning when there was literally not a seat to be had this worked perfectly for us. Our cabin steward was superb so although tips are included we left him cash in an envelope cabin was cleaned and towels replenished twice daily. My wife purchased two Radley handbags which she said were great value. we are not drinkers so didn't opt for the AI Drinks package(due to my wife's medication). We did take excursions which although costly were not exhorbitant but much more importantly safe for my wife's comfort. We ate in Mistrals which was a delight -highly recommended especially drunken prawns delicious! The Ports of call were delightful especially KOTORin Mo ntenegro and sailing out of Dubrovnik at night ! STUNNING. keeping the best till last- just has to be the entertainment. THE showteam were leaving and a new team and Cruise Director was starting the week after we disembarked. They were amazing and the show Africa was wonderful. We really thought it couldn't get any better until Monday when the Guest Act came on to do his show. His name was Christopher Gee and he was superb, my wife laughed so much it was sheer joy to behold.And his comedy impressions were stunning-the thing we could't work out was how can every voice he did be so accurate and yet he even manages to look like each person he takes on. His Tommy Cooper had everyone in stiches, and his Eric Morecambe had us all fighting off a tear at the much loved comedian but the absolute hIghlight was his one man tribute to Dave Allen it was so perfect even down to him holding a whiskey glass with only half a forefinger, his attention to detail was astounding. He recieved a richly deserved standing ovation! The neXt night was his second show and there simply wasn't a seat to be had and extra chairs from the bars were brought in, but the show was totally different Alan Carr/Michael Macintyre/Ozzy/he also did an hilarious BORIS AND Donald Trump had us ill with laughter very up to date you could hear a pin drop and that was after midnight. He was very personable young man and told us he will be on Marella Dream later in the year so we are booking that one too! We love the shows and we don't watch a lot of comedians to be fair- but I just had to post this review as everyone is quick to complain but not always ready to say a big well done Marella for booking a comedian impressionist that did nor offend one single person no un PC material or smut involved just FUNNY!!! The entire ship was talking about him the next day. in all one has to commend Marella ,especially at their price point as I assure you we have got much less from paying 4 times more!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This is our second time on the celebration and will probably be our last. Some of the areas on the ship are looking very tired whilst other areas have been refurbished. I think moving the theatre to its current position was a bad move. The ... Read More
This is our second time on the celebration and will probably be our last. Some of the areas on the ship are looking very tired whilst other areas have been refurbished. I think moving the theatre to its current position was a bad move. The poor entertainers have to practise whilst guests are walking through. The all inclusive package is not all its meant to be . I like a glass of red wine yet I seemed to always get mine in a glass which is no bigger than a sherry glass. To upgrade to the premium package; we were told that both myself and my wife would both have to upgrade because both occupants of the cabin have to upgrade at the same time. Absolutely ludicrous because my wife was happy on her package. So that meant I had to persevere on my sherry glass of the house red which was very mediocre or pay the surcharge to upgrade so I could have a better quality and bigger glass of wine. I have to say that the majority of staff on the ship are excellent. Especially Julie and Rory in the Lido bar and all the staff in Hemmingways. I must also mention our cabin steward Adi who did a really good job of looking after us. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We had a lovely week in Montego Bay in the Riu palace, would defiantly give that a 5 star rating. We were advised by Thomson rep to stay at hotel first as we would be disappointed with hotel after the cruise, this I might add was ... Read More
We had a lovely week in Montego Bay in the Riu palace, would defiantly give that a 5 star rating. We were advised by Thomson rep to stay at hotel first as we would be disappointed with hotel after the cruise, this I might add was completely the opposite. We arrived at the Thomson Dream, first appearances, OK a bit tired, cabin was quite nice, no complaints there. The food during the day, somewhat poor 3 star cafeteria, the staff Wore dreary washed out Hawaiian shirts with personalities to match. We bought all inclusive drinks package, which a total rip off as the spirits they used were awful so we ended adding another 1.20 on to the bill for a decent drink, in the long run more expense The main dining room the service was pore but the food not so bad, nearly always cold though. The entertainment was really first class there was something for everyone to enjoy. Most people on the cruise were friendly. The theatre was quite nice. Carpets in corridors a bit grubby. Best was when we were told to leave our cases outside our cabin Monday night and we would pick them up in Manchester Wednesday morning, being women on our own we always worry about hauling heavy suitcases around. We got home ok. Opened our cases to find that someone had already been in them and stolen the duty free cigarettes we had bought for the family, informed Thomson, told to contact insurance company. Advise by suitcase with combination lock for cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Some friends asked us if we would like to cruise with them to the Caribbean . My partner had always said he would never ever cruise unless it was to the Caribbean . So we agreed to go , although it was 9 months away I was counting down ... Read More
Some friends asked us if we would like to cruise with them to the Caribbean . My partner had always said he would never ever cruise unless it was to the Caribbean . So we agreed to go , although it was 9 months away I was counting down the days (like a kid at Christmas ). It was decided to go with Thomson Cruises. For a first time cruiser it was brilliant . From flying with the Dreamliner , fantastic !! from when we left the plane to when we got to our cabins it was no more than 40 -45 minutes . The cabins were clean & tidy if a little tired, but there was plenty of space for clothes and everything you needed to hide . The food was top notch in the restaurants.All the staff were all brilliant , and everyone smiled at you no glum faces any-where. The entertainment was very good and the staff productions were brilliant . We only used taxies what ever port we stopped at , they took you wherever you wanted to go (normally the beach ) for a fixed fee of 14 dollars . On the day of departure our plane was not due to leave un till 6.00 p.m .but we were allowed to stay on board until we were due to leave for the airport .,which I thought was very good customer service. For our second cruise we wanted to try a bigger ship, so we are going NCL Epic at the end of September for a Mediterranean Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Just returned off of the Celebration having been before was not expecting the glamour of the larger cruise liners but it still lived to our expectations if you are looking for a fun time without the glitz then would recommend this ship ... Read More
Just returned off of the Celebration having been before was not expecting the glamour of the larger cruise liners but it still lived to our expectations if you are looking for a fun time without the glitz then would recommend this ship which I understand will be Adult only in June. There were only a handful of children on this cruise anyway but in my opinion that will make it even better. If you like a drink then get the drinks package the only (Not so Good)was the bars kept running out of diet coke and tried to parm you off with coke zero while this is only a preference it made you have to ask again and waste a drink which they got a bit touchy about but soon resolved they also try to sneak the odd local brand drink in so continually had to specifically to make sure it was Bacardi and not Ron Blanca. Flights and transfer all OK and smooth although Marmaris is 1.5 hrs from Dalaman but it's not to bad. We had a suite on our first cruise with Thomson but as not available opted for deluxe outside which was slightly smaller but ideal for us Some dirty ports in Egypt but that's not their fault so if your not going to the Pyramids stay on the boat! Overall hats off to Thomson we had a great time we travelled with Cunard In April on the Queen Victoria I would rate the service atmosphere and entertainment far better on the Thomson Celebration Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Marella Celebration Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 3.8
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.4
Family 3.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.6
Enrichment N/A 3.3
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.9

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