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5 Marella Cruises Dubai Cruise Reviews

My wife suffers from M.S. so we were a wee bit apprehensive as to how a cruise ship would suit anyone with a disability. Thomson were fantastic as we were provided with an adapted cabin with a wet room etc, with no extra charge. As 1st ... Read More
My wife suffers from M.S. so we were a wee bit apprehensive as to how a cruise ship would suit anyone with a disability. Thomson were fantastic as we were provided with an adapted cabin with a wet room etc, with no extra charge. As 1st time cruisers, we were very impressed with how easy it was for wheelchair users to get around the ship. The only gripe was that there was only 1 disabled toilet on board which was mostly used by able bodied folk who were too lazy to use the normal toilets!!!! Ok, getting that of my chest, the cruise itself was brilliant. the ship is a bit dated,but the service provided by "every" member of staff was 5 star. Cabin cleaned twice a day, food in all of the restaurants of a high quality. Entertainment was varied and mostly very good. To summarize, I would highly recommend the Thomson Celebration as it's not too formal and it certainly good value for money. The friendliness and the service of the crew made our 1st experience on a cruise ship a very memorable one. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was our first cruise and we did a Thomson cruise and stay with 7 nights on the Celebration and then 7 nights in a Dubai hotel. We decided on a cabin with a balcony (Deck 9 Room 6) and were not disappointed with the choice. The ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we did a Thomson cruise and stay with 7 nights on the Celebration and then 7 nights in a Dubai hotel. We decided on a cabin with a balcony (Deck 9 Room 6) and were not disappointed with the choice. The cabin was quite large and the balcony fitted two chairs, a table and a sun lounger which came in useful when all the sun beds had been taken or reserved with towels. Flaverino our cabin steward looked after us really well for the week and the cabin was kept spotless. As first time cruisers we were surprised at some of the extras - £15 a week to use the safe, £49 each per week for wi-fi (we are both self employed and need to check and respond to emails at least once a day when away), £10 per day each for premium drinks (we didn't upgrade to this but just paid extra for a premium drink if we wanted one which worked out cheaper), £9.95 extra for a steak or lamb cutlets, £15 - £20 per head extra to eat in one of the a la carte restaurants. The paid wi-fi was only available in the bar areas and not in the cabin or restaurants which seemed strange. Before we boarded the ship we registered a Visa card and were told that the card would not be charged until the last day when we settled the account. On day four we were handed a note saying that the bank had declined our Visa card and would we kindly go to reception to either register another card or deposit cash for our account. On going to reception we found that although they don't physically take money off the card until you settle your account, each night whatever you have spent during the day is 'reserved with your bank on the card'. As we hadn't transferred funds onto the card believing that nothing would be taken from the card until the end it had been declined!! The moral therefore is ensure that there is sufficient funds available on your card for them to 'reserve' each day or it will be declined before you come to settle up!! The service we received was excellent and many staff would go out of their way to serve you. The food was pretty good and varied and we enjoyed chatting to other guests on the shared tables in the waiter service restaurant. Many of the more seasoned cruisers were disappointed with the Celebration as it didn't come up to the standard of many other cruise ships but as first time cruisers we were quite happy with the service we received and the facilities available as we had nothing to compare it with. We enjoyed the entertainment that we saw whilst on board as well as having a flutter in the onboard casino. We had prebooked three trips before we left home and they are cheaper booking and paying online than purchasing on board. We were disappointed with two of the ports of call, Manama in Bahrain and Khasab in Oman as there was very little in either place. We took the free bus into Manama and got straight back on the first return bus as we were that disappointed with the place. We did however enjoy the trips we did in Dubai, Muscat and Abu Dhabi. We would definitely go on a cruise again and most probably do another Thomson cruise as we liked the fact that it was a smallish ship and you soon got to know other guests in the surroundings. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Very good cruise, love that Thompson are very organised and have excellent staff, from Airways to Cruise. Everything was as planned. Description of ports and itinerary was clear. Celebration is an oldish ship but has character and I ... Read More
Very good cruise, love that Thompson are very organised and have excellent staff, from Airways to Cruise. Everything was as planned. Description of ports and itinerary was clear. Celebration is an oldish ship but has character and I enjoyed the experience. I felt the itinerary of the cruise was worth it. One thing I would like though is white fluffy towels which, all American Cruise lines have. Thompson please ditch those towels, they should have gone in the bin a long time ago. Once I book a Thompson cruise I know I am in good hands. Lots of options on ship, which I like. Another suggestion I would make, which other cruise lines are now doing, is checking on unoccupied sun loungers where towels have been left on the sun beds. Unbelievably some people put their towels on the sun beds then go on excursions for a couple of hours. A member of Staff goes around and puts a note on any unattended sun beds, with the time on it and advises that if not occupied within 30-40 minutes the towel will be removed. This is only fair. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
this was a typical thomson cruise great staff great food , the ship is just showing it's age . cabins old the pa cannot be heard in the cabins . having said this the cruise was great because of staff on board nothing was to much ... Read More
this was a typical thomson cruise great staff great food , the ship is just showing it's age . cabins old the pa cannot be heard in the cabins . having said this the cruise was great because of staff on board nothing was to much trouble Mario and robins where the best bar staff on the cruise. We were at the front of the ship and got most of the beating when the sea was rough. The ship judderred all night therefore not much sleep. The Celebration is a lovely ship with down to earth wonderful people however she is getting tired. We have cruised on her before and she was wonderful. Cruise Itinery we boarded the ship at Dubai everything was fine cases arrived on time at our cabin, the bar was open, the food was being served. Happy days just as we expected. We then went to bed and woke up in Doha Qatar. Got the free shuttle to the local market the city was spotless the market was friendly with no hassle a great free excursion. Then we sailed to Muscat Oman. This is a dry state so we stayed onbourd all day at the bar. Khor Fakkan. This port is on another planet all the passengers had to disempark walk through a tent and pressent passports then go back onbourd. This was not the fault of Thompson but this port was a cargo port. Another day at the bar. Next day at sea and the drinks were flownig. Wonderfull. Day 4 we woke up in Abu Dhabi, this was a great place to stop with loads to do, we got the free shuttle to the shopping Mall and went on the ferris wheel and took loads of pictures lots of window shopping and even bought a Mc Donalds which we never eat at hime. Back to the ship and the bar.Last day Dubai fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We have travelled on Thomson's ships several times over the years and liked the idea of a cruise from Dubai. Prior to sailing however I checked out some of the recent reviews on the Celebration and travelled expecting the ship to ... Read More
We have travelled on Thomson's ships several times over the years and liked the idea of a cruise from Dubai. Prior to sailing however I checked out some of the recent reviews on the Celebration and travelled expecting the ship to have gone down hill since we were last on it. However I am pleased to report the ship is still one of the best in terms of atmosphere, service and value. I genuinely don't know what some people have got to complain about. it is not a 5 star ship but doesn't pretend to be and you get, in my view, more than you pay for. The information provided by Thomson prior to the cruise was scant to say the least and we were left wondering about visa requirements and currencies. Future passengers should note that NO visas are required and that the United Arab Emirates Diram is accepted in each of the countries visited on this cruise. American Dollars are also accepted in some places. We flew from Glasgow to Al Maktoum airport with a transfer time of around an hour, that was a bit disappointing. Check in at the port was easy and quick, We were in cabin 666 (don't say it!!) on deck 2. Size wise the cabin was perfectly adequate with lots of hanging space for clothes. Shower room is small but serves it's purpose. The food on board, both in the formal dinning room and the buffet restaurant, was very good with a wide variety to choose from at each meal. Again if you want 5 star fine dining then this is not the cruise ship for you, The entertainment in the main show lounge was magnificent, some of the best singers and dancers I have seen on any cruise ship. A real joy. The only disappointment for me was the weather, early 20's in the mornings but it got cold and windy from about 3pm onwards. Take a jumper or cardigan if you want to sit outdoors. Each of the ports of call were well worth a visit, make full use of the free shuttle buses on offer, some are mandatory if you are getting of the ship. Disembarking the ship was again easy and straightforward. Now the downside, the return transfer to the airport. Al Maktoum is undergoing a massive renovation and only sections of it are open. The transfer to the airport took just over 1 hour and then we had to wait on the coach for a further hour just outside the terminal, no explanation was given for the hold up but we subsequently found out the airport authorities only allow 2 coaches to unload at the terminal at any one time. We then queued for a further hour to get our boarding passes. No doubt this will be sorted out at some point in the future but it's something passengers should be aware of. All in all a very pleasant experience and not one that bears any relation to the poor reviews some people have given previously. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
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