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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our first non-Disney cruise so we were not sure what to expect with regard to the differences between TUI and Disney. Overall we really enjoyed the experience both on the ship and at the ports of call. The Good... The ... Read More
This was our first non-Disney cruise so we were not sure what to expect with regard to the differences between TUI and Disney. Overall we really enjoyed the experience both on the ship and at the ports of call. The Good... The staff on board were all excellent and friendly. This ranged from service staff in the restaurants, the cabin stewards and the entertainment team... not a bad encounter during the whole trip! The ship was kept clean and tidy the entire time, including the restaurant areas and lounges. There was never a stack of empty glasses or litter left around. We chose to eat in the Lido Restaurant rather than the Meridian as we prefer a more relaxed atmosphere and the menus seemed to be the same but a buffet rather than table service. The food itself was very good with lots of variety and choice every day. Food was available from 6am through to around 2am so there was always plenty of opportunity to fit in a snack or three. There was a good choice of on-board entertainment to choose from. There were musical and comedy shows in the Broadway Lounge every night and quizzes, games and bingo in other venues throughout the day. Plenty to keep the guests engaged. We went on a shore excursion at each port of call and found the logistics of them to be very well organised. We will say more about the trips themselves a little later... The cabins we had were much better than we were expecting. They had plenty of space and lots of storage. The Bad... The Celebration itself is a small and rather old ship and it is starting to show. There was a constant vibration running throughout the ship even when docked in port that was very noticeable. Sometimes this vibration was enough to rattle glasses and make the stage lights swing, so it isn't a small problem. The deck areas were packed full of sunbeds, sometimes to the point of being a pain to get past, especially if guests were not being particularly considerate of others. In our cabins, the fridge wasn’t actually a fridge, but a box that sort of tried to keep things cold. It didn’t work very well. There could also be more power outlets in the cabins. One socket might have been sufficient 30 years ago when the Celebration was built but it’s far from adequate these days. Additional costs. This was particularly annoying as until we got onto the ship we had no idea that soft drinks were not included (even with meals). We booked as Full Board so was expecting a little more choice than Tea, Coffee or Water, but that is all we could have. There was an option to upgrade to the 'All Inclusive' drinks package at a cost of £200 per person for the week. This would have included soft drinks, but as we are not drinkers of Beer or Spirits it would have been an extremely expensive option. There was no option of a 'soft drinks' package. We also heard a lot of people who had purchased the all-inclusive drinks package complaining that not all of the drinks were included! There was another 'Premium' package that they could upgrade to for another £50 extra per person. Amazingly, this ALSO did not include every drink available on board, many had additional surcharges. It was all very confusing and annoying, as guests are not made aware of this before check in. This also meant that many drinks had various possible prices - full price, all-inclusive surcharge price and premium surcharge price. For example; a 200ml glass of Coke (but mostly ice) was £1.20, but is included in the all-inclusive package. A 330ml can of Coke was £1.90 but if you had the all-inclusive package, it was still an additional £1.00. Not very all-inclusive or straightforward!! If you wanted a steak meal in the ‘included in your full board’ restaurant, it was yet another additional charge. £9.95 this time. Wifi? £8 per hour! Want to use the safe in your cabin? £15 for the week. It was extremely annoying. General availability of information was a problem. We found that TUI were very bad at letting us know what to expect. They provide a service where once you drop your cases at the airport you don’t see them again until you get to your cabin. This is useful, but we didn't know about this until we were in the check-in line at the airport and were handed a label to put on our case by a TUI rep. Handy, but if we had anything in our cases that we wanted to use when we got to Dubrovnik before we got on the ship we would have been out of luck. We found the same with the shore excursions. For a start we had to Google how to book them as it isn't on the same web page as the cruise booking and nowhere had a link to the excursions sites. Once on board we found trips could be booked there, but many were sold out already and once again, we were not informed. The descriptions of the trip were also rather vague and in retrospect a bit misleading at times. For example on the Kefalonia Highlights trip in Argostoli, the tour we booked advertised "Next, it’s time for a visit to the island’s most photographed stretch of sand, Myrtos Beach. This mile-and-a-half-long curve of white pebbles is the setting for several scenes of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin." We carried around a bag with towels and swimming gear in all day only to find that this visit was a 2 minute stop at the top of a cliff to look down at the beach and take a picture. This particular tour was not a good pick due to the amount of time spent on the bus. In a five hour tour we had 20 minutes in a row boat (which to be fair was amazing) and 1 hour in a town called Fiskardo. It was very picturesque but we had no time to enjoy it before we had to head back to the coach. A couple of the tours we went on also had some very intense bouts of walking, either due to steep climbs or quick tour guides that had to be followed. This wasn't a problem for our group, but I would guess 75% of the guests on these tours were elderly and many had mobility issues. On one tour several people stayed on the coach as they couldn't do the walk to the Greek Ruins in Igoumenitsa. This could have been avoided by more information being given at the time of booking. In conclusion... We really enjoyed the trip but would not travel on the Celebration again, mostly due to the constant rumble and vibration being very off putting. We would also be hesitant about booking with TUI again due to the stream of additional charges and lack of provided information. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
we chose the cruise for the itinary also because we love the celebration the ship is very clean a bit tired but you wouldnt notice the staff are brilliant always smiling and helpful the cabin we had a suite was spotless and rohman our ... Read More
we chose the cruise for the itinary also because we love the celebration the ship is very clean a bit tired but you wouldnt notice the staff are brilliant always smiling and helpful the cabin we had a suite was spotless and rohman our steward was very good and always had a smile for us the food is excellent as always the dining room waiters oung and alwyn were lovely and looked after us so well we sat at their table the whole fortnight wasnt impressed with the showteam they seemed to do a lot of screeching but all the others were good the horizans team was very good also the liberties team were very good we have been on four times now and have always enjoyed it and had fun we will book again hopefully next year if the itinary is what we want the dreamliner plane was superb Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The ship is extremely dated and very shabby indeed. Its in a total need of refurbishment. Its such a mismatch. The vibration of the ship was terrible to the point where ladies earrings were swinging and glasses were shacking on the ... Read More
The ship is extremely dated and very shabby indeed. Its in a total need of refurbishment. Its such a mismatch. The vibration of the ship was terrible to the point where ladies earrings were swinging and glasses were shacking on the tables. Windows in the Lido Restaurant/buffet were extremely bad, very dirty and patched up where they needed mending......I could go on but I would be writing forever. Me and my friend were in a balcony cabin. However on day 2 of the cruise there was squeaking from two different areas of the ceiling. TUI obviously knew about this as there was bits of wood jammed between the ceiling and the wardrobe to stop the noise.. When I complained about this, they tried to say that I was the first to ever complain about the noise! Cabin was clean but extremely dated. Lots of wardrobe space. It was an OK size room. Lido - This was the buffet - I am a bit picky when it comes to food and to me it was substandard. Waiter Service Restaurant (Included in price) - Cant remember the name of this restaurant but it is on deck 4 - Waiters are in total confusion when its busy. Its certainly not silver service. On different occasions but each time eating at this restaurant there was always something wrong. For example, wine stained table cloths, water not given until half way through our food, Alcohol was the same, we were seated with no cutlery or if we were lucky some of the cutlery were present. Food was a bit hit and miss but it was OK for the price point. Marella/TUI are nowhere near close to food that I have eaten on other cruises. I suppose you get what you pay for. We only saw one show in the evening and that was enough, just a bit armature. The disco played the same music most nights. It was just recordings and no DJ. Service/Customer service on the ship was atrocious especially when you had a complaint. The reception/excursion staff try and make you feel that you are the problem. As mentioned above the cabin was squeaking and it was so loud that it was impossible to sleep. I had to request for someone to come to the room three times on three different days. When I had enough I complained to the reception and they then said they didn't have a record of my complaint and therefore I could not have complained.....Now is that Customer Service? The cruise itinerary had to be reversed due to weather and this did upset me as arranged meeting a friend in Malta. However I understand that due to weather etc itineraries would be changed but I was told by a member of staff at the reception desk that it was due to bigger ships paying more money to dock at certain locations and because the ship couldn't pay as much we were at the back of the queue! We went on two excursions one in Montenegro which was fine and worth the money and the other one in Sicily which would have been good value but wasn't. I understand that when you book excursions on the ship it is tough luck if you get bad weather. Well let me say the weather in Sicily was so bad, torrential rain , thunder and lightening. The local guide said that the ship said that the weather was going to be fine! Now with all that sophisticated machinery on the ship, is this really true? Anyway that's not the end of it. The guide stood outside a church shouting at the top of her voice in the rain thunder and lightening while a family were mourning taking a coffin out of a hearse. I asked her to stop but she wouldn't. Other people in our group were extremely embarrassed and either walked away or turned their back. By this time I was raging when I got back to the ship and the reply I got back from the manager of excursions was, wait for it........Other countries do not have the same traditions we have in the UK!!!! If that's not disrespectful, what is! I also wanted to comment that due to the adverse weather conditions that we should not have been climbing uphill due to the strong lightening strikes. She just said "You signed the booking form" Surely TUI have a duty of care to their customers. I just felt yet again that they put the fault back on us. Just one more thing, the tour guide wore sunglasses all the way through the tour, which was rude and even through we were in a bad storm. Plus no-one could understand her accent. Well as you can see we had two issues and it took six days to finally sort out. We received £250.00 in total off our onboard spend. Considering we were in a balcony cabin and we only got back 50% of our tour, I think it was unreasonable, especially having to chase them up everyday. So really we only had 1 night/day without hassle out of 7. We didn't bother with the drinks package as we like to drink branded alcohol and not the local stuff. Well I can honestly say that the Barcardi is really watered down. It was around £12.00 inclusive for two Barcardi and cokes, that's expensive for watered down drinks. I would like to see if TUI will reply to this. Lets see if they care! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My friend and I chose this cruise because it was affordable and went to places we hadn’t been to before. From the moment we handed over our suitcases at Gatwick we couldn’t fault the service we received. Neither of us had been on a sea ... Read More
My friend and I chose this cruise because it was affordable and went to places we hadn’t been to before. From the moment we handed over our suitcases at Gatwick we couldn’t fault the service we received. Neither of us had been on a sea cruise before so I admit we have nothing to compare it to but we both really enjoyed the whole experience. We liked the ship; some bits felt a bit tired but no more so than some hotels I’ve been to. The cabin (644 on deck 2) was fine. It was spacious enough for the 2 of us and there was plenty of storage space. It had a porthole which gave us a lovely view if the passing scenery. Everything was immaculately clean. We ate breakfast and lunch/ afternoon tea in the Lido buffet and our evening meal in the Meridien restaurant. The choice at all meals was really varied, designed to suit all tastes. Everything was well presented and tasty. The service from all the staff was impeccable. We went on excursions in Montenegro, Greece, Kefalonia, Sicily and Malta and really enjoyed them. Our couriers were all knowledgeable and made the trips special, even the Etna trip which took place in pouring rain. The entertainment in the evening was eclectic, from piano playing, to the shows and quizzes. We went to the shows in the Broadway Lounge and enjoyed them also; some were better than others. Martin Daniels, the comedy magician was brilliant and had us in stitches. During the day at sea we tried out some of the on-board activities like dancing and carpet bowls, again good fun and made enjoyable by the crew taking them. Everything was well organised, from arrival to departure, with coaches arriving on time and suitcases arriving safely. We would definitely go again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
An expensive upgrade to a balcony cabin, first impressions was the damp and stained bedding, from mattress protector to sheets and pillows. Cabin very dated, shower curtain (why) with many occasions standing waiting for water to come ... Read More
An expensive upgrade to a balcony cabin, first impressions was the damp and stained bedding, from mattress protector to sheets and pillows. Cabin very dated, shower curtain (why) with many occasions standing waiting for water to come through, towels never looked clean and were rough to touch. When sitting anywhere on the ship to lying down there was constant vibrations from the engines and as we were on deck 9 it must have been hell for the lower decks. Food was okay, the lido restaurant just reminded me of the school canteen and even in the Al a carte restaurant my breakfast order was forgotten. Other restaurants were fine but they would be as you had to pay extra to use them. Not sure how often the pools were cleaned but there was often yellow scum floating on the surface with missing tiles and generally in need of major repairs. We had to throw away a bikini and swim shorts due to them being stained yellow from the pool. The sun loungers were dirty and torn. The entertainment was cheesy and boring due to the same show most evening which was just singing and dancing by the same guys. This ship is tired and in my opinion needs to be scrapped, it would be nice if TUI or Marella would contact with me as I have tried on many occasions to contact them regarding my expensive and very disappointing cruise. This was our first cruise and considering this terrible experience we would never cruise again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We as a couple in our 60s always choose Marella (formerly Thomson) for our cruises. The smaller ships are our choice as they are friendlier and more intimate. Great crew, always greeting you with a smile. We sailed from Dubrovnik, ... Read More
We as a couple in our 60s always choose Marella (formerly Thomson) for our cruises. The smaller ships are our choice as they are friendlier and more intimate. Great crew, always greeting you with a smile. We sailed from Dubrovnik, taking in Bar (Montenegro), Korcula (Croatia) and Venice, among a few other ports of call. All were beautiful - and the weather helped!! Sunny and hot every day. Although the ship, the Celebration, was full, we never felt cramped at any time. We are going back on this ship in October for 2 weeks from Dubrovnik to Malaga (repositioning). A couple of small gripes. We felt the entertainment this time round was not up to the usual high standard we have experienced before, particularly in the Broadway show lounge. We also found the food in the waitered Meridian restaurant of lesser quality than on previous cruises. Marella take note - other cruisers were of the same opinion. However, we can't fault Marella Celebration crew-wise. Even the vibration of the ship we have become accustomed to and now expect! Very enjoyable from start to finish. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
this is my second trip on the celebration and I must say she is looking very tired, we was disappointed with the state of the pool area and pool with tiles falling off. The food was often cold and lacked flavour or choices. Again paying ... Read More
this is my second trip on the celebration and I must say she is looking very tired, we was disappointed with the state of the pool area and pool with tiles falling off. The food was often cold and lacked flavour or choices. Again paying extra for a steak which they got wrong. Our cabin was 303 which was noisy with broken draws, shower and air-conditioning, had to have a fan put in the cramped room. There was a lot less staff on the boat so around the pool area stations was not manned. Tui now have a premium drinks package which is pushed during the first few days, many of the wines have now been taken off the standard all-inclusive, again disappointing okay if you drink housewine. Ship had a new entertainment team which I found was not that great there voices not really blending, we also had a mediocre comedian very old school. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
My husband and I did this cruise as first time cruisers. I was never going on a cruise for a variety of reasons and chose this one because it was in the Adriatic Sea which isn’t as wide open as others so my theory was it may be calmer as ... Read More
My husband and I did this cruise as first time cruisers. I was never going on a cruise for a variety of reasons and chose this one because it was in the Adriatic Sea which isn’t as wide open as others so my theory was it may be calmer as sea sickness was a big concern. I also wanted to go to places I hadn’t been before and the only place I would be revisiting was Venice, which was fine as you can never visit Venice too many times. I had read that there is vibration in the ship and there is! We had an inside cabin on deck 3 and we could feel vibration but it didn’t affect us at all, we both slept well and did not feel any movement from the ship. There was no natural light in the cabin as it was an inside one but we weren’t in there much. For a longer cruise I would probably like a porthole at least. The air conditioning was good and the cabin didn’t feel at all stuffy. It was small but adequate. Ivon, our cabin steward was always available and very pleasant. We didn’t buy the drinks package and this was the right choice for us, we had whatever we wanted and it still cost around half of what the package would have been, however, we don’t drink alcohol so this may have made a difference. The food was good, we always had our evening meal in Meridian as I like to be waited on. The menu was changed every day and there was always something we liked. The waiters were very attentive, sometimes we shared a table but we didn’t have to, you can request your own and wait a few minutes for one to become free. We had breakfast and lunch in the Lido restaurant and again the food was good and plates were cleared quickly. The pool areas were clean and we could always find a sunbed when we wanted, even on the day at sea. Entertainment was of a good standard but you could find a quiet area if you wanted to. We enjoyed all of the ports, the only disappointment was that we visited Ancona on a Sunday and as it’s in Italy it was pretty much closed. However you have to go somewhere on a Sunday and we found enough to occupy us. I am now almost converted, I didn’t love cruising in the way a lot of people do! But I will go on another cruise and would go on the celebration again if it was a cruise I wanted to do. All together we were very satisfied. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We sailed 12th July 2018..for two weeks... cabin number 0230..it was central to everything..same floor to entertainment.. And nightclub.. You couldn't hear any noise from there at night.. The cabin was cleaned every day and bed was ... Read More
We sailed 12th July 2018..for two weeks... cabin number 0230..it was central to everything..same floor to entertainment.. And nightclub.. You couldn't hear any noise from there at night.. The cabin was cleaned every day and bed was turned down.. The ship was wonderful.. The food was amazing.. The staff were lovely and very helpful. Internet was OK in the right places fast enough.. Only in port tho... Some ports there was nothing to do if you weren't on a trip.. I've done lots of cruises I'd never do a hotel holiday again.. It's great seeing different places even when you're on a out at sea day its very relaxing.. Great weather boiling hot only rained once then it was still hot.. I'd definitely recommend tui cruises.. The shows every night were excellent.. Very comfortable sitting areas.. There was a disabled area that was helpful to some people.. The tender is easy to get on and off.. Read Less
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