1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises)
  4. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises) Cruise Reviews
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Recommended by travel agent as smaller, more intimate ship for our first cruise. We upgraded at a further cost of £394 to a deluxe cabin as I’m a bit claustrophobic. On an all inclusive basis. (Turns out that it’s not fully inclusive ... Read More
Recommended by travel agent as smaller, more intimate ship for our first cruise. We upgraded at a further cost of £394 to a deluxe cabin as I’m a bit claustrophobic. On an all inclusive basis. (Turns out that it’s not fully inclusive and you can pay a further supplement for premium all inclusive! What a rip off)! Cabin layout was fine but the large bed was two twins, joined together and mattresses rock hard. Pillows inside cases weren’t very clean. Cabin steward worked very hard so no complaints about general cleanliness of the cabin, although decor is slightly dated. Our main problem was location of cabin! When booking, we were advised by tui that no deluxe cabins were available on decks 6 or 8 so we thought we’d be obviously be on deck 7. Upon arrival, we were directed to cabin 236 on deck 6 which was the first cabin through the doors from the broadway show lounge!! The shows didn’t generally finish until after 11.30pm and the noise during the shows was terrible. When passengers later headed back to their own cabins, not many spared a thought for anyone sleeping and were extremely noisy passing by our door. Needless to say we got very little sleep during the trip. We couldn’t even have a nap on an afternoon as the entertainment team rehearsed!! (I use that term lightly too!) Very amateur productions to say the least! Upon complaining to reception about the noise, we were told it was out of their control if guests were noisy late at night and ship was full so we couldn’t be moved. They didn’t appear sympathetic at all! Ship is very shabby and at best I would say similar to a 2-3 star hotel. Food in the buffet Lido restaurant was awful. Overcooked vegetables (frozen), tough unseasoned meat, dirty crockery, instant custard with dry puddings, tinned fruit, need I go on? The meridian restaurant tried harder and it was smart dress with waiter service. Staff were attentive and wine / water glasses always topped up. We almost always had to wait for a table (around ten mins) as I refused to share a table with fellow passengers. Why would I want to share with strangers?? (Linen tablecloths and napkins always clean but again the food was such a let down. Meat tough, lobster tail ruined by overlooking and vegetables stewed to death! I ordered turkey with the trimmings one night and the chipolata sausage was totally raw as was the roasted potato. Upon mentioning it to the waiter, he took my plate away and returned to say the chef agreed with my view! Someone could have had a nasty tummy upset if it had been consumed. We did use the spa onboard and must commend Harry on his fantastic hot stone massage. 2 intense, the singers in the Horizons bar were also very good but their show was interrupted on one occasion by a very drunken passenger! I agree with other reviews that the ship is well past it’s sell by date and should be out of commission and felt that tui couldn’t care about the enjoyment and quality of your holiday once they had your money. It was like Butlins at sea!! Never again will Tui take money from me. 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
7 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
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
The Cruise was meant to be a 5 star cruise. What a joke. The room had light fittings that did not work, the shower flooded, the "entertainment" was totally rubbish - the only thing funny about the comedian was leaving the ... Read More
The Cruise was meant to be a 5 star cruise. What a joke. The room had light fittings that did not work, the shower flooded, the "entertainment" was totally rubbish - the only thing funny about the comedian was leaving the room. The main restaurant expected you to queue for 30 minutes before being seated and you were served drinks sporadically. That brings me on to my main gripe - paying before going on board for a drinks package. We paid before going on board and then found that the majority of both non alcoholic and alcoholic drinks were not included in the drinks package. Similarly, don't think the food is included in your all inclusive package. There are additional charges for many meals including steak. They give you a card and bill as they go, so you end the holiday with a credit card bill which they automatically debit. Now for the offshore trips. I was travelling with a disabled passenger and only booked excursions where little walking was involved. Not only did each trip involve substantial walking and steps, Thomson even had the cheek to change our excursion from Venice (While docked in Venice) to Verona in Italy even though we pre-paid the trips in the UK. I thought this was a one off mistake, until I learned on the bus to Verona that this had also happened to 10 other couples. We each received our tickets in the room, with no explanation and had not realised the deliberate Thompson mistake until we were given the ultimatum - "Go to Verona, or loose your money and stay on the ship". No apology given. To top it off, it was a walking trip, where I warned the lady that my partner could not walk, only for the condescending donkey to single her out at each opportunity and make her feel awkward and uncomfortable. Overall, if you want a terrible trip, book this. However, if you still think it's 1970 and want to burn yourself to a crisp in lard and not go on any excursions, you will be in good company with your Butlin friends, so long as you have the right colour towel (this is based on how much you paid - cruise towels only) and rush to the deck at 6am to reserve your burning bed - You won't find Germans - They have taste. I'M NEVER TRAVELLING TUI AGAIN. Even their planes are from the dark age and the service is considerably better on Ryanair and Easyjet. I've just travelled with Qantas and the cabin crew, service and aircraft are second to none unlike the rubbish Thomson offering. Don't expect food on your flight or a 1980's wet blanket. As for entertainment, that'll depend on your cabin crew arguing. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
My husband and I have been used to sailing on large ships but thought we would go on the Celebration for a change of destinations etc. We joined the ship in Dubrovnik. As we embarked I could smell something like musty books, it ... Read More
My husband and I have been used to sailing on large ships but thought we would go on the Celebration for a change of destinations etc. We joined the ship in Dubrovnik. As we embarked I could smell something like musty books, it wasn't a very pleasant smell at all. We were taken to our cabin and as soon as I entered my heart dropped. It was hot, the carpet looked filthy as in old looking. We had been told in the Thomson shop the plugs were English, NOT they were American. There was no fridge, the air con did not work, it was making all the right noises but nothing was happening. I looked in the bathroom and the towels were to say the least grey white. The port hole looked like it was just about ready to drop out with rusty marks on it. The cabin steward knocked on the door and was good enough to go and get a huge fan, an adaptor for the plug and an ice bucket full of ice which he changed twice a day. I had medication cream which was supposed to be kept in the fridge , nothing I could do about it, the offer was to take it to reception and fetch it every time I wanted it... what? I would have thought that in this day and age, all cabins should have a fridge. The floor was hot because were were on deck 1 cabin 905 which is what I would imagine hell to be so, not only did we have the noise of the air conditioner even though it didn't work but we had the noise of a fan too whiring and clunking. We went down to the cabin one day and the whold of deck 1 smelled of petrol/engine fumes, I did report it to reception and it was rectified but surely this should not happen at all. There was something outside the cabin on the outside of the ship which was constantly clanging on the side of the ship. The lamps above the bed on the wall rattled, well mine did. There was a rumbling sound from the engine 24/7 and when the ship was stationary the vibration through the whole of the ship was unbelievable. I will even say that, because the carpet looked so dirty, when I had a shower I put my shoes outside the bathroom so I could step into them because I didn't want to put my feet on the carpet. I believe this ship had been "done up" late last year. All I could say is goodness knows what it was like before, I would love to know. In fairness, our steward was lovely and worked hard, also the waiters in the restaurant were great. It seems to me though, Thomsons wants money money money, there was an elderly couple on our table one night who had been on the ship before and the gent said how Thomsons are doing more "money money money" grabbing, the new so called Asian restaurant is one in which they charge. There are lots of things on this ship which you have to pay for. The entertainment wasn't bad but nothing out of this world, we have been on cruises with other companies and they had different entertainers on all week, although I am sure, they entertainment group work hard, I think its a case of cheapness, not having to bring in outside entertainers. Now, on to the excursions. Because I only have 1/3 of one of my lungs, I find it hard to do a lot of fast walking and hills etc. We booked a tour Istrian Hilltops Jewels. It said nothing of walking uphill, we had a run around in the coach and then taken to a dusty road where we were hearded into a rattling hot bus with no air con, we were then "dropped off" and were taken up a huge slope of a road made of cobbles, dusty, and uneven. Nothing of this was mentioned in the ad for the tour, this is why I booked it. I could go on and on and on, there is so much I could say I would be here for another couple of hours. Would I go on this ship again, NO WAY, WOULD I GO WITH THOMSONS AGAIN? NEVER. Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise