I have been on over 20 cruises mostly with NCL, MSC, RCI and P&O. In April I sailed on this ship on the repositioning cruise via Suez canal. I booked it again in August for my recently widowed friend and her son as I had enjoyed the ... Read More
I have been on over 20 cruises mostly with NCL, MSC, RCI and P&O. In April I sailed on this ship on the repositioning cruise via Suez canal. I booked it again in August for my recently widowed friend and her son as I had enjoyed the previous cruise in April. The friendliness of the very hard working crew is phenomenal. The performers in the Broadway Theatre are the best I have seen on a cruise ship, the standard of the shows is excellent. They really should be in west end shows.
It is a smaller ship that is very easily navigated from bars, theatre to dining rooms and cabins. We are mainly in the main dining room as the food and service was so good we didn't want to go anywhere else. Captain Chris and Katy the cruise director work so hard to ensure that all guests are well looked after. We will certainly be booking the Marella again. Read Less
We have been on 3 merella cruises before but this was the first cruise on the Merella Discovery 2. What a fabulous time we had from the moment we set foot on the ship in Palma . Secrets of the Mediterranean was brilliant, seeing Scilly, ... Read More
We have been on 3 merella cruises before but this was the first cruise on the Merella Discovery 2. What a fabulous time we had from the moment we set foot on the ship in Palma . Secrets of the Mediterranean was brilliant, seeing Scilly, the Amalfi coast and Sardinia was great. The captain told us one day that we would be passing Capri and also the Bay of Naples in the distance and also around 10pm that night we also saw a live volcano erupting, something we will probably never see again.
Everything was brilliant. The ship itself was so clean and always something to do. The food was fabulous and was plenty of choice in the different restaurants available.
We had a balcony cabin, the first time we have had one and worth the extra.
All the staff on the Discovery 2 were excellent but I would like to mention 3 in particular, Emily who kept our cabin 6544 impeccably clean and tidy and nothing too much trouble for her, always a smile. Thank you Emily. Alexander the barman/waiter in the Live room, always so helpful, couldnt please enough and remembered all our drinks. Thank you Alexander. Lastly Tamara in the Coffee Port, what a wonderful, socialable, lovely member of staff, always a smile and so helpful when we were trying to choose what to try each day. Thank you Tamara.
Already looking for our cruise for 2020 and hopefully Discovery 2 again. Read Less
Absolutely fantastic first cruise. I Love Marella Discovery 2, in my opinion the perfect size ship for our first experience, not overwhelmingly big but still with lots of choice and plenty of things to do. The Crew went above and beyond ... Read More
Absolutely fantastic first cruise. I Love Marella Discovery 2, in my opinion the perfect size ship for our first experience, not overwhelmingly big but still with lots of choice and plenty of things to do. The Crew went above and beyond for us. The Food was fantastic and the entertainment was incredible. I travel with a wheelchair and was worried about getting about but the crew were so helpful, the weather was rough on the first day and I struggled but there was always someone on hand to help. I even got table service in the self service restaurant so that I didn’t have to carry anything. The cabin was very comfortable and the chocolate on our pillow every evening a lovely touch. We only had a week and there was so much that I didn’t get to try, too much to fit into one week. I Can’t wait to book again. TUI excursions were very well organised and the guides very informative. We stuck with the basic all inclusive package and this still gave plenty of choice. Thank you Captain and crew. Read Less
From the minute we arrived in the airport everything went smoothly up to when we arrived back a week later. Tui staff extremely organised and helpful. Would like to give a special mention to the bartender Philip "beep beep - love is ... Read More
From the minute we arrived in the airport everything went smoothly up to when we arrived back a week later. Tui staff extremely organised and helpful. Would like to give a special mention to the bartender Philip "beep beep - love is in the air" and Lewis our fantastic cabin house keeper. Nothing was too much for Lewis. Both guys were so accommodating and super friendly. They deserve recognition for all the hard work and politeness they showed us all. Food was perfect for all my family. Great variety. Broadway shows in the evening were not great, we expected so much more. The entertainment team again just our opinion screeched through many of if not all the songs they sang. Many people walked out during each show. (Hate to give a negative comment) regardless it does not warrent a rate reduction in my opinion because you can see they work very hard. We thought it was such a nice touch from Shane to bring many of the team on stage the evening before so we could say thank you to all the wonderful staff. It was emotional. In a lovely way. These guys work so hard to give us the hard earned holiday. We did a few excursions all booked via Tui all went so easy and very reasonable. We would not recommend purchasing WiFi, £40 for one day and signal kept dropping more so than having it. Went to reception twice got no satisfaction. So it really was a waste of money. My daughter had a facial and I had a wash and blow dry in the spa. Both were fantastic, very well priced also. Both lovely ladies that pampered us. We have not knocked any points off for our cruise as overall we enjoyed immensely, thank you to all marella dream. Read Less
We were a group of four - a 50+ couple travelling with our 14 year old son and my 80+ mother (with limited mobility).
We selected two, back to back 7 day cruises making a figure 8 from Palma de Mallorca around Portugal, Spain, Italy and ... Read More
We were a group of four - a 50+ couple travelling with our 14 year old son and my 80+ mother (with limited mobility).
We selected two, back to back 7 day cruises making a figure 8 from Palma de Mallorca around Portugal, Spain, Italy and Southern France. We chose the ship and Marella (Tui) because it went where we wanted to go when we were able to go - we haven’t cruised with Marella before.
First - some shout outs to the exceptional service from our cabin staff - led by Faiden - who looked after us all with great care throughout our fortnight.
We particularly enjoyed the e-bike excursions led by Niko and Ashleigh - they led us through the sights and the beaches of Portimao, Corsica and St Raphael.
We also used some of the coach based excursions- which were comfortable and as expected.
We appreciated the peace of mind of all inclusive drinks - the upgrade was not necessary- and saw no evidence of it being abused by our fellow passengers.
We were keen patrons of the coffee port, where we always enjoyed friendly service from Tamara.
We ended up consistently using the Islands buffet for meals, for the pure convenience and because we tended to be earlier to rise and to bed than most, so that we tended to want our meals earlier than the other restaurants opened. We had breakfast a couple of times in the waiter service 47 degrees dining room - and it was a better experience. Islands certainly has a variety of food, but it has to be said that some of it was not very tasty - which is probably an inevitable consequence of the cooking methods required to produce food on that scale. Nonetheless we opted for convenience and there was usually something memorable on our plate each night.
We frequently used the gym and adjoining spa/sauna services which were well equipped and set up.
We preferred the Glass house indoor pool area which was quieter and cooler than the main pool area.
In summary, the cruise delivered the experience we had hoped for with some of the staff making it that little bit better than we had expected. Read Less
We have just returned from a fabulous 7 days. The whole thing was fabulous. A clean and lovely ship. The staff are excellent can’t do enough for you. Cheerful friendly and helpful. Our room was well looked after cleaned everyday. Top ups ... Read More
We have just returned from a fabulous 7 days. The whole thing was fabulous. A clean and lovely ship. The staff are excellent can’t do enough for you. Cheerful friendly and helpful. Our room was well looked after cleaned everyday. Top ups for tea coffee milk etc. Our cabin was a balcony deluxe and it lived up to its name.Chocolates on your pillows. Always an animal towel in your bed lol.The entertainment was professional and great to watch.A different show each night. We had waiter service in the bars for our wide selection of cocktails.Irish cream coffees Baileys etc. The food was great .A good selection and always hot. Salads were tasty and tempting. Breakfast has a wide variety of things From English breakfast to continental. Omelettes were delicious. The trips were long days but we made lots of memories. Just need extra stops on the Rome walking tour. We packed a lot in a week but was a great holiday. Can’t wait to go cruising again with TUI. Thanks to everyone. Read Less
My wife and I have had a very memorable cruise on Explorer2. Balcony cabin deck 9 just perfect and reasonable size with a very efficient steward. Food was of a good standard both in the MDR and Vista, we ate mainly in Vista. Breakfast and ... Read More
My wife and I have had a very memorable cruise on Explorer2. Balcony cabin deck 9 just perfect and reasonable size with a very efficient steward. Food was of a good standard both in the MDR and Vista, we ate mainly in Vista. Breakfast and Lunch was taken in Market Place, again everything you could possibly want. The many bars we used had friendly and more than attentive staff. The entertainment in Broadway Show Lounge was good, without being perfect, most of the shows very much the same, apart from a couple of very good nights. The ports of call, the reason we chose this cruise, were very good and met our expectations. Days at sea a little chaotic, the usual fight for sunbeds, but we got by ok.
The only downside was embarkation, a total nightmare - we will not be using Naples Airport every again.
Not sure if TUI read these reviews but the dress code needs a thorough shakeup, Shorts and trainers in MDR and Vista, sorry but not acceptable, if they wish to dress this way then the Market Place is the place for them.
All in all a very enjoyable two weeks on the Explorer2 Read Less
been with marella before,not the biggest ships but some value as the basic drinks package is in with the price,entertainment was good and the food is good,but not the italian restuarant the vote is out on that,but Norras paizza place ... Read More
been with marella before,not the biggest ships but some value as the basic drinks package is in with the price,entertainment was good and the food is good,but not the italian restuarant the vote is out on that,but Norras paizza place excellent,although they say referb ship only in the public areas cabins not only bathrooms
the food is good and lots of places to eat from lots of choice,thae speciality restaurants are also very good
the standard drinks package is excellent but they dont do banana banches on explorer 1 or 2 as they do on discovery,you can upgrade the drinks package if you like,
entertainment i the main showroom is very good and varried,however on deck its the normal entertainment as on all ships
no maps or info given out for your destination of the day wich is not very helpfull,they say look at the screen as this is saving papper,but seem to deliver plenty of crap in flyers to your cabin every day to sell you things.
the flight to and from Naples (nighmare)on arriving half a mile walk along streets to the coaches,plus 1 broken wheel from flight
on returning 2and a half hour delay while sitting on plane waiting for luggage to be loaded,only 1 small glass of water from tui,arrive gatewick 2 hrs 45 mins late another brocken wheel and zipper riped on case,
I would use marella again but never NAPLES AVOID,but it would be about itinery first,the suites on board marella 2 i would not call suites at all just lager balcony cabins Read Less
The good, the bad and the ugly...
This was our 3rd cruise with Marella. I almost cancelled going on the Dream due to the reviews I read, but had a great time. We were on the maiden voyage of the Explorer last year and there were the ... Read More
The good, the bad and the ugly...
This was our 3rd cruise with Marella. I almost cancelled going on the Dream due to the reviews I read, but had a great time. We were on the maiden voyage of the Explorer last year and there were the inevitable teething problems but the junior suite with large balcony was worth the money despite the terrible service and food. This time we opted for the family suite on Discovery and it was everything I hoped it would be. A twin bed room, a shower room (shower curtain is the only criticism) a sitting room with 2 chairs and a sofa, a double bedroom, a bathroom with tub and shower (again dreaded shower curtain!) and what would have been a decent size balcony but 2 sunloungers cramped the table and 2 chairs. Perhaps a table and 4 chairs would have made more sense? Bambang the steward and the rest of the cleaners/housekeeping were tireless, always cheerful and polite and the suite was always immaculate.
No problems at Corfu Airport getting the cases and the transfer went smoothly. It was a bit of a hike to the boat from the port terminal for those who are disabled though.
On arrival I had pre-ordered champagne and strawberries as a birthday surprise for my husband which were not in the cabin. Julia at reception apologised and reordered them for the day we were in Venice, but the surprise was ruined. Also noticed I paid an extra £4.00 than the price listed but hey ho.
Food in the Islands were reminiscent of school dinners and had a "canteen" feel to it. That said, the food was hot as were the plates and the stewards were efficient in clearing plates and detritus quickly. Often in the children's section, the burgers and hot dog sausage were raw or undercooked. Wouldn't allow the child to eat chicken all week as it was pink as well.
The 47 restaurant... an hour wait with a pager. Fast service once seated but food wasn't even body temperature. Portion size was laughable. Wouldn't fill a child. Was ill after eating there and wouldn't go back again.
Snack shack food was tasty but the queues were hectic often. Felt sorry for the servers, they did their best.
Smoking sections were a joke. The non-smokers kept taking the chairs. If it had been the other way round something would have been done! They had the whole of the ship and the poor smokers only had a half dozen tables! Only smoking section was deck 10 and deck 4 on the port side (left). It kept being moved to starboard now and again (for maintenance?) Also have a critique of some smokers who insisted in putting rubbish in the ashtrays instead of the bins provided. I saw two on two separate occasions on fire! No sense or just laziness who can tell.
Bar staff did an amazing job even though they could have done with 4 hands at times. Absolutely slammed but still had a smile, apart from one guy on deck 9 serving at the bar outside the islands. He looked like someone had stolen his last bun. Bad day?
Husband enjoyed the comedian and went to the show twice.
Kids club staff were absolutely amazing. No other words to describe them. They went above and beyond and were fantastic.
Spa staff were lovely and actually were able to make me look presentable! Husband didn't know me! Great experience I highly recommend them.
The ports were great and I really am glad we chose this itinerary. Wish we'd been able to stay longer in Venice and Montenegro instead of leaving early evening. Didn't seem to be enough hours in the day to visit those 2 in particular.
Cases left out the night before disembarkation and everything went smoothly. Corfu Airport is about the same size as my living room. Something really needs to be done instead of vast queues of people outside worried about making their flight. Perhaps Tui should consider leaving this airport in favour of one capable of taking the capacity? It's a sour taste in the mouth after having a holiday.
Basically our family enjoyed the cruise despite my grumblings above. It cost us just over £7000.00 for 3 adults and one child. Hardly what I'd call a "budget" cruise but the all-inclusive is a great idea. We will try again (forever optimistic!) , possibly next year, but if things haven't improved even slightly we'll go back to Royal Caribbean or NCL. Couldn't face the same problems with food and airport again. Read Less
Sat on floor as little seating in Naples port for over 5 hours with approx 1000 people. Rolls and water far between if can run and get them. As a pensioner with arthritis i couldn’t so a lady bought me chocolate at shop as starving . ... Read More
Sat on floor as little seating in Naples port for over 5 hours with approx 1000 people. Rolls and water far between if can run and get them. As a pensioner with arthritis i couldn’t so a lady bought me chocolate at shop as starving . Very little information. Told ship being deep cleaned as noro virus onboard although passengers There from previous cruise.
Onboard ship found it extremely cold in all areas. Air vents blowing cold air even though unusually cold in Italy. Cabin thermostat not working . Other people saying same. Only felt warmer second week in Greece when weather warmer. Still had cold areas though.
Woken 08.40 first morning after a very cold night with extremely loud vibrating metal hammering above my cabin. Forty five minutes later c/services sent maintenance man. He phoned someone but didn’t speak.
I visited c/service desk , told working on air con and would only last one day.
Four days later after same noise, same time plus every afternoon to a degree every day I was distraught from lack of sleep and very upset it finally stopped.
I had tatty grubby shower curtain until door fitted on day 12 of cruise. No tv for 4 days then hit and miss.
Electrician fitting low level lights on my deck several days, huge cable reel and tools to walk round. Plus huge noisy blowers drying wet carpets in lift areas.
Good choice food in buffet but mostly only luke warm, even meat and fish, possible due to very cold temperature in ship.
On positive side. Crew were wonderful, friendly ,nothing too much trouble. Shows brilliant.
Lattitude 53 restaurant lovely service and food.
I paid a lot of money for this cruise and am bitterly disappointed and upset that marella would treat its passengers this way. Read Less
this was chose for the places to visit that we liked to go to. Firstly can i point out that this ship is a New to Marella cruises and not a Brand new ship as some say and was never listed as a Brand new ship. Anyway on to the review , The ... Read More
this was chose for the places to visit that we liked to go to. Firstly can i point out that this ship is a New to Marella cruises and not a Brand new ship as some say and was never listed as a Brand new ship. Anyway on to the review , The flight was good and on time , on arrival at Naples airport we were at the far end of the airport to get off the flight the transfer buses were slow in arriving and on arrival in the airport we had to wait close on an hour for our luggage .one all luggage collected we were then pointed to were we had to get the transfer bus to the ship , this was a long walk not really suitable for the elderly or those not good on their feet. we were then directed to the transfer bus and told by a rep that we could not go straight to the ship as the was a hold up and we would be taken to have some food and drink in Naples , we settled down to pizzas and wine and was taken care of very well. eventually after a few hours the rep came and collected us and we made our way to the port . when we arrived it was total chaos no one was able to go on board as the Naples authority would not let on due to an outbreak of Neurovirus onboard from the last cruise. Communication was poor throughout the wait and very little place to sit until much later when they opened a conference lounge for people. Eventually about 7.00 pm we were allowed onboard and able to go to our cabin where the luggage was waiting for us. The pools and the hot tubs were closed for the first week The staff were very helpful even though their work load increased with having to serve passengers buffet food and drinks the first week Hand sanitisers were everywhere and the majority of passengers did use them but not everyone .( this is why viruses are spread )
We enjoyed the food in all of the eating places we visited Our favourite restaurant was Vista . Least favourite was Nonnas which was pizza and pasta that you picked yourself and was prepared from your order The snack shack for poolside snacks very good food ,and enjoyed the inclusive drinks. The broadway shows were varied and really good. Comedian was great as was the silent disco ( a must for everyone to see ) The Squid and Anchor pub held all different activities , Flutes was really good for pre dinner drinks .Plenty of activity onboard throughout the day and evening at the different venues depending on your tastes.
We thought that the cruise line was penny pinching a bit this time . This being a new ship to them we expected better, quite Disappointing that they no longer give out any maps and information sheets for any of the ports. or daily news sheets. The reason given was t they wished to save paper. on the first week the weather was mixed with some of our finest British rain. Venice in the rain was not quite the same as last time. We had a medical emergency and had to turn round and head for land which was a total of 6 hours altogether.
all in all the cruise was very good and made better by the group we met right at the beginning when taken for our food. Many thanks to all the crew onboard for their efforts to make us all welcome under this difficult situation. This was our 16th cruise with this cruise line and will still sail with them again. Read Less
I’ve been on it before, not so cheap and cheerful, this time the quality of the food and entertainment has seriously gone down, I’m a vegetarian, last time the food was good, a nice variety of dishes, this time the same vegetables in ... Read More
I’ve been on it before, not so cheap and cheerful, this time the quality of the food and entertainment has seriously gone down, I’m a vegetarian, last time the food was good, a nice variety of dishes, this time the same vegetables in just different sauces, lacklustre. Entertainment, the spots were a lot shorter with the resident bands, more breaks and 12am finishes were creeping earlier as the week went on, the whole ship gave the impression that as it was about to change itinerary nobody had to make an effort. Part of our company was my 82 year old Mother in Law, who inadvertently left the plastic cabin key in her luggage, we discovered when we got home, TUI took 280 pounds off her credit card for it! Also, watch your bill, my 12 year old son bought a day on the WIFI, they took nearly 400 pounds for internet. Never again Read Less
Landed in Malaysia, then cruised to the Andaman Islands , Sri Lanka and then the West Coast of India finishing in Dubai.
Andaman Islands .. the organised trip we did was terrible , not a good start , all we saw was rubbish, dock areas ... Read More
Landed in Malaysia, then cruised to the Andaman Islands , Sri Lanka and then the West Coast of India finishing in Dubai.
Andaman Islands .. the organised trip we did was terrible , not a good start , all we saw was rubbish, dock areas full of plastic. But Great people.
Sri Lanka lovely, ..
west coast of India ... put it this way, just hope and pray you don’t want the toilet and I honestly don’t know why as a country we bother to re cycle plastics and take care of our environment. The same enthusiasm does not seem to exist here.
We went on organised trips every day, some were good but most were not.
Overall though the people were kind and curtious
We cruise a lot, and what you pay for this ship is fairly good value for money.
Food good, but not outstanding, we tried all the restaurants and I have to stay the Glasshouse restaurant was amazing.
Our room however was not, we were directly under the gym and boy did you know it. Stay away from them rooms. We complained several times about the noise, but nothing was done, the normal fobbing off.
Depending on what bar you went to would would depend on the customer service. Not consistently good.
And TUI overall pre and post holiday, not good service. Would not go with TUI again. Read Less
We booked this cruise on the back of many great cruises on the TUI Celebration as our celebration of 40 year of marriage. We took our only son with us as it was a family celebration. The whole trip including excursions was over £10k ... ... Read More
We booked this cruise on the back of many great cruises on the TUI Celebration as our celebration of 40 year of marriage. We took our only son with us as it was a family celebration. The whole trip including excursions was over £10k ... this would made one think it would have been 4 star at least in my eyes.
The food in the main restaurant was inedible, overcooked and hard to eat. It was so bad we decided to use the Market buffet the rest of the holiday. There were specialist restaurants but they wanted upwards of £30 per person per visit ( after having paid for food i felt the cover charge was over the top compared with being able to pay on the Celebration a sum of £10 per person to upgrade the main meal in the dining room to steak or lamb chops etc ) On speaking to people on the ship, nobody thought the specialty restaurants to be be good value.
One of the nice things about a cruise is coming back to your cabin at night after dinner and finding your cabin news containing the details of the next days itinerary and a little bit about the ship and crew... nice bedtime reading and handy to take with you the next day on shore excursions as it always had the telephone numbers of the port authority etc in case you have any off shore difficulties etc. This is currently being replaced by an APP you must load on your phone and use the ships WiFi
When I inquired if we could have a paper copy delivered to my cabin as before ( these are still available if you rush to reception in the evening) i was promptly and firmly told NO... i even offered to pay to have this and it was ignored. The APP is terrible only some of it is on the phone APP others and again not all are on the TV. The only way you could get the menus of the restaurants was from the flat touch screen terminals at the lifts (these sometimes lost the WiFi and didnt work either). It really ruffled my feathers when every day there was a channel on the TV where the Cruise Director would go over the highlights of the days activities and did it from the paper copy of the cruise news!!
The ship is poorly covered by entertainment at night and it doesnt flow properly like the Celebration or other cruise ships i have used.. things finish in the middle of other items you may be interested in and you find yourself walking in on a half completed piece of entertainment upsetting the guests that managed to be there on time for it to start. The bars are mainly all too loud and mainly served by piped music with occasional live music... it seemed to be done on the cheap or not utilised properly.
Staff on the ship are mainly unhappy and it shows to the customer.
The biggest concern on the ship, i have left till the end.... the number of people i seen drunk in the early afternoon was high ( never before have i seen this on a cruise) between afternoon and evening it looked like the ship was a BOOZE CRUISE ... im certainly not impressed with the Explorer or Marriela / Tui.. and wonder if the Celebration is now been changed to feel and look the same... ( this was my favourite ship in the Tui fleet)
It looks like we will need to use our other favourite ships like the NCL ( Jade/Pearl etc)
In Conclusion .... if i was offered another week on the Explorer, i would decline it!! Read Less
Travelled with a family group for special celebration. The cabin was a Deluxe Balcony Cabin on 7th Deck. Adequate but a bit shabby and in need of refurbishment. Bed and bedding poor and uncomfortable. Small shower room with plastic ... Read More
Travelled with a family group for special celebration. The cabin was a Deluxe Balcony Cabin on 7th Deck. Adequate but a bit shabby and in need of refurbishment. Bed and bedding poor and uncomfortable. Small shower room with plastic shower curtain in need of replacement. Cabin staff very helpful. Found food very average. Tried A la Carte steak house but not impressed, especially as the extra charge was far too high. Public areas on board during the 'Days at Sea' were over-crowded and noisy. The main restaurant was probably the best dining option as the buffet restaurant was over-crowded. The entertainment team worked very hard but it still felt amateurish.
Our main criticism was regarding the second week's itinerary which included Belize, Guatemala and Honduras as we felt these destinations were not fit for purpose. Unless you had booked excursions at least the day before docking, there was literally nowhere to explore independently or safely.
This was our first cruise experience but we were travelling with family who had all travelled on several different cruise lines previously, including Princess and P&O. We all felt disappointed with the ship's facilities and some of the ports of call. Read Less
This wasn't my choice of holiday normally but I replaced someone who couldn't go.
Overall it was a lovely holiday on a clean and comfortable ship but it was in need of a spruce up in placed particularly the glass house/indoor ... Read More
This wasn't my choice of holiday normally but I replaced someone who couldn't go.
Overall it was a lovely holiday on a clean and comfortable ship but it was in need of a spruce up in placed particularly the glass house/indoor pool. Food was good with a variety of choice. Entertainment was good if not a but samey after a few nights shows were excellent with a talented bunch of people. Only problem was times of shows and dining if you wanted early show you had to eat early as restaurants closed when show ended as late night buffet was average.
Staff were mostly pleasant and helpful but service did alter depending on where you sat in restaurant.
Nice to return to cabin with towel animal, chocs and next day info.
Excusions had a good choice and were well organised.
Main issues were the quality of drinks. Cocktails were weak and soft drinks were of poor quality which spoils all the drinks which meant a lot got left which were a waste Read Less
Did not know what to expect on this our first cruise as we had read so many varied reviews, but we could not fault our cruise experience, we booked a large balcony cabin and it was perfect, we had our own sun lounger, table with 2 chairs ... Read More
Did not know what to expect on this our first cruise as we had read so many varied reviews, but we could not fault our cruise experience, we booked a large balcony cabin and it was perfect, we had our own sun lounger, table with 2 chairs and a hammock! It was ideal to get away from the hustle and bustle of the pool deck areas and really chill out. Okay the Marella explorer is not brand new and not as huge as some of the other cruise ships but for us it as just right. The main self service dinning room served a good range of hot and cold dishes which changed daily, and if you wanted a full English breakfast you'd have to go a long way to beat it, we also tried out the specialty restaurants, some you had to pay a cover charge for, but well worth it, and the all inclusive drinks package was the best we ever had, all the top and well known beers and spirits.We can't praise all the staff on-board enough, from the cleaners to the ships Captain, nothing was too much. Plenty of hand sanitisers' everywhere, entertainment and activities were suited to all age groups and were well organised, The only thing I would do differently next time would be to book shore excursions on-board the ship, yes they are more expensive than doing it yourself but it saves the hassle of being pestered by the hoards as you walk out of the port area into local towns, overall we had a fantastic first cruise experience and certainly do it all over again, especially on the Marella Explorer. Read Less
We are fairly recent cruisers and wanted a winter sun break and booked this cruise in January on line. The weather was superb and we were told by the crew the best they have had for several years. We flew from East Midlands to Tenerife and ... Read More
We are fairly recent cruisers and wanted a winter sun break and booked this cruise in January on line. The weather was superb and we were told by the crew the best they have had for several years. We flew from East Midlands to Tenerife and arrangements at departure, on arrival, coaching to Santa Cruz and boarding Marella Dream went like clockwork. The ship is old but is modern in appearance with good quality furnishings and the staff very friendly and helpful, nothing was too much trouble from our room steward to the bar and restaurant staff. Corridors and lift space are a little narrow and not as spacious as more modern ships. The variety of lounges and drinking and dining options were first class as was the food and drinks. We like to be on our own for dinner and for six nights we were served by Jennifer and April who looked after us very well. The Marella Dream Show team and their shows in the Broadway Show Lounge were excellent. Some very good singers and dancers however the comedian Alan Wilkins material was older than us and we are in our 70's. The resident band were again very good with such a wide range of music on offer. Our only disappointment was the lack of space for sunbathing when we had such good weather. We were birthed in walking distance of six of the places we visited which is brilliant. There were lots of excursions and trips arranged which people we spoke to enjoyed. Leaving the cruise was also faultless, colour coded luggage and well organised. Our only disappointment was East Midlands Border Control on the return. It took about 30 minutes to process us which is not acceptable. A superb restful and enjoyable cruise. Thank you TUI. Read Less
We have just returned home from a 14 day cruise "A Taste of Paradise" in the Caribbean and we have to give credit when it is deserved. We have been cruising with various companies for over 18 years and I must say this is one of ... Read More
We have just returned home from a 14 day cruise "A Taste of Paradise" in the Caribbean and we have to give credit when it is deserved. We have been cruising with various companies for over 18 years and I must say this is one of the best cruises we have been on.
From the moment we left Manchester Airport the staff from TUI/Marella made us most welcome.
We where made most welcome from Cabin Steward through to dining room staff, waiters and reception staff. Entertainment well organised by Gavin, Cruise Director and his excellent support team. The service on board was top notch, food of a high standard, especially the speciality dining in the Meridian, Kora La, Hot Stone and Minstral Restaurants. Well done to Ships Company.
A few names of staff that deserve credit - Meridian and Speciality dining room waiters, April Rose, Roy, Jasarmy and Kristamel.
Excellent choice of ports on the cruise itinerary, our favourite was St Kitts. Read Less
We have only been on three previous cruises, all on small ships with quite personal service so this one at 1,500 passengers was big for us ! Our ports of call in the Canaries and Madeira were all fascinating, we thought that the excursions ... Read More
We have only been on three previous cruises, all on small ships with quite personal service so this one at 1,500 passengers was big for us ! Our ports of call in the Canaries and Madeira were all fascinating, we thought that the excursions were overpriced and after finding that the handouts from the ship were not very helpful or accurate we headed for the tourist information offices at the places we visited. There was good information about the ports on-line but we used on-shore wi-fi and roaming Vodafone after a message that we would be charged £2.88 per minute for all calls, texts, and data on "Vodafone Marine" ! Our cabin, 1004, was quite good with a settee and table as well as TV and tea and coffee facilities and a good size window, a bit obscured by lifeboat access equipment. We had a problem with the safe which two visits from crew could not sort out, Dennis, an officer from reception was the second to try, we were pleased that the safe locked itself and refused to open until he put his override code in twice. He confirmed to us that it was faulty. I made a third visit to reception to complain and they refunded my money but were unable to provide a replacement safe for us or alternative safe storage for our valuables, apparently there is no safe at reception ! Our only option was to find a hiding place in the cabin. Please note there is no forseeable solution to this problem as replacement safes are apparently not available ! On our fifth day I was up early with diarrhoea and vomiting, I called reception as required and was visited by a doctor and nurse. They confirmed from my symptoms that it was not viral and therefore probably something that I had eaten so I could either stay in the cabin on immodium for 24 hours or visit the ships hospital for treatment which would see me well again in a couple of hours, I opted for the latter and had extensive blood tests and intravenous drugs, the treatment worked and I called back in the evening to check that all my obs. were normal. Excellent service but a tad dear at £1,400 plus ! Interesting to note that the previous day had been a "sea day" so it was most probably something that I had eaten on the ship. We unfortunately missed Lanzarote on my sick day. On the positive side, the crew were polite and helpful to a man ( or person I suppose I should say). The highlight of the cruise was the entertainment team, they worked non stop and were really professional and talented. The food was all pretty good ranging from canteen type buffets in various locations, made to order pancakes, omelettes and pizzas, a proper sit down restaurant with good service and "pay extra" speciality restaurants. We were on a full board but not " all inclusive " basis so we paid for the "wine package" which at about £14 per bottle compared to UK restaurant prices. Drinks at the bar were similar to pub prices. We enjoyed a lot of the cruise but there were things that let it down, there was no hot water on one evening and for the hour before the captains reception the whole ship was without any running water, the Captain did apologise and excused the smelly guests ! I registered all my complaints on-board and filled in the questionnaire on our return but there has been no offer of apology or compensation, in fact no response at all ! Read Less
It was the first that I tried an all inclusive cruise and I was pleasantly surprised.
I have cruised with several cruise lines and I loved the entertainment The crew did a fantastic job with songs from Broadway shows and they were all ... Read More
It was the first that I tried an all inclusive cruise and I was pleasantly surprised.
I have cruised with several cruise lines and I loved the entertainment The crew did a fantastic job with songs from Broadway shows and they were all so enthusiastic
My friends had never cruised before and they enjoyed their week away from Arctic weather so much that they can't wait to go on another cruise
The specialty coffees were delicious and the waitress was so kind to prepare them the way we wanted. We had offers of alcoholic drinks in the Broadway theatre while we enjoyed the music and that was a welcome plus
The Snack SHACK served delicious fish and chips and Phillip was around serving the beer and soft drinks with his Beep Beep cheery voice sharing the LOVE
There was only 1 screening daily of movies which did not fit my schedule
The ports were great and we had ample time to discover what they had to offer the tourists
The embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly I liked the idea of storing our luggage in the Venue room while we went to the port to look around before boarding our bus to transfer to the airport
The tables around the pool were being used by smokers so avoid that if someone is sensitive to the smell of tobacco
There was a variety in the Islands Restaurant and the Chef tried to make a different theme every night.
All in all I would highly recommend MARELLA 2 discovery Read Less
As first time cruisers we were apprehensive at the point of booking as this cruise (Cuban Fusion and Pride of Panama) was costing much more than we would usually pay on a holiday but as we were travelling for a 65th birthday, we decided to ... Read More
As first time cruisers we were apprehensive at the point of booking as this cruise (Cuban Fusion and Pride of Panama) was costing much more than we would usually pay on a holiday but as we were travelling for a 65th birthday, we decided to stretch the budget for a holiday of a lifetime. Before we even travelled we had countless issues that UK based staff failed to deal with. Firstly, out full
Day, evening and full
Morning in Cuba was reduced to an evening, a night and we were to set sail early the following morning. Staff at the travel agents were unable to issue any compensation and eventually they had authorisation from head office to credit our onboard accounts with £100. We felt that this was a small amount to only have a few hours in Cuba in a Cuban Fusion cruise (our main reason for choosing that cruise). Throughout the process of complaining about the change we were constantly ignored by Tui, emails were not responded to and calls that they promosed to make back to us never happened. 4 days before we were due to fly, we received an email saying one of our pre booked cabins had been double booked and one of our party had been allocated a new cabin on the other side of the ship with a different muster station. The email stated that they had been trying to call (they hadn’t) and the email was also sent at 17.29 - just as the store closed so we were left panicked and upset as we could not speak with anyone until the next morning. The next morning, we called the store and was told that they would try and get us cabins together. We got a call a short while later saying that they could get us 2 cabins together, but they were twin cabins (maybe bunk beds) and were near the public toilets, lifts and stairs. When booking cabins we researched where to avoid and all the above were mentioned. So we were advised to keep the newly allocated rooms and that it would be sorted onboard. We were very upset and distressed and this was made worse by the rude and incompetent store manager at Waltham Cross telling us that she didn’t have time to deal with it due to January being a busy time and high levels of staff sickness. The flight to Jamaica was fraught with anxiety again made worse by only 4 toilets being available to everyone in economy and one of those being placed out of order within the first hour leaving people queuing down the aisles for over 30 minutes to use the toilets. We were also made to share 1 can of drink between 2 people! Throughout the day of travel we were constantly told us our cabin would be sorted at the next opportunity, when our bags were tagged to cabins at the airport, the port embarkation process and when we boarded, we still didn’t have cabins together. We headed to reception to ask where our cabins were and we were told that we were never getting new cabins, it was a full cruise! We had continuously asked to have a full refund rather than separate cabins but were lured to the cruise ship under false pretences. We were devastated. One of our party suffers with anxiety, which is why it was so important for us to be close by each other but this was totally ignored by Tui.
We were left with no option but to go to our separate cabins and get in with our cruise.
These are the reasons why we have given the grades below.
The cabin, despite the issues we faced, the cabins had a 70’s caravan feel. They were very dated and very small. They did have a lot of storage and were very clean. Sophie, our cabin stewardess was amazing. We loved seeing what animals she had shaped our towels into each night.
Dining, islands, lots of choice at all times of day but the menu was quite repetitive, especially at breakfast.
Snack shack, was the same food everyday.
Surf and turf, limited menu.
Glass house was strange- you had to sit through all courses just to get the pizza.
We never ate at the other restaurants as men had to wear trousers and closed in shoes which we felt unnecessary as surf and turf and the Asian restaurant were the same.
Embarking - when our bags finally arrived at our cabin, they had clearly been left outside in the rain and everything inside was soaked wet through, from close to hair straighteners. It added to our disastrous start.
Entertainment - staff who were preforming in the shows were mediocre at best. The daily quizzes very quickly become annoying as they are so loud and are clearly written by a much younger team than your average cruise traveller and the live music is far to loud in the bars.
We did see a comedian who was good, 4 tunes were pleasant to listen to but loud, as was Paul
Greenwood. We did enjoy DJ Remedi when he was on the pool deck.
The gym and running track can not be faulted.
Onboard experience & Public rooms there is nowhere near enough space for all guests on board. There is not enough space for sun beds around the pool or deck 10 - people start reserving them before 7am! It’s stated that unused beds with towels will be removed by staff but never were. There were not enough tables in lounges which was made worse when the first show of the evening finished. Also, there is no sitting space without some form of entertainment being forced upon you.
Service - this was brilliant by all staff onboard from Lynn Smith, head of guest relations, who helped us with our cabin issue to Tjana in reception, Sophie our cabin Stewardess, Phillip who served drinks round the pool and Live lounge to all the waiting staff in the restaurants. The UK team could learn a lot from the onboard team as they let Tui down.
Shore excursions - we have reviewed these separately but in general we found them to be over priced and under whelming.
Finally, WiFi, does not have the capability that it should do for £90 for 2 weeks. I rely on the internet to work whilst I am away and it was made impossible due to the internet being so slow and constantly logging me out.
We welcome any comments or questions. Read Less
This was our first cruise, we were never interested in cruising. Our reason for choosing this cruise was we were able to fly out of Toronto, Ontario (1.5hrs from home) and everything was included for a reasonable price. So we thought ... Read More
This was our first cruise, we were never interested in cruising. Our reason for choosing this cruise was we were able to fly out of Toronto, Ontario (1.5hrs from home) and everything was included for a reasonable price. So we thought let’s give it a try.
Positives were........The staff made this cruise one of the best experiences we’ve had. All of the staff were amazing, eager to help, polite and very, very accommodating. We have never experienced staff like this in all our travels. There was a great selection of food and a variety of places to eat. We never had to wait long for meals, line ups were minimal. The ship was kept very clean and the public bathrooms were spotless. There were hand sanatizing stations everywhere. The shows at night 8:30 and 10:30 were fantastic. The ship had designated smoking areas which passengers adhered to.
Negatives were.......it would have been nice to have longer in ports. We didn’t like the timelines always worrying about missing the ship. The ship has an indoor and outdoor pool. The outdoor pool could have been bigger, however on sea days the ship never appeared or felt crowded.
We had a wonderful time, met very lovely people and would cruise again if it was all included from Toronto, Ontario. Also once again kudos to the staff for making this such a memorable experience, the staff all appear to love their jobs. Well done! Read Less
This was the old Celebrity Galaxy and not as well designed as the Marella Discovery ships. But the onboard facilities and service was excellent. Embarkation and disembarkation was faultless, although leaving the cabin at 8am on the final ... Read More
This was the old Celebrity Galaxy and not as well designed as the Marella Discovery ships. But the onboard facilities and service was excellent. Embarkation and disembarkation was faultless, although leaving the cabin at 8am on the final day was tiresome. Junior suite cabin on deck 12 was roomy, spotlessly clean and came with a large, furnished balcony, but a small bathroom. Dining in the main restaurant was average, but with plenty of places around the ship offering food all day, no one would go hungry. The all inclusive drinks package was excellent, although a charge for bottled water and an expensive, and unnecessary mini bar in the cabin caused some moans. Entertainment was average both in the theatre and around the ship, and the mournful choice of songs from the lady pianist in the lounge drove me, and many others to seek refuge elsewhere. Bigger ships had the choice of cruise terminals and we often ended up in commercial ports with views of containers and cranes. Shuttle buses were few and far between and passengers were left to either walk to towns or haggle with taxi drivers. The one and only tender service took four hours to get the last passengers ashore from the anchored ship. Shore excursions were expensive and many, like us, did the same trips with taxis at a fraction of the price. Can't be bad though, we have rebooked for next Christmas. Read Less
This was our first cruise and it certainly won't be our last. After a great flight on the dreamliner we were whisked from Barbados airport to our ship - the Marella Celebration. Everything was extremely well organised and we were in ... Read More
This was our first cruise and it certainly won't be our last. After a great flight on the dreamliner we were whisked from Barbados airport to our ship - the Marella Celebration. Everything was extremely well organised and we were in our cabin in no time.
We had a balcony cabin on deck 9 - absolutely fantastic. It had everything you would need : toiletries, hairdryer, robes. Bed was very comfortable. The shower worked perfectly. Ronaldo our cabin steward was exceptional. He works very hard to keep everything in order.
The restaurants were of really good quality. In the day we used the Lido - something for everyone here. In the evenings we mostly used the Meriden which is waiter service. Absolutely no complaints. It was great. Tried the Kora La once and it was OK. This restaurant has a supplement - probably wouldn't dash back.
The bars are all well manned so depending what mood your in you can either dance the night away or watch a show or have a quiet drink. There's an outside bar on deck 6 outside Liberties which was a lovely place to sit and watch sail away. A big thank you to Bektur for keeping our glasses topped up!!
The ports we went to were :
St. Maarten, British Virgin Islands, St Kitts, Guadeloupe and St Vincent & the Grenadines.
We took an excursion with Tui from St. Vincent 'Mustique Magic' wow wow wow - well worth the money. It was fantastic.
Wish we'd booked the Death in Paradise excursion whilst in Guadeloupe as this was the only disappointing port. Never mind there's always next time.
The weather was amazing.
Yes there is vibration on the lower decks but to be honest you do get used to it.
I have absolutely no complaints - so much so we're booked on the same cruise next Jan but for 14 days this time - can't give a higher recommendation than that. Read Less