1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises)
  4. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises) Cruise Reviews

13 Marella Cruises Gay & Lesbian Cruise Reviews

Staff and ship lovely. Food is great. Make sure you don't miss out on the tapas as it's amazing and inclusive just make sure to book it on the app. Vista is also a great place to eat especially the carbonara which for just five ... Read More
Staff and ship lovely. Food is great. Make sure you don't miss out on the tapas as it's amazing and inclusive just make sure to book it on the app. Vista is also a great place to eat especially the carbonara which for just five pounds more is prepared in a giant parmasan wheel at your table and is super tasty. Good service. What let's it down is the passengers. From threats of physical violence for being falsely accused of queue jumping on shore, to bad language, singlets galore and a cheap northern social club vibe, Explorer is one to miss. The buffet could get very hectic and the Squid and Anchor feral after 6pm. Be prepared for constant whingers expecting champagne service for beer money. If you are a gay couple be prepared for dirty looks from your fellow passengers and people to actively avoid making conversation with you. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
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
Sail Date July 2019
We have sailed previously with Marella and overall been very happy with the product. Note... this is not a new ship. She is 25 years old and while she has been refurbished (some public areas are beautiful) there are some expected signs of ... Read More
We have sailed previously with Marella and overall been very happy with the product. Note... this is not a new ship. She is 25 years old and while she has been refurbished (some public areas are beautiful) there are some expected signs of the ships genuine age. Marella and TUI have been very upfront about the ships age, however some travel agents will say what they need to say to get the booking on! We stayed in the Royal Suite, which on first glance was amazing. After the first day we spotted some snagging that we attempted to get resolved with reception and our cabin staff but things didn’t get resolved. We escalated this to the guest relations manager who resolved it quickly and efficiently and showed a great deal of empthathy. Thank you Sam Hale, you’re a credit to Marella. The specialty dining was brilliant. Main dining was ok. I’d recommend the trio dining package for specialty resturants as it saves some money and brings the cost in at a quite reasonable price. We also paid extra for the premium drinks package. Being a wine drinker it was worth every penny, however many beer and spirits drinkers would be happy with the standard package. Overall it would have scored a 5 but the initial issues brought it down to a 4. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I got on the discovery 2 at Corfu and got of there as well. I was on the ship for a week and the destinations are lovely Santorini and Rhodes have to be my favourite. The cruise is really good the activity's for kids are a ... Read More
I got on the discovery 2 at Corfu and got of there as well. I was on the ship for a week and the destinations are lovely Santorini and Rhodes have to be my favourite. The cruise is really good the activity's for kids are a climbing wall a mini golf 9 holes 2 swimming pools one inside and one outside also there is a games room called hideout for the children to chill out and play on the Xbox and the football table. The entertainment is fantastic with 4 different venues to choose from and they have a casino. the bars were clean and sold a verity of alcohols from shots to beer to cocktails. the crew are so friendly saying hello and always ready to help really good custom. The sail away party was absolutely fantastic with live performances from DJ Tomas and a band that I cant remember there name and a flag parade to see were parts of the crew come from. definitely arrange with TUI they are stars amazing job Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
It was our 1st cruise and we thought it was a great experience the entertainment staff catering bar staff cabin staff highly recommended would do it again .would recommend it to other 1st time cruisers as well only thing we didnt like was ... Read More
It was our 1st cruise and we thought it was a great experience the entertainment staff catering bar staff cabin staff highly recommended would do it again .would recommend it to other 1st time cruisers as well only thing we didnt like was that you was unable to watch england games in the world cup tournament and to have wifi would be rather expensive the captains announcements were very clear and accurate information. My wife unfortunately broke her ankle while we were in rome and the medical staff were great and was Amanda of entertainment who came with us to th hospital while we docked in palermos spain also the very kind taxi drivers who took great care with us .I travelled with my with and mother in law and none of us had been on a cruise before we would do it again one year liked it very much. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was my second cruise with Thomson, first the Dream 5 years ago and I took some persuading to go on this and I really did not want to leave the ship! Got to the ship at about 11.30am, embarkation was smooth and easy going. Ship ... Read More
This was my second cruise with Thomson, first the Dream 5 years ago and I took some persuading to go on this and I really did not want to leave the ship! Got to the ship at about 11.30am, embarkation was smooth and easy going. Ship compared to the Dream is amazing, we had chosen out aft cabin before we left and were not at all disappointed with this, having our 17 year old son with us there was more than enough room for us all. Bags emptied and put away and nothing left lying. Lots of little cubby holes to stash everything. Nice touch of the Clarins toiletries in the bathroom, kettle and coffee machine also. Sooooooooooooo much to eat and drink, we did not pay the extra to visit the two paying eateries as there was lots of choice. Drinks..........to much. lol There was always something going on whether it be a quiz, or film under the stars, in the show lounge or live music. There was a climbing wall, putting, an escape room, childrens clubs, swimming pools, hot tubs. The ports we stopped off at were really good, we did two trips one to Herculaneum and to Monaco. I would highly recommend this ship to anyone. During the cruise we were docked beside far far larger ships and I just hated the look of them as they just looked to me like floating flats. Albeit I have not been on one and it may be different. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise as it was a back to back (Cuban Fusion and Mayan Treasures) both of which we loved the itinerary of. The dream is a lovely old girl and stands up to the test of time beautifully. we chose Thomson because of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a back to back (Cuban Fusion and Mayan Treasures) both of which we loved the itinerary of. The dream is a lovely old girl and stands up to the test of time beautifully. we chose Thomson because of the All-Inclusive nature of the package. It was great to check in our cases at Birmingham and not have to worry about them again, as they'd be delivered to our cabin door. Our cabin was an outside plus (Mid-Ships, Deck 9) and was lovely. plenty of room, for clothes and our cases stored neatly behind the settee. Bed was made up into a double and was one of the most comfortable we'd ever slept in on a holiday. Our housekeeper Cristina looked after us with an excellent service. All the staff were some of the most helpful we've ever come across and are a credit to Thomson, The Dream and her Captain. Food was always a treat and there was something for everyone. We did however really really enjoy the "Kora La" Asian Cuisine restaurant. the food was to die for and of sizable portions too. The entertainment was plentiful, varied and of an excellent standard. our twice daily Captain's update was one of our highlights' as he made his announcements amusing. I could go on and on about our experience aboard the Dream, however I won't. All I'll say is try her yourself. you wont be disappointed !!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Have been on a few Thomson cruises which we have enjoyed, this was the first time on the Celebration. We had a disabled room , cabin 100, which was a double, we had ordered a twin, so the steward brought us a very low put me up bed which ... Read More
Have been on a few Thomson cruises which we have enjoyed, this was the first time on the Celebration. We had a disabled room , cabin 100, which was a double, we had ordered a twin, so the steward brought us a very low put me up bed which neither of could use so in the end shared the double, the disabled wet room was very good. We enjoyed the food in the Meridian most evenings meeting some lovely people to chat to, however the Lido buffet resembled a factory canteen with not much main course choice. The food in the Lido on formal night was very poor, surely the menu should be the same in both restaurants whether you want to dress up or not.. The entertainment was ok, nowhere near as good as the Dream last Summer, the show team were often out of tune and appeared to struggle. Enjoyed Dubai and Abu Dhabi, not keen on the other stops, Muscat was a no no with many people we spoke to. So all in all, it was ok, could have been better. The staff, as on all Thomsons ships were brilliant but as someone else said, its time this vibrating old ship got replaced. I believe the Discovery is wonderful, so the sooner they get the other Discoveries, the better. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
JOURNEY: very easy to check in online few days before and then just drop off bags-and not see them again until we got on board the ship-this was great and took away all the stress of travelling -The dream liner is a fab plane and a very ... Read More
JOURNEY: very easy to check in online few days before and then just drop off bags-and not see them again until we got on board the ship-this was great and took away all the stress of travelling -The dream liner is a fab plane and a very comfortable way to travel .I am glad that Thompsons offer complementary drinks with the service for long haul, just adds a personal touch instead of being appearing money grabbing like some airlines. SHIP: never been on Celebration before-lovely little ship –the Broadway showroom was like a traditional theatre with an upper balcony and had a nice feel to it. FOOD: Food was plentiful and sufficient variety to suit all tastes-my hubby is a keen meat eater –I prefer fish. We only had one evening when the food in the main restaurant was not very appetising and a bit cold but we came late and they were very busy. We ate once in Mistrals which was a lovely dining experience-because we went on the second night it was not busy and we have excellent service. You are asked if you wish to dine alone or share with others –we did both, it is nice to meet people from all walks of life. STAFF: what can I say 99% of the staff were warm and friendly and could not do enough for you-they appeared to love their job and enjoy meeting new people. They worked so hard to ensure we had a good time and it was lovely to see some greeting returning guests like lost family. ENTERTAINMENT: We did not attend much other than two shows in Broadway and one night in Liberties but everyone seemed to enjoy what was on offer-plenty to do day and night. ITINERARY: loved this-the ABC (Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire) islands were so beautiful, very clean and felt very safe. Castries; St Lucia Port was a bit grim (we were too tired on first day to do a trip) worth a visit but I did not like the constant haggling of taxi drivers and tour operators. The Market did not feel that safe. Grenada: lives up to its name of the Spice island- everywhere you went the air was filled with the most amazing smells and although there was some pressure selling it was acceptable-people just trying to make a living but were gracious when you said no. A must is the great rum punch in the market square but lethal so only have one. Curacao: What a pretty island-I was somewhat pressurised by the tours operators on the ship to do the Dolphin swim, but as I had done on in the past am glad I held out my ground to do the observation only at £25 it was very affordable ,do not be told you will not see or hear anything-I got the best photos and was up close and personal –you also could walk around the rest on the sea life centre and also access the Mambo beach, which was stunning-as get transported there and back-well worth doing. Aruba: Beautiful beaches-we took a local bus $7 return to Eagle beach-took 20 mins and paid a further $15 each for the day for a sun bed each and palm tree shade and table, there are toilets and a couple of beach bars and water sports activities if you wish-very relaxing and busses run every 15-20 mins Bonaire: what can me say-little Holland-it looked like a beautiful brightly coloured toy town-there was a children’s carnival in progress and the atmosphere was so happy, there was no touting, hassle free .I took a long walk along the Harbour /Marina front alone and felt completely safe. Barbados: Sadly for others the day to Barbados falls on a Sunday when all the shops are shut but for us it was fine as we have friends who live on the island so we spent the last day with them. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
As a couple in our 30's, this holiday suited us brilliantly. This was our 2nd visit on the Celebration. Yes, the ship is tired in places and doesn't have many venues to spend the evenings, but I'd recommend the ship to ... Read More
As a couple in our 30's, this holiday suited us brilliantly. This was our 2nd visit on the Celebration. Yes, the ship is tired in places and doesn't have many venues to spend the evenings, but I'd recommend the ship to family and friends. Our Steward, Jaya, was pleasant and helpful, friendly and very good at not disturbing us during our stay. The cabin was cleaned daily and couldn't fault his hard work. We ate mainly in the Lido and the food is varied, plentiful and the buffet was open 19 hours daily. Rey/Ray who manages the Lido, works extremely hard making sure the restaurant was clean, tables cleared and working like clock-work. Well done Ray!! Paul Evans, the Cruise Director, made us laugh every day and we always looked forward to his announcements and good Bolton humour. We only wish he had have participated in the 'male ballet dancer' section of one the shows, it would have been more funnier!! Paul get your tights on next time!! Excursions are very expensive and not really good value for money, much cheaper to organise taxis. Having said that, Thomson run trips take away the stress and hassle. In conclusion, we're currently looking for Christmas cruises on the Celebration for next year Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Myself and my partner spent a fantastic week on the dream. Well organised at the airport and a swift trip to the ship. Embarkation was speedy and efficient and the bags were delivered to our cabin within 20 minutes of boarding. Inside ... Read More
Myself and my partner spent a fantastic week on the dream. Well organised at the airport and a swift trip to the ship. Embarkation was speedy and efficient and the bags were delivered to our cabin within 20 minutes of boarding. Inside cabin was comfortable and clean. Bathroom was spotless. Plenty of hanging space and space to store our luggage. Our steward maintained the room to a high standard twice a day with turndown and chocolates in the evening. I ordered a bottle of sparkling wine which was waiting for us on arrival. Bad weather in Majorca meant the sail away party was in the medusa lounge we had a fantastic time as did everyone else. From the moment we boarded we felt like we were on holiday! We dined each night in the Orion. Food and service were excellent, second to none. On the final evening I had ordered a birthday cake for my partner. It was delivered by a band of singing waiters! Fantastic touch! Nothing is too much trouble for the Orion staff. Sea day was wonderful. We were at the sirens pool on deck 11 as we lunched and breakfasted in the sirens restaurant (each day - faultless food). The sea day here was full of sunshine, great entertainment and a laid back atmosphere. Waiters worked extremely hard and you never had an empty glass. Captains gala dinner was fabulous. Reception in the Broadway show lounge, lovely meal, great show then great evening in the medusa lounge. Gibralta, port is 15 mins from the town centre. We did the rock tour which was excellent and highly recommended. Great tour guide. The monkeys are a must. Back on board we found that doing a morning excursion meant you could bag a lounger overlooking the sea on the sun deck above the deck 11 pool. Cadiz - would recommend doing it yourself as the port is 5 minutes from the centre and you can get a map on board. We spend 3 hours wandering around and felt we didn't need a paid excursion as we had the map. Tangier - lot of people didn't do the organised tours as recommended and simply got out of the port area and turned right back. You were warned by Thomsons organised tours were the best and this was not a sales ploy, everyone we spoke to said they were hassled by traders etc. Departed at 2 and had a wonderful afternoon on board watching ice sculpting and the cocktail show on deck 11. The lido pool on deck 9 was definitely the quiet pool for those who want peace and quiet. Cartegena, the low point. We should have done it ourselves as the excursion we booked was a disappointment, that said we had a great night. The waters edge the night club at the rear of the ship was a great round off to the night. Go late at night the disco is ace. Valencia - we did a tour and glad we did as its a big city and the ship is docked away from the centre. Walking tour we did was excellent and the oceanographic park a must! Entertainment - faultless shows in the Broadway show lounge with a hugely talented company. The entire entertainment team seem to multi task and work from morning till midnight never failing to be enthusiastic and happy. The moulin rouge show and the dreams got talent show were stand outs and had standing ovations from the audience. Waiters in the show lounge ensure you are never without a drink. We ate in the Orion and sirens didn't feel the need to use the paid options as both food and service were excellent. Never used the lido but heard no complaints about the food. The staff go the extra mile to make your holiday special - a great bunch of people. If you like a drink the drinks package is a must. We tried everything from cocktails to beer to wine and at the end of the week worked out it had saved us money. On board was talking one afternoon to people who said 'have you spoken to any of the professional moaners yet?' The dream isn't perfect but we had the time of our lives and my partner who had never cruised before is now a cruise addict! Well done to all on the thomson dream! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Thomson Dreamliner is a fantastic plane. Lots of leg room and free food and drink during the flight. But, what started well, ended badly. The Jamaican airport was hot, humid, crowded and queued. No where to sit, no air conditioning, no ... Read More
Thomson Dreamliner is a fantastic plane. Lots of leg room and free food and drink during the flight. But, what started well, ended badly. The Jamaican airport was hot, humid, crowded and queued. No where to sit, no air conditioning, no water and no where to rest in a confined corridor containing hundreds of people. Tempers flared after hours waiting to get to embarkation and some felt faint. A musical group from the island greeted us at the ship but the singer was out of tune and the musicians seemed fed up of playing it took that long for everyone to board. The buffets were always full of food and refreshments and the restaurant was great for an evening meal. However, the food was mostly overcooked, warm at best when eating and not very tasty in all the eateries. I did not like the fact you helped yourself to buffet with tongs. It would have been more hygienic to have been given the food by buffet staff. Despite the fact the ship had antibacterial dispensers throughout, many passengers ignored them. I had a bad tummy in the middle of the first week and was told by a passenger that the ship had had Noro virus aboard the week before resulting in the closure of the Jacuzzis. I was also by other passengers that many people were being treated for a bad cough, an outbreak which had been on board since December with antibiotic drips having to be issued for pneumonia and also that 5 people had died on board during this time. Myself and my husband both went home with a bad cough at the end of the cruise. One woman was badly burnt by a soot gob that had been blown from the ship's funnel. Many passengers had broken their arms whilst on board. Health and safety was an issue as I saw a crew member carrying two stacks of cups on his tray down a spiral staircase. Smoking was allowed on the decks which was very quickly extended to inside the ship and door areas by smokers who ignored the rules. It was hard to get away from cigarette smoke on the deck areas. We found it very difficult to get a sun lounger before 10am and these were hogged by selfish passengers all day despite the fact that they were not using them for hours. The ship had an overcrowded feel during the sea days and the days were quite strained. The behavior of some of the passengers was terrible despite their mature years. Tempers flared and a fight broke out over the use of a lift which carried on in the sun deck. There was a lot of foul language used by some of the down to earth types which did offend other passengers with their rudeness at times. Some of the deck flooring was bubbled and torn. The first port was La Romana. I wish I had stayed aboard the ship. We were transported by shuttle to the nearby town and was immediately bombarded by very persistent venders that were very intimidating. We all immediately got right back on the bus and returned to the ship. This port did not match the description at all. My favourite ports were St Maartin and Antigua. Shops were wonderful and there were many nice places to go. The Virgin Islands were a little boring as we had not been able to book a tour but on returning to the ship many passengers were disappointed with their trips here. One had gone to see whales and was told by locals that whales are a rare sight in April as they don’t arrive until June when the season for them starts. We did see some flying fish and dolphins on the sea days. Gibraltar is a nice place but there was very little time to visit more than one venue as the ship departs at 2pm and we had to be back on board by 1:30. We were talked out of using the cable car by the port taxi drivers who said that we would not have time to use it. The port inspector confirmed this when asked to back up the statements but on speaking to the tourist visitor centre they said we would have had plenty of time to use it. So I think we were conned into using them at a cost. To sum up, I personally quite enjoyed my time on this cruise but I know that quite a few other passengers were very disappointed and if rumors were correct some did not return at all. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
I returned from the dream on the 10th August after 14 nights, and I wish I was still there. I had an amazing cruise on a fantastic ship, sure there were a few problems like a cracked water tank but so what this was out of the crews ... Read More
I returned from the dream on the 10th August after 14 nights, and I wish I was still there. I had an amazing cruise on a fantastic ship, sure there were a few problems like a cracked water tank but so what this was out of the crews control,these things happen, because of this we spent an over night in Palma, Which I didn't mind because it's a lovely port. Yes I also read the reviews before I went, and was a little bit anxious, however once on board I soon realised I had nothing to worry about and this cruise would be as good as the others. I never found the mysterious smell everyone talks about. I spoke to a few of people during the 2 weeks and only a couple of times did people mention that they smelt something. The problem seems to be that people are reading the bad reviews and going onto the ship and looking for things to complain about, the major problems seem to have been fixed or I found they had. Therefore people are finding tiny things and often ridiculous things to complain about. All public areas were always immaculate, The cabin was always spotless, thanks to our amazing cabin steward Cecep. The food was amazing, The waiters were always very pleasant and helpful,going out of there way to make sure you had everything you needed to enjoy your meal. The bar staff were also amazing, always smiling and asking about your day which is a nice friendly gesture. The excursions were worth every penny, especially Gaudi's Barcelona Now onto the Entertainment, The shows in the Atlante Theatre were Fantastic,With the amazing Vocalists and Dancers Giving 110% every night, The Medusa ballroom is where the game shows, quizzes and late night cabarets are, the hosts interaction with the passengers is amazing, Brett one of the entertainment hosts is always enthusiastic when hosting, he's polite and sociable and always has time to stop and talk to passengers, a gem through and through and the Dream are lucky to have him on there team. The late night cabarets are wonderful with the amazing talents of the show team.The cruise director Stephen Guy and assistant cruise director Gavin Carroll are both top class guys who have every right to be proud of there hard working team. On the whole I loved the ship,the staff were friendly and a pleasure to meet.I will definitely cruise on the dream again in the future. SO ALL IN ALL A FANTASTIC CRUISE 5* Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click