1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises)
  4. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises) Cruise Reviews
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
decided to spend Christmas away last year, 1st time ever, chose Marella cruise as was convenient to fly from Birmingham, all inclusive including tips and very english. Haoliday was great ship was full and very busy. Couldnt fault the ship ... Read More
decided to spend Christmas away last year, 1st time ever, chose Marella cruise as was convenient to fly from Birmingham, all inclusive including tips and very english. Haoliday was great ship was full and very busy. Couldnt fault the ship and entertainment great. Now the moans- the cruise director Adam was never to be seen in the day only evenings and on prevoius Marella cruises the director was about all the time. The music around the pools was very very loud and always on, no peace st all.The indoor pool lovely and was adults only at certain times but no one to check and children in there a lot. You couldnt get a swim in the outdoor pool as the children took over. There was no shampoo body lotion etc in the cabins and we had a balcony cabin. Far too many foreign staff that didnt understand english, but all very obliging. The man that gave the talks from the spa waffled on and on and after one and half hrs there was still no solutions to any of the talks. He talked on diet, liver problems swollen ankles and many more but was no wiser when he had finnished. Evening meal in the resturants people were going in in tee shirts and shorts not dressed smartly and no one corrected them. Overall we had a lovely time but would not travel over holiday time. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Retirement present for self and Husband. Never been on a cruise before, went with another couple who were seasoned at cruising. Staff on ship friendly, but lack of contact communication from Thompson reps, seemed to walk past the ... Read More
Retirement present for self and Husband. Never been on a cruise before, went with another couple who were seasoned at cruising. Staff on ship friendly, but lack of contact communication from Thompson reps, seemed to walk past the passengers without any communication. Cabin staff worked very hard, and keen to please, our. Cabin was on the outside, but spoiled by air conditioner and engine noise, and vibration at all times Fantastic food, available at any time Great not to have to worry about cash as all inclusive, but this lead to abuse of alcohol especially with youngsters. Great New Year Party organised. Despite an adults only pool, children were often the occupier of this facility. The ship did look dated and tired, but not too big which made getting about easy. Trips, especially the 4 x 4 into the mountains was a complete waste of money, -driver couldn't speak any English, and the entire journey was in silence, photo stop on way back for electric pylon!!- what is that about??- should have complained but just glad to get back to ship.Sight seeing trip in Dubai was also a disaster due to fog- in realty saw absolutely nothing- pity there was no provision when the trip organisers knew the weather was against what the aim was. Unsure if I would cruise again-didn't float my boat! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Party of four left on 19 December for 7 day cruise aroiund Arabian Cost, visiting Dubai, Qatar, Abu Dhadi, Oman. This sis a noisy boneshaker of a ship. We had to change cabins as the engine noise kept us awake all night, the heavy ... Read More
Party of four left on 19 December for 7 day cruise aroiund Arabian Cost, visiting Dubai, Qatar, Abu Dhadi, Oman. This sis a noisy boneshaker of a ship. We had to change cabins as the engine noise kept us awake all night, the heavy vibrations didnt help either. bWe finished up in a small cabin down in the bilges, but at least it was quiet. Meals in the Meridian Restaurant were small portions, and not very good. One meal my Beef Wellington was red raw and my wife's was overcooked. Most evenings we had our meal then went to the buffet restaurant for a top up. Itinery for Xmas Day was changed and we visited a Village with no shops, no beach, no places to visit. We all immediately returned on the bus to the ship. Xmas day entertrainment was a silly sketch related stint lasting about 30 minutes. Xmas dinner was no different to any other night. The day befor our return we started to get sore throats and chests. All four of us have had to have medical treatment and have been really poorly for over a week. A lot of passengers were feeling the same. This ship needs retiring, it is years past its best. Will never use Thomson againb. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013

We flew from Manchester on the Dreamliner, nice plane. We arrived at Barbados and transferred directly to the ship, easy check in in the “shed”

We had booked an inside cabin on deck 5, same cabin that we were in in ... Read More

We flew from Manchester on the Dreamliner, nice plane. We arrived at Barbados and transferred directly to the ship, easy check in in the “shed”

We had booked an inside cabin on deck 5, same cabin that we were in in September so no surprises there.

The Good.

The itinerary, 12 ports in 14 days. Long days in port. Most days arrived before breakfast and left as it was going dark.

The bar staff, we were on the drinks package and got to know the bar staff well. They are very friendly and good at their jobs.

The Grill, we ate here twice as it was so good the first time we went back on the second week, 8 course meal!

The Bad.

The food in the Orion was average on most nights. On New Years Eve on the gala dinner I had Steak Rossini and it was so well done it could have been used as shoe leather. Service was slow on most nights and there weren’t enough wine waiters for the amount of people. On the last night one of the options on the menu was Cornish Pasty!

The Entertainment

We had seen most of the shows before as this was our 3rd cruise in the year. These were the worst performed of the 3. The dancing was good and the close harmonies were ok but there wasn’t any good lead singers. Most nights the show lounge was half empty and people were walking out.

The only time the show lounge was full was for the comedian and for the crew show which was superb.

I would be very reluctant to book another Christmas Cruise with Thomson as they are happy to charge premium for Christmas but there is no value for money.

 

Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013

We sailed on 14th December from Barbados. The ports were great. We especially liked the Dutch ports. They seemed a lot cleaner and the beaches etc. were well laid out. Having Dutch relatives and being able to eat Dutch food while we ... Read More

We sailed on 14th December from Barbados. The ports were great. We especially liked the Dutch ports. They seemed a lot cleaner and the beaches etc. were well laid out. Having Dutch relatives and being able to eat Dutch food while we were ashore was great. We did tours ourselves which we booked before we went. In Bonaire we used Bonaire Vista which was good. In Curacao we used Irie Tours which was also good. Bernards was the tour we used in St Maarten. Cosol Tours in St Lucia. They were all great and good value for money. No problems with booking by email. Everything went like clockwork.

We had a cabin on deck 7 midships which was very quite and not far to go as all the entertainment was on deck 8.

We would have liked to have been on board Christmas Day but we were at sea. The itinerary was different from the brochure. We especially liked Mayreu Island which was Christmas Eve. The island has no shops or hotels. There are only 200 people on there. The crew went ashore at 5.30 in the morning to get the bar and barbeque ready and then majority went ashore by tender. It was all well arranged. Steel band and sunbeds and decorations on the palm trees made it special. Even when we left the island there were crew members with white flannels to freshen up. An excellent touch I thought.

We were All Inclusive and we usually do go AI but we are beginning to think it is not good value for money. The house wine was disgusting and I was reluctant to pay a supplement when we had already paid £199 per week. If we ordered a bottle of wine (not house wine) they knocked us a measly £2 off. The wine waiters in the restaurant were very thin on the ground. I asked a waiter if they were short staffed and he said they weren't. One night we were 2 and a half hours getting our meal and the wine waiter only came to the table once. Very disappointing. Service in the Ocean Bar was slow, especially when the deck fest was on.

Entertainment was good, but disappointed when Killer Queen was repeated in the second week. Man in the Mirror was fantastic but they only did one sitting so you had to be in there early to get a seat. Having been on the Dream before we were very disappointed with the Ocean Bar. In April the band was Elegant Touch and they played allsorts to suit all tastes. Passengers were up dancing every night and great atmosphere but this time the first week was dead. The Duo playing in there were very good but the first week they tended to sing songs that weren't very familiar. We like a bit of ballroom dancing and in the cruise news it was stated that there was ballroom dancing in the Waters Edge between 6 and 7. The first night we went and there was only one couple there. The music was piped and not one member of staff on even to get a drink. How do they expect to create an atmosphere like that. The couple who were in were very disappointed as like us they had been taking lessons and were keen to try their dancing out. We said we would go down the next night and when we turned up another family were there and nobody had even bothered to put the piped music on.

The second week in the Ocean Bar livened up a bit. The Duo seemed to change they style of music. I did have a word with the Cruise Director about my point of view and he said that we were comparing this cruise against the transatlantic cruise we did in April. He said you get different clientele on a 14 day cruise. Can't see the difference myself.

The food was excellent. The staff were all great, but I felt that they had just had a crew change and they had not settled in properly. They all work really hard and always have a smile on their face even early in a morning when they have probably been working till late the night before.

We really enjoyed the cruise and met some very nice passengers.

We have done Thomson Cruises on numerous occasions but we only got a 20% discount card for the al a carte restaurant. Some passengers got a bottle of wine in their cabin. Maybe we don't qualify!

Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013

We went on the Celebration for Christmas and the New Year and after a fantastic time on the Majesty last year we had high expectations for a great time this year. After promoting the ship as a 'Platinum' ship we were expecting the ... Read More

We went on the Celebration for Christmas and the New Year and after a fantastic time on the Majesty last year we had high expectations for a great time this year. After promoting the ship as a 'Platinum' ship we were expecting the standards to be high but they were appauling. The food was cold and repetative and in most cased tasteless. We were constantly bombarded by photographers and there were 4 formal evenings instead of two but we were not informed before the cruise. Several people had not packed for the additional evenings. The set dining was a shambles. There was absolutely no reason for everyone to be at the dining room for 8.15pm on Christmas Day or New Year's Eve. Many people were still waiting for a table after 9.30pm. It also put pressure on the waiting and galley staff. What should have been a special New Year's Eve was a bit of a flop. The entertainment staff at the back of the ship with some poppers was not exactly high end entertainment for New Year's Eve. Many people could not understand why Madeira was not on the itinerary with it's world renown firework display. Probably more cut backs by Thomson. The staff tried their best but service was poor in some areas and on one occasion we walked out of the Horizon bar after waiting 30 minutes for a drink. The coffee shop has a charge even if you are on 'all inclusive' and there are cabins instead of the cinema which make the ship busier.There was a serious lack of space when everyone was on board. The food finished at 1pm although you could order room service at an additonal charge yet again.

On the second week my husband contracted Noro Virus and we were confined to our cabin for 48 hours. Many passengers and staff contracted the infection causing more problems with staff shortages. Although staff were seen to be wiping tables and mopping floors we never saw them actually rinse the cloths in hot soapy water and the mops were filthy.

The ladies' toilets outside the coffee shop and Horizons bar were a disgrace in the evening. When I reported this to the reception I was told house keeping had been informed but 3 hours later nothing had been done to clean them or unblock the toilets.

The waitresses in Hemmingways did try their best and the standard of service delivered by Manny and Jasper in the Meridian restaurant saved out holiday. Apollo our cabin steward worked hard and kept our cabin spotless.

We have always had fantastic holidays with Thomson Cruises but if this is the future of their 'Platinum' fleet we will not be chosing them in the future.

Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013

I have cruised many times before and previously with thomsons, we booked this Xmas cruise basically because it was affordable with it being Xmas , quite frankly it would have been cheaper and better if we had gone with one of the ... Read More

I have cruised many times before and previously with thomsons, we booked this Xmas cruise basically because it was affordable with it being Xmas , quite frankly it would have been cheaper and better if we had gone with one of the leading cruise lines. We were charged for a safe. Never have I known this on a cruise ship. The buffet dining was rediculous, I know Brits are very good at queuing but long lines of queues because the buffet is so disorganised, same queue for the hot and cold food instead of separating them, so that people who just want salad etc are not having to wait in long lines.

The entertainment was less than mediocre, same band on all the time , so if you hadn't had enough of them all day, they were on again every night as well.

We paid £800 for the drinks package which was a rip off, having to pay extra if you wanted a decent rum, in the Caribbean for gods sake. The ship sold bottles of spirits on board which they stated you couldn't drink on board but everyone was taking them into the lounges to drink, how annoying when you have paid all that money and quite frankly were treated like 2 nd class because you couldn't have a can of soft drink, and I was told that I couldn't have two ports in one glass???? Cheaper to buy the bottles on ship £6.90 and buy cans of mixers, could have had a cheap holiday for the price of the drinks package

They now also charge for you to have a decent seat in the theatre £ 9.99 ridiculous !!!!

Xmas day was a farce, no entertainment, no celebrations, didn't get .xmas dinner till 9.30 at night and waited 2 hours till desert which we gave up on. Definitely go with princess or p& o next time.

Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013

We flew from Manchester and arrived in Barbados at around 3pm BB time. The journey to the ship took about 30-40 min and there we had to wait for over an hour to check in

Now for Thomson's Holiday Money Extraction.. On checking ... Read More

We flew from Manchester and arrived in Barbados at around 3pm BB time. The journey to the ship took about 30-40 min and there we had to wait for over an hour to check in

Now for Thomson's Holiday Money Extraction.. On checking in a fee of £25 for the safe? There is a charge if you want steak at Dinner £9.95 or £13.95 for steak under the stars £19.95 for the Grill. You could then pay £9.50 a night to reserve the best seats in the house, for the show? Also now the all night buffet is no more, it shuts from 1am - 6am.

The AI is now a rip off as so many drinks have smallish charges against them. The John Smiths was undrinkable and bottled beers were £2 extra which they ran out of after a few days. They also ran out of Guinness another good money spinner for Thomson's if you are a beer drinker. Not to worry though as Bar waiters were few and far between with 30min wait the norm for a drink.

The food as also gone down bank ( This is our 12th Thomson Cruise ). The variety and service was very poor in the Orion and the house wine undrinkable... £1.40 for a glass of good wine on top of AI. I will say that Thomson still know how to do a Full English!

Christmas Day was a big let down If they were Carlsberg they would know how to do the worst Christmas.... No festivities on deck all day and the evening diner.. We queued up for 45mins to get into the dining room and we finished dinner at 10.45pm. Christmas dinner was 2 slices of turkey.2 tiny potatoes 2 brussel sprouts and the pig in blanket was a 1 inch piece of tined hot sausage with a slither of wafer ham???

We have been on the Dream 3 times before and had pre booked our cabin ,so knew what to expect and all was fine. Did the drill and then went down for dinner in the Orion where it was packed? Did not do the sail away party as we were to knackered!

Went for Breakfast the next morning and up to Sirens Deck for a day at sea, with plenty of sun beds up to 9.30 and never seemed a problem throughout the 2 week cruise. It is the staff that are Thomson's asset on there Cruises and always smiling. They are now working twice as hard and it's not there fault for the poor service as there are a lot less of them trying to do twice as much.

The shows are nothing like they use to be with Thomson's.. Very young team which at times showed and 2 days a week only one show a night and a 15min session on the open deck party and one a comedian a week. The must see is the crew talent show ( 45mins ), it knocks spots off the show team.

The first week was Bonaire, Aruba ,Curacao and Grenada ,an excellent first weeks as all the ports were in the town. We only did one tour and that was in Grenada $15 for a tour up into the rain forest (6 of us so comfy 3hrs). I would recommend this as there in nothing in the town.

The second week the 1st stop was a bit of a disaster Mayru a tender stop. The tenders were ready at around 9.30,we waited until 10.30 and was greeted by 400 more trying to get off. We were told that the wait was in excess of 1 hour and to wait in the lounges. We waited on deck and 30 mins later they postponed them due to high seas. They then opened up the tenders to able bodied people only, we returned to the tender disembarkation at around 12.30... 300+ in the queue and very hostile. The next day was a sea day Christmas?? St Vincent was a lovely stop and was glad to get off as we had 2 days on board ( see above ). We did a nice tour for $20 in St Kitts ( berthed 3 mile out of town ). Then on to St Lucia where we berthed in the old dock so did the beach for the day.

The flight out and return were fairly comfortable, on time and we were well looked after. Conclusion There Are Far Far Better Cruises with better value for money than Thomson's now..... We use to really love them but now they are scrapping the barrel! Thomson please look at your product and why ho why call it Platinum?

Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013

We wanted to escape the Xmas madness in the UK and treated ourselves to a Xmas and new year cruise to get some sun. We have had two previous summer cruises so were looking forward to trying a winter one.

We had a fantastic time. ... Read More

We wanted to escape the Xmas madness in the UK and treated ourselves to a Xmas and new year cruise to get some sun. We have had two previous summer cruises so were looking forward to trying a winter one.

We had a fantastic time. Staff as always were exceptional, though we agree that service was a little slow at times. Entertainment was extremely high quality and we always found a seat (on popular nights like the formal nights you just have to get there in good time). Food was varied, tasty and always hot. We had an inside cabin which we thought was bigger than others we have had. The Horizon bar was lovely to get away from the busier areas of the ship and enjoy lovely views. There were a lot of people complaining and moaning constantly throughout the cruise and most of the time we could see no genuine reason for it - I guess some people like to moan! My teenagers were shocked by it - and that's saying something! Sunshine on most days and a comfortable 'home' to come back to - what more could we want?

Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013

I know some people thought this cruise was fine and have even re-booked for next year but for the life of me I cannot understand why. I don't go on holiday to pick fault but I have nothing good to say about the Celebration.

Our ... Read More

I know some people thought this cruise was fine and have even re-booked for next year but for the life of me I cannot understand why. I don't go on holiday to pick fault but I have nothing good to say about the Celebration.

Our problems started way before we even embarked - with the awful customer service we received from the call centres (having booked on line). It took well over half an hour just to make a payment, they then gave us the wrong telephone number to book excurisions and in the end we had to call into one of the Thompson shops where they confirmed that the call centre service was a matter of some concern to customers. However that said we were looking forward to our week's cruise to the Canary Islands and Madiera.

The ship is old and no amount of refit is going to change the lack of space and facilities. The food was pretty awful. cold, repeditive and recycled. There was an outbreak of novo virus (we spoke to two ladies who were confined to their cabin for 2 days). The staff for the most part, were friendly although terribly overworked. Service in the bars was slow and on no account would you get value for money if you had paid for the drinks package (we got our included as we had booked early). We had to ask for milk for the complimentary tea/coffee and had to request pool towels which should have been in our cabin and we never got replacement toiletries. Entertainment was abismal ranging from a song and dance group who could neither sing or dance to Butlins style games. We spent one day at sea and the next day was Christmas Day when we docked and everything was closed on shore. It would have been much better if we could have had 2 days in Madiera but I feel everything was cost cutting so it was cheaper to have the ship at sea. They have formal nights (we had 2 although nothing in the booking advised that there was one extra one as it is usually one per week I think) but the great majority of people did not conform to 'black tie' and there were many men very casually dressed so if Thompson aren't going to enforce formal dressing on these occasions I would suggest they drop this as this cruise is pitched , in my opinion, at the low end of the market and I would be hard pressed to give it a 3 star rating. I was going to book the Dream for next Christmas but I am going back to P & O.

Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise