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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
we have just returned from a weeks cruising on the Marella Explorer 2 from Naples to Messina / Dubrovnic / Split / Venice / Ancona back to Naples some people have mentioned Naples airport being a nightmare - we found it to be fine ... Read More
we have just returned from a weeks cruising on the Marella Explorer 2 from Naples to Messina / Dubrovnic / Split / Venice / Ancona back to Naples some people have mentioned Naples airport being a nightmare - we found it to be fine after collecting your luggage it was an approx 5 mins walk to board the coach on arrival at the cruise port ( approx 25 mins by coach) the boarding process was speedy and efficient - we arrived on board approx 1130 hrs ( we had an early flight from Stansted at 0600 hrs ) - our cabin was ready at 1230 hrs we had a great time / good food - especially the lovely Latitude and Vista restaurants / great entertainment couldn't fault anything we arranged all excursions ourselves - which we found was the most economical way our favourites were Dubrovnik and Venice which were both stunning and to round off a superb week , Captain Kostas stopped the ship off Stromboli ( Volcano) to watch it erupt - amazing would highly recommend this cruise / ship Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I booked this cruise with my sister as a 'taster' for alot of cities in our bucket list and also wanted to experience what cruising was like. The booking process was floorless and staff at our local Tui (West bridgford, ... Read More
I booked this cruise with my sister as a 'taster' for alot of cities in our bucket list and also wanted to experience what cruising was like. The booking process was floorless and staff at our local Tui (West bridgford, Nottingham) very helpful and accomodating. They seemed genuinely excited for us! I'll talk about the cruise itself first: ship was lovely and was big enough you weren't falling over people. There were plenty of amenities and we didn't feel we lacked anything. The squid and anchor had a traditional British pub feeling and to sit on the back if the ship with staff topping up your drinks regularly was bliss. The coffee port was great for not just coffee but also books and board games, there was a slight charge for those (ourselves included) that weren't on the top up inclusive package but it was minimal in our opinion. The pool side was always a hive of activity and although got very busy we never struggled to find somewhere to chill on a sunbed. You do need to get there earlier or move beds around for shade but again, this was always manageable. Staff are on hand for anything you want. The show's in the show lounge were entertaining and there are some very talented performers. The decks are great for walking round on and just watching the world go by. Food: we are in vista which was always lovely, the carbonara was the best I have ever eaten and they use a cheese wheel table side to prepare it, latitude was great although peak times meant a short wait (pager and bar close by to wait), this only occured once during a 2 week stay and we only waited 10 minutes. They also did a lovely breakfast, french toast highly recommend! Nonna's was a break from a formal meal and we enjoyed the service and views, my sister had pizza and I had a calzone, both lovely. Snack shack does what it says on the tin, easy grab and go and plenty of choice. Market place is buffet and the choices are great, some reviews have been unkind about this place but we enjoyed it and after a long day sight seeing you don't always want to get dressed up for dinner and want something less formal. Cabin was very spacious (5006) and we had the reception and restaurants on our floor. Loads of space for things, wasn't disturbed by noise and was very pleased. This was an inside cabin and we don't feel we missed having a window or balcony at all. Special shout out to Idris and his team for keeping our cabin spotless and well stocked, brilliant team and do nice and accomodating! The app you can use is great source of information and we used this daily along with the cruise news. The trips we felt were well priced and enjoyed them all, organised and no issues for the 5 we booked in advance. We also got off at 2 other ports during our stay. Staff make you feel so special, nothing is too much trouble for them. They had the patience of saints for the more demanding people and were always smiling. The shops were great and had excellent deals on daily, Pandora was my favourite and the prices were impressive, I came away with 2 rings, 2 charms and a new bracelet and they were cheaper than on the mainland. Best bits, trvi fountain, Sorrento, Dubrovnik, Venice mind blowing, Highlight was our last night when we sailed past stromboli where an active volcano had erupted the week before was still active. To watch lava running down the side of the mountain and see periodic explosions was surreal. Overall we have absolutely loved our holiday and are definitely hooked on cruising. The bad bit (sorry); Naples airport. Never in my life have I experienced anything like this. On arrival we were told we would need to collect our cases after all. They took over 2 hours to come round the carousel, we then had a 10 min walk at the hottest time of the day and had to wait 90 mins in direct sunlight for coaches to take us to the ship as they were stuck in traffic. On our return journey we were made to wait 2 hrs to go through to the plane with around 300 other people in a small area with no air conditioning. One person passed out from the heat and had to be taken away by ambulance. Nobody would tell us anything and the staff were beyond unhelpful. When we finally got on the plane (90 min delay at this point) we were informed by the captain we couldn't go as our cases were still in the tarmac waiting to be put on. All in all, we returned to the UK 2 and a half hours later than expected. I would NEVER fly to Naples airport again and unless a different port is used would not go on explorer 2. That said, we will be booking with marella again, just avoiding Naples due to the diabolical service Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Sailed on the Explorer 2 in May this year, and despite this being an older ship we preferred it in all respects except for the cabin. The weather was fantastic all week, and we opted to do our own excursions courtesy of research on ... Read More
Sailed on the Explorer 2 in May this year, and despite this being an older ship we preferred it in all respects except for the cabin. The weather was fantastic all week, and we opted to do our own excursions courtesy of research on cruise critic reviews. We travelled as a couple in an iinside cabin on deck 3. The ship's public areas are well maintained, and whereas the Explorer is more of a wooden decor, the Discovery is more brass and glass. The atrium is the main difference as the Discovery uses it as a focal point with lifts, balconies, a bar and performance area for musicians, so it is the heart of the ship whereas the Explorer just uses it as a reception area. Most of the nighttime activity is on deck 4, but this does mean that the entertainment from each room does compete with that in the adjacent room at times. The main restaurant 47 is on 2 levels with an Italian section upstairs, and the speciality restaurants are well away on deck 11. The food is of a good standard, but to us the variety is always limited in that you will always find something that appeals, but you won't be spoiled for choice. The buffet restaurant Islands is on deck 9, and the selection comment would be the same, but we thought the layout and viewing area was as good as we have experienced. Our main disappointment was that the quality of the full English breakfast was nowhere near that of P&O. The service on the ship is one of the standout aspects, as often we find the barstaff to be functional only, but on here they were good fun and speedy. The all inclusive drinks package is great value, as it includes decent brands as standard e.g Famous Grouse, and for £50 pw more you can get eg Glenmorangie if you want. The entertainment in the evening is of a high standard with kids fresh out of drama school, but they are all talented. The solo musicians and singers are also good and focussed in the atrium. Where things could be improved is the daytime entertainment schedule is very limited, and even accepting that most will be on day trips, they could lay on more for mid afternoon onwards when people start to return. There is a basic mini golf course albeit a bit worn, a climbing wall, table tennis tables, and a breakout room for hire. We didn't go on any ship excursions as we find them overpriced, but we did similar trips under our own steam in most ports and a third of the price, so it's worth doing some research. The ports were good except for Taranto which I could only see that this ship stops there once a month and nobody else bothers? The age profile was 50 to 60, and the all inclusive booze probably makes people more approachable and chatty, especially come late afternoon leaning on the railings at sailaway time. There weren't many kids onboard at the time, but we left on 28/6 and there were lots embarking then. Without doubt we will sail with Marella again, as its good value, and the age profile is a good fit for us, making it friendlier and more fun. If you want a plusher environment and higher food quality then I would go with P&O. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We are four friends and chose this cruise because of the. There is no disputing that this is a nice ship however there is also no hiding the fact that it is 25 years old. The refurbish has been tastefully done however there are just a ... Read More
We are four friends and chose this cruise because of the. There is no disputing that this is a nice ship however there is also no hiding the fact that it is 25 years old. The refurbish has been tastefully done however there are just a couple of niggles. We both had balcony cabins and it is quite obvious that the glass panels at one point had all the edges were protected with some kind of bezel and these have been removed and not replaced leaving a 50mm exposed edge with the remains of the adhesive showing, its not dangerous but it just looks tatty and shoddy. Both of our toilets also having problems with the engineer having to be called out on at least six occasions. The cabin refurbish looks ok but looks a little on the cheap side. So the question is why spoil the ship for a halfpenny of tar. My next niggle concerns the buffet lounge on the 9th deck and the plastic glasses. Now I understand the use of plastic glasses but the state of the wine glasses were a disgrace, they were scratched, cloudy, and generally looked if they should not go near anyone’s mouth, either find a plastic friendly detergent or change them on a frequent basis. I repeat they look disgusting. My third niggle, sack the sound engineer/mixer he just does not have a clue. The crew performers were virtually having to shout not sing into the microphones to get themselves heard and most nights it just finished up as a shouting match, either that or they are such bad singers that he had to drown them out, I prefer my first option sack him. Now that I am over that,we really enjoyed the cruise, the atmosphere on board is lovely the crew are a delight and we loved the open dinning. I suppose the question is would we cruise with Marella again, we have been with Cunard, Princess, and Celebrity in the past, and whilst it is not up to their standards re luxury etc,Marella cruises are excellent value for money and we would sail with them again if the itinerary was right. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
As a National Customer Account Manger of one of the UK leading holiday companies and having now complete 15 Marella cruises I like to give an honest rounded option on the experience. Whilst this isn't a new ship and other reviews I ... Read More
As a National Customer Account Manger of one of the UK leading holiday companies and having now complete 15 Marella cruises I like to give an honest rounded option on the experience. Whilst this isn't a new ship and other reviews I read before the cruise also stated its new to the fleet and its a nice ship. The positives. Nice ship with some really good venues, bars and restaurants. The customer service from all the staff from cabins to bars & restaurants etc is excellent and what you would expect from Marella. The negatives. This ships sail out of Naples the worst airport experience I've had in 40 years both on arrival and departure so beware when you book. An hour and a half to get you luggage, another 20 minutes walk up bank with your cases to the coach park and another 20 minutes queue for the bus. Not the best start to a holiday going back was worse. Food was well below the standard and the worst myself and wife experienced in all our sailings. Respective tough meat dishes, no roast of the day,Jacket, boiled or roasts and only chips twice in the week. The sweet selection was basic and the same every night. As we and others arrived late on the ship due to the debacle at Naples airport the lunch buffet was closed and limited food on offer. The late night buffet was really basic and not worth the effort. We paid £100 for the drinks upgrade on the first day as I would rather drink Heineken rather than Fosters and my wife Bulmer rather than Strongbow ( personal choice) Two of the main bars Pool bar and the Squid and Anchor didn't stock these. The entertainment was pretty dreadful. The two best acts on the ship were the crew show and the guest artist from the UK. The bands The Collective were great but the Vibe were awful and looked and sounds as if the got together 5 minutes before the ship sailed. The rest of the entertainment crew were the worst I've seen on any cruise or even in the UK. This was an Adult cruise and they fed us kid type games shows backed up with poor jokes, lousy singers on top. If the Cruise Director/staff spent less time talking about themselves and put more focus on the customers it would have been better. The ports of call were good but the usual information you got maps etc from destination services were none existent. I purchase the internet for work back home if you don't use your megabytes you loose them. Summarise. Great ship. Excellent service. Entertainment rubbish. Food Poor. Talking on a new ship to the fleet, sticking it dry dock for two weeks and getting it out on the ocean is always going to have problems. You might change the name but not the previous shame. Marella have built up loyal following myself and wife included. The have built up the fleet of good ships and created a brand in Marella. This ship is way off the standard of any of the others and needs some serious surgery. I would give this ship a wide berth for 12 months till they sort the basics of the food and the entertainment out. I like many others would never travel into or out of Naples airport again its an nightmare. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
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
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this ship for its itinerary but heavy rain and thunderstorms spoilt the on shore days in Italy. Embarkation was easy but a fire drill just after arrival caused confusion and were forced to attend even though our drill was ... Read More
We chose this ship for its itinerary but heavy rain and thunderstorms spoilt the on shore days in Italy. Embarkation was easy but a fire drill just after arrival caused confusion and were forced to attend even though our drill was scheduled for a later time, so food had to wait. The cabin was kept scrupulously clean by Davis and the whole ship was spotless. Dined mostly in Islands which had a good choice of food, although not enough tables during busy periods. Portions were small in 47 (ate there once only) and food hit or miss, service for our table slow. The food in Gallery 47 (one visit only) was excellent although 1 waiter was 'pretend shooting' when he had nothing to do! The entertainment was mediocre and acts/bands moved from venue to venue. We went to 2 shows. Not quite to our taste but the cast worked really hard. Bar service was good and on the whole the staff were friendly. Or cabin was too warm and A/C not effective and the constant drumming at night meant we had little sleep. Rain ruined the trip to Rome and also the day in Taranto. Naples was a disappointment (with rain again), very busy and quite tatty. Valetta and Corfu Town both lovely. Not enough seating in main areas and The Live Room chairs were uncomfortable. Squid and Anchor 'pub' really? Make better use of this entertainment venue please. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My third Tui cruise and my last I’m afraid. I’m won’t be too hard in my review as you get what you pay for and this cruise was heavily discounted. Naples airport was very poor- many passengers over 65 struggled having to carry their ... Read More
My third Tui cruise and my last I’m afraid. I’m won’t be too hard in my review as you get what you pay for and this cruise was heavily discounted. Naples airport was very poor- many passengers over 65 struggled having to carry their luggage a long distance from the airport to the coaches. Uneven pavements, crowded walkways and tiredness after a flight don’t mix well. One mature lady had a fall and was took away by ambulance. I would not recommend this embarkation port for anyone with health or mobility issues, or those who would struggle to carry their cases. I know Tui won’t be using Naples for this ship next year. This may be one of the reasons ! The food was disappointing- poor choice for those with dietary needs. Our cabin was fine and everything worked . The cruise has been refitted and is pleasant. It does however lack the plush luxury you get on most other ships. Buffet restaurant more like a canteen - crowded and noisy with queues. There was a bug on board so extensive special measures were in place to prevent its spread. This couldn’t be helped and contributed to difficulties. The main areas are open plan and lack cosy comfort making it all feel abit like Butlins. All the staff very friendly and welcoming . Shops have a good choice of products. The shore excursions were well planned and organised which was better than my last Tui experience . To summarise - I expect more from a cruise and won’t be back Tui . As I’ve said, it was heavily discounted which is the reason for the three rating . Had i paid full price I would have been very disappointed. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We did have an enjoyable cruise returning home 2 days ago from Naples. It was unfortunate that norovirus was onboard for our entire cruise. This meant long queues in the buffet and the hot tubs were closed. The staff were great even ... Read More
We did have an enjoyable cruise returning home 2 days ago from Naples. It was unfortunate that norovirus was onboard for our entire cruise. This meant long queues in the buffet and the hot tubs were closed. The staff were great even though their work load increased greatly with having to serve passengers the buffet food. Hand sanitisers were everywhere and the majority of passengers did use them. We had a balcony cabin although we didn't use the balcony due to the poor weather. Our air con did not work. Although we reported it to reception twice and to maintenance three times, it was not fixed although maintenance tried 3 times. Consequently our cabin was freezing. When we disembarked, I mentioned to reception that the air con was still faulty and that it was a shame that they did not follow up any problems. They said that they had followed it up with us and that we had confirmed that the air con was fixed! That did not happen. It was also unfortunate that on our last night our toilet stopped working. Maintenance had to come out twice to try to fix it. We enjoyed the food. Our favourite restaurant was Vista. Our least favourite was Nonnas which was pizza and pasta. We liked the snack shack for poolside snacks and enjoyed the inclusive drinks. The broadway shows were excellent. I did feel that the cruise line was penny pinching more than usual. This is a brand new ship and when I asked for a map of the ship, I was told that there weren't any. We were also told that they would no longer give out any maps and information sheets for any of the ports. The reason given was that they wished to save paper. Ironically at the end of the cruise they were selling cruise certificates signed by the captain for £4.95. Yes - work that one out! Disembarkation day was not great. Naples was refusing to allow passengers to leave the ship due to the illness onboard until certain checks had been carried out. We left the ship late and had a stressful journey home. Embarking passengers were given onboard spend for their inconvenience but nothing for those passengers caught up in the disembarkation chaos. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise to allow us to visit Petra in Jordan*, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, it also called in at Kefalonia, on the Petra return the driveshaft went on the bus delaying us for almost 2 hours. The weather was hot in Jerusalem and ... Read More
We chose this cruise to allow us to visit Petra in Jordan*, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, it also called in at Kefalonia, on the Petra return the driveshaft went on the bus delaying us for almost 2 hours. The weather was hot in Jerusalem and more so in Jordan, but later in the cruise after traversing the Suez canal we had two days of high winds and grey skies that not only kept you from sunbathing, but kept you off the top deck completely. Half way through the cruise at around 07-00 there was a 'machine labouring' noise, the cabin lights went off, and the ship stopped for 15 or 20 minutes the 'claim' being 'dirty fuel', although I find it difficult to understand that dirt in a ships fuel would cut everything off completely at the same time with no back up, fortunately for us we carry a battery lamp. Those who had been on for two weeks said the ship had suffered an 'air conditioning' breakdown the previous week and had to pull in for repairs, thus delaying people on the following onshore trips. The food onboard was fine generally, and the cabin steward and cleaning lady were excellent as usual. The entertainment was rather drab, we were on this ship 2 years ago, and the 'Broadway show lounge' shows were still exactly the same routines and songs as they had been. The music played in all the bars, disco, and entertainment parts of the ship was ranging from the early 60's to early 80's (it seems Marella believe music stopped in the early 80's, and nothing has been produced since). The one exception to the drab entertainment rule was a guy on a guitar singing Irish songs. On departing the ship in Corfu, we were stood waiting outside the airport in a queue of some 100 meters for more than an hour, with no explanation of why, or as to how long we would be there until someone challenged one of the TUI staff over the matter. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We choose the cruise because it was adult only. The food was fantastic latitude 53 and vista where with the fully inclusive package. Both waiter service the service and food where excellent top grade good choice and daily specials ... Read More
We choose the cruise because it was adult only. The food was fantastic latitude 53 and vista where with the fully inclusive package. Both waiter service the service and food where excellent top grade good choice and daily specials depending on which country you where in. Great wines. The market place was self service very high standard of foods different every day great for snacks fresh pizza. We only tried one premium restaurant it was 50euro charge Kora lá well worth it high standard of food but you need to book it early wasn't available a lot of the time. Pool side bar had great beer selection never too busy loads of deck chairs on 3 or 4 levels with burgers and chicken bits pizza always available for snacks. Bars were well stocked they have nearly every drink to avail of the full drink menu you need to buy premium drink package 7 euro a day a must this gives you drinks choice in every bar and restaurant and coffee hall a must. Our favourite bar was squid & anchor great fun mainly due to the staff Brendyl, Joseph and Romal who couldn't do enough to make us laugh and make our holiday a great one found ourselves coming back here every night. The entertainment was good show lounge was huge 1000 capacity the comedian was super well worth checking out and the drink was still flowing here. We didn't use the shore excursions and just ventured out on our own buses were always waiting no ques fast getting off and back on. The casino was small the machines didn't play too well but there was card and roulette dealers in the evening. The night club was busy and we got to meet the captain and all the key staff on the ship and asked any questions great idea. Our cabin was 8056 balcany mid ship very quiet roomy mini bar and 30 seconds walk to pool bar comfy bed and spotless yulia was brilliant and the cábán was spotless. Loved the food drink and especially the lovely staff who where friendly and always chatty. Will be using Marella cruises again 100% can't wait to go again great value for money Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We booked this cruise based on the ship having been refitted, adults only and all inclusive. However, it was very difficult to see where any major investment had been made. The ship looked dated and tired in places. We had opted for a ... Read More
We booked this cruise based on the ship having been refitted, adults only and all inclusive. However, it was very difficult to see where any major investment had been made. The ship looked dated and tired in places. We had opted for a Junior Suite which was allocated on deck 12, and although the cabin was a reasonable size with a decent balcony, it was far from a premium product. The fixtures and furnishings were cheap and lacked comfort or style, the bed was the most uncomfortable I have had to sleep on. It was a cheap sprung mattress that was rock hard and the pillows were just awful. We had several problems during the cruise; safe not working, tepid water throughout the cruise, and the air conditioning was either hot or cold. The food onboard was very disappointing. We opted to eat four times in Vista the Italian restaurant within the main Latitude restaurant, as the food here was better than in Latitude which was awful. Food was served lukewarm, the choices were limited and as tables were crammed together it was impossible to have a private conversation. We found staff to be generally lacking any enthusiasm, and service was very hit and miss. Even at 7am as it opened for breakfast the tea was far from hot, the eggs cold and service sporadic. The all inclusive option also had several limitations. Coffees from the coffee shop were extra, water in the cabin was extra and the choice of cocktails included was basic, and as most were premixed the quality was poor. We were constantly asked to upgrade to a premium drinks package but at £50 each a week on top of what we had already paid, which was not insignificant, it felt like an insult. There were 3 speciality restaurants onboard but at a minimum of £28.95 per head, it felt like extortion. We have never had to pay anything like this on far superior cruises. Entertainment was generally good in the theatre, but some of the music acts were definitely lacking talent. We took two trips in port which were well executed and the tour companies employed were professional. Overall this is a budget cruise, and struggling to retain the basic standards. The ship needs further investment and updating, service and maintenance needs improving and food needs an overhaul. We were so disappointed and underwhelmed, and more so as we had high expectations based on the ship being on only its second week after the refit. We have cruised on many other lines and feel for what we paid we could have had a far better product with other companies. On a separate note the disembarkation was awful, disorganised, chaotic and badly planned - never again Marella. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have done almost 30 cruises with Thomson/Marcella and this was the most luxurious ship we have been on. Yes we did have problems with our cabin - no safe working all week, no light in the bathroom but this was soon repaired. The inside ... Read More
We have done almost 30 cruises with Thomson/Marcella and this was the most luxurious ship we have been on. Yes we did have problems with our cabin - no safe working all week, no light in the bathroom but this was soon repaired. The inside cabin at the front of deck 9 was was comfortable, quite spacious with a well designed bathroom, plenty of storage space and very quiet. Daytime activities were limited and quizzes almost all music questions. However the breakfast and lunchtime buffets in the Marketplace was very good and evening waiter service along with the food in Latitudes were also very good. The shows in the Broadway were often excellent, but the evening entertainment in the Squid and Anchor was variable and often a bit chaotic, however since this was a maiden cruise it should improve as the entertainment team ' come to grips with their roles'. The crew are a major asset of the ship since they were invariably friendly and helpful. We knew the shore excursions can be expensive and since we had visited all the ports before only did one to Rome. It was The Easy Rome and was ok but did not leave the ship until 12pm. We arrived on the ship after 6pm so missed the lifeboat drill and never did one - this oversight must be sorted out. Yes we were aware of other problems around the ship but overall we enjoyed the cruise and are sure Marcella will sort them out and we recollect the Marcella Dream had host of problems when she first came into service with Thomson's. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Chose aft deluxe cabin and paid extra. Hyped up as Maiden Voyage of new ship and seemed ideal with the stops on the way. Cabin we had chosen showed new bed , carpets etc and the layout seemed ideal. Upon arrival the room was not refurbed, ... Read More
Chose aft deluxe cabin and paid extra. Hyped up as Maiden Voyage of new ship and seemed ideal with the stops on the way. Cabin we had chosen showed new bed , carpets etc and the layout seemed ideal. Upon arrival the room was not refurbed, but "refreshed" . The shower had black stained grouting, the bed was pushed into an alcove and you had to crawl across the other person to get out of bed. Not great when you are both in your 60's . The aircon was on permanently very cold. The lightbulb by the cabin door failed on day one and it took 5 days for anyone to look at it. Went to reception to change room but nothing available as some rooms were not ready for the public to use, and nothing deluxe, or even an upgrade available. Engineers came and went but we were told that there was a technical issue with the aircon. Bed was a bit basic with a metal frame and a thin mattress. Had to have a couple of mattress toppers on, but still sunk in the middle. Food was very good. Some of the supplements seemed very excessive. Waiting times were ok, but sometimes you don't want to be bleeped by a pager after 35 minutes or so, so you have to go elsewhere to eat. The main buffet was somewhere we only went to at lunch time for a quick salad or maybe a cup of tea and a scone in the afternoon, but it is a bit basic. Staff were really friendly and realised that there were problems with bits of kit on board. Engines were quiet on sailing but very noisy when trying to manoeuvring to the dock. The cabin rattled and the door came open to the bathroom and glasses and cups rattle. Not great at 530 am most mornings. Entertainment in the Broadway Show Lounge was fine for us . The Bingo and activities during the day was not our thing. The Pool area is packed and noisy most of the day so we just went off ship as much as we could. Trips are expensive, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet and pay up. Luckily we did on the Rome excursion as some people got lost and we were 45 minutes late back, so the ship waited . Basically it is a 24 year old ship that has been refitted a couple of times. This time it was done a bit too quickly and it needed another 4 weeks , but TUI are very money orientated so pushed ahead, despite their customers needs. I note that the cabin is now not being shown as Deluxe. If I had known that before departure I would have cancelled and got a refund. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first cruise, and was a disappointment for several reasons. When we booked, we were sold the "newest" ship in the fleet, we later discovered it had undergone a 9 week refurbishment. My local pub was recently ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and was a disappointment for several reasons. When we booked, we were sold the "newest" ship in the fleet, we later discovered it had undergone a 9 week refurbishment. My local pub was recently refurbished, and it took 4 times that. We had 3 "Code Victoria's" meaning that that a serious flood had occurred requiring intimidate attention. We later discovered that this was due to busting pipes, due to the ship standing for several months during its impending sale - its 24 years old. Blocked toilets were a major problem bringing flooding, and constantly running fans to try and dry them out. One night we dined at Beach Cove, (and experience we had to pay for), only to sit in water that was being washed out of the near by pool and running under the doors. Although an apology was given, even the captain was summoned to inspect, no refund was offered. We were asked to upgrade our drink package which was £50 for the week, and as a fairly heavy social drinker I thought that good value - and it was! All premium brands, including 12 year old Glenfiddich, all premium cocktails, and they were not shy on pouring measures!! Also worthy of note were the Asian restaurant, and steak restaurant, although neither were in the inclusive package. One thing I did find strange is that without the purchase of the premium drinks package soft drinks were NOT included. Not Coke, water or any other. Even the ice cream by the pool was an extra £1. By far our worst problem was noise at night. Not noise of other guests, but and "unexplained noise" from somewhere below our cabin, something like a metal door slamming repeatedly. Despite complaining 5 nights out of the 7 it was never resolved, although they did look. And here is another problem - because no OFFICIAL complaint was recorded despite complaining almost every night, when we raised this on checkout there was only a single record of the issue, despite my partner being on first name terms with the night staff having repeatedly raised the issue at 2, 3, and 4am. It finally resulted in a £100 rebate on our account - at least it paid for our drinks package. The food range was acceptable, but certainly not extensive. We also had groups of contractors on board (that came for 2 weeks for the refurb and were still on the ship 8 later) fixing the plumbing, the TV's and the WiFi. The one thing that was amazing were the staff. All willing to help, all friendly, and all wanting to make the experience a good one. What they could not obliviously legislate for was Tui's poor management, and letting this ship sale far far to early. The only trip we almost booked was an underground tour of Naples costing £60. Due to cost we decided not to, thinking we'd walk there ourselves, around 20 mins from the boat. Good job we did, it was 10 euros each!!! Total saving over £100!!! Finally there were some "excitable" other guests on board, clearly with some characteristically individual needs. These were not dealt with by the staff appropriately, although they were banned from drinking alcohol after the 4th night... Too late for some... Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Several disappointing things unfortunately seeing this was suppose to be a maiden voyage,firstly the not so good things! on arrival we found the safe in our cabin was not working,we reported it to reception who told us that apparently 250 ... Read More
Several disappointing things unfortunately seeing this was suppose to be a maiden voyage,firstly the not so good things! on arrival we found the safe in our cabin was not working,we reported it to reception who told us that apparently 250 safes were not working,another member of staff told us there were 46 safes not working in total,either way they should have been checked before paying guests went on the ship,it was still not repaired when we left the ship after 7 days,lots of guests had complained that their phones in their cabins were not working either,ours was ok but according to a member of staff the owners of the ship before tui had left the phones in that state,in which case why were they not checked?I ordered a celebration package for £99 for a surprise for my husbands birthday which included a birthday cake,i was asked to give a slip of paper to the waiter secretly whilst having our meal so my husband could have it presented to him at the end of the meal,it never happened,i went to reception the following day and asked them to just deliver it to our cabin instead,i was told it would be there in half an hour,an hour and a half later still no cake so another visit to reception!! we were told we would get a refund for the cake,so i will wait and see! In my opinion this was not a maiden voyage as the ship had already been named and had travelled from Cadiz to Palma with 800 travel representatives to promote the ship,they had Olli Murs for their party nights,streamers, dancing, we had a strictly come dancing guy who hardly anybody knew and someone from British Bake off!! Food was brilliant,staff were friendly and the entertainment overall was excellent,The captain continually apologised for all the problems but at the end of the day the ship should have been checked over properly before all the paying guests got on board,such a shame as it could have been lovely cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This was by far the most disappointing TUI cruise I have been on for the following reasons: 1. The air conditioning was not working for the first 5 days and our cabin was stifling hot which made it impossible to rest well for ... Read More
This was by far the most disappointing TUI cruise I have been on for the following reasons: 1. The air conditioning was not working for the first 5 days and our cabin was stifling hot which made it impossible to rest well for subsequent activities. 2. The cabin toilet failed to flush on at least 3 occasions meaning we had to rely on toilets around the ship which also failed to flush on occasions. 3. The quality of the Market Place buffet was very poor. The cooked breakfast, for example, was rendered tasteless by the way you cook them. Try for yourself the bacon and sausage and it should be clear what I mean. The porridge was glue-like and inedible, the coffee rancid, the toast rubbery ( although I appreciate other bread was available). 4. We tried the Latitude restaurant and found the service slow and the food also poor, compared to our experiences of TUI cruises. 5. 'All inclusive' should mean you provide at least good service and quality. It felt to us that you were providing poor quality in order to encourage passengers to pay for the additional food packages. 6. The TV did not work from the outset. When finally tuned in, around day 4 of the cruise, it worked intermittently but usually the screen went blank after a few minutes. Interestingly, the channels selling TUI services was working 7. Some gym equipment was not set up correctly and did not work well. The bike leads were loose and should be tidied/taped, for health and safety reasons. 8. We enjoyed a very expensive couples massage. The price was twice what a premium massage would cost at home and I acknowledge I understood this at the time. It was disappointing to be given the hard sell whilst still wearing a towel, for oils and further massages, we were really embarrassed. The massage was good but not good value for money. 9. ‘All inclusive’ seems to mean being offered beer at 9am in the morning and being able to eat quantity throughout the day. Is this really the direction you are heading? 10. We enjoyed a couple of trips. In Barcelona, I was able to get decent internet access for the price of a (decent) Americano in Costa and can of course get free access pretty anywhere in the world. Surely a decent and free internet connection should be provided on the ship as part of the being ‘all inclusive’? I have complained to TUI who wish to present any complaint as minor teething issues with a small discount of a subsequent cruise. This is very disappointing and we will be looking elsewhere in future. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Although embarkation went smoothly the rest of the cruise was dire. We were told the ship had been undergoing renovations in the month before, but there were problems throughout the ship. The cabins were clean but dated; and there were ... Read More
Although embarkation went smoothly the rest of the cruise was dire. We were told the ship had been undergoing renovations in the month before, but there were problems throughout the ship. The cabins were clean but dated; and there were lots of people having problems with the electrics and air conditioning. Although the room stewards were helpful some of the reception staff were incompetent and very slow to resolve problems. Guests felt that they were fobbed off, having to repeatedly report the same issue with complaints completely ignored. On one night the main lights on deck 9 were flickering off and on causing a hazard. We just sat there in darkness, which had the bonus of us not being able to see the revolting food.There did not appear to be staff doing anything about it. (see photo below) The food in the main dining room was variable but the buffet on deck 9 was inedible. We both suffered from diarrhoea and fellow guests told us that they had been poorly too. There were very limited dining options elsewhere.We tired of the queues and waited too long to be served. As with the all inclusive drinks package, guest were constantly pressurised into upgrading to the three restaurants on deck 9. It is disappointing that the quality of the food and drink should be determined by an upgrade. It should be uniformly excellent. Unbelievably, they charged for the Wi-fi!! Yet another way of extracting money from guests in what is supposed to be an 'All Inclusive holiday'. Generally the staff were polite and helpful with a few exceptions which really ruined the efforts of the other staff. A very badly managed ship and a waste of money. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Been on Discovery 2 before, nice ship, food ok, staff lovely always smiling, especially Philip he is a credit to Marcella. Ports of call very good, weather in Europe not so good, we were in a force 12 gale one day, but we survived it. ... Read More
Been on Discovery 2 before, nice ship, food ok, staff lovely always smiling, especially Philip he is a credit to Marcella. Ports of call very good, weather in Europe not so good, we were in a force 12 gale one day, but we survived it. Entertainment from Headliners excellent, didn't see comidiens so can't comment. 4 Tunes very good but did not like Jon Asher. Pleased Captain didn't say it's going to be a 'bobby dazzler' as often as he did on last cruise, he must have taken heed of feedback. I must say to all those inconsiderate people who went up to the Veranda deck to move sun beds on the 5 consecutive sea days ,one night it was 3am and others it varied between 4 am and 6am you should be ashamed of yourselves and if anyone thinks of booking a Junior Suite on deck 8 think again because you will be woken up in the early hours unless General Manager does something about blocking the stairs on deck 9 that lead to Veranda deck during night time thus stopping the selfish people from accessing Veranda deck until a reasonable time. Good cruise overall, but will not book a Junior Suite deck 8 again. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We were looking for an autumn two-week cruise that didn’t breach any of our red lines: 1) must be fairly cheap: 2) must be able to dine at variable times that we choose, not at a fixed time chosen by them. It also had to tick our main ... Read More
We were looking for an autumn two-week cruise that didn’t breach any of our red lines: 1) must be fairly cheap: 2) must be able to dine at variable times that we choose, not at a fixed time chosen by them. It also had to tick our main boxes: 1) must be a wide range of musical entertainment for us to enjoy in the evenings: 2) daily program must offer lots of options: 3) at least some of these must include, or invite, participation by guests. This simple list eliminated most of the English-style, Italian-style and American-style cruise lines. Marella, however, passed all our tests, and additionally this cruise was adults-only, so we were not likely to be impeded on the dance floor by children (just drunks, as it turned out). Having our hold bags going straight from UK airport check-in to our cabin door was an attractive extra, too. After we booked, we got a rather skimpy summary from the agency that did not even mention which terminal at Gatwick we departed from, so we had to look it up. Nothing arrived from Marella, whose website said we didn’t have a booking with them, so we had to find a ‘back door’ into our cruise personaliser to look at aircraft seating options and enter our Advanced Passenger Information. Just two weeks before departure (and twelve weeks after we had booked) we received our Marella Confirmation and e-ticket email from the agent, and then only when asked if such a thing existed. Worse still, we found that this informative document has been sent to the agent four weeks earlier, and they had deliberately delayed forwarding it to us. In the ensuing email exchange, the agent was unable to provide a satisfactory explanation for the delay, and a complaint has been filed with ABTA. The Marella confirmation itself was faulty, as it gave two different weight limits for hold and cabin baggage, so we had to query it with them direct. For this length of cruise, the TUI hold baggage limit is inadequate. We packed all we needed and it came to 23 Kg per hold bag, oddly enough the same as many carriers specify. We then had to go through the process of open, discard or substitute, re-pack and weigh, three times per bag until we got it down to the 20 Kg required, which took hours. For cruise passengers only, TUI upped their cabin baggage limit from 5 Kg to 7 Kg, still less than the typical 10 Kg, but this was scant compensation. The transit from check-in to ship worked smoothly and without any significant delays. (Our only moan was the minuscule legroom in the standard seats of the TUI 787. Flying to Dubrovnik was bearable, but we would not want to go as far as, say, Barbados, in that seat.) The queue for registration, which took place on the ship itself, took longer, and must have been difficult for the many disabled passengers on-board. Equipped with our charge cards we went straight to our cabin, which was ready for use with the door open. We dropped our hand baggage and coats and went straight to the Lido buffet, closing the door behind us. Mistake! On this old ship, the cabin doors are not unlocked by the charge card. Two separate punch cards are left in the cabin for this purpose, so we now had to visit a busy Reception desk to borrow the spare card. Separate cards for entry and payment are a minor nuisance in any case, but less so if we had been told about them in advance. As we came aboard, our first impression of the ship was not very favourable: it felt more like a cross-channel car ferry than a luxury resort. Up to a point this was correct: the ceilings were low, the lighting and wall-decorations were dated, and the carpets were a mixture of inconsistent colours. Additionally there was no impressive atrium to arrive into and no live music to welcome us aboard. But this feeling turned out to be false, as we slowly realised that it was the warm and convivial atmosphere created by the smiling, friendly crew that made customers come back, time and time again. Our standard inside cabin was large. Although about same width as on a typical modern ship, it seemed to have been ‘stretched’ in the zone between the dressing table and the fixed 5’ wide bed, creating a real sense of spaciousness. It was also very well furnished with two bedside tables, two full-sized double wardrobes and fifteen drawers in total. That’s a lot! The shower room was a good size too, and even with all our stuff unpacked, there remained plenty of unused shelving. We were pleased to find lots of hangers in the wardrobes, a tea and coffee tray that was replenished twice daily, a decent flat TV with a fair selection of UK channels, and a hairdryer. There was no refrigerator, so the usual ‘minibar’ drinks were provided on a second tray. However the safe was a disappointment, as Marella’s policy is to charge extra for its use. This makes little sense to us, as the safes are already in place, and encouraging guests to use them would surely avoid some of the issues that arise when property goes missing? The power sockets in our cabin were described on the Marella website as ‘EU 3-pin’. Our cabin had one of these, plus one UK 13 amp flat 3-pin, and (rather surprisingly) one UK 5 amp round 3-pin, a type not installed in UK homes for decades. There was also a standard 2-pin shaver point in the shower room light fitting. In general, and unusually, all the lighting was well positioned, and particularly useful were the spotlights for reading incorporated into the bedside table lamps, but with separate on/off switches. The only poor feature of the cabin was the soundproofing; we could tell from which part of the UK those in our neighbouring cabins had come! Also we were able to feel the vibration for which this ship has become well known. While in port, this was not very intrusive in our cabin near the bow on deck three, but rather more annoying when combined with the engine vibration while at sea. There were also some unexpected creaking noises from the cabin walls when under way, which created an atmosphere of being on an old sailing vessel. At no time, however, did it interfere with our sleep. Despite us keeping very unconventional hours, the cabin servicing was excellent. We were each provided with a large blue pool towel that dried quickly in the air conditioning. Shower room towels were changed whenever we left them on the floor, and we were never without tissues or toilet paper. The bed was made up so smartly that initially we thought they were changing the sheets every day! The main restaurant has open seating, though you may be invited to share a table with others. We arrived at different times every night and never had to wait to be seated, and only sharing on four out of fourteen visits. Of course we could have waited for table-for-two if we had wanted to. It was all so easy and well managed we can’t see why “traditional British” cruise lines can’t do it or why Italian lines ask you to pay extra for it. The menu was varied and tasty, and hardly ever spiced: a positive, as my wife won’t even eat dishes containing pepper. (There are also three pay-extra restaurants that we had no need to sample.) Naturally there is the usual twenty-four hour buffet where the food is good, but not exotic. On my first visit here, I renamed Celebration as the“HP Sauce Boat” as I have never seen so many bottles clustered together, except in a supermarket: oddly enough though, one had to search around for some vinegar. The Lido gives onto a stern deck with tables and chairs so you can eat outside, but under cover. This area also includes comfy sofas for relaxing and reading. The deck extends into the open, with a small pool and whirlpool, sunbeds, and a small stage. One could easily spend all the daylight hours there, assuming you don’t mind quizzes and jolly games now and again. There's a second small pool and whirlpool three decks above, and a small kids’ play area inside, but it’s not an ideal ship for children who need to be amused and occupied all day. On the plus side, there is an ample supply of sunbeds spread across many decks, some with waiter service, so you should be able to find a free one in a spot you like. For a small ship, there is a big choice of evening entertainment venues. The two-storey theatre lounge amidships has a thrust stage with seating on three sides, but as it is also the only through walkway on this deck it must be annoying for people watching movies in the afternoon or shows in the evening. These “Broadway” shows were pre-recorded, with a just a little live singing. There was plenty of rather repetitive walking and jumping about, but not much real dancing. The performers themselves were generally very good, but it was the poor choice of music and lack of structure and consistency of narrative that disappointed us. The real joy of theatre is that it is really happening, right there in front of you, and so every performance is fresh and different. This intimacy cannot be achieved with recorded music and singing. I’ve never seen so many people in an audience leave early! It’s not as if they had a bus to catch! Maybe they had been annoyed enough by the endless ‘disco’ lighting? In theatrical terms, these shows had the worst stage lighting I have ever seen, anywhere, and that includes school plays and the village hall! The most entertaining show, by far, was the Captain’s introduction of the senior officers, which was congenial, humorous and, most importantly, live! The secondary entertainment lounge featured a continuous programme of quizzes, game shows, and sets by an excellent five-piece band, plus the occasional karaoke slot. This had a dance floor big enough for a bit of ballroom and Latin dancing which we greatly enjoyed, although we were frequently the only couple doing it! Later in the evening it became the disco and by then the floor was jammed! Higher up there was cocktail lounge with a talented duo and a small round dance floor where we also managed a few routines, though trying to do slow dances on a high deck in two metre swells is more like acrobatics than dancing! Finally there was a traditional bar with a continuous programme of solo music, with guitar and piano alternating, for six hours every evening. The atmosphere here was convivial, with excellent interaction between the musicians, the bar staff, and some of the guests, even though the young musicians’ choice of songs was not always very well suited to the elderly clientele. Overall, there was more to do in the evenings on this small ship than on many of her larger competitors. Marella’s prices are fairly cheap, especially when you remember that gratuities are included, but they do charge for some things other lines don’t, like shuttle buses. At a few ports the ship was moored much further from the port exit than seemed necessary. Was that to increase shuttle bus revenues perhaps? It does seem unfair to penalise disabled passengers in this way, and there were plenty on this cruise. We had a choice of 65 tours, all too expensive. In a market like this, maximum price does not always mean maximum profit, especially when there are local alternatives. We went to Rome for the day on the train, which cost less than half the equivalent tour price. A single on-board photograph costs £40, almost twice the price of some other cruise lines, and two photos cost twice that. If you are buying more than one, and it’s the last day of the cruise, you can haggle, though. We got a personal photo shoot and nine large prints for £50! The best deal of all was in the bars, where the prices are, as advertised, the same as in (top-end) UK pubs. But Marella’s measure for a glass of spirits is 40 ml, whereas pubs use 25 ml, so you get 60% more booze for your money. Cheers! And what of the cruisers? Well, if you’ve ever been on a Thompson holiday to, say, Benidorm, you will have seen plenty of them. We didn’t meet any that were not from the UK, and most were from areas near airports where TUI operates its larger aircraft, including Birmingham, Doncaster, Glasgow, London and Manchester. Our journey home was painful, in more ways than one. Firstly, we had to collect our own hold bags in the terminal and take them to the coach. Then the driver parked nose-in outside the airport terminal, opened the baggage doors both sides, and let the passengers unload it themselves. Another coach came in, so we now had a coach on either side, and in the restricted space chaos ensued. Passengers searching for their own bags littered the road with luggage until there was nowhere to move. We finally got to our own bags and started to squeeze through the crowd towards the relative sanity of the terminal. Then somebody dragged an empty pallet truck through the people ahead of us: I saw it too late, stepped on it, lost my balance and fell heavily. I was uninjured, but not pleased with Marella’s management of that part of the holiday. Marella has a reputation for smaller, friendlier, ships and Celebration is regarded as the best in the fleet for this: it must really work, as she has many fans that come back over and over again. It’s easy to see why: every one of the crew that we met was happy to chat and some had become friends by the end. Nothing was too much trouble, and everything we requested was dealt with quickly, without having to ask twice. At the end of this cruise, Celebration was due to be retired, and most probably scrapped. But such is her popularity with customers that Marella changed their minds. She left us in Malaga and sailed away for a rest in a Cadiz dry dock. There she is being treated to a month’s re-fit during which they hope to fix the vibration. Then she’s off to the Caribbean for the winter. Would we sail again with Marella? Definitely. It’s cheap, convivial and there’s lots to do onboard. Would we sail on Celebration again? Yes. She meets our requirements and is rather like a ‘home from home’. But she may not be to everyone’s taste, so I hope some of the detail above will help others make their choices. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our first cruise and picked a smaller ship to start with to see if we liked it Firstly the staff on board were amazing and couldn’t do enough for you , nothing was too much trouble. We had a inside cabin on deck 7 right at ... Read More
This was our first cruise and picked a smaller ship to start with to see if we liked it Firstly the staff on board were amazing and couldn’t do enough for you , nothing was too much trouble. We had a inside cabin on deck 7 right at the back of the ship it was small but adequate as we weren’t going to be spending much time in it. The housekeeping staff were brilliant and cleaned the room twice a day x Food x plenty of choice lots of different areas to eat buffet style or an amazing sit down served restaurant which was excellent we ate there every evening The shows were excellent too I loved them we went every night and then we went to the waterfront late bar which had great singers on too All in all there was something for everyone on board and the people we met were so friendly x plenty of off ship excursions too we went to see pisa which was amazing x yes the ship is an older ship but was clean an comfortable x I read some reviews before we sailed and glad I didn’t listen as some people I think want to pay less money and expect all singing and dancing x if you expect 5 star you will have to pay more x Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Having cruised with Thomson (Marella) a few times we decided to try one of the new additions to the fleet and the ship itself is very nice at first glance and is well laid out. The market place buffet is typical of modern cruise buffets ... Read More
Having cruised with Thomson (Marella) a few times we decided to try one of the new additions to the fleet and the ship itself is very nice at first glance and is well laid out. The market place buffet is typical of modern cruise buffets areas quite a good choice of foods but badly laid out causing a lot of queuing problems especially at peak breakfast times. The resteraunt is a different problem choice of food is not great but adequate but the lack of staff is not acceptable to slow a service. The spa is a massive space and is not overly expensive but has one major fault there is no indoor hydro pool and this is a shame because all class spas have them. Our cabin was cabin number 10103 a large balcony cabin and yes it is a large balcony but the room is far to small and the bathroom had a very bad smell all week which after talking to other guest they had the same problem so again a Marella cruise has problems with the santitacion side.one great addition to the balcony was the hammock that was very comfortable and nice for a lazy afternoon kip. The squid and anchor bar was very nice and in one corner it has the premium gin and whisky bar and that is a nice area with access to the outside smoking area which was always well used a lot of smokers were on this cruise. The casino area which incorporated the indigo nightclub was a good concept with two blackjack tables and one five card stud table plus live roulette it was adequate in size for the ship. But because the ship was all inclusive it attracts a lot of non cruise tramps at sea who think that getting dressed up is to wear scruffy t shirt shorts and flip flops, and drink to ecsess ignorant rude people who really should not be on this type of holiday they should stick to Benidorm. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We had a fantastic time on this cruise. Our balcony cabin on deck 9 was spacious and had plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. We upgraded to the premium drinks package which was an extra £50 and although not necessary you can then have ... Read More
We had a fantastic time on this cruise. Our balcony cabin on deck 9 was spacious and had plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. We upgraded to the premium drinks package which was an extra £50 and although not necessary you can then have special cocktails, gins etc and your soft drinks are cans also 1.5 litres of water in your cabin every day. You can also have a lovely coffee in the Coffee Port which would be an additional cost otherwise. Vista was our favourite restaurant due to the food choices and also we found the waiter service there was even better if that's possible. As it was a special occasion we paid £35 each to eat in the Dining Club which was a great experience as the food and service were exceptional. We also paid an extra £27 for Surf and Turf restaurant and the food was first class. It's not necessary to do this, you could easily have a wonderful time on board without any upgrades. The waiters work so hard and are so friendly and helpful. Many of them are away from home for 8 months at a time but still managed to make us laugh. Entertainment in the fantastic show lounge was OK and we also had a choice of other singers in the various lounges. The one negative experience happened when we got home and I believe has nothing to do with the staff on the ship. Our bill was paid in full and the money deducted from our Bank account however we still have a "pending" amount of £335 which is restricting access to our funds. I've emailed Marella but it's still to be resolved. I don't have a lot of faith in Tui's customer service due to previous experience and feel this may drag on. I hope I'm wrong as apart from this we had a wonderful time. Read Less
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