1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises)
  4. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises) Cruise Reviews
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Everything about our time spent on the ship was great - couldn't fault the staff, food, entertainment and cleanliness of all areas. The cabin was very spacious and catered adequately to our needs with plenty of wardrobe space, ... Read More
Everything about our time spent on the ship was great - couldn't fault the staff, food, entertainment and cleanliness of all areas. The cabin was very spacious and catered adequately to our needs with plenty of wardrobe space, hairdryer, safe (which you could use for a fee) & on-suite shower. There was an abundance of delicious food in the buffet restaurant and out on deck - it was always well cooked and hot. This was our first cruise and we booked it at a very reasonable price (all inclusive). However, once on board we were to discover that not everything was included - if you wanted a premium drink (my husband only drinks Guinness) this would mean that we had to pay another £70 each for the upgrade to premium (even though I was happy with the drinks included in the all inclusive deal, because we were sharing a cabin this meant that I also had to pay for the upgrade = £140 on our price. The Costa Coffee shop on board was not included in the all inclusive package - so this meant that if you fancied a Costa Coffee/hot chocolate etc. you needed to pay for it!!! Also, if you wanted to eat a la carte at one of the restaurants you needed to make a booking and pay for your meal. Be aware that the Thomson excursions are pretty expensive and we found it much better to arrange our own. I think we would do a little more research before booking another cruise - as to what exactly is included in the all inclusive and the price of excursions with the company. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
we had been on the celebration before , we like to go away for new years eve ,when Dubai came up we jumped at the chance the flight out was brilliant staff attentive as alw. Once onboard our ship we had booked our room and we were not ... Read More
we had been on the celebration before , we like to go away for new years eve ,when Dubai came up we jumped at the chance the flight out was brilliant staff attentive as alw. Once onboard our ship we had booked our room and we were not disappointed comfortable bed with lovely linen and those pillows wow , I am fussy with pilllows . T he restaurants bars are so attentive to you, the food was exceptional something for everyone ,, the waiters in meridian were first class , my husband got some sun cream in his eye and down at the bar on the sundeck a lovely waiter brought him some ice in a plastic bag ,, and hey presto husband eye felt a lot better , the broadway show bar was great with some really good shows ,, I could go on and on but I will say one thing if you dont want to go to some noisy places there is always somewere quiet you can find loved it ,, if you are thinking of going on this cruise jump to the chance there are some really great deals on at the minute also you get a couple of courtesy drinks on the plane by the way ,, I have been on 3 royal carribean ant they are beautiful ships , but personally I would go back on the celebration some people write some reviews but all I can say , try it you wont be disappointed. 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
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
The cruise was billed as a luxury cruise, lovely ship and service. The opposite was true. Embarkation was easy and we were on in minutes, after a long flight (Thomson an hour delay too) we needed to rest. First impressions of the ... Read More
The cruise was billed as a luxury cruise, lovely ship and service. The opposite was true. Embarkation was easy and we were on in minutes, after a long flight (Thomson an hour delay too) we needed to rest. First impressions of the ship..tired and old and nothing very attractive about it..too little sundeck space so nowhere to sit or lie in the sun as beds literally crammed in. The ship has an almost constant large vibration you can feel no matter what deck you are on..and i mean it SHAKES you. Several people i spoke to had moved cabins as found it hard to sleep but found no resolution as the whole ship shook. Even the Captain at his cocktal party when asking if people enjoyed themselves so far got a booo when it came to asking about the ship and said 'yes shes old' or something to that effect! Anyway given one twin cabin one double which i was supposed to share with my 11yr old..asked for a change of cabin and told doubles are rare and in need so they will sort but it didnt happen so my husband shared with our 14yr old son in the double all week. The cabins were ok good size but tired, bedding and towels not a good colour of grey! You could hear people turn over in bed next door and coughing..all night. Or coming in from the bar at 3am fighting/screaming/shouting...The aircon didnt work and i assume they know this as they sent me a fan right away when i asked..no repair man first even..and the fan was broken i had to prop it with a box we had. The safety/muster talk went on for ages, even telling us to be careful on deck cos can be slippy..and to be careful as some doorways to the deck are raised and it can be breezy on deck etc..really? the longest most boring hot muster ever experienced. We quickly became aware of the boozy mentality of a lot of our fellow passengers...boasting they were 'all inclusive' drinks and at the bar at 10am with pints. We even witnessed the 'Captains cocktail party' people downing the champagne glass after glass and had the cheek to lean back and put the empties on our table! i mean to the point where the wife couldnt walk without holding her husband who had said loudly 'shes going for a beer' (champagne!) So many nice people who expected a civilised trip. We had feral teens with no adults (asleep in the cabin!) while they screamed, shouted and upset people with their language..dug their hands in food, removed baubles from the trees to use as footballs..left unchallenged til passengers actually took it on themselves to sort them. People were so angry. It was day 5 before they were told the adults with them needed to stay with them all the time for the remainder of the cruise. On each cruise we have been on my young for his age, but wise, 14yr old joins kids club with his 11yr old sibling, is no trouble to anyone and joins in the quizes and games but was refused even tho there were few kids in the club. I was told NO most def. Neither of them went to kids club after that.. Food selection was quite poor..a few evenings my son and i who dont like red meat ate crackers and cheese or made rolls..vegetarian options were thin on the ground. We asked for omelettes one day in the meridian but they were tasteless. Xmas dinner was the worst ive ever had..nothing that resembled gravy! no extras to make it feel special...oh other than a table with scattered 'quality street' on it! Entertainment wasnt my thing but my partner enjoyed it..its the same every evening but one, the thomson crew singing and dancing...on the one evening we had a comedy magician he wasn't much cop..expected better especially over xmas! A quiz each afternoon and a resident band singing on deck (her voice can clear your ears) was the rest of the entertainment for families. Staff onboard were lovely and service excellent (ship staff) we couldnt have asked for much more. Thomson reps were rude, and gave very wrong info to me on more than one occasions. Thankfully i got advice at the port and was put right. (they told me in Dubai you cant use public beaches with swimsuits on..and they would be too crowded!....we found a beach with no-one within 100yds of us and pure clear waters, and we bathed for 4hrs in our swimsuits! ) Made to disembark for the flight home at 5.45am but the coach sat there for 30 minutes before we left...got to the airport at 7am for the 9.15am flight..told it was delayed an hour..waited til 2pm before being told we werent flying. No info at all all day..told there was no public address system. After asking told to go to mcds for lunch-a queue of over an hour..eventually after waiting an hour for cases back and 90minutes in the foyer of the airport we left at 5.10pm to be taken to premier inn and arrive 3 coach loads taking almost 2hrs to check-in..my partner was given 3 lots of rooms! the first two he was given had people in them when he opened the doors! During all this time the Thomson rep avoided us and because no-one knew what was happening people were getting angry. We were told the flight was going to be 3am the next morning..so not even a nights sleep..ended up being 10am scheduled to another early start and even then it was delayed again. i was told groups of young adults were making a nuisance of themselves on deck 3 fighting and punched a cabin wall and cracked it, drunk and had even threatened to burn people out of their cabins. Staff refused to call police as said it would be too dangerous to put them off ship in the UAE! I could go on all day..but will leave you with this as it sums up their attitude to us. Quote of the day...one passenger asks 'is there water on the coach?' as we leave the airport at 5.10pm after being there since 7am...rep answers 'no' man says..'we have been here since 7am you know we need more drinks?' rep replies 'yeh so have i' Man (and several on the coach) YES BUT YOU'RE GETTING PAID TO BE HERE!! My best tip? dont ever book a thomson flight or cruise! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We have been on many cruises and cruise lines ,but when we looked at this one ,flights, All inclusive ,plus free drink package included ,and 14 nights cruising .it was one of the best ever. The food was lovely ,in both restaurants ,our ... Read More
We have been on many cruises and cruise lines ,but when we looked at this one ,flights, All inclusive ,plus free drink package included ,and 14 nights cruising .it was one of the best ever. The food was lovely ,in both restaurants ,our cabin was outside,our steward was 1st class , We got all our photos on deal,just £69.95 ,needed a case to bring them back. The entertainment as always with Thomsons was excellent ,there is nothing I can't say bad about this cruise,we loved the superb weather full 14 days in the 80s . The price was so good we came back home and booked a 14 day cruise on the discovery On the 8 th jan 2017. Well done on the Middle East cruise it was fab ,I hope the security allows you to have this cruise again ,it would be sad for many other passengers not to see these fantastic countries and very kind people ,just like ourselves just wanting to live in peace ,I'm sad I did not take family with us I know they would of loved it as much as we did. David & Maureen Blair , I would just finish saying Thomsons/ Tui. Being together sets you apart. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Went on the repostioning cruise sailing from Aqaba Jordan with six days at sea. This was the first repostioning cruise we had been on and was not sure what to expect. But it was a pleasant surprise. The ship we where formalia with, as ... Read More
Went on the repostioning cruise sailing from Aqaba Jordan with six days at sea. This was the first repostioning cruise we had been on and was not sure what to expect. But it was a pleasant surprise. The ship we where formalia with, as this was our fourth time on the ship. We had an inside cabin on the third floor. I have athritus in my knee and hips, there are plenty of lifts to use. The cabin had a double bed, we had plenty of storage. We did need more hangers but when we asked for more they where supplied straight away. The service is very good. I did notice that at the shows the staff where run of their feet, there did not seem to be anough of them. That is not their fault though. If there was anything to complain about it was about how the staff where treated. I noticed in the resturant the one in charge telling someone off in front of all the passangers. This to me is not good management. I was not the only one to notce this, others on the ship where on about it as well. But some of the passengers should be ashamed of themselfs, they say youngsters today have no manners. Well some of the older passangers had no manners at all, no pleases or thank-you's and leaving all their rubbish to be picked up. The staff are not survents. It's a shame I just found out that Thomsom will not be doing this trip again. It was out of this world, an eyeopener in Dubuia. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
Had booked the cruise 10 months in advance as we really wanted to go and flights from Scotland are limited. Cannot complain about the staff, the food or the cabin we were in for the week. Only ever in a cabin to sleep and shower so went ... Read More
Had booked the cruise 10 months in advance as we really wanted to go and flights from Scotland are limited. Cannot complain about the staff, the food or the cabin we were in for the week. Only ever in a cabin to sleep and shower so went for an inside. The weather was windy, the sea choppy and it appears an inside was an advantage as spoke to people on lower outside cabins who had a disturbed sleep due to the waves slapping against the ship. However one thing no one can control is the weather. We managed to visit all ports including Thira where the tender boat ran for most of the day, heard a ship couldn't stop the day before. We mainly did our own thing and only booked excursions for Israel. Chose guided tour company in Israel as they were cheaper and offered small mini bus tour rather than a coach for Jerusalem and Bethlehem, unfortunately not enough of an uptake to do second day of Masada and the Dead Sea with them. Same guide the next day when we booked through ship so they must provide Thomson with guides. Expensive but worth it as we may never go back again. Both days full of history, fun and spiritually uplifting. Entertainment on ship was varied, comedian and shows were good and plenty to keep you busy day and night. Cannot comment on children's club or the waiter service dining as never used these facilities.Self service and specials on the Lido deck again had lots of variety and you could eat as much and as often as you liked. We had a drinks package at the reduced cost of £70 per person which worked out fine as it included most soft drinks, nice coffee, peppermint tea (which I drink)and a variety of alcoholic drinks without a supplement. However feel the full price is not worth it (£230) as you would need to drink lots to run up a bar bill of £35 a day per person.What was an issue, though I do not know how it could be easily resolved, is the flight delays incurred by most, the long queue at passport control at Paphos and the issuing of cruise cards. In total it took about 11 hours from leaving Stirling to boarding the ship, a long day. Overall we loved our cruise and am sure we shall sail with Thomson again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2014
This was my sixth cruise overall and my fourth cruise with Thomson but first time on the Celebration. The ship is dated and many passengers complained about vibrations and noise but our interior cabin on one of the lower decks was fine. It ... Read More
This was my sixth cruise overall and my fourth cruise with Thomson but first time on the Celebration. The ship is dated and many passengers complained about vibrations and noise but our interior cabin on one of the lower decks was fine. It was spacious, clean and pleasant. I think it was passengers on the higher decks who complained about the noise and vibrations and people in the cheapest cabins on lower decks were fine so it really doesn't pay to splash out on a cabin on a higher deck on the Celebration. Overall it was a pleasant stay on the ship. The staff were wonderful and the food was good with plenty of variety. The entertainment was good apart from the British comedian who was not funny at all unless you were completely drunk and would laugh at anything anyway. I used the gym a couple of times and found it to be basic but adequate We sailed from Marmaris in Turkey to Rhodes town, Limassol in Cyprus, Alanya in Turkey and spent two days at Ashdod in Israel. I had already been to Marmaris, Rhodes and Limassol before so nothing new there but Alanya was a pleasant surprise and such a beautiful resort. It was really hot so we took a taxi up to the fort and the views were absolutely amazing. Ashdod is just an industrial port but they had put on a free shuttle bus to the shopping mall in the town. As it is such a big industrial port passengers can't just walk in or out of the port and can only enter or leave using the free shuttle service. The Immigration process happens on the ship and you have to go through this before you are allowed to disembark in Israel. The Israeli authorities take over an area in the ship and process all passengers there. We noticed all Muslim passengers were pulled aside and interrogated before being allowed into Israel. One couple was interrogated for 3 hours before they were finally allowed to disembark and they missed their excursion to Jerusalem. Another couple were not allowed entry so had to sit on the ship in Ashdod and stare at the ugly industrial port for two days. After the interrogation we noticed that Muslim passengers were then pulled aside in the terminal building and their possessions checked thoroughly for explosives whilst all other nationalities were allowed to walk straight through the terminal. We didn't take the excursion and had pre booked a car and driver through TripAdvisor. He met us at the shopping mall in Ashdod and took us to Jerusalem . He was very good and knowledgeable and gave us the option of escorting us through Jerusalem as a tour guide for extra money but we declined and he left us there for around 4 hours and then picked us up and brought us back to the shopping mall from where we got the shuttle back to the ship. To be honest I would say he was expensive but luckily we had managed to share the car with another couple from the ship and split the cost of the fare. There are taxis available outside the shopping mall in Ashdod too but it's best to agree a price with them before you take them. Jerusalem was very busy with tourists the driver took us first to the Mount of Olives from where we had a wonderful view of the old city. He then dropped us off at the Damascus gate from where we wandered around all the holy sites. You will not get to see the Dome of Rock and the mosque unless you are Muslim. I was told that non muslims are allowed in on certain days and times and this is something you will have to plan so that your visit coincides with these times. We decided to have some lunch in a small restaurant near the Wailing wall. We had kebabs with pitta bread and fresh salad and drinks and the bill came to just under £30 for the two of us. I thought that was very steep and clearly they were taking advantage of tourists as I honestly can't see the locals paying that amount. On our second day we took a taxi to Tel Aviv and Port Jaffa and agreed a price but the driver was very grumpy cos I had wound him up a bit about the price. The old port of Jaffa was a nice place to wander around and then we walked along the seafront straight into Tel Aviv and we visited the market place. The beach is really nice and ideal for sun worshippers. The return trip was a bit stressful as there was a gay parade taking place in Tel Aviv that afternoon and most of the roads were closed off. We had a hard time finding a taxi as all the ones we saw were full. We finally managed to get a taxi but the driver was not willing to negotiate the price and we had no option but to take it otherwise we would not have made it back to the ship in time. This driver was very cheerful and cracking jokes all the way back and we had a good laugh with him. Like any other ship the shore excursions are extortionate and we avoid them at all costs preferring to do our own thing. If you do some research before you go you'll find that you'll be able to visit places for a fraction of the cost of shore excursions. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013

Cyprus-antalya-marmaris-crete-at sea-israel-israel-Cyprus

This is my 2nd thomson cruise, the 1st being in 2006 which had such high waves, we were put off for a few years....we were actually ready to come home at the 1st port of ... Read More

Cyprus-antalya-marmaris-crete-at sea-israel-israel-Cyprus

This is my 2nd thomson cruise, the 1st being in 2006 which had such high waves, we were put off for a few years....we were actually ready to come home at the 1st port of call. lol.

This cruise from Cyprus was so much more smoother, the kids came with us too. (17/15) i was worried they would be bored, but they made friends and we never see them....

Embarkation was straight forward and smooth, prob on ship within 30 min of getting off the coach....we went straight to the lido for a cappachino, we had the drink package which was very good. we sat near the toilets, and the vibration was really bad it started to make me feel ill. so we moved a few tables down and it was fine.

After our coffees, we took the kids for a walk around, so they could get there bearings, such a lovely small clean ship....i have nothing to comapre to, so cant comment on other ships. (i am going on carnival in 7 weeks)

We were on deck one which i was really worried about, 4 in a room, and being inside, sort of scared me a bit...But it was spacious enough, the beds looked like bunk beds, and there was a dressing table and a bathroom....nothing flashy, but good enough.

We are in the lido, breakkie,lunch and dinner, so cant comment on the other room. this was good enough for us, the custard everyday was to die for. we always found something to eat, even when the theme was not our thing, there was always bread/soups and plenty of desserts...my daughter is very fussy, but managed to put 8lb on, so did myself and hubby, thats when you know the food and drink is good.

All inclusive was very good, the only downpoint would be maybe the cocktails were not strong enough, i think i went through the whole cocktail list, apart from the ones we were not aloud, hubby did get bored of the boddingtons and wished the guiness was on the all inc....I do think if you purchase a all inc, there should not be restrictions, i understand not having champagnre, but alot the drinks you could not have was the same price as the all inc, so it did not make sense.

We only done one tour with thomsons, as we had a £50pp OBC due to taking egypt of the ittinary, our tour was in israel, it was a fantastic day out, even the kids sort of enjoyrd it, we done jerusalam and the dead sea.....The dead sea is AMAZING. I can believe the way you really do just float, even if a little painful, esp if you shaved the night before....Work of warning, go with hairy legs haha.

The rest of the ports, we just got off for a walk around, all very nice, we were so lucky with the weather that time of year, every day was pure sunshine.

The 1st night in bed, no one slept well in the room, we woke up at 530am, my 15 yr old son coul;d not bare the rocking on his top bunk, so i told him i would sleep up there the rest of the cruise. That night, after a awkward climb of the ladder lol., i layed there and it was shaking, i mean shaking....the seas were smoth, so that was not to blame, but strangely enough i found it soothing and i slept like a baby every night, i did find i had to sleep close to the wall to make the shaking less.A tip from my daughter about the wall bit and it works...

The service from the staff is nothing other than outstanding, i was never without a drink, the plates were cleared promptly, they were constantly working on the ship and cleaning it...

The entertainment staff was good, the main host never spoke to us, he sat with the same people every night...but others were more friendly towards us.

My husband enjoyed the gym, and said they were all friendly in there too.

The sea day was a nightmare, all beds gone, no where to sit. unless u wanted to be cold in the shade, never used the pools, but they were never over crowded, went in hot tub a couple of times....

Over all, i did have a amazing week, with my family. The weather was good, the ittinary was good, the service was good, what more can you ask for,....Think i would get 2 rooms next time...

We were 2nd from last to get off, as we were staying 3 extra nights in Cyprus, felt this day was a bit of a waste, as we were basically waiting for our turn, which was about 2pm, In all honestly i would have liked to get off at 9am and be at hotel by 10am...But i understand that people have flights to collect...

Off on a carnival cruise in 7 weeks, will be good to compare. Thank you for reading.

Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise