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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We wanted to do something special for our Silver wedding anniversary so we decided on the Adriatic Affair itinerary, where we celebrated our vows, followed by a hotel stay. The whole experience was fantastic. All of the staff were ... Read More
We wanted to do something special for our Silver wedding anniversary so we decided on the Adriatic Affair itinerary, where we celebrated our vows, followed by a hotel stay. The whole experience was fantastic. All of the staff were friendly, helpful and hardworking and the ship was lovely. Patrick, our cabin steward, was lovely. Nothing was too much trouble for him. I had a light mishap with my dress, when we were getting ready for dinner at the captain’s table; however, some of the stewards were quickly on hand with a sewing kit, so a disaster was avoided. The food and drink were plentiful. We upgraded to premium all inclusive due to us preferring ‘zero’ pop, and my husband’s love of coffee. Our Celebration of Vows, in Venice, was perfect, and Elaine ( the social/welfare hostess) ensured that everything was perfect! It was lovely that she could share our special moment with us, along with the lovely Captain Nikos. We have got some lovely photographs that were taken by the onboard photographer. Overall, we had a wonderful experience, and will definitely be back on the Celebration as soon as we can. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was an absolute fantastic holiday everything was perfect the cases we never saw they appeared outside the cabin from the airport.This is a small ship and we love it because it has a more personal approach you feel like one big ... Read More
This was an absolute fantastic holiday everything was perfect the cases we never saw they appeared outside the cabin from the airport.This is a small ship and we love it because it has a more personal approach you feel like one big family.The service was second to none and every member of staff had a genuine smiling face .The entertainment was great and food and drink was fantastic.We have a lot of people who made our holiday special but we cannot name them all we would like to give a big thank you for our cabin boy Patrick who was exceptional he certainly went the extra mile.Also like to mention the outstanding service we received every day from Kenneth he will never forget us (the grey goose clan).We would all like to give a big mention and a huge thanyou to Marcy Sarich hotel manager she was always out and about extremely approachable and ever so friendly she made our holiday and in fact we have just booked another two with you.Last but no means least we thank siva our dancing chef he makes a mean rice/noodles once again thank you Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Loyal Marella customers. This was our second cruise on this ship. It has definitely improved since our last voyage on her - you can tell that the team have settled in and the snagging issues from earlier this year have gone. The ship ... Read More
Loyal Marella customers. This was our second cruise on this ship. It has definitely improved since our last voyage on her - you can tell that the team have settled in and the snagging issues from earlier this year have gone. The ship is being maintained nicely and the public areas are still very fresh. The only snag being that the air conditioning didn’t seem to cope very well when the ship was in port. Our cabin was one of the two Royal Suites on board and it was worth every penny. Very luxurious and comfortable. There always seemed to be some form of entertainment going on around the ship. We saw a few of the shows and also watched the comedians (note to the unaware - stay well away from the front few rows If you don’t want to be the butt of any jokes!). We preferred the pianists in Flutes and Aperitif over the more formal entertainment like the shows. As always with Marella, the thing that made it so good was the service that the staff offered. So many of the staff remember us from previous cruises - it was lovely. A special thanks to Simina the sommelier, the wine tasting she does on sea day is really good fun and informative. She looked after us for the rest of our cruise surprising us with nice wines. Dining was great. From the al a carte dining we went to Surf and Turf, Kora La and the Dining Club. All well worth a visit! The only downside with this particular cruise has to be Naples airport. Really really bad. Stressful. Made better by the fact that the TUI cabin crew warned us before we got off that it ‘runs on Italian time!’ That bit of good humour kept everything in perspective. We waited on the aircraft for 40 minutes on the tarmac before the busses came to take us to the airport. We were told by the screens to wait at luggage belt 5 and then an hour later were told to move to belt 1, and then it took another 30 minutes for luggage to arrive that then got stuck at the entrance to to belt and other passengers had to pull it through. It was also quite a walk to the coach transfer in the heat so if you do have anyone in your party with a disability make sure you ask for assistance. The return experience was just as shambolic with no where to sit while you wait (think people actually arguing over seats!!!), so again if you struggle I would be requesting a wheel chair. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
To celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Have Cruised before around UAE but the Greek island cruise all inclusive seemed ideal. We were looked after immediately we stepped aboard, went to our cabin 8229 aft of the ship and found it was ... Read More
To celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Have Cruised before around UAE but the Greek island cruise all inclusive seemed ideal. We were looked after immediately we stepped aboard, went to our cabin 8229 aft of the ship and found it was very clean with sufficient space. The bathroom was good with an excellent shower. Every time we ventured through the Ship and returned to Cabin it had been cleaned and tidied as if by magic, the cabin crew were excellent as were rest of crew can't speak highly enough of them. The Dining was very good with plenty of choice and if you asked for something not on menu the staff would try to serve you with alternative. I must repeat the staff were excellent. The shows were very good it was obvious that entertainment team had spent many hours rehearsing. seating was very comfortable, the only negative of cruise is what happens on all cruises and thats passengers who think they own the sunbeds, however even this problem was addressed with the introduction of 45 minute rule, if beds were vacated for 45 mins then towels were removed a great idea that should be implemented on all ships and holiday resorts. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We sailed on this ship last year at the same time and it was amazing. So good we booked this year. Sadly it was nothing like last year. Check in etc went smoothly and boarding was great. We had an outside plus cabin on Deck 10. Room was ... Read More
We sailed on this ship last year at the same time and it was amazing. So good we booked this year. Sadly it was nothing like last year. Check in etc went smoothly and boarding was great. We had an outside plus cabin on Deck 10. Room was comfortable and cleaned every day. However after 3 days the toilet stopped flushing. This was reported only to find on my return the bathroom had flooded and was under 4 inches of dirty water. This was reported again and sorted in a few hours but the toilet never worked properly after this. The bath and shower also leaked regularly. We were premium all inclusive and paid for this as an extra. This is sooo not worth it. My husband drinks cider but after the first day they ran out of Magners then after day 2 they were out of bulmers cider. He then switched to Corona which was becoming difficult to gt in certain bars and getting a diet coke is impossible. On several occasions the bars and restaurants were understaffed compared with last year sometimes waiting 20 to 30 minutes to get a drink only then to be given the wrong drink. It is also clearly apparent that some staff were being tipped (which is supposed to be included) and then focused more on those passengers. The ship apparently had 400 more people on board this year and you could definitely tell. All the pools were family friendly with up to 20 kids dive bombing into the water with no consideration for others or their own safety. Lots of children everywhere even in the bars at 1am still playing, Plenty of underage teenagers drunk in the Waters Edge every night taking the mickey out of a couple of special needs passengers, with no security to be seen anywhere. I Have nothing against children being on a cruise ship as I work with teenagers and took ours on holiday with us for years but surely there should be an element of control by parents and staff regarding some of the behaviour we witnessed. Booked the hot stone restaurant as this was truly awesome last year. Could only get a table at 18.30 but went anyway . only to discover kids still playing and splashing in the pool next to where you eat, then 2 maintenance men turned up to suck dirty water from the drains whilst people were eating. The smell was horrific. Terrible service when you are paying for this as an extra. We did not pay nor did the the other table behind us. Visited the Orion restaurant and the staff at Donalds station were amazing and worked very hard but they were run off their feet every day to the point we left without waiting for dessert. This was also attributed to a crew member arriving for dinner with his partner. At which point all surrounding diners were ignored and were left waiting for main courses and desserts as all the attention was focused toward the crew member. Appalling as the paying customer should be served first especially as we had waited 30 minutes for our mains and they had had their bread, wine starter and main served to them both whilst we were still waiting for our dinner..This is not their fault and we appreciated all they did for us. Entertainment disappointing when compared to last year, some shows were ok others just rubbish. Band in the Waters Edge but again not as good as last years band who were great and singing and entertained as well. We encountered terrible weather so completely missed one port then got stuck waiting for the tender due to sea swell and a storm. Then 70mph for about 10 hours which caused us to be ill for the day. Great getting us through it though. Excursions we did independently so cant comment. We were so excited for this cruise as last year was top notch, however this has put us off going on a Tui ship ever again. Think Jeremy Kyle at sea everyday for a week and this is what you'll get. Such a disappointment. Poor show. This ship needs to be decommissioned as it is literally falling apart. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Staff food cabins shows everything exceeded my expectations all the places we visited were amazing cudnt have asked for more will def do it again loved every minute the entertainment was fantastic the food was amazing the only negative ... Read More
Staff food cabins shows everything exceeded my expectations all the places we visited were amazing cudnt have asked for more will def do it again loved every minute the entertainment was fantastic the food was amazing the only negative thing I wud say is they need sort out sun lounge situation cud never get one near the pool as people filled them every morning and left the ship all day so that was a night mare ant the pool is small for size of ship the all inclusive was great no need to up grade to premium there was plenty to do on sea days like the spa was fantastic and mini golf and table tennis also great climbing wall the teenagers loved that and the escape room wat else can I say only had fantastic experience for my first ever cruise and really glad we choose tui they were great from start to finish we done 2 wks and never got dored Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The full cruise was an adventure from start to finish. The on board team and crew were enthusiastic, friendly and most helpful when needed. There are so many crew I would like to mention, but some individuals deserve highlighting. Our ... Read More
The full cruise was an adventure from start to finish. The on board team and crew were enthusiastic, friendly and most helpful when needed. There are so many crew I would like to mention, but some individuals deserve highlighting. Our cabin servicer PUTU was great, he was helpful and did his job to the highest standards, he is a credit to the ship and the team on it. The Bar teams were mind readers......they knew exactly what my wife and I drank without us even asking....Ervin and Wilson in the Horizons and Kumar, Sheldon, Kenneth and Sushil in the Hemmingway's Bar were always on hand even at daft O'clock in the morning. The food was very good and the shows were entertaining. The staff in the restaurants were great, they even sang Happy Birthday…..which was a memorable moment when the kitchen team came out front. The cabin had plenty of room in it with plenty of storage space for the belonging we took and the extras my wife always manages to accrue whilst we were away. The holiday was a special celebration for my wife, the extras didn't disappoint. The flowers the cake and the in cabin decorations were well received and appreciated….oh yes and the bubbly and strawberries went down a treat. we are looking already for next years cruise. 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted to visit Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro that is why we chose this cruise. We were over the moon with the ship, it is stunning, the entertainment is outstanding, I would have paid to see these shows. The food, every member of ... Read More
We wanted to visit Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro that is why we chose this cruise. We were over the moon with the ship, it is stunning, the entertainment is outstanding, I would have paid to see these shows. The food, every member of staff were simply outstanding. We paid the extra £50.00 to upgrade our all inclusive package and we felt it well worth it. Excellent quality cocktails, top grade spirits and cans of soft drink and bottles of water delivered to our room. We upgraded to a larger cabin on 7th floor but did not have a balcony or window but we did not miss this we used our room to get ready and sleep. There is so much going on around the ship from Morning to very late night I cannot wait to book again. We booked trips in Slovenia - caves and castles our only disappointment was we would have liked an hour or two longer We booked Krka waterfalls trip in Split - just simply breathtaking beauty again I wish we had longer We booked speedboat and beach trip in Montenegro- this was just amazing, the views spectacular. Then we had a walk around the town of kotor, this is also very beautiful and sells the most delicious pizza and ice cream In Venice and Dubrovnik we did our own thing, due to very high temperatures we only stayed in Venice until 1 pm, but we have visited Venice for a holiday. In Dubrovnik we shared a taxi into old town with another cruiser. We chose open side bus tour at €20 each and boat trip at €10 each. This was a great way to see Dubrovnik, due to temperatures of 37 we didn't do the wall walk, but will return to Dubrovnik to do this. Do not miss sail away from Venice Happy to answer any questions Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My first cruise with my partner.Was nervous and apprehensive at first but put at ease with the experience.Security in this day and age are very important and the security unit certainly lived up to expectations.The room “Jnr ... Read More
My first cruise with my partner.Was nervous and apprehensive at first but put at ease with the experience.Security in this day and age are very important and the security unit certainly lived up to expectations.The room “Jnr Suit””was unbelievable,spacious,clean and well turned out.Balcony included was an extra advantage and welcome.Food was absolutely beautiful and well presented.The restaurant personnel were well turned out smart and very helpful.The shows which I can understand are not to everyone’s taste but that’s a personal choice.Shows we liked were ‘Cogs’ and the Comedian.The drinks were plentiful.We went on two tours ‘Barcelona’and ‘Rome’which were amazing and interesting (a bit hot though)lol.The Crew were polite and nothing was to much trouble for them,always there to help.I think a lot of people don’t appreciate the crew under working in the guts of the ship.As I said in the beginning,this was my first Cruise and I was to say the least apprehensive but having said that would I cruise again......yes most definitely. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife and I have just returned from a cruise and stay package with Marella, staying firstly at the wonderful conca park hotel in Sorrento then onto the Explorer 2. Given it was our first cruise, We obviously have limited experience of ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned from a cruise and stay package with Marella, staying firstly at the wonderful conca park hotel in Sorrento then onto the Explorer 2. Given it was our first cruise, We obviously have limited experience of cruises but must say that we found our first experience to be amazing. Every aspect of the cruise was fantastic, from the cabin we had (a standard balcony cabin on deck 8) to the food, entertainment and staff. We enjoyed having so much choice for meals and loved fish and chips at the snack shack, pasta in Nonnas and main meal in the MDR. We were very Impressed with the friendlyness of all of the staff and the amazing shows in the show lounge, we made full use of our balcony and wouldn't like to do another cruise with a lesser grade cabin. So,altogether a great trip and would highly recommend this ship and company to others. The only negative aspect of our trip as mentioned in other reviews was Naples airport which was hell! Too busy, awful service and attitude and a horrible start and end to an otherwise great experience, I can only hope that Marella get the message and change this airport as we would certainly not wish to use it again and would therefore be very reluctant to do another holiday via there again. I had a wheelchair with me and found that all on the ship and tours were very accommodating. It was a bit of a squeeze in the cabin but we managed fairly well. However the same could not be said at the airport. You also realize how far we have come in accommodating disabled people in this country compared with others. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
First cruise so have nothing to gauge it on but found it wonderful. Nightmare start with over a 5 hour delay but as soon as we got to Corfu airport at 2:30am staff were great getting us on coaches then embarkation just as good even though ... Read More
First cruise so have nothing to gauge it on but found it wonderful. Nightmare start with over a 5 hour delay but as soon as we got to Corfu airport at 2:30am staff were great getting us on coaches then embarkation just as good even though flight had delayed ship we were swiftly put on ship so could sail asap. All the staff were very attentive and Julio our cabin steward was so nice and helpful. Only ate in the buffet restaurant once for breakfast and for lunch after visiting Split but otherwise ate in Gallery 47 for breakfast and the Italian upstairs is lovely. Also ate in Surf and Turf and Kora La as well as the glass House well worth the extra payment for all. We were worried that we would felt a little trapped on the ship but not at all plenty to do and all the excursions we did through TUI were well organised. Cabin number 3568 was great able to unpack everything just and no noise only issue same as others was the shower curtain, but hey if that’s all you can complain about not bad. We did a cruise and stay and the only disappointment was coming off the ship no one telling us where to collect coaches and people setting off and dragging suitcases towards the terminal until stopped. 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We choose this cruise for the itinerary and dates we are available to travel. The cruise sailed from Muscat, taking in a short visit to Salalah, Oman, then up to Jordan for 3 days/2 nights in Aqaba, for Petra, the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, then ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the itinerary and dates we are available to travel. The cruise sailed from Muscat, taking in a short visit to Salalah, Oman, then up to Jordan for 3 days/2 nights in Aqaba, for Petra, the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, then through the Suez Canal, around to Israel, Ashdod, for Jerusalem and Bethlehem, then over to Kefalonia and finally disembarking in Corfu. Unfortunately, after booking we discovered there would be no time to go ashore in Muscat, as we sailed early the following morning, and soon after booking we were advised that the Dead Sea trip from Aqaba was cancelled due to road conditions. We were disappointed but understand these things happen, so added an excursion to a 5 star hotel in Aqaba for a beach day instead. We had a great flight out in Premium on the Dreamliner, Muscat airport was easy and we were onboard quickly. The whole process smooth and efficient. We had an aft cabin, pre-booked and it was spacious, clean, comfortable, but I have to say on occasion noisy from the engine's, vibration was bad some nights, and yes, you do get a little soot on the balcony, there's nothing you can do about that, just don't wear white! The steward cleaned it daily. I'm not complaining, just pointing it out. The ship was full I think. Hard to get a sun bed. Or a seat in the atrium. Nowhere really for some peace and quiet, we were glad of our large balcony. Bar 11 was lovely for evening cocktails, we preffered the buffet for evening meals as we found the MDR very busy, squashed together and brightly lit, and actually didn't rate the meals there apart from breakfast and Beef Wellington. The surf and turf was excellent, you need to book as soon as you can! The excursions were a bit manic. They were long days in high temperatures which we were prepared for, but felt really rushed, the guides all knowledgeable and friendly, but a little inflexible. We were awed by some of the places we visited, but just didn't have time to appreciate them. Destination Services on board were rude and unhelpful, and you had the feeling they didn't care once they'd got your money! Many people complained about various issues on various trips, but I don't think there's been any resolution. If you can, book privately or go it alone. There was a mix of entertainment, both day and night, a great comedian, opera singer, guy with a guitar, we didn't do the shows but heard they were good, just not our thing. Most of the staff are fabulous, friendly, helpful, with one or two exceptions. The food was good and varied and mostly hot (except strangely chilled poached eggs in the MDR on the last morning for breakfast!!) As I said we preferred the buffet, snack shack was great for lunch, glass house for snacks in the evening. Plenty of choice of drinks on the standard AI, though we paid extra for a fancy cocktail or coffee occasionally. Overall though, we felt extremely lucky to be able to do this cruise, visit the places we went to (we will go back independently), enjoyed our sea days with a book and a view of the wake, dolphins, stars, and our adventures on shore. The ship was still having the occasional engine/electrical problems, so we lost some time in ports too. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This is only our fourth cruise and we wanted a cruise that visited interesting places in the Mediterranean and was only a short flight from home. Mornings and evenings were cool but temperatures in the day around the low 20 degrees C and ... Read More
This is only our fourth cruise and we wanted a cruise that visited interesting places in the Mediterranean and was only a short flight from home. Mornings and evenings were cool but temperatures in the day around the low 20 degrees C and we had one rainy morning. We flew from East Midlands to Palma and although check-in was slow arrangements went smoothly until check-in at the cruise terminal where things again were slow. This cruise was the second week since the ship had been refurbished and the quality of furnishings and fittings was exceptional. The lifts were spacious and quick. Without exception all the staff we met were friendly, welcoming and helpful. Eating was a delight with open dining in six restaurants and three a la carte which cost extra. Ten bars, one a pub and a coffee shop completed the arrangements. The talented Explorer 2 Show Team produced a number of top class shows in the Broadway Show Lounge that would rival any produced in the West End. There were lots of activities during the day and in the evenings. Pampering was available at Champney’s Spa a new venture. We visited three Countries, five towns and could either walk in or take an inexpensive shuttle bus to enjoy them. There were lots of excursions to places like Pisa, Florence, Genoa and St Tropez and lots of room for sunbathing. Departing the ship was an ordeal because of poor organisation and we were again held up by Border Control at East Midlands on return. An enjoyable cruise, a top-class ship, fine food and drink and an outstanding crew. And the bonus adults only. 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
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We"d never done a cruise before and wanted to do something special for our silver wedding anniversary so we decided to book a cruise around the Caribbean. We also booked to renew our wedding vows and we'd just like to say a very ... Read More
We"d never done a cruise before and wanted to do something special for our silver wedding anniversary so we decided to book a cruise around the Caribbean. We also booked to renew our wedding vows and we'd just like to say a very big THANK YOU to Amanda Hudson the social host and our captain Peter Harris for sorting everything out so that we could do it on our wedding anniversary. We had a lovely day thanks again to Amanda Hudson for everything that you did to it happen it's very much appreciated. The ship is lovely all staff very friendly and work very hard food lovely as well will definitely be coming back. All the staff are really friendly and work hard food was excellent we had an invite to join the captain at his table as well which was lovely couldn't of asked for a better 25th wedding anniversary cruise we've got lots of wonderful memories and photos Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Everything was perfect, You walk off the plane and onto a coach where you’re taken straight to the ship where our bags were waiting for us at our cabin. On return you see the immigration officers onboard, the queues move very fast, ... Read More
Everything was perfect, You walk off the plane and onto a coach where you’re taken straight to the ship where our bags were waiting for us at our cabin. On return you see the immigration officers onboard, the queues move very fast, no standing still. Then we were taken from the ship to the airport and our cases were sent to the plane ahead of us so we didn’t have to carry them around with us, they will also look after your hand luggage for you from when you leave your cabin until you depart the ship, they give you clean towels and an option to use a cabin to freshen up before your flight. Completely hassle free. Cabin was very comfortable and quiet, spotlessly cleaned twice daily and the cabin stewards were so friendly and kind. Fantastic staff, so attentive, friendly and really make you feel valued. Delicious food with plenty of options. The restaurants were very nice and in the buffet you have tons of options, you have fresh food cooked to order including omelettes and create your own stir fries, pastas and pizzas where you can choose exactly what ingredients they put in your meal. The fresh salad bars were so good too with freshly made potato salads, coleslaws and bean salads to name but a few. They had branston like pickle, piccalilli, chutneys and all the usual condiments including HP sauce, Branded drinks and a great choice of cocktails. Even without the premium drinks upgrade. Twinings breakfast and Yorkshire tea and many other kinds of herbal teas, delicious fresh sweet pure orange juice. The snack bar by the pool had freshly prepared salads (Caesar, Greek, Asian, curried chicken, avocado, salmon and more) sandwiches, wraps and burgers, hotdogs, fries etc to grab and go. Excellent entertainment with so many different options to choose from each day and night, something to do whatever your mood. The Collective were absolutely fantastic and got everyone rocking! Plenty of fun, lively areas with great music and entertainment and also calmer areas if you want some peace and quiet to just chill out and enjoy the moment. Didn’t feel at all overcrowded, even at the busiest times there was always somewhere to sit in the shade or in the sun. You can dress to impress if you like which meant I got the chance to wear some evening dresses but if you don’t feel like dressing up you don’t have to. You’re treated beautifully whatever you wear. Unlike other holidays I’ve been on (where drunken idiots have spoiled it for everyone else with their bad behaviour and they’ve been allowed to remain in the hotel and carry on their behaviour for the whole holiday) if someone gets out of hand they are promptly removed from the ship, they have zero tolerance of violent or abusive behaviour, Brilliant! Like staying in a 5 star hotel where the view changes daily. I can’t see how they can improve this ship and it’s staff. We don’t know how they manage it but even on a ship with so many other people on board you are made to feel special, the staff remember you and treat you very well. We will definitely be booking with TUI / Marella again. Everything really was perfect. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Previously cruised on the Royal Clipper (twice) and Norwegian Star (not the best experience), so we have been on small and larger vessels. Tui package holidays have always been consistent for quality, so it was interesting to try their ... Read More
Previously cruised on the Royal Clipper (twice) and Norwegian Star (not the best experience), so we have been on small and larger vessels. Tui package holidays have always been consistent for quality, so it was interesting to try their cruise option. Flights - very good, the system of leaving luggage at Manchester airport and not having to handle it again until it arrived at the cabin worked extremely well. The Dreamliner is an excellent aircraft, in our opinion better than Airbus offerings. Apart from some slow service on the plane (don't think there were enough cabin crew) and not much variety in inflight entertainment all went well. Very comfortable flights both ways. The ship - excellent all round. Large balcony cabin has plenty of storage and well laid out. Didn't find the small number of power points too much of an inconvenience, we always seemed to keep our smart phones and iPad charged. No other reviewers have mentioned a super innovation on this ship - the Navigate app. for smart phone or tablet. Much better than reams of paper daily news letters cluttering the cabin. Reception service was excellent, always attended to quickly and with a smile. Not many children on this cruise, almost adults only. No issues with food and drink on board, mainly used Lattitude 53 for breakfast and dinner and the Market Place for lunch. Tried Vista one night, the only time we had to wait for a table, but no real inconvenience, the food was worth the wait - the Parpadelli Carbonare was superb! Visited Surf and Turf once, again a real treat, the fillet steak and lobster combination was to die for, well worth the extra. Generally the food was far superior to Norwegian and on a par with Royal Clipper ( a totally diffent cruise experience). Didn't bother with the Premium upgrade, didn't spend anywhere near the £100 it would have costs, the standard offerings were fine. Service was always quick and efficient, we had no problems on this cruise. Entertainment was good, with enough variety for us. No problems with sunbeds as we don't like being too near the pools (too noisy). Always found a quiet spot, the Veranda wasn't all that busy and we could retreat to the cabin and the large balcony if we wanted. Just a mention for Alan and Linda - you've stirred my interest in ballroom dancing and am looking to take some lessons ashore, many thanks. Shore excursions - only tried two. St. Maarten got off to a bad start, over 30 minutes late starting and the tour didn't show off the island in its best light. We walked into the town in the afternoon and we saw a much better side. The Tortola land and sea exclusion was in total contrast, gave us a real taster for the BVI. Otherwise we did our own thing at the other ports (have been to St.Kitts, Antigua and Bequia on previous holidays, so knew our way around). All in all an excellent holiday, Marella must be doing something right as we are about to book another cruise on the Explorer 2 next March to see some other islands we haven't yet visited. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this Cruise as it was out of our comfort zone and was for our Golden Wedding. We had a fantastic holiday The Ship was very good, bit tired in places but in general very nice. Main problem encountered was the vibration ... Read More
We chose this Cruise as it was out of our comfort zone and was for our Golden Wedding. We had a fantastic holiday The Ship was very good, bit tired in places but in general very nice. Main problem encountered was the vibration running through the ship when sailing, which suggests an in balance in the drive mechanism, especially when trying to sleep. Staff were the best we have encountered, food very good in all Depts and entertainment generally very good Flights too long for us especially on the return which was 6 hours late. The trips we did were very good and informative The ports were primarily working ports which was a bit off putting, possibly down to cost. Overall a fabulous holiday which we will never forget. We had a problem with dirty water in our first cabin but this was quickly remedied by a move to another cabin John and Pat Caulkin Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our first cruise for our silver wedding anniversary & certainly won’t be our last. After arriving in Barbados we were put on a coach straight to the ship, embarkation was fantastic. We were greeted by a steel band & ... Read More
This was our first cruise for our silver wedding anniversary & certainly won’t be our last. After arriving in Barbados we were put on a coach straight to the ship, embarkation was fantastic. We were greeted by a steel band & given rum punches, got our room cards, photos taken & all done & dusted in minutes. Our cases arrived outside our cabin about an hour later. Entertainment was fantastic, we particularly enjoyed the shows in the theatre, they are young but work their socks off to give fantastic performances which last approx 45 minutes & drinks are served to you throughout. The entertainment around the ship & in the Squid & Anchor by the bands The Beats & The Collectables were fantastic also as were the games in the Squid & Anchor, really good fun if you want to partake or just watch. A must is the silent disco which was on twice a week, again you can partake or just watch. The entertainment is run by cruise director Cameron & he & all involved really do a good job to cater for everyone’s taste. There is always something going on somewhere if something in particular is not to your taste. There is a cinema & outdoor cinema, casino, library, gym, coffee port, scoops ice cream, snack shack, Champneys Spa & Salon, Broadway shops, 2 swimming pools, 3 jacuzzis, running track, mini golf, 10 restaurants to name a few so there is something for everyone. Sea days are a nightmare to get a sun bed as people put their towels down early, come at 8am & you’ve no chance. Staff do put tickets on them if they are empty for 45 mins but we saw loads of ‘reserved beds’ empty for longer, we never saw any towels being removed for people wanting a sun bed. We did a few tours with Tui which were amazing, one of these tours started an late so inevitably we arrived back late for the ship which thankfully had to wait for us because it was a Tui excursion. We did the trikes in Aruba (independently booked from home) submarine tour, catamaran & Pitons, Champagne & lobster catamaran & a few more independent ones off shore. All trips were fantastic, all the locals were extremely friendly towards us & we never felt intimidated anywhere. We picked up some WiFi with the price of a drink in certain bars. We were lucky enough to have our wedding renewal on our anniversary with thanks to Amanda the social hostess. This was something we couldn’t book back home at our Tui shop or the many phone calls by my husband. We were fortunate enough to get hold of Amanda’s e-mail & arranged it the week before we went, it was absolutely amazing & they couldn’t do enough for us. Captain Peter performed the ceremony on the bridge & it was wonderful, we had the silver package for £200 & it was perfect. We also purchased all the photos taken which was set to music & have it on a usb stick, also included was 16 photos which are professional photos taken by the lovely photographer team. All the staff on board are extremely polite & friendly & work such long hours to ensure we have the best time possible, they have a few hours off here & there but not days off. In order to receive a full day off they have to be mentioned in reviews so it’s very sad & darn right rude when you see people clicking fingers at them for service or moaning because they have to wait a short time for a table in one of the restaurants. Unfortunately I can’t remember all their names who made our holiday but a shout out goes to Gladys, housekeeping on deck 9, Roman who refilled our drinks on the deck pool, Vicky & Elizabeth entertainment staff, Captain Peter & Cameron for their daily announcements & Amanda social hostess for making it possible for us to renew our wedding vows. A few necessities to take with you, towel pegs or bands as it gets very windy in the Caribbean ( if your towel blows off or you lose it you will be charged £10 per towel). As I’ve said it gets quite windy & for us girls it is very unkind to our hair. 5 mins after drying my hair it went frizzy & after a few days very dry, my heat protection spray wasn’t strong enough for the Caribbean wind so I purchased Ghd protection spray from the Broadway shops which cost $13 but so worth it, this spray is expensive but I would not be without it for future cruises. I never felt the need to wrap up in the evening so didn’t wear the wrap I brought. Definitely bring looser fitting clothes for your second week as despite my good intentions not to over indulge it’s very hard as the food is delicious & plentiful. We also never used the euros as all islands accept usd, we used ours to pay off part of our bill on leaving. On the day of disembarkment you have to leave your cabin by 8am. You can pay £35 for a late room check out subject to availability & only till 1.30 or you can pay £14.95 pp for a day pass in Champneys Spa. We did this & it was amazing, we got our travel luggage in the lockers, provided with robes, towels, refreshments, showers & you can still use the ships facilities. For any disabled people wanting to cruise there were plenty of guests in wheelchairs & mobility scooters, incidentally the ship has plenty of lifts. We had an absolutely amazing time aboard the Explorer & are already looking for our next cruise - yep we’ve got the cruise bug. All the negative comments we read about before embarking on our first cruise in our eyes are unfounded but that is just our opinion, everyone has different expectations, experiences & are entitled to their own opinions. A holiday is what you make it & my husband & I have made many memories visiting 12 islands on one holiday. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Did not know what to expect on this our first cruise as we had read so many varied reviews, but we could not fault our cruise experience, we booked a large balcony cabin and it was perfect, we had our own sun lounger, table with 2 chairs ... Read More
Did not know what to expect on this our first cruise as we had read so many varied reviews, but we could not fault our cruise experience, we booked a large balcony cabin and it was perfect, we had our own sun lounger, table with 2 chairs and a hammock! It was ideal to get away from the hustle and bustle of the pool deck areas and really chill out. Okay the Marella explorer is not brand new and not as huge as some of the other cruise ships but for us it as just right. The main self service dinning room served a good range of hot and cold dishes which changed daily, and if you wanted a full English breakfast you'd have to go a long way to beat it, we also tried out the specialty restaurants, some you had to pay a cover charge for, but well worth it, and the all inclusive drinks package was the best we ever had, all the top and well known beers and spirits.We can't praise all the staff on-board enough, from the cleaners to the ships Captain, nothing was too much. Plenty of hand sanitisers' everywhere, entertainment and activities were suited to all age groups and were well organised, The only thing I would do differently next time would be to book shore excursions on-board the ship, yes they are more expensive than doing it yourself but it saves the hassle of being pestered by the hoards as you walk out of the port area into local towns, overall we had a fantastic first cruise experience and certainly do it all over again, especially on the Marella Explorer. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Have reviewed Disco before and we love it, so will concentrate on ports and trips. It’s fair to say that in some of the Ports a DIY job is not really an option as they’re as big as a city. In other places the ports are a minimum of 2 ... Read More
Have reviewed Disco before and we love it, so will concentrate on ports and trips. It’s fair to say that in some of the Ports a DIY job is not really an option as they’re as big as a city. In other places the ports are a minimum of 2 1/2 to 3hrs away so it’s a long day. We like half-day trips so a bit restricted, but most were very good. Compared to a recent cruise to Norway where everything was very expensive, we thought these trips were reasonable. We reckon the grub to be good but not great. We did Islands buffet for brek and most lunches or the Snack Shack where the wings, fish and chips are excellent and hot. Stays open until 6pm so if you’re late lunchers like us it’s great. One slight knock in most areas is that the grub could be a bit hotter. We liked 47 for dinner and eat quite late, after 8.30pm.You do get a buzzer but it’s a chance for a few bubbles pre-dins. We tried the Steak on Stone for an £11.95 surcharge. Well worth it-best dinner of trip. As others have said, if you want a sunbed on sea days you need to be up with the early breakfast cooks, about 5am. We normally waited until it thinned out a bit later. No-one gives up their beds. They run a ‘yellow card’ system for beds left for more than 2 hrs but it’s just for show. Drinks great. Longest wait a few mins. Good bottled beers, Peroni, Corona, San Miguel. **I refuse to pay for wi-fi so there’s very limited internet access. Even on the day trips there was hardly any ‘free time’ so you had to try find wi-fi wherever you could. Langkawi Nature Reserve: Excellent. Half day. About 30min journey. You go into bat cave then boat journey to watch eagles feeding from the river which is amazing. Penang: Temple followed by funicular ride to top of island. Really good. At top you can have a buggy ride around the area for a couple a quid. Very good. ***Hotel at top of hill has wi-if you can access. KL: Half day sights. Petronas Tower excellent and Independence Square and War Memorial good. Visit to disused colonial railway station a bit bizarre and an obvious ‘filler’ Bangkok: did trip ‘On your own’. Be warned, it’s 3 hrs in traffic to get there and you get 4 hrs there. And you’re dropped at a Shopping Mall outside the city. Our excellent guide recommended the Skytrain (about £3 for an all day tourist ticket) to the river, a river taxi (also about £3)then a Tuk Tuk back which was about a fiver. Had a great day. Went to Reclining Buddha which wife loved. Some guides apparently discourage being too adventurous due to time constraints but we really enjoyed it and had no problems getting back. Pattaya Beach: Coach Trip ‘On your own’. Cancelled Bangkok on own for day 2 as couldn’t face the journey and getting up in middle of night-or so it seems. Taken to shopping mall then on your own. Not really a daytime place but still enjoyable. Lots of British men talking to young people in sea front bars which is a bit weird but glad we went. Singapore: half day ‘In the footsteps of Raffles’. Best trip of the hol. Only four hrs but we got half hour walk tour, 30 mins boat ride, Singapore Sling in the Raffles Hotel (no queueing as part of trip-on your own be ready to queue for about 45 mins) then a ride on a tri-bike with a recognised firm so safe and reliable. Excellent. Sihanoukville, Cambodia: Did our own thing. An eye-opener. Quite a few scare stories re valuables and the like but didn’t hear any horror stories. There will be beggars and Tuk-Tuk overload but it’s not overwhelming. Went to the beach with another couple we met, Tuk Tuk for about 20 mins which was $20 dollars US and he wouldn’t haggle. Whole place is a building site. Vietnam: Ship is 3hrs from Ho Chi Minh so any trip is a schlep. We did Cu Chi tunnels which I really enjoyed but it was a bit of a one-trick pony. Still worthwhile. Malacca: half day sightseeing. Bit dull. Highlight was going up viewing tower and a castle. We did all those trips and they’re great, but they’re usually early kick-offs. We did four on the spin and I couldn’t wait to get back for my bottle of Peroni. We’d do the itinerary again. Loved it. **Depending on flight time, you can keep cabin past the 8am kick-out.Ours was £35 right up to 3pm departure for Gatwick and worth every penny as you weren’t fighting for space as everyone waits to get off. Apparently, 80% of people paying keep their own cabin. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We are fairly recent cruisers and wanted a winter sun break and booked this cruise in January on line. The weather was superb and we were told by the crew the best they have had for several years. We flew from East Midlands to Tenerife and ... Read More
We are fairly recent cruisers and wanted a winter sun break and booked this cruise in January on line. The weather was superb and we were told by the crew the best they have had for several years. We flew from East Midlands to Tenerife and arrangements at departure, on arrival, coaching to Santa Cruz and boarding Marella Dream went like clockwork. The ship is old but is modern in appearance with good quality furnishings and the staff very friendly and helpful, nothing was too much trouble from our room steward to the bar and restaurant staff. Corridors and lift space are a little narrow and not as spacious as more modern ships. The variety of lounges and drinking and dining options were first class as was the food and drinks. We like to be on our own for dinner and for six nights we were served by Jennifer and April who looked after us very well. The Marella Dream Show team and their shows in the Broadway Show Lounge were excellent. Some very good singers and dancers however the comedian Alan Wilkins material was older than us and we are in our 70's. The resident band were again very good with such a wide range of music on offer. Our only disappointment was the lack of space for sunbathing when we had such good weather. We were birthed in walking distance of six of the places we visited which is brilliant. There were lots of excursions and trips arranged which people we spoke to enjoyed. Leaving the cruise was also faultless, colour coded luggage and well organised. Our only disappointment was East Midlands Border Control on the return. It took about 30 minutes to process us which is not acceptable. A superb restful and enjoyable cruise. Thank you TUI. Read Less
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