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265 Marella Cruises Romantic Cruise Reviews

My husband and I both choose this cruise a year and a half before our wedding as we wanted to get everything set in advanced. Additionally, we also booked the excursions online as soon as they became available. Firstly, this was our ... Read More
My husband and I both choose this cruise a year and a half before our wedding as we wanted to get everything set in advanced. Additionally, we also booked the excursions online as soon as they became available. Firstly, this was our Honeymoon and I started this review mid-way through our cruise as we were so disappointed. We had quite a few issues and as we were only away for 7 days we seemingly had the worst luck possible. We arrived in Naples, Italy via a flight from Gatwick which overall wasn't too bad. The wait for the luggage was around 30 minutes so not a bad wait compared to what we had seen on other reviews. The crew on the ship are delightful and I cannot fault anything here. Everyone is lovely and so accommodating - Jaya, our cabin steward was brilliant and would recommend anyone to say hello if they ever pass by him. The only department I would complain about is the Excursion team. When we were in Dubrovnik no one had any idea who was queuing where and was a nightmare. My husband and I got told to go the wrong way/ into the wrong queue twice and other cruisers were having the same issue. Please, can someone make sure in the future there is a protocol for these members to run by as they had no idea? The food is great, and the a la carte dining experiences (specifically Surf and Turf and also Kora La) was amazing. The specialty restaurants are fabulous and would thoroughly recommend. Now, the massive negatives here are our experience with the port days. We are here only for a week for our first cruise and honeymoon. Just as we had got into our cabin, we had noticed there was an excursion ticket missing. So there were 4 days worth of excursions instead of 5. We had to go to the desk to find out what was going on as no other information was provided, no letters sent etc. When speaking with the excursion team, it turned out that our excursion had been cancelled due to congestion which I cover below. We had also taken out around £500 worth of euros, to be told that the currency on the cruise itself is GBP. No one mentioned this at all which is surprising and also disappointing. If we wanted to change this we'd end up with much less than what we set out with which again is a joke. We ended up using our credit card which was the last thing we wanted to do. Our first port, Messina Sicily was fantastic. We travelled to Mt. Etna and had a great time, no faults here. The port team was lovely and very insightful about our trip. The coach journey to Mt Etna was around 1hr 30mins (or so) however the lady who had done our tour (can't remember her name), was great. Our 2nd port was Drubovnik. Now, this is the excursion that was cancelled - we also were not able to Dock due to "congestion". This meant we had to wait for a tender to pick up and drop off hundreds of people. This was an absolute nightmare and we were not able to get on shore until 5 hours after anchoring. The tenders were also very limited which was above and beyond frustrating. This was at no fault of the cruise however none of the excursion team really knew what they were doing which made things even worse. When we were queuing for the tender after our ticket number finally being called the staff didn't even know what queue we were to get in, it was very disorganized. This meant we had 2 hours before "rush hour" to get back in the cruise. We had next to no time to do anything which is extremely disappointing and a massive waste to a day in a location we really wanted to explore more. The next day, the port was Ancona. My husband and I had booked the picture-perfect bayside duo. Originally when booking we were told we would be heading down to the pebble shores and would be able to take a dip in the fantastic beaches. Oh, how wrong they were, as we didn't even touch the beach. Sirolo was lovely but again after lugging our swimwear around we felt this day wasn't great but was not as bad as the last. The tour guide here was very knowledgeable in regards to the area and provided a better experience, even though we were disappointed as we wanted to go for a swim in such lovely weather. The 4th day, where we were when I started to write this review, is Venice. We were supposed to Dock at 5am, however, it was around 9am and we were still a few miles from shore. There was a power outage in the early hours of the morning which resulted in us both being woken up by several announcements between the hours of 1:30am and 2:40am. This, in turn, meant we did not manage to get to the Dock in time and as Venice operates a time slot functionality - we inevitably missed our slot and we had to wait until midday to dock. This meant our excursion, which was a gondola ride (the 2nd favourite excursion we booked) was cancelled, along with many others from other passengers. The destination desk was absolutely packed so there was no chance of us booking a different excursion. We were however given a cruise card credit of £50 each and of course, our excursion was refunded but the time lost on both this excursion and the other excursion (Dubrovnik) was just a little too much for us and we were overwhelmingly disappointed. On the 5th day, we arrived at Split, where we went onto our last excursion - Krka waterfalls. This was our favorite day and can I just say everything on this day was fantastic. Starting from the coach Journey with the tour guide (Coach 1, can't remember his name unfortunately - the driver was Ivan) down to the Waterfalls and exploring the nature park and then the boat ride back to the coach > then back to the cruise. The tour guide was awesome and hilarious and we're very happy with how this day turned out. The last day was a full day at sea. Unfortunately, this means everyone is up at the crack of dawn to get onto a sunbed where apparently if you leave your towel it is yours for the day. There was a note which mentioned if you leave it for longer than 45 minutes the items will be removed however I noticed some people were covering 2 sunbeds at times to make sure their partner could come back and I also noticed some people coming back to their sunbed for 10 minutes at a time and then leaving for another 30 minutes, cheating the system. This is very disappointing. Similarly, in the whirlpool, it says on the sign 15 minutes at a time however there were people in there for hours, m4eaning my husband and we didn't get a chance to go in there. The pool is nice when hot but very salty so head above water at all times. My husband and I ended up paying something around £3 to watch movies in our cabin as we'd already had enough of walking and trying to find a sunbed over a period of 2 hours (we went to the bar to wait for a further 10-15 minutes). Overall, including the cruise itself, excursions, euros we had taken and the current amount accumulated was around £4500. This is one of our biggest spends but I can certainly say we won't be booking this cruise again due to the disappointments with the excursions. We did, of course, get the canceled excursions refunded but there was no recognition to the fact that our days were wasted and we had to make our own way around with no insight to the locations whatsoever. We understand these things can happen but in our perspective, we had a nightmare on some days that became very stressful on what should have been a relaxing holiday away for a week. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
As a first time cruiser, I was attracted to Marella’s package given it included not only food, but drinks also. I was initially nervous, having read mixed reviews online. The ship is fantastic. There’s loads to do at all hours. Our ... Read More
As a first time cruiser, I was attracted to Marella’s package given it included not only food, but drinks also. I was initially nervous, having read mixed reviews online. The ship is fantastic. There’s loads to do at all hours. Our cabin was clean, comfortable, well maintained and offered plenty of storage space. The food was fantastic. The main fine dining restaurant, Latitiude 53, was good, albeit hit and miss at times. However the Vista restaurant was faultless every time and was some of the best food we’ve ever eaten. Mediterranean Italian was also superb and the buffet restaurant offered a great choice, whilst also maintaining a high quality. The organisation of the embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and faultless. All the staff were beyond superb. I cannot put into words how they made the cruise. Will definitely be cruising with Tui again- already looking at the next one! Read Less
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
Sail Date August 2019
We flew into Naples airport expecting the worse but were pleasantly surprised as we encountered no problems other than waiting 40mins for our luggage to come through.TUI staff were on hand to guide us onto the waiting buses and in a short ... Read More
We flew into Naples airport expecting the worse but were pleasantly surprised as we encountered no problems other than waiting 40mins for our luggage to come through.TUI staff were on hand to guide us onto the waiting buses and in a short time we were at the port ready to board the ship.We had to go through some security checks before boarding,but this is perfectly understandable in this day and age.The ship itself is modern and clean and fairly easy to find your way around,we found the different colour carpets to be a big help with this.We ate mainly in the Market Place during the day and Latitude 53 for evening meals where we were expected to dress in smart casual to eat here.We found the food here very good with mostly different things on the menu every evening and the waiter service excellent.On one night we paid approximately £50 for the two of us to book into Kora La for a meal,although this is extra to the all inclusive we found it to be well worth the money as the food and service provided was exceptional.Special mention for Albert who went out of his way to look after us that night.We had paid for the Premium package for drinks and as my wife enjoys different types of gin and I enjoy my whisky we found this to be value for money,again special mention to Rommel in the Gin and Whisky bar in the Squid and Anchor a top class barman.We enjoyed some of the shows in the Broadway Showroom also.We did not go on any excursions preferring to find our own way around the lovely cities we visited.All in all a great first cruise experience,looking forward to the next. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Cruise was chosen to celebrate our 30th anniversary. It as our first cruise, but will not be the last. Full marks to Tui for providing a brilliant break. From start to finish, the whole experience went perfectly. Discovery 2 is a great ... Read More
Cruise was chosen to celebrate our 30th anniversary. It as our first cruise, but will not be the last. Full marks to Tui for providing a brilliant break. From start to finish, the whole experience went perfectly. Discovery 2 is a great ship, with excellent cabins and onboard facilities, and a crew who never stopped smiling. All of them were friendly and polite, helpful and considerate, especially Veronica and Jonny, our cabin stewards. We were Premium All Inclusiv, no fuss over what to have, and so much easier with the cashless system. The foo, throughout our trip was excellent, tasty and of a variety never experienced before. The restaurants/bars etc. were plentiful and well staffed, never long before you were served. Ports visited were well chosen, particularly liked, Ajaccio, Civiviteccia, St. Raphael and Barcelona. Loved every minute of it. The Spa was frequented often, a refuge rom poolside, with acupuncture, very beneficial from Sarah. Read Less
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
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
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
Sail Date July 2019
Went on Discovery 2 last year - Eastern Med and loved it so tried Western Med this year. No complaints. Food excellent, staff superb. Relaxed cruise and would recommend. Entertainment hit and miss. Loved the comedian but didn't like ... Read More
Went on Discovery 2 last year - Eastern Med and loved it so tried Western Med this year. No complaints. Food excellent, staff superb. Relaxed cruise and would recommend. Entertainment hit and miss. Loved the comedian but didn't like the crew's musical. Squid and Anchor pub was a popular venue, got quite busy. Personally would only cruise for a week. We did cruise and stay and stayed in Sorrento after the cruise which was fab. Had an outside cabin with a window and it was more than adequate, not luxurious but you don't spend much time in your cabin. Discovery and Explorer quite similar. More restaurants on Explorer but missing the lovely Atrium on the Discovery. Swings and roundabouts really. If I had to pick a negative it would only be in relation to the ports on this cruise. They were all commercial ports and if you didn't choose to do the excursions on offer which were quite expensive you had to get a bus or taxi to get off the port. The ports of call we visited in the eastern med, we could just walk off the ship into town. Everyone - guests and crew were so friendly and if you had a problem they would sort it out for you. Wouldn't hesitate to book another Marella cruise. If you want a 'posh' cruise and wear your evening gowns and tuxedos every night this is probably not for you. We loved it! Read Less
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
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
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
Sail Date July 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
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
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
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
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
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
Sail Date June 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
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
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
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
Sail Date April 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
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
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
Sail Date March 2019
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