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56 Marella Cruises Romantic Cruise Reviews

We wanted to visit Dubai. The ship. The crew. The food. The entertainment all very good. It he itinerary had Beeb changed about a week before departure and we were not notified.we would finish in Oman. Then on our penultimate day travel ... Read More
We wanted to visit Dubai. The ship. The crew. The food. The entertainment all very good. It he itinerary had Beeb changed about a week before departure and we were not notified.we would finish in Oman. Then on our penultimate day travel by free bus to Dubai. But due to medical emergencies the ship diverted , delaying our arrival in Oman by 24 hours. So we didn't get to see Dubai. Our first stop Aqaba ,we stayed for two days and after departure it was announced we had taken on security guards, we would picking up weapons at sea. Some decks and areas of ship were closed for safety against pirate attack. This was around the Gulf of Aden. We were 12 days at sea on this cruise. We departed with a 2.5 hour drive to Dubai Airport. The choice of restaurants is excellent. The food quality first class. Great choice of drinks on the fully inclusive. Cleanliness of cabin very good, obliging stewards. Cleanliness of ship very good. Entertainment, plenty of choices, for a lively time or places to just chill. We have been many times with Marella, they are our favourite cruise line. Because the service is excellent From Oman. Our holiday was booked from Manchester Airport even though Birmingham is our closest airport. The reason for this was, if we took the Manchester flight we gained an extra night in Dubai. We are disappointed this time with Marella as we should have been given the option to change our holiday. Read Less
Sail Date November 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
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
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
Sail Date March 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
Sail Date February 2019
My husband and I chose this cruise as we'd been to the Caribbean before and wanted to do different islands and this cruise fitted the bill. We had an inside cabin on deck 8 mid ship which was very good, only downfall was that it had ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise as we'd been to the Caribbean before and wanted to do different islands and this cruise fitted the bill. We had an inside cabin on deck 8 mid ship which was very good, only downfall was that it had 2 fold down beds above where we slept which restricted our move ability when getting in/out of bed. The cabin was ample size for 2 people, there was a dressing table/stool which was a good size with drawers on both sides, a double wardrobe with plenty coat hangers, shelves and drawers. Bathroom was fitted out well with a shower which had a glass door also shower gel dispenser on wall, toilet and fitted units throughout. Air con control on wall. TV with various channels along with cruise ship info. Our steward was very attentive and cleaned our cabin twice a day with towel change twice a day if needed. We had 2 pool towels which could be changed at any time. The easiest boarding we've had on a cruise (& we've been on a few!) when our plane landed at Barbados we got off the plane and straight onto a bus on the tarmac which took us to the port for embarkation which was quick and easy. On our last day we booked a courtesy cabin to shower and freshen up before our flight home. You are allowed to use all the facilities on board including the AI right up until your bus comes to take you to the airport, which is great which means you can stay on the ship or go ashore & back on board if you want. Other cruise companies we've sailed with don't let you do this, it's off at 8am unless you've booked a tour to fill in your day till you go to the airport!! On board facilities include AI ( you can upgrade to Premium AI but personally I don't think it's worth it, unless you like posh coffees ) even champagne is extra on the P. AI. Food is plentiful with the Market Place Cafe - buffett restuarant which is lovely, you have other serviced restuarants to choose from : Vista, The Mediterranian,,Tapas, The Snack shack also Latitude 53. There's other restuarants that you can pay a cover charge for but we didn't use these as found eating places ample for what we needed. You'll never go hungry as it's breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea then evening meal. I didn't use the spa so can't comment. 2 pools with 3 hot tubs, busy around pool for sunbathing but there's lots of other places to sunbathe which are quieter. Indoorr and outdoor cinema. Theatre on board lovely and plenty of seats, although the entertainment wasn't the best we'd seen but this didn't spoil our cruise as there's so much going on you can choose where you can go. Christmas Eve on board was great, from drinks in the bar, a silent disco (good fun) to Carols on the stairs, there wasn't a shortage of things to do. It was buzzing with excitement from young and older alike. We didn't do any shore excursions with the ship but did have a couple of trips on local buses/taxis Cost $20 pp in a bus 2 hours takes you on an island tour Tortola, also $25 pp in a mini bus taxi in Antigua (3 couples) driver gave an island tour to Nelson's Dockyard, beach & other attractions, well worth it took around 3 hours, plenty of time to get back to ship . We also walked to places as most amenities are quite close by. All staff on board very helpful couldn't do enough for you and nothing was too much trouble. Captain John was great (told some corny jokes but still made me laugh) kept you informed of what was going on with passages/weather etc. Cruise director very good as well. Would like to go on one of the Discovery ships as heard good reviews about them from friends. Looking to book another Marella Cruise for next Christmas/New year. A very enjoyable holiday from boarding our Dreamliner flight in Manchester, to boarding our lovely cruise ship Marella Explorer, to coming home a week later...Plain sailing! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Wanted to visit Havana and limited in choice as not a fan of MSC. Liked the Tui dreamliner flights in premium economy. Pleasantly surprised at how good the condition of this older ship was. Great staff and cruise director made it ... Read More
Wanted to visit Havana and limited in choice as not a fan of MSC. Liked the Tui dreamliner flights in premium economy. Pleasantly surprised at how good the condition of this older ship was. Great staff and cruise director made it very relaxed . Food was very good and drink package covered most tastes. Only £50 to upgrade if you want top brands. Would definitely book with Tui again as good value for money compared to most of American owned ships . The evening shows were the best on any ship and geared towards a uk audience. Cabins were fine if a bit dated but the dining areas are very good with excellent service throughout. We ate at the 2 specialty restaurants and surf and turf was particularly good. Gym ,steam and sauna are all included You get your cases picked up outside the cabin on the last night ,delivered to the airport and checked through to your destination,great service with all tips included. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We had a balcony suite and if you can afford the upgrade it is well worth it. The accommodation is amazing and to wake up to a different view from your bed every morning is amazing. The cabin stewards were spot on, every day. The ... Read More
We had a balcony suite and if you can afford the upgrade it is well worth it. The accommodation is amazing and to wake up to a different view from your bed every morning is amazing. The cabin stewards were spot on, every day. The cinema, while a nice looking comfortable cinema, didn't really have much to offer by way of current films. The live theatre entertainment though was excellent. The food in the buffet restaurants was not as good as I had expected but was adequate. The all inclusive can be a bit confusing as it doesn't include everything, you have to pay for premium drinks and coffees. Overall though the experience totally sold us on the cruise experience and I would be more than happy to return to the Explorer for another trip. This was our first cruise but certainly will not be our last, and we are looking forward to more Marella cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Our first cruise was chosen as our honeymoon. Embarkation went smoothly and our hold luggage didn’t take long to follow us to our rooms. Had read other reviews just before departing and made sure swimming essentials were packed in ... Read More
Our first cruise was chosen as our honeymoon. Embarkation went smoothly and our hold luggage didn’t take long to follow us to our rooms. Had read other reviews just before departing and made sure swimming essentials were packed in hand luggage, but as it so happens didn’t need them. First thing to point out is that only British money is needed on board. You can pay for any extras one of two ways. Either hand over debit card details, and any extras will be charged to that, or use cash. If using cash, you must ensure that there is always a positive balance of £200 on your account. I opted for the debit card and lowered the outstanding balance to be taken by paying some of it off with the cash I had taken. They have an app (doesn’t require internet access) which shows the balance of your account amongst other information (absolute must get when you first board). Each time you order/make a purchase they scan your cabin key and the account is updated immediately (mostly with £0 as its all inclusive. Second thing I wish I had known or thought about was the positioning of the cabin. Unfortunately chose an inside cabin and didn’t pre book a cabin ( novice mistake). We were given deck four towards the aft of the boat and the noise of the engine meant sleeping was very difficult for a couple of nights. Even once, we had got used to it, when the boat was put in to reverse to dock we were up like a shot, the whole cabin shook and noise was horrendous - PRE BOOK YOUR CABIN IS A MUST. As for the cabin itself, was tidy and only possible negatives were the lack of an iron or enough hangers. Wife was glad she took her own hairdryer as said the one provided wasn’t good enough. Toilets are vacuum based and ours only blocked once on the trip which was soon rectified. Wet wipes seem to be the main culprit despite constant messages about not flushing them. Wi fi needs to be paid for £50 for 1200Mb for the 7 days. Remember that on a ship you do not get the same rates as at home or when travelling in Europe. So basically saved using mobile data until on shore. That’s the only negatives. Didn’t need to use the premium restaurants or drinks as the normal restaurants were excellent and offered a good variety. Only premium items bought were ice creams. Didn’t have any problems getting a table. Some restaurants require smart clothing but this does not mean tux or even a suit. Chinos and shirts seemed to be popular choices for men. Visited the broadway show lounge most nights and entertainment was of good quality, but then it was throughout the ship. The service was nothing short of excellent and would be hard to find on any other holiday. Can’t praise this enough. We took a shore excursion on every day, and if you don’t know the cities then would recommend using one of their excursions. These can be pre booked before you travel or whilst you are on board. Palermo - opted for half day excursion (allowed us time to get back on board and get some sleep before we set sail again) to Santa rosarios grotto and morello beach - didn’t think much of this at all. The most interesting bit was seeing if the coach driver was going to manage to get the coach up the steep windy hills. Naples - full day excursion to climb Vesuvius and a guided tour around Pompei. Absolutely excellent. Having such a knowledgable guide for Pompeii was a must. Livorno - full day excursion to Florence and Pisa. Both require some time on the coach. Florence is a beautiful city and days are needed here rather than hours but the tour gives you an excellent feel for the city. Pisa was worthwhile if you have never been there before, but it is a once and done place unlike Florence. Good day. Villefranche - took half day excursion to Monte Carlo and Monaco. For those that might want to, you can’t gamble in Monte Carlo casino as is not permitted before 2 pm, but you do have time for a tour €17. For those that want to be able to say they have gambled in Monte Carlo, you can gamble in the cafe du Paris for a €5 entrance fee, but will need your passport (this is cheaper than a coffee at the same cafe which is €8). Monaco is a lovely place, coach drives along the start/finish line of the f1 track and you get to walk some of the course (an absolute must if you are an F1 fan). Again though, a once and done excursion. Barcelona - had the half day Barcelona Explorer excursion. Big mistake, wish I had chosen a full day one. Another city that requires more than one day. Would I do it again. Most definitely but probably for 14 days instead. The issues were minor and were novice mistakes. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
we chose this ship because we have always went with tui before and we wanted to try the latest ship.although it is not like any other tui ship overall the food and entertainment were good there are two many places where you have to pay a ... Read More
we chose this ship because we have always went with tui before and we wanted to try the latest ship.although it is not like any other tui ship overall the food and entertainment were good there are two many places where you have to pay a supplement for food and it does not come cheap up to £49 per person.and it is no better than the food supplied indeed we had to walk out of the Asian restaurant as it was grossly overcooked.whoever designed the pub the squid and anchor should be told are you having a laugh hardly any seats and half of them face the bar away from the stage.i spoke to the manager and the cruise director about this and they totally agreed and said it would be changed in January I hope so as we like a game show but if you go to the second show in the broadway forget about a seat and getting a drink to busy and not enough staff on.overall we loved the cruise but some of the ports are industrial and you can only look at so many cranes and containers and at a couple of ports tui have a cheek to charge you £7 return on there shuttle bus get a grip tui and take us to some nice ports Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Firstly a fantastic cruise had by all this is our 4th cruise with Thompson/ Marella in two years and the second time on this ship we where with two other couples for my 50th birthday we stayed in cabins 7537. 7543.and 2581 cabin where all ... Read More
Firstly a fantastic cruise had by all this is our 4th cruise with Thompson/ Marella in two years and the second time on this ship we where with two other couples for my 50th birthday we stayed in cabins 7537. 7543.and 2581 cabin where all inside cabins they where spacious and keep very clean with a new towel display every evening.on arrival we got our room cards at the terminal then we where left to walk to the ship we where on the belfast flight and didn’t arrive till 8.30 pm at night we boarded the ship and we where all left to find our own rooms with no bell boy or directions at breakfast we ate in the buffet restaurant on deck nine usual suspects things bacon sausage and eggs omlets ect a bit hard sometimes to get a table at peak times the 47 restaurant was the best choice for lunch and dinner but it was harder to get settled for 6 people and always got a buzzer so ended in bar for a before drink to which I didn’t mind in the evenings we always went to the Broadway but found the shows the same as where performed last year on the ship then it was off to the live room casino best part of the ship but not enough bar staff who looked under pressure with special mention to zarco who was always there to serve 5* service We all enjoyed our cruise and will be hopefully booking again soon Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This offers a decent value for money cruise option. Plus Points * Great entertainment (high quality singing & dancing plus acts flown in). Ignore any comments about Labour club types..they are far better than that. Martin ... Read More
This offers a decent value for money cruise option. Plus Points * Great entertainment (high quality singing & dancing plus acts flown in). Ignore any comments about Labour club types..they are far better than that. Martin Payne (Cruise Director) and his team were excellent. * Cabin staff are friendly and visible when needed. Everything spotless inside the ship. * Dining alternatives to the buffet and the food were very good with changing menus (except a la carte). Waiter service was prompt and efficient. *Drinks. On the whole fine and we found no need to pay £50 each to go Premium. There is enough quality and quantity on the AI. Plenty of waiters so no need to clog up the bar!! Obviously some better than others but use the waiter service. Bars The Atrium is always busy but that apart they are excellent. Views from Bar 11 are brilliant. * Ports of Call. Excellent itinerary and enough time allowed for DIY shore visits. We didn't do any TUI trips so can't comment. *Loungers etc. We had a junior suite with 2 sunbeds so didn't bother with deck 9 but no one said it was up at silly o'clock and beds cannot be reserved and left unoccupied for more than 45 mins and they tell you this on arrival. The veranda beds, however, do go earliest and it's adults only. If sunbed towelling happens anywhere it'll be there. Minor Gripes * The buffet..I dare say some people love the works canteen approach but we found except for afternoon tea, it is best avoided. Chaotic , noisy and stressful. There are 2 identical food stations but still folk wander around with plates.The food is fine though!! No soft drink station and only one beer station.. Ice cream is Mr Whippy machine type outside between 12 & 3. A waiter dispense so be prepared to queue. * Night time deck cleaning. Probably only an issue on deck 8 cabins but they clean about 2 AM and set out the loungers about 6 AM so you might get disturbed sleep. *Lifts 2 of the 4 central lifts were out of action for the duration of our cruise. Be prepared to walk more than you thought. You get used to it and all the others work. * Money changing. Whilst TUI need to make from you be careful to only change £s as if you change Euros they charge for converting Euros to Sterling then Sterling to the currency you need..( Croatia Kina) for example. *Overall. Acceptable and nothing ever goes 100% so hopefully my review helps you. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We had done a cruise already and enjoyed it and decided to do a two-centre holiday for our Pearl Anniversary. Marbella Discover 2 was our first week from Corfu to Split and down the cost of the eastern (Adriatic ?) We paid for a cabin ... Read More
We had done a cruise already and enjoyed it and decided to do a two-centre holiday for our Pearl Anniversary. Marbella Discover 2 was our first week from Corfu to Split and down the cost of the eastern (Adriatic ?) We paid for a cabin with a balcony. This was a good choice but only one sun lounger. Otherwise great cabin. Loved it. Big negative: WiFi. I’m 57 but access to the internet is important to me. We paid £ 25 for 3 days (data limited but I can’t recall the limit). The WiFi (tbh) was crap - a waste of money. Even their own Tui Navigate App didn’t work that often. “Keep trying” we were advised. No, sort it out. Beds: I must be getting old but the mattresses were hard. My wife suffered and ended up sleeping on the sofa. Not good. Staff: Not one single complaint. These people are great. Polite, smiley. You felt you could ask anything. Bless them. Food: Was excellent but there were issues with space. If you don’t care when you eat then OK. Variety, no complaints other than a scarcity of Tomato and HP Sauce. Entertainment: OK, this is very subjective and, no doubt, age related. For me this was worthy of Butlin’s (and not in a good way) but others clearly enjoyed it. What you can’t fault is the energy and enthusiasm of the entertainments team. Boy they tried hard. Cycling: OK, not my bag, but one day I saw the crew (Tui?) lead off a pack of cyclists and I guess they do this at every port. What a brilliant idea. Outings: This (for me) is the whole point. You sail north on the first day which you use to orientate yourself and then stop at split. My comment: Get off the boat and look around – brilliant location and most places take Euros (and cards). We brought loads of Euros back! Refurb: The boat came over from the Caribbean and was refurbished – well – sort of. Steel drums in the Adriatic – really? Crew were still painting bits and piece but it wasn’t a real issue. Sushi: I hang my head in shame and claim the excuse that I had too many beers. We booked the Sushi restaurant (my wife and daughter love it) and I wanted to try but it really wasn’t my thing. Unfortunately we talked to the two guys behind the Sushi bar and they asked me what I thought. I made a comment and just kept digging the hole deeper. If Sushi is/might be your thing then please give this a try. Edamame Beans, and Miso soup were brilliant but as I awkwardly said the Sushi wasn’t my thing and the chef looked crestfallen. The quality of the food, the friendliness of the staff, was faultless – and my wife loved it. BTW, sell Sake! One last thing. Quiet. Few places escape the Sound of Music, except a little bar on the top deck if you just want to read. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Chose this cruise as it coincided with a special anniversary. It also visited ports that we were interested in. Plenty of restaurants and activities day and night if you chose to do that. We were only at sea for one day so every other day ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it coincided with a special anniversary. It also visited ports that we were interested in. Plenty of restaurants and activities day and night if you chose to do that. We were only at sea for one day so every other day was taken up with shore excursions. Although TUI reps were very informative on these excursions we found that they were very over priced. Friends went off on their own and paid a fraction of the price we did by using taxi or bus. We also found the speciality restaurants quite expensive considering we were only paying a supplement of an all inclusive cruise. However the dining club experience was to die for. One of the best meal experiences we have ever had. About six small courses with wine to compliment each course. Finishing with a brandy and port costing over £90.00. Surf and Turf restaurant was excellent too with a charge of £47.00 including a glass of wine each. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We selected this cruise as it was our 40th wedding anniversary and we wanted to do something special. We always fancied trying a cruise but were apprehensive about it being a bad experience. Since we normally holiday with Thomsons (Tui) ... Read More
We selected this cruise as it was our 40th wedding anniversary and we wanted to do something special. We always fancied trying a cruise but were apprehensive about it being a bad experience. Since we normally holiday with Thomsons (Tui) we felt we would be in good hands and this was a good decision. Overall I can understand how people choose to go on cruise holidays as the overall experience was fantastic. We stayed on in Mallorca for another 3 nights which was a lovely end to our holiday. I could nit-pick like the next one, but nothing is ever perfect and you adapt. Flew out to Mallorca, travelled by coach to the ship and the embarkation process was so well organised it was over in a couple a minutes. Went onboard and headed for our cabin. Within 15 minutes we had our luggage delivered to our cabin. The accommodation was spacious and as I said previously we had a balcony. The bathroom/shower was a little bit underwhelming. The shower looked a bit grubby and small. However the facilities are done to maximise the living space in the cabin and the shower was powerful and always gave me hot water. We slept well in our bed as the mattress was soft and very comfortable. With the gentle rocking movement of the ship as she sailed through the night gave us an excellent sleep. The bars were excellent, with the exception of the Indigo Lounge, which would be better named the Moon Bar as it lacked any atmosphere. The entertainment was very good. Some entertainers was better than others, but on the hole it was a very good standard. The staff were exceptional. They were so friendly and tried to enhance our holiday experience and nothing was a problem to them. The staff were a credit to the ships company and the greatest asset of the ship. As always there is an exception to this and we managed to find one bar waitress called Mansot who needs to go back to finishing school as she was aggressive and abrupt when we dealt with her. But that was easily sorted as there were plenty of staff to attend to us. Our first port was Palermo in Sicily. When we disembarked it was like running the gauntlet with the locals trying to sell their trips. A simple thing like get a taxi into the centre turned into a pressure sale to take a full tour for exuberant prices. We ended up walking into the centre, a walk of about 15 minutes. This set us up for what to expect at the remaining ports, but none were as bad as Palermo. We booked an excursion which was described as Discover the Canals of Livorno. It cost 76 pounds for two and was sold by the ship. It was very disappointing. We were never more than 10 minute drive away from the ship. We were dropped of at a smelly fish market and told we had an hour to explore, but warned that pick pockets operate in this area. My head was on a swivel the whole time When we returned to the ship I was annoyed to learn that passengers had walked off the ship and bought the same excursion for 12 Euros. The excursions I felt were expensive and were all much of a likeness. There was nothing that was exciting like snorkeling, scuba diving or zip wire adventures. The port of Villefranche was beautiful. We wanted to get the train into Monaco, but it was Bastille day which meant the trains were running on a limited service. However we decided to stay in Villefranche and it was an excellent day. So pretty and the quaint cobbled back streets were lovely. The ship was not alongside and we were taken ashore on the tenders. That was an experience. The food onboard was as I would have expected. A very high standard and even the market place which is the buffet style restaurant was very good. I certainly always found that there was plenty to choose from and I was never hungry. And I never had a dicky stomach either. The All Inclusive drinks package was very good and it was unlimited quantities of named branded spirits and beers. I was very happy with my lot. On the first night we went to the live show which was called Rockology. The singers and dancers were very talented and sang well. However I never got the theme of the the show. It was random songs being sung. Good show but lacked production to give it some meaning. We never went back but there was entertainment in every bar and lounge which suited our needs. Our last day was in Barcelona. We had a great day around the pool and the entertainment team provided a great pool party atmosphere. Overall it was a great holiday and experience which we will do again, without a doubt. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
we chose this cruise as we had never been to Portugal before. The ship is getting a bit tired but its still fantastic ,FOOD is fabulous loads of choice ,breakfast and lunch is the best in our opinion :) almost like a English full breakfast ... Read More
we chose this cruise as we had never been to Portugal before. The ship is getting a bit tired but its still fantastic ,FOOD is fabulous loads of choice ,breakfast and lunch is the best in our opinion :) almost like a English full breakfast mmmm. Drinks ...cocktails are lovely my fav is Long island iced tea ,wine and beers are lovely also. Entertainment was ok could have been better if the sound was turned down a bit. Ship staff are all fabulous :) :) :) so helpful, polite every day ,they never stop working always cleaning and asking how you are doing. Collis are room steward ,made me a towel animal every day they were fantastic , room was kept clean and very tidy.always asking did we need anythink ,and have a nice day .we had a balcony room 8014 fantastic room. ONLY issue with this hoiliday was the Ship had docked up in Palma so far away, it would have been a verylong walk just to get off the docks and then to the town center.we are both walkers but this was too long . we found this happened a few times but they but shuttle busses on for £7pp on theses other days . OVER ALL FABULOUS ....we will be back xx Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this ship because it was being re-launched with a new look. In hindsight we should not have gone on the 1st week as there were teething problems, but nothing worth writing home about. First reviewer has pretty much covered ... Read More
We chose this ship because it was being re-launched with a new look. In hindsight we should not have gone on the 1st week as there were teething problems, but nothing worth writing home about. First reviewer has pretty much covered everything although I would disagree with the standard of food in the all-inclusive restaurants. We had a bad experience in the Vista (Italian) which we obviously spoke to the waitress about at the time. Wrong order arriving, poor lasagna which resembled something out of frozen microwave box and came in the same looking container dish ...... not good. Diners to my right refused to eat the carbonara, TWICE. I really REALLY got the impression they were trying to steer diners towards the restaurants with cover charge. We encountered this on the Marella Dream but maximum cost was £20 per head. I think having 5 out of 10 eateries with additional cover charge is too much. Especially as the remaining all-inclusive 5 are really only 3, as 2 are combined within other areas. Vista being part of Latitude and the Tapas and Pizza places both being in the Mediterranean area. Don't get me wrong, everyone was trying really hard to make sure guests had a great time, especially Captain Peter and we did have a lovely cruise! PS - I wish I'd known in advance about the free fitness classes at Champneys, I'd have taken my gym gear. Although I did book a lovely treatment. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise for our honeymoon and were not disappointed. The ship was well appointed and in good condition throughout. Everywhere was immaculate and the cleaning was very thorough. We had a balcony cabin in deck 6. Not ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our honeymoon and were not disappointed. The ship was well appointed and in good condition throughout. Everywhere was immaculate and the cleaning was very thorough. We had a balcony cabin in deck 6. Not massive but adequate with plenty of storage and hanging space. The bathroom was compact like most are and functional. The cabin was well soundproof and the air con worked well. The cabin attendant was excellent. The ship was run very efficiently from arrival to departure. The service from staff was exemplary and friendly. Formal when required and relaxed as well. There was a range of passengers on board. Your hard core pensioner cruisers who enjoy a ballroom waltz to chavvy Wetherspoons regulars just interested in when the pool bar opens. This didnt seem to be a problem as there were dining options bars and entertainment suitable for most. As the saying goes birds of a feather flock together. The main restaurant No 47 was lovely. It was nice that you weren't dictated to sh are tables or strict dining times. The pay off however is be prepared to wait for a table at peak time. Not a problem for us as they give you a pager and we enjoyed a drink in the bar for a short while. The food was lovely. Being from a hotel and catering background i could not fault any of the catering on board. The surf and turf restaurant was fully booked so didn't eat there but the Asian Kora la restaurant was excellent as was the Italian gallery 47, the glass house tapas and the snack snack on pool deck . Island restaurant was typical self service fayre. At times the pool bar was stretched but the wait was ok. There was plenty of waiting staff on pool deck and all the bars providing table service of you didn't want to go to the bar. The entertainment was ok. I guess it's always subjective and would never appeal to everyone but I would say they had a good attempt at providing good variety. We didnt choose to go on the ships excursions but did our own thing in each port. Maps available for each port. Destinations on tropical delights trip were good and I think there was adequate time at each destination. Overall no complaints. Good value duty free ship too. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Pick up from airport was hassle free, once we put our luggage on the bus we did not touch them again as they were delivered to our cabin. Our cabin number 1020 was fab lovely big cabin and lovely and clean. Our cabin steward Bagus was ... Read More
Pick up from airport was hassle free, once we put our luggage on the bus we did not touch them again as they were delivered to our cabin. Our cabin number 1020 was fab lovely big cabin and lovely and clean. Our cabin steward Bagus was amazing he kept the place spotless. There a numerous bars on board all with very good entertainment the cruise director Taylor and his team did a fabulous job in ensuring that everyone has a good time. If I had to pick something it would be that the Broadway shows could be better. Bars staff are amazing and work extremely hard, staff that should out forme were Jodie and Roland in the Wave bar. Food was ok the sirens was by far the best place to eat, the worst was the Orion I expected better for a waiter served restaurant. We had steak one day and I asked for it medium rare only to be told it comes one way, having heard my parents rave about to food in this restaurant I was expecting better. The chocolate extravaganza was not like it used to be in fact it was very poor. If I had to make a recommendation it would be to open the Sirens in the evening and allow guest to access one of the 3 Alcarte restaurants free of charge during their stay. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Just back from the Cuban Fusion plus week on the beach in Jamaica. We were first timers and the cruise was much as expected. The food in all restaurants was very good and the endless drinks, particularly Prosecco, was tempting. In fact ... Read More
Just back from the Cuban Fusion plus week on the beach in Jamaica. We were first timers and the cruise was much as expected. The food in all restaurants was very good and the endless drinks, particularly Prosecco, was tempting. In fact after a few days with difficulty I managed to keep most alcohol until late afternoon. We went to the Surf and Turf as it was our wedding anniversary and everything, staff, food, table was first class - although as we had already paid for the food, quite expensive at nearly £60. We had a Junior Cabin which was brilliant with sunloungers on the balcony. These were particularly useful on sea days when the decks were rammed with bodies on sunloungers. We were able to to back to the cabin and relax in peace. We found the cabin on deck 8 quite noisy from above with tables and chairs being moved around. If we did it again we would choose a different deck. We were encouraged to have a photo shoot with a complimentary anniversary card. The photos were good but the price £250 for 10 very, very expensive. We only wanted one photo but on principle would not pay £60. We bought one of the other photo outlets with pictures available to see on the screen for £14.95. We toured Havana on foot very easily as the ship was moored right in the centre of town. You can pick up a town map from Reception. It was brilliant. We went back out three times during the day. At Cozumel again we walked around the town. The Museum on the front is a must, plus is has a nice cafe on the top floor overlooking the bay. Well worth it. We took a taxi to the beach in the afternoon he dropped at Carlos and Charlies and we walked down to the beach and then left onto Oceans section which was less crowded. Loungers free for the price of a drink and food available. On the second morning as we were leaving at 2pm, we walked to the orange hotel to the right at the end of the pier and relaxed by their pool all for the price of a drink. On the Caymans, again we went to the museum right by the tender dock and then a taxi to 7 mile beach and back. The cruise was very good and we were glad we had booked a week on the beach at the end to relex. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
TUI Marella Discovery 2 out of Jamaica. Flying from Newcastle on the Dream liner. 14 days .Couple 58/63 Exotic Explorer & Cuban Fusion Jamaica,Belize,Guatemala,Honduras,Jamaica,Havana Cuba,Cozumel Mexico.Grand Cayman ,Jamaca.. ... Read More
TUI Marella Discovery 2 out of Jamaica. Flying from Newcastle on the Dream liner. 14 days .Couple 58/63 Exotic Explorer & Cuban Fusion Jamaica,Belize,Guatemala,Honduras,Jamaica,Havana Cuba,Cozumel Mexico.Grand Cayman ,Jamaca.. First ever Cruise. Late deal 3 weeks before embarkation So no availibility to upgrade from an inside cabin. We did select out window seats on the plane as seats still availible. (at a cost) Cruise good value for money. Alocated the Cabin from HELL 2001 .It was next to a Crew room (night shift docking crew mess room) and above was a bar pantry (restocking after the bar closed and shows finished 12.30 pm) Complaint went in after the first night but told ship full so could not move rooms untill second week. Recieved assurances that the noise would stop but it was not untill night 5 that we got some sleep. Recieved £75 compenstation and moved second week. Sleep at last. new room no problem 2737 off the main corridor.The humm of the ship sent us off to sleep. Food and drink first class. Staff VERY attentive . Cabin OK . Unable to offer a comparison as first Cruise but just like Caravaning if you know what i mean.Small but cosy and practical. Excursions If you want to do your own thing then Roatan Honduras is the best beach . The ship docks near the beach and you can walk back to the ship any time for lunch & a drink. Access to the beach is an all day pass $14 each (inc sun bed) one of the cheapest on our trip. The ship docks in Havana Cuba just accross the road from the old town. Good for a walk about and sight seeing. (plenty of the old cars to do an hour tour at $20 each. An hour is more than enough to see the main sights) Good info provided each day in the form of a news letter left in you cabin each night and updates over the tanoy from captin Christopher Overall a good time . May do a Cruise again some time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
First of all let me apologise because the only other cruise line we have had a suite in was NCL, so if i keep making comparisons with NCL then forgive me. Firstly the flight out with TUI on their Dreamliner flight from Manchester to ... Read More
First of all let me apologise because the only other cruise line we have had a suite in was NCL, so if i keep making comparisons with NCL then forgive me. Firstly the flight out with TUI on their Dreamliner flight from Manchester to Barbados was superb. We traveled in premium section. On arrival at the airport luggage was tagged at the cruise desk and then we didn't see it again after the bag drop until it arrived in our suite about 2 hours after after we boarded. It included Fast Track security and the Swissport Aspire lounge. Unfortunately this was packed as they had booked too many people in. Not a nice experience and we left pretty quickly. Flight left 10 minutes late. Crew were brilliant and I cannot praise TUI enough. If you can afford it pay the extra for Premium Class. Food and drink all high quality. Definitely up with scheduled carrier Business class on day flights. Arrived Barbados on time, straight into buses, quick 40 minute drive to the cruise port and was checked in within 10 minutes flat and on ship in 15. So slick and well done. We had the Discovery Suite 8500 which was massive. And I mean massive. Separate bedroom with own door onto balcony. Huge bed, separate tv from main room. In the lounge part, another big tv, a piano, sofas. a bed made up for our friend. Bar area with water and coffee maker. This is where NCL scores big time. Water and drinks with them in the suite all included and as many coffee pods as you need or desire. Butler service as well as suite steward. Although steward and assistant nice enough we hardly ever saw them. Coffee pods limited to one a day. No treats in the afternoon (e.g NCL), no welcoming bottle of wine (eg NCL). I know you say why not travel with NCL but we thought would try Marella out. Apart from the large suite there were no real perks to being in a suite. Everybody on board gets treated the same. All the speciality restaurants bar the Surf n Turf on the last night had already been booked by the back to back passengers. Food: Buffet was excellent and has improved since the ship was owned by RCCL. Great choice of items at all meals especially breakfast. No real queues and always got seats easily. Tried main restaurant once on deck 4 but a bit bottom end and there was an issue with some food intolerance that they got badly wrong. However Galleries 47 on deck 5 (the italian choice) absolutely brilliant and we eat there most nights. Try and get head waiter Georgio and his best team with Aden . Fantastic service, friendly and they went the extra mile. Great food and wine. Surf n turf was excellent (pay extra). The steak was awesome and the choices of wine sublime. Absolutely must go there once if you can for that special meal. Others First day did a wine tasting event in the afternoon. The sommelier from Ukraine is so good. She really knows her subject and we tasted 5 different wines with some nibbles. No question went unanswered. Came up with a perfect Shiraz. OMG. For £7 a session a must do. Claudia the social hostess deserves a mention and some. She arranged our renewal of vows on the bridge which included a meal with the captain, champagne, flowers etc. She is indeed a perfect hostess and nothing was too much trouble. The captain is a great guy, originally from Poland. He loves Only Fools & Horses and Monty Python so if you see him try out the odd quote! Full of humour and so professional. He does 2 months on then swaps with his opposite number. Staff are this ship's shiniest star and always willing to please. We had an issue with one but it was quickly sorted. Reception staff normally eager to please and go the extra mile. The original casino on the ship has been reduced to a small corner in the Live Lounge and was not worth visiting. I was shocked by what Marella had done. Might as well do away with it altogether. No serious gambler would use it. Best bar is top of the ship , ultimate in cocktails. Deck 11 has to be visited for this. Try the smoked cocktails, awesome. Return flight delayed 3 hours departure so we had to stay on the ship for longer. Oh dear how terrible never mind lol. If you are going to get delayed best be somewhere great like Discovery to while away the hours. Only 2 and half hours late back in Manchester. All in all a good cruise including Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Grenada and St Lucia. Captain runs a great ship Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We picked this cruise for the price, all-inclusive and itinerary. The arrival was smooth with an agent ready to direct us on the bus. From there we went to the port and once again very quick and smooth. The ship is small but had ... Read More
We picked this cruise for the price, all-inclusive and itinerary. The arrival was smooth with an agent ready to direct us on the bus. From there we went to the port and once again very quick and smooth. The ship is small but had everything we needed. A little rocky due to weather and the size of the ship. Captain always kept us well informed on weather conditions and arrival times. The rooms were small as most cruises. It needed fresh paint as you could see the yellowing on the ceiling. The mattress definitely needed to be replaced and 3 separate rooms all agreed. We dined almost the entire time in 47 on deck 4. We sat at table 42 with Julio and Mitsa as waiters. They made the dining experience absolutely perfect. Disappointed in upstairs Italian restaurant as the service was okay but food not great. The food is geared towards the Brits but lots of delicious options for us Canadians. The daily entertainment was enjoyable around the pool but the evening staff entertainment was your typical cruise shows. Some nights better than others. At the end of each show always had a table of Champaign glasses waiting for you. Upstairs for Bar 11 was a great quiet place to watch the view, have a drink and listen to somebody play the Sax. The service was great. The waiters were fun to talk to and also very interesting. The excursions are all in Pounds so very expensive for us Canadians. We did do Gatun Lake Kayak in Panama through the cruise line and that was a blast. Less expensive option is to wait to port and get an excursion there. Over all it was an amazing time, love the small ship and would love to go back Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This cruise was the first part of a cruise and stay holiday, and we were a little bit apprehensive about going back to an old ship ( a very old ship) we started our cruising holidays on thomsons and the defunct air tours ships but 48 ... Read More
This cruise was the first part of a cruise and stay holiday, and we were a little bit apprehensive about going back to an old ship ( a very old ship) we started our cruising holidays on thomsons and the defunct air tours ships but 48 cruises later and cruising on all the major cruise lines, it was a step back to the celebration, we paid extra for one of the balcony cabins, and it was well worth the money the room was large and spacious and had a bath with over shower, the balcony had two sun beds and a table and chairs, and the room overhaul was perfect, large comfortable bed, a nice size dressing table and ample storage for a two week cruise, black out curtains, fridge, in fact nothing at all was missing and we were very impressed with the room, the ship is small by modern standards but very friendly and that is down to most of the staff being from the phillipenes who have a very friendly nice aptitude to life, a small casino onboard wth two tables for cards one black jack, the other five card caribean poker, and one roulette table this casino is in Hemingway’s piano bar and is a lovely place for pre dinner drink and after a nice place to retire to bed from, with a singer on keyboard and a singer with guitar performing for you, you don’t have a full theatre on this ship but a nice showbar with adequate shows from the on board entertainers and some guest acts, dress code is poor a lot of people who think dressing up is cut off jeans with at t shirt is formal, but overhaul good value for money with all drinks and tips included in the price. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Had a great time on the discovery.outside cabin deck 2 looked after by the superb supandy served it's purpose for us.only thing missing was a fridge.the safe in our room was operated by swiping a credit/debit card.i took an expired ... Read More
Had a great time on the discovery.outside cabin deck 2 looked after by the superb supandy served it's purpose for us.only thing missing was a fridge.the safe in our room was operated by swiping a credit/debit card.i took an expired card (after reading review)and all was well.we dined most nights sharing tables in the mdr.we met some great people and had some fab meals.we had one bad experience.one of our party went to reception a head waitress was called who took notes and promised to put things right.next night we were met by Micheal head waiter? Who treated us like royalty and was very proud when we said how well his team had done.we did the buffet on a couple of occasions we went later around 8 pm.was quiet and food good.we had breakfast in the buffet every morning if you went later it could be very busy and difficult to find seating.we tended to be there around 8 am once again no probs and good food.we loved the snack shack idea it was always first stop when back onboard for fish n chips or cheeseburger.no problem with the drinks package we tended to stick to the larger just had odd cocktail and Bailey's.the service could be slow if the bars full. don't bother queuing grab a waiter. I'd even go looking for them cheers bojan and ilisha (spelt wrong).marella changed the itenary replacing peurto Rico and us virgin islands for Antigua and Tobago we received or etsa money back with additional £50 each.we loved antigua so no problems.last thing the dress code. jeans and smart shorts could be worn in the MDR with shorts or polos and on the dress to impress night I donned the tuxedo with approx 60% of the guys.would gladly do it all again maybe will next year ha ha. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
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