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344 Marella Cruises Senior Cruise Reviews

Discovery 2 Panama Canal Experience Jan 2020 First the Bad. We booked early through Sunwing (Toronto), paid full price. When we boarded the ship, our assigned cabin was quite small. We are pensioners, Sunwing requested our age. There ... Read More
Discovery 2 Panama Canal Experience Jan 2020 First the Bad. We booked early through Sunwing (Toronto), paid full price. When we boarded the ship, our assigned cabin was quite small. We are pensioners, Sunwing requested our age. There was a queen bed in the corner, 1 night table sideways at head (drawer could not be opened), access to the bed was only from foot or on right side. Access at right side, about 12 inches opening to 18 inches. We went to reception, they had a look at the cabin and asked us to return after all passengers had boarded. When we returned, they did have an inside cabin for us with the queen bed in the middle, night tables each side and access on both sides. A big thumbs up to Stiven at Customer Service, a very upfront and professional Marella employee. Booking from Canada we could not pre book a cabin or anything else. Sunwing need to ensure that elderly passengers are in a suitable cabin and/or have the option of booking a suitable cabin. If we were in our 40’s we would not have complained. Sunwing are hard to deal with, we requested a call back from a supervisor re our booking and were never called back. If you book with Sunwing cover all of your bases before they get your credit card info! Next the Good! Third time on Discovery 2, another excellent cruise. It's a friendly ship. There was some obvious updating in Islands and the new Quid and Anchor Lounge. Food was very good. Third time on board but first time for the fish & chips at the Snack Shack – excellent! Entertainment, excellent as usual, amazing talent. Even though we had seen most of the shows the year before they were still quite enjoyable - must have been as most nights we went twice. We are still laughing at the comedian’s (Peter Piper) jokes – “How Much?”! Costa Rica, Port Limon – did the canal and train excursion and enjoyed it. Guide (Ivan) was excellent. Panama, Colon - We chose this cruise primarily for the trip through the locks on the Panama Canal into Lake Gatun. Up at 4:30am, coffee was on. Quite interesting and well worth it. We stayed on board for the day and enjoyed the return trip back through the canal. Columbia, Cartagena – Just took a cab into town and wandered around. Quite an interesting place. Port Royal Jamaica – Well what can I say, first ship to dock since Captain Henry Morgan! Interesting swing out pier/walkway that attaches magnetically to the ship. This is new tourist destination facility, first day it was open. People were very friendly, we walked through the town to the old fort, quite interesting. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary as wanted somewhere warm .Having cruised many times before on different cruise lines ,we were a bit wary of Marella having read some of the reviews and my 3 girlfriends were very pro P and O . ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary as wanted somewhere warm .Having cruised many times before on different cruise lines ,we were a bit wary of Marella having read some of the reviews and my 3 girlfriends were very pro P and O . However that all changed as everything a bout this cruise was wonderful . We especially liked the all inclusive aspect, especially the drinks included part . This took away the constant bothering of waiters hovering over you all the time ,wanting you to order the very expensive drinks plus service charge , The entertainment was simply superb and we were lucky to experience the changeover of 2 troops of singers and dancers as one lot were finishing their 9 month contract, so were entertained by both . Our cabin was the best I have ever had with plenty of storage and a larger than average shower . There were plug sockets for both European and American plugs plus a very useful USB port above the bed ,so do take a UK converter Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
23rd CRUISE IN TEN YEARS - Cabin comfortable with towel sculptures and effective service!! We eat exclusively in the Main Restaurant as we are not fans of buffets at any cost!! We also refuse to take part in the cruise industries ... Read More
23rd CRUISE IN TEN YEARS - Cabin comfortable with towel sculptures and effective service!! We eat exclusively in the Main Restaurant as we are not fans of buffets at any cost!! We also refuse to take part in the cruise industries 'up selling' measures. The restaurant experiences was excellent. Good food although there is clear evidence of 'dumping down' and cost saving going on, compared to when we started cruising ten years ago with THOMSON!! The waiters and waitresses are superb. Constantly smiling and can not do enough to please. We were well received by the the Restaurant Managers too. Especially Micheal. On the down side we have not witnessed so much DIY drinks service as that seen on Explorer. There were too few drinks waiters and waitresses to serve the number of passengers seeking to obtain drinks - a major disappointment coupled with my wife [a diabetic] having to pay extra for diet tonic as this NOT included in the all-inclusive drinks package!! We enjoyed the entertainment and congratulate the show team on their performances. The amount of lectures/presentations based around SPA treatments is EXCESSIVE and shuttle bus fees a little high!! However, it is difficult to argue that this was not a good value cruise. Will we be back? That is under review given the balance of good and indifferent. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Oh how standards fall in just 12 months. We were cruising on Marella Discovery this time last year and absolutely loved it. This ship either has a staffing problem or they have reduced standards. I must point out however that the adapted ... Read More
Oh how standards fall in just 12 months. We were cruising on Marella Discovery this time last year and absolutely loved it. This ship either has a staffing problem or they have reduced standards. I must point out however that the adapted room we had on deck 5 was superb and with a thorough and friendly steward. My grumble is mainly with the food, the buffet was frequently not replenished, esp the salad section, i like to eat around 1.30 - 2 pm and was very hit and miss after the lunchtime rush, my partner is disabled and the assigned tables were all at one end, usually as near to the food counters as possible for ease. Latitude 53 was passable, going off the very well written gushing menu you would expect something special but was actually everyday food with the odd exception, maybe they want you to pay extra for a special meal in one of the paid restaurants. I thought the theatre shows were very good though the Squid is nowhere near big enough when the entertainment is on and the lowest chairs Ive seen, donate them to a primary school ! No problems with the itinerary, loved Madeira. So an average cruise with good and bad points, we continued our holiday in Costa Adeje which we enjoyed esp the food, which was much better than Marella Explorer. I think I will avoid this ship in future and hope its not a trend on the whole fleet, there are several cruise lines in the same price range. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I booked the cruise with Iglu cruises about 7 weeks before departure as a surprise for my husband on our 45th wedding anniversary and because the price was good and all inclusive. We've cruise a few times before with RC, NCL & ... Read More
I booked the cruise with Iglu cruises about 7 weeks before departure as a surprise for my husband on our 45th wedding anniversary and because the price was good and all inclusive. We've cruise a few times before with RC, NCL & Princess after looking at reviews my expectations were not too high however we were very happy with the level of service provided. Our cabin was on deck 10 a large balcony cabin ideally located near the lifts and was kept spotless at all times. We only went to the showroom once it was a fantastic singer it was a Whitney Houston tribute sorry can't remember her name. The staff overall were very attentive the food was good the Surf & Turf was excellent, like any other ship there is room for improvement however for the price we paid the cruise exceeded our expectations. This was our 1st time on the Marella Explorer and I'm sure it won't be the last. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We spent the 2 weeks around New Year on this ship and were very impressed. They did a great job of the Hogmanay Party one of the best I have been to. Great Night. We will be back! Staff on the ship are 5*. I was told that they range ... Read More
We spent the 2 weeks around New Year on this ship and were very impressed. They did a great job of the Hogmanay Party one of the best I have been to. Great Night. We will be back! Staff on the ship are 5*. I was told that they range from over 45 different countries but whoever did the hiring and training deserves a promotion. So proactive and helpful. Loved the way they take you straight from the bottom of the aircraft steps straight to the ship AND at the end of your trip Immigration is done ON BOARD before breakfast.. Very slick. No Q's at bars NEVER waited for water, bread , meals or drink to be delivered to my dinner table. How they manage to feed all those people in all the different restaurant about the same time was fantastic. Logistically amazing! Everything was so smooth you just take it for granted. Not once did I have to Q and that included going on or off the ship. Spa is nice, they do deals and I thought they were reasonable 3 treatments for £99. Don't ignore the shops on board, for some things they gave me the best prices. Try the bike rides(they have ebikes). We did 2 of the organised trips and thought they were good value, next year we will do more. Coffee in the Coffee Pot was lovely, girl who ran it knew her coffee. Loved the films on the top deck at night and one night when the weather got colder the staff turned up with cosy blankets - without being asked, how nice was that! As I said....we will be back! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
we like to try different ships as deja vu sets in very quickly as we have found out. Ships staff excellent with a helpful attitude in all areas and kept the ship very clean. Food good in all locations especially in kora la , surf and ... Read More
we like to try different ships as deja vu sets in very quickly as we have found out. Ships staff excellent with a helpful attitude in all areas and kept the ship very clean. Food good in all locations especially in kora la , surf and turf, beach cove and nonnas. Main dining and italian particulary very good. Self service usual bun fight but better than discoveries. Bars are all good with aperitif at the very top due to the very cheery bar staff. We did not use 19th hole but used all the others, gin bar very good. We would recommend the all inclusive premium upgrade as it allows a greater variety of drinks. The standard a/l is ok if you like cheap booze, but you have to pay in the coffee port and dont get free water bottles in your cabin. The premium wine is far better than the standard offerings. The only negative is the entertainment which over fifteen cruises we have found is getting worse. Singers who clear a large proportion of a bar is not a good sign. One special act a week is less than the three or four usually tribute acts from only a few years ago. P & O are also guilty here, the old Ocean Village ships were much better here. The big question is would we go on her again as we like change every cruise we would depending on the itinery Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise just a few weeks before departure, as for the first time we we we’re going to spend Christmas Day alone. We had sailed on Explorer 2 in September, our very first Marella cruise & loved it. We’ve cruised with ... Read More
We chose this cruise just a few weeks before departure, as for the first time we we we’re going to spend Christmas Day alone. We had sailed on Explorer 2 in September, our very first Marella cruise & loved it. We’ve cruised with P&O, Princess, NCL, but mostly with RCI. I would have no hesitation is suggesting Marella. I have read some of the negative comments on here, but can honestly say we didn’t find any of that. There were a number of children on board but we thought there would have been a lot more. The whole week was fantastic, although the sea day to Madeira was a bit bouncy. The ship, crew, food & entertainment all excellent. Our Christmas Day was the 6 o’clock sitting & the meal was faultless. We’re not huge drinkers so found the basic drinks package sufficient. We’re going to the Caribbean with P&O in March. Had I known what Marella cruises were like when I booked it, I would have booked a very similar cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Marketing suggested it was a new ship but turned out to be a 25 year old with limited refurbishment. There were many signs of ageing. Very misleading on the part of TUI marketing department but this is quite common with TUI. Food was ... Read More
Marketing suggested it was a new ship but turned out to be a 25 year old with limited refurbishment. There were many signs of ageing. Very misleading on the part of TUI marketing department but this is quite common with TUI. Food was very basic and could be easily be compared with pub grub. Only decent food was to be found in the extra cost venues. The cleaning standards were very superficial, especially in the main buffet restaurant. With the exception of the reception staff who were obnoxious, rude and unhelpful, the other staff were pleasant helpful and very willing. A special mention for Stevan from Serbia and Erald from Albania who were both very helpful, knowledgeable, and professional waiters. I gained the distinct impression that this was mostly a booze cruise. Great for those who want that but not for me. This was my first, and probably last, cruise based on my experience on TUI Marella Explorer 2. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
the itineraries were amazing, lots of different places we have always wanted to go then there was a fire in the engine room transformer which was dealt with quickly but the repercussions were we had to sail at a reduced speed which ... Read More
the itineraries were amazing, lots of different places we have always wanted to go then there was a fire in the engine room transformer which was dealt with quickly but the repercussions were we had to sail at a reduced speed which meant three of our excursions were canceled with an extra two days at sea. The itineraries were the only reason we paid nearly six thousand pounds to spend twenty-four hours on an aeroplane to board the ship and the cruise experience was ruined. What made it worse was the paltry £250 each Tui told us we would receive without consultation and when everybody complained I overheard, with witnesses, the captain saying loudly he would be glad when all the moaners left his ship. True. The same captain who knew his ship had the same problem a year before and TUI still sent the ship out in the hope it wouldn`t happen again. They gambled and failed with the resultant ruination of our cruise. If I wanted to spend five days at sea I would have chosen a cheap and cheerful Med cruise. Tui In our opinion should never have sent that ship out without ensuring the transformer problem was addressed properly. They didn`t and will have to pay the consequences. Marella Discovery and two fires in twelve months is negligent in my opinion and would not go with TUI Marella again. The entertainment was average and the staff and waiters were mostly eastern Europeans who do not smile Unfortunately the Asian staff seemed to copy them and made for a depressing cruise. The captain was arrogant and the food not up to standard, proved by a notice in the self service restaurant which asked passengers to stop leaving so much waste on their plates! Shocking. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose this cruise as it sailed from Tenerife were we live, therefore no flying. We have sailed the Canaries before but still enjoyed it. The Explorer is a nice ship. Very clean, plenty of room around the various bars. The entertainment ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it sailed from Tenerife were we live, therefore no flying. We have sailed the Canaries before but still enjoyed it. The Explorer is a nice ship. Very clean, plenty of room around the various bars. The entertainment was not as good as the Discovery, just the show dancers and one night a comedian, ok nothing to shout about. We thought the service was better on Discover we waited a fairly long time to be served around the pool bar even though there were plenty of staff. That said we did get good service in the Lounge bar which we used most nights. The food was fine plenty of choice however we have had better. The snack shack was not very good food was not very warm. Help yourself dinning good with plenty of choice. Shore excursions no problems really, just the weather was cloudy so not much photo opportunity, not their fault. Had a bit of an issue with our cabin cards did not work so had to go back to reception to have them programmed seemed to be a few of us with the same problem. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly for us as we were cruise only so boarded when we arrived in Santa Cruz 1.30pm and left the ship 8.30am when we were ready. Would we go again yes of course but on Discovery. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My wife & I booked this Greek Islands cruise while we were holidaying in the u.k. We actually booked it online from Australia thru Iglu Cruises. It was a fly/cruise starting at Luton airport then to Limassol, Cyprus (4.5 hrs) where we ... Read More
My wife & I booked this Greek Islands cruise while we were holidaying in the u.k. We actually booked it online from Australia thru Iglu Cruises. It was a fly/cruise starting at Luton airport then to Limassol, Cyprus (4.5 hrs) where we joined the cruise ship for our 7 day Aegean Titans cruise. Cruise went to Heraklion Crete, Athens,Mykonos,Kusadasi & Rhodes. The ship was old but comfortable & everything was well maintained. Food was good like all cruises & cabin was fine. Entertainment was as good as any other cruise line.Apart from the amazing destinations we visited the best part of the cruise was the fact that we did not have to pay for any gratuities or alcohol. All totally free!!!! Add to this the fantastic crew & the cheap price of the fly/cruise this was easily the best cruise I have ever taken & I have been on 6 cruises on 4 different cruise lines. Everything from airport to airport & on board ship was expertly arranged. It helps that Tui have their own airline. One would wonder why other cruise lines do not offer free drinks & gratuities without having to pay a fortune for these. I think a mark up of over 700% on drinks for what you would pay locally is a disgrace. Why then do cruise lines charge so much for drinks? Easy - because they can. It only takes one cruise line to offer this sort of deal & customers would come swarming.Let's see if any of the greats take up the challenge without hiking cruise prices. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
November 2019. Over the last decade, there has been something of a revival in interest and the number of people cruising, and sadly an equal number of operators providing substandard cruises. Having cruised 8 timespreviously with ... Read More
November 2019. Over the last decade, there has been something of a revival in interest and the number of people cruising, and sadly an equal number of operators providing substandard cruises. Having cruised 8 timespreviously with P&O, NCL, and RCI, we decided a change was needed as the last P&O cruise we took two years ago nearly put us off cruising for life. We booked the cruise 8 months in advance with Igloo online, paid and additional fee for a cabin 'guaranteed' to be on decks 6 or 7. When we arrived we were given a cruise card for our cabin on deck 2...argued our case with reception, but got nowhere. Determined not to let this spoil our holiday, we went to the buffet for a snack whilst waiting for our cases to arrive. I had a kind of stew, and bit into a raw sprout that couldn't even be cut with a knife. I tried to explain this to several members of staff, but none of them posessed enough knowledge of the English language to understand what I was saying. Undeterred, I put this to the back of my mind, and went to the cabin. An incredibly helpful, friendly and fun room stewardess welcomed my wife and me to the room, and we settled in. My wife soon noticed large amounts of black mould around the base of the shower. Of the 3 mains sockets, only one had UK 220v (and this was a 2-pin continental plug socket), the other two supplied 110v continental power. The beds (two singles pushed together) were rock hard...no give whatsoever - planks pretending to be beds. The TV had a constant hum, and played 5 movies on continual loop throughout the cruise, with no live tv, owing to 'an antenna fault that we're hoping to rectify'...but didn't. The drinks are all-inclusive, and I can see why. I asked for a Coke...I got a totally flat glass of Coke substitute..the spirits are all flooded with cheap mixers to the point where even a double is barely detectable, and you have to wait 15-20 minutes to get your drinks to arrive owing to the chronic lack of staff. The dining in the main dining room was something of a mixed bag. Again, too few staff (in common with every line these days) that constantly got your order wrong, especially breakfast time. It has to be said that although the portions were very small, the food was of a higher standard than P&O and light years ahead of Royal Caribbean...albeit never really more than warm at best. The head of house management were very full of themselves, and at times plain rude...one of them argued loudly with a guest (because he had arrived 4 minutes early) in front of a queue of guests. The entertainment...words cannot describe just how bad this was. A rude and mediocre acoustic guitarist appeared 4-5 times a day, every day, a deafeningly over-amplifies pianist, bashing out floor fillers, appeared 2-3 times a day, a talented saxophonist twice a day, constant quizzes, mock Tv game shows, and totally amateurish stage shows. All of them played Queen tunes to the point where you'd have thought they were a new band. To me, one of the best parts of a cruise are the evening shows, but even these were poor.(Push the entertainer into the pool...I kid you not...was reminiscent of Hi De Hi) After 4 days of trying to put a positive spin on things, I gave up, and waited for this particular horse to be put out of it's misery, and for the cruise to end. Most of the staff were friendly, it must be said, but overall the whole shebang resembled a working mens club at sea. Avoid. Please, avoid. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Ship was lovely and exceptionally cjean. Service was excellent. Food was great with a wide variety of choice. Entertainment was excellent and overall was excellent cruise! Waiters and cabin staff very courteous and friendly and really ... Read More
Ship was lovely and exceptionally cjean. Service was excellent. Food was great with a wide variety of choice. Entertainment was excellent and overall was excellent cruise! Waiters and cabin staff very courteous and friendly and really went out of their way to please you. Restaurant managers were excellent. We upgraded to premium drinks package but would recommend it. We noticed that other passengers who had not upgraded were served premium drinks. The DJ in night club was excellent and played a good variety of music for all ages. Thought the whole cruise was very streamlined and very well managed and organised. Would definitely recommend and is very good value for money. The only complaint I have is the Cartegena Trolley Train excursion! Complete waste of money at £25.50 each. The train was extremely uncomfortable and cramped and spent the whole journey sardined between two people travelling backwards! The tour guide was awful! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
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
From start to finish Great cruise .the flight out was on time although with about four planes arriving at Palma at the same time there was some delay at the check in but hay ho the sun was shining the weather for the time of the year was ... Read More
From start to finish Great cruise .the flight out was on time although with about four planes arriving at Palma at the same time there was some delay at the check in but hay ho the sun was shining the weather for the time of the year was very good with only the occasional shower.although there were more sea days on this cruise we still found plenty to do we dined mainly in the orian for both breakfast and evening dinner where we found a really good selection on the menu at lunch time we ate in sirensthe staff on the dream are excellent especially in the orian restaurant.special thanks to mary-ann.ema.cristan and bikas for the service they gave us.the entertainment was great both in the Broadway and madusa where Philip was a star turn.many times on the dream before but not the last.keep up the good work and see you soon Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This cruise was part of a stay & cruise on Marella Celebration departing from Dubrovnik. This was our second cruise on the Celebration this year, the first was a repositioning cruise from the Caribbean in April, on that Cruise the ... Read More
This cruise was part of a stay & cruise on Marella Celebration departing from Dubrovnik. This was our second cruise on the Celebration this year, the first was a repositioning cruise from the Caribbean in April, on that Cruise the meals in the Meridian Restaurant were terrible the worst we have ever encountered on a Marella (Thomson) cruise, and the most complaints and returned food we have ever seen on a cruise. We were not looking forward to another weeks cruise with food which had been totally destroyed, but we should not have worried the standard of food and service in the Meridian Restaurant were back to normal, 100% better than in April. Our cruise was Adriatic Affair from Dubrovnik on 24 October 2019. The first port was Hvar Croatia (a tender port) it is a lovely old town with beautiful buildings and has relatively flat but uneven walking areas, also the town centre area is car free making it easy to explore. The second port was Ancona Italy, there it is an industrial area with a ship building/repair yard to the left of the cruise port area, this contrasts with the Greek and Roman buildings of the town which can be easily accessed from the cruise terminal on foot, there are many older buildings to visit and plenty of pavement cafes to rest your feet. The third port was Koper Slovenia, Koper a medieval town is set on a horseshoe shaped bay with lots of historical sights. One thing to try on your visit is their wine, especially the desert wines they are delicious. Until now the weather had been un-seasonally warm in the lower to mid 20's, but that was to change on our fourth port of Venice. Our approach to the cruise port in Venice was delayed until 12.30 due to a heavy mist, which resulted in all trips to be cancelled, and the walk from the ship through the terminal to gain access to the city was considerable and resulted in many cruisers staying onboard. I felt very sorry for the cruisers who had picked this cruise especially to have a clear view cruise through Venice up to the cruise port, spoilt by a mist haze, then being unable to take their booked trips. As by next year Venice is stopping cruise ships of any size from sailing up through Venice past St Mark's Square to the cruise port. Our fifth port was Rijeka Croatia with a colder temperature of 16-18C, Rijeka is a working port, but there is plenty to see in the traffic free streets of the Korzo district as you seek out a pavement café to do a bit of people watching. The last port was Split Croatia, Split is one of my favourite ports being easily reached by foot from the cruise terminal, it is also flat with very good walking areas, especially along the sea front where there are many cafes to sit and people watch. A must is to try some authentic Croatian cooked food, a starter of bean soup and the main course from under the Bell, it is usually a mixture of beef, chicken and potatoes cooked in a large round metal casserole dish covered by a metal dome, it is placed on glowing embers of a wood fire then the dome is also covered in embers and allowed to cook slowly until the meat is soft and tender, it then placed on the table to help your self. The Celebration though an older ship is kept very clean with hand sanitizers placed at the door ways to all eating areas and bars to assist in the prevention of norovirus. All the ships staff encountered were pleasant and eager to help make your cruise a memorable one for the best reasons. Two staff who stood above the rest, firstly was Wilbur our cabin steward deck 6 who kept our cabin spick and span despite our efforts to make it otherwise, Wilbur always met you with a smile and showed interest in how you were, and where you were going and what you had done the day before. The second was waiter Gemmar in Hemingways, he always remembered your drink and cabin No, every drink was quickly served with a smile, he also showed interest in your day and would make time to exchange pleasantries. The efforts of these two staff made all the difference to our cruise to make it a pleasurable memorable one, as you were not just a number but a person to whom they could help and assist. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I am the type of person who rarely complains ... but....... We've been on the Dream and Celebration, and mostly not a great deal to complain about, except the food could be a little hotter. The Explorer 2 however is another thing ... Read More
I am the type of person who rarely complains ... but....... We've been on the Dream and Celebration, and mostly not a great deal to complain about, except the food could be a little hotter. The Explorer 2 however is another thing altogether. The food in the Marketplace on floor 11, even when put out fresh in front of you, is luke warm at best. By the time you are at your table it's getting cold, and when you've almost finished it, it's stone cold. That was virtually every meal I had except maybe one or two. Being in the pub food trade, I know from experience that it's not rocket science to serve hot food, even to large numbers of people. One day we had ham pie which turned out to be preformed pieces of 'so called' ham, which disolved into your mouth like jelly. I can eat anything, but that was the exeception to the rule! The meal at Latitude was hot, but the smallest portions of food I have ever had, which resulted in me going to the Marketplace for a luke warm top up. Scoops Ice Cream bar on deck 12 was £3.99 for a knickerbocker glory with virtually tasteless Ice cream. The all inclusive spirit drinks are - how shall I say this - watered down! Being a regular spirits drinker, and a pub landlord for 18 years, I know how a Smirnoff and Gordons Gin are supposed to taste like - and the genuine, unopened article would be twice as strong as the version I was served daily on the ship. I had a few 50 ml sealed bottled from the cabin fridge and they hit the spot within minutes, whereas I could drink all night in the bars and remain very sober. The Broadway show lounge 'Rockolgy' show was brilliant and very proffesional, with great music skills and brilliany harmonies.. The bar entertainments however, was very poor as compared to the Dream and Celebration offerings that I have seen over the last 18 months. The age group on the ship were virtually all 50 plus, yet the pub quizzes were aimed at teens and a little insulting, in my opinion. Considering the age group onboard, I found it puzzling that all of the contestants were in their late teens or twenties? (crew members perhaps?) Karaoke was good. All staff were very polite except one woman security member who was related to Hitler as she was straight faced and abrupt? Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
A good sized cabin, friendly efficient staff and reasonable food and entertainment ensured that one was able to enjoy the holiday but do not expect luxury at this price point. Overall the cruise was good value for money. But small ... Read More
A good sized cabin, friendly efficient staff and reasonable food and entertainment ensured that one was able to enjoy the holiday but do not expect luxury at this price point. Overall the cruise was good value for money. But small remediable matters let things down. The premium drinks package had a poor choice of non alcoholic drinks. So there was no non alcoholic wine or beer or premium soft drinks and water still had to be paid for. There was no drinks menu in the rooms so I did not realise I could have better wine with my meal until day 3. WiFi was very expensive starting at £8per hour and generally 3 times as expensive as MSC cruises for instance. Excursions were cancelled which upset a number of guests who wished to visit particular places. The Captains Gala was just a vehicle to sell photographs and was in no way special. The information staff were not knowledgeable and were only interested in flogging excursions. But one can expect too much. For a grand or so each we got plenty but with a little effort and very little extra cost TUI could still do rather better. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I`m just back from a week on Discovery 2 and wasn`t disappointed. The ship was a lovely ship and the service was fantastic as I would expect from TUI. People have moaned about the bar service, that just ain`t true as the service was ... Read More
I`m just back from a week on Discovery 2 and wasn`t disappointed. The ship was a lovely ship and the service was fantastic as I would expect from TUI. People have moaned about the bar service, that just ain`t true as the service was second to none and this is my 6th cruise and I`ve seen bad bar service on other ships. They even have wine and lager on tap in the Islands buffet area. The staff in every department of the ship are so hard working and can`t do enough for you. The ship it`s self is a nice ship and the itinerary was really good. I had a Balcony and have now learnt to be at the bow and on the starboard side or you`ll not get any sun and the smoke from the funnels at night comes down the side towards the aft sides. The 47 restaurant wasn`t the best menu and sometimes you had to wait about 40 mins to get seated, even if they weren`t full. Was the biggest negative on the ship. It was better to go up to the Islands Buffet as the food was good. The shows were ok, but nothing brilliant, as I expect from TUI. The tv in the room was worse than useless, no news channels and limited programmes with same films repeated everyday. The discovery 2 isn`t for kids either. very few facilities for them. But overall I would def go back, but try the Eplorer2 as it`s adults only. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Our 50th anniversary. Arrival was a walk from airport in Naples but staff all the way to bus, and happy to help. We had a junior suite and it was roomy, clean and very comfortable. We had ordered the celebration package and at £99 found ... Read More
Our 50th anniversary. Arrival was a walk from airport in Naples but staff all the way to bus, and happy to help. We had a junior suite and it was roomy, clean and very comfortable. We had ordered the celebration package and at £99 found it excellent value for money. Wherever we were on the ship the staff could not have been more friendly and helpful. The captain (Richard) and his staff were seen at various places on the ship and were very welcoming to the guests. The staff went beyond our expectations. We enjoyed the food, and felt special every time we ate in the restaurants, and again all the staff there were happy and efficient. Minus would be that next time we will go from an airport using Tui flights, where from the airport your luggage is taken care of till it arrives at your room.It was stressful having gone from Luton on another airline and we were in charge of our cases. We did not get any labels to attach to them and consequently they arrived at our rooms hours after us, despite trying to tell the reps that they had no labels to inform anyone of our ship details. Same when leaving, baggage hall disorganised for us to collect luggage. We found trying to book the celebration package via the Tui shop thwarted by difficulties in the way. Would book direct in future. We are now planning our next cruise with Tui. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was myself and wife 15th cruise all with Marella and the 4th time on the Dream as it was !! Our favourite ship in the fleet. I’ll keep the review practical many frequent Marbella cruise travellers hopefully get the key points. ... Read More
This was myself and wife 15th cruise all with Marella and the 4th time on the Dream as it was !! Our favourite ship in the fleet. I’ll keep the review practical many frequent Marbella cruise travellers hopefully get the key points. The positives are its an older ship but has some great venues and bars which makes the personnel touches better than the bigger ships and it proved no different from our previous sailings. The services from the bars and restaurant staff were excellent. The professional entertainment was excellent although some of the best act were too late in the evening. We read on an informative letter in our cabin on arrival that they listen to the cruise feedback reviews. They had decided they would let children use the adult pools which I’m not sure was thought through. We like the lido pool on deck 9 it has a children’s pool but they all used the adult pool. Not supervised by staff and parents and just basic chaos all week. Jumping,pushing,shoving,inflatables the size of a person. Water guns the size of cannons firing all over the deck. We are not stick in the muds we have 3 children who don’t behave in this fashion. Three times we complained to reception and all we got back was they are the same throughout the ship. Ruined the holiday and experience. The sail away party the life and sole of these cruises was ruined by the life safety drill taking place at 10.00 in the evening which is unheard off. The food which was always the stalwart of the Dream has gone backwards!! Repetitive basis offering and the sweet selection was really poor. The Cruise Director spent more time trying to sell upgrades than actually information around the entertainment. The 2 hour flight delay coming and 5 hour delay going back didn’t help either. This is our 2nd Marella cruise this year which hasn’t come anywhere near expectations with delays and standards going backwards.one of the biggest frustrations is trying to get your voice heard. The Tui App on the ship is loaded with questions they want to hear rather than anything they don’t. The questionnaire they send you is just as frustrating and if you criticising too much will not let you complete. Prices going up and standards going down. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
After having a brilliant time on the Discovery last August we decided once again last minute to try the Idyllic Italia itinerary. As before this ship did not disappoint us, we had an inside plus cabin on deck 7 which was very spacious and ... Read More
After having a brilliant time on the Discovery last August we decided once again last minute to try the Idyllic Italia itinerary. As before this ship did not disappoint us, we had an inside plus cabin on deck 7 which was very spacious and kept spotless clean by the cabin staff. We did think about a balcony cabin as one was available but didn’t think the extra £600 for 1 week worth it. Maybe if we were on the ship for 2 weeks we would have thought about it. In all honestly we didn’t miss having a balcony as we only used the room to sleep and change in as there were plenty of excursions/ports to see. We had no problems with the food, used the Islands for breakfast and lunch, 47 and gallery 47 for dinner. We also tried the Glasshouse one evening for the tapas which was excellent. Only had to use the pagers twice and the wait was only about 10 minutes, didn’t even have time for a drink !! Went to Bar 11 every night after dinner, really enjoyed the ambiance there and all the staff were great. Always ended up sitting up at the bar chatting and having a bit of a laugh with the staff. Manuel, Maria and Ericka were delightful. Drinks were good and plentiful but slightly disappointed this year as the all inclusive cocktails had changed, last year there were a few rum based ones but this year only one, had to order a couple off the premium menu but only an extra £2.50 so not too bad. Went on 2 excursions with TUI -Pompeii and Taormina which were both very good, although when visiting Pompeii it was much to hot and there’s not a lot of shade so we were exhausted at the end but still worth doing. We met some nice people and never saw any rowdy or bad behaviour even the small amount of children on board were no trouble. The only time we struggled for a sunbed was on the sea day which was to be expected but we did see staff going round the decks putting notices on any sunbeds that were being reserved but no one on them. Loved the adult only veranda and that the Glasshouse pool also became adults only in the afternoon. Disembarkation was well organised but Corfu airport is still a bit of a nightmare, 45 minutes to check in, then 1hour queuing for security only just got through and the plane was ready to board. Not a fault of TUI but can only hope security can improve. Already looking at Discovery’s itinerary for next year but will do a last minute again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The ship and the holiday The ship has limitations compared to others in the fleet or on other lines. We missed a promenade deck and also found limitation in the number of seats available. Good places of call and all excursions were ... Read More
The ship and the holiday The ship has limitations compared to others in the fleet or on other lines. We missed a promenade deck and also found limitation in the number of seats available. Good places of call and all excursions were well organised despite tender trouble in Stornaway. Excellent Captain who kept us well informed throughout – often very humerous The embarkation procedure needs attention. We had to queue for luggage labels despite our disability and that we had booked our cabin. Need more than 3 checking in We have some limitations on mobility and asked for help with our luggage when we arrived by taxi. None given - just a shrug. I am unable to lift luggage but able to walk with a stick. We are not wheelchair bound both but have difficulty walking. It appears that we are unable to get assistance unless we take to a wheelchair. Other cruise lines offer very much better assistance Staff worked very hard and were always pleasant with a smile. However, we learnt from one of the very good cabin staff that when he started 10 years ago he had 12 staterooms to oversee. Each now have 28. No wonder they were tired and used periods off to catch up with sleep Newcastle a good port for cruises for almost everyone we spoke to. However Marella need to sort the embarkation procedure out better as well as disembarkation Dining Dining was very slow initially in Latitude 53 but TUI did respond to complaints and service much improved after 3 nights Menu in Latitudes not as wide as in earlier years and sad to say the quality of the food was poorer which is different to my views on earlier cruises- More cost cutting? Had foul smell in shower room when we returned from a function - attended to 3 times but reappeared - was told that it was due to the ship being on rocky seas and the foul water was swishing into shower water - surely not on level 9 - as this means that both foul water and washing water are the same - this would be a very dangerous health hazard Entertainment We had a very good speaker and very well attended Broadway theatre full for 4 of the 5 talks (well done!) despite some issues not of his making. Entertainment apart from the talks was very poor - not aimed for all the generations on board. The shows were given by a well-trained and enthusiastic group of singer dancers. Mostly it was pop. However as someone commented, if we were watching on TV at home, we would switch off. Just one comedian in 14 nights – no other speciality acts. No classical music at all. The scheduled deck games were not hosted or hosts did not appear at all. Note to Marella - The limitation of some of these games issues could be overcome by utilising the space adjacent to the putting area as well as enforcing what we were promised. Also unhosted Bridge etc was scheduled at breakfast time. Tis did nt take place. The library (the Attic) was much better than on Explorer 2 although 3 of the 5 bookcases were emptied within 24 hours. Many more games provided compared Explorer 2 but no playing cards (unless they were taken by guests) The games were needed in view of the poor entertainment available. A request failed to see them arrive. However the Attic was a lovely quiet spot Scheduling was erratic – we did not see or meet the captain until the last night as it clashed Overall We felt that everything that could be cut financially, had been with the result that the cruise will appeal to a limited market covered by other cruise lines. We have cruised with Tomson/TUI/ Marella about 10 times but probably not again despite the convenience of the port Suggestions for Marella 1. Use the sheltered deck area adjacent to part of the putting/golf area. No doubt used for ship storage etc But consider adapting for eg quoits when not in use (it was not used throughout the cruise) 2. Can we have cards provided 3. Can you afford hosted bridge and whist etc as on other cruise ships 4. Can you afford hosted arts and crafts as many would follow this- On P & O, the number on the watercolour class filled the lounge 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
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