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12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Chose the cruise as a late booking, to compare with our experiences with P&O so far, as well as choosing an interior cabin for the first time. We usually travel as a party of 4 adults, so this was our first cruise as a couple, on an ... Read More
Chose the cruise as a late booking, to compare with our experiences with P&O so far, as well as choosing an interior cabin for the first time. We usually travel as a party of 4 adults, so this was our first cruise as a couple, on an adults only ship. TUI had only just started using Naples as their home port, and our arrival and departure at the airport were poor, not down to TUI, but the local airport services, with delays to finding stairs and buses and luggage for virtually every flight we talked to. Our weather for the week was mixed, but it didn't hinder any of our plans, and in fact the lightening storm at Ancona was the highlight of the visit, as there just isn't much there, especially on a Sunday ! Overall I would say that whilst Marbella was smaller than any P&O ship we have been on, half of the things about it were better, and half were poorer, so we would definitely sail with them again. I would say that P&O ships are better appointed, it's public spaces more luxurious, and they offer a wider variety of food in the buffets and restaurants. However the all inclusive on Marella is much better, the rooms more spacious, and the standard of service and friendliness from the staff overall was better. The main difference to us was that the Explorer made no use of the atrium area on the ship, and unlike P&O it wasn't a focal point for seating or dancing, but it was a smaller ship to be fair. The age profile probably averaged 50 to 60, and the activities reflected this. We had intended to eat at larger tables to meet people, but to be honest the tables for 2 are so close together, you have no option but to interact with other dinners ! Our ports of call were as follows, and I hate paying the rip off prices for tours charged by all cruise lines, so a bit of research means you can do it all at half the price - Naples we only had a couple of hours to explorer before departure, and so no chance to visit Pompei. It was May Day, and there was a major rally in the city, so it was as busy as Oxford Street on a Saturday, so we didn't see it at its best, but I wouldn't rush back as it struck me as a working port and a bit grubby. Easy walk to the centre of the city from the port. Split in Croatia was really worthwhile. Again an easy 10 minute walk from the ship to the centre, and it's really interesting to walk around the market outside the city walls, and then the warren of streets in the centre. We went back to the ship for lunch and then back along the waterfront and past the city centre to the Marjan Peninsular for a walk with views back down onto the city. Venice we went on deck for the early morning sail in, but the poor weather meant it was like sailing up the Humber Estuary in the mist. The rain delayed our start but we took the people mover from just outside the port (1.5 euros) to Piazza Roma, and took the vaporetto route 1 water taxi down the Grand Canal (7.5 euros) to San Marco. We went in the Doges Palace (20 euros) with only a 15 minute queue, up the Campanile Tower (8 euros) with only a 20 minute queue, and into the Basilica (free) with only a 10 minute queue. All were well worthwhile, especially the Basilica as on the way out you have the option to pay 5 euros to go up onto the roof for some great views down onto the square below which I would recommend. Afterwards we wandered the streets up the Rialto Bridge and market, and walked back up the Grand Canal to the people mover at Piazza Roma. The city is easy to walk around and there is no need to travel on the canals if you don't wish to, and the gondolas are a published 80 euros for 40 minutes wherever you catch one from. Ancona was just a filler stop, as there just isn't much there. The weather was our worst of the trip, which in some ways worked out, as we had a tremendous lightening storm in the afternoon which was the highlight of the town ! Dubrovnik was our favourite stop along with Venice, with the buildings like Split but more structured streets unlike the warrens at Split. From the port exit turn left and catch the bus 1 or 8 into the old town (15 kune) as it's a bit too far to walk, and when you get there you will want to walk the walls (200 kune). The walls are intact and a full circuit takes around an hour and a half, but the views are spectacular, and includes the adjacent fort with views back onto the town. The cable car to the lookout above the city was not operating due to a tax dispute with the government. Messina town in Sicily doesn't have much, so we opted to turn left out of the port and a 10 minute walk takes you to the central train station where a train runs regularly to Traormina Giardini station (8 euros return), but you need a taxi up to the town (15 euros) or wait for the bus. We didn't have much time so we got a taxi and the town is very quaint. Turns out that we did the right thing as some of the ship tours went nowhere due to an accident on the main road. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Destinations and fitted in with work etc. Reason for choice of Cruise. From the time we checked in on board to the time we left all was perfect. Ship new, clean and great taste. Latitude restaurant was first class. We ate most meals ... Read More
Destinations and fitted in with work etc. Reason for choice of Cruise. From the time we checked in on board to the time we left all was perfect. Ship new, clean and great taste. Latitude restaurant was first class. We ate most meals here, a treat for Mum and easier with wheelchair. All staff superb, always ready to help with mum and happy in their work. Cabin we had two balcony cabins and were superb. Entertainment in main theatre was very good. We enjoyed all. Some better than others, but overall a great evening. Went to nightclub and also entertaining. We were asked by Steven if we would be models for the fashion show, which we agreed to and was an amazing evening. Such fun. Ports were good, disappointed with Messina, a shame we couldn’t dock in Taormina. But others good. Have recommended to friends for July. We thought the Director of entertainment, Matt was excellent, and always had time to speak to us when we bumped into him on board. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We suddenly were able to cruise these dates and loved itinerary We booked three weeks before and had to book guaranteed inside cabin Pros The luggage found its way to our cabin without a cabin number on as we didn’t know it ... Read More
We suddenly were able to cruise these dates and loved itinerary We booked three weeks before and had to book guaranteed inside cabin Pros The luggage found its way to our cabin without a cabin number on as we didn’t know it CD not in cabins not captain for long announcements Surf and turf pay venue the best meal all week Excursions good value Cons Cabin steward never introduced himself as we couldn’t be sure who he was to ask for toilet roll and clean cups Cabin very dusty on arrival at 11pm and carpet old and sticky CD went on and on and spoke like we were children and one night I timed him at 11 mins of stuff in the nightly leaflet Bar staff surly and said couldn’t make Expresso A’s not on the menu and said they had never heard of it No stirrers so drinks not mixed We tried the pay speciality coffee and left it after one mouthful... tasted like evap milk not froffed on cappuccino N/a We never went to MDR Never went in pools Never went to shows after hearing rehearsals but honestly not for us Feedback Give weather where excursions are not where ship is When passengers ask to share then don’t take them to table for two every time This ship full of large groups of loud tattooed people and lots of kids not at school Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our first time cruising and we wanted a smaller or mid sized ship with a balcony. Discovery 2 fits that bill. My wife and I, both in our 60s, would thoroughly recommend this cruise. Cabin 7006 with balcony was excellent in every ... Read More
This was our first time cruising and we wanted a smaller or mid sized ship with a balcony. Discovery 2 fits that bill. My wife and I, both in our 60s, would thoroughly recommend this cruise. Cabin 7006 with balcony was excellent in every way. In particular it had plenty of power points. One USA, one European and three USBs, one under each wall light.. We ate largely in 47 degrees the main dining room and found both the service and food to be very good. We ate early, rarely after 7:15, when there were no queues, but did notice queues, sometimes long, after 8:00. Upstairs in 47 Degrees Italian was also very good and free. One night we ate in the Steakhouse at £30pp extra. Well worth it, superb food and service. We did note that early booking on day 1 of the cruise is vital as after Monday this restaurant was booked solid and operating a waiting list. We found that there were plenty of lifts and we never waited long at all. There were a fair number of disabled passengers with small buggies but they caused no problem and it would seem that this is a good ship and cruise for disabled people. We took an organised trip at every stop and enjoyed them all, although we felt two of them to be poorly organised by Marella. The guides, without exception, were very good. Dress code throughout is smart casual. Something women find easy and men in my experience find difficult to understand! Same comment also applies back home at my golf club. Dress to impress night, I wore a three piece suit. About 5% wore tuxedo - well done! 20% Jacket and tie, 75% jacket or no jacket and no tie. Some even wore jeans. Didn't bother us, perhaps it's a plus that on this ship you wear what you want, within reason. We would definitely cruise with Marella again and would choose a balcony cabin. We spoke with others and saw the interiors of outside and inside cabins and those who chose them loved them. Staff were universally excellent. We spoke to people from South America, West Indies, Philippines, etc and they were a joy to speak to and to have them serve us. We watched 4 shows in the large theatre where they bring waiter served drinks to your seat. We found the shows to be well put together and the performers did a good job. The theatre was packed for 2 shows a night. Embarkation (we were one hour late from Gatwick) and disembarkation were no problems. You do have to be out of your cabin by 8am on the final day and have packed suitcases in your hallway the previous night. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Probably the biggest disappointment was the food. The buffet restaurant seems to have no dress code and the food was absolutely appalling. Cheap, mass produced rubbish. The a la carte restaurants (47° and gallery 47) were slightly ... Read More
Probably the biggest disappointment was the food. The buffet restaurant seems to have no dress code and the food was absolutely appalling. Cheap, mass produced rubbish. The a la carte restaurants (47° and gallery 47) were slightly better but the food was all bought in and heated up, menus lacked imagination and the quality was average at best. We did have one good meal by paying £46 to upgrade to the Kora La Asian restaurant. This was almost 5 star but not quite. The ship has been with TUI Marella since 2017, before this it was Legend of the Seas and on exchange was supposed to have had millions spent on it. Apart from a nice external paint job it's difficult to see what this could have been spent on as it's all very tired and often quite tatty internally. The cabin has it's own section within this review. The entertainment was quite reasonable. The band 4Tunes are good and some of the shows were ok, though not fantastic. Why are cruise ships obsessed with Broadway shows? On good quality 5 star holidays we are used to entertainment that typifies the culture and music of the area being visited. The all inclusive drinks are ok but I don't understand why this doesn't include the cabin mini bar. Maybe the type of 5 star all inclusive holidays we are used to has set our expectations a bit high for large cruise ships due to the mixed client demographic. We certainly wouldn't sail with Marella again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We were quite worried after reading previous reviews , however it turned out to be a very good cruise. Firstly the cons ( not many ) . As so many other reviews have highlighted they need more bar/wait staff in atrium/live room bars between ... Read More
We were quite worried after reading previous reviews , however it turned out to be a very good cruise. Firstly the cons ( not many ) . As so many other reviews have highlighted they need more bar/wait staff in atrium/live room bars between 6-11pm this was the only negative review of service . ( PLEASE LISTEN MARELLA !!!! would have been 5 stars but for this !!!). Also the only other fault was that we felt some of the meat products ie burgers, cooked meats needed to be of a higher standard ( Think microwave burgers ! ). The pros , great flight and super transfer , embarcation all very well organised . The most friendly welcome ever ( previous ncl + celebrity cruise nowhere near as good in this respect). Virtually all the crew including officers very friendly ( one exception a surly barman in atrium bar ).Cabin cleaned very well by paul and charlie , lots of space and a comfortable bed.Food was generally very good and never waited long to be seated. Always managed to find a seat in islands. Something for everyone regards entertainment re dancing , bingo ,quizes , etc ( your never going to please everyone all the time as the ships passengers are a cross section of British society ).Fantastic itinery and some fairly priced excursions ( adriatic ). We thought this would be a one off cruise with marella but will now definatly book again. Go with a smile on your face and enjoy. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We tried the majesty last year and were so impressed we decided to do the next one up ie the celebration. We had a large delux cabin which we had booked however we were given a queen bed instead of twin beds as originally requested. That ... Read More
We tried the majesty last year and were so impressed we decided to do the next one up ie the celebration. We had a large delux cabin which we had booked however we were given a queen bed instead of twin beds as originally requested. That being said the bed was extremely comfy and Ahmad, who looked after our cabin kept it spotlessly clean and the towel “art” each night was great. I hope the next cruise we go on we might get lucky and have Ahmad look after us again! Unfortunately on this cruise the ship appeared to be full to capacity and it was difficult finding seats in the different bars. Also when we wanted to sit and read say in the Hemingway’s bar it was most difficult. We did try the Broadway lounge which was always empty during the day but sadly it was really cold so couldn’t sit and read. The staff were lovely always accommodating nothing was too much trouble for them. The food which was aplenty, was tasty. The pianist Ben was good as was the guitarist. We watched the shows too in the Broadway lounge which were very good I particularly liked the Philip Marlowe production. The comedian they had on was also funny and went down well. An enjoyable cruise although the Celebration is looking tired and needs some TLC. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Just returned from this cruise. We booked this for several reasons, a late cruise, visiting Sicily and Kefalonia, adults only, all on the fabulous Celebration, in my opinion, Thomson’s/Marella’s best ship. The ships specification is ... Read More
Just returned from this cruise. We booked this for several reasons, a late cruise, visiting Sicily and Kefalonia, adults only, all on the fabulous Celebration, in my opinion, Thomson’s/Marella’s best ship. The ships specification is well documented on the Internet so I won’t go into the details, suffice to say, the food, entertainment, information, cabin service, bar service and so on were all of a very high standard. The pre-booked excursion tickets were waiting for us in our cabin on embarkation and the embarkation and disembarkation procedures were incredibly slick, including the experience of parting with your luggage at East Midlands airport and not seeing it again until it arrived outside your cabin, without having to collect it at Dubrovnik airport. The same procedure (in reverse of course) on the return home. That’s progress. I few points about the ports of call. Messina, Sicily - a nice place but not a lot to do if you arrive on a Sunday so it may be worth booking a trip. Argostoli, Kefalonia - again, a pretty town but a bit sleepy. Worth having a walk along the front and across the causeway (which leads to the other side of the bay). Igoumenitsa, Greece - this is a port town, with ferries to Corfu and beyond. It has little historical interest. The Marella map shows a castle but all we found was a church, something that may have been lost in the translation? We actually booked a tour to Nekromanteio which is steeped in Greek mythology if you like that sort of thing, then onto the postcard-perfect village of Parga, and it really is very pretty. Not enough for us for a whole day but a couple of hours is perfect to climb up to the castle and take in the views. Kotor, Montenegro - this is a quaint but bustling town. Check beforehand how many ships are in on the day and it will give you an idea as to how busy it will be. There are loads of options for tours, including private taxi’s and hop-on, hop-off busses. As we had been before we did our own thing. I took on the challenge of climbing up to the fortress Castle of San Giovanni, approximately 1,200 metres high and approximately 1,350 steps to climb to reach the castle. €8 for the privilege and it is a seriously long climb, over uneven (and sometimes missing) stone steps, or, in parts, a steep slope. The view at the top is fantastic and worth the pull on your calf muscles and hamstrings for the next couple of days. In general, as we went in October, the on shore tour options may not all have been present as this is right at the end of the season. If you go earlier in the year, there may be more available. In summary, this is not an itinerary that jumps out at you. The is no “Venice” or Barcelona”, but the cruise does visit some quaint, pretty and interesting places, many with stunning scenery (the bay of Kotor in particular). Couple this up with the magnificent Celebration cruise ship and add in the food, drinks, entertainment, the attentive, hard working staff and being able to meet like minded people, this all equates to a complete cruise experience. I would wholeheartedly recommend this cruise to any prospective cruiser. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Have tried all the other marella ships. So decided on discovery 2 to cruise with friends. Never had a balcony cabin before . Would not pay for another one as didn't use it. Our cabin was just above the atrium so noisy if you wanted a ... Read More
Have tried all the other marella ships. So decided on discovery 2 to cruise with friends. Never had a balcony cabin before . Would not pay for another one as didn't use it. Our cabin was just above the atrium so noisy if you wanted a nap or early night. Entertainment was just ok. Too much daytime entertainment slots were filled with spa demonstrations which are always too overpriced. The comedian Terry Cotta was very good. The 4 tunes group were very good the banda certa group not so good. Food and drink good. Cabin kept clean by Benji. Reception staff were polite. Entertainment staff friendly. Long wait for waiters to serve you they always seemed to look the other way except for Sherene a lovely girl from Jamaica and Philip or tinkerbell as we called him always on the go and so cheery. Standard have dropped in mdr, stains on tablecloths dirty cups and twice I saw young waiters just using the glass table number stand to brush crumbs on the floor. I think more training by older experienced staff is needed. Food is good but long wait for it to be served. More waiting on staff are needed in the dining rooms. I always come back from cruise with a chest infection I put it down to air con either in cabin or on flight. Would not cruise from Corfu airport again. Long queues outside airport then another to check in then another to put your case through then another for security. If you want to use special assistance you are put on last on the plane. Special praise goes to the woman captain on the flight for her persistence in trying to land our plane in strong winds . Well done. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This is the third or fourth time we have been on the Celebration over the past 4 yrs I believe. I feel a bit sorry to say that in all ways this ship has gone down in my estimation and is like a frail old lady. This not to say that we ... Read More
This is the third or fourth time we have been on the Celebration over the past 4 yrs I believe. I feel a bit sorry to say that in all ways this ship has gone down in my estimation and is like a frail old lady. This not to say that we did not enjoy our 2 weeks cruise because we did, but knowing this ship for a good few years it is a bit sad, so see her being dragged round the Med when all she wants is a good rest. The cabins are ok especially ours as we have an adapted cabin which is large and adequate in size but it looks exactly as it did when we first went on it all those years ago .apart from a new carpet,except it should not have done. it should have been brought more up to scratch. The cabin does not seem to have been decorated since the beginning of us using it. The food in Mistrals is really lovely but so it should at the supplement over what you have already paid. A very short menu.. The Lido is a bit like a works canteen but we only went there for breakfast as the Meridian was too early for us The food is not quite so good as before but perfectly ok. The best bit about this ship is the staff. They do all they can to make sure that you are happy. I had a couple of blips but it was soon sorted out.. Read Less
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