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417 Marella Cruises Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

Not our first cruise but our first time cruising over Christmas, so we were looking forward with great excitement. We booked in November 2018 and paid £1200 each for myself and my wife as this was going to the holy land. although ... Read More
Not our first cruise but our first time cruising over Christmas, so we were looking forward with great excitement. We booked in November 2018 and paid £1200 each for myself and my wife as this was going to the holy land. although neither of us are religious the history of the area is compelling and would make it a once in a lifetime visit. We have sailed with Marrella/Thomson/TUI on several occasions before and on the Dream twice previous. The ship was showing signs of its age and the decor was also dated with the only changes from the first time we sailed being a few coats of paint. The first let down was at Manchester Airport when we had to check in our own bags. Then when we arrived at the cruise port in Cyprus the checking system was ramshackle with only 2 staff on hand to hand out the welcome packs in what could only be described as a small shed. When we reached the gang way to the ship we were greeted by one fairly bored and disinterested crew member. Our cabin was on deck 7 which was one of the requested decks at time of booking but turned out that cabin we had been allocated was directly under the stage in one of the main bars. The beds were 2 singles and the room decor was again showing signs of the boats age with the toilet not flushing and flooding the bathroom twice in the first 2 days. Several times f the public restrooms had broken sinks or hand dryers out of order for the cruises duration. The staff seemed to be holiday mode this could have been due to the fact the ship was on its final trip due to it going into dry dock after our cruise was finished and all the staff going home after the season. The catering was also poor as no fresh food was loaded onboard all week and as such fresh fruit was scarce. We found out talking to others that they had sold better rooms at a cheaper price but against n no one seemed to have been told prior that the ship was into dry dock for a refit and maybe there would be some disruptions All in all a not so merry Xmas and a let down all round from TUI Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have just returned from the Ancient Affair cruise, departing from Limassol and calling at Alanya, Marmaris, Heraklion and Haifa. We did not have an auspicious start as, upon arrival at Paphos airport, we were left in a queue in the ... Read More
We have just returned from the Ancient Affair cruise, departing from Limassol and calling at Alanya, Marmaris, Heraklion and Haifa. We did not have an auspicious start as, upon arrival at Paphos airport, we were left in a queue in the coach park while a TUI member of staff had to locate our driver. We would have been less than impressed if it hadn't just stopped raining. Once on board the coach, the transfer from Paphos to Limassol took around 1 hour. Embarkation was easier than I had anticipated and our cases arrived at our cabin very quickly indeed. The paperwork in our cabin said that the muster drill would take place at 9 p.m. We decided to explore some of the ship and had stopped in the Water's Edge Bar for a quick drink when one of the waiters came over and told us that the drill had started. There was no announcement over the tannoy (or if there was, it wasn't loud enough). We proceeded to our muster station to be confronted with what must have been the most disorganised and polntless drill we have ever experienced. No one demonstrated how to put on a life jacket, there was no demonstration of what the alarm sounded like and what one should do in a real emergency and no one was properly checking who had attended and who hadn't. We might as well not have bothered and I am not sure the shambles we winessed would actually comply with maritime regulations. Since the drill was next to the buffet, we decided to grab something to eat there. The food in the buffet is some of the worst we have had on our 10 or so cruises. However, the experience in the Orion restaurant was much better and the food was very good indeed (although I do think it is a bit cheeky to charge an extra £9.95 if you want a steak). The entertainment on the whole was pretty good, and the all inclusive drinks package more than covered our requirements. The drinks were plentiful, measures generous and no feeling of being limited. New Year's Eve was a great night. The main dining room looked very festive and the food very good. The deck party was fantastic and the atmosphere great. We enjoyed it very much. The only port in which we booked excursions was Haifa (having been changed from Ashdod). We ended up doing the overnight experience and had an absolutely fantastic time. The guide was great, the overnight hotel wonderful and we packed in so much that we felt it well worth the cost. The stand out point on this ship is without doubt the crew who were absolutely lovely and couldn't do enough for you. It was also one of the friendliest cruises we have experienced. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Before I say anything else, I must say how friendly and helpful all the staff we encountered were. They all had a smile and friendly greeting. They made the whole cruise so much more enjoyable and despite anything you may perceive ... Read More
Before I say anything else, I must say how friendly and helpful all the staff we encountered were. They all had a smile and friendly greeting. They made the whole cruise so much more enjoyable and despite anything you may perceive as negative you read below, we had a fabulous time and intend to cruise with Marella/Tui again. We went on the Christmas Day departure cruise to Turkey and Israel but this is a review of the ship not the destinations, having said that we berthed within walking distance of the towns (except in Cyprus) and so had hassle free visits. Basic ship facts that you need to know which unfortunately seem lacking on the Tui website or brochures: The currency on board is £ Sterling. The power sockets in the cabins are 2 pin / 240v so bring adapters. There were 2 USB ports by the bed and 2 in our lounge but don’t know if the other cabins had them. Room service food is chargeable (unlike many other cruise ships we have been on where it is free). Wifi is NOT free, you can get a 7 day pass, limited to a miserly maximum of only 1200 mb overall, for the princely sum of £ 50.00 Not all drinks are included in your basic price but that’s not really an issue as the prices are not expensive. They do not give out any paper deck plans so if you have a brochure with them in at home bring it with you. Having said that most facilities were all in deck 8 or 11 and after the first evening we knew where everything was as we explored everywhere. Room safes which are big enough for iPads or small lap tops are now free. Yes there is a nightly bed turndown service with a chocolate on your pillow. Your onboard ID card does not open your cabin, you have a separate plastic card with holes punched in it. Embarkation was swift but we did get off the transfer coach promptly. We should have had priority check in but I forgot to ask about it and the nobody asked me either. (This is part of the Premiere Service pack) Our cabin: There are only a handful of balcony cabins on this ship, unfortunately we booked too late to get one. We had cabin 7062 which is a suite with a separate bedroom and lounge. A fruit basket, chocolate covered strawberries and 2 bottles of fizz awaited us which was a nice welcome. It had a walk in wardrobe with masses of storage everywhere and more than sufficient cost hangers. If fact there was so much storage I forgot where I had put some things. The irony was that the one place a drawer would have been useful, ie: the bedside table there was not. The bed was made up of two single mattresses but with a double duvet. I liked that there was no profusion of useless cushions which seem to annoyingly appear on many hotel and cruise ship beds nowadays. The lounge area had a couple of hidden fold down berths, so the suite could sleep 4 guests. Two big sofas, a coffee table, a flat screen tv, DVD player and a generous sliding desk area which could double as a dining table for two made the lounge very practical and comfortable. The bathroom actually had a large walk in shower where originally the bath had been. I like relaxing in a bath, so was a little disappointed as our travel agent stated there was a bath with shower over it. There was plenty of hot water and the cosmetics were better than I was expecting. The towels were rather on the small size. 2 x bathrobes but no slippers. The shower water is not heavily chlorinated like on some ships (Cunard for example) so no itchy dry skin. Our steward named Gusti, very unobtrusively, made up our bed and cleaned up the suite almost as if by magic when we were ashore or having breakfast etc. If you wanted to get to bed before midnight this was not a good cabin position as the music and singing from the Medusa bar on the deck above was often excessive. It must have been ear damaging in the bar itself. However on the stroke of midnight silence prevailed apart from the crying baby we could hear through the thin cabin walls. Food: We had dinner in the Orion main restaurant on our first evening. The table layout was good and the way the tableware was presented plus an attractive looking menu choice increased our expectations. Unfortunately although the staff were hard working, service was slow and the food mediocre at best. My partner’s scallop linguine was sweet & virtually inedible. My roast beef although tasty was only lukewarm. To their credit the staff were concerned and in record time produced another main course of salmon to replace the pasta. Breakfast orange juice was better than I was expecting, the toast was wrapped in a napkin in a basket to keep it warm, however coffee took ages to arrive. My eggs benedict were acceptable but again not particularly hot and the portions of bacon and hollandaise sauce minuscule. We didn’t have breakfast there again. Lunch on several other occasions was better but they seem to have a problem getting the main courses out hot and not just warm. Although some of the waiters are really hard working, others need a little more direction and this can only come from better supervision and training. However on New Years’s Eve everything seemed to come together, service food and the table decoration made it a memorable evening. We tried the Hot Stone (extra charge) restaurant one evening. We were really made to feel welcome and special. The novelty here is that you cook the meat yourself on a hot rock bought to your table. I recommend the surf and turf (steak and lobster tail). Marko, Joel and Juliet were a superb team and the food amazing. We promptly booked again. Mistrals (extra charge) restaurant was also very enjoyable and the dessert was made very memorable - but I won’t spoil the surprise. We ate here twice so it must have made a good impression but some of the service could do with a bit more finesse to complete the fine dining experience such as a teapot rather than a cup of hot water and a teabag, not having to order dessert when ordering mains etc and better quality coffee. Kora La, the Asian themed (extra charge) restaurant looked lovely but we didn’t eat there so can’t really say anything. We look forward to trying it next time. The other inclusive restaurants such as The Lido or Sirens were great for breakfast with a view. Explorers Lounge for coffee anytime and alcoholic beverages after 6 pm was friendly and cosy with a piano player too. The staff were lovely and remembered our preferences and cabin number. It was our favourite watering hole. Try the hot chocolate, it really is the best! Premium drinks package: This costs approx £50 per person per week. You get excellent ‘Lavazza’ brand coffee and fabulous hot chocolate at no extra charge in the Explorers Lounge (otherwise approx £1.20 ish) and a better range of alcoholic cocktails, spirits and beers. Plus a bootle of water per day in your cabin. To make it pay you would really need to have at least a couple of these cocktails and coffees a day as the already inclusive range is pretty good anyway. We would not go for it on our next cruise. Premier Service: This really is all about marketing as the benefits are not great yet Tui staff are told to mention it as something special and worthwhile, I think even they are embarrassed about it. Good job they don’t try and make an extra charge for it. Marella brand: It would appear that Tui can’t quite let go and allow Marella be an independent brand. Staff would look a lot smarter in dark blue uniforms than the yucky, not quite sky blue they are currently attired in. Entertainment: There is a fair amount going on each day and the cruise director liked to make a point of telling everyone very loudly on the ship’s public announcement at noon, right after the very quiet (almost a whisper in comparison) daily report from the Bridge. Having said that he really is a great guy when you meet him and impossible not to like. The pianist Keith, is excellent and on New Year’s Eve he surprised with a fabulous singing voice. We sat in only briefly to a couple of the singing acts in the bars and thought they were good and certainly well appreciated by the audiences. We especially liked the duo Tom & Maris, who are unfortunately moving to a different ship. The resident singer and instrumentalists who were in the Medusa bar were far too loud for us to stay for more than a couple of songs. We watched two shows in the Broadway Theatre and were impressed by the energy, talent and professionalism of the show team. The theatre itself is one two levels and they have not sacrificed quality and comfort of the the seating for quantity like some ships. Most of the seats have excellent site lines and are comfortable, some have tables too, just watch out for the odd pillar. Marella really went to town for their New Year party with great music, ice sculpture, party poppers etc and of course lots of complimentary fizz. The only thing missing was the traditional count down. Anyway everyone had an amazing time with no one over doing the drinking etc. Decks: Deck 9 is great for walking around the ship and felt very ocean liner like. The ship has 2 swimming pools both filled with salt water - not heated and some lovely warm jacuzzis. They main pool has a retractable roof which is a fabulous idea. The sun deck and sun bar hidden away near the funnel look very classy and have some great seating plus a couple of hammocks too. Final Bill: This was cheap, detailed and most importantly accurate. No problems. Disembarkation: I was not looking forward to this as usually you need to put your suitcases outside your cabin the night before and vacate your cabins early and our flight was not until early evening. As usual any information about this before the cruise or even until the day before from Tui or the ship was unobtainable. As it happened the ship was going off for a 2 month refit and no more passengers were coming aboard so we could keep our cabin until we departed and all the restaurants were open as usual. I doubt things would always work out so well! Conclusion: Forewarned is to be forearmed they say, so if you know what to expect beforehand you won’t be disappointed. Despite reading several favourable reviews of the ship, I still had doubts but I am very pleased to say my expectations were vastly exceeded. We had a very comfortable, enjoyable, relaxing and even maybe describable as dreamy cruise. It was excellent value for money. The wonderful staff made a huge positive impact on the experience as did all the guests we interacted with. Inclusive drinks helped too, it took away the hassle of having to sign for everything and the concern of a big bar bill - it will be the future of cruising - take note Cunard! As the ship is now having a refit some things may change. We are looking forward to cruising with Marella/Tui again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Joined dream on 18 dec looking forward to visiting Bethlehem and Jerusalem for the Christmas period. We were on the ship for two weeks supposedly the whole itinerary since booking in September was changed we were not told about ... Read More
Joined dream on 18 dec looking forward to visiting Bethlehem and Jerusalem for the Christmas period. We were on the ship for two weeks supposedly the whole itinerary since booking in September was changed we were not told about Jerusalem and Bethlehem stop even though the ship had been doing this for the last six weeks until we got on board so that the company did not have to refund us or compensate us for yet another change. Our cabin was absolutely disgusting there was vomit on the floor which had less stains on the carpet the beds were soiled with other peoples bodily fluid the head pillows were further soiled with blood and sweat and absolutely stunk after the first night in the cabin I developed breathing difficulties from the dirty tired air-conditioning. We spoke with guest relations manager and told him we needed to leave the ship due to the breathing difficulties I was experiencing thing on board. We left the cabin that day to return to find everything of our belongings were taken from the cabin the carpet been ripped up a brand-new carpet laid and glued down the fumes from the blue further exasperated my breathing problems but as there are no further cabins on board vacant they are unable to move us the ship further even due to my illness could not get off the ship for six days and even then they wanted me to pay for my own flights home when we had £200 in our on-board spend account. They agreed after speaking to their head office that we should pay for our own flights on our card and they would then refund us are on-board credit in cash we flew back to Cardiff and had to pay for hotel accommodation there before we could do our return journey back to London. The food on board the ship was absolutely diabolical the cheapest nastiest sausages bacon thick with fat or collect together frozen vegetables cheap wines and poor quality food chicken still on the bone , stale sandwiches with curled up edges for afternoon tea sausage rolls served warm with no sausage. Every day the buffet service was an absolute feeding frenzy with very dangerous hot serving trays which are sat into a bath of boiling water when you reach into the serving tray the steam comes out and burns you on your wrist and lower arms. The ship overall condition is poor and tired and dirty the rust inside and out is very apparent and the boat creeks and moans when she’s at sea . The pollution that she puts out is unbelievable and the smell of fumes within the ship is disgraceful. The Christmas decorations on board were absolutely pathetic with a small 3 foot blowup Santer being your main feature outside your restaurant door Christmas trees were about 4 1/2 foot 5 foot tall with old-fashioned tinsel and decorations randomly thrown on the tree the whole affect was cheap and shabby. I can only like in the bars and restaurant to a good old-fashioned working men’s club. The pool area even though it was really not hot enough to sit out but not supervised properly and the only thing they had adults could use with a hot tub there are signs up saying that children were not allowed in the hot tub and supervise yet every single day the hot tub is full of children with no adults in sight now we seem to care or do anything about it the ship was full of children with very little entertainment for them on a daily basis.The pool area even though it was really not hot enough to sit out was not supervised properly and the only thing the advice dogs could use where the hot tub is there are signs up saying that children were not allowed in the hot tub and supervise yet every single day the hot tubs were full of children with no adults in sight now we seem to care or do anything about it the ship was full of children with very little entertainment for them on a daily basis Since returning home I have been confined to bed with a lung infection in both lungs having to take antibiotics and steroids daily and rest this has been contracted through poor air-conditioning and is a ongoing serious issue at this precise moment. The ship did organise a private transfer for us to the airport so we didn’t have to go on the coach with the other passages I do actually think as much as we requested this it was probably in their best interest to do this to stop me spreading any kind of infection to other passengers I might of picked up on board the ship I arrived on the ship on the 18th of December fit and healthy. Staff of the ship are way too good to be subjected to what they have to work with there all cheerful smiley bright personable people and way too good to be on the dream. I’m so sorry that I cannot add photographs to this but writing it on my mobile phone it does not give me the facility to upload the photographs of the disgusting cabin and other little treats around the ship Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My wife and I sailed for 2 weeks over Xmas and the New Year. The restaurants and food was excellent. The cabin service and cleanliness of the ship was good. The bar service left a lot to be desired. The first week the drinks were spoilt by ... Read More
My wife and I sailed for 2 weeks over Xmas and the New Year. The restaurants and food was excellent. The cabin service and cleanliness of the ship was good. The bar service left a lot to be desired. The first week the drinks were spoilt by adding too much mixer. One night I had a gin and tonic and it was like water. I complained to the bar manager and whilst she was very sorry she failed to resolve the complaint and passengers subsequently ordered a spirit and separate mixer. The second week I had to wait 40 minutes to get a drink. The assistant manager was also very sorry but was equally useless. The cruise was very good but the bar service let the ship down. The entertainment was OK but some of it was very dated. Roy Walker was the special guest and was very limited. The day time activities were poor. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We joined the Dream 4/1219 in Limassol. The itenarary originally included 2 stops in Egypt, but these were switched to Rhodes and Kusadasi instead. We were a bit disappointed but both the replacement ports were great, so no worries there. ... Read More
We joined the Dream 4/1219 in Limassol. The itenarary originally included 2 stops in Egypt, but these were switched to Rhodes and Kusadasi instead. We were a bit disappointed but both the replacement ports were great, so no worries there. TUI had also credited our onboard accounts with 100 pounds each, so that was very welcome compensation. We had a great time every day on the Dream, everyone on the crew were as happy, hardworking and helpful as always. The Medusa lounge team were great fun. David, Charlotte and Kerry ran the quizes, games and those were always good fun. The resident band in Medusa are called Luna, and they were very good. Philip the Jamaican waiter in the medusa has to be the best dancer on the ship. Amazing dance moves, plus a great guy too. He brought a big smile to everyone onboard with his sense of humour and warmth, what a guy.. Beep beep, Spread the love :-) If anyone from TUI reads this review, please reward Philip for the laughs he brings to passengers in the medusa, and also on deck 11 during daytime. We go back onto the Dream for another cruise in March, and can't wait. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Usually use Cunard, P&O royal Caribbean. Chose this as it was doing Holy Land. Never done all inclusive before but was pleasantly surprised by the whole experience. Cleanliness, food, entertainment and service all of a good ... Read More
Usually use Cunard, P&O royal Caribbean. Chose this as it was doing Holy Land. Never done all inclusive before but was pleasantly surprised by the whole experience. Cleanliness, food, entertainment and service all of a good standard. The jewel in the crown was the staff, nothing too much trouble, everything done with a smile. Impressed by the water stations on each floor to refill water bottles, no need to purchase one use drinking water bottles. Couldn’t fault any of it. Lifts a bit slow found it difficult to get one Good ports of call and the excursions in Israel were hectic but informative Didn’t bother with the drinks upgrade for an extra £50 per person as we found the all inclusive adequate. The food in the main dining room was some of the hottest we have had on any cruise. The full English breakfast was the best my husband had ever had Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We live in Cyprus and thought a cruise from Limassol would be very convenient, avoiding air travel etc. We left our car at the port, which was located next to arrivals/departures and the ship itself. We boarded the ship just after 1pm ... Read More
We live in Cyprus and thought a cruise from Limassol would be very convenient, avoiding air travel etc. We left our car at the port, which was located next to arrivals/departures and the ship itself. We boarded the ship just after 1pm and were surprised to find out most of the passengers had not departed yet. On other cruises we had to be off the ship by 8am. Marella had a far more flexible arrangement even allowing departing passengers to go on tours in Cyprus. The ship departs at 9pm, no doubt due to the late arrival of flights. The crew were very friendly and accommodating, always saying hello when passing by. Restaurant service varied from buffet style to waiter service in the main and specialty restaurants, which charged extra. The main restaurant on deck 4 offered fine dining for breakfast and dinner with open seating. It was also open for lunch at times. Reservations required at the two specialty restaurants and it is advisable to book in advance. The extra charge was worth it. We upgraded to premium drinks but the all inclusive offers a wide selection. Bar service was excellent with bar staff remembering your requests. Unfortunately smoking was allowed in a number of areas outside on both aft and port. Usually this is confined to one side. Deck 12 at the front, deck 9 aft promenade deck, deck 10 and 8 at the rear. However there weren’t many smokers. The show lounge entertainment was enjoyable but far too loud with some songs. There were a number of passengers with mobility issues who found it difficult to move around particularly when a lift was out of order. We booked two of the shorter excursions in Turkey ports. The guide on the first one was good but we couldn’t hear him at times as our group was too spread out. A lot of standing with little seating. We cancelled the second tour. Tried hop on hop off bus at the Greek island but that was vey disappointing. As it was winter some of the bus routes did not run. In Haifa we went by taxi to the Bali gardens. The taxi at the port offered tour lasting an hour for €50. He’d drove us up to each section avoiding the steep hill, which we found interesting. Glad we didn’t try to walk there. Overall we were very happy and looking forward to booking another Marella Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Chose this cruise based on other reviews but very much a mixed bag Cabin was spacious and clean but a little tired and air con not very effective Ship showing its age but kept clean and maintained even during sailing ... Read More
Chose this cruise based on other reviews but very much a mixed bag Cabin was spacious and clean but a little tired and air con not very effective Ship showing its age but kept clean and maintained even during sailing Entertainment is always a personal thing but the positive response from the audience is always a good sign Service was not the best which was a surprise to us, we found waiting times in the main restaurant too long, at one point we gave up waiting for the dessert and left in frustration. Dining was our biggest concern, the quality of food was poor in the MDR and buffets. I need to be gluten free and was not happy with knowledge of the chef when I questioned him about the menu. We encountered undercooked potatoes, carrots, burnt chips and dirty crockery/cutlery all too often. During the second week of the cruise I took ill and suspect I was served a meal with gluten. I don’t normally recommend the drinks upgrade on a cruise but the regular coffee and tea, not to mention the awful wine on tap in the buffets make it a must. The coffee in the coffee shop was excellent but you have to pay each time if you don’t buy the upgrade. Similarly I recommend the 3 speciality restaurants as they provide the quality of food I thought we would get as standard, it’s £49 to visit all 3 of them though. Excursions were not the best as much of the time was spent travelling on a bus and the guides missed out a lot of sights. A number of people complained the guides were walking too fast for them to keep up. 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
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
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
Hi all , first of all I am not a good writer . Me and my wife booked a late deal with tui , we have never been on a cruise before ! But recently we have talked a lot about going on a short trip to test the waters as they say , we ... Read More
Hi all , first of all I am not a good writer . Me and my wife booked a late deal with tui , we have never been on a cruise before ! But recently we have talked a lot about going on a short trip to test the waters as they say , we decided to book our holiday at Meadowhall shopping centre tui travel agent , luckily we had a very well informed sales woman who knew everything to know , she was fabulous , our holiday was booked for the 18 /10 /19 sailing on the marrella discovery , around the Mediterranean Our holiday day arrived , our flight was from Doncaster to Corfu where we boarded the stunning marrella discovery ship , ok she’s not massive or even brand new , but she is beautiful , once we had boarded ship we was shown to our inside cabin , our cabin was very clean , ample storage with many draws , sufficient hanging rails , clean bathroom with shower , nice firm comfortable bed with pristine clean ironed sheets , and nice bedside lighting , it’s not the most modern of cabin , but it was a pleasure to be in there , Moving on to the all inclusive package, The food is excellent in all the restaurants on the ship , and overall we thought restaurant 47 was the best for dinner , but if you like a good slap up English breakfast restaurant islands to front was buffet style which me and my wife preferred because English breakfast isn’t meant to be perfectly placed on your plate.? As it was in 47 ? , the drinks also have a huge variety of all the top brands either at the bar or there’s waiters everywhere near the bar areas taking orders Entertainment All the entertainment thrown at you day and night was for all age groups in numerous places scattered around the ship , never a dull moment , the acts was very professional , The days outings All the ports of calls that the ship stopped off at in many different countries was a good choice of diversity All in all it takes a lot for me to Wright something as long as above , but I needed to express how much of a fabulous holiday tui holiday gave me and my wife , thanks for reading Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I have to reply to a previous poor review I sailed for first time with Tui having previously sailed with many other cruise lines.The professionalism and dedication of the crew was excellent.The embarking procedure was quick and ... Read More
I have to reply to a previous poor review I sailed for first time with Tui having previously sailed with many other cruise lines.The professionalism and dedication of the crew was excellent.The embarking procedure was quick and efficient.The boat and cabin very good we had and inside cabin 6591 .The food in all sections was good the staff very helpful .Entertainment was varied and of a good standard.I believe this cruise line offers good value for money and we will sail with them again.Well done to Katy the cruise director who kept up a lively commentary on events and the ports of call .The ship is in good order and the cruise kept to timetable.Malta was our highlight for the trip and would have liked more time in port.We often followed the large MSC ship to port which made travel around Naples and Messina difficult .This cruise offered great value for money. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have returned from our cruise around the end and we honestly could not fault the marella celebration in any way. Will start by saying the food in the speciality restaurants is far superior to the food in the main buffet and dining ... Read More
We have returned from our cruise around the end and we honestly could not fault the marella celebration in any way. Will start by saying the food in the speciality restaurants is far superior to the food in the main buffet and dining restaurant and couldn’t recommend the experiences enough so would definitely encourage people to book. The ship was immaculate and the cabins were also very nice. The ship does not have the same glitz and glam as perhaps other ships however it has such a wonderful ambiance made by the people the work there. The entertainment was absolutely fantastic and my partner and I could not fault the effort that the cast made in and out of the theatre. The productions were out of this world and they were a west end worthy cast. Special mention to Dan and Beth for taking the time to make our cruise extra special. Also a big thank you to Jay our cabin steward for going the extra mile. Can’t wait for the next one. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had been on the Marella Discovery before and even cruises on the sister ship Marella Discovery 2 last year. We decided to go on another cruise with my Parents and my Brother and Siater-in-law for my Parents 50th golden wedding ... Read More
We had been on the Marella Discovery before and even cruises on the sister ship Marella Discovery 2 last year. We decided to go on another cruise with my Parents and my Brother and Siater-in-law for my Parents 50th golden wedding anniversary. It started out ok with the only gripe was we were not able to book the Surf and Turf speciality restaurant on the day we embarked (11/10/2019), as we missed out with the speciality restaurant we went to the 47 gallery restaurant and the waiter staff were absolutely fantastic which was a consistent feeling when we dined. But this seems to be the only positive thing about the ship. Throughout the whole week the ship smelt of Fuel and a number of the Toilets were continuously blocked and smelly. The Balcony room was looking tired and used needs another refurb. The cabin staff were friendly but missed things when cleaning. The shows were very mediocre compared to previous Marella Cruises. I’m not sure I could guarantee I will cruise by Marella again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Sadly where do I start . We had booked a deluxe cabin and to our shock we saw no deluxe at all, the windows were that bad we could hardly see out of them. The shower was that small with a shower curtain,not deluxe to me. No toiletries ... Read More
Sadly where do I start . We had booked a deluxe cabin and to our shock we saw no deluxe at all, the windows were that bad we could hardly see out of them. The shower was that small with a shower curtain,not deluxe to me. No toiletries apart from a small soap and shower cream canister. we enjoy going to the restaurant , only the first night was the best after that we were rushed every night and the food was not always hot and the plates cold. The staff were rushing around and the tables way to close to one another and the staff were not always attentive. In the end we tried the buffet lounge which I have to say the food was much better and the plates piping hot. Entertainment was awful it was a comedian and then entertainment team no professional dancers. Service in bars were very relaxed , there seemed to be a lack of staff. Found out later that this was coming to end of season and some were going home. We had diesel fumes which circulated around the ship even in our room on deck 8. Later the captain explained there were complaints about diesel fumes , explanation from the captain something about doing something to the tanks to put in an eu directive on fuel. Seems rather strange to do this while there were passengers on board. I had to cancel a trip due to the fumes making me ill because I ahave asthma . This cruise was a very disappointment overall. If it was coming to end of season that should not have made any difference we still payed for our holiday which our ruby anniversary was spoiled all together. Would I go back on this ship no, it was more like a Butlins camp . I would love to hear from other people affected by the fumes. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Been on Marbella Explorer Oct 2018 excellent couldn’t fault anything 1st ever cruise so this year go on Discovery Oct 4th to 18th smelt Diesel Fumes on embarking on ship Booked Delux Balcony Cabin 7th deck very disappointed only one bar ... Read More
Been on Marbella Explorer Oct 2018 excellent couldn’t fault anything 1st ever cruise so this year go on Discovery Oct 4th to 18th smelt Diesel Fumes on embarking on ship Booked Delux Balcony Cabin 7th deck very disappointed only one bar of soap and a shower gel balcony tiny not as big as Explorer though paid the same price the biggest let down was the constant smell of Fumes my husband was poorly throughout the cruise he suffers from Asthma we constantly complained at reception was listened to but the so called venting of tanks was still done not good enough as we had saved hard for a lovely cruise and looked forward to it for months. The food was excellent in latitude 47 and also waiters were excellent too couldn’t do enough to please us shows were 1st classs enjoyed them very much.My husband and I felt let down and was devastated by the constant smell of Fumes all over the ship. Once home my husband visited his GP and was prescribed Steroids for his breathing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our first holiday for 3 years and first ever cruise. We were on the Marella Discovery for 2 weeks sailing from Corfu up to Koper, Venice and down the Croatian coast line with the 2nd week over to Rome, Naples and around Southern ... Read More
This was our first holiday for 3 years and first ever cruise. We were on the Marella Discovery for 2 weeks sailing from Corfu up to Koper, Venice and down the Croatian coast line with the 2nd week over to Rome, Naples and around Southern Italy and Malta. We are a young couple mid 20's and early 30's and didn't know what quite to expect, we had a balcony cabin which was in fairly good condition with the only minor complaint being the cabins were a little dated, clean but dated. The service on board was fairly good albeit a little rushed at times, we are not big drinkers or party animals and were usually in bed for 11pm and found you couldn't hear anything other than the water lapping up against the side of the ship when we retired to bed at night, even though not 15 metres below us other guest were having a ball. We went on this cruise more for the destinations than all inclusive drink and entertainment and found that our privacy was respected. I was worried this may have been a "benidorm at sea" kind of holiday but it was not, a good honest mix of people who were all friendly and seemed to be honest hard working people who were on holiday, just like us. We didn't see any drunken passengers staggering around, shouting, screaming or bad behaviour. On the flip side i was also worried it could be full of people who walk around with their noses in the air, i was pleasantly surprised to only encounter 1 person like that who described the cruise ship as a "tug boat" later going on to tell me of her 64 other cruises being better later wandering off across the deck with her husband pacing 6 feet behind her. We had the opportunity to dress up at night and sample all the restaurants part from the Sushi one, all were very nice especially the Surf & Turf being really good. The entertainment on board was just enough to keep us occupied for the 2 days at sea, passing time on the mini golf course, playing poker and using the breakout escape room. We found the excursions (we went on 4 i think) very good value for money and had to get a refund from a company we had booked an excursion with before getting on the ship. Cruising excursions charged us £254.00 with Marella charging £120.00 for the same excursion. The ports we visited were very nice with the only exception being Malta, we would have liked more time there as with the tender across meaning we only got to spend 2.5 hours in Valletta. We are the type of people that would get off the ship early and head to the train station taking a regional train to the nearest point of interest, sometimes up to 1.5 hours away, Valletta, obviously we couldn't do this. I use an E Cig and would have liked some more smoking areas, i was forced to either go 3 floors down or 2 floors up to have a quick smoke on my e cig, there are a lot of more mature passengers and a lot do smoke so maybe catering for them a little more would have made the cruise slightly more enjoyable. The entertainment on the top deck when leaving a port was a little OTT, with loud music and singing as we sailed out of port as you sat having a beer and tried to relax taking in the views, that could just be me being miserable but after a tiring (but enjoyable) day exploring the last thing you want is someone murdering an Andrea Bocelli song not 10 metres away. Would we do it again though, yes, certainly. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Just returned from this cruise. We booked this primarily for the itinerary as, even though we’ve cruised quite a bit, we had not visited any of the ports on this cruise save for the departure port of Corfu. We also booked to get an ... Read More
Just returned from this cruise. We booked this primarily for the itinerary as, even though we’ve cruised quite a bit, we had not visited any of the ports on this cruise save for the departure port of Corfu. We also booked to get an experience of Marella’s move to larger ships, with the Discovery being the biggest we have cruised on to date. Overall the cruise was very good. The facilities on the ship are well documented on the Internet so I won’t go into too much detail, suffice to say they were of a high standard. A few pointers for potential Discovery guests and also the good and not so good points: Good: The staff were superb. Quick to serve, helpful and smiling. I did get to have a chat with the Master of the ship, Captain Chris Dodds, and it was apparent that he was proud of the ship and his staff, justifiably so. The entertainment crew were the best I’ve seen and the Broadway lounge is big enough and well equipped enough to allow spectacular shows to be delivered. All inclusive allowed beers and wines to be on draught in the self service restaurants so you could help yourself. As a consequence you weren’t having to wait to be served to have a drink with your meal. When going into the Broadway lounge for the evening show, drinks were served as you went in so you weren’t having to order a drink once in the lounge. This meant you able to watch the show without people waving their cards at the waiting staff and the staff having to serve drinks in the dark. The Galley 47 restaurant serves Italian dishes and was very good. I used it twice and was very impressed. My jury was out about all inclusive. I considered that that this did not allow the possibility of enticing offers for drinks packages etc for early bookers (which I have used before) but I’m beginning to change my mind. The way that some people went mad at the buffet meant that they have some of my share but, nevertheless, all inclusive allowed me to budget with confidence. Not so good: During our cruise, the main restaurant opened for waiter served breakfast at 07:30. For guests going on organised tours this did not generally give sufficient time for breakfast before the tours commenced. Hence these guests had to use the self service on deck 9, the result of which the self service got unnecessarily busy. This may be a bit unfair. The food was excellently prepared and served. I could not fault it but...... it was a bit safe. I though we could have had a bit more of the Mediterranean flavour. “Tailor the menu to the venue” so to speak. No criticism of the way the food was delivered but more Med, less English would have been my preference. Marella provide all guests with the opportunity to download an “app” which connects to the ship’s Internet (at no cost) and provides details of your on-board account, what’s going on, excursions, where to eat, etc and is, overall very useful. They also still produce the “Cruise News” paper which is left in your cabin during the evening turn down. The problem I encountered is that the itinerary on the “app” and the “Cruise News” didn’t always match up so you still ended up at Destination Services or Reception to verify the precise details. Just a bit of co-ordination needed for what was otherwise a very useful facility. Nothing to do with the actual cruise but I was seriously stitched up over the price, with the possibility of saving almost £300 for the same deal if I’d timed it right, having been enticed to book early with a discount code. I did write to Marella head office (as a long standing and loyal customer, of 20 years if you include Thomson), but my loyally and my comments were dismissed as “bad luck”. Marella/TUI didn’t even bother to respond using the same medium as I did, rather just an e-mail. Itinerary: Good (Santorini apart) and I’ve glad I’ve been. Santorini is too crowded and you end up watching out for the next gap in the crowds rather than enjoying the island. The cable car had a two hour wait to descend so I had to use the steps, past the ill-treated donkeys and horses, tied up with no water, one passing you every so often with a selfish tourist on his back, just so he can tell his mates he took part in the Santorini tradition (don’t use them please). In summary: This was our seventh cruise with Thomson/TUI/Marella and I do detect a change in the target clientele and company’s philosophy. Absolutely nothing but praise for the experience I had, but Marella’s move to larger ships, the subsequent escalating cost to support the all inclusive packages and the dismissive way I was treated by head office may cause me to investigate alternatives. Finally, one area that doesn’t get mentioned very often, my local TUI office (Newark-on-Trent). The staff in there are excellent hence I use them rather than the Internet. I pay a small premium but it’s worth it for the assistance I receive during booking and should I need to book any excursions or have any queries regarding my holiday. Well done to them. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise and was all we imagined and more. The ship has loads of character and yes there us some vibrations but I found it relaxing. The staff and food were fantastic. We could not fault anything. Our room steward Fernand ... Read More
This was our first cruise and was all we imagined and more. The ship has loads of character and yes there us some vibrations but I found it relaxing. The staff and food were fantastic. We could not fault anything. Our room steward Fernand was great and mad us several towel sculptures which I loved.I know it's not for everyone but we are now looking at our next cruise. We visited Malta which was beautiful and we would go back to. Sicily was ok but only as we did a trip to taromina as Catania looked terrible, graffiti everywhere. We loved Argostoli in Kefalonia and would go back there. We had a tender to shore which was very good. We did a trip to Alberbello when docked in Brindisi which was beautiful. Kotor in Montenegro was absolutely stunning and not to be missed. Looking forward to exploring Croatia for our week now. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
As soon as we stepped on the ship we really liked it. Everywhere is light, bright and airy. Our cabin was 1130 right at the back and was very quiet. The cabin had more storage than we have ever had before and the bathroom was clean ... Read More
As soon as we stepped on the ship we really liked it. Everywhere is light, bright and airy. Our cabin was 1130 right at the back and was very quiet. The cabin had more storage than we have ever had before and the bathroom was clean and bright with a good shower, always plenty of hot water. The bed was very firm which were great for us and the balcony was a good size. We mostly ate in Latitude or Vista and never had a bad meal nor did we have to wait long. Liked the Nonnas pizza restaurant for lunch and also the Beach Cove where they did hot sandwiches and a salad bar etc. There was also Scoops which did delicious Italian ice creams. We didn't try the pay restaurants as we didn't feel the need. We thought the shows were very professional and loved them all bar one but you can't please everyone. Liked The Beats resident group but weren't keen on The Vibes (the backing was too loud and you couldn't hear the singer very well, on one occasion she sang with The Beats' backing group and she was much better) We loved Danny and Jack who I think were called Swing Pin. There were also other good musicians around the ship. We thought the entertainment in the Squid and Anchor was very poor so we went up to Indigo where it was a lovely atmosphere. The service on the ship was fantastic, all the crew did a great job. We had lovely cabin stewards, Iyoful,Dindo and Jose who were so polite and always asked if everything was okay. The ports of call were all very good and the weather was mostly kind to us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have been on the Celebration a couple of times before so we new what to expect. The TUI flight was on time from Gatwick on the Dreamliner plane. The bonded luggage should be adopted at all airports as it is in Dubrovnic, where you check ... Read More
We have been on the Celebration a couple of times before so we new what to expect. The TUI flight was on time from Gatwick on the Dreamliner plane. The bonded luggage should be adopted at all airports as it is in Dubrovnic, where you check your luggage in as usual at the airport, and the next time you see it is outside you cabin door when you arrive on board, The same on return, your luggage is collected from outside your cabin on the last night and you next see it on the belt at the home airport. Last time on the Celebration we checked in on board and it went very smoothly, this time we checked in in a shed at the dockside and it was chaos, queue, queue, and more queues. Our cabin was 203, a de-luxe cabin on deck 6 right at the front of the ship looking foreward and was very quiet. We ate breakfast and lunch in the Lido, and dinner in the main dining room and found the food and service excellent. The waiters now serve the wine as well, and that kept flowing nicely. We were not pestered at all to upgrade to the premium drinks package as the standard package was adequate for us, nor were we pestered to have photos taken we just said 'no thanks' and were left alone. We did dine at the extra payable 'Kora La' restaurant one night and that also was excellent. We only went on one excursion and that was to the Corinth canal trip from Athens, which included a boat trip on the canal which was amazing to think the canal was dug by slaves. We went to all the shows in the show lounge which included an excellent comedian one night, and he returned the next evening for a late night 'adult' session. It's a shame that the Celebration will soon be leaving the fleet, although it has always had its 'wobble' its always been our ( and lots of other people) favourite. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have travelled with many cruise companies mainly British one US & one Italian we chose this cruise mainly because we have never travelled to this part Europe .We were very impressed with the service in the restaurants mainly the 47 ... Read More
We have travelled with many cruise companies mainly British one US & one Italian we chose this cruise mainly because we have never travelled to this part Europe .We were very impressed with the service in the restaurants mainly the 47 the service and food was excellent in every way as we ate there all the time even for breakfast & lunch times as it was impossible to find any where to sit in the upstairs buffet and also other guest seemed reluctant to share or talk to us (it must be a British thing ).I did notice that other guests reserved seating in the bars and theatre of which I found very frustrating as it is not allowed on the P&O ships as they endorse strict rules of which are enforced by security personel. The entertainment was of a very high standard with a very good selection of shows we only missed one .The only complaint that I have was that in the cabin for some reason there was a double bed in the middle and also a two seater settee on the side of which made it a bit cramped .We will always travel with Marella cruises in the future as even embarkation & disembarkation was simple. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
OUR FRIENDS HAD PREVIOUSLY BOOKED THIS SHIP LAST YEAR TO RENEW THEIR WEDDING VOWS - we only booked on the sat before we sailed on the Thursday and it was the Best ever cruise we have had - we have sailed with P & O to the Caribbean and ... Read More
OUR FRIENDS HAD PREVIOUSLY BOOKED THIS SHIP LAST YEAR TO RENEW THEIR WEDDING VOWS - we only booked on the sat before we sailed on the Thursday and it was the Best ever cruise we have had - we have sailed with P & O to the Caribbean and done three cruises on NCL - which we thought were unbeatable ..............BUT MARELLA CELEBRATION BEATS THEM ALL FOR VALUE FOOD AND ENTERTAINMENT - YES IT MAYBE NOT AS GLITZY AND GLAMOROUS AS PREVIOUS SHIPS WE HAVE SAILED ON ...BUT MY GOODNESS IT MADE UP FOR THAT IN SUCH PERSONAL WAYS .....here's to the next Marella cruise The food was excellent in both the Lido buffet and the Meridan Restaurant - I have never experienced such friendly staff - everyone said Hi or Hello and this made us feel even more welcome - the duty free shops were small but excellent value and finally the entertainment team worked so hard - they were fabulous and the guest singer Richard Hadfiel was truly amazing so much so we attended both the shows he performed on .....All in All well done Marella cannot wait to book the next one Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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