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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Having booked Merella explorer 2 as our first cruise was a choice well made. The ship is an older ship nearly 25 years old and is showing its age here and there although the ship has gone through a refit in March and those additions have ... Read More
Having booked Merella explorer 2 as our first cruise was a choice well made. The ship is an older ship nearly 25 years old and is showing its age here and there although the ship has gone through a refit in March and those additions have added greatly to the experience. A negative was the lack of toilets on the main restaurant decks 5,6 and 7. That was the only negative. The staff were excellent and the food and drink packages were again value for money. The entertainment was good throughout the ship and the silent disco is something to behold. The cabin we had was on deck 9 with a balcony, it was spacious, the bathroom was well proportioned with the shower enclosure big enough for me as I'm six foot four. The pool deck area had enough sun loungers for all the guests and the bar staff ensured your drinks were topped up continually. On the whole it was a superb holiday with way more positives than negatives. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Loyal Marella customers. This was our second cruise on this ship. It has definitely improved since our last voyage on her - you can tell that the team have settled in and the snagging issues from earlier this year have gone. The ship ... Read More
Loyal Marella customers. This was our second cruise on this ship. It has definitely improved since our last voyage on her - you can tell that the team have settled in and the snagging issues from earlier this year have gone. The ship is being maintained nicely and the public areas are still very fresh. The only snag being that the air conditioning didn’t seem to cope very well when the ship was in port. Our cabin was one of the two Royal Suites on board and it was worth every penny. Very luxurious and comfortable. There always seemed to be some form of entertainment going on around the ship. We saw a few of the shows and also watched the comedians (note to the unaware - stay well away from the front few rows If you don’t want to be the butt of any jokes!). We preferred the pianists in Flutes and Aperitif over the more formal entertainment like the shows. As always with Marella, the thing that made it so good was the service that the staff offered. So many of the staff remember us from previous cruises - it was lovely. A special thanks to Simina the sommelier, the wine tasting she does on sea day is really good fun and informative. She looked after us for the rest of our cruise surprising us with nice wines. Dining was great. From the al a carte dining we went to Surf and Turf, Kora La and the Dining Club. All well worth a visit! The only downside with this particular cruise has to be Naples airport. Really really bad. Stressful. Made better by the fact that the TUI cabin crew warned us before we got off that it ‘runs on Italian time!’ That bit of good humour kept everything in perspective. We waited on the aircraft for 40 minutes on the tarmac before the busses came to take us to the airport. We were told by the screens to wait at luggage belt 5 and then an hour later were told to move to belt 1, and then it took another 30 minutes for luggage to arrive that then got stuck at the entrance to to belt and other passengers had to pull it through. It was also quite a walk to the coach transfer in the heat so if you do have anyone in your party with a disability make sure you ask for assistance. The return experience was just as shambolic with no where to sit while you wait (think people actually arguing over seats!!!), so again if you struggle I would be requesting a wheel chair. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Staff food cabins shows everything exceeded my expectations all the places we visited were amazing cudnt have asked for more will def do it again loved every minute the entertainment was fantastic the food was amazing the only negative ... Read More
Staff food cabins shows everything exceeded my expectations all the places we visited were amazing cudnt have asked for more will def do it again loved every minute the entertainment was fantastic the food was amazing the only negative thing I wud say is they need sort out sun lounge situation cud never get one near the pool as people filled them every morning and left the ship all day so that was a night mare ant the pool is small for size of ship the all inclusive was great no need to up grade to premium there was plenty to do on sea days like the spa was fantastic and mini golf and table tennis also great climbing wall the teenagers loved that and the escape room wat else can I say only had fantastic experience for my first ever cruise and really glad we choose tui they were great from start to finish we done 2 wks and never got dored Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Our first cruise for 20 years My aim is to help people but I’ve got to be honest We were a bit worried about boarding after some reviews we read but both boarding and departing the ship was done very professionally Cabin and ... Read More
Our first cruise for 20 years My aim is to help people but I’ve got to be honest We were a bit worried about boarding after some reviews we read but both boarding and departing the ship was done very professionally Cabin and rest of ship was spotlessly clean best room cleaner I’ve ever had and I’ve traveled a lot Cabin number 10111 nice balcony with hammock etc The ships staff ie waiters bartenders cleaners etc all round the ship were fantastic and extremely friendly Got to give special mention to barmen in Squid and Anchor Kesauan , Cooper and Rade at the gin bar and two waitresses who don’t know how to stop smiling Anna and Mary Food quality was excellent everywhere We ate a few times in specialty restaurants the food and wine taster in the Dining Club is a must they treat you like royalty However I think the prices are too dear on top of all inclusive and to charge at the Tapas bar is a joke On the same subject we upgraded to premier and it more than paid for itself with special guns and cocktails and also coffee but I think it’s petty to charge for coffees Thought overall entertainment was a disappointment I expected better The groups were ok but not top turns had much better entertainment in 4 star hotels The main show group were great dancers but only a few girls had voices and none of the boys Only two one off acts a George Michael tribute and a comedian who’s late show was really funny I can only comment on excursions that we made Skagen No need for a paid trip it’s a nice walk with shops and cafes Kreil We shared a taxi with friends to the U boat and Navy Museum they’re situated in a beautiful seaside resort really enjoyed this Tallin Guided tour highlights of Talin really good guide and a interesting tour of a beautiful city St Petersburg Two day tour Completely comprehensive and intense tour of surely one of the worlds most beautiful cities I think this tour is a must but it is tiring Helsinki Short bus trip to a marina city Here’s a great tip after the tiring Russian trip we found a great way of seeing Helsinki There’s a 4D cinema that does a fun trip round Helsinki and we tied this in with a ride round Finland totally recommend this Warnemunde Extremely popular German seaside resort We walked around for couple hours nice shops Stockholm Went to ABBA Museum Not really in mood for city tour after that so an hour walk to ship The cruise in and out of Stockholm is five hours of unbelievable island beauty Copenhagen Had to see Little Mermaid only ten minutes from ship had a walk round park area for two hours Beware Pickpockets Last night of the cruise we spent in Sqid and Anchor great night it was like New Years Eve Overall I loved the friendliness of an all British Cruise and will definitely do more but hope for better class of entertainment Steve Middlesbrough Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Price was great for all inclusive. Travelled with Tui before and very informal and friendly so prefer this type of cruising. Great cabin spacious and clean and as usual very friendly hardworking staff. Few issues with queues at ... Read More
Price was great for all inclusive. Travelled with Tui before and very informal and friendly so prefer this type of cruising. Great cabin spacious and clean and as usual very friendly hardworking staff. Few issues with queues at Main dining area and waiting once in but relsoved after speaking with maitre D. The Med Bar for TAPAS excellent as well as the Italian so plenty of choice for eats Good quality drinks Plenty of entertainment., shows, quizzes, groups, piano, lectures , cinema something for everyone Lots of different bars for entertainment or quiet areas if you prefer Lovely Lounge Bar very bright and spacious with our fave staff Michelle Roland David Alice always singliong smiling and going hte extra mile Too may great staff to mention all the names Booked the 2 day Saint Petersburg tour with ALLA tours, by far the best from speaking to others . only 14 in the group, no queues, excellent lunches in 4 star hotels each day, Dimitry our guide was fantastic and knowledgable. Very easy to book and answered all questions beforehand, highly recommend ALLA Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our first ever cruise as a couple of 26 year olds and my parents in law, who had been desperate to try a cruise, so we booked together and then personally followed our cruise with a trip to Sorrento. We have been truly ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise as a couple of 26 year olds and my parents in law, who had been desperate to try a cruise, so we booked together and then personally followed our cruise with a trip to Sorrento. We have been truly converted and would love to cruise again, on explorer 2 again too. Wish we’d done a 2 week cruise!!! Best bits: - Food was really good and in such abundance! (Vista and the Dining Club were brilliant). - Crew were lively and generally super helpful and polite. - Drinks package is very good and although we upgraded to premium we needn’t have as there was such a large selection of drinks. - We always managed to get a sunbed, even on sea days and we certainly weren’t up at the crack of dawn- but they were enforcing rules for people leaving towels on beds which is good to see. - My mother and father in law had a cabin on lower decks and their service from Nui (their steward) was incredible. - Jack Glanville the guest comedian was the highlight of the week for the entertainment. - I loved using the gym, running track. - Fish and Chips from snack shack were a treat! - We did excursions to St Tropez, Rome and Florence but did the ‘on your own’ versions as didn’t fancy following an umbrella!! They were beautiful places, but hot and over crowded at this time of year- completely not Marella’s fault, but just a word of advice for other cruisers. Think we would organise tours independently next time as they were extremely long days and fellow cruisers said we could do them cheaper if we arranged taxi tours ourselves! Things to improve on: - Both main speciality restaurants (Kora La and Surf and Turf) were booked up by day 2 of our cruise which we were gutted about. They didn’t seem to care either, I did complain and say customers should be told they book up quickly and I would have booked day 1 of the cruise (even though this seems a bit sad to have to do as soon as stepping on the ship). It did mean we booked The Dining Club instead which in the end was superb, but my boyfriend really wanted to try Surf and Turf. - Our steward kept walking into our room without knocking, whilst we didn’t spend a lot of time in the room, it was a bit uncomfortable! He walked in without a moments knock or hesitation and my partner was quite frustrated by this when he walked in and I was in the shower and he just asked, ‘is someone in there?’ A little strange but I suppose they’re just used to people not being in the cabin, but may require some further training. We just ended up leaving the lock on the door or do not disturb in whenever we were in. - As others have mentioned, Naples airport was a nightmare, queues galore through passport control and a very long wait for bags, and long walk in the heat for the bus transfer. I hope they don’t only use Naples (although it’s good for Sorrento trips for us!) - Noise in our cabin kept me from sleeping one night due to a loud noise when the ship was rocking in the wind- I didn’t sleep till 5am. (Cabin 8128) - Spa is great, but an infinity pool it is not! (It is only deep enough to sit in!) - Gym needs air con!!!!! All in all, these are minor complaints for a superb cruise but things which if rectified would be amazing! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Booked this cruise months in advance, all inclusive was a standard but we decided to pay £50 for a premium all inclusive which was well worth it. From the beginning our embarkation was quick and easy, obviously had to queue but nothing ... Read More
Booked this cruise months in advance, all inclusive was a standard but we decided to pay £50 for a premium all inclusive which was well worth it. From the beginning our embarkation was quick and easy, obviously had to queue but nothing unreasonable. We immediately got settled into our cabin on Deck 7, which was a nice size, with two comfortable single beds, a small sofa and table, a desk with chair and mirror, two wardrobes with a full body mirror on one of the doors and a bathroom with toilet and shower. The bathroom includes a hairdryer which is decent but not very powerful. Our rooms got cleaned every day, with towels changed if needed, staff kindly fold up your clothes and make animals out of the towels which was a very nice gesture. There was a great choice of restaurants, breakfast buffet at either Sirens or Lido is the kind you would expect from any all inclusive package holiday, nice but nothing special. Orien restaurant is the only fancy restaurant which is part of the all inclusive package but the a la carte restaurants only cost about £18 for a three course meal. There is food available throughout the whole day at different restaurants, so if you are ever hungry you can eat either from the buffet or the terrace grill. There was even a late night buffet from 11.30 - 1am. Many different activities to get involved in throughout the ship, including the casino, bingo, late night disco, card games or the broadway lounge and even if you don't fancy any of those things you can always listen to the live music at the Tides Bar or Waters Edge. Every single member of staff on the ship was an absolute sweetheart. Ports are very lovely, but don't feel pressured to book your excursions in advance because you get way more options once you are actually on the ship and you end up meeting people which you would like to go on excursions with anyway. Some of the excursions are not worth the money, so make sure you research carefully what they actually provide for you on the excursion and whether you have any alternative cheaper options. Me and my bestfriend went alone, we are both 18, despite everyone saying that it's a holiday for older people and that we were better of going to a villa in somewhere like Greece like the majority of people our age, we chose to come on the cruise anyway and had an absolutely amazing time. You definitely get your money's worth with the drinks package and the bartenders are always so nice and friendly. We never had a boring moment on that ship and got to meet amazing people, we are already looking to book our next one for next year. We highly recommend a cruise with Marella Dream, no matter what age you are. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Previously sailed on Spirit so layout of ship identical. Seemed like the ship was shaking herself to bits. Vibration from engines was constant and on every deck and location of the ship. Last night in port I was unable to sleep because of ... Read More
Previously sailed on Spirit so layout of ship identical. Seemed like the ship was shaking herself to bits. Vibration from engines was constant and on every deck and location of the ship. Last night in port I was unable to sleep because of the vibrations. Celebration needs to be retired. Staff are all excellent and food of a high standard particularly the Meridian restaurant. Didn't try the speciality restaurants. Lido restaurant always had a good selection of dishes, particularly liked the afternoon tea spread. Excursions were well organised but maybe allow for more free time to explore, find a cafe or W.C. Then hunt for souvenirs. Cabins were cleaned and refreshed regularly and any issues were addressed immediately. For us there were not enough dancing opportunities. Bands good but playing pop classics only suitable for “dad dancing” or as background music. No chance to do any ballroom or Latin dancing. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We have just returned from a fabulous 7 days. The whole thing was fabulous. A clean and lovely ship. The staff are excellent can’t do enough for you. Cheerful friendly and helpful. Our room was well looked after cleaned everyday. Top ups ... Read More
We have just returned from a fabulous 7 days. The whole thing was fabulous. A clean and lovely ship. The staff are excellent can’t do enough for you. Cheerful friendly and helpful. Our room was well looked after cleaned everyday. Top ups for tea coffee milk etc. Our cabin was a balcony deluxe and it lived up to its name.Chocolates on your pillows. Always an animal towel in your bed lol.The entertainment was professional and great to watch.A different show each night. We had waiter service in the bars for our wide selection of cocktails.Irish cream coffees Baileys etc. The food was great .A good selection and always hot. Salads were tasty and tempting. Breakfast has a wide variety of things From English breakfast to continental. Omelettes were delicious. The trips were long days but we made lots of memories. Just need extra stops on the Rome walking tour. We packed a lot in a week but was a great holiday. Can’t wait to go cruising again with TUI. Thanks to everyone. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted to visit Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro that is why we chose this cruise. We were over the moon with the ship, it is stunning, the entertainment is outstanding, I would have paid to see these shows. The food, every member of ... Read More
We wanted to visit Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro that is why we chose this cruise. We were over the moon with the ship, it is stunning, the entertainment is outstanding, I would have paid to see these shows. The food, every member of staff were simply outstanding. We paid the extra £50.00 to upgrade our all inclusive package and we felt it well worth it. Excellent quality cocktails, top grade spirits and cans of soft drink and bottles of water delivered to our room. We upgraded to a larger cabin on 7th floor but did not have a balcony or window but we did not miss this we used our room to get ready and sleep. There is so much going on around the ship from Morning to very late night I cannot wait to book again. We booked trips in Slovenia - caves and castles our only disappointment was we would have liked an hour or two longer We booked Krka waterfalls trip in Split - just simply breathtaking beauty again I wish we had longer We booked speedboat and beach trip in Montenegro- this was just amazing, the views spectacular. Then we had a walk around the town of kotor, this is also very beautiful and sells the most delicious pizza and ice cream In Venice and Dubrovnik we did our own thing, due to very high temperatures we only stayed in Venice until 1 pm, but we have visited Venice for a holiday. In Dubrovnik we shared a taxi into old town with another cruiser. We chose open side bus tour at €20 each and boat trip at €10 each. This was a great way to see Dubrovnik, due to temperatures of 37 we didn't do the wall walk, but will return to Dubrovnik to do this. Do not miss sail away from Venice Happy to answer any questions Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
First cruise so have nothing to gauge it on but found it wonderful. Nightmare start with over a 5 hour delay but as soon as we got to Corfu airport at 2:30am staff were great getting us on coaches then embarkation just as good even though ... Read More
First cruise so have nothing to gauge it on but found it wonderful. Nightmare start with over a 5 hour delay but as soon as we got to Corfu airport at 2:30am staff were great getting us on coaches then embarkation just as good even though flight had delayed ship we were swiftly put on ship so could sail asap. All the staff were very attentive and Julio our cabin steward was so nice and helpful. Only ate in the buffet restaurant once for breakfast and for lunch after visiting Split but otherwise ate in Gallery 47 for breakfast and the Italian upstairs is lovely. Also ate in Surf and Turf and Kora La as well as the glass House well worth the extra payment for all. We were worried that we would felt a little trapped on the ship but not at all plenty to do and all the excursions we did through TUI were well organised. Cabin number 3568 was great able to unpack everything just and no noise only issue same as others was the shower curtain, but hey if that’s all you can complain about not bad. We did a cruise and stay and the only disappointment was coming off the ship no one telling us where to collect coaches and people setting off and dragging suitcases towards the terminal until stopped. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Very enjoyable but the weather spoilt it a little, but being in the Baltics it can be expected, the ship itself it perfect except for when the weather is bad there are a minimum of bars due to the outside bars not being open. The lounge in ... Read More
Very enjoyable but the weather spoilt it a little, but being in the Baltics it can be expected, the ship itself it perfect except for when the weather is bad there are a minimum of bars due to the outside bars not being open. The lounge in the evening gets very ful, if you miss the theatre you will get a seat, the indigo exactly the same packed especially after the shows are finished as for the Mediterranean during days at sea, worse than tying to get a sunbed in a note,, simply packed with oldies sound asleep taking up space, my opinion if you want to sleep all day you have a cabin, let someone else enjoy the comfort and have a drink.the food overall was excellent nothing to complain about in that department, tries attitude 5e a couple of times and felt satisfied but I prefer the buffet, in the buffet I had to have a word with the top guy regards condiments always empty, its simple enough for someone as part of kitchen/restaurant duties to go around every other day and check each condiment, simple organisation. The staff through out the ship are excellent they work such long hours but are always laughing and joking Ben and Marabell in the lounge, perfect all the lads and lasses in Indigo excellent to many to mention, days at sea entertainment, pathetic the entertainment staff are getting paid on those days for nothing, the only ones that seem to be doing anything are the quiz masters in the Sqiud n Anchor. Resident singers, not bad but not perfect seen better on other Marella ships. Overall experience, my wife and I , sister in law and brother loved it now thinking of booking August in Norway cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Fantastic from start to finish excellent week, Captain Steve & all the crew were amazing, they kept us all entertained, waiters & waitresses, chefs, entertainments crew....everyone so friendly, we were on deck 5, 5013, Lewis ... Read More
Fantastic from start to finish excellent week, Captain Steve & all the crew were amazing, they kept us all entertained, waiters & waitresses, chefs, entertainments crew....everyone so friendly, we were on deck 5, 5013, Lewis looked after us during our stay, lovely friendly guy who was always smiling & eager to help. When we left the ship yesterday Captain Steve & a lot of the crew came to shake our hands & say their goodbyes, it was a lovely personal gesture. Ship is spotless, cabins are lovely, food delicious, something for everyone entertainment was brilliant as well, never a dull moment, again...something to suit all ages. Had a couple of choppy nights which wont put me off cruising again, cant wait to book next one. Only downside was no free wifi, they charge £15 per day for it which I think was really bad, most places offer free wifi so we were out of touch with family back home for the week. On the whole it was one of my best holidays ever, thanks to all who made it so good, tours were very good & we got to see some lovely places Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This is only our fourth cruise and we wanted a cruise that visited interesting places in the Mediterranean and was only a short flight from home. Mornings and evenings were cool but temperatures in the day around the low 20 degrees C and ... Read More
This is only our fourth cruise and we wanted a cruise that visited interesting places in the Mediterranean and was only a short flight from home. Mornings and evenings were cool but temperatures in the day around the low 20 degrees C and we had one rainy morning. We flew from East Midlands to Palma and although check-in was slow arrangements went smoothly until check-in at the cruise terminal where things again were slow. This cruise was the second week since the ship had been refurbished and the quality of furnishings and fittings was exceptional. The lifts were spacious and quick. Without exception all the staff we met were friendly, welcoming and helpful. Eating was a delight with open dining in six restaurants and three a la carte which cost extra. Ten bars, one a pub and a coffee shop completed the arrangements. The talented Explorer 2 Show Team produced a number of top class shows in the Broadway Show Lounge that would rival any produced in the West End. There were lots of activities during the day and in the evenings. Pampering was available at Champney’s Spa a new venture. We visited three Countries, five towns and could either walk in or take an inexpensive shuttle bus to enjoy them. There were lots of excursions to places like Pisa, Florence, Genoa and St Tropez and lots of room for sunbathing. Departing the ship was an ordeal because of poor organisation and we were again held up by Border Control at East Midlands on return. An enjoyable cruise, a top-class ship, fine food and drink and an outstanding crew. And the bonus adults only. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first cruise, and was a disappointment for several reasons. When we booked, we were sold the "newest" ship in the fleet, we later discovered it had undergone a 9 week refurbishment. My local pub was recently ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and was a disappointment for several reasons. When we booked, we were sold the "newest" ship in the fleet, we later discovered it had undergone a 9 week refurbishment. My local pub was recently refurbished, and it took 4 times that. We had 3 "Code Victoria's" meaning that that a serious flood had occurred requiring intimidate attention. We later discovered that this was due to busting pipes, due to the ship standing for several months during its impending sale - its 24 years old. Blocked toilets were a major problem bringing flooding, and constantly running fans to try and dry them out. One night we dined at Beach Cove, (and experience we had to pay for), only to sit in water that was being washed out of the near by pool and running under the doors. Although an apology was given, even the captain was summoned to inspect, no refund was offered. We were asked to upgrade our drink package which was £50 for the week, and as a fairly heavy social drinker I thought that good value - and it was! All premium brands, including 12 year old Glenfiddich, all premium cocktails, and they were not shy on pouring measures!! Also worthy of note were the Asian restaurant, and steak restaurant, although neither were in the inclusive package. One thing I did find strange is that without the purchase of the premium drinks package soft drinks were NOT included. Not Coke, water or any other. Even the ice cream by the pool was an extra £1. By far our worst problem was noise at night. Not noise of other guests, but and "unexplained noise" from somewhere below our cabin, something like a metal door slamming repeatedly. Despite complaining 5 nights out of the 7 it was never resolved, although they did look. And here is another problem - because no OFFICIAL complaint was recorded despite complaining almost every night, when we raised this on checkout there was only a single record of the issue, despite my partner being on first name terms with the night staff having repeatedly raised the issue at 2, 3, and 4am. It finally resulted in a £100 rebate on our account - at least it paid for our drinks package. The food range was acceptable, but certainly not extensive. We also had groups of contractors on board (that came for 2 weeks for the refurb and were still on the ship 8 later) fixing the plumbing, the TV's and the WiFi. The one thing that was amazing were the staff. All willing to help, all friendly, and all wanting to make the experience a good one. What they could not obliviously legislate for was Tui's poor management, and letting this ship sale far far to early. The only trip we almost booked was an underground tour of Naples costing £60. Due to cost we decided not to, thinking we'd walk there ourselves, around 20 mins from the boat. Good job we did, it was 10 euros each!!! Total saving over £100!!! Finally there were some "excitable" other guests on board, clearly with some characteristically individual needs. These were not dealt with by the staff appropriately, although they were banned from drinking alcohol after the 4th night... Too late for some... Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We joined this ship on It’s maiden voyage following a major refit. Unfortunately the refit was not completed before the ship sailed. We arrived in our cabin to find no electricity, safe not working, old shower door stored on the ... Read More
We joined this ship on It’s maiden voyage following a major refit. Unfortunately the refit was not completed before the ship sailed. We arrived in our cabin to find no electricity, safe not working, old shower door stored on the balcony. The electricity and shower door were dealt with in a reasonable space of time. Someone came to fix the safe, told us it was new and they didn’t have a code and another person would come to fix. More than 24 hours later no one had come and we contacted reception again, after giving a report of the items that needed repairing the receptionist rolled her eyes to indicate she had enough of us. Another member of staff arrived to give us the same answer about the safe and left. It was eventually fixed after more than 24 hours on the ship. Once the electricity was back on we realised the television did not work. This was fixed on the second day. On the third night we came back from dinner to find we had no running water from the sink taps and reception was closed. We reported next day and it was repaired while we were on an excursion. That night after dinner we came back to find no water again until the next day when we reported again. At this time we asked for the general manager, to be told he’s usually around somewhere and no further indication that anyone would find him. Maintenance staff have called on three occasions to fix the air conditioning which has always worked and we’ve not reported any problems. Many of the dining areas incur a supplementary charge, not all. We went to Nanno’s (no charge) at lunchtime for pasta (45 minute wait), the Beach cove for skewers (1hr 10 minutes for main course), latitude for breakfast (dirty tablecloth, dirty crockery, toast with a 10 minute wait for butter). We decided to eat in the market place where there was a good choice of food and no waiting. My partner uses the gym most days and most of the electrical equipment and exercise bicycles do not work. Speaking to other guests it seems as if everyone has had issues with either their cabin, service or both. The staff are very friendly and are working hard but there is a sense that the processes in place are not working and a lot needs to be done to get this ship up to an acceptable standard. There is a real sales atmosphere on board, constant encouragement to upgrade to different packages. If you buy something there is a hard sell to buy more, we understand the need for companies to make money but it seems the balance is not right on this ship, and it can be uncomfortable at times and not relaxing. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Everything was perfect, You walk off the plane and onto a coach where you’re taken straight to the ship where our bags were waiting for us at our cabin. On return you see the immigration officers onboard, the queues move very fast, ... Read More
Everything was perfect, You walk off the plane and onto a coach where you’re taken straight to the ship where our bags were waiting for us at our cabin. On return you see the immigration officers onboard, the queues move very fast, no standing still. Then we were taken from the ship to the airport and our cases were sent to the plane ahead of us so we didn’t have to carry them around with us, they will also look after your hand luggage for you from when you leave your cabin until you depart the ship, they give you clean towels and an option to use a cabin to freshen up before your flight. Completely hassle free. Cabin was very comfortable and quiet, spotlessly cleaned twice daily and the cabin stewards were so friendly and kind. Fantastic staff, so attentive, friendly and really make you feel valued. Delicious food with plenty of options. The restaurants were very nice and in the buffet you have tons of options, you have fresh food cooked to order including omelettes and create your own stir fries, pastas and pizzas where you can choose exactly what ingredients they put in your meal. The fresh salad bars were so good too with freshly made potato salads, coleslaws and bean salads to name but a few. They had branston like pickle, piccalilli, chutneys and all the usual condiments including HP sauce, Branded drinks and a great choice of cocktails. Even without the premium drinks upgrade. Twinings breakfast and Yorkshire tea and many other kinds of herbal teas, delicious fresh sweet pure orange juice. The snack bar by the pool had freshly prepared salads (Caesar, Greek, Asian, curried chicken, avocado, salmon and more) sandwiches, wraps and burgers, hotdogs, fries etc to grab and go. Excellent entertainment with so many different options to choose from each day and night, something to do whatever your mood. The Collective were absolutely fantastic and got everyone rocking! Plenty of fun, lively areas with great music and entertainment and also calmer areas if you want some peace and quiet to just chill out and enjoy the moment. Didn’t feel at all overcrowded, even at the busiest times there was always somewhere to sit in the shade or in the sun. You can dress to impress if you like which meant I got the chance to wear some evening dresses but if you don’t feel like dressing up you don’t have to. You’re treated beautifully whatever you wear. Unlike other holidays I’ve been on (where drunken idiots have spoiled it for everyone else with their bad behaviour and they’ve been allowed to remain in the hotel and carry on their behaviour for the whole holiday) if someone gets out of hand they are promptly removed from the ship, they have zero tolerance of violent or abusive behaviour, Brilliant! Like staying in a 5 star hotel where the view changes daily. I can’t see how they can improve this ship and it’s staff. We don’t know how they manage it but even on a ship with so many other people on board you are made to feel special, the staff remember you and treat you very well. We will definitely be booking with TUI / Marella again. Everything really was perfect. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The cruise was taken with friends one of whom was to celebrate their 60th birthday during the 7 day cruise. No problems at airport or transfer but disappointed that on this cruise we had to deal with our own luggage. Slight mix up on ... Read More
The cruise was taken with friends one of whom was to celebrate their 60th birthday during the 7 day cruise. No problems at airport or transfer but disappointed that on this cruise we had to deal with our own luggage. Slight mix up on room allocation due to being given wrong room number belonging to another couple with very similar names. Rectified before boarding boat and luggage arrived at right room. Our outside cabin on level 6 was plenty big enough for two, plenty of storage and kept clean by very attentive crew member. Food: Self service Sirens and Lido were okay, but sometimes over busy. Didn't seem as much choice as previous cruises. Orion waiter service was generally better, although two incidents of less professional service by one waiter who rushed us on Captains night but allowed others different service and then on final night a wine waiter who was busy doing other tasks rather than keeping our glasses full. Food in Mistrals pretty decent apart from Captains night when it was pretty dire. Also ate one night in Mistrals for the birthday celebration meal. Excellent service and good value. We were all inclusive and upgraded our drinks package. We thought this offered us wider variety and good value for money. Bar staff were excellent and only on a couple of times did we experience any delays in being served. All the music entertainment was pretty good. Not all to my individual taste but pretty good all the same. The shows in the Broadway Lounge were really good, including the guest comedian. The ship is old, but clean and well looked after. Sun beds can be difficult to find on sea days. Overall we would go on the Dream again but on a different route. Madeira was superb but the Canaries hold nothing new for use. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Did not know what to expect on this our first cruise as we had read so many varied reviews, but we could not fault our cruise experience, we booked a large balcony cabin and it was perfect, we had our own sun lounger, table with 2 chairs ... Read More
Did not know what to expect on this our first cruise as we had read so many varied reviews, but we could not fault our cruise experience, we booked a large balcony cabin and it was perfect, we had our own sun lounger, table with 2 chairs and a hammock! It was ideal to get away from the hustle and bustle of the pool deck areas and really chill out. Okay the Marella explorer is not brand new and not as huge as some of the other cruise ships but for us it as just right. The main self service dinning room served a good range of hot and cold dishes which changed daily, and if you wanted a full English breakfast you'd have to go a long way to beat it, we also tried out the specialty restaurants, some you had to pay a cover charge for, but well worth it, and the all inclusive drinks package was the best we ever had, all the top and well known beers and spirits.We can't praise all the staff on-board enough, from the cleaners to the ships Captain, nothing was too much. Plenty of hand sanitisers' everywhere, entertainment and activities were suited to all age groups and were well organised, The only thing I would do differently next time would be to book shore excursions on-board the ship, yes they are more expensive than doing it yourself but it saves the hassle of being pestered by the hoards as you walk out of the port area into local towns, overall we had a fantastic first cruise experience and certainly do it all over again, especially on the Marella Explorer. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This ship is a real asset to the Marella line. It is really well run, spotlessly clean and comfortable. The crew are happy to help with a smile. There is a great choice of food, my only criticism is that a lot of the beef dishes were a bit ... Read More
This ship is a real asset to the Marella line. It is really well run, spotlessly clean and comfortable. The crew are happy to help with a smile. There is a great choice of food, my only criticism is that a lot of the beef dishes were a bit chewy and tough. Having said that anyone who can't find something good to eat must be the most picky eater ever. Such a wide variety. We had a balcony cabin on deck 9, it was spacious with plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. The balcony had two chairs of reasonable comfort and a small table. There was a kettle and fridge in the cabin. Bath, hand and pool towels were provided along with face cloths. There were two pools, not large but big enough and quite deep. There was also 3 jacuzzi's. Plenty of entertainment to suit everyone. Good variety of drinks and cocktails included in the drinks package. Didn't bother upgrading to premier for more choices. There was enough. The premium cocktails were not that expensive at £2.50 a time. The champneys although expensive were fabulous. Paid to keep a room on last day at a cost of £ 35, wasn't really worth it, only allowed to have it from 10 til 1.30. better to pay £15 each and book into the spar where they have lockers sauna's steam rooms, hot seats, fresh air room and sleeping room. Fabulous place. Loved every minute. The shore excursions run by the ship were over priced. We tended to get the tours on shore from official operaters and taxi's. Much cheaper and really good value. The people on the islands we visited were really friendly. The only island we found that tended change prices at a whim was St Lucia but even there we enjoyed the tour. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
1st time with tui excellent service from start to finish The flight from Gatwick was ok the food onboard was nice and we were constantly offered drinks Ship was clean In all areas Cabins were spacious and kept well by the ... Read More
1st time with tui excellent service from start to finish The flight from Gatwick was ok the food onboard was nice and we were constantly offered drinks Ship was clean In all areas Cabins were spacious and kept well by the stewards tea and coffee making in room No iron so pack your travel iron as they don’t lend you one they do have a laundry service I didn’t use it Shows were fantastic as were the singers in bars We had one night in the night club in bar eleven good night Staff were always attentive Waiters were plentiful and so friendly Food was of a good standard and always plenty to choose from The pizza in bar 47 was excellent There was even a barbecue on deck 9 and it was great The ship was spacious Late night films up on deck Something for everyone We didn’t go to gym or spa just peeked In The indoor pool area was really tranquil plenty of beds and seating areas The mini golf course and climbing wall was a great feature for kids and adults alike We met people from all over uk and Canada The smoking areas are outside on deck 4 and deck 9 We thought the staff were all very nice and friendly they spoke and smiled to everyone We didn’t do any excursions we went ashore and did are own thing Embarking and disembarking were smooth and efficient The duty free shop was really great value a lot cheaper than the airport My only complaint would be internet it was £15 per day I paid for 2 days but found It really slow I would recommend this cruise my partner and I really enjoyed it Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise for a 60th birthday gift for my wife having never been to the Caribbean before. We were not to be disappointed. A painless flight on the Dreamliner from Glasgow to Barbados saw us straight into a bus and on our way to ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a 60th birthday gift for my wife having never been to the Caribbean before. We were not to be disappointed. A painless flight on the Dreamliner from Glasgow to Barbados saw us straight into a bus and on our way to the ship within minutes of landing. The check in service was speedy and efficient and our luggage arrived very quickly and so the holiday began. The ship was in general very good with hard working staff who tried everything possible to make our holiday a memorable one. Our Captain John Clark was tremendous keeping everyone well informed of sailing times destinations etc and did it all with a fabulous sense of purpose and with great humour. The cabin with balcony 8223 was well furnished and well looked after by our attendant Flavia who on the occassion of my wifes birthday decorated it stylishly for the day. The balloons towel art and birthday sash were fab but the added birthday card from the housekeeping staff was much appreciated. Plenty clean towels linen etc and always a smile and a hello from housekeeping was impressive as we enjoyed ourselves. Dining .. we always ate at the market place (buffet) as we found it easily accessible and plenty of choice everyday. Loved the breakfasts and afternoon cream teas mmm scones and cream were fabulous. Rhea May was a breath of fresh air always a smile and a little chat whilst working tirelessly at her station. Lovely lady. Entertainment was good most nights in the Broadway Lounge with Amy in particular catching our eye with her fantastic voice and enthusiasm during the routines but that said all the staff/team were very good. We found all the entertainers on board very good but after two weeks a little repetetive but thats a small gripe. Comedians were fab with the Harper Brothers fantastic. We did however think that pool deck and other daytime activities a little sparse. Good mix of quizzes throughout the day. The one disappointment was the lack of atrium activity. The staff on explorer were mostly exellent whilst providing us with our experience and would like to give special mention to again Rhea May in the market place, Flavia our cabin attendant and Oscar behind the bar in the Squid and Anchor. Captain John and all his crew are a real credit to Marella for making our holiday a special holiday. Lastly on ports of call and excursions. We enjoyed all the ports but found the price of excursions aboard the ship a little high. If this was addressed by the company many more people would book i am sure. Prices from local operators were much more realistic. Look forward to joining Marella on another cruise in the not too distant future. Thank you all. Only a couple of negatives for me .. the coffee bar not being part of the all inclusive although selected coffee in various bars were and the minibar being not included having to purchase water seems a bit silly. If your all inclusive then surely all is included. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We are fairly recent cruisers and wanted a winter sun break and booked this cruise in January on line. The weather was superb and we were told by the crew the best they have had for several years. We flew from East Midlands to Tenerife and ... Read More
We are fairly recent cruisers and wanted a winter sun break and booked this cruise in January on line. The weather was superb and we were told by the crew the best they have had for several years. We flew from East Midlands to Tenerife and arrangements at departure, on arrival, coaching to Santa Cruz and boarding Marella Dream went like clockwork. The ship is old but is modern in appearance with good quality furnishings and the staff very friendly and helpful, nothing was too much trouble from our room steward to the bar and restaurant staff. Corridors and lift space are a little narrow and not as spacious as more modern ships. The variety of lounges and drinking and dining options were first class as was the food and drinks. We like to be on our own for dinner and for six nights we were served by Jennifer and April who looked after us very well. The Marella Dream Show team and their shows in the Broadway Show Lounge were excellent. Some very good singers and dancers however the comedian Alan Wilkins material was older than us and we are in our 70's. The resident band were again very good with such a wide range of music on offer. Our only disappointment was the lack of space for sunbathing when we had such good weather. We were birthed in walking distance of six of the places we visited which is brilliant. There were lots of excursions and trips arranged which people we spoke to enjoyed. Leaving the cruise was also faultless, colour coded luggage and well organised. Our only disappointment was East Midlands Border Control on the return. It took about 30 minutes to process us which is not acceptable. A superb restful and enjoyable cruise. Thank you TUI. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
choose this cruise because we went on a med cruise in the marells discovery and loved it . the carabbian cruse ship celebration wasnt as good as the discovery . food was ok ,much better on the discovery though ..entertainment much better ... Read More
choose this cruise because we went on a med cruise in the marells discovery and loved it . the carabbian cruse ship celebration wasnt as good as the discovery . food was ok ,much better on the discovery though ..entertainment much better on the disvovery too all round the discovery was a much better ship we also did sn excersion called rhino riders we went out on our own little boat and snokerled on the reef had a great day , found that some of the islands were quite expensive , and also had to taxi to quite a few beaches which worked out quite a penny at the end of yhe holiday , one last thing all the staff are excellent on the ships , they are very helpfull polite and friendly they help make your holiday 10 out of 10 to the staff we booked the three special restaurants and found the food to be excellent hot stone wasnt great though Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Chose this cruise due to the ports of call. Flight out from Manchester smooth, excellent onboard service and check in at Montego Bay was efficient.I knew the ship having previously travelled on her when in Royal Caribbean brand,but ... Read More
Chose this cruise due to the ports of call. Flight out from Manchester smooth, excellent onboard service and check in at Montego Bay was efficient.I knew the ship having previously travelled on her when in Royal Caribbean brand,but transformation was great.We had an inside cabin and was suffucient for our needs as only in room to shower and change,room kept clean by excellent cabin steward. Dining-- we are early risers so we ate breakfast at the buffet in Islands restaurant, plenty of variety of food and very tasty, we also went to the same restaurant for buffet lunch, excellent choices and never had a problem finding something to eat.Had evening meals in 47 restaurant with waiter service, couldnt fault the menus, evening meals excellent choices and our waiters were superb, nothing too much trouble. Now the entertainment, this was our 20th cruise having been with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and P&O, the entertainment team onboard Marella Discovery 2 were by far the most professional group we have ever seen, so energetic, it made the cruise so special as we like the shows in the evening but this team were in a different league from previous cruises,Thanks for your hard work We visited Jamaica, Grand Cayman,Cuba,Belize,Costa Maya, Cozumel, Guatemala and Honduras. We only did 2 tours, Cuba in an old vintage car, pink Pontiac and was great fun,booked before we left with independent company at half the price. We also did the catamaran and snorkel in Roatan,Honduras, this was through ship and was excellent value. Cozumel lots of shops,Costa maya has a purpose built cruise area and this was fantastic as you could watch the dolphin show, free unless you wanted to swim with them, lots of shopping and even pool bars to swim in. Staff onboard Marella Discovery 2 were always smiling, service was excellent throughout the ship,nothing was too much trouble. I would have no hesitation in going on this cruise again, Marella excelled my expectations Just made extra special by all the shows in the evening,this for me was the highlight of our cruise, cant compliment the evening entertainment team enough. Return flight and check in once again smooth and efficient Read Less
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