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13 Marella Cruises Italy Cruise Reviews

My wife and I have just returned from a cruise and stay package with Marella, staying firstly at the wonderful conca park hotel in Sorrento then onto the Explorer 2. Given it was our first cruise, We obviously have limited experience of ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned from a cruise and stay package with Marella, staying firstly at the wonderful conca park hotel in Sorrento then onto the Explorer 2. Given it was our first cruise, We obviously have limited experience of cruises but must say that we found our first experience to be amazing. Every aspect of the cruise was fantastic, from the cabin we had (a standard balcony cabin on deck 8) to the food, entertainment and staff. We enjoyed having so much choice for meals and loved fish and chips at the snack shack, pasta in Nonnas and main meal in the MDR. We were very Impressed with the friendlyness of all of the staff and the amazing shows in the show lounge, we made full use of our balcony and wouldn't like to do another cruise with a lesser grade cabin. So,altogether a great trip and would highly recommend this ship and company to others. The only negative aspect of our trip as mentioned in other reviews was Naples airport which was hell! Too busy, awful service and attitude and a horrible start and end to an otherwise great experience, I can only hope that Marella get the message and change this airport as we would certainly not wish to use it again and would therefore be very reluctant to do another holiday via there again. I had a wheelchair with me and found that all on the ship and tours were very accommodating. It was a bit of a squeeze in the cabin but we managed fairly well. However the same could not be said at the airport. You also realize how far we have come in accommodating disabled people in this country compared with others. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to have a weeks stay in Sorrento afterwards. It was our first cruise and after reading the reviews our expectations were not too high. After all it isn’t a high end cruise so we were not ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to have a weeks stay in Sorrento afterwards. It was our first cruise and after reading the reviews our expectations were not too high. After all it isn’t a high end cruise so we were not expecting luxury. Cabin - our balcony cabin was a good size, with more storage space than we could possibly use ( I pack the kitchen sink). Tea and coffee making facilities, comfy bed, everything you need. Food - Latitude restaurant the food was variable, some good some not so good. Some starters were so small I wouldn’t have bothered dirtying a plate it would have fit on a cracker. Vista was our favourite the Italian dishes were delicious Nonnas pizza was really good, but service slow because it is so busy. The Market Square - canteen food. Did not enjoy the food in here Entertainment- a good variety in the different bars and the broadway lounge Drinks - we upgraded to the premium drinks package and really enjoyed everything. The gym was well equipped and there was a fitness studio, however the air conditioning in the gym is non existent which is surprising when the rest of the ship is so well air conditioned. When I went to use the shower and changing room I was told I couldn’t as it was being reserved for people using the spa. Staff - OUTSTANDING everywhere. I couldn’t believe that on our second visit to the aperitive bar our waiter Rene knew what our drinks were. After all there are another 1400 or so people on the ship. The staff were amazing Now for what I didn’t like. The pool area is jam packed with sun beds and I am sure the people are up at the crack of dawn to get on them, and they don’t shift. The ship has a policy of moving towels off beds that are unoccupied after 45 minutes but I never saw that enforced. There are no parasols so if you did get a bed you would be in full sun. For the seven days we were on the ship the only sun we got was on our balcony as we couldn’t get near the sun deck till after 5 pm. I didn’t go on holiday to sit in my room! Unless you book the massively overpriced excursions there was little or no information given about where you are visiting. A request at destination services was met with are you booking a trip? When we said no, then we don’t give maps! They cancelled the stop in Sicily so we had an extra day at sea, for me that was the nail in the coffin. There were too few areas where you could relax in the fresh air. We did get a lounger on the starboard deck but it was in the shade and very windy. The activities on board ranged from bingo and quizzes to towel folding and talks on how to get rid of your fat belly. It was like being in a hotel with the doors locked and there is a limit to how much eating and drinking you can do Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The experience started badly in Manchester Airport, the check in lines were unbelievable it took nearly 2 hours to check in. This needs to be sorted there was no separate check in fo cruise passenger or if you had printed your own boarding ... Read More
The experience started badly in Manchester Airport, the check in lines were unbelievable it took nearly 2 hours to check in. This needs to be sorted there was no separate check in fo cruise passenger or if you had printed your own boarding passes which would have speeded everything up. Naples airport dreadful too had to walk for 20 minutes in the heat with cases ! Thought suitcases would have gone straight to cabin. Overall we enjoyed the cruise and thought it was reasonable value for money. There are areas that need to addressed though so hence my detailed review. The ship was lovely the public rooms were very nice newly renovated so were very modern however ship was always freezing air con too cold ! The balcony cabin was really nice and roomy and kept very clean by our steward. New bathroom with glass shower doors better than a curtain! Entertainment in the main theatre from the young singers and dancers was excellent - some really good shows. Other entertainment awful far too many silly game shows and quizzes should just pay more for quality artists. Don’t really need full on music and quizzes all day by the pool either. Resident groups were average. Karaoke was ridiculous as the screen is behind the person who is singing so all you see when in the audience is the back of the head of the person singing. All staff particularly waiters and bar staff were very good and efficient. The food in the main restaurants was good but not fantastic there should be more choice very limited no curries or chillies or liver or fillet steak. Buffet food not as varied as it should be and couldn’t believe at breakfast there was no egg station to make fresh omelettes etc and no carvery at lunch or dinner never known that before on a cruise. Speciality restaurants expensive Drinks package ok but wish Marella would invest in a decent Zinfandel Rose instead of the dry house rose . Also no Strongbow cider in main buffet restaurant but 2 Fosters pumps ? Tables for 2 in main dining room far too close together might as well have been on table for 4 ! No ice bucket or water in cabins and no daily news sheet or map or info re port of call - seem to be cutting back a bit too much I think. Been on many cruises with all the major lines and I do like Marella particularly for their itineraries and reasonable prices but they just have to be careful they don’t cut back on costs too much to reduce the quality of a cruise experience and ultimately effect how many repeat bookings they get. Naples Airport on return journey horrendous no proper system to queue at gate and no air conditioning and subsequently delayed. Very very limited food on plane going back as had sold out due to queues at Manchester Airport on incoming flight as nobody had a chance to buy food in Airport so passengers bought everything up on plane on flight to Naples! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
been with marella before,not the biggest ships but some value as the basic drinks package is in with the price,entertainment was good and the food is good,but not the italian restuarant the vote is out on that,but Norras paizza place ... Read More
been with marella before,not the biggest ships but some value as the basic drinks package is in with the price,entertainment was good and the food is good,but not the italian restuarant the vote is out on that,but Norras paizza place excellent,although they say referb ship only in the public areas cabins not only bathrooms the food is good and lots of places to eat from lots of choice,thae speciality restaurants are also very good the standard drinks package is excellent but they dont do banana banches on explorer 1 or 2 as they do on discovery,you can upgrade the drinks package if you like, entertainment i the main showroom is very good and varried,however on deck its the normal entertainment as on all ships no maps or info given out for your destination of the day wich is not very helpfull,they say look at the screen as this is saving papper,but seem to deliver plenty of crap in flyers to your cabin every day to sell you things. the flight to and from Naples (nighmare)on arriving half a mile walk along streets to the coaches,plus 1 broken wheel from flight on returning 2and a half hour delay while sitting on plane waiting for luggage to be loaded,only 1 small glass of water from tui,arrive gatewick 2 hrs 45 mins late another brocken wheel and zipper riped on case, I would use marella again but never NAPLES AVOID,but it would be about itinery first,the suites on board marella 2 i would not call suites at all just lager balcony cabins Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our first cruise and although we have nothing else to compare it with, can honestly say it was the best experience ever. Yes, there is a bit of a walk from the airport to get on the coach, but its not that far. Embarkation and ... Read More
This was our first cruise and although we have nothing else to compare it with, can honestly say it was the best experience ever. Yes, there is a bit of a walk from the airport to get on the coach, but its not that far. Embarkation and check in had a nice feel to it, with welcoming drinks etc., Our Cabin was always clean, with fresh towels and pool towels whenever you needed them, The food choice on board was great, and the Surf & Turf Steakhouse was so good, we booked to go again, before we came home. The staff could not do enough for you and were always pleasant and happy in their work. We did a few excursions, and that was the only thing that we had a negative about as one trip we booked, we hardly had any time to visit the place, as the tour guide decided to take us on tour round the town. so bit disappointed. But, we are already researching our next cruise and it will defintely be with TUI Marella. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The price, the ports, the all inclusive package and the fact that we could stay on in corfu all lead us to pick this cruise. The ship was beautiful, and easy to find our way around. We had balcony cabins which were great, and our steward ... Read More
The price, the ports, the all inclusive package and the fact that we could stay on in corfu all lead us to pick this cruise. The ship was beautiful, and easy to find our way around. We had balcony cabins which were great, and our steward was very attentive and looked after our needs. We ate alot in the mdr, including the Italian option upstairs and service was excellent as was the food. Many times we ordered a number of starters to be able to sample different dishes, portions were not huge which suited us well. We had an issue one night with our table and did not feel it was handled well however we gave feedback and the dining room manager listened to us and apologized profusely.we also ate at the tapas restaurant in the glass house on 2 occasions and this was a very good experience, much quieter than the mdr but still waiter service. Captain Chris was from Manchester and it was very entertaining listening to his announcements! A real character!! We did the ship transfer to Rome which was straight forward. Naples was chaotic but we headed up to castle st Elmo and escaped the madness. Messina has an amazing clock tower both inside and out, be there at 11.30 to go inside before the display starts at 12. Valetta was our favourite place, we enjoyed the British quirks around the town, even a George clothes shop!! very easy to do on foot. Taranto- was a great disappointment. Nothing to see there, not even a coffee shop...definitely do a trip out of town if you go to this port. We stayed on in corfu at hotels bono, highly recommended. Lovely hotel, supermarket nearby and buses around the island were very good. No sandy beaches was a disappointment, kassiopi was our favourite place. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The ship itself although it had its tea thing problems was a nice overall. The cabins were adequate and served there purpose we had an inside cabin, I felt the shower was very good, the pillows needed to be firmer or at least have the ... Read More
The ship itself although it had its tea thing problems was a nice overall. The cabins were adequate and served there purpose we had an inside cabin, I felt the shower was very good, the pillows needed to be firmer or at least have the option, plenty of storage, could be cleaner. The food in the self service was ok lots of room for improvement but served its purpose, I am Cluton free and that was very disappointing as I was hoping this had improved from our previous cruises, very little options although they show options but was never available. The restaurants on the ship was fantastic the food and service was very good this includes the package restaurants as well. The entertainment was way above my expectations and the theatre itself was very comfortable. The staff on board are very polite across the ship. As a whole we had a great time on and off the ship and would recommend a cruise, these are not high end but are a very good standard Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Having done over 15 Thompson cruises with our husbands and together have to say that Thompson have not just rebranded but have sold out to Merella.The ship is nice enough but some how lacks the touch of the Thompson's older ships, ... Read More
Having done over 15 Thompson cruises with our husbands and together have to say that Thompson have not just rebranded but have sold out to Merella.The ship is nice enough but some how lacks the touch of the Thompson's older ships, there just was not the atmosphere any were on board, most of the staff were friendly enough but that spark has gone, and well some are down right miserable , never saw the cruise director walking around meeting people ( as they have on our other cruises) and the entertainment staff did a few quizzes and that was it. The evening shows were good but the girls singers did tend to screech, the groups, singers and soloist were good I think it is now all about paying extra in the specialist resturants if you want a decent meal, the choice at breakfast was good as we always eat in the resturanr, as the self service is a free for all fighting for tables. Luch was ok with plenty of choice from a sandwich to a 3 course meal in the resturant, (salad was a bit of a let down) evenging meal in the self service was terrible very little choice and it closes early., the resturant is better but very hit and miss not as good as it used to be, i could of soled my shoes with the duck i was served, looks nice though, lots of complaing at night. I am not a big drinker but i do like to taste it when i am having one, had a cidar with lunch one day tasteless, so watered down as were the cocktails, have to say the banana daiquiris were good but more of a mocktail, very little choice in the wine and the house wine coloured water. We were very luck as there were only 43 children on our criuise (very noisey around the pool deck) as there were 450 a couple of weeks ago, what they did i have no idea as there is not the facilities for so many children. We thought we would spoil ourselves and have a cabin with a large balcony, yes the balcony is large but the room is very small with little room to move around, but the bathroom was good with a walk in shower with glass door (not curtain) plenty of wardrobes and draws. On one of the days we were unable to tender as it was a bit rough, would of thought that the entertainment director would of had a program for such an event but it seems not it took 2 hours with a lets do Q&A with the show team once they had got out of there beds. To sum up the cruise would i do another Merella cruise the answer is NO, i am afraid it was like Butlins on the sea ( i beleive that they are targeting the younger couples with children) and we were very thankfull that we had gone that week and not the week after as that was Buzz Bingo week and you could play bingo 4 times a day every day, my friend said she woukd of thrown me overboard but i said it was ok i would of jummped. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
It was our 1st cruise and we thought it was a great experience the entertainment staff catering bar staff cabin staff highly recommended would do it again .would recommend it to other 1st time cruisers as well only thing we didnt like was ... Read More
It was our 1st cruise and we thought it was a great experience the entertainment staff catering bar staff cabin staff highly recommended would do it again .would recommend it to other 1st time cruisers as well only thing we didnt like was that you was unable to watch england games in the world cup tournament and to have wifi would be rather expensive the captains announcements were very clear and accurate information. My wife unfortunately broke her ankle while we were in rome and the medical staff were great and was Amanda of entertainment who came with us to th hospital while we docked in palermos spain also the very kind taxi drivers who took great care with us .I travelled with my with and mother in law and none of us had been on a cruise before we would do it again one year liked it very much. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
It was rubbish not like the other Thomson cruises I have been on no seating in the showrooms and bars really hard to get in the main Resteraunt tried to book a meal in the alacart on the second day of the cruise only to be told it's ... Read More
It was rubbish not like the other Thomson cruises I have been on no seating in the showrooms and bars really hard to get in the main Resteraunt tried to book a meal in the alacart on the second day of the cruise only to be told it's fully booked for 2weeks how is this possible the people who are on the ship for two weeks are booking the Resteraunt for the next week which is not fair on the people who are only there for one week no entertainment from the staff through the day like other ships I think they should get the entertainment team and cruise director Paul evens to show them how a ship should be run and how to entertain there customers very poor for a holiday I think I will go back on the majesty they know how to look after you and entertain you Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Have just returned from a 2 week cruise on the Celebration. Have cruised on the ship before and made very welcome by some of the staff who recognised us as returning passengers. Staff all very friendly and always made time to talk to ... Read More
Have just returned from a 2 week cruise on the Celebration. Have cruised on the ship before and made very welcome by some of the staff who recognised us as returning passengers. Staff all very friendly and always made time to talk to passengers all around the ship. Lovely atmosphere throughout the ship. Dining options on the ship very good. Ate in the Lido or Lido deck snack bar most lunchtimes. Ate in the Meridian restaurant every evening and our waiter was always helpful and very friendly. Chose to eat at the Hot Stone one evening which was well worth the supplement. Entertainment in the Broadway Lounge was fantastic with a different style show every night. Most of the ports we visited were excellent and we docked close enough for you to explore most of the ports independently. Photo team on board the ship did a great job of recording memories of a fantastic holiday. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
The aircon overall on the ship was poor especially in our cabin. The entertainment was ok apart from the British so called comedian why do Thomson do that we haven't seen a decent (British comedian on any Thomson cruise) We had ... Read More
The aircon overall on the ship was poor especially in our cabin. The entertainment was ok apart from the British so called comedian why do Thomson do that we haven't seen a decent (British comedian on any Thomson cruise) We had two meals in the waiter service restaurant both were rotten, we ate in the self service restaurant every meal after that it was fab. We did Mount Etna trip which took 2 hours to get there when we arrived the guide informed us that we didn't have time to go to the top that's why we did this trip to go to the top!! We had 55 minutes to see the craters then back on the bus for a 2 hour trip back to the ship at a cost of £34 each we felt that it was a complete rip off. The ship docked at a port called Brindisi another waste of time. We went on the little petite train that took us all round the dirty back streets; everyone was saying surely it's better than this unfortunately after an hour we saw nothing at a cost it 30 euros I wouldn't recommend this trip to my worst enemy. The staff on the ship are amazing so friendly and courteous nothing is to much trouble. I would recommend this cruise if Thomsons get there act together and look at the Brindisi stop. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
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