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
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: January 2019
We wanted to visit the Caribbean islands offered on this cruise. We also wanted to go “all inclusive”. We chose back to back cruises Tropical Delights and Paradise Islands.We also wanted to avoid lots of “at sea” days. We flew ... Read More
We wanted to visit the Caribbean islands offered on this cruise. We also wanted to go “all inclusive”. We chose back to back cruises Tropical Delights and Paradise Islands.We also wanted to avoid lots of “at sea” days. We flew direct from Gatwick to Barbados. The flight was comfortable and the staff helpful. The transfer and embarkation process was smooth and uneventful and our cases were in our cabin shortly after we were. There was a good choice of restaurants and lots of food choices. My husband loved a cooked breakfast every day and there was lots of fresh fruit and lighter choices if you prefer. Dinner served in Lattitude was good. Interesting menu and plenty of choice. We ate at one of the special restaurants (small supplement) on a couple of occasions and were delighted with the food and service. There were a number of bars and even a pub on board. These offered entertainment and the cocktails were delicious. We would not recommend paying the supplement for the Premium drinks package. If you want Gordon’s gin instead of an imported spit it just ask as it’s included. Entertainment in the Broadway lounge was good overall. Every taste was catered for. Not everything was to our taste. We booked our trips in advance of our cruise and the tickets were delivered to our cabin. Overall the trips we took were very well organised and interesting. We have already booked for January 2020 for Flavours of The Caribbean and Pride of Panama. This time flying direct to Jamaica. Our Marella Cruise on the Marella Explorer was fun and great value. Thanks to TUI. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Very Disappointing, having previously cruised with Thomson's and been delighted with the ship, staff, service & entertainment the new addition to the cruise fleet "Explorer" the overall experience certainly has been ... Read More
Very Disappointing, having previously cruised with Thomson's and been delighted with the ship, staff, service & entertainment the new addition to the cruise fleet "Explorer" the overall experience certainly has been disappointing and NOT up to the standard of previous Thomson cruises. Firstly, the Explorer, although it may be considered that the Atrium of the ship is a waste of space it creates an outstanding focal point, a hub usually with pleasant bars, music & conversation. This is missing on the Explorer and the redesigning of the ship is a miss-match with speciality restaurants being created from corridors and even the Shushi restaurant has a walk-way (corridor) going through it. The Casino is tucked away in a corner (a little like an after thought stuck in a corner). You have to walk through the buffet restaurant to reach alternative bars with lots of people walking in swimwear (very unhygienic). The food although served hot, in the main restaurant lacked variety, bars are under staffed and public areas are left uncleaned, with dirty glasses, tables and bins overflowing. There is certainly a lack of staff and some border on uninterested, compared with some who are outstanding. The entertainment programme was poor with one professional act within 7 days and the Thomson entertainment staff where also very poor (something which previously on Thomson's cruises has been exceptional) although the resident band "the Beats" where enjoyable. On the sea day the entertainment team were happy to play a film out of deck, in fact every day at least one film was shown (really entertainment?!). Our cabin was pleasant (our Cabin stewards outstanding), but by the 5th day the bathroom smell was overwhelming and a trip to reception to complain was necessary and the smell/fault was resolved for 2 days until the 3rd day when the smell came back in fact the whole ship smelled (sorry). There is no indoor pool & although Thomson promote that one of the outdoor pools during a period of day is purely for adults this was never enforced, nor was the smoking/vapouring policy with vapouring on decks & bars. The All Inclusive drinks menu has also been revised with many of the cocktails being removed or now on the premium drinks menu. If you have cruised with Thomsons before you will be disappointed, if you haven't cruised with Thomsons then don't do the Explorer! Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My husband and I chose this cruise as we'd been to the Caribbean before and wanted to do different islands and this cruise fitted the bill. We had an inside cabin on deck 8 mid ship which was very good, only downfall was that it had ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise as we'd been to the Caribbean before and wanted to do different islands and this cruise fitted the bill. We had an inside cabin on deck 8 mid ship which was very good, only downfall was that it had 2 fold down beds above where we slept which restricted our move ability when getting in/out of bed. The cabin was ample size for 2 people, there was a dressing table/stool which was a good size with drawers on both sides, a double wardrobe with plenty coat hangers, shelves and drawers. Bathroom was fitted out well with a shower which had a glass door also shower gel dispenser on wall, toilet and fitted units throughout. Air con control on wall. TV with various channels along with cruise ship info. Our steward was very attentive and cleaned our cabin twice a day with towel change twice a day if needed. We had 2 pool towels which could be changed at any time. The easiest boarding we've had on a cruise (& we've been on a few!) when our plane landed at Barbados we got off the plane and straight onto a bus on the tarmac which took us to the port for embarkation which was quick and easy. On our last day we booked a courtesy cabin to shower and freshen up before our flight home. You are allowed to use all the facilities on board including the AI right up until your bus comes to take you to the airport, which is great which means you can stay on the ship or go ashore & back on board if you want. Other cruise companies we've sailed with don't let you do this, it's off at 8am unless you've booked a tour to fill in your day till you go to the airport!! On board facilities include AI ( you can upgrade to Premium AI but personally I don't think it's worth it, unless you like posh coffees ) even champagne is extra on the P. AI. Food is plentiful with the Market Place Cafe - buffett restuarant which is lovely, you have other serviced restuarants to choose from : Vista, The Mediterranian,,Tapas, The Snack shack also Latitude 53. There's other restuarants that you can pay a cover charge for but we didn't use these as found eating places ample for what we needed. You'll never go hungry as it's breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea then evening meal. I didn't use the spa so can't comment. 2 pools with 3 hot tubs, busy around pool for sunbathing but there's lots of other places to sunbathe which are quieter. Indoorr and outdoor cinema. Theatre on board lovely and plenty of seats, although the entertainment wasn't the best we'd seen but this didn't spoil our cruise as there's so much going on you can choose where you can go. Christmas Eve on board was great, from drinks in the bar, a silent disco (good fun) to Carols on the stairs, there wasn't a shortage of things to do. It was buzzing with excitement from young and older alike. We didn't do any shore excursions with the ship but did have a couple of trips on local buses/taxis Cost $20 pp in a bus 2 hours takes you on an island tour Tortola, also $25 pp in a mini bus taxi in Antigua (3 couples) driver gave an island tour to Nelson's Dockyard, beach & other attractions, well worth it took around 3 hours, plenty of time to get back to ship . We also walked to places as most amenities are quite close by. All staff on board very helpful couldn't do enough for you and nothing was too much trouble. Captain John was great (told some corny jokes but still made me laugh) kept you informed of what was going on with passages/weather etc. Cruise director very good as well. Would like to go on one of the Discovery ships as heard good reviews about them from friends. Looking to book another Marella Cruise for next Christmas/New year. A very enjoyable holiday from boarding our Dreamliner flight in Manchester, to boarding our lovely cruise ship Marella Explorer, to coming home a week later...Plain sailing! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Absolutely lovely cruise.... staff from room cleaners through to management were excellent... bar staff fab.. Anthony in the squid and anchor and lllian in the whisky and gin bar were fantastic.. Clifford our brilliant house keeper was ... Read More
Absolutely lovely cruise.... staff from room cleaners through to management were excellent... bar staff fab.. Anthony in the squid and anchor and lllian in the whisky and gin bar were fantastic.. Clifford our brilliant house keeper was tops never a problem to do anything for u... food choices galore restaurants staff amazing... these guys work long hours but are always polite and give u the time of day... would 100% book with marella explorer again... had a problem with our room nothing major.. but the ship manager got us moved straight away.... fabulous time couple of days a bit wet but hey 15 nights without cooking makes up for that... entertainment good.. broadway show room is like going to London except in London u don’t get complementary drinks... ship was very clean literally inside and out were kept clean daily and more than once a day... couldn’t ask for a better first time cruise The 6 days going across to the Caribbean were long but hey we knew wen we booked... oh and the guys at the Lavizza coffee port loved seeing me at 7am every morning Read Less
Marella Explorer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 3.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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