2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We"d never done a cruise before and wanted to do something special for our silver wedding anniversary so we decided to book a cruise around the Caribbean. We also booked to renew our wedding vows and we'd just like to say a very ... Read More
We"d never done a cruise before and wanted to do something special for our silver wedding anniversary so we decided to book a cruise around the Caribbean. We also booked to renew our wedding vows and we'd just like to say a very big THANK YOU to Amanda Hudson the social host and our captain Peter Harris for sorting everything out so that we could do it on our wedding anniversary. We had a lovely day thanks again to Amanda Hudson for everything that you did to it happen it's very much appreciated. The ship is lovely all staff very friendly and work very hard food lovely as well will definitely be coming back. All the staff are really friendly and work hard food was excellent we had an invite to join the captain at his table as well which was lovely couldn't of asked for a better 25th wedding anniversary cruise we've got lots of wonderful memories and photos Read Less
11 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Previously cruised on the Royal Clipper (twice) and Norwegian Star (not the best experience), so we have been on small and larger vessels. Tui package holidays have always been consistent for quality, so it was interesting to try their ... Read More
Previously cruised on the Royal Clipper (twice) and Norwegian Star (not the best experience), so we have been on small and larger vessels. Tui package holidays have always been consistent for quality, so it was interesting to try their cruise option. Flights - very good, the system of leaving luggage at Manchester airport and not having to handle it again until it arrived at the cabin worked extremely well. The Dreamliner is an excellent aircraft, in our opinion better than Airbus offerings. Apart from some slow service on the plane (don't think there were enough cabin crew) and not much variety in inflight entertainment all went well. Very comfortable flights both ways. The ship - excellent all round. Large balcony cabin has plenty of storage and well laid out. Didn't find the small number of power points too much of an inconvenience, we always seemed to keep our smart phones and iPad charged. No other reviewers have mentioned a super innovation on this ship - the Navigate app. for smart phone or tablet. Much better than reams of paper daily news letters cluttering the cabin. Reception service was excellent, always attended to quickly and with a smile. Not many children on this cruise, almost adults only. No issues with food and drink on board, mainly used Lattitude 53 for breakfast and dinner and the Market Place for lunch. Tried Vista one night, the only time we had to wait for a table, but no real inconvenience, the food was worth the wait - the Parpadelli Carbonare was superb! Visited Surf and Turf once, again a real treat, the fillet steak and lobster combination was to die for, well worth the extra. Generally the food was far superior to Norwegian and on a par with Royal Clipper ( a totally diffent cruise experience). Didn't bother with the Premium upgrade, didn't spend anywhere near the £100 it would have costs, the standard offerings were fine. Service was always quick and efficient, we had no problems on this cruise. Entertainment was good, with enough variety for us. No problems with sunbeds as we don't like being too near the pools (too noisy). Always found a quiet spot, the Veranda wasn't all that busy and we could retreat to the cabin and the large balcony if we wanted. Just a mention for Alan and Linda - you've stirred my interest in ballroom dancing and am looking to take some lessons ashore, many thanks. Shore excursions - only tried two. St. Maarten got off to a bad start, over 30 minutes late starting and the tour didn't show off the island in its best light. We walked into the town in the afternoon and we saw a much better side. The Tortola land and sea exclusion was in total contrast, gave us a real taster for the BVI. Otherwise we did our own thing at the other ports (have been to St.Kitts, Antigua and Bequia on previous holidays, so knew our way around). All in all an excellent holiday, Marella must be doing something right as we are about to book another cruise on the Explorer 2 next March to see some other islands we haven't yet visited. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our first cruise for our silver wedding anniversary & certainly won’t be our last. After arriving in Barbados we were put on a coach straight to the ship, embarkation was fantastic. We were greeted by a steel band & ... Read More
This was our first cruise for our silver wedding anniversary & certainly won’t be our last. After arriving in Barbados we were put on a coach straight to the ship, embarkation was fantastic. We were greeted by a steel band & given rum punches, got our room cards, photos taken & all done & dusted in minutes. Our cases arrived outside our cabin about an hour later. Entertainment was fantastic, we particularly enjoyed the shows in the theatre, they are young but work their socks off to give fantastic performances which last approx 45 minutes & drinks are served to you throughout. The entertainment around the ship & in the Squid & Anchor by the bands The Beats & The Collectables were fantastic also as were the games in the Squid & Anchor, really good fun if you want to partake or just watch. A must is the silent disco which was on twice a week, again you can partake or just watch. The entertainment is run by cruise director Cameron & he & all involved really do a good job to cater for everyone’s taste. There is always something going on somewhere if something in particular is not to your taste. There is a cinema & outdoor cinema, casino, library, gym, coffee port, scoops ice cream, snack shack, Champneys Spa & Salon, Broadway shops, 2 swimming pools, 3 jacuzzis, running track, mini golf, 10 restaurants to name a few so there is something for everyone. Sea days are a nightmare to get a sun bed as people put their towels down early, come at 8am & you’ve no chance. Staff do put tickets on them if they are empty for 45 mins but we saw loads of ‘reserved beds’ empty for longer, we never saw any towels being removed for people wanting a sun bed. We did a few tours with Tui which were amazing, one of these tours started an late so inevitably we arrived back late for the ship which thankfully had to wait for us because it was a Tui excursion. We did the trikes in Aruba (independently booked from home) submarine tour, catamaran & Pitons, Champagne & lobster catamaran & a few more independent ones off shore. All trips were fantastic, all the locals were extremely friendly towards us & we never felt intimidated anywhere. We picked up some WiFi with the price of a drink in certain bars. We were lucky enough to have our wedding renewal on our anniversary with thanks to Amanda the social hostess. This was something we couldn’t book back home at our Tui shop or the many phone calls by my husband. We were fortunate enough to get hold of Amanda’s e-mail & arranged it the week before we went, it was absolutely amazing & they couldn’t do enough for us. Captain Peter performed the ceremony on the bridge & it was wonderful, we had the silver package for £200 & it was perfect. We also purchased all the photos taken which was set to music & have it on a usb stick, also included was 16 photos which are professional photos taken by the lovely photographer team. All the staff on board are extremely polite & friendly & work such long hours to ensure we have the best time possible, they have a few hours off here & there but not days off. In order to receive a full day off they have to be mentioned in reviews so it’s very sad & darn right rude when you see people clicking fingers at them for service or moaning because they have to wait a short time for a table in one of the restaurants. Unfortunately I can’t remember all their names who made our holiday but a shout out goes to Gladys, housekeeping on deck 9, Roman who refilled our drinks on the deck pool, Vicky & Elizabeth entertainment staff, Captain Peter & Cameron for their daily announcements & Amanda social hostess for making it possible for us to renew our wedding vows. A few necessities to take with you, towel pegs or bands as it gets very windy in the Caribbean ( if your towel blows off or you lose it you will be charged £10 per towel). As I’ve said it gets quite windy & for us girls it is very unkind to our hair. 5 mins after drying my hair it went frizzy & after a few days very dry, my heat protection spray wasn’t strong enough for the Caribbean wind so I purchased Ghd protection spray from the Broadway shops which cost $13 but so worth it, this spray is expensive but I would not be without it for future cruises. I never felt the need to wrap up in the evening so didn’t wear the wrap I brought. Definitely bring looser fitting clothes for your second week as despite my good intentions not to over indulge it’s very hard as the food is delicious & plentiful. We also never used the euros as all islands accept usd, we used ours to pay off part of our bill on leaving. On the day of disembarkment you have to leave your cabin by 8am. You can pay £35 for a late room check out subject to availability & only till 1.30 or you can pay £14.95 pp for a day pass in Champneys Spa. We did this & it was amazing, we got our travel luggage in the lockers, provided with robes, towels, refreshments, showers & you can still use the ships facilities. For any disabled people wanting to cruise there were plenty of guests in wheelchairs & mobility scooters, incidentally the ship has plenty of lifts. We had an absolutely amazing time aboard the Explorer & are already looking for our next cruise - yep we’ve got the cruise bug. All the negative comments we read about before embarking on our first cruise in our eyes are unfounded but that is just our opinion, everyone has different expectations, experiences & are entitled to their own opinions. A holiday is what you make it & my husband & I have made many memories visiting 12 islands on one holiday. Read Less
5 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
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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise to celebrate our Ruby anniversary, and wife's 75th birthday. Upgraded seating on plane, luggage allowance, and to a extra large balcony cabin. Start with the cabin. You can't control the air con. It is either ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our Ruby anniversary, and wife's 75th birthday. Upgraded seating on plane, luggage allowance, and to a extra large balcony cabin. Start with the cabin. You can't control the air con. It is either hot or cold. everyone had dry cough's, and colds. The bathing area is at least 8 inches higher than the cabin floor. This is awkward, and dangerous at our age. The toilet is a joke, you sit on the toilet with your left arm on a sink, and your right arm on a toilet roll holder. The cold water is warm, and the shower door only get by at a squeeze. The wardrobe doors are directly outside the bathroom door. So be careful. The gap at the bottom of the bed is about 18 inches wide. With a tv sticking out. Watch your shoulders. The bed is metal framed, and the mattress was in need of being replaced. Not packed up with blanket, and mattress protectors. The food choice in the market place was repetitive, poor quality, and cold. The entertainment was abysmal. In the Squid & Anchor you had a quiz, followed by virtual reality entertainment. In other words a projector screen with musicians on. This was repeated on deck 11. The lounge had a piano with a couple of singers. Heard better in the local. The broadway had such as an illusionist. Who just did card tricks. And what shows they did, where performed by the entertainments team. They put enough ice in the drinks to sink the titanic, and it took you half an hour to get served. You had to pay in the coffee shop, and if you went before 10-00 it was double the price. You could only smoke in 3 places on the ship, outside the squid and anchor at back of ship on deck 7, Outside the coffee port on deck 6, if it was open. And on deck 12 between 10-00 and 03-00. Weather permitting. So you have to leave your partner, if they don't smoke. Whilst you went up and down the ship. There are different levels to gain access to certain venues. This is because the middle of the ship is not open. It gets confusing, and tiring. The lifts sometimes close their doors on you. I have bruises to prove it. Read Less
11 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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Wow Amazing is the word to describe our cruise. Embarking was quick and easy. The ship is wonderful she as a small runni g track a small gym a great spa a pub a casino several bars lots of choice for meals our favorite was the dining club ... Read More
Wow Amazing is the word to describe our cruise. Embarking was quick and easy. The ship is wonderful she as a small runni g track a small gym a great spa a pub a casino several bars lots of choice for meals our favorite was the dining club this is a payable resteraunt but tbe food was top class we highly recomend it. The shows at night were excellant the attention to detail and the service from all the staff was first class. Our cabin steward effendi dmade our stay brilliant. We will be going again nxt year we cannot recomend this cruise enough you will not be disappointed if you book it. The staff made our holiday very special.The cabins have a minibar that are well stocked. Every member of the crew were excellant nothing was too much trouble.The pool area was excellant waiters constantly fetching drinks for you. The coffee shop serves excellant coffee and cakes. The movies in the cinema were very good. Fantastic cruise all round. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Our first cruise was chosen as our honeymoon. Embarkation went smoothly and our hold luggage didn’t take long to follow us to our rooms. Had read other reviews just before departing and made sure swimming essentials were packed in ... Read More
Our first cruise was chosen as our honeymoon. Embarkation went smoothly and our hold luggage didn’t take long to follow us to our rooms. Had read other reviews just before departing and made sure swimming essentials were packed in hand luggage, but as it so happens didn’t need them. First thing to point out is that only British money is needed on board. You can pay for any extras one of two ways. Either hand over debit card details, and any extras will be charged to that, or use cash. If using cash, you must ensure that there is always a positive balance of £200 on your account. I opted for the debit card and lowered the outstanding balance to be taken by paying some of it off with the cash I had taken. They have an app (doesn’t require internet access) which shows the balance of your account amongst other information (absolute must get when you first board). Each time you order/make a purchase they scan your cabin key and the account is updated immediately (mostly with £0 as its all inclusive. Second thing I wish I had known or thought about was the positioning of the cabin. Unfortunately chose an inside cabin and didn’t pre book a cabin ( novice mistake). We were given deck four towards the aft of the boat and the noise of the engine meant sleeping was very difficult for a couple of nights. Even once, we had got used to it, when the boat was put in to reverse to dock we were up like a shot, the whole cabin shook and noise was horrendous - PRE BOOK YOUR CABIN IS A MUST. As for the cabin itself, was tidy and only possible negatives were the lack of an iron or enough hangers. Wife was glad she took her own hairdryer as said the one provided wasn’t good enough. Toilets are vacuum based and ours only blocked once on the trip which was soon rectified. Wet wipes seem to be the main culprit despite constant messages about not flushing them. Wi fi needs to be paid for £50 for 1200Mb for the 7 days. Remember that on a ship you do not get the same rates as at home or when travelling in Europe. So basically saved using mobile data until on shore. That’s the only negatives. Didn’t need to use the premium restaurants or drinks as the normal restaurants were excellent and offered a good variety. Only premium items bought were ice creams. Didn’t have any problems getting a table. Some restaurants require smart clothing but this does not mean tux or even a suit. Chinos and shirts seemed to be popular choices for men. Visited the broadway show lounge most nights and entertainment was of good quality, but then it was throughout the ship. The service was nothing short of excellent and would be hard to find on any other holiday. Can’t praise this enough. We took a shore excursion on every day, and if you don’t know the cities then would recommend using one of their excursions. These can be pre booked before you travel or whilst you are on board. Palermo - opted for half day excursion (allowed us time to get back on board and get some sleep before we set sail again) to Santa rosarios grotto and morello beach - didn’t think much of this at all. The most interesting bit was seeing if the coach driver was going to manage to get the coach up the steep windy hills. Naples - full day excursion to climb Vesuvius and a guided tour around Pompei. Absolutely excellent. Having such a knowledgable guide for Pompeii was a must. Livorno - full day excursion to Florence and Pisa. Both require some time on the coach. Florence is a beautiful city and days are needed here rather than hours but the tour gives you an excellent feel for the city. Pisa was worthwhile if you have never been there before, but it is a once and done place unlike Florence. Good day. Villefranche - took half day excursion to Monte Carlo and Monaco. For those that might want to, you can’t gamble in Monte Carlo casino as is not permitted before 2 pm, but you do have time for a tour €17. For those that want to be able to say they have gambled in Monte Carlo, you can gamble in the cafe du Paris for a €5 entrance fee, but will need your passport (this is cheaper than a coffee at the same cafe which is €8). Monaco is a lovely place, coach drives along the start/finish line of the f1 track and you get to walk some of the course (an absolute must if you are an F1 fan). Again though, a once and done excursion. Barcelona - had the half day Barcelona Explorer excursion. Big mistake, wish I had chosen a full day one. Another city that requires more than one day. Would I do it again. Most definitely but probably for 14 days instead. The issues were minor and were novice mistakes. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Booked a week for our 10th wedding anniversary as we always wanted to try a cruise, and thought a week was enough, in case we didn't like it. From the time we boarded until the time we left was fantastic, and the crew were marvellous, ... Read More
Booked a week for our 10th wedding anniversary as we always wanted to try a cruise, and thought a week was enough, in case we didn't like it. From the time we boarded until the time we left was fantastic, and the crew were marvellous, with a special shout out to Rain who was our bar steward in the Squid and Anchor, and was always making sure our glasses were full and even knew exactly what we were drinking before we had sat down, he's a credit to your company!!They worked extremely long hours and still couldn't do enough for you and were always polite and smiling. Plenty of food choices from buffet to sit down and plenty to go around. Night time entertainment was nonstop in several areas of the ship, although I can't comment on the day time as we were on excursions all day and not getting back until late afternoon. The excursions we booked were great, with the guides being very informative, but be prepared for a hectic and tiring day as your trying to cram everything in to such a short amount of time. Make sure you have your boarding card on you at all times as you need it to get on and off the ship, when ordering your drinks, and also in the shops as it's all registered to your cabin. Security is very tight, and a bit time consuming, but to be expected in the world that we now find ourselves in, so give yourself extra time when you leave or return to the ship. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
we chose this ship because we have always went with tui before and we wanted to try the latest ship.although it is not like any other tui ship overall the food and entertainment were good there are two many places where you have to pay a ... Read More
we chose this ship because we have always went with tui before and we wanted to try the latest ship.although it is not like any other tui ship overall the food and entertainment were good there are two many places where you have to pay a supplement for food and it does not come cheap up to £49 per person.and it is no better than the food supplied indeed we had to walk out of the Asian restaurant as it was grossly overcooked.whoever designed the pub the squid and anchor should be told are you having a laugh hardly any seats and half of them face the bar away from the stage.i spoke to the manager and the cruise director about this and they totally agreed and said it would be changed in January I hope so as we like a game show but if you go to the second show in the broadway forget about a seat and getting a drink to busy and not enough staff on.overall we loved the cruise but some of the ports are industrial and you can only look at so many cranes and containers and at a couple of ports tui have a cheek to charge you £7 return on there shuttle bus get a grip tui and take us to some nice ports Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We have been on a few Thomsons cruises and we decided to go on the new ship the explorer, we had read many reviews on the ship before we went and there was a mixture off what people were saying , we went for 7 nights and had a large ... Read More
We have been on a few Thomsons cruises and we decided to go on the new ship the explorer, we had read many reviews on the ship before we went and there was a mixture off what people were saying , we went for 7 nights and had a large balcony which the cabin was still small but clean , the dress code is more relaxed which we think to relax you were getting people coming in ,in wet bathing suits and sitting down in the dining area, on a night time people were just in shorts and tee shirts which there is nothing wrong in that , but we just think on the night time long trousers . We also found that there is a lot more restaurants where you have to pay a supplement. The Turf & Surf is roughly £28.95 each , Kora La £19.95 each and the Diner club is £45.00 each if you go for the 8 course meal and you get a different wine with each meal which I must say was the best one for us . We were all inclusive, but we find now there are a lot off restaurants where you have to pay which is up to people if they want to to go up market a bit . We also think the dress code is far to relax and I think Thomsons cruises have taken things out that was great ,things like the captains night , the ice sculptures that was on display and the dress code . The entertainment was poor have seen better on Thomsons cruises. But it just what people make it themselves. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Both myself and partner Jeanette were on Marella Explorer for western Mediterranean cruise for 2 weeks from June 23rd to July 7th. We were in outside balcony cabin 8071. This was our very first ever cruise so didn’t really know what to ... Read More
Both myself and partner Jeanette were on Marella Explorer for western Mediterranean cruise for 2 weeks from June 23rd to July 7th. We were in outside balcony cabin 8071. This was our very first ever cruise so didn’t really know what to expect. The cruise was for my 60th birthday. At the age of 60 and having done most if not all exotic holidays Caribbean, Maldives, Mauritius so on and so on, this has to be the best vacation yet. Flights, transfers, baggage to your room was ‘military planning’. There was something on board for everyone and the ‘standard’ drinks menu was endless with “all” premium bottled and draught beers along with spirits and wine. No need to upgrade, in fact we both wondered what we were upgrading to. The food was delicious with something for everyone and I mean everyone!! The fish and cuts of meat were delicious (try the lamb shank in Latitude restaurant). Our room was great and cleaned “twice a day” by the two relentlessly hard working duo Lewis and Kate a massive thank you to you both. Kate!!! We already miss your welcoming smile each day. I have got to say that “all” the staff worked hard in whatever role they were working in. Nothing was ever too much trouble so it really is difficult here to name names. I have to say a big thank you to both Yassa and Kostia who were working each evening in the Lounge bar. Kostia served everyone in their turn no matter who they were, something bar staff over here in the UK could learn from. Yassa was very competent and so friendly (I hope that your eye is better now). Lastly but not least we would both like to thank Stevan the waiter on the upper decks for his ‘Outstanding’ friendly tireless service. Lastly but not least, the nightly Broadway shows were of premium UK theatre standard, an absolute well done to all of you for giving us both memories we will never forget. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Chose this cruise as it coincided with a special anniversary. It also visited ports that we were interested in. Plenty of restaurants and activities day and night if you chose to do that. We were only at sea for one day so every other day ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it coincided with a special anniversary. It also visited ports that we were interested in. Plenty of restaurants and activities day and night if you chose to do that. We were only at sea for one day so every other day was taken up with shore excursions. Although TUI reps were very informative on these excursions we found that they were very over priced. Friends went off on their own and paid a fraction of the price we did by using taxi or bus. We also found the speciality restaurants quite expensive considering we were only paying a supplement of an all inclusive cruise. However the dining club experience was to die for. One of the best meal experiences we have ever had. About six small courses with wine to compliment each course. Finishing with a brandy and port costing over £90.00. Surf and Turf restaurant was excellent too with a charge of £47.00 including a glass of wine each. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We selected this cruise as it was our 40th wedding anniversary and we wanted to do something special. We always fancied trying a cruise but were apprehensive about it being a bad experience. Since we normally holiday with Thomsons (Tui) ... Read More
We selected this cruise as it was our 40th wedding anniversary and we wanted to do something special. We always fancied trying a cruise but were apprehensive about it being a bad experience. Since we normally holiday with Thomsons (Tui) we felt we would be in good hands and this was a good decision. Overall I can understand how people choose to go on cruise holidays as the overall experience was fantastic. We stayed on in Mallorca for another 3 nights which was a lovely end to our holiday. I could nit-pick like the next one, but nothing is ever perfect and you adapt. Flew out to Mallorca, travelled by coach to the ship and the embarkation process was so well organised it was over in a couple a minutes. Went onboard and headed for our cabin. Within 15 minutes we had our luggage delivered to our cabin. The accommodation was spacious and as I said previously we had a balcony. The bathroom/shower was a little bit underwhelming. The shower looked a bit grubby and small. However the facilities are done to maximise the living space in the cabin and the shower was powerful and always gave me hot water. We slept well in our bed as the mattress was soft and very comfortable. With the gentle rocking movement of the ship as she sailed through the night gave us an excellent sleep. The bars were excellent, with the exception of the Indigo Lounge, which would be better named the Moon Bar as it lacked any atmosphere. The entertainment was very good. Some entertainers was better than others, but on the hole it was a very good standard. The staff were exceptional. They were so friendly and tried to enhance our holiday experience and nothing was a problem to them. The staff were a credit to the ships company and the greatest asset of the ship. As always there is an exception to this and we managed to find one bar waitress called Mansot who needs to go back to finishing school as she was aggressive and abrupt when we dealt with her. But that was easily sorted as there were plenty of staff to attend to us. Our first port was Palermo in Sicily. When we disembarked it was like running the gauntlet with the locals trying to sell their trips. A simple thing like get a taxi into the centre turned into a pressure sale to take a full tour for exuberant prices. We ended up walking into the centre, a walk of about 15 minutes. This set us up for what to expect at the remaining ports, but none were as bad as Palermo. We booked an excursion which was described as Discover the Canals of Livorno. It cost 76 pounds for two and was sold by the ship. It was very disappointing. We were never more than 10 minute drive away from the ship. We were dropped of at a smelly fish market and told we had an hour to explore, but warned that pick pockets operate in this area. My head was on a swivel the whole time When we returned to the ship I was annoyed to learn that passengers had walked off the ship and bought the same excursion for 12 Euros. The excursions I felt were expensive and were all much of a likeness. There was nothing that was exciting like snorkeling, scuba diving or zip wire adventures. The port of Villefranche was beautiful. We wanted to get the train into Monaco, but it was Bastille day which meant the trains were running on a limited service. However we decided to stay in Villefranche and it was an excellent day. So pretty and the quaint cobbled back streets were lovely. The ship was not alongside and we were taken ashore on the tenders. That was an experience. The food onboard was as I would have expected. A very high standard and even the market place which is the buffet style restaurant was very good. I certainly always found that there was plenty to choose from and I was never hungry. And I never had a dicky stomach either. The All Inclusive drinks package was very good and it was unlimited quantities of named branded spirits and beers. I was very happy with my lot. On the first night we went to the live show which was called Rockology. The singers and dancers were very talented and sang well. However I never got the theme of the the show. It was random songs being sung. Good show but lacked production to give it some meaning. We never went back but there was entertainment in every bar and lounge which suited our needs. Our last day was in Barcelona. We had a great day around the pool and the entertainment team provided a great pool party atmosphere. Overall it was a great holiday and experience which we will do again, without a doubt. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this ship because it was being re-launched with a new look. In hindsight we should not have gone on the 1st week as there were teething problems, but nothing worth writing home about. First reviewer has pretty much covered ... Read More
We chose this ship because it was being re-launched with a new look. In hindsight we should not have gone on the 1st week as there were teething problems, but nothing worth writing home about. First reviewer has pretty much covered everything although I would disagree with the standard of food in the all-inclusive restaurants. We had a bad experience in the Vista (Italian) which we obviously spoke to the waitress about at the time. Wrong order arriving, poor lasagna which resembled something out of frozen microwave box and came in the same looking container dish ...... not good. Diners to my right refused to eat the carbonara, TWICE. I really REALLY got the impression they were trying to steer diners towards the restaurants with cover charge. We encountered this on the Marella Dream but maximum cost was £20 per head. I think having 5 out of 10 eateries with additional cover charge is too much. Especially as the remaining all-inclusive 5 are really only 3, as 2 are combined within other areas. Vista being part of Latitude and the Tapas and Pizza places both being in the Mediterranean area. Don't get me wrong, everyone was trying really hard to make sure guests had a great time, especially Captain Peter and we did have a lovely cruise! PS - I wish I'd known in advance about the free fitness classes at Champneys, I'd have taken my gym gear. Although I did book a lovely treatment. Read Less
Marella Explorer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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