7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We had a great cruise on Marella Explorer 2. Our cabin was on deck 4 and was in a good position mid ships to get to the MDR, Market place for breakfast and the gangway on Deck 3. The only issue I had was the sound of cutlery or glasses ... Read More
We had a great cruise on Marella Explorer 2. Our cabin was on deck 4 and was in a good position mid ships to get to the MDR, Market place for breakfast and the gangway on Deck 3. The only issue I had was the sound of cutlery or glasses being rattled around late at night from deck 5, MDR. Cabin was spacious with plenty of wardrobe space and drawers. Only one socket though so we had to take turns charging phones, using the hairdryer, kettle etc. Lovely shower with a glass door...makes a nice change to having a shower curtain wrapped around you! Food was great and plentiful served in different areas of the ship. Lots of different types of entertainment venues, silent disco was hilarious. Always able to get a sunbed. Where was the captain? First cruise I’ve been on where I haven’t seen the captain! Lovely ports of call. Paramos, shuttle to beach. Toulon, walkable or a little train from the ship 7€ takes you on a little tour. Livorno, we went to Florence and Pisa with Tuscanybus.com who left us stranded in Pisa !!!! Rome on your own with the ship. Olbia, bus will take you to a beautiful beach for 5€ return, or the town is easy to reach by foot. All staff onboard were amazing, as always! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Very disappointed with Explorer 2 as was not as good as Explorer 1. Didnt look or feel like been refurbished. Cabin bathroom grotty, particularly shower smelled and grubby. Bar staff unfriendly and rude, never smiled, communication poor. ... Read More
Very disappointed with Explorer 2 as was not as good as Explorer 1. Didnt look or feel like been refurbished. Cabin bathroom grotty, particularly shower smelled and grubby. Bar staff unfriendly and rude, never smiled, communication poor. Dirty mop left in pool shower all day, pools small and dirty, all 4 jacuzzis didnt work all week, beds crammed in, very noisy all day like Butlins on Board, tacky and cheesy or trying to sell stuff on screen! Breakfast cold, not much selection, no omlette station, no service on the terrace or bar, no atmosphere dead at terrace end of ship at night. Clock by pool didnt work all week, drink stations didnt work, or no cups, very poor! Even online feedback didnt work. Many complaints from others about no escape from noise level, nowhere outside quiet or able to relax with service. Food was average, needed to book trips as not much near ports! Couldn't understand daily announcements. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We flew into Naples airport expecting the worse but were pleasantly surprised as we encountered no problems other than waiting 40mins for our luggage to come through.TUI staff were on hand to guide us onto the waiting buses and in a short ... Read More
We flew into Naples airport expecting the worse but were pleasantly surprised as we encountered no problems other than waiting 40mins for our luggage to come through.TUI staff were on hand to guide us onto the waiting buses and in a short time we were at the port ready to board the ship.We had to go through some security checks before boarding,but this is perfectly understandable in this day and age.The ship itself is modern and clean and fairly easy to find your way around,we found the different colour carpets to be a big help with this.We ate mainly in the Market Place during the day and Latitude 53 for evening meals where we were expected to dress in smart casual to eat here.We found the food here very good with mostly different things on the menu every evening and the waiter service excellent.On one night we paid approximately £50 for the two of us to book into Kora La for a meal,although this is extra to the all inclusive we found it to be well worth the money as the food and service provided was exceptional.Special mention for Albert who went out of his way to look after us that night.We had paid for the Premium package for drinks and as my wife enjoys different types of gin and I enjoy my whisky we found this to be value for money,again special mention to Rommel in the Gin and Whisky bar in the Squid and Anchor a top class barman.We enjoyed some of the shows in the Broadway Showroom also.We did not go on any excursions preferring to find our own way around the lovely cities we visited.All in all a great first cruise experience,looking forward to the next. Read Less
7 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Went on Discovery 2 last year - Eastern Med and loved it so tried Western Med this year. No complaints. Food excellent, staff superb. Relaxed cruise and would recommend. Entertainment hit and miss. Loved the comedian but didn't like ... Read More
Went on Discovery 2 last year - Eastern Med and loved it so tried Western Med this year. No complaints. Food excellent, staff superb. Relaxed cruise and would recommend. Entertainment hit and miss. Loved the comedian but didn't like the crew's musical. Squid and Anchor pub was a popular venue, got quite busy. Personally would only cruise for a week. We did cruise and stay and stayed in Sorrento after the cruise which was fab. Had an outside cabin with a window and it was more than adequate, not luxurious but you don't spend much time in your cabin. Discovery and Explorer quite similar. More restaurants on Explorer but missing the lovely Atrium on the Discovery. Swings and roundabouts really. If I had to pick a negative it would only be in relation to the ports on this cruise. They were all commercial ports and if you didn't choose to do the excursions on offer which were quite expensive you had to get a bus or taxi to get off the port. The ports of call we visited in the eastern med, we could just walk off the ship into town. Everyone - guests and crew were so friendly and if you had a problem they would sort it out for you. Wouldn't hesitate to book another Marella cruise. If you want a 'posh' cruise and wear your evening gowns and tuxedos every night this is probably not for you. We loved it! 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
To celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Have Cruised before around UAE but the Greek island cruise all inclusive seemed ideal. We were looked after immediately we stepped aboard, went to our cabin 8229 aft of the ship and found it was ... Read More
To celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Have Cruised before around UAE but the Greek island cruise all inclusive seemed ideal. We were looked after immediately we stepped aboard, went to our cabin 8229 aft of the ship and found it was very clean with sufficient space. The bathroom was good with an excellent shower. Every time we ventured through the Ship and returned to Cabin it had been cleaned and tidied as if by magic, the cabin crew were excellent as were rest of crew can't speak highly enough of them. The Dining was very good with plenty of choice and if you asked for something not on menu the staff would try to serve you with alternative. I must repeat the staff were excellent. The shows were very good it was obvious that entertainment team had spent many hours rehearsing. seating was very comfortable, the only negative of cruise is what happens on all cruises and thats passengers who think they own the sunbeds, however even this problem was addressed with the introduction of 45 minute rule, if beds were vacated for 45 mins then towels were removed a great idea that should be implemented on all ships and holiday resorts. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We did Greek Getaway followed by Mediterranean Gems. The destinations were all excellent and both weeks were completely different. We did 3 trips: Mykonos beach trip, Pompeii and Herculaneum and Inside Pisa. We enjoyed them all but I would ... Read More
We did Greek Getaway followed by Mediterranean Gems. The destinations were all excellent and both weeks were completely different. We did 3 trips: Mykonos beach trip, Pompeii and Herculaneum and Inside Pisa. We enjoyed them all but I would have liked a little free time in Pompeii to absorb the atmosphere. On board we usually managed to get a subbed although in the sea days we had to be up early. Bar and restaurant staff were friendly and efficient. Basic drinks package was ok we didn’t upgrade but paid extra occasionally for premium drinks, we found this cheaper than if we had upgraded. Food was all good, we ate in latitude and vista in the evenings, beach cove at lunchtime and market place for breakfast. The ship was freezing due to the air conditioning being set at too low a temperature. There weren’t enough toilets and the queue in the ladies of an evening was always long, not helped by the fact that on several occasions only one toilet was in use. The broadway shows were excellent and we liked the said and anchor of an evening. Our cabin was well looked after by Nur, it was a bit noisy at night, there were a lot of unexplained bangs. I was disappointed that the Captains dinner has been replaced by Dress to Impress as I feel that not having a special occasion to dress up for meant less people did dress up, this took some of the glamour away for me. I had to visit the Medical Centre and was very well looked after by all of the staff there, I felt confident with both their diagnosis and treatment. Overall it was an enjoyable cruise with some amazing destinations which I would like to return to. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Been with Thomson/Tui for over 40 years and had good holidays by and large. This one was a nightmare. Naples airport must be in the running for the worst run airport in Europe. We were kept in the air for 20 minutes circling. held on the ... Read More
Been with Thomson/Tui for over 40 years and had good holidays by and large. This one was a nightmare. Naples airport must be in the running for the worst run airport in Europe. We were kept in the air for 20 minutes circling. held on the hot plane for a further 2 hours before disembarking ( we were number 8 in the queue apparently - which included an American flight. A further 1Hr 50 mins for baggage, followed by a 700 meter march with all our baggage in the midday sun to reach the coach. Throughout the cruise a total lack of British Tui agents to talk with. The only saving grace was the wonderful and young crew ( mainly Phillipino who simply couldn't do enough to compensate. TUI continue to totally ignore the complaints about coming through Naples airport and so the shambles continues endlessly. If I lived to be a hundred I would never pass through Naples Airport ever again, so I guess Sorrento is off the plan list. We new when the ship was manoeuvring in harbour as every inch of our cabin did a Samba, and the TV threatened to literally bounce of the wall. Been on several other cruises and this one doesn't compare I feel. Special mention to RAJESH in the main restaurant(Latitude) who was a 5 star performer. My cabin steward TEGUH was incredibly efficient and polite and provided the best room service we have ever encountered. Thomson failed to inform me of the 200 Euro cash back limit and argued all the way that I would have been told and should check the small print. I feel TUI are losing their way these days and we will consider other travel companies from here on. Thomsons older cruises on the Discovery apparently are quite good. Marella is in my opinion TUI's attempt to establish a more traditional cruise to compare with P & O Carnival and the rest but fall way way short of the overall standards required. 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
we have just returned from a weeks cruising on the Marella Explorer 2 from Naples to Messina / Dubrovnic / Split / Venice / Ancona back to Naples some people have mentioned Naples airport being a nightmare - we found it to be fine ... Read More
we have just returned from a weeks cruising on the Marella Explorer 2 from Naples to Messina / Dubrovnic / Split / Venice / Ancona back to Naples some people have mentioned Naples airport being a nightmare - we found it to be fine after collecting your luggage it was an approx 5 mins walk to board the coach on arrival at the cruise port ( approx 25 mins by coach) the boarding process was speedy and efficient - we arrived on board approx 1130 hrs ( we had an early flight from Stansted at 0600 hrs ) - our cabin was ready at 1230 hrs we had a great time / good food - especially the lovely Latitude and Vista restaurants / great entertainment couldn't fault anything we arranged all excursions ourselves - which we found was the most economical way our favourites were Dubrovnik and Venice which were both stunning and to round off a superb week , Captain Kostas stopped the ship off Stromboli ( Volcano) to watch it erupt - amazing would highly recommend this cruise / ship Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I booked this cruise with my sister as a 'taster' for alot of cities in our bucket list and also wanted to experience what cruising was like. The booking process was floorless and staff at our local Tui (West bridgford, ... Read More
I booked this cruise with my sister as a 'taster' for alot of cities in our bucket list and also wanted to experience what cruising was like. The booking process was floorless and staff at our local Tui (West bridgford, Nottingham) very helpful and accomodating. They seemed genuinely excited for us! I'll talk about the cruise itself first: ship was lovely and was big enough you weren't falling over people. There were plenty of amenities and we didn't feel we lacked anything. The squid and anchor had a traditional British pub feeling and to sit on the back if the ship with staff topping up your drinks regularly was bliss. The coffee port was great for not just coffee but also books and board games, there was a slight charge for those (ourselves included) that weren't on the top up inclusive package but it was minimal in our opinion. The pool side was always a hive of activity and although got very busy we never struggled to find somewhere to chill on a sunbed. You do need to get there earlier or move beds around for shade but again, this was always manageable. Staff are on hand for anything you want. The show's in the show lounge were entertaining and there are some very talented performers. The decks are great for walking round on and just watching the world go by. Food: we are in vista which was always lovely, the carbonara was the best I have ever eaten and they use a cheese wheel table side to prepare it, latitude was great although peak times meant a short wait (pager and bar close by to wait), this only occured once during a 2 week stay and we only waited 10 minutes. They also did a lovely breakfast, french toast highly recommend! Nonna's was a break from a formal meal and we enjoyed the service and views, my sister had pizza and I had a calzone, both lovely. Snack shack does what it says on the tin, easy grab and go and plenty of choice. Market place is buffet and the choices are great, some reviews have been unkind about this place but we enjoyed it and after a long day sight seeing you don't always want to get dressed up for dinner and want something less formal. Cabin was very spacious (5006) and we had the reception and restaurants on our floor. Loads of space for things, wasn't disturbed by noise and was very pleased. This was an inside cabin and we don't feel we missed having a window or balcony at all. Special shout out to Idris and his team for keeping our cabin spotless and well stocked, brilliant team and do nice and accomodating! The app you can use is great source of information and we used this daily along with the cruise news. The trips we felt were well priced and enjoyed them all, organised and no issues for the 5 we booked in advance. We also got off at 2 other ports during our stay. Staff make you feel so special, nothing is too much trouble for them. They had the patience of saints for the more demanding people and were always smiling. The shops were great and had excellent deals on daily, Pandora was my favourite and the prices were impressive, I came away with 2 rings, 2 charms and a new bracelet and they were cheaper than on the mainland. Best bits, trvi fountain, Sorrento, Dubrovnik, Venice mind blowing, Highlight was our last night when we sailed past stromboli where an active volcano had erupted the week before was still active. To watch lava running down the side of the mountain and see periodic explosions was surreal. Overall we have absolutely loved our holiday and are definitely hooked on cruising. The bad bit (sorry); Naples airport. Never in my life have I experienced anything like this. On arrival we were told we would need to collect our cases after all. They took over 2 hours to come round the carousel, we then had a 10 min walk at the hottest time of the day and had to wait 90 mins in direct sunlight for coaches to take us to the ship as they were stuck in traffic. On our return journey we were made to wait 2 hrs to go through to the plane with around 300 other people in a small area with no air conditioning. One person passed out from the heat and had to be taken away by ambulance. Nobody would tell us anything and the staff were beyond unhelpful. When we finally got on the plane (90 min delay at this point) we were informed by the captain we couldn't go as our cases were still in the tarmac waiting to be put on. All in all, we returned to the UK 2 and a half hours later than expected. I would NEVER fly to Naples airport again and unless a different port is used would not go on explorer 2. That said, we will be booking with marella again, just avoiding Naples due to the diabolical service Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My first cruise with my partner.Was nervous and apprehensive at first but put at ease with the experience.Security in this day and age are very important and the security unit certainly lived up to expectations.The room “Jnr ... Read More
My first cruise with my partner.Was nervous and apprehensive at first but put at ease with the experience.Security in this day and age are very important and the security unit certainly lived up to expectations.The room “Jnr Suit””was unbelievable,spacious,clean and well turned out.Balcony included was an extra advantage and welcome.Food was absolutely beautiful and well presented.The restaurant personnel were well turned out smart and very helpful.The shows which I can understand are not to everyone’s taste but that’s a personal choice.Shows we liked were ‘Cogs’ and the Comedian.The drinks were plentiful.We went on two tours ‘Barcelona’and ‘Rome’which were amazing and interesting (a bit hot though)lol.The Crew were polite and nothing was to much trouble for them,always there to help.I think a lot of people don’t appreciate the crew under working in the guts of the ship.As I said in the beginning,this was my first Cruise and I was to say the least apprehensive but having said that would I cruise again......yes most definitely. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because it included places we hadn't visited before. In that respect, it was a success, and might have been even better if the final stopping point of Giardini Naxos on Sicily was not mysteriously removed from the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it included places we hadn't visited before. In that respect, it was a success, and might have been even better if the final stopping point of Giardini Naxos on Sicily was not mysteriously removed from the itinerary as we boarded the ship !!! The excuse from the Captain is that it was a tender port and there wouldn't have been enough time to get passengers on and off. Really ? Marella only worked that out on the first day of the cruise ???? Difficult to believe that one. Passengers were offered £25 pp on-board credit to make up for this second sea day out of 7. On the face of it, a cost to TUI of about £50K. In reality, just getting passengers to buy more of the ship's services. A huge con. The holiday was going well (including a fabulous flight over the Alps) until we reached Naples airport. I've read other reviews, and our issue of no stairs, no buses to transfer to the terminal and late arrival of baggage is clearly not unique. On the return flight, we were between 1 and 2 hours late departing, again due to inefficient airport staff (or, being generous, using an airport which lacks the capacity to handle multiple arrivals). I will never fly into or out of Naples again !!! Our balcony cabin on Deck 8 was spacious and well equipped. The lack of sockets was offset to a large extent by the USB connections either side of the bed, very useful for charging phones !!! As long as you appreciate Explorer 2 is NOT new, you will be ok with things like stained shower grouting. Less satisfactory was a safe which was falling to bits and a balcony door which very definitely did not open and close in the designed manner. Because of the faulty safe, we actually had to attend the safety drill with our valuables in a Tesco bag !!!!!!!!!! We splashed out on one of the Cabanas for Sea Day 1, £99 but worth it as it also allowed us to access the health suite. Never been in an infinity pool which was warmer than a bath !! On Sea Day 2, I didn't make it to our favourite Veranda spot before 8 a.m. and there wasn't a free sunbed to be seen. The Market Place was fine for breakfast and afternoon snacks. We ate in Vista in the evening three times, and that was quite good. The undoubted eating highlight for us was the Diners Club on Sea Day 1, Yes, there was an additional cost of £45 pp, but for that we had a superb 7-course tasting menu, with an excellent complementary wine served with each course. Memorable. Less enjoyable was the Surf & Turf, but that was probably down to ourselves (I was sunburnt and my wife was unwell). Entertainment in the Broadway Lounge was surprisingly good - what an excellent group of dancers and singers the ship has. I believe there was a comedian on the ship on Day 5, but we had never heard of him (Tom Binns ??? ) so gave that a miss. Our favourite port was Split, though we felt a bit aggrieved to have splashed out £42 pp for an excursion which we could have done on foot for a few euro.The so-called wine tasting was a joke... Venice was disappointing due to the constant drizzle. We did get our trip on a gondola, but were unlucky enough to get the most surly Venetian gondolier who never spoke a word, never mind break into a few verses of O Solo Mio !!!! At least my wife was able to have a Bellini in the famous Harry's Bar. When she also wanted to eat in the famous restaurant, I knew it was time to break out the credit card !!!!! Ancona looked to be a lovely little town, but it was shut on the Sunday we called. Dubrovnik was absolutely lovely, and the cruise terminal was in a beautiful area, albeit a couple of miles from the old town. This brings me on to my main gripe about the Marella service - a lack of shuttle transport and lack of basic port information in the daily newssheets. I've read elsewhere that this is to save paper, to which I say 'Claptrap'. Why not tell you about the Venice Water Taxis (and cost) ? That would probably take all of a paragraph on Page 1. As I said, we didn't get our final stop in Giardini Naxos. It was a very small consolation to be sailing through the Messina Strait at tea-time and to cruise slowly past active Stromboli a few hours later. Imagine if it had been this week !!! It was a bit galling, however, to see what we think was Marella Explorer coming out from Giardini Naxos as we sailed past !!!!!!!!! No time problems for them. We were so looking forward to making a trip to Taormina. All in all, I know my review is not especially positive, but it is my honest opinion of a cruise experience which would not tempt me back to Marella. One good point which can't be forgotten is that our hold luggage was taken from the corridor and directly to Naples Airport. We didn't see it again until we got back in Glasgow. This was a first for me, and very welcome. Last word for the heroic staff, who serve drinks and food and keep the place shining, while smiling constantly. They are the real stars. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
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
11 Helpful Votes
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
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife and I have had a very memorable cruise on Explorer2. Balcony cabin deck 9 just perfect and reasonable size with a very efficient steward. Food was of a good standard both in the MDR and Vista, we ate mainly in Vista. Breakfast and ... Read More
My wife and I have had a very memorable cruise on Explorer2. Balcony cabin deck 9 just perfect and reasonable size with a very efficient steward. Food was of a good standard both in the MDR and Vista, we ate mainly in Vista. Breakfast and Lunch was taken in Market Place, again everything you could possibly want. The many bars we used had friendly and more than attentive staff. The entertainment in Broadway Show Lounge was good, without being perfect, most of the shows very much the same, apart from a couple of very good nights. The ports of call, the reason we chose this cruise, were very good and met our expectations. Days at sea a little chaotic, the usual fight for sunbeds, but we got by ok. The only downside was embarkation, a total nightmare - we will not be using Naples Airport every again. Not sure if TUI read these reviews but the dress code needs a thorough shakeup, Shorts and trainers in MDR and Vista, sorry but not acceptable, if they wish to dress this way then the Market Place is the place for them. All in all a very enjoyable two weeks on the Explorer2 Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
As a National Customer Account Manger of one of the UK leading holiday companies and having now complete 15 Marella cruises I like to give an honest rounded option on the experience. Whilst this isn't a new ship and other reviews I ... Read More
As a National Customer Account Manger of one of the UK leading holiday companies and having now complete 15 Marella cruises I like to give an honest rounded option on the experience. Whilst this isn't a new ship and other reviews I read before the cruise also stated its new to the fleet and its a nice ship. The positives. Nice ship with some really good venues, bars and restaurants. The customer service from all the staff from cabins to bars & restaurants etc is excellent and what you would expect from Marella. The negatives. This ships sail out of Naples the worst airport experience I've had in 40 years both on arrival and departure so beware when you book. An hour and a half to get you luggage, another 20 minutes walk up bank with your cases to the coach park and another 20 minutes queue for the bus. Not the best start to a holiday going back was worse. Food was well below the standard and the worst myself and wife experienced in all our sailings. Respective tough meat dishes, no roast of the day,Jacket, boiled or roasts and only chips twice in the week. The sweet selection was basic and the same every night. As we and others arrived late on the ship due to the debacle at Naples airport the lunch buffet was closed and limited food on offer. The late night buffet was really basic and not worth the effort. We paid £100 for the drinks upgrade on the first day as I would rather drink Heineken rather than Fosters and my wife Bulmer rather than Strongbow ( personal choice) Two of the main bars Pool bar and the Squid and Anchor didn't stock these. The entertainment was pretty dreadful. The two best acts on the ship were the crew show and the guest artist from the UK. The bands The Collective were great but the Vibe were awful and looked and sounds as if the got together 5 minutes before the ship sailed. The rest of the entertainment crew were the worst I've seen on any cruise or even in the UK. This was an Adult cruise and they fed us kid type games shows backed up with poor jokes, lousy singers on top. If the Cruise Director/staff spent less time talking about themselves and put more focus on the customers it would have been better. The ports of call were good but the usual information you got maps etc from destination services were none existent. I purchase the internet for work back home if you don't use your megabytes you loose them. Summarise. Great ship. Excellent service. Entertainment rubbish. Food Poor. Talking on a new ship to the fleet, sticking it dry dock for two weeks and getting it out on the ocean is always going to have problems. You might change the name but not the previous shame. Marella have built up loyal following myself and wife included. The have built up the fleet of good ships and created a brand in Marella. This ship is way off the standard of any of the others and needs some serious surgery. I would give this ship a wide berth for 12 months till they sort the basics of the food and the entertainment out. I like many others would never travel into or out of Naples airport again its an nightmare. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
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
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our third cruise with Marella we chose this one Explorer 2 because it's a Adult monly ship which appealed to us as last year on the Discovery2 there were children on board and we don't think cruise ships are the best ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Marella we chose this one Explorer 2 because it's a Adult monly ship which appealed to us as last year on the Discovery2 there were children on board and we don't think cruise ships are the best for children. Our time on the ship was very enjoyable especially the Italian resturant which we dined in every night,the entertainment in the broadway show lounge was excellent and worthy of the west end being a disabled pasenger i could not fault the level of service the facilties were excellent and the shows were of west end standard l will be certainly using Marella Crusing again and would recommend any one like me who as a disability to use Marella the Explorer 2 is a fantastic ship and as a number of features like the Squid and Anchor the on board pub which as enntertainment through out the day..the other good thing is the all inclusive which allows you not to worry about what you have to drink. All in all we have had a great holiday and can't wait for next Marella Cruise Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
this was chose for the places to visit that we liked to go to. Firstly can i point out that this ship is a New to Marella cruises and not a Brand new ship as some say and was never listed as a Brand new ship. Anyway on to the review , The ... Read More
this was chose for the places to visit that we liked to go to. Firstly can i point out that this ship is a New to Marella cruises and not a Brand new ship as some say and was never listed as a Brand new ship. Anyway on to the review , The flight was good and on time , on arrival at Naples airport we were at the far end of the airport to get off the flight the transfer buses were slow in arriving and on arrival in the airport we had to wait close on an hour for our luggage .one all luggage collected we were then pointed to were we had to get the transfer bus to the ship , this was a long walk not really suitable for the elderly or those not good on their feet. we were then directed to the transfer bus and told by a rep that we could not go straight to the ship as the was a hold up and we would be taken to have some food and drink in Naples , we settled down to pizzas and wine and was taken care of very well. eventually after a few hours the rep came and collected us and we made our way to the port . when we arrived it was total chaos no one was able to go on board as the Naples authority would not let on due to an outbreak of Neurovirus onboard from the last cruise. Communication was poor throughout the wait and very little place to sit until much later when they opened a conference lounge for people. Eventually about 7.00 pm we were allowed onboard and able to go to our cabin where the luggage was waiting for us. The pools and the hot tubs were closed for the first week The staff were very helpful even though their work load increased with having to serve passengers buffet food and drinks the first week Hand sanitisers were everywhere and the majority of passengers did use them but not everyone .( this is why viruses are spread ) We enjoyed the food in all of the eating places we visited Our favourite restaurant was Vista . Least favourite was Nonnas which was pizza and pasta that you picked yourself and was prepared from your order The snack shack for poolside snacks very good food ,and enjoyed the inclusive drinks. The broadway shows were varied and really good. Comedian was great as was the silent disco ( a must for everyone to see ) The Squid and Anchor pub held all different activities , Flutes was really good for pre dinner drinks .Plenty of activity onboard throughout the day and evening at the different venues depending on your tastes. We thought that the cruise line was penny pinching a bit this time . This being a new ship to them we expected better, quite Disappointing that they no longer give out any maps and information sheets for any of the ports. or daily news sheets. The reason given was t they wished to save paper. on the first week the weather was mixed with some of our finest British rain. Venice in the rain was not quite the same as last time. We had a medical emergency and had to turn round and head for land which was a total of 6 hours altogether. all in all the cruise was very good and made better by the group we met right at the beginning when taken for our food. Many thanks to all the crew onboard for their efforts to make us all welcome under this difficult situation. This was our 16th cruise with this cruise line and will still sail with them again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Sat on floor as little seating in Naples port for over 5 hours with approx 1000 people. Rolls and water far between if can run and get them. As a pensioner with arthritis i couldn’t so a lady bought me chocolate at shop as starving . ... Read More
Sat on floor as little seating in Naples port for over 5 hours with approx 1000 people. Rolls and water far between if can run and get them. As a pensioner with arthritis i couldn’t so a lady bought me chocolate at shop as starving . Very little information. Told ship being deep cleaned as noro virus onboard although passengers There from previous cruise. Onboard ship found it extremely cold in all areas. Air vents blowing cold air even though unusually cold in Italy. Cabin thermostat not working . Other people saying same. Only felt warmer second week in Greece when weather warmer. Still had cold areas though. Woken 08.40 first morning after a very cold night with extremely loud vibrating metal hammering above my cabin. Forty five minutes later c/services sent maintenance man. He phoned someone but didn’t speak. I visited c/service desk , told working on air con and would only last one day. Four days later after same noise, same time plus every afternoon to a degree every day I was distraught from lack of sleep and very upset it finally stopped. I had tatty grubby shower curtain until door fitted on day 12 of cruise. No tv for 4 days then hit and miss. Electrician fitting low level lights on my deck several days, huge cable reel and tools to walk round. Plus huge noisy blowers drying wet carpets in lift areas. Good choice food in buffet but mostly only luke warm, even meat and fish, possible due to very cold temperature in ship. On positive side. Crew were wonderful, friendly ,nothing too much trouble. Shows brilliant. Lattitude 53 restaurant lovely service and food. I paid a lot of money for this cruise and am bitterly disappointed and upset that marella would treat its passengers this way. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Explorer 2 – What can I say? Loved, loved, loved her to bits and neither of us wanted to come home. I can only tell you our experiences and about the parts of the ship we frequented. Our favourite watering hole was Flutes, Prosecco ... Read More
Explorer 2 – What can I say? Loved, loved, loved her to bits and neither of us wanted to come home. I can only tell you our experiences and about the parts of the ship we frequented. Our favourite watering hole was Flutes, Prosecco for myself and G&T for DH, very well looked after by Karnal, Natassia and Flocer. Most evening the golden piano was played and it was a relaxing place to sit, have a drink and watch the world go by. We also used Aperitif as this was closest to the restaurants and was a far as the Vista pager range would stretch. We also used the bar in the nightclub Indigo and on the Verandah (deck 12). We upgraded to the Premium package which worked out at £7 per day and we reckon we had our monies worth. We used the Coffee Port every day, the lovely Alexandra fetching us steaming Flat Whites of Lavazza coffee. There is a small library of books, biographies and autobiographies, odd travel book and some fiction. On the last day passengers were leaving books they had brought with them so it should soon build up. One of Ex2’s cows lives in the coffee port and there are UK sockets in some of the booths if you want to recharge or work using them for your electronics. We weren’t able to book into any of the ‘pay’ extra eating venues as they were on reduced numbers due to staff having to be relocated to serve in the buffet and you just had to book them on the first day, whilst this was a bit disappointing we still had very good food elsewhere on the ship. We dined in Latitude 53 (MDR) 3 times and 4 times in Vista (Italian next door) and at all times we had lovely waiting staff, who kept our drinks topped up, can highly recommend the Merlot and Pinot Grigio, the food was hot and tasty and there was plenty of variety. I have to say I had the 3 pot Tastes of Tiramisu twice! We dined between 8pm and 8.30pm mostly and sometimes had to have a pager for Vista from the very efficient Iona. We also had lunch at The Snack Shack (lovely fish & chips), used the Help yourself cabinet with all manner of goodies for a lighter lunch, The Beach Cove and of course the Buffet where Afternoon Tea was served which I can personally recommend…Red Velvet cup cakes to die for and Jam & cream scones…lush! (All deck 11 Pool) We went to the 10.30 show in the Broadway lounge every night except one as we didn’t care to see a comedian. We loved Movies; a compilation of hits from the movies, Zuma; a Strictly Latin American extravaganza, Cogs; a lovely story about an inventor and Buds Diner; Grease based but didn’t rate Lovestruck which we thought was poorly directed and had a very good cast of singers wasted singing and shouting over each other so much you couldn’t tell what song they were singing, the story wasn’t good either, way too messy. The Broadway Shops are still building up but there was a god selection of goods for a price. I bought some perfume to use up the OBC and used the rest of it to buy some ship’s photographs. Everywhere around the ship there were hand sanitizers and you were encouraged to use them frequently. The Pool Deck when we were able to use it (3 days rain out of 7!!)had plenty of beds and places to eat as mentioned above. There were music quizzes and live music every day and all day there was music playing which at times was so loud you couldn’t speak to the person on the sun bed beside you. Marella its ok to have some quiet time at the pool, we don’t need entertaining all the time. My only real complaint was not enough public toilets only one set per deck, 6,7,11,and 12. They were however immaculately clean and well provisioned at all times. Sail aways weren’t particularly special but it was good to be on deck despite the rain in Venice but both Split and Dubrovnik were sunny. When Ex2 was putting in the knots to make up lost time it was windy on deck and quite a few people got burnt on sea day as they hadn’t counted for the strength of the sun due to the cooling wind. There were some very red legs and chests! All in all Explorer 2 is a great ship we were only on a week and would liked to have more time to have tried more of the facilities, we never got to Nonna’s or the 19th Hole or Champneys but gives us a good excuse to board her again later in the year! Read Less
Marella Explorer 2 Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins N/A 3.8
Dining N/A 3.8
Entertainment N/A 3.9
Fitness Recreation N/A 3.1
Family N/A 3.1
Service N/A 4.4

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