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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
It was a late decision as we already had another cruise booked for November. We saw that Marella Spirit’s last cruise was advertised as having a fireworks send off from Malaga. That was enough incentive so we signed up. Sailing at ten ... Read More
It was a late decision as we already had another cruise booked for November. We saw that Marella Spirit’s last cruise was advertised as having a fireworks send off from Malaga. That was enough incentive so we signed up. Sailing at ten in the evening meant that there was time for exploring the sights of the city. Malaga has improved dramatically over the last decade and the port area with shops and restaurants is a delight to walk around. The old city around the Alcazaba, cathedral and Roman amphitheatre is interesting too. The sailaway was on a calm, mild October evening. As we left the port entrance, cruise director Ted reminded everyone that Spirit had visited 41 countries and 213 ports whilst covering over 700,000 miles for Thomson/Marella over 16 years. There followed an impressive firework display to set the atmosphere for an amazing final week. Marella had laid on several ‘little extras’ and souvenirs to mark the occasion from a glass of sparkling at check in, a free arrival photo and special chocolates for this final cruise. First full day was a sea day and friends often say that we must be bored on a sea day on a cruise – far from it. There was plenty to entertain us from a talk about the ports to be visited, a backstage tour with the entertainments girls, cocktail demo, an afternoon play and music around the ship. This was also the day for the Captain’s Gala reception and dinner. Most people dressed to impress but sadly I found the meal itself somewhat under-whelming. This contrasted with otherwise excellent food throughout. Meals on Marella are tailored to British tastes with great cooked breakfasts and roasts at both lunch and dinner. There were plenty of alternative choices and vegetarian options too. Stage shows were high quality and they were complemented by good groups, pianist Alex and, particularly, saxophonist Callum Sweet. Comedian Phil Doyle was hilarious. Mark Labbett from ‘The Chase’ was a special guest and a great favourite for ‘selfies’ although at 6 foot 6 inches tall he towered over everyone. We found staff always helpful and cheerful in spite of many not knowing where their future lay at the end of the cruise. The crew show highlighted that many had been on the ship for ten or more years so the end of the Tui era meant a life-change for them. Most contracts seemed to be ending and many were returning home for a break and to seek new challenges. The captain in charge of the first sailaway in May 2003 was invited to take charge of the final departure from Cartagena – a nice touch. There were tears from many both on and off the stage after the last night’s show and final talks from cruise director Ted and Captain Kafetsis. Many passengers on the cruise had sailed multiple times on Spirit and knew the crew as friends. This was our first cruise on Spirit but we felt part of the ‘family’ by the end. We had visited all of the ports before but found something new in each. Barcelona never ceases to produce something fresh to see and we explored Toulon for the first time. The only excursion we took was in Valencia where we had an excellent guide and the ship’s price for the tour was good value for money. This was our third cruise with Thomson/Marella and we have always found a happy atmosphere on their ships. This was also the smallest ship we have been on and it was without the variety of the newer monster ships of other cruise lines but it meant we could get to know the entertainments team and had a great time. Thank you to all the Spirit team and we wish them all well for the future. Next week we are on Marella Discovery and looking forward to another interesting voyage – but no fireworks this time. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We had to have one last Cruise on this ship. We have fond memories of cruises past and we were not disappointed with the service we received. Our destinations had to be changed due to predicted bad weather. Almeria was lovely but ... Read More
We had to have one last Cruise on this ship. We have fond memories of cruises past and we were not disappointed with the service we received. Our destinations had to be changed due to predicted bad weather. Almeria was lovely but I'm afraid Casablanca did not do.it for us and a lot of fellow passengers. The show team worked tirelessly to entertain us in the evening. The ad hoc singing in Horizons was for us was the best nght. All the shows were great and the dancing was brilliant especially on the Moulin Rouge night. The food was excellent although it was noticed that there were less choices on the menu in the Compass Rose. The staff were so proffesional and most attentive. The whole crew contributed to a great cruise and will always be remembered for the unique "Spirit" of the Spirit. It is sad that the ship is going. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this 2 week cruise to say farewell to the ship. Very sadly we were not able to sail on the very last week which sounds as if it is going some farewell party. This was our seventh cruise on the spirit. The crew are the best like a ... Read More
We chose this 2 week cruise to say farewell to the ship. Very sadly we were not able to sail on the very last week which sounds as if it is going some farewell party. This was our seventh cruise on the spirit. The crew are the best like a big happy family who always make you fell welcome. Special mention to our cabin steward Regie and Salem for looking after us do well and the lovely towel animals. Thank you to Harly and Kevin in the compass rose every night they brought smiles to our faces. Thank you to Adrian the maitre d' and Mario and Kent our wine waiters. Yes the ship is a bit tired looking but I would choose her any day over one of the huge ships that are on offer today. I hope Marella don't go too big because there is a market for the smaller ships.we had a great holiday good food, great atmosphere and very friendly staff what more could you ask. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose a "cruise and stay" package from TUI/Marella/Thomson as we hadn't visited any of the ports (Gibraltar, Cadiz, Portimao, Lisbon and Porto) apart from Malaga itself, and because we fancied a week on the Costa Del Sol. ... Read More
We chose a "cruise and stay" package from TUI/Marella/Thomson as we hadn't visited any of the ports (Gibraltar, Cadiz, Portimao, Lisbon and Porto) apart from Malaga itself, and because we fancied a week on the Costa Del Sol. The destination ports were absolutely brilliant and we couldn't have asked for more in 7 days. The staff, almost without exception, were attentive, courteous and friendly. The entertainment was in parts good, though rather 'samey' for our liking, not being into musicals or MOR music. The biggest negative of all was the food on board which overall was appalling. The self-service restaurant ('The Lido') was the usual bear-garden on a cruise ship; the waiter-service ('The Compass') was pretty bog-standard,and somewhat cramped. No compaints about the cooking, but the quality and choice of food was more reminiscent of a M1 service station or a works' canteen than a cruise ship. For example, in 'The Compass' the standard alternatives to the daily main 'specialities' were hot dogs or cheeseburgers. The chefs' parade was celebrated around the trumpeted 'baked Alaska' which turned out to be no more than a slice of (Walls'?) Neapolitan ice-cream with a blob of meringue sitting on top like a pea on a drum. Some of the meat should have got got Michelin stars - but from their tyre division as I could have run my Nissan on it. Much of the fruit & veg tasted tinned or frozen. 'Marella Spirit' was on one of its last few journeys, but to be honest, it shouldn't have got this far. It vibrated more than Greek plumbing and was dated and drab. Some loyal passengers will no doubt call these features 'character' or 'atmosphere' and their resilience and stoicism has to be admired. Personally, we would not go near a Marella cruise again unless the standards improve dramatically. GET NEW SUPPLIERS/BUYERS, Marella and give your exceelent staff something to be proud about. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Just returned from 2 weeks on Marella Spirit and i must say we had a great time. Couple of issues but the staff who work tirelessly really made the holiday. From the first class service in the Compass Rose to the two wonderful cabin ... Read More
Just returned from 2 weeks on Marella Spirit and i must say we had a great time. Couple of issues but the staff who work tirelessly really made the holiday. From the first class service in the Compass Rose to the two wonderful cabin stewards Samir and Milo. The only negative would be the shows in Broadway. The team worked hard but it the shows were not as professional as I have seen on the Majesty and The Dream. The ship certainly had character and its a shame that Marella are taking her out of service. It seems Marella want to compete with the big boys, but there is a big market for the smaller ship which has a lot more character. During our holiday we had the opportunity to tour the Explorer which was docked in Gibralter. Very impressive ship but much to big with no atmosphere. All the very best to all the staff from The Spirit Sue Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
It is an old style ship and quite tired by modern standards. We were on deck 8 front, there is vibration but it was not enough to spoil our holiday. You cannot fault the crew service, friendly, polite and efficient. The food was ... Read More
It is an old style ship and quite tired by modern standards. We were on deck 8 front, there is vibration but it was not enough to spoil our holiday. You cannot fault the crew service, friendly, polite and efficient. The food was acceptable but not as big a choice as on most ships these days. There was only a little waiting to get a table for two at dinner. We thought the entertainment was good as is usual with Tui, excellent costumes and they certainly presented it with lots of enthusiasm every night. The ship leaves Tui this year and it is probably the right time as the trend moves to larger better fitted out ships. To the Irish couple who thought they knew us from somewhere else but none of us could figure where from. We checked our holiday photos and it was from a tour of Eastern Canada in 2016, small world - hope you see this. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Our first time on a cruise and having travelled with Tui previously we thought we were in safe hands. Some very good experiences onboard; the staff were excellent, the Tui excursions were well organised and guides very good. However the ... Read More
Our first time on a cruise and having travelled with Tui previously we thought we were in safe hands. Some very good experiences onboard; the staff were excellent, the Tui excursions were well organised and guides very good. However the entertainment wasn’t for us, very Hi De Hi, they tried hard but lacked any sophistication. The food was plentiful though more canteen than cuisine. The ship was old and we were surprised Tui were associated with such a vessel; though we believe this is its last year - the paint work was awful, no straightlines to be seen! The continuous promotions to sell photos, treatments and items from the onboard shops was tiresome - shame on you Tui. The cycle tours were excellent and highly recommended. The cabin was shabby, though very well cleaned twice a day by the excellent stewards. In summary, if you want games, fun and frolics with like minded passengers this is the ship for you. If you want sophistication, an up to-date ship I’m sure Tui can do better. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Have been on marella cruises before and have generally enjoyed them although have never been on spirit before. Chose this cruise as the itinerary was less arduous than others we had been on. The ship yes is a little dated but only adds to ... Read More
Have been on marella cruises before and have generally enjoyed them although have never been on spirit before. Chose this cruise as the itinerary was less arduous than others we had been on. The ship yes is a little dated but only adds to its charm and yes it does vibrate but it didnt really bother us. We had a balcony cabin on deck 9 which was spacious clean and constantly maintained by our lovely stewards. It was close to horizons bar which is relaxed comfortable bar great fir a pre dinner drink with amazing views. We never had any disturbance from the close proximity to the bar Food great we ate in the compass rose and had excelent meals every night. Food was hot well presented and tasty. We also ate in sirroccos one night. This was brilliant lovely food excellent service and plenty of good wine. The show lounge we went for the 10.30 shows. Not really West end standard ..but we didnt expect that and enjoyed them all. The staff on board were great really friendly and helpful and seemed to enjoy their work. They performed in a talent show and it was great fun. Ports of call .mahon easy access just a stroll of the ship and then bit of a steep climb up to the town. Barcelona as we have been many times before went i nstead to the nou camp stadium tour which was excellent. Toulon lovely place got the little road train for 3 euros and went to the beach area then back to the marina lovely day. Valencia got the shuttle bus into valencia then open top bus trip. Not that keen on this place big city bit a huge amount to sight see. Cartagena very pretty again easy stroll from ship nice shops and cafe culture. Back to malaga where we transferred to our hotel for a week would like to add to the twit that managed to take our case with our cabin number clearly on it to Malaga airport.. really !! Thanks for that. But a big thank you to the TUI team who got it back to us that night. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Before I start the review just want to say we are a couple in our mid-20s and recognise that our review may not be reflective of every bodies experiences!! The ship The ship is very old and dated. This has been stated in previous ... Read More
Before I start the review just want to say we are a couple in our mid-20s and recognise that our review may not be reflective of every bodies experiences!! The ship The ship is very old and dated. This has been stated in previous reviews so possibly our fault for not researching better. This means there’s not a proper mini fridge in your room, the boat is REALLY shaky (we only have celebrity cruises to compare to) and I felt like I was on a little fishing boat some nights with how much we felt the sea. In our cabins but mainly at dinner and in the evening entertainment. Really bad vibrations! We thought we were staying in a double room but we got a twin bed. Usually would have been fine but told on the first night the beds don’t push together so we slept separately and at opposite sides of the cabin for the whole trip which was not great. Only one plug in the whole room and too low to plug my hair dryer or straighteners in...! Bathroom is fine but again a bathroom you’d expect on a tiny/old boat - not a Tui cruise ship. Food Some nights we ate just fries. The food in the al a carte and buffet restaurant is mainly the same every night. If you ask to sit alone at a table for 2 you will likely still be joined by other people once you have sat down. We enjoyed the 6 course restaurant on ship and felt this was great value for just £20pp. The food in the 6 course was of the same standard as the a la carte on celebrity or royal carribean. Staff Amazing! Really friendly. Really enjoyed the quizzes and evening entertainment. For us we didn’t enjoy the broadway shows as much but we are used to celebrity cruise where they fly in West End/BGT contestants often so perhaps unfair to compare the entertainment. We did see a British comedian that flew in for the night who most people found very funny and enjoyable. Pool The pool cannot be called a pool. It’s more like a bath. Most of us were disappointed by the pool, which looks bigger in photos. The water looked dirty and is definitely not big enough for everyone. We are usually big pool lovers - but we didn’t go in once on our holiday. Overall we wouldn’t recommend cruising on the Marella spirit. Without question, staff were friendly and always professional and attentive. But the ship is just too old/shaky (often felt unsafe) and the facilities and food is not of the standard that we look for in our holidays. We paid the same for our Spirit 7 night as we did for our 10 night Celebrity Reflection - both around the med - and cannot be compared! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Our second time on the spirit and again really enjoyed every moment. Had a balcony suite so it was really lovely to sit on the balcony after a long day of walking. Every one was so kind, cheerful and helpful. Made lots of friends as we ... Read More
Our second time on the spirit and again really enjoyed every moment. Had a balcony suite so it was really lovely to sit on the balcony after a long day of walking. Every one was so kind, cheerful and helpful. Made lots of friends as we were in the Compass Rose every evening and sat with different interesting people. One evening as we were eating, a pod of dolphins and tuna swam past, and the ship slowed down so that everyone could enjoy seeing them- I doubt if the bigger cruise ships would do that! The ship is extremely clean and the food isn't cold as some reviews said. Enjoyed the entertainment every evening and the team are so enthusiastic and give 100%. We went on two trips- the tuk-tuk and Gibraltar on tour own, but you could do both on your own really because the tuk-tuks are waiting for you in Lisbon and you could walk really early to the cable car in Gibraltar and no queuing. Porto itself was very disappointing but the beach was lovely. Gibraltar- be warned some of the shops close early on the Saturday., Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise as our son is part of the show team onboard and we went to see him. We were not too sure what to expect as we had read some mixed reviews and we knew the Spirit was quite an old ship. We were so pleasantly surprised at ... Read More
We chose this cruise as our son is part of the show team onboard and we went to see him. We were not too sure what to expect as we had read some mixed reviews and we knew the Spirit was quite an old ship. We were so pleasantly surprised at what a fantastic ship it is. All of the crew were really friendly and nothing was too much trouble for them, they always greeted us with a smile and remembered our names. The ship itself was very clean and tidy and there were always crew around cleaning. There was a great choice of food in the Lido which we used for breakfast and lunch. We used the Compass Rose for our evening meals and although there was less to choose from, there was a big enough variety on the menu. Jojo was our waiter and he was lovely and saved our table at the same time each night for us. We did the wine tasting excursion in Tarragona and had a fantastic day. We had a tour of the vineyard and the wine cellars, finishing off with the wine tasting which was amazing. Our coach guide was very knowledgable about Tarragona itself and told us lots about the area as we drove to the vineyard. Definitely worth doing this trip. The evening entertainment in the Broadway show lounge was amazing. The show team are extremely talented and work so hard. Obviously we were there to see our son who is part of the show team, so we watched the shows every night, twice! The standard of the shows is very high, the energy, dancing and singing is of West End quality. A massive well done to the show team. A special mention to Sam, Kirsty and Gary from the team for being so friendly. We loved the fact that there were other bars and lounges around the ship and each of them had their own entertainment. The Irish guitarist in Raffles was really good, easy listening and Strum Jam in the High Spirits bar were brilliant. I can honestly say that our week on the Spirit was fantastic and it has given us the bug to go cruising again. If it wasn't on its last voyage we would definitely book to go on the Spirit again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We’ve been on the spirit quite a few times and we booked this so we could experience it on its last season. We opted for the free all inclusive package which was a bonus. The draught beer was San Miguel which isn’t to my taste so ... Read More
We’ve been on the spirit quite a few times and we booked this so we could experience it on its last season. We opted for the free all inclusive package which was a bonus. The draught beer was San Miguel which isn’t to my taste so drank canned john smiths. We had as much coke as we wanted. Plus lovely coffee was also included. So pretty good. The clientele is mainly British so not surprising English breakfast was available every day ( responding to another reviewer) but other options are available. We went to the restaurant for breakfast - waiter served which was good. I had Indian vegetarian breakfast one day which was lovely. Lunchtimes in the lido was very samey with little variety, so we eat outside next to the pool most days. They had nice chilli and gyros som days. But lunches were quite poor overall. The evening meals in the restaurant were generally ok. I don’t like being ripped off by being charged £12 for steak. This used to be included. The freestyle dining meant you met different people each night which was good. We had 2 glasses of wine with our meal which was included in our package. The cruise director Ted was very good. There is always a good friendly atmosphere on board. This is also down to the passengers as well as the staff. Normal not posh people cruise on the Spirit, The sailaway party is like a family wedding. The shows were not as good as in the past. It was a young show team but the singers were not up to scratch especially when performing solo. The dancers were good though. There is not much to do during the day in terms of entertainment education compared with other cruise lines. But we were happy just chilling and reading. The itinerary was good Porto - defo go back Lisbon - been loads of times - excellent Portimao - wouldn’t go back to Cadiz - didn’t get off ship so don’t know Gibraltar - first time there but found it an odd place - won’t go back. So all in all a good cruise. However we feel the airline let them down despite travelling on a lovely b787 Dreamliner. Why don’t tui provide proper airline food that can be booked like Thomas cook does. On the way back there was no food available on the plane. So farewell spirit we have had some good times with you. We like the smaller ships so looking at the celebration next time. I’m not convinced by marella’s strategy of going for larger ship cast offs. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I chose this cruise because it fitted in with when my twin sister could take time off work and was a reasonable price (it was a birthday treat for her). I also liked the fact that tips and service charges are included in the price - ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it fitted in with when my twin sister could take time off work and was a reasonable price (it was a birthday treat for her). I also liked the fact that tips and service charges are included in the price - I've been on other cruise lines where they haven't and it all adds up. I also liked the intinerary. Marella offer flights from a number of different UK airports but that wasn't a factor for me as I live in London. I was a little worried about the cruise before I went having read some reviews that were pretty bad, especially as it was my sister's and my niece's first cruise experience and I didn't want it to be a bad one. However, I'm happy to say that the ship was pretty good. It's not the smartest one I've been on but everything was clean and well maintained as far as I saw. It's the smallest cruise ship I've been on and I agree that the sun loungers get occupied pretty quickly. The bars fill up pretty quickly at night too. In fact, we started going to dinner earlier so we could make sure we got a seat at the 8.30 performance. You need to be there at least twenty minutes before the show starts. The other one is at 10.30 p.m. The ship's vibrations were pretty noticeable a lot of the time and that was the thing my sister and my niece disliked most about the ship. I’m gluten free and hadn’t mentioned it when I booked but I told the maître d’ the first night and it was fine. You get the menu the night before from the assistant maître d’ and choose your selection. They even have a small selection of gluten free goodies in the afternoon tea although the gluten free scones weren’t that great. I thought the food in the Compass Rose and the Lido was fine. Occasionally, things weren’t quite as hot as they should have been. Our first breakfast in the Compass Rose, I wasn’t impressed because we declined to share a table and wanted to sit by the window. Perhaps the long wait we then had to get asked about tea or coffee or to be offered a juice was a co-incidence. But the service was better after that meal. I was surprised that breakfast in the Compass Rose is buffet apart from tea or coffee and juice. I’ve not had that on any of the other cruise ships I’ve been on. My niece preferred the Lido because of the outdoor Chef’s Corner where you can get omelettes at breakfast, but I preferred the Compass Rose because it was easier to get gluten free toast there. (I say toast, but it looked like it had been waved under the grill – this applied to both restaurants.) We went to Sirocco’s one night, which was amazing value for good food. A 7-course meal for £20.00. It’s a nice restaurant with very attentive, friendly waiters. And offers gluten free food. We took advantage of the VIP offer, for about £5 more, you got a reserved seat at the show and a glass of champagne. I was most impressed that because my sister ended up not coming to the show, they refunded the money without us asking. I read somewhere in the reviews that the shows are like West End productions. I think that’s exaggerating although the very young cast are talented and have fantastic voices. The stage is very small so it’s impressive they can manage to dance their routines on them. The other bands and singers were almost all very good. We didn’t watch the comedian, so I can’t comment on him. I was pleased that the Spirit has a cinema and looking forward to seeing a film or two. Be warned that most of the films on the schedule are pretty old – Big, 9 to 5, Romeo and Juliet, Moulin Rouge, etc. All the more recent films are shown on TV for some reason. We tried to go and see The Secret Life of Bees but when we arrived just before it was due to start, we found the film was half way through. We complained at Reception and the woman apologised and then told us the reason was the change to the clocks and that the same thing had happened yesterday as a passenger had complained then too. I wasn’t impressed that they knew there was a problem but had done nothing about it. We didn’t bother to try and see any films after that. By the way, no films are shown in the cinema on Sunday as it’s used as a storage space for carry-on luggage for departing passengers. The shore excursions were very good. We went on the panoramic plus river cruise in Porto, the tuk tuk tour in Lisbon and my sister and niece went on the Dolphin Watch in Gibraltar. My favourite was the tuk tuk, which was great fun but they liked the Dolphin one best as they saw lots of dolphins. One great thing about the Spirit was that you had until 2.00 in the morning to put your hold luggage out. That means you can pack your evening clothes and don’t have to put them in your carry-on unlike other cruise lines where you have to put your bag outside your cabin by 10.00. You can also stay on the ship even if you have a late flight as we did – 7.30 in the evening and still eat in the restaurants and use the facilities. You do have to pay for your drinks, of course. This is unlike other cruise lines where you get kicked off fairly early in the day. Overall, I enjoyed the cruise and my sister and niece did too although, as mentioned, they hated the vibration. Would I cruise with Marella again? I’m not entirely sure. There were many good things about the cruise. There is a good atmosphere on board and all the passengers are very friendly and I loved that usually, you got a full day in port unlike some other lines. I think I’d want a better cabin although the price for an inside cabin in August is very good value. And knowing that taxes and service charges are included is a big bonus. But the swimming pools are tiny even for a cruise ship. I know the Spirit is going out of service in October, but I’d want to do a lot more research about what the other ships offer before booking. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My daughter and I chose this cruise because we had such an amazing adventure last year on Spirit, that was our first ever cruise and it left us wanting more. As soon as we returned home having discovered the beautiful older lady was ... Read More
My daughter and I chose this cruise because we had such an amazing adventure last year on Spirit, that was our first ever cruise and it left us wanting more. As soon as we returned home having discovered the beautiful older lady was staying for one more year we went straight to Tui and booked for this year. Embarkation went smoothly as Tui have it down to an art form. As we had been delayed over two hours on Luton Airport tarmac because of a baggage issue (somebody pressed the computer button too soon to print off the baggage list!) it made us late getting to the ship. This meant that our luggage was outside our door within minutes of arrival at our cabin. Yes she is an older lady that does shudder, but that only adds to her charm, in fact we find it quite soothing. It is such a friendly environment small and compact in a good way. Food in The Compass Rose restaurant was second to none every evening, Ludi and James our waiters from last year remembered us and took good care of us. The Lido was excellent for breakfast and lunch times. The shows were amazing all week especially Moulin Rouge the show team work so hard and it shows fabulous everyone. We pre-booked three excursions Tuk Tuk in Lisbon (Pedro was our guide), City Tour in Cadiz and Dolphin Watching in Gibraltar all were great value for money and we learnt so much. Wish we could have stayed a few more days. Spirit will be missed a true lady. People love to complaint but we feel the holiday is what you make it. We have met some amazing people and cruising is the only holiday for us now. If you want more upmarket cruises there are plenty of companies to choose from, do your homework first and do not always listen the negative comments or you will never leave your home. Will we cruise again? actually we have already booked our week away for 2019 and the count down has started again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
The reason i chose this cruise was, it went from Malaga where i was staying for the summer ,and also because of the itinerary.I hadn't been to Porto or Porto mao before also the second week of the cruise was undiscovered Spain ... Read More
The reason i chose this cruise was, it went from Malaga where i was staying for the summer ,and also because of the itinerary.I hadn't been to Porto or Porto mao before also the second week of the cruise was undiscovered Spain including ports like Roses ,Tarragona , Cadiz and so on. The embarkation was easily the quickest i have ever experienced on any cruise line 10 out of 10 for that ,we were given the option of choosing our cabin prior to the trip for 48 pounds per person which i did because i didn't want any nasty surprises ,i was told that the cabin i wanted wasn't available but another similar cabin on a different floor was, so i agreed not realising that i was getting an L shaped room with single beds that could not be put together ,It was our anniversary !! i haven't spent a night in a single bed in 30 years ,the first night i nearly fell out of the bed ,not a good start to my first Marella cruise .We went for dinner the second night in the dining room and was shown to our table ,introduced ourselves to the other guests who were very nice ,I ordered melon and serrano ham as an appetiser and decided not to order the soup ,when i saw the condition of the pathetic piece of melon and the dried up piece of leather i asked the waiter could i have the soup ,he threw his eyes up to heaven and sighed as this was going to be a big deal .I could not believe how unprofessional and downright rude he was ,I ,and the other guests at the table were shocked at his behaviour .When the dessert arrived one of the other guests ordered a pudding and her husband ordered cheese ,she asked the waiter could she possible have a little piece of blue cheese and she got the same response i got, eyes thrown up to heaven .Never had she been treated like this on any Cruise line .The bottom line is if you don't want to do the the job you are being paid for ,Leave ! This was just the beginning of the cruise . The following day we went onto the pool deck ,i have seen bigger paddling pools ,bearing in mind there were 1350 guests onboard, the pool sign said it had a maximum capacity of 8 persons ,are you joking me ? there were 10 children under the age of 12 and 1 very large man in the pool and it had a very suspect colour ,i was not getting in this pool .I decided to go to the adult pool and jacuzzi where children are not allowed ,well the rule book went out the window .children, toddlers ,everyone was allowed in the pool .so where do you go if you want a relaxing quiet read ? i know i will go to the library .i found it and the smell of damp in the room ? forget about it ! .eventually i went back to my L shaped room for peace and quiet. My husband is a very fit man and likes to exercise regularly so he headed to the Gym ,there were odd weights, no hand towels , and broken machinery all cluttered together in a small room ,the best thing about the Gym was the air -conditioning .It was the coolest part of the ship. I opted for the all inclusive drinks when i booked the cruise so that my husband would be able to enjoy a few glasses of wine or a scotch during or after a show it seemed to be a very good deal EXCEPT!!! I don't drink alcohol at all and Water, Yes! ,water was not included in all-inclusive drinks .the package was all inclusive drinks not all inclusive alcohol ,I could order tap water but the taste depending on where you were served, tasted disgusting ,i even tried to disguise it with lime ,forget it ! it just made it worse . We decided one afternoon to watch a movie in the theatre ,the movie was supposed to start at 3 pm but we sat in the theatre and no film came on ,i went reception and asked what was wrong ,she told me they needed an engineer to sort the problem out to make a longer story shorter 9 guests complained in 45 minutes to reception ,eventually a young lad came in to the theatre reached up and pressed a button and the movie came on half-way through .i asked could they rewind it and the lady at reception said No! . a wasted afternoon. The second week of our cruise teamed us up with the guests we met the second night of our cruise ,they had found a table in the restaurant where the waiters were civil ,good humoured and obliging .What lovely Guys, Jude, JR, and their team.every night they looked after us and treated us with respect and a lot of humour the banter was great between us all at the table . ,The wine waiter made a point of organising mocktails for me every night because he knew i didn't drink alcohol ,he was a pet !. Now for the entertainment ,The shows were performed most nights by a group of young singers and dancers ,who worked so hard every night to give us a good show and to be fair they were grand ,The stand -out singer was a young man named Sam who has a bright future ahead of him, he was easily the best singer in the group .He should go a long way in his career but i think he would be better suited for the West end Musicals than a third -rate cruise ship that is already sinking .The comedian for the first week Karl Schofield was hilarious and an excellent singer,he ended up doing a gig in Raffles singing til about 2 am in the morning ,fair play to him everybody thought he was the best comedian in the two weeks . The cabin staff we had were excellent, and as far as the other guests i spoke to all the cabins were kept spotless ,each night we found ,like other ships we have been on, curious animals appeared on our bed at night from monkeys to elephants to swans and kittens ,they really did their best to cheer the cabins up .but the dodgy shower heads and the grey tatty towels left a lot to be desired and no fridge. On the plus side the room was spacious with plenty of storage and hanging space . My final words on the Marella Spirit is that like most Cruises its the people you meet on a cruise and the staff that either makes or breaks it and this certainly was the case with this Cruise ,We found because this was the last year the ship would be sailing, there was a lot of uncertainty with the staff if they were going to be sent to other ships or lose their jobs ,and it certainly reflected in some their attitudes and behaviours . I was asked to try another Marella Cruise Ship and honestly i couldn't do it ,life is too short to waste time and hard -earned money on another Marella Cruise,now don't get me wrong for some people this was for them great ,but i couldn't in all honesty recommend this Cruise line to any of my friends or family . Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Our third time on this old lady,being it's last year of service had to have a final fling on it.It did not disappoint but yes it is a bit shake and noisy in some areas but the staff many who have been on years are just a good as ever ... Read More
Our third time on this old lady,being it's last year of service had to have a final fling on it.It did not disappoint but yes it is a bit shake and noisy in some areas but the staff many who have been on years are just a good as ever Entertainment team work their socks off and the English comic very good ,however this was his last gig on this ship.If you like a good drink throughout the week then all inclusive can be good value ,if not just pay as you go.Cocktails however a bit weak. Tip always ask for the branded spirit e.g. Gordon's or Red Label whisky if not you may get the cheap stuff.Overall the food is good with generous portions in the Compass restaurant. Yes the furnishings and cabins are a bit dated but reflect the ambience when this ship was new.I understand this ship is owned by a Greek shipping line and is the last of the fleet to go.All other ships are TUI owned. My only fear is as the new ships get larger the personal and intimate feel of the Spirit will be lost forever which will be a pity.You will have a good time on the final few cruises of this old lady. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Just returned on the 5th August after a weeks cruise on the marella spirit. Was very apprehensive about going after reading the latest reviews. I would just like to say ignore all the negative reviews as there was nothing to complain ... Read More
Just returned on the 5th August after a weeks cruise on the marella spirit. Was very apprehensive about going after reading the latest reviews. I would just like to say ignore all the negative reviews as there was nothing to complain about. Yes the ship is tired in some areas but made no difference to us. Firstly check in at the port was excellent and cabin was ready and luggage delivered to our room promptly. The room had a double wardrobe and plenty drawer space. The staff on board can not do enough for you and are constantly cleaning the ship. The food was of good choice and always hot, not like previous reviews have said about food being cold. There were always a lot of people around the pool area but we always got a sun bed on the top deck, enabling us to see the amazing sites and the sights as we were sailing out of port. We were all inclusive but if you wanted eg corona, magners etc then you had to pay £2.30 and the odd cocktail had a £2.30 supplement. We had the odd drink we paid for but mainly had a/i drinks which were good. There was always a cocktail of the day to choose from. Also if you order soft drinks they are for example pepsi, sprite, fanta etc. The resident band Strum Jam were amazing as were the entertainment team. We went in the show bar a couple times, very good shows. We had an amazing time and compared to the cruise we did in October last year on the discovery I would say they were both on par, apart from a better selection of a/i drinks on the discovery, but made no difference to us. IGNORE ALL NEGATIVE REVIEWS Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our first cruise and We Were not sure what to expect. The whole experience from start to finish was memorable. What an amazing ship with the most friendliest staff and crew you could ask for. Food and entertainment was fantastic ... Read More
This was our first cruise and We Were not sure what to expect. The whole experience from start to finish was memorable. What an amazing ship with the most friendliest staff and crew you could ask for. Food and entertainment was fantastic and our rooms although dated were spotless. The Cabin Stewards were fantastic with the loveliest smiles for you every time they saw you . I can’t believe waiter staff knew our names after only a couple of days . Service was fantastic. Absolutely gutted this is the ships last year sailing . Only downfall was that there was only one charging socket for phones etc . The entertainment team were amazing as was the compare who was very funny. Shops ok but not much to purchase would have liked a little more choice We were blown away with the fantastic staff and crew, the most friendly and professional people, it was just like finding family you never knew you had - wonderful It was a real pleasure to be there, although I started out not really kniwing what to expect, but it was a fantastic holiday, better than anything we had done before, cant wait till the next one We met a friendly giant from Transylvania, Adrian, and even met Elvis, the shows they put on for the last night were astonishing and the parade in the compass rose restaurant was fantastic It was FANTASTIC words are not enough to say thankyou, just keep doing what you are doing Well done Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
Seeing some of the negative reviews on this site I was a tad apprehensive. I should not have worried, my first cruise and it was amazing. Yes the ship is a bit old but I felt it added to the character. The ship is very clean, cabin ... Read More
Seeing some of the negative reviews on this site I was a tad apprehensive. I should not have worried, my first cruise and it was amazing. Yes the ship is a bit old but I felt it added to the character. The ship is very clean, cabin staff amazing and JoJo and Teng in the Compass Rose Restaurant made our holiday. For the whole trip they were our waiters, very funny and great hard working guys :-). My single cabin was a bit small, very clean and ideal for one person. Favourite port was definately Portamao in Portugal, great little beach resort. We had the drinks package and I thought it was worth the money. Yes some drinks cost extra, you had at least one brand choice of all the main spirits. I like San Miguel so was very fortunate that this was the lager included in the all inclusive. Loved having a little flutter in the Casino after dinner, the staff were so friendly. :-) Come home very relaxed and I cannot wait to book another cruise with TUI next year. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our first cruise and We Were not sure what to expect. The whole experience from start to finish was memorable. What an amazing ship with the most friendliest staff and crew you could ask for. Food and entertainment was fantastic ... Read More
This was our first cruise and We Were not sure what to expect. The whole experience from start to finish was memorable. What an amazing ship with the most friendliest staff and crew you could ask for. Food and entertainment was fantastic and our rooms although dated were spotless. Henry and Rocky were fantastic cabin stewards with the most loveliest smiles for you every time they saw you . I can’t believe waiter staff knew our names after only a couple of days . Service was fantastic. Absolutely gutted this is the ships last year sailing . Only downfall was that there was only one charging socket for phones etc .And WiFi not so good although it was £49 for 7 days per person . The entertainment team were amazing as was the compare who was very funny. Shops ok but not much to purchase would have liked a little more choice Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We have been on Marella Spirit/cruise called Spirit of Iberia/TUI 1-8 July Oh well, where to start. This is not my first cruise but first European one... The boat is extremely old.. No refurbishment works being done at all. I booked ... Read More
We have been on Marella Spirit/cruise called Spirit of Iberia/TUI 1-8 July Oh well, where to start. This is not my first cruise but first European one... The boat is extremely old.. No refurbishment works being done at all. I booked this cruise trip online on TUI website, called Spirit of Iberia on Marella Spirit boat. There was an option to choose Full board or All inclusive package. Me and my husband went for all inclusive package worth £360 extra. On our first day we decided to have some drinks after dinner. I ordered rum and coke and my husband pint of beer. This was the worst two drinks you can imagine, really strong smell of some cheap alcohol and coke without bubbles. I got charged for coke...I felt a bit sick after rum and asked for sparkling water. I got charged for sparkling water as well. Beer was totally disgusting like a warm lemonade so my husband asked for bottled beer and again, we got charged for it. Okay so what are we going to drink for £360 then... Extra charge for all drinks.... still water extra charge, all inclusive package and still, sparkling water and coke are considered as premium drinks? Okay let's be honest, everywhere you book AI you don't have best drinks ever and not all are included but still and sparkling water and coke? Actually there is nothing in all inclusive package and the whole package is absolute lie! That's why on TUI website you find no information about all inclusive only few words saying literally nothing. You can only drink some "draught beer" which is, trust me not a beer for sure and some water with black sirup (they call it coke with no bubbles) I just want to say, we do travel a lot, we are not those kind of guys complaining about everything but this is something what we really experienced for the first time and don't want to leave it just like that because this is total scam. We met the same people complaining about the same stuff. TUI should be extremely embarrassed about how they treat guests and how they lie to them. It is a total rip off. We decided to call TUI, spent more than hour waiting on the line... We were told to discuss the whole situation at the reception desk because they can't deal with it online. We said that we want to pay for our drinks - as we don't drink anything from all inclusive package because all inclusive does not exist and would like to get refund of £360 and pay our own drinks on board. I mean for coke, juice, normal beer and water, standard rum etc. Just simply to be switched to full board basis from all inclusive one and pay in cash for drinks because we never reach £360 and there is nothing normal in the package. The attitude was very bad. They simply lied to us and we spent 4 days asking to speak with higher customer service representatives but they refused saying we had a special discount on our trip. We went to reception desk multiple times. I would like to tell all the potential clients, there is a fake discount on every TUI offer. You book for example cruise for two people for £2000 then they say you are special couple and official amount would be nearly £2500 and all this kind of stuff you can imagine just to cover your eyes. Then you can choose full board or all inclusive board basis. If you decide to go for All inclusive for 2 people is something over £360...then you get nothing, there is nothing included as mentioned - water still and sparkling, coke etc. Is all considered as premium drinks that you have to pay for. The rest of drinks is the lowest quality you can imagine. They don't want to discuss anything with you, all extremely rude and unprofessional attitude. We had three or four different meetings with guest relations manager, some other customer service representatives but it went nowhere they simply don't care and behave very rude. They ignore your questions, comments, everything. We have never ever experienced this kind of behavior with any other holiday provider. Food - very low quality, you get very disappointed as well. English Breakfast that's what you get every day nothing else. Then some cheap cereals and you can forget about something decent. It's like a hospital at the end of the world. Then some left overs from dinner like fish for breakfast, thank you very much. There is one more thing to say about this cruise and the company. We did not have any security briefing. There was one planned at 9:45pm first night. Over 300 people were sitting at the main restaurant listening music and drinking, no information provided about this cruise and security stuff. They simply never mentioned anything anymore. Again we met lots of people on board and we all discussed exactly the same issues starting with drinks, food, security and attitude of some receptionists and guest relations representatives. This cruise is total mess the only nice thing is really nice waiters working on board, really lovely and hard working people. It is an absolute joke and you should consider booking this trip with TUI. To be honest I think this cruise is mainly focused on older generation (over 60 and 70) which I believe it's harder for them to fight with these people and look for other options. Definitely very bad travel experience and our worst one so far. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Everything from start to finish was first class. I have never written a review and not had at least one bad word to say so this is my FIRST, we are now totally hooked on cruises and our yearly holidays will be crusing from now on. ... Read More
Everything from start to finish was first class. I have never written a review and not had at least one bad word to say so this is my FIRST, we are now totally hooked on cruises and our yearly holidays will be crusing from now on. everyone on board was SO freindly its almost too good to be true that this WAS OUR PERFECT HOLIDAY it really is a very friendly ship. FOOD was the BEST EVER and i take my hat off to all the chefs you really do lay on some wonderful dishes, i am normally an egg and chips girl but enjoyed so many other dishes, the best thing was if i just wanted plain old egg and chips or a plate of gravy and chips it was there, and the sunday roast would make any gran ashamed, there was even my fav sponge pudding and custard oh i so wish i was back on board this tea time. entertainment was FIRST CLASS and without question top class west end standards. entertainment team was fantastic and so polite. Cabin was as expected and houskeeping was 5 star. the staff are the most pleasant, polite, happy, hard working people i have ever come accross. WELL DONE TUI you really have left us dreaming of our next cruise. The ports and shore excursions need a separte review as i feel this should just be all about how wonerful this ship is! its just a shame the SPIRIT is ending in oct this year. I have only one minor thing to grumble about PLEASE put a toaster on board at breakfast so guests can make there own HOT toast. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Chose this cruise because many of the places we hadn't visited before and also the ship itself, been on Spirit 4 times before and it never disappointed we liked the layout of the ship the crew and all the staff were top rank always ... Read More
Chose this cruise because many of the places we hadn't visited before and also the ship itself, been on Spirit 4 times before and it never disappointed we liked the layout of the ship the crew and all the staff were top rank always pleasant and helpful which to us was the most important criteria for a good cruise. Now from here we go downhill Marella as it's now called seem to be trying to cheapen it as much as they can because what there giving you is just unacceptable, the so called drinks package was just not worth it I am not a big drinker nor my wife so we just had a few gin and tonics but quite honestly we could not taste anything only the tonic which had too much ice in it also my wife tried the cocktails them were also tasteless. I would say to anyone going on this ship don't bother with any drinks package just pay as you go for drinks, it's sad really because on previous cruises on Spirit it was so much better, I personally think that Marella have missed a trick because they could have made this a memorable cruise and I don't think I'm the only one who's disgruntled with Marellas cheapskating I certainly won't be taking any more cruises with Marella. The dining experience whilst being adequate was not up to previous cruises on Spirit, it felt in our opinion a bit like a canteen rather than a restaurant with very basic menus. But I have to say it doesn't reflect on the dining room staff who did a really good job both the service and the smiles. Our cabin on deck 4 was superb as usual and we were well impressed with the 2 lads that looked after us they kept the cabin spotless a nd tidy at all times. Entertainment was ok but not brilliant,they worked very hard to put on the shows. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Travelled on this ship approx 8 years ago, it was brilliant, but now the food was poor, cold, and boring, the shows were terrible, I've never heard such screeching, from the singers, had to leave it was that bad. (The English comedien ... Read More
Travelled on this ship approx 8 years ago, it was brilliant, but now the food was poor, cold, and boring, the shows were terrible, I've never heard such screeching, from the singers, had to leave it was that bad. (The English comedien was really good). The cabins were shabby to say the least, and the towels were grey and thread bare. Luckily this ship is going out of service this year, but whoever employs the staff, will be getting a great team, they make your holiday, cheery,and entertaining.also most of the deck furniture is falling apart, the pool is freezing and murky,. We like to go in the resteraunt to be waited on, big mistake, I had to send my meal of lasagna back as it was just a lump of soggy pasta, and tepid, then so it wouldn't be long I just asked for a burger n chips. The burger was mooing, it was so raw, and the chips were cold. The next night we joined some friends who had already started their meal, it took the waiters that long to bring the starter and soup, they had to leave to catch a show, we waited a further half an hour, so we left, it was appalling . Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Just spent week on marella spirit, loved every moment, we upgraded to balcony and it was worth every penny, loved our time sailing away on our balcony, staff very attentive, food excellent, all inclusive good but did appear not full ... Read More
Just spent week on marella spirit, loved every moment, we upgraded to balcony and it was worth every penny, loved our time sailing away on our balcony, staff very attentive, food excellent, all inclusive good but did appear not full strength, we were in cabin 0003, shudder of ship was annoying at times especially in horizons bar, we enjoyed all the food, buffet was good, service and food in compass rose was very enjoyable, we felt there could have been more seating area on outside decks, sunbeds everywhere, we don't sunbathe!! We do feel that a inclusive package should be just that and not have to upgrade to get the best drinks, over all the holiday was excellent, we were well looked after, from airport onwards, the entertainment on lido deck got on our nerves a bit just because we're not into that, quizzes and games and holiday camp style entertainment shouted very loudly through microphone whilst you may be trying to eat, perhaps they could do this elsewhere on ship Read Less
Marella Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 4.2
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 3.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 2.0 3.7
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 5.0 4.1
Rates N/A 4.0

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