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This was the first cruise my partner and I had been on. We were unsure of what to expect but this ship was recommended to us by a friend of the same age so thought we would give it a go. The ship is quite small but I think this was a good thing as it meant things were accessible and we got to know both the staff and other passengers. The ship is on the older side and did creek at times, especially when it was rough at sea. There is plenty to do on board - it depends what you are looking for. There were daily quizzes, loads of live music in the bars and outside on deck and then daily demonstrations like ice sculpturing, napkin shaping and cooking masterclasses. They had the occasional lecture (frozen shoulder and how to look after yourself) - I have heard other cruises offer more lectures there was probably one per week on this one. There are 2 pools - on the smaller size but big enough and a whirlpool. On sea days the pool got a little busy. Thomson offer their own excursions but we often found it easier and cheaper to do the excursions ourselves as their offers were usually horrendously over priced (eg £40 just to go to a beach when a local taxi would do it for £10). We did do 2 of their trips - the St Kitts railway (as you cannot do this on your own) and snorkelling in Martinique (as it was our first time snorkelling, they gave you the equipment and the boat to take you was just at the port so it was very convenient). We thought these trips were very well ran and would recommend these ones. I am sure some of the others are just as good and convenient but we would just get off at the port and see what was on offer - sometimes with a bit of bartering. Getting off the ship each day was easy - you just swipe your card and off you go. On one day we had to get a tender to shore but was very easy and quite fun. The service was unfaultable. All of the staff were always so friendly, smiling and looked like they were genuinely enjoying their jobs. We got to know some of the waiting staff well. Tips are included in the price and is not expected, however, we gave a tip to a few of the waiters who had looked after us well at the end of the cruise. Once we got off the plane we got straight onto a coach to the embarkation port. We did not have to pick up luggage and that arrived later that night outside our cabins which was amazing. Travelling back was also easy - we put our luggage outside our cabin the night before disembarkation and did not see it again until we got back to the home airport. Our cabin was one of the larger ones - 716. Unfortunately it was right next to where people disembarked each day so sometimes we would be woken up by us docking and then the beeping of the cards being swiped. We didn't have long lie ins but this started from around 7 when we would get up after 8. The wardrobes were spacious - 2 double ones and there were 3 large drawers for storage. The bed was big but was quite rigid. It was a double but there was a bit of a cover rolled up in between 2 separate mattresses to stop there being a drop in between - this felt like wood at times! The bathroom was rather small but was manageable. There was a TV and a big desk with a large mirror on one wall. There was also a little window you could see out to sea. The cabin was always made up well. The dining was exceptional. They have the main Meridian restaurant which is waiter service, the lido which is a buffet style self service restaurant and then 3 other small speciality restaurants you have to pay a supplement on. The Meridian is superb. Breakfast is good - full English, omelettes, French toast, daily specials as well as toast and cereals. Lunch is a highlight - 3 courses and all amazing with wine or any other drin from the bar. Dinner was amazing - 4 courses (you can chose 2 starters - one from the left box and one from the right). When you come in you are asked if you mind sharing - this gets you a table faster and there was often a big queue for couples wanting to sit on their own. Depends what you fancy doing - the people we met at dinner were really nice and had great stories to tell. Towards the end of the cruise we did just fancy our own space so chose to sit on our own - no issues either way! The service was very good - always so fast and they will get you anything you want. Wine was free flowing. The Lido wasn't too bad - we went there for afternoon tea which was ok and would sometimes go there for snacks in the late afternoon like pizza, chips and they have a great wrap bar as well. We would go here for a midnight snack too - it is open until 1am. We thought this was good. We got an all inclusive deal (which wasn't actually all inclusive but did give us access to most of the drinks). There are some drinks and cocktails you have to pay extra for and they do a premium wine deal for better wines. What we had in the basic drinks package was good enough though but it is a bit annoying when you think you have all inclusive to find that you actually don't! I would recommend the basic drinks package as we thought it was good value for money. The bars are cool - especially horizons at the front of the ship. Annoyingly, we had to pay for the cabin safe which was a little magnet device. It did not feel very safe and we had to hide the magnet in the room (fear that it would get lost if we carted it around with us). We again thought it was a little annoying having to pay extra for this as with all inclusive you thought that everything was included. The entertainment was great. Each evening there was 2 shows - an early and a late showing. We went on a behind the scenes of the show team and it was fascinating to learn what the team have to go through to be selected and then rehearse it all. They have different themes each night - musicals, Africa, queen etc. One day per week they had a comedian on. Annoyingly some of the shows were repeated - queen on the first night and the musicals on the last night. All the shows were great. To be honest, we could not fault the cruise itself and it had everything you would want. We did find though that some people (not all by any means) were a bit rude and had a lack of manners - for example taking menus from our table without asking, pushing in the queues etc. As it was our first cruise I cannot comment on if this was the cruise itself that attracted this kind of people or not. The majority of people we met were not like this but it did grind you down by the end of the cruise. I'd like to go back on a cruise at some point but perhaps would try another ship. I would go back on this one though but want to explore others first to see how they compare.

Caribbean Gems/Coral Islands

Marella Celebration Cruise Review by Lottelliott

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2018
  • Destination: Caribbean
This was the first cruise my partner and I had been on. We were unsure of what to expect but this ship was recommended to us by a friend of the same age so thought we would give it a go.

The ship is quite small but I think this was a good thing as it meant things were accessible and we got to know both the staff and other passengers.

The ship is on the older side and did creek at times, especially when it was rough at sea.

There is plenty to do on board - it depends what you are looking for. There were daily quizzes, loads of live music in the bars and outside on deck and then daily demonstrations like ice sculpturing, napkin shaping and cooking masterclasses. They had the occasional lecture (frozen shoulder and how to look after yourself) - I have heard other cruises offer more lectures there was probably one per week on this one. There are 2 pools - on the smaller size but big enough and a whirlpool. On sea days the pool got a little busy.

Thomson offer their own excursions but we often found it easier and cheaper to do the excursions ourselves as their offers were usually horrendously over priced (eg £40 just to go to a beach when a local taxi would do it for £10). We did do 2 of their trips - the St Kitts railway (as you cannot do this on your own) and snorkelling in Martinique (as it was our first time snorkelling, they gave you the equipment and the boat to take you was just at the port so it was very convenient). We thought these trips were very well ran and would recommend these ones. I am sure some of the others are just as good and convenient but we would just get off at the port and see what was on offer - sometimes with a bit of bartering.

Getting off the ship each day was easy - you just swipe your card and off you go. On one day we had to get a tender to shore but was very easy and quite fun.

The service was unfaultable. All of the staff were always so friendly, smiling and looked like they were genuinely enjoying their jobs. We got to know some of the waiting staff well. Tips are included in the price and is not expected, however, we gave a tip to a few of the waiters who had looked after us well at the end of the cruise.

Once we got off the plane we got straight onto a coach to the embarkation port. We did not have to pick up luggage and that arrived later that night outside our cabins which was amazing. Travelling back was also easy - we put our luggage outside our cabin the night before disembarkation and did not see it again until we got back to the home airport.

Our cabin was one of the larger ones - 716. Unfortunately it was right next to where people disembarked each day so sometimes we would be woken up by us docking and then the beeping of the cards being swiped. We didn't have long lie ins but this started from around 7 when we would get up after 8. The wardrobes were spacious - 2 double ones and there were 3 large drawers for storage. The bed was big but was quite rigid. It was a double but there was a bit of a cover rolled up in between 2 separate mattresses to stop there being a drop in between - this felt like wood at times!

The bathroom was rather small but was manageable.

There was a TV and a big desk with a large mirror on one wall. There was also a little window you could see out to sea.

The cabin was always made up well.

The dining was exceptional. They have the main Meridian restaurant which is waiter service, the lido which is a buffet style self service restaurant and then 3 other small speciality restaurants you have to pay a supplement on. The Meridian is superb. Breakfast is good - full English, omelettes, French toast, daily specials as well as toast and cereals. Lunch is a highlight - 3 courses and all amazing with wine or any other drin from the bar. Dinner was amazing - 4 courses (you can chose 2 starters - one from the left box and one from the right). When you come in you are asked if you mind sharing - this gets you a table faster and there was often a big queue for couples wanting to sit on their own. Depends what you fancy doing - the people we met at dinner were really nice and had great stories to tell. Towards the end of the cruise we did just fancy our own space so chose to sit on our own - no issues either way!

The service was very good - always so fast and they will get you anything you want. Wine was free flowing.

The Lido wasn't too bad - we went there for afternoon tea which was ok and would sometimes go there for snacks in the late afternoon like pizza, chips and they have a great wrap bar as well. We would go here for a midnight snack too - it is open until 1am. We thought this was good.

We got an all inclusive deal (which wasn't actually all inclusive but did give us access to most of the drinks). There are some drinks and cocktails you have to pay extra for and they do a premium wine deal for better wines. What we had in the basic drinks package was good enough though but it is a bit annoying when you think you have all inclusive to find that you actually don't! I would recommend the basic drinks package as we thought it was good value for money. The bars are cool - especially horizons at the front of the ship.

Annoyingly, we had to pay for the cabin safe which was a little magnet device. It did not feel very safe and we had to hide the magnet in the room (fear that it would get lost if we carted it around with us). We again thought it was a little annoying having to pay extra for this as with all inclusive you thought that everything was included.

The entertainment was great. Each evening there was 2 shows - an early and a late showing. We went on a behind the scenes of the show team and it was fascinating to learn what the team have to go through to be selected and then rehearse it all. They have different themes each night - musicals, Africa, queen etc. One day per week they had a comedian on. Annoyingly some of the shows were repeated - queen on the first night and the musicals on the last night. All the shows were great.

To be honest, we could not fault the cruise itself and it had everything you would want. We did find though that some people (not all by any means) were a bit rude and had a lack of manners - for example taking menus from our table without asking, pushing in the queues etc. As it was our first cruise I cannot comment on if this was the cruise itself that attracted this kind of people or not. The majority of people we met were not like this but it did grind you down by the end of the cruise.

I'd like to go back on a cruise at some point but perhaps would try another ship. I would go back on this one though but want to explore others first to see how they compare.
Lottelliott’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 716
Our cabin was one of the larger ones. Unfortunately it was right next to where people disembarked each day so sometimes we would be woken up by us docking and then the beeping of the cards being swiped. We didn't have long lie ins but this started from around 7 when we would get up after 8. The wardrobes were spacious - 2 double ones and there were 3 large drawers for storage. The bed was big but was quite rigid. It was a double but there was a bit of a cover rolled up in between 2 separate mattresses to stop there being a drop in between - this felt like wood at times!
The bathroom was rather small but was manageable.
There was a TV and a big desk with a large mirror on one wall. There was also a little window you could see out to sea.
The cabin was always made up well.
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