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Sailed on the Explorer 2 in May this year, and despite this being an older ship we preferred it in all respects except for the cabin. The weather was fantastic all week, and we opted to do our own excursions courtesy of research on cruise critic reviews. We travelled as a couple in an iinside cabin on deck 3. The ship's public areas are well maintained, and whereas the Explorer is more of a wooden decor, the Discovery is more brass and glass. The atrium is the main difference as the Discovery uses it as a focal point with lifts, balconies, a bar and performance area for musicians, so it is the heart of the ship whereas the Explorer just uses it as a reception area. Most of the nighttime activity is on deck 4, but this does mean that the entertainment from each room does compete with that in the adjacent room at times. The main restaurant 47 is on 2 levels with an Italian section upstairs, and the speciality restaurants are well away on deck 11. The food is of a good standard, but to us the variety is always limited in that you will always find something that appeals, but you won't be spoiled for choice. The buffet restaurant Islands is on deck 9, and the selection comment would be the same, but we thought the layout and viewing area was as good as we have experienced. Our main disappointment was that the quality of the full English breakfast was nowhere near that of P&O. The service on the ship is one of the standout aspects, as often we find the barstaff to be functional only, but on here they were good fun and speedy. The all inclusive drinks package is great value, as it includes decent brands as standard e.g Famous Grouse, and for £50 pw more you can get eg Glenmorangie if you want. The entertainment in the evening is of a high standard with kids fresh out of drama school, but they are all talented. The solo musicians and singers are also good and focussed in the atrium. Where things could be improved is the daytime entertainment schedule is very limited, and even accepting that most will be on day trips, they could lay on more for mid afternoon onwards when people start to return. There is a basic mini golf course albeit a bit worn, a climbing wall, table tennis tables, and a breakout room for hire. We didn't go on any ship excursions as we find them overpriced, but we did similar trips under our own steam in most ports and a third of the price, so it's worth doing some research. The ports were good except for Taranto which I could only see that this ship stops there once a month and nobody else bothers? The age profile was 50 to 60, and the all inclusive booze probably makes people more approachable and chatty, especially come late afternoon leaning on the railings at sailaway time. There weren't many kids onboard at the time, but we left on 28/6 and there were lots embarking then. Without doubt we will sail with Marella again, as its good value, and the age profile is a good fit for us, making it friendlier and more fun. If you want a plusher environment and higher food quality then I would go with P&O.

Corfu to Rome / Naples / Malta

Marella Discovery Cruise Review by Gary1962

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Sailed on the Explorer 2 in May this year, and despite this being an older ship we preferred it in all respects except for the cabin.

The weather was fantastic all week, and we opted to do our own excursions courtesy of research on cruise critic reviews.

We travelled as a couple in an iinside cabin on deck 3.

The ship's public areas are well maintained, and whereas the Explorer is more of a wooden decor, the Discovery is more brass and glass. The atrium is the main difference as the Discovery uses it as a focal point with lifts, balconies, a bar and performance area for musicians, so it is the heart of the ship whereas the Explorer just uses it as a reception area. Most of the nighttime activity is on deck 4, but this does mean that the entertainment from each room does compete with that in the adjacent room at times.

The main restaurant 47 is on 2 levels with an Italian section upstairs, and the speciality restaurants are well away on deck 11. The food is of a good standard, but to us the variety is always limited in that you will always find something that appeals, but you won't be spoiled for choice. The buffet restaurant Islands is on deck 9, and the selection comment would be the same, but we thought the layout and viewing area was as good as we have experienced. Our main disappointment was that the quality of the full English breakfast was nowhere near that of P&O.

The service on the ship is one of the standout aspects, as often we find the barstaff to be functional only, but on here they were good fun and speedy. The all inclusive drinks package is great value, as it includes decent brands as standard e.g Famous Grouse, and for £50 pw more you can get eg Glenmorangie if you want.

The entertainment in the evening is of a high standard with kids fresh out of drama school, but they are all talented. The solo musicians and singers are also good and focussed in the atrium. Where things could be improved is the daytime entertainment schedule is very limited, and even accepting that most will be on day trips, they could lay on more for mid afternoon onwards when people start to return. There is a basic mini golf course albeit a bit worn, a climbing wall, table tennis tables, and a breakout room for hire.

We didn't go on any ship excursions as we find them overpriced, but we did similar trips under our own steam in most ports and a third of the price, so it's worth doing some research. The ports were good except for Taranto which I could only see that this ship stops there once a month and nobody else bothers?

The age profile was 50 to 60, and the all inclusive booze probably makes people more approachable and chatty, especially come late afternoon leaning on the railings at sailaway time. There weren't many kids onboard at the time, but we left on 28/6 and there were lots embarking then.

Without doubt we will sail with Marella again, as its good value, and the age profile is a good fit for us, making it friendlier and more fun. If you want a plusher environment and higher food quality then I would go with P&O.
Gary1962’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 3591
Inside Cabin on deck 3 allocated upon arrival, below the main dinning area and no noise disturbance at any point of the cruise.
Room was clean and tidy with all amenities you required, but a bit dated.
Only issues to us were that the beds on Marella are very firm, which may suit others but just not us, and bathroom shower is too small to have a shower screen so uses a curtain which is never ideal.