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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We choose the cruise because it was adult only. The food was fantastic latitude 53 and vista where with the fully inclusive package. Both waiter service the service and food where excellent top grade good choice and daily specials ... Read More
We choose the cruise because it was adult only. The food was fantastic latitude 53 and vista where with the fully inclusive package. Both waiter service the service and food where excellent top grade good choice and daily specials depending on which country you where in. Great wines. The market place was self service very high standard of foods different every day great for snacks fresh pizza. We only tried one premium restaurant it was 50euro charge Kora lá well worth it high standard of food but you need to book it early wasn't available a lot of the time. Pool side bar had great beer selection never too busy loads of deck chairs on 3 or 4 levels with burgers and chicken bits pizza always available for snacks. Bars were well stocked they have nearly every drink to avail of the full drink menu you need to buy premium drink package 7 euro a day a must this gives you drinks choice in every bar and restaurant and coffee hall a must. Our favourite bar was squid & anchor great fun mainly due to the staff Brendyl, Joseph and Romal who couldn't do enough to make us laugh and make our holiday a great one found ourselves coming back here every night. The entertainment was good show lounge was huge 1000 capacity the comedian was super well worth checking out and the drink was still flowing here. We didn't use the shore excursions and just ventured out on our own buses were always waiting no ques fast getting off and back on. The casino was small the machines didn't play too well but there was card and roulette dealers in the evening. The night club was busy and we got to meet the captain and all the key staff on the ship and asked any questions great idea. Our cabin was 8056 balcany mid ship very quiet roomy mini bar and 30 seconds walk to pool bar comfy bed and spotless yulia was brilliant and the cábán was spotless. Loved the food drink and especially the lovely staff who where friendly and always chatty. Will be using Marella cruises again 100% can't wait to go again great value for money Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We booked this cruise based on the ship having been refitted, adults only and all inclusive. However, it was very difficult to see where any major investment had been made. The ship looked dated and tired in places. We had opted for a ... Read More
We booked this cruise based on the ship having been refitted, adults only and all inclusive. However, it was very difficult to see where any major investment had been made. The ship looked dated and tired in places. We had opted for a Junior Suite which was allocated on deck 12, and although the cabin was a reasonable size with a decent balcony, it was far from a premium product. The fixtures and furnishings were cheap and lacked comfort or style, the bed was the most uncomfortable I have had to sleep on. It was a cheap sprung mattress that was rock hard and the pillows were just awful. We had several problems during the cruise; safe not working, tepid water throughout the cruise, and the air conditioning was either hot or cold. The food onboard was very disappointing. We opted to eat four times in Vista the Italian restaurant within the main Latitude restaurant, as the food here was better than in Latitude which was awful. Food was served lukewarm, the choices were limited and as tables were crammed together it was impossible to have a private conversation. We found staff to be generally lacking any enthusiasm, and service was very hit and miss. Even at 7am as it opened for breakfast the tea was far from hot, the eggs cold and service sporadic. The all inclusive option also had several limitations. Coffees from the coffee shop were extra, water in the cabin was extra and the choice of cocktails included was basic, and as most were premixed the quality was poor. We were constantly asked to upgrade to a premium drinks package but at £50 each a week on top of what we had already paid, which was not insignificant, it felt like an insult. There were 3 speciality restaurants onboard but at a minimum of £28.95 per head, it felt like extortion. We have never had to pay anything like this on far superior cruises. Entertainment was generally good in the theatre, but some of the music acts were definitely lacking talent. We took two trips in port which were well executed and the tour companies employed were professional. Overall this is a budget cruise, and struggling to retain the basic standards. The ship needs further investment and updating, service and maintenance needs improving and food needs an overhaul. We were so disappointed and underwhelmed, and more so as we had high expectations based on the ship being on only its second week after the refit. We have cruised on many other lines and feel for what we paid we could have had a far better product with other companies. On a separate note the disembarkation was awful, disorganised, chaotic and badly planned - never again Marella. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first cruise, and was a disappointment for several reasons. When we booked, we were sold the "newest" ship in the fleet, we later discovered it had undergone a 9 week refurbishment. My local pub was recently ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and was a disappointment for several reasons. When we booked, we were sold the "newest" ship in the fleet, we later discovered it had undergone a 9 week refurbishment. My local pub was recently refurbished, and it took 4 times that. We had 3 "Code Victoria's" meaning that that a serious flood had occurred requiring intimidate attention. We later discovered that this was due to busting pipes, due to the ship standing for several months during its impending sale - its 24 years old. Blocked toilets were a major problem bringing flooding, and constantly running fans to try and dry them out. One night we dined at Beach Cove, (and experience we had to pay for), only to sit in water that was being washed out of the near by pool and running under the doors. Although an apology was given, even the captain was summoned to inspect, no refund was offered. We were asked to upgrade our drink package which was £50 for the week, and as a fairly heavy social drinker I thought that good value - and it was! All premium brands, including 12 year old Glenfiddich, all premium cocktails, and they were not shy on pouring measures!! Also worthy of note were the Asian restaurant, and steak restaurant, although neither were in the inclusive package. One thing I did find strange is that without the purchase of the premium drinks package soft drinks were NOT included. Not Coke, water or any other. Even the ice cream by the pool was an extra £1. By far our worst problem was noise at night. Not noise of other guests, but and "unexplained noise" from somewhere below our cabin, something like a metal door slamming repeatedly. Despite complaining 5 nights out of the 7 it was never resolved, although they did look. And here is another problem - because no OFFICIAL complaint was recorded despite complaining almost every night, when we raised this on checkout there was only a single record of the issue, despite my partner being on first name terms with the night staff having repeatedly raised the issue at 2, 3, and 4am. It finally resulted in a £100 rebate on our account - at least it paid for our drinks package. The food range was acceptable, but certainly not extensive. We also had groups of contractors on board (that came for 2 weeks for the refurb and were still on the ship 8 later) fixing the plumbing, the TV's and the WiFi. The one thing that was amazing were the staff. All willing to help, all friendly, and all wanting to make the experience a good one. What they could not obliviously legislate for was Tui's poor management, and letting this ship sale far far to early. The only trip we almost booked was an underground tour of Naples costing £60. Due to cost we decided not to, thinking we'd walk there ourselves, around 20 mins from the boat. Good job we did, it was 10 euros each!!! Total saving over £100!!! Finally there were some "excitable" other guests on board, clearly with some characteristically individual needs. These were not dealt with by the staff appropriately, although they were banned from drinking alcohol after the 4th night... Too late for some... Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Chose aft deluxe cabin and paid extra. Hyped up as Maiden Voyage of new ship and seemed ideal with the stops on the way. Cabin we had chosen showed new bed , carpets etc and the layout seemed ideal. Upon arrival the room was not refurbed, ... Read More
Chose aft deluxe cabin and paid extra. Hyped up as Maiden Voyage of new ship and seemed ideal with the stops on the way. Cabin we had chosen showed new bed , carpets etc and the layout seemed ideal. Upon arrival the room was not refurbed, but "refreshed" . The shower had black stained grouting, the bed was pushed into an alcove and you had to crawl across the other person to get out of bed. Not great when you are both in your 60's . The aircon was on permanently very cold. The lightbulb by the cabin door failed on day one and it took 5 days for anyone to look at it. Went to reception to change room but nothing available as some rooms were not ready for the public to use, and nothing deluxe, or even an upgrade available. Engineers came and went but we were told that there was a technical issue with the aircon. Bed was a bit basic with a metal frame and a thin mattress. Had to have a couple of mattress toppers on, but still sunk in the middle. Food was very good. Some of the supplements seemed very excessive. Waiting times were ok, but sometimes you don't want to be bleeped by a pager after 35 minutes or so, so you have to go elsewhere to eat. The main buffet was somewhere we only went to at lunch time for a quick salad or maybe a cup of tea and a scone in the afternoon, but it is a bit basic. Staff were really friendly and realised that there were problems with bits of kit on board. Engines were quiet on sailing but very noisy when trying to manoeuvring to the dock. The cabin rattled and the door came open to the bathroom and glasses and cups rattle. Not great at 530 am most mornings. Entertainment in the Broadway Show Lounge was fine for us . The Bingo and activities during the day was not our thing. The Pool area is packed and noisy most of the day so we just went off ship as much as we could. Trips are expensive, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet and pay up. Luckily we did on the Rome excursion as some people got lost and we were 45 minutes late back, so the ship waited . Basically it is a 24 year old ship that has been refitted a couple of times. This time it was done a bit too quickly and it needed another 4 weeks , but TUI are very money orientated so pushed ahead, despite their customers needs. I note that the cabin is now not being shown as Deluxe. If I had known that before departure I would have cancelled and got a refund. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Several disappointing things unfortunately seeing this was suppose to be a maiden voyage,firstly the not so good things! on arrival we found the safe in our cabin was not working,we reported it to reception who told us that apparently 250 ... Read More
Several disappointing things unfortunately seeing this was suppose to be a maiden voyage,firstly the not so good things! on arrival we found the safe in our cabin was not working,we reported it to reception who told us that apparently 250 safes were not working,another member of staff told us there were 46 safes not working in total,either way they should have been checked before paying guests went on the ship,it was still not repaired when we left the ship after 7 days,lots of guests had complained that their phones in their cabins were not working either,ours was ok but according to a member of staff the owners of the ship before tui had left the phones in that state,in which case why were they not checked?I ordered a celebration package for £99 for a surprise for my husbands birthday which included a birthday cake,i was asked to give a slip of paper to the waiter secretly whilst having our meal so my husband could have it presented to him at the end of the meal,it never happened,i went to reception the following day and asked them to just deliver it to our cabin instead,i was told it would be there in half an hour,an hour and a half later still no cake so another visit to reception!! we were told we would get a refund for the cake,so i will wait and see! In my opinion this was not a maiden voyage as the ship had already been named and had travelled from Cadiz to Palma with 800 travel representatives to promote the ship,they had Olli Murs for their party nights,streamers, dancing, we had a strictly come dancing guy who hardly anybody knew and someone from British Bake off!! Food was brilliant,staff were friendly and the entertainment overall was excellent,The captain continually apologised for all the problems but at the end of the day the ship should have been checked over properly before all the paying guests got on board,such a shame as it could have been lovely cruise. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our first cruise and picked a smaller ship to start with to see if we liked it Firstly the staff on board were amazing and couldn’t do enough for you , nothing was too much trouble. We had a inside cabin on deck 7 right at ... Read More
This was our first cruise and picked a smaller ship to start with to see if we liked it Firstly the staff on board were amazing and couldn’t do enough for you , nothing was too much trouble. We had a inside cabin on deck 7 right at the back of the ship it was small but adequate as we weren’t going to be spending much time in it. The housekeeping staff were brilliant and cleaned the room twice a day x Food x plenty of choice lots of different areas to eat buffet style or an amazing sit down served restaurant which was excellent we ate there every evening The shows were excellent too I loved them we went every night and then we went to the waterfront late bar which had great singers on too All in all there was something for everyone on board and the people we met were so friendly x plenty of off ship excursions too we went to see pisa which was amazing x yes the ship is an older ship but was clean an comfortable x I read some reviews before we sailed and glad I didn’t listen as some people I think want to pay less money and expect all singing and dancing x if you expect 5 star you will have to pay more x Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Having cruised with Thomson (Marella) a few times we decided to try one of the new additions to the fleet and the ship itself is very nice at first glance and is well laid out. The market place buffet is typical of modern cruise buffets ... Read More
Having cruised with Thomson (Marella) a few times we decided to try one of the new additions to the fleet and the ship itself is very nice at first glance and is well laid out. The market place buffet is typical of modern cruise buffets areas quite a good choice of foods but badly laid out causing a lot of queuing problems especially at peak breakfast times. The resteraunt is a different problem choice of food is not great but adequate but the lack of staff is not acceptable to slow a service. The spa is a massive space and is not overly expensive but has one major fault there is no indoor hydro pool and this is a shame because all class spas have them. Our cabin was cabin number 10103 a large balcony cabin and yes it is a large balcony but the room is far to small and the bathroom had a very bad smell all week which after talking to other guest they had the same problem so again a Marella cruise has problems with the santitacion side.one great addition to the balcony was the hammock that was very comfortable and nice for a lazy afternoon kip. The squid and anchor bar was very nice and in one corner it has the premium gin and whisky bar and that is a nice area with access to the outside smoking area which was always well used a lot of smokers were on this cruise. The casino area which incorporated the indigo nightclub was a good concept with two blackjack tables and one five card stud table plus live roulette it was adequate in size for the ship. But because the ship was all inclusive it attracts a lot of non cruise tramps at sea who think that getting dressed up is to wear scruffy t shirt shorts and flip flops, and drink to ecsess ignorant rude people who really should not be on this type of holiday they should stick to Benidorm. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We had a fantastic time on this cruise. Our balcony cabin on deck 9 was spacious and had plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. We upgraded to the premium drinks package which was an extra £50 and although not necessary you can then have ... Read More
We had a fantastic time on this cruise. Our balcony cabin on deck 9 was spacious and had plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. We upgraded to the premium drinks package which was an extra £50 and although not necessary you can then have special cocktails, gins etc and your soft drinks are cans also 1.5 litres of water in your cabin every day. You can also have a lovely coffee in the Coffee Port which would be an additional cost otherwise. Vista was our favourite restaurant due to the food choices and also we found the waiter service there was even better if that's possible. As it was a special occasion we paid £35 each to eat in the Dining Club which was a great experience as the food and service were exceptional. We also paid an extra £27 for Surf and Turf restaurant and the food was first class. It's not necessary to do this, you could easily have a wonderful time on board without any upgrades. The waiters work so hard and are so friendly and helpful. Many of them are away from home for 8 months at a time but still managed to make us laugh. Entertainment in the fantastic show lounge was OK and we also had a choice of other singers in the various lounges. The one negative experience happened when we got home and I believe has nothing to do with the staff on the ship. Our bill was paid in full and the money deducted from our Bank account however we still have a "pending" amount of £335 which is restricting access to our funds. I've emailed Marella but it's still to be resolved. I don't have a lot of faith in Tui's customer service due to previous experience and feel this may drag on. I hope I'm wrong as apart from this we had a wonderful time. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
The Dream is a mid sized cruise ship about (1500 passengers and 642 crew), a little dated now but still very comfortable. This is the 5th Tomson/Marella cruise we have done and was the best cabin we have had on any of them. We chose the ... Read More
The Dream is a mid sized cruise ship about (1500 passengers and 642 crew), a little dated now but still very comfortable. This is the 5th Tomson/Marella cruise we have done and was the best cabin we have had on any of them. We chose the slightly more expensive 'extra with window' grade of cabin. It was quite roomy, had a decent sized bathroom and even had a small bath. The food in the Orion restaurant was excellent. This is the sit down and be served restaurant. We went there for most breakfast and evening meals. We went to the canteen restaurants for lunch and one evening meal. We were not overly impressed, although no shortage of choice, there was 'something' that didn't make it as good as other Marella ships we had been on??? The entertainment was quite excellent. We especially liked the Blue Brother tribute that the on board troupe performed. There was also a guest comic who did several turns and he was very good as well. We also went out on one of the bike tours that is run by a concession firm who operates from the ship. We chose the easiest one which was a 18 mile ride along the coast of Corsica We had a great time. There were bike rides in every port and some people did several. Service was excellent from all members of staff. It was also nice to not be badgered at all times of the day by staff trying to sell us more drink. We chose this cruise because it stopped at several places we had yet to visit. Highlights for us were, Herculaneum, Corsica and an unscheduled stop at Barcelona. Other ports visited were Rome, Sicily and Sorento. Lots of excursions at every port, fairly priced. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We have cruised on just about all the mainstream cruise lines With our favourite as a couple being celebrity and a group Royal Caribbean. Had never considered Marella due to the old age and small size of the ships. Having been on ... Read More
We have cruised on just about all the mainstream cruise lines With our favourite as a couple being celebrity and a group Royal Caribbean. Had never considered Marella due to the old age and small size of the ships. Having been on the explorer when it was the galaxy and with flights from Norwich we thought it was time to give it a try. We were a group of 8 and I was very anxious having been the one to suggest this ship! Flight - great , transfers and boarding handled very well our bags were in our cabin within 5 mins of us. Headed straight to the buffet for lunch, had one sip of the house wine and upgraded whilst overall this was good value to us I think 2 white wines to choose from is not enough. Plenty of seating in the buffet as long as you head out towards the back of the ship where this a lovely outside eating area and bar for drinks. In my opinion the food is where this cruise lost top marks - whilst it was ok you could tell it was all done on a budget. Personally I would prefer to pay say £50 a week more and have better quality food. For example the joints of meat you always get on the buffet were usually chicken or pork never once saw the huge joints of beef found on every other line. The MDR choices were usually ‘cheap’ meals. The service in the MDR was good unless you went later. I loved that you could turn up when you likes and get a pager the problem is they do not have enough people relaying tables so you can wait a long time and then sit surrounded by tables that need laying. The bar staff were great no issues with getting a drink (especially if you tip). The cabin staff also were fantastic kept the cabin spotlessly clean and took the time to create great towel animals. They were a few issues with blocked toilets but didn’t cause too much of an issue. We did our own trips in all the ports although next time I think I would try the bike tours as these looked good fun and a bit different. Entertainment was surprisingly good we watched all the main shows and loved the comedian the first week but not the second although the audience did seem to love them Sun beds always available despite the usual bed blockers! Overall a good value cruise and I would consider another Marella cruise on explorer 2 or any subsequent ships they purchase. In summary the really good points were Bar staff Cabin No signing for drinks all orders taken on tablets and cards scanned. Great value premiums drinks Entertainment Transfers on and off ship very smooth Flights from regional airports Speciality restaurants particularly the sushi it was amazing Ship never felt overcrowded ...... Things not so good in our opinion Age of ship meant noisy engines Food quality poor due to the ingredients not the staff Ports felt like penny pinching again by going to a number of cheap ports each week. Dress code old fashioned women could look as scruffy as they liked but men even in beautiful clothes had to have a collar. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was a great itinerary on a really charming ship. The ship is big enough to offer almost anything, yet small enough to feel familiar and intimate. The Explorer war recently refurbished and previously enjoyed a very popular career as ... Read More
This was a great itinerary on a really charming ship. The ship is big enough to offer almost anything, yet small enough to feel familiar and intimate. The Explorer war recently refurbished and previously enjoyed a very popular career as "Mein Schiff 1". As Germans we were probably from a somewhat unusual customer group for Marellla, as they specifically cater for the UK market and almost any passenger we spoke to was from the UK. There are a lot of bars and eating venues in the ship, the most popular seemed to be the "Squid and Anchor", a pub themed bar. Unlike all other cruises we have been on, there was no resident band that served a regular dance venue. There was a normal disco, called Indigo that also featured a stunning bar, but suffered somewhat from very chilly air conditioning. The entertainment theater was very nice and the two shows we were attending were of excellent quality. Marella's all inclusive is OK with lots of beers to chose from and the wine was quite drinkable as well. Their regular cocktails are nothing worth drinking, though. You could upgrade to a premium drink package that we considered not worthwhile The pools were nice but by all means very cold. The children's area has a nice little poll but is quite small, but since the cruise was not during school holidays there was enough space for our two year old daughter to play. Our favorite place in the ship was the serviced restaurant called Latitude 53. It served basically the same dishes you could get at the buffet restaurant but in a much nicer environment with lots of space around your table and nice views through the large windows at the back of the ship. The food was quite good as well, with snacks being available until late at night. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
there are some great positives, but many negatives. The staff are amazing and couldnt be more polite, friendly and helpful. They were the making of our trip. The food was excellent, and plenty of choice. The shows at night in the ... Read More
there are some great positives, but many negatives. The staff are amazing and couldnt be more polite, friendly and helpful. They were the making of our trip. The food was excellent, and plenty of choice. The shows at night in the broadway lounge were amazing. Our cabin boy was fantastic and every member of staff we passed on the corridors always welcomed you. The staff are a credit to this ship. .So much hard work and effort went into these positives. Negatives..... The ship is old and should be laid to rest. We had awful weather which obviously was not the cruise ships fault, but when it rained, it rained inside and outside the ship. Some carpets in the siren restaurant were soaked through and there were buckets catching drips of water on numerous points of the ship. Lifts were very slow, small and some out of order for the whole week we were there. The entertainment team during the day, did their best to keep us occupied, during 5/7 days of bad weather, but im not sure the games played were to everyones taste, and the evening ones were very long drawn out. The bands that were on everynight, became a little tiresome when you had heard them during the day also. The places we visited were not that exciting. We should have been on the cruise a week earlier, but due to a sudden bereavement int he family, we had to change dates. Thomsons were very obliging in letting us do so, and i am very grateful for their excellent customer services for this. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Really liked the Explorer. The moment we stepped on the ship we could see that the carpets and upholstery were all new. Everything was in immaculate condition. We had a large balcony cabin on deck 10. The room was quite small, IMO it ... Read More
Really liked the Explorer. The moment we stepped on the ship we could see that the carpets and upholstery were all new. Everything was in immaculate condition. We had a large balcony cabin on deck 10. The room was quite small, IMO it would have been better for the balcony to be a bit smaller and the cabin a bit larger. The balcony had 2 chairs, a table, a lounger and a hammock. The cabin was well appointed with plenty of wardrobe and drawer space, there was a dressing table with a large mirror above and good lighting. There was a European and American plug socket. The bed was very comfortable. The shower room was nice, all white with a large shower with glass door. There was a washing line in the shower and plenty of space for toiletries. The toilet flush was a little unpredictable and slow, but we never had any major worries. The only problem we had was the very noisy air conditioning. You definitely need to take ear plugs. The dining rooms were all bright and airy and the waiters were very hard working, they could have done with a few more. The food was all very good wherever we ate. Latitude was on both decks 5 & 6 and Vista Italian made up part of deck 5. There seemed to be plenty of tables for 2 especially in Vista. The Market Place (buffet) was pleasant and we never had a problem getting a table. The Mediterranean was good for a quick breakfast and plenty of outside tables. We weren’t keen on the position of Umi Sushi which was a room between other rooms, effectively a corridor, and people were walking through and passing the diners. We did not use the ‘pay’ restaurants as we did not feel the need. Entertainment was as usual around the pool in the daytime and there was audience participation type of entertainment in the Squid and Anchor pub. We found the shows to be extremely good, the showteam work so hard to put on a different show every night and all the shows were new to us, they included Musicals, 50’s Diner and Festivals. Not too keen on the upstairs seating in the Broadway as much of the view was restricted. We never had any problem with drinks service although there are clearly fewer waiters than on previous ships. However, they now have waiters pushing carts around the pool decks full of beer, wine, prosecco and cold drinks all on ice. This worked really well as you could get a drink instantly. If you wanted other drinks, you could order them as usual. In the Broadway theatre they have lots of drinks out in the entrance e.g. beer, prosecco and blue lagoon and maitai cocktails. Again you could order other drinks and you could take 2 drinks in if you wanted to. We found this to all work well. Dress to impress night – This was the first cruise my DH has not taken his suit. And we were so glad he didn’t. There was hardly anyone wearing suits, most men wore smart trousers, shirt and tie. Some obviously hadn’t dressed to impress at all! The ship staff were lovely and over 50% were Philipinos, they are always smiling and cheerful and nothing is too much trouble. The crew show was back and it was a joy to see the staff enjoying themselves. Didn't do any excursions, all ports were easy to walk around and DIY Would we return to Explorer, of course can’t wait! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose it because the date and itinerary suited our needs. It was our third cruise and the first with MSC. The greatest impact was the volume level of the other passengers. My goodness, the Italians are LOUD!!!! They came mob-handed ... Read More
We chose it because the date and itinerary suited our needs. It was our third cruise and the first with MSC. The greatest impact was the volume level of the other passengers. My goodness, the Italians are LOUD!!!! They came mob-handed in big family groups (too many pushchairs) and they have no volume control. They screech at each other at the top of their voices. They also have no concept of queueing, constantly squeezing round you to the front and barging ahead with no manners. This cruise was unusual that a number passengers embarked and disembarked at each of the seven ports, so there was no 'start' or 'finish' to the cruise. It was like a holiday camp on a ferry. After the initial shock we got used to the ship and enjoyed the cruise because the destinations were fun. However the ship is pretty chaotic and disorganised. There is a great lack of information, particularly about the ports of call - no maps or information available as you leave the ship at each port. There are few onboard activities organised for the evenings. We took the Portofino excursion at Genoa - absolute waste of money! The boat ride 'along the coast' was a mile out to sea so you couldn't see anything and it was dreadfully choppy despite being a pleasant day. It took a boring hour and a half to reach Portofino, where we were told there was just one hour before we needed to be back on the boat! We had thought the return journey was by coach but instead had to rush around Portofino and then spend another dreary 90 minutes aboard back to Genoa. Portofino was quite pretty but not worth the journey. The restaurant food was good and the service excellent. The buffet was very spread out and very repetitive, but perfectly okay for lunch. We enjoyed having a drink in the Eataly bar which offered complimentary canapes with the drinks. We were appalled that you have to pay for water on board! MSC is very strict about taking no drinks on board. We enjoyed the theatre shows. The resident main singers and dance pair were first class. The ship was clean and attractive but the cruise lacked the little extras and frills that we expect so we wouldn't travel with them again. P&O has been our favourite line so far. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Our first time cruiseing 6 of us went for my wife’s 60th birthday her birthday was on gala night when we all met the captain but the waiters still came over with a lovely cake played the guitar an sang happy birthday to her! The staff ... Read More
Our first time cruiseing 6 of us went for my wife’s 60th birthday her birthday was on gala night when we all met the captain but the waiters still came over with a lovely cake played the guitar an sang happy birthday to her! The staff are fantastic they cannot do enough for you they won’t pass you without asking if you’re okay or a good day or good night I would like to give a special mention about pity ardika on deck 9 he waited on us st the bar and was so friendly and helpful and we’ll be coming back if only to see putu! The facilities on board are very good in fact we didn’t get to use every bar/lounge on ship so although it is not as big as a lot of ships we saw on our travels she’s just the right size for us ! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because of the ports of call, either those we had not previously visited or those we wished to see. The ship was new to the fleet and so we had anticipations of a new experience, having previously sailed on several ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports of call, either those we had not previously visited or those we wished to see. The ship was new to the fleet and so we had anticipations of a new experience, having previously sailed on several older TUI ships. As it transpired our experiences were almost all negative. Marella have gone 'all inclusive' and our feeling is that they have cut staff to balance the books. Whereas on previous cruises with them, the self service area at lunchtime had waiter service for wines/lagers, not any more, self service stations fill this function. At dinner in the main dining area (Latitude 53), the waiters gave the impression of inexperience, wine waiters were inattentive and had to be called to refresh glasses, indeed I am unsure if there were wine waiters, it seemed totally disorganised. The food was often a disappointment, there were dishes I enjoyed but overall my memories are not 'wow'. My wife was served carrots and cauliflower that were impenetrable to either knife or fork. The theatre, an experience we have always looked forward to on previous cruises, on this ship if you have any walking issues, arthritis etc, forget it. The aisles are all stepped, so folk such as my wife simply could not cope. Apart from that the spacing between the rows of seats is designed for the petite, also there are tiny, I do mean minuscule, oval tables on which to place your drinks. Any drinks are a hostage to fortune of those trying to navigate the row. If you were to sit in the Lounge bar during the day, by day a quiet area where you may wish to read a book or play cards, you could absolutely guarantee that there would be no service, you would have see to your own needs. On previous sailings on their other ships in a similar area, service would be available. The bathroom in our cabin was small, opening the shower door, it opened outwards, meant navigating the small remaining space between the edge of the door and the toilet. Drying yourself nearly always meant cracking your elbow on something. I'm not a big guy, just shy of 6ft, bigger guests I'm sure would be frequently unamused. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Week away with my daughter for a birthday celebration - cruised the Med. - cabin was ideal , staff first class and ship well run and kept. We used " Siren's " for a leisurely breakfast and prefered our evening meal in the ... Read More
Week away with my daughter for a birthday celebration - cruised the Med. - cabin was ideal , staff first class and ship well run and kept. We used " Siren's " for a leisurely breakfast and prefered our evening meal in the " Orion " restaurant , food and service first class. Great atmosphere in the " Water's Edge " bar with the " Acoustic Soul band " with Tom, Ralph & Gideon - good entertainers. A special thanks to " Swapnill & Leon " for making " The Water's Edge " so special - nothing was too much trouble for them - we appreciated them . " Candy " the guy who looked after our cabin was another great asset. Our excursions were well organised and enjoyable - " Katerina " was a tremendous guide on our trip to Rome. Thanks to everyone - hope to see you's again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
so we went on our first cruise with me and my husband and another couple , and oh my god it was amazing from start to finish , the food was top notch , the staff were incredible , the entertainment brilliant david from burnley was so funny ... Read More
so we went on our first cruise with me and my husband and another couple , and oh my god it was amazing from start to finish , the food was top notch , the staff were incredible , the entertainment brilliant david from burnley was so funny and lidia the entertainment team worked so hard , we had champagne and chocolate strawberries sent to our rooms from the amazing reception staff , julia chisip, sharad and giovani they made our hoiiday just so funny , and not forgetting the deck 10 staff putu eulin kenneth and jason, and our cabin lad syphal i cant thankyou enough we had such a good time i have booked again , getting off and on the boat was easy all handled proffesionally again cant fault anything please if anybody thinking of going book it right away it was the best thing we ever did x Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My husband and I set sail on the 1st September on the Highlights of the Mediterranean and Mediterranean Secrets cruise. We were impressed with the ship especially the layout it was spacious with lots of seating areas. Having been on the ... Read More
My husband and I set sail on the 1st September on the Highlights of the Mediterranean and Mediterranean Secrets cruise. We were impressed with the ship especially the layout it was spacious with lots of seating areas. Having been on the Discovery two where the entertainment was exceptional, Daniella, Sammy and Reggae Band to name just a few and the cruise Director and Assistant very in touch with the passengers, we were disappointed this time. Explorer appears to be catering for younger cruises as the entertainment team were all very young and whilst we were sure, probably good for a younger clientele, we and many of those we spoke to were of the same opinion that it was not suited to the majority of passengers on Explorer at this time. The ship appears to lack atmosphere. This may because its fairly new and perhaps will improve with time. The food was exceptional!, there were no repeats during the two weeks. Service in the Latitude was poor. The poor waiters /waitresses were run off their feet. There did not appear to be enough staff in this area. We complained and were moved around the restaurant during the week that we were able to visit. , sadly wherever we were placed the service did not improve. All other areas were good. Unfortunately my husband was taken very ill on the cruise resulting in him spending a considerable time in the medical centre and in hospital in St Raphael and Palma. I Must now say how delighted we were to the medical staff and the doctor on board and want to say a huge BIG thankyou Their care and attention was second to none and we cannot thank you enough, nothing was too much trouble during the day or in the middle of the night, I had not realised that Tui Marella employed a welfare worker, again many thanks to Elaine for her care and diligence escorting us on both occasions to hospital and assisting with insurance queries/taxis/medication etc. Eric our Cabin Steward was so very kind and ensured that we were given the care and attention and privacy during the week that my husband was unwell and needing to spend time in the cabin. A special thank you to the girls in Latitude they always had a smile on their faces and tried to accommodate us where ever they could. The destinations were fabulous, we were disappointed that the illness prevented us from benefitting from what I think would have been a very good cruise. Hopefully Tui Marella will sort some of these small teething problems out and Explorer will soon enjoy the warm and friendly atmosphere that the other ships in the fleet offer. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Booked a week for our 10th wedding anniversary as we always wanted to try a cruise, and thought a week was enough, in case we didn't like it. From the time we boarded until the time we left was fantastic, and the crew were marvellous, ... Read More
Booked a week for our 10th wedding anniversary as we always wanted to try a cruise, and thought a week was enough, in case we didn't like it. From the time we boarded until the time we left was fantastic, and the crew were marvellous, with a special shout out to Rain who was our bar steward in the Squid and Anchor, and was always making sure our glasses were full and even knew exactly what we were drinking before we had sat down, he's a credit to your company!!They worked extremely long hours and still couldn't do enough for you and were always polite and smiling. Plenty of food choices from buffet to sit down and plenty to go around. Night time entertainment was nonstop in several areas of the ship, although I can't comment on the day time as we were on excursions all day and not getting back until late afternoon. The excursions we booked were great, with the guides being very informative, but be prepared for a hectic and tiring day as your trying to cram everything in to such a short amount of time. Make sure you have your boarding card on you at all times as you need it to get on and off the ship, when ordering your drinks, and also in the shops as it's all registered to your cabin. Security is very tight, and a bit time consuming, but to be expected in the world that we now find ourselves in, so give yourself extra time when you leave or return to the ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Very much like Butlins. The “All Inclusive” deal isn’t actually everything which is misleading. You can update to Premier for another £50. They charge £8 an hour for WiFi while off ship it’s free in cafes. The room was very noisy ... Read More
Very much like Butlins. The “All Inclusive” deal isn’t actually everything which is misleading. You can update to Premier for another £50. They charge £8 an hour for WiFi while off ship it’s free in cafes. The room was very noisy with constant tapping. The porthole cover was loose and had to be tightened. I didn’t get any sleep. There was very bad turbulence on a couple of evening with the ship rocking; I had to remove coat hangers to stop them rattleling around. The excursions are very good but expensive from around £46 - £76 or more. They also don’t tell you that some excursions begin at 6.45. Food is ok but not special. Pools are over crowded and quite small. Lido Grill pool has loud music all day. Staff are excellent. Entertainment is ok. Clothes needed are mostly very casual. There was a Captains Evening where some people glammed up but generally it’s shorts and t-shirts so don’t expect “posh” despite the advertisement photos.Don’t think I’d go again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Drunken and abusive behaviour of some passengers seems to allowed by the security on board, this escalated until two of my family were physically assaulted. After I intervened I was accused of assaulting the aggressor and the head of ... Read More
Drunken and abusive behaviour of some passengers seems to allowed by the security on board, this escalated until two of my family were physically assaulted. After I intervened I was accused of assaulting the aggressor and the head of security called the police to arrest me, the French police found me to be innocent of assault. To add insult to injury I was forced off ship, leaving my family alone and having to make my own way home from a foreign port, the tears of my distraught daughter and objections from other passengers had no effect on the crews decision to abandon me. After I was forced from the ship my family were refused food and drink ( even though the cruise was all inclusive) as management explained I was the registered card holder and I was not present! My family were treated very poorly after my departure and made to feel like criminals, they were openly talked about by the head of security and monitored constantly. Tui have not tried to contact me since abandoning me, they obviously do not care about my well being or safety. Bad customer care to say the least! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Positives: We had an inside cabin (5071), which was fairly spacious and it had a really comfortable bed (equivalent to a queen size) and pillows. Thank you to Adang for keeping our room so clean. There were plenty of sunbeds ... Read More
Positives: We had an inside cabin (5071), which was fairly spacious and it had a really comfortable bed (equivalent to a queen size) and pillows. Thank you to Adang for keeping our room so clean. There were plenty of sunbeds available, although when at sea most of them were taken up. There is a good waiter service providing you with an endless supply of iced drinks and brought to your sunbed as well as a poolside bar. The poolside snack bar was fairly good, providing healthy salad take-aways as well as the usual chips, burgers, hotdogs etc. We thought that some of the all-inclusive food could be a bit hit and miss and although Latitude was good in the morning for breakfast it got really busy in the evening. We had to wait a bit too long between each course and we found the food to be quite average. Because of this we booked into the Dining Club and paid a £45 supplement each for an 8 course meal, but wow it was worth it! It was up there with being one of the best meals we have had and was accompanied by a different wine with each course as well as cognac after the cheese and biscuits. This was French cuisine at its finest. If you’re a foodie like us, it’s worth trying out to make your holiday more memorable. We were so impressed that we booked in again 3 days later. Thank-you to Ralph, Alona and Dejan for looking after us and informing us about the food and how it was prepared and the different wines that went with each course. We also booked into the Surf and Turf at an extra supplement which was very good but not as special as The Dining Room in our opinion. The entertainment was really good and every night was different including two very funny comedians. We were really looked after in the Broadway theatre by Serhii one of the wine waiters – thank-you Serhii. Negatives: The trip to Rome – although there is some fantastic things to see in Rome this trip ended up being a very long day with no free time of your own! There was too much information given via the tour guide and a lot of the guests were taking out their headphones as it was just information overload - please change this to be only as informative as necessary so we can actually retain some of the information being told! There was also a lot of walking involved - approx 7 miles which was very tiring! When we eventually stopped for a drink we were charged 7 Euros for a coke and 10 Euros for a beer at a nearby bistro! Toilets - unfortunately inconsiderate passengers will insist on dropping all sorts down the toilet other than human waste and the provided toilet paper. This caused huge problems with many public toilets on the ship getting blocked and being made out of action. I often found myself just returning to my room instead of using one on the deck where we were sat. On the day of departure we had to be out of our room at 8:00 and I found myself looking for a toilet before debarkation. Most of the public toilets, if not in use, were out of action on deck 5,6,7,8 and 11. Overall we found this cruise to be really good and the Captain and his staff to be really friendly and attentive and although we did upgrade to the finer dining experiences, we are glad that we did as it made the holiday much more memorable. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our fourth cruise with Marella. The previous three were when they were still Thomson Cruises. We have been on the Dream, Celebration and the Majesty. All of these ships were very good, but, the Explorer was so much better. ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise with Marella. The previous three were when they were still Thomson Cruises. We have been on the Dream, Celebration and the Majesty. All of these ships were very good, but, the Explorer was so much better. Cabins are bigger, there are more places to eat. 10 restaurants to be precise, and also many bars. Every night the food was superb. We ate most nights in the Latitude 53 restaurant. There was nothing we could fault. The waiting staff are so friendly, attentive and helpful, nothing was too much trouble. I Have to mention Zibel and Mindroy. They were fantastic. The food was so much better than on any cruise we've done before, it was almost Michelin star standard. Even the food in the self service area was great. We went with four of our friends who have never cruised before. It has taken us five years of trying to get them afloat and now they are hooked. They could believe the standard of everything. The entertainment was excellent as well. The only blip in all of this was sometimes the toilet system blocked, but, this was mainly due to mindless idiots putting wet wipes etc, down the toilet which causes the narrow bore pipes to block easily. Nearly everyday the Captain had to keep telling people not to do this over the ships P.A. system. Overall the experience was fanatstic. I would highly recommend Marella. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our seventh cruise {fifth Marella} and was definitely the best by far. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth and hassle free. The ship was immaculate and extremely well organised. The staff could not have been any more ... Read More
This was our seventh cruise {fifth Marella} and was definitely the best by far. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth and hassle free. The ship was immaculate and extremely well organised. The staff could not have been any more helpful, they were so professional, happy and catered for our needs. A thank you to Cyrius our cabin attendant {9103} who was so cheerful and nothing was a bother. Dining in every restaurant was superb from the Market Place to Lattitude 53 restaurant. I would like to mention more waiters by name but Mark stood out and even got me my bowl of custard with my different desserts which I appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed. He was always there topping my wine glass up. The entertainment on this ship was the best that my husband and I have ever experienced on any cruise ship even the two previous larger cruise companies. We loved the comedian, George Michael and the theatre group. Every show was superb and there was always something going on in different parts of the ship. If I am being picky the only negative was that we were not always greeted with picturesque ports. The only port that we arrived in that was a wow arrival was Ajaccio {Corsica} but who cares about the first impression of the port as each place was fantastic. We left Palma and arrived in Sardinia where we just walked to the nearest beach and enjoyed our day. Sea day was extra special to us as my husband had been in excruciating pain with sciatica prior to the cruise and we went along to a sciatic seminar by Dr Mithelesh who diagnosed and treated him with four acupuncture sessions and who has completely cured him which meant he could enjoy his holiday and be prepared for a planned Marella excursion to Florence. This was a perfect and very enjoyable day. Following Florence was Corsica which happened to fall on Napolean's Birthday and we watched a procession and took an open top bus then beach for the rest of the day. Sete was the next port and we should have done this via an excursion as we ended up a little stressed as we were aiming to get to the beach and struggled to find the correct bus. Not many people spoke English and I had to use my Spanish as I couldn't remember any French but luckily a little old French woman could understand Spanish. We managed in the end and the beaches were fantastic. Our final port was Tarragona and we paid for an excursion to the beach for only 3 hours but probably should have had a walk around the town, however it was very hot and we were just happy to get back on ship and enjoy the very nice cream tea! We travelled on this cruise with two friends who had never cruised before and who are now definitely hooked on cruising after this amazing holiday. If I was to do this cruise again, I wouldn't bother with a balcony cabin as it was so hot, we hardly used it as we needed the very good air con inside the cabin. Can't wait to book my next Cruise on the Marella Explorer. Well done and Thank You Marella, Read Less

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