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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We went with two other couples and had a fabulous time. The food is top quality (as an Irish person, mashed potatoes and custard in the Buffet style restaurant a good yardstick and both were well above par demanding a second visit) and are ... Read More
We went with two other couples and had a fabulous time. The food is top quality (as an Irish person, mashed potatoes and custard in the Buffet style restaurant a good yardstick and both were well above par demanding a second visit) and are staff very quick to clear empty plates so no messy tables. Plenty of choices for adults and kids. Visited the 47 restaurant for waiter service evening meal and again fab food and very attentive service. Entertainment was some of the best talent I’ve seen. Lots of entertainment areas to suit all tastes throughout the day and evening. Spa therapists provide a variety of treatments and are very good at providing a relaxing treatment. Just mind you don’t slip into purchasing too many products as they have a way of convincing you you need them. Staff on board were always friendly and helpful. Highly recommend this ship Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted a quick 7 day cruise around this part of the Mediterranean and the MSC Seaview fit the bill, date-wise and timewise. Wish I had read the reviews first. It was only a short cruise so we shouted ourselves a suite but a suite on MSC ... Read More
We wanted a quick 7 day cruise around this part of the Mediterranean and the MSC Seaview fit the bill, date-wise and timewise. Wish I had read the reviews first. It was only a short cruise so we shouted ourselves a suite but a suite on MSC is basically a family cabin with zero amenities. We didn't even get a bathrobe. The cabin was dirty and smelled (due mostly to the water in the bathroom), the room attendant refused to make the beds up during the day "as there is no room" but we had been travelling for 24 hours and needed a nap. When we made up the beds ourselves, we realised it was because the sheets were all torn. The drinks package had changed since we booked it and we were now entitled to 2 drinks from the low range of the menu, instead of the full-range we had expected. The food was okay but the temperature in the buffet was predominantly cold - except for the hash-browns - they were always hot and delicious. The staff seemed unhappy and it was a remarkably poor cruise experience to what I have had in the past with other companies. I would not use them again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Have been on 10 Tui cruises in the past, and this cruise is likely to be the last one. The ship is quite old and dated, we knew this as had been on board 3 years ago. The atmosphere on board is good. On arriving in Palma, at the cruise ... Read More
Have been on 10 Tui cruises in the past, and this cruise is likely to be the last one. The ship is quite old and dated, we knew this as had been on board 3 years ago. The atmosphere on board is good. On arriving in Palma, at the cruise terminal, staff were in short supply, and transfer buses were stacked up waiting to offload passengers. We were the 3rd bus in the queue. It took 1.5 hours to embark the ship. First queue of over 100 people, to obtain labels to attach to your luggage - with only 2 staff members on duty. Labels attached then next long queue to obtain boarding cards and cabin keys - Only 5 members of staff on duty, with an extra desk for passengers who have a disability. Next queue was for the hand luggage scanner. Come on Marella, more staff needed, we had been on the go since 5 am, and could do without such lengthy queues. We prebooked an inside cabin on deck 7, the cabin we had before was booked and we were told the closest cabin was 7070. Cabin small but functional, pillows need replacing. Attempted to go to bed at 11 pm only to find that that we were below the dance floor. The cabin was not sound proofed, could hear the band singing, and dancers sounded like they had boots on. Phoned reception and told that the ship was full! Same again the second evening, complained again to an officer, who wrote a report - no help at all. On the 6th night it was rock n roll night, loud music n dancing right over our heads. Phoned reception, at midnight, and asked someone to come down and listen. Finally got a helpful receptionist, Rose, to do something, and we were given a different cabin on our final night. Not certain why we had 6 nights of being unable to sleep if they had a vacant cabin. In my opinion the quality and choice of food has fallen. Soup usually good. Toast was inedible, due to thin cheap bread. Lunch at Lido - choice of pollock, meat loaf or calves liver at lunch. Have never eaten as many cheese salads. Dinner was hit and miss in Orion, sent back roast beef - which was tough and dry, also chicken breast sent back - again very dry and tasteless. Fresh veg was in short supply, green beans most nights, but did get tinned carrots once. Entertainment was disappointing, and in my opinion it was the poorest we have ever seen. The comedian was very good, but the shows were a let down. It would appear that the entertainment team was made up of dancers, with a lack of stand out singers. The two groups on board were from Indonesia - not the best we have ever heard - they did try hard but sounded quite dated. The saving grace on the ship are the crew, hard working and good humoured, but thin on the ground again. Ports of call, all commercial ports, which you cannot walk through, so have to wait for shuttle buses. Guess Tui find it cheaper to dock in commercial ports. When we arrived at Santa Margherita, we had to use a tender to get ashore. Passengers booking tours get priority, everyone else has to queue up to obtain a ticket with a specific time. This caused mayhem, and many irate passengers. The ship is now all inclusive for every one. The choice of drinks is not as good as in the past. Great Gordon's gin, but you have to pay extra for a can of tonic, or be subjected to flat tonic from an open bottle. Cocktails made from syrup, far too sweet for our taste. If you drink whisky you may strike lucky, as several named brands available, but this is not a drink we like. The house wine is not good, choose wisely - at lunch in the Lido get your wine from the outside bar, as the self service wine indoors was very poor quality. On arrival back into Palma, it was chaos on the dockside. On past cruises luggage has been set out in rows with the coloured tags determining which line your luggage was in. Oh no Tui, you let us down yet again. Luggage was just lined up in no order at all, thousands of suitcases to hunt through to find your case. Have enjoyed many cruises with Tui in the past, but feel that they are now placing profits over the customer experience and will not be using them again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Staff was kind and helpful, very clean. Cabin and corridors are cleaned daily. Restaurants on 5 and 9 floor was cleaned permanently. We were informed about everything by daily news. Very nice. Information desc was available all ... Read More
Staff was kind and helpful, very clean. Cabin and corridors are cleaned daily. Restaurants on 5 and 9 floor was cleaned permanently. We were informed about everything by daily news. Very nice. Information desc was available all time. It was possible to eat 7 am - 10 pm. But in case of trip outside of ship, from 3,30 pm to dinner time, nothing to eat except cakes and bagetas. Nothing for me. Every day was performance in the theatre - very nice. Fittnes was full, pools too. But not unmanageable. Nobody reserved seats around the pools, it was very good. Children in pools for adult were irriterende, nobody did not check them. Sometimes we moor a little bit far from the city but there are possibility of excursions. Bars at open board were very busy, maybe they could be more ones. Very inspirative were the dance courses during a day. We would like to go again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was my 20th cruise across many lines and my wife's 12th. With us was our 9-year-old daughter on her 3rd cruise. We booked in a balcony (non-Yacht Club) and had a rate I would call exceptional (helped out by the fact that our ... Read More
This was my 20th cruise across many lines and my wife's 12th. With us was our 9-year-old daughter on her 3rd cruise. We booked in a balcony (non-Yacht Club) and had a rate I would call exceptional (helped out by the fact that our daughter sailed for free). Overall Review: Our cruise on MSC Fantasia was a great vacation but mainly due to the itinerary. The ship is fine, seemingly heavy on bars and lounges with (as expected) a heavily-European crowd, mainly French and Italian with some from the UK and a limited few from the US. The cabin was in great condition and looked identical to those we've had on Celebrity and other lines (minus the TV which as other reviewers have noted was comically small but we only turned it on once). Should be noted that Fantasia is due to have a refit sometime in 2019-20. The crew as good overall... top-tier managers and supervisors really get customer service and there are some at the rank-and-file level that do as well but generally service is average at best and can have issues. Our dining room service experience, though, was exceptional and one of the absolute best we've had on any line in a main dining room. Food, as noted in other reviews, was average at best and could be below average in areas. Pastas and pizzas were good as expected but cost-control methods elsewhere take their toll on the overall quality. The upside was really the itinerary which was amazing but the downside was the constant feeling of being upsold, even more so than on other lines. From the drink package being pushed at the beginning to the specialty dining to - and this was a surprise to me - a €24 upgrade to add a lobster tail to your entree on Gala Night. The increases, in my mind, were extreme on some notes (such as the lobster or a €68 per person Chef's-Table tasting menu in the specialty) but some things were surprisingly low. While a can of soda (Pepsi by the way) was €3.50, a glass of wine was only €5 and bottles of wine were from €25 to €50 with a strong list of decent Italian wines. In short it was a great value and itinerary. We would consider sailing MSC again on an itinerary that gave us in-port dining options but would avoid the line for itineraries like the Caribbean where in-port dining is more difficult and/or expensive. Dining: Putting this first because, frankly, this is the one with the most ups and downs and as a self-confessed "foodie" it's an important part of my vacation experience. Food in the dining room for dinner was good to very good - the pastas were the natural highlight for an italian cruise line. Cooked to perfection with delicious sauces... if you see a pasta dish you might like, order. Portions could be small (one dish had three medium-sized ravioli) but waiters understand and are ready with backups. Meat dishes are hit-and-miss... all are sliced, mostly very thinly, with good to very good sauces. Give up the concept of ordering your steak to temp (unless you opt for the €24 T-bone upsell) - you're getting a slice. If you skip the sauce be prepared for dry meat... not the best. Seafood is good but they're obviously cost-conscious with their portion sizes - a seafood risotto featured one langostine, two shrimp and about 5 small bay scallops. Desserts were OK - but there are always free pastries next to the gelato bar (delicious and priced the same you'll see in port). In an odd twist though – there was a stunning lack of chicken dishes on any menu. Not a downside, just an interesting note. Now... beyond the dining room.... essentially, you're going to have the buffet. This is an insane zoo of a place with a feel that’s straight out of Lord of the Flies. The crowds are everywhere even at non-peak times and the flow is poorly laid out. Essentially there are 6-7 areas (pizza, hot items, bakery, salad, desserts, vegetarian/healthy) that are repeated throughout the expanse of the space. The food there is average to below-average with the exception of the pizza which is quite good (skip the charcoal though - bad attempt IMO). Breakfast is repeated daily so if you don't like it on day one you're gonna be in for a long week. Juice is offered at breakfast… should be “juice” as the orange juice tasted suspiciously like Tang. But the big fun was to happen on the at-sea day – which was chaos from about 7am until 3pm. The food was average as noted but what was insane was the pushing, shoving, shouting and lack of order of the other guests. All three of us – including my daughter – were shoved or pushed or had people cut in front of us in buffet lines as we waited patiently for our turn in a station. There was neither a right-to-left nor a left-to-right flow of the pax in each section but rather an olly-olly-oxenfree cacophonous scrum. Beverages at lunch were limited to water or the bar – unless there was some leftover “juice” from breakfast. However, service in the buffet though is good - lots of waiters around ready to take your money for a beverage. We attempted lunch in the dining room on the at-sea day (our 2nd day) but based on the choices and quality we opted to eat in port on the rest of the days and that - not shockingly - turned out to be the absolute highlight of the food on our trip. We did not attempt dinner in the buffet but a walk thru there showed some of the entrees in the dining room available with some other regular choices - and the aforementioned pizza available from 11am until Midnight so if you're in a pinch grab a slice. Lastly, one of our group needs a gluten-free diet. We had selected MSC in part knowing that they dedicated themselves to a quality GF diet and options. While generally true in the dining room there were elements that were phoned in… for example the same exact “dessert of the day” was served three days in a row. It was a simple sponge cake with chocolate cream (days 2-4 after the first day being the same cake with a strawberry cream) which was fine but by the third day it was redundant. It wouldn’t have been hard for the staff to swap chocolate for other flavors daily at a minimum. GF options were present but limited in the buffet and we didn’t note any GF pizza options. GF bread was always available in the dining room and some wasn’t bad. Cabin: Shortest section... it's a fine cabin. We had a balcony on deck 11 and found it to be just like any other standard balcony. No complaints on the cabin. However, our service in the cabin was a low point. Staff on the cruise, much like many of the guests, rotate on and off at each port meaning sometimes your waiter or room steward will leave mid-cruise which happened to us. Our attendant got off mid-cruise and was replaced with someone who actually smiled and was accessible. However before that we had a request for an extra blanket for the pull-out bed my daughter was in... which took four calls and over an hour to happen when we were initially promised 15 minutes. In typical fashion on the 4th call we were told a supervisor was notified and we had the blanket within 2 minutes (see below). Embarkation/Disembarkation: Really one of the hidden highlights of the cruise. Since the ship has a rolling embarkation/disembarkation as it sails there wasn’t a huge crush. We arrived in the terminal in Mallorca about 11:30am and were on the ship by about 12:30pm. One nice touch – you just turn in your paperwork and have your ID checked and then walk on the ship. Keys are waiting in your room and you simply visit a self-service kiosk to activate payment on your cruise card. Very efficient. One note – when you get to the terminal make SURE to get a check-in number. Find an MSC rep and get one – some people snuck past only to get to the embarkation area and find themselves without a number and pushed to the back of the queue. Disembarkation was by deck and was equally fast…. At least we think it was. We had an issue with formal photos not being ready (see below) that held us up. But we walked off the ship, found our luggage in the terminal and went on our way in about 5 mins from the time the photos were sorted. Ports/Itinerary: This is why we loved the cruise. The itinerary was amazing. We left from Mallorca then to Ibiza, at sea, Naples, Livorno, Genoa and finally to Marseille. We flew into Mallorca the night before and overnighted there before checking into the ship on Monday. After Embarkation we decided to go into town. In a silly move we opted for the MSC shuttle to the town – WOW, what a ripoff. We paid nearly €50 for the three of us to ride in and out – that’s more than a round-trip to the AIRPORT would have been in a taxi. Lesson learned. Palma was amazing, great to walk thru the city and shops and stopped at a little café for some great tapas. The next day was Ibiza… we planned on doing very little and decided to go into town. This time we skipped the shuttle and instead of spending €48 for the three of us we spent €12 on a local bus that was a 2-minute walk past the MSC shuttle. This was a pattern we saw in every port – a VERY expensive MSC option that should be avoided at all cost. We expected very little and had a great visit to the cathedral/fort on the top of the hill and lunched at a café in the old section of town. If you have kids there’s a nice little playground right along the main street by the bus drop off – great to let them burn off some energy! Then we had our at-sea day. This is where the other passengers really “shined.” The day started in the gym which opens at 6am. There’s a limited number of cardio (6 treadmills, 4 bikes, 2 elliptical and 2 arm bikes) and a decent set of weight machines and dumbbells. I never saw a wait for devices but each has a computer-enforced 20 minute time limit. Once that was over at 6:45 the crew was setting out chairs for the day and just about as fast as they were being sat down people were reserving with towels. We were ready for this but it was a near feeding frenzy. It should note that the starboard side of the pool deck is smoker-friendly so if you’re bothered by smoke it can be troublesome. The bigger problem on the deck was the music. Starting about 7:30 with “stretching” and then going well into the morning the crew was BLASTING music at concert-level volumes. If you’re looking for a quiet day poolside look elsewhere. We actually moved from the outdoor pool to the quieter indoor pool to avoid the deafening roar. Formal night was this night and there was a wide variety of attire. A few men were in black tie and some women were in gowns but they were the exception. I wore a black suit and tie, my wife was in a lovely dress and our daughter had a very cute semi-formal gown and we were at- or slightly over-dressed. Despite the “no shorts” rule in the dining room we even saw people in shorts in the dining room on formal night. Most guests were wearing jackets or dresses but there outliers on all ends of the spectrum. Photographers were set up around the ship and were very available. The photos they took were good to very good and prices were reasonable for cruise photos – they have a €30 option to add on to any package that gives you digital copies of any photos you buy which is a nice option. In Naples we had opted for a Family tour of Pompeii. When we got back from the pool on the at-sea day a note in our room informed us that our tour had been cancelled. A visit to the shore excursion desk later it was determined that there weren’t enough people who were interested in that tour so it was cancelled. We were “offered” to join the more expensive standard Pompeii tour without any discount or apology. So we took the larger tour. Note on tours on MSC – they are LARGE. Typically 45-60 people per group with a single leader. Guests are given headsets so they can hear the guides (par for the course really) and the guides are informative. However. We quickly learned the difference in the “regular” and “family” tour when 1/3 of the 2 hour tour in Pompeii focused on the brothels and prostitution in the city. Fun explaining that one to a 9-year-old. More on that later. After the Pompeii visit we had time to wander into Naples and visit the oldest pizza restaurant – dating back to 1738 – for a delicious lunch, opting to skip past the more tourist-oriented places in the city square. We did wander past the beautiful castle in the city center through the square for an amazing Italian coffee and gelato before returning to the ship. Next was Livorno and we had opted for a Florence & Pisa combination tour. Again, 50 of us were loaded on a coach and herded into Florence. Given that both the tower and the museums in Florence have timed tickets and the tour couldn’t tell us if we were going to Pisa and then Florence or the reverse we were unable to visit the museums or walk up in the tower on this tour. Not the end of the world but if I had known that right in the cruise terminal there were several car rental companies I would have rented a car and done a self-tour. The tour was informative but S L O W. Once we did get to Florence it took 5 minutes to get the group to cross the street given the number of people, their lack of speed and the shortness of traffic lights. Sensing this we left the group opting to meet back at the meeting spot later in the day… which was a wonderful choice. Our daughter wanted to see some specific sites (she’s a science fan so seeing Galileo’s grave and other sites were a must) including the Duomo exterior and the copy of David in the city square. After Florence it was back into the bus for the ride to Pisa – after we lost 30 mins waiting on several couples to get to the bus. Our guide simply extended the overall time of the tour which gave us more time in Pisa but necessitated us going from the bus directly to dinner. After Livorno it was on to Genoa. We opted to take the train to Portofino on our own which was wonderful. A quick walk to the train station about 5 mins from the ship and we hopped a train to Santa Margharita where you take a bus to Portofino. The train was about €12 per person round trip and the bus was another €4 per person each way. Portofino was insanely crowded and expensive but having checked that off our bucket list we came back to Santa Margharita and had a fantastic seaside lunch before taking the train back. One note – if you do take the train you MUST validate your ticket on wall-mounted time punch machines BEFORE boarding the train. They are not well marked and you need to seek them out or face a €50 per ticket fine on board. The last stop was Marseilles. Another booked tour, another cancelled tour, this time the Avignon/Aix-en-Provence duo tour. This was cancelled for a lack of English-language participation. So, again, we went on our own to Avignon which was WELL worth the visit. The tour at the Palais du Papes was the best self-guided tour we’ve ever done anywhere with an amazing virtual-reality-type tablet experience that gave the history and perspective of the amazing palace. The second formal night was on the Marseille night – slightly inconvenient as we were disembarking in Mallorca the next morning but still nice. Service: As noted we had an issue with the shore excursions with two cancelled and the non-family tour of Pompeii not preparing us nor noting the content. I discussed this with the Shore Excursions staff and was initially told that nothing could be done. When I escalated this to a manager my issue was quickly and efficiently handled and a reasonable credit was posted to our account. This was a trend we saw throughout the ship. One night at dinner we were approached by a photographer who instructed us to cluster for a photo – which we politely declined saying “No thank you” to which he audibly scoffed and uttered a curse word under his breath as he turned and left. When I raised this to the photo manager as a point of information he was appalled and pledged to make sure the employee was instructed differently. Lastly, we had photos made on the 2nd formal night and ended up picking a package of photos from both nights. Since we were early seating they had proofs done by 10pm and promised to have final prints ready in the morning at reception. In the morning we found that one of the three pictures we needed to get was of us but the other two most clearly were not of our family. When I raised this with the agent at the reception desk it was met with a “I’m sorry” and nothing much else. However, when I raised this to a manager she worked diligently to find someone from the photo team to finally answer the phone (took 30 minutes just to find someone with the keys) who then re-printed the photos including a couple of “extras” slipped in for goodwill. It seems clear that MSC is working hard to establish a culture of service at the top levels and has trained senior staff to embody this culture. However, it’s not made it all the way down to the full crew. Some are amazing (like our dining room staff) while others are uncaring. As a passenger know that when you escalate politely and professionally things will be handled quickly and effectively. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Firs the positive, the embarkation was smooth. But the company lacks in communications with the guests. It has no processes to keep the guests engaged after they book the cruise. They live in an old world where communications with your ... Read More
Firs the positive, the embarkation was smooth. But the company lacks in communications with the guests. It has no processes to keep the guests engaged after they book the cruise. They live in an old world where communications with your customers was nil. But the most important point is they bring in your luggage in batches. So you will get some pieces first and for the rest you will have to wait till the ship sets sailing. My bag which contained toiletries and shoes etc did not arrive even after we checked in at 12.30 am, the earliest time one could check in. I complained, but the cruise officials were not helpful. They said it would take time and they cant help. Second, if you have purchased internet, good luck to you. The speed sucks. They cant do anything about the speed. Third, there is iron for basic pressing in the room. If your clothes have wrinkles, there is nothing you can do but give them to the laundry for ironing. It will cost your a princely 4.90 euros for a dress. Overall, not so good experience on day one. I will do a full review after the cruise. This is just the initial impressions. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
2nd time this year on this ship, first time as a couple, this time with friends. Had 2 outside plus cabins on deck 5- right next to stairs and lifts- quite spacious and well looked after by cabin steward. We were a bit worried that we ... Read More
2nd time this year on this ship, first time as a couple, this time with friends. Had 2 outside plus cabins on deck 5- right next to stairs and lifts- quite spacious and well looked after by cabin steward. We were a bit worried that we would be bothered with noise but no problems at all. Not the fanciest of ships but, on the whole, fine. Generally claean and tidy. There was an unpleasant smell at times down on deck 4 when getting on and off the ship but other than that no major complaints. We were pleased that the captain changed the itinerary to avoid bad weather - meant we had some good weather to explore places. Staff were generally very friendly and helpful. Excursions were well organised. The quality of the shows in the main theatre were excellent apart from the comedian who was woeful! It was a different comedian to the last trip in February but he, unfortunately, was just as bad as the last one. Marella need to have a look at this. We found the food in the main restaurant and the buffet to be very good- could always fine items we liked. I think the food was better than when we were on the ship in February. We upgraded to the premium drinks package as the basic one didn’t meet our needs. We found the range of drinks on the premium package very good although sometimes staff in the dining room had no idea which wines were on this and tried to give you the basic wines. More training needed here. Weather on this cruise was mixed and one afternoon a film (Bohemium Rhapsody - fantastic) was shown in the main theatre. I would like more of this type of daytime entertainment ( with adavance notice) especially when there is inclement weather. Our main complaint was that we didn’t arrive on board until around 9pm and left around 10am to go home thus really losing a days holiday. This, of course, is nothing to do with the ship but a flight time issue. Overall we had a great holiday and for a fairly good price. If you want a fancier/ newer ship book one of the newer Marella ships or one of the more upmarket ( pricier) cruise lines. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We had a week to spare while on holiday in Europe so picked a 7 day cruise to suit our dates. The MSC Fantasia leaving from Palma de Mallorca was chosen and we flew to the island. On arrival at the cruise terminal at 4pm it was chaos, ... Read More
We had a week to spare while on holiday in Europe so picked a 7 day cruise to suit our dates. The MSC Fantasia leaving from Palma de Mallorca was chosen and we flew to the island. On arrival at the cruise terminal at 4pm it was chaos, passengers waiting to board jamming the main reception area. We were told by the local cruise services operator that he did not know why there was a delay, there when questioned again, Pedro told us there was no check in as there was no Spanish immigration official. As tensions between the waiting passengers and MSC representatives increased there was a general announcement advising that once immigration had finished with the disembarking passengers they would start with embarking passengers. After standing around for an hour a fellow irate passenger told us we should have been given a number by Pedro ( he had forgotten) so that once check in started we would be called in groups. After standing around for 2 hours the numbers started to be called and you had to fight to get through. At 6pm some of the MSC check in staff left for the day. After the MSC staff checked your passport and ticket in the main cruise terminal building you then had a walk of about 800m to the cruise ship where you went through the actual check in process (photo id etc). Once through the security process and into the lower lobby the Drinks Package and Speciality Dining staff were onto you. It was now 6.45pm and after nearly 3 hours of stuffing around they were told where to go. At dinner we found out the truth of the chaos, the ship could not berth at Marseilles the day before due to bad weather so went to Cannes. The passengers due to join in Marseilles were bussed to Cannes causing a delayed departure. The ship arrived late into Mallorca but MSC would not tell the truth. The ship was modern and clean. The food average, the alcohol expensive. MSC like to grab your money whenever possible, shuttle buses at ports are a good example. Walk an extra 150 metres and catch a local cruise terminal bus or local service for free or at about 25% of the MSC cost. Generally, the guest service staff need to be re-educated in customer service. They obviously need to speak many different languages but in speaking English their wording came out as rude/arrogant/offensive. The wait and cabin staff were excellent. Entertainment during the day was minimal and poor. Evening shows were not that good, we only went to see Tin Tin but was confused as it seemed like Pirates of the Caribbean with no story. The disembarkation process was badly organised. Meet in a bar at the back of the ship (nearest the cruise terminal - 800m) then walk through to the front of the ship to get off and be as far away from the cruise terminal as possible- an extra 200+ metres then the 800? So, if you like lots of shoving and pushing by fellow passengers this is the cruise for you. I will not be sailing with MSC again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
The ship itself is very nice, with lovely public spaces but rather cramped cabins. The entertainment shows, every night, were really first rate. Some of the service is very poor, those crew members who were very good probably came from ... Read More
The ship itself is very nice, with lovely public spaces but rather cramped cabins. The entertainment shows, every night, were really first rate. Some of the service is very poor, those crew members who were very good probably came from better cruise lines. Food was OK, can't really rate it any higher than that. Excursions were poor value, one in particular we paid around 70 euros for, took over half a day with only 70 minutes spent at the destination, the rest hanging around waiting for things to happen. Despite complaining about it five times on return to the ship no recompense at all was offered, just buck passing and blaming 'external operators'. MSC are happy enough to make money from excursions though. The drinks packages (7 of them!) are very confusing and lead to much embarrassment when you constantly get told you can't have certain drinks in certain bars. Disembarcation was an absolute disgrace, I would even say dangerous, with thousands of people including elderly, disabled and young children were caught up in a chaotic scrum after being ignored at the 'meeting point' by crew for an hour. Unfortunately, many of our fellow cruisers were rough types who appear to have paid very little and don't know how to behave, so don't expect good manners or civilised queues. Of other cruise lines we have used Princess most often. I would rate them 4 star and MSC would be lucky to scrape a 3. We will not be using MSC again, at any price. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The first thing to note is that whilst this ship is new to Marella it was built in 1994 and in places despite a refit is showing its age. You will need to travel on TUIs German Mein Schiff 1 & 2 if you want brand new ships! It is also ... Read More
The first thing to note is that whilst this ship is new to Marella it was built in 1994 and in places despite a refit is showing its age. You will need to travel on TUIs German Mein Schiff 1 & 2 if you want brand new ships! It is also a shame the all inclusive bit doesn't start when you step on the very old Boeing 757 plane but then i suppose prices would be higher. We booked a cabin with a balcony and were allocated right in the middle of the ship on the port side on deck 8 . It was about the size of a normal Travelodge room and had a nice sized shower cubicle which for a big chap is really welcome and had plenty of storage with the cases fitting under the bed. We heard many guests who were on deck 4 and near the back of the boat complaining of noise from the kitchens and vibrations when the boat was travelling, however this was not the case where we were situated. As always the cabin steward was very helpful and all the staff worked hard to ensure the guests had a great time.The only niggle we found was how thin the toilet paper was but other than that everything else worked well. It was great to have pool towels, TV, safe, hairdryer and a small fridge included in our cabin. We stuck with the standard inclusive package which is all anyone could ever need, although we noticed that since our last cruise on Discovery last year the choice of cocktails is less extensive than it was just 11 months ago - Not a major issue though. Similarly instead of waiter service at your seats in the Broadway show lounge they offer you a table of about 8 different drinks as you go in. Whilst it limited your choice of drinks it did stop constant chatting to the waiters during the shows. The entertainment was excellent in the evenings with 5 fantastic shows by the entertainment cast with fantastic use of technology and two guest slots the first were two comedians and the second an Elton John impressionist. There is always lots going on around the ship although we were a little disappointed that the movies by moonlight were started 30 minutes before the first evening ) show finished (and ended 30 minutes after the second show started) so you never got to see a film all the way through! Marella seem to be catering for a younger generation in its 50s (which we are) as we heard lots of grumbles from older passengers that there was no formal dancing available, dance lessons or classical music evenings which apparently is what they like to do! Dining is plentiful and to cater for 1800 plus people they do a great job. The buffet was always hot and plentiful of choice. The formal restaurants Lattitude and Vista were also great. We loved Nonna's an informal no frills Italian restaurant. which we went to a few times. We could not justify paying for the additional charge restaurants and don't think we suffered for not going there. For lunch we picked up sandwiches from the snack shack before heading out for the day. We did not use the pools or the spa.gym but it had lots of customers during the time we were there. The real joy was the itinerary. A different destination everyday with no sea days made it a great holiday for us. It was a great cruise which i would happily go on again. Hope you find his useful Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Hi everybody, First, sorry for my english. I hope it'll be understandable. To make it easy i will highlight some importants points. Embarkation was good, faster than on my first MSC Poesia cruise. Ship is new but its ... Read More
Hi everybody, First, sorry for my english. I hope it'll be understandable. To make it easy i will highlight some importants points. Embarkation was good, faster than on my first MSC Poesia cruise. Ship is new but its qualities are like "Made in China" ship. The cabin was good, but always cold. I put the hot air at maximum with very poor results, but that was the same thing in all the ship emplacements. You have to wear a jacket or a sweater everywhere in the ship to keep your body temperature. The food was always the same, and the quality is average-low. There is only free water in the buffet restaurants, and you have to pay a 15% tax in all drinks apart from the tips of 70€ per adult and 35€ for kids. If you choose the restaurant included diner there's no free water and you have to pay for all drinks. They charged us 34.95€ for the welcome photo and we never received it and never claimed neither. We have to go to the photo shop to cancel the charge. Spectacles in the theater were awful and usually amateur singers, but that's my personal opinion. Captain invited us to a cocktail for the clients of two or more MSC cruises that consisted in a bunch of chips and nuts and a cup of extra sugary fruit juice (same that in breakfast) and a cup of cheap cider. No animation, no special show, only captain toasting for 1 minute and ciao bambino. The service was poor in general. They forget to clean our room one day, and we called several times to reception with no answer, and so on. Finally i do not recommend this cruise, but is my opinion and my experience. Next year we will travel with Royal Caribbean. Thanks for your time. manuel. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This is only our fourth cruise and we wanted a cruise that visited interesting places in the Mediterranean and was only a short flight from home. Mornings and evenings were cool but temperatures in the day around the low 20 degrees C and ... Read More
This is only our fourth cruise and we wanted a cruise that visited interesting places in the Mediterranean and was only a short flight from home. Mornings and evenings were cool but temperatures in the day around the low 20 degrees C and we had one rainy morning. We flew from East Midlands to Palma and although check-in was slow arrangements went smoothly until check-in at the cruise terminal where things again were slow. This cruise was the second week since the ship had been refurbished and the quality of furnishings and fittings was exceptional. The lifts were spacious and quick. Without exception all the staff we met were friendly, welcoming and helpful. Eating was a delight with open dining in six restaurants and three a la carte which cost extra. Ten bars, one a pub and a coffee shop completed the arrangements. The talented Explorer 2 Show Team produced a number of top class shows in the Broadway Show Lounge that would rival any produced in the West End. There were lots of activities during the day and in the evenings. Pampering was available at Champney’s Spa a new venture. We visited three Countries, five towns and could either walk in or take an inexpensive shuttle bus to enjoy them. There were lots of excursions to places like Pisa, Florence, Genoa and St Tropez and lots of room for sunbathing. Departing the ship was an ordeal because of poor organisation and we were again held up by Border Control at East Midlands on return. An enjoyable cruise, a top-class ship, fine food and drink and an outstanding crew. And the bonus adults only. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Booked under no illusion this would be like a Celebrity, Princess Cruise ect for the money paid, and that it was also an old shop which had been renovated rather than brand new. Overall impression public areas were clean and modern ... Read More
Booked under no illusion this would be like a Celebrity, Princess Cruise ect for the money paid, and that it was also an old shop which had been renovated rather than brand new. Overall impression public areas were clean and modern although there was a few snagging issues but this is to be expected and didn’t distract from our enjoyment while onboard. Food in the main dining room was really good, we had no complaints, and the a la cadre dining especially Surf and Turf was sublime. The only disappointment was the buffet restaurant which had limited choice at each meal time. Snack shack was good especially with the choice if having fresh salads and sandwiches available if you didn’t want to have a full blown meal. Entertainment was excellent, all performers were very professional and we enjoyed many a night in Squid and Anchor at the Gin bar listening and dancing to them. We was fortunate enough to have a Executive Suite, which was amazing, having usually booked a standard balcony. I read many complaints about size of cabins, beds against walls. For us we couldn’t complain. All in all we had a brilliant week, weather was also good for mid April in the Med, but having sailed on other cruise lines many of which are classed as ‘premium’ we knew not to compare, Marella target the U.K. market and the food and entertainment reflects this as does the price. Service was second to non and we would certainly travel on a Marella cruise in the future, however if you like the finer things in life maybe book another cruise line. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have been with Mariella (Thomson) several times including Baltic capitals this last August on Discovery -which encouraged us to go again with this company. As we wanted to avoid the Bay of Biscay and have limited mobility, we opted to ... Read More
We have been with Mariella (Thomson) several times including Baltic capitals this last August on Discovery -which encouraged us to go again with this company. As we wanted to avoid the Bay of Biscay and have limited mobility, we opted to fly cruise via Majorca. We are less mobile than we used to be and assistance was booked but this seemed to exclude TUI staff. Help was needed with luggage not wheelchairs but airports do both not one. The ship was Explorer 2 which was undertaking its second cruise since being fully refurbished. The ship and staff are still having issues. However I feel that others might wish to learn that this ship is not up to the standard even of Discovery There is a reduction or omission in many areas offered in comparison * no maps of the ship in the cabin * no maps of ports visited * much lower mileage of cruising: we even left port about 6 pm to idle off the coast for several hours (presumably this saves on port charges?) rather than take off later poorer entertainment * no classical music whatsoever - all pop * no readily available deck games (hosted or otherwise) although the putting green (not golf) was on the top deck around the funnel and was unreachable when the wind was up as most of the time * library was a joke - just one small stand with charity shop books although a few board games were available and were well used as little else to do Add to this, we had issues with a stuck loo outlet switch, a broken safe causing us a loss of almost a days visiting - not expected on an expensively regenerated ship It felt that every attempt was being made to cut costs even at the expense of cruisers enjoyment Overall - a boring experience and not to be repeated Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We went on the 2nd sailing of Explorer 2. Collection at the airport went smoothly, we were given some information to read on the coach. The check in at the port was quick and easy. Was slightly disappointed that we were not given a map ... Read More
We went on the 2nd sailing of Explorer 2. Collection at the airport went smoothly, we were given some information to read on the coach. The check in at the port was quick and easy. Was slightly disappointed that we were not given a map of the ship but there were screens and pictures around the ship that you could look to find your way around. The ship isn't perfect despite the recent refurb but its also not brand new and I think that is something people need to remember. It has been refurbished not ripped out and started again. So there were cosmetic things that were not in tip top shape. Was this a problem for us? No. There are some great features to it, the 19th Hole with its quirky buggies and golf simulators. Flutes where you can press the button and get more prosecco. The Squid & Anchor for quizzes, game shows, karaoke and Indigo where the nightclub is. Cabin - we had a balcony cabin on deck 9. It was really spacious. The wardrobes had plenty of hanging space and hangers. Then there were several drawers and shelves as well as the vanity table with drawers. The bathroom was decent as well and shower larger that other ships i've been on. Only negative the toilet wasn't working properly. We tried to ring Reception but our phone wasn't working either. Both were resolved fairly quickly after speaking with our Cabin Steward although the toilet did break 3 times that first day. We had a kettle & cups with tea bags etc which we were really pleased with. We were located near the stairs Aft (at the back of the ship) convenienty located just above Squid & Anchor and Latitude 53 and slightly below the Market Place. Dining - This for me was the most disappointing for me. We ate in all the free restaurants. I personally didn't feel there was as many options that we have had on previous cruises and wasn't very excited by the options given. We loved Nonna's which does fab pastas. Its worth noting that in the evening you get little breads and a small salad and slightly different choices on the pizza and the toppings for pasta. Definately worth trying in the day and evening. The Market Place has pretty much the same food as the Latitude restaurant. We enjoyed some meals in Vista which is the lower part of Latitude restaurant & has a bit of a Italian feel. We did not pay for any of the Speciaility Restaurants so I cannot comment on them. A nice touch was afternoon tea 3 - 5 that did sandwiches and scones. Food came out pretty quick and was well presented. The food at the Snack Shack and Beach Cove were about the same most days with a small varience. I really enjoyed the chocolate brownies. An added bonus was they had pre-packed salads and sandwiches and cookies. So if you wanted to take someting to your room for a snack later you could. The Coffee Port was set out really nice but I didn't use as I don't drink coffee and you had to pay extra for everything. We did go the the late night snack up in the Market Place most nights. Entertainment/Activities - The shows in the Broadway were pretty good. The main cast sing and dance very well but I didn't feel it was as good as some other ships. They were a 45 min set done twice a night. I felt sometimes the programme could have been done a bit better as some activities clashed with others so you missed out. Everyone has been raving about Revive, I didn't feel the story line was clear although the singing and dancing and costumes were great. I really enjoyed the Rockology and Soul shows. The Commedian was fantastic although if you are easily offended I wouldn't go. The Piano Man wasn't really to my taste but he was a good singer, his piano playing sometimes got lost in the backing tracks. Daytime Entertainment I felt was a bit lacking, we like to get involved in things and whilst looking at the Cruise News there seemed to be lots of things to do when you looked at what they were they were things like demonstrantions. Line dancing every day or signing up for golf simulator (which had charges). Evening Quizes were pretty good but we found it was the same people joining in all the time and audience particpation wasn't great. Indigo nightclub we went up a few times but it mainly was not many people in there, I think this was due to clashes with other activities and people not wanting to be up so late. Mini Golf is ok although the first game was the Sea Day when the waters were a bit rough so was a bit difficult but went back a few times. Pool Area - Plenty of sunbeds around the pool area and upper deck. There is also a veranda that you can use that has cushioned sunbeds and some nice little chairs. This is near the Cabana's but you have to pay for the Cabana's. There is always a man going around with a cart of certain drinks which delighted my husband. If you don't like anything on the cart though there was normally waiters around most of the time. Shore Excusions - we only did 2. We weren't going to bother as normally they are expensive but we booked one for Livorno before the Cruise and one whilst on it that were reasonable. The Livorno was the Canals but was pretty disappointed as out of 4 hours we were on the boat for about 40 mins then were left for an hour at a indoor market that sold fish, meat & cheese. None of which we could take back on the ship. The surrounding area wasn't the nicest and then we walked about 5 mins to the bus through a lovely little area that would have been nicer to sit and have a drink. The other was Sights in Barcelona. 3 hr tour to two mountains then a quick stop on the way back somewhere else. Enjoyed the tour. All ports were docked which is a lot easier when getting off the ship. Didn't have any problems with queing for getting on or off in a short amount of time. We bought photo's which was a pain because of how they have set up the offers. In the end we negotiated and got the photo's we wanted. You can buy photo's individually at a reasonable price which i haven't seen on other ships It felt very geared up for British Customers which isn't necessarily a bad thing but it has just been very different to the other cruises we've been on. All in all we had a great week, I'm not sure we'd go on Marella again as I don't feel it had the Wow factor hence the 4 star rating but we did have a great time and found the staff friendly and helpful in most cases. There were not that many public toilets and where there were some ie in the 19th Hole near the Show lounge there was only 2 cubicles. Should have toilets on every floor in my opinion. Thanks for reading if you made it to the end. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have sailed previously with Marella and overall been very happy with the product. Note... this is not a new ship. She is 25 years old and while she has been refurbished (some public areas are beautiful) there are some expected signs of ... Read More
We have sailed previously with Marella and overall been very happy with the product. Note... this is not a new ship. She is 25 years old and while she has been refurbished (some public areas are beautiful) there are some expected signs of the ships genuine age. Marella and TUI have been very upfront about the ships age, however some travel agents will say what they need to say to get the booking on! We stayed in the Royal Suite, which on first glance was amazing. After the first day we spotted some snagging that we attempted to get resolved with reception and our cabin staff but things didn’t get resolved. We escalated this to the guest relations manager who resolved it quickly and efficiently and showed a great deal of empthathy. Thank you Sam Hale, you’re a credit to Marella. The specialty dining was brilliant. Main dining was ok. I’d recommend the trio dining package for specialty resturants as it saves some money and brings the cost in at a quite reasonable price. We also paid extra for the premium drinks package. Being a wine drinker it was worth every penny, however many beer and spirits drinkers would be happy with the standard package. Overall it would have scored a 5 but the initial issues brought it down to a 4. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
At the time we booked the cruise because we thought we were going on a brand new luxury ship. Wrong. It is an old ship which has been refurbed once before. Some of the public rooms had had a make over and seeing them for the first time ... Read More
At the time we booked the cruise because we thought we were going on a brand new luxury ship. Wrong. It is an old ship which has been refurbed once before. Some of the public rooms had had a make over and seeing them for the first time raised expectations about the cabins. But looking around you realised many of the carpets had not been replaced in the upgrading. Unfortunately the cabins were shabby. The bathroom was grubby looking and I don't think it had been updated since it was new. There were none of the luxury touches I would expect of a 5 star holiday on land. No shampoo, creams etc. Just bog standard soap, and shower gel in a large container next to the shower. Our bathroom flooded one day when some valve broke, maintenance sent someone within half an hour who looked at it but the water stopped before he got there so he declared it fixed. Half an hour later it started flooding again and this time he had to replace the valve. I thought he would have sent a cleaner to clean up the water on the floor but I had to do that. Our safe did not work. There was only one electrical socket in the cabin. My room card stopped working and had to be replaced 6 times. We had a disabled cabin which was quite large, but the ordinary cabins were very small and had a step to the bathroom. One night the water was a bit choppy and the bathroom door kept sliding open and shut all night long as it didn't close properly. Food was OK but nothing great. Veg was frozen, including roast potatoes and chips. Not a lot of choice in the Market Place buffet, and no gravy with pie and mash.....! Premium restaurants were very expensive, ie £25 for the Indian restaurant. Very few people wanted to pay it so it was empty most of the time. On the last or second last night it was advertised in the notice put under your door every night as now being on offer at £19.95 after 9pm. Cocktails on the all inclusive were weak and made with a "mix" rather than real fruit juice so were very acidic. Staff were very friendly in the main, always saying hello when they passed by. However, some would say "sir" or "ma'am" and they often got the gender of one female guest with short hair wrong. We went on only one excursion which was OK. The entertainment was not our taste. Singers and dancers were young but quite good. The shows were not well written. Cinema was outside and the weather was poor. My mother had been looking forward to seeing a movie or two. You could purchase a movie package for the TV in your room but who wants to sit in their room on holiday. There was a couple of movie channels on the TV but they were often very old, or strangely for an adults only cruise, Disney style cartoons. Disembarkation was a fiasco. Your luggage was taken downstairs overnight you had to find it next morning using a colour coded label given to you the day before. The buses were late getting there so the queue of people with cases coiled in the hall. An expensive disappointment. My first and last cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Couldn’t get no worse!! First ever cruise and what a let down. We were on the inaugural cruise from 2 April 2019. In my opinion the ship was just not ready. Arrived on board before midday and cabins not ready. On an inaugural ... Read More
Couldn’t get no worse!! First ever cruise and what a let down. We were on the inaugural cruise from 2 April 2019. In my opinion the ship was just not ready. Arrived on board before midday and cabins not ready. On an inaugural cruise?? However, advised to go to Pool Deck where food and drinks were available. That was fine but the toilets were blocked. No water for washing hands, toilet tissue, sanitiser. A recipe for passengers being stuck down with tummy bugs. Crew directed us to Deck 12. Same condition. Crew then shrugged shoulders. Problems with toilets blocking all week including on final morning. Customers were blamed for this which is never the best strategy to adopt. When the above situation was reported to Reception was told this was because vessel had been in dry dock. Wrong answer. Logistical management at best could only be described as poor. The cabin was fine and front of house staff worked very hard but lacked management back-up. Food was fine but service in main restaurant started off poor. Did improve during week and a couple of the Sections delivered a very good service in the end, one of which we reported on board. I will be critical but will also praise where praise is due. On one occasion, in Gents WC on Pool Deck water was coming through ceiling via light fitting. A bucket had been placed underneath but I advised the crew member present the water leak was the least of the problems as water and electricity was never a good mix. Think that went above his head. Code Victoria was called twice to my knowledge and it was not unusual to find blowers drying out carpets which ha£ been contaminated by flood water. Captain said on ore than one occasion they were having ‘teething problems’. These were not ‘teething problems’. A number of bits of kit failed to work especially in the buffet restaurant. Many did not have signs on. TIP: if going on. Cruise on this ship take some ‘out of order’ signs with you so you can help crew. Well, experience put me off cruising but experienced ‘cruisers’ reassured Us this was not a good example and recommended other Lines for us to try. We have decided to do this as we liked the experience of visiting different locations/ countries each day but this is down to fellow travellers rather than this experience. Such a shame as had terrific potential As stated above, in my opinion the ship was, simply, not ready. The Captain did state needed the passengers to fully test vessel. I don’t mind this providing I am given the choice before booking and do not pay full price. Oh well, bye, bye Marella. We could have had such a great future relationship if only, if only!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
It was an anniversary cruise and we have sailed with TUI before and the Explorer 2 was supposed to have been refitted for this maiden voyage. We were given our cabin number at the airport and told our luggage would be taken straight to the ... Read More
It was an anniversary cruise and we have sailed with TUI before and the Explorer 2 was supposed to have been refitted for this maiden voyage. We were given our cabin number at the airport and told our luggage would be taken straight to the ship, this however was not the case, we were then told by the TUI rep on arrival we would have to get our cases ourselves. (For us not a big problem ) . Embarkation went smoothly and we found our cabin 9245 an aft balcony, soon we noticed the air con was not working, really cold cabin, the main cabin lights not working, wires hanging down from unconnected light, hole in roof panel where a vent should have been. All the above faults were reported immediately and again and again over the next few days, it was not until the 5th day of the cruise that they were all dealt with. Ours was not the only cabin to have faults and by the end of the cruise letters were posted under cabin doors offering compensation for the faults. The entertainment at nights was good but during the day was not as good as previous cruises we have done. Food was plentiful and OK in the main Market Place dining area, also in Latitudes but the vegetarian choice was very repetitive. Nonnas was worth trying for pasta. Shore excursions mixed reviews on these, Pompei and Vesuvius was good but that was only because we had Marios as a guide who was very passionate about the history. Disappointing to find out that most of the artefacts are on show in the City of Pompei museum and not on the actual archeological site. The opinion of several TUI staff on board was that the ship had not had long enough in refit process and we have to agree on that. Assume that most problems should have been dealt with by now but it’s a pity there were so many on a what was billed as a maiden voyage. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Wanted to go to different places in the Western Med (as been to all the main sites). Embarkation was excellent all the way from off the plane to arriving at our cabin (comments on cabin below). Everything was easy and smooth. There was ... Read More
Wanted to go to different places in the Western Med (as been to all the main sites). Embarkation was excellent all the way from off the plane to arriving at our cabin (comments on cabin below). Everything was easy and smooth. There was only one person trying to sell extras as we embarked (premium drinks), which was also nice and the photographers weren't pushy either. We didn't need the extra drinks as the inclusive package had enough decent drinks to easily satisfy us and the quality of the house wines was plenty good enough. All the staff were absolutely excellent and caring. they were always helpful and polite, with a genuine smile (and the number of staff who said good morning to me at 06:00 was truly impressive). The reception staff were always polite and attentive, even during our issue with the cabin.The waiters in the main restaurant and Vista (table 118) were absolutely brilliant, for breakfast and dinner - with no complaints whatsoever. Entertainment was pretty good, we attended a few quizzes, but there was this and then bingo - which was not for us. The shows we saw were generally of high quality, though someone does need to explain the COGS concept to me as it was just confusing. Though the dancing was good the story was completely missing (e.g. girl called Celeste, but Roxanne was putting on the red light...) The food at breakfast and dinner in the main restaurant was of excellent quality and fresh/hot every time. Getting lunch in the Market Place was also easy and there were no queues when we went there, so no problems getting a place to sit and eat at all. Shore excursions were excellent (apart from Pisa and the wine trip associated, Pisa really crowded and the walk from the coach park too long and difficult, with street vendors trying to sell you tack for the last half a mile. The wine tour/tasting involved 2 minutes of talking then leaving us in a tent with nice food and reasonable wine for a long time). The Palermo wine tasting trip was brilliant and of much better quality (and so was the wine). The trip to Herculaneum was a real eye-opener and there is much more there than in Pompeii. The Pals village trip we really good and rice tour very insightful. Monaco was brilliant and though we didn't stay with the tour of the old part, we bused close to Casino Square (number 1 or 2) and then walked back down the F1 track to the star finish area, had a coffee then went back to the main road to catch the bus back up the hill, in time to rejoin the coach. Note there are ticket machines at major bus stations that allow you to buy tickets (1.5 euro's for 1 way) rather than 2 euro's on the bus and the screens for bus progress are excellent. Ticket machines with English annotation. Disembarkation was easy from off the ship and to the airport (it couldn't have been easier to find the luggage and get on the coach). The airport itself is chaos with late planes and too many people and not enough staff (not a fault of Marella). Overall this cruise and the staff exceeded my expectations and we would put Marella above MSC (terrible) and Royal Caribbean (good) based on this experience. The value for money and not having to pay for tips or drinks meant our bill at the end was 20 x what has been on other lines. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
A little apprehensive having read some of the reviews about Marella Dream we went with realistic expectations as it is a well travelled ship and not new, just out of the shipyard. We were very very pleasantly surprised at what we ... Read More
A little apprehensive having read some of the reviews about Marella Dream we went with realistic expectations as it is a well travelled ship and not new, just out of the shipyard. We were very very pleasantly surprised at what we experienced. Everything was squeaky clean, the crew and staff were there to make you feel valued and they did without exception. The food in the two buffet restaurants was ok, not brilliant, but in the Orion was very good with excellent choice. We even paid the little amount extra to eat in the 3 speciality restaurants and they were absolutely fabulous and well worth it. The standard all inclusive drinks package is also excellent, we couldn’t see why anyone would upgrade at huge cost as there were branded drinks in the standard one including in excess of 20 cocktails. Did a few excursions which if a little pricey we’re well organised and hassle free. We booked them before we went and one of them was not available on the day and we didn’t go to one port where we had one booked so I am hoping that the process for getting refunds is a smooth one. Entertainment was of a high standard with great variety and we loved listening to the resident New Generations band. We had one of the ten balcony cabins and honestly the price to upgrade to this was not worth it as the outside (and inside) looked absolutely fine. We were at the back of the ship which was close to the engines so if you can get a cabin further forward would suggest this. All in all an brilliant week and when compared to our previous cruise on P&O Ventura, we much preferred the smaller friendlier more personal service aspect of Marella Dream and would do another Marella cruise next time. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Have previously only cruised with Celebrity and P&O, but we fancied a short break in the sunshine at the last moment and this cruise fitted the bill. We've taken several TUI package holidays to the Canaries so we knew we were ... Read More
Have previously only cruised with Celebrity and P&O, but we fancied a short break in the sunshine at the last moment and this cruise fitted the bill. We've taken several TUI package holidays to the Canaries so we knew we were happy to go with them. Booking was straightforward, apart from having to phone to find out which cabins were available, as we like to choose where on the ship we'll be. After an early morning flight, we were directed through Palma airport by several TUI staff to the waiting coaches. This was done very efficiently and as soon as one coach was full, off it went with no waiting around. On arrival at the port, we were registered and checked in very quickly. The whole arrival operation was very smooth, and we were soon on board enjoying an early lunch in the buffet. Any misgivings we had about lower standards on an older ship were soon dispelled. The refurbishment had been done extremely well. All the public rooms were light and welcoming and the ship was clean throughout.(Lots of cleaning going on all through the cruise). We ate breakfast in the buffet - always a good selection of hot and cold food. Lunch was sometimes taken there - again plenty of choice, or out on deck from the Snack Shack. Evenings we used the MDR - food was always nicely prepared with a reasonable choice of meat or fish dishes. The included house wine was always regularly topped up by the willing and friendly waiting staff. We ate in Surf & Turf once - very pleased and wanted to use it again but it got fully booked up very quickly. Our balcony cabin was spacious and comfortable with more than enough wardrobe and drawer space and was kept very clean by the cabin steward Akash.( Different towel animals each day). The bathroom wasn't large but the shower cubicle was a good size and the towels were changed frequently. We went on two excursions - again the organisation was very good and the guides were excellent. Positives - The friendly atmosphere on board, sunbeds always available even on sea days, the quality and choice of the food, the value for money. Negatives - Purely personal, but the entertainment wasn't our cup of tea. This certainly won't be our last Marella cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Choose this cruise as flying time to Majorca is ok. Weather was excellent through out the 7 days.As usual the crew were excellent . Food is always subjective !!,but I thought it was just average in the MDR,some nice meals some not so ... Read More
Choose this cruise as flying time to Majorca is ok. Weather was excellent through out the 7 days.As usual the crew were excellent . Food is always subjective !!,but I thought it was just average in the MDR,some nice meals some not so nice,choices poor as well,servings were poor as well.MARELLA !! TAKE NOTE it,s hardly AI if you got to pay for the ice cream on deck 11,Breakfast was very good,even the juice was not watered down !! Only went to 2 shows,singing and dancing to loud,boring !! ,Comedian was good. Gave up on cocktails ,all fruit juice !!! Outside cabin on deck 5 good,best shower i've had on Thomson ships.cabin was spotless every day. Can,t say anything about the tours as I did'nt go. Probably wont go on Marella again as they have made all ship's AI,i THINK EVERYONE HAS A CHOICE NOT EVERYBODY WANTS A DRINK PACKAGE !!!. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My mother and I have been on several cruises (Mom far more than I) with various cruise lines; Costa, Princess, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Cunard. Last year we decided to try Thomson Cruises (now called Marella). We knew it was a more ... Read More
My mother and I have been on several cruises (Mom far more than I) with various cruise lines; Costa, Princess, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Cunard. Last year we decided to try Thomson Cruises (now called Marella). We knew it was a more 'budget' line and we sailed the Canary Isles on the Marella Spirit. It was adequate albeit dated with limited entertainment and variety of facilities than the cruise lines previously experienced. On the back of that we decided to give it another go and this year chose the Mediterranean Medley itinerary sailing from Palma de Mallorca. The booking process was straightforward although between booking and receiving the final documentation Thomson decided to marry me off as everything was either sent to Mrs or even had a mixture of Miss and Mrs within the same email! Distinct lack of attention to detail here. The supplement to fly from our local airport was very reasonable and the transfer upon arrival and initial boarding was well done. 'Budget' doesn't begin to describe the Marella Dream; dreadful ship. For anyone who has cruised before this is NOT a cruise ship. Very poor selection of food and some of the quality was dubious; limited facilities and the entertainment was... oh crikey, there are no words. I ordered a cocktail one evening and it arrived looking like orange squash in a high ball glass; nothing to suggest it had been mixed properly and certainly not presented as a cocktail. Food was inadequately labelled, and sometimes not labelled at all in the Lido restaurant. For £200-£300 more you could have a real cruise with any other line and receive much more than £200-£300 worth of value. The difference is staggering; our cruise was like taking a ferry between the stops. For those wanting a smaller cruise ship, and not the ‘floating block of flats’ there are still better value deals out there on the smaller ships of the standard cruise lines which still provide the variety, standards and quality of a cruise ship. The crew are very pleasant, courteous and hard-working but those in charge of organisation need some lessons. Check your bill as mistakes were made and we didn't receive our final statement in our cabin on the last evening as is standard practice and what their literature stated would happen. I had to chase it up and then deal with the mistake (overcharged). There was clearly no communication between the tender and the dockside as we were left drifting and bobbing on a fairly choppy sea unnecessarily whilst waiting for the last tender to leave the dockside. The literature that is delivered to the cabin in the evening (usually done while you're at dinner and ready for your return) wasn't delivered until very late in the evening, too late to know what the arrangements were for the next day ie time of docking and details of the port of call so difficult to plan for the next stop in plenty of time. The ships is incredibly tired and run-down; there was a lift which was out of order for the entire duration of our trip and those who we spoke to who had been on board the previous week said that it had been out of order then too. The other lifts were desperately slow and there was a point when every single lift was out of order. Not acceptable for anyone with mobility problems. Quite frankly for those who have never cruised before; I strongly advise you NOT to choose this ship it will not give you a real cruise experience. This ship is not fit for purpose and is definitely not worth the money. It's Easyjet on sea!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My wife is celebrating her 50th birthday and wanted to cruise. We had a wonderful time. The passengers we met really made this cruise unforgettable, especially Pat and Derek, who celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary on board. We spent ... Read More
My wife is celebrating her 50th birthday and wanted to cruise. We had a wonderful time. The passengers we met really made this cruise unforgettable, especially Pat and Derek, who celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary on board. We spent most of our time at the lido restaurant and bar by the stern pool on deck 9. There we met Charlie, one of the waiters, who was absolutely fantastic. His professionalism and personality is second to none. Look for him when you cruise. I would recommend that you sit and eat breakfast in the Orion restaurant rather than any of the buffet restaurants and the same goes for evening dinner. Lunch, snacks and lighter bites are good at all the buffet restaurants but for the main meals we preferred the Orion. We didn’t eat at any of the themed restaurants so I cannot review them but any of the other passengers who ate there were delighted with them. We went on one excursion, to Capri. It was really nice. At the other ports we stayed on board or went for a stroll about. We went to one evening show, ABBA, which was very entertaining. To finish I would highly recommend this cruise and ship for anyone looking to cruise for the first time. Read Less

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