4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise was chosen as a family celebration for a 60th birthday. Our party consisted of 8, and had 3 children. Firstly whilst some renovations and refurbishments have been done the ship is still very outdated, and the lay out and ... Read More
This cruise was chosen as a family celebration for a 60th birthday. Our party consisted of 8, and had 3 children. Firstly whilst some renovations and refurbishments have been done the ship is still very outdated, and the lay out and location of certain facilities does not lend itself to being very child or family friendly. The main lifts are in the middle of the ship, and there are additional ones at either end. However to get to the designated children’s swimming pool there is not a direct lift, and you then have to walk through a restaurant to access it. It is not a brilliant idea to have the kids pool in an area where adults are drinking alcohol, and the lack of toilets on the same level as the pool is also poorly thought out. You either have to walk back through the restaurant or climb external stairs to the deck above, whilst navigating a further adult only bar. The food in the self service restaurant was mediocre at best with a very limited choice. The food and service in the a la cartel restaurant we couldn’t fault. Excursions were very expensive. Bottled water was chargeable, despite every other cruise company docking in the same ports as us offering water for free. The cabin was fairly spacious and the majority of the staff were very helpful. The evening entertainment was amateur but it was clear that the cast were trying their best. There were several good points about our holiday but unfortunately the small things soon mount up and tipped the balance for us. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We have just returned home from a 14 day cruise "A Taste of Paradise" in the Caribbean and we have to give credit when it is deserved. We have been cruising with various companies for over 18 years and I must say this is one of ... Read More
We have just returned home from a 14 day cruise "A Taste of Paradise" in the Caribbean and we have to give credit when it is deserved. We have been cruising with various companies for over 18 years and I must say this is one of the best cruises we have been on. From the moment we left Manchester Airport the staff from TUI/Marella made us most welcome. We where made most welcome from Cabin Steward through to dining room staff, waiters and reception staff. Entertainment well organised by Gavin, Cruise Director and his excellent support team. The service on board was top notch, food of a high standard, especially the speciality dining in the Meridian, Kora La, Hot Stone and Minstral Restaurants. Well done to Ships Company. A few names of staff that deserve credit - Meridian and Speciality dining room waiters, April Rose, Roy, Jasarmy and Kristamel. Excellent choice of ports on the cruise itinerary, our favourite was St Kitts. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our first cruise and it certainly won't be our last. After a great flight on the dreamliner we were whisked from Barbados airport to our ship - the Marella Celebration. Everything was extremely well organised and we were in ... Read More
This was our first cruise and it certainly won't be our last. After a great flight on the dreamliner we were whisked from Barbados airport to our ship - the Marella Celebration. Everything was extremely well organised and we were in our cabin in no time. We had a balcony cabin on deck 9 - absolutely fantastic. It had everything you would need : toiletries, hairdryer, robes. Bed was very comfortable. The shower worked perfectly. Ronaldo our cabin steward was exceptional. He works very hard to keep everything in order. The restaurants were of really good quality. In the day we used the Lido - something for everyone here. In the evenings we mostly used the Meriden which is waiter service. Absolutely no complaints. It was great. Tried the Kora La once and it was OK. This restaurant has a supplement - probably wouldn't dash back. The bars are all well manned so depending what mood your in you can either dance the night away or watch a show or have a quiet drink. There's an outside bar on deck 6 outside Liberties which was a lovely place to sit and watch sail away. A big thank you to Bektur for keeping our glasses topped up!! The ports we went to were : St. Maarten, British Virgin Islands, St Kitts, Guadeloupe and St Vincent & the Grenadines. We took an excursion with Tui from St. Vincent 'Mustique Magic' wow wow wow - well worth the money. It was fantastic. Wish we'd booked the Death in Paradise excursion whilst in Guadeloupe as this was the only disappointing port. Never mind there's always next time. The weather was amazing. Yes there is vibration on the lower decks but to be honest you do get used to it. I have absolutely no complaints - so much so we're booked on the same cruise next Jan but for 14 days this time - can't give a higher recommendation than that. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Just returned from this cruise. We booked this for several reasons, a late cruise, visiting Sicily and Kefalonia, adults only, all on the fabulous Celebration, in my opinion, Thomson’s/Marella’s best ship. The ships specification is ... Read More
Just returned from this cruise. We booked this for several reasons, a late cruise, visiting Sicily and Kefalonia, adults only, all on the fabulous Celebration, in my opinion, Thomson’s/Marella’s best ship. The ships specification is well documented on the Internet so I won’t go into the details, suffice to say, the food, entertainment, information, cabin service, bar service and so on were all of a very high standard. The pre-booked excursion tickets were waiting for us in our cabin on embarkation and the embarkation and disembarkation procedures were incredibly slick, including the experience of parting with your luggage at East Midlands airport and not seeing it again until it arrived outside your cabin, without having to collect it at Dubrovnik airport. The same procedure (in reverse of course) on the return home. That’s progress. I few points about the ports of call. Messina, Sicily - a nice place but not a lot to do if you arrive on a Sunday so it may be worth booking a trip. Argostoli, Kefalonia - again, a pretty town but a bit sleepy. Worth having a walk along the front and across the causeway (which leads to the other side of the bay). Igoumenitsa, Greece - this is a port town, with ferries to Corfu and beyond. It has little historical interest. The Marella map shows a castle but all we found was a church, something that may have been lost in the translation? We actually booked a tour to Nekromanteio which is steeped in Greek mythology if you like that sort of thing, then onto the postcard-perfect village of Parga, and it really is very pretty. Not enough for us for a whole day but a couple of hours is perfect to climb up to the castle and take in the views. Kotor, Montenegro - this is a quaint but bustling town. Check beforehand how many ships are in on the day and it will give you an idea as to how busy it will be. There are loads of options for tours, including private taxi’s and hop-on, hop-off busses. As we had been before we did our own thing. I took on the challenge of climbing up to the fortress Castle of San Giovanni, approximately 1,200 metres high and approximately 1,350 steps to climb to reach the castle. €8 for the privilege and it is a seriously long climb, over uneven (and sometimes missing) stone steps, or, in parts, a steep slope. The view at the top is fantastic and worth the pull on your calf muscles and hamstrings for the next couple of days. In general, as we went in October, the on shore tour options may not all have been present as this is right at the end of the season. If you go earlier in the year, there may be more available. In summary, this is not an itinerary that jumps out at you. The is no “Venice” or Barcelona”, but the cruise does visit some quaint, pretty and interesting places, many with stunning scenery (the bay of Kotor in particular). Couple this up with the magnificent Celebration cruise ship and add in the food, drinks, entertainment, the attentive, hard working staff and being able to meet like minded people, this all equates to a complete cruise experience. I would wholeheartedly recommend this cruise to any prospective cruiser. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our first cruise and chose the Sail the three seas because we liked the destinations which we hadn't visited before. We liked the idea of all inclusive so we knew we didn't have to worry about a large drinks bills and ... Read More
This was our first cruise and chose the Sail the three seas because we liked the destinations which we hadn't visited before. We liked the idea of all inclusive so we knew we didn't have to worry about a large drinks bills and what tips to leave at the end of the cruise. From arriving at Manchester airport we felt looked after when our cabin numbers were put on our cases. When we arrived at the port in Croatia it was very organised at the check in onboard.Our steward Manif introduced himself straight away and showed us around the cabin. He looked after us every day cleaning the cabin twice a day. In the evening he turned the bed down and left a chocolate on our pillows with a towel sculpture. We prefered to eat in the Lido restaurant and thought again the staff were very nice and the food was very nice. We had a favourite waiter in there call Norries.The tables were cleared and cleaned quickly and waiters were around to take your drinks orders. We liked the entertainment in the Horizons bar with 2 Intense & king in the Hemingway bar. We did watch a few shows in Broadway showbar which were ok. The pool on deck 8 was very nice and there was plenty of sun loungers around the decks for everyone. You had pool towels which could be changed daily. I never saw one member of staff without a smile on their faces,everyone was happy and made you feel happy. We met some lovely people aned were very looked after on this holiday the ship is old but that wasn't an issue for us. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our first non-Disney cruise so we were not sure what to expect with regard to the differences between TUI and Disney. Overall we really enjoyed the experience both on the ship and at the ports of call. The Good... The ... Read More
This was our first non-Disney cruise so we were not sure what to expect with regard to the differences between TUI and Disney. Overall we really enjoyed the experience both on the ship and at the ports of call. The Good... The staff on board were all excellent and friendly. This ranged from service staff in the restaurants, the cabin stewards and the entertainment team... not a bad encounter during the whole trip! The ship was kept clean and tidy the entire time, including the restaurant areas and lounges. There was never a stack of empty glasses or litter left around. We chose to eat in the Lido Restaurant rather than the Meridian as we prefer a more relaxed atmosphere and the menus seemed to be the same but a buffet rather than table service. The food itself was very good with lots of variety and choice every day. Food was available from 6am through to around 2am so there was always plenty of opportunity to fit in a snack or three. There was a good choice of on-board entertainment to choose from. There were musical and comedy shows in the Broadway Lounge every night and quizzes, games and bingo in other venues throughout the day. Plenty to keep the guests engaged. We went on a shore excursion at each port of call and found the logistics of them to be very well organised. We will say more about the trips themselves a little later... The cabins we had were much better than we were expecting. They had plenty of space and lots of storage. The Bad... The Celebration itself is a small and rather old ship and it is starting to show. There was a constant vibration running throughout the ship even when docked in port that was very noticeable. Sometimes this vibration was enough to rattle glasses and make the stage lights swing, so it isn't a small problem. The deck areas were packed full of sunbeds, sometimes to the point of being a pain to get past, especially if guests were not being particularly considerate of others. In our cabins, the fridge wasn’t actually a fridge, but a box that sort of tried to keep things cold. It didn’t work very well. There could also be more power outlets in the cabins. One socket might have been sufficient 30 years ago when the Celebration was built but it’s far from adequate these days. Additional costs. This was particularly annoying as until we got onto the ship we had no idea that soft drinks were not included (even with meals). We booked as Full Board so was expecting a little more choice than Tea, Coffee or Water, but that is all we could have. There was an option to upgrade to the 'All Inclusive' drinks package at a cost of £200 per person for the week. This would have included soft drinks, but as we are not drinkers of Beer or Spirits it would have been an extremely expensive option. There was no option of a 'soft drinks' package. We also heard a lot of people who had purchased the all-inclusive drinks package complaining that not all of the drinks were included! There was another 'Premium' package that they could upgrade to for another £50 extra per person. Amazingly, this ALSO did not include every drink available on board, many had additional surcharges. It was all very confusing and annoying, as guests are not made aware of this before check in. This also meant that many drinks had various possible prices - full price, all-inclusive surcharge price and premium surcharge price. For example; a 200ml glass of Coke (but mostly ice) was £1.20, but is included in the all-inclusive package. A 330ml can of Coke was £1.90 but if you had the all-inclusive package, it was still an additional £1.00. Not very all-inclusive or straightforward!! If you wanted a steak meal in the ‘included in your full board’ restaurant, it was yet another additional charge. £9.95 this time. Wifi? £8 per hour! Want to use the safe in your cabin? £15 for the week. It was extremely annoying. General availability of information was a problem. We found that TUI were very bad at letting us know what to expect. They provide a service where once you drop your cases at the airport you don’t see them again until you get to your cabin. This is useful, but we didn't know about this until we were in the check-in line at the airport and were handed a label to put on our case by a TUI rep. Handy, but if we had anything in our cases that we wanted to use when we got to Dubrovnik before we got on the ship we would have been out of luck. We found the same with the shore excursions. For a start we had to Google how to book them as it isn't on the same web page as the cruise booking and nowhere had a link to the excursions sites. Once on board we found trips could be booked there, but many were sold out already and once again, we were not informed. The descriptions of the trip were also rather vague and in retrospect a bit misleading at times. For example on the Kefalonia Highlights trip in Argostoli, the tour we booked advertised "Next, it’s time for a visit to the island’s most photographed stretch of sand, Myrtos Beach. This mile-and-a-half-long curve of white pebbles is the setting for several scenes of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin." We carried around a bag with towels and swimming gear in all day only to find that this visit was a 2 minute stop at the top of a cliff to look down at the beach and take a picture. This particular tour was not a good pick due to the amount of time spent on the bus. In a five hour tour we had 20 minutes in a row boat (which to be fair was amazing) and 1 hour in a town called Fiskardo. It was very picturesque but we had no time to enjoy it before we had to head back to the coach. A couple of the tours we went on also had some very intense bouts of walking, either due to steep climbs or quick tour guides that had to be followed. This wasn't a problem for our group, but I would guess 75% of the guests on these tours were elderly and many had mobility issues. On one tour several people stayed on the coach as they couldn't do the walk to the Greek Ruins in Igoumenitsa. This could have been avoided by more information being given at the time of booking. In conclusion... We really enjoyed the trip but would not travel on the Celebration again, mostly due to the constant rumble and vibration being very off putting. We would also be hesitant about booking with TUI again due to the stream of additional charges and lack of provided information. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
we chose the cruise for the itinary also because we love the celebration the ship is very clean a bit tired but you wouldnt notice the staff are brilliant always smiling and helpful the cabin we had a suite was spotless and rohman our ... Read More
we chose the cruise for the itinary also because we love the celebration the ship is very clean a bit tired but you wouldnt notice the staff are brilliant always smiling and helpful the cabin we had a suite was spotless and rohman our steward was very good and always had a smile for us the food is excellent as always the dining room waiters oung and alwyn were lovely and looked after us so well we sat at their table the whole fortnight wasnt impressed with the showteam they seemed to do a lot of screeching but all the others were good the horizans team was very good also the liberties team were very good we have been on four times now and have always enjoyed it and had fun we will book again hopefully next year if the itinary is what we want the dreamliner plane was superb Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I just got back from cruising round Croatia and Italy this was my first cruise and I found the over all experience was totally amazing staff and crew bent over backwards to help you and the food was lovely always had a good variety to ... Read More
I just got back from cruising round Croatia and Italy this was my first cruise and I found the over all experience was totally amazing staff and crew bent over backwards to help you and the food was lovely always had a good variety to choose from even had burgers and snacks on if you just wanted something small to eat can't fault any part of my experience the bar staff where brilliant after a few days of being on board they knew what we wanted they where all very polite well mannered and would always try there best to get you what you asked for even though there was a language barrier however there where four bar staff on deck 6 (the promenade deck) there names are Arben, Zakhar,Dede,and Emillian they where a great bunch of guys who made my first cruise a memorable one as they all went that extra mile to help you and always made me smile no matter how I was feeling whether it was being hungover from the night before or just feeling tired they all brightened my day just by giving me a smile and basically doing what they are paid to do and that's to make sure the guests are happy and for that I would highly recommend the marella celebration cruise ship to my friends and family I will definitely be coming back on board again sometime . The cabins where spotless always kept clean didn't do any excursions as it was more of a relaxing holiday so my overall experience of my first cruise was 100% amazing Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
First time on a cruise & it certainly won't be the last. Our cases were taken at the airport & we didn't see them again until we got to our cabin. We were treated like royalty from the moment we got there. Short bus ... Read More
First time on a cruise & it certainly won't be the last. Our cases were taken at the airport & we didn't see them again until we got to our cabin. We were treated like royalty from the moment we got there. Short bus trip from airport to the ship & checking in was very swift & friendly. We were all inclusive & the drinks were plentiful so we didn't feel the need to upgrade our drinks package. The food was out of this world. We ate mainly in the Meridian Restaurant where the service was second to none. It was like dining in a very plush restaurant every meal time. The staff were a credit to the captain, so lovely & friendly and just wanted to ensure you were having the best time. There was one dessert we had that really was probably the most delicious desert that I have ever tasted & I told the waiter...only for him to bring me another one so I could enjoy it again! We had a few snacks in the Lido Restaurant which was their buffet eating area which was open pretty much all the time for food where you could eat indoor or outdoor. The food there was very good too with lots of choice. Hygiene was very important on the ship with hand sanitising machines in all the toilets, in the entrances to all the eating areas & dotted around the ship. We had a cabin with a balcony which was nice as we could retreat there & still enjoy the sun & also it was lovely to stand out there when leaving & coming into port. The cabin staff were brilliant too. Nothing was too much trouble, we had towel animals left each day which were really cute along with a chocolate on our pillow each night. We didn't do any of the planned excursions when in port, we just did our own thing, but it was pretty easy to have a "hop on, hop off" bus trip wherever we were. There was always plenty to do on board & I have to say the entertainment in the evening was out of this world, it was like going to a West End show every evening. Even the Captain was lovely. Made time to speak to any guests he met when he was around the ship. My only niggle (& it's a very small one) is that we had 2 photographs taken of us, one when we arrived on board & another taken of our group at the Captains meal & I decided it would be nice to buy them as a memento. We spoke to one of the photographers who was wandering around where the photos were displayed & said we'd like to buy the 2 photos, he told us we have to buy 3 photos as they're in a offer they were doing. I told him we'd only had 2 photos taken so there wouldn't be a 3rd we could buy & could we not just purchase the 2 we wanted & he told us we couldn't & walked off!!! I wasn't impressed as you know the photos are just going to be destroyed once we'd left so it seemed a bit mean we couldn't buy the 2 we wanted. He seemed very disinterested in us & had a "couldn't care less" attitude. Such a shame as everyone else on the ship was so friendly & helpful. We will definitely be booking another cruise with Marella & have been recommending them already. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We went in April and with Spring being the windiest season of the year, I knew I needed to strap myself in for a bumpy ride. NOT what I was expecting. Embarkation: Really easy and stress-free. Check in at the airport was fine ( I ... Read More
We went in April and with Spring being the windiest season of the year, I knew I needed to strap myself in for a bumpy ride. NOT what I was expecting. Embarkation: Really easy and stress-free. Check in at the airport was fine ( I still dont understand why they dont just give us those Priority Cruise tags once we've landed, but anywho ) and we were on our way. There were a few long-ish queues to check into the ship, but that was to be expected. Staff were very friendly to us, helping us to where we needed to be. Overall, the most stress-free check in i've had in a long time. Food: This is an issue I've always had with Thomson ( Well, now Marella ) ... I've never found anything WRONG with the food, its just always been a little...boring? If meat and vegetables and roast dinners every evening is your thing, then fine. But I guess I'd prefer something from the actual country I'm visiting, not just British food. Obviously if you dont like that kind of thing, then you're in luck! The actual food isself was wonderful. Considering I only had 4 dinners out of a possible 7 ( More on THAT later... ) they were all in all, pretty good. Lunches were always lots of choice, paninis, burgers, hot dogs, salads. We ate in the main restaurant for lunch one day, would HIGHLY reccomend. Lido was okay, just seemed to get a little too crowded for my liking. Having the drinks machine in the food queue, NOT a good idea. Overall, was okay, but could be better. Entertainment: We only went to 2 shows ( I'll tell you the reason... its coming ) but my god were they GOOD. I love musicals and all things like that, was right up my street. You could see how much the entertainers enjoyed performing for us, which was lovely to see. And their talent was out of this world! Other members of our party didnt agree, not enjoying the musicals. Other entertainment was also available. Live singers were always a treat to listen to. Quizzes throughout the daytime, activities on the pool deck ( When it wasnt raining sideways ). Finally, there was a games room, a library and a coffee shop. If you enjoyed a quieter ride, you had someplace to go. Overall, spectacular. Theres something for everyone. Excursions: We did one excursion, in Casablanca. All in all, it was okay. We went to a Mosque, which was BEAUTIFUL. The biggest Islamic place of worship outside of Mecca. The rest was... eye-opening. We were taken through a traditional market, where we werent allowed to buy anything. Instead we went to a tacky tourist shop... Not really my idea of fun. We were also taken through a different market- again, couldnt stop or anything. Not really sure why? Overall, an okay tour. Seemed a bit underplanned. Cabin: We had a Deck 1 cabin, pretty much as midship as you could get. Inside cabin. Very spacious and kept pristine at all times by our wonderful room steward. We had a problem with the shower on the 2nd day. Someone came right to our cabin within minutes of reporting it and sorted it so we could be on our way. Another thing, we barely ever saw our room steward. Which to me, is perfect. Never seeing them, so you never feel like you're in their way or they're in your way. Yet after a long day of adventuring, our beds were made, those little chocolates were on our pillow and we could just relax... Disembarkation: Not much to say here. The exact reverse of embarkation, completely stress free. General: In general the ship was clean. It smelled very clean upon walking in on the first day. The pool deck got untidy ( On the rare days it was actually used ) and the waiters and waitresses were always ready to fix everything for us. None of the staff ever seemed like they werent doing anything ( Except for when we left the port, and we all retreated to our porcelain vomit-bags ) Everyone was so friendly. It was just... perfect. So yes. We had some bad weather. The first night was fine, you could barely tell you were on a ship. Then we got through the Gibraltar strait, and all hell broke loose. Okay, I'm being a BIT dramatic... but throughout the course of the day the seas got rougher and rougher. So finally, at around 7pm that night I hid away in my cabin for the next 14 hours. Oh no, it didnt just last for one night... EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Rock...and roll. Im not exaggerating, 3/7 nights were about bareable for me, only because we had the protection of the Med on 2 of those nights, and the Portugese coast on the other. But the crew... they were FANTASTIC. The captain was everywhere, reassuring passengers throughout the day, then battling the seas throughout the night. We had winds at the top end of storm force 11. Bear in mind the scale only goes up to 12, and thats a Hurricane! Our cabin steward brought us extra towels on nights we didnt leave the cabin, they even delayed the ship by a few hours on the 3rd night so we could all have a nice dinner! The best thing that happened was on the final night. Since hardly anyone turned up to the captain's gala ( Escpecially in the second sitting ) they had loads of the staff come onto the stage in the entertainment, a really great photo opportunity. Just a great experience all around. The captain gave an announcement on the last day, thanking us for our co-operation, which was lovely of him. It was the worst weather he'd seen on around 20 years of working on a cruise ship, and at times it was some of the worst sea he'd ever seen. I'll miss the ship, and I'll definitely go back. Probably not on that itinerary though... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Right from the start this Cruise was a Ripoff. TUI changed flights from Glasgow from 7.30am to 2.30pm, lost 7 hrs straight away and gave us earlier flights on return, basically lost 2 days of our holiday.Said we could fly from Newcastle if ... Read More
Right from the start this Cruise was a Ripoff. TUI changed flights from Glasgow from 7.30am to 2.30pm, lost 7 hrs straight away and gave us earlier flights on return, basically lost 2 days of our holiday.Said we could fly from Newcastle if we wanted, but couldn't guarantee they wouldn't change these flights.Having been on Thomson Spirit the year before and received amazing service we expected this to be the same or better, boy were we about to be sorely disappointed. Most of the Eastern European staff were arrogant,ignorant and couldn't be ased doing anything, but why would they when they have a bar manager who never acknowledged passengers, never spoke, never smiled, wouldn't move out your way and was arrogant, ignorant and great role model for Staff.The Philippine staff could not have been any nicer, a credit to the company. Drinks were watered down, food was ok but nothing for youngsters.Perhaps a separate menu for under 10's Marella.Pizza,burgers and hot dogs every day get a tad boring.Did I mention that all the drinks are watered down. I was ill with your pork meatballs, most were undercooked.Service at meals could have been so much better, loads of times I had to go looking for spoons to eat my puddings or Brown sauce for my dinner and by the time I got back my meals were cold. Childrens entertainment was ok and the two staff tried there best, but you seriously need someone to show you how to work with kids and with over 20 years of experience of working with young people, I Do know what I am talking about.Happy kids make Happy Parents. The ship was noisy and I don't mean the engines, every night from 10.00 pm - 2.00 am what sounded like a train would roar by our cabins and wake us up, not happy and funnily enough wasn't mentioned in the brochure. Shore excursions were ok, but cancelling Portmao trip because of a Port workers strike and taking us to Helvua was a poor substitute...You knew about strike well in advance and could have offered us a tourist destination, Helvua was not a tourist destination. Have I mentioned the drinks were all watered down. The ship also charges for everything, visit to the deck to see captain, give us your money, momento of your miles travelled, give us your money, want to safely store things in your cabin,give us your money. I could go on and on and on, but basically this Cruise was a mini Blackpool at Sea, tatty and money money money and judging from other passengers complaints not a very good advert for Marcella. I Paid well over £6500 to take all my family on what I told them would be a brilliant Cruise. Never again will Marella Cruises be getting my hard earned money and never will I tell people how good they are...keep it up Marella, great way to go out of business. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Sorry for this being a long review but I tried to cover most of what we did and how we found it. The holiday started well at the airport, travelling premier class with TUI we were whisked through check in and security, it was the last ... Read More
Sorry for this being a long review but I tried to cover most of what we did and how we found it. The holiday started well at the airport, travelling premier class with TUI we were whisked through check in and security, it was the last we saw of our hold luggage until it arrived at our cabin. We were greeted on the plane with a glass of bubbly before take off, we were glad to have booked premier as it was a 9 hour flight the longest we have ever done. There was plenty of room to move around in your seat, video's to watch and plenty to eat and drink. On arrival at the Dominican Republic, going through security was just as fast as check in at home, signing in at the ship was fast and straight forward, if you can travel premier when with TUI it saves a lot of time at check in's and security. Marella Celebration had not changed much from our last cruise her in October 2016, new carpeting and seating in Hemmingways and Horizons lounges. The standard of food on board was very good it was well cooked and presented in The Meridian Restaurant, in the Lido Buffet the standard was just as good with plenty of variety to suit every one. We tended to have breakfast and lunch in the Lido Buffet where there was always a large selection of both hot and cold foods along with a plentiful array of fruit, we were able to have as little or as much as we wanted. Our preference was to have evening dinner in The Meridian Restaurant served by waiters Iasury, Jaydeep and Katerina and wine by Kumar who did an excellent job keeping the glasses full. Health and gluten free meals were available on request in The Meridian Restaurant and on display in the Lido Buffet to help yourself. It was definitely an excellent change to our eating experience on Marella Dream in September 2017 where the food was just about as god as pub grub and dolloped on your plate. Being repeat Marella (Thomson) cruisers we had seen most of the shows/guest artists on previous cruises, so it would not be fair to make comment on any of the shows we attended. Being a repositioning cruise the cruise itinerary had 8 port stops and 9 days at sea this made the cruise very relaxing. After our first day at sea we arrived at Curacao, where we did the Discover Curacao Island Tour which started with a visit to Curacao Museum in Otrabanda, one floor is kitted out like a 19th century Curacao mansion, then on to the Hato Caves which have about 50 steps to enter and exit the caves which are full of stalagmites and stalactites, next we were on to the Chobolo Liqueur Factory where you can see where the islands Blue Curacao Liqueur is made along with a tasting. The caves make this trip unsuitable for wheelchair users or those with waking difficulties. Our next port of call was Aruba where we did the Aruba Off Road trip, starting with a visit to Casibari Rock a formation that is the result of the island’s trade winds, then on to the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins which operated in the 19th century, next it was on to the ocean carved Natural Bridge, followed by the Alto Vista Chapel and the California Lighthouse which sits on the islands northwest tip, finally to the palm fringed white sands at Arashi Beach. This trip would be unsuitable to wheelchair users also those with back or joint problems and pregnant women due to the very rough and uneven terrain covered. Next was the island of Bonaire where we did the Bonaire Highlights & Culture Explorer tour. Our first stop was the village of Rincon at the Rose Inn to sample the locally Cadushy Liqueur made from cactus and lime, then on to the Mangazina di Rei Culture Park where The King’s Warehouse is the second oldest building on the island, finally to the Salt Flats and Salt Mountains where salt was mined by slaves in the 19th century, some of the old slave huts are still standing. This trip would suit most people looking for a relaxing non-energetic trip. Our second day at sea was a welcome break, there were plenty of activities organised if you were becoming bored with the sun bathing, but most cruisers were topping up on their sun tan. Our 4th port of call was Castries, St. Lucia, where we had booked the Scenes of St. Lucia tour, starting with a drive up the scenic Morne Fortune hillside, translated as “Hill of Good Luck”, it was a key battleground during colonial times, our first stop was at St Marks House, a colonial style house high in the hills where you have a panoramic view of Castries harbour and the Caribbean sea. Then it was on to St. Lucia’s one and only rum distillery, where you see how the spirit is produced, afterwards you have a chance to sample the produce, all 17 different rum’s, from double strength to crème liqueur varieties and it was help yourself, you were invited go round twice if you wanted, no one in our group was brave enough. Lastly it was a bit of retail therapy at Howelton Estate/Caribelle Batic which is famous throughout the Caribbean for it’s batic prints. This tour was easy on the legs and would be suitable for most people. The next port of call was St. John’s, Antigua where we went on the Highlights of Antigua, the first stop was The Blockhouse Fort ruins, perched 500 feet above sea level making it a great viewing platform for the island. Then it was on to Shirley Heights where during the 18th century soldiers used this as a lookout to spot their enemies and signal to near by forts. Finally it was on to Nelson’s Dockyard which is the world’s only working Georgian Dockyard still in use today, you are able to stroll through the Georgian buildings and visit the original Naval Officer’s house. This tour is not suitable for wheelchair users or those with walking difficulties due to the rough terrain under foot. Our final port of call in the Caribbean before 6 days a sea was Philipsburg, St. Maarten, where we did the Philipsburg by Trolley Train tour, our first stop was a short distance from the ship at a cheese outlet for free samples, most of the cheese on show was the same as home, but we did get a free tub of ice cream which was delicious, the trolley train then took us on a natural, cultural and historic landmarks trip through Philipsburg, stopping at two venues for a quick taste of flavoured rums. We then had a 30 min stop for shopping etc. before returning to the ship. This was a short easy tour which was suitable for most people. Our next 6 days at sea were spent relaxing, attending some of the activities arranged on ship, but mostly finding a nice quiet place to sit and watch time go by. After 6 days at sea our port of call was Funchal, Madeira, where some cruisers could hardly wait to get on terra firma. We had booked the Taste of Madeira & Cable Car, after a short coach run to the cable car station it into the cable car for the ride from Funchal to Monte where the panoramic views are superb. It was then decision time, go back down by coach or wicker toboggan. The toboggan won, it was a great experience sitting in the wicker toboggan sliding down hill guided by two drivers using their rubber soled boots as brakes, then it was on to the Botanical Gardens, unfortunately the weather had been unusually cold this year and plants were about a month behind normal so there was not much to see. The toboggan ride costs 30 euro per couple or 25 euro single, well worth the experience. This tour is not suitable for wheelchair users and may cause problems for those with walking difficulties. Next it was our last lazy day at sea, by now it was a bit colder 18c and a bit chilly for sitting on deck. Our last port of call was Gibraltar, having been here many times we decided to do our own thing and walk into town for a bit of window shopping, have a coffee or two and people watch. Our disembarking port was Malaga, transfer from ship to airport was carried out very smoothly and efficiently, but not as quick as our outbound flight, overall it was another pleasant experience even though we had to carry our own cases this time. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Firstly, this is a rather late review, as we cruised at the end of February/beginning of March. It will also be long, as I tend to waffle on. Sorry. Anyway. Having read numerous reviews on here before we went, we had all decided to go ... Read More
Firstly, this is a rather late review, as we cruised at the end of February/beginning of March. It will also be long, as I tend to waffle on. Sorry. Anyway. Having read numerous reviews on here before we went, we had all decided to go with an open mind, which to be fair, is our usual stance with holidays, as you really can’t please everyone! We were a group of four – my mum and her other half, and me and my uncle. We very much enjoyed our experience on the ship. We have only done one other cruise – back in 2016 on the Norwegian Spirit, and we really wanted to do another, but money was an issue. We paid quite a bit more for this cruise and stay than we did for the first cruise, but do feel we got our money’s worth for both the week on the ship, and then the next week at the hotel. Firstly, yes, the ship is old. I would assume if people have written a review on this website, then they likely also read reviews before they went, and would therefore know that the ship is not brand new, and will therefore not look brand new. Yes, it does vibrate and I can appreciate every comment on this. However, we went expecting it (from the aforementioned reading other reviews), and were lucky to find it wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be (or more accurately wasn’t as bad as others seem to have experienced). Choose a seat carefully I would say  . It really didn’t bother us at all in the cabin, where we thought it would be the worst, so that was great, although we were on deck 4, so possibly is worse in the lower decks to be fair. The cabin was as spacious as it could be really, we found we had plenty of room to store everything without feeling cramped. Beds were better than expected. Nice to have tea and coffee in the room (although the sweeteners didn’t get replenished), as well as the big bottle of water a day, seen as bottled water is not included in the all inclusive, as many others have noted. Found the bathroom quite small compared to what we had experienced previously, but the bedroom was bigger, so there you go. We enjoyed having a porthole this time, was much easier to get up with natural light in the room and I would like to have this option again, if it is affordable. We also paid to pick our cabin numbers when booking, and liked our choices location wise. We had no problems with the buffet restaurant, and used this for most meals, as well as late night snacks (we drink too much, we know, don’t judge us!). We thought the food was of good quality, and a varied enough choice. We especially enjoyed the hot puddings and custard from a personal view. We liked that there was waiter service for drinks (Norwegian did not have this) and they appeared fairly quickly to take orders and then bring them as well. Glasses and cups were replenished pretty quickly, and tables were also cleared efficiently. There was a cook to order pasta and Chinese food station, also a panini station outside on deck, and afternoon tea most days which was lovely. We had no problems with the wine and beer provided in the all inclusive and enjoyed them extensively ;) Also I personally felt that there was an enormous choice of cocktails included, lots of people had previously complained there weren’t many, but really, there were LOADS. And they were also very enjoyable. Yes, there are a few that have supplements. Pay if you want that extra special one, but we found nothing wrong with what was on the included list. The only downside was that a bushwhacker wasn’t included (our favorite from Norwegian made with ice cream) but somehow we coped! We actually found the various bar staff also had no problems with trying to make anything you wanted cocktail wise (obviously don’t do this when there’s a massive queue, that’s just rude), and they were generous with their measures. We honestly thought all the staff on this ship were brilliant, they work horribly long hours, and you can understand why lots of them are grumpy at times and don’t want to smile and listen to you whine because they don’t have something you particularly want, but everyone on this ship was fantastic. Always smiling, making time to chat, but still managing to get everyone drinks quickly. Brilliant service. There was a fair amount of upselling going on during the first few days of staff trying to get everyone to “upgrade” which was a bit annoying, but I suppose some people may have appreciated the available options. We did eat breakfast in the Meridian a couple of times. Would say service is very “relaxed” in here, but food lovely and makes a nice change to just sit and be waited on, rather than dashing around and standing in queues waiting for eggs and toast etc. We thought the gala evening was fun, and again enjoyed the food, as well as the ample wine which somehow mysteriously kept getting topped up every time I was talking to someone and not looking… Sunbeds were an issue, yes. They always are going to be when its predominantly us Brits around. Sorry, but I think we have topped other nations now, with our bad habits of sun bed hogging. However, we found we liked to sit along the side of the ship as there was some shade around rather at the front or back, and we could usually find beds there. The staff did go round and leave notes on beds which had been unoccupied for a while as well, saying that the stuff would be removed. Played bingo a few times. Much more reasonably priced than Norwegian and much difference between prize money as well. We also joined in a couple of quizzes and even managed to win one, which is unheard of for our group! Found the entertainment to be of high quality, good singers and dancers. I didn’t find the comedian to my taste, but everyone else seemed to enjoy it, and its still nice to see something different. We enjoyed Hemingways Bar and Horizons as well. My mum and I both suffered fairly badly with sea sickness on our first cruise, and had to always sit in the middle of the ship so didn’t get to enjoy a lot of places on the Norwegian ship, but we were much better on the Celebration (yes even with the vibrations haha!) and did really enjoy the Horizons bar in particular, especially late afternoon for a quick cocktail (or three – stop judging!) after sunbathing and port walking. I only had one night where I was particularly ill and had to take nausea tablets, and when I managed to get up later in the evening and was wobbling about trying to get some fresh air, the staff were great at noticing and bringing me some ginger ale to help settle my stomach. It does help in case anyone who hadn’t tried it wondered! Also, plain crackers are good to settle a stomach as well. We thought everyone was so friendly on this cruise, everyone chatted to everyone and were all really nice people, all there to enjoy themselves. People also seemed to dress up nicely in the evenings as well which was great to see. We always found seating where we wanted which was good. Thought Marella handled the transfers to and from port and hotel very well, although our transfer time was more than double what we were told it would be, and a guy came onto our minibus and gave a really hard sell for mosquito bands, which although they were useful, I didn’t really need to hear all about mosquitos and their habits on a long bus trip right before the next part of my holiday! They also really really stank, and as we were on a small bus, wasn’t particularly pleasant! We found embarkation and disembarkation (in the Dom Rep) a smooth process. We didnt do any excursions so cant comment. All in all, we had a really great trip and wouldn’t hesitate to book another Marella cruise if the price was right. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I could hardly express how great it was! It really exceeded my expectations. We were on the Caribbean Gems cruise. Indeed, the ship is old but does not ruin anything. The maintainenace is excellent, everything is cleaned every day ... Read More
I could hardly express how great it was! It really exceeded my expectations. We were on the Caribbean Gems cruise. Indeed, the ship is old but does not ruin anything. The maintainenace is excellent, everything is cleaned every day and every hour. We were in a cabin on deck one and it was quite rocky especially during the first night (it was the day at sea) but we got used to it quickly. The cabin was not very spacious but there was enough place for all our stuff. We were a little disappointed that we bed was not double and we had to sleep on separate beds. We had a window and could watch the waves crashing on the ship, it was fascinating.Our cabin steward was great, he cleaned the acbin twice a day and arranged the towels in the shape of animals :) The dining was perfect. Most of the dishes in Lido restaurant (the buffet) were not something really special but there was a great variety and the food was always available, fresh and warm. Mistal's restaurant provided excelent cuisine and service. The lobster and the beef were so delicious. Kora La was not as special as we expected - you could skip it. The entertainment was superb. There was something for everyone - live performances, singing, dancing, theathe, trivia, karaoke and so on. For me, the funniest moments were when the staff themselves were part of the show - they amused us a lot and you can tell that they enjoyed themselves. Speaking of the staff - they are thoroughly amazing and make you feel fantastic. Now that the cruise ended, I miss the ship, I miss the sea, I miss the staff, everything. this is definitely the worst part... Don't worry about getting seasick. I have problems when travelling by car and I often have nausea but I did not feel bad during the cruise. It is just as if you are a little drunk and cannot keep balance ;) The shore excursions were amazing too, especially Seven Sisters in Grenada and Swimming with stingrays in Antigua. The organization of embarkation, excursions and everything was punctual and smooth. All in all - it is soooooo good, do not hesitate to do it! Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was a great cruise, my first one! I am used to arranging holidays myself so to be honest i thought i would be bored but i was so wrong! There was plenty to do. First of all for what i paid for both of us, i was astounded at ... Read More
This was a great cruise, my first one! I am used to arranging holidays myself so to be honest i thought i would be bored but i was so wrong! There was plenty to do. First of all for what i paid for both of us, i was astounded at what i got for the price, i was even trying to work out how they made any money out of that once flights where taken off etc. The booking process was simple, the flight was clean, comfortable, well provided for and the process of getting to the ship was easy. Yes there are a lot of older generation people on the ship, i have no idea how people can moan about this in the reviews lol!, who really cares! everyone knows that demographically your retired and well off older people are going to be a likely target market for the cruise, it didn't bother me at all, why would it lol. I didn't spend the whole trip sat next to old people taking out their false teeth in front of me, they make it sound horrific lol. The ship is old. That is okay. Some people are moaning about this, believe it or not people are quite capable of doing their own research before hand, i googled the ship before hand, i could see it was an older ship, ships can be old, they are allowed to be old!, how can people moan that a ship is old! yes it is!, if they don't like it, don't go on that particular ship! what are the agents supposed to do? give it an age warning just in-case? people need to get a grip. It was an older ship yes, did the slight creaks bother me? no it didn't, absolutely fine. The entertainment was fab, a great variety, some people are moaning about this too, if i wasn't in the mood for a pop quiz i could simply walk away from it and sit at another pool or part of the ship, people do have free choice and cannot expect to have every aspect provided to their needs ALL the time, it drives me batty. I didn't expect to like much entertainment on board because i don't usually see shows etc, but i was pleasantly surprised and a great comedian too! The food was great, yes the all you can eat area might not have been fine dining but it was fine for me, and to be honest it was exceptional value for money, there was lots of choice, for what i paid for the cruise i had lower expectations, but there was nothing low about the quality of the food. The ports where great too, yes the British virgin islands had been damaged by the hurricane, i expected this, there had just been a hurricane, even then i had choices, go on one of the tours to get me away from the lesser damaged areas, or stay on the ship, i cannot moan at company for taking us their, they are one of the only ships that are still docking at tortola and giving well needed custom to an island that really needs our help. I could either 'moan that we shouldn't have gone there because aesthetically it didn't meet my needs' or go 'sod it, who cares, we are helping someone, if i am privileged enough to even go on a cruise, then some broken buildings and bent palm trees are not going to trouble me', and i made sure i give the local shops there my money too. We visited lots of beautiful islands. It was amazing and i swear every single member of staff greeted us and said hi, it was lovely. We had to see an on-ship doctor at one point, that was great too, yes i paid for the doctor, did i expect to get it free? no of course i didn't! i didn't mind paying either! someone was moaning earlier that the on ship doctor wasn't free, jesus christ! Sure there might be some luxury high end cruises that wrap the cost of this up in their ticket prices but it certainly wasn't going to be in a marella cruise ticket,it's a cruise not the ritz lol, of course its extra! doctors have jobs, incomes, families, he's probably contracted out by the company as well, hiring a doctor is not cheap!, everything needs looking after, it's so mean of people to say its a money grabbing exercise from the ship, well yes it is grabbing money, to pay the blimming doctors wages and keep it a high standard! thats how business works. I loved my cruise but some people want everything given to them and do not appreciate things. It was lovely!!!!! Our room cleaner was really great too! saying hi every single day! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Fantastic time on this cruise. The staff and crew made the holiday from the time we boarded until the time we left. We would like to thank all the staff but would like to name a few who made our first time special. Our cabin ... Read More
Fantastic time on this cruise. The staff and crew made the holiday from the time we boarded until the time we left. We would like to thank all the staff but would like to name a few who made our first time special. Our cabin steward was Ronaldo who always smiled and was always there if we needed anything. Every morning in the Meridian restaurant we were greeted by the staff who were all pleasant and helpful especially Rosey. At night we returned to the Meredian and was spoilt by Frank our waiter who was always pleasant, polite and who spent time learning our names so we felt special (especially my mother who is in her 80’s and everyone called met mammy). Our wine waiter was Kumar who was so polite and always smiling, he made sure our glasses were never empty and made the most fantastic cocktails. After the show at night (which were always brilliant) we went to the Horizons bar were the staff could not do enough for you. They were so funny the way the reacted to each other it was sometimes like being at another show. We would like to thank Mohammed, Roger, Cecelia, Benjamin and Rohan for making our time on the Marella a memorable one. All the officers were pleasant but we enjoyed chatting to Chimi who was in charge of all the restaurants. If we met any of the staff or officers around the ship they always spoke and therefore when we look at cruising again in the future it will be with Thompson’s. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We were only on this ship last year travelling from Jordon to Dubai and most things were ok. Been on it before around the Med and that cruise was ok too. However this last Caribbean cruise was extremely disappointing! Even more so when ... Read More
We were only on this ship last year travelling from Jordon to Dubai and most things were ok. Been on it before around the Med and that cruise was ok too. However this last Caribbean cruise was extremely disappointing! Even more so when THE PRICE DROPPED BY £600!! What kind of incentive is there to book early when they pull a stunt like that?? The embarkation etc went quite well and fairly speedy but then things went downhill pretty quick. As so often happens with Marella cruises the ship was on precautionary lockdown due to another "Noro Viral" outbreak. Therefore the games room and Library was closed, the Sauna etc was also closed. No helping yourself in the self service restaurant. Drinks, water, tea and coffee etc and all food had to be served to you. No pasta station. No pizza station. No burger chips and salad station either, (normally outside in the fresh air). The dining was like a frenzied cattle market and if you managed to bag a fed up wine waiter.....well done, you normally finish the meal before one appears. Dining in the main restaurant was much calmer and nicer with waiter service which can be slow. I asked for brown sauce at breakfast one day and the waiter just said no sir???? I thought he was kidding....but he wasn't! Careful with your trips, ours got cancelled and they didn't bother to tell us until late at night! Not enough people wanted to go. TOP TIP...HAVE A THINK ABOUT FORGETTING THE DRINKS PACKAGE!! Lots of guests were complaining about the poor quality of drinks. The beer was Fosters lager. Cocktails were mixed by people under pressure and it showed, they were badly made! Gin or Vodka and tonic was very bland with way too much ice and tonic, no slice of lemon or lime available (WHY) even when you asked and no drinking straw, unless you asked. Bottled water is not included! I have to say that the normal drinks waiters in the show rooms and lounges were pretty good on the whole. The evening entertainment was great as were the singers and the band who sang and played exceptionally well. On disembarkation day there are no drinks available on the upper sun decks, you have to wander back into the ship and carry them back up the stairs, try and carry 2 hot cups of tea from aft to stern then up in the lift and finally up the stairs.....great fun!!!! In a nutshell there was nothing to celebrate about the Celebration! Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Firstly this was a 3 star cruise with 5 star staff. Having done two previous cruises on Majesty and Spirit we knew what to expect and were not disappointed. Some useful information first. 1. If you are just doing the cruise for one ... Read More
Firstly this was a 3 star cruise with 5 star staff. Having done two previous cruises on Majesty and Spirit we knew what to expect and were not disappointed. Some useful information first. 1. If you are just doing the cruise for one or two weeks without a hotel stay you do not have to pay 10 Dollar entrance or 20 dollar exit from Dominican Republic. 2. There is a charge for the safe in the room which is £15 for one week or £25 for a two week cruise. 3. Do check in early online to get seats together. On previous flights we were only allowed to check in 7days before but on this trip you could do it a month before. 4. The flight out from London Gatwick took 8 hrs 30 mins and back just under 8 hours. Food served around 2 hours into flight going out and a free drink and wine with dinner. Flight back we had Chicken Pie and veg with wine and Breakfast 90 mins before landing. 5. Transfer time from La Romana airport to the ship is 15 minutes then you queue outside for about 30-40 mins to check in and get your room cards and safe keys. Baggage gets to your room about 2 hours later. Suggest have light clothes for arrival as it was 29c when we got there. 6. Wifi is expensive on the ship in my opinion £7 for one hour or £15 per day. I think you can buy a weekly package if you need to use it a lot. The ship is dated 35 years old but the staff are constantly cleaning and maintaining the ship. Whilst we were aboard the captain invoked enhanced santitation which meant you could not serve yourself in the buffet not even coffee or tea. This caused delays which some passengers got frustrated with. This action was taken because a few passengers went down with tummy bugs and they did not want it to spread. Also there was no access to the Saunas, Jacuzzi, or laundry/ironing rooms. It was fine with us. A couple of things that did irritate us were the inconsiderate passengers that gathered in groups and wanted to chat through the shows. Go to the bar or coffee shop if you want to chat. Secondly there is a noticeable engine vibration that feels like a worn prop shaft and you shake in your seat in some parts of the theatre or Lido buffet. The food was ok, always found something to eat some of the starter portions were miniscule like 5 pieces of calamari or the potatoes with blue cheese were just two tiny spuds cut with a bit of blue cheese in the middle. One chap on our table ordered this as a main course and got 4 potatoes on their own no garnish. One tip here is that if you don’t fancy the soups there is a tomato and basil option that is not shown on the menu. The fish was overcooked on a couple of occasions particularly the salmon. The food in the Lido was ok, the sweets and jellies were a bit repetitive but we enjoyed what we chose. A good selection of herb teas and decaff coffee was also available. There are two speciality restaurants, one that serves indian cuisine and costs £17.95 per person extra or the other ala carte which cost £19.95 per person. The main entertainment was in the Broadway Theatre for the shows or in Liberties for the Quizzes or Mr and Mrs evening. If you do participate don’t get caught cold with the answer to the question ‘What unusual place have you had amorous relations’ i.e back of an Austin Alegro or in the sea at the resort!. It is a bit of fun and Gavin the cruise director does a great job at comparing this show. Tarin, Amy and Taylor The Milky bar Kid are also great fun. The two must see shows in my opinion are The Man in The Mirror Michael Jackson tribute and Cameron Classics with a fabulous Les Miserable Finale. The show team were excellent . A couple of the shows were shown twice in the two week cruise. Queen Tribute and Cameron Classics. Andre the Magician was good but Kamika the male/female duo reminded me of a pub act although the guitarist was good with his Eagles rendition. The first port of call after leaving La Romana is Road Town Tortola. The island is just getting back on its feet and some devastation is still there to see but the people are so friendly and welcoming. The ship is only in port for 4 hours we just walked into the town and had a look at the shops but the second week we visited Pussers Bar ‘ Serving cruise ships since 1979’ looks nothing from outside but do go inside and have a look at the art deco, nautical bric a brac and tiffany lamps. Also an exclusive (expensive clothes) shop at the rear of the bar. Next Stop was St Martin, we got a water taxi over to the beach 7 dollars return 15 dollars for two sun beds and brollie some vendors were also offering 5 bottles of beer for 10 dollars. Nice beach and plenty of shops to browse. Off to Granada next, here we did a Tui tour Highlights of Granada £36 each which was 2 hours long with a 20 minute drink stop halfway through at a nice bar in a lovely location. Drink included in cost interesting info from Driver/Guide. Then onto Antigua where we took a Tui tour Sun and Rum £34 each to the Beach which was called Mistic beach. This was very nice two sunbeds and free unlimited Rum Punch ( be careful because after 3 you start to feel tipsy) Fruit punch is another option. You do have to pay an extra 10 dollars if you want a sunshade. I was impressed they had 3 life guards on the beach. Sea a little rough pm so no good for snorkelling. Castries St Lucia next and this was the only place we felt unsafe and hassled. Water Taxi to the centre was $5 return from the berth we were berthed at. As you approach the Water taxi booths choose the one on the right for the nicer boat transfer. You can walk to the nearest beach which is about 20 mins but as a policeman told us be vigilant and keep your eyes open. Do not wear any bling as one guy had his necklace ripped from his neck. Suggest maybe do a tour here but not the little train around the town reports were not good. Back to La Romana where we booked the Altos De Chavron and Boat trip. Supposedly where they filmed Jurrasic park but the tour guide told us that was 100km away! It was a nice tour but the cost is £55 and if you don’t want to do the boat trip part then you can get a courtesy bus to the replica 16th century village for $8. The boat trip 30-40 mins was nice and free drinks on board and sandwiches but all there is to see are a couple of expensive houses palm trees and maybe some Iguana. We enjoyed it. After a second visit to Road town we went onto Bassetere St Kitts. A free shuttle bus takes you to the centre and there are lots of shops a nice town to pootle around. There are also local tours available here at a much cheaper price than the tours on the ship. Also if you are looking at Jewellery and are serious about buying push for an extra 10% off their offer price. As you walk out they may accept your offer!. Martinique was the next port of call with a large port promenade area where you can either pick up a ferry to the beach for $7 or just have a walk around to the castle and around the shops. Bridgetown Barbados is about a 30 minute walk to the centre and it is worth paying $2 each way for a taxi. We docked on a Sunday and the shops do not open until 10am. In the afternoon we did the Beach Transfer to Carlisle beach with Tui which included sunbeds and shade and a free drink. A busy but nice beach cost of trip £24 each. Last port of call was Kingstown St Vincent. Now just to be clear The Botanical gardens are walkable from the ship 30-40 mins at a stroll but last 800m is up hill so do it early in the morning. Price of entry is $2 and $4 dollars extra if you want a guide. We were told by the rep it was a 20 minute taxi ride and $20 dollars entry (not true). In the afternoon we did the Tui Caribbean Pirate Sailaway which was a 3.5 hour trip along the coast to see where Pirates of The Caribbean one was filmed. Rum Punch and soft drinks served on board and one hour stop for snorkelling Not cheap at £55 each but a very enjoyable afternoon. In summary we had a lovely time, the room on deck one was fine, our cabin steward Adang was amazing. As we were at the front of the ship Room 802 there was a couple of nights when the ship was sailing into a headwind and as the waves hit the ship you could hear a loud thud. We took earplugs for situations like this. You have to vacate your room at 8am but you can ask to keep your room til noon for £25 or there is also a courtesy room available for a 20 min shower, key at reception. We met some lovely people each night at dinner and hello to Carol and Chris and Len and Karen whose company and chat we enjoyed. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I have to say this was my first ever cruise with my hubby and he had booked it for my 40th birthday surprise. He thought it would be something different from our usual beach holidays. I was a little worried at first as I thought cruises ... Read More
I have to say this was my first ever cruise with my hubby and he had booked it for my 40th birthday surprise. He thought it would be something different from our usual beach holidays. I was a little worried at first as I thought cruises were just for older people but I was very much mistaken. It was one of the best holidays I have had and we go on many holidays. The age range was from babies to very old. Everything about the cruise was amazing, every staff member says hello and cannot do enough for you. The food and DRINK were brilliant, we were AI and the variety was unbelievable. Entertainment was brilliant, there were broadway shows, karaoke, sports, everything you can actually imagine and late night discos every night. The different ports we docked at everyday were fantastic. This ship has everything you could want in a cruise, it is as laid back as you like or as fancy as you like. I have to again mention the staff and service on board its 1st class. The cabins are very modern and spotless clean, they are checked a few times a day by your specified room steward who also comes in at night when your out on board and turns down the bed and puts a chocolate on the pillows, such a nice touch. I will definitely 100% be going on another cruise soon with Marella (Thomson). My husband chose Thomson cruises as we always book our holidays with Thomson/first choice. Very good choice in my opinion as there is nothing at all to fault - well done thomsons!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose the Celebration for the Gibraltar visit, because it was the place we wanted to visit most, spending around 10 hours in port, most of the port visits were pretty good, although the visit to Portimãoi was rather pointless, ... Read More
We chose the Celebration for the Gibraltar visit, because it was the place we wanted to visit most, spending around 10 hours in port, most of the port visits were pretty good, although the visit to Portimãoi was rather pointless, not much to see or do, activities for younger passengers were limited, my son was 15 at the time, all the pools at close at 6pm leaving nothing to do at all for the kids the food was very good for buffet food, and the staff were excellent very limited and very expensive WiFi at £49.99 for 7 days, you can get WiFi in your cabin The cabin was very good, and cleaned lots, sometimes twice a day, we didn't take any of the excursions, we thought pp £37 for a 1 hour trip was far too much there are a few hidden surcharges on food and drinks, so not all-inclusive, we were charged £7 per person for a shuttle bus to Portimaoi, that was quicker to walk than the bus, although the crew were very good, the ship let the cruise down, so i doubt i would cruise with Thomson again, there are better value deals on better equipped ship for a longer duration Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We are 1st time cruisers, family of four, including two older teenage children. Everything went smoothly, journey and embarkation. Lovely welcome on board by staff. All staff were excellent their whole aim was to keep you happy and serve ... Read More
We are 1st time cruisers, family of four, including two older teenage children. Everything went smoothly, journey and embarkation. Lovely welcome on board by staff. All staff were excellent their whole aim was to keep you happy and serve in any way possible. The ship was very comfortable, cleaning was continual, everywhere so nothing was ever dirty or untidy. Rooms were made up twice a day, always clean towels. Cabin Steward Joko was very friendly helpful and pleasant. Ours was an outside cabin on deck 2 with the girls next door. These were not huge but were perfectly comfortable and kept clean and tidy. Food was fabulous we used a combination of the Lido and Meridian restaurants. Food was good in both but particularly in the Meridian Restaurant where we enjoyed excellent service from our waiter Alpin. We had a free upgrade at the point of booking to all inclusive, this was well worth it for a family party. After our evening meal we enjoyed the nightly shows in the Broadway Show Lounge, entertainment was very good and was enjoyed by the whole family. we also enjoyed the other entertainers around the ship performing in different bars and decks at various points throughout the day and night. We enjoyed all our destinations and ports of call. Being an active family we were happy to walk into many of the destinations on our own and found most walk in ports were about 20 mins on foot to get to the main points of interest. We did take a couple of payable shuttle busses in Stockholm and Helsinki as these were a longer distance and also a shorter amount of time was allowed in these two places as it was an early leaving sail time. We found this the only disappointing thing, that that some shore days were not as long as we may have liked. Excellent full day trip in St Pertersburg which included a guide who spoke excellent English, and a very good Russian meal, which we all enjoyed. All in all a good holiday with very good memories to take away. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We have sailed with Thomson many times, but we consider that " penny pinching " is now in force. Menu wise - now only three courses, unless you request an extra starter, but food in general was ok. Ship just the same - charming ... Read More
We have sailed with Thomson many times, but we consider that " penny pinching " is now in force. Menu wise - now only three courses, unless you request an extra starter, but food in general was ok. Ship just the same - charming - but does show its age. Entertainment probably the worst we have experienced, no lack of effort, but the singing quality not up to scratch, fortunately the dancing was first class. The lectures on board very interesting. Having had my little moan I am sure we will travel with Thomson in the future, we like the smaller ships and without doubt the staff just cannot be beaten. The excursions we did with Thomson ok, but over-priced. In St Petersburg we did a 2 day Grand Tour with Alla Tours and would strongly recommend them. All in all we had a great fortnight and met with many interesting people Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Six of us joined the cruise at Newcastle Port on 15 July 2017. Embarkation was easy; we had booked a suite so we got priority boarding but there was a large queue of people awaiting their ticket colour being called. Our cabin was ... Read More
Six of us joined the cruise at Newcastle Port on 15 July 2017. Embarkation was easy; we had booked a suite so we got priority boarding but there was a large queue of people awaiting their ticket colour being called. Our cabin was excellent, it had a bath, which was a bonus and the cabin steward introduced himself and did a fantastic job for the fortnight. The itinerary was the main reason we booked and we weren't disappointed in Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, St Petersburg etc - amazing places to visit if even for a short time. Why such a small ship docks in Kalundborg rather than going straight into Copenhagen like the rest of the ships, I'm unsure; it may have something to do with the cheaper docking fees and the fact that Thomsons can then upsell a trip for an extortionate price. The ship was in a state of 'increased hygiene' for the first 4 days of our trip, no explanation was forthcoming from Thomsons; one thing their PR department do really well is ignore negative issues rather than explain them to their paying customers. The swimming pools had no water in them, no self service food or drinks, library, games etc closed off. This all changed after 4 days - no explanation was forthcoming. The food was mediocre. Service in certain areas, especially behind the bar in Hemmingways (not the waiters) was terrible, the less said about the 'show' team the better. Our little one loved the kids club so that was a real positive, the 2 girls who ran it, Rachel and Laura, were superb. This has been our 4th Thomsons cruise as a group and this has been the worst service we have ever experienced. I doubt we'll be back. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Been with Thomson before but never to the fjords so decided to try this one. The fjords was excellent even though the weather wasn't the best, however the ship didn't impress us. We were constantly told the ship was on level 3 ... Read More
Been with Thomson before but never to the fjords so decided to try this one. The fjords was excellent even though the weather wasn't the best, however the ship didn't impress us. We were constantly told the ship was on level 3 hygiene as they had previously had the 'sickness' bug on board. So everyone had to be served in the lido restaurant which meant the service was slow and food was often cold by the time you got back to the table. You got to the end of the breakfast line to get toast then when asked for butter had to go back to the start of the line again. In the main restaurant the service was very slow and twice we waited that long for tea/coffee that we ended leaving with out any. They were obsessed with sanitising your hands all the time but I notice the TV remote and phone in the cabin has never been wiped in ages if nurovirus had been on the ship surely passengers would be stuck in cabins watching tv and ringing reception so these should be cleaned. Obviously we all sanitised as we didn't want to catch nurovirus but it seemed really strict one minute then not the next. The cabin was fine, most of the staff were really good but the service seemed really poor and things seemed as if they had cut back on everything. There was no bar menus and we wasn't allowed the normal daily paper or crossword unless you asked at reception as they couldn't put them out in case of bugs. There was no mints, toothpicks, salt or pepper pots. I know it seems petty but all these little things usually make the cruise that bit special, even the restaurant menu was scaled down to 3 courses. The entertainment on Thomson ships is normally second to none but it was really bad there was only two shows that were any good the rest was terrible and everyone was saying so. We had two days at sea but there was very little entertainment or things to do. They could have put more quizzes on or films in the show lounge or something. It was very poor we hardly saw the entertainment team at all during the week and didn't get a sail away disco or anything. They did veg carving but only a handful of people saw it, why they can't use a camera and show it on big screens etc so we could all see I don't know. They really need to up there game with the entertainment they offer on board, not everyone wants to sit and read a book! The fjords were excellent and the excursions were great. Sorry but I have to complain again as the bus we were put on was illegal as it had been smashed in at the rear and had no back lights which didn't fill us with confidence as we went 1500 meters up mountains via hairpin bends. I cannot believe Thomson let us on this bus, unfortunately we didn't see it until the first stop so it was too late to change it plus the driver didn't speak any English and we didn't have a rep on the bus either. We are waiting to hear from Thomson's regarding this. Please don't be put off doing a Norwegian fjords cruise as it was excellent but pick a different ship to the Celebration. We won't go on it again. We are trying Thomson's Discovery later this year so have high hopes that it will be up to Thomson's normal high standards. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This was the first time i had ever cruised , i went with the hubby and 2 older children (20 + 16) nan and grandad.All i can say is we had a fabulous time fromstart to finish. Yes the cabin was basic but no more than i had imagined and i ... Read More
This was the first time i had ever cruised , i went with the hubby and 2 older children (20 + 16) nan and grandad.All i can say is we had a fabulous time fromstart to finish. Yes the cabin was basic but no more than i had imagined and i dont know about others but our holidays are not spent in a cabin. The ship was spotless if you stood still long enough you would have been cleanedtoo. All staff were extremely pleasant and helpful our cabins serviced twice a day. Entertainment.... we spent most of our time(when not viewing the amazing scenery) in Liberties bar. The entertainment staff were great Gavin had us in stitches on more than one occasion.Adam and shaneece ran thing to perfection helped out by luke. As a family we thoroughly enjoyed it and in fact on our last day we wefe discussing was there anything to moan about 6 of us agreed......NO Food was hot, fresh and you can eat from 7am throgh to 1am there was amply choice and the usual variety that any 4* hotel would offer. We had upgraded FOC to all inclusive and the range of drinks on offer could not be argued with and usual to all inclusive hotels, some reviews point out upselling , yes we did get asked did we want a photo,ice cream,champagne drinks a quick no and thats the upselling over not uncomfortable at all. Norway was stunning beautiful scenery for 3 days. We took the flam railway full day trip, yes it was expensive initially but the thought of going to Norway and not doing it didnt seem right. We thought it was value for money, the tour guide very informative and the lunch provided by a 4* picturesque hotel. We are now converted cruisers. Read Less
Marella Celebration Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 3.8
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.4
Family 3.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.6
Enrichment N/A 3.3
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.9

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