Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
kevinyork

Marella, will it be for us?

Recommended Posts

We’ve sailed P&O, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. The latter two have taken P&O out of the equation for us. Our line of choice would be Celebrity. We love the more adult feel on Celebrity and the social side having made many good friends onboard.

 

However, we are tired of the itinerary’s that the US lines offer and prices are pretty sky high for next year. We’ve seen a Discovery trip in the Middle East next spring that appeals. All ports are new to us and have always wanted to visit Dubai and Petra. The price looks pretty good with A.I. and tips included and the flights are on the Dreamliner which we know we like.

 

We saw the Discovery in a Caribbean port last year and looked down from the dizzy heights of Oasis of the Seas but she looked smart and a seed was sown.

 

I suppose what I’m asking is opinions from those that have cruised on other lines. Are we going to feel like we’ve downgraded? Is the A.I. package ok or do people feel the need to upgrade. The brochure says the restaurants are included but surely there is an upcharge for the speciality restaurants? Are there fixed dining times as doing a dummy booking doesn’t ask for any preferences? My OH is vegetarian, will he have a reasonable choice? What’s the demographic going to be like on an April Middle East adults only cruise? I can’t find any main dining room menus online at all, anyone have any links? We love socialising in the bars in the evening. Is this something that’s prevalent onboard.

 

Sorry to ask so many questions. Seems my cruising knowledge suggests people who try Thompson’s/TUI/Marella May largely be first time cruisers that then progress to more mainstream lines but we are looking at going the other way. Any views would be incredibly welcome.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simple answer YES.

 

I was a loyal Royal but have come back to TUI/Marella due to the new ships they have. You get the Royal ship with the Marella service.

The big push was looking to book a summer 2019 cruise. For the price of a Junior Suite Cruise only, I got an Executive Suite (same as an Owner Suite on Royal) with Flights, Drinks and Tips included for the same price.

 

The bigger ships are old Royal or Celebrity ships and if you see the refurb/changeover they did with explorer, she is looking better than new now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I suppose what I’m asking is opinions from those that have cruised on other lines.

Are we going to feel like we’ve downgraded?

Not at all, see previous post above.

 

Is the A.I. package ok or do people feel the need to upgrade.

Depends on what you drink. In another thread I have posted a video of the drinks menu on board and what the premium gives you extra. Just search for my posts.

 

The brochure says the restaurants are included but surely there is an upcharge for the speciality restaurants?
Some speciality ones are included and then there are chargeable ones. Get the latest brochure as this explains it much more clearly for you.

 

Are there fixed dining times as doing a dummy booking doesn’t ask for any preferences?
No fixed times, just turn up with your party of people and they will seat you. This works really well. Some people will still turn up at late and early seating times, but that is the only rush times. If you are busy with a show or spa treatment or excursion, then dinner times don't become a rush to get ready for.

 

My OH is vegetarian, will he have a reasonable choice?
Yes, food is always great and he will love the steaks (joking).

 

What’s the demographic going to be like on an April Middle East adults only cruise?
Mixed, if in school holidays, then some families will be there but a mixture is the norm.

 

I can’t find any main dining room menus online at all, anyone have any links?
You won't but some have posted examples. The food is great and even if I posted this weeks menu, it will be changed by the time you board.

 

We love socialising in the bars in the evening. Is this something that’s prevalent onboard.
You can not help but socialise on board. Say it's your first cruise and people will always want to tell you their stories. Cruisers are a friendly bunch and "We are all in the same boat" (Pun intended)

 

Anything else, just ask.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have just come back from a week on Explorer. Our preferred line of choice is Celebrity. Obviously cant comment on Discovery but these are our observations on the differences/similarities, pros & cons to Celebrity. (We would never go back on P&O after 1 experience on Britannia)

Cabins- they are not as well appointed on Marella (we had ordinary balcony) but still comfortable and balcony good size. The towels were better quality, bed very comfortable. Toiletries were 1 bar of soap n shower gel in container on the wall. No gowns or slippers. TV only has couple of channels. There is turn down with pillow choc. Bug bear- u have 2 pool towels allocated which u have to bring back to the cabin or you are charged£10 each. Bathroom was disgusting (don’t want to go into details) on arrival I had to clean it myself should have reported this fact, my fault I didn’t , just cleaned it , after that no issues at all with cleaning and each cabin has 2 people looking after it

Drinks package FABULOUS far superior to Celebrity we did upgrade it cost £50 and was worth every penny. Cocktails in Indigo bar better than world class, service and drinks in Aperitif better than Martini bar. Service in other bars poor, couldn’t get a seat quite often

Food and service - choice in buffet no where near the choice on Celebrity but there was always something appealing and quality similar. There was a help yourself wine and beer area. Service in there needed to be improved tables were left full of dirty plates, floor filthy at times.

The Mediterranean bar at lunch time was v good.

Snack shack not on par with Celebrity poolside bar

Only did breakfast in the dining room once food and service so awful didn’t go back.

Dining room in the evening , service and quality on a par with Celebrity.

Tapas bar food just ok service terrible.

Surf and turf excellent service outstanding well worth the up charge, don’t miss it

Pool area, lots of unruly children allowed to run amok (again our fault for booking half term but didn’t expect the behaviour to go unchecked) use the adult only area if you like us object to this

Organisation of tenders/ going ashore - knocks Celebrity out of the park, v well organised (we waited 3 hours in Montenegro to go ashore with Celebrity never waited even 5 mins with Marella)

Shore excursions cheap as chips v good value, brilliant

Entertainment, excellent, ships shows fabulous, entertainment team vv good

Would we go back on Marella absolutely please give it a try

Hope this helps

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sauspud.

 

Thanks so much. Reassuring to know you’ve switched from RCI. We would be in a lowly outside cabin though but the pics suggest they are pretty similar to Indy and Adventure cabins which would be fine. Thanks for the effort and all the info. Think you sailed Anthem pretty close to when we sailed (Sep maiden season from Southampton)

 

 

Jayneykul

 

A really useful comparison. So small worries in there but seemingly not enough to put you off going again.

 

I would be interested to know how good they are at dealing with any issues onboard. Ive found RCI and Celebrity to be excellent in resolving any issues we’ve come across, sometimes embarrassingly good.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main differences to us were as follows





Lack if choice of wine by the glass available with both the AI and the premium.

No always available selections in MDR.

Slightly louder British crowd than on P&O



We also rate Celebrity as our favourite cruise company, however we chose Discovery 2 because of itinerary as well as the fact that we had sailed on Splendour of the Seas which was her sister ship whilst sailing under the Royal Caribbean flag.



We will also be sailing with her this summer to the Adriatic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sauspud.

 

Thanks so much. Reassuring to know you’ve switched from RCI. We would be in a lowly outside cabin though but the pics suggest they are pretty similar to Indy and Adventure cabins which would be fine. Thanks for the effort and all the info. Think you sailed Anthem pretty close to when we sailed (Sep maiden season from Southampton)

 

I did Anthem twice. 2 weeks in July and went back for my 40th Birthday for a short weekend before she went to the States. I was on with the Godmother of the ship for the July trip, then as we left in October, she was coming back on for the American introduction PR. Lovely lady and her Husband.

 

The Discovery ships have the same layout as the Vision Class, so not quite like Indy or Adventure but a little bit bigger but not as modern as Anthem.

 

Customer care onboard is great and nothing too much. I got caught helping some passengers on board when the Customer Relations Manager was away from her deck helping others. She was so impressed with my knowledge and helpfulness, that she offered me a job as a Manager on another ship. I did think about it but said no. (I posted the Summer 2019 info weeks before it was available, just to help others)

 

Anything else, just ask.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I did Anthem twice. 2 weeks in July and went back for my 40th Birthday for a short weekend before she went to the States. I was on with the Godmother of the ship for the July trip, then as we left in October, she was coming back on for the American introduction PR. Lovely lady and her Husband.

 

 

 

The Discovery ships have the same layout as the Vision Class, so not quite like Indy or Adventure but a little bit bigger but not as modern as Anthem.

 

 

 

Customer care onboard is great and nothing too much. I got caught helping some passengers on board when the Customer Relations Manager was away from her deck helping others. She was so impressed with my knowledge and helpfulness, that she offered me a job as a Manager on another ship. I did think about it but said no. (I posted the Summer 2019 info weeks before it was available, just to help others)

 

 

 

Anything else, just ask.

 

 

 

I don’t think you will find guest relations any help at all. Had cause to go there on a couple of issues language was a real barrier. I will definitely be a repeat guest

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

We had only cruised other lines too, mainly RCI P and O and Celebrity. Then we had our first Marella cruise on Discovery in the Caribbean in April. We chose it because of the itinerary, which no other line was offering. We did have reservations as we really prefer the bigger ships,my husband gets sea sickness(!) and is so much better on the bigger ships, and we were like you apprehensive about choosing this line. However the Discovery is ex RCI so we booked. I have to say no regrets at all, the ship was lovely, you could tell it was RCI in a previous life! We especially enjoyed the Dreamliner flight we did book the extra legroom seats but it was a comfortable flight especially for long haul. There were differences but all lines have their little quirks, it was a bit noisy round the main pool at times and they could switch off the music in the adult pool area as it was a bit repetitive and annoying.. I would think there would be plenty choice for vegetarians and for us the drinks package was good there was no need to upgrade at all.

It will never compare to Celebrity which are the best cruises we have been on so far but it is still an excellent cruise especially if it is the itinerary you want. They have a very loyal following with many fellow cruisers saying they would only sail with them, however that is not for us, we enjoy trying all the different lines but we are now looking at another Marella cruise for next year so my advice would be go for it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It will never compare to Celebrity which are the best cruises we have been on so far but it is still an excellent cruise especially if it is the itinerary you want. They have a very loyal following with many fellow cruisers saying they would only sail with them, however, that is not for us, we enjoy trying all the different lines but we are now looking at another Marella cruise for next year so my advice would be go for it!

 

Confused. See bold sections in your comment that contradict each other.

So it is either, for you and you are booking another cruise, or it isn't and you are not booking another cruise with Marella.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Confused. See bold sections in your comment that contradict each other.

So it is either, for you and you are booking another cruise, or it isn't and you are not booking another cruise with Marella.

 

They have a very loyal following with many fellow cruisers saying they would only sail with them,

however, that is not for us

, we enjoy trying all the different lines

 

 

 

Winifred was commenting that only cruising with one line was not for her

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loved Discovery 2 - only problem children in the jacuzzis and dive bombing in the main pool which was not sorted by staff and this was last week during school term - Gods knows what it'll be like July and August which we avoid like the plague

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, my bad.

Could read it correctly.

Football blind, if you know what I mean.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See also my reply to Brian1 for my thoughts on Discovery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorry, my bad.

Could read it correctly.

Football blind, if you know what I mean.

ah!, understandable, I did not get to bed until 2am myself

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Loved Discovery 2 - only problem children in the jacuzzis and dive bombing in the main pool which was not sorted by staff and this was last week during school term - Gods knows what it'll be like July and August which we avoid like the plague

 

I know what you mean! I was tempted to break the jacuzzi 'rules' and take glass and food in, just to see if they would take any notice, as they obviously were turning a blind eye to the 'no kids' rule ;);-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Destination Awards
      • Forum Assistance
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a 7-day Caribbean cruise for two!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...