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Marella Explorer 2 - Weekend Escape from Newcastle review


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Thank you for posting a very comprehensive, interesting and useful review. We have sailed on Marcella/Thomson ships several times and have enjoyed the product. It seems as if the cruise line is well prepared for these sailings. We are doing a 5 day Fred Olsen cruise, starting on Saturday and expect the 'covid' experience to be very similar.

The one thing that you didn’t say was what your friends thought of the experience! 
Thank you again.

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Thanks for the detailed review - having the embedded pictures is nice.

 

We've sailed Marella  before, but will be our first time on Explorer 2 in March 2021. 

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1 hour ago, Izzywiz said:

Thank you for posting a very comprehensive, interesting and useful review. We have sailed on Marcella/Thomson ships several times and have enjoyed the product. It seems as if the cruise line is well prepared for these sailings. We are doing a 5 day Fred Olsen cruise, starting on Saturday and expect the 'covid' experience to be very similar.

The one thing that you didn’t say was what your friends thought of the experience! 
Thank you again.

Our friends think that they would enjoy cruising but the quality of food on Marella needs to improve dramatically as it was awful in the Market Place, Snack Shack and Beach Cove. Breakfast in Latitudes was a big disappointment for them too. No offer of rolls/pastries, only 1 cup of coffee offered and rock hard poached eggs after a very ling wait.

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3 hours ago, peteukmcr said:

Bit of background, we’re from Manchester and had not sailed Marella so jumped at the chance of a couple of nights away being wined and dined on a ship, even it was a cruise to ‘nowhere’. 
 

Here’s my review

 

 

Marella Explorer 2.pdf 7.13 MB · 18 downloads

 

Thanks Peter,excellent review and one the best posted on here on my many years as a member

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Still can't see anything apart from this.

 

This attachment is not available. It may have been removed or the person who shared it may not have permission to share it to this location.

Error code: 2C171/1

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Hi PC.

All is well here mate, Getting a bit fed up with this covid lark now and there's no real sign of it ending as yet. we have booked a cruise for next April on explorer from Tenerife to Corfu but will it happen is anyones guess. Hope your ongoing dispute gets sorted soon.

Stay safe.😷

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Hi Pete, just like Brumijam I am unable to open your review. Would it be possible to copy it onto here please, we've been waiting to hear reviews as we are so looking forward to booking. Thanks.

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16 hours ago, peteukmcr said:

Bit of background, we’re from Manchester and had not sailed Marella so jumped at the chance of a couple of nights away being wined and dined on a ship, even it was a cruise to ‘nowhere’. 
 

Here’s my review

 

 

Marella Explorer 2.pdf 7.13 MB · 35 downloads

Thanks for posting enjoyed your review 

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Wow what a comprehensive and fair review!  Thanks Pete - we were on this ship October 2019 so it brought it all back. Can't  wait to get on board again.

Looks like the problems all related to the food and drink but I guess the new team have a lot to learn.

I just hope they keep some sailings from Newcastle as these had ended for the 2020 season.

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4 minutes ago, dronnygirl said:

Wow what a comprehensive and fair review!  Thanks Pete - we were on this ship October 2019 so it brought it all back. Can't  wait to get on board again.

Looks like the problems all related to the food and drink but I guess the new team have a lot to learn.

I just hope they keep some sailings from Newcastle as these had ended for the 2020 season.

The layout of Explorer 2's Marketplace buffet does not help. As the first of Celebrity's Century class she is smaller than the other two, Explorer and Mein Schiff Herz, and it shows in some of the compromises in internal layout. Having said that I find that the catering team and the executive chef can make the difference. Explorers buffet was brilliant, especially the extensive salad area. Knocked spots off P&O. It is down to how the Executive chef allocates the resources. Still enjoyed my cruise on Ex 2 though I prefer Ex and Discovery. My problem with Marella is as a solo cruiser booking a balcony is like getting blood out of a stone!

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Excellent review, brought back lovely memories of my last cruise in the Caribbean which ended at the start of the first lockdown.

I, too, am a solo cruiser and only managed to get a balcony cabin a couple of times, on the Dream, which had one solo balcony cabin. Loved the Dream, the layout, to me, was great.

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16 hours ago, Brummijam said:

Hi PC.

All is well here mate, Getting a bit fed up with this covid lark now and there's no real sign of it ending as yet. we have booked a cruise for next April on explorer from Tenerife to Corfu but will it happen is anyones guess. Hope your ongoing dispute gets sorted soon.

Stay safe.😷

Really do wish I could be enthusiastic about going on a cruise again, but we have so many good experiences over the past years that I don't want them to be blighted with all the restrictions at the moment. Case is still ongoing with TUI but not looking good and yes I know some would not understand us accepting a free cruise but that was not what was promised and something that we are not comfortable with. Good luck with your cruise 😎 

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Thanks for taking the time to put this review together, it really is appreciated by me and probably lots of other curious Marella cruisers looking for any insight as to how things are now and going to be in the future.

Well done and thank you.

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I will read and comment on your review later having just got off explorer2 yesterday. In answer to someone posting about the food we only did speciality dining in the evening using our onboard credit as our experiences in the past are the latitudes offering is not good. We had 1 lunch in latitudes it was absolutely terrible. The entertainment though made up for that absolutely fantastic. We had a fabulous time

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Hi Pete 

I have now read your review and would say that things seem to have improved on the second voyage as far as drinks service is concerned, it was excellent in all venues apart from surf & turf where it was dreadful and we ended up cancelling our desert order and drinks because we had waited so long! The food and service in the dining club was fantastic we booked for there as soon as we got on and were told by staff that if we wanted to book for subsequent nights we could do that there and then we didn’t but quite a few did. We tried to book at 10pm for the next day surf &turf but the app wasn’t working so had to queue at the desk. We got in for 9pm the following night that was the only availability which was strange as I was at that desk at 10 on the dot. My food in surf &turf (sharing platter then fillet with lobster) was very good but my husbands ribeye was not good at all. The last night we ate in the tapas that was very good, service excellent. After our experience on discovery 2 in 2019 my husband was loathe to eat in latitudes but we tried it for lunch it was again terrible. I had chicken salad, the chicken was so dry & hard it reminded me of the scene in national lampoons xmas vacation where the turkey explodes. My husband had ploughman’s and it was vile, potted blue cheese that was so strong it took your breath away and no pork pie that was replaced with a scotch egg. That’s the end of attempting to eat in the restaurant on Marella . The food in market place was very good, service excellent. Didn’t eat from the snack shack or nonnas. Our cabin was absolutely awful. It was 8237 we were excited to be allocated this as we pay extra on celebrity for a “sunset verandah” but truly we couldn’t have been allocated a worse balcony. The bed is in an alcove fixed against the wall so only 1 person can get in and out. It’s right above squid & anchor smoking area and the noise from that venue at night was horrendous. On 2 nights it finished at midnight but on the karaoke night it didn’t. The entertainment was excellent the best we have ever had. The bands were both absolutely fantastic, the 3 singers/piano players very good, the shows brilliant. The entertainment staff really good, better than any other line. We had a fantastic time, would we go back on Marella? I would just for the entertainment but my husband says not because of the food 

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1 hour ago, Jayneykul said:

Hi Pete 

I have now read your review and would say that things seem to have improved on the second voyage as far as drinks service is concerned, it was excellent in all venues apart from surf & turf where it was dreadful and we ended up cancelling our desert order and drinks because we had waited so long! The food and service in the dining club was fantastic we booked for there as soon as we got on and were told by staff that if we wanted to book for subsequent nights we could do that there and then we didn’t but quite a few did. We tried to book at 10pm for the next day surf &turf but the app wasn’t working so had to queue at the desk. We got in for 9pm the following night that was the only availability which was strange as I was at that desk at 10 on the dot. My food in surf &turf (sharing platter then fillet with lobster) was very good but my husbands ribeye was not good at all. The last night we ate in the tapas that was very good, service excellent. After our experience on discovery 2 in 2019 my husband was loathe to eat in latitudes but we tried it for lunch it was again terrible. I had chicken salad, the chicken was so dry & hard it reminded me of the scene in national lampoons xmas vacation where the turkey explodes. My husband had ploughman’s and it was vile, potted blue cheese that was so strong it took your breath away and no pork pie that was replaced with a scotch egg. That’s the end of attempting to eat in the restaurant on Marella . The food in market place was very good, service excellent. Didn’t eat from the snack shack or nonnas. Our cabin was absolutely awful. It was 8237 we were excited to be allocated this as we pay extra on celebrity for a “sunset verandah” but truly we couldn’t have been allocated a worse balcony. The bed is in an alcove fixed against the wall so only 1 person can get in and out. It’s right above squid & anchor smoking area and the noise from that venue at night was horrendous. On 2 nights it finished at midnight but on the karaoke night it didn’t. The entertainment was excellent the best we have ever had. The bands were both absolutely fantastic, the 3 singers/piano players very good, the shows brilliant. The entertainment staff really good, better than any other line. We had a fantastic time, would we go back on Marella? I would just for the entertainment but my husband says not because of the food 

Interesting that Surf & Turf has not improved. We had the sharing platter too, but wasn't too impressed by it. I agree the entertainment was very good. Would we sail with Marella again? Not sure, the food and wine offering needs to improve across the board.

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1 hour ago, Jayneykul said:

The bands were both absolutely fantastic, the 3 singers/piano players very good, the shows brilliant.

Thanks for your feedback, don't suppose you recall the names of the band. 

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Ah! the dreaded aft facing cabins on decks 8 and 9 have fixed double beds against the wall but for staycation cruises you can't choose a cabin. As for the food, why is it so variable across the venues? Perhaps giving them feedback would help as I know they have regular senior staff meetings to seek solutions to problems. Of course the executive chef makes a big difference.

 

just checked, Explorer has the same bed arrangements on deck 8 and 9 so maybe it has always been like that

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1 hour ago, davecttr said:

just checked, Explorer has the same bed arrangements on deck 8 and 9 so maybe it has always been like that

Discovery and Discovery 2 are great so don't worry about booking stern on these. 

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9 minutes ago, Pensioncruiser said:

Discovery and Discovery 2 are great so don't worry about booking stern on these. 

I liked Discovery but have not tried Discovery 2. Apparently the only significant difference is Dis2 has a real roulette table and Dis an electronic one - yuk!

 

My personal ranking for the 4 ships is:

Explorer

Discovery

Discovery 2, probably

Explorer 2

 

Little likelihood of me cruising with them again because I am fed up of flying, they don't cruise from the UK anymore and I now want a balcony cabin which is rarer than hens teeth for a solo cruiser.

 

For me one really plus point for Marella (24 plus cruises) is I have only been ill aboard once for one day, that was on Spirit several years ago. Contrast this with P&O (24 plus cruises) where I have been confined to cabin several times. Spoiled my cruise on Britannia and my 65th birthday 31 nighter on Aurora in the far east (lots of compensation), that was a fiasco. To cap it all my last P&O cruise had me confined to cabin TWICE on a 12 night cruise.

 

am trying P&O again 🤞

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