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Marella Cruises, What Does ‘All Inclusive’ Include?

Marella Cruises – What Does ‘All Inclusive’ Include?

In September 2018 I took my first Marella cruise – and have done many since.

I knew that the line offered ‘all-inclusive’ cruises -but I honestly had no idea what this meant.

Every day of the cruise I was surprised when I realised that another thing I’d pay extra for on another cruise line was included in Marella’s cruise fare.

marella discovery

All-inclusive makes booking a cruise so easy, you pay your cruise fare and that’s it – done!

Marella includes flights and transfers in their cruise fares, so it is a very easy option.

In this post, I will talk about:

  • Which ships are all-inclusive
  • Included restaurants
  • Included drinks
  • What isn’t included and extra costs
emma cruises marella discovery llama

Which Marella Ships Are All-Inclusive?

All Marella ships are now all-inclusive as standard.

Marella Discovery Cruise Ship Bow

Do You Have To Pay Tips And Gratuities On Marella Cruises?

No! All the tips and gratuities are included in your cruise fare. Gratuities will never be added on at restaurants or at the bar.

There is no pressure to tip any extra at all – In fact, I would say it’s discouraged.

When given a receipt in a speciality restaurant there won’t be a line to add an extra tip, the receipt instead will say ‘Remember, all tips are included’.

What drinks are included?

Draught beers and cider, wine by the glass, spirits and aperitifs, cocktails, soft drinks and fruit juice.

Marella Discovery drinks in nbar eleven old smokey

I am SO impressed with the number of drinks that were included. Every cocktail I could name was on the included list.

Having a drink was one of my favourite free things to do onboard the Marella Discovery.

Here are 7 more: Marella Discovery – 8 free ‘must do’ activities. 

Marella Discovery Drinks Venue

What else is included?

Your cruise fare covers your onboard accommodation, meals in a variety of restaurants and entertainment while onboard.

The fare also includes return flights (Unless of course, you don’t want this, then you can book cruise only.)

Marella also includes coach transfers and port taxes in their cruise fare.

Find out about the Spanish Coasts Marella cruise I took just after the Covid pandemic. The paperwork and Covid testing we had to undergo were stressful – but the cruise itself was great…

The ship we sailed on was the Marella Explorer 2. Find out all about that trip here:

Marella Ships

All of the Marella ships have previously sailed with other cruise companies but were then refurbished to a high standard and given a new life with Marella.

Find out all about the ships in the Marella fleet here:

Marella Cruises, Ships by Size – Photo Guide and Reviews

Marella ships have different restaurants onboard. Below are my experiences of the ones on Marella Discovery.

What Restaurants are Included on the Marella Discovery?

47°

47° is the main restaurant onboard the Marella Discovery.

We ate here loads of times and never had a bad meal. The dress code is ‘Smart’ and men are asked to wear a polo shirt or collared shirt.

The dress code seemed pretty relaxed and the atmosphere in the restaurant was always friendly. You could happily eat here every day of the cruise. The restaurant is also open for lunch during sea days.

Marella Discovery Main Dining Room MDR Food
Turkey salad starter

Marella Discovery Main Dining Room MDR 47

Gallery 47°

Gallery 47° is the top level of the main dining room on the right-hand side. It has a different menu from the rest of the downstairs restaurant – but isn’t too different.

The menu is Italian and the food was good. A great alternative to the main dining room if you fancy something slightly different.

Marella Cruises Discovery Main Dining Room Gallery 47°

Snack Shack

This one is a personal favourite of mine and also mentioned on my:

8 free ‘must do’ Marella Discovery activities list.  

The Snack Shack is a place to get grab-and-go food. It is decorated with brightly coloured beach huts and seats. It serves hot dogs, burgers, chicken wings, fish and chips and loads more!

There are sandwiches and wraps ready to grab and go at any time as well as cookies, brownies and fruits.

fish and chips from the snack shack marella discovery
fish and chips from the snack shack marella discovery

‘Islands’ Buffet

Big buffet spreads are laid out in this restaurant, with show-cooking stations on-hand to offer things like breakfast omelettes, and carvery roasts in the evening. You can grab snacks in between meals, too.

The thing that I liked most about the buffet was that it very rarely closed.

I like to be able to eat almost 24/7 – so this made me happy! The food here was good – nothing incredible but nothing bad at all.

Marella Cruises Discovery Buffet Islands Food

Glass House

The Glass House is a restaurant located by the inside pool. During the day you can grab ‘deli-style’ bites here such as wraps and smoothies. This opens at 11 am and continues until 6 pm.

In the evening the place transforms into a restaurant which serves Tapas, Pizza and they also some Hot Stone Cooking*.

*There is a charge for some items – like cooking on hot stones.

Marella Discovery Glass House Restaurant Seating Menu

*Marella Discovery Tip  try a flatbread pizza. 

They have a few options on the menu as well as a ‘create your own’ option.

I try to avoid too much dairy, so took the cheese off of my pizza each time that we visited. They also give you bread baskets here before your meal that are amazing. Jono and I managed to eat a whole bread basket each before our pizzas even came...

Marella Discovery Glass House Pizza

What is included On Marella Cruises for kids?

Kids clubs are included on all of the Marella ships.

They hold activities like face painting, pyjama parties, quizzes, movie nights and video games.

Children’s menus can be found in all of the restaurants, and kids can use cots and high chairs anytime without any charge.

Marella Explorer 2 is the only “adult-only” ship in the Marella fleet.

What isn’t covered?

Wi-Fi

As on most cruise lines, Wi-Fi isn’t included as standard.

I actually really enjoy not having Wi-Fi onboard as it gives me an opportunity to really relax.

You can buy Wi-Fi if you’d like to, but I probably wouldn’t bother if I wasn’t working onboard and running a business.

Marella does have an App you can use to check the daily schedule. There is no need to buy WiFi to use this App. Find out why here:

You Don’t Need to Pay For Wi-Fi To Use a Cruise Line App – Here’s Why

Excursions

All excursions cost extra.

I was really impressed with the cost of Marella’s excursions. Most half-day tours that we booked cost around the £30-£40.

This is REALLY competitive compared to other mainstream cruise lines.

We also booked one of Marella’s bike tours which they run in almost every port. During these tours, you use bikes that Marella keep onboard. I would definitely recommend it.

Marella Cruises Discovery Bike Tour

Speciality restaurants

There are a few speciality restaurants onboard which cost extra. 

We tried almost all of the speciality restaurants onboard and were really impressed with all of them.

The speciality restaurants on Marella Discovery are:

  • Surf and Turf
  • Kora La
  • Hot Stones at the Glass House
  • Sushi Bar
Marella Cruises Discovery Surf and Turf Steak Speciality Restaurant

Spa Treatments

Spa treatments are not included in your cruise fare and neither is access to the Spa.

Room Service

There is an extra charge for room service onboard.

I rarely use this – so that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. It is pretty common for this to cost extra on cruises.

Marella Cruises Discovery Balcony Cabin Girl Wrapped up on Balcony with hat
Me enjoying my balcony cabin On Marella Discovery. It was quite cold in the Baltics…

Mini-bar.

The mini bar isn’t included and neither is bottled water – again this is rarely included on cruises.

Even on some of the bigger lines like NCL bottled water isn’t included even in the most expensive alcoholic beverage package.

Find out all about Mini Bars in the article below:

Do Cruise Ship Cabins Have Fridges? (Mini Bars, Sizes & More)

Marella Discovery Cruises Pool Deck Sun Loungers Swimming Pool

Marella Themed Cruises

I’ve been on two, short, themed cruises with Marella. One was 90s-themed, one was 90-00s-themed.

Scooby and the gang - Marella themed cruises
Scooby and the Gang – Marella themed cruise. (I’m the one on the left)

They are basically like a festival at sea, with bands, dressing up (costume dress) and lots of partying.

Find out about the last themed cruise I took here:

Is a Marella cruise good value?

I think that the Marella cruises I’ve been on offer really good value.

Their fares include accommodation, transport, drinks, entertainment and food as standard.

I can’t think of another mainstream cruise line that offers value quite like Marella, I’ve certainly never been on a cruise line where so much is Included in the cruise fare.

River Cruises

“Marella” is the Ocean Cruises brand name of the company Tui. Tui also offers river cruises in Europe, branded as “Tui River Cruises.”

They are far cheaper than other river cruise options, and there is a lot included in the price.

Find out how I got on with my first-ever Tui River Cruise below:

Braving the Shave for Macmillan Cancer Support

This is a bit of a strange thing to write but… I shaved my head onboard the Marella Discovery.

The passengers of the Marella Discovery raised an amazing £1500 at my headshave. We raised over £4800 in total.

Watch the video of me having my hair shaved off below:

Before You Go

Find out how to avoid costly mistakes when using your phone on a cruise here:

Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Using Your Phone on a Cruise – (Beginners Guide)

Find out how to avoid common mistakes when cruising with the handy tips below:

67 First Cruise Tips: Common Mistakes to Avoid

Taking a Cruise: Recommendations and Resources

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Which Cruise Lines Include Gratuities? (Cruise Line Guide) – Emma Cruises

Saturday 17th of October 2020

[…] I came away from my Marella cruise with an incredibly small onboard bill. There are lots of included food options on Marella cruises as well as included alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks. To find out more about the ‘all inclusive’ fare from Marella check out this post: Marella Cruises, what does ‘all inclusive’ include? […]

vindiah

Friday 17th of May 2019

great review am going on my first cruise in October i dont know what to expect and its MARELLA cruise .

Simon

Tuesday 14th of May 2019

Great reviews. Thanks for taking the time, cruising with Discovery 2 in two weeks so vey helpful insight to what’s available.

Emma Le Teace

Tuesday 14th of May 2019

Thanks so much Simon! Any questions you know where I am, hope you have a fabulous time (sure you will).