Skip to Content

Marella Cruises, Ships by Size – Photo Guide and Reviews

There are currently five cruise ships in the Marella Cruises fleet.

I’ve cruised many times with Marella and during this post, we’re going to look at the positives and negatives of each ship.

We will be looking at the ships by size, starting with the smallest and working our way up to the largest.

Marella Discovery and Marella Discovery 2

Marella Discovery and her sister Marella Discovery 2 are the smallest ships in the fleet.

The ships were both built for Royal Caribbean and were built to the same design.

For the purpose of this article, I will be talking about the two ships together – since there is very little that differentiates the two.

Marella Discovery and Marella Discovery 2 – History

The Marella Discovery was built in 1996 as “Splendour of the Seas” for Royal Caribbean. The Marella Discovery 2 was built in 1995 as “Legend of the Seas.”

At the time of launch, the cruise ships were some of the biggest and most exciting cruise ships at sea.

They were over twice the size of any other Royal Caribbean cruise ship sailing in Europe at the time – but by today’s standards the ships are mid-sized.

There are some features onboard which are very “Royal Caribbean-like” and will be evident to anybody who has cruised with Royal Caribbean before. The bar around the funnel is a great example of this.

The below commercial from the 1990s shows the cruise ship as she originally was designed. I love the outfits and hairstyles in this video!

Marella Discovery Cruise Ship Stats:

  • Passengers: 1830
  • Crew: 750
  • Tonnage: 69,130GT
  • Decks: 11

Marella Discovery and Discovery 2 – Onboard Experience:

Even though the cruise ships are from the 1990s the experience onboard is like that of any other modern cruise ship.

Marella has an ‘all-inclusive’ pricing structure which means that gratuities and drinks are included in the price.

The approach to cruising is generally pretty relaxed and Marella is popular with families, young cruisers, and older passengers too!

The cabins are the only area where I felt the age of the cruise ship.

They just felt a little smaller to me than other cruise ships. That said, the cabins had been refurbished to a really high standard and I had a great time onboard.

Ship Amenities

The ship has an outside pool, inside pool, golf course, and all other amenities which you’d expect to find on a cruise ship.

I spent 2 weeks on the Marella Discovery cruising the Baltics and I was incredibly impressed with the ship.

It felt remarkably spacious, the food and service were brilliant and I loved the laid-back approach to dining and dress codes.

To learn more about what to expect from a Baltic cruise, including what to make sure you pack, check out this post:

 Baltic Cruise Tips: Your Biggest Questions Answered

Marella Discovery Cruise Families

Marella Explorer and Marella Explorer 2

Marella Explorer and Marella Explorer 2 are the next biggest ships in the Marella fleet- both are still ‘mid-sized’ by today’s cruise ship standards.

The two ships are sister ships – meaning that they were built to the same design.

For the purpose of this post, I will be talking about them both in this section since there is very little difference between them.

Marella Explorer and Marella Explorer 2 History

The Marella Explorer was built in 1996 as “Celebrity Galaxy” for Celebrity Cruises. The Marella Explorer 2 was built in 1995 as “Celebrity Century” for Celebrity Cruises. 

The Marella Explorer was also owned by the German TUI cruise line between the years 2009-2018.

Fun Fact: In 1998, Galaxy was the setting of BBC television’s docusoap “The Cruise” which made Jane McDonald famous. – source.

Marella Explorer Mein Schiff

Marella Explorer and Marella Explorer 2 Onboard Experience:

The experience onboard Marella Explorer and Marella Explorer 2 is very similar to that of any modern cruise ship.

Despite being from the mid-90s there are no telltale signs of the ship’s age.

I’ve been on cruise ships which are only a few years old that look and feel much older than the Marella Explorer.

Cruise Ship Stats

  • Passengers: 1924
  • Crew: 909
  • Tonnage: 76,998 GT
  • Decks: 13

    I took a 90s cruise on the Marella Explorer last year. Although this wasn’t a typical Marella cruise I did manage to film a full ship tour, which you will find below:

    Ship Amenities

    The ship has multiple big restaurants, a multi-level atrium, a huge theatre, and a promenade deck which I love.

    The ship has been refurbished multiple times since she was originally built and it is evident onboard.

    Marella Voyager

    Marella Voyager is Marella’s newest ship and largest ship, she joined the fleet in 2023.

    Marella Voyager History

    She was originally built in 1997 for Celebrity Cruises as “MV Mercury” and later renamed “Celebrity Mercury” in 2008.

    In 2011 she joined TUI Cruises, as they are owned by the same parent company as Celebrity – Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited.

    She was renamed Mein Schiff 2, and later in January 2019 was renamed again, Mein Schiff Herz, before becoming the Marella Voyager in 2023.

    Cruise Ship Stats:

    • Passengers: 1912
    • Crew: 760
    • Tonnage: 77,303GT
    • Decks: 13

    Marella Say:

    It set sail for the first time in June 2023 with a bar and restaurant offering that counts up to 10, as well as an indoor cinema, a pool deck – complete with a swimming pool and whirlpools – and a big show lounge. There are plenty of places where you can take in the sea views, too, from the mini golf course at the top of the ship to The Veranda, where cosy Balinese beds point towards the big blue.

    Marella Cruises

    Online Reviews of this ship are good, and most people seem to be impressed by the ship and the staff. The only complaints i could find were some reviewers complaining that the food was repetitive.

    I always take reviews with “A pinch of salt” as it is impossible to please everyone!

    Which ship should I choose?

    I personally have loved all of the ships in the Marella fleet that I have tried – but I have yet to try the Marella Voyager.

    I prefer cruising on bigger newer cruise ships, and she is their largest by gross tonnage, so I am keen to give her a go!

    If you are sailing with children, you won’t be able to sail on Marella Explorer 2, as it is an adult-only ship.

    Why choose Marella?

    I am a big fan of the relaxed atmosphere on board, the included drinks, and the budget-friendly prices.

    When booking from the UK all flights and transfers are included in the cruise fare, so it makes cruising with Marella a very easy, enjoyable option.

    Before You Go

    If you are considering a Marella cruise you may be wondering which drinks are included as standard. Find out what is included here:

    Marella Cruises All Inclusive Drinks List (and Menus)

    Find out about the food served onboard, including real photos, read this article next:

    Marella Cruises Food – PHOTOS, Menus and Honest Review

    Free Insiders Cruise Line Guide

    Ever wondered how the mainstream cruise lines compare? Cruise lines won’t tell you this, but I will.

    This FREE guide shows you everything you need to know to find your perfect cruise line.