If you’re like me and have been bitten by the cruise bug, you’ll know that picking the right cruise line is key to getting the best onboard experience. There are so many to choose from, and they all cater for different expectations, requirements and age ranges.
Who are Marella?
Marella Cruises, operated by TUI UK, is a British cruise line that offers a host of imaginative itineraries onboard a sleek fleet of well-designed ships. If you’re after great value, lots of onboard entertainment and a wide choice of dining, then Marella could be for you. I’ve been finding out about what their newest edition, the Marella Explorer, has to offer…
What to expect
The Marella Explorer was welcomed to the fleet in 2018. It’s packed full of exciting features including 10 restaurants, 10 bars and a casino. Marella has made sure that everyone is catered for. There’s a cinema, spa, kids’ club and Sports & Family Deck. Like all the Marella ships, you can expect high standards of service and luxurious interiors. It’s All Inclusive too, which means tips and service charges are included.
Your cruise onboard the Marella Explorer is All Inclusive, so not only are gratuities included but also all your meals onboard. Most drinks are also covered as standard. Including selected draught beer and cider, selected wines by the glass, spirits and aperitifs, a range of cocktails and selected soft drinks by the glass. However, if you wish, you can upgrade to their Premium drinks package. This gets you upgraded cocktails, premium gins, vodkas, rums and Tequila, cans of soft drink and freshly squeezed juices. This option will also entitle you to drinks from The Coffee Port after 10am.
There are a variety of stylish cabins available. All with air conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities, hairdryer, flatscreen TV, safe and wardrobe space. When choosing a cabin, you’ll need to decide which deck you wish to stay on and whether you’d prefer an inside or outside cabin. Remember that outside cabins all have windows, so if you want to make the most of the scenery, this is the one to go for. Balcony and Family Balcony Cabins are available for those wanting extra space. If you want to treat yourself, consider the Executive Suite Cabin with Premier Service.
There’s nothing nicer than waking up on your first morning onboard and heading for a dip in the pool. The Marella Explorer’s pool is split in two, with a stage in the middle – this is where the entertainment team run daily activities. There’s ample terrace space for sunbathing, so grab a lounger and chill out or indulge in a whirlpool bath – there are three to choose from.
There’s plenty of scope for relaxation with The Veranda decked out with Balinese beds and call-for-drinks buttons to make you feel like a VIP! It’s situated at the front of the ship so it’s also the best place to enjoy the views. If you want to treat yourself, you can even hire a private cabana for the day. If you’re in need of serious pampering, head to Champneys Spa to enjoy state-of-the-art equipment and a range of indulgent treatments from facials and body wraps to massages and pedicures.
Families with children will be pleased to note that the Marella Explorer has a Kids’ Club to keep the little ones entertained. It’s run by accredited staff, so you know they’re in good hands, plus while they’re busy with a range of fun activities, you can sneak off for a pampering session at the spa. There’s also The Hideout for teens, a cool and tech-savvy space where they can play Xbox, Kinect and air hockey. Parents with children under three can accompany them to a variety of fun classes, such as Sing & Sign.
Let’s face it, one of the best things about a cruise is all that lovely food, and the Marella Explorer doesn’t disappoint, with a selection of restaurants serving everything from sushi and tapas to succulent steak and Italian specialities. The friendly staff can provide more information about the dining options, so be sure to ask when you board.
Foodies will be in their element with The Dining Club offering up a mouthwatering selection of French-inspired cuisine. Expect elegantly presented plates featuring delicious morsels such as scallops with Champagne butter and chateaubriand fillet steak. For light bites during the day, head to the Snack Shack.
If you like to stay in shape and want to ward off those holiday pounds, head to the Sports & Family Deck for a game of table tennis or minigolf. There’s also a multi-sports court for basketball or mini-football as well as the well-equipped Champneys gym, where you’ll also find classes available such as yoga.
There’s plenty to keep you busy during your time aboard, with a selection of bars for daytime drinks and evening cocktails. The Indigo Bar features cocktail-making sessions and 360-degree views. It also has a club with dance floor and DJ booth, so put on your dancing shoes to enjoy ’80s- and ’90s-themed nights. If you’re after elegance, head to Aperitif for Champagne and Prosecco. For shows and high-octane entertainment, the Broadway Show Lounge is the place to be.
Itineraries available on the Marella Explorer
There is a selection of itineraries available onboard the Marella Explorer from the exotic Paradise Islands. Which includes stops in Barbados and St Kitts. – Ideal for those longing for a holiday filled with tropical allure, lazy beach days and sunset cocktails. If you’re after stunning natural beauty then the Fjords Explorer could be for you. Taking in 18th-century towns, hamlets and snow-capped landscapes of Norway. Or, first-time cruisers may prefer to go for Mediterranean Secrets. Ticking off ports in Majorca, Sardinia, Corsica and France.
The Marella Explorer has everything you’d expect from Marella, plus a little bit more –there’s plenty more information out there to entice you onboard and it’s definitely worth adding to your cruise holiday wish-list!