If you’re taking a Marella cruise you might be wondering what the food is like. I have just disembarked a cruise on the Marella Explorer 2 and in this post, we will look at all of the food that I ate during my cruise.
Note, although these photos were taken on the Marella Explorer 2, Marella have the same restaurants on the majority of their cruise ships, so this post is relevant to all ships in the Marella Cruises fleet.
During our cruise we ate in:
- Main Dining Room (Latitude 53)
- Nonnas Pizzeria
- The Buffet
- Snack Shack
- Kora La (Speciality Restaurant, Extra Charge)
- Surf and Turf (Speciality Restaurant, Extra Charge)
Marella Cruises – Main Dining Room Food Review and Photos (Latitude 53)
The main dining room on the Marella Explorer 2 is called Latitude 53 and we ate here multiple times during our cruise. There’s no need to book restaurants on Marella cruises and there are no fixed dining times or tables, when you’re hungry you just arrive at the restaurant and are seated.
There was always lots of choices including multiple options for vegetarians.
Allergens were clearly marked on the menus.
The two photos above are of two starters that I had in the main dining room.
The photo below is of a pear salad which I had a starter one day, it was really yummy (and I don’t even really like pears).
The below photo might not look like much, it isn’t the most photogentic dinner but it was really yummy.
I’m not sure I quite understand Marellas needs to put side salads with things, a pie and side salad does seem like an odd choice, but it was yummy and that’s the main thing to me.
The main dining room isn’t just open for dinner, it would often also be open for lunch.
Another very yummy, but not so photogenic meal I had onboard is the below. It was a lentil ragu with pitta bread, very yummy, but not very beautiful. Again, I couldn’t care less what my food looks like, as long as it tastes good!
The dessert was brilliant.
Below is a photo of the food I had one lunch time, the salad was yummy (yes there is no salad dressing, I asked for it this way).
The veggie burger was the worst thing I had to eat during the entire week. It was dry and crumbly and I didn’t eat it. It was made of beans and really didn’t live up to the meat alternatives available now. Even a very simple and cheap veggie burger (made of peas, sweetcorn etc) would have been a dramatic improvement.
I did order a ‘veggie’ burger again at the snack shack, but unfortunately it was the same burger.
The great thing about being on a cruise though, if you find a food you don’t like, you can just order more!
The staff were always helpful and friendly.
Marella Cruises – Vista Dining Room Food Review and Photos
In addition to the main dining room, there is also an Italian restaurant onboard.
This is usually still in the main dining room, it might just be on the top level or it may be to the side. There is a different menu here from the rest of the dining room and the design is a little different too.
The Italian restaurant is included in the cruise fare and the meal we had here was great.
I couldn’t fault anything with the food and if you are cruising with Marella I’d definitely recommend you visit at least once.
When we cruised, the service was fast and we rarely had to wait for anything. Our sailing was at reduced capacity though, so this may have had something to do with it.
To find out how the reduced capacity affected the rest of our cruise, and why we nearly got stranded in Spain. Check out this video:
Marella Cruises – Nonna’s Pizzeria Food Review and Photos
Many cruise lines will have some sort of pool side venue that serves pizza. In my opinion, Nonnas is a step above the rest.
Below is the pizza I ordered, yep that is pineapple on the pizza.
When ordering the pizza, each one is freshly made and cooked in a wood burning stove. This meant that the pizza didn’t take very long to cook and it was really very yummy.
We visited early in the evening (around 6pm) and there were very few people in the restaurant. We had multiple crew members waiting on just us!
Below is a photo of the Menu of Nonna’s pizzeria.
Marella Cruises – Buffet Food Review and Photos
On all Marella cruise ships, you’ll find a large buffet that is open for most of the day.
We would often visit the buffet if we wanted a quick lunch, or we wanted to grab a snack in the afternoon.
As Marella are an “All Inclusive” cruise line (You can find out that that means in this post here: Marella Cruises, what does ‘all inclusive’ include?) there are drinks being served in the buffet. This included wine, beer and soda.
The buffet is smaller than you’ll find on Mega ships because most Marella ships are mid sized. Despite this though, we always found a good selection of food availble and everything was always hot and tasty.
Marella are a British cruise line and this is definitely reflected in the food choices. You’ll find lots of British favourites.
The bread was also pretty good as you can tell from the photo above!
At the time of my Marella cruise, the buffet food was served to you by crew members, I imagine that this will change as time goes on.
It’s important to remember that there is no ‘wrong’ way to have a meal in the buffet. If you want to mix and match all food types and go back for 2nds or 3rds, DO IT! You’ve paid for the food, enjoy it.
Most days, Marella would offer afternoon tea in the buffet. The photo above is a selection of food that I had one afternoon. It’s amazing how easily you can fit in another meal between lunch and dinner, if you try!
The afternoon tea wasn’t served to you like it is on most other cruise lines, instead the afternoon tea items were just placed in the buffet as normal. There was a good collection of sandwiches, cakes and of course, SCONES!
Marella Cruises – Snack Shack Food Review and Photos
The Snack Shack is located by the pool and here you will find things like burgers, chicken wings and hot dogs. They also have a selection of sandwiches, cakes and cookies available.
Apart from the veggie burger mentioned above, I always found the food to be good.
Below is a photo of a Tofu and Veg sandwich that I picked up one afternoon. Again there were plenty of Vegetarian options.
The Snack Shack was very popular, so sometimes there would be a wait but they would provide you with a little buzzer so you could go back to your seat and come back when your food was ready.
They also freshly made things like Panninis, which were very good. We would often sit on the pool deck and just pick up a bite to eat here.
Marella Cruises – Coffee Port Cookies Review and Photos
Whenever I cruise, I like to find the best cookies that I can. There were included cookies at the Snack Shack and in the buffet but these were small and when I saw in the below in the Coffee Port, I knew I had to try one.
Each cookie below cost £2 and it was absolutely worth the extra cost.
After having one, I decided to buy one for my family to try too. They agreed that they were good.
Marella Cruises – Surf and Turf Restaurant Review and Photos
** Gifted Meal – I was invited by Marella to try this restaurant. All opinions are my own. **
The Surf and Turf restaurant is a speciality restaurant onboard Marella Cruises, meaning that it costs extra.
The price does vary slightly but it usually costs around £30 per person. This includes all food.
Surf and Turf, as the name suggested focuses on steak and seafood.
I am a vegetarian, so I was a little apprehensive about going to the steak house, I usually just end up eating chips and onion rings but I was happy to see they had a vegetarian option on the menu. It was a cauliflower steak made with orange, it was great.
We were very full from our meals but managed to fit in dessert. I’m glad we did, it was great!
Because Marella are an ‘All Inclusive’ cruise line, this meant that we didn’t have to pay anything extra for drinks. The drinks that are included in the cruise fare are still available even in speciality restaurants.
To find out more about which drinks are included in the Marella Cruises cruise fare, check out the updated 2021 drinks list here: Marella Cruises All Inclusive Drinks List (and Menus)
Marella Cruises – Kora La Restaurant Review and Photos
** Gifted Meal – I was invited by Marella to try this restaurant. All opinions are my own. **
Kora La is my favourite restaurant on Marella cruise ships. I originally visited Kora La on the Marella Discovery in 2019.
Kora La serves Asian inspired dishes and we all decided to order some sort of curry. The below is the section of food that arrived for the 4 of us. We were STUFFED after this meal!
Kora La costs a little over £20 per person and that includes all the food that you can eat. We certainly ate enough to make back this cost, I hate to think how much this would cost on land.
The desserts were also brilliant!
I usually don’t eat in speciality restaurants when I cruise but we did find both to be of incredibly high quality.
If you are taking a Marella cruise though and don’t want to pay extra for any food, there is plenty included in the cruise fare.
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