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Simon W wrote a review Oct 2021
Hebburn, United Kingdom48 contributions53 helpful votes
As Marella announced UK cruises for the summer, it was perfect to be able to join the ship just minutes away from home on the Tyne. First time on the Marella Explorer 2, having sailed previously on the Marella Discovery 2 around the Eastern Med. Firstly, the COVID safe measures were excellent - LFT at the port was organised very efficiently, and we were onboard the ship within 45 minutes of arriving at the port. Temperature had to be taken everyday by 4pm using the self-service machines and temperature was also taken before boarding the ship after excursions. Masks had to be worn inside when walking around and staff were all wearing masks at all times. Felt very safe throughout the cruise. The facilities onboard were excellent - most nights we ate in the main dining room, where the service and food were outstanding. We did eat one night in a special area in the Buffet Restaurant which was reserved for Tapas - not advertised, but amazing, and no extra charge. We ate breakfast most days in the main Dining Room where we were first served by the amazing Kathleen and we asked to sit in her section on other days. The shows in the main theatre were all excellent - great show cast that were better than West End performers. The Indigo bar was great for amazing views and a nice, warm atmosphere. All of the staff went out of their way to provide exceptional service. We had a balcony cabin on Deck 9 - good location, right opposite the lifts and stairs - although due to the weather, we did not make much use of the balcony, but it was still nice to get some fresh air into the room and see the views on arrival at the ports. We docked in three ports: Invergordon (where we did an organised coach tour into the Highlands), Lerwick in Shetland (where we took part in a guided walking tour of the town with an outstanding guide called Laurie, who we have since seen on TV on programmes about Shetland), and Kirkwall in Orkney (where we had a coach tour of the Northern parts of the main island and afterwards we took the free port shuttle into Kirkwall town which was a lovely place to visit). We had two days at sea, where it was nice to relax and not do much, the weather was not great so couldn't make the most of the outdoor facilities and there were only limited activities taking place indoors during the day. It would have been nice to just have one day at sea and squeezed in another port, as we actually arrived outside Shetland Islands with over 15 hours to spare until we docked and the ship just drifted for the day. This was a bit of a waste. There was a bit of movement on the ship, specially on the journey from Orkney back to the Tyne, but nothing too bad and we actually got used to it so didn't notice in the end. Overall, a wonderful chance for an unexpected summer cruise holiday and really enjoyed the whole experience. Marella is a great cruise line - not the newest, or biggest ships (the Marella Explorer 2 was showing its age in places - we much preferred the Discovery ships with the spectacular central atrium - atrium on Explorer 2 was just under utilised and the whole ship lacked a central area) - but perfect for an all-inclusive holiday where you can visit some exciting new places with excellent service.
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Sail Date: August 2021
Cabin Type: Balcony
Type of Trip:
Destination: Europe
Pools & Sundecks
Onboard Activities
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Marella Explorer 2

225 reviews
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Traveller (142)
Common Areas (32)
Balcony Cabins (11)
Itineraries for this ship


Passengers: 1 814   |   Crew: 780
Passengers to crew: 2,33:1
Passengers to space: 0,03:1
Launched: 1995   |   Refurbished: 2019


Cabin size: 172 - 172 sq. ft.
Connected rooms: 0
Accessible rooms: 0
Maximum passengers: 2
Number of cabins: 0
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Mr Giang wrote a review 02 Jan
Manchester, United Kingdom2 contributions1 helpful vote
We went on TUI Merrela Explorer 2 for 7 days Canary islands The 2 Italian restaurants which are easy to miss for your free dinning on cruise. The staffs in these restaurants are very kind, helpfull, working hard, specialy the lady named Susan who worked in the Vista.
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Benjamin Davies wrote a review Dec 2021
Darwen, United Kingdom127 contributions112 helpful votes
We booked a deluxe balcony on deck 12 - a very pleasant cabin and representative of the price we paid. To be honest, the bed could have been more comfortable. The cabin was adequate. Cleanliness and service from cabin steward was excellent. My 5 star review is a reflection of everything else. The food was brilliant and we really enjoyed the alternative dining restaurants. Hospitality in general cannot be faulted. The bars around the ship were comfortable with attentive service. We particularly enjoyed Flutes and the wonderful crew in there - Olga, Ljubica, Daira and Daria were a joy to be around and the service was impeccable. We really enjoyed evenings with the piano host, Ryan Green- he was just brilliant and so talented. I must give a special shout out to the talented, friendly and hardworking entertainment team, led by the very lovely Ted. Wow! What great shows and everything was with enthusiasm and smiles. All of the singers and dancers were brilliant - loved the two Ollies and the gorgeous Matt especially. It was so nice to see the entertainers around the ship and they were so giving of conversation and time. The entertainment hosts were second to none. Jack Fletch especially is surely a Cruise Director of the future. A wonderful Christmas voyage! Excellent.
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papapig wrote a review Dec 2021
Weymouth, United Kingdom7 contributions7 helpful votes
Brilliant cruise the staff, food, drinks,shows , entertainment all excellent, the ship was spotless & covid rules all observed & abided by, well done Marella 👏👏👏
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Vicky C wrote a review Dec 2021
Dundee, United Kingdom4 contributions12 helpful votes
I really enjoyed this cruise. The ship was spotless and felt safe for Covid without it being too intrusive. The entertainment was great fun and the standard all inclusive package was really generous with a surprising range of branded drinks available . In general the food was very nice with lots of selections available. Overall, I feel very grateful to Tui staff on and off the ship who are obviously working hard to adapt to changing circumstances. The information was good on what documentation and tests were required and the call centre staff were helpful. I would definitely reccommend.
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darron w wrote a review Nov 2021
4 contributions
It was great to cruise again and everything was lovely under the circumstances . all the staff worked hard to make sure covid rules didn't impact too much . Food was great in all venues . Can't wait to go again
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