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Marella Explorer 2

215 reviews
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Traveler (132)
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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Bailey Shaw wrote a review Sep 9
28 contributions27 helpful votes
This review is coming from a younger person's view, as cruising is seen to be an older person's holiday. As a couple both in our 20s, this was one of the best weeks away we've had. We were also onboard the first cruise since covid from Newcastle which was a 2 night weekend cruise. Marella Explorer 2 is an adult's only ship, so no kids! Marella have got it spot on, after arriving at the port, we were tested, documents checked, and through ship check in and security in less than an hour. We had cabin 8147 for the 2 nighter and 8219 for the Gaelic Getaway cruise, 8219 was the fourth cabin from the rear of the ship and despite it being above the pub onboard, noise was minimal if at all there. Having a balcony on a UK cruise might not sound worth it but the views were stunning, especially in the scottish highlands and sailaway from Greenock. Our cabin steward Karen, was amazing, always up for a chat and a smile and nothing was a problem at all. Our cabin was serviced twice a day, once in the day and then a turndown service when you went to dinner with a chocolate left on the bed and a copy of the cruise news. Covid wise, vaccinations mandatory, masks indoors when not seated, temperatures to be taken every day before 4pm (or your cards will be deactivated). Buffet was served to you (please keep this Marella as the amount of people who don't wash their hands after using the toilet is disturbing). Shore excursions were needed if you left the ship, which has been relaxed since. Muster drill was via an app on your phone then scanning into your muster station, which is much better than the alternative of gathering at your muster station for the breifing. One thing to note is that you will delay the ship if you do not complete this straight away, we had 150 people who didn't do this and delayed departure, don't be those people. We were sailing with 50% capacity at the time. Food onboard was fantastic, but if you're used to 5 star michelin star, you'll need to pay for that via another more premium cruise line. We ate steak twice in the main restaurants which was fabulous and cooked to perfection, service in Lattitudes and Vista was efficient and excellent. We ate in Beach Cove on our last night and for £25 for two people, you can't go wrong. The wheel of desserts is a must! Entertainment was better than we imagined, the entertainment team were fantastic and 'COGS' is the show not to miss, amazing. The Squid and Anchor was our favourite place to sit and have a drink, the cocktails are the best we've had on holiday and the all inclusive is generous with the premium drinks only adding a £2.50 or so surcharge. There is one formal night a week, but don't feel pressured into thinking you need a black tie, wedding casual was just fine, but i think some older cruisers were dissappointed at this, if that's your thing you're better off with a traditional cruise line like Cunard. Pools on board are heated to 28 degrees Celsius and were glorious to swim in. Various activities and games to take part it, there was mini golf but we didn't get round to that. 'Dem Boyz' the onboard band were brilliant and always got a crowd going. As did 'the collective' All in all a fabulous week with Marella and we have loved the feeling of being at sea, ships movement was minimal throughout however did become a bit rocky when en route to Belfast past Aberdeen. We will be back on board a Marella Cruise next year.
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1 Helpful vote
Martyn A wrote a review Aug 2021
County Durham, United Kingdom18 contributions10 helpful votes
THE CRUISE If you’re going on the cruise to relax, enjoy the food drink and entertainment and maybe take in a couple of sights as well, you won’t be disappointed. The ship has a multitude of restaurants, shops and bars, together with entertainment. On the other hand, if you’re mainly wanting to see places, stunning views between stops etc. then I would think again. Two out of five days (40%) are spent totally at sea. The ship, being as large as she is, can’t hug the coast whilst travelling up North and must make it out to open sea, with nothing but water to see! Fortunately, we dropped anchor for a time near Lerwick and were entertained by flocks of Gannets for the afternoon. Whilst Invergordon was sunny, our stops in both Shetland and Orkney were met with cool, overcast, and misty conditions the whole time. Although passengers were allowed ashore independently in Invergordon and Kirkwall, Lerwick could only be accessed via a tender, which many people might have found difficult to negotiate. Although it’s now obvious, one thing I didn’t appreciate when booking was that, in rough seas, when the bows of the ship plough into the water the stern of the ship rises out of the waves by a similar amount! The cabin (9251) was at the rear of the ship and, being flat at the stern, the return to the water was quite noisy and resulted in a few restless nights THE SHIP AND CABIN Although in some small ways she showed her age (the electric sockets were two pin and, in the cabin, the one and only socket didn’t feel totally safe!). overall, everything was impressively clean and well presented. Accessing the ship at Port of Tyne wasn’t easy for anyone with some walking impediment – the gangway onto the ship was very steep and took some people a real effort to negotiate. There was also quite a bit of walking to the coaches for some of the organised trips so anyone with walking difficulties should discuss this before booking. That said, the overall organising of embarkation including lateral flow test was impressively well organised. The same goes for the disembarking at the end of the trip. There was quite a lot of walking though so it’s important to check that you can cope with this. There were endless numbers of restaurants and bars to choose from with a really good selection of food, although sometimes limited if you are vegetarian. The main Market Place restaurant was buffet style but with staff serving your selection and it was always possible to find something to your liking. The Latitude restaurant with table service was also very popular with a varied selection of dishes – some wonderful, others not so good (avoid the ‘always available’ options!)! But the staff were always cheerful and happy to help with recommendations (a special thanks to Kathleen in this respect!). There was one place for coffee – The Coffee Port - which was also popular and served generally good coffee, although not quite up to Costa/Starbucks standards. Again, the staff were friendly and how Ayu remembered people’s favourites with so many passengers was amazing!! Masks and social distancing were enforced through the ship and, although this was a first outing for over a year, we felt very safe in the ship’s environment. Masks, sanitizers and daily temperature checks were mandatory. The cabin and balcony (9251) were spacious and kept meticulously clean by Roaton and his team, who also provided some additional entertainment!! However, there were a few negatives. I’ve already mentioned the night time noise when the ship was in rough seas and the single two pin plug. The double bed was a bit of a problem as it was located tightly in a side of the cabin against a wall and anyone on the far side needing an exit during the night will find it like negotiating an obstacle course! The balcony was lovely most of the time. Unfortunately, deck 9 is above the smoking area on deck 7 and we were often aware of cigarette smoke drifting up to our balcony area. Would I go on this cruise again? Probably not. Would I sail on the Explorer 2 again ? Most definitely, the organisation and nearly everything about the ship were 5 star, but I’d make sure the itinerary suited me better than this one did.
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joant186399 wrote a review Aug 2021
Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom15 contributions5 helpful votes
Terrible smell from drains or kitchen near dining rooms. Perhaps due to age of ship. Met some lovely people as 2 solo reps. Hard to find a quiet spot except in my cabin as background music everywhere and usually of some screeching woman. Asked them to turn off but staff couldn't. Not at all relaxing. Everywhere spotless clean and sanitisers everywhere.Food, presentation & service very good. Drinks served non stop if you wanted but cocktails mass produced. Coffee (except in dining room) and good icecream on deck extra but extremely cheap . Did Surf n Turf & Sushi speciality dining and worth evry penny, Entertainment varied except the shows which, although very well produce and acted the singers had to shout over the very loud sountrack. Had to leave one night because unbearable. Others in my group put in ear plugs! Shame. Silent disco so much fun. Stayed overnight at Premier Inn and 5 min walk to cruise terminal check in. Quick Covid test, cabin alocation, boarding.
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Val M wrote a review Aug 2021
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom10 contributions7 helpful votes
Trip was around the UK from Newcastle. From arriving at the port which was very organised and safe as we were just coming out of lockdown. We were checked and kept distanced without this being a hindrance and all who were doing this were putting us at ease. On board you did need to wear a mask when moving about, and have a daily temperature test, but again this was easily done as they had temperature machines throughout the ship and these were accessed by your room key. All restaurants maintained social distancing as did the theatre. Food was great and varied to suit everyone. The biggest asset to the ship was the staff, who all from the captain down, were friendly and keen to help. Going in to the restaurant was a pleasure and you were greeted by smiling faces. On our first evening we were served by Kathleen who chatted and made sure we had what we wanted. She never served us again but would speak to us when we were there, exceptional lady. I must mention others Raj, Frepy and Genaro from Laltitude for giving excellent service - and always with a smile. The ship itself was kept spotless and in our cabin Tati also made sure everything was fine. Entertainment very good and the cast very talented and the standards were as good as I have seen at the theatre. All in all a super holiday that certainly boosted us after this difficult 18 months. Hope to go back soon.
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2 Helpful votes
TonyJJB wrote a review Aug 2021
Wigan,England.8 contributions10 helpful votes
Good cruise around the UK encouraged to book again on board for next week at special discount rate.paid £660 got home and found the same cruise with planet cruises for £525 never book whilst on board the ship.
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