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Marella Explorer 2

306 reviews
 All photos (219)219
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Traveller (193)
Common Areas (37)
Dining and Bars (13)
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
Traveller rating
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artel0774 wrote a review 1 Oct
St Helens, United Kingdom24 contributions13 helpful votes
Our first cruise and it was great so why only 3 stars. Well, junior suite was great but not necessary. Lessons learnt. Bathroom needs updating. Buffet poor at best, breakfast ok, main dining room is no better for breakfast just surrounding better. Paid for 3 speciality dining venues, Kora La, expensive for what it was and I felt ill the day after. Surf and Turf was really disappointing as main courses overcooked. Must point out we did not have the steak courses. Everyone who had steak seemed very happy. Beach Cove evening meal put the main speciality restaurants to shame. Great meal with half the staff, well done. Entertainment very good. Ports of call very good. Flights very good. We had premium drinks package, needed in our experience as included drinks package felt watered down, cheap and limited choice. Staff, most great, some seemed fed up and lack motivation. Value for money for one week cruise, ok. Could have got better value for two week all inclusive in Spain or even 10 nights in Mexico. However ports visited were the difference. Booked another Marella cruise whilst on board only because it is travelling down the Suez Canal. Destination and ports of call are key, perhaps more important than food and drink if they are ok. Arthur
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Bigworldsmallwallet wrote a review Sep 2022
London, United Kingdom547 contributions266 helpful votes
Our second Marella cruise but first on Explorer 2. Sail three seas from/to Dubrovnik. I have seen reviews that compare Marella cruises to Butlin’s Never having been to Butlin’s I can’t comment. What I can say is that I suspect the majority of the guests ,during our cruise anyway ,shop at Lidl’s rather than Waitrose. Not a criticism merely an observation. Positives The Filipino staff were fabulous, friendly efficient and energetic,an absolute credit . The food was better than I expected,having read some of the negative reviews here. Last year we did a Saga cruise ,which was much more expensive, but the food on Explorer 2 was almost as good . We also dined in the Surf & turf , which was very good and the Dining club,which was excellent. Sadly we couldn’t get booked into Kora La so can’t comment on that. We were out and about most days & don’t get involved in daytime activities, which are basically quizzes & a few other activities . On our previous Marella cruise we upgraded to the premium drinks package,which we found to be a waste of money, so we didn’t do it this time. If you want an occasional special cocktail etc you can still pay a little extra & it won’t cost you £60, which I think was the price for a week. Various beers available,but just different lagers & I think one bitter, which I heard was John Smith’s , but I didn’t actually see it. Draught Strongbow available. Wines , Prosseco etc all acceptable. We had a balcony cabin on D9 which was perfectly adequate,though more USB ports would have been handy as there are only two and one of ours was broken.( take an adapter) Evening entertainment in the theatre was excellent, their energy is amazing. May just be me but the piano music in the Flutes bar reminded me of the Morecambe and Wise joke, all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order. Was probably Jazz ,which I simply don’t understand or enjoy. Embarking and disembarking was quick and easy, though Dubrovnik airport needs a rethink. Negatives. The free Wi fi is,to all intents and purposes ,useless, possibly intentionally ,in order to get you to pay the extortionate upgrade for Wi fi that presumably works. Our I Pads were completely useless on board, & I Phones little better. The Tui navigate app was impossible to download,presumably for this reason. Nor could we download our boarding passes for the flight home & had to get reception to print them off for us , which was probably lucky as one of the reps at Dubrovnik airport said that paper copies were preferred as the screen images didn’t always work. If ,like me, you do all your banking on line, make sure you cover the period of your cruise before you go, as you won’t be able to do it on board. Right, my biggest issue : Tui really must review their dress codes. What is the point of one if it is completely disregarded by guests and crew alike? Not everyone wants to get dressed up , I understand that & there are restaurants that are informal for those people. However ,many people look forward to the formal night in particular & it is disappointing when there are scruffy, yes scruffy, people in the restaurant. “Smart” shorts and polo shirts are classed as acceptable in all the restaurants but “ smart” means different things to different people & is open to abuse. Lots of men wore scruffy cargo shorts,even on the formal night. While queuing to get into Latitude ,on formal night, there was a “ gentleman” in front of us in a creased polo shirt,even more creased shorts and trainers. He had clearly had this outfit on all day ( I know as I was downwind of him) & he was let into the restaurant without the bat of an eyelid. Seriously, I look smarter than these people when I go fishing . Tui have renamed Formal night as “Dress to impress”night —— well some of the guests left a lasting impression on me ! If this is the type of person Tui want to attract that’s fine, they should admit it and simply abandon any pretence of a dress code. Then guests could go to breakfast in their pyjamas & really feel at home . We enjoyed our cruise on Explorer 2 despite those issues. It was good value & clearly attractive to those that want a cruise experience on a reduced budget. I would recommend it for people that prefer an informal ( think Wetherspoons) environment rather than the more usual cruise experience.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
3 Helpful votes
Paddy F wrote a review Sep 2022
Gainsborough, United Kingdom102 contributions60 helpful votes
Had a 2 week cruise around the Adriatic , Venice is no longer an option so given £50 on board credit pp , there is now a trip by coach approx over 2 hours each way, so not for me, the ship is good, a little tired in places but overall a good standard , inside cabin was fine with the usual outlay . The food and eating places were a mixed bag, the main dining area Latitude 53 and Vista [ Italian ] are ok the Vista is better than 53 imo, Latitude 53 is under staffed , the waiters are flat out and I heard quite a few moaning about the service, but I would rather have a long breakfast rather than go to the other main eating place Market Place, this is a nightmare at times, so we avoided as much as we could, Surf n Turf and Kora La are worth a visit along with the Beach Cove, the Dining Club is by far the best around £35 each but worth it, never tried Nonnos or the poolside grill. The ports of call were a mixed bag too , some really good and some they should have sailed by. The entertainment was not the best , with the resident bands having the ability to make every song sound the same.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
louandtone wrote a review Sep 2022
North York Moors National Park, United Kingdom120 contributions64 helpful votes
Booked with tui, with another couple. They had an awful start with rooms mixed up and pre paid premium pack not put on. Our cabin was allocated on arrival front of deck5 Absolutely fine and the cabin staff were gorgeous. The pool area was tiny...and packed . We ended up up on the top deck and there's no shade. Thankfully it wasn't at sea much on a week long trip. Premium drinks package...we did um and ah about it, but went for it. Top tip here is go to the bar. If you don't, the waiters bring god knows what mixed with God knows what from a pump. We quickly realised you have to ask for a Schweppes tonic can rather than the pump dispensed. Cocktails were OK. Wine choice was ok. Bottled beers and lagers were fine. Food. Now this is where we were left with a bad taste in out mouths. Latitude restaurant, included in the holiday price , this was ok. There was non"wow" to it. It was standard mass produced stuff to feed the masses. And everyone seemed to accept that that was fine, but it isn't really. The surf and turf and fine dining restaurants with the charge pp of 29 to 35 pounds. Now that was delicious. What I don't get, is why it can't be like that in the latitude. The buffet was seriously bad. Only half of the area open so breakfast was like a rugby scrum, and trust me, some of our elders were amongst the most rude!! We have done 4 days on Royal Caribbean and that left this ship standing in the shade. We actually walked out of the Italian Vista restaurant on our last night, after speaking to the restaurant manager. It was diabolical. So If you want a very very casual cruise, and are not bothered about the food quality, or drinks, then fine. If I closed my eyes, I could have been on an all inclusive 2 star to benidorm ( I ve never been...my point precisely). The ports were amazing, we loved getting off and venturing out. All the bar staff, and restaurant staff were very smiley and friendly. Captain was visible through our stay. There was no gala night on this particular week, which was something we had looked forward to experiencing. So Tui....thanks but no thanks. We had a lovely holiday but won't be on board with you again.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
Basil F wrote a review Sep 2022
Lutterworth84 contributions70 helpful votes
Sailed from Dubrovnik on 15th September, calling at Malta (Valetta), Italy (Sicily, andTaranto, Corfu, Montenegro and back to Dubrovnik. We had a balcony cabin on the 10th deck. Never any problem getting a lift as there are 9 spaced throughout the ship. This was our second cruise on this ship, the first being in the Caribbean some 2 years ago. The ship is kept very clean and the crew are always polite, friendly and helpful. There is a wide choice of restaurants ranging from the three A La Carte, the two Main which are waiter service and the self service Market Place. In addition there are snack offerings. All the A La Carte's need to be pre booked. The Mains do get busy around 8.00pm and you may be given a caller that lets you know when there is a table available for you. The A La Carte's and the Mains also have a Smart Dress Code, which is enforced. The Numerous Bars are well stocked but Flutes and The Aperitif do tend to get crowded with pre dinner drinkers. The 16th, our day at sea, was our 55th Emerald Wedding Anniversary and we ate in the Surf & Turf restaurant. They made us feel very welcome, serenaded us and prepared a lovely sweet on a dish emblazoned Happy 55th Anniversay. We found the Valetta and Corfu organised excursions a little rushed, with very little free time and the guides trying to hurry you along. The Mount Etna and the Montenegro excursions were far better organised with informative and personable guides. The Croatian system of having you go through immigration twice on arrival (Airport and Port) and twice on departure (Port and Airport) was irksome but nothing that Tui or anybody else could do about it.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote