I thoroughly enjoyed the Marella Celebration Cruise with TUI. I overhead people commenting that the ship was ‘tired’ now but it looked good to me. It was scrupulously clean, staff were lively, friendly and helpful, most of the food was good and rooms seemed quite spacious. TUI had also arranged a selection of fantastic, optional tours to choose from. I had nothing to compare it to as this was my first cruise, but having travelled extensively, I was impressed. Here are some Marella Celebration Cruise tips to help you enjoy your week or two to the full.
1. Invest in a lock for your suitcase
Cases are brought from the airport to your cabin rather than collecting them yourself at baggage reclaim. On departure, you have to leave your case outside your cabin when you go to bed at night. It is then collected and taken to the aeroplane for you at some point during the night. This is great, but it does mean there are periods of time when your luggage will be left unattended. It is therefore recommended that you have a lock on your case for added security.
2. Consider taking a hairdryer
If your hair is long and thick, consider taking your own. The one which was provided was OK but it was very slow.
3. Take a European adaptor
Plug sockets in the cabin need a European plug or adaptor.
4. Purchase the restaurant upgrade for £47.95
There were 2 main restaurants to dine at in the evening…
- Lido – a self-serve buffet offering good quality food. It can be busy with a fast turn-around.
- Meridian – a more formal restaurant with waiter service. I had a few issues with some dishes I ordered here but generally the food was good, though the service was slow.
An additional £47.95 will allow access to 3 other restaurants, all quite different from each other. The extra variety was welcomed.
- Kora La – an Asian inspired restaurant offering excellent cuisine with a fantastic, knowledgeable waiter, Shumms.
- Mistrels – offering surf and turf options in addition to the main menu
- The Terrace – a snack bar by day and a cook your own hot stone restaurant by night! Cook your own steak or lobster outdoors and enjoy the cool evening breeze.
5. Consider paying the drinks supplement of £50
If you are a fussy drinker like me, then consider paying the drinks supplement of £50. This will give you a bigger and better (in my opinion) selection than those offered in the all inclusive package. The wines were a better quality with the premium package rather than the house wine and there was a wider selection of spirits and soft drinks available.
6. Book Tours sooner rather than later
TUI offers a good range of tours at each destination. Some of these are incredibly popular and they book up fast. One tour in particular, the Blue Caves in Montenegro was fully booked by the second day. Luckily TUI were able to arrange a second tour but this is not always guaranteed.
7. The Spa
If you are booking a treatment, be aware the therapists are both male and female. If you have a preference, mention this at the time of booking.
8. Don’t take cash for the ship
The ship has a ‘no cash’ policy. Make sure you take a Visa card to pay for items. American Express cards are not accepted either.
9. Consider footwear
Some of the tours involved a lot of walking. In Athens, the grounds surrounding The Acropolis have areas of loose stones and slippery rocks. Trainers rather than sandals would have been better. So think about what tours you may want to get involved in and consider footwear you may need.
10. Pack a few essentials in the hand luggage
It is wonderful that your case is brought to your cabin from the airport but, it may arrive after you do. If you are planning on checking into your cabin and then setting off to explore or use the ship’s gym/pool facilities straight away, keep a few essential items in your hand luggage to keep you going until your case arrives.
As well as the Marella Celebration Cruise tips, you may be interested in the following…