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Colourful coasts - conclusion

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    Colourful coasts - conclusion

    First of all, thank you for reading my meanderings and for your comments.

    After Madeira was a sea day on the way to Agadir. We spent part of the day on the pool deck doing a food quiz and enjoying a light lunch from the snack shack. They cook a range of burgers, hot dogs and fries. Also there are made up salads and sandwiches and desserts. Very pleasant. There was a reasonable amount of seating, including some brightly coloured booth seating in the style of open beach huts.There was also Captain John's question time in the theatre. He is an interesting and funny man with lots of anecdotes about his life at sea. Explorer also has a cinema with about 160 seats. There was a good range of films including Downton Abbey. There is also a mini golf on deck 12, which was good fun. On deck 14 ( no deck 13) there are a lot of loungers, double hammocks (try getting into one of those with a glass of wine!) and some cabana seating. In fact, all around the ship there seems a wide variety of seating, both outdoor and indoor, and the only place that got fairly crowded seemed to be the pool deck. Obviously, the time of year and the fact that there was usually some breeze probably has something to do with that.

    For Agadir we booked a ship's excursion, which was a 31/2 hour trip including the Kasbah and a brief drive around the town,where we stopped to see the main Mosque. We couldn't go in unfortunately as I would have been interested in seeing inside. We also saw the large area of wasteland that is used to teach people to drive and pass their test. Providing you could drive around cones and reverse into a space defined by 2 kerbs, it seems you're good to go. The evidence was the amount of beaten up cars on the roads! Priceless. Then we went to the beach and spent 90 minutes there. It is a very long, sandy beach with a lovely promenade. There were a lot of armed military patrols on the promenade and at the holiday complexes. Sign of the times I guess.

    Lanzarote - We were moored about a 20 minute stroll from Arrecife centre, so we wandered in, had a look around, took a trip on the town train, had a lovely lunch overlooking the tidal lake and then back to the ship to pack for leaving tomorrow.

    So..........would I cruise Marella again? Yes I would. It was actually quite an eye-opener for us in comparison to RCI. Marella are obviously very geared to British clients and don't have the international feel of other cruises we have been on. Price-wise, we feel we got very good value for money. We certainly paid a lot less than we would have done on a similar RC cruise when the flights and drinks package and tipping policy are taken into consideration

    The food was okay, not particularly inspiring but certainly hotter ( temperature) than on RCI, and we didn't try the speciality restaurants. But the menus looked good.

    The entertainment was performed by a very enthusiastic young cast. We didn't go to all the shows, 3 actually but they were fine. We also saw the comedian, who in my opinion was so unfunny I can't even remember his name. On the other hand, people who saw his late night after the watershed show, liked him.

    I'm not sure whether the drinks upgrade was worth it, even though it gave free coffees and 1.5 L water per day and premium drinks. Certainly if you drink speciality gins and whiskies, it would be worth the extra. As it is, you can just pay the extra as and when you fancy something different. There are also water chillers at the end of the cabin corridors and a carafe in the room if you don't have your own water bottle.

    The cabins are a little light on sockets, 1 European and 1 US, but on the other hand there were USB sockets on both bedside lights.

    On-board internet access is reasonably priced - £25 for 3 days and not restricted to a single device.

    We liked the fact that there was no up-selling by the staff even for the Champneys spa. It was mentioned to us only once and when we said we weren't interested, that was fine. The photographers on the ship were not at all intrusive, in fact I don't even recall seeing them in the dining room on dress to impress night.


    Tenerife airport was quite difficult to find somewhere to sit and boarding the plane was the complete opposite of the outward journey. The flight was late, no verbal announcements, even when the gate opened so a mad scramble from all directions to board.

    Thanks for reading

    Barb







    #2
    Thanks for sharing. A work colleague is going on this cruise on Friday so I will be interested in hearing her views on Explorer as she has done most of the other Thomson ships in the past.

    Take care, Helen

    Comment


      #3
      Your assessment of Marrella is similar to mine.

      Value for money is undeniable........Wilba
      Wilba

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you for your thoughts, I haven't done a Marrella cruise, but would definitely give them a try .................................................. ..Carol

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for sharing your experience of Marella. We've been sailing with them for a number of years and really enjoy their style. We have done the Canaries on Dream and the Fjords on Discovery more recently. I also recommend Marella to anyone who hasn't tried them before.

          I agree with you about the airport in Tenerife. Our homeward bound experience was very trying to say the least and there's definitely not enough seating but then quite a few continental airports are similar.

          BIG SHIPS, little ships, small world

          Comment


            #6
            Hi Barb
            Thanks for taking the time and effort to post your interesting blog.
            Marela isn't on our bucket list but it's always interesting to hear how others fare whilst onboard.
            Regards
            Garf.

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks for taking the time to write your very interesting blog. Not been on any of Marella ships due to hubby not wanting to but I might grind him down.
              don't want to work, just want to cruise.

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks for sharing.

                We find the £50pppw drinks upgrade not worth it, the OH does not drink much and everything she likes is included on the standard drinks.

                The bean to cup coffee in the bars if good, filtered chilled water is available for the cabins, for me that leaves the upgraded beer as the basic choices are not so good but £100 buys a lot of them in a week.

                there are videos on youtube which have the current list and the supplement for premium options like caned soft drinks £1, upgraded spirits £2.50-£3...
                (make sure it is at least 2019 with the blue cover)
                Last edited by Topdeck, London; 28th January 2020, 04:09 AM.

                Comment


                  #9
                  We found the standard 'freebie' drinks package, more than suited our needs, plus the fact that if you do fancy a premium drink, you only pay the extra on that drink.............Wilba.
                  Wilba

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Issyalex, Glasgow View Post
                    Thanks for taking the time to write your very interesting blog. Not been on any of Marella ships due to hubby not wanting to but I might grind him down.
                    If hubby enjoys P&O, I see no reason not to enjoy Marrella, unless new glitzy ships are important.

                    On the other hand if P&O is no go territory, then best stay away................Wilba
                    Wilba

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Hi Barb,thanks for the interesting review.I've not cruised Marella but certainly wouldn't rule it out.My main criteria would be if I could get a bargain

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Glad you enjoyed it - thanks for taking the time to post.

                        Bill
                        https://www.dropbox.com/s/okwd9apbxzcvxmq/maid%20of%20the%20loch.jpg?dl=0

                        Lawnmowerman

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Wilba View Post

                          If hubby enjoys P&O, I see no reason not to enjoy Marrella, unless new glitzy ships are important.

                          On the other hand if P&O is no go territory, then best stay away................Wilba
                          Wilba we’ve been on P&O Azura a few of times but it’s not our favourite line. We’re on Iona in Oct as friends asked us to join them. I do love P&O’s entertainment, food is ok but service not that great. I’m willing to try any cruiseline but he’s not. ☹️ However if a good deal comes up then you never know!
                          don't want to work, just want to cruise.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thanks for all your comments, much appreciated. I love to read other peoples's reviews and thoughts on different cruise lines. Gives food for thought. No more ocean cruises booked at the moment, but doing a Rhone river cruise in the summer.
                            Barb

                            Comment


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