• Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In

Marella Explorer Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
202 reviews
16 Awards
See all photos
Editor Rating
Very Good
Adam Coulter
Cruise Critic UK Managing Editor

Marella Cruises' newest ship, Marella Explorer, was launched in May 2018, and with a capacity of 1,924 passengers it's the line's largest vessel. The ship debuts a number of new-to-the-fleet features, including a link-up with upmarket health spa Champneys (the first at sea), a raft of brand-new restaurants, a gin- and whisky-tasting bar and a large number of new shows.



Bottom Line

A ship that knows exactly what passengers want -- and delivers


Passengers : 1,924
Crew : 794
Passenger to Crew : 2.42:1
Launched : 1996
Shore Excursions : 99

Sails To

Sails From

Familiar facilities, such as The Veranda adults-only terrace and Broadway Show Lounge, are bigger, as is the spa. (However, despite boasting the largest spa in the fleet, there's no indoor pool.)

Aimed squarely at the British market, the vessel is easily manageable for first-timers, with plenty of entertainment for families with kids (despite the fact there is a tiny kids' club) and enough standout and high-end facilities -- including upmarket eateries and a high-tech top-deck disco/bar/casino -- to keep the most seasoned cruisers happy.

Like the fleet as a whole, the ship is billed all-inclusive (in that alcohol and tips are included), and you'll find buckets full of cold beer outside the theatre and on the deck, as well as beer and wine dispensers in the buffet. However, should you wish a more "premium" experience, there is a number of excellent restaurants that carry a cover charge.

Marella inspires loyalty with its long-serving staff and repeat passengers from the line's days as Thomson. The line knows its clientele thoroughly, inside and out -- exactly what they need and want.

Sign Up for Price Drop Alerts

Get Marella Explorer price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

And, in the case of this ship, Marella has even anticipated what passengers might not yet know they need or want with a number of first-time additions. This ship is an outstanding addition to the Marella fleet.

Fellow Passengers

Marella Explorer attracts an exclusively British clientele wherever it is based, whether in the Med during the summer or the Caribbean in the winter. You'd be hard pressed to find any other nationality, and certainly no concession is made for them. The average age is around mid-50s, with multigenerational groups during peak holiday periods. Expect a lot of children onboard from the beginning of July to the beginning of September and over the Christmas holidays.

Marella Explorer Dress Code

The ship is casual during the day -- think shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops -- due to its locations (summer in the Med and winter in the Caribbean). In the evenings, it's smart casual. One night on a seven-night cruise is "Dress to Impress" night, which has replaced gala evenings or formal nights. There's no real guidance on this, though most people opt for a jacket and smart trousers or (non-ripped) jeans for men and a dress and perhaps heels for women.

Sign Up for Price Drop Alerts

Get Marella Explorer price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Find a Marella Explorer Cruise

More about Marella Explorer

Where does Marella Explorer sail from?

Marella Explorer departs from

Where does Marella Explorer sail to?

Marella Explorer cruises to

How much does it cost to go on Marella Explorer?

Cruises on Marella Explorer start from null per person.

Is Marella Explorer a good ship to cruise on?

Marella Explorer won 16 awards over the years, including Best Overall, Best for Cabins and Best for Cabins in 2019.
Marella Explorer Cruiser Reviews


So an average cruise with good and bad points, we continued our holiday in Costa Adeje which we enjoyed esp the food, which was much better than Marella Explorer.... Read More
User Avatar

10+ Cruises

Age 60s

Adventures on a rocky boat

To sum up , you could have a good cruise onboard Marella Explorer , you will have to put up with a few things , for us it was the continuous air conditioning and the ships appetite for rocking and rolling... Read More
User Avatar
shaky boat

6-10 Cruises

Age 60s

Great ship.. Great service..

It was a great experience on the Explorer.... Read More
User Avatar

6-10 Cruises


We had tried several other ones over the years and decided to give Marella a go, so booked a weeks cruise on the Explorer.... Read More
User Avatar

10+ Cruises

Age 50s

Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises) Fleet
Marella Discovery
Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.