Marella Celebration Cruise Ship Review
We joined the Marella Celebration Cruise Ship, one of Marella Cruises ships in Dubrovnik for a 7 night Adriatic Cruise. We had been recommended Thomson cruise via friends and really liked the Adriatic Affair itinerary. The cruise was visiting Croatia, Slovenia, and Albania all places that we had not visited before, and we were excited about that.
The Marella Celebration Cruise Ship is the smallest cruise ship that we have sailed on and we must admit we did have some reservations about that.
We booked the cruise at the TUI travel shop only 4 weeks before the cruise and was very pleased with the service. Our flight from Birmingham Airport was straightforward and only 2 1/2 hours so before we knew it we were on the coach on our way to the port of Dubrovnik.
The transfer from the airport to the port took 30 minutes. Tip – make sure you sit on the left hand side of the coach when leaving the airport, so that you can see the stunning views over to Dubrovnik and the Old Town, and you will have the first views of the ships docked in the port.
Embarkation on the Marella Celebration Cruise Ship
Embarkation was very easy. We entered the embarkation area and were given a cold drink along with our cruise card, then were asked to wait for the blue group to be called. After only waiting around 5 minutes, we were called and shown on to the ship. The cruise staff guided us to an area in the dining room where our photos were taken and synced to our cruise card. If you want to use the safe in your cabin this is where you purchase a safe key at a cost of 15 euros. The whole process was very easy and we headed straight to our cabin.
Our Outside Cabin on the Marella Celebration Cruise Ship
We normally book a balcony cabin but unfortunately this time this type of cabin was out of our budget, so we settled for an outside cabin. We were concerned that the cabin would be small. However we were pleasantly surprised, the cabin and the bathroom were bigger than expected.
Our cabin steward Melvin was superb, he was constantly around and we were not sure when he slept! He kept our cabin spotless and entertained us with some towel animals which was great.
The bed was comfortable with memory foam mattress and pillows and we slept extremely well during the whole cruise. This was probably helped by the selection of wines, ciders and cocktails too!
There was plenty of storage in the cabin. Our two cases arrived shortly after we joined the ship, we hadn’t seen them since Birmingham which was excellent and they fitted under the bed easily. There were two large wardrobes, a set of drawers, plus more drawers in the bedside cabinets.
The cabin was well equipped with an english 3 pin plug and 2 x european round 2 pin sockets, so charging gadgets and phones was not an issue at all. The electric did not go off when you left the cabin either which was helpful.
The bathroom was a decent size with again plenty of storage. The shower was adequate and shower gel and shampoo were provided, there was also a shaver socket too. Melvin ensured we were stocked with everything we needed.
Our cabin did not have a fridge which was the only disappointing feature, the mini bar was actually on top of the set of drawers. We didn’t use the minibar as it was an extra cost and even if we had wanted to the drinks would of been warm.
On all of our previous cruises the Sea Pass has always been both your ship identification card and your room key.
The first mistake we made was presuming this was also our door key. We noticed two other keys in the cabin but stupidly thought that this must be the master/spare key that the steward had for our cabin. It wasn’t long until we realised that we were now actually locked out! We explained to Melvin our cabin steward what we had done and he happily let us back into the cabin.
The Sun and Pool decks on the Marella Celebration Cruise Ship
There are two swimming pools on the Marella Celebration Cruise Ship. The main Lido pool on deck 5 and the adult pool on deck 6. The adult pool was smaller and quieter than the Lido pool, a great place for a cool down and chat with fellow passengers. There were also great views from the back of the ship. The Lido pool was more lively with a selection of quizzes, demonstrations and live music in the afternoons. Bar service around both the pool areas was efficient and barmaid Matson was great fun.
There were plenty of sunbeds around and more on deck 7, we never experienced sun bed hogging which was a refreshing change. Here’s a short video showing you around the sun decks whilst we were tendered in Korcula.
If you want to have some quiet time, then head to Deck 6 the Promenade Deck. Here you will find sunbeds and chairs where you can relax and watch the world literally go by. We enjoyed a special evening here watching the sunset as we sailed from Koper in Slovenia to Venice, it was wonderful.
Our Sunset views from the promenade deck…..
Entertainment on board the Marella Celebration Cruise Ship
After the bigger ship experiences with full size theatres we were worried than the standard would not be the same. We needn’t of worried as the entertainment on the Marella Celebration Cruise Ship was excellent throughout the cruise.
Top Men Band
The resident band for our cruise was Top Men and they were superb. They played at different venues around the ship, and are definitely one of the best cover bands we have ever seen, playing anything from the Beatles to Bruno Mars and always had the crowd going. They were on for 30 minutes slots but we would of liked to see them do longer sets.
The comedian James Brandon performed twice during our cruise had us in stitches, he is a regular on the Thomson Fleet and definitely worth a watch.
Considering there is only a small entertainment’s team on board they surpassed all our expectations. The production of My Fair Lady was top class.
The Las Vegas Show showed some talented singers, and even Elvis was in the building!
The Captain was very visual around the ship and so were the senior officers, twice during the cruise he presented his staff and it was evident that he was very proud to be part of the Marella team.
Liberties was a great place to hang out, the entertainment team were always up to something here. Following the shows in Broadway the singers would then come and perform, the Diva’s show was superb. As well as the excellent music, there were quizzes, bingo, films, and game shows that were actually a lot of fun. Melissa and Kate the dancers were very sociable and talented, and great at getting the dance floor full. Must give a shout out here to Florence who was the waitress who looked after us extremely well.
Hemingway’s Bar and Casino
This is on Deck 5 and is a bar area which has a piano music as the entertainment. It also houses the small casino. We did not use these facilities as preferred the Liberties lounge, however it did seem very popular.
Formal night on board the Marella Celebration Cruise Ship
This is the first cruise we have been on where we didn’t take all our posh formal wear and ironically we were personally invited by the Hotel Manager Grenville Cartledge to join him and Elaine Mittell, the social hostess for dinner as a 50th birthday treat.
We were very nervous but had the most wonderful evening. They were great fun and the Lobster was amazing. It really has made this cruise special!
Following dinner we were shown to the reserved VIP seats in the Broadway Lounge. We watched the Concerto Broadway show, which again was an excellent performance from the singers on board. We really were treated like royalty and it was a night we will never forget.
Food and Dining on the Marella Celebration Cruise Ship
The quality of food on the Marella Celebration was excellent both in the Lido buffet restaurant and the formal Meridian restaurant.
Dinner in the Meridian Restaurant is a great experience, you are not allocated any particular sitting and can go to the restaurant any time. You can ask for tables for two but are encouraged to share with other passengers. We enjoyed this part as we met some lovely people, particularly Peter and Leslie from Market Harborough who were great company and who we spent a lot of time with. Drinks were available throughout dinner and wine waiter Nikola was particularly efficient.
The Lido restaurant is situated on deck 6 and food is available from early breakfast through to 0100. The breakfast was superb catering to our british tastes with good thick bacon and black pudding available, in fact there was a great selection of different foods available throughout the day and evening. Afternoon tea from 1530 was a particular favourite, with a selection of sandwiches, cakes and scones with clotted cream and jam!
There are tables inside the restaurant and outside by the pool so you can eat inside or out. There is also a pizza and burger bar available by the pool area, so there is no chance you will go hungry.
Here’s a short tour around the Lido Buffet Restaurant and the Lido pool area…
There are other dining options available at a cost. We chose to treat ourselves to the Hot Stones Grill at an extra £15.95 each. The setting was outside on Lido deck 5, with the most stunning sunset.
It included a 3 course meal and a choice of meat, I chose the lamb chops and Paul had the steak and we were not disappointed. The food was excellent, the service superb and eating out on the deck with the sun setting was perfect.
Drinks on the Marella Celebration Cruise Ship
Our cruise price included an all inclusive drinks package. This bar menu shows you whats included in that package, however, if you want any of the drinks with the italic next to it you had to pay a supplement.
Paul likes a cider but is not a fan of Strongbow, which was the only cider available on the pre paid package. We decided to upgrade to the Premier Package which included Magners and a selection of wines rather than just house wine, at a cost of £10 extra per person per day. It also included the top shelf spirits as we do enjoy a grey goose vodka too! Bottled water is not included in the all inclusive which surprised us, however the premier package did.
Deck 5 facilities on the Marella Celebration Cruise Ship
Deck 5 includes the shopping area, Broadway lounge, Hemingway’s Bar and casino, coffee shop and shore excursions desk, here’s a look around…….
Final thoughts on our cruise on the Marella Celebration Cruise Ship
This was our lasting views of beautiful Croatia, this was taken from the coach on the way back to the airport. Tip – remember to sit on the right hand side of the coach to get the best views on the way back to the airport!
We were sad to leave the ship and could of quite happily stayed for another week. We have been very impressed with the small and friendly atmosphere onboard, all grades of staff were excellent and couldn’t be faulted. From the booking to the flight home Thomson Holidays have impressed us. This was our first Marella Cruise experience and we know it will definitely not be our last!
Since this review we have also cruised on the Marella Dream Cruise Ship, Marella Discovery and Marella Explorer 2
We have also cruised with other companies too so do check out our Cruising Page for more information and cruising reviews.
Thanks for reading!
This post is dedicated to our close friend Tim Shearman who was the friend who recommended we try a Thomson Cruise. He was on this very ship, 2 weeks before us and unfortunately passed away on the day we joined the ship. RIP our dear friend.
Have you cruised on the Thomson Celebration or any of the Thomson Fleet? We would love to hear your comments below!
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