Marella Cruise Ships - Meet the Fleet

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Marella Cruises started life as Thomson and first entered the cruise market in 1973, however, due to rising overheads, decided to end the venture in 1976. Almost 20 years later Thomson restarted its cruise operations becoming TUI cruises before re branding as Marella Cruises in October 2017.

Older ships like the Spirit, the Majesty, the Dream and the Celebration were eventually pensioned off making way for a new generation of Marella cruise ships. In this post we introduce you to the current fleet which currently stands at 5 ships.

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Marella Cruises – All Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered

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Marella Discovery & Marella Discovery 2 Facts and Figures

Marella Discovery started its life as Royal Caribbean’s Splendour of the Seas and first entered service in 1996. She became the TUI Discovery in June 2016 before becoming the Marella Discovery after the Marella re brand in October 2017.

Marella Discovery 2 started her life as Royal Caribbean’s Legends of the Seas and entered service in 1995 and became the TUI Discovery 2 in early 2017 then Marella Discovery 2 after the aforementioned re-brand in October 2017

Both ships were built by the Chantiers de Atlantique shipyard at Saint-Nazaire in France, they weigh in at just over 69000 gross tonnes is 264 metres or 866 feet long, 32 metres or 105 feet wide and a height of 50 metres or 160 feet high. Power comes courtesy of 5 V12 engines that produce an impressive 15700 horsepower per engine. She has 11 decks and can carry 2076 passengers with a crew of 750.


Marella Discovery Cruise ship Norway videos

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Marella Discovery & Marella Discovery 2 Facilities

Marella Discovery & Marella Discovery 2 are sister ships and are virtually identical. Facilities include an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, an 800 plus seater theatre showing west end style shows. You will also find a 9 hole mini golf and a rock climbing wall.

There are 8 dining venues on board, including, the 47° the main dining room and Gallery 47° Italian speciality restaurant. The Glass House which is a deli during the day and a Tapas bar at night and the Islands buffet restaurant offers a great selection from breakfast through to late night snacks. On the pool deck is the Snack Shack serving up traditional British fish and chips, chicken wings, burgers, hot dogs, and some light snacks too. All these restaurants are included in your cruise fare.

There are also 3 speciality restaurants on board that do have a cover charge. Surf & Turf specialises in steak and fish, Kora La offers asian fusion dishes and the Sushi Bar serves all your favourites including spicy tuna rolls, sashimi and nigiri, they even have a selection of Asian beers to wash it all down with.

To go with the 8 dining venues there are 7 drinking venues including the Squid and Anchor that has a speciality Gin and Whisky bar. There is a small but perfectly formed casino, a piano lounge and if that’s not enough there is even an escape room. The Jewel in the Discovery 1 & 2 is definitely the atrium, set over 5 stories. It is absolutely stunning and is without doubt our favourite place on the ship.

We have cruised on both of these ships, so do check out more information about Marella Discovery and Marella Discovery 2 here.

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Marella Explorer & Marella Explorer 2 Facts and Figures

Marella Explorer cruise ship started life as MV Galaxy, a Century class ship and first entered service on the 21st of December 1996. In 2008 she was renamed Celebrity Galaxy before being transferred to TUi cruises in May 2009 as Mein Schiff which translates to My Ship in English. She sailed under the Mein Schiff name until 2018 when she became Marella Explorer.

As with the Discovery ships, Marella Explorer 2 is actually slightly older than Marella Explorer starting out life as MV Century in 1995 before becoming Celebrity Century in 2007. An 8 year run came to an end when she became SkySea Golden Era a joint venture between Royal Caribbean cruise line and Chinese travel firm Ctrip, this partnership lasted for 4 years before becoming Marella Explorer 2 in 2019

Marella Explorer and Marella Explorer 2 were both built in Papenburg, Germany by the Meyer Werft shipyard. As with the Discovery ships Marella Explorer & Marella Explorer 2 share lots of the same features even though Marella Explorer 2 is 50 feet shorter, has a very slightly shorter beam and is some 5000 gross tonnes lighter. Marella Explorer 2 has 3 less decks than her sister ship, and can carry 1814 passengers which is 110 less than Marella Explorer.

Power comes courtesy of 2 MAN 6 cylinder diesel engines and 2 MAN 8 cylinder diesel engines that provide around 30000 KW of power to its twin propellers.

marella explorer 2

Marella Explorer & Marella Explorer 2 Facilities

Despite the slight difference in size, Marella Explorer & Marella Explorer 2 share many of the same features. This includes entertainment venues, the largest being the Broadway show lounge where there are two shows every night, Squid and Anchor, Marella’s British pub at sea with features game shows, live music, bingo and much more. For pre dinner cocktails and fizz you can chose between Aperitif or Flutes. The Indigo bar, is a club and casino where you can enjoy live music, the legendary silent disco, a late night dance or even a spin on the roulette wheel.

If you are feeling a bit more athletic both ships boast a well equipped gym, a jogging track, mini golf, table tennis and of course swimming pools both indoor and outdoor.

Dining venues include the main dining room Latitude 53, the Market Place buffet, Vista, Snack Shack, plus chargeable restaurants Kora La Asian fusion, Surf and Turf and the Dining Club all feature on both of these ships.

Marella Explorer also features tapas @theMediterranean a Spanish and Portuguese inspired restaurant that is open for lunch and dinner and Italian @TheMediterranean a build your own pizza and pasta restaurant that is also open for lunch and dinner, both off these restaurants are included in your cruise fare. Finally there is Umi Sushi serving fish and non fish sushi but don’t worry if you are not a fan of sushi as there are plenty of other delicious asian items on offer to tempt you, this restaurant does come at an extra cost.

Marella Explorer 2 also has Nonna’s (Grandma’s) Italian themed build your own pizza and pasta restaurant, that is included in your fare. The Beach Cove a BBQ inspired restaurant that makes you feel like you are really eating at the beach. This is included in your fare for lunch but comes with cover charge for dinner, booking is definitely advisable.

The biggest difference between the two ships and it is a big one is the fact that Explorer 2 is an adult only ship making her the only one in the fleet with that distinction. So instead of the Hideout and M Club which cater for kids from 3 up to teenagers that features on Marella Explorer, Marella Explorer 2 has the 19th Hole. This a golf inspired lounge, featuring golf cart style seating that even has two golf simulators that are included in your fare. We are sure you will agree that the Marella Explorer sisters really do have something for everyone.

We have also cruised on Marella Explorer 2, and you can more information here.

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Marella Voyager Facts and Figures

Marella Voyager just like her sister’s Marella Explorer & Marella Explorer 2 is a Century class ship that was built in Papenburg, Germany in the Meyer Werft shipyard. However, that’s where the similarities pretty much end.

Marella Voyager started life as MV Mercury in 1997 and became Celebrity Mercury in 2008, she then came into the TUi family firstly as Mein Schiff 2 in 2011 before being renamed Mein Schiff Hertz in 2019. She then became Marella Voyager in 2023.

She weighs in at  just over 77000 gross tonnes, is 866 feet or 264 metres long, and is just over 105 feet or 32 metres wide. Marella Voyager has a top speed of 21.5  knots which equates to 24.7 MPH and is powered by MAN B&W engines that produce in excess of 42000 horsepower. There are 13 decks which can carry 1912 passengers based on normal occupancy.

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Marella Voyager Facilties

Marella Voyager has managed to be almost completely different to all the other ships in the fleet but is still undeniably Marella.

Brand new included in your fare restaurants to the fleet include The Kitchens which is a buffet style area that has 8 different venues. These include Indian, Chinese and Greek stations, pastries and pies, salads and desserts, you can even  get a traditional British roast 7 days a week. Next up in your included dining is Abuela’s, a Mexican inspired venue that is open for lunch and dinner and is extremely popular.

Also new to Marella Voyager are speciality dining venues Platter. A tapas style venue where you only pay for what you order, rather than having a set charge which we think is a great idea. It is open from 3pm until 8 pm so provides a great alternative to large evening meal or an afternoon snack. The final New restaurant is Silver Fork. Described on the menu as a twist on Great British classics, and after eating there on our Marella Voyager cruise we would definitely agree. They have got you covered on lots of British classics like fish and chips, beef wellington, arctic roll and sticky toffee pudding to name just a few, but they will definitely not be presented in the way you are expecting!

Returning favourites include Nonna’s pizza and pasta, the main dining rooms Latitude 53 and Vista, and the Snack Shack serving you pool side burgers, hot dogs, chicken wings and fish and chips.

You will also find the speciality restaurants Kora La asian fusion and Surf and Turf which both come with a cover charge, and the bars Squid and Anchor, Flutes, and of course the Broadway show lounge.

New to Marella Voyager is the Summer House found at the aft of the ship. This is a fabulous area that has a retractable roof featuring live entertainment throughout the day and in to the evening. The Arts House is a colourful lounge that is used for anything from arts and craft to live entertainment. The Electric Rooms is a great venue too, from morning yoga or a quiet place to sit in the day to a late night live music and this is where you will find the disco.

The final new venue the Exchange does come with a cover charge, but having witnessed it we think it is worth every penny, its hidden away behind some classic British red telephone boxes and you can only enter with a secret code.

We were on Marella Voyager for the maiden cruise and had a fabulous time. Do check out our vlog series, Marella Voyager Complete Dining Guide and cruise ship review!

Whichever ship or venue you choose we are sure you will have a fabulous time!


Relevant posts –

Marella Cruises – All Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered

Marella Cruises Dress Codes


Book Your Next All Inclusive Marella Cruise Here

Marella Cruises Book your cruise now


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