Marella Cruises Review: Cruise Ship Guide, Itineraries, Bookings & Deals

Marella Cruise Ships, operated by Marella Cruises, offer travelers a diverse range of cruise experiences, from luxurious voyages to family-friendly adventures. With a fleet of ships that cater to various preferences and travel styles, Marella Cruises has established itself as a prominent player in the cruise industry, known for its British style of cruising and exceptional onboard entertainment. Marella Cruises boasts a fleet of ships that cater to different travel preferences and destinations. From the Marella Explorer to the Marella Discovery, each vessel offers unique amenities and experiences tailored to guests’ needs. The ships are designed to provide a comfortable and enjoyable cruising experience, with a focus on British-style hospitality and service excellence.

In a Nutshell…

  1. Marella Voyager: The newest addition to the fleet, Marella Voyager offers 17 bars and restaurants, an indoor cinema, a pool deck with a swimming pool and whirlpools, and a big show lounge. It’s perfect for exploring the Canary Islands, Atlantic, Western Mediterranean, and Caribbean.
  2. Marella Explorer 2: Exclusively for adults, this ship boasts a large spa, luxe sunbathing area called The Veranda, and a variety of dining options. Sail to the Canary Islands, Atlantic, Eastern Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean, and Caribbean.
  3. Marella Explorer: As one of the largest ships in the fleet, Marella Explorer offers top-notch eateries, unmissable entertainment, and a swanky bar, club, and casino space. It’s family-friendly and sails to destinations like the Canary Islands, Atlantic, Eastern Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean, and North Africa.
  4. Marella Discovery 2: On this ship, you can enjoy fine dining, grab ‘n’ go snacks, and all-singing, all-dancing productions. Don’t miss the cinema sessions under the stars. Destinations include Asia, Eastern Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean, and North Africa.
  5. Marella Discovery: With facilities like an outdoor cinema, rock climbing wall, mini-golf course, five-storey atrium, and an indoor pool, Marella Discovery is perfect for family-friendly adventures. Explore the Canary Islands, Atlantic, Eastern Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean, and Caribbean.
  6. All-Inclusive: All Marella ships offer an all-inclusive experience, ensuring you have everything you need for a memorable cruise vacation.
  7. Adults-Only Option: Marella Explorer 2 caters exclusively to adults, providing a tranquil and sophisticated atmosphere.
  8. Diverse Dining: Each ship features a wide range of dining options, from specialty restaurants to casual eateries.
  9. Entertainment Galore: Expect live shows, cinema screenings, and plenty of activities to keep you entertained throughout your voyage.
  10. State-of-the-Art Ships: Marella Cruises sail to over 120 destinations, combining great service with modern, well-equipped vessels.

History of Marella Cruises

Marella Cruises, formerly known as Thomson Cruises, embarked on a transformative journey that has shaped its illustrious history and positioned it as a leading British cruise line. From its inception to its modern-day operations, Marella Cruises has undergone significant changes, expansions, and rebranding efforts, solidifying its reputation as a prominent player in the global cruise industry.

The company’s foray into the cruise market in 1973 marked the beginning of its enduring legacy. However, rising fuel costs led to the termination of its initial venture in 1976. Marella Cruises, then known as Thomson Cruises, reemerged in 1995, rekindling its commitment to providing exceptional cruise holidays. The brand’s evolution continued with its rebranding as Marella Cruises in late October 2017, signifying a new chapter in its history and reflecting the company’s dedication to growth and modernization within the industry.

Marella Cruises’ fleet, comprising a range of vessels with diverse itineraries, has played a pivotal role in the company’s growth and expansion. The addition of new ships, such as Marella Discovery, Marella Discovery 2, Marella Explorer, Marella Explorer 2, and Marella Voyager, has enabled the company to offer a variety of cruise experiences to its passengers, cementing its position in the global cruise market. With approximately a 1% market share of the worldwide cruise industry in 2012, Marella Cruises has demonstrated its ability to compete on a global scale and cater to diverse traveler preferences.

The rebranding of Thomson Cruises to Marella Cruises in 2017 marked a significant milestone in the company’s history. The name change, accompanied by the adoption of the “Marella” brand across the existing fleet, showcased the company’s commitment to modernization and aligning its image with contemporary travel trends. Furthermore, the introduction of the Marella Voyager in 2023, following a drydock refurbishment, represented a significant addition to the fleet, reflecting the company’s ongoing efforts to enhance its offerings and expand its presence in the cruise market.

Marella Cruises’ operational changes and strategic decisions have shaped its itinerary offerings and global footprint. The company’s decision to base the TUI Discovery in Asia for the Winter season of 2018, marking the first such deployment in the line’s history, underscored its commitment to diversifying its itineraries and exploring new markets. Additionally, the expansion of Marella Cruises’ itineraries to include destinations in the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia has broadened its appeal to a global audience, positioning it as a versatile and dynamic cruise operator.

Marella Cruises’ response to industry challenges, such as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, has demonstrated its resilience and adaptability. The company’s strategic decisions, including the retirement of Marella Celebration and Marella Dream in 2020, reflected its proactive approach to fleet management and operational efficiency. Furthermore, Marella Cruises’ integration of Starlink WiFi connectivity throughout its fleet showcased its commitment to enhancing the onboard experience for passengers and adapting to evolving technological trends.


Marella Cruises’ rich history and evolution have shaped its journey from a pioneering cruise operator to a modern and dynamic player in the global cruise industry. The company’s commitment to fleet expansion, rebranding and modernization, strategic operational changes, and response to industry challenges have positioned it as a versatile and forward-thinking cruise line, offering diverse and immersive travel experiences to its passengers.

As Marella Cruises continues to navigate the dynamic landscape of the cruise industry, its dedication to growth, modernization, and adaptability underscores its enduring legacy and its vision for the future of cruise travel.

This article provides a glimpse into the evolution and transformation of Marella Cruises, highlighting the company’s historical significance, strategic decisions, and commitment to providing exceptional cruise holidays to travelers around the world.

Destinations of Marella Cruises

  1. Asia: Embark on an exotic journey through Asia. Marella Cruises now feature seven new Asia itineraries, each spanning 14 nights and exclusively for adults. Picture yourself in Singapore, where Marella Discovery 2 docks after sight-packed stops in bustling cities like Mumbai and beach-brushed Sri Lanka. From mid-December, Singapore becomes the home port, allowing you to explore Vietnam’s vibrant Phu My and Malaysia’s historic Port Klang. By day, marvel at futuristic gardens and colorful temples; by night, immerse yourself in illuminating light shows and sip the famous Singapore Sling cocktail.
  1. Canary Islands and the Atlantic: Hop aboard the Marella Explorer and say “hola” to the lunar-like landscapes of the Canary Islands. From November to April, these sun-kissed spots include Gran Canaria, with its honey-hued sands and thrilling waterparks, as well as LanzaroteFuerteventura, and the majestic Tenerife. Explore the capital city, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, or ascend Spain’s highest peak, Mount Teide. Some Atlantic cruises also whisk you away to Madeira’s Funchal, where black-sand beaches and vibrant gardens await.
  1. The Caribbean and Central America: Escape the English weather from November to April with Marella’s Caribbean and Central America cruises. Feast your eyes on culture-packed towns, lively cities, and jaw-dropping scenery. Imagine sugary beaches and crystal-clear waters in hotspots like St. KittsSt. Lucia, and Aruba. In Jamaica, feel the good vibes, explore sugar plantations, and discover hidden waterfalls. Barbados tempts with rum distilleries and flavorsome Bajan cuisine. Venture down to Central America, where Costa Rica awaits with tropical rainforests and nature reserves. And don’t miss the pastel-painted charm of Havana and Cartagena in Colombia.
  1. Europe: Marella Cruises also explore Europe’s rich tapestry. Sail to iconic cities like Lisbon and Barcelona, where culture, history, and culinary delights abound. Along Miami’s million-dollar coast, live it up in style. With over 140 destinations to choose from, Marella Cruises cater to every traveler’s wanderlust. Whether you’re island-hopping in the Caribbean, savoring Mediterranean flavors, or soaking up the vibrant energy of European cities, these state-of-the-art ships promise an unforgettable voyage.


Guests aboard Marella Cruise Ships can expect a wide range of onboard activities and entertainment options. From live shows and themed cruises to onboard facilities like bars, restaurants, and shopping boutiques, there is something for everyone to enjoy during their voyage. The ships feature well-appointed cabins and suites, ensuring that guests have a cozy retreat after a day of exploration.

Marella Cruise Ships offer a variety of dining options to suit different tastes and preferences. From casual buffet-style eateries to specialty restaurants serving gourmet cuisine, guests can indulge in a culinary journey while at sea. The ships also feature inclusive dining packages that cover tips and gratuities, providing guests with a hassle-free dining experience.

Entertainment is a key highlight of the Marella Cruise experience, with live performances, music events, and themed parties keeping guests entertained throughout their voyage. The ships also offer a range of activities such as fitness classes, spa treatments, poolside relaxation, and children’s programs to cater to guests of all ages. Whether seeking relaxation or adventure, there is no shortage of things to do onboard Marella Cruise Ships.

Marella Cruises offer diverse itineraries that cover a wide range of destinations worldwide. From the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, North America to Asia, guests have the opportunity to explore captivating ports of call and immerse themselves in different cultures and landscapes. Themed cruises add an extra layer of excitement, with events like Electric Sunsets featuring Back to the 80s and Back to the 90s themes enhancing the onboard experience.

In conclusion, Marella Cruise Ships provide travelers with a memorable cruising experience characterized by British-style hospitality, diverse entertainment options, and exceptional service. With a fleet of ships designed to cater to various preferences and travel styles, Marella Cruises offers guests the opportunity to embark on unforgettable journeys around the world. Whether enjoying gourmet dining, live entertainment, or exploring exotic destinations, guests aboard Marella Cruise Ships can expect a cruise experience that combines comfort, luxury, and adventure in equal measure.

– Reviewed by Contributing Author Silvester Thomson

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N.B. – The information on this review has been compiled by contributing author and Cruise Expert Silvester Thomson for and is provided “as is” for the convenience of online readers. The Sources come from personal opinions, online research on official and unofficial websites, and in some cases with the help of AI generated content. It should not be taken as fact, as it can be mistaken or altered by future ship modifications from the cruise line done after review. does not and cannot verify all information and should not be taken as granted fact. All readers must take measures to find reliable facts by their travel agent or from the official page of the cruise line to verify any doubts.

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