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It's Marella Explorer 2 next (we just couldn't resist!)

It's Marella Explorer 2 next (we just couldn't resist!)

Postby Dave » 31 Dec 2018 16:56

We really thought the cruise on Marella Explorer that we returned from today would be our last cruise for the foreseeable future.

We've been doing other kinds of holiday that we've absolutely loved and which have involved none of the hassles of cruising. And let's be honest - cruising, and especially fly-cruising, does involve hassles. Limited luggage, airports, queues and delays, altered itineraries and missed ports of call, being turned out of your cabin on the final day at an unearthly hour, and other people - lots of them!

But almost as soon as we'd arrived in Barbados, our resolve began to weaken. And after a few days the pros were heavily outweighing the cons. Wonderful islands, hot weather and idyllic beaches made us want to return yet again, so we are! I should perhaps mention that cruising is the only realistic way (for us anyway) to visit several islands in one week, and that TUI / Marella is the only desirable company (for us anyway) with whom to do it.

We picked up a brochure from Explorer's Cruise Shop and found exactly what we wanted. TUI will be acquiring another ex-Celebrity ship (Celebrity Century) soon and she'll be named Marella Explorer 2. The itinerary in the period just before Christmas suited us perfectly:

Image

Marella's Caribbean cruises are based in Barbados and Jamaica. In our humble opinion, Barbados is brilliant and Jamaica is to be avoided at all costs, so that was a good start. We haven't been to Aruba or Bonaire, so that was great. And it'll be nearly ten years since we last visited Curacao and Grenada, both of which we really liked, so that was great too.

We were very happy indeed to see that Explorer 2 will be adult-only. There were hundreds of children (about 200?) on Explorer last week - I realise it was the school holidays and next year it'll be the week before schools break up, but I still expect lots of parents to be taking their children out of school for the sake of a cheaper holiday. And the week before Christmas is indeed cheaper! The clincher was realising that we could have an Executive Suite (almost 500sq.ft.) for just a couple of hundred pounds more than the balcony cabin we were in last week - we'd already decided that if we did another cruise, we'd want a bigger cabin!

So that's it... we haven't given up cruising after all. ;)

I suspect the 'image of Explorer 2' on the TUI website is a mock-up or perhaps it's of the bigger and slightly different Marella Explorer, so here's the ship in her Celebrity livery:

Image
(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Has anyone cruised on her?
Dave

Booked cruise 2019: December - Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2
Remaining land-based holidays 2019: July - Peak District, August - Harris and Highlands, October - Brecon Beacons
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It's Marella Explorer 2 next (we just couldn't resist!)

Postby Gillzajoker » 01 Jan 2019 11:58

Well done Dave - you know it makes sense! :D
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It's Marella Explorer 2 next (we just couldn't resist!)

Postby grannyM » 02 Jan 2019 11:02

Another great cruise to look forward to Dave & Fred. :thumbup:
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It's Marella Explorer 2 next (we just couldn't resist!)

Postby judgegeoff » 02 Jan 2019 14:29

Well done Dave, we couldn't have a Master and Commander who was a landlubber!!! :lol:

She looks like a nice ship. We have sailed on several Celebrity ships and have enjoyed them all. We found they were a bit classier than the Royal Caribbean ships with less garish d├ęcor and more refined coloured interiors. I used to like the way they brought a trolley to the dining table with examples of all the available desserts so that you could order the dessert that appealed to you. It saved the disappointment of wishing you had ordered the dessert that the chap opposite is eating! :lol: Sadly they no longer do this. :cry:
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"Marella Dream" - Turkey, Greece and Israel 2019
"MSC Orchestra" - Cape Town to Venice 2020
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It's Marella Explorer 2 next (we just couldn't resist!)

Postby Dave » 23 Sep 2019 14:50

My walk today was to TUI in Canterbury (and back!) to pay the balance of our cruise, which is just under three months away. :D

We received an email from TUI at 9.20pm yesterday (Sunday) reminding us that the balance was due... yesterday. Not exactly much warning and I recall the same thing happening last year too. Oh well, TUI doesn't seem to mind us settling up the following day. ;)

Unlike last year though, their High Street shop was really busy today. I think that was at least partly due to the collapse of Thomas Cook and I see that TUI's share price has soared today.

While there, I selected our plane seats and for the first time ever I was first in line - so much choice! How to choose? Err, I'll have 20 A&B there and back please. :D

We're still thinking that this will be our last cruise for the foreseeable future, but we said that last year... and the year before as well. 8-)
Dave

Booked cruise 2019: December - Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2
Remaining land-based holidays 2019: July - Peak District, August - Harris and Highlands, October - Brecon Beacons
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Re: It's Marella Explorer 2 next (we just couldn't resist!)

Postby Camela » 23 Sep 2019 20:38

Dave, slap wrist....it is not going to be your last cruise at the moment. Enjoy Christmas and book the next one :thumbup:
"Won't you let me take you on a sea cruise"
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It's Marella Explorer 2 next (we just couldn't resist!)

Postby Gillzajoker » 24 Sep 2019 10:40

Totally agree with Camela, Dave!! :thumbup: :D
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