As much as I love cruising, it won’t be remotely possible to sail every cruise line in my lifetime! So, I would like to share with our She Cruises community some of the cruise choices available that you may not have considered. My focus will be on featuring cruises that offer high quality and low cost experiences (based on customer feedback.)

Over the next few months, I will be publishing a series of reviews on affordable cruise lines that enjoy positive customer reviews based on data from reputable comparison sites like Cruise Critic.

So Many Cruise Lines, So Little Time (and Money)

Most women in the She Cruises community are familiar with the big classic cruise line names like Cunard, Royal Caribbean, P&O, Norwegian and Celebrity. I’d like to focus however on some of the less well known lines, especially those that rank high on positive customer feedback on sites like Cruise Critic.

For example, Marella! In 2019 this line’s ships won six Cruise Critic’s awards in the mid-size group category. For example, Marella Discovery won Best Entertainment, Best Shore Excursions and Best for Fitness and Recreation. Best Service and Best Value for Money awarded to Marella Celebration.

I will pull information from companies that make it their business to conduct fair and balanced reviews of hundreds of ships look for highlights as relates to onboard accommodations, dining and entertainment, as well as ship itineraries.

Marella – Exploring the Shining Seas

Marella‘ means ‘shining sea’ in Celtic. They operate worldwide and sail to over 200 ports around the world! This includes Europe, the Caribbean, and Asia. Marella Cruises is a British cruise line operated by TUI UK. It was formally Thomson Cruises. TUI Group is a travel and tourism company headquartered in Hanover, Germany. It is the largest leisure, travel and tourism company in the world. It owns hotels, cruise ships, retail stores and travel agencies.

One advantage for the UK cruiser, is that you can fly from one of 21 different airports, not only Heathrow, Gatwick or Manchester. Like other budget lines like Pullmantur all drinks, gratuities and service charges are included in your price. Since May 2019, all of their ships are All Inclusive as standard. You can upgrade to Premium All Inclusive to get extras like upgraded cocktails, premium brand spirits and canned soft drinks.

TUI also has many ports abroad where you can join a cruise. This includes ports in Cyprus, Corfu, Spain, Barbados and Croatia. This is a huge advantage for European residents who don’t want to travel to the UK in order to fly to a port that is a train journey away. Also, for US cruisers who have a return flight ticket to a European port and want to enjoy a Marella Cruise in the Mediterranean or Adriatic or places in Asia.

The Marella Fleet of Ships

Marella Discovery – Picture from Cruise Industry News

Marella Celebration One of the smaller ships in the fleet, Marella Celebration is also an adult-only cruise ship.

Marella Dream A ship that is great for families because of its wide range of entertainment options.

Marella Discovery Great all round ship is suitable for anyone who wants an active cruise with rock climbing wall and mini-golf. One of the larger ships, it holds 1,830 travellers. Highly rated by Cruise Critic!

Marella Discovery 2- Sister ship to Marella Discovery about the same size with new itineraries and on-board features.

Marella Explorer-  Largest ship in the fleet featuring a spa and wellness centre.

Marella Explorer 2– Launched in Spring 2019, this ship is also exclusively for adults! It features a Champneys Spa and a big choice of bars and restaurants.

Summer 2020 Cruises

Marella really has an enormous choice of itineraries. For example, in the summer of 2020, you can choose from cruises to the Norwegian Fjords, Spain, Mediterranean Medley and the Adriatic are on the agenda for summer 2020. There are some amazing bargains on their website.

Solo Cruises

This is a high priority for many of our She Cruises sisters, so I am happy to report that Marella has a whole cruise program for solo travellers. These include Colourful Coasts to Canary Islands and Tenerife, Mediterranean Gems and Ancient Affairs to Turkey, Cyprus, Israel and Crete! They have one of the best selections of solo cruises I have found to date.

Special Mention!

If you are interested in other solo cruises I can highly recommend Passion for Cruises which is based in the UK and organises worldwide solo voyages! They offer some fabulous deals and from personal experience the team is a delight to work with!

I am looking forward to trying out a Marella cruise having a personal focus on affordability, For now, I dream of cruising!

Do you have a favourite cruise line?  Please share your cruise experiences and let me know what cruise lines you’d like me to explore and report on.



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