Marella Explorer

Marella Explorer Review and Specifications

Specifications of Marella Explorer

Year built1996  /  Age : 22
Flag state Malta
BuilderMeyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany)
Building costUSD 320 million
OwnerTUI AG and RCCL (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd)
OperatorMarella Cruises (UK)
Speed22 kn / 41 kph / 25 mph
Length (LOA)264 m / 866 ft
Beam (width)32 m / 105 ft
Gross Tonnage76998 gt
Passengers1924 - 2681
Passengers-to-space ratio40
Decks with cabins10
Last Refurbishment2018
Sister-shipsMarella Explorer 2, Mein Schiff Herz (TUI)
Former namesMV Galaxy, Celebrity Galaxy, TUI Mein Schiff 1, TUI Explorer
Christened byIna Muller (TUI)

Current itinerary of Marella Explorer

Marella Explorer current cruise is 7 days, round-trip Paradise Islands. The itinerary starts on 09 Dec, 2018 and ends on 16 Dec, 2018.

Date / TimePort
09 Dec 20:00      Departing from Bridgetown, Barbados   
11 Dec 08:00 - 18:00     St Johns, Antigua   
12 Dec 08:00 - 18:00     Philipsburg, St Maarten Island, Dutch Antilles   
13 Dec 08:00 - 18:00     Tortola Island, Road Town, BVI   
14 Dec 08:00 - 18:00     Basseterre, St Kitts Island   
15 Dec 08:00 - 18:00     Bequia Island, Port Elizabeth, Grenadines   
16 Dec 07:00      Arriving in Bridgetown, Barbados   

Review of Marella Explorer

Marella Explorer cruise ship (formerly "Mein Schiff 1" with TUI Cruises) was launched in 1996 as "Celebrity Galaxy", It was TUI fleet's oldest liner, with sisterships the old Mein Schiff 2 (former Celebrity Mercury, since 2018 Mein Schiff Herz) and the fleetmate Marella Explorer 2 (former Celebrity Century). The vessel entered Thomson's (Marella) fleet in 2017 under the name "TUI Explorer", but in October was renamed to "Marella Explorer". In 2018, the newbuild TUI Mein Schiff 1 took the name "Schiff 1".

History - construction and ownership

The 77,000-ton, 1,870-passenger cruise ship was built for the Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Cruises company, renamed to "Celebrity Galaxy" in 2008 and joined TUI fleet in 2009 after an extensive drydock refit. The vessel entered Marella Cruises fleet in 2017. Mein Schiff 1 was one of TUI's two oldest Century-class vessels - followed by Mein Schiff 2 (former "Celebrity Mercury", in 2018 renamed Mein Schiff Herz) and Celebrity Century (now Marella Explorer 2).

Marella Explorer cruise ship (TUI Explorer / Mein Schiff 1)

The Explorer joins Marella Cruises fleet as the 3rd vessel transferred from other RCCL-owned fleets. It was preceed by Marella Discovery (2015, former Splendour of the Seas) and Marella Discovery 2 (2017, former Legend of the Seas) and followed by TUI Explorer 2 (2018, the old Mein Schiff 2).

Marella Explorer features a new-for-the-fleet kids pool, an innovative entertainment program, 10 dining venues. Another fleet-first for Marella Cruises is the tasting menu-type restaurant in one of the brand new yet-unnamed venues, described as "an intimate space, suited for couples or friends."

The Indigo flagship bar is ship's focal point. A new high-end London style drinking venue named Aperitif links Kora La and Surf & Turf restaurants. Other features include: The Scoops ice-cream parlour with bicycle-themed quirky seating; The Lounge - another new venue with colour-changing bar and brightly-coloured piano; Umi Sushi counter; The Mediterranean dining venue with a glass roof inspired by local tavernas, housing two inclusive restaurants (pizzeria and tapas) and for-fee Hot Stone Grill.

Cruise itinerary program

Marella Explorer itinerary program is based on Western Mediterranean 7-night cruises leaving round-trip from Palma De Mallorca Spain. Among the ports of call are popular French Riviera cruise ports in France.

  • The themed "Cosmopolitan Classics" itinerary visits Palermo Sicily, Livorno-Florence, Villefranche-Nice, and Palamos Spain.
  • The themed "Highlights Of The Mediterranean" itinerary visits Ajaccio Corsica, Civitavecchia-Rome, Marina di Carrara Italy, Saint Raphael France, and Barcelona.
  • The themed "Magic Of Spain" itinerary vists Cadiz Spain, Lisbon Portugal, Gibraltar UK, Malaga Spain, and Cartagena Spain.
  • The themed "Mediterranean Secrets" itinerary visits Porto Torres Sardinia, La Spezia, Calvi Corsica, Sete France, and Tarragona Spain.
  • Note: See dates and prices per person in the "wiki" section below.


Marella Explorer has a total of 962 cabins, around 40% of which have private balconies. All cabins are with individual air-conditioning, wardrobes, flat TV, hairdryer, tea and coffee-making facilities, en-suite bathrooms. The accommodations consist of:

  • Indoor (16 m2, fleet's largest), Outdoor (17 m2), Single Indoor / Outdoor cabins (Decks 4, 5, 8, 9)
  • Balcony cabins (17 m2), 14x Family Balcony (20 m2; decks 9, 10, 12, each with 2 twin beds)
  • Suites - Balcony Junior Suite (22 m2) and Executive Suite (49 m2).

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

Marella Explorer has a total of 10 dining venues, including Surf & Turf, Kora La, Snack Shack, Umi Sushi and open air Mediterranean Restaurant with Pizza and Tapas areas. The Kora La features Oriental-style lanterns and paintings paired with pan-Asian menu of noodle dishes and curries. This is a fine dining addition and there is a small premium to eat here. 

The dining venues aboard Marella Explorer are located on decks 5, 6, 7 and 11.

Follows the complete list of Marella Explorer restaurants and food bars.

  • Latitude 53, situated on two decks, 5 and 6, is the main waiter service restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows and gold-and-grey colour scheme.
  • Vista on Deck 5, situated in Latitude 53. In the evening, it transforms into an Italian restaurant for regional favourites prepared with authentic ingredients.
  • The Dining Club on Deck 5 is a fine dining restaurant which serves experimental cuisine. There is a charge to dine here.
  • Umi Sushi on Deck 7 serves sushi, sashimi, nigiri rolls that are prepared in front of the guests of the eatery. Umi Sushi is open for dinner only, and costs extra.
  • Kora La on Deck 7 has oriental-style lanterns and paintings paired with pan-Asian menu. Passengers pay a cover charge to eat here.
  • Surf & Turf Steakhouse on Deck 7 specialises in all things meat. Its menu includes mains like lobster, grilled chicken and pork chops, but the highlight is the 28-day-aged steaks. There is a chopping board artwork as well as leather booth seating. Cover charge is applied for dining here.
  • Snack Shack on Deck 11 is a laidback eatery featuring food stalls, oversized deckchairs and beach huts. It offers grab‘n’go snacks and lunches along with a drinks station.
  • The Market Place on Deck 11 is a buffet restaurant where guests can watch the chefs prepare dishes from around the world. It is made up of different food stalls.
  • Tapas @ The Mediterranean on Deck 11 is specialised in tapas dishes for both lunch and dinner.
  • Italian @ The Mediterranean pizzeria on Deck 11, with wood-fired oven and salad bar.

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

A couple of the largest new features aboard the 13-deck Marella Explorer include the flagship bar, club and casino Indigo (situated at the top deck), and the first at sea Champneys Spa. Indigo is home to the longest bar onboard the ship and features the Broadway show lounge able to accommodate 1,000 guests. The Broadway street lounge is on Decks 6 and 7, which also house other entertainment facilities. The venue hosts cocktail-making sessions and demos. Entertainment facilities include Indigo Club with a DJ booth and dance floor, and Indigo Casino with card tables and slot machines.

A pool is situated on deck 11, which also homes the Oceans gym and spa. The spa offers a Finnish sauna with floor-to-ceiling windows, full-service thermal suite and treatment suites with showers and mini saunas, spa cabanas on ship's adults-only Veranda Deck. 

Follows the complete list of Marella Explorer lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens and adults.

  • The Lounge on Deck 6 is has a colour-changing feature bar, ring-shaped seats and hot-pink piano. 
  • 53 on Deck 5 is a bar situated next to Latitude 53, perfectly placed for pre-dinner drinks.
  • The Shack on Deck 12 offers cool-down drinks between sunbathing. It is above Snack Shack, and overlooks the pool.
  • Bar@The Mediterranean on Deck 11 wraps around The Mediterranean and runs from the inside to the outside. It serves Mediterranean specialities, the usual drinks and frozen cocktails.
  • Indigo Bar on Deck 12 boasts the longest bar in the fleet. Cocktail-making sessions and flare demonstrations take place here. 
  • Broadway Show Lounge is situated on two Decks, 6 and 7, and has a capacity of 1,000 people. It offers waiter service and brand-new shows.
  • Indigo Casino on Deck 12 is the spot to try out the card tables and slot machines. Indigo Club is in the middle of Indigo. 
  • Aperitif on Deck 7 is a stylish bar with Champagne and Prosecco on the menu. It is a great spot to head for a drink before or after meals at one of the speciality restaurants.
  • Squid & Anchor on Deck 7 is the first pub of Marella Cruises at sea. There are 2 bars to pick from, the one of which deals in premium whiskies and gins, that are chargeable. The spot is home to quiz nights and a live band.
  • Scoops is a vintage-looking parlour that serves up gelato. The seating is quirky and includes a collection of bike seats sit that face out to sea. A charge is applied here.
  • The Coffee Port serves Lavazza and sweet treats. It overlooks the atrium and features live piano music. A charge is applied here.
  • The Cinema features family-friendly films. Extra screenings are offered during high season.
  • M Club is the onboard Kids’ Club, with games from M Crew - characters exclusive to the ship.
  • Hideout is a spot designed with older children and teens in mind and offers comfy seating and games consoles. There is also an al fresco terrace with colourful hammocks.
  • Gamer Zone is for everyone onboard, fully stocked with machines.
  • Broad Street Shops are the onboard boutiques stocked with everyday essentials, duty-free products, perfumes, jewellery and souvenirs.
  • Photo Studio & Kiosks on Deck 6 provides professional photoshoot. There are also kiosks, where passengers can view and buy the photos captured by the onboard photography team.
  • Champneys: Marella Cruises partnered with Champneys to bring such a state-of-the-art spa. Guests can book in for treatments (facials, body wraps, massages), plus there is a beauty salon. The spa is the largest in the fleet and also includes a relaxation room, treatment cabins with hot tubs, made-for-two suites. The adults-only sauna has floor-to-ceiling windows and steam room. Alternatively, passengers can work out at the gym.
  • Outdoor pool on Deck 11 is split in two by a stage, where the entertainment team run daily activities. The Pool bar sits next to the pool and is great for frozen cocktails. A trio of whirlpools sit next to the main pool.
  • The Veranda is adults-only and has Balinese beds and cocoon chairs. 
  • Sports Court provides basketball and mini-football.
  • Minigolf and Table tennis are at the top of the ship, on the Sports & Family Deck.

Marella Explorer wiki

  • During its pre-Marella service (May 15, 2009 through April 11, 2018), the liner served its previous operators for 8 years and 11 months, or a total of 3254 days.
  • TUI Mein Schiff 1 was built in Papenburg Germany for Celebrity Cruises (another RCCL brand) as MV Galaxy (later "Celebrity Galaxy"). In May 2009 the vessel was transferred to the fleet of the Royal Caribbean's TUI subsidiary line. The vessel was renamed in Hamburg, Germany, to "Mein Schiff" (meaning "my ship") on 15 May 2009. Godmother of the newly refurbished for the staggering EUR 50 million vessel became Ina Muller - a renown German artist and TV personality. Of the same class is also the former Celebrity Mercury cruise ship (Mein Schiff 2 / now Mein Schiff Herz).
  • Fun fact is, that when was operating as mv Galaxy, the ship hosted the BBC television's docu-soap titled "The Cruise”.
  • The liner entered drydock in Cadiz Spain (April 20 through May 13) at Navantia shipyard. The 4-week refurbishment project was managed by Trimline Ltd / Southampton-based cruise ship interior outfitting company). During the refit the vessel received new carpeting (45 km2 / 17 ml), new data cables (over 60 km / 37 ml), 650 wi-fi access points. A total of 35 venues and public areas were reconstructed and refurnished. Among the new venues installed during the reconstruction were the Flagship Bar, Disco Club, Indigo (entertainment complex), Champneys Spa (first at sea). The new spa has a Finnish sauna with floor-ceiling windows, full-service thermal suite, treatment suites (with showers and their own saunas). Spa cabanas were added to the adults-only The Veranda (Deck 14).
  • Marella Explorer's christening ceremony was on May 18, 2018 (held in Palma de Mallorca), with two appointed godmothers - Sue Stewart (Marella Cruises' hotel operations manager) and Mandy Galloway (TUI Cruises' retail agent). The inaugural cruise from Palma departed on May 19.
  • The Apollo Group company was contracted for providing all Marella UK ships with the entire onboard hotel product and services. This includes administration, food staff (preparation and serving), housekeeping staff, also the vessel's provisioning and crewing. Other luxury cruise lines served by Apollo are Oceania (6 ships fleet) and RSSC Regent (4 ships fleet).
  • Like the other fleetmates, Marella Explorer offers an all-inclusive product designed specifically for the UK market. The ship has a total of 10 dining venues, among Surf & Turf, Kora La, Snack Shack, Umi Sushi. A new top-deck bar (Indigo) has panoramic ocean views. In the evenings, the Indigo Bar doubles as the ship's casino and disco-nightclub. Another bar (Aperitif) offers pre- and post dinner cocktails.

Inaugural cruise 2018

The ship's homeport is Palma de Mallorca (Majorca Island, Spain). The ship is also operated with "UK to Mediterranean" fly cruise program. Next table shows the "Inaugural Cruise" (maiden voyage) scheduled for May 19, 2018.

7 nights / 8 days (themed "Cosmopolitan Classics") - prices starting from USD 1000 pp (GBP 1130 pp) double occupancy Inside Cabin rates. The itinerary shows all ports of call in the ship's Mediterranean roundtrip program.

19 MayDeparting from Palma de Mallorca, Majorca Island, Spain
21 May 08:00 - 18:00Palermo, Sicily, Italy
22 May 07:00 - 17:00Naples, Italy
23 May 09:00 - 19:00Livorno, Florence-Pisa, Italy
24 May 07:00 - 18:00Villefranche-sur-Mer, Nice, France
25 May 09:00 - 18:00Palamos, Spain
26 MayArriving in Palma de Mallorca, Majorca Island, Spain

(OLD / alte) TUI Mein Schiff 1 cruise ship

The TUI ship's itinerary program was based on Eastern and Southern Caribbean cruises leaving from Barbados and Dominican Republic. Other operational regions included Europe (Mediterranean departures out of Palma de Mallorca, and Baltic Sea from Hamburg) and Asia (leaving roundtrip from Singapore).

The old Mein Schiff 1 had a total of 962 staterooms, including suites, junior suites, balconied family cabins, balcony rooms, oceanview and inside. In addition, there were barrier-free staterooms. All cabins as amenities offered safe, air-conditioning, bathroom (WC / shower), minibar, phone, flat TV. Family cabins with veranda were sized 20 m2 with capacity up to 5 passengers.

The ship's main dining room was the aft-located, 2-deck Atlantic Restaurant (capacity 950 seats). The other main dining option was the complimentary Anckelmannsplatz Buffet. Room service was available 24 hours.

Follows the complete list of Mein Schiff 1 restaurants and food bars.

  • “Atlantic Classic” (950-seat, complimentary main dining room (of all three) for buffet-style Breakfast and waiter-served Lunch and Dinner. Some menu inclusions are at extra charge
  • “Richards” (“Fine Dining” 70-seat dinner restaurant, reservations required, at surcharge PP)
  • Surf & Turf (specialty seafood and steakhouse restaurant)
  • Blaue Welt Bar (45-seat sushi bar at surcharge, dinner-only 6:30 - 11:00 p.m.)
  • Anckelmannsplatz buffet restaurant (412-seat, with partially covered outdoor area for al-fresco dining; complimentary, self-service, with various food stations)
  • GOSCH Sylt (80-seat complimentary seafood restaurant, a la carte menu; with outdoor seating area)
  • Cliff 24 (24-hour, 40-seat complimentary Grill Bar, serving the pool deck area)
  • La Vela (66-seat complimentary bistro)
  • Aussenalster Bar (91-seat complimentary al fresco dining & sports bar).

The primary shipboard entertainment was in the 927-seat Theater (ship's main show lounge) with 2 nightly shows. A 200-seat cinema doubled as lecture room. Fortunes Casino's gambling options included roulette and blackjack tables and slot machines. The ship's duty-free shops had liquor, tabacos, jewelry, perfumes, travel essentials and convenience goods.

The ship had several bars, clubs and discos, including the Nightclub, the Lounge, Rendezvous Lounge, the cigar bar. Among the onboard activities were computer classes, bingo, trivia games, dancing classes.

Of all 3 swimming pools, 2 were saltwater (with 5 large whirlpool hottubs), and 1 was freshwater (located under the greenhouse-like roof). The Steiner AquaSpa (Japanese-styled) had its own rock garden and offered many personal services, massages and thalassotherapy. The ship had an extensive art collection on display. Follows the complete list of Mein Schiff 1 lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for adults, kids and teens.

  • Theater (main show lounge for grand-style show productions; with a revolving stage and eight dynamic LED screens)
  • Internet computers room
  • Wii-Corner (kids/teens gaming arcade)
  • Sturmfrei (Teens Lounge featuring video gaming consoles, dance floor, foosball table, activities like karaoke, cooking classes, teen parties, movies, etc.)
  • Atelier (Workshop/art studio for painters); Walentowski Art Gallery; Fotogalerie (Photo Gallery); Library/Bibliothek
  • Wein & Wahrheit Vinothek (15-seat fine wine shop)
  • Aussicht Bar (25-seat night cocktail bar)
  • The Neuer Wall shopping arcades
  • Blaue Welt Bar & Lounge; Nasch Bar (40-seat); TUI Bar; Abtanz Bar (100-seat disco nightclub); Uberschau Bar (25-seat wellness bar with a “healthy drinks” menu)
  • Casino (170-seat; open only during sea days)
  • Himmel & Meer Lounge (Suite Guests only); X-Lounge (Suite-guests only lounge)
  • SPA & Meer (SPA & Sea complex with a Finnish Sauna, Oriental steam bath, relaxation area, Spa Suites, La Vida Bar, SPA Shop, Beauty Salon)
  • Sport & Gesunheit (Sport & Health Fitness Centre; Fitness classes/personal trainers provided at surcharge)
  • Aussenpool (outdoor pool area with a 25 m long swimming pool, extensive sunbathing area, Aussenalster Bar & Grill)
  • Insel der Seerauber (Pirates’ Island Kids Club complimentary lounge)
  • Sun deck area (11,990 m2; the forward section features Entspannungsinseln/Relaxation Islands with mini-balconies, available for rent)
  • Outdoor sports area (with a full-size sports court for basketball, volleyball, golf simulator)
  • Grune Oase (Green Oasis - outdoor sports area for open-air classes - stretching, relaxation, Yoga, Pilates); Power Walking / Jogging Track
  • Lounges & Bars: Ausenalster, Abtanz, Aussicht, Blaue Welt, Nasch, TUI, Unverzicht, Uberschau, La Vida Sana Bar, Himmel & Meer, Casino Lounge, Wein & Wahrheit, X-Lounge.
  • Spa, Fitness Center (aerobic classes), jogging track, 3 jacuzzis, 2 outdoor swimming pools (1 with salt water, 1 freshwater /covered), duty-free shops, shop, 927-seat Theater, Casino, Kids Club.

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Marella Explorer Itineraries

The below listed Marella Explorer cruise prices on itineraries are only indicative and Per Person (in US dollars, based on double occupancy). These are the cheapest Marella Cruises fares on the ship’s lowest category cabins available for booking. Cruise fares typically change with departure dates approaching, last minute deals, discounts, promotions, independent travel agency offers.

DateCruise NameDeparture PortPrice from
2018 Nov 11 7 days, round-trip Paradise Islands Bridgetown
2018 Nov 18 7 days, round-trip Tropical Delights Bridgetown
2018 Nov 25 7 days, round-trip Paradise Islands Bridgetown
2018 Dec 02 7 days, round-trip Seven Shores Bridgetown
2018 Dec 09 7 days, round-trip Paradise Islands Bridgetown
2018 Dec 16 7 days, round-trip Tropical Delights Bridgetown
2018 Dec 23 7 days, round-trip Paradise Islands Bridgetown
2018 Dec 30 7 days, round-trip Seven Shores Bridgetown
2019 Jan 06 7 days, round-trip Paradise Islands Bridgetown
2019 Jan 13 7 days, round-trip Tropical Delights Bridgetown
2019 Jan 20 7 days, round-trip Paradise Islands Bridgetown
2019 Jan 27 7 days, round-trip Seven Shores Bridgetown
2019 Feb 03 7 days, round-trip Paradise Islands Bridgetown
2019 Feb 10 7 days, round-trip Tropical Delights Bridgetown
2019 Feb 17 7 days, round-trip Paradise Islands Bridgetown
2019 Feb 24 7 days, round-trip Seven Shores Bridgetown
2019 Mar 03 7 days, round-trip Paradise Islands Bridgetown
2019 Mar 10 7 days, round-trip Tropical Delights Bridgetown
2019 Mar 17 7 days, round-trip Paradise Islands Bridgetown
2019 Mar 24 7 days, round-trip Seven Shores Bridgetown
2019 Mar 31 7 days, round-trip Paradise Islands Bridgetown
2019 Apr 07 7 days, round-trip Tropical Delights Bridgetown
2019 Apr 14 7 days, round-trip Paradise Islands Bridgetown
2019 Apr 21 7 days, round-trip Seven Shores Bridgetown
2019 Apr 28 19 days, one-way from Bridgetown to Southampton Bridgetown
2019 May 19 14 days, round-trip Baltic Discovery Newcastle
2019 Jun 02 7 days, round-trip Wonders Of The Fjords Newcastle
2019 Jun 09 13 days, round-trip Norway's Midnight Sun Newcastle
2019 Jun 22 15 days, round-trip Legends Of The Baltics Newcastle
2019 Jul 07 6 days, round-trip A Taste Of The Fjords Newcastle
2019 Jul 13 14 days, round-trip Baltic Explorer Newcastle
2019 Jul 27 14 days, round-trip Lands Of Fire & Ice Newcastle
2019 Aug 10 14 days, round-trip Baltic Discovery Newcastle
2019 Aug 24 8 days, round-trip Fjords Explorer Newcastle
2019 Sep 01 3 days, one-way from Newcastle to Southampton Newcastle
2019 Sep 04 14 days, round-trip Cities And Ice Southampton
2019 Sep 18 8 days, round-trip Fantastic Fjords Southampton
2019 Sep 26 14 days, round-trip Seeking The Northern Lights Southampton