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Marella cruise, Tui

🛳️ Marella Cruises - the sailings that have it all?

We put the company's "all-inclusive as standard" claim to the test.

Published by
Caitlin Moore·26/01/2024

One common mistake that people make when booking a cruise is not breaking down the price of everything included, one cruise may look cheaper until you see what hidden costs are involved that can quickly add up.

Thankfully, your faithful crew of Pirates (that’s us) have all the tips and information you need to bag a great deal on a cruise. We’ve been looking into Marella Cruises, which come ‘All-Inclusive as standard’ to see how good the value is.

Marella Cruises is part of the TUI group

If you didn’t know, Marella Cruises is part of the TUI group, so you know you’re travelling with a trusted tour operator, if the thought of booking your first cruise seems daunting. They provide end-to-end service, have a 24/7 TUI Guest Experience Centre, and there are plenty of reps onboard. In fact, they're the only UK cruise line to take care of everything.

As with most of TUI’s package holidays, your package will have flights, luggage and transfers included in the price. This isn’t always the case with other providers, and can save a fair chunk.

Look out for discount codes

The first money-saving tip we have is to scope out any discount codes, as this is an easy win to take a chunk off the cost.

And to save you some work, Marella Cruises currently has £200 off Mediterranean and Canary Island sailings with code SAIL200, or £300 off Asia, Caribbean and Repositional cruises with code SAIL300. This applies to sailings between April 2024–April 2025.

What's included?

The initial cost of a cruise can vary, and you may wonder why. You should always check what exactly you're getting included in the price. A trip that looks like a bargain may cost you more in the long run.

You’ll nearly always have meals covered in your cruise package, with some select soft drinks. However, with Marella, you’ll also have your full drinks package included which covers beers, wines spirits and cocktails! They also offer a premium drinks package for a lot cheaper than other cruise lines, this would include premium spirits and premium cocktails.

This means less worrying about budgeting for food and drinks, you’re all covered with the price you pay.

How many sea days are there?

Spending a long time at sea can be daunting to a lot of us, and a cruise with too many sea days can be off-putting.

Marella Cruises tailor their itineraries to keep sea days to a minimum so that you can enjoy more time exploring new cities and destinations. The more destinations you’re getting into your cruise = better value for money!

They cruise to over 140 destinations worldwide, so you're pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to itineraries.

🏴‍☠️ If you don't mind a lot of sea days, you could check out a repositioning cruise (where the cruise has different embarking and disembarking ports due to things like season changes) as these are usually mega value for money (plus there's the £300 discount code we mentioned earlier).

Will I be bored?

The last thing you want is to be bored stiff by day 3 of your voyage, so you should always check out the entertainment and activities available onboard and whether they come at an extra cost.

Marella has a range of ships which cater to different audiences. You'll find family-friendly activities on Marella Discovery, Marella Discovery 2, Marella Explorer and Marella Voyager. The Kids' Club is included in the cost too!

If you're looking for something adults-only, check out Marella Explorer 2.

The ships have first-class entertainment and shows, cinemas (including an outdoor cinema on certain ships), mini golf courses, casinos and loads of other activities to keep you occupied when you're not making the most of the all-inclusive food and drink.

Don't forget gratuities

Cruise lines used to add $12-16 per person, per day, to your onboard account as gratuities – money that goes towards tips for the crew. This was fine in some corners of the globe, but us Brits hate tipping.

So more and more cruise lines targetting British cruisers are now including gratuities in the base fare. Marella Cruises is one of these.

What do we think?

Is a Marella cruise worth it, then? The upfront price can definitely appear higher than some other cruise deals, but the value is evident on what you have included in your package.

It's good to know that you don't have to worry about any extra spends once you've booked your cruise, other than optional excursions (which are also really well priced on Marella) and your ice cream pennies for when you're in a destination, of course!

Plus, you can also knock a couple of hundred quid off with their discount codes.

It's hard to put an exact price on certain TUI benefits, such as 24/7 assistance, a packed itinerary and entertainment - but, all in all, Marella cruises really do seem to stack up for value against their competitors.

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