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Marella Voyager Review – Guide To Dining, Drinks and My Top Tips

17 restaurants, 10 bars, and a host of entertainment options, my Marella Voyager review has all you need to know about Marella Cruises’ new ship.

I’m a firm believer that there is a cruise for everyone out there, whether that is an intimate river cruise, or a massive ship that holds 7,000 passengers. As the cliché goes – size does matter, but when it comes to cruise ships, the itinerary, service, facilities on board and value for money all come into play. We want it all, but does Marella Voyager deliver?

Marella Voyager certainly delivers on value for money – as flights, transfers, luggage, food, drinks, tips and service charges are all included as part of your cruise, but she is much more than just the good value option.

There are 17 different dining options on board, as well as 10 bars, 12 different Westend-style shows, and a night scene that will take you through to the small hours. 

She delivers on entertainment too, and with complimentary drinks included in all cruises, you can expect to find a lively atmosphere on board.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Marella Voyager is the 5th ship in the Marella Cruises fleet, and was originally built for Celebrity Cruises, before being transferred to TUI Cruises in 2019. She relaunched as Marella Voyager after a multi-million pound makeover this year, and is cruising the Med this summer, before moving to Barbados for the winter season.

Marella Voyager is a sister ship to Marella Explorer and Marella Explorer 2, although offerings vary across all three ships.
 
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About Marella Cruises

Owned by travel giants TUI, and previously known as Thomson Cruises, the word Marella means ‘shining’ in Celtic and was chosen to reflect Marella Cruises’ spirit of exploration and discovery across the seas.
Marella Voyager cruise ship

You may be surprised to learn that Marella Cruises sail to over 140 destinations. Mediterranean cruises are the destination of choice during the summer months, but Marella Cruises take to the Caribbean and Asia during the winter months. They have a choice of cruise offerings too, from the family friendly Marella Discovery, to the adult-only Marella Explorer 2. 

 

 
One thing that all Marella Cruises have in common is that All Inclusive is standard across all ships. You will also find flights, transfers, baggage, tips and service charges are included in Marella’s cruise holidays.

Holidaymakers can also take advantage of TUI’s massive hotel and apartment offerings, and enjoy cruise and stay packages in eight destinations, with transfers and baggage included – creating a seamless holiday booking experience.
 

 

 
All Marella Cruises have less than 2,000 passengers on board and are classed as mid-size. This is ideal for first time cruisers or people who might find cruise ships that can carry close to 7,000 people a little daunting. 
 

 

 
Marella Cruises are renowned for friendly staff . A massive 90% of their customers said the service was very good or excellent – and were impressed by how staff recognised them on a return visit. They picked up a selection of awards at the 2019 Cruise Critic Editor’s Choice Awards including Best Cruise Line for Value.
 

 

I had the pleasure of being invited to the launch of Marella Voyager in Malaga recently. Check out my review and guide to the various offerings on board here:
 

Complimentary Dining on Marella Voyager

There is a whopping 17 different dining options on Marella Voyager, (13 of which are complimentary), this is exceptional for a cruise ship of this size. In line with demand, over 25% of their new menus will feature vegetarian dishes.

The Kitchens Food Hall

One of the main differences between Marella Voyager and her sisters, is the game-changing Food Hall that has replaced the traditional buffet that you usually get on board.
 

 

 
Aptly named The Kitchens, it is home eight different restaurants in one area. I had a Greek salad to start, followed by an Asian curry, and finished off by a tasty dessert at The Pastry Crust. The Kitchens Food Hall on Marella Voyager

Buffet lovers need not worry, it may sound like a completely different experience, but it still felt like a buffet restaurant to me. The main difference is that you can’t serve yourself, it is served to you, but you can go to the various restaurants as many times as you like.

Open from 6.30 am to midnight, you can enjoy afternoon and late night snacks here, as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

The Snack Shack on Marella Voyager

Other complimentary dining options include Abeula’s Mexican restaurant and Nonna’s Italian restaurant, both are open for lunch and dinner.

The Snack Shack is ideal for snacks by the pool and features beach style huts so you don’t even need to change from your swimwear for lunch!
 

 

 
The main dining room Latitude is very impressive, with floor to ceiling windows spread out over two decks. I loved the table service at breakfast time, it is ideal for guests who fancy a more relaxed breakfast than what is served at The Kitchens.

Latitude, main dining rom on Marella Voyager

Vista is an Italian offering that is part of the main dining room. but serves up Italian favourites at dinner time, instead of the International dining menu in Latitude.
 

 

 

Speciality Dining on Marella Voyager

There are four speciality restaurants on board. I had the pleasure in dining in two of them and found the food and service excellent. Prices vary from €30 – €40 and these include complimentary wines to pair with your dishes. TOP TIP: I recommend pre-booking to avoid disappointment.

The Silver Fork Speciality Restaurant, Marella Voyager
Silver Fork Restaurant

I dined at Surf & Turf on the first night, and as the name suggests, there was a great selection of steaks and seafood on the menu, as well as a full vegetarian / vegan menu. My filet steak was cooked to perfection and I loved the tikka paneer bao bun, and my duo of cheesecakes for dessert.

Surf & Turf Speciality Dining on Marella Voyager

As much as I really enjoyed Surf & Turf, the Silver Fork was the star of the show for me. This speciality restaurant is unique to Marella Voyager and serves up British favourites in a fine dining way.

My beef wellington was superb, as was the apple crumble, and I found myself wishing I could go back for a second night to try the Shepherds Pie. I am also a little intrigued to see what a fine dining Ham, Egg and Chips would be like! 

Beef Wellington at Silver Fork restaurant, Marella Voyager

As well as superb food, the decor is beautiful here – The Silver Fork is a restaurant you would expect to find on a five-star cruise ship. This was my favourite dining experience on board, and my advice is to pre-book as soon as possible!
 

 

 
There are two other speciality dining restaurants on Marella Voyager – Platter, a place for charcuterie boards, cheeses and sharing platters, and an Asian restaurant Kora La – a Marella Cruises favourite whose menu was created by Master Chef Ian Pengelley.
 

 

 

What drinks are included in the All Inclusive arrangement?

Marella’s all inclusive cruises include a selection of beers, spirits, wines, Prosecco and cocktails from 10am to 2am daily. If you choose to order drinks outside of this window, they’ll be charged to your onboard account. See more here.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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TOP TIP: However, if you like branded spirits, such as Grey Goose Vodka or Cognac, it might be worthwhile to upgrade to the Premium All Inclusive package. I’m an Aperol Spritz fan, especially on holidays, but if you don’t upgrade to the Premium All Inclusive package you will be charged an extra €3.50 each time you order one!
 

 

 
You can also enjoy most drinks from The Coffee Port, cans of soft drinks, and a 1.5 litre bottle of water every day – and all for just £10 per person per day, or approx €80 per week. 
 

 

 

Entertainment on Marella Voyager

Marella Voyager has a great selection of entertainment on board, including 10 bars,  so there are plenty of places to enjoy all those complimentary cocktails!

Nightlife on Marella Voyager

Marella Cruises work with leading entertainment provider ted, and have 10 new Westend-style shows on board as well as two favourites from the rest of the Marella fleet. Movies of the Musicals features favourites such as Evita and Mama Mia, and the high energy 80s Vision features the best from the 80s’.
 

 

 
The theatre on board holds over 900 people so you should be able to visit every night if you want to! There is also an indoor cinema on board for those who prefer movie nights. 

The Electric Rooms on Marella Voyager

I was really impressed with the Electric Rooms – this felt like a ‘real’ nightclub, and not a bar that transforms into one at midnight, like you find on many cruise ships. The Electric Rooms has an LED dance floor with a DJ that belts out tunes until 2am. There is a small casino located here too.
 

 

 
New to the Marella Fleet is a 20’s-style Speakeasy Bar called The Exchange. This exclusive club serves up imaginative cocktails and immersive entertainment for adults only. When you pre-book this (extra charge ) you are sent a formal invitation with instructions on how to enter.

It is a novel experience filled with great actors providing comedy and song for a few hours. I wasn’t a big fan, but most of my colleagues on board loved it. If you are a lover of 20’s glamour then this is for you.

Speakeasy bar on Marella Voyager

On the contrary, I loved the Summer House. This airy space has a retractable roof plus an open-air area with stylish decor and tasty cocktails.
The Summer House, Marella Voyager

Flutes is also a great choice for a pre-dinner drink. Open from 5pm – 10pm you can sip complimentary glasses of Prosecco to the sounds of a pianist. There is even a ‘Bring me Bubbles’ button on the wall so you can order your Prosecco without having to leave your seat!

Flutes Bar, Marella Voyager

The Art’s House is a art-themed bar unique to Marella Voyager. You will find arts and crafts, a library and Shuffleboard here, as well as live singers in the evening time.
 

 

 
Aperitif is a specialist gin and whiskey bar beside the ship’s speciality dining restaurants. 

Aperifif Bar on Marella Voyager

The Squid and Anchor is a British-style pub that also provides quizzes, game shows and live bands in the evenings.

You will also find two pool bars, and a Coffee Port (extra charge) on board. 
 

 

 

Other Facilities on Marella Voyager

I was a little surprised to see just one swimming pool on board, but it is a large pool area and has two decks for sun loungers. There are also two whirlpools next to the main pool as well as an adult-only Veranda at the front of the ship with luxury sun beds, cabanas are also available for an extra charge. 

pool deck on Marella Voyager

If you want to get away from the sun there is an extensive Spa with a wide range of treatments on board, as well as a large Gym with sea-views. A jogging track is located on the top deck and the newly built crazy golf course will no doubt prove popular with families and golfers alike. 

mini golf course on Marella Voyager

Unfortunately the much anticipated upgraded WiFi service, created my Starlink (which is made from Elon Musk’s SpaceX) didn’t live up to the hype. Perhaps there were teething problems, as I was on the the inaugural sailing, but it was like most WiFi at Sea – unpredictable.
 

 

 
It was great at times but I lost WiFi connection on a few occasions. However, you can use the Navigate App to prebook restaurants and activities and to check entertainment schedules – this is free to use and doesn’t require any WiFi connectivity.

You will find a selection of shops on board too, including clothing,  jewellery, cosmetics and souvenirs
 

 

 

Children’s Facilities on Marella Voyager

 Marella Voyager runs a free Kids Club for 3 – 11 year olds called M Club. There are day and evening activities organised, and there is a separate kids pool on board. Babies have a separate area too – Mini M Club, where story time sessions and arts and crafts are the main focus.

The Hideout on Marella Voyager

The Hideout is a hangout for older kids and teens which has movie nights, games consoles and organised games and events in high season. There is a separate Gamer Zone too, with a choice of gaming machines and consoles available. 

Gamer Zone on Marella Voyager

As well as dedicated children’s areas, the theatre shows, cinema and adventure golf course are popular family activities, although Marella Discovery does offer more activities for children on board, including a climbing wall, muti-sports court and outdoor movies by the pool –  Movies under the Stars.
 

 

 

Cabins on Marella Voyager

As you may expect all cabins come with air-conditioning, hairdryer, flatscreen TV and tea and coffee making facilities, but I did not expect my cabin to have a hammock! I was staying in a large balcony cabin, where hammocks are standard – it was a fabulous treat!

large balcony cabin with hammock on Marella Voyager

There are also single cabins for solo travellers, and large family cabins that sleep two adults and 3 children. I loved the separate sliding doors for privacy, I’m sure they will be highly sought after.

For cruisers looking for a more luxurious experience there are junior suites, executive suites and lavish Voyager Suites.

Family cabin on Marella Voyager

I felt they could do with offering a little more in their Premier Service – which is just a free pressing service – 3 items within the first 24 hours onboard, and 1 free continental breakfast in bed per week.
 

 

 

Final thoughts on Marella Voyager

Marella Voyager certainly exceeded my expectations. I knew it would be a lively cruise, suitable for people who like all-inclusive holidays, but I didn’t expect the entertainment and dining options to be as good, or that the decor, cabins and overall look and feel on board would be as stylish.  

 

 
 
 
 
 
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If you are looking for a quiet relaxing cruise, or a cruise with waterslides and race tracks, look elsewhere, but there is no denying Marella Voyager is certainly a more elevated option than its sisters.

Read: The Cruise Guide – How to choose the right cruise
 

 

 
There were a few stand outs for me – other than the good value, which I think is a given. The speciality dining was excellent, the premium all inclusive offering is a steal at £10 per day, and the choice of entertainment on board should delight couples, friends and families – you can see a full ship tour on my Instagram highlights.

The ability to book cruise and stay holidays so seamlessly is a massive advantage too and the family cabins that sleep five will certainly be a bit hit with larger families – I suggest booking now for 2024!
 

 

 

How to book Marella Cruises

You can book Marella Cruises from the UK or Northern Ireland on the TUI website. If travelling from Dublin, Cork, Shannon or Ireland West, you will need to contact your local travel agency. 

Pool deck on Marella Voyager at sunset

I hope my Marella Voyager review will help you plan a cruise soon. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, services, facilities and prices are subject to change. 
 

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