In April 2019 a cruise we had booked with Royal Caribbean was cancelled, so as a last minute alternative we booked a short 8 day cruise on the Marella Explorer 2 around the Mediterranean. The cruise started in Mallorca and ended in Naples. We had a great time and I would like to share with you our review on the cabin 8184 which is a standard balcony room.
Now one of the things we hear constantly on Facebook groups and forums is “Oh what does it matter where your cabin is.. you only shower and change there” or “What does it matter how it looks as long as it is clean?” Well I beg to differ… as experienced and regular cruisers our cabin choice is extremely important. From location to cabin type, we spend a lot of time researching the correct one. I would like to tell you about the cabin we chose and show you some photos of the fantastic refurbished interiors too.
Let’s start by talking about location.. it is very important.
We personally prefer to be closer to the elevator lobby/stairs (less walking of course) but also this cabin was perfect because it also meant it was not opposite any interior rooms (less doors to bang).
We enjoyed being closer to the aft of the ship because it was just 3 floors down to the dining room and 3 floors up to the Market place buffet. Perfect for the evening’s when I was in heels!
There was absolutely no noise in this cabin and we felt no movement during the choppy seas.
Thankfully a few days before we boarded they finally finished refurbishing the bathrooms by adding glass doors too the showers. This was a great addition because no one wants to shower with a grotty shower curtain that has touched 100’s of naked bodies previously.. Unfortunately our shower door did have a tiny leak but it wasn’t the end of the world we had plenty of towels to mop it up everyday.
Everything was clean and tidy thankfully as we had seen reports of mould before we boarded but we saw no signs of this. Towels/flannels were replaced daily and there was plenty of toilet roll. In the shower there is a shower gel dispenser which we didn’t use but if you are limited on weight in your luggage this would be perfectly fine. There was also two small soap bars by the sink which are fine for washing your hands if you aren’t too fussy.
Parts of the bathroom are a bit tired (like the sink) but we have to remember it is an old ship that has been refurbished. But for what we needed it was perfectly acceptable. The only thing we did notice was now and then there was a strong smell of sewerage but honestly that is not unusual for a cruise ship.
We were pleasantly surprised by the storage. There were two large wardrobes with a hanging rail in each. (Ask your room attendant for extra hangers if you need more) There was a further wardrobe with shelves, drawers and a safe. We didn’t need to fight for space.. we had plenty for 8 days worth of clothing and shoes.
There was more storage in the dressing table consisting of drawers and shelves. Plenty of space for all of my beauty products…
The bed was huge which is one of the things I love about cruising… plenty of space. But we did find it quite hard. We asked for a mattress topper but to be honest It made no difference.. I think we could of done with 10 mattress toppers! But we still slept well (the ship rocks me to sleep lol). Hubby found the bed to be unusually low and often found it hard to get out of bed. But I have little legs so I did’t really notice this.
The sheets are changed every other day, beds are made every morning and our favourite bit the turn down service in the evening too. We did have to ask for an extra pillow each.. but it was not a problem for the room attendant.
Next to each side of the bed is a lamp which have one USB port in each. This was really useful for charging our phones. On one side there was a bedside table attached to the wall which had the phone on so there was no room for a drink etc. The opposite side for some reason had no bedside table but did look like there should of been one… We had the bed converted to a double but this can also be split apart into two single beds. In the middle of the headboard there is a switch which turns off of main cabin lights.
Next to the bed is a small sofa which was perfect for chucking all of my clothes (I mean sitting on haha).. but it was quite hard so we didn’t spend too much time sitting on it.
The dressing table was fantastic for my beauty regime each evening.. there was 3 large drawers. One of which includes the most pathetic hairdryer known to man.. I have thick hair so I am very glad I took my own. The mirror is the perfect size with a light above it for applying make up. This is also where you will find a box of tissues which is replaced as needed. You will also find 1 European and 1 American plug so don’t forget to take your adapters. (The American one did not work).
To the left of this you will find the flat screen TV. This has plenty of channels if you want to chill out in the room. Also here you can find out what is going on around the ship, your cruise account and dining information.
In the room you will find a kettle, two mugs, two spoons and tea/coffee/milk/sugar/sweetener which is replenished twice a day if needed. We had Yorkshire tea bags and Nescafe coffee (standard and de caf).
One of the things I loved about this area was the water caraf/jug which can be used to fill with water in each elevator lobby. You can then use this to fill plastic water bottles to take out on port days too.
The mini bar fridge was very good at keeping things cold. We regularly got cans of drink from the bar with our premium package and stocked up the fridge.
Just remember any cans/water etc in the room already is chargeable (there is a price list available in the room).
In this area you will also find one European and one American socket. Again the American one did not work.
I have saved the best for last… the balcony 🙂 Our favourite part of the cabin. We spend a lot of time chilling out and relaxing here. We were pleasantly surprised with how big the balcony was. With a full sized table and two chairs. It was very private and the views were spectacular.
For anyone who is asking the question “do I need a balcony?” or “is it worth the extra money?” Well in our opinion it is 100% worth it. For us we cannot cruise without a balcony as it makes the cruise feel extra special for. I enjoy being able to get natural fresh air whenever I need it especially at night because the air conditioning dries my throat.
We sailed with an interior room only once and I did not enjoy is as much I felt like we were in a standard hotel. We loved to watch the world go by and see the view change each day. But everyone is different and your holiday has to be right for you! But what I would say is try it at least once..
Where else can you see a sunset like this every evening? 🙂
Overall for an older ship that has had a refurb we were very impressed with the cabin. It was stylish, clean and quite comfortable. Our room attendant kept everything very clean and tidy and we looked forward to being delivered the cruise news each evening along with various towel animals.
Two other things I forgot to mention… in your cabin you will find your Blue pool towels. Don’t forget to bring them back with you or there is a charge. But once they have been used leave them in the shower and they will be replaced.
Also room service is not free on Marella.. in fact it’s very expensive. This was a huge disappointment for us because one of the things we love about other cruise lines is room service breakfast on the balcony. It surprised us especially because they provide such a large table.
The cabin is one of the things that would bring us back to the Marella Explorer 2.. but stay tuned for more reviews coming shortly about the ship.
Thanks for reading and enjoy your cruise 🙂 Please feel free to comment with any questions below.
To find out more about The Marella Explorer 2 please click here.