If you’ve never sailed with Marella Cruises before, you’ll probably have plenty of questions. Here’s a quick guide to everything you need to know about holidaying with us.
Before you go
What adaptors should I bring for the cabin sockets?
You can use either a European or a US 2-pin adaptor in the cabins.
Do I need a visa?
If you’re a British passport holder, you can check the visa requirements for your cruise on CIBTvisas online portal. If you haven’t got a British or Irish passport, you’ll need to check entry requirements with individual embassies or consulates. Visas for entering Cuba will be arranged for you onboard and charged to your onboard account, at a cost of around £15 per person.
Are there any age restrictions on a cruise holiday?
Yes. No one under the age of 17 can travel on their own onboard our cruise ships. For itineraries that include stops in the USA, the minimum age to travel alone will be 21 – this applies whilst onboard the ship and ashore. For Cruise & Stay holidays, travellers aged between 2 and 12 are classed as children. Infants under 6 months old are not permitted to travel on our cruises.
Just so you know, Marella Explorer 2 is exclusively for those aged 17 and over, and we have a handful of itineraries on other ships that are adults-only, too. These itineraries will be clearly marked as adults-only online, and the minimum age for all passengers on these sailings is 17, with the exception of Electric Sunsets, where the minimum age is 18.
Is there a dress code onboard?
The onboard dress code varies for each restaurant, but you can easily break it down into beachwear, casual and smart. The first is a come-as-you-are affair, so bikinis and trunks get the thumbs up, but please wear something on your feet for safety reasons. Casual, meanwhile, speaks for itself – we’re talking tops and shorts or a sundress. Then you’ve got smart, which is when you’ll need to dress up a little bit. You can wear shirts or polo-shirts, trousers or tailored shorts, skirts or dresses, smart trainers, shoes or sandals, but we ask that you leave sportswear, flip-flops and non-tailored shorts in your cabin. If you want to add a jacket or a tie, that’s completely up to you, but our Dress to Impress nights give you the chance to get really suited and booted. Find out what is good to pack in our Discover article.
Can I pre-book a specific cabin ahead of my cruise?
You can reserve your cabin at the time of booking or up to 15 days before you depart, from £55. Give us a call on 0203 4512682 to book.
How do I check in for my cruise?
Do you cater for people with disabilities?
Absolutely. Give our assisted travel team a call before you book for advice on things like accessibility, bringing equipment onboard, disabled facilities and medical care. We’ve also teamed up with AccessAble who have created detailed access guides for each of our ships. Visit their website to find out more.
All of our ships have a small number of adapted cabins for passengers who are less mobile. Just pop into your local TUI Store or call us on 0800 145 6920 to check that we have one available for your chosen cruise before you book.
Making sure your wellbeing is looked after at all times while you’re onboard is really important to us. That’s why if you need help with daily tasks, like using the bathroom, eating or getting around the ship, you’ll need to travel with a companion or personal assistant who can help you. Unfortunately, our crew aren’t able to help with these kinds of responsibilities.
How do you look after solo travellers?
Our guest experience coordinator arranges get-togethers for solo travellers, like dinners and coffee mornings. You’ll find information on these events in Cruise News and on the Navigate app once you’re onboard. If you’re worried about dining alone, have a chat with our restaurant manager who can arrange for you to sit with other guests.
Do you cater for special diets?
Of course. If you've got any dietary requirements, please mention it when you book and let the restaurant manager know once you're onboard. We also provide vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and diabetic-friendly options on request. If you need to bring your own food for medical reasons, please let us know in advance so we can ensure we have the correct facilities in place to store and prepare this. There may be some requests we aren't able to accommodate, so it's important you let us know when you book your cruise. Take a look at a sample menu to see the kind of dishes on offer.
How do I pay for things onboard?
All of our ships have a cash-free payment system. Everything is priced in pounds sterling and is charged to your cabin account. At the end of your holiday, you can settle by cash, debit or credit card. If you decide on cash, we will ask for a £200 deposit per cabin per week.
Do I need to tip?
Tips are included in the price of your cruise, so there’s no need to tip extra while you’re onboard.
Is Wi-Fi available?
We have designated Wi-Fi zones onboard. Internet access is charged to your cabin account at the rate advertised onboard. Mobiles can be used for calls and texts, but make sure you check with your provider for charges in each country and international waters, which applies when the ship is at sea.
There are telephones in each cabin, too, so it’s easy to keep in touch with people back home.
If you’re pairing your cruise with a hotel stay, we’ll let you know which places have free Wi-Fi – just look out for the handy logo when you’re browsing through them.
What do I do with my luggage?
Firstly, make sure you’ve printed your luggage label and attached it to your luggage before you set off. If bonded luggage is available on your cruise, you’ll be notified of this in your booking confirmation. In this case, you won’t have to collect your luggage at your destination airport – we’ll take it straight to your cabin.
For all other destinations, you’ll need to collect your luggage at the airport and bring it with you to the transfer coach. On arrival at the cruise port, you can leave your bags with us and we’ll deliver them to your cabin.
What time do I need to check out of my cabin?
You’ll normally need to leave your cabin by 8am on your last day, but you can still use all the onboard facilities until your transfers arrive. Speak to reception about a courtesy cabin so you can freshen up before you leave, or, you can organise a late check out.
Can I smoke onboard?
All our ships are non-smoking, which means you can only smoke in designated areas of the open deck. The same goes for e-cigarettes. Please be aware that e-cigarettes are banned in certain countries and will be confiscated at the airport. Make sure to check the Foreign Office website for the latest updates.
Out and about
What is a tender port?
It’s not always possible to tie a ship up at a dock. If this is the case, we’ll anchor a little way out from the shore, and use tender boats to get you to and from the ship. Tender ports are indicated in the itinerary where possible. You’ll still get plenty of time in the port, plus you can use the tender services to go back and forth from the ship as much as you like. Guests with disabilities or mobility issues will need to have some independent mobility to step in and out of the tender boat, as our crew aren’t allowed to lift you. Go to our Assisted Travel page for more information.
Can I do my own thing in port?
It’s up to you if you want to explore without the help of a guide. Our onboard Destination Services team can give you plenty of tips. Just remember that one of the benefits of our organised excursions is that if the tour is delayed, the ship will wait. If you’re on your own and you’re not back on the ship in time, we can’t wait for you. Take a look at our excursions for more information.
Are there shuttle buses into the town or city?
Some ports offer a shuttle bus service into the town or city centre. Where available, this service will usually be advertised in our daily onboard newsletter, Cruise News. Just so you know, shuttle services are often chargeable.
Still got a question?
You can ask us anything here.