Marella Celebration Overview
As one of the smaller ships in the Marella Cruises fleet, the Marella Celebration is a friendly and accessible cruise ship that features special details and attention to precision not available on the larger counterparts. Fully refurbished in 2012, the jazzed-up cabins and contemporary designs in all public areas make the Marella Celebration feel like a fancier and more intimate sailing experience that is perfect for those looking for pure luxury and classiness.
In 2013, the ship added a premium coffee shop, the Coffee Port, plus 20 balconies to provide more accessible views to all travellers. At that time, 9 new cabins and 5 new Deluxe Balcony cabins were built on deck 5, providing top notch traveling accommodations to those looking for a real treat on holiday.
Like all Marella Cruises, the Celebration comes with award-winning dining and drinking venues, including sophisticated a la carte restaurants, a critically acclaimed spa, and otherworldly customer service that will ensure you never go a day without a drink promptly placed into your hand.
The MS Marella Celebration is a cruise ship owned by Holland American Line, under Marella Cruises. Built in 1984 by the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France for the Holland American Line as MS Noordan, it was announced that in October 2017 when Thomson Cruises was renamed Marella Cruises, that the ship would be renamed the Marella Celebration.
Today, the ship has 10 decks, 631 cabins, 5 restaurants, 6 bars, 2 pools, and 7 lifts. It is noticeably smaller and more intimate than other Marella Cruises options.
- Crew: 520 Passengers: 1262
- Pools: 2 Adults only options: Pool Deck
- Launch Year: 1984
- Registry: Malta
- Cabins: 631
- Decks: 10
About Marella Celebration
As a smaller cruise ship line, the Celebration includes 8 different cruise options available to passengers today:
- Escape to the Caribbean: Sail the Costa Del Sol, St. Vincent, Barbados, St. Lucia, and more as you make stops in some of the Caribbean’s most famed and secretive beaching spots.
- Atlantic Quest: Sail from the Caribbean islands of Dominica, St. Lucia, and Barbados across the Atlantic to Gibraltar, Majorca, Sicily, Italy, and Croatia on this massive 21-day sailing adventure. Get in famous stops in two different continents per just one trip.
- A Taste of Paradise: This Caribbean immersion trip makes all the stops at St. Barths, Antigua, the British Virgin Islands, and other award-winning locations with pure luxury in mind.
- Caribbean Dreams: This trip adds in new Caribbean stops, like Guadeloupe, the Grenadines, Barbados, St. Kitts, and the British Virgin Islands’ Spanish Town. It’s more of a secluded trip with notable stops at some of the world’s best beaches.
- Adriatic Affair: Sail Croatia, Italy, and Slovenia in this special Adriatic Sea focused cruise, with stops at some of the most historical and breath-taking locations in all of Europe.
- Venetian Vistas: Sail Dubrovnik, Zadar, and Korcula in Croatia before heading to Venice in Italy, followed by Bar in Montenegro. Enjoy the views right from the aqua blue waters.
- Greek Mystique: Sail Greece, Croatia, Corfu, and Crete in this all-encompassing Mediterranean voyage.
- Sail Three Seas: Go from Croatia to Malta, Sicily, Italy, and back to Croatia, sailing through three different seas while taking in the most beautiful sights around you.
As a smaller Marella Cruise option, the cabins inside the Marella Celebration are generally smaller and more compact than their bigger counterparts. However, that doesn’t mean that their quality has been compromised. Like all Marella sailing options, the ship comes with a variety of layouts to accommodate parties of all sizes. Their two most popular booking options include:
- Decks 3 and 4 Inside Cabin: These cabins come with 2 single beds that are placed in an L-shape, or can be squished together for a queen sized bed result. The rooms come with en suite bathrooms, a shower, and a water closet.
- Single Inside Cabin: These are compact, yet comfortable cabins that accommodate the solo travellers perfectly. If you prefer to travel alone or stay in your own room away from larger groups, these furnished options are perfect, equipped with a water closet, shower, and pristine customer service.
There are also cabin options known as Decks 1 and 2 Inside Cabins, Decks 1 and 2 Outside Cabins, and Decks 6, 7 and 8 Deluxe Cabins that come with a picture window, minibar, and table and chairs for relaxing. Designed in a lounge style, these are the rooms where your group can comfortably meet up and hang out before bed or before you start your day.
Lastly, for the luxurious traveller, check out the Suite Cabin with Premier service in a massive bed and living room, with a sofa and chairs that face the window as you watch the sun set. Don’t forget about Balcony Cabins as well, with your own personal balcony and outdoor furniture for an unforgettable experience.
Marella Cruises really knows how to wow guests with dining options. That’s why they work so hard to curate a selection and spread that will satisfy a variety of palettes while on-board. Many of their restaurants transform by night, providing even more selection for those looking to really explore the award-winning cuisine from the start to the finishing of their trip. Here are some of the most popular spots aboard the Marella Celebration.
- Kora La Restaurant: This newest pan-Asian cuisine dining option is an a la carte restaurant that is brand new to all Marella Cruises today.
- Mistral’s Restaurant: Pick the likes of lamb rack from the a la carte menu, and enjoy pristine customer service in a contemporary and gorgeous setting. Be sure to make reservations as they book up quickly.
- Lido Restaurant: This buffet works all day and night with breakfast options, salads, and cheeses, plus pizzas, fries, breads, and more, with different theme nights that include Mexican or Italian options throughout the week.
- Terrace Grill: This open-air establishment provides burgers, omelettes, hot dogs, pizzas, and more throughout most of the day. By night, it turns into the Hotstone Grill restaurant, where food is literally cooked on a hot stone right before their very eyes.
Don’t forget to make a stop at Hemingway’s Bar, close to the main restaurant and show lounge that makes for the perfect place to enjoy pre-dinner drinks. Order the cocktail of the day at the long bar and listen to the jazzy music that is always in action.
Lastly, make it a point to enjoy the entertainment at the Lido Bar, located next to the pool. Enjoy al fresco eats and drinks, where you can watch cooking demos, play games, and listen to the live music that usually kicks up in the afternoons.
There’s something for everyone aboard the Marella Celebration, starting right in the morning. Make your way to the Horizons Café, where you can sip on delicious coffee, play crosswords, and enjoy a quiet ambience or chat with a new friend. Look out at the large windows and cosy seating, as well as the laid-back tunes that will help you feel really rejuvenated and ready for the day ahead of you.
Are you ready to get your dance on? Head on over to the Liberties venue, where a lively lounge will greet you with something new and fun to do every single day and night. Have fun at bingo, film screenings, Zumba classes, dancing to live music, karaoke, and disco evenings that are also coupled with a convenient bar in walking distance.
Or, feeling like you want to test your luck? Go to the on-board casino where you can play the slot machines and signup for a poker or blackjack table. After that, enjoy a show near the Broadway Show Lounge Bar, where you can pick up your drinks ahead of the performance.
With your drinks in hand, head over to the productions facility that is a 2-floor starry show lounge. Some of the best performers in the world take to the stage every week, with a rotating show schedule that is sure to satisfy your entertainment requirements.
Lastly, don’t forget the Oceans Beauty Salon and Spa, with full body wraps, Indian head massages, and aromatherapy facials that will have you feeling like an entirely brand new person by the time you are all done.
Marella Celebration traveller reviews
"Having read Andrea Q review, unfortunately I was also a victim of the virus that was going around Thompson Celebration at the same time, July 14th _ 21st, we boarded the ship and were both in high spirits after having spent our first week in Dubrovvnik, it was our 5th cruise with Thomsons and we knew from past experiences that we were going to have a great time. The first day was great even though we hit a storm but was only a small storm, the bar's throughout the ship were all full but everyone was enjoying themselves the first day we got ashore went smoothly, got back on board but the restaurant was no longer self service and even the napkins were now paper serviettes, we could not touch anything even salt were small salt packets, I thought the ship was preparing for stormy weather as this is how we used to prepare our selves in the RN , but later I learn it was because of the stomach virus going about. The next couple of days we were careful and enjoying ourselves, the bar's, the casino the shows, all excellent entertainment, I must say everything was as we expected, until I became poorly, the morning we docked in Venice I reported to the medical center and my wife and I were quarantined for 24 hours, no VENICE for us, the next day I was still poorly so it was now a further 12 hours, 36 hours in total missed out on 2 visits and when we were released still not feeling fit but stomach ok, 3 days later we were really looking forward to home. The medical staff were excellent everything was done to try and keep it under control, but it was mainly the passengers NOT washing there hands as requested. "
- Travel date: 3rd August 2016
"I have been cruising since 2005 using what was described as the easy going type cruise. I've used Thomsons ships, Island Escape,The Spirit & Celebration. As always there are things that could be better, I've always enjoyed my time on my many cruise itineraries. I have got into a habit of pre booking a cabin, picking a quiet location, this year a big mistake. I've just return from a 2 week holiday on the celebration, my worst holiday in many years. It seems that cabin 562 is directly under the galley and to make it even worse the bakery. So not only do they work all day but as a bakery all night as well . I can only describe the noise like a train running across the cabin ceiling. I continually complained, with no chance to move cabin as the ship was full ! While the staff seemed to do what they could , I was told we need bread. So we had very little or no sleep for 7 nights before a cabin move a spoil holiday. I since seen other reviews going back to 2011 with exactly the same complaints. It seems that Thomson are not bothered about the customer just the money knowing they are about to spoil someone's holiday. I received Â£168 on the ship as compensation. I would have much sooner had sleep and a relaxing holiday, it was little in terms of what I feel I missed from a holiday. SO PLEASE BE WARNED CABIN 562."
- Travel date: 31st July 2016
enjoyed majesty better
"Flight good transfer to ship a bit slow road problems at port 2hour wait on coach with 8 coaches in Que no explanation no water very bad cabin nice, cabin staff very good, staff not as friendly as majesty, food good, waiter service in restaurant very good Roberto and his team, entertainment team good, not so sure of entertainment manager, shows canceled times changed without warning not good, not so much going on as majesty entertainment many times nothing on no bar waiter service on sun deck or adult pool deck poor enjoyed cruise but would not do celebration again hope when majesty goes replacement will be just as friendly, one more yo,ri am diabetic and soft drinks limited to coke light no light upright or light Fanta, as government is promoting sugar free Thomson should take lead, toilets in public areas many problems often not working."
- Travel date: 15th July 2016
"Have just returned from our first cruise on the Thomson Celebration Adriatic Experience from Dubrovnik, could not find fault with anything at all, we had an inside cabin, compact but more than adequate and kept in immaculate condition by our lovely cabin steward Lanlan, meridian restaurant is superb, staff throughout the ship went above and beyond at all times, but I must give a special thank you to Elmer our waiter at the pool bar on the promenade deck, he was always so friendly could remember our names within 2 days and his service was second to none, he made our holiday. Cannot wait to book our next trip, "
- Travel date: 2nd July 2016
New name for old ship
"All I can say is this is the worst ship I have ever been on!!! It was more like HMS Butlins! The cabins were the same the entertainment the same and the passengers the same. Yes if you love Butlins you will love this ship but more like a ferry HMS Butlins."
- Travel date: 16th April 2016
A great sailaway
"Just back from our third trip on this boat. It is the friendliest place with superb food and entertainment. The Show team perform each night in the Broadway lounge and they are extremely professional. One particular evening was devoted to the shows put on by Cameron Macintosh over the years. It was brilliant. Dan as Fagin and then later as Inspector Javer was as good as anyone we have seen in the West end. The whole team lead by Paul, the entertainment manager were really very good. People say service is slow in the restaurant but we didn't find it too bad. Let's face it you are on holiday and don't want to rush. The portions are not large but 4 courses and coffee were ample - and l like my food!! There are lots of other entertainment venues, something for everyone. Our cabin steward was such a great person. He looked after our comfortable cabin very well. Thanks Komang. Thanks again Thomson."
- Travel date: 21st March 2016
Ship Great- Thomson pre-cruise booking a total shambles
"We have cruised many times before on various cruise lines including 3 times with Thomson, and always had no problems. Firstly let me say the cruise Paradise Islands and Tropical Delights (Caribbean- 24 Jan 2016 - 7 Feb 2016) was fabulous. The ship small and friendly; staff all well trained and friendly whether reception staff- a big thank you to 'Bricks' and Johnny for sorting out our issues; cabin stewards- thank you Leah; waiting staff; entertainment good; fun cruise director- a captain with good social skills; food very good. My partner and I are both on gluten free diets for medical reasons and we were very well catered for with gluten free bread; crackers; muffins; scones and cookies for tea and lots of choices on the menu. Spoke to the chef who said they do not use flour to thicken sauces or gravies. Items on the menu and in the restaurants are labelled GF and if you are not sure you can always ask. They say will make you anything if you don't see anything you like, but we never had to. We were in cabin 084 a deluxe on deck 8 which was large had plenty of storage space and had been recently refurbished, with a bath and shower; a minibar (necessary for medications - the cheaper grades of cabin do not have them) and bathrobes. All cabins have hairdryer and tea/coffee facilities. This cabin has a lifeboat outside the windows but didn't entirely block the view outside. Unfortunately Thomson pre-cruise department is useless. We had paid the extra Â£42 to reserve a specific cabin, which had been recommended by them as we didn't want an obstructed view. We were allocated a completely different cabin, despite having paperwork confirming our cabin number. It seems that Thomson do not pass this information onto the ship; nor the fact that we had explained we were on special diets; and neither that I had paid for a gluten -free celebration cake for my partner- despite being charged for it quickly enough. Fortunately the reception staff, gave us a refund of monies on both accounts, and also offered us a room change at the end of the first week (it was full for the first week) and also offered us a meal in one of the specialty restaurants for no charge which we accepted. Ate in Kora-La the Asian restaurant and it was fabulous- you can create you own curry! We decided in the end not to change room as we were actually quite happy with the one we were in and didn't want the hassle of packing, moving and unpacking again. This problem with cabin allocation seems quite common so Thomson should be aware and should sort the problem out in the UK not leave it for the ship staff to sort out. Booked a late check out room which was worth the Â£35 to have a room until 3pm. Had to move cabin and were given 0351 an inside cabin, which was perfectly adequate and had also been refurbished. There is lots of up selling on board whether for photos; drinks packages or the specialty restaurants. This is not exclusive to Thomson's- other cruise- lines do it too- you can always just say no. The drinks seemed about normal pub prices. "
- Travel date: 10th February 2016
"We have just returned from our first ever cruise which was on the Thomson Celebration. Our cruise was for two weeks, Adriatic Affair and Grecian Legends. We booked a Balcony Suite which was on Deck 9 and although this cost us quite a bit more we found it well worth the money. The pools were constantly busy so we found the best time for a swim was later in the day. All the food was excellent and the A la cart restaurants were very good. The staff were very good. Cabins were well attended. All the shows were excellent and overall we had a great time and would recommend this holiday. "
- Travel date: 30th August 2015
And I thought the wives cooking was bad.
"Ship is fine,once you get used to the vibration .Staff are friendly and efficient,Cabins are fine along with a decent shower and kept immaculate. Entertainment is decent. Thomson have now embarked on squeezing you for cash once on board ,from front seats in the theater to buses to take you out of port into town . The food is now very poor however ,mostly cheap cuts and little or no variety takes ages to be served in restaurant with the food often congealing on plate.Â£10 Extra for a cheap supermarket steak with wait for it.....4 chips. Breakfast is the same every day with poor selection of fruit on offer. Lunch is again nothing to be excited about so don't bother. Dinner although 4 courses any fatties you won't gain weight as portions are child like.Stews are often thick and cloying with the same gravy sauce used on most things .Soups are surprisingly good however. Sweets are mostly manufactured elsewhere defrosted and again bland ,for a gastronomic experience give this a miss. Plenty cocktails on menu but don't get excited, again they use the cheapest of ingredients to maximize profit. Would we cruise with them again ......nah profit before customer one step to far on the catering and drink."
- Travel date: 14th August 2015
Thomson Cruse & Memories DIY DVD 20015
" Thomson cruise & memories diy DVD the cruise was fantastic , so was staff, flight, food and itinerary. Sunbeds were marshaled a bit, the staff canât help greedy holiday makers who wonât share the sunbed. But Â£15 buys you a second rate memories DVD. The DVD i have is pix elated, the sound track is cheesy to say the least, itâs really not worth the money. After complaining about its quality to Thomson they would not refund the cost as they say its not damaged. I disagree as its pix elated so its unwatchable. So make sure you view before buying or you could be stuck with a rubbish DVD of your cruise in you bin and Â£15 of your money in their pocket. Oh and if you do have a complaint donât hold your breath as after care is rubbish. "
- Travel date: 8th May 2015
"THOMSON CELEBRATION" - 25/4 - 7/5/2015
"We have just returned from a wonderful cruise from the Canaries through to Dubrovnik. We opted for a smaller ship and although 'Celebration' is getting on a bit were rewarded by a small and friendly ship with a deck all the way round. The Captain was very charismatic but totally professional and his crew and all the staff so friendly and helpful without exception. On this boat there was something for everyone whatever your taste. We were blessed by hot and sunny weather and a sea that at times was like glass. The excursions we went on were all efficiently arranged and executed (especially the train link to Rome). The entertainers worked so hard and the choreography and costumes were amazing. There were no repeat performances during our 12 days. REQUEST FOR PHOTOS!!! Our experience was definitely one to remember but unfortunately my camera broke 2 days into the holiday. If anyone on this trip would be happy to e-mail me some pictures of the highlights I would be very grateful. E-mail: [email protected] Joyce "
- Travel date: 8th May 2015
Fly cruise around the carribean
"Just arrived back off the celebration deck 7 room 125. Wow wow wow wow wow amazing loved every second the staff are the sweetest the ship is fab and spotless Nicki and her dance crew are tops, we just loved the cocktails and the food was first class in fact just booked to go again at Xmas that's how good it was. Take no notice of any negative comments I'm very fussy and could not fault a thing thank you all right from booking stage to the fab Dream liner flight home you excelled yourselves well done you all work so hard. Get out there and book up you'll love every second we certainly did just what you need wall to wall sunshine in January sheer bliss."
- Travel date: 5th February 2015