Marella Spirit

Marella Cruises

Marella Spirit Overview

The Marella Spirit is the longest-serving member of the Marella Cruises fleet, and is more popular than ever before right now. Smaller than the larger counterparts, the ship comes with a homely feeling that makes it seem more personable and perfect for those looking for a quieter, more secluded getaway. Once you step on-board the Spirit, the crew does their best to make you feel like part of the family immediately. By the time you leave, you won’t want to say goodbye.

Like all Marella Cruises, the Spirit comes with fine dining, award-winning bars, swimming, and a fantastic Oceans Gym with beautiful views that will make you enjoy working out each morning. Pick between different style cabins that accommodate parties of all sizes, as well as different food styles that are sure to satisfy your taste buds.

As for entertainment, enjoy nightly shows at the Broadway-style venue, cabaret performances, live music throughout the different bars, and a fun daytime program that includes something for both adults and kids.

Ship history

The MS Marella Spirit is a cruise ship owned by Holland America Line, operated under UK-based Marella Cruises. Built in 1983 at the Chantiers de ‘Atlantique shipyard in France for Holland America Line as the MS Nieuw Amsterdam, between 2000 and 2001, the ship was renamed the MS Patriot. In 2002, after sailing to the U.S., the ship returned under Holland American Line ownership back to its Nieuw Amsterdam title, but was not used in service. Chartered to Louis Cruise Lines shortly thereafter, who sub-chartered the ship to Thomson Cruises (now Marella Cruises), in 2003, she was officially named the MS Spirit, which she now remains as today.

The Marella Spirit is equipped with 10 decks, 627 cabins, 4 restaurants, 6 bars, 2 pools, and 7 lifts. It is considerably smaller than the Marella Explorer and Discovery lines.

Key details

  • Crew: 520 Passengers: 1254
  • Pools: 2 Spa
  • Launch Year 1983
  • Registry Malta
  • Cabins 627
  • Decks 10

About Marella Spirit

Things to do

Where else can you watch a show, right on-board, at the Broadway Show Lounge? This 2-story show lounge is one of the biggest spaces available on a ship today, with comedy acts flown in from the U.K. while you are on-board. There are also West End-style production numbers, acrobatic routines, and musical performances that will have you thinking you’re on Broadway.

Of course, the Spirit is equipped with a variety of bars, most notably the Lido Bar where deck parties, quizzes, and cooking demos take place. There’s also the High Spirits, a traditional lounge located right in the heart of the ship, hosting bingo and other evening games every night for you to take part in. Don’t forget to hang around and listen to the live music! Or, if you’re ready to try your luck, head on over to the casino, equipped with roulette and blackjack tables, fruit machines, and a fully stocked bar that is popular with the night-time crowd. You can even sign up for beginner’s casino game lessons if you want to know more about the sport.

If you’re after a calmer night, head over to the cinema and snuggle down for 3-daily showings of modern classic movies, all situated in a 200-seater cinema.

Lastly, don’t forget about the Oceans Spa and Beauty Salon, where you can treat yourself to a haircut, manicure, or pedicure. Talk with beauty consultants to learn more about what you can do with your appearance. There’s also an Oceans Gym that will help you get up and get moving each day, feeling your very best for the poolside relaxation that awaits you.

Cabins

The Marella Spirit comes with a variety of cabin options and layouts to suit any budget and party size. Their two most popular cabin bookings include:

  • Suite Cabin with Premier Service: The suite cabin comes with a king sized bed and separate lounge area, equipped with a sofa bed, table, and chairs. The picture window lets light flood each room in the mornings, saddled with calm colours and wooden furnishings that give it a mellow and laid back ambience. The en suite bathroom has a shower over the bath, a water closet, a minibar, and bathrobes so you can unwind after rinsing yourself off. Some cabins can have an obstructed view as a result of the lifeboats, so be sure to check ahead of time.
  • Decks 7 and 8 Outside Cabin: The outside cabin rooms have a porthole so you can benefit from sea views, as well as two twin sized beds that can be pushed together to create a full queen sized bed. There is extra wardrobe space for laying out your things, an en suite bathroom, a shower, and a water closet. All rooms are noticeably spacious and perfect for travellers of every variety.

Since Marella Cruises does their best to accommodate different party sizes, there are also solo traveller cabins designed for just one person, as well as family suites that can make it easy for larger parties to stay together.

Food & drink

The Marella Spirit does not disappoint when it comes to its food and drink selection. Here are some of the most favourable places on-board:

  • 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 your very eyes.
  • The Compass Rose Restaurant: This is the most elegant dining establishment on the ship, serving breakfast, lunch, and a multi-course dinner with exceptional waiter service. Situated in an airy restaurant with open seating policies, you can dine when and where you want. The menu includes fan favourites like glazed duck and roast lamb.
  • Sirocco’s A La Carte Restaurant: If you want a really special evening, one filled with award-winning dining, make your way over to Sirocco’s where you can sink your teeth into the likes of lobster thermidor. Enjoy attentive water service in a sophisticated service. Do note: this restaurant does require reservations ahead of time.
  • Mezzanine Bar & Lounge: Get your pre-dinner drinks before the nightly entertainment, choosing from a variety of specialty cocktails made right there with you.
  • Raffles Bar: Inspired after Raffles, Singapore, this bar is a welcoming place to meet up with friends before or after dinner. Chit chat and learn more about the day while you sit back and melt into the sunset with a drink in hand.

Destinations

Marella Spirit is no longer part of the Marella fleet as of 21st October 2018.

 

Marella Spirit traveller reviews

Absolutely fantastic

4
Good
by
Reviewed Sat 19th of November 2016

"Arrived home from our first ever cruise, we had the best time, we stayed in an inside cabin as we wasn't sure what type of cabin etc to go for! Nothing wrong with the cabin, plenty big enough, double bed, enough room and wardrobe space for two and as we sailed only after dark, every night there wasn't much to see anyway, it was clean and the cleaning staff really looked after everyone, they were chatty and welcoming.
The food was good, tried the Lido buffet, the grill and the compass rose restaurant and had no complaint what's so ever, you can eat for 15 hours a day solid with plenty of choice. We upgraded to the All Inclusive package and it's well worth it even if you don't drink alcohol as it includes coffee, latte, alcohol free cocktails too. The service was unbelievable, from all staff, we didn't come across anyone who wasn't helpful, happy and smiling, they all work long, long hours and will have a little fun with you if you welcome it, the entertainment team were amazing, we watched shows in the Broadway lounge with singing and dancing, which were really good, they brought in comedians, a different one each week, in the High spirits bar the entertainment never stopped from lunchtime til the early hours of the night, the staff in there were great especially Nenita, she has a really good Yorkshire accent!
The ship itself is small and getting dated but still good, that's not a complaint because I'd go back tomorrow but I suspect newer ships to be more up to date but I still can't get over how hard the staff worked to give you a fantastic holiday. "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 19th of November 2016

Rating breakdown

  • 4 Room
  • 3 Pool
  • 5 Service
  • 5 Value
  • 5 Food
  • 5 Cleanliness

Stayed on better cruise ships for the same money.

2
Poor
by
Reviewed Tue 16th of August 2016

"We booked a double room,ended up with singles that could not be put together.Bathroom was really tired and dirty in some areas.Food was quite acceptable,being a fussy eater I found plenty to eat.Staff were constantly going around asking if you wanted another drink.No sooner you finished your meal they took your plate.The ship is very tired could do with a massive overhaul,the swimming pool isn't worth talking about.Any one with a bad back should not travel,as the vibrations play havoc.Other cruise ships offer more at about the same price or a little more."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 15th of August 2016

Rating breakdown

  • 2 Room
  • 1 Pool
  • 3 Service
  • 2 Value
  • 3 Food
  • 2 Cleanliness

EXCELLENT VALUE FOR MONEY

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed Fri 22nd of July 2016

"We read the reviews before going on our cruise so went with an open mind. The Ship does not look tired, the food choices were unbelievable, the staff were very attentive and the choice of entertainment so varied, how could you not enjoy it. We stopped at some very nice places, some not so pretty but it's personal choice. I wonder what some people expect for their money and how many different choices of food they get at home each meal time."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 21st of July 2016

Rating breakdown

  • 5 Room
  • 5 Pool
  • 5 Service
  • 5 Value
  • 5 Food
  • 5 Cleanliness

Tired ship

4
Good
by
Reviewed Mon 23rd of May 2016

" Regardless of other travelers negative remarks the food was good. Not sure where the courgettes with everything was being served. There was a good selection of All veg including broccoli carrots peas sweet corn etc etc.
The compass Rose was very good the buffet was also. Didn't try the Sirocco as it was extra.
Cabin was tired to say the least especially the shower room. Having said that it was clean there were toiletries and the water was always hot. The cabin staff were excellent.
Entertainment was also excellent again regardless of some negative comments. It was varied and for amateurs very well presented.
Outside space was the most disappointing part of the ship. Very cramped sometimes difficult to find a seat let alone a sunbed. Lido café outside was very good for midday snacks/meals.
Trips were good although I was unable to do a couple as they were classed as active. Ephesus was very enjoyable so was Sicily. My last trip was cancelled due to lack of interest.
Overall a good holiday but would not go on Spirit again but would definitely go with Thomsons and I have cruised with two other different cruise companies.

If people want top class cruises they need to come up with the readies asked for those type of ships! "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 22nd of May 2016

Rating breakdown

  • 3 Room
  • 2 Pool
  • 4 Service
  • 4 Value
  • 4 Food
  • 5 Cleanliness

AWFUL

1
Awful
by
Reviewed Wed 11th of May 2016

"If you like the following:
• poor food & choice (carrots & courgettes with every type of meal including curry)
• wooden sticks instead of tea spoons to stir your tea/coffee
• a ship that shudders with constant vibration on all decks even when not moving
• a very hard bed
• sometimes only cold water in bathroom
• loos that refuse to flush until some considerable time after you press the button
• worn, dimly lit cabins
• paying an excess for some coffees, drinks and all water even when you have bought a drinks package
• very loud music and announcements (they must think everyone is deaf)
• paying £23 to use the safe (after being told when booking that it was free)
• poor value rushed excursions, Thomson staff disinterested when complaints raised
• poor repetitive entertainment, not West End standard as advertised
• badly dressed impolite passengers at dinner
• a small cramped sun deck, tiny pool
• leaving port early after noon
• your photo taken every day including during excursions
• Captains Gala Night with introduction to senior officers who say nothing, and yet another 3 photo ‘opportunities’ which took 45 minutes out of the 1 hour event
then cruise on this one star ship.
The only good point of this ship is the excellent staff. The best part of the holiday was leaving the ship and coming home.
For the money we paid we would have received much better value with another cruise line.
"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 10th of May 2016

Impressed

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed Wed 11th of November 2015

"My wife and I 1st Time, utterly impressed, Waiter and Wine service at dinner. Like a thing from the past. Downtown Abbey,Lady Mary.eat your heart out. will definitely go again on the Spirit."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 11th of November 2015

Rating breakdown

  • 5 Room
  • 3 Pool
  • 5 Service
  • 5 Value
  • 5 Food
  • 5 Cleanliness

Black Sea cruise

3
Average
by
Reviewed Thu 10th of September 2015

"Although we knew the spirit was the oldest boat in the fleet there was still no excuse for some of the repairs . The lido deck pool tiles were broken and sharp and the small pool next to it was rarely clean. When we arrived on the ship we were given a room with two single beds in that couldn't be pushed together even though we had booked a double. We were told they were sailing at full capacity and couldn't be moved . After complaining they eventually moved us . Under duress to a room where we could sleep together. After talking to some of the passengers who had been on board the previous week and were on their second week ,told us they had been offered room upgrades . I think Thomson are taking double money for these rooms letting customers pay on line and then upgrading existing customers on board so when the new passengers arrive they are downgraded from what they've paid for. I was disgusted by the way I was treated by the reception staff. Even though they refunded the difference in price I would of preferred the room I had originally paid for. The serving staff on this trip make your holiday especially the casino staff who were lovely. The food was nice but nothing special. Deck space is extremely limited and the pools very small . The entertainment was good but got a bit samey just being like a Broadway sing show 7 nights . Not much for a younger crowd or enough variety . Although the comedian we had one night was brilliant. Would I cruise with Thomson again .. Maybe but not on the spirit too small and too old reminded me of a rusty ferry. Thank god the weather was good ."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 10th of September 2015

Rating breakdown

  • 2 Room
  • 1 Pool
  • 5 Service
  • 4 Food
  • 2 Cleanliness

Fantastic cruise brilliant staff and crew

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed Mon 10th of August 2015

"The ship was clean our cabin was cleaned thoroughly by refine and Joefrey couldn't do enough for you. Reception very helpful cruise director Paul Evans Evans was excellent entertainment excellent especially top man and max and Brandi. Compass rose excellent never had to wait for a table. Drinks were never far away on the top decks waiters and waitress came round continually to make sure you had everything you needed.
This was our 6th cruise with Thomson will see you again next year can't wait!!!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 9th of August 2015

penny pinching thomson cruise

3
Average
by
Reviewed Mon 3rd of August 2015

"just comeback from a Thomson cruise round the Ageon sea turkey and Greece
this is are sixth cruise and I think Thomsons are going downhill, first of all the compass rose restaurant was terrible very poor menu everybody was complain, was told by one chef they were on a budget,four dishes to pick from all poor and below the menu it says rib eye steak £9.99 sirloin £9,99 anything decent you have to pay extra they were penny pinching all the time, one 8x6 photo £25. all the ships crew and staff were brilliant.the self service lido restaurant was pretty good.will be my last cruise with Thomsons


Brian"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 30th of July 2015

Rating breakdown

  • 4 Room
  • 5 Service
  • 3 Value
  • 4 Food
  • 4 Cleanliness

shambles

1
Awful
by
Reviewed Wed 15th of July 2015

"If you wish for a holiday with long queues, staff which are sacked by the end of the week and cabin which are are falling apart and dangerous then pick this holiday you will not be disappointed. Sorry forgot the rushed tours we encountered too."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 15th of July 2015

Rating breakdown

  • 1 Room
  • 1 Pool
  • 1 Service
  • 1 Value
  • 1 Food
  • 1 Cleanliness

good value for money

4
Good
by
Reviewed Thu 23rd of July 2015

"Lovely clean ship.excellent selection of food all day long.Staff lovely and very helpful at all times.we has an outside cabin on deck 4.which was a good size.and kept beautiful and clean by the cabin staff .we found all the staff ,waiter.s ,cabin crew,officers .very approachable at all times We have to point out that we have done around 12 cruises with Thomsons and this was our first time on this ship .The shows were absolutely fantastic some of the best we ever seen on any cruise ship.well done to each and every one .

Maureen and Len "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 9th of July 2015

Rating breakdown

  • 5 Room
  • 3 Pool
  • 5 Service
  • 5 Value
  • 5 Food
  • 5 Cleanliness

good value for money

4
Good
by
Reviewed Thu 23rd of July 2015

"Lovely clean ship.excellent selection of food all day long.Staff lovely and very helpful at all times.we has an outside cabin on deck 4.which was a good size.and kept beautiful and clean by the cabin staff .we found all the staff ,waiter.s ,cabin crew,officers .very approachable at all times We have to point out that we have done around 12 cruises with Thomsons and this was our first time on this ship .The shows were absolutely fantastic some of the best we ever seen on any cruise ship.well done to each and every one .

Maureen and Len "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 9th of July 2015

Rating breakdown

  • 5 Room
  • 3 Pool
  • 5 Service
  • 5 Value
  • 5 Food
  • 5 Cleanliness

Stayed on Marella Spirit? Share your insight.

Top traveller tips for Marella Spirit

  • "Amazing, best holiday we ever had…"

    Liz K by Liz K
  • "Book excursions before you leave the UK…"

    Sandy G by Sandy G
  • "All inclusive is worth the extra if you like a glass of wine or two or similar. Bottled water is expensive on the ship but is cheaper whilst on shore on a trip.…"

    Janice B by Janice B
  • "Take your booking form and check what room you have deinstalled booked . …"

    Cruieliner10 by Cruieliner10
  • "book an outside cabin…"

    Maureen W by Maureen W
  • "book an outside cabin…"

    Maureen W by Maureen W
  • "Just enjoy the whole experience what ever you do …"

    Gillian Y by Gillian Y
  • "Make sure you read the "in house" Cruise News to find out what's happening and where…"

    Cliff S by Cliff S
  • "Can be noisy - take some earplugs…"

    Active Pensioner by Active Pensioner
  • "Everything on board you need, great entertainment by very talented young people on the Thomson Team - led by Richard Cruise Director…"

    Maureen B by Maureen B
  • "Avoid spirit,the vibrations affect the whole ship.…"

    Browntodd by Browntodd
  • "Take a nap during the day to enjoy the nightly entertainment.…"

    Charmaine F by Charmaine F
  • "Dress in a germ proof suit …"

    mckellarmeg by mckellarmeg
  • "Bring a corkscrew and buy a couple of bottles onshore.…"

    Jonathan S by Jonathan S
  • "book your excursions once on board as there is so much to see and do on the ship that you might want to change your mind and not do an excursion…"

    Barbara G by Barbara G
  • "the entertainment team, the shows etc.…"

    johnno by johnno
  • "Take loose clothing as the food is just fabulous.…"

    Norman S by Norman S
  • "Bring back the 'frills'…"

    Hodges by Hodges
  • "go to the live shows in broadway…"

    oceandawn by oceandawn
  • "Read the Cruise News that is delivered daily so you don't miss any of the activities or shows that you want to do/see…"

    Nikki W by Nikki W