Marella Cruises, what does ‘all inclusive’ include?
In September 2018 I took my first Marella cruise. I knew that the line offered ‘all inclusive’ cruises but I honestly had no idea what this meant. Every day of the cruise I was surprised when I realised that another thing I’d pay extra for on another cruise line was included in Marella’s cruise fare.
All inclusive makes booking a cruise so easy, you pay your cruise fare and that’s it. Done!
During this post I will talk about:
- Which ships are all inclusive
- Included restaurants
- Included drinks
- What isn’t included and extra costs
Which ships are all inclusive?
Currently all inclusive is offered only on the Marella Discovery, Marella Discovery 2, Marella Explorer and the Marella Explorer 2. You can’t book these ships as anything other than all-inclusive.
When are Marella Dream and Marella Celebration going all inclusive?
The Marella Dream and Marella Celebration will be joining in May 2019 meaning that all Marella ships will be all inclusive as standard. I think this a great move as it makes it so much simplier!
Do you have to pay tips and gratuities on Marella Cruises?
No! All the tips and gratuities are included in your cruise fare. Gratuities will never be added on at restaurants or at the bar. There is no pressure to tip any extra at all. In fact, I would say it isn’t encouraged. When given a receipt in a speciality restaurant there won’t be a line to write an extra tip, the receipt instead will say ‘remember, all tips are included’.
What drinks are included?
Draught beers and cider, wine by the glass, spirits and aperitifs, cocktails, soft drinks, cocktails and fruit juice. I will be uploading the full list and all menus soon. I was SO impressed with the number of drinks that were included. Every cocktail I could name was on the included list.
Having a drink was one of my favourite free things to do onboard the Marella Discovery. Here are 7 more: Marella Discovery – 8 free ‘must do’ activities.
What else is included?
Your cruise fare covers your onboard accommodation, meals in a variety of restaurants and entertainment while onboard. The fare also includes return flights (Unless of course, you don’t want this, then you can book cruise only). Marella also includes coach transfers and port taxes in their cruise fare.
What restaurants are included on the Marella Discovery?
Not all Marella ships have the restaurants below, this bit is based on my experience of the Marella Discovery.
47° is the main restaurant onboard the Marella Discovery. We ate here loads of times and never had a bad meal. The dress code is ‘smart’ and men are asked to wear a polo shirt or collared shirt. The dress code seems pretty relaxed and the atmosphere in the restaurant was always friendly. You could happily eat here every day of the cruise. The restaurant is also open for lunch during sea days.
Gallery 47° is the top level of the main dining room on the right-hand side. It has a different menu from the rest of the downstairs restaurant but isn’t too different. The menu is Italian and the food was good. A great alternative to the main dining room if you fancy something slightly different.
This one is a personal favourite of mine and also mentioned on my 8 free ‘must do’ Marella Discovery activities list. The Snack Shack is a place to get grab and go food that is decorated with brightly coloured beach huts and seats. It serves hot dogs, burgers, chicken wings, fish and chips and loads more! There are sandwiches and wraps ready to grab and go at any time as well as cookies, brownies and fruits.
Big buffet spreads are laid out in this restaurant, with show-cooking stations on-hand to offer things like breakfast omelettes, and carvery roasts in the evening. You can grab snacks in between meals, too.
The thing that I liked most about the buffet was that it very rarely closed. I like to be able to eat almost 24/7 so this made me happy! The food here was good, nothing incredible but nothing bad at all.
The glass house is a restaurant located by the inside pool. During the day you can grab ‘deli-style’ bites here such as wraps and smoothies. This starts at 11 am and continues until 6 pm.
In the evening the place transforms into a restaurant which serves Tapas, Pizza and hot stone cooking. (There is a charge for cooking on hot stones, I will be reviewing this in my speciality dining review post coming soon).
Marella Discovery Tip
Have a flatbread pizza.
They have a few options on the menu as well as a ‘create your own’ option. I try to avoid dairy so took the cheese off of my pizza each time that we visited. They also give you bread baskets here before your meal that are AMAZING. Jono and I managed to eat a whole bread basket each before our pizzas came.
What is included on Marella Cruises for kids?
Kids clubs are included on all of the Marella ships. They hold activities like face painting, pyjama parties, quizzes, movie nights and Wii challenges. Children’s menus are also included in all of the restaurants and kids can use cots and high chairs anytime without any charge.
What isn’t covered?
As on most cruise lines, Wi-Fi isn’t included as standard. I actually really enjoy not having Wi-Fi as it gives me an opportunity to really relax. You can buy Wi-Fi onboard if you’d like to but I probably wouldn’t bother if I didn’t have the blog to keep up with!
All excursions cost extra. I was really impressed with the cost of Marella’s excursions. Most half day tours that we booked were around the £30-£40 mark which is REALLY competitive compared to other cruise lines. We also booked one of Marella’s bike tours which they run in almost every port. During these tours, you use bikes that Marella keep onboard and I would definitely recommend it.
There are a few speciality restaurants onboard which cost extra. We tried almost all of the speciality restaurants onboard and were really impressed with all of them. I will be bringing you a full speciality dining review so watch this space!
The speciality restaurants are:
- Surf and Turf
- Kora la
- Hot stones at the glass house
- Sushi bar
Spa treatments are not included in your cruise fare and neither is access to the spa.
There is an extra charge for room service onboard. I rarely use this so that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. It is pretty common for this to cost extra on cruises.
Below is me enjoying my balcony cabin!
The mini bar isn’t included and neither is bottled water, again this is rarely included on cruises. Even on some of the bigger lines like NCL bottled water isn’t included in the most expensive alcoholic beverage package. A bottle of water only costs 80p on Marella though, so I don’t think that’s too big a deal.
Is a Marella cruise good value?
I thought that the Marella cruise I went on was really good value. It is totally possible to get a Marella cruise for £100 a night and considering this includes accommodation, transport, drinks, entertainment and food I think this is great. I can’t think of another cruise line that offers value quite like Marella, I’ve certainly never been on a cruise line where so much is Included in the cruise fare. The only cruise line that has, in my opinion, come close is Viking but they’re much more expensive than Marella cruises.
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Braving the Shave for Macmillan Cancer Support
This is a bit of strange thing to write but… I shaved my head onboard the Marella Discovery. Crazy! The passengers of the Marella Discovery raised an amazing £1500. We have raised £4800 in total! Thanks so much to Marella who organised this and thank you to the passengers of the Marella Discovery who were a fabulous audience!