If you’re booking a cruise on Marella Explorer, you’ve got some big decisions to make. Once the date and itinerary are nailed down, you’ll then need to choose which cabin you want for your cruise.
Your cabin won’t usually make-or-break your cruise, but it’s still important. You need to find the right one for your budget, and that fits the type of experience you’re hoping to enjoy, but if you don’t have one that’s absolutely perfect, you can still have a fantastic holiday.
And yet, there are some cabins best avoided. Whether due to their position on the ship, or some other strange ship design reason, there are a handful of cabins that may put a bit of a dampener on your overall cruise.
Which is why I’ve put this guide together. I’ll take you through all of the cabin choices on Marella Explorer, and let you know the cabins that, depending on you and what you want from your break, you may wish to steer clear of when you book your sailing.
Cabin Types on Marella Explorer
There are four main types of cabins on Marella Explorer and several sub-categories within those.
- Inside – including Family Inside and Single Inside
- Outside – including Large Outside and Single Outside
- Balcony – including Large Balcony and Family Balcony
- Suites – Junior Suites and Executive Suites
Let’s take a closer look at each of these in turn, so that you fully understand the options available to you.
Marella Explorer has four main types of Inside Cabin for you to choose from:
|Cabin||Size||Sleeps up to|
|Inside Cabin – 2 berth||16 square metres||2|
|Inside Cabin – 4 berth||16 square metres||4|
|Family Inside||19 square metres||5|
|Single Inside Cabin||16 square metres||1*|
Inside Cabins are the smallest and cheapest options for accommodation on Marella Explorer, just like they are for any other cruise ship. They’re great if you’re trying to stick to a budget, or if you just don’t plan on seeing your cabin much, beyond sleeping and showering.
There are several options on Marella Explorer, including some that sleep two guests and some that sleep up to four, using fold-down beds. There are two types of fold-down beds on cruise ships – those where they sit against the wall and those that are hidden in the ceiling. Marella Explorer has the latter, which is better, since it means they don’t take up space in the room when not in use.
The Family Inside Cabins on Marella Explorer are rare – it’s not often you’ll find any cruise ship cabin that sleeps five guests, especially an Inside one. If you want a cheaper holiday with the clan then these are a fantastic choice – you get a queen-sized bed, a separate sleeping area with a double sofa bed, and a single fold-down bed.
A quick note on the Single Inside cabin as well – it’s not strictly a different cabin type, even though Marella Cruises labels it as its own cabin.
By that, I mean you actually get a standard Inside Cabin, with two twin beds that can be converted into a queen-sized bed (and why wouldn’t you?). But you will pay a single passenger rate. Technically these rooms could sleep two, but you can’t get away with booking a Single room and bringing someone with you!
There are four main types of Outside Cabin on Marella Explorer:
|Cabin||Size||Sleeps up to|
|Outside Cabin – 2 berth||17 square metres||2|
|Outside Cabin – 4 berth||17 square metres||4|
|Large Outside Cabin||20 square metres||4|
|Single Outside Cabin||17 square metres||1*|
Outside Cabins are a step up from Inside Cabins – they cost a little more, but in exchange, you get a small view and some natural light, which can be helpful for knowing the time of day without having to check your phone screen. Being able to focus on a point on the horizon can also help some people who suffer from seasickness.
The Outside Cabins on Marella Explorer either come with a porthole or a picture window. It’s better to get one with a picture window if you can – the portholes are small and don’t give you much of a view, or let in much natural light.
Again, there are some that sleep two guests and some that have fold-down beds for up to four guests in total.
The Large Outside Cabins all have a picture window, and they’re just slightly larger versions of the same room. If you value extra storage space or just more room to walk around your bed, these are a good option.
And yes, again, the Single Outside Cabins are just regular Outside Cabins sold at a special price for solo travellers. So you technically have the option of having the bed as a twin or as a queen-sized bed. I know what I would pick.
There are three different types of Balcony Cabin on Marella Explorer:
|Cabin||Size||Sleeps up to|
|Balcony Cabin||17 square metres||2|
|Balcony Cabin (Large Balcony)||16 square metres||2|
|Family Balcony Cabin||20 square metres||5|
Balcony Cabins are those where you have a private balcony area – somewhere you can sit outside and soak up the sea air and the view. It’s a lovely place to relax during the day, or to watch the sunrise or sunset (depending on which side of the ship you’re on).
The standard Balcony Cabins are the same size as an Outside Cabin, but that’s just the internal floorspace – the actual balconies aren’t included in the measurements provided by Marella. So you are still getting more space, but it’s all outside.
What’s unusual is that a Marella Explorer Large Balcony cabin is actually smaller inside!
With a Standard Balcony you get 17 square metres, whereas a Large Balcony has only 16 square metres! Any extra space you do get is outside.
And then you have a Family Balcony Cabin, which can sleep up to five people – they have a double bed, a double sofa bed and a fold-down bed. They’d be a bit cosy for five adults/teens but would be a good choice for younger families.
Premier Service is the name given to a set of extra perks that some guests on Marella Cruises can enjoy. They’re sort of like suite perks that you’d get on some other cruise ships. However, I’ve included them here because they’re not just available with suites – you also get them if you book a Family Balcony Cabin.
Also, the Premier Service benefits aren’t a huge list of perks. In fact, you only get two benefits from rooms with the service:
- Free pressing service for up to 3 items of clothing per guest, in the first 24 hours of your cruise only
- Free continental breakfast in bed for each person, once per week
The pressing service is handy if you’re worried about bringing your formal wear onto the ship in a neat state, and the breakfast in bed is nice to enjoy on a lazier morning, but neither are services you couldn’t also enjoy for a small fee.
There are two types of suites on Marella Explorer:
|Cabin||Size||Sleeps up to|
|Balcony Junior Suite||22 square metres||3|
|Executive Suite||49 square metres||4|
If you want the very best accommodation on a cruise ship, you’re going to want to look at the suites. And that’s the same with Marella Explorer – although there are only two suite categories to choose from.
Balcony Junior Suites
A Balcony Junior Suite is simply a larger version of a regular Balcony Cabin, although remember you also get the Premier Service perks as well. The room has a queen-sized bed and a single sofa bed, making these the only Marella Explorer 3 berth cabin you can book. The spacious balcony has plenty of space to unwind, too.
The Executive Suites are the best rooms on the ship. They are more than twice the size of a Balcony Junior Suite, with a separate bedroom and living area. They sleep up to four guests – the bedroom has a fixed queen-sized bed and the sofa is a double sofa bed. Again, the Premier Service is included.
Adapted Cabins on Marella Explorer
There are a handful of adapted cabins suitable for wheelchair users on Marella Explorer, even though they aren’t listed in the ship’s cabin information on the cruise line’s website. Instead, you need to find them on the deck plans – don’t worry, I’ve done it for you.
There is one Inside Cabin and seven Outside Cabins that are wheelchair accessible. They’re all on Deck 5, and they’re all larger than a standard room, although the actual floorspace isn’t published. As well as being wider, they have a fully adapted wet room.
If you need a wheelchair-friendly room be sure to specify that when you’re booking. Since there are only eight you should book your cruises as early as possible, to avoid disappointment.
How to Choose the Best Cabin
Choosing the best cabin on a cruise ship – whether that’s Marella Explorer or any other ship – gives you a lot to think about. You need to consider the size, the location, and any other little quirks that might either make or break your cruise getaway.
It’s a lot to remember, but to make it easier for you I’ve put together a handy checklist. You can refer back to this whenever you’re booking a cruise, and just work through it to make sure you don’t accidentally book a room that’s not suitable for you.
Just enter your name and email address and I’ll send it to you.
Cabins To Avoid on Marella Explorer
Here are the cabins you’ll want to consider avoiding on Marella Explorer. With some of the cabins, it depends on what kind of cruise passenger you are, while others are a more broad recommendation to steer clear.
1. Cabins with a porthole
4010, 4011, 5000, 5001, 5002, 5003, 5004, 5005, 5010, 5012, 5014, 5015, 5016, 5017, 5019, 5023
The Outside Cabins on Decks 4 and 5 are advertised as having either a picture window or a porthole, but the only way to know which one you’re getting is to check the deck plans and see which ones are marked as being a porthole. Otherwise, you could accidentally book one without knowing.
That list is all the cabins with a porthole and I’d suggest you avoid them. The portholes are small and don’t offer any kind of view, really, and they also limit the amount of natural light you’ll get in the room.
I’d suggest that it’s better to book a regular Inside Cabin than it is to book a porthole room – you won’t miss out on any of the benefits and you’ll save money too.
2. Deck 12 rooms if you get seasick
12000 to 12043
If you’re someone who is prone to feeling seasick then you should aim to avoid the highest cabins on a ship. You’ll feel the movement of the ocean more when you’re higher up, and that’s what triggers the feeling of sickness.
The highest rooms on Marella Explorer are on Deck 12, so if you think you might struggle with seasickness then I’d steer clear. Instead, aim to book a room on a lower deck in a mid-ship area. Being near the front or aft of the ship can also amplify the feeling.
The worst cabins are the Inside Cabins on Deck 12. Not only do you feel more movement, but because you’ve got no view you can’t just focus on the horizon – a helpful tip for controlling the feeling of motion.
3. Connecting cabins if you don’t need them
As well as having a selection of Family Inside and Family Balcony cabins on the ship, Marella Explorer has another option suitable for families and groups – connecting cabins. These work in the same way as connecting cabins on any other ship – side-by-side cabins with a door between them.
When you book just one connecting cabin, that door stays locked. But if you book both cabins, the door will be unlocked for you and you can open up the space to create a larger shared cabin, instead of two separate ones.
But if you are only booking one cabin, I’d avoid a connecting one. Yes, the door stays locked, but the door is thinner than a wall, and so you’ll hear more of what your neighbours are doing. If they argue or watch TV a little loud, it might disturb you.
4. Cabins next to a lift
4147, 8215, 9202, 9211, 10135, 12042, 12043
Having a cabin that’s near a lift can be a good thing or a bad thing. The positives are that you never have far to walk to be able to access any part of the ship. But then, because people are constantly walking past your cabin to get to the lifts, the corridors can be a little noisier, especially in the morning and at night when you might be trying to sleep.
However, there are a selection of cabins that aren’t just near a lift – they’re directly adjacent. And in those, there’s not just the risk of noise from people but also noise from the mechanics of the lifts themselves.
It’s hardly super loud, but you might be able to hear it, and if you’re a light sleeper you might find it annoying. The risk is low but if you do book one of these rooms, consider taking some earplugs just in case.
5. Cabins above the Broadway Show Lounge
8000 to 8069
The Broadway Show Lounge is situated towards the front of the ship on Deck 7 and it hosts a range of live performances throughout the cruise. The lounge is typically open from 5 pm until 11 pm.
There are cabins directly above though, and if you’re someone who enjoys an earlier bedtime, you might prefer to book a cabin elsewhere. Noise can seep through the floor, and while it will be muffled it can be distracting.
It’s not an issue if you’re someone who is up late, but it’s worth bearing in mind.
6. Cabins above the Squid & Anchor
8196 to 8269
The second live entertainment venue on the Marella Explorer is the Squid & Anchor, situated towards the aft of the ship on Deck 7. And so again, if you’re someone who prefers to be awake early and then asleep early, it might be best to book elsewhere.
Again, the shows don’t tend to run past 11 pm so it’s not super late. In fact, Marella Cruises tends to be one of the cruise lines that is a better choice for those going to bed earlier – there’s not a lot of noise past 11 pm across the ship.
Still, if you’re usually tucked up and asleep before 10 pm, find a quieter spot for your cabin.
7. Cabins directly under the pool area
10024 to 10065
Another noise-related one here but the opposite problem to the Broadway Show Lounge and Squid & Anchor – this is an important tip for those who prefer a lie-in in the morning.
The pool on Marella Explorer is situated on Deck 11 and it’s a popular spot – a lot of people who cruise with Marella enjoy spending their day lounging around, feeling the warm sun and sipping on cocktails. As such, pool loungers are in high demand.
And so people will often head to the pool deck early to grab one. Only, they’re tidied away, and then need to move them into place, which they sometimes do by dragging them across the wooden deck.
Yes, you can sometimes hear it if you’re staying in Marella Explorer cabins on Deck 10, and that low dragging growl can be annoying if you’re trying to snooze late.
The problem is worse with the Inside Cabins since they’re right underneath the sides of the pool – the Suites and Balcony Cabins are obviously at the sides of the ship and so loungers don’t tend to be dragged to those locations, but you might hear it faintly.
8. Inside Cabins when travelling with teens or adult groups
It’s not every cruise line that has Inside Cabins that are suitable for families. It’s not rare, but it’s certainly not something you’d find on every ship.
So for Marella Explorer to have 4-berth Inside Cabins, and Family Inside Cabins that sleep up to 5 guests, is pretty cool. Except that you should be careful booking them if you’re not travelling with younger kids.
The rooms aren’t huge. The Family Inside Cabins are decent, but the other Inside Cabins aren’t great and if you were considering booking them to take your teenagers or other adults with you, you won’t have much room.
If your kids are older, or you’re sailing with other adults. I’d look at connecting staterooms or one of the more spacious Marella Explorer 4 berth cabin options.
9. Large Balcony Cabins next to the kids’ pool
9242 and 9255
Deck 9 is where you’ll find the kids’ clubs on Marella Explorer, and also a dedicated pool just for the little ones. They’re situated right at the aft, with the sides of the balcony being close to the decking area for the kids’ pool
If travelling with kids then it’s a handy location but if you aren’t – or if you’ve packed the kids off to the M Club for the day – then the balcony is not the calmest. There will be kids having a splashing good time in their dedicated pool and the volume will carry to the space where you’re trying to relax.
If you prefer your balcony to be more of a peaceful retreat, I’d look for one of the other Marella Explorer cabins on Deck 9 closer to the middle of the ship, or another deck altogether.
The Best Cabins on Marella Explorer
While it again depends on what you want from your cruise holiday, here’s a quick look at some of the best cabins on Marella Explorer:
1. Single Inside and Outside Cabins
There are a number of dedicated Single Cabins on Marella Explorer, both Inside and Outside. But unlike other cruise lines that offer single cabins (and not all do), they aren’t just tiny rooms with a single bed.
Instead, you’re essentially getting a full Inside or Outside Cabin to yourself, including the double bed. That’s not very common but I love that Marella Cruises is offering that, because solo passengers likely have a double room at home and shouldn’t have to sleep in a less comfy bed when on holiday.
2. Aft-view balcony rooms
8228, 8230, 8232, 8234, 8236, 8263, 8265, 8267, 8269, 10160, 10162, 10164, 10169, 10170, 10171, 10177
Some of the most popular rooms on a cruise ship are those with a view over the aft, whether that’s a window view or a balcony. Being able to watch the wake of the ship, and be sheltered from the wind, is a huge bonus.
Marella Explorer has aft-view Balcony Cabins on Decks 8 and 10. Most of them are Family Balcony rooms, and are well-worth booking. There are also two Large Balcony Cabins – 10170 and 10177 – which have balconies that are wider instead of longer, which might be preferable.
3. Rooms right next to the kids’ club (if sailing with children!)
9206 to 9255
I’ve maintained throughout that this guide is subjective and these rooms are only some of the best if you’re sailing with kids who’ll make use of the M Club or Mini M Club.
There are a number of staterooms very close to these clubs, and the kids’ pool, and it’s a great place to be if you intend to use these clubs a lot. The kids will love being so close to all the fun activities and you won’t ever have to walk far to pick them up.
4. Deck 12 rooms for pool access
12000 to 12043
While I’ve already said these rooms aren’t great if you suffer from seasickness, the good news is that most people don’t. And if you’re someone who doesn’t get nauseous at sea, then Deck 12 is a fantastic spot.
You can choose from a Marella Explorer Junior Suite or Large Balcony Cabin to enjoy fantastic views, but even the Inside Cabins are in a great location if you want to get to the pool easily, or to the Family Deck with the Sports Court.
It’s a prime spot, so these rooms do tend to book out early, but being able to go from your room to a lounger within 30 seconds is a real treat.
That’s the full list of cabins on Marella Explorer covered, as well as my tips on those you’ll want to avoid and some of the best choices too.
Remember that a lot of these tips are subjective, and also none of the cabins are outright bad. But hopefully, the information here can help you to find your perfect cruise cabin.
When I was researching this guide I spent a lot of time looking over the Marella Explorer deck plans, but I also checked out forums and Facebook pages too.