The festivities were preceded by a 36-day transformation of the vessel in Cadiz. During the dry dock, around 12,500 sq m of tiling was installed across the ship, approximately 11,000 new signs were hung, 9,000 mtr of stainless-steel raw material was fitted in kitchen areas and bars and 3,000 sq m wallcovering was inserted.
Voyager Suite cabins
The vessel contains two brand-new Voyager Suite cabins that capture the spirit of Santorini in the Mediterranean and St. Lucia in the Caribbean.
The decision to evoke the feel of the two destinations, Marella MD Chris Hackney told Seatrade Cruise News, was the result of a survey where the public were invited to decide the rooms’ theme from among a range of Marella customers’ best-loved locations. The two most popular selections were embodied in the atmosphere and décor of each space. This, explained Hackney, was a way allowing customers to be involved in the design process, adding a personal touch connecting cruise line to passenger.
Each cabin measures up to 35 m sq and comes with a sofa bed and two single beds, which can be combined into a queen-sized number to accommodate up to four people. In the bathroom, there is a shower and a WC, while the balcony flaunts a table, chairs and loungers. Premier Service extras are included, which means a free pressing service (up to three items per person in the first 24 hours on board) and a free continental breakfast in bed (one per person, per week).
All cabins come with air-conditioning, a hairdryer, a flatscreen TV, wardrobe space, tea and coffee-making facilities and a safe.
More restaurants than any previous Marella ship
Marella Voyager contains 17 restaurants, more than any previous Marella ship, including Marella Explorer which has 10. Among them are Abuela’s on Deck 11, open for lunch and dinner (11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.), Platter on Deck 7 (3 p.m. to 8 p.m.), Silver Fork, also on Deck 7 (6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.) and new food hall The Kitchens. Highlights of the latter include traditional roast dinners at Gravy Boat, Asian curries at Banyan Leaf and Greek-style pittas at Athenas. Open 6:30 a.m. to midnight, meal timings are broken down into breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and late-night snacks.
Approximately 14,000 planks of vinyl herringbone pattern flooring have been laid in the venue on Deck 11, and 130mtr of counter worktops.
Almost a dozen bars
Tucked away on Deck 8, The Exchange is Marella’s new adult only speakeasy bar, open 6 p.m. to midnight, which hosts two 90-minute immersive experiences created by ted: ‘The Lock In’ and ‘The Heist.’ To gain entry, passengers are required to step into a traditional British-style phone box and deliver a secret code word. Actors lead participants to their seats with entertaining jibes and comedic actions, for an evening of singing accompanied by piano and other live performances.
A minimum of three cocktails – usually unique to the venue – are served during the entertainment and included in the price, but by hitting ‘1’ on one of the venue’s multiple telephones, additional chargeable beverages can be ordered. Priced at £14.95, four experiences take place over the course of a week.
Located on Deck 12, the Electric Rooms Bar Lounge is a further addition unique to a Marella vessel. It has an LED dancefloor, retro signage and window blinds that can be opened for panoramic sea views. When not in use as a space for nightclubs or silent discos, it will serve as a chillout zone. The drinks menu is varied; the casino is connected and counts blackjack and roulette among its games tables.
The Summer House on Deck 11, nestled between Nonna’s and Abuela’s, is another new bar serving up the likes of Mexican cocktails and cold beers. Open 10 a.m. to midnight, it has an indoor space with retractable roof, plus an open-air area for sea views. Artificial plants have been installed and 2,300 plants in total will be mounted.
More than 150 new dishes
Kora La on Deck 7, serving pan-Asian cuisine plus gyozas and dumplings, curries and bespoke dishes created by master chef Ian Pengelley, has a new menu choice. The new Thali option consists of an Indian-style meal made up of a selection of dishes served on a platter.
Over 250 hours have been spent creating 150 new dishes, including a four-day tasting experience undertaken by a team of seven chefs and 10 front of house staff.
All á la carte restaurants may be booked pre-travel via Cruise Control, on the Navigate app or at on board kiosks.
A brand-new range of Marella merchandise is set to be rolled out across the Marella fleet. This month, models of Marella ships will be available to purchase in the expansive Broad Street Shops zone on board Marella Voyager. The retail complex, brought to fruition with the support of Harding+, contains beauty-, clothing- and well-being products from standard to luxury. Lacoste, Pandora, Ray Ban, Superdry and Swarovski are among the well-known brands on display.
At 13,000 sq ft Marella Voyager’s gym is the largest in the Marella fleet, delivering a programme of spin-, yoga-, body pump- and stretch workout sessions. The spa and beauty salon on Deck 11 has a range of treatments using products from Elemis, Kérastase and L'Oréal. The new services available on board include body treatments (ocean-inspired wraps, polishes and massages to help eliminate toxins and purify the skin,) advanced facials and an assortment of salon services.