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Marella's Barbados Cruise & Stay holiday is slice of paradise - first person account

Why pick, when Marella Cruises lets you have it all

Marella's Barbados Cruise & Stay holiday is slice of paradise - first person account
Hannah Hargrave
US Deputy Editor
9 June 2023
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If you want the best of both worlds when it comes to your holiday then Marella's Cruise and Stay Barbados package may be the perfect solution for you. A hand-picked, luxury hotel stay and a sailing adventure rolled into one impressive getaway - and I was fortunate to experience it.  

My husband and I cruised around the Caribbean on the magnificent Marella Explorer 2 ship before settling down for a relaxing stay at the wonderful Sea Breeze Beach House in Barbados, and we were not disappointed.

Having never been on a cruise before, we were excited to set sail and explore this beautiful part of the world where sun, sea and sand are at the forefront, but there's so much more to it.. 

TUI's Marella 2 cruise ship was immaculate© TUI
TUI's Marella 2 cruise ship was immaculate

What does a cruise ship room look like on the Marella Explorer 2?

Our room on the 12th floor, overlooked the ocean and had its own private balcony where we soaked up the spectacular sunrises and sunsets throughout our stay. 

We were both blown away by the size of the Marella Explorer 2 and also how immaculate it was. It was clear that the cruise director, Bell, ran a tight ship. 

The room had its own private deck with balcony to soak up the sea air© TUI
The room had its own private deck with balcony to soak up the sea air

Dining options were phenomenal 

The Navigate app made it simple to book day trips, make dinner reservations and to discover what activities were available onboard. 

The dining options were excellent, with a wide range of cuisines and styles to choose from, and the quality of the food was consistently high. The service was also exceptional, with attentive and friendly staff who went out of their way to make sure we had a great time.

The Dining Club was a highlight of our trip and although this comes at an additional cost, it's well worth it and our server, Rebecca, was outstanding. 

The chef's table onboard the Marella cruise ship© STEVEN GRAFFHAM
The chef's table onboard the Marella cruise ship

Are excursions easy to book?

With so many excursions available, the ship was quiet in the daytime and the days we did decide to stay onboard, we had no problem finding a spot poolside.

A game of crazy golf on the rooftop or a quick workout in the well-equipped gym helped us burn off a few of the calories from all of the delicious food and drink we had been treated to.

There's so much to do and explore on a TUI Marella Cruise & Stay© TUI
There's so much to do and explore

The plethora of day trips ensured there was something for everyone. From swimming with turtles, to exploring caves, scenic railway tours, beach hopping and so much more. 

Port in Barbados on TUI cruise© Shutterstock
Excitement awaits at every port

We got to experience a trip on the Rum Runner... not one to miss!  Submarines, safaris and sightseeing tours are plentiful and the beauty of being on a ship is that you see the highlights of all the places where the anchor drops. St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada were just three of the tropical destinations we were lucky enough to explore. 

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In the evening, the ship came alive with everything from Broadway shows, to karaoke, a casino and even an outdoor movie theater.

Despite only being onboard for a few days, the staff knew us by name when we left and Mark Louie who had been servicing our room bid us a very warm goodbye.

What sets the Sea Breeze Beach House apart from other resorts?

The next chapter of our adventure would take us to the all-inclusive Sea Breeze Beach House. Situated on a beautiful stretch of beach, this resort oozes authentic Bajan charm. 

Its barefoot comfort was apparent immediately and in place of air conditioned lobby's and bars, the windows and doors were thrown open and the gentle sea breeze blew through. 

Sea Breeze Beach House in Barbados oozed Bajan charm© TUI
Sea Breeze Beach House in Barbados oozed Bajan charm

Our spacious suite with its ocean view and balcony was positively dreamy, decorated beautifully and comfortable and peaceful. The family-friendly hotel  has an adult's only pool, family pool and a lap pool with sunken loungers. 

With the ocean at your fingertips, there's no shortage of places to cool off, kick back or keep active with some watersports. The floating trampoline is a fun bonus for kids... and adults too - as is the daily ice cream bike that circles the hotel in the afternoon.

The rooms at the Sea Breeze Beach House in Barbados are stunning© STEVEN GRAFFHAM
The rooms at the Sea Breeze are stunning

Sea Breeze's activity calendar is useful as the friendly team encouraged us to participate in activities such as yoga, aqua aerobics, beach strolls and, of course, plenty of rum tasting.  

Six amazing restaurants all within the Sea Breeze Beach House

The Sea Breeze lies on a stretch of beautiful white sandy beach© TUI
The Sea Breeze lies on a stretch of beautiful white sandy beach

There were six mouth-watering restaurants within the resort, serving up a range of cuisines, from overflowing buffets to upscale à la carte, or even a BBQ on the beach. As they say at the Sea Breeze; "Every meal is an adventure in itself" and with everything from fresh seafood, traditional Bajan fare and hot off the grill dishes there really is something for everybody. 

Aqua Terra was just one of the amazing restaurants available© TUI
Aqua Terra was just one of the amazing restaurants available

If you're after some lively after dinner activities you can expect to feel out of breath just watching the traditional Bajan dancers - and that's without getting involved in the limbo or dancing the night away at the open-air beach bar, Tipsy on the Beach.

But the great thing about the Sea Breeze is that you can pick and choose what you do depending on your mood and what your expectations of a holiday are.

You won't want to leave

Excursions are once again plentiful - should you want to leave the resort - and one of the highlights for us was the day on the catamaran where we swam with turtles, explored a shipwreck and saw flying fish while cruising the show-stopping coastline of Barbados.

A little slice of heaven at Sea Breeze Beach House Barbados© TUI
A little slice of heaven at the Sea Breeze Beach House

Needless to say, when it came time to leave, we weren't ready to go. The charming staff went above and beyond for us during our stay and we would leap at the opportunity to return. Our children are certainly eager for us to take them next time, and we wouldn't hesitate to bring them to the Sea Breeze.

Marella Cruises have managed to create an idyllic package for land and sea lovers, now all we need to know is; where do we go next?

A Taste of the Tropics

Marella Cruises offers a fourteen-night all-inclusive Cruise & Stay holiday, with seven-nights sailing on the A Taste of Tropics cruise on Marella Voyager, followed by a seven-night stay at the 4T Sea Breeze Beach House by Ocean Hotels in Maxwell, Barbados. 

Prices from £2710 per person when booked online, based on two adults sharing. Flights departing from London Gatwick on 3rd December 2023. Price includes return flights, transfers, port taxes, tips and service charges.

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