Marco Polo Canaries From Tilbury 20/12/12 -- 03/01/13
Moaning seems to be a British pastime so I thought I'd post a positive review for a change. One of our fellow passengers summed up the ship on the penultimate day of the cruise. He said 'It's a Ronseal ship -- it does exactly what it says on the tin'
Embarcation and disembarcation both went very smoothly as you'd expect on a ship with approx 850 passengers. We had a basic cabin which was kept spotlessly clean by the ever cheerful steward.
Food was good. Breakfast and lunch, in the buffet was OK with plenty of choice, if a bit 'samey'. In the restaurant the quality was better but it was an open sitting so you couldn't choose where you sat. We ended up once with man who bored us to death with his tale of his wife who left him for a Turk called Abdul and the second time with the 'We've been on the Oriana/ Ventura/ Vision of the Seas' type complaining about no chocolate on the pillows and lack of lobster. After that we had breakfast and lunch in the buffet.
The making of the cruise was our dinner table. The eight of us got on like a house on fire which coupled with the excellant service from the wine and table waiters and the choice of good food made the cruise for us. One of us told the waiter that she didn't like digestive biscuits with her cheese so every night we were given an extra plate of TUC crackers. It's that attention to detail which you remember. The food was good, we didn't leave much.
The entertainment varied, Guest comedy magician Andre and singing/comedy act Sister Sister were superb. The ship cabaret varied from a brilliant 'Joseph' to a dire Queen tribute. We had the resident performers singing in the Lounge every night. Generally it was very enjoyable but on one occasion the show was 'Divas' where the three girls' performance was as rocky as the ship crossing the Bay of Biscay. My table companion said he had had more enjoyable times going to the dentist. There were also guest lectures, crafts, games, quizzes and a very popular choir workshop held every morning.
Drinks were reasonably priced with no 15% service charge added to the bill everytime you ordered a pint.
We had a very enjoyable time. There are some negatives. Our first thoughts were 'fantastic no children' and we settled down to enjoy a relaxing fortnight. Unfortunately old people in spades over compensated for the lack of children.
It will take ages to get the sound of the constant tap tapping of sticks out of my head, at times it sounded like Blind Pew on Treasure Island. Children run around, old people cause different problems, stopping in the middle of the dinner queues or worse turning round and going backwards in them, hogging tables for four in the buffet reading their book while people are looking for somewhere to sit or alternatively just being plain rude, talking loudly through shows and announcements, pushing in the front of queues for cutlery saying 'I only want a fork' and if you dare criticise, giving you the 'if it wasn't for us you'd all be speaking German look'.
We paid under a grand each for 14 days with carparking so it was excellent value for money especially as we were away for both Christmas and New Year. We would certainly go again. Well done Marco Polo -- not 100% but certainly 80 -- 85% overall (despite the lack of lobster)