We are first-time cruisers and this adventure surpassed all our expectations. We researched the cruise thoroughly in advance, including the itinerary and the ship. We were especially looking forward to Spitzbergen and the glaciers; and the North Cape. The views of the arctic landscape were breath-taking and our memories will stay with us always. The fjords were spectacular and we would like to visit more. The ship was superb: it had many art deco features; it was comfortable; the restaurants were very good; there were many leisure amenities; and the staff were excellent. The standard of cleanliness was remarkable. The entertainers were all highly professional and the shows were enjoyable.
There are many critics of this ship. In my experience they fall into 2 categories: lack of research; and "other cruise lines are better". Put simply, the Marco Polo fulfils all the advertising and reviews written about it. It is not sold as a "luxury liner". It is smaller than most liners, but that makes it intimate and friendly. It is not glitzy and glamorous, but it is advertised as traditional cruising. The customer service crew are predominantly eastern European. Their command of English is commendable and they were always polite and respectful.
The second category of critic was truly insufferable! They whined incessantly about the cutlery and crockery, the furniture, nothing the staff did was ever going to be good enough, the calibre of entertainment, the standard of food. They were expecting a 5* cruise for a 3* price! The ultimate in luxury was not on offer.
We got exactly what we paid for - a comfortable and entertaining cruise to a truly magnificent destination.