If CMV do read reviews and feedback forms then why do they not act upon them. This is the interesting question! We recently stepped ashore (am still in motion) having spent 30 days on board the good old Marco Polo cruise ship. I did read the reviews of previous voyages but must have seen only the good ones or, subconsciously filtered out the bad ones. My boss at work found these with great relish about two weeks before we sailed ! So my expectations were mixed as to how our holiday to the Caribbean would go. As a result my review reflects the mixture of good and bad experiences of the trip. All the negative comments are true and all the positive comments are true, So why doesn't the management listen and make positive changes, it would not take much to make this ship so much more enjoyable.
Train staff to be courteous, reward those who are and reprimand those who are rude, abrupt , drunk on duty and lazy.I blame the dining room management team for the poor service. Our waitress Inna and her assistant were excellent. Waiters did not pull out chairs for guests or help elderly passengers, instead they rushed us at lunch and breakfast.
Reception staff varied their helpfulness depending on how harassed they were. We found asking politely for help was rewarded with calm efficiency.
Our cabin steward Natalia was exceptionally good and quickly remedied the creaky bed and the worn, pilled bedsheets. She patiently mopped the flooded bathroom floor after my stupidy at leaving the shower curtains on the wrong side and constantly refreshed the worn towels after my ablutions. Reader are you getting my drift?
The Ship should be renamed "The Richard Sykes " after our effervescent and multi -talented cruise director. This man is superhuman as well as being the captains voice, he entertained us daily with his musical and cabaret talent. He also acted as compere to a variety of game shows which ranged from the interesting to the ridiculous.
All the time smiling and being charming, despite hearing all sorts of grumbles and complaints from fellow passengers.
A 2 hour "Elvis " marathon, an Elton John tribute, Victoria Wood antics to name but a few of his more modern sessions. This he complimented with various shows from the 1930's and 40's for our more senior cruisers.
The ship's band and show teams have come in for some criticism on other cruise reviews but we found them to be very competent, considering they had many ship's duties to perform. As well as nightly performances, they acted as embarkation personnel, quiz masters, fitness and yoga coaches, librarians, games show hosts etc. The nice thing about this is, we passengers got to know these talented people and their participation made up for the surliness of the others and played a huge part in relieving the boredom of 22 tedious sea days. I would like to mention three people Vlad in Yoga class, Emma in fitness and for the last four days, Linda who showed me how to make stunning jewellery To them I owe my dubious sanity.
Health on board any ship is a matter of extreme importance.I thank my lucky stars we travelled on another ship to the Baltic and missed the Norovirus episode. With an elderly demographic passenger list , illness sadly is a fact of life , however rumour has it ,one gent asked for his online account to be sent to the "ship's doctor " as he had paid all his spending money to him. Ultimately in the final few days every cough and sneeze by another passenger was almost regarded as the kiss of death.Needless to say there were queues of passengers at the pharmacies at our ports of call!
Deck space on the sunny days was ok but the sundeck was marred by soot from the funnel and rough seas of course put the tubs and pool out of action. Deck furniture needs cleaning, and the tea and coffee areas were unsatisfactory having over-spilling bins nearby. the smokers were limited to certain areas and seemed happy enough.
Excursions seemed popular with many passengers, especially the less active, but we took taxis and seemed to navigate our way around the beautiful islands quite easily. at half the cost I am sure.
Finally Food. First courses and puddings/cakes were delicious, soups wholesome and tasty, mains samey and institutional, What I would have given for a boiled tattie ! I suspect a lot, especially veg, emerged from the deep freezes. The Wine waiter had the easiest job on the whole ship as not many bottles were in evidence! Dress code; What dress code ? Again I blame the dining room management , not once did anyone ask me if I had enjoyed my meal. That readers says a lot ! Thank you for your patience if you have read this. CMV take note.