Firstly the good points as they are few and far between.
We saw the northern lights in their glory which was the whole point of the cruise so a big plus.
Second our cabin steward was brilliant to the point where we could have adopted him.
That's it for good points.
The boarding was a total haphazard mob of people everywhere, which was sad really as the very initial part where you dropped your cases of was organised and reassuring.
Once upon the ship all seemed well. Cabin was fine, clean, but why do I sound surprised surly that's what's expected. We had a double bed facing the front of the ship and we were right at the front of the ship which later we realised was not a good idea as the first night we had all the noise of the staffs party below us and boy do they know how to party. The other part of the bed facing to the front was when we had a bad stormy night on two occasions we had our feet down then lifting off then CRASH as the front of the ship hit back down it was worse then a roller coaster at universal studios!
Our first nights meal ok average, very small portions but didn't feel hungry afterwards did the trick gave me calories.
The days at sea were boring.... Nothing to do...hold on line dancing "ok let's give it a go" kill an hour or so....ummm 4 dances and over .. Now was that worth the effort NO... Come on if you say line dancing let's have a dam good go at it not just a dip in of the toe.
Crafts were ok.. But again could have been much better
Evening entertainment.... Well two comedians one average the other should have walked the plank.. Literally absolutely terrible. In fact they allowed him to have a second show and I think it was practically empty from what I was told as you guessed I couldn't face being sick,with out it being the sea making me feel ill.
The other shows were average. They did put effort into the shows but It lacked something...the main female singer could not sing to save her life well let's be nice if she sang in tune and in range it was fine but for some reason she chose to sing at screech pitch! Not good. I was trying to find and be nice bit it was difficult.
Then the cocktail saga, one night a big glass the next a smaller one,yep the measures were different but you paid the same price... Naughty and were they bothered no way.
Now it states late night snacks..... A waiter with a tray of greasy nasty deep fried rubbish and then had the cheek to give you a napkin and you had one of each lovely late night treat. One eaten never again unless you want to live off of heartburn remedys.
The staff were not brilliant there were the odd one or two who excelled and they know who they are, but other wise they were pretty , opinionated not overly friendly. We had a couple of occasions where they staff were arguing in front of us who was putting the coffee glasses onto the tray... You do not need to see or hear this. On another occasion we were chatting to one of the friendlier staff members when bellowed from behind the bar he was ordered instructions to get ice... Well firstly he was doing what he's meant to do talk and be nice to paying passengers secondly it was his break it wasn't like he was not pulling his weight but there's no such thing on board as passenger satisfaction at all.
The trips were fine. We did a few. Husky dog safari, ice hotel, snowmobile etc all good. The other ports of call were bit boring not much to see not much to do, why go there. See a wooden church ok but not worth a stop for! Surly the itinary could have been better arranged so you could see And do more when off the ship.
There was only one bout of novo virus dealt with swiftly and well in my opinion.
We had a lady air lifted off by helicopter one night poor thing she was fine evidently but the Dj was getting quite irate with people in Scott's bar. I don't think people were glorying in on the fact this poor lady was I'll more the fact you don't see a sea rescue everyday! But he tried his best to keep people from the windows and everyone did all sit back somewhat, but he did loose it a bit.
Now the Dj in Scott's bar was fine but it was very loud if you wanted to chat... I'm being pinickity now as yes if you want to chat you could go into another bar but Scott's stay open later so if you wanted that holiday feeling of drinking cocktails staying up late it had to be Scott's, well until the staff had decided enough was enough and told you to go. It is not like other ships where you are welcome till you decide to go on the Marco Polo they tell you when to go. There was a party of 8 to 10 people wanting to stay up late and party this is not the ship for you after all the staff want to go into the staff quarters to party all night how can they do that whilst looking after paying passengers!
The food ... Umm well where do I start, portions size one mussel for a starter, laughable but true, or a tiny spoonful of veg on a tiny piece of lettuce. We had steak one night well it was called steak may have been old boot leather. Who could tell the difference, cooked to perfection if you wanted it nuked! Fish yes we had fish couldn't tell you what fish,only it was that. The cutlery was few and far between one night we were asked to keep our used cutlery to use on the next course. Bread rolls one each if you wanted more I think we may have begged! Plates were not placed nicely in front of you but more slung in a surly manor. Now the last night, night before the big tip boy was our waiter polite and nice... Bit too late we opted out of mass tips and gave them according to the deserved.
Wine waiter was very good no problems there and drinks package was good.
I stated you can opt out of the mass tipping, the day before you dock back at tilbury go to reception tell them that's what you want to do.. It's not a problem sign a form done! Then as I said you can tip the deserved and they get a tip worth having. Please think about this it's worth it if you find some are very good.
The buffet was ok bit of the same really. Salad never really changed much same of the same. You are given your cutley in there, just choose a table and off you go. Staff do get in your way they really don't see you as the passenger more of an in convienance and if they are there and want to top up say lettuce you WILL get out of the way... They will make sure of that. Just rude the whole time.
Now I know it's a ship but I believe it has a ghost captain.... Where the hell was he. It's understood he doesn't like the passengers and it shows. He never comes down for a meal never eats with the passengers in fact we saw him briefly once but that was it.
Marco Polo is 50 years old it needs help it looks old it creaks and groans but boy oh boy it bounces around the sea like an inflatable dingy. Everyone even well seasoned cruisers felt sea sick. I'm not too offay with ships but there must be something seriously wrong with her stabilisers because even with a slight swell it felt awful and you felt every single movement unlike any ship I have ever been on before.
The two storms one night our cabin had been arranged so nothing would smash or fall and on the bing bing we were informed the second night the following week, nothing in fact we knew it was going to happen by looking at our phone app of the sea conditions and in fact it was a worse storm than the first one.
It took me a week to feel like I wasn't being bounced about on the sea upon returning home that's how the Marco Polo is so unstable.
Will I ever go on her again a DEFINITE NO.
Was I pleased I went well yes but only because I saw the northern lights and met some lovely people.
So make your mind up from this but if you want something special choose another ship... It's just not polished and lacks that's feel good factor unfortunately.
PS this ship needs a new executive chef urgently (But doubt if Cruise and Maritime read this!)