We have wanted to see Norway and the fjords for some time but have never found a package that suits us. When browsing at the end of July last year, we came across availability with the Marco Polo. having looked at cruising on this ship before but not being able to book, we decided to go for it.
As neither of us have cruised before, we were not sure what to expect. Our cabin was quite large and very comfortable. Although we were on a lower deck, things were not too bad. On embarkation, our luggage arrived at the cabin before we did. I was worried about access as I use a walkign stick, but I had no problems at all, and the staff were very good with help to get on & off the tenders.
All the staff were very friendly and there was maybe just one staff member who was perhaps not quite so frindly, but no complaints. We ate in the Waldorf every evening as the food was very good. The portion sizes about right and quality was excellent. Our waiter was really good and we had no trouble with plates being taken early but we did note that dirty plates were never left too long. As someone else noted, we were given hand cleansing gel whenever we entered the ship and when going in to the Waldorf or the cafe bar.
When out on deck, we kept our tea mugs which we obtained from the tea bar on deck. There were some issues with the lack of cups on one day, but we were told that it was due to the dishwasher breaking down. In my opinion, if everyone had kept their own mug rather than expecting a new one every time, then this problem would have been eased substantially.
All the ports of call were interesting, and we went on 4 organised tours. They were expensive, but taking into account the sailing times, we did not want to be on a private tour over a long distance with the possibility of the ship leaving port prior to our return. In Edinburgh (Leith) we got off the ship early and walked round the corner to see the Britannia early and this worked well, as when we came out everyone was queueing. We went backt ot he ship for lunch, then went back out in the afternoon, back on ship for dinner and then out again in the evening. We both had one day tickets £3 each which allowed us unrestricted travel on buses throughout the day.
As I suffer with travel sickness, I was concerned about the sailing. I took one travel pill on the first day, but did not need any more after that. The only time I felt a little odd was on the formal captain's dinner evening when I went to the spa to have my hair styled (they did a fantastic job).
Looking back, the only thing we found to be a little annoying was the tendering. As our cabin was very close to the exit of the ship, it was a bit of a pain having to go up to the lounge to get the tickets and then wait and have to go back down to exit. It was good coming back on board as we were right by the cabin.
On the whole we really enjoyed our trip. The staff were all friendly and as a joint effort they kept the ship spotless. There were always a senior crew member walking round and letting staff know if something was not up to standard.
At the present time, it is unlikely that we would cruise again, but that is purely because we found the tendering and time restrictions did not suit us, but we woudl recommend the Marco Polo & CMV to anyone.