.I am going to start by saying to all those people who have placed bad reviews about the Marco Polo that we are NOT inexperienced Cruisers having done 6 cruises with 3 different companies so we do have points of comparison.
Firstly the embarkation process with CMV was first class, by far better and faster than others. Luggage already at the cabin by the time we were escorted there by member of crew unlike a previous cruise when we waited 3 hours for the luggage to arrive and then had to drag it down the corridor!
Only paid for an inside cabin (which I wouldn't do again with any cruise line...personal preference) but it was more than adequate space wise and certainly clean and comfortable. Bathroom a bit small but again adequate and well kept with frequent towel changes.
Waldorf Restaurant very cramped for space and food, though always presented beautifully, was at times repetitive. Didn't pay for Fillet steaks and Lobster so didn't expect it. Though portion sizes were smaller than previously experienced, service was quick and pleasant and "juggling" with the menu was accepted and accommodated.
Marcos Buffet was no more or less chaotic than any other ships self service food outlet, and the answer is not to use it if you dont like the system.
You can always be seated in the Waldorf and get personal waiter service.
Constantly aware of ongoing cleaning procedures on all corridors and decks
and certainly there are no "foul" smells apart from maybe up on the top sun deck(10) near to the ships funnel where there was a smell of diesel.
Disembarkation at all ports was hardly noticeable it was so smooth with clear and concise information given via the ships PA system as well as in the daily programmes. CMV provided free shuttle services in each of the ports, something other Cruise Lines are making additional charges for.
Some of the Tours were not really suitable for us and we found them a little excessive cost-wise though those we did partake of were well run and informative.
Drinks were 30% up on other Cruise lines used and therefore we found them quite expensive and the level of service in the bars could have been better. It was noticeable that the Eastern European bar staff were not particularly friendly in contrast to the relatively fewer Indian employees who were always helpful and pleasant.
The on board entertainment programme is the best we have ever experienced with something going on throughout the day on sea days and at appropriate times on shore days. It was extremely varied to suit most if not all tastes from competitive activities to just plain good old "fun". If anything, a possible criticism would be that there was too much going on and not enough time given to some of the activities before the next one started.
We chose a Xmas and New Year Cruise for the 2nd year in a row as coming from the North have little access to West End type shows and Cabaret entertainment. We certainly were NOT disappointed on Marco Polo.I cant imagine how much it would have cost for similar entertainment on land!!
The Entertainment team headed by Richard Sykes is superb. Versatile and such fun they all put their hearts and souls into every single programme.With each of the team with their own particular expertise and talent it is hard to believe that some people could fail to be entertained. From tribute acts to Victoria Wood, Dusty Springfield etc, to Boxing Day Pantomime and New Years Gala party as well as every music genre, there was something for everyone. So Well Done Richard and your team not forgetting the engaging Russian Dance group who performed so elegantly.
No doubt some of you will have read press reports about the Norovirus being on board Marco Polo during this Xmas Canaries Cruise.
As passengers we would like to make it clear that though this report was true we do not believe this was in any way due to any failure on the part of CMV or its crew. Every possible precaution was taken to contain this virus which must have been brought on board by passengers at one of the ports some 7/8 days into the cruise. It is known that this virus has a 48 hour incubation period and therefore would have hit long before then had it been present at the outset. We cannot praise the Company enough for the way it handled the situation. Once the virus was identified and passengers were at risk the procedures and level of control were exemplary. Consequently we are only 2 of more than 600 passengers who were NOT affected by the Virus.
I realise this is a rather long review and hope that people take the time to read it as it is an unbiased view of a "value for money" cruise.
I would say to those who disagree are you sure you were on Marco Polo?
To those of you who are currently sailing to The Amazon have a great time!!!