2 Bristol (Avonmouth) Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

To set the scene, I've cruised once before on the Marco Polo eight years ago - and vowed never to do a cruise again. A converted Russian ice breaker does not a cruise ship make - but did do us well through a gale force storm. 8 years ... Read More
To set the scene, I've cruised once before on the Marco Polo eight years ago - and vowed never to do a cruise again. A converted Russian ice breaker does not a cruise ship make - but did do us well through a gale force storm. 8 years later myself and the wife wanted to see Iceland, due to her medical conditions we can't fly, so the Magellan was the way to go. Reading through the reviews there's a lot of common points raised, which I can now confirm or deny: THE CORRIDORS SMELL Yes, yes they do. Like a sulfur smell, I would take a wild guess at venting from the sewage system. But oh yes, there's a definite smell there. THE STAFF 99% of the staff are fantastic and always wanting to help. There's a couple that let the side down, but with a compliment of 400 crew - that's next to nothing. These people are teens/early twenties, doing 11 hour shifts on their feet - doing menial tasks - and stowed away in bunk beds on deck 4 at the back of the ship. It's a miracle they could raise a smile at all. Of particual impressive performance are the cabin stewards. Our own, Maguan was exceptional - and even learn't our routine so he could have our room ready whilst we were away. THE FOOD I can only discuss the Bistro. This is at a level of just above home cooked food. Impressively they cater with vegan and allergy sections. All sections have potential allergies marked against each meal. This is a Bistro in a cut-price Cruise Ship - I wasn't expecting Restaurant class food - but the choice was great and enjoyed a good feed four times a day. ENTERTAINMENT Yeah, this is great for the CMV target market of 60's and over. But for the slighter younger generation (in their 40's) - there's not a huge range to try out. We did go to the big shows a few times, but more for the laugh of how appalling it was than to enjoy it. The singers would never get past an X Factor audition, and their dancing skills are definitely limited by a rocking ship, but choreography had been well thought out. Give it 20 years and they're doing 80's themes - I'll probably be loving it. I however did not appreciate the sound engineer being so bored at his sound desk that he felt he could look at Ebay rather than do his job EXCURSIONS Yep - they're expensive compared to what you could arrange for yourself at a visitor centre. But we wanted a relaxing holiday and wanted everything ready to go without the hassle of personally booking a trip - and therefore also perhaps missing the departure deadline. ROOMS We went for the most expensive that we're still left available. Twin Premium Ocean View - that were an extra £1050 per person. It was fine, but not worth the huge hike in ticket price. SHIP She's getting on a bit, and the last refurb was some years ago. Fixtures and fittings are beginning to show some age - and carpets are no longer plush or have a uniform colour. But she's very clean, easy to navigate, and help stead fast in some rough weather heading towards the west of Iceland. CONCLUSION I've been converted, I will definitely go on a cruise again. CMV are not providing plush fancy cities on the sea cruises here, but they did provide a holiday I will treasure and that gave me no real reason to complain. Maybe except for stinky corridors. EMBARK/DISEMBARK Absolute rubbish. Disordered, no clear instructions and a rotten start and end to a great holiday. We we're due to be doing Faroe Islands and onto Iceland, but due to poor weather the Faroes were cancelled. As a result over the course of the holiday, I got 5 days of absolute relaxation, waited on, good food, great coffee - and Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Cabin We were given a tiny, windowless cabin on the lowest deck known as Carabic. The smell of diesel is so overpowering it leaves a taste in your mouth as you leave the tiny lift. We paid for an inner cabin and the offer suggested a ... Read More
Cabin We were given a tiny, windowless cabin on the lowest deck known as Carabic. The smell of diesel is so overpowering it leaves a taste in your mouth as you leave the tiny lift. We paid for an inner cabin and the offer suggested a free upgrade that never happened; despite this the cabin was serviceable and kept spotlessly clean by Lillia our Cabin Stewart. The two twin beds were smaller than a regular single but were rewarded with fresh crisp linen daily along with the white as wave towels. The cabin was serviceable and a little larger than I expected. The draw space and hanging space was well utilised for storing the plethora of formal wear needed on the cruise. 3 single wardrobes housed rails, the safe and a set of small draws along with a tie rack. The top space held the life jackets and could be used for storing larger items. The storage of suitcases was difficult but we squeezed them under the beds, this would be impossible with the hard shell cases but our smaller softer cases compressed to fit. The bathroom optimised the available space and provided a shower with a detachable head; the pressure was good and left us feeling refreshed. The toiletries supplied were limited and of a poor quality. The descenders in the showers were tricky to use when slippery and wet but we had brought our own and recommend travellers do the same. The standard of cleaning in the cabin is outstanding and I have never had a better standard anywhere in the world. Twice each day the room is cleaned and turned back at night, clothes folded for you, bins emptied, dressing area organised. It feels like Mary Poppins has visited each time you return. Captain’s Club This comfortable area is rarely unoccupied, in the day it’s bright clean interior attracts people hoping to relax and have a drink and at night it is a waiting area for people preparing for the show lounge cabaret. A delightful pianist and violinist play at various times on most evenings but they could not be enjoyed because they became inaudible within the busy room full of chattering guests. A beautiful resource that is sadly under appreciated and lost amongst the people. Sadly this area is understaffed and many guests treat the overworked staff appallingly. I have witnessed so many occasions where guests have berated, abused and directly verbally attacked the young staff. The waiting time for drinks is over 30 minutes or more and there does seem to be a favouring of those guests without a drinks package over those who have the package. This highlights another anomaly in the pricing of the drinks package. If I ordered a quadruple whisky this would be included in the package BUT a latte coffee would not. This seems rather unfair and does not encourage sensible drinking. My main issue with this area is the lack of tables for two persons. Most of the tables are laid out as 4s and so it negates any privacy or time for couples to enjoy together. Most of the time the lounge is quite full and so people sit with you and want to chat. A lovely thing to happen on a friendly ship but there are times when I would have appreciated some time alone with my husband. This layout was further hindered by the many Zimmer frames, walking trollies and walking sticks that created an ever changing obstacle course for people to negotiate. Scott’s Bar This is a lively little venue however after 10 all entertainment moves to this bar and sadly the area is far too small for the number of visitors using it. It was almost impossible to see both the show at 9 in the show lounge and then get a seat upstairs. Sadly we missed out because if this. The bar staff in this area are good and much quicker than in other areas of the ship. Many of the soft furnishings in this area are broken and are uncomfortable but this is only if you are fast enough to get a seat. Marco’s Bistro Terrible! This restaurant is appalling and I am afraid it has deteriorated during the cruise. The food is luke warm at best and stagnant and congealed most of the time. The choice is poor with mostly chopped meat dishes and diced over cooked soggy vegetables. The sweet section at lunch and dinner are poor with small portions of poorly presented sweets that include many cold puddings and whips. The majority of food has a soft blended texture ideal if chewing is best avoided! The cutlery includes only soup spoons rather than desert or tea spoons, so one must stir tea, eat cake and cereal with a soup spoon. Usually there is a shortage of cutlery throughout the restaurant at all 3 meals. My biggest annoyance was having to collect food in relays as people would take your seat between courses. Lone diners would find it impossible to eat all courses in the same seat. Main Restaurant This area is stunning and despite the tatty table cloths, with more pulls than a grandmother’s stocking, it is warm and welcoming. The staff try hard but the lack of organisation makes this a doomed enterprise. We were sat on a table of six and we were so close to other tables that the waiters played limbo to get about carrying the trays. The menus allowed for a choice but really what you received was like Russian roulette. I ordered ice cream and got sorbet, ordered pasta and got pork! This seemed to happen every night to at least one person in the table. The delay between courses was ridiculous with a 90 minute wait on Christmas Day between starter and main. This improved to 50 minutes on Boxing Day. We eventually complained and the time between courses reduced but the game of roulette continued. Midnight snacks Pathetic! These are carried around on a tray and given out in tiny portions on serviettes. I was blessed with grease down my ball gown as the waiter spilt them all down me on Christmas Eve! Not the wonderful plan I had for my dress which is now ruined. Deck Bar Swimming pool! More of a puddle than a pool. I heard it called a splash pool, a great name as it just splashes icy water over people sat at tables around it. The slippery deck is then a risk to the shuffling older people who hope to sit by it. No one used it as it is covered with a net, a complete waste of deck space and a blooming pain in the neck! The bar out here is well stocked and enticing but the wait time for a drink is so long you contemplate jumping overboard! The waiting staff meander about, avoiding eye contact and rarely engage with people. I have found this the worst area to get a drink and have often given in and had a self service coffee rather than nothing. Entertainment The entertainment team includes some excellent singers with talent way beyond this ship. Callum, Anneka and Savannah brighten every room when they enter and their talent shines through. The others are not quite as talented but what they lack in ability they make up for in enthusiasm. Mitch makes everyone smile and excelled at Elvis and some swing but he struggles with more challenging songs. Not all of the songs the entertainers sing suit their voices and even the best of them murder some songs. The Wuthering Heights needs to be pulled ASAP! Daytimes are dull. Little if any entertainment goes on and much is not hosted. The entertainment seems to be aimed at the older generation with Knit and Natter and Bridge. We attended the Creative Writing and although we enjoyed the sharing of creative works the gentleman who ran the session was poor. He talked. A lot! He then got everyone to write and share. The feedback was peer feedback with little input from him. There was no development of people’s skill, no feedback or development of ideas. The next session repeated exactly the first in format and activities. The room was too small and the delivery needs to be improved. The tutor led session was didactic and lacked any imagination. Ironic given it was a creative writing class. The exception to the poor daytime activities was the Morecombe and Wise Comedy lecture that was excellent. It was well planned, entertaining and engaging, giving rise to much laughter and good spirits. The presenter was knowledgeable and very talented. Excursions The excursions are very expensive however they are well organised and have a high standard of tour guide. We did 3 different excursions and booked a fourth that was unfortunately cancelled. The first tour of Gibraltar was on a minibus and took us to the Rock, the Caves and the museum. The guide was excellent and entertained and informed us. He was relaxed and the tour took longer than expected but it was worth every second of my time. The second tour took us around a very foggy and rainy Funchal. To be honest the tour should have been cancelled due to the weather. The views were totally covered by a thick blanket of fog making visibility about 3 meters maximum. The guide tried her best but coffee and cake at a golf club and a walk to a wine tasting cost us £48 each. Very disappointing! The 3rd trip around a freezing cold Lisbon was a march, following a bossy school mistress who barked at us and constantly repeated herself. When people asked for rendezvous times she wouldn’t give them insisting we stayed with her. The visit to the monastery allowed no time to contemplate the beautiful place or enter into prayer. It was a fast walk through and a sit on a pew whilst she talked and talked constantly repeating herself. Disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018

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