9 Bristol (Avonmouth) Cruise & Maritime Voyages Magellan Cruise Reviews

In early October 2019 we took a 3 night mini cruise on the CMV Magellan, which was built in the 80s and served as the Carnival Holiday, hence her dolphin wings on the funnel. We had booked an outside cabin and were assigned 6131. The ... Read More
In early October 2019 we took a 3 night mini cruise on the CMV Magellan, which was built in the 80s and served as the Carnival Holiday, hence her dolphin wings on the funnel. We had booked an outside cabin and were assigned 6131. The cabin had twin beds that could be made in to a double and a Pullman on the wall. As to be expected the cabin was dated by modern standards but on first appearance clean and would do us fine for 3 nights. We decided not to get the beds pushed together to make a double as it wouldn’t be quite big enough. Owing to the age and size of the ship we fully expected it to be different to our usual size of cruising, and were up for the small ship experience of getting to know the crew and fellow passengers. We knew the entertainment would be somewhat more sedate and the range of bars limited. Drinks prices were reasonable which was great since a drinks package was not available. £15 for a bottle of house wine isn’t too bad. Our assigned dinner table was in the Waldorf Restaurant on a table for 6. Our table companions were people who’d not cruised before and we all got on incredibly well. The food on the first night was tasty enough, particularly the Thai Beef Salad. The Carbonara didn’t appeal as it should NEVER contain cream! one disappointing aspect was that a number of times we were asked by crew if my partner Andy is my dad. I think about 15 times in total over the 3 nights with most being on the first night. After a couple of drinks in the pub listening to some Irish music and by chance meeting some ladies who follow our blog and MSC groups it was soon time for bed. On getting in to bed, I noticed that the light fitting above the bed had what appeared to be flies in it! After further investigation so that I could ask the steward when I saw him to give it a wipe, it turned out to be thick with dust Obviously this didn’t impact my sleep, and could wait until the next morning, just wasn’t nice to see (this fitting is open so it was easy just to put my phone up to get the picture. What did impact our sleep was the bizarre whistling noise heard intermittently through the night! I contacted reception and they just advised the ship was full and nothing could be done. Great. The next morning we went to the Kensington restaurant for breakfast which was served quickly. A range of traditional breakfast items were available to order, and we had a quick look at the buffet to check whether it was roughly the same. Andy didn’t enjoy his full English and thought the ingredients were cheap. I was surprised at the sauce on the eggs florentine – it wasn’t smooth in the way a Hollandaise tends to be, perhaps they were sat warming for a long time? It did feel as if it was an inconvenience to ask for another glass of orange juice. We watched the sail in to Dublin from the top deck and I had a cappuccino from the pool bar – again I think we inconvenienced the bar man as most of the customers were using the ‘free for all’ in the Raffles bistro to get their own hot drinks. We arrived in Dublin and took the complimentary shuttle to the city and took in the main spots such as the GPO and Temple Bar We headed back to the ship in time to change for dinner, and as we’d not eaten since breakfast and were on the late sitting went to the buffet to get something to tide us over. The evening menu wasn’t to our taste so we therefore went back out to Dublin and had a fantastic night out on the town, taking a taxi back to the ship at around midnight. It did seem strange to have a gala night when the ship was overnight in port with many guests out on an excursion for the evening! Unfortunately yet again we didn’t sleep well due to the thin walls but owing to the tiredness perhaps better than the first night. The steward still hadn’t done anything about the dust that I’d pointed out to him! For our second day in port, Saturday, the programme of events on the ship was the same as the day before – I.e. very little with activities such as take yourself for a walk, Christian meet up and jigsaw puzzles. By this point we’d decided that aside from the dust, thin walls and the noise the line just wasn’t for us even though there was nothing ‘wrong’ with the line. Fair enough the food and entertainment wasn’t to our personal choice but that’s exactly all it is – personal choice and we completely understand why others would actually find what they enjoy on this line. Then things got worse. We got back on to the ship and went to the cabin. We walked past one a couple of doors down that had the door open and an industrial blower. We got back to ours and lo and behold there was one in ours. The steward soon came to say there had been a small leak a few doors down, ours wasn’t impacted too badly but to give it an hour and we should be fine. Not a problem we thought an hour isn’t too bad and we could drop the bag and go on deck to relax. An hour and a half later we went to change for dinner. Andy has a bottle of cola by the window and went to get it. The floor was sodden. So much for an hour! There was no way it would be dry that evening or we could have the dryer going. Back to reception! I asked the receptionist what had happened with the leak and he was oblivious. We showed him the video of the wet floor and he replied that it wasn’t the cruise line’s problem and not their fault! We had to be very insistent to move cabin for the final night, so it was then back to pack earlier than we anticipated and to move. Our new cabin on deck 7 was of a similar standard – we didn’t bother unpacking for obvious reasons! There was a bag of laundry in the room that was removed promptly. We both noticed a tube of Pringles on the tea tray and thought it odd as there is no mini bar type service… On to the restaurant for dinner and we had another lovely time with our tablemates. The food again was tasty enough but really felt too similar to what we could have at home, whereas when we go on holiday we enjoy ‘different’ cuisines and more unusual choices. We both commented on how nearly every hot dish is served in a sauce – possibly because it’s easier to keep warm? On returning to the cabin that evening we were exasperated to find that the new cabin steward had placed someone else’s rubbish of a toothbrush, ratty old suit carrier and an empty sea sickness tablets box on my bed! Where on earth had that come from? Did she think it was ours that had been left elsewhere in the cabin since we had the cases on the bed ready to put out for disembarkation? Why were they still there from the last passenger? The mysterious Pringles has also gone so I can only assume that the room hadn’t been fully cleaned after the last guests had checked out in Dublin! A slightly better nights sleep followed after I’d calmed down however we were again up early to make sure we were ready to disembark as early as possible. We were ready to leave the ship after the issues and near sleepless nights! When our allotted time came to disembark we went to the gangway on deck 3. There was one last parting shot after queuing for 30 minutes or so. We were not allowed off the ship as reception wanted to see us. Back up to deck 5 to reception. Gave our details, the receptionist looked perplexed and searched for the details. It was regarding the flood and was to ask us to see reception when we got back onboard the day prior! Back down to queue again and we were finally let off the ship. We will not be going with CMV ever again after this. As mentioned previously we would have been happy to have turned round and said it was ok but not for us, but with these further problems our opinion is very negative. It was of course wonderful to see the Liver Building and the Cunard Building! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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
We sailed from Portbury in Bristol which was great as we only live 40 minutes away. The embarkation was very quick and smooth and the luggage was in out cabin within a few hours of us arriving. We were sailing to the Faroe Islands and then ... Read More
We sailed from Portbury in Bristol which was great as we only live 40 minutes away. The embarkation was very quick and smooth and the luggage was in out cabin within a few hours of us arriving. We were sailing to the Faroe Islands and then on to Iceland. Our itinerary was for a stop in the Faroe Islands, 3 stops over night in towns around Iceland and an over night stop in Reykjavik. Within a few hours of leaving Portbury we were informed that due to bad weather we would not be able to visit the Faroe Isles and instead of travelling up the Irish channel we would be travelling into the Atlantic on the West of Ireland, this would give us another day at sea. Ok nothing we can do about the weather so decided we would make the most of being on board. This was by far the roughest sail I have ever experienced, we were nearly tossed out of our beds on the second night. During this rough weather the boat really did show it’s age. The bar staff, serving staff, cabin staff entertainment crew were all fabulous and very hard working, always had a smile on their faces and very engaging with passengers. Cruise and maritime obviously look after their employees as they all had good things to say about the company. But this really does not go for the reception staff. They were the most unhelpful sour faced bunch I have ever had the displeasure to meet. I think there idea of customer care was you are the customer and they don’t care. We were eating in the Kensington restaurant, the service was excellent but the food was only mediocre and at times just warm. The Raffles buffet was good for lunch but far to busy and nowhere to sit, the Waldorf was also good but closed to early for our liking and found ourselves being rushed out of there on most occasions. The theatre entertainment was Ok but nothing like you would get on the other cruise liners. They did have a guest speaker there some days who was talking about his rock & roll heroes and this was very good. There was some entertainment in all of the bars but again just Ok. The ship has had a makeover in the last few years but it’s age is showing, it really does look very tired in places. There were water stained ceiling tiles in most bars and painted over rust everywhere around the deck areas, hence my heading mutton dressed as lamb. The decor is Ok but the seating is so uncomfortable and most of the furniture on the back of the boat was broken. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was a mixed bag. I would love to give five stars, I think I should and I will explain why in a moment. Having been on the Marco Polo and loved it I was worried that i might not enjoy the Magellan as much and, if I'm honest, I ... Read More
This was a mixed bag. I would love to give five stars, I think I should and I will explain why in a moment. Having been on the Marco Polo and loved it I was worried that i might not enjoy the Magellan as much and, if I'm honest, I still love the Marco Polo but there was nothing I disliked about the Magellan it's just different. A bigger vessel which means more walking, which I find difficult, but it didn't stop my enjoyment of being at sea. This was a multi generational, themed cruise. Two things I said I would never do but for the most part the children were a pleasure to be with. I saw no bad behaviour at all. Another plus for me was the number of different nationalities on board, so many interesting conversations. The downside came with the first excursion, to Paris. We knew we would have some free time but we were dropped in the most expensive, and probably busiest area for traffic for three hours. The majority stayed in the area as the traffic was horrendous with no notice at all taken of Pedestrian crossings. The coach did not pick us up where we were told we had to get on by standing in the middle of a dangerously busy road as the driver's side was facing the pavement. There were many more pluses I'm pleased to say but all on our coach agreed that the Paris trip was an ordeal and badly managed. The cabin an inner was very comfortable and our Steward very attentive. Entertainment was hit and miss, the Magellan singers and dancers were very enjoyable. There was an Irish folk trio on 2 nights with more or less the same songs the second time and a comedian we could only watch for ten minutes, it was dreadful, but that's just my opinion of course. The Cricketers and Nick Hancock were always approachable and as someone who knows nothing about cricket I still enjoyed their company. Now the reason I wanted to give 5 stars but can't as several people were genuinely scared in Paris either of being lost or knocked down. There was a raffle on behalf of the the Lord's Taveners with several prizes, the first being a Cruise donated by CMV. Never having won more than a bottle of wine in a raffle we had no expectations but, and I still can't believe this, we won the Cruise. Not a three night mini cruise that we thought it might be but an 11 night British Isles Discovery Cruise. To say we are thrilled is an understatement and we can't wait. If it had been a less chaotic Paris excursion I would have had nothing really to complain about but I really believe, given that families with young children were also with us, that not enough thought was given to the area where we could be left to our own devices. A too short time aboard the Magellan, Crew were brilliant, Magellan's own entertainers and the Cruise Director gave their all, and thank you CMV, we can't wait to come back. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Extremely disappointed in this cruise on two counts. I was woken every night by noise from the cabin next door. On two nights there were full blown parties in the cabin until 6.00 am. The passenger then slept in all day. I didn’t get ... Read More
Extremely disappointed in this cruise on two counts. I was woken every night by noise from the cabin next door. On two nights there were full blown parties in the cabin until 6.00 am. The passenger then slept in all day. I didn’t get one good night. After numerous complaints to staff I was told passengers are entitled to entertain in their cabins. There is no code of conduct to ensure sleep is possible between midnight and 6.00 am. This needs urgent attention. I keep to a gluten free diet and found making a dish gf meant taking things off the plate and not replacing. For afternoon tea there was one gf cake and it remained the same for five days. The food generally was of a lower standard than on other cruises. The evening meal is not five courses. If you order five only four arrive. Also disappointed the dress code was not observed. Come on men, make an effort. Breakfast is supposed to be free seating but I was told where to sit each morning and the staff grumbled if I chose to sit elsewhere. The crew were of very mixed nationalities and did not always support each other. On the positive side the theatre is lovely and the entertainment was enjoyable. The ship is attractive. The excursions were good. Port stays were very short so not enough time to see as much as I would have liked. As a solo traveller I felt I was always fighting my corner and did not feel pampered. Yes it’s cheaper, not luxury! You get what you pay for I suppose, but very disappointing after cruising with Fred Olsen. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our third cruise, but our first with CMV. We chose it for the itinerary and price. Having read the the reviews we were concerned as to what we may find. However the embarkation at Bristol was well organsed and efficient. The ... Read More
This was our third cruise, but our first with CMV. We chose it for the itinerary and price. Having read the the reviews we were concerned as to what we may find. However the embarkation at Bristol was well organsed and efficient. The cabin, 7044, was absoluetly spotless and perfectly adequate for our needs. Throughout the voyage it was kept beatifully by our very friendly steward. The ship was clean comfortable and easy to get around. The food was very good in both restaurants and the Bistro and Grill. The staff in the Warldof restarurant were excellent. The Raffles Bistro is very popular, and at peak times can be very busy. However it is not the only place to eat. We never had any problems. There are bars to suit everyone, from pub to cocktail lounge. The staff in all of them were friendly and efficient and anticipated our requirements with a smile. We took the VIP drinks package and found it very good value. The ship's entertainment staff were brilliant and the shows very good. The guest speakers were not to our taste, but others enjoyed them. The entertaiments manager, David, was excellent and during the after show entertainments held in the Captains Lounge cleverly adjusted his approach to suit each passenger he got up on stage. St Petersberg was a true wow, and a definite must see. The itinerary was good, although our time in Cobh was reduced due to heavy weather all the way from Denmark. C'est la vie, it is a ship after all! All in all we had a wonderful cruise. The friendly crew worked really hard to ensure we enjoyed ourselves, with sailaway parties, barbeques and gala buffets to be proud of. The ship is not new but has got character. If you want glitz glamour and Las Vagas hype then go on one of the floating blocks of flats where you will find it aplently. This ship was for those who like comfort and with a bit of style. Will we sail with CMV again? We have already booked our next one and are really looking forward to it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Have travelled with Cruise & Maritime before - took advantage of 2 for 1 offer by booking early.. Lots of good points - Entertainment excellent., cabin steward Jaya brilliant & also Anna - Maria in Hampton Bar.. Most excursions ... Read More
Have travelled with Cruise & Maritime before - took advantage of 2 for 1 offer by booking early.. Lots of good points - Entertainment excellent., cabin steward Jaya brilliant & also Anna - Maria in Hampton Bar.. Most excursions also very very good Whole experience badly let down by food. We chose to eat in Grill as found times of restaurants either too early or too late. (Perhaps they need to consider "open dining" as on other lines). Food was often lukewarm to cold - main dishes dried out for sitting too long. Not often a jug/tureen of sauce offered so food very dry. Vegetables a disaster - mixed veg EVERY night & boiled potatoes 9 times out of 10. (& my husband hates sweetcorn !!). Hot dessert rotated between 3 or 4 choices. Staff did try very hard to correct individual problems ie heated our plates & added sauces. But shouldn't have been necessary. Other complaint was itinery. We knew it in advance but as we have only cruised 3times in past didn't appreciate how many days at sea there were. Too many & we didn't enjoy this aspect although, to be fair, spoke to others who did. Felt end of cruise was badly organised with 3hrs in Aarhus then 2 days at sea. Bad weather (no-ones fault) meant we only had very limited time in Cobh Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Chose because buy1 get 1 free. Ship was comfortable with nice lounges excellent crew, waiters lovely, housemaid lovely, captain joined in with everyone. But boy oh boy do not stay on deck 7. We were in cabin 7138 inside. Cruise was ... Read More
Chose because buy1 get 1 free. Ship was comfortable with nice lounges excellent crew, waiters lovely, housemaid lovely, captain joined in with everyone. But boy oh boy do not stay on deck 7. We were in cabin 7138 inside. Cruise was 16 nights and we never slept once in that time. Noise was horrendous from restaurant deck 8 above us, they worked all night dragging furniture, trolleys and Lord nos what else, complained to reception and was offered ear plugs. Ha Ha. In bad seas the ship sounded like she was going to crack up, cables inside the walls were crashing around all night, further down the deck people said it sounded like nails being hammered into the walls. We will never ever travel with this company or on this ship again. Have done many cruises and have never experienced this before. To be positive about something, shore excursions were fantastic, we saw some truly beautiful places. Dining was lovely, entertainment was good, lecturers we're informative Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We had not been on a cruise before but needed a break an embarking from Bristol sounded inviting. Not very impressed at all. The food was possibly the worst we have ever encountered anywhere! We learned just before we went that this ... Read More
We had not been on a cruise before but needed a break an embarking from Bristol sounded inviting. Not very impressed at all. The food was possibly the worst we have ever encountered anywhere! We learned just before we went that this was to be a Carry on themed cruise - that consisted of several B listed or worse celebrities- some whose fathers had been famous - they weren’t![there was one exception Juliet Mills who was charming). The men clearly thought it was beneath them to dress for dinner. Their. behaviour in the dining room was loud and boorish. On the whole the staff were charming and our cabin was fine. I was unlucky enough along with several others to contact a chest infection and the medical staff were excellent. The entertainment was very good - we didn’t go to any of the Carry on shows but people who did said they were appalling as apparently was the comedian. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Magellan Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.7
Dining 4.0 3.6
Entertainment 3.0 3.2
Public Rooms 4.0 3.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.2
Family 1.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.0
Service 4.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.6

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