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5 Cape Town to Europe - British Isles & Western Cruise Reviews

Paid half price and got half of nearly everything. We actually left on the 23/3/19 for 11 day cruise from Poole. We were attracted to the cruise because it left from Poole, was visiting the Shetland Isles and in particular The Scilly ... Read More
Paid half price and got half of nearly everything. We actually left on the 23/3/19 for 11 day cruise from Poole. We were attracted to the cruise because it left from Poole, was visiting the Shetland Isles and in particular The Scilly Isles. At the start we only had half a day in both Dunkirk and Invergordon. At the end, the Scilly Isles was cancelled altogether because of rough weather forecast and difficulty of boarding tenders to go ashore. Indeed arrangements for getting passengers ashore were generally very unsatisfactory particularly bearing in mind that at least the half passengers seemed to have mobility issues. In many cases, apart from tenders it involved walking down a steep set of rickety steps. Not the best we have experienced. As Tresco was the only coach trip we had booked we and many others were bitterly disappointed. There were frequent shuttle buses at most ports of call though which were very good once ashore. The food was terrible. Breakfast was the best. Portions were minute. One roast potato, slice of carrot and piece of broccoli in the dining room. Matchbox sized portions of cheesecake. I actually lost 3lbs!!! The bar & wine waiter were obviously under instructions to ignore whatever the customer asked for and only to give large measures. We were going to tip our room steward extra but a couple of days before the end I asked for another toilet roll and was told it was rationed!!!! So no tip! All in all I am sorry to say I cannot recommend this cruise and based on what we had CMV either. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Embarkation at Cape Town terminal took a long time. Had to stand in long queues on a hot day, it took nearly three hours before we walked on board. We had difficulty in finding our cabin on Deck 7 as the lifts nearest to the boarding area ... Read More
Embarkation at Cape Town terminal took a long time. Had to stand in long queues on a hot day, it took nearly three hours before we walked on board. We had difficulty in finding our cabin on Deck 7 as the lifts nearest to the boarding area do not go to that part. It would have been good to have a crew member to explain how to get to our cabin. The cabin we booked and paid for was an Ocean View cabin. The view was obstructed by a large lifeboat. To view a tiny bit of the ocean we had stand looking out of the extreme right hand side of the window. This obstruction made the cabin very dark and dingy. The soft furnishings looked very old, tired and faded eg. curtains, bed covers, cushions and carpet. Lunch on Deck 11 in the Buffet Restaurant was good with a great variety of food for all tastes. The pizzas, freshly made, were very bland and lacked salt and spices but edible. In the dining room our table waiter and assistants were always welcoming and pleasant, napkins placed on our laps, menus handed to us, orders taken and prompt delivery of our meals, excellent all round. There was only one occasion that the meal was unsatisfactory but that was not the fault of the chefs, great looking mussels that when opened had tiny undeveloped mussels inside which nobody could eat. The wifi on board was useless and extremely expensive, best to wait until one arrives in a port where one can make use of free wifi at a tearoom or restaurant. We did not use any of the ship excursions as they were too pricey. We did our own walking or bus tours as well as a private taxi tour of Madeira with English speaking driver, which we shared with another couple, for less than half the price of the MSC excursions. There were some really good acts and singers to entertain us in the theatre, a few we were no interested in so didn't attend those. Disembarkation in Southampton took a long time. We had to wait until our numbers were announced before we were able to leave the ship. It would be good to be able to carry our own luggage off the ship, as was the case when we did a Med cruise on another Liner! Which allows passengers to disembark earlier. We have booked another MSC grand voyage from Cape Town to Venice in 2016 and have no hesitation in recommending MSC to anyone who wants to cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We have just returned from our first cruise from Cape Town to Southampton, and to be honest this was one of the most regrettable choices that we could have made. To list all the disappointing items would be a mammoth task, but here goes ... Read More
We have just returned from our first cruise from Cape Town to Southampton, and to be honest this was one of the most regrettable choices that we could have made. To list all the disappointing items would be a mammoth task, but here goes for the main ones: The food in the Medina restaurant was awful, our first meal of roast pork was inedible and quickly convinced us to try the Cafe Bordeaux the next day. We checked the Medina menu each day, and realized that the choice of food was basically very poor British type 1980 pub food. The alternative, cafe Bordeaux was not much better and this at a premium of Pound 9.50 per person preposterous. Food rarely reached the table hot, was certainly not fine dining, desserts were the same as those found in the Orangery. Coffee was worse than our nescafe in our cabin. In order to have a half decent cup of coffee we had to pay Pound 2.20 for a cup of Costa The entertainment aboard the ship from Cape Town was very limited, listening to an athletic champion of 1988 in 2014 was very poor to say the least. Discussion on the Big Five or the sonnets of Shakespeare became quickly the best way for afternoon naps. The captain was often funnier than the comedians. My partner tried watercolor lessons, but a 45 minute (contract from P&O) for over 40 people was a total waste of time if one was there to learn something. Line dancing, Bridge, cha cha cha, along with poor food, awful and expensive shore visits seemed to be a very expensive first time cruise holiday, which we will clearly not do again. Luckily we had paid for and received a good cabin with an excellent steward that enabled us to spend a great deal of time playing solitaire, reading and longing for home cooking and finally being able to leave the ship. ( I dread to think what the passengers that have basic inside cabins without a balcony could be doing ) We will add this letter to the growing dissatisfied P&O forums, so really do suggest that you listen to the complaints, maybe invite Marco Pierre White to take the ship more often, maybe incognito? Finally having to pay 30 Pound for 100 minutes of internet time is the biggest rip off of the century, back in Southampton there is free WiFi on a local bus!!!. And in most hotels and guesthouses.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Just returned from this repositioning cruise with MSC Opera. The service/organisation was appalling. This is our 22nd cruise and by far the worst. Here are the main gripes!: 1. Chaos at embarkation – no-one to tell us where to leave our ... Read More
Just returned from this repositioning cruise with MSC Opera. The service/organisation was appalling. This is our 22nd cruise and by far the worst. Here are the main gripes!: 1. Chaos at embarkation – no-one to tell us where to leave our cases before joining the queue. We were 1.5 hours in line! 2. Sleeping arrangements- We had requested twin beds but found our room to have a double. We had to ask twice to change the bed configuration and it was finally done 9 hours later at 10pm when we were tired with travelling and had not been able to unpack! 3. Mustering- We attended the mustering then got a letter in the cabin the day after to say we hadn’t attended. 4. Excursions - We booked our only excursion on-line as we knew it would be popular (desert trip in Namibia). The excursions desk on board had no record but luckily still had places left. 5. Waiter service- We had very slow waiter service in the restaurant, once waiting 40 minutes between soup and main course at lunch. Normally we use the waiter service on sea days at breakfast and lunch as we are not in a hurry to go ashore. However, we abandoned that plan and ate in the self-service buffet from then… 6. Supplies - On a number of occasions at breakfast there were no cups, no tea bags, empty hot food trays. 7. Maps -You are the only cruise company we know who do not supply a printed street plan of the city/town centres for those not going on your expensive excursions. 8. Theatre/restaurant seating - The theatre is not big enough to accommodate even one dinner sitting of guests – I hate to think when MSC Opera, Armonia and Sinfonia will be like for theatre/dinner restaurant seating when they cut them in half and add a further 24 metres length of cabins, as is planned to start next year. 9. Events - Events don’t start on time whether it is the evening show or even a poolside game. 10. Food temperature - A lot of the hot buffet food was in fact cold, especially that in the buffet annexes outside. 11. Craft classes - The German woman doing the crafts was a disorganized disaster. She didn’t come prepared for the numbers who turned up or come early to set up. As a retired teacher I know all too well that lesson preparation is the key to success. 12. Films - There was no information about the rolling film program being shown on the TV – just the film titles. 13. Library - There were very few English reads in the library – shelves full of German, Spanish, Italian, etc. untouched. 14. Questionnaire - We didn’t receive an interim questionnaire when others did. 15. Karaoke - Animation staff couldn’t operate the karaoke machine. 16. Waiters - Our waiter’s grasp of English was poor. All our table of 6 asked for ice cream once. He brought sorbet. Another day one asked for a glass of beer and he brought ice cream! 17. Food danger - Mussels as a starter were served unopened – not fit to eat therefore. 18. Quiz - Animation staff doing the music quiz couldn’t link the laptop to the TV. We waited half an hour and then gave up. 19. Shore information - No information is provided for independents going ashore – presumably a ploy to get them to buy the dear excursions. 20. Menu - Sometimes we ordered one meal and got another. 21. Pool music - Music is always too loud by the pool and often left on when there is no activity – look at the age clientele and ask if they wanted to be blasted with rock music? 22. Afternoon tea - Every day there were nice scones with jam and cream for afternoon tea – but no knives provided! 23. Security - The security guards who swiped your card getting off/on could do to go to charm school. They are very surly and unwelcoming. I understand they are trained by the Israelis. Enough said… 24. Buffet desserts – there was nothing to say what these were and so many were left with one bite out of them when passengers tried them and didn’t like them. A waste of food which could be easily rectified with labelling. 25. Disembarkation - The morning of disembarkation we had to be out of our cabins by 6.30am! We have never had such an early time in all our years of cruising. Normally it’s about 8am. 26. Luggage - When I came to retrieve my case ashore the case had been dented and the pull along handle was bust. Another case bites the dust…   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Our first experience of QM2 fell so far short of expectation it was unbelievable! The ship was well worn, the food fell between cold and lacking taste despite every effort of table waiters! Entertainment was worse than poor with only ... Read More
Our first experience of QM2 fell so far short of expectation it was unbelievable! The ship was well worn, the food fell between cold and lacking taste despite every effort of table waiters! Entertainment was worse than poor with only two performances and the crew giving acceptable performances. Presenters of talks were at the expected levels of quality and substance? The prices of refreshments/drinks demonstrated total corporate greed, resulting in minimal inboard expenditure during the 15 days on board, then had the temerity to surcharge by an additional 15 per cent! Cabin staff were great, but bed linen showed distinct weariness with dirty pillow cases incapable of being covered by supplied bed linen?? The Embarcation at Cape Town on 10th April, 2013 was an exercise in Cunard incompetency, resulting in theft from boarding customers caused solely by insufficient security by Cunard! The Kings Court cafe was poorly organised with clients unsure which sections were open, replenishing or closed!! Not good. All in all, QM2 needs a complete overhaul of staff and organisation and is clearly unfit for its intended purpose. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013

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