3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We are regular cruisers and have just returned from a 2 week cruise to the Baltic & St Petersburg on the CMV Columbus. We chose the cruise because of the itinery and the price. It is the first time we've cruised with CMV. The ... Read More
We are regular cruisers and have just returned from a 2 week cruise to the Baltic & St Petersburg on the CMV Columbus. We chose the cruise because of the itinery and the price. It is the first time we've cruised with CMV. The pre cruise communication and organisation at the port on departure was excellent. The ship was clean with all the basic facilites you need on a ship. The cabin was bigger than onther basic inside cabins we've had before and had lots of storage space for a 2 week trip. The quality of food in the mani restaurant we thought was great and very well presented.The fixed sitting system was fine but the 5.45pm-6.15pm entry window for 1st sitting was early. We tried both the speciality restaurants which we also found to be excellent. We had the VIP package so the restaurants were discounted by 50%. This discount made them good value. We didn't try the Chef's Table as we were told the 50% discont didn't apply to this for some reason. The range of drinks available within the VIP package was good for cocktails & beers. Included in the package were the "signature wines". However this was only 4 white wines, there were reds aswell. Only 1 of these being a chardanney which my wife felt was very limited. There were shows evry night in the show lounge but these we found to be very disappointing in quality. When compared to what we experienced on Thomson, P and O & Royal Carribean felt rather amateurish. The show lounge was also very small with poor views unless you were prepared to arrive 60 minutes ahed of show time to bag the front row central seats. This was a major disappointment. Like all ships we've been on the Columbus had a self service restaurant. Compared to other ships of a similar size/ capacity it was small with a limited range of each day. Our teenagers often found it difficult to find something to eat. Only on 1 day of the 14 were they able to get chips from here at lunch. You may view this as a positive. The biggest issue though was the fact that it was always extremely difficult and often impossible to get a seat, especially at breakfast. If you were able to get one it was then a challenge to get cutlery. This was largely due to the limited opening times. Breakfast regularly ran 7.00am-9.30am. The lasted it was on until was 10am. There was no chance of a lie in if you wanted breakfast. We didn't feel that the timings had passengers at the heart of planning. We were all on holiday after all. The self service restaurant closed at 9.pm. From here there was no food available until breakfast, with the exception of a tray of canapeas brought round to bars by waiters in the style of a cocktail party. This lack of late night food would be a significant issue for many based on how popular the late night food offer has been on other ships. The ship offered a wide range of excersions at each port. The destinations services was accurately called Excersion Services. There were no port maps available and they only wanted to give info on the ships excursions. We found these to be very expensive. Eg the 2 day Grand Tour of ST Petersburg was £320 each. We booked a comparable tour with a local company (Alla Tours, who were excellent) which saved us £780 in total for a group of 6. On the final day of the trip poor weather resulted in us being 3.5 hours late arriving at Tilbury. Clearly completely beyond the control of CMV and just one of those things. However, they didn't inform us of this until 10 minutes before we were all due to vacate our cabins at 7.30am. We were told that we could stay in cabins until 9.30am. By this time most had vacated. We returned to the cabin to find that the cabin steward, who hadn't been told about the chnge, had not surprisingly, stripped the cabin and cleaned it ready for the new arrivals. Would you have asked to use the cabin again? As we were still on the ship and disembarcation had not started by noon and with a 3 hour drive home we went up to the self service restaurant to eat before we left. Here the manager told us that service wouldn't begin until 2pm and actually said that he'd been told "We're not feeding those getting off, only those getting on". We felt this was profits over customer care. Overall we had an enjoyable cruise made so by the friendly, efficient staff and the excellent itinerary, especially St Petersburg. However, we wouldn't rush to cruise with CMV again as unlike any other companies we've sailed with it didn't feel like the customer was at the heart of the comapies philosophy. It was more a case of the customer having to conform to the CMV way. Dissappointing Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We had never cruised out of Tilbury, it was a great chance to take our granddaughter . Embarkation was excellent, we know the local area very well so went straight to the port.This is an old ship but staff kept it very clean there is ... Read More
We had never cruised out of Tilbury, it was a great chance to take our granddaughter . Embarkation was excellent, we know the local area very well so went straight to the port.This is an old ship but staff kept it very clean there is always some issues with toilets or lifts but this was seen to very quickly. Our cabin was kept lovely by Nanathn in cabin 6140, he made us and our granddaughter very welcome.We only went to waterfront resturant once it was very slow and our dining time very early. The bistro on a whole was good breakfast and lunch were great but dinner was a bit hit and miss some times even running out of food and not replacing at 8.10 pm we did bring this to the attention of management , on a whole all staff were very nice and polite entertainment for the children and adults very good some of the best we had seen in more than 35cruises. The ports were great in Bergan did the ice museum I would recommend this to any body, went on the little trains in Eidfjord and flam this was enough for our granddaughter , but I think the best for her was the cruise director Iain he met her in the terminal and with his magic shows and circus tricks and always remembering her name made her her 1st cruise very special. Disembarkation went very well and was well organised off in very dood time and port staff very polite and helpful , will cruise again given the chance .. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Three-night / two-day pre-Christmas family-cruise for £225 each for an outside cabin - what's not to like? Destinations (Antwerp and Amsterdam) - good. Cabins - good. Food - average. Service - in the main, attentive and friendly. ... Read More
Three-night / two-day pre-Christmas family-cruise for £225 each for an outside cabin - what's not to like? Destinations (Antwerp and Amsterdam) - good. Cabins - good. Food - average. Service - in the main, attentive and friendly. Entertainment - no idea (we didn't bother). A few words of advice / recommendation for potential travellers: (1) Expect long delays at dinner in the main restaurant. And if you order drinks at the table they are likely to arrive well into the meal. (2) If the time of arrival in a port of call is quite late, don't think you can have a lie-in and go for a late breakfast close to closing time in either the restaurant or the self-service buffet. If you opt for the former, the service will be very slow and the food likely to be dried-up. If you go for the latter, you are very unlikely to be able to get a seat. Go early is the top-tip. (3) There's no pressure from the onboard photographic team, but on our short trip the shore-photographs at Antwerp were frankly hopeless (totally washed-out). Don't be tempted to buy (at unjustifiably high prices) just for the sake of it. (4) Think carefully about the 'onboard gratuity added daily to your account for your convenience'. We chose to remove this because there were aspects of the trip which we felt made it unwarranted. Of course it's a marketing ploy on the part of all cruise lines to make the base-price seem as attractively-low as possible. Better to reward individuals separately (as we chose to do) whom you feel may have gone above and beyond. Sorry about the 'invisible' members of crew who then receive a share of nothing - but that's life! (4) Don't be put off from considering CMV (with whom we have now cruised three times, out of twenty cruises overall) or the Columbus. Recognise that for what you pay, you will get really good value for money. How or where else can you get transported to two different European cities and enjoy a full-board experience (the beds are very comfortable incidentally) for £75 a day? On this trip, it was even possible to secure late-availability inside cabins for £129 - that's just £43 a day, which by anyone's standards is amazing value. Choose wisely and you will be well-satisfied. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this ship because I wanted to go to a German Christmas market. Prices were good on board, very clean, staff were excellent and entertainment was brilliant. Food was good with lots of choices. There is only one downfall, the ship in ... Read More
I chose this ship because I wanted to go to a German Christmas market. Prices were good on board, very clean, staff were excellent and entertainment was brilliant. Food was good with lots of choices. There is only one downfall, the ship in parts were too cold. In the buffet style restaurant it was so cold you had to wear your coat to eat. One waiter showed me his hands and they were like ice, little bit inhuman for those working in this restaurant. Everyone was complaining about it. At one stage they had the air conditioning on. We also had to complain about our cabin but were told where the control was and then it started to get warmer. The lifts leave a lot to be desired on the aft side. One lift was stuck on 11 for 2 days so the wait for lifts was not good. Service was excellent in all the bars and restaurants. Food in the waterfront restaurant was beautifully presented and tasty. Food in the buffet restaurant was equally as good and well presented but it was too cold in there to enjoy your food. The breakfast was excellent with lots of choice in both restaurants. There was afternoon tea in the buffet restaurant which was really good. Bar prices were excellent, cocktails for only 4 euros 75. They were delicious. Tea and coffee making facilities in your cabin and there was 24 hour tea and coffee machines in the buffet restaurant. On gala night the waiters did a dance for us which was amazing. In connexions bar there was a duo singing who was fantastic. In the other 2 bars you could enjoy a pianist and violin playing and guitar music. There was a different show every night and they were fantastic. Such talented singers and dancers. Plenty of things going on during the day, quizzes, games, bingo etc The ship is very big and the decor is beautiful. There are 2 shops on board selling duty free. There is no shop to buy sweets, drinks or other essentials. There were excursions available but this involved too much walking. Amsterdam town centre was literally 15 minute walk. In Hamburg the cruise ship laid on shuttle coaches which was an excellent service. Embarkation and disembarkation was so smooth and well ordered. I would definitely go on this cruise ship again but hopefully in summer Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I would highly recommend the 2 night mini cruise to Amsterdam from Tilbury on the Columbus, from start to finish it was stress and hassle free. We had a lovely cabin, the ship it’s self has plenty to keep you busy, lots of bars to choose ... Read More
I would highly recommend the 2 night mini cruise to Amsterdam from Tilbury on the Columbus, from start to finish it was stress and hassle free. We had a lovely cabin, the ship it’s self has plenty to keep you busy, lots of bars to choose from and the food in the waterfront restaurant was brilliant. We had a lovely day in Amsterdam and was back on the ship at 4.30pm. The shows on the ship were great, I couldn’t fault anything, I will definitely be booking every December as a pre birthday / Xmas treat and will take my partner next year too. It was such value for money, go and you won’t be disappointed. The whole experience from start to finish has made me not want to fly abroad anymore unless absolutely necessary, it’s cruising for me and my friends and family now, so book ASAP!!! Be prepared to gain a few pounds. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
A huge ‘thumbs up’ for staff and crew of ‘Columbus’ on the themed ‘Legends of Magic’ Baltic Cities and St. Petersburg Cruise that departed on 11th August from Tilbury. Embarkation was smooth and a warm welcome was waiting on ... Read More
A huge ‘thumbs up’ for staff and crew of ‘Columbus’ on the themed ‘Legends of Magic’ Baltic Cities and St. Petersburg Cruise that departed on 11th August from Tilbury. Embarkation was smooth and a warm welcome was waiting on board. The inner twin cabin on Deck 10 was spotless and kept that way by the hard-working Svetlana. It was well-proportioned, provided adequate hanging / storage space, effective A/C, TV and the addition of tea/coffee making facilities was a bonus. Prior to departure the Muster Station Drill was well organised and completed quickly a great improvement on my previous experience. The food in the Waterfront Restaurant was very good and sometimes exceptional (Quote from the Cruise Director…You come on as passengers and leave as cargo!) Dining in the Fusions Indian speciality restaurant was definitely an enjoyable experience where flavours and presentation were combined in an imaginative way, resulting in an unforgettable evening. A suggested Dress Code is published every day allowing those who wish to ‘dress for dinner’ the opportunity to do so, although ‘smart casual’ appeared to be acceptable in the Waterfront Restaurant at all times, which annoyed some. There were two ‘formal’ evenings and the Captain’s Cocktail Party and those who had no inclination to ‘dress up’ used the Plantation Bistro. The ‘Columbus’ singers and dancers provided entertaining and enjoyable shows with singer Chloe and dancer Yana offering outstanding performances. Not West End or Broadway standard, but certainly commendable and better than some cruise shows I’ve experienced. Then there were the guest magicians (including Fifth Dimension, John Archer, Nardini and Paul Wilson from BBC’s ‘The Real Hustle’), who were genuinely amazing. What was also impressive was that they were often seen around the ship talking with passengers. This was a Multi-Generational cruise but there were plenty of organised activities for all ages. The entertainments team always seemed to be involved with something outside their normal shows – rehearsing, hosting activities or supervising and escorting excursions. On this particular cruise, I have to commend the parents who too responsibility for their youngsters and I didn’t encounter any children running riot, as noted in some reviews. Embarkation and disembarkation at ports was accomplished smoothly and there was a comprehensive range of shore excursions available, though it has to be said that many could be sourced locally at a lower price. The vast majority of crew and staff were friendly, attentive and exceptionally hard-working though some still need to ‘up their game’ and learn to smile! Some of the male staff in the Taverner’s Pub seemed to make a habit of ignoring passengers. The staff in Connexions were always ‘on the ball’ and in Raffles exceptional (if somewhat slow) service and long conversations were the order of the day. Whilst every cruise and each passenger’s experience is different, the ‘Legends of Magic’ themed Baltic Cities and St. Petersburg Cruise on ‘Columbus’ certainly exceeded my expectations. I will have no hesitation about cruising on ‘Columbus’ in the future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We have sailed with CMV on the super little Marco Polo and the lovely Astoria before so choosing Columbus for their few multi generation cruise held no fears. Boarding was as quick as lightning - no hanging around, there. As soon as we ... Read More
We have sailed with CMV on the super little Marco Polo and the lovely Astoria before so choosing Columbus for their few multi generation cruise held no fears. Boarding was as quick as lightning - no hanging around, there. As soon as we were on, we were impressed by the Atrium although the carpet was some what mind blowing! We we're off to our cabin and we had selected deck 8, a restricted view cabin. We had selected this as we had family both above and below us in cabins and, because my mother has a fear of heights, we could go no higher. When we walked into the cabin, we were very disappointed. The restricted view cabins on deck 8 are actually NO VIEW! The lifeboat was rammed almost up against the window and the room was quite dark without a light on. We have been in restricted view cabins before and they have been fine. You don't expect a panorama but a little light is normally to be expected. There was little or none here. The cabin itself was lovely, plenty of room and storage. The bed, however, was uncomfortable. Well slept in, it dipped to the right making it very difficult to sleep but over all, the cabin was roomy and generous. A bottle of wine and glasses were present (we had opted for the all inclusive package - I urge you to do so!), A complimentary box of tissues and lovely fleece blankets, too. The bars were excellent. All in different themes and decor, they were very comfortable with a large selection of drinks and cocktails albeit pricey if you're paying. A glass of wine will set you back £5.60. All inclusive is the way forward as, not only do you get your drinks free but all gratuities are included. You won't have that clocking up daily. Most of the staff were genial but, my goodness, some of the bar tenders could do with a social skills weekend. Surly isn't the word for it. The food was grand, though. Excellent fayre with lots of choice on Deck 12. We tried the restaurant but found the service to be lacking so kept with the buffet bar. Staff need to be a little hotter on the alcohol wash, though. I watched many diners go in without first washing their hands and I can see that familiar old foe, Norovirus, breaking out for an unwelcome visit quite soon. The sailing was perfect. The staff were very professional and safety was clearly Paramount. The film channels hosted well chosen films and there was something for everyone. The Dome on 14 was where the children danced their socks off every afternoon so they were thoroughly entertained. In all, it was another enjoyable cruise with CMV. However, there are a few ends that need tidying on Columbus. They need to apply the standards of the Marco Polo, though. Although CMV will never have Fred Olsen standards, I do expect a tighter ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Good value for money. Great VIP drinks package. Fusion Indian restaurant was out of this world! My only issue was that as this was a Multigenerational cruise, the entertainment was still aimed more at the older end. And the acts were ... Read More
Good value for money. Great VIP drinks package. Fusion Indian restaurant was out of this world! My only issue was that as this was a Multigenerational cruise, the entertainment was still aimed more at the older end. And the acts were exactly the same all week especially in Taverners Bar. And the quiz questions were for people of 70 years plus. Even the kids questions were hard. The 2 best entertain part was the farewell party which I really enjoyed and Ian's Magic Show which my 5 year old really enjoyed. And as an entertainer Ian was spot on. We had an issue with a prebooked wine package that had been discontinued on that brand so we were unable to get our 5 free bottles, but with some emails between our agent and the ship, Elvis the bar manager sorted this out which meant I've brought my 5 bottles home with no charge. Would I book with CMV again? Maybe, but the entertainment needs updating for multigenerational cruises. I do understand it's normally an adult only cruise line but I feel they need to adapt for the school holidays. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise as we wanted to visit the Fjords and the Columbus sailed from Tilbury, which was convenient. We were a little anxious about the ship, having read some previous negative reviews and never having cruised before. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted to visit the Fjords and the Columbus sailed from Tilbury, which was convenient. We were a little anxious about the ship, having read some previous negative reviews and never having cruised before. We needn't have worried. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and well organised, happening ahead of time. The ship was clean and the staff friendly and well organised. The public areas were smart. The cabins and corridors were a little tired, with dubious art work but the beds were comfy, the shower decent and the picture window had a window sill wide enough to sit in to take in the view. The food was excellent, albeit breakfast was repetitive. You could have waiter served breakfast, lunch and dinner, or opt for the buffet style restaurant. Choose the "Japanese" end for a less canteen style atmosphere and the further away from the food you go the quieter you'll find it. The Waterfront restaurant served well presented and tasty food, with the fish highly recommended. The early sitting is a bit early at 5.45 and we chose to miss the Captains cocktails preceding it as we didn't want to miss the scenery by going in to change. The entertainment was a bit hit and miss but quite frankly we were there to enjoy the views and would take blankets and sit on the rear deck until night fall. We did 2 shore excursions which were competitively priced when compared to organising independently. These were sea kayaking in Eidford and the Loen lake trip: both well worth doing. The weather was kind in Skjolden, so we were happy walking. We did not enjoy Bergen as there were 2 other ships in and it was very busy: but that is not the fault of the Columbus! We would use Columbus again, if it was going to the places we wanted to see. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This is our first cruise with CMV and didnt know what to expect. Prior to the holiday we were really worried after reading all the reviews. However, the cruise way exceeded our expectation. Seamless organisation throughout, polite staff. ... Read More
This is our first cruise with CMV and didnt know what to expect. Prior to the holiday we were really worried after reading all the reviews. However, the cruise way exceeded our expectation. Seamless organisation throughout, polite staff. Good food and plenty of choices. No lobsters if that is the league of food you are thinking, but we do have different roasts, veg, pasta, very fresh fish, salad, fruit, etc, all properly prepared, Desserts and breakfast sweet rolls are excellent. I only went to 3 night entertainment, a westEnd song show, a dance show featuring culture around the world and a magic show. The westEnd is a bit cringy but to be fair, you need very good singer to tackle those songs. The other two were excellent, as good as what people expect to pay to see in London. Overall, we were very happy, excellent value for money. As a family of 4 we pay similar if not less compared to going to center parc for a week. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise as it was on offer on front page of a local free paper, and sailing from our local port only 20 mins away. As a first break together after several years of health problems expectations were high. The ship itself ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was on offer on front page of a local free paper, and sailing from our local port only 20 mins away. As a first break together after several years of health problems expectations were high. The ship itself externally and internal décor looked somewhat 'tired' in places. Food overall was good, although fish dishes were sometimes dry. Cabin was a twin, not double as expected and seemed smaller than pictured, but loads of storage space, safe and a fridge were pleasant surprise. Cleaning of wash basin was poor, and pop-up waste faulty (after 2nd or 3rd time my husband fixed it himself). Once ran out of toilet rolls and my husband had to go and find some - a real issue at the time! Bar staff and waiting staff were terrific, for the most part, very attentive and cheerful. Entertainment (the 3/4 shows I saw) was ok, but of variable quality. However the musicians (guitar duo and piano/violin duo) were very good indeed. Rules in and around pool areas were not enforced initially, allowing sunbeds to be hogged and children to monopolise pools with inflatables etc. This was addressed quite quickly on the hot tub deck, and three quarters of the way through the cruise on the pool deck, but only after people complained, we understand. The one excursion (Gibraltar Rock Tour) we went on was good but overpriced. Despite these criticisms we enjoyed ourselves. However I would like to know how passengers who booked last minute and paid much less were allocated a cabin with a balcony? Do you not allocate the best cabins first to those who paid more? Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose it for the destination The food was awful 2* is being generous. The breakfast was the same very day greasy hard bacon cheap nasty sausage never changed . Every day was a stir fry or some obscure meat like beef cheeks nasty cheap ... Read More
We chose it for the destination The food was awful 2* is being generous. The breakfast was the same very day greasy hard bacon cheap nasty sausage never changed . Every day was a stir fry or some obscure meat like beef cheeks nasty cheap food by the end of the cruise so many people were eating from the kids section as the food was slightly better. if you are vegetarian you would really struggle veggie curry and rice or cheese and salad . No late food apart from 11 to 11 30 when plates of Iceland type buffet food was taken Around the bars. You felt like a penguin being given fish . Most staff rude especially reception we went to complain about the lack of sun beds 450 for 1400 passengers.the receptionist rolled her eyes and picked up the phone twice while we were talking . People were taking sun beds when someone went for food and leaving belongings piled on the floor . There were arguments and near fights every day . The Crewe had their own deck with around 30 beds that weren’t being used we got a sun bed twice in 15 days and it was taken when we went for lunch . People were sitting on chairs taken from the buffet as there was nowhere to sit.we ended up going to the speciality restaurants they were a bit better but you shouldn’t have to pay . Entertainment was awful singers screeched out of tune people got up and walked out including us. We went to Tenerife on a Sunday everywhere was shut . Some of the places visited were too short 4 hours not enough time . Kids in pools couldn’t use till day ten when the made one adult only We lost tv signal on 3rd day . Incompetent management it all needs a massive review All in all this was my tenth and by far the worst cruise I would never sail with them again or recommend them to anyone I know . Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Having never cruised with CMV before, we drove toward Tilbury with some trepidation as the car radio warned of congestion on the M25 but as it happened we drove right up to the Terminal with time to spare. I decanted a ton of luggage, ... Read More
Having never cruised with CMV before, we drove toward Tilbury with some trepidation as the car radio warned of congestion on the M25 but as it happened we drove right up to the Terminal with time to spare. I decanted a ton of luggage, The Management and the Mother-out-Law, all of which was immediately gathered up by a lady porter and whisked into the Departure Hall as I drove back to the Long Stay Car Park. Got parked up (squeezed in very tightly) and boarded a nearly empty shuttle bus with only my hand luggage to worry about. The driver didn’t set off until the bus was full to capacity and that turned out to be the longest wait of the day. The embark procedures were very swift and within minutes we were onboard Columbus, located the M-o-Ls cabin on Deck 6 and were delighted to see she’d been upgraded from inside single to outside twin cabin. We then proceeded to deck 10 to locate our billet to find our cases already there. This was probably the quickest most efficient embark in our experience. Well done CMV. Our Cabin was of a reasonable size with large bed and room under for cases. Small tv on window wall, dressing table bearing the tea/coffee facilities which was a pleasant surprise as we thought there would be none, two chairs and a storage unit housing the fridge and space for the provided sun lounger towels. The en suite was accessed from a short corridor at right angles to the main passageway with a large chest of drawers and an open wardrobe. The shower unit was just large enough to avoid bodily contact with the shower curtain, the water was piping hot with good pressure and space for the usual products. For a 29 year old ship – not at all bad and no worse than any other comparable ship. The décor was plain and simple and easy on the eye. Small 4-drawer units either side of the bed provided more than enough storage for us. The cabin was very quiet and vibration free and the air con worked well. Access to the cabin is with your credit card size key which identifies which drinks package you have. We initially needed a stewards help to open the door as there was a slight knack to it and the same with the room safe. This is where the age of the ship shows as the door locks and the safe were pretty ancient and well used. The tv sound was not good – really crackly so we only used the tv for the navigation charts and forward view camera. Also the window was filthy on the outside but was cleaned on the penultimate day. Any other little niggles were sorted out by very obliging steward who said he was known as Oh Oh. The compulsory life boat drill was carried out before we set sail and was actually held under our designated lifeboat – much better than in a crowded theatre like on other lines. We pre-booked the VIP drinks package so set off to put it to the test. We chose VIP as it meant we would always have bottled water in the cabin, small bottles of water on disembarking and specialty teas and coffees. Ordinary tea or coffee isn’t good enough for The Management so she was pleased to be able to order decaff soya lattes or Camomile tea around the ship. Over the course of the week we sampled many excellent cocktails and the gin is Bombay Sapphire but you have to specify this otherwise you’ll get Gordons. Knowing you won’t get a huge bar bill at cruise-end is very liberating but with such reasonable bar prices, a light drinker would not need that package or could opt for a cheaper one. We dined 2nd sitting in the Waterfront Restaurant and found the food generally to be of a higher standard than we were led to believe and the presentation was excellent. Our waiters and drinks servers were lovely friendly guys and very efficient. No complaints at all. Alas the same cannot be said of the breakfast service in the MDR. We tried it on the first morning only and didn’t bother again until the last day. The service was haphazard and slow and the food quality was merely adequate. The only alternative was the smash 'n’grab or Plantation as its called. Food on offer was OK with reasonable variety. A bit crowded on sea days and we couldn’t always get a table at our favourite place - the open aft deck - but this is no different to most other ships we have been on. I don’t do lunch as I usually eat a reasonable breakfast but thought I’d give the afternoon tea a try. This is self-serve and therefore not a patch on say P&O. The sandwiches were pretty dry after being out for a while but tasty enough and there were some pretty colourful looking cakes on display but I resisted the temptation. On one occasion we tried The Grill (£7.50 supp with the VIP package) and it was very good. Huge 10oz Ribeye was superb and after the 3 courses we were very full. It wasn’t quite the sophisticated experience as say on Celebrity but very enjoyable and extraordinarily good value. There is also an Indian cuisine speciality restaurant but we didn’t have time to try that. The staff we met were all very friendly and professional and most of all helpful and keen to please. Mainly from the Asian sub-continent, Burma and E Europeans, they all spoke very good English and were a credit to CMV. The first port of call was Amsterdam. Here I will offer a warning. There was an Amsterdam Tourist office presence in the arrival hall with the usual maps and leaflets. We enquired about a canal cruise and were sold tickets for €20 each for a hop on-hop off trip, and given a map. We were told to pick up the boat at the adjacent canal landing stage. Soon enough a red hop on/off canal boat arrived (in the same livery as the red double decker tour buses you find in many ports) but we and several other people were turned away. We were advised to look for the pale yellow boats with a green band. Soon one such boat arrived – again we were turned away as this was for a pre-booked party. We realized we were in the wrong place and after sheltering from a fierce thunderstorm and wandering many alleys and canal under-passes, eventually found a basin with many boats. We sought out the correct liveried boat only to be told our tickets were not valid and were pointed toward an identical vessel across the basin. The M-o-L is 87 and we were heartily sick of all this traipsing about so returned to Columbus. Infuriatingly the Tourist people had by now de-camped to the next pier to enlighten the hordes descending from the MSC ship that had just docked. I am happy to report that after a full and frank discussion with the manager I got a full refund. After departing Amsterdam the ship felt somehow a little more crowded and it transpired that many new passengers had embarked, mainly Dutch and Germans who stay on after Tilbury as Amsterdam was the next port on the following cruise. Cunning marketing there, CMV! The journey back to the North Sea takes a couple of hours including passage through a large lock. There followed a sea day before arrival at delightful Eidfjord. The tour from there wasn’t cheap but we had a brand new Volvo coach and an excellent guide so probably worth it for a first-timer to Norway. To avoid turning this into a travelogue I will summarise by saying the weather in Norway at the 3 ports of call was fabulous, the scenery was fantastic, the sunsets sublime, the other ports of Flam and Bergen were beautiful, the Flam Railway was very interesting from this rail buff’s point of view and the whole cruise was just a delight. As a 29 year old ship Columbus has seen better days but her pedigree as a former P&O vessel amongst other owners is there to see. The inside areas feel open and spacious especially the 3 deck Atrium and the ambiance is relaxed and uncrowded. Although some of the décor is a little dated, the lighting has been improved in parts but could do with more work in other areas. The adjoining Taverners pub and the Connexions bar are very comfortable and sometimes busy and there are nice coffee bars including Cappuccinos on the Pool Deck serving good coffees and especially good Whittards Teas – all included on VIP but otherwise at modest extra charge. We only visited the Palladium theatre a few times but what we did see was very good and one of the regular performers, Chloe, has the most fantastic singing voice. The cruise theme was The 70’s and turns included The Rubettes and an Elvis impersonator. The last 2 night’s shows were performed in the Atrium so everyone could join in. There were a small number of young children on board and they were mainly to be seen in and around the pools and flocking round the performers at the Atrium shows. Credit to the parents here as they were very well-behaved and I think had a great time. Start em young as they say. The shows were mainly aimed at the British in content, showcasing Beatles songs and Queen songs for example so what the Dutch made of all this is not known. Blessed with such fantastic hot weather and with 2 sea days the pool deck was very busy but you would eventually find a lounger somewhere. Disembarkation was well flagged with leaflets in the cabins asking for cases outside by midnight and colour coded labels distributed. It actually ran ahead of schedule in our situation, everything went smoothly, cases found in the hall, shuttle bus waiting and the car started so all good. All in all a very good cruise, terrific vfm and I’m sure we’ll try CMV again subject to the itinerary. There are some exciting long voyages on their new ship Vasco da Gama coming up so who knows… Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
As a cruise I have no real complaints and it's not the reason I'm giving the poor overall review. I've been on many Cruises over the years and started off with the now extinct Airtours followed by Thompson Cruises and ... Read More
As a cruise I have no real complaints and it's not the reason I'm giving the poor overall review. I've been on many Cruises over the years and started off with the now extinct Airtours followed by Thompson Cruises and then moved on to P & O and Princess Cruises. It seems Cruise and Maritime have bitten off a little more than they can chew with the Columbus, but I think given time they will improve and be able to offer an amazing Cruising Experience. The refit that the ship underwent seems a little rushed with most of the focus being on the main atrium, Waterfront Restaurant and the Casino, all of which are lovely. My cabin was terrible though if I'm to be perfectly honest and I have added photos and a full review in that section. My waiter was really miserable. I'm not a difficult person by any stretch of the imagination before you think this is the case. He barely cracked a smile the entire trip. The rest of the staff were wonderful, the food was very good and the Captain, despite being a little hard to understand at times (which I'm not going to fault him for, he is Greek after all and English is not his first language) is very competent and friendly. The were a few service issues on some of the evenings The entertainments crew whilst very good are standard issue and nothing sets them apart from any other crew I've seen. But I think Tony Parkins, the Cruise Director is by far the best Cruise Director I've seen as he really gets 'stuck in' with entertaining the passengers and his Spanish lessons were helpful and fun! The daily schedule seemed a bit lacklustre on certain days, with many of the daily activities being un-hosted and little more than suggestions. I'm not cure if CMV blew their entire budget on the refit but the main big screen on deck was used only twice for evening films and both of the films were low budget British made movies. At first I thought perhaps I have been spoiled in the past with P & O and Princess, but then I remembered the 2nd time I was on the MS Carousel with Airtours, they would put a movie on in the show lounge late at night and they wouldn't be low budget movies either. The Palladium Show lounge is beautiful, albeit a terrible, terrible design (yes two 'terribles'). Forget about seeing anything worthwhile from anywhere on the upper floor and any one who posts a review or comment saying otherwise is either 3ft tall and could see under the railing or 8ft tall and sat in the back row, because I'm 6ft and my view was at least partially obscured at the best of times. My advice, get in quick and go downstairs for this to not be an issue. Last but not least, there seemed to be a lot of snagging left to do, which is worrying considering the Ship was launched 10 weeks ago. The most amusing thing I saw was an Exit sign fixed in place the wrong way round on deck 10. This was however fixed before the end of my Cruise. I could go on forever about all the good and bad points, but alas I have a Cabin review to write. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
The ship The Columbus was a little tired despite its recent refit but still good. The cabin we had was quite spacious compared to other ships we have been on a had a very large picture window. Twin beds and plenty of storage and hanger ... Read More
The ship The Columbus was a little tired despite its recent refit but still good. The cabin we had was quite spacious compared to other ships we have been on a had a very large picture window. Twin beds and plenty of storage and hanger space. No bath but a good sized shower. The cabin attendant was very good and worked very hard in keeping the cabin made up. Plenty of Bars on board and the Dining room and Theatre were on the same deck (7) albeit at opposite ends of the ship. However there were 2 bars between them and a third in the theatre. There is a three deck atrium (5,6,7) with yet another bar on deck 6. Shops on decks 6,7 and a coffee bar and casino on deck 5. The casino also had a Bar. Up on deck 12 there is a buffet style restaurant two swimming pools and a couple more open deck bars with seats in the pool by the barside. There is a large outdoors screen on deck 13 and the night club is on deck 14 with another bar. Jacuzzis were on deck 8 at the aft end of the ship. The spa and massage centre were down in the bowels of the ship on deck 2. The entertainment was very good and supplied by three female vocalists and two male vocalists with an 8 piece dance group of 4 females and 4 males. Guest acts consisted of one comedian and an act which related to the songs of the 60's and 70's. Both were very good. There was also a Girl who done an aerial cat on a couple of silk ropes/ribbons the positions she got into were awesome. Food and waiter service were excellent. I would recommend it anybody. Excellent value as we got the trip on the basis of buy one get one free. Only real complaint was with the dissemination of information regarding the shore trips. Every inquiry was met with please read your daily information programme which was delivered to the cabins at 20:30 hrs when we were at dinner. After dinner at 22:30 I hit the nightclub/casino so by the time I got to the cabin at 01:30 I wasn't in quite a fit enough state to read it, so perhaps my fault but they could have used the intercom to make announcements. Read Less
Columbus Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.6
Entertainment 3.0 3.5
Public Rooms 3.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.2
Family 1.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 2.0 3.0
Service 4.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.7

Find a Columbus Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise