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13 Cruise & Maritime Voyages Arctic Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for two reasons, firstly we wanted to visit the west of Greenland and this is the only ice-strengthened (double hull) cruise ship that we know of and secondly it was extremely good value for money. We were slightly ... Read More
We chose this cruise for two reasons, firstly we wanted to visit the west of Greenland and this is the only ice-strengthened (double hull) cruise ship that we know of and secondly it was extremely good value for money. We were slightly hesitant about choosing Marco Polo as we had heard passengers on other cruise ships say that wouldn't travel on her (on further questioning about their experience it mostly seemed that they had never travelled on her but were going by what 'other people' had told them). I would now say to those people that they are missing a great experience. Our choice is for smaller, older ships and Marco Polo is definitely this. She sits well in the water in rough seas, is immaculately clean and appears to be well maintained with no obvious maintenance work going on during our 3 week trip. The food was very good with choices for everyone and some of the meals were excellent - we had no complaints at all. The crew and staff were friendly, efficient and helpful and our room steward, Jose, waiter Iqbal and excursion staff Susan and Lena were absolutely excellent. Our cabin was a twin porthole cabin on deck five and it was absolutely fine - people didn't seem to care on this ship what deck you were on! There was no kettle in the cabin, which we missed - if you have a cabin with window rather than portholes then apparently you do get a kettle. Now to the cruise. We sailed from Hull and there were also 550 people on an overnight trip from Hull to Harwich. In Harwich the 'normal' passengers joined and there were around 800 of us on the trip, mostly British but with a good number of Australians. The age range was, I would say, 90% retired - but it is not easy for people in work to take three weeks holiday. Generally people were fit and healthy and able to get around well. I would say that most people were interested in the Arctic and wildlife and visiting unusual destinations - and happy to be getting away from the heat in the UK! The onboard lecturers in Arctic matters, wildlife, photography and wellbeing prepared us well for what was ahead. There were also classes in art, crafts and creative writing for those interested, as well as the usual quizzes, knit and natter, bridge, games etc. The show company were good and worked very hard and there were excellent light classical concerts by Laurence Robinson and resident classical duo Lidia and Tatiana which we enjoyed. Our first port of call should have been Lerwick in the Shetland Isles but due to rough weather for the tenders we visited Kirkwall in Orkney instead. This was excellent and the excursion staff did well in quickly arranging some tours. We visited Skara Brea and thoroughly enjoyed it. Our afternoon in Kirkwall was lovely and Orkney is certainly somewhere we would like to revisit. Torshavn in the Faroe Isles was our next port of call. It was rainy here but we enjoyed a good excursion to the picturesque Saksun village. For me the call here was marred by knowing about the whale hunting that was currently taking place ... I can accept whale/seal hunting for communities where it is essential, but I just wasn't sure that this was the case in the Faroes. The next two ports were in Iceland. Eskifjordur is a small town in the east. We had visited this area before so didn't do an excursion but enjoyed a walk around the town, you can walk up to a waterfall, and visited a beautiful modern church. Akureyri in the north is a good port to visit. We had arranged a whale watching tour privately (with Elding) and this was really good with plenty of opportunity for photographing the whales. Akureyri was very busy as there was a huge MSC cruise ship in dock too with 4500 passengers. I can recommend the Valdis ice cream shop in the main street - try the liquorice ice cream! Greenland - generally useful information is to take layers of clothes, our temperatures varied between 6 degrees and 22 degrees in the sunshine. Also essential is mosquito repellent and mosquito nets to wear over a hat. The mosquitos here are huge! All of the towns have wonderful colourful houses and there is lots of beautiful scenic cruising between ports. Tasiilaq was our first port in Greenland. There was thick mist when we arrived but we went ashore and the mist lifted to reveal colourful buildings and huge icebergs in the fjord. There were no organised excursions here but we knew that there were some walks here, for the energetic over the hills to a lake and for the reasonably fit a walk to the 'Flower Valley'. The wild flowers here were stunning, as was the cemetery. Unfortunately there was a lot of rubbish around - I understand that they only incinerate rubbish in Greenland with no recycling facilities so rubbish is a problem in places. Good ice cream at the red shop with the destinations finger post (you can't miss it) and good quality tupilak souvenirs in this shop too. We saw our first husky dogs here - they are working dogs and are chained but they seemed happy enough. Narsarsuaq was the port for an amazing excursion in the Qoroq Ice Fjord. This was stunning and I can't recommend it enough. We were in a small local fishing boat, just 8 of us, and we were dwarfed by the huge icebergs, getting close enough to touch them. The fisherman then took us to glacier that the icebergs calved from, shut off the boat engine and we sat there in the absolute quiet, it was wonderful. In the afternoon we were tendered to the quayside and walked to Narsarsuaq, a good 20 minute walk (there was a small minibus for those with limited mobility). Here there is a hotel with a cafe, the Blue Ice Cafe with a shop (and wifi), a small museum and an airport. There are longer walks for the energetic. Sisimiut is Greenland's second city, but more the size of a town. It is a pleasant town to walk around with a supermarket, clothes stores etc. There were good quality souvenirs in the hotel gift shop (near the museum). I understand there is wi-fi at the library. The museum here looked very good but as it was sunny we stayed outdoors and had a good walk around the city. There are longer walks for those interested. Near the harbour there was a workshop where you can see Tupilak being carved and the amazing Quivet (musk oxen) yarn being knitted - the yarn costs £60 ball! Kangerlussuaq was a tender port and, as the tide was low and the mud flats high, the tender boats could only take 25 passengers at a time. This did cause some delays in getting off the ship and in particular getting back later in the day when some passengers had to wait an hour to get a tender back, but for me it was worth it as we got to do an excursion to the stunning Russell Glacier. We travelled in a tundra bus for about an hour - it should be noted here that the roads are very rough and some of the buses not too comfortable. The scenery was interesting and in places really beautiful and the glacier was just awesome. We didn't actually stop in the town but Greenland's largest airport is here and there was a selection of shops. Nuuk is Greenland's capital city - but probably not like any capital city you have visited before - and it is easy to get around on foot. Almost a quarter of Greenland's population live here. There are 62 miles of roads here - none of the communities in Greenland are joined by road - and it is quite a shock to be back in traffic, not that it was that busy. It is the administrative centre for Greenland and there are many shops here with everything you could need and also the Greenland National Museum - most of the places we visited in Greenland had small museums but this was the only one that we visited and it was excellent. The Qilakitsoq mummies are here. Qaqortoq back in the south was our last Greenland port of call. It is a small town easy to walk around with longer walks if you want them. There is tourist information, which is also a shop and there are about 40 sculptures and rock carvings around the town. There is a lovely small church and a small valley alongside it with flowers. There is a well-stocked supermarket here too. Should you wish you can also visit a factory shop near the harbour where seal skin products are for sale. After two days at sea we had a day in Reykjavik. As we have spent time here before we didn't do an excursion but walked from the berth to the city centre (about an hour - £18 return on shuttle bus provided by port). We went to the Harpa cultural centre (free wi-fi and free toilets here - not always the case in Iceland!). We watched a good short film about Iceland and then had a good walk around the harbour area where there are various museums and food shops - was pleased to see another branch of the Vardis ice cream shop opposite the maritime museum for my fix of licorice ice cream! I should perhaps mention that one night in Greenland Marco Polo did 'bump into' an iceberg! We did have two ice pilots on board and I believe there was just no way around this iceberg. There was a bit of a bang and scraping of the ice and everything fell over in the cabin, but actually it was fine and this is almost certainly due to Marco Polo being such a strong ship. The company did take it seriously and specialist divers did check the hull while we were in Sisimiut but all was fine and our journey continued without further incident. I hope that this has given a good impression of our Marco Polo cruise with some useful information on the ports - this was difficult to find before we travelled as there are currently no guide books available on Greenland. Our conclusion was that this was an excellent trip and we will definitely be looking out for Marco Polo's more interesting itineraries in the future - rumour has it that Cruise & Maritime may be selling her and I sincerely hope this isn't the case, think they should market her as an heritage ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was my fourth cruise with CMV but my first on the Marco Polo, I had heard so much about this ship from friends who had been on its 50th Anniversary Cruise up the St Lawrence. I must admit I had heard bad reports as well as good ... Read More
This was my fourth cruise with CMV but my first on the Marco Polo, I had heard so much about this ship from friends who had been on its 50th Anniversary Cruise up the St Lawrence. I must admit I had heard bad reports as well as good reports about this ship but my own findings were that it has a charm all of its own and a very friendly dedicated crew. The reason I choose a cruise is to see different places and experience different cultures, this cruise to Greenland really was an amazing experience but could have been better if the quality of the lecturers had been more consistent. The difference that onboard lecturers can make to a cruise is more than significant and on this cruise the ability and relevant knowledge of the lecturers varied to the extreme. The main lecturer was Prof. Eric McVicar, who when I looked him up on the internet was described by one University as "an Internationally recognised expert on Arctic cultures and ecology". This was certainly the case, every lecture he gave was pertinent and relevant to the destinations visited. His lectures were delivered in an exceptionally professional manner and were highly informative, as well as being delivered with more than a touch of humour. Strangely enough my friends who had been on the CMV Anniversary Cruise had also commented on the brilliant lecturer they had encountered, the same Prof. Eric McVicar. In all my years of cruising he is the first lecturer I have ever come across who has given two evening shows in the show lounge followed by a question and answer session and to get into his lectures you had to arrive very early to ensure getting a seat. CMV has done well to secure a lecturer of this standing. We had the privilege of having lunch with him on a couple of occasions during which he was asked by one passenger "Do you also lecture in the Antarctic?" To which he replied he only lectured in places where he felt that he was suitably qualified and had sufficient knowledge to answer questions, a point which other lecturers should take on board and he was definitely the best lecturer I have come across in my years of cruising. The second lecturer was Sue Walsh who was described as a wildlife expert, I could find no references to her on the internet. Rather than describe her as a wildlife expert i would say a more apt description would be amateur bird watcher, her lectures were delivered in a monotonous patronising manner more like a bored primary school teacher with a class of 8 year olds. Her wildlife knowledge expired after three lectures, included in one was a reference that one needn't worry about Arctic mosquitoes as they did not carry malaria, thankfully Prof. McVicar subsequently informed us that although they were free of malaria they did cause encephalitis and that Arctic Blackfly could cause blackfly fever and therefore taking precautions to avoid insect bites was essential. Both insects were encountered during the trip so it shows a little knowledge is a very dangerous thing! After running out of wildlife information Sue treated us to 10 hints on how to live longer and another on ways to make ourselves more self asserted. Considering the average age of the passengers and the fact that many of us were retired professionals, University Professors, Doctors and Teachers these lectures were extremely patronising. Another of her lectures was titled Chickens in Colorado, what on earth that had to do with the Arctic God only knows! Definitely the worst lecturer I have ever come across and I was not the only one who was of this view, as one lady who farmed reindeer said that she talked "a right load of crap". The third lecturer was more of an interest subject rather than about the cruise destinations, Ian was a photographer whose hints on how to achieve excellent photographs with even the most basic equipment such as a phone camera were very good, however his last two lectures were his holiday photographs taken on a pilgrimage following the children of Israel out of Egypt, considering the religious diversity of the passengers these two lectures were not really appropriate on such a cruise. On the other entertainment side the comedians were dire but there was a real treat with Tenor Laurence Robinson who not only was a delight to listen to but was a great entertainer to boot by involving the audience in an extremely entertaining and humerous manner, top marks to Laurence. The ship's show team and Cruise Director Jonathan Dulson put every ounce of effort and enthusiasm into their performances, and considering the small size of the ship and stage this was no mean feat. The adult only feature of the CMV cruises I have been on has always been a factor in deciding which cruises we go on and no doubt we shall return to CMV when we see a cruise to destinations which we find interesting, hopefully in the case of Canada we will again have the delight of Prof. McVicar's lectures. The cabin we had on the ship was an outside cabin with twin beds, although small was comfortable and the steward was outstandingly attentive to all our needs and requirements. Port and short excursions - we do not go on many excursions as we prefer to explore ourselves and see how the local populations live and work, in the case of Iceland however it is obvious that most of those involved in tourism are also involved in what may be termed extortion and daylight robbery, suggest to anyone going ashore in Reykjavik that they take a packed lunch and walk into town and keep their hands in their pockets and go to the toilet before you go in as it will cost you £2.50 (they do take credit and debit cards at the toilet). As always the food was good wholesome fare, don't expect lobsters and caviar at CMV's prices but you certainly won't go hungry and the variety of food and the service cannot be criticised. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This Northern Lights Cruise surpassed all my expectations. I chose this cruise because it had been a very long standing ambition to do so and I had at last found a friend was willing to go with me. Shortly after booking I was diagnosed ... Read More
This Northern Lights Cruise surpassed all my expectations. I chose this cruise because it had been a very long standing ambition to do so and I had at last found a friend was willing to go with me. Shortly after booking I was diagnosed with Meniere's Disease, which causes severe episodes of vertigo and sickness and for some weeks was convinced I would have to cancel. However, I researched the condition thoroughly with the help of the Meniere's Society and my doctor and with careful planning to cover every eventuality I decided to fulfill my dream. I booked all the on-shore activities I really wanted to do and determined not to over-reach myself. As a result I was able to enjoy all my choices and kept well. It is almost 2 weeks since I returned home. Was it worth it? Did I make the right decision? Absolutely. It was a fabulous experience and helped me regain my confidence. I had such admiration for all other passengers with health problems and their courage in undertaking such an adventure. For two weeks the weather was coming from Siberia and temperatures were lower than they had been for years. The results were perfectly clear skies: blue and sunny every day; starry by night. The benefits were several Northern Lights sightings; breathtaking scenery with fabulous photographic opportunities; access to all the scheduled ports; remarkably calm seas and good humoured passengers. I haven't enjoyed myself or laughed so much in years. The crew was exceptionally helpful and pleasant. They all seemed very happy in their work and nothing was too much trouble. I was particularly impressed with the standard of hygiene. Wherever you went, crew were continuously cleaning and "disinfecting" all surfaces being touched by passengers. The excursions were superbly organised and managed. The food was fantastic. We had been allocated a table in The Waldorf restaurant where the waiter service was slick, cheery and professional. I would recommend sitting at a table for 8 people for dinner as my friend and I had a table for two and missed out on sharing experiences with other passengers. We ate Dinner at 8.15pm and just retired to our cabin afterwards, so I cannot comment on the quality of entertainment. The excellent quality of accommodation, service and excursions was enough for me I am hard of hearing and had to rely on my friend to relay to me information being disseminated via the tannoy system. On our return to the UK my friend and I developed colds but during our absence so had her husband and daughter who live in different regions of England. Some tips: take an extra battery for you camera; if the sea is rough put a wet paper serviette under your mug of tea or coffee to prevent it moving; beware of being oversold in the fitness centre; choose a cabin that satisfies your expectations. Unreservedly, the best holiday I've ever had! I would highly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We wanted a winter cruise to celebrate my 70th birthday. Having called into the co op travel agents in Lincoln ,this one was recommended to us by one of the cruise specialists.we couldn't have enjoyed it more! The staff on board were ... Read More
We wanted a winter cruise to celebrate my 70th birthday. Having called into the co op travel agents in Lincoln ,this one was recommended to us by one of the cruise specialists.we couldn't have enjoyed it more! The staff on board were all amazing and friendly- nothing too much trouble. I was ill a couple of days into the trip and needed to use the ships medical department. The treatment I got was first class and with a couple of days intensive treatment I was fit to enjoy the rest of the cruise. Food on board was delicious and plentiful and was presented in the first class restaurants as if in a top class hotel. There was a less formal restaurant but the food was excellent in there too. Entertainment was first class with terrific shows each night as well as many and varied day time activities. There was also a wide range on shore excursions ( not cheap as Norway is expensive) and we took advantage of a few of them which we thoroughly enjoyed. We made some good friends who we hope to cruise with again in the future with this line. Now, try as I might, I can't think of any negatives. There was an incident of burst pipes which I believe caused flooding to some areas but the staff worked so hard to sort the problem and did so quickly. I did overhear some guests complaining about various things but they all sounded quite trivial to me. I do feel that some folks complain for complaining X sake!! However, everyone is of course entitled to their opinion. We certainly enjoyed ourselves and would highly recommend cruise and maritime and the Magellan to anyone. Many thanks for a memorable trip. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise to see the Northern Lights in Norway Everything started off ok with embarkation and the cabin (6064) seemed ok and throughout the cruise the cabin attendant was very good. As the cruise went on our cabin became very ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see the Northern Lights in Norway Everything started off ok with embarkation and the cabin (6064) seemed ok and throughout the cruise the cabin attendant was very good. As the cruise went on our cabin became very noisy with creaking and banging coming from around the wardrobe area. The food we found to be very good for breakfast in the Waldorf and dinner in the Kensington was also very good,. We only used the buffet restaurant sometimes for lunch because as usual people sat at the tables after their breakfast not allowing others to sit down. This was very bad on sea days. We attended the Chefs Table which was paid extra. The food was very pretty and well presented but I think the chef had not heard of seasoning overall not worth the price paid almost £100.. We had the drinks package which if you like a drink is well worth paying for. The entertainment was very poor around the bars unless you like a violin and a piano ( very good at what they did) or a solo singer singing old songs no lively music until after 11 at night if at all. I believe that the cruise director was changed just before our cruise so changes may be made although speaking to the cruise director was very difficult as he always seemed to be in a rush with no time to talk. The shows at night were very good. Places visited were good and the trips we did were good Many people had coughs and colds at the end of the cruise including us. One person that we know of sadly died and as far as we were told there were cases of the dreaded winter virus on board. A lot of comments about Magellan suggest that the air conditioning is at fault to which we agree. Pneumonia on the new year cruise, chest infections on the Amazon cruise with illness on our trip. Announcments were bad throuhout the ship. It was impossible to understand the Captain when he announced something but announcements made by another person in German and Dutch were very clear. Having travelled on many cruises with other companies we feel that the comment "You get what you pay for " is not valid as we find in may cases it compares with other companies. Obviously if you book way ahead there are discounts. Would we go on the Magellan again answer no Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
In July we joined Columbus for a cruise to Iceland which turned out to be the cruise from hell. The problems started on arrival at Tilbury we had taken the coach transfer from Victoria which was delayed and despite being told on the tannoy ... Read More
In July we joined Columbus for a cruise to Iceland which turned out to be the cruise from hell. The problems started on arrival at Tilbury we had taken the coach transfer from Victoria which was delayed and despite being told on the tannoy to proceed directly to check in the cruise director told us to sit down even though there was no queue. Once on the vessel there was no possibility of getting anything to eat between 4:30 and 6:00. The lifeboat drill was managed by the entertainment team with no ships officers anywhere to be seen. Despite CMV pushing the fact they are a “British Cruise Line” the all inclusive drinks package include only a german lager no british beer at all, the bar staff also served cheap spirits which was meant for the cocktails rather than the named brands which were included in the package. The vessel had been refitted after arrival from Australia, one of the main changes was the main dining room which had been split into small areas, with partitions. This meant that to serve food the waiters had to lean over diners, it also meant we could not see the waiters if we wanted to attract their attention. There were many other problems in the MDR on the first night our dining companions could not get any of the first three wines they chose and later the waiter did not know what port was. Breakfast in the MDR was a disaster the menu was very limited, it was almost impossible to get toast and there were no preserves on the table when asked a spoonful was placed on the cold toast. Although at breakfast the food was better in the self service restaurant it was almost impossible to find a seat as people remained at the tables long after finishing their meals. Lunch in the MDR was acceptable despite having the wrong food delivered on a regular basis. Having cruised with other lines, the quality of the entertainment was significantly lower, the dancers were not synchronised and the singer’s voices did not blend together. The vessel has three levels of dress code formal, informal and casual, the informal dress code for men included a jacket however at least half did not wear them and nothing was said about it, on the formal night one man appeared in a jumper and again nothing was said. When we arrived at the ports no announcements were made to advise we could leave the vessel, at Torshavn we were told we had to collect tickets for the free bus to the town, having queued for half an hour to collect tickets everybody was told to go the buses together, when we arrived and looked for our bus we were told to get on the first one and ignore the ticket. The main conclusion was that the cruise and the vessel required better management starting from arrival times at Tilbury on the first day, they did not allow for traffic problems, right to the delays on the coach back to London. As things seem to change a little throughout the cruise it appeared as though CMV were using this cruise as a shake down to learn about the boat and the problems that needed attending to. This was not fair on the passengers who had paid for a normal cruise. The boat has had very little work done on it since the move from Pacific Pearl to Columbus, no work was done on the cabins. There seems to have been little training of a new crew especially with the range of nationalities who clearly had communications problems. There was not enough attention to detail regarding hygiene very little suggestions that we should use the hand sanitisers, it was only later in the cruise that the waiters stood by the door to the MDR with sanitizers. The quality of the food was poor served cool and several times incorrectly. The wine waiter at dinner did not do his job he seemed more interested in clearing plates and serving coffee before the sweet was served. The timetable on the boat is geared towards the first sitting dinner, lunch finishes at 2pm and although there was a tea it served dry sandwiches, variable scones and a couple of cakes during a one hour period, finishing at 4:30pm. There is then 4 hours until late sitting and , if you miss tea there is no opportunity to get included food until 8:30 dinner so it can be 6 ½ hrs between food. This is also true of other special events such as the whiskey tasting event on this cruise, held between 9 and 10 in the evening right in the middle of meal time, also the late night snacks served at 11 in the bars, which sometimes arrived before we did from dinner. If late night snacks can be provided for first sitting or those eating in the bistro why can they not provide pre dinner snacks for second sitting? The Captain and Cruise Director were almost invisible, we heard the Captain with his midday report any time between 11:45 and 12:15 depending on what suited him irrespective of what events may be happening also decided to announce we were leaving Kirkwall whilst the locals were on the dockside entertaining us with dancing and bagpipes. On other vessels the Captain will be seen walking around the vessel chatting to the passengers. We are used to seeing the Captain and senior crew in their whites for formal night, not there brown suits with bow ties. We never saw the Cruise Director before the early show. The bar staff were very good however waitresses should take an order leave it at the bar and go to get the next orders, collect the first one and deliver, they should also be circulating when not actually serving drinks. On returning from the cruise I sent a detailed list of problems to CMV with a list of suggestions on how a lot of the problems could be rectified, it took CMV six weeks to respond and then it was sent to our travel agent who forwarded it, the response acknowledged some of the comments but tried to defend the crew and ship especially the training of the crew. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Chosen because we wanted to see the Northern Lights, and we did. There were some very good things about this cruise. The food and waiter service in the Waldorf restaurant were excellent. The cabin steward was excellent and kept the cabin ... Read More
Chosen because we wanted to see the Northern Lights, and we did. There were some very good things about this cruise. The food and waiter service in the Waldorf restaurant were excellent. The cabin steward was excellent and kept the cabin spotless. The cruise was advertised as the 'Northern Lights' and they did appear - wonderful. BUT there were many small irritations about this cruise that combined to warrant a poor rating overall. It would be tiresome for the reader if I detailed them all and in fairness to C&MV some of them were beyond their control. Here, in no particular order, are the main ones: a) the airconditioning/heating system. Public areas cold throughout the duration of the cruise. Cabins freezing cold initially and then became like ovens. Old ship not designed for operation in Northern waters? b) Lifts insufficient in number and size to cope with passenger numbers (ship full). One lift 'temporarily out of order' for duration of cruise. An extraordinary number of passengers on mobility scooters, in wheelchairs and using wheeled mobility aides did not help the situation and many of them barged into the lifts as did some uncouth able passengers. Some bad behaviour in evidence as a result of frustration due long wait for lifts. c) The Bistro on deck 10. What a shambles. Poorly designed and never enough seating. Poor quality food. Supposed to provide 24 hours tea/coffee but 2 of 3 drinks stations closed at night. No sachets of coffee 2 days running. Again selfish and boorish behaviour on display because of frustration at long queues at drink stations and lack of seating. d) Bossy and unfriendly restaurant waiters at breakfast and lunch directing passengers where to sit to suit their convenience and not that of the passenger. e) Bridge (the card game) players!! I admit I detested them before boarding the Magellan. C&MV saw fit to allow a group (I counted 24 passengers out of 1250) of these card players to monopolize a public space that provided access to a rear viewing deck for the Northern Lights. They posted a note on the door stating 'private function, bridge in progress, no entry'. I ignored their notice but walking through the room to get to the rear deck I could sense the eyes burning into my back. I didn't pay for a cruise to be intimidated in his way.[They were an anally retentive lot - there was a beautiful display the Lights one night and dozens of passengers intruded on their stupid game. And yes, they kept right on playing rather than step out and see one of nature's marvels.] f) The reception staff - efficient but brusque and lacking initiative. Epitomized by one of officer rank, small in stature but huge in ego, who was totally incapable of applying logic to the distribution of complimentary bus service tickets. 'I am obeying my orders. You will wait in line until the appointed time even though I am sitting here ready to distribute the tickets. You will also obey orders.' Yes mein Feuhrer! g) Having to limbo dance under the ship's doorways to get on and off the vessel because the gangway was always too low to the quayside. h) Entertainment. Some very good (comedian, classical duo, banjo player, showband) but others appalling especially the singers who could NOT sing in key, were flat, nasal and apparently tone deaf. Enough - probably will not use C&MV again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
be very careful when you select all inclusive with Cruise and Maritime as it is not what it says.Firstly I am a beer drinker,and the only draught beer was german lager.If you wanted bitter or any other beer they only had cans and ... Read More
be very careful when you select all inclusive with Cruise and Maritime as it is not what it says.Firstly I am a beer drinker,and the only draught beer was german lager.If you wanted bitter or any other beer they only had cans and bottles,which were NOT inclusive,but you had to pay between £3 and £4 for them. Also the water in your room was not included (£2.20) a bottle,and if you wanted a coffee from the bar you had to pay for that too ! The food in the bar could have been better if it was hot,more often than not it was only warm. The best food was from the service on deck 8 during the lunch hour. The entertainment apart from the excellent show team,consisted mainly of quizes,not enough game shows etc. The staff,although very competent,could have been more friendly. The cabins,although small,were kept very clean and tidy. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We have been on the Marco Polo 3 times which shows how highly we rate it. Left Liverpool this time which compares favourably to Tilbury. We stayed overnight so that we were able to enjoy almost a full day in Liverpool. Parking was no ... Read More
We have been on the Marco Polo 3 times which shows how highly we rate it. Left Liverpool this time which compares favourably to Tilbury. We stayed overnight so that we were able to enjoy almost a full day in Liverpool. Parking was no problem when, after first dumping the cases, we eventually worked out our way to the designated park across from embarkation. We had a little walk from the car park. Not sure how you would manage if you had mobility problems with that. Cruise destinations were superb. Days at sea well catered for including craft sessions, lectures, (thanks so much to the wonderful Michael Scott who kept us well entertained while at sea), quizzes general activities, use of the gym, and Jacuzzi (I never managed either of them, but friends did and the jacuzzi looked very inviting on top deck). The entertainment in the evening was excellent plus! Compared to Thompson ships very nearly as good. The ship is small 770 passengers no children. On this particular cruise we experienced quite a bit of 'rocking and rolling' in the stormy weather. In fact the ship was delayed on leaving Reykavic. The Captain Kept us well informed and we felt safe and comfortable knowing we were in good hands. I know some people were a bit 'under the weather' so to speak. Do give this ship a try. I hope you love it like we do. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Just returned from a Northern Lights Cruise on the Magellan. The cabin staff and the restaurant staff are great, friendly and helpful, as are the medical team if you need them. However the chef is not properly in charge of his kitchen; I ... Read More
Just returned from a Northern Lights Cruise on the Magellan. The cabin staff and the restaurant staff are great, friendly and helpful, as are the medical team if you need them. However the chef is not properly in charge of his kitchen; I had to send 5 main courses back as inedible. The worst was the fish in batter, good old fish and chips which I chose as being a safe bet, but the fish was totally raw inside the batter. One dish, tortellini in a cheese sauce,had the pasta so overcooked it was slimy and to add insult to injury it had not been properly drained so the cheese sauce was watery beyond belief. When the food was good it was very good, but the chef was not doing adequate quality control, or has low standards and some of his staff are obviously sloppy workers. The other down side is that there is inadequate seating when everyone is aboard and the weather not suitable for people to sit out on deck. We had to spend one whole afternoon in the cabin in order to sit down while others were having to sit on the window sills in the main lounges and hallways. The wifi is astronomically expensive and just about functions some of the time. The cruise itself was an interesting trip - we visited some great places but I would not travel on Magellan again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
12 night cruise to Iceland/Scotland. Embarkation was quite quick. We did not have any of our passports or bags checked, there were 4 of us. Our cases came quickly except one. But not too bad. Not many of the staff spoke much English, ... Read More
12 night cruise to Iceland/Scotland. Embarkation was quite quick. We did not have any of our passports or bags checked, there were 4 of us. Our cases came quickly except one. But not too bad. Not many of the staff spoke much English, but you could get a long way with a smile. Most staff were friendly and helpful. Cabin staff were lovely, and cabin was always cleaned well. However,trips could be absolutely chaotic. On one trip we had to climb up two steps, then we had to try and put our foot onto two black tyres that were attached to the dock side. We were then hauled on to the dock side. Not a very dignified way to arrive! The lady in front of me was elderly and was obviously in pain as her arms were pulled so she could start her trip! On another trip they called about 300 passengers to fill up 5 coaches all at once. My mother and I went down in the lift, unfortunately we couldn't get out as the way was blocked by hundreds of other passengers! Some people waited on the stairs for 20 mins. The entertainment company were enthusiastic, not much more to say! Food was much the same on most days. It was however, tasty and hot. Trying to get a table in the Bistro was horrendous. Many people just sat there reading/doing crosswords and refused to move, meaning people trying to eat were forced outside. Which when in Iceland, was a bit cold! After a few mouthfuls we didn't bother. The Kensington restaurant food was barely warm, and the portions were so small, we just fell about laughing. We didn't use it again. The tables by the pool were acceptable for maybe a drink, but they weren't far off plastic garden furniture. They were dirty,scruffy and uncomfortable if you were forced to eat there. They were unsuitable for an extension of the Bistro restaurant, for which they were often used. It was also the place for all the smokers on board! The cabin that I was In was so hot. I did ask for it to be sorted out, but it was never resolved. The air conditioning unit was on the ceiling, which at 5ft 2in was impossible for me to reach. My husband who is 6ft 2in did try but it made no difference. I feel that the negative points were too many to overlook, I would therefore, not use this company again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
My wife and I boarded at Bristol for 12 nights around Iceland and home via Dublin. Bristol was perfect for us as we visited Bath and Wells and spent 3 nights in Bristol. We truly found everything and everyone on board delightful. The ... Read More
My wife and I boarded at Bristol for 12 nights around Iceland and home via Dublin. Bristol was perfect for us as we visited Bath and Wells and spent 3 nights in Bristol. We truly found everything and everyone on board delightful. The service was great and we enjoyed the meals. The ship herself was comfortable albeit a trifle quaint; our cabin was spotless (thank you Irina). The bar drinks were indeed reasonable and the choices excellent. Our visits in ports all ran smoothly and the skies were mostly blue ! It did help that all passengers were of a similar adventurous mind going to Iceland in the spring. We made long term friends. We would genuinely both like to thank the crew for making our second honeymoon a wonderful and happy occasion... My wife said she would love to go on another cruise with the same ship and crew. As would I Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
CMV Marco Polo P500 Cruise March 2015 (review delayed due to poor response by CMV to valid complaints). This cruise was advertised as an “Eclipse and Northern Lights Spectacular” and we should have known that things were not quite ... Read More
CMV Marco Polo P500 Cruise March 2015 (review delayed due to poor response by CMV to valid complaints). This cruise was advertised as an “Eclipse and Northern Lights Spectacular” and we should have known that things were not quite right when the invoice had the correct dates but the wrong days of the week. Generally we found the food quality, cabins and staff helpfulness much better than we had anticipated from previous CC postings. Maybe we were lucky that the seas were kind from Tilbury to Reykjavik and the vessel was reasonably stable both ways. In general we found the Marco Polo was very pleasant considering the age of the vessel. The areas that could benefit improvement were the scanning of passengers on and off the vessel and the labor-intensive handling of luggage, both of which were certainly dated. The unfortunate problems lie with the planning. The docking location in the Faroe Islands was changed from Torshavn to Kollafjordur. Although this was less convenient, CMV finally offered a free bus service to Torshavn but the additional travel time was not appreciated. More disturbing was the change in leaving Reykjavik from 6 PM Monday to 6 AM Monday, especially as it was not clearly pointed out and came as a surprise to some passengers. This was probably a typo. Several passengers complained about this change and were given all sorts of tales about the port not having docking space but the fact remains that there was insufficient time to reach Invergordon unless the Marco Polo left early Monday morning. The main problem with this cruise was that it was advertised as “Eclipse and Northern Lights Spectacular” and it failed miserably on both these counts. The cruise was first advertised about two years before the eclipse and after quickly becoming fully booked CMV decided to add their newly acquired Magellan to attempt to view the eclipse. A total eclipse of the sun is a spectacular event that can last from a few seconds to about seven and a half minutes. Clear skies are essential and we understood that we only had about a 40 percent chance at best for this eclipse. What we did not anticipate is that CMV appeared to have no clear understanding of viewing a solar eclipse. Although CMV denies aiming for the point of maximum eclipse, a live plot of the Marco Polo course shows no deviation to seek clear skies. Many other vessels were able take the weather conditions into account and to at least see a partial if not a total eclipse. Unfortunately all the Marco Polo passengers experienced was a sudden darkening of a very cloudy sky with many not understanding what they had missed. CMV was more concerned in trying to video the Marco Polo and the Magellan cruising together rather than attempting to view totality! The Northern Lights experience was equally frustrating. Five coach loads of passengers were taken from the ship (where the moon was visible) to a dark site that was so clouded that no glimmer of the moon was present. Northern Lights tours by local companies were cancelled due to the poor viewing conditions and those from the Marco Polo should also have been cancelled. Complaints to CMV regarding the Marco Polo P500 cruise not living up to the two main advertised attractions were fruitless. Responses to specific complaints were miserably slow to non-existent. What has been learned is that any complaints to CMV regarding non-performance should be made while still aboard the vessel. Although one hopes it will not be necessary any future cruise complaints will be made before the end of the voyage irrespective of the cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
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