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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We have made a great trip through Scandinavia and the Baltic States to Saint Petersburg. The ship is somewhat outdated, but the rooms are very comfortable. The service from the staff is fantastic, and the food in the (buffet) restaurant ... Read More
We have made a great trip through Scandinavia and the Baltic States to Saint Petersburg. The ship is somewhat outdated, but the rooms are very comfortable. The service from the staff is fantastic, and the food in the (buffet) restaurant is great too. The shows in the evening are nice and not inferior to the shows that other companies offer. There are plenty of activities on the ship - even on days when you don't go ashore. The only drawback we found was that 90% of the passengers boarded in London, and therefore everything on the ship is aimed at these British passengers. For example, there is a big show to welcome the guests, where no word is said about the passengers who have been on board for 2 weeks and disembark the day after in Rotterdam. There is also a "British Only" buffet. As a result, as a non-Briton you get the feeling that you are in the third wheel. This feeling was shared by many Irish / Spanish / Dutch guests. Disembarkation is very chaotic: in Tilbury there are long queues and people who do not need to disembark are asked to wait in the room - when all British passengers have left, there is not enough time left to take the train to London . Also in Rotterdam the departure is chaotic and you get the idea that they are doing this for the first time. This is much better organized at other companies. Another point of irritation is that British passengers occupy seats in large numbers: for the show at 9 p.m. you have to take a seat at 8 p.m. because otherwise there are no good places left. People occupy entire rows for guests who come later. Also at the pool early in the morning sun loungers are claimed with a towel - some of these chairs are not used all day. It is regularly announced that this is not desirable, but that does not resolve it. With other cruises I have never experienced that you have to go to the theatre 1 hour before the start of a show to make sure there is a seat for you. The excursions were all perfectly arranged. They've done that well! All in all we had a great holiday, thanks to the great staff and the good food. Still, I would choose a different company next time. Read Less
5 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise primarily to go to St Petersburg but every destination was beautiful. We booked an inside cabin on a price basis and we were upgraded to an outside window cabin which was a bonus. Our cabin was 6167 which I would ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily to go to St Petersburg but every destination was beautiful. We booked an inside cabin on a price basis and we were upgraded to an outside window cabin which was a bonus. Our cabin was 6167 which I would recommend as it is midships around the corner from Raffles bar which overlooks the Atrium, and one deck down from the Waterfront restaurant and Palladium theatre. We did our own thing at all destinations except St Petersburg where we booked for the ballet on the first evening and panorama tour on the second afternoon, both excellent. We found all the food to be excellent in The restaurant and the buffet. We ate most meals in the restaurant and dinners were especially enjoyable thanks to the lovely group of companions on our table, a laugh a minute!! We had no problem getting a sun lounger and the bar service around the pool was great. The entertainment was mostly excellent and we enjoyed Karaoke three times. We had adverse weather on the last day and night which delayed us by 3 hours but no complaints as safety is more important than speed. Overall I would recommend the ship, the cruise line and cruise itinerary. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We wanted to visit the Baltics and chose this cruise because of the departure from Scotland having previously travelled on this ship to Iceland in 2017 also from Scotland . Embarkation quick and efficient cabin ready and waiting luggage ... Read More
We wanted to visit the Baltics and chose this cruise because of the departure from Scotland having previously travelled on this ship to Iceland in 2017 also from Scotland . Embarkation quick and efficient cabin ready and waiting luggage at our door shortly after we got to cabin Cabin Steward Aung Soe quiet courteous and good at his job . Unpacked then time for Lifeboat drill which is mandatory Lovely views of the Tay from the deck things explained well staff very helpful with life jackets making sure no trip hazards from straps . Kensington 2 nd sitting our allocated dining which we went to every night with the exception of our first night and also one evening when we were going to an evening excursion in St Petersburg . Waiters Denys and Thia were excellent at looking after the 6 people at our table ?The ladies at the table 4 of us Recieved red roses one night and hand made origami flowers on one other evening .The company at table all lovely and we had a good time . Shows in Show lounge all good some I preferred .One evening the artist from Hamptons did a show in the main showroom and it was Fantastic Gerswin,s Rhapsody in blue one of the notable pieces but both artist gave great performances .Show Team good fun and Orchestra Great .Cruise Director Changed at Copenhagen to the same one we had on Iceland Cruise .We welcomed this as Toby is a great performer and joins in with the Show team . We discovered Hernan the Guitarist in Taveners Bar and most evenings caught a good bit of his performances Hernan a solo performer with great guitar skills and his music choices suited our taste . We caught snatches of game shows and cabaret in Captains club Particularly enjoyed Stephanie solo cabaret where she had chosen great old songs which suited her voice In Magellen Show lounge we enjoyed the From Russia with love show in particular. Food overal is very good .Bacon tends to be a bit hard at breakfast other than that I had no complaints .Always something on the menu choice I could have . Craft classes I managed to get to 2 which I really enjoyed Art classes my husband and I both Attended and found Nina,s classes very helpful .We attended Dave Wrights lectures and he filled the Show Lounge he was so good and informative about all of his subjects from the Romanovs to Mary Queen Of Scots .Didn,t manage to get to the pop music lectures from a different Lecturer as they clashed with other things we were doing .Prebooked leisurely shore excursions in most ports and enjoyed all of them especially the Russian Folklore show which was fantastic .Weather was mixed but overal not bad considering the time of year early May 2019 Overall we had a great cruise met some lovely people Both staff and passengers and returned to Scotland Getting off ship organised well waiting in allocated areas till staff member comes to collect you . Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this trip as we wanted to see Norway and the Northern lights. When we got to Tibury we were sent round in circles. The signs were few and far between and not very well positioned. We followed the signs only to be told that we ... Read More
We chose this trip as we wanted to see Norway and the Northern lights. When we got to Tibury we were sent round in circles. The signs were few and far between and not very well positioned. We followed the signs only to be told that we were in the wrong area. It was like Custers last stand! There were cars going round and round in circles all being in the wrong place. We finally got to the right area and had to sit under a marquee with rain, whipped up by high winds, blowing through!! The first impression of the ship wasn't good. It looked pretty unkempt . We were on deck 7 and the smell of sewage and fuel oil was overwhelming . I made a comment to one off the crew and we were told " It's an old ship " and that this was it's last trip before a refit. The smell got worse over the next 4 days particularly when the Captain made a decision to sail with a force 11 predicted!! We had 7/8 metre waves and hurricane force winds. This was a full day at sea. The opinion if the guests was that we shouldn't have sailed. The smell after was REVOLTING. It made your eyes sting and you held your breath until you got away from the stairwell. The food was bland and pretty much the same every day. The trouble was seating. There simply wasnt enough seats and tables to cater for everybody. We had to sit on the window sills on two occasions!! They were constantly running out of cutlery and crockery. Mugs were at a premium. The room staff were SUPERB, as were the waiters, but other bar staff had a couldn't care less attitude. We were served the wrong drinks numerous times and had our cards swapped on 3 occasions. The shows were, well what do I say?. Queen tribute night summed it up. The backing ' band' were terrible. The 4 singers went from English to their native tounge if the couldn't remember the words. I didn't know if to laugh or cry! We walked out after the third song. Some people did say they enjoyed it to be fair. The comedian we saw had the oldest jokes you could think of. To make matters worse he tried to play the guitar! He couldn't keep up with the back music AND played out of time and time. The tours were good and we saw the Northern lights, which was the reason for the cruise. The tour guides were very helpful. We wouldn't sail again on the Meggelan. I know this was it's last trip and it showed, but it just lacked the things that make it a nice ship. Perhaps after a refit things might be different. But going on our experience, this was a outdated old smelly ship and had we known that, we wouldn't have booked it. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We saw it in a newspaper as BOGOF offer. This was not correct. By the time we had paid extra for the all inclusive element it ended up costing as much as going to the caribbean. Guests on our dinner table had paid far less. This ship ... Read More
We saw it in a newspaper as BOGOF offer. This was not correct. By the time we had paid extra for the all inclusive element it ended up costing as much as going to the caribbean. Guests on our dinner table had paid far less. This ship is very old (over 50 years) and it shows. The cabin window rattled all the time. The cabin was ok, beds comfortable, bathroom acceptable. The food on board was very good, with good choices available although the dinners really had too much on the plate. The staff were very good, helpful, efficient, friendly. The entertainment was very third rate. However, it should be noted that at 66 we were some of the youngest on the voyage. The days at sea were miserable, and we had to stay on our beds for most of that time, due to the inclement weather. Excursions were expensive, so we opted to sort ourselves out and found getting buses very easy. Most places we stopped at were mostly closed, but the whole point for us had been the opportunity to see the Northern Lights, which we did 2 nights running in and near Alta within the Arctic Circle. Would we choose this cruise line again? No. Ship late getting back into Tilbury, mess-up with the coach back to Victoria, lost our onward connection, had to get new ticket, very long day to get home. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We booked this because we were going to the U K and decided to try this cruise because it was going through the Kiel Canal.. We had a total of 4 sea days. and our port stops were. Wismar . Germany. A very quiet port lovely ... Read More
We booked this because we were going to the U K and decided to try this cruise because it was going through the Kiel Canal.. We had a total of 4 sea days. and our port stops were. Wismar . Germany. A very quiet port lovely architecture but very walkable. Next Port was Ronne a Danish island. Again very very quiet and apsrt from the churches not much to see.Would not visit this port again. Visbey was next { swedish Island} Beautiful and historic area. very quiet and a 20 minute bus ride from ship. Ship provided shuttle bus. Klaipeda Lituania was our next stop. Very laid out town New and old sections. Easy to walk around with a good choice of cafes. Our favourite stop was Gdansk Poland . So much to see I wish we had stopped longer there than Ronne and Wismar. We did not take any ships tours. We had a inside cabin {509} spacious for inside cabins and a good location for getting to and fro to dining and shows. Very well maintained. Embarkation and disembarkation well managed. Food choices and meals , excellent. Entertainment was also varied and of good quality. Would consider taking another cruise with this company depending on the Ports. My only negative was having to vacate the cabin by 7am. Very difficult to get Tea and coffee as the machines did not work or the first few hours . Adult only cruise. Small pool and three whirlpools. Fitness room etc. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Choose this cruise because it was going to the smaller ports in the Baltic. Took shuttle from Victoria, there was an event going on in London which caused some delays to shuttle but nothing serious. Process at Tilbury went smoothly , ... Read More
Choose this cruise because it was going to the smaller ports in the Baltic. Took shuttle from Victoria, there was an event going on in London which caused some delays to shuttle but nothing serious. Process at Tilbury went smoothly , left hand luggage in cabin and had quick lunch in buffet before lifeboat drill. Next day was a seaday, spoilt for choice when it came to activities , lectures, craft classes, quizzes etc. I recommend arriving early for craft sessions they are always popular, this trip was no exception. We had a late night passage through Kiel canal and arrived in Wismar around lunch time on Tuesday. Wismar is where the Marco Polo was built. There were shuttle buses into town for 2 euros but its an easy walk and if you go via the old harbour quite a scenic one. I recommend the restored old merchants house, the wallpaper gallery is a must see. Audio description available in several languages. Entry is via donation and staff are extremely pleasant. St Georges church has a lift to take you to top of its Tower for 3 euros...well worth it for an overview of the town. Several other churches and a lovely town Square, shame our visit was a little short. Day two saw us in Rhonne Denmark, charming little place, being so late in the season the tourist areas were almost deserted. The side streets were quaint , and the main shopping street delightful with fountains and a children's play park. The museum was very informative , particularly as to the war time events. Lots of public toilet facilities alas having the right coinage in local currency not always possible, the usual standby of taking a coffee break did not work because a lot of cafes do not offer facilities. The church overlooking the harbour is delightful and is well worth a visit on way back to tenders. Visby Sweden....the new cruise stage only opened this year and it looked like the local gulls had been making free use of it....free shuttle into the old town. Rather like a Disney film set, turrets and floral decorated balconies abound, was expecting Rapunzel to appear at any moment. It is possible to walk round the city walls and some of the towers are open to give a good view point. The botanical gardens were still in bloom and provided a welcome pot to rest for a while. Entry to the museum was 10 euros and looked interesting however I had left it rather late to visit so confined myself to coffee and cake in the cafe. Filter coffee offered free refills. Staff multi lingual but please note Euros are not accepted as payment. Unfortunately witnessed two American ladies from the ship being quite abusive to staff on discovering this. Arrival in Klapeda was not promising a grey damp mist greeted us, however a local folk group were playing on quayside so wasn't all bad. We received town maps with a marked trail around the town, there is something to see on every corner so feel free just to wander. The sculpture garden is well worth visit, but there are sculptures and interesting buildings everywhere. A small craft market offered much amber but also ceramics and art work. Prices were reasonable and English was widely spoken. Finally we arrived in Gdansk the largest and busiest port on our itinerary, free shuttle into town. Amber shops/ stalls everywhere but no heavy sell. There is a scenic observation wheel which gives you 15 minutes of eye level viewing for around £6. Lots of building work going on but refreshingly building sympathetic to original style. Fairly typical normal port of call, very touristy. Our return passage through Kiel canal was in daylight. Fascinating to watch the gate close behind us and lots of interesting bridges/ canal side homes to see on way through. Final day was sea day, back in the North sea so a tiny bit of movement but ship handles very well in conditions , the pool burger bar stayed open throughout I think the smell of frying did make some people feel a little off colour. Final morning buffet started sevingbreakfast early, had no trouble finding seat although I would recommend hanging on to your cup if you want a refill. After breakfast I moved onto Palm garden and found seat by the window to watch our arrival in Tilbury. Return shuttle went very smoothly. The Marco Polo is looking good despite her age, constant cleaning and, when in port , painting going on. Public facilities good, I recommend the Columbus lounge if you do start to feel the effects of sea movement. Service in the Wardolf restaurant good, nice selection of dishes and extra off menu dishes salomon etc always available. Also additionally dishes of veg if you would like them. Bar staff efficient although sometimes waiting times in the show lounge were longer than ideal. Very friendly ship, I recommend for those who actually like being at sea. Maybe not for those who want waterslides and the like, but throw yourself into the activities and you will have a good time. Lecturers were good and very good comedian/ singer/ one man band provided excellent entertainment...he even doubled up as tour guide at one port. My one niggle....the new cruise director and his assistant....they were both good singers and very enthusiastic, pleasant and accessable... However I wonder if they are not a little too full of themselves for CMV? Time will tell. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this ship as we had only sailed with CMV once and that on the Marco Polo, we were interested to see if they could replicate the level of service enjoyed on The Marco Polo on the Columbus. What was provided was not the Glitz and ... Read More
We chose this ship as we had only sailed with CMV once and that on the Marco Polo, we were interested to see if they could replicate the level of service enjoyed on The Marco Polo on the Columbus. What was provided was not the Glitz and Razamataz of some of the modern ships but more of the old time glamour and comfort. They had bars and drinking areas to suit all, from the boisterous to the quiet and relaxing. The food from the buffet to the formal dining rooms was some of the best that we have had on something like sixteen different cruises. The level of cleanliness throughout the ship was something to behold, at busy times they even had full time cleaners stationed in the toilets. On the entertainment front the dancers were outstanding as were the resident singers, unfortunately the specialist acts who were Comedians from a bye gone day on TV did not appeal to us although a lot of the guests enjoyed them. The Captain of the ship was a star in as much as he toured the ship at least once a day and was prepared to talk to anyone even those few who had a complaint. We enjoyed the experience that much that we have signed up for CMV 120 day world cruise on the Columbus in January 2019 Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Where do I start, I decided to go on this cruise as I had never cruised with C&M before and thought I would give them a try. I am going to try and keep my review as short as possible with bullet points 1) Entertainment was either ... Read More
Where do I start, I decided to go on this cruise as I had never cruised with C&M before and thought I would give them a try. I am going to try and keep my review as short as possible with bullet points 1) Entertainment was either none existent or very poor with things like creative writing with Sanjay or Knit and natter, or book folding and to top it all balloon shaping as I said stuff you would do in an old folks home.I;m not knocking old people as I'm nearly 69 myself, but I ain;t dead yet. and the show team was one of the worst I have ever seen and I have been cruising for 21 years 2) The food in the buffet resturant plantations was not much better than average 3) I have never been on a ship where you can;t get anything to eat after 9pm because everywhere is closed 4) There was a big screen on the sun deck which wasn't used once, there was never any music being played to create an atmosphere, it was the most boring of cruises. 5) The Taverners pub and I use the term pub loosely was showing the same classical guitarist for the whole 15 nights. Now you show me a pub that has a classical guitarist playing for 15 nights and under normal circumstances, I will show you an empty pub I could go on and on but I won't. All I can say is if you like to be entertained and enjoy good food whenever you wan;t to eat then avoid C&M like the plague, they and their cruise director Ian are clueless. Needless to say, I won't be cruising with them again Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Overall - The food on this ship was shocking. Typically it was to a standard I wouldn’t accept if I was cooking at home. On the plus side, nobody I knew gained weight from eating on the cruise. Deserts were limited and when ... Read More
Overall - The food on this ship was shocking. Typically it was to a standard I wouldn’t accept if I was cooking at home. On the plus side, nobody I knew gained weight from eating on the cruise. Deserts were limited and when available, nothing to write home about! - The only drinks available were water, tea or coffee. Some juices were available with breakfast - Waiters at breakfast and lunch were of Indian extraction and had very poor command of English, leading to poor service. - The entertainment was very 'Carry On', as though people's taste hadn't progressed in 60 years. It was often offensive on many levels. - I tried lodging a complaint after the cruise but none of the e-mail addresses for communication were working. All my e-mails bounced back and the help line is only for pre-cruise communication. They only communicate with people before a cruise. - My mother is an active 82 and she had been looking forward to this cruise. There are few pleasures in life when you are senior but food is one of them. Breakfast My mother (who is 82 and has blurred vision and poor hearing) would attend breakfast sitting at the Kensington Restaurant. The canteen on deck 10 was too much busy for her. She is careful not to trip and fall. 1. The eggs when requested were typically served hard when boiled (with a black ring about the yoke) or the omelette included ingredients, such as peppers, not requested. 2. The porridge was closer to concrete than pre-soaked oats. My mother eats porridge regularly and is not convinced that the raw material was, in fact, oats. She believed it to be some type of gruel. On one occasion an attempt was made to ‘top’ the offering with canned fruit cocktail. 3. The fruit ‘compote’ offered was actually canned fruit cocktail. 4. None of the pastries offered in any restaurant were freshly baked. 5. Accessing fresh drinking water was an issue in the Kensington. Water had to be requested and then was served luke warm. I don’t drink tea or coffee. The reluctance to put a jug of water on the table at all meals was not appreciated. 6. Juice was removed from the ‘bistro’ after breakfast and so for all other meals, water was the only beverage available to me. Most of the staff in the Kensington restaurant during breakfast / lunch have poor little English. Explaining to them that when ‘fruit compote’ was ordered, the guest didn’t expect what arrived, was an unnecessary burden. Indeed attempting to explain a problem was often likely to yield no benefit and cause further frustration to everybody involved. Lunch Again, my mother sought to have lunch, as much as possible, in the Kensington. If the quality of the food on offer was not good enough for her to contemplate eating, she found herself hunting for a meal on deck 10. In general, the hot meals served in the ‘bistro’ were of canteen quality – over cooked, lacking in flavour, stodgy and closer to the kind of food served at a busy truck stop or in a good café frequented by builders. A number of times, because of entertainment and excursion commitments, my mother was unable to lunch in the Kensington and so attempted to lunch in the bistro. However, the only food offered when she attended late was pizza, not food she has ever chosen to eat before this trip. While younger people with a different digestive system might welcome pizza, it is not suitable for an older person, who needs to ingest as little processed food as possible. Based on the demographic make up of the ship, why is pizza offered as the only food to bridge the lunch / dinner gap? Surely it is for the convenience of the kitchen than the comfort of a group who mostly senior citizens. Even an omelette, while also part of the breakfast menu, would be a soft, nutritious and freshly prepared food. For a lady of almost 82 to find herself moving from restaurant to canteen, seeking food, when she has paid so much for the service, is unsatisfactory. On the day of the BBQ, I was looking forward to, what should have been a good meal for her mother. This was a pool side event on Deck 10. Unfortunately, because the management were busy ‘upselling cocktails’, many guests who had been off the ship on excursions, were unable to find seating to enjoy this meal. The chaos of people hunting for chairs and tables as well as the noise generated by the team tangoing with cocktail shakers, detracted from what should have been an enjoyable occasion. The meat and vegetables on this occasion were satisfactory. Some more dry madeira cakes with various flavours were also presented. Indeed, ladies who were experience bakers offered their opinions on why the fruit fell to the bottom in one of the deserts. Dinner On the third day of cruising, when the new group of British guests boarded, a manager inquired at our table (Waldorf, 31 on the first sitting) if we were satisfied with the food. This was the first full day for the British guests to be on board and there was a marked improvement on the food offered in the restaurants on that particular day. I explained to the manager that, while the food that particular evening was adequate, the quality, on the whole, was not satisfactory. I noted that the potatoes offered in the bistro were overcooked so that they were unrecognisable. Other Irish guests had also wondered about potatoes served in the bistro that day. While I thought they were just boiled to mush, many agreed they were from a box. The people at the table were introduced to a cook and he listened to our concerns. When I discussed the quality of the food with the cook at the outset, he asked what could be improven upon. Not having any professional cooking qualifications, I was not in a position to advise the gentleman. I encountered that cook during the trip, but was never in a position to agree that the quality had improven on the whole. Often cheese or a cream sauce was put onto an element of the meal, for no apparent reason. It was assumed by the guests that this was to disguise something. Occasionally items appeared on the dinner menu that caused comment and guests to dare each other – the most amusing being Marmite Soup Henry IV. There was also a salad that was described as ‘greens with potatoes, turnip and carrots’. Most of the deserts offered both in the bistro and in the restaurants were not made on board and were very industrial. Frequently we would see a cheesecake with a pastry base or a variety of very dry madeira-based cakes (with pieces of quince and various other additions, in an effort to create flavour). Brownies were served in the bistro on the day when the British guests boarded and were never seen again. Toward the end of the trip ‘Chocolate afternoon tea’ was provided in the bistro. It appeared that the deserts missing throughout the trip had materialized in one fell swoop. Pretty looking deserts could be purchased in the coffee-shop next to ‘Sinatra Bar’ on deck 9 throughout the trip. However, I believed that we had paid for the food and were not about to pay more. Indeed, I learned that people who did pay more for the ‘surf and turf’ dinner, did not receive a satisfactory meal either. On the last night of the cruise, a ‘feast’ was held at 11 pm. Guests were invited to photograph this, including the ice sculptures and displays with company logo’s nearby. While the food was pleasant, it seems a poor idea to offer such a meal to people, mostly in advance years, at that time of night. Certainly, some elements of the ‘feast’ including the salmon and chocolate cakes could have been served earlier in the day to facilitate the guests. The infrequent presentation of food of an adequate quality demonstrated that the staff could perform but less for the benefit of the guests and more to make an impression worthy of photographs. It appears to me that strange menu choices, coupled with poor ingredients and limited skill resulted in the low-quality food offered on the Magellan. Strong flavours were routinely used rather than light subtle, natural flavours of the food. Occasionally effort would be expended to create a ‘display’ (such as the chocolate tea, Feast or the BBQ) but these served to highlight the poor quality of food offered on the other occasions. When discussing the food with guests, many people, including our clients, agreed that they could and did, cook better at home themselves. For many people food can be a pleasure but during this cruise, no meal was enjoyed to any degree because of the food served. It was nutrition with without the pleasure that food can bring. No meal included anything new or inventive. There was no culinary excitement but apprehension before each meal. There was no place on the comment card, provided at the end of the journey to outline issues with food, specifically and in details. The politeness and competence of the hotel management and captain were queried, in detail. It must be noted that hygiene on the ship was to a very high standard. However, poor nutrition can also leave an elderly person vulnerable to infection and this needs to be considered, particularly given the demographic of the ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Please note that this was an german review translated with google-translator without any correction. Orginal review in german language you could find at german page holidaycheck.de Think it may be interesting to read a review from a ... Read More
Please note that this was an german review translated with google-translator without any correction. Orginal review in german language you could find at german page holidaycheck.de Think it may be interesting to read a review from a complete other side. We are only guest...on an english ship...... What can one expect from an 8-day cruise (Lidl-Reisen) for 569 EUR in the Glücks indoor cabin? Can you book such a trip at all or should you better leave your finger off? We "dared" the attempt and embarked on a 1-week journey in early October 2018 towards Norwegian fjords from Amsterdam. The three German reviews at Holidaycheck meet the core and we can understand many points of criticism from our own experience or confirm. Apart from the 3 Holidaycheck reviews, we also have about 135 English reviews at cruisecritic. co.uk so that we roughly knew what we were going to get involved with. The CMV Columbus is an older type of vessel with very few balcony cabins, mainly outside cabins with closed windows and inside cabins. The ratio of passengers: staff is 2: 1 Who has already used the old Tui Mein Schiff 1 or Tui Mein Schiff 2 (now Herz), will find their way immediately, because the ship concept is almost identical. Who likes this concept, knows what he is getting into. Modern is different, because much has come conceptually in the years. The CMV Columbus runs for English audience, which is very old. Maids of all kinds are on the agenda, the average age of the English guests is felt at least 65 years and is apparently without limit. Everything is aligned with this audience, i. You can not expect German entertainment program and it is not offered. On the ship, it is more leisurely and quiet outside the meal times. The staff is present, always friendly, but also not overly motivated or professionally trained. On 3 days we experienced it after waiting of at least 20 minutes that we were not served, because the bar staff just overlooked us. At other bars, however, it worked quickly and smoothly. Since we only used the buffet restaurant, it could happen that our drinks were already removed by the over-motivated pickup staff while we got our dessert. Certainly isolated cases: We would describe the motley international 615 person crew as "always striving". There is certainly still room for improvement. A large part of the staff is apparently busy with cleaning tasks, the somewhere is constantly wiped and cleaned. The public areas are very clean, which also includes the public toilets. It rarely happened that not just a "cleaning devil" went in or out when you were near a toilet. Due to age, there is rust on the ship and it is only from afar a "White Lady". A lot of paint covers some things and every craftsman is happy that he does not have to sand himself down to the bottom of all the layers of paint. The ravages of time and the environmental influences gnaw on the substance. However, one does not feel really uncomfortable when you know what you are getting into. In the early evening, the German and Dutch guests a "free show program" offered, because before the dinner or the evening show you can see only Austakelte elderly ladies and gentlemen who are full of anticipation of the food or show the other audience. This is obviously the main purpose of the cruise for many older guests. We took note of it with interest, because nobody has to participate: The buffet restaurant offers at all times an almost identical food, which you have to get yourself. Incidentally, water, coffee and tea are included all day. The coffee has no pampering aroma, but is quite ok in terms of taste. A rating is always a matter of attitude: compared to my ship 1 or even 5 you can understand the negative reviews. But taking into account the travel price and that as a German here plays only an absolute supporting role among older English guests, a purely negative rating would be unfair. In our opinion therefore: satisfactory - sufficient. Eat Adapted to the English audience. Breakfast, lunch, coffee / cake, dinner (and midnight snack). In quantity more than adequate, comparable to the food of a department store canteen. Every day changing meat-fish-vegetarian dishes. Salad bar available, partly preserved partly fresh. Bread for Toothless (age-appropriate). There is no ice cream, but various sweet desserts (also warm puddings etc.). We only used the buffet restaurant (also for breakfast). Cabin We had booked an inside fortune cabin (EUR 569) and received for this price an outside cabin with porthole on the lowest person deck (4) midship. All cabins have apparently identical 17.5 square meters. The beds are narrow and relatively hard. We really liked the many storage drawers (closet). Shirts, blouses, jackets etc. can be hung very well in a kind of walk-in closet. The air conditioning is apparently centrally controlled. The mini bar was available (empty), the hair dryer we found at the end of the trip in a lower drawer, the TV was not used (as a test, we have the programs through and only discovered RTL). Overall, it was very quiet (no noise from the side cabins audible). Towels were changed daily. The bathroom area rather small, the shower relatively comfortable (size). A bit daunting was the scoured sink with white paint on the tap. Since one had the impression, it was still the Erstausstattung. Our cabin steward was very friendly and the cabin / bathroom always made a cleaned impression. Because of the washbasin one would actually have to devalue to "bad", generally a satisfactory to sufficient in view of the total price, however, it is better. Service Cabin steward 5 stars. The other staff was friendly and helpful, if not always capable. Our English is actually understandable; unfortunately not understandable enough for some. With ice / no ice seems difficult ... If one receives instead of 2 drinks only one, but in duplicate, one asks oneself already, in which language one actually ordered. The other offered services such as excursions, hairdresser or photographer we did not use. Sports We have noted the shows, but leave after the second song at the latest. In the bars there was live music (classical), which you can also listen to (even if you are not a classical fan). Rock & Pop does not exist (but you know that before), so that the music "did not bother us". With a few books in your luggage you are on the safe side :-) Trips In-house easily possible; no waiting time when leaving the ship except for Tilbury. Tips Beverage package beforehand: The 7th day is free of charge, so you have a moderate drink price for a one-week trip. When it comes to glass sizes, we sometimes wondered from which country the standard was made? However, that's all the same with a drink package (all-in). Non-alcohol beverage package also includes non-alcoholic beer. At incl. Alcohol Pact are the soft drinks included (which was not previously apparent). Hot drinks outside tea / coffee in the bistro restaurant are extra. Tips: Are included in the tour price! This regulation (comparable to Tui Mein Schiff) already applies, so that you can tip only on personal ideas (or nothing). Envelopes or prompts are none. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Just returned from my first cruise ever. All previous sailing has been on a 49 feet friend's yactht. Vowed that I would never go on a cruise. But always wanted to go to the Baltic including St Petersburg. So a cruise was the best ... Read More
Just returned from my first cruise ever. All previous sailing has been on a 49 feet friend's yactht. Vowed that I would never go on a cruise. But always wanted to go to the Baltic including St Petersburg. So a cruise was the best option, particularly since visa arrangements in Russia were made easy. Must say that some reviews I read were not promising and depressed me. But after a highly efficient boarding procedure at Tilbury, my first impressions of Columbus were most favourable. As a solo (very well catered for with solo events and dedicated solos restaurant tables), we were well looked after. Treated myself to a superior ocean view cabin with tea making facilities/ fridge/ proper window. Food, staff and entertainment were excellent. On board lecturer (Dave Wright) giving lecturers on the Romanovs etc was first rate (shown by the fact that his lectures were packed out). The show team were good and enthusiastic and the pianist and vlolinist ladies first rate. The ship ran like clockwork. Shore excursions well organised and reasonably priced. Bar prices very reasonable. Staff were lovely. The whole experience on and off board was very very positive. The positives outweighed the inevitable negatives a hundred fold. The self service Bistro could get a bit manic at times so necessary to plan the visits. Air conditioning in any establishment not conducive to clear air passages. Some shore excursions (particularly St Petersburg) not helped by several cruise ships being in port at the same time. Would I retur?. Yes, definitely, provided there was a purpose I wanted eg to see specific places or on board activities eg Choral cruise. Thank you CMV. Good luck for your future success. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Have travelled with Cruise & Maritime before - took advantage of 2 for 1 offer by booking early.. Lots of good points - Entertainment excellent., cabin steward Jaya brilliant & also Anna - Maria in Hampton Bar.. Most excursions ... Read More
Have travelled with Cruise & Maritime before - took advantage of 2 for 1 offer by booking early.. Lots of good points - Entertainment excellent., cabin steward Jaya brilliant & also Anna - Maria in Hampton Bar.. Most excursions also very very good Whole experience badly let down by food. We chose to eat in Grill as found times of restaurants either too early or too late. (Perhaps they need to consider "open dining" as on other lines). Food was often lukewarm to cold - main dishes dried out for sitting too long. Not often a jug/tureen of sauce offered so food very dry. Vegetables a disaster - mixed veg EVERY night & boiled potatoes 9 times out of 10. (& my husband hates sweetcorn !!). Hot dessert rotated between 3 or 4 choices. Staff did try very hard to correct individual problems ie heated our plates & added sauces. But shouldn't have been necessary. Other complaint was itinery. We knew it in advance but as we have only cruised 3times in past didn't appreciate how many days at sea there were. Too many & we didn't enjoy this aspect although, to be fair, spoke to others who did. Felt end of cruise was badly organised with 3hrs in Aarhus then 2 days at sea. Bad weather (no-ones fault) meant we only had very limited time in Cobh Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Chose because buy1 get 1 free. Ship was comfortable with nice lounges excellent crew, waiters lovely, housemaid lovely, captain joined in with everyone. But boy oh boy do not stay on deck 7. We were in cabin 7138 inside. Cruise was ... Read More
Chose because buy1 get 1 free. Ship was comfortable with nice lounges excellent crew, waiters lovely, housemaid lovely, captain joined in with everyone. But boy oh boy do not stay on deck 7. We were in cabin 7138 inside. Cruise was 16 nights and we never slept once in that time. Noise was horrendous from restaurant deck 8 above us, they worked all night dragging furniture, trolleys and Lord nos what else, complained to reception and was offered ear plugs. Ha Ha. In bad seas the ship sounded like she was going to crack up, cables inside the walls were crashing around all night, further down the deck people said it sounded like nails being hammered into the walls. We will never ever travel with this company or on this ship again. Have done many cruises and have never experienced this before. To be positive about something, shore excursions were fantastic, we saw some truly beautiful places. Dining was lovely, entertainment was good, lecturers we're informative Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our third cruise, but our first with CMV. We chose it for the itinerary and price. Having read the the reviews we were concerned as to what we may find. However the embarkation at Bristol was well organsed and efficient. The ... Read More
This was our third cruise, but our first with CMV. We chose it for the itinerary and price. Having read the the reviews we were concerned as to what we may find. However the embarkation at Bristol was well organsed and efficient. The cabin, 7044, was absoluetly spotless and perfectly adequate for our needs. Throughout the voyage it was kept beatifully by our very friendly steward. The ship was clean comfortable and easy to get around. The food was very good in both restaurants and the Bistro and Grill. The staff in the Warldof restarurant were excellent. The Raffles Bistro is very popular, and at peak times can be very busy. However it is not the only place to eat. We never had any problems. There are bars to suit everyone, from pub to cocktail lounge. The staff in all of them were friendly and efficient and anticipated our requirements with a smile. We took the VIP drinks package and found it very good value. The ship's entertainment staff were brilliant and the shows very good. The guest speakers were not to our taste, but others enjoyed them. The entertaiments manager, David, was excellent and during the after show entertainments held in the Captains Lounge cleverly adjusted his approach to suit each passenger he got up on stage. St Petersberg was a true wow, and a definite must see. The itinerary was good, although our time in Cobh was reduced due to heavy weather all the way from Denmark. C'est la vie, it is a ship after all! All in all we had a wonderful cruise. The friendly crew worked really hard to ensure we enjoyed ourselves, with sailaway parties, barbeques and gala buffets to be proud of. The ship is not new but has got character. If you want glitz glamour and Las Vagas hype then go on one of the floating blocks of flats where you will find it aplently. This ship was for those who like comfort and with a bit of style. Will we sail with CMV again? We have already booked our next one and are really looking forward to it. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This review is probably appropriate for ‘first timers’ as it was our first ever cruise, We didn’t want the cruise to involve flying to a foreign airport before getting on the boat. Waiting at airports and cancelled flights to be ... Read More
This review is probably appropriate for ‘first timers’ as it was our first ever cruise, We didn’t want the cruise to involve flying to a foreign airport before getting on the boat. Waiting at airports and cancelled flights to be avoided. We decided to get the best accommodation on a small ship with an adults only policy. If we didn’t enjoy the experience under these conditions – we never would! Cruise and Maritime (CMV) seemed to fit the bill and we chose an eight day cruise to the Norwegian fjords. Our junior suite with balcony was the top of the range for cabins. Leaving from Tilbury, it took us 36 hours to reach our destination. Fortunately the North Sea was pretty calm. Columbus is a comparatively small ship for cruising, at 63,000 tons. Built in 1986 it has had various owners and re-fits until CMV acquired it in 2017. It has a capacity for 1,600 travellers and a crew of 638. On our journey there were 1,400 on board, but it didn’t seem to be particularly crowded. The staff all spoke good English and, without exception, were helpful and friendly. The suite was large (350 sq.ft). Excellent shower. King size bed. Three seater sofa. Flat screen TV (small). Plenty of space to hang clothes and a dressing area as well. A good start. Outside there were two smallish swimming pools and plenty of leisure areas for relaxing and sunbathing (late August in Norway? Unlikely!) We wanted a leisurely experience, without the formality of ‘dressing for dinner with the captain’. With a choice of places to eat we managed to achieve that, although there was such an evening for which the majority appeared prepared and had packed their glad rags and DJs. This was hosted in the Waterfront Restaurant with its usual full waiter service, but there was always the self-service Plantation Bistro as an acceptable substitute. In either eatery the food was good, if a little repetitive in the Bistro. A daily news-sheet detailed all of the activities happening on board for that day, which were wide and varied. They helped to pass the time whilst sailing from one place to another. A variety of live bands gave excellent performances in either the Palladium Show Lounge or the Dome Nightclub and overall the variety of entertainments was good. We enjoyed our first taste of cruising but – if we take another one – will probably sail to somewhere warmer! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I chose this trip for where it was going which was to Arkangel and Murmansk which was where the Russian convoys of the 2nd world war went to. Then it was back to Tilbury via Norway a 17 night trip in total. I was on deck 9 and for the ... Read More
I chose this trip for where it was going which was to Arkangel and Murmansk which was where the Russian convoys of the 2nd world war went to. Then it was back to Tilbury via Norway a 17 night trip in total. I was on deck 9 and for the first few days my cabin and corridors were getting fumes from the engines. The staff were very good, food was ok. entertainment not for me. My Cabin had twin beds but cabin hardly big enough for one. The ship needs a bit of repairing on the decking but crew kept paintwork up to scratch. I had VIP drinks package but I was still charged for a glass of Pinot Grigio .But be aware, even though onboard spending is in sterling, because they process their clients accounts abroad you could still incur charges even though you pay by Debit card. I have been on cruises before but I have never come across this charge before. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This cruise was very cheap, but it was still unnecessarily disappointing. Embarkation: this was fast, but only because it was dangerous. Many people were allowed to walk onto the ship without having their hand luggage checked - they ... Read More
This cruise was very cheap, but it was still unnecessarily disappointing. Embarkation: this was fast, but only because it was dangerous. Many people were allowed to walk onto the ship without having their hand luggage checked - they could have taken anything on board: weapons, drugs, good manners. The ship: very austere and more like a ferry. Very few comfortable chairs or quiet areas. Some areas - the self-service restaurant, for example - were not kept clean. Dining: very disappointing. The main dining room was unattractive and the food was no more than adequate. The lunch was often perfunctory. The self-service was too small for the many who wanted to avoid the restaurant, and served cheap, unattractive food. In the end, I gave up and used the additional charge restaurants. Both were jolly good, but it felt odd, paying extra for a pleasant experience which should have been the norm. Entertainment: excellent if you enjoyed magic; poor if you did not. There were no lectures. Activities: derisory, and mostly unhosted because, presumably, there were not enough staff members to man them. Little was organised for children. Conseqently, when the weather was poor, they became noisily obvious. Service: friendly. However, there were simply not enough staff members. The library was a disgrace, and had often to be opened by the entertainments manager because others forgot to do their job. Areas around the ship were spoilt by deposited cups and plates which were not cleared away for long periods of time. Ports: excellent. Though only 6 hours in Stockholm was very little. Shore excursions: those in St Petersburg were excellently led and good value. But, 1 The introductory talks were awful; there were often simply members of staff reading off sheets and often knowing nothing about what they were reading out. 2 There were never maps of the ports available on the ship Disembarkation: very poor. Guests had to vacate their cabins by 0700, even though it was known that none could leave the ship until 0900. Consequently, many guests had to stand for two hours. An experience not to be repeated. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Sailed on this ship when it was Ocean Village and it was like going home.Embarkation was so easy, hardly any queueing and plenty of desks open. The cabin was ready and was a nice surprise for my travelling companion who expected it to be ... Read More
Sailed on this ship when it was Ocean Village and it was like going home.Embarkation was so easy, hardly any queueing and plenty of desks open. The cabin was ready and was a nice surprise for my travelling companion who expected it to be half the size! There were plenty of clothes hangers and storage space. The crew were very friendly and polite, dinner was a bit slow the first night, perhaps to be expected but subsequent nights were fine ending with the March of the Baked Alaska! The food was served hot and well cooked with plenty of choice. There was a multitude of excursions to choose from catering for all types especially if you were unable to walk far there were plenty of tours. We found all the guides very good with excellent English and knowledge. The entertainment was a little disappointing, there was no variation of acts in Connexions and Taverners, the same people every night. Personally I found the shows a bit amateurish although they did improve a little in the second week. Top marks for the chocolate and magnificent buffets! Overall an enjoyable experience. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The ship sailed from Tilbury, which attracted us because we wouldn't need to fly, albeit we live in Cumbria so it was quite a trip. Embarkation was excellent, we arrived, parked the car, took the complementary bus to the dockside ... Read More
The ship sailed from Tilbury, which attracted us because we wouldn't need to fly, albeit we live in Cumbria so it was quite a trip. Embarkation was excellent, we arrived, parked the car, took the complementary bus to the dockside and were embarked within a few minutes. Very smooth. Disembarkation was a little fraught, we had to be out of the cabin by 09.00 and we had to wait a couple of hours in crowded public areas before we could disembark. But once we docked, we were off the ship and in our car within half an hour. Excellent. The cleanliness of the ship was exceptional. We did object to guests taking glasses and plates to weather deck areas and leaving them for others to pick up. What's wrong with people returning these objects. We were, though, chastised (in a nice way) by a steward when we tried to clear our table and return the plates. The cabin was first class, an outside cabin with window. The cabin was kept pristine by a hard working and very friendly cabin steward. We had taken the option for the company to allocate the cabin and were very happy with it. We had self service breakfast and lunch and used the Waterside restaurant in the evening. The food was exceptional for the price we paid, the caterers work miracles. Food on cruises has suffered since the heyday of cruising, but prices have been kept down and you cannot expect Michelin star food on McDonald's prices. But we were very well fed. Entertainment and activities I would rate as poor. The entertainment staff seemed to do little except put on a couple of shows a week. On other cruises, the entertainment staff have run daytime activities but on this cruise. most activities were advertised as unhosted. I got the impression the entertainment staff were along for the cruise and not really to work, Evening entertainment in the various bars was poor. There were a couple of guitarists who appeared to have just finished the beginners guide to the guitar. Not impressed When we booked the cruise, it was advertised as adults only but when we joined the ship, we found families with children. I've nothing against children, but they did tend to be noisy and there wasn't a lot for them to do. We chiefly took the cruise to visit St Petersburgh and this did not disappoint. The only sour note was that prior to arriving there, all passengers were given a briefing note which suggested that the residents of St Petersburgh lived in the dark ages, transport would be sub standard ad if we talked to anyone, their accent would be impenetrable. All nonsense, the Russian people were very friendly, the transport and guides were excellent and most people spoke at least some English, without an accent. We would holiday with Cruise and Maritime again. The Columbus is a nice ship. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise as it was a fair price and it went from Tilbury which is quite near to where we live. Also friends asked us to come with them which made it even more enjoyable. This cruise stopped at Copenhagen(Denmark), ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a fair price and it went from Tilbury which is quite near to where we live. Also friends asked us to come with them which made it even more enjoyable. This cruise stopped at Copenhagen(Denmark), Warnemunde (Germany), Helsinki (Finland). St. Petersburgh (Russia), Tallin (Estonia), Stockholm (Sweden) and Aarhus (Denmark) We took an organised CMV trip in each place although there are shuttle buses in several places should you wish to go it alone. There was a good variety trips so it was difficult to choose but I think we did well our choices and we were more than satisfied with most. The least liked, but it did what it said, was Copenhagen 'Yours to explore' only because we were just wandering around. The two day comprehensive trip in Russia was absolutely the best. Such a lot was crammed into the two days and we had a very good guide. I find it hard to express the wonder I felt in all the churches, palaces, cathedrals and museums. Breathtakingly beautiful. We have been in magnificent cathedrals in the UK, but nothing as beautiful and elaborate as the palaces, museums and cathedrals in Russia. Also included was a ride on the Metro. Saint Petersburg Metro is one of the deepest metro systems in the world. We had a good cabin on the ship an an excellent cabin steward. Towels and tea/coffee making replaced daily. The food was very good. It was lovely being waited on in the Waterfront restaurant with 5 courses per meal. Of course you could pick your own food and the quantity if you went up to deck 12 to the Plantation restaurant, which we did at breakfast and lunch-time. You could have afternoon tea and cakes and burgers on the deck at lunch time. Food was hot and delicious and plenty of choice. One day there was a barbeque out on deck which was good. Drinks are quite expensive as you would imagine, and if you are a drinker it might be worth getting the package, but we often had the cocktail of the day which was a very pleasant drink. Embarking and disembarking was well organised. We had to be out of our cabin by 07.00 but we didn't actually get off the ship until 11.10 which was a long wait but considering there were 1400 of us it had to be that way. The entertainment was good too. Something different each night. Singing, dancing, magic. I am not a lover of magic, but it was presented in an entertaining way. We also had a laser show. You need to be prompt in the Palladium theatre to get a good seat. Various other activities took place at different times but we didnt take part. I went to art and craft and enjoyed painting and card making on days at sea. It tells you on the daily sheet (which is delivered to your cabin the previous evening) what activities are on where and what time. Also the dress code, bar and dining times, etc. 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Cruised before with CMV and enjoyed and sailed on Magellan before its refit.The ship is much improved with nice lounge areas and cabins.It is however showing its age with constant maintenance taking place on the decks, a lifeboat broke ... Read More
Cruised before with CMV and enjoyed and sailed on Magellan before its refit.The ship is much improved with nice lounge areas and cabins.It is however showing its age with constant maintenance taking place on the decks, a lifeboat broke from its moorings and a handrail fell on to two passengers on deck 9. Had a Superior outside twin on deck 6 aft, the cabin was quite spacious with plenty of wardrobe space,TV safe and tea and coffee provided, bottled water was £2:80. The beds were very comfortable and the bedding was changed regularly and the cabin steward was very helpful.The bathroom was quite small but was adequate and had a powerfull shower. Dined in the Waldorf restaurant and have to say the food and service was very good, not so in some of the bars though some staff had an attitude problem. Tended to use the Waldorf for most meals as the self service restuarant gets very busy and difficult to find a table at times with selffish people hogging the window seats even though they had finished their meal. Tea and coffee is available 24hrs from the machines. Lots of activities for those interested and the nightly shows were generally quite good with guest entertainers on several nights. Service was varied most staff did their best but appeared under pressure at times particularly the bar on deck 9 This is the first cruise with CMV with children allowed and it will be our last, the ship is not really equiped for children and whilst the staff did there best most parents let their children run wild they took over all three jackuzi's and the swimming pool, riding up and down in the lifts and running around unattened. There were far two many infirm passengers with walking aids and electric wheelchairs at a number of ports ambulances were seen waiting for the ship to dock and a female passenger was taken off by helicopter. 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
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