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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
My wife and I plus two friends had been recommended to consider the Marco Polo. Prior to sailing we were alrmed by some negative comments on Cruise Critic and other sites and were thus delighted to find that the Marco Polo was brilliant. ... Read More
My wife and I plus two friends had been recommended to consider the Marco Polo. Prior to sailing we were alrmed by some negative comments on Cruise Critic and other sites and were thus delighted to find that the Marco Polo was brilliant. Yes the ship is old but it looks like a ship rather than a high rise set of portacabins. It is also exceptionally well maintained and the food (especially the food) and service were excellent. The drinks are fairly priced and whilst the drinks package sounds good value at £17pppn most would struggle to drink enough to warrant buying it. The red and rose house wines are very drinkable - and I don't even normally like rose. All the staff are hardworking, friendly and helpful. The cabin bathrooms need updating but the cabins are large, clean and well serviced. The beds are comfortable. Shore trips were well priced but the standard of the tours and local guides was mixed. Copenhagen's guide was a nice lad but with limited knowedge. Tallin's guide was excellent. In St Petersburg we did not use the Ship's excursions but prior to the cruise we booked a private tour through SPB. This tour was excellent and well worth the extra. Helsinki's guide was poor but the Stockholm guide was very good. The on board guest speaker (an historian) was excellent and gave us all a good understanding of Russian history (plus some french too) prior to our visit to St Petersburg. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Went with Friends & wanted to visit Baltic Countries. First time as a widower on holiday , so went with friends. Been cruising 4 times previously but not with this Company & would never go with them again . Although the ship ... Read More
Went with Friends & wanted to visit Baltic Countries. First time as a widower on holiday , so went with friends. Been cruising 4 times previously but not with this Company & would never go with them again . Although the ship was old the cabins were much better than we all expected. The main area's of the ship were also kept to a good standard . The down side of the holiday was poor Organisation & training of the crew. The Dining experience was not what any of my group of 7 expected .....I have had better school dinners ... They tried to squeeze 11 people on a table meant for 8 in the Fine Dining Restaurant. When at sea no crew members seemed to be available to put out seating i.e. sun beds or cushions . Or to serve any drinks . So unless you sat in the blue haze of the smokers area . Which was by the only outside bar you had to walk to & from the front to the rear if you required a drink . The outside Buffet Bar was Also where the smokers all congregated , so again you ate your Lunch mixed with the pungent smell of Cigarettes or Cigars. The Waldorf Restaurant ( Fine Dining ) was hilarious. The idea of Silver Service is how fast they could throw the food at you . .....collecting plates before the table had finished, re-setting cutlery as you ate . Serving another Course before the table was finished with the previous one ect ect When we complained the waiter said " it was not a problem" .....we said it was .!! A five course could be served & eaten within 1 hour & 10 mins . We timed to prove it . The theatre did have quite a few good shows ...but unfortunately if you went at 7.30 for the 8 pm show You could never get a seat . Other diner sittings were saving rows of seats for their fellow travelers It was not until I made a formal complaint to the Head of the passenger services that a message was put out that seats could not be saved . Unfortunately I complained toward the end of our cruise as was always hoping it was going to improve ...More fool me . To top it all off . We were unable to pick up Fuel for our return journey ..in Russia (technical Problems) ??! So had to make an unscheduled stop ( which shortened our excursion time in Stockholm ) & Also meant for some reason which non of the passengers I spoke to could understand we had to disembark in Newcastle & be bused back to Hull a day later than expected But the joy of another day cruising was short lived as we still had to pack up & leave our cabins on schedule which meant we spent the day sitting with our belonging around us , as you would in an airport if you had a delay . Never ever use this company ever again Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Chose this cruise as it was going to St Petersburg, wish I hadn't bothered, the smell of diesel hit me and my daughter on embarkation onto Baltic Deck, we were held up for 25 hours on the return journey on the Kiel Canal, lots of different ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it was going to St Petersburg, wish I hadn't bothered, the smell of diesel hit me and my daughter on embarkation onto Baltic Deck, we were held up for 25 hours on the return journey on the Kiel Canal, lots of different stories as to why, the captain when he made an announcement could hardly be understood, in fact it became a standing joke among the passengers. We were all given £50 per cabin as compensation and the promise of free soft drinks, speciality tea & coffee for the Monday only to be told hours later we'd have to purchase them using the £50. The smell of raw sewerage permeated our cabin bathroom on several occasions and one passenger was shaving in his shower when he noticed he was stood in raw sewerage, the result being his whole cabin had to be disinfected! I decided to try this company having sailed with a larger cruise company on several occasions without any problems, one of the reasons I chose CMV was the lower price, and I found to my dismay you really do get what you pay for! Would I use them again?.....id sooner donate a kidney without anaesthetic, try them yourself at your peril. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Crew were well trained, polite and very good, in some cases let down by management of restaurants and disembarking arrangements. The ship was very full. Food was good quality Raffles Bistro on deck 10 was a scrum most times of the day. ... Read More
Crew were well trained, polite and very good, in some cases let down by management of restaurants and disembarking arrangements. The ship was very full. Food was good quality Raffles Bistro on deck 10 was a scrum most times of the day. Other restaurants were good for dinner but with two sittings at 6pm and 8.15 it was rather rushed. Table stewards very good and did their best. House wine was reasonably priced. All the crew worked very hard, I did wonder how many hours they were asked to work on a daily basis. The entertainment was very well organised lots to do. Evening entertainment good. We pre-booked excursions for most ports. Copenhagen was good St Petersburg was very good well worth seeing on the cruise. There was a slight mechanical problem with one of the engines which delayed our departure from St Petersburg which delayed our arrival at Helsinki. The excursion was cancelled but a free shuttle bus was provided to compensate. We were also about an hour late for Nynasham near Stockholm, the excursion was a complete waste of money £65 each because it was too rushed. With the cost of excursions gratuities and wine our costs were approximately £400 extra on top of the cruise cost. You are given the opportunity to reduce gratuities if you so wish. On the whole an enjoyable cruise but not sure we would use this company again. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was a trip arranged by my 79 year old mother-in-law as it was a 'BOGOF' deal, although still cost us £1400 each! The ship was tired looking, and the cabin was small (the smallest she had ever stayed in and she's a serial ... Read More
This was a trip arranged by my 79 year old mother-in-law as it was a 'BOGOF' deal, although still cost us £1400 each! The ship was tired looking, and the cabin was small (the smallest she had ever stayed in and she's a serial crusier), The embarkation procedure was ok, other than there was a lot of hanging around once we were onboard the ship while we waited for our cabins to be prepared. The disembarkation was reasonably smooth when we returned to Tilbury. The food varied massively, depending on which restaurant you used. The Raffles bistro was like a scrum, and I was disappointed at the attitudes of a large number of passengers (most of whom were quite elderly) elbowing people out of the way and filling their plates up with huge portions of food. The breakfast options were ok, but I stuck to fruit and yoghurt as the cooked option looked very ordinary. My mum in law, went for the omelette most days which was freshly cooked, and looked quite nice. Lunch was again a free for all unless you went to one of the other 2 restaurants, and waited to be served properly. The evening meals were quite good - we were seated in the Waldorf restaurant, and our assistant waiter was a dream - he was happy, friendly and nothing was too much trouble, he always had a cheeky joke with us and made us feel welcome. His manager however, was surly, but efficient! The entertainment was probably the worst I've encountered on any trip, and I have been going on children orientated package holidays for years. The cruise director thought he was one of the Rat Pack, and in reality, there was only one decent singer - Margaret, and she was fantastic. The rest of the 'entertainment' team were at best reasonable karaoke standard. There were 2 guest comedians - the first one Andy Leach was entertaining and a bit of a Tommy Cooper type character with daft jokes and dodgy magic tricks, but overall he was pretty good. The other one, Les Bryan, was horrific. He had appraently appeared on The Comedians in the 1970s, and clearly hadn't updated his material since. He was racist and sexist with very right wing views, and if it hadn't been for my mum in law not being as mobile as me, I would have walked out. The excursions were very pricey, particularly bearing in mind the lack of time we had at most ports. The best excursion we went on, was in St Petersburg, and we arranged it independently of the ship and saved over £80 each, compared to the identical trip offered by CMV. I was not impressed with CMV as a company, they printed dubious quotes in their daily newsletter and frantically promoted sales of the Sun newspaper. Their onboard photographers were bordering on harrassing with their cameras shoved in face at every opportunity. Finally, the lifeboat drill was like something of Carry On Cruising - I just hoped that we wouldn't need to evacuate in earnest, as nobody had a clue what was going on, especially the crew! I won't be sailing with CMV again, and this trip has made me seriously reconsider cruising again at all!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
A good value cruise, but Tilbury was rather disorganised for embarkation especially as previously we had experienced Newcastle which was excellent. The ship is small enough to navigate where one needs to get to easily, without getting ... Read More
A good value cruise, but Tilbury was rather disorganised for embarkation especially as previously we had experienced Newcastle which was excellent. The ship is small enough to navigate where one needs to get to easily, without getting lost. The dining is excellent with lots of choice,& the staff are very obliging. Second sitting see the show before dinner, & first sitting see it after dinner. The shows reminded me of school productions, with gaps between scenes, & lots of whooping, & loud whistles. All the costumes were good, & the musicians were excellent. Some interesting history talks regarding the Russian Tsars, which gave us background for our trips to Peterhof Palace & Catherine Palace. The palaces are out of this world with lots of gold, & wonderful fountains, & I would highly recommend visiting them. They were the highlight of our cruise. A visa is required for Russia if you want to go it alone, & are expensive. If you pre- book online with a Russian tour company you do not need a visa, or indeed with the ship. Beware, we have been charged twice for our trips, & are in the process of trying to sort it out, so keep all your paperwork when you get home! We visited Copenhagen, Warnemunde (a pretty seaside place so advise not to spend 6 hours on a couch to Berlin.) Helsinki, & Tallinn. The days at sea mean the Raffles self service restaurant is inadequate to seat everyone, so rather chaotic, but the food was very good, & plentiful. We booked direct with Cruise & Maritime & expected to get the best price booking direct, however on the day we were booking Planet cruise were offering it for £100 less & CMV would not price match, so shop around! Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Having just returned from a 12 night Baltic cruise, the Magellan is an older ship but this adds to its novelty. Embarkation was smooth, disembarkation was a bit chaotic, we did self disembarkation. The ship has great lounges, 2 ... Read More
Having just returned from a 12 night Baltic cruise, the Magellan is an older ship but this adds to its novelty. Embarkation was smooth, disembarkation was a bit chaotic, we did self disembarkation. The ship has great lounges, 2 restaurants and a bistro. The food and the service are superb with fixed evening dinning and casual dining in the restaurants for lunch and breakfast. The bistro offers a more casual dining experience if you want. The entertainment was great, the dancers and the singers all put in 100% and provided a great time for all. The guest speakers and comedians during the cruise were excellent. As expected the service from the staff was second to none, and worth the £5 per day automatic tips. Did not sample the drinks package as £17 per day was a lot but the drinks are very good £3.30 pint of Bitburger lager £15 for a bottle of house wine Cocktail of the day £3.10 and mock tail was £2.10 Coffee, tea and water is available 24 hours a day. We only went on 2 excursions in Russia as it is difficult to get a visa, the others we made our own way around. The only complaint is that we were delayed 4 hours in Russia due to a mechanical fault, subsequently we arrived 4 hours late into Finland, very little information was forthcoming from the crew, if we would have had updated timings into Port we could have better planned our time. The trip overall was excellent and I would definitely use the company and recommend CMV to my friends and family. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Chosen basically as it seemed a good offer of buy one get one free and it was for my 60th birthday celebration, travelling as a couple. This was only our second time of cruising, having previously travelled with Thomsons. The ship did ... Read More
Chosen basically as it seemed a good offer of buy one get one free and it was for my 60th birthday celebration, travelling as a couple. This was only our second time of cruising, having previously travelled with Thomsons. The ship did have a feel of a 'ferry' about it more than a cruise ship. The cabins were tired and in need of a bit of tlc. We had cabin 4102 and although the beds were really comfortable and the shower had good pressure the cabin was overall very dated. The toilet seat was old and marked and we couldn't understand the siting of the toilet brush underneath the hand towel rail which didn't seem too hygienic. The cabin steward James was such a lovely man and looked after us well, nothing was too much trouble and although we tidied up after ourselves we came back to find the cabin clean, tidy and useful information left on our beds daily. The food was very good and presented well. We were on the late siting in the Waldorf Restaurant and our table of six only ever consisted of four but they were a lovely couple from Manchester and very easy to chat to. However, we did often eat at the buffet itself as there was more choice, especially as one of us was vegetarian. Curries in particular were very good, even though on a daily basis! The waiting staff did an excellent job and were very entertaining. Bar staff, some better than others and we did find a few really hard work but we think some of that was down to a cultural nature and their manner was quite brusque. The on-board lecturers were good and the topics interesting and relevant. The other entertainment we found quite amateurish although Toby tried his best! We did think they could have taken the opportunity to show films on a more regular basis especially for the days at sea but only a couple were offered throughout the whole voyage and then only whilst docked in St Petersburg and for those who stayed on board during the afternoons. The Jade Spa was lovely and I enjoyed the best reflexologies I've ever experienced at the hands of Melody. A lovely tranquil environment in which to spend time whilst at sea. All in all we did enjoy our cruise and the excursions and embarkation/disembarkations were well organised. It was a pity that the excursions in Helsinki had to be cancelled (as for us it was to be one of our highlights of the cruise) due to the ship having mechanical/technical problems in St Petersburg the previous night resulting in around a 4-5 hour delay in departure which had a knock on effect. To hear some of the passengers talk though you'd have thought it was the end of the world but it was what it was and these things happen. Talking of which you often hear about the way youngsters talk and their bad attitude these days well I'm afraid some of the more senior passengers should set a better example. The way they spoke to the staff/tour guides was appauling at times and it made us ashamed to be British and associated with them. The staff on the Reception/Excursions desks handled the numerous complaints and whinging admirably and should be congratulated for portraying a professional image at all times. Both my husband and I work in face-to-face positions with the public and know how difficult it can be dealing with the public at times. In conclusion, an enjoyable time, saw some amazing places, enjoyed the cultural differences of the countries we visited, ate and probably drank too many cocktails over the 12 days but think next time we will look towards booking a cruise on a more modern ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
A nice itinerary, a very friendly and helpful crew, nice cabin but will never cruise on this ship again why. Entertainment good shows but the times are not as on all other ships i have been on show times 7pm and 9pm, nothing on after ... Read More
A nice itinerary, a very friendly and helpful crew, nice cabin but will never cruise on this ship again why. Entertainment good shows but the times are not as on all other ships i have been on show times 7pm and 9pm, nothing on after second sitting for dinner, except tp sit in a bar and drink, the amount of people who returned to their cabins after the second sitting should tell the senior staff something, as they do not seem to listen to their cusomers. Food quality and choice was lacking and having sailed on the marco polo same cruise line which was why i selected to try the Magellan, was very disappointing. The only time on a cruise that i even skipped a full english. On the bright side the itinerary which included st Petersburg, was excellent and would encourage others to do, but not on the Magellan. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this as we have never cruised the Baltic Before, was a 60th celebration for my husband. Hope the following information helps, also to enable others to weigh up the information correctly we spent £1,500 ish on the cruise for ... Read More
We chose this as we have never cruised the Baltic Before, was a 60th celebration for my husband. Hope the following information helps, also to enable others to weigh up the information correctly we spent £1,500 ish on the cruise for 2 x people. Embarked at Tilbury, embarkation signs not good to port, follow information given in your letter. Check in pretty painless, smooth and straight onto the ship. In room 1 hour early. Ship was slightly lacking in seating, used the main restaurant and food was fine. Mainly used the buffet, but on our particular cruise there were lots of elderly people who seemed to covet the seats for a long time so availability was not abundant. Beware of people lying about holding seats for others just to have their meal alone, you have paid the same as them. Lots of outside areas on decks 10,11&12 with seating area outside on the back of deck 9. Very relaxed atmosphere on the boat, had the option of asking for a trip around the bridge on deck and amazingly he got it! One rough day at sea, bring sea sickness tablets. There are several bars, draught beer not available in all bars, if cans then expensive, otherwise about the same price as England £3.30 per pint. Just a little bit about the ports we visited and our experiences: AMSTERDAM - 2 mile walk into Amsterdam and no shuttle, we took a trip for £36 euros, quite good value, river trip and view around the city, the trip on the boat would have cost 16 euros if done independently, so you do the maths. COPENHAGEN - A 50 minute walk to the town (Nyhaven), straight along the waterfront past the mermaid and you will be right in the centre of things. The Neto boats are 80dk each, get there early. No maps or shuttle from the boat, only a hop on/off bus at 25 euros each. GERMANY - Berlin trip - City tour and boat. 3 hour trip both ways, certainly good value for money, if anything, would be good to do slightly less and perhaps experience the museum at Checkpoint Charlie. Boat trip was too crammed in, should be less people to a table, food was fair. ESTONIA - Tallin, free shuttle bus provided for 2 mile journey to the old town. Very picturesque, lovely square, market stalls, everything within walking distance. ST. PETERSBURG - City Tour, Peter & Paul Fort- Good tour, got to see a lot of the city as well as 3 photo stops and a visit to the fort. Well worth doing - GRAND ST. PETERSBURG TOUR - Smooth disembarkation, full day trip including lunch 9-6pm, the all day trips are around £100. We visited Catherine the Great Palace where the Romanov family used to reside at during the summer months. Very busy, we arrived early, so one of first groups in. Lunch in local restaurant which was adequate. Then onto the Hermitage Museum - WOW! - fantastic. our tour guide must have been speechless at the end of the day because the poor woman talked all day and she was very knowledgeable. Take your camera because you are going to need it! WOULD DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN!!!!!!!! Read Less
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