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25 Cruise & Maritime Voyages Cruise to Nowhere Cruise Reviews

My wife and I booked a night on the Astor to see what it is like as living in Perth there are few cruises to choose from. I cannot give a view on actual cruising on the ship as it was an in port celebration, so we didn’t actually ... Read More
My wife and I booked a night on the Astor to see what it is like as living in Perth there are few cruises to choose from. I cannot give a view on actual cruising on the ship as it was an in port celebration, so we didn’t actually leave the dock. I have also been on around 13 cruises with Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises and Celebrity. The ship is small, built in the 80's and is getting on for a cruise ship. Embarkation was ok, we were given a group number and sat in the terminal till our group was called. We had arrived at 1130am and didn’t board till 1.30pm so a two hour wait in the passenger terminal. There appeared only 5 staff booking over 500 people hence 2 hour wait. After getting a 'seapass card' we walked on board. After getting on board we went straight to the room. We had booked a premium suite on Atlantic deck. Arriving at the door we realised there is no swipe or insert card entry. The door was unlocked, and two keys were on the desk. Given the ship had undergone an upgrade I would have thought electronic locking on doors to modernise it would have been a given. The suite was very good and extremely spacious and bathroom excellent. What let the décor down and also around the ship was the expanse of fake mahogany veneer everywhere making open spaces very dark and closed in. We had lunch in the buffet area which was average, Food was unimaginative, bland and lacked choice. There was also no staff member ensuring that people sanitized which given the increased risk of norovirus on ships I find amazing. We had a walk around the ship and given the size, deck space was at a premium. We checked out the indoor pool in the Wellness Centre at level one. I’m not sure Wellness Centre is appropriate as the area stank of cigarette smoke apparently from staff quarters. For dinner we went to the Waldorf restaurant and had to wait for a table. The waiting was not organised, and no queue was in place. The menu was good with lots of choice and presented very well. What let the service down was the food served in a luke warm state. After dinner we took in part of the show featuring singers and dancers. To be fair they do a very good job with the space they have to work in. On return to the cabin we had instructions that we were to be out of the cabin by 7am which I thought was very poor. During the night the noise from the funnel was loud and made sleeping difficult. In summary, the Astor I am sure caters for many people not wanting the frills / attractions / variety other larger cruise ships offer but I was not for me. I also think it is overpriced given the lack of facilites. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Having cruised numerous times but never with Cruise and Maritime, we decided to try the overnight Christmas party night. The embarkation from Tilbury was excellent and quick. The cabin was standard and clean. The food and service in the ... Read More
Having cruised numerous times but never with Cruise and Maritime, we decided to try the overnight Christmas party night. The embarkation from Tilbury was excellent and quick. The cabin was standard and clean. The food and service in the restaurant was good. However, our reason for writing this review is as a warning to other passengers. The following morning we left our luggage in the designated area manned by 2 CMV staff and were given a ticket with our cabin number on. We left our luggage there whilst eating our breakfast. Upon our return, approx. one hour later, our suit carrier containing our clothes from the night before was nowhere to be found. We reported it straight away to Reception, who were not really interested and told us it happens all the time. The Head of Housekeeping came to speak to us and told us that he would sort it out but didn't come back. We were kept waiting at Reception for 45 mins and largely ignored during that time. In the end we demanded a claim form, which somebody duly appeared with. Our contact details were taken and despite contacting Head Office twice now we have been told that it is not the responsibility of Cruise and Maritime, even though it was an area manned by their staff and with no warning sign to passengers stating that they accept no responsibility for loss or damage. As far as CMV are concerned the matter is closed and we on the other hand have lost £400 worth of clothes! The cruise line itself is let down by extremely poor customer aftercare. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Did an overnight 'port party' on the Astor before she headed back to the UK. Boarding was a bit of a joke. Stood around waiting for a long time with nothing happening until a couple of minutes after boarding was supposed to ... Read More
Did an overnight 'port party' on the Astor before she headed back to the UK. Boarding was a bit of a joke. Stood around waiting for a long time with nothing happening until a couple of minutes after boarding was supposed to start. Then everyone enters en masse and ushered down to the restaurant, but it was full, so we were told to wait in the bar. Went to the bar, told to go sit down, then waited for over 20 minutes and no one came to take a drink order. We finally went to see what was happening with lunch, and found a long line waiting to get into the restaurant. Lunch was a bad experience - although talking to other passengers, advised that this was not the norm. It was a buffet, and while the waiters were very good, the quality of lunch left a lot to be desired. As a vegetarian, had some limp salad and some very unappetising pasta, although got a free glass a champagne and the table settings were nice. We expected some afternoon entertainment, but there was nothing on offer, so we explored the ship. The cabins are a really good size and nice and spacious. They are old style and key operated, not swipe, and they don't lock on closing, but require key locking. The ship is not big but there are beautiful sitting areas along the corridors and plenty of nice bars and places to sit. The gym was small and not that well equipped. The pool was empty while in port. Dinner was a more formal event with a meat and vegetarian option. We got there early and were seated at a table for two, but the restaurant was not big enough for everyone on the ship and there were long lines waiting to get in ( again, this is apparently not the norm, and usually two restaurants open so the lines would not be an issue ). Waiters were delightful and very polished and the food for dinner was superb. Could not fault it. Some nice evening entertainment. Classical musicians and some live music. The evening show was in the lounge - nice venue, but unless you were at the front, you could not really see the performance that well. Some beautiful voices of the performers. Then the party out the back of the ship - live music, great atmosphere, and really good entertainment. Drink prices reasonable. And the party went til late for those that wanted to dance the night away. Breakfast once again had long lines to get in, and then huge lines for the hot food, although variety and quality of the food was nice. Staff around the ship were all pleasant and helpful. As we only did the overnight event, its probably not a true reflection of how the ship normally operates and the fact that there was a norovirus outbreak prior to boarding also made things more difficult. I thought it a nice old ship with lots of charm and would be perfect if you were happy to sit around and watch the world go by, but there was not enough entertainment / activities during the day for my liking so I would not sail on her again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
12/15 3 day cruise Fremantle to Fremantle Check-in at Fremantle Passenger Terminal was the first contact with the ship’s crew, very professional and friendly. Fremantle terminal is basic and dated! Oops, if you have trouble walking ... Read More
12/15 3 day cruise Fremantle to Fremantle Check-in at Fremantle Passenger Terminal was the first contact with the ship’s crew, very professional and friendly. Fremantle terminal is basic and dated! Oops, if you have trouble walking a mile, get help! We had an interior twin room lower deck 4 port side, room 506, very clean, well equipped but small. Bathroom very small but extremely clean, bright, well-appointed with lovely soft towels including pool towels. Even brought the glen 20 freshener, didn’t need to use it (tip from what to bring). The cabin was quiet and ocean movement minimally felt. Air-conditioning was good but when rushing around in the cabin you did warmed up, so a fan would have been excellent to have! I’m going again in January, so I will bring a desk fan (bring European adapter) Weekend weather was around 25 degrees c, what to wear, on board perfect temperature, I didn’t t need a cardie, outside was pretty warm too. Afternoon, yes a sea breeze happen but it depends where you are at, still not cold. I brought too much cool weather gear, not used on this trip. Two lovely dining areas to choose, one with table service and one buffet style, both gorgeously set so much attention to detail. Great service, immaculate dressed multi-tasking crew from all over the world and so many of them. Coffee was divine, choice of teas and water all available, no charge. Food was plentiful and fresh! Sweets, too many to choose from, including an ice-cream station. Loved the grill (barbeque) Saturday lunch time at the buffet. Drinks prices ok, a summary, soft drinks around $3.95, Beer $6.95+, glass of wine $8.50 (nice wine too), bottle of wine mid varieties $22-$38, of course top shelf is available. Upon entering the dining areas a hand sanitiser unit is available and encouraged to be used. Wellness centre with beauty treatments, hair, saunas, and heated swimming pool with aqua gear, dumb bells, and noodles is available and I had a great time. Staff excellent at the wellness centre! Of course they will marketed the goods to sell but that’s business as usual .Didn’t use to outdoor pool. Had a wedding party on board, so good to see the wedding fashion stakes at its finest and the party people, the crew very attentive! Entertainment, well I loved it! 3 different cabaret themes over the 3 night cruising with a talented multi-tasking crew. Best part is leaving the internet behind and meeting people! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Just want to thank Cruise & Maritime for the experience of the dinner and overnight on Friday the 13th because now we know we will never cruise with Cruise & Maritime ever! Starting with the chaos at London Cruise Terminal where ... Read More
Just want to thank Cruise & Maritime for the experience of the dinner and overnight on Friday the 13th because now we know we will never cruise with Cruise & Maritime ever! Starting with the chaos at London Cruise Terminal where check in had gone down and little communication from staff on the site. We were told the check in would be on ship and would be approximately 10-15 minutes - an hour and half later we finally boarded! This was then to be met with more queues and chaos at the ship check in - which took a further 40-50 minutes! Cruise & Maritime kindly offered 50% off all drinks by way of an apology for the delays - however, getting to the bars and getting served was horrendous - taking up to 25 minutes to get served! Bar staff spoke very little English which made the service even more frustrating! Finally getting into our allotted stateroom - we had very little time to get ready for the dinner (which thankfully had been put back to 20:15hrs because of the long delays! On arriving at the stateroom - it had obviously not been cleaned / checked thoroughly as we found a used razor in the shower cubicle and - worse still - the toilet was backed up with faeces - right to the brim of the toilet bowl. This was reported to a member of staff (engineers) who were allegedly working on the problem and it would take 10 minutes to clear. As the alleged flagship for the fleet having had a recent refit - the standard of the works were shocking with rust around the port hole as well as rust on the ceiling - visible from the dropped ceiling panel! The walls were paper thin and we could hear everything being said in the stateroom next door! The only positive was dinner itself - food was good however we had to constantly ask for another glass of wine or a glass of water. We saw a small amount of the cabaret and managed to get the attention of the seemingly only bar staff in the cabaret lounge only to be charged £62 for a double brandy. This error was subsequently rectified but it happened again on the next round we ordered! Returning to our stateroom - the toilet was still backed up!!!!!!! We decided enough was enough!. We complained at reception (where several other guests were also complaining about one thing and another). We were offered an alternative stateroom and assistance to pack our things - but we decided we did not want to stay any longer and left the ship at 02:00hrs. We have cruised on P&O and Royal Caribbean and would class this cruise line as the equivalent to a B Rated Movie!   Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Cruise and Maritime offered an overnight stay with dinner and a show to potential customers for their newly obtained ship Magellan. The ship is docked at Tilbury and will sail later this week on its inaugural season around the British ... Read More
Cruise and Maritime offered an overnight stay with dinner and a show to potential customers for their newly obtained ship Magellan. The ship is docked at Tilbury and will sail later this week on its inaugural season around the British Isles. Unless things vastly improve with the Embarkation process you may be very disappointed. We waited for nearly two hours before we even reached our rooms. The Casino Bar was full and waiters were run off their feet. We waited more than 30 mins for drinks and when they came was short of two of what we ordered. It wasnt the waiters fault, just mismanagement of resources. I have complained to Cruise and Maritime and asked for a refund. If you were at this event too, I hope you have too! Talk about displaying their shortcomings - especially as they were out to impress! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Two firsts - my first review here, and a first look at the Magellan. This was not strictly a cruise, it was an overnight stay on the Magellan prior to its maiden trip. We booked this as we had sailed twice on the Marco Polo and were keen ... Read More
Two firsts - my first review here, and a first look at the Magellan. This was not strictly a cruise, it was an overnight stay on the Magellan prior to its maiden trip. We booked this as we had sailed twice on the Marco Polo and were keen to see the new ship. Unfortunately things did not begin well. When we arrived at the terminal we heard that there had been a computer problem and check-in was delayed - and so the queuing began... We were eventually told that check-in would take place on board and we could board. Once we had queued to get on board we found another massive queue winding round the ship so that we could check in. An hour later, harassed waiters were bringing round glasses of wine to placate the crowds. After two hours, hooray, we reach the front of the queue to find we were simply there to register a credit card - the identity cards had already been given out and the cabin keys were already in the cabins, Oh that's great. I mention this at length because the chaos and lack of information were indicative of a lack of organisation, let alone that many of the passengers are not of an age to enjoy such an endurance test. Our cabin was basic but ok. There is no control of the temperature so you get whatever you get. If you enjoy eavesdropping then you have a bonus as you can clearly hear every word from your neighbours cabins. We went for a look around the public areas and my overall impression of the décor was that it was much closer to a Dover-Calais ferry than a luxury liner. The shipyard must have got a fantastic deal on Formica because there's a lot of it. Generally it was not like staying in a four star hotel, more like a trip to McDonald's. Time for drinks in the bar. One beer and a white wine, £10. I'm looking at the receipt now just to make sure. Expensive? More than any other ship I've ever been on I think. Dinner was good. There we are, it's not all negative. The show lounge was absolutely full, so we never saw the show, but I'm guessing that there are normally two dinner sittings and two shows so this would be less of an issue. The serving staff were individually good, but there seemed to be a lot of aimless wandering around which, I guess, reflected that the staff were not yet used to working on the ship. Breakfast was a buffet, even in the main restaurant. We arrived at 8am, peak time I suppose, but it was a bit of a scrum with people three deep waiting for more food to arrive from the galley. In summary, I appreciate that this all sounds pretty negative but we were only on board one night and that was what happened. I hope that many of the problems were due to teething troubles and that the company can get their act together. If you can get a really spectacularly cheap deal on the Magellan then you could overlook the shortcomings, but would I sail on it again? Afraid not.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Booked this Taster cruise for 1 night from Tilbury to Newcastle. Flew down from Newcastle and arranged car pick up from gatwick. Embarkation Very busy and a lot of sitting around, however once checked in it all went smoothly. Booked a ... Read More
Booked this Taster cruise for 1 night from Tilbury to Newcastle. Flew down from Newcastle and arranged car pick up from gatwick. Embarkation Very busy and a lot of sitting around, however once checked in it all went smoothly. Booked a superior outside on 7th deck. Cabin was very spacious, clean and comfortable. Once settled we went to restaurant for lunch, open buffet, hot and cold, food was ok, nothing special but reserved judgement until dinner. We had a stroll around ship, which was really quite nice, very clean public areas, nice bars and sitting areas, staff were friendly and helpful. Safety drill pretty organised and went ok, afterwards we then popped to Sinatras bar for a drink and relax. Drinks are very reasonable, £3.80 for a large beer, all cocktails around £4, large glass of wine £5. Very pleasant area with guy playing piano, nice relaxing atmosphere. Plenty of room to get ready in cabin, shower was fine. I would take your own coat hangers as there were only 3' not a problem on a 1 night cruise, but certainly not enough for a 7 night. Dinner was served in Warldorf restaurant, we were originally booked on early sitting but wasn't a problem to change. Dinner I must admit was very nice, nice menu, all served and presented well. The restaurant itself was bright, and clean, my only worry was the booth seats, nightmare to get in and out, especially if your sat with people you've only just met which we found out at breakfast the next morning. Anyway we went to show room afterwards which I really liked, great space, with comfortable seats and plenty of room, show was good, nice costumes etc, good dancers and singers, waiter service a little slow. But they were very busy. Afterwards went to Scott's nightclub, which really finished night off brilliantly, great mix of people all dancing and having fun, great music. Very good nights sleep, comfortable beds, very little noise, breakfast was chaotic as everyone turned up at same time, head waiter did his best to organise and we eventually got seated but as explained earlier very difficult in booths when self service, but food was fine, plenty choice, slow in bringing tea/coffee. Overall, we were pleasantly surprised, we didn't expect too much with previous reviews, then again we did not pay a lot of money. There were some people moaning around ship, but sometimes I would like to remind them, if they want P&O service then pay P&O prices, I have been on 9 cruises Including celebrity, Royal caribbean & P&O. So was this cruise value for money? Yes I think it probably was. I know it's difficult to judge off 1 night, but a fellow passenger who was on board and a seasoned cruiser, is booked back on for Feb 2016 and was also pleasantly surprised and glad she booked. I would definitely say ship is about a decent 3* rating.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Boarding was fairy orderly given the full ship. Tilbury cruise terminal is embarrassingly dated and falling to bits, particularly the walkway to the ship. Cabin was clean and comfortable and fairy standard. No complaints. Some of our ... Read More
Boarding was fairy orderly given the full ship. Tilbury cruise terminal is embarrassingly dated and falling to bits, particularly the walkway to the ship. Cabin was clean and comfortable and fairy standard. No complaints. Some of our group had a superior single however this appeared to just be a twin room. Despite making one reservation for four of us in three cabins we were all split for dinner and it took an age to get it sorted. Lunch buffet very basic and disorderly. Ran out of many options. Few drinks were had. Service very slow at times but friendly enough. Some of the alcoholic cocktails were fairy devoid of alcohol. Drinks prices average. House beer ok. Dinner was nice but it took an age to get wine. Wine waiters spend too much time chatting. It's all well and good but when you have just three of them between a whole dining room they really need tog et a move on. Food was fairly good. The ship is pleasant but enough thought hasn't gone In to it. CMV have a mature following and with that the low down seats in every venue and lack of arms on chairs means getting in and out is tricky. The ship is not very intuitive. You have to go up over and down to get around it at times which is confusing, and only certain lifts take you all the way to the upper floors. Show was very average. Camp as christmas costumes, poorly timed dancing, average to good singers. Shame as the show lounge is a very nice venue. Breakfast in the morning involved a massive queue for the a la carte or fighting for a table in the buffet. However food tasted good enough, but we had to eat it outside in the cold! Coffee good and plenty of it. Many hots were slow to be replenished. Disembarkation was chaotic. It took almost two hours to get off despite being at the very front. Calmac told the local taxi firm that no taxis were needed where in fact around 15 were needed. Crew got off first as well as trolleys of equipment whilst the aging clientele were left stuck standing in the reception area which had became very crowded. Not CMV's fault but was very disappointed by the Port of Tyne official just barging past the crew's request to see some ID. So much for security. But credit to the crew for trying several times to see some ID. Crew level of English is not acceptable. Basic requests from reception for antacids and lost property in the cabin were met with confusion. Lots of very unhappy regulars too. It should have been a showcase however it was very haphazard and it has put me off sailing with them again. All in all an expensive day out, and fairy disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Celebrating a birthday was our excuse to choose a taster cruise on the " new" to them, Magellan, the latest addition to Cruise and Maritime's fleet of elderly vessels. We were initially advised that we could arrive as early ... Read More
Celebrating a birthday was our excuse to choose a taster cruise on the " new" to them, Magellan, the latest addition to Cruise and Maritime's fleet of elderly vessels. We were initially advised that we could arrive as early as 8.30 am, but were eventually advised to arrive at. 10.30, still early for those of us who live a long way from the London Cruise terminal of Tilbury, quite easily reached by train from Fenchurch street. Approaching the vessel, her Carnival heritage was clear from the now navy blue winged funnel . Embarkation was badly organised, quite chaotic and took far longer than it ought to have. We finally boarded and were shown to our cabin on deck 7 by a smiling staff member. Our supposedly superior cabin was decidedly dull, well worn , with odd layout, a strange knee jarring quadrant corner table, and poor lighting. There was adequate storage, a safe that didn't work, despite the attempts of a maintenance man, but thankfully the bed was comfortable. The bathroom was minuscule, badly lit and with the tiniest bar of soap we have ever seen. We had not expected luxury, but we felt this was a standard pared to the bare bones. Departure was delayed, so as we had left home at dawn, we decided to have an early buffet lunch in the Raffles Bistro. There was a reasonable choice , with decent soup and fresh crusty bread, but we noted that empty platters were not quickly replaced . Tables were pushed very close together, and many guests found it hard to find a seat. Since the wintry sun was out we explored the outside decks, and found a spacious teak sun deck, with ample sun lounge beds, so enjoyed a pleasant hour or so of reading in the sunshine, delightful after a long dreary winter. The navigator deck was pleasant for a stroll, and was where the much nicer few suites were located. We had a look in one, finding it far superior, with lovely lounge area, separate bed space and spa tub bathroom. The balcony was generous, but with obstructed views. Finally we set sail , with little fuss, and no happy sailaway on offer. We sipped a glass of champagne and wished the clouds to keep away! Later we explored the interior spaces, with 2 decks of public areas, deck 9 having a series of bars and a decent showroom on 2 levels. We enjoyed a duo performing easy listening tunes, before dinner, and had a quick look in the spacious shops. We found little of the glitz that we expected of an exCarnival/Costa vessel, and few attempts to make this a glamorous attractive ship. The restaurant deck was difficult to navigate, as you needed to use the right stairs or lift to get to either of the 2 main restaurants, allocated according to cabin location. We dined late in the smaller of the two , sharing a 6 table. The menu offered good, but predictable choices , and was well cooked and pleasantly presented , but getting some wine proved a challenge as there appeared to be few wine waiters. We were treated to an enthusiastic old style baked Alaska parade, but no other desserts or cheese was offered to those who don't care for this particular cake . We made our way to the Show lounge, and realised that there were many seats with column obscured sight lines and several rows of one level seats nearer the stage. The small orchestra played on one side of the upper level. The performance that night was an Abba tribute, performed by a troupe of skilled dancers and some good singers , rather dulled by really old style choreography . It was received with great enthusiasm by the audience. We were too tired to investigate the night club 's offerings, and the casino held little attraction as the antiquated slot machines required feeding in dollars. We found the bed comfortable, and ordered room service early morning tea, before making our way to the Raffles bistro for an excellent breakfast of scrambled eggs and gravlax with freshly made toast. Because our arrival in Newcastle was going to be delayed, we enjoyed a morning trivia, and a brisk deck walk in the strong breeze . Finally Magellan turned towards the Tyne estuary , tying up some distance from the city. We took a taxi , and were driven by a charming young man, proud of his city, who gave us a running commentary and took us to the railway station on a route passing the amazing regeneration of this handsome city and it's riverside. Would we sail on Magellan again? Probably not, but it was interesting to see an older Carnival ship being put to new use.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This cruise started at Tilbury and we were embarked just 15 mins after our time of 10.45. We were welcomed on board by a line of staff and escorted to our cabin by a very polite steward. First impressions were good with a spacious inside ... Read More
This cruise started at Tilbury and we were embarked just 15 mins after our time of 10.45. We were welcomed on board by a line of staff and escorted to our cabin by a very polite steward. First impressions were good with a spacious inside cabin. We had an enjoyable lunch served in either the buffet or dining room. Sailing was late due to problems with delivery butthere was plenty to do. There was a lot of open deck space and various lounges. The theatre was lovely, 2 tier and the show was an Abba tribute which was quite good, We also saw a comedian. We were also served afternoon tea and our 7 course meal was very good. The dining room was very spacious and the food good. We even had a Baked Alaska parade. In the morning breakfast was quite crowded and served in the dining room or buffet with lunch before we left the ship. The only down sides were the lack of public toilets, there were several but mainly large disabled ones for one person. The queues for ladies and gents were huge. Disembarkation was slow mainly caused by passengers blocking the reception area and there was also a medical emergency.All in all it was exceptional value and we would cruise on Magellan again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
I had been tempted when I saw the offer of a one night Gala Cruise on the Astor as I was curious to look around that ship, but my wife was working and unable to go. However, just one week before the cruise, I received an email that told me ... Read More
I had been tempted when I saw the offer of a one night Gala Cruise on the Astor as I was curious to look around that ship, but my wife was working and unable to go. However, just one week before the cruise, I received an email that told me the price was now £99 with "no single supplement"! That clinched it for me, so I rang and booked it straight away. I agreed to pay an additional £15 for the coach transfer from Stansted, since that is where the included flight returned to, and where I left my car. Approximately 30 passengers were on the coach from Stansted to Harwich. Embarkation was smooth, we carried our own bags to our cabins and I was unpacked by 11am. I was very pleased to find that I had been allocated cabin 122 (a premium cabin up on the boat deck) in which the second berth had been made into a settee and had a picture window with clear views out to sea. I went to the Waldorf restaurant for lunch and only three tables were occupied. I was asked if I wanted a table on my own, but I said that I would rather share. One couple, on a table for four, immediately asked me to join them. Shortly afterwards, another solo traveller also joined our table and the buffet lunch was most enjoyable. We sailed at 12.30 and I joined a group of passengers who were being given a tour of the ship. I had never been on a ship with so few passengers and, when I asked how many were on board, I was told that there were less than 70 passengers ! I was very impressed with the cleanliness, the layout and the decor and the hip had a feeling of calmness and serenity. There were several groups of passengers who had boarded in Freemantle and were staying on board. Indeed, I met one Norwegian couple who had stayed on for three consecutive back-to-back cruises and were planning to disembark in Stavanger after being on board for almost 90 days!! They told me that they enjoyed the cruise very much. I then joined two other passengers for a complementary bingo session, in which some twenty others took part so the chances of winning were high. We attended the captain's cocktail party, which was less formal than usual. It was more like a family gathering and, instead of introducing all of the senior officers to us, Captain Emmanouil Psarrakis sang to us in italian. Five of us, who had met earlier, sat together for the gala dinner and had a great time. The food and the service could not be faulted. We attended the show in the Astor Lounge (popular Abba songs plus dance routines) and this was followed by a female singer and piano accompaniest. She sang german songs in recognition that the summer cruises out of Bremerhaven would commence the following day. The next morning we had be out of our cabins by 9.30am (which is the latest that I have known on any day of disembarkation). We docked and left the ship at 11.30am and were taken by coach to Bremen, where we had the day to ourselves. We were picked up by the coach in the evening for our Ryanair flight back to Stansted. In my opinion, this was fantastic value for £99. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We booked this Land of the Northern Lights Cruise in Nov 2013 through Holidays Please. The first problem was all communication with CMV had to be through this agent. Despite emails and several phone calls to both the agent and CMV we did ... Read More
We booked this Land of the Northern Lights Cruise in Nov 2013 through Holidays Please. The first problem was all communication with CMV had to be through this agent. Despite emails and several phone calls to both the agent and CMV we did not receive our tickets.until arrival at Tilbury, where we were kept waiting for 2 hours as there was no record of our prepaid car parking. The cabin was acceptable although the top drawer of the bedside cabinet collapsed onto the shelf below. There were numerous buckets along the corridor to collect water leaking in from above. Decor however was generally good. The ship was full, as a result dinner was in 2 sittings and we were unfortunately in the last. (A request to the maitre D' to change to first sitting was met with the disdain for the passengers she showed for the whole trip).This resulted in us missing virtually all the laid on entertainment, as we did not finish dinner until 10.30 most nights. The cabin steward and waiters were excellent, unfortunately this was not reflected in those higher up the chain! . Hygiene appeared to be good, with sterilsing liquid being squirted on everyone's hands before you could enter a restaurant. Despite this we were both sick during the voyage for several days. Salad was served up which was spoiled, having been frozen; on being informed the chef merely shrugged. The wine cellar was poor and exorbitantly priced. Bad weather could not be helped, although cancellation of a visit to the Lofotens seemed to be more due to waiting in Tromso for a senior member of the company to arrive; this leading to three days tossing around in bad seas with no shore break. The lifts were either switched off, at sea, or not working making it difficult to get to meals. Shore excursions were also exorbitantly priced, e.g. the Ofoten Railway trip was £75 (including a coffee and bun), Return tickets from the station were only £18 - a very expensive coffee. We are very disappointed with what will be our first and last cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
My husband and I have been on many many cruises over the years and have been before on the Astor on 2/01/2014 from Fremantle to Asia and back and had a great time. We saw the farewell 1night cruise and thought it would be great to go on ... Read More
My husband and I have been on many many cruises over the years and have been before on the Astor on 2/01/2014 from Fremantle to Asia and back and had a great time. We saw the farewell 1night cruise and thought it would be great to go on and asked a couple of our friends to come along as they have never been on a cruise before and we were singing the praises about the Astor. When we arrived at the port of Fremantle for boarding at 4.30pm we were told to wait as they had a lunch time event on and they were not ready for us to board, no apology, we were all told to sit down and wait to be called per row, we felt like we were being treated like a herd of cattle after spending our money on what was supposed to be the start of a nice experience especially to introduce our friends to cruising, we eventually boarded at 6.00pm and then had to go to reception to join a big line of passengers to register your charge-card to activate your on board card, we did not get to our cabins till 6.30pm, never any apology from anyone. We had a pleasent evening the entertainment was good, but in the morning we woke with our stewardess banging on our cabin door at 7.15am to come in to check the mini-bar, they said we had to have our cabin keys back by 7.30am otherwise we would be charged $25.00, we went to breakfast after being up early as most people were, everyone would have left the ship by 9.00am, they just wanted you off to get organised for the big cruise ahead, we felt like we had been on an school over-night excursion with food and entertainment thrown in for the price of $149.00 each. 4.30pm on board - 9.30am dept next day, what a joke, what a disgrace, next year they are having lots of overnight stays on board, would certainly recommend not going on them, very disoppointed after our first experience on the Astor, will not be going with them cruising next time around, they have got too greedy and trying to do too many events and cannot cope with them all. Kate Clymer Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
I was prompted to write this review after seeing a couple of negative ones. We were a group of 10 that went on the Astor in March 2014 for a 3 night cruise to nowhere (Busselton). My Comments: Boarding: was very smooth and quick. Took ... Read More
I was prompted to write this review after seeing a couple of negative ones. We were a group of 10 that went on the Astor in March 2014 for a 3 night cruise to nowhere (Busselton). My Comments: Boarding: was very smooth and quick. Took about 20 minutes from arrival at Terminal to cabin. Cabin: outside twin, very comfortable and very very clean Meals: overall would rate 4 out of 5. Good food and service, with a great wine list including western Australian wines. The boat: is what I would call boutique – a small vessel with about 600 passengers when full. The public areas had a really nice feel and our favourite spot was the Captains Club bar. Having been on a few P and O boats, by comparison this one is cosier, and very clean – the public toilets spotless as well. Entertainment: again very enjoyable, though the sound system was not balanced promptly on the 2nd night’s performance. Disembarkation: probably my main criticism was the queue to drop off your cabin key, confirm you have paid the bill and retrieve your passport/photo ID – this took about 30 – 40 minutes. Disabled access (wheelchair) – as with many ships of this style and age – I noted the corridors are not ideal (not wide) for wheelchairs, and the lift takes ages. Would I recommend to others? Yes   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
A small group of us spent a night on the Astor in Fremantle, Western Australia on a "cruise to nowhere". The ship remained in port and was designed as an introduction to cruising for new cruisers. Most of us had cruised a ... Read More
A small group of us spent a night on the Astor in Fremantle, Western Australia on a "cruise to nowhere". The ship remained in port and was designed as an introduction to cruising for new cruisers. Most of us had cruised a number of times previously and since . I have not done a review earlier but as I see constant advertisements for the Astor in our week-end newspapers I feel that it is time for me to say something !!! We enjoyed the night we had on the Astor, fun entertainment and good food HOWEVER the ship itself is like a "caravan on the sea". It is very small with very limited facilities. This is fine if potential cruisers are aware of this but the advertising we see indicates in now way how small and limited this ship is! In absolutely NO WAY does it compare to real ships such as the P&O or Royal Caribbean ships that sail out of Australia. These ships have a huge array of eating options on offer , a choice of pool and spa areas and numerous entertainment options. I feel that potential cruisers need to be aware that the Astor is nothing like the ships they generally see advertised and need to do further research so that they make an informed decision regarding sailing on this ship!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I booked this as a birthday present for my partner for his 60th when the Ship was docked at Tilbury and what a terrible experience it was!! Some people likened it to Butlins. Having been to Butlins several times over the years much prefer ... Read More
I booked this as a birthday present for my partner for his 60th when the Ship was docked at Tilbury and what a terrible experience it was!! Some people likened it to Butlins. Having been to Butlins several times over the years much prefer Butlins. On a positive note the evening meal was excellent but there is nothing else positive about our stay and I feel sorry for those people venturing on a cruise on this "Ferry". Below is a list of issues I found with this stay: 1. No water nor tea making facilities in the room 2. There was a 6.15 sitting for dinner for those not staying overnight. Our sitting at 8.15 was 25 mins late and we had to queue in a tiny corridor until they were ready. 3. When we left the dining room there were no seats in the caberet nor in the bar area for dancing as these were all taken up by the earlier sitting. Certainly could not get on the dance floor. 4. There was a caberet for the later diners but this was very amateurish so did not stay. 4. We could not get a drink at the bar. Only waiter/waitress service and one barman at each bar - hence a long delay. 5. Big queues as the toilets were limited and having to take over the mens. 6. Breakfast. Well the lack of it. We arrived in the dining room for 8:00 - as we did not have to disembark until 9.30. We were faced with a queue travelling all around the room so decided to wait until it had gone down. BIG MISTAKE. By the time we arrived at the buffet it had all gone. No eggs, no bacon, no beans. We asked for scrambled to be made up and this was eventually poured in to serving platter. This experience does not give me any incentive to take a cruise on the Marco Polo. I could not imagine spending more than one day on it as this was enough to put me off!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was our first Cruise trip and had some concerns on how it would go. We arrived at Tilbury and were greeted by a porter who took our cases and suit carrires away which were at our cabing door when we boarded the ship. The embarking was ... Read More
This was our first Cruise trip and had some concerns on how it would go. We arrived at Tilbury and were greeted by a porter who took our cases and suit carrires away which were at our cabing door when we boarded the ship. The embarking was easy and after a short queue we were on board and met with a smile and shown our cabin. Our room host was Zorro who kept smiling all the time and was very efficent. The rooms are not great but have stayed in smaller. We had 2 sets of drwaers and a large wardrobe with an old but working TV. We found the staff always smiled and were friendly. We decided on the restaturant for meals and Lisa our waitress was very atentive to our needs and seemed happy in her work. I found the choice varied and very tasty. The brekfast choice was very good from the good old fry up to cold meats. cereals or fruit and yoghurts. Entertainment was along the Campsite levels but what to do you expect on a cruise Robbie Williams. As no money is exchaged it's easy to run up a large tab if you are not too careful. We decided against the excursions as they were expensive so do not feel you have to go on them because it's in the brochure. Shuttle runs into Ghent was a bonus and a short walk from mooring into Amsterdam center was pleasant enough. My only negative were the staff in Scotts Bar, they seemed bored and really did not want to be there. Disembarkation was as easy as embarkation just a bit of a wait as you are off loaded by Cabin level, posh first peasants last. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
My Family (Adults) went on this stay on board overnight to nowhere docked at Tilbury Firstly when got onto ship some Male Eastern European went a bit crazy as wanted my room no. straight away and even when gave him the paperwork with ... Read More
My Family (Adults) went on this stay on board overnight to nowhere docked at Tilbury Firstly when got onto ship some Male Eastern European went a bit crazy as wanted my room no. straight away and even when gave him the paperwork with cabin no. he picked up my bag and headed straight for the lift without even saying anything to me like "follow me" the whole service from Customer Services to Waiter staff 95% Russian, Polish, Romanian, no English crew at all! They all speak to each other in there lingo not in English. If you ask to repeat something you get shouted at in a firm russian voice! Nice food but dinner was so small portions and just about warm, Breakfast in Scotts Bar was self service which was ok but the coffee/Tea machine was 100yds away from the food or your table if unlucky by the time you sit down either the Tea is cold or the breakfast is. Entertainment was a load of rubbish like X Factor, if you was on the second sitting for dinner you missed most of the show, maybe different if actually on the cruise. But the prices of drinks £10 buys you a Vodka and coke, and a pint of beer, noprices shown anywhere, no till they getthe change out of there pockets. dance floor way too small for the amount of people on board. Cabin nice though we had a obstructed view window but was ok, clean and tidy, beds are tiny like hammocks or kids beds, turn over and you fall out. They made us disembark at 09.00hrs! Cabin had to be vacated by 08.00hrs with luggage left in showroom lounge for anyone to pick up or fiddle with. I certainly wouldn't rush to book a cruise of more than 3 days! Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
My friends from the Netball world were looking for a Xmas night out and saw the Marco Polo advertise an overnight event. Having been on the Marco Polo myself cruising to the Amazon 5 years ago it was lovely to remind myself of the good ... Read More
My friends from the Netball world were looking for a Xmas night out and saw the Marco Polo advertise an overnight event. Having been on the Marco Polo myself cruising to the Amazon 5 years ago it was lovely to remind myself of the good times. My friends thought the cabins small but adequate. We did have a wonderful evening but just felt everything was a little rushed. We wanted to look around the ship but found we only had time to get to our cabins, get dressed for dinner, pre dinner drinks in the Captains Club and then down to the evening meal. The meal was tasty and well presented but both our wine waitress and our waiter were unfriendly with little time for any banter. Sometimes the plates were placed hurriedly down and they were clearing the plates before we had finished. However the evening was not spoilt and we took in the Cabaret and before we knew it, it was 1 o`clock. As we had to vacate our rooms at 8am we were up and queued for breakfast. Again this was a nightmare as so many guests wanted to be seated and the buffet style breakfast was difficult to manage. We gave up wanting a cooked breakfast!! The fruit was lovely and orange and coffee welcoming. Overall we had a lovely experience but would have wanted more time and less people and hopefully friendlier staff. I think unfortunately we chose the wrong Saturday as Marco Polo was sailing the next day and it was a short turn around for the Staff. That does not excuse a the lack of a smile from the crew!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was a one night familiarisation visit to the ship. I'm so glad we did. If we hadn't we might have been fooled into booking a whole cruise. Plus points: Embarcation and disembarcation was easy. The cabin was clean and ... Read More
This was a one night familiarisation visit to the ship. I'm so glad we did. If we hadn't we might have been fooled into booking a whole cruise. Plus points: Embarcation and disembarcation was easy. The cabin was clean and comfortable. The cabin steward was friendly. Minus points: The evening meal was poor with a tasteless plate of iceberg salad, a reasonable tomato soup with soggy bread in it, the main course with congealed vegetables and served on a cold plate, and a sliver of baked Alaska. Wine was provided and poured indiscriminately into glasses without tasting. The entertainment was straight out of an episode of Hi-Di-Hi but without the talent. Skegness 1956 comes to mind. Sleep was disturbed by inconsiderate passengers shouting in the corridors well past midnight - the cabins were poorly insulated for sound so that you could hear noises from adjacent cabins. Breakfast was miserable. Coffee was stewed, fried eggs were cold, congealed and burnt on the bottom, toast was dried out and kept warm under a heat lamp. Sausages were of poor quality. Potato wedges were undercooked, greasy and cold. If I had paid £1.50 for it in a greasy spoon I would have asked for my money back. The vast majority (but not all!) of the fellow passengers were uneducated boors with few social graces. It could have been an audition for 'The Only Way is Essex' The staff were generally disinterested and unhelpful - perhaps they had become used to the prevailing atmosphere. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Our cruise to Ghent and Amsterdam should never have left port.All the facilities included in the price were closed except the shows this was claimed because of numerous people touching products ie the card room. The boutiques were open ... Read More
Our cruise to Ghent and Amsterdam should never have left port.All the facilities included in the price were closed except the shows this was claimed because of numerous people touching products ie the card room. The boutiques were open funny that as passengers were handling the products and replacing them on the racks and shelves the same in the shop people were handling bottles of spirits and packets of cigarettes. How this did not constitute a possible health hazard was probably because these were on sale and would have resulted in lost revenue.The shows were excellent again shame the food was not.There was very little choice As the bistro was closed during the cruise the main restaurant had very little choice and our waiter did not know what had garlic in. We paid £998 for this cruise for 4 nights and that included 3 breakfasts 2 were nearly cold 3 lunches if required 3 dinners each and 3 shows. On requesting a part refund this was dismissed out of hand. My sister who was on the cruise with us was phoned to explain that the delayed embarkation was due to the ship having one of it's two annual normal deep clean but failed to inform her if passengers were uncomfortable with the situation you could rebook for a different date. We were not informed of this until we had unpacked in our cabins and a letter was in the cabin folder.. The cruise before us suffered a bad norovirus outbreak of at least 50+ cases as was informed to us by a crew member. With the toilets being closed you had to make a trip back to your cabin if the call arose. Several crew members claimed the cruise should have been cancelled with the lack of facilities. The company have now come back to me with a offer of 20% off a future booking for 2014/2015 providing If I book before 31/01/2014. I think this offer is a joke and I will not be taking up the offer as I will never cruise with this so called cruise company again.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
In January this year we booked our first ever cruise and decided on the Marco Polo's 6 week cruise in Jan/Feb 2014 from Tilbury to the Amazon and all ports in between. Whilst researching the ship and cruise on the Internet we came ... Read More
In January this year we booked our first ever cruise and decided on the Marco Polo's 6 week cruise in Jan/Feb 2014 from Tilbury to the Amazon and all ports in between. Whilst researching the ship and cruise on the Internet we came across the overnight Events during March.......booked a event a couple of weeks ago and Friday 29th saw us driving from Somerset to Tilbury to join the ship at 6.15pm.......having read very mixed reviews on this forum we were unsure what to expect.....From the moment we drove into the car park we were treated as though we were special and nothing was to much trouble for the crew who looked after our every need. We had booked a grade 12 cabin and it was better and bigger than expected........the cabin we have booked for the Amazon cruise is a grade 11 and we went and found cabin 601 and as the door was unlocked we sneaked a look inside, again it was absolutely fine and we are now looking forward to our cruise next winter. The evening meal was excellent, the waiters superb, the show and cabaret was also very good. We met some nice people and almost all had the same views as ourselves.......a couple were heard to say it was not up to the standard of the Q Mary 2......I don' t think the Marco Polo would herself would claim to be that......however we could not fault anything about her........she is what she claims to be and now next January cannot come soon enough. Well done all on board.....after the troubles of the last couple of weeks (Antwerp Dry Dock) you have bounced back and best wishes for the next cruise Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
My partner and I booked for a taster of the 'cruise' ship Marco Polo. The ship never left Tilbury but we got to experience for 1 night (thank god only 1 night)the ship and its hospitality. Firstly embarkation was no ... Read More
My partner and I booked for a taster of the 'cruise' ship Marco Polo. The ship never left Tilbury but we got to experience for 1 night (thank god only 1 night)the ship and its hospitality. Firstly embarkation was no different to queuing at Gatwick or Stansted for a flight... we were shown to our cabin which was supposed to be a guaranteed double bed suite. Upon entering it was twin beds and when I pointed out the problem the staff person threw his hands up in the air like I was being a nuisance and told me to get out of the way and proceeded to push the two beds together !!!!! Not a good start. The ship is certainly old with uneven floors in just about all areas. We had a look at the show cabins and these also had uneven floors, so a feeling of sea sickness without moving anywhere!!!!!!! The dining room has too many tables in and it is a c onstant 'excuse me' of people trying to get into their seats. Don't sit at the side tables unless you don't mind having your elbow on the window sill. Miles too cramped for a dining experience. We found the staff too abrupt. The waiter in the entertainment area was quite insistant that 'we pay cash yeh' !!!!! Maybe a few lessons in customer service may be required. The entertainment itself was diabolical ... have seen better in holiday camps. Wouldn't be impressed if that was all that was on offer on a weeks cruise !!! No escaping either as the singers after their show then go and croon away in the bars. Lots of noise in the corridors during the night (between 12 and 1am in the morning) as people made their way back to their cabins. Breakfast was a farce. I've eaten better in a 3 star hotel. Massive queue for food. Was told on entering the dining room that we could sit anywhere but was then told most pointedly by a staff member 'you sit there'!!!!! All in all I would still like to have a cruise, b ut most definately not on this boat. P&O Cross Channel ferry comes to mind. I wouldn't like to travel up the Thames on this vessel let along across the Channel or North Sea !!!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
You always wonder what a ship will be like before a cruise. Having seen the prices and ports of call for the Marco Polo, we weren't sure if an old ship was for us. Therefore, we jumped at the chance for an evening dinner, ... Read More
You always wonder what a ship will be like before a cruise. Having seen the prices and ports of call for the Marco Polo, we weren't sure if an old ship was for us. Therefore, we jumped at the chance for an evening dinner, entertainment and overnight stay. Whilst for this event they had restricted numbers to around 400, about half of full capacity, clearly the terminal at Tilbury couldn't cope. The cattle market approach together with mis-information given out by checking-in staff and a PA that you could hardly hear, filled us with trepidation. Once we arrived onboard, we were shown to our cabin. We were on Deck 5. Fortunately, we only had hand luggage. Otherwise dragging large cases over bulkheads would not have been appreciated. The corridor absolutely stunk of diesel fuel and I wonder how passengers could cope with this day in and day out. Our cabin was spacious, but very well 'used'. There were two portholes. However, to see out of them would have required certain mounteneering skills. There were only 3 channels on the old TV and they seemed to be videos on a loop system, forever repeating themselves. Given that the ship was only half full, it was very clostophobic in the bars etc. Not helped by low ceilngs and no empty seats. The food was, at best 3* or below. The entertainment, a take off of We Will Rock You, was more Pontins than West End. If you needed the loo, queuing was essential, unless you were up for a walk around the ship. For the evening meal we were allocated tables pre-embarkation. However, this system was abandoned for breakfast, when it was every man/woman for themselves. You had to queue to get a table and while you were in the scrum for food, they gave your table to another set of guests. There was no queuing system for obtaining your food or obvious area to stand while you watched guests infiltrating the scrum. They were keen for you to leave the ship but there was only a girl shouting out your Visitors Card number to someone trying to find your name on a manual list and then making a handwritten mark. All made for very long queues. This was supposed to be a Showcase to encourage future bookings. Whilst, undoubtebly, the cabins on the higher decks were better, save for one super waiter called Constantine, the rest of the crew hardly made you feel like travelling with them in the future. I'd say that they well and truely shot themselves in both feet. How they could possibly cope with nearly 800 guests is beyond my belief. Thank goodness our next cruise is NOW on a 5* ship and not a poor pretender. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
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