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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Cabin We were given a tiny, windowless cabin on the lowest deck known as Carabic. The smell of diesel is so overpowering it leaves a taste in your mouth as you leave the tiny lift. We paid for an inner cabin and the offer suggested a ... Read More
Cabin We were given a tiny, windowless cabin on the lowest deck known as Carabic. The smell of diesel is so overpowering it leaves a taste in your mouth as you leave the tiny lift. We paid for an inner cabin and the offer suggested a free upgrade that never happened; despite this the cabin was serviceable and kept spotlessly clean by Lillia our Cabin Stewart. The two twin beds were smaller than a regular single but were rewarded with fresh crisp linen daily along with the white as wave towels. The cabin was serviceable and a little larger than I expected. The draw space and hanging space was well utilised for storing the plethora of formal wear needed on the cruise. 3 single wardrobes housed rails, the safe and a set of small draws along with a tie rack. The top space held the life jackets and could be used for storing larger items. The storage of suitcases was difficult but we squeezed them under the beds, this would be impossible with the hard shell cases but our smaller softer cases compressed to fit. The bathroom optimised the available space and provided a shower with a detachable head; the pressure was good and left us feeling refreshed. The toiletries supplied were limited and of a poor quality. The descenders in the showers were tricky to use when slippery and wet but we had brought our own and recommend travellers do the same. The standard of cleaning in the cabin is outstanding and I have never had a better standard anywhere in the world. Twice each day the room is cleaned and turned back at night, clothes folded for you, bins emptied, dressing area organised. It feels like Mary Poppins has visited each time you return. Captain’s Club This comfortable area is rarely unoccupied, in the day it’s bright clean interior attracts people hoping to relax and have a drink and at night it is a waiting area for people preparing for the show lounge cabaret. A delightful pianist and violinist play at various times on most evenings but they could not be enjoyed because they became inaudible within the busy room full of chattering guests. A beautiful resource that is sadly under appreciated and lost amongst the people. Sadly this area is understaffed and many guests treat the overworked staff appallingly. I have witnessed so many occasions where guests have berated, abused and directly verbally attacked the young staff. The waiting time for drinks is over 30 minutes or more and there does seem to be a favouring of those guests without a drinks package over those who have the package. This highlights another anomaly in the pricing of the drinks package. If I ordered a quadruple whisky this would be included in the package BUT a latte coffee would not. This seems rather unfair and does not encourage sensible drinking. My main issue with this area is the lack of tables for two persons. Most of the tables are laid out as 4s and so it negates any privacy or time for couples to enjoy together. Most of the time the lounge is quite full and so people sit with you and want to chat. A lovely thing to happen on a friendly ship but there are times when I would have appreciated some time alone with my husband. This layout was further hindered by the many Zimmer frames, walking trollies and walking sticks that created an ever changing obstacle course for people to negotiate. Scott’s Bar This is a lively little venue however after 10 all entertainment moves to this bar and sadly the area is far too small for the number of visitors using it. It was almost impossible to see both the show at 9 in the show lounge and then get a seat upstairs. Sadly we missed out because if this. The bar staff in this area are good and much quicker than in other areas of the ship. Many of the soft furnishings in this area are broken and are uncomfortable but this is only if you are fast enough to get a seat. Marco’s Bistro Terrible! This restaurant is appalling and I am afraid it has deteriorated during the cruise. The food is luke warm at best and stagnant and congealed most of the time. The choice is poor with mostly chopped meat dishes and diced over cooked soggy vegetables. The sweet section at lunch and dinner are poor with small portions of poorly presented sweets that include many cold puddings and whips. The majority of food has a soft blended texture ideal if chewing is best avoided! The cutlery includes only soup spoons rather than desert or tea spoons, so one must stir tea, eat cake and cereal with a soup spoon. Usually there is a shortage of cutlery throughout the restaurant at all 3 meals. My biggest annoyance was having to collect food in relays as people would take your seat between courses. Lone diners would find it impossible to eat all courses in the same seat. Main Restaurant This area is stunning and despite the tatty table cloths, with more pulls than a grandmother’s stocking, it is warm and welcoming. The staff try hard but the lack of organisation makes this a doomed enterprise. We were sat on a table of six and we were so close to other tables that the waiters played limbo to get about carrying the trays. The menus allowed for a choice but really what you received was like Russian roulette. I ordered ice cream and got sorbet, ordered pasta and got pork! This seemed to happen every night to at least one person in the table. The delay between courses was ridiculous with a 90 minute wait on Christmas Day between starter and main. This improved to 50 minutes on Boxing Day. We eventually complained and the time between courses reduced but the game of roulette continued. Midnight snacks Pathetic! These are carried around on a tray and given out in tiny portions on serviettes. I was blessed with grease down my ball gown as the waiter spilt them all down me on Christmas Eve! Not the wonderful plan I had for my dress which is now ruined. Deck Bar Swimming pool! More of a puddle than a pool. I heard it called a splash pool, a great name as it just splashes icy water over people sat at tables around it. The slippery deck is then a risk to the shuffling older people who hope to sit by it. No one used it as it is covered with a net, a complete waste of deck space and a blooming pain in the neck! The bar out here is well stocked and enticing but the wait time for a drink is so long you contemplate jumping overboard! The waiting staff meander about, avoiding eye contact and rarely engage with people. I have found this the worst area to get a drink and have often given in and had a self service coffee rather than nothing. Entertainment The entertainment team includes some excellent singers with talent way beyond this ship. Callum, Anneka and Savannah brighten every room when they enter and their talent shines through. The others are not quite as talented but what they lack in ability they make up for in enthusiasm. Mitch makes everyone smile and excelled at Elvis and some swing but he struggles with more challenging songs. Not all of the songs the entertainers sing suit their voices and even the best of them murder some songs. The Wuthering Heights needs to be pulled ASAP! Daytimes are dull. Little if any entertainment goes on and much is not hosted. The entertainment seems to be aimed at the older generation with Knit and Natter and Bridge. We attended the Creative Writing and although we enjoyed the sharing of creative works the gentleman who ran the session was poor. He talked. A lot! He then got everyone to write and share. The feedback was peer feedback with little input from him. There was no development of people’s skill, no feedback or development of ideas. The next session repeated exactly the first in format and activities. The room was too small and the delivery needs to be improved. The tutor led session was didactic and lacked any imagination. Ironic given it was a creative writing class. The exception to the poor daytime activities was the Morecombe and Wise Comedy lecture that was excellent. It was well planned, entertaining and engaging, giving rise to much laughter and good spirits. The presenter was knowledgeable and very talented. Excursions The excursions are very expensive however they are well organised and have a high standard of tour guide. We did 3 different excursions and booked a fourth that was unfortunately cancelled. The first tour of Gibraltar was on a minibus and took us to the Rock, the Caves and the museum. The guide was excellent and entertained and informed us. He was relaxed and the tour took longer than expected but it was worth every second of my time. The second tour took us around a very foggy and rainy Funchal. To be honest the tour should have been cancelled due to the weather. The views were totally covered by a thick blanket of fog making visibility about 3 meters maximum. The guide tried her best but coffee and cake at a golf club and a walk to a wine tasting cost us £48 each. Very disappointing! The 3rd trip around a freezing cold Lisbon was a march, following a bossy school mistress who barked at us and constantly repeated herself. When people asked for rendezvous times she wouldn’t give them insisting we stayed with her. The visit to the monastery allowed no time to contemplate the beautiful place or enter into prayer. It was a fast walk through and a sit on a pew whilst she talked and talked constantly repeating herself. Disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Ship broken down in Dover so not in dock in Tilbury, so we had to be bused to Dover, given a bottle of water apple & crisps for lunch. After a two hour drive we arrived in Dover getting on the ship went well, we were told that the ... Read More
Ship broken down in Dover so not in dock in Tilbury, so we had to be bused to Dover, given a bottle of water apple & crisps for lunch. After a two hour drive we arrived in Dover getting on the ship went well, we were told that the self service was closed ( but found out later it was open) there should have been a kettle in our cabin that was missing so no warm cuppa. First evening meal in the restaurant was not very good, also we ask for a table for 6/8 given one for 4. Then found out the ship had not been repaired so had to miss Gibraltar so that meant 5 day's at sea with not a lot to do. Ship repaired in Tenerife. 31/12 arrived in Madeira> My husband went on a excursion I didn't because it was a tender. I am disabled (having a bad day) so I stayed on board. He left me at 8.45 I next saw him at 7.15 because they stopped the tenders for safety reasons, leaving hundreds on shore either sat on the tenders or stood out in the rain, last people got back around 11.30 all missing their Grand New Years Eve meal as we did. A lot of people missed the fireworks at midnight as they were either too ill or too tired to stay up. We did see the fireworks were spectacular, they were what nearly all the passages had gone to see. The disembarkation was a joke we had crew members with cases or large bags pushing passed paying passengers to get of the ship, maybe like a lot of the passengers they too couldn't wait to get off. After showing our sea passes there were new staff walking towards us to get on the same way as everyone was getting off. They were so rude bearing in mind their ages compared to the passengers, who were mainly OAP's or disabled like myself. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this ship as we sailed in her 18 months previously and apart from very average food in the Waterfront Restaurant we had a good time. We were in need of some serious R&R after a very difficult year and the children were ... Read More
We chose this ship as we sailed in her 18 months previously and apart from very average food in the Waterfront Restaurant we had a good time. We were in need of some serious R&R after a very difficult year and the children were happy to go elsewhere. We therefore booked the courier service through SAGA to take us to Tilbury & back. The day before we left the embarkation was changed to Dover where extra repairs had to be made apparently although why was never mentioned by the captain or the crew. Embarkation was fast and efficient but from there it all went downhill. The excursion to Amsterdam canals was organised during the daylight hours and the famous lights were not evident. A waste of time & money. As soon as we left there we were informed that the scheduled stop in Gibraltar had been cancelled as the repairs had not been effected in Dover. So after 5.5 days at sea suffering with very mediocre food in the main restaurant and indifferent entertainment in the Palladium we arrived in Tenerife earlier than stated. The excursion booked was thoroughly dangerous on roads unsuitable for big coaches and little or no safety barriers on bends with 400' or more drops. So decided to cancel rest of excursions but no refund given and money taken to cancel! Best was New Years' firework display but some 600 or so very bruised and battered passengers may not agree after suffering appalling conditions tendering to the mainland in rough seas when no other cruise liners were offering this and then being left for hours to fend for themselves when the weather worsened. All in all we felt that there was a lack of care for the passengers exhibited by the officers and heads of departments, although the staff on the ground so to speak were friendly and helpful. The wine cellar choice was little short of abysmal. If you drink dry wine only you will be ok as that is all they have and the spirit measures are extremely small. Luckily we took out a VIP package and came out on top. The best drinks were definitely the cocktails and the lovely coffees. Food was poor except for the buffet on the top but not easy to get drinks up there. The whole ethos of Christmas was missing. Embarkation was a total shambles and as there was a DOA in one of the cabins even more delay ensued with a free for all at the exit to the dock building. Would we go again.....answer no as it appears the shipping line is more interested in making money at all costs than looking after the comfort of it's passengers and our experience was worse than the previous trip. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We have just arrived home after back to back cruise on Magellan we did the Christmas Market cruise to Rouen and Honfleur . Before the cruise started we were told that there would be no Christmas market at Honfleur it started the day ... Read More
We have just arrived home after back to back cruise on Magellan we did the Christmas Market cruise to Rouen and Honfleur . Before the cruise started we were told that there would be no Christmas market at Honfleur it started the day after we visited how can CMV make a mistake like this . On arriving at Tilbury we had paid for car parking I find it hard to believe that there were no blue badge spaces for wheelchair users we were expected to leave my wife at the terminal while I parked the car in the docks and got a bus back this is not good enough .We spoked to a car park attendant who let us park outside the port , when we booked through CMV we were told that we could not park outside the port as there was building work going on , when we arrived there was no building work going on , there should be blue badge spaces for the disabled out side the port. We were on the boat in under 30 minutes , the food was very good only problem it took 30 minutes to find a seat. The cabin no 6153 was a good size plenty of draw space . The only problem was the air conditioning was blowing out cold air we told the steward twice nothing done about it went to reception next day still nothing done went to reception again in the evening finally they got someone to look at it and he could not fix it so we were cold all the time this is not good enough CMV must have known that it didn't work we spoke to many people whose heating never worked . ROUEN Were told the evening before that there would be a shuttle bus to take us into town and we needed to get a ticket at 3pm wo we arrived at 2.25pm most of the ships passengers were there then it was announced over the tannoy that tickets would not be issued till 3.30 we got our tickets at 4.10 on bus no 22 so we said we would get a taxi .Why was we not given the bus tickets the evening before with the daily information paper like other cruise lines then we would not have to que for so long. We were told by a member of staff that there were 3 steps at the bottom of the gangway and that we would be helped down when we got to deck 5 there were hundreds of people thereafter 25min we got to the gangway then we see that the gangway was all steps so I went to find somebody to help after 30 min someone came all while my wife is sitting by the gangway getting cold and bumped into they said that 4 crew would carry her down the steps I was not happy about this that is really health and safety I said that we would not go ashore (we have been on over 30 cruises this is the first time we have not been able to go ashore). I make an appointment to see the Captain or Cruise Director in the end we saw the Guest Services manager we explained to him what had happened and how my wife had felt he didn't want to know just saying they would have carried her down the steps not taking into account how my wife felt she was terrified but he didn't seem to care about that .There was no reason that I could see as to why a flat gangway could not be used. I also said that if that when he was announcing about the tickets he should have said that there were steps to get off boat and that wheelchairs could not get off then we would not have to waste 3 hours and all the problems. The next day we had got breakfast but not started to eat it when there was a announcement they were using a flat gangway but would be changing it for steps in 15 minutes time so we left our breakfast and rushed to deck 5 we got off no problem there was a shuttlebus but no romps for wheelchairs so we had to walk a mile to town no thought again from CMV. Arrived back at ship and step gangway no crew members there to help so I had to go onboard to get some help we waited for 35 minutes for them to show up it was really cold they couldn't care less my wife was eventually carried on board. So we had been on a Christmas Markets cruise but had not seen a Christmas market NOT GOOD ENOUGTH. We cancelled our tips which I think most of the passengers done .We stayed on the ship for the next cruise to Antwerp this cruise was no problem we had the same cabin so cabin was still cold still nothing done about it .Talking about the cold deck 9 was always cold with a lot of people sitting in there coats many people complained but nothing done about it. And to top it off when we were leaving the ship at Tilbury crew members stood and watched me struggle getting off with the ramps and slops they didn't offer to help me they just watched. So will we travel with CMV again NEVER they do not care about disabled people Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I had previously travelled on the Magellan and Columbus with Cruise and Maritime and had enjoyed both trips. On this basis, I booked a 30 day cruise to Canada with my partner on the Marco Polo. Embarkation on 5th Sept at Tilbury was ... Read More
I had previously travelled on the Magellan and Columbus with Cruise and Maritime and had enjoyed both trips. On this basis, I booked a 30 day cruise to Canada with my partner on the Marco Polo. Embarkation on 5th Sept at Tilbury was chaotic and delayed. On being shown our cabin, I immediately saw that it would not meet our needs because of insufficient storage. My complaint was lodged with the cabin steward who offered extra hangers and said that empty suitcases could be stored one deck below. Upon further enquiry, I was advised that these would not be accessible. My partner has recently endured cancer treatment necessitating the use of bulky incontinence aids which added to our luggage. We were called for the evacuation drill immediately. After this, I went promptly to reception and lodged the need for more (accessible) storage. I was told that no other adjustments could be made. I then asked to leave the ship. I was advised that as it was 15.45 and the ship was sailing at 16.00 that it was too late to disembark. I confirmed that I would have to leave at the earliest opportunity at Glengariff. The receptionist stated that she would escalate my complaint to her manager. During the next 44hrs at sea, I had the misfortunate to have my initial concerns realised and worse fears confirmed. Marco Polo is described as “elegant” and “stylish” . This is misleading. Rather it is tired and dated. For example. the Marco’s Bistro carpet was soiled and sticky, the ceiling in Scott’s Bar was damaged with twisted metal and broken lights. Two lifts were unreliable ( I was stuck in one for several minutes) and then broke on the first day requiring repair. The stench of diesel on the Baltic Deck and in our cabin was all-pervading and nausea-inducing. I was advised that the ship is over 50 years old. To describe the ship as stabilised is misleading. During the crossing to Ireland, there was excessive roll even though the sea conditions were described as “slight”. I saw no stabilising fins being deployed presumably to maintain speed and fuel efficiency as seas were slight. I witnessed several passengers stumbling and numerous accidents with crockery and glasses including with the senior officers (broken glass) during the Captain’s presentation in the theatre. My nausea and discomfort when laying in our cabin were compounded by the strong stench of diesel. The food was not of the same standard as on previous voyages. Although I was not able to eat much beyond the first day due to nausea, my partner who was a chef confirmed that too much salt was consistently being used in all the dishes he tried. To describe the entertainment as “truly sparkling” is misleading. The entertainment’s director offered a comically bad rendition of an Elvis impersonation on the first night and then made a hardsell on drinks etc. The dancers were good but the material they were given to work with was woeful. Given the cramped conditions in the theatre, the first night was enough to dissuade us from going back the following evening. On the 6th, Sept I again went to reception and stated my intention to disembark the following day. Once again I was told me that my complaint had been escalated to the manager but no response had been forthcoming and he was not available to speak to me. On 7th we anchored at sea for Glengariff. Disembarkation by tender was delayed (I finally got ashore 3 hrs after arrival). I confirmed to reception that I did not want to disembark but felt I had no other option as my complaint had not been resolved. I incurred the cost of of repatiation and the disappointment of not being able to enjoy what iI had eagerly anticipated as a trip of a lifetime. Cruise and Maritme have advised me that they take 28 days to respond to complaints. I recommend avoiding this ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We have done about 10 cruises altogether with Royal Caribbean, P & O and Thomson. This particular one seemed to be interesting, we choose first by Ports of Call then by cruise ship. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We have done about 10 cruises altogether with Royal Caribbean, P & O and Thomson. This particular one seemed to be interesting, we choose first by Ports of Call then by cruise ship. Firstly I should say we were blessed with super weather everywhere except Dublin. The three Tender ports were easily accessed and Prince Charles was in one place and Princess Anne in another! Some thought this a plus, others not! The evening food offering in the main restaurant was we thought the best we have experienced on any cruise. Good choice on each course, served promptly by pleasant staff. The quick meal option was like all the others we've had, bit crowded...(and not a chip in sight) .breakfast in main restaurant was not all that well organised... We found evening shows in the main, wonderful entertainment..Some folk seem to expect "exactly to their taste" every evening....That's never going to happen. The only poor performer was the Tenor...the Magician was brilliant, he is also Entertainment Manager...best we've experienced... In the Atrium 3x nightly were a wonderful musical duo pianist and violinist, their performances were superb. The cabin on Deck 10 was large and kept clean. Bit dated I suppose as was the bathroom. But shower was easy to adjust and large enough. My critical comments relate not to the ship but to the cruiseline. We understood we had booked 1st Sitting. We had this in writing. It transpired that dining room has space for 700+ & CMV had told 850 or so they had 1st Sitting so the poor Restaurant Manager was dealing with VERY irate passengers for at least 2 or 3 nights. It was said no sittings were guaranteed! That is totally unacceptable, some folk were diabetic and needed their food and why should they have to eat upstairs. We accepted it, as the irritation could have spoiled things, and as a result on 2nd sitting shared a table with a delightful Swedish couple with whom we got on the with especially well and plan to keep in touch with. But CMV should definitely address this thorny and totally unnecessary issue. The other matter of contention is the thorny one of gratuities ..there is absolutely no reason on earth why these cannot be incorporated into the cruise fare. To adjust the £7 per person per day you go to Reception once you've received interim account, collect a form, and say what you are happy to pay per day which we did. Folk had come from Russia, Sweden, New Zealand, America, and Croatia that we know about to do this cruise which was an interesting fact too .. Finally then a wonderful holiday friendly people lovely ports and the strange thing is far more folk of our acquaintance have asked about it with interest than they ever have about the ones on 'posher ' ships and more exotic locations.... Ps Some folk can moan about ANYTHING - one lady was outraged that her egg was too soft one morning, and another rather nice couple were "very disappointed " there was no choir on board as there had been on their last ship Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
we left tilbury on the 31st March just back this morning. starting with the good cabin steward was great good drink selection friendly staff. boarding was fine got on quickly shown to our cabin which was very smelly of diesel and very ... Read More
we left tilbury on the 31st March just back this morning. starting with the good cabin steward was great good drink selection friendly staff. boarding was fine got on quickly shown to our cabin which was very smelly of diesel and very loud during the night didn't have a good night once. staff were friendly however could not understand English at all well and seem to just agree with you instead of helping you with your questions. when we arrived we decided I would like a drinks package lady told me 26 pound a day which I didn't think was bad however as I shared a cabin with my wife who don't drink and 2 kids I was told I need to buy us all a package even a alcohol one for my wife even though she don't drink so all in all with kids I was going to end up paying a extra 500 pound just for drinks for me as kids drink where free didn't make sense. on board entertainment was poor cruise director was rushing all over the place didnt give anyone time. captains dinner he wasn't even present at the waldorf restaurant. on to ports we where due in amsterdam Rotterdam Rouen St Peter's port Guernsey and Honfleur we only went 3 stops amsterdam Rotterdam and honfluer all others where cancelled so instead of going st Peter's port they took us to Portsmouth UK fantastic that was (not) they blamed it on bad weather however owing to strikes in France me and many others believe this was the cause. many where on the cruise just to visit st Peter's port so many angry people got offered 25% of there next cruise why would anyone book after this is beyond me. WIFI was the biggest joke you can buy Wi-Fi on board at a cost off £60 for 1 GB anyone who knows data usage can understand how much of a joke that is. It is a cruise for the over 80s only lots of wheelchairs and scooters over the place. After having many cruises with P and O in the past and now CMW I will be sticking with P and O you do get what you pay for Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We wanted a winter cruise to celebrate my 70th birthday. Having called into the co op travel agents in Lincoln ,this one was recommended to us by one of the cruise specialists.we couldn't have enjoyed it more! The staff on board were ... Read More
We wanted a winter cruise to celebrate my 70th birthday. Having called into the co op travel agents in Lincoln ,this one was recommended to us by one of the cruise specialists.we couldn't have enjoyed it more! The staff on board were all amazing and friendly- nothing too much trouble. I was ill a couple of days into the trip and needed to use the ships medical department. The treatment I got was first class and with a couple of days intensive treatment I was fit to enjoy the rest of the cruise. Food on board was delicious and plentiful and was presented in the first class restaurants as if in a top class hotel. There was a less formal restaurant but the food was excellent in there too. Entertainment was first class with terrific shows each night as well as many and varied day time activities. There was also a wide range on shore excursions ( not cheap as Norway is expensive) and we took advantage of a few of them which we thoroughly enjoyed. We made some good friends who we hope to cruise with again in the future with this line. Now, try as I might, I can't think of any negatives. There was an incident of burst pipes which I believe caused flooding to some areas but the staff worked so hard to sort the problem and did so quickly. I did overhear some guests complaining about various things but they all sounded quite trivial to me. I do feel that some folks complain for complaining X sake!! However, everyone is of course entitled to their opinion. We certainly enjoyed ourselves and would highly recommend cruise and maritime and the Magellan to anyone. Many thanks for a memorable trip. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This was a getaway for a group of friends. It was a marvellous time, going to Albany and back. The food was amazing every night, could not be faulted. I definitely recommend the Astor for people looking for a wonderful relaxing time. ... Read More
This was a getaway for a group of friends. It was a marvellous time, going to Albany and back. The food was amazing every night, could not be faulted. I definitely recommend the Astor for people looking for a wonderful relaxing time. We were lucky enough to have an upgrade and got a small suite on the Atlantic deck, which was an unexpected surprise. The shows in the Astor lounge were fantastic, I really enjoyed the ABBA show, and throughout the day there were quizzes, bingo, and in the afternoon music from various members of the entertainment group. One of the members of our group had a significant birthday and the crew provided her with a cake and a number of staff singing happy birthday to her. Which was a huge surprise to her, however she really appreciated the moment. This is not a cruise ship with casino, huge pools etc, which is not something I was looking for, but if that is what you want, the Astor is not for you. This was my second time on the Astor and I will be back again, thank you very much Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose to cruise on Astor to check the ship out on a short cruise while contemplating a longer cruise on it. The prominent marketing in Australia of this boat sailing out of Perth-Fremantle using "pay for one and the second person ... Read More
We chose to cruise on Astor to check the ship out on a short cruise while contemplating a longer cruise on it. The prominent marketing in Australia of this boat sailing out of Perth-Fremantle using "pay for one and the second person travels for free" was an inducement. The daily charge of $10 Aust per person turned out to be more than better ships that we have cruised on. This is an old German ship which doesn’t have up to date procedures; e.g. a huge key and fob for entry to the cabin and a swipe credit type plastic card to transact on board both to be carried at all times, long slow queue to disembark and hand in the key etc. The mostly European crew were surprisingly curt. The PA system was unintelligible resulting in passengers looking at each other puzzled and asking ‘what did that announcement say?’ We bought the drinks package for $34 per person per day. We could have saved about $100 by simply buying drinks as we went. There was no advice about how to ‘register’ for the drinks package before you ordered your first drink at embarkation and paid full price. There were too many exclusions in the drinks package and no clarity about what was included; e.g. coffee was not included. The same drink was a different price depending upon which bar it was bought at. There was a receipt to be signed every time a drink was purchased, only one drink to be purchased at a time resulting in not being able to buy a friend a drink on your drinks package card, but a separate cash receipt had to be signed with that charged to your on board account which was tiresome and petty. There are only 2 dining rooms, a dining room with waiters and starched table cloths, and a cafe. Both are reasonable depending upon what you want and whether you want to be served. Both are small and usually busy with queues at the only coffee machine. The food is average compared with other ships on which we have travelled. Passengers shared serving utensils at the buffet and breakfast which is a potential health hazard not found on other cruise boats. Before we embarked we understood we had arranged for our party of 8 to all sit together each evening, but the dining room concierge refused to honour this. They insisted that it was "free dining". The staff wouldn't let a couple sit at empty tables for 2 insisting that they join people at larger tables that were not full. This resulted in the newcomers at the table being ignored by the serving wait staff who had previously served those at the table who had arrived earlier. One night at the main dining room all but 2 of our group were at the restaurant door ready to be seated, but the concierge refused entry until all were present. This resulted in 2 ladies over 90 (one on a walking frame) having to stand for 15 minutes outside the door which was rude and discourteous. Some dining room staff (such as those clearing tables) went about their tasks oblivious to the diners, with the result that there was some ‘congestion’. The average age of the cruisers was about 75 and more than several had walking frames or wheelchairs. The ship is not set-up for these devices with door sill projections at the entrance to some cabins, toilets, and bars resulting in people having to step over them. They need ramps at each of these obstructions. There is no ramp at some ports so they use the ship's stairway. This is very difficult for those people who had difficulty climbing the steep stairway. The ship rolled about as it slugged its way South to Esperance. Several passengers were seasick. None of these experiences are particularly worrying, just tiresome, petty and inconvenient when you are on a cruise expecting it to be enjoyable and relaxing. A reconciliation of all expenses [fare, travel insurance, drinks package, on board expenses], associated with this 5 day cruise resulted in a cost of $770 a day. In hindsight, at this rate we would expect a better cruise experience than we had. Read Less
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