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68 Cruise & Maritime Voyages Entertainment Cruise Reviews

Saw an online deal that looked like good value for money, learnt a lesson, you get what you pay for. Below are a few reasons I viewed CMV so lowly. 1. Departed 1 day late due to storms which is ok but to miss two ports as a result of ... Read More
Saw an online deal that looked like good value for money, learnt a lesson, you get what you pay for. Below are a few reasons I viewed CMV so lowly. 1. Departed 1 day late due to storms which is ok but to miss two ports as a result of loosing one day wasn't explained. 2. Tv didn't work for the duration on cruise (14 day), reported daily and was informed it is a widespread problem and they are working on it. And was made to feel like I was inconveniencing reception each day when I asked about the status of the repairs. 3. The whole dining experience was exceptionaly poor, with all restaurants not meeting required food safety standards, I saw no evidence of temperature checks on food being conducted and it was rare to receive a meal which was hot and certainly not to the minimum required serving temperature of 60C. (I work as a food safety auditor) I would have no option but to close service if I was auditing the would service as temperature control were so poor which makes me wonder what was occurring behind the scenes. 4. The shows were almost laughable they were that poor, with one elderly lady commenting to me it was like going to her daughters school play. 5. The coordination of shore excursions was uncontrolled chaos. 6. Reported blocked cabin sink, soon after maintenance man turned up and confirmed it was blocked and left, 24 hours later managed to fix myself. The guy looking after our cabin did a good job, however when we reported issues to him he would apologise and say I'm sorry they don't listen to us you are better reporting it to reception yourself. Felt sorry for the staff as they appeared not to be well supported by management. I would never cruise again with company nor would I recommend to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We went to this overnighter to get an idea of if we would like being on a cruise ship, I found the Vasco Da Garma to be dated, looked a bit 1990’s to me, the cabins were small as expected but had stains and broken fixtures. The food was ... Read More
We went to this overnighter to get an idea of if we would like being on a cruise ship, I found the Vasco Da Garma to be dated, looked a bit 1990’s to me, the cabins were small as expected but had stains and broken fixtures. The food was average to poor and small portions, there is very little to do onboard unless you just want to drink and sit in a sun lounge all day, the entertainment for the night was a Fringe World circus act called Yuck Circus that was an absolute load of crap, this was confirmed by all in our group of twenty. For this headline act to be aloud to be on the ship shows me their contempt for their customers. There would be nothing for a child or teenager to do if you were travelling with one, It has put me off ever going on a proper cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We had a large booking for an overnight stay on the Vasco Da Gama. The ship itself was okay for the rating and expectation (tiny cabins and small pools) but the behaviour of the staff was the worst I have ever come across! They were rude ... Read More
We had a large booking for an overnight stay on the Vasco Da Gama. The ship itself was okay for the rating and expectation (tiny cabins and small pools) but the behaviour of the staff was the worst I have ever come across! They were rude and we felt like an inconvenience to them every time ordered a drink or food. It often took up to 40 minutes to get a drink due to under-staffing as well. Maybe that’s why the staff are so grumpy. The only friendly staff we came across were Brian the singer (Who was amazing) and the cleaning staff! Have never been treated so poorly by hospitality staff anywhere in the world. A male employee even threw the door of our cabin open (while four women were all getting dressed) at 7.30 and told us to get out of our room so he could make it up. The staff were then opening doors of cabins and leaving them open without guests around so all their valuables including handbags etc were exposed. I’m assuming these overnight cruises are an opportunity to advertise the cruise ship in the hope that people will book longer voyages in the future. I only heard passengers complaining so doubt there will be any repeat bookings from the passengers on board. Very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This cruise itinery ticked a number of bucket list items- route, destinations and activities such as cruising the Panama Canal and South Pacific. We caught the coach from Victoria Bus Station to Tilbury (prepaid and trouble free), ... Read More
This cruise itinery ticked a number of bucket list items- route, destinations and activities such as cruising the Panama Canal and South Pacific. We caught the coach from Victoria Bus Station to Tilbury (prepaid and trouble free), where we endured a long wait for checking documentation, travel insurance, visas and medicals. After review we were quickly processed and headed to our cabin where our luggage was already at the door. We toured the ship and found all the bars and lounges plus common areas which had been updated with an appealing decor. The teak outside decks of this 30 year old ship gave a good feel with the top level walking track grassed in plastic turf. We checked out the bistro and used the dining room most evenings (set table allocation) where we were placed with other guests also departing in Sydney. The waiter service was excellent and friendly, presenting good quality 5 course meals (if you wanted all courses). Presentation was in the main to a very high standard, but quality of meat cut didn't always suit me. We tried the Grill twice (fee applies) and the Chefs Table (fee applies) as well as Fusion (Indian) (fee applies)- the highlight was the Chefs Table for me. The Ships Management facilitated a few Cruise Critic activities which we requested and invited and received management attendance (Captain,Hotel Director and others). Room allocation was as requested for our 30 or so members. The Cruise Director Tony provided a "late night interview" along with other guests, and explored what Cruise Critic was all about. It seemed that British cruisers and perhaps some management were not that familiar with Cruise Critic but by the last event more interest was being shown. Entertainment by the ships Dancers and Singers was first class, some visiting acts we didn't bother with attending the second night. Guest presenter Paul and his wife gave travel/location. They were both excellent and thoroughly enjoyable. One cruiser and his wife undertook Thai Chi and fitness/relaxation on a voluntary basis and this was amazingly popular with everyone such that three sessions were run during the day along with many other activities offered by the ship. Full credit to Ships Management in permitting these additional activities. Our own activites were holiday based (we needed to relax), we did lots of reading, naps, eating and drinking! The spa area was refreshed at the start of the cruise and the gym had ample resistance weights and treadmills which were well used but not so much by the writer. We took a VIP drinks package and explored many of the wines and cocktails as part of the package We also enjoyed barista coffee most days (50% discount) and looked forward to that. We did a number of excursions some with the ship, some simply a walk around the coastal drives, and some onshore excursions (self managed). The Gatun Lake Panama Canal excursion was ordinary due to timings. Credit to the ship and a surprise to us, they refunded portion of this excursion cost due to the issues experienced by the late coaches. The self arranged boat tour which included swimming with sharks and stingrays, viewing mantra rays and local lunch on an island plus island tour at Bora Bora was fantastic As we cruised, we had to divert form one port to another due to rough seas and we started to hear about Covid -19 issues, with our first and only port rejection-Tonga. We had a scheduled Cruise Critic meeting where the Hotel Director explained the situation was quite fluid and how the ship was adapting to the changes.His frankness was appreciated. This was our cruise to relax on after a busy year or so and made much more enjoyable by interacting with our fellow cruisers and crew. It was also fantastic to meet up with our Cruise Critic members after about 18 months of blogging and it felt like we were old friends when we came together in Taverners Bar for the first time. One or two had done thorough Port research before departure and this was invaluable to us when we were planning excursions. Thanks especially to them (unnamed but they will know when they read this).. So our cruise was 50 nights- the balance of the cruise is 70 nights. The ships return to UK is of interest to us because of the lovely people we met on board. These are troubled times for the industry and we hope that you all get home safely. Thanks for the great cruise Columbus and CMV. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I chose this cruise as a graduation gift for my son and his girlfriend for finishing year 12. It was a 4 night cruise from Adelaide to Adelaide. Having sailed on this ship when it was under P&O, I was expecting a similar experience ... Read More
I chose this cruise as a graduation gift for my son and his girlfriend for finishing year 12. It was a 4 night cruise from Adelaide to Adelaide. Having sailed on this ship when it was under P&O, I was expecting a similar experience (which I thoroughly enjoyed). The first thing that struck me was that the staff were not as friendly and happy-some were even grumpy and bordering on rude. Whilst I was not able to secure one of the larger suites for this booking, I booked room 10082 on Deck 10. I believe I paid around $3,600 for the three of us for 4 nights. It was evident from the outset that this was not going to be the same as my previous journey aboard the Pacific Eden. The first thing that struck me was that all the windows were absolutely filthy and there was an unpleasant smell. As we made our way on a tour of the ship before setting sail, the Upper Deck absolutely wreaked of smoke (similar to cigarette smoke) and that remained there the whole trip. That smell was only present on that deck so could not be attributed to the fires that were burning. The Lido Deck also had a strange smell, although I was not sure whether that was from the cooking. It was also evident very quickly that the food served on Deck 11 was not going to be a patch on my previous experience. We ate dinner on Deck 11 on our first night and were very surprised to find that only one side of the food stations were open! The selection was poor and the food was very bland. The pasta sauce just looked like tomato puree straight out of a jar… The breakfasts were also very unappetising, the eggs were watery and the bacon and sausages were undercooked. When lunch was served the next day, all but one of the food stations were open but both sides basically served the same food!! And it did not get any better in there for the rest of the trip. There was very little variation in choices throughout the whole journey. We decided the next night to eat at any restaurant rather than the food court. The only way to describe that experience was utter bedlam. The whole foyer outside those restaurants were filled to the brim with people wanting to eat only to be turned away and asked to come back 1.5 hours later, a call we heard over the speakers a few different nights. Also, the pool on Deck 10 was full and operational on the Friday before we departed, but when my son and his girlfriend went to take a dip after dinner, they came back saying that it had been emptied. We were thinking that it would be filled up the next day but sadly, it wasn’t. The whole deck was closed for the remainder of the voyage, leaving only the Lido area which was overcrowded. The other great disappointment was onboard entertainment – or lack thereof. The three of us were looking forward to playing bingo (which the Pacific Eden had multiple games every day) in the Hollywood Theatre. The only time there was one bingo game on this cruise was on Saturday afternoon as we were docked outside Penneshaw at Kangaroo Island because of the fire crisis that was unfolding and unable to go ashore. It was held in the Dome nightclub area which was so overcrowded, it took almost 30 minutes for people to purchase their tickets!! So basically, it took longer to buy the tickets than it took to play the whole game! We had taken our own bingo markers and I noticed that there were many other groups with bingo markers so I don’t think I was the only one that was expecting to play multiple games. I felt that the aim of this cruise was purely make money from passengers by selling alcohol as there was little or nothing else to do. There were a selection of boardgames on the Upper Deck, but most of those were in poor condition or with pieces missing. Thank god we brought our own Uno cards!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Chose this cruise as was a very cheap deal, obviously get what you pay for. Cabin was very outdated, hairs on bedding, hairs in the sink and floor was filthy when we arrived and wasn’t hoovered the whole time we were there. Freezing ... Read More
Chose this cruise as was a very cheap deal, obviously get what you pay for. Cabin was very outdated, hairs on bedding, hairs in the sink and floor was filthy when we arrived and wasn’t hoovered the whole time we were there. Freezing cold in room even with heating on. Loose wires on the phone. Tv didn’t work properly. Cabin steward was very rude and didn’t do his job at all. Food was basic and not many options, staff in restaurant rude and unfriendly Entertainment absolutely awful and of poor standard, show team need upgrading massively. Lack of entertainment on board- nothing to do on board for hours on end in between the little entertainment they did provide. Arrived in Amsterdam 4 hours late but we’re not informed until we were meant to dock so everyone was sat waiting and we didn’t stay later. Disembarkation diabolical massive queues everywhere! NEVER-AGAIN Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We took a Cruise with CMV in March to Iceland which was Awful and the complaint went as far as ABTA but we secured a discount on another Cruise and thought we would give them the benefit of doubt and give them another chance to redeem ... Read More
We took a Cruise with CMV in March to Iceland which was Awful and the complaint went as far as ABTA but we secured a discount on another Cruise and thought we would give them the benefit of doubt and give them another chance to redeem themselves with the Christmas Cruise to Holland, Germany and Belgium. The start wasn't good as the ship had been delayed in Belgium. We sat in the pretty uncomfortable surroundings of Tilbury and were delayed for 5 and a half hours with hardly any announcements and had to pay for drinks and food. Then we boarded the ship having had no news from CMV that our Itinerary had been changed straight away and we weren't even going to go to Belgium which was one of the Christmas Markets that we had actually booked the trip for, so why CMV not tell us all until we boarded the ship. No Compensation for this of course but this is what we expected from CMV after our last Cruise with them. The itinerary was more time in Holland and more time in Germany and then back to Tilbury. Only two days off of the ship instead of the proposed three, not good. Our pre registered trip in Amsterdam was also cancelled and we had to make our own entertainment there for about 8 to 10 hrs as the other excursion they had was not what we wanted. Then we had about 12 hrs in Hamburg to see the Christmas Markets there. All in all not Good enough again. Our cabin was very tired and we feel that a lot of the ship needs a refurb. The Card Room was absolutely freezing most of the time and so was the observation room. Apart from one of the waiters in the Pub, our cabin cleaner and the Gentleman singer in the Pub, also the Pantomime by the Entertainment team on the last evening was good.We found most of the staff on board pretty hopeless and unsympathetic. The Bar Staff could not mix a Cocktail properly, they seemed to think that a Pina Colada was supposed to be a Brain Freezing Slush Puppy. All we can say is that where we ate on floor 11 was like School Dinners and had terrible trouble even getting a seat in comfort and had to hunt for our own cutlery. The food as a whole was marginally better than we had on the Astoria in March. In fact we can thank CMV for completely putting us off of ever Cruising again and thank God that we got this one on the Cheap as it was booked late and we also got our Compensation Discount and did not have to pay the £900 or so that some poor people payed for this complete let down for what was supposed to be a Christmas Markets Cruise. We would not recommend this Company to anybody having also given them a second chance to improve. A Very Poor Experience, Never Again! From Mr and Mrs G Nutting and Mrs C Still Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Took my elderly mum as this type of cruise was all she could manage. She really enjoyed it as it was more friendly than the big ships and you got lost less. Embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze - took 10 mins each time. Cabin was ... Read More
Took my elderly mum as this type of cruise was all she could manage. She really enjoyed it as it was more friendly than the big ships and you got lost less. Embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze - took 10 mins each time. Cabin was ok, clean and worked fine. Window showed its age with a lot of silastic. Tele was useless, but we didn’t need it. Cabin staff were lovely as usual. Food was excellent and our deal included free drinks and gratuities which made it easy. Tried a few exotic cocktails - all good, but stay off the rusty nails they give you a head ache! Service was efficient but could have been a little more friendly in some cases. Nightly entertainment in the theatre was the best I have experienced on any cruise. Bryan in the lounge bar was brilliant. Really enjoyable cruise all round, but articulately suited to an older crowd. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
An excellent mini cruise. Despite it being a little rough on the crossing out we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The entertainment was very good with a new show each night. The singer and piano player in the Scott’s bar were excellent, a ... Read More
An excellent mini cruise. Despite it being a little rough on the crossing out we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The entertainment was very good with a new show each night. The singer and piano player in the Scott’s bar were excellent, a great way to sail away from Bristol. We chose a suite that did not disappoint, fresh canapés were delivered each evening. The dining experience was good for the money providing a 5 course meal in the evening. The ship is a little worn in places but overall clean and adequate. Some of the public areas look like they have been renovated. At no time did the ship seem busy, we could always find somewhere to sit. All the staff were extremely friendly and efficient. The drinks on board were good value with cocktails under £5. The only criticism I could find was the snacks at 11.00 were cold when served. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We choose this Cruise for a nice short getaway. Very nice cabins, although I find the bathroom sinks in poor condition and need up grading to match rest of bathroom. We found lunchtimes a bit of a scramble for somewhere to sit, this is ... Read More
We choose this Cruise for a nice short getaway. Very nice cabins, although I find the bathroom sinks in poor condition and need up grading to match rest of bathroom. We found lunchtimes a bit of a scramble for somewhere to sit, this is mostly due to the fact that if you go on an excursion in the morning all coaches return at 1.15 - 1 30 ish, and we all chase for a seat in the buffet area as the main restaurant is only open from 12 til l pm! WHY, is what we ask, when they know what time the coaches arrive back! This also seems to be the norm at activities time, they put something on in one of the bars and again not enough seats for all wanting to take part day or night as we found out, that if you are on 2nd sitting for dinner that when you come out there is nowhere to sit as the seating has been taken up by all the lst sitting diners. All centers around lst Diners. We came out one night from dinner to find that the Farewell Get together from the crew in the Atrium had started 30 mins earlier so again nowhere to sit or stand. The two venues are too small for numer of passengers. Also found photos taken onboard have jumped up in price as now costs £10/£11 each. We have been on quite a few CMV cruises, but not sure if we would go on the Columbus Ship again as this is the worse cruise we have been on. Love the Marco Polo and Magallen! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We where a booking a 9 - they originally spilt us onto to tables of 4 with strangers but after a request we where all put on a table together which is why we booked a cruise so we could all have our meals together Was very very ... Read More
We where a booking a 9 - they originally spilt us onto to tables of 4 with strangers but after a request we where all put on a table together which is why we booked a cruise so we could all have our meals together Was very very impressed - I’m coeliac (gluten free) never Been on a holiday where Where I could eat the same as everybody else - anything I asked for they could give me. Our waiter always remembered I was gf We where a hen do and the staff where so friendly The only thing I would say they need to sort out where the toilets They seemed to get blocked a lot The entertainment was very good - a little hard to get seats in the bars if u where on second sitting Evening disco was very good but would say they need to try and alternate the music as we went 2 consecutive nights and the music was the same - though DJ Brady was very friendly Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The noise in the cabin was dreadful. It was sold as a superior plus. Day and night, there was banging, rattling and what sounded like very loud power washing. These noises would would regularly shock us awake. It was like having ... Read More
The noise in the cabin was dreadful. It was sold as a superior plus. Day and night, there was banging, rattling and what sounded like very loud power washing. These noises would would regularly shock us awake. It was like having fireworks going off in your cabin. This was not good for me, but it was very serious for my husband. He is 57 years old and an ex-marathon runner, but now has a heart condition. Normally, he is very well. His cardiologist, GP and insurance company are more than happy for him to go on holiday. We have had several cruises recently, all very enjoyable. Unfortunately, when he was startled awake, his heart would go into a dangerous rhythm, which has since shown up on his ICD tracings. Cruise & Maritme were fully aware of his heart condition before the cruise. They ask everyone to declare their medical conditions. The excuse for the noise was ‘you’re next to the winch room and they are carrying out essential maintenance’. This was followed by a shrug, as if we should have know about the noises before we booked the room. But maintenance in the middle of the night? We complained. They refused to move us as they said it would be a downgrade, and they weren’t allowed to do that. I have worked in the health profession all my life. I worked mainly with the elderly and disabled. I was so shocked at the dreadful way these vulnerable people were treated throughout the cruise. Cruise & Maritime cancelled several of the disabled people’s trips due to chaotic organisation. In Rouen, over 100 people, including some very vulnerable people, were left waiting for over an hour for a return shuttle bus. It was cold dark and raining heavily. There was nowhere to shelter. It was heartbreaking. The ship was old and tired. Carpets and seating were stained. Most of the staff looked depressed and some were quite rude. We have never experienced this before. Cruise & Maritime have not responded appropriately to our letters and video recordings. They have dismissed all our complaints. All we can do is warn others. We have been on over 10 cruises in as many years and never had anything to complain about. Until now. PLEASE DO NOT CRUISE WITH CRUISE & MARITIME! There are far better cruise lines out there ( basically all of them) which are of a far higher standard and cheaper too! I strongly believe this company should not be allowed to operate. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Fact Finders review Vasco da Gama Half World Cruise Tilbury to Sydney 9 October – 2 December 2019 The facilities, services, design and layout of the ship presented very well, despite its age of 27 years, in the pre-cruise promotional ... Read More
Fact Finders review Vasco da Gama Half World Cruise Tilbury to Sydney 9 October – 2 December 2019 The facilities, services, design and layout of the ship presented very well, despite its age of 27 years, in the pre-cruise promotional material. The itinerary crossing two magnificent oceans and the Panama Canal was just perfect for us. However, our cruise experience was devastated by the lack of appropriate maintenance or upgrade of Vasco da Gama’s essential services and utilities. It became apparent shortly into the cruise that these were in dire need of refurbishment and should been addressed during the ship’s time in dry dock. The associated problems of this neglect plagued passengers throughout their entire cruise experience. It became obvious to us that the purchase of a second or third-hand ship with a patchy maintenance record and renaming it after limited refurbishment (only the engines?) and remodelling of some public areas was a high-risk strategy. CMV should have carried out a comprehensive audit of the ship’s utilities and essential services and undertaken a thorough overhaul of them rendering this critique unnecessary! Our cruise experience was also greatly diminished by unprofessional executive management and incompetent management of guests’ needs, reminiscent of Fawlty Towers. We could not understand what all the “white uniforms with epaulettes” were doing as they stalked their way around ship, including the dining rooms. We were told that it was to ensure that staff were doing their job properly. Unfortunately, there was a gestapo-like quality about their supervision which did not contribute to a relaxed and genial atmosphere. Certainly interaction of executive and some senior managers with passengers, as we have experienced on other cruise lines, was not a priority for them. The following is a list of issues drawn from our and other passengers’ experiences on the ship over 53 days of cruising that we believe CMV must rectify to ensure that passengers do not have to endure them in the future. 1. Inadequate and ineffectual air conditioning system - temperature and air flow could not be properly regulated in cabins and public areas of the ship; 2. Defective plumbing and faulty waterproofing - resulted in sewage spills, flooding and water penetration requiring fans all around the ship to dry out carpets and dispel unpleasant odours; 3. Incomplete coverage of the public announcement system across public areas of the ship which prevented passengers from hearing ship announcements. This represented a major safety issue as passengers in these areas were unable to hear important or emergency announcements; 4. Primitive and unsafe gangways to tenders - gangways to tenders were uneven and too narrow for ease of movement and were totally unsuitable for passengers with mobility problems. When there were no planned land excursions, at a limited number of ports, disembarkation of passengers became a free-for-all rabble because there was no organisation by management of passengers. It was irresponsible and negligent of management not to coordinate disembarkation in a safe and efficient manner. Hundreds of passengers were forced to queue up and down stairs and along passageways on the disembarkation deck for up to an hour before getting off. This created considerable discomfort and a major health and safety problem for passengers, particularly older passengers, because of overcrowding and heating from so many bodies. It represented a major safety issue because there was no emergency exit plan provided by management as to how passengers could quickly and safely exit from these areas. Areas around lifts were so overcrowded that people exiting them had extremely limited egress and when they were unable to take their place at the end of the queue they were forced to push in front of other passengers who became upset at the intrusion. Passengers who were not disembarking had to fight their way back to their cabins if they resided on that deck. 5. Untrained and/or inexperienced hospitality staff - CMV appear to have recruited a large cohort of employees to work in the ship’s hospitality service areas who had very limited English and lacked even the most basic restaurant and bar service skills; 6. Uncooperative and ineffective guest service at reception - staff provided little or no action on guest concerns. Just in case passengers expected any form of “concierge services” on Vasco da Gama, provided by most other cruise lines admittedly more highly rated than CMV, the opposite was true with reception stonewalling most enquiries; 7. Unprofessional performance by executive managers and some, but not all senior managers - guest concerns and suggestions for improving their cruise experience were generally ignored despite the ship's stated policy of effectively communicating with guests. As a result, legitimate management problems identified by passengers during the cruise persisted until final disembarkation; 8. Communication - CMV claims that it seeks to establish a good level of communication with passengers, but we found out from bitter experience, that doesn’t happen. CMV avoid addressing negative issues with passengers that might reflect poorly on the company and its reputation, but which directly impact passengers. Take, for example, the complete absence of public announcements to forewarn and forearm passengers about serious outbreaks of respiratory infection, gastric infection and norovirus. The symptoms of which plagued many (hundreds?) passengers throughout their entire cruise, all of which had potentially life-threatening implications, particularly for older and more susceptible passengers. Passengers estimated the average age of this cruise around 75 years, with a substantial number in their 80’s! This age grouping made the risk of health complications from infection a reality and represented a dereliction of duty by management for passenger care. Another example of bad communication was CMV's explanation of the power failure on Vasco da Gama in Spencers Gulf outside Adelaide (see 2GB link on stranded ship) which was described as a “controlled precautionary blackout’, not a power failure. 9. Inordinately expensive Wi-Fi and lack of "duty of care" by IT at reception - to ensure that passengers did not lose their data allowance by failing to disable all relevant apps and updates, including automatic receipt of unwanted emails that used large amounts of data. The general advice provided by reception on these technicalities, especially for older passengers unfamiliar with them was totally inadequate. This resulted in the loss of much of their paid for data through unwanted data usage. 10. Loss of opportunity to enjoy our onboard cruise experience and to disembark on land excursions in countries we have never visited because of our ship-related illnesses. We believe that widely varying temperatures in the ship, because of the faulty air conditioning where air flow in some areas and thermostat control more generally was almost non-existent exposed us to respiratory infection as a result of moving from the hot and sweaty conditions in our cabins to uncomfortably cold conditions in public areas, particularly in the Hollywood Theatre, where we spent 2-3 hours a day. We are also of the opinion that sewage spills in passageways and cabins and associated sewage aerosols were directly related to our gastric infection which resulted in us being restricted to our cabin for 7 days with diarrhoea and vomiting and isolation for 2 days. During the weeks we endured the symptoms of these respiratory and gastric infections we were unable to function normally, unable to participate in on-board activities, unable to attend restaurants and to missed land excursions of 3 ports at the Cook Islands (Rarotonga) and Tahiti (Papeete and Bora Bora), which were high on our bucket list. The positives of the cruise - the redeeming feature of this cruise, however, was the great layout and decor of the ship and the excellent range and standard of musical entertainment provided by the very talented musicians and entertainment team. Decks 8 and 11, the Hollywood Lounge, the Study, Blue Room, Captains Bar, Ocean Bar, Jade Spa, sauna, steam and relaxation rooms, including the gym were outstanding in design and décor and were great venues for on board activities. The standard of the stage shows, singers, dancers, costumes, choreography and stage production whilst not as big as on larger ships were outstanding. The standard of the comedians brought on board, however, were second rate and should have been left on the club circuit. Some of the guest lectures were a bit hokey and off-topics that could have been more relevant to the destinations of the cruise, rather than obscure myths and legends and overly detailed stories of so-called celebrities that many passengers had no idea about or were really interested in. Some were most enjoyable and informative. The standard of food and service in the main and 2 specialty restaurants was average to good, but not as outstanding as promoted by CMV, however. Whilst the menus changed daily in the main restaurant, the same menu ran for 7 days in the 2 specialty restaurants. As a result, passengers ran out of choices after a few days, especially those with dietary restrictions. The menu in the main restaurant ultimately become very repetitive and boring. After three quarters of our way through the voyage, we could have written the menu ourselves. How many variations can you have on grilled fish? The bottom line - if passengers were able to suspend their frustration, annoyance and disappointment with the failings of essential services and the unprofessional management of the ship, including some of the wait-staff who didn't seem to want to be on board, and focus on the positives of the cruise experience, the maintenance problems of the ship were inescapable. This was the prime reason for me rating the cruise as “terrible”. Fix these up and the rating would sky- rocket. But CMV didn't, despite it being aware of the faulty or potentially faulty condition of the ship's utilities and associated maintenance problems! Our personal cruise experience - we quickly discovered that there was something critically wrong with CMV restaurant and bar staff recruitment. Bar staff throughout the ship had limited English and did not understand beverage or cocktail orders. In Club Bistro, staff had very poor English and could not understand a simple request for a food order. Staff tasked with cooking breakfast and food service were incompetent, disorganised and clearly untrained, or poorly trained. Wait staff clearing and resetting tables were slow and inefficient. Overall, Club Bistro wait-staff appeared disconnected and disinterested in serving guests. Eating in Club Bistro was equivalent to having a meal in a second-rate boarding house. Breakfast service was a shambles. It created considerable irritation and annoyance amongst guest who could not get their orders understood or served in a timely manner. Despite massive feedback from guests nothing seemed to change. On the last day guests were left stunned that Club Bistro staff still could not get their orders right. I submitted my concerns and suggestions for improvement to the guest services manager who duly ignored them, responding by saying that the ship had an "ongoing staff training and development program". The problem was that the staff training program was at the expense of guests. Why are passengers paying the "price" for on-board training of inexperienced and untrained staff so that CMV can minimise costs? We believe that this policy warrants investigation in relation to whether CMV is compliant with hospitality industry standards, including employment of unqualified staff and their level of remuneration? Over the entire Oct-Dec 2019 cruise, senior managers were detached and impervious to guests and their concerns. They stalked around the ship like gestapo with no little or no passenger interaction. Passengers were clearly not a priory for them, as no action appeared to be taken on our feedback, both personal and as the result of a mid-cruise questionnaire. We could only wonder what their duty statements required! Staff at reception were the same. They essentially ignored our concerns. They fobbed guests off by saying they didn’t have the authority to act and that they would pass any complaints on to the manager responsible. And that was the last we heard of it. As a result, there were many unhappy, frustrated and upset passengers due to the lack of action and lack of responsibility of senior management. On the very last day of the cruise the public toilets on the ship malfunctioned. Now we know the ship lost all power and services en route to Adelaide. This was not to be unexpected given the history of the ship. It is 27 years old without a major upgrade of the facilities concerned. It is ironic that the ship’s power supply failed, since it was one of the few ship upgrades that occurred. Systemic problems with the air conditioning caused cabins and public areas to be either freezing cold or unbearably hot. Such drastic changes in temperature throughout the ship exposed passengers to respiratory infections early in the cruise. These took several weeks to recover from and seriously detracted from the enjoyment of the cruise. Some passengers were exposed to potentially life-threatening complications, including pneumonia, particularly amongst older and more susceptible passengers. All the so-called communications received by passengers from management about on-board health issues were general in nature, that is, limited to hygiene and the need to sanitise regularly. There were no warnings from the ship's management that the ship was experiencing a major outbreak of the above health problems. It was as if it didn’t happen! Guests coined the phrase “hospital ship” and “Oh you’ve got the Vasco cough, too”. Some were turning up to the Hollywood Theatre wearing beach towels to ward off the cold. One guest speaker made repeated jokes about it, at our expense, as well as the poor standard of food and service in Club Bistro, which was so disorganized, as explained above, that guests were arguing as to who was to be served next. This was great for moral! Passengers with respiratory infections were then put on buses with 20 and 30 guests where they coughed their way their way around various tours of up to 6 hours duration! Hello further transmission of respiratory infection! What was management to do! As if respiratory infections throughout the ship weren’t enough. They were followed mid-cruise by acute gastric infections and an outbreak of norovirus. The symptoms of these infections lasted up to a fortnight to three weeks before full recovery with many passengers experiencing lingering debilitating symptoms for additional weeks. Passengers who advised ship's management of their symptoms were compulsorily isolated in their cabins and put on a clear soup and bread diet for 48 – 72 hours, depending on the severity of the diarrhoea and vomiting, the odour of which permeated the passageways. Don’t even attempt to imagine the smell, which got worse when there were sewage spills on several decks. Passengers were advised that the ship’s captain had the power to remove passengers from the ship if they didn’t comply. Their cabin card was deregistered until they were medically cleared. What a shame that afflicted passengers couldn’t leave their cabins to take their scheduled paid-for land excursions at various ports-of-call. We missed all of Tahiti – Papeete and Bora Bora. Vasco da Gama’s unserviceable and unmaintained plumbing system resulted in blocked and broken sewage pipes or seals spilling sewage into bathrooms, bathtubs and passageways on many decks throughout the entire voyage. Imagine the smell on top of the vomit? No don’t! Toilets regularly flooded into bathrooms and cabins, saturating carpets and personal belongings. One couple who had to move out of their cabin twice because of flooding during the cruise, experienced another flood the night before disembarking Sydney. We felt sorry for the engineers and support staff who bore the brunt of the mismanagement of the ship’s service facilities. They had to work virtually 24 hours dealing with the numerous crises throughout the ship. It was only due to most of the passengers’ goodwill and resignation that they were on a cheap cruise and could do little about the ship’s systemic maintenance problems that there wasn’t a mutiny. However, the issue of over servicing and over charging by the subcontracted medical centre of passengers’ medical conditions – including those referred to above - was an issue that did result in over 100 passengers convening meetings, including with the captain, to seek redress for the exorbitant cost of medical treatment. Reference to this and other problems encountered by passengers on the ship may be found in postings on the Trip Adviser Forum. Could CMV be accused of knowingly disregarding passengers’ level of comfort and overall cruise experience without upgrading essential service utilities in order to keep the ship at sea to maintain revenue? Could it be that the CMV "business plan" is to buy second and third hand ships without proper upgrades to provide cheap affordable cruising taking the risk that their highly competitive price point would attract enough new customers to keep the company afloat despite driving away return customers? Fact Checkers believe that an independent audit of compliance of the ship’s essential services and utilities be carried out by cruise ship regulators with the aim of enforcing systems upgrades previously disregarded by CMV to prevent a repeat of the fiasco on Vasco da Gama. Also, an independent review of the standard of guest services and competence of senior management on Vasco da Gama should be carried out, in particular targeting the performance of the guest services manager and hotel director specifically in relation to what action they took or didn’t take and why on the myriad of passenger complaints and the two formal feedback questionnaires on improving passenger cruise experience on Vasco da Gama. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise primarily to go to St Petersburg but every destination was beautiful. We booked an inside cabin on a price basis and we were upgraded to an outside window cabin which was a bonus. Our cabin was 6167 which I would ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily to go to St Petersburg but every destination was beautiful. We booked an inside cabin on a price basis and we were upgraded to an outside window cabin which was a bonus. Our cabin was 6167 which I would recommend as it is midships around the corner from Raffles bar which overlooks the Atrium, and one deck down from the Waterfront restaurant and Palladium theatre. We did our own thing at all destinations except St Petersburg where we booked for the ballet on the first evening and panorama tour on the second afternoon, both excellent. We found all the food to be excellent in The restaurant and the buffet. We ate most meals in the restaurant and dinners were especially enjoyable thanks to the lovely group of companions on our table, a laugh a minute!! We had no problem getting a sun lounger and the bar service around the pool was great. The entertainment was mostly excellent and we enjoyed Karaoke three times. We had adverse weather on the last day and night which delayed us by 3 hours but no complaints as safety is more important than speed. Overall I would recommend the ship, the cruise line and cruise itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
While on a majestic fjords cruise and leaving Amsterdam we hit a foreign object on a initial inspection and short delay we had the all clear to carry on but never got to Norway, around half way the boat developed a mechanical vault so had ... Read More
While on a majestic fjords cruise and leaving Amsterdam we hit a foreign object on a initial inspection and short delay we had the all clear to carry on but never got to Norway, around half way the boat developed a mechanical vault so had to turn back. The cruise was eventually terminated and we went back to Amsterdam. We still enjoyed a full program of entertainment and everything else on board. They announced that we would be going back to tilbury by ferry They had already given us £25 each and a free bar fo one night but then told us we would get a full refund + free cruise of same duration anytime in the next 2 years or if we wanted a longer one they will deduct the value of this cruise We only lost one day of the whole trip it’s good to hear of a company doing the right thing with out having to spend hours complaining. Nice one CMV Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We wanted to visit the Baltics and chose this cruise because of the departure from Scotland having previously travelled on this ship to Iceland in 2017 also from Scotland . Embarkation quick and efficient cabin ready and waiting luggage ... Read More
We wanted to visit the Baltics and chose this cruise because of the departure from Scotland having previously travelled on this ship to Iceland in 2017 also from Scotland . Embarkation quick and efficient cabin ready and waiting luggage at our door shortly after we got to cabin Cabin Steward Aung Soe quiet courteous and good at his job . Unpacked then time for Lifeboat drill which is mandatory Lovely views of the Tay from the deck things explained well staff very helpful with life jackets making sure no trip hazards from straps . Kensington 2 nd sitting our allocated dining which we went to every night with the exception of our first night and also one evening when we were going to an evening excursion in St Petersburg . Waiters Denys and Thia were excellent at looking after the 6 people at our table ?The ladies at the table 4 of us Recieved red roses one night and hand made origami flowers on one other evening .The company at table all lovely and we had a good time . Shows in Show lounge all good some I preferred .One evening the artist from Hamptons did a show in the main showroom and it was Fantastic Gerswin,s Rhapsody in blue one of the notable pieces but both artist gave great performances .Show Team good fun and Orchestra Great .Cruise Director Changed at Copenhagen to the same one we had on Iceland Cruise .We welcomed this as Toby is a great performer and joins in with the Show team . We discovered Hernan the Guitarist in Taveners Bar and most evenings caught a good bit of his performances Hernan a solo performer with great guitar skills and his music choices suited our taste . We caught snatches of game shows and cabaret in Captains club Particularly enjoyed Stephanie solo cabaret where she had chosen great old songs which suited her voice In Magellen Show lounge we enjoyed the From Russia with love show in particular. Food overal is very good .Bacon tends to be a bit hard at breakfast other than that I had no complaints .Always something on the menu choice I could have . Craft classes I managed to get to 2 which I really enjoyed Art classes my husband and I both Attended and found Nina,s classes very helpful .We attended Dave Wrights lectures and he filled the Show Lounge he was so good and informative about all of his subjects from the Romanovs to Mary Queen Of Scots .Didn,t manage to get to the pop music lectures from a different Lecturer as they clashed with other things we were doing .Prebooked leisurely shore excursions in most ports and enjoyed all of them especially the Russian Folklore show which was fantastic .Weather was mixed but overal not bad considering the time of year early May 2019 Overall we had a great cruise met some lovely people Both staff and passengers and returned to Scotland Getting off ship organised well waiting in allocated areas till staff member comes to collect you . Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
we've just come back from majestic fjords with beautiful scenery and weather but alas was a disaster the ship was full the room was small uncomfortable and very noisy broken sleep with funnel next door no transfer of ... Read More
we've just come back from majestic fjords with beautiful scenery and weather but alas was a disaster the ship was full the room was small uncomfortable and very noisy broken sleep with funnel next door no transfer of room available several complaints unresolved reception issues couldn't get a buffet table was like being on a Costa ship Also the cost was very reasonably priced on the face of it.. but.. When you factors in cost of excursions and car parking then not so reasonable. So.. if the basics are not right.. then you can't really fully enjoy the good bits. Good Majestic fjord land Very relaxing with beautiful scenery Awesome in fact but that's the natural side of fjords for you with 3d passages that melt away and mountain overhangs you can almost touch as the ship sails through occasional narrow channels but you have to be up on deck at the right time to see them 1 particular spot was like the scene from Jason and the argonauts were Neptune pops up out of the water to save the ship from clashing cliff tops. Weather from other previous holiday comments weather could be very wet especially in Bergen but Unexpectedly the weather was gloriously sunny all week although occasionally very windy and cold Room Free use of safe Tea making but limited with small table and kettle Only 2 sockets in room Bed very uncomfortable and small for me Food Good value food with excellent English breakfast On gala and captains night the cuisine was excellent on other nights could be average though Cream teas and biscuits are to die for unfortunately everyone else felt the same.! when everyone comes back from days out at same time there are queues and shoving going on then finding a table is difficult too when ship is at capacity, which rather takes most of the pleasure out of it. The food is very good in general if not repetitive tho, sometimes bland and not very hot all of the time but one has to remember the cost of some of the cruises. The service is good in general as the staff trying hard to accommodate everyone but again because of this you can be waiting for 15 mins or more for a drink in certain bars. Cocktails of the day are usually very good and reasonably cheap at £3.50 per day. They did a wheat beer at same price which was a bonus as it's 1 of my favourites even tho its £1.25 in aldis I was just happy to see it as most cruises don't seem to accommodate wheat beer usually Bad Beds uncomfortable Small room and shower Tv poor Our room 5111 very noisy all day and all night Also had smelly gas smells from engines and main funnel Complained twice but not taken seriously. Like trying to sleep on a rollercoaster 1st time they sprayed carpet for smells 2nd time gave me ear plugs which were not adequate. Said they were full and couldn't change my room but found out later that they hold back some rooms in case of emergency. So our 50th and 60th birthday holiday was spoiled through lack of sleep and rest. 1st dining time too early and 2nd too late Only 1 buffet restaurant which was packed full several times with no spare tables and a scramble to get anything. The 2 main service restaurants too slow when busy and food some times not hot enough even when not busy. Excursions over priced and not good value when you can walk off and do some of the so called tours for nothing or a lot less when you just pop into tourist information and a small "what's available?" Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I have always wanted to visit Tasmania and this cruise was advertised at a reasonable rate in the Sunday Mail. As this is the final voyage from Australia of the Astor I was not expecting much. We were surprised pleasantly by the ... Read More
I have always wanted to visit Tasmania and this cruise was advertised at a reasonable rate in the Sunday Mail. As this is the final voyage from Australia of the Astor I was not expecting much. We were surprised pleasantly by the cabin size and ample storage. The water pressure and hot water availability was faultless. The waste system operated faultlessly unlike other cruises we have completed. The food was incredible. The bar staff were knowledgeable and hospitable. A special mention for the entertainment staff and in particular the extremely hard working dancers. The shows kept getting better. The Captain was a true gentleman and exceptional host. Housekeeping and general cleanliness was to a very high standard. The spa was a pleasure to visit. The sauna and co located internal swimming pool were immaculately clean and attended by staff. I wasn’t expecting much from an aged ship on a relatively minor shipping line but I was constantly surprised and delighted from start to finish. Thank you CMV. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This really was a very good cruise certainly for this time of the year getting away to a bit of warmer weather , the staff laid on lots of entertainment with singing carols and everyone joined in ,also many other things were going on ... Read More
This really was a very good cruise certainly for this time of the year getting away to a bit of warmer weather , the staff laid on lots of entertainment with singing carols and everyone joined in ,also many other things were going on throughout the day , cocktails go down very well on the cruise also plenty of waiters serving drinks throughout the day and evening to save us getting up to get a drink at the bar,I am not sure where CMV get so many friendly staff but the staff really did make the cruise such a pleasure , nothing was to much trouble also looking at a closer issue the ship was spotlessly clean , on a couple of down sides we missed Gibraltar due to an issue with the propeller which got sorted in the Canaries the other was Maderia which had choppy waters for the tender boats going to shore , this made some not to well but maybe they should of stayed on the ship , i really wanted to see Maderia and as i don`t get sea sick it wasn`t a problem , the only main problem was docking the tenders coming back the swell was up a bit more and did cause an issue trying to get back but saying that I think all got back onboard to watch the fireworks which were fantastic , would i do this cruise again at Christmas , `Of Course ` , it is a great ship with great staff . Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The ship was lovely especially the dining restaurant, which is set out so nice with partitions so you are in a secluded small section rather than open to the whole restaurant, what an absolutely brilliant idea, food was very nice and with ... Read More
The ship was lovely especially the dining restaurant, which is set out so nice with partitions so you are in a secluded small section rather than open to the whole restaurant, what an absolutely brilliant idea, food was very nice and with plenty of choices. The staff were friendly and nothing was to much trouble. Getting on and off ship was very organised. The only down side was the entertainment was a little hit and miss, Christmas show was very poor but other shows very good. The venues got very busy and we failed sometimes to get a seat. I would choose the ship again purely on the lovely dining experience. After sailing on Costa ship last May which was a really bad experience in every way I promised myself I would never ever cruise again, this one was already booked which I did not want to do but has restored my faith in cruising. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My friend and I thought this would be a fun way to check out Cruise & Maritime's Magellan ship. Plus we thought it was a pretty good offer, £99 for dinner, a show, an overnight stay and breakfast the next day. We actually ... Read More
My friend and I thought this would be a fun way to check out Cruise & Maritime's Magellan ship. Plus we thought it was a pretty good offer, £99 for dinner, a show, an overnight stay and breakfast the next day. We actually splashed out and upgraded to a Superior Plus Twin Ocean View cabin so it cost us £129 each. We came by train. The weather was atrocious (not Cruise & Maritime's fault) and no taxi rank at Tilbury Town station. You have a short walk to a cab office hidden beside a fish and chip shop. We were very pleased to find a lounge offering tea and coffee plus snacks that you could buy while waiting to board the ship. Embarkation seemed relatively painless, we were in the first group, A, to board the ship. You still have the usual nonsense of them wanting to take your photo and holding up the queue. You're not shown to your cabin by an individual but there are crew on every deck to help you find your way. The atmosphere on the ship seemed very jolly. Not as many Christmas decorations as we would have expected especially in the dining room, the Kensington restaurant. There were 3 sittings for dinner and we had the first at 5.45. I was quite glad of that because I suspect if we'd been on the last sitting, I would have drunk quite a lot by the time that rolled around. I think that happened to a lot of people. There were certainly a lot of merry people later on. Everyone seemed to make an effort to dress up for the occasion. Some ladies looked very glamorous and a few men were wearing tuxedos and bow ties (older men). You had the obligatory photos taken at your table. I don't know what happened to the welcome cocktail because we never received one. My friend doesn't drink so got one diet coke for the entire meal, which I thought was a little mean of them as they said, half a bottle of wine per person. The quality of the meal was ok. I wouldn't say outstanding. That did surprise me a little because it is Cruise and Maritime's chance to show you how good they are. I'm gluten free and the menu did show everything that you can request to be gluten free. I was pleasantly surprised when I received two slices of gluten free bread without having to ask for it. However, when ordering our choices, our waiter skipped past the salad course and implied you couldn't have it. So, we were surprised when we saw other people having it at the next table. So, our 5 course dinner was only a 4 course one. I had to have cheese to end with and the portions of cheese were very small. They looked a bit sad on my gluten free cracker. My friend and I ended up on a table for six by ourselves. We made the most of it but I did feel a little conspicuous. I'm not sure if I'm being unreasonable to think CMV might have done something about it once they realised no one else was turning up. There was a parade of the baked Alaska pudding and the chefs came out and went round as well, which guests enjoyed. I regret now not making the most of the limited time available to view the different types of cabins. We managed to get to see one suite, which had a disabled bathroom. The suite was nice but again, seemed quite small to me. It is good that CMV offer this. They did have some discounts if you booked a cruise while onboard but not a great discount and I don't know how people would have found the time. We went to the first show. The theatre is impressive, much nicer than the one on the Marella Spirit (now no longer sailing). The show, was quite fun and a couple of the young singers had good voices. Overall, not outstanding. The drinks waiters in the theatre were very prompt and efficient. We then visited a couple of the bars and had a walk around the ship to get a feel for it. Our favourite bar was the Captain's Club and Sinatra's Bar. The latter had someone playing the piano for a little while, which was nice. Drink prices were reasonable. There did seem to be plenty of bars. The spa looked nice and the prices for treatments looked reasonable. We went back to our cabin about 11, which was silly of us. We should have stayed up later as we got woken up several times by noisy, late-night revellers returning to their cabins. The next morning, we made the mistake of going to the Kensington restaurant as only 1 floor up from us. It was packed and there was an announcement soon, saying that there was no more room and advising guests to go to the Waldorf or the Raffles Bistro for breakfast. You had to queue quite a while to get your breakfast. Also, the nearest Ladies to the Kensington has only 3 toilets, which is ridiculous. You are asked to leave your cabin by 7.00 a.m. and disembark by 9.00 - 9.30. We disembarked quite early. A very nice CMV staff member ordered us a taxi. The cab driver told us that we were sensible to go early as he said it gets mad at the cruise terminal around 9.30. Overall, I enjoyed our stay although a little disappointed about the meal. I think it'd be a fun event for a group to go to. The ship reminded me of the Marella (formerly TUI) Spirit that I sailed on this summer. I'm sure that CMV is making money out of these events but not that it's succeeding in its primary purpose, to persuade people to go on a cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We booked this cruise because of the Comedy Legends which we had experienced on a previous cruise. The embarkation was very quick, we had journed by coach from Victoria coach station which due to traffic took 1 & half hours. We ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of the Comedy Legends which we had experienced on a previous cruise. The embarkation was very quick, we had journed by coach from Victoria coach station which due to traffic took 1 & half hours. We found the cabin rather tired though the beds were comfortable, the wash basin was old and did not hold water very well due to a worn mechanical system. The shower though was perfect. Another problem was that the ship was draughty, especially the main entertainment centre the 'Palladium' on the right hand side so we sat on the left which was slightly better, we did have one session when the temperature was decent but soon was back to draughty a couple of hours later. The entertainment was generally good, after all we did go to see the comedy hero's who did not dissapoint. The in house entertainment team did a good show, the dancers were very good, the singers were let down by a poor sound system which was far to loud, do they not have a desibel meter, I did hear that some people that had earing aids took them out. The food was generally good though in the self service bistro was not pipping hot even when there at the start of service, the 'Waterfront' where the evening dinner was taken the menu was sometimes difficult to understand to those who did not have the experience in this type of dinning, also the service was a bit long winded. During the hotter days there were plenty of sunbeds around but the we had the old problem of towels on beds but no bodies. Over all we had, for us, a pleasent 15 days but don't think we would book another cruise on the Columbus. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We joined the Astoria in Portsmouth, Hampshire. We have just returned from a Norwegian Fjord Cruise. Unfortunately the weather was dire and we were unable to go to Eidfjord and Geirangerfjord. No fault of the company or Captain, we had two ... Read More
We joined the Astoria in Portsmouth, Hampshire. We have just returned from a Norwegian Fjord Cruise. Unfortunately the weather was dire and we were unable to go to Eidfjord and Geirangerfjord. No fault of the company or Captain, we had two hurricanes! We put into Stavanger instead of Eidfjord and it's a beautiful little town, well worth a visit and delighted that we went there. We also went to Amsterdam (fabulous) and loved the organised river cruise with superb guide. We then went to Bergen (more rain) and Rotterdam (it stopped raining there for a little while!). Both interesting cities. The architecture in Rotterdam is fantastic while Bergen is a very beautiful old city with lots of character. The Astoria was built in the 1940s and I would describe it as very slightly faded grandeur but it is still certainly grand. There's a cinema and concert 'hall' with a lovely atmosphere. The entertainment was a really good standard and most enjoyable. Meals: I was taken aback by the small portions at lunch and dinner in the restaurant on board but in fact there were many, many courses, all very tasty and enjoyable. Great variety of food including veggie options and gluten free. You can also eat at the Grill on board. It's not as cosy as the restaurant where you sit at a table with other guests. We met the most lovely couple (and many others too through tours, bridge, concerts etc., ) and that made our trip especially fun. Cabins good. We had an outside cabin and last night as we came into the UK we left the curtains open to enjoy the moonlight on the calm sea. We were just above the water line on Mediterannean Deck and no one can see in! We had a bath/shower room. Everything was spotless. Crew - very friendly and helpful. Yes, it was a shame that we didn't get to the fjords but it would have been foolhardy to risk over 750 lives onboard (500 guests and over 250 crew). I have previously cruised on another line with large vessels and a thousand or so guests. I did not enjoy them but I love the Astoria. She's a brave little ship and got us through terrible weather safely. We are already planning the next cruise with Cruise Maritime Voyages. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
ASTORIA, THE SHIP: Astoria is the world's oldest active oceangoing passenger ship and was originally built and launched as MS Stockholm in 1948. Her capacity is around 540 passengers making her quite an intimate vessel. THE ... Read More
ASTORIA, THE SHIP: Astoria is the world's oldest active oceangoing passenger ship and was originally built and launched as MS Stockholm in 1948. Her capacity is around 540 passengers making her quite an intimate vessel. THE FACILITIES: SIRENES BAR is the “meeting place” on the ship. It’s a small area above the reception desk, holding around 150 guests. The drinks are reasonably priced (see menu shots), and you can purchase additional packages, depending on your circumstances. We picked all-inclusive (CMV Premium) and I think we were better off. In this bar it’s sometimes difficult to attract waiters, and it can take 10 minutes or so to get your drink. I think the fact that the bartender makes and pours all drinks means that the waiters can be waiting to serve their guests. The bar is cosy, but could need a little attention to the chairs upholstery,. LOTUS POOL BAR is the outside bar serving the pool and rear deck. In September this wasn’t open at night. CYCLOPES AUDITORIUM is the cinema and presentation theatre. There are 2 films a day in here, and presentations on various topics. CALYPSO SHOW LOUNGE is the main theatre, holding around 500 guests. Again, drinks are waiter service. The shows, for such a small ship, are very entertaining, being performed by the ship’s hard working “repertory” cast. ENTERTAINMENT as above, is first class from the small team of 4 singers and 4 dancers. They put on some very entertaining shows, ranging from Les Miserables, to Rock and Roll and Wartime Favourites. Special mention to the cruise director, Jon Dulson, who makes sure all entertainment in all bars is top notch. A special mention is also due to the resident band. They are a group of really talented players, some of whom are classically trained and they provided outstanding live music (Unlike some bigger cruise ships where the entertainment is driven by LED displays and recorded soundtracks). THERE ARE MANY OTHER nooks and crannies, such as the library, card room, cigar lounge etc, and of course there is a small gym and spa centre. There’s also a small casino, chapel and medical centre. SHOPPING – you probably aren’t going on a ship like this for the shopping experience, but there are small shops, a jeweller and the obligatory photo shop (although now with a touch screen instead of row upon row of photos on shelves) THE STAFF were always friendly and very helpful. CRUISE SPECIFIC – ours was the Fjords cruise in mid September. Unfortunately we had storms Ali and Bronah to contend with and 2 fjord stops were cancelled due to adverse open sea conditions, prior to getting there, and we were give £50 per cabin compensation for this. The size of Astoria really does mean, in our opinion, that the 7 metre waves we battled against meant a couple of nights very unpleasant sailing, with sick bags in the corridors and advice to the ladies not to wear high heels in the swaying conditions. Also, the presentations on the ship’s trips were very specific in mentioning, for example, the 3 steps onto the Flam railway train, but didn’t mention the very steep gangway needed at some stops, to get onto the jetties. These steps were problematical for some of the elderly passengers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The ship sailed from Tilbury, which attracted us because we wouldn't need to fly, albeit we live in Cumbria so it was quite a trip. Embarkation was excellent, we arrived, parked the car, took the complementary bus to the dockside ... Read More
The ship sailed from Tilbury, which attracted us because we wouldn't need to fly, albeit we live in Cumbria so it was quite a trip. Embarkation was excellent, we arrived, parked the car, took the complementary bus to the dockside and were embarked within a few minutes. Very smooth. Disembarkation was a little fraught, we had to be out of the cabin by 09.00 and we had to wait a couple of hours in crowded public areas before we could disembark. But once we docked, we were off the ship and in our car within half an hour. Excellent. The cleanliness of the ship was exceptional. We did object to guests taking glasses and plates to weather deck areas and leaving them for others to pick up. What's wrong with people returning these objects. We were, though, chastised (in a nice way) by a steward when we tried to clear our table and return the plates. The cabin was first class, an outside cabin with window. The cabin was kept pristine by a hard working and very friendly cabin steward. We had taken the option for the company to allocate the cabin and were very happy with it. We had self service breakfast and lunch and used the Waterside restaurant in the evening. The food was exceptional for the price we paid, the caterers work miracles. Food on cruises has suffered since the heyday of cruising, but prices have been kept down and you cannot expect Michelin star food on McDonald's prices. But we were very well fed. Entertainment and activities I would rate as poor. The entertainment staff seemed to do little except put on a couple of shows a week. On other cruises, the entertainment staff have run daytime activities but on this cruise. most activities were advertised as unhosted. I got the impression the entertainment staff were along for the cruise and not really to work, Evening entertainment in the various bars was poor. There were a couple of guitarists who appeared to have just finished the beginners guide to the guitar. Not impressed When we booked the cruise, it was advertised as adults only but when we joined the ship, we found families with children. I've nothing against children, but they did tend to be noisy and there wasn't a lot for them to do. We chiefly took the cruise to visit St Petersburgh and this did not disappoint. The only sour note was that prior to arriving there, all passengers were given a briefing note which suggested that the residents of St Petersburgh lived in the dark ages, transport would be sub standard ad if we talked to anyone, their accent would be impenetrable. All nonsense, the Russian people were very friendly, the transport and guides were excellent and most people spoke at least some English, without an accent. We would holiday with Cruise and Maritime again. The Columbus is a nice ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
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