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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We took this cruise as it was convenient to our home and needed a break. We have cruised for 20 years and have never experienced such a miserable cruise. 5 hours late in departing which we understand can't be helped. The ship then ... Read More
We took this cruise as it was convenient to our home and needed a break. We have cruised for 20 years and have never experienced such a miserable cruise. 5 hours late in departing which we understand can't be helped. The ship then went back to Antwerp which they said was due to bad weather. We were due to go to Gibraltar and therefore missed out Lanzarote. We picked up a lady and a child who were family cruise members. The ship is advertised as child free! I was told that they would only be allowed in crew areas but they went anywhere in the ship and disturbed guests.Trades description! The cruise was supposed to be festive. The Christmas dinner was disgusting and no one had heard of mince pies or Christmas pudding. Decorations were non existent. The staff worked hard but were restricted by the appalling management. The cruise home was through the Bay of Biscay in a force 9 gale. Necessitating the use of a helicopter to lift off injured folk. Many folk, including the child and mother had left in Lisbon as they were aware that the Bay was going to be very rough. In fact folk had been leaving throughout the cruise as food and entertainment was the worst we have ever experienced. Cruise Maritime refused to accept that it had been a disastrous cruise and wanted folk to go through the trouble of ABTA because they know that guests were so fed up they couldn't be bothered. I can only sum up by saying that it may have been a one off terrible cruise. They knew it was well below accepted standards and should have held up their hands and apologised. I would never cruise with this company again. After cruising with most companies I feel able to classify thus company as deceptive and having no care for their guests. My advise is just don't trust them. They want your money but not are prepared to provide the basic services. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
My wife and myself booked this cruise back in the summer as we wanted to get away for christmas, and having previously cruised on CMV Marco Polo round Britain this year and enjoyed it we thought we would try the flagship, BUT what a ... Read More
My wife and myself booked this cruise back in the summer as we wanted to get away for christmas, and having previously cruised on CMV Marco Polo round Britain this year and enjoyed it we thought we would try the flagship, BUT what a difference a ship makes. We departed Tilbury 21/12/2015, and hadnt been underway 5 minutes when the Captain came on and said due to bad weather we were having to sail to Antwerp to avoid the worst of the weather I found that strange as my iphone app shipping forecast was giving the next day as the best weather of the week in the channel. HOWEVER if the Captain says thats the way it is fair enough. But as he pointed out we would not now as a result be sailing to Lansarote as scheduled. ( big dissapointment ) So we enjoyed the day in Antwerp, then we had 3 days of sailing down to Gibralter and would be arriving a day late. I am not going to review the fabric of the ship as I found our cabin spacious, the shower hot, and large, we had a window in the cabin so happy days. During the complete cruise only 2 of the lifts work, dont let anyone kid you this is not an issue IT IS on that ship, the stairs are steep my wife actually fell UP them during rough weather. We estimated that 80% of the passengers on this ship were between 80/85yrs old. this led to some very serious "whinging" over the 2 weeks especially over the lifts. The food provided was abysmal, we dined in the Waldorf Restaurant I love my food, but unfortunately the food provided was not good, there was plenty of choice but none of it suited me, and indeed that was a general concensus expressed during the cruise. Breakfast I ended up just going to the top deck buffet and making a bacon roll. We did hear that they had sacked the chef on the third day but that could have been due to the "serious rumour squad" that was in abundance throughout the cruise. Christmas day dinner instead of being a meal to remember became one to forget, in fact I was fed up with hearing the complaints about it. I think the problem is if you have indian chefs, and oriental\eastern european waiters, they fail to recognise what the British consider traditional christmas fair. Entertainment Very Poor, there was a comedian on who was good he did 2 nights but failing that it was the resident "entertainers" now lets make this clear I am no showman, but my wife enjoys a a good show, (cough) however there were no good shows to be had here another passenger said it was like "Butlins on Water." The entertainment manager was on Marco Polo when we cruised, I remember him saying he used to do a Robbie Williams tribute act so every time I hear him sing I hear a Robbie Williams song being murdered. anyway we went up to the top deck bistro to get away from the formality of the restaurant breakfast (before I took the bacon roll route) It was regularly packed deffinately a case of first up best dressed. People were hogging the tables instead of eating breakfast and moving on, especially as they could see people were hunting around for spare seats. My wife and I were stood up Christmas morning having a brew, and she said I cant believe its Christmas morning and Im having to stand up to drink a cup of tea. After that she opted for the breakfast in the cabin option, and I went the bacon roll route sat out on the top deck in sometimes bracing weather ! On Marco Polo the staff used to encourage you to move on when you had eaten, it was also published on the daily activities sheet, "please move on when you have eaten breakfast as others are waiting to eat" no such luck on Magellan it was described as a "bun fight" What really made me smile was the couples who sat on a table for 4 but they sat on opposite corners making it awkard for another couple to sit on the same table. Peter Kay could have got enough material for a whole new series from what went on on that ship. So back to the Antwerp diversion which cost us Lanzarote, it transpired that a young lady and young boy who arrived on the ship in Antwerp was the wife/son of the head of hotel, she had let the cat out the bag and said that they had been supposed to meet the ship in Gibralter, but was unable to get a flight but she had managed to drive down and meet the ship on our UNSCHEDULED stop in Antwerp. So the rumour quickly spread that she was the reason our trip to Lanzarote was cancelled caused a lot of resentment amongst the passengers true or not but it would be interesting to see the passenger manafest for Antwerp. Personally if that WAS the case I find it outrageous, and like others I will be emailing CMV for and answer to the question. the rest of the voyage passed we met some great people saw some fantastic places, we ended up coming back over the Bay of Biscay in a force 9 gale which was interesting the ship was effectlively locked down for the day. A helicopter med evac in the channel for someone who was seriously injured when a rogue wave hit the ship, and on arrival at Tilbury an hours wait to get off despite being priority. All in all we enjoyed the adventure, would we use this ship again ? NOT A CHANCE, The entertainment staff/Chefs all want a good old dose of sorting out. As they say we have been their, worn the dodgy T shirt and moved on. I hope you have a better experience on her than us. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
This was misrepresented. There are no Christmas markets in Amsterdam and very few stalls and mostly just food in Antwerp. Since that was the sole purpose of the trip it was very disappointing. The Christmas markets in Manchester UK were a ... Read More
This was misrepresented. There are no Christmas markets in Amsterdam and very few stalls and mostly just food in Antwerp. Since that was the sole purpose of the trip it was very disappointing. The Christmas markets in Manchester UK were a 100 times better so I might as well have stayed home. That said, the staff and food on the cruise were very good. The organisation was not. The evacuation training was a shambles. The information sheets provided each morning with details of Amsterdam/Antwerp were inaccurate. Stated markets (!) in Antwerp would open at 10.00. They opened at 12.00. I made the most of the trip and did have a good time but I would not recommend it. Many of my dinner companions were complaining too. The theatre show was very poor. The pianist and singer and pianist and violinist were good. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
This was only our second ever cruise, the first being a British Isles trip aboard Marco Polo which we enjoyed immensely. We found that embarkation at Tilbury was nowhere near as slick and easy as our experience at the CMV desks in ... Read More
This was only our second ever cruise, the first being a British Isles trip aboard Marco Polo which we enjoyed immensely. We found that embarkation at Tilbury was nowhere near as slick and easy as our experience at the CMV desks in Newcastle - on the Tilbury voyage our boarding cards were given to the wrong people and there was a mistake made when registering our credit card (which was swiftly corrected by the excellent reception staff on board the ship). Once aboard we received a very warm welcome from the staff and were shown to our cabin on deck 6. It was a lovely room, very clean, light and spacious. The service throughout our voyage was extremely good, the staff are very friendly and helpful. The shopping area aboard ship was a bit of a disappointment, heaps of space but very little stock to fill it and poor choice. We found this odd because on longer trips there is a captive audience who would perhaps love to spend a little time shopping for gifts etc. Our main criticism of this cruise is not about the ship or her crew but about the passengers who continually sat at the tables in the bistro whether they were eating or not. Many, many times we saw people taking their plates of food outside to eat (and it was cold!) because they couldn't find a table.....yet so many tables were occupied by people chatting over coffee or reading a book. Perhaps if there were notices asking passengers to vacate their table after eating the staff would feel they were in a position to uphold this request and kindly suggest that people move on to allow others to enjoy their meal in comfort? The food was very good, we had either breakfast or lunch in the bistro and each evening ate in the Waldorf restaurant where the standards of service were high. The entertainment was average but nevertheless we enjoyed the acts we saw. The free coffee from the drinks station is terrible - not just our opinion but that of many others we spoke to - but it's not too expensive to buy a coffee in the bars, and neither are the drinks prices expensive either. The all-inclusive package is a good buy if you like a few soft drinks through the day and then some drinks during the evening. Life boat drill, though essential, was very long and drawn out - I think it took 90 minutes from start to finish (surely by that time the ship would have capsized!). Shore excursions were very well planned and the guides had good knowledge of the places we visited. Our particular favourites were Amsterdam, Hamburg and Copenhagen. To summarize we had a really good time -of course it's only natural to compare when you have only been on two cruises but I think our favourite ship is the Marco Polo. Nevertheless we would definitely consider travelling on the Magellan again if the itinerary was what we were looking for. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
There have been several reviews of the CMV Magellan, which show that passenger reactions can be very varied. We booked a very reasonably priced 6 night cruise called Autumn Gardens on a bogof deal with cabin allocated by the company. We ... Read More
There have been several reviews of the CMV Magellan, which show that passenger reactions can be very varied. We booked a very reasonably priced 6 night cruise called Autumn Gardens on a bogof deal with cabin allocated by the company. We expected a low deck inside cabin and found we had been allocated to a family cabin with small portholes (no view) on the lower deck at the forward end of the ship. First impressions of the cabin were very positive, as there was sufficient room to swing many cats as the wardrobes were in the anteroom which would otherwise be for third or possibly fourth occupants. What we did not know was that cabin 4007 is directly over the bow thruster, a piece of machinery that is activated each time port is reached or left. When the bow thrusters are on, the noise is so intense that occupancy of the cabin is intolerable. As we were arriving in a new port each day, usually in the early morning, we came to expect this noise and when practical, made arrangements to be elsewhere. It also seemed that the rear of the ship could get pretty noisy and juddery at times on several decks, so if you are choosing a cabin, aim for midships. Boarding at Tilbury on this occasion was fairly easy with lots of road signage if you are driving yourself. There is a big Asda very close to the port for any last minute purchases. The company discourages you from dropping off your bags before parking. The car park is a bus ride away, and whilst it works, it is not as comfortable or as efficient as the experience we had with Holland America at Harwich. A double decker bus is used, and one has to wait until it is full. Given the number of passengers with mobility issues, there may be no space on the lower deck. Bags were picked up at the car park, and did arrive in a reasonable time at our cabin. Our boarding time was set for 2.30 i.e. the last to board, but in the event, we were allowed on board almost as soon as we arrived at the cruise terminal, which is just as well as the terminal facilities are sparse. We were in lunch pretty quickly in the Raffles buffet restaurant, and then looked around the boat, as it was new to us. We thought the general condition and appearance of the ship was good for its age with plenty of seating, and many bars and public spaces to choose from. It is not the most modern of ships, but it does not pretend to be other than what is publicized. There are not a lot of on-board shops, which has the positive effect of one not being made to feel that the agenda lurches from one shopping opportunity to the next, which does happen on some of the American cruises. The company knows its client demography well, and seemed well-pitched at British blue collar retirement aged folk who know a bargain when they see one. Food on board is a critical part of any cruise and the Magellan aims to not challenge middle England. It is good plain food for good plain people. There are three restaurants on the Magellan. Two are formal with two sittings each and one is a buffet restaurant which closes about 8 pm. We had requested a late sitting (8.15pm) and a table for two, and both wishes were granted. We noted that this later sitting in the Waldorf Restaurant had plenty of space at tables, and there were pairs eating at tables for 6 or 8, and even some empty tables. The restaurant staff told us that the early sittings are the most popular (possibly because of access to all the evening entertainment), but we would not want to eat at 5.45 or 6.15, although most of the passengers had opted for this. I would rate the food in the served restaurants as good, with a fair choice (never a problem there and no disappointments). The buffet restaurant at lunch was, like other ships, a bit of a scrum, with a struggle to find a table unless you come early or late. The temperature of buffet food was poor, but this is typical. You have to keep an eye out for when they change vats of food. Typically there would be a choice of two meats, a fish dish and a pasta dish. Buffet food was bland and uninspiring – more functional than entertaining, in contrast to the main restaurants. Desserts on the buffet were below the quality of the main restaurants, usually being cake based. The buffet tends to run down about 30mins before closing with less choice and fewer serving stations. They regularly ran out of cutlery. There was an impressive gala buffet displayed late one evening: this was splendid and showed that the chefs were capable of great things. It was a pity that it was so shortly after later dinner, so any food eaten was done so out of pure greed The serving staff was very mixed: it is a bit of a United Nations on the ship with a mix of Eastern Europeans and Asian staff. In my opinion, the language training was very patchy, and whilst most spoke restaurant English, the minute a question was posed which was not on their script, it was unlikely that there would be an answer without consulting management. E.g. are there any knives? In the served restaurants, there is a wine service, with middle of the road table wine costing about £20-£30/bottle. Otherwise drinks at bars are priced probably below (London) pub prices, and a cocktail of the day was available at £3.10. Unlike on some US based ships, there is no service charge on drinks. There are drinks packages available which allow access to house wine, some spirits and cocktails and other non-premium drinks and cost £17/day provided all the occupants of a cabin buy into it. If you like a drink and would consume more than 5 regular alcoholic drinks during the day, then this may be for you, but our bar bill for two came to a maximum of £20/day on a pay as you go basis. Entertainment on a cruise is also a very big deal, especially if you don’t get out much or live somewhere where there is no access to live theatre and similar. For a short cruise on a mid sized boat, there was no shortage of set entertainment of the typical middle of the road easy listening style. The shows are put on twice nightly to match the dinner sittings in their fairly large show-lounge. At first glance the show lounge is impressive with tiered seating and a large stage, but the tiering is insufficiently raised, and because of the physical structure, there are only a few seats that do not either have a barrier in front of them or a pole partially obstructing views. By and large, the entertainments were well received, and the casts mostly enthusiastic. On our six nights, there was something to watch every evening, and a late night cabaret in one of the bars. Excursions were pretty run of the mill and relatively expensive, but not as expensive as on Holland America. At one port, Zeebrugge (for Bruges), it was made quite clear that it would be very difficult to leave the port and go anywhere without one of the supplied trips. At two destinations (Jersey and Guersney), the captain made the decision not to land (i.e. 40% of destination ports and their linked excursions) because of high seas. These ports were serviced by tender boats, and hence the decision. I read subsequently that difficulties with tenders at the Channel Islands were common, but if that were the case, may be they should never have been on the itinerary. (To give you the bigger picture, on our last cruise on CMV Marco Polo, 2/3 tender landings were cancelled, so to date my record with CMV is 1/5 tender landings successful. I would advise concentrating on those trips with no tendering to shore). Instead of Jersey and Guernsey, we were offered the ports of Cherbourg and Rouen on which we had done no research. The ship offered short notice excursions, which filled up quickly, and the remaining passengers were left to sort themselves out, which is easy in Rouen, but tricky in Cherbourg. The excursion in Cherbourg was a scenic drive taking in a couple of small ports and the cabbage fields of Normandy, and priced at £45. To make things even more complex we arrived at Honfleur, our final port, many hours early, but despite this, the captain was taken by surprise by the rise and fall of the tides. After 30 minutes, the original gangway on level 5 was unusable and the exit had to be re-sited on level 8 entailing a delay of 20 minutes on already short outings. Our trip to Bayeux was very rushed leaving insufficient time after visiting the tapestry to visit the tapestry museum and explanatory film in English and still have time to see the town and have a coffee on a trip that did not return until 2p.m. Staff on the boat is very mixed, and a large contingent coming from Ukraine and lesser numbers from Bulgaria and Romania. English language skills in the lower ranks were poor. The captain is Greek and whilst he spoke English, left us with the impression that he would prefer not to. The captain’s daily announcements were therefore difficult to decipher, and the grand announcement about the loss of the Channel Islands was so indistinct that even members of the crew were left asking what was going on. Others have mentioned the somewhat military style boat drill. Whilst on some cruise ships this has descended to a perfunctory performance just asking people to assemble at the muster stations, possibly with their life jackets, the captain went all the way bar boarding the life boats. This included the crocodile up the decks to the lifeboat area, and inspection by the captain. In our boat, one person was identified as having donned their jacket inadequately, and the captain retied the knots. Perhaps there was something that we should have known? Positives: Very cheap way to cruise UK style with pub prices for drink Good destinations, and whilst excursions are not cheap, they are cheaper than other lines Food to UK tastes and not very exciting and of limited variety, and that might not be what you want. I would not recommend the burgers from the grill. Enthusiastic Entertainment Negatives: Many of crew with lack of culture of hospitality and care (of the elderly). Some would benefit from more language training. Cabins and amenities a bit Spartan, but good for price and those in know bring their own toiletries. Not much of a shopping opportunity, but some would regard that as very positive. Cabins above bow thrusters can be very noisy at arrival and departures. Ship starting to show age, but mostly works. Steep steps between decks that might defeat the less abled, but the elevators were adequate. Overall, a satisfactory basic cruise experience, but watch out for the tender ports. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
Myself & my husband arrived back yesterday 7th December from what should have been 2 days in Hamburg and 1 in Amsterdam looking at the Christmas markets. We were informed the day before that the itinerary was going to be changed due to ... Read More
Myself & my husband arrived back yesterday 7th December from what should have been 2 days in Hamburg and 1 in Amsterdam looking at the Christmas markets. We were informed the day before that the itinerary was going to be changed due to the bad weather conditions in Germany. The itinerary was then 1 day in Amsterdam, 1 day in Brugge and 1 in Antwerp. I am all for health and safety! and this also meant 3 ports of call instead of 1. The first night sailing to Amsterdam was extremely choppy and we managed about 4 hours sleep. We knew that Brugge was only about 80 odd miles away so we assumed that night we would have a quick journey, be docked and have a good nights sleep. WRONG! we could not dock until 6am the next morning we were just bobbing around in the sea for hours, being right above the props and the water crashing against our port holes. We seemed to fair better than others who on the higher decks had their drawers opening, things falling over and one poor woman had a narrow escape when the tv fell over and landed on the bed beside her! Neither of us slept again at all, when the boat finally docked we thought lets go to bed now and get a couple of hours, WRONG, we were so low on the ship that the rubber buffers were right outside our window and the noise of them scraping against the side made it impossible. It was horrendous to say the least. The Captain - was noticeable by his absents, except when spotted with a young blonde in an office smoking! different policies for different people I suppose. The Food - Only 1 night spent in the Restaurant (nothing special) and the help yourself Bistro - food warm at best repetitive and run to a strict regime, if it was 8.30 and people still in there all the food is cleared away regardless. Entertainment - Now this is the only good bit, all the staff were really nice and put on a good show every night. We had a trickle of water coming out of our tap, we tried to call reception to ask if this could be remedied but the phone didn't work. We went to reception she said she would get it sorted and that she realised our phone was not working. On our arrival back there was still no water, we complained again. At last someone came. It worked for 1 morning! It was quite amusing that the last night we go two letters, one saying we hoped the water problem had been resolved and another that said, sorry it couldn't be fixed because they couldn't get in touch with us by phone!! It was broken der!! Our friends had a nice surprise too, they were asleep in their cabin and at 1.50am they were woken by someone walking in! He said sorry and left, they called reception immediately but they were not really interested, after a second complaint in person in the morning they were told it would be looked into. Apparently they said, the week before the staff had been given these cabins and the intruder was staff who didn't know that these same cabins had been given to the general public! Bad case of communication to say the least. As for the Christmas markets, in Brugge there were half a dozen open, selling items you could buy here for a third of the cost. In Antwerp there were none open at all, as the people who had booked a trip on board at a very high price found out. The few that were open sold either hot food or you could have a drink. Where were the stalls for the Xmas presents that people wanted to buy? To be honest if it hadn't been for the people whom we met on the ship it would have been the worst nightmare ever. If you don't mind repetitive lukewarm food, reception staff that cant be bothered, a captain you never see or hear and enjoy a ship that does not appear to be stabilised at all, then go for it! I myself wont be going on it again, myself and my husband are still suffering extremely bad "sea legs". Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
You always wonder what a ship will be like before a cruise. Having seen the prices and ports of call for the Marco Polo, we weren't sure if an old ship was for us. Therefore, we jumped at the chance for an evening dinner, ... Read More
You always wonder what a ship will be like before a cruise. Having seen the prices and ports of call for the Marco Polo, we weren't sure if an old ship was for us. Therefore, we jumped at the chance for an evening dinner, entertainment and overnight stay. Whilst for this event they had restricted numbers to around 400, about half of full capacity, clearly the terminal at Tilbury couldn't cope. The cattle market approach together with mis-information given out by checking-in staff and a PA that you could hardly hear, filled us with trepidation. Once we arrived onboard, we were shown to our cabin. We were on Deck 5. Fortunately, we only had hand luggage. Otherwise dragging large cases over bulkheads would not have been appreciated. The corridor absolutely stunk of diesel fuel and I wonder how passengers could cope with this day in and day out. Our cabin was spacious, but very well 'used'. There were two portholes. However, to see out of them would have required certain mounteneering skills. There were only 3 channels on the old TV and they seemed to be videos on a loop system, forever repeating themselves. Given that the ship was only half full, it was very clostophobic in the bars etc. Not helped by low ceilngs and no empty seats. The food was, at best 3* or below. The entertainment, a take off of We Will Rock You, was more Pontins than West End. If you needed the loo, queuing was essential, unless you were up for a walk around the ship. For the evening meal we were allocated tables pre-embarkation. However, this system was abandoned for breakfast, when it was every man/woman for themselves. You had to queue to get a table and while you were in the scrum for food, they gave your table to another set of guests. There was no queuing system for obtaining your food or obvious area to stand while you watched guests infiltrating the scrum. They were keen for you to leave the ship but there was only a girl shouting out your Visitors Card number to someone trying to find your name on a manual list and then making a handwritten mark. All made for very long queues. This was supposed to be a Showcase to encourage future bookings. Whilst, undoubtebly, the cabins on the higher decks were better, save for one super waiter called Constantine, the rest of the crew hardly made you feel like travelling with them in the future. I'd say that they well and truely shot themselves in both feet. How they could possibly cope with nearly 800 guests is beyond my belief. Thank goodness our next cruise is NOW on a 5* ship and not a poor pretender. Read Less
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