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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I am writing this review on the last “at sea” day on a 8 night cruise to the Norwegian Fjords on the CMV Columbus in August 2019. For any readers contemplating this cruise, the main issue you should be aware of is that this cruise ... Read More
I am writing this review on the last “at sea” day on a 8 night cruise to the Norwegian Fjords on the CMV Columbus in August 2019. For any readers contemplating this cruise, the main issue you should be aware of is that this cruise is a floating care home. The average age of a guest is well into their 70’s and the oldest passenger I came across was an astonishing 98! I have never seen so many strollers, walking frames, walking sticks, mobility scooters and wheel chairs in all my life! At age 62 I must be in the 5% of guests under the age of 65. I have nothing whatsoever against this passenger profile, except that I really do not want to be a part of it! Spending 8 nights having to battle through the maze of associated mobility aids and having to suffer the significant inconvenience to more able-bodied passengers which this presents, is not a holiday for me – it’s just a hassle. If you fit with this profile I am sure you will enjoy yourself. The ship itself holds 1400 passengers, and has been rebranded several times in its history as it moved between owners and refits. The overall quality of finish is average to good, and the style of décor reflects its niche in the market for elderly Brits wanting to be away from home but in familiar surroundings. Although a shame that CMV has decided for some reason that plastic and silk imitation plants and trees are more pleasing than real ones, resulting in a rather tacky funeral feel to the Taverner’s bar and a tired wilting appearance to the potted trees in Connexions. Cabins are nice and well maintained, if not a little dated in furnishings. The rest of the ship flows around deck 7 with its British bar (traditional London style) and the more modern Connexions bar (which appears to have been modelled on a conservatory). You will also find the main Waterfront restaurant on this deck. The other eatery is a self-service buffet style and is on deck 12. The best outdoor bar is the Oasis bar, which was surprisingly pleasant with its panoramic view and comfy sunbeds. As far as the food is concerned, the evening dinner on the Waterfront restaurant is good (but not great) in terms of selection and quality. I would recommend the 2nd sitting, as this allows more time before having to change, a 1st sitting in the theatre and plenty of time afterwards to relax in the bars. The self-service restaurant is to be avoided at all costs. The food is dismal, the atmosphere chaotic and the seating arrangements far too limited and uncomfortable for the number of guests (and walking aids!) trying to occupy them. In short it is a cattle market of stress inducing trauma. Think about your blood pressure and avoid this place like the plague. Far better to spend your time enjoying a great coffee in the coffee shop by the pool area. The best coffee I have ever tasted. Drinks prices on board are very reasonable indeed. £3.30 for a pint of Fosters, a 4cl Gordon’s gin at £3.60 and alcoholic cocktails around £4.80. Having said that CMV offer a range of pre-paid inclusive drink packages and these offer exceptional value in my view. Dress on board is casual and informal, with appropriate minimum standards in the indoor bars and lounges in the evening. There were 2 formal nights during the cruise. It’s always a good measure of your fellow passengers to observe their interpretation of “formal”. I would estimate that 40% were traditional “black tie” enthusiasts, and a further 30% made some sort of effort (however marginal) to smarten themselves up. The remaining 30%? – well I think the less said, the better! The staff on board vary considerably. Our cabin steward was fantastic, friendly, personal and did a really good job at keeping the cabin clean and tidy. The restaurant staff were generally efficient and on the whole appeared to enjoy their jobs. With a couple of exceptions, all of the bar staff were as miserable as sin, without a smile for anyone, and with the ability only to communicate in grunts (if at all). Not once in a whole week were we approached at our table in the bars and asked if we wanted to order a drink. We had to attract someone’s attention (which on occasion would be successful, but more usually resulted in total avoidance) or queue at the bar and get our own drink (eventually, and after having to endure surly and indifferent “service”) Shore excisions were, as usual, overpriced, but reasonable well organised. Check before you book to see if you can make your own arrangements to see the “ attractions” – we did and saved ourself at least 30% on the CMV cost. The evening entertainment was disappointing. For starters the Palladium theatre is small with awful sight lines of the stage. Unless you bag a seat at least 30 minutes prior to showtime you can forget seeing at least half of the stage. The resident entertainment dancers/singers, can’t. That is to say they try hard, but there is only one guy and one girl who came even remotely close to being able to sing in tune. The rest would get immediate “red crosses and a loud buzzer” from Simon Cowell. Dancing was slightly better, but production values and variety were very poor. This was a major let-down as we have been used to very professional and talented entertainers on other cruises. From the 7 nights we had a comedian (the same one) for 2 nights, a magician (the ships entertainment director) for 1 night and the dancers/singers for the remainder. The comedian was not bad, although should really have retired his act some time ago. The magician was just plain embarrassing. So overall an exceptionally average cruise, not helped by the clientele, the ships facilities and the crew. If a British “flavoured” floating care home is your thing, with a heady mix of cheap drinks, bingo, quizzes, and “end of the pier” entertainment - then you should definitely go for it. If not – you should save your money for an alternative cruise. You may need to pay a little more, but it will be money well spent. It was good to try CMV, but once is enough. At least until I am 80! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Although this was our 40th cruise, it was the first on Marco Polo and the smallest ship we have been on in 25 years of cruising and at 2 nights, the shortest. This is also my first review of a cruise ship. Having booked the cruise ... Read More
Although this was our 40th cruise, it was the first on Marco Polo and the smallest ship we have been on in 25 years of cruising and at 2 nights, the shortest. This is also my first review of a cruise ship. Having booked the cruise recently I looked up the reviews just before going and was quite alarmed by the number of negative reviews. I was not therefore expecting much. However, having enjoyed a very pleasant couple of days I thought that I should review it. I can only think that those negative reviews have come from people that only generally sail on the big modern ships with over 6000 guests and the staff to perform West End style shows. Whilst the exterior and steel around windows etc shows the signs of a 50 year old ship, the carpets and furniture and internal woodwork is kept spotless and clean. The beds are not modern but are comfortable enough and the bedding was clean. The inside cabins were larger than I expected with much more cupboard and drawer room than on many larger ships. With the exception of the lady leaving the duty free shop 4 hours before docking on the final morning who rather rudely announced that they 'were shut as we are always shut in port' when they clearly weren't, everyone else was very pleasant and friendly. I would say that it is a very happy ship.The food was as good as any of the ships we have been on and better than many. Still offering afternoon tea and late night snacks.The entertainment was not brilliant but the singers were good and did provide good entertainment. Let down a bit by the quality of the backing music but nothing to complain about. If you really want everything you get with the big ships, the Marco Polo is not for you. But for great value for money, friendly staff, good food and drinks at less than pub prices in the UK you can't beat this. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
I chose a 2 night cruise to see what the Marco Polo was like as I was planning to go on a much longer cruise (78 nights) and was unsure if I would enjoy life on this rather old and small ship for that length of time. I have been on larger ... Read More
I chose a 2 night cruise to see what the Marco Polo was like as I was planning to go on a much longer cruise (78 nights) and was unsure if I would enjoy life on this rather old and small ship for that length of time. I have been on larger ships for long voyages before. Having read various reviews I was anxious to find out if they were accurate or not. On the whole I found them a good guide to the ship. Reasonably OK for a short voyage but not for any longer. The main reasons for this are that the cabins lack virtually any sound proofing. I heard every word of the phone call that my next door neighbour was making. I was in a premium ocean view cabin. I could also hear music from the entertainment lounge in the evenings. The buffet got very crowded and it was very difficult to find a seat or a table. At times it was crowded with people queuing for food, people trying to go out to the pool deck and people coming in or just passing through. Perhaps the best term would be a scrum. The public areas were mainly only on one deck so no real area for a quiet few hours, activities were also held in these areas. The gym was very small and some of the equipment was out of order. The entertainment lounge looked old and tired and it appeared that if you didnt sit in the front row you would have not seen very much. All these things would not have made an enjoyable long trip with a lot of sea days. I gave the trip a 3 star mainly because the service was good, food OK and a shuttle bus was provided for the port stop, but the ship was really not up to standard for today's cruising Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Embarked at Tilbury (was a bit chaotic but this was due to the ship being late in due to weather conditions which cant be helped) Once on the ship we went to our cabin on deck 5 this was a lovely spacious (inside) cabin which had a ... Read More
Embarked at Tilbury (was a bit chaotic but this was due to the ship being late in due to weather conditions which cant be helped) Once on the ship we went to our cabin on deck 5 this was a lovely spacious (inside) cabin which had a really good separate wardrobe area and with a lot of extra draws also. The ship is very nicely decorated and easy to find your way around (as not a very big ship) The Dining in the buffet (lunch) was fairly good the food was always hot and very tasty my only comment would be that it doesn't have that much choice, But I could always find something to eat. The afternoon tea was extremely good the scones where delicious and also the shortbread biscuits. The Burgers and hot dogs served from the grill on the pool deck outside the buffet where also very good and fresh (sometimes the burgers were a little pink and needed to be cooked a little more) The Fusion Indian restaurant is (based in the back area of the buffet but this is separated of in the evening, the food and the staff where brilliant. The starters and the naan breads where cooked freshly in the outside clay oven and were absolutely delicious. I would definitely recommend eating in here as the pricing is really reasonable for 3 courses it is around £15 and the food was really lovely. The main waterfront restaurant we used for Breakfast and evening meal and the staff and food was brilliant. The breakfast could sometimes be a little slow in busy periods but this is to be expected and beats the buffet rush and hassle trying to find a seat to eat once you have you breakfast. Our evening waiters were fantastic and very attentive and made it very personal by knowing all our names (6 of us in total) and they know what we like and what we didn't by the end of the first few days. Entertainment this is where I was not very impressed, we went to the theatre on 3 occasions to watch shows/comedian first of all if you did not turn up a hour before the show was due to start then you would not get a seat or if you did manage to get one it would be a very bad view as there are a lot of pillars to try and see around and people think its acceptable to put children's buggies right at the front of the row so anyone behind these rows could not see anything at all. (these could of been left at the end of the isle as the children were on there laps anyway) Once the show finally started I have to say that the entertainment team singers/dancers where of a very poor standard there was one girl and one lad who could sing a little but the others were not very good at all. the comedian that they had on was ok but more aimed at the older generation of people. The seats in the theatre are also very un comfy (the single seat chairs) after a while your bottom would go to sleep. The connections bar this is quite a nice bar area however again the seats are very un comfy and the band that plays in here was pretty good however was far to load and when the singer started to sing (she was ok but nothing special) she would only sing a couple of lines of the song over and over again then it was mostly the band playing the rest of the song. The Tavern Pub was also a nice area to sit in again comfort was not great. The raffles bar on desk 6 above the atrium was a nice bar and you can hear the music from the atrium from here but it was not so loud you could not have a conversation so found this a nice place to have a drink and a chat with everyone. The music played in the Atrium was very good this was a pianist and sometimes a violinist would join her together they were very good. Hemmingway's on deck5 supplied premium coffee and cakes the cakes were chargeable but very delicious and worth the money. Swimming Pools are a big disappointment there are 2 both are 6ft 3 deep and getting in and out of them is very difficult the steps are very steep ( on the pool bar side there is a nice bit at the top with bar stools in it however you cannot get in or near this area as the kids were always in it and jumping off the bar stools and soaking everywhere including the bar area and staff??? The pool next to this also had a better set of steps that led into the pool but again was also full of kids jumping of them and then just constantly jumping in and out of the pool so if you did manage to get into it then you would get a child jump on you. - If this is going to continue to be a multigeneration cruise then they need to make a children's pool area and make some rules for them. Spa - I had a happy feet treatment which was very lovely and the staff in the spa were very nice, the atmosphere in there was very relaxing, The Ports we visiting were all pretty good and quite close to everything if it wasn't then a shuttle bus was on offer which was very helpful if you are not able to walk very far. We didn't do any organised excursions as we like to just get of and do our own thing. We did a couple of the hop on hop off bus tours in Gran Canaria, Lisbon and Madeira I would definitely these as you get to see so much more of the area around you. Madeira is absolutely stunning and one of the best places I have visited, If you get the chance then definitely do the Toboggan ride in Monte.(if you use the hop on hop off bus then you can buy an extra blue route ticket and this takes you to the top of Monte and will pick you up again at the bottom of the Toboggan run) Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We are regular cruisers and have just returned from a 2 week cruise to the Baltic & St Petersburg on the CMV Columbus. We chose the cruise because of the itinery and the price. It is the first time we've cruised with CMV. The ... Read More
We are regular cruisers and have just returned from a 2 week cruise to the Baltic & St Petersburg on the CMV Columbus. We chose the cruise because of the itinery and the price. It is the first time we've cruised with CMV. The pre cruise communication and organisation at the port on departure was excellent. The ship was clean with all the basic facilites you need on a ship. The cabin was bigger than onther basic inside cabins we've had before and had lots of storage space for a 2 week trip. The quality of food in the mani restaurant we thought was great and very well presented.The fixed sitting system was fine but the 5.45pm-6.15pm entry window for 1st sitting was early. We tried both the speciality restaurants which we also found to be excellent. We had the VIP package so the restaurants were discounted by 50%. This discount made them good value. We didn't try the Chef's Table as we were told the 50% discont didn't apply to this for some reason. The range of drinks available within the VIP package was good for cocktails & beers. Included in the package were the "signature wines". However this was only 4 white wines, there were reds aswell. Only 1 of these being a chardanney which my wife felt was very limited. There were shows evry night in the show lounge but these we found to be very disappointing in quality. When compared to what we experienced on Thomson, P and O & Royal Carribean felt rather amateurish. The show lounge was also very small with poor views unless you were prepared to arrive 60 minutes ahed of show time to bag the front row central seats. This was a major disappointment. Like all ships we've been on the Columbus had a self service restaurant. Compared to other ships of a similar size/ capacity it was small with a limited range of each day. Our teenagers often found it difficult to find something to eat. Only on 1 day of the 14 were they able to get chips from here at lunch. You may view this as a positive. The biggest issue though was the fact that it was always extremely difficult and often impossible to get a seat, especially at breakfast. If you were able to get one it was then a challenge to get cutlery. This was largely due to the limited opening times. Breakfast regularly ran 7.00am-9.30am. The lasted it was on until was 10am. There was no chance of a lie in if you wanted breakfast. We didn't feel that the timings had passengers at the heart of planning. We were all on holiday after all. The self service restaurant closed at 9.pm. From here there was no food available until breakfast, with the exception of a tray of canapeas brought round to bars by waiters in the style of a cocktail party. This lack of late night food would be a significant issue for many based on how popular the late night food offer has been on other ships. The ship offered a wide range of excersions at each port. The destinations services was accurately called Excersion Services. There were no port maps available and they only wanted to give info on the ships excursions. We found these to be very expensive. Eg the 2 day Grand Tour of ST Petersburg was £320 each. We booked a comparable tour with a local company (Alla Tours, who were excellent) which saved us £780 in total for a group of 6. On the final day of the trip poor weather resulted in us being 3.5 hours late arriving at Tilbury. Clearly completely beyond the control of CMV and just one of those things. However, they didn't inform us of this until 10 minutes before we were all due to vacate our cabins at 7.30am. We were told that we could stay in cabins until 9.30am. By this time most had vacated. We returned to the cabin to find that the cabin steward, who hadn't been told about the chnge, had not surprisingly, stripped the cabin and cleaned it ready for the new arrivals. Would you have asked to use the cabin again? As we were still on the ship and disembarcation had not started by noon and with a 3 hour drive home we went up to the self service restaurant to eat before we left. Here the manager told us that service wouldn't begin until 2pm and actually said that he'd been told "We're not feeding those getting off, only those getting on". We felt this was profits over customer care. Overall we had an enjoyable cruise made so by the friendly, efficient staff and the excellent itinerary, especially St Petersburg. However, we wouldn't rush to cruise with CMV again as unlike any other companies we've sailed with it didn't feel like the customer was at the heart of the comapies philosophy. It was more a case of the customer having to conform to the CMV way. Dissappointing Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this cruise for a couple of reasons - I wanted to go to Norway (and none of my friends did!), I wanted a UK departure and, I wanted a smaller ship. I also have rheumatoid arthritis, hence why I preferred not to fly and this was ... Read More
I chose this cruise for a couple of reasons - I wanted to go to Norway (and none of my friends did!), I wanted a UK departure and, I wanted a smaller ship. I also have rheumatoid arthritis, hence why I preferred not to fly and this was perfect. This was my first cruise so I wasn't sure what to expect. I absolutely loved it! I met a lot of very interesting people and we ended up sharing our cruise together - mainly in the bars and restaurants. I was very impressed with the arrangements for solo travellers - the company works hard to make them feel welcome with welcome drinks, lunches, dinners etc...and it worked. It was unnaturally hot for Norway, so the pool area was very busy - I gave Bergen a miss as didn't fancy a tour in 35 degrees. Norway in a Nutshell tour is well worth doing - the views are mind-blowing. Flam railway is great fun! If walking is a bit of an issue (it is for me) - it is quite a walk to the hotel in Voss which the company doesn't warn about. It may depend on where the train from Flam stops though. I probably wouldn't do the tour to the dam again - I would stay in Eidjfiord and have a wander. All the bars are great - I visited every one frequently. The cocktail list is extensive. I chose the premier package that includes tips, drinks, wine etc...and definitely don't regret it. It is great value. The food isn't five star - but neither are we paying for five star. It was fine though - desserts provided much amusement trying to guess what they tasted of. Some people complained that the food should be better - bear in mind, that going to a Michelin restaurant costs around £250 per person upwards and that will manage expectations. My happy place? Sitting at the back of the boat behind the Plantation buffet - having either breakfast or dinner with a beautiful view of the fjords - priceless! I loved it! Already booked another and I got home less than 24 hours ago. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was my third cruise. Two with P and O and i loved all of them, but this one was so good as the weather was beautiful and the fjords were stunning. It was so beautiful how we saw those amazing views as we landed at our destination in ... Read More
This was my third cruise. Two with P and O and i loved all of them, but this one was so good as the weather was beautiful and the fjords were stunning. It was so beautiful how we saw those amazing views as we landed at our destination in Eidfjord then Flam where we took a train amd saw the most wonderful sights. (Waterfall)Then in Bergan we enjoyed shopping. What was also great was you could go enjoy the days out without losing sight of where the ship was. Everything about this cruise was good from start to finish. The Captain was friendly and chatted to everyone and the food was excellent. From the staff who looked after our room with the gorgous animal (towels) we got every night. It brought a smile each nigh we returned to our room after a night of great entertainment from the great singers amd dancers performing to the comedian who had us in stitches with his jokes and singing. And of coarse not forgetting Ian the magician and cruise director. One of the most friendliest ships from staff to passengers. Will travell again in the not so distant future. Had a blast. Well done cmv. Till next time. Lorraine x Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We had never cruised out of Tilbury, it was a great chance to take our granddaughter . Embarkation was excellent, we know the local area very well so went straight to the port.This is an old ship but staff kept it very clean there is ... Read More
We had never cruised out of Tilbury, it was a great chance to take our granddaughter . Embarkation was excellent, we know the local area very well so went straight to the port.This is an old ship but staff kept it very clean there is always some issues with toilets or lifts but this was seen to very quickly. Our cabin was kept lovely by Nanathn in cabin 6140, he made us and our granddaughter very welcome.We only went to waterfront resturant once it was very slow and our dining time very early. The bistro on a whole was good breakfast and lunch were great but dinner was a bit hit and miss some times even running out of food and not replacing at 8.10 pm we did bring this to the attention of management , on a whole all staff were very nice and polite entertainment for the children and adults very good some of the best we had seen in more than 35cruises. The ports were great in Bergan did the ice museum I would recommend this to any body, went on the little trains in Eidfjord and flam this was enough for our granddaughter , but I think the best for her was the cruise director Iain he met her in the terminal and with his magic shows and circus tricks and always remembering her name made her her 1st cruise very special. Disembarkation went very well and was well organised off in very dood time and port staff very polite and helpful , will cruise again given the chance .. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
the brochure looked good but was well overrated to actual cruise. the Iceland shore excursion was good except there were so many other coaches at stop you could not have a proper lunch in time allowed. eric the red tour in qaqortoq was a ... Read More
the brochure looked good but was well overrated to actual cruise. the Iceland shore excursion was good except there were so many other coaches at stop you could not have a proper lunch in time allowed. eric the red tour in qaqortoq was a rip off as all you had to do was go ashore and walk 1km to see every thing they were charging for. sisimuit sightseeing tour was cut short by 1 third but sip only gave 25% off tour. we had a flightseeing tour inillulissat which was very good and run properly. we were the only ones to do flight as fog rolled in and all other flight cancelled. we were due to go sailing among the icebergs next day but that days activities was cancelled. we found out the next day if we had gone ashore the local people doing the tour still done the tours themselves and there was no need for the ship to cancel their arranged tours . our last stop in Greenland was nanortalik where it 3 hrs to disembark ship after picking up tender tickets, then sat in tender for 20min in freezing cold before the tender was unloaded.by the time we reached shore we had only 1hr before we had to return to ship . we had to wait 1.5 hrs to join tender for our return to ship the last stop was lerwick in Shetland islands (there was to be 2 stops but they cancelled one ) where the tour was good but no time allowed to visit town. you travel a long way to see sights but are not given enough time a several of ports for proper sightseeing. the food in bistro was not good at times and we were sick 3 times, the food in dining room was much better. the bistro kept on running out knives , forks and plates and dining room had same problem at breakfast. disembarkation was bad as our group had to leave ship early to meet our bus and ship would not help us remove our baggage which is very difficult for old people as far as cmv goes we would never go on one of their ships and will tell all our friends the same Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The staff were mostly lovely, helpful and willing. Though it was difficult to communicate with some as their English was poor. The trips were reasonably well organised, pity that the Scilly isles had to be omitted, sea too rough to use ... Read More
The staff were mostly lovely, helpful and willing. Though it was difficult to communicate with some as their English was poor. The trips were reasonably well organised, pity that the Scilly isles had to be omitted, sea too rough to use the tender. Food at dinner in the Waterfront restaurant was sometimes tepid, sometimes it was very difficult to find a seat in the upstairs buffet, I think most of us enjoyed the food most of the time. Wide choice in the buffet. There were few lectures can't comment as I only went to one, fell asleep during it. The talks on our destinations were mostly concerned with their excursions rather than the place itself. The public rooms were comfy and pleasant, pity the library was closed much of the time. I personally found nothing of interest in the on board shops. And the duty free was expensive. Cabins had a fridge plus tea and coffee making facilities, which was very nice. The ship appeared very clean' Evening entertainment was patchy. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I only chose Marco Polo in order to get to Greenland. The boat is very shabby and I don't think much has been done, cosmetically, since her last major refit in 1995. The computers broke down at registration, causing a delay, but ... Read More
I only chose Marco Polo in order to get to Greenland. The boat is very shabby and I don't think much has been done, cosmetically, since her last major refit in 1995. The computers broke down at registration, causing a delay, but they then let us on ship without any security checks. From that moment everyone's security was compromised until return to Tllbury. The first tendering at Kirkwall was terrible. Ticketing started at 0900 and we received ours at 0915 but had to wait ages - until we landed ashore at 1210. They didn't have enough tenders operating and those that were, were uncoordinated. A massive list formed at return time and the harbourmaster contacted the Captain to ask for more tenders. We heard from a number of sources that the Captain refused. After a written complaint I received a letter of management speak blaming the wind??? and the harbour authorities. We had an emergency muster alarm early morning whilst most were in bed. A Faulty alarm. These things can happen but it was badly handled and we weren't given any explanation or apology until the Captain was forced to make a PA announcment mid morning. Also some staff wandered around with bouyancy aids but lacking direction. At NUUK, the Greenland Capital, coahes didn't arrive for excursions. 1st excuse - traffic, then the excursion leader admitted that the coach company had forgotten and said, "That's Greenland". Why didn't she check up the day before? The boat is poorly managed, the Bistro staff are inefficient and lack decent training.If you show them dirty cups or cracked cups, you cannot be confident that they fully understand the problem and the cups continually re-appear. Cold plates for hot meals and warm plates for salads. etc. The Bistro is not good enough to compete with transport cafes. The cupboards are like '50's kitchenettes and even poorly painted. Llttle variety of breakfast offerings. However, we dined in the main restaurant every evening and the food was excellent. terrific selection, well made, hot and well presented.A different kitchen from the Bistro, but we presume still under the head chef? The entertainment was first class every evening and the guest speakers were above par. We will not sail with CMV again. We feel they are a disgrace to the cruising industry, and clearly operate Marco Polo on a shoestring. They tsake a very poor attitude to grumbles or complaints, argueing with passengers instead of trying to solve the problem. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted to go to Greenland and when the offer came up grabbed it. However wished we had paid more with another operator. Paid for a better room when booking however found on when on board some people had been upgraded to our cabin ... Read More
We wanted to go to Greenland and when the offer came up grabbed it. However wished we had paid more with another operator. Paid for a better room when booking however found on when on board some people had been upgraded to our cabin category they had paid £1,000 less than us. Ship old, no comfortable chairs inside other than the 5 in the library. Chairs in dining room dirty, chairs in Show Lounge not fixed to the ground meant anyone sitting in them restricted the view of those behind. Food average selected mozzarella and tomato as a starter processed cheese was on our plate! No lectures about Greenland or Iceland. Best of all were the staff who were all very nice. Anyone thinking of going again with C&M I advise seriously consider going with another cruise line especially if you go to Greenland - better to pay more for an expedition ship or Hurtigruten. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose the cruise for the itinerary. The embarkation port is close to us so was brilliant at the beginning and end of our holiday. Embarkation was one of the best we have experienced, very smooth and we did not have to wait for our ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary. The embarkation port is close to us so was brilliant at the beginning and end of our holiday. Embarkation was one of the best we have experienced, very smooth and we did not have to wait for our luggage. We chose priority disembarkation, where you take your own luggage off, which again was very easy and suited us. The ship is good but it was overcrowded. The cabin is very good, but a big step into the bathroom and the window was dirty, spoiling an excellent view. The highlight of the dining experience was dinner which was excellent. Breakfast, lunch and tea were average, with big queues for tea. The onboard ship's entertainment was outstanding, although visiting acts were poor. There was also a great choice of onboard activities and excellent guest lecturers. Service was excellent and usually with a smile. We found the ports of call very interesting and was one of the main reasons we chose this cruise. The visit to Narsarsuaq was cancelled, but we went to Minaatsoq instead. We also missed out on Prince Christian Sound due to it being blocked by icebergs. Shore excursions in Iceland, Faroe Islands and Orkney were good and value for money, but very poor value for money in Greenland. Our best visits in Greenland were when we explored on our own. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The staff were all polite, friendly and helpful. The ship is well maintained and clean. The outside area have comfortable loungers and the Jacuzzis are great. The cabins are a good size and comfortable, with plenty of storage. Excellent on ... Read More
The staff were all polite, friendly and helpful. The ship is well maintained and clean. The outside area have comfortable loungers and the Jacuzzis are great. The cabins are a good size and comfortable, with plenty of storage. Excellent on board entertainment, with good shows and smaller singing groups etc. The food in the restaurant is generally good to very good. The breakfast delivered to the cabin was not as good as the previous year as there was very little choice. We didn't eat in the buffet very often as it is very busy and difficult for my husband who has poor mobility. There are a wide range of excursions which include ones with reduced walking. Lovely public areas, attractive bars and seating. Staff all did their best when the ship had to end early. The compensation was generous. We are looking forward to another Norwegian cruise on Columbus next year. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because it is easy to embark at Tilbury but sad to say we were very disappointed .Very poor communication skills with crew at all levels as they seemed to only speak or understand very little English as in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it is easy to embark at Tilbury but sad to say we were very disappointed .Very poor communication skills with crew at all levels as they seemed to only speak or understand very little English as in the restaurant and bars only a few understood the food & drinks orders .As it was a long wait in the restaurant and when the meals arrived they were undercooked or only warm as we treated ourselves to steak in the grill it was very tough and worth the money as my partner sent her back the kitchen to the disgust of the chef & waiter . In the bars the glasses were often warm (one of my pet hates ) one evening in the dome we sent the drinks and my glass back where the barman became very irate and slammed the beer glass on the bar . The excursions were offer priced and badly organised as on the last one it should have been a steam train only to be replaced with an old diesel of which no explanation was offered .In Helsinki & Stockholm we were only allowed about 3/4 hours a shore a joke! .The entertainment was very poor lasting only 45 minuetes also the guest speakers on board were very amateurish as they seemed not to no what they were operating .The best thing was disembarkation at Tilbury please note there are much better cruise companies . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary: had more ports of calls than other similar cruises. Loved St Petersburgh especially: chose Alla Tours ‘Must see’ two day tour which was fantastic! Saw all the major sites in a small ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary: had more ports of calls than other similar cruises. Loved St Petersburgh especially: chose Alla Tours ‘Must see’ two day tour which was fantastic! Saw all the major sites in a small group and ahead of the crowds. Exceptionally quick and efficient embarkation and disembarkation. Staff gave us a friendly welcome. Inner cabin larger than we expected, light, airy, quiet and clean. We’re vegetarians and never had such a varied choice of food: didn’t have the same meal twice for dinner. Waiters attentive. Great drinks packages. Prices around the same as at home rather than inflated. Friendly, efficient staff. Always smiling. I had the hot tub to myself most days! Wish swimming pool was heated though! Could always find somewhere quiet to sit inside and out with good deck space. I particularly appreciated the fact that there wasn’t music playing everywhere. Not really bothered about evening entertainment personally, but others seemed satisfied with it. Showed films on sea days in Palladium. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Pick up from Victoria Coach Station was great, just a little waiting before setting off. Embarkation straight forward quick and easy. Cabin on reception deck level so very easy to find. 2 cases arrived very quickly the 3rd was missing ... Read More
Pick up from Victoria Coach Station was great, just a little waiting before setting off. Embarkation straight forward quick and easy. Cabin on reception deck level so very easy to find. 2 cases arrived very quickly the 3rd was missing for about 2 hours, the cabin steward found it in the end. Not the best cabin that we have had, needs the bathroom updating. 2 comfortable chairs was a bit of a bonus but they were under the TV. There were a few problems with the cabin as detailed in the cabin review section. Evening dinning, good table shared by us and 4 other very nice people right at the back of the ship, so when sailing out of port we had a super view through the windows. Stewards were very good and the service (although very slow on the first night) improved though the cruise. We only saw a little of the entertainment which in the main was good, the young people in the shows worked very hard. The stewards in the public areas were also very hard working and pleasant. We were lucky enough to have a brilliant team with our group and our excursions were pre-planned before we left the UK so we only used the ship's excursions on a couple of days. The best of these was a trip to Sark. A very long day which saw us return to the ship too late for our regular dinner sitting, and as this was a formal night we decided to see if they could find us a table at the second sitting. Previously we had been told that we would have to dine in the Buffet if we were late returning from an excursion, but 4 of us just walked Into the main dinning area and were found a table. Great night glad we did not miss it as it was probably the best dinning night of the whole cruise. For the most the ports along the way were most interesting. The ones where the ship could dock alongside were very good to disembark from, the problems were where a tender was used. What a shambles, and not all the fault of the weather. It was obvious that there were serious tensions between the ship and in one place the outside tender operators, a situation that became very unpleasant at one point. In other ports where the ships own tenders were used, getting on and off was quite a challenge, at one point a member of the crew went overboard in quite a rough swell. I know that this ship had in the previous 4 months sailed around the world so the ship's company had experienced a long time away from home, but the senior members of the crew were probably the most miserable bunch of individuals that I have come across in a very long time. I don't think that I heard the Captain come over the Tannoy once during the whole cruise and at one of the evening events he exuded no enthusiasm at all looking as if he wished he was somewhere else entirely. Some of the staff were most belligerent, when you asked for information they were most dismissive and you were made to feel that you were interrupting them and that they could not be bothered with someone like you. As I have previously said we were very fortunate to be part of a bigger group, and as such we were able to share our views with others in the group. We were able to enjoy the company of like minded travellers. Had we have been on our own I think that cruise would have been quite an unpleasant experience. In conclusion my view is that we put this cruise down as one that will not be repeated with this particular ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband and I traveled to London from America to celebrate my 60th birthday . It was our first time to be in Europe and it's beautiful. I would rate the places we went as Very Good. Embarkation and disembarkation is OK. I was ... Read More
My husband and I traveled to London from America to celebrate my 60th birthday . It was our first time to be in Europe and it's beautiful. I would rate the places we went as Very Good. Embarkation and disembarkation is OK. I was so disappointed with the ship . Our cabin is in the 4th floor and once you get in the hallway it smell like SEWER. I heard people complained about the smell. But nothing was done about it. The Entertainment show is so horrible that some people walked out of the show. It was amateur singer and dancer. The singer are out of tune and you can't even tell if they were singing or screaming. The outfit of the dancer are so tacky and the performance is so horrible. The magician who did the show his magic trick could be done by a 10 year old. So amateur and so CHEAP. It's laughable. We been cruising quite a bit and entertainment is big for us. We always look forward for good show and was never been disappointed . But this ship the show they gave us is very insulting. CMV need to hire Professional people to entertain their customer. AT breakfast or lunch people talked about how bad the prior night performance was. There's nothing to do so you end up watching half the horrible show and walked out . If you like their activities like Board game, Darts tournament, carpet bowl, table tennis ,Knit & Natter , Bridge and song from the 40"s then this is your ship. We were bored beyond bored. Try to watch Tv on your cabin they only give you 1 movie all day. The food is Ok I won't complain about it. They need to improved their customer service. Excursion is Ok and I like the countries we went. When we came back to America I was asked by co worker , friends & family about the cruise line. I told them NEVER take a cruise with CMV Voyages Magellan. It's not a cruise ship that you recommend to friends and family. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My wife and I have just returned from the Hidden Baltic treasures cruise. Not our first cruise with CMV and various other companies. Embarkation was good. Our cabin 7073 was very nice and kept well cleaned by our cabin steward Alleyna who ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned from the Hidden Baltic treasures cruise. Not our first cruise with CMV and various other companies. Embarkation was good. Our cabin 7073 was very nice and kept well cleaned by our cabin steward Alleyna who was very helpful and pleasant. We travelled on the Magellan last year to the Northern Lights and I must say that the ship has gone down hill since then. The food in the Raffles Grill at breakfast was good but people stay at the tables after their breakfast and it is hard at times to find a table. We were seated in the Kensington Restaurant (2nd sitting). The food served was not as good as last year and several times had to be returned as it was cold. This applies to us and others on our table. The two waiters that we had on our table were very good. We were on a table of eight and had a great time with the other guests. We went to the Indian fusion twice and will say it was excellent and very good value. Now the bad points. Why do CMV seem to think that everyone over 65 likes classical music. In the bar at the Kensington restaurant before dinner there was a violinist and a pianist playing classical music. In one of the bars early evening there was a guitarist playing Spanish music in my opinion very badly. Guest lecturers talking about art, Quizzes, game shows ,nit and natter, carpet bowls and painting made up the daytime so called entertainment then there were the shows . I have never seen such a load of out of tune and out of sync dancers and singers on any ship that we have been on,the shows were terrible. This is not only my opinion. We met others who said the entertainment was DIRE, who walked out shortly after it started. There were at least another half a dozen couples who said the same thing This ship needs to liven up its act and realise that just because a lot of people are elderly they cant enjoy a bit of lively music to dance to earlier than 11pm. I am 74 and find it boring. Shore excursions very expensive. Would we travel on CMV again, possibly. but not the Magellan. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Good value for money, not too big a ship. It sailed well and felt comfortable despite a swell on the sea our first full day at sea, I never felt it like others did. Lunch was available before we sailed on the 13th and it was a lovely ... Read More
Good value for money, not too big a ship. It sailed well and felt comfortable despite a swell on the sea our first full day at sea, I never felt it like others did. Lunch was available before we sailed on the 13th and it was a lovely buffett, good selection and included a special diet buffett for vegetarians, vegans and diabetics, the diabetic desserts were very good in taste and presentation. No after taste. The bars were very comfortable, I made the Taverners my spot as great window seating to spend drinking after dinner and enjoying the sea or fjords scenery. The evening meals in the Waldorf were delicious, five courses... wow. Lots of selections and all very well presented and delicious... I never heard one complaint. The breakfast buffett was full English, a buffet of croissants, pastries. An omellette station, there was porridge, a cereal station... then lunch buffet from 1130 to die for. Or you could go to your designated restaurant and sit down for breakfast or lunch. I liked the buffet, everyone chatty in the buffet area's when eating. Very friendly cruise. Always someone happy to have a conversation. The staff were kept on their feet and I felt for them working so hard to keep our tables cleared, and cups supplied. I will say on day one the 13th it seemed everyone of the 1200 passengers wanted a cup of tea and got bitchy when cups ran out and they had to wait five to ten minutes for fresh ones. I did point out that a dish washing machine has a cycle and that's about ten minutes long. Some rude passengers who bitched about anything and everything, I guess they enjoy being miserable or unreasonable because the crew did a great job. Good service everywhere, good cabin staff, discreet. Bar staff kept very busy, hardly time to look up and smile much as they were busy making cocktails by the dozen, lol. Great drinks package, I mean you could drink yourself into oblivion as most cocktails included, also spirits included. My friend had double whiskies every night - bells? I loved the small gym. I liked the decks to sit out on. The ship was very comfortable. Evening entertainment is what you make it, sit there or dance. The shows were fun, not west end but good enough with fantastic male and female vocals.. lovely voices. I can't wait to go again. There are short cruises coming up of two or three nights I hope to catch.. the Captains cocktail hour was fun. The Captain was seen every morning on deck available to the public as he always did a walk through. Very nice. Thanks Magellan. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 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
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
First a little context: We started cruising nearly 30 years ago, doing CTC, Costa, MSC, Princess cruises, Ocean cruise Lines, HAL, then after a 25 year break returned to it 4 years ago and since then we have done Oceania, Azamara x3, ... Read More
First a little context: We started cruising nearly 30 years ago, doing CTC, Costa, MSC, Princess cruises, Ocean cruise Lines, HAL, then after a 25 year break returned to it 4 years ago and since then we have done Oceania, Azamara x3, AmaWaterways, Celebrity, Marella Dream, FO x2. This was our first time to the Fjords and, wow, what absolutely stunning scenery. The weather was absolutely perfect, not a drop of rain and barely a cloud in the sky. Embarkation/Disembarkation Very efficient. The cases were being taken out of the car before the engine was even switched off. We were called forward at our allocated boarding time of 12, spent about 15 minutes queuing, all the formalities were done really quickly and onboard we went and to our cabin, which was ready. No glass of fizz though. Nina, our cabin stewardess whizzed us through all we needed to know, by which time our cases had arrived and we were good to go for lunch which was being served around the ship. On disembarkation we had to leave the cabin at 7, assemble in our allocated lounge at 8.30 and we were called off at around that time. There was a queue of around 15/20 minutes for the shuttles back to the car park. Tilbury is a really quaint little cruise terminal and it was delightful to sail from there. Cabin We had a forward outside ‘superior’ cabin on Deck 6. Nice picture window, although pretty filthy (as were all of the windows although we did see crew trying to clean them with lowered hoses)! Cabin was small and plain, but adequate. TBH most cabins seemed much of a muchness in terms of size. Kettle and supplies were provided but no fridge. No complaints about the bathroom and the shower was fine. Oh yes, the toilet did stop flushing from time to time, which was a bit awkward first thing in the morning, but was fixed quite quickly. I wondered if it was because, unusually, the toilet paper was pretty thick and luxurious?! Quickly moving on, we had no particular issues with noise or vibrations, the aircon was rather noisy though and could only be turned up or down, I suppose you get used to it, but I did find it a little warm at night. The bed was comfortable and the extra half-pillow used on the bed instead of a cushion got a gold star from me. Extra pillows and duvets were stored in the wardrobes and all looked clean and fresh. My one gripe was that the bottom sheet was stretchy cotton, which had that ‘bobbly’ kind of feel, OH didn’t even notice though. The flatscreen TV showed various channels including BBC and Sky News plus 2 films a day. Ship Yes, it’s an old ship. The decoration and furnishing is quite basic but it’s clean. It’s not quaint and charming, but it is small, you can sit inside and see from one side to the other, you know that you are at sea. There are lots of little outside areas to explore. However, a number of these are smoking areas, including the outdoor heated area by the pool! 2 of the whirlpools were open during our trip, and towards the end the pools were filled with freezing water which looked really murky. Not very inviting! Food Before we sailed, I was having grave misgivings about this area. But I suppose that the half a stone I put on in a week is an indicator that my fears were groundless. There are 2 main restaurants, Kensington and Waldorf, which operate 2 sittings for dinner. Both serve up 5/6 course evening meals. Portions are not huge but I felt that the quality was pretty good. Plenty of fresh vegetables and meat that looked like it had come from an actual animal. There were also themed nights – Greek for example where the waiters dressed up and did a bit of Greek dancing, and Italian. All in all a bit of fun! We had requested a table of 6 late sitting, and were put on a table of 8 with just one other couple. It wasn’t a problem though, the other couple were lovely and eventually we arranged ourselves so that we could all look out of the window at the stunning scenery passing by. For breakfast you could opt for cabin service, free if you just wanted drinks and croissants/toast or £10 to include cooked breakfast, self-service in the bistro, hybrid waiter / self service in Waldorf or full service in Kensington. Now, I don’t really do buffets for hygiene reasons but the full service restaurant was really slow so we mostly ate in Waldorf where there was an excellent egg/omelette station in addition to the other breakfast goodies or the served dish of the day such as egg benedict, smoked salmon and eggs or corned beef hash. The breakfast spread was pretty good to be fair although the fruit juice and coffee were undrinkable. A similar system was in operation at lunchtime, with full service lunch in the Kensington. When the weather permitted there was also an outdoor grill, serving hotdogs, burgers and chips on the pool deck and, my particular favourite, a pizza station in the buffet, open from 11 til 5, perfect for a late lunch on a port day. The pizza was absolutely delicious and I think primarily responsible for my alarming weight gain. Afternoon tea is served in the buffet at 3.30. This was a complete bunfight, with people dipping their spoons into huge bowls of cream and jam after having started to eat their tea en route from one buffet station to another, licking their fingers as they went. There is no late-night buffet, but canapés do circulate in the lounges, including tasty little samosas and spring rolls, infinitely preferable! A word or two on the ‘speciality dining’. We did the ‘Chef’s table’ which was a ‘reception’ with the restaurant manager and the chef, photographs, a quick galley tour with the chef followed by a 10 course menu with wines and dedicated waiter. The cost of this is £60pp, discounted if you have already taken one of the drinks packages. There were 8 of us in a private area and it was such a excellent evening I would thoroughly recommend it. This is not ‘pushed’ very much around the ship, so if you want to do it, you have to put your name down with the Restaurant manager and, if they get enough interest they will send you an invitation. We also went to the curry Fusion restaurant – which was an area of the buffet separated off. This costs £15, discounted once again if you have the drinks package. I was a bit reluctant to do this because to be frank, the congealed dishes of curry they were displaying at the entrance to the buffet on the day we boarded hardly looked appetising. You get a plate of mixed appetisers, a rolled up popadum, rice and breads plus one main course and some very sweet desserts. Delicious! Entertainment There was the usual range of daytime activities, quizzes, craft classes, lectures. In the evening, there were 2 shows at 7.15 and 9.15 which meant that second sitting guests had to go to the show before dinner. Not my preferred arrangement, but the reason for this was that the singers often had to perform again in the lounge at around 10.30. The show team, 4 singers, 6/7 dancers worked hard with very limited costumes and virtually no sets. There was a small live orchestra though. I thought the shows were ok, not exactly West End standard, but then I often don’t think much of them!. The guest artist was a comedian who did shows on 2 nights, I gave the second show a miss. Most of the action after the show took place in the Capatain’s Club lounge. Usually there was some kind of ‘gameshow’, hosted by the CD then cabaret by one or more of the singers followed by a DJ who managed to put a dampener on any dancing and send everyone to bed! There was limited entertainment in the other bars in the form of sets by a pianist and a pianist/violinist duo. The CD didn’t seem to do an awful lot, other than host the gameshow and say a few words at the end of the production shows, and was not very visible, but perhaps he did a lot behind the scenes. Service This area was admittedly a little variable. On the one hand, our waiters in Waldorf for dinner were excellent, as good as any anywhere. OH was on a special diet and well looked after with the next day menus and so on. On the other hand, it was often difficult to get served in the bars. All good things come to those who wait, but sometimes you had to wait a very long time. Our cabin stewardess was efficient and made us a mouse towel animal on embarkation. The only towel animal we have ever had! I think they said that there were 42 nationalities of crew, some of the service staff didn’t speak perfect English, maybe that was something to do with it plus the fact that the ship was full. Fellow passengers There was a very high proportion of first time cruisers onboard and a lot of passengers came from the Kent/Essex area. Everyone was very friendly and there was very little moaning going on! Top notch! This was an adult only sailing with passengers from their twenties to their eighties, with the average age probably mid fifties. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The day before we sailed we learnt that the ship was being taken to Dover for essential maintenance work, therefore we parked the car at Tilbury and then travelled to Dover by coach. On arrival in Amsterdam we were told that the work ... Read More
The day before we sailed we learnt that the ship was being taken to Dover for essential maintenance work, therefore we parked the car at Tilbury and then travelled to Dover by coach. On arrival in Amsterdam we were told that the work hadn’t been completed in Dover and would have to be done in Tenerife so we would be missing out our stop in Gibraltar. This meant 5 and a half days at sea. During that time activities such as crafting, knit and natter or lectures, were not at all to our taste so the time went very slowly. Service in the main restaurant was abysmal, including Christmas dinner, which took nearly 2 hours. The staff in the main dining room were so busy with it being 2 sittings for dinner that regularly there was a long wait between courses. I had a glass of wine with dinner which was served as half a glass and then it was a job to catch the waiters eye for another half later. (We were all inclusive). Usually on cruises I sit with my hand over the glass to prevent the wine waiter doing a refill, not on this cruise. One evening we went to the Grill (extra charge) and had rib eye steak, which was very near inedible with sinews. I ordered medium rare and my wife ordered medium. When my wife cut into hers it was clear that we had been given the wrong ones, so they just swapped our plates over, complete with peppercorn sauce over mine, which my wife cannot eat. For this error we were offered a glass of sparkling wine each. For the last 3 evenings we ate in the Bistro, where the choice was very limited. We found it amazing how many different ways they could make bread and butter pudding to use up the stale bread... Service during the day for a drink (around the Atrium) took ages and I went and ordered it in Hemingway’s where I was told there would be quite a wait as we were sitting overlooking the Atrium on Deck 6. There was very limited entertainment in the evening apart from the main shows in the Palladium and with first sitting dinner being 5.45pm and the first show (which we would have preferred) starting at 7.15pm there was no chance of getting to that one and an empty gap to fill before the next show, so we often gave up. Most disturbing thing was being anchored in the bay at Funchal and tendering to the shore, when other ships much nearer to the shore did not put down tenders due to the rough conditions. It was decided to cancel tendering at 1pm but by then 600 people were still to be returned to the ship. Conditions got worse, with tenders bashing into the ships platform and the last passengers on board at 10pm or later while the ship was held on a line at each end by tugs. Should never have happened. Our cabin was so hot, like a sauna all the time and the public rooms of the ship were cold. So by the middle of the second week quite a few people, including us, had coughs and colds. The only positive note our cabin was a good size and the wonderful friendly service from our cabin steward. Disembarkation a shambles, probably everyone just wanted to get off! Our Christmas is on Sunday, as we missed the real one. Read Less
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