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154 Cruise & Maritime Voyages Norwegian Fjords Cruise Reviews

Because there was a 2 4 1 that was not mentioned and cricketing legends. BOOKING I used a travel agent no sure i will again, would not post tickets unless i paid £10 and nothing from them after cruise or about any delay! ... Read More
Because there was a 2 4 1 that was not mentioned and cricketing legends. BOOKING I used a travel agent no sure i will again, would not post tickets unless i paid £10 and nothing from them after cruise or about any delay! Embarkation. I had no info about ant delay and just ;looked at where ship was and facebook and see there's a delay! I left later as it was a sunday no ferry running so had to walk from tilbury town. Arrived in time to see her arrive. Then a free coffee and found a seat she arrived 6pm got on around 7.30pm no gangway photos. Found my own way to my upgraded cabin. Dinner. HAD BUFFET DINNER LIFEBOAT DRILL After dinner had our lifeboat drill around 2230hrs,it said theatre so i did not bother with a jacket. Imagine my shock it was outside on the deck(i was very cold!) glad it did not take too long. Departure. WE left at 0030Hrs Restaurants. Buffet was too small and always crowded so had breakfast in restaurant quite good but no swiss muesli so had to have corn flakes,pretty good food. Dinner was pretty good with 6-7 on our table, pretty good food.got a bottle of wine free which i took to the restaurant and it lasted the whole cruise. Excursions. Only booked 2 excursions at kristiansand and oslo. WAR RELICS and the CANNON at K SANDand SHIP MUSEUMS IN OSLO both very good Cocktail party. Pretty good with snacks and drink. Captain was a bit hard to understand sometimes aas he was greek but pretty good. Disembarkation. Did walk off and then waited ages for the gravesend ferry to come. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I have been on 10 previous cruises with Princess, Royal, P&O, and found this a grade above. P&O are equitable to Princess, and RCCL are just too big, with too many options. You have a 10 minute walk to get anywhere. This is the ... Read More
I have been on 10 previous cruises with Princess, Royal, P&O, and found this a grade above. P&O are equitable to Princess, and RCCL are just too big, with too many options. You have a 10 minute walk to get anywhere. This is the advantage of a smaller but well resourced ship. Columbus at 1440 passengers is the largest in the CMV fleet, but still medium sized. It is not missing anything. Still bars, restaurants, pools, decks, entertainment etc... but all within a small distance. It still has 9 lifts on a smaller boat, so you never wait long for one to arrive. The restaurant is well laid out with private booths, like a modern family restaurant. Staff remember your name and after 2 nights, know your needs and preferences. They work hard at this. Without being too in your face, all staff are friendly, positive and extra mile people. Well recruited, and well trained. The Fjords were beautiful, visiting Eidfjord, Flam, and Bergen. The funicular railways, whilst not cheap, are excellent value for money and show you views you could not see otherwise, from powerful waterfalls to snow capped mountains, mountain villages, and deep valleys. Beautiful. Ship food was good, rooms (inner, with 4 guests) are fine, and on this occasion, entertainment was the best we have experienced in any ship (this was our 11th cruise) DJ King was utterly believable as Elvis, Roy G Hemmings was a great singer (if somewhat Narcissistic), and one of the earliest of the Drifters, with great girl backing singers one night, and male backing singers the second time, with the girls joining at the end - a truly memorable evening. And the 3 degrees? Magnificent, iconic,unforgettable. These ladies are genuine soul legends. The ‘soul legends theme’ cruise was an inspired idea, and we (myself, wife, sister, daughter) would definitely do it again. ABSOLUTELY UNFORGETTABLE!,, Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Never been on a cruise before never will again.If you are booked with these try to get a refund truly awful.The ship the Astoria they actually boast she is the oldest cruise ship still in service and it shows tired,tatty and dated. We ... Read More
Never been on a cruise before never will again.If you are booked with these try to get a refund truly awful.The ship the Astoria they actually boast she is the oldest cruise ship still in service and it shows tired,tatty and dated. We hit bad weather every time we entered the sea the ship is old, unstable, and creaks,groans and rocks like a cork in a jaccuzzi! The rooms are dated tired and dont go if in room 489 the noise from engines is horrendous we averaged 4 hours sleep a night even with ear plugs one night l slept upstairs in the bar. Went to Norwegian fjords the ice hotel in Bergen is total rip off grotty hotel in backstreet with a insulated container with a few ice sculptures dont waste your money.So bad 2 people tried to get flights home but too expensive.The food was miniscule portions bland and tasteless.Best lunch was on an excursion.The bar staff constantly trying to sell you the ships drinks package.The highlight was trying to find an unchipped cup for a cup of tea.Avoid this company and especially this ship at all costs. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
Sail Date August 2019
First of all, I would like to redress the balance of some of the negative reviews I have read. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this cruise. The food was superb, with plenty of choice for everyone. We did not eat in the ... Read More
First of all, I would like to redress the balance of some of the negative reviews I have read. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this cruise. The food was superb, with plenty of choice for everyone. We did not eat in the restaurant, just the buffet. We paid for the premium drinks package which is advisable. The cabin crew and the rest of the staff were very friendly and helpful. The stop-offs and excursions were well organised. The entertainment team was not top-drawer but watchable and worked extremely hard. Our cabin was spacious and comfortable. To criticize the clientele, in my opinion, is extremely unfair, we met some extremely interesting people, from all walks of life, and you have to ask what sort of people would be attracted to a cruise of this type. I suggest the negative reviewers should try Cunard next time and start saving now. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The Norwegian Fjords were stunning and the weather was spectacular, the cruise experience not so much. Disappointing... The ship while kept clean is in need of a refurb. The service in the bars and for coffee is excruciating slow. We ... Read More
The Norwegian Fjords were stunning and the weather was spectacular, the cruise experience not so much. Disappointing... The ship while kept clean is in need of a refurb. The service in the bars and for coffee is excruciating slow. We waited for over and hour in the captains lounge just to get a coffee, and had to chase it 3 times before we got 2 cups...getting drinks was equally as slow all the time. Very frustrating and you had to wait for waiter service, no other option. The crew were not easy to engage with, and some were downright rude. Very happy to talk and laugh between themselves, but as the customers were felt like an inconvenience. Breakfast was a farce most mornings, and we tried different times, food had run out leading to long queues, no toast, not even mugs to get tea and coffee, just a joke, and set the day off on the wrong note every morning. Scots bar was closed one evening for a staff party! But the ship was heading to Newcastle when we came home then to tilbury with perhaps very few passengers, could the staff party have been then? Not a pleasant trip, and many of our travellers we ate with in the evening had complained on board about the service. Good food and service ok at the evening dinner. I would be very reluctant to recommend the Marco Polo or cruise Maritime after our experience, and it’s unlikely we would want to travel with them again, which is disappointing as they will be sailing from Aberdeen in 2020. The company need to review their management of the catering areas for b/fast and lunch, train the crew to be customer focused, and look to refresh the ship if they hope to get return Business. Not what we were looking forward to on the cruise. To let you understand how disappointed we were in 40 years of travel and holidays, this is the 1st time we have complained. Think twice before you book.... Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our first cruise and we loved it, chilled out and took it for what it was..w new it was an older ship and not massive so you can feel the motion if your sensitive to it but my husband and our other dinner guey had great sea legs ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we loved it, chilled out and took it for what it was..w new it was an older ship and not massive so you can feel the motion if your sensitive to it but my husband and our other dinner guey had great sea legs and felt norhing mot of the time. We got the VIP drinks package and it is definately worth it for all cocktails on menu and nice coffee. The shows were mediocre some good and some not so good but staff work very hard and were always on the go .Fair play to them all, bar staff included. Food was good and plentiful in restaurant and if busy people were very oblinging letting is double up on tables and we meet aome lovely people. All guest were very friendly and engaging throughout . We had fabulous Indian on the Saturday night well worth the extra which was half price on VIP package. We only booked one trip with cruise, cheaper to do it yourself on trip advisor. In Flam booked Segways great fun and super way to see village. Bergen lovely but book seperate from cruise. Our tour guide as lovely though. Nice art gallery in eidfjord. Stravanger nice to walk around. So glad we went. People need to be less critical and not so impatient. Some guests rudeness as nothing short of embarrassing, you can't expect staff to give 100 per cent if guests are rude. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had a good overall experience on our “Grand Fjordland Splendour” cruise on the Magellan. Overall, we believe that the cruise provided good value for money. Nevertheless, some upsetting incidents arose that could have been avoided, ... Read More
We had a good overall experience on our “Grand Fjordland Splendour” cruise on the Magellan. Overall, we believe that the cruise provided good value for money. Nevertheless, some upsetting incidents arose that could have been avoided, or much better handled, if managers had taken more care of their customers. The ports of call were good, and the excursions, though expensive, were worthwhile. We found the food and cabins perfectly adequate. The gym is good, but the library and the areas for quiet discussion and games are small. Much of the inside space is taken up by the casino, beauty salon, photograph shop and gift shop, which seem designed to make profit for the company, rather than to add much to customers’ pleasure. The singing and dancing shows in the theatre are spirited and appealing, but some singers in the bar areas are over-amplified. Cabin, restaurant and bar staff were unfailingly helpful and pleasant. By contrast, the staff on Reception can be off hand. One we encountered was actively rude. These staff need to be better managed. We had a few occasions in which we needed to speak to the Reception staff. Once we asked for a town map for a port we intended to explore on our own. There were two ladies at the desk. The unhelpful lady did not bother to look, and said that they didn’t have any. The helpful lady said, ‘I think we might have some.’ She got up, looked in a cupboard, and found a pile of town maps. Another unhelpful lady brushed aside a query about changing our dinner sitting. We asked to speak to the restaurant manger. The reception lady replied in an uninterested voice that we had to sort this out ourselves. One night the toilet flush didn’t work. Someone had pushed something down the pan and blocked the loo for several cabins. I called Reception. The lady was uninterested and said that it would be fixed in the morning. In the morning, it hadn’t been fixed. When we went to Reception to find out what had happened, one member of staff was particularly unpleasant. For example, when I asked why we hadn’t been moved to a different cabine as soon as I reported the problem, he said, ‘We have emergency cabins, but you didn’t ask for one.’ There’s a reason for that. I didn’t know they existed, and Reception didn’t tell me. After much persistence, we were allowed to speak to the customer services manager. He recognised that our enjoyment of our holiday had been reduced, and that we deserved compensation that he could not authorise himself. He undertook to write to CMV company management to set out our case, and assured us that CMV would wrtie to us after our return home. We have had no communication from CMV. Management can be slow to respond to situations that arise. Once, we returned from an excursion to find that the tide was low, and that the gangway resembled a limbo dancing pole. You couldn’t enter the ship, even by bending low. Passengers, many of whom had mobility difficulties, were having to sit on the gangway and slide down on their bottoms. Some complained that they had been injured by this. In my case, the only damage done was to my dignity. However, it was not pleasant to hear that a lady had been asked to leave her wheelchair to slide down the gangway. Only after angry passengers had voiced their complaints did management belatedly make tender boats available. This need should have been attemded to hours earlier. CMV needs to ensure that managers and staff responsibie for customer welfare treat passengers like valued guests, rather than like a bunch of nuisances. Read Less
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 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
Sail Date May 2019
we've just come back from majestic fjords with beautiful scenery and weather but alas was a disaster the ship was full the room was small uncomfortable and very noisy broken sleep with funnel next door no transfer of ... Read More
we've just come back from majestic fjords with beautiful scenery and weather but alas was a disaster the ship was full the room was small uncomfortable and very noisy broken sleep with funnel next door no transfer of room available several complaints unresolved reception issues couldn't get a buffet table was like being on a Costa ship Also the cost was very reasonably priced on the face of it.. but.. When you factors in cost of excursions and car parking then not so reasonable. So.. if the basics are not right.. then you can't really fully enjoy the good bits. Good Majestic fjord land Very relaxing with beautiful scenery Awesome in fact but that's the natural side of fjords for you with 3d passages that melt away and mountain overhangs you can almost touch as the ship sails through occasional narrow channels but you have to be up on deck at the right time to see them 1 particular spot was like the scene from Jason and the argonauts were Neptune pops up out of the water to save the ship from clashing cliff tops. Weather from other previous holiday comments weather could be very wet especially in Bergen but Unexpectedly the weather was gloriously sunny all week although occasionally very windy and cold Room Free use of safe Tea making but limited with small table and kettle Only 2 sockets in room Bed very uncomfortable and small for me Food Good value food with excellent English breakfast On gala and captains night the cuisine was excellent on other nights could be average though Cream teas and biscuits are to die for unfortunately everyone else felt the same.! when everyone comes back from days out at same time there are queues and shoving going on then finding a table is difficult too when ship is at capacity, which rather takes most of the pleasure out of it. The food is very good in general if not repetitive tho, sometimes bland and not very hot all of the time but one has to remember the cost of some of the cruises. The service is good in general as the staff trying hard to accommodate everyone but again because of this you can be waiting for 15 mins or more for a drink in certain bars. Cocktails of the day are usually very good and reasonably cheap at £3.50 per day. They did a wheat beer at same price which was a bonus as it's 1 of my favourites even tho its £1.25 in aldis I was just happy to see it as most cruises don't seem to accommodate wheat beer usually Bad Beds uncomfortable Small room and shower Tv poor Our room 5111 very noisy all day and all night Also had smelly gas smells from engines and main funnel Complained twice but not taken seriously. Like trying to sleep on a rollercoaster 1st time they sprayed carpet for smells 2nd time gave me ear plugs which were not adequate. Said they were full and couldn't change my room but found out later that they hold back some rooms in case of emergency. So our 50th and 60th birthday holiday was spoiled through lack of sleep and rest. 1st dining time too early and 2nd too late Only 1 buffet restaurant which was packed full several times with no spare tables and a scramble to get anything. The 2 main service restaurants too slow when busy and food some times not hot enough even when not busy. Excursions over priced and not good value when you can walk off and do some of the so called tours for nothing or a lot less when you just pop into tourist information and a small "what's available?" Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
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
Sail Date April 2019
Back in May 2017, my wife and I decided to take a chance and booked to sail on CMV Magellan to see the3 Northern Lights. We choose this cruise because we liked the itinerary, the chance to see the Northern Lights and that it is a smaller ... Read More
Back in May 2017, my wife and I decided to take a chance and booked to sail on CMV Magellan to see the3 Northern Lights. We choose this cruise because we liked the itinerary, the chance to see the Northern Lights and that it is a smaller (and older) ship. We have sailed on 8 other occasions from Australia using P & O and Princess Lines and from Southampton using P & O. Apart from our first cruise which was an older ship holding around 1200 passengers the other ships had around 2,000 - 2,700 and they were crowded and busy on every public deck and eatery. We choose to purchase the premium package and found this financially very beneficial as we were given an upgrade from a guaranteed outside cabin to a superior twin outside cabin (6199) as well as including the tips and a couple of free bottle of wine. (We opened 1 bottle but preferred to drink in the bars so we left the other bottle unopened in our cabin at the end of the cruise. Embarkation We also choose the return bus ride from Victoria Coach station to get us to and from the ship. This was a good and cheap option as the bus took us straight to the ship for embarkation and as we had received an email that the ship would be sailing an hour earlier than originally planned (This was the first day after the change of time for daylight savings) and from a different wharf, we didn't have to worry knowing the ship would have to wait for us if we were late. Of course we were not late but as we were one of the last to arrive embarkation for us was quick and easy. We were through and on the ship within 15 minutes. Once on board we were given our cruise card and pointed to our deck and room which we had to find for ourselves. The ship uses a separate card for entry to your room which was disappointing that the cruise card couldn't be used to open your cabin door. So for the entire cruise we had to have our cruise card for drinks and a room card to get into our cabin. This was an inconvenience that we soon got used to. Cabin Our cabin no. 6199 was spacious we thought with a large window on the Starboard side. It had one of the best showers we have had on a ship with good strong flow and plenty of hot water that stayed inside the shower recess and did not go onto the bathroom floor and the mirror did not fog up!!! There was good closet space, although we did have to ask for an additional 20 coat hangers that were promptly provided. We hung all our clothes up and had 2 large empty suitcases that didn't fit under the beds so we placed them against the wall and that was fine. Even though we were at the back of the ship on deck 6, throughout the cruise we DID NOT have any strange smells in our cabin and the ONLY engine noise we had was when the ship engines started up or slowed down to pick up the pilot and this would last only for about 20 minutes but was not too obtrusive. It didn't bother us. Ship Naturally we explored the ship and like every other ship we have been on the layouts are very similar with bars, showroom, general entertainment areas, public areas, dining areas, photography, shopping and pool and deck areas. The main restaurants, a small cocktail lounge, table tennis and shopping areas (Small and limited in stock compared to other ships but we found some items that we bought) were on deck 8. On Deck 9 were the bars (plenty and all good) and other drinking areas, small casino and a coffee lounge. Deck 10 had the bistro and main deck area which was rarely used during our cruise due to the time of year and some weather conditions on some sailing days. The ship was easy enough to get around and while some may say the colour scheme may be outdated it was all good and functional and did not detract from our experience of an older ship. Some people would be excited and call it "retro" it depends on your perspective. Entertainment. After reading ship reviews and watching some you tube videos on the showroom entertainment we were worried as it didn't look exciting. How wrong we were!! The 4 main singers CAN sing and sing very well. The only observance I would say is that not all of the songs they sang I thought best displayed their voices and the ad-libbing by the males between songs needed to be improved. There is also a 6 piece live band that accompanies the singers who were FANTASTIC! I will make special mention of the violinist who played many solos and accompanied a pianist in one of the cocktail bars as he was OUTSTANDING!! One of the singers had her own night singing opera. She was fantastic and received a standing ovation. This was the last night of the cruise and she is spectacular singer. The dancers were also great and in particular a couple of the male dancers did some outstanding Russian dancing moves. The costumes were very colourful and exciting. Sometimes the choreography was a bit basic but overall there were some of the best shows we have seen on a cruise ship. On four nights we had 2 comedians, one was funny enough for me while the other one was probably past his best, but did say 2 funny lines when he did an adlib. Overall we looked forward each night to the shows. Activities & Guest Speakers The only activities that interested us were the Guest Speakers, The Star man talking about the stars and the Northern Lights was very fascinating and passionate about his studies, The Whale man was a bit dry for me and the craft person, we weren’t interested in. The shipboard activities weren’t to our liking much except some of the quizzes, although I didn’t think it was good when you self-marked your own quiz. The late night entertainment was reasonable at times but again the ad lobbing by some of the singers when hosting wasn’t good at all. The disco for us was also a bit disappointing as the music wasn’t always to our liking. But for other passengers, the game shows were well attended to and they obviously liked them. The cruise entertainment director David was fantastic and full of energy and new when to take the Mickey out of passenger contestants. His personality and style helped make the cruise! Around the bars, the music and singers were good and relaxing. Passengers were dancing and enjoying listening as we did to the pianist and violinist in the Hampton’s Lounge before and after dinner. The captain was seen regularly walking around and talking to passengers. We had a chat to him when someone we were sitting with thought he was a drinks waiter and asked him for a drink. The Captain was the most approachable and friendly Captain we have had on any of our cruises. He had a personality, told some jokes and we congratulated him on his steering of the ship through the hurricane winds. He then explained what he did and why he did it and the ships ability to cope in simple terms. The Captain also told us that during his previous 16 trips to Alta in Norway he had never seen the Northern Lights until this cruise. He also said that many of his visits to Norway were during the warmer months. Dining We dined each evening in late session in the Kensington Restaurant placed on a table of 8. We had marvellous table guests and we all got on very well. This helps to make a cruise if you dine with people you get on with. We had a lot of laughs and good conversation. Each evening the 6 course meals were delicious and filling. The variety and quality for our meals were outstanding. For me it was hard to choose which main meal I wanted so I would ask our waiter each night for his recommendation and to surprise me. He did very well and I enjoyed all of my meals. Our drinks waiter was also very good having my glass of red waiting for me each evening. The waiters were very popular on our table. We had breakfast and most lunches at the Bistro. We found if it was very busy just wait 20 minutes and there would be plenty of tables. The food quality and variety was reasonable here without being outstanding. Sometimes they were short of coffee mugs or replacing meals but serving so many people this can happen and you just wait a few moments. I will say that I didn’t like the breakfast sausages. To me they didn’t taste too good but, most of the passengers were eating them. The Cruise, Ports and Excursions. To us the Magellan has character and charm and is not busy with too many passengers. It is easy to get around and even though we travelled through a Gale Force 11, 120kmph Hurricane winds with 7-9 metre waves for 20 hours on our first full sailing day, WE LOVED OUR CRUISE. We later spoke to the Captain on his remarkable handling of the ship during the hurricane winds. He told us that he knew the capabilities of the ship and that it could take plenty more before it became a concern. He said he had the ship listing at 60 degrees to tackle the winds as the ship could go to an 85 degree list safely. He also said that land during this time was still over 150 miles away so he would have to have gone further into the winds to go to a port and the n the remaining itinerary would have to have been changed to allow us to return to England on time. We have no problems on the decisions he made that day. The Ports we visited were wonderful with Bergan being our favourite. Alta came second because even though it snowed in the morning and we had heavy cloud all day and the tour guide said we only had a 47% chance of seeing the Northern Lights, we still saw them. The tour guide took us out at 8.00p.m to a secluded place about 55km inland and there we had a clear sky and for 2 hours we witnessed the magic and dancing lights. This was a highlight of the cruise. When we returned to the ship the Lights were still showing over the ship but not as bright as we saw them on the excursion with no town lights to distract. We also saw wild reindeer on the road as we travelled on the excursion. The coldest place we visited was the North Cape. At minus 3 and with horizontal bitting wind this was invigorating. All of the ports we visited had good and very good points of interest for us and we were glad we visited them. We saw many sights that we had never seen again and the snow-capped mountains, Fjords and wildlife was spectacular. When we booked our excursions we thought they were a bit pricey but checking local Norway websites for private tours we found the ship tours were very reasonable and value for money. Norway is an expensive place to visit with a small paper cup of instant coffee and a small coke costing 84 Krone (about 17 Australian dollars or about 8 GBP) Disembarkation For us travelling on the cruise line bus to Victoria Coach Station disembarkation was quick and easy. The ship docked at Tilbury around 8.15a.m. and we left the ship on schedule at 10.05a.m picked up our bags and got onto the bus and even though it was Remembrance Day (11/11) we had an easy drive into London, travelling over Tower Bridge, and were at Victoria by 11.30 a.m. We did see other groups waiting to disembark were running over an hour late but did not know why. Summary In summery we had a great time, we didn’t suffer any sea sickness and would easily travel on Magellan again. While I have read some other reviews of this same cruise I understand that everyone has their own expectations and experiences and any review is subjective. However, you do need to remember that this IS NOT a 5 star party ship, it is an older ship and that must be taken into consideration. You can either look at events as disappointing or you can look at them as an adventure. Looking back and at the time we thought the hurricane was an adventure to experience and say we did it. (I hope that we don’t have to do it again) My point is once you see things in a negative light it makes it difficult to enjoy the positives. The cruise, ports and excursions exceeded our expectations and as such we had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise mainly because of its destination, Norwegian Fjords. Embarkation was absolutely brilliant, so well organised, as was disembarkation. The onboard Staff were brilliant, helpful and friendly. The ship itself was ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly because of its destination, Norwegian Fjords. Embarkation was absolutely brilliant, so well organised, as was disembarkation. The onboard Staff were brilliant, helpful and friendly. The ship itself was a little dated and was in need of some TLC. Although I read in the brochure that it had been refurbished last year, well I think they some parts!!! The entertainment was awful. The night club was really only for the German passengers and it was every night, surely they could have put something different every night or every two nights so everybody would benefit. The Broadway show was horrific I think we lasted 10 minutes. The comedian was good and performed twice. All the rest of the entertainment was very boring and I wouldn't rate it at all. When we reached Amsterdam we had booked with Cruise Excursions online as I wasn't aware that you could book on the ship. When we disembarked I asked the Cruise and Maritime official where to go to get on the hop on and off the bus. His reply was "you didn't book it with us, so I can't help you!! Really? Otherwise we had a pleasant trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I chose this cruise because I always wanted to visit Norway.Also I was travelling alone and had never been on a cruise before. I had an qbsolutely marvellous time. I came home fitter and healthier (and I never used the gym. Didnt have ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I always wanted to visit Norway.Also I was travelling alone and had never been on a cruise before. I had an qbsolutely marvellous time. I came home fitter and healthier (and I never used the gym. Didnt have time.) But I did see the equipment and was suitably impressed. I was rested and had learned new skills. I had FUN. The food was great,and I was on a very restricted diet. But the catering manager really looked after me.The staff and crew were lovely. Again I felt looked after yet respected. The sanitation rules were quite strict but I felt physically safe to use the handrails and public facilities due to seeing them almost consistently cleaned. Ive even adopted the sanitation procedures at home and my hands and nails have never looked better. As for the enrichment activities.I am now the proud owner of a lovely hand made flower and beautiful pop up card. I could never do anything like this before. The craft centre activies were great.Lovely people teaching and a great social event too. Now to the entertainment.I read in another review that there was only one guest performer.True. But he performed twice on my cruise and both shows were completely different.After seeing him the first time I couldn't wait to see him again. The dancers and singers were fantastic.Im a music teacher (violin and piano)and ex dancer so I really do know what Im talking about.Well trained talented people who were a joy to watch and listen to.Another special mention should go to the band.Excellent musicians. As for the two young female pianist and violinist.Absolutely beautiful.So hardworking and so very talented. The magician Ian who was cruise director was another hardworking and talented man. I hate magicians generally but I thought Ian was very good and was also a lovely approachable person with lots of personality and always made time for anyone. The last time I felt like this about a holiday was in Orlando at the Dusney parks. I felt looked after and valued. i will definitely chose to go with C&M again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We joined the Astoria in Portsmouth, Hampshire. We have just returned from a Norwegian Fjord Cruise. Unfortunately the weather was dire and we were unable to go to Eidfjord and Geirangerfjord. No fault of the company or Captain, we had two ... Read More
We joined the Astoria in Portsmouth, Hampshire. We have just returned from a Norwegian Fjord Cruise. Unfortunately the weather was dire and we were unable to go to Eidfjord and Geirangerfjord. No fault of the company or Captain, we had two hurricanes! We put into Stavanger instead of Eidfjord and it's a beautiful little town, well worth a visit and delighted that we went there. We also went to Amsterdam (fabulous) and loved the organised river cruise with superb guide. We then went to Bergen (more rain) and Rotterdam (it stopped raining there for a little while!). Both interesting cities. The architecture in Rotterdam is fantastic while Bergen is a very beautiful old city with lots of character. The Astoria was built in the 1940s and I would describe it as very slightly faded grandeur but it is still certainly grand. There's a cinema and concert 'hall' with a lovely atmosphere. The entertainment was a really good standard and most enjoyable. Meals: I was taken aback by the small portions at lunch and dinner in the restaurant on board but in fact there were many, many courses, all very tasty and enjoyable. Great variety of food including veggie options and gluten free. You can also eat at the Grill on board. It's not as cosy as the restaurant where you sit at a table with other guests. We met the most lovely couple (and many others too through tours, bridge, concerts etc., ) and that made our trip especially fun. Cabins good. We had an outside cabin and last night as we came into the UK we left the curtains open to enjoy the moonlight on the calm sea. We were just above the water line on Mediterannean Deck and no one can see in! We had a bath/shower room. Everything was spotless. Crew - very friendly and helpful. Yes, it was a shame that we didn't get to the fjords but it would have been foolhardy to risk over 750 lives onboard (500 guests and over 250 crew). I have previously cruised on another line with large vessels and a thousand or so guests. I did not enjoy them but I love the Astoria. She's a brave little ship and got us through terrible weather safely. We are already planning the next cruise with Cruise Maritime Voyages. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
ASTORIA, THE SHIP: Astoria is the world's oldest active oceangoing passenger ship and was originally built and launched as MS Stockholm in 1948. Her capacity is around 540 passengers making her quite an intimate vessel. THE ... Read More
ASTORIA, THE SHIP: Astoria is the world's oldest active oceangoing passenger ship and was originally built and launched as MS Stockholm in 1948. Her capacity is around 540 passengers making her quite an intimate vessel. THE FACILITIES: SIRENES BAR is the “meeting place” on the ship. It’s a small area above the reception desk, holding around 150 guests. The drinks are reasonably priced (see menu shots), and you can purchase additional packages, depending on your circumstances. We picked all-inclusive (CMV Premium) and I think we were better off. In this bar it’s sometimes difficult to attract waiters, and it can take 10 minutes or so to get your drink. I think the fact that the bartender makes and pours all drinks means that the waiters can be waiting to serve their guests. The bar is cosy, but could need a little attention to the chairs upholstery,. LOTUS POOL BAR is the outside bar serving the pool and rear deck. In September this wasn’t open at night. CYCLOPES AUDITORIUM is the cinema and presentation theatre. There are 2 films a day in here, and presentations on various topics. CALYPSO SHOW LOUNGE is the main theatre, holding around 500 guests. Again, drinks are waiter service. The shows, for such a small ship, are very entertaining, being performed by the ship’s hard working “repertory” cast. ENTERTAINMENT as above, is first class from the small team of 4 singers and 4 dancers. They put on some very entertaining shows, ranging from Les Miserables, to Rock and Roll and Wartime Favourites. Special mention to the cruise director, Jon Dulson, who makes sure all entertainment in all bars is top notch. A special mention is also due to the resident band. They are a group of really talented players, some of whom are classically trained and they provided outstanding live music (Unlike some bigger cruise ships where the entertainment is driven by LED displays and recorded soundtracks). THERE ARE MANY OTHER nooks and crannies, such as the library, card room, cigar lounge etc, and of course there is a small gym and spa centre. There’s also a small casino, chapel and medical centre. SHOPPING – you probably aren’t going on a ship like this for the shopping experience, but there are small shops, a jeweller and the obligatory photo shop (although now with a touch screen instead of row upon row of photos on shelves) THE STAFF were always friendly and very helpful. CRUISE SPECIFIC – ours was the Fjords cruise in mid September. Unfortunately we had storms Ali and Bronah to contend with and 2 fjord stops were cancelled due to adverse open sea conditions, prior to getting there, and we were give £50 per cabin compensation for this. The size of Astoria really does mean, in our opinion, that the 7 metre waves we battled against meant a couple of nights very unpleasant sailing, with sick bags in the corridors and advice to the ladies not to wear high heels in the swaying conditions. Also, the presentations on the ship’s trips were very specific in mentioning, for example, the 3 steps onto the Flam railway train, but didn’t mention the very steep gangway needed at some stops, to get onto the jetties. These steps were problematical for some of the elderly passengers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The cruise was competitively priced and we thought it would be nice to try a smaller ship having sailed on several of the larger ones. We were a little dubious after reading some of the reviews but really need not have been. Tilbury ... Read More
The cruise was competitively priced and we thought it would be nice to try a smaller ship having sailed on several of the larger ones. We were a little dubious after reading some of the reviews but really need not have been. Tilbury was great, easy to find and park, shuttle was quick and efficient. The embarkation process was very smooth, we were on the ship with a glass of bubbly before our embarkation time. The suitcases were outside out cabin by 2pm. The ship was clean, tidy and well presented. The service was fantastic, the staff were pleasant and friendly and always made conversation. We enjoyed Hemmingway's coffee bar, yummy cappuccino, would have been nice if the cakes etc in the cabinet were complimentary with the coffee but they were not expensive so if you really wanted one it wouldn't break the budget! The hot chocolate was divine (especially with a shot of creme de menthe!) Connexions was a bar we used often, from the quizzes and games to to the duet that sang every evening - very entertaining. The entertainment team were good fun, Ian the Cruise Director seemed to have unending energy and was very hands on. We went to one show which was the big band night, very good but the Palladium was freezing. The evening meals were always very good, the staff were great, even remembering our drink requirements after the first night. There was never an evening where we did not like at least 2 options on the menu. 5.45pm was a little early for dinner but I felt that the later sitting would be too late - people were still in there at 10pm. Eating so early meant that we were sometimes peckish later but there was nowhere to eat as the buffet closed at 9pm. The buffet was like a bun fight - there never seemed to be a day when it was not heaving and people are so rude! Pushing and shoving like they had not eaten in days! The scones and shortbread in the afternoon tea were divine. It was nice to be able to take a scone and sit in a nice bar and eat it in a civilised setting! The cabin was fine, though the cabin stewardess was hardly ever around and really did do the bare minimum. It was not well placed being right at the front of the ship - we had chosen deck 5 but unfortunately were 'upgraded' to deck 6. Being so close to the front was very noisy all night which meant we did not always sleep well. I was very impressed overall with the staff - they work tirelessly from early morning until late into the evening - always with a smile. They certainly earn their tips! We chose a VIP package which was great as we did not have to worry what we had. We did not do any organised excursions but did disembark each day, my criticism with this was the 2 tender ports. We had to get tickets - again I think this is more the mentality of the people and the obsession with being first in line... This could be better organised. The shops on board were not great, not a lot of choice and none of the make up/perfume etc was duty free so no different to buying in England. I did however get a massive bargain on my Bombay Sapphire! Overall the cruise was great, the one thing that spoiled it was hearing people complaining! Not enough choice of wine - they were masses to choose from, moaning about having to wait a few minutes to be served! etc... that is not the fault of CMV though I would travel again with CMV if the right itinerary was there and the price was right, I would choose a mid ship cabin and request that no upgrade was given though. Disembarkation was smooth, we were off the ship a good half hour before the allotted time, our luggage was in the hall, there were plenty of porters to assist and the buses were all outside ready to take us back to the car park. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My dad and I were going away together, he wanted a cruise with no flights hence the fjords. He had been on a cruise before I was a cruise 'virgin'. He told me how it would be pretty 'posh' and the food and ... Read More
My dad and I were going away together, he wanted a cruise with no flights hence the fjords. He had been on a cruise before I was a cruise 'virgin'. He told me how it would be pretty 'posh' and the food and entertainment would be amazing. Unfortunately it didn't live up to expectations. The staff were amazing, couldn't do enough for us and so friendly all the time. The food was good, varied but not a lot of veg dishes that weren't in sauces, though plenty of salad. Unfortunately the bistro didn't seem to be able to cope with the numbers and constantly ran out of glasses, mugs and on the last breakfast, toast! We were told they didn't expect so many?? There were 1400 on the ship at all times so how could they not expect so many to the last breakfast? The ship to me looked tired in places even though it was refurbished last year, the shower room was a bit grubby and the tv didn't work properly (not really a problem as we spent most of the time on deck). One lift was broken the whole trip as was the ice cream counter, which in the heat we had, would have made a killing! The main show was unfortunately on a similar level to butlins, though when singing individually elsewhere on the ship they were pretty good. The lady singer in connexions was amazing! We spent most evenings listening to her. In the main restaurant we had a German couple sat at our table and he told us he was told he couldn't sit at our table because it was an all English table! Shocking!! Having said all that it was an experience I wouldn't of missed and the fjords are breathtaking! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Last week my wife and I went on our 1st cruise to the Norwegian fjords and for two walkers thoroughly enjoyed it. I was a bit apprehensive but no problems it was like having a floating hotel. All 5 of the land days we went ashore 3 off ... Read More
Last week my wife and I went on our 1st cruise to the Norwegian fjords and for two walkers thoroughly enjoyed it. I was a bit apprehensive but no problems it was like having a floating hotel. All 5 of the land days we went ashore 3 off them we did guided walk and the others found our own then did coach trips in the pm. Food and hospitality was 100 % cabin excellent apart from being an inside one which we won't do again nothing wrong with it apart from no natural light.. we were blessed with excellent weather which helped. Highly recommend cruising but I think 8 to 10 days would be our comfort limit. I was worried about the dress code but this wasn't an issue as each day you got a news letter through your door telling you about the next days cruising etc and what the dress code was for the evening, sadly I don't think many people read this as there were always several people (mainly men) not wearing the right attire for the evening meal in the restaurant and I felt that these people should have been refused entry and either go and change or suggested they use the self service restaurant which served the same food. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Having never cruised with CMV before, we drove toward Tilbury with some trepidation as the car radio warned of congestion on the M25 but as it happened we drove right up to the Terminal with time to spare. I decanted a ton of luggage, ... Read More
Having never cruised with CMV before, we drove toward Tilbury with some trepidation as the car radio warned of congestion on the M25 but as it happened we drove right up to the Terminal with time to spare. I decanted a ton of luggage, The Management and the Mother-out-Law, all of which was immediately gathered up by a lady porter and whisked into the Departure Hall as I drove back to the Long Stay Car Park. Got parked up (squeezed in very tightly) and boarded a nearly empty shuttle bus with only my hand luggage to worry about. The driver didn’t set off until the bus was full to capacity and that turned out to be the longest wait of the day. The embark procedures were very swift and within minutes we were onboard Columbus, located the M-o-Ls cabin on Deck 6 and were delighted to see she’d been upgraded from inside single to outside twin cabin. We then proceeded to deck 10 to locate our billet to find our cases already there. This was probably the quickest most efficient embark in our experience. Well done CMV. Our Cabin was of a reasonable size with large bed and room under for cases. Small tv on window wall, dressing table bearing the tea/coffee facilities which was a pleasant surprise as we thought there would be none, two chairs and a storage unit housing the fridge and space for the provided sun lounger towels. The en suite was accessed from a short corridor at right angles to the main passageway with a large chest of drawers and an open wardrobe. The shower unit was just large enough to avoid bodily contact with the shower curtain, the water was piping hot with good pressure and space for the usual products. For a 29 year old ship – not at all bad and no worse than any other comparable ship. The décor was plain and simple and easy on the eye. Small 4-drawer units either side of the bed provided more than enough storage for us. The cabin was very quiet and vibration free and the air con worked well. Access to the cabin is with your credit card size key which identifies which drinks package you have. We initially needed a stewards help to open the door as there was a slight knack to it and the same with the room safe. This is where the age of the ship shows as the door locks and the safe were pretty ancient and well used. The tv sound was not good – really crackly so we only used the tv for the navigation charts and forward view camera. Also the window was filthy on the outside but was cleaned on the penultimate day. Any other little niggles were sorted out by very obliging steward who said he was known as Oh Oh. The compulsory life boat drill was carried out before we set sail and was actually held under our designated lifeboat – much better than in a crowded theatre like on other lines. We pre-booked the VIP drinks package so set off to put it to the test. We chose VIP as it meant we would always have bottled water in the cabin, small bottles of water on disembarking and specialty teas and coffees. Ordinary tea or coffee isn’t good enough for The Management so she was pleased to be able to order decaff soya lattes or Camomile tea around the ship. Over the course of the week we sampled many excellent cocktails and the gin is Bombay Sapphire but you have to specify this otherwise you’ll get Gordons. Knowing you won’t get a huge bar bill at cruise-end is very liberating but with such reasonable bar prices, a light drinker would not need that package or could opt for a cheaper one. We dined 2nd sitting in the Waterfront Restaurant and found the food generally to be of a higher standard than we were led to believe and the presentation was excellent. Our waiters and drinks servers were lovely friendly guys and very efficient. No complaints at all. Alas the same cannot be said of the breakfast service in the MDR. We tried it on the first morning only and didn’t bother again until the last day. The service was haphazard and slow and the food quality was merely adequate. The only alternative was the smash 'n’grab or Plantation as its called. Food on offer was OK with reasonable variety. A bit crowded on sea days and we couldn’t always get a table at our favourite place - the open aft deck - but this is no different to most other ships we have been on. I don’t do lunch as I usually eat a reasonable breakfast but thought I’d give the afternoon tea a try. This is self-serve and therefore not a patch on say P&O. The sandwiches were pretty dry after being out for a while but tasty enough and there were some pretty colourful looking cakes on display but I resisted the temptation. On one occasion we tried The Grill (£7.50 supp with the VIP package) and it was very good. Huge 10oz Ribeye was superb and after the 3 courses we were very full. It wasn’t quite the sophisticated experience as say on Celebrity but very enjoyable and extraordinarily good value. There is also an Indian cuisine speciality restaurant but we didn’t have time to try that. The staff we met were all very friendly and professional and most of all helpful and keen to please. Mainly from the Asian sub-continent, Burma and E Europeans, they all spoke very good English and were a credit to CMV. The first port of call was Amsterdam. Here I will offer a warning. There was an Amsterdam Tourist office presence in the arrival hall with the usual maps and leaflets. We enquired about a canal cruise and were sold tickets for €20 each for a hop on-hop off trip, and given a map. We were told to pick up the boat at the adjacent canal landing stage. Soon enough a red hop on/off canal boat arrived (in the same livery as the red double decker tour buses you find in many ports) but we and several other people were turned away. We were advised to look for the pale yellow boats with a green band. Soon one such boat arrived – again we were turned away as this was for a pre-booked party. We realized we were in the wrong place and after sheltering from a fierce thunderstorm and wandering many alleys and canal under-passes, eventually found a basin with many boats. We sought out the correct liveried boat only to be told our tickets were not valid and were pointed toward an identical vessel across the basin. The M-o-L is 87 and we were heartily sick of all this traipsing about so returned to Columbus. Infuriatingly the Tourist people had by now de-camped to the next pier to enlighten the hordes descending from the MSC ship that had just docked. I am happy to report that after a full and frank discussion with the manager I got a full refund. After departing Amsterdam the ship felt somehow a little more crowded and it transpired that many new passengers had embarked, mainly Dutch and Germans who stay on after Tilbury as Amsterdam was the next port on the following cruise. Cunning marketing there, CMV! The journey back to the North Sea takes a couple of hours including passage through a large lock. There followed a sea day before arrival at delightful Eidfjord. The tour from there wasn’t cheap but we had a brand new Volvo coach and an excellent guide so probably worth it for a first-timer to Norway. To avoid turning this into a travelogue I will summarise by saying the weather in Norway at the 3 ports of call was fabulous, the scenery was fantastic, the sunsets sublime, the other ports of Flam and Bergen were beautiful, the Flam Railway was very interesting from this rail buff’s point of view and the whole cruise was just a delight. As a 29 year old ship Columbus has seen better days but her pedigree as a former P&O vessel amongst other owners is there to see. The inside areas feel open and spacious especially the 3 deck Atrium and the ambiance is relaxed and uncrowded. Although some of the décor is a little dated, the lighting has been improved in parts but could do with more work in other areas. The adjoining Taverners pub and the Connexions bar are very comfortable and sometimes busy and there are nice coffee bars including Cappuccinos on the Pool Deck serving good coffees and especially good Whittards Teas – all included on VIP but otherwise at modest extra charge. We only visited the Palladium theatre a few times but what we did see was very good and one of the regular performers, Chloe, has the most fantastic singing voice. The cruise theme was The 70’s and turns included The Rubettes and an Elvis impersonator. The last 2 night’s shows were performed in the Atrium so everyone could join in. There were a small number of young children on board and they were mainly to be seen in and around the pools and flocking round the performers at the Atrium shows. Credit to the parents here as they were very well-behaved and I think had a great time. Start em young as they say. The shows were mainly aimed at the British in content, showcasing Beatles songs and Queen songs for example so what the Dutch made of all this is not known. Blessed with such fantastic hot weather and with 2 sea days the pool deck was very busy but you would eventually find a lounger somewhere. Disembarkation was well flagged with leaflets in the cabins asking for cases outside by midnight and colour coded labels distributed. It actually ran ahead of schedule in our situation, everything went smoothly, cases found in the hall, shuttle bus waiting and the car started so all good. All in all a very good cruise, terrific vfm and I’m sure we’ll try CMV again subject to the itinerary. There are some exciting long voyages on their new ship Vasco da Gama coming up so who knows… Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I have to agree with ThomasUK. We have also just returned from trip to Fjords, sailing from Newcastle. From embarkation, very quick, to leaving, the staff were efficient, cheerful and helpful. Our cabin steward was excellent and ... Read More
I have to agree with ThomasUK. We have also just returned from trip to Fjords, sailing from Newcastle. From embarkation, very quick, to leaving, the staff were efficient, cheerful and helpful. Our cabin steward was excellent and couldn't do enough to help, our waiter in one of the main dining rooms was always smiling and nothing was too much trouble, his young assistant likewise. Everywhere around the ship the staff greeted the passengers with a smile. yes the ship is old but it is spotlessly clean and it is unfair to compare it to other lines, it is half the price. Food and entertainment were very good. I unfortunately needed the services of the medical team but again they were first class. Cabins are not large but enough for two people and beds were comfortable. My only complaint would be the noise from the engine during the night but that is no one's fault. All in all it was an enjoyable cruise with breath taking scenery in the fjords. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I sailed from Dundee, not Newcastle but the option to put that on the review wasn’t there! First cruise for me and I went alone. Boarding was quick, efficient and simple. Plenty of staff to show you the way to your cabin. I felt the ... Read More
I sailed from Dundee, not Newcastle but the option to put that on the review wasn’t there! First cruise for me and I went alone. Boarding was quick, efficient and simple. Plenty of staff to show you the way to your cabin. I felt the whole trip (to the Norwegian fjords) was extremely good value for money. Excursions were well organised and informative. On board activities were fun and well attended. The restaurants were efficient, friendly staff and good food. The Chef’s Table was a superb evening. Book it if you get a chance. Cabin was clean and spacious and tended twice daily. If I had read some of the awful reviews before going I might have cancelled but I have absolutely no complaints. This isn’t a 5 star luxury miner so if you want that, go elsewhere. It is a small(ish) friendly ship which I really loved. I will sail with this company again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I don't usually write reviews for cruises but having travelled on the Magellan three times I feel the need to add some balance to all the negative reviews posted on this site. I've just come back from another great holiday, ... Read More
I don't usually write reviews for cruises but having travelled on the Magellan three times I feel the need to add some balance to all the negative reviews posted on this site. I've just come back from another great holiday, sailing from Newcastle to Norway for seven nights. The Magellan is an old ship and can never compete with the new-build state of the art ships run by Royal Caribbean etc, but what it does excell at is excellent service and value for money. We were in an inside cabin on deck four. "Isn't that down with the crew and the engines?" one ill-informed and rather stuck up fellow passenger asked me. It was a room for two, with plenty of space and a comfortable bed. I have a very sensitive sense of smell and despite what's been written here before, there was no smell of diesel or sewage. Nor were we stricken down by the killer air conditioning. The room was serviced twice a day and I slept well every night of the cruise. The low, mid-ship position of the cabin meant I didn't feel any motion when the ship was moving. The passenger decks are all clean and comfortable, with enough bars and sitting areas to move around across the day. The quality of food and drinks are where CMV really excels. I've done six previous cruises with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity and can honestly say that the food and wine selection onboard Magellan are far superior to those companies. We had all our meals in the ala carte restaurants to avoid the buffet scrum and I enjoyed every one. We also ate in the speciality restaurant Fusion, which was open two nights of the cruise, and this too was outstanding. We took out the VIP drinks package, which is far cheaper than packages on Royal Caribbean, with a much better wine selection (I think the quality of wine included in RC's packages really let them down). It also included a private cocktail party which was a nice opportunity to meet other people, and allowed 50% off the speciality restaurant. The service from all staff is excellent. Another area in which CMV scores over it's bigger competitors. There are always staff on hand to take drink orders, and if you do go to the bar to order for yourself, someone will bring the order to your seat. Even at very busy times, such as after the evening show, I never waited long to be served. I enjoyed the entertainment this cruise. No, it's not as expensively produced as on other lines, but the main theatre shows are all well performed by a talented team, headed by Cruise Director Jonathan Dulson. We weren't interested in the craft activities but there seemed to be something on every day for those who were. I did hear a lot of moaning from other passengers but it was all ridiculous stuff. "This porridge is made with milk, I wanted it with water." Someone else was very rude to a waiter when she didn't receive a plate of fruit with her breakfast , a plate of fruit she didn't order in the first place. People complained when they turned up at the ala carte restaurant and there was no buffet there. All absolute rubbish from people who should take responsibility for there own failings rather than moan. We met someone else so mean spirited that he'd worked out how much he thought the staff would make in gratuities, and then bragged how he'd stolen a pen from a waiter. I suspect all these people will delight in posting their negative reviews but don't believe it. As mentioned above this is my third time on Magellan and I loved it. Would we book again? We already have. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I always wanted to visit Norway so after I saw the advert for this cruise that was it. Travelled alone but met some great people (hi everyone off table 85) Done the cruise, now thinking of coach holiday to Italy!! Back to the ship ... Read More
I always wanted to visit Norway so after I saw the advert for this cruise that was it. Travelled alone but met some great people (hi everyone off table 85) Done the cruise, now thinking of coach holiday to Italy!! Back to the ship - cabin great, plenty of room, opted for a superior outer cabin, well it was the fjords. Plenty of good food. Shows we're OK, put on a few good musicals. Very clean ship, always a member of crew around waiting to spray your hands with antibacterial gel. After getting to Tilbury boarding the ship was very well organised, Went straight to our cabins and cases were bought to you very soon after boarding. Treated myself to a visit to the on board hairdressers, I was very impressed it was even cheaper than my hairdresser at home. All in all it was a great experience so if your thinking of doing this cruise go for it, it's not the biggest ship but people who have been on the larger ships say they preferred the Magellan, but obviously its an individual choice. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
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