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4 Cruise & Maritime Voyages Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because we, a usa couple, had a land-trip scheduled near puntarenas costa rica starting jan. 21, and found this cmv ship from cozumel-to-puntarenas would disembark there that day, after cruising the panama canal, and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we, a usa couple, had a land-trip scheduled near puntarenas costa rica starting jan. 21, and found this cmv ship from cozumel-to-puntarenas would disembark there that day, after cruising the panama canal, and stopping at central american countries we've always wanted to visit: belize, roatan, cartagena, nicaragua, & colon (we'd only already seen limon costa rica). Ship & cabin: nice, clean, fairly well laid out. About the same as celebrity, costa & princess ships we've been on. Room comfortable enough, with desk, chair, bed-lights, etc. Tv was lacking any variety of options, but we didn't cruise to watch tv. Ac worked well. And we got the cabin upgrade that we were told we would get as part of a special package we bought (for gratuities-paid-in-advance). It also included a bottle of wine, although we had to remind them of that many times before they finally brought it to us. cons: immigration processing was very disorganized & frustrating. All passengers had to just sit in a theater seat doing nothing until they called your row, and wait hours while they processed each individual, one by one; a super inefficient, boring process. Then later they topped that by doing the longest lifejacket safety session ever, having everyone again sitting in wait a long time in the theater, then slowly hearing all the safety protocols, repeated in several languages, and then when it seemed over, they had us walk out on deck and have to just stand, silently in place in our lifejackets for about 20 minutes longer, with no information being conveyed, until they said ok to go back to our cabins. Also, i could never find an empty lounge chair or comfortable seat by the pools, and the upper deck had no covered/shaded seating at all! There was no decent place for the popular yoga class: held in the hot sun & strong winds on the top deck. Fitness rm was always too hot, had no views, and cardio-equip had no individual tv consoles to watch, and the room lacked space for floor exercises out of the foot-paths. entertainment/activities: the big shows were excellent. But the comic they had on 2 nights was bad and got almost no laughs. No opportunity for us to listen to a live-music dance band before or after dinner. A couple bar-lounges had a super boring piano player, or cello-violin duo, but no fun dance music or any classic-rock bands). there were some trivia-type activities on-board, but not much else. Not even any free hands-on learning to fold napkins or towels. The dance classes were disorganized (like most activities), often didn't happen at time or place scheduled, and held in a walkway next to the smoking section, so not a good space to do a dance class and we had to breath horrible smoke! the lectures were also not as described, and often didn't occur as scheduled, and a couple of the shore excursion lecturers were very inarticulate...could barely speak english. Dining: we usually love buffets (vs fancy dining rm), but the buffet was quite limited vs other cruises we've been on. Only 1 cooked veggie dish, the same every day-- a mix of carrots, corn, peas, green beans. Never salmon, halibut, or other popular grilled fish. And for meat, no carving station, or grill, or steaks; mostly traditional british dishes. also, no cookies, chocolates or ice cream ever offered. No soda-pop either, which was offered on other ship buffets. The fine-dining restaurant was so crowded & noisy, & slow service, that it ironically felt more relaxing & peaceful in the buffet! we went when there were not many people there, yet they sat everyone super-close together! and the food options were essentially the same in both places. Biggest disappointment was the last minute cancellations of two ports! belize especially i wanted to see and had pre-scheduled a snorkel-boat tour there, and it was cancelled due to lack of coordination (poor mgt) by cmv, re: london flight passengers arriving too late for ship to depart on original scheduled time from cozumel to belize. Also, they thought it might be unsafe to stop in nicaragua as planned, even though many passengers disagreed and would have preferred going there anyway, even if we were limited on which places there to visit. Cmv gave no compensation of any kind to passengers, who ended up visiting 2 fewer countries than planned & having 2 extra boring days at sea. Other cruise lines that similarly cancelled port stops compensated passengers. furthermore, the cmv booking agent told us when we booked by phone with her that we would get a $100 cabin credit. never got it! Overall, i would never cruise on cmv again, nor believe what they say. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise as it was the time of the year we wanted to travel & the ship was calling into ports of calls we have never visited, competitively priced. About 2 weeks before departure we received a letter saying that we ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was the time of the year we wanted to travel & the ship was calling into ports of calls we have never visited, competitively priced. About 2 weeks before departure we received a letter saying that we would be flying to Cancun instead of Cozumel & this meant that we would not be going to stop at Belize. Very dissappointed as this was one of the main reasons that we had booked this cruise. It is my understanding that the plane chartered from Virgin Atlantic could not use the runway at Cozumel as it was too large! Surely this was known to C&M some time before! When we landed at Cancun we waited 1 hour for our luggage then dragged our cases for 10 minutes to musty coaches that took 40 minutes to Playa del Carmen where we were marched crocodlie style through the resort for 30 minutes, to then wait 20 minutes for the packed dieslel-smelling ferry. The crossing took 40 minutes then 30 minutes to board the ship when we had to go to the theare for the Mexican face-to-face immigration then registration. At approx midnight we were offered flat Cava or warm juice and the snacks had all gone. We finally got to bed at 02.00. Many passengers were of retirement age & a few less mobile, how these people faired I can't begin to imagine! The embarkation was a totally grewling shambles. There was no apology by any of the cruise staff written or verbal. What about an appology from the captain? Shame on you. The following morning we went to reception to ask for some onboard credit (why was none given to all passengers?) after several emails to head office in the UK this was refused & 'force majeure' was used used as the excuse. We have twice written to C&M since returning home to request compenstion but none has been offered that we are happy with, nor do they acknowledge any responsbility any of this. We moved cabins 5165 to 6112 due to the boom boom of the engine, spacious & clean. Cabin stewards excellent. We were overall happy with the food. For 3 days the swimming pool was drained, 1 day for swell but the other 2 for poor water quality! The tours except for the Chiva Bus Party in Cartagena were overpriced & lacked content. The port lecturer for the Panama Canal was excellent. A large number of the activities were unhosted. The Yoga took place on deck 11 not enough mats some passengers in the sun with no shelter. Other posts have covered other shortcomings so I won't duplicate....I could go on. Overall I woud never cruise with C&M again, as their customer care was none existant compaired to other cruise lines. They are hiding behind the terms & conditions not giving a dot for good will which would possibly result in repeat boookings. The whole experience has been so upsetting to have the need to complain on returning home mars the whole trip. A gesture of good will in the form of onbaord credit to all passengers would have put C&M in a more favourable light. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Having had five previous cruises on Magellan there were generally enjoyable I booked this Panama cruise based on the itinerary and then fact that l had so far found the ship to be a friendly, if cheap and cheerful one. However, after this ... Read More
Having had five previous cruises on Magellan there were generally enjoyable I booked this Panama cruise based on the itinerary and then fact that l had so far found the ship to be a friendly, if cheap and cheerful one. However, after this horrible holiday l will never again sail with Cruise and Maritime Voyages We were meant to fly to Cozumel before our first port of call, Belize. About ten days before the start of the cruise we were informed we would be flying to Cancun instead, and that Belize was cancelled. Apparently the flight chartered by CMV was unable to land at Cozumel. Why this was not disclosed until just before departure remains a mystery, however instead of flying to Cozumel and having at leastca short time to explore, we got to Cancun, had a long coach journey to Cozumel followed by a long walk through busy streets to a port where we sat for 90 minutes on an oil-stinking ferry being buffeted about before the 30 minute crossing to the ship. Entering our cabin (4042) on Magellan we saw toilet paper stuffed into a gap between the wall and ceiling. Once we set sail (around 1am) the reason for this became clear as an extremely loud banging noise emanating from this area kept us awake all night. We complained for three days, during which time various staff members came, listened, said it was awful and something must be done, but it wasn't until four days into the cruise that a replacement cabin (4080) suddenly materialised. We had three totally sleepless nights when an empty cabin a few doors away had been available the whole time. Magellan is really showing her age, and there is an obvious cost-cutting exercise going on. The food was APPALLING in both the restaurant and the buffet. The same overcooked fare served again and again, no variety, no taste. Worst l gave ever experienced on any ship. Entertainment was OK but not up to previous standards. Daytime activities more or less non-existent. The day before we were due to dock at Nicaragua this stop was dropped from the itinerary and we e design up in a dreary nothing to do place in Costa Rica. The return flight was also a farce... rerouted in mid-air to an unscheduled stop in Montego Bay where we waited anxiously to see if we would actually take off again or be forced to sleep on the plane. Eventually we set out but without enough food being loaded, so dinner was - literally - a packet of crisps. Breakfast was a cup of tea and nothing else. My written complaint to CMV was acknowledged three weeks later with a standard letter offering nothing but lame excuses. Considering this was the treatment l received as a "Gold CMV' member I can only suppose a first time traveller would not eve have received a reply. The entire trip was a total disgrace and more of an ordeal than a holiday. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
As we live in East Tilbury I have often watched the "Marco Polo" Sail up the river thames, and when I saw an advert to sail on the Marco Polo from Tilbury to the Amazon and back,I had to book, plus six weeks away from England in ... Read More
As we live in East Tilbury I have often watched the "Marco Polo" Sail up the river thames, and when I saw an advert to sail on the Marco Polo from Tilbury to the Amazon and back,I had to book, plus six weeks away from England in the winter, that sealed it I booked a year in advance. My wife Carol and I had not been on a cruise before, and during the year before we sailed we kept reading the coments people posted on cruise critic, sometimes with concern. My wife Carol and I were very impressed with the service provided by the staff and found it a very friendly boat. The food and dining was very good, we had our evening meal in the Wardolf silver service restraunt and breakfast and lunch in the self service bistro. We enjoyed the entertainment and there were plenty of activities laid on for the days at sea. The crew were also very organised when it came to getting the passengers off on the tenders, with minimal delays by alocating passengers to a tender service, when we were anchored just outside of a destination. Purchases on the boat such as water, wine and excersions we thought were a bit pricey, but then you have to bear in mind that the overall cost of the cruise was a lot less than it would have been on one of the larger ships. Another advantage of being on a smaller vessel is that we found it easy to make friends and when ashore we kept bumping into people on our cruise. It was very much like being in a small village which did add to the pleasure of the trip. Unfortunately my wife suffered with acute motion sickness, during all her time on the ship and we were repatriated from Barbados back to the UK. She cannot thank the medical team and the customer liasion people for the help and assistance they gave while she was feeling so unwell. Overal we would recommoned the Marco Polo for a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
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