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Sail Date: August 2019
Although this was our 40th cruise, it was the first on Marco Polo and the smallest ship we have been on in 25 years of cruising and at 2 nights, the shortest. This is also my first review of a cruise ship. Having booked the cruise ... Read More
Although this was our 40th cruise, it was the first on Marco Polo and the smallest ship we have been on in 25 years of cruising and at 2 nights, the shortest. This is also my first review of a cruise ship. Having booked the cruise recently I looked up the reviews just before going and was quite alarmed by the number of negative reviews. I was not therefore expecting much. However, having enjoyed a very pleasant couple of days I thought that I should review it. I can only think that those negative reviews have come from people that only generally sail on the big modern ships with over 6000 guests and the staff to perform West End style shows. Whilst the exterior and steel around windows etc shows the signs of a 50 year old ship, the carpets and furniture and internal woodwork is kept spotless and clean. The beds are not modern but are comfortable enough and the bedding was clean. The inside cabins were larger than I expected with much more cupboard and drawer room than on many larger ships. With the exception of the lady leaving the duty free shop 4 hours before docking on the final morning who rather rudely announced that they 'were shut as we are always shut in port' when they clearly weren't, everyone else was very pleasant and friendly. I would say that it is a very happy ship.The food was as good as any of the ships we have been on and better than many. Still offering afternoon tea and late night snacks.The entertainment was not brilliant but the singers were good and did provide good entertainment. Let down a bit by the quality of the backing music but nothing to complain about. If you really want everything you get with the big ships, the Marco Polo is not for you. But for great value for money, friendly staff, good food and drinks at less than pub prices in the UK you can't beat this. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Chose this because of the attractive itinerary, plus the convenience of sailing from UK port with no flights involved. As seasoned cruisers for many years ( principally with Thomson / Marella and NCL) we tried CMV for the first time ... Read More
Chose this because of the attractive itinerary, plus the convenience of sailing from UK port with no flights involved. As seasoned cruisers for many years ( principally with Thomson / Marella and NCL) we tried CMV for the first time this year. I will start with the positives:- There is a good staff to passenger ratio, and we found the service was good across all departments. The cabin (6131) was spacious and clean, and well serviced by our cabin steward on a daily basis. The food was of an acceptable quality, and well presented, and served hot. The itinerary was good, with adequate time ashore in each venue. The DISembarcation at Liverpool was very speedy, and we were on the train home in little more than an hour after disembarcation commenced. Now for the negative points. We attended the cruise terminal at Exactly the time given by CMV, Only to find that RED label had already been boarded 1/2 hour earlier, which resulted in some delay to us boarding. The boarding process struck us as being very poorly organised. The dining allocation in the Kensington restaurant, (we opted for the smaller table) was bench seats either side of the table ( 3 people each side) which was very cramped and uncomfortable. We both made the observation that this seating would be more appropriate in a Wetherspoons Pub! On the 2 venues that required tender service the wait was unacceptably long ( 3hrs. in the Scilly Isles, and one and a 1/2 hrs at Guernsey ) This obviously had a detrimental effect on our time ashore. There is considerable room for improvement here. The evening entertainment in the main show lounge was very poor by cruise ship standards. The last evening on board was a "formal" night where passengers dressed for the occasion for the advertised "Gala Dinner" This was quite a damp squib---- The only thing "Gala" about it was the baked alaska dessert. This is not what we are used to on other cruise lines in the same price bracket. To sum up, if you are looking for a no frills cruise from a uk port with no flying involved, then go for it, but there are better deals out there with other companies. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We were a group of six friends on the Scottish Isles 8 night cruise from Newcastle finishing somewhat bizarrely in Liverpool. Embarkation was extremely fast and painless. We are gold members and have priority boarding but everyone was ... Read More
We were a group of six friends on the Scottish Isles 8 night cruise from Newcastle finishing somewhat bizarrely in Liverpool. Embarkation was extremely fast and painless. We are gold members and have priority boarding but everyone was boarded quickly. As soon as the car pulled up our luggage was taken and we never saw it again until it was in our cabin. We have been on 4or 5 CMV cruises and enjoyed them all but predominantly on some of the fleets older ships. Whilst the Magellan is not new it is in good condition very quiet and stable. We were upgraded to a superior inner room so didn’t have to row on this trip(we always choose the voyager guarantee and have never failed to get a decent cabin. The food was very good even if the portions weren’t huge but after 5courses I had had enough. We all had a drinks and tip package which I thought was exceptional value. The house wines were ok and all the usual branded spirits available though it seemed odd to me that some coffees were chargeable. We tended to use the main dining room for dinner/ lunch and the bistro for breakfast. We tried the main restaurant for breakfast but the service was too slow for us. The entertainment does seem a bit like a lot of singing and dancing but in different costumes each night but it was light and reasonably proficient We had a comedian for two nights who was OK. He clearly had been doing cruise ships for some time and his material showed this. We weren’t onboard much during the day so didn’t take advantage of the other activities onboard. We won the quiz on the first night but quit while we were ahead. First port was Dundee where we saw a quite a large exchange of passengers. Weather was good so we strolled ashore visited the Discovery and the new V&A (great outside but much wasted space inside) but an enjoyable hour and a half. We also visited Broughty Ferry Castle which was worth a visit. Next stop was Shetland where the weather was a bit wet but we still managed a significant Lerwick town trail walk which now includes Jimmy Peres’s House from the Shetland TV series. Next stop was the Faroes where we had a 35 minute shuttle bus ride to Torshaven which was interesting in itself. We enjoyed another walk around the town looking at some of the older properties with their distinctive grass roofs. An enjoyable day out. Orkney was our next stop in cloudy weather. We have been to Orkney a couple of times so dint see the need to visit scara brae which we would have if it had been our first visit. We were fortunate to witness what seemed the wedding of the year at the cathedral. We also witnessed the “ blackening” of another engaged couple which seemed to involve sitting in the back of an open truck which friends covered in molasses, gunge etc roaring around the town making a lot of noise. The poor groom to be was cling filmed to a stone cross in the churchyard but was freed before the wedding party arrived. A beautiful day and we arrived in sunny Skye to be tendered ashore to meet up with our prearranged tour bus. This was a private tour (sky mini bus tours)for the six of us (£42 each ) and it was really excellent. The beautiful weather helped as did the two knowledgeable locals who did the driving and guiding. We stopped at all the usual sights some of which were quite busy it being a Sunday and having excellent weather. We had a lovely lunch in an old hunting lodge called Flodigarry House which also had Flora McDonald's house in the grounds. The bus dropped off at the docks for our tender. - an excellent all day trip. Next stop Belfast in mixed weather. Here we enjoyed the hop on hop off bus (we negotiated £50 for six old fogies!). We did the full tour then got off at the Titanic exhibition which was excellent. That took a couple of hours but I really enjoyed it as it was a lot to do with the history of Belfast rather than just the sinking and subsequent recovery of the ship. It even included a mini Disney like shipyard ride. On the bus watch out for low hanging branches as my pal had his glasses and heating aid knocked off!!! Then on to Liverpool. Disembarkation was not so smooth due to not using the Ships tannoy to tell you what was happening ( it could be that as we were docked the ship was not allowed to so not to disturb the locals) it meant passengers were constantly querying why they couldn't leave the ship, pa better presence with better communication would have sorted it. There were some anxious passengers needing to catch a train/coach who were left in the dark. A very enjoyable cruise with excellent food and service - pity about the weather!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Actually chose this cruise due to an engine failure on one we booked. Interesting ports around the Uk where few other ships go. Though this is an old ship from Carnival, it was well maintained and clean. Had an inside cabin on deck seven, ... Read More
Actually chose this cruise due to an engine failure on one we booked. Interesting ports around the Uk where few other ships go. Though this is an old ship from Carnival, it was well maintained and clean. Had an inside cabin on deck seven, and was larger than those on Crystal! Food was surprisingly good, especially the dinners in the restaurants. Restaurants were also open for breakfast and lunch and were expertly staffed. Great place to go if one wants to beat the crowds at the main buffet. Drinks were well priced, and did not include a tip. One could actually get a pint of larger (German) for 3 pounds 60 pence! Tours were also top notch. Payment for these were from 40-70 pounds. Only problem I had was with the crew members that were not involved with the passengers (stewards-wait staff, etc) Many could not understand English-tough to communicate with. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this cruise as it gave us five full days in Iceland among other ports of call. Iceland was fantastic, as were Shetland and Faroe Islands. Nothing happening in Invergordon, so best to take a tour from there. I knew the CMV ... Read More
I chose this cruise as it gave us five full days in Iceland among other ports of call. Iceland was fantastic, as were Shetland and Faroe Islands. Nothing happening in Invergordon, so best to take a tour from there. I knew the CMV Magellan was an older ship, only rated 3.5, so I didn't have high expectations. However, although the ship looks rather dated, the cabins were clean and functional and the meals at the restaurants were good - only average at the buffet. Where the cruise really fell down was the lack of organisation and planning for the activities. Most activities were a non-event, but listed every day in the program as an "unhosted" timed activity, e.g. Knit & Natter, Library, table tennis. Other activities were scheduled inappropriately, eg "Chance to Dance" - on twice nightly (not live music though) - both scheduled while passengers were either at the Show or at dinner! One night there was a display of the Chef's food presentation skills at 10.15 pm, when 2nd sitting guests were just leaving dinner. Why would they want more food and why would 1st sitting guests want a second dinner? There was also a dress up "School Disco" scheduled for 10.30 pm at night. The average age of the passengers was about 80!! The activities themselves were described by one fellow passenger as more attuned to occupational therapy activities in a Nursing Home. I couldn't agree more. They were insulting and very uninspiring. The restaurants were quite good, but staff couldn't organise seating. Many tables of eight only had two or four people on them, despite wanting a full table. It wasn't good enough to book seating six months prior. The nightly Entertainment Shows were mediocre. Although many individual staff were quite friendly, the majority of staff and entertainers seemed unhappy in their jobs. Also, I would not recommend booking a "Guaranteed Ocean View" cabin. We were allocated one right in the bow of the ship, with a porthole! We ended up having to pay about 900GBP to upgrade to a mid ship cabin with a proper window. I can only recommend you not to book this cruise line. Another passenger said he'd travelled on CMV's Vasco de Gama and it was even worse than the Magellan. Steer clear and choose another ship that knows how to provide passengers with a good holiday. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our first, but hopefully not our only, cruise so we have nothing to compare against. As first-timers I will say one thing firstly: the instructions given each day were a great help and all the things I worry about (not knowing ... Read More
This was our first, but hopefully not our only, cruise so we have nothing to compare against. As first-timers I will say one thing firstly: the instructions given each day were a great help and all the things I worry about (not knowing where to go or what to do) turned out to be nothing to worry about at all. Your hands are well and truly held to ensure you know where you need to be and when. Embarkation was very quick (20 minutes from drop-off outside Newcastle Passenger Terminal to being in our cabin). The cabin was 4119 and was more than adequate for our needs. The ship has a slightly dated feel to it but is clean and bright. Large bars and public areas meant even at the busiest times it didn't feel cramped. We stuck to the Bistro (buffet) and the "Speciality Restaurants" as we're not formal-wear people. The food was flawlessly good. The "Speciality Restaurants" are really "pop-up restaurants" requiring reservations within part of the Bistro's area. The service and food there was absolutely wonderful. The arrival into ports was handled well and it was far easier to walk on/off than I'd expected. We had one anchor port on the itinerary (Lerwick) but they managed to dock in the end so can't speak to how good/bad the tender process is. The main issue was due to our fellow passengers (of a certain age and thus of a certain speed!) which did mean we took to walking out rather than wait for shuttle buses which would take forever to board or get off. We went on two excursions (Jewels of the North in Akureyi and Loch Ness in Invergordon) both of which were well-organised though suffered from similar "speed" issues as the getting on and off the ship did! We went to a few shows, activities and lectures. The shows were extremely well done and the show area is spacious with comfortable seating (lots of leg room which is very important to me!). The activities (quizzes, "gameshows") were amusing enough though we avoided the Knit and Natter due to concerns we might get too over-excited ;) (In all seriousness there was plenty to do for all personalities!). The lectures... weren't so good. One of the speaker's lectures were so full of errors I was able to spot them and I wasn't an expert on their subjects. The other had blurry photos and film which seemed pointless given the lack of quality. Service was great in parts (the restaurants), okay in others (we had a few mix-ups happen around our welcome package which were eventually sorted and refunds arranged without us asking so all was well) and bad, for the most part, in bars. Even if just 6 tables were in use out of the 40 or so available in a bar, you'd be lucky to get successfully served once every 60 minutes. Needless to say this meant we never woke up with a hangover! I'd hold special praise for our room steward and her colleagues on our deck. They were not just always polite when we passed them in the corridor but remembered us and engaged us in personal greetings. Our room was kept immaculately throughout our trip. Overall the positives far outweighed the negatives and we had a really enjoyable two weeks. We'll certainly be cruising again and CMV will at least get consideration when we come to planning our next trip. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
While on a majestic fjords cruise and leaving Amsterdam we hit a foreign object on a initial inspection and short delay we had the all clear to carry on but never got to Norway, around half way the boat developed a mechanical vault so had ... Read More
While on a majestic fjords cruise and leaving Amsterdam we hit a foreign object on a initial inspection and short delay we had the all clear to carry on but never got to Norway, around half way the boat developed a mechanical vault so had to turn back. The cruise was eventually terminated and we went back to Amsterdam. We still enjoyed a full program of entertainment and everything else on board. They announced that we would be going back to tilbury by ferry They had already given us £25 each and a free bar fo one night but then told us we would get a full refund + free cruise of same duration anytime in the next 2 years or if we wanted a longer one they will deduct the value of this cruise We only lost one day of the whole trip it’s good to hear of a company doing the right thing with out having to spend hours complaining. Nice one CMV Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because it is easy to embark at Tilbury but sad to say we were very disappointed .Very poor communication skills with crew at all levels as they seemed to only speak or understand very little English as in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it is easy to embark at Tilbury but sad to say we were very disappointed .Very poor communication skills with crew at all levels as they seemed to only speak or understand very little English as in the restaurant and bars only a few understood the food & drinks orders .As it was a long wait in the restaurant and when the meals arrived they were undercooked or only warm as we treated ourselves to steak in the grill it was very tough and worth the money as my partner sent her back the kitchen to the disgust of the chef & waiter . In the bars the glasses were often warm (one of my pet hates ) one evening in the dome we sent the drinks and my glass back where the barman became very irate and slammed the beer glass on the bar . The excursions were offer priced and badly organised as on the last one it should have been a steam train only to be replaced with an old diesel of which no explanation was offered .In Helsinki & Stockholm we were only allowed about 3/4 hours a shore a joke! .The entertainment was very poor lasting only 45 minuetes also the guest speakers on board were very amateurish as they seemed not to no what they were operating .The best thing was disembarkation at Tilbury please note there are much better cruise companies . Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This is our 5th cruise, the 3rd on the Magellan. We were sent tickets and purple luggage labels, booked for parking at Newcastle. Boarding turned out to be horrendous, something went seriously wrong which CMV blamed on the Port Authority. ... Read More
This is our 5th cruise, the 3rd on the Magellan. We were sent tickets and purple luggage labels, booked for parking at Newcastle. Boarding turned out to be horrendous, something went seriously wrong which CMV blamed on the Port Authority. Eventually on board cabin 5193, right on the stern, deck 5, Baltic. All went well until 2-am, woke up by horrendous noise, props and bearings, followed by every imaginable noise a ship could make at one hour intervals. Phoned reception followed by visit to reception. Asked for change of cabin, refused at that time, was offered a temporary inside 4 berth cabin for the night, we refused that on the grounds we might have to stay there, so no sleep that night. Docking was even worse, continuous noise early morning docked at Dundee, we packed our bags. Visited reception for change of cabin, no can do until boarding has completed. Phoned local Dundee Taxi company for price back to Newcastle, they text me back £350. Waited and waited for info. Eventually told reception that unless we receive a like for like cabin before departure we will leave the ship and CMV can pay for taxi back to Newcastle. This seemed to do the trick and we were offered suitable like for like cabin on the same deck. Sorted and we thanked the staff involved. Day 2 was the start of our cruise, we can put all that happened behind us. New Cabin good, very clean, coffee and tea making facilities in all cabins which is a great bonus, lovely male Steward who was attentive throughout. As a rule we always try and give the Cabin Stewards a break, so making up room does not have to be every day, they are always there if you need them. Food as always very good, we never use the restaurants, that is our choice, we prefer to use the Bistro on deck 10, purely for choice and we can pick our time to eat. Always something there for everyone. Plenty to do and see on the ship on sail days or just relax and socialise. Noticed sick bags out at Dundee and at various other times although the sea was never rough, slight bobbing but gentle all the same. Unusual for us we decided to book shore excursions, we normally do our own thing, but as we had to book Russian excursions we thought what the hell. Actual excursions well organised and a good variety, (very good description of actual excursions so you know what you are letting yourself in for). Excursions are good value for money. All excursions start with a coach journey, this is where we noticed an abnormal amount of coughing. A lot of passengers were complaining of a sore throat. Further into the cruise the problem seemed to get worse, more people coughing, the general consensus was the air conditioning. Up to now we were not affected. We arrived at St Petersburg and disembarked for our excursion, half day at the Hermitage. This is a busy excursion and nonstop once you are in the venue. Two of our party went missing and were found outside, they did not seem well and said they needed air. Back on the ship by afternoon my Wife complained of a sore throat. As seasoned cruiser's we take every kind of medication just in case, so after taking this my Wife settled a bit and it was "carry on cruising". The second day in St Petersburg we were at the Yusipov palace and Waterways. This was a fabulous excursion for anyone going to St Petersburg. However it was marred by increased coughing, by the time we were back on ship it was noticeably worse among the passengers. Also we noticed passengers walking around with cannulas attached. My Wife's condition worsened throughout the day and evening, our own meds were not working. My Wife does suffer from COPD following Lung Cancer three years before. We always visit our G.P. before cruising for "Fit to travel purposes". By late evening things were that bad we had to visit the dreaded Medical Centre (no one wants to end up here). Upon initial assessment my Wife was immediately put on an I.V. Drip with Anti-Biotics (one hour) followed the next morning by another one hour I.V. drip with anti-biotics and face mask nebuliser. This was followed by two further treatments lasting one hour each. Various tests were carried out via a blood test. All tests proved negative. Diagnosis Pneumonia / Chest infection. Whilst these treatments were taking place a lot of other passengers were receiving the same treatment for the same problem, one elderly lady was very bad. This was a very busy Medical Centre. I have to say the care and treatment was first class. Eventually my Wife was discharged, however we were confined to Ship at Stockholm and no arranged Excursion at Alborg (we had a gentle walk here although limited). Elsewhere on the ship this was becoming an epidemic with coughing from every quarter so much so we spent a lot of time in our cabin to avoid the problem. The worse part was in the theatre where you could hardly hear the guest speaker for coughing all around. As far as I know and saw, one chap was airlifted off by Helicopter, he was being treated while my Wife had her last treatment, one person left at Stockholm for emergency operation. We heard of one being left at Russia and one at Alborg. Talking to a passenger (coughing became a talking point) a maintenance team turned up at her cabin to fix the bathroom door, (no problem known to her) however miraculously the door repair yielded a new shower head??? Make of that what you will. By the time we left Alborg my Wife was feeling better, albeit she still had a very sore throat which we treated with hot honey drinks. I have to ask the question. What was lurking aboard the Magellan? I have never known a problem like this on all our other cruises and it was quite worrying. Disembarkation, we were sent two light blue luggage labels the evening before. We came on with purple and guessed this was because of cabin change, light blue also denoted SAGA cruisers. Back to reception and after explanation we were given purple luggage labels (remember the car park), so on the day we disembarked with all the other purples, only to find we were an hour late and that service had ended. We were told we should have had lime green labels (yep I am still working on that one). However CMV were very good and we had a coach and escort back to the car park. Now I said earlier the "dreaded Medical Centre". The final bill for this was £4600.00. Now we have insurance but as with all insurances there ARE RESTRICTIONS AND RIDERS, one of our restrictions is COPD. As the diagnosis was Chest Infection Primary and COPD as secondary we are hoping the insurance passed the treatment as we were allowed to disembark. DO NOT CRUISE WITHOUT FULL INSURANCE. My Wife has visited our G.P. and further blood tests have been taken. She is still unwell and is being monitored. I would like to say that this was a good cruise, but the health issue has left us with no memorable thoughts. Of course the staff were brilliant as always, they all work very hard to please you. Will we cruise again? We have a cruise booked next year on the Marco Polo, but seriously after experiencing what we have just gone through........................... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The Marco Polo seems to be popular with many (I spoke to a fellow passenger who had travelled on 7 voyages) but I suspect that those who like this 54-years-old ship are the same as people who choose to drive a 54-year old car rather than a ... Read More
The Marco Polo seems to be popular with many (I spoke to a fellow passenger who had travelled on 7 voyages) but I suspect that those who like this 54-years-old ship are the same as people who choose to drive a 54-year old car rather than a new one. Not because it is better but because it is different. The eccentricities and signs of age are apparent as soon as we had embarked at Cardiff and were shown to our cabin (number 130 - chosen by the operator as we had elected to a guaranteed outside cabin rather than choosing one). The first thing one notices is that there are only two electrical sockets - a 220 volt continental point and a 110 volt US point (plus an unnamed push button whose use we didn't bother to determine). In 1965 travellers probably only needed one point - but with the plethora of electrical appliances that are the stock in trade of the modern traveller, one power point is not really adequate. The cabin lights were also rather primitive, with an array of ceiling lights none of which could be switched separately - it was all on or all off using the one switch by the cabin door - and two separate reading lights. When we arrived in the cabin the air-conditioning wasn't working although, to be fair, the engineer was on site in less than an hour and fixed the problem. This was our first contact with the staff and was characteristic of all our relationships with the staff who were invariably efficient, helpful and pleasant. So 100% for that aspect of the cruise. Having unpacked we need to find out the layout of the ship and then we discovered eccentricity number 2. The one thing that every passenger needs is a plan of the ship and this should be in every cabin - but not on the Marco Polo. Yes, plans there were a-plenty at reception - once one finds it. But why not in the cabins which is where they will be most needed? Having found a deck plan another eccentricity was evident (number 3 if you're counting). The ship's plan shows the names of all the decks: Navigator, Columbus, Amundsen, Magellan, Pacific, Atlantic, Baltic and Caribic - but the references in the daily activities guide (entitled The Explorer) gave only deck numbers (Eg. Deck 9 Aft). Of course it is not too difficult to write the deck number on the ship's plan oneself - but why on earth wasn't this done at the time of printing? Before leaving the cabin one other eccentricity was evident, although we didn't bother to mention it to the staff as nothing could have been done. Our cabin floor was as bumpy as if the carpet had been laid across a ploughed field; goodness only knows what was underneath. Finally, although we had paid extra for an outside cabin we might as well have saved our money as for 80% of the journey there were deadlights across the portholes. This is permitted under the normal terms and conditions but it is as well for prospective passengers to be aware of this possibility on the lower deck cabins of this vessel. There are two restaurants on the Marco Polo, one waiter service and one self service and the food is good in both although that in the waiter-service restaurant is more interesting. The waiter service was very good. It is a sad fact that many (maybe all?) cruise companies charge very competitive prices for their cruises and then seek to make up their profits on the extras. My own extras bill came to over £900, much of which was drinks. On board drinks will be duty-free and bought at a discount price, but any savings are not passed on to passengers. As an example, a glass of house wine was £6 and a bottle of beer £4.50 - both well over UK pub prices. A further indication of this can be seen at the water station where there is a stern notice which reads, "For Health and Hygiene reasons it is strictly prohibited to refill water bottles at the water station". Well, I suppose it is just possible that some infected person might have drunk from the neck of a water bottle and then refilled it when pressing that neck against the tap - but I doubt it's a very serious risk. More likely is it that Cruise and Maritime want to make sure that passengers buy the bottled water that they supply at a purely nominal £2,80 per bottle. Cruise lines do have a monopoly and a captive market on board and this was evident from the price and range of the items for sale in the ship's shop. Proudly advertised as duty-free it was clear from the prices that any saving of duty was offset by an increase in profit. I needed to buy a pair of swimming trunks and the modest pair they had for sale was priced at £21 - about twice what a similar pair would have cost at home. The same excessive prices prevailed for most of the items on sale and I rarely saw anyone buying anything. In part the paucity of sales could have been due to the poor stick selection, which was not appropriate for the passenger profile. My own guess is that the average age of the passengers as around 80 years and thus hardly likely to want to buy designer shopping bags or the like. But the one thing that they would all use and probably need would be a walking stick, since at least 50% of the passengers were using a walking aid of one sort or another. Walking stick can break, get lost or simply be forgotten but did the shop stock such things? No. The assistant there did tell me that sticks were frequently requested but that it wasn't an item they ever stocked. If would seem to me that the buyer needs to look harder at the passenger profiles. The entertainment was of the usual variety and standard and little more needs to be said. The shore excursions were good enough but, as is so often the case, pricey for what they were. In summary, one can understand why some people enjoy the quirkiness of the Marco Polo, but next time I will try a different line Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
A friend booked this cruise and I was somewhat dubious having sailed on her years ago to Norway, which is beautiful. However, on this voyage the food was very much improved to 'excellent', and I'm fussy. The lobster as an ... Read More
A friend booked this cruise and I was somewhat dubious having sailed on her years ago to Norway, which is beautiful. However, on this voyage the food was very much improved to 'excellent', and I'm fussy. The lobster as an extra was the best I've ever eaten, and I thought very reasonably priced @ £16 - really sweet meat and beautifully presented and all the meals were very very good indeed - compliments to the chefs, most of whom were Indian, and I always feel they are the best! And drinks were reasonably priced too. I wanted a rest and to read and did just that and availed myself of the library on board. She's a small ship but offered all I needed and you don't have to walk miles to get anywhere on board! The pianist and violinist were great, and the Duty Frees excellent value. The crew were polite and most obliging, the cabins were small but fine. The outdoor pool was at this time of year closed off and we saw snow at times - well, we were heading towards Iceland - an expensive and very cold place, the highlight of which for me was a visit to the Blue Lagoon and that day we had lovely warm sunshine. The excursions are pricey but everything is included which saves a lot of hassle and guarantees a safe return on time to the ship. We did go out into the Fjord and saw a humpback whale, so that was another tick off the 'to do/see' list. The Faroe Islands en route were rather bleak with little to really do/see but it's a place to say you've at least visited, and our tour guide Samson was both knowledgeable and polite. Tea/coffee/hot water/hot/cold milk were available from early a.m. to midnight which is important to me as there are no in cabin facilities to make a hot drink. And a child free zone - yes! A good value for money trip, and well done to all who sail on the Marco Polo! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We boarded and informed the ship had only one engine. This was replaced 12 days into our cruise. This meant we were unloaded and loaded at small jetties spent hours on coaches and less time at our destinations. A lock broke near Frankfurt ... Read More
We boarded and informed the ship had only one engine. This was replaced 12 days into our cruise. This meant we were unloaded and loaded at small jetties spent hours on coaches and less time at our destinations. A lock broke near Frankfurt which put us back another 12 hours. The ship is not fit for purpose. The toilet system broke down 3 times. Internet very bad reception. T V was in German had not been switched to a English satellite. The food was O K but deserts terrible. Coffee in the restaurant to strong and cold complained to the Hotel Manager but no improvement. Staff in restaurant needed training not serving ladies first, reaching across to deliver or pick up plates. The temperature control in our cabins did not work. We some times had to endure unpleasant smells when docked closed to other ships. The ship needed net curtains to most cabins for privacy when in port or docked next to another ship. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose CMV for the itinerary that started in Singapore and ended in London 46 days later. The ship was a total delight - small but with many stylish lounges, a walk-around promenade deck, two sunny pools, and three free restaurant ... Read More
We chose CMV for the itinerary that started in Singapore and ended in London 46 days later. The ship was a total delight - small but with many stylish lounges, a walk-around promenade deck, two sunny pools, and three free restaurant choices in addition to the buffet. Our interior cabin 4117 was spacious, quiet, and very steady during windy portions of the trip. Since George and I enjoyed every day on board and would do this cruise again, suffice it to say we really liked the food, entertainments, spa services, reading lounges, cabin attendants, cruise directors, casino folks, craft classes, passenger choir, afternoon tea, the informative lectures, and so many other aspects of this cruise. The ambience was relaxed - like being home - rather than super luxe. That made the cruise restful. With many sea days, we were able to read some great books. How nice is that - cruising along and reading? We did not buy a beverage package and survived quite well on tea, coffee, water, and an occasional Schweppes Bitter Lemon over ice. Lovely cruise, lovely staff, a variety of cuisines, and at a good price. Thank you CMV!!! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because it was a repositioning cruise and the itinerary looked amazing. I normally only give good reviews or just not review at all, if the experience was bad. However, I want people to know about this. Some things you ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a repositioning cruise and the itinerary looked amazing. I normally only give good reviews or just not review at all, if the experience was bad. However, I want people to know about this. Some things you can not make a big deal about, others are unacceptable. We were sold a bill of goods from the Cruise and Maritime Florida office. We knew the ship was older (originally Holland America - then sold to P&O - and now in the CMV fleet). However, we were told we were boarding a completely refurbished ship. That was not the case at all. There were plumbing issues throughout. Many toilets overflowing and hot/cold water issues. There were also HVAC issues. Some cabins and public areas were FREEZING and others were HOT. We had to complain 3x before someone even came to look at our cabin. It was meat locker cold. We covered up the A/C vents and kept our balcony door open most of the journey so I did not have to wear layers of winter clothes in my cabin. The thermostats were so ancient, you could not even turn them off. The cabins had nice bedding and towels - although we had to beg for bathrobes/dressing gowns (which we were told came with our level of cabin). Cabins were all original and aging - stuffing coming out if seams of the couch, peeling wallpaper, etc. It really needed updating. We had a tub with jets, but they never worked. Dining was hit or miss. Some meals were good, others not so much. In the bistro it was not serve yourself so you had to ask for portion size of specific foods. Some of the staff had little command of the English language, so they would put the wrong things on your plate. Some stations had long lines and it was not laid out very well. Also for some odd reason, people were stealing the salt and pepper shakers - so we had to keep getting up and borrowing ones from other tables. Things like this you pass off as new crew, different ship in the fleet, things will be off. I do accept maiden voyage glitches. However, there were a couple of things which were completely unacceptable: 1. We were told to board the ship on 22 April by CMV Florida office. However, when we arrived jetlagged in Singapore to the cruise terminal a porter acted like we were idiots and told us to come back tomorrow. No ship today. We were stunned and lost - not even having a hotel booked. CMV had all our contact information (phone, email) and yet they did not even tell us in advance that the date was incorrect. This is just plain and simple poor business. 2. The people working in reception on the ship initially were cold and rude. I brought receipts to them the first day for compensation for our hotel/food costs the night before (as I was instructed to do by CMV) and they basically told me I was an stupid and should have known when to board. This woman actually said, "How can anyone be so stupid to board on the wrong day? It clearly states boarding on 23 April." as she was emphatically pointing at the CMV Vasco da Gama brochure. I have NEVER EVER been treated so disrespectfully by a reception person on a ship. And I was being nice just dropping off the receipts. I never received any transparency or an explanation about this horrible mistake. It took them nearly 4 days to respond and give us a bottle of wine for our troubles - which we didn't need since we already bought the drink package. I would never take another cruise on a CMV ship. They are terrible with customer service. However, I will say this - the crew, in general, did their best with what they had to work with. Most were kind. The ports were very cool and varied. The passengers we met onboard we awesome. Despite all the issues, we had a good vacation! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We choose this cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The ship was old and tired and leaked. Our cabin carpet was wet the whole cruise and I was sick the whole cruise. It was only when we disembarked that I got over the virus I ... Read More
We choose this cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The ship was old and tired and leaked. Our cabin carpet was wet the whole cruise and I was sick the whole cruise. It was only when we disembarked that I got over the virus I had the whole cruise. The ship needs a full refurbishment so that the hallways/rooms are not full of dryers trying to dry the smelly carpets the whole time. The dining experience was not good to start with but as it was a maiden voyage the staff needed time to find their way around the ship too. By the end of the cruise the meals were fine, all except the grill restaurant where you had to pay an additional charge. We went there twice thinking it might improve but it didn't. Don't waste your money there. The steaks were tough and dry. The entertainment was not good, the person who got the biggest crowds was the lecturer who outlined the ports and the history of where we were. The staff, all except the front desk, did their best but they seemed to have been thrown in the deep end with little support from their head office. Also the hand sanitizing on the ship was not enforced and I think this must also have had something to do with the very large number of sick people on this cruise. I would never cruise with CMV again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We went on the Astoria in March 2019 and firstly the really good aspects: It went from our home port in Poole so no distance to travel. It is a nice size with not too far to walk to the restaurants and lounges, it is quite stable so ... Read More
We went on the Astoria in March 2019 and firstly the really good aspects: It went from our home port in Poole so no distance to travel. It is a nice size with not too far to walk to the restaurants and lounges, it is quite stable so although quite rough seas it didn't roll too much so no sea sickness. It had a cinema with recent releases being shown. They had a good speaker on board who shared his Vulcan experiences so being into aviation this was a nice surprise. The cabins were very well appointed with plenty of space for clothes etc. The staff were very friendly and we received good service. They provided shuttle buses at all the ports for independent travellers not going on the excursions so there weren’t the long walks that we have had on other cruise providers Next the not so good aspects The cabins were noisy and vibration from the engines could be felt all night long. We couldn't work out whether this was the location of our cabin - deck 4 mid ship but I suspect that it was throughout the ship but the beds were very comfortable so didn't affect our sleep. The general consensus was 'the more you pay the more you sway' .The service in the Olissipo restaurant was quite slow and the food average. We did treat ourselves to the steak bar and had an excellent 8 course meal although one of the steaks was too tough and went back. The schedules weren't kept to due to rough weather (not their fault) so we only ended up with 4 full days ashore and 4 half days. Our trip to the Scillies was cancelled which was disappointing. We felt that the information provided by the excursion team was poor for independent travellers. For instance when we went to Invergordon we were told that it was difficult to get the public transport into Inverness and that we should take the £25 ship transfer. In fact there was a bus that went straight into Inverness and cost only £12 return. Clearly they were more interested in selling the excursions. There were 2 sizes of wine on offer a large and small glass but despite repeated requests for a small glass, large ones (187ml) always arrived. So we ended up buying a bottle which was cheaper. Overall it is a good value boat and CMV are recommended as good organisers. We would go on Astoria again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Paid half price and got half of nearly everything. We actually left on the 23/3/19 for 11 day cruise from Poole. We were attracted to the cruise because it left from Poole, was visiting the Shetland Isles and in particular The Scilly ... Read More
Paid half price and got half of nearly everything. We actually left on the 23/3/19 for 11 day cruise from Poole. We were attracted to the cruise because it left from Poole, was visiting the Shetland Isles and in particular The Scilly Isles. At the start we only had half a day in both Dunkirk and Invergordon. At the end, the Scilly Isles was cancelled altogether because of rough weather forecast and difficulty of boarding tenders to go ashore. Indeed arrangements for getting passengers ashore were generally very unsatisfactory particularly bearing in mind that at least the half passengers seemed to have mobility issues. In many cases, apart from tenders it involved walking down a steep set of rickety steps. Not the best we have experienced. As Tresco was the only coach trip we had booked we and many others were bitterly disappointed. There were frequent shuttle buses at most ports of call though which were very good once ashore. The food was terrible. Breakfast was the best. Portions were minute. One roast potato, slice of carrot and piece of broccoli in the dining room. Matchbox sized portions of cheesecake. I actually lost 3lbs!!! The bar & wine waiter were obviously under instructions to ignore whatever the customer asked for and only to give large measures. We were going to tip our room steward extra but a couple of days before the end I asked for another toilet roll and was told it was rationed!!!! So no tip! All in all I am sorry to say I cannot recommend this cruise and based on what we had CMV either. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I choose this cruise mainly because of the destination and from the reviews thought the ship although old would be ok. First let me say i love cruising and have done 45-50 cruises with very few complaints but honestly this cruise ship and ... Read More
I choose this cruise mainly because of the destination and from the reviews thought the ship although old would be ok. First let me say i love cruising and have done 45-50 cruises with very few complaints but honestly this cruise ship and CMV have a lot to answer for. Our cabin 216 was small and we had 1 small porthole and had paid for an oceanview. The porthole was closed for 11 days of a 15 day cruise, whilst they do it for safety reasons there were times we were docked and still it was kept closed we had ask on several occasions to have it opened. We could have had an internal cabin for some $1000 less each.The smell of diesal and the crew smoking was there for the entire cruise. The ship was full to capacity 800 in a ship this size is just not on. Everything was full the buffett was a fight at every meal to find a seat and the quality was really bad even the 3 coffee machines were continually out of order. The dining room although a little better was way below standard. I paid for a VIP package please dont do it !! the wine list is a joke there are 2 white wines and 2 red wines from there signature drinks and 2 from the standard package to choose from i couldnt believe it. They some other wines by the bottle but they had to be paid for and you couldnt get them by the glass. With the other drinks if you wanted anything that wasnt on the drinks menu you couldnt have it !!! also the system they have is that you can only order from a waitor and cant get a drink from the bar. The entertainment was an insult except a young lady soprano who was great the biggest joke was when showtime came at night and old bloke with a banjo came out and started a singalong , i had to laugh !!! the showband seriously was that bad that the singers who did individual shows they didnt even play. I could go on. Excursions altho expensive were good and well organised. This company are treating the elderly british with contempt in my opinion . Go with this ship and company at your peril and as i said i have done nearly 50 cruises and cant believe all i wanted to do was get off . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
OK, the cost and value are pretty good (World Cruise 2019), but its let down by two key things. Firstly the food. It varies between average to terrible and tends to be stodgy, swimming in gravy or sauce and usually over cooked. (Our table ... Read More
OK, the cost and value are pretty good (World Cruise 2019), but its let down by two key things. Firstly the food. It varies between average to terrible and tends to be stodgy, swimming in gravy or sauce and usually over cooked. (Our table of 6 must have sent well over 30 meals back or not eaten in just 70 days.) Not forgetting that when avocado or anchovy appears on the menu! All you get is something from a tube or powdered anchovy??(Dont try and find it on the plate or in the flavour). Secondly the service many of the drinks waiters/waitresses are offhand and rude as were the shore crew. The dining staff are very friendly but lack support to help solve problems when they arise (Fusion restaurant being an exception and very good), the cabin staff are a shining light (along with the little contact you may get with engineering type staff. For the rest the cruise is comfortable with reasonable sized cabins and comfortable beds, not lush, but comfortable. The entertainment team are very good and put on a wide variety of shows that are choreographed on board. Lee Cooper, Holly and the team take a bow. I guess the frustrating thing about this cruise is that it easily could be better, without becoming an expensive overkill. The boat is as big as you need, just fix the food! It’s the only issue that holds me back from booking again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Leaving from Adelaide was the big attraction as the norm is a flight to the eastern states to catch a cruise. The smaller ship was ok but limited your choice of places to go and rest or a bar for a quiet drink. I have been on 8 cruises and ... Read More
Leaving from Adelaide was the big attraction as the norm is a flight to the eastern states to catch a cruise. The smaller ship was ok but limited your choice of places to go and rest or a bar for a quiet drink. I have been on 8 cruises and my experiences with the night entertainment has always been average to poor and the Astor’s takes the cup for the worst performances I have ever seen. And lastly a singer or singers with a guitar at various times night and day to listen to would have been great instead of a pianoist and violinist who were at best depressing. We took out the premium drinks package which to my surprise only included a Shandy beer or the most bitter beer I have ever been unfortunate to try Bitsburger, surely a mid strength or light beer could have been on the list. We drunk cocktails and spirits all cruise which cost a lot more than the beers were, that got me stumped how CMV came up with that idea. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I have always wanted to visit Tasmania and this cruise was advertised at a reasonable rate in the Sunday Mail. As this is the final voyage from Australia of the Astor I was not expecting much. We were surprised pleasantly by the ... Read More
I have always wanted to visit Tasmania and this cruise was advertised at a reasonable rate in the Sunday Mail. As this is the final voyage from Australia of the Astor I was not expecting much. We were surprised pleasantly by the cabin size and ample storage. The water pressure and hot water availability was faultless. The waste system operated faultlessly unlike other cruises we have completed. The food was incredible. The bar staff were knowledgeable and hospitable. A special mention for the entertainment staff and in particular the extremely hard working dancers. The shows kept getting better. The Captain was a true gentleman and exceptional host. Housekeeping and general cleanliness was to a very high standard. The spa was a pleasure to visit. The sauna and co located internal swimming pool were immaculately clean and attended by staff. I wasn’t expecting much from an aged ship on a relatively minor shipping line but I was constantly surprised and delighted from start to finish. Thank you CMV. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
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
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We did a 10 week cruise so we had a fairly extensive experience of life on board. The ship was built in 1963 for the Russian market and refitted in 1993. Issues: The hot three hot drinks machines, two inside and one outside, ... Read More
We did a 10 week cruise so we had a fairly extensive experience of life on board. The ship was built in 1963 for the Russian market and refitted in 1993. Issues: The hot three hot drinks machines, two inside and one outside, continually ran out of cups and shut themselves down with fault codes which appear to be due to over-use and they run out of hot water. There was a good choice of food for the buffet breakfast but the equipment in the Bistro failed to keep it warm, I would suggest a couple of microwaves for those who like their food hot. The main restaurant was slightly better. Omelettes, fried and poached eggs were always cooked fresh in both. The main cut fruit available was melon with a bit of pineapple, apple and occasional orange, but always a large proportion of melon. Whole fruit was always apples. There was the occasional banana, orange, pear or plum in the early days but scarcer as the cruise went on. There is a shortage of drinks waiters at peak times and the ship still uses plastic straws and stirrers. The show lounge (theatre) has very poor acoustics. There is an annoying rattle from the roof panels and despite complaints they seem unable or unwilling to fix it. The floor is not tiered and there are 7 pillars partially obstructing the view from just about every seat more than two rows back. The furniture definitely needs replacing, all the padded chairs were sagging in the seats and many were frayed or worn. Externally she was definitely showing her age with numerous areas of rust bubbles in the deck metalwork. There is no do-it-yourself laundry on board so everything is on an individual cost. With a handkerchief or item of underwear costing £1 with an incremental scale it wouldn’t take long to run up a huge bill, especially on a long trip. There were two Magic Bag days during our trip where you could cram a laundry bag with as much as you liked for £12, wash and dry only. The swimming pool was not heated and was filled with sea water when conditions permitted but this amounted to only a few days when in warm weather. There was an appeal early on for water saving if we went to sea for more than a couple of days yet remarkably the toilets used fresh water for flushing. I understand the hot tubs used fresh water and they were therefore mostly out of use, either with covers over or a notice saying ‘Closed For Maintenance.’ Following numerous complaints about the lack of information the Cruise Director placed an ‘Entertainment Suggestions’ box in reception for a few days but I am not aware of any changes resulting from this. The lack of information was typified by our visit to Carcass Island which required passengers to get a ticket for the tenders. The first two tenders departed and then the Captain said he was temporarily suspending the service due to safety issues and would review the situation in an hour. So we all waited in the designated place and two hours later when we had heard nothing we started to drift away. Nothing else was said except for a brief mention in the evening broadcast. For our journey from the Falklands up the west coast of Chile through the fjords, a map was delivered each evening to your cabin with waypoints marked and a time of arrival. We were supposed to enter Darwin Passage and Narrows at 10am. The ship actually arrived at 8am and by 10am we were leaving so a lot of people missed it. Not a word about the amended time or the reason they managed to get it so wrong with a simple overnight passage. On the way we passed several shipwrecks and memorials but despite having a pilot on board there was not a word of explanation so having seen some beautiful scenery we were non the wiser about any of it. A guide did join us for the Panama Canal but the first hour of her commentary was lost due to an intermittent microphone. The microphone in the Captains Club where the organised games and quizzes were held was intermittent for the whole trip. The ship only did one Sailaway Party from our last port of call. For the last few days they ran out of several things including tonic, marmite and till rolls. The Good Bits: The ship appears to have some very devoted passengers with one chap we spoke to had done over 30 cruises on the ship and several others were well into double figures. The entertainment team were very good with many different routines and costumes. A gin and tonic was £4.55 so comparable to UK and with two of us a round of drinks could come to £10 so it didn’t take long to rack up a hefty bar bill. The company we booked with ’Imagine Cruising’ did an all inclusive package for £300 a couple so within about ten days we were already in credit and as the cruise lasted seventy days we were very happy with the deal. We also got £800 cabin credit which we used to pay for the organised port trips which were very good and lasted either half a day or a full day with lunch. As anyone who has cruised will know trips around the town will usually be architecture, town history, museums and churches and cathedrals so it is better to do the national parks and out of town trips. The ship laid on free shuttle buses to town centres when they were not immediately outside the port which was a bonus we hadn’t expected. The ship was kept immaculately clean inside with the crew continually cleaning walls, ceilings, stairs and washing carpets at night. Embarkation was very slow but disembarkation was excellent, done by deck number. The food on board was excellent and you could purchase special meals, eg a full Indian experience meal, surf and turf etc and we thought these were excellent value for money. The food was of a very good standard and this was maintained for the whole 71 days. The waiters and hotel staff were brilliant and we couldn’t fault them. Any requests were dealt with very efficiently. There were a whole range of activities including craft, acting, choir, ukulele, chairobics, creative writing, bridge, ballroom dancing, etc. General: The cabins were mainly two single beds with one 4 draw chest with slide out writing table plus a five foot wardrobe. We got an unrequested upgrade to cabin 625 and ended up with 4 chests of drawers, an absolute bonus on a long trip but with a restricted view. Next door had the same layout but with a good view. There are no balconies on the ship. The electric supply was a 220V socket with 2 round pins. There was also a 110V three flat pin socket and a dual volt shaver socket in the bathroom. The shower was good and on a flexi hose. There is a 2’ 6” (75cm) drying line across the shower for small items. Suitcases can be stowed under the beds or in the wardrobe. There was a temperature control on the wall. We had a kettle, two cups and packets of tea, coffee, etc. A lot of cabins do not have this. Overall, the ship is showing her age with few of the refinements of modern cruise liners. She is a graceful old lady and possibly the oldest still cruising. If you don’t mind a lack of facilities and want to get into some of the smaller ports then this could be the ship for you but CMV could do so much to improve passenger pleasure at virtually no cost with simple innovations like providing more cups and cutlery, senior staff mixing with the passengers and providing tourist information commentary at special locations. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Cabin We were given a tiny, windowless cabin on the lowest deck known as Carabic. The smell of diesel is so overpowering it leaves a taste in your mouth as you leave the tiny lift. We paid for an inner cabin and the offer suggested a ... Read More
Cabin We were given a tiny, windowless cabin on the lowest deck known as Carabic. The smell of diesel is so overpowering it leaves a taste in your mouth as you leave the tiny lift. We paid for an inner cabin and the offer suggested a free upgrade that never happened; despite this the cabin was serviceable and kept spotlessly clean by Lillia our Cabin Stewart. The two twin beds were smaller than a regular single but were rewarded with fresh crisp linen daily along with the white as wave towels. The cabin was serviceable and a little larger than I expected. The draw space and hanging space was well utilised for storing the plethora of formal wear needed on the cruise. 3 single wardrobes housed rails, the safe and a set of small draws along with a tie rack. The top space held the life jackets and could be used for storing larger items. The storage of suitcases was difficult but we squeezed them under the beds, this would be impossible with the hard shell cases but our smaller softer cases compressed to fit. The bathroom optimised the available space and provided a shower with a detachable head; the pressure was good and left us feeling refreshed. The toiletries supplied were limited and of a poor quality. The descenders in the showers were tricky to use when slippery and wet but we had brought our own and recommend travellers do the same. The standard of cleaning in the cabin is outstanding and I have never had a better standard anywhere in the world. Twice each day the room is cleaned and turned back at night, clothes folded for you, bins emptied, dressing area organised. It feels like Mary Poppins has visited each time you return. Captain’s Club This comfortable area is rarely unoccupied, in the day it’s bright clean interior attracts people hoping to relax and have a drink and at night it is a waiting area for people preparing for the show lounge cabaret. A delightful pianist and violinist play at various times on most evenings but they could not be enjoyed because they became inaudible within the busy room full of chattering guests. A beautiful resource that is sadly under appreciated and lost amongst the people. Sadly this area is understaffed and many guests treat the overworked staff appallingly. I have witnessed so many occasions where guests have berated, abused and directly verbally attacked the young staff. The waiting time for drinks is over 30 minutes or more and there does seem to be a favouring of those guests without a drinks package over those who have the package. This highlights another anomaly in the pricing of the drinks package. If I ordered a quadruple whisky this would be included in the package BUT a latte coffee would not. This seems rather unfair and does not encourage sensible drinking. My main issue with this area is the lack of tables for two persons. Most of the tables are laid out as 4s and so it negates any privacy or time for couples to enjoy together. Most of the time the lounge is quite full and so people sit with you and want to chat. A lovely thing to happen on a friendly ship but there are times when I would have appreciated some time alone with my husband. This layout was further hindered by the many Zimmer frames, walking trollies and walking sticks that created an ever changing obstacle course for people to negotiate. Scott’s Bar This is a lively little venue however after 10 all entertainment moves to this bar and sadly the area is far too small for the number of visitors using it. It was almost impossible to see both the show at 9 in the show lounge and then get a seat upstairs. Sadly we missed out because if this. The bar staff in this area are good and much quicker than in other areas of the ship. Many of the soft furnishings in this area are broken and are uncomfortable but this is only if you are fast enough to get a seat. Marco’s Bistro Terrible! This restaurant is appalling and I am afraid it has deteriorated during the cruise. The food is luke warm at best and stagnant and congealed most of the time. The choice is poor with mostly chopped meat dishes and diced over cooked soggy vegetables. The sweet section at lunch and dinner are poor with small portions of poorly presented sweets that include many cold puddings and whips. The majority of food has a soft blended texture ideal if chewing is best avoided! The cutlery includes only soup spoons rather than desert or tea spoons, so one must stir tea, eat cake and cereal with a soup spoon. Usually there is a shortage of cutlery throughout the restaurant at all 3 meals. My biggest annoyance was having to collect food in relays as people would take your seat between courses. Lone diners would find it impossible to eat all courses in the same seat. Main Restaurant This area is stunning and despite the tatty table cloths, with more pulls than a grandmother’s stocking, it is warm and welcoming. The staff try hard but the lack of organisation makes this a doomed enterprise. We were sat on a table of six and we were so close to other tables that the waiters played limbo to get about carrying the trays. The menus allowed for a choice but really what you received was like Russian roulette. I ordered ice cream and got sorbet, ordered pasta and got pork! This seemed to happen every night to at least one person in the table. The delay between courses was ridiculous with a 90 minute wait on Christmas Day between starter and main. This improved to 50 minutes on Boxing Day. We eventually complained and the time between courses reduced but the game of roulette continued. Midnight snacks Pathetic! These are carried around on a tray and given out in tiny portions on serviettes. I was blessed with grease down my ball gown as the waiter spilt them all down me on Christmas Eve! Not the wonderful plan I had for my dress which is now ruined. Deck Bar Swimming pool! More of a puddle than a pool. I heard it called a splash pool, a great name as it just splashes icy water over people sat at tables around it. The slippery deck is then a risk to the shuffling older people who hope to sit by it. No one used it as it is covered with a net, a complete waste of deck space and a blooming pain in the neck! The bar out here is well stocked and enticing but the wait time for a drink is so long you contemplate jumping overboard! The waiting staff meander about, avoiding eye contact and rarely engage with people. I have found this the worst area to get a drink and have often given in and had a self service coffee rather than nothing. Entertainment The entertainment team includes some excellent singers with talent way beyond this ship. Callum, Anneka and Savannah brighten every room when they enter and their talent shines through. The others are not quite as talented but what they lack in ability they make up for in enthusiasm. Mitch makes everyone smile and excelled at Elvis and some swing but he struggles with more challenging songs. Not all of the songs the entertainers sing suit their voices and even the best of them murder some songs. The Wuthering Heights needs to be pulled ASAP! Daytimes are dull. Little if any entertainment goes on and much is not hosted. The entertainment seems to be aimed at the older generation with Knit and Natter and Bridge. We attended the Creative Writing and although we enjoyed the sharing of creative works the gentleman who ran the session was poor. He talked. A lot! He then got everyone to write and share. The feedback was peer feedback with little input from him. There was no development of people’s skill, no feedback or development of ideas. The next session repeated exactly the first in format and activities. The room was too small and the delivery needs to be improved. The tutor led session was didactic and lacked any imagination. Ironic given it was a creative writing class. The exception to the poor daytime activities was the Morecombe and Wise Comedy lecture that was excellent. It was well planned, entertaining and engaging, giving rise to much laughter and good spirits. The presenter was knowledgeable and very talented. Excursions The excursions are very expensive however they are well organised and have a high standard of tour guide. We did 3 different excursions and booked a fourth that was unfortunately cancelled. The first tour of Gibraltar was on a minibus and took us to the Rock, the Caves and the museum. The guide was excellent and entertained and informed us. He was relaxed and the tour took longer than expected but it was worth every second of my time. The second tour took us around a very foggy and rainy Funchal. To be honest the tour should have been cancelled due to the weather. The views were totally covered by a thick blanket of fog making visibility about 3 meters maximum. The guide tried her best but coffee and cake at a golf club and a walk to a wine tasting cost us £48 each. Very disappointing! The 3rd trip around a freezing cold Lisbon was a march, following a bossy school mistress who barked at us and constantly repeated herself. When people asked for rendezvous times she wouldn’t give them insisting we stayed with her. The visit to the monastery allowed no time to contemplate the beautiful place or enter into prayer. It was a fast walk through and a sit on a pew whilst she talked and talked constantly repeating herself. Disappointing. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because it was good value at Xmas. Everywhere was festively and attractively decorated. The staff were welcoming and helpful. The food was plentiful and well served. ( it can get busy in the buffet restaurant ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was good value at Xmas. Everywhere was festively and attractively decorated. The staff were welcoming and helpful. The food was plentiful and well served. ( it can get busy in the buffet restaurant at peak times. The entertainers were young and personable and the shows were colouful with good dancing routines and songs. There were several knowledgeable speakers who were interesting to listen to during our many sea days. There was a range of daily physical activities and quizzes. There is a small spa area on deck 2 with heated tiled loungers and a steam room. It was too chilly to use the pool but people used the open decked loungers whenever they saw some sun. There were even some open air bbqs on deck. The itinerary was good but disrupted by the cancellation of Gibraltar ( propeller damage from a German pilot on the previous cruise) and the rough seas when at anchor in Funchal. It was disappointing to have to leave Amsterdam at 3 .30 just when the Xmas lights were beginning to shine especially as we had 5 sea days following that port. There were lots tours to select from and some presentations given beforehand. In order to keep costs down we were independent travellers in Funchal, and Lisbon. There was an excellent walking tour with a local guide in Amsterdam. My main issue was the daily Captain’s lunchtime info giving was very difficult to understand because of the language accent and the real lack of communication and leadership when 650 cruise passengers were stranded on the quay at Lisbon when the ship tenders could not attach themselves to the ship in rough seas. People spent hours in the wet, cold and dark either standing on the quayside or huddled in the bouncing tenders really anxious about how they could returnto the ship. The crew were excellent in catching the passengers thrown individually from their tenders but there was a real danger of sickness and injury. Some passengers did not manage to return til very late and the crew had the tricky task of reattaching tenders after midnight in strong winds. A real damper on what was a formal dinner and midnight fireworks in the bay. Read Less
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