1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Cruise & Maritime Voyages
  4. Cruise & Maritime Voyages Cruise Reviews

32 Cruise & Maritime Voyages South America Cruise Reviews

Last minute cruise with interesting itinerary; however travellers beware, you get what you pay for. The ship has limited facilities for pleasure on sea days; the entertainment was poor at the best of times. The excursions were not great ... Read More
Last minute cruise with interesting itinerary; however travellers beware, you get what you pay for. The ship has limited facilities for pleasure on sea days; the entertainment was poor at the best of times. The excursions were not great value for money and were limited. Excursion staff had limited knowledge and did not understand you as their English was limited. This also applies to the reception crew. If you wanted to lose weight on a cruise this is the one to go on; the food was extremely poor with limited choice and odd combinations of food were put together. What the chef described as a cheese and onion tart was in fact a slice of quiche served with parsley sauce. The chef obviously lacked imagination and flair and did not have an educated palette for flavours. I am well aware of food recycling to ensure budgets are met; however I think bread and butter pudding or a combination of different egg custards everyday can get boring especially when lacking flavour. The best meal of the day was breakfast; however even a microwave technician can cook an egg. On a positive note the superior outside cabin was comfortable and clean. Cabin boys diligent in their work ethic. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Having read so many bad reviews about Magellan we were very surprised and delighted that we enjoyed our cruise so much. The ship was a proper old fashioned, lovely vehicle and so much nicer than those ghastly things which look like a block ... Read More
Having read so many bad reviews about Magellan we were very surprised and delighted that we enjoyed our cruise so much. The ship was a proper old fashioned, lovely vehicle and so much nicer than those ghastly things which look like a block of flats on a barge. We found our cabin very adequate and it was kept scrupulously clean by our delightful steward Putu. Shower was excellent and endless clean towels. The food and service we found to be excellent and lots of choice and everything very crisp and fresh. We found all staff very very kind and helpful and cleanliness throughout the shop was faultless. We were not very interested in entertainment as we love sea watching and sky watching and reading so could entertain ourselves.The ship seemed very buzzy and fun though if one wanted entertainment. We would have liked more information about where we were at sea and maybe maps. We were not very happy with one of our excursions and found staff not very able to deal with this and the other people who complained. Dealt with now. A small complaint about an altogether great value and very very lovely cruise. Cannot wait for the next one already booked. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This cruise itinerary was great plus there was an excellent deal for solo passengers. I booked an inside and was upgraded to an outside cabin, L shaped beds, but a reasonable size, with shower, a decent size. It was set up for someone with ... Read More
This cruise itinerary was great plus there was an excellent deal for solo passengers. I booked an inside and was upgraded to an outside cabin, L shaped beds, but a reasonable size, with shower, a decent size. It was set up for someone with mobility issues, extra handles in the shower room and a pull down seat in the shower, but these didn't get in the way at all. Shower/hair gell and conditioner were in two containers in the shower plus small bars of soap were provided. A kettle with tea/coffee was provided in the cabin plus a TV (but no BBC world service just a French channel giving news in English?). There was no daily newspaper to catch up on the news available as I had always had on other ships. The first two days was open sitting at dinner time with no allocated table which a lot of people didn't like (I didn't mind), then I was allocated a table but given the time of between 6-8 pm so after people joining at different times, my table agreed a time for us all to come, so that worked well. For a solo there were a lot of get togethers but I found I met a lot of people, just by chatting to whoever sat next to me. The jacuzzi was always sociable. I did a couple of ship excursions which were well managed, as you would expect, and priced reasonably £38 for a half day. The shows were ok and due to the numbers on board, there was only the one around 9pm, then another entertainment around 10pm. Quizzes were generally at 9.30 and 4pm and well attended (It was obvious some people do lots of quizzes as they regularly won). We didn't have a message from the captain at noon, which I enjoyed on other ships. There was one gala night (usual shake hands with the Captain, photo then into lounge followed by introduction to staff) and another evening termed 'elegant' the rest were casual though most men wore shirts and trousers and ladies smart trousers and tops, or dresses. Sea days there was usually a lecture (I found them so so) a creative writing session (this was great fun, really enjoyed this), deck games and a fitness session, plus the quizzes and other get togethers. Embarkation seemed a bit mixed, after an eleven and a half flight, I just wanted to get on the ship and it wasn't clear whether we had to take our own cases from the coach or not. Disembarkation worked well. I bought the Premier package before boarding which paid for gratuities, most cocktails and other drinks on board (not speciality coffees) and a small bottle of water. There was also a bottle of wine as part of this. This was reasonably priced and just made things easy for me as a solo to have a drink when I wanted. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
A 70 day cruise around South America on the Marco Polo - EXCELLENT ! OK, everyone can moan about some slight annoyance that didn't meet their own approval but the cruise far exceeded expectations, especially when comparing the ... Read More
A 70 day cruise around South America on the Marco Polo - EXCELLENT ! OK, everyone can moan about some slight annoyance that didn't meet their own approval but the cruise far exceeded expectations, especially when comparing the value of it to many other cruises available. Yes, it isn't Cunard but for the price it was certainly excellent value ... of course, there will always some people who still expect Cunard quality for CMV prices. The places visited were extremely interesting and varied - major cities; remote villages and islands; scenic passageways and world famous iconic landmarks. The weather ? Only one major downpour of rain throughout the entire 70 days ... at Rio ! The hottest day ? It was a toss up between Buenos Aires and .... the Falkland Islands. Yes, 81 fahrenheit at Port Stanley, the hottest day anyone there could remember. You expect to be amazed by the major places - Rio, Buenos Aires, Montevideo - but it was the smaller ports that surprised many people and made the cruise even more enjoyable by them not expecting such there - Natal and Recife in Brazil, Puerto Montt, Arica and Valparaiso in Chile, Guayaquil and Manta in Ecuador, Ushaia in Argentina and Cartagena in Columbia, as well as cruising through the Chilean fjords and the Panama canal. The on-board entertainment team were excellent and it was obviously hard work for them to provide a varied programme for 70 days while the food was of the highest order. A very well-planned itinerary and would certainly recommend both the journey and the ship itself. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We actually had a wonderful time on this 37 day Cruise. The ship itself was wonderful, and the staff that "waited" on us cannot ever be faulted. The problems seem to be on the small "issues". They all got the hard ... Read More
We actually had a wonderful time on this 37 day Cruise. The ship itself was wonderful, and the staff that "waited" on us cannot ever be faulted. The problems seem to be on the small "issues". They all got the hard stuff right, but failed on the smaller "issues". We had been on this same ship in June 2018 doing the round UK Cruise. So coming back in December of the same year it was easy to see that the whole crew had changed. It was so obvious that the waiters hadn't had any training at all - they were "all at sea" so to speak. As time went along, they gained confidence, and all went well. But should this have happened at all? I would say that the major failing was the "Entertainment". Most people seem to agree that the singers and dancers (and the band), that performed in the main Theatre were good. There was a problem in that the sound guy (a Chinese looking guy with a Bart haircut) had failed to check the "sound" in areas other than his sound desk. A minor problem? Maybe he should have checked the "sound" downstairs. I'm not a sound engineer myself, but would have thought that that was a basic thing to check. There were a few "parties" on deck 10. Well they were just Discos really. The first one was an absolute abomination! Ear splitting rap music! I was around when the Pop group Slade used to play - they were renowned for their volume! This was far louder than anything that they ever did! It really was ear damaging. Bearing in mind that the average age of people here was around 70 years of age, please tell me how this could ever be considered to be appropriate? I think that there must have been many complaints - the "parties" after this did actually reflect the age of the audience. However - it was noticeable that the volume of the music apparently automatically went higher after midnight. We had a Spanish man named David. He, I guess, chose the music, the volumes and everything. He did a Zumba class on the deck. Well Zumba is an exercise prog to music - it is never dancing! He chose to interrupt every "party" with his Zumba. This includes ear splitting Rap music. I once heard a mad complain about him - David just replied "Go back to your cabin and enjoy your Cruise" I can't comment too much on The Captains Club, because we spent little time there, However, there was a duo that performed most nights - they never got even close to singing in tune, They were absolutely dreadful. Was David responsible for this? I did once walk past the Captains Club and thought that they were doing Mr and Mrs - omg. I must say that in the Taverners Bar a guy named Hernon played fantastic music every night. What a talented guy he was. From Argentina I believe. Probably the best entertainment came from the Hamptons Bar. A pianist and a violin player - three 40 minute spots, every night. Full marks from me. Ok. On to the food. Mmm How to do this to be fair? How hard is it to get the plates warm? The water cold? Breakfast - well what more could anyone want? Cooked breakfast, fruit, cold continental stuff, a guy cooking you your eggs however you want them, omelettes cooked to whatever you want...., anything really. Afternoon Tea - cream teas, sandwiches, cakes, rolls .... Beautiful - just as an aside I eat a Ham and Asparagus roll which was exquisite - I still remember it. Now comes the problem. Lunch and Dinner. Lunch was ok as it did come with some surprises. Fish and Chips? There was always the Grill outside that provided Burgers and Hot Dogs and chips. So you could always get your chips from the grill, come inside the Bistro and garnish it with a lamb chop or something. Dinner became so repetitive. Soup - always excellent quality Pasta - I gave up on that - poorly cooked. Fish - Pan fried Perch, Pan fried Snapper, Pan fried Sword Fish ...... not for me Then a concoction every night of veal or venison or beef or lamb .... So I can't say that the food was poor. But I can say that I simply got bored with it. Overall it was a great time and I loved every minute of it. Just those few "buts". Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV) - MV Magellan - Amazon & West Indies (7th January 2018) We don’t facebook, twitter or other, but from time to time we do read ’trusted’ reviews - generally helpful if you read ‘between the ... Read More
Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV) - MV Magellan - Amazon & West Indies (7th January 2018) We don’t facebook, twitter or other, but from time to time we do read ’trusted’ reviews - generally helpful if you read ‘between the lines’ as there are always ‘be-moaners’! we hope we are not in that category and accept that we all have different opinions however we feel compelled to write this review to inform others of our experience aboard this ‘Cruise’ The Magellan is a bright, pleasantly laid out ship with many ‘nooks & crannies’ - regrettably few of which were of a size that could accommodate many of the ‘activities’ - the air conditioning in most of the public areas was very, if not too efficient - the show lounge seats were often damp from the condensation! - requiring the wearing of anoraks/blankets to keep warm! - a ‘severe’ ‘epidemic’ of coughs/wheezing swept through the ship resulting in many passengers having to receive oxygen and intra venous antibiotics! The Captain was Greek - his daily update to all passengers was both incoherent and incomprehensible - the same ‘address’ was given clearly and fluently in Dutch and German! the officers were of mixed nationality, bar staff were Ukrainian and the dining/galley/house staff of Asian origin - few of whom were able to understand the English language and engage in ‘useful’ communication - the staff were apathetic/leaderless (there were a few exceptions) officers ‘acknowledged’ problems if prompted but did ‘zilch’ to remedy them! - they would rather disappear! Transfer from Victoria Coach Station to Tilbury and embarkation were generally acceptable albeit the Coach was an hour late welcome on board and escort to cabin was pleasant as was the cabin/steward - it was a “guaranteed” inside cabin but was spacious, clean and tidy - regrettably it was directly below the galley! so a bit noisy, but that’s pot luck! Activities/Venue Entertainment were generally ‘weak’ and repetitive commencing, with what became traditional, a delay as various laptops/microphones and speakers were set up by the individual ‘artists’ - lack of management/preparation!!! - the ‘lectures’ by the Ships Excursion Manager was read from the Cruise Maritime brochure - usually ‘delivered’ in an engaging and interesting manner by someone with experience of the destination!! Variety Shows were generally well presented, albeit repetitive (accept difficult on an extended cruise) but having an opera singer as the lead, led to many a disastrous outcome and on occasion the orchestra or some of their number were the ‘act’ of the night - introduced by the Cruise Director but thereafter each introduction to a piece of music was pre-recorded! we leave you to work that one out! the Burns/Scottish night, which was planned, not impromptu, was an embarrassment - we were not the first Scots to walk out! we hate to think who the butcher was in Tilbury that ‘created’ the Haggis that was to be “Addressed” - it looked like a ball of chopped spam!!! Ports of Call/Excursions - departed late from Tilbury and Amsterdam, bad weather in the English Channel and Bay of Biscay - diverted to Vigo - bi-passed Lisbon - couldn’t see the logic - the ship was to provision there but had to be either sourced in Vigo or transferred from Lisbon - result - delay in departure from Vigo - less time in Madeira! - disappointed in missing Lisbon, loved Madeira then on to Cape Verde - rather uninteresting other than it had internet! five days at sea and we were in the Amazon - a great disappointment to many - a very wide brown river lacking in wildlife and little of interest - I think the ‘twitchers’ were devastated Santarem, Boca da Valeria (a “staged” village/compulsory ‘port of call’!), Manaus (ship excursion - Jungle Trek - ‘staged’ down to the pet tarantula! - oh dear!), Parintins, Alter do Chao (beach!), Icoaraci, for Belem (just another dirty city!) - sadly overall consensus was disappointment other than the Opera House in Manaus Tenders - the boarding system was acceptable - few crew handlers had experience - coming ‘alongside’ could be positively dangerous - loaded tenders were left to ‘wallow' in rough conditions! common sense/management of the situation could have saved much distress Ils du Salut (Tender) - at last something to see ashore - a pleasant change and some wildlife! Tobago - scheduled to be ‘alongside’ but some other cruise liner took our berth! leave you to work out why - were we not booked? had we not paid our port dues? pleasant/friendly port - we had the best every ‘meal’ since we joined the cruise in a small cafe - fresh panini with salami and salad - we ordered ‘seconds’ because it was so good! Bistro (likened to a ‘day centre by one of the Comedians) initially the food appeared appetising but was found to be ‘lacking’ - repetitive, uninteresting, undercooked/overcooked, dried out, lukewarm - redemption - the bread and butter pudding, but it was served at “tea time”!!!!! The Grill - lacked imagination - beef burgers! if that’s what you call them and hot dogs, chips, lettuce, sliced tomato and onion - every day!!!!! Dining Room - marginally better in that if you couldn’t see anything on the menu to inspire you, you could order grilled chicken/salmon or vegetable curry! Perhaps the chef had a very tight budget, a list of courses and accompaniments but wasn’t sure how to match them and if he had spent less time engaging in pleasantries and surveying his ‘magnificent’ buffets and more in the ‘service stations’ studying what was being returned from the tables he would have learnt a thing or two! there was never a tantalising smell of food? was most of the food precooked/frozen/chilled and re-heated prior to service? - not much cooking then!!! “Buffets under the Stars” - now that looked great - all set out in heated terrines - except there was no power on deck - OMG - result - cold food! full drinks package - only available to purchase on board within first 24 hours - could only be purchased for entirety of the cruise and if all occupants of a cabin subscribed to it - however it became apparent that this was still being promoted during the cruise as were additional beer, wine, coffee, packages??? house wines and cocktails ‘disappointed’ - we cancelled our drinks package within four hours of signing up! - to be fair there was no problem with this and we were only asked to pay for what we had consumed within that time *****lastly but not least and it has been mentioned in previous reviews - Level 4 has a constant ‘stench’ of sewage in both port and starboard corridors - this problem appears to be ongoing with no resolution - if we had been on this level we would have ‘jumped ship’ earlier (we flew home two weeks early from Barbados!) Conclusion: A general unhappy ship, disgruntled passengers, miserable staff and poorly managed the management either do not acknowledge the facts or know how to respond having said which, you only get what you pay for, most passengers were looking to get away from the British weather for six weeks and some obviously were enjoying the cruise including the food!!!! sadly the Amazon is not the ideal destination it is made out to be no malice, liable, slander, resentment, racism, derogatory intent - only fact as we saw it hope helpful? we have previously cruised aboard the Marco Polo (certainly 7/8 years ago) to St Petersburg and the Baltic and we gave it 5 Stars***** sadly, we will not be cruising with CMV again ps. please read Cruise Critic “Garigale” Dec 2017 - we’ve just read it - too late for us! but we concur Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Picked this for the itinerary and had thought that, if nothing else, we would have knowledgable lecturers onboard, and possibly..hopefully..a commentary as we sailed the Amazon. There was NOTHING. The English speaking port lecturer had ... Read More
Picked this for the itinerary and had thought that, if nothing else, we would have knowledgable lecturers onboard, and possibly..hopefully..a commentary as we sailed the Amazon. There was NOTHING. The English speaking port lecturer had never visited the Amazon and plagiarised all and sundry delivering her information in a very poor manner. The infection running through the ship was something else. Within a day of sailing people were coughing and spluttering all over the place. Several were "admitted" to the hospital where they received courses of antibiotics and nebulisers. This was still going on 5 weeks later. The view of many was that the air conditioning was more than likely to blame. Occasionally cutlery was pre wrapped to minimise contamination, but not often. 6 weeks onboard a ship where at least 50%, if not a lot more, were coughing all over you was just too much. The ship's doctor was treating it as an infection, but we didn't know what it was. Home 2 weeks now and I still have a cough!! Food was dire both in the restaurant and in the canteen self service. Staff were young Ukranian, pleasant enough with poor English. Officers were Greek and very visible around the ship. Don't know why it is marketed as an English company, as all medication given to passengers was in Greek and people had to be verbally told how to administer their medication.....I did not need to visit the medical dept. as lasted 4 weeks before succumbing to the "virus". Would definitely not rate this ship, and concur totally with previous reviewers of this cruise. Was amazed at how many single travellers there were.... in excess of 150 Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Just to counter the negative reviews from others. We chose this cruise because it went up the Amazon and it was being heavily advertised and discounted just prior to departure. We never actually thought we would cruise, and most of the ... Read More
Just to counter the negative reviews from others. We chose this cruise because it went up the Amazon and it was being heavily advertised and discounted just prior to departure. We never actually thought we would cruise, and most of the downsides I imagined were there, but there wasn't really anything I hadn't predicted, so the upsides more than made up for it. I want three things from a holiday. Destination, destination, destination. More seriously, destination, a clean bed and some food and drink. So, the places we went were amazing, we upgraded to a suite so the bed was amazing,and the food was really good. Downsides? There were some opinionated, rude people on the cruise who felt entitled to be treated better than everyone else. But I expected that and they weren't all like that. The entertainment was stuck in the 1970s. But I expected that and I wasn't really bothered. CMV didn't have an onboard naturalist so many people left feeling that they had not seen any wildlife, which was disappointing. Boca de Valeria was so false. The organised onshore excursions were horrible - look out the window, sorry we missed it, five minutes to take a photo then back on the bus, don't stop there, hurry up, and now lets spend ages in my brother's/Cousin's/friend's cafe. But then I expected that. Upsides. I went up the Amazon. I found a brilliant guide to take me to interesting places in Manaus. I loved Cabo Verde. I loved the Azores. Tobago was brilliant. Grenada was brilliant. St Lucia looked brilliant but I ran out of time. We travelled to all these amazing places and never had to repack our bags once. I'm doing it all again, but it will all be about the destinations, and what we make of it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
My husband booked a snorkelling tour through Cruise and Maritime with Starwind cruises St Georges of Grenada .He and others were told to be on board by 45 minutes , he set his Omega accurate dive watch . At 40 minutes when he was 2 yards ... Read More
My husband booked a snorkelling tour through Cruise and Maritime with Starwind cruises St Georges of Grenada .He and others were told to be on board by 45 minutes , he set his Omega accurate dive watch . At 40 minutes when he was 2 yards from the rear of the boat , they started the engines and left . He managed to hold his mask on and not drown in the turbulence . This was 3/4 off a mile off shore with rocks and no buildings . There was 1 other boat with divers he swam 1/2 a mile to it praying that it would not leave , and hoping he would not drown with exhaustion . The rescuer recalled the Starwind , the Captain of which said it dont matter man , and was intent on handing out the rum . The escort from Cruise and Maritime did not identify , help or even ask if medical help was necessary . The tour manager Susan of the Marco polo , was obstructive , lied and failed to help in any manner . Cruise and Maritime have apologised and offered 400 pounds for the distress caused by this potentially fatal incident and are reviewing if they may use this company ie Starwind Cruises again . All of the above is documented and we have statements of other passengers and witnesses to the fact that Starwind cruises did not carry out a head count . I have witnesses to the fact that the Cruise and Maritime staff lied , I had asked immigration officers to help us report the incident as no one was aboard the Marco Polo except the navigational officer , the officers arranged a meeting with the Shore Agent for CMV , at 8.30 pm Susan claimed she had a phone call that he was not attending , at this point he stepped forward and identified himself . Cruise and Maritime are now failing to address the issue at all , that the Tours promoted should be safe and that the escorts have a role to play in head counts etc . The ship is old , faded holes and ragged carpets , poor food , food and drink obviously bought at the ends of their sell by dates so became unavailable during the second half of the cruise . Meat was disgusting . Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this because of the itinery and it was our first experience of Cruise Maritime Voyages. It will be our last cruise with them. If you want a budget no frills cruise with second rate food (in choice, quality and quantity). Food was ... Read More
We chose this because of the itinery and it was our first experience of Cruise Maritime Voyages. It will be our last cruise with them. If you want a budget no frills cruise with second rate food (in choice, quality and quantity). Food was often served cold and under cooked, when a complaint was made no one wanted to take responsibility. If you want second rate entertainment with a very limited variety ,then this cruise line will suit you. If you want and expect more for your money then it will not suit you. The ship was kept clean, the crew were very hard working but obviously working within very tight budget constraints and there is a disorganisation about with the company coming from the very top. There were no tea / coffee making facilities in the cabin. We had problems with the plumbing on two occasions (which were attended to and fixed quickly) The on board air conditioning was overbearing and too cold). The entertainment was mainly the very hard working in house team and four guest comedians, with two duos in the lounges. There was no other variety and sometimes no shows just the offering of a fil Drinks were expensive. There was no laundrette, which is useful on a long voyage, just an expensive laundry, which according to other passengers ruined some clothes.. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We booked this cruise because of the destinations and the ship. We have sailed on the Marco Polo before and love the character and friendliness. The Marco Polo has quite a following and we met many passengers who had booked for the same ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of the destinations and the ship. We have sailed on the Marco Polo before and love the character and friendliness. The Marco Polo has quite a following and we met many passengers who had booked for the same reasons as us. We enjoyed all the ports of call, many were beautiful (the Isles of Salut were amazing) all were interesting. We recommend hiring a canoe at Boca de Valeria, we were taken down some creeks to a nearby village where we were shown around, it gives you a real feel for the place (cost 50 real - £12.50 for 4 of us). I would advise not to pay to take pictures of the anyone with an animal though, keeping wild animals is against the law and will stop if people won't pay. Our only concern about this cruise had been that we would get bored during the long spells at sea. No problem, our days were soon filled with painting lessons, crafts (2 sessions a day), lectures, quizzes and watching for flying fish, dolphins and whales plus our new friends on board. Our cabin was very comfortable with plenty of storage space, (we'd been upgraded again) looked after well by Yulia. Food was plentiful with 3 full meals a day + afternoon tea and supper available. Breakfast and afternoon tea are both self service as is the cafeteria. We found portion sizes to be just right and the salad bar in the restaurant at lunchtime was great. We could rarely manage any afternoon tea, as for supper - no way. We did a lot of research before the holiday and picked carefully just 4 excursions plus the Belem transfer. All our excursions were good and these particular ones were good value (having checked the cost of doing it independently beforehand) and very enjoyable. At many of the islands we shared a taxi (or canoe) with friends which was cheaper and more flexible. We couldn't fault the cleanliness on this ship and the service was all good, the crew all work hard, are polite, friendly and helpful. The only thing that spoiled the cruise slightly were the people who moaned - often about things that, had they read the paperwork properly they would have known about. This cruise was fantastic cruise that we'll never forget and great value for money but if you want a posh, modern ship this isn't for you. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We booked this cruise because of the destinations and the size of the ship. As Donte states, the Marco Polo has quite a following and we met many passengers who had booked for the same reasons as us and because they loved the ship.. We ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of the destinations and the size of the ship. As Donte states, the Marco Polo has quite a following and we met many passengers who had booked for the same reasons as us and because they loved the ship.. We enjoyed all the ports of call, many were very beautiful and all were very interesting. We too hired a canoe at Boca de Valeria (highly recommended) for 5$ as well as taking a trip in a taxi canoe across to the spit at Alto de Chao which was beautiful and where you can swim in the Amazon. Manaus was very interesting and you can save yourself some money by walking up to the Theatre yourselves and booking on to a tour for the equivalent of £2.50 pp and you can do the same for the evening concert though don’t be tempted to walk at night as it is extremely dangerous! You are advised not to wear jewellery or to conceal cameras. There were those who did not heed this advice to their cost! We were worried that we would become bored during the many sea days but this was not a problem at all. There was much to do including the daily walk around the ship (8 laps of deck 10 is a mile), arts and craft classes, interesting (OK and some not so interesting) lectures, drama club and choir (though only go to this if you don’t suffer from high blood pressure or if you are a practising musician as this was poorly led by one of the entertainments’ crew!), Zumba and other similar work out clubs daily or joining in the three (and sometimes more) quizzes a day, watching the fabulous shows in the evening or the various entertainers or just spending quality time with our many new friends or just sitting watching the Amazon or world sail by. As Donte correctly states, our days were soon filled. Our cabin was very comfortable with plenty of storage space, (low down and in the middle though no upgraded for us) and we were looked after very well by Lwin. Food was plentiful with 3 full meals a day + afternoon tea and supper or the occasional evening food extravaganza. We mainly ate all our meals in the Waldorf Restaurant though we occasionally ait in the Marco Polo Bistro. While afternoon tea was available (including an amazing chocolate feast) we were on early sitting so had no need for this though there were obscene amounts of food available if you wanted it (and some clearly did!) The service by the waiters in the Waldorf was superb and nothing was too much for them and they were always friendly and helpful. We too did a lot of research before the holiday and picked carefully three excursions plus the Belem transfer. All our excursions were good and these particular ones were good value (having checked the cost of doing it independently beforehand) and very enjoyable. At many of the islands we too shared a taxi (or canoe) with friends which was cheaper and more flexible. We couldn't fault the cleanliness on this ship and the service was all very good, the crew all work hard, are polite, friendly and helpful. The only thing that spoiled the cruise slightly were the people who moaned - often about things that, had they read the paperwork properly they would have known about and often you would here comparisons with other cruise companies. Let’s be up front here. You pay for what you get though I think what you get is amazing considering the cost. If you get a chance, especially if you go on this or a similar cruise, read Murder on the Marco Polo. You will meet the same types of people and have a very good chuckle! The cruise was absolutely fantastic and great value for money and one which we too will never forget but as Donte said, if you want a posh, modern ship this isn't for you. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
My sister and I loved every minute of this cruise! We found Magellan to be like a well loved holiday home - not immaculate and glitzy, but comfortable, friendly and with plenty to do. We were lucky enough to be upgraded to an outside ... Read More
My sister and I loved every minute of this cruise! We found Magellan to be like a well loved holiday home - not immaculate and glitzy, but comfortable, friendly and with plenty to do. We were lucky enough to be upgraded to an outside cabin, which was quite roomy with enough storage space for our 6 week trip (a pre-booking concern), and a great shower. The cabin steward, Viktoriya, kept it immaculate and was always available if we needed anything. We ate in the restaurant most evenings - a 5 course meal which was always varied with sensible sized portions, so that we didn't end up like house sides by the end of the cruise. Lunches we mostly ate in the bistro where there was a good variety including a live cooking and pizza station, plus a grill serving chicken, salad and burgers. It was not gourmet cooking, but it never pretended to be so, although I think some passengers expected that. During days at sea there were lots of activities to try - quizzes, dancing, choir, drama, ukelele playing, crafts, shuffleboard, table tennis, bridge - or plenty of space on deck to sunbathe and chat to fellow passengers if you preferred to do very little. In hot weather the larger pool was very refreshing for a dip. The lectures were mostly very interesting especially those about the places we were to visit, and I particularly lived Alan's talks (he is artist in residence at Durham University) about art and lots of other things he is passionate about. The entertainment team were also terrific - different shows for 42 nights is quite a feat, not to mention the cabarets, deck parties and classical recitals. They were also all extremely personable around the ship. The itinerary of the cruise was very varied with a really good mixture of ports, and being a smaller ship we seemed to be able to visit smaller ports that could not accommodate larger ships. We particularly liked Alto do Chao in the Amazon, a rather laid back sort of place, with good swimming and lots of little bars and eateries along the beach and riverbank. We would have liked a longer stay there. Devil's Island was also fascinating and thought-provoking with most of the penal buildings still in tact. I have read other reviews, including some very negative ones, and although I agree with some of the negative points, to me they were of minor importance. To us, the most important things were the sociability of the passengers, the friendliness and hard work of the crew, the itinerary and the time to do as little or as much as we wanted. We could have done it all over again!! If you go, I hope you'll enjoy it as much as we did. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Our departure from Tilbury was pretty chaotic. We travelled to the ship on their coach from London Coach Station and the last quarter of a mile took about 90 mins. The ship had arrived late from their previous cruise (the Canaries I ... Read More
Our departure from Tilbury was pretty chaotic. We travelled to the ship on their coach from London Coach Station and the last quarter of a mile took about 90 mins. The ship had arrived late from their previous cruise (the Canaries I think), because of terrible weather and so embarkation was backing up. However when we eventually arrived at the terminal everything was done speedily. Once aboard we were impressed by the size and layout of our sea view cabin on deck 4 and the speed with which our luggage was delivered. This was a 6 week cruise to the Canaries, the amazon, West Indies and The Azores. This was our view of the Ship. FOOD. Excellent. We had early dining (6.15pm). There were five courses which were well cooked and well presented. As well as the days main meals (usually about 5 options) there was always Salmon fillet and breast of chicken available. The waiters were lovely and most helpful. We were on a table of 8 and two of them were quite specific about their requirements. The waiters had no problem with this. There was a large buffet available for those who preferred less formal dining. Breakfast and lunch could be in the dining rooms or the buffet and there was a wide selection. Staff were most pleasant and helpful. There was also an outside buffet with burgers, sausage, chips for people who preferred 'fast food' and there was a pizza bar in the buffet. Ice cream was always available. ENTERTAINMENT. I thought that the entertainment was excellent. The main show had a troupe of dancers, mostly from the Ukraine, who were extremely talented and performed in a huge variety of shows over the 42 days of the cruise. The Magellan Orchestra (more of a band really) were again Eastern European and were extremely talented. The bandleader played trumpet and was accompanied by a saxophone, lead and base guitar, drummer and keyboard player. They leant towards modern jazz but could play everything else as well. There was also a concert pianist, a pianist and violinist duo, a Filipino duo who sang and played 'easy listening' for dancing and seven vocalists who did the shows, some late night entertainment and ran the quizzes, Mr & Mrs etc. Mostly they were very good singers and they were certainly very hard working. Several other entertainers joined, did a few performances and left at the next port of call. Because of the length of the cruise there were a lot of other activities to keep passengers occupied and I (together with 30 others) learned to play five chords on a ukulele and performed 12 songs at the end of the cruise for a large and appreciative audience. My wife and I also joined the choir and again put on a show at the end. There was also handicraft, Bridge etc. There were some excellent lectures during the day and they were well attended. FITNESS. That was a bit of a disappointment. They gym was well stocked but too small. There were aerobics, pilates and/or yoga on sea days but they were mostly put on by the dancers (who were extremely fit but not fitness instructors) and it was a bit of a mess with no proper venue for them to take place. PORT EXCURSIONS. I thought they were very good and reasonably priced compared to other cruises I have been on. In most of the ports we called at it was easy to get five or six in a minibus and have the same trip for far less. Because this was January in the Atlantic, we had some periods of very stormy weather and on about five of the days those of us on the lower decks with sea views had our windows covered in steel plates. Personally I think that was a sensible precaution. We had to stay overnight in one port because the loading gear had failed and they could not raise the tender back into position. We left another port early to get ahead of a storm that was forecast but again I thought that was sensible. Most of the people on the ship were retired and I would imagine that the average age was in the late 60's (I am 71). I got the feeling that there were some people on the ship who would never travel with the company again and some who had booked their next trip with them. Myself and my wife would have no qualms about another cruise with this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
A COUNTERBLAST TO CRUISING Or Some Naval Gazing (Pun Intended) In our thirty years together, my partner and I have travelled tens of thousands of miles, to many different destinations, using many modes of transport; but I am ... Read More
A COUNTERBLAST TO CRUISING Or Some Naval Gazing (Pun Intended) In our thirty years together, my partner and I have travelled tens of thousands of miles, to many different destinations, using many modes of transport; but I am afraid to say that this 54 day cruise rates plum bottom of our list. The success of cruising stands or falls on its complement of passengers and in this respect I can honestly say that I have never met a more disagreeable group, and it was difficult to keep a civil tongue among such cantankerous, rude, petty-minded, boorish, boring people – obsessed with value and imagined sleights. Mean! Here I tread wearily through a minefield of misanthropy and patronization! With its pervading cooking and sanitary smells and its feel of the corridors and public spaces of a Care Home, the Marco Polo is exactly that. Not quite Salty Towers, more three star; a geriatric, floating Butlins without Ruth Madoc’s “Hello Campers!” Just Ross Roberts, our camp Cruise Director, who valiantly rallied us to our Arts & Craft classes, Bridge meetings, Creative Writing courses, Bingo, Twenty Questions, Give us a Clue – a limitless horizon of nursery school fun and frolics for geriatrics. It was like an institution and like all institutions it had its school prefects, its little Hitlers, its bullies and its selfish, self-important types; its know-alls and its know-nothings. In port for 22 days, at sea for 32 means that actual cruising alone has to be something enjoyable in itself. Let me quote from one of the daily programme bulletins – “IMPORTANT NOTICE: it has come to our attention that some of our passengers’ behaviour has been causing distress, annoyance and upset to the fellow passengers. The well-being of our passengers is paramount to the success of our cruise. If this behaviour continues we reserve the right to terminate their booking arrangements with us.” This insert appeared several times and there have even been appeals from the management over the PA. So, like a school, in the last resort was expulsion a possibility? Of course not! I experienced bullying harassment; in a bridge meeting one passenger was reduced to tears. Rudeness usually arose from petty concerns: chair reservations, queuing, behaviour at the tea stations and such like. There were, apparently, round sixteen departures from this vessel: six deaths, six emergency disembarkations and repatriations and a few so disenchanted with the atmosphere on board they left the ship early and flew home. Our geriatric float was filled with badly dressed, often overweight elderly people displaying class obsessions and mistaken perceptions of pecking orders. Many treated the staff in the most off-hand, haughty and rude manner. And there was the inevitable retreat into the tribal fortress of superiority and entitlement where I am afraid my partner and I could and indeed did not want to go. It made one ashamed of being British, and also understand why we Brits are frequently loathed abroad. The ‘whole’ is not ‘the sum of its parts’ of course; it needs only a few rotten apples to ferment the barrel. This is also manifested in the level of conversation and social engagement. Beyond, yes, the weather, the boasts of other cruise experiences, taxi stories, the petty complaints about unimportant things and the tyranny of the ubiquitous know-alls, it was difficult to engage in any meaningful way. It was a relief when someone like-minded and amusing came one’s way, and it is true, they did! We found good apples; kind, considerate, enlightened passengers on the ship of fools, who were as shocked by some of the attitudes as we were, but en masse we appeared a motley and dispirited lot creating a fairly humourless, oppressive atmosphere that was hard to work against. One had almost to warm oneself up, like an actor before a stage entry; psyche oneself into a performance! It was exhausting! It is not relaxing - and it is far too long! DISCLAIMER: this is a very personal view and I’m sure there were many here who would not recognise the picture I have painted. That the average age was round 75 should not be surprising since it can only be retirees who can afford the time and expenditure for 54 days! We should have worked that out long before we paid our deposit, but didn’t. Big Mistake! Our “shore leaves” or “exeats” as we came to call them, extending the boarding school metaphor, were not long enough. That said, and apart from two stops, we enjoyed all the places we visited for one reason or another; had a taster for further, later exploration and, in the case of Brazil, actually saw quite a lot spread across seven very different cities. I never say ‘never again’ because you never know. The Marco Polo is a fifty year-old liner, small by modern standards, at around 22,000 tons, she is shabby-chic; the food is good but institutional; everything works – just - the entertainment is frequent and, shall we say, diverting. She carries 650+ passengers and 250+ staff/crew. We had a spacious cabin on Deck 9, starboard, for’ard, under the bridge. Lots of light. Edison was our steward; a charming man from the Philippines, efficient and helpful, he works nine months of every year, has a family in Manila whom he phones more often than he sees. He speaks English well and is part of a small Philippino contingent; there others from Burma (or Myanmar as we must now call it). Most are from the Ukraine or Romania and the rest, mainly restaurant and waiting/cooking staff are from India. Philip was our table steward and hails from Mumbai; an exceptionally attentive, cheerful and nice young man who also, like many on board, has family waiting at home. They all work hard and are never deserving of some of the peremptory rudeness we saw them have to put up with; the attitudes of superiority and sublime sense of entitlement that certain types of English express! The Ukrainian staff were efficient but rather graceless. A combination of poor English, the shyness that that engenders, a distinct distaste for working so far from home, results in a rather joyless brusqueness that made it difficult to warm to those that hovered around us for much of the day! The Ship’s doctor was Romanian. Most of the troupe of dancers, singers, musicians and entertainers were Romanian/Ukrainian. Of the entertainers and their efforts, I have only praise. What an impossible task! The band, the solo musicians, the dance corps were all excellent and we were treated to an array of well costumed, well choreographed floor shows with different themes put together in an astonishing time scale. Only two solo singers were toneless and should be sent home in a hurry! As one friend opined this morning at breakfast, “Aren’t you looking forward to the end of term?”!! Lord Dismiss us with Thy Blessing All who once attended here……….! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Marco Polo What better name could there be to conjure up exploration and adventure. This was my first cruise. I had never really been attracted to the cruising lifestyle. A solo sailor from the west coast of Canada, the idea of ... Read More
Marco Polo What better name could there be to conjure up exploration and adventure. This was my first cruise. I had never really been attracted to the cruising lifestyle. A solo sailor from the west coast of Canada, the idea of thousands of people on a sealed tin box somehow didn’t fit with my views of travel and the oceans. However in the spring of 2016 I had just turned 70 when my wife’s mother offered us a cruise on the Marco Polo as a birthday gift. Well I had’t been attracted to cruising but this was a gift that was so exciting on so many levels that of course we could not refuse. However! The next morning we awoke to the reality that we had just accepted a cruise for 54 days. 54 days. What had we done? Gift or no gift this was a major piece of time especially to be stuck on one of those tin boxes. We started the research and the logistics. We had seen no brochures. We accepted the cruise on the recommendation of Lilian, my mother in law, an inveterate cruiser. We knew vaguely that the cruise traversed 100° of Latitude. That it went from Bristol to Bristol via Tierra del Fuego. We had 17 ports of call including Rio, Buenos Aires, The Falkland Islands (Las Malvinas; more on this later) and Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. All in all an interesting itinerary. Tick one for the pro column. Next the boat. The Marco Polo. It sounds like I must have heard of it and I believed I had in reference to a more adventurous cruising style. I Google it. I learn from our modern oracle that she was originally one of the Russian poets, a group of 5 sister ships built in East Germany and named after poets. The Marco Polo was originally the Aleksandr Pushkin built in 1965 and used on the Leningrad to Montreal run in the summers and cruising in the winters. Built to be converted into a troop carrier at a moment’s notice (probably released defence dollars or rubles for construction); she was also ice hardened which has a nice ring to it what with Titanic mythology etc. She was completely rebuilt in the late ‘90s to an elegant understated traditional Deco decor with all mod-cons. I liked the sound of the ship as I had crossed the Atlantic twice on similar boats before the jet age. Once on the Empress of Britain and once on the Statendam. Score two on the pro side. Next was the cultural experience. We were going to be on The Marco Polo for 54 days with the same people. A village of 960 (This must be the max as there are only life boats for this number as I later counted). A petrie dish of people my science mind shouted. What experiments can we do? How can all that experience and talent be mobilized? On the other hand 54 days is also long enough for social niceties to fall away. People are real and will reveal themselves. When I find a bit later that we will have the same supper companions for the full run I am a bit worried but that turned out to be before I had met them (George,Pam,Ray,Maggie,Peter and Linda). The table beside us was not so lucky and wild discussions led to table breakup! 54 for days is long enough for for friendships to be forged. 54 days is long enough to make friends and loose them as well. The prospective clientel are retired and everyone has a good story to tell if you ask. So I am beginning to feel some positive indicators stacking up for the whole experience. I still have worries but we are committed so worries are useless. The cruise is in four weeks, Christmas is in two. We live in Victoria, British Columbia, we have a house and a dog. Flights to be bought, rental cars to be arranged, house and dog sitter to find. Oh yeah and Christmas is here. We made it. Christmas with family, Tim, Michael and Christine and Oliver and Charlotte, Tim, Melanie and Mike and Ayja and David and oh yeah my ex wife Alex and Tony. And did I mention Barbara, my most amazing of all women wife. She is masterminding this whole operation not to mention Christmas. We do the New Year with my aforementioned mother in law, Lilian in Wisbech and her and my wife’s rellies, Valerie,Veronica,Gary,.... plus the ‘young’ Joan (84), Lilian’s lifelong friend from her working days. And off to Bristol to join the Marco Polo. Oops, last minute email, the ship couldn’t make the tides into Bristol because of bad weather in the Bay of Biscay (premonition) and so is in Southampton. Fortunately we had not booked a train but had elected for about the same price to rent a car with a one way drop off to Bristol. Quick call to Europcar and the drop off is now Southampton right next to the ship. I was inexplicably looking forward to my first sight of the Marco Polo but only glimpses were to be had as we boarded. It looks like a ship not an apartment block (a block of flats). Score another point for The Marco Polo. We were a bit worried about our last minute purchase cabin in the bilges somewhere near a huge noisy engine. We had decided that if the cabin was awful that would be a good thing as it would push us out except for sleeping. A window is a wonderful thing. Even a porthole in some way gives you that link to the outside world. We didn’t have one. We knew this. There were no upgrades available even if we paid. We actually didn’t want to pay. It is quite a jump. I would prefer to spend the money on wine and beer which were not exactly cheap (we live in France in the summers, this being a reflection of the price of wine). And then there was the gratuity which in 54 days adds up to quite a bit. As we got to know crew members along the way and experienced how hard they worked and what personal commitment they made to be there we begrudged this less and less. In fact our only begrudging came from a suspicion that perhaps gratuities were being used to supplement meagre pay. I have really no way to judge this one way or the other. Certainly it may be like the workers in the vineyard parable. Each makes a deal which works for them. There were Romanians, Ukrainians, Brits, Greeks, Portuguese, Indian and Burmese. Captain Morais was from Mozambique. It was a happy crew. The cabin was OK; Clean, smart, touch of Deco; it was internal and very central. No window but everything else was the same as a smaller outside cabin. The central location served us well through the Bay of Biscay where the forward cabins had a tendency to levitate you from your bunk. We would have liked a double bed but for the very few rough nights bunks were perhaps best. Meals are a large part of not just cruises but life. Cultures are built around food, wine, music and tea. There is a bit of an expectation on cruises of good food. Some lines are renowned for their food. I can’t say that Marco Polo culture is built around food. It is much more built around a cohesive experience that has adventure and experience and indeed learning as central themes. However the food is adequate always, exceptional occasionally and always served with great alacrity and humour by staff who go the extra mile and engage as true participants in your cruise experience. There are various restaurants and bars scattered around the boat but in general there was a formal dinning room with super efficient table service and a bistro with canteen type service but immediate back deck access. The back deck was where the heart of the boat resided in the warmer climes. We typically took our breakfasts in the bistro and on the back deck. Lunches we went to the dinning room where seating was as arrival and so a new table of people was an every day event until the very end of the cruise; at 54 days there were still many people that we never recalled ever seeing before. Suppers we took at Table 5 with our waiters Heine and Aung from Burma and our wine waiter Olga from Romania. At first I thought that a more diverse table group could not be found and then I realized that we are all retired Anglos and so the diversity was just within that culture. As a Canadian I notice things about Brit culture that are not the same as in other cultures. I knew a German who had hitchhiked with a Brit for a while and confessed to being very confused at first. As Germans get to know you they become more polite whereas with Brits the opposite is true. It seems that nobody could resist the opportunity to wind someone up. Occasionally it backfired as in our neighbouring table but although much winding up was done at our table we all were committed to having a good time and it was all taken in stride. Our table mates: Peter knows absolutely everything about any rail line in the world. Linda his charming chattery wife was delightful in her projected naiviety. Ray, the retired police firearms and diving expert, great Somerset accent and his dynamic wife Maggie were from of all places Midsummer Norton. And George and Pam from a neighbouring table joined us when their table mates never showed and two of ours likewise. Often well primed by supper time they were totally committed to enjoying every moment of their lives. These our tablemates (spell check just corrected this to ‘stablemates’. Who knows which is closer to the truth) provided lots of entertainment and I hope we returned the favour. The voyage had 17 stops, crossed the Equator twice and crossed more than 100 degrees of Latitude. From Rio to the Falklands the stops were what most people had come for. Several people were making what amounted to pilgrimages. To the Falklands or to the Welsh communities of Argentina. One poor chap was going to the Falklands but died in Rio before getting there. The stops were great. To suddenly be in Rio or Monte Video was definitely magical but of course way too brief. Ushuaia the most southern town in the world, jump off for Antarctica. Natal, Brazil a holiday town of sand dunes and beaches. Madeira where Brits holidayed from Victorian times was absolutely delightful. We rode the wicker toboggans down from Monte. A ride not to be missed. All in all the voyage had so much going for it you would have to be near death not to appreciate it. But then again I did joke to my daughter that at each stop we brought on fresh vegetables and dropped off the dead. I think the 54 days led to the interesting dynamic that evolved and changed as time went by. There was definitely a period when everyone seemed to be wingeing about something. It could be the iceberg lettuce, the pasta or the books in the library. But it passed. There were lectures and shows and dancing and crafts and bridge etc. The lectures were about the countries we visited and the wildlife to be encountered. Clive Leatherdalde a Phd in Saudi history and politics prepared great talks on the politics and history of each country. His history of the Falklands was especially interesting as so many of the Brits had some connection or opinion about the conflict with Argentina. In fact several people were outraged by his use of the Argentinian name Las Malvinas alongside the British name. The history has no clear claim to ownership and in fact the UK would really like to give it to Argentina and was on its way to doing that when the Generals invaded to score some political points. Maggie Thatcher needed some points too and we know how that worked out. So now the Brits have to keep them. One day I was looking down on the back deck with many tables of people, chatting, drinking, reading, knitting, etc. A thought suddenly jumped into my head ‘What a waste. All that experience, knowledge and talent not being used’. The World is going through a huge shift in climate and economics and needs all the help it can get. Then I thought that old white guys are often blamed for the problem, (perhaps correctly) so who wants our opinion anyway. Then I thought of the Elders project of Richard Branson and Peter Gabriel and Madela et al. Perhaps a social network, a think tank open to Marco Polo voyageurs dedicated to moving global ideas forward. My favourite thing to do was to sit down with someone and ask them “What’s your best story?” As you can imagine there were many great tales. At times a 54 day voyage seems like this is it forever. But for us it eventually ended and we are back in Canada for a few months. Quite a few people stayed on board for the Caribbean cruise which says a lot for the culture of the company and the ship. So fare you well Marco Polo. A classic ship with an engaging ambiance. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
18 March 2016 South American Treasures 5 January to 28 February 2016 M S Marco Polo Here are some comments and observations regarding our cruise that relate to our experiences. I have Maritime qualifications and my wife has ... Read More
18 March 2016 South American Treasures 5 January to 28 February 2016 M S Marco Polo Here are some comments and observations regarding our cruise that relate to our experiences. I have Maritime qualifications and my wife has catering qualifications and has worked in the catering and Service industry and as a matter of course, we observe people and systems. This is an independent observation; we have no connection with Cruise and Maritime, its employees or subsidiaries. When making comment on things that have not gone to plan, I have taken into account that all staff are human and susceptible to making errors. In this, it is not the errors or omissions that occur – it is how they are resolved that is important. Having been on the Canada Cruise last September, we now have something on Marco Polo to compare with. Summary First of all we wish to thank Cruise and Maritime (C&M) for a wonderful cruise. The whole package exceeded expectations, and the itinerary was superb – a truly memorable cruise for which we would consider Cruise and Maritime as our first choice next time. We also had the opportunity to catch up with some friends and make new ones, and we had a very happy crowd with us. We enjoyed the company of some very interesting and kind people, for which we thank them all. General observations I have to say that perhaps the highest criticism would be of some of the passengers, and it would be fair to say that contained within that number of people on board, there would be two murderers, a ram raider and a gas welder so to speak. In other words, there will be a fair selection of society. Those who engaged in rudeness and the silly disputes in the theatre over seating, we could avoid or at the very least ignore. We did not like the rudeness shown to staff including the unwarranted and very public verbal attack on one if the Chefs. For some people, this cruise was too long, and we suspect that some of the trouble could be assigned to those on a drinks package who were possibly getting their money’s worth. While we could avoid these people, the staff could not, and we noted that they dealt with situations in a timely and correct manner. Bristol Unfortunately, at the start of the cruise, due to bad weather the Marco Polo was unable to make the Bristol departure so we were bussed to Southampton. This was not without incident as road traffic caused some delays. However our experience, and the experience of those at our table was that C&M handled this most efficiently. There were plenty of staff on hand at Bristol and despite the complications involved in transporting a large quantity of people at short notice, they did well. Reception I had occasion to make enquiries and to seek advice and assistance from most of the members of the Desk. It would be unfair to single out any one individual for comment, but as front line staff, I can say that they all did fulfil their role. They were very kind, polite, helpful, business like and forthright. Well done. Cabin and Steward On board we found most of the staff that we knew were still in place, and they made us most welcomed. Again, the standard of cleanliness was very high and our cabin was very promptly turned around by our very efficient Steward. Any small items requiring attention by the maintenance staff were dealt with at short notice and we were well pleased with the Service. We would hope that Yuri will continue in employment as we found him to work at a high rate, and to an exceptionally high standard. Well done. Cleanliness During the voyage we saw that carpets in the corridors were shampooed on various occasions. In addition to this, there was a constant regime of hoovering and on one occasion, cleaning of the walls and ceilings. We also saw that the regular cleaning to the stair towers included cleaning by a toothbrush thus ensuring that every crevice was attended to. The Bistro also had the carpet treatment during the voyage. Once again, the hand sanitization regime at the entrances to the Bistro and restaurant was welcomed, and the Matre D’s ensured that this was attended to. External cleaning was also carried out, usually early in the morning with an ongoing maintenance schedule for external woodwork. Again, well done. Entertainment We were particularly interested in the on board entertainment on Marco Polo. For the Canada voyage we had Richard Sykes as Cruise Director who was a one man show on his own. We understand that Richard has quite a large following and with good reason, and we still maintain that his qualities as a performer are hard to beat. Following Richard would be difficult for anyone, but Ross the new Cruise Director and his Deputy rose to the challenge and we were not disappointed. He put his heart and soul into the entertainment and worked hard. In the shows that we attended, Katy was brought forward (since her broken leg incident) and she is a little star. We also enjoyed some thoroughly good entertainment with him and the boys and girls. There was a different line up with new faces for the shows which worked very well. Katy seemed to have been given more of a role as lead singer and within the new group was another excellent female singer. Overall, from the shows that we saw, we considered that the new line up and entertainment was better than the Canada Cruise. Rob is coming into his own and we noticed that he was at ease on this cruise and was working hard on some new material. We understand that Ross has now moved on and Katy is now Deputy Cruise Director – and well deserved. Well done. Captain Morais deserves a special thank you. He was always pleasant and took part in the judging and activities organised by Russ. He was a damn good sport and everyone loved it. Activities and lectures There was a wide ranging Programme to cater for varying tastes and now some comment on the ones that we know about. Creative writing, Hilary Green sadly had to go ashore due to bereavement and a facilitator Pauline carried on. It was a success, a really good crowd and everyone enjoyed it. Dr Clive Leatherdale’s series of lectures was first class. Clive is a ‘must have’ for any cruise. His highly informative lectures on the history and geopolitics of the countries were visiting were delivered in an easy and gracious style. He enriched our travel experience and a measure of his popularity was that in just about every lecture, it was standing room only (with an argument over the seating on one occasion!) Clive was always approachable and available for discussion in his off duty times. Well done. Book this man again. Sue Walsh’s well attended lectures on birds and sea life had improved since the Canada Cruise (and she was good on that one too!) Very informative and entertaining, with a touch of her own style that was welcoming. Indeed, Sue and the bird watching group were to be found most days on deck giving a running commentary, or advice regarding wildlife. Photography, again a lecturer on photography is another ‘must have’ as most people want to get the best out of their cameras. John Riley had an informal style and covered the subject from a lower level than most. I welcomed his approach as I am at the lower level and enjoyed his presentations. Shore excursions We booked a few excursions this time. Having never been to South America, we were not too keen to do our own thing until we got the measure of it. All the excursions we booked were good value for money and well organised. They were a fulfilling experience. Again, a word about Susan the Excursions Director and her new assistant. Susan in an absolute star in this job, and a trouper to boot. Having contracted the bug going around and losing her voice, she continued unabated for some time with some difficulty to provide service. Once again, well done, just the warm and bubbly person for this job, and long may she continue to be employed on board. Her assistant is a star was well and they were always available to exchange the time of day and to answer the numerous queries. Venues We booked the cruise giving regard to the places on the itinerary, and we were certainly not disappointed. Apart from Rio Grande that was closed and really not worth the bother, all the places had something to offer. Our favourite place was Montevideo, and we would have liked two days there. We would have foregone Ileus and Rio Grande for this. Waldorf Restaurant We heard a few complaints voiced about the catering during our voyage. We normally disregard third party comment, as taking into account the length of the voyage and the wide number of individual tastes this is not surprising. However, there was an issue surrounding the beef being tough and some of the steaks. Firstly, when queries were raised about meals, in our experience they were changed immediately and would have been changed again if required, and the whole thing was focussed around the customer. Certainly, both the Matre D’s had a grip on the running of the Waldorf and ensured that it ran well, and we noticed that the Bistro and rear deck eating area was observed by them. Regarding the beef, we were of the opinion that this was due to the quality of beef being supplied (as on the Canada voyage) and this was changed during the voyage. In general, all the steaks (as far as we could see) were delivered well done, and in one case – tough. I did however have one that was excellent. I understand that C&M are advertising in the American market, and if this is so, I would suggest that the steak issue is resolved as they will know the standard expected by American customers. We purchased a wine package but did not rate this good value. We will not be doing this again and certainly, if we considered one in the future, we would welcome the opportunity to taste the wine before purchasing. It seemed to us that the wine included in the package was of ‘budget’ quality. Towards the end of the cruise, various small things like coffee sachets, honey and the like ran out, this should not have happened. These minor things are very important. On our table we had Elvis and Zee as Stewards, with Alla as wine waitress. We received a high standard of service from them all and they are to be commended. It was good to see that Boyan is now a Steward with a table in his own right, and no review would be complete without giving credit again to Wine Waitress Valentina who provided excellent service, and we would hope that she will continue to employed on board for some time in the future. The two Bar Stewards we were most impressed with are Sandra and I think Maja her name is, who mostly worked the after deck. In general, we can say that once again, we were impressed by how hard the staff worked and we would be happy to recommend them for employment anywhere within their disciplines. It seems strange but the majority of the Stewards who attended to us were female for some reason - it just worked that way. In this I would not denigrate the male stewards who were also observed to be working well. It was interesting to learn that amongst the Stewards there was a Vetinary and an Architect, they are interesting people from a range of backgrounds. Disembarkation At arrival at Bristol on the Sunday, we were faced with dubious taxi availability. Suspecting that there might be a delay, we had booked our train home for the afternoon, however we are sure a few people missed their connections that had not realised that delays would be incurred. We would have welcomed (and paid for) a shuttle bus to take us to the Station, and perhaps this something that C&M could look at for the future? Conclusion The voyage did what it said on the tin, and more. We do not go for the large sea going ‘blocks of flats’, or a cruise with a Class hierarchy. The cruise was good value for money and we would book Marco Polo again. Once more, when the cocktail parties for previous customers was feature, it was noticeable that the theatre was nearly filled. This is a true mark of customer satisfaction when so many people are loyal to the Company and repeatedly book again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
I have read some of the reviews and I wonder if the reviewers travelled on the same ship as myself. This was an excellent cruise visiting some interesting ports. I am not a hardened cruiser and possibly this is the last cruise that I ... Read More
I have read some of the reviews and I wonder if the reviewers travelled on the same ship as myself. This was an excellent cruise visiting some interesting ports. I am not a hardened cruiser and possibly this is the last cruise that I will take simply because I have visited most of the places accessible by cruise ships that I want to visit. I prefer Adventure Travel. The comments about the list of the ship were correct but never of any problem and if you cross the North Atlantic in mid-Winter then you must expect rough weather and the ship responded accordingly. We did have a severe turn in the Amazon which resulted in the breaking of plates and having spoken to a retired Naval Officer who was a passenger, he said that this could well have been caused by a sudden change of direction and it should be remembered that the ship was under the control of the Brazilian Pilots at that time. I did not participate in the Bequia excursion but I agree with the complaints on the beach transfer excursion. I walked to the beach in fifteen minutes. The excursions I undertook were good and I had no complaints and the Amazonian Experience was excellent. There was several tendering ports and the crew had some difficult sea conditions particularly at Isle d'Salut and they dealt with these admirably and I wrote a letter to the Cruise Director asking him to give the crews my thanks for their good work in difficult circumstances. I refused to use the lifts so cannot make any comment except to say that many of the lift users should have tried the stairs and had some exercise. Evening entertainment was good with some exceptions and the films shown were a contrast. The Entertainment Team were hard working and were often seen on other duties. The best cabin that I have had on a cruise ship with an excellent steward Min who is now taking a well earned holiday home in Myanmar. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Room 9179 deck 7 this room was a good size with plenty of wardrobe space.Draw backs 2 lights over one side of bed can not see T.V if in bed near wall walking into room like walking on rice crisppie's .All 3 walls you can hear your ... Read More
Room 9179 deck 7 this room was a good size with plenty of wardrobe space.Draw backs 2 lights over one side of bed can not see T.V if in bed near wall walking into room like walking on rice crisppie's .All 3 walls you can hear your neighbours and in a bad storm the noise is bloody awful. The shower room bled into the other room so always had wet feet.......lol The room steward Alfred Cardozo was fantastic so tip him well. The ship was built in 1985 had a refurbishment 2 years ago but still looked tired and old like a bag of rusty nails The funnel stack chucked out black soot all over the back deck so be aware of white shirts getting black.The stair risers were 2 steep and uneven and we appeared to have leaks everywhere blowers on the go all the time I played table tennis days at sea the table one side had no feet rusting and falling apart the bats and balls had Costa cruise's on them. The Library was a complete waste of time books so old came from the ark and a complete mess. Kensington Restaurant table 102 both stewards were good but English were poor so explaining what was on menu to us was limited but they tried. The food was not a good standard and my partner lived of salmon most of the trip it seems they put everything in the mixer and hope it come's out the right colour mainly on the sweet selection came as solid blocks in different colours. The Chefs were mainly Asian if you wanted steak you had to pay £22 for surf and turf what a con.There speciality restaurant was in the Waldorf same restaurant as other clients but with a glass wall but felt like you were with everybody else This cost a extra £40.Afternoon tea bloody awful flat scones coleslaw sandwiches and snacks after dinner deep fried everything, But have to say if you like pitza in the Bistro was very good 3 types and garlic bread very good The excursions were good but some a bit pricey and some were the same but worded a bit different Jungle walk Forest walk same thing another con some ppl were transported to a beach costing £24 for a 10 min ride another con The entertainment team put there all into everything and were well received by all we had 3 acts brought on through a 6 week cruise not very good for such a long journey The guest lectures Louse Bonner and Param Sandhu were both excellent If you liked quiz's and the Ukulele and bridge u would love it some came with a supplement to cover cost We did have a lot of smokers on board and most of the staff smoked and seemed to take over a lot of the outside decks to everybody's annoyance. The ship seemed to be tilted to one-side nearly all of the cruise. when we finally got to the ports in the Amazon we were offloaded via gangplanks on wooden pallets ppl were banging there head and tripping over wood Health and Safety thrown out of the window. I know this was not a expensive cruise for all but some did spend over £7000 if i had i would have blown a fuse. As for the Captain his daily update was drab and boring when u did see him he had a cigarette in his hand and most of his crew did not smile.Will not sail again with this company CMV Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Unfortunately Magellan isn't much better than Marco Polo. The seating on Deck 10 around the pool resembled a works cafeteria and was very uncomfortable. The food... I'll pass on because where do I start. There is no heating in ... Read More
Unfortunately Magellan isn't much better than Marco Polo. The seating on Deck 10 around the pool resembled a works cafeteria and was very uncomfortable. The food... I'll pass on because where do I start. There is no heating in the cabins which was awful considering we sailed out of Tilbury in the sea of winter. Now smokers beware every time the ship bunkers they stop smoking on the open decks but bunkering can take 8 hours and they won't tell us in advance. I have travelled on nearly every ship that leaves Southampton and there is no one else that imposes that including Fred Olsen whose ships are no bigger than Magellan. They will only let you buy cigarettes in their shop but you can't have them until the last night of the cruise. My friends and I booked the world cruise for 5 January 2017 and have just read in the booklet "please note that any alcohol and cigarettes purchased ashore will be kept in a safe lock up and returned to you on the night prior to your fine destination". In other words you can only buy from their bars for the duration of 4 months. The fact they don't have your brand is tough luck and of course they ran out of the more popular brands in February. I rang today to be told it is down to the customs officials in other countries... what a croc... they only have a problem if you bring cigarettes or contraband ashore, not if you bring them onto a ship that is in fact cruising in international waters. Cruise & Maritime are holding you to ransom over having to make your purchases on board at their inflated prices. If you are thinking of travelling on Cruise & Maritime I urge you to reconsider. They are dangling 2 for 1 deals which look very appealing but the Amazon cruise was full of pax who, having bought the drinks package, were determined to get their monies worth and were roaring drunk every night. One particular alcoholic actually bent over his chair, was sick all over the floor, and promptly stayed where he was and carried on drinking!!! A majority of those on deck were Irish and we were subjected to shanty singalongs nearly every night. It's all very well dropping prices but then you cannot control the calibre of guest that comes on. It was like a booze cruise... but for 6 weeks! Also there are no fridges in the cabin. I only drink soda and I couldn't get a cold drink until the bars opened at 9.00am. They wanted to put my medication in their fridge which meant if you needed them in the night you had to get up, get dressed, and go to reception. We were hoping for good things in the refit in December but find the only difference is to Scotts Bar which is being changed into a themed British style pub called Scott's Tavern & Nightclub. We were promised a launderette but this is now not happening. Instead C&M have offered us a free fortnightly 'laundry bag' but that is only for people on the whole world cruise sector. The ports of Oranjestad, Aruba and Acapulco Mexico have been shortened. Our stop in Rarotonga has been cancelled. Our stop at Jakarta has been cancelled and because they have changed the Suez transit times we now lose our stop at Piraeus. I don't want an extended two day stop in Safaga which is only beneficial to their tours office selling spaces to Jerusalem and Bethlehem. I chose this cruise because of the port stops. Because we are at sea for 4 months it doesn't give the cruise line a right to hold us to ransom over everything they want to enforce. They are emptying the pools at every port, once again this is the only cruise line that does this. If you want to stay on board you can't swim!! On the Amazon transit we were without the pool for 8 days, that in temperatures upto 105 degrees. I don't want to go on this cruise but I wasn't allowed to cancel without huge canx charges and the point is that some of this information has only just been released. i.e we knew about visas to India and Australia but now have just been told that we need them in Indonesia, Vietnam, Maldives, Oman, Egypt, and Jordan and although they are done for you on the ship there are a load more fees to pay, monies we didn't know about in advance. The only thing worth the money was the entertainment staff who worked themselves to the bone (they didn't have a choice). We had the Nora virus onboard (which has happened on every C&M ship I've ever been on and the Ents team had to do deep clean duty. They had to be up and cleaning at 7.00am even though some hadn't finished work until 1.00am Anyone who has mobility issues take heed if you haven't book a adapted cabin you cannot bring a scooter or any mobility aid on board. If you turn up at Tilbury with one you will be denied boarding. Cruise & Maritime have gone a step too far. I thought I was booking an exotic holiday not a stay in a detention camp. They seem to have forgotten that the British still have freedom of speech and freedom of choice. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
The Ship itself: The Magellan is the noisiest, creakiest, most unstable ship that we have been on. If you don’t mind a rolling ship then it might be OK otherwise this is not the ship for you. The ship constantly rolls with every wave ... Read More
The Ship itself: The Magellan is the noisiest, creakiest, most unstable ship that we have been on. If you don’t mind a rolling ship then it might be OK otherwise this is not the ship for you. The ship constantly rolls with every wave no matter how small. I set up an “inclinometer” to monitor it. From London to Amsterdam to Lisbon, the ship rolled from 0 to over 8 degrees to port. At one point during the night, it rolled so much (probably over 12 degrees) that all the bottles and glasses of water on the bedside cabinets and the dressing table slid off onto the floor. Loads of crockery smashed to the floor in Raffles Restaurant. Sleep was impossible. From Lisbon to Cape Verde, it was 0-4 degrees. At Cape Verde in port, the ship was moored on the starboard side but still leaned at 1 degree to port. Across the Atlantic to Brazil, it was from 3 degrees starboard to 3 degrees port. Even up the Amazon River, it rolled from +2 to -2 degrees. At one point, it is my opinion that the ship hit a sandbank because it violently listed at about 15 degrees to starboard. All the crockery in Raffles kitchen fell to the floor (again). When spoken to later, the Customer Services Manager denied hitting a sandbank but claimed that it was a tight bend in the channel instead!!! Engine noise was excessive and 24/7. The Tender boats are very old and do not appear to be in good condition. One has broken down. The lift on another broke and we had to remain overnight in port for the repair. All the tenders are very smokey and noisy. The Magellan leaks. After every shower of rain, there were pots placed in suitable positions in the Captain’s Bar, in the Sinatra’s bar and outside the Gym. On one occasion, the leak outside the Gym was so bad, it was literally pouring gallons of water onto the carpet but nobody was taking any notice. On another occasion, the strong smell of sewage outside the Gym was very noticeable. There may have been more leaks around the ship. Deck 4 seemed to have more problems that most. Several passengers had to change their cabins due to flooding problems. One couple changed room three times because sewage kept flooding up the shower plug hole and many passengers reported brown water coming from the basin taps (see Water below). The remainder of the ship shows its age. Rust is evident everywhere and the smell of diesel was common along the cabin areas as was the smell of sick from passengers who could not take the rolling. Cabins: The cabins are quite dated and furniture is showing signs of wear. The ceiling panels rattle; the wardrobe doors creak, other items squeak - no chance of a good night’s sleep. There is no control over the heating in the cabins. There is a built-in fan in the ceiling with a variable speed control but no thermostat. Many cabins have 2 bunk beds pinned to the wall. This ship is an adult only so it is doubtful if four adults used one cabin. They should be removed to leave more living space. There is one electricity socket per cabin and that is the two round-pinned european type. There was another socket of 115v and a corner light socket of unknown voltage that we used as a battery charger only. The Magellan website has absolutely no information about electric types and their usage. Irons and kettles not allowed although we ignored that for the first few days. We brewed our own tea but water was a problem as mentioned. Also milk is a problem - only long life milk is available which is not very good in tea. Milk did not keep in the cabin for more than a few hours before going off and there is no fridge in the cabin. Food: If you are a meat eater, then the food might be considered acceptable. For a calorie-conscious Vegetarian or Pescatarian, very disappointing. Food choice in the Raffles Restaurant (probably the most commonly used restaurant) was quite basic. All fish dishes are swimming in oil, butter or some form of cream sauce and all were overcooked. Cheese choice was very limited. Salads were limited mainly to a lot of cos or iceberg lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes. When there was a coleslaw, chopped leftover meat from the previous night was invariably always added to it - no good for vegetarians and I think it spoilt it for everyone. As the holiday progressed, it became worse. At Raffles Bistro (self service), we were constantly (at least half the duration) being served by an army of waiters (at least 25) for “Health & Safety” reasons. It was ridiculous. In the evening, our meals here became more and more restricted. Eventually, all salads were pre-prepared in bowls as were desserts - all very restricted. We could not help but get the impression that this was more for economy rather than health! Food at the Waldorf & Kensington Restaurants was better but restricted to the menu. Entertainment: The shows were pretty good on the whole. The dancers were well received and performed very well - could have done with more of their shows. The singers left quite a lot to be desired. There were two male singers who were very good, excellent even but the rest !!! Water: The water from the cabin basins was supposed to be fit for drinking. However, on our first night, some black greasy fluid came from the taps leaving a ring round the basin which had to be scrapped off. We never tried to use it as drinking water after that. The alternative was bottled water at £2.20 per 75cl bottle (£2.93/litre) which is quite expensive. Water in Lisbon was 1 Euro for 5.4 litres! There are drinking fountains around the ship but we are not supposed to fill water bottles due to “hygiene reasons” - we ignored this; we need clean water in the cabin. Later when we left Barbados, dark brown water issued from the basin taps and we bottled a sample for future analysis. Drinks: All spirits and fortified wines are measured out using a 40ml thimble measure (not legal in Britain). However, the bar staff never seemed to fill it to the 40ml mark. By obtaining a large measure of spirits from all the various outlets and filling a measured bottle, it was clear that the average was around 33ml, not 40ml, per measure. This might be considered OK if you have a drinks package at £17/day/per person (you simply have another drink) but beware if you are buying your drinks ad-hoc over the bar. Furthermore, lemonade, tonic, coke or ginger ale was only available by the can (£2.05) which makes a mixed drink quite expensive. Beer was simply Bitburger Lager and served in 440ml measure (with a lot of froth) at £3.30 - quite expensive. Other beers were bottled and chargeable even if a drinks package had been bought. When the drinks bill arrived (every 2 weeks), there was always a discrepancy or two but the Reception staff did not seem to be too bothered. As I had a drinks package and therefore would not be charged, they were reluctant to investigate drinks that should have gone on someone else’s bill. Gym: The gym is limited but useful. There is only one mat available for floor exercises despite requests for extra ones (this was met with “You should have brought your own”). A water fountain has recently been installed which is well used. We filled our water bottles from it without any objections. Itinerary: This could do with reviewing. Some stops could have done with being longer and some with being shorter. Manaus in the middle of Brazil was very hazardous to your health and not only from the Zika virus. During our enforced overnight stay, 9 passengers were mugged in the town despite the presence of Tourist Police. Additionally, it was reported that one female crew member was held up by a mugger but rescued by a male crew member who had to use force to fend off the attacker. Also another crew member who separated from his group was held up at gunpoint and robbed of everything down to his underpants. There were also warnings issued about Santana with regard to pickpockets & muggers. Gratuities: This was included in the fortnightly invoice but could be declined if done promptly. We were never sure who received these gratuities. Some staff were salaried, some salaried plus gratuities, some just paid a wage and some unpaid living off gratuities & tips. We do not believe in gratuities as we consider that the company should pay a fair, living wage to all its employees and passengers should be free to reward special service. CMV are very sensitive about this element. We were told by one member of staff that they would be instantly sacked at the next port if it was found that they had talked to passengers about gratuities. This was confirmed by other staff. It appears that gratuities are a way that CMV use to subsidise wages. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We wanted some destinations neither of us had been to before and the Amazon was very inviting, plus price was reasonable for the length 6wks . Did not expect 5star cruising but nor did we expect so much water where it shouldn't be! ... Read More
We wanted some destinations neither of us had been to before and the Amazon was very inviting, plus price was reasonable for the length 6wks . Did not expect 5star cruising but nor did we expect so much water where it shouldn't be! The cabin was of ample size, beds very comfortable, shower great. Food was acceptable but in buffet not great. Like an old fashioned noisy school canteen! The waiters were attentive and cabin staff excellent. The trips ashore, with one exception were good, although the queuing for tenders was hideous despite trips being called at diff times. The tenders were grubby and old with broken windows, and on some trips the return tenders were reduced to one. The ship is tired and tatty but very clean.Most of our trip only 2 out of 4 lifts worked and often one was being used by staff to transport bed linen etc. Luckily stairs are easy for us but not so for a lot of less able people on board. Entertainment was ok, also had a couple of good lecturers giving talks on destinations etc. Problems, well water is a BIG one. Constant leaks in the lounge from ceiling, often light fittings! meant checking your chair wasn't damp, minding the blue towels that lay on entrance to the bar for most of trip, soaking up big leak, also outside the gym.Apparently swimming pool leaked---- Lots of ill people confined to cabins... about 3wks into trip the usual clanging and shaking in cabin of loose wall panels changed to horrendous knocking and thudding on our walls.After 3 nights no sleep told reception who said ship sailing to full capacity and offered earplugs! I declined as already tried my own to no avail. after numerous attempts got a member of staff to come and listenin our cabin. They accepted it was awful and gave us new cabin. We had to move ourselves as by 10pm promised help not arrived. Problem-trip 1st thing next morning, no safe, light not working, still same next day so had to use 2 cabins 1 for safe 1 to sleep. Back from trip, required 3 more tel calls to get sorted. 3days later, returned from breakfast to open bathroom door and be greeted by a flood of water and waste matter coming up drain.Staff said they would get a plumber to fix it. The smell was awful. They put a cabin lad outside our door as it had to be kept open for access. I checked at frequent intervals and noticed some other empty cabins with same problem. By late afternoon the waste matter had spilled onto our carpet and they had industrial dryers in, still insisting we could go back later! at 8pm they admitted defeat and gave us another cabin 1 deck up. Great, yet another evening ruined, we also missed our slot for dinner as we had no where to get washed and dressed in so had to make do with leftovers at buffet. The promised assistance to move arrived at 11pm one lady who we ended up helping as only one lift was working so we carried half our belongings up stairs. Surprise, broken air con and safe totally missing lock! We were not alone as we spoke with numerous couples who'd had to move. I approached reception next day re speaking to Julie-cust services, but just received letter through cabin door saying aware of situation and to contact company on return. Since then numerous letters have been written, company not interested, just offered 15% off my NEXT cruise with them this year! I declined and wrote to ABTA.It went to pre arbitration but they won't respond with any better offer.I would need to pay for full arbitration. I am disgusted with their customer service attitude and can only say don't cruise with them.Heaven help anyone going on the 'maiden world cruise with them. The Amazon destination and other ports of call were great but the ship is tired and needs scrapping, not refurbishing. Lots of people on here feel likewise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We were looking at a 50+ day cruise along the South American east coast but by the time we had made up our minds it was unavailable so our agent suggested this as an alternative. We booked in mid November and the price was very reasonable. ... Read More
We were looking at a 50+ day cruise along the South American east coast but by the time we had made up our minds it was unavailable so our agent suggested this as an alternative. We booked in mid November and the price was very reasonable. We had spent a week last summer on Marco Polo so had a fair idea of what to expect from CMV, good clean ship, good service, good food and hopefully good company. Tilbury is not an efficient port. There were huge queues of cars trying to get to the ship to drop off or park, despite the fact that we had a time slot. I don't really think this was CMV's fault. Magellan is fine, a little tired in some respects but CLEAN (this matters on cruises, especially on a long voyage). Some of the problems are directly attributable to passengers, not crew! For example, it is incredible how many passengers are of the 'rules only apply to other people' persuasion: Refusing to use hand sanitisers Filling water bottles at the water stations (I have no germs...only other people may have) Taking tea bags and coffee sachets by the handful (goodness knows why, were they planning to set up cafes?) Reserving sun beds (there were loads unused but still people attempted to bag their place and threw paddies if anyone had the temerity to remove their heaps of belongings and use the bed!) The facilities on board are good for the size of ship. The lack of self service laundry and ironing facilities is inconvenient on a long cruise but if you check details beforehand you already know this! Apparently launderettes are to be installed next season, which is good. The entertainment was pretty good, although another one or two extra visiting artistes would have been welcome with so many sea days. The on board team were very hard working and generally enthusiastic but needed the odd day off! Some of the lecturers were good, especially Louise Bonner, whose presentations were entertaining, interesting, informative and relevant to the places we were to visit. There were plenty of activities available. The service from pretty well all the staff was helpful and friendly, despite, at times, some very rude customers! We used the shore excursion programme more than we would normally have done because the Amazonian ports in particular had limited alternatives and we wanted to make the most of the time we had, it's not a place we will be likely to return to. We found the trips in general to be very well organised and the local guides informative. The cost compares well with other companies' offerings. Our cabin was a reasonable size, with adequate storage and a comfortable bed. The wall bunks do seem superfluous to requirements ( I can't really see 4 adults sharing) so they could be removed and the lighting rearranged. The food was generally well presented and tasty. We dined in the Kensington (late sitting) and always enjoyed our meals. If food was occasionally not hot enough we said so, and it was replaced. No fuss! The house wines were very palatable, and with a little persuasion we got a wine chiller on the table when required. Without being rude or bad tempered it is pretty easy to remedy any problems if you point them out! The only consistent problem on the Magellan is that it seems impossible to keep it level in any sea or river conditions. This has been mentioned in other reviews and was much discussed on board. Many passengers were ex Navy or Merchant Navy and had all sorts of theories about the cause of the problem! We concluded that the ship itself has a design flaw, as all other theories about ballast tanks, stabilisers, wind etc didn't explain the variations in list, sometimes to port, sometimes starboard, not necessarily correlating with weather conditions. This will prevent us travelling on Magellan again, as it was uncomfortable for us. Some people, although aware of the list, didn't find it a problem. We would be quite happy to try another CMV ship. Incidentally, the doctor was brilliant! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
I sometime wonder if the reviewers had been on the same ship as myself because I found this cruise to be very enjoyable and took me to those places that I had wished to visit in the past and the programme of visits was perfect. The ship ... Read More
I sometime wonder if the reviewers had been on the same ship as myself because I found this cruise to be very enjoyable and took me to those places that I had wished to visit in the past and the programme of visits was perfect. The ship is old and well travelled but one passenger was overheard in saying that they had never travelled on such a clean ship. The crew were constantly cleaning and the use of hand sanitisers was required whenever you entered the restaurants. My cabin 6087 was the largest I had ever had and was kept spotlessly clean by Kway Min OO who is now having a well earned holiday in Myanmar. The Cabin was well appointed. Check-in was straightforward following an easy twenty minute walk from Tilbury Town Station and was ahead of schedule in spite of the ship arriving in Tilbury later than planned. I only cruise to see places that I wish to travel to so am not a hardened cruiser and this cruise took me one thousand miles up the Amazon to Manaus which is a fascinating city although as some passengers found to their cost, it has a violent undertone. The excursion that I took from Manaus, Amazonian Experience was excellent and I had no complaints on any of the excursions although I fully appreciate the annoyance of those who did the beach transfer on Bequia to a beach just fifteen minutes walk from the landing stage. The crew were excellent although I did have some reservations about the attitude of the waiters. The tender crews had some difficult work to do at times and they should be complimented for their work on Isle d' Salut where there was a heavy swell but they ensured that all passengers who wished to go ashore did so in as great a comfort as was possible. One reviewer has commented about the sudden violent vibration when we were travelling up the Amazon and has said that it must have been caused by the ship hitting a sandbank and dismissing the Cruise Director's comment that it was caused by a sudden change of course. I spoke to a retired Naval Officer just after this incident and he had said that the incident could well have been caused by a sudden change of course and it should be remembered that the ship was under the control of the Brazilian Pilots at that time. Overall, this was an excellent trip and as one reviewer has said too many passengers want Cunard standards at CMV prices. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Looking forward to a lovely long Cruise was a bit disappointing. This is the most noisy ship ever, most night had to sleep with ear plugs in, with the engine noise and all the creaks and rattles Apart from the noises in the cabin their was ... Read More
Looking forward to a lovely long Cruise was a bit disappointing. This is the most noisy ship ever, most night had to sleep with ear plugs in, with the engine noise and all the creaks and rattles Apart from the noises in the cabin their was always a terrible noise by the Captain Bar and Photo Shop think it was the air con. It is very unstable in bad weather, so if you suffer with sea sickness not a good ship to travel on. It always had a tilt. The air con is not very well regulated so is cold when you don't want it to be and hot when you want it cold, to turn it on or off in your cabin the controls are on the ceiling so if you are small you would have to ask your cabin steward to do it for you. The food was cold or warm. Even thou their was quite a few chairs they were not comfortable to sit on to relax. Too many sun beds and not enough sun chairs. Cannot walk round deck. Water in tap was safe to drink but tasted horrible and to buy water on ship was £2.20 for a large bottle. Their was often leaks from pipes, one was outside the Sinatra Bar which had towels and buckets on the floor for about 4 weeks Think the security could be better when you come back on ship. Entertainment was a bit boring as it was the same most nights and some of the singers sounded like it was karaoke a night, would had been nice to have more guest entertainers. We had one on at Christmas and Two on for the Amazon cruises. The staff were excellent but they did not seem very happy but I had heard that they had problems with their wages. The drink package was well doing. This ship it not really suitable for long cruises. I would not travel on the Magellan again. Saying that we made the best of our time on board and had a good time. I suppose you get what you pay for. This is just my opinion and experience of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click