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7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We choose this cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The ship was old and tired and leaked. Our cabin carpet was wet the whole cruise and I was sick the whole cruise. It was only when we disembarked that I got over the virus I ... Read More
We choose this cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The ship was old and tired and leaked. Our cabin carpet was wet the whole cruise and I was sick the whole cruise. It was only when we disembarked that I got over the virus I had the whole cruise. The ship needs a full refurbishment so that the hallways/rooms are not full of dryers trying to dry the smelly carpets the whole time. The dining experience was not good to start with but as it was a maiden voyage the staff needed time to find their way around the ship too. By the end of the cruise the meals were fine, all except the grill restaurant where you had to pay an additional charge. We went there twice thinking it might improve but it didn't. Don't waste your money there. The steaks were tough and dry. The entertainment was not good, the person who got the biggest crowds was the lecturer who outlined the ports and the history of where we were. The staff, all except the front desk, did their best but they seemed to have been thrown in the deep end with little support from their head office. Also the hand sanitizing on the ship was not enforced and I think this must also have had something to do with the very large number of sick people on this cruise. I would never cruise with CMV again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
What a disappointing cruise. It was so average. No sparkle. Cabins were average with everything working. CMV charge for everything like water in cabins, even the waiter/waitresses pens have to be returned end of cruise, or they pay for ... Read More
What a disappointing cruise. It was so average. No sparkle. Cabins were average with everything working. CMV charge for everything like water in cabins, even the waiter/waitresses pens have to be returned end of cruise, or they pay for them! Food was excellent but just no style. Drinks package at £17 each per day was a rip off. Afternoon tea was just that, tea in the cafeteria; never smoked salmon, no tablecloths, no nice music, just no style. Talking of music, the classical duo were variable. They did concerts each night rather than background music, sometimes many wrong notes. So many wrong notes and simple Grade V music and average musicianship. No class. Compared to the international jazz trios on Cunard, it was a bit of shock for 43 nights. They had NO JAZZ at all and no cocktail pianist; nothing, anywhere at all. The TV service was very poor in rooms. No news or CNN or BBC for large chunks of the trip. Some days no TV at all just movies...... Dome observatory, they shut the curtains so you couldn't see out when leaving ports, probably for navigation but just so crass and inhospitable to guests. Excursions were hugely expensive. Glow-worm caves were £105 each; it's just 50 minutes out of Auckland and would have cost them about £20 a head, since we lived in Auckland we know the route and tickets. Just price gouging beyond belief. Tea at Reid's, Madiera, twice the price of just doing it ourselves; oh well. Guest mix ok but elderly. Nobody dressed up for dinner. Informal meant smart but all old guys were wearing short sleeved shirts no tie. In the end CMV did away with casual dining nights to keep the standard higher. We took dinner jackets but even for formal this was not needed and many guests did not bother. CMV is the only cruise company where you really don't have to bother dressing for dinner; the staff don't care and nobody enforces a dress code. Very disappointing. Staff very poorly paid about 650 euros a month, but trying to stay professional. Dirty glasses given out from bar, some public rooms never cleaned; mould in the Plantation servery area ceiling; nobody seemed to care. No style, no glamour, a disappointing cruise. I was glad to get off in Auckland. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Take lots of antibiotics and cold and flu medicine with you. The cruise from Perth to Tilbury was full of sick people. They go to the card room, the bars, the dining areas and the lounge. They were taken on a tour of the kitchen. I ... Read More
Take lots of antibiotics and cold and flu medicine with you. The cruise from Perth to Tilbury was full of sick people. They go to the card room, the bars, the dining areas and the lounge. They were taken on a tour of the kitchen. I stopped going to the fitness classes, the entertainment and group activities because of the risk of infection. We ate outside. The well people were.becoming hostile to the sick people. Some well people would not use the pool. The bread and deserts are uncovered. Infection spreads. The gym has equipment that dores not work. It is like the rehabilition room in a rundown old person's home. The equipment in the crew gym is great but you are not allowed to use it. Forget this cruise if you have special dietory requirements. You either eat high cholestorol or salad for 39 days. The salad becomes boring. The white coat staff cannot fix things and they can hide behind limited English. The internet does not work. On the plus side you get to a lot of places. The excursion coordinator, Elizabeth, was excellent. It is cheap. The bar and waiting staff are great. They should be paid a living wage and not depend on tips. Tip those you like. Who knows where the $8 a day goes. If you like bus tours with lots of sick people this is for you. Not recommended for anyone who is or thinks under the age of 85 and who does not remember the war. Read Less
48 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
I chose this cruise for it's itinerary, timing and value for money. It was also a way to get from Melbourne to London without jet lag and swollen ankles. It is an old ship and fairly small but I prefer the small ship atmosphere and ... Read More
I chose this cruise for it's itinerary, timing and value for money. It was also a way to get from Melbourne to London without jet lag and swollen ankles. It is an old ship and fairly small but I prefer the small ship atmosphere and friendliness. Overall the ship exceeded my expectations with a super friendly crew who went out of their way to make it an enjoyable voyage. Being small it moves around a bit in a swell and the stabilisers do not seem very effective but if you want a smoother ride you should stick to floating apartment blocks. The cabin was good for its type with the most comfortable beds I have had on my many cruises with various cruise lines. The in cabin entertainment was lacking with few movies that were repeated on a loop throughout each day. The show lounge entertainment was excellent with no shows repeated in the 6 weeks aboard. The dancers were great but the singers ranged from exceptional (Angelina) through to good with one who shall remain nameless who was painful. Pre dinner entertainment in the Captains Club was very good with a pianist and either a singer or violinist accompanying her. A nice way to start the evening. The cruise director Tony and assistant cruise director Katy ensured the entertainment flowed freely with a performance in the show lounge twice nightly and various sail away parties on the outside decks as we left ports. The second show was always less crowded and it was easy to find a good seat. The daytime entertainment was sparse but included 2 lectures each sea day which I found to be very interesting. The food was adequate but not great. Too much fish and chicken for my taste but the head waiter Tojo was fantastic in trying to accommodate me and would arrange extra steamed vegies or grilled meat and chips if all else failed. The bread rolls were excellent but the afternoon teas were not good as the cakes were dry, the scones like hard biscuits and the sandwiches boring ham and cheese every day. One big disappointment was the breakfast eggs. It is against Astor's policy to serve eggs either fried, poached or boiled, with a runny yolk. Every egg was hard in the centre. Health and safety was the excuse but I haven't seen this on other cruise ships and six weeks of overcooked eggs was an irritation to most passengers I spoke to. They need to consider passenger tastes rather than covering their own backs. Liz, the shore excursion organiser was very good. She went out of her way to help even if you were enquiring about a non ship tour. We had major health concerns on board culminating in a shoreside hospital visit in Capetown and 2 subsequent ships hospital visits. The ships doctor (Dmitri) and his staff gave us confidence to continue our voyage and ensured we had the appropriate care till we arrived in London to the point of offering to arrange specialist care on shore when we docked. Ships medical assistance is not cheap so good travel insurance is vital. The internet costs were very cheap ($5 Australian per hour) but totally unreliable. On the occasions where I had to seek help from the reception staff for internet and other problems they were great. Service with a smile always. The ship displayed some meanness in small ways. Like no shampoo and conditioner in the cabin, just a body wash in the shower which could have been dishwashing liquid. They gave us a lovely tray of chocolate goodies for Easter but we only received a chocolate on the pillow on the formal nights. Room service was limited and not complimentary. Other reviewers have said the crew are surly but we found everyone from the Captain down to be cheerful and friendly. The one exception was our cabin steward. She was a miserable soul who obviously didn't like her job. She kept the cabin clean but whether it was a language problem or a personality trait, her face could not form a smile. Would I travel on Astor again, yes I would, the good far outweighed the bad, a sentiment widely felt by fellow passengers, many of which had cruised with her multiple times. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Sailed to Auckland from Tilbury in October 2016. I had initial fears that I would be travelling on a floating old people’s home for 6 weeks and although I was 10 years below the average age on board they were a great bunch and many were ... Read More
Sailed to Auckland from Tilbury in October 2016. I had initial fears that I would be travelling on a floating old people’s home for 6 weeks and although I was 10 years below the average age on board they were a great bunch and many were repeating the trip. Some amazing and interesting people on board. Definitely not luxury cruising but extremely comfortable. I loved the breakfasts and still miss them. My wife just doesn’t do quite the omelette that they do on board. I also loved the fact that breakfast frequently lasted from 06.30 hrs to 10.00 hrs. Lovely wee ship and great experience. I may go again next year but am thinking of Columbus in January 2019 but am worried she might not be as friendly as Astor as she is about three times the size. . I also loved the informality of Astor and the way the crew could socialise with us at night. Prior to the trip I had not been on a liner since 1966 but I thoroughly enjoyed my trip. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We had a great relaxing and enjoyable cruise, from Tilbury uk to Perth, Australia. The staff througout the ship; that we had direct service from, were exceptional, very curious and always served with a smile. The highlights and most ... Read More
We had a great relaxing and enjoyable cruise, from Tilbury uk to Perth, Australia. The staff througout the ship; that we had direct service from, were exceptional, very curious and always served with a smile. The highlights and most memorable time's for my wife and I, were, being invited by the captain onto the wing of the bridge, going through the 2 upper locks of the Panama Canal, what an experiance and on her birthday!! The second was being invited to the caprains table for dinner on galore night, in 15 plus cruise's, this was a first, and boy, what a lovely finish to our voyage. The evening shows in the theatre were fantastic and we were quite suprised, for such a small stage company, how they never repeated thier performances, the variety was unbelievable and well performed every time. My only criticism here is, the main performer was always, the star roll, that was very unfortunate, as there were others that were as good , if not better, that we and other passengers would have liked to have enjoyed seeing and listening to, I did mention it to the cruise director, he didn't take opinion or suggestions very well, saying pick on me day is it !!! Ah well , they to have off days!!! All bar drinks throughout the ship were very expensive, they offered various deals and offers, even that came out OT, so we chose not to drink on board that much, our budget wouldn't stretch to their outrageous prices, plus the range of beers were very small and not that enjoyable at all. There was a problem having working TV in the cabin, it's awfull, a real lack of cabin entertaint here!!! Overall, we had a great voyage and enjoyed all that the cruise offered to the full, that we participate in. Read Less
35 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose this cruise for its ports of call, destination and cost. Embarkation could have been handled better. We seemed to spend a lot of time lining up and by the time we got on it was time for drill. Astor is an older and smaller ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its ports of call, destination and cost. Embarkation could have been handled better. We seemed to spend a lot of time lining up and by the time we got on it was time for drill. Astor is an older and smaller ship and consequently does not have the facilities and amenities of the bigger ships. However, we found that less passengers meant we got to know each other and everyone was friendly and happy to chat. The morning quiz was so popular that not everyone could get into the bar. We sat outside and answered the questions ourselves. The guest speakers were popular and very informative, especially the astronomer. The evening shows were good on the whole. Especially the rock n roll show (Jordan stole the show) and the Rocky horror show. Jordan was great in that too. As the stage and seating were all on the same level everyone wanted to sit at the front. The food was good although we are not used to so much fish. We preferred the Waldorf dining room. Get waited on and don't have the push and shove of the buffet. And get plenty to eat without over eating. The shore tours are reasonably priced and a variety of options. Some people say the tours are expensive but you are picked up from the ship, returned, have an English speaking guide and any admissions are included. It is much easier in an unfamiliar place where English may not be widely spoken. Swakupmund Namibia was great. Nothing like I expected for a town surrounded by desert. That was an enjoyable day out with a man who lived there as a child and had seen it change from a small town to a thriving metropolis. Clean and modern. The sand dunes and carpet weaving factory were great. Our cabin and the ship in general was kept clean. Warning that a young man was cleaning the ladies toilets might have been useful. My only gripe would be why is Ascension Island on the itinerary when they really have no intention of stoping there. In 5 passes of the island they have only gone ashore once. They say the water is too rough but the island is a strategic place for the British and Americans which makes me wonder. Despite not going there we were 3 hours late arriving at Casablanca. How late would we have been if we had stopped at Ascension Island. This cruise was value for money. May not have the glitz and glamour of the bigger more expensive cruises but was more relaxed. And as I said to my husband it is the first time we have been on first name terms with the crew. And the captain is a good singer. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose this cruise based on value for money. We were not seeking a "party" boat. I must admit I was expecting it to be boring, but had a wonderful time. The activities were well planned and the food was excellent the entire ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on value for money. We were not seeking a "party" boat. I must admit I was expecting it to be boring, but had a wonderful time. The activities were well planned and the food was excellent the entire trip. Crew were very professional. Despite being on the boat for 38 days, we did not want to get off when we arrived in England. Has definitely turned me on to cruising. The stops along the way included Mauritius, various locations around South Africa and Namibia. Loved Cape Town and St Helens. Then Morroco and Portugal. Loved the ambiance of the entire trip. Met many wonderful people. My wife got gastro on the boat, however I believe this is an occupational hazard of cruising. Whilst I was not sick, we were in lockdown in our cabin for 76 hours. However all the way through the Doctor, crew and officers ensured that we were well looked after. They were very professional and ensured that the illness was not spread to others. I cannot speak highly enough. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
On-board Management makes good money by promoting packages. Value for money is poor. Especially staff are not friendly & does awkward drinks. Cabins sometimes smells likes a fish. Entertainment is always the same excellent. Pool ... Read More
On-board Management makes good money by promoting packages. Value for money is poor. Especially staff are not friendly & does awkward drinks. Cabins sometimes smells likes a fish. Entertainment is always the same excellent. Pool area service is very poor. No towels after get wet. Food in Buffet restaurant is not as per the taste & crew working in that areas is disgusting, they eat & drink from the buffet. The Shops are most of time closed & the staff working in the premises is look like sleepy moods. The shop have no such a variety of products & too expensive. The Excursion where they take us & how the staff take care of us is very touchable to our hearts. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We have just returned from a six week cruise on the m/v 'Magellan' operated by CMV. The itinerary was sailing Tilbury on the 5th January 2016 to the Amazon and the Caribbean. On the way we also called at Amsterdam, Lisbon, ... Read More
We have just returned from a six week cruise on the m/v 'Magellan' operated by CMV. The itinerary was sailing Tilbury on the 5th January 2016 to the Amazon and the Caribbean. On the way we also called at Amsterdam, Lisbon, Funchal (Madeira) and Mindalo (Cape Verde). After crossing the Atlantic we entered the Amazon River and spent a week with a port call every day upto Manaus and back. On the way to the Caribbean we called at Isla da Salut (Devils Island) and after four port calls in the Windward Islands we called at Horta and Ponta Delgado in the Azores before returning to Tilbury. The highlights for us was undoubtably the Amazon and Devils Island, particularly the latter. Prior to booking we read all the reviews regarding the Magellan and CMV and it is fair to say that as a result we had serious doubts about booking. However, we decided that the itinerary was so appealing, and the price so reasonable, that we would proceed but with low expectations on the ship and cruise line. We were wise to do so. First the good points. The cabin, which we chose with great care taking into account online reviews and personal experiance on cruising generally, was excellent. It was roomy and the cupboard space easily accommodated our 5 suitcase load. It was also very quiet which could not be said for many others. She is an old ship and some others experienced creaking and groaning in the the fabric of the ship when she was working in even a reasonable sea which kept them awake at night. To the extent that some with outside cabins were given inside cabins for sleeping in, retaining their original outside cabin for day use. The only down side was that as we were on deck 4 (4036) and only about 3/4 meters above the waterline in rough weather they bolt shutter over the inside of the Windows as protection. This happened for one day on our journey outward and for two on the return leg across the Bay of Biscay. They give you no warning. They just do it. But it is for your safety so no arguments here on it. The ship was built in 1985 when there was not so much pressure to cram as many people onboard as possible so we found her public spaces well laid out and more than adequate. Even when no one was on deck due to cold/bad weather you could still always find a spot to settle yourselves down in one of the lounges. Almost without exception we found the waiters and bar staff were superb and we cannot praise them high enough. They made up for many of the deficiencies. I have no doubt she is perfectly safe and seaworthy but the ship is old and it shows cosmetically, serious TLC needed. Maintenance staff are everywhere, always either repairing or running maintenance checks. Sometimes these seemed planned to create the maximum amount of inconvenience to the passengers. A bit of forethought would have gone a long way. There are eight lift shafts but two of them never worked the whole time we were onboard. When you consider the age profile that CMV targets, many of which have varying degrees of mobility problems, it is frankly not acceptable. About two weeks into the cruise there appeared a wet area just outside Sinatra's Bar with just towels put down to soak it up and a yellow warning sign. We were told it was the air conditioning. After a further two weeks we were all just walking past it without noticing it anymore. When we got to colder climate it stopped. No attempt was made that we saw to remedy the fact that the air conditioning unit was dumping excess moisture out of the air onto the floor In a steady drip. Most of the lounge furniture has seen better days and needs either replacing or reupholstering. They have replaced most of the sun loungers on deck but some of the old ones are still used but are dilapidated and should be pensioned off. Again there is plenty of space on deck although shade is at a premium. The excursion team, with one notable exception, seemed a bit disorganised and some, not all, of the trips were badly conducted. All cruise lines grossly overcharge for shore excursions but some of them on this ship bordered on daylight robbery. One in particular at Bequia was a cataraman trip to a secluded beach and back. Cost £24 each. We were tendered ashore and had to wait about 45 minutes for the cataraman which took ages to board as we all had to wade out to it. It then just sailed round the headland and dumped us on a beach about ten minutes later, which was just a 15 minute walk from where we boarded the boat, we know because we walked back. Everyone was livid. The food is adequate, nothing exceptional. Occasionally they put on a very late buffet where the food is excellent. Unfortunately most times many of the early diners had already gone to bed and the late diners haven't long finished their main meal so a lot gets wasted.they should forget the buffet and concentrate on providing better meals in the dining rooms. Bar prices are exceptionally reasonable for a cruise ship with none of the compulsory 15% surcharge you get added by most other lines. Smoking areas are not clearly defined or sign posted. Ther are three areas on the port side on deck 10 and 11, more space than we have seen allocated to smokers on any other cruise line, where smoking is permitted. It is not enforced and by the end of the cruise smokers had virtually claimed the whole of the port side of the ship including the boat decks. In the Eros Bar on deck ten even the ships officers were smoking in an area that was just marginally over the centre line into the port side.think it is a case that as the Management smoke they have no interest in policing the policy. The entertainment staff were very enthusiastic and friendly of mixed talent, some very good and others not so, but they really threw themselves into everything they did.we only had three guest acts flown in which for a six week cruise is appalling. The usual activities that you would expect, lectures, quizzes etc which you can take or leave as you please. Despite the above we have no regrets. This gave an opportunity to visit places, at an affordable price, which we thought we would never get to see and, despite the niggles,it was a fantastic and memorable holiday which we will long remember. The itinerary was everything. You just have to remember that this is not Princess Line or Celebrity and that you are paying a price accordingly. Would we sail on 'Magellan' again? Definitely not, although it might be interesting to see what they do to the old girl during her docking next October. There was a very mixed response from fellow passengers. Some saying they would never sail on her again to others that were enthusiastically booking future cruise whilst onboard, at least one couple we met who actually booked the 120 day round the world cruise from Tilbury leaving on the 5th January 2017. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Tilbury was our port of embarkation in October 2015 enroute to FremantleWA. Also, we were passengers on the Fremantle - Harwich voyage in April 2014 and it was a marvellous experience. Don't misunderstand, we enjoyed our time ... Read More
Tilbury was our port of embarkation in October 2015 enroute to FremantleWA. Also, we were passengers on the Fremantle - Harwich voyage in April 2014 and it was a marvellous experience. Don't misunderstand, we enjoyed our time aboard however, from day one we noticed the bean counters had been at work. The a la carte cuisine was not quite as sumptuous, but pleasant nevertheless. Our biggest complaint was that the ship was too often hours late into the ports we visited, which meant that we had little time to explore. The excuses given ranged from slowing for whales in the vicinity, lost time bunkering and heavy weather. Two former sea captains travelling as passengers dismissed the excuses as verbal tripe. Bunkering should have been factored into the ships schedule. Whales were well and truly out of the shipping lanes at this time of year and we had not experienced heavy weather.....Go figure! This, they said, was merely a relocation voyage to enable Astor to commence its season out of Fremantle. The real reason the ship was frequently late, they said, was that the ship had slowed to conserve fuel. Therefore, and unfortunately, Astors 500 passengers were short-changed and did not receive all they had paid for. Astor is 30 years old, 3-Star ship, but it delivers value if itineraries are met. The crew was so obliging and we thought the service from cabin steward to table and drink waiters was exceptional. At times, language barriers with drinks staff added levity to afternoon libations. Read Less
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