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16 Europe - British Isles & Western Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

We were a family group of six, siblings and spouses, and for all of us a first time. It seemed good value but you’ll pay hefty prices for services, drinks and excursions so be cautious about your budget. It’s an old boat but quite ... Read More
We were a family group of six, siblings and spouses, and for all of us a first time. It seemed good value but you’ll pay hefty prices for services, drinks and excursions so be cautious about your budget. It’s an old boat but quite charming with teak decks and some quirky features. It’s difficult to fault the staff who work extremely hard and are almost all polite, friendly and helpful. The exception are the reception staff who, apart from one individual, were unhelpful and abrupt. They seem to need more training in customer service. This was a very staid and generally fairly boring cruise. The customers are on the whole very elderly, and, on the round British cruise, almost all British. The activities are limited and I found them uninspiring. Bad lectures, boring games and quizzes. The performers for the evening show work very hard but the staging leaves a lot to be desired and sound system is poor and flattens the voices of the singers. Take several good books or something to do for the lengthy periods at sea. The food - what can I say- two weeks of very boring and mostly bland food. I’m a vegetarian and the options are v limited. For example, spinach and pasta swamped in bechamel served with chips. I eat fish - but served with relentless monotony with sliced boiled potatoes and carrots. Two weeks of the same meal :(. Meat eaters complained of tough, leathery meat and we were often served luke warm or cold food. We had a booked table in the evenings but ate buffet meals breakfast and lunch. These are better but cafes often v overcrowded and no seats. There’s always bread and butter puddling and custard at lunch time and warm scones for tea. But a buffet salad for a vegetarian - chopped onions, tomatoes, cucumber, olives and cold Brussels sprouts every single day. A couple of slices of cheese. I was desperate for fresh food and leafy veg. Excursions are well organised but expensive. And not very adventurous. If you don’t book an excursion, some ports, Cork for example, mean lengthy complementary bus transfers to get into the city; Lerwick is a short walk from the dock; Kirkwall has a v efficient free bus. Mull was a tender, but v lengthy waits to get onto one if you wanted to go ashore because passengers on excursions take priority. Honfleur a shuttle bus but v close; Bristol a long way from the port, Dublin 30 minutes in shuttle but easy to do; didn’t go into Belfast but it was also a shuttle similar to Dublin. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because it was a repositioning cruise and the itinerary looked amazing. I normally only give good reviews or just not review at all, if the experience was bad. However, I want people to know about this. Some things you ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a repositioning cruise and the itinerary looked amazing. I normally only give good reviews or just not review at all, if the experience was bad. However, I want people to know about this. Some things you can not make a big deal about, others are unacceptable. We were sold a bill of goods from the Cruise and Maritime Florida office. We knew the ship was older (originally Holland America - then sold to P&O - and now in the CMV fleet). However, we were told we were boarding a completely refurbished ship. That was not the case at all. There were plumbing issues throughout. Many toilets overflowing and hot/cold water issues. There were also HVAC issues. Some cabins and public areas were FREEZING and others were HOT. We had to complain 3x before someone even came to look at our cabin. It was meat locker cold. We covered up the A/C vents and kept our balcony door open most of the journey so I did not have to wear layers of winter clothes in my cabin. The thermostats were so ancient, you could not even turn them off. The cabins had nice bedding and towels - although we had to beg for bathrobes/dressing gowns (which we were told came with our level of cabin). Cabins were all original and aging - stuffing coming out if seams of the couch, peeling wallpaper, etc. It really needed updating. We had a tub with jets, but they never worked. Dining was hit or miss. Some meals were good, others not so much. In the bistro it was not serve yourself so you had to ask for portion size of specific foods. Some of the staff had little command of the English language, so they would put the wrong things on your plate. Some stations had long lines and it was not laid out very well. Also for some odd reason, people were stealing the salt and pepper shakers - so we had to keep getting up and borrowing ones from other tables. Things like this you pass off as new crew, different ship in the fleet, things will be off. I do accept maiden voyage glitches. However, there were a couple of things which were completely unacceptable: 1. We were told to board the ship on 22 April by CMV Florida office. However, when we arrived jetlagged in Singapore to the cruise terminal a porter acted like we were idiots and told us to come back tomorrow. No ship today. We were stunned and lost - not even having a hotel booked. CMV had all our contact information (phone, email) and yet they did not even tell us in advance that the date was incorrect. This is just plain and simple poor business. 2. The people working in reception on the ship initially were cold and rude. I brought receipts to them the first day for compensation for our hotel/food costs the night before (as I was instructed to do by CMV) and they basically told me I was an stupid and should have known when to board. This woman actually said, "How can anyone be so stupid to board on the wrong day? It clearly states boarding on 23 April." as she was emphatically pointing at the CMV Vasco da Gama brochure. I have NEVER EVER been treated so disrespectfully by a reception person on a ship. And I was being nice just dropping off the receipts. I never received any transparency or an explanation about this horrible mistake. It took them nearly 4 days to respond and give us a bottle of wine for our troubles - which we didn't need since we already bought the drink package. I would never take another cruise on a CMV ship. They are terrible with customer service. However, I will say this - the crew, in general, did their best with what they had to work with. Most were kind. The ports were very cool and varied. The passengers we met onboard we awesome. Despite all the issues, we had a good vacation! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Cabin We were given a tiny, windowless cabin on the lowest deck known as Carabic. The smell of diesel is so overpowering it leaves a taste in your mouth as you leave the tiny lift. We paid for an inner cabin and the offer suggested a ... Read More
Cabin We were given a tiny, windowless cabin on the lowest deck known as Carabic. The smell of diesel is so overpowering it leaves a taste in your mouth as you leave the tiny lift. We paid for an inner cabin and the offer suggested a free upgrade that never happened; despite this the cabin was serviceable and kept spotlessly clean by Lillia our Cabin Stewart. The two twin beds were smaller than a regular single but were rewarded with fresh crisp linen daily along with the white as wave towels. The cabin was serviceable and a little larger than I expected. The draw space and hanging space was well utilised for storing the plethora of formal wear needed on the cruise. 3 single wardrobes housed rails, the safe and a set of small draws along with a tie rack. The top space held the life jackets and could be used for storing larger items. The storage of suitcases was difficult but we squeezed them under the beds, this would be impossible with the hard shell cases but our smaller softer cases compressed to fit. The bathroom optimised the available space and provided a shower with a detachable head; the pressure was good and left us feeling refreshed. The toiletries supplied were limited and of a poor quality. The descenders in the showers were tricky to use when slippery and wet but we had brought our own and recommend travellers do the same. The standard of cleaning in the cabin is outstanding and I have never had a better standard anywhere in the world. Twice each day the room is cleaned and turned back at night, clothes folded for you, bins emptied, dressing area organised. It feels like Mary Poppins has visited each time you return. Captain’s Club This comfortable area is rarely unoccupied, in the day it’s bright clean interior attracts people hoping to relax and have a drink and at night it is a waiting area for people preparing for the show lounge cabaret. A delightful pianist and violinist play at various times on most evenings but they could not be enjoyed because they became inaudible within the busy room full of chattering guests. A beautiful resource that is sadly under appreciated and lost amongst the people. Sadly this area is understaffed and many guests treat the overworked staff appallingly. I have witnessed so many occasions where guests have berated, abused and directly verbally attacked the young staff. The waiting time for drinks is over 30 minutes or more and there does seem to be a favouring of those guests without a drinks package over those who have the package. This highlights another anomaly in the pricing of the drinks package. If I ordered a quadruple whisky this would be included in the package BUT a latte coffee would not. This seems rather unfair and does not encourage sensible drinking. My main issue with this area is the lack of tables for two persons. Most of the tables are laid out as 4s and so it negates any privacy or time for couples to enjoy together. Most of the time the lounge is quite full and so people sit with you and want to chat. A lovely thing to happen on a friendly ship but there are times when I would have appreciated some time alone with my husband. This layout was further hindered by the many Zimmer frames, walking trollies and walking sticks that created an ever changing obstacle course for people to negotiate. Scott’s Bar This is a lively little venue however after 10 all entertainment moves to this bar and sadly the area is far too small for the number of visitors using it. It was almost impossible to see both the show at 9 in the show lounge and then get a seat upstairs. Sadly we missed out because if this. The bar staff in this area are good and much quicker than in other areas of the ship. Many of the soft furnishings in this area are broken and are uncomfortable but this is only if you are fast enough to get a seat. Marco’s Bistro Terrible! This restaurant is appalling and I am afraid it has deteriorated during the cruise. The food is luke warm at best and stagnant and congealed most of the time. The choice is poor with mostly chopped meat dishes and diced over cooked soggy vegetables. The sweet section at lunch and dinner are poor with small portions of poorly presented sweets that include many cold puddings and whips. The majority of food has a soft blended texture ideal if chewing is best avoided! The cutlery includes only soup spoons rather than desert or tea spoons, so one must stir tea, eat cake and cereal with a soup spoon. Usually there is a shortage of cutlery throughout the restaurant at all 3 meals. My biggest annoyance was having to collect food in relays as people would take your seat between courses. Lone diners would find it impossible to eat all courses in the same seat. Main Restaurant This area is stunning and despite the tatty table cloths, with more pulls than a grandmother’s stocking, it is warm and welcoming. The staff try hard but the lack of organisation makes this a doomed enterprise. We were sat on a table of six and we were so close to other tables that the waiters played limbo to get about carrying the trays. The menus allowed for a choice but really what you received was like Russian roulette. I ordered ice cream and got sorbet, ordered pasta and got pork! This seemed to happen every night to at least one person in the table. The delay between courses was ridiculous with a 90 minute wait on Christmas Day between starter and main. This improved to 50 minutes on Boxing Day. We eventually complained and the time between courses reduced but the game of roulette continued. Midnight snacks Pathetic! These are carried around on a tray and given out in tiny portions on serviettes. I was blessed with grease down my ball gown as the waiter spilt them all down me on Christmas Eve! Not the wonderful plan I had for my dress which is now ruined. Deck Bar Swimming pool! More of a puddle than a pool. I heard it called a splash pool, a great name as it just splashes icy water over people sat at tables around it. The slippery deck is then a risk to the shuffling older people who hope to sit by it. No one used it as it is covered with a net, a complete waste of deck space and a blooming pain in the neck! The bar out here is well stocked and enticing but the wait time for a drink is so long you contemplate jumping overboard! The waiting staff meander about, avoiding eye contact and rarely engage with people. I have found this the worst area to get a drink and have often given in and had a self service coffee rather than nothing. Entertainment The entertainment team includes some excellent singers with talent way beyond this ship. Callum, Anneka and Savannah brighten every room when they enter and their talent shines through. The others are not quite as talented but what they lack in ability they make up for in enthusiasm. Mitch makes everyone smile and excelled at Elvis and some swing but he struggles with more challenging songs. Not all of the songs the entertainers sing suit their voices and even the best of them murder some songs. The Wuthering Heights needs to be pulled ASAP! Daytimes are dull. Little if any entertainment goes on and much is not hosted. The entertainment seems to be aimed at the older generation with Knit and Natter and Bridge. We attended the Creative Writing and although we enjoyed the sharing of creative works the gentleman who ran the session was poor. He talked. A lot! He then got everyone to write and share. The feedback was peer feedback with little input from him. There was no development of people’s skill, no feedback or development of ideas. The next session repeated exactly the first in format and activities. The room was too small and the delivery needs to be improved. The tutor led session was didactic and lacked any imagination. Ironic given it was a creative writing class. The exception to the poor daytime activities was the Morecombe and Wise Comedy lecture that was excellent. It was well planned, entertaining and engaging, giving rise to much laughter and good spirits. The presenter was knowledgeable and very talented. Excursions The excursions are very expensive however they are well organised and have a high standard of tour guide. We did 3 different excursions and booked a fourth that was unfortunately cancelled. The first tour of Gibraltar was on a minibus and took us to the Rock, the Caves and the museum. The guide was excellent and entertained and informed us. He was relaxed and the tour took longer than expected but it was worth every second of my time. The second tour took us around a very foggy and rainy Funchal. To be honest the tour should have been cancelled due to the weather. The views were totally covered by a thick blanket of fog making visibility about 3 meters maximum. The guide tried her best but coffee and cake at a golf club and a walk to a wine tasting cost us £48 each. Very disappointing! The 3rd trip around a freezing cold Lisbon was a march, following a bossy school mistress who barked at us and constantly repeated herself. When people asked for rendezvous times she wouldn’t give them insisting we stayed with her. The visit to the monastery allowed no time to contemplate the beautiful place or enter into prayer. It was a fast walk through and a sit on a pew whilst she talked and talked constantly repeating herself. Disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Ship broken down in Dover so not in dock in Tilbury, so we had to be bused to Dover, given a bottle of water apple & crisps for lunch. After a two hour drive we arrived in Dover getting on the ship went well, we were told that the ... Read More
Ship broken down in Dover so not in dock in Tilbury, so we had to be bused to Dover, given a bottle of water apple & crisps for lunch. After a two hour drive we arrived in Dover getting on the ship went well, we were told that the self service was closed ( but found out later it was open) there should have been a kettle in our cabin that was missing so no warm cuppa. First evening meal in the restaurant was not very good, also we ask for a table for 6/8 given one for 4. Then found out the ship had not been repaired so had to miss Gibraltar so that meant 5 day's at sea with not a lot to do. Ship repaired in Tenerife. 31/12 arrived in Madeira> My husband went on a excursion I didn't because it was a tender. I am disabled (having a bad day) so I stayed on board. He left me at 8.45 I next saw him at 7.15 because they stopped the tenders for safety reasons, leaving hundreds on shore either sat on the tenders or stood out in the rain, last people got back around 11.30 all missing their Grand New Years Eve meal as we did. A lot of people missed the fireworks at midnight as they were either too ill or too tired to stay up. We did see the fireworks were spectacular, they were what nearly all the passages had gone to see. The disembarkation was a joke we had crew members with cases or large bags pushing passed paying passengers to get of the ship, maybe like a lot of the passengers they too couldn't wait to get off. After showing our sea passes there were new staff walking towards us to get on the same way as everyone was getting off. They were so rude bearing in mind their ages compared to the passengers, who were mainly OAP's or disabled like myself. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this ship as we sailed in her 18 months previously and apart from very average food in the Waterfront Restaurant we had a good time. We were in need of some serious R&R after a very difficult year and the children were ... Read More
We chose this ship as we sailed in her 18 months previously and apart from very average food in the Waterfront Restaurant we had a good time. We were in need of some serious R&R after a very difficult year and the children were happy to go elsewhere. We therefore booked the courier service through SAGA to take us to Tilbury & back. The day before we left the embarkation was changed to Dover where extra repairs had to be made apparently although why was never mentioned by the captain or the crew. Embarkation was fast and efficient but from there it all went downhill. The excursion to Amsterdam canals was organised during the daylight hours and the famous lights were not evident. A waste of time & money. As soon as we left there we were informed that the scheduled stop in Gibraltar had been cancelled as the repairs had not been effected in Dover. So after 5.5 days at sea suffering with very mediocre food in the main restaurant and indifferent entertainment in the Palladium we arrived in Tenerife earlier than stated. The excursion booked was thoroughly dangerous on roads unsuitable for big coaches and little or no safety barriers on bends with 400' or more drops. So decided to cancel rest of excursions but no refund given and money taken to cancel! Best was New Years' firework display but some 600 or so very bruised and battered passengers may not agree after suffering appalling conditions tendering to the mainland in rough seas when no other cruise liners were offering this and then being left for hours to fend for themselves when the weather worsened. All in all we felt that there was a lack of care for the passengers exhibited by the officers and heads of departments, although the staff on the ground so to speak were friendly and helpful. The wine cellar choice was little short of abysmal. If you drink dry wine only you will be ok as that is all they have and the spirit measures are extremely small. Luckily we took out a VIP package and came out on top. The best drinks were definitely the cocktails and the lovely coffees. Food was poor except for the buffet on the top but not easy to get drinks up there. The whole ethos of Christmas was missing. Embarkation was a total shambles and as there was a DOA in one of the cabins even more delay ensued with a free for all at the exit to the dock building. Would we go again.....answer no as it appears the shipping line is more interested in making money at all costs than looking after the comfort of it's passengers and our experience was worse than the previous trip. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Royal Caribbean used to be a top cruise line...no longer...this cruise has been Carnivalised...no lobester night unless you pay extra...movies in your room? Only if you want to pay $13.00 a movie, not first run...Happy hour on drinks? On a ... Read More
Royal Caribbean used to be a top cruise line...no longer...this cruise has been Carnivalised...no lobester night unless you pay extra...movies in your room? Only if you want to pay $13.00 a movie, not first run...Happy hour on drinks? On a twelve day cruise... two hapy hours for only two hours and only on two kinds if drinks...too bad... the staff was great but the lines seem to go out of the way to nickel and dime the passengers...All the items in the shop were from the Baltic cruise...Nothing from the British Isles...its like this cruise was just a filler between Baltic cruises.Horrible televison programing...The wait staff on the ship were very helpful in all ways from the cabin steward to the dining room waiter and his assistant. As a cigar smoker, I was dissapointed that there was no longer a cigar bar on this ship and we were forced to sit outside in cold, windy weather. This was not the cruise line I remember....I won’t be back on this line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise as it was departing from Dublin so no flying needed for us! We had 2 wheelchair users with myself and my husband. Embarkation We arrived in plenty of time. Only downside is the port has no parking at the berth ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was departing from Dublin so no flying needed for us! We had 2 wheelchair users with myself and my husband. Embarkation We arrived in plenty of time. Only downside is the port has no parking at the berth they used for Magellan so my husband had to drop us off and drive up to Terminal 1 to park. Basic tent and fold-up chairs greeted us. It was bit tough getting the wheelchairs up the wooden ramps but I got there! Bags where whisked away very swiftly. Check-in was fast, we had all documentation ready, we had our photo taken and checked-in within ten minutes. Then the trouble started. We had to get the wheelchair users out of the wheelchairs (they can walk just very slowly) and walk them up the "ramp" onboard. This ramp consisted of extremely treacherous metal steps that were upright so you had to step over each one up to the top. Slow going and nerve-wrecking for an elderly person already a bit self-conscious of walking slowly! wheelchairs were ready after we scanned through. My husband had 1 wheelchair user up ahead of me and so got on first, rather than allowing them to wait for me and my charge. As a consequence they were shown to the room and we were stranded. I had to ask to be shown. Staff were unorganised and some rude, they just ignored you, or in my case, left the wheelchair behind a rail I couldn't get to and had to ask for it to be brought in to me. CABINS We had 2 interior cabins. One was an L configuration to allow the two folding wheelchairs in. Plenty of space, tv, storage and ensuite. Our cabin was double bed configuration and this does make the room appear smaller but still useful. Mirrors make the room lighter. Not enough power points. Cabin steward very attentive and on one occasion, came tot he rescue when one relative fell out of bed he rang us straight away and we got her up. All was ok. He asked how she was every time he saw her after that! ENTERTAINMENT Poor. There really was very little going on. A few singers, a band that played the same every night. Bingo and activities conducted by bored staff so really was a waste. Shows in main lounge was boring most nights, the comedian was good but short (no idea why people reported it was offensive!) trying to get a good seating area free from poles and suitable for wheelchairs was a nightmare. EXCURSIONS None were suitable for wheelchairs on this cruise due to that bloody ramp. The fright they got going up the ramp at the start put them off ever going back down it unless it was the last time! So we could only really go on 1 excursion, Hornfleur. Myself and my husband got the free shuttle up to the town center and saw the sights ourselves. Very nice shopping areas, architecture etc. We watched the rest of the excursion disembarkation from the deck as most where by tender. All I can say is that if I was anyway nervous or on a stick I would probably never sail again!! They manhandled poor old dears like luggage! Shocking. FOOD The restaurant was very good, made all the better for our table servers. The first night he hand cut the steak for our relative and then fed it to her like some Roman Villa scene. She laughed and it was just perfect hosting, knowing boundaries and politeness, not being pushy etc. Just super. We ate dinner here every night and were never disappointed. The buffet is just a bit too much like a canteen. All breakfasts and lunches similar, no atmosphere. SPA Prices similar to other cruiselines. Was disappointed not to have been shown to the relaxation area or thermal area after my treatments. The first treatment was a full body massage & facial. This was amazing. I cannot remember his name now but it was a deep but not sore massage, the way a massage should be. As a bodywork therapist myself, it surprises me how few therapists know not to dig deep for the sake of it but rather pay attention to the muscles and perform deep massage when the client is ready. This stops the treatment from turning into torture! The second treatment was a hot stone massage. I enjoyed this but not as much as the other package. Again I was given no tour, no access to the other areas of the spa and no add-ons recommended or specials. BARS We noticed the English pub had a bar menu on embarkation day but the next day the menu was gone. Maybe it only runs on certain routes? It looked a nice lunch menu of pies, stews, sandwiches etc. and would've been nice to try for a change. Drinks prices similar to at home, we had the drinks package and it was well worth the price. TIP: ask for Smirnoff instead of Vodka, for some reason my husband would get double measures instead of a single measure. Same happened to me when I asked for Bacardi. They do ask for cards for all in the group to make sure everyone is paying what they should. This was sometimes extremely rude when we got drinks but our relatives had tea or coffee. The supervisor made a big deal out of how they didn't have the package and needed the cards....she has arthritis and was struggling to get the card at time of ordering but cards where all on the table for anyone to check from then on. The sinatra lounge was always packed and had piano or jazz music in the evenings. The casino is tiny with about 20 machines, a blackjack table and roulette. Its on the main thoroughfare. Overall, I felt it was a glorified ferry. I had hoped it would feel like a small cruise ship but no, it felt like going on the sea ferry across to England just without my car! We definitely wouldn't do this cruiseline again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I'm not normally a negative person so let's start with the positives. The staff at Southampton Ocean terminal were efficient and helpful and the people in the town of St Peter's Port Guernsey were warm and welcoming. There ... Read More
I'm not normally a negative person so let's start with the positives. The staff at Southampton Ocean terminal were efficient and helpful and the people in the town of St Peter's Port Guernsey were warm and welcoming. There was a lovely member of staff in the Verona restaurant, the staff in The Beach House were brilliant, the cabins are nice, the Electric Avenue show was good and mum loved the cocktails.The team running the tenders were lovely and looked out for the travellers with disabilities.The large number of hen parties even sang in tune........... All of that couldn't make up for the sarcasm from the member of staff who did the life jacket demo in muster station D, the lack of food & drink availability when we arrived and very few staff. Just someone to say welcome and then no one. Just a blip I hear you say, must have all been getting the ship ready to sail. And so I thought....until breakfast in the buffet restaurants was chaos and then a two hour wait to get off of the ship (after the busy time they told us to avoid). Take a ticket and sit an wait til called. All stuck in one of the lounges for two hours with no offers of drinks. Told to stand by the side of the room and constantly being told to be patient as they have 3000 to get off of the ship. Surely, you say, they knew how many people they have on the ship and would have thought about this.........Eventually got into St Peters Port at about 12.30 and only stayed a couple of hours as last tender leaving at 5 and they have to get the 3000 people back! Went to The Beach House and paid £10 extra each as not impressed with food in buffet restaurant. Food was good and apparently the extra money buys you the service you should expect anyway.. Didn't even see our cabin steward but they must have been around because we got a chocolate every night. Disembarkation was just another dose of totally disorganised splendour. People had kept their luggage with them rather than trust P & O with it but had to be out of their cabin by 8am. So off they went in the lifts to the buffet restaurants which mean't we couldn't get lifts down to get off the ship. This was meant to be a lovely birthday treat for my dad, who is now 80 and has lost his sight. Have been on cruises with Thomson so thought that he would receive the same consideration and pampering as we have had with them. Made sure that we let P & O know about dad's disability but, other than a scrappy A4 sheet of paper on the first day with large print of the excursions, nothing. Unfortunately dad had a fall whilst getting of the tender but no one bothered to check this morning to see if he was ok. So considering that surely a taster cruise is the 'shop window' for more cruises with P & O, would I ever travel with them or recommend them? I'm sure you can guess.......... Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We were so looking forward to this cruise having heard lots of good stories from other cruise goers. More than disappointed. Easy embarkation at the port, then about 10 staff lining the entrance to welcome us aboard, but once past the ... Read More
We were so looking forward to this cruise having heard lots of good stories from other cruise goers. More than disappointed. Easy embarkation at the port, then about 10 staff lining the entrance to welcome us aboard, but once past the welcoming party, there were no staff to direct us to our cabins! Therefore, after the initial 'pomp' there was no actual organisation. We managed to find our way to our cabin - some feat on a vessel this big I can tell you. Waited a further two hours to have our suitcase delivered after being told it would be outside our door when we got there. Let that go... The cabin was lovely, usual up-market hotel room, bit disappointed with the balcony being 'sheltered' which we found out means three quarters enclosed by steel... we were under the impression we had a glass balcony. Let that go too... Afternoon tea - I was expecting mini sandwiches and fancy cakes - but it was hot dogs, burgers, and old looking pizza. And not a lot of any of it either! Let it go... Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this cruise as the ship was smaller than some and we had cruised before on Oriana and we enjoyed it very much last time. However this time the food was very poor, service in the restaurant was 3rd rate and most of the staff ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the ship was smaller than some and we had cruised before on Oriana and we enjoyed it very much last time. However this time the food was very poor, service in the restaurant was 3rd rate and most of the staff around the ship we very amateur. We sat at the same table each night and had the same staff. They were very bad at bringing quickly the correct food which was always cold. For one meal the waiter actually threw the starter on plate. At another meal the soup bowl came with the soup dripping down the sides. The bar staff were very sullen and made it an effort to serve us. However the staff in Al Fresco were wonderful. We had most of our breakfast and lunches there. Although the choice of food was limited, we always managed to eat well. All the staff were excellent even remembering the porridge for my husband each morning. Robert the Head Waiter was wonderful. The comfort around the lounges was very dull. Not one lounge or bar had outside windows that you could see through. The only place with windows was the Crows Nest which is far from cosy. It long overdue to have a refit. Our cabin wash basin was a disgrace and the beds were not as comfortable as ships beds usually are. We don't think we will travel again on P and O if this is the quality of the food and service. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Booked this cruise without hesitation after a princess cruise two years ago which was outstanding. First problem occurred with the lifeboat drill, it took forever , the muster point we were at had very little seating which meant sveral ... Read More
Booked this cruise without hesitation after a princess cruise two years ago which was outstanding. First problem occurred with the lifeboat drill, it took forever , the muster point we were at had very little seating which meant sveral people with walking difficulties having to stand for a long time. Prior to the actual drill there were numerous pointless announcements. Thereafter the cruise was OK, but just OK, long wait for everything from drinks to tables to lifts. On a positive note the cabin was great with a very comfortable bed and the ship was very clean. The service was poor a lot of the time, and many of the staff lacked the sort of customer service skills you usually experience on a cruise. Finally the excursions were a massive rip off, 99$ dollars each for a short tour of Guernsey. Will not travel with princess again, it all seemed to be about the money. Drinks package was not worth having as often once the waiters saw your sticker they lost interest and you were left waiting. We had a two hour wait for disembarkation, and drinks were only provided for the elite group. Sorry princess, feel very let down. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We only booked this cruise because we both wanted to see Jersey and Guernsey, unfortunately that didn't happen. We choice to park at tilbury and this was a brilliant service the staff at the car park were very helpful and gave ... Read More
We only booked this cruise because we both wanted to see Jersey and Guernsey, unfortunately that didn't happen. We choice to park at tilbury and this was a brilliant service the staff at the car park were very helpful and gave clear instructions. We noticed there that the other passengers seemed older than us. (We've just turned 60) most people were well over 70+ Embarkation was fast and on the ship we were met by staff and a very nice lady showed us to our cabin. The food was not of the best quality but there was plenty of it. The soups and the bread were very nice. Afternoon tea was very strange Apple crumble and custard and small hard scones with artificial cream and dry cake. We bought the drinks package even though we are not big drinkers, but it was well worth it as the cocktails were very nice and included brand name soft drinks as well. We both enjoyed Amsterdam and Zeebrugge and looked forward to the Channel Islands, but unfortunately the Captain announced that because of the high swell we wouldn't be going and instead were going to Cherbourg and Rouen instead. We and lots of other passengers thought this strange and more likely to do with the age and disabilities of the other passengers.( the weather so calm and sunny) as they would have to use tenders in these ports. We felt let down as we wouldn't have booked a cruise around France, so will never use this company again Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This is a lovely Little boat. At 46,000 tons it is towards the top of the Small category. For a vessel of this size the cabin quality is good (4/5), but it is a little crowded. This was now our 12th cruise and certain factors ... Read More
This is a lovely Little boat. At 46,000 tons it is towards the top of the Small category. For a vessel of this size the cabin quality is good (4/5), but it is a little crowded. This was now our 12th cruise and certain factors disappointed. We prefer ‘Freestyle Dining’ and dislike being stuck on the same table with the same handful of guests every night. We are happy to share a table if necessary, but not for 6 nights in sequence. In consequence we switched our system to tracking down a good lunch meal ashore and skipping the evening dinner. The on-board alternative, the ‘Bistro’ was convenient, but the standard of food offered there was poor. (1/5). The standard of food in the main dining was well below expectation (2/5) and is our one major criticism. Had we tried this more often we might have met a better meal, but were unwilling to take the risk. The vessel has an Engine problem. It behaves like an old car. Very under-powered when ‘push’ is needed. It was extremely noisy when pulling away from the dockside or travelling in a river, probably against the water flow. We complained and the problem did disappear, but at the cost of very low speed running. To take 4 hours from Amsterdam to the river estuary indicated that the engine(s) were running at low power. Any faster and the vibrations would make the cabin furniture rattle. Coastal running over short distances worked well, but it might prove to be too noisy on a long, (Transatlantic ?) run. I await further comments. (If it was a horse I would shoot it.) The passenger mix favours the elderly, supported by the relatively low cost per person. We found the number of ‘wheelies’, Zimmer frames and wheeled walkers, motorised chairs, crutches and walking sticks surprising and soon realised that the Captain would not be able to offer the ‘Ship to Shore’ transfers using the lifeboats as tenders. It would have been extremely dangerous to even try. This was probably why the visits to Jersey and Guernsey were cancelled and replaced by Cherbourg and Rouen. I would congratulate him on this choice. We also wanted to go to the Channel Islands, but realised that it could not be done safely. CMV will have to rethink some of its itineraries or this will often arise Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We wanted to take my elderly mother on a river cruise as this was something she really wanted to do, so we booked with Viking for a jaunt down the Rhine. At the time of booking we specifically requested assistance at airports and received ... Read More
We wanted to take my elderly mother on a river cruise as this was something she really wanted to do, so we booked with Viking for a jaunt down the Rhine. At the time of booking we specifically requested assistance at airports and received confirmation that we would have suitable help (my mother needs a wheelchair where is a lot of walking involved). It wasn’t until the very end of the booking process that we discovered there was no lift in the ship. Luckily, my mother is able to cope with walking short distances. We were also very specific about my dietary requirements which are not hard to manage and require only a modicum of forethought to ensure my comfort and wellbeing. On arriving at Heathrow, we received no assistance and had to make our own way through with the wheelchair and hand baggage as best we could, which was very frustrating and made the journey more challenging. The same happened when we reached Basel - no assistance at all. We had to make our way through the airport with all of our luggage and my mother in her wheelchair! We were greeted with great enthusiasm by various Viking representatives, however it was only then that we were told we would have to be on a coach for another hour and a half as the water level was too high for the ship to actually reach Basel. They will have known this in advance and it would have been nice to have been told that there was a problem – email is quick and efficient and seems to work when they require payment! The ship was clean and the greeting was efficient and friendly. We were shown our rooms and settled in. We booked cabins on the lower deck, not realising the issues that we would face. We had assumed (based on the blurb) that we wouldn’t be in the cabins much and so didn’t really need a large window or balcony – how wrong we were. The ship travels mainly at night, and the engine noise was deafening, meaning that on many of the nights we had very little sleep and what we did have was disturbed and uncomfortable. This really put a downer on the trip as we had to manage ourselves and ensure my mother was OK. She struggled with all the steps, but seemed fine with negotiating the ship itself. The majority of the staff were very helpful and took tremendously good care of my mother. Especially when she got lost! Unfortunately, some of the plumbing was faulty and by the second day on board we had issues with the shower not draining and the bathroom floor being covered with water. The problem was “fixed”, but happened again the following day – this time there was so much water (some of it coming up from the drain) that it poured into the main room, soaking an area of carpet. Luckily for us there was a spare cabin across the corridor and we were able to move to a dry room. This matter was handled reasonably well, but was not very pleasant and gave cause for concern as we heard that other cabins had had similar problems, although not as severe as ours. In addition, after we moved to the other cabin, we found that our bed was not being made and the room wasn’t being cleaned. We raised this on several occasions over two-three days before the issue was properly dealt with. The food was generally good, the service was reasonable and the chef was a delightful man who kept coming out with freshly prepared goodies for everyone to try. However, no account was taken of my specific food allergy, and I had to keep mentioning it and asking about the ingredients in each dish. Some evenings I had very few options indeed. While on board we met some lovely people, one of whom is vegetarian. She had even more problems than I, as the majority of the meals were meat based, so she had to eat either pasta or salad at most of the evening meals. For the price we paid, this is simply unacceptable, yet no matter what we said, nothing was done to address these issues. My allergies were generally accommodated by simply omitting elements of meals, but I did have to regularly send meals back to be changed, which was annoying and unnecessary. Seating at all meals was haphazard as it was completely open, so sometimes we struggled to find three seats together, or even to be seated at the same table. Breakfast was very early and quite short. If the included excursion had an early departure (which many of them did) it was a bit of a bunfight to get to breakfast and get away in time. Again, the staff did their best to be helpful and friendly and they worked hard to get things done and keep people happy, so it was difficult to have to keep asking for things and not get them. One morning we asked for some tea, but it never arrived, and the staff all vanished into the mist. No idea what happened there. When we had to stay on the ship, on the days the ship was moving and during the evenings, apart from eating there was very little to do. We do not drink and although there was a (very capable) pianist in the bar area, it rapidly became monotonous spending time gazing out of the window with no other activity available. On one evening there was a bizarre dance competition, but other than that, not much. Most of the included excursions were quite short and involved a bit of a coach ride and it rapidly became clear that the included excursions were scheduled early to make room for the “optional” trips, which were clearly geared to getting more money out of the passengers. Most excursions were well organised and efficient, but there was such a lot of sitting around on coaches – granted these were comfortable and air-conditioned - that we eventually felt we were on the wrong trip. Although most of these excursions involved some walking, once back on the ship, we often felt very confined. We also had problems with my mother requiring a wheelchair. Unless my husband, who heroically pushed my mother around on every excursion, specifically asked for guidance (ie, “I can’t get the wheelchair up those steps, is there an alternative route?”) allowance was very seldom made for our specific issues. Of particular note was the Strasbourg excursion, where we kept being left behind. There was a photo opportunity which involved climbing up three flights of stairs, which of course we could not do. We found a wheelchair-friendly lift and managed to explain to the (very helpful) attendant (with the assistance of another passenger who spoke very good French) that we wanted to go up to see the view. No Viking personnel were on hand to assist us in any way. Another lady who walked with a stick was also having difficulty and she came with us in the lift. Once at the top, we stayed long enough to take some photos and gaze at the view, then came down again only to find that the party had moved on. At this point, my mother asked to use the nearby restroom, so we helped her into there and waited. The program director, whose prior demeanour had been rather jolly, came thundering in and told us with enormous impatience that we needed to keep up with the group. On explaining that my mother needed the loo, he became even grumpier and told us we would have to rely on the radios (used by the guides for the ongoing commentary) to find where everybody was, My husband pointed out that the range of the radios was quite short, which nearly resulted in an argument about the quality of the radios, until my husband pointed out he could still see the guide crossing a bridge and the audio commentary was already breaking up quite badly. The program director showed a distinct lack of consideration and from that point on we were acutely aware that his air of jollity was entirely artificial. He did not help us at all. However, in spite of his churlish conduct, we managed to catch up with the group. The guide seemed blissfully unaware that we had been missing. What would have happened if we hadn’t been able to catch up, I wonder? We paid for only one excursion and it was a nightmare. We were taken to the venue on a “choo-choo” train which was really a tractor. This was not pleasant over cobble stones!! The restaurant was noisy and although the promise was “a meal and a show”, it was clear that the show was just the resident band doing their thing. The meal was a fixed menu (not made clear before we signed up) and consisted mainly of things we could not or did not want to eat. The food was slopped down in front of us and when I pointed out I could not eat the food it was simply taken a way and an alternative provided. I was not asked what I wanted – none of us were. It was awful. The restaurant menu was available but not provided and it became clear later that we could have obtained a better meal from the same restaurant with a short walk into town – and for half the price! We felt utterly ripped off and misled and we were not alone. It was supposed to be a fun night out, but it was anything but fun! Ironically the following night’s meal was also a German food night, which was immeasurably better. If this had been the paid excursion, it would have been good value. Also, if we had known that the on-board German food night would be the following evening, we wouldn’t have wasted our money on the excursion. The TV commercials that persuaded us to sign up, depict the ships sailing along during the day with glorious views, but we had only one day like that, the rest of the time we travelled either early or late in the day, or at night and were docked during the day, so (as mentioned) sleeping was a problem. On departure, we again received no help at the airport at either end, although it was clear other (more mobile) passengers whom we had seen on the same ship, were being ferried from one area to another. Bearing in mind that the airport at Amsterdam is enormous, we walked for a long time with everything in tow and were tired and fed up by the time we reached the terminal. Not a great way to end a holiday. Unfortunately, we had previously booked a Christmas trip with Viking for just my husband and me at the end of this year. However on the strength of our holiday experience, we have cancelled. It will be of interest to others that Viking do not refund the deposit, even though we cancelled more than seven months out! Clearly they are only interested in making as much money as possible and are not interested in customer satisfaction. We will never travel with Viking again and, should we book another river cruise (which at this juncture is unlikely) we will go out of our way to ensure we receive the level of service we believed we had paid for with this company. Overall it was a disappointing and frustrating experience. We raised some of these issues when cancelling our Christmas trip, but Viking clearly do not care, so this review will be posted in as many places as possible as a warning to the unwary. If you have dietary issues, or need any help with your journey to or from the ship, do not travel with Viking as they will not keep their end of the bargain. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
My husband is severely disabled and uses a mobility scooter to get around. I discussed this with the TA prior to making our booking to ensure that his scooter would get through the cabin door without the need for a disabled cabin. We were ... Read More
My husband is severely disabled and uses a mobility scooter to get around. I discussed this with the TA prior to making our booking to ensure that his scooter would get through the cabin door without the need for a disabled cabin. We were assured there would be plenty of room having provided them with the dimensions.This is the first time we have cruised on a large ship - normally cruise with approx 1800-2000 passengers, whereas, Crown Princess had 3159 passengers onboard for this cruise. On all previous cruises we have embarked at the Mayflower Terminal but this one embarked at a different terminal and we had a long wait with the car until we were called along to remove our luggage. Porters were available but I was asked to remove our luggage (being disabled didn't matter!) We struggled along to the terminal with our hand luggage and suit/dresses and waited again in a long queue to be checked in with passports/boarding passes etc before moving along to the security process. Once again we were met with long queue's but being disabled we were asked to move into a different queue. However, some other people followed us who were not disabled (clearly saying they are not prepared to wait in the other queue) and this was not properly marshalled. Upon placing our personal items on the conveyor belt I was asked to remove my shoes whilst my husband was asked to remove his coat. Security staff had no empathy with our circumstances and I became distressed from witnessing my husband's difficulties with their requests.At this point the passengers behind me were complaining about the process and queue's and we were rushed through uncourteously leaving me in tears in the terminal. I asked repeatedly to speak to a manager and several staff approached me but made excuses of time constraints/carrier's problem and said get onboard and have a drink!!! We eventually got onboard two and half hours later which is disgusting amount of time compared to our other cruise experiences. I immediately went to the reception to complain of our experience and it apeared to fall on deaf ears through a language barrier. We proceeded to our cabin only to find that the scooter had approximately quarter of inch gap either side and we struggled to get the scooter in/out on each occasion. We were on Lido deck with a balcony and the room didnot leave any space once the scooter was inside causing additional mobility problems for my husband throughout the duration. Although we have cruised before many times we have always been on English ships and with so many things to think about, we had overlooked the adaptor required to recharge the scooter, phones etc. I telephoned reception to ask where the socket points were situated and was told behind the bed!!! How on earth they expect a disabled passenger to pull out the bed to access an electrical point is beyond me but when a crew member came to assist us, he could not locate one other than the one by the dressing table, which we had been advised not to use as it would blow our equipment up. Seems to me like this ship is NOT wheelchair.scooter friendly both in terms of cabin access unless you request a disabled cabin or in the buffet area's as it becomes too crowded and crew members tell you to get up earlier!!! I do not appreciate being told what time to get up or eat on holiday and this experience was by no means relaxing. We purchased an adaptor from the shop onboard but they sold us the wrong one! Eventually, reception staff provided one but not before they got me to sign a receipt for 20$ incase I didn't return it. I removed the 15% gratuities from my bill early on, although you cannot remove them from the bar tabs but I tipped those that I felt deserved it. Food in the buffet (Horizon Court) and regular dining room was repetitive and I wasn't prepared to pay additional cover fees to dine elsewhere onboard. This was booked as a special Anniversary cruise to celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary and we had inquired if we could renew our vows onboard - we were told that because it wasn't 7 days or more this was not possible, the captain would be too busy. However, I found out that there was going to be a wedding onboard and the captain would be doing the ceremony. Double standards in my opinion. Nothing against the bride and groom, but Princess cruises should explain properly to their customers to avoid disappointment. I can only presume there is more revenue in a wedding than renewal of vows? We didn't go ashore as we felt the experience wouldn't be a good one and disembarkation was as frustrating as getting onboard - never have I been so relieved to get home as we were from this holiday. Entertainment: Magician/comedian Philip Hitchcock - average, nothing to write home about Comedian - Mickey Zane - excellent performance(s) 2 different shows - good content. Summary I don't feel this was value for money and I don't think the level of customer service was that impressive considering it is an American ship. . Not surprising - we won't be cruising with them again.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We booked to travel on The Independence Of The Seas, as we have travelled on this ship before and thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. Once boarding, my wife's disability scooter became faulty, and it became necessary to use one of the ... Read More
We booked to travel on The Independence Of The Seas, as we have travelled on this ship before and thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. Once boarding, my wife's disability scooter became faulty, and it became necessary to use one of the on-board wheelchairs, which were extremely cumbersome. We contacted customer relations whilst on board, but were advised that no scooters were available for rental in our port of call (Le Havre). As a result I had to wheel my wife around the ship, which was extremely taxing, as I have diabetes. The level of service received was reasonable. I have to say I wasn't particularly impressed, and the standard of food, especially in The Windjammer restaurant, was mediocre in the extreme. The children's club was a particular disappointment. My grandson is disabled and so I would have chosen to stay with him. This simply wasn't presented as an option. It was simply a choice of leaving him there, or him not being accepted. Inexcusable in my opinion. I would say that as a disabled passenger, my experience was more negative than positive for this trip, especially bearing in mind the experience with my grandson. On the whole, I would not recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012

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