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120 Night British Isles & Western Europe Cruise from Rotterdam

120 Night British Isles & Western Europe Cruise from Rotterdam

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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Rotterdam
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    Cruising
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    Ponta Delgada
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    Curacao
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    Cartagena (Colombia)
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    Colon (Cristobal)
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    Panama Canal (Cruising)
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    Nuku Hiva
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    Tahiti (Papeete)
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    Tahiti (Papeete)
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    Bora Bora
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    Nuku Alofa
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    Suva
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    Tauranga
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    Auckland
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    Wellington
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    Sydney (Australia)
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    Airlie Beach
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    Cairns
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    Madang
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    Yokohama
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    Kagoshima
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    Beijing
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    Shanghai
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    Hong Kong
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    Hanoi
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    Phu My
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    Sihanoukville
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    Bangkok (Laem Chabang)
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    Singapore
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    Kelang (Kuala Lumpur)
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    Penang
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    Colombo
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    Kochi (Cochin)
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    Mumbai (Bombay)
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    Safaga
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    Aqaba (Petra)
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    Suez Canal
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    Haifa (Tel Aviv)
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    Athens (Piraeus)
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    Gibraltar
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    London (Greenwich, Tower Bridge, Tilbury)
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    Amsterdam

Columbus

Columbus - Cruise & Maritime Voyages

Pros

Friendly crew and some surprisingly good speciality dining

Cons

Evening entertainment is lacklustre at times

Bottom Line

A ship offering exactly what it promises: traditional cruising at affordable prices


Cruise Reviews

5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I am writing this review on the last “at sea” day on a 8 night cruise to the Norwegian Fjords on the CMV Columbus in August 2019. For any readers contemplating this cruise, the main issue you should be aware of is that this cruise ... Read More
I am writing this review on the last “at sea” day on a 8 night cruise to the Norwegian Fjords on the CMV Columbus in August 2019. For any readers contemplating this cruise, the main issue you should be aware of is that this cruise is a floating care home. The average age of a guest is well into their 70’s and the oldest passenger I came across was an astonishing 98! I have never seen so many strollers, walking frames, walking sticks, mobility scooters and wheel chairs in all my life! At age 62 I must be in the 5% of guests under the age of 65. I have nothing whatsoever against this passenger profile, except that I really do not want to be a part of it! Spending 8 nights having to battle through the maze of associated mobility aids and having to suffer the significant inconvenience to more able-bodied passengers which this presents, is not a holiday for me – it’s just a hassle. If you fit with this profile I am sure you will enjoy yourself. The ship itself holds 1400 passengers, and has been rebranded several times in its history as it moved between owners and refits. The overall quality of finish is average to good, and the style of décor reflects its niche in the market for elderly Brits wanting to be away from home but in familiar surroundings. Although a shame that CMV has decided for some reason that plastic and silk imitation plants and trees are more pleasing than real ones, resulting in a rather tacky funeral feel to the Taverner’s bar and a tired wilting appearance to the potted trees in Connexions. Cabins are nice and well maintained, if not a little dated in furnishings. The rest of the ship flows around deck 7 with its British bar (traditional London style) and the more modern Connexions bar (which appears to have been modelled on a conservatory). You will also find the main Waterfront restaurant on this deck. The other eatery is a self-service buffet style and is on deck 12. The best outdoor bar is the Oasis bar, which was surprisingly pleasant with its panoramic view and comfy sunbeds. As far as the food is concerned, the evening dinner on the Waterfront restaurant is good (but not great) in terms of selection and quality. I would recommend the 2nd sitting, as this allows more time before having to change, a 1st sitting in the theatre and plenty of time afterwards to relax in the bars. The self-service restaurant is to be avoided at all costs. The food is dismal, the atmosphere chaotic and the seating arrangements far too limited and uncomfortable for the number of guests (and walking aids!) trying to occupy them. In short it is a cattle market of stress inducing trauma. Think about your blood pressure and avoid this place like the plague. Far better to spend your time enjoying a great coffee in the coffee shop by the pool area. The best coffee I have ever tasted. Drinks prices on board are very reasonable indeed. £3.30 for a pint of Fosters, a 4cl Gordon’s gin at £3.60 and alcoholic cocktails around £4.80. Having said that CMV offer a range of pre-paid inclusive drink packages and these offer exceptional value in my view. Dress on board is casual and informal, with appropriate minimum standards in the indoor bars and lounges in the evening. There were 2 formal nights during the cruise. It’s always a good measure of your fellow passengers to observe their interpretation of “formal”. I would estimate that 40% were traditional “black tie” enthusiasts, and a further 30% made some sort of effort (however marginal) to smarten themselves up. The remaining 30%? – well I think the less said, the better! The staff on board vary considerably. Our cabin steward was fantastic, friendly, personal and did a really good job at keeping the cabin clean and tidy. The restaurant staff were generally efficient and on the whole appeared to enjoy their jobs. With a couple of exceptions, all of the bar staff were as miserable as sin, without a smile for anyone, and with the ability only to communicate in grunts (if at all). Not once in a whole week were we approached at our table in the bars and asked if we wanted to order a drink. We had to attract someone’s attention (which on occasion would be successful, but more usually resulted in total avoidance) or queue at the bar and get our own drink (eventually, and after having to endure surly and indifferent “service”) Shore excisions were, as usual, overpriced, but reasonable well organised. Check before you book to see if you can make your own arrangements to see the “ attractions” – we did and saved ourself at least 30% on the CMV cost. The evening entertainment was disappointing. For starters the Palladium theatre is small with awful sight lines of the stage. Unless you bag a seat at least 30 minutes prior to showtime you can forget seeing at least half of the stage. The resident entertainment dancers/singers, can’t. That is to say they try hard, but there is only one guy and one girl who came even remotely close to being able to sing in tune. The rest would get immediate “red crosses and a loud buzzer” from Simon Cowell. Dancing was slightly better, but production values and variety were very poor. This was a major let-down as we have been used to very professional and talented entertainers on other cruises. From the 7 nights we had a comedian (the same one) for 2 nights, a magician (the ships entertainment director) for 1 night and the dancers/singers for the remainder. The comedian was not bad, although should really have retired his act some time ago. The magician was just plain embarrassing. So overall an exceptionally average cruise, not helped by the clientele, the ships facilities and the crew. If a British “flavoured” floating care home is your thing, with a heady mix of cheap drinks, bingo, quizzes, and “end of the pier” entertainment - then you should definitely go for it. If not – you should save your money for an alternative cruise. You may need to pay a little more, but it will be money well spent. It was good to try CMV, but once is enough. At least until I am 80! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Embarked at Tilbury (was a bit chaotic but this was due to the ship being late in due to weather conditions which cant be helped) Once on the ship we went to our cabin on deck 5 this was a lovely spacious (inside) cabin which had a ... Read More
Embarked at Tilbury (was a bit chaotic but this was due to the ship being late in due to weather conditions which cant be helped) Once on the ship we went to our cabin on deck 5 this was a lovely spacious (inside) cabin which had a really good separate wardrobe area and with a lot of extra draws also. The ship is very nicely decorated and easy to find your way around (as not a very big ship) The Dining in the buffet (lunch) was fairly good the food was always hot and very tasty my only comment would be that it doesn't have that much choice, But I could always find something to eat. The afternoon tea was extremely good the scones where delicious and also the shortbread biscuits. The Burgers and hot dogs served from the grill on the pool deck outside the buffet where also very good and fresh (sometimes the burgers were a little pink and needed to be cooked a little more) The Fusion Indian restaurant is (based in the back area of the buffet but this is separated of in the evening, the food and the staff where brilliant. The starters and the naan breads where cooked freshly in the outside clay oven and were absolutely delicious. I would definitely recommend eating in here as the pricing is really reasonable for 3 courses it is around £15 and the food was really lovely. The main waterfront restaurant we used for Breakfast and evening meal and the staff and food was brilliant. The breakfast could sometimes be a little slow in busy periods but this is to be expected and beats the buffet rush and hassle trying to find a seat to eat once you have you breakfast. Our evening waiters were fantastic and very attentive and made it very personal by knowing all our names (6 of us in total) and they know what we like and what we didn't by the end of the first few days. Entertainment this is where I was not very impressed, we went to the theatre on 3 occasions to watch shows/comedian first of all if you did not turn up a hour before the show was due to start then you would not get a seat or if you did manage to get one it would be a very bad view as there are a lot of pillars to try and see around and people think its acceptable to put children's buggies right at the front of the row so anyone behind these rows could not see anything at all. (these could of been left at the end of the isle as the children were on there laps anyway) Once the show finally started I have to say that the entertainment team singers/dancers where of a very poor standard there was one girl and one lad who could sing a little but the others were not very good at all. the comedian that they had on was ok but more aimed at the older generation of people. The seats in the theatre are also very un comfy (the single seat chairs) after a while your bottom would go to sleep. The connections bar this is quite a nice bar area however again the seats are very un comfy and the band that plays in here was pretty good however was far to load and when the singer started to sing (she was ok but nothing special) she would only sing a couple of lines of the song over and over again then it was mostly the band playing the rest of the song. The Tavern Pub was also a nice area to sit in again comfort was not great. The raffles bar on desk 6 above the atrium was a nice bar and you can hear the music from the atrium from here but it was not so loud you could not have a conversation so found this a nice place to have a drink and a chat with everyone. The music played in the Atrium was very good this was a pianist and sometimes a violinist would join her together they were very good. Hemmingway's on deck5 supplied premium coffee and cakes the cakes were chargeable but very delicious and worth the money. Swimming Pools are a big disappointment there are 2 both are 6ft 3 deep and getting in and out of them is very difficult the steps are very steep ( on the pool bar side there is a nice bit at the top with bar stools in it however you cannot get in or near this area as the kids were always in it and jumping off the bar stools and soaking everywhere including the bar area and staff??? The pool next to this also had a better set of steps that led into the pool but again was also full of kids jumping of them and then just constantly jumping in and out of the pool so if you did manage to get into it then you would get a child jump on you. - If this is going to continue to be a multigeneration cruise then they need to make a children's pool area and make some rules for them. Spa - I had a happy feet treatment which was very lovely and the staff in the spa were very nice, the atmosphere in there was very relaxing, The Ports we visiting were all pretty good and quite close to everything if it wasn't then a shuttle bus was on offer which was very helpful if you are not able to walk very far. We didn't do any organised excursions as we like to just get of and do our own thing. We did a couple of the hop on hop off bus tours in Gran Canaria, Lisbon and Madeira I would definitely these as you get to see so much more of the area around you. Madeira is absolutely stunning and one of the best places I have visited, If you get the chance then definitely do the Toboggan ride in Monte.(if you use the hop on hop off bus then you can buy an extra blue route ticket and this takes you to the top of Monte and will pick you up again at the bottom of the Toboggan run) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We have made a great trip through Scandinavia and the Baltic States to Saint Petersburg. The ship is somewhat outdated, but the rooms are very comfortable. The service from the staff is fantastic, and the food in the (buffet) restaurant ... Read More
We have made a great trip through Scandinavia and the Baltic States to Saint Petersburg. The ship is somewhat outdated, but the rooms are very comfortable. The service from the staff is fantastic, and the food in the (buffet) restaurant is great too. The shows in the evening are nice and not inferior to the shows that other companies offer. There are plenty of activities on the ship - even on days when you don't go ashore. The only drawback we found was that 90% of the passengers boarded in London, and therefore everything on the ship is aimed at these British passengers. For example, there is a big show to welcome the guests, where no word is said about the passengers who have been on board for 2 weeks and disembark the day after in Rotterdam. There is also a "British Only" buffet. As a result, as a non-Briton you get the feeling that you are in the third wheel. This feeling was shared by many Irish / Spanish / Dutch guests. Disembarkation is very chaotic: in Tilbury there are long queues and people who do not need to disembark are asked to wait in the room - when all British passengers have left, there is not enough time left to take the train to London . Also in Rotterdam the departure is chaotic and you get the idea that they are doing this for the first time. This is much better organized at other companies. Another point of irritation is that British passengers occupy seats in large numbers: for the show at 9 p.m. you have to take a seat at 8 p.m. because otherwise there are no good places left. People occupy entire rows for guests who come later. Also at the pool early in the morning sun loungers are claimed with a towel - some of these chairs are not used all day. It is regularly announced that this is not desirable, but that does not resolve it. With other cruises I have never experienced that you have to go to the theatre 1 hour before the start of a show to make sure there is a seat for you. The excursions were all perfectly arranged. They've done that well! All in all we had a great holiday, thanks to the great staff and the good food. Still, I would choose a different company next time. Read Less
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