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23 Edinburgh (South Queensferry) to Europe - British Isles & Western Cruise Reviews

My husband and I have traveled on several cruise lines ranging from the large Royal Caribbean boats to the river cruises such as AMA Waterways and in between on Oceania. We were looking forward to this Windstar cruise to see what they ... Read More
My husband and I have traveled on several cruise lines ranging from the large Royal Caribbean boats to the river cruises such as AMA Waterways and in between on Oceania. We were looking forward to this Windstar cruise to see what they provided on their newer style of motorized cruising. They purchased ships from the Seabourne line. The ship we were on is the Star Breeze. It is about 30 years old and it shows. Embarkation went very smoothly and our luggage appeared in our room in a timely fashion. Our room was quite comfortable and large with a walk in closet, full tub with shower and large sitting area. Very comfortable indeed. The service in the cabin was just what we needed with our cabin staff being very responsive to our needs. The food in the main dining room is average. There is nothing overtly wrong with it but it is not exciting, interesting or especially tasty. The one exception being the 'indoor BBQ' night necessitated by bad weather. On this night the ships galley was our BBQ area and it was fund to walk through the galley and the food was excellent. The service in the main dining room was weak regardless of where we sat and who attended to us. At times it would be difficult to get wait staff to come to the table. Water was poured before we could get the word sparkling out of our mouth and then a look of annoyance appeared when we asked to switch. The food and service in the private dining room was a different story. Both were excellent. Entertainment was practically non-existent. In comparison to river boats where local talent is featured many evenings and lectures on others there was pretty much nothing offered after dinner except a duo then ended early. Shore excursions were good and interesting. Unfortunately we were battling bad weather throughout the journey. In fact, our day in Portrush had to be cancelled as the tenders were not able to run. This was very unfortunate as the cruise had no back up plan for onboard activity this day. We had nothing to do all day. Yes, we did get to the next port that night and were allowed off the boat but the city was shut down by the time we arrived. This seemed to be poor planning. The ship itself clearly shows its age especially in the dining room and stage lounge and is in serious need of a facelift. We will likely not travel this line again as there are too many better options. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Let me begin by saying this was to be my dream vacation. My last vacation was 5 years ago. I work incredibly hard and when I finally chose to take the time I sought out Windstar.  I explained my needs and my concerns. I was a solo ... Read More
Let me begin by saying this was to be my dream vacation. My last vacation was 5 years ago. I work incredibly hard and when I finally chose to take the time I sought out Windstar.  I explained my needs and my concerns. I was a solo traveler and wanted a luxury experience. I explained that bedding and the sleeping arrangements were very important to me. I sleep with a CPAP and require a minimum of a double size bed as I sleep in the center. With proper electrical hookup bedside. I needed a fully equipped gym with cardio equipment so I can run the morning otherwise I get anxious. A well appointed spa.  I was assured that the motor boat class of Windstar had all of this and more. A luxury cruise in every sense of the word filled with pampering amenities. The Windstar Star Breeze boasted of beautifully appointed accommodations, exceptional public areas, 2 luxury dining rooms, full spa and gym facilities.  Upon boarding I quickly surveyed the situation and my heart sank.  My stateroom 226  The bedside plug was damaged. I was unable to get power to the CPAP machine. The adapters would not work it took 3 trips by maintenance until they found a workable solution.  The bed is 2 singles pressed against each other. Something I was specifically was assured was not the case!  The bathroom mirror vanity was cracked and held together with silver tape.  The white Marble was stained completely yellow around the toilet from years of urine on porous stone.  The DVD player did not work. I went to the spa to book services. I was delighted to see acupuncture. Was told that was not a service provided on this ship. Why was it on the menu of services then? I booked 3 massage sessions regardless.  I took a tour of the spa. I recoiled upon opening the steam room door due to the smell of mold that was overwhelming, it was small and musty.  I went to the gym and was shocked to discover outdated equipment. An old rower, a basic exercise bike and 2 treadmills. The ceiling is maybe 6’5 the treadmill is a step up making it impossible to be used without hitting my head. I am 6’.  I went to the buffet. Again dismayed, the food was basic and below anything I was accustomed to. I inquired about the buffet because that was another issue I had and was assured by the booking agent that there were full service restaurants available all day. I assumed that the cafeteria buffet was only because we had not set sail yet.  We left the port and set sail. I asked about internet and that it was imperative that I was able to get basic work done with my home office and was assured that it would work throughout he ship. Upon signing up the reception informed me that it was unlikely to work in my stateroom. That was what came to pass not only did it not work in my stateroom it never worked at all as well as the computers in the library! One computer was out of service. Every passenger I spoke with complained about it.  The library filled with books left behind by other passengers. A selection of DVD’s from the 90’s  There was no real bon voyage celebration - some flag thing with no fanfare or pomp. No champagne toast, no little waving flags nothing.  The lounge singers provided bad renditions of popular songs.  If it weren’t all so sad it would have been funny. It was all like a late night basic cable skit.  I went to dinner in the below deck restaurant. It was all mediocre. The ambiance, the service and food.  I went to bed distraught. The seam in the middle of the bed, the hard pillows, the scratchy sheets. I tried to hold back tears. I was a grown man. Day 1 at sea. More bad lounge singing, a lecture about a detox treatment for sale. I went for my massage in an intensely claustrophobic treatment room. I asked about the overhead florescent tube lights. He informed me that there is no way to shut them off. Florescent lighting trigger my migraines he explained that he puts this eye mask on. I don’t want anything on my face especially something like a beanbag that isnt clean and used by others. The massage was amateur at best.  I went to dinner at Candella - the converted buffet. That stayed exactly the same other then then it being night. Not a candle electric or otherwise, not a flower, not twinkling light. A blank room. The steel buffet set up remained. A night cafeteria with a new name. A lipstick on a pig. This was supposed to be the special steak house?  I went to sleep with stomach pain, sad and frustrated. I prayed that in the morning the excursion would be a bright spot.  I woke up early with mild pain and cramping, nauseous and a little weak. I went to the ships doctor seeking pepto bismol. I wanted to make sure that i wouldn’t be queasy on the off board excursion. He immediately started to question my systems, I explained to the best of my ability the situation. He said in order to continue I would need to pay I think $150. He chose to ignore my request for Pepto and let me know if he were to examine me and he suspected that I might have a bacterial or viral digestive illness that he would immediately quarantine me. Not upon clinical diagnosis but suspicion. That lab results would be sent out and until their return minimum 3 days and an all clear I could be locked in my room. This was a perceived threat. His insistence that I undergo an invasive examination and that results would need to be sent to the CDC for confirmation and clearance a 4 day minimum.  At one point as I attempted to leave his office he stepped in front of me blocking my exit. I told him to move or call security. He moved out of my way. The threat of possibly being locked in the cabin with no open window induced such a state of panic that went into a state of fight or flight. I left the ship immediately. I took a 4 hour taxi from the port of call back to Edinburgh. Any one of the above reason have justifiable cause to leave. I am utterly and totally disgusted. I had to reroute my flights and incur an enormous amount of financial loss. My dream trip ruined.  That aspect of the ships protocol is highly disturbing. After sharing all of this the President of Windstar - John Delaney refused any kind of refund, credit or apology. Nothing. What a disgusting lack of customer service. If considering a cruise look elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Cabin was clean and comfortable but I wouldn't want to be on for a long cruise 14+ nights as wardrobe space was at a minimum. There was a good range of public areas and bars. The accommodation round the pool was good with a bar ... Read More
Cabin was clean and comfortable but I wouldn't want to be on for a long cruise 14+ nights as wardrobe space was at a minimum. There was a good range of public areas and bars. The accommodation round the pool was good with a bar and outdoor grill. The buffet restaurant was spoiled by the smokers right outside the door. If you were entering from outside you had to run the gauntlet through the smoke. All in all the cruise was enjoyable but what spoiled it for us was the crew. They were unhelpful, unfriendly and down right rude at times. From reception to shops and bars you hardly got smile let alone an acknowledgement. No one greeted you or smiled as you arrived to be served or when you passed them in the corridor. Maybe we are just spoiled by the fantastic crews on board Fred Olsen cruise lines who are happy to meet you, remember you by name and are pleasant, smiley and engaging. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Air Canada did what Air Canada does. Poor food, and a 3 hour delay on the tar mac, scrunched in a corner with a cricket team. Hotels: Edinburgh was the best part of the trip - mostly because of 3 interesting, but rushed tours. London ... Read More
Air Canada did what Air Canada does. Poor food, and a 3 hour delay on the tar mac, scrunched in a corner with a cricket team. Hotels: Edinburgh was the best part of the trip - mostly because of 3 interesting, but rushed tours. London was fancy and better maintained, but the excursions were optional and overpriced. (We were across the street from the British Museum)! The ship is dated, but might appeal to older passengers. New tenders are a must, if Northern ports are to be included. There is no wrap around deck for walking/talking. Due to inadequate tenders and inclement weather, my $10,000 cruise resulted in 5 missed ports, a cabin with thin walls, exposed rusty pipes (and little else). The ports offered in exchange were often travelled by myself and many of the guests so, of little interest or adventure. Shore excursions were generally included, but not all - (as advertised.) Entertainment was mainly covered by a few excellent speakers, and Richard's awesome cabaret. It saved the trip. The overworked Crew were amazing. Many thanks. Are they ever allowed off the ship? Visas should be provided for them. Would I sail with Voyages To Antiquity again? Do pigs fly? Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Iceland and the Faroe Islands Cruise this year on Black Watch was an experience of a lifetime. Having read some previous reviews was not sure about Black Watch. BUT nothing wrong, the ship is being refitted in November which will update a ... Read More
Iceland and the Faroe Islands Cruise this year on Black Watch was an experience of a lifetime. Having read some previous reviews was not sure about Black Watch. BUT nothing wrong, the ship is being refitted in November which will update a lot but I found it to be clean, comfortable and the food is still great, what more could I ask for. Iceland is beautiful and the Faroes unexpectedly a great place....all in all I was very pleased with this cruise. All transport on trips were well arranged and the guides marvellous, embarkation, disembarkation very smooth, no worries. Yes I will sail again with FRED on any ship......sometimes I wonder exactly what the people who criticise are talking about, or is it just that they are unhappy people ? cheer up and go on a cruise with Fred Olsen and enjoy life. I will add that I am a single traveller and now feel part of the FRED FAMILY, which gives me confidence to travel anywhere in the world, and I will continue to do so. Thanks..... Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose this cruise because of the date, destination and my birthday. Our documentation stated the cruise left from Edinburg and the address on the ticket was for Edinburgh; however, when we gave our ticket and documentation to the cab ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the date, destination and my birthday. Our documentation stated the cruise left from Edinburg and the address on the ticket was for Edinburgh; however, when we gave our ticket and documentation to the cab driver, he took us to the port. When we arrived, we had to find a harbor master to locate ship-then we discovered we were to leave from Dundee. 75 miles away! We were lucky, our driver could take us and we arrived just in time to leave-$290.00 later!! We called the "emergency numbers 3 times-no one returned our phone calls-so don't bother calling them!! Our cabin lacked furniture by the bed and we had to charge phones, iPad and lay them on the floor with reading glasses and other nighttime things! First day, excursions were in chaos and we waited over an hour for the buses to arrive!! First day, we had booked an excursion to see a castle with falconry demonstration. Our guide decided we need to be back early 3 hours for lunch??) so she cut the trip short!! She treated us like we were small children and regaled us with stories of her teaching " dumb" royalty in a private school. The special exhibit for this trip was watching a high school band perform. Seriously!! A part of that trip-we were taken to a battleground with a nice Visitor's center-BUT! Our same guide did not let us go inside!! Instead she led us outside and lectured for 30 minutes! Guess she knew more than the historians!! When we returned, Windstar was contacted-which acted like all was our fault because we were ignorant and did not read our documentation! We are two doctors who travel a great deal and were insulted! We spent 4 days pre cruise in Edinburh-thank goodness-on our own or I do not know I'd we could have seen the city. Their excuse, we did not pay their transportation fee to port! And did not stay at their hotel. We stayed at a beautiful Trip Advisor boutique hotel which we loved!! We were less than impressed with Windstar-this was our second-had it been our first-it would have been our last!!after they have your $$, you are totally written off!! Trying to communicate with their staff before we left was a nightmare as well!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose the Edinburgh to Dublin itinerary because of the positive experience we had a few years ago on a Windstar cruise that disembarked in Edinburgh, and our desire to visit other interesting stops in Scotland and Ireland. We were not ... Read More
We chose the Edinburgh to Dublin itinerary because of the positive experience we had a few years ago on a Windstar cruise that disembarked in Edinburgh, and our desire to visit other interesting stops in Scotland and Ireland. We were not disappointed. Edinburgh is a lovely city, offering fantastic history, architecture, and pub food & drink. Upon arrival, we were pleased to learn that the city was celebrating their annual "Festival Fringe", billed as the world's largest arts festival, spanning 25 days of nonstop music, dance, comedy, and poetry in over 300 venues. The Royal Mile leading up to the Castle was thronged with people, many in costume. Every block had one or more stages, with performances every 30 minutes. What a great time! The cruise got off to a bad start at embarkation, when we arrived at dockside in Edinburgh, only to be informed that the Wind Surf was actually in Dundee, over 60 miles away! After a frantic taxi ride (an extra 160 Euros) we arrived in Dundee, then drove around in circles for a while searching for the "King George V Wharf", which even the local taxi drivers had never heard of. As we got near the water we could see the masts of the ship, but it took quite a while to find the completely unmarked dock entrance. As we go onboard we saw many other taxis pulling up with frustrated looking customers. As we got to the top of the gangway, I was greeted warmly by Nick Bulger, the Wind Surf's Hotel Manager, a good friend from several previous cruises. Soon we were comfortably situated in Cabin 327, our first time in a suite, and certainly not the last. By the time we got to dinner we had already touched base with several of our favorite crew members such as Nova, Casey, Jun, Phillip, Merrick, and Chef Eddy. A few other crew members heard that I was on board, and tracked me down in the Compass Rose just to say hello. It's this kind of warm personal service that sets Windstar 180 degrees from ordinary, indeed. Unfortunately, our favorite entertainers, Craig and Nikki from the "Rain" duo, were not on board (Nikki just had a baby!) Their replacements were a British duo, the "Upbeats" who were very good vocalists. The main band was "High Society", which seems to change lead singers every cruise. They are a family act, and don't offer much energy or showmanship. They play before and after dinner, and seldom can entice anyone onto the dance floor. The only time I saw any dancing at all was after the weekly BBQ, when the crew got everyone up for line dancing. However, the amateur show put on by the crew was greatly improved, including a hysterically funny synchronized swimming act. Contrary to some recent CC reviews, I thought the ship was in great shape, and our cabin was immaculate. The food was excellent, with some local dishes mixed in with the normal Asian-influenced menu. Service, as always, was very attentive and personal. Our cruise itinerary was very interesting, entirely in small ports such as Invergordon, the Orkney Islands, and the Isle of Man. In several ports the ship was anchored out, rather than moored at a pier. On a few occasions when the sea was a bit choppy the tender ride to and from the ship got a little rocky, and on one occasion the Captain had to cut off the tender service entirely. The weather was cool, usually around 60F degrees, and often foggy in the morning. However, there was sunshine almost every day. The last stop was in Dublin, where we visited the fascinating Guinness Museum, and learned how to do the "perfect pour" of Guinness Stout. I am not a big fan of Guinness, but I do like dark beers, and was able to buy several Guinness variants that are not widely available in the U.S., such as Indian Porter, Double Stout and XX. Another great cruise! This was also our first ever back/back cruise, as we continued on to France, Spain and Portugal --- the topic of a second review. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I was a bit sceptical about my 7 night Scottish Island cruise on Marco Polo as I'd hear a few bad things about the ship, but have to say I had a great time. We chose this one based on the itinerary and were certainly not disappointed. ... Read More
I was a bit sceptical about my 7 night Scottish Island cruise on Marco Polo as I'd hear a few bad things about the ship, but have to say I had a great time. We chose this one based on the itinerary and were certainly not disappointed. The food was great and there was plenty of choice. We took the drinks package at £17.00pppn and it was worth it for us, but on board prices are very reasonable if you choose to pay as you go. Our fellow cruises were a great laugh and the evening entertainment was good (quite amateurish but still good fun).The inside cabin we had was compact and comfortable with a great power shower. We pre-booked a few excursions which were added to our cruise bill and they were all terrific. They were run efficiently and I felt they were great value for money. I certainly couldn't have done them on my own. The only issue I had was being squashed in like sardines at dinner time and some of the staff not able to crack a smile (they are very over worked though). On the whole we had a wonderful cruise and if the price and itinerary was right, we would definitely go again!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This ship is very tired and old and needs lots of updating. The waiting and bar staff are very hard workers, polite and friendly but the reception staff and excursions staff appear to be more aloof. The food apart from the cooked breakfast ... Read More
This ship is very tired and old and needs lots of updating. The waiting and bar staff are very hard workers, polite and friendly but the reception staff and excursions staff appear to be more aloof. The food apart from the cooked breakfast is of excellent quality but the cheap beans, sausage bacon etc lets it down. The cabin air conditioning was diabolical. The force of it was far too strong which could not be turned off, only the temperature could be adjusted. Several people seemed to be sneezing and coughing and openly complaining about the air conditioning which was far too forceful. The entertainment was OK but the guest singer Clarke was a let down, as he seems to be stuck in the 1980's. Sing or tell jokes, doing both does not work. There seems to be a problem in the bistro regarding not enough seats as people sit in there playing cards and reading. Many times I had to stand up as I could not find a seat when wanting to eat a meal. In the end I had to dress up and eat in the restaurant where I had a guaranteed seat. This was fine however dependent on excursions or port leaving times, to make the most of the stop offs I did not want to go back to the ship to eat at 6pm and would have liked to eat in the bistro later on. The dining room staff are good at getting people to sanitise their hands as some people did try to get in without using the gel. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Cruise and Maritime Voyages' Marco Polo has problems and we would never cruise on her again. She is old and tired, food is poor, safety and security in need of serious attention, organisation leaves much to be desired, and ... Read More
Cruise and Maritime Voyages' Marco Polo has problems and we would never cruise on her again. She is old and tired, food is poor, safety and security in need of serious attention, organisation leaves much to be desired, and Reception staff distinctly unhelpful. The only positives were the itinerary (the reason we took the cruise), shows, particularly the guest comedian, and the quizzes hosted by the dancers and singers. Old and tired? Plain, damaged walls in stair wells and corridors, scruffy carpets, a 'bistro' that has too few tables and chairs and all the looks of a 1960s greasy spoon cafe. Seating throughout the ship is worn, with cushions that gave up a long time ago. In none of the public areas could we find comfortable seating. Poor food? Sausages that consist of a puréed tasteless mush in a wafer thin casing. No need to cut, the knife just falls through. Bacon that is impenetrable to knife and fork. An 'Italian' dinner menu that was so unappetising that six out of eight on our table found it impossible to choose from. Followed the next night with a choice of steak, roast turkey and salmon. Safety and security? We have taken many cruises and have never been allowed back on board from a port visit without everything we have carried being screened. The only screening we experienced was on boarding in Leith. Anything could have been carried on board during the cruise with obvious implications for the safety of the ship and its passengers. Totally unacceptable. As for safety, the tendering at Stornoway was bordering on dangerous. We have seen tendering stopped on other cruises on lesser seas. The ship was positioned so that waves washed down her side, lifting the tender high, and then dropping them low. On one occasion the tender dropped so low that it was able to move in towards the ship and, when it rose again, it caught under the tendering platform and lifted it with passengers standing on it. Totally unacceptable: the ship could, and should, have been positioned to place the tender platform in its lee. Organisation? The excursion across Mull to Iona left without an opportunity to see Tobermory and returned 20 minutes before the final tender. It would have been quite possible for the ship to have sailed an hour later to allow passengers to have at least a brief look around the town. That would, of course, needed the ship to increase its speed a little, which would have increased fuel consumption a little, which would have increased costs to CMV a little. So it did not happen and bus loads of passengers were left disappointed. A number of passengers on our coach were also disappointed to hear the male guide announce that we should 'look forward to see if the girl is in her pool in her garden'. The member of crew who was accompanying the excursion made no comment and took no action on hearing this totally inappropriate comment. Offloading luggage in Greenock was a joke. Everyone had to leave their cabins at 07:00 and the latest disembarkation was around four hours later. The luggage was craned ashore in a cage. For much of the time only one cage was being used with luggage thrown in. The door left open on one transfer with luggage loosely piled and quite able to fall out into the dock. Unhelpful Reception staff? One suitcase, being used for the very first time, was delivered to our cabin with one of the feet torn off. Reception took no interest and no action despite the damage being reported before we left Leith at the start of the cruise. The only response was to provide a form to allow us to claim on *our* insurance. CMV and their agent took the luggage from us, damaged it, and refused to accept responsibility saying we had accepted their Terms and Conditions. Terms and Conditions that state they abide by the Athens Convention. A services access hatch in the corridor outside our cabin door was left swinging open, and so quite dangerous, throughout the cruise despite being reported to Reception and despite Reception saying it would be closed 'immediately'. If anyone is tempted to think that CMV and Marco Polo offer an acceptable cruise experience then they need to try just one cruise elsewhere at no, or minimal, extra cost. It is a wonder that the average star rating on CMV's Facebook page has reached the heights of 4.2 out of 10. Someone has been very generous. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Ship - having read many of the previous reviews we were worried about the holiday - what had we let ourselves in for?! Our first impressions of the ship were very good. She is just over 50 years old but beautifully maintained and in ... Read More
Ship - having read many of the previous reviews we were worried about the holiday - what had we let ourselves in for?! Our first impressions of the ship were very good. She is just over 50 years old but beautifully maintained and in excellent order. Cabins were beautifully maintained & spotlessly clean at all times. We chose a standard plus outside on deck 6 amidships. Cabin 308 - a good choice - a short hop along from the main dining room. I would not recommend cabins on same level or near Scotts Bar as all passengers had to pass along their corridor after late night entertainment or crew parties!! There are no balcony cabins on board and the bed configuration suited us well offering plenty of room. Bathrooms adequate - shower good though tiny. Shown to our cabin after easy embarkation at Edinburgh - we were just told to join small queue after walking over car park with cases - many others seemed to be waiting in small waiting room for timed embarkation. Cases all arrived in cabin in minutes of arrival. Overall we enjoyed our cruise. Excellent dining companions & great itinerary - main reason for booking. Tours were expensive as all are from ships. Often we did our own thing - just wandering around & exploring or at 2 ports had arranged tours independently. Thoroughly recommend Geoiceland, in Reykjavik and Jean Ross ( Great Orkney Tours) in Kirkwall, Orkney who tailored an individualised tour for us - more expensive, but worth every penny. With the ships tours people are tardy in following instructions or late back to the bus - however the ship does wait for their own tours to return to port ( as in Invergordon, when 2 buses were over half an hour late having lost a couple who failed to follow instructions on the steam train trip from Aviemore). Fellow passengers were a mixed bunch - mostly retired - but not by all means Scots - some Americans & Australians as well as folks from all over the British Isles. I had expected Scots as we sailed from Edinburgh. Weather turned nasty - which meant that we spent longer in the safety of harbour in a rain soaked mist shrouded Faroes and had to miss out Shetland all together as too rough to anchor off and use tenders. Disappointing but safety first - we experienced 6.5 m waves - & a prolonged time at sea which some passengers clearly disliked. I think the ships crew handled all this well - though there were passengers injured in the dining room on on one occasion. Overall the entertainment on board was super - west end show quality singers & dancers who did a varied and enjoyable programme. Superb violinist duo as wel. The guest speakers were not as good and comedien got thumbs down by most people. Tony the cruise director got the musical entertainment just right and I enjoyed the art classes immensely. Craft classes were okay if a little basic at times. What let him down in my opinion was that on the rescheduled sea days he was only able to offer very old DVD's in the theatre and a hotch potch of extra classes - surely they should be better prepared for an unexpected sea day and have a couple of modern/ current dvd's and have guest experts prep a few extra classes - just in case??!! Our main disappointment was the food. Plenty to eat - but not to my taste and overall of poor quality. Tough steaks, the same gravy on everything, excessive use of herbs, a same taste to everything !! Of course it is mass catering on a grand scale - but instead of 4 or 5 courses - I would prefer 3 of higher quality. Many diners did not follow the dress code - or imagined that informal (jacket & shirt for men) meant that they could come down in fleeces or cardigans to dinner . Most did dress up for the formal nights - but overall the dress code was not well observed & you would be in the lounge dressed for dinner while others would be parading around in anoraks, fleeces & t shirts & waistcoats. Unavoidable of course as there was only one lounge area. CMV did offer speciality dining in a small curtained off area in dining room or for groups in a conference room. Price range £20 -£40. Drinks were pretty reasonable - we didn't take the all inclusive offer at £17 pp per day. We found the crew attentive to our needs and most had a happy friendly disposition. No complaints there. This is budget cruising - there are no balconies, climbing walls, ice rinks, children, or luxuries. But if you don't need these and are looking for a cruise from a port near home then this may be for you. Would I go with CMV again - probably not - though the long trek to Southampton is also off putting !! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I went on a previous cruise in March - see my review "Absolutely magical experience" - this time with my wife, so the previous cruise was fresh in my mind and my descriptions in hers. This time departing from Rosyth, we found ... Read More
I went on a previous cruise in March - see my review "Absolutely magical experience" - this time with my wife, so the previous cruise was fresh in my mind and my descriptions in hers. This time departing from Rosyth, we found the port facilities inferior to before when I departed from Southampton, although actual embarkation was much more painless.There is no left luggage facility which made if complicated sending luggage ahead. It was not made clear that there is no taxi rank at the small Rosyth station, better to stop off at Inverkeithing which is a more major station (indeed some of the London trains stop there). The actual cruise got off to a slow start because the first and second days were taken up with port visits - there was no captain's welcome until the third night (and the captain couldn't even come to that) - this meant that ship-bound activities such as Bridge and similar (which we were looking forward to) didn't start until the third day, which was very disappointing, for example for disabled people unable to go on trips. The "at sea" days where there were more activities so crowded the timetable that many things we wanted to go to all clashed. The Bridge sessions were very well-run and enjoyable. Having come up from London on the train, we were disinclined to launch into 4-hour bus trips to Loch Ness and such on the first full day so we stayed on-board feeling we were wasting time. However with the first sea day things picked up well. We didn't end up going on port excursions as we chickened out of going on tenders to some places and I had had the experience of missing trips I'd booked because of injury before. I thought that the food, although very good, wasn't quite in the same league as before. The soups weren't as good and the desserts were mostly very disappointing. The main courses remained excellent. Unlike before there wasn't wholemeal bread, which we like, and none of the speciality breads such as walnut were on offer. We took out the "all-inclusive drinks package" which was a huge mistake. The only things included in the price for free were the very poor house wines, a cava which we soon got bored with and a limited ranges of beers and spirits. Yes you can get other drinks for 50% of the price (reducing good wines from 3 times the price to 1.5 times) but not basics like tea and coffee for which full price was still applied. I think we averaged out losing out by about £10 per night between us. We definitely won't get that again unless they refine it sensibly. We didn't go to many of the entertainment offerings, but those we did go to were very good, all things considered although the lack of a proper theatre hampered things.There was a theme of a detective mystery run over several nights which was good fun. I even got the answer right (but didn't win the prize). The crew were uniformly good-humoured and friendly - some remembered unprompted my likings from my previous trip which was amazing! Still we enjoyed it enough to wander round to the "future cruises" office and book one for next year - this time on the "Black Watch". Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We had wanted to have a look at the Scottish Isles and the itinerary of the cruise we chose was provided by CMV Marco Polo. We knew that Marco Polo was 50 years old and not necessarily the ship we would have given first choice after ... Read More
We had wanted to have a look at the Scottish Isles and the itinerary of the cruise we chose was provided by CMV Marco Polo. We knew that Marco Polo was 50 years old and not necessarily the ship we would have given first choice after reading reviews but we thought we would make up our own minds We were given commemorative pins when we embarked - from a different port than arranged. We arrived at Leith where we had booked our CMV parking to be given a letter outlining changes in the itinerary. Rosyth was a provided coach ride away and we were all credited with £50 per cabin. However there was notification there of an increase in tender ports. We believe this showed a weakness in planning and organisation or cost cutting. The refits over the years have kept this ship quite comfortable for passengers if you can overlook the dents here and there, except we felt added cabins (ours had been added when the second tier of the show lounge was taken away) meant there was a lag in the increase of places to eat. Unlike other cruise lines, there is not always food available on the Marco Polo. Afternoon tea was uncomfortably crowded in the Marco Grill which in the evening was the buffet restaurant alternative to the main dining room, The Waldorf, where there was set dining of two sittings. Breakfast was help yourself buffet selection with staff cooking eggs and omelettes to order in two dining areas. Dinners with waiter service in the main dining room were tasty and well presented; service was good but it was not the standard of food we have had on other cruise lines and this showed the economy style although we had paid well for our grade of cabin. A big demonstration of the age of the ship was the tender experience. The weather was stormy and these small craft had a tarpaulin over the top and only two small windows either end. It was most unpleasant. The stormy weather meant we had to have one port changed which was very disappointing as the itinerary was the reason we chose the cruise in spite of the choice of the Marco Polo. Obviously safety has to be the first consideration but would it have been safer with newer tenders? Entertainment was enthusiastically provided by a team of talented young men and women. The problem was in our cabin we heard the afternoon practice and if we were not watching in the show lounge we heard it through the floor which was a very sloping floor in our cabin where twin beds were either side of a window, not a porthole. This was a Premium Plus outside. Cabin staff were faultless. Enrichment - I did go to a "craft" activity on offer to be turned away as all the places were filled. The pool was empty the whole cruise. Disembarkation was painful because we had to vacate our cabin by 7am but the rota of cruisers leaving the ship by cabin number did not start until two hours later. This was a demonstration the public spaces had to be big enough for all the passengers but the queues for the ladies toilets demonstrated there were not enough public facilities for this couple of hours. We were brought back to Rosyth instead of where our cars were! No explanation. A note about our fellow cruisers - we agree with another review amazed at so many mobility aids, in every shape and form. Tenders were supposed to be used only by those who did not need help embarking but three mobility scooters were loaded each time, slowing up the whole process. The all inclusive package meant we saw some inebriated behaviour never seen on other cruise lines. Not nice. A pity we were not more impressed by the Marco Polo, we will not be travelling on her again even if the itinerary would be our choice. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Marvellous Magellan!! We travelled via GLENTON HOLIDAYS - therefore we were picked up from home in a mini-bus form AYRSHIRE and driven to the port of Dundee to join the Magellan. There followed a very slick and quick embarkation and we ... Read More
Marvellous Magellan!! We travelled via GLENTON HOLIDAYS - therefore we were picked up from home in a mini-bus form AYRSHIRE and driven to the port of Dundee to join the Magellan. There followed a very slick and quick embarkation and we were in our cabin 55mins later! Service from all staff and crew was excellent, entertainment of a very high standard and plenty of variety. We attended the art class, where a very talented cartoonist gave us some tips and examples of his work. Lectures on whales ect were available, and fruit and vegetable art by the kitchen crew was amazing - not forgetting the Chocaholic Buffet - where for 30minutes, you were invited to take photographs of their creations...then - YES - eat it!! We did not do any of the organised excursions - but most of the ports we berthed at, we were able to walk to shops and museums ect. FLAM was beautiful and we travelled on the train up into the mountains deep in snow...we bought our tickets in the information booth, and asked for Senior Fares, so from £30 down to £20! [ Had we bought the ships tickets it would have been £40! ] There was a safety issue that I must mention - some cabins have an extra bunk bed folded against one wall - please be extra careful, as one guest split his head badly - I feel this area should have extra padding. Small little things that could be done better, but hey I we weren't taking out a mortgage on the thing!!! So lighten up you folk, that want everything PERFECT...we are all human and mistakes DO happen - so if nobody died, let it go..... We would definitely sail on the MAGELLAN again...lovely ship and the NORWEGIAN FJORDS are absolutely STUNNING. [ WE WERE VERY LUCKY TO HAVE BLUE SKIES AND SUNSHINE MOST DAYS] Altogether a fabulous cruise for us... Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
First time on Discovery under CMV ownership (been 3 times as Voyages of Discovery) and first time taking my 86 year old mother. Discovery is about is low key unpretentious cruising (that's what we like about it) and that continues ... Read More
First time on Discovery under CMV ownership (been 3 times as Voyages of Discovery) and first time taking my 86 year old mother. Discovery is about is low key unpretentious cruising (that's what we like about it) and that continues under CMV. Cabins (1 x twin + 1 x single mid-range Pacific deck) - comfortable and relatively spacious, although ensuite undoubtedly getting a bit tired looking. Public space is a big plus on this ship - lots of comfortable seating indoors and out to sit an read / chat / watch the world go by with no-one hassling you to buy/participate or anything. Some of the public areas too are looking a bit aged now (carpets particularly) but not a major issue. Food plentiful and decent quality - but not absolutely top range cusine (note: mum preferred the less frantic pace of breakfast/lunch in the 7C restaurant than the slightly 'free for all' buffet in the Lido). Staff not over effusive but efficient and generally pleasant . Entertainment varied and certainly an enthusiastic team - the classical duo were superb. Excursions well organised and choices to fit most people. They were a wee bit pricey for what they were - but there was plenty of scope for just doing your own thing in port too. All in all we felt well satisfied that we'd got good value for what we paid for the trip - and had a pleasant and enjoyable break on board Discovery, Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Fjords and Coastal towns of Norway - Sept 2013 My partner and I have been on 4 cruises but this was our first with Fred Olsen and our first away from the Med. The food, service and entertainment on board the Black Watch were all fantastic ... Read More
Fjords and Coastal towns of Norway - Sept 2013 My partner and I have been on 4 cruises but this was our first with Fred Olsen and our first away from the Med. The food, service and entertainment on board the Black Watch were all fantastic and the staff and fellow passengers were the friendliest we've ever encountered. Fortunately for us, we managed to evade the Norovirus! An email from Fred Olsen 2 days prior to our departure from Rosyth gave us our new, later boarding time. We later learned that this was due to the vessel being sanitised after a Norovirus outbreak on the previous trip. All embarking passengers received a personal sanitiser and instructions on how to avoid contracting and spreading the virus. However, a day into our journey all public toilets were closed and word spread that the virus had returned. During the week more passengers were taken ill and confined to their cabins under doctor's orders. The ship was being sanitised constantly and passengers were not allowed anywhere near food. I don't know how many people suffered with the virus but increasing amounts of empty seats at dinner tables indicated that it was not being contained. Sitting in the theatre one morning awaiting a tender to take us ashore, we witnessed about a dozen people handing back organised trip tickets belonging to family/travelling companions, all giving illness as the reason. We also heard the tale of an elderly woman who had booked a last minute deal just a couple of days prior to the cruise; she contracted the virus on the second day and was confined to her cabin for 5 days, thus missing every stop on the journey. She allegedly told a Fred Olsen representative that she would have never booked the holiday had she known there was a virus onboard the vessel. Fred Olsen offer an all-inclusive upgrade for £10 per day which is great for us as we both enjoy a drink on holiday. My 72 year old diabetic mother accompanied us on this trip but, as she does not touch alcohol, preferred not to pay extra for the package. At the time of booking, our travel agent was informed by a Fred Olsen representative that we were allowed to have all-inclusive and non all-inclusive passengers on the same booking but we would not be allowed to sit at the same table for dinner as diners on different packages were separated. This more or less forced us to book all-inclusive for the three of us. On board the vessel we quickly learned that, although there was allocated seating in the Glentanar restaurant (the main restaurant), the Braemar Garden Cafe and Orchid Room both offer free seating and all restaurants serve the same food. Also, our allocated table in the Glentanar restaurant had a 50-50 mixture of all-inclusive and non all-inclusive diners! To make matters worse, the soft drinks option on the all-inclusive package offers only one sugar free drink suitable for diabetics (my mother) which is diet coke, all other sugar free drinks incur a further charge - 50% off for all-inclusive passengers. Unfortunately my mother does not like diet coke! Just one more piece of useful information - there are two sittings for dinner in the Glentanar restaurant, 6.15pm and 8.15pm. If you wish to change your allocated sitting time there is a charge of £2 per person, per day. So, if you have a preferred meal time, it may pay to sort it with your agent or Fred Olsen prior to boarding. None of this has put any of us off future trips with Fred Olsen but we do feel like we were misinformed and I hope this information is beneficial to others.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Motor Ship Marco Polo, what to be said?  She is without doubt a clean ship, a manageable ship and a ship well organised for the ‘Adult’ clientele they intend to and do cater for. Our cabin 505 was quite spacious for this class of ... Read More
Motor Ship Marco Polo, what to be said?  She is without doubt a clean ship, a manageable ship and a ship well organised for the ‘Adult’ clientele they intend to and do cater for. Our cabin 505 was quite spacious for this class of vessel and had more than average storage space. A good size picture window gave an overall pleasant aspect to the room and though the modest shower room was a little cramped this too was more than adequate for our needs.We sailed from Edinburgh on May 26th and the collection of luggage at the port was efficient and quick. It must also be said that the departure from the ship was also well organised, speedy and painless. Food on board was adequate and even for the picky vegetarian that I am varied enough not to be boring. On the one night I absolutely did not want the ‘Vegetarian Option’ they found me something else that was more to my taste. You might think that due to the daily £5 surcharge that is applied instead of tipping there would be no incentive toward care or courtesy but on the whole the staff were kind considerate and dedicated to their task. The crew with the exception of the officer class were in the main of east European origin but had a good level of English which is the lingua franca of the boat. The one down side were the other passengers! Now I admit to being in my 69th year and I have not yet lost any of my taste for life or any strength of will, however; some of this boat-load were rude inconsiderate and obnoxious to an extent not even expected from the geriatric go-grabbers of this the 21st century. The Cruise Director did miss out on some tricks, for along with the already organised games he could have prepared for ‘The Zimmer Frame 100 meter dash’ ‘The Walking stick Fencing Final’ and the Wheelchair Diving Championship where those not bent on eating themselves to death could throw themselves into the ocean while those around cheered giving points for both suicidal style and corporal commitment..Strangely I would venture on the Marco Polo a second time as overall she is not overpriced for what she is. This old lady surrounds herself with passengers of her certain age and most feel comfortable with her faded grandeur.Overall a good voyage with inexpensive drinks, good modestly priced excursions and a generally pleasing crew. At Least Three out of Five for Cruise and Maritime Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
I came across this cruise on the Guardian website and was immediately taken by the itinerary (Faroes and the Western Isles). Although we got an early-booking discount, we paid almost £1,000 for a 5-day cruise for the 2 of us, i.e. quite ... Read More
I came across this cruise on the Guardian website and was immediately taken by the itinerary (Faroes and the Western Isles). Although we got an early-booking discount, we paid almost £1,000 for a 5-day cruise for the 2 of us, i.e. quite an investment for a mere 5 nights. Not a cruiser myself, I hadn't sussed out that cruising is for old people. By this I mean, really old people with serious health and mobility problems. Nothing wrong with that...but: expect to be poked by a walking stick from someone in a wheelchair when you're queuing up for check-in. Also prepare for being severely circled and targeted by someone with a walking aid (trolley-type) once who have managed to get a table for lunch. This in itself is no mean feat as most passengers just remain stationary after breakfast and occupy tables for a full day.Of course, those with health/ mobility problems should be able to sit down, get some rest and enjoy their food, but so do we. Have I mentioned that we got asked on a number of occasions how long we were on the ship and what my partner (from Spain) exactly does for a living on-board as we looked young and one of us has a slightly darker complexion? The service we received was an outright joke. This excludes the wonderful Tatiana (our cabin steward) and the Scotts Bar staff who were nothing but friendly and forthcoming. All the rest, especially the restaurant waiters were outright surly. Maybe it was yet again the same issue with us not fitting into the age or ethnic demographic, but I've had a better service experience in hostels. Bearing in mind that they take it from the living (£2.05 for a can of soft drinks) and that they got to take another £650 for on-board drinks and land excursions, I'd expect the service to be a pleasant experience. Overall, an unsatisfactory experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
We had 8 family members on this cruise ranging in age from 11-78. The ship is very comfortable and the crew was as friendly as a crew can be. We were a little concerned that the 4 kids (ages 11-15) would not have enough to do. While not ... Read More
We had 8 family members on this cruise ranging in age from 11-78. The ship is very comfortable and the crew was as friendly as a crew can be. We were a little concerned that the 4 kids (ages 11-15) would not have enough to do. While not perfect for them, it was OK. In total I saw about a dozen kids but only about half of them wanted to hang out with other kids. No real kid spaces, but the crew did a nice job of making sure they had a place where they could hang out and not bother others. That was it for the negatives. Everything else was fantastic. We had very high expectations and they were exceeded in every way. Simply fantastic. I recommend Azamara with no hesitation.Inverness/Invergordon There is nothing in Invergordon where the ship docks, so you need to take a tour of some kind. If you do, you won't be disappointed. We took a private tour with Gordon of WOW Scotland and were indeed wowed. Great tour guide, great scenery and lots of history. Loch Ness is very pretty, but the Culloden Battle Field and Museum were clearly the highlight. Kirkwall/Orkney Islands Beautiful stop. Skara Brae is the must see here. I have never seen anything quite like it, fascinating. Lots of other things to see as well, wonderful scenery. Portree/Isle of Skye My 11 year old daughter's favorite day. No big highlights, just fantastic scenery that never ends. Here we had a private tour with Donald from Toursbylocals.com Great guide, lots of fun. Scilly Islands No excursions were even offered here, but they weren't needed. It is a little like going to Martha's Vineyard except less crowded and prettier. My 13 year old's sons favorite stop. We bought a handline and some bait and walked about 20 minutes to a rocky point where we were able to do some fishing.Rouen We were in Rouen for 2 1/2 days. Hired a private guide from www.bestprivatetours.com for the two full days. We spent the first day touring the Normandy invasion sights. Words can't describe the emotional impact on all of us. Amazing. My 15 year old son's favorite day. The second day we took a whirlwind tour of Paris. Saw all the major sights, but didn't go deep into any of them. Wonderful day. My 12 year old daughter's favorite day. The last half day we took the Rouen Walking Tour offered by the ship. A very nice tour with about an hours freetime to explore and shop. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
We had never cruised before so were a little unsure of what to expect... espacially after reading some of the negative reviews givent to the Marco Polo on this site.. Firstly, Marco Polo is a cruise ship built in the 60s and has had ... Read More
We had never cruised before so were a little unsure of what to expect... espacially after reading some of the negative reviews givent to the Marco Polo on this site.. Firstly, Marco Polo is a cruise ship built in the 60s and has had numerous refits, if you want a luxury liner with balconies large cabins and massive deck areas then look elsewhere. Marco Polo is a small ship by comparison to some of the floating hotels that we saw on our cruise, she takes 820 passengers and was full on this particular cruise. We found the size of the ship suited us fine and we never felt lost in a crowd. Staff were helpful and very pleasant at all times, we, unlike one reviewer, did see the captain and saw his officers on a number of occaisions.The ship was clean and tidy, cabin was kept spotless by our steward who again was very pleasant and helpful. . It was a big enough room with plenty of storage space. The food was very good with a choice of formal dining or buffet meals for all three meals. We were blessed with some good weather and calm to moderate seas which always helps the holiday. The scenery was spectacular...We went on some excursions but other times chose to spend time in the port of call.. the choice is yours.. Would I go on the Marco Polo again? without a doubt.. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
We appreciate Ocean Countess is an older ship , we like this. Ship is small and intimate. We had a lovely experience on this cruise with an unusual itinerary to Shetlands, Faroes and Hebridians.Two ports were tender ports which were ... Read More
We appreciate Ocean Countess is an older ship , we like this. Ship is small and intimate. We had a lovely experience on this cruise with an unusual itinerary to Shetlands, Faroes and Hebridians.Two ports were tender ports which were handled very efficiently. Cabin small but with good wardrobe space and 2 sets of draws - have seen less space on other lines that you might expect better of. Noise at night but we were towards lower stern. Have seen bad reviews for food on this ship but we had 5 excellent meals, enough choice of well cooked, presented and hot meals. Service was quick and pleasant.The wine waiter was a joy , he had a fair knowledge of subject and was entertaining and just the right side of friendly. Buffet in Boat House was crowded at times but only had breakfast here and service not as friendly as The restaurant. Bar service variable from bar to bar , we found that we liked the piano bar the best. Entertainment in show lounge was very good. Ship benefited from a very polished team of performers. Very committed team even to making own costumes of a good standard. Show lounge is not well levelled and you have to pick right seat for a good view hence you need to get there early. We dont usually bother with all shows on a cruise but we liked the performers so much we made the effort to go early for good seats for all shows. The performers joined in after show ,line dancing and discos - after doing 2 shows to make the effort to dance and encourage passengers to join in was above and beyond what is normally seen on other cruiselines. Cruise director introduced shows and joined in Joseph doing a really good job. He was friendly and approachable . For the price bracket of Cruise we had excellent value for money. We will be cruising with them again . Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We would consider ourselves to be experienced cruisers who go for the itinerary rather than the ship. If the ship is a good one ,then thats a bonus. We've sailed with 10 different cruise lines,some up to four times and on different ... Read More
We would consider ourselves to be experienced cruisers who go for the itinerary rather than the ship. If the ship is a good one ,then thats a bonus. We've sailed with 10 different cruise lines,some up to four times and on different vessels in the same line. Embarkation: Best ever! we joined at Rosyth, and as we live in Scotland's central belt we were on board one and a half hours from leaving home, plus we both 90kgs luggage allowance!! Just as well we did not load our luggage up to the mark as one of our cases was damaged during embarkation. Fred Olsen completed a form for our insurers. P.S. get a lift to Rosyth as Forth Ports charge over £7 per day to park Cabin : We were on the Main deck, starboard and towards the stern, we would normally book a balcony cabin but were not prepared to pay the prices asked for, we spoke later to one disgruntled couple who had paid almost £6000 more than us albeit for a suite. First impressions were that the (twin) cabin was small compared to what we are used to,but we got used to it. At least we had natural light coming in the double window, but we did find the cabin stuffy, in fact some of the public rooms were stuffy, but when you see the prevailing age of most of the guests you know thats what they like! The beds were comfy and warm, we had a bath and shower,safe,space for clothes ok, enough drawers as well. Coffee and tea maker provided but we never used it, would much preferred to have a fridge. Dining and Service: Have to say that we were pleasantly surprised here, We were not looking forward to the fixed 1st sitting after having got used to freestyle type eating, however, even in the main restaurant, breakfast and lunch was buffet style,so only dinner was served. The buffet area got a mite busy at times but there was never any shortage of food. Staff would fetch and serve breakfast and lunch to those less mobile. Breakfast was fine but repetitive, lunch options really good, dinner likewise, service was smart and friendly (as it was throughout the ship) There is an informal restaurant(secret garden cafe) which looked interesting,but we never used it, probably as its really too small and there was normally a queue waiting. Afternoon tea was served here and was very nice. Activities: We had a lot of sea days so activities were important..the lectures were good, Library and games room pleasant, gym well equipped,pool and jacuzzis fine, so the days passed reasonably well, but you would be advised to take plenty of reading material,or catch up on some writing, the Boudicca is not a resort ship! Entertainment: Generally very good,although the passenger talent show had a high cringe factor. Good tight dance and singing troupe, we had a Scottish comedian who was able to make us all laugh with clean material, an excellent crooner, and the musicians dotted around the lounges were also to a good standard. Of course its all geared to the older clientele so dont look for a disco! The Cruise Director was a very nice and experienced guy but I would say he is probably by his sell by date. Excursions: We only went on a few as two of the Greenland ports are really just walk off, however, the trips we did use were well organised and reasonable value, got to say this is when the smaller ship comes into its own,when waiting for tenders especially, dont have to get 3,500 people off !! Ship : Our last time with Fred Olsen was in 2000 on the Black Watch and it was hard to believe that in 2011 we were going on a ship nearly 40 years old. I suppose that Olsen will be able to cash in on the Vintage/Classic market soon! Best thing is that the main sailing crew are Norwegian and I always feel safe sailing with the Vikings, Captain Jan Thommessen is by a long way the best captain we've ever sailed with. He was informative,humourous,walked the ship and had a chat with everybody,instilled confidence when we had a few shaky hours in ice and fog, takes part in a jazz jam session,playing a good trumpet. When we had to miss an Icelandic port because of the ice problems the previous night he told us the reasons why he had to make straight for Reykajavik. OK the ship is a little tired in some public areas and the main theatre is really just a big lounge,so you have to be early to make sure you are not seated behind a pillar! Disembarking: No problems, little bit chaotic in the terminal(Rosyth)as its not really big enough. Summary: Despite our concerns about an older, smaller ship and being with the "blazer brigade" we would travel with Boudicca and Olsen again. We were concerned about the ships history of Norovirus, but we were exorted at every turn to use the hand sanitisers,even in the library! We felt the shop prices and bar prices were reasonable, and the photographers were excellent again with good value prices. The ship has a homely feel about it,but also has some character, a real nice touch was having the great grandchildren of Fred Olsen on board who assisted the Captain to throw a wreath over the stern during a small service of remembrance for Olsen merchant sailors who perished in WW2. We think though that as the older Olsen returnees(most of the guests we spoke to had never sailed with anyone else) pass on, they will have to address a few things. A wee bit too formal, we dont mind "proper formal" nights, but there were too many jacket and tie nights for us. Also need to enlarge the informal anytime dining area as more of us want dining flexibility. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
I have just returned from a very brief trip on the Azamara Journey. The ship was visiting Leith as part of its current cruise and Azamara Club kindly allowed Margaret to invite a few of her clients to view the ship. A group of 12 arrived ... Read More
I have just returned from a very brief trip on the Azamara Journey. The ship was visiting Leith as part of its current cruise and Azamara Club kindly allowed Margaret to invite a few of her clients to view the ship. A group of 12 arrived at the port at 8.30am and, even though we were only staying for a few hours and were not going anywhere we had to go through security and hand in our passports. As we walked up the gang-plank we were individually welcomed by the crew on duty and this was to be the norm for the next 3 hours - everybody we met, from officers to cleaners all welcomed us with a friendly genuine smile. The ship describes itself as being " select country club" and that is the impression you get from first entering the bottom stair well - thick carpets, tasteful decoration and appropriate framed pictures on the walls. The first stop was the main atrium. Nothing bold and glitzy but all tastefully decorated with lots of real wood. Within this area is a desk occupied by a local consultant who gives cruisers advice of where to go and what to look out for whilst on shore - something I have never experienced on a cruise. We were then taken around the ship to view all the public areas. Without describing everything in detail let me summarise by saying it was everything it says on the website but more-so. A large number of 2 seat tables in the open-dining MDR, where complimentary wines are served with lunch and dinner, around the pool, real wooden sun-loungers with proper upholstery, a well appointed cabaret lounge and so much more. We were taken to see an example of each of the three classes of suite, all with butler service - (maybe the World Owners Suite next time!) and 2 classes of balcony stateroom, small but very elegant. It was then into the Looking Glass at the front of the ship for a drink and canapEs before enjoying a very early lunch in the Windows Cafe. . It was all over too quickly and by 12.30 we were escorted off the ship as it prepared to sail on the 1.30 tide . We are booked on the Journey in October and if everything is half as good as we experienced in this short visit we will be very well pleased. A full review of that cruise Read Less
Sail Date August 2010

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