9 Edinburgh (South Queensferry) to Europe - British Isles & Western Cruise & Maritime Voyages Marco Polo Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
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 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
Marco Polo Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.7
Dining 3.0 3.5
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.2
Family 1.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 4.0 3.2
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 5.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.6

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