20 Edinburgh (South Queensferry) 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 had Read so many reviews slating this ship - so decided see for myself. Big mistake! Should have avoided! Food stone cold. Restaurant rush you through your meals. 5 courses in 40 minutes! The only thing good is the drinks package ... Read More
I had Read so many reviews slating this ship - so decided see for myself. Big mistake! Should have avoided! Food stone cold. Restaurant rush you through your meals. 5 courses in 40 minutes! The only thing good is the drinks package because we wouldn't have got through this trip without it! Service appalling. No one around to serve if you want a drink in the pool area. Staff non existent in bars except behind it. Staff give the impression they really do not want to be working for this company. Thank God it was for only 4 nights. I feel sorry for people booked for two months! Cabins dated and awful. Nothing to do in the day. Disabled beware as very little facilities to get on and off at ports. Never again. Miles to civilisation once on shore. Complained but too late - they already had my money so they are not bothered. You have been warned! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Overall, I would say we were happy with this cruise from Rosyth to Longyearbyen then back again. I'm not convinced I would cruise again with CMV, it would depend on the itinerary. The Good: The price was reasonable as we got a ... Read More
Overall, I would say we were happy with this cruise from Rosyth to Longyearbyen then back again. I'm not convinced I would cruise again with CMV, it would depend on the itinerary. The Good: The price was reasonable as we got a last minute deal, yet had a better cabin than those who did not get the same deal... The cabin was clean. There was a good choice of food at the buffet. The Bad: The food was mostly always look-warm/under-cooked/overcooked The fish on the menu was not fresh. Keep your receipts to check later. The Ugly: Some of the staff obviously did not want to be there. e.g This is the only cruise I have been on to date where upon returning aboard we were met with complete silence from the staff scanning the boarding passes. I reported something serious to be told by staff they were busy and "not to worry as we are almost home". 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 chose this cruise because we have always wanted to visit St Petersburg and the 2 day stop at this city did not let us down. We chose the 2 day package and visited the Winter Palace (The Hermitage), the Summer Palace (Catherine's ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have always wanted to visit St Petersburg and the 2 day stop at this city did not let us down. We chose the 2 day package and visited the Winter Palace (The Hermitage), the Summer Palace (Catherine's Palace) and Peterhof. The only disappointment was we did not get to see the Faberge Museum. We also chose the trip to Berlin and the 3 hour bus journey both ways was worth it as we had a wonderful guide who was very knowledgable and spoke wonderful English. The other stops we did ourselves - Copenhagen, Helsinki and Tallin. We did not get off the ship at Nynasham for Stockholm because there was not enough time to visit Stockholm at any length. The trips were expensive but we saw a lot of things that the independent traveller may have missed. However, I would suggest that you wait until you are on board to book any shore excursions because it is only by attending the shore excursion previews that you find out that courtesy buses will be provided at certain ports. The embarkation and disembarkation did go smoothly. The Marco Polo is a wonderful old ship and the 800+ passengers were able to meet new people and enjoy their company. Our cabin (615) was very clean and comfortable and our cabin steward (Edison) was a hard working, cheerful and pleasant young man. Dining in the Waldorf Restaurant was excellent. The menu was extensive and the food very good. Our waiter (Uros) was very attentive, happy and efficient. We used Marco's Bistro for breakfast - lots of choice but you had to be early to get a good table. The entertainment team on board were very hard working and good. The shows were very good in the main but one or two nights were very average. The dancers were excellent. We enjoyed the quizzes - but don't treat them seriously - have a laugh. The duo in Scott's Bar were very good. We paid for all inclusive and it was worth it though the prices were similar to lounge bar prices at home. It cost £17 per person per day but, if you had a glass of wine at lunchtime and another with dinner then that would cost you £10. The service in the various lounges and the pool bar was on the slow side as there was not enough bar staff and the waiters were very good at ignoring arms raised requesting service while they picked up empty glasses or stood at the bar waiting for the one bar person on duty to pour the drinks. All in all we had a great time and I would recommend the Marco Polo voyage. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We were attracted to Marco Polo because of the cruise itinerary and the pricing. Refurbished in the 1990's, starting to show some weariness. It's too small for 800 people. We were lucky to have a convivial bunch of Scots on ... Read More
We were attracted to Marco Polo because of the cruise itinerary and the pricing. Refurbished in the 1990's, starting to show some weariness. It's too small for 800 people. We were lucky to have a convivial bunch of Scots on board. The problems with the ship have all been said before - nothing has been done. The food is ok. In the bistro the salad range was minimal and poor. One type of salami & devon every day just does not cut the mustard for meat selection. The "system" for tea and coffee making was poorly organised - a longstanding issue. Their idea of afternoon tea in the Dining Room is to keep topping up hot water onto the tea bag they give you, into a tiny cup. Also there was no afternoon tea available in the bistro on most days. The cabin walls are thin - you can clearly hear people speaking next door. We were kept awake late at night by inconsiderates next door talking loudly and then starting up again at 5.30am and they didn't get the hint from a bang on the wall. Not real sharp. The staff were generally good, except for the arrogant piece of work who does the future cruise bookings, the surly thing that handed out cutlery in the bistro and a pain in the neck prima donna entertainer who thought she was something special, prancing through the crowds with a silly false grin on her face. Our room (821) was adequate in size, but they screwed a tv to a fixed pedestal right in the middle of it, taking up space. The shower just did not work properly at all, even after a plumber had looked at it. No manner of adjusting could get the temperature right or at times any water at all to come out of it. The captain was a jolly, congenial Greek man. The ship would make a good luxury cruising vessel if refurbished to a high standard for about 200 people. The Advice: pay the extra and go on Holland America Line. 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
We chose this back-to-back cruise the the itinerary .... Iceland and then the north cape and Spitsbergen. We were not expecting luxury but we could find virtually nothing to recommend this line. The ship is tired and needs a major refurb ... Read More
We chose this back-to-back cruise the the itinerary .... Iceland and then the north cape and Spitsbergen. We were not expecting luxury but we could find virtually nothing to recommend this line. The ship is tired and needs a major refurb or scrap. The showers don't work properly throughout the ship ... The water is either scalding hot or freezing cold. The buffet consistently runs out of food, plates, and/or cups. The food is mediocre and I've never sailed on a ship where you have to constantly ask for water at the table and the after dinner coffee/tea is never refilled. If you don't want to do organised tours at every stop, forget it. You'll find the ship pulling into stops for only 3-4 hours at times where there is no time for the independent traveller to see anything. This ship is completely geared to tours with no info for indies. If the ship is tendered, the indies are the very last to be allowed ashore. Overall, the crew rarely smiles. Of course, you'll find exceptions but you do feel as though you are putting them out. On the plus side, we found the entire staff at the reception desk to be as good and efficient as any we have ever run into....also very friendly. While I have no problem boarding by deck, with the suites boarding first, the same thing happens on disembarkation without regard to when you have to leave to catch a plane. IF you need to disembark early and are on one of the lower decks, you must notify them BUT you must struggle off with all your luggage by yourself! We also noted that there were, not surprisingly, a fair number of passengers with mobility issues. The crew/staff virtually never offered help and the gangway was really difficult for them. We have seen much more care in other cruise lines Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
The reason for choosing this cruise was our strong desire to visit Spitzbergen. W We had twice been to the North Cape of Norway but wanted to go still further north. MS Marco Polo enabled us to do so at a reasonable price, below the usual ... Read More
The reason for choosing this cruise was our strong desire to visit Spitzbergen. W We had twice been to the North Cape of Norway but wanted to go still further north. MS Marco Polo enabled us to do so at a reasonable price, below the usual going rate for Spitzbergen. Having read mixed reviews our expectations were not particularly high. One has to be realistic, one was not for this price going to get five star luxury but in fact we were pleasantly surprised. The good impression was from the outset when we had a fast and friendly check-in which compared well with previous cruise experiences. We had a comfortable cabin with plenty of storage space. It was always immaculately clean, as was the ship as a whole. Generally we were very satisfied with the amenities and the all public areas. meals were almost unfailingly of a high quality. Dinner was waiter served in the Waldorf restaurant whilst for lunch we generally went for the buffet. I would in particular commend the inventive and very tasty soups. Except for one young madam, staff were invariably helpful. It is true that for the mainly East European waiting staff poker faces tended to be the order of the day (though I would exempt the Ukrainian waiter who served us at dinner time). There was a range of activities and entertainment. Much of that was not for us - making hessian bags is not really our thing - but some of the Evening entertainment was good and the husband and wife team who the Cruise and Assistant Director did a very good job, they themselves being versatile entertainers.One cannot really blame the cruise line for some of the fellow passengers. The clientele was an ageing one with most probably older still than we ourselves, who are sixtysomethings. But some of these oldies, walking sticks and all, could show the stereotypical German tourist how to get to the sunbeds first. For dinner there was fixed seating and we were on a large table with seven others. On a Rhine cruise a couple of years previous there had been free seating and I'd felt this to be a bit impersonal - one might find oneself perched at the end of a table otherwise occupied by a group of friends. But one of our tour guides defended this arrangement and recalled a cruise where by the end she could have murdered a woman she'd been obliged to share a table with. I rather felt like that about a boorish old boy on our table who moaned about everything but to whom others on the table deferred. We did though meet some really nice people on this cruise. We were blessed with fine weather and saw some wonderful scenery. Spitzbergen certainly didn't disappoint. Shore excursions were quite expensive but Norway is an expensive country - those in the Faroes and Orkney were noticeably cheaper. We did not book an excursion in Tromso as we had been there before and could find our own way around. We also didn't avail ourselves of the tour to the north Cape, since we'd been there twice, instead having a very pleasant day in Honningsvag. We did five tours in all and I'd rate them highly, most very highly. All in all a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We are first-time cruisers and this adventure surpassed all our expectations. We researched the cruise thoroughly in advance, including the itinerary and the ship. We were especially looking forward to Spitzbergen and the glaciers; and the ... Read More
We are first-time cruisers and this adventure surpassed all our expectations. We researched the cruise thoroughly in advance, including the itinerary and the ship. We were especially looking forward to Spitzbergen and the glaciers; and the North Cape. The views of the arctic landscape were breath-taking and our memories will stay with us always. The fjords were spectacular and we would like to visit more. The ship was superb: it had many art deco features; it was comfortable; the restaurants were very good; there were many leisure amenities; and the staff were excellent. The standard of cleanliness was remarkable. The entertainers were all highly professional and the shows were enjoyable. There are many critics of this ship. In my experience they fall into 2 categories: lack of research; and "other cruise lines are better". Put simply, the Marco Polo fulfils all the advertising and reviews written about it. It is not sold as a "luxury liner". It is smaller than most liners, but that makes it intimate and friendly. It is not glitzy and glamorous, but it is advertised as traditional cruising. The customer service crew are predominantly eastern European. Their command of English is commendable and they were always polite and respectful. The second category of critic was truly insufferable! They whined incessantly about the cutlery and crockery, the furniture, nothing the staff did was ever going to be good enough, the calibre of entertainment, the standard of food. They were expecting a 5* cruise for a 3* price! The ultimate in luxury was not on offer. We got exactly what we paid for - a comfortable and entertaining cruise to a truly magnificent destination. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Cruised to Northern Cape and Sptizbergen which was our forth cruise aboard Marco Polo having already done Norway, Iceland and Amazon/Caribbean. We knew what to expect - excellent food, reasonable accommodation, acceptable entertainment.and ... Read More
Cruised to Northern Cape and Sptizbergen which was our forth cruise aboard Marco Polo having already done Norway, Iceland and Amazon/Caribbean. We knew what to expect - excellent food, reasonable accommodation, acceptable entertainment.and expensive trips. Food was good, (no problem there) cabin was OK (same one as previous cruise) but was located near the access door to the crews quarters and some staff were downright rude by being noisy outside our cabin at all hours of the night - no consideration for sleeping passengers. Announcements from Cruise Director were pointless - why tell is GPS references - what we wanted was "what's that island over there" or "there are six whales half a mile off our stern" tell us something useful ! Staff attitude was poor ( downright rude) from the top to the bottom. We handed a nearly new holdall to CMV staff on arrival and between the quayside and the cabin our luggage was damaged making it unusable again. Having complained to the service desk was abruptly told to fill out a form. Having done so, was told to claim on my insurance. In other words, CMV don't care and having to pay an excess I pick up the cost of their carelessness. Two letters to Customer Relations did not resolve my dispute so wrote a third letter to CMV's Managing Director. he never replied so guess what, have cancelled my next booking, yes have lost £350 deposit, but won't be travelling with CMV ever again. Real pitty as we like the Marco Polo - just can't stand CMV and their attitude to teh customers who pay their salaries! Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We have just returned from thirteen nights sailing up along Norway and up to Svalbard then down to the Faroese and Orkney . The Marco Polo is a handsome looking ship, yes older but has many plus points. We found the staff good and our ... Read More
We have just returned from thirteen nights sailing up along Norway and up to Svalbard then down to the Faroese and Orkney . The Marco Polo is a handsome looking ship, yes older but has many plus points. We found the staff good and our cabin steward was excellent as was one of our waiters. Some staff needed a little guidance but for the price we paid we felt it was value for money. The food was plentiful and although not the best was perfectly edible if not outstanding. The water was not the best but it rarely is on board unless you go down the bottled route. Sometimes I got the feeling that there were staff wanting to get their shift over but not often. We enjoyed the cruise, some excursions were overpriced but we went into most ports independently with no problems. My husband had wanted to do this cruise I was a reluctant companion as I didn't want to miss the second week of Wimbledon, I was surprised how much I did enjoy it and watching whales from the top deck became my favourite past-time. I was surprised to read a negative review from someone on board at the same time so registered to say ..yes the showers were temperamental and the ship rocking around all added to the fun of remaining upright in the shower and not being frozen or scalded..it was the nearest I got to exercise on there ! Read Less
Sail Date June 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
My husband and I were attracted to this cruise for two reasons; firstly it left from Leith and secondly it was going to St Petersburg. We thought we would give cruising a try and if we liked it we would perhaps do a cruise to Iceland, ... Read More
My husband and I were attracted to this cruise for two reasons; firstly it left from Leith and secondly it was going to St Petersburg. We thought we would give cruising a try and if we liked it we would perhaps do a cruise to Iceland, Orkney etc.It may be a case of pay peanuts and get monkeys but this cruise fell short of our expectations. In particular, probably due to ignorance on our part in not having done our homework beforehand, we felt particularly ripped off in relation to the excursions we had pre-booked (apart from St Petersburg when it suited us for someone else to do the visa paperwork). In nearly all cases we could have got off the ship and boarded a shuttle bus to take us into the centre of town at no cost. This would have allowed us to board a sightseeing bus (sometimes parked at the cruise berth!) This would have given us a far better insight and more time to explore the city we were visiting.The biggest disappointment was a Norovirus outbreak day five into the cruise. This meant that facilities such as the gym, swimming pool, hot tubs, library etc were out of bounds. These are exactly the activities that I was relying on to alleviate the boredom on the days we were at sea. I am not a big fan of quizzes, throwing bean bags into a bucket, Countdown, singing classes etc. For the first few days I had happily gone to the gym and participated in various classes, Yoga, Stretch and Tone, Belly Blaster etc.This outbreak meant that staff were constantly cleaning the ship wearing masks, plastic aprons and gloves - not a particularly reassuring sight! I appreciate the need for this to happen but would also have appreciated more of an update especially in the first few days of the outbreak as to when restrictions would be lifted. This in fact never happened and the day before we were due to disembark it was announced that two more Norovirus cases had been confirmed. The most alarming part of this was that as we were disembarking at 6pm on Wednesday 12 June, other travellers were happily embarking that same day for a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords! Suppose one plus point is that we didn't catch the virus!All in all not a good first time cruising experience. 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
Having read some of the reviews I can only assume that some people who have posted bad reviews are professional moaners. We have just returned from a cruise leaving from Leith (Edinburgh) to the Norwegian Fjords and the North Cape (most ... Read More
Having read some of the reviews I can only assume that some people who have posted bad reviews are professional moaners. We have just returned from a cruise leaving from Leith (Edinburgh) to the Norwegian Fjords and the North Cape (most northerly point of Europe, way beyond the Arctic Circle). We have sailed on the QE2 just before she was taken out of service, and many aspects of our Marco Polo cruise were better than Cunard - embarkation being one - very swift and efficient. We found the ship to be spotlessly clean - no wonder - the crew were constantly cleaning. We enjoyed the food - there was masses of it, and lots of choice. The destinations they had picked were beautiful and interesting, and the Excursion Team was extremely efficient. The one problem we had was when we were late docking into Honnigsvag, for the North Cape, because a giant Italian Cruise ship was still occupying the berth. They were late leaving because some of their passengers had failed to return to the ship on time. Our excursion times were revised to ensure we got sufficient time at the North Cape, and the Captain altered the route slightly, and went at top speed to make up for lost time. All the crew were friendly and efficient - I did not mind the fact that they wanted us out of the dining room once we had finished eating. These folk work extremely long hours with very little free time, and you can understand them wanting to get finished up. We had the cheapest ocean view cabin, but it was pefectly adequate, with plenty of storage space. After all, you only really sleep in it. There was always somewhere quiet you could find in the public areas if you wanted to read or doze. We liked the fact that the Marco Polo, which is nearly 50 years old, is a proper cruise liner, and looks like a real ship, unlike these horrible skyscrapers at sea which so many people seem to like. Marco Polo is small enough to feel intimate and friendly, but large enough to feel spacious. I cannot understand those who felt claustrophobic - airplanes are much worse! I would go on Marco Polo again, like a shot, if she was sailing somewhere I wanted to go. The main purpose of our trip was not to have a cruise, per se, but to see the Norwegian Fjords and the North Cape. Given the humungously high prices in Norway, it was a really good value way to see these sights. It would have cost us 3 or 4 times as much to go by air or by land. 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 3.3
Enrichment 4.0 3.2
Service 4.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.6

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