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29 Europe - All Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

We went on the Ventura specifically for the Strictly Come Dancing themed cruise from Southampton around the Mediterranean on 2nd June. We thoroughly enjoyed all the Strictly shows and meeting the Strictly dancers including Oti Mabuse, ... Read More
We went on the Ventura specifically for the Strictly Come Dancing themed cruise from Southampton around the Mediterranean on 2nd June. We thoroughly enjoyed all the Strictly shows and meeting the Strictly dancers including Oti Mabuse, Graziano, Alijaz and Janette and head judge Shirley Ballas. The entertainment was very good indeed and if you didn't want to immerse yourself in the Strictly theme there was always something going on in other areas. Our cabin was good for an inside cabin and it felt larger because of the clever positioning of mirrors however I would definitely choose an outside cabin if going again because that way you can sit outside. Our cabin steward Lourdes was so lovely nothing was too much trouble for her even getting me some extra hangers. We mainly ate in the buffet restaurant and there was a good selection of different food every evening but we did get a bit fed up of the same four types of English cheese on offer every night! The main restaurant was nice but we found the waiters abit brusque so we didn't go there very often. There was a varied itinerary of some nice places to visit including Gibraltar Cartagena Barcelona Marseille Monaco Corsica and Cadiz. We took two excursions one in Marseille which unfortunately wasn't very good it was a beach excursion with a quick stop in Marseille. It was a very hot day and the guide kept us on the coach for fifteen minutes in the heat while telling us about the history of Marseille instead of giving us that extra time in Marseille as we only had twenty minutes left. When we got to the beach we had one and a half hours but it was absolutely crowded and wouldn't be suitable for anybody with a walking disabilities to venture on as it was very hard to get in and out of the sea as the shingle dropped down. When I mentioned this to the excursion sales person on the ship he told me that I shouldn't be going on any beach with a walking disability! I was very offended and really think he should have been taught a tactful way of suggesting his paying customer might have been better to perhaps not go on the beach. I only wanted them to note that they should advise of this as no way in the shore excursion guide does it say it isn't suitable for people who have disabilities. The content of this particular excursion was not good and several people complained on return. However the tour of Monaco and Montecarlo was excellent and we were taken to the major attractions with a brilliant French lady who made the tour fun and interesting. Now for the terrifying part! We had been taken ashore on tender boats in the morning so after waiting 45 minutes in the boiling hot sun with no shade and nowhere to sit we eventually got on our tender boat to return to the ship and we we left the port the tender started to roll all over the place as the wind picked up and the sea was going right over the front of the tender, it gradually got worse and worse and one poor man became very seasick he was told to sit down as it was so dangerous on the boat and was passed a lot of bags. By this time people were panicking and one lady nearly passed out while another was being seasick. I was really frightened because the boat was rocking so much I could see even the tender pilot looked worried. We were stuck on the tender for an hour rocking and rolling and when they tried to bring it along side the ship it kept smashing into the platform where you get off. It took three strong men to help each person off by literally hauling them o to the ship incase they fell into the sea. Ours was once of the last tenders to actually make it to the ship after that the Captain halted the rest and left over a thousand guests on the shore in Monaco! Luckily later that evening we were able to put down ancho in Villefranche which had a calmer bay and all the rest of the guests got on tenders after being coached there and finally onto the ship late into the evening. People were exhausted and some had missed their medicine which was on the ship. This has completely put us off of ever going on a tender boat again. I don't often get freighted but that was very scary indeed! The overall view of the ship is that it offered a good variety of bars cafes theatre and restaurants and had good areas on deck to sit out on. The swimming pools were nice and big with one covered if it was cooler like when we left Southampton. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Started cruise in Basel, Switzerland. Side trip to Lucerne Switzerland the day before by taking a one hour train ride from city center, easy and further the time. Took a cruise across the lake and then a tram to top of Mt Pilatus, great ... Read More
Started cruise in Basel, Switzerland. Side trip to Lucerne Switzerland the day before by taking a one hour train ride from city center, easy and further the time. Took a cruise across the lake and then a tram to top of Mt Pilatus, great experience. Both citiies fun to explore. The market areas in Basel are very nice. The staff of the Amadante very welcoming and always smiling. They all appear to enjoy people and their jobs. The crew manager Edward fantastic. He planned so much and took care of everyone’s questions or needs. The chef and dining room staff was amazing. Great history lessons about the towns and Germany from friendly tour guides on every excursion. Visited beautiful towns and tasted delicious things on culinary excursions and on our own. Met great people from around the world. We appreciated the smaller intimate number of cruisers on this size ship. It makes it inviting to create friendships. This was our first river cruise and it exceeded expectations. Interested in doing another river cruise on a future vacation. Ken and Cathy Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I chose Amawaterways because of their solo cabins w/ a french balcony. I removed a star because this was a wine themed cruise and i spoke w/ ama 3x and the reps did not mention this. i do not drink, therefore, i did not attend the 3 ... Read More
I chose Amawaterways because of their solo cabins w/ a french balcony. I removed a star because this was a wine themed cruise and i spoke w/ ama 3x and the reps did not mention this. i do not drink, therefore, i did not attend the 3 enrichment lectures all focused on wine. there was also a wine pairing dinner lost on me. in addition, most shore excursions ended in wine tasting. the last day in Paris only offered a visit to a wine museum. i felt strongly that i was on the wrong cruise. i usually cruise w/ uniworld so i was not expecting luxury and there were no Murano glass chandeliers. however, the service was equal, therefore, outstanding. my cabin stewardess quickly caught on that i went for breakfast at 7 am and cleaned my cabin then. she replenished the body products daily. i always refuse turndown service because i am diabetic and can not eat chocolate, but i was pleased w/ her service. she spoke limited english so i didn't have to chat which for me, as an introvert, was a bonus. i appreciated returning from breakfast to a clean cabin as if by magic. Valentine and Anton, in the dining room, were friendly, but not intrusive. i do not communicate before my morning coffee and again they quickly caught on to my dietary requirements and left me alone at breakfast. as a diabetic, i eat every 3 hrs., therefore, valentine always asked what i would like for my evening snack when he took my dinner order. all the waiters let me order double portions of vegtables. i ordered veggies from one item and the fish entree from another. i am well aware my dietary habits r wierd and appreciated their flexibility. the food was 5 star dining. all river cruises have a coffee machine in the bar, but i have never encountered coffee that was better tasting from the machine, than in the dining room. several cruisers and i marveled at this phenomenon. it was GOOD coffee. ama offers several options for shore excursions, although found it odd that passengers had to book excursions before the cruise. the cruise director, john, was competent. i was surprised a cruise in Normandy didn't offer an excursion to the Bayeux tapestry. .if i had not cruised to Normandy before w/ uniworld and seen the tapestry i wouldn't have taken this cruise. details make a cruise great. i was surprised to find ama had sent a thank u post card when i returned home. also, ama supplies postcards, stamps and mails them free. bonus. my grandchildren luv getting postcards they chagre for stamps if u send a postcard u have purchased. best of all, the postcards arrive. i mailed postcards from Hawaii that never arrived. i also appreciated the stretch classes and yoga. ocean cruises charge extra for yoga. i would cruise amaway again, despite the fact that i resent not being told this was a wine cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
husband and i got there early after staying in a hotel over night so had to be out by 10am so drove to ab parking great start took cases off and walked 1 minute to ship for our second cruise with rc ,embarking early as 10.40 am very ... Read More
husband and i got there early after staying in a hotel over night so had to be out by 10am so drove to ab parking great start took cases off and walked 1 minute to ship for our second cruise with rc ,embarking early as 10.40 am very smooth early signs ship looks very tired but had a lovely time cabin was 1888 the last cabin on the ship on the 12th floor very roomy balcony cabin everywhere clean lovely sheets very crisp ate in main dining room 10 out of 14 nights had my time dining beautiful food but slow at serving as they have a lot of tables to do but well worth it, ate breakfast some mornings on deck 3 in mdr as its help yourself which is fine, windjammer is lovely help yourselves lovely breakfast just wish they had trays so you could carry a few items at once, but finding a seat is pot luck its all about timing as to what time you go have to work out but views are lovely in there and presentation of food is great , shows are not to bad but not go wow factor, ice show is lovely well worth a look ,bingo some afternoons by pool and in star lounge of an evening ,plenty childrens karioke too much , went to meet and mingle on second day won shopping bag and baseball cap on raffle only about 30 came shame really as over 100 signed up, activities was good played crazy golf couple of times watched flow rider which was very good .casino was good very friendly, met plenty of friends on board mainly in smoking area on deck 11 also deck 4 otherwise you dont really meet the same people twice if you dont smoke ,we used adult pool and adult spar pools never over crowded pool very cool sea water some times a bit green but attendent said it was fine but ok daytime entertainment was hit and miss but theres a lot of everything for everyone read cruise planner that get delivered to your room every night tick off what suits you otherwise you miss things , bars are good quick serving you ,cabin steward yan was lovely cleaning all the time replacing tea and coffee all the time making towel animals every other night, staff are all chatty can not do enough for you nothing is too much trouble for any of them went on a few trips with rc and done our own thing on other stops ,great to sit on balcony with a drink and just look out at sea now for moans our room on deck 12 was lovely overall but during the night the cleaners are scraping sun loungers and chairs up on deck 13 waking us up so i would not go back to deck 12 again but would use rc again Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise as keen fans of 'Strictly' and had been on the Britannia last year on a similar cruise. Food was good usual standard for P&O. We had freedom dinning and ate mainly in the Peninsular. Good ... Read More
We chose this cruise as keen fans of 'Strictly' and had been on the Britannia last year on a similar cruise. Food was good usual standard for P&O. We had freedom dinning and ate mainly in the Peninsular. Good service...friendly staff. We ate one night in the Epicurean...well worth the £28pp cover charge. Good for a special evening and we celebrated a birthday. Maitre de was a little grumpy all other staff excellent. Cabin was R708 deck 14..sheltered balcony so not for sun bathers. No noise issues however we heard ppl on the other side had complaints. We heard that sadly a crew member died on board 'no suspicious circumstances' as announced by the captain. However a team flew out from the UK to support the crew. We also had to make a detour on the return journey due to a medical emergency. We've never known a ship with so many issues and kept looking for the albatross. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
For this cruise the Silhouette was chartered by the Australian company that has many times organised similar cruises “down under” and it was the first time, I believe, that they had ventured into British and European waters. This ... Read More
For this cruise the Silhouette was chartered by the Australian company that has many times organised similar cruises “down under” and it was the first time, I believe, that they had ventured into British and European waters. This cruise featured Katherine Jenkins, Alfie Boe and Wynne Evans (of “Go Compare” fame) as well as the Celtic Tenors and many of Australia’s talents, onboard. We saw the cruise advertised over a year ago and decided to treat ourselves, particularly as we were also going on the Baltic cruise on the Silhouette which was to leave Southampton on 26th May. This was a wonderful holiday and a great experience. We booked early as we were sure that it would sell out quickly, as I think it must do in Australia. However this was not the case with this cruise and prices plummeted drastically, before the majority of the cabins could be sold. I understand that the company made a loss, which was rumoured at two and a half million pounds. Whatever the company lost I am sure that lessons have been learnt by it. For us, it was not to book so early next time, and for Bravo I feel that possibly the itinerary had much to do with it, with Cherbourg, Vigo and Bilbao collectively perhaps not the ideal destinations for a week’s cruise at the prices originally quoted, and maybe they overestimated the likely interest in this type of music. In our case, we decided not to grieve over the fact that we could have got the cruise cheaper and we really had a fabulous time.. We arrived at the port on the 19th at just after 10.30 and we were on the ship by 11, sitting in the smaller of the two theatres on the Silhouette, with a glass of sparkling wine, watching the lead-up to the Royal Wedding. We had sailed on the Eclipse before, so we felt quite at home as the Silhouette is almost identical and a beautiful ship. Rooms were ready by 1pm, and our bags arrived soon afterwards. We were very happy to be onboard and looking forward to the week. There was rather a lot of of confusion about dinner seatings but I believe that these were ironed out quite quickly. Guests were given either gold, blue or grey sea pass cards and these indicated at what time they should dine and at which time their performances of the headlining acts would be. All the headlining acts for the theatre did three performances so everyone had an equal chance of seeing them according to their card colour. We had gold cards so we saw Alfie Boe on the first night in the theatre, and guests with other coloured cards could enjoy other acts performing around the ship and see Alfie the next night. We enjoyed seeing Alfie Boe, but I don’t think he was at his best that evening, he did mention onstage that he was feeling seasick. Another concern and one expressed by users of the Roll Call forum was about the Guggenheim Museum excursion, which was included at the time we booked but by the time later bookings were made, it was an extra. We were confident that we had it included but there were no tickets for it waiting for us in the cabin, so we queued up at the Bravo helpdesk to enquire, and happily we were on the list. Ours was in the morning and included a tour by coach around Bilbao escorted by a very interesting, informative and endearingly eccentric guide, and then a look around the museum. Most of the exhibits we found not to our taste, but the building was worth a visit; I managed to get a top-up for my glass of Cava at the reception and then staggered back to the coach having enjoyed the trip overall. We were very impressed by the Australian talent onboard, including Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Henry Choo, Mark Vincent, who was a winner of Australia’s got talent some years ago, and Mirusia, a soprano who used to perform with Andre Rieu, and very accomplished. Mirusia surely should have been given more prominence, but for some reason she was not on the list that was placed in our cabin on the first day detailing the headliners and times and days they would appear in the theatre. Some other cruisers I spoke to even thought she had gone home so clearly the information going around was not adequate. It would have been helpful, for planning purposes, if we had been provided with a schedule of everything that was going on around the ship for the whole week, instead of being informed day by day. Some of the acts were performed in areas with very limited seating and standing room only and it was often not practical to go from one act to the next as one often needed to be early to get a place. Therefore a week’s overview would have helped here in order to try and see everything if that is what you wanted to do. Katherine appeared towards the end of the week, and was brilliant. We were at her first performance following the birth of her baby. She received rapturous applause and ovation and I was quite touched by the humble way she received this, almost in tears as if she genuinely was not expecting it. There were other performers and musicians too numerous to mention here and an onboard choir led by Jonathan Welch, who has formed choirs in Australia for people who have been disadvantaged in their lives. We both attended the first rehearsal, and Norman carried on with it, and enjoyed it although it seemed somehow not very well organised (the accompanist did not turn up on time for the first practice and did not seem to know what he was doing) and the rehearsals seemed to be a bit rushed because of other things going on. One of our favourite acts were the Stomping Ivories, consisting of two hat wearing piano players and a drummer. They played all different kinds of music, appealed to all ages, and some of the time seemed to be making up the act as they went along, in a very spontaneous style, entertaining and all part of their charm. We also very much enjoyed hearing Jiaxin Lloyd Webber perform on the cello with her accompanist, Pamela Chauhan who used to accompany Julian Lloyd Webber in the past. It is unusual I believe to see a really accomplished female pianist on stage, and we had the treat of hearing Julian performing with them for a short piece even though he does not perform much nowadays due to a neck injury. Unfortunately we missed out on a talk that he gave. I and my husband had a wonderful time on this cruise and have some lovely and enduring memories of it. It had a lovely international clientele which is part of the enjoyment of a Celebrity cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We booked this charter cruise via Voyage Privee at an amazing price. The lead prices were over the top and it looks like they had to be drastically reduced in order to fill cabins. Cruiseco, the charter company, really need to do their ... Read More
We booked this charter cruise via Voyage Privee at an amazing price. The lead prices were over the top and it looks like they had to be drastically reduced in order to fill cabins. Cruiseco, the charter company, really need to do their homework on pricing if they intend chartering ships out of the UK again. They also need to make sure that all agents have it available, as they seemed to be quite selective as to which agents they chose. We initially booked the cheapest inside cabin but were extremely happy to find that, when our documents were emailed to us, we had been given a balcony cabin! Quite a treat. We found our cabin to be of a good size and very well presented and clean. Our stewart did a great job every day and the towel sculptures made us smile! Embarkiation was relatively smooth, although there were very long queues at Southampton. However, once on board, everything went well. We chose to self disembark and had no problem in that regard. We absolutely loved everything about this cruise. The ships was great, all staff fantastic, food great too. We took the drinks package and felt it was well worth it. The choice of premium drinks on board is huge. There were 3 ports of call: Bilbao, Vigo and Lisbon. We had visited Bilbao before, so didn't venture into town on this occasion. Vigo seemed pretty small and we walked around and did our own thing. Lisbon was by far our favourite port, where we had booked a walking tour (independently). This was a fantastic way to the see the city and we plan on returning in the future to spend a few days here. Although we had freedom dining, we only ever ate in the buffet which served a fantastic choice of well cooked dishes. We were always extremely satisfied with the offering and couldn't find much to complain about. However, we did learn very quickly on the first day not to visit the buffet at 1 p.m. (peak time) as you will struggle for somewhere to sit. I guess this was made worse by the formal dining rooms not serving lunches during this cruise. As expected, the entertainment was wonderful and the atmosphere on board superb. We really hope that more cruises of this nature will be scheduled in the future, as we would jump at the chance to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
It was a cruise of misinformation. I(and MANY) and others feel as if we were on a practice cruise. Staff could NOT answer simple questions such as... where is an ATM, a bank, a place to exchange money., what do I do when I disembark ... Read More
It was a cruise of misinformation. I(and MANY) and others feel as if we were on a practice cruise. Staff could NOT answer simple questions such as... where is an ATM, a bank, a place to exchange money., what do I do when I disembark tomorrow, et.al..While overall the staff was VERY nice, friendly(as expected) the dining room staff seemed to be new/in training. Food was VERY inconsistent in the dining room. Example: prime rib, While VERY tasty, most of it was all fat.Lamb one night was very good;the next it was mutton/gamy There was no theme/logic to the food choices. This was a British Isle cruise. Only once was a native/regional dish served. Otherwise the choices might be German, Italian and Asian or a mix of something else on another night. It was as if the chef was cleaning out the freezer and just happened to serve whatever defrosted that day..Buffet breakfasts were consistently good. Disembarking was a nightmare. NCL only cared about the people who bought NCL excursions.Times advertised on land were ONLY for NCL excursions. Also we were never informed about what to expect/procedures once we got off the ship Frequently there were long walks to public transportation which involved unexpected lengthy trips(and costly).Once they let us off the ship early(8 A.M.) in a port that did not open until 10 A.M.. We were not even given a weather forecast for the next day;instead we were given the average temperature for that time of the year. I met MANY angry, disappointed passengers. One day the ship made a mistake of holding back non NCL excursion people for a good half hour and of course we all complained among-st ourselves. I would rate my overall experience 6.5. Like "they" say, when God gives you lemons make lemonade. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
i am just back from Carnival Horizon ship. this is my fourth cruise with Carnival and the ship is amazing. the atmosphere was so happy and cool, the service all over the ship was fantastic, food was great in the buffet as well as in ... Read More
i am just back from Carnival Horizon ship. this is my fourth cruise with Carnival and the ship is amazing. the atmosphere was so happy and cool, the service all over the ship was fantastic, food was great in the buffet as well as in the beautiful dining room. also recommnded to eat at Bonsai, we had a great time there and definitely go to the pig & anchor pub which offers 4 kinds of homemade draft beers. the rooms are large and bright, the casino was big and very active and fun was all over including the shows and the comdian which i highly recommend to go at least one night. the hamburgers are big wow!! the ice cream is unforgettable ... i didn't sail with kids but i saw so many features that they will love! skyride, waterslides, video games, IMAX and many more. well done to Carnival! it's definitely best value for money !!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My husband and I have always sailed Carnival, and this was one of the few Carnival cruises to port in Europe. Let me start by saying overall I had fun not enough to justify the cost of this vacation and not enough to recommend it to other ... Read More
My husband and I have always sailed Carnival, and this was one of the few Carnival cruises to port in Europe. Let me start by saying overall I had fun not enough to justify the cost of this vacation and not enough to recommend it to other people. I had many friends on the ship who disagreed with my assessment. Here's what I think happened... Carnival doesn't usually sail in the Mediterranean so it probably won't be a problem for most people, but I feel like cruising is not the best way to experience Europe. We stopped in Sardinia, Florence/Pisa, Rome, and Naples (Italy), and Marseille (France), and we sailed from Barcelona, Spain. Most of our stops were not close to our actual destination and required a long bus ride (1-2 hrs) to reach the points of interest... Which left less time to explore and made for longer excursions. We only had one day at sea which was at the beginning of the cruise so all of our really long excursions were back to back. We were so tired by the time we reached our last stop that we actually skipped the expensive excursion we had already paid for. We just couldn't do another full day starting at 5:30 am (that's how early we had to get up to get ready, eat breakfast, and get to the meeting point in time for the excursion to start.) Plus, we were constantly rushing on and off the ship. On the excursions we were running to cram in as much of the sights as possible or to keep up with the tour group. I feel like we didn't have nearly enough time to really see anything Europe has to offer, which is A LOT. On the ship we were rushing to make it to some meal before the restaurant closed, or to some show, or to some other activity before they closed. Which brings me to my next point - I can't understand why Carnival had so many things closed so much of the time. It seemed like every time I turned around something that I wanted to do was closed and there didn't seem to be a good reason. On our last day on the ship we found only one of the four whirlpools on the ship was open. We had to wander around for twenty minutes looking for it. We did a lot of that - wandering around the ship looking for something that was open. I purchased the bottomless bubbles (soda) package which means you are supposed to be able to get free unlimited soda any time of day or night. I paid a lot for it. But there are so many catches... for one- you can only get a soda at one of the official bars (does not include the coffee shop or theater), which means yiu have to wait in line, there are no soda fountains. Second, you can only get a soda in a glass, (no cans) and only one at a time. So you can't use your bottomless bubbles to stock your in-room fridge. Last and most frustrating of all, not all of the bars are open at all times and not even the same times from day to day. Which means you have to wander around the ship all day and night searching for a bar that is open, or you need to constantly have your nose in a schedule trying to figure out which bar is open at that time that you happen to be thirsty. Most bars close at 11 or 12 at night and don't open again until 6 or 8 the next morning. If you want a soda between those times you have to go to the casino bar. If you're a non-smoker like me this can be exceedingly frustrating because the casino is a smoking area. You'll have to wade through the clouds of smoke to get a soda. I'm not complaining about the smoking, I'm complaining about the fact that the only bar open is in a smoking area. That's not very inclusive for people who don't smoke, and there doesn't seem to be a good reason for it considering there has to be at least 15 bars on the ship. Another example is the main buffet restaurant. During the day the buffet is almost always open, but only half of it... which makes for bigger crowds and longer lines. Why, Carnival? That's the main eating area, it's the busiest restaurant on the ship... seems like a really bad idea to keep half of it closed all the time. And if you want to eat between 12 and 6 am (hey, I'm on vacation... I'm allowed to eat late) the only restaurant open is the pizza place... Which will probably be packed since it's the only option. Or you can get free soft serve ice cream (If you can find a machine that isn't out). So basically late night entertainment and food is QUITE slim on this ship. Sometimes they have a night club open if you like that kind of thing... But I don't know if they have food. For those people who have babies and children under 2 yrs of age (there are a few of us at least) they do have a babysitting option but there are a lot of catches. It costs extra, of course but it's quite reasonable in my opinion. (6.75 per hour plus 15% gratuity). They only take babies 6 months to 2 yrs old at night from 10pm to 1am, and then in the mornings at different times depending on the day. Most days for us it was 6:30am to 12pm. That's a lot of hours but you have to work around the excursions you planned and the opening hours for all the activities on the ship. I felt like most of what I wanted to do was closed during most of those hours - not all of thise hours, and not everything. I did have a few small windows to take advantage of the baby sitting service but it took careful planning, and a lot of rushing, again. And one of those times was during the time I would have been on an excursion had I not been too tired. So I basically traded an excursion for a little bit of fun on the ship. So just be aware if you have babies. Lastly, the elevators. I don't know what they have done to the elevator system but I didn't meet one person on the ship who wasn't disappointed or angry with it. They have some kind of smart technology or poorly designed algorithm controlling the elevators. In the middle of the ship they have 6 elevators but I could only ever get 2 to work at a time. This meant you had to wait a long time for an elevator and sometimes it would be so full you had to push the button again and wait for the next one, or even the next one after that. I waited for 10 minutes for an elevator more than once on my cruise. Doesn't sound like a long time but when you're standing there doing nothing and you're in a hurry, AND there are 4 other elevators doing nothing at all... It gets frustrating. You can take the stairs but if you're on deck 3 and you want to get to deck 10 - who wants to climb 7 flights of stairs every day? This says nothing about people who don't even have that as an option. (Wheelchairs and strollers?!?) Another complaint I have is the amount of entertainment and food that costs extra now. Is it just me, or has Carnival started charging for a great many more things that used to be included? And it could have been my frustration clouding my judgment, but it seemed like the activities and food options that are included are closed more often than those things you pay extra for. I felt like a lot of the free "entertainment" was a sales pitch in disguise to get you to spend more money. There were faaaaar too many spa demonstrations and not enough live shows on the itinerary. The shopping was quite limited on the ship. A lot of expensive jewelry and watches, and not enough souvnire type shops. I was dissapointed. I really liked carnivals new candy shop, however. That was a fun place to go. I spent a lot of money on souvenirs for my children there. Another thing I really enjoyed was the service. Carnival always employs the hardest working and the friendliest people. I give them 5 stars for service. Also, the ship is always immaculate. There were never a shortage of clean tables to sit at in the main dining area (unless the dining area was straight up full - which didn't happen very often.) I loved the water slides, the sports square, and the skyride. The sky ride is soooo fun. You must try it if you cruise on the horizon or Vista. The sky course looked like a lot of fun too but I never got to try it. (I had a baby with me.) The ship is beautifully decirated as well. I loved my cabin which was just the right size. (A regular balcony room.) I love the addition if the mini fridge in the room. I also really appreciated the new hand washing machines in the main dining area. Those things were so cool and convenient. Overall, I had fun on this ship but it was very expensive and I feel like we could have gotten a much better value for our money if Canival had planned things just a little bit better. For that reason I do not recommend this ship to other people (especially families, people who don't drink or have conservative taste in shows and entertainment, or those with disabilities) and we probably won't sail with Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Hello All, Well I must admit that was one of the quickest embarkations I’ve ever had. Arrived at the Ocean terminal at 12noon and in the arrivals lounge on the ship by 12:15pm sipping on a lovely glass of wine (even better when it’s ... Read More
Hello All, Well I must admit that was one of the quickest embarkations I’ve ever had. Arrived at the Ocean terminal at 12noon and in the arrivals lounge on the ship by 12:15pm sipping on a lovely glass of wine (even better when it’s free haha) and munching on the wonderful buffet. We were staying in cabin L106 (Valetta Suite) right at the front of the ship next to the bridge. We'd only been in the cabin 15 minutes and it was superb, couldn’t fault it (especially for the price we paid - nothing like a good bargain) awesome wrap around balcony, I prefer the aft suites myself but this is certainly much better than I expected as I was told the balcony was rather exposed but the views and size is brilliant. The food, service, entertainment and staff were absolutely outstanding as always. I can honestly say the food in the main dining room in which we dined every night on second sitting 8:30 - ‘Bay tree’ was some of the best I’ve ever tasted. The shows we saw from the headliners theatre company, The Brit Tones, and The Freddie Mercury tribute act were again some of the best I’ve ever seen at sea. We Met some fantastic people throughout the cruise as always, in our section of the restaurant there was 6 tables of two - by the third night of the cruise they had turned into 2 x 6 seated tables - it just goes to show how great friendships are formed on cruises combined with the outstanding service and food provided by the amazing staff on-board. We even had our own little cabin party with our new friends, fantastic. The weather we had (as most of you saw from my previous posts) was unbelievable for the middle/end of November.... an average of 20 degrees throughout!! Very lucky indeed, combine this with the fantastic prices of cruises in Oct/Nov/Dec you really can't fault it. We visited ; Lisbon, Valencia, Alicante, Gibraltar and Cadiz. I must recommend one thing that you must do - we paid £25 for the galley tour! WOW WOW WOW! Unbelievable, the attention to detail, the team work and HARD WORK, that all the staff give every day was shown first hand in this tour. A glass of champagne and a glass of wine, plus a 3 course buffet (all you can eat) of some of the finest food I’ve ever tasted was included. Watching the chefs cooking, the waiters doing the food and taking the orders and how it’s all processed and even down to the cleaning and food wastage was simply outstanding. I have never seen such a clean kitchen in all my life. A must do tour , worth every penny and more! We also participated in wine tasting with Olly Smith which was also fantastic- too much wine of course!! A brilliant chap who really does know a thing or two about wine and makes everyone feel welcome. There has been little changes made to glass house menu, the epicurean and the beach house which is being introduced across all the ships soon. For the first time we are doing a back to back cruise (11 nights followed by 3 nights) only because our cruise on Oceana has been cancelled in December as some of you may have seen my previous post about them offering an extra night for free if we could sail on these specific dates, we were Lucky enough to say yes so in other words we’ve had a 14 night cruise instead of an 11 night one and a free night from turning our cancelled 2 night cruise into a 3 night cruise. Can’t complain about that right?! Turnover Day (passengers in transit as the ships company call it) Well, I literally can’t commend them enough.... that’s all we had to do was pack our valuable personal belongings, leave all the cases and all the clothes (which were on hangers) and in the morning it would all be transferred to our new cabin.... that’s all we had to do was get up, leave the cabin by 8am, lounge around the ship or go off if we wanted to and our new cruise cards were waiting at reception at 8am. Now, how can you fault that hey? I certainly would recommend a back-to-back cruise with P&O for anyone who might be thinking about it, it really couldn't have been any easier.... although if you are lucky enough to be able to stay in the same cabin then it would be even easier.... you wouldn't have to do anything haha. It’s very weird being one of the only few people on this ship currently on turn around day haha. Onto the next cruise and the Christmas markets in Bruges - I think it’s going to be a bit colder than the last two weeks !! Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We have just returned from a 6 day cruise on board the Magellan. When we arrived, we found the staff really helpful and friendly and within 20 minutes of checking in, we were on board the ship. We had a Seaview cabin on the 7th deck, which ... Read More
We have just returned from a 6 day cruise on board the Magellan. When we arrived, we found the staff really helpful and friendly and within 20 minutes of checking in, we were on board the ship. We had a Seaview cabin on the 7th deck, which was more than adequate for our needs. The walk in shower was a good size and the bed comfortable. The cabin steward was excellent, keeping our room clean and provided guidance and assistance throughout the cruise. We found all of the restaurants clean and well presented, with a good and ample selection of food. Our evening meal was in the Kensington. Due to health problems, I am often restricted with what I can eat. Maryo was so helpful each day ensuring that my diet was catered for. Something I really appreciated as he didn't make me feel a nuisance. All in all we found the whole experience on board a pleasure and we would definitely recommend the holiday to others. We have already booked for 13 of our friends to join us on board for a Christmas overnight stay. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Normandy (and Paris) have been on our must see list for some time. This presented the perfect opportunity to check off one more on the bucket list. Some free time in Paris and a day trip to Normandy were exactly what we was needed, ... Read More
Normandy (and Paris) have been on our must see list for some time. This presented the perfect opportunity to check off one more on the bucket list. Some free time in Paris and a day trip to Normandy were exactly what we was needed, although I must say, more time is needed to explore the museums and sites of the Normandy beaches. The overall cruise was wonderful with excellent service and delicious on board meals. Alexie, our primary waiter, was extremely efficient and very entertaining! The Viking Rolf was well appointed and very comfortable. Our French Balcony state room served us well and had everything needed for a comfortable night's rest. This particular river cruise did not showcase a great amount of river cruising, which was fine. We therefore had more time in various ports that provided the opportunity for additional local exploration, as well as some very enlightening shore excursions. Highly recommend! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We have travelled with Uniworld on other cruises and had found them very good. The Douro Valley was on our 'must do' list. Both the cruise and the ship exceeded expectations. Although the usual things ( mentioned below) met ... Read More
We have travelled with Uniworld on other cruises and had found them very good. The Douro Valley was on our 'must do' list. Both the cruise and the ship exceeded expectations. Although the usual things ( mentioned below) met expectations it was the attitude of the staff on board and on arranged tours that made the trip very special. The staff were more than just friendly and helpful - they were an integral part of the experience. Their humour alone was worth the trip. Shore excursions were effortless and enjoyable, the scenery along the way was magnificant. Were held a professional conference on board for 80 delegates and although the ship was not designed for conferencing the ships crew did everything necessary to facilitate the smooth running of our conference including the rearranging of furniture and the set up of conference facilities daily, rescheduling tours, meals and events to accommodate conference sessions. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We are fortunate to travel every few months all over the world and try many different cruises and travel experiences. To date we have been on Princess, Holland America, Azamara, Celebrity, Carnival, Crystal and many other ocean and river ... Read More
We are fortunate to travel every few months all over the world and try many different cruises and travel experiences. To date we have been on Princess, Holland America, Azamara, Celebrity, Carnival, Crystal and many other ocean and river cruises. This was our first time on Cunard (sailing) and we were excited to experience this legendary 175 year old company. Well the excitement ended not too long after boarding when it was very evident that the crew on Queen Elizabeth was not in a good place. The service was distant and cool to a point that a number of previous reviews have mentioned, it is almost a level of disinterest. I even had a conversation with one of the staff in the Lido to try to ascertain if this aloof service was a directive from the ship or a result of long term interaction with the passengers, many of whom were not too friendly either. It was hard to get a decent answer that could be shared here clearly. The two areas that were good were the decor and the food in Britannia Restaurant. The meals were tasty and most entrees quite nice. The Lido Alternative ($17.50 pp) was also very good with nice service. Having been cruising for 26 years, I would highly suggest you direct your hard earned pennies somewhere else, our Trans-Atlantic cruise on Brilliance of the Seas two months earlier blew this right out of the water in both service, entertainment and positive energy. With so many stellar ships and cruise lines out there, don't pay a premium for an average experience and that is what is offered by the Queen Elizabeth. It's a true shame. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
They met us at the airport, led us to the bus taking us to the port. We had not one minute to worry about anything. The ship was clean, the food was good, and the staff were wonderful. From the Captain, Hotel Director, Cruise Director ... Read More
They met us at the airport, led us to the bus taking us to the port. We had not one minute to worry about anything. The ship was clean, the food was good, and the staff were wonderful. From the Captain, Hotel Director, Cruise Director to the kitchen staff--they were wonderful. They met every request with a smile. Our cabin was always and promptly cleaned. We enjoyed all the shore excursions. In fact, most days we did both morning and afternoon tours. The end of the tour, they got us to their staff at the airport, and the staff walked us wherever we needed to go and offered to stay with us through each step. We came home happy and relaxed--like you should be after a vacation. Would we go again? You bet. We are already looking at other Ama cruises and are excited to find many places we'd like to see. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
10 of us went as a group for a 3 day break , time away from children , grandchildren , nagging partners and husbands :) We arrived at Southampton and was whisked through security and passport control at such a speed, so different from ... Read More
10 of us went as a group for a 3 day break , time away from children , grandchildren , nagging partners and husbands :) We arrived at Southampton and was whisked through security and passport control at such a speed, so different from airports. before we knew it we were onboard ! The staff are lovely and very friendly. Room had window with restricted views ( lifeboat outside ) Very clean and pleasant. Top tip adjust your temp control to suit you ( i froze the first night ! ) warm as toast once i realised. Food is top class in the buffet . The two other places to eat included in the price were fab. Black tie was great we all enjoyed dressing up. We decided to eat at the beach house on the last night , we paid the extra as my sister and i fancied the ribs , they looked fab . Tasted awful :( everything tasted of pine and lemon toilet cleaner ! we couldn't eat them at all ! others meals looked fab . The nightclub was great fun and didnt close till the last person left. We enjoyed the quizes in the afternoon. The drinks are pretty much the same as pub prices . You can go to reception and get a tally of what you have spent at any time.. All in all a great time and a great taster cruise . Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Going on to the Ship was like walking through a line of sales people trying to sell you drink packages restaurant's spas it was terrible. Lunch there were not seat for 1 hour between 2pm and 3pm we had a party of 6 and could never get ... Read More
Going on to the Ship was like walking through a line of sales people trying to sell you drink packages restaurant's spas it was terrible. Lunch there were not seat for 1 hour between 2pm and 3pm we had a party of 6 and could never get a table together the staff waiter were no were to be seen.There were tables of Drinks every were no waiters going about the staff at the Pulsars office were the worst we seen at sea terrible given wrong info very rude to customer. Dinning the first night 44min in a queue the our table was taken by 6 other guests everyone was squashed in like sardines the waiters have no room to move and again not helpful we moved up to the dining up the stairs it got worse the wine list they 3 bottles of red we were told the wine store was closed for the night and it was to far a way to go and get the wine we would like or they were sold out the food was returned twice the bill was all wrong worst company at sea. We then moved through to the bar and ask for Brandy we have no Brandy Sir what's happening, the staff got all the drinks cards wrong and lost mine At the Pulsars office they did not want to know about things that were not going well we did speak to a Manager would said they would fix the bill etc never happened Celebrity have went down hill very fast is a lets make money out of customer with no Customer services The pulsars told me we were not allowed back on any of there as ships great news cancelled my cruise next march out of USA Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
As travel agent, always interested in personal experience to better sell the product. From almost 40 cruises taken, I consider this cruise the BEST! The itinerary, the activities on the ship, the eating and drinking venues! My only ... Read More
As travel agent, always interested in personal experience to better sell the product. From almost 40 cruises taken, I consider this cruise the BEST! The itinerary, the activities on the ship, the eating and drinking venues! My only regret was not having enough time to try more dining options and more activities! Closed down the Havana Club every night, loved the IMAX, acquired a taste for martinis at the Alchemy Bar!!! Steakhouse dining was the BEST! Buy's hamburgers were amazing! Skyride was awesome! I really liked the idea of having different breakfast options without having to fight the crowds in the Lido Deck. The Havana Club was VERY cool!I was disappointed with the clam chowder, but the main dining room food was good. I was not able to try the conk fritters. I was disappointed with the cake and brownies in the Bake Shop, but I waited for the freshly-baked chocolate cookies every afternoon. I would sail again and not go ashore where I've visited previously so I can enjoy the ship! LOVED IT! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Our trip was a work promotion and it couldn't have been better. We'd never been on a such a vacation--ocean or river--before and couldn't be more pleased. The Visionary was terrific, the crew warm and accommodating. The ... Read More
Our trip was a work promotion and it couldn't have been better. We'd never been on a such a vacation--ocean or river--before and couldn't be more pleased. The Visionary was terrific, the crew warm and accommodating. The dinner service left us wanting for nothing, as the offerings each meal were fresh, new and creative. Our cabin was spacious, warm, modern, clean and comfortable with plenty of space. The view outside our glassed doors was magical as we got to watch Austria pass by. The shore trips arranged for us were great, allowing enough time to be with a guide AND to explore on our own. I would gladly recommend such a cruise to anyone looking for the pleasure of water travel as well as the chance to explore on dry land. Even though our vacation was technically "work", our trip down the Danube was a vacation my wife and I will never forget. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Hello. Last year I had the pleasure of going on my first ever cruise. This was on P&O Britannia for two weeks sailing around the Mediterranean to and from Southampton. The ports of call were Cadiz, Barcelona, Livorno, Civitavecchia, ... Read More
Hello. Last year I had the pleasure of going on my first ever cruise. This was on P&O Britannia for two weeks sailing around the Mediterranean to and from Southampton. The ports of call were Cadiz, Barcelona, Livorno, Civitavecchia, Cartagena and St. Peter Port in Guernsey. We were originally meant to go to Gibraltar instead of Guernsey but a few months before the cruise this got cancelled and changed to Guernsey by P&O. We were also meant to go to Monte Carlo after Barcelona but due to poor weather conditions we couldn't dock there and it would have been unsafe for the tenders. As compensation we stayed overnight in Barcelona and were allowed to go out in to Barcelona for the evening if we wished (we didn't). Before I give my review I will give a brief background into who I went with and the reason why. I went with my Husband, my Mother-in-Law and Father-in-Law. This cruise was booked by my in-laws for my Husband's 30th Birthday. Both my Husband and myself were 30 last year and my in-laws paid for my Husband for his Birthday and my Husband paid for me for my Birthday. As I previously said this was my first cruise, I didn't really know what to expect. My Husband did a couple of cruises as a child/teenager but nothing else since then, but my in-laws are frequent cruisers and love it. I don't wish to upset people by my next comment, but I wouldn't have particularly chosen to do a cruise if it hadn't have been booked for me. My in-laws went on the Maiden Voyage for Britannia and booked this cruise whilst they were on board. This is not me being ungrateful, quite the opposite, I couldn't be more grateful, but cruising didn't majorly appeal to me. However, I got excited and started planning things for the cruise. For Christmas 2015 I made up a cruise hamper for my in-laws for their Christmas present, which consisted of essentials needed for a cruise such as hand gel, alarm clock, extension cable, note pad, pens, highlighters, travel water bottles, laundry bag, emergency ponchos, and so much more, and draped a Union Jack flag inside it to represent Britannia. I also made up gift bags for the day we left for Southampton (we stayed overnight in a Holiday Inn in Southampton the night before the cruise as my Husband has family who live in Southampton so went to visit them as well), and that consisted of things such as sweets, a bottle of water, tissues, hand gel, a keyring made up about the cruise, and a t-shirt that I had made up for each of us on Vistaprint to wear when embarking on the ship (everyone actually wore them too and we had good comments too, which was good). It was booked 16 months beforehand, and about 2-3 months before the cruise I started to get nervous. I worried more about being ill and getting sickness. I was still excited don't get me wrong but was nervous as well, and I believe the nerves took over somewhat. Anyway, back to the cruise. We arrived in Southampton the day before and checked in to the Holiday Inn on the docks. We took advantage of the cruise and stay package, which included bed, breakfast and parking for the two weeks of the cruise, as well as taxi transfers to and from the cruise terminal. I would recommend this if anyone is thinking of staying overnight the night before their cruise and are driving down to Southampton. It meant as well that we could pack a very small overnight bag purely for the hotel in Southampton and throw all the dirty things in the boot of the car and not take them on board with us. The Holiday Inn was pretty good too, and would stay there again. The room was ok, staff were friendly and the breakfast was buffet but again ok. We checked out of the hotel around 10.30-11.00am on the morning of embarkation. We waited for our taxis to take us to the cruise terminal (I honestly didn't realise how close it was- if I had walked to the end of the hotel I would have seen the ship!). We went completely mad on luggage! For four people for a two week holiday there was a total of around 9 items of luggage, not to mention our carry on bags! This was our fault really as we took so much with us because we weren't really sure what we should take! A lesson we have learnt for future reference! We got in to the departure lounge by around 12.00pm. We sat waiting for a while then my Mother-in-Law requested assistance for boarding, so we got checked in a little quicker and was on board before 1.00pm. Checking in was relatively quick once we were allowed to go to the checking desk. We went to board the ship and as silly as this is going to sound we stepped on board and I didn't realise straight away that we were actually on board! I thought for a minute that we were in a little section between the gangway and the ship! As it was my first cruise my Husband filmed my reaction to stepping on board and I think this was the point that I didn't click on that we had actually stepped foot on to the ship! First impressions of the ship (once I realised that I was on board) were fantastic! What a beautiful ship! Britannia herself Britannia was a beautiful ship. I loved the Atrium and Starburst, the shops were good (there was a Pandora on board so I was happy!), and we loved The Live Lounge, Headliners Theatre, Brodie's, The Limelight Club and The Crow's Nest, and the entertainment that was in them. We used the quiet area on the top deck at the front of the ship for sunbathing on sea days, except for one day when we were on the Lido Deck by the main pools because it was windy and the top decks were closed off. We used the cinema, which was a nice bonus and found reception to be very helpful. Food: For food we were on Club Dining and allocated first sitting for our evening meal (6.30pm) in The Oriental Restaurant. Our waiters and wine waiter were brilliant and very accommodating. We also used The Oriental Restaurant for breakfast, which again was excellent, used the Horizon Restaurant (buffet), which was also good, room service, which was prompt and fresh, The Peninsular Restaurant a couple of lunchtimes, which again was good and went to The Limelight Club for dinner and a show (this cost £22 per person, but was worth the money). We also tried the grab and go/burger bar a couple of times, and had no problems with this, but I wasn't too impressed with the burger as it had mayonnaise on, which I don't like and didn't know until I took it back to my table, but if I knew I would of asked for one without mayonnaise and I think they would do it for me, so I'm not putting them down for this. You wont go hungry on Britannia! All waiting staff were good and the drinks staff were good around the ship. Cost wise drinks were similar to that in some pubs, maybe slightly more expensive, but not by much. Entertainment: For entertainment we used mainly Headliners Theatre, The Live Lounge (night club) and Brodie's (the pub). We loved the venues and their acts. We also used the on board cinema (I saw part of the latest Dad's Army film (I've seen before but didn't find it that good) with all the family, and my Husband and Father-in-Law went back to see (I think) X-Men Apocalypse, which they enjoyed. Pulse, who were the resident band in The Live Lounge were brilliant, as were the Britannia Show Cast who we saw in Headliners Theatre, but the one we weren't so keen on were The High Tides Duo, who were the resident duo in Brodie's. We saw Sam Bailey (X Factor winner) and Jimmy James (soul singer) in Headliners Theatre, who were both brilliant, and we saw Peter Piper (comedian) in Headliners Theatre and The Live Lounge, who I thought was brilliant and so funny. We also saw comedian and impressionist Mark Walker (Roy Walker from Catchphrase's son), who was also funny. We saw Dean Andrews in The Limelight Club who did singing, but is famous for his acting in The Last Tango in Halifax, Being Eileen, Ashes to Ashes and Life on Mars. He is definitely worth seeing, he is brilliant. He needs to make an album! We took part in the big money bingo at the end of the cruise and also went to some talks between us. Me, my Husband and my Mother-in-law went to An Audience with Captain David Pembridge, who was the captain of Britannia whilst we were on there. He was a great captain and was funny too. He made the best decisions on the ship and made us all feel welcomed as well. Whilst waiting for this talk to start there was a talk by a lady who was on Human Planet, so we caught the end of it, which was interesting, and my Husband went to another of these talks the next day and said it was good. Can't fault the entertainment on board really. Me and my Husband went to Marco Pierre White's book signing and got our photographs taken with him by the on board professional photographers. Marco had signed these as well and they were put up on display in the photo gallery for us to purchase, which we did. We went to the Captain's Gala Party on the first formal night, which was good, the first Sail Away Party, which got us in the spirit of the cruise, and the Great British Sail Away Party, which was when we were leaving Cartagena. The Captain held an additional cocktail party as compensation for not going to Monte Carlo, which we popped along to and thought was good too. My in-laws are in the Petunis Club (think that is right but please forgive the spelling!), so went along to a cocktail party for Petunis Club members, which they enjoyed, and got free Gin and Tonics! The Chef's Parade on the final but one evening was a good atmosphere (not a Baked Alaska Parade, which was stopped a few years ago), and I got to try Baked Alaska for the first time too, and enjoyed it, but didn't eat all the meringue. Spa: Me and my Mother-in-Law went to the spa on our second sea day, which happened to be the day of our first formal night. We both booked and paid for this a few months before the cruise. We both had a fire and ice pedicure with our toenails being painted at the end. My Mother-in-Law had a problem as the lady who was meant to do her treatment was sent off the ship in Southampton due to breaking her fingers and they had no replacement for her. They weren't sure whether they were getting a replacement for her, and we didn't find out if she got replaced. They managed to squeeze her in just before my treatment so we were in the room having our treatments together for part of it. The staff were good and we felt for them as they were being pushed to the limit after being one staff member down. They were friendly enough but were a bit cheeky too, which we didn't really mind as we have a laugh and a joke, but some people may not like this. We really enjoyed the treatment though, and loved the colours of our toenails. The Cookery Club: The biggest highlight for me on the cruise, taking away the ports of call/shore days was The Cookery Club. Me and my Husband were booked on to the Masterclass with Marco Pierre White, which was such an amazing experience! Marco was such a nice man, so friendly and polite, and even had a laugh with us. I was sort of dreading this because I am not a big fan of cooking and don't like handling raw meat or fish, but in the end I loved the class (I can't say the same about handling raw meat and fish though!). Everything was all prepared for us and got out at our stations for us. We got to work in pairs, so me and my Husband worked together. We had paper hats and material aprons at our workstations to wear, and as soon as we walked in and gave our names we were instructed to wash our hands first before taking a seat at the table (we were encouraged to wash our hands regularly throughout the class). We had recipe packs with what we were going to do, which Marco signed at the end when having a photograph taken by the professional photographers on board, and could take home with us to try them out at home, which we will do. There were two dishes we did in total, and Marco demonstrated one, we all tasted, then went to make it ourselves and then eat it, then the process was repeated for the second dish. The first dish was Lobster Spaghetti, which was in a tomato sauce. (I did everything until the lobster, which was pre prepared and brought out later, and let my Husband handle it with the lobster!) and the second dish was Parmesan and Saffron Infused Risotto. They both tasted delicious, but I didn't have any lobster. My recommendation with the risotto is that if you are not a massive fan of Parmesan Cheese don't use so much as I found it was too much for me. I love Parmesan Cheese but there was too much of it for me, but that is just personal taste and nothing wrong with the food. We are planning on making these dishes for friends and family (maybe substituting the lobster for king prawns due to the cost of lobster and being able to get it). The on board professional photographers came and took photographs throughout, and we were allowed to take photographs ourselves whenever we liked. The cost of this was £100 per person, but I had mine for free as compensation for P&O cancelling a chocolate class that I had booked and paid for. They called me up a day or so after I booked it to say it was cancelled and as compensation they had refunded my money and gave me the Masterclass with Marco Pierre White for free. I was so glad I did this in the end! On Shore: We did two P&O Shore Excursions each, me and my Husband did Easy Pisa and Panoramic Rome, and my in-laws did a pasta and wine trip in the Tuscan Hills I think, and went to a beach when we were in Civitavecchia. Easy Pisa was good, and involved a coach trip to Pisa, a road train to Miracle Square to see the buildings and The Leaning Tower of Pisa, then the road train again around Pisa to see the buildings before taking us back to the coach to go back to the ship. Very good, and well worth doing, especially if you have not seen The Leaning Tower of Pisa. Panoramic Rome was a coach ride around most of the famous sites (not getting off the coach), but part way through going to the Collouseum and getting off the coach for half an hour to take photographs. This was probably my favourite excursion as we saw so much, but I did enjoy Pisa to see the Leaning Tower. Drinks were expensive in Pisa, but we expected it not to be cheap. This didn't stop us from feeling shocked when a can of coke and a bottle of beer came to 10 Euros! On the rest of the shore days we did our own thing. We did the open top bus around Cadiz and Barcelona, which we enjoyed. We also went in the cathedral and tapas bar in Cadiz, visited a couple of bars and shops in Cartagena as well as popping in a local church, a bar and shops in Guernsey, and also visited the German War Museum in Guernsey too, which was interesting. We have said we would like to have a long weekend in Guernsey as it was beautiful and there were other places we would like to see such as the War Hospital. We would have liked to have spent longer in Cartagena as we had to be back on the ship by 1.30pm so didn't have a lot of time to explore the area, and would definitely like to go back to Rome to see more of places like the Trevi Fountain and The Vatican. Extras: At the end of the cruise, as is normal practice, we were given copies of the menus from the head waiter and second waiter who dealt with us on the cruise, and a copy of the ship's log in our room, which I thought were wonderful touches and the ship's log is fascinating. I loved the professional photographers and the photo gallery. I could have spent a fortune, in fact I did, but could have spent lots more than I did! I think the professional photographs are things that appeal for first time cruisers, and I especially loved it as it was seen as a once in a lifetime cruise for us and for special occasions, or for those on special occasions. I think if we cruised regularly we wouldn't have many photos if any, maybe just some celebrity or formal night ones. We had the Platinum package, which was £124.50 (or there abouts) and included a photo album, 8 event/celebrity/portrait photographs of our choice, 16 ship and location photographs of our choice and a copy of our cruise DVD. We had extra prints too. Its not cheap I know, but we wanted them for the memories, especially formal nights and the Masterclass with Marco Pierre White. If we did another cruise I don't think I'd have so many photographs and maybe not a package. The Britannia shop with the sweets, Britannia branded goodies, toiletries and medicines was not that cheap really, but most places are not cheap. The duty free places were good and I loved the jewellery and hand bag sales! Negatives: The negatives were the dirty knickers situation in my in-laws' room, but this was resolved and all was well afterwards. Mistakes happen, and I always say as much as they are a nuisance its how they rectify and handle it that matters, and they dealt with this promptly and gave them a bottle of wine as compensation, so all was good. However, I think P&O could have a fairer process with certain things. Two things in particular were The Retreat Spa area where you could pay so much for the day or so much for the whole holiday to go in a private area with separate Jacuzzis, comfortable seating, etc. We couldn't book it before going on board so went down to the Oasis Spa to book it after boarding only to be told that it was fully booked for the whole cruise. We said this was unfair as we boarded early and couldn't get in, so those boarding later had no chance. The other issue was one of the Horizon magazines that we were issued had an advertisement for a tour of the ship. This was about a week in to the cruise. My Husband went straight down to reception to enquire and book on to it only to be told again that it was fully booked and costs £77 per person. Apparently it was advertised on the TV screens, which we never saw, and I don't think other passengers did too, and reception said that passengers that cruise regularly know about it and book it as soon as they board the ship. Again, we were disappointed in this. I think for things like this when you can't book until you board the ship should only be opened for booking once all passengers board the ship to give everyone who wants to do them a fair chance to book. Ok, it may be a rush, but at least its first come first served and everyone gets the same chance. Overall: Overall I loved the cruise, and loved dressing up for formal nights too. As a first time cruiser it took a while to get used to the drunken feeling I was getting when walking around the ship (I don't drink and all I had the whole cruise was a sip of Prosecco to try and didn't like it, so can't blame alcohol!). I also found that high heels don't do you many favours in this department either! I don't think I fully got my sea legs! I didn't like the rough sea day as this was facing my biggest fear of the ship and I couldn't help but worry when announcements of rough sea days were made, but this is no fault of P&O or the ship, in fact the ship handles the sea beautifully, it is an act of God and we have no control, but with Kwells and travel bands it can be handled well. One thing that I felt a couple of times, and it kind of contradicts some of the things I said, but I felt sometimes like there was no escape. There's so much to do so you don't go bored, but I could tell we were on a ship and had no way of getting out or off (not that you would want to get out in open sea!) I told my Husband this and he said maybe two weeks was a bit too long for me, but I quite enjoyed having a two week holiday as normally I only have a week. I have done 10 days with my parents when I was younger, and maybe had two weeks once when I was younger but can't be certain, but otherwise this was the longest holiday I had. I was amazed at how many famous people were on board and how much you could do, and it felt glamorous. Would I cruise again? I think I have the bug, but I did say that I needed to recover from my moments of worrying over rough days, and if I didn't cruise it would be purely for how I cope rather than what a cruise has to offer. However, I have agreed to another cruise and last week we booked up with my in-laws again for a week's cruise to the Norwegian Fjords in August 2017, this time on P&O Azura! I'm looking forward to it, but again I'm worried about the sea! I feel happier about being in the Fjords themselves, its the getting to and from the Fjords that worries me. I'm praying for kind seas and kind weather! Thank you to my Husband and in-laws for a wonderful cruise holiday, and thank you to P&O for your excellent service and making our cruise, and also my first cruise so special. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was my first cruise as bit of a treat for my 40th. We had cabin 832 which was in the middle on bottom deck. Some other passengers had issues with not having hot water but I had no problems at all. The walls were thin so we could here ... Read More
This was my first cruise as bit of a treat for my 40th. We had cabin 832 which was in the middle on bottom deck. Some other passengers had issues with not having hot water but I had no problems at all. The walls were thin so we could here the neighbours but the beds were comfy and actually had more room than I was anticipating. As with everything on the ship it was dated but for a 30yr old this spirit is holding up pretty well and was spotless. The food was plentiful and there was a really good variety. Whilst on-board we tried the sit down restaurant and lido buffet and the food was consistently excellent. The staff were amazing. From beginning to end everyone was very friendly. Not all of the shows / entertainment options were to my taste but everything I saw was well executed and the entertainment staff worked their socks off, William in particular was a little gem. The itinerary was changed at the last minute and we were not told until we were actually on the coach just after arrival. This wasn't a problem but due to bad weather later in the trip we missed out on going to Beirut which was the destination I was looking forward to the most and instead we had 2 days in Limassol, which is not a 2 day destination but couldn't be helped. The pools were tiny which I didn't realise and were defiantly to small to swim in and didn't look very enticing, while on board I didn't see a single person using them. On the whole I had a great time and will defiantly be cruising again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My wife and myself booked this cruise back in the summer as we wanted to get away for christmas, and having previously cruised on CMV Marco Polo round Britain this year and enjoyed it we thought we would try the flagship, BUT what a ... Read More
My wife and myself booked this cruise back in the summer as we wanted to get away for christmas, and having previously cruised on CMV Marco Polo round Britain this year and enjoyed it we thought we would try the flagship, BUT what a difference a ship makes. We departed Tilbury 21/12/2015, and hadnt been underway 5 minutes when the Captain came on and said due to bad weather we were having to sail to Antwerp to avoid the worst of the weather I found that strange as my iphone app shipping forecast was giving the next day as the best weather of the week in the channel. HOWEVER if the Captain says thats the way it is fair enough. But as he pointed out we would not now as a result be sailing to Lansarote as scheduled. ( big dissapointment ) So we enjoyed the day in Antwerp, then we had 3 days of sailing down to Gibralter and would be arriving a day late. I am not going to review the fabric of the ship as I found our cabin spacious, the shower hot, and large, we had a window in the cabin so happy days. During the complete cruise only 2 of the lifts work, dont let anyone kid you this is not an issue IT IS on that ship, the stairs are steep my wife actually fell UP them during rough weather. We estimated that 80% of the passengers on this ship were between 80/85yrs old. this led to some very serious "whinging" over the 2 weeks especially over the lifts. The food provided was abysmal, we dined in the Waldorf Restaurant I love my food, but unfortunately the food provided was not good, there was plenty of choice but none of it suited me, and indeed that was a general concensus expressed during the cruise. Breakfast I ended up just going to the top deck buffet and making a bacon roll. We did hear that they had sacked the chef on the third day but that could have been due to the "serious rumour squad" that was in abundance throughout the cruise. Christmas day dinner instead of being a meal to remember became one to forget, in fact I was fed up with hearing the complaints about it. I think the problem is if you have indian chefs, and oriental\eastern european waiters, they fail to recognise what the British consider traditional christmas fair. Entertainment Very Poor, there was a comedian on who was good he did 2 nights but failing that it was the resident "entertainers" now lets make this clear I am no showman, but my wife enjoys a a good show, (cough) however there were no good shows to be had here another passenger said it was like "Butlins on Water." The entertainment manager was on Marco Polo when we cruised, I remember him saying he used to do a Robbie Williams tribute act so every time I hear him sing I hear a Robbie Williams song being murdered. anyway we went up to the top deck bistro to get away from the formality of the restaurant breakfast (before I took the bacon roll route) It was regularly packed deffinately a case of first up best dressed. People were hogging the tables instead of eating breakfast and moving on, especially as they could see people were hunting around for spare seats. My wife and I were stood up Christmas morning having a brew, and she said I cant believe its Christmas morning and Im having to stand up to drink a cup of tea. After that she opted for the breakfast in the cabin option, and I went the bacon roll route sat out on the top deck in sometimes bracing weather ! On Marco Polo the staff used to encourage you to move on when you had eaten, it was also published on the daily activities sheet, "please move on when you have eaten breakfast as others are waiting to eat" no such luck on Magellan it was described as a "bun fight" What really made me smile was the couples who sat on a table for 4 but they sat on opposite corners making it awkard for another couple to sit on the same table. Peter Kay could have got enough material for a whole new series from what went on on that ship. So back to the Antwerp diversion which cost us Lanzarote, it transpired that a young lady and young boy who arrived on the ship in Antwerp was the wife/son of the head of hotel, she had let the cat out the bag and said that they had been supposed to meet the ship in Gibralter, but was unable to get a flight but she had managed to drive down and meet the ship on our UNSCHEDULED stop in Antwerp. So the rumour quickly spread that she was the reason our trip to Lanzarote was cancelled caused a lot of resentment amongst the passengers true or not but it would be interesting to see the passenger manafest for Antwerp. Personally if that WAS the case I find it outrageous, and like others I will be emailing CMV for and answer to the question. the rest of the voyage passed we met some great people saw some fantastic places, we ended up coming back over the Bay of Biscay in a force 9 gale which was interesting the ship was effectlively locked down for the day. A helicopter med evac in the channel for someone who was seriously injured when a rogue wave hit the ship, and on arrival at Tilbury an hours wait to get off despite being priority. All in all we enjoyed the adventure, would we use this ship again ? NOT A CHANCE, The entertainment staff/Chefs all want a good old dose of sorting out. As they say we have been their, worn the dodgy T shirt and moved on. I hope you have a better experience on her than us. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was misrepresented. There are no Christmas markets in Amsterdam and very few stalls and mostly just food in Antwerp. Since that was the sole purpose of the trip it was very disappointing. The Christmas markets in Manchester UK were a ... Read More
This was misrepresented. There are no Christmas markets in Amsterdam and very few stalls and mostly just food in Antwerp. Since that was the sole purpose of the trip it was very disappointing. The Christmas markets in Manchester UK were a 100 times better so I might as well have stayed home. That said, the staff and food on the cruise were very good. The organisation was not. The evacuation training was a shambles. The information sheets provided each morning with details of Amsterdam/Antwerp were inaccurate. Stated markets (!) in Antwerp would open at 10.00. They opened at 12.00. I made the most of the trip and did have a good time but I would not recommend it. Many of my dinner companions were complaining too. The theatre show was very poor. The pianist and singer and pianist and violinist were good. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
There have been several reviews of the CMV Magellan, which show that passenger reactions can be very varied. We booked a very reasonably priced 6 night cruise called Autumn Gardens on a bogof deal with cabin allocated by the company. We ... Read More
There have been several reviews of the CMV Magellan, which show that passenger reactions can be very varied. We booked a very reasonably priced 6 night cruise called Autumn Gardens on a bogof deal with cabin allocated by the company. We expected a low deck inside cabin and found we had been allocated to a family cabin with small portholes (no view) on the lower deck at the forward end of the ship. First impressions of the cabin were very positive, as there was sufficient room to swing many cats as the wardrobes were in the anteroom which would otherwise be for third or possibly fourth occupants. What we did not know was that cabin 4007 is directly over the bow thruster, a piece of machinery that is activated each time port is reached or left. When the bow thrusters are on, the noise is so intense that occupancy of the cabin is intolerable. As we were arriving in a new port each day, usually in the early morning, we came to expect this noise and when practical, made arrangements to be elsewhere. It also seemed that the rear of the ship could get pretty noisy and juddery at times on several decks, so if you are choosing a cabin, aim for midships. Boarding at Tilbury on this occasion was fairly easy with lots of road signage if you are driving yourself. There is a big Asda very close to the port for any last minute purchases. The company discourages you from dropping off your bags before parking. The car park is a bus ride away, and whilst it works, it is not as comfortable or as efficient as the experience we had with Holland America at Harwich. A double decker bus is used, and one has to wait until it is full. Given the number of passengers with mobility issues, there may be no space on the lower deck. Bags were picked up at the car park, and did arrive in a reasonable time at our cabin. Our boarding time was set for 2.30 i.e. the last to board, but in the event, we were allowed on board almost as soon as we arrived at the cruise terminal, which is just as well as the terminal facilities are sparse. We were in lunch pretty quickly in the Raffles buffet restaurant, and then looked around the boat, as it was new to us. We thought the general condition and appearance of the ship was good for its age with plenty of seating, and many bars and public spaces to choose from. It is not the most modern of ships, but it does not pretend to be other than what is publicized. There are not a lot of on-board shops, which has the positive effect of one not being made to feel that the agenda lurches from one shopping opportunity to the next, which does happen on some of the American cruises. The company knows its client demography well, and seemed well-pitched at British blue collar retirement aged folk who know a bargain when they see one. Food on board is a critical part of any cruise and the Magellan aims to not challenge middle England. It is good plain food for good plain people. There are three restaurants on the Magellan. Two are formal with two sittings each and one is a buffet restaurant which closes about 8 pm. We had requested a late sitting (8.15pm) and a table for two, and both wishes were granted. We noted that this later sitting in the Waldorf Restaurant had plenty of space at tables, and there were pairs eating at tables for 6 or 8, and even some empty tables. The restaurant staff told us that the early sittings are the most popular (possibly because of access to all the evening entertainment), but we would not want to eat at 5.45 or 6.15, although most of the passengers had opted for this. I would rate the food in the served restaurants as good, with a fair choice (never a problem there and no disappointments). The buffet restaurant at lunch was, like other ships, a bit of a scrum, with a struggle to find a table unless you come early or late. The temperature of buffet food was poor, but this is typical. You have to keep an eye out for when they change vats of food. Typically there would be a choice of two meats, a fish dish and a pasta dish. Buffet food was bland and uninspiring – more functional than entertaining, in contrast to the main restaurants. Desserts on the buffet were below the quality of the main restaurants, usually being cake based. The buffet tends to run down about 30mins before closing with less choice and fewer serving stations. They regularly ran out of cutlery. There was an impressive gala buffet displayed late one evening: this was splendid and showed that the chefs were capable of great things. It was a pity that it was so shortly after later dinner, so any food eaten was done so out of pure greed The serving staff was very mixed: it is a bit of a United Nations on the ship with a mix of Eastern Europeans and Asian staff. In my opinion, the language training was very patchy, and whilst most spoke restaurant English, the minute a question was posed which was not on their script, it was unlikely that there would be an answer without consulting management. E.g. are there any knives? In the served restaurants, there is a wine service, with middle of the road table wine costing about £20-£30/bottle. Otherwise drinks at bars are priced probably below (London) pub prices, and a cocktail of the day was available at £3.10. Unlike on some US based ships, there is no service charge on drinks. There are drinks packages available which allow access to house wine, some spirits and cocktails and other non-premium drinks and cost £17/day provided all the occupants of a cabin buy into it. If you like a drink and would consume more than 5 regular alcoholic drinks during the day, then this may be for you, but our bar bill for two came to a maximum of £20/day on a pay as you go basis. Entertainment on a cruise is also a very big deal, especially if you don’t get out much or live somewhere where there is no access to live theatre and similar. For a short cruise on a mid sized boat, there was no shortage of set entertainment of the typical middle of the road easy listening style. The shows are put on twice nightly to match the dinner sittings in their fairly large show-lounge. At first glance the show lounge is impressive with tiered seating and a large stage, but the tiering is insufficiently raised, and because of the physical structure, there are only a few seats that do not either have a barrier in front of them or a pole partially obstructing views. By and large, the entertainments were well received, and the casts mostly enthusiastic. On our six nights, there was something to watch every evening, and a late night cabaret in one of the bars. Excursions were pretty run of the mill and relatively expensive, but not as expensive as on Holland America. At one port, Zeebrugge (for Bruges), it was made quite clear that it would be very difficult to leave the port and go anywhere without one of the supplied trips. At two destinations (Jersey and Guersney), the captain made the decision not to land (i.e. 40% of destination ports and their linked excursions) because of high seas. These ports were serviced by tender boats, and hence the decision. I read subsequently that difficulties with tenders at the Channel Islands were common, but if that were the case, may be they should never have been on the itinerary. (To give you the bigger picture, on our last cruise on CMV Marco Polo, 2/3 tender landings were cancelled, so to date my record with CMV is 1/5 tender landings successful. I would advise concentrating on those trips with no tendering to shore). Instead of Jersey and Guernsey, we were offered the ports of Cherbourg and Rouen on which we had done no research. The ship offered short notice excursions, which filled up quickly, and the remaining passengers were left to sort themselves out, which is easy in Rouen, but tricky in Cherbourg. The excursion in Cherbourg was a scenic drive taking in a couple of small ports and the cabbage fields of Normandy, and priced at £45. To make things even more complex we arrived at Honfleur, our final port, many hours early, but despite this, the captain was taken by surprise by the rise and fall of the tides. After 30 minutes, the original gangway on level 5 was unusable and the exit had to be re-sited on level 8 entailing a delay of 20 minutes on already short outings. Our trip to Bayeux was very rushed leaving insufficient time after visiting the tapestry to visit the tapestry museum and explanatory film in English and still have time to see the town and have a coffee on a trip that did not return until 2p.m. Staff on the boat is very mixed, and a large contingent coming from Ukraine and lesser numbers from Bulgaria and Romania. English language skills in the lower ranks were poor. The captain is Greek and whilst he spoke English, left us with the impression that he would prefer not to. The captain’s daily announcements were therefore difficult to decipher, and the grand announcement about the loss of the Channel Islands was so indistinct that even members of the crew were left asking what was going on. Others have mentioned the somewhat military style boat drill. Whilst on some cruise ships this has descended to a perfunctory performance just asking people to assemble at the muster stations, possibly with their life jackets, the captain went all the way bar boarding the life boats. This included the crocodile up the decks to the lifeboat area, and inspection by the captain. In our boat, one person was identified as having donned their jacket inadequately, and the captain retied the knots. Perhaps there was something that we should have known? Positives: Very cheap way to cruise UK style with pub prices for drink Good destinations, and whilst excursions are not cheap, they are cheaper than other lines Food to UK tastes and not very exciting and of limited variety, and that might not be what you want. I would not recommend the burgers from the grill. Enthusiastic Entertainment Negatives: Many of crew with lack of culture of hospitality and care (of the elderly). Some would benefit from more language training. Cabins and amenities a bit Spartan, but good for price and those in know bring their own toiletries. Not much of a shopping opportunity, but some would regard that as very positive. Cabins above bow thrusters can be very noisy at arrival and departures. Ship starting to show age, but mostly works. Steep steps between decks that might defeat the less abled, but the elevators were adequate. Overall, a satisfactory basic cruise experience, but watch out for the tender ports. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015

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