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7 Liverpool to Baltic Sea Cruise Reviews

Location - we wanted to travel to Greenland and this cruise left from Liverpool which was reasonably convenient. The itinerary (Iceland and Greenland with a short stop at Belfast at the end) was the decider. Plus points - ... Read More
Location - we wanted to travel to Greenland and this cruise left from Liverpool which was reasonably convenient. The itinerary (Iceland and Greenland with a short stop at Belfast at the end) was the decider. Plus points - Pleasant cabin Very efficient cabin steward Good food suitable for older conservative eaters (eating their body weight in smoked salmon) Observatory lounge very comfortable Excursions were interesting although they were keen to make sure that their elderly and very frail passengers didn’t struggle with the trips. Chris Bielby’s talks on the natural history of our itinerary were an absolute highlight. He was available to help with whale and bird watching and never endingly patient. Minus points Entertainment was embarrassingly old fashioned. The “black & white minstrel show” version of the Jackson Five was toe curling. The cinema was freezing cold and they had the nerve to show Mrs Doubtfire (made in 1993). The entertainment was overall more like a trip back into a Sunday evening television programme from the early 1960s. I wouldn’t travel on Black Watch or any other Fred Olsen ship unless it was for the itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Cruised before with CMV and enjoyed and sailed on Magellan before its refit.The ship is much improved with nice lounge areas and cabins.It is however showing its age with constant maintenance taking place on the decks, a lifeboat broke ... Read More
Cruised before with CMV and enjoyed and sailed on Magellan before its refit.The ship is much improved with nice lounge areas and cabins.It is however showing its age with constant maintenance taking place on the decks, a lifeboat broke from its moorings and a handrail fell on to two passengers on deck 9. Had a Superior outside twin on deck 6 aft, the cabin was quite spacious with plenty of wardrobe space,TV safe and tea and coffee provided, bottled water was £2:80. The beds were very comfortable and the bedding was changed regularly and the cabin steward was very helpful.The bathroom was quite small but was adequate and had a powerfull shower. Dined in the Waldorf restaurant and have to say the food and service was very good, not so in some of the bars though some staff had an attitude problem. Tended to use the Waldorf for most meals as the self service restuarant gets very busy and difficult to find a table at times with selffish people hogging the window seats even though they had finished their meal. Tea and coffee is available 24hrs from the machines. Lots of activities for those interested and the nightly shows were generally quite good with guest entertainers on several nights. Service was varied most staff did their best but appeared under pressure at times particularly the bar on deck 9 This is the first cruise with CMV with children allowed and it will be our last, the ship is not really equiped for children and whilst the staff did there best most parents let their children run wild they took over all three jackuzi's and the swimming pool, riding up and down in the lifts and running around unattened. There were far two many infirm passengers with walking aids and electric wheelchairs at a number of ports ambulances were seen waiting for the ship to dock and a female passenger was taken off by helicopter. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Chose because it went from Liverpool- and went to Iceland. Never heard of the company before, got half price deal and hoped for the best..we cruised with P and O once and started noticing differences early on, but what the hell the ... Read More
Chose because it went from Liverpool- and went to Iceland. Never heard of the company before, got half price deal and hoped for the best..we cruised with P and O once and started noticing differences early on, but what the hell the itinery was what I wanted. The Magellan was a bonny ship, she did well in some 4metre swells and strong winds -we had 2 ‘choppy’ nights..Cabin kept ship shape by a lovely steward Lola, what a credit to CMV..no issues with inside cabin, suits us fine. Dining -early sitting in Waldorf -all evening meals there, lovely waiters. I witnessed people mocking the staff, laughing behind there backs and non stop whining. Get a grip not in the Empire now - the people on our table were not like that fortunately. I was really angry and went to see the head guy - he was grateful for our support for the staff. I went for scenery, sunsets, whales, dolphins and to see more of the most stunning island ever. fortunately I did not go for the entertainment, sorry guys and gals it was poor. jimmy carlo was ok, nice chap .. I feel it was all aimed at over 70s, music, acivities on board -the lot. The staff were great on the whole, in Reception 1 chap and Marta good , rest very unhelpful. I have no complaints -but please get a patisserie chef, those school dinner tray bakes were not for me..loved all the fruit and Elganos pizza -best grub on the ship.. Stops at Dublin and Orkney, so hot we were suntinged each day..fab -did not use the trips booked our own hop on hop off bus tour.and Orkney we visited an aquaintance. Faroe isles,-poor weather,..shame Iceland-stunning visited east, north , west then south.. Cannot enthuse enough about Iceland, would have liked better weather ,and more whales but thats life. Only used Blue Lagoon trip with CmV it was great,lovely local people driver and narrator. Rest of time did our own thing... Puffin Express 1 hour of puffin watching was brill, whale watching trip poor, they tried so hard but sea state rough and only 2 fins in 3 hrs. Iceland incredibally dear, but its stunning , eco minded people at one with nature and they believe in little people living in the rocks...they will do for me.. I loved the cruise, you get out what you put in, and we met ace people on our Waldorf table - wonderful.. No kids on cruise, would I go again with CMV yes, I took so much from the trip and had lovely chats whilst scanning the oceans for sea creatues...life is what you make it.. Thank you to staff and bridge crew...I have early onset Parkinsons Disease and cruises I find easier to cope with..And more manageable for the condition . Ps used onboard wellness centre -very good Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We wanted to see Iceland and the Northern lights. After spending 22 years in the Royal Navy I was keen to see what life was like on the 'other side'. My wife was keen to experience life at sea as most of her family were ... Read More
We wanted to see Iceland and the Northern lights. After spending 22 years in the Royal Navy I was keen to see what life was like on the 'other side'. My wife was keen to experience life at sea as most of her family were seafaring folk. I was so pleased to see that the Marco Polo was a 'proper' ship, sturdy and seaworthy. Unlike the modern cruise liners which look like floating tin hotels. The crew were exceptional, professional and friendly. Show standards were good and the food excellent. Lectures were interesting and communication between crew and passengers was also good. Safety on board was, as you would expect, of a high standard with well rehearsed drills. Cleanliness was superb especially considering the age of the old girl. Medical team was highly professional sorting out my pulled shoulder muscle in double quick time. Highly recommended. We will be back. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We joined the ship in Liverpool which is very convenient for us as we live locally, so as we only needed luggage for one week, we were able to get the bus into Liverpool. Apart from the proximity of the port we always like to sail from ... Read More
We joined the ship in Liverpool which is very convenient for us as we live locally, so as we only needed luggage for one week, we were able to get the bus into Liverpool. Apart from the proximity of the port we always like to sail from Liverpool as the terminal is in the city centre so there is no need to sit and wait for embarkation. As usual we went over fairly early in the afternoon, dropped off our cases and checked in and asked about what time we would be able to board the ship. Then we went off into the town to buy some bottled water for the cruise and have a stroll around. On our return we were able to go straight on board and our cases were ready waiting for us. This cruise was around Ireland and had four ports, with two days in Dublin, so there was just one sea day, which was good from our perspective. We had an outside cabin on deck four which I will review below, though I must say here that we had a lot of problems with the air conditioning which was not able to make the temperature any lower than 23C at a minimum and was frequently higher than that even when turned down to the lowest temperature setting. It was also very noisy. We complained, but they could not improve the situation, so we decided to cope with it as the ship was fairly full and there were no other problems with the cabin and it was well placed. We have found that there have been problems with inefficient air conditioning on our last three Fred cruises. Our cabin stewardess was excellent (cabin 4044) The ship was in fairly decent condition for it’s age, but we do not like some aspects of the design, particularly the position of the pool deck, as it was necessary to go through the Neptune lounge to get there and If something was happening in the Neptune the only access to the rest of the ship was via the deck above or below. There was also no outside bar on pool deck, so bar service could be slow. Also the Secret Garden self service restaurant is not big enough for the number of passengers. This is important as the only alternative for dinner was a set early or late sitting and also they closed the main restaurants for breakfast at 9.30am some days, leaving a queue outside The Secret Garden, even coming up to its closing time of 10.00am. The service from the staff was excellent as usual, both in the restaurants and the bars. We do not often go to the shows or use the daytime activities, but enjoy the lounge musicians. On this cruise there was a very good Rosario trio in the Secret Garden Lounge and a good pianist in the observation lounge. On the first night we stayed up for what was billed as the late night disco, starting at 11pm in the Lido lounge and a good atmosphere was obtained there, though at one stage it did look as though the ballroom dancers were going to take over. That did seem very unfair as they had had the chance to dance during much of the earlier night in the Neptune lounge and The Lido had featured 50’s music prior to 11.00pm. Various requests, put what was billed as a disco back on track. For the rest of the cruise the late entertainment in the Lido was often things like Karaoke or game show type entertainments, so there was no further opportunity for disco dancing unfortunately. The musicians in the Lido, where the Mardi Gras Duo, who were not very good and Colin James, who was good, but who tended to do nothing more modern that rock and roll. We do find Fred’s entertainments very disappointing in that respect, especially when you consider that people who were in their teens in the fifties are now well in their mid seventies. I am not suggesting that they should not cater for ballroom dancing and rock and roll, but do not see why that should be to the exclusion of anything more modern. Fred’s passengers are older than average compared to other cruises, but many are below seventy five! The cold food buffets for breakfast and lunch were quite good, but the dinner’s (particularly the hot food) was quite poor at times. The soups were largely tasteless and, for instance, carrot and coriander showed no sign of either carrot or coriander. A chicken curry turned out to be a piece of hard, previously cooked chicken with a curry sauce spooned on top and a salmon pasta was pasta with a sauce and an extremely hard, dry almost crispy, overcooked piece of salmon just put on top. Some other things were OK, but I would not have called anything I had particularly good, which is a great shame as one thing Fred could always be relied upon for was good food. Overall, I would say we enjoyed the cruise, but largely because of the ports, rather than the cruise experience. At least Fred still go to less visited ports which we appreciate. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
My husband and I are veteran cruisers, and this was our 35th cruise and 7th with Fred Olsen. We had been on the Boudicca before, in 2008, so we were looking forward to being back on board this lovely little ship again. Embarkation at ... Read More
My husband and I are veteran cruisers, and this was our 35th cruise and 7th with Fred Olsen. We had been on the Boudicca before, in 2008, so we were looking forward to being back on board this lovely little ship again. Embarkation at Liverpool was very quick and streamlined with no waiting around. Our cabin was a twin-bedded outside one (with a window) on Deck 5, the main deck. It contained two very comfortable beds, two chairs, flat screen TV, dressing table and lots of drawer and wardrobe space. The bathroom had a bathtub as well as a shower. There were also tea and coffee making facilities. We were travelling on the all-inclusive package and this is well worth the money; as well as the included house beers, wines and spirits you could also purchase premium brands and cocktails for half price. The food and service were excellent, no complaints there at all. The prices in the salon and shops were very good as well, in fact I could get my hair done cheaper in the ship's salon than I can at home! I have to say that the entertainment was absolutely top-notch. The Boudicca Show Company were superb, and a lot better than some performers we've seen on the larger ships. Their shows were original and very professionally done, and they were all very nice people. The featured entertainers included a singer, comedian, magician (who was excellent) and operatic duo and all were very good; we never saw a duff show. Also, I have to mention Dong Cuyos, the "Singing Barman", he was absolutely superb and one wonders what he is doing working as a barman when he has such a talent. Our cruise was all the way up to 70 degrees north in search of the Northern Lights. We visited Alesund, Tromso (two nights in port), Alta (overnight in port), Leknes in the Lofoten Islands and Kristiansund. Once we got above the Arctic Circle the Aurora Borealis put in an appearance seven nights running. Awesome! It really is something to stand there in the dark and the sub-zero temperatures, looking at nature's light show and be able to say "I was there". As we were so far north we only got 3½ hours daylight (if that) - it was surreal to eat your lunch and then find it was dark when you went out on deck! We have done a couple of Norway cruises in the summer for the Midnight Sun, but this is the first time we've been there in the winter. Norway is absolutely stunning; all mountains, lakes, fjords and the gorgeous blue twilight twinkling and glittering off the snow and ice. Beautiful! We were also lucky enough to see lots of migrating whales (humpbacks and orcas) on the way back down. So all in all, an absolutely brilliant and memorable cruise, a great crowd of friendly passengers and staff, superb food, drink, entertainment - in fact everything we would want in a cruise. Can't wait to book our next cruise with Fred Olsen Cruise Lines. :-) Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Just got back from our cruise to Iceland/Scotland and Ireland. Had a brilliant time, The Spirit is an old boat but she has had some updates done on her since we last cruised in June 2013, still very clean and comfortable and the crew are ... Read More
Just got back from our cruise to Iceland/Scotland and Ireland. Had a brilliant time, The Spirit is an old boat but she has had some updates done on her since we last cruised in June 2013, still very clean and comfortable and the crew are excellent cant do enough for you. We left from Liverpool and sailed for two days up to the Artic circle then on to Akureyri in Iceland and then on to Isjafjord then to Rekeyvik - excuse spellings - the first town was ok not that big the usual shops to browse in. Isjafjord was closed lol, it was a Sunday so nothing was open, and what there is a long walk to get to from the port. Beautiful scenery and very cold and windy.. Reykjavik is special so clean and we had booked the flight over the volcano/glacier/waterfalls and geysirs it was spectacular expensive but worth it. The whole day was brilliant and the city so clean and people friendly. We then sailed for a day to Kirkwall in Scotland, we were delayed due to another storm and ofcourse all the trips were running late, raining and alot of angry passengers due to the Kirkwall bus company only supplying one shuttle bus for the people who just wanted to go into town on their own. I was ashamed to see some passengers being abusive to a member of the crew because of the situation especially one elderly man who should have known better. We then sailed to Portree in the Isle of Skye but unfortunatly due to the bad weather it would not have been safe to tender anyone with the swells of 7 - 9 feet so the captain sailed on to Belfast after he had explained to everyone. We then went to the Giants Causeway after arriving in Belfast on our last day, very popular place to visit and was a well organsied day. We had the option to get the shuttle bus back into town after the trip but decided not to. All in all we had an amazing, comfortable, friendly and informative cruise. We are very sad to hear that Thomsons are not cruising out of the UK next year at all and hope that they change their minds for 2015. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014

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