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Sail Date: August 2019
We were a family group of six, siblings and spouses, and for all of us a first time. It seemed good value but you’ll pay hefty prices for services, drinks and excursions so be cautious about your budget. It’s an old boat but quite ... Read More
We were a family group of six, siblings and spouses, and for all of us a first time. It seemed good value but you’ll pay hefty prices for services, drinks and excursions so be cautious about your budget. It’s an old boat but quite charming with teak decks and some quirky features. It’s difficult to fault the staff who work extremely hard and are almost all polite, friendly and helpful. The exception are the reception staff who, apart from one individual, were unhelpful and abrupt. They seem to need more training in customer service. This was a very staid and generally fairly boring cruise. The customers are on the whole very elderly, and, on the round British cruise, almost all British. The activities are limited and I found them uninspiring. Bad lectures, boring games and quizzes. The performers for the evening show work very hard but the staging leaves a lot to be desired and sound system is poor and flattens the voices of the singers. Take several good books or something to do for the lengthy periods at sea. The food - what can I say- two weeks of very boring and mostly bland food. I’m a vegetarian and the options are v limited. For example, spinach and pasta swamped in bechamel served with chips. I eat fish - but served with relentless monotony with sliced boiled potatoes and carrots. Two weeks of the same meal :(. Meat eaters complained of tough, leathery meat and we were often served luke warm or cold food. We had a booked table in the evenings but ate buffet meals breakfast and lunch. These are better but cafes often v overcrowded and no seats. There’s always bread and butter puddling and custard at lunch time and warm scones for tea. But a buffet salad for a vegetarian - chopped onions, tomatoes, cucumber, olives and cold Brussels sprouts every single day. A couple of slices of cheese. I was desperate for fresh food and leafy veg. Excursions are well organised but expensive. And not very adventurous. If you don’t book an excursion, some ports, Cork for example, mean lengthy complementary bus transfers to get into the city; Lerwick is a short walk from the dock; Kirkwall has a v efficient free bus. Mull was a tender, but v lengthy waits to get onto one if you wanted to go ashore because passengers on excursions take priority. Honfleur a shuttle bus but v close; Bristol a long way from the port, Dublin 30 minutes in shuttle but easy to do; didn’t go into Belfast but it was also a shuttle similar to Dublin. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We had never sailed CMV before but was seduced by the price, not having to go to Southampton and the option of the Sicily Isles, something on my 80yr old mother’s bucket list. However, the first announcement on board was the cancellation ... Read More
We had never sailed CMV before but was seduced by the price, not having to go to Southampton and the option of the Sicily Isles, something on my 80yr old mother’s bucket list. However, the first announcement on board was the cancellation of the Sicily Isles due to predicted bad weather, a frequent occurrence we were later told. The pre-cruise info was fine except when I tried to book port parking too close to departure I was told it’s too late and no we can’t suggest an alternative! Embarkation was fine. Even though I had ticked the box to say we were bringing a wheelchair, apparently you need a wheelchair users cabin which is different to a disabled cabin. So we had to pay to upgrade, luckily there was one or I was told to cancel our cruise! The cabin was a good size for 3 however I don’t know if it was any bigger than a standard outside, for the extra £80.00. The ship is 34 yrs old and on it’s 3rd life but the decor is fine, it’s not like a super new boat but perfectly acceptable except the cabin window which was very worn and you couldn't see that much out of it. Being older I’m not sure if the ship has stabilisers but you could certainly feel her roll about, only in moderate seas. The food was fine, a little limited in Raffles and the lack of tables there was woeful. The shows were fine, they pale if you have seen them on Cunard for example, but perfectly acceptable for a short cruise. The staff helpfulness and friendliness was mixed about 50:50 I would say. HOWEVER, my biggest grumble and the one which spoilt the cruise for us was the almost total lack of disability awareness. No preplanning for wheelchair users, no help with tables in buffet, none reserved for wheelchairs, terrible gang planks- seriously frightened my mother, poor lifeboat drill with no clue what to do with wheelchair in the event of a problem. Terrible trenches at doorways, causing wheelchair to repeatedly get stuck, crew no apparent training on disability issues. I suggest CMV get disability awareness training ASAP. Would I sail Magellan again - no, would I cruise CMV again - very unlikely, would I recommend CMV to friends- would let them make up their mind based on my thoughts. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This is the fourth cruise we have been on, with various lines and destinations. Departed Liverpool, seemlessly, and cruised to Dublin, then on to the Shetlands and then to the Norwegian Fjords. It does amaze me how nit-picking some ... Read More
This is the fourth cruise we have been on, with various lines and destinations. Departed Liverpool, seemlessly, and cruised to Dublin, then on to the Shetlands and then to the Norwegian Fjords. It does amaze me how nit-picking some people are. This was a great value cruise - we weren't paying Cunard prices, and we were taking our two kids. The Magellan was very well run and extremely friendly. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff, and the food in the buffet was very good with plenty of variety (our children loved it) and the restaurants were excellent. Ivan and Oleksandr, our waiters each night were outstanding, and the food was beautifully presented, very slickly served, and the restaturant itself spacious and comfortable. Indeed the whole ship was very spacious, and at no point did we ever feel remotely crowded. Although the clientele were mostly aged 70+, there were enough families on board to make sure it didn't feel like a floating care home. The crew had put on some super activities for families and children, and really went the extra mile. Our cabin was clean, comfortable, and our steward excellent. We purchased four excursions, and while they weren't cheap, they were very well run and we thoroughly enjoyed them all. The Norwegian Fjords are breathtaking, and make sure you visit the Oil Museum in Stavangar - absolutely brilliant and you will love it. Ignore the whingers, some people are never happy. This was a great cruise, on a nice ship, with an really hardworking and conscientious crew. Well done C&MV. We'll not hesitate to travel with you again. AP Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
The ship was spotless, and furnishings. Please with the size of our inside cabin, sufficient storage space. Having done a lot of cruises with different cruise lines we found the staff on this ship very abrupt, up to the point of being ... Read More
The ship was spotless, and furnishings. Please with the size of our inside cabin, sufficient storage space. Having done a lot of cruises with different cruise lines we found the staff on this ship very abrupt, up to the point of being rude, we had table 40 in Kensington restaurant our waiter had a dont care attitude. The food could of been a lot better you didn’t seem to have a lot of choice.you had to wait a long time for your meals but that’s not unusual. We did the steak speciality meal ( don’t waste your money) it was awfull, they had people walking through with swimwear on not being stopped whilst you were having your meal. Security should of been a lot better we came back on ship once and was not searched. You had to wait a very long time to get a drink in the bars sometimes up to 30mins I think three was a shortage of staff. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We had a super time onboard the Magellan. Staff were amazing and always smiling. Thr food was fantastic, always hot, plentiful with lots of choice, afternoon tea scones were amazing everyday and the evening meals in the restaurant were ... Read More
We had a super time onboard the Magellan. Staff were amazing and always smiling. Thr food was fantastic, always hot, plentiful with lots of choice, afternoon tea scones were amazing everyday and the evening meals in the restaurant were superb served by a lovely waiter. The ship was always clean and the itinerary was brilliant. There were activities if you wanted to join in, crafts and cinema on the days at sea. We used the gym a lot on the boat too which had enough machines to help burn off the copious amount of food eaten. Norway was spectacular, it helped that we had such good weather, even in Shetland on the way over! There are a lot of bad reviews on here, however moaners love to find something to moan about and rarely give praise in my opinion! My main gripe (apart from said moaners onboard) is the need for some new tender boats, they are in need of an upgrade! A few of the outdoor areas are maybe looking a little tired and a couple of nights of the main entertainment were not really our thing (other entertainment was available) however none of these effected our holiday, we thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely use the ship again! Don't let the moaners put you off unless you are one yourself!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Lots of hours of boredom. The ship is very old and has "out of service" signs in several services and machines. Entertainig activities are unatended "meetings" mostly and the shows are quite poor and focused on old ... Read More
Lots of hours of boredom. The ship is very old and has "out of service" signs in several services and machines. Entertainig activities are unatended "meetings" mostly and the shows are quite poor and focused on old people. Even Games room has no games but puzzles. Food quality is under the expectations for a cruise and it is unavailable from 8.30 p.m. to 6.30 a.m., in addition to pauses between meals, and the buffet (only place where you can get 2 of the 4 meals in the day) is too small to have seats for all passengers, so it is crowded and uncomfortable. Sound isolation in cabins is almost inexistent and air conditioner makes a consant and annoying noise that could not be fixed for the ship staff (they simply said there was not a solution for that). Worst think: Tender disembarkation system is terrible and makes you loose 2-4 hours in any port where it was necessary to use them (about half of the total). We had to wait 6 hours in Flam and 4 hours in Kirkwall, for example. Tenders are too old, had malfunctions that increased the delays and spelled diesel fumes over the passengers. The worst cruise I have ever been. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this because of the price and because of the itinerary. Not only did the cruise cover the fjords but there were stops in Dublin, Lerwick and Kirkwall. My partner had never visited Dublin and the stop in Kirkwall offered a chance ... Read More
We chose this because of the price and because of the itinerary. Not only did the cruise cover the fjords but there were stops in Dublin, Lerwick and Kirkwall. My partner had never visited Dublin and the stop in Kirkwall offered a chance to visit the Stone Age village of Skara Brae. It was unlikely that we would ever be in the vicinity again so the opportunity was one worth taking. We were conscious of the fact that CMV was at the cheap end of the market but first impressions were good. Check in at Liverpool was smooth and we found the cabin to be clean and spacious. For the first time we had fixed dining. We were wary of being 'stuck' with the same people for eleven days so requested a table of eight. Our fears were ungrounded. We all gelled well and conversation was easy throughout. The food and service in the restaurant was uniformly good. Breakfast in the buffet, although on sea days, a scramble was fine. On the one day that we were forced to have our evening meal in the buffet it was poor - my Lamb Madras was merely stewed lamb with potatoes plus a pinch of mild curry powder which was bland and tasteless. We did not explore the other eating options. Service in the bars was good. If only I could say the same for the entertainment.. Each of the three main bars had its resident act and these acts were on every night. One was a piano bar, another featured a duo singing bland versions of pop hits through the ages, whilst the third had an Irish singer who veered between Irish crowd pleasers and country classics. If this has made him sound like a pub singer then this is essentially all he was. We did attend some of the shows. The Magellan team were truly awful. The dancers were not in sync and the main female singer compensated for her inability to reach even base camp when attempting the high notes by shouting the lyrics. We made the mistake of sitting near the front for one performance and her attempts to ascend the scale actually hurt our ears! Two guest performers were booked - a very average singer and a comedian. Although his jokes, like the man himself were not in the first flush of youth he was far from the worst we've heard. One final observation on the entertainment: the rock 'n' roll tribute featured the much older cruise director serenading the young female singer with Neil Sedaka's Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen. Several passengers found this idea of the older one celebrating the girl's transition to womanhood more than a little creepy. The overall onboard experience was fine. The sea days saw sunny weather so that masked the lack of activities. We have cruised with other lines and the lack of options to fill the days seems to be an issue with all ships. We took only one organised excursion - the Flam railway. Unfortunately the train broke down so we were unable to complete the trip. We had a convoluted journey back to the boat hence our buffet meal (see above). Whilst it was accepted that CMV could not be blamed for the breakdown, we were disappointed that two days later we had heard nothing by way of an apology or refund just a reminder that the full fare would be added to our bill. When we queried this those on the excursion desk felt they had done nothing wrong and that they were 'looking into the matter'. We did eventually receive a 50% refund but customer care was sadly lacking. Several ports required tenders. The tendering was not handled well. CMV operated a scheme whereby no guests could leave the boat until all of the excursion groups had disembarked. When one of the tenders was out of action this led to long waits to leave the ship. A local boat was hired but those on excursions told of their boats being only partially full. When our ticket was called after an hour's wait the boat left with space for many more. One couple we spoke to waited for two and a half hours after collecting their ticket before they could disembark. Another passenger, who travelled frequently with CMV stated that he resented being treated like a second class citizen because he had not bought an excursion. I would cruise with CMV again. The service was fine, the itinerary well thought out, and overall it was very good value. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Embarkation Firstly if we ever take a cruise from Liverpool when we live near Portsmouth departing at start of school holidays, shoot us! The car drop off was easy, but we were early and it was going to get much busier, without a lot ... Read More
Embarkation Firstly if we ever take a cruise from Liverpool when we live near Portsmouth departing at start of school holidays, shoot us! The car drop off was easy, but we were early and it was going to get much busier, without a lot of space to operate in. Parking the car meant following a black minibus for about 1 mile along the main dock road, with lots of traffic lights. This was asking for trouble and sure enough being third in line, at the back meant I had to stop at lights when the others had made it through. Fortunately the driver was very observant and kind, so found somewhere to stop and wait. The trip back was uneventful and the service was excellent. My wife had waited for me in the large seating area (tent) and we had to wait to get on board until our luggage label was called (Red). As we were early, we had quite a wait, which was OK but a number of other passengers with Red labels, just walked into the queue for boarding and got away with it. We were told when we asked that we couldn't get on any earlier. We were in the tent waiting at 13:15. Red was called at 14:00. So for 45 minutes we watched the boarding procedure. Below are our observations: 1. Due to the boarding system, the room cards were handed out at a separate table. Which had up to 3 people searching through stacks of cards alphabetically as in all "M's" were in one stack but not in alphabetical order from then on as "Ma" should have been near the top but was half way down and missed first time through the stack. This was a slow process and meant the 10 people with paddles designed for linking credit cards and checking passports were constantly waiting for people. 2. Most other cruise lines integrate the card/passport checking with giving cabin cards. 3. After 15 minutes someone decided to move the table for handing out cards away from the health form table, which made absolutely no difference as they were still the bottleneck! Due to the very steep slope (and wet) leading down to the pontoon, where the ship was berthed, provision of a bus for people with walking difficulties was a great idea. Thank you. As there were 1,000 people maximum getting on board, it should have been a straightforward process. If they had to cope with 3,000 plus it would have been chaos. Clearly this was not a full time operation. Our hand luggage was not scanned when getting on the ship. We walked on with a full small suitcase and back pack. The luggage reached the cabin before we did, which was great. Maybe due to us arriving early, but that part of the process is definitely efficient. Dining The bistro for lunch has a reasonable selection, though the sugar free lemon mouse had absolutely no taste of lemon whatsoever. The layout is pretty good with space between tables. The pizzas lack a tomato base and have been there for ages. The Waldorf restaurant for dinner is very good and though the portions aren't large the food is served very quickly, the waiting staff are excellent and really work hard looking after the guests. Vegetarians get two choices for main meal which is good. Breakfast in the Waldorf is buffet and the food is alright, The orange juice is squash and it is a bit of a scrum at times. The food is what you'd expect from a buffet. If you want sit down go to the Kensington where it is better and more relaxed. The choice is excellent. Scrambled egg on toast was nice and freshly made but a tiny portion. They even do crispy bacon. Most of our breakfasts were taken here. We met the head of restaurant and chef with other guests with special dietary needs who explained they can deal with most requests, if they knew about them. The guests could get a menu for the next night and write what they wanted or changes and they would make them. They would even cook you something different if there was nothing you liked and the selection of gluten, lactose and not free products were excellent. Shows The shows are of reasonable standard, though not outstanding and the singers/dancers are OK. They do struggle with some songs and the dancers "whoop" at the end of songs which is disconcerting. The cruise director has the best singing voice and also knows how to get out a song, one of the younger singers is also good. The dancers are certainly energetic and put a lot of effort into it. If you sit upstairs down the sides of their show lounge, don't expect to be served a drink at all quickly, whereas downstairs multiple waiters are ready to serve you. On one occasion we waited 20 minutes trying to get attention from upstairs and ended up going to see one of the crew just to get a waiter to come and take my order. Then the drinks took a further 15 minutes to arrive and the show had started, so 35 minutes to get two simple drinks! An earlier attempt only took 10 minutes less! General Ship The ship is compact and bijou. Everything seems smaller and the ship itself is definitely narrower and has corridors down one side of public areas to make larger (e.g. Pub and Sinatras bar). There is no promenade, though you can get completely around the ship on deck 10 via a few doors and steps at the bow. There is also no running track, though the gym does look to be pretty good. The ship seems to roll in the slightest of swells, The North sea was about as flat as it could be 3 foot waves max) yet Magellan rolled on occasions. We've been on much larger ships in over twice the swell and had less movement, maybe it is because it is an older ship? The corridors in the cabin areas is nice and wide, enabling two sets of people to pass easily. The staff are very polite and say good morning... when they see you. Even the receptionist we dealt with over the room was always friendly and polite. The waiters are very efficient and fast with service and always very polite. We were issued with bars of soap for the cabins, but on day 10, why? Ports & Excursions The excursions are good though getting on and off the ship can be fun. The gangway height can be very low and once due to the tide it was too low and they had to resort to tenders, which seemed to cause a stir. They should have known the tide levels. Another occasion, our first tender port, one of the boats had a problem which caused significant delays, why couldn't they just get another boat ready? The excursion deck has really unhelpful opening hours, half an hour in the morning (07:30 - 08:00 - when you are having breakfast & 18:00 - 20:00 when it is first sitting for dinner!). Reception can't help. I understand it is a small ship and crew and they have multiple jobs/roles, but on all other lines we've been on the opening times are much longer. Shetland is a wonderful island group, with plenty to see and do on the main island. Strongly recommend a local guide. Ours was brilliant (Grant). We didn't realise how big the islands were. Puffins and seals were amazing to see, St Ninians beach is our idea of heaven and we'll be back. Olden was great going to the Birksdal glacier, with the ride most of the way up (Troll car). The last bit we had to walk was hard, but we'll worth it. Geiranger going to Mount Dalsniba was brilliant and the views were breath-taking, we were lucky enough to have a clear day. Our guide was excellent too. Eagles road also provided an excellent viewpoint. The Flam railway was the tour we looked forward to most, but it was badly run, just a train (the scenery was good) and a stop for mediocre waffles, jam and cream. The disembarkation from the ship took absolutely ages (over an hour). It was not organised well at all, one boat needed servicing which didn't help. The train was late both ways, and there was very little to do at Vatnahalsen after eating waffles to take up the hour and twenty minutes we had at the top. Please do not expect too much from this tour. Eidfjord is pretty but unless on an excursion very little to do (our excursion was cancelled). We went on the road train which took up an hour, from then on there is little else. Stavanger has quite a few attractions, get in early as with 3 cruise ships in it was definitely busy. Been told the oil museum is interesting. Orkney is much more commercialised than Shetland, and though there are some excellent sites, there are some that are expensive (Scara Brae). It is a lovely place and the views would have been good without the most and rain. Following on from the tender debacles, I have a question for CMV: If you have 1,200 people wanting to get off a ship and the journey, from ship to shore and back takes 30 minutes (I timed it, 10 mins each way and 5 mins for on/off the boat). How long does it take with only 3 Tenders? Assuming 60 people per boat, that is 20 boats worth and 20 boats at 30 minutes each therefore 10 hours! Fortunately not all wanted to get off, but enough did so that as the boats started at 08:15 The people with ticket B (so second non excursion group), were on a boat leaving the ship at 09:20. That is ridiculous! The actual question is, assuming you arrive at the port to go back to the boat at 14:30, there is a long queue and you get on the fifth boat out. As it was raining, how wet are you when you finally get on a tender? Answer: VERY! Therefore, how happy are you with CMV that they only put 3 tender boats on? Answer: FURIOUS! Even MSC tendering in Santorini, from a similar distance out had at least 10 tenders in the water and though they had more people to get back, it only took 5 minutes to get on a boat. To say the whole tendering scenario on Magellan is a farce is an understatement. Apparently we were told they tender boats were restricted due to the pollution they spewed out (which was large amounts and very smelly diesel). Answer get better tender boats. Disembarkation As we are travelling from Liverpool to Portsmouth we want to get an early start back. The problem is that with both of us requiring a stick, with 2 large cases a small one and a ruck sack, there is no way we can use the express service. I.e. Get yourself off the boat. We also have to recover our car from parking about a mile and a half away. We went down to excursions, who have given us black luggage labels so we can get off at 09:10 and not 10:00, which is good. The actual disembarkation process was excellent and very quick. We were called at 08:50 20 mins early, we were met by a fan to take us up to the luggage area, because of having sticks and a steep ramp. Our luggage was easily identifiable and both pieces next to each other (which is a first). The transport to where the car was parked was quick and efficient so we were off home before 09:25. Conclusions There are a number of pros and cons with Cruise and Maritime, or this cruise on Magellan in particular: PROS • Food • Service • Embarkation and disembarkation (cases there each time) • Customer Services getting on and off ship • Destinations CONS • Cabins can be noisy • Cabins have thin walls • Tendering service Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Chose this because of the attractive itinerary, plus the convenience of sailing from UK port with no flights involved. As seasoned cruisers for many years ( principally with Thomson / Marella and NCL) we tried CMV for the first time ... Read More
Chose this because of the attractive itinerary, plus the convenience of sailing from UK port with no flights involved. As seasoned cruisers for many years ( principally with Thomson / Marella and NCL) we tried CMV for the first time this year. I will start with the positives:- There is a good staff to passenger ratio, and we found the service was good across all departments. The cabin (6131) was spacious and clean, and well serviced by our cabin steward on a daily basis. The food was of an acceptable quality, and well presented, and served hot. The itinerary was good, with adequate time ashore in each venue. The DISembarcation at Liverpool was very speedy, and we were on the train home in little more than an hour after disembarcation commenced. Now for the negative points. We attended the cruise terminal at Exactly the time given by CMV, Only to find that RED label had already been boarded 1/2 hour earlier, which resulted in some delay to us boarding. The boarding process struck us as being very poorly organised. The dining allocation in the Kensington restaurant, (we opted for the smaller table) was bench seats either side of the table ( 3 people each side) which was very cramped and uncomfortable. We both made the observation that this seating would be more appropriate in a Wetherspoons Pub! On the 2 venues that required tender service the wait was unacceptably long ( 3hrs. in the Scilly Isles, and one and a 1/2 hrs at Guernsey ) This obviously had a detrimental effect on our time ashore. There is considerable room for improvement here. The evening entertainment in the main show lounge was very poor by cruise ship standards. The last evening on board was a "formal" night where passengers dressed for the occasion for the advertised "Gala Dinner" This was quite a damp squib---- The only thing "Gala" about it was the baked alaska dessert. This is not what we are used to on other cruise lines in the same price bracket. To sum up, if you are looking for a no frills cruise from a uk port with no flying involved, then go for it, but there are better deals out there with other companies. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Chose this cruise because the itinery seemed to meet our rquirements. Unfortunately the captain took the decision not to go to Shetland due to bad weather. While we accept his decision we felt more could be done to make up for this. All ... Read More
Chose this cruise because the itinery seemed to meet our rquirements. Unfortunately the captain took the decision not to go to Shetland due to bad weather. While we accept his decision we felt more could be done to make up for this. All the people we spoke to said this was the port of call they were looking forward to the most. Instead we had 2 nights rather than one at Invergordon (NOT a holiday desination) Two buses were laid on at nearly £30 a time to go into Inverness (perhaps to offer this free would have been a nice gesture?) We took the local bus for about £11. Any other attraction was a long trip and expensive. Other things we were not happy with - Firstly , the car park in Liverpool was hard to find. Inadequate map and sat nav took you to a building site (not Fred Olson rsponsibility) - cabin noise (see below) Buffet area quite small, not always able to get a table at busy times - While the ship was well maintained there was no main staircase or reception area and the entertainment was mediocre . - many of the staff had a poor grasp of English which could be a problem, particularly at guest services - WiFi expensive - Timing given in port were misleading for example 'late p.m actually meant about 3.30 in the afternoon. - Tours were very expensive, there were 4 of us so it made more sense to book a private taxi to take us to the places we wanted to see, which worked out fine. - Passengers were mostly quite elderly and infirm so activities were geared up for this. I did sometimes feel I was sitting in the common room of an old peoples home rather than a cruise ship! - Finally the disembarkation process was not a happy experience, but mostly this was due to the facilites at Liverpool cruise terminal Good points, main dining room was nice and our waiters were freindly and helpful and there was a very good wine list at reasonable prices plus the food was excellent. Would not go with Fred Olson again Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
A first experience: both of Fred Olsen and departing from Liverpool. Overall a good experience. Everything very efficiently dealt with and we were put at ease by the professionalism of the staff. The food was very good and plentiful. Our ... Read More
A first experience: both of Fred Olsen and departing from Liverpool. Overall a good experience. Everything very efficiently dealt with and we were put at ease by the professionalism of the staff. The food was very good and plentiful. Our selected dining option was much appreciated. The bar staff were helpful and efficient. The entertainment was different each evening and very professional. The excursions we went on (Tobermory and Kirkwall) were very good - with knowledgeable guides. A comfortable cabin: not large but sufficient for our needs. We had a problem with a very noisy ventilation in our bathroom, which took two complaints (to the cabin staff and then the guest office) to get an engineer tp sort it out. The ship is also quite old and creaks a lot. Our cabin had a perpetual squeak from the door hinges when we were at sea. We also had an initial difficulty with the bar staff at sail-away time. They failed to deliver a drinks order, which necessitated three visits to the bar to chase it up: then when it arrived it was the wrong drinks. Then at our first breakfast, we made an order off the menu (rather than choosing the buffet) and it failed to materialise. After 30 minutes, one order arrived, then after I had finished, the other order appeared. We did complain and after that, we had no further problems. They blamed a "busy kitchen" - but others around us received their orders and had left before our food arrived. But overall the food and the service we received in all the eateries was first class. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this short, 2 day trip to try out another ship, having had several cruises on the Marco Polo. We were lucky enough to get an upgrade to a suite which was amazing- you could have held a party in there! Only downside was the open ... Read More
We chose this short, 2 day trip to try out another ship, having had several cruises on the Marco Polo. We were lucky enough to get an upgrade to a suite which was amazing- you could have held a party in there! Only downside was the open balcony which although a super facility was spoiled by neighbouring smokers. I guess you can ban it around the ship but not on the individual balconies. Pre trip paperwork was a bit chaotic as one said departing Avonmouth and the later one Portbury; we thought Portbury more likely (having only realised the night before too late to ring the office). Arrived early as we left longer than we needed becasue of potential Bank Holiday traffic. No directions on the dock (they were put up later). A very helpful PBA staff member directed us but then the designated parking was blocked so he had to get someone to move a forklift. He then had to sweep the area clear of rubbish. Eventually we boarded our coach to Liverpool and waited over 30 minutes after it was full due to the CMV rep. not arriving until it was almost departure time. Leaving at 10.45 the coach driver gave us no indication of where he would stop and eventually pulled in at Cannock Services at 1pm, telling us to be back in 30minutes. We were, but he stood outside for a further 15 minutes smoking! Traffic was dreadful and we got to Liverpool at 4.40, instead of 2.30. We loved the space on the ship, plenty of public areas and a good choice of bars etc. The theatre was much more comfortable than the one on Marco Polo and the whole ship much more modern and less 'tired'. So why do we still prefer the MP? The staff!! With the exception of our cabin steward we found most of the staff surly, uncommunicative and frequently talking in front of the passengers in their own language - which we were told on the MP was not permitted. When I asked for a glass of dry white wine in the Bistro I was told - 'we have wine-not dry'. The friendliest staff were the ones we knew from the MP. I suggest the Hotel Manager on Magellan takes some lessons from the MP. This was a very short trip and we wouldn't necessarily decide never to use Magellan but on the basis of this trip it's back to the MP for next time! Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this for convenience, it sailed half hour from where we live. Good price too for itinerary. The ship is tatty with broken furniture and stained carpets upholstery etc. The food in the restaurant was, luke warm, unappetizing ... Read More
We chose this for convenience, it sailed half hour from where we live. Good price too for itinerary. The ship is tatty with broken furniture and stained carpets upholstery etc. The food in the restaurant was, luke warm, unappetizing and small. The ship was over crowded. No where to sit in bars at night, too small for the amount onboard. No facilities for kids even though it was a multi generational cruise. Very small pools filled with kids so didn't use them. Very poor service because of understaffing. Flooded areas including our bedroom. Very bad smell in hall ways last couple of nights.c Buffet area always crowded. Too small for the amount of people. Had to take sea sickness tablets because of movement of ship even in calm waters. One pool was empty so unable to use it, with plastic plants around it that had lost there leaves so looked really tatty Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
You poor souls, what are you doing to yourselves?! My family and I went on the Magellan for what should have been a delightful vacation, and instead was what I'll refer to as the "garbage cruise". No, literally, the whole ... Read More
You poor souls, what are you doing to yourselves?! My family and I went on the Magellan for what should have been a delightful vacation, and instead was what I'll refer to as the "garbage cruise". No, literally, the whole ship smelled like hot, smoky garbage. The whole trip. The drinking water smelled the same. Also, despite it being summer in the middle of the Mediterranean, the ship was freezing. We literally saw an 80-year old woman leave her room with an inhaler, and when we asked if she'd complained about the lack of heating, she told us, "It's okay, I'm getting off the ship tomorrow." Like, in a stretcher? LOVE YOURSELF. I know what you're thinking: "Just go outside! Get some fresh air!" Yeah, that would have been great if the entire ship hadn't been overtaken with a youth dance troupe that was (allegedly) invited on the trip. This is despite our booking the cruise to be SPECIFICALLY adults-only. Over a hundred children ran rampant on-board, with absolutely NO supervision from their parents or otherwise. Obviously that meant no pool-space for any adults, even in the adults-only area. When we complained that the adults-only hot tubs were filled with 9-year olds (a health and safety nightmare fyi), CMV had an excellent solution: NO MORE ADULTS-ONLY AREAS! Wow! Such a creative solution! One evening, my family and I caught a group of preteens left wild climbing around the ship gym, just throwing weights around. Because, you know, safety first. Okay, so the inside of the ship smells like sewage and the outside is overrun: let's get drunk! Sure, if you're lucky enough to wave down one of the 3 bartenders onboard. Then, if you did get a server, they would just... say no. "I'm too busy." I feel bad for the poor saps who bought drink packages, because you pretty much had to wait an hour per beverage. Well, thank goodness for the shore excursions! They're overpriced and sort of wobbly, like on most cruises, but getting off the boat was the best part of our journey. The shore excursion team, however, is a rag-tag crew of chain-smokers just looking for a free tour. Props to the gardening lecturer who managed to leave cigarette buds all over Gibralter (despite a literal hundred signs that said 'No Smoking'). Best of all, the shore excursions manager actually joined us on a Beatles tour in Liverpool, and when the tour bus BROKE, it was cut short. While we asked for the tour to be extended, we told the excursions manager that she should be the person vouching for us. "No," she replied. That's it, just "No." Luckily the Captain was always there to talk to and solve prob- Just kidding. The Captain was never there. Don't be silly, it's not a real cruise. So, overall miss and miss. Here are a few other highlights: -A barely-mobile gentleman was literally asked to LEAVE HIS ROOM because apparently he snored. This dude could barely walk, and CMVs only solution to a snoring complaint was to make him PACK HIS THINGS and sleep in a new cabin. Oh, not stay in a nice new cabin, just sleep there. Apparently they couldn't afford to let him use the new room during the day. -The entertainment crew dressed a bunch of white people in cotton and had them perform "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess... a song about LITERALLY BEING A COTTON SLAVE. WHO THOUGHT THAT WAS OKAY??? -I found a piece of completely uncooked meat in my stew and was told BY THE CHEF HIMSELF that "most people like it that way." In fairness, I have to say that the restaurant serving staff and cabin cleaning crew is incredible. They work really hard in really poor conditions and they made our trip much better than it would have otherwise been. Also, with more than a shoestring budget, I think the ship performers could do something really special. They're very talented and deserve better than the karaoke tracks they've been given. I mean, if you're looking for a terrible experience to bring you closer to your loved ones, this is it. I just don't think it's worth the dough. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary. We were a little hesitant because of some bad reviews. We found it value for money for what we paid. It is a 3 star cruise line. What we liked: The food was absolutely lovely ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary. We were a little hesitant because of some bad reviews. We found it value for money for what we paid. It is a 3 star cruise line. What we liked: The food was absolutely lovely Ocean view cabin spacious, clean and well maintained Staff were very friendly Very interesting guest lecturers. What we did not like so much: The disembarkation was a total joke. We opted for express check out only to wait for hours near Deck 4 and then when finally allowed off, were then told to go up to deck 8 for immigration processing. Lack of communication, staff not fully trained and able to answer some simple questions. Guest act of a comedian (Jimmy Carlo) total rubbish and should be ashamed to be called an entertainer. Entertainment was a hit and miss, the resident performers do really try, we also saw them performing other duties during the cruise as in tours, reception, activities etc. So they really are all rounders. We thought that they were understaffed especially in the dining room. Yes it is an older ship. Overall I would recommend in particular if it was an interesting itinerary. Read Less
51 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. I was a bit concerned because I had never cruised with this company before, and also because of the age of the ship, but I was very impressed with everything about the Marco Polo. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. I was a bit concerned because I had never cruised with this company before, and also because of the age of the ship, but I was very impressed with everything about the Marco Polo. The embarkation at Liverpool was faultless. Our cases were taken from us as they were unloaded from our transport and by the time we embarked the first case was already in our cabin and the other arrived shortly afterwards. The crew, from the Captain down to the cleaning staff were friendly, helpfull, and just so very nice. Our cabin, a category 12, number 473 was mid ships and quite roomy with 2 big windows, 2 wardrobes, each with a small set of drawers inside. 2 large chests of drawers either side of a dressing table. The beds were really comfortable, and the little shower room was also very good. Our bed linen seemed to be changed several times a week, and the towels replaced as often as you wanted them to be. We had a kettle and tea/coffee making facilities, but not everyone seemed to have these, but we were very pleased to be able to make a cup of tea first thing in the morning. The food was always very good and of an amazing variety. I have an allergy to prawns and shrimp, and I was given a menu each evening, for the following day, to choose my meals so that the chef could ensure that none of my choices included any hint of prawns or shrimp. I have never had such care on any other cruise line, and I have sailed on many. We always had breakfast in the dining room as it was buffet style, but with an egg station where you could have your eggs cooked in a variety of ways. Lots of fresh fruit every day and lots of cereals, granola, and always hot porridge for those who wanted it. We seldom had lunch because we were out and about, but the few days we did we opted for the little kitchen outdoors outside the Bistro where they cooked burgers, pizzas etc to order, along with fries and some salad accompaniments. Every afternoon at 3.30, there were sandwiches and cakes etc in the Bistro. Dinner was always a great choice, 5 courses if you wanted to eat them all, and several choices of each course. The entertainment was a great surprise to me. On big ships they have scenery, special effects and a huge cast, but on this little ship they had wonderful singers and dancers who just gave it their all, with no fancy special effects. So talented, and they always gave such a good show. There were also a couple of visiting comedians who gave shows alternately with the dancers, and also an amazing violin/piano duo who gave classical concerts and also entertained in the lounge. There were quizzes and other entertainment day and night, and a cabaret at 11 each evening which we were always too tired to stay up for, but always sounded great fun. The service was excellent. The dining room wait staff, and the wine waiters were really attentive, and could not be faulted. Our room maid did an excellent job of keeping our cabin clean. Although she spoke very little English, she was always smiling and happy to supply anything extra we wanted. Our first 2 ports were Dublin and Cobh, neither of which we booked excursions for. Unfortunately it rained heavily on both days, so we did not go off the ship until after lunch, when we just took the free shuttle into Dublin and walked to Trinity and queued to see the Book of Kells, which was well worth doing. In Cobh we walked the few hundred yards from the ship along the promenade to the Titanic Experience. This was excellent, it takes place in the original port terminal building that was used to take on passengers for the Titanic's last fateful voyage. A very worthwhile visitor attraction. Next port was St.Mary's in the Scilly Isles. We took the ship excursion to Tresco to see the Abbey Gardens. This was lovely, the gardens were beautiful and the red squirrels playing were an added bonus. In the afternoon we visited St. Mary's and after a lunch of Cornish pasty (huge, we really felt stuffed after them!) we had another ship's tour around the Island on a mini bus. Excellent tour guide/driver who told us all we should know about life in the Scilly Isles. Guernsey next. We did not go on a ship's excursion, just took the tender ashort and caught the ferry to Herm, where we walked over the island to Shell Beach and had a coffee and walked back. Herm is lovely, no traffic, just the quad bikes, some with trailers to take guests luggage to the hotels from the dock. We also took the local service bus in St Peter Port which takes an hour and a half to go right around the island and costs £1 only!! Very good value, and gave us a good idea of the island in the short time we had left before getting back on the ship. Honfleur. Good for passengers who wanted to go to Monet's house or the D day landing beaches etc, but as we did none of those, it was a bit boring. Edinburgh. Great, even though rammed with visitors for the Festival. A short walk from our dock was the Royal Yacht Britannia and we got there before opening and spend 2 hours touring it, and had a scrumptious scone with jam and cream and tea in the restaurant on the top deck! Orkney. Delightful! Took the ship's tour Scenic Orkney which included a stop for coffee and cakes. Lovely area but very windy! Stornaway. Took the Lewis and Harris tour. Very interesting place and we had an excellent guide who told us the history of the place. Beautiful beaches. Tobermory Mull. Nice little place. Lots of tours on offer but we chose the Whale and Wildlife tour and unfortunately we had some very heavy rain showers, so apart from 3 porpoise we didn't see very much. Belfast. We took the Antrim Coast and Giant's Causeway tour. This was an excellent tour, helped by the lovely weather. It was 8 hours and we were worried it would be boring, but our guide Lorna was really good. We had lots of photo stops at beautiful beaches and glens and the time just flew. We had lunch (included in thr price) at the Royal Court Hotel in Portrush which was excellent. Melon, roast beef with Yorkshire puds, roast and mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables, followed by a delicious fruit pavlova! Also included was either wine, beer or soft drinks. We tried a half of Guinness each! Lorna suggested trying it with a dash of blackcurrent, and it was really nice! Back to Liverpool! Disembarkation was very smooth. There was plenty of room in the lounge to wait for our call to leave, and we did not see anyone have a problem. It was chaotic getting out of the port, but that was because the Isle of Man ferry came in just as we were trying to leave. Sorry this is such a long report, but hopefully it may help if anyone is planning a similar cruise. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
About us. We are a mid aged couple and quite new to cruising this being our third cruise. We always read the reviews so it's important to write our own, sorry if it's long but I like to try and include as much info as I can ... Read More
About us. We are a mid aged couple and quite new to cruising this being our third cruise. We always read the reviews so it's important to write our own, sorry if it's long but I like to try and include as much info as I can and include details I have not seen on other reviews. I am experienced at writing reviews and it's what I do when I go away and I use another site for hotels rather than this cruise site. THE SHIP It was built in 1985 but it has been updated. OUR ROOM We we in room 6197 so please don't think all rooms are like this. If you look at the ships plan it's the biggest room on the ship but it's a inside cabin. I think it's intended for family's as it's a suite. Who needs a widow when you have two rooms and wardrobe's. The room was just as expected, it was a little dark for me and I would of preferred brighter lights. I take a torch on all holidays and this was needed for me to arrange my hair. RESTAURANT We were booked into the Waldorf and the early sitting which suited us. We had dinner then watched the entertainment. The dinner menu was five courses if you wanted them all. We could not fault the restaurant the staff and food were great. One tip is to ask not to sit in the booth type seating this was far too tight for us to fit between the table and chair. The round tables are much better, we chose to seat with other guests. Seating as a couple is an option but we loved chatting to other guests. BARS All are great, we had the all inclusive drinks package which cost £17 and for us this was great value. I do not drink that much but for me the non alcoholic beer was just tight. SWIMMING POOL On the cruise we were on we were told the pools were out of use as we had no cruise days. I hope I can add the photo to show how poor the pool was when we go on the ship. It was cleaned the next day but this was poor of them to leave the pool in such a poor state. The two jacuzzi's were bubbling away but not heated. Such a shame we would of used the pools and jacuzzi's. STAFF Friendly enough but the poor English was an issue, many things were lost in transaction. ENTERTAINMENT Some of the entertainment is dia but mostly we thought it was ok. You have to take in account its not a big ship so has not the budget of a big ship. Often the entertainment in the tavern was fun. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We booked this 6 months before departure so paid c. £3500 for 4 of us. Last minute passengers can pay much less (£500-600 each) and I imagine CMV struggle to break even. I had no problem with the price. Embarkation at Liverpool was ... Read More
We booked this 6 months before departure so paid c. £3500 for 4 of us. Last minute passengers can pay much less (£500-600 each) and I imagine CMV struggle to break even. I had no problem with the price. Embarkation at Liverpool was extremely efficient. Greenock and Lerwick were dreary places so you will need to arrange excursions. I would do this in advance or you may have to use CMV tours at a price. These small places are not equipped to cater for independent tours especially if another cruise ship arrives at the same time. We enjoyed the Faroe Islands, Kirkwall and Tobermoray was pretty but simply a small harbour. The evening meals on the ship were very good - lots of choice for everyone. Breakfasts less acceptable and a bit of a scrum. There is an a la carte option at breakfast which is less choice but more peaceful. We usually had lunch at our port destination but there was a buffet on board, pizza and a burger bar. There are hundreds of staff on board from around the world and they were all exceptionally helpful and it seemed a happy ship on the face of it. They are obviously very reliant on tips so worth remembering that. The evening entertainment was enthusiastic and had its moments - some good and also excruciating. Didn't expect too much! It was mainly fun. Contrary to popular belief cruises are not really suitable for the very elderly/ infirm unless they remain on board all day! Even then disembarking is stressful as is the emergency drill (lifts out of action both times and many stairs to climb). Also bear in mind that the boats may drop anchor outside small ports and it is then necessary to reach shore on small tender boats - very difficult for the elderly. Finally do think about disembarkation and onward travel. The final port may be miles from the rail station (eg Newcastle) and taxis can be limited Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Easy and local embarkation port of Liverpool and River Seine itinerary attracted us (a party of eleven seasoned cruisers) who had not used Cruise & Maritime Voyages before. Cannot fault the ship although there were few balconies it ... Read More
Easy and local embarkation port of Liverpool and River Seine itinerary attracted us (a party of eleven seasoned cruisers) who had not used Cruise & Maritime Voyages before. Cannot fault the ship although there were few balconies it being an older ship. Every feature was better than expected - cleanliness, staff, spacious public rooms, lovely theatre, open decks, etc. Staterooms were acceptable and kept very clean.The highlights were the excellent quality of meals and the five wonderful shows (Wow!!) Live singing (Wow!) Wonderful dancers and live singers and chorerography, professional talented musicians and great cruise director. Live shows on ships are unheard of nowadays as they are pre-recorded and mimed. If you want, or can remember traditional cruises or experienced good, solid well-built vessels (child free on this trip) please choose CMV. Nothing was too much trouble for their very peasant and well-trained staff. A very affordable holiday. We will certainly .cruise with them again Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose this cruise because it sailed from Liverpool and what a send off we got, fantastic sail away party and it set the scene for the next 12 days. The ship was spotlessly clean, you could often see the crew cleaning around the ship. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it sailed from Liverpool and what a send off we got, fantastic sail away party and it set the scene for the next 12 days. The ship was spotlessly clean, you could often see the crew cleaning around the ship. The rooms were of a good size and the food was of a really good quality. We found the entertainment to be excellent and very professional. All the crew were friendly and approachable, nothing was too much trouble. We did not have the best weather whilst we were visiting Iceland, but his did not detract from a vey enjoyable holiday. We enjoyed the excursions that we went on and most of the ports of call, possibly with the exemption of Isafjodur, which was a bit bleak. The Golden Circle tour was definitely value for money and must do for anyone visiting Iceland. We have already booked to travel on the Magellan again next year. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Wanted to experience a cruise but wanted interesting places and photographic experiences. We decided on Iceland for this reason knowing it wasn't going to be a Sun holiday. Ship fine, food fine, staff really lovely with special ... Read More
Wanted to experience a cruise but wanted interesting places and photographic experiences. We decided on Iceland for this reason knowing it wasn't going to be a Sun holiday. Ship fine, food fine, staff really lovely with special mention of Gilbert our cabin steward and Edy from the Bistro restaurant. Not enough Cinema and the first two films were really Naf for an adult only cruise - finding Dory and La La land!!!!!!!!!. Entertainment crew not the best although the dancers were really good. One of the girls couldn't hold a note and put the others off. Jean Michel was by far the best singer. We booked an outside cabin and ended up with a porthole that was blacked out most of the trip, would have preferred a window. The Captain and crew marvellous and constantly walked about talking to the passengers. Iceland far far too expensive but not cruise fault. All in all cruising not out cup of tea. Talking of which our drinks package did not include coffees which it should do. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was our first and last time with Fred Olsen, which went to the Lochs of Scotland (plus Mull, Skye and Orkney). The selling points for us was that it went to Mull and offered an excursion to Iona, Portree in Skye (where we have ... Read More
This was our first and last time with Fred Olsen, which went to the Lochs of Scotland (plus Mull, Skye and Orkney). The selling points for us was that it went to Mull and offered an excursion to Iona, Portree in Skye (where we have family) Orkney and from Holy Loch offered a trip to the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow as well as offering free time in Glasgow City. Embarkation from Liverpool convenient and went smoothly. Table size request not honoured. Ate in casual diner instead which was surprisingly good. Didn't manage to get to Iona. Skye cancelled. No free time in Glasgow. Ship rolled at slightest sea conditions and generally very noisy. Many passengers with mobility problems. Would be surprised if no one injured. Tender intensive cruise. Ship moored further out than expected for a small ship. Very scary experience on one occasion. Junior crew excellent. Enjoyed the entertainment. Very much enjoyed the Scottish scenery and warm welcome we received from the Scots. We did enjoy our time on Orkney, Kelvingrove Museum and Dunrobin Castle. Generally felt excursions overpriced compared to other companies. Sorry but Fred isn't for us. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Mixed review. With the exception of the performance outlined below the experience was very good. The service staff in particular were excellent.The cabin facilities were of a high standard as indeed was the food. The overall cleanliness ... Read More
Mixed review. With the exception of the performance outlined below the experience was very good. The service staff in particular were excellent.The cabin facilities were of a high standard as indeed was the food. The overall cleanliness of the ship deserves positive mention. The places visited proved very impressive with the added bonus of observing the Northern Lights and various types of whales. The drawbacks were as follows ; 1. British Night. Apart from questioning why it was held in the first place as we were visiting Greenland,Iceland and the Faroe Islands it was sad that in contrast to the final international night with its sense of togetherness the British Night was conducted in an altogether different manner . More specifically many of us in attendance were confronted with a cringe worthy triumphalist recollection of a period long gone when Britain played a not insignificant role in world affairs. The main examples were the choice of the racist tinged Jerusalem and the breast beating Land of Hope and Glory. [ I will leave alone the separate matter that both songs relate to England rather than Britain !!!]. Add to this it seems the planners rather than being sensitive to Britain`s current poor profile in the eyes of the wider world post Brexit which alone should have rendered the performance as unwise they instead were eager to tap into many of the guests wishes to return to times past. Factor in alcohol and it was no surprise to overhear hostile comments being made towards not only other cultures elsewhere in the world but also other countries in the UK. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
My wife and I have cruised with many major cruise lines over several years, including twice with Cruise and Maritime before. Whilst we accept that they are not the largest or the most modern ships and make allowances for this, ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised with many major cruise lines over several years, including twice with Cruise and Maritime before. Whilst we accept that they are not the largest or the most modern ships and make allowances for this, nevertheless we were disappointed with our latest experience with CMV. It's the first time we have left from Liverpool and we arranged to park at the cruise terminal. The instructions were inadequate and I had difficulty finding the car park when I had dropped off my wife and the luggage a the terminal. In fact, even after asking the way, I had to drive around and then back to ask again. The Azores was 67 years old and I think that this was her last season with CMV. However she was clean, well furnished and comfortable. We were uprated to a Junior suite and the cabin was very nice although it was one deck above the waterline, with portholes which had to have their deadlights screwed down when we encountered some choppy weather. My main complaint was about the attitude of quite a few members of the crew. Both girls on the reception counter were curt, unfriendly and unhelpful. Our table waiter seemed to resent our presence and dinner time was not to be looked forward to. At our first breakfast in the restaurant we were kept waiting for twenty minutes for a simple bowl of porridge which was finally delivered after we had asked three different waiters. There were some very nice and helpful waiters/waitresses also, but a chain is as strong as its weakest link and even a small cruise ship can equal the service on the main liners. The food, whilst acceptable, was not outstanding, although dinners (service excepted) were of a better standard than the other meals. Particularly the buffet lunch was disappointing in that there was no fish, boiled ham, chicken, cold meats or other choices to eat with salad, just mozzarella or garlic sausage slices and the choice was far worse than other cruises we have been on. Like all our cruises, we chose this one for the destinations and these were superb. Half were only accessible by tender, but this is fine for most passengers. Activities and entertainment were second rate compared to larger ships but full marks to the crew who did so much to fulfil so many different roles and do it well. For most of the crew, English was not their first language and there were occasional difficulties in understanding them - or they us - but we got by. The final ordeal was disembarkation, we were supposed to leave the ship at 12.30 and duly assembled for that time. Our actual departure was at 13.15, we had to wait for some of our luggage to arrive in the shed and then had to retrieve our car from a car park 1,000 metres away and bring it back to pick up the luggage. The worst thing however was that we had to vacate our cabin at 10.00 hours and there were only three public wc's and no gent's urinals for the entire number of passengers. A very uncomfortable waiting experience and one which I will not endure again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
AZORES cruise Tuesday Boarded ship via rickety gangplank. Shown to cabin. Bottle of champagne and hors d'oeuvres waiting. Buffet from 2pm to 3.45pm. Limited menu but OK Safe very small. Holds camera and iPad and small ... Read More
AZORES cruise Tuesday Boarded ship via rickety gangplank. Shown to cabin. Bottle of champagne and hors d'oeuvres waiting. Buffet from 2pm to 3.45pm. Limited menu but OK Safe very small. Holds camera and iPad and small items. Sockets are EU 2-pin ones so need an adaptor, although some adaptors may be present eg on TV or kettle Food not too bad. Ukrainian waitress manic. Asked for wine waiter but never appeared. Waitress pointed out that although there is a dining room and a buffet there is only one kitchen so the food is all the same. Some vibration once under way. We are on deck six in a balcony suite so it's not too bad but noticeable. TV picks up BBC one and two and ITV one, two and three (I think) with good reception throughout the voyage and no rubbish US channels. Wednesday, Cobh Breakfast in dining room. They allocate seats Went to port talk. A bit difficult to understand as it is by a non-english speaker. Spoke to woman staying on deck one. She said that vibration was horrendous and they could not sleep. Wifi not picked up in cabin. Went into Cobh and had drink in Rob Roy pub which had free wifi. Smithwick beer excellent. Had lunch in buffet. Same food as restaurant. Waitress was right. Almost empty as people were ashore. No fruit or hors d'oevres delivered. No obvious way of contacting steward or reception as phone has no instructions or list of numbers. Turned out that you dial 0 for reception but did not try it. Just discovered that their idea of hors d'oevres is a plate of chocolate covered strawberries. Thursday St Marys, Scilly Isles Breakfast in room at 7am. Dead on time. Tender to Tresco. A bit damp but good value. Lunch tolerable Dinner had lamb shank which was nice and tender. Amazing! Abba show at night from resident company. They do a different show each night and are very good. Friday, st Peter Port, Guernsey Tendered ashore again. Ships cannot dock in Guernsey as not enough draught. Found free wifi at the Information Bureau on the front. Missed lunch but had afternoon tea at 3.30 which was actually pretty good. Sandwiches, wraps and cakes, including scones but with apricot jam and "clotted" cream which was nothing pf the sort. Nice though. Had the daily special coffee, French Coffee, which had Grand Marnier and whipped cream in and was lovely. Tasted very alcoholic. Saturday. Le Havre Docked, with proper gangplank provided by docks. Exit through cruise terminal which has free wifi if you look hard enough. Went on city train which goes to shops for ten euros each return. Temp was 28 degrees. Sunday. At sea Thought that tonight would be formal but it is informal. Warned by captain that sea will be getting rough to sea state 5 until morning. He was right. Note that when the ship calls at ports you are given an information sheet but it does not have a map of the port! Due to rough seas internet not working. This happens a lot. Monday. Invergordon Ship docked so can just walk ashore. Sun shining but lots of clouds around. Had tempura for lunch which was awful. Although described as crispy it is served in a steamer which makes it go soggy. Internet working fairly well in ship Internet room but went ashore and found a coffee bar with free internet, the Purple Turtle. So far food equates with lower end of school dinners. Tuesday. Stornoway Had been before but went ashore,by tender, to look for wi-fi. Found it was free in Stornoway Library. High spot of the trip was at breakfast when helicopter came to evacuate elderly lady who had slipped on the dance floor last night and possibly broken her hip. In the end she was taken by lifeboat and the helicopter went away. I was told by member of entertainment staff that they are only keeping this ship until the end of the year and have sub-let it next year. Wednesday. Tobermory Tender again. Weather OK at first and port scenic but began to pour with rain. Could not find free internet so went back to ship. We had bought a 100 minute Internet package but still had 80 minutes left as it was so fiddly to use, so we used it up. Thursday. Liverpool Lovely sunny day. Caught taxi home. Looking forward to decent food again! Read Less

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