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268 London (Greenwich, Tower Bridge, Tilbury) to Europe - British Isles & Western Cruise Reviews

There were parts of the cruise which were very good namely the cabin steward and the waiting and bar staff. Unfortunately there was a force majeur situation which meant that 4 stops on the itinerary were cancelled - Vigo, Tenerife, ... Read More
There were parts of the cruise which were very good namely the cabin steward and the waiting and bar staff. Unfortunately there was a force majeur situation which meant that 4 stops on the itinerary were cancelled - Vigo, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Porto which was extremely disappointing but apparently couldn't be helped 2 of those stops were replaced with Cherbourg and Morocco. The entertainment show staff were very amateur and some of them couldn't even sing apart from a couple and I really didn't rate the cruise director Toby talk about arrogance with no talent. The other singers were a band called the funky lions were very good as was an Argentinian guitar player and singer in Taverners bar (can't remember his name) he was also excellent. Just a pity about the show staff talk about flat. The worst thing about the cruise however was that more than half of the people on board succumbed to what I now know is famously called 'The Magellan Cough'. Many people were having to go to the medical centre and you could see people walking around with canulas in as they were getting IV antiboitics. I am generally a very fit person who never gets colds and I am now back in the UK and off work due to this terrible cough. Magellan sort it out, there is no sense in trying to put a cruise on if more than half of your passengers fall ill due to lack of proper air con or whatever caused this, we do not want to be spending thousands on a cruise to then come back and be ill with infections and coughs. I would have given a higher score if it hadn't been for this cough I contracted. I will never sail on the Magellan again due to the cough epidemic if not for this I would have done. Until CMV sort out their cough epidemic that constantly happens on this ship I think they will continue to lose custom for it. Sort it out CMV !! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Was it perhaps us? We’re not new to Cruise and Maritime, far from it, in fact. We were really looking forward to the Christmas New Year cruise. It was our third time on the Magellan, and our second during the festive season on the ... Read More
Was it perhaps us? We’re not new to Cruise and Maritime, far from it, in fact. We were really looking forward to the Christmas New Year cruise. It was our third time on the Magellan, and our second during the festive season on the ship. Embarkation was exceedingly efficient, and our luggage was already at our cabin when we got there. Just a couple of months earlier, we sailed to Canada on the Marco Polo and had an absolutely fabulous cruise. I perhaps ought to say that unlike in September, this time, we boarded hugely deflated due to the election result and knew we’d have to bite our tongues as the country had chosen a very different path to the one we’d fought for. It actually crossed my mind that most people should be in a really good mood, looking forward to all of the excellent opportunities our new government was promising, so complaints would be minimal and kept to something that’s justified. But no, for many, the sea was still too wet, the earth was too round and the moon wasn’t made of cheese. But the prize went to a woman who exclaimed “not fish again” one lunchtime when her main course arrived, having been given a choice of at least five other options… We usually find Cruise and Maritime’s “quirks” quite endearing, after all, where else would you find exotic delights such as “Scottish Cornish Pasties” on the menu? And we loved trying to work out what the warning on the lunchtime menu meant (it said “The below Icon which one mention the menu is condense with”). The restaurant signage refers to “Ruffles” and then there was the beef “noddle” in the buffet… The lack of attention to detail really is something CMV ought to address – the worst example of this was when we docked in Lisbon at a different place to where it said on the daily explorer, so people went the wrong way when leaving the ship if they didn’t know the city. And why are there no maps of ports included in the writeups? But at least this time they got the time right, unlike during our Canadian trip where one day ship time ended up different to shore time! We found the entertainment a little mediocre to be honest, but one thing that is most entertaining is to hear all the gossip which quickly becomes Chinese whispers. Apparently we got the Columbus’s dock in Agadir, very interesting considering they were due to go to Casablanca! And so many people seemed to be much more accomplished sailors than the captain, constantly questioning why the ship went when and where it did forgetting that it can be quite tricky to park in a supermarket carpark at this time of year, never mind finding a port! We were very glad to be kept safe from the bad weather in the Bay of Biscay, but yes, we’d have liked a couple more hours in Lisbon. One thing that might be considered during the muster drill is to teach passengers how to explain how to communicate effectively with waiters whose first language isn’t English. Waiters simply don’t really need to know why you want something, just that they’ve understood what you’ve ordered - in amongst the life story of why you want a poached egg rather than a fried egg, but you don’t like boiled eggs and the scrambled eggs are too runny/firm/hot/cold (delete as applicable), but then decide on a boiled egg anyway while all the other passengers are patiently waiting to place their order... It all just leaves the poor server very confused. It’s also very useful to listen when the order is being confirmed to avoid saying “is this what I ordered?” when it arrives. I have no idea how they do their job, let alone for 8-10 months without a day off! As for the muster drills, I joked that CMV were cutting down on comedians as the drill was an absolute farce – I’m not sure a member of staff ought to have been setting up the buffet during our second drill! Oh, and if there is to be a second drill, perhaps it might be a good idea if it were reflected in the Explorer’s events programme?! I do apologise if I’ve sounded like I’m moaning – I am a remoaner after all! Let’s cheer up the mood by saying that in three weeks, we didn’t queue once, there were no art auctions, no kids and on the whole, food and service were great and all in all great value for money – just some of the things we like about CMV and make it our preferred line. I also like the fact that there are a fair few non-UK guests onboard giving a more international flavour than some other British lines. We also like not having 24 hour food, so sometimes you can actually feel hungry before eating again! Another thing we very much liked was that even on port days, the Kensington was open for à la carte breakfast and lunch, meaning no pushing and shoving at the buffet and generally interesting company. I’m not quite sure why they ran out of orange juice, but even that isn’t really the end of the world and it’s not like they can just go and get some whilst at sea! As for the cabin, we were allocated 7029, towards the front and well located - there aren’t any frills, we bring our own toiletries and it’s kept spotless – the bed’s comfy enough, but the fold down beds do get in the way of you being able to sit up in bed, and some hooks would have been very useful. We could have done without the toilet being so temperamental, but it was mended fairly quickly each time – it did make us laugh when we were waiting for the handyman when on the TV one channel was showing “All the Number Twos from the 1980s”! We also enjoyed the free breakfast in bed – a pastry and a slice of toast was all we need so we could enjoy lunch. Our cabin steward (Wiktoria) was very efficient and kept us well stocked with tissues – and Ruben, the steward on the next block, had been our cabin steward last time and even remembered us leaving a Christmas decoration in our cabin which he’d left at reception for us (but that was a couple of years ago…). In all fairness, CMV does what it says on the tin very well – it doesn’t claim to be what it isn’t. We always go for second sitting, but for the first time on any cruise, after a week or so, we chose to eat in the buffet as we generally wanted to go to bed early - we both suffered badly from colds (in common with lots of other passengers) and we were out of sorts generally. However, for the first time on any cruise we’ve been on, let’s just say we ran out of conversation with our table mates – we’ve never moved table before, but it did cross our minds, but wondered if it would be out of the frying pan... It was a shame, as our waiters - and the food – were great. The buffet was okay once you got used to it and we perhaps weren’t up to making conversation for a prolonged period every night. Our usual game of “Brexit bingo” seemed somewhat easier than usual – we score points for words such as Wetherspoons, Brussels, Benefit Scroungers, Immigrants, Tipping, Foreigners… Brexit itself didn’t seem to be mentioned that much (and we’d have politely steered the conversation away, especially as we’d banned ourselves from looking at the news). We awarded ourselves a bingo bonus when we learned that there was a book written on the carpets of Wetherspoons (and were shown photos!) by someone we met who had made it his life’s mission to visit each and every pub in that chain! It takes all sorts to make a world, after all, and if that’s what floats your boat…! Somehow we found the entertainment a little lacklustre (again, it could have been us) – we really didn’t understand why the Netherlands aren’t included in the Round the World cabaret (is Rotterdam not a home port these days?), nor why that dreadful song about us ruling the waves and having an Empire still gets an airing – perhaps “The Old Bull and Bush” would be more in keeping, especially with so many East End/Essex people on board, although I’d rather have John Lennon’s Imagine to represent our country. But I did learn that Tequila comes from Brazil. Apparently! There are so many great Brazilian songs and they play one from Mexico!! Another CMV quirk! Due to weather conditions, our itinerary was amended a couple of times at the beginning of the cruise – we spent a lovely day in Rotterdam, then the Captain told us about storms over the Bay of Biscay, so we docked in Cherbourg for two days, which meant missing out Vigo, Tenerife and Lanzarote, and adding Agadir. To be honest, apart from being able to meet up with friends in Tenerife, the new itinerary suited us far better – it included a country new to us, and we still made it to Cape Verde, which was really fascinating, especially as we didn’t visit the two more touristy islands. I can understand people not knowing anything about Morocco as it wasn’t on our original itinerary, but it’s beyond me why people didn’t do a little research about Cape Verde before going there – why go to a developing country then moan about its infrastructure? Due to the itinerary changes, we were given £100 onboard credit for the inconvenience, which we thought was a very generous gesture. There were also free shuttles at just about every port (although at some it was stated they were for the less able-bodied) – in Praia in particular, the old town was far too far for just about anyone to walk and thankfully anyone was admitted onto the shuttle. The blurb said it was around 800m to town, but that was obviously copied and pasted from the Mindelo information as it was much further– and uphill most of the way (in nearly 30C). Our excursions were very good, and changes to the itinerary were handled without a glitch (we were in Cape Verde a day later than originally planned, and our excursions were simply transferred) – the additional stop in Agadir was very short, so by doing the excursion we made the most of our time there. Restaurant times were adjusted in accordance with port timings, for example sometimes lunch was served from 11.30. On sea days, we attended quite a few of the lectures – a graphologist, stargazer and talks on entertainers of yesteryear were all interesting – I’d have gone to more of the creative writing sessions had they not clashed with lunch. One of the passengers organised a daily LGBT meetup which was a great idea and something we haven’t had on CMV previously, something most other cruise lines put in their programmes automatically – on every CMV cruise we’ve been on, there has been a fair smattering of same sex couples. As we weren’t on top form, we didn’t go to quite a few of the shows – although it was interesting how few of them were repeats of what we’d seen on the Marco Polo, just a few of the production shows were very similar. It’s hard to pin down exactly what made this cruise one of our least favourites. Perhaps it’s just that we’ve enjoyed others more and our mood was a little lower than usual. Toothache certainly didn’t help (the medical centre arranged for a trip to the dentist in Gran Canaria), and our colds and generally feeling unwell meant we were in bed by 11pm on New Year’s Eve, and many times by 9pm. We also weren’t overly fond of the Captain’s Club where all of the entertainment happened, it was crowded, hot and the band weren’t at all to our taste, we found them far too raucous, but that could, of course, be due to us feeling under the weather and other passengers commented how good they were. If there’s something that could be put right, then I’d gladly give some constructive criticism, but I’m really not sure what CMV could do to rectify anything, apart from a little more attention to detail. Perhaps it was just our deflated mood following the election campaign (in which we were heavily involved), general health and the fact that we’d recently spent 30 days on the Marco Polo that lessened our enjoyment and back then, we still had some hope for our country’s future. I sincerely hope that I can look back at this review at the turn of the next decade and that our fears were completely unfounded. But before that, let’s hope that the next two cruises we’ve got booked on CMV are as enjoyable as our Canada cruise! Let's just hope we get rid of this cough/cold by then! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise as we had been on the Christmas Market cruise for the previous 3 years and thoroughly enjoyed them. This year was different. the atmosphere on board was unlike previous cruises. I can't quite put my finger on ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had been on the Christmas Market cruise for the previous 3 years and thoroughly enjoyed them. This year was different. the atmosphere on board was unlike previous cruises. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it was almost as if everyone had given up for the year. Some of the crew worked really hard and were attentive to passenger needs but some seemed burned-out. CMV got the itinerary wrong this year, going to Antwerp first and then Amsterdam. This meant leaving Antwerp before the Christmas Market was in full swing. We also arrived late at Amsterdam due to "out going" traffic delaying our passage through the lock. The ship herself was as we expected, a little tired but comfortable, and was kept very clean. The cabin (we had been given an upgrade to deck 11) was a good size, clean and comfortable, so no complaints on that score. The food, we used the Bistro for convenience, was good and hot. Having complained in the past about the choice of vegetables I was happy to see an improved selection available. We did not see any of the Shows this time so can only comment on the singer in one bar who was an improvement of a previous year. He seemed to have a degree of talent and a good voice. We were disappointed that the Cruise Director did not make any announcements about the entertainment on offer, but then he was conspicuous by his absence. Another indicator of the lack of attention from CMV. The shops carried the usual array of good, although the Duty Free shop was half empty and the staff seemed to lack any concern for customers. The range of cigarette brands was really poor and the staff offered no hope of this being rectified. It was a matter of fact attitude, "check in after 5pm when we leave Amsterdam and see what we have". We were also disappointed with the "late night snacks" offered in the deck 7 bars. Waiters walked straight past our seats, told us they would attend to us on the way back, and when one of them did offer us something there were only 2 or 3 items left on his tray. All in all, it was a cruise that lacked the Christmas Spirit. CMV have let their normally high standards drop. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Firstly, I am one of those people that rarely writes a review, but I enjoyed my cruise with CMV so much, I am boring the people around me! Also, I was really disappointed to read a review from the same cruise that was really quite ... Read More
Firstly, I am one of those people that rarely writes a review, but I enjoyed my cruise with CMV so much, I am boring the people around me! Also, I was really disappointed to read a review from the same cruise that was really quite negative, so surprised that it was the same ship and schedule, we are all different though I guess! Yes the ship is now 30 years old, some areas did show signs of age, but all of the public areas were tastefully decorated, very spacious and spotlessly clean. We found that each night we had a pre show cocktail in Raffles, followed by very enjoyable shows including the hilarious pantomime (anyone who has seen it will know why I am still laughing at 'rubber balls'), more cocktails in Connections and then the late Atrium show, with the highlight being the Jersey Beats performance on the last night, it was brilliant. The entertainment team with Cruise Director Lee at the helm was great, looked like they were having fun and delivered some excellent performances. Personally I disagree with a previous review stating that the Cruise Director was not around much, with a lack of attention - we couldn't believe how he seemed to be able to be in more than one place at a time! Yes we were a little late docking at Amsterdam due to traffic coming out of the lock, but the Captain estimated arrival between 11.30/12.30, so the actual 10.30 was no big deal in the big scheme of things, plus it was actually quite nice to get some day time sailing in, watching Holland go by from a chilly but sunny top deck. We were lucky to be upgraded from an inside cabin to a porthole on deck 4 - there are not many cabins down there so nice and quiet. The bathroom in the cabin was dated but clean and super powerful shower. The Cabin was a really good size with comfortable beds, and Ahmad our steward kept it immaculate for us. When docking at Antwerp and Amsterdam, because the cruise terminals are so close to the city centres, we didn't book any excursions, we just went off and did our own thing, both lovely places to visits. Lastly, the food. I have never eaten so much in my life! Most breakfasts and lunches were taken in the Plantation buffet, where we were always 'lucky' (well timed) with getting a table, with evening meals in the Waterfront restaurant. Lovely 5 course menu each evening with attentive table steward Yogi. Would I cruise on Columbus again? 100% yes. I appreciate that the brand is seen as 'budget' compared to some other suppliers, but in terms of value for money, ship comfort, entertainment and food, it ticked every box for me - now looking at next years cruises :) Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose this cruise as was a very cheap deal, obviously get what you pay for. Cabin was very outdated, hairs on bedding, hairs in the sink and floor was filthy when we arrived and wasn’t hoovered the whole time we were there. Freezing ... Read More
Chose this cruise as was a very cheap deal, obviously get what you pay for. Cabin was very outdated, hairs on bedding, hairs in the sink and floor was filthy when we arrived and wasn’t hoovered the whole time we were there. Freezing cold in room even with heating on. Loose wires on the phone. Tv didn’t work properly. Cabin steward was very rude and didn’t do his job at all. Food was basic and not many options, staff in restaurant rude and unfriendly Entertainment absolutely awful and of poor standard, show team need upgrading massively. Lack of entertainment on board- nothing to do on board for hours on end in between the little entertainment they did provide. Arrived in Amsterdam 4 hours late but we’re not informed until we were meant to dock so everyone was sat waiting and we didn’t stay later. Disembarkation diabolical massive queues everywhere! NEVER-AGAIN Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I took this short cruise with my Mum as a quick festive getaway. We had low expectation due to the very reasonable price we paid and for the most-part our expectations were either met or exceeded. The ship is very old - no amount of ... Read More
I took this short cruise with my Mum as a quick festive getaway. We had low expectation due to the very reasonable price we paid and for the most-part our expectations were either met or exceeded. The ship is very old - no amount of decorating will hide that fact. It has been re-branded and changed hands several times over its 35 year life and it does look its age. However, it does have a retro charm and we quite enjoyed going back in time for a few days. It was mostly well maintained (as much as such an old ship can be) and was very clean throughout. Most of our fellow passengers were 65+ which does make the experience echo that of a floating care home. I, being 24, was by far (VERY far) the youngest passenger on board. Our cabin was clean and quite spacious. The carpeting looked new and the beds were reasonably comfy. Being an aft cabin, it was extremely noisy due to being above the engines, however this did not disturb our sleep too much. The room was extremely hot and despite putting the air-con on full blast, the room remained hot throughout the trip. The food in the buffet was limited but tasty, good for a quick bite. The main dining room was exceptional, honestly some of the best food I've had at sea. Five courses were offered every night and all were very good. The daily activities were average - bingo, ballroom dancing, trivia etc and the entertainment team did their best. There was live music in most of the lounges in the evenings which was appreciated my most and the shows in the main theatre were entertaining, a bit "holiday camp", but pretty good. Service in the dining room was excellent and our room steward was very pleasant. The bars needed more servers. They were clearly struggling with demand and we had to wait quite a while to catch someones attention to order a drink. Overall I would do this cruise again. For the price we paid I think we received a decent cruise which, in some areas, exceeded our expectations. Go with an open mind and low expectations and you will enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We heard mixed reports about Magellan but were very pleasantly surprised. Fresh out of a refit, the ship was far smarter and far more stylish internally than expected. Compared to Fred Olsen's Balmoral (the standard we were ... Read More
We heard mixed reports about Magellan but were very pleasantly surprised. Fresh out of a refit, the ship was far smarter and far more stylish internally than expected. Compared to Fred Olsen's Balmoral (the standard we were expecting), it was streets ahead. The cabins are large, smart, well fitted and comfortable, excepting the rather rough bottom sheets. Everything throughout the ship was spotless and gleaming. As this was a Christmas Markets 3 day cruise we didn't use the outer decks much but they were spacious. Internally there were a good variety of comfortable bar areas. The theatre was a good size for the size of ship, although the upper tier views would be marred by glass screens there was ample space in the main arena. Food was superb in the restaurant and the buffet. The latter could be a little crowded at times but we always found seats eventually. Staff throughout the ship were superb, really friendly and helpful without exception. The theatre shows were simple, no sets but a live orchestra. The standard of the performers, however was extremely high. There was an excellent live band in one bar, an excellent guitarist in another and also a piano bar so plenty of quality entertainment. Now for the negatives: This was billed as a three night scenic Seine and Christmas Markets cruise with Rouen as an evening visit and a full day in Honfleur. The Seine was lovely even in the rain, about 6 hours on the river. We arrived at Rouen at 4.15pm, back on board time to be at 8.00pm. This is where the fiasco started. The gangway on deck 5. There was an announcement to wait in the lounges, not on deck 5 but having a slow moving elderly person with us we went down earlier. We joined a fairly short queue to get to the entrance. We were glad we got there early. From the point the gangway opened it took 25 minutes to get to it. When we got there we realised why. There was a flight of around 30 really steep metal steps down to the quay. This was the only exit for 1400 people, one or two at a time. There was absolutely no warning of this. It was pouring with rain and no cover so very slippery. There were of course many elderly and disabled people. Many simply could not do it and had to turn back. Those that tried took ages as would be expected (not their fault). We did get off eventually but by the time we got to Rouen we had just two hour and we were near the front in the queue. Many saw the queue down many flights of internal stairs and gave up. It was frankly very dangerous and the safety officer clearly isn't doing his job. We spoke to many disappointed people who wanted to see Rouen and were unable. None had any warning there was not going to be a ramp though CMV must have known the tide was in and they have no exit below deck 5. Honfleur was much better. The same steps but the tide was in so far less steep and having docked early there was no pressure. The biggest issue here didn't bother us particularly but this was billed as a Christmas Market cruise and the opening night for the market was that day, in the evening after we sailed out! Some seriously bad planning there! We have never been on a ship with no exit below deck 5. It simply does not work without a proper ramp. There was little time in Rouen and most would not have seen it at all. A great pity as the rest of the cruise was pretty faultless, especially at this price level. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We took a Cruise with CMV in March to Iceland which was Awful and the complaint went as far as ABTA but we secured a discount on another Cruise and thought we would give them the benefit of doubt and give them another chance to redeem ... Read More
We took a Cruise with CMV in March to Iceland which was Awful and the complaint went as far as ABTA but we secured a discount on another Cruise and thought we would give them the benefit of doubt and give them another chance to redeem themselves with the Christmas Cruise to Holland, Germany and Belgium. The start wasn't good as the ship had been delayed in Belgium. We sat in the pretty uncomfortable surroundings of Tilbury and were delayed for 5 and a half hours with hardly any announcements and had to pay for drinks and food. Then we boarded the ship having had no news from CMV that our Itinerary had been changed straight away and we weren't even going to go to Belgium which was one of the Christmas Markets that we had actually booked the trip for, so why CMV not tell us all until we boarded the ship. No Compensation for this of course but this is what we expected from CMV after our last Cruise with them. The itinerary was more time in Holland and more time in Germany and then back to Tilbury. Only two days off of the ship instead of the proposed three, not good. Our pre registered trip in Amsterdam was also cancelled and we had to make our own entertainment there for about 8 to 10 hrs as the other excursion they had was not what we wanted. Then we had about 12 hrs in Hamburg to see the Christmas Markets there. All in all not Good enough again. Our cabin was very tired and we feel that a lot of the ship needs a refurb. The Card Room was absolutely freezing most of the time and so was the observation room. Apart from one of the waiters in the Pub, our cabin cleaner and the Gentleman singer in the Pub, also the Pantomime by the Entertainment team on the last evening was good.We found most of the staff on board pretty hopeless and unsympathetic. The Bar Staff could not mix a Cocktail properly, they seemed to think that a Pina Colada was supposed to be a Brain Freezing Slush Puppy. All we can say is that where we ate on floor 11 was like School Dinners and had terrible trouble even getting a seat in comfort and had to hunt for our own cutlery. The food as a whole was marginally better than we had on the Astoria in March. In fact we can thank CMV for completely putting us off of ever Cruising again and thank God that we got this one on the Cheap as it was booked late and we also got our Compensation Discount and did not have to pay the £900 or so that some poor people payed for this complete let down for what was supposed to be a Christmas Markets Cruise. We would not recommend this Company to anybody having also given them a second chance to improve. A Very Poor Experience, Never Again! From Mr and Mrs G Nutting and Mrs C Still Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My husband and I have just returned from our 3rd cruise but first with the Cruise and Maritime (CMV). This was the Iceland and the Northern lights cruise also calling at Faroe and Orkney islands. We were on the Marco Polo in a superior ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from our 3rd cruise but first with the Cruise and Maritime (CMV). This was the Iceland and the Northern lights cruise also calling at Faroe and Orkney islands. We were on the Marco Polo in a superior outside cabin (477). The ship is old and tatty but small enough to feel friendly and in our opinion, more personal than the huge cruise ships. This was a cruise of 2 halves, great shore experiences vs fairly terrible on board experience ( some admittedly not CMV's fault). We hit some pretty awful weather ( force 9 gales I overheard ), which on a ship with people already sick ( more about that later ) was not pleasant but obviously no ones fault. Even hardened cruisers were saying they were the worse conditions they had ever experienced. The time spent on shore was wonderful. We went whale watching with CMV which was fantastic, We saw some subtle northern lights whilst on the ship but later did a CMV Northern lights boat trip which didn’t seem value for money as the boat just took us out a bit in the bay we were docked in and not to a proper dark sky area. We also did a fabulous golden circle tour not with CMV but with a company called ‘FAB tours which was really interesting and thoroughly enjoyable thanks to a superb tour guide (Ragnor) plus it was substantially cheaper than the CMV equivalent, Ragnor picked us up at Reykjavik port ( a short stroll from the ship) and there were only 4 of us in the mini bus so felt very personal. We were able to do extra little things like feeding the iceland ponies and did not feel at all rushed , we even had some time at the end so Ragnor took us to see the cathedral and the pearl in the city. Definately recommended. We hired a car on Orkney which was easy to arrange, Avis car hire place was next to where the shuttle bus dropped us in town. That enabled us to see everything we could in the limited time there without the usual ‘hearding' . However unfortunately our time on Orkney was cut short by 3 hours ( out of the planned 8 hours) because our ship was held in quarantine for 3 hours due to the diahorrea and vomiting bug which had plagued our ship for approx half of our cruise. We made the most of our time there but we’re really disappointed by the short amount of time we had there. The bug meant that all public areas were closed apart from one restaurant ( the buffet was closed and cancelled to limit infection spreading) and the bars. This severely limited what we could do particularly on sea days. One main bar ( Scott’s bar) is available to sit in during the day but you cannot get a drink so you need to carry drinks up flights of stairs which is not safe , I suggested to reception that they consider opening it particularly in the circumstances However the receptionist just told me “ it’s not my decision" and refused to let me speak to his superior. Time to talk about ‘ the plague ‘ that struck the ship and its affect on our holiday. Passengers started suffering with diahorrea and vomiting approx 7 days into the cruise and it was spreading, of course these things happen on cruises, we all.understand that, however it is how it is dealt with and the treatment of the passengers that sorts the wheat from the chaff. Our experience of CMV is that they are definitely ‘ the chaff. Our cruise effectively ended with the outbreak and the remaining 5 days became an exercise in managing us with little regard to the fact that there were many trying to enjoy their holiday. The staff in general were friendly and helpful but even some of those were getting snappy and stretched towards the end of the Cruise. The management were nowhere to be seen. By the last few days we had the impression we were now just an inconvenience to CMV who just wanted us to stay out of the way so they could clean all public areas ready for the next cruise. So for a large proportion of our cruise there was no gym, hot tub, pool, spa, burger bar, craft classes, shops, buffet restaurant, library or card room. There was no attempt to reopen anything after it had been cleaned ( presumably to save them cleaning again before the next cruise) and the whole atmosphere became very unpleasant. There was very little in the way of information from our Captain who just occasionally made a dour announcement giving us information about our whereabouts that was available on the tv channel anyway, he sounded bored and lacked any humour ( which could have been helpful given the circumstances). However he kept the ship safe which is his job. The worse thing in our opinion was that at no point was there any acknowledgement of the distress we were experiencing, it was quite bizarre. All we received was a letter through the door explaining that there was a virus on board. I was ill for 2 days and my husband and I basically had to fend for ourselves paying for room service as I wasn't ill enough to qualify for free room service ! The daily ‘ explorer’ paper was our main source of information and was quite useful thank goodness. There were a few shining lights within the staff, for us it was our extremely hard working cabin cleaner Min Zaw who frankly deserves a medal, Colin our waiter had a sense of humour and the drinks waiter Tun in the globe bar always had a smile and a laugh. The food was at best mediocre, on par with a 3 star all inclusive hotel but wine on the vip package was nice and plentiful. Unfortunately this whole experience has put us off cruising at least for the foreseeable future and we would certainly never use CMV again. I wrote to CMV but only received a standard letter which did not address any of my concerns and just quoted policy at me – no apology for the way things were handled. They offered us a discount on our ‘ next CMV ‘ cruise which did make us laugh. In summary it wasn't the fact we were unlucky enough to experience a bug on board a cruise ship but rather how it was handled by CMV. Our takeaway lesson from this is ‘ beware cruisers, one bug on board and your holiday is basically over ‘. We work too hard for our holidays so .... Never again !!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We booked this because of the price and destination after seeing an advertisement in a newspaper. We have done many other cruises all over the world mainly with Celebrity or RCI. We purchased car parking which was cheap but very ... Read More
We booked this because of the price and destination after seeing an advertisement in a newspaper. We have done many other cruises all over the world mainly with Celebrity or RCI. We purchased car parking which was cheap but very chaotically managed. My husband is extremely good at parking but struggled to get our car out of the space at the end of the cruise due to the way other cars had been parked in front. Check in was quite efficient and we were quickly on the ship and in our cabin. The cabin was quite spacious but very tired. Cabin steward was lovely and very quickly arranged the repairs of the light that wasn’t working and of the broken safe. The bedding seemed rough and of poor quality. The muster drill was chaotic. The woman running it was not really in charge, The passengers were not organised by her at all and she was trying to shout out cabin numbers over people chatting. We ate in the buffet and main dining room - the food was passable and there was always something to choose but not particularly special although it is fair to say some of our fellow passengers loved it. The waiters were good and efficient. Dining on this ship is fixed sitting on shared tables. Bar prices are quite cheap and tips low which may account for the fact that the staff in the main don’t seem particularly happy. We never saw a single officer during our 2 days on the ship which in our experience is very unusual. There is a distinct lack of customer care on this ship. The entertainment was terrible. We went to one show and saw all of the performers in bars. Sadly the ship retuned to Tilbury 8/9 hours late due to weather which meant a lot of sitting around with nothing to do. The only entertainment offered was the showing of 1 film (Lion King) in the theatre. Again we’ve been on a number of cruises where weather has affected the itinerary and there has always been an entertainment package offered presumably part of their contingency planning. We enjoyed Antwerp but not the Columbus and definitely would not book with this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Columbus is very much like a favourite pair of slippers – you feel comfortable but you know it’s not perfect and has probably seen better days. We chose this cruise because we had not cruised with CMV before and it was a short ... Read More
Columbus is very much like a favourite pair of slippers – you feel comfortable but you know it’s not perfect and has probably seen better days. We chose this cruise because we had not cruised with CMV before and it was a short pre-Christmas trip. Embarkation always help set the tone for a cruise and I have to say this was the slickest, most efficient boarding process we have encountered in any of our cruises to date. We may have been lucky in that we beat the rush but from stepping off the car park shuttle bus to setting foot on the ship was less than 15 minutes. Once on board the welcome was friendly and there were plenty of staff to direct you to your cabin. The décor is reasonable although whoever selected the carpets on board either has no taste or a wicked sense of humour – from garish orange in the corridors to some hideously patterned carpets playing havoc with your eyes. The buffet doesn’t have the greatest choice of food, although what was on offer was of a reasonable standard. However, the seating is very limited and trying to get a table at busy times is challenging. Also opening times are too short, especially on sea days, when passengers are expected to eat their meals in a short period. The main dining room is very good, there are no tables for two, but we were lucky in we managed to have a table for four to ourselves. I know for many people sharing a dining table is their idea of heaven, for me it’s the opposite I don’t want to eat with strangers. I appreciate it is a question of space but I do wish cruise lines would make more tables for two available. The vast majority of the food was excellent quality and the quantity was good as well, you didn’t come away from dinner feeling you could eat some more, which does happen with some cruise lines. Service was good with friendly staff. Talking of staff, like most cruise lines the staff were very multinational – unfortunately a large number did not have a very good command of English. They spoke enough to do their jobs adequately but if you wanted to chat to find out a bit more about the individual then most of the conversations went over their heads. Getting food late in the evening was very difficult – they do advertise a snack service in the lounges between 23:00 and 23:30 but finding this service was like looking for hen’s teeth and when you did find it they had invariably run out of what was being offered. Now we are not great drinkers however we like an occasional tipple. On the plus side bar prices were very reasonable and certainly a lot cheaper than many cruise lines. There was a good choice of wines at dinner. Service in the bars was variable. One evening we went to Raffels and it was very quiet but we walked out after 15 minutes without being served as the waitress was more interested in chatting up the barman and joking with him than serving customers. When we went to another bar the drinks were disappointing - a gin and tonic was served in a half pint beer glass whilst the Singapore Sling tasted like no other Singapore Sling I have drunk before - and I don't mean that in a positive way. The entertainment was, how shall I put it, interesting. The shows in the main theatre weren’t exactly bad but they were not brilliant either – they seemed more like enthusiastic amateurs than professionals. Certainly not as slick as shows on other cruise lines. Costumes looked home-made, the choreography limited and the sound system was appalling, with the music often drowning out the vocals, not helped by some of the performers having weak voices. The only decent show on the main stage was the rat pack tribute and even then the three performers seemed more interested in making in jokes. Ironically the best show of the cruise wasn’t in the main theatre but was a Jersey Boy tribute in the Atrium one evening. The outside facilities on this cruise were irrelevant as the weather was appalling. One of the swimming pools has seating beside a bar – which would be cool on a balmy summers day. Our visit to Amsterdam was cancelled due to bad weather and we were kept informed and updated by the Captain. Amazingly there was a passenger in the buffet who was mouthing off about how disgraceful it was Amsterdam had been cancelled – some people have no concept of safety. The crew were also able to get port cancellation confirmation letters ready within 24 hours, so we could claim on our travel insurance. There are plenty of quiet nooks and crannies on board with the Library being a great place to sink into a comfortable sofa or chair with a book. The games room was also popular with a good selection of games and jigsaws. As an older ship her design is more traditional and streamlined, which proved to be a great advantage as the ship was incredibly stable, even in the force 9 winds in the North Sea, with minimal pitching or rolling. This was our first experience sailing with CMV, there are better cruise lines around but there also many worse. I like Columbus and her size and would certainly sail on her again in future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose Christmas cruise to Amsterdam and German Christmas markets The ship was very outdated, the sauna /steam room smelt revolting Cabin was o,d fashioned Bathroom old and smelly Food basic and poor quality No crisps at bar ... Read More
Chose Christmas cruise to Amsterdam and German Christmas markets The ship was very outdated, the sauna /steam room smelt revolting Cabin was o,d fashioned Bathroom old and smelly Food basic and poor quality No crisps at bar Menu just repeated each night seemingly with previous night leftovers Internet ridiculous price Games room full of incomplete scruffy games The food was basic, the restaurant overcrowded and waited one and a half hours for our breakfast which was really poor when it arrived. We did not go to Amsterdam due to weather, fair enough, but was not offered any compensation or onboard extras Basically spent 5 days onboard to see overcrowded German market Complete waste of money, would not advise it to any one !I have given 1 star as this is the minimum but honestly zero stars is a more accurate raring Despite writing a letter of complaint, we have not had a penny compensation. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My mum and I went on this cruise when we saw it advertised for a really good price (only £258 per person!). Having done several cruises before, we had not sailed with CMV before. We were expecting it to be pretty average, with fewer ... Read More
My mum and I went on this cruise when we saw it advertised for a really good price (only £258 per person!). Having done several cruises before, we had not sailed with CMV before. We were expecting it to be pretty average, with fewer facilities and maybe not such good food etc. We were wrong! We were upgraded from a standard inside cabin, to a restricted view window cabin - it wasn't that restricted really, and the cabin was much bigger than other cruise lines offer. The food was generally good, with a smaller selection than on other cruises we have been on. Overall, the food was well cooked. We ate breakfast in the buffet each day, and lunch we mainly had in the buffet too. We were disappointed that you have to pay extra for some things, like cakes/cookies at the coffee shop, and that room service was an additional charge. The charges for drinks was much better value than on other lines, however. It was around £1.90 for a cappuccino, £2 for a can of coke and around £5 for a cocktail. They did offer drinks packages, but as it was a short cruise we decided to pay as we went. Entertainment was generally okay, with what seemed like a very small entertainment team. The cruise director was part of the singers in the evening show, so that was a first for us. The activity program had all the usual things we expected, but we chose to do our own thing most of the time. There was always plenty of room to find a seat in lounges and bars, with more than enough seating for everyone. Unfortunately for us, we were unable to dock at Amsterdam due to the weather being too rough. It was very windy, but we felt very smooth on the ship considering the terrible weather. Our cabin was very quiet during the rough seas, with no annoying creaking or banging. The captain kept up well informed about the issues we faced weather wise, so we were able to sail directly on to Hamburg, with a sea day instead of Amsterdam. In Hamburg we did an excursion which was very reasonably priced at £47 for a long guided bus tour and time at the famous christmas market outside the Rathaus. Our guide was fantastic and we learnt a huge amount. We were able to get out to explore the church of St Michael which was lovely. The best bits about the cruise was the lovely atmosphere on the ship - didn't hear one person moaning about anything! The prices were much better than others and we could always find a good place to sit. The things we weren't so impressed with were the staff being a bit unfriendly at times, and the food selection not being as big as on other lines. For the money we paid, we have a fab time. Mum has booked a second cruise on CMV for 2020, so she must have been happy! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
it was our 3rd cruise on this ship and after a very stressful year with medical retirement / moving / health problems we was so looking forward to our 19 night cruise started off well 28mins from home to Tilbury embarking fine once on the ... Read More
it was our 3rd cruise on this ship and after a very stressful year with medical retirement / moving / health problems we was so looking forward to our 19 night cruise started off well 28mins from home to Tilbury embarking fine once on the ship I said to my partner wow this don't look right (why) It didn't feel clean ? went tour cabin didn't feel or smell clean ? luggage delivered no problems unpacked off to see what was happening!!!! OMG the passengers already on board were all 75+ not complaining as have worked with elderly 23 years? so a bit of a downer really. first evening went to the bistro to eat had boiled potatoes roast meat mixed veg gravy not a bit of flavour to it and barely warm then had slice pineapple/ melons, the atmosphere of the staff was unbelievable no happy smiling friendly faces we couldn't believe it as been rat on other 2 cruises?. 2 days in waiting for the lift we saw masked men entering a cabin we asked wow what's wrong Sanitation the guy said we just thought someone had an accident? but no after this we see another 2 on our deck being sanitised?. we went down for our meal in the restaurant on our table of four we had a lovely couple in their late 80's with nothing in common with us surely when they do their placing surely they could try and match people we have yet to have people on our seating we could befriend as such? so we stayed with the bistro. next thing the news letter warning about norovirus ??? then we were being served in the buffet???fine but we couldn't see the server properly over the hot plates and most had little English food was just being plonked on plates over the top of other food never hot no flavours and the same food just different meat on many occasions we never bothered unless we had to on sea days ? and all over the ship we had to sanitise our hands our cups were removed from our cabins replaced by flimsy paper cups tat were dangerous when hot water put in them the glasses removed from our bathrooms replaced with plastic glasses? by this time the corridors were being sprayed by men in masks some in white suits while we were left in he dark the captain who on other cruises was not to be seen never shook hands the ship crew stopped eating in the bistro ? to be honest I have never hard so many people complaining about the above problems some we had met from previous cruises who were upset that thy had 2 cruises booked with them next year ? this was our plan to book while on board but sadly couldn't stand to go again in all we have cruised five times in 4 years with C.M.V always paid in full when booking to find out others have paid £1000 less than us and been upgraded also makes you think to heck with C.M.V. Our bedding was changed twice in 19 days it was shambles the bars were often closed or never had your drink ? the casino was a waste and the croupiers so rude we never bother the last few weeks was supposed to be on board for fun unless you were a knitter / bridge player / quiz player / bingo etc you were left wandering we spent hours in our cabin on sea days as worried about norovirus which by now on deck 10 we had seen 10/15 cabins sanitized. most we speak to couldn't wait to get off and home where upon I have been suffering sickness and diarrhea but at least I'm home safely. also our T.V had a mind of its own and came on when I felt like it was told unplug from back of T.V don't think so. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
It was the price that originally attracted us to this cruise line. Buy one get one free! What great value. We also decided to buy the Premium additions package, which included tips and most drinks, which saved us more money. The ... Read More
It was the price that originally attracted us to this cruise line. Buy one get one free! What great value. We also decided to buy the Premium additions package, which included tips and most drinks, which saved us more money. The embarkation process was smooth, we had a text the night before our cruise advising us of a long delay due to bad weather, as we don’t live too far away this wasn’t too much of an issue for us. We parked at the long stay car park at Tilbury dock, dropped off our cases there and walked over to the terminal. We’d only been sat down for 10 minutes when we were called on board! Our cabin was surprisingly spacious and we were delighted to have been upgraded from an internal cabin to an outside cabin, perhaps because we’d booked 11 months in advance? Who knows! The beds were set up as two singles though and we did have to ask for them to be made into a double. UK socket in the cabin - we only found one socket! Should have brought our multi socket extension! The cabin was kept clean, though we did find our cabin steward wasn’t quite as friendly as those we have had on other cruise ships. The decor on the ship was a bit tired, though the bars were quite nicely decorated. Another thing that we hadn’t experienced was set dining times. We went for the later time, and sat on a table of six. We were very lucky that the people we sat with were great fun. Usually we like to turn up at a time to suit us, working around the evenings entertainment, and to sit with different people every night. The food was nothing to write home about in the main restaurant, however, we tried both the speciality restaurants. The Grill was fabulous, we had a chateaubriand and it was divine. Great service and food. We also tried the Fusion restaurant on our last night. This is situated at one end of the buffet restaurant, right near the entrance/exit. Given that we were sailing in a stormy North Sea in November, it was quite cold and draughty there. The couple on the table next to us even disappeared to their cabin to get their coats! The food was great but the end of the meal was spoilt somewhat by the fact that they didn’t serve coffee! We were told we could go into the buffet and get one there! The shows on the ship were OK. The singers were good but we have seen far better shows on other ships. The theatre itself was an odd arrangement. It didn’t slope down enough to ensure everyone could see, both downstairs and upstairs. There were also blind seats behind pillars, and upstairs we found the rail obliterated our view unless we slumped right down in our seats. That was very disappointing as we usually love the shows we see onboard. The bars were nice, decorated well. We did one trip in Oslo, which was a walking tour with a visit to an ice bar. For what it was, it was quite expensive. We did our own walking tours with a map at our other stops an called in to a bar for a beer for far less money! Though our guide was good and told us a lot about the city. I did use the spa and had a really lovely massage. So good that I nodded off! The average age on the ship seemed to be a lot older than other cruise lines, probably about 70. We couldn’t fault value for money, would we do it again? I think we probably would. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We choose this Cruise for a nice short getaway. Very nice cabins, although I find the bathroom sinks in poor condition and need up grading to match rest of bathroom. We found lunchtimes a bit of a scramble for somewhere to sit, this is ... Read More
We choose this Cruise for a nice short getaway. Very nice cabins, although I find the bathroom sinks in poor condition and need up grading to match rest of bathroom. We found lunchtimes a bit of a scramble for somewhere to sit, this is mostly due to the fact that if you go on an excursion in the morning all coaches return at 1.15 - 1 30 ish, and we all chase for a seat in the buffet area as the main restaurant is only open from 12 til l pm! WHY, is what we ask, when they know what time the coaches arrive back! This also seems to be the norm at activities time, they put something on in one of the bars and again not enough seats for all wanting to take part day or night as we found out, that if you are on 2nd sitting for dinner that when you come out there is nowhere to sit as the seating has been taken up by all the lst sitting diners. All centers around lst Diners. We came out one night from dinner to find that the Farewell Get together from the crew in the Atrium had started 30 mins earlier so again nowhere to sit or stand. The two venues are too small for numer of passengers. Also found photos taken onboard have jumped up in price as now costs £10/£11 each. We have been on quite a few CMV cruises, but not sure if we would go on the Columbus Ship again as this is the worse cruise we have been on. Love the Marco Polo and Magallen! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We where a booking a 9 - they originally spilt us onto to tables of 4 with strangers but after a request we where all put on a table together which is why we booked a cruise so we could all have our meals together Was very very ... Read More
We where a booking a 9 - they originally spilt us onto to tables of 4 with strangers but after a request we where all put on a table together which is why we booked a cruise so we could all have our meals together Was very very impressed - I’m coeliac (gluten free) never Been on a holiday where Where I could eat the same as everybody else - anything I asked for they could give me. Our waiter always remembered I was gf We where a hen do and the staff where so friendly The only thing I would say they need to sort out where the toilets They seemed to get blocked a lot The entertainment was very good - a little hard to get seats in the bars if u where on second sitting Evening disco was very good but would say they need to try and alternate the music as we went 2 consecutive nights and the music was the same - though DJ Brady was very friendly Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Having cruised many times before I decided to try a different cruise line for a weekend cruise sailing from Tilbury. The staff on Columbus were lovely and provided good service. The ship, however, was very old and tired in some areas. ... Read More
Having cruised many times before I decided to try a different cruise line for a weekend cruise sailing from Tilbury. The staff on Columbus were lovely and provided good service. The ship, however, was very old and tired in some areas. This cruise was certainly being run on a budget with poor quality food with a limited choice range, a buffet that closes for much of the time and mediocre entertainment. We got back on board at 2.50 hungry and the buffet was being closed whilst we were trying to get food. I have never experienced this before on any cruise. Others arrived back later and could not get any food. Windows were so dirty we couldn’t take advantage of the views inside the ship. I would compare this cruise to staying in a 2 / 3 star hotel and if this suits you then you would probably enjoy this cruise line but it’s not my cup of tea. I would not cruise with Cruise and Maritime again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our first cruise and we are both in our mid 50s and still at work so this is our completely unbiased review about the Marco Polo ship. Firstly I have to say that this cruise ship has a non child policy and that the average age of ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we are both in our mid 50s and still at work so this is our completely unbiased review about the Marco Polo ship. Firstly I have to say that this cruise ship has a non child policy and that the average age of the passengers was at least 70 plus. The whole experience we found to be excellent. Embarkation and disembarkation was well organised and everything went to plan. The cabin (ours was inside on deck 7 ) was all we needed. The beds were comfortable there was plenty of room, the tv had entertainment on and also plenty of info about the cruise as it proceeded. The staff were wonderful. Nothing was too much trouble. They were kind, courteous and very respectful and considering some of the pompous, arrogant passengers we witnessed they had to deal with we admire them for keeping their cool and composure. Indeed the one disadvantage was some of the fellow passengers. Yes we did meet some lovely people but they also had the same opinion that we had that some people are never satisfied and really think that they are far superior than they really are. Some of the complaints we heard were quite frankly pathetic. If some passengers were used to been pampered on Cunard then they should go back there!! So going back to our experience the food was excellent. You have 2 options the Waldorf restaurant and the buffet lounge. The menus were the same but the Waldorf was waiter service. We ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet and dinner in the Waldorf. I would recommend to dine for dinner in the Waldorf. If you can tolerate your fellow passengers you are dining with the food and service was 5 star. 5 courses I can honestly say I could not complain about one of them. Fantastic presentation and superb quality. There was plenty of entertainment on the ship for all concerned, the gym and sauna were excellent and we also had a tour of the bridge where we found the crew to be informative, friendly and helpful. We did 6 excursions all very well organised and that was a theme through the entire cruise excellent organisation. Yes the ship looks a bit tired in certain areas but generally for us it was a touch of luxury. So in summary we enjoyed it immensely and would we book with CMV again YES. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It had always been a desire to travel to the Artic circle and see the Northern Lights. CMV offered this at the time of year which suited. We knew that it was a budget cruise, so went with an open mind. We did like the idea of a small ... Read More
It had always been a desire to travel to the Artic circle and see the Northern Lights. CMV offered this at the time of year which suited. We knew that it was a budget cruise, so went with an open mind. We did like the idea of a small ship as they tend to be friendlier. The only problem is being a small ship it gets thrown around alot more when the seas are rough. We have only been on larger ships, max 2500 passengers and in areas like the Med or Caribean which tend to be smoother. Our biggest problem was from the poor service received. Try for a pre-dinner drink in the Captians Bar and the average wait was 30 minutes. In the buffet you would never see a smile from the crew. One can only assume the management were extremely hard on them. The Waldorf restaurant was okay and the food was reasonable, but I had fish most days which was fine but it was always served the same. Never changed. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We booked this cruise in July 2019 and paid £1039.00 each for an inside guarantee cabin. This same cruise with same grade of cabin was on sale in September 2019 for £629.00 per passenger from Tilbury and £615.00 from Rotterdam. That ... Read More
We booked this cruise in July 2019 and paid £1039.00 each for an inside guarantee cabin. This same cruise with same grade of cabin was on sale in September 2019 for £629.00 per passenger from Tilbury and £615.00 from Rotterdam. That is a reducton of approximately 60% in price for people booking late. We have been on 10 cruises with CMV because they have, on the whole, offered good value for money and allowed people in our modest financial circumstances to experience cruising. We are "Platinum" Columbus Club members. We are disgusted that CMV can "rip-off" their customers in this fashion and expect no repercussions. Well, CMV, we have limited finances and are not prepared to subsidise other passengers to this extent, especially in light of the loyalty we have given your company in the past. That clearly counts for nothing in your view and the pious words of thanks during this cruise from your Cruise Director, Mr Charlie (how appropriate), to the assembled Columbus Club members for their loyalty sounded as cheap and nasty as the champagne served at that event. We will never cruise with CMV again. With respect to the cruise. The majority of passengers were aged 60+ years. Anyone of this age will tell you that it is difficult to get down onto a sun recliner and even more difficult to get up again. Yet the Columbus's decks were stacked with cheap plastic recliners and very few chairs. Other than aft and forward of the bistro on deck 12 there was nowhere to sit on the open decks. One had to recline or stand. The padded foam cushions for the recliners were filthy with soot from the funnel exhausts. The windows throughout the ship were filthy and obscured any view of the exterior. The food in the bistro was mainly edible but lacked variety and taste. The food in the restaurant was generally good but was served by slow, untrained waiters. Dinner took over two hours every night. When I and other passengers complained to the ineffectual but decorative head waiter about the poor service it did speed up but came with an attitude problem from the waiter which meant we ate in the bistro from then on. The crew member serving the hotdogs and burgers at the outdoor grill on deck 12 was surly and insolent and should not have been allowed to come into contact with passengers. Most of the crew were pleasant and helpful and Mr Rodrigues our cabin steward was exemplary in performing his duties and in the courtesy and helpfulness extended to us throughout the cruise. Thank you Mr Rodrigues, Sir. The cabin was spacious, comfortable, quiet and kept immaculately clean. The only negative was the corrosive industrial cleaning fluid in the bathroom soap dispenser that CMV claimed was "soap". The definition of entertainment depends on tastes. Personally I found it more entertaining to watch seabirds flying alongside the ship than sit through 45 minutes of so-called singers shouting out of key into a microphone. Literally painful. I know irons are not allowed in the cabins but I would have thought the Cruise Director could have borrowed one from the laundry to press his wrinkled trousers. I've seen better dressed tramps. For the first time in our cruising with them CMV actually called at all the ports listed in the itinerary but typically docked for only four hours in Lisbon, an ancient city full of architectural gems that would require four weeks, not hours, to see. Docking fees too expensive CMV? Last word. If you cruise with CMV do not book early. You will be ripped-off by their policy of heavy discounting for late bookings. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We booked this cruise mainly for the price. For 15 nights we paid what we would normally pay for 7 so thought it was a good deal. Very very wrong. First mistake was choosing- accidently- the 'free coach and ferry' option. ... Read More
We booked this cruise mainly for the price. For 15 nights we paid what we would normally pay for 7 so thought it was a good deal. Very very wrong. First mistake was choosing- accidently- the 'free coach and ferry' option. Information was very scant and nothing was confirmed until the actual tickets arrived. Did not get any response from emailing CMV customer services for information. The cruise we chose did NOT start at Tilbury on board the ship. We had to be at Tilbury for 11.00 pm when a coach collected us and took us for a 2 hour drive to Dover. At Dover we boarded the 02.00 am ferry to Dunkirk. From there was a 3 hour drive to Rotterdam to join the ship. Although the journey was very comfortable and went smoothly, it was totally exhausting as sleeping on a coach is not ideal. We did not know this until it was too late to change or cancel. If we had known we would not have booked. To actually get on the ship at Tilbury would have been another £400 for the 2 of us. On arrival at Rotterdam we were checked in quickly and efficiently and taken straight to our cabin 6228 on deck 6 as we were told it was ready. When we got there the cabin steward was still cleaning it. Probably the worse cabin we have ever seen. 2 single beds with 2 very small duvet covers with surplus cover hanging over the edge. Very old furniture - in fact we went on this same ship 10 years ago when it was the Ocean Village and the curtains were exactly the same as was was the furniture. We prefer to use the buffet on cruises simply because we are not the type of people who 'dress up' for dinner and neither do we like sitting around a table with up to 6 other people. This was the first cruise out of 16 we have been on where the buffet was open only at certain times of the day. Breakfast was from 7 - 9.30 - lunch was 12 -2, afternoon tea was 3.30 to 4.30 and dinner was 6 - 9.30. In between there was only tea and coffee machines available. And NO water. Unbelievable considering we were visiting hot countries and water is essential. The food was absolutely disgusting and we actually thought we were on a vegetarian cruise. I have never seen so many dishes of vegetables. Cauliflower curry, undercooked fried fish, cold potatoes, chips only served twice in 15 days (not that we live on chips but the are always a good standby). Most nights and indeed some afternoons we lived on burgers from the alfresco bar on deck. This had a great choice of fast food - burgers or hot dogs! At least they were edible. At 3 different ports we ate off the ship purely out of hunger! Entertainment was awful. The theatre had the ships cast dancing and singing every other night and they were very amateurish. Singing was terrible and very loud. There was a 'famous guest impressionist' who nobody had ever heard of and we walked out after 5 minutes. Did not sound a bit like any of the people he was supposed to be impersonating. There was little or no entertainment inside the ship apart from quizzes, bean bag skittles, bingo and more quizzes. A BBQ on deck was a wash out as it was started during pouring rain and just moved under shelter. On sea days of which there was 8 there was no extra entertainment laid on at all. We quickly noticed that the crew were only friendly if you were spending money at bars or in the coffee shops. Public areas were the one big difference. Absolutely spotless, and it was clear these areas were where the money had been spent on refurbing. All very comfortable and nicely decorated. Unfortunately ALL the windows looking out to sea where so dirty you couldn't see out of them. Overall the worst cruise we have ever done and would not have booked it if more information was available. With any other cruise line you could find out absolutely anything and everything before you book to make deciding easier. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our first cruise so did not know what to expect but we absolutely loved it. We were told that Columbus was one of the smaller ships but when we saw it it looked HUGE to us! When we arrived at Tilbury, there was someone on hand ... Read More
This was our first cruise so did not know what to expect but we absolutely loved it. We were told that Columbus was one of the smaller ships but when we saw it it looked HUGE to us! When we arrived at Tilbury, there was someone on hand to remove our luggage from the car and we didn't see it again until we arrived at our cabin on board!. Similarly, when we disembarked, the luggage was taken from outside the cabin and we easily found it again at Tilbury. Our cabin was lovely, the people were friendly, the staff extremely helpful, the food was delicious and plenty of it. Unfortunately two of our stop offs had to be cancelled because of the weather but alternatives were provided and plenty of advance information about each destination so that we could decide what to do. We would most definitely go again on this ship - we eventually got to know our way around after a few days of getting lost! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our second cruise and I found this one not up to standard. The good point was our room was great then all went down hill. Meals not that good all tasted the same no variety. The best thing was we met some wonderful people ... Read More
This was our second cruise and I found this one not up to standard. The good point was our room was great then all went down hill. Meals not that good all tasted the same no variety. The best thing was we met some wonderful people on board. The day paid trips over priced for what we got. To top it all off we where charged nearly $700.00 for tips two days before we disembarked, We had only a few glasses of wine and a couple of cocktails and a few beers. I do not recommend this cruise as you are unaware of any of this add on tipping until last few days. When you pay a big price to do this cruise you do not expect to be landed with this large amount. We do expect a few dollars but $700.00 Australian come on. Very disappointed will not do another cruise with this line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Have sailed with CMV before on Magellan and really enjoyed it, wanted to see St Petersburg so booked the Baltic tour. Embarkation was a dream, I was on in ten minutes from walks no in the door. Food on board was great throughout, with a ... Read More
Have sailed with CMV before on Magellan and really enjoyed it, wanted to see St Petersburg so booked the Baltic tour. Embarkation was a dream, I was on in ten minutes from walks no in the door. Food on board was great throughout, with a special recommendation fir The Grill, the lamb rack was amazingly good. Also had the surf and turf in the main dining room which has to be the best steak I have ever had. The entertainment team are great on Columbus from the evening shows to the daily quizzes and activities. Peter the CD was also very welcoming and engaging. Special mention to the singers on board, all being very good. Excursions were well organised and members of the entertainment team were our escorts, mention to Bradley who was not only a great entertainer but very engaging and helpful on excursions. The only downside was the number of moaning people on board, they seem to moan about every minor little thing like a coach being 10 mins late, they even had the gall to moan about us being re routed due to bad weather, the Captain did a great job, in keeping us sAfe and making sure we still had a day in port by shuffling the itinerary. I can’t fault Columbus, the crew are all lovely, the service is fabulous on all counts. Booking my next cruise with cmv soon. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019

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