171 London (Greenwich, Tower Bridge, Tilbury) Cruise & Maritime Voyages Columbus Cruise Reviews

I have been on 10 previous cruises with Princess, Royal, P&O, and found this a grade above. P&O are equitable to Princess, and RCCL are just too big, with too many options. You have a 10 minute walk to get anywhere. This is the ... Read More
I have been on 10 previous cruises with Princess, Royal, P&O, and found this a grade above. P&O are equitable to Princess, and RCCL are just too big, with too many options. You have a 10 minute walk to get anywhere. This is the advantage of a smaller but well resourced ship. Columbus at 1440 passengers is the largest in the CMV fleet, but still medium sized. It is not missing anything. Still bars, restaurants, pools, decks, entertainment etc... but all within a small distance. It still has 9 lifts on a smaller boat, so you never wait long for one to arrive. The restaurant is well laid out with private booths, like a modern family restaurant. Staff remember your name and after 2 nights, know your needs and preferences. They work hard at this. Without being too in your face, all staff are friendly, positive and extra mile people. Well recruited, and well trained. The Fjords were beautiful, visiting Eidfjord, Flam, and Bergen. The funicular railways, whilst not cheap, are excellent value for money and show you views you could not see otherwise, from powerful waterfalls to snow capped mountains, mountain villages, and deep valleys. Beautiful. Ship food was good, rooms (inner, with 4 guests) are fine, and on this occasion, entertainment was the best we have experienced in any ship (this was our 11th cruise) DJ King was utterly believable as Elvis, Roy G Hemmings was a great singer (if somewhat Narcissistic), and one of the earliest of the Drifters, with great girl backing singers one night, and male backing singers the second time, with the girls joining at the end - a truly memorable evening. And the 3 degrees? Magnificent, iconic,unforgettable. These ladies are genuine soul legends. The ‘soul legends theme’ cruise was an inspired idea, and we (myself, wife, sister, daughter) would definitely do it again. ABSOLUTELY UNFORGETTABLE!,, Read Less
Sail Date September 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
We were on a cruise with Mr Bridge and about 70 others in our group.we booked early with Mr Bridge and the offer of 2 for 1. Great value for money. Less good was the change of itinerary some time after booking. We were informed of a ... Read More
We were on a cruise with Mr Bridge and about 70 others in our group.we booked early with Mr Bridge and the offer of 2 for 1. Great value for money. Less good was the change of itinerary some time after booking. We were informed of a change from Stockholm to Nynashamn, however none of us received notification of a change from Amsterdam to Rotterdam. In addition passengers were expected to pay the cost of the transfers to the original destinations. Eventually after some protracted communications we were offered cabin upgrades. The Baltic cruise is special, with great cities on offer to explore. We had previously visited some of the cities. For new ports were Rotterdam, Copenhagen, Rostock / Wanermunde and Helsinki. We used the shuttles when available and either self guided or chose the excellent freewalks. The only tours booked were in St Petersburg. Our 2 half-day tour with CMV were very disappointing. Too much time travelling and in the same tourist shop, too little time in the Spilled Blood Church and Peter and Paul Fortress. My advice is to book through an independent operator. We also attended the evening ballet to see Sleeping Beauty which was enjoyable and well organised. Just a few comments about the ship: Staff worked hard and efficiently, although we found sometimes the crew did not understand our request. At the 1st sitting in the Waterfront waiters had no time to chat with us. The food was lovely and well presented. Other times we used the buffet where the food and service were good. The buffet can be very busy and sometimes full. They also varied meal times and these were not always matched to our needs. On one occasion we found the breakfast finished at 9 and we were too late. Our cabin boy was friendly and efficient. The daily quizzes were too difficult. Typically the winners scored 11 / 20. Some of the bar waiters were great and remembered our order, and offered packages to save money. Raffles was strange though with one particular miserable and unhelpful waitress. She was downright rude, and they often closed up when the bar was still well populated? Customer Services were not interested to receive feedback on this issue! In summary, we were generally satisfied and think the cruise provided good value for money. CMV need to ensure their staff are better trained and improve their shore excursions and caucus to receive service. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First of all, I would like to redress the balance of some of the negative reviews I have read. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this cruise. The food was superb, with plenty of choice for everyone. We did not eat in the ... Read More
First of all, I would like to redress the balance of some of the negative reviews I have read. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this cruise. The food was superb, with plenty of choice for everyone. We did not eat in the restaurant, just the buffet. We paid for the premium drinks package which is advisable. The cabin crew and the rest of the staff were very friendly and helpful. The stop-offs and excursions were well organised. The entertainment team was not top-drawer but watchable and worked extremely hard. Our cabin was spacious and comfortable. To criticize the clientele, in my opinion, is extremely unfair, we met some extremely interesting people, from all walks of life, and you have to ask what sort of people would be attracted to a cruise of this type. I suggest the negative reviewers should try Cunard next time and start saving now. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I am writing this review on the last “at sea” day on a 8 night cruise to the Norwegian Fjords on the CMV Columbus in August 2019. For any readers contemplating this cruise, the main issue you should be aware of is that this cruise ... Read More
I am writing this review on the last “at sea” day on a 8 night cruise to the Norwegian Fjords on the CMV Columbus in August 2019. For any readers contemplating this cruise, the main issue you should be aware of is that this cruise is a floating care home. The average age of a guest is well into their 70’s and the oldest passenger I came across was an astonishing 98! I have never seen so many strollers, walking frames, walking sticks, mobility scooters and wheel chairs in all my life! At age 62 I must be in the 5% of guests under the age of 65. I have nothing whatsoever against this passenger profile, except that I really do not want to be a part of it! Spending 8 nights having to battle through the maze of associated mobility aids and having to suffer the significant inconvenience to more able-bodied passengers which this presents, is not a holiday for me – it’s just a hassle. If you fit with this profile I am sure you will enjoy yourself. The ship itself holds 1400 passengers, and has been rebranded several times in its history as it moved between owners and refits. The overall quality of finish is average to good, and the style of décor reflects its niche in the market for elderly Brits wanting to be away from home but in familiar surroundings. Although a shame that CMV has decided for some reason that plastic and silk imitation plants and trees are more pleasing than real ones, resulting in a rather tacky funeral feel to the Taverner’s bar and a tired wilting appearance to the potted trees in Connexions. Cabins are nice and well maintained, if not a little dated in furnishings. The rest of the ship flows around deck 7 with its British bar (traditional London style) and the more modern Connexions bar (which appears to have been modelled on a conservatory). You will also find the main Waterfront restaurant on this deck. The other eatery is a self-service buffet style and is on deck 12. The best outdoor bar is the Oasis bar, which was surprisingly pleasant with its panoramic view and comfy sunbeds. As far as the food is concerned, the evening dinner on the Waterfront restaurant is good (but not great) in terms of selection and quality. I would recommend the 2nd sitting, as this allows more time before having to change, a 1st sitting in the theatre and plenty of time afterwards to relax in the bars. The self-service restaurant is to be avoided at all costs. The food is dismal, the atmosphere chaotic and the seating arrangements far too limited and uncomfortable for the number of guests (and walking aids!) trying to occupy them. In short it is a cattle market of stress inducing trauma. Think about your blood pressure and avoid this place like the plague. Far better to spend your time enjoying a great coffee in the coffee shop by the pool area. The best coffee I have ever tasted. Drinks prices on board are very reasonable indeed. £3.30 for a pint of Fosters, a 4cl Gordon’s gin at £3.60 and alcoholic cocktails around £4.80. Having said that CMV offer a range of pre-paid inclusive drink packages and these offer exceptional value in my view. Dress on board is casual and informal, with appropriate minimum standards in the indoor bars and lounges in the evening. There were 2 formal nights during the cruise. It’s always a good measure of your fellow passengers to observe their interpretation of “formal”. I would estimate that 40% were traditional “black tie” enthusiasts, and a further 30% made some sort of effort (however marginal) to smarten themselves up. The remaining 30%? – well I think the less said, the better! The staff on board vary considerably. Our cabin steward was fantastic, friendly, personal and did a really good job at keeping the cabin clean and tidy. The restaurant staff were generally efficient and on the whole appeared to enjoy their jobs. With a couple of exceptions, all of the bar staff were as miserable as sin, without a smile for anyone, and with the ability only to communicate in grunts (if at all). Not once in a whole week were we approached at our table in the bars and asked if we wanted to order a drink. We had to attract someone’s attention (which on occasion would be successful, but more usually resulted in total avoidance) or queue at the bar and get our own drink (eventually, and after having to endure surly and indifferent “service”) Shore excisions were, as usual, overpriced, but reasonable well organised. Check before you book to see if you can make your own arrangements to see the “ attractions” – we did and saved ourself at least 30% on the CMV cost. The evening entertainment was disappointing. For starters the Palladium theatre is small with awful sight lines of the stage. Unless you bag a seat at least 30 minutes prior to showtime you can forget seeing at least half of the stage. The resident entertainment dancers/singers, can’t. That is to say they try hard, but there is only one guy and one girl who came even remotely close to being able to sing in tune. The rest would get immediate “red crosses and a loud buzzer” from Simon Cowell. Dancing was slightly better, but production values and variety were very poor. This was a major let-down as we have been used to very professional and talented entertainers on other cruises. From the 7 nights we had a comedian (the same one) for 2 nights, a magician (the ships entertainment director) for 1 night and the dancers/singers for the remainder. The comedian was not bad, although should really have retired his act some time ago. The magician was just plain embarrassing. So overall an exceptionally average cruise, not helped by the clientele, the ships facilities and the crew. If a British “flavoured” floating care home is your thing, with a heady mix of cheap drinks, bingo, quizzes, and “end of the pier” entertainment - then you should definitely go for it. If not – you should save your money for an alternative cruise. You may need to pay a little more, but it will be money well spent. It was good to try CMV, but once is enough. At least until I am 80! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Embarked at Tilbury (was a bit chaotic but this was due to the ship being late in due to weather conditions which cant be helped) Once on the ship we went to our cabin on deck 5 this was a lovely spacious (inside) cabin which had a ... Read More
Embarked at Tilbury (was a bit chaotic but this was due to the ship being late in due to weather conditions which cant be helped) Once on the ship we went to our cabin on deck 5 this was a lovely spacious (inside) cabin which had a really good separate wardrobe area and with a lot of extra draws also. The ship is very nicely decorated and easy to find your way around (as not a very big ship) The Dining in the buffet (lunch) was fairly good the food was always hot and very tasty my only comment would be that it doesn't have that much choice, But I could always find something to eat. The afternoon tea was extremely good the scones where delicious and also the shortbread biscuits. The Burgers and hot dogs served from the grill on the pool deck outside the buffet where also very good and fresh (sometimes the burgers were a little pink and needed to be cooked a little more) The Fusion Indian restaurant is (based in the back area of the buffet but this is separated of in the evening, the food and the staff where brilliant. The starters and the naan breads where cooked freshly in the outside clay oven and were absolutely delicious. I would definitely recommend eating in here as the pricing is really reasonable for 3 courses it is around £15 and the food was really lovely. The main waterfront restaurant we used for Breakfast and evening meal and the staff and food was brilliant. The breakfast could sometimes be a little slow in busy periods but this is to be expected and beats the buffet rush and hassle trying to find a seat to eat once you have you breakfast. Our evening waiters were fantastic and very attentive and made it very personal by knowing all our names (6 of us in total) and they know what we like and what we didn't by the end of the first few days. Entertainment this is where I was not very impressed, we went to the theatre on 3 occasions to watch shows/comedian first of all if you did not turn up a hour before the show was due to start then you would not get a seat or if you did manage to get one it would be a very bad view as there are a lot of pillars to try and see around and people think its acceptable to put children's buggies right at the front of the row so anyone behind these rows could not see anything at all. (these could of been left at the end of the isle as the children were on there laps anyway) Once the show finally started I have to say that the entertainment team singers/dancers where of a very poor standard there was one girl and one lad who could sing a little but the others were not very good at all. the comedian that they had on was ok but more aimed at the older generation of people. The seats in the theatre are also very un comfy (the single seat chairs) after a while your bottom would go to sleep. The connections bar this is quite a nice bar area however again the seats are very un comfy and the band that plays in here was pretty good however was far to load and when the singer started to sing (she was ok but nothing special) she would only sing a couple of lines of the song over and over again then it was mostly the band playing the rest of the song. The Tavern Pub was also a nice area to sit in again comfort was not great. The raffles bar on desk 6 above the atrium was a nice bar and you can hear the music from the atrium from here but it was not so loud you could not have a conversation so found this a nice place to have a drink and a chat with everyone. The music played in the Atrium was very good this was a pianist and sometimes a violinist would join her together they were very good. Hemmingway's on deck5 supplied premium coffee and cakes the cakes were chargeable but very delicious and worth the money. Swimming Pools are a big disappointment there are 2 both are 6ft 3 deep and getting in and out of them is very difficult the steps are very steep ( on the pool bar side there is a nice bit at the top with bar stools in it however you cannot get in or near this area as the kids were always in it and jumping off the bar stools and soaking everywhere including the bar area and staff??? The pool next to this also had a better set of steps that led into the pool but again was also full of kids jumping of them and then just constantly jumping in and out of the pool so if you did manage to get into it then you would get a child jump on you. - If this is going to continue to be a multigeneration cruise then they need to make a children's pool area and make some rules for them. Spa - I had a happy feet treatment which was very lovely and the staff in the spa were very nice, the atmosphere in there was very relaxing, The Ports we visiting were all pretty good and quite close to everything if it wasn't then a shuttle bus was on offer which was very helpful if you are not able to walk very far. We didn't do any organised excursions as we like to just get of and do our own thing. We did a couple of the hop on hop off bus tours in Gran Canaria, Lisbon and Madeira I would definitely these as you get to see so much more of the area around you. Madeira is absolutely stunning and one of the best places I have visited, If you get the chance then definitely do the Toboggan ride in Monte.(if you use the hop on hop off bus then you can buy an extra blue route ticket and this takes you to the top of Monte and will pick you up again at the bottom of the Toboggan run) Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise primarily to go to St Petersburg but every destination was beautiful. We booked an inside cabin on a price basis and we were upgraded to an outside window cabin which was a bonus. Our cabin was 6167 which I would ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily to go to St Petersburg but every destination was beautiful. We booked an inside cabin on a price basis and we were upgraded to an outside window cabin which was a bonus. Our cabin was 6167 which I would recommend as it is midships around the corner from Raffles bar which overlooks the Atrium, and one deck down from the Waterfront restaurant and Palladium theatre. We did our own thing at all destinations except St Petersburg where we booked for the ballet on the first evening and panorama tour on the second afternoon, both excellent. We found all the food to be excellent in The restaurant and the buffet. We ate most meals in the restaurant and dinners were especially enjoyable thanks to the lovely group of companions on our table, a laugh a minute!! We had no problem getting a sun lounger and the bar service around the pool was great. The entertainment was mostly excellent and we enjoyed Karaoke three times. We had adverse weather on the last day and night which delayed us by 3 hours but no complaints as safety is more important than speed. Overall I would recommend the ship, the cruise line and cruise itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We are regular cruisers and have just returned from a 2 week cruise to the Baltic & St Petersburg on the CMV Columbus. We chose the cruise because of the itinery and the price. It is the first time we've cruised with CMV. The ... Read More
We are regular cruisers and have just returned from a 2 week cruise to the Baltic & St Petersburg on the CMV Columbus. We chose the cruise because of the itinery and the price. It is the first time we've cruised with CMV. The pre cruise communication and organisation at the port on departure was excellent. The ship was clean with all the basic facilites you need on a ship. The cabin was bigger than onther basic inside cabins we've had before and had lots of storage space for a 2 week trip. The quality of food in the mani restaurant we thought was great and very well presented.The fixed sitting system was fine but the 5.45pm-6.15pm entry window for 1st sitting was early. We tried both the speciality restaurants which we also found to be excellent. We had the VIP package so the restaurants were discounted by 50%. This discount made them good value. We didn't try the Chef's Table as we were told the 50% discont didn't apply to this for some reason. The range of drinks available within the VIP package was good for cocktails & beers. Included in the package were the "signature wines". However this was only 4 white wines, there were reds aswell. Only 1 of these being a chardanney which my wife felt was very limited. There were shows evry night in the show lounge but these we found to be very disappointing in quality. When compared to what we experienced on Thomson, P and O & Royal Carribean felt rather amateurish. The show lounge was also very small with poor views unless you were prepared to arrive 60 minutes ahed of show time to bag the front row central seats. This was a major disappointment. Like all ships we've been on the Columbus had a self service restaurant. Compared to other ships of a similar size/ capacity it was small with a limited range of each day. Our teenagers often found it difficult to find something to eat. Only on 1 day of the 14 were they able to get chips from here at lunch. You may view this as a positive. The biggest issue though was the fact that it was always extremely difficult and often impossible to get a seat, especially at breakfast. If you were able to get one it was then a challenge to get cutlery. This was largely due to the limited opening times. Breakfast regularly ran 7.00am-9.30am. The lasted it was on until was 10am. There was no chance of a lie in if you wanted breakfast. We didn't feel that the timings had passengers at the heart of planning. We were all on holiday after all. The self service restaurant closed at 9.pm. From here there was no food available until breakfast, with the exception of a tray of canapeas brought round to bars by waiters in the style of a cocktail party. This lack of late night food would be a significant issue for many based on how popular the late night food offer has been on other ships. The ship offered a wide range of excersions at each port. The destinations services was accurately called Excersion Services. There were no port maps available and they only wanted to give info on the ships excursions. We found these to be very expensive. Eg the 2 day Grand Tour of ST Petersburg was £320 each. We booked a comparable tour with a local company (Alla Tours, who were excellent) which saved us £780 in total for a group of 6. On the final day of the trip poor weather resulted in us being 3.5 hours late arriving at Tilbury. Clearly completely beyond the control of CMV and just one of those things. However, they didn't inform us of this until 10 minutes before we were all due to vacate our cabins at 7.30am. We were told that we could stay in cabins until 9.30am. By this time most had vacated. We returned to the cabin to find that the cabin steward, who hadn't been told about the chnge, had not surprisingly, stripped the cabin and cleaned it ready for the new arrivals. Would you have asked to use the cabin again? As we were still on the ship and disembarcation had not started by noon and with a 3 hour drive home we went up to the self service restaurant to eat before we left. Here the manager told us that service wouldn't begin until 2pm and actually said that he'd been told "We're not feeding those getting off, only those getting on". We felt this was profits over customer care. Overall we had an enjoyable cruise made so by the friendly, efficient staff and the excellent itinerary, especially St Petersburg. However, we wouldn't rush to cruise with CMV again as unlike any other companies we've sailed with it didn't feel like the customer was at the heart of the comapies philosophy. It was more a case of the customer having to conform to the CMV way. Dissappointing Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was my third cruise. Two with P and O and i loved all of them, but this one was so good as the weather was beautiful and the fjords were stunning. It was so beautiful how we saw those amazing views as we landed at our destination in ... Read More
This was my third cruise. Two with P and O and i loved all of them, but this one was so good as the weather was beautiful and the fjords were stunning. It was so beautiful how we saw those amazing views as we landed at our destination in Eidfjord then Flam where we took a train amd saw the most wonderful sights. (Waterfall)Then in Bergan we enjoyed shopping. What was also great was you could go enjoy the days out without losing sight of where the ship was. Everything about this cruise was good from start to finish. The Captain was friendly and chatted to everyone and the food was excellent. From the staff who looked after our room with the gorgous animal (towels) we got every night. It brought a smile each nigh we returned to our room after a night of great entertainment from the great singers amd dancers performing to the comedian who had us in stitches with his jokes and singing. And of coarse not forgetting Ian the magician and cruise director. One of the most friendliest ships from staff to passengers. Will travell again in the not so distant future. Had a blast. Well done cmv. Till next time. Lorraine x Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose this cruise for a couple of reasons - I wanted to go to Norway (and none of my friends did!), I wanted a UK departure and, I wanted a smaller ship. I also have rheumatoid arthritis, hence why I preferred not to fly and this was ... Read More
I chose this cruise for a couple of reasons - I wanted to go to Norway (and none of my friends did!), I wanted a UK departure and, I wanted a smaller ship. I also have rheumatoid arthritis, hence why I preferred not to fly and this was perfect. This was my first cruise so I wasn't sure what to expect. I absolutely loved it! I met a lot of very interesting people and we ended up sharing our cruise together - mainly in the bars and restaurants. I was very impressed with the arrangements for solo travellers - the company works hard to make them feel welcome with welcome drinks, lunches, dinners etc...and it worked. It was unnaturally hot for Norway, so the pool area was very busy - I gave Bergen a miss as didn't fancy a tour in 35 degrees. Norway in a Nutshell tour is well worth doing - the views are mind-blowing. Flam railway is great fun! If walking is a bit of an issue (it is for me) - it is quite a walk to the hotel in Voss which the company doesn't warn about. It may depend on where the train from Flam stops though. I probably wouldn't do the tour to the dam again - I would stay in Eidjfiord and have a wander. All the bars are great - I visited every one frequently. The cocktail list is extensive. I chose the premier package that includes tips, drinks, wine etc...and definitely don't regret it. It is great value. The food isn't five star - but neither are we paying for five star. It was fine though - desserts provided much amusement trying to guess what they tasted of. Some people complained that the food should be better - bear in mind, that going to a Michelin restaurant costs around £250 per person upwards and that will manage expectations. My happy place? Sitting at the back of the boat behind the Plantation buffet - having either breakfast or dinner with a beautiful view of the fjords - priceless! I loved it! Already booked another and I got home less than 24 hours ago. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We had never cruised out of Tilbury, it was a great chance to take our granddaughter . Embarkation was excellent, we know the local area very well so went straight to the port.This is an old ship but staff kept it very clean there is ... Read More
We had never cruised out of Tilbury, it was a great chance to take our granddaughter . Embarkation was excellent, we know the local area very well so went straight to the port.This is an old ship but staff kept it very clean there is always some issues with toilets or lifts but this was seen to very quickly. Our cabin was kept lovely by Nanathn in cabin 6140, he made us and our granddaughter very welcome.We only went to waterfront resturant once it was very slow and our dining time very early. The bistro on a whole was good breakfast and lunch were great but dinner was a bit hit and miss some times even running out of food and not replacing at 8.10 pm we did bring this to the attention of management , on a whole all staff were very nice and polite entertainment for the children and adults very good some of the best we had seen in more than 35cruises. The ports were great in Bergan did the ice museum I would recommend this to any body, went on the little trains in Eidfjord and flam this was enough for our granddaughter , but I think the best for her was the cruise director Iain he met her in the terminal and with his magic shows and circus tricks and always remembering her name made her her 1st cruise very special. Disembarkation went very well and was well organised off in very dood time and port staff very polite and helpful , will cruise again given the chance .. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The staff were mostly lovely, helpful and willing. Though it was difficult to communicate with some as their English was poor. The trips were reasonably well organised, pity that the Scilly isles had to be omitted, sea too rough to use ... Read More
The staff were mostly lovely, helpful and willing. Though it was difficult to communicate with some as their English was poor. The trips were reasonably well organised, pity that the Scilly isles had to be omitted, sea too rough to use the tender. Food at dinner in the Waterfront restaurant was sometimes tepid, sometimes it was very difficult to find a seat in the upstairs buffet, I think most of us enjoyed the food most of the time. Wide choice in the buffet. There were few lectures can't comment as I only went to one, fell asleep during it. The talks on our destinations were mostly concerned with their excursions rather than the place itself. The public rooms were comfy and pleasant, pity the library was closed much of the time. I personally found nothing of interest in the on board shops. And the duty free was expensive. Cabins had a fridge plus tea and coffee making facilities, which was very nice. The ship appeared very clean' Evening entertainment was patchy. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
While on a majestic fjords cruise and leaving Amsterdam we hit a foreign object on a initial inspection and short delay we had the all clear to carry on but never got to Norway, around half way the boat developed a mechanical vault so had ... Read More
While on a majestic fjords cruise and leaving Amsterdam we hit a foreign object on a initial inspection and short delay we had the all clear to carry on but never got to Norway, around half way the boat developed a mechanical vault so had to turn back. The cruise was eventually terminated and we went back to Amsterdam. We still enjoyed a full program of entertainment and everything else on board. They announced that we would be going back to tilbury by ferry They had already given us £25 each and a free bar fo one night but then told us we would get a full refund + free cruise of same duration anytime in the next 2 years or if we wanted a longer one they will deduct the value of this cruise We only lost one day of the whole trip it’s good to hear of a company doing the right thing with out having to spend hours complaining. Nice one CMV Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The staff were all polite, friendly and helpful. The ship is well maintained and clean. The outside area have comfortable loungers and the Jacuzzis are great. The cabins are a good size and comfortable, with plenty of storage. Excellent on ... Read More
The staff were all polite, friendly and helpful. The ship is well maintained and clean. The outside area have comfortable loungers and the Jacuzzis are great. The cabins are a good size and comfortable, with plenty of storage. Excellent on board entertainment, with good shows and smaller singing groups etc. The food in the restaurant is generally good to very good. The breakfast delivered to the cabin was not as good as the previous year as there was very little choice. We didn't eat in the buffet very often as it is very busy and difficult for my husband who has poor mobility. There are a wide range of excursions which include ones with reduced walking. Lovely public areas, attractive bars and seating. Staff all did their best when the ship had to end early. The compensation was generous. We are looking forward to another Norwegian cruise on Columbus next year. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because it is easy to embark at Tilbury but sad to say we were very disappointed .Very poor communication skills with crew at all levels as they seemed to only speak or understand very little English as in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it is easy to embark at Tilbury but sad to say we were very disappointed .Very poor communication skills with crew at all levels as they seemed to only speak or understand very little English as in the restaurant and bars only a few understood the food & drinks orders .As it was a long wait in the restaurant and when the meals arrived they were undercooked or only warm as we treated ourselves to steak in the grill it was very tough and worth the money as my partner sent her back the kitchen to the disgust of the chef & waiter . In the bars the glasses were often warm (one of my pet hates ) one evening in the dome we sent the drinks and my glass back where the barman became very irate and slammed the beer glass on the bar . The excursions were offer priced and badly organised as on the last one it should have been a steam train only to be replaced with an old diesel of which no explanation was offered .In Helsinki & Stockholm we were only allowed about 3/4 hours a shore a joke! .The entertainment was very poor lasting only 45 minuetes also the guest speakers on board were very amateurish as they seemed not to no what they were operating .The best thing was disembarkation at Tilbury please note there are much better cruise companies . Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary: had more ports of calls than other similar cruises. Loved St Petersburgh especially: chose Alla Tours ‘Must see’ two day tour which was fantastic! Saw all the major sites in a small ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary: had more ports of calls than other similar cruises. Loved St Petersburgh especially: chose Alla Tours ‘Must see’ two day tour which was fantastic! Saw all the major sites in a small group and ahead of the crowds. Exceptionally quick and efficient embarkation and disembarkation. Staff gave us a friendly welcome. Inner cabin larger than we expected, light, airy, quiet and clean. We’re vegetarians and never had such a varied choice of food: didn’t have the same meal twice for dinner. Waiters attentive. Great drinks packages. Prices around the same as at home rather than inflated. Friendly, efficient staff. Always smiling. I had the hot tub to myself most days! Wish swimming pool was heated though! Could always find somewhere quiet to sit inside and out with good deck space. I particularly appreciated the fact that there wasn’t music playing everywhere. Not really bothered about evening entertainment personally, but others seemed satisfied with it. Showed films on sea days in Palladium. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Pick up from Victoria Coach Station was great, just a little waiting before setting off. Embarkation straight forward quick and easy. Cabin on reception deck level so very easy to find. 2 cases arrived very quickly the 3rd was missing ... Read More
Pick up from Victoria Coach Station was great, just a little waiting before setting off. Embarkation straight forward quick and easy. Cabin on reception deck level so very easy to find. 2 cases arrived very quickly the 3rd was missing for about 2 hours, the cabin steward found it in the end. Not the best cabin that we have had, needs the bathroom updating. 2 comfortable chairs was a bit of a bonus but they were under the TV. There were a few problems with the cabin as detailed in the cabin review section. Evening dinning, good table shared by us and 4 other very nice people right at the back of the ship, so when sailing out of port we had a super view through the windows. Stewards were very good and the service (although very slow on the first night) improved though the cruise. We only saw a little of the entertainment which in the main was good, the young people in the shows worked very hard. The stewards in the public areas were also very hard working and pleasant. We were lucky enough to have a brilliant team with our group and our excursions were pre-planned before we left the UK so we only used the ship's excursions on a couple of days. The best of these was a trip to Sark. A very long day which saw us return to the ship too late for our regular dinner sitting, and as this was a formal night we decided to see if they could find us a table at the second sitting. Previously we had been told that we would have to dine in the Buffet if we were late returning from an excursion, but 4 of us just walked Into the main dinning area and were found a table. Great night glad we did not miss it as it was probably the best dinning night of the whole cruise. For the most the ports along the way were most interesting. The ones where the ship could dock alongside were very good to disembark from, the problems were where a tender was used. What a shambles, and not all the fault of the weather. It was obvious that there were serious tensions between the ship and in one place the outside tender operators, a situation that became very unpleasant at one point. In other ports where the ships own tenders were used, getting on and off was quite a challenge, at one point a member of the crew went overboard in quite a rough swell. I know that this ship had in the previous 4 months sailed around the world so the ship's company had experienced a long time away from home, but the senior members of the crew were probably the most miserable bunch of individuals that I have come across in a very long time. I don't think that I heard the Captain come over the Tannoy once during the whole cruise and at one of the evening events he exuded no enthusiasm at all looking as if he wished he was somewhere else entirely. Some of the staff were most belligerent, when you asked for information they were most dismissive and you were made to feel that you were interrupting them and that they could not be bothered with someone like you. As I have previously said we were very fortunate to be part of a bigger group, and as such we were able to share our views with others in the group. We were able to enjoy the company of like minded travellers. Had we have been on our own I think that cruise would have been quite an unpleasant experience. In conclusion my view is that we put this cruise down as one that will not be repeated with this particular ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We can't believe the bad reviews on here! Were the on a different ship? Not only have we've read them but have witnessed people on our cruise just moaning about everything. We found the Columbus to be a great ship, everyone from ... Read More
We can't believe the bad reviews on here! Were the on a different ship? Not only have we've read them but have witnessed people on our cruise just moaning about everything. We found the Columbus to be a great ship, everyone from crew to staff were so friendly and efficient. The Waterfront Restaurant was excellent, we enjoyed the food and were very lucky with the company on our table. The Bistro could get crowded so not always easy to get seating but really not a big deal! All areas were kept very clean, there was always hand cleanser available. Our cabin was spacious and our cabin steward was amazing. The Theatre was great, so, you can't always get the seat you want but we managed to see regardless of our positioning and can only praise the entertainment staff who did such a great job whether singing, dancing or helping with the excursions or the quiz shows during the day. The excursions were mainly excellent apart from Honfleur where we happened to have a rather rude guide but that was not the ships fault. Would we sail again with the Columbus, definitely !! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The day before we sailed we learnt that the ship was being taken to Dover for essential maintenance work, therefore we parked the car at Tilbury and then travelled to Dover by coach. On arrival in Amsterdam we were told that the work ... Read More
The day before we sailed we learnt that the ship was being taken to Dover for essential maintenance work, therefore we parked the car at Tilbury and then travelled to Dover by coach. On arrival in Amsterdam we were told that the work hadn’t been completed in Dover and would have to be done in Tenerife so we would be missing out our stop in Gibraltar. This meant 5 and a half days at sea. During that time activities such as crafting, knit and natter or lectures, were not at all to our taste so the time went very slowly. Service in the main restaurant was abysmal, including Christmas dinner, which took nearly 2 hours. The staff in the main dining room were so busy with it being 2 sittings for dinner that regularly there was a long wait between courses. I had a glass of wine with dinner which was served as half a glass and then it was a job to catch the waiters eye for another half later. (We were all inclusive). Usually on cruises I sit with my hand over the glass to prevent the wine waiter doing a refill, not on this cruise. One evening we went to the Grill (extra charge) and had rib eye steak, which was very near inedible with sinews. I ordered medium rare and my wife ordered medium. When my wife cut into hers it was clear that we had been given the wrong ones, so they just swapped our plates over, complete with peppercorn sauce over mine, which my wife cannot eat. For this error we were offered a glass of sparkling wine each. For the last 3 evenings we ate in the Bistro, where the choice was very limited. We found it amazing how many different ways they could make bread and butter pudding to use up the stale bread... Service during the day for a drink (around the Atrium) took ages and I went and ordered it in Hemingway’s where I was told there would be quite a wait as we were sitting overlooking the Atrium on Deck 6. There was very limited entertainment in the evening apart from the main shows in the Palladium and with first sitting dinner being 5.45pm and the first show (which we would have preferred) starting at 7.15pm there was no chance of getting to that one and an empty gap to fill before the next show, so we often gave up. Most disturbing thing was being anchored in the bay at Funchal and tendering to the shore, when other ships much nearer to the shore did not put down tenders due to the rough conditions. It was decided to cancel tendering at 1pm but by then 600 people were still to be returned to the ship. Conditions got worse, with tenders bashing into the ships platform and the last passengers on board at 10pm or later while the ship was held on a line at each end by tugs. Should never have happened. Our cabin was so hot, like a sauna all the time and the public rooms of the ship were cold. So by the middle of the second week quite a few people, including us, had coughs and colds. The only positive note our cabin was a good size and the wonderful friendly service from our cabin steward. Disembarkation a shambles, probably everyone just wanted to get off! Our Christmas is on Sunday, as we missed the real one. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this ship as we sailed in her 18 months previously and apart from very average food in the Waterfront Restaurant we had a good time. We were in need of some serious R&R after a very difficult year and the children were ... Read More
We chose this ship as we sailed in her 18 months previously and apart from very average food in the Waterfront Restaurant we had a good time. We were in need of some serious R&R after a very difficult year and the children were happy to go elsewhere. We therefore booked the courier service through SAGA to take us to Tilbury & back. The day before we left the embarkation was changed to Dover where extra repairs had to be made apparently although why was never mentioned by the captain or the crew. Embarkation was fast and efficient but from there it all went downhill. The excursion to Amsterdam canals was organised during the daylight hours and the famous lights were not evident. A waste of time & money. As soon as we left there we were informed that the scheduled stop in Gibraltar had been cancelled as the repairs had not been effected in Dover. So after 5.5 days at sea suffering with very mediocre food in the main restaurant and indifferent entertainment in the Palladium we arrived in Tenerife earlier than stated. The excursion booked was thoroughly dangerous on roads unsuitable for big coaches and little or no safety barriers on bends with 400' or more drops. So decided to cancel rest of excursions but no refund given and money taken to cancel! Best was New Years' firework display but some 600 or so very bruised and battered passengers may not agree after suffering appalling conditions tendering to the mainland in rough seas when no other cruise liners were offering this and then being left for hours to fend for themselves when the weather worsened. All in all we felt that there was a lack of care for the passengers exhibited by the officers and heads of departments, although the staff on the ground so to speak were friendly and helpful. The wine cellar choice was little short of abysmal. If you drink dry wine only you will be ok as that is all they have and the spirit measures are extremely small. Luckily we took out a VIP package and came out on top. The best drinks were definitely the cocktails and the lovely coffees. Food was poor except for the buffet on the top but not easy to get drinks up there. The whole ethos of Christmas was missing. Embarkation was a total shambles and as there was a DOA in one of the cabins even more delay ensued with a free for all at the exit to the dock building. Would we go again.....answer no as it appears the shipping line is more interested in making money at all costs than looking after the comfort of it's passengers and our experience was worse than the previous trip. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
In December 2018 we went on a Christmas Canary Islands and Madeira cruise on the CMV Columbus. We booked with Saga, who offer a door to door service as standard. The cruise was to be from Tilbury to Tilbury but due to a technical problem ... Read More
In December 2018 we went on a Christmas Canary Islands and Madeira cruise on the CMV Columbus. We booked with Saga, who offer a door to door service as standard. The cruise was to be from Tilbury to Tilbury but due to a technical problem with the ship we sailed from Dover and missed Gibraltar as the ship had to go to Tenerife for repairs to one of its propellers. We were given £25 each as compensation for missing Gibraltar. The Ship The Columbus is a mid sized ship and although a bit old was in good condition. As the weather was not good, except in the Canaries, there was no going on deck due to high winds and it was quite cold. That put pressure on the seating situation so at times it was very hard to get somewhere to sit. Inside some of the public places could have been warmer. Most of the passengers were very friendly and we had many a good conversation during our cruise. Apart from Christmas the music played in the public areas was more for teenagers that the older crowd on board. The Cabin We were in cabin 10156 and it was bigger than most ships with two upper bunks protruding from the wall, which could get in the way. The lighting wasn’t bright enough. There was a big double bed, well two singles pushed together, but there was two single duvet covers on there as the double duvets they have are too small, or so our cabin steward told us. I went to reception regarding this and was asked to write a note to the Head Housekeeper and within a few hours we had a double duvet. There was only a bedside light on one side with the one on the other side at the other end of a dressing table so couldn’t be reached from the bed. There was a kettle with Whittards tea and Douwe Egberts coffee. Because I pre paid the gratuities there was a bottle of Red Merlot on the table. There was a small armchair and a desk chair. There was ample space for hanging our clothes and drawers for other items. There was a fridge and a safe. There was a small flat screen television but it was placed left of the bed so it was hard to watch it from the bed. There was only one socket, which had the kettle plugged into it, and that had to be used for all our charging. Luckily we brought the extension. The bathroom was small but the shower was big and again the lighting was inadequate. There was plenty of storage in the bathroom. The shower head was fixed and the larger shower cubicle helped. There was a soap dispenser in the shower and two small bars of soap on the washbasin and that was it. Luckily we brought some of our own. During sailing the cabin walls creaked quite a bit and others said the same thing. Our cabin steward was called Ashveer and he was very good. He is from Mauritius and we had some good laughs with him. The food We eat in the MDR a few times, the service in there was good, but as we are fond of spicy food we kept mainly to the buffet as they had a much better selection. The food was well cooked and hot. The afternoon tea was especially good with various rolls and lots of delicious cakes and those very nice scones that people keep writing about. Getting a table in the buffet could be difficult at times, especially at breakfast, but we managed. The friendliness of the other passengers made that a bit easier. They put on a good show for Christmas but we missed the New Years dinner due to a problem with getting back to the ship by Tender in Funchal. The sea became very rough after we got on land so we were delayed for many hours before we could get back and even that was quite hazardous. We were back for the midnight fireworks and that was spectacular. Entertainment The theatre is very badly laid out with seating being mainly on the flat and with some of the back seats lower than the ones at the front. There is a balcony but there is a metal bar running all round it and that gets in the way and the glass panel reflects a lot. There are also several large columns which get in the way. The Cruise Director Ian Bagshaw put on a magic show as he was at one time a professional in that form of entertainment. He was around the ship all day and stopped for a chat on occasions. There were two visiting comedians, Christopher Gee, who is an impressionist and very funny and Les Bryan, once of the Marauders in the early sixties and the Comedians on television. The resident show team put on a variety of shows, even a Pantomime, and in the main were quite good. One problem was that the noise of the music drowned out the singers. That is something that could easily have been remedied. Their final show was a tour around the worlds music culminating in music from Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England. They brought the house down. The shows were at 1915 and 2100 each evening. There were various music shows in some of the bars throughout the day and evening. There was a game show in the Dome nightclub most evenings but not until 2215. Much too late. There was a disco up there after that. We didn't take any ships shore excursions as we had been to all the places visited except Lanzarote. The crew were magnificent, always smiling and helpful. There are 27 different nationalities working on board. As I write this review a letter has arrived from CMV with a cheque for £100, £50 each, and a 20% future cruise discount if booked by March 31st. This was in relation to our problem with the Tenders in Funchal. That was a surprise. We would not take this cruise again due to the cold weather. It spoiled the cruise as we had to spend most of our time indoors. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The Christmas Cruise on MV Columbus proved to be unpredictable but enjoyable. On the day prior to departure, I received a text and phone call from CMV advising of a change to the embarkation. The ship was now to depart from Dover and not ... Read More
The Christmas Cruise on MV Columbus proved to be unpredictable but enjoyable. On the day prior to departure, I received a text and phone call from CMV advising of a change to the embarkation. The ship was now to depart from Dover and not Tilbury due to a ‘minor technical issue’. This didn’t affect me too much as the transfer from Victoria Coach Station would now go direct to Dover, rather than Tilbury. Dover is actually a much nicer Cruise Terminal than Tilbury. Changes to embarkation were notified to me in a timely and informative manner by text and phone and the coach transfer to Dover and embarkation was smooth and efficient The ‘minor technical issue’ was later revealed to be related to the starboard propellers and repairs were due to be carried out in Dover prior to sailing, but we were later to find out this was not possible due to the poor sea conditions and bad weather. Columbus set sail for Amsterdam later that evening, arriving early the next day. Amsterdam was lovely; vast arrays of Christmas lights; huge Christmas market and a very comprehensive and informative city tour by coach and canal boat. The Shore Excursion Team’s organisation landside was efficient Once we had set sail from Amsterdam, we were advised that due to the fact that the repairs could not be carried out in Dover, Columbus would not be calling at Gibraltar and would go directly to Tenerife where she would stay for 24 hours whilst the repairs were undertaken. That meant 5 days at sea! Many passengers were upset over the missing out of Gibraltar but I wasn’t too concerned. We received compensation for the ‘missed port’ and Columbus proceeded fairly slowly with a very noticeable judder which I assume was due to the imbalance of the propellers. This was most noticeable in bed (as it rocked us to sleep!) and in the Waterfront Restaurant. MV Columbus was suitably and imaginatively decorated for a Christmas Cruise and gifts in the cabin on Christmas Eve were a nice touch. The staff and crew were proactive in wishing guests a ‘Merry Christmas’ and the public areas of the ship were always kept spotless, especially the toilet areas where a member of staff seemed constantly to be in attendance During the 5 sea days there were a full range of activities, lectures, quiz and game shows organised, but probably no more or less than would have been offered anyway. A film was shown in the Palladium Lounge most afternoons, as it was too cold to use the deck screen. The Cruise Director, Iain Bagshaw, gave a run-down of the daily programme twice a day and held a 15 minute ‘Chat with Iain’ each afternoon. He was friendly enough but one got the feeling that ‘it was just a job’ and he didn’t really show any genuine enthusiasm. The lucky and observant ones saw both whales and dolphins. The weather remained cold and wet and most of the time the open decks were closed due to high winds. Cruising through the Bay of Biscay wasn’t too rough, but certainly not a millpond. Even with her damaged propellers, Columbus managed to remain fairly stable in the rough weather. There was nightly and sometimes afternoon entertainment presented by the Columbus Singers and Dancers or the ‘Guest Act’ which for the first half of the cruise was the comedian / impersonator Christopher Gee, who was actually quite good. Entertainment was very mixed. The team were pleasant to talk to and enthusiastic, but seemed to lack professional training. Angelina stood out and boosted the credence of the vocalists. The ‘Abba’ and ‘Round the World’ shows were probably the most notable. The dance team’s coordination was generally quite good; the 2nd Guest Act (who transferred from Marco Polo in Lanzarote), the comedian Les Bryan was embarrassing to watch. The food and service in both the Waterfront Restaurant and Plantation Bistro was of a continually high standard. Christmas Eve Dinner was excellent. My Cabin Steward always had a smile and time for a chat whilst providing a faultless standard of service. The inside cabin on Deck 10 was spacious and perfectly adequate. The vast majority of bar staff were pleasant and attentive, although some needed some additional training in their job and demonstrated poor customer service skills. We arrived in Tenerife at about 20:00 it was very nice to be able to get off for a few hours and have a drink in a local café. Columbus berthed at the improved cruise terminal which is now a good 20 minutes walk from the town centre. Coach transfers were provided for those with walking difficulties on the next day, although I walked in and out on each occasion. Immediately after we berthed, a specialist team and local divers arrived and started to work on the propellers. They completed their work about an hour before we departed the next day and we have to assume that they were successful, although no mention of the success or otherwise was made by anyone on the ship. The weather was partly sunny and temperatures in the low 20’s. I did not take an organised excursion, but took the local bus to Puerto de la Cruz for an enjoyable day of exploration costing €8, whereas the same cruise excursion transfer was priced at £22. Local knowledge comes in handy! We proceeded to both Las Palmas in Gran Canaria and then Arrecife in Lanzarote on the following days, for about 6 hours in each port. Transfers were arranged in Arrecife, but not needed in Las Palmas, as we berthed close to the entrance. Whilst walking along the coastline in Arrecife, Marco Polo could be seen approaching the port – she looked surprisingly impressive! The now familiar judder was gone, so whatever had been done to the propellers in Tenerife must have been successful. Arrival and departure in both ports was as per the itinerary. The weather was disappointing with mostly cloudy skies, quite a strong win and only a few short periods of sunshine. This was certainly not what I had expected or what I had been used to in Tenerife over the last 25+ years at this time of year. Columbus was joined by Marco Polo in all the Canary Island ports and was dwarfed by Columbus when berthed alongside. We also had two huge TUI ships and a German ship with us in Tenerife and Lanzarote. The penultimate port was Madeira which turned out to be the most memorable, but not for the reasons we had expected. We anchored early in the morning to the right of the terminal quite near the Queen Victoria. Again it was overcast, light winds and a small swell. However there was a forecast of rain in the late afternoon. The Tender Service stared at 09:00 and passengers with mobility issues were advised to observe the procedure before deciding if they were capable of transferring to the tender with minimal assistance. I found it surprising that many with ‘walkers’ and ‘Zimmer frames’ were allowed to use the service. I transferred at about 11:30 and by that time the swell was increasing and getting onto the tender was quite tricky. Many people in other tenders were sick on the 10-15 minute transfer to the dock. Within the dock area, the swell presented a few tricky moments when trying to get off onto land. The two TUI, the German (Avia?) and a Fred Olsen ships were berthed, although the Fred Olsen ship left early evening to view the fireworks from the bay. I spent a couple of hours exploring the Christmas Forest and Market, checking out the restaurants and viewing (but not taking) the cable car, as the clouds were obscuring the mountain from about half way up. They certainly take Christmas seriously and put together a fantastic display – really capturing the Christmas Spirit. I then decided that as it was getting quite cold and windy and the clouds were gathering quickly, I’d make my way back to the dockside to catch the tender back to Columbus. It was New Year’s Eve, so being on board early would allow sufficient time to prepare for the New Year’s Eve Dinner at 17:45. On arrival at the dockside, I was met with a queue of about 150 people who were also waiting to return. It transpired that the Tender Service and all afternoon excursions had been cancelled by the ship at noon, as the weather had deteriorated making tendering not a particularly safe or viable option. There were about 600 passengers on Madeira with no idea of how they were to get back on board, or even if that was going to be possible. Columbus was observed steaming up and down the coast trying to find a more sheltered location to re-commence the Tender Service. Those that were not aware what was happening could have been quite traumatised by seeing this, thinking that the ship had left! We understand that there were frantic conversations between the ship and the Harbour Authorities trying to find a solution to get the passengers back safely and the result was that the only option was to commence the tendering service, with the assistance of a tug to try to keep Columbus in a stable position. My utmost praise and admiration must go to the crew on the Tenders in Madeira who, despite a huge swell, successfully managed to get passengers back on board in atrocious conditions. Once back on board (some 7 hours after I had intended), cold and wet with dampened spirits, it was too late to attend the New Year’s Eve Dinner, which was to have been one of the cruise highlights. Many passengers suffered sea-sickness, cuts, bruises and emotional trauma. One tender made three unsuccessful attempts to set passengers onto the platform, totalling nearly 2 hours of bobbing about in the huge swell. One 93 year old, complete with ‘walker’ suffered bruising to one arm and cuts and a sprain to the other during the re-boarding. He was certainly a character and said that it was the best adrenalin rush he had experienced in years! A few were shouting, verbally abusing the Madeiran dockside staff, ship’s representative and other passengers and demanding to be flown home and their money back. The vast majority of the Brits just quietly queued in the freezing cold rain and waited patiently until a solution had been devised. The New Year’s Eve firework display on Madeira was indeed impressive and helped to brighten the spirits of those who had been stranded on Madeira. There was free champagne and although it was still quite windy with light rain, it was definitely worth seeing. Columbus then cruised on to cold and misty Lisbon for half a day and to our surprise duty free goods in the new terminal building here were much cheaper than they had been on the Canaries. The mist lifted as we left and Columbus left bound for another 2+ days at sea through a very a very stormy and rough Bay of Biscay. It is just as well that I quite enjoy the days at sea, as we had 10, but I prefer them when the weather is warmer. A Christmas cruise has always been something to look forward to, something special and memorable. Unfortunately this cruise will probably be remembered by some with more negative than positive thoughts although they should probably remember that the weather and sea conditions are unpredictable and that CMV cannot be held responsible for these. Despite the weather, missing Gibraltar and the difficulties in Madeira, the cruise was enjoyable and value for money. The Columbus made a magnificent effort to capture the Spirit of Christmas with decorations, carols, displays and themed events. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This xmas/New years cruise was calling at two ports we really wanted to visit. We had to embark at Dover not Tilbury because of problems with the propeller from the previous cruise .when we left Dover the captain informed us that the fault ... Read More
This xmas/New years cruise was calling at two ports we really wanted to visit. We had to embark at Dover not Tilbury because of problems with the propeller from the previous cruise .when we left Dover the captain informed us that the fault had not been repaired and so after Amsterdam we would have to sail to Tenerife missing Gib thus having to be at sea for five days not three ! Our cabin had a lot of vibration because of the fault which was repaired in Tenerife. The Canarys were fine but when we arrived at Madeira it started to go wrong the sea was very choppy but they said that tenders were going ashore which we found suprising because the Cunard ship anchored next to us did not tender. When we got ashore we enjoyed a few hours in Funchal then at 2o/c it started to rain so we went to the jetty only to be told that tenders had been suspended ! We finally got back on board at 10past10 at night after 8 hours in the rain at no time were we given any info about what was happening we missed the Gala dinner and show / fireworks and sail away party. We were so wet and cold we had a shower and went to bed. I feel that a bad decision was made because of excursions etc and passengers and crew were put at risk because of this. CMV have made a derisory offer and 20%off any further cruises after this experience we do not feel inclined to cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Ship broken down in Dover so not in dock in Tilbury, so we had to be bused to Dover, given a bottle of water apple & crisps for lunch. After a two hour drive we arrived in Dover getting on the ship went well, we were told that the ... Read More
Ship broken down in Dover so not in dock in Tilbury, so we had to be bused to Dover, given a bottle of water apple & crisps for lunch. After a two hour drive we arrived in Dover getting on the ship went well, we were told that the self service was closed ( but found out later it was open) there should have been a kettle in our cabin that was missing so no warm cuppa. First evening meal in the restaurant was not very good, also we ask for a table for 6/8 given one for 4. Then found out the ship had not been repaired so had to miss Gibraltar so that meant 5 day's at sea with not a lot to do. Ship repaired in Tenerife. 31/12 arrived in Madeira> My husband went on a excursion I didn't because it was a tender. I am disabled (having a bad day) so I stayed on board. He left me at 8.45 I next saw him at 7.15 because they stopped the tenders for safety reasons, leaving hundreds on shore either sat on the tenders or stood out in the rain, last people got back around 11.30 all missing their Grand New Years Eve meal as we did. A lot of people missed the fireworks at midnight as they were either too ill or too tired to stay up. We did see the fireworks were spectacular, they were what nearly all the passages had gone to see. The disembarkation was a joke we had crew members with cases or large bags pushing passed paying passengers to get of the ship, maybe like a lot of the passengers they too couldn't wait to get off. After showing our sea passes there were new staff walking towards us to get on the same way as everyone was getting off. They were so rude bearing in mind their ages compared to the passengers, who were mainly OAP's or disabled like myself. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We saw the video of this ship and the fact that it was sailing from Tilbury to warmer climes for Christmas and the New Year. The day before we were due to depart we received a telephone call from CMV saying that due to a minor technical ... Read More
We saw the video of this ship and the fact that it was sailing from Tilbury to warmer climes for Christmas and the New Year. The day before we were due to depart we received a telephone call from CMV saying that due to a minor technical fault the ship would be sailing from Dover, but to go to Tilbury and be bussed down to Dover. This was done quite efficiently meaning that we were on board about two hours after the original time and we were given afternoon tea instead of lunch. The first port was Amsterdam to collect passengers from Belgium and Germany. As we got off the ship crew members were busy painting out the scrapes and scratches all along the side of the ship. Apparently on the previous cruise an error of judgement was made by the Norwegian pilot resulting in some of the propeller blades being damaged. This information was not relayed to the passengers as the captain seemed not to have any communication skills throughout the voyage, and became common knowledge by talking to other crew members. The captain did find his voice the following day by saying that the safety of his passengers, crew and ship was paramount and as the repairs could not be done at Dover we would need to have to go straight to Tenerife for the repairs which would take longer to get to so Gibraltar was cancelled and £50 per cabin compensation was paid.Bearing in mind that this meant five days at sea for the festivities there were not enough places for all the passengers to sit down during the daytime.Christmas Day was lovely with a carol concert in the atrium and excellent food (no problem with the food at all). Although there was an altercation in the buffet restaurant at breakfast (in full view of some passengers, me included) between a supervisor and a kitchen worker. After Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria was supposed to be the highlight of the cruise - New Year's Eve in Funchal, Madeira. Despite the weather being very wet and the seas rough, the captain allowed all the excursions and the walk off passengers to get into the tenders to go ashore. Fortunately we did not go ashore as we were in Madeira last September. Several of the other ships, including the P&O Queen Victoria who were also anchored in the bay, decided that it was too dangerous to go ashore. The result for our passengers was that they were abandoned on shore with no food, drink or shelter as the rain lashed down because it was not safe to try to get back to the ship. The last tender that tried to get to the platform of the ship dipped down with the wave action and smashed its roof under the platform. Several of these passengers had become unwell with some suffering cuts, bruising and fractures. There were 500 passengers abandoned ashore who had to buy bin bags to try to keep dry and some managed to shelter in a circus tent! The last of the passengers made it back at 10.30 pm and no provision was made for them to get anything to eat (lack of communication again). The passengers who remained on the ship had champagne at midnight on the sodden upper deck which had artificial grass on it - a bit like walking on sponge! The fireworks were amazing but could not be enjoyed as we expected. Whilst the ship was at anchor (and spinning round) two tugs with strong ropes had to be deployed on both sides of the ship to try to keep it stable. After stopping at Lisbon we had two days at sea across the Bay of Biscay which was also rather rough resulting in the open decks being out of bounds. Disembarkation at Tilbury was chaotic with people having to sit on the stairs to await 'express disembarkation'. The final straw was sitting in the atrium and listening to the message that a passenger had died in their cabin. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Columbus Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.6
Entertainment 3.0 3.5
Public Rooms 3.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.3
Family 1.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 2.0 3.0
Service 4.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.7

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