192 London (Greenwich, Tower Bridge, Tilbury) Senior Cruise Reviews

Because there was a 2 4 1 that was not mentioned and cricketing legends. BOOKING I used a travel agent no sure i will again, would not post tickets unless i paid £10 and nothing from them after cruise or about any delay! ... Read More
Because there was a 2 4 1 that was not mentioned and cricketing legends. BOOKING I used a travel agent no sure i will again, would not post tickets unless i paid £10 and nothing from them after cruise or about any delay! Embarkation. I had no info about ant delay and just ;looked at where ship was and facebook and see there's a delay! I left later as it was a sunday no ferry running so had to walk from tilbury town. Arrived in time to see her arrive. Then a free coffee and found a seat she arrived 6pm got on around 7.30pm no gangway photos. Found my own way to my upgraded cabin. Dinner. HAD BUFFET DINNER LIFEBOAT DRILL After dinner had our lifeboat drill around 2230hrs,it said theatre so i did not bother with a jacket. Imagine my shock it was outside on the deck(i was very cold!) glad it did not take too long. Departure. WE left at 0030Hrs Restaurants. Buffet was too small and always crowded so had breakfast in restaurant quite good but no swiss muesli so had to have corn flakes,pretty good food. Dinner was pretty good with 6-7 on our table, pretty good food.got a bottle of wine free which i took to the restaurant and it lasted the whole cruise. Excursions. Only booked 2 excursions at kristiansand and oslo. WAR RELICS and the CANNON at K SANDand SHIP MUSEUMS IN OSLO both very good Cocktail party. Pretty good with snacks and drink. Captain was a bit hard to understand sometimes aas he was greek but pretty good. Disembarkation. Did walk off and then waited ages for the gravesend ferry to come. Read Less
Sail Date November 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 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
I chose to travel to Canada and the Cruise and Maritime Marco Polo was available for the cruise. The ship is small and old. Built many years ago. It tilts and sways alot. It is suitable for retired and elderly people. I experienced stress ... Read More
I chose to travel to Canada and the Cruise and Maritime Marco Polo was available for the cruise. The ship is small and old. Built many years ago. It tilts and sways alot. It is suitable for retired and elderly people. I experienced stress because of a elderly woman who talked non-stop. The male supervisor who works in the buffet area, stares at you in a hateful way. He behaves as if he resents passengers helping themselves to food that they paid for! The buffet cooks behind the counter also stare in a nasty unpleasant manner. The tall, male security guard with dark hair, enjoys stalking women in a creepy manner. He follows women like a creepy shadow. WiFi is not available, so I could not access online banking. Some of the tours were suitable. For example, Montreal, Quebec and Sydney. The Marco Polo cruise was for 30 days to Canada. My dining experience in the buffet found a variety of cooked food. Chicken, fish, and vegetarian. Also salads. The Waldorf restaurant provides a daily set menu to choose from. Two or three starters, main meals, and desserts. Alcohol has to be paid for as extra expenses. Activities such as, comedy drama and singing was pleasant entertainment. There was a daily £5 charge for art classes, for this reason I only attended once. The service by staff in general was basic. The Scotts bar, had 1 good bartender who served nice cocktails. The cabin i stayed in was a standard room. Two single beds, a cabinet with drawers, a double wardrobe and one chair. A small shower room. With basic soap and shampoo with a unpleasant smell. Towels were changed by request. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our last time on the Marco Polo was in 2011, our second cruise, after our first on NCL with a butler and a concierge and lots of fancy extras. We’ve done lots of cruises since, but the Marco Polo has stayed VERY special and both times ... Read More
Our last time on the Marco Polo was in 2011, our second cruise, after our first on NCL with a butler and a concierge and lots of fancy extras. We’ve done lots of cruises since, but the Marco Polo has stayed VERY special and both times have been equally enjoyable. It’s a shame this is the last time the Marco Polo will visit Canada, so I’ll concentrate on the ship, rather than the ports. If it were to return to Canada, I’d suggest calling it “Canada with a fall”, as a lot of people took the title “fall” rather too literally and actually fell, which kept the doctor fairly busy (although he always seemed to have time for a cigarette – and the occasional brandy - out on deck!)! On arrival, the new parking facilities at Tilbury made things much easier. As we went towards check in, we were greeted by Sheena, a member of staff who recognised us from 2011 – she was also there to wish us a safe journey home when we got back! Check in took no time, and within minutes, we were in our cabin. We really like CMV, and yes, there are things they could do better – information about the ports could have maps, there could be more mugs available and a couple of the waiting staff might be a little more courteous at times (that said, our waiter, Pritish, was fantastic). Sometimes, perhaps a little more attention could be paid to detail. Getting the time zone wrong was a good example, but it does add to the quirkiness of CMV and probably why we rate it so highly. It’s a small ship experience with a very friendly and very helpful crew (mostly) and very friendly passengers (mostly), with no casino, no art auctions, very few queues, no huge upselling – and no kids (although most passengers are very young at heart). Calling it a “small ship” is correct, but as the cruise progresses, it takes longer and longer to get anywhere as you keep nattering to people on the way! We’ve racked our brains as to what facilities a larger ship has that we’d use and can’t think of anything that really makes a huge difference to our overall enjoyment. We booked a “guaranteed” cabin and were allocated 655, an accessible cabin on deck 9. It was very big and exceedingly well situated. It had more than ample storage facilities with a large dressing table and three wardrobes. And very usefully, lots of wall hooks for coats and dressing gowns that we brought with. One of the dressing gowns came in particularly useful to block out the light from under the door. Most of the time the noise from Scott’s Bar didn’t bother us, however we did have to make sure the big doors were closed before we went to bed, and were annoyed by the selfish people who opened them once or twice late at night despite the signs. Our cabin door rattled - we managed to remedy it by using a sock - the cabin attendant did say he’d inform the carpenter, but that didn’t seem to happen, however he did keep the cabin absolutely spotless and never seemed to stop working. The hold rails in the bathroom came in very useful when we were taking a shower in rough seas. However, as for true accessibility, the ship isn’t modern and one day a lady was in tears after climbing the gang way back up to the ship which was very steep due to tidal conditions – she didn’t leave the ship again until disembarkation. However, others (including yours truly) managed to dance in Scott’s Bar in rather rough seas until the small hours. With so many sea days, we were delighted with the daytime activities, especially the creative writing classes by Chrissie – and the drama classes with Harry and Emma. Doing these meant that there were clashes with some of the lectures but the ones we saw (especially Steve’s maritime history ones) were great. Sue was always on deck saying we’d just missed a whale (seriously, she was fabulous at explaining the natural world around us) – and Lucy was a real trooper although a lot of what she said about photography rather went over our untechnical heads – we just want to point and click to get a photo! Given that our previous Marco Polo Cruise Director was the amazing Richard Sykes, Josh had a lot to live upto and he was a really great Cruise Director – a very talented showman with a great future. The standout moment for us was when he unexpectedly appeared during our drama class in his costume for the cocktail competition. At that moment, it confirmed we were in great hands! The nightly entertainment was mainly very good, although we thought the comedians were rather past their best before date. At nearly 60, I really struggled with some subjects, such as putting sixpences and aspirins in stocking suspenders that broke in the wash. Thankfully some other passengers explained it to us. One thing we would change about the “Round the World” would be the English bit. Surely Gracie Fields, Vera Lynn and some outdated jingoistic claptrap about how we’re going to widen our “Empire” could perhaps be replaced by something more in keeping with the modern world, perhaps a couple of Beatles songs, like “With A Little Help From Our Friends” and “Imagine”. Or even Scooch’s Eurovision entry, “Flying the Flag”. Or something less innocuous like “My Old Man”. It was nice to see a smattering of same sex couples, perhaps we should have asked for an LGBT meet up to be put in the programme as we didn’t get to know one couple until the last few days. Being gay obviously wasn’t a problem, but we were rather more cautious about talking about politics and very carefully “came out” as pro-EU – and were delighted to find so many likeminded people – and were over the moon that EU flags sometimes adorned our cocktails! Unlike some other lines, CMV isn’t “totally” British, we very much enjoyed having a smattering of Dutch and Australian etc passengers onboard. The food was very much to our taste, I’m not sure I ordered anything I didn’t like, and there was a very good variety with very few repetitions during the 30 days, although my pescatarian husband had a couple of veggie dishes he wasn’t keen on, but they were changed very quickly to something he did like. Our waiter, Pritish, was absolutely brilliant and dealt with our dietary requirements superbly. Portions were huge and our only complaint was that the food was too nice so we ate too much! Of course, it wouldn’t be CMV without a few quirks – vinegar springs to mind where at first it came in a gravy boat, then the waiters just brought the plastic bottle! Shame I can’t be as enthusiastic about the house wine. My husband refused to drink the house white after a while and we ended up buying bottles – even at £12 after the discount, it mounts up and is rather annoying when you’ve already spent around £1200 on two drinks packages. For our next cruise, we’ve decided to take the VIP package, reluctantly, in the hope that the wine is better. To cut down on eating, many times, we had the free “breakfast in bed” – toast, a croissant, a pastry, orange juice and tea/coffee was enough – inside cabins don’t have a kettle, so this was a way round getting a hot drink in the morning. A cooked version for a tenner was also available, although I’m not sure how you’d actually eat it comfortably in most cabins which don’t have a table. We only missed one port, St Johns, due to a hurricane, the rest of the time, we got to our destinations, although the tender process was a little chaotic at times, and our last Canadian port, Sydney was only until 1pm, meaning a very short stop for some – thankfully we pre-booked an excursion meaning we were off the ship quite early, but didn’t get a chance for a walk round the town afterwards. The excursions we went on were well priced and well organised and most of the time, free shuttles to the city centre were laid on by the port authorities, but that’s down to the port authority, rather than the cruise company. There’s no denying that CMV is truly unique and not for everyone. There’s simply no point in comparing it to other lines, it does things differently, it will suit some people more than others, and I’m sure there will be reviews about the “rust bucket” and “rude staff” etc. It certainly isn’t a rust bucket and 99% of the staff are friendly and helpful. Towards the end of the cruise, we had no hesitation in booking another with CMV where we got a 5% discount – plus free parking from cruise.co.uk! We’ve now got three CMV cruises to look forward to, none on the Marco Polo, which is a shame as it’s a fantastic ship, but I hope we’ll put that right soon enough. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
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
Although this was our 40th cruise, it was the first on Marco Polo and the smallest ship we have been on in 25 years of cruising and at 2 nights, the shortest. This is also my first review of a cruise ship. Having booked the cruise ... Read More
Although this was our 40th cruise, it was the first on Marco Polo and the smallest ship we have been on in 25 years of cruising and at 2 nights, the shortest. This is also my first review of a cruise ship. Having booked the cruise recently I looked up the reviews just before going and was quite alarmed by the number of negative reviews. I was not therefore expecting much. However, having enjoyed a very pleasant couple of days I thought that I should review it. I can only think that those negative reviews have come from people that only generally sail on the big modern ships with over 6000 guests and the staff to perform West End style shows. Whilst the exterior and steel around windows etc shows the signs of a 50 year old ship, the carpets and furniture and internal woodwork is kept spotless and clean. The beds are not modern but are comfortable enough and the bedding was clean. The inside cabins were larger than I expected with much more cupboard and drawer room than on many larger ships. With the exception of the lady leaving the duty free shop 4 hours before docking on the final morning who rather rudely announced that they 'were shut as we are always shut in port' when they clearly weren't, everyone else was very pleasant and friendly. I would say that it is a very happy ship.The food was as good as any of the ships we have been on and better than many. Still offering afternoon tea and late night snacks.The entertainment was not brilliant but the singers were good and did provide good entertainment. Let down a bit by the quality of the backing music but nothing to complain about. If you really want everything you get with the big ships, the Marco Polo is not for you. But for great value for money, friendly staff, good food and drinks at less than pub prices in the UK you can't beat this. 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
My wife and I recently cruised with CMV Columbus to the Canary Islands. This cruise was, what CMV term as, a multigenerational cruise. If you want to have a nice pleasant cruise then these types are to be avoided at all costs. There were ... Read More
My wife and I recently cruised with CMV Columbus to the Canary Islands. This cruise was, what CMV term as, a multigenerational cruise. If you want to have a nice pleasant cruise then these types are to be avoided at all costs. There were children running amok,uncontrolled, everywhere including through the Bistro restaurant outside deck, putting many elderly people at risk of injury. Also in the shops at nighttime and totally invading the Oasis on deck 8, which was supposed to be designated “adults only” as there were signs stating this fact, and monopolizing the whirlpools, throwing water everywhere and sitting at the bar. The ships management were totally disinterested in dealing with our repeated requests that they adhere to the original concept that this area should be child free. We were told that as the management advised parents at embarkation that it was their responsibility to control children that was sufficient. This left no outdoor areas of the ship child free. As we were on the cruise immediately preceding this one we could not help observe that the menu in the Bistro had changed considerably to a much lower budget fare, a definite bias towards cheaper meals that would be more acceptable to the younger element. In regards to the Bistro there was a distinct lack of hygiene with no cleaning of tables in between guests sitting down to eat, all that was done was to replace the paper place mat and issue new cutlery, and on busy times in the Bistro there was no clearing or cleaning of tables at all, guests had to move aside dirty dishes to find a place to eat. With regard to the Waterfront restaurant the seating times left a lot to be desired, the first sitting seems to be too early but the second sitting is too late. The menus were totally uninspiring, mediocre at best, with four courses of very small portions, not helped by very slow service. Despite the daily requests in the ships program regarding guests not to reserve sun loungers, by leaving personal belongings on them, hardly anyone took any notice of that, on the Oasis deck all the loungers were reserved by 7am with no one anywhere in sight. Another example of the management being unable to manage the ship for the benefit and comfort of all passengers. This was exacerbated by the lack of presence around the ship of all the management staff, except the Captain who was often seen walking around various parts of the vessel. Embarkation was very efficient and quick, however disembarkation was a complete disaster due to CMVs express disembarkation policy whereby passengers can nominate to take their own baggage off the ship instead of disembarking by deck number. The problem with this system is that about 95% of passengers chose that option, which meant that there was almost a ship load of people trying to get off from the sole gangway in the reception area. This caused complete chaos with people trying to squeeze their way off the ship with all their baggage all at the same time. This is,obviously, an accident or confrontation waiting to happen. Our cabin, on deck 8 was a good size, but generally needed to be updated, the storage was good but needed renovation as some drawers would not open. The bathroom was adequate and the shower was good but the washbasin had had a very bad partial respray which was tacky and unacceptable, it needed complete replacement. The bed was good and very comfortable, the air con was very good and our cabin steward looked after us very well. Overall the ship was kept in good order and was very clean. One area where CMV excelled was the organization of the shore excursions, after having been on many previous cruises we noticed that CMV were better at that than any other cruises we have been on. We did use the Fusion speciality restaurant and found that to be excellent. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The itinerary looked good 7 stops in Greenland and 3 on the way, although we ended up with 6+2. Very poor organisation throughout. We parked in the adjacent car park and had to wait for ages for the shuttle bus to take us to the ship. ... Read More
The itinerary looked good 7 stops in Greenland and 3 on the way, although we ended up with 6+2. Very poor organisation throughout. We parked in the adjacent car park and had to wait for ages for the shuttle bus to take us to the ship. On board for the first time we had to find our own way to our cabin - no greeting. Lifeboat drill was a shambles - no-one on the stairs to direct us, people milling around in all directions and staff did not know where stations were other than their own. The life jackets deserve replacement; I'd hate to have an emergency on that ship. There was a chargeable bottle of water in the cabin when we arrived, but the cabin steward was happy to take it away. He was the best thing on the ship, efficient, cheerful and willing. We had booked an excursion on Narsarsuaq to see Eric the Red's settlement in the afternoon of 29th July. In the morning we were tendered ashore to see the town. We returned to catch the tender back to the ship just as one was leaving at 11.21. No worries - we were due to meet in the Discovery lounge at 12.00 for a 12.30 departure, the ferry takes less than 20 minutes so we'll be on time - so we thought. The next ferry arrived at 11.44 - a bit tight but we'll be OK. The ferry did not go straight back however, but we bobbed about in the ocean until 12.32, causing us to miss our excursion. Over 3/4 hour for a 20 min trip! There were two platforms in use on the ship, one appeared to have "our" intended excursion tender on it (I guess they were waiting for us to arrive), the other was not being used until it was eventually decided that the one we were on would tie up there. You can imagine our feelings when we tied up just as the excursion tender was leaving. When I complained at the Excursion Desk I was told that we should not have gone ashore in the morning! Then to top it all we were told at the Excursions Desk that I would still be charged £100 for the excursion although our non-arrival was due to their incompetence. I later complained to Head Office, but they merely stood by the ship decisions. The staff incompetence was further shown at another tender port which we arrived at in late morning. Their ship's paper stated that tender tickets would be given out at midday from the Tour Office (mid-ships) and would passengers please not queue before then. As anyone with half a brain would expect, by midday the queue stretched from the Office, past the shops, right through the restaurant and out onto the aft deck! Dining - food average (nothing special) but it was often only warm by the time it arrived at our table. If we ordered a starter and soup both were collected at the same time and the soup was kept at the serving area so it was cool by the time we got it. Service was slow and our table was always the last to be served. The wine waitress was efficient and cheerful, the others less so. Aerosol cream on supposed Irish coffee. Afternoon tea was very repetitive. Double cream instead of clotted cream on scones. Breakfast croissants dry and tasteless; toast cold. Very poor choice of cheeses. Rust was evident over the ship. The woodwork is in need of re-varnishing. The steps used to get to tenders have a joining bar across each step such that it moves dangerously when stepped upon. The resident entertainment team is very good; the lead male dancer was outstanding. The layout of the show lounge is poor respecting the view from most seats apart from the front row. Although English is the accepted language, most of the crew are foreign. The captain spoke his own brand of English which was very difficult to follow over the loudspeakers when there was an announcement; he was rarely seen during the cruise, even at "his" cocktail parties - which were non-events. On formal nights few men wore dinner jackets. I even saw one man in shorts in the show lounge on a formal evening. No-one seemed to care. Would we go again? You're joking! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Viking Rep met us at the plane and helped us navigate Heathrow. Because we had a pre-cruise package, we were handed off to a limo driver, who was excellent. We thoroughly enjoyed the stay in London at the Conrad St. James. The ship ... Read More
Viking Rep met us at the plane and helped us navigate Heathrow. Because we had a pre-cruise package, we were handed off to a limo driver, who was excellent. We thoroughly enjoyed the stay in London at the Conrad St. James. The ship was all we hoped for, and more, We usually had breakfast and lunch at the World Cafe, because of its convenience, variety, and quality. Food and beverages were delightful and the waitstaff was very good, often excellent. Our dinners were in the Restaurant, but we especially enjoyed visit to the Chef's Table and Manfredi's.  Shore excursions were good-to-outstanding. One disappointment was that, because of the docking requirements, getting to the city or attraction could be time-consuming, thereby detracting from the time we had to explore the attraction, and sometimes a little stressful -- as, for example, imprecise directions for shuttle pickup in Dublin. Guides were generally excellent, with good communication skills and knowledge of the attraction. An inevitable disappointment was that, unlike the river cruise we took in 2014, the "included" excursion didn't always provide a comprehensive overview, and time in port was short enough that many "optional tours" overlapped with the included ones. We loved the sights of the British Isles, especially the northern Scotland islands, and we plan to come back to Edinburgh because we didn't get enough in one day. Our extension in Norway, despite a largely redundant second tour of Bergen after disembarkation and a less-than-ideal hotel choice (hotel choice in Oslo was inspired!), turned wonderful when we got on the train along the fjords and over the mountains, and that buzz lasted until we reluctantly accepted that the shuttle really was taking us to the airport, to leave beautiful Oslo behind. Will we go again? Absolutely. But we may opt for the more intimate River cruises, in which the shore excursions were predictably effective overviews of the destination. And we'll find our way back to Edinburgh, Liverpool, and perhaps add in a couple of inland cities on our own. A great way to celebrate our 55th. Well played, Viking. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We like the small ship voyages. Was on Marco Polo to Antarctica twice when owned by Orient and NCL. Then to the Norwegian fjords (awful experience) and this one was selected to see Greenland. Not much has changed. Our cabin was fine, ... Read More
We like the small ship voyages. Was on Marco Polo to Antarctica twice when owned by Orient and NCL. Then to the Norwegian fjords (awful experience) and this one was selected to see Greenland. Not much has changed. Our cabin was fine, except for our next door neighbour who complained when I made a phone call from the room. A lot of older travellers, as we are. But some were just plain nasty. We had great tablemates and Sanjay was a great server. He recognized my love of pappadums and brought an ample supply to the table each night. Smiling, cheerful and provided quality service. Communication onboard was horrendous. Leaving the ship at Kirkwall was a total mess-taking 3 hours to disembark, leaving little time to see anything there. The alarm bells sounded early morning, and people were running for their life jackets! Announcement came over intercom to disregard alarm, but no further info or apology for their stupid mistake. Entertainment was abysmal. The chunky blonde, possibly Spanish, girl was a horrific singer. She sang during the 4 July presentation and it was painful to listen to her. Much better when they sang as a group. A few, like the cruise director, had passable voices, but several others were just plain awful. They managed to butcher Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat and Les Miserables during 2 nights of "entertainment". Like the sauna, and it was usually vacant. The cocktail tasting were a fun event and reasonably priced. Shore excursions very costly and we did better just going out on our own. Embarkation was fast and efficient, but long wait to disembark. Overall, we got to Greenland, which was our goal. Read Less
Sail Date June 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
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 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
We are seasoned cruisers having cruised 30+ times on 8 different lines. However, this was our first cruise on Viking and certainly not our last. The ship was AMAZING and the crew was GREAT. I don’t know what the ratio of passengers to ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers having cruised 30+ times on 8 different lines. However, this was our first cruise on Viking and certainly not our last. The ship was AMAZING and the crew was GREAT. I don’t know what the ratio of passengers to crew is but I do know you couldn’t put your water glass down without someone filling it, or more importantly your wine glass. We are small ship prone and this ship only has 920 passengers So it lacks the pool slides and all the huge amenities but also all the crowds that come with that. All of the public areas were great. A great pool side venue, afternoon tea, snacks etc., you name it they had it! As I mentioned the service was great and personable. For example even though our cabin stewards have 13+ rooms to care for they took the time to remember out names and were flexible in cleaning our cabin. Regarding the ship we were on, the Viking Sky, it was without a doubt one of the best ship cabins if not the best ship cabin we have ever been in. It is all the small things that made this cabin special. For example, they have drawers in the bathroom, a huge convenience. They have a full-length mirror for dressing. The bathroom floors are heated and they have 110 volt plugs at the bed headboard. They have a make up mirror and storage area in the desk. A great improvement for my spouse. In addition, the storage, i.e. closets, drawers etc. was exceptional! Another small item was they have a door to the veranda vs. a sliding glass door which makes the space more useable and gives a tighter fit to the closure. From a food standpoint it was all wonderful. In addition to great meals for dinner their luncheon menus were wonderful. How about King Crab and Roast Beef for lunch? Dinners whether at the specialty restaurant or the regular restaurant were excellent. A great variety of foods and excellent preparation and again the service was wonderful. The ship comes with beer and wine included at lunch and dinner which is a nice touch. However, as a wine snob I prefer a step up in wines and was pleasantly surprised to find not only a couple of bottles of my favorite wines but they were more than fairly priced, not ripping you off like most other lines. Further, the waiters were happy to cork the wines and brought them to us for the next night. Finally, our trip home. We were booked on KLM and unbeknown to us they cancelled our flight, never told us and didn’t bother to book us on another flight. We found out when we got to the airport! We had booked this flight directly with the airline and even though they didn’t have anything to do with the flights a Viking agent spent 2+ hours on the phone getting us booked for the following day. A Viking representative even helped get our luggage to the hotel for the overnight stay. Talk about customer service. I just can say enough about how great the staff and the line it self is. Clearly we are going on this line whenever we have a choice! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We never have been on a sea cruise and had experienced a river cruise through Viking. Several things drew us to our decision to use Viking. The river cruise we took in the Danube was incredible and we wanted to do a sea cruise. The size ... Read More
We never have been on a sea cruise and had experienced a river cruise through Viking. Several things drew us to our decision to use Viking. The river cruise we took in the Danube was incredible and we wanted to do a sea cruise. The size of the Viking cruise ships was a big factor, as we experience the size of our river cruise. Having a small number of passengers allowed us to meet several individuals and couples, which we experienced in our river cruise, became lasting friends. The amenities on the Viking Sky were top notch. The staff service was over the top and the food and food and more food just added to the pleasures of the cruise. My spouse wanted to check off on her bucket list the Northern Lights and seeing the agenda for this cruise was another factor in taking the trip. We decided to take the Explorer Suite and this was one of the best decisions of many on this trip. The comfort, the relaxation and cleanliness of the ship also made for a very enjoyable trip. We were able to see all we wanted off shore, including pictures we took of the Northern Lights and visit with friends who lived in one of the ports of call. We are planning our next Viking cruise and we are sure we will not be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise to see the Northern Lights! We did see them, although they were not very vibrant. The ship was very nice, the food very good, and the staff went out of their way to make our cruise very special. The beds were very ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see the Northern Lights! We did see them, although they were not very vibrant. The ship was very nice, the food very good, and the staff went out of their way to make our cruise very special. The beds were very comfortable and we had chairs in our room to watch the talks, tv, and movies. There were educational sessions 2-3 times a day on subjects pertaining to Norway and the Vikings. We also listened to an astromer while watching the Lunar eclipse. The tour excursions were great and there was something for all activity levels—from easy to demanding. We saw lots of snow, visited with locals, and had a ball. Wine is included with dinner and lunch and the evening entertainment shows on the boat were excellent! You have your choice of two restaurants, two specialty restaurants, a pool area eatery, and Mansums which served Scandanavian food. We tried them all and can tell you there is something for all to eat—even those with special diets. Afternoon tea is served at 4:00 and the tea, food, and entertainment is wonderful. I highly recommend this cruise. We have also done the Land of the Midnight Sun cruise with Viking and can recommend it also. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We wished to experience the high Arctic, and we love Norway from previous cruises. Northern Lights have long been on the desired list. Almost as an afterthought we signed on to the Churchill’s England pre-cruise tour, and it proved to ... Read More
We wished to experience the high Arctic, and we love Norway from previous cruises. Northern Lights have long been on the desired list. Almost as an afterthought we signed on to the Churchill’s England pre-cruise tour, and it proved to be one of the best aspects. We saw the elusive northern lights twice, pretty but not spectacular, and the trip would have been almost as good without them. London in January isn’t for tourists seeking green lawns, sunny skies and shirtsleeve temperatures, but it wasn’t awful; mostly 40s F, rain off and on, and the most pleasant aspect was lack of summer vacation hordes. The hotel, Royal Horse Guards is perfectly fine, and in a superb Central London location. The guide, Don Brown, was with us the entire time, and of many fine Viking guides over several years and 5 cruises, he was absolutely the best! The tour sites; Churchill War Room, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Blenheim Palace, and Bletchley Park, could not have been more fascinating. Transfer to Tilbury to begin the cruise was effortless. The first couple of days in the North Sea were quite expectedly adventurous, and not for faint hearted or weak mid-sectioned amateur sailors. Lots of Vikings stayed in staterooms, and many who appeared were quite pale and subdued. Luckily, we haven’t ever become seasick. Between Stavanger and Bodo we entered the Norwegian Inside Passage and the rest of the cruise was like a quiet lake. The onboard experience was mostly up to Viking’s very high standard. Food was superb. Entertainment was better than average, particularly guest pianist/singer Tom Seals. Staff built snowmen on the rear deck; a fun photo-op! Some shore tours could have been better planned on this inaugural cruise. There was quite a lot of uncomfortable bus riding in the dark. Luckily we brought clothing suitable to the Arctic; had we not, some tours would have been miserable. Our best shore tours were a family visit near Tromsø although the tour description did not mention outdoor fun and thus we were notprepared clothing-wise. Sami reindeer camp near Alta -22F, the Ice Hotel near Alta, cathedral concerts in Bodo and Tromsø, and husky dogsled riding were also great. A 19th Century Island village near Bodo was also interesting and fun. The Alta museum offered spectacular views and interesting displays. We did get the feeling that with Viking’s recent rapid expansion, possibly some shortcuts are being taken, and that attention to service and plannning detail might have slipped a bit. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This really was a very good cruise certainly for this time of the year getting away to a bit of warmer weather , the staff laid on lots of entertainment with singing carols and everyone joined in ,also many other things were going on ... Read More
This really was a very good cruise certainly for this time of the year getting away to a bit of warmer weather , the staff laid on lots of entertainment with singing carols and everyone joined in ,also many other things were going on throughout the day , cocktails go down very well on the cruise also plenty of waiters serving drinks throughout the day and evening to save us getting up to get a drink at the bar,I am not sure where CMV get so many friendly staff but the staff really did make the cruise such a pleasure , nothing was to much trouble also looking at a closer issue the ship was spotlessly clean , on a couple of down sides we missed Gibraltar due to an issue with the propeller which got sorted in the Canaries the other was Maderia which had choppy waters for the tender boats going to shore , this made some not to well but maybe they should of stayed on the ship , i really wanted to see Maderia and as i don`t get sea sick it wasn`t a problem , the only main problem was docking the tenders coming back the swell was up a bit more and did cause an issue trying to get back but saying that I think all got back onboard to watch the fireworks which were fantastic , would i do this cruise again at Christmas , `Of Course ` , it is a great ship with great staff . Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
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
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 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

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