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

We chose this cruise as it fell in perfect time for school holidays, no children, smaller ship, local port and we wanted to see St Petersburg. We have sailed on Marco Polo a few years back so knew we were not getting a 5 star ship. ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it fell in perfect time for school holidays, no children, smaller ship, local port and we wanted to see St Petersburg. We have sailed on Marco Polo a few years back so knew we were not getting a 5 star ship. Embarkation was a dream and ahead of schedule did not use car parking as friend dropped us and picked us up. We were on Columbus in June for the overnight stay, dinner and show when there was certainly a few teething problems. Our cabin had no air conditioning which was the one I had booked for our cruise, it was one night so put up with it. I rang CMV on the Monday to put my feelings across and was told I had been upgraded for cruise from partially obscured Deck 8 to Full view Main Deck 6 (6231). Cabin was spotless and the attention to cleaning was exemplary. We had a table for 4 in Waterfront Restaurant and food was Excellent, table service spot on. Breakfast and lunch in Plantation Bistro was sometimes very busy but wide range of food available. Noticed in Taverners Pub there are draught beer pumps ( Shepherd Neme double stout, Murphys Stout and Fosters Lager not in the menu and £4.90 a pint when I asked. When we were in the Palladium Show lounge I asked for the Double Stout and a waiter was promptly dispatched to the Taverners and returned quickly with my pint, outstanding service Entertainment had been mediocre when we were on the ship in June and walked out after 5 minutes as I am a musician I felt let down. What a difference a month makes and I was gobsmacked how the entertainment had improved. Went one night to We Will Rock You night and I was blown away by the vocals on Bohemian Rhapsody, I actually got emotional!! There were a few shows in the Atrium and these were outstanding with a young lady singing Puccini and took the roof off. Shore excursions were on time and orderly, we chose to go our own way which suited us. We used the ship excursion in St Petersburg due to it being Russian Navy Day and am I glad we did. Thousands of people lining the river looking at the warships and submarines all lined up. We loved Estonia and got a surprise of a cavalcade of black limos with the usual security men with mandatory sunglasses and earpiece and usual firearms. It was Karen Pence wife of the Vice President of the USA and we were lucky to get close up pictures of her on her walk. One day there was a deck party with BBQ and suckling pig and line dancing, excellent!! I could go on for hours about this wonderful cruise and saw nor heard any of the conditions of earlier cruisers. The only thing I find if you are paying for a suite costing thousands of pounds don't come on a 3 star cruise ship and expect 5 star luxury. We found disembarkation a breeze and we found the whole package excellent and it was a fabulous holiday, brilliant value for money Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This cruise was chosen as it included 2 days in St Petersburg. The Church on the Spilled blood has been on my bucket list for a long time. Embarkation was a little disorganised, but everyone was very nice, disembarkation was swift ... Read More
This cruise was chosen as it included 2 days in St Petersburg. The Church on the Spilled blood has been on my bucket list for a long time. Embarkation was a little disorganised, but everyone was very nice, disembarkation was swift and easy, full marks there. The ship was looking very good and had had the refurbishment it said. It is now CMV's flag ship, but it will need constant TLC to keep looking good. Expect constant attention to the ship while on board, please don't moan The medical services were very good and older people are treated with respect. What a shame that the shore excursions did not match up to the rest of ship, the staff, the food and very nice people on board. I would not go on the ships excursions again, but I would be happy to travel with CMV again.. in general, it was minimal time to see the sites, but 30 minutes plus in the souvenir shops, as a lady said...' I am fed up with being herded about like sheep'...and one guide rushed us about Tivoli Gardens at such a pace, the older ones of us only got to him as he moved off to the next item! The Columbus has had lots of bad reviews during it's first few sailings, and as I expected, these problems had mostly been resolved. The trip was very good generally, but it would have been so much easier if the people manning reception actually spoke english, rather than just knowing a few words of the language. Evening Dining in the restaurant was mostly very good,breakfast was better in the buffet, but the buffet let it's self down with the hot food , just not hot, even at the start of service. As people said, 3 star prices, 3 star food... but it was good with plenty of choices The entertainment had mixed reviews, Sorry, the singing..... it was a bit ordinary and the comedian was just rude. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We have done many many cruises on a wide variety of cruise lines and when it was announced that CMV were getting Columbus ( a ship which held fond memories for us as P&O"s Arcadia) we decided to give the company a try. Early ... Read More
We have done many many cruises on a wide variety of cruise lines and when it was announced that CMV were getting Columbus ( a ship which held fond memories for us as P&O"s Arcadia) we decided to give the company a try. Early reports of the first cruises that Columbus did made us wonder whether or not we had made a big mistake in booking but our experience was so very different from those early bad reports. If anything, despite the passage of 17 years since we were last on board the ship, she is in some ways better than she was then. The decor is "warmer"and more inviting than the stark minimalist decor of yesteryear. Externally she is wearing her years well with nicely maintained wooden decks and good sunbeds although, if one looks hard, there are some details that need general maintenance such as external stair treads. Internally some of the furnishings will need replacement before too long but nothing more than one would expect from normal wear and tear on a ship in active service and I am sure that the usual rolling program of replacements will deal with this. The food was good and seemed to get better as the cruise went on and the dining room service that we had was excellent. The buffet, as with many buffets was perhaps a little repetitive but everything was fresh and kept replenished. In particular the scones at tea time were great. The Indian speciality restaurant and the Grill served very tasty and nicely presented meals even if the price for the Grill was perhaps a little high. We took the drinks package and probably broke even but a wider selection of included wines would be welcomed. Entertainment was, in our opinion very good and we have seen much worse on more expensive cruise lines. Of course everyone will have there own preferences and views on what is good but the production shows featured some real, in depth, talent. The show lounge was never the best in the business and some sight lines are poor but carefully choosing where we sat meant we always got a good view. The entertainment staff worked so hard what with shows, he caberet and also escorting some tours that we wondered when they got time to rehearse, far less sleep! Other staff were unfailingly polite and cheerful even if some of them had a less than excellent grasp of english. The bad points - the company really needs to get together with the Port Authority and sort out the signeage around the port. Finding the long stay car park was difficult and even the shore staff admitted it was very poor. Also our luggage delivery was poor. Although we were on time for an early embarkation our cases seemed to have been shunted on a baggage trolley to the back of the queue. It really was a case of "check in first, get your cases last" we checked the cases in at 12.20pm and received them in the cabin at 17.50! - CMV needs to sort this out. Also why did we have to vacate our cabins at 07.00 on the last morning, 07.30 would have been more civilised, but having said that, disembarkation was orderly and the transfer back to the long stay car park was quick and efficient. All in all a good cruise around the Bristish Isles, made better by having mainly excellent weather even though there had to be an itinerary change made necessary by sea conditions being such that two tender ports were outwith the company's safety parameters. Would we go again with CMV on the Columbus - YES. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
The cruise had a good itinerary, embarkation arrangements were good and all started well. Destination ports were all in docklands and needed transport to reach town centers as opposed to cruise terminals. It soon became apparent that this ... Read More
The cruise had a good itinerary, embarkation arrangements were good and all started well. Destination ports were all in docklands and needed transport to reach town centers as opposed to cruise terminals. It soon became apparent that this was an old ship (formerly P&O) and had been rushed into service, renovations and repairs were going on around the passenger. On one occasion our stateroom carpet was soaking wet. When we complained at reception they put in train a change of cabin and repairs. They were unaware that another department was cleaning carpets on that deck but not drying them adequately.Meals were mediocre, waiters had no knowledge of the wines or how to serve them the principle restruant was well appointed but the self service was always uncomfortably hot and overcrowded. There were announcements on the Tanoy by a voice that said it was the captain but he never condescended to meet the passengers. Two ports of call Isle of Sky and Mull were cancelled when the captain anticipated the sea conditions would be too dangerous, but since he chose to divert to a day at sea and Invergordon we will never know if the highlights of the cruise we were wisely avoided or not. Entertainment was a mixed bag ranging from a poor taste comedian when guests walked out to some first class productions. It was left to guests to arrange a well supported bridge school. My wife developed cellulitis in her leg and treatment in the medical center was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We just returned from a wonderful experience onboard CMV's Columbus through the British Isles. This was my 68th cruise and Cruise & Maritime Voyages was my 15th cruise company to experience. As a note of interest, in 1993 my 16th ... Read More
We just returned from a wonderful experience onboard CMV's Columbus through the British Isles. This was my 68th cruise and Cruise & Maritime Voyages was my 15th cruise company to experience. As a note of interest, in 1993 my 16th cruise was on the same ship, when it was cruising as the Star Princess. The other couple we traveled with had been on that cruise as well, and we all agreed that the Columbus was in great shape, still providing an excellent cruise experience for it's passengers. The reason we chose this cruise is because of many intriguing facets of the CMV experience: > CMV serves primarily a senior, United Kingdom market, with only a small percent of passengers from North America and other areas of the world. We were 4 of less than 10 American passengers among the ~1300 passengers aboard. For us, this was one of the highlights of the cruise. We found our fellow passengers to be very friendly and welcoming. We enjoyed conversing with the "locals" as we journeyed through the British Isles. > CMV lives up to their goal of providing a "more traditional and leisurely style of cruising aboard classic-style cruise ships", as stated in their brochure. For years we have been impressed with the extraordinary features and activities that are offered on the main-stream, large ships that are common to the North American market. However, many times we have heard, and experienced, a feeling of "that was great, but it sure is different than the classic cruising of the past". CMV provides that classic cruising experience, while still offering great amenities aboard their ships. > CMV has great itineraries that visit some ports that are not often offered on the big-ship itineraries. Many of the UK passengers we met had not even been to the parts of the UK we were visiting. In addition, CMV offers numerous itineraries throughout the world, including an around the world cruise. > CMV offers very competitive pricing for their cruises. The ship itself is in great condition, after having recently been refurbished when turned over to CMV. There are some areas that show evidence of the ship's 27 years and ownership by different companies, but nothing that takes away from the cruise experience. The pools were in good condition, although the weather for us was not conducive to a lot of swimming. I do wish that there were more hot tubs on deck, but that's a personal preference of mine. Our cabin (Category 8, ocean view) was large in comparison with most ocean view cabins we've had. The shower was large and worked well, plenty of pressure and hot water. We were very impressed with the dining aboard. Dinner meals were for the most part excellent, even surpassing some of the recent experiences we have had on the mega-liners. We ate at the Indian Fusion specialty restuarant and experienced some new Indian dishes that were unusually good. The buffets at breakfast and lunch were good, with some interesting items that Americans may not be familiar with, but they were fun to try! Service throughout the ship was very efficient and friendly; no long waits for food as was reported in early sailings for the Columbus. We enjoyed the shows we experienced, much the same as on the mega-ships. The lounge acts were exceptionally good; there was a trio playing popular hits from the 70's and 80's in one lounge, a guitar player playing acousitc hits in another lounge, and a classical duo (piano & violin) that were excellent. There were a couple of comedians that we missed, but I heard from others that they were good. The violinist and and an opera singer were highlighted in the final production show the last night...we all commented that the show was one of the best we've seen at sea! We decided to take an excursion in almost every port and throughly enjoyed all but one. The ports we visited were: > Antwerp...we did a walking tour excursion and although it was raining most of the tour, the guide was great and the information provided was very informative, > Honfleur...we chose the visit to a cheese factory and Deauville. The beach resort of Deauville was great, but we did not enjoy the visit to the cheese factory...just wasn't for us. We would have preferred to have spent time in the town of Honfleur itself. > St. Peter Port, Guernsey...we chose the Coast & Countryside tour of the island and enjoyed it greatly. > St. Mary's, Isle of Scilly...we did 2 excursions here; the Island Sea Safari and the St Mary Island tour. The Sea Safari (zodiak-type boat with only 9 passengers) was an hour adventure to see some wildlife. We saw Sea Lions, Puffins and many other species of birds. The guide and boat pilot were great! The island tour was also only one hour, but very informative. We had plenty of time to walk around the beautiful port of St. Mary and visited the Star Castle Hotel, which is an old castle converted to a hotel over looking the bay of St. Mary. > Dublin; we took the Highlights of Dublin tour in the morning. Malcolm was our guide and he was very knowledgable. We visited the famous Temple Bar for my first Guiness!, and had fish & chips at a neighborhood Pub > Belfast; our morning tour was the Belfast City Tour and Titanic Museum. Our tour guide was Colin who was entertaining as well as informative. His discussion of the recent history in Northern Island, the "Troubles" as the Irish call them, was very interesting. The Titanic Museum was quite an experience and surpassed our expectations...we could have used more time there. > Greenock; we took the bus transfer to Edinburgh and spent our day there walking around, having lunch and shopping. Need to go back there! > Unfortunately, our Captain cancelled the ports of Tobermory (Isle of Mull) and Portree (Isle of Skye) due to predicted high surf and dangerous tendering in Portree. Instead, we stopped in Invergordon and had an extra sea day. We just did some walking around and shopping in Invergordon; many took excursions or the transfer to Inverness. > Our last port was Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands...what a beautiful place!! We took the Scenic Orkney tour and saw a great deal of the countryside and ocean cliffs. There were no kids on our cruise. CMV is mostly adults-only, with only a few sailings where children our allowed onboard. I have read reviews about problems with embarkation and debarkation. We experienced no problems whatsoever. The building where we checked in was the main terminal for the Port of Tilbury in the old days. It is a classic, old building that has many historical pictures hanging on the walls, showing the busyness of the port from past days. There were huge hanging baskets of beautiful flowers adorning the front of the terminal building. We really enjoyed the experience at Tilbury. We would definitely cruise with CMV again and are currently looking at a couple of itineraries that interest us. We thoroughly enjoyed the fact that the cruise caters to the United Kingdom market and loved the interaction with the "locals". Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We were on the London to Bergen cruise with a side to Oslo. The Viking Sky is a beautiful ship with a friendly crew. Food is very good and the entertainment was wonderful! But we have been spoiled by Viking river cruises and the ocean ... Read More
We were on the London to Bergen cruise with a side to Oslo. The Viking Sky is a beautiful ship with a friendly crew. Food is very good and the entertainment was wonderful! But we have been spoiled by Viking river cruises and the ocean cruise did not meet the standard set by the river cruises. Maybe its just that handling 200 people is a lot easier than handling 1000, but they did just not have their act together yet bringing back the excursions and getting them back on the ship smoothly. In Edinburgh, all the excursions came back at about the same time, resulting in at least 1 hour to reboard! Same thing happened 2 more times during the cruise, although you could tell they were trying. (The one tendering service we had, however, was excellent.) The restaurant service was another problem. It seems they are using a system where there is a team, by section. One person takes the order, and there is a person for water, another for drinks, another for bread, another for silverware etc, but there is no one person responsible for your table. So things get forgotten (example, we often received bread without butter, dessert without spoons to eat it etc. The couple next to us asked 3 or 4 individuals to bring their main course, but nothing happened for a very long time until they got the restaurant manager involved.) Very frustrating. The service in the specialty restaurants however was much better, but there we had an actual waiter responsible for our table. So if you are a river cruiser and really like Viking, i'd say wait a bit before you jump into the ocean cruise. Hopefully, they will get better, and all will be as good as their river cruises. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Iceland was the main attraction of this cruise and then the Islands of Great Britain. We traveled in the Owners Suite which was adequate but not anything special. Our cabin steward was excellent and nothing was too much trouble for him. ... Read More
Iceland was the main attraction of this cruise and then the Islands of Great Britain. We traveled in the Owners Suite which was adequate but not anything special. Our cabin steward was excellent and nothing was too much trouble for him. We found the food to be exceptionally boring and monotonous in its lack of variety and presentation. The staff were wonderful and couldn't do enough for you. The entertainment was very basic and repetitive. The itinerary which was the major reason for booking this particular cruise would have been amazing if they had adhered to it !!!!!!!! The Captain chose not to dock at times but anchor offshore which meant traveling by the slow , uncomfortable and ancient tenders to port . The organization of getting onto the tenders was slow and onerous. The Excursion Desk was not open often enough and the Excursion Staff were amateurish in their efforts to explain changes to the itinerary . On shore excursions were too short and rushed. When changes to sailing were made the time in Port was excessive and not what we expected or paid for or what the literature proposed. Lectures were held on at sea days and then extra lectures were added when Ports were cancelled . These were apparently quite informative at times. The ship was like a floating nursing home and despite the literature indicating that all passengers needed to be fit and able and sign a statement to say they were I have never seen so many elderly and unfit travelers. The ship was clean and well maintained but obviously very old. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Decided to sail again with Silversea. This was our 10th cruise with the line. We keep coming back to Silversea because of the outstanding crew. The service is incredible! In just a few days the employees know you by name. The Butlers are ... Read More
Decided to sail again with Silversea. This was our 10th cruise with the line. We keep coming back to Silversea because of the outstanding crew. The service is incredible! In just a few days the employees know you by name. The Butlers are the best and treat you like royalty and they somehow know your every need/want before you do. The itinerary was excellent. Each port offered some very unusual and unique excursions. We sailed from London (Tower Bridge) to Copenhagen,Visby, Stockholm, Tallin, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Rostock, Kiel Canal, Amsterdam and back to London. It is thrilling to sail through Tower Bridge and down the Thames... the beauty of sailing on a smaller ship. Loved every excursion ... my favorite was attending the Russian ballet in St. Petersburg...speechless and a memory I will always cherish. Dining is superb with a variety of restaurants. The Hot Rock Restaurant is my favorite. It is located on the pool deck and is a most delightful way to spend your evening. You grill your own choice of meat or fish on a hot rock ... fun and delicious! Excellent, clean and cheerful cabins with a large verandas. The only area I found weak was the evening entertainment. The singers were fine solo in their own cabarets. Due to the different genres ... together they didn't click and I found it hard to listen. An evening in the bar is a better choice ... one would find the atmosphere classic and the music excellent. I'm ready to sail again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
On a recent trip to Iceland and northern islands, we were surprised how much this 64,000 ton ship was moved around by Atlantic swells and waves. We were a bit unlucky with the weather. There was excellent entertainment on board with an ... Read More
On a recent trip to Iceland and northern islands, we were surprised how much this 64,000 ton ship was moved around by Atlantic swells and waves. We were a bit unlucky with the weather. There was excellent entertainment on board with an outstanding violinist and also a wonderful soloist, and very good groups. Guest speakers were entertaining and the impressive lounges, bars and other public spaces were top notch, but unfortunately for comfort, varied a lot in temperature. Crew and staff were generally very good. Excursions were well organised. The PA system was easily heard well in most parts of the ship, and the information given was clear and helpful, without being intrusive. Don’t expect a luxurious cabin on this oldish ship. Ours on deck 10 had a poky shower, and there were some nasty plumbing problems on this deck. But otherwise the cabin was adequate with a good size and ample drawers and hanging spaces. The aircon was a little noisy compared with aircon systems on some newer ships. But a good cruise considering the cost. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We wanted to celebrate a birthday and this cruise was at the right time and destination was new to us. We have travelled with CMV on a number of occasions and the value for money has impressed. Embarking was a bit chaotic with long ... Read More
We wanted to celebrate a birthday and this cruise was at the right time and destination was new to us. We have travelled with CMV on a number of occasions and the value for money has impressed. Embarking was a bit chaotic with long queues and a fair wait for boarding passes. Our cabin was spacious and reasonably well appointed. The shower was good, hot and strong at all times. But the loos were not good and on more than one occasion it would not flush. Our neighbours had repeated problems with the lack of vacuum and the plumber became a close friend. More seriously a number of cabins on our deck got flooded and dryers were a constant on the trip! Our first breakfast in the Waterfront restaurant was not a good experience with most staff new and still finding their way around the boat. Nothing was hot and service slow. Thereafter we ate breakfast and lunch in the self service plantation buffet where the food was hot. Food in the Waterfront improved as the trip went on and was to a good standard by the time we returned to Tilbury. The shore trips were fine and we certainly enjoyed the views from the boat and from either coach or train. The small villages were very pretty and Bergen was an interesting destination with fabulous views from the head of the funicular railway. There was a wide variety of entertainment on board. Our favourite was Rico who played familiar favourites in his own style on guitar and harmonica. We saw all the shows in the Palladium show lounge and they improved as the week went on. The comedian was an excellent turn. Overall I was pleased with the boat as value for money but the plumbing issue needs to be addressed very quickly and thoroughly as a number of guests all suffered the same problem. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My wife and I chose a cruise with Cruise and Maritime on the Columbus embarking at London Tilbury . The Columbus is the latest addition to their fleet, indeed on the 11 June 2017 it was the inauguration having had a refit.The cruise was a ... Read More
My wife and I chose a cruise with Cruise and Maritime on the Columbus embarking at London Tilbury . The Columbus is the latest addition to their fleet, indeed on the 11 June 2017 it was the inauguration having had a refit.The cruise was a 3 day cruise going to Amsterdam and Antwerp. We were really looking forward to this short cruise having been before on the Magellan which was very enjoyable. It soon became evident however that there were serious problems with the ship.On approach to our cabin the corridor was flooded.On entering the cabin it seemed very pleasant. On using the toilet I found the toilet did not flush.It was reported 3 times but nothing was rectified.The following morning and already under way the toilet then overflowed and flooded the whole bathroom area.It wasn't until day 2 of the cruise that we were able to use the bathroom facilities.Having spoken to about 16 other people it was discovered that the problem had affected a large amount of cabins. All the food was very bland and tasteless and repairs and painting were being carried out on deck for 2 days.On arrival at Amsterdam there appeared to be little organisation in getting people off the ship.It took us 50 minutes as hundreds were in the queue.A very big thumbs down from me.Will stick with P and O in future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Crew were well trained, polite and very good, in some cases let down by management of restaurants and disembarking arrangements. The ship was very full. Food was good quality Raffles Bistro on deck 10 was a scrum most times of the day. ... Read More
Crew were well trained, polite and very good, in some cases let down by management of restaurants and disembarking arrangements. The ship was very full. Food was good quality Raffles Bistro on deck 10 was a scrum most times of the day. Other restaurants were good for dinner but with two sittings at 6pm and 8.15 it was rather rushed. Table stewards very good and did their best. House wine was reasonably priced. All the crew worked very hard, I did wonder how many hours they were asked to work on a daily basis. The entertainment was very well organised lots to do. Evening entertainment good. We pre-booked excursions for most ports. Copenhagen was good St Petersburg was very good well worth seeing on the cruise. There was a slight mechanical problem with one of the engines which delayed our departure from St Petersburg which delayed our arrival at Helsinki. The excursion was cancelled but a free shuttle bus was provided to compensate. We were also about an hour late for Nynasham near Stockholm, the excursion was a complete waste of money £65 each because it was too rushed. With the cost of excursions gratuities and wine our costs were approximately £400 extra on top of the cruise cost. You are given the opportunity to reduce gratuities if you so wish. On the whole an enjoyable cruise but not sure we would use this company again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This cruise offered the opportunity to visit parts of the British Isles which are normally expensive or difficult to get to and the visits ashore were the best part of the holiday. The Astoria (formerly the Azores, the Stockholm, and ... Read More
This cruise offered the opportunity to visit parts of the British Isles which are normally expensive or difficult to get to and the visits ashore were the best part of the holiday. The Astoria (formerly the Azores, the Stockholm, and other names) is an old ship which has been well maintained and rebuilt several times. The small cabins with baths and public rooms were well looked after and the ship seemed to work well apart from constant engine vibration which was commented on by several passengers. The catering and food was adequate and the meals were obviously done to a budget which could only be expected as the ticket price was lower than prices charged by other companies. The free coffee though was very poor and the tea and coffee station in the Lotus Grill was badly organised with frequent queues. The entertainment was satisfactory but there were no talks about the places to be visited. Very little information was given from the bridge about the ship's position or why delays occurred in docking or other matters of interest. This ship should be regarded as a floating overnight hotel which can visit ports of interest which larger ships cannot reach. Serious cruisers might wish to choose larger ships. However as a value for money holiday which includes a lot of shore time in interesting places the Astoria is a good bet. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This review covers a 19 day B2B of Norwegian Fjords and Round Britain. It was supposed to be the final voyage of Astoria (nee Stockholm) for Cruise and Maritime Voyages(CVM). It was an opportunity to catch a piece of history before she ... Read More
This review covers a 19 day B2B of Norwegian Fjords and Round Britain. It was supposed to be the final voyage of Astoria (nee Stockholm) for Cruise and Maritime Voyages(CVM). It was an opportunity to catch a piece of history before she might have sailed into the sunset. Unexpectedly, CVM renewed its charter on Astoria for 2018; so not historic but still a very satisfying experience. A few words first about the ship. Astoria has had many names and modifications over the years. She is not the Stockholm but is a venerable ship. Carrying just over 500 passengers, Astoria provides a cruising experience that almost no other cruise ship can provide in terms of intimacy, convenience, absence of crowding and ease of embarkation and disembarkation, both at the beginning and end of the cruise and at the intervening ports of call. Astoria handles fairly rough seas surprisingly well for such a small ship. We had several days of gale force wind and 10 ft swells in the North Sea, Irish Sea and the Channel. The captain announced the potential for rough weather and cautioned passengers to be careful moving about the ship. We missed one scheduled port (St Peter Port) due to weather, but here it was an issue of the tender procedure from ship to shore and not the ability of the ship. Cabins are on the small side but more than adequate with the novel feature of a full sized bath tub (plus a bidet) in each bathroom. CMV has not done an outstanding job with the bedding; the mattresses are thin and the support structure is unforgiving. In response to some comments in other posts, we had a cabin on Pacific Deck (deck 2) aft, and had no issues with noise or vibration. Within the limits of the entertainment space, CMV does quite a good job of providing evening entertainment ranging from small ensemble production shows backed by a quality band to individual acts, such as comedians, magicians, and the like. Quizzes are ubiquitous aboard. A classical duo (piano and violin) was first rate and played on multiple occasions each evening. In addition to evening entertainment, our cruises included quality guest lecturers and first run films to provide diversion when on board. Dining on Astoria is a pleasure. Our dining room staff were courteous and efficient. While I would not award Michelin Stars to the kitchen, the food was easily of the quality one would expect on the larger (and significantly more expensive) cruse lines. The buffet area is not well laid out but handles the smaller passenger complement with ease. As an American, I desperately missed a cold drink option with meals (Iced Tea seems to be some form of sin for this UK line). Also, CMV would do well to do the little things that make a meal experience more enjoyable, such as salt and pepper on the tables, rather than the tiny paper packets that are inevitably not picked up requiring a trip back to the buffet. One further comment on dining, some accommodation should be made for “lite bites” during the not infrequent periods that both the dining room and the buffet are closed. CMV offers a nice selection of shore excursions at reasonable prices. We availed ourselves of several during our 19 day back to back cruise and found each of them well organized and enjoyable. Embarkation and disembarkation at Tilbury were smooth and uneventful. On returning to Tilbury at the end of the cruise,which included some non-UK ports, there were no immigration or customs formalities at Tilbury. Access to the ship at some ports is difficult, often using a mobile staircase with no ramps available. Astoria is definitely not wheelchair friendly and poses a significant problem for anyone with mobility difficulties. (To be fair, this drawback is clearly explained in CMV's literature.) Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We have both wanted to see the Northern Lights so when I saw this cruise listed in a brochure from Newmarket Travel we decided to book there and then. Embarkation at Tilbury was very smooth and we quickly settled in to our cabin. ... Read More
We have both wanted to see the Northern Lights so when I saw this cruise listed in a brochure from Newmarket Travel we decided to book there and then. Embarkation at Tilbury was very smooth and we quickly settled in to our cabin. Our cabin steward was very helpful and obliging. The cabin was small but this was not a problem. We had booked several excursions at various ports - these were very well organised and most enjoyable. The only disappointment was the entertainment - the cabaret seemed rather amateurish. But the guest lecturers made up for this - one in particular was a press photographer who gave several talks on photography, her life as a press photographer and how best to take photos of the Northern Lights. The food was excellent and the catering staff (waiters, Maitre D and his 2nd in command) were first class, nothing was too much trouble. We met several passengers who had either travelled with CMV before, or who had cruised on the Astoria (Azores) before - so this was a great endorsement of both company and ship. We certainly intend to cruise with this company again, possibly on the Astoria (Azores) or maybe on one of their other ships. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We always wanted to see more of the world but work and family made it difficult so when retired Magellan gave us the opportunity. Cabin steward brilliant. Food ok but too spicy for us. Waldorf restaurant good. Entertaining really good ... Read More
We always wanted to see more of the world but work and family made it difficult so when retired Magellan gave us the opportunity. Cabin steward brilliant. Food ok but too spicy for us. Waldorf restaurant good. Entertaining really good shows. Should have been informed US dollars were accepted everywhere instead of us getting out various currencies. Shore excursions were well managed but people disembarking on booked excursions should have taken priority over independent passengers because it became very crowded at certain ports. Overall we had a wonderful experience. The countries we visited were an experience we will never forget. Some ports of call were too short more time needed to take in the sights. On board the staff were attentive and polite throughout. I was taken ill on one tour and received excellent care by the ship courier who came on the trip with us. Medical staff excellent. Could not fault level of care given. Birthday while on board was recognised by cabin staff and gave card &a towel decoration. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Cruise and Maritime. MV Magellan, round the world maiden cruise, 120 nights. Sailed from Tilbury UK. I joined the Magellan, on the 5th of January 2017. I have previoulsy sailed with Holland America, and Voyages of Discovery. I ... Read More
Cruise and Maritime. MV Magellan, round the world maiden cruise, 120 nights. Sailed from Tilbury UK. I joined the Magellan, on the 5th of January 2017. I have previoulsy sailed with Holland America, and Voyages of Discovery. I Picked this one as it was my 65th year. I made many friends, I particulary enjoyed the Restarant Open seating dining at breakfast and lunchtime. In the evening a seating plan was in use. The Bistro deck also had a Buffet style arrangement. Guest Relation's put on events for single travellers which was good for me, also other social events were staged, e.g. Quiz,Dance, and Bridge sessions to name a few. A range of guest lecturers kept us entertained on a range of subjects appertaing to our cruise itinery. a Full range of excursions as you would expect, reasonably priced in my oppionion. I enjoyed the trip so much iam going on CMV MV Columbus in january. This time around I aim to undertake more ship board life. Standards were genearlly good, if you are a top of the range traveller, this style would not be for you.However it was exceptional value for your pound. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Where do I start… As with our previous cruise on Magellan, we lost count how many times the toilets failed to flush. This time there was also a stench of raw sewage in the cabin corridors and in some public areas. When the toilets ... Read More
Where do I start… As with our previous cruise on Magellan, we lost count how many times the toilets failed to flush. This time there was also a stench of raw sewage in the cabin corridors and in some public areas. When the toilets *were* working, there was sometimes a 20 second delay between pressing the flush button and the toilet actually flushing. After about a week on board, my wife and I both contracted ‘the famous Magellan cough’ (as mentioned by one of the entertainments team). If CMV clearly knew of this infection then why were we not warned prior to boarding? I overheard one passenger saying the on-board doctor charged him £28 for a 10 minute consultation with the nurse and a bottle of cough mixture. Obviously there is more money to be made by not fixing the ventilation/aircon and NOT telling the passengers! Lifts not working (again). One lift (11) was not working for the whole duration of the cruise. Another lift (in the middle of the ship) seemed to be always stuck on deck 4. There were also call buttons not working (either they lit up and the lift went straight past or didn’t illuminate at all!). I wonder what other systems on the ship don’t work due to poor maintenance. Wobbling gangway in Lisbon. Outright dangerous. In conclusion, this was our 3rd trip with CMV. We will think twice about using them again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Took the shuttle from Victoria so embarkation was very smooth because we were the last to board. Even so there was time to eat before boat drill if you had wanted to. My cabin 6090 was sold as a superior single, actually contained two ... Read More
Took the shuttle from Victoria so embarkation was very smooth because we were the last to board. Even so there was time to eat before boat drill if you had wanted to. My cabin 6090 was sold as a superior single, actually contained two single divans and as such had ample storage space, very pleased with it. Unlike on previous trips with CMV we did not actually go to our lifeboats, reason given was that it was a bit cold.... do hope this is not the start of a trend. Dinner consisted of five courses and was of a good standard with efficient friendly service. The entertainment in the main show lounge was pleasant and energetic, ok its not West end standard but enjoyable non the less and the team are very versatile. After the show there is a quiz or game show in the Captains club followed by some of the show team putting on a half hour themed set, i.e. sixties... party. etc. Magellan does vibrate somewhat at low speed, this did not effect my cabin but heard some people complaining about it. My one gripe on the first night only, was that my cabin was quite hot.. fiddled with air con controls but to no avail, this was only a problem on the first night, temperature settled down after that. Due to other vessels approaching Amsterdam we were an hour and a half late docking, however our departure time was put back by the same amount so no sight seeing time was lost. Was actually quite useful because a lot of the tourist attractions do not open until about 10 or 11. Added bonus was seeing the Marco Polo who was in dry dock, had we arrived on time would have been too dark to see her. Our second stop was in Antwerp, docks within easy reach of the historic area, very easy to get around on foot. Free maps available as you enter terminal, friendly staff will circle any attractions you might be interested in. There are several lounge/bars on board and there is entertainment in all of them, ranging from an actual show in the main theatre to gentle background music. There were a couple of very good female violinists playing classical music who were particularly good. Really was something for all tastes musically. Service in the bars and lounges was very good, even when there was heavy demand. My cabin steward was friendly and helpful, did have a problem with the safe at one point but it was sorted out withing half an hour. Breakfast in the buffet offered a wide selection of hot and cold food, towards the end of service there did seem to be the usual problem of not enough tables, although some of this was due to people who had eaten lingering. Self service tea and coffee was available 24 hours a day, on last night did use this facility at 1.30am and there was no shortage of cups. could also get iced water. Magellan may not be the newest ship in the world but she is pleasant to travel on, atmosphere very friendly. The library features lovely chesterfield settees and a fire place, nice place to sit and read or relax. Reminded me somewhat of the Balmoral. There were those aboard who seemed to take delight in moaning about every little thing, there had been a mistake over the opening date of the Antwerp Christmas market and unfortunately , despite originally listings it as the main attraction in Antwerp, it was not due to open until two days after we visited. CMV however had addressed the problem and laid on free shuttles to Brussels for those who wanted to visit a market. There were also complaints that there was no Market in Amsterdam even thought the brochure had never claimed that there was. Most of the complaints about this seemed to stem from people who had booked via third party web sites and newspaper adverts. Had sympathy with those who had cabins effect by the vibrations, seemed to be mainly a few cabins towards the stern regardless of deck, did seem to improve once we were in the open sea. I totally agree with complaining if you think you are not getting the experience you paid for but , complain to the right person. Shouting at the person on the customer service desk generally will not produce results. Also be realistic, prizes on cruise ship generally are low value and likely to have come from the souvenir shop, not the duty free. Personally I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, met some interesting people, visited interesting places. and would happily travel on Magellan again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Dont expect Mega Liner inside, its clean and mostly comfortable in most areas, but Hans Bar could do with new more comfortable cushions on lounge chairs, there is no Casino on this ship only Deck Games pool and bars, there is a indoor ... Read More
Dont expect Mega Liner inside, its clean and mostly comfortable in most areas, but Hans Bar could do with new more comfortable cushions on lounge chairs, there is no Casino on this ship only Deck Games pool and bars, there is a indoor pool for if you are in cold weather. it has a small entertainment lounge that requires two sittings to see the show. There is no laundry but there is a Ironing room if you can wash you clothes in your Cabin Sink or Shower. It has a payed Laundry if you can afford it.This is the second half would Cruise we have done on this Ship, this time Westward Bound. Food was much better this time thanks to a Indian Head Chef, it was a very good selection of dishes on offer, but one small point was, Two many stew type dishes but his pork Belly was to die for, i give him a 3 star.I am sorry to say the entertainment was below average, they had three very good girl singers and three guys with with very soft voices all except two of the girls were frequently drowned out by a over enthusiastic Clarinet playing band leader who always had a microphone up the end of ever instrument he played, he did not need this in a small lounge,The Assistant Cruise Director would have been better as Director as he was only seen introducing the acts apart from small appearance in Sail A ways. he never tried to find out what peoples thoughts were about anything going on board, I.E. Dancers or entertainment. The main problem we had was in Hans Bar Deck was the German minority of people who smoked, there is a smoking area to the left of the bar having ashtrays on the tables, they insisted,( some of them but not all,) picking up the ashtrays and sitting in the middle of the Deck, We had to on several occasions get the Management to move them, they had great Bar staff and Hotel Staff, Just a pity about Entertainment, not like Last Cruise East Bound witch had Great Entertainment. We were in a suite, it was very good but bed was very hard, very good Cabin Staff. Will not be back on this ship as it is based in Perth Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We had a great relaxing and enjoyable cruise, from Tilbury uk to Perth, Australia. The staff througout the ship; that we had direct service from, were exceptional, very curious and always served with a smile. The highlights and most ... Read More
We had a great relaxing and enjoyable cruise, from Tilbury uk to Perth, Australia. The staff througout the ship; that we had direct service from, were exceptional, very curious and always served with a smile. The highlights and most memorable time's for my wife and I, were, being invited by the captain onto the wing of the bridge, going through the 2 upper locks of the Panama Canal, what an experiance and on her birthday!! The second was being invited to the caprains table for dinner on galore night, in 15 plus cruise's, this was a first, and boy, what a lovely finish to our voyage. The evening shows in the theatre were fantastic and we were quite suprised, for such a small stage company, how they never repeated thier performances, the variety was unbelievable and well performed every time. My only criticism here is, the main performer was always, the star roll, that was very unfortunate, as there were others that were as good , if not better, that we and other passengers would have liked to have enjoyed seeing and listening to, I did mention it to the cruise director, he didn't take opinion or suggestions very well, saying pick on me day is it !!! Ah well , they to have off days!!! All bar drinks throughout the ship were very expensive, they offered various deals and offers, even that came out OT, so we chose not to drink on board that much, our budget wouldn't stretch to their outrageous prices, plus the range of beers were very small and not that enjoyable at all. There was a problem having working TV in the cabin, it's awfull, a real lack of cabin entertaint here!!! Overall, we had a great voyage and enjoyed all that the cruise offered to the full, that we participate in. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
this was my wife and I first Cruise and we were both really looking forward to it,embarkation went smoothly and we were soon under way. We were assigned a table for dinner along with three other couples.The food was average although the ... Read More
this was my wife and I first Cruise and we were both really looking forward to it,embarkation went smoothly and we were soon under way. We were assigned a table for dinner along with three other couples.The food was average although the presentation was good, and the other couples were good company. The entertainment on the first night I thought would be a sign of things to come, I wasn't wrong, it was embarrassingly bad, the singers couldn't sing,the cruise director looked like he was working out his notice, and would rather have been anywhere else but on board. The best singer was the waiter who gave our dinner table a rendition of (Iam sailing) The main reason I have for writing this review though is a much more serious one. My wife has never smoked and I cant remember the last time she had a chesty cough, By the end of the cruise she sounded like a homeless person who had just spent the winter on the streets of London and who smoked 20 cigs a day.This didn't just apply to my wife,i noticed whenever we went on shore excursions,(we went on3) at least 70% ofpunters were coughing and sneezing or in some way feeling not right.I sincerely believe shipboard environment is a very unhealthy one and anyone considering a cruising vacation should think about the health implications. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
A nice itinerary, a very friendly and helpful crew, nice cabin but will never cruise on this ship again why. Entertainment good shows but the times are not as on all other ships i have been on show times 7pm and 9pm, nothing on after ... Read More
A nice itinerary, a very friendly and helpful crew, nice cabin but will never cruise on this ship again why. Entertainment good shows but the times are not as on all other ships i have been on show times 7pm and 9pm, nothing on after second sitting for dinner, except tp sit in a bar and drink, the amount of people who returned to their cabins after the second sitting should tell the senior staff something, as they do not seem to listen to their cusomers. Food quality and choice was lacking and having sailed on the marco polo same cruise line which was why i selected to try the Magellan, was very disappointing. The only time on a cruise that i even skipped a full english. On the bright side the itinerary which included st Petersburg, was excellent and would encourage others to do, but not on the Magellan. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The Magellan was great with excellent service, efficient and polite staff, superb excursions, but unfortunately average food.My cabin was quite comfortable and my cabin steward outstanding. As soon as we went for breakfast, he was busy ... Read More
The Magellan was great with excellent service, efficient and polite staff, superb excursions, but unfortunately average food.My cabin was quite comfortable and my cabin steward outstanding. As soon as we went for breakfast, he was busy cleaning and changing sheet and towels and by the time we were back the cabin was immaculate.The entertainment also was outstanding with excellent singers,musicians and choreography. The tour director,Katy was fabulous and entertaining and kept everyone happy. She was also and excellent singer and dancer with a great sense of humor.The excursions were also excellent. The guided visit to the Hermitage museum was the highlight of the excursions and it is a MUST if you ever go to St Petersburg.If I had a suggestion it would be to play some dancing music in the night clubs instead of teenager disco music. This was a poor choice considering most of the passengers were 70-90 years of age. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Wanted to go to the ports and having travelled with cruise maritime on the marco polo previously thought i would try another ship. Embarking was good and had no problems with this. Ports of call excellent and had a good experience ... Read More
Wanted to go to the ports and having travelled with cruise maritime on the marco polo previously thought i would try another ship. Embarking was good and had no problems with this. Ports of call excellent and had a good experience especially st Petersburg, would recommend this. The crew were excellent the ship and cabin were clean and the waiters etc looked after you. Entertainment - This was very good and the entertainers were superb. But i always book the second dinning in the restaurant, to goto the show after the meal, not on this ship, show time is before the meal on this ship, no wonder there was no one in the restaurant, we also started to go to the buffet, then we could attend the 9pm show, from 10pm there was nothing else to do but go to the bars and drink, not for me. Meals. Breakfast it is the only time i ended up skipping this meal, the bacon was like trying to eat a piece of leather sausages looked under cooked, lunch and dinner were alright but the food was uninspiring, and lacked the usual cruise experience. After travelling on the Marco Polo previously it was such a different disappointing experience on the Magellan. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016

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