52 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
Reception Staff were polite but often did not appear to care too much. They had so many complaints to handle, many to do with inefficient airconditioning units I guess they became complacent. I have to admit I had no real problem ... Read More
Reception Staff were polite but often did not appear to care too much. They had so many complaints to handle, many to do with inefficient airconditioning units I guess they became complacent. I have to admit I had no real problem with them. Cabin We had a balcony on deck 9, almost midships. Plumbing , storage space all good. Beds comfy. Aircon kept the room very cool, good for me but maybe to cold for many. Adjustment seemed to work OK, but whatever setting we had, always cold air coming in thru the vent. Main problem for me was the loud noise from the aircon unit in the bathroom. It was attended to twice in the first week, made no difference. But for some reason it quietened later on. The Bistro This can loosely be termed 'Buffet' which was not actually a buffet as staff served the food from behind the counter, maybe a 'health and safety' issue. Very good selection of dishes every day, always served hot. Sometimes it was annoying having to queue at the counters, but no real problem. Staff dished up reasonable size portions, you could always ask for more or less. of whatever you wanted. Doing it this way stopped some from piling their plate up excessively, the much going to waste. Desserts looked great, many being flavoured creamy things. We like the hot desserts with custard. The tea-time offerings were incredible, savoury or sweet, I loved the lattice jam tarts ! , Many of the staff had very little English, but were picking it up as the trip progressed. All staff we found very pleasant, but the 'supervisors' dressed in white strutted around like Gestapo officers, seemingly unwilling or unable to get their hands dirty. Guess this was their brief from on high. Restaurants (the 3 Waterfronts) Service generally very good and friendly. Good choice on menus, food was hot, especially the soups. All good and tasty. We were especially pleased to get a table for two whenever we wanted it, but we tried to avoid peak times like 6.30pm. Swimming Pools One day they were heated, so hope they would always do that if needed. For our trip the temp was fine, kept clean every day. I often swam 1st thing in morning, both pools opened between 5.45 and 6am . The covered pool area is amazing, comfortable chairs abound, and good mattresses on the loungers. The wonderful opening roof is a sight to behold. Just like Wimbledon tennis ! Public Rooms Very comfortable seating everywhere, in all the bars and restaurants. And with the mattresses on deck and round the covered pool, I have to say it's the most comfortable ship in that respect I have ever sailed on. Evening Entertainment Accomplished group of dancers and singers. Best singer was the DJ 'Aurel' who didn't normally perform, but a wonderful operatic voice. Alex and Freya were the main performers. The evening shows were fairly good , say 8/10. Great costumes. Guest speakers a mixture. Panama Canal expert Andrew Roberts was superb. Our 'bird-man' made unnecessary references to what he perceived as faults throughout the ship. Daytime Entertainment Appalling ! The ship had no QUOITS courts. !st ship I've been on without one. Two SHUFFLEBOARD courts, but in 47 days only THREE scheduled tournaments, 2 of which were utter failures. Come on Cruise Director, ! DARTS games were fairly regular, and well run by YASMIN who worked hard with all her allocations. She also ran indoor 'noddy' games every morning 10-12 in the Ocean Lounge, where an amazing number of guests congregated despite the lovely weather outside. Mainly Australians (3/4 of all the passengers) who have so much sun at home and are more aware of the dangers of sun damage, but they sure like QUIZZES which were run maybe 3 times a day. Clearly there was a big demand for morning games inside the ship. Now here is a big PROBLEM. The sets of question were fine, though they were angled towards Europeans, not so easy for the Australian quiz fanatics. The PROBLEM is that you did NOT exchange answer sheets, and some teams wrote down multiple answers, giving them a point if ANY answer was right. So stupid. Come on CMV, get teams to swop answer sheets like any other cruise line, or even like Marco Polo did. Sometimes staff were allocated to run a 'game' maybe table-tennis without knowing what they had to do which was pathetic, two even arriving without pen and paper.. Or a non-English speaker reading quiz questions, needing help from a cruiser. So all in all, to my mind a big failure on behalf of the Cruise Director. The absence of deck sports certainly marred my cruise experience, ...but the wonderful; food served up in Bistro and restaurants, coupled with the good pools and superbly comfortable seating areas around the ship explains my 'very good' 4/5 rating. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our first cruise with CMV, cruising from Tilbury to Sydney. It was also many passengers first CMV cruise. Most of us were attracted by the terrific package from several agents which included airfares and 2 nights stay in London. ... Read More
This was our first cruise with CMV, cruising from Tilbury to Sydney. It was also many passengers first CMV cruise. Most of us were attracted by the terrific package from several agents which included airfares and 2 nights stay in London. We knew the ship was advertised as 3 star and was an old ship from Holland America/P&O. We were pleasantly surprised at the beautifully redecorating of the ship, the amazingly friendly staff, the fantastic food, better than many ships we have been on (we have done over 40 cruises), the extremely talented ship's dancers and singers and the general layout of the ship. There were technical issues that are still causing problems..some people had flooding cabins, the air conditioning system took quite a while to sort out, but the engineering staff were working as quickly as possible to correct these. There were also many people very upset with the cost of attending the medical service with bills between $7000 and $12000 ...these were sent to guests' insurance companies however and eventually sorted out, but meetings were held by guests as to how a service can charge such exorbitant rates for chest infections and gastric complaints. We vowed never to go there and quite a few people sort medical treatment at ports if they needed help. While we rarely buy anything in the ships' shops, the shops had little to offer and staff were standing round all day with little to do, this could have been much more interesting for guests wanting to shop there. The ship has a fantastic gym and a free to use thermal centre that most ships charge for. In general we loved the cruise and would definitely go on this ship again and with CMV and are looking at the return journey from Freemantle to Tilbury to re experience this great ship and her fantastic staff. CMV generally charge less than most cruise lines and we must say this was certainly a value for money cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
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
In December 2018 we went on a Christmas Canary Islands and Madeira cruise on the CMV Columbus. We booked with Saga, who offer a door to door service as standard. The cruise was to be from Tilbury to Tilbury but due to a technical problem ... Read More
In December 2018 we went on a Christmas Canary Islands and Madeira cruise on the CMV Columbus. We booked with Saga, who offer a door to door service as standard. The cruise was to be from Tilbury to Tilbury but due to a technical problem with the ship we sailed from Dover and missed Gibraltar as the ship had to go to Tenerife for repairs to one of its propellers. We were given £25 each as compensation for missing Gibraltar. The Ship The Columbus is a mid sized ship and although a bit old was in good condition. As the weather was not good, except in the Canaries, there was no going on deck due to high winds and it was quite cold. That put pressure on the seating situation so at times it was very hard to get somewhere to sit. Inside some of the public places could have been warmer. Most of the passengers were very friendly and we had many a good conversation during our cruise. Apart from Christmas the music played in the public areas was more for teenagers that the older crowd on board. The Cabin We were in cabin 10156 and it was bigger than most ships with two upper bunks protruding from the wall, which could get in the way. The lighting wasn’t bright enough. There was a big double bed, well two singles pushed together, but there was two single duvet covers on there as the double duvets they have are too small, or so our cabin steward told us. I went to reception regarding this and was asked to write a note to the Head Housekeeper and within a few hours we had a double duvet. There was only a bedside light on one side with the one on the other side at the other end of a dressing table so couldn’t be reached from the bed. There was a kettle with Whittards tea and Douwe Egberts coffee. Because I pre paid the gratuities there was a bottle of Red Merlot on the table. There was a small armchair and a desk chair. There was ample space for hanging our clothes and drawers for other items. There was a fridge and a safe. There was a small flat screen television but it was placed left of the bed so it was hard to watch it from the bed. There was only one socket, which had the kettle plugged into it, and that had to be used for all our charging. Luckily we brought the extension. The bathroom was small but the shower was big and again the lighting was inadequate. There was plenty of storage in the bathroom. The shower head was fixed and the larger shower cubicle helped. There was a soap dispenser in the shower and two small bars of soap on the washbasin and that was it. Luckily we brought some of our own. During sailing the cabin walls creaked quite a bit and others said the same thing. Our cabin steward was called Ashveer and he was very good. He is from Mauritius and we had some good laughs with him. The food We eat in the MDR a few times, the service in there was good, but as we are fond of spicy food we kept mainly to the buffet as they had a much better selection. The food was well cooked and hot. The afternoon tea was especially good with various rolls and lots of delicious cakes and those very nice scones that people keep writing about. Getting a table in the buffet could be difficult at times, especially at breakfast, but we managed. The friendliness of the other passengers made that a bit easier. They put on a good show for Christmas but we missed the New Years dinner due to a problem with getting back to the ship by Tender in Funchal. The sea became very rough after we got on land so we were delayed for many hours before we could get back and even that was quite hazardous. We were back for the midnight fireworks and that was spectacular. Entertainment The theatre is very badly laid out with seating being mainly on the flat and with some of the back seats lower than the ones at the front. There is a balcony but there is a metal bar running all round it and that gets in the way and the glass panel reflects a lot. There are also several large columns which get in the way. The Cruise Director Ian Bagshaw put on a magic show as he was at one time a professional in that form of entertainment. He was around the ship all day and stopped for a chat on occasions. There were two visiting comedians, Christopher Gee, who is an impressionist and very funny and Les Bryan, once of the Marauders in the early sixties and the Comedians on television. The resident show team put on a variety of shows, even a Pantomime, and in the main were quite good. One problem was that the noise of the music drowned out the singers. That is something that could easily have been remedied. Their final show was a tour around the worlds music culminating in music from Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England. They brought the house down. The shows were at 1915 and 2100 each evening. There were various music shows in some of the bars throughout the day and evening. There was a game show in the Dome nightclub most evenings but not until 2215. Much too late. There was a disco up there after that. We didn't take any ships shore excursions as we had been to all the places visited except Lanzarote. The crew were magnificent, always smiling and helpful. There are 27 different nationalities working on board. As I write this review a letter has arrived from CMV with a cheque for £100, £50 each, and a 20% future cruise discount if booked by March 31st. This was in relation to our problem with the Tenders in Funchal. That was a surprise. We would not take this cruise again due to the cold weather. It spoiled the cruise as we had to spend most of our time indoors. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I was looking forward to this cruise with my friend as I had sailed on Ocean Village about 4 times many years ago and wanted to compare. Embarkation from Tilbury was brilliant. We were called by the colour on our luggage label and ... Read More
I was looking forward to this cruise with my friend as I had sailed on Ocean Village about 4 times many years ago and wanted to compare. Embarkation from Tilbury was brilliant. We were called by the colour on our luggage label and walked on board without much queuing. The waiting area had plenty of seating, a small coffee bar and was nice and warm. Our cabin was a nice size (I already knew this from OV) but the wooden furniture was the original and so was the bathroom. This was OK though and the shower is really large. The air con worked well and the bed was comfortable. Our cabin was on deck 5 at the front (5120) and had a lot of movement on rough days. I was seasick and would recommend a higher level and central if you suffer from this. There seemed to be a lot of crowding in the Bistro buffet on level 12. We had to find a seat (not easy) then take turns to get our food. I had never experienced this on OV so I can only assume that it was the time of year and no-one was eating outside. The food here was average. Breakfast was very good, lunch didn't have much choice of hot food and it didn't look that appetising. The desserts were moussy!! and the hot choice seemed mainly to be a sloppy variation of bread and butter pudding. The thing that put us off the most though was that it was very cold in there. On the second day we decided to use the Waterfront restaurant (waiter service). We were very pleasantly surprised by the quality of food compared to the Bistro so we continued to use it.... and it was lovely and warm. The afternoon tea was nice with delicious biscuits and scones with fresh cream and jam.... yummy. The entertainment was quite poor and there wasn't a huge amount going on, especially during our day at sea. I liked the comedian though.... very old jokes but he pulled it off because he was likeable. The decor in the public areas was nice and looked refurbished. There is quite a lot of seating around the ship and it didn't feel crowded (except the Bistro) even though the ship was full. I'll finish on a positive as we really enjoyed our cruise. The staff were excellent. They worked hard and were always helpful and friendly. Also our fellow passengers were so friendly which made all the difference. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because it was visiting places I am ashamed to say we had not yet visited - although virtually on our doorstep! We have cruised a lot - once or sometimes twice a year for the last 40 years with various shipping ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was visiting places I am ashamed to say we had not yet visited - although virtually on our doorstep! We have cruised a lot - once or sometimes twice a year for the last 40 years with various shipping companies. On this cruise leaving from Tilbury we were to visit Kirkwall in the Orkneys, the Isle of Skye then onto Ireland and finally France. Generally the ship is nice but not sumptuous by any means. Checking in was trouble free. Our window cabin was smaller than most and definitely very tired. The Pink plastic sink had seen much better times, part of the ceiling was not fitted properly, the chair had numerous stains, the soap dispenser in the shower was empty, the air conditioning was noisy, but the worst crime was NYLON sheets (I did not know they still made them)etc. however we had no intention of spending our holiday in the cabin so we accepted it. On complaining about the sheets we were given cotton mix ones. We do not do self service so we ate in the waterfront restaurant for breakfast and dinner. This was like two different experiences! Breakfast was hurried, bacon dry and hard, sausages like cardboard but worse the tea was always cold - the coffee looked better. In the evening the service was much more civilized, food hot and tasty with plenty of choice and no rush - we were second sitting. Evening entertainment passed the hour before dinner with a drink in hand but I would not go to see any of them off the ship although the violinist and pianist were excelllent. The singers were shouting most of the time even though they had mikes, the comedian and magician were OK. Certainly not the best on board entertainment and during the day very little "events", mainly a quiz or two, a lecture and a lot of private functions. Excursions were very expensive, average £45 per person for half a day. To sum up - you get what you pay for. We got this cruise on a second person half price deal, which talking to others was the deal most people went on. Do not expect a high dining experience, do not expect chocolates on your pillow or towels made into animals, do not expect free toiletries (we got a mini bar of soap and shower gel that was pretty unpleasant), Do expect to pay £2.80 for a bottle of water (yes!!), do expect to be treated like cattle for breakfast and lunch and do expect to vacate your cabin by 7am on the last day but not be allowed off the ship for another 2 to 3 hours. Would I go again? At the right price I would but I do think that for maybe no more than £10-20 a head they could include some little extras that make the holiday a bit more memorable - and please get rid of the nylon sheets! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We choose this cruise to see a bit of Canada. Had done a couple of cruises about 20 years ago and not sure about 31 days. No need to worry as the time aboard ship there was plenty to do - games, quizzes and talks or craft sessions. Or ... Read More
We choose this cruise to see a bit of Canada. Had done a couple of cruises about 20 years ago and not sure about 31 days. No need to worry as the time aboard ship there was plenty to do - games, quizzes and talks or craft sessions. Or even choir, line dancing and acting. Embarkation was fine and the cases that we had sent ahead by TEFRA were waiting at our cabin door. We chose late sitting in the Waldorf with a table of 8. Out table companions were fab - a couple from Scotland, couple from South Yorkshire and couple from Australia. The meals and choice were great. My only complaint was that sometimes the main course was only lukewarm and not hot. If I asked for it to be hot it was otherwise best to eat it quick. I must say the first course were usually delicious and could have ate more! There was 4 formal nights and quite a few Informal nights which towards the end of the cruise might as well be casual as the dress code was not enforced as it had been at the beginning of the cruise.The Bistro was great for breakfast and lunch although at peak times it was hard trying to find a seat. Basically just had to ask if seats were free and so got to meet lots of people. Quite a few were Australians. The evening entertainment was absolutely fantastic. The small team - Mitch, Callum, Josh, Chrysy, Annette and Savannah and the dancers made each show very enjoyable. They did 2 shows a night (unless the odd comedian or other act was on) then a show in Scott's Bar after the last show in Marco Polo lounge. They also did the quizzes and games during the day so worked really hard to keep us entertained. Due to illness I missed the night they did songs from the Musicals but the last night when I saw Les Miserables (my favourite) they deserved a standing ovation. Our cabin was on Atlantic so same floor as the Waldorf and handy on a night for the restaurant.The cabin was a good size with 2 portholes.There were 2 sets of 4 drawers (one between the twin beds) and a 3 door wardrobe with safe. Plenty of hangers and could ask cabin steward for more if needed. The bathroom was fine and the water in the shower was lovely and warm. Towels as and when you wanted them. Cabin steward did or checked the cabin twice every day and bed was always made again on a night. Ashveer our steward was brilliant when we were ill with a virus and checked if we needed anything a few times a day. We did a lot of the excursions and were well worth the money apart from one. The Sugar Shack Experience in Montreal was awful and wouldn't recommend at all. Glengariff - a lovely tour round the area with a coffee stop and then time in the time. Bought a lovely cardigan. St.John's, Newfoundland - a boat trip to see the puffins, bald eagles and possibly dolphins. This was a wet day and no dolphins but still a good trip. Halifax and the Tall Ship was lovely and a glorious day Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown - One of the prettiest places on this trip. Went to see the Confederation Bridge which we sailed under later on the way out. Also a lovely shopping area nearby but not enough time to see all the shops which was a shame. Quebec (day 1) - tour round Quebec and Montmorency Falls. Loved seeing Quebec. Quebec (day 2) - St Anne du Beaupre Basilica, canyon (falls) and Island was on a very wet day but the tour guide was very good so overall the trip was good. Saguenay - Fjord museum was good but not enough time spent there. Then went on to Le Pulpier where we had too much time for what there was to see. Baie-Comeau trip took you to a beautiful church - St Emilie - oldest church in Baie-Comeau which only has one mass a year. Also The Garden of the Glaciers - fantastic. Havre St Pierre - a small town Corner Brook - Did the Panoramic tour which was 2 hours and was ok for seeing a bit of the area. Sydney, Halifax - no tours and stayed on ship as not too well. Cork and Blarney - would have loved more time in Blarney as lots to see and not enough time. Disembarkation. We were late docking due to it being a very foggy morning but disembarkation soon got caught up. We had our time changed as originally time meant we would have missed our train. We had a phone call a couple of days before saying a person would meet us to take out cases from us and take to TEFRA. After getting off we collected our cases but then had to search for the person. Someone eventually tracked them down and they had no idea they were supposed to be taking our cases. We were trying to order a car to take us to Kings Cross from Tilbury when this person said there were taxis and where to go. When we got there and found the person to see she said the taxis wouldn't take us to Kings Cross. By the time we booked a car and they made it through the traffic (2 ships were in port) and road works we had just over an hour to catch our train. Thanks to the driver from Addison Lee we made it with 7 minutes to spare. Unbelievable. Overall this was a great trip, bar illness. Crossing from Ireland to Canada the sea was a bit choppy but I didn't mind that and the return crossing was like a mill pond. The Marco Polo is an older ship but for size she is fab. A lovely, friendly ship and not too big that you don't get to know people. You got used to seeing the same people and saying hello. The crew spoke to you in passing. The staff from cabin stewards to bar staff and restaurant staff were lovely and were always ready to help less mobile passengers carry their food and drink to a table for them. I wouldn't do again but purely because I've done it and probably wouldn't do one as long again but yes I would definitely travel on the Marco Polo again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This review is probably appropriate for ‘first timers’ as it was our first ever cruise, We didn’t want the cruise to involve flying to a foreign airport before getting on the boat. Waiting at airports and cancelled flights to be ... Read More
This review is probably appropriate for ‘first timers’ as it was our first ever cruise, We didn’t want the cruise to involve flying to a foreign airport before getting on the boat. Waiting at airports and cancelled flights to be avoided. We decided to get the best accommodation on a small ship with an adults only policy. If we didn’t enjoy the experience under these conditions – we never would! Cruise and Maritime (CMV) seemed to fit the bill and we chose an eight day cruise to the Norwegian fjords. Our junior suite with balcony was the top of the range for cabins. Leaving from Tilbury, it took us 36 hours to reach our destination. Fortunately the North Sea was pretty calm. Columbus is a comparatively small ship for cruising, at 63,000 tons. Built in 1986 it has had various owners and re-fits until CMV acquired it in 2017. It has a capacity for 1,600 travellers and a crew of 638. On our journey there were 1,400 on board, but it didn’t seem to be particularly crowded. The staff all spoke good English and, without exception, were helpful and friendly. The suite was large (350 sq.ft). Excellent shower. King size bed. Three seater sofa. Flat screen TV (small). Plenty of space to hang clothes and a dressing area as well. A good start. Outside there were two smallish swimming pools and plenty of leisure areas for relaxing and sunbathing (late August in Norway? Unlikely!) We wanted a leisurely experience, without the formality of ‘dressing for dinner with the captain’. With a choice of places to eat we managed to achieve that, although there was such an evening for which the majority appeared prepared and had packed their glad rags and DJs. This was hosted in the Waterfront Restaurant with its usual full waiter service, but there was always the self-service Plantation Bistro as an acceptable substitute. In either eatery the food was good, if a little repetitive in the Bistro. A daily news-sheet detailed all of the activities happening on board for that day, which were wide and varied. They helped to pass the time whilst sailing from one place to another. A variety of live bands gave excellent performances in either the Palladium Show Lounge or the Dome Nightclub and overall the variety of entertainments was good. We enjoyed our first taste of cruising but – if we take another one – will probably sail to somewhere warmer! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We have booked for the round South America voyage on the Marco Polo in January 2019 so when we saw a good deal on CMV Columbus we thought why not give it a try. We have cruised with P&O, Azamara, Princess and Viking but don't ... Read More
We have booked for the round South America voyage on the Marco Polo in January 2019 so when we saw a good deal on CMV Columbus we thought why not give it a try. We have cruised with P&O, Azamara, Princess and Viking but don't live on ships like some people. We are newly retired and enjoy touring holidays worldwide and skiing so we ain't just cruise bores! After booking an inside cabin 6179 we found out that CMV had within a few hours reduced the price by £200 per person ouch! one phone call later we had the money back as on board credit Thanks CMV. Embarkation was easy at the Tilbury Cruise Terminal. We had booked long term parking which turned out to be in a Cemex compound about a mile away the shuttle bus got us back to the terminal where we joined the ship. Cabin was a good size and could sleep 4 with 2 pull down bunks, lots of storage space and cleanish. Cabin was a bit tired but everything worked OK. TV was a bit small and the channels limited especially when at sea but hey who needs TV? This was a 'Multigenerational Cruise' that meant children on board ARGHHHHHH but seriously most of the time the kids we met were well behaved and well mannered. Some cruisers had bad experiences with kids in the pools and so called adults only stern bars. CMV need to get the rules in place before the cruise starts so crew and staff know what is expected. Food was OK we used the Grill twice steaks were very nice and the Fusion Indian restaurant was fine but a bit strange the usual poppadoms and pickles followed by starters then naan bread and mains mixed up a bit. Service was fine in all the venues we were on second sitting in the Waterfront and our waiters were excellent. The entertainment was on the whole good some bad singing but the entertainers did at least 2 shows a day and worked very hard (Princess entertainers did only about 4 shows in a similar 14/15 day cruise) So well done the show team. Cruise director was rubbish worst jokes ever!!! Ports and shore excursions were as expected but it would have been nice to spend more than half a day in Lisbon, prices reasonable compared to other cruise lines. The good: Great value for money The Bad: Once waiters found you had bought the VIP drinks package they tended to ignore you. Some rude and surly waiters Nico you know what I mean. No policing of the sunbeds some people left their towels for 2 hours + how rude! you know who you are. Not enough sunbeds Having paid for a 'Package' that included tips we were a bit disappointed that our cabin steward gave us bad looks on the last day, we had already paid his tip. Other cruise lines (Azamara etc) state no tips required or expected...... Conclusions CMV provide a great value for money service and we are happy to cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
liked the itinerary British isles cruise for adults only the ship is great with lovely facilities but unfortunately some of the staff didnt have their heart in it, some couldnt speak english which I though was odd considering it sailed ... Read More
liked the itinerary British isles cruise for adults only the ship is great with lovely facilities but unfortunately some of the staff didnt have their heart in it, some couldnt speak english which I though was odd considering it sailed out of London and was a British Isles cruise. Also the meals were very ordinary to say the least but the bar had very reasonable prices and the entertainment was first class the cabins were excellent with plenty of wardrobe space and storage space., we particularly liked the itinerary as only one day cruising with 11 days in a different port/country every day.The embarking and disembarking went like clockwork no problems with that, As well as they had shuttle buses waiting in the ports that were too far away from the main town.city we where visiting Very nice touch, So over all it was mostly positive with but a few negatives {food and SOME service] Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We had been on Columbus to Iceland in 2017 and enjoyed its high standard of entertainment and food. Our cruise around the British isles in June 2018, gave us 10 ports in 7 countries in 12 days. The restaurant food, breakfast, lunch ... Read More
We had been on Columbus to Iceland in 2017 and enjoyed its high standard of entertainment and food. Our cruise around the British isles in June 2018, gave us 10 ports in 7 countries in 12 days. The restaurant food, breakfast, lunch and dinner were excellent and the buffet style cafe were of good quality and quantity. It's quite sad to see how greedy people are and how easily the waste so much. Shame on them. The ships senior staff were very professional and the serving staff friendly, and efficient. I don't quite understand the few complaints on food quality, we had no mediocre dishes. from the +160 our party of 3 enjoyed over the 12 days. The one problem we did have, was cruise shortening and came unforeseen. Despite the issue being unpredictable, CMV worked very hard for my guest and gave us every opportunity to sort out the issue to our complete satisfaction. So a big hearted thankyou to them. You only really know how good a company is when they have helped you through an unexpected crisis and allowed your cruise to continue. Columbus, we'll be back ............. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Destination combined with price governed our decision to book this cruise. Coming from New Zealand we also have to factor in airfares. We had previously cruised on Columbus when she was with P&O Aust as the Pacific Pearl, so we knew ... Read More
Destination combined with price governed our decision to book this cruise. Coming from New Zealand we also have to factor in airfares. We had previously cruised on Columbus when she was with P&O Aust as the Pacific Pearl, so we knew what to expect. For the most part the ship is still the same with just a few cosmetic changes noted. CMV, they were new to us. Prior to the cruise they were hopeless, getting information was like extracting teeth. Once the cruise began, no problems. Shore excursions, except for one, very good and very good value. We did six excursions. Food; not flash but acceptable. In the main dining area it was very good. Equal to HAL or Princess. Buffet, mmmm, could do better here. It is quite shabby in places. Biggest moan, late opening especially on port days. Should be open at least 1 hour earlier, we got sick of seeing the little sargeant major strutting around telling people "we don't open until 7.30am". Get your act together guys. Results was usually a crush of people in a shorter time frame. Entertainment; acceptable, but a bit amateurish. I did like the fact that the CD was not "in your face". On other lines the CD can be rather annoying. On CMV, we liked his approach. Our biggest whinge was our cabin. We were in a 2 berth inside. It was previously a 4 berth and the two extra bunks had been removed. But they left the holes in the bulkheads where the 2 bunks had been attached. It was an eyesore. This is very unprofessional. Loved the pax mix, loved the British SOH. Very enjoyable, VERY good value and would definately book again with CMV. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
The itinerary for this cruise was very appealing - not many cruise ships sail up the Amazon, and the price was extremely attractive: 42 nights for under £2k (inside cabin), or around £2.5k (sea view). The boat is old, but having ... Read More
The itinerary for this cruise was very appealing - not many cruise ships sail up the Amazon, and the price was extremely attractive: 42 nights for under £2k (inside cabin), or around £2.5k (sea view). The boat is old, but having cruised on some of the biggest ships, I found that the Magellan is small enough that you soon get to know your fellow travellers, and many of the crew (who were generally very helpful and friendly). We had force 9 storms in the Bay of Biscay, and the ship pitched and rolled, but strangely enough very few people seemed to suffer drom sea sickness. I found the gentle movement of the boat in heavy seas quite relaxing! Unfortunately an earlier review draws attention to the problems with coughs and chest infections on this ship. We suffered the same problem. In fact we heard that 13 people died on this trip (unconfirmed, as the cruise companies naturally do not want this publicised), but we certainly saw hearses driving up to meet the ship in some ports, and enough rumours circulating around the ship to suggest the numbers were well into double figures. The medical centre seemed to be out of its depth and unable to cope - it is a private practice, so money seems to be the overriding motivation for them. We heard of passengers being lumbered with bills for thousands of pounds after their travel insurance companies declined their claim. It is interesting to note that the medical centre ran out of cough mixture after less then two weeks, and there is no on-board pharmacy, so buying even basic medication from them will result in extortionate charges being added to your onboard account. Entertainment was OK - we appreciate its difficult to do 42 consecutive shows on a limited budget. The entgertainers are very talented, and do their best. Lauren (Assistant Cruise Director) is particularly outstanding, and Tony (Cruise Director) did a great job of whipping up the entertainment, but he is now off to Australia to join the Columbus. There were some dodgy old-school stand-up comedians from the UK who should probably have retired years ago! Service in the restaurants was, I thought, outstanding. The food was a bit variable, but generally very adequate, with a good choice. The ship is kept very clean, so I think the infection problem is probably something to do with the ductwork - most people I met suffered coughs and sore throats, and I suspect germs are cirulating through the old piping. The on-board accounting system is outdated - posting an account under your door every two weeks, without even an envelope, is ludicrous. The staff at reception were sometimes a bit stroppy about dealing with errors (and there were a few.....). Cruising the Amazon was interesting, but at times a bit false. Boca da Valeria is a fake village where you will be greeted on arrival by scores of kids demanding money to take photographs of them posing with various animals. We saw a half dead catfish plonked on a table for all to see. Horrible. The 'indigineous tribespeople locals' (ha ha) will happily offer to take you up river to see where they really live for a fistful of dollars...... The rest of the itinerary was great, though the ship-bought excursions are very expensive, and you will do far better buying locally organised tours at the ports. But overall this ship has a good atmosphere, all the facilities you need and, if you stay healthy, you will have a great time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Cuba was on the 'To Do' List and this was our 4th CMV Cruise so we knew it would be a cruise that we would enjoy in comfort rather than luxury. The friendliness of the crew is a real bonus - when we arrived at the Terminal, our ... Read More
Cuba was on the 'To Do' List and this was our 4th CMV Cruise so we knew it would be a cruise that we would enjoy in comfort rather than luxury. The friendliness of the crew is a real bonus - when we arrived at the Terminal, our Cabin Steward from our August 2016 cruise outside and came over to greet us. Even better was the fact that he had been promoted to Supervisor, responsible for our group of Cabins on Deck 5 and he made a point of 'warning' our Cabin Steward about us - it was like renewing a friendship and that same happy atmosphere continued with our new Cabin Steward, Pandit. Customer Service was really good across all aspects of the cruise operation. Some Passengers commented that a couple of staff were surly/uncommunicative but my experience was that the individuals had limited English and were avoiding detailed communications where possible. All other staff were very friendly and more than happy to share a joke or banter whenever time allowed. Embarkation was really quick - we arrived about an hour earlier than our time slot but were booked in after a wait of 5 minutes or so. Disembarkation is always frantic, and, with a 4 days pre-Xmas cruise to follow our 46 night cruise, we had to leave the cabin at 07:00 and lug our bags up to the Palladium Show Lounge before carting them down again (we chose Express Disembarkation for a fast departure). Disembarkation is always frenzied and we had to wait until almost 10:00 before we could leave - tedious waiting around but a small price to pay for such a good cruise. Dining is either in the Waterfront Restaurant (Open seating for Breakfast and Lunch, 18:30 and 20:30 Sittings for Dinner) or the Plantation Bistro. There are also a small Grill Restaurant and a revolving themed Indian/Japanese/Chinese offering in a cordoned-off area of the Bistro. We did not try the Grill or the Oriental Cuisine offerings. The Bistro is self-service and for picky eaters like me, this is ideal - there is always a combination of food available. In addition, Salmon and Chicken was available on request. My wife had to make a switch to a low salt diet midway through the cruise and this was accommodated seamlessly. Even when we chose to eat in the Bistro, the Serving Staff fetched the low Salt Meal from the Waterfront Restaurant and served it at our Bistro Table. The service was superb and always delivered with a smile. Desserts were a little limited - Fruit Crumble and Custard and creamy, sugary blancmange style sweets were the mainstay. Fresh fruit, typically Pineapple and at least 2 flavours of Melon were available at all times. The Bistro has seating and formica-style tables that is more 'Luxurious Works Canteen' than upmarket restaurant. The decor is lifted by Stencilled Bon Mots on the Windows - 'Life is Short, Eat Dessert First' etc. Menus are repeated every 4-7 Days. For a picky eater like me, this was a bonus since I knew that a suitable offering was never too far away but several cruisers moaned about the repetitive nature of the menu. Entertainment is the usual twice-nightly show in the Palladium Show Lounge. Dance/Musical productions of a decent, safe level, delivered with energy, rather than innovation, were the order of the day. The Guest Comedians were pretty dire - one comedian had his heyday in the early 1970s and was still delivering material from that era - toe-curling mother-in-law jokes and non-pc material. Afternoon Dance Classes were available and the Salsa (in advance of the Cuba visit) were really popular and resulted in lots of laughter from the participants. The only criticism is that the programme was haphazard so Salsa was followed by Line Dancing and then by Ballroom Dancing etc at random intervals. This made it difficult for Beginners to consolidate their learning and subsequent Sessions were missed by the participants. Lectures were patchy in quality and variety - probably the weakest aspect of the Entertainments Programme. The 46 nights cruise meant that Lecturers were working outside their specialisms and the latter part of the cruise Sessions were a 'Read from the Slide' exercise. The Physical Exercise Programme was very well operated. Doreen's Morning 'Mile with a Smile' laps around Deck 14 took place at 08:30 exactly on every Sea Day, and finished with a challenging 10 minutes Stretching Class. This was followed at 09:00 precisely by Doreen's Zumba Classes that were very well attended. The only criticism is that attendance at both Sessions meant missing breakfast or a very early meal! Afternoon Stretching Classes of 45-60 minutes with Oleg were very popular and were not for the faint-hearted! Everyone benefited from these 'Easy Effort' (they weren't!) classes. Shore Excursion Presentations were pretty poor - the Presentational Skills were dreadful and focused more on selling the Excursions, reading out Tour Details from the Slides. The actual Shore Excursions were well organised and quite reasonable value for money. We took excursions in Ponta Delgada, Uzmal (Mayan Ruins at Progreso), Altan Ha (Mayan Ruins at Belize) and Panama City. At other ports of call, we wandered and explored or visited the Caribbean Beaches. Some of our best moments were meetings with local people on our DIY wanderings. Cuba was the star turn after the bureaucracy of Passport Control and Havana is a safe, welcoming place. We visited a street Bar and I was encouraged to dance with the Band in front of the Diners/Drinkers - after an 8 minutes 'performance' I realised just how unfit I was! In Tobago, a Police Officer suggested a couple of Bars to visit and even accompanied us to the premises! The Cozumel visit on a Sunday (port shops closed), followed by Belize on Monday (Public Holiday - all shops closed) was not a triumph. The cruise was one of the best we have experienced, especially when the price paid is taken into account - we paid more for Dinner, Bed & Breakfast in a budget hotel than the nightly cost of the cruise. At the cruise nightly price, economies have to be expected and these are evident in the menu, the range of entertainment and the padding out of daytime activities by (chargeable) Craft Classes. Good quality service, safe (if unspectacular) budget entertainment, friendly and efficient staff and a great range and variety of destinations in comfortable surroundings - all at a nightly price lower than a budget hotel. We will certainly take another CMV cruise - it's only a question of waiting for the itinerary that matches our Wish List. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Having read previous negative reviews, it was with some apprehension when we embarked on a 7 day cruise to the Fjords.I do not believe that the problems experienced then are now appropriate.We had a suite which was to an excellent standard ... Read More
Having read previous negative reviews, it was with some apprehension when we embarked on a 7 day cruise to the Fjords.I do not believe that the problems experienced then are now appropriate.We had a suite which was to an excellent standard and although the bathroom was original it was entirely satisfactory.The cabin steward looked after it and us very well. The main restaurant,the Waterfront,is pleasant but since the waiters tell you were to sit at breakfast we chose to have breakfast served in our cabin.I do not appreciate being forced to seat with 4 other people.The intention was to fill the table for 6 first. The dinner was excellent in both choice,quantity and presentation and certainly the food served was hot.The Junior Head Waiter was attentive but the Maitre D' and Senior Head Waiter chose not to come down to our level! Overall,Columbus is an excellent ship with good facilities. Overall the entertainment was limited and not of our liking-mostly singing and dancing. CMV had chosen to permit children on this cruise and whilst this posed us personally no problem we suspect this was not the view of everyone,particularly since it was not clear when we booked. Our real complaint is with the port of Tilbury.It is a working port and not primarily a Cruise Terminal.We did not like at all having to see our luggage thrown on a trailer [and off] and being transferred to the ship by double decker bus.Back to Southampton and Dover for us! Read Less
Sail Date August 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
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
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 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

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