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

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
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
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
Having been on several cruises in the past, always with Cunard, it was with trepidation that I booked a trip on CMV Magellan. Magellan is a Holiday Class ship, so you would be forgiven if you thought it would be full of rowdy young ... Read More
Having been on several cruises in the past, always with Cunard, it was with trepidation that I booked a trip on CMV Magellan. Magellan is a Holiday Class ship, so you would be forgiven if you thought it would be full of rowdy young booze-fuelled "cruisers". I was not setting my sights very high on this ship, as it had seen a previous life with Carnival Cruises, and it is relatively old. However, I was indeed surprised. Embarkation was an absolute delight; no sooner had I arrived at Tilbury, than my cases were taken and I was soon checked-in. I boarded about an hour later. I opted this time for an inside cabin, something I would not normally do, but since the cruise was certainly bargain-basement price, I saw little point in spending a fortune for a suite or very superior cabin. My cabin, a twin-bedded affair on the 6th deck, was indeed comfortable, and relatively spacious. I really couldnt fault it. Two standard beds, bedside tables, television, small dressing table, 3 wardrobes, shower and toilet with hairdryer. I didnt really need much more. I wasted no time in finding my way round the ship. Magellan is not overly large, carrying around 1150 passengers and around 450 crew, but it offers a fair mix of 3 whirlpools, 2 swimming pools, a nightclub, 2 restaurants, casino, library, card room, several sundecks, internet cafe (charge payable), bistro, health club, gym, lounges, theatre and several bars spread over 5 decks (the others are for the cabins/galley/crew). Enough to keep you occupied for a short cruise anyway. There are 2 main restaurants, which are initially difficult to find; Waldorf and Kensington. Dinner settings are 6.30 and 8.15. Staff are attentive, and the food, whilst not being at Cunard standard, is certainly good. Meals generally consist of a starter, soup, salad, main, dessert and coffee. I enjoyed the food. If you prefer, you can eat in the Bistro, which serves the same food on a help yourself basis, though it can be crowded at times, and some travellers can be quite selfish with their need to be "first" for their meals. Expect some pushing and shoving! I preferred the waiter service in the restaurant. There is free tea and coffee available in the Bistro 24/7. Other drinks are chargeable. As a guide, a coke is £2.05, cocktails around £4, coffee (special) £2-ish, water (bottled) at £2.05. There are of course other spirits available. There are drinks packages available. You can have unlimited drinks (soft or alcoholic) for £17/day, or unlimited soft drinks for £9.95/day, or 10 cocktails for £30. I opted for the latter. Cocktails were fair, being a little light on alcohol I felt. There is a show each evening, at 6.30 and 9.45, to accommodate the 2 restaurant settings. I found some of the shows a little poor, though, to be fair, 3 were particularly good. The Baltic Cruise visited Denmark (Copenhagen), Germany (Berlin), Finland (Helsinki), Estonia (Tallinn), Russia (St Petersburg) and Sweden (Stockholm). Trips vary in price. Mine cost from £29 to £129. I cant write about every trip here, but would comment as follows: Copenhagen - easy to do it alone - the city is within 2 miles of the port; Warnemunde (Germany) - I took the 12-hour trip to Berlin to see the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie etc etc. Its a full 12 hours and cost £129. I thought it was excellent. Warmunde is also a very nice place in its own right. Tallin - a beautiful little place with cobbled streets and worth a look. Again, I took a taxi from the port - £14. St Petersburg - 2 days are spent here. I personally found this place expensive, hostile, and totally unsuitable for wheelchair users. Plenty of shops. There are some lovely palaces and churches to see, but as they are not my thing, I took the evening canal cruise, which, at £39 was reasonable. You can buy Duty Free goods at the port if you do not wish to actually enter Russia. The Immigration process can be long-winded and frustrating. . Some of my friends attended the ballet, which they said was the best ever. Helsinki - this is quite an inoffensive place, and extremely clean. I took the tram ride around the city here and enjoyed it. A mix of shops catering for basic needs. Stockholm - the place I liked least. Unsuitable for disabled people due to cobbled streets and hills. I thought it was very expensive. As a guide, I ordered 2 cakes and 2 coffees that amounted to just under £24. Life aboard Magellan has its good and bad points. The best point for me was the fact its an ADULT ONLY ship. You can relax without noisy children around you. Food is certainly good, and staff are very attentive. Cabins are comfortable. Shows are typically of the holidaymaker ilk. The negatives? Drinks can soon add up on your onboard account, as can any other purchases. Trips can also add a huge cost to what appears to be a good value holiday. (My onboard bill was virtually the same as my cruise cost). Sometimes its difficult to find a place to sit. Also, for some odd reason, there is a LOT of vibration on this ship. Would I travel on Magellen again? Definitely YES, but I would not always use the arranged tours, as many can be made on foot or using buses and taxis. My cruise cost £749 for 12 nights. So for just over £60/day, you really cannot complain. Its a really excellent deal. Remember that tips are automatically added to your account at £5/day per person. One point to make though is that the suites advertised on the ship, advertising balcony views, invariably look out over the lifeboats, so not as good as you might imagine. Probably the best value is an outside cabin on Deck 6. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We recently completed a Baltic cruise of 12 nights and followed on with a 7 night cruise of the Norwegian Fjords a (total of 19 nights) on the Magellan. We have cruised with a number of lines including Cunard, Celebrity, NCL P & O ... Read More
We recently completed a Baltic cruise of 12 nights and followed on with a 7 night cruise of the Norwegian Fjords a (total of 19 nights) on the Magellan. We have cruised with a number of lines including Cunard, Celebrity, NCL P & O (Australia), Costa and APT River Cruises and can say that the shipboard experience is very good and in terms of dining experience and presentation of public areas Magellan is equal to what we have experienced on other lines. The boarding process was seamless and assisted by staff taking you direct to your cabin - an experience not previously matched. Cabins were OK, roomy and functional, interior for the Baltic and an OG cabin for the Fjords. The cabins lacked the nice things (body lotion, pamper packs, in cabin movies etc) found on other cruise lines but we think that what was provided was great value. Dining times were slightly earlier starting, (conflicted slightly with excursion returns) but easily varied to a later sitting as required. The meal presentations were of equal standing to our prior our experience. Each course was small but totally sufficient. Quality was good in the main with some tough choices, Some tougher cuts of meat but your selection could ensure enjoyment of meals. I looked forward to poached eggs in the morning but struggled to get the egg cooked perfectly with the whites a bit raw, or if overcooked the yolk solid! We attended most shows and enjoyed the performances and performers. Not quite to our past experiences but good entertainment overall. We did a lot of reading and sedentary holiday activities but the daily sheet indicated many activities we could have participated in if we wanted to. The highlight of our trip was the ship's response to our request to hold a Cruise Critic Meet and Greet. There had been about 16 or so CC members on the roll call and the ship, through the Hotel Director and Future Cruise staff, were extremely helpful in facilitating both a welcome meeting (with invites) and a bridge tour followed by a farewell function with the Captain in attendance. Now that is one up on what we have previously experienced- well done and thank you to the staff involved. All CC members were thrilled by the experience. I had a problem paying my on board account with my pre-loaded cash card with the card declined for some reason on two occasions and had to scramble with cash to finalise the account, with no change left until I got onshore. My card worked OK externally but it is likely the card being processed electronically without my pin caused the rejection. Ports of call were fabulous, especially Tallinn, Warnemunde and St Petersburg. The Ports of Copenhagen Stockholm and Helsinki were short and more time could easliy be spent there- perhaps that's the next opportunity. We did our own excursions in these ports, many covered in Trip Advisor or via Cruise Critic forums. For the Norwegian Fjords, we did a couple of bus trips up the Trollstigen Road from both Aldasnes and Geiranger - hairy but extremely worthwhile, getting write ups in travel magazines. At some ports the ship had single landing doors open due to tide heights/gang plank issues which caused exit buildups and frustration. Other ports were a simple long or short walk as the towns presented themselves. We had some heavy seas in the North Sea but the ship remained comfortable and we did not suffer from too much movement. The ship did have a natural 'St Vitus Dance' evident but we seemed to get used to the shudder. The menu for the second trip seemed similar to the first trip, but we were not left wanting. A highlight was dining on the Captain's table with the Captain and Hotel Director hosting a group of other back to back passengers. We did try Raffles Bistro but with the menu essentially the same we preferred the service and plated meal sizes. In summary, the trips on the Magellan were excellent value and presentation and service very good. We enjoyed ourselves, meeting some lovely people - us being two of about 20 that were not British nationals! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Over all the cruise was very good. We chose it for the itinerary. Staff, entertainment and food is first class. The Magellan lacks the 'wow factor' experienced on other cruises. The cabins were small and the general condition ... Read More
Over all the cruise was very good. We chose it for the itinerary. Staff, entertainment and food is first class. The Magellan lacks the 'wow factor' experienced on other cruises. The cabins were small and the general condition felt 'tired'. Towels were not good quality, no fridge in cabin and only one electric plug point. The ship was also noisy, engine juddering noise. Organisation was good. Service excellent and prices of drinks etc exceptional. Overall a good experience but would have liked a few more special touches. The staff work very hard and are very professional and helpful. The entertainment team are very good. Had a wonderful BIG Band ...Seven Steps on our particular cruise who were first class. The variety of entertainment in bars and lounges was poor. There were plenty of deck chairs and it was easy to find seats in all areas. Some excursions were a little expensive it is worth looking at doing your own thing. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I've been on several other cruises with this company and have enjoyed each one. The staff are very friendly and courteous. They remember you when you return and I see other passengers that have sailed with this company many times. ... Read More
I've been on several other cruises with this company and have enjoyed each one. The staff are very friendly and courteous. They remember you when you return and I see other passengers that have sailed with this company many times. The excursions and lectures are informative and academic. This last cruise we had an engine fire on the first night! We had our 2nd muster drill that evening but the 2nd one was very real! Because of that we had to put in to a port that wasn't on the itinerary. The excursion staff hustled to make some of the excursions happen and to come up with others while the ship was being repaired and certified to sail. We missed some of the highlights of the trip though such as visiting the chateaus. We also didn't have hot water for a day. We are still waiting to hear about a promised compensation...... This was really something that should have been decided and announced to everyone before we disembarked. Now everyone thinks that if we really do receive compensation it will be inequitable. But we did get an open bar several nights! Then, just as has happened on other cruises, we missed another port of call as the seas were very choppy and caused the small ship to change course. This is something people need to be aware of on this small ship. You don't always get to visit all the ports of call. Instead you get a choppy day at sea as they move on to the next port of call. Now they are moving to the North Sea for 2017 which is notorious for choppy waters! This ship really rocks. One day we were confined to our cabins because it was to dangerous to be out and about. We were told the ship was going to go into dock for 6 months after this season ends in November. I hope they refurbish the cabins. The carpets are stained and worn. The bed skirt was filthy as were the walls. The towels were stained. That being said, the attitude of the crew/staff and fellow passengers makes this a friendly travel experience. You can get into to port at cities the large cruise liners can't and the excursions are designed to be educational. The food is better than the standard cruise liners. The passengers are older and I've only seen 1-2 teenagers. There is a tiny workout room but no regular activities. This is probably due to the fact that most passengers are in the 60-80 year old range. The excursions are usually a half day which allows free time in the port city. I hope this cruise line can get it together as they really have a good thing going and a devoted, but dwindling following. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We went on this cruise as a taster, just to see what CMV was like. The week-end before we had been on the Harmony of the Seas also as a taster. one extreme to the other you may say !! Anyway Harmony we were glad to get off.(see review). ... Read More
We went on this cruise as a taster, just to see what CMV was like. The week-end before we had been on the Harmony of the Seas also as a taster. one extreme to the other you may say !! Anyway Harmony we were glad to get off.(see review). Magellan we wanted to stay on !! A lot older, a lot smaller, a lot less brash and flash; but a lot more like a ship and a far better atmosphere on board. The shows were good, a lovely Captains Club lounge where we danced 2 nights running. No nice dance lounge like that on Harmony. Also the drinks prices were very good, and no added 18% on top! The food wasn't brilliant but reasonable. Dinner was good. A lot easier to get a table for breakfast in the buffet. We had an outside view cabin which was as roomy as Harmony, the shower room a bit bigger. The décor on the ship was very smart, all clean and tidy. All in all having read a few bad reviews about this ship we were pleasantly surprised ! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Just returned from six days on the Marco polo, an old ship but well maintained, as this was our first cruise didn't know what to expect.... The food was excellent also the service was too, couldn't do enough for you, being a ... Read More
Just returned from six days on the Marco polo, an old ship but well maintained, as this was our first cruise didn't know what to expect.... The food was excellent also the service was too, couldn't do enough for you, being a small ship was a bit of a squash at meal times especially breakfast, we had the all inclusive drinks package of £17 per person per day which was good value and the drinks were good quality, entertainment sadly was not very good at all the nightly show was too short and very amateurish and quiz games disorganized and hard to follow, also the choice of music needs up dating... Our cabin was small which I expected on a ship but was clean and the service from our steward Yuri was excellent but I did begrudge paying £2.20 for a bottle of water in our room and should be included in the drinks package.... All in all an enjoyable week but don't think cruising is for us as we found it to confining and Norway is beautiful.... Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was our first cruise and we really enjoyed the whole experience. Embarkation was a very smooth process ;taking less than an hour from arrival at the car park to eating our lunch aboard. It was well organised and we were instructed ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we really enjoyed the whole experience. Embarkation was a very smooth process ;taking less than an hour from arrival at the car park to eating our lunch aboard. It was well organised and we were instructed where to go clearly throughout. We had a superior cabin on the 9th Deck and it had two windows which was a nice surprise. The furniture and fittings had seen better days but everything was clean and functional - precisely what I expected from CMV's photos and the price I paid. The room was cleaned twice a day and we opted to have a continental breakfast in bed the majority of the mornings. Information was provided in a nightly magazine and there was plenty to do during the days at sea. The entertainment was again, in keeping with the whole experience of being fun and functional. The shows were slightly cheesy, the quizzes silly and the musicians in all of the different bar/ lounge areas were fantastic. If you opt for a cruise like this, you need to embrace the spirit in which it is intended and join in. Everyone we spoke to was of a similar opinion- you get what you pay for and if you throw yourself into the 'small friendly boat ethos' then you'll get a lot more from your experience. We ate in the Waldorf restaurant each evening and there was a wide range of food which was cooked well and served at the right temperature by a highly efficient team. The food was a little bland and 'safe' to my taste but it was perfectly edible and fun stuff like 'the parade of the baked Alaska ' complete with indoor pyrotechnics and the night the head waiter danced to Zorba the Greek with a giant bottle of Olive Oil are what made this holiday so much fun. Norway itself and the excursions were fantastic. We paid for two and did Bergen on our own. I'm glad that we went on the guided tours as they were well worth the money, had very well informed guides and allowed us to see things we would not have been able to plan on our own. The fjords were spectacular and my best moment was waking up early on the second morning of our cruise to find that we were cruising the beautiful Hardangerfjord. Norway was very expensive and I feel that this cruise offered good value for money as an alternative to staying in a hotel and exploring on our own which is what we would normally do. The whole boat was spotlessly clean and staff seemed to be cleaning constantly throughtout the day. Hygiene was very important and at every meal time we had to clean our hands before entering. I thought this was a good thing. Since this was an entirely unpretentious cruise, there was little emphasis on dressing up and hanging out with the captain which suited us and our companions. That said, there was a meet the captain evening which was well organised and good fun. The majority of travellers were older than us but they seemed to be up for more of a good time than the younger folk and for me, this laid back approach to travel only added to the experience. There truly was no hurry to get on coaches/ upstairs/ into bars - we were supposed to be on holiday! My only grumbles would be that the 'Bistro' area was not very pleasant; it was reminiscent of a mid 1990's department store and was often hot and smelly. It could do with a refurb and a reconfiguration of the space. Also there were not enough bar staff circulating particularly during the evenings which led to considerable frustration when trying to order drinks. These however, were only minor issues and would not put me off travelling with this company or ship again. We had heard horror stories about disembarkation but like every other part of the trip, this was a smooth calm process. We opted for express disembarkation and, if you are able to carry your own bags and use the stairs, I'd definitely recommend this. We got off about 15 minutes after docking and the buses were waiting to take us straight to the car park so we only had about 30mins where we had to do any waiting around. So, I would recommend this cruise to first timers and those who enjoy chatting to other people and simple pleasures such as reading a good book in the sunshine and working ones way through the cocktail menu of an evening. It was a laid back, fun holiday. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Introduction: This was our first CMV cruise and was booked after a disappointing Xmas 2015 & New Year cruise to the same destination with a competitor cruise line. We booked with CMV and then read the earlier reviews, so we were ... Read More
Introduction: This was our first CMV cruise and was booked after a disappointing Xmas 2015 & New Year cruise to the same destination with a competitor cruise line. We booked with CMV and then read the earlier reviews, so we were concerned that we were in for another disappointment ... Nothing could be further from the truth - the whole cruise experience was really good and the new Captain has changed the service quality immeasurably. Crew members all smile, service is quick and efficient and everything happens in the background, leaving the passenger to enjoy the cruise instead of worrying about the next problem. The Captain and his senior Officers are available (and very visible) throughout each day and give passengers adequate time to raise concerns or issues, without any hint of the 'corporate brush-off' response. The Executive Chef even visited each table at the Dinner Sitting to gain feedback. Embarkation: The Long Stay Car Parking is about 1 mile away from the Cruise Terminal and Shuttle Buses run back and forth - it's a bit of a bun-fight with tight parking slots and trying to avoid passengers wandering across the traffic path towing cases, bags and other appendages. The process is slightly chaotic but it works. Inside the Cruise Terminal, the process is much smoother - there is a separate Waiting Lounge (faded charm, peeling plaster but rather like an Agatha Christie film set) and timed booking-in slots were operating so that, even with a full complement of 1250 passengers, the queuing was kept to a minimum and the process was very smooth and efficient. On board, a crew member escorted us to our cabin - a really nice touch, and checked that door keys worked before returning to guide the next passenger. The Cabin Review is in a separate section. Ship Layout: Slightly quirky - you can only access the full length of the ship at the top and lowest decks since the middle of the ship is devoted to the Galley that serves both restaurants. So, you need to know whether you're aiming for the stern or the prow before leaving the cabin - for the first couple of days, lost souls were wandering the decks muttering 'Is it the rear or the front I need to get to?' as they familiarised themselves with the layout. Lifts are quite small and, with an ageing and often mobility-limited client group, in constant demand. If you need to use the lifts, be prepared to wait up to 2 minutes for one to become available. This was a source of annoyance for several customers. Staircases are quite steep - using them will get you fit! - and the stair riser on some staircases slopes back into the staircase (to create extra space for those size 13 shoes?) and this take a wee while to adjust to. Crew Members are cleaning handrails, lift entrances and the public areas constantly to minimise the risk of infection. Despite this, and the hand-cleansing machines and notices everywhere, passengers still feel they have the right to refill their own water bottles and to return excess food to the serving trays so the coughing starts - grrr! CMV needs to employ a retired schoolteacher from the 1960s so that (s)he can use a wooden ruler to rap the knuckles of any passenger ignoring the food hygiene rules ... Dining: We were allocated First Sitting in the Waldorf Restaurant on a Table for 8. A combination of poor handwriting, inaccurate transcription of the Dining Cards from the computer records and passengers not having their reading glasses meant that we had 12 different guests for the 8 seats over the first 4 days! Eventually (back to Agatha Christie), the Maitre d' appeared at the Table with pad and pen and requested cabin numbers and names so that he could solve the 'Whodunnit' of the Dining Room - of the 12 people trying to get in the 8 seats, 10 were very pleasant so we had a good final selection of fellow diners! Zin and Min (Waiter and Wine Waiter) were first rate and very friendly, seeing the humour of the changing guests until the 'real 8' diners were identified. Menus were decent - safe, unadventurous food in sensible portions. The temperature of the food could have been a wee bit hotter on occasions. We took the £85 Alcohol Package (5 bottles of reasonable quality wine (equivalent to supermarket 'Dine In' promotions - safe but decent quality) and 10 bottles of water) since we do not drink much alcohol. Unused wine is stored until the next meal and there was no noticeable deterioration in its quality. Wine can be bought by the glass for £5 or you can pay £17 per person per day for the Unlimited Drinks Package. We started using the Raffles Bistro fro breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, but it was often tight for space so finding a table could resemble the Saturday morning drive around the multi-storey car park for the Space that is supposed to be available. The lunch-time deadline return from port visits in Santa Cruz and Gibraltar caused a wee bit of a logjam with diners exceeding available spaces until the Maitre d' began gathering up lost souls and directing them to the restaurants. The Bistro has no table cloths during the day and the layout has evoked descriptions of 'canteen' in appearance with several tables having bench seats along the wall as the perimeter tables run the length of the room. The layout gets the most 'bums on seats' and it gives you a chance to meet lots of fellow cruisers - it's a lively atmosphere that works well, if a little spartan on the furnishings. The Bistro food is the same as in the main restaurants and the range is decent - not spectacular, but you won't starve (I am a very picky eater and managed to find enough variety, albeit in combinations that would have made the chef weep) and there is no problem with taking further portions. Empty serving trays were replenished promptly, but the pressure of a full complement of passengers and the rigid hygiene rules of not re-using plates when taking a second portion (food hygiene and cleaning regimes throughout the ship are scrupulous) sometimes meant a delay whilst new plates and cutlery arrived - nothing major and 'Hunt the Plate' gives a wee bit of exercise to burn the extra calories ... Plenty of serving/support staff (all of whom smile and try to make polite conversation - there's been a big effort to engage with passengers) to clear plates and guide passengers around the serving stations (Mushrooms and Hash Browns sit in a separate Serving Station from the rest of the cooked breakfast components). Quirky, but it works well as does the small queue to have a freshly fried egg rather than scooping up one that has been pre-cooked and then left to sunbathe under the warming lights ... Entertainment: The Carmen Duo classical music act is very good and their show in the Magellan Lounge was excellent - the only complaint is that the sho did not last longer. The Duo also played each evening in Hampton's Bar (3 or 4 sessions of 20-25 minutes) to an appreciative audience. The Magellan Entertainment Team, led by Raul, the Assistant Cruise Director, work very hard to provide a fresh face to the 'song and dance' staple offering. The 'Abba' Evening was done very competently and was very enjoyable. I am a Queen devotee and hoped that the 'Queen' Evening wouldn't be too bad - alas it was. The 'Abba' production showed that there are very capable singers - the 'Queen' production was simply too ambitious and, as a fellow fan observed, 'After the second murder, I called Quincy, MD. to arrange the autopsies ...' Raul and the crew led the 'Sail Away' singing to great effect - it was energetic and well received, confirming that the 'Queen' production had been too ambitious. Guest Lecturers were good - Sue Walsh and Alan Oliver. The latter is a more academic presenter who would get you through your exams, but who is a little too academic for cruise entertainment. Sue Walsh is a very enthusiastic bird watcher, ringer, conservation volunteer - her enthusiasm for her subject shines through, even though she some times became carried away and talked about the subject matter of the next 2-3 slides, leaving a few 'Err, ums ...' until she recovered from realising that she had just spent a couple of minutes covering the content of the new slide! Sue was very happy to talk to passengers outside the lecture stints and to share photos and information from her Tablet. Very enjoyable. Shore Excursions: We booked quite late so several excursions were fully booked - no problem for us since this cruise was to visit destinations that the previous cruise company had cancelled over Xmas 2015 and New Year. We made our own way in each port and encountered no problems. Courtesy buses were available, albeit stipulated on a couple of occasions as being for those passengers with mobility difficulties. In practice, these passengers were given priority and then it was 'first come, first served' for everyone else. It was particularly nice not to have to pay for the Courtesy buses - a nice gesture that CMV and the Port Authorities deserve credit for providing. Julie, the Customer Services Manager. was high profile during the Shore Excursions process, and her cheerful, warm Lancashire voice was a delight. Her update announcement at Gibraltar - 'Ladies and Gentlemen, it's not cloudy - I've just been down at the quayside - I'm from Lancashire and I know rain - it's absolutely lashing it down so DO, please take your coats and umbrellas' was very well received. Some passengers felt that Magellan could have stayed longer at some ports - a matter of personal choice. My wife and I were unable to go ashore at Lisbon because we had picked up the coughing sickness that someone had kindly brought aboard. Those who did remarked on the queues at the local pharmacy to purchase paracetamol etc. Disembarkation: This is probably the weakest element. The baggage collection from cabins on the previous night was very smooth, albeit slightly noisy as cabin crew began the portering about midnight and cabins had to be vacated by 07:00 the next morning. 07:00 and lots of passengers, carrying hand luggage, scrabbling for lifts and then restaurant/bistro space was all a wee bit chaotic. Breakfast was over by 09:00 and there was then up to 2 hours wait for disembarkation. Seats were at a premium (if all else fails, aim for the Magellan Show Lounge - it's dark and a wee bit cold but you can sit comfortably). Toilets were at an even bigger premium as the (already limited by original design) public WCs were closed down for cleaning and maintenance - lots of frustrated, ageing working class males, roaming the decks whilst describing their impending incontinence is not a happy spectacle. I found a working toilet at my 6th attempt - this is not good enough and let the previous high organisational performance slip. London Cruise Terminal does not have enough baggage trolleys for the 1250 passengers so people had to queue for a trolley; then queue to leave the terminal; then queue to reach the Shuttle Buses to return to the Long Stay Car Park which was heaving because of the arrival of new passengers for the Norwegian Fjords Cruise. If you watch Rugby and wonder why players are not allowed to carry suitcases into the scrum, you will have a picture of the organisation under strain ... The organisers were run off their feet getting exiting passengers away and coping with new arrivals whilst a succession of taxis and private care were dropping new passengers off at the Cruise Terminal. After vacating our cabin at 07:00 and being called for disembarkation at 11:00, it was almost midday when we left the Cruise Terminal and 12:40 before arrival the Long Stay Car Park - quite a fraught process overall. There needs to be more trolleys and more frequent Shuttle Bus journeys to free up bottle necks. Summary: I recommend prefacing any review with 'Looking at the price we paid' before making criticisms. I heard several comments from fellow passengers that 'The food is not as good as xyz cruises and it's not available round the clock' etc. We paid £52 per person per day (and we could have saved £5 per person per day by choosing a cheaper cabin) for 14 nights cruising, with 6 ports of call over 4000+ nautical miles on a full board basis with free entertainment provided. Our budget pre-cruise hotel cost us £35 per person for accommodation only! The cruise was well organised, staffed by a friendly and competent crew who provided great service and who made us feel like people rather than cabin numbers. CMV promise 3.5 star service but get closer to 4 star - they could provide more of the pampering, more choice of menu items, fluffier towels etc but not at the prices they charge. I was very apprehensive about the booking after I had read the reviews. My experience has been very positive - a good, value-for-money, decent holiday that was better than CMV indicated. My wife and I have already booked our next cruise on the Magellan (Norway on 17th April 2016 - just about time to get the holiday washing dry before we meet up with the Captain and Crew again); we are really looking forward to the experience! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I will not re-state the title because we had a wnderful cruise. The food was excellent, the crew were excellent and the entertainment was excellent. The itinerary was as expected and enjoyable. The weather was as expected and ... Read More
I will not re-state the title because we had a wnderful cruise. The food was excellent, the crew were excellent and the entertainment was excellent. The itinerary was as expected and enjoyable. The weather was as expected and changeable. If we had just pulled out into mid-Atlantic and gone round in circles, I would not have complained. The evening buffets/ displays should really have been photographed not eaten. I am not a wine buff but the house wines were good and much enjoyed. Embarkation at Tilbury was good, disembarkation was a little chaotic but we got there in the end. We had a table for four (163) where the bench seats were a bit low and my wife asked for (and was given) a cushion but if this is a complaint, it is a small one. The cabin was comfotable (6150) but I would have preferred a cabin with a bit of daylight - but this was my fault not CMV's. Overall - great!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Our departure from Tilbury was pretty chaotic. We travelled to the ship on their coach from London Coach Station and the last quarter of a mile took about 90 mins. The ship had arrived late from their previous cruise (the Canaries I ... Read More
Our departure from Tilbury was pretty chaotic. We travelled to the ship on their coach from London Coach Station and the last quarter of a mile took about 90 mins. The ship had arrived late from their previous cruise (the Canaries I think), because of terrible weather and so embarkation was backing up. However when we eventually arrived at the terminal everything was done speedily. Once aboard we were impressed by the size and layout of our sea view cabin on deck 4 and the speed with which our luggage was delivered. This was a 6 week cruise to the Canaries, the amazon, West Indies and The Azores. This was our view of the Ship. FOOD. Excellent. We had early dining (6.15pm). There were five courses which were well cooked and well presented. As well as the days main meals (usually about 5 options) there was always Salmon fillet and breast of chicken available. The waiters were lovely and most helpful. We were on a table of 8 and two of them were quite specific about their requirements. The waiters had no problem with this. There was a large buffet available for those who preferred less formal dining. Breakfast and lunch could be in the dining rooms or the buffet and there was a wide selection. Staff were most pleasant and helpful. There was also an outside buffet with burgers, sausage, chips for people who preferred 'fast food' and there was a pizza bar in the buffet. Ice cream was always available. ENTERTAINMENT. I thought that the entertainment was excellent. The main show had a troupe of dancers, mostly from the Ukraine, who were extremely talented and performed in a huge variety of shows over the 42 days of the cruise. The Magellan Orchestra (more of a band really) were again Eastern European and were extremely talented. The bandleader played trumpet and was accompanied by a saxophone, lead and base guitar, drummer and keyboard player. They leant towards modern jazz but could play everything else as well. There was also a concert pianist, a pianist and violinist duo, a Filipino duo who sang and played 'easy listening' for dancing and seven vocalists who did the shows, some late night entertainment and ran the quizzes, Mr & Mrs etc. Mostly they were very good singers and they were certainly very hard working. Several other entertainers joined, did a few performances and left at the next port of call. Because of the length of the cruise there were a lot of other activities to keep passengers occupied and I (together with 30 others) learned to play five chords on a ukulele and performed 12 songs at the end of the cruise for a large and appreciative audience. My wife and I also joined the choir and again put on a show at the end. There was also handicraft, Bridge etc. There were some excellent lectures during the day and they were well attended. FITNESS. That was a bit of a disappointment. They gym was well stocked but too small. There were aerobics, pilates and/or yoga on sea days but they were mostly put on by the dancers (who were extremely fit but not fitness instructors) and it was a bit of a mess with no proper venue for them to take place. PORT EXCURSIONS. I thought they were very good and reasonably priced compared to other cruises I have been on. In most of the ports we called at it was easy to get five or six in a minibus and have the same trip for far less. Because this was January in the Atlantic, we had some periods of very stormy weather and on about five of the days those of us on the lower decks with sea views had our windows covered in steel plates. Personally I think that was a sensible precaution. We had to stay overnight in one port because the loading gear had failed and they could not raise the tender back into position. We left another port early to get ahead of a storm that was forecast but again I thought that was sensible. Most of the people on the ship were retired and I would imagine that the average age was in the late 60's (I am 71). I got the feeling that there were some people on the ship who would never travel with the company again and some who had booked their next trip with them. Myself and my wife would have no qualms about another cruise with this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We have just returned from our 1st cruise on Magellan. We had a wonderful time. We have cruised many times with PO and Thompsons . But have to say that this was a wonderful cruise. Ship was kept very clean. Food was very good plenty of ... Read More
We have just returned from our 1st cruise on Magellan. We had a wonderful time. We have cruised many times with PO and Thompsons . But have to say that this was a wonderful cruise. Ship was kept very clean. Food was very good plenty of variety. Entertainment was good and always plenty of variety on sea days the team work very hard. . We also were rather apprehensive after reading reviews. But so pleased we decided to judge for ourself. Our cabin was inside (kept clean) our cabin steward was very friendly and always ready to please nothing to much trouble. Excursion only used beach transfers even given refund when it was bad weather. Embarkation and Disembarkation very easy left a suitcase was informed at once so able to get back quickly. will not hesitate to book again. already looking for next year. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our second cruise on Magellan this year. It is an older type ship as the brochure states and is not "the all singing and dancing" type of vessel but a comfortable, clean and friendly way to cruise. Despite people ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Magellan this year. It is an older type ship as the brochure states and is not "the all singing and dancing" type of vessel but a comfortable, clean and friendly way to cruise. Despite people complaining about queueing to embark and disembark we knew that over 1000 people could not all arrive and leave the ship at the same time. We made our way to the long stay car park, our luggage was taken from the boot of our car and was waiting for us outside our cabin. Food was plentiful and very good. Our cabin 5145 was ample size and kept clean by our very efficient steward. There is something going on all day if you wish to fill your day, may not be to everyone's taste to do quizzes,bingo, deck games, bridge or craft classes. My husband did find that when we had 2 full days at sea he became a bit bored and would have liked something different to do, a view I heard from a few wives I spoke to. There are some people who complain about everything, why don't they read the brochure properly and they would get a good idea what to expect. If you pay for a cabin on the lowest deck you are quite likely to get some degree of engine vibration noise, it's a ship!!! We did 4 of the excursions on offer and thoroughly enjoyed each one. It's enough to give a taste of each place and they were well organised. We were a bit disappointed that the comedian and guest speaker were the same as on the April cruise we did and their material was the same all over again. As Magellan has quite a high number of returning guests this is not a good idea. We unfortunately had to use the ship infirmary when my husband was taken ill. The staff were so kind and helpful, informing us of everything and reassuring us. The Guest Manager Julie was so helpful and arranged all sorts of services for us. All staff were pleasant and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Tilbury was our port of embarkation in October 2015 enroute to FremantleWA. Also, we were passengers on the Fremantle - Harwich voyage in April 2014 and it was a marvellous experience. Don't misunderstand, we enjoyed our time ... Read More
Tilbury was our port of embarkation in October 2015 enroute to FremantleWA. Also, we were passengers on the Fremantle - Harwich voyage in April 2014 and it was a marvellous experience. Don't misunderstand, we enjoyed our time aboard however, from day one we noticed the bean counters had been at work. The a la carte cuisine was not quite as sumptuous, but pleasant nevertheless. Our biggest complaint was that the ship was too often hours late into the ports we visited, which meant that we had little time to explore. The excuses given ranged from slowing for whales in the vicinity, lost time bunkering and heavy weather. Two former sea captains travelling as passengers dismissed the excuses as verbal tripe. Bunkering should have been factored into the ships schedule. Whales were well and truly out of the shipping lanes at this time of year and we had not experienced heavy weather.....Go figure! This, they said, was merely a relocation voyage to enable Astor to commence its season out of Fremantle. The real reason the ship was frequently late, they said, was that the ship had slowed to conserve fuel. Therefore, and unfortunately, Astors 500 passengers were short-changed and did not receive all they had paid for. Astor is 30 years old, 3-Star ship, but it delivers value if itineraries are met. The crew was so obliging and we thought the service from cabin steward to table and drink waiters was exceptional. At times, language barriers with drinks staff added levity to afternoon libations. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My husband and I recently returned from a wonderful cruise around the Baltic on the Marco Polo. I had great reservations because of reviews I had read and almost made a decision to cancel the trip. How wrong I would have been so ... Read More
My husband and I recently returned from a wonderful cruise around the Baltic on the Marco Polo. I had great reservations because of reviews I had read and almost made a decision to cancel the trip. How wrong I would have been so don’t take all the negative comments too seriously. This trip provided great value for money. Sure, it’s not a five star ship but was more than adequate. I would suggest we had one of the smallest cabins on the ship, which I wouldn’t recommend – but even that worked out ok by only using the cabin to sleep and having the right attitude. In fact, we were located off the corridors and found cabin 249 was relatively quiet. (We did choose to sleep with earplugs though and these worked a treat). The cities visited on this cruise were special indeed and surpassed our expectations. I had never thought of visiting Helsinki, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallin and certainly that I would get to St Petersburg in my lifetime. St Petersburg certainly stood out – the trips to the Hermitage Museum, and Church on Spilled Blood were well worth it. The one disappointment was the trip to the Ballet – it did not present either ballet or this very special Russian tradition in the right way. It was a concert with very little lighting or scenery so would not encourage the non-balletomane to venture to another performance I would imagine. I took advantage of some great craft classes on the cruise and the art classes looked amazing. Should have done at least one of those. They let us down with ballroom classes though – with only one scheduled. I wasn’t bored once on the cruise – probably because I needed a good break and spent hours doing my embroidery which gave me great pleasure. It also helped me through the only one rough day we had on the cruise. Stay focussed and it isn’t a problem!! The entertainment was good (but we have experienced better on larger ships). I know that because we were in the cheaper section of the ship we may not have had the best stewards. My husband and I danced most nights away in Scott’s bar which was fun. The food was ok – but you need to choose carefully. I enjoyed all of mine – my husband made some wrong choices! But there is more than enough to eat. We chose to have a table for two, which we prefer to sharing with strangers – but for others that is the way to go. I wish I had taken heed of some earlier posts re tea and taken my own green tea – as I always had to ask. We chose to take out the drinks package which was expensive and encouraged us drink a little more than we would have otherwise. It was still value for money. So if you take this cheaper cruise option, be ready for a special treat and accept that not everything will be perfect. We had a thoroughly enjoyable trip, made some new friends and saw some amazing cities in our beautiful world. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
There have been several reviews of the CMV Magellan, which show that passenger reactions can be very varied. We booked a very reasonably priced 6 night cruise called Autumn Gardens on a bogof deal with cabin allocated by the company. We ... Read More
There have been several reviews of the CMV Magellan, which show that passenger reactions can be very varied. We booked a very reasonably priced 6 night cruise called Autumn Gardens on a bogof deal with cabin allocated by the company. We expected a low deck inside cabin and found we had been allocated to a family cabin with small portholes (no view) on the lower deck at the forward end of the ship. First impressions of the cabin were very positive, as there was sufficient room to swing many cats as the wardrobes were in the anteroom which would otherwise be for third or possibly fourth occupants. What we did not know was that cabin 4007 is directly over the bow thruster, a piece of machinery that is activated each time port is reached or left. When the bow thrusters are on, the noise is so intense that occupancy of the cabin is intolerable. As we were arriving in a new port each day, usually in the early morning, we came to expect this noise and when practical, made arrangements to be elsewhere. It also seemed that the rear of the ship could get pretty noisy and juddery at times on several decks, so if you are choosing a cabin, aim for midships. Boarding at Tilbury on this occasion was fairly easy with lots of road signage if you are driving yourself. There is a big Asda very close to the port for any last minute purchases. The company discourages you from dropping off your bags before parking. The car park is a bus ride away, and whilst it works, it is not as comfortable or as efficient as the experience we had with Holland America at Harwich. A double decker bus is used, and one has to wait until it is full. Given the number of passengers with mobility issues, there may be no space on the lower deck. Bags were picked up at the car park, and did arrive in a reasonable time at our cabin. Our boarding time was set for 2.30 i.e. the last to board, but in the event, we were allowed on board almost as soon as we arrived at the cruise terminal, which is just as well as the terminal facilities are sparse. We were in lunch pretty quickly in the Raffles buffet restaurant, and then looked around the boat, as it was new to us. We thought the general condition and appearance of the ship was good for its age with plenty of seating, and many bars and public spaces to choose from. It is not the most modern of ships, but it does not pretend to be other than what is publicized. There are not a lot of on-board shops, which has the positive effect of one not being made to feel that the agenda lurches from one shopping opportunity to the next, which does happen on some of the American cruises. The company knows its client demography well, and seemed well-pitched at British blue collar retirement aged folk who know a bargain when they see one. Food on board is a critical part of any cruise and the Magellan aims to not challenge middle England. It is good plain food for good plain people. There are three restaurants on the Magellan. Two are formal with two sittings each and one is a buffet restaurant which closes about 8 pm. We had requested a late sitting (8.15pm) and a table for two, and both wishes were granted. We noted that this later sitting in the Waldorf Restaurant had plenty of space at tables, and there were pairs eating at tables for 6 or 8, and even some empty tables. The restaurant staff told us that the early sittings are the most popular (possibly because of access to all the evening entertainment), but we would not want to eat at 5.45 or 6.15, although most of the passengers had opted for this. I would rate the food in the served restaurants as good, with a fair choice (never a problem there and no disappointments). The buffet restaurant at lunch was, like other ships, a bit of a scrum, with a struggle to find a table unless you come early or late. The temperature of buffet food was poor, but this is typical. You have to keep an eye out for when they change vats of food. Typically there would be a choice of two meats, a fish dish and a pasta dish. Buffet food was bland and uninspiring – more functional than entertaining, in contrast to the main restaurants. Desserts on the buffet were below the quality of the main restaurants, usually being cake based. The buffet tends to run down about 30mins before closing with less choice and fewer serving stations. They regularly ran out of cutlery. There was an impressive gala buffet displayed late one evening: this was splendid and showed that the chefs were capable of great things. It was a pity that it was so shortly after later dinner, so any food eaten was done so out of pure greed The serving staff was very mixed: it is a bit of a United Nations on the ship with a mix of Eastern Europeans and Asian staff. In my opinion, the language training was very patchy, and whilst most spoke restaurant English, the minute a question was posed which was not on their script, it was unlikely that there would be an answer without consulting management. E.g. are there any knives? In the served restaurants, there is a wine service, with middle of the road table wine costing about £20-£30/bottle. Otherwise drinks at bars are priced probably below (London) pub prices, and a cocktail of the day was available at £3.10. Unlike on some US based ships, there is no service charge on drinks. There are drinks packages available which allow access to house wine, some spirits and cocktails and other non-premium drinks and cost £17/day provided all the occupants of a cabin buy into it. If you like a drink and would consume more than 5 regular alcoholic drinks during the day, then this may be for you, but our bar bill for two came to a maximum of £20/day on a pay as you go basis. Entertainment on a cruise is also a very big deal, especially if you don’t get out much or live somewhere where there is no access to live theatre and similar. For a short cruise on a mid sized boat, there was no shortage of set entertainment of the typical middle of the road easy listening style. The shows are put on twice nightly to match the dinner sittings in their fairly large show-lounge. At first glance the show lounge is impressive with tiered seating and a large stage, but the tiering is insufficiently raised, and because of the physical structure, there are only a few seats that do not either have a barrier in front of them or a pole partially obstructing views. By and large, the entertainments were well received, and the casts mostly enthusiastic. On our six nights, there was something to watch every evening, and a late night cabaret in one of the bars. Excursions were pretty run of the mill and relatively expensive, but not as expensive as on Holland America. At one port, Zeebrugge (for Bruges), it was made quite clear that it would be very difficult to leave the port and go anywhere without one of the supplied trips. At two destinations (Jersey and Guersney), the captain made the decision not to land (i.e. 40% of destination ports and their linked excursions) because of high seas. These ports were serviced by tender boats, and hence the decision. I read subsequently that difficulties with tenders at the Channel Islands were common, but if that were the case, may be they should never have been on the itinerary. (To give you the bigger picture, on our last cruise on CMV Marco Polo, 2/3 tender landings were cancelled, so to date my record with CMV is 1/5 tender landings successful. I would advise concentrating on those trips with no tendering to shore). Instead of Jersey and Guernsey, we were offered the ports of Cherbourg and Rouen on which we had done no research. The ship offered short notice excursions, which filled up quickly, and the remaining passengers were left to sort themselves out, which is easy in Rouen, but tricky in Cherbourg. The excursion in Cherbourg was a scenic drive taking in a couple of small ports and the cabbage fields of Normandy, and priced at £45. To make things even more complex we arrived at Honfleur, our final port, many hours early, but despite this, the captain was taken by surprise by the rise and fall of the tides. After 30 minutes, the original gangway on level 5 was unusable and the exit had to be re-sited on level 8 entailing a delay of 20 minutes on already short outings. Our trip to Bayeux was very rushed leaving insufficient time after visiting the tapestry to visit the tapestry museum and explanatory film in English and still have time to see the town and have a coffee on a trip that did not return until 2p.m. Staff on the boat is very mixed, and a large contingent coming from Ukraine and lesser numbers from Bulgaria and Romania. English language skills in the lower ranks were poor. The captain is Greek and whilst he spoke English, left us with the impression that he would prefer not to. The captain’s daily announcements were therefore difficult to decipher, and the grand announcement about the loss of the Channel Islands was so indistinct that even members of the crew were left asking what was going on. Others have mentioned the somewhat military style boat drill. Whilst on some cruise ships this has descended to a perfunctory performance just asking people to assemble at the muster stations, possibly with their life jackets, the captain went all the way bar boarding the life boats. This included the crocodile up the decks to the lifeboat area, and inspection by the captain. In our boat, one person was identified as having donned their jacket inadequately, and the captain retied the knots. Perhaps there was something that we should have known? Positives: Very cheap way to cruise UK style with pub prices for drink Good destinations, and whilst excursions are not cheap, they are cheaper than other lines Food to UK tastes and not very exciting and of limited variety, and that might not be what you want. I would not recommend the burgers from the grill. Enthusiastic Entertainment Negatives: Many of crew with lack of culture of hospitality and care (of the elderly). Some would benefit from more language training. Cabins and amenities a bit Spartan, but good for price and those in know bring their own toiletries. Not much of a shopping opportunity, but some would regard that as very positive. Cabins above bow thrusters can be very noisy at arrival and departures. Ship starting to show age, but mostly works. Steep steps between decks that might defeat the less abled, but the elevators were adequate. Overall, a satisfactory basic cruise experience, but watch out for the tender ports. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We have just returned from an autumn Fjords cruise on Magallen. We are over 60s and quite difficult to please so I would like to dispel all the negative comments about this ship. We really enjoyed our cruise due to all the high standards ... Read More
We have just returned from an autumn Fjords cruise on Magallen. We are over 60s and quite difficult to please so I would like to dispel all the negative comments about this ship. We really enjoyed our cruise due to all the high standards on board and the amazingly friendly and efficient staff. The whole ship was spotlessly clean and, although an older ship, was run run absolutely efficiently. We had a spacious twin cabin on Deck 6 with a picture window, which was kept very clean and tidy by our cabin steward, a lovely girl from the Ukraine, who was very welcoming and friendly and added to our enjoyable experience on board. We ate in the buffet restaurant each day as we prefer to eat informally and the food was delicious with the chef providing attractive and varied food every day. We understand that the dining in the formal restaurants was superb as well. The waiting staff were efficient and friendly and nothing was too much trouble for them. They looked very smart and kept the whole buffet area clean and spotless. We attended some talks and activities and enjoyed these. There was entertainment provided every evening which we did not attend but with which other passengers were very happy. Even on a ship capable of taking 1400 passengers we could always find a quiet spot up on the top decks and enjoy the scenery passing by. Deck chairs and loungers were provided and lovely cosy blankets for the chillier times. There were also many lounges and bars to sit in and drink under cover in the warm. We encountered some rough seas with three metre high waves but they hardly made any impression on the Magallen and we could walk about the ship easily and the lifts still functioned well. We could not hear any engine noise where we were on deck 6 apart from the thrusters when we were coming into dock, which is understandable. The air conditioning was easily adjusted with the control on the ceiling. The excursions were interesting and the fjords were lovely and although this is an older ship, we would recommend this ship and cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We chose this cruise because it was reasonable in price, and we wanted a smaller, more intimate ship. We were not disappointed. It was all great fun. OK, so Azores is not a glitzy ship - there are limited things to do, and it was a bit ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was reasonable in price, and we wanted a smaller, more intimate ship. We were not disappointed. It was all great fun. OK, so Azores is not a glitzy ship - there are limited things to do, and it was a bit tired looking. But the crew were wonderful, helpful and looked after us very well. If you want a smallish ship then try this one. And the price was very reasonable. We had an upgrade cabin to a junior suite, and started the trip really well with a free bottle of champagne and canapes in our suite - off to a good start! Food was good - wine was limited, but the alcohol package, although expensive, gave us the choice of a huge bar menu. House wine was dull. Excursions were well organised and interesting, and most of the lecturers were really good. Embarkation was swift and efficient, but disembarkation was tiring and slow. The swimming pool was tiny and really not used. But then the ship is not very big. The floor shows were fun, and enormous energy was expended by the dancers and band. If you want a cheap, fun holiday in a small ship, this is the one to try - but don't expect glitz or glitter. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We had seen a number of pretty average reviews before our cruise and were expecting a reflection of that but I have to say we were pleasantly surprised on a number of levels: 1. The food was exceptionally good every day with a hint of ... Read More
We had seen a number of pretty average reviews before our cruise and were expecting a reflection of that but I have to say we were pleasantly surprised on a number of levels: 1. The food was exceptionally good every day with a hint of 'cordon blue' which we liked. The food had lots of flavour and was well presented and served. 2. The cabin, a junior suite, was exceptionally spacious and well appointed with loads of space. It was a pleasure to return to it in the evening. The cabin steward was friendly and attentive and cleaned our cabin beautifully twice each day. 3.The entertainment each evening proved to be somewhat variable but overall was satisfactory with some excellent individual shows. The viewing experience can be less than satisfactory if you are stuck behind one of the many columns situated around the auditorium. 4.Embarkation was very efficient and quicker than we expected, with our luggage arriving in good time. A similar positive experience when we disembarked at Tilbury. 5.The Gym was satisfactory with one machine out of action. All machines were clean. 6.The daily activities were a little skewed towards the older and maybe less mobile traveller which we found a little disappointing. We are 70 and 68 respectively but would appreciate some more challenging and useful activities. Maybe a short course on taking better pictures or maybe Tai Chi. This area is of course a very personal one! Many of the more active sessions seemed to happen soon after breakfast time which seemed a little strange we thought. 7. The outside deck areas were a little 'soul less' and not very inviting with large expanses of nothing on the top decks. A pity as the interior of the ship was well appointed and comfortable. 8. All the staff we came in contact with were helpful and professional which really contributed towards a positive and pleasurable cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Overall a lovely cruise, we had an outside cabin, with a window, which was spacious with plenty of hanging and storage space. All the staff on board were helpful and friendly. The food was very good especially in the buffet. Lunch in the ... Read More
Overall a lovely cruise, we had an outside cabin, with a window, which was spacious with plenty of hanging and storage space. All the staff on board were helpful and friendly. The food was very good especially in the buffet. Lunch in the restaurants could have been better but dinner in the Waldorf every evening was very good. Beware of the "All Inclusive £17 per head per day drinks package" because not every thing is included and the bar menu did not clearly show what was and what was not included also do not forget your plug adaptor as the shop didn't have any nor did reception. Apart from that we had a smashing time! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise to Canada. This cruise was advertised as a commemorative cruise and was always going to be fully booked with passengers travelling from as far Australia to be on it. If the cruise had been in warmer ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise to Canada. This cruise was advertised as a commemorative cruise and was always going to be fully booked with passengers travelling from as far Australia to be on it. If the cruise had been in warmer climes more passengers would have been out on deck so the lounges were quite crowed. The staff very pleasant and tried to carry out any requests made of them. The Captain was very professional as were the officers. The food was good (six courses for dinner and if requested extra vegetables available). Our cabin was very spacious and comfortable and was kept clean and tidy by our steward. The tours were some of the best we have experienced and very efficiently organised, One such tour was to see 'La Fabuleuse' in Saguernay. This was as good as any London West End show with a cast of 200 volunteers (very professional). The show relives the history of the area with some incredible special effects and was specially put on in English for just 85 of us from the ship. We did find that the bistro was crowded but if you delayed going there until the first rush was over usually three quarters of an hour or so, there were plenty of tables to be had. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Yes, we too had a few trepidations about the cruise on the Magellan based on some of the negative reviews we'd read...but we really, really enjoyed our experience! First thing you have to accept is that this is a MIDsized ship and if ... Read More
Yes, we too had a few trepidations about the cruise on the Magellan based on some of the negative reviews we'd read...but we really, really enjoyed our experience! First thing you have to accept is that this is a MIDsized ship and if you are used to a lot of amenities, a lot of entertainment options and the big casinos of the larger cruise ships, you may be disappointed. If these things are important to you, you might want to book a cruise somewhere else. The Magellan is very clean, the crew is unfailingly polite and friendly, the food is very good and the cabins are comfortable. There are a lot of places inside to sit and meet up with friends, to read a book or just to look at the scenery. It was very cold on our cruise, so we did not sit outside very much, although there was a lot of deck space available. The cruise was adult only and that also added to the serenity and peacefulness of the experience. Our cabin was on 6 forward and it was quiet (we did talk to some people whose cabins seemed to have more noise than ours...). We booked the 9 night cruise, which included a trip to Amsterdam and Antwerp and then to Norway. We are very pleased with Magellan and would not hesitate to recommend them. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Chose this cruise because of its interesting itinerary and because it sailed to countries & places I had never visited...Kirkwall, Iceland, Greenland, St John's, Nova Scotia, Quebec. As cruise virgins my wife & I had ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of its interesting itinerary and because it sailed to countries & places I had never visited...Kirkwall, Iceland, Greenland, St John's, Nova Scotia, Quebec. As cruise virgins my wife & I had nothing to compare this with - other than an excellent & fascinating trip from Bergen up to the Russian border with Hurtigruten a couple of years earlier. The trip turned out to be a few days too long. Routines gradually became repetitive and too many days were spent at sea just adding miles to our next port of call. Nevertheless, for a bargain price and a fascinating cruise, this was a pleasant experience that didn't put us off cruising... but did teach us some good lessons. We were not looking forward to the Marco Polo after reading so many nasty & negative reviews but we were pleasantly surprised. Yes, the hip IS old but it is clean, well looked after and comfortable. It is small enough to have given us a sense of belonging and we were looked after very cheerfully and professionally by our cabin maid and by the two waiters / stewards who served most of our meals. Staff were generally cheerful, polite and industrious. Our Greek captain had a good sense of humour, a thick accent and limited English but proved to be good at his job. Our inner cabin proved comfortable and spacious (the swimming pool was overhead and provided sloshing sounds at times), We took part in many activities that included ballroom dancing, keep fit, photography, choir, pilates and attending lectures and evening shows. We also read a good deal and used the small library which had a fair selection of books. Dining proved interesting: we had almost all our meals served to us in the formal dining room with good cutlery and crockery and attentive, smiling stewards. The food was generally good but rarely noteworthy...some repetition was inevitable but we were fortunate to find pleasant companions and most meals were full of laughter and smiles. We did our own thing at most ports and rarely used the ship's excursions. Most seemed to have been well organised but also expensive and slow. We thoroughly enjoyed being independent but should have realised why we were not very popular by ignoring virtually all of their excursions. We returned with some great memories of ports, activities and people; some fantastic photographs, and the Marco Polo COUGH that had affected so many passengers and that lasted for another 5 days when we reached home. Great value...a happy cruise...cheerful staff...good memories and, apart from the cough, a healthy and enjoyable trip. We have booked aboard the Magellan for a Baltic cruise in October so, yes, we will be going again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015

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