The Ship itself:
The Magellan is the noisiest, creakiest, most unstable ship that we have been on. If you don’t mind a rolling ship then it might be OK otherwise this is not the ship for you. The ship constantly rolls with every wave ... Read More
The Ship itself:
The Magellan is the noisiest, creakiest, most unstable ship that we have been on. If you don’t mind a rolling ship then it might be OK otherwise this is not the ship for you. The ship constantly rolls with every wave no matter how small. I set up an “inclinometer” to monitor it. From London to Amsterdam to Lisbon, the ship rolled from 0 to over 8 degrees to port. At one point during the night, it rolled so much (probably over 12 degrees) that all the bottles and glasses of water on the bedside cabinets and the dressing table slid off onto the floor. Loads of crockery smashed to the floor in Raffles Restaurant. Sleep was impossible. From Lisbon to Cape Verde, it was 0-4 degrees. At Cape Verde in port, the ship was moored on the starboard side but still leaned at 1 degree to port. Across the Atlantic to Brazil, it was from 3 degrees starboard to 3 degrees port. Even up the Amazon River, it rolled from +2 to -2 degrees. At one point, it is my opinion that the ship hit a sandbank because it violently listed at about 15 degrees to starboard. All the crockery in Raffles kitchen fell to the floor (again). When spoken to later, the Customer Services Manager denied hitting a sandbank but claimed that it was a tight bend in the channel instead!!!
Engine noise was excessive and 24/7.
The Tender boats are very old and do not appear to be in good condition. One has broken down. The lift on another broke and we had to remain overnight in port for the repair. All the tenders are very smokey and noisy.
The Magellan leaks. After every shower of rain, there were pots placed in suitable positions in the Captain’s Bar, in the Sinatra’s bar and outside the Gym. On one occasion, the leak outside the Gym was so bad, it was literally pouring gallons of water onto the carpet but nobody was taking any notice. On another occasion, the strong smell of sewage outside the Gym was very noticeable. There may have been more leaks around the ship.
Deck 4 seemed to have more problems that most. Several passengers had to change their cabins due to flooding problems. One couple changed room three times because sewage kept flooding up the shower plug hole and many passengers reported brown water coming from the basin taps (see Water below).
The remainder of the ship shows its age. Rust is evident everywhere and the smell of diesel was common along the cabin areas as was the smell of sick from passengers who could not take the rolling.
The cabins are quite dated and furniture is showing signs of wear. The ceiling panels rattle; the wardrobe doors creak, other items squeak - no chance of a good night’s sleep.
There is no control over the heating in the cabins. There is a built-in fan in the ceiling with a variable speed control but no thermostat.
Many cabins have 2 bunk beds pinned to the wall. This ship is an adult only so it is doubtful if four adults used one cabin. They should be removed to leave more living space.
There is one electricity socket per cabin and that is the two round-pinned european type. There was another socket of 115v and a corner light socket of unknown voltage that we used as a battery charger only. The Magellan website has absolutely no information about electric types and their usage.
Irons and kettles not allowed although we ignored that for the first few days. We brewed our own tea but water was a problem as mentioned. Also milk is a problem - only long life milk is available which is not very good in tea. Milk did not keep in the cabin for more than a few hours before going off and there is no fridge in the cabin.
If you are a meat eater, then the food might be considered acceptable. For a calorie-conscious Vegetarian or Pescatarian, very disappointing. Food choice in the Raffles Restaurant (probably the most commonly used restaurant) was quite basic. All fish dishes are swimming in oil, butter or some form of cream sauce and all were overcooked. Cheese choice was very limited. Salads were limited mainly to a lot of cos or iceberg lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes. When there was a coleslaw, chopped leftover meat from the previous night was invariably always added to it - no good for vegetarians and I think it spoilt it for everyone.
As the holiday progressed, it became worse. At Raffles Bistro (self service), we were constantly (at least half the duration) being served by an army of waiters (at least 25) for “Health & Safety” reasons. It was ridiculous. In the evening, our meals here became more and more restricted. Eventually, all salads were pre-prepared in bowls as were desserts - all very restricted. We could not help but get the impression that this was more for economy rather than health!
Food at the Waldorf & Kensington Restaurants was better but restricted to the menu.
The shows were pretty good on the whole. The dancers were well received and performed very well - could have done with more of their shows.
The singers left quite a lot to be desired. There were two male singers who were very good, excellent even but the rest !!!
The water from the cabin basins was supposed to be fit for drinking. However, on our first night, some black greasy fluid came from the taps leaving a ring round the basin which had to be scrapped off. We never tried to use it as drinking water after that. The alternative was bottled water at £2.20 per 75cl bottle (£2.93/litre) which is quite expensive. Water in Lisbon was 1 Euro for 5.4 litres! There are drinking fountains around the ship but we are not supposed to fill water bottles due to “hygiene reasons” - we ignored this; we need clean water in the cabin.
Later when we left Barbados, dark brown water issued from the basin taps and we bottled a sample for future analysis.
All spirits and fortified wines are measured out using a 40ml thimble measure (not legal in Britain). However, the bar staff never seemed to fill it to the 40ml mark. By obtaining a large measure of spirits from all the various outlets and filling a measured bottle, it was clear that the average was around 33ml, not 40ml, per measure. This might be considered OK if you have a drinks package at £17/day/per person (you simply have another drink) but beware if you are buying your drinks ad-hoc over the bar. Furthermore, lemonade, tonic, coke or ginger ale was only available by the can (£2.05) which makes a mixed drink quite expensive. Beer was simply Bitburger Lager and served in 440ml measure (with a lot of froth) at £3.30 - quite expensive. Other beers were bottled and chargeable even if a drinks package had been bought.
When the drinks bill arrived (every 2 weeks), there was always a discrepancy or two but the Reception staff did not seem to be too bothered. As I had a drinks package and therefore would not be charged, they were reluctant to investigate drinks that should have gone on someone else’s bill.
The gym is limited but useful. There is only one mat available for floor exercises despite requests for extra ones (this was met with “You should have brought your own”). A water fountain has recently been installed which is well used. We filled our water bottles from it without any objections.
This could do with reviewing. Some stops could have done with being longer and some with being shorter. Manaus in the middle of Brazil was very hazardous to your health and not only from the Zika virus. During our enforced overnight stay, 9 passengers were mugged in the town despite the presence of Tourist Police. Additionally, it was reported that one female crew member was held up by a mugger but rescued by a male crew member who had to use force to fend off the attacker. Also another crew member who separated from his group was held up at gunpoint and robbed of everything down to his underpants.
There were also warnings issued about Santana with regard to pickpockets & muggers.
This was included in the fortnightly invoice but could be declined if done promptly. We were never sure who received these gratuities. Some staff were salaried, some salaried plus gratuities, some just paid a wage and some unpaid living off gratuities & tips. We do not believe in gratuities as we consider that the company should pay a fair, living wage to all its employees and passengers should be free to reward special service.
CMV are very sensitive about this element. We were told by one member of staff that they would be instantly sacked at the next port if it was found that they had talked to passengers about gratuities. This was confirmed by other staff. It appears that gratuities are a way that CMV use to subsidise wages. Read Less