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7 London (Greenwich, Tower Bridge, Tilbury) to Trans-Ocean Cruise Reviews

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
It was visiting some of the places I’d never been. The first day we were given our key and we went to our room and it smelled mouldy. Over the first 15 days we were moved from cabin to cabin 6 times. We finally had enough and visited ... Read More
It was visiting some of the places I’d never been. The first day we were given our key and we went to our room and it smelled mouldy. Over the first 15 days we were moved from cabin to cabin 6 times. We finally had enough and visited the Hotel director. After making it clear that we had had enough of the moving around the ship, and forcefully requesting an upgrade, we were given a balcony cabin with no more issues. The ships aircon didn’t work, the plumbing was leaking in the rooms and spilling sewerage on the floors. People were being moved around to different cabins because of these issues and we were too. One lady was charged $1000 for an upgrade to get out of the room she was in due to problems with it. Although most of the food is cooked ok, it is always the same and no variety. The staff on the lower rungs of the ladder, although young and inexperienced a lot of them, are very good and a credit to the company. This is the ONLY upside of this cruise. The higher up managers don’t care. AND A WORD OF WARNING, DONT GET SICK ON THE SHIP. Bring lots of medication for flu like symptoms and vomiting and diarrhoea. The doctor charges what he wants and doesn’t answer to anyone. Most people had ECG’s even for diarrhoea?? Lots of bills are up to and over $10,000 and they need to be paid before they get off the ship, even though the Dr has all their insurance info. Never seen so many people on a ship with cannula in their arms It seemed to be the order of the day. He has lied on reports about their symptoms so it looks like it has nothing to do with the cleanliness and the hygiene on the ship. One lady went and complained about her bill and he discounted it by 50%. If you have to go on, take all the precautions you can. Everything on the ship is expensive, there are no toiletries available for sale on the ship. The staff in the Mediterranean restaurant are superb. The menus are changed every 10 days, so there is no variety in the specialty restaurants either. Children’s club not open. Entertainment was mostly done by the crew although very good, there were not a lot of guest entertainers. I think we had about about 3 for then whole cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
What a disappointing cruise. It was so average. No sparkle. Cabins were average with everything working. CMV charge for everything like water in cabins, even the waiter/waitresses pens have to be returned end of cruise, or they pay for ... Read More
What a disappointing cruise. It was so average. No sparkle. Cabins were average with everything working. CMV charge for everything like water in cabins, even the waiter/waitresses pens have to be returned end of cruise, or they pay for them! Food was excellent but just no style. Drinks package at £17 each per day was a rip off. Afternoon tea was just that, tea in the cafeteria; never smoked salmon, no tablecloths, no nice music, just no style. Talking of music, the classical duo were variable. They did concerts each night rather than background music, sometimes many wrong notes. So many wrong notes and simple Grade V music and average musicianship. No class. Compared to the international jazz trios on Cunard, it was a bit of shock for 43 nights. They had NO JAZZ at all and no cocktail pianist; nothing, anywhere at all. The TV service was very poor in rooms. No news or CNN or BBC for large chunks of the trip. Some days no TV at all just movies...... Dome observatory, they shut the curtains so you couldn't see out when leaving ports, probably for navigation but just so crass and inhospitable to guests. Excursions were hugely expensive. Glow-worm caves were £105 each; it's just 50 minutes out of Auckland and would have cost them about £20 a head, since we lived in Auckland we know the route and tickets. Just price gouging beyond belief. Tea at Reid's, Madiera, twice the price of just doing it ourselves; oh well. Guest mix ok but elderly. Nobody dressed up for dinner. Informal meant smart but all old guys were wearing short sleeved shirts no tie. In the end CMV did away with casual dining nights to keep the standard higher. We took dinner jackets but even for formal this was not needed and many guests did not bother. CMV is the only cruise company where you really don't have to bother dressing for dinner; the staff don't care and nobody enforces a dress code. Very disappointing. Staff very poorly paid about 650 euros a month, but trying to stay professional. Dirty glasses given out from bar, some public rooms never cleaned; mould in the Plantation servery area ceiling; nobody seemed to care. No style, no glamour, a disappointing cruise. I was glad to get off in Auckland. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Sailed to Auckland from Tilbury in October 2016. I had initial fears that I would be travelling on a floating old people’s home for 6 weeks and although I was 10 years below the average age on board they were a great bunch and many were ... Read More
Sailed to Auckland from Tilbury in October 2016. I had initial fears that I would be travelling on a floating old people’s home for 6 weeks and although I was 10 years below the average age on board they were a great bunch and many were repeating the trip. Some amazing and interesting people on board. Definitely not luxury cruising but extremely comfortable. I loved the breakfasts and still miss them. My wife just doesn’t do quite the omelette that they do on board. I also loved the fact that breakfast frequently lasted from 06.30 hrs to 10.00 hrs. Lovely wee ship and great experience. I may go again next year but am thinking of Columbus in January 2019 but am worried she might not be as friendly as Astor as she is about three times the size. . I also loved the informality of Astor and the way the crew could socialise with us at night. Prior to the trip I had not been on a liner since 1966 but I thoroughly enjoyed my trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We had a great relaxing and enjoyable cruise, from Tilbury uk to Perth, Australia. The staff througout the ship; that we had direct service from, were exceptional, very curious and always served with a smile. The highlights and most ... Read More
We had a great relaxing and enjoyable cruise, from Tilbury uk to Perth, Australia. The staff througout the ship; that we had direct service from, were exceptional, very curious and always served with a smile. The highlights and most memorable time's for my wife and I, were, being invited by the captain onto the wing of the bridge, going through the 2 upper locks of the Panama Canal, what an experiance and on her birthday!! The second was being invited to the caprains table for dinner on galore night, in 15 plus cruise's, this was a first, and boy, what a lovely finish to our voyage. The evening shows in the theatre were fantastic and we were quite suprised, for such a small stage company, how they never repeated thier performances, the variety was unbelievable and well performed every time. My only criticism here is, the main performer was always, the star roll, that was very unfortunate, as there were others that were as good , if not better, that we and other passengers would have liked to have enjoyed seeing and listening to, I did mention it to the cruise director, he didn't take opinion or suggestions very well, saying pick on me day is it !!! Ah well , they to have off days!!! All bar drinks throughout the ship were very expensive, they offered various deals and offers, even that came out OT, so we chose not to drink on board that much, our budget wouldn't stretch to their outrageous prices, plus the range of beers were very small and not that enjoyable at all. There was a problem having working TV in the cabin, it's awfull, a real lack of cabin entertaint here!!! Overall, we had a great voyage and enjoyed all that the cruise offered to the full, that we participate in. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We have just returned from a six week cruise on the m/v 'Magellan' operated by CMV. The itinerary was sailing Tilbury on the 5th January 2016 to the Amazon and the Caribbean. On the way we also called at Amsterdam, Lisbon, ... Read More
We have just returned from a six week cruise on the m/v 'Magellan' operated by CMV. The itinerary was sailing Tilbury on the 5th January 2016 to the Amazon and the Caribbean. On the way we also called at Amsterdam, Lisbon, Funchal (Madeira) and Mindalo (Cape Verde). After crossing the Atlantic we entered the Amazon River and spent a week with a port call every day upto Manaus and back. On the way to the Caribbean we called at Isla da Salut (Devils Island) and after four port calls in the Windward Islands we called at Horta and Ponta Delgado in the Azores before returning to Tilbury. The highlights for us was undoubtably the Amazon and Devils Island, particularly the latter. Prior to booking we read all the reviews regarding the Magellan and CMV and it is fair to say that as a result we had serious doubts about booking. However, we decided that the itinerary was so appealing, and the price so reasonable, that we would proceed but with low expectations on the ship and cruise line. We were wise to do so. First the good points. The cabin, which we chose with great care taking into account online reviews and personal experiance on cruising generally, was excellent. It was roomy and the cupboard space easily accommodated our 5 suitcase load. It was also very quiet which could not be said for many others. She is an old ship and some others experienced creaking and groaning in the the fabric of the ship when she was working in even a reasonable sea which kept them awake at night. To the extent that some with outside cabins were given inside cabins for sleeping in, retaining their original outside cabin for day use. The only down side was that as we were on deck 4 (4036) and only about 3/4 meters above the waterline in rough weather they bolt shutter over the inside of the Windows as protection. This happened for one day on our journey outward and for two on the return leg across the Bay of Biscay. They give you no warning. They just do it. But it is for your safety so no arguments here on it. The ship was built in 1985 when there was not so much pressure to cram as many people onboard as possible so we found her public spaces well laid out and more than adequate. Even when no one was on deck due to cold/bad weather you could still always find a spot to settle yourselves down in one of the lounges. Almost without exception we found the waiters and bar staff were superb and we cannot praise them high enough. They made up for many of the deficiencies. I have no doubt she is perfectly safe and seaworthy but the ship is old and it shows cosmetically, serious TLC needed. Maintenance staff are everywhere, always either repairing or running maintenance checks. Sometimes these seemed planned to create the maximum amount of inconvenience to the passengers. A bit of forethought would have gone a long way. There are eight lift shafts but two of them never worked the whole time we were onboard. When you consider the age profile that CMV targets, many of which have varying degrees of mobility problems, it is frankly not acceptable. About two weeks into the cruise there appeared a wet area just outside Sinatra's Bar with just towels put down to soak it up and a yellow warning sign. We were told it was the air conditioning. After a further two weeks we were all just walking past it without noticing it anymore. When we got to colder climate it stopped. No attempt was made that we saw to remedy the fact that the air conditioning unit was dumping excess moisture out of the air onto the floor In a steady drip. Most of the lounge furniture has seen better days and needs either replacing or reupholstering. They have replaced most of the sun loungers on deck but some of the old ones are still used but are dilapidated and should be pensioned off. Again there is plenty of space on deck although shade is at a premium. The excursion team, with one notable exception, seemed a bit disorganised and some, not all, of the trips were badly conducted. All cruise lines grossly overcharge for shore excursions but some of them on this ship bordered on daylight robbery. One in particular at Bequia was a cataraman trip to a secluded beach and back. Cost £24 each. We were tendered ashore and had to wait about 45 minutes for the cataraman which took ages to board as we all had to wade out to it. It then just sailed round the headland and dumped us on a beach about ten minutes later, which was just a 15 minute walk from where we boarded the boat, we know because we walked back. Everyone was livid. The food is adequate, nothing exceptional. Occasionally they put on a very late buffet where the food is excellent. Unfortunately most times many of the early diners had already gone to bed and the late diners haven't long finished their main meal so a lot gets wasted.they should forget the buffet and concentrate on providing better meals in the dining rooms. Bar prices are exceptionally reasonable for a cruise ship with none of the compulsory 15% surcharge you get added by most other lines. Smoking areas are not clearly defined or sign posted. Ther are three areas on the port side on deck 10 and 11, more space than we have seen allocated to smokers on any other cruise line, where smoking is permitted. It is not enforced and by the end of the cruise smokers had virtually claimed the whole of the port side of the ship including the boat decks. In the Eros Bar on deck ten even the ships officers were smoking in an area that was just marginally over the centre line into the port side.think it is a case that as the Management smoke they have no interest in policing the policy. The entertainment staff were very enthusiastic and friendly of mixed talent, some very good and others not so, but they really threw themselves into everything they did.we only had three guest acts flown in which for a six week cruise is appalling. The usual activities that you would expect, lectures, quizzes etc which you can take or leave as you please. Despite the above we have no regrets. This gave an opportunity to visit places, at an affordable price, which we thought we would never get to see and, despite the niggles,it was a fantastic and memorable holiday which we will long remember. The itinerary was everything. You just have to remember that this is not Princess Line or Celebrity and that you are paying a price accordingly. Would we sail on 'Magellan' again? Definitely not, although it might be interesting to see what they do to the old girl during her docking next October. There was a very mixed response from fellow passengers. Some saying they would never sail on her again to others that were enthusiastically booking future cruise whilst onboard, at least one couple we met who actually booked the 120 day round the world cruise from Tilbury leaving on the 5th January 2017. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
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

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