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6 London (Greenwich, Tower Bridge, Tilbury) Cruise & Maritime Voyages Vasco da Gama (Cruise & Maritime Voyages) Cruise Reviews

Fact Finders review Vasco da Gama Half World Cruise Tilbury to Sydney 9 October – 2 December 2019 The facilities, services, design and layout of the ship presented very well, despite its age of 27 years, in the pre-cruise promotional ... Read More
Fact Finders review Vasco da Gama Half World Cruise Tilbury to Sydney 9 October – 2 December 2019 The facilities, services, design and layout of the ship presented very well, despite its age of 27 years, in the pre-cruise promotional material. The itinerary crossing two magnificent oceans and the Panama Canal was just perfect for us. However, our cruise experience was devastated by the lack of appropriate maintenance or upgrade of Vasco da Gama’s essential services and utilities. It became apparent shortly into the cruise that these were in dire need of refurbishment and should been addressed during the ship’s time in dry dock. The associated problems of this neglect plagued passengers throughout their entire cruise experience. It became obvious to us that the purchase of a second or third-hand ship with a patchy maintenance record and renaming it after limited refurbishment (only the engines?) and remodelling of some public areas was a high-risk strategy. CMV should have carried out a comprehensive audit of the ship’s utilities and essential services and undertaken a thorough overhaul of them rendering this critique unnecessary! Our cruise experience was also greatly diminished by unprofessional executive management and incompetent management of guests’ needs, reminiscent of Fawlty Towers. We could not understand what all the “white uniforms with epaulettes” were doing as they stalked their way around ship, including the dining rooms. We were told that it was to ensure that staff were doing their job properly. Unfortunately, there was a gestapo-like quality about their supervision which did not contribute to a relaxed and genial atmosphere. Certainly interaction of executive and some senior managers with passengers, as we have experienced on other cruise lines, was not a priority for them. The following is a list of issues drawn from our and other passengers’ experiences on the ship over 53 days of cruising that we believe CMV must rectify to ensure that passengers do not have to endure them in the future. 1. Inadequate and ineffectual air conditioning system - temperature and air flow could not be properly regulated in cabins and public areas of the ship; 2. Defective plumbing and faulty waterproofing - resulted in sewage spills, flooding and water penetration requiring fans all around the ship to dry out carpets and dispel unpleasant odours; 3. Incomplete coverage of the public announcement system across public areas of the ship which prevented passengers from hearing ship announcements. This represented a major safety issue as passengers in these areas were unable to hear important or emergency announcements; 4. Primitive and unsafe gangways to tenders - gangways to tenders were uneven and too narrow for ease of movement and were totally unsuitable for passengers with mobility problems. When there were no planned land excursions, at a limited number of ports, disembarkation of passengers became a free-for-all rabble because there was no organisation by management of passengers. It was irresponsible and negligent of management not to coordinate disembarkation in a safe and efficient manner. Hundreds of passengers were forced to queue up and down stairs and along passageways on the disembarkation deck for up to an hour before getting off. This created considerable discomfort and a major health and safety problem for passengers, particularly older passengers, because of overcrowding and heating from so many bodies. It represented a major safety issue because there was no emergency exit plan provided by management as to how passengers could quickly and safely exit from these areas. Areas around lifts were so overcrowded that people exiting them had extremely limited egress and when they were unable to take their place at the end of the queue they were forced to push in front of other passengers who became upset at the intrusion. Passengers who were not disembarking had to fight their way back to their cabins if they resided on that deck. 5. Untrained and/or inexperienced hospitality staff - CMV appear to have recruited a large cohort of employees to work in the ship’s hospitality service areas who had very limited English and lacked even the most basic restaurant and bar service skills; 6. Uncooperative and ineffective guest service at reception - staff provided little or no action on guest concerns. Just in case passengers expected any form of “concierge services” on Vasco da Gama, provided by most other cruise lines admittedly more highly rated than CMV, the opposite was true with reception stonewalling most enquiries; 7. Unprofessional performance by executive managers and some, but not all senior managers - guest concerns and suggestions for improving their cruise experience were generally ignored despite the ship's stated policy of effectively communicating with guests. As a result, legitimate management problems identified by passengers during the cruise persisted until final disembarkation; 8. Communication - CMV claims that it seeks to establish a good level of communication with passengers, but we found out from bitter experience, that doesn’t happen. CMV avoid addressing negative issues with passengers that might reflect poorly on the company and its reputation, but which directly impact passengers. Take, for example, the complete absence of public announcements to forewarn and forearm passengers about serious outbreaks of respiratory infection, gastric infection and norovirus. The symptoms of which plagued many (hundreds?) passengers throughout their entire cruise, all of which had potentially life-threatening implications, particularly for older and more susceptible passengers. Passengers estimated the average age of this cruise around 75 years, with a substantial number in their 80’s! This age grouping made the risk of health complications from infection a reality and represented a dereliction of duty by management for passenger care. Another example of bad communication was CMV's explanation of the power failure on Vasco da Gama in Spencers Gulf outside Adelaide (see 2GB link on stranded ship) which was described as a “controlled precautionary blackout’, not a power failure. 9. Inordinately expensive Wi-Fi and lack of "duty of care" by IT at reception - to ensure that passengers did not lose their data allowance by failing to disable all relevant apps and updates, including automatic receipt of unwanted emails that used large amounts of data. The general advice provided by reception on these technicalities, especially for older passengers unfamiliar with them was totally inadequate. This resulted in the loss of much of their paid for data through unwanted data usage. 10. Loss of opportunity to enjoy our onboard cruise experience and to disembark on land excursions in countries we have never visited because of our ship-related illnesses. We believe that widely varying temperatures in the ship, because of the faulty air conditioning where air flow in some areas and thermostat control more generally was almost non-existent exposed us to respiratory infection as a result of moving from the hot and sweaty conditions in our cabins to uncomfortably cold conditions in public areas, particularly in the Hollywood Theatre, where we spent 2-3 hours a day. We are also of the opinion that sewage spills in passageways and cabins and associated sewage aerosols were directly related to our gastric infection which resulted in us being restricted to our cabin for 7 days with diarrhoea and vomiting and isolation for 2 days. During the weeks we endured the symptoms of these respiratory and gastric infections we were unable to function normally, unable to participate in on-board activities, unable to attend restaurants and to missed land excursions of 3 ports at the Cook Islands (Rarotonga) and Tahiti (Papeete and Bora Bora), which were high on our bucket list. The positives of the cruise - the redeeming feature of this cruise, however, was the great layout and decor of the ship and the excellent range and standard of musical entertainment provided by the very talented musicians and entertainment team. Decks 8 and 11, the Hollywood Lounge, the Study, Blue Room, Captains Bar, Ocean Bar, Jade Spa, sauna, steam and relaxation rooms, including the gym were outstanding in design and décor and were great venues for on board activities. The standard of the stage shows, singers, dancers, costumes, choreography and stage production whilst not as big as on larger ships were outstanding. The standard of the comedians brought on board, however, were second rate and should have been left on the club circuit. Some of the guest lectures were a bit hokey and off-topics that could have been more relevant to the destinations of the cruise, rather than obscure myths and legends and overly detailed stories of so-called celebrities that many passengers had no idea about or were really interested in. Some were most enjoyable and informative. The standard of food and service in the main and 2 specialty restaurants was average to good, but not as outstanding as promoted by CMV, however. Whilst the menus changed daily in the main restaurant, the same menu ran for 7 days in the 2 specialty restaurants. As a result, passengers ran out of choices after a few days, especially those with dietary restrictions. The menu in the main restaurant ultimately become very repetitive and boring. After three quarters of our way through the voyage, we could have written the menu ourselves. How many variations can you have on grilled fish? The bottom line - if passengers were able to suspend their frustration, annoyance and disappointment with the failings of essential services and the unprofessional management of the ship, including some of the wait-staff who didn't seem to want to be on board, and focus on the positives of the cruise experience, the maintenance problems of the ship were inescapable. This was the prime reason for me rating the cruise as “terrible”. Fix these up and the rating would sky- rocket. But CMV didn't, despite it being aware of the faulty or potentially faulty condition of the ship's utilities and associated maintenance problems! Our personal cruise experience - we quickly discovered that there was something critically wrong with CMV restaurant and bar staff recruitment. Bar staff throughout the ship had limited English and did not understand beverage or cocktail orders. In Club Bistro, staff had very poor English and could not understand a simple request for a food order. Staff tasked with cooking breakfast and food service were incompetent, disorganised and clearly untrained, or poorly trained. Wait staff clearing and resetting tables were slow and inefficient. Overall, Club Bistro wait-staff appeared disconnected and disinterested in serving guests. Eating in Club Bistro was equivalent to having a meal in a second-rate boarding house. Breakfast service was a shambles. It created considerable irritation and annoyance amongst guest who could not get their orders understood or served in a timely manner. Despite massive feedback from guests nothing seemed to change. On the last day guests were left stunned that Club Bistro staff still could not get their orders right. I submitted my concerns and suggestions for improvement to the guest services manager who duly ignored them, responding by saying that the ship had an "ongoing staff training and development program". The problem was that the staff training program was at the expense of guests. Why are passengers paying the "price" for on-board training of inexperienced and untrained staff so that CMV can minimise costs? We believe that this policy warrants investigation in relation to whether CMV is compliant with hospitality industry standards, including employment of unqualified staff and their level of remuneration? Over the entire Oct-Dec 2019 cruise, senior managers were detached and impervious to guests and their concerns. They stalked around the ship like gestapo with no little or no passenger interaction. Passengers were clearly not a priory for them, as no action appeared to be taken on our feedback, both personal and as the result of a mid-cruise questionnaire. We could only wonder what their duty statements required! Staff at reception were the same. They essentially ignored our concerns. They fobbed guests off by saying they didn’t have the authority to act and that they would pass any complaints on to the manager responsible. And that was the last we heard of it. As a result, there were many unhappy, frustrated and upset passengers due to the lack of action and lack of responsibility of senior management. On the very last day of the cruise the public toilets on the ship malfunctioned. Now we know the ship lost all power and services en route to Adelaide. This was not to be unexpected given the history of the ship. It is 27 years old without a major upgrade of the facilities concerned. It is ironic that the ship’s power supply failed, since it was one of the few ship upgrades that occurred. Systemic problems with the air conditioning caused cabins and public areas to be either freezing cold or unbearably hot. Such drastic changes in temperature throughout the ship exposed passengers to respiratory infections early in the cruise. These took several weeks to recover from and seriously detracted from the enjoyment of the cruise. Some passengers were exposed to potentially life-threatening complications, including pneumonia, particularly amongst older and more susceptible passengers. All the so-called communications received by passengers from management about on-board health issues were general in nature, that is, limited to hygiene and the need to sanitise regularly. There were no warnings from the ship's management that the ship was experiencing a major outbreak of the above health problems. It was as if it didn’t happen! Guests coined the phrase “hospital ship” and “Oh you’ve got the Vasco cough, too”. Some were turning up to the Hollywood Theatre wearing beach towels to ward off the cold. One guest speaker made repeated jokes about it, at our expense, as well as the poor standard of food and service in Club Bistro, which was so disorganized, as explained above, that guests were arguing as to who was to be served next. This was great for moral! Passengers with respiratory infections were then put on buses with 20 and 30 guests where they coughed their way their way around various tours of up to 6 hours duration! Hello further transmission of respiratory infection! What was management to do! As if respiratory infections throughout the ship weren’t enough. They were followed mid-cruise by acute gastric infections and an outbreak of norovirus. The symptoms of these infections lasted up to a fortnight to three weeks before full recovery with many passengers experiencing lingering debilitating symptoms for additional weeks. Passengers who advised ship's management of their symptoms were compulsorily isolated in their cabins and put on a clear soup and bread diet for 48 – 72 hours, depending on the severity of the diarrhoea and vomiting, the odour of which permeated the passageways. Don’t even attempt to imagine the smell, which got worse when there were sewage spills on several decks. Passengers were advised that the ship’s captain had the power to remove passengers from the ship if they didn’t comply. Their cabin card was deregistered until they were medically cleared. What a shame that afflicted passengers couldn’t leave their cabins to take their scheduled paid-for land excursions at various ports-of-call. We missed all of Tahiti – Papeete and Bora Bora. Vasco da Gama’s unserviceable and unmaintained plumbing system resulted in blocked and broken sewage pipes or seals spilling sewage into bathrooms, bathtubs and passageways on many decks throughout the entire voyage. Imagine the smell on top of the vomit? No don’t! Toilets regularly flooded into bathrooms and cabins, saturating carpets and personal belongings. One couple who had to move out of their cabin twice because of flooding during the cruise, experienced another flood the night before disembarking Sydney. We felt sorry for the engineers and support staff who bore the brunt of the mismanagement of the ship’s service facilities. They had to work virtually 24 hours dealing with the numerous crises throughout the ship. It was only due to most of the passengers’ goodwill and resignation that they were on a cheap cruise and could do little about the ship’s systemic maintenance problems that there wasn’t a mutiny. However, the issue of over servicing and over charging by the subcontracted medical centre of passengers’ medical conditions – including those referred to above - was an issue that did result in over 100 passengers convening meetings, including with the captain, to seek redress for the exorbitant cost of medical treatment. Reference to this and other problems encountered by passengers on the ship may be found in postings on the Trip Adviser Forum. Could CMV be accused of knowingly disregarding passengers’ level of comfort and overall cruise experience without upgrading essential service utilities in order to keep the ship at sea to maintain revenue? Could it be that the CMV "business plan" is to buy second and third hand ships without proper upgrades to provide cheap affordable cruising taking the risk that their highly competitive price point would attract enough new customers to keep the company afloat despite driving away return customers? Fact Checkers believe that an independent audit of compliance of the ship’s essential services and utilities be carried out by cruise ship regulators with the aim of enforcing systems upgrades previously disregarded by CMV to prevent a repeat of the fiasco on Vasco da Gama. Also, an independent review of the standard of guest services and competence of senior management on Vasco da Gama should be carried out, in particular targeting the performance of the guest services manager and hotel director specifically in relation to what action they took or didn’t take and why on the myriad of passenger complaints and the two formal feedback questionnaires on improving passenger cruise experience on Vasco da Gama. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our first cruise with CMV, cruising from Tilbury to Sydney. It was also many passengers first CMV cruise. Most of us were attracted by the terrific package from several agents which included airfares and 2 nights stay in London. ... Read More
This was our first cruise with CMV, cruising from Tilbury to Sydney. It was also many passengers first CMV cruise. Most of us were attracted by the terrific package from several agents which included airfares and 2 nights stay in London. We knew the ship was advertised as 3 star and was an old ship from Holland America/P&O. We were pleasantly surprised at the beautifully redecorating of the ship, the amazingly friendly staff, the fantastic food, better than many ships we have been on (we have done over 40 cruises), the extremely talented ship's dancers and singers and the general layout of the ship. There were technical issues that are still causing problems..some people had flooding cabins, the air conditioning system took quite a while to sort out, but the engineering staff were working as quickly as possible to correct these. There were also many people very upset with the cost of attending the medical service with bills between $7000 and $12000 ...these were sent to guests' insurance companies however and eventually sorted out, but meetings were held by guests as to how a service can charge such exorbitant rates for chest infections and gastric complaints. We vowed never to go there and quite a few people sort medical treatment at ports if they needed help. While we rarely buy anything in the ships' shops, the shops had little to offer and staff were standing round all day with little to do, this could have been much more interesting for guests wanting to shop there. The ship has a fantastic gym and a free to use thermal centre that most ships charge for. In general we loved the cruise and would definitely go on this ship again and with CMV and are looking at the return journey from Freemantle to Tilbury to re experience this great ship and her fantastic staff. CMV generally charge less than most cruise lines and we must say this was certainly a value for money cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The itinerary was just what we wanted, and by booking early we got excellent value for money. We've travelled with most of the big cruise lines over many years but this was our first really long trip. We had done a couple of very ... Read More
The itinerary was just what we wanted, and by booking early we got excellent value for money. We've travelled with most of the big cruise lines over many years but this was our first really long trip. We had done a couple of very short cruises with CMV before and liked their smaller, older ships and friendly crew. We weren't sure if this formula would work on a long voyage crossing two oceans, but it did. The cruise far exceeded our expectations and (nearly) everything was very good indeed: Crew, food, entertainment, cabin and public areas all superb. Air conditioning a bit fierce at times, but they quickly fixed it in our cabin, which was otherwise very comfortable (Deck 6 midships, quiet and so smooth we didn't know we were on a ship for most of the voyage). Fortunately we didn't have to use the medical services on board, which a number of people found incredibly expensive, but they often are on ships. Shore excursions were a bit pricey for what they were, but we did our own trips in about half the ports and generally saw everything we wanted to. Guest lecturers were informative and entertaining, shows quite spectacular, arts and crafts and music classes very good, always plenty to do even on sea days. The crew went out of their way to make everything as good as it could be, reception staff very helpful (though this wasn't appreciated by a few passengers who seemed to blame them personally when things went wrong, not fair) catering and cabin staff very friendly and obliging, most gave us the impression that they wanted us to have a wonderful time - and we did! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
First southbound cruise of 7 weeks for this ship with CMV . People on board mostly retired Australians, New Zealanders and Brits. Mostly very seasoned cruisers. Ship was not completely full so no queues or crowding anywhere. Probably ... Read More
First southbound cruise of 7 weeks for this ship with CMV . People on board mostly retired Australians, New Zealanders and Brits. Mostly very seasoned cruisers. Ship was not completely full so no queues or crowding anywhere. Probably the most spacious cruise I have been on. Always a deck chair available at deck 10 pool if not on deck 11. Ship is more than 20 years old belonging first to two other cruise companies. Public areas have been updated stylishly under previous owners, cabins less so. However it is kept very clean and meticulous measures were in place to prevent any infectious outbreaks. ( only a minority succumbered to chest infections and D and V .) High cost of medical attention quite a shock but travel insurance companies may want to follow that up. There were plumbing issues as well ..... a negative for some cabins which were quickly attended to and passengers often moved to other cabins. Aircons required attention in several cabins. Those were the only negatives. The positives far outweighed the negatives. The entertainment first class. Usually two shows in the comfortable Hollywood 2 tiered theatre a night . The music, choreography, lighting, sound as well as the dancers and singers outstanding. Comedians a required taste. Also a movie was shown each night in the auditorium ( aircon at level 7 chilly so warm clothes required) Guest lecturers, 3 on board all quite different in subject matter and presentations very good. Unhosted card and other games organised for passengers in the many areas on decks 7 or 8 . Trivia, bingo and other games throughout the day, too. Plenty of physical activities, Aquarobics, Pilates and Zumba. And except for Bingo all this was included in the price . Other entertainment organised extremely well for specific days plus a passenger master chef completion on the long stretch of sea days. Classes in creative writing, ukulele lessons, a choir , watercolours etc made the sea days interesting and new skills learnt. Food . As stated, most passengers seasoned cruisers and vast majority more than satisfied with choices, presentation and flavour. Occasional whingers but that is normal on a cruise. Four nicely decorated areas for dining without extra charges. Two for extra charges. Drinks package good value if you like three or more drinks a day. Plenty of bars on board and a good variety of drinks. .Good quaffable wine ( mostly Greek and Spanish on this cruise) could be purchased by the bottle from AU$30 upwards a bottle. Gratuities were AU$12 a day ( you were allowed to opt out) and gratuities included in the drinks package. Shore excursions organised by the ship not overly expensive at all when compared with private tours. I did a a variety of ships, private and local transport and I had no complaints with the ship tours except in hot Acupulco where some of the minivans had trouble with their aircon . With fourteen ports of call plus the Panama Canal ( an expert commentary during the daylight trip through) I was not disappointed. The reason I chose this cruise was for its many ports of call and I was so pleased with each day’s activities on land. It is best to have a pile of small denomination US dollars if you want to purchase goods or use cafes for (very unreliable in the Pacific Islands) wifi. Staff / crew were struggling a bit ( mostly all new from the start in Amsterdam) to start with but became excellent. Always obliging and only rarely not smiling. Wifi. Satellite connection not reliable on board or in port on Pacific Islands. Overcrowding of wifi in cruise terminals meant connections not always possible. Sea was surprisingly smooth all along . A few mornings only where you felt the swell. All the tenders got to port where the ship could not tied up. In Nuku Hiva it was a bit of a struggle for two tenders but we made it. Overall very happy with cruise. As I travelled solo there were a few functions organised early to meet up with other fellow solos and I enjoyed their company. As a solo I was always asked if I would like to share a dining table ( except of course in the Buffet) so kept meeting new and sometimes the same diners with great and sometimes not so great conversations. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Reception Staff were polite but often did not appear to care too much. They had so many complaints to handle, many to do with inefficient airconditioning units I guess they became complacent. I have to admit I had no real problem ... Read More
Reception Staff were polite but often did not appear to care too much. They had so many complaints to handle, many to do with inefficient airconditioning units I guess they became complacent. I have to admit I had no real problem with them. Cabin We had a balcony on deck 9, almost midships. Plumbing , storage space all good. Beds comfy. Aircon kept the room very cool, good for me but maybe to cold for many. Adjustment seemed to work OK, but whatever setting we had, always cold air coming in thru the vent. Main problem for me was the loud noise from the aircon unit in the bathroom. It was attended to twice in the first week, made no difference. But for some reason it quietened later on. The Bistro This can loosely be termed 'Buffet' which was not actually a buffet as staff served the food from behind the counter, maybe a 'health and safety' issue. Very good selection of dishes every day, always served hot. Sometimes it was annoying having to queue at the counters, but no real problem. Staff dished up reasonable size portions, you could always ask for more or less. of whatever you wanted. Doing it this way stopped some from piling their plate up excessively, the much going to waste. Desserts looked great, many being flavoured creamy things. We like the hot desserts with custard. The tea-time offerings were incredible, savoury or sweet, I loved the lattice jam tarts ! , Many of the staff had very little English, but were picking it up as the trip progressed. All staff we found very pleasant, but the 'supervisors' dressed in white strutted around like Gestapo officers, seemingly unwilling or unable to get their hands dirty. Guess this was their brief from on high. Restaurants (the 3 Waterfronts) Service generally very good and friendly. Good choice on menus, food was hot, especially the soups. All good and tasty. We were especially pleased to get a table for two whenever we wanted it, but we tried to avoid peak times like 6.30pm. Swimming Pools One day they were heated, so hope they would always do that if needed. For our trip the temp was fine, kept clean every day. I often swam 1st thing in morning, both pools opened between 5.45 and 6am . The covered pool area is amazing, comfortable chairs abound, and good mattresses on the loungers. The wonderful opening roof is a sight to behold. Just like Wimbledon tennis ! Public Rooms Very comfortable seating everywhere, in all the bars and restaurants. And with the mattresses on deck and round the covered pool, I have to say it's the most comfortable ship in that respect I have ever sailed on. Evening Entertainment Accomplished group of dancers and singers. Best singer was the DJ 'Aurel' who didn't normally perform, but a wonderful operatic voice. Alex and Freya were the main performers. The evening shows were fairly good , say 8/10. Great costumes. Guest speakers a mixture. Panama Canal expert Andrew Roberts was superb. Our 'bird-man' made unnecessary references to what he perceived as faults throughout the ship. Daytime Entertainment Appalling ! The ship had no QUOITS courts. !st ship I've been on without one. Two SHUFFLEBOARD courts, but in 47 days only THREE scheduled tournaments, 2 of which were utter failures. Come on Cruise Director, ! DARTS games were fairly regular, and well run by YASMIN who worked hard with all her allocations. She also ran indoor 'noddy' games every morning 10-12 in the Ocean Lounge, where an amazing number of guests congregated despite the lovely weather outside. Mainly Australians (3/4 of all the passengers) who have so much sun at home and are more aware of the dangers of sun damage, but they sure like QUIZZES which were run maybe 3 times a day. Clearly there was a big demand for morning games inside the ship. Now here is a big PROBLEM. The sets of question were fine, though they were angled towards Europeans, not so easy for the Australian quiz fanatics. The PROBLEM is that you did NOT exchange answer sheets, and some teams wrote down multiple answers, giving them a point if ANY answer was right. So stupid. Come on CMV, get teams to swop answer sheets like any other cruise line, or even like Marco Polo did. Sometimes staff were allocated to run a 'game' maybe table-tennis without knowing what they had to do which was pathetic, two even arriving without pen and paper.. Or a non-English speaker reading quiz questions, needing help from a cruiser. So all in all, to my mind a big failure on behalf of the Cruise Director. The absence of deck sports certainly marred my cruise experience, ...but the wonderful; food served up in Bistro and restaurants, coupled with the good pools and superbly comfortable seating areas around the ship explains my 'very good' 4/5 rating. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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
Vasco da Gama (Cruise & Maritime Voyages) Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.0
Entertainment 3.0 2.9
Public Rooms 4.0 3.5
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 2.0 3.5
Shore Excursions 3.5 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.5 N/A
Service 4.0 3.0
Value for Money 4.5 N/A

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