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6 Madeira (Funchal) to Canary Islands Cruise Reviews

1st cruise thought small and friendly. Also because of ports of call. The 1st thing when embarking was the smell found out it was the sanitation the smell was especially strong down on deck 5/6. Food in self-service very poor at times ... Read More
1st cruise thought small and friendly. Also because of ports of call. The 1st thing when embarking was the smell found out it was the sanitation the smell was especially strong down on deck 5/6. Food in self-service very poor at times inedible seating area in self-service very dirty. Orion restaurant food slightly better. Only clean area onboard is deck 8 where reception bars and theatre one day there was a man in a white head to foot suit fumigating a cabin close to ours. Daytime activities poor day at sea was tooth whitening seminar??? 1 of several weird things on the activities list. watch out when settling bill reception will try over charge. 2 ladies questioned there's and we're told the items on bill must be from previous cruise?? Never go on Tui cruise again put us off cruise's. Very poor response and customer service from Tui in general. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My wife and I had never previously been keen to join a cruise. However, the itinerary of this one, its emphasis on historical exploration and the fact that the boat seemed relatively small and therefore perhaps more intimate and less ... Read More
My wife and I had never previously been keen to join a cruise. However, the itinerary of this one, its emphasis on historical exploration and the fact that the boat seemed relatively small and therefore perhaps more intimate and less processed, enticed us to book. The itinerary was well planned with appropriate time allocated to most of the venues and days at sea, although the time spent in Morocco was too short, leaving insufficient time should any glitches occur. Several did and the coach journeys in particular became endurance tests for us.Commencing our cruise in Funchal created a special introduction to both the ship and Madeira, helping us to settle in quickly to the ship and its routines and to relax whilst guided around such a beautiful town. The ship was in tip top condition having quite recently received some refurbishment, and throughout the cruise every opportunity to maintain the ship in splendid condition seemed to be taken by the ship's crew.Our cabin was of an adequate size and apart from the paucity of storage space let us enjoy its comfort and amenities.It was kept clean by our cabin staff, although there were several occasions when insufficient towels or loo paper etc were provided.The options for dining were very acceptable and a star feature was the energetic and friendly waiters and waitresses, who were consistently conscientious and welcoming. The main restaurant was situated in the depths of the ship. It was well organised and food was served slickly with an emphasis on courteous attention from all staff.Its physical size, especially the low ceiling made it feel slightly claustrophobic at times. The food was generally quite good but did not live up to our pre-cruise expectations, especially the dinners. Providing almost 300 dinners from a relatively confined galley space may well contribute considerably towards explaining this.The food provided at the other restaurant where breakfasts and lunches were mainly served, was very well staffed and our food was generally enjoyed.Once again, the staff were very well organised and worked consistently hard to please the guests. Entertainment was organised and promoted by a highly personable and talented manager, where there was almost certainly something for everyone, although far too much was aimed at those older than my wife and I, and could well do with a thorough review and revamp.The quality of the entertainers of every kind was always of a high standard or better. My wife and I enjoy activities for reading and reflection and we were able to find plenty of occasions and venues to fulfil these wishes. One major criticism is the hopelessly inadequate provision regarding internet and especially Wi-Fi onboard. It was demonstrably naf and way below the expectations of many travellers of today. Our shore excursions were largely both well organised and thoroughly enjoyable; being of suitable duration in most cases, and visiting an interesting range of local places. With one major exception, the guides were very well trained and provided both excellent commentaries and advice about the life and culture being experienced. A day visit to Rabat proved dire, with an indecisive guide and inadequate provision for crucial activities such as using toilets. The visit included seeing the royal palace, but it was a cursory affair whereas a typical fortress nearby, seemingly heaving with interesting local Moroccan life, history and opportunities was not included. The guide provided for us when visiting Marrakesh was extremely good and made the whole visit come alive. The hotel was also a real treat and a welcome "watering hole" for us to enjoy. The ability for the relatively small ship to provide cruising from the Atlantic up to the port of Seville was a delightful experience and took us to the heart of such a fine city. It also provided the chance to enjoy the many delights of Cordoba. Being moored in Seville provided a delightful finale to the whole cruise. Overall, we felt the cruise provided reasonable value for money. For us its worst feature was that we left the ship feeling it was in some ways rather like a "floating care home" and locked into days gone by. The general ambiance came across as one perhaps suited to folk quite a lot older than ourselves, and we have been retired for well over a decade. We would not plan to use the cruise company again unless we could be convinced they had revised their philosophy and realised more effectively what we suspect most travellers of our age-group or younger now seek from cruising. We appreciated the ship's many individual qualities and strengths, but somehow left feeling a strange combination of rested and relaxed, yet somehow a great deal older than when we first arrived in Funchal.Maybe we have arrived at Antiquity? Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
- Our party consisted of the ages 13,18,50, 56,77 and 85 - We had all cruised 5 times before with Thomson ,twice before on this ship -We were all disappointed with the tired looking ship ,the shower was looking tatty,the ... Read More
- Our party consisted of the ages 13,18,50, 56,77 and 85 - We had all cruised 5 times before with Thomson ,twice before on this ship -We were all disappointed with the tired looking ship ,the shower was looking tatty,the refit has not extended to the cabins -Two nights of entertainment were repeated the shows were excellent but we were only onboard for 7 nights so can't understand how this happened! -The drinks we find reasonable -at normal pub prices -The ship was very crowded it is very hard to find a sunbed on the day at sea -This ship struggled with the rough seas most days on the Atlantic -being a converted ferry .I think it should be kept for the Med or Red sea routes only. -We have always loved our Thomson cruises ,we love the shows and the food but there will have to be some improvements made before we go again Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We travelled between 15-22 March 2010. We were in cabin 9048. Regarding the catering, I feel that when full there are too many passengers for the restaurants to cope with comfortably, especially breakfast when whatever time we went we ... Read More
We travelled between 15-22 March 2010. We were in cabin 9048. Regarding the catering, I feel that when full there are too many passengers for the restaurants to cope with comfortably, especially breakfast when whatever time we went we found it difficult to be seated and usually ended up in the outer room seated on whicker chairs. To get a table for 2 in the Island restaurant you have to be in the queue by 6.20pm otherwise you may be placed on a large table by the waiters, which is ok every now and again but we didn't like having to eat and talk to people every night. The Island restaurant a lot smarter that the Beachcomber with tablecloths and placesettings. Sometimes the food was canteen standard at breakfast and rarely hot but at other times very good. We felt that if they didn't have 24 hour catering they could perhaps spend a bit more on better quality and tastier vegetables, etc., but on the whole we were quite happy with the food. To the people that felt they needed another dinner at midnight in the Beachcomber please be aware that the crew are eating at that time and would like something better than left-overs. I'm sure no begrudges them a decent meal. After reading all the poor reviews we chose to believe positive reviews and were proved correct as we were pleasantly surprised at the condition of the interior of the ship. After reading about peeling wallpaper, scuffed paintwork and threadbare carpets I can only say that I didn't see any of this, apart from a little bit of wear on one or two of the edges of the steps on the staircase. New rolls of carpets were being brought on board at Tenerife, I think, and the decorators were in evidence on the higher decks where we were. The cabin was perfectly adequate with pictures on the walls and plenty of storage, including a large underbed pull-out storage box that could easily be missed. OK the bathroom was a bit dated but plenty of storage there too, more than any hotel we have ever been in. We had no trouble with the shower curtain but as my husband and myself are quite slender we found that there was plenty of room in there. There was also a fridge in the wardrobe. The bars and lounges were well furnished and not in any way shabby or unclean and the entertainment was really very good. I have been in campsite clubs for years when my children were small and the entertainment there IS holiday camp style. We didn't go to all the shows but we were impressed with the standard, especially the comedian Phil Doyle who had flown in from the UK for 3 shows. He brought the house down all 3 times and was excellent, and no we hadn't had more than one drink. The show dancers and singers put on good shows the 2 times we saw them and worked really hard, doing 2 shows a night. The singer/guitarist Essen was very good in the other bar. The disco was dire and a waste of time. Why a young DJ thinks anyone older than himself only wants to listen to 70's music I don't know but he did a good job of emptying the bar on the two occasions we visited. We are going on the Celebration in June and I think that will suit us better as everyone is disembarking and embarking on the same day. As we embarked in Funchal with just one coachload off our flight, we found changeover day in Tenerife a bit trying. We wanted to go off ship early to make the most of the day but found it hard to get breakfast as so many people were hogging the tables and hanging around until they disembarked later in the day. We eventually found seating but had to watch a family of four walking round and round trying to get seated while dozens of people were sat with just a cup of tea in front of them. (just a minor complaint). We had a great time on the whole and what a pleasant change not to have to listens to mobile phone calls all the time and also not to have constant announcements made which some hotels like to do. Were weren't subjected to hard sell anywhere, especially over the trips, and everyone was really polite and friendly. What a culture shock to get back on the plane and be treated like second class citizens at the back because we were non-meal passengers. The cabin crew didn't offer us the opportunity to buy tea/coffee or snacks and pushed the trolley into the centre of the section and whispered "Any duty free" before disappearing at a rate of knots that was a wonder to behold. I don't know if we would do this cruise again but we went to places we hadn't been before such as Las Palmas and La Palma, both of which we liked very much. We caught a bus out of Santa Cruz and arrived in Puerta de la Cruz within the hour and had a nice day in the Lido. Las Palmas was a revelation as everything is in walking distance with a new shopping mall just next to the port and a nice beach a 10 minute walk straight ahead on leaving the port. La Palma was just like a mini Madeira and we would have liked to have spent more time there. We didn't do any trips, as we have been to most of the islands many times, so can't comment on those. Also, I think going to Agadir is a complete waste of time and we stayed onboard. We would have preferred a 2 day stay elsewhere, but that's just our opinion and everyone has different needs and wants on holiday. If you haven't been on a cruise before give it a try. Last minutes prices are very good and the ship is excellent value for money. You can keep to yourself or mix-in with others if you want. There's no pressure to join in the activities, actually one small criticism is that you're not reminded of the times of them and we missed more than one as we lost track of time. Then again that would mean announcements, maybe a board in the public areas would be best. AND the weather was GREAT!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
Compared to all the other ships we have been on this has to be the most scruffy, wall paper and paint peeling off, cabin feels old and worn out, some clanging and banging at night, I admit I was not proud to be on this ship.Entertainment: ... Read More
Compared to all the other ships we have been on this has to be the most scruffy, wall paper and paint peeling off, cabin feels old and worn out, some clanging and banging at night, I admit I was not proud to be on this ship.Entertainment: is OK much better than NCL (which is awful) and the usual mad rush to the next show in the other lounge, but not bad overallExcursions: OK not a great variety but not too expensive eitherDinning: Funny setup, but ok, not much variety, in fact very limited compared to other cruises we have been on but good quality none the less.Drink: Prices are ok (good for a cruise) but again not much variety one brand of Larger (Stella), one brand of Bitter (well known brand but I can't remember)Staff: Reception was very disappointing to be honest, they would rather talk to each other than attend the desk so much so I gave up waiting and walked away , but the cabin crew were excellent, most of the other staff were very friendly (as to be expected) Would I go back on this ship? No, sorry, there are much better ships out there, but it was cheap so I'm not complaining (I suppose you get what you pay for in the end) Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
We booked this cruise without reading any reviews just by listening to our travel agent. However when I went on to read reviews we can honestly say we were dreading it. We flew into Funchal from our local airport on arrival everything ... Read More
We booked this cruise without reading any reviews just by listening to our travel agent. However when I went on to read reviews we can honestly say we were dreading it. We flew into Funchal from our local airport on arrival everything went very well and it was not long till we were on the mini bus taking us to the ship. Saw the ship on the horizon and it looked ok. Got on board and again the embarkation process went well. We had booked an outside cabin and although a little on the cosy side it was very clean with enough storage space for the week. Yes it was a little tired and in need of a refit, however all the public areas were spotlessly clean. The staff were more than helpful and our cabin stewardess was amazing. Entertainment on the ship was very varied and there was always something going on. The resident group were only average but the show teams were very good. If we have to criticise anything it would be a bit of a bun fight in the Beachcomer restaurant to get a table and we hated the plastic mugs for tea and coffee which always tasted vile. However the food when you got it was of a very good standard. We dined one night in the Oasis restaurant paid a cover charge or £14 99 each but well worth it for the service and standard of food. On the bar side all the mixers and soft drinks come out of cans and large bottles so 9 out of 10 drinks were flat as they open cans and bottles then they get left. Did complain to the bar manager about that but did not get a lot of satisfaction there. All in all good value for money don't listen to negative reviews. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010

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