We were supposed to embark Marco Polo at the Port of Leith, which was fine for us as we were just taking a taxi, when we got to the port we were told that because of a technical problem the ship had missed the tide for Leith and we were ... Read More
We were supposed to embark Marco Polo at the Port of Leith, which was fine for us as we were just taking a taxi, when we got to the port we were told that because of a technical problem the ship had missed the tide for Leith and we were now embarking from Rosyth. Had they let us know before hand it would have been good as it was easier for us to get to Rosyth (and cheaper!) than Leith. Nobody seemed to be organising anything, one man was holding some coloured tickets for buses, but nobody was giving out information or organising the milling throngs onto buses, it was pretty chaotic to put it mildly.
We did leave for Rosyth eventually and embarked fairly swiftly after that, I found the deck labelling somewhat eccentric, but we found our cabin, which was on deck 9 although was numbered 645, all very odd. Anyway the cabin was small, but perfectly adequate and comfortable. Sufficient storage for a week sailing, although not perhaps for a longer voyage. The bed was comfortable. The room steward was consistently pleasant and helpful, we had a flickering light when we entered and it was fixed by the same evening. He produced extra hangers like a magician out of a hat. The cabin was clean although a little unexpectedly after a couple of days I couldn't close one of the drawers in the bedside unit, so took out the drawer and at the back of the drawer was a white top which had obviously slipped down the back of the unit, as it wasn't mine or my sisters, it had to be from a previous occupant, so not quite as clean as it should have been.
The ship is old, but was clean and comfortable and warm, on several occasions I heard the same comment, she felt like a "proper ship" not one of the floating hotels. Most of the staff were very pleasant, but catching the eye of a waiter/ress in one of the bars could be a challenge.
Food was served in the Waldorf restaurant, we were second sitting, which suited us fine and we have absolutely no complaints about either the food or service, both were excellent. We tended to eat both breakfast and lunch, as well as dinner, in the Waldorf as trying to get a seat in Marco's bistro was often difficult, if not down right impossible. In fact that is one of the reasons I've given 3 start rather than 4. Marco's is far too small for the number of people trying to access the area. On a number of occasions when coming back from excursions, having missed lunch we would go to Marco's, as we were too late for the Waldorf, only to find a heaving mass of humanity all trying to find something to eat as many of the excursions came back at almost the same time and rather than keep the Waldorf open to help with the crowds, we all had to squeeze into Marco's. It was absolutely ridiculous, people wandering around trying to find a chair, never mind a table!! Also the layout of Marco's food stations was very odd, they were in one continuous line in the middle of the restaurant, if they had broken them up into different food stations, then there would have been smaller queues. Also the layout of the food was very odd, this was one of the reasons we usually took breakfast in the Waldorf. Someone mentioned that there was no one cooking omelettes, in fact there was down in the Waldorf, also breakfast tends to be very 'samy' wherever you eat.
The entertainment wasn't great, the costumes were tatty, the singers were pretty awful, they all tried their hardest, especially the dancers, but honestly it was pretty grim.
We took the AI, although not big drinkers, we found it was reasonable and more or less worth the money, anyone who drinks moderately (or heavily) would find it worked ok.
The other reason I've given only 3 stars was the tendering. We had originally been told we would only tender into one port, in the end we docked in only one port and tendered into the other 3 and because of this we missed the Shetland Isles as it was decided it was too rough to tender in. In fact anyone with mobility issues would have found the whole business of tendering difficult if not impossible as the stairs to the tenders were very steep and treacherous, I certainly found them pretty rocky. Instead of docking at Lerwick as we should have we ended up in Ullapool, a nice little town, but not where I wanted to be.
All in all I enjoyed this cruise, there were a few things wrong, but it didn't detract too much from the enjoyment. Read Less