1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2014
I was nervous about this 50 year old ship but we chose it for two reasons. The itinerary to the fjords and its ability to get into ports like Flam and the fact that it was small with only 800 passengers. Unfortunately it was 800 passengers ... Read More
I was nervous about this 50 year old ship but we chose it for two reasons. The itinerary to the fjords and its ability to get into ports like Flam and the fact that it was small with only 800 passengers. Unfortunately it was 800 passengers crammed in giving far less square foot per person than the bigger ships offer. Arrival at the port - this was chaos with a long queue to get to the terminal only to drop off our luggage and turn around to drive back over a mile to the actual Tilbury port and docks to park our car. Why they didn't direct people who had paid for parking to go straight there I don't know. The queue was over a mile long and we were 90 minutes late checking in, which was very smooth and painless like others have described. Our cabin was 638 on Deck 9 and although quite a high category it was still very small indeed. Clean and bathroom was sufficient but it just felt a bit cramped. Only one power point (unless you unplug TV). Facilities on board were minimal with a small duty free shop, gym, table tennis table, 3 hot tubs, games room, reading room etc. There was a internet room were charges were 60p per minute so very expensive. WIFI available on deck 8 but still expensive. The problem was during our 2 sea days there is just not enough space to accommodate everyone, we ended up back in our cabin watching dvd's one day as all the available seats in the various lounges and clubs were all taken. Food - Marcos restaurant was very school canteen like and we tried it for breakfast and lunch on one day and gave it up for the Waldorf restaurant on other mornings. What was quite nice was the wraps, paninis and burgers they cook fresh at the poolside bar. I took my own teabags but as they do not offer fresh milk for tea on board everything tasted a bit chemical or stale. the drinks service in all of the bars is good and all reasonably priced. They do a good range of cocktails and I worked my way through the non alcoholic ones during the day too. The Waldorf restaurant was good and our waitress, Katareyna was very nice. The wine waiter was very surly and didn't really want to be there and was only interested in serving wine and not any alternative bar or non alcoholic drinks. A good selection each day, small starter, soup and a salad followed by a main a dessert, cheese and coffee. Not too keen on any of the pasta dishes they were all very stodgy and bland. Breakfast in the Waldorf had a good selection and eggs and omelettes were cooked to order. The entertainment was good with 5 very professional singers who put on a spectacular show each night in the show lounge followed by late night cabaret. They all worked very hard indeed. Each show was repeated at 1015 for diners that were on the late sitting so there was no reason to miss anything by being on either dinner sitting. The entertainment cruise director was also very professional. Our ports of call were Eidfjord, Flam and Bergen and we signed up for the excursions in Eidfjord and Flam. If we were to go again I think we would do our own thing. In Eidfjord there was a small land train that took you round all the sights and up high enough to look back down at the port. I think I would have preferred this to sitting on a coach driving round the countryside. In flam there were two ships in port and plenty of tickets available to go up the flam railway to Myrdal for those who wanted to opt out of the excursion. Our trip on the railway had two disappointments, the first was that we had to get off at the stop before Myrdal where we just took a few photos and looked round a souvenir shop at one of the hotels up the mountain. The second was that the carriage was oversubscribed on the way down and we had to stand up for nearly an hour which didn't give us a very good view or the opportunity to take photos. We did complain about this and was refunded £27 each. Anyway subscribing to this excursion, I recommend you take the morning one as the afternoon one gets back too late for the first dinner sitting and so many people were forced to miss a sit down meal with waiter service that evening. Bergen - very easy to navigate under your own steam, there is a small land train as well as the funicular railway. It was raining quite hard when we arrived so everyone on the funicular excursion didn't get to see anything as it took them up to the top of a mountain surrounded by cloud. We waited until the sun came out just after lunch and had a great view. All in all the reason we went was for some beautiful scenery which we got in abundance. The Marco Polo looked very romantic and majestic anchored in the fjords where as the larger white multi deck cruise ships looked somewhat out of place. Would I go on the Marco Polo again? I don't think so as the ship felt too crowded, the average age was a lot older than expected (70-80+). Whilst our cabin steward and our waitress were very friendly we found a lot of staff very surly, particularly when you asked for specific things away from the norm (please only fill my coffee cup up half way caused a breakfast waiter to become rather rude and slam things about). Disembarkation - whilst this was very smooth and well organised the few hours leading up to it were very stressful. Every passenger was asked to vacate their cabin at 7am and because there is not enough room to seat everyone at the same time the queues for breakfast were long and we had to wait for over an hour. Meanwhile everyone was sitting where they could, on the stairs, on sunbeds etc with their hand luggage waiting to disembark. Disembarkation was staggered depending on cabin category (coloured luggage labels) and started at 0810am with the last passengers off around 10.30am. With this in mind I think it may have been more sensible to stagger breakfast.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
This was advertised as a Christmas and New Year Cruise aboard the Marco Polo. We booked this cruise on the basis of our first experience on this ship in September 2012 when we enjoyed the 'Round the Islands Cruise', we could not ... Read More
This was advertised as a Christmas and New Year Cruise aboard the Marco Polo. We booked this cruise on the basis of our first experience on this ship in September 2012 when we enjoyed the 'Round the Islands Cruise', we could not have wished for a more comfortable and enjoyable time with first class service and food. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of this one. Not an enjoyable cruise by any standards. This ship isn't furnished or fitted for very bad weather, furniture is not fixed and in very bad weather, as we experienced, and all furniture in the public areas was flying everywhere, and I do mean flying, and some passengers were seriously injured as well as many minor injuries. In the 'Gym' the majority of the equipment was out of order. Other activities, such as quizzes and other games and activities were good. The service was absolutely disgusting, On our first night, Sunday 22nd December I ordered soup which did not arrive even though I complained. Waiters dress appearance was poor with collars unbuttoned and ties pulled down. long wait to order wine (25 minutes on first night), better after complaining. All food, without exception was poorly presented and just warm with some main courses leaving much to be desired. (Spaghetti in Tomato Sauce was one of the main courses on three occasions, irrespective of what they called it) Service in the 'Captains Club, the main bar, was slow and the waiters appeared not to care less; some were downright rude. When I complained of the service and treatment I was told by one of the management team that 70 percent of the crew was new and had received 5 days training ashore before joining the Marco Polo for this cruise were mostly from Eastern Europe. This was marketed as a 'Christmas and New Year Cruise' No real Christmas celebrations were organised, no Christmas decorations, not even a Happy Christmas banner and virtually no decorations. Not even a decent Christmas dinner in the evening, our table had not been laid and we had to complain that we had not had our main course when they started serving tea and coffee Except for two occasions, the 'Cruise Director' was nowhere to be seen, and when he was seen he was scruffily dressed, not befitting that of a senior representative of Cruise and Maritime Voyages. Our cabin, a Junior Suite, was ok but the furnishings were poor and so was the plumbing. Our Cabin Steward was superb. Entertainment was excellent and very professional. Disembarkation was swift and one of the highlights of the voyage. So many passengers were dissatisfied that a large percentage, including my wife and I, had gratuities removed from our final statement. BAZZER   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
The ship was okay. Very clean and the staff helpful but I was left with a very poor image of the Company - Cruise and Maritime. Christmas was a big non event. The ship was barely decorated for Xmas. New Year was slightly better but not ... Read More
The ship was okay. Very clean and the staff helpful but I was left with a very poor image of the Company - Cruise and Maritime. Christmas was a big non event. The ship was barely decorated for Xmas. New Year was slightly better but not much. The ship advertises for the 60+ age group but realistically it is aimed at 80+ and all the events on board are aimed at this age group. To say we were disappointed is an understatement. I have not approached the company as I do not want recompense for my trip. I just want others to know what it is really like. The entertainment was average to poor. Imagine on New Year's Eve at 55 years to be given a song sheet from the first World War. A woman in our group nearly cried! I was not the only person feeling like this. I was told that 26 people had left the ship at various destinations on route. Some were ill but I was led to believe that most just could not stand it any longer. I met many people on the cruise and very few had a good word to say about it. Some may argue that I am moaning for the sake of it. No - I still work and work hard for my money and my time out, as does my partner. I have never been on a holiday before and not only wished the days to pass quicker, but did start to feel depressed and would have preferred being at work. If you are looking for a holiday with good food and entertainment, LOOK ELSEWHERE! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2011
I was in two minds whether or not to write a review about this cruise, however, I have seen quite a bit of negative comment that I believe to be unfair so i want to add my point of view. Let me say from the outset we embarked on December ... Read More
I was in two minds whether or not to write a review about this cruise, however, I have seen quite a bit of negative comment that I believe to be unfair so i want to add my point of view. Let me say from the outset we embarked on December 8th when the whole of the UK was being battered by very high winds and CMV and the crew of the Marc Polo have no control over that. They did flip the itinerary though visiting Antwerp as the first port and Amsterdam as the second so they did all they could to negate the effects of the weather. Embarkation was a breeze and the safety drill had the novelty of the passengers actually going from their muster station and lining up by their assigned lifeboat. We were then inspected by the Deputy Captain which was all a bit different than usual. The staff who were mainly Eastern European were friendly and helpful and were happy to chat with the passengers at quiet time. On the whole the food was very nice, well prepared and nicely served. An exception would be the breakfast in The Restaurant, it was still on a help yourself basis, and, unfortunately on the day we ate in there was only lukewarm. Marco Polo was probably the cleanest cruise ship we have ever been on and cleaning seemed to go on constantly. Entertainment was fair the three shows we saw in the show lounge whilst lacking the glitz of say the P&O show team were enjoyable and entertaining. There has been a suggestion that the whole ship smelled of diesel fuel, if it did then I certainly did not notice it. As for the two ports of call they were what they were two fairly major European Cities in winter, Amsterdam as ever was charming and quaint and Antwerp interesting. I just can't see what prompted such strong criticism of the ship and the cruise. We have cruised quite a bit and feel that what you pay for a cruise must be measured against a passengers expectations. This trip was a bargain and we had the added bonus of a free upgrade to one of the best two cabins on the ship. Overall we found the trip a pleasant winter break and whilst I would be wary of undertaking an Atlantic Voyage on Marco Polo we would certainly consider a Baltic, Fjords or around Britain trip on her. We would certainly Mini/Party Cruise on her. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
Only problem with this cruise is the very few but rather outspoken critics - especially if you sit with them at breakfast - best to go to the bistro then you will not be forced to sit with them. Chose this cruise for convenience of ... Read More
Only problem with this cruise is the very few but rather outspoken critics - especially if you sit with them at breakfast - best to go to the bistro then you will not be forced to sit with them. Chose this cruise for convenience of travelling and because we would hate a large impersonal ship with the sort of entertainment that some people seem to long for - X factor it ain't but a talented team provide a variety of shows and Richard (who is multi-talented, charming and ready to improvise entertainment at the drop of a hat if the weather alters the programme) organises the entertainment with imagination and flair. The staff are excellent from the cabin maids to the waiters, never complaining and serving with curtesy and a smile (even when dealing with the odd difficult passenger). How one of the critics can say the boat was dirty is just unbelievable - it is spotless and continually cleaned and tidied throughout the day and how another complains of lack of choice at breakfast: continental breakfast or full English, freshly cooked omelettes, fish, etc. plus a wide selection of fresh fruit, fresh rolls, bread and toast, etc. If you want a large, noisy boat with so many people on it that getting on and off is a nightmare the Marco Polo is not for you. If you want a calm atmosphere, good service and (much as we love our own children) a child free environment then choose this ship. Many people return year after year - we have only been on two cruises with them and are novices compared to most. Horses for courses I would hate a large impersonal ship and wish that those that enjoy such cruises would keep well away from the Marco Polo and leave those of us who appreciate it's charm in peace. The Marco Polo will continue to thrive with the return year after year of people like me. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2011
Got a late deal on an old ship therefore did not have very high expectations. BIG MISTAKE!!! What we actually got was brilliant value for money. Embarkation was a dream our cases taken from us and waiting in our cabin when we arrived. The ... Read More
Got a late deal on an old ship therefore did not have very high expectations. BIG MISTAKE!!! What we actually got was brilliant value for money. Embarkation was a dream our cases taken from us and waiting in our cabin when we arrived. The ship is small and over 40yrs old and what a grand old lady she is. More for my age group 60+ but definitely not boring and lifeless. All public rooms are warm and inviting. The staff of various nationalities were wonderful and always willing to help. Our cabin stewardess was fantastic and the cabin was attended to twice a day. The cabin was of a reasonable size with plenty of storage. bathroom small but adequate with a nice basket of toiletries available. We tried not have our towells replaced too often as requested but if they were soiled they were relaced without asking. The Waldorf restaurant was superb as were our waiter and his assistant. I asked for cream with my coffee on the first evening and it was brought every evening after without asking. Also there was a wine waiter (even though I do not drink) something lacking on many cruise ships these days. The menus were exceptionally good and the food very good indeed. The selection and presentaion first class. No there was not fillet steak and lobster but I was not paying a five star price. Marco's self service cafeteria could become very busy and difficult to find a seat. My main gripe were canteen type mugs used in Marcos and the dreadful bits of plasic used as teaspoons. These mugs were also put on saucers with same pieces of plastic for afternoon tea not very inviting. A minor complaint really. The entertainment. A great team who gave of their best all the time. The shows were very good and well presented but the dash upto Scotts Bar after the show to be sure of a seat was well worth it. Why the rush? To see Richard Sykes (the ultimate cruise director) and his team put on the show of all shows EVERY NIGHT. On sea days there was plenty to do all the usual cruise silly games but fun. If you don't like them don't complain just sit them out they are not compulsory. The guest speakers were very interesting and the comedian excellant he could actually make you laugh without being foul mouthed and crude. The destinations were excellant and getting off the ship in each port very easy. Gibraltar was a let down as we only had a morning there the same with La Coruna. We only had one tender day as this was handled very well. I did hear complaints but I feel the people making them should be asked how much they paid for their cruise. If they want Queen Mary standards then pay Queen Mary prices. All in all out of my six cruises this had to be the best for value for money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2011
Looking at some of the reviews we were bit anxious, other reviews said "Surly easter european staff) Poor food? Not sure where these people found the surly eastern european staff but all the staff on our cruise, without exception ... Read More
Looking at some of the reviews we were bit anxious, other reviews said "Surly easter european staff) Poor food? Not sure where these people found the surly eastern european staff but all the staff on our cruise, without exception were helpful(beyond their duty), smiling and friendly. Nothing was too much trouble for our waiter, Tristan, assistant Ivan wine waiter Zjeleko. Our cabin staff Radastina Nicolova was attentive and alwasy their when needed. Our room was spotless and not sure how we manage at home without Tina turning down our bed or putting towel animals to entertain us. Yes our room was 3* plus but we cruise to enjoy the sites and experience waking up in a different place every day. If you want five star all inclusive in modern plush hotels go to a hotel! People on this cruise either loved it or moaned. To all those who moaned about the food, (how much can you eat?) There was masses of food, plently of choice and there were very few hours when food wasnt being served.One comment was the plates were not hot,!! The salad had things in? One woman asked me what artishoke was? Another said I can get white cabbage at home? There was no pleasing some people but I never had the same soup twice, I tried most of them my favourites were Almond soup, Edam soup and garlic soup. We ate in the buffet for breakfast and lunch, we rarely had room for afternoon tea and had a lovely 6 course meal each evening waited on by the best ever team. Breakfast was equal to any with continental and english choices. We would have enjoyed sit down breakfast instead of buffet breakfast if we could have chosen where we sat, as we sat two times with people who ignored us at breakfast as they appeared to have bad smell under their noses or people who moaned .. Come on moaners why come on a cruise if you dont like foreigners!! Yes I heard several couples moaning about the number of foereign staff! Hello you are travelling to foreign coutries! Again I will say ALL STAFF WERE FABULOUS. Even the deck hands cleaning and putting out deckchairs and beds did so with a smile and tried to speak english politely. The excursions were well organised. All staff again were very patient with less abled people who booked onto excursions which clearly stated 3 hours walking on uneven ground! Other passengers were less patient but my hats off to staff again for organising Taxi's for those who couldn't walk any further ! and placating the moaners who got fed up of waiting for less abled to catch up. A Little plea, READ THE DESCRIPTION BEFORE BOOKING AN EXCURSION AND CONSIDER YOUR FELLOW PASSENGERS.We had less time at some stops because we were held up. There are other tours for leass abled so please seek advise of staff before booking trips. Entertainment was great Richards Sykes was attentive to passengers and staff and seemed a lovely guy. Whoever booked and interviewed entertainers did a great job. One last person Oki and Radastina always had a smile. Oki in particular was lovely Hello to all of Marco Polo staff we shall certainly see you again we hope very soon. One little request. Could you mark one area of sun beds and seats (Quiet area) I found it difficult to get away sometime to enjoy the old charm and beauty of the sea. Thank you all for magical trip Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2011
I was looking forward to the cruise because of the cites to be visited. And after reading some reviews of previous critics I was wary of certain points i.e. the food. Dinner in the main restaurant was good not 5* and I had an ... Read More
I was looking forward to the cruise because of the cites to be visited. And after reading some reviews of previous critics I was wary of certain points i.e. the food. Dinner in the main restaurant was good not 5* and I had an enjoyable meal, The buffet I found badly laid out, and a lot of unnecessary queuing. But again lots of food and plenty choice. The entertainment of boards was good and I attended the craft classes of Mavis Bee and these were very well attended in fact towards the end so many people were turning up there was not room for them. The staff were very helpful and always around. Staff were present of each coach for the tours and again their knowledge was good. Liken the fact that it was adult only cruise Read Less
Marco Polo Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.7
Dining 3.0 3.5
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.2
Family 1.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 4.0 3.2
Service 4.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.6

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