4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The Marco Polo seems to be popular with many (I spoke to a fellow passenger who had travelled on 7 voyages) but I suspect that those who like this 54-years-old ship are the same as people who choose to drive a 54-year old car rather than a ... Read More
The Marco Polo seems to be popular with many (I spoke to a fellow passenger who had travelled on 7 voyages) but I suspect that those who like this 54-years-old ship are the same as people who choose to drive a 54-year old car rather than a new one. Not because it is better but because it is different. The eccentricities and signs of age are apparent as soon as we had embarked at Cardiff and were shown to our cabin (number 130 - chosen by the operator as we had elected to a guaranteed outside cabin rather than choosing one). The first thing one notices is that there are only two electrical sockets - a 220 volt continental point and a 110 volt US point (plus an unnamed push button whose use we didn't bother to determine). In 1965 travellers probably only needed one point - but with the plethora of electrical appliances that are the stock in trade of the modern traveller, one power point is not really adequate. The cabin lights were also rather primitive, with an array of ceiling lights none of which could be switched separately - it was all on or all off using the one switch by the cabin door - and two separate reading lights. When we arrived in the cabin the air-conditioning wasn't working although, to be fair, the engineer was on site in less than an hour and fixed the problem. This was our first contact with the staff and was characteristic of all our relationships with the staff who were invariably efficient, helpful and pleasant. So 100% for that aspect of the cruise. Having unpacked we need to find out the layout of the ship and then we discovered eccentricity number 2. The one thing that every passenger needs is a plan of the ship and this should be in every cabin - but not on the Marco Polo. Yes, plans there were a-plenty at reception - once one finds it. But why not in the cabins which is where they will be most needed? Having found a deck plan another eccentricity was evident (number 3 if you're counting). The ship's plan shows the names of all the decks: Navigator, Columbus, Amundsen, Magellan, Pacific, Atlantic, Baltic and Caribic - but the references in the daily activities guide (entitled The Explorer) gave only deck numbers (Eg. Deck 9 Aft). Of course it is not too difficult to write the deck number on the ship's plan oneself - but why on earth wasn't this done at the time of printing? Before leaving the cabin one other eccentricity was evident, although we didn't bother to mention it to the staff as nothing could have been done. Our cabin floor was as bumpy as if the carpet had been laid across a ploughed field; goodness only knows what was underneath. Finally, although we had paid extra for an outside cabin we might as well have saved our money as for 80% of the journey there were deadlights across the portholes. This is permitted under the normal terms and conditions but it is as well for prospective passengers to be aware of this possibility on the lower deck cabins of this vessel. There are two restaurants on the Marco Polo, one waiter service and one self service and the food is good in both although that in the waiter-service restaurant is more interesting. The waiter service was very good. It is a sad fact that many (maybe all?) cruise companies charge very competitive prices for their cruises and then seek to make up their profits on the extras. My own extras bill came to over £900, much of which was drinks. On board drinks will be duty-free and bought at a discount price, but any savings are not passed on to passengers. As an example, a glass of house wine was £6 and a bottle of beer £4.50 - both well over UK pub prices. A further indication of this can be seen at the water station where there is a stern notice which reads, "For Health and Hygiene reasons it is strictly prohibited to refill water bottles at the water station". Well, I suppose it is just possible that some infected person might have drunk from the neck of a water bottle and then refilled it when pressing that neck against the tap - but I doubt it's a very serious risk. More likely is it that Cruise and Maritime want to make sure that passengers buy the bottled water that they supply at a purely nominal £2,80 per bottle. Cruise lines do have a monopoly and a captive market on board and this was evident from the price and range of the items for sale in the ship's shop. Proudly advertised as duty-free it was clear from the prices that any saving of duty was offset by an increase in profit. I needed to buy a pair of swimming trunks and the modest pair they had for sale was priced at £21 - about twice what a similar pair would have cost at home. The same excessive prices prevailed for most of the items on sale and I rarely saw anyone buying anything. In part the paucity of sales could have been due to the poor stick selection, which was not appropriate for the passenger profile. My own guess is that the average age of the passengers as around 80 years and thus hardly likely to want to buy designer shopping bags or the like. But the one thing that they would all use and probably need would be a walking stick, since at least 50% of the passengers were using a walking aid of one sort or another. Walking stick can break, get lost or simply be forgotten but did the shop stock such things? No. The assistant there did tell me that sticks were frequently requested but that it wasn't an item they ever stocked. If would seem to me that the buyer needs to look harder at the passenger profiles. The entertainment was of the usual variety and standard and little more needs to be said. The shore excursions were good enough but, as is so often the case, pricey for what they were. In summary, one can understand why some people enjoy the quirkiness of the Marco Polo, but next time I will try a different line Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
A friend booked this cruise and I was somewhat dubious having sailed on her years ago to Norway, which is beautiful. However, on this voyage the food was very much improved to 'excellent', and I'm fussy. The lobster as an ... Read More
A friend booked this cruise and I was somewhat dubious having sailed on her years ago to Norway, which is beautiful. However, on this voyage the food was very much improved to 'excellent', and I'm fussy. The lobster as an extra was the best I've ever eaten, and I thought very reasonably priced @ £16 - really sweet meat and beautifully presented and all the meals were very very good indeed - compliments to the chefs, most of whom were Indian, and I always feel they are the best! And drinks were reasonably priced too. I wanted a rest and to read and did just that and availed myself of the library on board. She's a small ship but offered all I needed and you don't have to walk miles to get anywhere on board! The pianist and violinist were great, and the Duty Frees excellent value. The crew were polite and most obliging, the cabins were small but fine. The outdoor pool was at this time of year closed off and we saw snow at times - well, we were heading towards Iceland - an expensive and very cold place, the highlight of which for me was a visit to the Blue Lagoon and that day we had lovely warm sunshine. The excursions are pricey but everything is included which saves a lot of hassle and guarantees a safe return on time to the ship. We did go out into the Fjord and saw a humpback whale, so that was another tick off the 'to do/see' list. The Faroe Islands en route were rather bleak with little to really do/see but it's a place to say you've at least visited, and our tour guide Samson was both knowledgeable and polite. Tea/coffee/hot water/hot/cold milk were available from early a.m. to midnight which is important to me as there are no in cabin facilities to make a hot drink. And a child free zone - yes! A good value for money trip, and well done to all who sail on the Marco Polo! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I choose this cruise mainly because of the destination and from the reviews thought the ship although old would be ok. First let me say i love cruising and have done 45-50 cruises with very few complaints but honestly this cruise ship and ... Read More
I choose this cruise mainly because of the destination and from the reviews thought the ship although old would be ok. First let me say i love cruising and have done 45-50 cruises with very few complaints but honestly this cruise ship and CMV have a lot to answer for. Our cabin 216 was small and we had 1 small porthole and had paid for an oceanview. The porthole was closed for 11 days of a 15 day cruise, whilst they do it for safety reasons there were times we were docked and still it was kept closed we had ask on several occasions to have it opened. We could have had an internal cabin for some $1000 less each.The smell of diesal and the crew smoking was there for the entire cruise. The ship was full to capacity 800 in a ship this size is just not on. Everything was full the buffett was a fight at every meal to find a seat and the quality was really bad even the 3 coffee machines were continually out of order. The dining room although a little better was way below standard. I paid for a VIP package please dont do it !! the wine list is a joke there are 2 white wines and 2 red wines from there signature drinks and 2 from the standard package to choose from i couldnt believe it. They some other wines by the bottle but they had to be paid for and you couldnt get them by the glass. With the other drinks if you wanted anything that wasnt on the drinks menu you couldnt have it !!! also the system they have is that you can only order from a waitor and cant get a drink from the bar. The entertainment was an insult except a young lady soprano who was great the biggest joke was when showtime came at night and old bloke with a banjo came out and started a singalong , i had to laugh !!! the showband seriously was that bad that the singers who did individual shows they didnt even play. I could go on. Excursions altho expensive were good and well organised. This company are treating the elderly british with contempt in my opinion . Go with this ship and company at your peril and as i said i have done nearly 50 cruises and cant believe all i wanted to do was get off . Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We did a 10 week cruise so we had a fairly extensive experience of life on board. The ship was built in 1963 for the Russian market and refitted in 1993. Issues: The hot three hot drinks machines, two inside and one outside, ... Read More
We did a 10 week cruise so we had a fairly extensive experience of life on board. The ship was built in 1963 for the Russian market and refitted in 1993. Issues: The hot three hot drinks machines, two inside and one outside, continually ran out of cups and shut themselves down with fault codes which appear to be due to over-use and they run out of hot water. There was a good choice of food for the buffet breakfast but the equipment in the Bistro failed to keep it warm, I would suggest a couple of microwaves for those who like their food hot. The main restaurant was slightly better. Omelettes, fried and poached eggs were always cooked fresh in both. The main cut fruit available was melon with a bit of pineapple, apple and occasional orange, but always a large proportion of melon. Whole fruit was always apples. There was the occasional banana, orange, pear or plum in the early days but scarcer as the cruise went on. There is a shortage of drinks waiters at peak times and the ship still uses plastic straws and stirrers. The show lounge (theatre) has very poor acoustics. There is an annoying rattle from the roof panels and despite complaints they seem unable or unwilling to fix it. The floor is not tiered and there are 7 pillars partially obstructing the view from just about every seat more than two rows back. The furniture definitely needs replacing, all the padded chairs were sagging in the seats and many were frayed or worn. Externally she was definitely showing her age with numerous areas of rust bubbles in the deck metalwork. There is no do-it-yourself laundry on board so everything is on an individual cost. With a handkerchief or item of underwear costing £1 with an incremental scale it wouldn’t take long to run up a huge bill, especially on a long trip. There were two Magic Bag days during our trip where you could cram a laundry bag with as much as you liked for £12, wash and dry only. The swimming pool was not heated and was filled with sea water when conditions permitted but this amounted to only a few days when in warm weather. There was an appeal early on for water saving if we went to sea for more than a couple of days yet remarkably the toilets used fresh water for flushing. I understand the hot tubs used fresh water and they were therefore mostly out of use, either with covers over or a notice saying ‘Closed For Maintenance.’ Following numerous complaints about the lack of information the Cruise Director placed an ‘Entertainment Suggestions’ box in reception for a few days but I am not aware of any changes resulting from this. The lack of information was typified by our visit to Carcass Island which required passengers to get a ticket for the tenders. The first two tenders departed and then the Captain said he was temporarily suspending the service due to safety issues and would review the situation in an hour. So we all waited in the designated place and two hours later when we had heard nothing we started to drift away. Nothing else was said except for a brief mention in the evening broadcast. For our journey from the Falklands up the west coast of Chile through the fjords, a map was delivered each evening to your cabin with waypoints marked and a time of arrival. We were supposed to enter Darwin Passage and Narrows at 10am. The ship actually arrived at 8am and by 10am we were leaving so a lot of people missed it. Not a word about the amended time or the reason they managed to get it so wrong with a simple overnight passage. On the way we passed several shipwrecks and memorials but despite having a pilot on board there was not a word of explanation so having seen some beautiful scenery we were non the wiser about any of it. A guide did join us for the Panama Canal but the first hour of her commentary was lost due to an intermittent microphone. The microphone in the Captains Club where the organised games and quizzes were held was intermittent for the whole trip. The ship only did one Sailaway Party from our last port of call. For the last few days they ran out of several things including tonic, marmite and till rolls. The Good Bits: The ship appears to have some very devoted passengers with one chap we spoke to had done over 30 cruises on the ship and several others were well into double figures. The entertainment team were very good with many different routines and costumes. A gin and tonic was £4.55 so comparable to UK and with two of us a round of drinks could come to £10 so it didn’t take long to rack up a hefty bar bill. The company we booked with ’Imagine Cruising’ did an all inclusive package for £300 a couple so within about ten days we were already in credit and as the cruise lasted seventy days we were very happy with the deal. We also got £800 cabin credit which we used to pay for the organised port trips which were very good and lasted either half a day or a full day with lunch. As anyone who has cruised will know trips around the town will usually be architecture, town history, museums and churches and cathedrals so it is better to do the national parks and out of town trips. The ship laid on free shuttle buses to town centres when they were not immediately outside the port which was a bonus we hadn’t expected. The ship was kept immaculately clean inside with the crew continually cleaning walls, ceilings, stairs and washing carpets at night. Embarkation was very slow but disembarkation was excellent, done by deck number. The food on board was excellent and you could purchase special meals, eg a full Indian experience meal, surf and turf etc and we thought these were excellent value for money. The food was of a very good standard and this was maintained for the whole 71 days. The waiters and hotel staff were brilliant and we couldn’t fault them. Any requests were dealt with very efficiently. There were a whole range of activities including craft, acting, choir, ukulele, chairobics, creative writing, bridge, ballroom dancing, etc. General: The cabins were mainly two single beds with one 4 draw chest with slide out writing table plus a five foot wardrobe. We got an unrequested upgrade to cabin 625 and ended up with 4 chests of drawers, an absolute bonus on a long trip but with a restricted view. Next door had the same layout but with a good view. There are no balconies on the ship. The electric supply was a 220V socket with 2 round pins. There was also a 110V three flat pin socket and a dual volt shaver socket in the bathroom. The shower was good and on a flexi hose. There is a 2’ 6” (75cm) drying line across the shower for small items. Suitcases can be stowed under the beds or in the wardrobe. There was a temperature control on the wall. We had a kettle, two cups and packets of tea, coffee, etc. A lot of cabins do not have this. Overall, the ship is showing her age with few of the refinements of modern cruise liners. She is a graceful old lady and possibly the oldest still cruising. If you don’t mind a lack of facilities and want to get into some of the smaller ports then this could be the ship for you but CMV could do so much to improve passenger pleasure at virtually no cost with simple innovations like providing more cups and cutlery, senior staff mixing with the passengers and providing tourist information commentary at special locations. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Cabin We were given a tiny, windowless cabin on the lowest deck known as Carabic. The smell of diesel is so overpowering it leaves a taste in your mouth as you leave the tiny lift. We paid for an inner cabin and the offer suggested a ... Read More
Cabin We were given a tiny, windowless cabin on the lowest deck known as Carabic. The smell of diesel is so overpowering it leaves a taste in your mouth as you leave the tiny lift. We paid for an inner cabin and the offer suggested a free upgrade that never happened; despite this the cabin was serviceable and kept spotlessly clean by Lillia our Cabin Stewart. The two twin beds were smaller than a regular single but were rewarded with fresh crisp linen daily along with the white as wave towels. The cabin was serviceable and a little larger than I expected. The draw space and hanging space was well utilised for storing the plethora of formal wear needed on the cruise. 3 single wardrobes housed rails, the safe and a set of small draws along with a tie rack. The top space held the life jackets and could be used for storing larger items. The storage of suitcases was difficult but we squeezed them under the beds, this would be impossible with the hard shell cases but our smaller softer cases compressed to fit. The bathroom optimised the available space and provided a shower with a detachable head; the pressure was good and left us feeling refreshed. The toiletries supplied were limited and of a poor quality. The descenders in the showers were tricky to use when slippery and wet but we had brought our own and recommend travellers do the same. The standard of cleaning in the cabin is outstanding and I have never had a better standard anywhere in the world. Twice each day the room is cleaned and turned back at night, clothes folded for you, bins emptied, dressing area organised. It feels like Mary Poppins has visited each time you return. Captain’s Club This comfortable area is rarely unoccupied, in the day it’s bright clean interior attracts people hoping to relax and have a drink and at night it is a waiting area for people preparing for the show lounge cabaret. A delightful pianist and violinist play at various times on most evenings but they could not be enjoyed because they became inaudible within the busy room full of chattering guests. A beautiful resource that is sadly under appreciated and lost amongst the people. Sadly this area is understaffed and many guests treat the overworked staff appallingly. I have witnessed so many occasions where guests have berated, abused and directly verbally attacked the young staff. The waiting time for drinks is over 30 minutes or more and there does seem to be a favouring of those guests without a drinks package over those who have the package. This highlights another anomaly in the pricing of the drinks package. If I ordered a quadruple whisky this would be included in the package BUT a latte coffee would not. This seems rather unfair and does not encourage sensible drinking. My main issue with this area is the lack of tables for two persons. Most of the tables are laid out as 4s and so it negates any privacy or time for couples to enjoy together. Most of the time the lounge is quite full and so people sit with you and want to chat. A lovely thing to happen on a friendly ship but there are times when I would have appreciated some time alone with my husband. This layout was further hindered by the many Zimmer frames, walking trollies and walking sticks that created an ever changing obstacle course for people to negotiate. Scott’s Bar This is a lively little venue however after 10 all entertainment moves to this bar and sadly the area is far too small for the number of visitors using it. It was almost impossible to see both the show at 9 in the show lounge and then get a seat upstairs. Sadly we missed out because if this. The bar staff in this area are good and much quicker than in other areas of the ship. Many of the soft furnishings in this area are broken and are uncomfortable but this is only if you are fast enough to get a seat. Marco’s Bistro Terrible! This restaurant is appalling and I am afraid it has deteriorated during the cruise. The food is luke warm at best and stagnant and congealed most of the time. The choice is poor with mostly chopped meat dishes and diced over cooked soggy vegetables. The sweet section at lunch and dinner are poor with small portions of poorly presented sweets that include many cold puddings and whips. The majority of food has a soft blended texture ideal if chewing is best avoided! The cutlery includes only soup spoons rather than desert or tea spoons, so one must stir tea, eat cake and cereal with a soup spoon. Usually there is a shortage of cutlery throughout the restaurant at all 3 meals. My biggest annoyance was having to collect food in relays as people would take your seat between courses. Lone diners would find it impossible to eat all courses in the same seat. Main Restaurant This area is stunning and despite the tatty table cloths, with more pulls than a grandmother’s stocking, it is warm and welcoming. The staff try hard but the lack of organisation makes this a doomed enterprise. We were sat on a table of six and we were so close to other tables that the waiters played limbo to get about carrying the trays. The menus allowed for a choice but really what you received was like Russian roulette. I ordered ice cream and got sorbet, ordered pasta and got pork! This seemed to happen every night to at least one person in the table. The delay between courses was ridiculous with a 90 minute wait on Christmas Day between starter and main. This improved to 50 minutes on Boxing Day. We eventually complained and the time between courses reduced but the game of roulette continued. Midnight snacks Pathetic! These are carried around on a tray and given out in tiny portions on serviettes. I was blessed with grease down my ball gown as the waiter spilt them all down me on Christmas Eve! Not the wonderful plan I had for my dress which is now ruined. Deck Bar Swimming pool! More of a puddle than a pool. I heard it called a splash pool, a great name as it just splashes icy water over people sat at tables around it. The slippery deck is then a risk to the shuffling older people who hope to sit by it. No one used it as it is covered with a net, a complete waste of deck space and a blooming pain in the neck! The bar out here is well stocked and enticing but the wait time for a drink is so long you contemplate jumping overboard! The waiting staff meander about, avoiding eye contact and rarely engage with people. I have found this the worst area to get a drink and have often given in and had a self service coffee rather than nothing. Entertainment The entertainment team includes some excellent singers with talent way beyond this ship. Callum, Anneka and Savannah brighten every room when they enter and their talent shines through. The others are not quite as talented but what they lack in ability they make up for in enthusiasm. Mitch makes everyone smile and excelled at Elvis and some swing but he struggles with more challenging songs. Not all of the songs the entertainers sing suit their voices and even the best of them murder some songs. The Wuthering Heights needs to be pulled ASAP! Daytimes are dull. Little if any entertainment goes on and much is not hosted. The entertainment seems to be aimed at the older generation with Knit and Natter and Bridge. We attended the Creative Writing and although we enjoyed the sharing of creative works the gentleman who ran the session was poor. He talked. A lot! He then got everyone to write and share. The feedback was peer feedback with little input from him. There was no development of people’s skill, no feedback or development of ideas. The next session repeated exactly the first in format and activities. The room was too small and the delivery needs to be improved. The tutor led session was didactic and lacked any imagination. Ironic given it was a creative writing class. The exception to the poor daytime activities was the Morecombe and Wise Comedy lecture that was excellent. It was well planned, entertaining and engaging, giving rise to much laughter and good spirits. The presenter was knowledgeable and very talented. Excursions The excursions are very expensive however they are well organised and have a high standard of tour guide. We did 3 different excursions and booked a fourth that was unfortunately cancelled. The first tour of Gibraltar was on a minibus and took us to the Rock, the Caves and the museum. The guide was excellent and entertained and informed us. He was relaxed and the tour took longer than expected but it was worth every second of my time. The second tour took us around a very foggy and rainy Funchal. To be honest the tour should have been cancelled due to the weather. The views were totally covered by a thick blanket of fog making visibility about 3 meters maximum. The guide tried her best but coffee and cake at a golf club and a walk to a wine tasting cost us £48 each. Very disappointing! The 3rd trip around a freezing cold Lisbon was a march, following a bossy school mistress who barked at us and constantly repeated herself. When people asked for rendezvous times she wouldn’t give them insisting we stayed with her. The visit to the monastery allowed no time to contemplate the beautiful place or enter into prayer. It was a fast walk through and a sit on a pew whilst she talked and talked constantly repeating herself. Disappointing. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We choose this cruise to see a bit of Canada. Had done a couple of cruises about 20 years ago and not sure about 31 days. No need to worry as the time aboard ship there was plenty to do - games, quizzes and talks or craft sessions. Or ... Read More
We choose this cruise to see a bit of Canada. Had done a couple of cruises about 20 years ago and not sure about 31 days. No need to worry as the time aboard ship there was plenty to do - games, quizzes and talks or craft sessions. Or even choir, line dancing and acting. Embarkation was fine and the cases that we had sent ahead by TEFRA were waiting at our cabin door. We chose late sitting in the Waldorf with a table of 8. Out table companions were fab - a couple from Scotland, couple from South Yorkshire and couple from Australia. The meals and choice were great. My only complaint was that sometimes the main course was only lukewarm and not hot. If I asked for it to be hot it was otherwise best to eat it quick. I must say the first course were usually delicious and could have ate more! There was 4 formal nights and quite a few Informal nights which towards the end of the cruise might as well be casual as the dress code was not enforced as it had been at the beginning of the cruise.The Bistro was great for breakfast and lunch although at peak times it was hard trying to find a seat. Basically just had to ask if seats were free and so got to meet lots of people. Quite a few were Australians. The evening entertainment was absolutely fantastic. The small team - Mitch, Callum, Josh, Chrysy, Annette and Savannah and the dancers made each show very enjoyable. They did 2 shows a night (unless the odd comedian or other act was on) then a show in Scott's Bar after the last show in Marco Polo lounge. They also did the quizzes and games during the day so worked really hard to keep us entertained. Due to illness I missed the night they did songs from the Musicals but the last night when I saw Les Miserables (my favourite) they deserved a standing ovation. Our cabin was on Atlantic so same floor as the Waldorf and handy on a night for the restaurant.The cabin was a good size with 2 portholes.There were 2 sets of 4 drawers (one between the twin beds) and a 3 door wardrobe with safe. Plenty of hangers and could ask cabin steward for more if needed. The bathroom was fine and the water in the shower was lovely and warm. Towels as and when you wanted them. Cabin steward did or checked the cabin twice every day and bed was always made again on a night. Ashveer our steward was brilliant when we were ill with a virus and checked if we needed anything a few times a day. We did a lot of the excursions and were well worth the money apart from one. The Sugar Shack Experience in Montreal was awful and wouldn't recommend at all. Glengariff - a lovely tour round the area with a coffee stop and then time in the time. Bought a lovely cardigan. St.John's, Newfoundland - a boat trip to see the puffins, bald eagles and possibly dolphins. This was a wet day and no dolphins but still a good trip. Halifax and the Tall Ship was lovely and a glorious day Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown - One of the prettiest places on this trip. Went to see the Confederation Bridge which we sailed under later on the way out. Also a lovely shopping area nearby but not enough time to see all the shops which was a shame. Quebec (day 1) - tour round Quebec and Montmorency Falls. Loved seeing Quebec. Quebec (day 2) - St Anne du Beaupre Basilica, canyon (falls) and Island was on a very wet day but the tour guide was very good so overall the trip was good. Saguenay - Fjord museum was good but not enough time spent there. Then went on to Le Pulpier where we had too much time for what there was to see. Baie-Comeau trip took you to a beautiful church - St Emilie - oldest church in Baie-Comeau which only has one mass a year. Also The Garden of the Glaciers - fantastic. Havre St Pierre - a small town Corner Brook - Did the Panoramic tour which was 2 hours and was ok for seeing a bit of the area. Sydney, Halifax - no tours and stayed on ship as not too well. Cork and Blarney - would have loved more time in Blarney as lots to see and not enough time. Disembarkation. We were late docking due to it being a very foggy morning but disembarkation soon got caught up. We had our time changed as originally time meant we would have missed our train. We had a phone call a couple of days before saying a person would meet us to take out cases from us and take to TEFRA. After getting off we collected our cases but then had to search for the person. Someone eventually tracked them down and they had no idea they were supposed to be taking our cases. We were trying to order a car to take us to Kings Cross from Tilbury when this person said there were taxis and where to go. When we got there and found the person to see she said the taxis wouldn't take us to Kings Cross. By the time we booked a car and they made it through the traffic (2 ships were in port) and road works we had just over an hour to catch our train. Thanks to the driver from Addison Lee we made it with 7 minutes to spare. Unbelievable. Overall this was a great trip, bar illness. Crossing from Ireland to Canada the sea was a bit choppy but I didn't mind that and the return crossing was like a mill pond. The Marco Polo is an older ship but for size she is fab. A lovely, friendly ship and not too big that you don't get to know people. You got used to seeing the same people and saying hello. The crew spoke to you in passing. The staff from cabin stewards to bar staff and restaurant staff were lovely and were always ready to help less mobile passengers carry their food and drink to a table for them. I wouldn't do again but purely because I've done it and probably wouldn't do one as long again but yes I would definitely travel on the Marco Polo again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Wanted to see the East side of Canada after visiting the other side last year. The cabin was fine 3 cases already waiting as we arrived at our cabin the steward was very helpful. The ship was kept very clean and tidy. Enjoyed the food ... Read More
Wanted to see the East side of Canada after visiting the other side last year. The cabin was fine 3 cases already waiting as we arrived at our cabin the steward was very helpful. The ship was kept very clean and tidy. Enjoyed the food tried self service and the restaurant, , plenty to chose from, only complaint not enough vegetables on the plate in the restaurant. The ship rides rough weather very well. Though we were lucky not too many rough seas. Enjoyed Glengariff our first port, the tendering is a bit of a slow job, then of of to Canada, enjoyed the exercise classes that that the dancers take, if you wanted there were crafts bridge, games and quizzes every sea day. We had 2 lecturers on board both very good,the one for whales and dolphins was on deck and able to tell us what species we saw which added to the enjoyment. St Johns it poured down but didnt stop our walking trip, the scenery was fantastic. Halifax was hot sunny and a lovely city to explore and Charlotte Town on Prince Edward Island was a lovely town. It was a pity the next 2 days as we sailed down the St Laurence to Montreal it turned dull and cooler. Montreal was great and Quebec, pity our second day there it poured down all day. Most of the time we did our own walks round and exploring as there was usually good maps. The smaller French speaking town were friendly but did not have lot to see, but we were welcomed and usually the locals turned up to wave us off. Entertainment was very good for such a small ship dancers and singers great and the young singer Savannah that had just joined was a pleasure to hear. Enjoyed the chocolate afternoon tea. met some lovely people, all the crew were friendly and helpful, oneor two slight problems but no more than other cruise lines Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I chose this trip for where it was going which was to Arkangel and Murmansk which was where the Russian convoys of the 2nd world war went to. Then it was back to Tilbury via Norway a 17 night trip in total. I was on deck 9 and for the ... Read More
I chose this trip for where it was going which was to Arkangel and Murmansk which was where the Russian convoys of the 2nd world war went to. Then it was back to Tilbury via Norway a 17 night trip in total. I was on deck 9 and for the first few days my cabin and corridors were getting fumes from the engines. The staff were very good, food was ok. entertainment not for me. My Cabin had twin beds but cabin hardly big enough for one. The ship needs a bit of repairing on the decking but crew kept paintwork up to scratch. I had VIP drinks package but I was still charged for a glass of Pinot Grigio .But be aware, even though onboard spending is in sterling, because they process their clients accounts abroad you could still incur charges even though you pay by Debit card. I have been on cruises before but I have never come across this charge before. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We Choose this cruise because the departure port was convenient and the itinerary looked interesting. The ship, despite its age was fine, as was our cabin. The food was good, although the chefs seemed to regard vegetables as something ... Read More
We Choose this cruise because the departure port was convenient and the itinerary looked interesting. The ship, despite its age was fine, as was our cabin. The food was good, although the chefs seemed to regard vegetables as something rare and precious. But even at 70 I felt a generation too young when compared to my fellow passengers many of whom were in their 90's. And many more acted as though they were. Queueing for a buffet seemed to confuse most of them, and getting into a tender, even for those fit enought to attempt it, was a slow and laboriouis process. The people in the adjoining cabin went to bed at about 10pm, and banged on the wall if we as much as spoke to each other after their bed time. Every morning at 8.00 we were disturbed by the tannoy, anouncing that we had arrived in port, or that tenders were waiting. Or even anouncing that their would be no announcements!!. But that didn't wake us as the cabin steward had done that at 7,00, hoovering outside our cabin. We enjoyed the ports of call but don't think it was worth the hastle it took to get us there and would have liked more onboard entertainment for those who elected, for whatever reason, not to go ashore or who were unable to do so. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
The Marco Polo is old, small and no frills but she doesn't try to be anything other than that. This was my 11th cruse and the smallest and oldest vessel I have sailed as my past ships have been on the super liners from RCI ... Read More
The Marco Polo is old, small and no frills but she doesn't try to be anything other than that. This was my 11th cruse and the smallest and oldest vessel I have sailed as my past ships have been on the super liners from RCI (majority), MSC, P+O etc. I really wasn't sure what to expect but I knew I had to keep expectations low and not compare to past ships. I wouldn't say I was pleasantly surprised but I was not disappointed either. The ship was slightly bigger than I anticipated and certainly showing her age, however it does look very tired and extremely dated. We took this cruise (Weekend to Honfleur) as it was good value and sailed from my home town (Cardiff) so being a cruise addict I really could not resist the chance to sail from a port just a few minutes drive from my home. Embarkation was very quick and organised. Our luggage was waiting outside the cabin door as soon as we boarded and this is certainly not something I am used to on the large ships so that was a pleasant surprise. The cabin (504) was ok. Dated and tired decor but cosy with a large window, good storage and usual size bathroom. The ship does not have balcony cabins and I really missed not having my own outside space to chill out. The MDR was a little drab and they certainly squeeze you in but it was pleasant enough. Food was fairly good, nothing fancy or luxurious but everything was tasty enough and service was good. Wine is reasonably priced with good wine from £15 a bottle and drinks at the various bars were also reasonable with cocktails of the day, beers and cider at £3.50 or more. The one thing I did not feel on this ship that I have done on RCI, NCL etc is the feeling of being ripped off. A feeling I especially get on the American ships. Entertainment was very good and the entertainment team were as good, if not better, than some of the bigger ships. Had they had a proper theater or better facilities than I honestly think they could be the best entertainment team I have seen at sea. As this was a weekend cruise we only had one port of call and that was Honfleur. This has to be one of the most beautiful ports I have ever been to. We were so lucky with stunning spring sunshine which complimented this picture perfect port. The ship docked close to the town but there were regular free shuttle buses throughout the day. As it was such a lovely day we chose to walk which took around 25min but it not the most picturesque so recommend the bus. All in all we had a very enjoyable weekend but this is certainly not a ship for me. A weekend is fine but I would not chose CMV for a holiday as they do not cater for what I want out of a cruise. I want a bit of luxury, more facilities, bigger ship and I don't want the feeling I am on a ferry. We are also in our early 40s and young minded but CMV clearly cater for the 70+ market. However it is good value of money, you pay for what you get and this ship really does not pretend to be anything else. So if a cheap weekend deal does come up again they I would certainly do it again, but for a weekend only! Few points I was not happy with - Pool and hot tubs close early, service was sometimes quite bad, especially from Eastern European bar staff, snacks not available all day so if you are a late sitting and you fancy a snack around 5pm forget it and more sun loungers needed on deck. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Everything about this cruise was fabulous from the start to the finish the crew couldn't do enough for you and made you feel special they all, always had a smile for you and nothing was too much trouble, the food was amazing and ... Read More
Everything about this cruise was fabulous from the start to the finish the crew couldn't do enough for you and made you feel special they all, always had a smile for you and nothing was too much trouble, the food was amazing and entertainment was first class. Every single person on this cruise give it 100% our cabin 237 was perfect for us and our cabin steward Yougesh always kept our cabin spotless made sure we had everything we needed. Pritish our waiter was very attentive as was our wine waitress Alla Ivanova, the entertainment crew were first class every show was brilliant thank you Mitch, Josh, Callum, Anna and Chrissie not forgetting the dancers who were all fabulous, next are the bar crew who certainly looked after us very well, a very special mention to Ramesh, Klayton and Nataly from the Colombus bar who gave us many happy hours and lots of laughs in the evenings, also Sanja Lato in the showroom. The excursions and scenery on this trip plus the above made it a holiday to remember forever. A big thank you to the Marco Polo crew and we look forward to travelling with you again. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this 7 night cruise for the ports visited, convenience (no fly) and price. Having read mixed reviews we weren't sure what to expect. This was our first cruise with Cruise and Maritime: the model suits us and we would return. ... Read More
We chose this 7 night cruise for the ports visited, convenience (no fly) and price. Having read mixed reviews we weren't sure what to expect. This was our first cruise with Cruise and Maritime: the model suits us and we would return. We enjoy cruises as a relaxed, comfortable way to travel to some beautiful and interesting destinations. We appreciated the smaller ship with a relaxed homely feel. CMV seem to know their clientele and cater well for them - mainly older and British on this cruise, many being repeat cruisers with CMV. Despite being a small ship, facilities were adequate, including 3 hot tubs, a sauna and gym, none of which were busy. It may not have the glitz and luxury of newer and bigger ships / lines, (no fruit in cabin, chocolates on pillows, or quirky folded towels etc) and the main restaurant was a bit cramped. But for us this was more than compensated for by the quiet, relaxed, intimate ambience (about 800 passengers). We particularly appreciated: - the most efficient embarkation and disembarkation we have ever experienced (car to cabin in under 20 minutes, with luggage following a few minutes later) - tea and coffee included and served at the table at the end of dinner (some lines no longer do that). Tea (wide choice) and coffee freely available on deck 8 most waking hours. - free shuttles at ports (although we mostly walked) - beautiful medieval ports and a lovely cruise along the Seine - not accesssible on larger ships. - personal and prompt responses from staff to queries or concerns. e.g. staff remembered our preferences despite our changing dinner sitting (as per our request). - announcements clear and in English. Just enough but not too much. - enrichment programme. I attended 4 gardening lectures which were interesting and useful. There were also art, craft and line dancing classes available, all well attended. - classical music duo playing every evening. - entertainment team did well, including the ships own band. Again not glitzy but enjoyable. - fellow cruisers seemed kind and considerate, interesting and not noisy (adults only on this cruise)! - evening activities in the bars were self-contained and the rest of the ship remained quiet - no casino / gambling machines - easy to promenade right round the ship. - good written summary port information for each stop, and no hard sell re excursions. - well attended Sunday service taken by an officer. - the small ship was quick and easy to get around. - repeated sightings of dolphins as we cruised! All in all an unfussy, relaxed cruise on a small older ship, with personal service from helpful staff, visiting beautiful places. The Cruise and Maritime style suits us and we would certainly return if the price, timing and destinations matched our requirements. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
After reading a review posted by a fellow passenger on this 28 night cruise, I'm wondering whether we were actually on the same holiday ! Everyone is entitled to their views, but to me, the difference between the previous review and ... Read More
After reading a review posted by a fellow passenger on this 28 night cruise, I'm wondering whether we were actually on the same holiday ! Everyone is entitled to their views, but to me, the difference between the previous review and the one below is more to do with attitude and expectation. I had already prepared my review (just not posted it yet), so I will leave it up to the reader to decide who had the best holiday experience. This cruise was our 2nd with CMV and on the Marco Polo. A previous 12 night cruise to Iceland last October became the taster to this 28 night return transatlantic cruise to Canada and therefore we were aware of what to expect from this ship before we booked. Firstly, we had found the standard cabins to be too small - for us - for a month long trip, so we splashed out and booked a DeLuxe Outside cabin for this cruise, which - with so many sea days - turned out to be a good move. The Itinerary, was Liverpool, Cobh, St John's (Newfoundland), Halifax (Nova Scotia), Charlottetown (Prince Edward Islands), Gaspe (Quebec), Montreal, Quebec City (2 days) Sept-Iles, Havre-Saint-Pierre, Cap-aux-Meules, Sydney (Nova Scotia), Corner Brook (Newfoundland) & a final port of St Anthony (Newfoundland) that unfortunately had to be cancelled. The Ship - is old by current cruising standards, but charming at the same time. It is kept spotlessly clean by the staff, and for us, this compensates for the obvious wear and tear you can see around the ship. Having said that, I am led to believe that the Marco Polo will soon be going into dry dock for a 'make over' so it will be interesting to see what they do to her. She has a loyal fan base who cruise regularly on her, and I can understand why, as she is probably one of the most honest and friendly ships I have ever been on. She doesn't profess to be all singing and dancing with glitz everywhere you look - but if your expectations are realistic and you open yourself to the quirkiness of the ship, she will embrace you and give you a warm homely feeling. (Apologies if this is a bit too lyrical !!) Embarkation at Liverpool was speedy and well organised. Cabin - A DeLuxe Oceanview on Deck 11. Great size and layout, with 3 large windows, kingsize bed, settee & chair, stool and coffee table. Fridge/Minibar, Tea & Coffee making facility, and bowl of fruit replenished as necessary. The two double wardrobes provided plenty of hanging space for clothes and there were drawers galore which helped in keeping the room tidy. The only downside (for us) was that the bathroom had a full size bath with overhead shower. We prefer a walk-in shower which is what you get with the more standard cabins. By the way, its true what they say about the higher you are, the more motion you feel !!!! We do not suffer from sea sickness, but if you are prone to this malaise, then stick to a lower deck cabin. Dining - If you are used to the selection you get on the premium cruise ships, then you will feel limited with Marco Polo. The food is good, but the choice is limited and repetitive. Breakfast can be taken in either the Bistro Buffet, or MDR - both are buffet style, although tea and coffee are served to your table in the Dining Room. Lunch is also served Buffet style in the Bistro and by Table service in the MDR. An addition when weather permits is the Pool Grill which has a Burger / Pizza / Fries selection on the open aft deck. Buffets are notorious for being difficult to find seats, but we only had 2 occasions at Breakfast during the 28 nights when it was full and we walked out and waited 15 mins. Afternoon Tea is also served in the Buffet around 3.15 each day - the pastries and scones were lovely. Dinner is a 5 course affair in the MDR (two sittings 6.00 pm and 8.00 p.m.) and of all the food served on this ship, I found this to be the best quality & choice. And if you hadn't eaten enough during the day, they provided a buffet in all the lounges at 11.00 p.m. each night !!!! During our 28 night cruise, there were 4 Formal Nights which the majority of passengers adhered to. The remaining nights were a mix of Informal or Casual depending on whether we had been in Port all day or not. Mostly, men wore Jacket (usually taken off within minutes of sitting down !!) & open neck shirt for Informal, and just short sleeve shirt / polo on casual nights. Overall, I would say Ladies dressed up more than I have seen on P & O / Princess / Royal Caribbean etc although the atmosphere never made you feel you had to. Entertainment - This is one of the reasons we chose to cruise on CMVs Marco Polo again. I have never met an Entertainment Team that puts so much effort into their job. The 4/5 headline singers (including the Cruise Director) were outstanding, and also doubled up on hosting onboard quizzes / bingo / games etc. and also provided Cabaret in Scotts Bar at 11.00 p.m. each evening. The twice nightly (8.00 p.m. & 10.00 p.m.) main Shows in the Marco Polo Lounge were superb and very well attended. On a couple of the evenings early in the cruise, a Comedian joined the ship, and likewise we were joined by a Ventriloquist / Comedian for a couple of shows on our way home. The 7 strong dance troupe were amazing, as was the Live Band. In fact I can honestly say that the whole Entertainment team was one of the best and most committed I have ever come across. A big plus for the CMV line in my opinion. Only one downside to the entertainment was that for the whole 28 nights, the large Columbus Lounge had the resident Russian Classical duo playing in the evening. Im not against classical music, but this limited the use of this Lounge - at least to us. I would have liked to have heard some occasional upbeat music in this area, and move the classical team around a bit. Onboard Lectures - I would imagine that these become more important, the more sea days you have in your Itinerary, and become extremely important when you are sailing across the North Atlantic - both ways !!! We had 4 great Speakers giving presentations on a wide range of subjects from the History of Newfoundland through to the photographing over a period of years, of a lioness and her family in India. A WW11 Historian (who did a very convincing impression of Winston Churchill) also gave us an in-depth explanation of events such as the sinking of the Bismark, the D-Day Landings and the Dambusters. All good stuff. Shore Excursions - As with all cruise lines, these are expensive for what they are, but if you are not up to the hassle of researching your ports and arranging private tours, then just book them and enjoy. The Excursion staff are first class, and Sue (the Manager) is extremely good at her job. The tours are well organised and simply administered without fuss. Maybe its because this Ship is so much smaller than many, but disembarkation onto the tours went without a hitch - as far as I could see. Overall Enjoyment - A great cruise, which included a number of great ports in Canada that many ships are too big to call at - a fabulous Itinerary, with just one exception 'Sept Isles' - not a lot there, and my advice is not to take the Shuttle into Town - what town ?!? Either do one of the ships tours further afield, or stay on the ship and have a cheap massage !! If you are prone to motion sickness, I wouldn't take the Marco Polo on a North Transatlantic Voyage unless the Itinerary was something special. Don't get me wrong, we felt safe on her and she rode the waves well, but she's small, so there is movement. BUT, I can't wait for her to come out of the re-fit next year and book again. To us, she is a 'special' ship and probably always will be. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I originally drafted this review of the British Isles Discovery Cruise (Cruise and Maritime) some weeks ago but it read like “What I did on my holidays”. So, I abandoned that approach and will instead to focus on the experience which ... Read More
I originally drafted this review of the British Isles Discovery Cruise (Cruise and Maritime) some weeks ago but it read like “What I did on my holidays”. So, I abandoned that approach and will instead to focus on the experience which should make for a shorter piece and be more helpful to the reader. Suffice it to say my wife and I left from Liverpool (Pier Head) Terminal on 20th August and arrived back on 1st September. Our cruise took us to Dublin, Cobh (near Cork), St Mary’s (Isles of Scilly), Guernsey, Honfleur in France (for Bayeux), Edinburgh, Orkney, Lewis (Outer Hebrides), Mull (Inner Hebrides) and Belfast. MV Marco Polo is an older cruise ship, first built in former East Germany in 1964 and named the Aleksandr Pushkin. She has recently been fully refitted and carries around 800 passengers and 300 crew. A Russian Captain oversaw a multi-national crew who were pretty much unfailingly helpful, cheery and polite. We were first-time cruisers and admittedly in our mid-60’s, were among the younger passengers. We dined each evening with two other North West couples of a similar vintage who had, in each case, extensive experience of sea cruise holidays. I can only report that the holiday was a wonderful experience from beginning to end. The ship was an ideal size – large enough to provide a comprehensive range of services – small enough to feel personal and comfortable. The food was plentiful and varied without being overwhelming and was of a consistently high quality. My wife is a lifelong vegetarian and was well catered for and the drinks prices were reasonable with pre-booked all-inclusive packages available if required. The range of available excursions (we selected three) was very comprehensive at each location and the provision was prompt and well-organised. The local guides were really excellent and provided plenty of interesting and informative background for each trip. The on-board entertainment was good and unobtrusive and the staff worked very hard to provide a quality service. Our cabin was a ‘Superior Plus’ twin on the Pacific deck with a large window to view the outside world. The sunsets were particularly pleasant to view. I am sure that I could pick holes if pressed, but why bother? Overall, this was a super holiday and excellent value. WE had the added bonus of meeting up with old friends and relatives in five of the ten ports and are now enthusiastic convers to the cruising experience ……. On smaller ships! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Cabin was clean and comfortable but I wouldn't want to be on for a long cruise 14+ nights as wardrobe space was at a minimum. There was a good range of public areas and bars. The accommodation round the pool was good with a bar ... Read More
Cabin was clean and comfortable but I wouldn't want to be on for a long cruise 14+ nights as wardrobe space was at a minimum. There was a good range of public areas and bars. The accommodation round the pool was good with a bar and outdoor grill. The buffet restaurant was spoiled by the smokers right outside the door. If you were entering from outside you had to run the gauntlet through the smoke. All in all the cruise was enjoyable but what spoiled it for us was the crew. They were unhelpful, unfriendly and down right rude at times. From reception to shops and bars you hardly got smile let alone an acknowledgement. No one greeted you or smiled as you arrived to be served or when you passed them in the corridor. Maybe we are just spoiled by the fantastic crews on board Fred Olsen cruise lines who are happy to meet you, remember you by name and are pleasant, smiley and engaging. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Overall, I would say we were happy with this cruise from Rosyth to Longyearbyen then back again. I'm not convinced I would cruise again with CMV, it would depend on the itinerary. The Good: The price was reasonable as we got a ... Read More
Overall, I would say we were happy with this cruise from Rosyth to Longyearbyen then back again. I'm not convinced I would cruise again with CMV, it would depend on the itinerary. The Good: The price was reasonable as we got a last minute deal, yet had a better cabin than those who did not get the same deal... The cabin was clean. There was a good choice of food at the buffet. The Bad: The food was mostly always look-warm/under-cooked/overcooked The fish on the menu was not fresh. Keep your receipts to check later. The Ugly: Some of the staff obviously did not want to be there. e.g This is the only cruise I have been on to date where upon returning aboard we were met with complete silence from the staff scanning the boarding passes. I reported something serious to be told by staff they were busy and "not to worry as we are almost home". Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was a 70th birthday present and it was a buy one get one free. Good food and service and being a small ship was not impersonal. You met a lot of people who were friendly and there were no children! We ended up not getting the ... Read More
This was a 70th birthday present and it was a buy one get one free. Good food and service and being a small ship was not impersonal. You met a lot of people who were friendly and there were no children! We ended up not getting the cruise we paid for. It was to the Scilly Isles, Rouen, Antwerp and then to Hull. We would be coached back to Cardiff from there. After leaving Rouen the Captain came over the speaker system to inform us that we would not be going to Antwerp after all as the weather was bad and the pilot refused to come on board. We could have hopefully stayed in Rouen another day or even found somewhere else in France to go, but no we ended up GOING TO DOVER!! Some of the people on the cruise got off at Dover and went home by train. We did go into Dover for something to do and it cost us £5 each return and there was nothing really there. There was a good selection of food and you could eat 4 times a day! with snacks after 12. The service was good and the staff were friendly. Our cabin steward [Dev] was very good and our cabin [though not good] was always kept clean and tidy and the beds turned down at night. For a first cruise it was a little disappointing. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We have just returned from a Marco Polo 6-night cruise, having sailed on her two times previously. All was as expected and food was as good as ever - however, and it's a BIG however, We were encouraged to book by CMV sales a Junior ... Read More
We have just returned from a Marco Polo 6-night cruise, having sailed on her two times previously. All was as expected and food was as good as ever - however, and it's a BIG however, We were encouraged to book by CMV sales a Junior Suite (811) as I was taking along a small collapsible mobility scooter which they said could be adequately stored in the "Walk-in Wardrobe" and also the cabin was "Much" larger than the DL (Deluxe Ocean View) cabin we were thinking of booking. Not only is there NO walk-in wardrobe in cabin 811, the cabin itself is much smaller than the DL grade of cabins. As advised, we complained to the Guest Relations Manager on day 1 of the cruise and on day 2, three officers (GRM, Hotel Director + another) visited our cabin and confirmed that the wardrobe is a standard one and the size of the cabin is not as described. They could also see that we had to store one of our suitcases behind the dressing table in front of the window, thus obscuring further the already obstructed view. I received two letters from the GRM whilst on-board and an assurance that we would be upgraded on our next cruise with them in September. Currently I am awaiting a return call from CMV about this, as all grades above the cabin we have booked have been sold - we already have free gratuities and a drinks package, so I wonder what they can offer us??? When I asked CMV what their opinion was regarding advertising (on their website) this cabin with a walk-in wardrobe and charging a premium to be in an inferior one compared to a DL grade, they had no reply. I shall be seeking legal advice on this matter if we do not get suitable compensation - also I will contact the powers that be that oversee all infringements regarding The Sale of Goods and Services Act. The cruise itself was average, mainly because of the inclement weather and the fact that Dover was substituted for Antwerp, which we have never visited before. I understand that the ship will be having a refit/upgrade in December and the Stabilizers are due for repair, a fact which was highlighted as she did not sail too well through the heavy seas as before. One hopes that cabin 811 is re-categorized to a lower grade as it is clearly not up to Junior Suite status. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We picked this cruise from Cardiff as it was close to home and because of the ports of call and very few days at sea. This was a 10 night cruise visiting France, Spain and Portugal with a night stopover in Lisbon. Embarkation and ... Read More
We picked this cruise from Cardiff as it was close to home and because of the ports of call and very few days at sea. This was a 10 night cruise visiting France, Spain and Portugal with a night stopover in Lisbon. Embarkation and disembarkation was quickly dealt with. I was apprehensive about sailing on the Marco Polo as I had read a lot of bad reviews but overall was impressed by her even though she is an old ship in need of updating.This was our first cruise on Marco Polo and our 4th time with CMV.. I think she is just fine for short cruises and would not consider doing a long cruise on her. Our cabin was clean with plenty of space and we had received an upgrade from our original booking. (only difference I could see was the fact we had 2 windows instead of 2 portholes and were 1 deck up) We had tea and coffee making facilities in the cabin. We had fantastic weather throughout from the moment we left Cardiff to our return. The only thing was that at times,it was difficult to find somewhere to sit out on deck, especially the pool deck!. The bar staff were fantastic as basically so were all the waiting staff, really helpful and friendly. A lot has been said in previous reviews about the food on board and I will not comment to much except to say that at times it leaves a lot to be desired! We never went to see a show as the times they were on need to be sorted out. If you were on 2nd sitting for dinner you had to go and see a show beforehand. It would have been much better to have seen on after dinner as the 1st sitting people had!. As far as the singers who performed out on deck most days, what can one say, I'll give them 10 out of 10 for effort but basically they were terrible. It would have been better if one on two of them could actually sing in tune.The only one who had a half decent voice was the entertainments manger. ports of call were very good though as we all know its far cheaper to go off and do your own thing rather than take an excursion, Having said that we did do a couple which due to the heat turned out for us to be a good thing. Value for money, well yes. If you want first class food and entertainment and loads more activities then CMV is not for you.As in anything in life you get what you paid for. We really liked Marco Polo and hope to saild on her again some time. I understand from talking to a senior officer that she is going to have some sort of refit at the end of next year and that they hope to keep her for a few more years after that before she is "retired". I hope that is the case as I feel there is a very strong market for smaller ships instead of these massive monsters that are now on our seas. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Food was awful. Tasteless, and much like eating in a school cafeteria. Even the sitdown restaurant had the same food. Cabin was great, but we hardly slept. Don't know why as the beds were OK. Very old ship, and it's ... Read More
Food was awful. Tasteless, and much like eating in a school cafeteria. Even the sitdown restaurant had the same food. Cabin was great, but we hardly slept. Don't know why as the beds were OK. Very old ship, and it's showing it's age, although the staff do keep it clean. Staff fantastic, but wouldn't go on this line ever again. Embarkation was a breeze, and getting off the ship at the end went quicker than we expected. Very organized. Did not participate in entertainment so can't comment on that. Shore excursions were a mixed bag, some good, some not worth the money. In future think we'd do our own thing going ashore. On questioning the staff, it appears that some of the ports must bid to have a cruise ship dock!!!!! Belfast was a disappointment. Titanic experience was not worth the money, and the city sights, were quite depressing. Sad. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Frail elderly people, think my wife was the youngest on board apart from the staff. I am 68 & my wife is 60 but we are both very fit & healthy.Think most of the customers were well over 75+.Emergency helicopter at sea, rough seas ... Read More
Frail elderly people, think my wife was the youngest on board apart from the staff. I am 68 & my wife is 60 but we are both very fit & healthy.Think most of the customers were well over 75+.Emergency helicopter at sea, rough seas & elderly people do not mix. Food brilliant 5* well presented, cooked beautiful & most of all HOT!. Staff 10/10 could not fault them at all, staff as good as any of the 8 cruises we have been on. Ship far too small for us, well out dated, needs a complete revamp or sinking. Cabins are in need of gutting & bringing up to date.Beds too small, no dressing table for the ladies, shower jell & shampoo rubbish.Shows average, theatre not terraced correctly made it difficult to see the shows. No casino. Sun beds & chairs very uncomfortable. Would not go with Cruise & Maritime again much prefer larger more modern ships with lots more to do. Read Less
93 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Really do not know where to start with this one ?. The initial Cruise was book to depart from Tilbury on the 16th February 2017 for 15 Nights in the Land of the Northern Lights (P704).....................however, the Departure port with ... Read More
Really do not know where to start with this one ?. The initial Cruise was book to depart from Tilbury on the 16th February 2017 for 15 Nights in the Land of the Northern Lights (P704).....................however, the Departure port with then changed to Bristol Avonmouth and the Cruise brought forward to depart on the 13th February 2017. We booked this Cruise with CMV because we live in Kent and Tilbury is around 40 miles from us.............excellent departure port. Now it begins to fall apart. We are travelling with my totally disabled Mother In Law whom is wheelchair bound, so we have booked a disabled taxi ti get us from Herne Bay Kent to Tilbury Cruise terminal at a cost of £50 return journey. We now have to contact the taxi Company and tell them that we now need to get to Bristol Avonmouth some 200 miles from our home address and this is now going to cost us an extra £500 on top of our Cruise costs to get to Bristol Avonmouth, is that fair ?. I spoke with CMV and explained the situation regarding the extra mileage and costs and where they interested....................NOT REMOTELY !!!!, and refused to even assist with any help regarding the cost of the taxi fare, nothing at all, so now I have the Cruise to pay for plus an additional £500 taxi fare on top of that. CMV were not interested at all, they have your money for the Cruise, why should they worry, they have Got You !!!!. Eventually, after many long and protracted telephone conversations, they did concede to pay part of the taxi fare, well, no they didn't, they offer to pay us £75.00 towards the taxi fare, but this would be paid as 'Onboard' spend to my cabin. THIS NEVER HAPPENED, they got away with not paying anything. This really is a rubbish Company. I move on though, three days before our departure day CMV decide to call us again and this time the departure port has moved again, so we booked for Tilbury, then changed to Bristol Avonmouth and now we are going to depart from Portland Dorset. I must say that the taxi firm were great, no price increase first of all, but then again the distance was reduced by 5.4 miles, CMV told us to keep our Embarkation time as we had been given which was 14:40 in the afternoon. Come departure day, taxi arrives and away we go to Portland Dorset and some four hours later arrive at the Terminal in Portland, it's empty !!!!!. Taxi has departed and here we are, sitting in some damp dingy building awaiting for someone from CMV to turn up and tell us whats happening.................did that happen...................NO !!!! not until 4:00pm when we where introduced to the Cruise Director, whom really did not have a clue, waffle waffle waffle but nothing. The ship at this time was sitting on a sandbank in Portland Harbour and had not berthed so was still full of disembarking passengers from the previous Cruise. There was no refreshments available or supplied by CMV for Customers at the Portland Terminal, absolutely nothing. More and more Customers were turning up, but still no information was coming forward from the Cruise Director as to when we would be moving onboard. Very slowly some disembarking passengers came ashore, their luggage thrown on the back of some old open backed truck and once at the Terminal they had to unload it themselves before they could go, This went on for A COUPLE OF HOURS. Eventually, we were passport processed and moved into another damp dingy room awaiting transport to the ship. Called to get on the transport at 19:40 hours, as we were first in, they kindly took us first out...............more problems. My disabled Mother In Law is wheelchair bound and could not get into the Coach to the ship, despite me telling the Cruise Director multiple times that she would need to be transported to the ship, nothing had been done, had it not been for a kind hearted bus driver I am pretty sure we would have been left at the terminal and watched the ship depart.................we did eventually get to the ship having been subjected to more security searches than you would get at London Heathrow, and at the bottom of the gangway once there we were subjected to a torrent of abuse from a female Security Officer onboard the ship shouting that we cannot come onboard with the wheelchair. Fortunately, an Officer instructed some of the Crew to come and assist us with the wheelchair movement onto the ship.............at last we were onboard after seven and three quarter hours of dis organised ciaos...............really a total disaster thus far. Once on board found our cabin which was supposedly disability adapted, it's not, and certainly not for use with a wheelchair bound Customer. The cabin was fairly large but the WC was totally impracticable, the equipment we needed to get in to the toilet kept grounding on a roughly made ramp, making it difficult to get into the toilet. The water from the tap was a constant orange colour, the assistance bars around the toilet were permanent not the fol up type, so we could not get the wheel chair close to the toilet easily, just a horrible nasty place to be. We sailed at 03:00hours hours late but their fun had not finished even now, at midnight they decided to do 'Life Boat Drill', after all the time we had been messed about now this........................Oh the end of a perfect day..............somewhere in the World but NOT on the MS Marco Polo.. The ship itself is quite a nice vessel, even though she is 52 years old, the decor is nice and the public areas are tastefully completed. The food..................where do you start? The Waldorf is the main Restaurant, and I was on the first sitting, Portions very small, very limited choice on the menu, found every cut of meat tough to cut and eat, veg I found tasteless, not a good experience, infact we stopped using this place and used Marco on Deck 8 for all our meals breakfast\lunch\Afternoon tea and Evening meal...........better selection, food alot tastier and a staff always helpful, nice place to be....................quite enjoyable with great views to. Entertainment: The Guest Speakers were very good as were the two acts brought on and Comedian and a Magician........................but sorry to have to say it but the onboard Entertainment Team were appalling, The Dancers were good, the Vocalist were awful. Really do not want to spend to long on this, but I certainly would never pay to watch any of their shows, they were abysmal from start to finish. Port of Call Excellent Ports, dismal departure times. Really could go on writing about this Cruise for a long long time and alas could say nothing nice about it. This really is a awful Cruise Line, fortunately I have done it and will never do it again with CMV. This is my fifteenth Cruise and by far the worst ever. I would advise anyone with a disability not to use CMV, they are more interested in the able bodied Customer and they are not afraid to show this. From start to finish it was a total disgrace and I think that CMV should hang their head in shame for their performance on this Cruise, possible learn a few lessons infact a lot of lessons. My God Bless them and all who Sail with Them Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
My husband booked a snorkelling tour through Cruise and Maritime with Starwind cruises St Georges of Grenada .He and others were told to be on board by 45 minutes , he set his Omega accurate dive watch . At 40 minutes when he was 2 yards ... Read More
My husband booked a snorkelling tour through Cruise and Maritime with Starwind cruises St Georges of Grenada .He and others were told to be on board by 45 minutes , he set his Omega accurate dive watch . At 40 minutes when he was 2 yards from the rear of the boat , they started the engines and left . He managed to hold his mask on and not drown in the turbulence . This was 3/4 off a mile off shore with rocks and no buildings . There was 1 other boat with divers he swam 1/2 a mile to it praying that it would not leave , and hoping he would not drown with exhaustion . The rescuer recalled the Starwind , the Captain of which said it dont matter man , and was intent on handing out the rum . The escort from Cruise and Maritime did not identify , help or even ask if medical help was necessary . The tour manager Susan of the Marco polo , was obstructive , lied and failed to help in any manner . Cruise and Maritime have apologised and offered 400 pounds for the distress caused by this potentially fatal incident and are reviewing if they may use this company ie Starwind Cruises again . All of the above is documented and we have statements of other passengers and witnesses to the fact that Starwind cruises did not carry out a head count . I have witnesses to the fact that the Cruise and Maritime staff lied , I had asked immigration officers to help us report the incident as no one was aboard the Marco Polo except the navigational officer , the officers arranged a meeting with the Shore Agent for CMV , at 8.30 pm Susan claimed she had a phone call that he was not attending , at this point he stepped forward and identified himself . Cruise and Maritime are now failing to address the issue at all , that the Tours promoted should be safe and that the escorts have a role to play in head counts etc . The ship is old , faded holes and ragged carpets , poor food , food and drink obviously bought at the ends of their sell by dates so became unavailable during the second half of the cruise . Meat was disgusting . Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
wanted away for Christmas and New Year My wife Myself her Sister and Friend aged between 60 and 73 having been on larger ships before we were a little unsure of the Marco Polo But right from the start at least you knew your ... Read More
wanted away for Christmas and New Year My wife Myself her Sister and Friend aged between 60 and 73 having been on larger ships before we were a little unsure of the Marco Polo But right from the start at least you knew your way around Boarding not bad from arriving at quay to our rooms about 40 minutes which we thought normal nice touch mulled wine handed round while we waited Cabin small but functional with good shower , Cabin Steward excellent nothing was a problem ,Every thing was spotless (but too many full length mirrors ,will have to diet) plenty of variety at mealtime with the waiter and wine waiter at our table good fun and always smiling Shows were good and there were a variety of talks lectures and quizzes every day there also were art and craft classes everyday . this suited us as my wife and sister liked the lectures their friend loved all the arts and crafts and I had my quizzes So we always had something to talk about when we met we did not go on many excursions as we had been to most of the places before but the ship anchored off Maderia to bring in the New Year and the firework display was fantastic only downside was that we had to wait for a couple of hours to disembark but fore by that i would recommend the Marco Polo if you want a small pleasant ship without great shopping Malls or Climbing Frames that is easy to get around and give good value for money Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
we chose this cruise to see the fjords, and for the convenient port of embarkation. chose the ship for its smaller size for our first cruise. embarkation was very smooth and quick, no waiting at all, straight on board and our cases were ... Read More
we chose this cruise to see the fjords, and for the convenient port of embarkation. chose the ship for its smaller size for our first cruise. embarkation was very smooth and quick, no waiting at all, straight on board and our cases were outside our cabin within minutes!. Cabin was excellent, with plenty of space to move about and very good facilities. Cabin steward was first class and very helpful, as were every single member of staff on board, such a cheerful bunch! The food was excellent, plentiful and frequent. Although the marco polo is an older ship, she has an understated elegance about her, Plenty of activities if you wanted them, and quiet areas if that was your preference. Entertainment crew were very good, and carried on regardless of some difficult sea conditions. the excursions were varied and very interesting. we had an unscheduled overnight stop in bergen due to rough seas, and missed out tobermory. Some passengers were unhappy about that, but surely the safety of passengers and crew should take priority. Personally, i think the captain is to be commended in the decision he made! Dining was a real pleasure, particularly of an evening. We were fortunate to be seated with lovely people, and the waiters/waitresses were top notch, nothing was too much trouble for them the only downside was the weather, which was nobodys fault! We would certainly cruise again on the Marco Polo, maybe a summer one next time. Disembarkation was just as good as embarkation. I had reservations about having to use a tender for a couple of excursions, but need not have been worried, the staff were there to assist and made it very easy 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 3.3
Service 4.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.6

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