84 Cruise & Maritime Voyages Marco Polo Senior Cruise Reviews

I chose to travel to Canada and the Cruise and Maritime Marco Polo was available for the cruise. The ship is small and old. Built many years ago. It tilts and sways alot. It is suitable for retired and elderly people. I experienced stress ... Read More
I chose to travel to Canada and the Cruise and Maritime Marco Polo was available for the cruise. The ship is small and old. Built many years ago. It tilts and sways alot. It is suitable for retired and elderly people. I experienced stress because of a elderly woman who talked non-stop. The male supervisor who works in the buffet area, stares at you in a hateful way. He behaves as if he resents passengers helping themselves to food that they paid for! The buffet cooks behind the counter also stare in a nasty unpleasant manner. The tall, male security guard with dark hair, enjoys stalking women in a creepy manner. He follows women like a creepy shadow. WiFi is not available, so I could not access online banking. Some of the tours were suitable. For example, Montreal, Quebec and Sydney. The Marco Polo cruise was for 30 days to Canada. My dining experience in the buffet found a variety of cooked food. Chicken, fish, and vegetarian. Also salads. The Waldorf restaurant provides a daily set menu to choose from. Two or three starters, main meals, and desserts. Alcohol has to be paid for as extra expenses. Activities such as, comedy drama and singing was pleasant entertainment. There was a daily £5 charge for art classes, for this reason I only attended once. The service by staff in general was basic. The Scotts bar, had 1 good bartender who served nice cocktails. The cabin i stayed in was a standard room. Two single beds, a cabinet with drawers, a double wardrobe and one chair. A small shower room. With basic soap and shampoo with a unpleasant smell. Towels were changed by request. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our last time on the Marco Polo was in 2011, our second cruise, after our first on NCL with a butler and a concierge and lots of fancy extras. We’ve done lots of cruises since, but the Marco Polo has stayed VERY special and both times ... Read More
Our last time on the Marco Polo was in 2011, our second cruise, after our first on NCL with a butler and a concierge and lots of fancy extras. We’ve done lots of cruises since, but the Marco Polo has stayed VERY special and both times have been equally enjoyable. It’s a shame this is the last time the Marco Polo will visit Canada, so I’ll concentrate on the ship, rather than the ports. If it were to return to Canada, I’d suggest calling it “Canada with a fall”, as a lot of people took the title “fall” rather too literally and actually fell, which kept the doctor fairly busy (although he always seemed to have time for a cigarette – and the occasional brandy - out on deck!)! On arrival, the new parking facilities at Tilbury made things much easier. As we went towards check in, we were greeted by Sheena, a member of staff who recognised us from 2011 – she was also there to wish us a safe journey home when we got back! Check in took no time, and within minutes, we were in our cabin. We really like CMV, and yes, there are things they could do better – information about the ports could have maps, there could be more mugs available and a couple of the waiting staff might be a little more courteous at times (that said, our waiter, Pritish, was fantastic). Sometimes, perhaps a little more attention could be paid to detail. Getting the time zone wrong was a good example, but it does add to the quirkiness of CMV and probably why we rate it so highly. It’s a small ship experience with a very friendly and very helpful crew (mostly) and very friendly passengers (mostly), with no casino, no art auctions, very few queues, no huge upselling – and no kids (although most passengers are very young at heart). Calling it a “small ship” is correct, but as the cruise progresses, it takes longer and longer to get anywhere as you keep nattering to people on the way! We’ve racked our brains as to what facilities a larger ship has that we’d use and can’t think of anything that really makes a huge difference to our overall enjoyment. We booked a “guaranteed” cabin and were allocated 655, an accessible cabin on deck 9. It was very big and exceedingly well situated. It had more than ample storage facilities with a large dressing table and three wardrobes. And very usefully, lots of wall hooks for coats and dressing gowns that we brought with. One of the dressing gowns came in particularly useful to block out the light from under the door. Most of the time the noise from Scott’s Bar didn’t bother us, however we did have to make sure the big doors were closed before we went to bed, and were annoyed by the selfish people who opened them once or twice late at night despite the signs. Our cabin door rattled - we managed to remedy it by using a sock - the cabin attendant did say he’d inform the carpenter, but that didn’t seem to happen, however he did keep the cabin absolutely spotless and never seemed to stop working. The hold rails in the bathroom came in very useful when we were taking a shower in rough seas. However, as for true accessibility, the ship isn’t modern and one day a lady was in tears after climbing the gang way back up to the ship which was very steep due to tidal conditions – she didn’t leave the ship again until disembarkation. However, others (including yours truly) managed to dance in Scott’s Bar in rather rough seas until the small hours. With so many sea days, we were delighted with the daytime activities, especially the creative writing classes by Chrissie – and the drama classes with Harry and Emma. Doing these meant that there were clashes with some of the lectures but the ones we saw (especially Steve’s maritime history ones) were great. Sue was always on deck saying we’d just missed a whale (seriously, she was fabulous at explaining the natural world around us) – and Lucy was a real trooper although a lot of what she said about photography rather went over our untechnical heads – we just want to point and click to get a photo! Given that our previous Marco Polo Cruise Director was the amazing Richard Sykes, Josh had a lot to live upto and he was a really great Cruise Director – a very talented showman with a great future. The standout moment for us was when he unexpectedly appeared during our drama class in his costume for the cocktail competition. At that moment, it confirmed we were in great hands! The nightly entertainment was mainly very good, although we thought the comedians were rather past their best before date. At nearly 60, I really struggled with some subjects, such as putting sixpences and aspirins in stocking suspenders that broke in the wash. Thankfully some other passengers explained it to us. One thing we would change about the “Round the World” would be the English bit. Surely Gracie Fields, Vera Lynn and some outdated jingoistic claptrap about how we’re going to widen our “Empire” could perhaps be replaced by something more in keeping with the modern world, perhaps a couple of Beatles songs, like “With A Little Help From Our Friends” and “Imagine”. Or even Scooch’s Eurovision entry, “Flying the Flag”. Or something less innocuous like “My Old Man”. It was nice to see a smattering of same sex couples, perhaps we should have asked for an LGBT meet up to be put in the programme as we didn’t get to know one couple until the last few days. Being gay obviously wasn’t a problem, but we were rather more cautious about talking about politics and very carefully “came out” as pro-EU – and were delighted to find so many likeminded people – and were over the moon that EU flags sometimes adorned our cocktails! Unlike some other lines, CMV isn’t “totally” British, we very much enjoyed having a smattering of Dutch and Australian etc passengers onboard. The food was very much to our taste, I’m not sure I ordered anything I didn’t like, and there was a very good variety with very few repetitions during the 30 days, although my pescatarian husband had a couple of veggie dishes he wasn’t keen on, but they were changed very quickly to something he did like. Our waiter, Pritish, was absolutely brilliant and dealt with our dietary requirements superbly. Portions were huge and our only complaint was that the food was too nice so we ate too much! Of course, it wouldn’t be CMV without a few quirks – vinegar springs to mind where at first it came in a gravy boat, then the waiters just brought the plastic bottle! Shame I can’t be as enthusiastic about the house wine. My husband refused to drink the house white after a while and we ended up buying bottles – even at £12 after the discount, it mounts up and is rather annoying when you’ve already spent around £1200 on two drinks packages. For our next cruise, we’ve decided to take the VIP package, reluctantly, in the hope that the wine is better. To cut down on eating, many times, we had the free “breakfast in bed” – toast, a croissant, a pastry, orange juice and tea/coffee was enough – inside cabins don’t have a kettle, so this was a way round getting a hot drink in the morning. A cooked version for a tenner was also available, although I’m not sure how you’d actually eat it comfortably in most cabins which don’t have a table. We only missed one port, St Johns, due to a hurricane, the rest of the time, we got to our destinations, although the tender process was a little chaotic at times, and our last Canadian port, Sydney was only until 1pm, meaning a very short stop for some – thankfully we pre-booked an excursion meaning we were off the ship quite early, but didn’t get a chance for a walk round the town afterwards. The excursions we went on were well priced and well organised and most of the time, free shuttles to the city centre were laid on by the port authorities, but that’s down to the port authority, rather than the cruise company. There’s no denying that CMV is truly unique and not for everyone. There’s simply no point in comparing it to other lines, it does things differently, it will suit some people more than others, and I’m sure there will be reviews about the “rust bucket” and “rude staff” etc. It certainly isn’t a rust bucket and 99% of the staff are friendly and helpful. Towards the end of the cruise, we had no hesitation in booking another with CMV where we got a 5% discount – plus free parking from cruise.co.uk! We’ve now got three CMV cruises to look forward to, none on the Marco Polo, which is a shame as it’s a fantastic ship, but I hope we’ll put that right soon enough. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Stunning place to visit Weather was fantastic Ship, very tired needs to retire as well do some staff No regrets going. But definitely won’t cruise again on this ship Service in outside bars very slow ( we waited 3 hours ... Read More
Stunning place to visit Weather was fantastic Ship, very tired needs to retire as well do some staff No regrets going. But definitely won’t cruise again on this ship Service in outside bars very slow ( we waited 3 hours before being attended to ) we were told if not happy move to an area that has waiters, one night asked for surf and turf for dinner 24 hours in advance was told no as it was a formal night Choice of foods not great Invited to a cocktail party ! Without any cocktails. Beer ,wine ,orange juice ! We done our own thing at the ports out of the 4 Bergen I didn’t enjoy The other 3 had better scenery very quiet and piecefull Entertainment very limited but the night shows were very good the dancers and singers work very hard VIP drinks package was well worth the money We met some lovely people glad we have done the fjords Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
It was wife’s birthday so went for it Enjoyed cruise but I was disappointed in the timings ,the boat went up the fjords early morning (while in bed) out in evening (while at dinner ) thus missing some of the scenery A shorter ... Read More
It was wife’s birthday so went for it Enjoyed cruise but I was disappointed in the timings ,the boat went up the fjords early morning (while in bed) out in evening (while at dinner ) thus missing some of the scenery A shorter stay at the places would have cured some of that, as there was nothing much in the villages stopped at .b t w £1.75 to use loo in one place by c c ! Plus side free upgraded to ocean view but noisy ,as we were on the lower deck 5 . As it was wife’s birthday they had a cake for her and the waiters came to the table with it Ready to sing her happy birthday ,but alas they were too late as we went up to see the show. However it was put in the cabin with a card ,nice gesture!. The food was excellent six course dinners with a great variety of food from Beef wellington To salmon . Breakfast loads of cereal,fruits ,yoghurt s meats ,cheeses ,porridge ,bacon (bit hard) sausages ,beans ,hash browns and one morning black pudding which was very tasty ! Another morning pancakes ,the chef was on doing the omelette with different fillings plus fried eggs . Lunch three course ,even fish and chips with mushy peas one day ,shepherds pie another . We chose the dining room as the self service was always very busy ! Drink prices were reasonable at £3.75 pint or near enough Entertainment was good ,some good singers and dancers that would put many a t v show to shame. Different theme every night ,the guest comedian on two nights well what can I say ! There were quizzes and games laid on by the crew which were fun And got you chatting to your fellow passengers . In all a very pleasant cruise up the Norwegian Fjordland third cruise but first on a small ship And nice it started from rosyth saved trailing to south . One final point perhaps they could give the windows a clean now and again they were very dirty when looking out having a relaxing drink Took a while to disembark 2hrs after arriving at port .we were last off ! The End ! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Although this was our 40th cruise, it was the first on Marco Polo and the smallest ship we have been on in 25 years of cruising and at 2 nights, the shortest. This is also my first review of a cruise ship. Having booked the cruise ... Read More
Although this was our 40th cruise, it was the first on Marco Polo and the smallest ship we have been on in 25 years of cruising and at 2 nights, the shortest. This is also my first review of a cruise ship. Having booked the cruise recently I looked up the reviews just before going and was quite alarmed by the number of negative reviews. I was not therefore expecting much. However, having enjoyed a very pleasant couple of days I thought that I should review it. I can only think that those negative reviews have come from people that only generally sail on the big modern ships with over 6000 guests and the staff to perform West End style shows. Whilst the exterior and steel around windows etc shows the signs of a 50 year old ship, the carpets and furniture and internal woodwork is kept spotless and clean. The beds are not modern but are comfortable enough and the bedding was clean. The inside cabins were larger than I expected with much more cupboard and drawer room than on many larger ships. With the exception of the lady leaving the duty free shop 4 hours before docking on the final morning who rather rudely announced that they 'were shut as we are always shut in port' when they clearly weren't, everyone else was very pleasant and friendly. I would say that it is a very happy ship.The food was as good as any of the ships we have been on and better than many. Still offering afternoon tea and late night snacks.The entertainment was not brilliant but the singers were good and did provide good entertainment. Let down a bit by the quality of the backing music but nothing to complain about. If you really want everything you get with the big ships, the Marco Polo is not for you. But for great value for money, friendly staff, good food and drinks at less than pub prices in the UK you can't beat this. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The itinerary looked good 7 stops in Greenland and 3 on the way, although we ended up with 6+2. Very poor organisation throughout. We parked in the adjacent car park and had to wait for ages for the shuttle bus to take us to the ship. ... Read More
The itinerary looked good 7 stops in Greenland and 3 on the way, although we ended up with 6+2. Very poor organisation throughout. We parked in the adjacent car park and had to wait for ages for the shuttle bus to take us to the ship. On board for the first time we had to find our own way to our cabin - no greeting. Lifeboat drill was a shambles - no-one on the stairs to direct us, people milling around in all directions and staff did not know where stations were other than their own. The life jackets deserve replacement; I'd hate to have an emergency on that ship. There was a chargeable bottle of water in the cabin when we arrived, but the cabin steward was happy to take it away. He was the best thing on the ship, efficient, cheerful and willing. We had booked an excursion on Narsarsuaq to see Eric the Red's settlement in the afternoon of 29th July. In the morning we were tendered ashore to see the town. We returned to catch the tender back to the ship just as one was leaving at 11.21. No worries - we were due to meet in the Discovery lounge at 12.00 for a 12.30 departure, the ferry takes less than 20 minutes so we'll be on time - so we thought. The next ferry arrived at 11.44 - a bit tight but we'll be OK. The ferry did not go straight back however, but we bobbed about in the ocean until 12.32, causing us to miss our excursion. Over 3/4 hour for a 20 min trip! There were two platforms in use on the ship, one appeared to have "our" intended excursion tender on it (I guess they were waiting for us to arrive), the other was not being used until it was eventually decided that the one we were on would tie up there. You can imagine our feelings when we tied up just as the excursion tender was leaving. When I complained at the Excursion Desk I was told that we should not have gone ashore in the morning! Then to top it all we were told at the Excursions Desk that I would still be charged £100 for the excursion although our non-arrival was due to their incompetence. I later complained to Head Office, but they merely stood by the ship decisions. The staff incompetence was further shown at another tender port which we arrived at in late morning. Their ship's paper stated that tender tickets would be given out at midday from the Tour Office (mid-ships) and would passengers please not queue before then. As anyone with half a brain would expect, by midday the queue stretched from the Office, past the shops, right through the restaurant and out onto the aft deck! Dining - food average (nothing special) but it was often only warm by the time it arrived at our table. If we ordered a starter and soup both were collected at the same time and the soup was kept at the serving area so it was cool by the time we got it. Service was slow and our table was always the last to be served. The wine waitress was efficient and cheerful, the others less so. Aerosol cream on supposed Irish coffee. Afternoon tea was very repetitive. Double cream instead of clotted cream on scones. Breakfast croissants dry and tasteless; toast cold. Very poor choice of cheeses. Rust was evident over the ship. The woodwork is in need of re-varnishing. The steps used to get to tenders have a joining bar across each step such that it moves dangerously when stepped upon. The resident entertainment team is very good; the lead male dancer was outstanding. The layout of the show lounge is poor respecting the view from most seats apart from the front row. Although English is the accepted language, most of the crew are foreign. The captain spoke his own brand of English which was very difficult to follow over the loudspeakers when there was an announcement; he was rarely seen during the cruise, even at "his" cocktail parties - which were non-events. On formal nights few men wore dinner jackets. I even saw one man in shorts in the show lounge on a formal evening. No-one seemed to care. Would we go again? You're joking! Read Less
Sail Date July 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
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
Sail Date May 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
Sail Date March 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
Sail Date January 2019
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
Sail Date December 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
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
Sail Date September 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
Sail Date August 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
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
Sail Date June 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
Sail Date May 2018
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
Sail Date October 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
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
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
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
Sail Date August 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
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
Sail Date June 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
Sail Date May 2017
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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