5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The Marco Polo is an old ship but she's been lovingly looked after. She's kept spotlessly clean by the staff. The cabin we had (for 3 people) was a little small (I had the top "bunk") but again it's clean and ... Read More
The Marco Polo is an old ship but she's been lovingly looked after. She's kept spotlessly clean by the staff. The cabin we had (for 3 people) was a little small (I had the top "bunk") but again it's clean and perfect for our cruise of a week. It's not a big ship (800 passengers) and that means it doesn't feel impersonal by any means. The choice of food in both restaurants is amazing - tasty and plentiful. You won't starve on this ship. Free tea and coffee and water available at all times. Never ran out of anything. All crew were lovely, friendly and helpful. If you suffer from sea sickness then ask for a cabin on the lower floors. We were on the Navigator deck and we could feel movement , tho not unpleasant. The cruise we did was down the Seine from Bristol, stopping at Honfleur (so pretty), Rouen (ok), Guernsey (lovely) and Scilly isles. The ship doesn't go into port at the Scilly isles and the sea too rough for the tender so we couldn't do that trip sadly. Overall, I would highly recommend her. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this cruise as the port is not too far away from where we live, my husband has been on the sister ship Discovery, no longer in operation. Food was excellent Staff were always on top form. Excellent cruise, we enjoyed the ten days. ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the port is not too far away from where we live, my husband has been on the sister ship Discovery, no longer in operation. Food was excellent Staff were always on top form. Excellent cruise, we enjoyed the ten days. Shore excursions were very good. We will probably go on another cruise with Marco Polo. Disembarkation was done so quickly we were amazed how quickly we got off the cruise liner. We met such lovely people. We enjoyed the entertainment. but not always able to go to the evening entertainment as we had our meal later. I would recommend to family and friends to go on a cruise with Marco Polo or there other cruise liners. We were truly amazed how many people have done several cruises and quite a few single people on the cruise who really enjoy cruising. Thanks Mary & Martin Hall Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We booked this cruise on a 2 for 1 deal, and the attractive cruise itinerary ticked several boxes on our bucket list..(Tresco, Sark, Honfleur and Monets garden at Giverny.) We are aged 56 and 65.Extremely easy to embark, we were made very ... Read More
We booked this cruise on a 2 for 1 deal, and the attractive cruise itinerary ticked several boxes on our bucket list..(Tresco, Sark, Honfleur and Monets garden at Giverny.) We are aged 56 and 65.Extremely easy to embark, we were made very welcome and the staff were efficient from start to finish. Our first cruise and having read all the cruise information we were aware that having booked the cheapest cabin, it would be compact and without tea making facilities, it was however spotless and sufficient with fabulous hot water in the shower. Food was plentiful and mostly very good, we don't like formal dining so mostly ate in the self service buffet restaurant. The shore excursions were well organised, we had pre booked as soon as we received the booking forms so were not disappointed unlike some of the passengers who were because of limited places. Some of the trips to shore require passengers to walk down a steep gangplank and then board a bobbing tender, this requires the passengers to be responsible for themselves although some staff supervision and support is available. The ship was spotless, there was a variety of on board entertainment and activities, not all of which appealed to us but we found plenty to do, just sitting with a drink in the bar listening to the piano player was heaven. Overall I think the ship does a very good job of catering for everyone, we couldn't fault it and the fact that the sun shone the whole week just enhanced the whole experience. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
A fabulous 4night cruise on the iconic Marco Polo. I loved this ships art deco interior and it reminded me of an episode of my favourite Hercule Poorly series! Unable to disembark at the Isles of Scilly due to bad weather, the ... Read More
A fabulous 4night cruise on the iconic Marco Polo. I loved this ships art deco interior and it reminded me of an episode of my favourite Hercule Poorly series! Unable to disembark at the Isles of Scilly due to bad weather, the entertainment manager put on a range of great activities including a traditional Captain's Reception! The visits to Honfleur , Rouen and afternoon cruise back down the Seine were memorable! We thoroughly enjoyed visiting historical places and the markets! The accommodation on board was a cabin on level 4,bijou but we loved the portholes, we were able to watch the Seine early morning. The dining room was a little cramped,but the tables were great,there was a great menu and the food was delicious, enjoyed with great dining companions!! The staff were second to none and my friend and I thoroughly enjoyed this short cruise.We felt this was traditional cruising at it's best ....the Marco Polo is now 50 years old! For us..it ..what is not to love !! It was reassuring that many passengers were older with some having a disability, the teams appeared to support them well. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
This was our 3rd cruise chosen for the ports of call (Baltic cities, especially St Petersburg) and the two for one offer in the Saturday telegraph. We were offered an upgrade to Deck 5, which was the next to the lowest, on booking and the ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise chosen for the ports of call (Baltic cities, especially St Petersburg) and the two for one offer in the Saturday telegraph. We were offered an upgrade to Deck 5, which was the next to the lowest, on booking and the cabin was perfectly adequate and very clean. There was more than adequate drawer and wardrobe space for our clothes and the quite large cases we took fitted under the beds. This was a lower class of cabin than we had had previously on other cruises but, as said, very acceptable. Embarkation was very quick and efficient as was disembarkation at their end, especially as we arrived an hour earlier than expected. True, the higher your class of cabin the quicker you were able to embark and disembark but as always, you get what you pay for. The overall attitude of the staff and the service was excellent. Every member of staff always uttered a greeting whenever they encountered you in corridors or staircases and we had no hesitation in paying the daily gratuity charge as we were mindful of the many unseen members of staff (laundry, engine room) one might never see. It seems a fair enough system although some people do resent being told to tip and by how much. There were a couple of courses on a couple of occasions in the Waldorf Restaurant which we thought were a bit under par but overall the choices and quality of the food in both the Waldorf and Marcos Bistro was very good. We attended the quizzes which were good fun and yes, there is always someone to question the answers! We attended Stefan White's expert lectures on the ports of call which were interesting and informative. Excursions were efficiently handled at the ports and the ones we went on were value for money (one does not expect them to be cheap!) on the whole with high standard of local guide. In 5 of the ports we went ashore independently and were impressed by the free shuttle buses, friendliness of local drivers and guides and range of information and maps provided by the ship to help you find your way about. The shows were of a very good quality with the resident team of dancers and singers supplemented by a high quality magic show and Shirley Valentine monologue delivered by talented entertainers. We did not take advantage of the craft or fitness activities on offer but we used the jacuzzi on one occasions when it was warm enough and the card room yo play Scrabble on sea days. My husband booked a Bridge tour and found it to be informative and interesting. We met people who were repeat cruisers on the Marco Polo and first timers and people from all walks of life and professions. The cruise director and staff worked hard to offer a varied programme but never any pressure to join in. True, it is an old ship and I did feel seasick in the North Sea on two occasions but it is strongly built with a steel hull to break through ice if necessary. It was certainly more charming, in our opinion, than the towering balconied ships of say the Royal Caribbean variety. Overall, a great cruise with the wonders of St Petersburg still fresh in our minds but Helsinki my favourite! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Picked up a 'two for one' deal to the Fjords. I was expecting a rusty old tub. What we experienced was a well maintained, tastefully decorated ship with plenty to offer. Cabin was a good size with plenty of storage. The ... Read More
Picked up a 'two for one' deal to the Fjords. I was expecting a rusty old tub. What we experienced was a well maintained, tastefully decorated ship with plenty to offer. Cabin was a good size with plenty of storage. The steward was very friendly, efficient and pleasant. Activities were varied (although some of the answers to the quizzes were questionable in their accuracy). Talks were good, cocktail tasting was great. Excursions were plentiful and ticked all the scenery boxes. Dining was good. Food was of a high standard and served with a smile. Entertainment was extremely good. Especially the dancers!!! If there were any criticisms it would be that the outside windows could be cleaner (and the overpainting/putty on the glass could do with cleaning off) and wifi more widely available. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Our first cruise & our expectations were more than exceeded. I loved the Marco Polo. The service was exceptional. You would be hard pressed to criticize anything although I'm sure some picky people would try. The food was lovely ... Read More
Our first cruise & our expectations were more than exceeded. I loved the Marco Polo. The service was exceptional. You would be hard pressed to criticize anything although I'm sure some picky people would try. The food was lovely & far too much of it & the entertainment team were magnificent. Loved the ship, the decor was elegant, the seas were so calm & the Norwegian Fjords simply stunning. Saving for my next cruise now. The best experience of my life so far. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Great cruise around British Isles, helped by excellent, sunny weather apart from Kirkwall. Nice sized ship, around 800 passengers, most aged 70 plus. (Average age way above 60). On board staff excellent, most from Ukraine; restaurant ... Read More
Great cruise around British Isles, helped by excellent, sunny weather apart from Kirkwall. Nice sized ship, around 800 passengers, most aged 70 plus. (Average age way above 60). On board staff excellent, most from Ukraine; restaurant staff and chefs, mainly Indian. Brilliant waiter Kalpit and wine waitress Valentina. Wanted to see the Italian Chapel in Orkney, and signed up to a 'Leisurely Orkney' tour which highlighted the Chapel. Yet we stayed just 20 minutes at the Italian Chapel (in a 3 1/2 hr tour), totally ridiculous. We were bussed in and bussed out and taken to less interesting sites including a tea stop of almost an hour! Staff could be more welcoming to guests returning to ship - now they just swipe your card, with no pleasantries. 'Welcome back', with a smile,wouldn't hurt, would it? There should also be more thought given to daily activities on board, quiz/bingo, quiz/bingo, quiz/bingo is a little boring and repetitive. Also Cruise & Maritime should remember that not all guests are 70 plus. A comedian bored on and on about 50s Rock n Roll outfits, for example. Ship spotless, cabins comfortable and food decent. Of course, it's not Celebrity...and that's no bad thing. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
We chose this because were desperate for a post winter break. We have been the Marco Polo several times.It's not huge but comfortable and easy to find your way around. I love bigger ships because of having more to explore which is ... Read More
We chose this because were desperate for a post winter break. We have been the Marco Polo several times.It's not huge but comfortable and easy to find your way around. I love bigger ships because of having more to explore which is good for sea days, and because the entertainment in theatre can be bigger and better than on restricted stage size and restricted height on ships like Marco Polo but having said that the customers loved the entertainment. I have found that food standards on board any ships (including MP) we have been on in the last few years has gone down a bit sadly. Maybe we shoud try NCL again. I videod the shots of this trip if its allowed to share it. Copy-paste this link or search Terry McGeary on YouTube. https://youtu.be/dPY3ZubBR_w There was one port we couldn't do due to weather but I forget which one, sorry.The channel hop took in Cherbourg which was a good little break for having a walk around a nice little French port The weather being Easter time was not shorts weather but was dry and cloudly and reasonable for getting about. Honfleur was another stop which I loved andhave been again since then, It is a beautiful, historic town/port with the most picturesque, protected harbour you good imagine. You can easily run out of memory card space in Honfleur! The other stop was The Isles of Scilly, St Mary's. This tender stop was a super one where, as with the others, we just did our own thing and took in a walk to archaeological ruins, daffodil fields (a speciality of St.Marys), botanic gardens and had a massive Cornish pasty to split for lunch! It's another place I would visit again -and might this Easter! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
Disovering that 'Marco Polo' was still operating as a cruise ship, having last seen her as 'Alexander Pushkin',under the Soviet flag, in Gran Canaria in the late 60's, I was not expecting anything great when my ... Read More
Disovering that 'Marco Polo' was still operating as a cruise ship, having last seen her as 'Alexander Pushkin',under the Soviet flag, in Gran Canaria in the late 60's, I was not expecting anything great when my wife booked us onto the Easter cruise from which we have just returned. Travelling without expectation often brings nice surprises however and this cruise was no exception to that curious rule. A spacious, tidy and spotless cabin, two large windows, compact but very serviceable shower room, loads of storage space and a delightful Cabin Steward, Yuiry (his spelling)greeted our arrival on board. Departing from Tilbury made for a convenient drive for us and the secure parking is indoors so, apart from the usual queue to get aboard, the whole transfer was easy and unstressful. Free magazines whilst waiting were a welcome extra. Good start. In 'Marco Polo's extensive public spaces there is no apparent hangover from the Soviet years except for the fact that she feels well found and seaworthy - a real, traditional ship with a proper funnel, a secure draft and an amazing sea range due to her outsized fuel tanks - the latter not an issue on an eight night trip! Knowing that she was built well and has a great pedigree (check the Wikipedia entry)all adds to a real sense of safe, steady voyaging in a near historic vessel. April and the Bay of Biscay invite lively weather as a near certainty and we rode out some rough stuff without discomfort on our way South and homeward bound. She has effective stabilisers and rides a swell easily. The decor throughout is comfortable, light and modern. Public spaces are smart, well organised and in good condition. With the possible exception of Marco's Bistro (sometimes chaotic - heavily used at lunch and teatimes, long queues for tea and coffee, some unsuitable behaviour by fellow cruisers) she feels quite classy throughout in an understated way. Most of the furnishings around the ship are crisp and feel new. There is plenty of seating - a bit of a squash when it's raining and everyone's inside - but given a touch of sunshine people spread out and you can then find a quiet corner. Her beautiful exterior teak decks are spacious and there is room to sit outside or promenade and some excellent vantage points eg below the bridge looking for'ard and from the upper deck at the aft end where you look down on the small swimming pool and the sun decks. (Smokers congregate here too!) The small Games Room is rightly popular, the Library seems well stocked. Each day's Itinerary offers a broad range of activities - Fruit and Vegetable carving, Line dancing, Crazy Golf competitions, a lecture from a Guest Speaker. The Radio Theatre plays excellent sound archive programmes such as episodes of 'Round the Horne' and 'Just a Minute'- a great idea and very popular. Film shows in the Marco Polo Lounge, the ship's theatre, offer a mix of modern and classic; eg'Contagion' or you can watch 'Casablanca' in your cabin. If you have cruised before you may find the food on 'Marco Polo' a little quirky. There was nothing to complain about but I had a sense that the chef was on a tight budget. A fish Terrine had no taste at all. The bread rolls were sometimes 'resistant'.One evening's dinner choices were heavily dependent on veal. Soups are excellent. Salads a little less than imaginative - there is a box of coleslaw in that kitchen somewhere and it appears under different titles depending on its plate companion of the day! Breakfast offers a satisfying range well suited to English tastes - although the sausages could have more dash. The Egg Chef ('Call me Lubbly Jubbly!') provides excellent omelets or fried eggs with good humour. Orange juice became steadily more watery as the cruise progressed. This was much commented upon! Lunches offer a good choice - pasta and sauces, chicken, veal again. The Dinners in the well- appointed restaurant are very well presented by expert staff. Here expect a number of courses: cold and hot appetisers (sauteed seafood, Carpaccio con Scaglie), choice of soups, a salad, a usually tasty Main Course eg Grilled Pork Tenderloin or Chicken baked with Aubergines. Puddings include Tiramisu, Ice Cream of the Day. Cheese Platter is included. Coffee and Tea to follow.You can tuck in to it all! There is a good range of quite affordable wines at £20 upwards. These can be drunk over several evenings if one prefers. The service on this ship is amongst the best we have experienced, including on our favourite Cunard. Staff are polite, competent and usually speedy. The behaviour of one's fellow passengers often leaves the cruiser aghast and we saw some of the worst of Brits afloat on this trip. On 'Marco Polo' the staff appear admirably able to handle it! The Cruise Director rightly enjoys an excellent reputation. The Entertainment team outshines Fred. Olsen by several stars - the dancers are particularly good. Classical, jazz and popular music abound all over the ship and the formal 'Showtime' every night is worth attending in the Marco Polo Lounge. This 'theatre space' has an annoying row of raised extra single chairs in front of each seating tier which means that latecomers to the show dump themselves in front of you and block your view. There are also some pillars that obscure lines of sight and various seats are very brightly lit for H+S reasons. Recce the MP Lounge in advance, choose your favoured seats and get there early would be useful advice! Avoid the cocktails if you like to taste your choice of liquor - or have them mixed with a double shot. All spirits on board MP tasted curiously understrength to me - although my wife says that's because I have too much acquaintance with gin and whisky to be satisfied with a normal measure! Our furthest destination port was St Jean de Luz but the tenders couldn't handle the disembarkation in a heavy swell so we stayed at anchor and were unable to go ashore. I note that others have commented on missing ports in this way with Cruise and Maritime. Of course it costs cruise companies a good deal to go alongside in any ports - if being cynical I would suggest the choice of 'tender' ports is likely to reduce passengers' chances to get ashore at this time of year. Other ports on this trip eg Brest had little to offer. Soulac-sur-Mer was wet, blustery and largely shut. We should have been prepared for the fact that France is largely closed over Easter but hadn't given it a thought! If you're keen to join the organised tours you do pay for it - £30 to £80 pp per trip on this cruise but the experience is at least purposeful and managed. Our final day at sea was spent ambling around in a blustery and wet English Channel. I checked our position and course several times. At one stage we were steering 180 deg - that's due South on anyone's chart and not the way to Tilbury. Average speed on day eight was about 9 knots! Again I guess it's commercially advantageous to keep a ship full of spenders at sea even if you have to make a 'sea day' out of going round in circles! Slow progress uses less fuel too! Overall we enjoyed this cruise more than the sum total of the parts I list above. 'Marco polo' is a bit of a treasure and has something very special about her. I'm certain we'll be back before long. Oh, and the value is second to none - even at today's reducing cruise fares! Go enjoy - whilst she's still available! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
We drove straight into the London Cruise Terminal and immediately unloaded our cases to the waiting porters before driving the 400 metres or so to the long-stay car park -- a covered parking area. Whilst it would have been as quick to walk ... Read More
We drove straight into the London Cruise Terminal and immediately unloaded our cases to the waiting porters before driving the 400 metres or so to the long-stay car park -- a covered parking area. Whilst it would have been as quick to walk we were transported back to the main terminal by mini-bus. Cruise & Maritime schedule their check-in times based on cabin number and we were told to report at 12:15. We were about 30 mins early and were directed to the lounge where refreshments were available. Promptly at 12:15 we were called to check-in and in less than 30 minutes we were on board and being led to our cabin. Our luggage was waiting when we arrived. We were late booking and the main criteria we applied was an un-obstructed view. We were allocated a "superior plus cabin on deck 7. It was on the small side but had plenty of storage an adequate shower-room and was clean, bright and airy. A recent review said that a room with a view was a waste on money because the windows were very small and were very dirty. Our window was large and clean and the outside was cleaned regularly throughout the week. Lunch was only available in Marco's Bistro. As we dislike walking around with our food seeking out a table we located an outside table by the pool and took it in turns to collect our food. As piscaparians (veggie plus fish) there was only two hot choices but also an abundant selection of salads and, after we started eating, we also discovered a poolside pizza bar which would have met our dietary requirements. Marco Polo set sail at 2:30 and we were hoping to see Southend Pier as we travelled up the Thames Estuary but a comprehensive SOLAS drill caused us to miss it. We assembled at our muster stations for a full roll-call before being taken to our lifeboat stations for further instruction. It was the most detailed drill we have experienced since our first cruise some 20 years ago when we actually had to get into the lifeboats. Having cruised on Marco Polo last October we soon found our way around this very small and friendly ship and we spent a relaxing afternoon doing not very much at all until we settled into one of the bars, being entertained by a jazz duo before joining our six table guests for our second sitting dinner in the Waldorf Restaurant. I can never decide if only nice friendly people cruise or if we have always been lucky with our table guests on our various cruises but again we had been perfectly matched. The meal was a pleasant 5 course affair and everyone seemed to be satisfied. There was only one vegetarian choice which wasn't to my liking but an alternative was quickly offered. The evening was rounded off with a visit to the show in the Marco Polo Lounge -- a song and dance presentation with a live band. We intended to follow this up with the live sixties cabaret in Scotts Bar but the need for sleep took the better of us. The first night in our cabin highlighted one of the few problems with Marco Polo -- the wafer thin walls. We did not experience this last time when we were upgrade to a deluxe cabin. We spent a while listening to a detailed report of what the couple in the cabin next to had spent in the bar before they bid one another goodnight and silence, interrupted occasionally by some plumbing noises, reigned. There was no need for an early call the next morning -- our neighbours on the other side switched the television news on at 7.30 promptly. This pattern followed for the remainder of the cruise but it is amazing how quickly the body gets used to ignoring surrounding sounds! Our first port of call was Honfleur and after the mayhem of a cafeteria breakfast in Marcos Bistro we took the free shuttle into town and had a pleasant stroll in the sunshine before returning for lunch. We again tried the Bistro, which was far less busy than at breakfast time but for the rest of the cruise we elected to use the formal restaurant for all our meals. I have seen Marco Polo criticised for its policy of filling tables in order rather than allowing "freedom seating". Whilst, like most, we would have naturally sat on a table on our own we were very happy to be forced to meet other people and were again amazed at how many nice people choose to cruise on Marco Polo. After lunch we were torn between the healthy option of a brisk walk into town or join in the afternoon's organised activities and decided to stay on board. We entered the afternoon quiz and realised that we should have done the walk -- only 8 out of 20 for us! It was only day two but our lifestyle was quickly settling into pattern that was going to stay for the next 7 days. A coffee in the lounge -- so much nicer than the free stuff that is available all day in the Bistro, a drink before dinner, ( a couple on the "happy hour" days, a pleasant meal, a well produced show and a failed attempt to join in the late night entertainment. Some commented on the high price of drinks but £3.70 for gin and tonic. £1.80 for cappucino and £15 for a bottle of house wine seemed reasonable to us. Day 3 was our first sea day and we woke to a very bouncy ride even though we were yet to reach the Bay of Biscay. Fortunately the wind dropped and things settled down. A very comprehensive programme of entertainment was on offer. We attended two very interesting lectures -- one about Chelsea Flower show, and one about wine. We entered the quiz, 17/20 this time but still 2 points off the leaders and the 39 points in Countdown -- thankfully again off the leader board so we avoided the Conundrum. On many cruise ships it is on sea days that you realise how many people are on board and seating is at a premium. Despite reading a review recently that said there was very little comfortable seating on board and that it was being "reserved" with coats and bags, we saw no evidence of this, were always able to get a seat and were pleasantly surprised at amount of open space. The evening saw the first formal night and virtually everyone on board dressed for the occasion (or stayed in their cabins). Everyone that we spoke to was very satisfied with the meal. The evening show was an excellent presentation of Joseph - undoubtedly the best of many such productions that we have seen over the years. Day 4 was to be St de Luz but we awoke to heavy swells and we were unable to use the tenders to get to shore. After a morning of waiting, day 4 became another sea day. The entertainments team arranged additional afternoon entertainment including a Treasure Hunt. Anthea Guthrie, the Chelsea Flower Show lecturer offered to host an informal garden chat and whilst she expected half a dozen gardeners to sit round a table for a chat she was greeted with the main lounge full to capacity with gardeners wanting tips. She very professionally presented a 50 minute Gardeners Question time which could probably have gone for the rest of the afternoon if the room wasn't required for other activities. After three musical shows tonight's show was an evening of magical mayhem provided by the very competent cruise director. Day 5 was Le Verdon. The weather was wet but we used the free shuttle to go into town for a short stroll. The town was disappointing -- like a minor UK seaside resort in January with everything locked up but the exercise did us good. This evening's show was a classical performance from the on-board duo. Excellent again. More entertainment followed but, again, we only heard later how good it was. Day 6 was Brest and we chose an organised coach trip. As expensive as ever but our knowledgeable guide explained the history of this part of Brittany as we visited some of the sights in our very full five hour trip. The evening show was a guest comedian -- judging by the response of the audience he was good but stand-up comedy has never been our thing and losing an hour's sleep stopped us from going to the Blues Brothers Tribute. Day 7 was our final port day and it was back to the UK in the form of St. Peter Port, Guernsey. Going ashore by tender, being Easter Sunday, the town was very quiet but some people visited the Castle, some circumnavigated the Island for £1 on the local bus. Those that stayed on board had a full day on entertainment. This was our second formal evening, linked with a farewell evening with the officers. The evening show was a rock and roll tribute and was again excellent. Day 8 was a full day at sea as we returned to Tilbury. Another full day of activities was arranged and the main problem was finding enough time to fit the meals in. The rough weather made it impossible to use the outside spaces but, although it seemed busier than on the first sea day, it was still not overcrowded. Day 9 saw us docking in Tilbury, dead on time at 7:00 am. We were asked to vacate our cabins before breakfast and leave our hand luggage in one of the lounges. Disembarkation started about 8:30 and before 9:30 we were driving out of the car park. Could we fault the holiday? Probably only the thin walls which it is very difficult to do anything about. Would we travel with Cruise and Maritime again -- definitely yes. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
The staff on the Marco Polo do everything they can to make the experience an enjoyable one. To say that they work hard is an gross understatement. I saw staff on stage entertaining to a very high standard one moment, and serving drinks on ... Read More
The staff on the Marco Polo do everything they can to make the experience an enjoyable one. To say that they work hard is an gross understatement. I saw staff on stage entertaining to a very high standard one moment, and serving drinks on another deck just moments afterward. Whatever they are paid should be doubled !The Fjords were stunning and we were very impressed with the choice and variation of ports of call.Norway can be very expensive, but you can save money by shopping around for trips while visiting places rather than booking ahead or on board.Food was of a high standard with a good selection and service also very good.Cabins are basic but comfortable, and who goes on a cruise to sit in a cabin anyhow ? Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
We arrived at Tilbury at 3.30pm on Wednesday 6 April 2011, quickly unloading our three suit cases at the baggage handling building. We were then told where to park and went straight into the Reception building where we were immediately ... Read More
We arrived at Tilbury at 3.30pm on Wednesday 6 April 2011, quickly unloading our three suit cases at the baggage handling building. We were then told where to park and went straight into the Reception building where we were immediately processed (X-ray machines photo annd boarding card etc.) We were met at the gangway by a senior officer who instructed one of his staff to show us to our cabin, insisting on taking the hand luggage with him. As we arrived at cabin 205 our suitcases were already waiting. We have never known luggage to be delivered so promptly. We entered cabin 205 and were pleasantly surprised by it. It is true it was small with two single beds and a small chest of drawers in between with a mirror, plus a large wardrobe which housed a modern electronic safe. The shower room was of a standard size. We would like to call the cabin bijou as it was completely functional with plenty of space for our needs for a short cruise. Incidentally the lock on the door of the cabin was the old fashioned key rather than the more modern card type. We unpacked and listened for the announcements that we should all meet in the Marco Polo lounge at 4.45pm for muster drill. We found this slightly different as after initial instructions we all went out on deck to meet our lifeboat and to be inspected by the captain to ensure that we knew where to go in case of emergency. We took the early sitting for dinner at 6pm. Second sitting was 8.30 allowing plenty of time to sit and chat after dinner in the Waldorf restaurant. Our table number was 34 a table for six people and our waiters were Freddy and Dawson who looked after us extremely well. Nothing was too much trouble, they even joked and laughed about everything. The food throughout the cruise for dinner was excellent, beautifully served with up to five courses should you require it. Freddy often asked whether we would like an extra helping. We declined but he would have willingly brought more food. We cannot praise them both enough for their caring attitude in making our dinner experience perfect.We chose to have breakfast and lunch in the self service bistro Marco's. The food was very good. A lot of it seemed to be quality home cooking, eg tapioca, bread and butter, apple crumble puddings. Main courses such as sausage and mash, pork cutlets, beef stew and fish were available in a variety of dishes. There was also a pizza bar on the deck outside serving pizzas, beef burgers and chips. We likened it to quality cafeteria style with paper knapkins and self service cutlery rather than tables laid formally. Tea and coffee was available all day but only in mugs. The station inside with a good selection of teas was inadequate for the number of passengers and had long queues at busy times, although there was a coffee station by the pizza bar outside that wasn't as available and had less selection. If it had been raining this could not have been used. During mealtimes waiters served tea and coffee in addition. The hot water and coffee were served out of two large stainless steel urns but only had ground coffee. Decaffeinated was available in sachets only. There were no sachets of regular instant coffee and no hot chocolate, horlicks or other bedtime drinks available at night as there often are on other cruise ships.The entertainment was of an excellent standard, but there were no cinema or gambling facilities. There was the usual yard of gold and silver chain available but no art auctions. The shops were pleasant and adequately stocked. Duty free prices were good for drink and tobacco products, although perfumes and after shave seemed expensive even with a 20% special offer on certain days. Bar prices were just over public house prices and in some cases cheaper. Wine started at a reasonable £14 per bottle and was cheaper to buy than by the glass.We felt this was a no frills cruise. There were photographs taken if required but were never pushed. The words "No thank you" were met with a smile and readily accepted. As with all cruises photographs were not the cheapest product, but remain a good momento of your holiday with a DVD available at £22. Incidentally this DVD ran all day long on a TV channel in your cabin as well as on screens around the ship. The general condition of the ship is excellent but does not allow for wheelchair use very readily, as there are lots of stairs and bulkheads to negotiate between areas which would make it difficult to get round the whole ship. The general attitude of the staff was extremely good. Everyone replied to the best of their ability when asked a question and were friendly and polite, always insisting you go first. With this cruise around Britain, passengers were ferried ashore by tender at four out of the seven ports visited. In our opinion if the water was choppy, unless you were good on your feet it seemed dangerous and there was a number incidents of people being injured.So to sum up we found this to be a basic cruise which was good value for money with no frills. There were no cocktails served at the welcoming formal night just sparkling wine or orange juice. There were paper knapkins at breakfast and lunchtime, there was no customary chocolate on the pillow at night, nor replacement of cabin toiletries or in fact clean dry towels every day. Generally speaking the positives far outweighed a few negatives. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and would recommend it and we will definitely cruise again with Cruise Maritime Voyages recommending the Marco Polo ship. We have yet to try her sister ship the Ocean Countess.We hope you have found our review of a helpful nature. Of course there are lots of things that we have not had the space or time to comment on as with most cruises. We have tried to pick out some interesting facts to give an overall picture. The ports of call on this trip had plenty of excursions available to suit all tastes and capability and did not seem that expensive. We preferred to be independent travellers exploring on our own. All the ports are well documented in guide books and do not need our inexperienced opinions on them. We visited Inverness, Stornaway on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, Dublin, St Mary's on the Scilly Isles, St Peter Port in Guernsey and Honfleur. We had chosen this cruise because of the ports on the itinerary and were not disappointed. They were all delightful and we enjoyed each one. Reviewed by Peter and Pippa (rent15c), age group late 50's. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
We are just back home from the 'springtime gardens' cruise on the Marco Polo. We couldn't believe our good fortune in managing to get a late deal on this ship. The itinerary provided an overnight stay in Rouen after sailing ... Read More
We are just back home from the 'springtime gardens' cruise on the Marco Polo. We couldn't believe our good fortune in managing to get a late deal on this ship. The itinerary provided an overnight stay in Rouen after sailing up the Seine - what a treat. Then on to Guernsey followed by a full day on St Mary on the Isles of Scilly. Even the lower grade cabins on the Marco Polo are of a fairly good size with very good storage and very comfortable beds. The lounges are spacious with a range of entertainment in the evenings. The theatre shows were mostly musical presentations with one comedian/magician, excellent costumes and choreography. Full marks to the cruise director and his team. Cleanliness of the ship was paramount All members of the crew were hard working and at all times pleasant. Now to the food; a very good choice in the Waldorf's restaurant and individual requests met. Didn't use the Bistro so no comments here. To summaries: No complaints about this short cruise and a big thank you for making our stay memorable ,will definitely consider the Marco Polo again Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
I have just read a review by a passenger, Philip, on the same cruise as me. We visitied Rouen, Guernsey and the Scilly Isles. Although I agree with him that the eastern European staff were not the friendliest that is the only real negative ... Read More
I have just read a review by a passenger, Philip, on the same cruise as me. We visitied Rouen, Guernsey and the Scilly Isles. Although I agree with him that the eastern European staff were not the friendliest that is the only real negative in my opinion. If he wanted luxury then he should have paid a luxury price. I saw this cruise advertised on Travel Zoo for £299 per person and the third person travelled for £99. At that price - who wouldn't?? I spoke to loads of people who paid the same. In the past I worked on P&O cruises for 4.5 yrs and decided to try cruising as a passenger. I travelled with my parents sharing an inboard 3 birth cabin. The cabin had ample room for us all - we didn't even use all the drawers! The beds were comfortable and the cabin was cleaned every day to a good standard. We tended to have breakfast and lunch in the buffet restaurant - Marco Polo. There was always plenty of choice and the only food that was cold was the salad! OK it wasn't the more luxurious choice as you expect on a luxury cruise liner - but we were aware of the low price we had paid. In my opinion it was good value. The evening meals in the main restaurant were VERY good - No complaints there. AS for the one curry that was served - it was lovely. We had the house wine every night. Our waiting staff were pleasant enough but I did see some very miserable looking waiters/waitresses. In the bars the staff were a bit surly too. Couldn't understand why. When ordering a spirit ask for a can of mixer to go with it. You get charged the same for a top up as for a can. Drinks not over priced. Tea and coffee were reasonably priced. Entertainment was generally good. Didn't go to all the shows - chose the ones we thought we'd like. Very good comedian/magician - Andy Leach. British/Australian entertainment staff very friendly, cruise director a bit aloof though. Weather was great and 3 good ports of call. All in all a very good cruise and excellent value for money. Rouen - fantastic views along The Seine and a lovely city to stroll around. Lovely arcitecture and a great market on a Sunday. Guernsey was lovely. Get the local bus No 3 or 7, they do a tour around the island for 60p. If you get off somewhere to have a look its only another 60p to get back on - a cheap day out and a great way to get a feel for the place Scilly Isles (St Mary's). I fell in love with this place - so quaint. A fishing village feel about it. Lovely views from the Old Garrison. Some good nick nacky shops too. Read Less
Marco Polo Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.7
Dining 3.0 3.5
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.2
Family 1.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 4.0 3.2
Service 4.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.6

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