24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
First time cruising as a single traveller. I am a very experienced single traveller both business and pleasure. Embarkation and disembarkation all very well organised. Cabin (inner) clean and tidy - well looked after during voyage. ... Read More
First time cruising as a single traveller. I am a very experienced single traveller both business and pleasure. Embarkation and disembarkation all very well organised. Cabin (inner) clean and tidy - well looked after during voyage. Dining - lots of choice - something for everyone. Service - staff professional and polite. But not for the inexperienced single traveller - meals - not sat with other single traveller just couples. First meet up was organised when at second sitting dinner, second meeting - just wanted our names for an end of cruise lunch (?), turned up to two meeting points for going on your own excursions - no one there (gave in)! Turned up for the end of cruise lunch - and was sat with one woman who has come with her family. Though everyone was friendly on board and quite often you would sit at breakfast or lunch and someone would talk to you. Would I do a cruise again? Yes but not with this company. Basics required set aside tables at breakfast and dinner for single travellers. Pre dinner drinks meet up point at both sittings for dinner. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
1 night cruise from Newcastle to Tilbury to experience the ship. It's nice but as some said doesn't have any WOW factors. The restaurants and food was excellent. There was plenty of room in the show theatre. There was only 1 ... Read More
1 night cruise from Newcastle to Tilbury to experience the ship. It's nice but as some said doesn't have any WOW factors. The restaurants and food was excellent. There was plenty of room in the show theatre. There was only 1 showing and I think as people had seen it before many didn't bother. The entertainment staff put a lot of energy and effort into the Around the World show. Not enough seats in the lounge for the "cabaret" performance so can't comment on that. Cabin was nice and spacious, as was the shower. However, I've never heard such noisy air conditioning and you can't adjust it/turn it off. Really loud. Could also hear next doors tv and them coughing at night. I'd definitely take earplugs if I went on again. No tea/coffee making facilities in room and though tea and coffee are free 24 hours a day I like to have a cup when I wake up rather than going up on deck to drink it/bring it down to the cabin. We used the gym which was adequate and we were the only ones in there. Shame there's no outdoor sports facilities. Check in was slow, despite being given a time to arrive/embark it was at least an hour behind. Hopefully better when on a proper cruise. Still it was a great opportunity to get to know the ship. Some of the paperwork Cruise & Maritime sent was confusing (eg no luggage labels yet mentioning them, not clear if hand luggage in or carry it on yourself (it's actually the latter). Car parking instructions unclear. All meant 2 phone calls to query it. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
The itinerary was ideal for us and Newcastle was easy to get to from home. Embarkation was easy and we were quickly reunited with our luggage. Cabin 5009 had a porthole rather than a window but as it was an upgrade from an inside one ... Read More
The itinerary was ideal for us and Newcastle was easy to get to from home. Embarkation was easy and we were quickly reunited with our luggage. Cabin 5009 had a porthole rather than a window but as it was an upgrade from an inside one this was not a problem. Plenty of storage space and 2 comfortable single beds in a "L" configuration. Bathroom was small but acceptable. Cabin steward excellent. No noise problem for this cabin. Food was OK in the Kensington restaurant. The self service one on deck 10 was acceptable but could get crowded. We enjoyed a night at the chef's table where the dishes were up to West End standard and the wine was free flowing. We enjoyed all the ports but only used the CMV tours in St Petersburg as we had not got a Russian visa. Entertainment was good with at least one excellent singer, good dancers and a violinist who was great to listen to and look at. For the price it was a great voyage. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Have given this very good based on food quality (which in fact was excellent), cleanliness and friendliness of service (practically all the staff went the extra mile). The entertainment was pretty good too as were most of the many ... Read More
Have given this very good based on food quality (which in fact was excellent), cleanliness and friendliness of service (practically all the staff went the extra mile). The entertainment was pretty good too as were most of the many shore-excursions which we booked. You will enjoy this cruise I think. We did have one or two reservations, however. One of our shore-excursions in St Petersburg was very rushed in order for our guide to fit in an un-scheduled stop at a tourist shop! Our complaint to the shore-excursion team fell on stony ground and resulted in them telling us we had half an hour longer in the museum than we actually had! Another St Petersburg trip got back so late that we had no chance to get ready for our (Magellan-organised) evening ballet trip. In stead of any apology it was announced rather officiously over the tannoy that 10 minutes more was the most they would allow us to bolt our meal. Our cabin was clean and efficiently maintained but could have done with a deep clean (back of bathroom door had old splash marks) It is probably ready for a re-furb (thin towels, tatty bad-cover). A word of advice - if you visit the medical rooms be prepared to pay. I went hoping to buy some throat lozenges and ended up with a bill for £140! Embarkation went very smoothly but disembarkation was partly shambolic. Our names were mentioned over the tannoy as needing to go and settle our final bill. This was embarrassing and untrue and again no-one saw fit to apologise. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Cruise to Iceland on Magellan. As usual really enjoyed it and met some very nice people on board. Sadly there were the usual moaners, mostly about the food. If I have any criticism personally, it might have been slightly over salted for ... Read More
Cruise to Iceland on Magellan. As usual really enjoyed it and met some very nice people on board. Sadly there were the usual moaners, mostly about the food. If I have any criticism personally, it might have been slightly over salted for some people's tastes, but I found it just perfect. My cabin was large and roomy, best showers of any ship I have been on and I have been on quite a few. All kept spotless by lovely cheery staff smiling and chatting even though they seem to do very long shifts. The weather was very rough but you don't go to Iceland for 30 degree heat and a suntan. Although some passengers never cease to amaze me as one woman thought she could be out on deck sunning herself and the brochure was misleading showing blue skies! The lectures were very good being varied and entitled living on Scottish Lighthouses, Van Gogh Sunflowers and The Aurora Borialis, saw a great film as well - Bridge of Spies. The scenery was spectacular and unfortunately a bad trip for quite a few passengers who were airlifted off the ship and ambulances waiting at quayside to take them to Hospital, however this was quite thrilling to watch for the rest of us and I hope all are well on the road to recovery by now. Going back to other reviewers moaning about the food, I'd like to know what they eat at home or in UK restaurants. There was always a choice of 4 to 5 starters, two soups, two salads, 4 to 5 main courses, 3 to 4 desserts, cheese and biscuits and coffee or tea to finish. The soups may have been on the thin side, however if you can manage 5 courses stating with a hearty lentil and bacon, then you are doing well. Choices included venison, halibut, lemon sole, ginger chicken, the pistachio ice cream was fabulous. Bear in mind this is a very reasonably priced cruise, you can't expect the same as Crystal or Seaborne. Go with that in mind and you will have a great time. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Having always believed that cruise food is pretty good, we were sadly disappointed. They must have shares in a salt company as everything was ruined by over-salting (apart from the porridge). The soup was always cold and tasteless, ... Read More
Having always believed that cruise food is pretty good, we were sadly disappointed. They must have shares in a salt company as everything was ruined by over-salting (apart from the porridge). The soup was always cold and tasteless, whatever flavour it was meant to be. The main meals were generally awful. They were nothing like their description - meat was tough, the pasta was horrible, and the desserts were a total disappointment. The cabin was OK and the steward was very good. If you did not want waiter service at your table you could have gone to Raffles bistro and helped yourself from a buffet. This was very popular and consequently there were not enough seats, so we had to hang around and wait for a table. The entertainment is good and varied but it impinges on the library so if you want a quiet read - tough. Overall we enjoyed the cruise, but were disappointed to find on reaching home that money had been stolen from our cabin. We had come back from lunch to find the door open, so someone must have used a pass-key. One day previously an 'electrician' came round when he probably thought we were out (during meal time, but I was sea-sick and in my bed) He said he was there to fix a reported fault with the sockets-but there was no fault and we didn't report such) There was an outbreak of a chest infection throughout the ship, consequently we will not choose CMV in future. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose this Cruise to Iceland because we could join the ship from our home town of Dundee. We found embarkation very easy, cases taken from us the minute we alighted from our taxi and the process to board was very quick. When we went ... Read More
We chose this Cruise to Iceland because we could join the ship from our home town of Dundee. We found embarkation very easy, cases taken from us the minute we alighted from our taxi and the process to board was very quick. When we went onboard a steward took us to our cabin and our cases were waiting for us at the door. Cabin was spacious and yes the toilet and shower were small, but everything was very clean. Cabin steward was excellent and everything kept neat and tidy. Weather was not so good, but the Captain did a wonderful job changing course etc. to make it as smooth as possible considering the high winds we encountered. We ate in the Waldorf Restaurant for all of our meals and thought the choice on the menu was great. All table stewards very good and friendly and if a meal wasn't quite to your liking something else was brought no problem. We went for the actual cruise as my husband was not able to walk too far for shore excursions, but we took part in the quizzes and enjoyed meeting all our fellow travellers. We don't drink very much, but still the drinks package was worth it. Altogether we had a wonderful time and could not fault any of the staff or any other aspect of our cruise. Will definitely enjoy another trip on Magellan another time Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We have just returned from another cruise on Magellan,and as usual I would describe the cruise as adequate.We sailed from Newcastle picking up passengers from Dundee on day 2. In Torshaven it was cold and started to snow while we were ... Read More
We have just returned from another cruise on Magellan,and as usual I would describe the cruise as adequate.We sailed from Newcastle picking up passengers from Dundee on day 2. In Torshaven it was cold and started to snow while we were there,not much to see in this tiny capital of the Faroes,so we were glad it was a short visit.On to Iceland and Seydisfjordur where all the excursions had been cancelled because the mountain roads were dangerous because of heavy snowfall. Not much to see here either,and the weather worsened with horizontal snow and bitter winds,so it was a short visit and back to the ship. Our next port of call was much better,a pretty,clean town Akureyri with much better weather. We next called at Isafjordur,a very bleak depressing town with lots of houses built from rusty corrugated iron,so it was a quick visit and offl to the ship to warm up. On to Reykjavik for an overnight stay in the capital. We got the Hop on Hop off bus that took us around the city in an hour. Back to the ship for lunch then back on the bus so we could visit a couple of places we had seen.The following morning we walked into the city taking about 40 minutes,we returned on the shuttle bus and sailed after lunch. The next day was at sea and then we arrived in Lerwick where we spent the day.Next it was on to Kirkwall where we had booked an excursion to Scapa Flow and the Scapa Distillery.It was a great choice and we had a lovely day. The food on the ship was acceptable,but nothing very exciting at all,and we try to avoid Raffles Buffet as it is a bit of a bun fight and I always found myself wandering round holding a plate of food,looking for a seat. There was some sort of bug doing the rounds of the ship and people seemed to be ill with 'flu like symptoms.One lady from our dining table was ill in her cabin for the entire second week. We had 2 medical emergencies with evacuations by helicopter,one just after we left Reykjavik,and the second off the coast of northern Scotland. We also noticed an ambulance collecting a passenger from our tender when we got to Lerwick.I have no idea whether or not they were connected to the bug going around. Entertainment was average,and most of it not to our taste,but some good films were shown and we enjoyed those. Unfortunately,for the first time in many years of cruising I had to complain about our cabin steward who was not doing her job.The cabin was pretty grubby,and she would take away dirty towels and not replace them,so after a few days and my complaint, we had a visit from the head of housekeeping who arranged for another steward to do our cabin. We took the drinks package at £17 per person per day.We aren't sure if we will do it again because it definitely encourages people to drink more than they probably would do without the package? Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We are a middle aged (50s and 60s) Australian couple who took back to back cruises, first to Iceland, second to Russia etc in April and May this year. We chose these two cruises for the destinations offered and the fact we were able to ... Read More
We are a middle aged (50s and 60s) Australian couple who took back to back cruises, first to Iceland, second to Russia etc in April and May this year. We chose these two cruises for the destinations offered and the fact we were able to pick up a 2 for 1 offer, very attractive as we have to factor in the cost of airfares to fly to Europe. We have cruised 10 times previously, on a number of lines, in a number of regions, including two long cruises of similar timeframes as the two we are reviewing on Magellan. Overall, we would rate the experience as two and a half. As the second cruise offered exactly the same food, daytime activities and production shows, we were able to compare. Embarcation in Newcastle was fine for the first cruise, a muck up on the second (no-one appeared to know how to deal with passengers who were staying on; the Reception staff were clueless). Lifeboat drill has been discussed previously in the Reviews: it was certainly the most informative we have sat through but, as stated by other reviewers, the procedure to follow would cause chaos. Thankfully, we did not have to go a second time. Cabin 5015 aft was large, light, plenty of hanging space, but more drawers would have been appreciated, particularly bedside. The shower was as hot as you liked, with excellent pressure, the best ship shower we have encountered. It was so quiet, which is a blessing as nothing can ruin a cruise more than a noisy cabin. Even with the huge seas we encountered on the Iceland cruise, the cabin did not rattle, creak, bang... and the cabin steward went about his job quietly and efficiently. Ice was requested at 6pm each day and it appeared as requested each day without fail. However, the cabin was terribly hot and as stated by many reviewers, it is impossible to change the cabin temperature, you can only change the air flow. This will need to be addressed before the world cruise as it would be unbearable to try and sleep in a cabin when cruising in the tropics, Asia and northern Australia. Production Shows These were the best we have enjoyed over all our cruises, yes, better than the wizzbang American ships. The costumes each night were amazing, and the singers and dancers could not be faulted. Some of the American ships would benefit from seeing what is achieved by this group of singers and dancers. Birthday We often cruise when one of us has a birthday and on every other ship you can buy a cake, flowers, balloons, blah blah. As they are grossly overpriced we don't bother. Magellan gave us a wonderful surprise; a cake delivered to the cabin, a card, and a printed birthday message from 'your cabin steward' who shyly handed it to the recipient. All free, totally unexpected. Well done Magellan. Ship tours were expensive, as they are on all ships, but the ones we did were well organised and we have no complaints. Food Abysmal. The worst we have seen offered on a cruise ship. Quality control in the kitchen needs serious attention. There was enough food in the buffet - soups, salads, hot dishes, cold dishes, desserts, cheeses, but the quality of so many dishes was very poor. The soups and salads, bread rolls, pizzas and daily roasts were mostly okay, however, the hot dishes - pasta, rice, meat dishes, fish, vegetables - and the desserts were a real hit and miss affair. Lamb dishes were old mutton dishes, chicken dishes were poor quality bone in cuts, rice was cold, pastas were bland, vegetables were either mush or hardly cooked, and the fish dishes inevitably contained fish full of bones.for example, one of us had sword fish and raved about it, the other took a piece and it was like eating rubber. As for the dining room: on the Iceland cruise the Dover sole was melt in your mouth, on the Russia cruise we recommended it to our table mates and it was inedible as the pieces had not been completely scaled, and fish bones abounded. One waiter was too over the top and annoying, the other was morose and glum. Lectures On the Iceland cruise, 12 nights, we had two speakers who gave a variety of talks on diverse but interesting topics. On the Russia cruise, 14 nights, we had one man who gave four lectures, all about a group of tigers in India, and his lectures consisted of showing photo after photo of the tigers. One maybe two lectures would be okay, but FOUR lectures about the same tigers? Entertainers The old comedians on both cruises were well received by the predominantly older aged passengers. The violonist and pianist were excellent, the singer in the Captains Club has a strong loud voice like Janis Joplin, which does not work at all with quieter songs. Activities To be expected, and geared to the age and physical condition of a large segment of the passengers, who enjoyed them. To sum up, there were a lot of very happy passengers who are obviously the target group for this particular ship. The destinations were very interesting to us, the price was very good, however, we would not cruise on Magellan again. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was my first, and last, cruise. I was not able to get a good night sleep 7 out of the 8 nights I was aboard. Totally ruined the experience. If you search YouTube for cabin noise on Magellan you should find it. The cupboards creaked ... Read More
This was my first, and last, cruise. I was not able to get a good night sleep 7 out of the 8 nights I was aboard. Totally ruined the experience. If you search YouTube for cabin noise on Magellan you should find it. The cupboards creaked throughout the night, and kept me from sleeping. There was also a lot of vibration throughout the ship. When I asked the steward I was told this is in every room. The ship was full, so unable to change rooms. We had a room with bunk beds available, this meant it was not possible to sit up in bed. The room was a little small (Inside cabin) and beds were a little soft. Shower room is also small, although I was impressed with the shower pressure. Shower curtain is a little annoying if the ship is moving (don't leave anything on the floor!) It is kept clean, and rooms are done twice a day. In the restaurants the food is OK, think of posh wedding food. Mass produced and not great, but not terrible. We tended to eat breakfast and dinner in Raffles, although it is very busy. This was a buffet. The gym is not actually that bad, could maybe invest in another yoga mat, and maybe a multi cable machine. Entertainment was average, with a range of ability levels. I enjoyed Raul's Jersey Boys. John, the head entertainment was pure cheese! Highlight of the trip was probably the bingo. On the Norway cruise you are dropped off at a few ports, all tourist traps, ready to take as much money off you as possible (£9 a pint!). Bugbear of mine is the automatically added tips, which is obviously to top up the wages. The ship is old, despite having a refurb. Maybe other 'newer' ships are better, but I think I'll stick with flying! Read Less
45 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Two friends had booked the Norwegian Fjord cruise on the Magellan after seeing an advert in the Daily Telegraph. When we saw the itinerary we decided to join them as a late booking. Embarkation in Dundee was very quick and efficient ... Read More
Two friends had booked the Norwegian Fjord cruise on the Magellan after seeing an advert in the Daily Telegraph. When we saw the itinerary we decided to join them as a late booking. Embarkation in Dundee was very quick and efficient once we had arrived at the ship, our taxi driver got lost on the way to the quay, apparently cruising from Dundee is a new and fairly infrequent event. This was our tenth cruise with various other companies and non have equalled the quay to cabin luggage speed of CMV. Our cabin numbered 5172 was on the port side on deck 5 and was four from the stern, not where we would have selected but late bookers have no choice. We found the cabin accommodation to be very satisfactory, clean with a large picture window, plenty of hanging and drawer space, comfortable beds, a reasonably sized shower room and shower enclosure with soft lighting instead of the usual hard spotlights so prevalent on other ships. So far so good we thought. That was until the ship left the quay and started to pick up speed. Whilst still in the sound and under the control of the pilot a strange and persistent clanking noise began to make itself heard. We thought that this was a glitch which would be attended to but no. if anything it increased in volume when the open sea and cruising speed was reached. When we retired to bed it became glaringly obvious that sleep was out of the question so we contacted reception to report the noise. At first nothing was done, but on complaining again at about 2am a member of the crew came to listen and arranged for us to be moved temporarily to a "sleeping cabin". The following morning we were offered another outside cabin numbered 5054, situated amidships. Bliss, no noise whatsoever. Our friends, who were situated four cabins away from our original cabin also had to put up with the noise but when they complained they were given ear plugs! Another couple who were closer to the stern did succeed in getting moved. I checked the starboard side stern area corridor and found the noise to be there as well but the volume was a bit less. It is obvious that the Magellan has a problem which would appear to be with the propulsion system and this has the effect of making the last ten or so cabins on deck 5 suffer from a distressing amount of mechanical din. I cannot comment on other areas in the stern, it certainly could not be heard on deck 8 in the Waldorf Restaurant. Apart from this unfortunate shortcoming it has to be said that the Magellan is a very pleasant ship to cruise in. The staff were all attentive and polite, the food was very satisfactory with adequate choice, the whole of the ship was spotlessly clean, entertainment more than satisfactory allowing for the fairly small size and drinks reasonably priced. We did not encounter any rough seas so cannot comment on the sea worthiness, The ports of call were delightful and the shore excursions we took were enjoyable and well supervised. Would we cruise on the Magellan again? The answer is yes but we would make sure that we were well away from the stern especially on the lower decks. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Sailed from Newcastle on the Magellan. Embarkation was excellent and we were on the ship and shown to our cabin in no time. Luggage arrived ten minutes later. The cabin was clean and modern and the cabin steward was excellent. The ... Read More
Sailed from Newcastle on the Magellan. Embarkation was excellent and we were on the ship and shown to our cabin in no time. Luggage arrived ten minutes later. The cabin was clean and modern and the cabin steward was excellent. The entertainment was excellent. Most of the staff were friendly and helpful. However, what let this cruise down was the food., Worst food I have had on any cruise ship. The bacon at breakfast was inedible, mostly fat. Food was very bland with no emphasis on healthy eating. I think with most of the passengers being elderly it had the 'care home' style menu, soft and mushy! Dinner menus choice was limited and I was advised by the waiter not to order the beef wellington as it was tough, with undercooked pastry. I also had steak one night which was so tough and without being offered a steak knife was also inedible. The trips were a little disorganised and I felt that this needs to be addressed. The ship is old, but clean and well fitted. We always have a balcony but only the Junior Suites have these so would not use this company again as there are not enough balconies. The Norwegian Fjords were excellent and this was the main reason why we used this company as they sailed from Newcastle which is only 30 minutes drive away. All in all we were well looked after by the staff, but I did not like the way at breakfast at 10 o'clock in the buffet restaurant a waiter shouted 'chop, chop' because they were closing. I thought it was very rude, Read Less
37 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
I think your view of Magellan is likely to be influenced greatly by whether you have cruised before or not; I have. The embarkation process began well (the staff in the carpark were superb), but when we went to collect our cards for ... Read More
I think your view of Magellan is likely to be influenced greatly by whether you have cruised before or not; I have. The embarkation process began well (the staff in the carpark were superb), but when we went to collect our cards for access to the ship ours had been misfiled in the "N's" (our surnames begin with P and B!) and after 20 minutes it was actually my travelling companion who found our cards. Ah well, these things happen! The ship just doesn't have the "Wow factor" - having travelled with other cruise lines before, I wanted to be wowed - I wanted to go to the atrium (there isn't one) and look out and think "wow" ... unfortunately, there was no area on the ship which afforded me any type of wow! :-( The cabin was a good size (Cabin 6169) and was clean and functional. We had enough wardrobe space for two, but if there had been 4 of us, we would have struggled. Onto the evacuation drill ... wow, what a fiasco! Put it like this, if the call was sent out to "abandon ship" everyone would drown!! So, you have to go to your cabin and collect your life jacket (picture the scene; you're running downstairs with half the passengers whilst the other half of the passengers have already collected their life jackets and are now running up the stairs!), then assemble at an "inside" muster station - mine was the restaurant. Once there, you are checked off and the crew then attempt to establish who is missing. After about 20 minutes (the ship is sinking at this point, remember) you are taken out of the restaurant onto the deck, where you are then asked to ascend two flights of stairs to reach the life boat. Hmmm, the average age of passengers on this ship was 70+, many of whom had mobility issues ... lets hope the "abandon ship" words never, ever have to be spoken, because most people on this ship would not get off!! We took the drinks package and made the most of it, although they did run out of diet coke for the final day at sea! The food was, at best, mediocre. The meat in the dining rooms and the buffet were "cheap cuts" ... all "bone-in" food, not chicken breast etc. There was, however, an abundance of food. In the buffet, though, it al felt a bit like "slop." Another reviewer has called it "care home food" and, yes, I would agree with this. Also, they don't seem to quite get it right around what they serve and when. The Pizza station, for instance, only operates until 6pm ... but if you really aren't taken with the "slop" at meal times, pizza might be a good alternative. Beer battered fish was served, but there were no chips to go with it ... only rice. It just wasn't particularly well thought through at times. Afternoon tea was good though! lol The staff work incredibly hard and very long hours. However, on more than one occasion I overheard staff complaining to other guests about their work and I have never experienced this on other cruise lines. I think the staff here are worked like dogs and are demotivated by their managers/captain ... it simply did not have a happy feel to it. I also think the ship is probably understaffed by about 50 - 100 heads which makes the staff morale worse. No-one was rude, but, unlike on other cruises, they didn't have any great desire to please their guests either. And then onto my biggest bugbear with the staff ... eating and smoking in view of the guests whilst in their work clothes. Every day I went onto the deck and saw at least three different members of staff smoking. Further, in the evenings, I saw a number of uniformed staff sitting in or around the bar areas drinking alcohol. Hey, I have no problem with them drinking alcohol if they are off duty - but then they shouldn't be identifiable as staff of the ship! On one occasion in the buffet, one of the staff from the reception area came up into the buffet and sat with the staff eating his breakfast. OK, so it really isn't the end of the world - I am simply making the point that on a cruise ship there should be an illusion created and that is shattered when the staff are behaving the same way as the guests (smoking, drinking, eating in the buffet) The entertainment was pretty poor ... sure they work hard but the female lead singer (Sarah - I think) was far too "cruise ship" (as Simon Cowell would say) and every time she opened her mouth to sing, I fully expected her to do a "jazz hands" pose. The other singers were ok. The dancers were great and displayed many routines, often in relatively choppy waters! The Captains Bar had a duo which were also OK - it did feel a little bit like a "man with a bontempi and his friend" though. The violinist and pianist duo must be singled out as true musicians, though. After the first meal sitting, it was a lovely experience to sit and listen to this duo perform whilst having an after dinner drink. It also appears that Adults Only means "old" pensioners (75+) ... pensioners who sit in the best seats on the ship (the ones by the windows) and promptly fall asleep. So, you are sailing down the norwegian fjords, but you can't see them from inside because there are a lot of people who have sat down and ... fallen asleep. There is absolutely nothing that the cruise line can do about this ..it's simply an observation. It was quite telling that another guest said to me "You must be one of the youngest people on this ship!" (I'm in my forties! lol) The Norwegian Fjords are simply stunning ... just beautiful, and I would recommend that everyone goes and sees them ... perhaps not with this cruise line though (unless you want a real "easy listening" type experience, or you want to sleep through most of it!) Finally, there were a number of people I met who were really happy with everything about the ship and the cruise ... upon asking, it transpired that these were people who had never been on a cruise before, and that's why I say that your opinion of this ship will very much depend upon whether or not you have experienced cruise lines before. For me, there are far better providers out there and if you didn't enjoy this cruise, don't let it put you off! Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Having never been on a cruise before we thought a smaller ship would be less scary- and we were right! We had heard such wonderful things about the Norwegian fjords and we were not disappointed- the scenery was absolutely spectacular and ... Read More
Having never been on a cruise before we thought a smaller ship would be less scary- and we were right! We had heard such wonderful things about the Norwegian fjords and we were not disappointed- the scenery was absolutely spectacular and we were extra blessed in having beautiful sunny weather,calm seas and also seeing the Northern Lights. The Norwegians are so friendly and polite and their knowledge of English puts us to shame as a nation. As regards the ship: the cleanliness was a credit to the crew. Everywhere was spotless and there were always staff wiping down the bannister rails and lift buttons to ward off germs. Our cabin on deck 7 was more spacious than we expected with plenty of wardrobe space and a nice big window. Our cabin steward was always on hand to assist us and kept everything best and tidy. Criticisms: Only half of the lifts were working at any one time. This was especially apparent when returning from excursions as there was only ONE lift available to take 3 bus loads of people from deck 3 upwards. As a lot of passengers were elderly or had walking difficulties and couldn't use the stairs , this caused ridiculously long queues and was extremely annoying when other lifts were there but not in use. The food was not as good as we had thought it would be. They seemed to use cheap cuts of meat and the portions at dinner were very small. One starter we had of 'sesame chicken' consisted of just one leg from what looked like a budgie! Not even one mouthful of food on the plate. Wifi is available but don't bother! I paid £10 for 2 hours and spent more than half that time just trying to actually get onto the network! Even when it connected, it took so long to download even emails that it's not worth the money and effort. Otherwise the cruise was very enjoyable, the staff were always friendly and attentive and we met some lovely people. The excursions were enjoyable and helpful for finding out more about the area. (We particularly liked going up to the top of the mountain in I would cruise with this company again as we got a good holiday for the money we paid - we had buy one get one free plus a free upgrade from deck 4 to deck 7 which was really appreciated. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
First cruise ever, so we were a little apprehensive. But as the Magellan ship is a small/medium size it is a good choice for a first cruise. Embarking at Newcastle was great and very easy. The steward met us and showed us our free ... Read More
First cruise ever, so we were a little apprehensive. But as the Magellan ship is a small/medium size it is a good choice for a first cruise. Embarking at Newcastle was great and very easy. The steward met us and showed us our free upgrade room from the 4th deck to the 7th. We were surprised how big the cabin looked, and the bathroom & shower were bigger than we had hoped for.there was shampoo & shower gel dispenser in the shower and little bars of soap on the sink. The room had a big picture window was made the room very light and airy. Plenty of wardrobe space & the TV had bbc,itv etc. We didn't take the drinks package at £17 per person but plenty did and many said they had got there money's worth. But drinks are not expensive on board so we just paid as we went along. The food was a bit of hit & miss but overall the Raffles Bistro faired better than the restaurants for food. If you eat in the restaurants you get free coffe,tea & water. The shows on board were ok, although to be fair we didn't bother much with them. All the staff are just so lovely, nothing was too much trouble. You do pay £5 per day for tips which will be added to your bill at the end of the cruise. I read some reviews that said take your own water bottle, but there is a big sign on the water dispenser that tells you not to, so we didn't as it makes perfect sense health wise. Staff offer you antibacterial gel for your hands at every restaurant which again is a thing you must do to protect not only yourself but the other passengers. My disembarkation was a mess, as I hold a USA passport they make you walk to the bus them onto the terminal to go through immigration and as it was snowing very heavily I got soaked and had to return to the ship to disembark an hour later. No staff told me this otherwise I wouldn't have packed my jacket! Don't bother paying for the wifi, it's just rubbish and not worth the money as it ties so long to get onto it, even to just check emails is just so frustrating. If you want a leisurely cruise without all the nonsense of the big mega ships try this ship. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We actually embarked in Dundee but it doesn't show on the options.This is a great holiday for those over forty.The ship was kept immaculate the staff were attentive and the food was abundant and very appetising. The Waldorf restaurant ... Read More
We actually embarked in Dundee but it doesn't show on the options.This is a great holiday for those over forty.The ship was kept immaculate the staff were attentive and the food was abundant and very appetising. The Waldorf restaurant served 5 course dinners with coffee with several choices for each course. If you do not like dressing for dinner you can go to Raffles which is buffet style. We went there for breakfast and lunch great choice and very tasty. Afternoon tea is also served there with sandwiches and cakes. If you are still hungry after this they had a chocolate buffet one night with magnificent sculpture in chocolate and a gala buffet on another with savoury treats. This was the friendliest cruise we have been on being mostly Geordies and Scots no airs and graces although plenty of opportunity to dress up. Drinks are reasonably priced entertainment was of a good standard the onboard entertainment team and orchestra put on a different performance each night. Alan Wright the speaker did several talks and was very entertaining and Alan Brown the comedian did make me laugh. The disco was great playing mostly 60's and 70's music. The best thing was no kids! Had a different cocktail every day the CMV is to die for. The only minus was the excursions in Norway they are not very exciting but the scenery is fantastic. It is very expensive in Norway you need a gold card to buy anything. If you go at this time of the year it is very cold and you do need to take appropriate clothing. I highly recommend this cruise line and will try them again somewhere warmer. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Chosen for destination and port of departure. First impressions were good. Cabin perfectly fine except toilet required cleaning. No shampoo dispenser - it eventually arrived on our second last day - shower gel dispenser didn't ... Read More
Chosen for destination and port of departure. First impressions were good. Cabin perfectly fine except toilet required cleaning. No shampoo dispenser - it eventually arrived on our second last day - shower gel dispenser didn't 'dispense' - steward couldn't fix it. Lifeboat drill was comprehensive - much more thorough than other lines. Ship was very clean, gel dispensers everywhere though I saw quite a lot of passengers ignore them. The crew were, in the main, pleasant. Most were from Eastern Europe, especially the Ukraine. Some - a minority - were pretty gloomy looking and seemed to find the job demeaning. They should pack up and go home as their attitude do the company no favours at all. The food on board was absolutely appalling!! Think poor school dinners and you're almost there. Loads of choice but nothing remotely appetising either in presentation or, more importantly, taste. It was truly awful! I wrote to CMV to complain and received a prompt response from them which was basically along the lines of 'one man's meat is another man's poison.' They pointed out that they provided plenty of choice. Yes, they did BUT it was ALL dreadful. They did say that they would pass on my comments to the ship. I do hope they do AND that things improve dramatically. Regarding places to eat. The Bistro on Deck 10 was nearly always heaving and it could be problematic finding a table. Some seemed to regard 'their table' as a place to spend the day - reading and even sleeping - with no food in front of them. The restaurant staff did ask some to move and were met with blank stares and very grudging compliance. After three truly vile meals in the Waldorf Main Restaurant (including the much vaunted 'Gala Dinner' which was beyond dreadful) we used the Buffet. At least there we could see the various dishes and choose the one that looked least repulsive -- which usually meant salad for all main meals! Although we had a '55% Off' deal, it was no bargain! I would never, ever, sail with this company again and could not recommend them. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
I had read the reviews for the Christmas cruise which Magellan did and I was very close to cancelling our cruise, however we decided to make our own minds up on CMV. The entire experience was excellent, if there was any minus point at ... Read More
I had read the reviews for the Christmas cruise which Magellan did and I was very close to cancelling our cruise, however we decided to make our own minds up on CMV. The entire experience was excellent, if there was any minus point at all it was that the hairdryer wasn't as powerful as I would have liked. The Embarkation process was flawless, they took the cases from our car in the car park and we were able to board the ship at the time that was stated on the tickets, so don't bother arriving early, they stick to times. The cabin was more spacious than I expected and was warm and comfortable, the heating is controlled in the ceiling. Everything was clean and tidy from the cabins to the ship. The food in the buffet is really good, there is everything you could want at breakfast and the curry served one lunchtime was second to none. There is a wide range of dishes. The main dining room was lovely and the waiters are polite and helpful, again food was excellent. The drinks package is worth every penny of the £17 pppn as a glass of wine is £5. In the package you can have beer, cocktails, wine, shorts etc but not Baileys/Irish Coffee. The ship felt stable at all times and I never saw any leaks at all. Two of the lifts were still not working but there were never any queues at the others. It didn't cause any problems. The disembarkation process was even better than embarkation, we sat in the bar until we were called, disembarked, got on a shuttle bus to the car park then located our luggage easily as it was in rows of deck numbers. It was flawless and very well organised. I would recommend CMV to anyone, great value, excellent food and staff. well done! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
i was on the 'magellan' for the norwegian fjords cruise and as it was my first cruise i was a bit apprehensive, this apprehension disappeared as soon as i boarded and was met by friendly, polite and helpful crew members. i ... Read More
i was on the 'magellan' for the norwegian fjords cruise and as it was my first cruise i was a bit apprehensive, this apprehension disappeared as soon as i boarded and was met by friendly, polite and helpful crew members. i only wanted to see the fjords and visit bergen but the whole trip was wonderful. spotless cabin, excellent food with first class service, many on-board activities and very good entertainment. the bridge tour was interesting and amusing with a captain who took time to explain various questions with good humour even tho he must hear the same things regularly. my only complaint was i lost 30 quid playing roulette! the scenery was breathtaking and bergen is a beautiful city. i will certainly go cruising in the near future. overall, a wonderful experience. i have never thought of myself as a good mixer as my scottish borders accent is difficult to leave behind but again this was unfounded as i met some interesting characters from all over. on the days at sea i went to listen to the guest speaker's lectures on vikings, norwegian folklore and the voyages of ferdinand magellan which were both informative and witty, presented by a big cheery guy called alan wright. the evening shows were brilliant, colourful and very professionally put together. i also saw a comedian who went through his very funny show without one swear word or toilet humour that sadly is commonplace with so many 'entertainers'. thank you to all concerned for making a holiday that i'll remember for a long time. spoilt rotten for a week and i loved it! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose this cruise because we had always wanted to visit the Norwegian Fjords. We got a buy one get one free offer. The facilities on the ship were excellent. It was all very clean. The food choice was amazing and the staff were very ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had always wanted to visit the Norwegian Fjords. We got a buy one get one free offer. The facilities on the ship were excellent. It was all very clean. The food choice was amazing and the staff were very friendly and polite! The entertainment was brilliant and the comedian was very good indeed. I'd never had a cocktail before, but now I think that they're lovely!! The musical entertainment was superb, especially the pianist and the violinist. There was also a large number of shore excursions to choose from. The guides were very knowledgeable and friendly. The Captain went around and spoke to people, which we thought was very nice and he seemed a really nice guy. All of the staff worked incredibly hard and they were always very attentive and smartly dressed. All in all a superb cruising experience and we would go again! Read Less
47 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Having spent a lifetime sailing and never having seen the point of cruising in a big ship my wife finally persuaded me that is what we were going to do. She had enjoyed Christmas shopping trip on Marco Polo with a friend and was keen to ... Read More
Having spent a lifetime sailing and never having seen the point of cruising in a big ship my wife finally persuaded me that is what we were going to do. She had enjoyed Christmas shopping trip on Marco Polo with a friend and was keen to see the fjords so I read the reviews of Magellan and having enjoyed a tremendous week I have come to the conclusion that the detrimental reviews are more about the reviewer than the ship. We met several people who seemed to be there just to moan and that was before they had even boarded Fortunately we didn't have to eat with them. Yes Magellan rolls when the sea is rough, so does everything else that floats, some more than others. I forgot to unscrew the inclinometer from my own boat and take it but I didn't notice a permanent list or anything more than the usual heel in the wind and when she navigated tight bends. Yes she is an elderly lady but she is kept beautifully clean and the crew were marvellous. Nothing appeared to be too much for them. The cabin was spotless, the odd creak from a ship underway doesn't keep me awake. I rate excellent based on what I pay and CMV give tremendous value for money. The Port of Tilbury does have more than a few problems none of which are in CMV's control. It is very convenient for us as we live on the Essex Coast and no doubt for the millions of others living close to London but access by road can be a problem so allow plenty of time. Would we sail on Magellan again - we have already booked. Read Less
35 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Four of us booked a Fjord cruise having never cruised before, we were a little worried by the varying reviews on the Magellan, however all we can do is give our honest opinion....we loved it. On arrival at tilbury there was a little bit of ... Read More
Four of us booked a Fjord cruise having never cruised before, we were a little worried by the varying reviews on the Magellan, however all we can do is give our honest opinion....we loved it. On arrival at tilbury there was a little bit of a hold up as the last trip had arrived back late so there was a two hour of the ship trying to play catch up. After that slight hiccup everything was super. Our cabin, an inner was roomy, very comfortable beds, plenty of wardrobe and drawer space and the bathroom a decent size. The food on the ship was lovely, though we heard grumbling a of 'small portions' there was 5 courses every evening...how much do people really want to eat. Breakfast, plenty of choice from continental to full English. Breakfast not being long over then lunch, again something for everyone. Afternoon tea from 3ish...who could possibly eat any more? The staff on board we met were all very friendly, happy to chat and a pleasure to talk to. We were undecided as to take the drinks package...we did and when we cruise again we would probably not use the drinks package as the drinks were on par with UK pub prices. So unless you drink quite a lot, it's probably cheaper to pay for drinks as you go. We took a couple of the trips, but we all felt that the trips we took, could have been booked and arrange very easily independently, just do a bit of homework before you travel. Around the ship all he areas are spotlessly clean, there seems to be a staff member cleaning all the time. The ship,is immaculate. Not really sure why the ratings are only three star...we will certainly book again...loved every moment....well done! Don't worry about the negative reviews on the Magellan....we loved it! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
On a previous cruise with Cruise and Maritime (Marco Polo) we found the service and the attitude of all staff friendly and helpful. food was good and the general atmosphere pleasant and accommodating. The experience on the Magellan was ... Read More
On a previous cruise with Cruise and Maritime (Marco Polo) we found the service and the attitude of all staff friendly and helpful. food was good and the general atmosphere pleasant and accommodating. The experience on the Magellan was the same. We would cruise with them anytime. The cruise was also excellently priced - much less than many others for the same destinations. The entertainment was geared to the people who were on board and the standard of performance and presentation compares with the best in the entertainment world. The ship is well presented, facilities on board were of a very high standard. The attenton given to hygiene was meticulous and ensured that there was no illness on board as experienced by other shipping lines. The staff kept us well informed about the venues we were about to visit and made sure that procedures were well explained so as to ensure timely arrivals and departures. Very enjoyable experience. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Just before our Cruise, we received the final documents from CMV and noted our Cabin had been changed from 5092 to 7188, a choice no one would freely make. I rung CMV and despite protesting they refused to change back to the one booked, ... Read More
Just before our Cruise, we received the final documents from CMV and noted our Cabin had been changed from 5092 to 7188, a choice no one would freely make. I rung CMV and despite protesting they refused to change back to the one booked, stating you checked the upgrade box, basically tough luck. As we found out later, this turned out to be a DOWNGRADE. Difficult to understand what was, "superior plus" about this cabin. It should noted that apart from one night this cabin 7188 remained empty, the reason it was occupied was because their cabin became flooded on deck 5. They quickly returned the next day. Other people knew people someone from a previous cruise, who had complained about this cabin. We arrived at the car park at 11.00 hours for an 11.30 boarding to be confronted with total chaos. There were no porters to assist you with your luggage, joined a long queue shuttling along with our cases, eventually boarded a double decker bus, totally unsuitable for many to get upstairs. How fortunate it was not raining. Eventfully arrived at the main terminal to be confronted with long queues, eventfully boarded at 12.45. Our last case arrived during the life boat drill, sometime after 16.00 hours, which was longwinded & disorganised. Our initial thoughts on the cabin were encouraging, reasonable size, as was the shower. But limited storage, and our cabin steward was very helpful. We arrived at the Waldorf restaurant and had a most enjoyable meal, table companions & service were very good. Eventually we returned to our cabin, and things went downhill rapidly, noise from the propellers was worse than expected, and we were subjected to loud metallic banging and repetitive vibrations all night. It was as if a metal door were swinging freely, and slamming closed. We were advised by others that it was a wire rope and there was nothing that CMV could do about it, or were prepared to do. Complained to Customer Service they advised that the ship was full and consequently there was nothing they could do. During the second enjoyable meal one of our table companions was missing, she was in sick bay having fallen over and either broken or dislocated her hip. One of many to fall over and injure themselves. Was advised that cruise ship arrived at Tilbury with quite a few less passengers, as CMV have not disputed this figure it must be correct. If so, one must question whether this ship is suitable for its itinerary the cliental it aims at. Endured a second sleepless night and complained to Customer Service again, and advised that there nothing they can do. Later in the day we were contacted by Customer Service that another cabin 7059 was available as it appeared to much quieter, so we moved in, how wrong we were. The cabin was even worse, again we complained to Customer Service, and requested that can someone come and have a look at it. Eventually a carpenter arrived, he tried his best hammering corks in, in various parts of the ceiling, all to no avail He advised the whole wall panel needed to be removed to resolve the problem. Next day we went to Customer Service and advised the tapping problem had not been resolved, they requested a report from the Carpenter, he inspected the cabin again and reported that the problem had been resolved. Customer Service advised that as no one had complained about the cabin before, which was totally untrue. Consequently, we had to endure another sleepless night. After leaving Gibraltar, the Ship started cruising at high speed in turbulent water and the noise in 7059 was unbearable, we went the Customer Service and demanded that we come and inspect the cabin, he refused, however they arranged for someone to inspect the cabin, he agreed that it very bad. We were then offered 7087 as a night cabin, however this turned to be not much better, because the speed the ship was travelling at, and the vibration from the prop shaft, even the fan in the bathroom was rattling badly. Yet another sleepless night, it was so bad that my wife returned to the 7059. During the day the Captain reduced the speed to about 10 knots, which significantly reduced the noise level, why he found it necessary to travel at high speed at first, who knows. After returning to our day cabin 7059, there was what I describe as a very condescending letter from Julie Thompson and a bottle cheap house red wine (cost to CMV about £2.50), two wine glasses, but no corkscrew, how typical. I would add that the next day when I went to reception to pick up a news letter, the person I dealt with the night before saw me coming & looked the other way & totally ignored me. At at no time were we asked is everything okay during the rest of the cruise. Later on the Cruise another couple on our table complained about noise in their cabin at low speed, they were immediately offered a quiet sleeping cabin and deck 5, at no time where offered this option. I won't go into other problems we had with Customer Service, few seen able sort out even simple problems. Needless to say, we will never cruise with CMV, and well over 80% of the people we spoke to, felt the same. As a company, they seem to have little respect for customers. They must be aware that cabin 7188 is noisy and customer service on the ship were certainly aware of the problems with 7059. Last but not least, within a few days many people starting coughing, including myself after about 5 days. In the second week all three ladies on our table had several days in bed. Even now, my wife is very poorly, and a x-ray confirmed she has a lung infection. This is a major problem that will be difficult to eradicate, I feel sorry for the people on the next cruise. An email similar to the above was send to CMV on Tuesday, to date no response. Read Less
41 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Introduction: This was our first CMV cruise and was booked after a disappointing Xmas 2015 & New Year cruise to the same destination with a competitor cruise line. We booked with CMV and then read the earlier reviews, so we were ... Read More
Introduction: This was our first CMV cruise and was booked after a disappointing Xmas 2015 & New Year cruise to the same destination with a competitor cruise line. We booked with CMV and then read the earlier reviews, so we were concerned that we were in for another disappointment ... Nothing could be further from the truth - the whole cruise experience was really good and the new Captain has changed the service quality immeasurably. Crew members all smile, service is quick and efficient and everything happens in the background, leaving the passenger to enjoy the cruise instead of worrying about the next problem. The Captain and his senior Officers are available (and very visible) throughout each day and give passengers adequate time to raise concerns or issues, without any hint of the 'corporate brush-off' response. The Executive Chef even visited each table at the Dinner Sitting to gain feedback. Embarkation: The Long Stay Car Parking is about 1 mile away from the Cruise Terminal and Shuttle Buses run back and forth - it's a bit of a bun-fight with tight parking slots and trying to avoid passengers wandering across the traffic path towing cases, bags and other appendages. The process is slightly chaotic but it works. Inside the Cruise Terminal, the process is much smoother - there is a separate Waiting Lounge (faded charm, peeling plaster but rather like an Agatha Christie film set) and timed booking-in slots were operating so that, even with a full complement of 1250 passengers, the queuing was kept to a minimum and the process was very smooth and efficient. On board, a crew member escorted us to our cabin - a really nice touch, and checked that door keys worked before returning to guide the next passenger. The Cabin Review is in a separate section. Ship Layout: Slightly quirky - you can only access the full length of the ship at the top and lowest decks since the middle of the ship is devoted to the Galley that serves both restaurants. So, you need to know whether you're aiming for the stern or the prow before leaving the cabin - for the first couple of days, lost souls were wandering the decks muttering 'Is it the rear or the front I need to get to?' as they familiarised themselves with the layout. Lifts are quite small and, with an ageing and often mobility-limited client group, in constant demand. If you need to use the lifts, be prepared to wait up to 2 minutes for one to become available. This was a source of annoyance for several customers. Staircases are quite steep - using them will get you fit! - and the stair riser on some staircases slopes back into the staircase (to create extra space for those size 13 shoes?) and this take a wee while to adjust to. Crew Members are cleaning handrails, lift entrances and the public areas constantly to minimise the risk of infection. Despite this, and the hand-cleansing machines and notices everywhere, passengers still feel they have the right to refill their own water bottles and to return excess food to the serving trays so the coughing starts - grrr! CMV needs to employ a retired schoolteacher from the 1960s so that (s)he can use a wooden ruler to rap the knuckles of any passenger ignoring the food hygiene rules ... Dining: We were allocated First Sitting in the Waldorf Restaurant on a Table for 8. A combination of poor handwriting, inaccurate transcription of the Dining Cards from the computer records and passengers not having their reading glasses meant that we had 12 different guests for the 8 seats over the first 4 days! Eventually (back to Agatha Christie), the Maitre d' appeared at the Table with pad and pen and requested cabin numbers and names so that he could solve the 'Whodunnit' of the Dining Room - of the 12 people trying to get in the 8 seats, 10 were very pleasant so we had a good final selection of fellow diners! Zin and Min (Waiter and Wine Waiter) were first rate and very friendly, seeing the humour of the changing guests until the 'real 8' diners were identified. Menus were decent - safe, unadventurous food in sensible portions. The temperature of the food could have been a wee bit hotter on occasions. We took the £85 Alcohol Package (5 bottles of reasonable quality wine (equivalent to supermarket 'Dine In' promotions - safe but decent quality) and 10 bottles of water) since we do not drink much alcohol. Unused wine is stored until the next meal and there was no noticeable deterioration in its quality. Wine can be bought by the glass for £5 or you can pay £17 per person per day for the Unlimited Drinks Package. We started using the Raffles Bistro fro breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, but it was often tight for space so finding a table could resemble the Saturday morning drive around the multi-storey car park for the Space that is supposed to be available. The lunch-time deadline return from port visits in Santa Cruz and Gibraltar caused a wee bit of a logjam with diners exceeding available spaces until the Maitre d' began gathering up lost souls and directing them to the restaurants. The Bistro has no table cloths during the day and the layout has evoked descriptions of 'canteen' in appearance with several tables having bench seats along the wall as the perimeter tables run the length of the room. The layout gets the most 'bums on seats' and it gives you a chance to meet lots of fellow cruisers - it's a lively atmosphere that works well, if a little spartan on the furnishings. The Bistro food is the same as in the main restaurants and the range is decent - not spectacular, but you won't starve (I am a very picky eater and managed to find enough variety, albeit in combinations that would have made the chef weep) and there is no problem with taking further portions. Empty serving trays were replenished promptly, but the pressure of a full complement of passengers and the rigid hygiene rules of not re-using plates when taking a second portion (food hygiene and cleaning regimes throughout the ship are scrupulous) sometimes meant a delay whilst new plates and cutlery arrived - nothing major and 'Hunt the Plate' gives a wee bit of exercise to burn the extra calories ... Plenty of serving/support staff (all of whom smile and try to make polite conversation - there's been a big effort to engage with passengers) to clear plates and guide passengers around the serving stations (Mushrooms and Hash Browns sit in a separate Serving Station from the rest of the cooked breakfast components). Quirky, but it works well as does the small queue to have a freshly fried egg rather than scooping up one that has been pre-cooked and then left to sunbathe under the warming lights ... Entertainment: The Carmen Duo classical music act is very good and their show in the Magellan Lounge was excellent - the only complaint is that the sho did not last longer. The Duo also played each evening in Hampton's Bar (3 or 4 sessions of 20-25 minutes) to an appreciative audience. The Magellan Entertainment Team, led by Raul, the Assistant Cruise Director, work very hard to provide a fresh face to the 'song and dance' staple offering. The 'Abba' Evening was done very competently and was very enjoyable. I am a Queen devotee and hoped that the 'Queen' Evening wouldn't be too bad - alas it was. The 'Abba' production showed that there are very capable singers - the 'Queen' production was simply too ambitious and, as a fellow fan observed, 'After the second murder, I called Quincy, MD. to arrange the autopsies ...' Raul and the crew led the 'Sail Away' singing to great effect - it was energetic and well received, confirming that the 'Queen' production had been too ambitious. Guest Lecturers were good - Sue Walsh and Alan Oliver. The latter is a more academic presenter who would get you through your exams, but who is a little too academic for cruise entertainment. Sue Walsh is a very enthusiastic bird watcher, ringer, conservation volunteer - her enthusiasm for her subject shines through, even though she some times became carried away and talked about the subject matter of the next 2-3 slides, leaving a few 'Err, ums ...' until she recovered from realising that she had just spent a couple of minutes covering the content of the new slide! Sue was very happy to talk to passengers outside the lecture stints and to share photos and information from her Tablet. Very enjoyable. Shore Excursions: We booked quite late so several excursions were fully booked - no problem for us since this cruise was to visit destinations that the previous cruise company had cancelled over Xmas 2015 and New Year. We made our own way in each port and encountered no problems. Courtesy buses were available, albeit stipulated on a couple of occasions as being for those passengers with mobility difficulties. In practice, these passengers were given priority and then it was 'first come, first served' for everyone else. It was particularly nice not to have to pay for the Courtesy buses - a nice gesture that CMV and the Port Authorities deserve credit for providing. Julie, the Customer Services Manager. was high profile during the Shore Excursions process, and her cheerful, warm Lancashire voice was a delight. Her update announcement at Gibraltar - 'Ladies and Gentlemen, it's not cloudy - I've just been down at the quayside - I'm from Lancashire and I know rain - it's absolutely lashing it down so DO, please take your coats and umbrellas' was very well received. Some passengers felt that Magellan could have stayed longer at some ports - a matter of personal choice. My wife and I were unable to go ashore at Lisbon because we had picked up the coughing sickness that someone had kindly brought aboard. Those who did remarked on the queues at the local pharmacy to purchase paracetamol etc. Disembarkation: This is probably the weakest element. The baggage collection from cabins on the previous night was very smooth, albeit slightly noisy as cabin crew began the portering about midnight and cabins had to be vacated by 07:00 the next morning. 07:00 and lots of passengers, carrying hand luggage, scrabbling for lifts and then restaurant/bistro space was all a wee bit chaotic. Breakfast was over by 09:00 and there was then up to 2 hours wait for disembarkation. Seats were at a premium (if all else fails, aim for the Magellan Show Lounge - it's dark and a wee bit cold but you can sit comfortably). Toilets were at an even bigger premium as the (already limited by original design) public WCs were closed down for cleaning and maintenance - lots of frustrated, ageing working class males, roaming the decks whilst describing their impending incontinence is not a happy spectacle. I found a working toilet at my 6th attempt - this is not good enough and let the previous high organisational performance slip. London Cruise Terminal does not have enough baggage trolleys for the 1250 passengers so people had to queue for a trolley; then queue to leave the terminal; then queue to reach the Shuttle Buses to return to the Long Stay Car Park which was heaving because of the arrival of new passengers for the Norwegian Fjords Cruise. If you watch Rugby and wonder why players are not allowed to carry suitcases into the scrum, you will have a picture of the organisation under strain ... The organisers were run off their feet getting exiting passengers away and coping with new arrivals whilst a succession of taxis and private care were dropping new passengers off at the Cruise Terminal. After vacating our cabin at 07:00 and being called for disembarkation at 11:00, it was almost midday when we left the Cruise Terminal and 12:40 before arrival the Long Stay Car Park - quite a fraught process overall. There needs to be more trolleys and more frequent Shuttle Bus journeys to free up bottle necks. Summary: I recommend prefacing any review with 'Looking at the price we paid' before making criticisms. I heard several comments from fellow passengers that 'The food is not as good as xyz cruises and it's not available round the clock' etc. We paid £52 per person per day (and we could have saved £5 per person per day by choosing a cheaper cabin) for 14 nights cruising, with 6 ports of call over 4000+ nautical miles on a full board basis with free entertainment provided. Our budget pre-cruise hotel cost us £35 per person for accommodation only! The cruise was well organised, staffed by a friendly and competent crew who provided great service and who made us feel like people rather than cabin numbers. CMV promise 3.5 star service but get closer to 4 star - they could provide more of the pampering, more choice of menu items, fluffier towels etc but not at the prices they charge. I was very apprehensive about the booking after I had read the reviews. My experience has been very positive - a good, value-for-money, decent holiday that was better than CMV indicated. My wife and I have already booked our next cruise on the Magellan (Norway on 17th April 2016 - just about time to get the holiday washing dry before we meet up with the Captain and Crew again); we are really looking forward to the experience! Read Less
Magellan Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0

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