Previously travelled with Thompson, P&O, Costa, Celebrity & MSC
Based on the prices, we wanted to try this cruise line, but the reviews have been so bad that we did let it put us off a bit, however, when we saw the 3 night ... Read More
Previously travelled with Thompson, P&O, Costa, Celebrity & MSC
Based on the prices, we wanted to try this cruise line, but the reviews have been so bad that we did let it put us off a bit, however, when we saw the 3 night cruise to Ghent & Amsterdam we thought that would be an ideal trip to try them out. Before booking, we happened to see a 12 night trip round the British Isles that we really fancied and just happened to be the Magellan’s next trip after returning from Ghent/Amsterdam so ended up booking both as back to back cruises!!
Have to say, I was very apprehensive about the trip because of the reviews, but tried to stay open minded as some of them did refer to their personal experience which of course can impact on your overall view of the experience.
We were dropped off around an hour earlier than our allotted arrival time & was on the ship within the hour so was unaware of the issues with regard to the parking - did not find it very clear with regards to suitcases being taken from us, at Southampton when being dropped off as soon as you stop & get out of the car there are porters there to take your luggage from you, at Tilbury this was not the case, there were porters around but after asking we wheeled our bags to the opposite end of the cruise terminal where a porter took them from us - when we entered the hall, people had their luggage with them & the porters were walking around taking the luggage from them. Not sure if this was the normal procedure or just a little different as it was initially only for 3 nights & maybe not expecting much big luggage.
As we boarded we were taken straight to our cabin, something we haven't experienced on our previous cruises. The cabin was an okay size with 2 single beds, bathroom was no smaller than what we've had on previous cruises, the shower one of the larger ones we have had and was hot & powerful, we didn’t have any problems with the shower curtain. There was plenty of wardrobe space & room for suitcases.
Service: Found this pretty similar to other cruises, most of the are fine, some seem to go that extra bit for you & others don't seem to try as hard.
Didn't take part in any activities.
Entertainment: Main Theatre – show performed 7.30pm & 9pm, we were on 2nd sitting which meant we would have to go to the earlier show if we wanted to see it, problem with that is if you’re ashore all/most of the day then it was sometimes too much of a rush to get ready in time. All but 3 of the shows were performed by the same group of singers & dancers, just a different theme for the songs being sung. Did have a comedian one night that we managed to see, but missed the other 2 shows we would have liked to see (magician & band).
Captains Lounge – a duo that were ok that had a couple of breaks when a quiz or game were played at around 10pm which would be followed by a cabaret which was the same singers from the show doing a solo or group session of more singing.
Sinatras – a pianist, which was like background music, not quite our thing
Scotts nightclub – was very well used & lively during the 3 night cruise but pretty empty on the 12 night cruise.
Food : In the main dining rooms we were quite happy with the food, there were 5 courses you could choose from and the portions were not massive (the same as other cruises we have been on) but overall was enough to eat without feeling over full or bloated. The choice was not as fancy as some other cruises we have been on, but what we had was thoroughly enjoyable.
Raffles bistro – the food was fine, we have had much bigger variety on other ships, but they did have much bigger counter/table areas to hold the many different choices compared to Magellan, but we felt there was enough choice to eat fairly well.
The late night buffet was just waiters bringing out trays of nibbles, they would have 4 different items & would serve you one of each. Although they did have a couple of nights where the chefs laid out tables with very nicely presented food, but could never get close enough to get anything!
Some of the tenders & shuttles were arranged by the local ports we were in, so assume not under the control of the ship? We never had any problems with getting on them or arriving at the drop offs having plenty of time in town, but then we always made sure we off the ship as early as possible which may be why.
Coming back from Amsterdam during our 3rd night was pretty horrendous due to the storm & we were late docking in Tilbury due to the ‘adverse weather conditions’ but as bad as this was, it isn’t the fault of the ship or cruise company when the weather is so bad. The late docking did mean there was a lot of hanging around that morning as we had to be out of our cabins by 7am (if they want rooms to be ready for the next guests as they get on board then it has to be this early, otherwise, as with other ships you get on board but have to wait for them to tell you when the rooms are ready).
Basically, this is an old ship, possibly one of the first style of this type of cruise ship and therefore the original design before they started building bigger/improved ships. Being an old design may well explain some of the noise issues in some of the cabins & problems with drainage, although we did experience some issues with the toilets on the MSC ship which was newer.
It has been mentioned that cabins at the back may have been near engines & experienced lots of noise, our first cabin was more midship on deck 5 (cabin 5151) & we did not suffer from noise. Our second cabin was right at the front on deck 5 (cabin 5001) and we did experience some noise which would start about an hour before we docked or dropped anchor, it sounded like they may have turned a motor on which created a continual humming noise then it was like you could hear the anchor/ropes being lowered or pulled in – the noise was not massively intrusive, but was definitely noticeable!!
Cruise ships are basically floating hotels getting you from port to port and we were quite happy with this one based on the price we paid. Would we travel with Cruise & Maritime again on the Magellan? Yes, we think we would be quite happy to travel with them again should they be doing a trip that we were interested in doing – but we would like to see a little more variety/guest performers in the theatre/bars.
Ghent - shuttle to the town which worked fine when we used it, the town was very pretty - similar to Bruges
Amsterdam - was approx. 10-15 minute walk to the main station which sits at the top of Amsterdam where we got on a hop on hop off bus. Very pretty in places, criss crossing the canals on both small & large bridges, very enjoyable.
Invergordon - a couple of minutes from the ship takes you in to their main street, not much there really, we were off quite early & managed to get on the special non stop bus laid on by stage coach in to Inverness, at the bus station we were in time to buy tickets for a trip to Loch ness & Urghart castle. Plenty of shops etc to wander around
Kirkwall - tender boats, just got there in time to get on the T11 tour to skara brae & the ring of stones, get to see quite a bit of the island.
Stornoway - tender, not much there really, went on 3 hour walk which was exhausting but thoroughly enjoyable
Tobermory - tender, really pretty little place that sits low around a bay with high ground raising above it, got on a tour bus & had some very nice views, also did tour in the distillery, very nice.
Dublin - shuttle from port or walkable in around 50 mins, got on hop on hop off bus, had lunch/drink in Temple Bar area, very nice. Went to Guiness storehouse & was a bit disappointed with it, felt like a very big area with not too much to see about how guiness is made
Belfast - shuttle. did titanic museum which was really good & hop on hop off bus
Cobh - a pretty little place with a wonderful cathedral
Scilly Isles - tender, really liked it here, went on a walk around the garrison island.
St Malo, France - tender, very nice old town surrounded by wall, lovely beach/promenade walk, need the tide to be out to enjoy the beach
Honfleur - shuttle, really pretty with some beautiful old buildings, it was market day & the stalls were set out in front of some the buildings so couldn't get decent pictures, but still very nice. Read Less