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
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
48 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
On arriving at Tilbury for our in search of the Northern light cruise, our cases were taken porter, into the boarding area, within minutes called to board Magellan, on board quickly. Escorted to our cabin, this was a first well done CMV, ... Read More
On arriving at Tilbury for our in search of the Northern light cruise, our cases were taken porter, into the boarding area, within minutes called to board Magellan, on board quickly. Escorted to our cabin, this was a first well done CMV, cases outside waiting. M&M luggage label missing, reported to reception, flippant receptionist told us to claim on insurance, CMV does not take responsibility for luggage!!!!. On going into cabin, smell of diesel over powering, could not get in until ship sailed. When Magellan refuelled, diesel smelled appeared again and again. What brain of Britain decided to put A/C and heating controls in the ceiling is beyond comprehension. We paid for a outside cabin with a window, however the window was filthy dirty from the Amazon cruise and was not cleaned in our 14 days aboard, would have booked an inside cabin. Lack of lifts, some sections had 4 lifts only 2 working, you had to wait forever to get a lift. Walking up the stairs was like climbing a mountain, so steep, still the exercise was good. The entertainment was awful, dancers who could not keep time, singers that sang out of tune and screeched, but they thought they were fantastic, a drag act that took the micky out of a female that had lost her first husband, outrageous. Leaving the ship in port, the gangway had to be negotiated with extreme care, in some ports you had to bend so low, if you did not suffer from back problems you may now. Gangways held by rope, and very rickety, how people in wheel chairs managed God knows. In general the staff were fantastic, helpful and friendly, dining in the Kensington restaurant was fine, made better by the four other fantastic people we dinned with. Shore excursions are outrageously expensive. when we disembarked from Magellan, we spoke to a supervisor in the baggage hall regarding the missing luggage label, and was told some one took a liking to that label, but if it turns up I will post it to you. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Our embarkation was at Amsterdam Cruise Terminal, very nice terminal at walking distance of centre of Amsterdam in comparison to the Tilbury terminal which was located in an industrial area 40 km from London. Well done Amsterdam!! After ... Read More
Our embarkation was at Amsterdam Cruise Terminal, very nice terminal at walking distance of centre of Amsterdam in comparison to the Tilbury terminal which was located in an industrial area 40 km from London. Well done Amsterdam!! After a quick registration we were escorted to our cabin. Specious cabin with a double bed window and a lot of storage space. Our dinner was served at the Waldorf restaurant, good quality food and TOP service by our waiters Ashley and Ivan. We used our breakfast at Raffels buffet restaurant, the varierty of the food was excellent. A lot of fresh fruits. Restaurant can become crouwded due to people who remain sited after they have finished their breakfast, lunch or tee due to the cold weather. Reception staff was not very friendly and lost ?? a form for a refund request on our account statement. The saying "how colder the destination the older the passengers" was correct, we felt that we (age 46 & 55) were bringing down the avarage age on board. In relation to the destination of the cruise "North Cape" we were shocked about the high number of disabled people on board. During the evacuation drill we were the only ones waiting at the lifeboats for a long time. The lifts could not handle the high amount of olderly people. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was my first cruise, and probably my last. Cruising simply is not for me. Over and above that I have a few grumbles some of which apply as much to a hotel as a ship. The lifts in the Magellan are very slow {very}. And yet half the ... Read More
This was my first cruise, and probably my last. Cruising simply is not for me. Over and above that I have a few grumbles some of which apply as much to a hotel as a ship. The lifts in the Magellan are very slow {very}. And yet half the lifts are not in use or don't work. The crew and all their odds and ends also use the lifts, thus I travelled up and down at various times with, a table, a stack of chairs, and a large trolley. not a good impression. everything about the ship says "hotel" and yet there is no shoe polisher or cleaner. Embarkation at the start of the cruise and disembarkation at the end was fine, but getting on and off the ship for shore excursions was painfully slow. All passengers are issued with a cruise card, which have to be swiped by a crew member, each time you leave or board the ship. In a card wont read or scan correctly the entire queue has to wait. Twice we had to stand out on the quay for well over 15 minutes. It didn't rain, but I would have been furious if it had. The gangway, was, for the most part a narrow single gangway, fixed to a low deck, where the effect of the tide has a dramatic effect on the gangway angle and the height of the ship above the gangway. thus people with crutches and wheelchairs had great difficulty, and to watch some of the people with a whole range of disabilities negotiating the gangway, sideways and having to duck deep to avoid banging their heads at the same time was a depressing sight. Too much emphasis at booking is put on Dress code and formality. Casual is fine and most people seemed happy to be casual except for the odd Formal evening. We had a very pleasant cruise without the need of party frocks and dinner suits. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Just returned from a Northern Lights Cruise on the Magellan. The cabin staff and the restaurant staff are great, friendly and helpful, as are the medical team if you need them. However the chef is not properly in charge of his kitchen; I ... Read More
Just returned from a Northern Lights Cruise on the Magellan. The cabin staff and the restaurant staff are great, friendly and helpful, as are the medical team if you need them. However the chef is not properly in charge of his kitchen; I had to send 5 main courses back as inedible. The worst was the fish in batter, good old fish and chips which I chose as being a safe bet, but the fish was totally raw inside the batter. One dish, tortellini in a cheese sauce,had the pasta so overcooked it was slimy and to add insult to injury it had not been properly drained so the cheese sauce was watery beyond belief. When the food was good it was very good, but the chef was not doing adequate quality control, or has low standards and some of his staff are obviously sloppy workers. The other down side is that there is inadequate seating when everyone is aboard and the weather not suitable for people to sit out on deck. We had to spend one whole afternoon in the cabin in order to sit down while others were having to sit on the window sills in the main lounges and hallways. The wifi is astronomically expensive and just about functions some of the time. The cruise itself was an interesting trip - we visited some great places but I would not travel on Magellan again. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We have just returned from a six week cruise on the m/v 'Magellan' operated by CMV. The itinerary was sailing Tilbury on the 5th January 2016 to the Amazon and the Caribbean. On the way we also called at Amsterdam, Lisbon, ... Read More
We have just returned from a six week cruise on the m/v 'Magellan' operated by CMV. The itinerary was sailing Tilbury on the 5th January 2016 to the Amazon and the Caribbean. On the way we also called at Amsterdam, Lisbon, Funchal (Madeira) and Mindalo (Cape Verde). After crossing the Atlantic we entered the Amazon River and spent a week with a port call every day upto Manaus and back. On the way to the Caribbean we called at Isla da Salut (Devils Island) and after four port calls in the Windward Islands we called at Horta and Ponta Delgado in the Azores before returning to Tilbury. The highlights for us was undoubtably the Amazon and Devils Island, particularly the latter. Prior to booking we read all the reviews regarding the Magellan and CMV and it is fair to say that as a result we had serious doubts about booking. However, we decided that the itinerary was so appealing, and the price so reasonable, that we would proceed but with low expectations on the ship and cruise line. We were wise to do so. First the good points. The cabin, which we chose with great care taking into account online reviews and personal experiance on cruising generally, was excellent. It was roomy and the cupboard space easily accommodated our 5 suitcase load. It was also very quiet which could not be said for many others. She is an old ship and some others experienced creaking and groaning in the the fabric of the ship when she was working in even a reasonable sea which kept them awake at night. To the extent that some with outside cabins were given inside cabins for sleeping in, retaining their original outside cabin for day use. The only down side was that as we were on deck 4 (4036) and only about 3/4 meters above the waterline in rough weather they bolt shutter over the inside of the Windows as protection. This happened for one day on our journey outward and for two on the return leg across the Bay of Biscay. They give you no warning. They just do it. But it is for your safety so no arguments here on it. The ship was built in 1985 when there was not so much pressure to cram as many people onboard as possible so we found her public spaces well laid out and more than adequate. Even when no one was on deck due to cold/bad weather you could still always find a spot to settle yourselves down in one of the lounges. Almost without exception we found the waiters and bar staff were superb and we cannot praise them high enough. They made up for many of the deficiencies. I have no doubt she is perfectly safe and seaworthy but the ship is old and it shows cosmetically, serious TLC needed. Maintenance staff are everywhere, always either repairing or running maintenance checks. Sometimes these seemed planned to create the maximum amount of inconvenience to the passengers. A bit of forethought would have gone a long way. There are eight lift shafts but two of them never worked the whole time we were onboard. When you consider the age profile that CMV targets, many of which have varying degrees of mobility problems, it is frankly not acceptable. About two weeks into the cruise there appeared a wet area just outside Sinatra's Bar with just towels put down to soak it up and a yellow warning sign. We were told it was the air conditioning. After a further two weeks we were all just walking past it without noticing it anymore. When we got to colder climate it stopped. No attempt was made that we saw to remedy the fact that the air conditioning unit was dumping excess moisture out of the air onto the floor In a steady drip. Most of the lounge furniture has seen better days and needs either replacing or reupholstering. They have replaced most of the sun loungers on deck but some of the old ones are still used but are dilapidated and should be pensioned off. Again there is plenty of space on deck although shade is at a premium. The excursion team, with one notable exception, seemed a bit disorganised and some, not all, of the trips were badly conducted. All cruise lines grossly overcharge for shore excursions but some of them on this ship bordered on daylight robbery. One in particular at Bequia was a cataraman trip to a secluded beach and back. Cost £24 each. We were tendered ashore and had to wait about 45 minutes for the cataraman which took ages to board as we all had to wade out to it. It then just sailed round the headland and dumped us on a beach about ten minutes later, which was just a 15 minute walk from where we boarded the boat, we know because we walked back. Everyone was livid. The food is adequate, nothing exceptional. Occasionally they put on a very late buffet where the food is excellent. Unfortunately most times many of the early diners had already gone to bed and the late diners haven't long finished their main meal so a lot gets wasted.they should forget the buffet and concentrate on providing better meals in the dining rooms. Bar prices are exceptionally reasonable for a cruise ship with none of the compulsory 15% surcharge you get added by most other lines. Smoking areas are not clearly defined or sign posted. Ther are three areas on the port side on deck 10 and 11, more space than we have seen allocated to smokers on any other cruise line, where smoking is permitted. It is not enforced and by the end of the cruise smokers had virtually claimed the whole of the port side of the ship including the boat decks. In the Eros Bar on deck ten even the ships officers were smoking in an area that was just marginally over the centre line into the port side.think it is a case that as the Management smoke they have no interest in policing the policy. The entertainment staff were very enthusiastic and friendly of mixed talent, some very good and others not so, but they really threw themselves into everything they did.we only had three guest acts flown in which for a six week cruise is appalling. The usual activities that you would expect, lectures, quizzes etc which you can take or leave as you please. Despite the above we have no regrets. This gave an opportunity to visit places, at an affordable price, which we thought we would never get to see and, despite the niggles,it was a fantastic and memorable holiday which we will long remember. The itinerary was everything. You just have to remember that this is not Princess Line or Celebrity and that you are paying a price accordingly. Would we sail on 'Magellan' again? Definitely not, although it might be interesting to see what they do to the old girl during her docking next October. There was a very mixed response from fellow passengers. Some saying they would never sail on her again to others that were enthusiastically booking future cruise whilst onboard, at least one couple we met who actually booked the 120 day round the world cruise from Tilbury leaving on the 5th January 2017. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We have cruised with CMV before so know, more or less, what to expect although this was our first time on Magellan. December 22 started with an early morning telephone call to advise the ship had encountered bad weather and would be ... Read More
We have cruised with CMV before so know, more or less, what to expect although this was our first time on Magellan. December 22 started with an early morning telephone call to advise the ship had encountered bad weather and would be late in at Tilbury so our embarkation time was put back 5 hours (to 6.30pm). This was re-iterated in an email also received that morning and this advised that the ship would now be sailing at 8pm. We duly turned up, as requested, just before 6.30pm and were virtually alone in the ‘unloading’ area with our luggage being taken from us almost immediately. We went to check in, our Cruise Cards were already waiting for us at a separate table (together with about 20 others) and we were next in line to actually check in. The latter was quickly accomplished and we proceeded to ‘Security’, they obviously wanted us on board promptly as nothing we were carrying was put through the scanner. Nor were we invited to go through the body scanner. Just how much time did they think they were saving by these unwise actions? Once on board, we were shown to our cabin (I knew better than the lady taking us there where it was) and the cabin keys were not inside as she expected them to be. She went to Reception to get them for us. Luggage arrived quickly and we were all unpacked and sorted by about 7.15pm by which time we were under way en route to Antwerp! (Which, incidentally, we enjoyed but it was at the expense of Lanzarote (not Tenerife as quoted by another critic). Later, and somewhat disturbingly, we discovered that mandatory SOLAS lifeboat drill had been undertaken prior to our arrival on board. Seeing as they knew not all passengers were on board, just what were they thinking? There were issues on board; most mentioned by prior reviews (some of which appear tainted with a degree of hysteria) briefly my views on some of the issues: 2 out of 4 lifts in the forward area not working for the entire cruise. Given the mobility issues of a significant proportion of passengers, this was a real problem as people would get in a lift irrespective of which direction it was travelling. I dread to think just how long a wheelchair bound passenger had to wait until a lift with sufficient space came along. Cleaning appeared to be going on constantly around the ship and the public areas, including eating zones appeared in generally good order albeit a little tired in places. Initially, food wasn’t brilliant (but not ‘awful’ as some state) and the soup could, generally, have been hotter. As already stated, it did improve considerably in the latter part of the cruise and the New Year’s Dinner was a fine example of what should have been the norm. If the Chef did change, then it was for the better. The previous incumbent’s interpretation of some classic dishes left much to be desired on occasion. We found the staff to have a reasonable command of English and we had no difficulty making our requirements known. Our restaurant team were very good, unlike others; we do not require waiting staff to explain a menu to us! Agree, the entertainment, especially the evening shows, was mainly amateurish and there were technical problems for some of the lectures. Daytime entertainment was very much of participate if you like it or do your own thing. Passengers themselves caused some problems by not waiting until called and congesting some areas unnecessarily although lift problems may have been a contributing factor. An evening ‘chocolate buffet’ was spoiled by greedy (they hadn’t long had their evening meal) people pushing and shoving to partake – some with plates already chocolate smeared trying to get ahead of those still waiting for their first taste! Also, a ‘Magnifique Buffet’ in the Bistro was marred by greedy people who could not contain themselves. We advised that photographs could be taken from 11pm and the buffet would commence at 11.15 so, we turned up in that interval only to find the display had been ruined. We were later informed that some very selfish people had started on the food at about 10.50pm! Due to rough seas, our cabin window (we were on Deck 4) was boarded up for two days each way and we viewed this as a wise safety precaution and had no problem with it. Our cabin was spacious for a standard type and the shower was excellent however, a little more storage space for toiletries would have been appreciated. It was one sudden roll that caused injuries to several passengers which led to the helicopter evacuation for the most seriously injured. We could hear the rotor blades from our position in the restaurant and estimate it took about 10 minutes at most to achieve – some people are prone to exaggeration. Shore excursions, we went on three, were fine and reasonably good value for money spoiled only by some peoples inability to get back to the coach by the requested time. Tendering at Funchal had its moments (as stated by other reviewers) plus we had the additional entertainment of two chaps almost coming to blows attempting to get back on board! We appreciate that Captains are under pressure to get back in time for next cruise (we spoke to a passenger on Fred Olsen’s Balmoral in Gran Canaria, they had lost 3 ports of call and would only be ‘standing off’ at Funchal to watch the fireworks. Their Captain was allowing for bad weather on the way back to Southampton as, if he was late, they would not get a berth) although Tilbury doesn’t suffer from multiple cruise lines using it! What does the skipper do? Stay in harbour and miss even more ports of call or ‘rough it’ (quite an appropriate expression) and deliver what a lot of passengers expect. It is a no win situation. The Bay of Biscay is notorious and, in Winter, especially so. We did not expect a smooth passage. There are lessons to be learned by CMV from this cruise but, overall, we enjoyed it helped enormously by our table companions in the evenings. Unfortunately, the problems didn’t finish with the end of the cruise. I preloaded my on board account and they managed to mis-apply the funds with the result that my bank account has been debited with twice as much as expected. After much discussion, I am advised a refund is in course! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
The main conclusion drawn from this cruise is that a large proportion of British cruisers seem to expect a 5* experience for 3* prices. The cruise certainly did have issues, and there were causes for concern, but in general the good ... Read More
The main conclusion drawn from this cruise is that a large proportion of British cruisers seem to expect a 5* experience for 3* prices. The cruise certainly did have issues, and there were causes for concern, but in general the good outweighed the bad. My wife and I are agreed that we would have marked it 3½ out of 5 overall. I suppose you get what you look for!! Embarkation. On the evening before departure, I had been keeping an eye on the Magellan's whereabouts and had ascertained that she had not left Antwerp until well after the designated time. I was therefore not surprised the following morning to see that a text had been sent to my mobile 'phone, requesting that we delay our arrival at reception by 4 hours. This was followed up that morning by a phone call. When we arrived at Tilbury there was little information as to the procedure for registration, but from previous experience of CMV registration we knew that the best thing to do was to join the queue, even though there were lots of people sitting and waiting in the registration hall. Having done this we were quickly processed and in no time at all were in our cabin. The luggage followed about an hour later. One cause for concern was that our hand luggage and ourselves were not security scanned at all even though I was carrying two large shoulder bags containing my camera equipment. In the cabin, there was no information as to the facilities that were open at the time, and what was happening that evening in terms of entertainment. This Welcome Aboard "order of the day" sheet only appeared in our cabin after we had eaten our evening meal. Cabin (No. 7121) The cabin was clean and comfortable. The shower was excellent, but with a weakness that the shower curtain was lightweight flimsy material so that the power of the shower created a vacuum which drew in the curtain so that it clung to the body, (Note to myself - next time take picnic table-cloth weights). There was ample wardrobe and storage space in the cabin, and empty suitcases coul be stored under the bed. There was some creaking noise during the worst of the storms, and some (though not too disruptive) noise from the Galley which was directly above us. The cabin maid (Dina) was exceptionally pleasant and helpful. Itinerary and scheduling One of our reasons for choosing this cruise was the itinerary and the opportunity of visiting Gibraltar, and the Canary Islands in the period between Xmas and the New Year. Late in the evening of our departure from Tilbury we received an "Important Itinerary Amendment Notice" which stated: "We have been monitoring the Atlantic low pressure systems and the updated weather forecast and marine conditions during the forthcoming week and have taken the decision to make an un-scheduled call to Antwerp in Belgium tomorrow Wednesday 23rd December 2015. This full day call will assist us in avoiding the worst of the adverse weather conditions currently forecasted." Given that this was done to avoid a Force 7 gale, and the return journey was undertaken in a Force 9 gale (more of this later), rumours about the real reason (a replacement 1st mate had failed to join the ship on the previous in-bound leg from Antwerp, resulting in the ship having to return to Antwerp to pick him up / the Captain's wife and child had failed to get a flight to Gibraltar, and needed collection at Antwerp) became rife. From our point of view, the visit to Antwerp was a bonus, even though it meant a day less in the sun, as it enabled us to see a northern European city we had not previously visited, and to experience two excellent Art Galleries ( Rockox and Rubens' House). Gibraltar was closed (it was Sunday as we were one day late there) but the visit to the top of the Rock was very interesting. We missed out Lanzarote, but both Santa Crus de Tenerife and Las Palmas, Gran Canaria were well worth visiting, especially as the sun was by now shining (27C in the latter). However, at all three venues (and in fact at all others), there was a distinct lack of information on the places to visit as an independent traveller. It would be good it there were talks on each venue which are not about the excursions which CMV are trying to sell. Maps and guide notes - especially in these days of Google maps and the internet - could be easily provided by CMV. Yes, I can, and did, do this myself, but if done by CMV with their connections (port agents, previous visits, etc) the experience would be greatly enhanced. New Year's Eve in Funchal was very pleasant, and the midnight fireworks were fantastic, which to a great extent justified the whole cruise. Food and Drink We ate in the Waldorf Restaurant on a table for 6, and found it a very congenial experience. (Thank you Ralph and Maria, John and Christine). I don't know how CMV allocate seating, - is it pot-luck, or do they have an algorithm. Whatever the case, we have been lucky on both CMV cruises where we have had fixed dining to have had suitable and interesting dining companions. Certain lunchtime encounters highlighted how lucky we had been. The menu was varied, but the relationship between the description and actuality was sometimes very tenuous. Xmas dinner was a huge disappointment - no stuffing or Pigs in Blankets, Xmas Pudding was a chocolate sponge/brownie with a few currants, and Mince Pies were Apple Tarts! The food did improve in the second part of the cruise - there were rumours of a change of Chef. All the waiters we encountered in the Waldorf were exceptionally pleasant and helpful (especially Darusman??? - sorry if I've got the name wrong), but on the few occasions we ate in the Kensington at breakfast or lunch we found the staff generally surly. We hardly used the Raffles Bistro due to the inability to get a table resulting from the table-sitters who once they got in there, stayed for the duration. There is an issue with wine waiters on the Magellan as with other CMV ships and that is that there are no dedicated wine waiters. We had a very pleasant and helpful wine waiter (Thant) who would appear at the start of the meal to take our initial drinks order, but would then disappear. We discovered that this was not due to any shirking on his part, but that he was then taken away to carry out other duties such as carrying food from the galley to the distribution station in the restaurant. Considering that during the day there are several drinks waiters around the various bars - quite often standing idle through underuse - we found this frustrating and thought it indicated a lack of management awareness. One complaint we had about the availability of food is that between 10 and 12 in the morning there was nothing available, yet at 11:45 in the evening when most of the cruisers were in bed, there was a buffet available. On a cruise, it is very pleasant to have late rising, especially on days at sea, but apart from the tea and coffee station there was nothing available. Surely a selection of croissants and pastries could have been provided in the Raffles Bistro all morning. We were a little ambivalent initially on the drinks package - £17 a day for each occupant of a cabin; if one member of a cabin wished to be a part of it, then the other(s) also had to be. On deeper examination, we discovered that (ridiculously) decent coffee and water were not included, and that only the draft beer (Bitburger) was included. Given that my wife and I do not drink much during the day (I had an occasional Bitburger), preferring to drink coffee (not the offering that was available free at the tea/coffee stations), and that our wine intake amounted to an average of 3 bottles every 2 days, it was a no-brainer to opt out of the package. The tea served between 15:30 and 16:30 was not of a very good standard - I may be displaying culinary ignorance here, but I have never previously come across a Black Pudding and Cheese sandwich!! However, the fruit crumbles were invariably excellent. Entertainment and Daytime Sessions Apart from the nightly shows in the Theatre, we did not take much advantage of the programme of events. We would have liked more lectures on the history, geography, and sociology of the places we were visiting. Also, the sessions during the day were aimed at the lowest common denominator of the population (yes you can accuse me of snobbery, etc, but that was my perception). The Art sessions were dreadful. The only sessions we might have taken part in (Yoga) were scheduled at 9 in the morning - most inconvenient for late risers such as ourselves. The evening sessions were average, but helped pass the time quite enjoyably. The Spa was excellent (according to my wife) if a little expensive. During the days at sea, there was not enough seating available for passengers to relax in. Reception Services All contact with reception staff was very positive, and we found them most helpful. Most contact was with regard to WiFi which was generally excellent, given that it is delivered via satellite, with very good service even in our cabin. The price I felt was acceptable at £10 for 2 hours, £15 for 4 hours, or £30 for 12 hours. The system did suffer a meltdown on Xmas Day due to the volume of usage, and I was unable to log off resulting in a loss of time bought. This was dealt with promptly, equitably, and amenably by reception (Oleksandr and Ivan). Safety On the penultimate day we awoke to be given the information that because of the rough seas, all tea/coffee stations and restaurants were closed, but croissants and rolls would be delivered to each cabin. Restaurants were opened for brunch at 11:00, and overall the impression was that the staff coped well with what were quite difficult circumstances Later the tea service was made available only in the Kensington Restaurant, and here it became clear that management could not "think on their feet". The restaurant was soon overwhelmed with hungry (and thirsty) passengers. The staff allocation was obviously inadequate, and I suggested to the officer in charge that a re-allocation of tea-waiters would be advantageous - there was a single tea provider covering an are of some 30 tables, while in another area of the restaurant there were three providers covering a similar area. After 10 minutes with nothing being done, we gave up and left. This and a few other examples led us to the conclusion that the Magellan (along with other CMV ships) has a serious management issue. One gets the impression that the ship is run for the benefit of management and not the passengers. However, the safety precautions taken during the morning were thrown into sharp relief by incidents during our last evening meal aboard which was a meal to remember, for all the wrong reasons. All was going fine until near the end of the main course, when we were hit in fairly quick succession by 2 rogue waves. All the glasses went flying, and several older people were toppled out of their seats. Many ended up with badly cut heads, and the medical team were called. A helicopter was summoned and at least one passenger was airlifted to hospital. Luckily, our table was OK, and no drink was spilled. I was sitting at the most exposed side of the table where the roll was greatest, but luckily I anticipated the rolls and adjusted my balance accordingly, (and grabbed a few moving glasses - I was the goalkeeper!). It is easy enough in retrospect to be jocular, but it was quite frightening, especially for the poor passengers who suffered injuries. The reaction of most of the staff seemed to indicate that very few had been trained in First Aid, and that they had never experienced such circumstances before. The "Important Itinerary Amendment Notice" already referred to, ended with the paragraph: "The safety of our passengers and crew is our top priority and of paramount importance and your patience and understanding is very much appreciated" It would appear that such concerns are a priority only when the passengers are inconvenienced, but if the company has problems through very late arrivals at disembarkation/embarkation ports, then the ship ploughs on regardless. Disembarkation As with all cruise ships we were issued with personal cruise cards on embarkation, and these worked every time we paid for any services on the ship, and with occasional problems at the ports of call. After 4 hours of waiting in the Magellan Show Theatre, we were finally called for disembarkation, where we joined a very long queue. Eventually, we reached the checkout area where our cruise cards were read. There was a problem with my wife's card, and after a lengthy delay while the very sullen, officious, and uncommunicative security guard tried to get the system to register the card, and the queue grew longer, this security guard had the audacity to suggest that we return to reception to sort it out. Now, I appreciate the need for security on a ship, and the requirement to ensure that all passengers have left the ship, but issues such as this could be handled with much greater sensitivity. Eventually we convinced a superior officer that it was the ship's problem and not ours and were let off the ship, but the incident soured the whole cruise - last memories are lasting memories. Conclusion The cruise was, in general, an enjoyable one. Yes, at certain times the sea was very rough, but this was December/January, and it was to be expected. However, from a purely personal viewpoint, 3 days at sea at the beginning and end was a bit too much, and showed us that if we want to cruise from the UK we have to consider trips going Northwards to Norway, Iceland, the Baltic, etc, but that is no great hardship. Otherwise we have to look at Fly/Cruise which raises issues of luggage and airports, which is why we started cruising in the first place. However, the cruise re-enforced a conclusion we had reached on previous CMV cruises, and that is that there is a severe problem at management level on their ships. There is an attitude of "We know how to run this ship, and you are mere passengers who know nothing". The front-office customer facing staff are generally excellent, but they do not get the management support they deserve. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
This was misrepresented. There are no Christmas markets in Amsterdam and very few stalls and mostly just food in Antwerp. Since that was the sole purpose of the trip it was very disappointing. The Christmas markets in Manchester UK were a ... Read More
This was misrepresented. There are no Christmas markets in Amsterdam and very few stalls and mostly just food in Antwerp. Since that was the sole purpose of the trip it was very disappointing. The Christmas markets in Manchester UK were a 100 times better so I might as well have stayed home. That said, the staff and food on the cruise were very good. The organisation was not. The evacuation training was a shambles. The information sheets provided each morning with details of Amsterdam/Antwerp were inaccurate. Stated markets (!) in Antwerp would open at 10.00. They opened at 12.00. I made the most of the trip and did have a good time but I would not recommend it. Many of my dinner companions were complaining too. The theatre show was very poor. The pianist and singer and pianist and violinist were good. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
This was our first cruise with Cruise & Maritime and we were a little apprehensive given the low price we paid. The Magellan was lacking in the little niceties, e.g. quality toiletries, bath robes, nuts with drinks etc. however it had ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Cruise & Maritime and we were a little apprehensive given the low price we paid. The Magellan was lacking in the little niceties, e.g. quality toiletries, bath robes, nuts with drinks etc. however it had all the basics needed. Checking in was speedy and efficient, we were escorted to our cabin within 30 minutes of arrival and our luggage was waiting for us there. However, as we were escorted round the side of the hand luggage x-ray machine and didn't go through the body scanner at Tilbury we could have been taking anything on board. Despite having asked for a double bed the cabin was set up as a twin. However, this was quickly rectified. The cabin size was compatible to other cruises we have been on but lacked a fridge and a decent size and quality TV. Not that it mattered much as we could not get any TV channels at all once south of the Azores. The shower was larger than many cruise ships and had plenty of hot water at a good pressure. Room service, for a limited breakfast menu, was delivered on time and free. Evening entertainment was not the quality or variety you get on larger ships but then we were not expecting West End show standards. However, what the entertainers lacked in talent they made up for in their tremendous enthusiasm. However, when the premier entertainment for one evening was, what looked like a pirated DVD of a 30 year old rock concert, we were not impressed. The staff were all very friendly and helpful, customer service was first class and didn't deserve the rudeness they received from some of the passengers whose manners left a lot to be desired. The food is as good in terms of quality and variety as any cruise ship we have been on, with evening meals comprising two or three appetisers, two soups, three salads and four main courses to choose from, followed by a choice of three sweets, cheese and coffee or tea. Everything from Sushi, Curry, Pasta and Steaks were on the menu, and there was always a vegetarian alternative. Although the meals did get boring after the third week. The only disappointment was the lack of a speciality restaurant but l guess that's just down to the size of the ship. We also prefer open dining at a time that suits us rather than the fixed early or late sittings in the restaurants. However, there is always the self service restaurant as an alternative. One real concern was the lack of hygiene in some restaurant areas. There were no staff offering hand disinfectant at the poolside Grill where I saw one woman put her hands into the tray of chips and scoop up a handful of chips from the tray onto her plate potentially contaminating the whole tray of chips. Thankfully the staff promptly disposed of the rest of the tray of chips in the bin. That says more about the passenger than the staff, but should have been prevented. The staff worked extremely hard to put on a Beach Party on Mayreau Island taking all the food and equipment ashore from the ship. This was was a great success and fully appreciated. My wife and I suffered sore throats, coughs and cold symptoms during the voyage, as did many people we spoke to, which we put down to the air conditioning. Conclusion:- The Magellan is to cruising what Lidl is to supermarkets. Good value for a limited product. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Cruise reviews need to be objective to be of value - my wife and I choose Magellan because it was an adult only, smaller ship and had an itinerary to the Canary Islands for winter sunshine. We have experience of the luxury end of the ... Read More
Cruise reviews need to be objective to be of value - my wife and I choose Magellan because it was an adult only, smaller ship and had an itinerary to the Canary Islands for winter sunshine. We have experience of the luxury end of the market of Seaborn and Crystal and also Cunard, P&O and cheap and cheerful cruises on Carnival in the US. All have been enjoyed give or take. We are independent travellers in our 70s and the average age may well have been 80 years, but it is not an ideal ship , because of the architecture for people with mobility problems . The passengers appeared to be about a third who stayed on the boat continually as a floating hotel - ‘just another cruise’ - and a third who went on all the organised trips , and a similar number of independent travellers, who by and large, were last in the pile, and pretty much neglected. We paid £2200 for an outside cabin, including gratuity, but excluding drinks. Cruises on the same dates and itinerary with P&O and a luxury 5* ship would have cost an extra £800 and £2000 respectively and asks the question of the cost relative to the quality of the holiday. Magellan was spotless with an exemplary standard of hygiene and a very modern décor. Our room was an adequate size and contrary to what we’ve read, there was more than enough wardrobe space with an abundance of hangers. The bathroom was comparatively large with a hugely efficient shower, but the room was let down by only having a stool and not a small chair, so you had to lie on the bed to watch the TV. You need a round pin US adapter and can buy one from the shop for £5. There is no room service, but you can take food and drink from the lido restaurant if necessary. Food wise is interesting. For example, there is very little difference between all the classes of ships for breakfast in that Magellan has omelette chefs on hand plus the usual breakfast selections, including superb porridge. Equally so at lunchtime when there was chefs on hand to cook an individual specialised meal or individual pizzas. Only the main course for dinner reflects the price you pay for the cruise, but equally all other aspects of the dinner are good quality and you do not feel short-changed. There were two formal dinner nights when the food was excellent. Plus, you could have cakes and sandwiches for tea which all in all, was satisfactory. Entertainment was a bit of a curate’s egg - classical wise, there was a very enjoyable violinist and pianist, and all the musical groups in various places were pretty much on a par with other ships. The theatre needs to be seen to be believed, as the architect must have had a brainstorm - wherever you are in the theatre, you cannot find an unobstructed view. Most of the shows were in tune with the age of the passengers with relatively unsophisticated but equally enjoyable elderly performers. The main show with the singers and dancers were pretty good considering, but they definitely need much slicker choreography and production to maximise their talents. Some shows, appeared very amateurish at times. One positive bonus was that you could always get a seat in contrast to other cruises. Service wise was excellent as our room was kept spotless and we had very efficient dining room service - both were Burmese. The staff in the bars and restaurants were beautifully groomed and were always smiling and helpful. Drink package was £34 a day for my wife and I, is a great money earner for the company - I definitely do not recommend . Much better to self choose as the drinks are relatively cheap, ranging from £3.10 for a very nice cocktail of the day or a pint of beer to a maximum of £4.50 for a gin and tonic. Plus there is no service charge. The drinks package has a choice only one German draft beer, which is not to UK drinkers palette , and extra £4.50 has to be paid for UK branded canned beer - the wine to the meal is a cheap Spanish plonk, which is undrinkable after a few days. To get your money’s worth, you would have to drink 10 drinks a day - however as your packet effectively starts at dinner on the first day and you spend quite a number of whole days off the boat, in effect, you would have to drink at least 15 drinks a day to make the package worthwhile. We donated almost £200 to the company in drinks credit not utilised. Would I recommend Magellan -at the discounted prices it is an absolute bargain and testimony to this, there was a loyal band of regular cruisers on board. Of choice, my wife and I would like to go a little upmarket for more personal and room service, but cruising is now becoming a compromise , as these services are available on ships of 2-3000 or more passengers and the hassle factor is now a major consideration for us , which was significantly reduced on the Magellan. I would definitely not recommend this Canary Island cruise as the itinerary was unbelievable and unacceptable. Over a 15 day holiday, we had 6 sea days in winter weather and on return you could not even walk on the deck. There was 7 port stops with 4 half days restricted visits as the ship departed at 14:00 hours so in reality; one had only three hours in places such as Las Palmas and Lisbon. We only had three full days. This is obviously to save money and no other cruise line to the Canary Islands , allowed so little time to visit as they all leave at 18:00 hours, allowing a full day to explore. Contrast this with Fred Olsen, which was travelling at the same time and had an infinitely better itinerary . Tilbury is a dump and there is no other explanation for this as it needs a major overhaul and I read the other critiques with incredulity as embarkation was a nightmare as it took almost 4 hours for everyone to disembark. The reason was clear as it was phased to prevent gridlock - the small entry road was a bottleneck for traffic as I had booked a taxi for 11 AM, allowing three hours, which I thought was more than adequate but mistaken. Sitting around for three hours waiting to get off is no joke. Plus, there were no porters or trolleys. What a farrago. Small point, but the customer service should visit Cunard to see what customer relations should be like and cost nothing to be polite and pleasant. In mitigation, I have to say a lot of cruisers are real moaners. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
This was my Husband and I's first cruise (apart from River boats in Germany and The Netherlands). We were both slightly apprehensive having read reviews about the Magellan. I'll start with the good points. Embarkation at ... Read More
This was my Husband and I's first cruise (apart from River boats in Germany and The Netherlands). We were both slightly apprehensive having read reviews about the Magellan. I'll start with the good points. Embarkation at Tilbury was easy and well managed. On the whole the food was good and there was always plenty of choice at all meal times. The crew in the restaurants and bars were always pleasant, smiling and polite and we had some very interesting conversations with some of the crew about their various home countries and how they had come to be serving as crew on the Magellan. Our Cabin stewards were also very nice and all crew worked extremely hard day and night. I have to commend the cleaning members of the crew, they never stop polishing and cleaning. The shore excursions were well managed and free courtesy buses were at most ports for people who just wanted to do their own thing once ashore. However, as someone has mentioned, it really did have the feel of a floating holiday camp! We quite expected a "hi di hi, good morning campers" to come over the speakers. The Cruise Director was really over the top and always seemed to be shouting and yet the Captain who gave a daily announcement mumbled away and no-one could hear what he was saying. What is laughingly called a bistro is a throw back to a Woolworths restaurant and for some reason people seemed to sit there most of the day in order to get a table. Thankfully we only had to eat in there once for lunch as we'd been out on an excursion and missed lunch in the restaurant. We originally booked a mid ships inside cabin on deck 5 but were upgraded to an outside cabin towards the back of the ship and it was awful! The noise of the engine and some kind of squealing of machinery meant we had no sleep at all. We reported it once and when on night 3 it was even worse my husband again complained at reception in the middle of the night and we were moved to an inner cabin on deck 6 for the night. We were then offered an outside cabin on deck 4 and that was horrible but we put up with it. The engine noise was constant and the shower didn't work properly. I know people pay a lot of money for vibrating beds but all they need to do is sleep in cabin 4120! The Magellan is an old worn out ship, the noise of the engines is ridiculous and the smell of diesel was dreadful. She should be taken out of service. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Passenger complaints were unwarranted assuming you received a substantial discount. On food & drink, think quantity rather than quality, which was hugely variable especially on sweet dishes. If you are highly selective, then you can ... Read More
Passenger complaints were unwarranted assuming you received a substantial discount. On food & drink, think quantity rather than quality, which was hugely variable especially on sweet dishes. If you are highly selective, then you can quickly avoid what is not to your taste. In our case, avoid bacon, mushrooms, stews & specifically the battered fish. Tea is a disaster area, apart from the fruit crumble. "Singapore Sling" was undrinkable. Non-alchoholic and other cocktails were OK. Curries and rice were very good, as was the fish (but note above). Sweets were very hit and miss. As all the chefs are asian, this may have something to do with it. Raffles Bistro was very popular and a real scrum for seats. Didn't help that seats collapsed under weighty passengers and were not replaced. Could do with better coffee, tea and drinks' dispensers, which are cramped and quickly overwhelmed with disposed tea bags etc. Restaurant depends which cabin you are in; we were in the Kensington, and used for dinner only, which was fine. Very friendly and very good service at dinner, but a bad lunch experience (no service) stopped using it except dinner. If you really don't like a dish, ask for it to be replaced. Waiter staff are under undue pressure so sometimes it can be a problem. Entertainment was amateurish apart from the amazing Carmen Duo (violinist and pianist), who were hugely popular. Late seating does not fit in easily with entertainments, and early sitting was much more popular, I assume for that reason, but too early for us (6.00pm!). Management really need to sort this problem out because remedies are obvious to us. Provided you are prepared to do your research and book very early, excursions are good but some seemed very over priced to us. Complementary shuttle buses into ports were extremely popular. Note that the rear seats on some coaches are so noisy that you cannot hear the guide commentary. Note that the itinerary will probably vary due to weather conditions so excursions are not guaranteed. Happened twice to us, but alternatives were OK. Administration was variable. Embarkation/disembarkation procedures are very slick. Safety drill was exceptional in contradiction to other reports. Hygiene was exceptional but cruises are always susceptible to colds being passed around especially on a "cold" cruise, and that was the case here. We both returned with colds. The officer delegated to take the Sunday service never turned up! Carefully check itinerary details as these were incorrect and had to be sorted twice. Senior staff are not British so there were come communication issues but not of a vital nature. I only mention this as some passengers complained they could not understand orders, instructions etc. This is an old, reconditioned ship so public rooms' lay-out is not perfect; frankly the Casino should be closed as there is a shortage of comfortable seating for a "cold" cruise and it takes up too much space as well as being hardly used. The best seats get taken up quickly. I found no sight line problems in the theatre as has been otherwise reported - the lighting is the major issue but not to spoil the show. There are more than adequate WC's so don't understand other complaints as to a shortage. They are also scrupulously clean. There is no cinema, which is odd. The cabin TV's are no substitute. There were only two formal evenings and DJ's were optional, otherwise suits with tie. Take electricity adaptors (two round pin) and room scent is a good idea. Kettle is a waste of space and we never used; easy to use Bistro facilities. We saw good Northern Lights third evening out. Overall, you get what you pay for and the itinerary was our principal rationale at a good tariff, and this was accomodated. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Although I cruise regularly this was my first time on the Cruise & Maritime Voyages "Magellan. The cruise was entitled "land of the Northern Lights". The ship called in Amsterdam for sightseeing and to pick up Dutch ... Read More
Although I cruise regularly this was my first time on the Cruise & Maritime Voyages "Magellan. The cruise was entitled "land of the Northern Lights". The ship called in Amsterdam for sightseeing and to pick up Dutch passengers. The ship sailed from Tilbury, a port I haven't used for many years. Although not the most attractive cruise terminal the boarding procedure was one of the most swif and efficient I have encountered. The time between my arrival at the terminal and boarding the ship was less than 20 minutes. My luggage arrived at my cabin a few minutes later. The ship looked very attractive and in good condition. However, there are some aspects of its design which mar the cruise experience. There is no promenade deck which is an essential on a cruise ship. In addition, there is a quirky layout of the public rooms whereby it is not possible to walk through some decks. I had an outside cabin on deck 6 which was sold as a single cabin but had a double bed and was quite spacious. It had plenty of storage space, a picture window, television and efficient air conditioning.There was a personal safe which was unreliable and had to be repaired on three occasions. The one thing that the cabin lacked was tea/coffee making facilities. The public rooms were quite spacious and quite well laid out. The library was much too small. The theatre which was on two levels was spectacular but perhaps too large. It was greatly under-used. I dined in the Waldorf restaurant which was also on two levels. There were allocated tables for dinner and open seating for for breakfast and lunch there and in the Kensington restaurant. As an alternative all meals, afternoon tea and all-day tea/coffee service could be taken in the Raffles self-service bistro. The quality of the food was good but the menus were rather limited. The dinner menus were a trifle lacking in imagination and there were few beef or lamb dishes. Breakfast menus were fine and the expert omelette chef was a star performer. One oddity was that there was no choice of fruit juices, it was orange or orange! The daytime entertainment followed the normal pattern but the lectures were somewhat unimaginative and lacked variety. The evening "Showtime" entertainment was very limited and wasn't helped on more than one occasion for announcements of sightings of the Norther Lights. The shore excursions at the many fascinating ports of call were good although the on-board organisation of these was a little hit or miss. It would be hard to pick out the best ports of call as they all had good points but Alta and its great Tirpitz museum, the North cape and the Trondheim heritage train were very enjoyable. Although I didn't take an excursion there the visit to the lovely village of Olden was a time to remember. Many members of the the staff gave friendly and excellent service but overall the service left a great deal to be desired. The service in the lounged was often poor with unenthusiastic staff often seeming indifferent to the wishes of passengers. Lunchtime in the Waldorf restaurant when the ship was at sea could only be describes as chaotic. There seems to be a serious lack of effective and experienced supervisors to ensure good service. Overall, the itinerary was excellent and the sightings of the Northern lights spectacular but the cruise lacked character. The cruise directors was hyper-active and was much too fond of giving extended messages on the intercom. Many of my travelling companions comments that it reminded them of a holiday camp of yesteryear. The international staff, many from Eastern Europe, were a mixed back and are much in need of training to bring the service up to an acceptable level. It was very much a basic, low-cost holiday which might suit first time cruises but does not compare with Fred. Olsen or P&O. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
We enjoyed our Baltic cruise but were not impressed with the Magellan. Everything was just below par except for the staff who were very helpful. The food was very ordinary. Some guests ordered veal and got ham. When this was pointed ... Read More
We enjoyed our Baltic cruise but were not impressed with the Magellan. Everything was just below par except for the staff who were very helpful. The food was very ordinary. Some guests ordered veal and got ham. When this was pointed out by numerous people the head chef denied it although the replacement meals were veal. It was almost impossible to find somewhere to sit in the self service bistro at busy times. The same food was served every day for tea (scones and "dry cake") so if you got a seat you knew what would be on offer. The public rooms were also very crowded so we spent time searching for a place to have a drink before dinner. THE SPACE IN THE PUBLIC ROOMS WAS NOT SUFFICIENT FOR THE NUMBER OF GUESTS. The theatre, although looking good, was very poorly designed there were very few seats that gave a good view due to metal bars placed at eye level and large boxes placed at front stage. The entertainers were very inexperienced and the programme of shows boring. They needed a good director who could lift the events, we had much better shows on the Marco Polo. I didn't sit through all of any of the shows. Again due to the inexperience of the entertainers the at sea entertainment was dull and very poor. Neither of the speaker held my interest as one read everything and the other coughed all the way through his talk. We had a short dtay at Stockholm made shorter by a terrible mess when trying to go ashore. I waited at least half an hour in a crowded stairway. The stairs were dangerous. I fell and saw at least 4 other people fall. There were signs which told me this had been a problem previously so tjose stairs need to be replaced before there is a major incident. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
loved the destinations, price, and easy boarding. The ship is old dated but beds in cabin comfy, showers great. Bad points it WAS noisy, passengers need to be aware of this if they are early risers or late revellers. Ignorance is ... Read More
loved the destinations, price, and easy boarding. The ship is old dated but beds in cabin comfy, showers great. Bad points it WAS noisy, passengers need to be aware of this if they are early risers or late revellers. Ignorance is bliss....food OK, brekkies great, lunches alright, evening meals mediocre tasteless pap, but with good soups! Evening entertainment? Avoid. On wet September days at sea need a cinema of sorts, plenty of room in the show lounge for a cinema showing twice a day,but not used. Sloppy consideration of passengers needs. Knitting group, bean bag bowls....WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT???? It could have been a Saga cruise without the cost such was the age demographic on board, although it's a state of mind I guess. Staff lively, cheerful happy (to me), although resident British crew very matey matey, not very professional at times. Felt a bit like if anything went wrong it would all fall like a pack of cards. Destinations were great, but the complete cock up with the Kiel canal was a shambles, with the ship being too big to go through it....hello did nobody measure said ship against said canal anytime ever? This meant 2 days in rainy freezing weather at sea, instead of 1, at the end. Brainless....being informed of this after booking 10 months before was outrageous. All in all, a great little cruise, great destinations in good weather, and if you are elderly, grumpy, morose, like being patronised by cruise entertainment staff, it's for you! Oh, and I took a travel kettle and hid it every day, good tip. I have booked a mini cruise next month on Marco Polo as well, let's see how much better that is. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
After booking on the Magellan for the Norwegian Fjords trip I felt downhearted as I read the reviews, it wasn't nearly as bad as reported, although I do have to agree with some of the comments previously reported. I took along ear ... Read More
After booking on the Magellan for the Norwegian Fjords trip I felt downhearted as I read the reviews, it wasn't nearly as bad as reported, although I do have to agree with some of the comments previously reported. I took along ear plugs (which I didn't use) as I had read that the cabins were noisy with engine noise and neighbours, I didn't hear either and we were in cabin 4052 just above the engine. It was one of the nicest cabins we have spent time in, the shower pressure was brilliant and we had plenty of coat hangers especially as I took a lot of my own having read previously that they were in short supply. There are no tea/coffee facilities in the cabin which everyone was complaining about, hopefully they will rectify this. The food was ok although I have eaten better but it was very disappointing on the formal evenings to dress up and find that everybody else on your table was still dressed in casual, daytime clothing and made no effort whatsoever. The dress code doesn't seem to be upheld on this ship which is a little sad, if you don't want to dress for dinner the buffet is always available to you. The ship was very clean and very nice, especially the theatre. Unfortunately not much can be said for the shows performed in there. I found the standard of the shows bad, more like amateur productions performed in the local town hall, the company really needs to spend a little more money and hire performers who actually have talent. On the whole it was a really nice cruise which exceeded my expectations, the fjords are beautiful. Having cruised with most lines, Cunard, P & O etc. I would rate this ship a 3 star and the prices you pay for cruising with CMV reflect this, so it is value for money if you are prepared to overlook the small inconveniences. Parking also leaves a lot to be desired with the car park a few miles away and having to bus into the terminal. Checking in was also a bit of a shambles, hopefully this will improve with time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
If you have been on many cruises then you will probably be disappointed with the standards on board this ship. It is all a bit tired, the bedrooms and bathrooms need updating and redecorating. The ship is showing its age and years of ... Read More
If you have been on many cruises then you will probably be disappointed with the standards on board this ship. It is all a bit tired, the bedrooms and bathrooms need updating and redecorating. The ship is showing its age and years of regular use. The cruise was very well priced so you get what you pay for. The journey around the Baltic as just what we wanted albeit we did not get to Stockholm or go through the Ship Canal on our way home - the Magellan was too big - surely they knew this when the bought the ship. The stop in Copenhagen needed to be 2 hours longer to enable you to see anything. Other than St Peterburg the trips are unnecessary and over priced. The Segway trip around Tallinn is brilliant and well worth doing as it leaves you time to go back and see things On board the food in the restaurants was good and service perfect. Only fault was that cooked meals could be warmer The shows were enjoyable and bearing in mind the price of the trip, were good. Whomever booked Valerie Leon most have had a bad day - she was totally un-entertaining and we were gald to miss the second show (like most others did) Would I recommend the Magellan - yes but with reservations Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
Family members will be sailing on the Magellan next week. This is a list of points I sent them to prepare for their trip to the Baltic Cities. We have just returned from a trip to Iceland and the Northern Isles. 1. You may need to bring ... Read More
Family members will be sailing on the Magellan next week. This is a list of points I sent them to prepare for their trip to the Baltic Cities. We have just returned from a trip to Iceland and the Northern Isles. 1. You may need to bring coat hangers as there are about eight in the wardrobes. We took a suit-carrier type suitcase - shirts etc were packed on wire hangers, which proved useful. 2. Bottled water in cabin costs £2.50 for 75cl. There is ‘free’ water in Raffles Bistro – bring your own water bottles for refills. If you use the gym, the water bottles will also be useful as there is no water fountain. 3. Bring your own soap – they provide small packets of soap. 4. There was a hairdryer in our cabin – very basic one with no attachments. 5. Staff and service are excellent. 6. Seating in public areas exacerbated my back problem, the chairs are not designed for sitting for long periods. If you need back support then bring a suitable cushion/seating pad. 7. Internet cost £35 for 12-hours or £10 for two. It is very slow – no good for downloads etc. Adequate for emails. I tried to find free wi-fi when we were ashore. Using mobile/ cellular data charges are very, very expensive as you use the ship’s satellite. 8. Food was OK, nothing special. 9. Can’t comment on the shows as we didn’t watch them. Our guest speaker was not very good – after the first one we didn’t go to anymore. 10. Dress code during the day seemed to be scruffy! A suit is enough for the formal evenings. I wore trousers and a nice overshirt. Laundry is expensive so bring enough knickers! 11. If driving to the Terminal please note – there are no loos at the long-stay car park. If desperate as you approach the docks there is an Asda and a Macdonalds nearby, use them. Your luggage is collected from the long-stay car park and next time you see it will be outside the cabin door. You will be taken by shuttle bus to the Terminal Overall the facilities on the ship were excellent. We missed out two stops on the cruise, Heimay and Lerwick. The ship drops anchor at these ports and, on the days we were due to visit, the sea was to rough for the tender to take passengers to shore safely. It did mean we got an unexpected overnight in Reykjavik, which gave us plenty of time to explore this delightful town. With the weather being cold and rainy on some days, passengers were not able to go out on deck. The public areas became very crowded and it was hard to find somewhere to sit - I found all the chairs uncomfortable and ended up sitting in the bistro most of the day as the dining chairs were the best for my back. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
First the positives: Parking at Tilbury, transport to the ship, embarkation and disembarkation were very efficiently handled, as was the delivery of luggage to the cabins. The cabins and shower pods are compact and well-designed, the ... Read More
First the positives: Parking at Tilbury, transport to the ship, embarkation and disembarkation were very efficiently handled, as was the delivery of luggage to the cabins. The cabins and shower pods are compact and well-designed, the beds are comfortable and can be arranged in any configuration you wish. The cabin stewards were efficient, friendly and obliging. The standard of cleanliness throughout the ship was exemplary. The waiting staff and bar staff were friendly, good-humoured and helpful and are certainly well-chosen. On-board drinks, with the exception of bottled water, were reasonably priced The destinations were potentially excellent, which is why we chose the cruise. A Gala Evening displaying fruit and vegetable carvings was a highlight, displaying great artistry and craftsmanship on the part of the catering team. Congratulations to all concerned! Now it goes downhill. The food was average. My wife has coeliac disease and despite advance notification, there was very little variety in the gluten-free offerings and the serving staff had no idea how to toast gluten-free bread - it is unpalatable when not toasted! She was not the only coeliac on board. The so-called free-seating at breakfast and lunch was a fiction and we were directed to large tables to fill them them up. Who wants to share breakfast with up to six total strangers? As a result the buffet did not have sufficient seating for the many passengers who did not enjoy the restaurant experience at breakfast and lunch time. The weakest link was the senior management team, which was unimpressive. They had no significant presence, did not contribute to the experience and seemed mainly concerned with telling us where to be and when, in order to make their lives as easy as possible. The safety demonstration was a disgrace and should have prepared us for what was to come. We hung around for over 90 minutes until we were eventually mustered in front of the relevant lifeboat and subjected to an inspection by the captain. Totally useless and bordering on the risible/humiliating. We were unable to disembark at Heimay and Lerwick, two of the locations we had been looking forward to, because the captain judged the swell too high for safe tender transfers. At Heimay no explanation was given as to why why we could not at least circumnavigate the island, although there may well have been very good navigational or environmental reasons. The Shetland alternative was less than exciting and I understand only 200 replacement excursion places were on offer, leaving over a 1000 passengers stranded in the middle of nowhere with only out-of-service rigs for company. Fortunately the car-hire company we had to let down in Shetland not only did not charge us, but also gave us the number of a local car-hire company in Invergordon and we got the last available car. Why did the customer services officer not provide bus and train timetables to Inverness and other interesting destinations. According to one crew member landing at either Heimay or Shetland was the exception rather than rule for CMV ships with that itinerary, so why were alternative plans not in place? With the exception of the Carmen Duo the entertainment team was energetic and enthusiastic rather than professional and the over-amplification was almost a health-hazard. Despite being in our seventies it would have been good to have had some families with young children on board. The excursions were satisfactory, but unjustifiably expensive. We made some of our own arrangements via car hire and also booked an exceptionally good free City Tour in Reykjavik. It gave us flexibility and was a fraction of the cost of the excursions. Despite, or maybe because of, dire warnings of what would happen if we missed the departure time, we never had any problem making it back on time. This was a missed opportunity. Great destinations, reasonably comfortable ship, but needing more indoor seating. Food needs improvement, why not cut the courses from five to three and upgrade the quality? But mostly the senior crew members need to learn how to make their passengers feel not only safe, but truly welcome and part of an enjoyable adventure. The final straw was that my bank added a Foreign Purchase Fee to my cruise card bill. There was a warning, but typically no explanation given. My bank is investigating, but my hunch is that CMV banks abroad, for whatever reason. PS I don't like the BOGOF business plan. So-called 'full-price' fares would be unrealistic, and no-one really falls for the supermarket ploy any more. You get what you pay for and in this case the fares we paid were appropriate to the standards provided. This is not a luxury cruise cruise line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
12 night cruise to Iceland/Scotland. Embarkation was quite quick. We did not have any of our passports or bags checked, there were 4 of us. Our cases came quickly except one. But not too bad. Not many of the staff spoke much English, ... Read More
12 night cruise to Iceland/Scotland. Embarkation was quite quick. We did not have any of our passports or bags checked, there were 4 of us. Our cases came quickly except one. But not too bad. Not many of the staff spoke much English, but you could get a long way with a smile. Most staff were friendly and helpful. Cabin staff were lovely, and cabin was always cleaned well. However,trips could be absolutely chaotic. On one trip we had to climb up two steps, then we had to try and put our foot onto two black tyres that were attached to the dock side. We were then hauled on to the dock side. Not a very dignified way to arrive! The lady in front of me was elderly and was obviously in pain as her arms were pulled so she could start her trip! On another trip they called about 300 passengers to fill up 5 coaches all at once. My mother and I went down in the lift, unfortunately we couldn't get out as the way was blocked by hundreds of other passengers! Some people waited on the stairs for 20 mins. The entertainment company were enthusiastic, not much more to say! Food was much the same on most days. It was however, tasty and hot. Trying to get a table in the Bistro was horrendous. Many people just sat there reading/doing crosswords and refused to move, meaning people trying to eat were forced outside. Which when in Iceland, was a bit cold! After a few mouthfuls we didn't bother. The Kensington restaurant food was barely warm, and the portions were so small, we just fell about laughing. We didn't use it again. The tables by the pool were acceptable for maybe a drink, but they weren't far off plastic garden furniture. They were dirty,scruffy and uncomfortable if you were forced to eat there. They were unsuitable for an extension of the Bistro restaurant, for which they were often used. It was also the place for all the smokers on board! The cabin that I was In was so hot. I did ask for it to be sorted out, but it was never resolved. The air conditioning unit was on the ceiling, which at 5ft 2in was impossible for me to reach. My husband who is 6ft 2in did try but it made no difference. I feel that the negative points were too many to overlook, I would therefore, not use this company again. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
Cruised before, but as with this cruise to Iceland and northern islands, chosen for the destinations rather than the cruise experience, so the Captain's decision to miss 2 ports of call because of high seas was disappointing, but also ... Read More
Cruised before, but as with this cruise to Iceland and northern islands, chosen for the destinations rather than the cruise experience, so the Captain's decision to miss 2 ports of call because of high seas was disappointing, but also debatable and a subject of much speculation and discontent on board. Plus points were excellent embarkation arrangements, with security (in the light of previous concerns) present but haphazard as the priority was to keep people moving. Life boat drill was perceived as amazingly thorough as we lined up by our life boat to be inspected by the Captain with the girls looking after us genuinely worried if there was any levity whilst we were waiting. Staff on board were plentiful, smiling and efficient although the shore duties required of the entertainment staff apparently impacted on their rehearsal time. The little we saw of the entertainment looked as though it needed a large boost of funds to make it look more professional - no back drop and amateurish costumes. However they played to a full house every evening, so many people must have enjoyed it. We (and others) were disappointed with the food. Plenty of it but only worth a 3 star rating in my opinion. Desserts were particularly poor and such luxuries as smoked salmon and prawns were very hard to find. Lots of salami and what looked like spam though! The Bistro best resembled a cafeteria. Main restaurants were lovely. Wifi expensive and very slow. £17 x 2 daily all inclusive for alchohol expensive but wine with meals was reasonable. Iceland is amazing and Orkney is well worth a visit; Shetland we didn't get to see. This cruise was of most interest to those with an interest in geology and archeology, which we were so we were happy with that. If you like cruising for cruising, there were plenty of activities arranged and room to sit outside on the one day the weather was good enough. In summary, as BOGOFF clients it was excellent value for money, but if we had paid full price I would not have been satisfied. Magellan is a little tired and at the lower end of the spectrum. You get what you pay for. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
Great staff, from across the world. Must particularly praise our Ukranian waitress and her number two on table 153 in Waldorf Restaurant, Krystina and Ruslan. Also our super cabin boy Suwirka, who never stopped smiling. Somehow, in ... Read More
Great staff, from across the world. Must particularly praise our Ukranian waitress and her number two on table 153 in Waldorf Restaurant, Krystina and Ruslan. Also our super cabin boy Suwirka, who never stopped smiling. Somehow, in spite of our efforts, our cabin was miraculously tidy! Plenty of hot water, and lovely towels. And a great shower. Food generally good, but good quality bacon ruined - I suspect it was cooked over night and then warmed up, as it was rock hard. And this ship caters mainly for "older" British people, but serves tea bags floating in warm water - unbelievable, but no teapots. Entertainment good to excellent, especially the "human dynamo", Abbie, and the resident band led by Richard. Abbie's 30 minute session in Captains Club at 10:30 one evening spoilt by six inconsiderate and noisy guests at bar - encouraged by one of the bartenders. She has a great voice, but our fellow guests and one bartender acted like louts and spoilt it. The musicals were all exceptionally good - again led by Abbie, and (I forget his name) Joseph and the Technicolour Dream-coat. Public toilets continually being cleaned, but not enough of them, and a tendency to be out of order too often. Bar waiters excellent, but sometimes too many in one place, not enough in others - more poor management. Inadequate seating when everyone is on board - and the armchairs near the window in Captains Club are very significantly past their "sell by" date. The captain may be a good seaman (but that's in question given that he allowed us to be hit by a force nine out of the Scilley Isles), but he lacks the management and interpersonal skills for a cruise liner. The only dreadful member of staff was the "headmistress" - whose booming hectoring awoke us around 08:00 every morning. All in all, good staff, led by poor management. Worryingly, the lifeboat drill before we sailed was a total shambles. In over an hour, I doubt anyone knew what was happening. Thankfully, we didn't find out "for real". The men organising crewing and driving the tenders (the lifeboats) appeared very good, which was reassuring. Unfortunately, the captain didn't allow enough tenders to be used, resulting in serious delays - in one port, delays of up to 2 hours and more to go ashore. Cabin: Grade 11 Superior Plus Ocean view forward, deck 7 - very good, but lacks an opening window. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
Just back from Scandinavia (and Germany) Magellan out of Tilbury 9 nights booked an inside cabin, not expensive (got the 2.4.1 deal from the Daily Mail) and our first trip with Cruise Maritme (15th cruise) Having looked at the ... Read More
Just back from Scandinavia (and Germany) Magellan out of Tilbury 9 nights booked an inside cabin, not expensive (got the 2.4.1 deal from the Daily Mail) and our first trip with Cruise Maritme (15th cruise) Having looked at the reviews Magellan was lowly rated and had you not booked one might not wantto and if you had already booked one would have doubles but... its was pretty good overall, the sunshine and lovely destinations helped but the cruise itself was better than many reviewers suggested, Right starting at car park (an extra £88) we had no problems having found it ok where a lovely essex accented young lady was directing operations very efficiently (over here darlin') and soon we had left our cases at the van and boarded the bus to transfer to the port (>10mins) Check in more problematical as having "checked in" we the had to wait the the hall as the ship was not ready (probs 30 mins) but then off on board We had booked and inside deck 4 got upgraded to a deck 4 outside with a nice picture window, I had specified a double bed and the new cabin had this layout as well Off we went, Amsterdam first then Hamburg All good so far food good/ok we were second sitting which suited us. Worst thing was that we got a surly waiter (table 107 second sitting Russian guy) took the edge of dinner to such an extent that we requested a table change, new table new waiter and Iwayan was a joy Shows each night with an excellent dance troup and some willing vocalists, a comedy musician (who was very funny) and a guest lecturer whose first talk could have been entitled famous people I have met, so there, yar sucks to you and apparently his second talk was even worst Loved Copenhagen and Helsingborg and Alborg As usual the general staff on the ship , waiters, bar staff house keeping etc were very good (with the one exception) Express Disembarkation (free) and away we went Would we go again, yes its not RC prices but its good value and goes to some really nice places that the others don't We declined the gratuities programme on the penultimate day, due in reality to the first waiter then gave the people we liked cash 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

Find a Magellan Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise