12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise because it was on our wish list,and represented good value for money. 1) Embarkation and car parking no problem at all,swift delivery of baggage to cabin,check in very efficient. 2)Our cabin was upgraded to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was on our wish list,and represented good value for money. 1) Embarkation and car parking no problem at all,swift delivery of baggage to cabin,check in very efficient. 2)Our cabin was upgraded to outer,with a large picture window,very spacious no problems with storage. 3)Our cabin steward introduced herself, a lovely lady,who kept our cabin immaculate and could not do enough for us. 4)We received our table number(always tense because you dont know who you will be sitting with)We had a couple from colchester,and a couple we nicknamed the "Peaky Blinders" for obvious reasons,plus on occasions an american couple.All lovely people ,whos,company we greatly enjoyed. 5)Waiter service was excellent,food was good and with plenty of choices. 6)We used the buffet for lunch and breakfast,sometimes a bit chaotic,but really no problem 7)Drink prices on board,very reasonable,with no added service charge 8)Entertainment was good and varied with something to suit most tastes. We went on two trips which were ok value,(Recommend St.Petersburgh Ballet) but in general did our own thing. 9)Duty free shops in St.Petersburgh(Ship Side) very cheap for alcohol and Cigs. 10)Seeing most sights under your own steam is possible,but I thought (as did other people)that the 10euro shuttle bus fee in Helsinki,was a liberty. And now the crunch A great holiday was spoilt by the absolute shambles on dis embarkation As my cabin was on the cheap side I expected to be near the end in the ship leaving process. However having left the ship,it was one and e half hours before I got to my car. The bus service was a farce,the buses could not get to the car patk with out going passengers because of the incoming passengers blocking the car park entry. Hence no room for new cruisers because old cruisers cant get to cars to make spaces The answer was to open another barrier into the car park for buses only(there were some barriers not being used)and the problem would be solved. Loved the cruise,but dont know if I could endure this frustration again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We recently completed a Baltic cruise of 12 nights and followed on with a 7 night cruise of the Norwegian Fjords a (total of 19 nights) on the Magellan. We have cruised with a number of lines including Cunard, Celebrity, NCL P & O ... Read More
We recently completed a Baltic cruise of 12 nights and followed on with a 7 night cruise of the Norwegian Fjords a (total of 19 nights) on the Magellan. We have cruised with a number of lines including Cunard, Celebrity, NCL P & O (Australia), Costa and APT River Cruises and can say that the shipboard experience is very good and in terms of dining experience and presentation of public areas Magellan is equal to what we have experienced on other lines. The boarding process was seamless and assisted by staff taking you direct to your cabin - an experience not previously matched. Cabins were OK, roomy and functional, interior for the Baltic and an OG cabin for the Fjords. The cabins lacked the nice things (body lotion, pamper packs, in cabin movies etc) found on other cruise lines but we think that what was provided was great value. Dining times were slightly earlier starting, (conflicted slightly with excursion returns) but easily varied to a later sitting as required. The meal presentations were of equal standing to our prior our experience. Each course was small but totally sufficient. Quality was good in the main with some tough choices, Some tougher cuts of meat but your selection could ensure enjoyment of meals. I looked forward to poached eggs in the morning but struggled to get the egg cooked perfectly with the whites a bit raw, or if overcooked the yolk solid! We attended most shows and enjoyed the performances and performers. Not quite to our past experiences but good entertainment overall. We did a lot of reading and sedentary holiday activities but the daily sheet indicated many activities we could have participated in if we wanted to. The highlight of our trip was the ship's response to our request to hold a Cruise Critic Meet and Greet. There had been about 16 or so CC members on the roll call and the ship, through the Hotel Director and Future Cruise staff, were extremely helpful in facilitating both a welcome meeting (with invites) and a bridge tour followed by a farewell function with the Captain in attendance. Now that is one up on what we have previously experienced- well done and thank you to the staff involved. All CC members were thrilled by the experience. I had a problem paying my on board account with my pre-loaded cash card with the card declined for some reason on two occasions and had to scramble with cash to finalise the account, with no change left until I got onshore. My card worked OK externally but it is likely the card being processed electronically without my pin caused the rejection. Ports of call were fabulous, especially Tallinn, Warnemunde and St Petersburg. The Ports of Copenhagen Stockholm and Helsinki were short and more time could easliy be spent there- perhaps that's the next opportunity. We did our own excursions in these ports, many covered in Trip Advisor or via Cruise Critic forums. For the Norwegian Fjords, we did a couple of bus trips up the Trollstigen Road from both Aldasnes and Geiranger - hairy but extremely worthwhile, getting write ups in travel magazines. At some ports the ship had single landing doors open due to tide heights/gang plank issues which caused exit buildups and frustration. Other ports were a simple long or short walk as the towns presented themselves. We had some heavy seas in the North Sea but the ship remained comfortable and we did not suffer from too much movement. The ship did have a natural 'St Vitus Dance' evident but we seemed to get used to the shudder. The menu for the second trip seemed similar to the first trip, but we were not left wanting. A highlight was dining on the Captain's table with the Captain and Hotel Director hosting a group of other back to back passengers. We did try Raffles Bistro but with the menu essentially the same we preferred the service and plated meal sizes. In summary, the trips on the Magellan were excellent value and presentation and service very good. We enjoyed ourselves, meeting some lovely people - us being two of about 20 that were not British nationals! Read Less
43 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Having been on several cruises in the past, always with Cunard, it was with trepidation that I booked a trip on CMV Magellan. Magellan is a Holiday Class ship, so you would be forgiven if you thought it would be full of rowdy young ... Read More
Having been on several cruises in the past, always with Cunard, it was with trepidation that I booked a trip on CMV Magellan. Magellan is a Holiday Class ship, so you would be forgiven if you thought it would be full of rowdy young booze-fuelled "cruisers". I was not setting my sights very high on this ship, as it had seen a previous life with Carnival Cruises, and it is relatively old. However, I was indeed surprised. Embarkation was an absolute delight; no sooner had I arrived at Tilbury, than my cases were taken and I was soon checked-in. I boarded about an hour later. I opted this time for an inside cabin, something I would not normally do, but since the cruise was certainly bargain-basement price, I saw little point in spending a fortune for a suite or very superior cabin. My cabin, a twin-bedded affair on the 6th deck, was indeed comfortable, and relatively spacious. I really couldnt fault it. Two standard beds, bedside tables, television, small dressing table, 3 wardrobes, shower and toilet with hairdryer. I didnt really need much more. I wasted no time in finding my way round the ship. Magellan is not overly large, carrying around 1150 passengers and around 450 crew, but it offers a fair mix of 3 whirlpools, 2 swimming pools, a nightclub, 2 restaurants, casino, library, card room, several sundecks, internet cafe (charge payable), bistro, health club, gym, lounges, theatre and several bars spread over 5 decks (the others are for the cabins/galley/crew). Enough to keep you occupied for a short cruise anyway. There are 2 main restaurants, which are initially difficult to find; Waldorf and Kensington. Dinner settings are 6.30 and 8.15. Staff are attentive, and the food, whilst not being at Cunard standard, is certainly good. Meals generally consist of a starter, soup, salad, main, dessert and coffee. I enjoyed the food. If you prefer, you can eat in the Bistro, which serves the same food on a help yourself basis, though it can be crowded at times, and some travellers can be quite selfish with their need to be "first" for their meals. Expect some pushing and shoving! I preferred the waiter service in the restaurant. There is free tea and coffee available in the Bistro 24/7. Other drinks are chargeable. As a guide, a coke is £2.05, cocktails around £4, coffee (special) £2-ish, water (bottled) at £2.05. There are of course other spirits available. There are drinks packages available. You can have unlimited drinks (soft or alcoholic) for £17/day, or unlimited soft drinks for £9.95/day, or 10 cocktails for £30. I opted for the latter. Cocktails were fair, being a little light on alcohol I felt. There is a show each evening, at 6.30 and 9.45, to accommodate the 2 restaurant settings. I found some of the shows a little poor, though, to be fair, 3 were particularly good. The Baltic Cruise visited Denmark (Copenhagen), Germany (Berlin), Finland (Helsinki), Estonia (Tallinn), Russia (St Petersburg) and Sweden (Stockholm). Trips vary in price. Mine cost from £29 to £129. I cant write about every trip here, but would comment as follows: Copenhagen - easy to do it alone - the city is within 2 miles of the port; Warnemunde (Germany) - I took the 12-hour trip to Berlin to see the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie etc etc. Its a full 12 hours and cost £129. I thought it was excellent. Warmunde is also a very nice place in its own right. Tallin - a beautiful little place with cobbled streets and worth a look. Again, I took a taxi from the port - £14. St Petersburg - 2 days are spent here. I personally found this place expensive, hostile, and totally unsuitable for wheelchair users. Plenty of shops. There are some lovely palaces and churches to see, but as they are not my thing, I took the evening canal cruise, which, at £39 was reasonable. You can buy Duty Free goods at the port if you do not wish to actually enter Russia. The Immigration process can be long-winded and frustrating. . Some of my friends attended the ballet, which they said was the best ever. Helsinki - this is quite an inoffensive place, and extremely clean. I took the tram ride around the city here and enjoyed it. A mix of shops catering for basic needs. Stockholm - the place I liked least. Unsuitable for disabled people due to cobbled streets and hills. I thought it was very expensive. As a guide, I ordered 2 cakes and 2 coffees that amounted to just under £24. Life aboard Magellan has its good and bad points. The best point for me was the fact its an ADULT ONLY ship. You can relax without noisy children around you. Food is certainly good, and staff are very attentive. Cabins are comfortable. Shows are typically of the holidaymaker ilk. The negatives? Drinks can soon add up on your onboard account, as can any other purchases. Trips can also add a huge cost to what appears to be a good value holiday. (My onboard bill was virtually the same as my cruise cost). Sometimes its difficult to find a place to sit. Also, for some odd reason, there is a LOT of vibration on this ship. Would I travel on Magellen again? Definitely YES, but I would not always use the arranged tours, as many can be made on foot or using buses and taxis. My cruise cost £749 for 12 nights. So for just over £60/day, you really cannot complain. Its a really excellent deal. Remember that tips are automatically added to your account at £5/day per person. One point to make though is that the suites advertised on the ship, advertising balcony views, invariably look out over the lifeboats, so not as good as you might imagine. Probably the best value is an outside cabin on Deck 6. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We were looking for a cruise that visited the little, out-of-the-way parts of the British Isles and couldn't resist the 'BOGOF' offer we saw in our local paper last year. As the cruise dawned our only fear was that the ... Read More
We were looking for a cruise that visited the little, out-of-the-way parts of the British Isles and couldn't resist the 'BOGOF' offer we saw in our local paper last year. As the cruise dawned our only fear was that the cruise seemed too cheap to be true, but we needn't have worried, although the extortionate price of car parking at Tilbury, the high cost of shore excursions etc. soon bumped up the overall total. Even so, this holiday was exceptional value for money. We have cruised on a number of the bigger lines, so it was a relief to find that most of the facilities we appreciate (nice sizeable cabins, quality food, range of onboard entertainment etc.) were at least equal to our previous experiences. Our Deck 7 inside cabin was spacious, spotless and extremely comfortable. Dina the cabin attendant was bright and cheery, always available but never interfering; as good as any we have ever met. There seem to be some questions raised in earlier reviews concerning the quality of the food: we found the choice, presentation and quantities excellent in both the Bistro and the Kensington Restaurant. Of course it was sometimes difficult to grab a window seat in the Bistro at peak times - it is on any cruise, but the selection of breakfast items was vast and offered the full English for those requiring it, fruit and cheeses, pastries ... anything you could eat! Dinner was first rate with the emphasis on quality, great variety with most evenings 'themed', and quantity in the sense of five courses, rather than heaped plates. There was a fair range of (very over-priced) wines available; the house wines were reasonable and much better value. Excursions are always a 'cash cow' and ours were no exception. They were extremely well organised however and allowed us to make the most of our time in key places such as Invergordon (excellent two castle trip), Tresco and Guernsey (superb private gardens), while the Giants' Causeway was well covered too. The way problems are sorted can reveal a lot about the attitude of the staff and company. We effectively lost two stops (Skye and Mull) because of a force 10 gale which struck early on in the cruise. The captain took personal responsibility for keeping us informed, tried to divert to Ullapool only to be beaten back by the weather, then took us to Liverpool with a beautiful mooring alongside the Liver Building. Apologies and explanations have been exceptions to the rule when problems have arisen on previous cruises; all credit to those involved here. I heard far less complaints than might have been the case if the crew's attitude had not been so helpful. Finally the entertainment: the evening performances were very good indeed; the Abba and 60s shows were barnstormers and there were no weak shows. Elsewhere the 'Saints & Sailors' theme largely passed us by although we quite enjoyed the Songs of Praise event on the only full day at sea. Sid Little added a nice touch of comedy while Ann Widdecombe ... was Anne Widdecombe! Dana sang well and overall there was a good balance: no complaints with a genuinely funny and talented Cruise Director overseeing the mix. While we won't be holidaying in Tilbury in the near future (check it out if you are feeling brave!), both embarkation and disembarkation were surprisingly easy with well-timed announcements and far less hold-ups than we have been used to in the past. If you are offered this cruise for £899 in the future, grab it with both hands! Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
My husband chose this cruise for us due to the world wonderful and varied itinerary around the British Isles. Additionally the BOGOF offer was too good to resist and represented exceptional value for money. As fairly frequent floaters, ... Read More
My husband chose this cruise for us due to the world wonderful and varied itinerary around the British Isles. Additionally the BOGOF offer was too good to resist and represented exceptional value for money. As fairly frequent floaters, albeit first timers with Cruise and Maritime, this was something we had always wanted to do. After reading some of the reviews on here, and in light of the very reasonable price, I approached the cruise with a certain amount of trepidation. In the event my fears were unfounded as we had a wonderful time. Embarkation and disembarkation at Tilbury were by far the smoothest we have ever experienced and only took a few minutes. Our luggage arrived at our cabin almost as soon as we did and we opted for the express option on leaving the ship which meant we got off within half an hour of landing at Tilbury. This meant we had to take our own luggage on leaving the ship but this was no big deal as it was stepfree and much easier than negotiating the average airport. Our inside cabin on Deck 6 was more than adequate and kept spotlessly clean by our lovely Indonesian cabin stewardess. The beds were comfortable and the shower room was fine with a very powerful shower. We could even get the main terrestrial tv channels. I can't comment on the restaurant as my husband and I prefer to eat in the buffet on cruises. The food, whilst not gourmet was more than edible, plentiful and fairly varied. Tea and coffee were available twenty four hours a day and were both better than on other more prestigious cruise lines we have travelled with. The main speakers Ann Widdecombe, Syd Little and Dana were delightful and it was a real joy to attend their presentations and make their acquaintance. I also really enjoyed the Abba tribute band. As we are not religious we did not attend the religious events and speakers who were, I believe, provided by a Christian cruising group. I have certain reservations as to whether this was appropriate. The service was adequate but not inspired. We found the management team fairly elusive and not very hands on. Sadly we missed two ports we had particularly wanted to visit due to extreme weather conditions. We only went on two excursions organised by the ship and organised our own activities in the other ports. We enjoyed this cruise so much that if we see another similar offer for a similar itinerary with CMV next year we would definitely book it again. We have never said this before about any other cruise we have been on. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
My husband booked this as a 60th birthday gift for me. We are not 'cruise people' but I had always wanted to see the fjords, and was thrilled to be going. The experience exceeded expectation, we both enjoyed it very much indeed. ... Read More
My husband booked this as a 60th birthday gift for me. We are not 'cruise people' but I had always wanted to see the fjords, and was thrilled to be going. The experience exceeded expectation, we both enjoyed it very much indeed. Although it's a fairly small ship by today's standard, there was so much on offer by way of food, entertainment, and good company, plus the friendliness of every staff and crew member, who we could see really work their socks off to ensure that a good time is had by all. It must be rather like 'herding cats' at times, but nobody seems to be stressed, or in a bad mood, even when things don't go totally to plan. Even when we arrived at Tilbury on our first day, to find the ship had arrived back from the previous Baltic cruise a couple of hours late, and then this was compounded by a major road accident that stuffed Tilbury port and roads completely, it was dealt with calmly. Refreshments were available whilst we waited, and we were kept informed throughout. In the end, we sailed off just an hour late, which was quite remarkable. Our cabin steward, Yevgen, was lovely and kept our cabin clean, tidy, and with fresh towels twice a day! One day when we went back after breakfast for a rest in the cabin until about midday, he discreetly rang before going off duty to ask if we were OK and if we needed anything. The £17 pp per day drinks package was worth having. House wine (very good) at £5 a glass, and average price of drinks about £4, we were quids in! I haven't rated 'excellent', there is always room for improvement, but it was very, very, good! We would book again in a heartbeat, although we did feel a week was probably enough. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Over all the cruise was very good. We chose it for the itinerary. Staff, entertainment and food is first class. The Magellan lacks the 'wow factor' experienced on other cruises. The cabins were small and the general condition ... Read More
Over all the cruise was very good. We chose it for the itinerary. Staff, entertainment and food is first class. The Magellan lacks the 'wow factor' experienced on other cruises. The cabins were small and the general condition felt 'tired'. Towels were not good quality, no fridge in cabin and only one electric plug point. The ship was also noisy, engine juddering noise. Organisation was good. Service excellent and prices of drinks etc exceptional. Overall a good experience but would have liked a few more special touches. The staff work very hard and are very professional and helpful. The entertainment team are very good. Had a wonderful BIG Band ...Seven Steps on our particular cruise who were first class. The variety of entertainment in bars and lounges was poor. There were plenty of deck chairs and it was easy to find seats in all areas. Some excursions were a little expensive it is worth looking at doing your own thing. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Booked through Gardeners World, viewing gardens Dublin, Scillies, Guernsey, France. I was a first time cruiser. Very concerned regarding reviews however went with open mind. Had a wonderful time, food very good, previous remarks were very ... Read More
Booked through Gardeners World, viewing gardens Dublin, Scillies, Guernsey, France. I was a first time cruiser. Very concerned regarding reviews however went with open mind. Had a wonderful time, food very good, previous remarks were very negative but I couldn't find fault. All meat dishes were tasty and tender. Desserts and cakes were varied and good. Tea was a real treat. 5 course dinner so each course was small but needed to be to get through all 5 courses. We ate breakfast and lunch in Bistro and enjoyed the many dishes on offer. Entertainment was to a good standard and the ballet/dance troupe were excellent as was the band. Singers were good overall,costumes were very good. All staff were very helpful and friendly. Very high hygiene standards throughout ship, staff administered hand gel every meal time. Shore excursions good, I thought reasonably good value all except Monets garden which was expensive as entry ticket was marked 8 euros so it seemed a lot for the coach trip (£67). I agree ship engines are noisy but it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the cruise. Cabin was upgraded and back of ship floor 5, quite enough room , very comfortable beds, excellent shower. Yes I would go again. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We chose this cruise, British Isles Discovery, for the itinerary as we had not been to most of the places visited. We nearly cancelled after reading reviews of the Magellan on this site, as they were generally awful. We are so glad we ... Read More
We chose this cruise, British Isles Discovery, for the itinerary as we had not been to most of the places visited. We nearly cancelled after reading reviews of the Magellan on this site, as they were generally awful. We are so glad we didn't cancel as we had a wonderful time, in spite of the typical Scottish weather! All of the things that mattered: comfortable and clean cabin, good food and entertainment more than met our hopes. The staff seemed well managed, motivated and very pleasant which was an achievement given the many nationalities. At some of the ports a tender service was needed and it was a bit worrying to see quite a number of passengers with limited mobility attempting the journeys even though the pre-cruise information made it clear that they may not be allowed abaord a tender. We do have a suggestion to improve the entertainment at Scott's Nightclub and that would be a couple of nights karaoke as simply taped music is not an attraction. My husband and I hope to cruise again on the magellan at some time in the not too distant future. Read Less
36 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We choose this cruise as the destinations sounded interesting. We had read some differing reviews of this trip so was naturally sceptical, however from the very professional and streamline embarkation at Tilbury to the disembarkation at ... Read More
We choose this cruise as the destinations sounded interesting. We had read some differing reviews of this trip so was naturally sceptical, however from the very professional and streamline embarkation at Tilbury to the disembarkation at the end of the trip we have nothing but praise for the cruise. The ship although old was very inviting and well maintained, we would suggest extra lounge areas, particularly as our cruise the weather did not permit going on top on the sun loungers. The cabins were extremely clean and comfortable and were regularly cleaned throughout the day. The showers are hot with great water pressure. There are four dining areas, although you are allocated a table in one of the formal dining rooms, this can be flexibly changed to suit the diners. The food was varied and at a high standard. We cannot fault the friendly and efficient waitstaff. As for the bar, we was undecided as to whether we should have a £17 per day drinks package and as I do not drink alcohol I had to have a soft drinks package £9 per day, apparently both people in one cabin must have a drinks package each. We believe it was well worth it as my husband drinks gin and tonic which had to be a double each time as the spirits were very week £8.a time a mocktail was £2.25 an alcoholic cocktail was $4 and with the extra spirit would cost £6, a half pint of beer was £2.50 a bottle of good Spainish wine was £15 per bottle. The entertainment was of a high standard and we enjoyed the nightly show in the theatre, there was always plenty to do. The staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful. As we are not regular cruisers we booked all our excursions with the cruise company however, other than St Petersburg we would in further get on the hop on and hop off bus, where possible at every stop except Stockholm there were one or two buses waiting, Fitness activities were too short at 15 mins a time, we felt this should be increased and more varied. I would defiantly recommend this trip to friends Read Less
38 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Like many posters I was originally put off by negative reviews, but luckily a friend had just travelled on Marco Polo & enjoyed, so I thought in for a penny! The fact it would cost me more (as a solo passenger) to do a 7 night cruise ... Read More
Like many posters I was originally put off by negative reviews, but luckily a friend had just travelled on Marco Polo & enjoyed, so I thought in for a penny! The fact it would cost me more (as a solo passenger) to do a 7 night cruise with another line to Norway in an inside cabin, (I had an oceanview) probably swung it for me. My embarkation slot was @ 11.30 & I arrived 11.25, having stayed at a nearby hotel overnight, my luggage was whisked away &, after stopping off to book my AI drinks package, I was straight into the queue to check in. It did seem at first a v long queue, but took no time at all to get to a desk. I was on board (obligatory photo not withstanding) & being escorted to my cabin at around 12.00. My cabin was at the very back of the ship, the view being of the ships wake, with a queen bed. It was a reasonable size with plenty of storage & the usual amenities. The shower room was also a good size, the shower itself powerful & I didn't have the problem some seem to encounter with the curtain (& let me say here, I'm no Kate Moss). There were 2 dispensers in the shower, I never worked out which contained shampoo & which body wash, but as I had my avon with me, didn't try too hard. Once the lifeboat drill was out of the way, reasonable efficient considering the amount of people wandering around not knowing where they were, I finished unpacking & headed off the Captains Lounge to begin my holiday with a Margarita, I like to start as I mean to go on. I had been allocated a seat in the Grosvenor restaurant on late sitting (20.15) & found myself sitting on table 159 with 3 couples (on previous cruises as a solo it'd been at an all solo table, but I had booked quite late this time), however they were all friendly chatty people & we got on fine. Apart from the 1st morning when I went to the MDR, I had breakfast in the buffet & always found something to eat whether light or cooked, there was plenty of fresh fruit & the more continental fare (cold meat & cheeses) as well as the usual bacon, sausage,baked beans etc. plus a station cooking omelettes, fried & poached eggs to order, if I'm being picky the bacon was too cooked for me (I hate the really crispy stuff they have in US), but I like all my food rarer than most. The majority of dinners I had in the MDR, I always found something to try & on many occasions had problem deciding what to chose. All the food I had was well cooked, tasty & well presented by our attentive waiter & his assistant. I'd read quite a few scathing reports on the food & do sometimes wonder what people eat in their everyday lives, I've eaten in quite a few top restaurants, some with Michelin stars etc., & whilst I wouldn't claim this was on a par, it was good for what is after all mass catering. I managed to catch a few of the musical shows in the main theatre, I found after walking round cities for a few hours I needed a lay down before dinner, which often turned into a nap, so I missed a few that I would have otherwise watched, those that I did see were enjoyable. Most evenings I & the rest of our solo crew were in Sinatra's where the pianist made conversation easier, we did go into the lounge on occasion if the show particularly appealed. Also managed to watch 3 newish (well to me) films in the main theatre on sea days. Of the other offerings I did a couple of quizzes, but not much more & I hate bingo. As I don't use a gym at home, have never felt the need to on holiday. Part of the allure of this cruise were the ports, unfortunately we were not very lucky with the weather. I took 2 cruise arranged trips & 1 booked with an outside agency, but mostly did my own thing. The boked tours were good & probably average price wise. The vast majority of the crew were friendly & accommodating, greeting you in lifts or as you passed them. My stewardess always smiled & said hello, enjoy your day etc.& kept the cabin in great shape. Our MDR waiters were always smiling, whilst keeping up with questions & requests, as were the bar staff. In fact they were so friendly & helpful that a lot of us commented on one girl who never cracked a smile, she was the exception to the rule. As a solo traveller I was a little apprehensive of being alone a lot, this has happened before &, whilst I am happy in my own company, it's always nice to have others around especially in the evenings. As part of the programme there was a hosted solos morning get together on the 1st full day, but also on arrival in the cabin there was a notice for a meet up in the club that evening after dinner. It turned out this was not hosted, but just a chance for people to introduce themselves which several of us did. They also arranged a solos lunch at the end of the cruise. Read Less
58 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was my fifth cruise and my first review. I have also sailed on Costa, MSC, NCL and Celebrity. We booked this cruise because of itinerary and price, fully aware of the varied reviews. “We” includes my DH and 25 year old DD. ... Read More
This was my fifth cruise and my first review. I have also sailed on Costa, MSC, NCL and Celebrity. We booked this cruise because of itinerary and price, fully aware of the varied reviews. “We” includes my DH and 25 year old DD. We discovered that there is not a huge selection of British Isles cruises and ended up waiting an extra year to find one that fit our timing, our budget and our preference for lots of ports. We also selected this ship because it was British and felt it would enhance the “British experience.” The reviews were disconcerting, but then the reviews for Costa and MSC were equally varied and occasionally dismal. Both proved to be very nice. Overall I would give this cruise a 3.5 to 4 star rating because it met or exceeded my expectations based on other reviews. Pre-Cruise was a bit of a fiasco. We were not impressed with CMV booking and communication. We booked our cruise on the CMV website but the follow up communication was sparse and inadequate. We did not get a proper invoice and if I had not contacted them a month after booking, I am not sure we would have been told when final payment was due. We dealt with staff in Florida, who were responsive to our inquiries, but we should not have had to make inquiries – information should have been sent promptly and completely. Although we do not usually use the tours provided by the cruise line, it is annoying that the list of tours and prices is not provided until about 6 weeks before your cruise. (And in our case not provided at all until we requested it.) This seems a bit late for planning purposes, especially for an 11 port cruise. Although we opted mostly for our usual DIY adventures, the prices on ship tours seemed quite reasonable when compared to those offered on other cruises. DIY was less expensive, but then isn’t it always? On the plus side, CMV honored the original price of the transfer from London to Tilbury even though I had neglected to book it promptly. There was a huge price increase from when we booked the cruise vs when we wanted to purchase the transfer. When I mentioned my disappointment at the price increase, the CMV agent got permission to honor the original price. It was a substantial savings for us. Embarkation was very nice, although this was partly because our bus transfer got stuck in traffic (some royal function – no fault of CMV) and we were rather late boarding. We were personally escorted to our room and our luggage was already there. Much better than other cruises where we frequently would go search for our cases in a pile of luggage in the elevator lobbies. The ship was nicer than I expected from reviews. It is not glitzy and it is showing its age from the last refit, but most public spaces were pleasant and there was adequate space for the number sailing, in stark contrast to mega ships. Once you learned you could not walk from bow to stern on the eighth floor, getting around was very easy. We opted for an exterior cabin on level 7. It was not huge but similar in size to our ocean view on MSC, smaller than most balcony rooms we have had where our daughter gets a fold out sofa rather than a bunk. Moreover, because my daughter was using a bunk, it was easier to move around the cabin at night if my DH and I to sleep in twin beds arranged in an L shape rather than pushing the beds together. The three of us had plenty of closet and drawer space for our 12 day cruise. Our largest suitcases fit under the beds provided we lifted the beds up first. My main complaint was the lack of any hooks for robes or coats. The bathroom was on the small side and we were thankful we brought the shoe holder to hang on the bathroom door rack for more storage for toiletries. Small bars of soap as well as shower gel and shampoo from dispensers were provided. I would suggest bringing a full size bar of soap and some weights or clothespins for the shower curtain. The pull out clothes line in the shower was plenty to hold our swim suits, but we used an extra line for the things I hand washed. We have no complaints about noise but there certainly were the occasional loud rumbles in a ship that size. Our steward was excellent. We knew to expect “British cuisine,” a term I assumed was an oxymoron, and were very pleasantly surprised. As discussed below, we missed some foods usually offered on ships catering to Americans but I point this out not as a complaint but as a warning to others to be prepared – it is a British ship so expect British food. Also be warned there are no large glasses for water and ice was hard to come by but available if you looked and I was told the bars would give you a glass if you asked. We also would have liked some iced tea but maybe that would have offended the British sensibilities too much. Breakfast had a decent variety – not outstanding but we found something to keep our interest most of the time. Plenty of fruit and cooked to order eggs. Breakfast was offered from 7 to ten which we found ample time, even on days we could sleep in a bit but we tend to be morning people. We missed American style bacon, bagels, unsweetened dry cereal like Cheerios or Chex, and eggs benedict in particular. We bought some bagels and peanut butter on one of the shore visits and the toasting staff was happy to toast the bagels for us at breakfast. We would have liked a menu style breakfast in the restaurants rather than the same buffet available in the Bistro, but understand that takes lots of staff. We only ate lunch twice on the ship so can’t really comment. As I recall we were pleased with the choices in the Waldorf. Tea was offered and again, we didn’t partake often as we ate and drank well in ports. We did like the clotted cream and scones but could not bring ourselves to try semolina pudding in the afternoon. The ship has traditional fixed dinner seatings and no specialty restaurants which we liked. We feel “free style” and all the dining venues of big ships have ruined one of our favorite parts of cruising – sitting down with the same tablemates and sharing the day’s events. Service was excellent, portions more than enough especially if you took all five courses, and special requests were no problem. Our table of three Americans and four Brits agreed that for the most part the food was very good with the occasional outstanding (the tenderloin on formal nights comes to mind), the occasional “what were they thinking” and an occasional mixed result (my crème brule was a bit firm and tending toward grainy while the others who ordered it had a perfectly smooth and creamy dessert). There was a good variety of poultry, fish and pork. I had several delicious curries but otherwise there was not a lot of extra spice in the food, probably appreciated by the majority of cruisers. We missed large slabs of cow and we would have liked some parmesan to sprinkle on the pasta dishes. We had the 8:30 seating (the other late seating started at 8:15) which, like other cruises we have taken, meant we went to the early show, as is our preference on port intensive cruises. Unlike the early seating, we have plenty of time to enjoy the port, get back to the ship, relax, and dress for dinner. Because of the long port days, we did not participate in many of the ship board activities. However, we enjoyed the whirlpools at the back of the boat (I don’t think they filled the front one for some reason.) Although they were initially not quite as hot as we like, that changed a few days into the cruise. We went to several shows but skipped the magician (not our thing) and the second night of the comedian because we didn’t get the British jokes. The shows were comparable to those on other cruises – not Vegas but a nice diversion for the most part. It is hard to believe the demographics of the ship really are as skewed as the reviews suggest. Not only is the average age at least 70, there is not a large deviation from the average. My DH and I are in our late 50s and were some of the younger people on board, with the exception of our daughter and another young woman accompanying her parents. Do not come on this cruise ship expecting a vibrant night life - the running joke was how late the disco stayed open. And there seemed to be a larger than average number of whingers (great word we learned from our tablemates) who could find fault with just about anything if they tried hard enough. I confess our dinner group exchanged stories of the silliest things we heard someone complain about. Some folks cannot go with the flow. Overall, we had a fantastic time. To be fair, this was due in large part to the incredible ports coupled with even more incredible weather for the British Isles in early June. But we also enjoyed the ship and would recommend it to anyone who found a great itinerary but were otherwise concerned about cruising on the Magellan. The Magellan is obviously not a “destination” ship and those who cruise for the on-board experience – lots of activities and entertainments and continuous five-star dining – should avoid her. But for those who cruise for the ports, and just want a nice room, interesting fellow passengers and some good meals, she is a good ship to try. We would definitely cruise on the Magellan again with the right itineray. Read Less
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was my first cruise so I don't have much to base my expectations on other than previous reviews. I have to admit I was nervous about going due to quite a few negative reviews from some of the users on this site but I was ... Read More
This was my first cruise so I don't have much to base my expectations on other than previous reviews. I have to admit I was nervous about going due to quite a few negative reviews from some of the users on this site but I was pleasantly surprised. When we arrived at the cruise terminal at Tilbury there was an extremely long queue waiting for the car park, the ship was late into port due to bad weather which meant that they were several hours late, this meant that passengers disembarking were not leaving the car park quick enough for the embarking passengers to get in, this caused us to leave 2 hours later than planned. If you can I would advise just getting someone to drop you off as this took less than half an hour to get onto the ship compared to several hours just waiting to get into the car park. The ship itself is not huge but still has plenty of room for everyone to have their own space. The room we purchased was an inner twin which was at a very good price through newmarket holidays. The pictures on the CMV website show very crammed rooms and I was worried I may end up sleeping in a cupboard, but when we were shown to our cabin we realised that we had been upgraded to an ocean view cabin but we had not been told that this was happening, the room was lovely and bright, the beds had clean white sheets and there were nice towels in the bathroom. Our tickets for shore excursions and info sheets about the next day were left on the bed and there was a cabin steward called Ivan who knocked on the door about an hour after we got there. Our rooms were cleaned every day and fresh towels were put into the bathroom. The only major problem with the room was the fact that our room was 2 away from the back of the ship on deck 5, it was exceptionally noisy at night, whilst we were expecting some noise and vibration, we did not realise just how loud the engines would be. At various points in the night we would be woken by the entire cabin shaking violently, when we were pulling into ports the noise would ramp up even further causing me to hold my ears, if the boat was turning or the weather was a bit rough you would most certainly not get a good nights sleep! Whilst it wasn't the end of the world I don't think I would have wanted to stay in that room for longer than the 3 nights. I will be choosing a cabin further forward next time as you could hear the change in engine noise by just walking up the corridor a few cabins. When you hear horror stories of accidents on cruise ships and people describe violent shaking I'm not joking when I say every night it felt like we had run aground. My advise is to pay a bit extra and choose your cabin location or risk getting an interrupted nights sleep. The dining on the ship was great, we were allocated the first sitting in the Kensington restaurant. On the first night the dining was pushed back from 18:15 to 19:30 due to some passengers still waiting to get through the terminal to be booked in. Whilst this wasn't too much of an issue with us the second sitting was forced to wait until 21:30 to get their food which was far too late for the older passengers who made up a large percentage of the ship. . Every night we were presented with a menu which had appetisers, soup, salad, main course and deserts to choose from. The menu also had good vegetarian options. The food was brought out piping hot and was of a sensible size. I had read review after review that complained about the food being cold I can only think that they spent every night in the raffles bistro, which seems to serve the same sort of food as the restaurants but in a self serve sort of fashion. There were mainly cold salads and deserts available with a few hot meals such as curry and rice. Breakfasts started from 08:00 and you could go up as many times as you liked hot and cold was available and the waiters would top up your drinks before you had finished the first one. The first night we missed the show due to being exhausted, but the second night was a mamma mia themed show. The dancers and singers were good, the last night they looked a little unprepared and it was not as good an atmosphere. You could have your drinks brought to you and they are reasonably priced with most cocktails being priced at £3.50/£4 and charged to your cabin account. They put on a buffet display which included a quite impressive dragon carved from chocolate and a frog made from watermelon. On the last night we encountered a large storm which meant that the ship was rather rocky, it was hilarious watching everyone dancing to the male singers version of Robbie Williams Let Me Entertain You whilst trying to remain upright. There were games such as call my bluff and passenger Mr and Mrs which was hosted by a comic host. Overall there was plenty to do and one night the nightclub stayed open until 5am which was apparently a record, I just feel for the poor staff who probably just wanted to get into bed! Most of the staff were very friendly with cleaners polishing and cleaning mirrors, staircases and public areas which felt like 24/7, there was never any mess and there were plenty of alcohol gel dispensers around and staff would offer it to you on the way into the restaurants, clearly a good effort to make sure no one falls foul to the dreaded Norovirus as many cruise ships have encountered recently. Whenever you walked passed a crew member they would always greet you and some even made an effort to remember you. The only time I was taken aback slightly was when at dinner our usually accommodating waitress rolled her eyes and exclaimed I've asked you twice already when I changed my mind from coffee to decaf (she definitely only asked me once and it wasn't even for me but the other person I was with). Before our trip we received news that due to port closures we would be visiting Ghent first then Amsterdam which meant that our previously booked excursions had to be cancelled due to not having enough time to get back to the ship before it left for the next port. Most of the excursions left at 11:30/12:00 and returned back to the ship for 16:30/17:00, the main problem with this is your are not given any provisions for lunch, considering you pay for a full board cruise you only get breakfast and dinner and you have to pay for your own lunch, we also did not get given time for lunch until at least 15:00 with the first day being given an hour for lunch and to have a look around. The second day we were only given 45 mins of free time which meant we ended up rushing back to the coach without actually visiting any of the shops or looking around the area. Considering you would have breakfast at around 8:00 lunch for the elderly people at 15:00 can be too late. We missed out on both lunch and afternoon tea on our trip, Perhaps there was somewhere we were supposed to go in order to get a packed lunch, but if there was this was not advertised anywhere. The Magellan ship was an adults only cruise liner, it was nice to go on holiday where everyone could get a little bit merry and not have to worry about putting any little ones to bed or getting them ready in the morning. On the day of disembarkation you were required to leave your room by 07:00, this would have been fine if we had docked on time by due to the weather we arrived an hour and a half later. Many of the public toilets on the ship were blocked on the last day and you were not able to gain access to any of the bathrooms in cabins. 1200 passengers all waiting for 5 bathrooms meant that queues were very long, Many of the passengers that we spoke to who had travelled on this liner before commented on the lack of preparation of the staff and the disorganisation of certain activities. When we first boarded we asked one of the staff members what time the ship would be getting back to port on the last day and he simply shrugged and said he didn't know. Maybe he was new or didn't quite understand what we were asking but if the staff don't know what time we are disembarking how does anyone arrange pick-ups and lifts back home. Overall my experience of the cruise was a good one, its not 5 star luxury and you certainly don't pay enough to demand that sort of service. The staff seem to work 14-15 hours days and they work hard to make sure the place is clean and everyone has whatever they need day or night. It would be better if they had a better shopping area, there were no areas on the ship to buy ladies toiletries, toothbrushes, shampoo etc, crisps were only available in cheese and onion or paprika flavour, the 24/7 drinks machine only provided water to those who don't drink tea or coffee. If you need anything medical be prepared to pay for it! A doctors consultation for an insect bite that had swollen up was going to cost £50+ just for him to say you need an antihistamine, anyone with half a brain could tell us that, I don't need to pay a doctor £50 to look at it for 30 seconds to tell me what I already know! If you want to be waited on hand and foot your travelling with the wrong liner and should be paying 10x as much with a liner like Cunard. Good first cruise experience, already looking for my next one! Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We went on this cruise as a taster, just to see what CMV was like. The week-end before we had been on the Harmony of the Seas also as a taster. one extreme to the other you may say !! Anyway Harmony we were glad to get off.(see review). ... Read More
We went on this cruise as a taster, just to see what CMV was like. The week-end before we had been on the Harmony of the Seas also as a taster. one extreme to the other you may say !! Anyway Harmony we were glad to get off.(see review). Magellan we wanted to stay on !! A lot older, a lot smaller, a lot less brash and flash; but a lot more like a ship and a far better atmosphere on board. The shows were good, a lovely Captains Club lounge where we danced 2 nights running. No nice dance lounge like that on Harmony. Also the drinks prices were very good, and no added 18% on top! The food wasn't brilliant but reasonable. Dinner was good. A lot easier to get a table for breakfast in the buffet. We had an outside view cabin which was as roomy as Harmony, the shower room a bit bigger. The décor on the ship was very smart, all clean and tidy. All in all having read a few bad reviews about this ship we were pleasantly surprised ! Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
I always wanted to see Norway and this cruise suited my price range. Having cruised on several different cruise lines and living in southern Europe, we are more used to Italian or American cruise ships with a mixture of nationalities. ... Read More
I always wanted to see Norway and this cruise suited my price range. Having cruised on several different cruise lines and living in southern Europe, we are more used to Italian or American cruise ships with a mixture of nationalities. After booking, l read several mixed reviews on Megellan and CMV, and was not expecting great things from the actual ship, but was very pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was quick and efficient in Tilbury and for the first time our suitcases were by our room before us. Our cabin was very large, probably used as a family cabin before, and chosen for that reason. The bathroom did not have much storage space but the shower was the best l have ever known. Electrical sockets were Italian but advertised as English, and there are no fridges in the cabins which is not ideal. Plenty of shortage space and hangers though. Everything was several floors up but exercising on the staircases is much needed on a cruise! The food and service in the restaurant were excellent, again one of the best we have experienced, and most the people and staff on board were so friendly and chatty, we soon made lots of friends. The entertainment was more than adequate for a smaller ship and the singers and dancers worked very hard all week and were much appreciated. The ship is not new and the vibration was more than we had experienced before, seemingly getting worse the higher up the ship you went. Our cabin on 4th deck did not suffer from vibration, until we entered a port and then we found we were above the bow thrusters and anchor! Take earplugs! Otherwise we joked about bring in "steerage" as we did not get animal towels like other cabins, which did not bother us. Once our toilet flush jammed and it was fixed immediately. The excursions seemed well organized and it was easy to disembark and embark the ship, unlike other larger cruise lines. When we left the ship at the end of the cruise, we had the choice of "fast track" taking your own luggage with you, which was a huge bonus if you need to go on to catch a flight or train to go home. Norway as a cruise destination was fabulous, stunning scenery and intersesting places to visit with good information on the cruise bulletin, delivered to your cabin each day. Much to my surprise l would recommend this ship and cruise, and would certainly use them again. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
First time cruising as a single traveller. I am a very experienced single traveller both business and pleasure. Embarkation and disembarkation all very well organised. Cabin (inner) clean and tidy - well looked after during voyage. ... Read More
First time cruising as a single traveller. I am a very experienced single traveller both business and pleasure. Embarkation and disembarkation all very well organised. Cabin (inner) clean and tidy - well looked after during voyage. Dining - lots of choice - something for everyone. Service - staff professional and polite. But not for the inexperienced single traveller - meals - not sat with other single traveller just couples. First meet up was organised when at second sitting dinner, second meeting - just wanted our names for an end of cruise lunch (?), turned up to two meeting points for going on your own excursions - no one there (gave in)! Turned up for the end of cruise lunch - and was sat with one woman who has come with her family. Though everyone was friendly on board and quite often you would sit at breakfast or lunch and someone would talk to you. Would I do a cruise again? Yes but not with this company. Basics required set aside tables at breakfast and dinner for single travellers. Pre dinner drinks meet up point at both sittings for dinner. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Have given this very good based on food quality (which in fact was excellent), cleanliness and friendliness of service (practically all the staff went the extra mile). The entertainment was pretty good too as were most of the many ... Read More
Have given this very good based on food quality (which in fact was excellent), cleanliness and friendliness of service (practically all the staff went the extra mile). The entertainment was pretty good too as were most of the many shore-excursions which we booked. You will enjoy this cruise I think. We did have one or two reservations, however. One of our shore-excursions in St Petersburg was very rushed in order for our guide to fit in an un-scheduled stop at a tourist shop! Our complaint to the shore-excursion team fell on stony ground and resulted in them telling us we had half an hour longer in the museum than we actually had! Another St Petersburg trip got back so late that we had no chance to get ready for our (Magellan-organised) evening ballet trip. In stead of any apology it was announced rather officiously over the tannoy that 10 minutes more was the most they would allow us to bolt our meal. Our cabin was clean and efficiently maintained but could have done with a deep clean (back of bathroom door had old splash marks) It is probably ready for a re-furb (thin towels, tatty bad-cover). A word of advice - if you visit the medical rooms be prepared to pay. I went hoping to buy some throat lozenges and ended up with a bill for £140! Embarkation went very smoothly but disembarkation was partly shambolic. Our names were mentioned over the tannoy as needing to go and settle our final bill. This was embarrassing and untrue and again no-one saw fit to apologise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose this Cruise to Iceland because we could join the ship from our home town of Dundee. We found embarkation very easy, cases taken from us the minute we alighted from our taxi and the process to board was very quick. When we went ... Read More
We chose this Cruise to Iceland because we could join the ship from our home town of Dundee. We found embarkation very easy, cases taken from us the minute we alighted from our taxi and the process to board was very quick. When we went onboard a steward took us to our cabin and our cases were waiting for us at the door. Cabin was spacious and yes the toilet and shower were small, but everything was very clean. Cabin steward was excellent and everything kept neat and tidy. Weather was not so good, but the Captain did a wonderful job changing course etc. to make it as smooth as possible considering the high winds we encountered. We ate in the Waldorf Restaurant for all of our meals and thought the choice on the menu was great. All table stewards very good and friendly and if a meal wasn't quite to your liking something else was brought no problem. We went for the actual cruise as my husband was not able to walk too far for shore excursions, but we took part in the quizzes and enjoyed meeting all our fellow travellers. We don't drink very much, but still the drinks package was worth it. Altogether we had a wonderful time and could not fault any of the staff or any other aspect of our cruise. Will definitely enjoy another trip on Magellan another time Read Less
45 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Two friends had booked the Norwegian Fjord cruise on the Magellan after seeing an advert in the Daily Telegraph. When we saw the itinerary we decided to join them as a late booking. Embarkation in Dundee was very quick and efficient ... Read More
Two friends had booked the Norwegian Fjord cruise on the Magellan after seeing an advert in the Daily Telegraph. When we saw the itinerary we decided to join them as a late booking. Embarkation in Dundee was very quick and efficient once we had arrived at the ship, our taxi driver got lost on the way to the quay, apparently cruising from Dundee is a new and fairly infrequent event. This was our tenth cruise with various other companies and non have equalled the quay to cabin luggage speed of CMV. Our cabin numbered 5172 was on the port side on deck 5 and was four from the stern, not where we would have selected but late bookers have no choice. We found the cabin accommodation to be very satisfactory, clean with a large picture window, plenty of hanging and drawer space, comfortable beds, a reasonably sized shower room and shower enclosure with soft lighting instead of the usual hard spotlights so prevalent on other ships. So far so good we thought. That was until the ship left the quay and started to pick up speed. Whilst still in the sound and under the control of the pilot a strange and persistent clanking noise began to make itself heard. We thought that this was a glitch which would be attended to but no. if anything it increased in volume when the open sea and cruising speed was reached. When we retired to bed it became glaringly obvious that sleep was out of the question so we contacted reception to report the noise. At first nothing was done, but on complaining again at about 2am a member of the crew came to listen and arranged for us to be moved temporarily to a "sleeping cabin". The following morning we were offered another outside cabin numbered 5054, situated amidships. Bliss, no noise whatsoever. Our friends, who were situated four cabins away from our original cabin also had to put up with the noise but when they complained they were given ear plugs! Another couple who were closer to the stern did succeed in getting moved. I checked the starboard side stern area corridor and found the noise to be there as well but the volume was a bit less. It is obvious that the Magellan has a problem which would appear to be with the propulsion system and this has the effect of making the last ten or so cabins on deck 5 suffer from a distressing amount of mechanical din. I cannot comment on other areas in the stern, it certainly could not be heard on deck 8 in the Waldorf Restaurant. Apart from this unfortunate shortcoming it has to be said that the Magellan is a very pleasant ship to cruise in. The staff were all attentive and polite, the food was very satisfactory with adequate choice, the whole of the ship was spotlessly clean, entertainment more than satisfactory allowing for the fairly small size and drinks reasonably priced. We did not encounter any rough seas so cannot comment on the sea worthiness, The ports of call were delightful and the shore excursions we took were enjoyable and well supervised. Would we cruise on the Magellan again? The answer is yes but we would make sure that we were well away from the stern especially on the lower decks. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Having never been on a cruise before we thought a smaller ship would be less scary- and we were right! We had heard such wonderful things about the Norwegian fjords and we were not disappointed- the scenery was absolutely spectacular and ... Read More
Having never been on a cruise before we thought a smaller ship would be less scary- and we were right! We had heard such wonderful things about the Norwegian fjords and we were not disappointed- the scenery was absolutely spectacular and we were extra blessed in having beautiful sunny weather,calm seas and also seeing the Northern Lights. The Norwegians are so friendly and polite and their knowledge of English puts us to shame as a nation. As regards the ship: the cleanliness was a credit to the crew. Everywhere was spotless and there were always staff wiping down the bannister rails and lift buttons to ward off germs. Our cabin on deck 7 was more spacious than we expected with plenty of wardrobe space and a nice big window. Our cabin steward was always on hand to assist us and kept everything best and tidy. Criticisms: Only half of the lifts were working at any one time. This was especially apparent when returning from excursions as there was only ONE lift available to take 3 bus loads of people from deck 3 upwards. As a lot of passengers were elderly or had walking difficulties and couldn't use the stairs , this caused ridiculously long queues and was extremely annoying when other lifts were there but not in use. The food was not as good as we had thought it would be. They seemed to use cheap cuts of meat and the portions at dinner were very small. One starter we had of 'sesame chicken' consisted of just one leg from what looked like a budgie! Not even one mouthful of food on the plate. Wifi is available but don't bother! I paid £10 for 2 hours and spent more than half that time just trying to actually get onto the network! Even when it connected, it took so long to download even emails that it's not worth the money and effort. Otherwise the cruise was very enjoyable, the staff were always friendly and attentive and we met some lovely people. The excursions were enjoyable and helpful for finding out more about the area. (We particularly liked going up to the top of the mountain in I would cruise with this company again as we got a good holiday for the money we paid - we had buy one get one free plus a free upgrade from deck 4 to deck 7 which was really appreciated. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
First cruise ever, so we were a little apprehensive. But as the Magellan ship is a small/medium size it is a good choice for a first cruise. Embarking at Newcastle was great and very easy. The steward met us and showed us our free ... Read More
First cruise ever, so we were a little apprehensive. But as the Magellan ship is a small/medium size it is a good choice for a first cruise. Embarking at Newcastle was great and very easy. The steward met us and showed us our free upgrade room from the 4th deck to the 7th. We were surprised how big the cabin looked, and the bathroom & shower were bigger than we had hoped for.there was shampoo & shower gel dispenser in the shower and little bars of soap on the sink. The room had a big picture window was made the room very light and airy. Plenty of wardrobe space & the TV had bbc,itv etc. We didn't take the drinks package at £17 per person but plenty did and many said they had got there money's worth. But drinks are not expensive on board so we just paid as we went along. The food was a bit of hit & miss but overall the Raffles Bistro faired better than the restaurants for food. If you eat in the restaurants you get free coffe,tea & water. The shows on board were ok, although to be fair we didn't bother much with them. All the staff are just so lovely, nothing was too much trouble. You do pay £5 per day for tips which will be added to your bill at the end of the cruise. I read some reviews that said take your own water bottle, but there is a big sign on the water dispenser that tells you not to, so we didn't as it makes perfect sense health wise. Staff offer you antibacterial gel for your hands at every restaurant which again is a thing you must do to protect not only yourself but the other passengers. My disembarkation was a mess, as I hold a USA passport they make you walk to the bus them onto the terminal to go through immigration and as it was snowing very heavily I got soaked and had to return to the ship to disembark an hour later. No staff told me this otherwise I wouldn't have packed my jacket! Don't bother paying for the wifi, it's just rubbish and not worth the money as it ties so long to get onto it, even to just check emails is just so frustrating. If you want a leisurely cruise without all the nonsense of the big mega ships try this ship. Read Less
41 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Introduction: This was our first CMV cruise and was booked after a disappointing Xmas 2015 & New Year cruise to the same destination with a competitor cruise line. We booked with CMV and then read the earlier reviews, so we were ... Read More
Introduction: This was our first CMV cruise and was booked after a disappointing Xmas 2015 & New Year cruise to the same destination with a competitor cruise line. We booked with CMV and then read the earlier reviews, so we were concerned that we were in for another disappointment ... Nothing could be further from the truth - the whole cruise experience was really good and the new Captain has changed the service quality immeasurably. Crew members all smile, service is quick and efficient and everything happens in the background, leaving the passenger to enjoy the cruise instead of worrying about the next problem. The Captain and his senior Officers are available (and very visible) throughout each day and give passengers adequate time to raise concerns or issues, without any hint of the 'corporate brush-off' response. The Executive Chef even visited each table at the Dinner Sitting to gain feedback. Embarkation: The Long Stay Car Parking is about 1 mile away from the Cruise Terminal and Shuttle Buses run back and forth - it's a bit of a bun-fight with tight parking slots and trying to avoid passengers wandering across the traffic path towing cases, bags and other appendages. The process is slightly chaotic but it works. Inside the Cruise Terminal, the process is much smoother - there is a separate Waiting Lounge (faded charm, peeling plaster but rather like an Agatha Christie film set) and timed booking-in slots were operating so that, even with a full complement of 1250 passengers, the queuing was kept to a minimum and the process was very smooth and efficient. On board, a crew member escorted us to our cabin - a really nice touch, and checked that door keys worked before returning to guide the next passenger. The Cabin Review is in a separate section. Ship Layout: Slightly quirky - you can only access the full length of the ship at the top and lowest decks since the middle of the ship is devoted to the Galley that serves both restaurants. So, you need to know whether you're aiming for the stern or the prow before leaving the cabin - for the first couple of days, lost souls were wandering the decks muttering 'Is it the rear or the front I need to get to?' as they familiarised themselves with the layout. Lifts are quite small and, with an ageing and often mobility-limited client group, in constant demand. If you need to use the lifts, be prepared to wait up to 2 minutes for one to become available. This was a source of annoyance for several customers. Staircases are quite steep - using them will get you fit! - and the stair riser on some staircases slopes back into the staircase (to create extra space for those size 13 shoes?) and this take a wee while to adjust to. Crew Members are cleaning handrails, lift entrances and the public areas constantly to minimise the risk of infection. Despite this, and the hand-cleansing machines and notices everywhere, passengers still feel they have the right to refill their own water bottles and to return excess food to the serving trays so the coughing starts - grrr! CMV needs to employ a retired schoolteacher from the 1960s so that (s)he can use a wooden ruler to rap the knuckles of any passenger ignoring the food hygiene rules ... Dining: We were allocated First Sitting in the Waldorf Restaurant on a Table for 8. A combination of poor handwriting, inaccurate transcription of the Dining Cards from the computer records and passengers not having their reading glasses meant that we had 12 different guests for the 8 seats over the first 4 days! Eventually (back to Agatha Christie), the Maitre d' appeared at the Table with pad and pen and requested cabin numbers and names so that he could solve the 'Whodunnit' of the Dining Room - of the 12 people trying to get in the 8 seats, 10 were very pleasant so we had a good final selection of fellow diners! Zin and Min (Waiter and Wine Waiter) were first rate and very friendly, seeing the humour of the changing guests until the 'real 8' diners were identified. Menus were decent - safe, unadventurous food in sensible portions. The temperature of the food could have been a wee bit hotter on occasions. We took the £85 Alcohol Package (5 bottles of reasonable quality wine (equivalent to supermarket 'Dine In' promotions - safe but decent quality) and 10 bottles of water) since we do not drink much alcohol. Unused wine is stored until the next meal and there was no noticeable deterioration in its quality. Wine can be bought by the glass for £5 or you can pay £17 per person per day for the Unlimited Drinks Package. We started using the Raffles Bistro fro breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, but it was often tight for space so finding a table could resemble the Saturday morning drive around the multi-storey car park for the Space that is supposed to be available. The lunch-time deadline return from port visits in Santa Cruz and Gibraltar caused a wee bit of a logjam with diners exceeding available spaces until the Maitre d' began gathering up lost souls and directing them to the restaurants. The Bistro has no table cloths during the day and the layout has evoked descriptions of 'canteen' in appearance with several tables having bench seats along the wall as the perimeter tables run the length of the room. The layout gets the most 'bums on seats' and it gives you a chance to meet lots of fellow cruisers - it's a lively atmosphere that works well, if a little spartan on the furnishings. The Bistro food is the same as in the main restaurants and the range is decent - not spectacular, but you won't starve (I am a very picky eater and managed to find enough variety, albeit in combinations that would have made the chef weep) and there is no problem with taking further portions. Empty serving trays were replenished promptly, but the pressure of a full complement of passengers and the rigid hygiene rules of not re-using plates when taking a second portion (food hygiene and cleaning regimes throughout the ship are scrupulous) sometimes meant a delay whilst new plates and cutlery arrived - nothing major and 'Hunt the Plate' gives a wee bit of exercise to burn the extra calories ... Plenty of serving/support staff (all of whom smile and try to make polite conversation - there's been a big effort to engage with passengers) to clear plates and guide passengers around the serving stations (Mushrooms and Hash Browns sit in a separate Serving Station from the rest of the cooked breakfast components). Quirky, but it works well as does the small queue to have a freshly fried egg rather than scooping up one that has been pre-cooked and then left to sunbathe under the warming lights ... Entertainment: The Carmen Duo classical music act is very good and their show in the Magellan Lounge was excellent - the only complaint is that the sho did not last longer. The Duo also played each evening in Hampton's Bar (3 or 4 sessions of 20-25 minutes) to an appreciative audience. The Magellan Entertainment Team, led by Raul, the Assistant Cruise Director, work very hard to provide a fresh face to the 'song and dance' staple offering. The 'Abba' Evening was done very competently and was very enjoyable. I am a Queen devotee and hoped that the 'Queen' Evening wouldn't be too bad - alas it was. The 'Abba' production showed that there are very capable singers - the 'Queen' production was simply too ambitious and, as a fellow fan observed, 'After the second murder, I called Quincy, MD. to arrange the autopsies ...' Raul and the crew led the 'Sail Away' singing to great effect - it was energetic and well received, confirming that the 'Queen' production had been too ambitious. Guest Lecturers were good - Sue Walsh and Alan Oliver. The latter is a more academic presenter who would get you through your exams, but who is a little too academic for cruise entertainment. Sue Walsh is a very enthusiastic bird watcher, ringer, conservation volunteer - her enthusiasm for her subject shines through, even though she some times became carried away and talked about the subject matter of the next 2-3 slides, leaving a few 'Err, ums ...' until she recovered from realising that she had just spent a couple of minutes covering the content of the new slide! Sue was very happy to talk to passengers outside the lecture stints and to share photos and information from her Tablet. Very enjoyable. Shore Excursions: We booked quite late so several excursions were fully booked - no problem for us since this cruise was to visit destinations that the previous cruise company had cancelled over Xmas 2015 and New Year. We made our own way in each port and encountered no problems. Courtesy buses were available, albeit stipulated on a couple of occasions as being for those passengers with mobility difficulties. In practice, these passengers were given priority and then it was 'first come, first served' for everyone else. It was particularly nice not to have to pay for the Courtesy buses - a nice gesture that CMV and the Port Authorities deserve credit for providing. Julie, the Customer Services Manager. was high profile during the Shore Excursions process, and her cheerful, warm Lancashire voice was a delight. Her update announcement at Gibraltar - 'Ladies and Gentlemen, it's not cloudy - I've just been down at the quayside - I'm from Lancashire and I know rain - it's absolutely lashing it down so DO, please take your coats and umbrellas' was very well received. Some passengers felt that Magellan could have stayed longer at some ports - a matter of personal choice. My wife and I were unable to go ashore at Lisbon because we had picked up the coughing sickness that someone had kindly brought aboard. Those who did remarked on the queues at the local pharmacy to purchase paracetamol etc. Disembarkation: This is probably the weakest element. The baggage collection from cabins on the previous night was very smooth, albeit slightly noisy as cabin crew began the portering about midnight and cabins had to be vacated by 07:00 the next morning. 07:00 and lots of passengers, carrying hand luggage, scrabbling for lifts and then restaurant/bistro space was all a wee bit chaotic. Breakfast was over by 09:00 and there was then up to 2 hours wait for disembarkation. Seats were at a premium (if all else fails, aim for the Magellan Show Lounge - it's dark and a wee bit cold but you can sit comfortably). Toilets were at an even bigger premium as the (already limited by original design) public WCs were closed down for cleaning and maintenance - lots of frustrated, ageing working class males, roaming the decks whilst describing their impending incontinence is not a happy spectacle. I found a working toilet at my 6th attempt - this is not good enough and let the previous high organisational performance slip. London Cruise Terminal does not have enough baggage trolleys for the 1250 passengers so people had to queue for a trolley; then queue to leave the terminal; then queue to reach the Shuttle Buses to return to the Long Stay Car Park which was heaving because of the arrival of new passengers for the Norwegian Fjords Cruise. If you watch Rugby and wonder why players are not allowed to carry suitcases into the scrum, you will have a picture of the organisation under strain ... The organisers were run off their feet getting exiting passengers away and coping with new arrivals whilst a succession of taxis and private care were dropping new passengers off at the Cruise Terminal. After vacating our cabin at 07:00 and being called for disembarkation at 11:00, it was almost midday when we left the Cruise Terminal and 12:40 before arrival the Long Stay Car Park - quite a fraught process overall. There needs to be more trolleys and more frequent Shuttle Bus journeys to free up bottle necks. Summary: I recommend prefacing any review with 'Looking at the price we paid' before making criticisms. I heard several comments from fellow passengers that 'The food is not as good as xyz cruises and it's not available round the clock' etc. We paid £52 per person per day (and we could have saved £5 per person per day by choosing a cheaper cabin) for 14 nights cruising, with 6 ports of call over 4000+ nautical miles on a full board basis with free entertainment provided. Our budget pre-cruise hotel cost us £35 per person for accommodation only! The cruise was well organised, staffed by a friendly and competent crew who provided great service and who made us feel like people rather than cabin numbers. CMV promise 3.5 star service but get closer to 4 star - they could provide more of the pampering, more choice of menu items, fluffier towels etc but not at the prices they charge. I was very apprehensive about the booking after I had read the reviews. My experience has been very positive - a good, value-for-money, decent holiday that was better than CMV indicated. My wife and I have already booked our next cruise on the Magellan (Norway on 17th April 2016 - just about time to get the holiday washing dry before we meet up with the Captain and Crew again); we are really looking forward to the experience! Read Less
30 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
I will not re-state the title because we had a wnderful cruise. The food was excellent, the crew were excellent and the entertainment was excellent. The itinerary was as expected and enjoyable. The weather was as expected and ... Read More
I will not re-state the title because we had a wnderful cruise. The food was excellent, the crew were excellent and the entertainment was excellent. The itinerary was as expected and enjoyable. The weather was as expected and changeable. If we had just pulled out into mid-Atlantic and gone round in circles, I would not have complained. The evening buffets/ displays should really have been photographed not eaten. I am not a wine buff but the house wines were good and much enjoyed. Embarkation at Tilbury was good, disembarkation was a little chaotic but we got there in the end. We had a table for four (163) where the bench seats were a bit low and my wife asked for (and was given) a cushion but if this is a complaint, it is a small one. The cabin was comfotable (6150) but I would have preferred a cabin with a bit of daylight - but this was my fault not CMV's. Overall - great!! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We have been on a couple of cruises and were some what concerned when reading reviews before we travelled on 1st March from Tilbury but were very satisfied taking account of the costs and destinations travelled too. Iceland is expensive ... Read More
We have been on a couple of cruises and were some what concerned when reading reviews before we travelled on 1st March from Tilbury but were very satisfied taking account of the costs and destinations travelled too. Iceland is expensive so the cruise offered a relatively inexpensive way to travel, enjoying good food and good company as well as a good crew who were friendly, polite and accommodating. We never felt pressured into buying drinks ( they had a range of packages for alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks but also left you if you declined) similarly they did not oversell any trips or on board activities (of which there was a variety of options) - this has not always been our experience on other ships. We also felt the on board prices and tipping rate were very good. Facilities especially inside cabin was spacious and very clean. The shower was superb- lots of hot water and good pressure. Toilet did fail to flush on one day but this was rectified without fuss. Food and service in restaurants good ( only soup in evening was not always hot) but this aside we had access to hot drinks (free) from waking to late evening and we could go either to be served or help ourselves to food across the day so we didn't go hungry. We enjoyed having days at sea and felt very safe in the hands of the Captain who saw this as his priority -we did have a rough day and we felt that the way the crew informed and supported passengers was excellent. So stop worrying go with CMV and see the places they travel too at a price that won't break the bank Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was our first cruise so we have nothing to compare it with but were a bit wary given some of the bad reviews this ship and company get. Tilbury is an odd port and probably needed refurbishment 40 years ago, it still does and after ... Read More
This was our first cruise so we have nothing to compare it with but were a bit wary given some of the bad reviews this ship and company get. Tilbury is an odd port and probably needed refurbishment 40 years ago, it still does and after a bit of chaos at the long term car park the embarkation process was very efficient. From starting the process to boarding the ship and being shown straight to our cabin was no more than 15 minutes. The meet and greet on board was good and within minutes we had dropped out hand luggage off and were free to explore. The ship is not huge, which appealed to us. Everything was immaculate and there was constant cleaning and polishing going on throughout the entire voyage, along with window cleaning and painting whenever the ship was in port. There are staff dispensing anti-bac at all times in every place food is served. There were various activities for most sea days, quizzes, art, a choir and entertainment. We didn't go to much of the 'on stage' entertainment as it wasn't our style (singing and dancing) but there is also an excellent resident pianist who plays regularly in one of the smaller bars and a fantastic piano and violin duet who played 3 or 4 times a day in one of the other bars, they were stunning. Other people enjoyed the main entertainment so there was a variety of styles to suit taste. The guest cabaret (comedy and music) was very old hat, Frank Spencer impressions and lots of jokes around impotence, some people found him funny, he was a better singer than comedian. Some of the guest lectures were interesting, a bit more variety would have been good. The food was very good, always a choice of self serve or restaurant. While occasionally the soup wasn't hot there was always a good choice, it was always well presented and served with a smile. I am veggie and was always well catered for with a choice of menu. While the breakfast staff were not always overly cheerful or interactive the evening dinner service was good humoured, professional and always served with beaming smiles. Our waiter, Thant, remembered our particular likes and dislikes and was always ready to change anything that wasn't to someone's liking (eg blue cheese on the cheese and biscuits) and remembered this for next time. Portion sizes were very good, not excessive but more than adequate. Lunch was 3 courses, though staff were also happy to just do the soup if requested, 3 courses were not compulsory (!) dinner was a minimum of 5 courses with fresh pizza available 12-6 and afternoon tea 3.30-4.30 plus late night snacks handed around in all bars around 11/11.30. I'm sure no-one could possibly go hungry. Drinks are very reasonable, there is a drinks package at £17pp per night but bar prices are normal, fairly cheap, pub prices. Wine packages are offered a few days into the trip for those who don't want the full drinks package. We just bought drinks as we went along and had a very reasonable bill at the end of the trip. Shore excursions are expensive, in most places we just did our own thing. Amsterdam was an easy walk from port to city centre and there were buses for the less mobile. In the Faroe Islands we did a trip which was good but at £37 expensive for 2.5 hours. In Iceland we did our own thing, there was a port shuttle available at £12 but a local bus is £6 return and went every 20 minutes. In Orkney there was a free shuttle provided locally and we were greeted by Tourist Info staff, the whole town was geared up for our visit (even the local vicar was sat in the Cathedral on his laptop in case anyone wanted a chat, there were welcome signs in shops) and we were "piped off' by a bagpipe and drum band. Disembarkment was a little chaotic but not unreasonable for getting 1,200 people and their luggage off a ship. The staff were very friendly, the Captain informative and also funny. We had one pretty rough sea day as we left Iceland when most activities were cancelled and we were catching wine glasses and fellow passengers as they slid around the ship. Listening to some fellow passengers whinging and wining as we left the ship it was hard to believe we had been on the same cruise, while I'm sure there will have been some genuine mishaps or problems some people just seemed to be looking for problems "there wasn't even a mint on our pillow at night" was one person's moan about why he would never use CMV again... Read Less
Magellan Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0

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