214 Cruise & Maritime Voyages Columbus Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise as we had been on the Christmas Market cruise for the previous 3 years and thoroughly enjoyed them. This year was different. the atmosphere on board was unlike previous cruises. I can't quite put my finger on ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had been on the Christmas Market cruise for the previous 3 years and thoroughly enjoyed them. This year was different. the atmosphere on board was unlike previous cruises. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it was almost as if everyone had given up for the year. Some of the crew worked really hard and were attentive to passenger needs but some seemed burned-out. CMV got the itinerary wrong this year, going to Antwerp first and then Amsterdam. This meant leaving Antwerp before the Christmas Market was in full swing. We also arrived late at Amsterdam due to "out going" traffic delaying our passage through the lock. The ship herself was as we expected, a little tired but comfortable, and was kept very clean. The cabin (we had been given an upgrade to deck 11) was a good size, clean and comfortable, so no complaints on that score. The food, we used the Bistro for convenience, was good and hot. Having complained in the past about the choice of vegetables I was happy to see an improved selection available. We did not see any of the Shows this time so can only comment on the singer in one bar who was an improvement of a previous year. He seemed to have a degree of talent and a good voice. We were disappointed that the Cruise Director did not make any announcements about the entertainment on offer, but then he was conspicuous by his absence. Another indicator of the lack of attention from CMV. The shops carried the usual array of good, although the Duty Free shop was half empty and the staff seemed to lack any concern for customers. The range of cigarette brands was really poor and the staff offered no hope of this being rectified. It was a matter of fact attitude, "check in after 5pm when we leave Amsterdam and see what we have". We were also disappointed with the "late night snacks" offered in the deck 7 bars. Waiters walked straight past our seats, told us they would attend to us on the way back, and when one of them did offer us something there were only 2 or 3 items left on his tray. All in all, it was a cruise that lacked the Christmas Spirit. CMV have let their normally high standards drop. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Firstly, I am one of those people that rarely writes a review, but I enjoyed my cruise with CMV so much, I am boring the people around me! Also, I was really disappointed to read a review from the same cruise that was really quite ... Read More
Firstly, I am one of those people that rarely writes a review, but I enjoyed my cruise with CMV so much, I am boring the people around me! Also, I was really disappointed to read a review from the same cruise that was really quite negative, so surprised that it was the same ship and schedule, we are all different though I guess! Yes the ship is now 30 years old, some areas did show signs of age, but all of the public areas were tastefully decorated, very spacious and spotlessly clean. We found that each night we had a pre show cocktail in Raffles, followed by very enjoyable shows including the hilarious pantomime (anyone who has seen it will know why I am still laughing at 'rubber balls'), more cocktails in Connections and then the late Atrium show, with the highlight being the Jersey Beats performance on the last night, it was brilliant. The entertainment team with Cruise Director Lee at the helm was great, looked like they were having fun and delivered some excellent performances. Personally I disagree with a previous review stating that the Cruise Director was not around much, with a lack of attention - we couldn't believe how he seemed to be able to be in more than one place at a time! Yes we were a little late docking at Amsterdam due to traffic coming out of the lock, but the Captain estimated arrival between 11.30/12.30, so the actual 10.30 was no big deal in the big scheme of things, plus it was actually quite nice to get some day time sailing in, watching Holland go by from a chilly but sunny top deck. We were lucky to be upgraded from an inside cabin to a porthole on deck 4 - there are not many cabins down there so nice and quiet. The bathroom in the cabin was dated but clean and super powerful shower. The Cabin was a really good size with comfortable beds, and Ahmad our steward kept it immaculate for us. When docking at Antwerp and Amsterdam, because the cruise terminals are so close to the city centres, we didn't book any excursions, we just went off and did our own thing, both lovely places to visits. Lastly, the food. I have never eaten so much in my life! Most breakfasts and lunches were taken in the Plantation buffet, where we were always 'lucky' (well timed) with getting a table, with evening meals in the Waterfront restaurant. Lovely 5 course menu each evening with attentive table steward Yogi. Would I cruise on Columbus again? 100% yes. I appreciate that the brand is seen as 'budget' compared to some other suppliers, but in terms of value for money, ship comfort, entertainment and food, it ticked every box for me - now looking at next years cruises :) Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose this cruise as was a very cheap deal, obviously get what you pay for. Cabin was very outdated, hairs on bedding, hairs in the sink and floor was filthy when we arrived and wasn’t hoovered the whole time we were there. Freezing ... Read More
Chose this cruise as was a very cheap deal, obviously get what you pay for. Cabin was very outdated, hairs on bedding, hairs in the sink and floor was filthy when we arrived and wasn’t hoovered the whole time we were there. Freezing cold in room even with heating on. Loose wires on the phone. Tv didn’t work properly. Cabin steward was very rude and didn’t do his job at all. Food was basic and not many options, staff in restaurant rude and unfriendly Entertainment absolutely awful and of poor standard, show team need upgrading massively. Lack of entertainment on board- nothing to do on board for hours on end in between the little entertainment they did provide. Arrived in Amsterdam 4 hours late but we’re not informed until we were meant to dock so everyone was sat waiting and we didn’t stay later. Disembarkation diabolical massive queues everywhere! NEVER-AGAIN Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We took a Cruise with CMV in March to Iceland which was Awful and the complaint went as far as ABTA but we secured a discount on another Cruise and thought we would give them the benefit of doubt and give them another chance to redeem ... Read More
We took a Cruise with CMV in March to Iceland which was Awful and the complaint went as far as ABTA but we secured a discount on another Cruise and thought we would give them the benefit of doubt and give them another chance to redeem themselves with the Christmas Cruise to Holland, Germany and Belgium. The start wasn't good as the ship had been delayed in Belgium. We sat in the pretty uncomfortable surroundings of Tilbury and were delayed for 5 and a half hours with hardly any announcements and had to pay for drinks and food. Then we boarded the ship having had no news from CMV that our Itinerary had been changed straight away and we weren't even going to go to Belgium which was one of the Christmas Markets that we had actually booked the trip for, so why CMV not tell us all until we boarded the ship. No Compensation for this of course but this is what we expected from CMV after our last Cruise with them. The itinerary was more time in Holland and more time in Germany and then back to Tilbury. Only two days off of the ship instead of the proposed three, not good. Our pre registered trip in Amsterdam was also cancelled and we had to make our own entertainment there for about 8 to 10 hrs as the other excursion they had was not what we wanted. Then we had about 12 hrs in Hamburg to see the Christmas Markets there. All in all not Good enough again. Our cabin was very tired and we feel that a lot of the ship needs a refurb. The Card Room was absolutely freezing most of the time and so was the observation room. Apart from one of the waiters in the Pub, our cabin cleaner and the Gentleman singer in the Pub, also the Pantomime by the Entertainment team on the last evening was good.We found most of the staff on board pretty hopeless and unsympathetic. The Bar Staff could not mix a Cocktail properly, they seemed to think that a Pina Colada was supposed to be a Brain Freezing Slush Puppy. All we can say is that where we ate on floor 11 was like School Dinners and had terrible trouble even getting a seat in comfort and had to hunt for our own cutlery. The food as a whole was marginally better than we had on the Astoria in March. In fact we can thank CMV for completely putting us off of ever Cruising again and thank God that we got this one on the Cheap as it was booked late and we also got our Compensation Discount and did not have to pay the £900 or so that some poor people payed for this complete let down for what was supposed to be a Christmas Markets Cruise. We would not recommend this Company to anybody having also given them a second chance to improve. A Very Poor Experience, Never Again! From Mr and Mrs G Nutting and Mrs C Still Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We booked this because of the price and destination after seeing an advertisement in a newspaper. We have done many other cruises all over the world mainly with Celebrity or RCI. We purchased car parking which was cheap but very ... Read More
We booked this because of the price and destination after seeing an advertisement in a newspaper. We have done many other cruises all over the world mainly with Celebrity or RCI. We purchased car parking which was cheap but very chaotically managed. My husband is extremely good at parking but struggled to get our car out of the space at the end of the cruise due to the way other cars had been parked in front. Check in was quite efficient and we were quickly on the ship and in our cabin. The cabin was quite spacious but very tired. Cabin steward was lovely and very quickly arranged the repairs of the light that wasn’t working and of the broken safe. The bedding seemed rough and of poor quality. The muster drill was chaotic. The woman running it was not really in charge, The passengers were not organised by her at all and she was trying to shout out cabin numbers over people chatting. We ate in the buffet and main dining room - the food was passable and there was always something to choose but not particularly special although it is fair to say some of our fellow passengers loved it. The waiters were good and efficient. Dining on this ship is fixed sitting on shared tables. Bar prices are quite cheap and tips low which may account for the fact that the staff in the main don’t seem particularly happy. We never saw a single officer during our 2 days on the ship which in our experience is very unusual. There is a distinct lack of customer care on this ship. The entertainment was terrible. We went to one show and saw all of the performers in bars. Sadly the ship retuned to Tilbury 8/9 hours late due to weather which meant a lot of sitting around with nothing to do. The only entertainment offered was the showing of 1 film (Lion King) in the theatre. Again we’ve been on a number of cruises where weather has affected the itinerary and there has always been an entertainment package offered presumably part of their contingency planning. We enjoyed Antwerp but not the Columbus and definitely would not book with this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Columbus is very much like a favourite pair of slippers – you feel comfortable but you know it’s not perfect and has probably seen better days. We chose this cruise because we had not cruised with CMV before and it was a short ... Read More
Columbus is very much like a favourite pair of slippers – you feel comfortable but you know it’s not perfect and has probably seen better days. We chose this cruise because we had not cruised with CMV before and it was a short pre-Christmas trip. Embarkation always help set the tone for a cruise and I have to say this was the slickest, most efficient boarding process we have encountered in any of our cruises to date. We may have been lucky in that we beat the rush but from stepping off the car park shuttle bus to setting foot on the ship was less than 15 minutes. Once on board the welcome was friendly and there were plenty of staff to direct you to your cabin. The décor is reasonable although whoever selected the carpets on board either has no taste or a wicked sense of humour – from garish orange in the corridors to some hideously patterned carpets playing havoc with your eyes. The buffet doesn’t have the greatest choice of food, although what was on offer was of a reasonable standard. However, the seating is very limited and trying to get a table at busy times is challenging. Also opening times are too short, especially on sea days, when passengers are expected to eat their meals in a short period. The main dining room is very good, there are no tables for two, but we were lucky in we managed to have a table for four to ourselves. I know for many people sharing a dining table is their idea of heaven, for me it’s the opposite I don’t want to eat with strangers. I appreciate it is a question of space but I do wish cruise lines would make more tables for two available. The vast majority of the food was excellent quality and the quantity was good as well, you didn’t come away from dinner feeling you could eat some more, which does happen with some cruise lines. Service was good with friendly staff. Talking of staff, like most cruise lines the staff were very multinational – unfortunately a large number did not have a very good command of English. They spoke enough to do their jobs adequately but if you wanted to chat to find out a bit more about the individual then most of the conversations went over their heads. Getting food late in the evening was very difficult – they do advertise a snack service in the lounges between 23:00 and 23:30 but finding this service was like looking for hen’s teeth and when you did find it they had invariably run out of what was being offered. Now we are not great drinkers however we like an occasional tipple. On the plus side bar prices were very reasonable and certainly a lot cheaper than many cruise lines. There was a good choice of wines at dinner. Service in the bars was variable. One evening we went to Raffels and it was very quiet but we walked out after 15 minutes without being served as the waitress was more interested in chatting up the barman and joking with him than serving customers. When we went to another bar the drinks were disappointing - a gin and tonic was served in a half pint beer glass whilst the Singapore Sling tasted like no other Singapore Sling I have drunk before - and I don't mean that in a positive way. The entertainment was, how shall I put it, interesting. The shows in the main theatre weren’t exactly bad but they were not brilliant either – they seemed more like enthusiastic amateurs than professionals. Certainly not as slick as shows on other cruise lines. Costumes looked home-made, the choreography limited and the sound system was appalling, with the music often drowning out the vocals, not helped by some of the performers having weak voices. The only decent show on the main stage was the rat pack tribute and even then the three performers seemed more interested in making in jokes. Ironically the best show of the cruise wasn’t in the main theatre but was a Jersey Boy tribute in the Atrium one evening. The outside facilities on this cruise were irrelevant as the weather was appalling. One of the swimming pools has seating beside a bar – which would be cool on a balmy summers day. Our visit to Amsterdam was cancelled due to bad weather and we were kept informed and updated by the Captain. Amazingly there was a passenger in the buffet who was mouthing off about how disgraceful it was Amsterdam had been cancelled – some people have no concept of safety. The crew were also able to get port cancellation confirmation letters ready within 24 hours, so we could claim on our travel insurance. There are plenty of quiet nooks and crannies on board with the Library being a great place to sink into a comfortable sofa or chair with a book. The games room was also popular with a good selection of games and jigsaws. As an older ship her design is more traditional and streamlined, which proved to be a great advantage as the ship was incredibly stable, even in the force 9 winds in the North Sea, with minimal pitching or rolling. This was our first experience sailing with CMV, there are better cruise lines around but there also many worse. I like Columbus and her size and would certainly sail on her again in future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose Christmas cruise to Amsterdam and German Christmas markets The ship was very outdated, the sauna /steam room smelt revolting Cabin was o,d fashioned Bathroom old and smelly Food basic and poor quality No crisps at bar ... Read More
Chose Christmas cruise to Amsterdam and German Christmas markets The ship was very outdated, the sauna /steam room smelt revolting Cabin was o,d fashioned Bathroom old and smelly Food basic and poor quality No crisps at bar Menu just repeated each night seemingly with previous night leftovers Internet ridiculous price Games room full of incomplete scruffy games The food was basic, the restaurant overcrowded and waited one and a half hours for our breakfast which was really poor when it arrived. We did not go to Amsterdam due to weather, fair enough, but was not offered any compensation or onboard extras Basically spent 5 days onboard to see overcrowded German market Complete waste of money, would not advise it to any one !I have given 1 star as this is the minimum but honestly zero stars is a more accurate raring Despite writing a letter of complaint, we have not had a penny compensation. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My mum and I went on this cruise when we saw it advertised for a really good price (only £258 per person!). Having done several cruises before, we had not sailed with CMV before. We were expecting it to be pretty average, with fewer ... Read More
My mum and I went on this cruise when we saw it advertised for a really good price (only £258 per person!). Having done several cruises before, we had not sailed with CMV before. We were expecting it to be pretty average, with fewer facilities and maybe not such good food etc. We were wrong! We were upgraded from a standard inside cabin, to a restricted view window cabin - it wasn't that restricted really, and the cabin was much bigger than other cruise lines offer. The food was generally good, with a smaller selection than on other cruises we have been on. Overall, the food was well cooked. We ate breakfast in the buffet each day, and lunch we mainly had in the buffet too. We were disappointed that you have to pay extra for some things, like cakes/cookies at the coffee shop, and that room service was an additional charge. The charges for drinks was much better value than on other lines, however. It was around £1.90 for a cappuccino, £2 for a can of coke and around £5 for a cocktail. They did offer drinks packages, but as it was a short cruise we decided to pay as we went. Entertainment was generally okay, with what seemed like a very small entertainment team. The cruise director was part of the singers in the evening show, so that was a first for us. The activity program had all the usual things we expected, but we chose to do our own thing most of the time. There was always plenty of room to find a seat in lounges and bars, with more than enough seating for everyone. Unfortunately for us, we were unable to dock at Amsterdam due to the weather being too rough. It was very windy, but we felt very smooth on the ship considering the terrible weather. Our cabin was very quiet during the rough seas, with no annoying creaking or banging. The captain kept up well informed about the issues we faced weather wise, so we were able to sail directly on to Hamburg, with a sea day instead of Amsterdam. In Hamburg we did an excursion which was very reasonably priced at £47 for a long guided bus tour and time at the famous christmas market outside the Rathaus. Our guide was fantastic and we learnt a huge amount. We were able to get out to explore the church of St Michael which was lovely. The best bits about the cruise was the lovely atmosphere on the ship - didn't hear one person moaning about anything! The prices were much better than others and we could always find a good place to sit. The things we weren't so impressed with were the staff being a bit unfriendly at times, and the food selection not being as big as on other lines. For the money we paid, we have a fab time. Mum has booked a second cruise on CMV for 2020, so she must have been happy! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
it was our 3rd cruise on this ship and after a very stressful year with medical retirement / moving / health problems we was so looking forward to our 19 night cruise started off well 28mins from home to Tilbury embarking fine once on the ... Read More
it was our 3rd cruise on this ship and after a very stressful year with medical retirement / moving / health problems we was so looking forward to our 19 night cruise started off well 28mins from home to Tilbury embarking fine once on the ship I said to my partner wow this don't look right (why) It didn't feel clean ? went tour cabin didn't feel or smell clean ? luggage delivered no problems unpacked off to see what was happening!!!! OMG the passengers already on board were all 75+ not complaining as have worked with elderly 23 years? so a bit of a downer really. first evening went to the bistro to eat had boiled potatoes roast meat mixed veg gravy not a bit of flavour to it and barely warm then had slice pineapple/ melons, the atmosphere of the staff was unbelievable no happy smiling friendly faces we couldn't believe it as been rat on other 2 cruises?. 2 days in waiting for the lift we saw masked men entering a cabin we asked wow what's wrong Sanitation the guy said we just thought someone had an accident? but no after this we see another 2 on our deck being sanitised?. we went down for our meal in the restaurant on our table of four we had a lovely couple in their late 80's with nothing in common with us surely when they do their placing surely they could try and match people we have yet to have people on our seating we could befriend as such? so we stayed with the bistro. next thing the news letter warning about norovirus ??? then we were being served in the buffet???fine but we couldn't see the server properly over the hot plates and most had little English food was just being plonked on plates over the top of other food never hot no flavours and the same food just different meat on many occasions we never bothered unless we had to on sea days ? and all over the ship we had to sanitise our hands our cups were removed from our cabins replaced by flimsy paper cups tat were dangerous when hot water put in them the glasses removed from our bathrooms replaced with plastic glasses? by this time the corridors were being sprayed by men in masks some in white suits while we were left in he dark the captain who on other cruises was not to be seen never shook hands the ship crew stopped eating in the bistro ? to be honest I have never hard so many people complaining about the above problems some we had met from previous cruises who were upset that thy had 2 cruises booked with them next year ? this was our plan to book while on board but sadly couldn't stand to go again in all we have cruised five times in 4 years with C.M.V always paid in full when booking to find out others have paid £1000 less than us and been upgraded also makes you think to heck with C.M.V. Our bedding was changed twice in 19 days it was shambles the bars were often closed or never had your drink ? the casino was a waste and the croupiers so rude we never bother the last few weeks was supposed to be on board for fun unless you were a knitter / bridge player / quiz player / bingo etc you were left wandering we spent hours in our cabin on sea days as worried about norovirus which by now on deck 10 we had seen 10/15 cabins sanitized. most we speak to couldn't wait to get off and home where upon I have been suffering sickness and diarrhea but at least I'm home safely. also our T.V had a mind of its own and came on when I felt like it was told unplug from back of T.V don't think so. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
As we’d thoroughly enjoyed a Baltic cruise just six weeks before embarking on this cruise to N. Africa, the Canary Islands and mainland Iberia. Embarkation was smooth and reasonably quick and we were soon settled in our cabin. Luggage ... Read More
As we’d thoroughly enjoyed a Baltic cruise just six weeks before embarking on this cruise to N. Africa, the Canary Islands and mainland Iberia. Embarkation was smooth and reasonably quick and we were soon settled in our cabin. Luggage arrived speedily. Cabin was of a good standard with ample storage space and wardrobe. Shower room was small and could really benefit from a bit of updating. Washbasin was stained and shower curtain discoloured but nothing serious enough to complain about. We chose second sitting and had pleasant dinner companions. Food was erratic as some dishes were excellent while sadly some were nearly inedible. Service was fine from our waiter Cyril but much less so from his assistant. We regularly had difficulty locating wine waiter. On one occasion I had to take my wineglass down to reception as there was a decidedly unpleasant substance in the glass and sommelier had left the dining room. After a few days we noticed a cabin opposite side to us ( near the lifts so could see what was happening) was in quarantine with meals etc being delivered by staff wearing overalls and face masks. After a couple of days it became clear that norovirus was on board although no information was given to passengers at any time just brief message about hand washing etc in daily programme. On one occasion we returned to the ship after being ashore and on our way to our cabin we saw two laundry sacks full of duvets and pillows in the corridor. These were still in the same place ( uncovered) about an hour later when we were going to lunch. Surely not the best way to deal with soiled laundry from such a contagious illness. Also people were still allowed into buffet and dining rooms without sanitising hands. Not acceptable! Entertainment was pretty good except for a comedian who had obviously had to change several of his jokes so significantly that they lost the point completely. Think he was better suited to a late night men’s drinking club. Even the cruise director said he was a mistake! On the other hand one of the best singer/pianist ever was entertaining in the Taveners bar. Mitchelle was so popular and talented it was hard to find a seat after second sitting dinner to listen to her show. Sailing on Astoria next month and as we know she’s moved to that ship we’re eagerly awaiting hearing her again All in all I would sail on Columbus again IF it was a real bargain but wouldn’t choose a long or expensive trip on her Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Waterfront Restaurant offered some of the worst food at dinner that it has ever been my misfortune to attempt to eat. The cheapest possible cuts of meat, dry, tough and never cooked to order. Vegetables that were served cold and tasteless. ... Read More
Waterfront Restaurant offered some of the worst food at dinner that it has ever been my misfortune to attempt to eat. The cheapest possible cuts of meat, dry, tough and never cooked to order. Vegetables that were served cold and tasteless. Illustrating this disaster: one evening 5 of the 9 people on our table requested medium rare beef wellington cooked, it was served well-done sent back and returned again cremated. Three times this happened each time with the same result. Naturally, the Restaurant Manager was always noticeable by his absence, probably too embarrassed to face the diners with their complaints. No soup spoons, or steak knives were available. The dinner buffet was just as bad, It reminded me of the worst kind of rationed school dinners in the late 1940's.Three types of wafer thin cold meat remained constant throughout the cruise. Thankfully the Grill was excellent, selections cooked to perfection and served by smiling waiting staff, well worth the extra money. Breakfast fine, drinks packages represented excellent value for money, comfortable cabins, entertainment in lounges somewhat childish and unnecessarily loud, waiters and cabin steward provided outstanding service. Formal nights now need a rethink as a great number of passengers did not bother, many men in shorts and sweaters were still allowed in the main dining areas. It appears obvious that, since my last cruise on Columbus 12 months previously, cutbacks have been made, both in quality food and staffing levels. It is a great pity because Cruise & Maritime are one of the very few cruise lines that encourage solo passengers by offering reasonable single supplements. However, along with many others I spoke to during the cruise the company has lost our custom. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
It was the price that originally attracted us to this cruise line. Buy one get one free! What great value. We also decided to buy the Premium additions package, which included tips and most drinks, which saved us more money. The ... Read More
It was the price that originally attracted us to this cruise line. Buy one get one free! What great value. We also decided to buy the Premium additions package, which included tips and most drinks, which saved us more money. The embarkation process was smooth, we had a text the night before our cruise advising us of a long delay due to bad weather, as we don’t live too far away this wasn’t too much of an issue for us. We parked at the long stay car park at Tilbury dock, dropped off our cases there and walked over to the terminal. We’d only been sat down for 10 minutes when we were called on board! Our cabin was surprisingly spacious and we were delighted to have been upgraded from an internal cabin to an outside cabin, perhaps because we’d booked 11 months in advance? Who knows! The beds were set up as two singles though and we did have to ask for them to be made into a double. UK socket in the cabin - we only found one socket! Should have brought our multi socket extension! The cabin was kept clean, though we did find our cabin steward wasn’t quite as friendly as those we have had on other cruise ships. The decor on the ship was a bit tired, though the bars were quite nicely decorated. Another thing that we hadn’t experienced was set dining times. We went for the later time, and sat on a table of six. We were very lucky that the people we sat with were great fun. Usually we like to turn up at a time to suit us, working around the evenings entertainment, and to sit with different people every night. The food was nothing to write home about in the main restaurant, however, we tried both the speciality restaurants. The Grill was fabulous, we had a chateaubriand and it was divine. Great service and food. We also tried the Fusion restaurant on our last night. This is situated at one end of the buffet restaurant, right near the entrance/exit. Given that we were sailing in a stormy North Sea in November, it was quite cold and draughty there. The couple on the table next to us even disappeared to their cabin to get their coats! The food was great but the end of the meal was spoilt somewhat by the fact that they didn’t serve coffee! We were told we could go into the buffet and get one there! The shows on the ship were OK. The singers were good but we have seen far better shows on other ships. The theatre itself was an odd arrangement. It didn’t slope down enough to ensure everyone could see, both downstairs and upstairs. There were also blind seats behind pillars, and upstairs we found the rail obliterated our view unless we slumped right down in our seats. That was very disappointing as we usually love the shows we see onboard. The bars were nice, decorated well. We did one trip in Oslo, which was a walking tour with a visit to an ice bar. For what it was, it was quite expensive. We did our own walking tours with a map at our other stops an called in to a bar for a beer for far less money! Though our guide was good and told us a lot about the city. I did use the spa and had a really lovely massage. So good that I nodded off! The average age on the ship seemed to be a lot older than other cruise lines, probably about 70. We couldn’t fault value for money, would we do it again? I think we probably would. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Because there was a 2 4 1 that was not mentioned and cricketing legends. BOOKING I used a travel agent no sure i will again, would not post tickets unless i paid £10 and nothing from them after cruise or about any delay! ... Read More
Because there was a 2 4 1 that was not mentioned and cricketing legends. BOOKING I used a travel agent no sure i will again, would not post tickets unless i paid £10 and nothing from them after cruise or about any delay! Embarkation. I had no info about ant delay and just ;looked at where ship was and facebook and see there's a delay! I left later as it was a sunday no ferry running so had to walk from tilbury town. Arrived in time to see her arrive. Then a free coffee and found a seat she arrived 6pm got on around 7.30pm no gangway photos. Found my own way to my upgraded cabin. Dinner. HAD BUFFET DINNER LIFEBOAT DRILL After dinner had our lifeboat drill around 2230hrs,it said theatre so i did not bother with a jacket. Imagine my shock it was outside on the deck(i was very cold!) glad it did not take too long. Departure. WE left at 0030Hrs Restaurants. Buffet was too small and always crowded so had breakfast in restaurant quite good but no swiss muesli so had to have corn flakes,pretty good food. Dinner was pretty good with 6-7 on our table, pretty good food.got a bottle of wine free which i took to the restaurant and it lasted the whole cruise. Excursions. Only booked 2 excursions at kristiansand and oslo. WAR RELICS and the CANNON at K SANDand SHIP MUSEUMS IN OSLO both very good Cocktail party. Pretty good with snacks and drink. Captain was a bit hard to understand sometimes aas he was greek but pretty good. Disembarkation. Did walk off and then waited ages for the gravesend ferry to come. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We choose this Cruise for a nice short getaway. Very nice cabins, although I find the bathroom sinks in poor condition and need up grading to match rest of bathroom. We found lunchtimes a bit of a scramble for somewhere to sit, this is ... Read More
We choose this Cruise for a nice short getaway. Very nice cabins, although I find the bathroom sinks in poor condition and need up grading to match rest of bathroom. We found lunchtimes a bit of a scramble for somewhere to sit, this is mostly due to the fact that if you go on an excursion in the morning all coaches return at 1.15 - 1 30 ish, and we all chase for a seat in the buffet area as the main restaurant is only open from 12 til l pm! WHY, is what we ask, when they know what time the coaches arrive back! This also seems to be the norm at activities time, they put something on in one of the bars and again not enough seats for all wanting to take part day or night as we found out, that if you are on 2nd sitting for dinner that when you come out there is nowhere to sit as the seating has been taken up by all the lst sitting diners. All centers around lst Diners. We came out one night from dinner to find that the Farewell Get together from the crew in the Atrium had started 30 mins earlier so again nowhere to sit or stand. The two venues are too small for numer of passengers. Also found photos taken onboard have jumped up in price as now costs £10/£11 each. We have been on quite a few CMV cruises, but not sure if we would go on the Columbus Ship again as this is the worse cruise we have been on. Love the Marco Polo and Magallen! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We where a booking a 9 - they originally spilt us onto to tables of 4 with strangers but after a request we where all put on a table together which is why we booked a cruise so we could all have our meals together Was very very ... Read More
We where a booking a 9 - they originally spilt us onto to tables of 4 with strangers but after a request we where all put on a table together which is why we booked a cruise so we could all have our meals together Was very very impressed - I’m coeliac (gluten free) never Been on a holiday where Where I could eat the same as everybody else - anything I asked for they could give me. Our waiter always remembered I was gf We where a hen do and the staff where so friendly The only thing I would say they need to sort out where the toilets They seemed to get blocked a lot The entertainment was very good - a little hard to get seats in the bars if u where on second sitting Evening disco was very good but would say they need to try and alternate the music as we went 2 consecutive nights and the music was the same - though DJ Brady was very friendly Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Having cruised many times before I decided to try a different cruise line for a weekend cruise sailing from Tilbury. The staff on Columbus were lovely and provided good service. The ship, however, was very old and tired in some areas. ... Read More
Having cruised many times before I decided to try a different cruise line for a weekend cruise sailing from Tilbury. The staff on Columbus were lovely and provided good service. The ship, however, was very old and tired in some areas. This cruise was certainly being run on a budget with poor quality food with a limited choice range, a buffet that closes for much of the time and mediocre entertainment. We got back on board at 2.50 hungry and the buffet was being closed whilst we were trying to get food. I have never experienced this before on any cruise. Others arrived back later and could not get any food. Windows were so dirty we couldn’t take advantage of the views inside the ship. I would compare this cruise to staying in a 2 / 3 star hotel and if this suits you then you would probably enjoy this cruise line but it’s not my cup of tea. I would not cruise with Cruise and Maritime again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We booked this cruise in July 2019 and paid £1039.00 each for an inside guarantee cabin. This same cruise with same grade of cabin was on sale in September 2019 for £629.00 per passenger from Tilbury and £615.00 from Rotterdam. That ... Read More
We booked this cruise in July 2019 and paid £1039.00 each for an inside guarantee cabin. This same cruise with same grade of cabin was on sale in September 2019 for £629.00 per passenger from Tilbury and £615.00 from Rotterdam. That is a reducton of approximately 60% in price for people booking late. We have been on 10 cruises with CMV because they have, on the whole, offered good value for money and allowed people in our modest financial circumstances to experience cruising. We are "Platinum" Columbus Club members. We are disgusted that CMV can "rip-off" their customers in this fashion and expect no repercussions. Well, CMV, we have limited finances and are not prepared to subsidise other passengers to this extent, especially in light of the loyalty we have given your company in the past. That clearly counts for nothing in your view and the pious words of thanks during this cruise from your Cruise Director, Mr Charlie (how appropriate), to the assembled Columbus Club members for their loyalty sounded as cheap and nasty as the champagne served at that event. We will never cruise with CMV again. With respect to the cruise. The majority of passengers were aged 60+ years. Anyone of this age will tell you that it is difficult to get down onto a sun recliner and even more difficult to get up again. Yet the Columbus's decks were stacked with cheap plastic recliners and very few chairs. Other than aft and forward of the bistro on deck 12 there was nowhere to sit on the open decks. One had to recline or stand. The padded foam cushions for the recliners were filthy with soot from the funnel exhausts. The windows throughout the ship were filthy and obscured any view of the exterior. The food in the bistro was mainly edible but lacked variety and taste. The food in the restaurant was generally good but was served by slow, untrained waiters. Dinner took over two hours every night. When I and other passengers complained to the ineffectual but decorative head waiter about the poor service it did speed up but came with an attitude problem from the waiter which meant we ate in the bistro from then on. The crew member serving the hotdogs and burgers at the outdoor grill on deck 12 was surly and insolent and should not have been allowed to come into contact with passengers. Most of the crew were pleasant and helpful and Mr Rodrigues our cabin steward was exemplary in performing his duties and in the courtesy and helpfulness extended to us throughout the cruise. Thank you Mr Rodrigues, Sir. The cabin was spacious, comfortable, quiet and kept immaculately clean. The only negative was the corrosive industrial cleaning fluid in the bathroom soap dispenser that CMV claimed was "soap". The definition of entertainment depends on tastes. Personally I found it more entertaining to watch seabirds flying alongside the ship than sit through 45 minutes of so-called singers shouting out of key into a microphone. Literally painful. I know irons are not allowed in the cabins but I would have thought the Cruise Director could have borrowed one from the laundry to press his wrinkled trousers. I've seen better dressed tramps. For the first time in our cruising with them CMV actually called at all the ports listed in the itinerary but typically docked for only four hours in Lisbon, an ancient city full of architectural gems that would require four weeks, not hours, to see. Docking fees too expensive CMV? Last word. If you cruise with CMV do not book early. You will be ripped-off by their policy of heavy discounting for late bookings. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We booked this cruise mainly for the price. For 15 nights we paid what we would normally pay for 7 so thought it was a good deal. Very very wrong. First mistake was choosing- accidently- the 'free coach and ferry' option. ... Read More
We booked this cruise mainly for the price. For 15 nights we paid what we would normally pay for 7 so thought it was a good deal. Very very wrong. First mistake was choosing- accidently- the 'free coach and ferry' option. Information was very scant and nothing was confirmed until the actual tickets arrived. Did not get any response from emailing CMV customer services for information. The cruise we chose did NOT start at Tilbury on board the ship. We had to be at Tilbury for 11.00 pm when a coach collected us and took us for a 2 hour drive to Dover. At Dover we boarded the 02.00 am ferry to Dunkirk. From there was a 3 hour drive to Rotterdam to join the ship. Although the journey was very comfortable and went smoothly, it was totally exhausting as sleeping on a coach is not ideal. We did not know this until it was too late to change or cancel. If we had known we would not have booked. To actually get on the ship at Tilbury would have been another £400 for the 2 of us. On arrival at Rotterdam we were checked in quickly and efficiently and taken straight to our cabin 6228 on deck 6 as we were told it was ready. When we got there the cabin steward was still cleaning it. Probably the worse cabin we have ever seen. 2 single beds with 2 very small duvet covers with surplus cover hanging over the edge. Very old furniture - in fact we went on this same ship 10 years ago when it was the Ocean Village and the curtains were exactly the same as was was the furniture. We prefer to use the buffet on cruises simply because we are not the type of people who 'dress up' for dinner and neither do we like sitting around a table with up to 6 other people. This was the first cruise out of 16 we have been on where the buffet was open only at certain times of the day. Breakfast was from 7 - 9.30 - lunch was 12 -2, afternoon tea was 3.30 to 4.30 and dinner was 6 - 9.30. In between there was only tea and coffee machines available. And NO water. Unbelievable considering we were visiting hot countries and water is essential. The food was absolutely disgusting and we actually thought we were on a vegetarian cruise. I have never seen so many dishes of vegetables. Cauliflower curry, undercooked fried fish, cold potatoes, chips only served twice in 15 days (not that we live on chips but the are always a good standby). Most nights and indeed some afternoons we lived on burgers from the alfresco bar on deck. This had a great choice of fast food - burgers or hot dogs! At least they were edible. At 3 different ports we ate off the ship purely out of hunger! Entertainment was awful. The theatre had the ships cast dancing and singing every other night and they were very amateurish. Singing was terrible and very loud. There was a 'famous guest impressionist' who nobody had ever heard of and we walked out after 5 minutes. Did not sound a bit like any of the people he was supposed to be impersonating. There was little or no entertainment inside the ship apart from quizzes, bean bag skittles, bingo and more quizzes. A BBQ on deck was a wash out as it was started during pouring rain and just moved under shelter. On sea days of which there was 8 there was no extra entertainment laid on at all. We quickly noticed that the crew were only friendly if you were spending money at bars or in the coffee shops. Public areas were the one big difference. Absolutely spotless, and it was clear these areas were where the money had been spent on refurbing. All very comfortable and nicely decorated. Unfortunately ALL the windows looking out to sea where so dirty you couldn't see out of them. Overall the worst cruise we have ever done and would not have booked it if more information was available. With any other cruise line you could find out absolutely anything and everything before you book to make deciding easier. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our first cruise so did not know what to expect but we absolutely loved it. We were told that Columbus was one of the smaller ships but when we saw it it looked HUGE to us! When we arrived at Tilbury, there was someone on hand ... Read More
This was our first cruise so did not know what to expect but we absolutely loved it. We were told that Columbus was one of the smaller ships but when we saw it it looked HUGE to us! When we arrived at Tilbury, there was someone on hand to remove our luggage from the car and we didn't see it again until we arrived at our cabin on board!. Similarly, when we disembarked, the luggage was taken from outside the cabin and we easily found it again at Tilbury. Our cabin was lovely, the people were friendly, the staff extremely helpful, the food was delicious and plenty of it. Unfortunately two of our stop offs had to be cancelled because of the weather but alternatives were provided and plenty of advance information about each destination so that we could decide what to do. We would most definitely go again on this ship - we eventually got to know our way around after a few days of getting lost! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I have been on 10 previous cruises with Princess, Royal, P&O, and found this a grade above. P&O are equitable to Princess, and RCCL are just too big, with too many options. You have a 10 minute walk to get anywhere. This is the ... Read More
I have been on 10 previous cruises with Princess, Royal, P&O, and found this a grade above. P&O are equitable to Princess, and RCCL are just too big, with too many options. You have a 10 minute walk to get anywhere. This is the advantage of a smaller but well resourced ship. Columbus at 1440 passengers is the largest in the CMV fleet, but still medium sized. It is not missing anything. Still bars, restaurants, pools, decks, entertainment etc... but all within a small distance. It still has 9 lifts on a smaller boat, so you never wait long for one to arrive. The restaurant is well laid out with private booths, like a modern family restaurant. Staff remember your name and after 2 nights, know your needs and preferences. They work hard at this. Without being too in your face, all staff are friendly, positive and extra mile people. Well recruited, and well trained. The Fjords were beautiful, visiting Eidfjord, Flam, and Bergen. The funicular railways, whilst not cheap, are excellent value for money and show you views you could not see otherwise, from powerful waterfalls to snow capped mountains, mountain villages, and deep valleys. Beautiful. Ship food was good, rooms (inner, with 4 guests) are fine, and on this occasion, entertainment was the best we have experienced in any ship (this was our 11th cruise) DJ King was utterly believable as Elvis, Roy G Hemmings was a great singer (if somewhat Narcissistic), and one of the earliest of the Drifters, with great girl backing singers one night, and male backing singers the second time, with the girls joining at the end - a truly memorable evening. And the 3 degrees? Magnificent, iconic,unforgettable. These ladies are genuine soul legends. The ‘soul legends theme’ cruise was an inspired idea, and we (myself, wife, sister, daughter) would definitely do it again. ABSOLUTELY UNFORGETTABLE!,, Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
WHY CMV COLUMBUS? --Baltic sailing --Smaller ship --Price DINING --We chose the late dining option for the Waterfront Restaurant. We also took most breakfast and lunch meals at the Waterfront. The food was good and nicely ... Read More
WHY CMV COLUMBUS? --Baltic sailing --Smaller ship --Price DINING --We chose the late dining option for the Waterfront Restaurant. We also took most breakfast and lunch meals at the Waterfront. The food was good and nicely presented. The pasta selections tended to be soggy or firm. Otherwise the entrees were satisfactory. The appetizers, however, were outstanding. The cafeteria on DGck 12 was always crowded, so we used it sparingly. ENTERTAINMENT --By far the best entertainment of any cruise we have taken. The small troupe of dancers and singers are exceptionally good. The comedian was outstanding too. The tenor regaled us with traditional opera as well as popular vocals. The Entertainment Team gets an A+ from us. LECTURES --On sea days we attended Power Point lectures by a Russian specialist on Peter the Great and the Romanov's as well as St. Petersburg's history and the Siege of Leningrad. She was very informative and set the stage nicely for the highlight of the cruise, namely our two days in St. Petersburg. There were other lectures and demonstrations as well, but we did not attend them. STAFF --All staff members struggle with English. It was often difficult to make our wishes know or understand them. The Reception Desk staff was very helpful however. CABIN --Out cabin steward was great, always looking after the room. 8133 is centrally located, but is above the Connextions Lounge so it could be a bit noisy at bedtime. Fortunately I have a white noise app on my phone that covered up the partying below us. WINE AND BEER --Being moderate drinkers, we opted for the on-board opportunity to purchase five bottles of wines for 85 GBP and ten beers for 49 GBP. We'd have a half bottle of wine at dinner and the Waterfront wait staff would save the other half for the next night. Occasionally we had an ala carte glass of wine for about 5.60 GBP. We did not have any specialty coffees or colas. EXCURSIONS AND PORT CALLS --We took only one CMV Columbus excursion, at Stockholm. The panorama portion of the excursion was horrible. Big bus, narrow streets, no views. But the Vasa museum was spectacular and we had plenty of time to see this amazing old ship that has been restored. ROTTERDAM. --We took the train to Delft for a self-guide tour. If you use the station nearest the ship you need correct change or else a credit card with a PIN. We walked to Rotterdam Centraal Station and took the trains (about 20 minutes). AAHRUS. --We hit stormy waters so we were diverted from Copenhagen to Aahrus, which was a pleasant surprise. Everything you want to see is just minutes from the ship and there is no need to buy an excursion. ROSTOCK. --A bust. The ship docked away from Wandemunde where you could catch a train into Rostock. A free shuttle was provided, but there was an hour and a half line to catch it. We did not go into Rostock or into Berlin (three hours bus ride each way). TALLIN. --We did this on our own. Outstanding. The old city is just a 20 minute walk from the dock. We toured both the lower and upper city and enjoyed a great lunch. ST. PETERSBURG. --We opted for a small group, private tour that cost about half of what CMV was charging and we had an outstanding time. HELSINKI. --For a small charge, I took the ship shuttle to the city center to meet an old friend. On my own. STOCKHOLM. --Too little and too far. The port time was shortened by the fact that the port is an hour away from Stockholm. And we had very limited time. Bummer, except for the Vasa museum. COPENHAGEN. --Rain, rain, rain. Plus very little port time. Just about the time the rain stopped we had to leave. More time needed. SEA DAYS --Two of our sea days were stormy and the ship rocked and rolled. It caused a three hour delay into Tillbury on the last day. EMBARKING AND DISEMBARKING Perhaps our best ever embarking and worst ever disembarking. We walked on quickly on Day 1. On the last day there was mass confusion, missing signs, and a traffic jam that prevented us from express embarking. Fortunately our hired car waited an hour overtime for us, but we had to pay an extra 20 GBP because of the ship's incompetence. Certainly they have had late arrivals before and ought to know what to do to relieve the chaos. They seemed clueless. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Have sailed with CMV before on Magellan and really enjoyed it, wanted to see St Petersburg so booked the Baltic tour. Embarkation was a dream, I was on in ten minutes from walks no in the door. Food on board was great throughout, with a ... Read More
Have sailed with CMV before on Magellan and really enjoyed it, wanted to see St Petersburg so booked the Baltic tour. Embarkation was a dream, I was on in ten minutes from walks no in the door. Food on board was great throughout, with a special recommendation fir The Grill, the lamb rack was amazingly good. Also had the surf and turf in the main dining room which has to be the best steak I have ever had. The entertainment team are great on Columbus from the evening shows to the daily quizzes and activities. Peter the CD was also very welcoming and engaging. Special mention to the singers on board, all being very good. Excursions were well organised and members of the entertainment team were our escorts, mention to Bradley who was not only a great entertainer but very engaging and helpful on excursions. The only downside was the number of moaning people on board, they seem to moan about every minor little thing like a coach being 10 mins late, they even had the gall to moan about us being re routed due to bad weather, the Captain did a great job, in keeping us sAfe and making sure we still had a day in port by shuffling the itinerary. I can’t fault Columbus, the crew are all lovely, the service is fabulous on all counts. Booking my next cruise with cmv soon. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were on a cruise with Mr Bridge and about 70 others in our group.we booked early with Mr Bridge and the offer of 2 for 1. Great value for money. Less good was the change of itinerary some time after booking. We were informed of a ... Read More
We were on a cruise with Mr Bridge and about 70 others in our group.we booked early with Mr Bridge and the offer of 2 for 1. Great value for money. Less good was the change of itinerary some time after booking. We were informed of a change from Stockholm to Nynashamn, however none of us received notification of a change from Amsterdam to Rotterdam. In addition passengers were expected to pay the cost of the transfers to the original destinations. Eventually after some protracted communications we were offered cabin upgrades. The Baltic cruise is special, with great cities on offer to explore. We had previously visited some of the cities. For new ports were Rotterdam, Copenhagen, Rostock / Wanermunde and Helsinki. We used the shuttles when available and either self guided or chose the excellent freewalks. The only tours booked were in St Petersburg. Our 2 half-day tour with CMV were very disappointing. Too much time travelling and in the same tourist shop, too little time in the Spilled Blood Church and Peter and Paul Fortress. My advice is to book through an independent operator. We also attended the evening ballet to see Sleeping Beauty which was enjoyable and well organised. Just a few comments about the ship: Staff worked hard and efficiently, although we found sometimes the crew did not understand our request. At the 1st sitting in the Waterfront waiters had no time to chat with us. The food was lovely and well presented. Other times we used the buffet where the food and service were good. The buffet can be very busy and sometimes full. They also varied meal times and these were not always matched to our needs. On one occasion we found the breakfast finished at 9 and we were too late. Our cabin boy was friendly and efficient. The daily quizzes were too difficult. Typically the winners scored 11 / 20. Some of the bar waiters were great and remembered our order, and offered packages to save money. Raffles was strange though with one particular miserable and unhelpful waitress. She was downright rude, and they often closed up when the bar was still well populated? Customer Services were not interested to receive feedback on this issue! In summary, we were generally satisfied and think the cruise provided good value for money. CMV need to ensure their staff are better trained and improve their shore excursions and caucus to receive service. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First of all, I would like to redress the balance of some of the negative reviews I have read. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this cruise. The food was superb, with plenty of choice for everyone. We did not eat in the ... Read More
First of all, I would like to redress the balance of some of the negative reviews I have read. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this cruise. The food was superb, with plenty of choice for everyone. We did not eat in the restaurant, just the buffet. We paid for the premium drinks package which is advisable. The cabin crew and the rest of the staff were very friendly and helpful. The stop-offs and excursions were well organised. The entertainment team was not top-drawer but watchable and worked extremely hard. Our cabin was spacious and comfortable. To criticize the clientele, in my opinion, is extremely unfair, we met some extremely interesting people, from all walks of life, and you have to ask what sort of people would be attracted to a cruise of this type. I suggest the negative reviewers should try Cunard next time and start saving now. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I am writing this review on the last “at sea” day on a 8 night cruise to the Norwegian Fjords on the CMV Columbus in August 2019. For any readers contemplating this cruise, the main issue you should be aware of is that this cruise ... Read More
I am writing this review on the last “at sea” day on a 8 night cruise to the Norwegian Fjords on the CMV Columbus in August 2019. For any readers contemplating this cruise, the main issue you should be aware of is that this cruise is a floating care home. The average age of a guest is well into their 70’s and the oldest passenger I came across was an astonishing 98! I have never seen so many strollers, walking frames, walking sticks, mobility scooters and wheel chairs in all my life! At age 62 I must be in the 5% of guests under the age of 65. I have nothing whatsoever against this passenger profile, except that I really do not want to be a part of it! Spending 8 nights having to battle through the maze of associated mobility aids and having to suffer the significant inconvenience to more able-bodied passengers which this presents, is not a holiday for me – it’s just a hassle. If you fit with this profile I am sure you will enjoy yourself. The ship itself holds 1400 passengers, and has been rebranded several times in its history as it moved between owners and refits. The overall quality of finish is average to good, and the style of décor reflects its niche in the market for elderly Brits wanting to be away from home but in familiar surroundings. Although a shame that CMV has decided for some reason that plastic and silk imitation plants and trees are more pleasing than real ones, resulting in a rather tacky funeral feel to the Taverner’s bar and a tired wilting appearance to the potted trees in Connexions. Cabins are nice and well maintained, if not a little dated in furnishings. The rest of the ship flows around deck 7 with its British bar (traditional London style) and the more modern Connexions bar (which appears to have been modelled on a conservatory). You will also find the main Waterfront restaurant on this deck. The other eatery is a self-service buffet style and is on deck 12. The best outdoor bar is the Oasis bar, which was surprisingly pleasant with its panoramic view and comfy sunbeds. As far as the food is concerned, the evening dinner on the Waterfront restaurant is good (but not great) in terms of selection and quality. I would recommend the 2nd sitting, as this allows more time before having to change, a 1st sitting in the theatre and plenty of time afterwards to relax in the bars. The self-service restaurant is to be avoided at all costs. The food is dismal, the atmosphere chaotic and the seating arrangements far too limited and uncomfortable for the number of guests (and walking aids!) trying to occupy them. In short it is a cattle market of stress inducing trauma. Think about your blood pressure and avoid this place like the plague. Far better to spend your time enjoying a great coffee in the coffee shop by the pool area. The best coffee I have ever tasted. Drinks prices on board are very reasonable indeed. £3.30 for a pint of Fosters, a 4cl Gordon’s gin at £3.60 and alcoholic cocktails around £4.80. Having said that CMV offer a range of pre-paid inclusive drink packages and these offer exceptional value in my view. Dress on board is casual and informal, with appropriate minimum standards in the indoor bars and lounges in the evening. There were 2 formal nights during the cruise. It’s always a good measure of your fellow passengers to observe their interpretation of “formal”. I would estimate that 40% were traditional “black tie” enthusiasts, and a further 30% made some sort of effort (however marginal) to smarten themselves up. The remaining 30%? – well I think the less said, the better! The staff on board vary considerably. Our cabin steward was fantastic, friendly, personal and did a really good job at keeping the cabin clean and tidy. The restaurant staff were generally efficient and on the whole appeared to enjoy their jobs. With a couple of exceptions, all of the bar staff were as miserable as sin, without a smile for anyone, and with the ability only to communicate in grunts (if at all). Not once in a whole week were we approached at our table in the bars and asked if we wanted to order a drink. We had to attract someone’s attention (which on occasion would be successful, but more usually resulted in total avoidance) or queue at the bar and get our own drink (eventually, and after having to endure surly and indifferent “service”) Shore excisions were, as usual, overpriced, but reasonable well organised. Check before you book to see if you can make your own arrangements to see the “ attractions” – we did and saved ourself at least 30% on the CMV cost. The evening entertainment was disappointing. For starters the Palladium theatre is small with awful sight lines of the stage. Unless you bag a seat at least 30 minutes prior to showtime you can forget seeing at least half of the stage. The resident entertainment dancers/singers, can’t. That is to say they try hard, but there is only one guy and one girl who came even remotely close to being able to sing in tune. The rest would get immediate “red crosses and a loud buzzer” from Simon Cowell. Dancing was slightly better, but production values and variety were very poor. This was a major let-down as we have been used to very professional and talented entertainers on other cruises. From the 7 nights we had a comedian (the same one) for 2 nights, a magician (the ships entertainment director) for 1 night and the dancers/singers for the remainder. The comedian was not bad, although should really have retired his act some time ago. The magician was just plain embarrassing. So overall an exceptionally average cruise, not helped by the clientele, the ships facilities and the crew. If a British “flavoured” floating care home is your thing, with a heady mix of cheap drinks, bingo, quizzes, and “end of the pier” entertainment - then you should definitely go for it. If not – you should save your money for an alternative cruise. You may need to pay a little more, but it will be money well spent. It was good to try CMV, but once is enough. At least until I am 80! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Columbus Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 3.9
Dining 4.0 3.5
Entertainment 3.0 3.4
Public Rooms 3.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.2
Family 1.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 2.0 3.0
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 5.0 3.6

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